Sunday, November 25, 2012

Living Right Now

Everything moves by much too quickly.  Nothing can be pinned down.  No moment will remain.  No memory will remain as vivid as the reality from which it grew.

Everyone realizes this truth and longs for the past, and yet, as we have the opportunity to grasp and appreciate moments as they come, we do not see the same value in those moments as they are present as when they are past.  We always look forward, always long for something new.  Yet when that new moment comes and we have the opportunity to make a beautiful memory, we have already forgotten it, and are looking forward to the next new moment.  A vicious circle. A downward spiral.  Leading toward empty longing and, therefore, empty hearts.

I find myself trapped in this human tendency.  I desire new, and yet long for old, but never treasure the moment in which I'm living.  The final year of college is a year of lasts.  I find myself wishing I had realized how I would long for the simple pleasures.  I wish I had not taken everything for granted.  I wish I had known then what I know now.  I wish I could start over, but have all my lessons learned.
When I was young, we moved far away from home, and I would pray that it was all a bad dream.  I would imagine myself waking up and being at home where I had friends and familiarity.  I have those same wishes now, but not because I am afraid, I just want it all to be better.  Everyone says, "don't regret any moment in your life because everything in your life made you who you are today," but that is a hard pill to swallow.  If I had done some things differently, wouldn't I be better?  Wouldn't I have better relationships?  Wouldn't I have kept myself from doing certain things and exposing myself to certain things? If I had known then what I know now, I would have done a much better job.  Not only that, but I would treasure the moments that I now wish I could have again.  I would make more memories.  I wouldn't take things for granted.  I would take life a lot slower.

I know I can't go back, but I can move forward.  Only, I don't want to think about the "forward" part too much.  I want to think about the "now" part.  The part in which I can make memories.  The part that I can treasure.  The part for which I can thank the Lord as it happens.  Looking ahead isn't bad, but I want there to be more to life than what's to come.  I want it to be about the moment.  I want to be where I am. The present.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Learning Love

Tomorrow is the day.  Move-in day.  This always seems to be the day when I write something to commemorate the event.  It is a memorable day.  A lot of things change on this day.  Today the most important thing I have to say is that the summer was easily one of the best. Ever.  God moved in ways I've never experienced.  There were hard times.  It definitely wasn't rainbows and butterflies all summer.  But beyond all of that stuff that was a little bit more difficult, I learned all about love.  Loving people.  Loving God.  Loving the moment.  I learned how to love without feeling like it.  I learned how to love people who are hard to love.  I learned that love is sometimes holding my tongue.  Love is sometimes not what I expect.

Praise the Lord that He teaches me.  Praise Him that He's growing me everyday.  I am who He's made me to be everyday because He's made me to be exactly who I am in each moment.  He is so good.

Friday, June 15, 2012

I'm a little bit weary of a few things in my life.  All the things that are hard are only present because of my sinful nature coming out.  I'm allowing it to show itself.

Help me to find joy in You alone.  When I feel frustrated or rejected help me to hear the devil's voice in those words.  I am loved by the only one that matters, and that is You, Father.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Sunlight. Lots of Sunlight.

I may end up being of rather humble means in my future.  I may also end up being quite secure in the area of my bank account.  Either way, my home will have sunlight.  Lots of sunlight.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Good and Faithful Servant

Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance.  Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. -James 1:2-4

We get to consider it pure joy, not somewhat joyful and definitely not at all dreadful, but complete and utter joy when we face trials.  Not just some trials, but trials of many kinds.  There are many trials that God will send your way in life, and He wants to help you, and strengthen you, and bring you closer to Himself through those.  He isn't punishing you.  When you pray that He would be close, and that you would know Him better... chances are you're going to go through something tough.  Maybe that means you'll have to rely on God for some pretty hefty provision, or you lose a loved one, or you have to work really hard to restore a relationship in your life, or you won't have a job for a while, or everyone will hate you.  Maybe it means you'll feel no closer to God, but He wants you to keep asking so that you really know how much you want Him.

When these things happen in our lives, we are being completed.  God is constructing us to be the complete beings that we will be in heaven.  We won't lack anything.  We'll finally be whole.  Finished.  We won't need prayer, or trials, or spiritual gifts because we'll be right there with our creator.  We'll be in His arms, resting from our hardships here on earth. We'll be in eternal rest.  I don't want to get to heaven, and then, even for a moment, have to think, "I wish I'd done more on earth."  I want my rest in heaven to actually be rest because I really was working hard here.

So, I want to take the trials and the testing.  I want to work.  I want to be tired when I'm done, so that when I get to heaven, God can say, "Well done, good and faithful servant."

