WHY TIME with NannyGranne

Dear Becky and Friends,

Dear Becky and Friends,         

“How could a preacher do that!” That’s what your friends asked me when they heard about what happened with your youth minister and the church secretary.  Your hearts are broken, and perhaps your hopes are dashed, and you’re wondering how a man who has talked to you about God could be so dishonest.  I want you to know that God is never surprised and has seen this kind of thing since the beginning.  And Jesus sees you and understands how you feel.  He feels the same way.  It literally killed Him.  You are not alone.

Now to answer that agonizing question, “How could he?!”   He’s with God all the time.  He checked all the boxes.  He didn’t have to deal with the world every day like the rest of us.  And he did this in the church building with another Christian!  How could he?

I know you remember the story of King David and his affair with Bathsheba and even murdering her husband–one of David’s most loyal soldiers–to cover it up.  There were others of God’s people who did the unthinkable.  It’s incredible that God loved them–and loves us–despite how humans behave.

It took me a long time to realize that we, as humans, are absolutely powerless to be as good as we want to be, and God deserves perfection.  There is no way to get there on our own.   No checklist of good works, no seclusion from the world, no position in the church will insulate us from Satan.  He constantly feeds our self will.  But there is a rescuer:  Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit.  (Read Romans 7:14 thru Chapter 8.)

Preachers – any of us – can study the Bible to discover, prove, delight, and bond us to others.  But if we just analyze the recipe and never eat the Bread, it never becomes part of us.  And we die with our Bibles in our hands.  The Pharisees, priests, and lawyers in Jesus’ day were the scholars and the experts in their Bible, the Old Testament.  Yet they missed its message and didn’t recognize Jesus for who He was–the Messiah the Old Testament promised.  Any of us can miss the message, too, if we aren’t searching for our own Savior.

The Apostle Paul struggled and was intentional about staying close to Christ, through the power of the Holy Spirit, so that “after preaching to others, I, too, might be disqualified.”  He talks about it in I Corinthians 9:24-27, ending by saying, “I discipline my body and bring it under strict control so that after preaching to others, I myself will not be disqualified.”

Paul mentions many disciplines of living in Christ:  pray without ceasing1, study to show yourself approved2, flee fornication3, love one another4, pursue righteousness 5, endure 6, think on good things 7, and hundreds of others.  

But in Romans 8, Paul explains HOW it’s possible to do these things.  We’ve got to be plugged into the power of the Holy Spirit to do any of it.

  • We live in the awareness of the Spirit’s presence within us. (Rom. 8:4-10)
  • We live in anticipation of the Spirit’s power working in us as demonstrated in the resurrection of Jesus. (8:11-13)
  • We live in appreciation of the glory of God dwelling in us. (8:14-16).
  • We live able to suffer for Him because we are not alone.  We belong elsewhere. (8:17-25)
  • We accept the Spirit’s part in prayer, providence, and fulfilling promises of rescue from ourselves and this world. 8:26-30)
  • We live, remembering that Christ cherishes us. (8:31-39)

You see, dear Becky and friends, when the Holy Spirit has moved in, and we’re living with Him, we are never alone, never on our own, never unplugged from the power of God.  We naturally have constant prayer conversations with Him, our First Love.  We hear His voice when we study.  It’s natural to love everyone who loves Him.  We’re aware He sees what we see, He goes where we go, He hears our hearts and helps us, checks us, and sometimes carries us.  With Him, even our romantic relationships are always a pure threesome.8

So how could that preacher – or any of us when we sin – do what we do?  Like David, like the Prodigal Son, like the woman at the well who’d been married five times and then with a man she hadn’t married, we lose sight of Who loves us.  And with any of us, as God did with them, God waits for us to turn around and come home, and He’ll be waiting.

Becky, your preacher is broken, alone, and is cut off from his hopes and dreams.  He’s hiding from his conscience and it won’t work.  God hurts worse than anyone.  Jesus spills more blood. The Holy Spirit is grieving.  The pain belongs to God, so turn it loose and don’t let Satan beat you up with it. 

The Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit have been talking about you.   “…the Spirit also helps us in our weakness since we do not know how to pray as we should. But the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans too deep for words, and the one who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, for the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to God’s will. And we know that for those who love God, that is, for those who are called according to his purpose, all things are working together for good.” (Rom 8:26-28)   Remind yourself of that when the pain worms its way back into your consciousness.  God is carrying you through.

Cherish in your heart the gift of the Holy Spirit you received the day you were baptized (Acts 2:38).  If you’ve never heard of this gift (Acts 19:1–5), then obtain that gift and receive a clean slate with God at baptism into Christ as soon as possible.  You’ll need Him in your life.  You’ll need His power to live well.  And you’ll need that power to raise you from the grave and take you Home when Jesus returns.9

                                                                        With love and prayers,  Nannygranne

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I Thess 5:17

2 II Tim 2:15

3 I Cor. 6:18

4 Romans 13:8

5 I Tim. 6:11

6 Col 1:11

7 Phil 4:8

I Cor 6:15-20

I Thess 4:16-18

How Could A Preacher Do That! Pt 1

As Nannygranne served up refreshments to the teens for MTC night (Movies that Count), she couldn’t help overhear the conversation across the counter from her.

“Did you hear what happened at Becky’s church?” Aiden said in a hushed tone which always draws attention.

“No. What happened?” Kayla said without looking up from selecting chips.

“Their youth minister had an affair with the church secretary, and they ran off together!”

“How could they do that!!” Kayla asked Aiden in a whispered rage.  Turning to Nannygranne, knowing she’d heard, too, she repeated, “How could they do that!”

Nannygranne handed her a BBQ sandwich and asked, “How could who do what?”  She hated to admit she’d overheard but was grateful to have a moment to whisper a prayer for guidance.

“How could a guy like that run out on his family and congregation?  How can they spend that much time with God and do such a thing?”  

Nannygranne realized all eyes had turned their way.  “Well, it’s not the first time one of God’s people have done such a thing.  But I’d like to talk more about it and hear your thoughts if you’d let me sit with you to eat.”

“Sure!  We’ll get a table.  Thanks!”  With that, four or five teenagers moved on while Nannygranne served the others, praying constantly.  This type of issue crushes expectations of young people and adults alike.  For those close to the situation, it can be devastatingly disillusioning.

The kids waved their older friend to the table.  They’d been deep in conversation and were ready with questions. 

“So, Nannygranne, how can that happen to a preacher – and right in a church building, too!”

“Yeah, I thought if you are a Christian and stay in church and stay friends with other Christians, stuff like this won’t get to you.”

“I thought if the Holy Spirit lives in you that you wouldn’t want to do bad things.”

“Yeah.  My friend Becky called me and she was crying and said their whole church was torn up about it.  She said it was awful!”

Nannygranne shook her head. “Wow, you guys.  This is a tough thing for even adults to handle.  I can’t imagine how heartbroken your friend Becky must be.”

“I don’t know, Mrs. N,” Aiden said.  “It’s scary in a way.  I’ve been thinking about going to Bible college and becoming a minister, but now that doesn’t seem so safe.”

“So, Aiden, you’re worried that Christianity is just a gamble with no guarantees?”  Nannygranne hoped to tap into the heart of their fears.

“Yeah!  It kind of makes you feel like you can’t be sure of anything ever!”  Kayla admitted.  

“You’ve heard the old saying that nothing is sure except death and taxes?” Nannygranne offered.  Blank stares told her she’d used too old a saying.  “Never mind.  I don’t mean to suggest that it’s not important whether we are certain or not.  God knows it is important. But He’s the only 100% certainty in existence.  He’s God.  We are not.  And that’s where the problem begins.”1

“What do you mean by ‘that’s where the problem begins?'” asked Aiden as he leaned forward.

“Well, God is God and we are not.  We are human, naturally self-serving, and influenced by Satan in this life.  God is unintimidated and cannot be tempted by Satan but that’s not true of you and me.  That’s why we need to be always moving closer and closer to God every day of our lives. It’s a long road to becoming more and more like God.”

Kimberly spoke up. “But a preacher studies the Bible all the time and doesn’t have to be around worldly people like the rest of us.  How can somebody like that get so far from God that he lets everybody in the world down!”  Her question revealed pain, maybe from some past experience.

