What Will Your Memorial Be?

Matthew 26: 12 – 13

“Play it safe” is something we hear so often in today’s world.

No want wants to be viewed as being too outside of the box. But when we, in obedience, perform radical acts of service and worship to our Lord, we will necessarily be outside of the box. People will think we are strange, wasteful, odd, crazy — but the Almighty will be pleased and see that generations will know what we have done for Him.

How do we want to be memorialized?

In Matthew 26: 12, 13 – Christ tells his followers about the woman that put the oil on Him. He tells them that she did it to prepare him for burial when she poured this oil on His body. He tells them a substantial truth that wherever the gospel is proclaimed in the whole world, what she has done will also be told in memory of her.

An extraordinarily odd act of service to The Savior brings condemnation and misunderstanding among men, but honor and everlasting memorial before God.

Praying that we will let God remind us that the only reputation worth building, or defending, is His! Help us, Father, to pour ourselves out like the oil in a jar so that You might be worshipped – so that we may be of radical service to You! And may our desire be that You will remember us — and that You will memorialize us in You!

Don’t Get Caught up in “Spare Rituals”

In the name of our rituals, traditions, etc.; who have we been willing to sacrifice?

Y’all know what I’m talking about? The rituals and traditions of some folk:

  • we (ladies) don’t wear pants
  • we don’t wear make-up
  • we don’t eat shrimp
  • we don’t clap our hands
  • we don’t dance

Or what about these:

  • we must keep silent
  • we must speak in an unknown tongue.

Do we ever just think “Hurry! Get rid of the one person that might inconvenience us so that we can return to being pious!” Of course none of these rituals and traditions are in the “Jan Chinn Book of Piety” … but …. Are you hearing my question? In the name of rituals and traditions that you value … Who Have You Been Willing To Sacrifice?

Traditions, in themselves, are not always bad. But when these traditions/rituals supercede the lives of people.. when they cause us to be blind to the truth that The Lord has charged us with… which requires loving people – we not only put their souls in danger, but we kill the message of the cross! Even something that seems so simple – like disallowing people to be touched or loved by you on what you consider your holy day …. would that be like Christ at all!?!? Luke 6: 9 is pretty clear that it would not! Nothing in our holy lives should rise above our dedication to living our life for Him! Living lives that reflect Him. Living lives that reflect The Lord.

Be careful … for The Father up above, looked down on you in love .. so you surely better do the same!

I was looking back at Christ’s crucifixion story and those Jewish leaders were not kidding at all. Speaking of the other two men on the crosses on each side of Jesus, the Jewish leaders did not want the bodies to stay on the cross on the Sabbath day. So they asked Pilate to order that the men’s legs be broken. And they asked that the bodies be taken down from the crosses. John 19:31 In other words – they wanted those men to hurry up and die so that they could carry on with their rituals … rituals that brought the Messiah no honor at all.

The Sabbath ritual was so important to the Jews that hastening someone’s death seemed necessary to them. Their ritual was more valuable to them than any life.

Father – please help us not be at that place!

I pray that God will help us to remember that His heart is for people to be reconciled to Him! Thieves and murderers; haters and liars … ALL of them have been found worthy of His love! Yes, all of us have been found worthy of His love! I am asking God to help us place people above what seems convenient for our traditions and regular practices. May legalism never become our god!

Lord – Please put Your love for this world in our hearts! Use us to open the doors for all. Remind us that You, God, were in Christ reconciling the world to Yourself, and you have given us the ministry of reconciliation!

“Without Christ it ain’t spiritual – All it is is a bunch of spare rituals.” – The Cross Movement

The Power Of Love

On this the 4th Sunday of Advent – I thought it appropriate to talk about the power of love.

Life happens – and sometimes it is filled with hurt, pain, and disappointment. Broken relationships and shattered dreams can leave us full of worry, angst, and skepticism. We avoid people and situations to protect ourselves, but we are really missing out on what God has for us. If we allow our past experiences to fill us with these destructive feelings, we block our hearts from the fullness of the Holy Spirit. As believers in Christ, we are admonished/encouraged and even commanded to be filled with the Spirit daily. If we refuse to let go of the hurts of the past, we will never be able to experience the fullness of God.

We all have pasts – but the beauty of Calvary is that we get to live as new creatures whose sin has been cast into the sea of forgetfulness, as far as the east is from the west. We not only neglect the fullness of Christ in us when we hold on to our pasts — we also neglect people around us who would benefit from His love flowing through us. If you decide to forgive those in your past who have hurt you, God can, and He will trade beauty for those ashes — He can, and He will restore what the locusts have destroyed.
I have had deep hurts in my life – and they left gaping open holes in my heart. I was on my way to becoming unloving and unlovely. I didn’t want anyone to be close to me because I wanted to ensure that my heart was safe. I thank God for my dad and my beloved Lloyd because they loved me and helped me get to a place where I was willing to give God my heart. I decided to trust God with those past hurts, and I forgave every person who breached my trust. I really forgave them! I hold nothing against them and have no animosity in my heart; in fact, I pray for them to experience the blessing of God as I have.

