A Life Worth Living

You, oh Lord, are the cause of my life,
And the Victor over my death.
You bring what is true success!

No one can take Your place or exceed Your perfect gifts;
Your love cannot be surpassed.

By Your strength I continue on;
You give me a life worth living for.

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Over The Gap

Over the gap that no man can fill,
God gave up His Son of His own free will.
He paid all our debts,
He covered the cost
of all our mistakes–
He recovered the lost.
We step out on the bridge that Jesus has made,
Set our feet on the firm foundation He laid.
Our sins will be crushed,
Our lives be made pure;
His strength is inside us,
So we may endure.
Every task put before us,
And every struggle within,
With God on our side,

We will conquer and win!

Eternal Answer

We search the world for answers and find nothing that lasts.
We build our hope on what does not stand forever;
We rely on a strength that fades.
We bring fear upon ourselves as we rip the foundation from beneath our very own feet!
We try and take control on our own and what good comes of it?
We fall on our faces!
We take pride only to be humiliated;
We take a stand only to stumble around in darkness.
We seek pleasure only to drown in misery;
We long to be accepted by the world only to be rejected by God.

How long will we live this way?
Where is our hope, our foundation, our beliefs?
What are our goals, our passions, our pursuits?
Who are we living for?
Where is our mind set?
What is our purpose?

Let’s set our minds on Christ.
He is our only perfect, infallible, eternal answer.

You’re a flower, I’m a flower

Yesterday while out walking I picked wild flowers to put together in a bouquet. There were many that from a distance looked absolutely perfect, but then as I came closer I would find flaws in them such as holes where bugs had eaten at them and missing petals.

It got me to thinking of how much we are like those flowers. To put it simply, if we are making new friends, attending a new church, or moving to a new community, (in my family’s case, all of the above) we shouldn’t expect things to be as perfect as they may seem at first glance from a distance. If we do, we’re setting ourselves up for disappointment. I’m not saying we should think negatively–on the contrary, we should be thinking positively–but come on, nobody is perfect!

Going back to the flowers. They weren’t eating holes in themselves. They didn’t pull out their own petals. We grow up in an imperfect world. There are storms, seasons, diseases…all kinds of things that will try and eat us away. The important thing is that we aren’t eating ourselves or each other away.

A True Dance

The other night I was trying to relax as I listened to a new album with many songs I’d never heard before. In my mind it was as though I was dancing to the music, but rather unsure of myself as I wasn’t sure what was coming next in the song.

We go through so many phases in life–several at a time, really. While there may be repeated movements, life is always a new dance, a new song. It’s easy to be so afraid we will mess up that when we do, we tend to concentrate on our mistakes rather than the music–God’s music–extending the mistakes all the more.

To be sure, we need to be aware of our moves, our surroundings, and our attitude. But even more importantly we need to have our ear turned to God, concentrating on His music, His timing, and going with things as they come. That is when our dancing will naturally become graceful, beautiful, and truly lovely as His music is portrayed through us.

Question for today~
Whose music are you dancing to?

We Desperately Need God

We have good days, and we have bad days. We have happy days and sad days, gloomy days and cheerful days, and some in between. Sometimes I hear stories of people whose entire lives sound just plain miserable…when these people are Christians, they often seem as sincere in their faith and close to God as they can possibly get.

Whether we are quite comfortable or are in a time of suffering there’s something that doesn’t change: we desperately need God. Ironically, when it is hardest to realize this is when life seems easy, not hard, and though it may seem as though we need God less in good times, that is far from true.

When we are on the easy road, not realizing how desperately we need God and relying on Him, we become very vulnerable, susceptible to sin and being deceived without even realizing it. In the Old Testament, over and over again we see the Israelites becoming vulnerable when they’re doing well. They become more and more like those around them, worshiping pagan gods and living a selfish, worldly lifestyle. It is in times of suffering that they soon turn to God to save them.

We need to realize how desperately we need God no matter the circumstance. If we don’t, what’s right and wrong begins to get fuzzy, our relationship with God seems boring and He becomes pushed to the side.

Run a check-up and ask yourself some questions:

Are there things that I’m doing that I’m not sure if they’re okay or not?

Is my time with God special or a chore?

Is there anything I’ve made more important to myself than God?

Am I living with God as my purpose?

A Focus On God

So often I feel like I’m getting nowhere…likely because in a sense, I am getting nowhere. For years I’ve been in square one: preparation. It has definitely been a real test on my patience!

I know there are many others out there in a similar situation:

You know where God is calling you, but you don’t know when or how you’re going to get there.

Those can be pretty big questions. For me, where I’ve felt God has been leading me seems right next to impossible. Often I don’t even know where to start…giving up would definitely be the easier route.