Nannygranne began, “I know you guys have heard of King David and his affair with Bathsheba.” All heads nodded, encouraging her to go on.  “Well, David, a man chosen by God, was described as ‘a man after God’s own heart.’  But not only did David give in to his lust, he also plotted to have one of his most loyal soldiers abandoned on the battlefield and killed.  Amazingly, David became so distracted from God’s heart that he didn’t even recognize he’d done such a horrible thing.  Then when his wise friend, Nathan the prophet, came to him with a riddle that exposed David’s deed, he finally felt guilty.”2

“Yeah, but David wasn’t a prophet like Nathan.  He was a warrior and a politician and busy with other things.  How can a preacher get so messed up!”

“Do you guys think that because a man is a preacher that his body changes and that he no longer feels and struggles with the thoughts and feelings natural to any healthy man?”  When Nannygranne said that, the boys instantly knew what she was saying.  “And girls, do you think that just because a man is a preacher that he stops being handsome or kind, considerate and attentive, and no woman would be attracted to him?”

The teens looked at one another with even more miserable expressions.  This line of thought did not make them feel safer as Christians.

Nannygranne added gently, “And don’t you think that the God who made us understands all those things about us?  And since He does, gives us help and information to deal with being human and being a Christian at the same time?”

Aiden spoke up for the others. “I guess God does understand.  But we don’t know what those things are that help or why they didn’t work for Becky’s preacher.”

“Well, I’m a few years down the road, you guys, and I wish I could tell you that I’d never heard of this happening before, but I have.  And some of those times, it involved people very near and dear to me.  I’ve had to wrestle with this, too.”  

Glancing at the clock, she knew her time was short.  “I think the movie’s about to start so I’d like to write a letter and send it to you guys with that information.  You could hang on to it or share it with friends.  Trust me, as long as humans preach or even become Christians, you’ll need God’s help to get you through.  And even more important, you are each human and Christian.  Never underestimate the war for your soul.  Satan never gives up for long, but God is there for you as Christian ministers, mothers, fathers, teachers, husbands, and wives.”

“Alright, thanks, Nannygranne.”  

“You’re welcome.  It’s something we all need to keep close.  Satan will never give up, and neither can we.  But Jesus said, ‘Take heart, I have overcome the world.'” 

…to be continued.

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1 Psa 103:14  He knows what we are made of; he realizes we are made of clay.

2Story of David and Bathsheba – II Samuel 11, I Kings 1

“Why Does God Let Bad Things Happen to Me?”

Devon grumbled all through the meal.  Caught on his phone—again—during homework, his mom had confiscated the precious item until the next day.  As a guest, Nannygranne couldn’t interfere but understood the situation, and even how his mother handled it.  But she longed to help Devon understand as well.

“Belinda,” Nannygranne said to his mother.  “Could I rinse the dishes while you tuck the little ones in after dinner?  Maybe Devon would like to help me?” Nannygranne caught Devon’s eye and gave him a wink.  “If he’s done with his homework, that is.”

“That’s so kind,” Belinda responded.  “Devon, give her a hand.  I’d appreciate it if you would.”

“Would I get my phone back, then?” Devon said to his mother.

She responded with a frown that said, ‘you’ve got to be kidding.’

After Belinda left, Nannygranne began gathering dishes.  Devon joined her.  “Thanks, Nannygranne.  Even dishes are better than homework!”

“Hmm,” Nannygranne said. “That’s a pretty low opinion of homework if you even like doing dishes more.”  She poofed her hair and struck a “glamourous” pose.  “Or is it my irresistible beauty that brings you to the sink?”

Devon played along.  “Uh…Well, I’m too young and haven’t made my fortune. So I’m not worthy.  But give me time!”

Nannygranne laughed. “Bless your heart.  Oh my, just my luck. Why do bad things happen to good people?”  

Her flippant remark struck a chord with Devon. “Yeah!  I’d like an answer to that question,” he muttered. 

“Really?” Nannygranne responded. “But, you know, there’s a similar question I’ve never heard anyone ask.”

