A Late Blog

February 13, 2014

I don’t expect many people to read this, since it is after 11 pm. But I know I am not the only one who becomes tired of enduring through discouraging and sometimes confusing times. When we lay down our dreams and desire’s before God, we honestly ask for Him to reveal what His will in our lives. By faith, we will seek His word and seek His movement in our everyday lives. That is something we should never stop doing, because even God tells us to seek Him in everything ( Isaiah45:11, 55:6 ).

But life is not like the moveis. The whole picture does not form before our eyes within two hours. Sometimes our testimonies can span in a matter of years before seeing the full works of God. I don’t know why it is like that, but that is no reason to not trust God since our lives are His not ours anyways.

I’m sure many can relate to waiting on God. I’ve actually been in a waiting season for a very long time, and yes it can be discouraging. Maybe great desire’s to better glorify God’s kindgom have fired up inside of you, and so you pray that if it be God’s will, He will make a way to open doors. Maybe those doors have never opened, and you’ve prayed for a long time for God’s guidance. Only it has been many months later, maybe even a couple years, and God has not said one word to you about it. Discouraging yes, but you seek His will. So of course, you personally ask God just what is His plan for your life, especially where you are at right now. You seek, eagerly pray, be content, work hard at your job, and even endure through tough times of being under-appreciated and taking on a lot of responsibility. You wait for your hard work to pay off, only that day feels it will never come. And maybe someone else gets the credit over all the hard work you’ve accomplished. Plain discouragement. You can’t figure out what you did wrong, or what you have missed. And at the end of the day, you feel discouraged and let down.

 

Jesus never said that following Him would be laid back. Sometimes, it is exhausting.  And because often nothing seems to be in sight, we just want to give up. But I believe those who truly belong to God cannot give up. Its just not in you to, because we have a connection with God not only through prayer ( which is a big bonus ), but as well through His Word. Times of trying faith is to trust God when we do not understand why He does the things He does, like maybe not revealing Himself more often as we’d like Him to. Through waiting times we have to draw closer to God because we want to know more of Him. God can use such times to be closer to us, if we choose to allow our hearts to be set on God and not on ourselves.

 “Be strong and courageous, and act; do not be dismayed, for the Lord God, my God, is with you. He will not fail your nor forsake you…” 1 Chronicles 28:20.  As a believer, taking it one day at a time, I have to choose God’s word over my feelings and thinking because it is by the Word of God do I gain new strength to get me through life’s challenges each and every day. It is the only way to fight and be victorious in the name of Jesus. Not in the name of “Erin,” but the name of Jesus.  Today at my job, I had a very discouraging moment and it happened early in the day. I’d rather not tell the story of it all, but discouragement had been building for some time lately. And this morning, it hit really hard and I couldn’t help but drive home and cry a little. Satan know’s how to hit hard and say to me, “Give it up already.” And even though I feel weary from it, I cannot give up because of the Word of God. I know the Bible is the most powerful weapon I own and the devil himself fears it. The Word of God defeats every lie of the enemy and gives life in trials where there seems to be no life. Because Jesus overcame death and the grave, nothing is too big for Him to overcome one tiny trial in the eyes of God Almighty.

I have gone over this verse many times where it says, “Cease striving and know that I am God;” Psalm 46:10. Since God never breaks His promises, we can trust that God will come through for us and Wow us in such a way that we never saw coming. Everything we go through in life is about bring honor and glory to Him. And it creates a testimony in us that constantly brings us to our knee’s humbly before Him. And it can draw others to his endless love.IMG_9224_1

Who I am like…

November 11, 2013

Sometimes I look back at all the times I felt myself struggle with God. I put myself through a lot because I refused to give stuff away for Him to take care of. I was one of those who kept saying, “I’m trying, I’M TYING!” But still the next day I’d be anxious or worried, stressed and afraid, and I felt like this must be a part of walking with God, that this is just how it is. I kept praying to God saying, “Take this from me; do something with it!” Only to still feel the war going on inside of me. My friends, if you were or are in a place like this now… it is because you are refusing to give your circumstance over to God. For if you truly have let go and are trusting God, you would not feel anxious or stressed; tired and afraid. For these things were never God’s. Don’t keep saying, “But I’ve prayed and prayed and it still won’t go away.” You can pray all you want but if you never do the do God cannot do one thing.

