Saturday, December 09, 2006
The one thing that has consumed my life lately is school and because of it my brain has been fried. The class is Evangelism and Missions. I'm thinking that should be pretty straight-forward with not a lot of new things. I didn't expect to be challenged. I had no idea that some of these ideas would smack me in the face and I wouldn't be able to let go. I love it and I hate it, cause it makes me question things. I want to think outside of the box and not become so accustomed to some of the ideas and traditions that people do because "it has always been done that way." I have read some of the most interesting books and heard some interesting presentations and discussions.
What has plagued me the most is discipleship. Why doesn't the church actively participate in discipleship? Why haven't I ever had the opportunity to be discipled? Would someone really be willing to give up a year of their life and invest it in the life of another? How I would love to be actively involved in discipleship! The idea of digging into the Word of God and feeding off of another's thoughts and ideas. The idea of being transparent and sharing struggles along with the joys of life. It absolutely blows my mind. It is greatly needed in my church and it is greatly needed in my life. I read this book, "The Master Plan of Evangelism" by Robert Coleman. Some of the most fascinating stuff I have ever read, none of the ideas were new. It was about how Jesus took 12 guys and truly discipled them. It continues to blow my mind. Jesus, the ultimate example in all things.
I'm still processing and when I have some answers I may share. Christmas is definitely my favorite because a baby came to save the world. I pray I never get over these words, "Behold I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David, a Saviour who is Christ the Lord."
This Christmas season, may you experience a relationship with the baby who became a Saviour.
Friday, November 03, 2006
October was quite the month. My favorite thing was the girls' retreat that I have the opportunity to plan and put on every year at my church. It pushes my creativity to the limits and stresses me out beyond imagination and I love every single minute of it. Especially when it all comes together for one crazy event. My favorite part was on Saturday when the Moms of these girls came and spent the afternoon. It was so cool and so much fun! I was surprised at their response. It was a blessing for me to just see them playing games, worshipping, and interacting with their daughters. I loved my idea for it, and ended up praying the whole time that it would not be flop. God went above and beyond my wildest expectations. :)
The end of October and the beginning of November is a most special time for me because it means birthday celebrations for my niece and nephew. :) They are a joy and delight to my heart.
Well, I am abruptly going to end this. Next week is Thanksgiving and I have 1 million and 1 things to be thankful for. I will write about them next week. Life is pretty crazy in the fast lane and just for the record, I think that I am enjoying the ride.
Tuesday, October 10, 2006
They were from my older brother... how random! He's done a lot of great things for me, but never just sent flowers. Turns out that on my birthday almost 2 months ago, he failed to call his one and only sister! He decided to send me flowers on his birthday! So, it was like his cheesy apology, except it ended up being really sweet and cool! :)
Today, I'm thankful for my brothers. Both of them have had birthdays this week and I'm so glad to be able to enjoy life with them. These guys are the best, cause I know that they have my back no matter what. Life wasn't always so great with them growing up. We did our share of fighting and arguing. Nobody will ever pick on me as much as they do!! :) Time has made us completely different people and circumstances have separated us across the miles. This has not hindered the friendships that has developed... I'm so glad for a relationship with each of my brothers. You are definitely the best brothers a girl could ask for... Thanks for the flowers Darryl. That is just like something you would do... Happy Birthday Darryl and Jimbo! I love ya'll and I love being your sister!!!
Sunday, September 24, 2006
Somewhere back in April 2003, I wrote down these words in a journal from Isaiah 42:16, "I will bring the blind by a way they did not know; I will lead them in paths they have not known, I will make the dakrness light before them, And crooked places straight. These things I will do for them, And not forsake them." This was the verse that God used to point my heart in the direction of full-time Christian service. God used this to soften me for the next best thing He desired to show me. I was blindly reaching out for something and God used this verse and this certain guy to show me what He desired in my life. This guy I was dating encouraged me to pursue ministry and 3 years later, I am amazed at the fact that God has chosen to use me.
Today, I am thankful for a failed relationship. Looking back, it is obvious that he the one that God had for me, but I am thankful for the time that we had together. If only for the simple fact that I can look today and see that God was doing something much bigger in my life. I'm so glad that we are different because of the people that God brings into our lives.
Sunday, September 17, 2006
God of unending grace,
I come to You on my face
I need to hear You speak to me,
Won't You make me new right now
God of omnipotent power,
visit us in this hour
And may we leave here changed
because we've met with You, God
You've been more wonderful to me
than I could have ever imagined
You've shown more love than
I could show in a thousand years
And although it seems at times
like it all means nothing to me
You gotta know that I love You
You gotta know that I need You
God of wisdom and love,
settle down from above
Give us all a taste of what
Your Holy Spirit can do
Time and time again we've betrayed,
but our debt's already been paid
And all that leaves me wanting
is to live for you, God
When the world crashes down around me
I know You'll be there to pull me out from the rubble
When my enemy surrounds and I call on your name
You'll be there to deliver me from my troubled soul
Rescue me from all my selfish ways
and thoughts and deeds and plans
Lead me in the everlasting way
and I will follow you there
Monday, September 11, 2006
This date will forever be etched in my memory. I believe it is to my generation what the assassination of JFK was to my parent's generation or the attack on Pearl Harbor to my grandparent's generation.
