Sunday, December 27, 2009
Friday, December 25, 2009
Other people think the Bible is a book of heroes, showing you people you should copy. The Bible does have some heroes in it, but most of the people in the Bible aren't heroes at all. They make some big mistakes (sometimes on purpose). They get afraid and run away. At times they are downright mean.
No, the Bible isn't a book of rules, or a book of heroes. The Bible is most of all a Story. It's an adventure story about a young Hero who comes from a far country to win back his lost treasure. It's a love story about a brave Prince who leaves his palace, his throne--- everything--- to rescue the one he loves. It's like the most wonderful of fairy tales that has come true in real life!
You see, the best thing about this Story is --- it's true!
There are lots of stories in the Bible, but all the stories are telling one Big Story. The Story of how God loves his children and comes to rescue them.
It takes the whole Bible to tell this Story. And at the center of the Story, there is a baby. Every story in the Bible whispers his name. He is like the missing piece in a puzzle --- the piece that makes all the other pieces fit together, and suddenly you can see a beautiful picture.
And this is no ordinary baby. This is the Child upon whom everything would depend.
Everything was ready. The moment God had been waiting for was here at last! God was coming to help his people, just as he promised in the beginning.
But how would he come? What would he be like? What would he do?
Mountains would have bowed down. Seas would have roared. Trees would have clapped their hands. But the earth held its breath. As silent as snow falling, he came in. And when no one was looking, in the darkness, he came.
.... But this child was a new kind of king. Though he was the Prince of Heaven, he had become poor. Though he was the Mighty God, he had become a helpless baby. This King hadn't come to be the boss. He had come to be a servant.
Friday, December 18, 2009
Listen to the old old story
Of the power of death undone
By an infant born of glory
Son of God, Son of Man
Our enemy, our captor is no pharaoh on the Nile
Our toil is neither mud nor brick nor sand
Our ankles bear no calluses from chains, yet Lord, we're bound
Imprisoned here, we dwell in our own land
Deliver us, deliver us
Oh Yahweh, hear our cry
And gather us beneath your wings tonight
Our sins they are more numerous than all the lambs we slay
These shackles they were made with our own hands
Our toil is our atonement and our freedom yours to give
So Yahweh, break your silence if you can
Hallelujah, Christ is born
Hallelujah, Christ is born
'All glory be to God on high
And to the earth be peace
Good will henceforth from God to man
Begin and never cease'
He'll bear no beauty or glory
A man of such sorrow
We'll cover our eyes
He'll take up our sickness
Carry our tears
For his people
He will be pierced
He'll be crushed for our evils
Our punishment feel
By his wounds
We will be healed.'
Behold the Lamb
The hope of man
Behold the Lamb of God
(The lyrics are from Andrew Peterson's, "Behold the Lamb of God" album, buy it, it may change your life.)
Tuesday, December 8, 2009
Saturday, December 5, 2009
Saturday, November 28, 2009
Sunday, November 15, 2009
A few thoughts...
The other day, I was asked the question...
Where would you be if you weren't in Birmingham getting your masters?
And although I have been struggling with wanting to be anywhere in the world but here, I didn't have an answer. Crazy that after continually trying to convince myself that I am supposed to be somewhere else I've never really thought about where EXACTLY I would be. Which is the Lord confirming yet again that I am EXACTLY where He has me.
After 3 months I'm finally feeling a little more settled. Over the course of these 3 months I have felt as if I've been home FOREVER and then at other times I feel like it has FLOWN by. It is a little hard to believe that if i make it through these next few weeks, I will have completed my first semester of OT school. And only by His grace and strength have I. It's also hard to believe that He has increased my love for people and the world even more. Was that possible? I guess so. My heart aches for the world.
One of my best friends just got married. She was the first out of a group of 6 best friends. This time last year Jamie and Nick had not even met. Now, they are in Mexico on the their honeymoon. They met over Christmas on a cruise and I guess you could say it was 'love at first sight.' Three months later they were engaged. Jamie's life is as close to fairy tale that I've seen and it is so fun to watch the Lord continually bless her for her faithfulness and love for Him. She is SO happy and was literally the most beautiful bride I've ever seen. I'm so happy for both of them. And as always weddings get me thinking....one day it will be my turn...
I've been thinking about these 2 words for a week or so...
Here we are, KNOWING Jesus. I mean like really knowing Him, have a relationship with Him, growing in Him, loving Him, and trusting Him. We know that we have a treasure that not everyone has. And we know that people that do not know Him will (not to be harsh) go to hell as we go on to eternal life in heaven.