God just revealed this to me tonight: struggling is a part of life because we are imperfect people. However, while we are allowed to be human, we must also choose to be holy through what Jesus did for us on the Cross. I am like Peter who challenged Jesus to allow him to walk out on the water. I say to God, ” I am ready to do anything for you.” And so He calls me to come out to Him. But then the waves of life come to distract me. I am the one who chooses to look away from God and see those waves and allow them to have their affect on me leading to fear, doubt, discontent, stress, anxiety… all these things I have experienced too many times to count. This is when I struggle to allow God to have all of me and to keep my eyes on His truth. And often, I would look at those waves for months, sometimes years, preventing God from working in my life in a positive way. I was being selfish.

But still, though I was for a long time sinking, somehow, God always found a way to reach out to me, to refocus my attention on Him instead of what is going on around me. Like right now, things are not going too well at work. There is some tension going on that I am very uncomfortable with, and I am praying for God to move in this someway. But He has yet to show. Like Peter, I have been tempted to look at the wrong happening before me and have given into that temptation to later feel the struggles impact. But God, as always, reaches out, and reminds me, “Look at Me! Not that them!”

“But immediately Jesus spoke to them saying, ‘Take courage, it is I; do not be afraid.’ Immediately Jesus stretched out His hand and took hold of him, and said to him, ‘You of little faith, why did you doubt?'” Matthew 14:27, 31

I Choose God.

October 6, 2013

Choices start from the heart. The heart causes me to communicate the way I connect with the world and people around me. I have chosen at times to be kind and sweet, other times not so kind and sweet. At times I have chosen to play it cool, only to turn around when no one was looking to allow my eyes to form a tear or two. I have chosen to laugh at funny things in times when inside my heart, I was far from being happy.

At times I have chosen to smile to set the example, and other times I didn’t care and became real. I have chosen to sometimes respond to difficult situations in a loveable way, but other times in a very hateful way. At times, I have caused hurt upon others without ever meaning to, because I chose selfishness. At one time I chose to not forgive those who have hurt me to instead become bitter and angry. Often by our own hand, we are the ones who prevent our hearts healing from wounds.

At one time I hated and condemned myself for all my wrong doings and past behavior. At one time I hated looking at my face in the mirror. At one time, I chose to believe the lies of Satan over the truth of God’s Word because I was selfish enough to desire other people’s words, that I have never received, over the words of the only One who is called Perfect.

At one time I felt very insecure about who I was. I chose to believe my insecurity over the Security that God had placed before me several times.  I chose to place my confidence in the hands of a person who would later disappoint me and hurt me, instead of God who has never done such a thing.

I could go one through out my short life many more paragraphs, but it all sums up to this: even though I have made many wrong choices, God still chose me. When I made idols, God chose me. When I cried in His arms, God chose me. When I sought my identity in other people and what they thought of me, God chose me. When I was in my darkest place of depression, God chose me. When I refused to eat my food, God chose me. When all the great relationships I once had ended, God chose me. When I was alone with my tears and thoughts, God chose me. And after all of this, my heart finally opened, and I chose God.

When I chose God, roots were being dug out of my heart. When I chose God, we dealt with those roots together. When I chose God, I believed then that He heard my prayers. When I chose God, my heart allowed His love to complete me. When I chose God, I found my identity. When I chose God, my heart began to heal. When I chose God, I forgave myself. When I chose God, my heart changed into a new creation. When I chose God, can now smile and be happy, be filled with joy, and mean every bit of it.

I choose God, because He first chose me.

Romans 5:8 .But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.

Stop Trying To Please.

