Tuesday, September 22, 2009

"True Discipleship" quote

This is a quote on prayer from a book I'm reading...
It's rather fantastic and I've actually been thinking a lot about prayer recently.

You can read "True Discipleship" online at

but until then... chew on this =)

“To ask, ‘In His Name,’ means to be taken by the hand and led to prayer by Him; it means, may I say, His kneeling by our side and His desires flowing through our heart. That is what it means. ‘In His Name.’ His Name is what He is, His nature, and therefore to pray in the Name of Christ must mean to pray according to His blessed will. Can I pray for evil in the Name of the Son of God? What I pray for should really be an expression of His nature. Can I do that in prayer? Prayer should breathe the power of the Holy Spirit, the mind of Christ, the desires of Christ in us and for us. The Lord teach us more and more to pray in His Name. We should not think of closing a prayer, without the very words: ‘In the blessed Name of our Lord,’ but then the whole supplication should be infiltrated by, permeated by the blessed Name of Jesus—all according to that Name”—Samuel Ridout.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

True Discipleship

These are long quotes but read them because they are very good and you'll feel convicted if you don't.

I am currently reading a book by William MacDonald called "True Discipleship."

I just read a section entitled "zeal." A true disciple of Christ is a zealot! Look at Paul =)

There were two very convicting quotations that I wanted to share. The first is a letter written by an American college student who had converted to Communism while in Mexico. The purpose of this letter was to his fiancee to explain why he had to break off their engagement.

"We Communists have a high casualty rate. We're the ones who get shot and hung and lynched and tarred and feathered and jailed and slandered, and ridiculed and fired from our jobs, and in every other way made as uncomfortable as possible. A certain percentage of us get killed or imprisoned. We live in virtual poverty. We turn back to the party every penny we make above what is absolutely necessary to keep us alive.

We Communists don't have the time or the money for many movies, or concerts, or T-bone steaks, or decent homes and new cars. We've been described as fanatics. We are fanatics. Our lives are dominated by one great overshadowing factor: the struggle for world Communism.

We Communists have a philosophy of life which no amount of money could buy. We have a cause to fight for, a definite purpose in life. We subordinate our petty personal selves into a great movement of humanity, and if our personal lives seem hard, or our egos appear to suffer through subordination to the party, then we are adequately compensated by the thought that each of us in his small way is contributing to something new and true and better for mankind.

There is one thing in which I am dead earnest and that is the Communist cause. It is my life, my business, my religion, my hobby, my sweetheart, my wife and mistress, my bread and meat. I work at it in the daytime and dream of it at night. Its hold on me grows, not lessens as time goes on. Therefore I cannot carry on a friendship, a love affair, or even a conversation without relating to this force which both drives and guides my life. I evaluate people, books, ideas and actions according to how they effect the Communist cause and by their attitude toward it. I've already been in jail because of my ideas and if necessary, I'm ready to go before a firing squad."

He's talking about Communism.

Christian, your purpose is much greater than any political ideal. You have something that is worth being zealous about.

The other quote I've been giving thought to is a description by Bishop Ryle of what "zeal" means.

"A zealous man in religion is pre-eminently a man of one thing. It is not enough to say that he is earnest, hearty, uncompromising. thorough-going, whole-hearted, fervent in spirit. He only sees one thing, he cares for one thing, he lives for one thing, he is swallowed up in one thing; and that one thing is to please God. Whether he lives, or whether he dies,--whether he has health, or whether he has sickness,--whether he is rich, or whether he is poor,--whether he pleases man, or whether he gives offense,--wether he is thought wise, or whether he is thought foolish,--whether he gets blame, or whether he gets praise,--whether he gets honor, or whether he gets shame,--for all this the zealous man cares nothing at all. He burns for one thing; and that one thing is to please God, and to advance God's glory. If he is consumed in the very burning, he cares not for it,--he is content. He feels that, like a lamp, he is made to burn; and if consumed in burning, he has but done the work for which God appointed him. Such a one will always find a sphere for his zeal. If he cannot preach, and work, and give money, he will cry, and sigh, and pray. Yes; if he is only a pauper, on a perpetual bed of sickness, he will make the wheels of sin around him drive heavily, by continually interceding against it. If he cannot fight in the valley with Joshua, he will do the work of Moses, Aaron, and Hur, on the hill. (Exod. 17:9-13) If he is cut off from working himself, he will give the Lord no rest till help is raised up from another quarter, and the work is done. This is what I mean when I speak of "zeal" in religion."

Friday, August 28, 2009

Devotional on Prayer- Oswald Chambers


"Lord, teach us to pray." Luke 11:1

It is not part of the life of a natural man to pray. We hear it said that a man will suffer in his life if he does not pray; I question it. What will suffer is the life of the Son of God in him, which is nourished not by food, but by prayer. When a man is born from above, the life of the Son of God is born in him, and he can either starve that life or nourish it. Prayer is the way the life of God is nourished. Our ordinary views of prayer are not found in the New Testament. We look upon prayer as a means of getting things for ourselves; the Bible idea of prayer is that we may get to know God Himself.