Devon looked at her with interest. “What’s that?” 

“I’ve never heard anyone ask why good things happen to bad people?”  

Devon frowned. “I never thought of that.  But come to think of it, why do some people who are dishonest or cruel—or even lazy—seem to have more stuff than the ones who work and share and help all their lives?  It doesn’t seem fair, does it?”

“Okay,” he added as he covered another dish for Nannygranne to place in the refrigerator. “So I’ll ask the question: Why do good things happen to bad people? Why does God let that happen?” 

Nannygranne nodded. They were circling round to helping Devon understand why things happen in life. “Well,” she said, “the short answer is, ‘Because God is love.’ So, as the Bible says, ‘He causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.’ So, yes, He allows good things to happen to bad people.

“But we need to dig deeper into the basic statement that God is love. Sadly, we are all basically selfish and want to have the first and the most and the sparkliest.  Jesus, God’s Son, had all those things but set them aside to come to this earth because He valued us more.”  

She stopped and looked out the kitchen window.  “I just don’t understand how He can love us that much.”  

Devon looked thoughtful. “And we’re not like God and Jesus, are we?”

“Hey! That came from down deep.  I like that. No, we’re not. Jesus loved us so much He paid a blood price high enough to cover every evil thought or act by every human throughout history, including yours and mine.”

Devon shook his head. “I don’t understand that. How could God love us so much He would let His Son do that?!” 

“Amazing, right?! But not only did Jesus die here, He lived here. Of all places for Jesus to live after He left heaven—here on this sin-wrecked earth.  And then after all that, He offered to live not just beside us, but in us–through His Holy Spirit!” 

They were both quiet for a moment. Then, as Nannygranne handed Devon a detergent pod, she said. “God loves us all more than we could ever hope to deserve.  So, after we struggle with questions like why do good and bad things happen to people, the most important question is not why does God let bad things happen to me, but why does He give me good things when I am so weak and sinful? And the answer is ‘Because He is God and I am not. And He loves me.’”

Devon thought about that for a while. Finally he said, “Yeah, I guess having plenty to eat, good friends, a great house, and parents who care is way more than I deserve.  And I guess I shouldn’t grumble because I have to do without my phone for a few hours.  When I really think about it, I don’t have it so bad.”  He looked sheepishly at Nannygranne.  “I apologize for my bad manners earlier.  I’m embarrassed.”

Nannygranne grinned. “Oh!  You mean eating the last hot roll?  Think nothing of it.  I’m watching my calories, anyway.”  She laughed and elbowed the boy, who grinned.

“I’d better get that homework knocked out,” he said.  “I hope you come to see us again soon.  I’ll help with the dishes!”

The Lord is not slow concerning his promise, as some regard slowness, but is being patient toward you, because he does not wish for any to perish but for all to come to repentance. But the day of the Lord will come like a thief; when it comes, the heavens will disappear with a horrific noise, and the celestial bodies will melt away in a blaze, and the earth and every deed done on it will be laid bare. Since all these things are to melt away in this manner, what sort of people must we be, conducting our lives in holiness and godliness”. Apostle Peter,  II Peter 3:9-11

“But I tell you, love your enemies. Pray for those who hurt you.  If you do this, then you will be true sons of your Father in heaven. Your Father causes the sun to rise on good people and on bad people. Your Father sends rain to those who do good and to those who do wrong.” – Jesus, Matt 5:44-45

Why can’t Sadie go to church here anymore?

Nothing is more gut-wrenching – or potentially damaging – than for a minister to be fired.  The ripple effect, often silent and deadly, leaves children in the wake, finding themselves reeling in the backlash.  Nannygranne saw it on the faces of her young students in Bible class.

“Good morning, class.  Have you had a good morning so far?”  Nannygranne, seeing the long faces, knew they might have questions.

Naomi raised her hand, her eyes brimming and lower lip trembling.  “Nannygranne, why can’t Sadie come to church here anymore?”

“What happened to Sadie, Naomi?”  asked the teacher to see what, if anything, the children knew.

“They’re moving away!” offered one voice.

“Her daddy got fired!”  Nick’s announcement was news to most of the children.

