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 

Monday, May 30, 2011

Hurt... Heal.... Help!

I was reading this in my Joyce Meyer "Ending Your Day Right" devotional and felt led to share it.

"God's love has been poured out in our hearts through the Holy Spirit Who has been given to us" Romans 5:5

Sometimes people say or do things that hurt you, but you have the God-given ability to love these people One good way to start is by following the well-known golden rule. It isn't easy. In fact, it requires discipline. But God will help you if you really want to do it. 
Discipline is your friend- it is the ability God gives you to walk in His ways. Although, it is difficult, discipline is temporary discomfort that can lead to permanent or long-term enjoyment. 
It you've been hurt and learned to overcome it, you have a valuable tool to help others. God comforts us so we can comfort others. Here's the progression: We are hurt...we allow God to heal us... and we are ready to help others. Hurt...Heal... Help! It's a process that can literally change your life... and the lives of many others around you.

-It's easy to find ourselves stuck in our own hurt. Pain has the ability to paralyze us and actually keep us from fulfilling the call of God on our lives. I think there is comfort in knowing that God himself has provided a way past our pain.
When we learn to lean on the healing power of the Holy Spirit that is already at work in us, we will find ourselves loving others past our own capabilities. It's at that moment, the moment when we love outside ourself, that our hurt is transformed to help for someone else.

Monday, May 16, 2011

You're Kind of a Big Deal...

Wednesday, May 4, 2011


"But you must not forget this one thing, dear friends: A day is like a thousand years to the Lord, and a thousand years is like a day. The Lord isn’t really being slow about his promise, as some people think. No, he is being patient for your sake. He does not want anyone to be destroyed, but wants everyone to repent." 2 Peter 3:8-9

We serve a BIG God who lives well outside of our concept of time. I mean a day is like a thousand years to him right? Even still, He is a God of perfect timing, His plans are laid out so perfectly for us and we so often fail to realize it. Many times we find ourselves questioning God's plans and purposes for our lives because they just don't seem to be working out the way we would imagine... BUT the good news is His plans for us are far greater than we could ever imagine! Never doubt the fact that God is ALWAYS working behind the scenes for your good!

"And this is the plan: At the right time he will bring everything together under the authority of Christ—everything in heaven and on earth" Ephesians 1:10-12 (NLV)

"But when the proper time had fully come, God sent His Son, born of a woman, born subject to [the regulations of] the Law, To purchase the freedom of (to ransom, to redeem, to [a]atone for) those who were subject to the Law, that we might be adopted and have sonship conferred upon us [and be recognized as God's sons]." Galatians 4:3-7 (AMP)

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

My Shepherd

Over the past week I've been reading a lot in John 10. It's such a good chapter with so much about Jesus being our Shepherd. One of my favorite scriptures that i've been focusing on is from verse 4 "And when he brings out his own sheep, he goes before them; and the sheep follow him, for they know his voice."

I love how it says He brings us out and goes before us and then that we follow him by knowing his voice.

My pastor did a sermon a few weeks ago called Jesus is the Sheperd and in it he talked about how sheep know their shepherds distinct call so well that if two herd were mixed together all the shepherd has to do is send his call out and his sheep would follow him immediatly.
I thought to myself, now that is a beautiful example of what it means to have an intimate friendship. Which is what I desire most to have with my Savior. In this fast pace world we have so many things going on that sometimes it may seem hard to hear God's voice.  BUT what if we can be as intimately associated with our sweet Jesus as sheep are to their shepherd. What if we were so close to him that no matter how many voices, opinions, negativity, busyness, etc... are coming our way that we still hear our Lord's voice. Doesn't that sound amazing?!
Well how do we get there? I've also heard it said that many times shepherds will break a new baby lamb's legs and carry them around the back of their neck until the lamb's legs heal and it can walk on its own again. This may sound like a strange practice but I can't help but see how it is in that time of brokenness that they lamb learns
1.)how much he can depend and trust in his shepherd
2.)how he can become familiar with his shepherds call since he is so close to him
3.)how his shepherd is there to carry him the whole way through while he heals.
What if we started recognizing our broken places as times where we can grow in our trust and dependency on Christ, where we could become familiar with his voice, or even where we can rest in his presence as he carries us.
Just some thoughts that have been weighing heavy on my heart to share.... Hope it blesses you!

Monday, April 11, 2011

Have Faith

"Then Jesus said to the disciples, “Have faith in God.  I tell you the truth, you can say to this mountain, ‘May you be lifted up and thrown into the sea,’ and it will happen. But you must really believe it will happen and have no doubt in your heart. I tell you, you can pray for anything, and if you believe that you’ve received it, it will be yours."
Mark 11:22-24

“Keep on asking, and you will receive what you ask for. Keep on seeking, and you will find. Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks, receives. Everyone who seeks, finds. And to everyone who knocks, the door will be opened.

“You parents—if your children ask for a loaf of bread, do you give them a stone instead? Or if they ask for a fish, do you give them a snake? Of course not! So if you sinful people know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give good gifts to those who ask him.
Matthew 7:7-11

In the past two days I've seen SO many prayers answered that it has rocked my faith.
His timing is perfect, and His ways are good!

I just want to encourage you to have faith!
God not only hears your prayers but is excited and ready to answer them!
Don't loose hope!
Trust Him!

If you want, leave a comment about one of your answered prayers! :)

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Phillipians 1:9-11

"I pray that your love will overflow more and more, and that you will keep on growing in knowledge and understanding.

