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.