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