I remember everything about September 11th. I was on my way to school and I heard it on the radio. It seemed like some kind of crazy accident. It was not until I got to school that I would realized the great tragedy of the events that occurred. Who in the world would do something to our country? My mind asked all kinds of questions as I sat watching a row of tv screens. First, the Twin Towers, the Pentagon, and finally Pennsylvania. What was going on in my country where I had always felt so safe?
My first two classes were cancelled and I waited around for my noon class, not sure what to do. My older brother was in Florida for work with no way to return back to Ohio. His voice was definitely the most comforting that day. I was also concerned for my extremely pregnant sis-in-law, and later found out that she was staying at her parents house. I remember the feeling that I just needed to hear the voice of those people that I loved.
My last class of the day was Music Appreciation. My professor decided that we were not going to accomplish anything, so he let us go. My professor was also my piano teacher and that day was my day for a lesson. I went like normal, but without the focus and confidence that I usually possessed. I sat down at the piano and started to play. I have no idea what I played but I played for over an hour. Occasionally, my teacher would play along with me and sometimes he would just sit there. He gave no corrections or suggestions. He just let me play. I had never played with such power and emotion. I was looking for something good to come out of this horrible day and for me, it was music.
I was thinking about Job last week. His story in the Bible intrigues me everytime I read it. In the first chapter after he has lost everything, he fell to the ground and worshipped. I had the opportunity to do that on September 11, 2001. The music I played had nothing to do with me. It was my act of worship.
Thursday, September 07, 2006
i will run when i cannot walk
i will sing when there is no song
i will pray when there is no prayer
i will listen when i cannot hear
sitting in the waiting room of silence
waiting for that still soft voice i know
offering my words up to the rooftop to Your heart
trusting that this closet's where You are
Lord i know if i change my mind
You will change my heart in time
Sovereign Lord this time's from You
so i sit in the waiting room of silence
cause its all about You
i will fight when i cannot feel
i will trust when You dont seem real
i will tell when i cannot speak
i will step when i cannot see
Tuesday, August 15, 2006
On to better things, like 25 years! Wow, what was God thinking to bless my life with 25 crazy years? I have already been given some great gifts and had the opportunity to spend some time with some of my favorite people. This past weekend, it was all about my immediate family in Jonesboro. I got to hang out with Mom and Dad, but mostly Jim. He is a crazy kid, and will forever be one of my favorite people in the world. By the end of the weekend, we had a list of "only in Arkansas" jokes. He is so much fun! I'm so thankful for him. Hopefully, he will not keep the birthday tradition and call at 12:05 a.m. Jim calls as early as possible and Darryl, my older brother, will probably call around 11:00 p.m. Oh, they are great!
I wish I could reflect on 25 years, but my mind is tired. I leave with this thought. I am reminded of I John 3:1, "Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called children of God..." How awesome! The Father's love is more than enough and by accepting it, we receive the title 'Children of God!' How exciting!
Thursday, August 10, 2006
One thing that has been constant is my Sunday School class. I moved up with my 6th grade girls from last year, who are now 7th graders. I have been challenged in a new way to make the Word of God exciting and fun as we grow together in our faith. This year, I'm teaching on Old Testament characters. I'm sure that I will learn a lot!! I'm excited about them and teaching them!
In these past few weeks I have encountered some really interesting things in God's Word. I have been challenged and encouraged with different passages, but keep going back to one of my favorites. "The Lord your God in your midst, The Mighty One, will save: He will rejoice over you with gladness, He will quiet you with His love, He will rejoice over you with singing." (Zephaniah 3:17) I love this!!!!!! What an encouragement and joy!
I promise to share more later! I'm enjoying the Beth Moore study on Daniel. I highly recommend checking it out!
All for now--
Monday, July 17, 2006
Camp was the most incredible thing for me and the point of this blog. Lately, not many things have impressed me. I haven't been impressed by any guy in awhile (sad, but true). I think I have even failed to impress myself... the whole do whatever it takes to get by mentality or something. (I personally hate it!) So, this was my attitude until camp.
