Is It OK?

Sometimes the sin and darkness in this world just makes my heart grieve. I’m not always sure if it’s more because we are hurting ourselves or because we are hurting and dishonoring God.

We dishonor our God by our sinful words and actions, bringing shame upon ourselves before Him. And not only by our own words and actions, but by approving/supporting those who practice them. (Romans 1:32)

We have allowed the enemy to creep in. He finds ways to make things look good and acceptable—sometimes even appealing. We have let our guards down. We take in whatever we are surrounded by. Our standards should not be what is “normal” around us. Just because “our other Christian friends” are okay with something doesn’t make it right.

Dig into the Word for yourself. Speak to your elders. Most importantly, seek after God and allow Him to speak to you.

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Speak Out

Speaking things out often helps give us determination and confidence, and shouldn’t be taken lightly. Words can be powerful when we allow them to be.

Many of you who have been following my blog have probably read my personal psalms and poems that I have shared. As I’ve been going through quite a lot at this point in my life, laying everything down at Jesus’ feet has been no simple task nor has simply putting all my faith and trust in Him. Part of what’s helped me get through things is through prayer and writing these psalms—speaking out with confidence that God is great, He is worthy to be praised, I am His child, He has healed me, the enemy is overcome, etc.(though many times I sure don’t feel like saying these things)

So my point is this:
No matter what you’re going through, you need to SPEAK OUT.  Even when you don’t feel like it. God is on our side and we have victory over the enemy—we can’t forget that! Usually when things are the hardest to say is when they are most needed to be said.

It Is You

It is You, oh Lord, that I long for;
You satisfy my every thirst and fill my every hunger.

It is You, my God, that I need;
You heal me from every sickness and give me strength.

It is You, my Father, who makes my heart content;
Your love never ceases.

It is You, my King, who shall reign forever—who can better satisfy?

Hard Things

When someone loves another, they are willing to step outside their comfort zone for them, look for things to do for them even when they don’t feel like it, and even if it’s hard. Shouldn’t we do the same for God, since He should be first in our life?

A lot of times we show our love for Him in ways that are easy for us—which can vary from one person to another. We all have things that are easier, but we also have things that are harder for us as an individual that just don’t come naturally to us…and that’s ok. Thing is, we need to not “let it slide” and just don’t do the hard things—whether it be prayer, spending time with God, worship and praise, living out your faith in your workplace, etc. They are likely our weak points and where the enemy is most likely to attack.

Rather than a little here and a little there to get it off the checklist, we need to focus, tackle, and truly conquer our weaknesses. Let’s show our love for Christ by living for Him even in areas that it’s hard.

 

The Doctor

This is an odd but somewhat interesting daydream I had yesterday. I debated (with myself 😛) whether or not I wanted to share it but finally decided to. One of the strangest things was how it started:

I was standing on the side of the road in the dark. Next to me on the ground was an unconscious, barely alive, very injured man who had just been in a bad car accident. I stood there panicked as to what to do.

(An interesting note, at this point I tried and tried to get my mind on something else but somehow couldn’t—my mind kept flashing back to the injured man)

Another stranger pulled over, ran to see what was going on and if there was anything he could do. He looked the man over, and said with confidence, “I know someone who can help.” He asked me if I could come along and help hold the man in the back of his car. Without saying a word, I nodded and agreed.

We took him to what appeared to be a small hospital. It seemed to be extremely vacant except one man, a doctor, was standing at the door as though he had been waiting for us. We all went inside, and without saying a word the Doctor carried the injured man to another room behind two big doors.

After a couple hours, he brought the man back out—only now he was on his feet. I was rather shocked but more relieved than anything. He and the Doctor talked as if they’d been good friends for years. As I was observing their talking, the Doctor looked up and our eyes met. I suddenly realized that this was no ordinary Doctor. I didn’t know how I knew, but somehow, deep down I knew that this was Jesus who had healed this man.

What I got from this:
Perhaps others will get something different out of this story—that’s totally fine. What I got, is that there are some things only Jesus can heal—physically, spiritually, and emotionally. (As the man in the story was past the chance of survival with normal doctors) Sometimes we can be at a point in our life where we’re just at a loss as to what do because we feel like we’ve tried everything, and nothing we’ve tried has worked. We need to learn to do our part and trust God to do the rest.

One more point I wanted to make, is that when we see others who are hurting we need to be careful about trying to fix them ourselves when the One who can truly make them well again is Jesus. We need to take them to our Doctor.