"Ask and ye shall receive." We grouse before God, we are apologetic or apathetic, but we ask very few things. Yet what a splendid audacity a childlike child has! Our Lord says - "Except ye become as little children." Ask, and God will do. Give Jesus Christ a chance, give Him elbow room, and no man will ever do this unless he is at his wits' end. When a man is at his wits' end it is not a cowardly thing to pray, it is the only way he can get into touch with Reality. Be yourself before God and present your problems, the things you know you have come to your wits' end over. As long as you are self-sufficient, you do not need to ask God for anything.

It is not so true that "prayer changes things" as that prayer changes me and I change things. God has so constituted things that prayer on the basis of Redemption alters the way in which a man looks at things. Prayer is not a question of altering things externally, but of working wonders in a man's disposition.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Some thoughts on Unity

Why is unity crucial?

God could have chosen to reveal Himself in a number of different ways. But He has chosen to use the body to bring people to Himself. He chose weak people, working together in relationship to show His infinite, unfailing love.

God is relationship. He is the trinity. The three working together in absolute submission and harmony makes up one holy, perfect God. Therefore, it makes sense that we must express our relational God through... relationships!

"We loved you so much that we were delighted to share with you not only the gospel of God but our lives as well, because you had become so dear to us." 1 Thessalonians 2:8

Relationships are crucial to express the character of God and relationships are the foundation of unity: first a persons relationship with Christ, than their relationships with other believers.

To be unified, there must be one truth, one goal, and one purpose to unite around. A body will not see anyone saved if they unite around the purpose of having fun.

The only One to unite around is Jesus Christ!

He is worth uniting around. He gives us purpose. He is our truth. Our goal is to become like Him. He is the basis for all our relationships.

Unity is crucial because it sets Christians apart.

A unified body is like 3,000 lbs of dynamite on the gates of hell. One Christian can be a firecracker maybe, but when we work together for the purpose of the Gospel, we cannot be stopped.

Unity comes when the object is Christ.

I had the privilege of being part of a Bible study last year that was extremely unified. So each person went to the activities not because we always did really sweet stuff but because we wanted to be with each other in the body. So I hate Chinese food, but I’d go with my Bible study because I wanted to be with the body! The object wasn't Chinese food it was Christ! =)

It no longer matters what activity you're doing because the purpose is to bring God glory. Your hobbies become the hobbies of the people you are around, the people you are trying to love and the ones you are serving alongside.

"When I am with those who are weak, I share their weakness, for I want to bring the weak to Christ. Yes, I try to find common ground with everyone, doing everything I can to save some. I do everything to spread the Good News and share in its blessings." 1 Corinthians 9:22-23 (NLT)

Unity requires thinking the best of the believers you are serving with.

Unity will grow when you choose to think the best about your brothers and sisters. Satan will attack your mind on this point. You must guard your minds from thinking badly of anyone, and especially those you are serving with. You have to believe that God is just as real in someone else’s life as He is in yours. If you do not believe God is working and convicting them are you really trusting God?

Commit your brothers and sisters to the Lord!

"Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things." Philippians 4:8

This point from Oswald Chambers daily devotional "My Utmost for His Highest" stuck with me: Sometimes God lets you know others weaknesses for the sole purpose of getting you to pray for them. You may not be able to do anything about it, but it helps your own heart to commit them to the Lord.

Unity requires taking your trials to the Lord first.

I know personally that no human being can handle the rage of emotions in my heart. The chaotic explosions in my heart can only be calmed, sorted, can only be cured and put at peace by the promises of God.

If you are asking others to handle your emotions, and be your source of comfort, you commit idolatry. Putting anyone besides Jesus Christ, between you and God is idolatry.

(See last blog for more about idolatry)

Your relationship with God does not depend on anyone else.

“For there is only one God and one Mediator who can reconcile God and humanity—the man Christ Jesus.”

1 Timothy 2:5

Monday, August 10, 2009

Trust. Quietly, expectantly anticipating God's goodness, or Fear?

" Let all that I am wait quietly before God,
for my hope is in him.
He alone is my rock and my salvation,
my fortress where I will not be shaken.
My victory and honor come from God alone.
He is my refuge, a rock where no enemy can reach me.
O my people, trust in him at all times.
Pour out your heart to him,
for God is our refuge."
Psalm 62:5-8 (NLT)

It seems that before school starts each year God breaks me and shows me how weak I really am. So... These are the things God has put on my heart in the past few weeks...

Change is difficult, but without change the passion and excitement of following God is sucked from your life. In my experience, when a Christian becomes comfortable with their situation they slowly cease to step out in faith and therefore end up being less effective. As a wise great commission pastor once said in a sermon, "if you want to see God come through put yourself in a position where you're in real trouble if he doesn't." Comfort is dangerous.

