I know I shouldn't judge but I did anyway

judge not lest you be judged. matt 7

I have a confession. I’m a critical person by nature.

Being critical is being prideful. It’s thinking you know more than your neighbor and pride is the nature of man. It’s only by the Grace and forgiveness of God that we can overcome the pride of the flesh.

We criticize anything or anyone that’s different or anything we don’t understand.

If we don’t understand it, it’s wrong.

If it looks different than what we’ve been taught or known, it’s not the right way.

But is it really a question of one being right and one being wrong, or is it oftentimes more of a perspective and characteristic that is just different.

If we agree on Jesus Christ being the way, the truth and the life, instead of seeing minor differences in a critical manner, what if we looked at it as the beauty of the depths of God.

God is wholly complex, yet wholly simple.

There are depths of Him that we will be discovering and rejoicing over for eternity. That is evidence that He is so complex, so deep and so unsearchable, yet rejoices in revealing Himself and His love to the simple.

You can go to twenty different churches and get twenty different expressions of love for Jesus.

You’ll see silence in one,

Flags and dancing in another.

I can remember standing in different church services (living in Texas, you can almost visit twenty churches on one street), sometimes things looking different then I knew or even was comfortable with.

I’ve been raised to keep my mouth from speaking words of doubt. I’m grateful for my upbringing. It’s saved me in so many situations.

I remember visiting a church a few years ago and during worship they sang a line in a song that I would always change the words to whenever I would sing it.

Immediately my response was a critical and judgemental spirit.

I was judging them for not singing the song the way that I sang it.

At that moment Jesus spoke to my heart and said:

"These people are worshipping me out of a purer heart than you are right now.

While they are ministering to me, you are being critical and it’s keeping you from being a worshipper.”

 

It hit me.

My critical spirit didn’t affect these people’s devotion towards God. It was hindering mine.

I was too busy needing to be right.

The voice of Jesus changed me that day. Now I don’t want to be held back by legalities. I want to pour myself out completely and unhindered to the One who saved me and loves me.

In any church service, instead of being critical, I’m beginning to see beauty.

I would be critical of traditional churches. My heart has changed.

The heart of tradition was founded in beauty. The truth is many traditions were made out of adoration of the Saviour.

 

Do people hold too tightly to them and trust them MORE than they do Jesus?

Of course and this shouldn’t be so.

 

But didn’t I do the same thing as the ones I was being critical of?  What I was holding on to just looked a little different.

I trusted too much in my righteous acts and right doing MORE than what Jesus had done for me.

 

Does anyone have everything right?

No way. We are human.

 

But we are all on a journey, hopefully with hearts to see the true nature of God. To be only loving and never judging the one whom we call brother or sister.

 

I hope this speaks to some of you.

 

Life is far richer when it’s filled with the beauty of relationship with Jesus and not of pride that we know it all.

 

We don’t know everything and to know that truth is to set us free.

Let’s not look at someone who loves Jesus a little differently and judge them for it.

We are not the judge of the heart of man.

Let’s just love Jesus and see the beauty in how someone else does too.

How I was healed from Hepatitis C & how I learned that Medicine is not the enemy of God. part 1

I remember like it was yesterday, opening up the letter that read:

“We can’t accept your blood donation because we have found the Hepatitis C antibodies in your bloodstream.”

What? What the heck is Hepatitis C? Maybe they sent this to the wrong person.

Fear immediately rushed in and I begin to cry. My first step of action:

Call my mom.

“Mom, what does that mean?”

“Jenny, I don’t know what it means but I know what God’s Word says about it: By His stripes you were healed.”

I’m so thankful for a praying mother. I’m thankful the first person I called wasn’t someone who had no idea of the Goodness of God.

She spoke peace into my heart that day.

This is my story of how God healed me from Hepatitis C.  When I first starting talking about making this public, I had people that said, “Are you sure you want to do that? You know the stigma around it…people might get the wrong idea.”

You know, I’m willing to risk that. There’s no better thing to the enemy than to silence our testimonies due to embarrassment or pride. I’m convinced now more than ever that you receive Healing through Humility.

Friend, I’m willing to lay my heart out, tell my struggles, and inform you of victories if it would just help one person who has been diagnosed with this disease.  And I can not remain silent of the Goodness of God in my life.   

            So what is Hepatitis C? Hepatitis C is a virus in the bloodstream that attacks the liver. They call it the “silent killer” because people won’t know they have it until about 10-20 years down the road when their livers are failing.  Either they find out when they are in pain and it’s too late….or if they decide to randomly donate blood because of a blood drive at work (me. ). Hepatitis C is passed primarily through infected needles.  Oftentimes the source of it is because of infected tattoo needles or drugs.

            When I received this letter and yes…Googled it (Bad idea.) I learned the common sources of the virus. I haven’t done drugs and I don’t have a tattoo (I’m not against them..I even contemplated getting one. Here’s what I decided. If I’m 40 and still single…I’m getting a tattoo. Don’t ask why…I don’t know.)

            So I was still unaware of how I contracted the virus. I went to the doctor (better than Google) and they informed me that blood wasn’t checked for the Hepatitis C virus in blood transfusions before 1991.

    And then my mind went back to another story where God’s hand of Grace and protection was at work.

This story really begins 26 years ago, August 8, 1988. One of our family friends was taking me to daycare. At only 18 months old, I had just learned how to unbuckle my car seat. Barry J (the driver) turned around, telling me to get back in my seat. As he turned, so did the corner. The car went off the road and flipped, from what I heard, 7 times. Since I wasn’t in my car seat, I flew out of the window.

The only way it is possible I am even alive is miraculous.

I’ve heard of 18 YEAR OLDS being ejected from a car and dying on impact. I believe an angel placed me down that day. When the ambulance arrived, I was dead on Arrival. They immediately care-flighted me to John Peter Smith Hospital in Fort Worth, TX. I have a special place in my heart for that hospital now. I even met one of the paramedics years later. I’m crying as I write this. Just thinking how grateful I am.

When I arrived at the hospital, they injected dye to see if I had any internal damage. I actually still have a small scar on my stomach from the procedure. (That’s not widely known…probably because I don’t bare my stomach that often…haha) I had brain trauma  and a broken femur.  They put me in a full body cast. It was quite the sight to see…a little baby in a huge cast. I’ll try to find a picture. Well, it was at the hospital that I received multiple blood transfusions.

The doctors didn’t think I’d make it and the Hepatitis C virus thought it would someday take my life… but here I am today to say that God is faithful. I will live and not die and declare the works of the Lord (Psalm 118:17).

To read part 2, click here.