“I didn’t know you could fire a preacher,” said the third.  And there it was—the confusing core of the question.

“You all must be really sad that Sadie’s not here today.  I miss her, too.  Did any of you get to tell her goodbye?”  

“No,” muttered Naomi as she ducked her head with a little shudder.

“My big sister Julie cried and cried.  Sadie’s sister, Sierra, is her best friend, and she didn’t get to talk to her either.”  Keith’s searching eyes and mouth clamped shut informed Nannygranne that Keith’s family would be grieving as well.

“Have you all known of kids whose parents moved away because their jobs changed,”  Nannygranne offered.  A few of the kids raised their hands, nodding their heads.  Then the rest raised their hands, not to be left out.  “Sometimes grownups have to make decisions, and kids don’t know about it until it’s time to move.”

“But why didn’t they even say goodbye?” Naomi demanded.

“I don’t know, Naomi.  I’m sorry it happened this way and made you sad.  I think a lot of people would like for things to be different.”  

After taking a moment to look around the room, Nannygranne knew it was time to pray and talk about God.   “Nick, would you pray for our class and for Sadie’s family to be okay?”  

After Nick’s prayer, Nannygranne began their lesson.  “Did you know that Jesus got fired one time?”

“He did?”

“What? Jesus?”

“What does ‘fired’ mean?” asked the youngest child, Henry.

“’Fired’ means you can’t go back to work anymore because the boss is mad.”  Nick puffed out his chest a little, proud of his superior knowledge as the oldest child in their pre-schoolers class.

“So did God get mad at the preacher and fire him?” Henry asked.

“Henry, that’s a good question.  Who would know if God was mad at someone?”  Nannygranne looked around the room as the children watched to see who would answer.  All eyes fell on Nick, but he offered no answer.  “I think God is the only one who knows what He thinks about our preacher.  The Bible says that we can NEVER read God’s mind.”

“No, no, no.  We can never read God’s mind,” repeated little Henry.

“When Jesus got fired, it was NOT because God was mad at Him.  Jesus said He was always supposed to obey God the Father, and He did.”

“Then who fired him?” asked Nick

“Well, I’m going to turn to that story in my Bible in Luke 4:16 and start telling it to you.” Nannygranne carefully thumbed through the pages of her large-print Bible as the children watched.  ‘Here it is.  Jesus was all grown up.  He’d been preaching at a lot of places.  Then he decided to go back to where He grew up.  Who remembers the name of where Jesus grew up?”  

All the children raised eager hands, some bouncing and waving their hands, hoping to be picked first.  Finally, Nick called out, “Bethlehem!”  

“No, Jesus talked to the important men in the temple in Jerusalem.  He lived in Jerusalem,” argued Keith.

“Well, those are places where Jesus went, but that’s not where He grew up,” Nannygranne explained.  “Jesus grew up in Nazareth.  They even called him a Nazarene.”

“You mean like they call me an American?” Keith asked.

“Exactly, Keith . . . So Jesus went back to His home town to tell His friends all about God and what He wanted.  Jesus stood up in worship, took the Bible, and started reading in Isaiah’s book.  Isaiah wrote that God said that He would send His son to teach all the people about what God wanted.  Then Jesus said, “Here I am.  I’m God’s Son.”  Then He put the Bible back and sat back down.   Well, His neighbors said, “That’s crazy!  Your daddy was Joseph, the town builder right here in Nazareth.  We’ve known you all your life!  It’s a sin to say you are God’s son!”  They got really angry with Jesus because they didn’t believe Isaiah.  They told him to get out of town.  But some of them decided they were even going to push Him off a cliff and kill Him!  But Jesus made it so they couldn’t grab hold of Him, and He got away.”

“They wanted to kill Jesus!” gasped Sadie.

“Yeah, but He got away,” assured Nick.

“So did somebody want to kill the preacher, and he got away?” Sadie worried.

“No, no, Sadie.  That is what happened to Jesus….”

“But he got away!” interrupted Nick again.

