Category

Life

Change is So Becoming on You

By | All the things, Life | 2 Comments


Ok peeps.  So with a new year comes NEW-YEAR-NEW-ME!!  It is declared from every social media platform, it comes out of all of our mouths, it is the theme of the 1st few months of every new year.

For me, it has usually been more of a question.

New Year…. New Me?

To which my heart would sigh a “probably not”.

Why?  Because I had set goals over and over and over and every. single. dad-gum. time. I failed at those goals a hot-minute later.

Man…is there anything worse than that feeling?  Failure.  Especially internal failure…when we set our hearts on what we want and we fall painfully short, and the reasons we fall short feel so dang predictable and habitual.

The post I-wanna-lose-20-lbs-in-a-week failure binge-eating sesh is always reeeeal good for my morale.

Year after year, season after season, it happened every single time.  Goals set and immediately not met.  It was a pattern, a very obvious one.  And it wasn’t just at the New Year.  If I was being really honest with myself, this trickled down into my every day life.

I asked myself and the Lord… “BUT WHY????”

The want to was there.  I had the desire to set the goals and I would have said I really wanted those goals to happen.

I would lament and say “same” to my boy Paul who said:

“What I don’t understand about myself is that I decide one way, but then I act another, doing things I absolutely despise…. I can will it, but I can’t do it. I decide to do good, but I don’t really do it; I decide not to do bad, but then I do it anyway. My decisions, such as they are, don’t result in actions. Something has gone wrong deep within me and gets the better of me every time.”   Romans 7:15-20

Same Paul.  S.A.M.E.

Something has gone wrong deep down when you decide to not eat carbs and then you IMMEDIATELY get up from that place and slam 4 slices of pizza as if you had not just made up your mind about that exact thing.

If this were an infomercial it would say in a yuppy-goofy voice with an actress holding her head in stress as she looks at a treadmill:

“Are you tired of setting resolutions and not doing them one single time?”

And you would say to the TV… “Why Yes, Yes I am actually.”

Well friend, let me let you in on what feels like the best little secret to my heart, what changed it all for me.

It was one tiny word, one single collection of letters, that held with it the power to radically change my life:

BECOMING

At this word, the cycle ended.

Last year I sat down to think through what goals I wanted to set for 2017, again with the heavy-heart-sigh that I felt so unbelievably unable to achieve them even as I wrote them.

I stopped writing and bowed my head.

“Lord, what do you want for me this year?  What do you want me to do?”

And in an instant the freshest breath of God breathed over my heart and the words came as clear as day to me:

WHO ARE YOU BECOMING?

Not “What are you doing?” or “What can you accomplish?”

WHO WILL YOU BECOME in these next 365 days?

And the deeper question, WHO WILL YOU ALLOW ME TO MAKE YOU?

See friends, my problem was that I was setting a bunch of goals without knowing the WHY behind them?  My goals lacked serious vision, clarity and purpose.

The WHY behind the goals I was setting just didn’t cut it for motivation.

Let me show you:

Start Exercising and Eat right so that I can lose weight.
Get Organized so that my excess stuff stops stressing me out.

At first glance this may read as normal and healthy and understandable.

But what if our goals looked like this:

I want to become HEALTHY and STRONG
Why?  Because I know that if I am healthy I will have energy to do the things I am being called to.  I will be around for my kids and will be available for them.  If I am healthy I can have a clear mind, not a sluggish one.  Health would mean that my body is taken care of.  If I am strong then I will feel capable of handling what life throws at me.  If I am strong I will be able to bring that strength into every area of my life.

Why?  Because as a child of God, I am a living and breathing billboard of God’s glory and His nature.  If I am not healthy and I am not strong, what does that say about the God I am an advertisement for.

I want to become FREE FROM MY STUFF
If I am free from my stuff, then stuff won’t control me.  If I am free from my stuff I will consume less.  If I figure out why I have so much stuff, why I feel the need to pile up possessions, I will have significantly less to organize.  My stuff won’t be an issue because I will know the issue that ended in all my stuff.

Why?  Because in becoming free from my possessions I will become freed up to do what I am called to do, freedom from my stuff will open up margin for me to invite more meaningful things in.

