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Never settle.  Only dust settles.  And you, are not dust.  
The victory will be worth the fight.
So if I'm destined for a small stage, small crowds, and a small pay, then maybe even in a small way- I can bring You fame.

Well, I have been realizing a lot about myself in the past few days. Firstly, a lot of my life has been consumed by pride and a competitive attitude. About a year and a half ago, I asked God to humble me. I began to see ways in which my life was consumed by pride. Well, as always, He delivered. I was humbled in ways I never would have expected. I was stripped of things that made me feel secure, I was left bare with nothing but Jesus. Through various things of a humbling nature, I sensed myself becoming less of the prideful person I have always been. For instance, my desire to be an actress has highly diminished. Though I still love to act and be a complete goofball, I have realized that I really loved theatre because I loved attention. Now, why is this important? Because I think I finally, for certain, know what I want to do when I grow up. I want to be a mom, and…

SURPRISE!

The more I get to know God, the more I realize that He loves to surprise us. But it's a weird surprise- it's like He gives us exactly what we ask for, but how we get that thing we want is not always the way we have manufactured the idea in our small, little minds. Surely, as we grow closer to Him, we desire good things because He is the essence of goodness. What gets us and keeps us going though, is the fact that the good thing we yearn for doesn't usually come to us swiftly. Right when we start desiring good things we do not always get them. God has a way of making us work for it. What is unfortunate is that a lot of time we get tired of waiting and so we settle for second-best. After this, we have some sense and realize God really does know what He is doing and that waiting probably isn't so bad at all. It is in this waiting that God actually prepares us for the goodness that awaits. We cannot take home the gold if we do not train. We cannot accept the gold with humi…
Many times we cannot hear God's voice because we want him to speak our language. Only when we love him so much that we prefer his ways to ours will we be open to receive his gracious revelation of himself. -Marva Dawn, Keeping the Sabbath Wholly
"My soul is like a small house, small for you to enter, but I pray you to enlarge it. It is in ruins, but I ask you to remake it. It contains much that you will not be pleased to see: this I know and do not hide. But who is to rid it of these things? There is no one but You."
-Saint Augustine, Confessions Book I

Thanksgiving.

“Thanks be to God for his indescribable gift!” (2 Corinthians 9:15)
Every thanksgiving it is so hard to sum up not only the gift of God’s love in our lives, but it is hard to sum up everything I am thankful for. We have been given much. As for God- no other gift has any merit or worth unless we know it is from Him. God is someone you can hardly put into words, but I am more than thankful for what He has done in my life; the joy everyday brings; the firm foundation to stand tall beyond the storm. Life is meaningless without Christ; a tossing in the wind. Now, as for everything else- of course, I am thankful for a family that stays together. This family is not family merely by blood but by love. I am thankful for the basic necessities. We are royalty compared to most of the world. I am thankful for a country that fights for me, for a country where we really are free in more ways than we can imagine. I am thankful for friends, for good weather, and for good old fashioned fun. To list ev…
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Father, I love Your ways. You came in Your mercy, and died in my place.
I love Your ways, all of them. I don't have too much raw emotion to journal today- but I just want to express that I love how You work. How you orchestrate. In our day to day choices, You have Your way with us if we let You. You move us, ebb and flow us, and bring us to our knees. You are a reward when we seek You and trust You even when we do not know what awaits us at the next bend. You win our hearts when we are humble enough to be wrong. You teach us to love. You teach us to hear of people's sin and genuinely desire change. You teach us to release our burdens to You. You call us and betroth us and give us strength to separate from the world and go to our secret place with You. You give us a solid rock upon a hill that no wind of the world could even budge. You have surely, certainly, eternally- swept me away.
exhale.



Oh, the lies we don't know we believe.
Lord, won't you help us to believe You, not just believe you are there, but believe what You say about us.
You have the final say, beyond our past, beyond our day to day activity, You are King; You're always right.
And I believe You.

The Screwtape Letters

Taking notes on what the devil does.
Thanks, C.S. Lewis, you da man :)

(1) The devil wants to make us not think. He wants us to just accept, or to think seemingly profound thoughts that aren't profound at all. "Teach him to call it 'real life' and don't let him ask what he means by 'real' " "...they find it all but impossible to believe in the unfamiliar when the familiar is before their eyes. Keep pressing home on him the ordinariness of things. " (2) The devil wants us to judge and assume and set low expectations. He wants us to go by what we "feel" and what is easily perceived. God wants us to look beyond, to dig deeper, to search the hidden places. "The Enemy takes this risk because He has a curious fantasy of making all these disgusting little human vermin into what He calls His "free" lovers and servants- "sons" is the word He uses, with His inveterate love of degrading the whole spiritual world by unn…
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"There are times when solitude is better than society, and silence is wiser than speech." -Charles Spurgeon
Truthhh. I feel like lately I have been getting much better at this: just realizing that I need to be alone. I have to just get away. I am seeing the importance of drawing my boundaries. I think it is a step towards wisdom. I pray now for the discretion to know when to stay silent. I still struggle with wanting to be the hero. Sometimes my soul needs to be silent and speak not. I feel myself being more conscious of it, and I thank You for Your peace.
I wait for the Lord, my soul waits, and in his word I put my hope. My soul waits for the Lord more than the watchmen wait for the morning. -Psalm 130:5-6
Lord, I will wait for You. I don't know what makes me repetitively think that what I want is what is best, or is actually what I really want. What I want, in all reality, is You. And I am getting You. You are teaching me patience and dependency, but it's almost like I am not used to it. I almost feel like I am subconsciously resisting. But God, I really don't want to! I really, fa' real, only want what You want. I have lived so long by my own action and motivation. Please teach my soul to desire you like the morning, more than I desire anything else. May I be eager to wait, just because I know that what you bring will be better than anything I could achieve on my own.
You have led me from valleys of sorrow to rivers of joy. (Good song!)

