Those Sinful Taxcollectors

I love learning new things about Jesus’ life and his mission on earth. I hope you feel the same.

This morning my mom and I read Matthew 9:9-13 (My favorite passage of the three. If you’re only going to read one of the passages, read this one.) Mark 2:13-17, and Luke 5:27-32

First off, to avoid confusion, Levi and Matthew are the same person. Don’t ask how that happened, I don’t know.

So, Jesus calls Levi (Matthew) to follow Him, so of course he does, and he’s so excited he throws this banquet.

Well Jesus found Matthew sitting at a tax collectors booth, so obviously there were a few tax collectors.

The Pharisees and Scribes got all upset, because when don’t they?

They asked Jesus why He was eating with sinners. Jesus replied with the most awesome reply ever.

“It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. But go and learn what this means: ‘I desire mercy, not sacrifice.’ For I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.”

Does it seem profound to you? Because it seems profound to me.

The first sentence goes along pretty well with the verse about seeing the plank in your own eye. Most of us know that verse pretty well. Careful not to misuse it. That verse isn’t saying that you must be sinless in order to judge another Christian’s sin. It is saying you have to be honest to yourself and recognize what your sin is. It’s about avoiding being hypocritical, not about being blameless and not judging others.

The second part of Jesus’ answer is referring to Hosea 6:6 and Micah 6:6-8. I encourage you to look them up, they are both great verses. They are saying how burnt offerings and sacrifices are not what God wants. He doesn’t want a big showy display of Christiaity. He wants acknowledgement and for us to walk with Him as best we can.

The verse uses the word mercy. Mercy does not mean excusing a sin and saying that everything is ok as long we love each other. It means desiring what is good for others. What is better than salvation and repentance? How can someone repent without knowing what their sin is?

The last part is Jesus reminding the ignorant Pharisees yet again what His mission was. It was not to call the righteous, but to reach the sinners and bring them closer to God.

Note the wording. Jesus didn’t use the word ‘believers’ he used ‘righteous’. Who among us is righteous? No one. We are all sinners. He was not saying He was only calling sinners and left the believers alone. He spoke to the sinners who recognized that they were sinners and recognized their need for Him. Not the self-righteous Pharisees and scribes.

Jesus was emphasizing the need to acknowledge your own sin and turn to Him. I love that. I love that that was His focus because it is so important to repent. It’s how we get closer to God.

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Confessions of a Ninja Ballerina: Organization

Planning is good.

I have, today, decided to actually do some planning for my dance classes. My mom had the fantastic idea to put my combinations on notecards in a little notecard box, separated into the different types of steps by the little dividers.

What’s awesome about this is that I can write down all the combinations, every week, and eventually and I can just pull out notecards to plan my class.

If you teach anything like dance or martial arts or anything, this is a great idea. If it’s dance, you can even write the song you used on the notecard, which is what I’m going to do.

Looking forward to today’s well-planned class. 🙂

Any dancers following me? Comment if you’d like me to make a post with some of my favorite combinations.

Back to the Rosin

Dance starts back up today!

After an insanely long break it’s back to the hardwood, metal bars, and oh-so-glorious rosin.

Tonight I get to teach the first class of the semester and I’m looking forward to it.

I bought 95 new songs, I have some new experience under my belt and I am feeling prepared. New leotards don’t hurt either 😉

I honestly don’t know if I’m looking forward to teaching or actually dancing more. I love both so much. I love working and seeing improvement in myself, but seeing improvement in the girls I teach is very rewarding too.

I have mixed feelings about the upcoming show, but hopefully it’ll be great. It’ll at least be cute.

I thank God so much for my dance family and the opportunities I get with it. I am so blessed by ballet.

For my lovely dancers reading this, can’t wait to see you this week! Love you all!

I Am….

A  Bible-believing Christian.

A Conservative.

An Anti-Feminist.

Pro-life.

Anti-Racist (Which is not exclusively white-black. Everyone is capable of racism.)

A dancer.

A writer.

A teacher.

In love.

I have no reason to hide or be ashamed of any of these. And I am certainly allowed to speak out for what I believe in. More Christians ought to start speaking against sin more, it is Biblical. Maybe if we had kept that practice up, the world wouldn’t be quite as bad as it is now.