Let me tell you a quick story:
(feel free to skip down if you don’t want to be a part of story time)

One day I came home for lunch and parked in front of our town house.  Right in front of the door.  The shortest route into our house was to park on the front curb and hop-skip-and-jump up the short sidewalk and into our front door.

Now, a little about me: I am all about the fastest route to anything or anywhere.  I am in constant, quick movement at all times.

So, this parking spot was my fave.  If I parked in the garage I would have to drive all the way around the entire housewait on the garage door to take-it’s-time and open and then walk through the courtyard where I would have to deal with the stupid dog. 

I don’t have time for all that.

So anyways.  I’m inside eating and my tall-drink-of-fine comes to me and says,

“Hey.  Don’t park right there next time.”

I gave him a quick head nod and an internal eye roll.  He’s not the boss of me is truly what I probably thought.  Because: ME=mature.

The next day, same thing.

“Hey Babe.  Don’t park there ok?”

And would you believe I said “Ok” and then did it again THE VERY NEXT DAY.

So on the third day the oh-so-better-half of mine came to me and said,

“Hey, come here for a sec, I want to show you something.”

He opened the front door and pointed down the street, past my car, to the mailman’s car that was parked on the same curb about a block up from my car.

“Do you see the mailman’s truck?”

“Yes”

“Ok, do you see the mailman?”

I did.  He was ABSOLUTELY PRECIOUS.  I swear he was the little old man from UP….just shuffling down our sidewalk with our mail.

“Awww….he’s cute Babe.”

“Do you see what he’s doing?  Why do you think he’s out of his truck walking towards our house?”

“I dunno.”

“Because every day you park in front of the mailbox.  So he can never get to ours.  He has to pull down the sidewalk, get out and walk back a block to give us our mail.”

OH.MY.WORD.  Bless his little UP-heart.  I had unwillingly created extra work for this precious man.  He had to make that shuffle EVERY DAY because of me.

I’ll tell you this.

I NEVER PARKED IN THE FRONT AGAIN.

What changed?

I now knew WHY it mattered that I didn’t park there.

The WHY changed everything.

What’s behind our goals?  What are the WHYS behind them as we set them?  Why do they matter?

Are they driven by the desire to BECOME who we’re meant by our Creator to be or are they simply a list of tasks or a compilation of “should-dos”?  A collection of DOINGS that lack any real focus?

Do you know what I have learned?  That God delights when we sit and dream and ask Him who He wants us to BE.  He is the AUTHOR of our lives, He knows the end from the beginning.

He is delighted in the BECOMING process of our hearts.

And as we BECOME, we naturally DO.  Out of our BECOMING, we actually achieve things.  Deep, rich things, things that actually matter, things that end with Him getting more glory.

With a shift in heart on the matter, I was able to set some BECOMING goals last year that TRULY CHANGED MY LIFE.  Like in the everyday nitty-gritty mundanity of life, I saw changes happen, I met goals, I achieved things that I had always wanted to do.

But more importantly, I BECAME someone in 2017,  the someone that God had in mind all along.  I got on board with the plan that He had set before time.  I followed His vision for me instead of creating my own version that would no doubt sell my potential short.

I took steps closer to His design for me with each passing day.

I found the better thing.

I’m gonna leave you with one more story:

“As they continued their travel, Jesus entered a village. A woman by the name of Martha welcomed him and made him feel quite at home. She had a sister, Mary, who sat before the Master, hanging on every word he said.
But Martha was pulled away by all she had to do in the kitchen. Later, she stepped in, interrupting them. “Master, don’t you care that my sister has abandoned the kitchen to me? Tell her to lend me a hand.”

The Master said, “Martha, dear Martha, you’re fussing far too much and getting
yourself worked up over nothing.  One thing only is essential, and Mary has chosen it—
it’s the main course, and won’t be taken from her.”  Luke 10:38-42

Friends, let’s not get caught on the wrong side of this equation.

Let’s not try to decide what matters more to Jesus and get that answer wrong.

Jesus clearly knows where he stands on the BECOMING vs DOING topic:

“One thing ONLY is essential…and Mary has chosen it…”

Mary sat at His feet, hanging on every word He said.

She knew that in His words lied the potential to BECOME someone new.

Let’s sit at His feet and ask Him who He wants us to BECOME.  Let’s hang on every one of His words to us.