Friday, May 4, 2012

That "New Morning" Sun

Today I woke up at 5:30 (then I went back to sleep until about 5:52) to go to a Young Life breakfast.  It was awesome, but I had to drink some McDonald's coffee (which isn't really that great, btw) to stay awake.  We had pancakes, and talked about Jesus bringing Jairus' daughter back to life.  It was great to start my day off by seeing some awesome people, but all of that is beside my point.  Since it was so early, I got to drive while the sun was rising, and then I got to drive back to school while the sun was still that "new morning" kind of sun that looks nice and fresh.  I was driving back looking at this "new morning" sun, and realizing that I am more blessed than I thought. God made the world, and He made it beautiful... because He's God, and that's what He does: He makes beautiful things. He also made me, but He didn't make the beauty for me.  He made it because it is a testament to His glory.

Keep that in your mind, and we'll go to the other side of my point.  You know how people always see pretty things, (particularly sun sets and sun rises) and take pictures of them?  They take pictures because they look so beautiful, but personally, my pictures NEVER turn out the way I want them to.  It always looks more beautiful to my eye.  A picture simply cannot capture all the magnitude of the glory that is beheld in the sight.  Look at the picture above. The photographer described this sunrise as "magnificent," but it looks quite ordinary to me.  The picture could not capture the atmosphere, only the visual, and even still... the visual is not as beautiful in the picture as in person.  The picture can't make us feel like we are surrounded with all the sunlight, dew, and fogginess of this London morning.  Our eyes and our senses do that!  God created us with such perfected senses that we can experience the magnificence of moments like the one that this photographer attempted to capture.  We can't create a camera that could ever do that for us.

So, God created the beauty, and God created our senses.  He didn't create the beauty for our senses, and yet He created our senses for the beauty! To have eyes, and a nose, and nerves, and ears to experience moments like this is the most sublime blessing I can imagine.  It's not for us, and yet we are allowed to take part in it.

Praise God! Praise His Holy Name!
Picture taken by: nhilmy

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Be Glad for Every "Today"

This is the day that the LORD has made.  Let us rejoice and be glad today! -Psalm 118:24 (NCV)

When I think about this verse, I am usually having a good day.  What about the days when everyone is getting on my nerves, when it's cloudy and cold, when I lose my job, get a bad grade, lose a friend, break up with a boyfriend, feel too tired to do anything, lose my wallet, hurt myself, and what about the days when everything that could go wrong goes wrong?  Do I rejoice in those days?  God has a specific plan for those days too.  He is rejoicing in those days because he sees where they will take me.  He can see past the moment into eternity and when He sees me lose a friend, He sees me months down the road when I can help someone else who is losing a friend.  When I am frustrated with everyone, He sees the opportunities I will have that day to love people.  When I am tired, He sees how I can serve people despite how tired I am.  When I lose my job, He sees how He's going to show me that He is a great and faithful provider.  When I get a bad grade, He sees how I will work harder next time to honor Him through my hard work.  He sees things through a lens of love and faith and eternity and grace.  I am too caught up in the moment to even realize that there could be a positive.

I am challenging myself to see the good in every single thing that goes wrong today (it's been a good day for that so far... things haven't quite been going the way I'd hoped).  Keep me accountable.
picture taken by: Digimist

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

I'm So Unworthy

Thank you, Father for giving me unreal patience when the devil screams at me to react. Thank you for always drawing me back to Yourself, even when my world is more wonderful than ever. Thank you for not letting me be satisfied outside of Your presence. Thank you for being a God who doesn't just forgive, but forgets. Thank you for loving me beyond my wildest dreams. Thank you for instilling vision in me. Thank you for being the still, small voice in my heart urging me to run towards you. Even though I don't always listen to that voice, thank you for never leaving me. Thank you for being consistently Yourself, even when I push You away and curse your name.

You are worth far more than any love I could ever give you. You deserve far more praise than any words my mouth could ever utter. You deserve much more time than the millions of minutes I've already lived and the millions more I may live if You so will.

You are holy. Great and mighty.
The moon and the stars declare who You are.
I'm so unworthy, but still You love me.
Forever my heart will sing of how great You are.

Monday, March 26, 2012

We Are the Favorites

This study of Hebrews has been so sweet. I'm finding things here that I've never grasped or understood. God is teaching me basic truths about Himself in beautiful new ways. The study has revolved around the main subject of Hebrews: Why did Jesus come and die? Its all about God's reasoning for sending Jesus and why it had to happen. Today I read Hebrews 9:15-22 which basically says that Jesus had to come because someone's blood had to be shed in order for the new covenant to take effect. The writer compares the covenant to a will. Hebrews 9:16-18: "In the case of a will, it is necessary to prove the death of the one who made it, because a will is in force only when somebody had died; it never takes effect while the one who made it is living. That is why even the first covenant was not put into effect without blood." The first covenant was put into effect with the blood of goats and calves, but the new covenant was put into effect by Jesus' blood. We could look at it this way: Jesus is the true recipient of all of God's favor. He's the one that it belonged to, but He said that when he died he wanted all of us to be given all of God's favor. Basically, we are the recipient of the most desired prize of Jesus' will. We got the entire estate. We were the favorites on the will. Without His death, he would still be the only one who lives in God's favor.
Picture found on: MyHomeIdeas