I think that sometimes I have a difficult time distinguishing between comfort and support. Support is often times comfortable. I've been emotional exhausted because of all the changes going on in my life this summer. They're good changes, but hard changes. So my emotions of being jealous and upset bring on emotions of frustration because the first emotions can't be cured by logic. I've been falling apart and I couldn't figure out why, but I have come to the conclusion that I was lacking support because I was not searching for my support from the right source, the only Source.
I have a tendency to put unreal pressure on the people closest to me to hold me together during difficult times. I want those people to act as funnels for me, and have them feed me strength from the Lord, however that is not only impossible, but it is actually idolatry.
Jesus Christ is the one mediator. We have access to the Father through Jesus alone! When I treat people in a manner that asks them to lead me to the Father it is putting the redeemed in the place of the Redeemer!
(I do believe that other people can direct me towards Jesus and in turn to the Father, but I am pointing out that in my life I have the tendency to ask others to do the work for me instead of actually seeking out the Father for myself.)
I want people to be my constant, but people change!
God must be my only constant, my only source. He is the only one who has the ability to enable me to live a life pleasing to Him!

The second thought I have been thinking about quite a bit in the last two days is how easy it is for me to freak out about things.
The world is utterly chaotic. People change. Relationships change as the people in them change. People's attitudes, likes, and even personalities change. Growth, which is commonly accepted as a good thing, is change! Many of the changes I've been experiencing seem to be so good for other people and so detrimental to my life. Yes, this is quite a selfish point of view. But I've felt left behind in a lot of ways and very alone. The devil likes to feed me these kind of lies, but this is what God has given me to overcome them!
God has promised me that he loves me. He loves me. He loves me.
He is also in control, whether or not I feel like it. Nothing happens outside of His will, because He is a master designer and planned all of this before the world began.
And finally, God is good. God = good. It is not just a characteristic, it is His very nature. He cannot be bad, because He is only good!

There is no problem that I can freak out about if I really believe what the Bible says about my God! So instead of coming at a problem and thinking, "Oh my goodness, what am I going to do when _____ happens and I can't handle it, and I'm alone and I feel deserted!" I can approach a problem with an attitude of, "I know that you are in control, I know you are good, and you've promised to take care of me, so I am excited to see how you are going to work this for your glory and my good!"
I have found that when I decide to trust in God's character I have an unreal amount of joy!! And the things that caused me so much pain, and all this insecurity are the things that I am the most excited about! I get to hold onto my Father's hand as He leads me into something new!! New friendships, new depths in my current relationships, and new trials that continue to refine me.
Most of all I am excited to understand how deep my Father's love is for me.
I have come to understand more of my own wretchedness and there is more than enough love pouring into my life from my Father to cover anything I could ever do!!
"And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord." Romans 8:38-39 (NLT)

I am daily convinced more and more that He is the only reality and the only Truth.
Praise God!

Friday, August 7, 2009

A thought to meditate on

"The vicarious life of your Lord is to become your vital simple life; the way He worked and lived among men must be the way He lives in you." -Oswald Chambers

What does this mean in your life?

Saturday, August 1, 2009


I thought this was phenomenal and it really challenged and encouraged me. It is from Oswald Chambers daily devotional My Utmost for His Highest.


He comes where He commands us to leave.

"When Jesus had made an end of commanding his disciples, he departed thence to teach and to preach in their cities." Matthew 11:1.

If when God said "Go," you stayed because you were so concerned about your people at home, you robbed them of the teaching and preaching of Jesus Christ Himself. When you obeyed and left all consequences to God, the Lord went into your city to teach; as long as you would not obey, you were in the way. Watch where you begin to debate and to put what you call duty in competition with your Lord's commands. "I know He told me to go, but then my duty was here;" that means you do not believe that Jesus means what He says.

He teaches where He instructs us not to.

"Master, . . . let us make three tabernacles."

Are we playing the spiritual amateur providence in other lives? Are we so noisy in our instruction of others that God cannot get anywhere near them? We have to keep our mouths shut and our spirits alert. God wants to instruct us in regard to His Son, He wants to turn our times of prayer into mounts of transfiguration, and we will not let Him. When we are certain of the way God is going to work, He will never work in that way any more.

He works where He sends us to wait.

"Tarry ye . . . until . . ." Wait on God and He will work, but don't wait in spiritual sulks because you cannot see an inch in front of you! Are we detached enough from our own spiritual hysterics to wait on God? To wait is not to sit with folded hands, but to learn to do what we are told.

These are phases of His ways we rarely recognize.

Monday, July 20, 2009

James 3:13-18

Just some thoughts I've been meditating on today =)

"Who is wise and understanding among you? By his good conduct let him show his works in the meekness of wisdom. But if you have bitter jealousy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast and be false to the truth. This is not the wisdom that comes down from above, but is earthly, unspiritual, demonic. For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there will be disorder and every vile practice. But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere. And a harvest of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace."

James 3:13-18

"Who is wise and understanding among you? By his good conduct let him show his works in the meekness of wisdom"
Show your wisdom by your good conduct --> not to attract attention to the things you're doing, but act meekly. Wisdom has power but meekness means using that power in a gracious way so as to not attraction attention or praise to oneself.

"But if you have bitter jealousy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast and be false to the truth."
What is true about you? Do not act like you're more important than you are. It should be evident from your conduct that you love the truth.

"This is not the wisdom that comes down from above, but is earthly, unspiritual, demonic. For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there will be disorder and every vile practice."
Jealousy and selfishness destroy everything good.
Seeking your own good above others is demonic.
Seeking your own good will bring about "every vile practice."

