Wednesday, November 30, 2011

"The Not so Invisible God"

     "Sometimes when I pray I feel stupid. I feel like I'm just talking to the air or my ceiling..."As she sits across from me I listen to her vulnerable honesty about her frustrations and confusion. She goes on to explain how she's grown up knowing ABOUT God. She's ALWAYS been in church. But something was missing. As I look through her glistening eyes I see a longing to experiencing the VERY REAL, VERY PRESENT, God she has read and studied about for most of her life. I listen to her desire to know this sweet Savior more intimately and personally, but her doubt of this miraculous, unseen Father makes it seem impossible, even foolish. How does she put her faith in and give her life to someone she can't even see?
      I feel like we've all faced times of doubt where we have asked these very same questions. The struggles this beautiful child asks are not as "silly" or "out there" as she believes. I've met with many girls that have struggled with the same questions along their journey of faith. To which I have to reply isn't that what the journey of faith is all about... asking questions, seeking answers, and discovering just how REAL and PRESENT our LIVING God really is!
      Hebrews 11 tells us that "Faith is the confidence that what we hope for will actually happen. It gives us assurance about things we cannot see."  Faith IS believing in what we cannot see. We could never grasp faith if we never sought after and questioned that which we cannot see. I've discovered that its in my seeking that faith develops more. The more I seek, the more real He becomes to me, and the more confident I become in my own faith.
       Over the past few weeks I've been stuck on these verses below. Colossians 1:15 says "He (Jesus) is the image of the invisible God" It all starts with Jesus. Jesus makes this seemingly invisible, distant, fantasy God become VERY visible, close, and incredibly real. Infact, Jesus has become the most real thing in the world to me.  Jesus resembles all that God is. The gospel of John explains this so clearly. Chapter 1 says "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God" & vs 14 goes on to say "And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth." By humbling himself and becoming a man- He made himself accessible to us. Because of Jesus we can now encounter our loving Father God. And since Jesus is the image of the invisible, we will discover more about this wonderful King by consuming ourselves with His word! Jesus is the Word so the word is the most tangible picture of who God is. When you seek God by reading His Word the invisible suddenly becomes visible. And the more you get to know Him the more you will want to know Him. And soon you won't feel so "foolish" because He will become the only thing in this world that makes sense. 
That's all for now... enjoy discovering more about this "Not so Invisible God!" 

"So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the WORD of God" Romans 10:17

Thursday, July 21, 2011

God is love

This past week I read 1 John 4:8 and the last part of it just jumped off the page to me- "...for God IS love" Now this is something I have often read, heard, and thought... but this week it was different. God IS love... It's what defines Him - his personality, his actions, his very nature. It amazes me that anything I want to know about this infinite and mighty God can be summed up in one seemingly small 4 letter word that has a meaning far deeper than I could ever begin to describe. LOVE....
Love- Created me. 
Love- Set me free. 
Love- Gave me purpose. 
Love- Saved me.

I read a quote that said "Love isn't something God does- It is who He is" 
He IS my creator, my freedom, my purpose, my Savior.... 
and as 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 describes:
He IS patient and kind. He is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. He does not demand His own way. He is not irritable, and He keeps no record of being wronged. He does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. He never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.

How beautiful is that! He keeps no record of it when I wrong Him. He is patient with me. He never loses faith in me or gives up on me. He will endure through every circumstance. He will always BE kind. Wow... 

But here's the thing...And this part really gets me sometimes.... I am suppsed to walk through this life as a reflection of Him. So, MY life should be defined by this love. Love should not be something I "do"- but who I am.
I've been learning through this week that there are so many people in this world that don't need you to "do" anything but just "BE love to them"
Maybe it's by being patient with them when they cut you off in traffic, Giving a kind smile when they need cheering up, or by forgiving even when they have clearly done something against you.

My prayer is that we would BE LOVE- everywhere we go because you never know how far it will grow! When I leave this Earth I want to leave a legacy of love. I want people to remember me as a woman who loved much and loved well. 

Friday, July 1, 2011

Just a Journal Entry from today...

I’m sitting at Panera Bread, Brooke Fraser on my Ipod, and thinking about all the Lord has been doing in my life over the past few months. I’ve been blown away by His goodness and faithfulness!
It has never been clearer to me that He is the Great I Am. Everthing I am not, He is, and that right there is enough for me to trust in, rely on, and believe in Him.

So many times I have found myself relying on my own strength, wisdom, and ability. These past few months have continually reminded me time and time again how I can do NOTHING apart from my King Jesus. Different circumstances and situations have brought me out of my comfort zone and put me in places where I could ONLY depend on Him. I’ve been challenged, and through my struggle I have learned so much. Throughout this time I’ve never been more sure of the importance of His presence in my life, His power being made perfect in my weaknesses, and His purpose being fulfilled for my life. 


The following is an expanded translation of First Corinthians 13:4-8 by Rick Renner. A friend of mine gave me a framed picture of this translation that I keep on my nightstand. Every time I read it, I'm challenged and inspired...