September 25, 2013

I haven’t written in this blog for a few months now. I was afraid of getting behind on it, and I did. However, I felt very inspired to write something that happened at work today that opened my eyes to something I didn’t see before. So this was not at all planned. I am just writing down what comes to my mind while it is still fresh.  So here it goes:

I realize that I care too much. I go to work everyday striving to be my best and do my best. I strive to work hard and have a good work ethic. I care about what I do, which is a good thing. However, I also care about  how others see me. Can you relate to this?

We all desire to be liked. Teenagers will dress the way others might want them to be dressed because they will be noticed or maybe they will go to parties and start drinking, etc; therefore, liked. I was once that way. But now as an adult I still desire to be liked only in other ways. As of right now: my work ethic. I want you to be proud of me and see just how hard I work to please you. Just writing that down it makes me feel like a little kid trying to please her parents. The problem is though, no matter what I do or how hard I work, I cannot please anybody. I realized today that I have been striving to please the people around me who I work with more than I have been striving to please God in my work. I have often been worried that I would come across to someone in the wrong way and think back, “Did I say that right? Do they think something bad at me?” I mean come on! A person can go insane trying to keep up with appearances! Not mention, loosing one’s self. Pssh. I realized today it doesn’t matter how nice I am to the world or to those who do not believe in the One True God, they will still find something about me to make fun of and dislike. Thats it. I cannot please people period. I can go head over heels to be friendly to someone, but that person can turn around and make me feel like mush. This is something so simple, specially for someone who has been a Christian for 11 years. But I know I need to learn the same lessons repeatedly because my heart can often forget.

So yeah, I felt a little crummy today. So I asked God while looking down aisle six through the stock room window, ” God, teach me to stop trying to please others in what I do here.” And in that moment, God said to me, “Erin, in whatever you do, do it for the Lord and not for people.” Again, something soooo simple that you’d think I would have learned a long time ago. But here’s the thing: God doesn’t mind repeating His truth to me because He truly does want to help me in my struggles. Thats why He gave me His word. My heart could now see how all along my strong work ethic has been for the wrong reason. This world I can never please, because we are all sinners. Sinners will put down sinners. But God is perfect. Isn’t it better to please a perfect loving God who loves all I do for His name and glory? At least I won’t feel crummy at the end of a long work day right? And once I do to please my God first, I can then be a better co-worker, friend, example, influence, witness, to those around me who do not know Jesus.

Heart God

April 30, 2013

There have been many times where I would wake up, begin a new day, and struggle with being happy, joyful, faithful, and living a surrendered life. As soon as I would open my eyes thoughts of hurtful times, painful events, loss of love, or other distracting things that effected me spiritually would cause my days to be “wasted.” I knew what the Word of God said about “rejoicing always,” and “trust in the Lord,” and ” be on alert!” To be honest, I didn’t quite get the part of my actually doing those things. Because I realized how too often I would live my life for Jesus with my mind. Yes, to follow God, rely on Him, trust Him, be obedient, joyful; all these things are choices we must make with our own free will. But I’ve learned that when I do this with my mind, it doesn’t work out so well. In fact, I fail pretty hard pretty fast. I would be happy one minute and suddenly sad the next. Maybe it was because something small appeared in my life that reminded me of something painful that happened in the past. So then I’d feel sad and it take hours before I’d finally fess up and decide it was all a waste of time. Up and down. There is no way God had called me to live like this. And it gets tiring. Spiritually exhausting. So what the heck was I doing wrong?

I have learned in the past year just how stubborn and hard headed I really am. Yet I have also learned just how patient God is and has been and always will be. This has been a time for God to allow me to examine this one character trait about Him, and how I am a traffic jam without Him there. I am sure many can relate when from the very beginning of a spiritual journey you get the basics of being a God follower.You are taught the basics for many years but you still don’t get them or apply them because you don’t seem to see just how much you need to.You may not even realize that you’re not “getting it.” You’re blinded, and I believe we all have area’s where we are blinded in. Each person has a different spiritual blind spot that may take them many years before they can finally see. Many heart ache’s may happen. Friendship’s end. Disasters occur. Your heart and soul can only handle so much, yet we seek and seek God and read His Word and we still don’t get it: what the heck am I doing wrong? I’m reading the Bible. I’m going to church. I’m seeking to know God’s face and its not all an act: its because I want to know God and I want to know what He is doing in this time. I found myself trying to trust, believe, hold on to God with the wrong part of myself. I was trying to live and breath my life for Jesus with my mind, but I wasn’t living for Him with my heart.

