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!