  • Love patiently and passionately bears with others for as long as patience is needed;
  • Love doesn’t demand others to be like itself; rather, it is so focused on the needs of others that it bends over backwards to become what others need it to be;
  • Love is not ambitious, self-centered, or so consumed with itself that it never thinks of the needs or desires that others possess;
  • Love doesn’t go around talking about itself all the time, constantly exaggerating and embellishing the facts to make it look more important in the sight of others;
  • Love does not behave in a prideful, arrogant, haughty, superior, snooty, snobbish, or clannish manner;
  • Love is not rude and discourteous — it is not careless or thoughtless, nor does it carry on in a fashion that would be considered insensitive to others;
  • Love does not manipulate situations or scheme and devise methods that will twist situations to its own advantage;
  • Love does not deliberately engage in actions or speak words that are so sharp, they cause an ugly or violent response;
  • Love does not deliberately keep records of wrongs or past mistakes;
  • Love does not feel overjoyed when it sees an injustice done to someone else but is elated, thrilled, ecstatic, and overjoyed with the truth;
  • Love protects, shields, guards, covers, conceals, and safeguards people from exposure;
  • Love strains forward with all its might to believe the very best in every situation;
  • Love always expects and anticipates the best in others and the best for others;
  • Love never quits, never surrenders, and never gives up;
  • Love never disappoints, never fails, and never lets anyone down.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Love for All

This morning I was killing some time in Starbucks reading my bible and I came across this verse. 

"As for the saints who are on the earth, They are the excellent ones, in whom is all my delight.” Psalm 16:3

This verse just JUMPED off the page at me. I love how David addresses God's people as "the excellent ones, in whom is all my delight." David's love for God's people is so evident here.

I read an awesome and challenging commentary on this verse that I thought I'd share... 
For many followers of Christ today are so negative about the people of God that they find themselves unable to see any 'excellence' in God's people. They are unable to 'delight in them.' David delighted in the people of God despite their failings, scandals, and embarassment. 
How we love other believers can be an easy way of measuring our relationship with the Lord. Do we love other Christians? Do we find it good and rewarding to be with them? Do we seek their company? This is a simple test. Those who love the Lord will love the company of those who love him.

The bible is pretty clear when it comes to loving other believers.. 1 John 2:9-11 says, "Anyone who claims to be in the light but hates a brother or sister is still in the darkness. Anyone who loves their brother and sister lives in the light, and there is nothing in them to make them stumble. But anyone who hates a brother or sister is in the darkness and walks around in the darkness. They do not know where they are going, because the darkness has blinded them"
I pray we can all have a heart like David's and can see EVERYONE through eyes of love-delighting in them as children of our Heavenly Father - Not Perfect, Just Forgiven.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Anna and the King

Not too long ago I watched the movie "Anna and the King." If you haven't seen its the story of the romance between the King of Siam and a widowed British schoolteacher named Anna during the 1860's. I love this movie for so many reasons, but mostly how perfect the timing was that I watched it. 
Have you ever had those moments when you see God's perfect timing played out in your life. It could be through a phone call from a friend or a message you may hear at church that just seems to come to you at the exact time you needed it. It's those moments I have to stop and smile because it's like a kiss from heaven reminding me that God knows and understands everything we go through. And even if He seems absent at the time He really is right there holding our hands through everything we face. It's just a reminder of how ever present He really is!
But back to the movie... 
There is a moment in the movie where the Anna is sharing her story with the King. Her story is one definitely marked by heartache, suffering, and trials. She had lost her husband, and had to move to Siam to take this job as a school teacher with her young son. Can you imagine having to pick up everything you know and move somewhere that you knew no one and start a new life right after losing someone like that? You could tell the King felt compassion for her and the hurt she was experiencing. But instead of just offering His condolences, the King leans down to her and says something that wrecked me. He said, "if you hadn't gone through your suffering..... then this unique opportunity to change the world would have been someone else's."
When he spoke those sweet words to her I completely lost it. I had to stop the movie, it was like the Lord himself had just whispered those words straight to my heart. Many times we don't understand why we go through the things we do. It's hard to understand why we have to walk through some of the trials we face. But in those moments I feel like the Lord is up in heaven cheering us on saying, "Endure! Endure! Endure! You can do it! You have no idea how I can use this difficult circumstance and turn it for good! It's going to change the world! You can do it! Hold your head high! I've got you! Don't loose heart! It's this moment right here that is preparing you for even greater things than you could ever imagine!!!"
If you find yourself going through something that seems overwhelming and hard to endure remember what Hebrews 10:36 says "Patient endurance is what you need now, so that you will continue to do God’s will. Then you will receive all that he has promised"
He has a plan so beautiful that it will blow your mind once you see all that He has promised fulfilled through your life. Your story will change the world!
Praying for Patient Endurance....

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

You Are Worth It! By: Mattie Montgomery

Loved this!
Never forget