Would you wash their feet?

Oh sister,

I was especially wretchy this week. The short of it is, I let the things and people of this world unsettle me and since I do not like confrontation I said a whole bunch of mean things about people in my mind and even though no one else heard them, God did and like a good father he taught me through it.

Tuesday morning I went in my prayer closet, shut the door, got on my knees, and laid face down on the floor. I envisioned myself at the feet of Jesus. Can you imagine, literally being at the feet of Jesus. I had all kinds of feelings pressing on my heart. It was as if I could literally feel the weight of them on my chest and out loud I said, Jesus, can I wash your feet? I wasn’t sure where that question came from. I stayed there talking and praying and I came to the resolve that I had to read about the day when Jesus washed his disciples feet.

John 13 – (1-10)Jesus knew it was time for him to leave this world and return to the father. He now showed the disciples the full extent of his love. It was time for supper and the Devil had already enticed Judas to carry out his plan to betray Jesus…… Jesus got up from the table, wrapped a towel around his waist, and poured water into a basin. Then he began to wash the disciples’ feet and to wipe them with the towel around him. ….. Peter said, “Lord why are you going to wash my feet!” Jesus replied. “You don’t understand now why I am doing it; someday you will.”…. Peter protested…… Jesus replied, “But if I don’t wash you, you won’t belong to me.” ……….(11-15) For Jesus knew who would betray him. That is what he meant when he said, “Not all of you are clean.” After washing their feet, he put on his robe again and sat down and asked, “Do you understand what I was doing? You call me teacher and Lord, and you are right, because it is true. And since I, the Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you ought to wash each other’s feet. I have given you an example to follow. Do as I have done to you………….”

After reading this, and first can I say how much I love when Jesus asks, Do you understand? and then he full on explains what He was doing! So helpful Jesus. Thank you! 🙂 Anyway, After reading that I heard in my heart, the Holy Spirit say, “It’s not my feet that need washing.” and then Jesus’ words that I had read earlier replayed in my mind, “you ought to wash each other’s feet. I have given you an example to follow.”

“You ought to was each other’s feet. I have given you an example to follow”

If that isn’t an Ouch and a Hallelujah hitting you all at once, I don’t know what is!

~dearsister.blog

I sat and I thought about it and prayed about it. The humility of Jesus to wash the feet of the one who would betray him. He knew what Judas had done. He knew what would happen because of him and still humbled himself, He stripped off his royal status and became a servant to the one who broke his heart. I mean a few hours later he was sweating blood for goodness sakes. Still he loved. Still he gave us an “example to follow”.

All of this said to me, Jesie, what ever you have been feeling this week. Whatever justification you want for your beliefs and opinions, humility wins. Humble yourself.

Sister, would you humble yourself enough and wash their feet? Would you wash Joe Biden’s feet? Would you wash Donald Trumps feet? Your best friend who lied to you? Your spouse who betrayed you? Your sister, your brother, you father’s? Would you wash their feet? …… can I tell you, you should and so should I. Jesus would. Jesus did.

So, where is the freedom in this? The freedom is in humility and love.

When we become unsettled because of the circumstances of this world Jesus gave us the freedom to be humble and loving.

~dearsister.blog

As I close I would like to ask, because I asked this of myself this morning,

Do you know the depths of which you have betrayed Jesus? He is still ready and willing to wash your feet.

Remember, Love God your most so you can love others your best.

Sincerely,

Jesie Browning

Ask questions about our culture’s bad ideas.

Dear Sister,

Keeping in step with my last several letters to you, today I thought I would take this time to touch base on why the bad ideas of our culture are such a big deal and where the freedom comes from after understanding the harmfulness of these ideas.

Idea #1: My own truth – The idea that what you “know” depends on the way you feel and is a valid moral compose to which you can and should live your life according to.

Idea #2: I am enough – The idea that everything you need, physically, mentally and spiritually is within you.

Idea #3: Self Help -The idea that what you can accomplish depends on how much you believe in yourself and your abilities. You must only realize it.

I’m not going to waste your time writing my opinion on why these are bad and deceitful ideas instead I want to offer you a few questions to ask yourself.

  1. If Jesus says that he is the way the TRUTH and the life (John 14:6), How can I also be the truth?
  2. If I claim the way I feel to be the truth, how could I ever debate anyone else’s behavior based on how they feel?
  3. If I do not believe that all of the bible is true then how can I believe any of it is true?
  4. If I have everything I need to accomplish everything I desire, then where does Jesus fit into my life?
  5. If I am in need of nothing outside of the here and now, then why did Jesus sacrifice His life for me? or did he even sacrifice his life for me?

So, where is the freedom in this?

Let’s recap what deceit is. Deceit is giving someone the wrong Idea about something. Our culture’s ideas give us the wrong idea about life and God and that allows FALSE PROMISES to sneak into our hearts unnoticed. These false promises are things like, if you work hard you will get the raise, if you love your husband well he won’t cheat, If you believe enough you’ll be healed, If you think positive your depression will go away, etc. These are not promises. We live in a fallen world and when these false promises can’t be fulfilled we become bound up, warn out and deceived.