And then, get out a pen and a fresh notebook, and LET’S SET SOME GOALS standing on the fresh ground of what He tells you.


IMG_0217
IMG_0218

Want to know my BECOMING goals for 2018?

Well, I want you to know them so that you know I’m practicing what I preach:

FILLED & AWARE // I want to be filled with the Holy Spirit every day that ends in Y.  I want to be more aware of the small things that God is doing right in front of me.  I want to be more aware of who I am: my personality, my needs, my quirks…all of it.  More aware in general of the tiny ways that God moves and speaks.

HEALTHY & STRONG // I want to be healthy on all fronts.  I want to be responsible with my body, take care of my body and figure out what makes me feel full of health and beauty.  I want to be strong.  Not skinnier, not a certain size.  I want to feel the strength of muscles that have been worked hard for.

FREE FROM MY STUFF// I want less of all of the things.  But more than the number of things I own, I want to tackle consumerism in my heart.  Why is it there?  I want to feel the freedom of wide open margin, free from clutter and excess, and open to all that Jesus has for me.

A WARRIOR MAMA// I don’t just want to be a parent.  I want to war for the hearts of my girlies.  I want to war in prayer for them,  I want to war against distraction that robs us of quality time and give them the gift of my undivided attention.  I want to war for their salvation and for their destinies.  I want to parent them through the sharp lens of intentionality, making the most of my days with them.

A CURATOR OF HOME//I want open-door living, a house full of people from all walks of life, all backgrounds of faith.  I want our home to be a refuge for people.  I want a home that spurs on creativity in my family, a no-limits environment that is fun, relaxed and spontaneous.  I want visitors and my own family to leave better than they came in.

A GIVER OF WORDS// I desire to see the Lord take the gift He’s given me and use it to change the world.  I want to give away my words as if they are a gift.  I want to lavish people with encouragement and I want people to feel known and cherished by my words.
Thanks for reading all the way to the bottom.  You, friend (since there’s probably only one of you who love me enough to read all the way through my rambling…Hey Mom), are why I write the words that I write.  I’m cheering you on in all that you are BECOMING!

Ahem…World Record Holder.

By | All the things, Life | 5 Comments

Happy 2018 my friends!

Let’s all take a big ole deep breath.  Breathe in, now out…shake it like a polaroid picture, shake it all off…it’s a fresh start!!!

2017 was a doozy for the Hammett tribe.  In a lot of ways it was one of the hardest and weirdest years of our existence as a family.  But in more ways it was beautiful and refining and deep and real and raw and we saw different sides of Jesus, hints of His nature we never knew before, as we bottomed out in desperation and found that He was there waiting.

I LOVE NEW!  I love a fresh slate, a blank page….the crispness of possibility is in the air and we are SO READY for what 2018 has in store.

If we learned one thing this year it was this:

You can plan and strategize and dream up your life, but Jesus ALWAYS desires to exchange your plans for what He has instead.  If you are chasing Him He won’t let you settle for what you can dream up or plan…because He knows that what He has is so much better.

And it might be painful and confusing and ugly as all get out, when He takes from you your plans and gives you His, but what He trades you for will ALWAYS be the better thing, the more-whole thing, the thing that will make you more like Him.

Amen and Amen…said with a slight limp in my step…but still Amen.

So… to start this year off right with you, my lovely blog tribe, I want to INTRODUCE MYSELF.

Weird to say I know…because I’ve been blogging for years, and some of you may feel that you know me already, because let’s be honest I don’t struggle in the sharing department…maybe over-sharing, but definitely not under-sharing.  I have all the words for all the things and I have let it all hang out on this-here blog.

But one of my greatest worries is that folks would read my words and assume things about me that just flat out aren’t true.

Things like:

She has it all together
She’s a super-christian
She doesn’t struggle the way I do
She’s a 100% perfect mom at all times that has all the
beautiful words for all the instagrammable moments
She doesn’t have fears, she’s worked through them all
She doesn’t have doubts, she’s never tossed about by her thoughts

Just to name a few.

Oh how I wish I could sit with each of you, a cup of coffee in hand, and we could exchange war stories and brag about our battle scars together.  We could throw our heads back and laugh about all of the quirky, weird things that make us who we are.  We could get to know the realness of each other.  Nothing would be better…don’t you agree?

