Sunday, December 26, 2010
"Come now, let us settle the matter," says the Lord. "Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool."
Maybe the reason people get so excited about the snow is because it is a beautiful picture of our God. Most obviously, it is white and beautiful. The bible tells us that our sins make us like crimson, but because of Christ's sacrifice we can be made as white as snow. Second, it is so gentle and beautiful while at the same time it can be dangerous. It also can cause people to stop their plans. God's presence calls us to stop and admire, praise, worship, and love Him. All too often we don't stop because we don't recognize Him. I admit to being guilty as well. God demands our worship, and our attention. There is nothing greater than being at His feet and there is no higher calling than to be His servant. Instead of going along with my day as God's presence calls to me, I will stop and acknowledge His greatness. Let the wonder, gentility, and strength of the snow be a reminder of our wonderful Lord.
Monday, December 20, 2010
Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. -Hebrews 12:1
I so often look around the world on my own to find things. I look for provision, happiness, a husband, satisfaction. There is nothing more important at this time than simply looking ahead and running the race that God has set out for me. God's arms are stretched out wide in front of me, and I should be sprinting to them. I should long for my Jesus so much that I can't stand my human body that keeps me from getting to experience Him fully. Yet I dwell in this body happily and I feel satisfied in my popularity and beauty. I feel fine just going through my day without even once speaking the most precious name I know. I feel perfectly okay without speaking the words that could save a life from eternity away from the Father. I am satisfied with myself when I sing well and make a few people smile. I should love Jesus so much it makes people confused. I should be so obsessed with His glory that people wonder what in the world my purpose in life is. I should long for more of Him so earnestly that there is no mistaking His hold on my life and my heart. I should be running so fast and so hard for Him that the things that may be important and impressive and satisfactory to the world are only a blur in my peripheral vision because I am running so fast and so focused toward my precious victor Jesus.
Tuesday, November 16, 2010
When he came to his senses, he said, 'How many of my father's hired servant have food to spare, and here I am starving to death! I will set out and go back to my father and say to him: Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son; make me like one of your hired servants.' So he got up and went to his father. But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him.
-- Luke 15:17-20
So many people don't understand that there is no 'good enough' for God. We can never be good enough. Our lives will never be worth acceptance from God. Praise the Lord that we are not good enough, because if we could be, why would we need God at all? Instead, He pursues us while we're still so far from perfection just like in the parable of the lost son. We don't have to be good enough because when we accept the saving grace of Jesus, his death pays for all of our sins. The father in the parable has been betrayed by his son. His son essentially told him that he'd rather have him dead, and he wants his inheritance now. He then goes and spends it all on immoral things. When the son decides it would be smarter for him to go back and at least be a servant in his father's home he starts on his way back. The father sees his from far away. Without the son ever saying a word his father runs to him without haste. He was so far away, but his father had been watching and waiting for him.
That is how God feels about each of us. He is watching and waiting for you to come home, and when he sees you on the very horizon of salvation, He will run to you and take you in as if you have never sinned against him once. How could you refuse a love like that?
Sunday, November 14, 2010
Thank you for persecuting me and considering me insane. By trying to hurt me you are only blessing me. I strive everyday to be more like my Savior. When you tell me I'm crazy, I know I'm doing something right. I want to identify with Jesus, and you're only helping me in that. Don't think you're getting me down by hurting me. You're only pushing me closer to Jesus, which is exactly where I want to be.
Wednesday, August 18, 2010
I love you. I'll miss you.
Friday, August 13, 2010
I always thought this was a bad thing. I thought that if I was truly in love with my Lord then I would have remembered His goodness from the last time I experienced it.
God's goodness is never-ending. Not only in time, but in depth and in volume. My realizations never seem to end only because I'm realizing different levels and degrees and aspects of His goodness. I'm not forgetting. God's goodness isn't something you can ever fully comprehend, let alone the first time you realize it.