God is a heart God. It is the most delicate thing God has given each of us, and He holds it to the highest regard. Our hearts are so so sacred. I don’t believe a person can realize just how sacred their heart is until they go through a storm, and then see that God speaks and responds to our hearts and not our minds. Our minds are a reflection of the things that are living in the heart. It starts in the heart, then to the mind, then often into words or actions and those things can be either good or bad. I believe how we gain spiritual blind spots in our spiritual lives is when we fail to acknowledge that our hearts need tending to, not our minds. That part comes later. With my mind, I have to force myself to be on good behavior. With my heart, it comes like second nature and I don’t have to think about it once. See the difference? Our hearts spring the flow of life ( Proverbs 4:23 NASB ). It is in our hearts we discover God. We discover how much we are in need of Him and His power to rule and protect our lives. With my mind, I’m practically telling God that I have the strength to live my day in harmony and He can sit back and watch from the sidelines. Only I always fail to keep myself in perfect harmony because I am human. I CAN’T be happy and joyful and at peace despite the circumstances without the power of Jesus Christ. I can’t be content in every circumstance without Jesus  speaking truth and love to my heart. I cannot be saved and called a child of the King without opening my heart up to Him, allowing Jesus to see my sins and asking Him to clean them away and be the Lord of my life. Even after we become Christians we can still loose sight of how God works. God does everything in my life through my heart.

I’ve realized it has been hard at times to completely open my heart to God. Sometimes hurtful circumstances can cause us to turn away. All we want to do is cry. We can do that, however, with our heart we can choose to trust Jesus. Allow Him to enter that deep section of our hearts we may have opened to others, but have closed the door for good. Psalm 62:8 says, “Trust in Him at all times, you people; pour out your heart before Him; God is a refuge for us.” NKJV. I can read this verse with my mind, and it will go nowhere. I would live my day as if I never read it. Sure I’ll remember it and often repeat it in my head, but still be defeated during the day if I do not read this verse with my heart and allow God’s Word to change my heart. His promises cannot change my life if they do not first change my heart. The same goes with His loving words, faithful words, lovingkindness.

This is pretty basic isn’t it? I should have gotten this a long time ago. Yet, how many of us struggle with this very thing? It’s not that God has never spoken or acted to where our hearts responded, and then we have this amazing God moment that completely changed our lives and spiritual journey. Thats what church camp, youth groups and adult leader retreats are for right? But God longs to give us moments such as these daily. We must first acknowledge where God speaks. He speaks into our hearts. And we must listen with our hearts.

Heart Deep Roots

April 15, 2013

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Have you ever been through a storm in your life where you realize that through it’s long period of “storming,” you find yourself learning a lot of lessons? I’m currently in that place. I use to see the storms in life as something you just gotta get through and then go on with life. However, I’m learning that God doesn’t see storms in that way: He means for me to take everything that storm has to throw at me. I’m seeing I’m not going to “just get through” as I once believed, but there is a lot to take in that God is making me endure. I can go against it with my own freewill, but the fact is God will be patient with me until I get it right even if it takes ten more years before my eyes finally open for the first time. God is a god who always gets His way. And since I’m His, as the Bible speaks of so often, He will never let me go. It’s impossible for Him to.