I want you to know that we’re all in this together.  That my words wrapped around stories are coming from a place of mutual slugging-it-out with life and faith and parenting and all of my own flaws and short comings- with the whole beautiful mess of it.

So, let’s start this year off with a good old fashion meet-and-greet.  Let’s pretend we are coffee-in-hand, across from each other, friend to friend.

Buckle up people… it’s about to get real vulnerable up in here.

Here are 10 things about me that I want you to know…

FIRST THINGS FIRST:

I feel that I need to start with the very best thing about me.  I need you to brace yourself because this is BIG.

I AM IN THE GUINNESS BOOK OF WORLD RECORDS.

I am a WORLD RECORD HOLDER.

Friends this is the GOSPEL truth.  And why??  What world record did I set?  (drumrollllll)

THE WORLD’S LARGEST BUNNY HOP

Yes.  The dance.  Yes…the largest, both the largest group of people who have ever done the bunny hop at once and the longest amount of time that that many people in the world have ever bunny hopped without stopping or breaking line.

(TRUE STORY: I just went to find the link to the page of the world record I helped set for proof to you to ONLY JUST NOW FIND OUT THAT MY RECORD HAS BEEN BROKEN.  I feel that I deserved at least a heads up on that Mr. Guinness.  I just lost one of my most treasured answers when playing 2 truths and a lie…excuse me while I mourn. And no, I will not change the above wording to “WAS” a record holder…because I STILL AM one ok.)

The rest follow in random order…but just know that this first one is by far the most important.

TWO:  I am the wife of Brent Steven Hammett.  (I use his middle name to prove to him that I do know how to spell it because to be honest 11 years into marriage and I still sort of don’t know every time I write it)  Being Brent’s wife is a big deal y’all.  He is by far one of the coolest, most talented, most mysterious men on the planet.  I call him my tall-drink-of-fine.  He stands at 6 foot 3, has a full sleeve of tattoos and plays the drums.  Excuse me while I swoon.  His day job is working for a hunger relief organization that feeds hungry children all over the world. (www.numanainc.com) Again – Swoon.  He also does free lance design and video work (www.brenthammett.com) and every once in a while tours with bands to run their shows.  I mean COME ON right??  Anyways…he’s mine and you can’t have him.  We’ve been married 11 years.  I am never not aware that being married to me is A. LOT…but my man is in it to win it.
(If the saints could pray for him please)

Brent

THREE:  I am the Mama to two incredible little unicorns named Liv Nima and Esther Fei.  Liv is 6 years old and has been my daughter since she was 8 months old.  She is from the Democratic Republic of Congo and is as beautiful as you would imagine.  (for your research visit my Instagram page and behold her beauty @casshamm)  Liv is tall and muscular, like muscles that make me jealous.  She has the coolest gap in her teeth that I pray stays the rest of her life.  She is smart.  I mean really brilliant.  She started Kindergarten this year and is currently reading on a 4th grade level.  She is compassionate and kind, always ready to serve or be a part of something.  She is a voracious reader and a disciplined writer, recording all sorts of things in the bajillion journals that are all her treasures.  She is EXACTLY like Brent.  To the letter.  She is structured and calculated and logical…all the things that I am not.

4S1A4883

Esther is 3 years old and has been mine since June, only a short 8 months.  She came home with an un-repaired bi-lateral cleft lip and palate, fluent in mandarin and a zest for life that can not be tamed.  She is tiny and squishy and we love her so stinkin’ much.  She loves getting her nails painted, is passionate about band-aids and wears her sister’s panties over her diaper every day.  She is extremely opinionated about her fashion and she spends most of her days in a pink tutu and rain boots.  We call her Wreck it Ralph, or Ralph for short, QueenE and Yue Yue (her chinese name).  She walks into a room and leaves a wake of destruction in her path.  She is spontaneous, zany, chaotic and spunky, all the things that I am.  She is EXACTLY like me.  It is scary.  This truth also makes for some interesting head-butting/sparring sessions.