"But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere."
God's wisdom is pure
The world's wisdom says, "whatever feels good must be right"
God's wisdom is peaceable
The world's wisdom is proud and selfish
God's wisdom is gentle
The world's wisdom is harsh to those unable to work the system
God's wisdom is open to reason
The world's wisdom is afraid to be wrong
God's wisdom is full of mercy
The world's wisdom does not understand true mercy
God's wisdom is full of good fruits
The world's wisdom brings about depraved societies
God's wisdom is impartial
The world's wisdom says to treat those who you can get something from better than those without anything to offer
God's wisdom is sincere
The world's wisdom is fickle and ever changing

"And a harvest of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace."

Righteousness is produced by peacemaking
making peace, sows seeds of righteousness that when nurtured will bring about even more righteous behavior

Tuesday, July 14, 2009


These are some lyrics I just typed up... Just what I've been praying and thinking lately. I'd like to hear your thoughts on them to maybe improve them or if any verses come to mind as you read. Pretty rough version.. just thought I'd share because it expresses what I've been thinking and learning recently.

My heart is divided and I cannot unite it

I need your truth to ignite my passion your word should move me to action, Lord

I need your sight to open my eyes to who I am

I’ve been searching and calling I’ve been running and falling

I need your grace to enable me I know I’m forgiven, free, Lord

I need to believe the things that you say are true

And it’s a fight

It’s a struggle

To defeat the enemy’s lies

But my Savior has given me weapons and I will not compromise

Though my heart may rage within me, my purpose remains clear

I will choose to glorify you even when no one is near

You have promised a crown of life for those who stay strong

I am claiming the promise that your plan goes beyond this

I need your light to show me the way I know I’ll meet you someday, Lord

Show me how you give new strength to those who seek

Thursday, July 9, 2009

The Great Probing

I share these because they have been a great blessing in my life. I hope you gain as much encouragement from them as I do! =)

July 9th.

"Ye cannot serve the Lord." Joshua 24:19

Have you the slightest reliance on anything other than God? Is there a remnant of reliance left on any natural virtue, any set of circumstances? Are you relying on yourself in any particular in this new proposition which God has put before you? That is what the probing means. It is quite true to say - "I cannot live a holy life," but you can decide to let Jesus Christ make you holy. "Ye cannot serve the Lord God"; but you can put yourself in the place where God's almighty power will come through you. Are you sufficiently right with God to expect Him to manifest His wonderful life in you?

"Nay, but we will serve the Lord." It is not an impulse, but a deliberate commitment. You say - But God can never have called me to this, I am too unworthy, it can't mean me. It does mean you, and the weaker and feebler you are, the better. The one who has something to trust in is the last one to come anywhere near saying - "I will serve the Lord."

We say - "If I really could believe!" The point is - If I really will believe. No wonder Jesus Christ lays such emphasis on the sin of unbelief. "And He did not many mighty works there because of their unbelief." If we really believed that God meant what He said - what should we be like! Dare I really let God be to me all that He says He will be?

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

My Utmost for His Highest

Excerpt from good ol' Ozzie.

Are You Obsessed by Something?

"Who is the man that fears the Lord?"

—Psalm 25:12

Are you obsessed by something? You will probably say, "No, by nothing," but all of us are obsessed by something— usually by ourselves, or, if we are Christians, by our own experience of the Christian life. But the psalmist says that we are to be obsessed by God. The abiding awareness of the Christian life is to be God Himself, not just thoughts about Him. The total being of our life inside and out is to be absolutely obsessed by the presence of God. A child’s awareness is so absorbed in his mother that although he is not consciously thinking of her, when a problem arises, the abiding relationship is that with the mother. In that same way, we are to "live and move and have our being" in God ( Acts 17:28  ), looking at everything in relation to Him, because our abiding awareness of Him continually pushes itself to the forefront of our lives.

If we are obsessed by God, nothing else can get into our lives— not concerns, nor tribulation, nor worries. And now we understand why our Lord so emphasized the sin of worrying. How can we dare to be so absolutely unbelieving when God totally surrounds us? To be obsessed by God is to have an effective barricade against all the assaults of the enemy.

"He himself shall dwell in prosperity . . ." ( Psalm 25:13 ). God will cause us to "dwell in prosperity," keeping us at ease, even in the midst of tribulation, misunderstanding, and slander, if our "life is hidden with Christ in God" (Colossians 3:3). We rob ourselves of the miraculous, revealed truth of this abiding companionship with God. "God is our refuge . . ." ( Psalm 46:1  ). Nothing can break through His shelter of protection.

I just thought I'd share this because it was fantastic.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

What a kind and gracious Master I serve!

The year is ending. Reflecting, I realized I could not have asked for something as awesome as what God blessed me with this year. So if you are a herriott girl, this is my heart for you. If you are not a herriott girl, read this anyway and praise God for His saints!
I could sing these girls praises, and tell you of the things God has done through them!
God knew exactly what I needed when He placed me in the Riot this year. He is miraculously kind and infinately gracious to me.
=) It is my joy to serve Him.