Our culture’s bad ideas can not sustain us,

the freedom here is that JESUS CAN.

-dearsister.blog

My husband always reads my posts and then says, “So, is there some sort of action step you can give them to help them incorporate this in their lives?” and I always think, Oh yeah that’s exactly what women need is another thing to add to their todo list. ha! right?! But he kinda has a point so I’ll leave you with this,

Read your bible, pray, Repeat.

And remember Love God your most so that you can love others your best.

Sincerely,

Jesie Browning

Sunday Lamentations

Sister,

This morning I read lamentations and oh what a book. The author is unknown but some say it could be Jeremiah. It is basically a book mourning and praying about all that has happened in Jerusalem. I had to share a part of it with you because it struck my heart like an arrow this morning. All the destruction that God said would happen, because of his people’s sins, has happened and the author is crying out to the Lord. Through all of this destruction the author dares to hope because of this…..

(Lamentations 3:21-31) Yet I still dare to hope when I remember this: The undailing love of the Lord never ends!By his mercies we have been kept from destruction. Great is his faithfulness; his mercies begin afresh each day, I say to myself, “The Lord is my inheritance; therefore, I will hope in him!” The Lord is wonderfully good to those who wait for him and seek him. So it is good to wait quietly for salvation from the Lord. And it is good for the young to submit to the yoke of his discipline. Let them sit alone in silence beneath the Lord’s demands. Let them turn the other cheek to those who strike them. Let them accept the insults of their enemies. For the Lord does not abandon anyone forever.

After reading every prophesy up to this point and reading the terrible destruction that Jerusalem is enduring, this Lament is true encouragement for us. Whatever you are going through right now, sister, there is hope.

There is Hope because God remains the same forever! His throne continues form generation to generation.

I pray you find that hope today.

Sincerely,

Jesie Browning

We are fully equipped

Dear Sister,

There is nothing that drives me more crazy than woman being deceived by our culture. Whether it’s in the books we read, the blogs we follow, the podcasts we listen to, whatever it is. It just stinks.

Deceit is causing someone to have the wrong idea about something, usually in order to gain something in return. Sometimes people deceive us on purpose but sometimes just because of human nature people share their ideas in order to make themselves feel better and we take their bad ideas as truth because they make us feel better too.

This brings me to 2 Timothy 3:6-9 (side note: take some time to read the whole book of 2Tim. it is packed full of encouragement.) The short of this is Paul (Timothy’s mentor and fellow disciple) is telling Tim (we’ll call him Tim today) what to look out for in the last days. People who only love themselves and money, who scoff at God, who are boastful and proud,… you get the gist. Then Paul says,

They are the kind who work their way into people’s homes and win the confidence of vulnerable woman who are burdened with the guilt of sin and controlled by many desires. Such woman are forever following new teachings, but they never understand the truth. And these teachers fight the truth just as Jannes and Jambres fought against Moses. Their minds are depraved and their faith is counterfeit. But they won’t get away with this for long. Someday everyone will recognize what fools they are, just as happened with Jannes and Jambres.”

Ok, who are Jannes and Jambres? Remember in Genesis when God gave Moses and Aaron the staff to turn into a snake when the Pharoah asked for a miracle and then after Moses did that the two magicians came out and did the same thing with their own staff? Well, those two magicians are Jannes and Jambres. (Exodus 7:10)

Moving on (we’ll go back to the magicians though).

Um, I do not want to be like the vulnerable woman Paul is talking about! I don’t want to be deceived. I know you don’t either. Here’s the thing though, we don’t have to wait for anyone to work their way into our houses. They’re already in. Facebook, twitter, etc… The ideas of this world are at our finger tips, literally. The ideas of someone else can be planted with just one scroll of a screen and we are vulnerable. Our desires can get the best of us unless, we know how to recognize deceit. How do we recognize deceit? Later in 2Timothy 3:16-17 he says this…

“All scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It straightens us out and teaches us to do what is right. It is God’s way of preparing us in every way, FULLY EQUIPPED for every good thing God wants us to do.”

That’s where the freedom is! The scriptures.

Sister, We have to know what the word of God says so we can filter this world’s ideas through it’s lens. The scriptures fully equip us to recognize deceit.

-jesie browning

So, in case you don’t already know, you wanna know what happened with Jannes and Jambres? After their staff’s turned into snakes, Aaron’s snake jumped up and swallowed up both of their snakes. Bam. Gone. This is a the illustration of how the truth swallows up deception. The magician’s trick may have looked a lot like the miracle that Aaron and Moses did but it gave the wrong idea about God and who He was. God will not stand for it.

Do not be deceived, sister. You have the freedom to be fully equipped.

Sincerely,

Jesie Browning

God is not promising a new thing this year!

Dear Sister,

I just have to tell you that God has not promised to do a new thing in your life this year.