Through this storm in my life, God has given me as the world would say, “too much patience.” I think of the first line in 1 Corinthians 13:4 where it says, “Love is patient.” This is a characteristic of God that I’ve seen so many different moments in the storm. Once again God is showing me that He’s with me through it, but He is also in it. I’m not just walking, striving, crying, hurting, and then I climb the top of the mountain and then it’s all over. No, this isn’t God. What God is inside of the storm, is Him showing me who He is instead of giving me the “why” for it all. What God is showing me are things about myself that I do not like but needs changing. He is bringing this to my attention. He is taking His hand and pulling up roots in my heart and yes…it hurts bad! But I hear Him whispering,” I do this because I love you, and I don’t want these roots of sin and hurt to be killing your life anymore.” This is where the patience comes in. And because I am such a stubborn person without realizing it at times, His patience comes in handy. And here’s the thing: I remember a while ago I asked God at the beginning of the storm to take ahold of any root inside of me and anything that needs to be resolved or changed to be brought to my attention. God is only doing what I asked Him to do in the first place! How is it that every single time I fail to see that it is gonna hurt? And how many times have you done the same thing and ask yourself,” Why does this have to be this hard?”

When God reveals things inside of us that are not right, we often backfire because we don’t like seeing that we are this person. It’s one thing if it happens to another. We love we forgive we pray, and we hope for the best for that person. But when it comes to ourselves, man! We much rather forget about it and act like it never happened. We don’t like seeing ourselves dirty. And often times we will blame somebody else for the dirty when most of the time it’s our own fault we have become this way. And that adds on to more dirty.

I asked God just a few hours ago,” God, show me in this storm that You care. And even if You don’t show it to me now, thats okay. I know You’ll show me in Your own time.” Do not think that your pain is not important to God. We can compare ourselves to someone who maybe going through a harder time than we, but don’t push your pain aside because of that. You matter to God. Your pain matters to God. What we are to do is take our focus off our pain and instead focus on who God is and what He has done and promises to do. And I am so glad that in this moment God did show up for me when I glanced down at my Bible and read this verse from Psalm 8: 3-4,” When I consider Your heavens, the work of Your fingers, the moon and the stars, which You have ordained; What is man that You take thought of him, and the son of man that you care for him?” NASB.  He care’s so much that when I ask Him to assure me of His love, He is always up for game.

I’ve learned that the longer you linger with heart deep roots, the more wounded one becomes and will often not see what God is trying to tell us. And I’m telling you, it hurts terribly allowing God to put His hand deep down into you and pull at those roots. I can see myself now saying, “God stop it! It hurts! I’m tired of hurting all the time! Can’t you just make it go away?” His response is, “Yes. By doing this, I am making your pain go away.” Never forget that by sending Jesus Christ to die on the cross as payment for our sins is also God sending new life into us to heal, to live, as He had planned us to live. And because Jesus died and rose again, we can have victory in our lives. Because of Jesus choosing to endure the cross, despising the shame ( Hebrews 12:2 ) , we too can endure ’til the end.

 

 

No Handle Bars

April 5, 2013

I just had one of those moments where I expressed a feeling of freedom: I tried riding my bike with no hands. Yeah! I’ve never done that before and today is such a lovely day that I decided to go for a bike ride. I was going down this hill really fast and I kept thinking about those moments in movies where the actors are riding their bikes without using the handle bar thingy and they almost feel like they are in another world. For me, it took a few tries before I finally got it right. Almost wrecked a few times but while I was riding really fast down this hill, no peddling, I decided to let go. I figured out that in order for this to work I had to first let go of my right hand and then my left. Don’t understand why, but the other way around I would almost fall to the ground. So anyway, in this moment I let both of my hands go and had both arms balancing myself straight. I felt like Rose in Titanic as she was at the front of the ship, letting the wind hit her hair and face. It was a pretty cool moment. Being able to do this actually felt joyful. It felt cool. Too bad nobody was around to see it. But God did. I believe He liked it just as much as me if not more.

In a moment like this one I experienced today, I feel God was in that moment. He was telling me, “I am your freedom. I am your joy. I am your love. I am in every moment of your life.” ‘Cause recently, I haven’t always felt joyful. Sometimes, I get tired of the same struggles that I seem to face from time to time. I’ll become reminded of some things that I’m not proud of, or that I regret, and getting passed those things have been pretty tough. I’m sure that you’ve felt like becoming limp and numb before because you’re just too tired of fighting for your life. Yes, being a Christian in this world, you fight. And you get tired. But maybe we get tired because too often we use our own strength instead of using the strength God gives us: His own.