There are a lot of things I don’t know–I will always be learning–but one thing I have figured out, and that is to keep God as my focus and everything else will fall into place. Easier said than done, yes, but here are a few things I’ve found that should look like:

If my focus is on God, useless things will fade away. Things that used to bring me self-pleasure will be replaced by things that give pleasure to God.

If my focus is on God, fear will be gone. When I am looking to Him, no matter the situation, He gives a peace that leaves no room for fear.

If my focus is on God, true joy cannot be taken away. When I keep my focus on a perfect God who is outside the boundaries of time and my earthly body I will find a joy that can’t be found anywhere else.

If my focus is on God, I will come to know a love that no one else can give. No one is able to better love us than the One who created us, gave His life for us, and who created love Himself.

No matter where we’re at or where God is taking us it is critical for our focus to be on Him. We need to carefully examine ourselves and ask, “Is my focus on God?”

Self-centered “me time”

It is often said that we all need something called “me time”…but do we?

Nothing against treating yourself to a night out or getting a foot massage, what I’m getting at is our attitudes and where our focus is as we get the chance to take a break.

While we certainly need to take care of ourselves, there is simply no circumstance we can possibly be in that we should be living our lives in a self-centered way. Instead of having “me time” with the the attitude of “I deserve this”, let’s try having “God time”, in His presence thanking Him for what He has blessed us with.

When our focus is shifted away from ourselves and onto Christ it makes every minute so much more valuable! Having that five-minute coffee break with gratitude is going to be much more special, and even beneficial, than if you have the attitude of “no one touch me till I’m done”.

It is sooo easy and quite common to live in a self-centered way. It is a constant battle, but it is a battle worth fighting. When our focus is taken away from ourselves–that is where we find peace, hope, joy, and so many other blessings that can’t be found in any other way.

Choose to have “God time” instead of “me time”…you’ll be glad you did!

Sheltered, Perhaps.

To those who are taken aback when I’ve never heard of a particular song, seen a particular movie, or heard of a particular person: Sure, maybe I’ve been sheltered. Sheltered under God, and I don’t mind one bit because there are some things I just don’t need in my life right now that likely would only have a negative impact on me anyway…so why chase after it?

Give me a biography of someone who gave their life for a good cause, not the latest top-novel. I’d rather be filled in on something educational than shameful. I’d rather spend time with my little sister than watch my favorite show on Netflix. I’d rather look for ways to fix problems, not gossip about them. I’d rather build relationships, not watch them fall apart. I’d rather live with a purpose than just wait and see what happens. I’d rather look for ways to bring light into this world instead of drowning in the dark.

It’s God that I want to make sure I stay in tune with. It’s His work I want to focus on. It’s His will I want to follow. It’s His love story I want to share. I want to hang on HIS every word, not my favorite movie star’s.

Okay, rant over—for now anyway… 😉

“If I were still trying to please men, I would not be a servant of Christ.” -Paul

Are you in good health?

I can definitely say from experience, if you have physical pain, you’re going to (or at least you should) want to find out why so it can be treated and you can be healed. Being sick and in pain is not something to be ignored or you will find yourself in an unhealthy, pretty miserable state. …seems simple enough.

Something that is, in fact, often ignored is our spiritual health. We are often afraid of failing tests, our wounds being exposed, and diseases being recognized. But until some examining is done, we cannot find our weak points. Until we are aware of our weak points and acknowledge any areas we are sick, we cannot get the proper treatment and exercise to become strong and in good health.

Make it a habit to run a check-up. Examine yourself, but more importantly, allow God to examine you. He is the best Doctor out there, and to be sure, knows the best cure. But first, we have to be willing to receive the diagnosis.

 

You Are All

All that I am, You have made me;
All nature around me, You have created.
All that has happened, You have allowed it—not a bird falls without Your knowledge.
All our sin You have taken upon Your own shoulders—You have been bruised and beaten for our iniquities.
All our punishment You take on Yourself if we allow it;
All fear of death is taken away if we walk the Way of Life.

Actions Speak Louder Than Words

1506342058188Okay, you’ve probably heard this before, but for real—not only for the sake of those who hear our words and see our actions, but for ourselves—who we’re known as is going to be based on what is portrayed in our lifestyle, not just our words that come out in discussions, debates and daily conversations.

I’m so frequently blown away by the hours and hours spent, particularly on the internet, of debates that are obviously pointless. Stop. Just stop. Stop and listen to the leading of the Holy Spirit and ask yourself if you are responding in a Christ-like manner. If someone has questions and is willing to learn, by all means, answer their questions in a way that directs them towards Christ, encouraging them to seek Him on their own.

Now, believe me, I’m not knocking teaching…it’s something we all need. Part of our lifestyle should be teaching one another in love. But it’s easy to think teaching is strictly words when it is far from it.

Most of Jesus’ teaching was not done from a pulpit, but by walking side by side with His disciples amongst the lost and hurting. He seldom used words to teach them how to forgive others, show love to complete strangers, to fellowship with one another, to give, to be humble and respectful, and to seek after God and fully surrender.