Sunday, August 1, 2010
Ok... A LOT of the time I think its all about me.
Its about Jesus.
Not the President.
Not the environment.
Not the ozone layer.
Not the universe.
Not your family.
Not your friends.
Not your country.
Not your football or basketball team.
Not your school.
Tuesday, July 27, 2010
Monday, July 26, 2010
I've been having lots of doubts lately. All of them have to do with where I am in my life right now. I wasn't quite sure that I was supposed to be at school where I am and in Young Life where I am. I've been asking God for something more than a feeling. For something concrete that I can see and feel. Something that can show me that this is exactly where I should be and that I've made no mistake in my attempts to obey Him.
This weekend I've been visiting in the area where I go to school and do Young Life. Last night I got that confirmation. It was almost literally a huge "thumbs up" from God. It was so real, and I felt it so strongly and was so obviously convicted to be here that there is no mistaking that this is the sign I was asking for. I missed this place. This is just where I need to be and I pray that God would bless my time here and that not a second would be wasted while I'm here doing His work.
*picture taken by: Dr. Pattnaik*
Friday, July 23, 2010
There are those moments.
The ones you anticipate and yearn for. The ones that overwhelm you and give you butterflies. The ones that come and go incredibly too quickly. The ones that leave you breathless. The ones that catch you by surprise.
Then there is that moment.
The one that is a mystery. The moment that isn't just overwhelming, but indescribable. The revelation moment. The epiphany moment. The moment that you realize how huge He is and how tiny you are.
God is so good. He is so incredible to give us these inlets into who He really is. Not only does He give us His word, but He gives us the Holy Spirit who gives us that moment. He gives us the moment when we realize who the Lord truly is.
I want to be so much more in love than I am. I've been falling for my gracious Father again and again, harder and harder these past few weeks. My only desire is to fall harder and farther. I want to be so lost in Him that a person can't see me without seeing Him first. I want to be so occupied with His mission and His will that my worldly mission and desires absolutely disappear.
Thursday, July 15, 2010
Friday, June 4, 2010
I'm much too competitive for my own good.
It can cause problems quite often.
I want to keep everything for myself. I want to win everything, have everything, have all the attention, and enjoy all the perks. I'm so obsessed with myself. My eyes are so off-focus. The LORD is the one who deserves my attention. Not guys. Not friends. Not work. Not my family. Not my swimmers. Not my chores. Not my beauty. Not my concerns. Not my competition. Not my life at all. Everything comes along with looking to the Lord. I shouldn't have prioritIES. I have ONE priority, and His name is Adonai. All the other things in life that are important for life on this earth will come along with my attention to Him. Seek Ye FIRST the Kingdom of God!
I don't want to have a list; I want you to BE my list, Father.
I can't keep owning everything. What the Lord gave me is His always because I gave it back to Him. I need to make a daily sacrifice to give everything to Him.
Bless my heart, Father.
*picture taken by: U.S. National Archives*
Tuesday, June 1, 2010
Music therapy is a very cool thing.
Some who can't talk can sing.
Some who can't see can play.
Some who can't hear can write and create.
Sometimes a stroke victim who has lost his or her speaking ability can sing, or can be coached to speak through singing.
There is an incredible woman percussionist who can't hear, but can feel the sound.
Many who can't see a thing can play the piano or guitar etc. incredibly well because they have a more acute sense of hearing.
Seriously, check it out at this website its so cool.
*picture taken by: Maggy Beunaventura*
Friday, May 28, 2010
Thick skin is like armor. You shouldn't wear it if you're not in battle.
Thick skin can be a good thing when it comes to protecting yourself and keeping your heart and mind and spirit pure. But if someone was to wear that armor all the time then they would never see or experience the world in the way God intended. A suit of metal would never allow a person to feel the tenderness of the touch of someone who loves them, be it the man of woman they love or their family or friends or the Lord.