I wanted to write and say thank you to all the girls in my life group. They mean so much to me. I could not have planned better friendships. I could not have chosen more loving people. They truly display God's love to me through their lives, through their service to the Lord, through their love not only for me, but for each other. It is contagious. It is exhilarating.
What an amazing blessing they have been to me.
I'll admit I was fearful at the beginning of the year. I am not what people expect me to be. God has graciously given me "a good name" that I do not deserve. But never once have I felt looked down upon; never once have I felt inferior; never once have I felt like any of the girls in my lifegroup saw me as anything less then what God says I am. Their actions have only ever communicated love out of a pure heart that adores the Lord.
They challenge me.
They encourage me.
I feel revitalized after spending time with each one of them.
Each one is concerned for the other parts, and therefore everyone is taken care of! There is no selfishness. God resides in the temple of each of these women! They let the Lord work through their talents, through their gifts, and through their submission to God's will, I get to know the piece of God that has made His home in their hearts! I get to know God's very own Spirit manifested in these awesome women!!

I have seen very few women love the Lord and serve with their hearts the way you love and serve Him. I've seen you choose to give things up for the purpose of the gospel. (things you very easily could've held onto) I've seen you on your "bad days" and seen God's grace poured out on you in a very real and tangible way. I value your honesty more than anything else besides your love for the Lord. You are real with me, you are real with yourselves, and real with each other. Coming from a life of fakes, your honesty and genuineness is a treasure to me. I am afraid to "need" people. I am afraid of being vulnerable because of the power that someone has when they know you. But I am happy to share my life with you, and I do need each one of you.
I am proud to say that =) because over and over you've shown that you really are God's righteousness! (2 Cor 5!!)
Thank you for loving Jesus.
Thank you for sharing your lives with me.
Thank you for your example!
What a blessing you have been to me! I praise God for you! =)

He has done great things, bless His holy name! =)

Saturday, April 25, 2009

He will be first

I've been extremely frustrated with my school work recently because everything I do requires me to be creative. I don't get to copy something from a book and turn it in. I must copy what is in my brain and expose it to the world to see, evaluate, ridicule, reject, or ignore. Maybe this doesn't seem like a very big deal, but I'll explain why it is to me.

I am not content to create anything without meaning. I do not think it is possible. Nothing is arbitrary, even when you mean for something to "not have meaning" that is a meaning in itself!
I am doing a lot of designing, for advertisments, for artistic compositions... etc.
I design things with specific purpose. I create compositions by thinking of what I want to communicate and usually pictures come into my head when I visualize my thoughts... that is were my art work comes from... the pictures in my head that express my thoughts.
So this means that everything I create holds some part of me.
This scares me. I think that's completely logical for me to be fearful. It's like a small portion of my heart for other people to critque.
But more than the fear of people knowing me, is my fear of being "appreciated"
Art is not something to be "appreciated" but something to be accepted and understood.
Don't get me wrong... There is a place for the kind of art work that just "looks pretty", but I would challenge the definition of art as something more than eye candy.
So my fear is not of someone critiquing my technique, or my use of color, my fear is that my work, that is part of me, will not be given the value that I give it myself; that my work will be misunderstood for something it is not; that I will not effectively communicate my heart; that people will not realize that it is my heart. The object becomes me; not a canvas, but my heart in acrylic form.

How does the Lord fit into this?

God is an artist. He created the entire world. I do not think any of His creation is arbitrary either! If I am sinful and human and I am not satisfied to make work that does not hold meaning, do you think that the Holy God of the universe created anything without meaning?
And can I say that I do not think God sent his Son into the world to be "appreciated", but He sent him so we would accept Him, and understand who He is!!
He has put his heart ever before us! Everything He created is an expression of His being! Although fallen and defaced, this Earth still bears the unmistakable marks of a Master Sculptor.

I asked God to be the Lord of my school.. He is showing me that He will be first.
This is what He's taught me so far
I desire to have my work express who Christ is in me.
to be a replication of His masterpieces, of His heart...
I want to only create in a way that reflects what His creation originally reflected!

I want my art to be a mirror that only ever shows God's truth. His Glory.
It is for Him.
It is to make known who He is.
And only ever for these things do I want to create.
Cause me to be unable to produce something if it is not true.
Cause me to fall into a creative slum if I cease to glorify you in my work.
Block my words. Blind my eyes. Break my hands.
If they will not create for You. They will not create at all.

Monday, April 13, 2009

The Relational Kingdom of God

I was out sharing last thursday. There were three of us, so we took turns walking in pairs of two while the third person prayed. During my time praying I realized a few things I'd like to share.