He actually DID these things!

He ate with the sinners, He forgave, He fellowshipped. The words that He did speak He spoke in love to those willing to hear while living it out. What if He had only ever used words, and never actually lived them out? What if He had said to go to the sinners, the lame, the blind, the hurting, the beggars…and never actually did it Himself, but rather all He ever did was have discussions with the Pharisees? It would hardly paint the same picture or convey the same message. That is not the Jesus we read of in scripture.

As we’re learning things, let’s put them to good use and teach them as we live them out—not limiting it to ourselves and pointless conversations.

In other words, don’t be like the Pharisees…be like Jesus. 😉

One God Alone

May all who are hungry bless the Lord and His name!
Honor His Word in all you do so you will not be put to shame.
The proud will crumble, the stubborn brought to their knees,
There is no place at the King’s table for men such as these.
Make known to all people the goodness of our Lord:
Darkness cannot overcome the blood that He has poured.
His love is greater than all hatred on this earth.
He offers us new bodies—a chance of a new birth.
This life He gives cannot be taken;
His Kingdom above cannot be shaken.
Rejoice in the Lord, may your faith be made strong.
May we live in one accord,
As He comes before too long.
Even the wicked will bow at His throne;
All will see one God alone.

Who Has Control?

Teenage Problems, Social Issues and Bullying“It’s hopeless.” “There’s nothing I can do.” “It never ends.” “I’m broken.” “I’m scared.” Pain. Sadness. Darkness. … These are things that Satan will try and slip into our thoughts and feelings day and night as long as we allow him to.

I know many will say, “But you don’t know what I’m going through.” or “You just don’t understand.” and you’re probably right. I probably don’t know or understand. Everybody is different. But no matter what we’re going through, we can choose what to do about it. When we’re opening up our ears to what Satan has to tell us, we are letting him take advantage of us! God has made you worthy of so much more than that!

God is not a god of evil, hate, anger, sadness, etc. When we allow these things in our lives, they come between us and God–replacing His love, joy, and peace. We are allowing a wall to be built around us shutting out the good and containing darkness. We are allowing ourselves to be chained up rather than set free. Who wants that?

We need to ask ourselves what it is we truly want…not just accept whatever is put in front of us. We go through hard things in life–it’s not a perfect world. A lot of times when we’re going through something, we assume certain feelings and reactions go along with the package and we just have to accept it. This is not the case.

Someone can steal from you, and you can choose whether to be angry or forgiving. Someone can be diagnosed with a life-threatening condition and choose to live in fear or peace knowing they have eternity with God. Someone can make a mistake and hate themselves, or they can accept God’s forgiveness and live in joy knowing they’re fearfully and wonderfully made.

Let’s replace Satan’s thoughts with, “I messed up, but God has forgiven and made me new.” “I’ve been broken, but God has healed me.” “My body is weak, but He keeps my spirit strong.” “Satan pulls me down, but God lifts me up.” “Some make me angry, but I will forgive as Christ forgave me.” “I was afraid, but I’ve been reminded that God is greater than all things.” “I used to only see hate, but now I see God’s love.” “I didn’t think I could have joy again, but God’s joy is far greater than Satan’s darkness.” 

Don’t let Satan have his way. He will pull you into constant tears and misery if given the consent. This is your life…are you giving it over to God, or to Satan?

Allowing God To Rain—Being Made Clean

1504093198378Coming home this evening with my family from a visit to my grandparents we had just had rain and you could tell simply from the air. It had that fresh, cleanliness about it—where you just want to stop, take a slow, deep breath and enjoy it for a few moments.

It got me to thinking of how important it is for us to allow God to let His rain fall in our lives. It reminded me of His blood and how it washes away our sins and makes us holy.

Living in this world, the air that we breathe very easily becomes polluted. Similarly, what we are breathing in as Christians can easily become intoxicated by what’s around us as we are hardly in a perfect world. But if we allow Him to, God can wash away the hate, anger, selfishness, pride–the evil–by His love and precious blood. We don’t have to allow these things into our lives. He can fill us instead with the air that is pure–the wind of His Holy Spirit.

To do this we must come to Him. Out of the darkness. It’s easy to hide away where a lot of the pollution goes unnoticed especially when we don’t particularly want to see it. Something that has caught my attention is how there are many things you don’t see until you’re in the light. When we see the sun’s rays shining in a window you can see dust and tiny things floating in the air that you couldn’t see before. Likewise, if we look towards the light, (God) we will see unhealthy things that need taken out of our lives that has before gone unnoticed.

Let’s do some examining in God’s light. Not only of ourselves, but what we are taking in—what we are breathing in on a daily basis. Sometimes it’s uncomfortable at first, but it’s what we very much need…and afterwards can be so refreshing!