Ok…I’ll stop now. 😉

Cannot Be Silenced

Lord, renew my strength so that I may praise You;
Breathe Your Spirit into me so that You will be exalted.
Even when persecuted, Your people will praise You;
When held back, they will only become stronger.
The voice of Your children will always be heard—
They cannot be silenced.
Great is Your name over all the earth—it will not be suppressed.

Jesus And Our Life Song

09BA7F0F-876F-4E2E-8659-9275CAB07178This evening as I was listening to some light piano music, instead of writing in my prayer journal as I intended, I began day dreaming…again.

I pictured myself at a piano trying to write a song. I’d get a few notes I liked, but then would get stuck as to what to play next. After awhile I became frustrated. Then Jesus came into the picture. (That’s always a good sign, right? 😉)

He came and sat next to me and had me start playing again. I started to play, but like before, I got stuck. Only this time Jesus immediately put His hand to the piano and played just a few notes that got me to where I immediately knew what to play next. We continued on like this and it was beautiful. Not just for the music itself, but for the way we were able to function together.

The song was my life, and allowing Jesus to help me in writing the song was allowing Him to help write my life story. It’s easy to want to write our life story all by ourselves and get all the credit. But to be sure, it’s not going to be anywhere near as beautiful.

A Small Voice

This is something I wrote in my teens (probably around 15) that I found on some falling apart notebook paper while going through some old things:

A Small Voice 

I say to myself, “What am I living for? What is my purpose?” Sometimes it seems like everyone else knows what they will do one day while I still ask myself, “What shall I do?”

Sometimes I feel I’m forgotten, in the middle of the billions in this world. “How could I be noticed or remembered? It’s like I’m not even here. How can I make a difference in others lives for the better? Is it possible? Or am I just too small and timid?”

I want to do something for Christ, to glorify His name, not my own. I want to help this lost world, save lives from eternal destruction. It’s like…I have a love for people that I haven’t even met. I want to show them how they can be saved, too.

I am trying to prepare myself to be ready to witness to others. I’m praying for God to fill me with His Holy Spirit so that He can work through me. I know already that I absolutely cannot do it alone. I am nowhere near bold enough. Even if I was, it takes more than boldness. It takes much, much more. It takes a faith that only comes from Christ. It takes a love so great that we are willing to endanger our own lives for the sake of others. It takes a wisdom from the Father to speak through us. It takes the Holy Spirit.
I want to do God’s will in my life—whatever it is. But what is it? What is God’s will for my life? That is a question I’ve wondered many times over the years. Now I must listen for a small voice as He speaks to my heart. Listen, and wait…

My Heart Grows Weary

My body becomes stiff and my heart grows weary.
My legs get to where they can hardly stand and my head can no longer be lifted up.

I fall to my knees before You,
For still You are worthy to be praised.
With my face to the ground I worship,
For You alone are to be glorified.

You are my source of strength and Your Spirit is the air that I breathe.
You, O God, restore my soul.
You, my Lord, keep my heart uplifted.

You Give Life

 

You withstand pain that the strongest man cannot survive.
You take hold of death that mankind cannot even see.
You bear the weight of sin that is not Your own;
You take all shame upon Yourself.
You take the punishment of death and offer restoration of life.
For a life that is broken,
You give life that is new.
For life that is short,
You give life that is eternal.
For a life that is empty,
You give a life that is filled.
A life that is in darkness,
You bring into light.

A Blessing To Serve

There are many days and nights I’m dreaming about what it’ll be like one day when I’m finally able with my own two hands to help special needs orphans overseas. Sometimes I think of how I’ll be able to help them, bless them—perhaps save lives even. This may sound selfish, but other times I think of what a blessing it will be to me.

I cannot even pretend that I know what it’ll all be like, but I know one thing: it’ll be a learning experience. And, I think, in a good way. Throughout my life, as I’ve done little things here and there to help others I can say it’s done as much, if not more, good for me as for them. As I grow older and do more for others I don’t expect that to change. There’s always going to be more for me to learn and areas for me to grow.

As we minister to others around us, it’s easy to feel good about ourselves because we did some “good thing”. When we are serving others we should, in fact, feel good—but not in a proud-like way—more like incredibly blessed, thankful way. Incredibly blessed with the opportunity to serve. The opportunity to use our God-given gifts to bless others as He has blessed us. The opportunity to see healing and restoration or whatever it was we took part in. And the opportunity to learn through those things.

We shouldn’t take opportunities to serve for granted. Truly, a chance to serve is a blessing to the one who’s doing the serving. When we walk past opportunities to serve I don’t think it’s commonly known how much we’re missing out on. The love, the joy, the satisfaction it brings…we need to look for ways to serve—we’ll be glad we did!

