Friday, May 28, 2010

Thick Skin is Like Armor



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

I Was Drowning


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

"P" Day


Mmm. I'm having a day with mom. :) Its wonderful. Preschoolers, Panera Bread, and picking up the now-fixed car.

They all start with "p."

Its a "p" day.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Class of 2010


Graduation. Wow.
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

Speak Up!


Most people do not enjoy when others are outspoken. No matter what it is.
I would say that my views in the world would make me a conservative. I think that the world should be taken care of, but I don't devote my every moment to saving it. I am also a devoted daughter of the Lord Jesus Christ.
Now it is expected that I would not love the moments when a view that I disagree with is being declared proudly in my presence, but even when someone is too outspoken about views I do agree with, I'm a little bit annoyed at that. When someone is entirely consumed with saving the world one tree at a time, or go green, think green, act green (whatever it might be) I want to say something. The saddest thing of all is that even when someone is too outspoken about their faith, it bothers me. How horrible am I? I should be cheering them on.

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.

I can't fault others for speaking up about what they believe in. I can be proud of the ones who do speak up, and I can speak up on my own behalf.

*picture taken by: Little Miss Sunshine*

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Freedom


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.

I think people are like that.
Everyone is born into captivity (Romans 3:23 -- For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God). Everyone is a sinner. We're born that way. But we're also born with the nature of being like God (Genesis 9:6 -- for in the imagine of God has God made man). Our nature contradicts our lifestyle. We're made to be free as citizens of the kingdom of heaven. But too many people are scared of that. Too many people don't understand the satisfaction and pleasure of being free in Christ. It's not just a set of rules to follow. I can say from first hand experience that obeying the law of the Lord is an absolute delight and has made my life much easier than the times when I failed to follow the law of the Lord.
America is called the "Land of the Free." Many people in America are American citizens. They are attached to the country because of their citizenship, but that does not mean that they aren't free. They are, in fact, more free than they would be in almost any other country. They are still citizens. Citizenship in the kingdom of heaven is the same thing. Pleasing the Lord is a delight and a privilege, and citizenship in his kingdom isn't a surrender of freedom, it is exactly the opposite.

Don't be afraid of the freedom that the Lord is offering you because it looks scary and unknown. Take it! It's true! It's really freedom. It is a far cry from "another list of rules." Being a citizen in the kingdom of heaven is a privilege, a delight, an honor, and a freedom.

*picture taken by: The Visions of Kai*

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

the world needs more kids as adorable as this.

video

God is so much more.


I am the most humany human in existance.
I want out of myself!
I want to get away from the prison that is my body.
I am so tired of letting my humanness and my physicalness hold me back.
I want my heart to take over.
I want to be bold.
I want to do things that aren't quite so typical.
I want to break away from the expectations that the world has for me.
I want to do things because I know that the Lord has them for me.
I want to stop being so scared of being radical.
I want to stop letting myself rule out certain possibilities because they are "too crazy."

God is so much bigger than this!
God is so much better than this.
God can make me so so so small and that is exactly what my heart desires.
God can take me away from myself when I'm with him because He's God!
God can get rid of the restraints that I have because of my "humanness."
God can be bold, and he can take over and make me bold.
God does completely atypical things!
God has never conformed to the world's expectations!
God is so far above all of this nonsense.
God can be as crazy as He wants because, He can make absolutely anything work for the better of his glory and His kingdom.

God, make me more like you everyday. And get rid of me. I'm so foolish and so silly. I'm so ready to get away from myself.

*picture taken by: Khalid Ghamdi*

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

I Don't Do What I Know


My knowledge often seems to not quite match up with the attitude of my heart.

Here are some things I know:
1. Jesus Christ and his story are the most important things I could ever tell someone.
2. Jesus is more worthy than anything else of my attention and time.
3. Christ is the only thing that keeps me alive.
4. The things of this world are fading and fleeting.
5. Life is short.
6. God thinks I'm the most beautiful thing in the world.

Here are some things I do about it:
1. I pass up some opportunities to tell people this ever-important story.
2. I give my attention and time to myself, friends, boys, and worldly things.
3. I rely on my own capabilities to provide for me and keep me safe and happy.
4. I pursue fortune, beauty, fame, popularity, praise, and approval from the world.
5. I waste my time with things that do nothing to further the Kingdom of Heaven.
6. I look down upon myself and use the expectations of the world to judge myself.

Lord, help me to match my heart with my mind. Show me how to live as I KNOW I should. Teach me how to feel and desire and do the things I know rather than only know them.

Make me less.

*picture taken by: ^i^heavensdarkangel2*

Friday, May 14, 2010

I do, I do..

Hey.
I love Jesus :)

My Unknown Thirst


"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

I Long For You


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.

You are the giver of all hope.
You are the giver of all life.
You are the maker of me.
You know my every thought.
You are the lover of my soul.

I don't deserve You.
Thank you.

*picture taken by: Jade M. Sheldon*

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

He will...

My husband will love me and care about me and love the Lord and he will be able to forgive me for not saving some things for him. He is going to be wonderful. He is going to love the Lord with all of his life. He is going to motivate me to love the Lord more, and invest in my relationship with the Lord. He is going to be my love, and my best friend. I'll look to him, and I'll confide in him. He'll joke around with me, and laugh with me. He'll look at me like I'm the most beautiful woman in the world. He'll hold me as if I could break. He'll think I'm precious and I'll be so special to him. We will honor the Lord with our lives and our time and our money and our words and our actions.
I can't wait.

time for something new

I'm here. It feels surreal. I can't believe its over. I will never ever forget this school year. I almost hope I will in some ways. I've never been through so much in 8 months.

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.
I had so many firsts. My first recital. My first time playing guitar for people. My first C, unfortunately. My first "hit" song. :) My first apartment. My first cooking lesson. My first surprise birthday party. My first boyfriend. My first love. My first heartbreak. My first breakup. My first (and second and third and fourth) forever goodbye.
And now the next time all those things come around they'll be my seconds. I wish that wasn't how it had to be. I wish I still had a lot of those firsts to come. I wish I hadn't given so much of my heart away and I wish I still had my first love and first kiss and first boyfriend to give to someone who loves me and plans to marry me.
Time goes on, though, and I have to move on with it. Not ahead of it waiting for tomorrow to bring my hopes along; not lagging behind looking around at the memories of my yesterdays, but with it. Looking at each day as it is. Where am I right now? I have to see today to have memories tomorrow.
Hearts will heal, and I can forgive myself.
I'm home. I'm here. Now is the time for something new.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

a good conversation

There’s nothing I appreciate more than a good conversation. I absolutely adore talking to people I love. I love the moment where I just know that the person I’m talking to said something special to me that they don’t really tell too many people. I love opening up to people. I love being honest and vulnerable with people. I love letting people know that I trust them. I love staying up all night when I had planned on going to bed at eleven. The feeling of saying goodbye after a great conversation is never sad for me, it is fulfilling. It is completing. I love how God gave me this love and enjoyment in conversation, and I pray that I will use it for his glory. He deserves it, after all.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Change

Its never hurt so bad to say goodbye. I've never really had to do this. Say goodbye to people that I might not ever see again. And if I do see them again, I don't know when and it could only be once or twice. The first and probably hardest goodbye was 4 days ago. Precisely 3 days 23 hours and about 15 minutes ago. I have one more goodbye today, and, depending on circumstances, either one or 4 goodbyes tomorrow. I can't do this. It just feel like everything should be so different than it is. I really don't want this school year to end. I hate change.