You should never guard yourself from the man or woman who loves you. Why would you want to miss out on the tenderness of his or her fingers on your cheek and the yearning of his or her heart and the tear falling over his or her cheek for the love and desperation that he or she feels for you? That is love. Love is not scary, and it does not call for any defenses. Love is the absence of defenses. Love is beautiful. Love is only scary if you let it scare you or if you let yourself believe that this person will fall out of love with you or if you never let yourself love back because you don't want to be hurt again. If someone loves you they will not take a sword up against you, they will take up tenderness and affection. They take up a desire in their spirit to strive for something better along side you.
The Lord will most likely speak to you with a tender voice or a gentle whisper, not a loud booming voice. You must let your heart be permeable to Him. You can't keep it locked "safely" behind iron doors. You must open yourself. Be receptive to Him. Yes "Above all else guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life" (Proverbs 4:23), but in Phillipians 4:7 it says that "the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus." You never guard your heart FROM Christ, you always guard it IN Christ. He will always protect it. The best place to leave it is with Him.
Thick skin is a good thing when you are in battle. Put on your thick skin when you are up against the devil, but just keep in mind that the only way you have effective armor is in the Lord and through His Word. Keep your thick skin God-centered. "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control." Galatians 5:22-23a. That is the only "thick skin" or armor that will stand up against an attack from the devil, the defenses you yourself can come up with will only fail. And not only will they fail, but the devil will convince you that you didn't fail.
Its funny how I write so much and yet everything ALWAYS comes back to keeping your eyes fixed on the Lord. "But my eyes are fixed on you, O Sovereign Lord; in you I take refuge -- do not give me over to death." Psalm 141:8.
*picture taken by: marfis75*
Thursday, May 27, 2010
What makes me better than anyone else?
Yes, I'm saved.
Yes, I know I'll be going to heaven when I die.
Yes, I have a heavenly Father who loves me and is powerful above all things.
Yes, I have been changed by the Holy Spirit.
But what does ANY of that have to do with what I have done?
I was dead, already done and drowned at the bottom of the ocean. The Lord pulled me up, revived me, and gave me a life better than the one I had before. The only reason that can happen is because of who the Lord is. I did absolutely nothing to deserve it, in fact, I did everything to deserve the exact opposite.
Who am I to think I am any better than people because of my Lord? That is giving Him a bad name. I am no better than anyone else. I'm probably worse.
I'm sorry for looking down on the people you've created, Lord. I'm sorry for ever thinking that I am good enough to do anything for myself. You are my source of life, the only reason I can breathe. You give me the strength I need to open my eyes every morning and get out of bed. You heal my heart, and you refill it when someone has broken it and spilled everything out. You have taken all of my filth away. You took it and put it on yourself. You have made me perfect in your eyes. None of this is from myself. Everything I am is because of who you are IN me.
I am so unworthy of Your name. Christian.
*picture taken by: alibubba*
Monday, May 24, 2010
Sunday, May 23, 2010
Its so crazy how fast people grow up. People I knew when they were in 2nd grade are now graduating from high school going on to college.
Anytime I think about how everyone is growing up and going off to build their lives I think about how fast everything in my life has gone by. Its crazy that my high school graduation was 2 years ago, but it feels so recently. Even my first day of high school and moving to North Carolina seem so recent. The last few years have gone by so quickly. "Yet you do not know what your life will be like tomorrow. You are just a vapor that appears for a little while and then vanishes away." --James 4:14.
I was so glad to be able to celebrate with my friends, and I can't wait to spend the summer with them.
Congratulations to you Daryl, Rebecca, Katherine, Courtney, Rachel, and Anna. You are incredible girls and I can't wait to see where the Lord leads you in life.
*picture taken by: Lowry Lou*
Saturday, May 22, 2010
Most people do not enjoy when others are outspoken. No matter what it is.