Seeking Wisdom From The Lord

With our hands we shed innocent blood;
With our feet we walk upon broken bones.
We point our fingers and accuse;
We cast stones by our angry words.
We boast in our belongings yet they are as heavy chains about our ankles—blessed is the man who is free from them!
We claim to know more than every previous generation, but we place our hands over our ears to wisdom.
Let’s put down anger and resentment and offer hands of kindness.
Let’s walk on a path that is right, and leads to life and peace.
Let’s give to those who have need, putting our hope in the unseen.
With a humble heart, let’s seek wisdom from the Lord and our elders, and our ways will be made straight.

A Dance With Jesus

One night at a recent hospital stay I was unable to sleep, so I played some of my praise and worship music and watched out the windows at the city’s lights in deep thought. As the music played, I pictured Jesus walking up to me with a smile on his face asking to dance with me. I accepted, and as we began to dance, of course, I imagined my clumsy self stumbling around, quickly becoming red in the face. But Jesus only smiled and encouraged—giving me confidence and over time gradually helping me make the correct movements in the correct timing.

It was a long dance. There were times of asking lots of questions and quiet times of contentment. There were times of joy and times of sadness—but it was all okay. It was okay, because Jesus was always there. I was in His arms and I knew He wasn’t about to let me go. And I was very grateful for that.

Later, as I thought about these things, I thought of how so many walk away from Jesus as He offers to dance with us. He waits for us. He wants to be near us–to love us, to guide us–but it’s our choice whether to accept, and allow Him to take us into His arms.

You Still Remain

Through storms Your voice can still be heard;
In lost places You are within arms reach.

When denied, You remain faithful;
When mocked, You continue to give;
While hate rises against You, Your love remains firm.

Over all sin and shame Your forgiveness reigns.
Over darkness and regret Your light overcomes.

You call to the weary, You wait at the door for the hurting.
You desire to heal the broken heart;
You long to restore every man’s soul.

You seek after the lost and bring food to the hungry;
You satisfy in a way only You can–
What the world brings does not last,
All that it offers does not fully fill.
These things become broken;
They do not stand through strong winds.

But You, O Lord, still remain.
With Your arms stretched out You offer a place.
A place of no hurting or shame;
Where no man can bring down.
A place of restoration and peace;
Where Your love overwhelms.

Your Light Will Overcome

I look upon You, oh Lord;
Day and night I seek Your face.
You take my every thought captive;
All anger and fear becomes dry as dust—Your Spirit washes away all doubt.
You turn my tears of sadness to tears of joy;
My distress fades away.
You restore my soul and weary heart;
By Your Spirit You supply me.
Your love is not measured out, but generously given—how great is Your love, oh Lord!
In You I remain confident;
By Your strength I continue to stand.
May all glory be upon You;
Kings and servants will be at Your feet.
No darkness will prevail,
For Your light cannot be overcome.
All deceivers will be revealed,
All truths will be brought out.
You alone will be lifted high;
Only You are worthy to be praised.

Confidence

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Something I’ve observed over the years is a lack of confidence despite many efforts. All the time I’m hearing people say things like, “I am worthy”, “I am special”, “I can do this”, and “I’m proud of who I am.” …yet this seems to be one of the most insecure generations ever!

Why is that?

Well, I think one of the main reasons is it’s like we’re talking to ourselves—we’re giving ourselves a pat on the back, saying, “Great job!”

To be sure, we need encouragement. We need reminded that we are loved and special—that we matter, and can make a difference in this world. But trying to provide these things with our own words isn’t going to build our confidence quite like when it’s coming from a different source.

So where do we find it?

While we need  to have people in our lives who help keep us straight and keep us going and who share words and do things that build us up not tear us down, there is only One who can always, without fail, help us remain confident no matter what the situation—and that is Christ.

I see many saying they don’t really care what others think about their makeup, what they believe, and how many followers they have on the internet, when clearly they do care as they spend hours trying to be presentable and going with what’s popular—being people-pleasers, and really—building up their pride.

Ironically, one of the most important things to build our confidence is humility…not pride, as the world often leads us to believe. If we build ourselves up in pride we are bound to fall at any moment, simply because we are imperfect humans. Rather than taking pride in ourselves, we need to take humility in Christ. With our confidence in One who never fails, we will not be disappointed!

Let’s humbly before God place our confidence in Him knowing that He gave His life for us—we are loved. He created us—we are beautiful. He has a calling for us—we are special. He gives us power through His Holy Spirit—we are strong. This is a confidence that never fails!

Ephesians 6:10 “Finally, be strong in the Lord and in His mighty power.”