Now, that smells good :)

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"For we are the aroma of Christ to God." -2 Corinthians 2:15
I am a pleasing fragrance to my King. What joy comes in knowing I am worthy to Him! Even when I feel I know not where to turn, he delights in the beauty that is me. And that is you. He delights in everyone and everything. I think God is someone who is easily made joyful. He is so simple yet so complex. It's so easy to make His day. He is overflowing with cheer, and abounding in rejoicing! Who wouldn't want to be like Him and be in His presence?! Yipeeee!

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You are my only constant, my only for sure, my only nonnegotiable. Yet somehow it is You I am willing to compromise so much.
'Speak, LORD, for your servant is listening.' -1 Samuel 3:9
Lord, we so often fail to listen. Our minds are full with our own insecurities and desires. We place blame on others; we feel bad for ourselves; we think about how unfairly we are treated. Notice in all of this that it is all us and not one bit of You. How sad it is that we have somehow become a people that believes the world owes us something. How terribly deceived we are when we translate every action by others as an attack on our own self worth. Insecurity is selfishness in disguise and it can eat us alive. How tragic when a friendship becomes fake by expectations and the need to "measure up". Your heart must break when we spend ourselves on pleasing creation instead of choosing to waste our lives on the glory that is you, creator. My prayer today is that Your voice would echo louder than the gossip; louder than the thoughts of self failure; louder than the jealousy; louder than the worry that makes us try …
i am so small. sometimes, i get confused and overwhelmed. i want to know it all- but i can't.


My God is overwhelmingly big, capable, worthy, and willing to fight for my small, small heart.
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"When thou passest through the rivers, I will be with thee." You are free to that. Here is another: "The mountains shall depart, and the hills be removed, but my kindness shall not depart from thee"; you are free to that. You are a welcome guest at the table of the promises." -Charles Spurgeon



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"If we know not where we go, we know with whom we go." -Charles Spurgeon

I do not know where I am going. I cannot predict my future in any area- school, boys, friends. I trust You. I pray for wisdom to seek not all the answers, but only to seek You; to delight in the knowledge You give in my everyday and be satisfied without the knowledge of tomorrow. You have provisions for me. I know this, but I pray my worries fleet at this knowledge and that my heart would sit in contentment. You are the King of faithfulness, and faithful You will be.

Some good quotes!

"But when we read the gospels, we are struck with a towering figure that upsets us at every turn, alternately fascinating and frustrating, comforting and deeply disturbing at the same time." (Jesus the Reasoner)
"Let justice roll down like waters, and righteousness like an everlasting stream." -Amos 5:24
"It was like some beautiful bird flapped into our drab little cage and made these walls dissolve away." -Ellis Boyd Red Redding
"Oh Lord, you have made us for yourself, and our heart is restless until it rests in you." -St. Augstine
"Free at last, free at last, thank God Almighty we are free at last!"
"The point is that God's splendor becomes clearer whenever God or the Son of God powerfully spends himself in order to cause others to flourish" -Cornelius Plantinga Jr.
"The way to fulfill yourself is to spend yourself" -Plantinga
"The whole difference between construction and creation is...that a thing construct…

What am I doing? Oh yeah! That's right- I'm doing me.

Sorry for the dumb title. I have been feeling so down on myself for the past couple of days.
Ashley got hurt by my sarcastic comments, and I cried. She should be hurt by them. The words of my mouth so often do not portray the attitude of my heart. Or- maybe they do. Maybe I am just utterly impatient, controlling, and prideful. I think it is a little of both. But it eats me up inside. The last thing I want to do is make my best friend feel like crap about herself. It's definitely not something I aspire for. I notice that I am so quick to pull a joke or question someone's statements. I am really demeaning a lot of the time. I don't think I really know how to just BE, or how to just love. It is the crappiest feeling in the world. And now that I am aware of it, I notice even more with every comment that I make how bad it really is. And I make comments about stuff that's totally unnecessary and isn't even that funny. Lord, how unwise I am. Like the Switchfoot song, &quo…

In the beginning, there was Genesis.