I heard a quote by the speaker, JR Vasser, that was something like this, "Jesus has become something common to us that He ceases to impress us." This clicked with me completely. I have always done the church thing and participated in everything, and somewhere along the way Jesus has become common to me. How can Someone who came to earth as man, yet was still God become common??? The text for the week was from Philippians 2:5-11. Check it out, it has always been one of my favorites, but this week I saw it in a completely different light! The wonderful work of the cross, the involvement in my everyday life, the glorious grace that is mine, the mediator of my prayers... HOW DOES THIS NOT IMPRESS ME? I hate rude awakenings, reality checks, and conviction. I got it all.
The God of the universe does not have to, but He chooses to love me. That thought greatly impresses me!!!
Saturday, July 01, 2006
I've been challenged a lot lately with the Word of God, and it would be an understatement to say that I have been convicted. I feel like God is trying to open up my brain and stuff a ton of things in there that I need to learn, but haven't gotten yet. I've been really challenged not to live my life out as a mediocre Christian. What do I mean by that? I think I have become comfortable in my Christianity, and instead of striving to be more like Jesus, I have settled. I am complacent and I don't want to be. After attempting to do something about it on my own, I gave it to the only One who can change me. This has now become my heart's cry... "God please don't let me be satisfied with my walk with you, but desire you more than ever before."
Here's the verse that is stuck in my head, "For I will not dare to speak of any of those things which Christ has not accomplished through me, in word and deed..." (Romans 15:18)
Friday, June 30, 2006
In May 1943, German theologian Dietrich Bonhoeffer wrote a letter to a young bride and groom, advising them on the nature of the union they were about to enter:
"Your love is your own private possession, but marriage is more than something personal — it is a status, an office. Just as it is the crown, and not merely the will to rule, that makes the king, so it is marriage, and not merely your love for each other, that joins you together in the sight of God and man. As you gave the ring to one another and have now received it a second time from the hand of the pastor, so love comes from you, but marriage from above, from God. As high as God is above man, so high are the sanctity, the rights, and the promise of love. It is not your love that sustains the marriage, but from now on, the marriage that sustains your love."
Congrats Mom & Dad! What a wonderful example you have showed me of a God-centered marriage!! May God bless the years to come!
Monday, June 26, 2006
"Not that I have already atained, or am already perfected; but I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me. Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those thing which are ahead. I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus." (Philppians 3:12-14)
Saturday, June 24, 2006
My favorite passage of Scripture this week has been the story of Onesimus and Philemon in the small book of Philemon that is hidden between Titus and Hebrews. Paul is obviously appealing to Philemon on Onesimus' behalf. The story doesn't really say what Onesimus did besides run away, but I'm sure he probably did something to screw up. I can so easily relate to Onesimus, and often I need someone to appeal on my behalf. I think about Jesus and how He serves as my advocate to the Heavenly Father and when I mess up and need forgiveness. Obviously this has been my life more this week than normal. What a blessing that God forgives and forgets!!
Saturday, June 17, 2006
My dad is a pretty wonderful man, so I thought I would give him a little shout out this Father's Day! I love these man-made, card selling holidays. It gives me good reasons to go to Hallmark!
Anyway, on to Dad.
I love my dad for many reasons, but I'm gonna share the top 3:
- He inspires me to be more like Jesus!!
- He listens to me!!
- He is a thinker!!
Yep, those are my favorite things about my dad (right now, at least)! I think it is great how God gives us exactly what we need in a Father. I have so many great memories with my dad. Some of my favorites are talking in the car on the way home from volleyball practice. It would just be the two of us, and I am never quiet, so Dad and I would have some great conversations. I love being able to just talk to my dad, he is so wise and has more experience than most people I have ever met. When we talked I felt that he would listen to me, and it didn't matter that I was 9 or 15, he would talk to me like I was important and had something interesting to say.
I guess you could say that I am a Daddy's Girl (and proud of it, especially on Father's Day). God has put so many incredible men in my life in addition to my dad, like my big brother who is the dad of my sweet nephew and niece. I am also remind of a certain "adopted" dad at my church who always makes me feel like one of his "real" kids! These amazing people whom God has placed in my life give me a great picture how wonderful my Heavenly Father is!
Awesome God, thank you so much for Dads, without them my life would not be the same, and because of them my life has been greatly impacted forever!
Friday, June 16, 2006
This week has been stressful, and it always seems that in the middle of the stress God desires to show me something. This time it was been that He desires personal retreat with me. A majority of the time I seem so busy with the craziness that is going on around me, that I forget to stop and listen to His voice. I still have my quiet time in the morning, but I feel like I am just doing it out of habit. He gently reminds me of my desperate need for Him, and I fall on my face seeking repentence and a greater longing and desire to hear from Him. This week my faith has been questioned, tested, and encouraged. I know I probably could have done better, but I feel like everything is a learning experience for me. It appears that sometimes the lesson is harder to grasp.