Nannygranne went on quickly, “Yes, this happened to Jesus and He got away.  We don’t know why our preacher left and the grownups have to worry about that, not us.  But we can always remember what he taught us about God and I am so glad he did.  And we can pray for him and his family always.   God knows where they are and how they are doing.  Maybe you can see their children again at church camp or somewhere.  But Jesus does understand why you feel sad.  You see, some of Jesus’ friends and maybe even cousins or aunts and uncles didn’t get to say goodbye to Him that day.  But if they believed what Jesus told them, Jesus took them home with Him when they died, and they’re with Him now.”

Naomi rose from her chair and stood near Nannygranne.  “I hope you don’t get fired, Nannygranne.  I would miss you, too.”

“Naomi, sometimes we don’t understand why some things happen, but God does, and it never surprises Him.  He always works things out for His children, so we have everything we need.”

After Naomi returned to her seat,  Nannygranne suggested, “Hey, would everyone like to draw a picture and for us to send a letter to Sadie and her family?  We’ll tell them we love them and are praying for them today.”

“Yea!!!  Let’s send Sadie a letter!!”  Little Henry was elated.

“Henry, would you help me hand out the papers and crayons?”

“I’m going to draw a picture of Jesus preaching and people getting mad,” decided Nick.  “Nannygranne, how do you write Nazareth?”

Dear Nannygranne, Why is Life So Hard? Signed, I Give Up!

A LETTER TO A CHRISTIAN TEEN

Dear IGU,

You don’t fit in.  Why is that?  Is it you?  Is it God’s punishment?  Is God just testing you?  Are you alone?   Christianity not working?

There is a story about a guy, like you, who never quite fit in.  As long as his friends could get what they wanted from  him, they stuck around.  But as soon as HE needed anything, they blew him off.  He tried his best to be kind, helpful, and honest, but that was never good enough to impress them.

He didn’t fit in with his siblings, either.  They were jealous of his accomplishments and also tried to turn his parents away from him by telling them he was ‘mental.’  They even came to him while he was on the job to do an ‘intervention’!!

The people in his town wouldn’t let him have a chance.  His mom had been pregnant with him before she and his step-dad got married.  Small towns never forgive.

When he was almost a teenager, his family went to a week-long religious event.  Everybody was there.  He’d always done well in Bible classes and paid attention.  He learned all he could.  It came naturally for him.  Toward the end of that week, he finally got to talk with some of the speakers and directors.  They were so impressed that they invited him back the next day and the next!  They saw real potential in him as a Bible teacher.   When his parents found out, they embarrassed him by scolding him in front of the speakers and made him leave.  They just didn’t get it!  All he could do was be patient until his time came.  His parents reminded him of his place–for now.

Finally, he was of legal age and was able to launch his career as a public speaker and teacher, which was his dream. So he left home and moved to another town.  Soon he had staff, and they traveled with him all over the country.  He was going to make a difference!  And everyone knows that when you try to change things that there is always the competition trying to undermine your reputation.  His arch rival even came to him offering a friendly takeover.  Our man turned  him down flat, but he knew it wasn’t over.

By now he’d grown to accept the fact that he was on his own in the world.  But his faith made it possible to remember he was truly never alone.  He’d had one true close friend, a cousin, who had always understood him and his dream.  Then suddenly one day his cousin was murdered.  He was broken hearted.  Now he had no one.  

Of course, his staff was loyal, but they couldn’t see the big picture of his organization, so he was continually doing damage control, and though they meant well, they just weren’t who he could lean on.  Even women who he knew, though helpful and kind, weren’t able to be what he needed.  None of them would be a fit for his life, so, he pushed aside thoughts of women, too.  But he did have the perfect wife in mind.   One day….

Eventually, he saw the writing on the wall.  He’d pushed the wrong buttons with the wrong people too many times.  It became evident that they were out to get him.  After months of explanation, debate, and meetings, things lead to controversy and disputes, which lead eventually to outright sabotage and even death threats!  He knew his arch rival was behind it all.  

Why!  Why had he never been able to win the hearts of people?  What had he done to hurt anyone?  He’d helped thousands with his work! 1

His name was Jesus.  And because He stayed true to His place in God’s plan, He did win hearts!  He did change the world.  His friends finally became so loyal they died rather than deny Him.  But first, He had to take his place in God’s plan.  He had to die–for a few days.  Then the grand scheme finally came together, and He reemerged from his grave.  He won! He’d defeated his arch rival–Satan himself.   He could never be hurt that way again, nor could His followers!