4S1A4914

***Disclaimer:  The amount of times that I fail at items 3 and 4 is astonishing.  I mostly feel like I get it wrong…but Jesus, in all His grace allows me to get back up, make things right and continue to move forward with this little gem of a group of folks I get to call my family.  Raise your hand if you’ve ever asked your hubby “Am I screwing up my kids”….Cause I did this morning…oh.. just me… alright then, moving on.)

group hug

FOUR:  I have a super power…or some might call it a party trick.  I can lay down flat on my stomach and NO ONE has the ability to flip me over or pick me up.  I can make my body weigh as much as an elephant and there has yet to be one single person able to move me.  I know what you’re thinking… I could move her.  No.  You couldn’t.  I have always believed that ONE DAY this power will be extremely useful.  Like maybe it may save my life.  I dunno.

FIVE:  3 months into my marriage to my tall-drink-of-fine I fell into a deep, dark season of depression and anxiety.  It was crippling and terrifying and I thought it was going to take my life.  I walked the hard road of debilitating anxiety for 6 months before I met Jesus face to face and He, in all of His kindness, pulled me out and put me squarely on my feet…and those feet were planted on a path that I could have never expected.  More to share on that later…can’t wait to tell ya about it.

SIX:  I am the Founder of The Hub: urban ministries (www.thehubministry.com).  The weight of this honor is NEVER far from my heart and mind.  I don’t deserve to even have a pinky in it, but God saw fit to choose a very unqualified girl’s shoulders to place the most beautiful mantle of leadership on.  It has been the greatest adventure, the biggest risk and the best/hardest thing I’ve ever done. (Read a little more about it here)

SEVEN:  I am bad at math.  Scared of numbers really.  If you tell me your phone number I will nod and smile and will make you believe I have a beautiful-mind-style ability to compute but I am telling you now that as you say those numbers to me my brain begins the process of jumping-ship and shutting down.  In college I got a D in remedial math…that’s the math that’s lower than introductory math.  It was the first time I had to face the facts that there was something I was just downright bad at…and for my personality-a fixer, this was hard. But there was nothing I could do about it.  I remember calling my dad from college hyperventilating and him saying, “Hey Cass…just pass.  Get a D.  That’s all you need to do.  It’s not that big of a deal, don’t let it become more than it needs to be.  So, you’re bad at math?  Who cares??.”   This would be a nugget of wisdom that I would tuck away and pull back out countless times in the years to come… so you’re bad at something…so what??  Thank you dad.

EIGHT:  I am writing a book.  And it might kill me.  It’s a dream of mine but it’s a discipline and a lane that I find incredibly intimidating.  I have had this book in my bones burning to get out for an entire 5 years.  So, this year, it will be finished.  You know what convinced me to do it?  My precious little crazies, Liv and Esther.  I pictured them picking it up and reading it one day and that made it a priority.  It will be a record for them, a marker of what God did in their Mama and Papa’s life.   It’s called Tiny Giant and I can’t get started about it because if I do I just.won’t.stop ranting about how excited I am to share it with you.  I am thrilled to see what God is up to with my words.

NINE:  I am divergent.  I have taken a bajillion personality/enneagram/temperament tests and they HAVE ALL BEEN WRONG…or at least that has been my assessment of them.  I can take the same test 3 times and get a different result every single time.  I once was used in a blind experiment where I was unaware of the reason we were doing it or the goal of the study or the rules of engagement, and I MESSED UP THE STUDY.  They were on a track, had proven one thing and then I took the test and did the opposite thing to what they had proven.  So… I choose to call myself DIVERGENT because crazy just doesn’t have the same ring to it.

TEN:  I have a constant compulsion to reinvent myself that I have to keep in check and submitted to Jesus.  I don’t know where it comes from yet, I am currently on a journey to figure that out, but if I allowed myself I would do something different, try something new, change my hair, get rid of my clothes and buy a new wardrobe ON A WEEKLY BASIS.  I buy new notebooks to mark new seasons and end up buying a new one before I even use the one I just bought.  If I do something or look one way for too long I get the itch for change.  I love change…maybe a little too much.  I am leaning into this this year to dig around and find the root of it.  Stay tuned.

See, friend.  You and I are not that different.  We are all feeling our way through this beautiful, funny, exciting, painful and jacked-up world.

We are all in desperate need of Jesus, every single one of us.

And if you don’t know that sentence above to be true, let’s chat!  I’d love to help you see your need and find it immediately met in Him.