I think I've never really given this place too much thought. And what I'm realizing is that I don't want to. I've heard that it is a place of fire and evil. It's where the "bad people" go. Where the murderers and thieves go. The rapists and abusers go. In scripture it talks about it as a place of torture, pain, and suffering for eternity.
Although I believe that hell exists and people do go there, it's very hard for me to believe that God actually allows that. But, He is a God to be feared. I think we don't want to think about this place because maybe we have lost loved ones or know people that weren't necessarily 'Christians.' There are so many 'good' people that don't believe in Jesus and they will go on to be tortured for eternity?! Really?! Yes. He is the WAY. The only way.
Knowing this. Knowing that Hell is real. Knowing that none of us want to go there. Knowing that by not believing or having a relationship with our Creator, we will go.
Knowing these things, the question is....
ARE WE LIVING THAT WAY?
Are we living in holy anguish? Are we telling people about Him? Or are we being selfish with this gift of salvation that can be offered to EVERYONE?
I don't know about ya'll but I cannot live my life and be ok with the fact that so many people will go on to be tortured for ETERNITY as I dance on the streets of gold. That just doesn't seem fair. There is an urgency. I don't know about you but I don't want anyone to suffer for eternity. I'm trying to live this out. This urgency. This holy anguish....
Monday, November 2, 2009
Saturday, October 24, 2009
Tuesday, October 6, 2009
Sunday, September 27, 2009
Friday, September 18, 2009
I miss YWAM. I miss the people, the leaders, Emrie. I miss New Zealand, the base, Christchuch, friday night outreach. I miss being the only southern one (and getting made fun of for it). I miss how different everyone was. I miss traveling and giving my testimony (who would have thought?!?!) and telling people about this Savior I live for. I miss Cambodia, our contacts there, and my precious little class. I miss seeing new things everyday. I miss corporate prayer and worship and feeling like my life is filled with so much purpose. I miss being challenged spiritually on a daily basis and being made to depend on Him. I miss being poured into and in turn pouring out constantly.
This week I've been thinking a lot about how I can best be used by Him in this city. I'm struggling. I feel as if I'm doing nothing to further His kingdom. My life over the past month has revolved around me, and to be honest, it's disgusting me. I don't want to live selfishly. I desire to love others above myself. Time has been passing me by and I'm sick of letting it pass and not doing anything. God has given me so many ideas. Knowing that I literally don't have enough time for all the ideas He's given me, I've been waiting on Him to speak on what to choose specifically to do. But what I've learned and been reminded of is that I must be the one to make the first step. Too often we wait for the Lord to tell us where to go or what to do when the reality is that He's clearly told us to GO and further His kingdom. I'm not underestimating the importance of waiting on Him. BUT, He is waiting for us to step out, open the first door. He'll guide and direct each step but we must step out knowing and trusting that He will speak to us. I've been asking too long what it is He wants me to do and He's spoken many things so my job now is to step out in boldness.
I'm a little nervous about a couple things He's told me to do but I'm excited too. This week I was able to make some steps of obedience. Be praying for God's provision in it all and that I would learn exactly what it means to walk in His Spirit daily.
Wednesday, September 9, 2009
Monday, September 7, 2009
I hate that I haven't blogged in a while. It's such a good way for me to process, but life lately is so busy. School is hard. I feel like for the next 2 years I will constantly feel like I can't catch up. One day I feel like I may have a handle on it, and the next I think I'll never be able to get through it all. The few times I've actually been able to sit and really process/think about life I've realized that God is still moving and working in my life in many ways. I'll share a little of that....
I love Jesus SO much. He is SO good. Seriously, each time I really stop and think about Him, I cry. When I was in New Zealand I prayed consistently for Him to give me more love. When I left I definitely knew that prayer had been answered and now, 5 months later, I realize He is continuing to give me even more. So awesome.