Born Again

“And the vessel that he had made of clay was marred in the hand of the potter; so he made it again into another vessel, as it seemed good to the potter to make.”
Jeremiah 18:4

We are far from perfect—nor can we make ourselves to be—but we can choose to allow God to reform us into something beautiful. It requires letting Him hold us in His hands and allowing Him to reshape our lives, many times quite drastically.

“No one puts a piece of unshrunk cloth on an old garment; for the patch pulls away from the garment, and the tear is made worse. Nor do they put new wine in old wineskins, or else the wineskins break, the wine is spilled, and the wineskins are ruined. But they put new wine into new wineskins, and both are preserved.”
Matthew 9:16-17

I think we often try to hold onto parts of our old lives that are hard to let go rather than fully surrendering to God, and this quickly creates a problem. As long as we are holding onto our old bodies—our old ways, traditions, lifestyle, selfish desires, and such—we are naturally going to be rejecting God without even meaning to. We aren’t going to be ready to receive His Spirit and His blood upon us to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. We won’t have His desires within us. We won’t be fully equipped to share the gospel as long as we are like this.

I might as well say it: it’s not easy—not if we’re doing this 100%. It takes a continuous surrendering, but it is worth it. Let’s allow God to fully renew our bodies so that He can fill us to overflowing with His Holy Spirit, His desires, His strength, His love, His wisdom, His peace, His joy, and so much more.

Is Christianity Decreasing?

As I’ve heard more and more of the percentage of the American population that claim to be Christians decreasing, it has really got me to wondering how many truly know what Christianity is. Perhaps I am seeing this wrong, but what I am seeing is less people claiming to be Christians who weren’t truly Christians in the first place. Not all, but a huge part of what America considers “Christianity”, has become very shallow and insincere. I think a lot of it is because much of the modern-day church has become very fact-based.

When I look around me and see the amazing detail of the creation of the world and how we can’t make a single blade of grass I wonder how people could even doubt God’s existence. The way so many things function—where if one single detail were off it wouldn’t work at all…can this really be a coincidence?

But I am slowly beginning to see that as I grew up in a Christian home, I had faith in Christ first—before all the details. And that’s where real Christianity starts—with faith.

God didn’t go to the Pharisees and perform a miracle to prove Himself. He went to the sick, the hurting, the hungry…those who were seeking and willing to step out in faith. God then reveals Himself to those who put their faith in Him.

A lot of the Christian church has been trying to prove themselves with facts—but to no avail because many non-believers already have their own “faith”. They already have something they believe, that they’ve grown up being taught and you simply can’t replace faith with facts. There’s nothing wrong with having facts, to be sure. I’ve been very fascinated by the history of the Church and all the details of God’s creation, but it’s not where my faith is based.

There’s something I have to give atheists  credit for, and ironically, it’s their faith. Their strong belief that there is no God. It’s not really something they can prove, but nonetheless, they believe it.

A religion that stands is going to be one that is based on faith. It’s where your heart is set, what no words any man can say will convince you otherwise. Sadly, a lot of Christianity is no longer faith-based. What I’ve been seeing is as there have been so many discoveries and the world has learned new things, a lot of sincere Christians with a faith-based religion mistakenly have been raising up a generation of fact-based religion…which does not stand very long.

And this generation I am speaking of is not our current generation, but previous generations. There was a period in time where many families were growing up saying, “Well, the Bible says it, so it must be true.”, and “good people” keep the Ten Commandments and go to church. This is hardly “faith” that is being passed down, but facts.

I believe the decline of people who claim to be “Christians” is people who never had a faith-based relationship with Christ in the first place. Many grew up in “Christian” homes that literally had no faith…just facts. And then as they grew up, became more independent and were out in the world they were quickly surrounded by a “faith”, but not a faith in Christ…a faith that there is no God.

We need to realize that Christianity takes faith…without it, it won’t stand. Don’t build your life and family on facts, but faith in God and His Word to us. True faith won’t decline, but will grow.

What Faith Can Do

Even if it seems impossible, that’s ok. Even if I have no idea how I’m going to reach the goals before me, that’s ok. Even if I can’t say exactly where I’m going, that’s ok. Because God is great, and He knows. With faith in Him I can reach the impossible, I can go further than I’ve ever dreamed possible, and can achieve things that I hadn’t even thought of achieving. He is my God. He goes before me and knows the way I am to go…nothing can come between me and God.

Facing Our Problems

We’ve all got problems. Who doesn’t? It’s a part of life. Where it becomes a BIG problem is when it’s not taken care of. The roots of the problem grow deeper, and it becomes a lot more to deal with…more than we can deal with on our own.