We are wives, mamas, sisters, friends, champions, creatives, movers and shakers.  But we are also messy and hurting, depressed and maybe anxious, prideful, pre-occupied, missing the mark, failing and falling short.

So as we start a new year,  let’s not look at the broken in us and sweep it under the rug in honor of a fresh start.  Let’s wrestle through it.

Let’s celebrate the things that make us quirky.

Let’s laugh at the things that are just downright dumb about us…the silly things that matter to us but don’t make a bit of difference to anyone else.  Those little things matter to our Father.   He put them there.

And let’s look to the left and right, take each other’s hands and charge forward toward all that God is breathing into existence in our lives.  Ignoring our failures and the whispers of the enemy…and running with abandon, TOGETHER, towards the next stretch of ground.

2018, WE’RE COMING FOR YA!

When No One Else Would

By | Life

 

The hubby and I have a little side-hustle company called YouWood!

It is a darling business that sells all wood products and gives the proceeds away to organizations that are fighting the good fight in our world!

Wood that does good!

YouWood exists to pour financial resources into front-line folks who are feeding the hungry, freeing the slave and loving the orphan.

It.is.our.jam.

We absolutely love it.

Why?

Not because of the products, although that are very hip and trendy and cool and you should go buy some right now.  (not so subliminal)

And it’s not only because we get to give the proceeds to people, real live people, who are directly serving populations that are walking through suffering that is unimaginable….although this is INCREDIBLE and we are unbelievably honored to do it.

What we’re most thankful for is that YouWood is teaching a tribe of people that the fight for justice is not just one big event, one big social media campaign, one big push towards change; that the fight for broken people, to see them be made whole, is about a ton of tiny decisions, stacked up on top of each other, causing a domino effect of change.

The decisions that we make impact the freedom of others.

Something as simple as where you shop, how you spend your money, can actually change the world. (Like buying a watch and feeding 30 people…what in the world could be better??)

YouWood is declaring that the hungry, the slave and the orphan are our neighbors.  And we are called to treat them the way Jesus would…with care, attention and LOUD GENEROSITY.

YouWood is declaring that the world CAN change and that it is up to US to engage it’s broken parts and work to make them whole.

God can use WHATEVER you’re willing to give Him to change the life of someone else.

That is always the point.

We are not living for ourselves.  God does not radically transform us just for us.

He finds us, cleans us up, loves us scandalously, redeems our brokenness, restores our hearts and then tells us to go and do likewise, go and be like His Son.

We are handed a task immediately after we are restored.  And that task, to be like Jesus, will always point us to people, broken people.

So, what about you?  What choices will you make, on the small and grand levels, to love your neighbor?

When no one else would love the broken, feed the hungry, free the slave, love the orphan, care for the widow…. would you?

We believe YouWood!

www.youwood.org


As a gift to you, my wonderful readers, all new subscribers this month will receive 30% off of all YouWood products.

What a deal!

Subscribe to the blog and you get a discounted opportunity to change the world!

Don’t walk….. RUN and SUBSCRIBE today!  (that’s my car salesman pitch)

Click subscribe at the top of the page!  Let’s change the world together!

The Cut

By | Life, Uncategorized

thecut

It was the big day.

I had practiced, stretched, learned the routine forward and backward.

I was ready.

As ready as an awkward chubby little 5th grader can feel on the day of cheerleading try-outs.

It was on.  I was confident.

Overly confident.

My mom tore a hole in the paper that covered the window where the try outs would happen so she could watch me do my thang.  What a good mama.  She wanted to watch on as I razzled-and-dazzled those judges.

I remember standing at the door waiting on them to call my name.

And then, they did.

It was all the “woos” and cart wheels and round offs and spirit fingers.  I did my entire routine without even taking a breath.  Adrenaline was pumping.  I smiled at the judges, maybe even gave a little wink.

I watched their faces as I performed looking for their shock-and-awe over my obvious cheerleader-in-my-DNA skill that was on display for them.

I crushed it.

So you can understand my absolute and utter dismay over walking up to the posted list of new cheerleaders for the school year and not seeing my name.

I could not understand this.  There was no explanation.

Until my mom sat me down and gave me the very clear explanation.

I had done my ENTIRE TRY OUT backwards that day.

BACKWARDS.

Back to the judges, facing away from them.