I was walking and looking at people, and I realized

I can understand the big picture of salvation, and what that means for the world, and I can understand how the body of Christ functions, but the kingdom of God is about individuals. 
The kingdom of God is about that one man's story, about that woman's hurts, about that child's dreams, and how God wants to take them and make them into something beautiful that glorifies Him! God is concerned about what that lady had to go through this morning while trying to get her kids to school, He is concerned about the payroll check that didn't go through for the guy working construction and trying to provide for his two kids that don't know their mother, He is interested in the picture that the child drew for her sister, He is thinking of the teenage girl who wants so badly to be loved that she destroys her body through the way she eats or doesn't eat... 
His heart is moved to compassion for the weak, the broken, the sinful...
The kingdom of God is not about "people" in the general sense, but about each individual person in the relational sense.
Understanding that, be moved to compassion by the things God cares about; each person's stories, hurts, the sins that continually trap them. 
God desires to free them so he can lavish
His love on them.
Forever Engulfed by His grace, His forgiveness, His freedom!!!
I believe that is His desire.
When someone is loved, it shows by the way they act. You can tell when someone is loved, their whole attitude is different! Just look at a woman who is newly engaged, she radiates! 
Every individual person on the face of the Earth is loved by their Creator in a very real, very passionate way. Every person should be able to radiate in the same way that our newly engaged lady does!!!
Even more so!!!
The love of our Savior is infinitely more valuable, more passionate, more REAL, then the love of another human could ever, or can ever be.
Do you believe that? Really, truly  believe it?
It is true.
It is more real than the chair you are sitting on.

God's love is just as real in a strangers life, as it is in mine.
I can do nothing without Him.
His desire is for people, so my desire must be for them as well.
He has passionately and lovingly proposed to every person, and He asks me to make his proposal known.
I am relaying His affections.
His affections are not determined by status, appearance, power, money, knowledge, education, infirmities, talents, personalities, or anything else we may noticed about a person.

Also, have a quiet time at the valley west mall sometime. Sit on the coach, watch people.. read God's word.. and when it says, "Preach the word in and out of season"
... You have no excuse not to obey.

Because of Your Love

Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit; and there are varieties of service but the same Lord; and there are varieties of activities , but it is the same God who empowers them all in everyone. To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good.
1 Corinthians 12:4-7
Now you are the body of Christ and individually members of it.
1 Corinthians 12:27

Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Do all work miracles? Do all possess gifts of healing? Do all speak with tongues? Do all interpret? But earnestly desire the higher gifts.
And I will show you a still more excellent way.
1 Corinthians 12:29-31

Paul finishes writing 1 Corinthians 12 by saying he will show the Corinthians a more excellent way to pursue the higher spiritual gifts, then he talks to them about love. I had never before noticed that the reason he is writing about love has to do with spiritual gifts. When Paul writes, "If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal", he is making reference to someone desiring the gift of tongues. Likewise....
"And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains but have not love, I am nothing."
refers to someone having or desiring the gift of prophecy.

"Prophecy and speaking in unknown languages and special knowledge will become useless. But love will last forever! Now our knowledge is partial and incomplete, and even the gift of prophecy reveals only part of the whole picture! But when full understanding comes, these partial things will become useless."
1 Corinthians 13:8-10

Prophecies have passed away, the gift of tongues is inactive, knowledge continues to pass away, the gifts that remain are gifts of love.

What does that mean for us today?

"All these are empowered by one and the same Spirit, who apportions to each one individually as he wills."
1 Corinthians 12:11

All gifts are empowered through the love of God that is made manifest to us through the Holy Spirit!

The goal of every gift is to build up the body ("To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good")

Without love, we are nothing.
God is love.
"Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love" 1 John 4:7-8

If God is love then it would makes sense that every characteristic of love is a characteristic of God because love is His nature.
God is patient, God is kind. He does not envy, He does not boast, He is not proud. He is not rude, He is not self-seeking, He is not easily angered, He keeps no record of wrongs. God does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. He always protects, He always trusts, He always hopes, He always perseveres. God never fails.

I think the goal of all this is that when it comes down to salvation the goal is love, is for us to know God; to know God is to know love.

People are vessels which can emit tremendous amounts of love. God made us that way. God is a god of order, of balance. This capacity is not a one way capacity, since we have the capacity for love, we must also have the capacity for hate, for pain, for rejection, and anything contrary to love.

You are an instrument.
What will you emit?
Can you emit light?
What enables you to emit light?
There is only one light, anything else you choose to emit is toxic to the world around you, to the people around you. If you choose not to emit light, you poison yourself, the Christians around you, and you continue to suffocate those who already are starved of the light.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Journaling again =)

Some verses, followed by some thoughts that may or may not relate to the verses.  =)

"For not by their own sword did they win the land, 
nor did their own arm save them, but your right hand and your arm, 
and the light of your face, for you delighted in them." 
Psalm 44:3
"If we had forgotten the name of our God 
or spread out our hands to a foreign god, 
would not God discover this? 
For he knows the secrets of the heart."
Psalm 44:20-21

"The Lord does not let the righteous go hungry, 
but he thwarts the cravings of the wicked." 
Proverbs 10:3
What do the wicked crave?
What do the righteous hunger for?
"Doing wrong is like a joke to a fool, 
but wisdom is pleasure to a man of understanding" 
Proverbs 10:23
"What the wicked dreads will come up on him 
but the desire of the righteous will be granted" 
Proverbs 10:24

God is the light. He wins the victory... the "light of your face" only within his light am I shown for what I truly am. Any light besides Jesus Christ will not show what is true.
Art, without light, is no longer dynamic. 
Art appears differently under different lights! 
Any light besides Jesus Christ will not show what is true.

