Monday, March 26, 2007

Cry To Jesus

I've been reading this amazing book called "There Is Always Enough" by Rolland and Heidi Baker. It's about their incredible ministry among the poor in Mozambique and South East Africa. Miracle after miracle, transformation after transformation, they detail how God has provided a way for them, even when there is literally no way. They speak candidly about the challenges they've faced; even sharing stories about times when they were getting ready to give up and come back to America! It's a powerful book, filled to the brim with testimonies. Most of it is very hard to read, so be prepared.

The one thing that kept nailing me right between the eyes was the incredible hunger these people had for God. They were starving, hungry, abused, dying, and yet, they would pass up medical attention and food to receive prayer or get a bible. Men, women, and children would walk for, literally, days without food just to come to one of the church meetings. They were starving for the love and healing touch of God.

Can you imagine that? Thousands and thousands of individual people, on their faces in oppressive heat, just worshiping and crying out to God with all of their hearts. Each person reaching for their own personal encounter with God. Many had never heard of Jesus before. But they knew in their hearts that He was their deliverer and they longed for Him.

Hunger like that is wild, desperate. It causes you to lose interest in the people on either side of you. You forget to care about who is watching you. It forces you forward into the presence of God, because it won't be satisfied by anything less that personal time with the Father.

Jesus, right now, reach into our hearts and stir us up. We won't be satisfied by worldly distractions. We want your presence in our lives! Meet with us here, in this place, and fill us with your love. Spur us on and help us to keep our eyes fixed on you alone. Touch every heart that reads this entry, reminding them that You alone can quench their thirst and heal their wounds. There is always enough because you died! Hallelujah!

Colossians 2:5-7 For though I be absent in the flesh, yet am I with you in the spirit, joying and beholding your order, and the steadfastness of your faith in Christ. As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in him: Rooted and built up in him, and established in the faith, as ye have been taught, abounding therein with thanksgiving.

Saturday, March 24, 2007

True Friends

The past couple of days have been a blast! I got to hang out with a few of my friends in between work. On Friday, I hung out with Sarah, Natalie, and my sister Abby. We went to see the movie "The Ultimate Gift". (If you want to know more about the movie, click here name to see Sarah's review!)

Tonight, I was invited to go see my friend Rebecca perform in a swing dance competition. I left work a little early, got lost about six different times, and used up all my cell phone's battery life getting directions from my dad, but I managed to get there before the competition started! All the craziness of getting there was SO worth it. Not only is West Coast Swing awesome and highly entertaining, but everyone was nice as nice as they were extremely talented! On top of that, Rebecca and her partner won first place!! =D

But all of that fun got me thinking. Friends are important. They can either pump you up or bring you down. So I'll ask you: Who are your TRUE friends? Do you have anyone in your life that you talk to about silly and life changing things? Can you share your heart with the people you hang out with?

I've been having a really good year. 2006 and 2007 have been filled with new friends and reconnecting with old friends. The Lord has brought people into my life that support me and challenge me. I can't just say or do any old thing anymore without having a bunch of people ready to hold me accountable!

If you don't have any friends you feel comfortable opening your heart to, remember you can always talk to God. He'll listen to you, just the way that a friend does. He wants you to share yourself with Him like that anyway!

John 15:15 "I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master's business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you."

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Growing Up

Well, I finallly did it! I cleaned out my Bible. I've had this pink NIV since I was eight and it's always been my favorite. Even though I like the other translations, the NIV is so easy to understand. During times when I'd be struggling with something or other, that little pink Bible always held something that would touch my heart and turn my thoughts towards God. But that was part of the problem.

My Bible was STUFFED. Crammed to the gills with papers, phone numbers, notes, outlines, a couple photos and even recipes! Over the years, when something would bless my heart, remind me of God's love, or even seem like something that would be powerful in the future, I got into the habit of saving it. And God used those notes! There were times when I'd flip open my Bible and discover the exact encouragement that I needed.
Unfortunately, I began to notice that I couldn't flip to a verse without stuff dropping out. So I put all the notes that I wanted to keep in a special box until I can transcribe them. Hopefully, my Bible will last longer; plus, if anyone wants a killer recipe for loaded oatmeal cookies, I know where find it!