I am proud of who I am. I am firmly rooted in my beliefs. I encourage you to take a look at what you believe and whether or not it is Biblical. I can give you verses supporting all my positions, verses in context. If you, as a Christian, can’t do that then it might be time to look a little closer at what you believe.

I am saying this in love, because I do worry for Christians who believe things contradictory to the Bible, such as abortion and gay rights. Pray about your beliefs and what you should believe and speak out for. I do, though I probably should more often.

Have a fantastic day everyone.

Flipping Tables

One of my favorite parts of the Bible: when Jesus got angry.

I’m actually going to start with  John 2:1-11, which is  Jesus turning water into wine. That was his first miracle. Also look at John 7:6.

An important point is that Jesus knew when He was supposed to do things. He said it wasn’t His time to perform his first miracle. That being said, I don’t really know why he did it if it wasn’t His time, but He must’ve had a reason.

Yay, now it’s time for flipping tables! Read John 2:12-25. It’s awesome. It makes me happy.

Jesus went and cleansed the Temple because a bunch of idiots were turning it into a business. Jesus walked in, saw all this happening, and made a whip.

He made a whip.

He didn’t walk through calmly saying “You really shouldn’t be doing this, friends, but if you feel like it’s the way you were born, or if you just love everyone, it’s ok.”

No. He went through driving people out with a whip and flipping their money changing tables over. He yelled at them to get out because His father’s temple was not a place of business. He had some really awesome righteous anger.

Jesus was not meek. He was not always gentle and kind. I do not know why people paint him that way. He took action, he was aggressive, he was physical..

One of the verses says something about zeal for his Father’s house consuming Him. The Greek word for zeal translates into jealousy. He was jealous for His father’s house because it was not what it was meant to be. It had become taken over by the world. It was no longer a place of reverence. People were changing money and selling doves.

This brings me to a concern about today’s mega churches. A lot of the times they have coffee shops, stores, something. They are selling things in their church, and I don’t know how they justify that.

I think it’s ok if it’s a fundraiser, but if people are getting paid to work it or it pays for a pastor’s salary or something, it’s a business and it’s wrong. It’s just plain disrespectful.

One more point to draw from His actions was that he spoke out against what they were doing wrong, not against them as people. He didn’t attack anyone personally. I strive to do that in my blog and I think I do a decent job of it. I speak out against sin without involving a certain people group as best I can.

If you look from Jesus CONVERTING water to wine and then CLEANSING the Temple right after, you see what He does in us. After we convert, we are cleansed, we are renewed. Jesus has wonderful power, let Him work it in you.

Judgement

I’m tired of getting called judgmental by judgmental people who don’t admit that they’re judging me.

Because when you call me judgmental, you are, in fact, judging me.

Now, I never said that I never judge people. Here’s the reality people; we all judge. Yes, you judge people too. Every last one of us make judgments about people and events.

I try not to judge people, and I thought I had been doing a pretty good job about only judging the sin on my blog post, but when I slip up, it’s not really your job to call me out, because that my dear friends is called hypocrisy.

Again, I’m not saying that I’m never hypocritical, but try to think through it before you call me judgmental. I’m trying my best not to be. Are you when you call me out on my every failure?

On a different note, we’re supposed to judge fellow Christians and try and make them aware of their sins. That’s what I’m trying to do. We need to be more careful when we talk to non-believers, and that’s something I need to work on, but I’m blogging mostly to believers and mostly believers comment.

Read these verses in context:

Hebrews 3:12-13

John 7:24

John 8:16

I Corinthians 5:12

1 Corinthians 6:2

Galatians 5:26- 6:2

Ephesians 4:25

Colossians 2:8

Before you throw it at me, Romans 14:13 needs to be read in context. It is talking about different levels of maturity in faith, and how you should not judge if one’s faith is slightly different than yours, not whether or not you should judge sin or make him aware of it. Please, please, please read all the verses in context so they are not abused. You can’t just pick and choose.

Also, Paul, who was not blameless like Christ, spoke out against sin to the churches. He was not silent. He straight up told them what they were doing wrong.

In short, we have been called to judge sin. That is what I am doing. Judging the sin, not the sinner. If you have any reason why that is not Biblical, please tell me, but don’t talk about “feelings” and ignore what the Bible says.