I've been thinking a lot about how much joy I get from creating... 
Madeline L'Engle talked about this some in the book Walking on Water (which I recommend =) ) She said something to the effect of... God is first and foremost an artist, because He is the Creator, we come to know him in a deeper way when we create. Each person has a desire to create, because each person is a reflection of God. 
We create different things, but we all desire to create whether you're "artistic" or not.
All artwork is a replication of something that already exists. 
Every line is inspired by a line I've seen somewhere in God's creation. 
Every color is a replication of a color that existed in God before He painted it into his creation. Nothing I create is original. Yes, it is an oozing of my soul, but my soul is a reflection of a part of God's soul, and therefore nothing I create is my own. 

Because of the nature of art... that it is an expressive replication.. I wonder why I get so much joy from creating it... 
I think of it as an expression of my soul... but I've been thinking more recently about how much I experience the Lord when I create, 
when I write, 
when I sing.
God has given me so many things that I enjoy... so many things that I love to do, things I am good at, things that other people see... but when it comes down to it, do I let that determine who I am? Do I let the things God has blessed me with define me? 
Or do I really belong to the Lord?

This is an old song that comes to mind, I absolutely love it.. 
It was my prayer last summer and will continue to be as my life continues...

All I once held dear built my life upon
All this world reveres and wars to own
All I once thought gain I have counted loss
spent and worthless now compared to this

Knowing you, Jesus
Knowing you
There is no greater thing
You're my all
You're the best
You're my joy, 
my righteousness
and I love you, Lord

Now my hearts desire is to know You more
to be found in You and known as Yours
to possess by faith what I could not earn
all surpassing gift of righteousness
Knowing You, Jesus, knowing You
there is no greater thing
You're my all
You're the best
You're my joy, my righteousness
And I love You, Lord.
Oh to know the power of your risen life
and to know You in Your sufferings
to become like You in Your death my Lord
so with you to live and never die
Knowing You
Jesus, knowing You
There is no greater thing
You're my all, You're the best
You're my joy, my Righteousness
and I love You

There are things I love, things that I see myself as... 
Other ways I wouldn't mind being defined... 
but at the end of the day...

I do not need to be anything other than His.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Lies, Deception, and Desire

What are you believing about yourself that is not true?
You can, and should ask God to show you what is true about who you are, and what is not. =)
"And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise" 
Philippians 4:8

This verse applies to the things we think about ourselves as well as about others and just our thoughts in general.

I believe that many times we not only believe the common lies of the world, but being a Christian means that Satan has his own special recipe of lies to make a Christian's life as ineffective as he possibly can.

One of the biggest ways that Satan has attacked my life, and I believe attacks every Christian's life is to make us believe that God intends to fill our desires in something other than Himself.

Let me explain...
A young woman desires to be married, so she believes that God knows her heart and will eventually bless her with a husband some day, and her desire to be married will be filled.
She is, in a sense, a lady in waiting. But because she is so convinced that she knows how God will fill her desire, she misses out on something. Her true desire is for an intimacy with God, but because she is so convinced that she knows her own desire, she misses out on a deeper aspect of God's love, because she does not allow Him to fill her, she is waiting for something that ultimately will not fill her desire. She does not know her own desire.

More lies..
A young man desires to have a successful career someday. He "seeks the Lord's guidance" but ultimately follows what he believes to be God's path... but he is pursuing what he can see, not the inner affirmation that comes from the Lord's grace and mercy. 
The man's real desire is for an affirmation that comes from finding his identity in the Lord.

So the problem comes down to a lack of faith in God's promises
I don't think this is intentional, I think it happens when we are so confident in our version of God's plan that we do not allow Him to surprise or astound us. 

What do you desire?
Do you have a specific scenario in mind?
Can I challenge you to say that God want's to go beyond what you can think, beyond what you can imagine. Imagine the craziest way possible that your prayer can be answered... then understand He can do more, He wants to do more.

"Now to Him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work with in us. To Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, Amen." Ephesians 3:20

I do not believe God gives us desires that He does not intend to fill in Himself!
He wants to fill us completely
He wants to fill us now
To be satisfied in Him

I am not saying that we do not need to wait on the Lord,
I think He does intend for us to wait many times, 
but I believe sometimes we wait not out of trust in God's promises, 
but because we are holding out for something that 
will not fill us and God patiently waits for us to realize 
our desire is for Him.
Whether or not we recognize it.
He will never force His way in.
He says he wants to be our best friend, 
our Stronghold

Does He have permission to fill your desires in the way He knows is best, or are you keeping Him from filling you because you already "know" what you want.

Are you waiting to step out in faith because you have in mind the circumstances under which God will use you?
Please don't miss what He has for you when you allow Him to fill you wholly, and completely!!

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

L to the I to the F to the E, G to the R to the O-U-P!

Firstly, I am amazingly blessed by the girls in my life group! I have so much love and respect for all of you! God has used you to convict me, teach me, encourage me, and spur me on to love and good deeds! I am truly honored to serve besides such women of faith.

Life group tonight was phenomenal and so I'm going to write up some of the notes and what we talked about, because it was so great I want everyone to hear it!!

God is For You!
James 1:16-18 --Every good and perfect thing comes from the Lord!
Romans 8:28 --He will use things for the good of His creation.
2 Peter 1:3-4 --God has given me everything I need to follow Him --> His promises enable us!
Everything has gone exactly according to His plan since the very beginning!
It's not one of those, "Oh a few rough patches here and there but He's still in control" but His purpose has been the same and His exact plan has gone forth!