Identify
Before a problem can be worked out, we have to know that it’s there, and what exactly the problem is. We can usually tell when something isn’t right, though sometimes if we’ve been ignoring it for a long time or have put our hands over our ears to God it becomes as though it isn’t even there. Sometimes it takes some digging to find out what exactly it is, but with the power of the Holy Spirit, God will help us see what needs healed or removed from our lives. Until we find out what it is, we can hardly do anything about it.

God is Bigger
Thankfully, our God is able to handle ANY problem, no matter how big. But in order for that to happen we have to lay it down at His feet and give Him control.

The Roots
Once God reveals to us what it is that needs healing or removed, we need to find the ROOT of the problem—what has caused it, where it is from, and what can be done to prevent it from happening/being there again. Sometimes there are things that we need taken away or something we are used to doing that needs to stop. It’s not always easy to do, but without being willing to remove the root of the problem, the problem will likely grow back.

Healing and Restoration
As children of God, He is our Protector, our Healer, our Guide, and so much more. It is in Him that our trust should be found. No matter how much it may hurt to take away things that need taken away, God is able to heal, restore, and bring things into our lives that are MUCH better. He brings a satisfaction that nothing and no one else can bring.

So let’s not ignore our problems any longer, but rather face up to them allowing God to heal and restore. We’ll be glad we did.

Our Fullest Potential: God’s Will

Everyone is in a different situation, but no matter what country you grew up in, culture, religion, wealthy or poor, there’s something we can all have, and that is potential.

What is your potential? Our potential is often much more than we realize because we’re often determining by our own mind what our potential is, rather than allowing God to do the determining. Without a doubt, God’s will for us is our fullest potential. He has created each of us with unique gifts, knows our every need, our every strength, our every weakness, and how we can best live our lives in a way that glorifies Him and spreads the gospel of His love. So, really, this question falls back on asking God: “What is Your will for my life?”

Asking this question like you mean it is a daring question; accepting the response even more so as it is not always what we want or on our own timeframe. A lot of times we’re going to wish we could have a complete layout of what God’s will is for the rest of our lives—it sometimes seems like it’d be easier that way. But why would we want that? Most likely because it would make us feel like we’re in control and give us confidence in both ourselves and in what we are doing…and that could be a problem. It would lessen our confidence in Christ, faith, patience, trust, reliance on Him, and would very quickly make us feel like we no longer need to stay in constant tune with Him, which would be very dangerous.

There are many reasons—many of which we don’t know—that God doesn’t reveal everything in great detail for the next several decades of our lives. We just need to remember that if we are in close communion with God we will know what we need to know when we need to know it. God knows our fullest potential, and if we are willing to accept it, we can be sure He is going to one-by-one open and close every door as necessary to reach that point.

So, if we are seeking with sincerity God’s will for our life, even when we hardly know what the next day is going to bring we can take each step with confidence in Christ—knowing that we are living our lives to the fullest potential.

A Lasting Strength

Through the crashing waves our Lord speaks;
By the rolling thunder His voice is known.
He calls us out to step in faith,
to follow where He leads.
He reaches down and guides us on to where we’re meant to be.
His Spirit in our hearts is placed;
He makes His presence known.
His love for us can’t be erased;
His magnificence is shown.
Everywhere is seen His mighty hand and a quite intricate art;
A lasting strength that doesn’t fade–it can’t be torn apart.

Is God Our Focus?

What should our life be like if we are keeping our focus on God?

1. Praising Him
You may wonder why I began with praising Him. Well, it is easy to praise God in the rare situations that everything is perfect and things just seem to be falling into place…but what about when we’ve lost a loved one, we feel like we’re failing, or just have no idea what in the world we should be doing? It is these times that it can be the hardest to praise God—but it’s these times where it is most needed, for our own sake.

By praising Him anyway, it helps us remind ourselves of our priceless blessings of eternal life, God’s love, mercy, and grace that are way more than anyone else can give. It helps us shift from regret, fear, anxiety, and sadness, to contentment, faith, peace, and joy.

“My lips will shout for joy, when I sing praises to you; my soul also, which you have redeemed.”
Psalm 71:23

2. Following Him
Especially since I lost my license, (due to my epilepsy) I can TOTALLY be a backseat driver. I probably don’t have to get into too much detail to say that it’s not typically something that brings good results, and neither does trying to tell God where we need to go. There’s many times I need God to tell me something like, “Will you just let me drive?”

He can see far down the road while we can only see what’s right in front of us. We need to give Him control. If our focus is on God, then He is in front of us doing the steering.

3. Listen, talk, listen, talk…
Obviously, if we are a Christ-follower we need to have good communication with Him, commonly known as prayer. It’s easy to put our communication with God in a box–a certain timeframe of the day only, giving Him no attention the rest of the day. But what kind of relationship is that? He’s always with you, and doesn’t only speak through words.

Watch out for situations where there is someone in front of you in need and listen to see if God is asking you to help that person. When someone gives you encouraging words, don’t only thank them, but thank God who likely was speaking through them. Look for situations where He may do the same through you.