God knows when we are tired. God wants to hear it from us. I’ve caught myself too many times not confessing how I feel in moments like these to God, thinking He already knows about it, or that its just not that important. But everything there is to do about me is important to God. And instead of giving over my fight to Him to fight I just let it run over me where I become limp and numb. Why should I ever doubt when God is bigger than the invisible darknesses that come to bring me down and destroy me? Why should I ever give up when God never gave up on me; For He sent is only Son to die for my sins and three days later conquer death once and for all for me to live eternally beside Him? Why should I ever walk away when daily He loves me by giving me breath to live another day for Him? In every storm, there are words to calm it. And only God can say them. Psalm 46:10  “Cease striving and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.”

I hope you have a moment of letting go of the handle bars in your life and allow God to steer you straight. And enjoy the freedom only He gives to those who ask for it.

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The picture above is me modeling my very first and oldest band tee. I grew up listening to a once popular Christian pop group called ZOEgirl from the time I was about twelve until they disband in late 2006. Most people today might not remember them, but this group and their songs carried me through great trials as a teenager. Their songs gave me hope and encouraged me to keep pressing on and to look to God in hard times. Their songs spoke to a teenage girls heart having to deal with relationships, peer pressure, and self esteem. Now being in my early 20’s, I know I will still carry this group and their positive influence with me for the rest of my life.

Just thinking about carrying good things from my past with me to my future, what about all the really bad and hurtful things that we as Christians carry with us through out our lives? Sometimes we don’t realize all the hurt we keep inside and hold on to. Sure we put a smile on our face and try to not think about the past, but letting it go and forgetting about it all is a whole different story. Then there is the getting through the hard and hurtful times and remembering what life was like before those things happened to us.

We all have different strong and weak points. Some people can get through hard times a lot faster and easier than others can. Then there are those who have a more difficult time. I’ve discovered that I am one hard egg. Getting over brokenness has not been an easy road for me. However, God deals with me with patience, love, understanding, listening, and Him feeling the pain with me has given me great comfort. I’ve been learning this about God through suffering. And it has been a great thing and causing me to have a more intimate relationship with him because of brokenness. Not only that, but brokenness increases compassion and being more sensitive to another’s need who I will meet later down the road. God has been showing me that through brokenness, I will take this more intimate relationship with me to the future instead of taking with me the memories of being hurt. Take with me to the future the insight of seeing more of who God is to me when I am broken and allow it to give me comfort, growth and peace for when another season of brokenness comes along. Take with me of how God changed my heart to love Him more, to let Him take care of the healing process, and to give love to others. All of the above, my heart has discovered because I spent more time in His Word where He reveals His heart to me. “Do not call to mind the former things, or ponder things of the past. Behold, I will do something new, now it will spring forth; will you not be aware of it? I will even make a roadway in the wilderness, rivers in the desert.” Isaiah 43:18-19 NASB.

In the heat of the moment, we see nothing but our hurt because we are flesh. It’s not a normal thing for a human being to step out of the flesh and be in tune with the Spirit ( 1 Corinthians 15:46 ). But as Christians, it is the only way we can ever see God because it is a choice, a step of faith, trust, and choosing to rely on God. It does take some practice. It takes a lot of getting up and falling down and getting up again. But every time we do the right thing, we are getting closer to who we are suppose to be and becoming more like Christ even when we don’t feel like it. Then we look back and see just how God was in each step we took in going right and realize we were never alone in it to begin with. What a great story to give to someone who is in need of hope, compassion, and love.

“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction so that we will be able to comfort those who are in any affliction with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. For just as the sufferings of Christ are ours in abundance, so also our comfort is abundant through Christ. ” 2 Corinthians 1:3-5 NASB.

The Face Of Love

March 21, 2013

Yesterday I visited my grandma in the nursing home. I’m sad to say she is living her final days on this earth. She is 93 years old. I wasn’t close to my grandma. In fact the last time I saw her was about five or six years ago. She has for many years had a 96% blockage on both sides of her neck which causes her memory to slowly die away including her mental state.  It came to the point where she never wanted visitors, and when visitors did come she would tell them to leave her alone. It’s very upsetting for someone to get to this point, especially my grandma, because she has lived the 93 years of her life without Jesus Christ. And since her days are now numbered it concerns me more. You see she had a minor stroke earlier this week. What turned out to be minor became serious. It’s only a matter of days now.

