Q&A with a ChicagoNow blogger: Erin Massey- Playing with God and getting Hearts




by Dawgelene “Dr Dawj” Sangster

As a child, I always heard the term, “If you play with fire, you will get burned”. However, my blogger interviewee, Erin Massey, took a different spin on that and she played with God and got Hearts.

Photo courtesy of Erin Massey.

Photo courtesy of Erin Massey.

Meet Erin Massey, an amazing young woman with a fire for God, life and rescuing animals. I was so excited when I received this assignment because I too have a fire for God, life and rescuing animals. I thought it was interesting that she plays a game with God of hearts. The purpose is to see God’s love daily in the form of hearts.

Photo courtesy of Erin Massey.

Photo courtesy of Erin Massey.

A graduate of University of Illinois and Northwestern University, this little darling is well on her way to inspiring the change God desires to see in this world, with her daily acts of spreading love. Check out this interview below and be sure to check out her blog, Instagram Facebook and Twitter.Dawj Sangster (DS): I know you have focused on hearts, but tell me more about the crosses. Specifically seeing them for the first time and how they made you feel.Erin Massey (EM): The first time I saw a cross was in June 2013, after a wonderful lesson by Jeff Mannel; given at my sister church called Gateway City Church in St. Louis, Missouri.

Jeff gave so much background in what it meant to become a Rabbi at the time Jesus walked the earth and how committed to the word of God these men were.  The whole process of becoming a Rabbi wasn’t easy and was filled berating questions that ultimately meant, “do you have what it takes to become a Rabbi“? In the Jewish faith, the bible was everything. By the age of 10, the young boys had memorized the entire Torah and to them, if they lost the Torah, they believed they had lost everything. Many of them had never eaten honey but when given a sample, they were told that the scriptures needed to be as sweet as the honey to them. I felt a conviction. When you add to that the thought of Jesus asking ordinary, unschooled men to become his disciples and choosing them, I felt like Jesus was telling me that He was choosing me because I am worthy and redeemed. There are still times that I really don’t understand just how much grace God has shown me. While there is a level of guilt at times, when I see a cross, I feel God is reminding me of the grace he extends to me, even when I don’t give myself grace or other people have failed me. The cross is a constant reminder that God has not failed me.

photo courtesy of Erin Massey

photo courtesy of Erin Massey

Dawj Sangster (DS):Why should people see God’s love in everything? Why do you?

Erin Massey (EM): I believe in God, not religion. It is so easy to be religious in this world, but religion, if done wrong, can produce more bitterness and confusion. While I do believe in organized churches, there is a difference between God’s truth and man’s truth. We know that God has boundaries and regulations, but the reason Jesus came back was so that the old law would be made into the new law: grace.

Romans 6: “What shall we say, then? Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase? By no means! We are those who have died to sin; how can we live in it any longer? Or don’t you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life.”

God’s love is apparent in my life.  When I felt like everyone in my life had failed me and I tested God, thinking he would do the same, he chose to bless me instead of curse me. If God had come down on me the way I thought he would, I would have left him a long time ago.

God is the ultimate healer, The Counselor (John 14:26) and he continues to heal my heart (it is not easy to pursue healing) in ways I would have never imagined.  People will fail you whether intentionally or not. God sending me hearts is a reminder of his love for me when the world fails me.  One of my deepest wounds as a child was feeling like I had no worth.  Now, every time I see a heart, it’s as if God is reaching down and saying that I am worth it to him.

Psalm 73: 21-28
When my heart was grieved
and my spirit embittered,
22 I was senseless and ignorant;
I was a brute beast before you.

23 Yet I am always with you;
you hold me by my right hand.
24 You guide me with your counsel,
and afterward you will take me into glory.
25 Whom have I in heaven but you?
And earth has nothing I desire besides you.
26 My flesh and my heart may fail,
but God is the strength of my heart
and my portion forever.

27 Those who are far from you will perish;
you destroy all who are unfaithful to you.
28 But as for me, it is good to be near God.
I have made the Sovereign Lord my refuge;
I will tell of all your deeds.

God says in Jeremiah 29:11 that he is not far from any of us and that if we seek him with all of our hearts he will be found by us.  I want people to know that God will never leave them or forsake them and that he is constantly trying to woo us into his arms.  We can’t look at God through a lens of who our parents were, because that is not fair nor who God is.  We all struggle at times, so I need to ask God the truth in situations when my emotions run a little faster than my brain.



Dawj Sangster (DS):Why is being a savior of animals important to you, and what should people know about recuing animals?

Erin Massey (EM): I thought I would become a veterinarian because of my love for animals.  Rescuing animals now means more because there are so many animals without homes.  My rescue dog, Gizzie, was found in a forest preserve under a car.  As the founder of The First Step Rescue said, not all rescue dogs are abused or abandoned, but some are.  Some people get a dog (or another animal) and realize it is a bigger responsibility than they thought it would be, they don’t have the funds to care for the animal, or some other life situations happen.  Unfortunately for Gizzie, we are not sure if he was lost or abandoned, but he definitely struggles with separation anxiety.

Some people say animals don’t have souls, but I believe they do. There are books written on animals and their emotions, and they are living and breathing. I am not a person who can turn away from an animal or person in need without a care in the world.  In fact, caring for animals is Biblical.

Proverbs 12:10:
The righteous care for the needs of their animals,
    but the kindest acts of the wicked are cruel.

Erin found these scriptures on this website: http://rainbowsbridge.com/grief_support_center/grief_support/bibleandanimalabuse.htm
The Sabbath day itself was not only for humans to rest. God also commanded us to give our animals rest on the same day. (Exodus 20:10)
Proverbs 27:23: “Be sure you know the condition of your flocks, give careful attention to your herds.”

1 Samuel 17:35-37

But David said to Saul, “Your servant has been keeping his father’s sheep. When a lion or a bear came and carried off a sheep from the flock, 35 I went after it, struck it and rescued the sheep from its mouth. When it turned on me, I seized it by its hair, struck it and killed it. 36 Your servant has killed both the lion and the bear; this uncircumcised Philistine will be like one of them, because he has defied the armies of the living God. 37 The Lord who rescued me from the paw of the lion and the paw of the bear will rescue me from the hand of this Philistine.”

(David risked his life for his sheep)

****************HAPPY BIRTHDAY ERIN MASSEY*******************




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