Open your heart to receive and walk in God’s abundant and powerful love because He can, and He will turn it all around for your good and for His glory. God is love. God loves you more than you can fathom. Ask Him to help you to receive His love and then ask Him to fill you to the full with His love, leaving no room for anything else in you. He will make you complete in Him. He will plant your roots deep in His love and make you new. Let His Love Fill You! His love is genuine – unfailing – pure – absolute – powerful. Accept His love – and He will give you a brand new life.

Walk With Me, Lord!

The last 12 months have been quite …. AHHHHHH!!

COVID was already in motion and then my mother begins her eternal life. Many of our countries across Africa were blocking the return VISAs for our global workers because of the VIRUS. Cancer took away a dear, close friend from high school and two of our global workers. Racial hate continually raised its head across the USA in many ways. Some, who call themselves believers in Christ, somehow mixed political beliefs with their belief in Jesus Christ. It has not been a year without much difficulty.

The racial issue alone just gives my heart much concern. As a mom of young black men, my heart kinda quakes almost every day. I just don’t want them mistaken for a terrible person because they are chocolate and caramel as God has made them. As a full-time missionary who has to have financial support to cover all costs, both work and personal, I have taken hits from people who think it makes me less than them.

Dealing with all of the issues, there have been days where I was just not … happy! I had no fear – not even for a moment – but I didn’t like what was all around me. There are always situations in life that make you want to quit.

A beautiful truth for a believer in Christ, a child of God, is that nothing that goes on around us can prevent or block our victory. For me, God has been evident…. my calling, the part of the Body of Christ that I am, is to ensure that the truth of the Gospel is spread across Africa. According to my Father, my role is to lead like Christ led – by serving people and demonstrating to them the life that should be lived. So … take the step back into the difficulties and remember that all of that is happening, but He hasn’t told me to take a break! He just keeps telling me to hold His hand and keep-a-stepping! I mean, think about it … I actually have the best boss man EVER – The Almighty God!! All-powerful, grace-giving, truly loves me, strengthens me, protects me, heals me, directs me, instructs me and I have the best benefit package of any employee – eternal life!

One of the most beautiful things that I am learning more and more and more is what it means to trust Him. You see, I don’t have anything in me that wants hurt to come to anyone that causes harm to me. I don’t fear to face any person who doesn’t like what He is speaking through me. I don’t doubt that He will finish what He has started. I have the good sense to humble myself under His mighty hand, knowing that he will exalt in due time! Praise God. He loves me so much that He started His work in me, and, as I keep saying every single day, He can’t fail!

So Lord, walk with me! I can take a hit, a slap, a knock out – because I know You’ve got me! I’ll make it through it all. For the sake of Your glory … I will make it!!

Is there ANYTHING??

I was recently with my two sisters. We like being together! Grateful that we are all women of God in ministry. Married to men in ministry. Anyway …. We stayed together, the three of us, in a hotel room. I was getting dressed and started putting the bathroom back together and noticed something that I am just used to and never think about as something special. The three of us serve one another completely. We were in a hotel room together. If any one of us entered the restroom at any moment it never looked like (or smelled like!) anyone had been in the rest room. I mean the hand soap looked unused, there was no splashed water, no stained towel, no disorder on the bathroom counter, no empty toilet paper holder, no absent hand towel … the three of us just love to serve one another.

Made me think about God in a whole new way. When we think about God being more than able – do we take the time to understand that there is nothing too hard for God includes small things?? Do we take that time to remember that we, His people, are supposed to be living lives that reflect Him … which means there should be nothing too hard for us??

When I thought about His love for us, and all that He does to make sure we feel His love for us; I wondered if we do the same thing for one another. Oh, the recent weather issues in Houston have opened my eyes once again to so much about our service and our disservice to one another. Making sure that people have what they need – especially things that we can tell everyone about – moves us to do things … but what about simple things? Are we willing to just sit and talk to someone? Are we willing to open the door for someone behind or in front of you? Cook some cookies for a neighbor? Take garbage bins out/in for people? Sweep driveways? Give your talents away for the service of another? Harvest someone’s garden? Advertise a friend’s work/business so that they have more customers? AND … are you willing to do any of this and leave it just between you and the person you have served?

Nothing at all is too hard for God! Not small things … not huge things … nothing is too hard!!! Let’s pray that it will be the same for all of us as His children. Serve your brothers/sisters in Christ in any way that is needed. Serve all people around you in any way that is needed. Nothing is too low for you to do AND nothing is too high for you to do because you are His! He is the God of every person on the earth and we, His children, are to be finding ways to serve them in every single way! Is there anything too hard?!?!

Is There Anything too Hard for God? No!! No Matter What … That Ain’t Nothin’