I think the reason that I get so miffed at moments like this is that I can't be that way myself. I wish I was outgoing and outspoken about my faith and my views, but it's hard for me and I don't do it. So when someone else comes along and is very outspoken, I react by being annoyed because that is the easiest way for me to deal with my jealousy.
Thursday, May 20, 2010
Animals born into captivity know nothing of life but captivity. Their nature is to be wild, but they've never actually experienced it so they never know how truly satisfying it is. Their lifestyle doesn't quite match up with their nature, but they never understand their nature to live that way. When an animal raised in captivity is offered release, often times it is scared. It is hesitant to take the freedom it is being offered because it is new and it's a change and it's scary. So it stays. It doesn't take the freedom that it is being offered despite the fact that its nature is to be free.
Wednesday, May 19, 2010
I am the most humany human in existance.
I want out of myself!
God is so much better than this.
Tuesday, May 18, 2010
My knowledge often seems to not quite match up with the attitude of my heart.
Here are some things I know:
Friday, May 14, 2010
"As the Samaritan woman [in John 4:7-26] discovered, it doesn’t matter how many times we may try to rearrange our relationships and reorder our lives. Until we find relief for the soul, everything else will be nothing more than a distraction—a very temporary one at that—from our fundamental craving for living water.
Most of us haven't gone through five spouses, but we have gone through jobs, five moves, five weight-loss programs, or five churches -- and still the insatiable thirst continues. We will never find what we are looking for in the things we pick up along the way. Not even the religious things. Not even important things like relationships. All of these things will leave our souls empty if we try to force them to satisfy our thirst. The true object of our search is nothing less than an encounter with the Holy One."
-M. Craig Barnes -- Sacred Thirst
I think that a lot of times people will read something like this and think, Thank goodness thats not me. It would be terrible to not have my life together like I do. When in reality they are the most thirsty. People who don't believe in the Lord may also feel that way. Thinking wow, I'm glad I don't believe like these people do, they must be miserable. Thats not how it works. If at any point in my life I don't feel the thirst it is because I am denying is there because I want so badly to be satisfied by these earthly things that are so momentarily enjoyable. I was there for a long time. Thinking everything was fine because I was momentarily enjoying myself in earthly pleasures. God wants us to delight in him. He's there, waiting for us to come drink him in.
Oh how horribly mistaken I was.
Thank you, Father for showing me my thirst. I'd rather be thirsty for You and striving for more of You than falsely satisfied in the world.
*picture taken by: Cristiano Pecanha*
Thursday, May 13, 2010
Father, you are better than all of this. You are above everything. I cannot mess up your plan no matter how hard I try. I long for the joy that I used to have in You. I long to feel your control and your power like I used to. I so desire a feeling of assuredness that You do not fail. I have been relying on myself for so long. That is so foolish! I know I am not reliable, so what am I thinking depending on myself for hope.
Wednesday, May 12, 2010
I remember going back to school in August so sure and excited about how things would happen. I knew that I was over him, and I was even moving on. But that conviction didn't last long. I fell all over again and it only took one second, literally.
Tuesday, May 11, 2010
Monday, May 3, 2010
Friday, April 30, 2010
Sunday, April 25, 2010
Friday, April 9, 2010
Thursday, April 8, 2010
Sunday, April 4, 2010
It’s just about impossible for me to imagine how my life got this far from where it was just 3 months ago. I was so determined. So set in how everything would work. I was following the Lord. I was caught up in his plan for my life. I was passionate about letting him work in my life and letting him set my path instead of taking over and steering things my way. I failed. I wanted to be in so much of a different place right now. I guess I relied too much on myself. I got so determined that I didn’t even think I needed God’s help. I even remember, at one pivotal time, hearing him say something to me. It was so clear what he wanted me to do. Instead I stayed still because it was the easy thing to do. It would be more difficult to get up and do what he wanted me to do, so I just sat there. I let my life get this way. I put my heart in this situation and condition. How could I be so stupid? How could I be such a hypocrite, Father? I’m sorry for failing you time and time again. I’m sorry for not doing something hard sooner. A friend once told me that a good motto to have in life is simply, “Do hard things.” It’s true. Most of the right things are harder. Most things that are holy and good and godly are hard and seem like the opposite of everyone else because we live in the world and the world leads us down the easy, wide, and sinful path. God leads us on the narrow, godly, sometimes difficult path.