Isaiah 43:19 For I am doing a new thing. See I have already begun! Do you not perceive it? I will make a pathway through the wilderness. I will create rivers in the dry wasteland.

People love to quote this verse this time of year. The new year longs for new things.

When I was a young mom I distinctly remember going to a mom’s bible study and hearing the speaker tell me that “God was doing something new in my life” because Isaiah 43: 19 tells me so. I left that day elated thinking about what God would do and as time passed nothing new was happening. Am I just not seeing what God is doing? I was left bound up by an unrealistic expectation of what that verse meant in my life.

After reading the whole book of Isaiah it’s safe to say that his prophecies are often parallel to what God is doing immediately and what God is doing eternally. This verse was written for the people of Judah. They had been rebelling against God for years and God was telling them that He was finally going to allow what they had reaped to be sown and it wasn’t gonna be pretty. He was going to do a new thing that left only the a faithful remnant of his people. The parallel of this is that God was also preparing the final new thing that would save us all, Jesus. Ultimately in this verse Jesus is the new thing.

So, how did I get so bound up with this verse? Well, first of all, I applied it to my life personally. Does God do new things in our lives? Sure he does. We are not, though, to read a verse out of context and expect that it will magically do in our lives what it was doing in the intended audience’s lives.

Second, I missed Jesus. Jesus is the new thing and he has done all that was prophesied of him. We need look no further for a new thing to satisfy us. Jesus finished it all.

Where is the freedom here? The freedom is in sound biblical understanding. We have freedom from unrealistic expectations that come from applying verses from the bible directly to our lives instead of allowing them to help us understand God’s character. Our freedom comes when we read and understand the scripture correctly, in turn being able to apply it to our lives accordingly.

Sister, Do not get bound up by unrealistic expectations for your life given by a verse taken out of context.

-JEsie browning

Sincerely,

Jesie Browning

Don’t bring the book to the beach.

Dear Sister,

You’ve been so excited to go to the beach. You’ve imagined all the time you would have sitting with your feet in the sand and your face in the Jesus book you’ve been dying to finish.

The time arrives and you’ve packed the towels, the snacks, the cut out castles, the shovels, sun screened the kids, put up the umbrella, pop open your chair, sit down and open your book.

While your face is buried in the book, your kids are smiling and enjoying each other, the sun is shining, the waves are faithfully crashing, the birds are naturally coasting the sky.

Why is your face in a book? There is no Freedom or Peace that can come from that book compared to watching, with your own eyes, the glory of what God has created before you.

The ocean, the sun, the birds, the sand, your children, the beauty of all that God has created simply abiding in him. The majesty of it all and the simplicity of it all. Oh, the freedom and peace that we can realize if we just watch God’s creation abide.

Take the time to just sit and watch and soak up what Is and always will be.

I am talking to myself big time today.

I hope this encourages you.

Sincerely,

Jesie Browning

Who cares if our kids are happy

Dear Sister,

Who cares if our kids are happy. Do they have peace? Do they have the kind of peace that cannot be understood?

Feelings of happiness only come from the fleeting circumstances of this world but when we teach our children who God is, that is where peace comes from. After all, He is the God of peace.

Our children are not ours. They have to leave us one day and when we leave our kids with the peace that comes from Jesus, we have nothing to worry about for them because they will be able to find comfort in their knowledge of who God is.

Do not teach your children to figure out who they are but instead teach your children to figure out who God is.

Phillippians 4:6-7 Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. If you do this, you will experience God’s peace, which is far more wonderful than the human mind can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.

May this bring you hope.

Sincerely,

Jesie Browning

A toilet paper parable

Dear Graduates,

I know these times are strange. Here’s a little wisdom from “The bible Lady”.

“The Bible Lady”

I don’t mean to downplay the disappointing time this is for you but I promise you, this is but a drop in the bucket of life for you. Do not stay in your disappointment but instead draw near to Jesus, figure out who He really is by reading the word of God. Find hope in the truth that non of this has taken any value or promise from your future. You are loved.

Sincerely,

Jesie Browning

*Dedicated to my precious neice Madisen Melice – Class of 2020 and

*Casey Rebecca Flynn – Gone way to soon.

Thy Kingdom Come, Lord

Morning Sisters,
How are you all?
As I stole a moment to worship this morning I felt compelled to share this song and little tid bit with you.
The other day I was preparing to write in the “Letters to Elizabeth” portion of my blog and came upon an interesting note in reference to households in Nazareth during Jesus’ childhood. In those days Woman thought of their home as “their Kingdom”. The men were usually working very long days and the women were taking care of everything at home. The woman were in charge of the teachings of the word of God and the prayers that were prayed all day long. They did not depend on anyone else to usher the Lord into their home. They made their home a place for the Lord to dwell.
Sisters, Invite the Lord to come Into your home, into your Kingdom.
My father, who are in heaven, hallowed be they name. Your kingdom come, into my home, just as it is in heaven

Invite the Lord into your home.