Time has already been a huge issue for me, which I hate. I know that the time I spend with Him is SO important and I will not give that up to anyone. I truly want to be able to sit and be with Him for hours each day. I am so desperate to be in His presence. But, where do I find the time? It's definitely a balancing act. But, He has given me such a peace in being back. As probably most of you know I would LOVE to be out in the "world" somewhere. A few of my good friends are either 1) heading to Africa in the next month, 2) making plans to go with a group in the next few months OR 3) still traveling and ministering to people all over the world. Of course my first tendency is to become jealous but what's cool is that although I wish so badly I could go I also know that it's not the season that God has me in right now. He has reminded me of my role over the next few years (or more) and given me such a peace about it. My role is to encourage, support, and pray for them. It excites me so much to see people who are denying themselves and being obedient to His will/calling on their lives. I am so excited for everything they will see and experience, the way He will use them, and what He will teach them. I am excited to play a small role in supporting them as they get to "go" to the nations.
I'm also realizing that I must give EVERYTHING in my life to God. It's cool to me that even in the areas that I feel like to God would be trivial are areas that He still wants to rule. He made me this way, with certain passions, and there is no way He would neglect those areas of my life. It's all important to Him. I've got to believe and trust that He cares. I'm learning to seek His voice and direction in EVERY area.
God is continually reminding me that this is where I am supposed to be. A few months ago, in the villages of Cambodia, I remember thinking that I had never felt like I was more in His will than I was in that moment. I knew it was exactly where I was supposed to be. We were telling people about Jesus to Cambodians who had literally never heard His name before. The other day I got the same feeling except this time I was in Birmingham, AL, surrounded by churches and people who have grown up hearing the name of Jesus. I am right in His will right now. And I just think it's so cool that in 2 of the most opposite locations I could get the same feeling and affirmation from God. It's good to know that this is right where I am supposed to be.
I am reminding myself daily to fix my eyes on Him. There are MANY things in my life right now BUT if I cannot remember the goal, which is Him and His glory, then all of this is completely meaningless. This may make no sense, but to me all of the "stuff" in my life (OT school, riding, Bham, friends, etc) are transparent. When I look at each "thing" I can see God's face on the other side. I can see Him through everything. It's so important for me not to lose sight of Him in it all. I am running this race, one foot after another, pressing in, and striving more and more to become like Jesus. That's the purpose of life. May I learn to be a living sacrifice, lay my life down over and over, surrendered, with arms wide open, and completely obedient to what He has in store for me. I KNOW He will pick me up and carry me when I fail. I am asking Him for confidence, provision, guidance, enjoyment in school, and opportunities to make Him known. I'm excited for what He's doing in me as well as my family all over the world. He's cool.
Saturday, August 22, 2009
Thursday, August 13, 2009
It's over. This journey is finished. We graduated/were sent out from the Mount of Olives today. What a blessing it was to have these 6 months devoted to diving in deeper with the Lord. For me, this was a time of major refining. It was time where my roots grew much deeper. Deeper than I ever thought possible. I cannot say it enough, but I am thankful for this season. I am changed. I am different. More than anything, I am completely in love with Jesus.
Joseph Watson, a speaker from lecture phase that every single one of us fell in love with (he spoke on dreams and destiny...changed my life, literally), surprised us on Monday. He has delivered all the messages over the past few days. Wow. So good. Such a good reminder of my destiny and the authority I have. I am transitioning into a new season of life. Right now, everything is tossed in the air as I have no idea what to expect. A new city. A new school. New roommates. New friends. I know that it will be so good. God has told me that He has gone before me. He has prepared a way for me. He is the same everywhere and NOTHING can separate us. BUT, that doesn't mean it won't be tough. I am guarding what He has given me. I will be led by Jesus, not by the world. I won't waste what He's done. I am going home a new person. I know I will be tested in the areas He has worked. The enemy will try to take that from me but I will stand against him knowing that God will meet me. I need to be on my knees, seeking His face. I am excited to reunite with people but I will not be reuniting as the same person. I have experienced and seen far more than I could have imagined. I want to continue serving. I hope there will be many opportunities to pour into other people. To tell people all that God has done and is doing. I yearn for conversations with the central focus being Jesus. Yes, it's a given that this will be hard BUT I will go home knowing that it's going to be good. I will fight for it. I will focus on the light, not the darkness. And I will remember that the power that rose Christ from the dead is the same power living in me. He's there. He's the same. Amen.
Tomorrow I head to the beaches of Tel Aviv for the day. I fly out at 11pm. Arrive in Atlanta Saturday morning. Oh. My. Gosh. I'll be hitting the ground running. Please pray for this transition. Goodbyes will be tough. This has been my family. And to jump right into this new phase is quite scary. Thanks to everyone who has followed me and prayed for me on this journey! I will continue blogging. AND...please please please call me or email me! I'd LOVE to talk about these past 6 months.