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.

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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.”

 

We Will Make It

 

IMG_6125Often my mind is quite far away, thinking of children that are hurting and hungry. Children that because of their special needs aren’t given the chance to experience being a child, to know what it is to be loved. I dream night and day of when I am able to hold one in my arms, to be surrounded by these precious gifts that have been hidden away in one place to stay for all their years. To bring joy into their eyes for the first time.

How I will ever reach this point, I don’t know. How long it will be before I can be of any help to these hearts that are yearning I can’t predict. But God will make a way where there seems to be no way.

Wherever God leads us, if we are following, nothing can get in the way. There will be things that seem to get in the way that are actually better preparing us. It takes faith, patience, and a whole lot of perseverance, but if it’s where God is leading us He will get us there.

We have to trust that if it’s where He wants us, we will make it.

Make The Most Of It

There are many things we have no control over, but it is still up to us how we accept those things and react to them.

What got me to thinking about this was a few weeks ago at a doctor’s office for a pre-op appointment. While in the waiting room I noticed that literally everyone there was doing something on their phone. I have an iPhone myself, and there have been many times I’ve been waiting doing who-knows-what on my phone, but when I noticed this I didn’t like what I saw, and soon decided I wanted to do something about it.

I didn’t particularly want to be in a doctor’s office waiting room–who would? But I’ve been realizing something: no matter what our situation is, we should be seeing it as an opportunity.

Despite the fact that it seemed like there wasn’t anything else to do, I put away my phone. Before long I was able to strike up a conversation with someone. Nothing of great significance, but still–it was a conversation. Though I didn’t have the chance to share the gospel in the short time we were talking, it was enough time to communicate to the person that they are noticed and respected; a person can look at them and smile.

Small things like this can mean a lot more to someone than we might think—and I’m saying this from experience. I distinctly remember the few conversations others have started with me throughout the years. People who didn’t know me that came over and gave a compliment or just started talking about something completely random in such a kind way. They’ve been very uplifting and encouraging—I don’t easily forget them.

There have been many times where I was not feeling well and let that get the better of me by being impatient or unkind. I have no control over not feeling well, but I can choose how to react. No matter what our circumstances or what we own, we are capable of impacting others in a good way or a bad way. It is our choice.

It’s easy to let opportunities slip by while being distracted, or we can simply be unwilling to step out and do something for the benefit of others. This is a selfish way of living, and whether we realize it or not, living selfishly is not healthy for us as an individual.

So let’s make the most of whatever our situation is, and make a difference in someone else’s life for the better.

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 agnostics a 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.

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.

 

 

He Is Able

1497323130678A song I heard frequently growing up was a worship song called “He is able”. (Yeah, it’s pretty old. 😛) It has been going through my mind frequently the last couple weeks as I try and remind myself that He truly is able!

“He is able, more than able, to accomplish what concerns me today.”

Life has been pretty hectic as of late as my family is in the process of preparing our house to sell and move out of state while also awaiting my brain surgery next month. So this part of the song has been a good reminder that I shouldn’t be worrying about the future, but taking one day at a time, remembering that God is with me and there won’t be anything too hard to accomplish.

“He is able, more than able, to handle anything that comes my way.”

This has helped me remember that He carries the burden if I simply choose to lay it at His feet in surrender to Him.

“He is able, more than able, to do much more than I could ever dream.”

This line has stuck out to me especially, as I tend to have some pretty crazy dreams and wild ideas of things I’d like to be able to do one day and set high goals that seem next to impossible,(Particularly in helping special needs orphans/missions) but it helps me remember that with God all things are possible…even greater things than I can imagine!

“He is able, more than able, to make me what He wants me to be.”

This line I find to be the most important. There’s nothing we should want more than God—to do His will, and be who He wants us to be.

So, that’s the song. Check it out on YouTube if you’d like to hear the rest of it. (I like the Maranatha version) What I was hoping to communicate through this post is that we should never underestimate God. He is able.