Modern people today do not like religion being brought into the picture when it comes to life and death. The world may view Jesus as a religion, but no where in the Bible does it say He is. The Bible describes Jesus Christ as the face of love for a world who did not love Him back. A kind of love that to this very day still gets mocked and slapped in the face by every soul who lives. The face of love who physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually bore the sins of every person through His own blood. People call this religion. But tell me this: which other gods of many religions gave their life for the world? Is their god even still alive?

If we look deep down inside of us, there is a spirituality that is alive. Many of us toss it away and become unaware of it, but it’s there. When we are facing a hard time in our lives, something spiritual is happening. It’s called Hope. But we sometimes put our hope in things we can see and touch. Then it dies somewhere down the road and so we go looking for another thing we can see and touch. And we continue this cycle until when? We die? Is this the purpose of our lives? Then what is?

First, I want to say, that God chose each of us ( 1 Thes. 1:4 ). You know your journey. You know your stories and trials, but God knows them better. And He knew that there was no hope for us to survive on our own. Because of that, He sent His hope to us through Jesus Christ. We have tried to become good enough to be good enough for someone to like us, to get a job, to go to heaven one day, and so forth. But in Romans 3:10 is says,“…There is none righteous, not even one.”  The world has created the belief that the only bad thing a person can do is murder another. What other bad thing is there out there except maybe drugs? You tell me. But thats because it is by our standards. Nobody thinks about God’s standard, and His standard is a perfection nobody could ever try to become. God knows this, and so He made a way for us: through His Son Jesus Christ. ” For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him.” John 3:17 NASB. What it means “through Him” was through death. “For the wages of sin is death…” Even Jesus, the perfect one to ever be, became the wage of our past sins, present and future sins. ” but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 6:23 NASB. The gift is life. An eternal life. Our souls will live forever somewhere, but not on this earth. We do not see the importance of this because we are too busy living for ourselves. We live as if we are going to live forever. Or that we will live until we are 80 or 90 and believe that it’s so far away from now that we have all the time in the world. But how many people do you know who have not lived until old age, who died so young, some who didn’t even reach their 20’s? What makes us believe that we, ourselves, are the exception when the only one who holds the future is God Himself? You may not believe there is a God, but you have to admit, you do have faith to not believe. You see, you have something spiritual inside of you even if you don’t want it. Because faith is a God thing, not a flesh thing.

I’ve been praying for a miracle for my grandma. I hate putting it like this, but her mental state is so far gone that she is now a vegetable. She’s not living, just existing. And she has no idea what’s going on around her or inside of her. She’s knows nothing. But this is why God sends hope through His Son Jesus. Just His name alone makes the forces of darkness flee even in the most impossible situations and circumstances. We may not see it, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t there. Thats when faith comes in. In our fleshly minds, there is no hope of salvation for somebody like my grandma. But it says in Luke 1:37,” For nothing will be impossible with God.” NASB.  He is God. And it is His will for “all to come to repentance.” 2 Peter 3:9. As I looked at my grandma, not knowing who I was to her, kneeled down at her level and looked her in the eyes. I was about to leave, but I first said to her, “Goodbye grandma. Jesus loves you.” As I said those words, she looked right into my eyes. I wanted to say the name of Jesus to her, because I know the power and hope that is in His name. And I have no doubt that she heard every word I said to her.

John 14:6,”…I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.” NASB. I ask that you pray with me for my grandma, despite her condition, will have understanding and gain knowledge of her need for Jesus even at the end of her long life, and to finally let Him into her heart.

A Lesson From DJ Tanner

March 14, 2013

imagesDid you know that you can learn very important life lessons that are spiritual from a TV sitcom? No way! Well, I’m sure you can name some TV shows that it’s just not possible. However, I do know of one.