You have a place in God’s plan.  Find it.  Develop it.  Do it.  Then you’ll find everything you need in His company, and you will change your world! 

It’s true: Life is hard.  And we often don’t fit in.   That’s because we aren’t made for this world, but God’s.  And in Christ, we are NEVER alone.  As Christians, we’ve received the The Holy Spirit who now lives inside of us, whispering truth into our heads to drown out Satan’s lies.  And the Spirit helps keep us on our correct course when Satan tries to trip us up.

It’s true: Bad things happen in life.  Satan is real, but he’s NOT all-powerful, and he is NOT all-knowing!  He proved that by orchestrating Jesus’ death, only to fall into the web of wonder that was God’s divine conspiracy.  Jesus battled death and beat it!  Just when Satan thought he’d won, Jesus’  victorious resurrection cut off the right arm of Satan.  That  right arm was FEAR!

The truth is that God has made you. YOU!  And God plans to fashion you into His Masterpiece.  

Others want to fashion you into something they can USE.  Being used by God is so much more amazing!  Satan, on the other hand, will get in your head and tries to tell you that you are not enough.  Then  Satan uses some people and circumstances to back up his lies.  If you measure yourself by their views, know this.  They are wrong.  Only God’s perspective of you matters, and He put His mark on you when you were born.  He made you in His image and to be like Him.  That’s where you fit in.  Humans cannot and will never offer you that kind of acceptance in your life.

We fit in where it matters:  with God and others who love Him.  What do we lack? Looks? Smarts? Money? Health?  Here’s what Jesus says about that:

About the man born disabled, He said, “He was born blind so that the acts of God may be revealed through what happens to him.”  Show the world what God can do with you just as you are!  Satan tells you you’re “defective.”  God says you can bring him glory! 2

About not fitting in, He said, “Good for you when people insult you and bully you and spread all kinds of lies about you because you’re mine.  Celebrate!  God will give you extra rewards in heaven because you’re following the example of the ancient prophets of God!”  When you are his, you have everything.3

About rejection, He said, “It is enough for a disciple to become like his teacher…If they called me ‘The Devil,’ there is nothing they won’t do to slander you.  Don’t be afraid of them because nothing is hidden; nothing is secret; it will be found out.  Don’t be afraid of people who can destroy you physically.  They can’t kill your soul.  Only God has that power.  He sees every single sparrow that falls from the sky.  He even knows how many hairs you have on your head!  You’re much more important to him than all the birds in the world or your hair.”  Then Jesus said, “I will always stand up for you when you stand up for me.  Don’t think that what I intended to do was to make the whole world peaceful.  Not at all.  The difference I make will even divide families!  Just put me first above anyone else–even yourself.  If you’re all about ‘Me First!’  you’ll lose yourself completely.  But if you put ME first, you’ll have Life at its best, both now and forever!”  (from Matt.10)3

TAKE YOUR PLACE IN HIS WORLD:

Decide you’re going to “Cross Over” mentally and go all in for God. (Luke 14: 25-35)

Wake up with him and stay close to Him all day. (Christian music)

Spend time listening and talking with Him (Listen to Audio Bible.  Journal honest prayers)

Learn about His Ways (YouVersion Bible studies)

Find answers to your big questions (YouTube:  Youth Apologetics)

Spend as much time as you can with others who have “crossed over.”  Pray for God to lead you to them.  

When you realize you don’t “fit in” at work or school, you can remember that you’re there for them…not the other way around. 

 He will show up!  Just watch!                     

Always Praying,  Nannygranne

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From Scriptures of Jesus’ life:  Luke 22:44-46; John 7:1-5; Mark 3:21, 31-35; Matt 1:18; Lk 4:16-30; Lk 2:41-52; Mk 4:13; Matt 10:1-5; Matt 4:1-11; Matt 14:1-13; Jn 3:28-29, Lk 8:1-3; Matt 16:21

2 John 9

3 Matt 5:11-12; Matthew 10