Paul's example of giving others up to the Lord
Acts 20:32
Acts 14:23 & 26
1 Corinthians 1:7-9
Are we entrusting not only ourselves to the Lord, but also our brother's and sisters? Or do we have a controlling attitude, that somehow God's purpose for someone else depends on me? It is God who keeps people strong, not my words or my actions.
God is just as real to everyone else as He is to me. He can reveal Himself to whoever He wants, however He wants, whenever He wants.
Do you trust God is for your brother's and sisters the same way He is for you?

Psalm 31:5
Psalm 31:14-15
Psalm 56:3-11
David believed God was for him so much so that he gave himself over to the Lord.
David understood that God was the only one worthy to be trusted with his spirit!
God is the Father of our spirits, He is able to guard them. =)

When is it most difficult for you to trust that God is for you?
Is it not when we are going through trials?
This was shared at a faithwalkers seminar and some ladies relayed it to me. It has resonated true to me.
If you had the choice to get to know God in one of three ways... and your options were, on a beach, in a family setting
or, through a very difficult trial, you would always choose the trial, because you grow closer to someone when you understand the hurts of their heart, their pain, and their true self! When we're in pain, we don't have time or energy for a facade with our closest friends! It's the real deal!

I believe God is in complete control.
He made the world.
He knows the plans, actions, heart, and strategy of the enemy, so He understands exactly what Satan is, and has already won the victory over him!!!
So God's plan included everything that has happened up until this point.
There are no flops, only what is most necessary.
I believe God planned my hurts and my joys, my trials and my dreams, He planned them so that He and I could experience them together!
They are not mine, they are His, for the purpose of bringing me closer to His heart!
Isn't that what you want? to be closer to God's heart?
So I praise Him for those circumstances, and trials.

There were a lot of wonderful analogies shared tonight. I'm a sucker for analogies. I love them. So I'll share some =)

Trust... "I am the chair behind you. Fall on me - I'll be there. I promise" God says this to me.

Spiritual muscles!!
After a hard workout, you can feel you muscles aching, but ask athletes... They aim for this feeling because it means they are getting stronger! Don't you want your spiritual muscles to be in the best shape possible?
What is your spiritual weight lifting?

Refining- is for the purpose of making a metal pure. It requires a lot of heat, to bring the impurities to the surface, then they are scraped off...
We go through the fire of trials, were our impurities are brought to the surface so God can skim them off our our souls, and we in the end are more pure!

Also, a wonderful quote...
"God has plans - not problems - for our lives. Before she died in the concentration camp in Ravensbruck, my sister Betsie said to me, 'Corrie, your whole life has been a training for the work you are doing here in prison - and for the work you will do afterward.'
" The life of a Christian is an education for higher service. No athlete complains when the training is hard. He thinks of the game, or the race."
--Corrie Ten Boom

Also I just realized that the root of the word revelation is "reveal" ... and I get really excited when I remember I'm going to see my Savior face to face someday!!! =)

Sorry this entry is a bit scatter-brained =)

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Eternal Beauty

We sung the Lord's prayer this morning at church...
These are just some thoughts, inspired by what God has told us to pray for, and then flowing off of a few things I've been contemplating recently.

Our Father hallowed be thy name
You, O Lord, are holy and deserve my adoration and all honor.
Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven
I pray you would hasten your coming as I seek to fulfill your plan to bring people into a real relationship with you
Give us today our daily bread
Provide for my needs and the needs of Your body, the church
and forgive our debts
Cleanse and heal us
We need your mercy
as we forgive our debtors
Help us to understand Your forgiveness through forgiving one another in love
and lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil
Shield me from the destruction of the world and cover me with Grace
for thine is the Kingdom forever
I acknowledge You are forever, You are in control and You are the ruler of all of heaven and earth for eternity!
I acknowledge the reality of eternity and that you've already won and taken the throne!
Eternity is now!
It's already begun.
If something has no end, then can it resonably be subject to time constraints?
Has it not already existed?

I acknowledge eternity--
I will see souls
I will seek to see not the physical but the eternal.
Each soul reflects a part of my Lord, therefore each soul has a beauty all it's own
That beauty, has been robbed from so many souls,
The beauty of God's own righteousness
He seeks to restore it.
God's creation, His souls.
are beautiful and individual.
I will seek to patch the holes in people's souls
with the fabric of salvation.
see not the physical but the eternal
For what is eternally beautiful but the Lord?
Let us not destory our bodies and souls
but let us understand
our Master is gracious and has given us life and dignity!
My sin destroys that which my Savior loved--Me
not only me but the others I hurt when I sin
Let me value the eternal
I want to understand who I am!
He values me and says I am beautiful
So I want to know who I am
He sees the eternal, so what beauty am I given?
Surely it is not physical,
but it is His own Righteousness
The Lord's beauty is now mine and resides in me
I have become the Beauty of the Lord
As the eternal Beauty of the Lord,
How will I live?
Isaiah 43, 52:1-2, 54
Jeremiah 31
2 Corinthians 5:21
Micah 7:18-20
Colossians 1:27