I don’t love Jesus. Can we still be friends?

I don’t love Jesus.  Can we still be friends?

Dude!  Do you even know me at all?

Wait…technically, since this is a cyber world, it is possible that you don’t know me.

So let me introduce myself and answer that question for you.

My name’s Brooke, and I’m like a big polar bear.  But cuddly.  Not attack you type bear.  And actually not that big.  Unless a preggo belly counts?!

Anyhow, back to your super question, “I don’t love Jesus, so can we still be friends?”

And my answer is simple…Yes.

And this is why.  WWJD, man?  WWJD?

But hey, since you’re here, at least let me introduce you to Jesus that you don’t love.

Jesus was a man’s man…All tough and cool.   They depict him all wrinkle-free and pretty in pics, but let us not forget that he was a carpenter for 30 years.  Well, probably not 30.  But when he left his daddy’s workshop and went to work for his Father, he was 30.

Therefore, it’s safe to assume he was at least a bit weathered and worn.  And strong.

Richard’s grandpa was a carpenter.  And his hands showed the art of his work.  They were gnarly and tough.  And as strong as nails.  Yep.  There’s no mistaking the strength of a carpenter.

Much like Jesus.

But, you see, Jesus had this presence to him (let’s call it what it is—God) that drew people to him.

The interesting thing you should know, however, is that Jesus never forced a conversation, never threw a stone, and never backed away from being seen with people that others might deem “questionable”.  You know.  People like prostitutes and thieves.

Guess what else.  Jesus never demanded you listen.

He spoke words of wisdom and truth.  He shared food.  He performed miracles.  He loved.  He healed.  And he taught.   But the crowds always came to him.

One time he even went all Indiana Jones (except 2000 years ago) on the people in the Temple that were swindling the innocent by collecting money and “selling” religious sacrifices.  Turning tables and whipping a few.

And, oh yes!  Jesus could hold his own when it came to a verbal smack down.  But guess whom his debate adversaries were—those that found themselves most religiously righteous.  Yep.

Jesus didn’t come to seek and save the righteous.  After all, they don’t even think they need saving.

He came for the doctor.  And the lawyer.  He came for the tax collector and the fisherman and soldier.  He came for the healthy.  He came for the sick.  He came for the prostitute.  He came for the criminal on the cross.

And never once did he bind and gag someone, demanding they listen.

Nope.

Again.  He walked.  He talked.  He taught.  He loved.  He shared.  He healed.  He lived.

And, through it all, God was glorified.

I think Jesus is plain and simple AWESOME!  He’s my savior.  And I’m thankful for him.

But one of the greatest lessons I learned from Jesus was this:  he didn’t force anyone to love him.  He invited them to.  If they did.  Great.  If they didn’t, he didn’t chase them.

And that, my friends, is how I live my life.

I do, however, invite you to find out about this awesome Jesus—start in the New Testament.

But, if you don’t, I’m not going to tie you to a chair and force read the Bible to you.

That is definitely not “WWJD”.

Jesus is enough to stand on his own two feet.  He doesn’t need me to take karate chop action on people to introduce them to who he is.

In the end, you may not love Jesus, but he loves you.  Nothing you can do about that.  And, if you ever decide to have a conversation with him, I’m telling you now, he has time for you.

So do I.

In the meantime, big polar bear hugs and 3 Polish kisses thrown in for good measure.  Because hugging and kissing are always good things!  Like Jesus.

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When Maxwell nearly died last year but lived, we decided to have some fun. 

Our photo shoot theme, “Jesus is our Superhero!”   

Richard, Brooke, Adelyne, and Maxwell

(c. photo Erin DeZago)

I Am a Tiger That Has Earned Her Stripes. Roar!

(Warning:  If you are uber sensitive, you may not find me funny today.)

Here goes…

You know, here I was minding my own business, when something happened.  A guy—in a black Jeep—with two kids in his car—riding on my tail—gave me The Finger!   Yes, I am sure you know which finger I speak of.