5. Relying on Him
We should be desperately seeking God for help, not placing our trust in the world or ourselves. While He many times helps us through others, we need to understand that it is still from Him. He alone should be our source of strength, wisdom, love, patience, and many other attributes that are critical to living our lives as a true follower.

I lift up my eyes to the hills. From where does my help come? My help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth.
Psalm 121:1-2

I started to add a sixth thing on sharing the gospel but then stopped myself as I thought of something. (It’s amazing what you can learn from blogging! 😉) I felt like that would indicate it being something we should take the lead in when it’s not. If we are in constant communication with God, relying on Him, letting Him take the lead with a desire for His will, then His will will come about, including the spreading of the gospel. We need to focus on following Him, and let Him take care of the rest.

(Okay, just curious who noticed I skipped four? 😜)

 

God’s Seed

Hearts are hardened as stone and you ask why the seed does not grow?
The seed is planted among thorns and you wonder why when sprouted the plants are choked up?
It is no use to plant where the ground is not prepared to receive it;
time is wasted when you plant where nothing will survive to harvest.
Search for ground that has been prepared;
look for land that has not been swallowed up.
Plant where it will be well-tended and fed;
if there is no water and sun it will whither away.
Be sure the roots go deep so that a storm only makes it stronger;
plant among others so that it may bear fruit.
Do not keep the seed to yourselves or hide it away, for if you do when the Master returns it will be taken away.

 

 

“The proud man worries, the humble man waits.”

Silhouette of a Senior Caucasian Male PrayingMany times when we think we know what God has called us to and things don’t go as we expect our instinctive reaction is to worry. While it is possible we were misguided in where we thought God was leading us, it is also possible it’s just not time.

God has a great plan for each and every one of us, but something that is especially important is being prepared.

“Worry will not help our cause at all. It will, in fact, hinder our progress.” -Joyce Meyer

Don’t worry! Many of us have heard that God works all things together for good for those who love Him, but we have to know and really believe that. Living in fear only brings us down, and frankly, is a waste of time. We need to be taking each day God has given us to glorify Him, putting our trust in Him, and letting Him take care of the rest.

If you know where God is leading you, don’t let having to wait worry you. Take that time to learn, to prepare, to grow. Perhaps having to wait means you just aren’t ready. Seek God with all your heart, mind, and strength and He is fully capable of bringing about where He is calling you. We serve a great and mighty God! 

My Calling

1494209990522Ever since I was a kid I never wanted to be normal. Like, that’s just boring. I didn’t know right away, and still don’t know in great detail what God has called me to do with my life, but I know for sure normal is not who I want to be. (And does God really expect us to be normal?) I’ve always felt like there is so much potential in life, and that time is so important…it can be used for great things, or it can be wasted away. One thing is for sure: I do not want my life to be wasted away.

Now, you may be wondering what these “great things” are. It’s taken me years to figure that out myself, and I’m still working on it. One of the biggest things I’ve learned is doing “great things” starts NOW. Some of the greatest things you can do can seem so unimportant, so little, and even pointless. I know if I ever want to do the kind of things I dream of doing one day it’s going to require lots of learning, advice, questions, lots of prayer, and experience.

To put it simply, I want to love people. I want my love for them to reflect Christ’s love for me. I want to be at their feet willing to get dirty. I want to share the truth bringing light to darkness. I want to be there for people who just need someone to listen to them. I want to show my love by providing long term physical care. I want to show my love through teaching the truth of God’s Word. I want to show others how they can love too, so it’s not limited to what I can do myself. And do I really have to wait to start loving people? Of course not! I’m surrounded by people who need to be loved and cared for. Everybody needs to be loved. And, it provides lots of learning experience for myself. God has placed me in so many opportunities to teach, to learn, to love, and to care for people around me…I have been so blessed!

So, that’s the basics of it, but more specifically God has placed a desire in my heart to help orphan children with special needs.
Though the idea of helping orphans has been in my mind since I was a young child and saw commercials for nonprofit organizations asking for donations to support a child, it wasn’t till much later that the idea of helping orphans with special needs even occurred to me, simply because I wasn’t aware of the need.

When I was 20 I had the privilege of being asked to be a personal care attendant for a then 13 year old child with Spina Bifida and transposition of the great vessels. I would do things like homeschool, take him to PT, go along to appointments, cleaning, laundry, home exercises, keep meds in order and such…most importantly, just be a friend…what a wonderful experience it was! I worked with Seth for nearly six years.

I’ve had epilepsy for many years (9), and the family has been incredibly gracious to me as there have been many days I needed to leave early or couldn’t make it.