Life is a steep mountain. We are the climbers. Heaven is the beautiful, breath-taking mountain top.
Thursday, March 25, 2010
Saturday, March 20, 2010
Saturday, March 6, 2010
Friday, February 26, 2010
WOW! The Lord is changing me, and forming me into his daughter. The one that doesn't need a painted face to feel good. I feel good simply because I have my Jesus. I feel good because there's nothing else that matters more in the world than being with Him. How lucky am I that I get to spend time with the King of kings and the Lord of lords. I get to love and be loved by my creator, sustainer, and life-giver. I get to bask in the heavenly and infinite glory and majesty of the One who let ME (the sinner, deceiver, and rebel) switch places with his perfect, spotless, absolutely 100% wonderful son.
Thursday, February 25, 2010
Come here, daughter, let me wrap my arms around you. Let me take away everything that holds you back. Look, my daughter, you're clean. You're beautiful. You're perfect. Just like I made you to be. I love you more than anyone on earth could ever imagine loving you. I'm crazy about you, and I will never forsake you.
Monday, February 22, 2010
Friday, February 19, 2010
Wednesday, February 17, 2010
I was so unique
Now I feel skin deep
I count on the make-up to cover it all
Crying myself to sleep cause I cannot keep their attention
I thought I could be strong
But it's killing me
Does someone hear my cry?
I'm dying for new life
I want to be beautiful
Make you stand in awe
Look inside my heart,
and be amazed
I want to hear you say
Who I am is quite enough
Just want to be worthy of love
Sometimes I wish I was someone other than me
Fighting to make the mirror happy
Trying to find whatever is missing
Won't you help me back to glory
I want to be beautiful
Make you stand in awe
Look inside my heart,
and be amazed
I want to hear you say
Who I am is quite enough
Just want to be worthy of love
You make me beautiful
You make me stand in awe
You step inside my heart, and I am amazed
I love to hear You say
Who I am is quite enough
You make me worthy of love and beautiful
I never had any idea how easy it is to see myself in a negative light until recently. Suddenly I find myself trying to please the world and trying to look "beautiful" according to the standards of other people.
I've never participated in the tradition of the 40 days of Lent. This year there was something on my heart that I felt could greatly help my self-image. I decided to not use any makeup for the duration of the Lent holiday. First of all, I need to spend that time that I spent putting on my face in the word. I got to spend just a few more minutes in God's word this morning, and it was wonderful. Second, I don't need makeup to look beautiful. God has made me who I am, and He's made me in His OWN image! I am gorgeous! I have to stop letting people tell me I need to be tanner, or be skinnier, or work out more, or wear tighter clothes, or more revealing tops to be beautiful. A friend of mine put it best by saying: "It's not make up that makes people beautiful. Make up or not, true beauty shines through." The make up isn't a sin. Its not a bad thing unless it is used as a crutch. It is something I need to learn to feel confident without. Real beauty isn't something that can be enhanced with blush, or eye shadow, or mascara. Real beauty will be obvious with or without those things.
Christ makes me beautiful, and he defines my beauty.
Friday, February 5, 2010
Tuesday, February 2, 2010
Wednesday, January 27, 2010
Friday, January 22, 2010
Tuesday, January 19, 2010
Saturday, January 16, 2010
Thursday, January 14, 2010
Monday, January 11, 2010
Tuesday, January 5, 2010
Monday, January 4, 2010
Despite my blatant disregard to his obvious will for my life.