 For I want you to understand what really matters, so that you may live pure and blameless lives until the day of Christ’s return.
May you always be filled with the fruit of your salvation—the righteous character produced in your life by Jesus Christ—for this will bring much glory and praise to God."

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Luke 8:22-25

 One day Jesus said to his disciples, “Let’s cross to the other side of the lake.” So they got into a boat and started out. As they sailed across, Jesus settled down for a nap.
But soon a fierce storm came down on the lake. The boat was filling with water, and they were in real danger.The disciples went and woke him up, shouting, “Master, Master, we’re going to drown!”
When Jesus woke up, he rebuked the wind and the raging waves. Suddenly the storm stopped and all was calm. Then he asked them, “Where is your faith?” The disciples were terrified and amazed. “Who is this man?” they asked each other. “When he gives a command, even the wind and waves obey him!”
Luke 8:22-25

Isn't it funny that the moment Jesus asks His disciples to cross to the other side He decides to go to sleep?!!
And so when the storm hits where is Jesus? Still asleep!

Some may first look at this passage and immediatly think; 
Why is He sleeping on the job!
If He really is "all knowing" shouldn't He have steered them clear of the storm, or at least warned them!
How could he have slept when the people closest to Him were in danger?! 
Is it that Jesus didn't care?
Maybe He was taking a day off, we all need a day off right?!

While these thoughts have at one point passed through my mind as well, I can't help but KNOW Jesus is ALWAYS in control, and there is no storm that could catch Him off guard.

We all go through storms and trials at some point in our life that make us question where Jesus is at the moment. Does He even care or even see what's going on. The answer to those questions are YES HE SEES YOU! And while it may be difficult to see the reason why He hasn't "woken up" to stop the storm from rocking your boat, He is still in control and you can trust that He cares for you!

Look on down in the passage and you'll see that after Jesus calms the storm He turns and looks at His disciples and simply asks "where is your faith?"

Could it be that MAYBE just maybe Jesus believed in His disciples enough that He knew when the storm came that they had the faith to withstand? Could it be that maybe He was even giving them the opportunity to see their own faith in action?
Kind of like when a child is learning to walk. You don't hold their hands all the time, at some point you have to step back and allow them the opportunity to walk on their own two feet, otherwise they will never be able to take the next step.

When I was young I was terrified of taking the training wheels off of my bike. Both my parents would work with me on this but I would beg them with tears streaming down my face to not let go. But they knew better, and believed in my enough to know that they had to eventually let go of the seat if I was ever going to learn to ride on my own.

If you are going through a storm or trial, first of all, know you are NEVER alone. Secondly, think of this as an opportunity to excercise your faith and trust in Jesus that with Him you will never fail!

Remember He cares more about your character than your comfort! He wants to see you reach your FULL potential in Him while you are on this Earth!

Lastly, be encouraged with this scripture from James 1:2-4

"Dear brothers and sisters,when troubles come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing."

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

It's all in Your Attitude :)

"Is there any encouragement from belonging to Christ? Any comfort from his love? Any fellowship together in the Spirit? Are your hearts tender and compassionate?


make me truly happy by agreeing wholeheartedly with each other, loving one another, and working together with one mind and purpose.

Don’t be selfish; don’t try to impress others. Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourselves. Don’t look out only for your own interests, but take an interest in others, too.

You MUST have the same attitude that Christ Jesus had."

Phillipians 2:1-5

This passsage of scripture has been on my heart the past few days. There is so much convicting truth in it and I had to share.
I really believe that God's Word is our ultimate tool to transforming our lives. His Word needs to DEFINE our very nature.
I've been challenged in my walk this week and praying for God's grace to take this Word and allow it to transform me and my attitude into being more like Christ! :)

If you want to learn more about having the attitude of Christ you can read this book! It's great!
As my friend Connie always tells me... "Every Leader is a Reader!" :)

Monday, April 4, 2011

A Seeking Heart

This morning in my 'One Year Bible' reading I came across this passage of scripture that I am oh so very familiar with. It seems like everytime things get a little bit busier than normal this text always seems to find it's way to my life...

Luke 10:38-42
As Jesus and his disciples were on their way, he came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to him. She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet listening to what he said. But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to him and asked, “Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!”

“Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things, but few things are needed—or indeed only one. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her."

Now in this passage I can't help but see how similar Martha and Mary's hearts are. Both are eager and excited that Jesus their Lord was there to visit with them. Both have hearts that want to please him. Both seemingly desire to serve him.

The difference is Jesus only asks one thing of them, he wants their heart's attention. He is there for THEM!
He doesn't need everything cleaned up, set up, and fixed up perfectly... He ONLY wants them, his daughters, to sit with Him, spend time with Him, learn from Him, and ENJOY being with Him.

While Martha's service was good, honorable, and definitely all for the Lord, she was missing out on the very thing that He had came to their house for... to visit with THEM! He wasn't there to inspect things, and see if they were being diligent in their chores, and responsibilities... No, He came because His desire was to spend time with them!

God delights in a seeking heart and Mary had showed just that and there was NO WAY he was going to let that be taken from her.

My prayer is that I would not get distracted in my day to day life from the very purpose I was created for... to be with my Lord, my sweet Savior, Jesus :)

There is a song that comes to mind everytime I read this passage of scripture... "The More I Seek You" By Kari Jobe Check it out if you haven't heard it!