Express or Impress?

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As a recovering lifelong people pleaser, I have always had a great need to impress others. I attempted to gain approval and love and attention by means of good behavior or well-played music or a good grade. One of the great freedoms and releases of my life was after becoming a born-again Christian. I realized that Jesus loves me unconditionally, not based on what I have done or not done. He loves me simply because I am His.

Now that I am writing more, I find myself grappling with my old struggle with pleasing. Or to phrase it differently, impressing. Impressing my blog readers with a clever or especially inspirational blog. Impressing some future publisher with the novel that I’m working on currently. Impressing my family with how hard I’m working on my writing. On and on and on.

Any form of art, whether it be writing, music, drama, dance, etc., requires honesty, truth, and expression. Expressing the truth of what I’m thinking and feeling is sometimes difficult. What will my family and friends think? What will my fellow church members think of this character? What will the readers think when I leave my normal pattern to explore a different line of expression? And then, as soon as these dangerous questions arise, you are stuck. Paralyzed. Trapped in the sad and useless web of people pleasing.

Expression or impression? I am striving, with God’s help, for more of the former. Because we all struggle with the same struggles, more or less. My weaknesses, struggles, honesty, and truths are undoubtedly someone else’s also. No one is encouraged by a perfect person with no foibles. I am the most encouraged by seeing a person who struggles, falls sometimes, but by the grace of God, gets back up again and keeps going.

I want to write to express what is churning inside me. Words and thoughts and feelings.

Write your life well and true, fellow artists. Love, Lisa

Straight and True

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“God sent his Son into the world not to judge the world, but to save the world through him. There is no judgment against anyone who believes in him. But anyone who does not believe in him has already been judged for not believing in God’s one and only Son.  And the judgment is based on this fact: God’s light came into the world, but people loved the darkness more than the light, for their actions were evil.  All who do evil hate the light and refuse to go near it for fear their sins will be exposed.  But those who do what is right come to the light so others can see that they are doing what God wants.” 

~John 3:17-21

Jesus is good, kind, wonderful, yes.  But He’s also a straight shooter; says it right out, plainly.  Who He is, why He came. But always with love, and out of love.   And I’m so thankful for that.  I love people who are honest yet kind.  When they speak you know there’s no pretense or falseness.  Speaking the truth with love.  Choose life, choose hope, choose Jesus.  Blessings, Lisa

Life Without Jesus….I Couldn’t Do It

A Facebook friend recently announced, “I no longer know if I believe in God.”  He/she is now publicly and openly debating the existence of God and Jesus in what they feel to be a highly intelligent and logical way.  I can’t even think of the words to say; all I feel is utter sadness for this person.  To lose hope in the only hope.  Jesus is what keeps me going, what keeps me moving and breathing and hoping and living.  And I can’t explain it logically to this person; I just know it.  So I’m praying for him/her.  Because Jesus is strong enough, big enough, loving enough to bring them back to himself.  Please join me in praying, for this person and all the others who need that hope, those answers.

“When people say, you know, ‘Good teacher,’ ‘Prophet,’ ‘Really nice guy’….this is not how Jesus thought of Himself.  So you’re left with a challenge in that, which is either Jesus was who He said he was or a complete and utter nut case.  You have to make a choice on that.”  ~Bono

So, so thankful for Jesus.  Blessings, Lisa