Saturday, March 17, 2007

My Current Favorite Song

Hey All!
I've had to do a lot of driving recently, so I get to listen to a LOT of Klove radio. =) They were playing this one song by MercyMe that expresses almost everything I've been feeling towards God. It's become my current favorite! When I told my sister, it turned out that this song is old!! Hee hee, I guess I'm not up with the times. Oh well.
I've posted the lyrics since I don't know how to post song clips. I hope you enjoy it!
MercyMe - Here With Me
From the album Undone
I long for your embrace
Every single day
To meet you in this place
And see you face to face
Will you show me?
Reveal yourself to me
Because of your mercy
I fall down on my knees
And I can feel your presence here with me
Suddenly I’m lost within your beauty
Caught up in the wonder of your touch
Here in this moment I surrender to your love
You’re everywhere I go
I am not alone
You call me as your own
To know you and be known
You are holy
And I fall down on my knees
I can feel your presence here with me
Suddenly I’m lost within your beauty
Caught up in the wonder of your touch
Here in this moment I surrender to your love
I surrender to your grace
I surrender to the one who took my place
I can feel your presence here with me
Suddenly I’m lost within your beauty
Caught up in the wonder of your touch
Here in this moment I surrender…
I can feel your presence here with me
Suddenly I’m lost within your beauty
Caught up in the wonder of your touch
Here in this moment I surrender to your love
Label: Integrity Music

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Tackling the Spirit of Abandonment

John 14:18 "I will not leave you as orphans: I will come to you. Before long, the world will not see me anymore, but you will see me. Because I live, you also will live. On that day you will realize that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you."

This morning, as I got ready to attack the day, I kept mulling over the above verse. It's in John 14, where Jesus tells His disciples that He's about to go away, but not to worry. He goes on to tell them about the things that they have to look forward to in heaven and talks to them about the true way to show that you love God. Then He reassures them again about His leaving.

"I will not leave you as orphans-"

That was the phrase I kept hearing in my mind. As I stewed, I thought about something. In the world today, there is definitely an "orphaned spirit" or a feeling of abandonment. It is something that a lot of young adults struggle with.

Lying on my bed, staring at my digital clock, I decided to break it down to extreme simplicity. What is an orphan? Now there are some of you saying, "DUH!" and making rude jokes, but bear with me. I'm going somewhere, I promise!

An orphan is someone without:
~A protector
~A provider
~A teacher
~A leader
~A comforter

Do you feel like you are missing a few of these things? Do you find yourself telling yourself "I don't need anyone to look out for me" or "I can take care of myself"? Do you feel like you are lacking direction? When you cry, is there someone to hold you?

I'm not asking these questions to depress you. I'm asking these questions because I want you to think about what Jesus said. He promised that He wouldn't leave you. Even if you don't have anyone to look out for you, you can have Jesus as your source of comfort, direction, provision, and protection!

Verse 20 "Because I live, you also will live. On that day you will realize that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you."

Makes you think of a pregnant woman, right? A pregnant woman provides everything the baby inside her needs. The baby is cradled. The baby is fed. The baby is protected. Everything that the mom has, the baby shares in. He gets nourished right when she gets nourishment. I've been told that the baby actually thinks that his mom is an extention of himself!

That is the vision that I have for my relationship with Jesus. He feeds me. He protects me. He cradles me in His arms and dotes on me. Everything that He has, He has given to me. Because He lives, I also will live! And not the "scraping along, making it day to day" living! No! This is the Son of God talking; when He says I'll live, He means I'll live the abundant life!

As I was growing up, I struggled with feelings of loneliness and abandonment. Don't get me wrong, I have GREAT parents. It's just that the devil is real, the devil is a liar, and sometimes he had me conned. So seeing that God was looking out for my welfare had a big impact on my heart. He loved me and He never left my side. There were times when I didn't let Him help me or comfort me, but in the end, my Father always got His message of love through.

I want to leave you with this verse. It's in the same chapter, so if you wanted to study John 14, I highly recommend it. (Even if you've read this chapter a lot, read it again. The Holy Spirit can show you another side of these verses and bless your heart.)

John 14:1 Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me."

You are not alone. You are the focus of Someone's love and sacrifice. I'm praying that the Lord will help you to more fully understand this!

Love ya,

Tuesday, March 6, 2007

Isaiah 54

I've never before realized how personal God is. He answers us so personally. He's not out there, floating around, busy with so many other things that He barely has time for us. He's right here, nose to nose with us, and He cares.

Last night, I was so troubled. I couldn't go to bed for a long time. I spent a long time on the floor just crying out to God. This morning, I didn't get out of bed until I had spent some time just praying. All day I've been kind of going through the motions, just watching for where God's answer was going to come from.

When I got home from work tonight, I was looking through my mail and I found a letter from Kenneth Copeland Ministeries and they included some scripture cards. There was my answer! Every scripture touched that sore spot and was like water. This one really spoke to me though:

Isaiah 54:11-13 O thou afflicted, tossed with tempest, and not comforted, behold, I will lay thy stones with fair colours, and lay thy foundation with sapphires. And I will make thy windows of agates, and thy gates of carbuncles, and all thy borders of pleasant stones. And all thy children shall be taught of the Lord; and great shall be the peace of thy children.