How you ask?  How could I be fully convinced I was staring at them, and winking and doing all the grinning?

Mirrors.

In all my “woos” and spirit fingers and cartwheels and round-offs I had gotten turned around backwards.

I could see the judges…

In the mirror.

I remember replaying the entire thing in my mind in a complete shock-and-awe of my own.

I can’t imagine how those sweet judges didn’t fall out of their chairs laughing as I COMPLETELY HAMMED IT UP AND WINKED AT THEM AND CONFIDENTLY RALLIED ALL THE WAY BACKWARDS THE ENTIRE TIME.

Bless it Jesus.  Bless my heart to the moon and back a thousand times.

Needless to say, I did not make the cut.

Shocker.


 

How often do we determine that we don’t make the cut?

How often do we disqualify ourselves?

When Jesus begs us to follow Him, how often do we replay our mistakes and sin, our brokenness and ugliness, over and over again in our mind in complete embarrassment and shame?

How many times do we leave the presence of God determining that we’re not good enough, not clean enough, not equipped, not capable, not lovable?

All this talk about changing the world, impacting lives, being a true follower of Jesus,  that’s for the rest of the group that surely has it together more than you do.

“I am not worthy, I am too jacked up, too messy, too new to this faith thing.  I’m not qualified, not disciplined enough, not good enough.”

Well friend.  Jesus has an answer to this.

His disciples, you know the 12 dudes He chose to change the entire world, will put these lies to rest.

Did you know that in Jesus’s time,  He was not the only rabbi?  (I did not know this)

Rabbis were religious teachers and young jewish boys dreamed of following a rabbi.  It was the ultimate achievement.

They would study their entire early lives, memorize the Torah (first 5 books of the Bible) forward and backward.  They would study that rabbi’s teaching so much that they could quote it verbatim.

Then, as pre-teens they would appear before their rabbi of choice and they would essentially “try out” to be a follower.

They would strut their stuff, show their knowledge and eloquently present themselves as the best follower this rabbi would ever have.  They would put on display their follower-in-my-DNA skills and pray that they did enough.

If they were chosen they could then follow that rabbi.  Only the best of the best made the cut.  No performing backwards allowed in this arena.

If they weren’t chosen, if they didn’t make the cut, they would head into the world and work a family trade, like fishing or tent making.

The cream of the crop would follow their rabbi.  The not-so-cream-of-the-crop would fish.

“Walking along the beach of Lake Galilee, Jesus saw two brothers: Simon (later called Peter) and Andrew. They were fishing, throwing their nets into the lake. It was their regular work. Jesus said to them, “Come with me. I’ll make a new kind of fisherman out of you. I’ll show you how to catch men and women instead of perch and bass.” They didn’t ask questions, but simply dropped their nets and followed.”  Matthew 4:18-22 (MSG)

The first disciples that Jesus called were fishermen.  It was their regular work.

What does that mean?

It means that they more than likely didn’t make the cut.  They had resigned to a trade.

They weren’t the elite, the best, the brightest.

But they were Jesus’s choice.

Jesus, the only Rabbi that truly mattered, the savior of the entire world, God-wrapped-in-flesh, set his sights on those fishermen.

They were His choice because it would be nothing of their merit that would change the world.  It would be Jesus who would, through them, rock the boat with an offensively radical love.

He chose to use the ones that didn’t make the cut.

He could have chosen anyone, and He chose them.

He chose them because He wanted them to be like Him.  Not know about him, or know of Him, not work for him or learn from him…but be LIKE Him.  He believed that they could.

You, friend, are His choice.  He has chosen you.

You are qualified simply because He has called you.

He believes that you can be like Him.

He delights in choosing the weak, the broken, the jacked up, because through them He gets the ultimate glory.  Where we are weak, He shines all the brighter.

He desires vessels that need to be filled with Him to be of any worth.

He loves to use the rag-tags.  I know this because He has used me.

So stop asking questions, stop making excuses, stop disqualifying yourself.

Drop your nets, the things that remind you that you’re not good enough, that you don’t make the cut, and follow Him.

You are His choice, friend.

What an honor to follow a Rabbi like that?


Read more about disciples and Jesus at That the World May Know Ministries:

https://www.thattheworldmayknow.com/rabbi-and-talmidim