Finally, in November last year, I lost my license and had to stop working. Even if I could get to work the seizures were becoming too frequent to actually DO the work.
Thankfully, we found help. Seeing a new neurologist, within 10 minutes of telling him what had been going on he recommended brain surgery. So, after doing many tests over the last couple months, I am in the process of getting surgery. (Currently scheduled for July 26th) I am really hopeful of this being a huge help as this surgery typically 80% of the time completely stops seizures, and otherwise greatly reduces them.

Meanwhile, with books as pictured above, I’ve been keeping myself busy with reading and research with some more from Amazon on the way! 😊 I feel like in a lot of ways I hardly know where to start, but every time I’m reminding myself, if God is calling me to something, He will prepare me and open doors and lead me to that calling. If anyone has any reading suggestions, share in the comments below. Prayers appreciated!!!

Am I where God wants me to be?

I think so…or so I thought. Just when I think I’m where God wants me to be, things start to change…I begin to second guess myself and ask, “Am I truly where God wants me to be?”

Step by step, and moment by moment, we should be in a continuous motion towards our goal: towards Christ.

As what is going around us changes, sometimes it’s so gradual we don’t even realize it’s happening until everything is completely different, and other times the changes are so rapid and frequent it’s hard to know how to react.

So things change. What now? Did I go the wrong way? Sometimes a change in our life is a result of our own choices and decisions, and sometimes it is a result of something completely out of our control…maybe even a little of both.

The question that really needs to be asked, is not whether I’m where God wants me to be, but rather, “Am I going the Way God wants me to go?”

It wasn’t until recently that I learned that to figure out where God wants me to be so I can just stay there is a never-ending battle. It just doesn’t exist.

It’s like a first-grader working so hard to get to second grade, and then once that is achieved, becoming content and proud of where they are in life and decide to stay there.

Does this mean we should skip “second-grade”? No. We need to have goals ahead of us to work towards. Just getting the idea that when we have reached a set goal, we are where we should be and should stay there, is going to cause a major set-back in our growth, maturity, and understanding of what Christ being our goal truly is.

Everybody is different, so our goals are going to be different, right? Not necessarily. No matter who we are, where we are, or what situation we are in, Christ doesn’t, hasn’t, and never will change. Christ should be the center of everything and everyone. So how do we make Christ our goal, what we are running towards with all our heart, mind, and strength?

Typically, we want to find two or three not-so-hard-to-change things in our life that we notice Christ is not the center of, and work towards making Him the first priority of those things. But are we putting Him before ALL things? (This includes our relationships, how we spend our time, our jobs, who we put our trust in, and more)

If He is not our One, True desire, then it’s like we are running the right direction backwards, with our eyes on something else, which will very quickly lead to going off track and running into unexpected bumps in the road. (I mean, come on folks, we’re not Mater)

Often times we think, “How do you MAKE yourself want something? It’s impossible.” Love. It might take some digging deep to see it, but Christ LOVES us. More than anyone on this earth possibly can. If we open our eyes to how much He truly loves us, even though we will never be able to compare to His immeasurable love, we will very quickly want to honor, respect, follow, love and be forever devoted to the One who has love so great as Christ has for His children!

Now, we can’t trust in someone we don’t know, we can’t live for someone we don’t love, and we can’t have a desire for something we’ve never tasted or seen. We have to taste and see that the Lord is GOOD. Get into His Word, learn that He is a fair and just God. He is loving in all His Ways…oh, what a Mighty God we serve!

Once we have our eyes set on drawing closer to Christ as our goal, there is no stopping us! There will be distractions, for sure. But if we continuously remind ourselves why staying in “second grade” is just plain foolish, that walking the right direction with our eyes off track is very quickly going to lead us into many unwanted and unnecessary challenges, and that God’s immeasurable, continuous love is a gift that we can either accept or turn down, we will quickly have a desire within us to run, full-force, towards Christ, making His Way the path that we are on.

If you want to make a difference in this world, make Christ your goal. It’s a life-long journey and commitment, but it’s WORTH IT.

Hear The Sirens

On the road home from work, after hearing sirens and seeing flashing lights in the mirror from an ambulance approaching behind, I immediately started looking for somewhere to pull over.
Most-inconveniently the traffic was completely stopped on a bridge filling all the lanes, leaving no where for the ambulance to cross. As the ambulance quickly grew closer, I instinctively pulled forward off the bridge and to the side. Thankfully, the cars behind me followed giving the ambulance a clear lane to pass through.
As the ambulance sped past and was soon out of sight, I immediately began to think of how important that ambulance trip may have been.
What if I, or the line of cars behind me, had ignored the sirens and stayed just where we wanted to be?
Sometimes God will call us to do something that seems small, inconvenient, or unimportant.
I think we many times go around with earplugs and a blindfold on, preventing us from hearing and seeing those sirens and flashing lights. Failing to be attentive to where we are and where we should be rarely affects only ourselves, but typically those around us as well.
If we are truly surrendering our lives to our Creator, it means taking up our cross, going outside what is comfortable and convenient, and showing Christ’s love and kindness to those around us. What if Jesus had only stayed in the “comfort lane”?
Time is another important factor. When God leads us from one place to another, if we’re dragging our feet trying to find reasons not to go, but then eventually going, by then there’s a good chance it’s too late.
Not to mention delaying doesn’t make it any easier.
So, listen up. God may call you to something that seems small or unimportant, but actually has a life-changing impact on someone else even though we cannot see it.

