Monday, December 28, 2009

I Shall Believe

So I'm sitting in Starbucks and I just finished a mark driscoll sermon. I'm listening to this song and I feel like I have a lot to get off my chest, but I'm not quite sure how to put it all down at the moment....These are some of the lyrics to the song.

I Shall Believe: Matt Brouwer
Broken in two
I know you're on to me
That I only come home

When I’m so all alone
But I do believe

That not everything is gonna be
The way you think it ought to be
It seems like everytime I try and make it right
It all comes down on me
Please say honestly You won’t give up on me
And I shall believe

Open the door
And show me Your face tonight

I know it’s true
No one heals me like You
And You hold the key

That not everything is gonna be
The way you think it ought to be
It seems like everytime I try and make it right
It all comes down on me
Please say honestly You won’t give up on me
And I shall believe

Often times we only go to Christ when we're alone, when we have hit the bottom, when we are hopeless. I want to be with Christ ALL the time, not just when I need him or when it's convenient. Sometimes I feel like when I am making progress and things are looking up everything comes crashing down. I take two steps forward and five behind. I know I've done things the wrong way. I am trying so hard to move on from that and repair the damages that I've made. I know I cannot fix it on my own. I know that God is the one who can heal all. Sometimes I feel its as if I'm not making any progress at all. I know this is not from my savior. This is from the one who wants nothing more than to so me fail, to see me give up, to see me lose all hope. I pray that my God doesn't give up on me. I pray that I grow each and every day until I am the woman he has created me to be. The daughter of the king. And still grow some more.

I am so confused. The things that I thought were right, the path that I was going down it feels all wrong now. I can't even put into words why I feel this way or what it even is exactly. I just know that this isn't it. I don't know what I am suppose to do or what is suppose to happen now. I know that my God has a plan. He is in charge. He is redirecting my path and I am ok with that. His plans have always been SO much better then my own. I am falling more and more in love with my creator. There is a season for everything. Maybe this is my season to grow closer to him.

Your words are my food, Your breath my wine. You are everything to me.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

To truly be romanced....

So often we spend our time helping others in need we cannot completely see the extent of our own pain. Now I'm not saying that we shouldn't help others, but sometimes we use it as a coping mechanism to channel away from our own problems. Our struggles are evident, but we may not always realize how rooted they really are.

Proverbs 4.23
Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life.

"Like Eve after she tasted the forbidden fruit, we women hide. We hide behind our makeup. We hide behind our humor. We hide with angry silences and punishing withdrawals. We hide our truest selves and offer only what we believe is wanted, what is safe. We act in self-protective ways and refuse to offer what we truly see, believe, and know. We will not risk rejection or looking like a fool. We have spoken in the past and been met with blank stares and mocking guffaws. We will not do it again. We hide because we are afraid. We have been wounded and wounded deeply. People have sinned against us and we have sinned as well. To hide means to remain safe, to hurt less. At least that is what we think. And so by hiding we take matters into our own hands. We don't return to our God with our broken and desperate hearts. And it has never occurred to us that in all our hiding, something precious is also lost--something the world needs from us so very, very much.

Whether we tend to dominate and control, or withdraw in our desolation and hide, still...the ache remains. The deep longings in our hearts as women just won't go away. And so we indulge. We buy ourselves something nice when we aren't feeling appreciated. We "allow" ourselves a second helping of ice cream or a super-sized something when we are lonely. We move into a fantasy world to find some water for our thirsty hearts. Romance novels, soap operas, talk shows, gossip, the myriads of women's magazines all feed an inner life of relational dreaming and voyeurism that substitutes--for a while--for the real thing. But none of these really satisfy, and so we find ourselves trying to fill the remaining emptiness with our little indulgences. (Brent Curtis calls them our "little affairs of the heart") They are what we give our hearts away to instead of giving them to the heart of God.

We daydream our way through traffic. We imagine meaningful conversations or difficult ones where we speak brilliantly. We spend our imaginations on cheap novels, picturing ourselves as the beautiful heroine-winsome, pursued, beautiful. We are endlessly creative in our indulgent pursuits, our adulteries of the heart. Certainly, we don't limit ourselves to just one.

Take a moment and consider yours. Where do you go to instead of God when the ache of your heart begins to make itself known? Spending too much money, gambling, bingeing, purging, shopping, drinking, working, cleaning, exercising, too many movies, sitcoms, talk shows, even our negative emotions can become indulgences. When we camp our hearts in self-doubt, condemning thoughts, or even shame because those emotions have become familiar and comfortable, we are FAITHLESSLY indulging rather then allowing our deep ache draw us to God. " (Captivating.John & Stasi Eldredge)

Romans 14.23
Whatever is not from FAITH is SIN.