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Genesis 151 After these things the word of the LORD came to Abram in a vision, saying, “Do not be afraid, Abram. I am your shield, your exceedingly great reward.”
I live a life of worry and fear. I think most of us do. We do not live like we are striving for the one goal of Jesus, pushing hard that we may love Him and reach Him and WIN Him. We do not see Him, His very essence, as a reward. We take Him so very for granted. He protects. He is not just a trophy to put on our shelves. He is not our name in a book of world records. He is no momentary fame. He is forever. He is EXCEEDINGLY great, surpassing the feeling of victory we have over our minuscule every day battles. He is the champion of all eternity. He is what is at the finish line of our every moment. He is what we get when we die to ourselves. We get the definition of love as our prize.


Genesis 2920 So Jacob served seven years for Rachel, and they seemed only a few days to him because of the love he had for her.
I love this!!!! We…

Trying- again.

"No one else can love you like I love you Lord, cause I was made unique in Your heart, I was made to bring You joy."
It's like no matter now many times God tells me He loves me, and I sit in awe of Him, and I realize the freedom He gives, still, even still, I know and I feel that
I try to earn God. Still.
I try so hard. I DO so much, and if I am being honest, I have trouble sitting in God's love. I have trouble just being. I have to occupy myself or entertain myself. I am not joyful in prayer cause I feel like I don't know how to be. I think for a while I actually need to NOT read my Bible, or just for a day or two. I need to train myself to just sit in His presence and listen. And not feel like I am not doing anything good.
Jesus, my honest prayer- will you teach me to stop trying so hard. I love you, I adore you, and I am sorry that I do not know fully how to accept your love. People are not married to their husbands for only 30 minutes a day. May I live in marria…

The Furious Longing of God. By Brennan Manning

"I am my beloved's, and his desire is for me." - Song of Songs 7:10
Jesus, why? Why do you desire me so furiously? I will never understand it. But knowing it makes me want to cry. I so often desire other things more. I am so sorry.
"May you live with an awareness that the Father not only loves you, but likes you" Gosh, is that powerful. God likes me. He likes being around me. He likes my dumb jokes. He likes when my nostrils flare. He doesn't think I am annoying. He does not get tired of me. He would lpve to spend every waking moment of every day with me. Sheesh!
"Off and on throughout the day, you will just know that you are being seen by Jesus with a gaze of infinite tenderness." Thank you, Jesus. May I gaze back in gratitude.
"The men and women who are truly filled with light are those who have gazed deeply into the darkness of their own imperfect existence."
"For His love is never, never, never based on our performance, never condition…

So, you don't want to go to church anymore.

By Dave Coleman and Wayne Jacobsen
Okay, so. This book was really good. The plot was kinda cheesy and what not, but what the book said really spoke to my heart in a lot of ways.
It starts off with a bunch of people who just left church arguing about trivial things, accusing each other, and just being generally mean. Well- out of blue, John comes in and simply says, "You don't really know who Jesus is, do you?" It was the peaceful stillness and simplicity that caught the attention of the crowd and brought a close to the chaos. From the start, that trait in the character of John was something that make my heart skip a beat. It's the very character and spirit of Jesus himself. This stillness and quiet peace is displayed in John throughout the book. Even when the other main character, Jake, who is on a spiritual journey with God throughout the book gets really mad and defensive, John still maintains his composure. No- I take that back, he actually LOVES in a way I could …

A heart of gold....a heart of Job.

Job 1:1 There was a man in the land of Uz, whose name was Job; and that man was blameless and upright, and one who feared God and shunned evil.
So then the devil decides to be a big jerk and try to mess with Job. And he does. He kills all Job's kids, destroys his home, and takes all the livestock too. The very next verse after we receive all the bad news is this:
20 Then Job arose, tore his robe, and shaved his head; and he fell to the ground and worshiped. 21 And he said:
“ Naked I came from my mother’s womb, And naked shall I return there. The LORD gave, and the LORD has taken away; Blessed be the name of the LORD.” 22 In all this Job did not sin nor charge God with wrong.
Okay, so when I saw this part, my jaw literally dropped. And I got to thinking what life would be like if your first response to pain, confusion, and utter chaos was WORSHIP. What if we stopped getting angry, and we fell to our faces and worshipped the King of this life and the next? Job i…

Blue Like Jazz by Donald Miller

"If you don't love somebody, it gets annoying when they tell you what to do or how to feel. When you love them, you get pleasure from their pleasure, and it makes it easy to serve." - Donald Miller
This is why trying on our own to fix ourselves does not work. What changes people is not will power or self control- though these are needed for success, of course. What changes people is love. Love is the thing that grabs you from where you sat comfortably and makes you want to dance, for no reason at all. Love makes you invent movements that no one's ever seen, and allows it to be the most freeing experience ever. When you love someone, you can't think straight. You don't care what anyone says and it consumes the thoughts of your day. Well, this is the way God should capture our hearts. The way we serve him should be irrational. It should make us dance and sing and take great leaps of faith. It should transform our hearts and therefore transform everything else. W…