Am I where God wants me to be?

I think so…or so I thought. Just when I think I’m where God wants me to be, things start to change…I begin to second guess myself and ask, “Am I truly where God wants me to be?”
Step by step, and moment by moment, we should be in a continuous motion towards our goal: towards Christ.
As what is going around us changes, sometimes it’s so gradual we don’t even realize it’s happening until everything is completely different, and other times the changes are so rapid and frequent it’s hard to know how to react.
So things change. What now? Did I go the wrong way? Sometimes a change in our life is a result of our own choices and decisions, and sometimes it is a result of something completely out of our control…maybe even a little of both.
The question that really needs to be asked, is not whether I’m where God wants me to be, but rather, “Am I going the Way God wants me to go?”
It wasn’t until recently that I learned that to figure out where God wants me to be so I can just stay there is a never-ending battle. It just doesn’t exist.
It’s like a first-grader working so hard to get to second grade, and then once that is achieved, becoming content and proud of where they are in life and decide to stay there.
Does this mean we should skip “second-grade”? No. We need to have goals ahead of us to work towards. Just getting the idea that when we have reached a set goal, we are where we should be and should stay there, is going to cause a major set-back in our growth, maturity, and understanding of what Christ being our goal truly is.
Everybody is different, so our goals are going to be different, right? Not necessarily. No matter who we are, where we are, or what situation we are in, Christ doesn’t, hasn’t, and never will change. Christ should be the center of everything and everyone. So how do we make Christ our goal, what we are running towards with all our heart, mind, and strength?
Typically, we want to find two or three not-so-hard-to-change things in our life that we notice Christ is not the center of, and work towards making Him the first priority of those things. But are we putting Him before ALL things? (This includes our relationships, how we spend our time, our jobs, who we put our trust in, and more)
If He is not our One, True desire, then it’s like we are running the right direction backwards, with our eyes on something else, which will very quickly lead to going off track and running into unexpected bumps in the road. (I mean, come on folks, we’re not Mater)
Often times we think, “How do you MAKE yourself want something? It’s impossible.” Love. It might take some digging deep to see it, but Christ LOVES us. More than anyone on this earth possibly can. If we open our eyes to how much He truly loves us, even though we will never be able to compare to His immeasurable love, we will very quickly want to honor, respect, follow, love and be forever devoted to the One who has love so great as Christ has for His children!
Now, we can’t trust in someone we don’t know, we can’t live for someone we don’t love, and we can’t have a desire for something we’ve never tasted or seen. We have to taste and see that the Lord is GOOD. Get into His Word, learn that He is a fair and just God. He is loving in all His Ways…oh, what a Mighty God we serve!
Once we have our eyes set on drawing closer to Christ as our goal, there is no stopping us! There will be distractions, for sure. But if we continuously remind ourselves why staying in “second grade” is just plain foolish, that walking the right direction with our eyes off track is very quickly going to lead us into many unwanted and unnecessary challenges, and that God’s immeasurable, continuous love is a gift that we can either accept or turn down, we will quickly have a desire within us to run, full-force, towards Christ, making His Way the path that we are on.
If you want to make a difference in this world, make Christ your goal. It’s a life-long journey and commitment, but it’s WORTH IT.

Holy Shifts

Trying to stay in our comfort zone,
Though we’re told we’re not alone,

Without taking risks for the right cause,
And only following our made-up laws,

We won’t succeed in reaching goals,
When all our life is full of holes.

It takes stepping out where our Father leads,
With His strength we plant His seeds.

With God inside, He keeps us strong,
By His side, He keeps us on.

We may have struggles, but our God uplifts,
As He brings us through His holy shifts.

Make A Difference

Making a difference in this world seems so hard,
Unexpected journeys–getting caught off guard.

We should be prepared, ready to listen and share.
Surrendering our all, even when it seems unfair.

Are we willing? Will we try?
Without asking God why?

We don’t really deserve this gift we’ve been given.
We should share with others, or this gift can be taken.

How can we keep this love to ourselves,
Kept in books that are left on the shelves?

Stand on the Truth, hold tight to the One,
Who gives us the strength, Who has already begun,

Preparing the way, of our tasks He has planned.
Writing each day, with the love in His hand.

Filling hearts that are empty, giving strength to the weak.
Providing the words, when we lack words to speak.

Don’t wait till the end, when it’s too late to take part,
In the saving of lives, and the changing of hearts.