The other day I was watching an episode of Full House. Through out the episode, DJ Tanner was doing various activities with her two younger sisters as well as spending more quality time with them. Her boyfriend, Scott, was not so happy that they weren’t spending as much time together as they once were( It didn’t help that he left to go to San Francisco for a week). There’s a scene where Scott is waiting for DJ at the kitchen table when she and her two sisters walk in from playing at the park ( they must have been gone a long time ). Scott was some what upset, and because I don’t remember the actual words spoken between the TV couple, I do remember the remainder lines. From Scott: “You don’t hang out with me as much anymore.” DJ replied,” Because my life is not centered around you.” My eyes opened a little bit wider when she said that.

Later in the episode, DJ goes on to tell Scott, “Since we’ve been apart and haven’t been spending as much time together, I’ve been using this extra time to do other things. And I’m beginning to find out more of who I am apart from you. I’m not sure if I want to stop now.” At the end of the episode, DJ and Scott did break up. That part maybe a little sad, but DJ made a very good point about finding herself away from something that she had always had. She was discovering something new, and she had every right to go forward with that.

This relates to me of what’s been happening in my life recently. In my last blog, I mentioned that I left an amazing ministry and a great friend behind. I fought to keep both in my life, but God wanted me to move forward without those two things. As time has gone by, the grasp of my fingers have slowly been letting go of these two great things because I’m learning what life is without them.

God does give, and He does take away. I don’t always know why He sometimes takes what was once good away, but it is truly for our good. During the past two years of my life, all my time had been around this one ministry and this one friend. It was rare that I did anything outside of these two things. I guess it’s because it was all I had at the time, or so I thought. I didn’t think to look outside of the box. I was so devoted to this ministry ( as a Christian should be ), that it took me a long time to find a better job because I wanted nothing to get in the way of my work in ministry. I narrowed my life into this really small box and I became very content about remaining in such a small place. I was very satisfied. I had one friend too, who I spent a lot of time with. I didn’t spend much time with many other people. And the more I grow, the more I am very much against centering life around one person.

As things were not working out as I hoped to, God was breaking me away from these things and I fought very hard, until I finally gave up. It took time, but I have started to learn more, like DJ, who I am away from the old things I once had. Because of taking hold a new road of life, new desire’s have started to form inside of me. There are newer things that I want to try out, like cake decorating! Could you see me doing that? My parents think it odd because I have never been one who likes spending hours in the kitchen. But thats the cool part! It’s like I have a new drive to try out new things. I feel I have no limits because I have removed those limits. Having this new way of thinking and doing has given me a new joy a freedom about life!

Can you see how my situation before-hand was not very godly? My desire to do God’s will was there, but was I actually doing it? Was I living life for me, or was it for God? I didn’t know who I was without these things in my life. And to now be without them, I’m discovering what I can do and who I am AND I’m starting to like myself more. Plus, I’m seeing more of the face of God because His face has become more important.

I believe a large potion of us does not enjoy life as it is meant to be enjoyed because we are too satisfied. To be a God follower, it requires us not being comfortable. It requires a lot of moving because God has more than one plan for our lives. Thats why we have new chapters, open and closed doors, endings and beginnings. Many Christians are too afraid and scared of change and so they fight to stay put. Often times they win and they never know anything new and exciting outside of what they already know and miss out on amazing God opportunities. Change hurts, and we want to do everything in our power to avoid getting hurt. I know, cause I’ve been there many times. But who am I really living for? Am I living for myself, or for Jesus Christ? And if I’m living for Jesus Christ, my Savior, my Father, shouldn’t I trust that He has something better for me each time a new change comes? And since my life is not about me, then shouldn’t I be obedient to whatever the Father says? ” For whoever wishes to save his life will loose it; but whoever looses his life for My sake will find it.” Matthew 16:25 NASB

 I am always learning, that true living comes when we yield to God’s way of living. And there is great joy and happiness in allowing the change to take place in this life. “Finally, brethren, rejoice, be made complete, be comforted, be like-minded, live in peace; and the God of love and peace will be with you.” 2 Corinthians 13:11 NASB