Why as women, are we always looking for romance in movies, books, magazines, and how-to's? Oh we search, but we don't find it. So often we confuse lust with love while the one true love is living right here in our very hearts. Who is the one who knows the greatest love of all? Why is it that we aren't being romanced by him? I mean are we even letting him? We see God as being powerful and strong, which he is, but not as needing us, wanting to be desired by us.

(Here is a piece from Wild at Heart)
After years of hearing the heart-cry of women, I am convinced beyond a doubt of this: God wants to be loved. He wants to be a priority to someone. How could we have missed this? From cover to cover, from beginning to end, the cry of God's heart is, "Why won't you choose me?" It is amazing to me how humble, how vulnerable God is on this point. "You will find me." says the Lord, "when you seek me with all your heart." (Jeremiah 29.13) In other words, "Look for me, pursue me--I want you to pursue me." Amazing. As Tozer says, "God waits to be wanted."

Now, let me rephrase that. God waits to be wanted. Those that he knows will never come to him. He waits. He doesn't take them by the shoulders and shake them. Or better yet, make them love him. He just waits. Those of us that know what he desires of us, but we continue to do it on our own. He waits. He simply waits. Talk about patience. LOL. I mean I can't even fathom knowing the future, for better or worse, and still just waiting.

And we think of our Lord as one we should always fear. Never be close to. He is powerful, strong, intimidating, out of our reach, full of wrath.

There is this song by Phil Wickham that I absolutely love. Take the time to listen to it, but here are some of the words.

"Come close listen to the story
About a love more faithful than the morning
The Father gave His only Son just to save us

The earth was shaking in the dark
All creation felt the Fathers Broken Heart
Tears were filling Heaven's Eyes
The day that True Love died, the day that True Love died
When blood and water hit the ground
Walls we couldn't move came crashing down
We were free and made alive
The day that True Love died, The day that True Love died"

A love more faithful then the morning. Just think about that for a second. Incredible.
So what's keeping us from seeking God with our whole hearts? When will we have an intimate relationship with our Lord? At what point will we finally let him romance us? I know it's easier said then done, but honestly we need to stop giving ourselves to EVERYTHING but him.

The one and only who is himself. True love.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Camp MARVELous '09 was incredible this year. We had around seventy kids and they were all amazing. The girls in my cabin were one of a kind. God was certainly teaching us patience this year. : ] It was hard saying good bye to these kids and know the homes that they were going to. Ones that had no mother or father. Ones that forced the oldest of the brothers or sisters to take care of everyone else. Ones where these children were abused and neglected. Ones where they didn't have love.

That was our job. To show the love of Christ to these children for six days. They played basketball, football, paintball, gunkball, rode the mechanical bull, made super hero capes and masks, took pictures with super heros like spiderman and wolverine, but learned about the real super heros like jonah, samson, paul, and joseph. They learned that heros arent born they are built. God uses the ones that dont think they can be used. They danced, they sang, they ate 3 meals a day + snacks, they were able to sleep without worry of tomorrow.

We had two baptisms this year. Montana who came for his first time last year and Malik who came this year for his first time. Montana not only came back but started going to contact church in Tulsa and his family started attending church as well. These kids love camp so much they are bringing their brothers and sisters, cousins, and friends. Its the one week they look forward to all year. A week when they truly are able to experience Gods love and when its time to go home they don't want to leave.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Patient. when you dont want to be.

John 16:33

I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble, but take heart! I have overcome the world!

It's hard not having a job and not worrying how you are going to pay your bills. I remember asking God to find me another job. I knew that I didn't need to be there anymore. BUT The income was good. I was complacent. I didnt want to find another job yet. I put it off even though I knew God was calling me to leave. Becareful what you pray for because God will answer you, but it might not always be the way you want him to lol. I didnt want to leave because I was afraid that I wouldnt be able to pay my bills. He was whispering in my me amy trust me.

In march I was in a car accident. Costing an extra $650 I didnt have. That next month I was fired for something I didnt entirely deserve to be fired for. That next week I recieved a citation for stopping partially in a pedestrian walkway lol. Meanwhile still trying to pay bills and make payments towards the mission trip. For a bit I didnt think I would have the money to go this year.

God sure does have a sense of humor. You didnt trust me before when you had an income so try to trust me now amy when you dont. I got what i wanted. I didnt want to work there anymore, but I wanted it when I was ready. Not when God was.

My car is fine, my ticket has been paid, my bills are paid for this month, and the mission trip is paid. Somehow the Lord has managed to keep my bank account full. He has given me a peace to not worry. There are bigger things I need to focus on. God is going to do great things this year in oklahoma. It hasnt been easy. Its hard being on a budget. God is teaching me to trust him and be patient. I know there is a bigger picture to what I am seeing though. Thats what keeps me going.

Jeremiah 29:11
"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."

Your words are my food, your breath my wine. You are everything to me.