Now, let me put this out there in the beginning.  If you are looking for my blog to be a comforting blog with chirping birds and melodious tunes of hymns of old, where your very soul is lifted up to the heavens and you are challenged to your core to be as golden as the streets of heaven.  Well, if that’s what you’re looking for, you are definitely at the wrong site.

Yes, I am a pastor’s wife.  And, yes, I fully believe in Jesus—he’s awesome.  Totally my Savior.  So thankful for grace.  So appreciative of mercy.  Believe wholly in miracles—my son is one!  He almost died, you know.  And, if you didn’t know, now you do.  Yep…God rocks in my heart!  God rocks in our home!  God is the very essence of WHY we exist to live and serve.  Big God fan here!  I heart God.

But—I am not your docile Christian Woman Blogger that will encourage your sweet and gentle spirit.  I, probably much to my husband’s dismay, will encourage your sense of Roar!  And entice you to be loud and boisterous and adventurous.  And I’ll encourage messy.  Messy is impressive.

I do hope, however, that I entice you into having your own opinions and looking at the dirty glass and seeing that, despite the grime, your glass is still half full.

I do hope, however, that I inspire you to be all that you can be…or just be in pajamas. Pajamas are in—sometimes at least.

I do hope, however, that I send you into this very day with a sense of great purpose-be it small or large-with an impressive roar!

Anyhow—back to my jeep encounter.  Let me share what I learned through this moment from this aggressor of a man.

First of all, I would like you to know that the incident took place when I was slowing down, with my right blinker on, ready to turn into my driveway.  And that’s when I saw him…The Jeep Man barreling down the street.

Yikes!

He made me do something crazy…I had to swerve off the road.  And then I did it, I laid on my horn.

Unfortunately, the horn of my car sounded like a little kitty cat.  “Meow.  Meow.  Meow.”

And so I did it again, just in case he didn’t hear my lame horn, “Meow.  Meow.  Meow.”

So much for the horn of this car, eh?

But then the barreling, raging Jeep Man did something—he slammed his already torpedo-ish Jeep also over on the side of the road and blared his horn back at me, “BIG JEEP BEEP!  BIG JEEP BEEP!  BIG JEEP BEEP!”

My little meow-er horn had nothing on his “HONK!  HONK!”

But he didn’t just stop there—he then extended his burly arm straight up into the air and gave me the sign that I was “NUMERO UNO!”

That’s right, man.  He signaled to me how GREAT I really am.

“I am Number One!  I am Number One!”

And I did the only thing I could think to do back.

I pulled out my pointer finger and aggressively started tapping the center of my forehead with it!

That’s right, baby—You have a hand signal—Well, I do too!

Pointer finger tap.  Pointer finger tap.  Pointer finger tap (Center of the forehead is key—in Poland they do this for “Think.  Think.”  It’s our way of driving over there, man).

And that’s when his face changed.  It went from growl to complete confusion.  Perhaps he thought he was messing with a mental patient.  Better get out of there. Pronto!

And as fast as he barreled on the behind of my tiny car—he barreled away…leaving me a souvenir.  RAGE!

But, don’t worry, it only lasted a mere blissful moment.

And here’s where I learned my lesson from the Jeep Man…

I have already let bitterness have too big of a foothold in my life over the past 16 years (I’ll spill those beans at a later date).  So, I did what I have come to find out is way more AWESOME than holding onto bitterness…I let it go!

It felt great!

And letting go of my rage from the Jeep Man.

It felt great!

Although…To be honest, folks, because that’s what I am all about—before I “Let Go” this picture of my daughter did flash through my mind…

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Along with the slogan, “Oh, yeah.  Take that, Jeep Man!”

Giggle.

Kidding.  Really.

But it was a funny thought, eh?!

*Remember—my daughter has grown up in Poland and is not accustomed to the meaning of the middle finger.  Therefore the above picture is simply a 6-year-old being…Well, gross.  Silly.  Six.  What can I say?  You already know I’m not the greatest parent ever.  I guess this goes to prove it ;)*

Hope you, the GREATEST PARENTS EVER, remember to just let it go!  Release rage, find humor in the situation, and have a GREAT day.

And may the Jeep Man not cross your path.