Thursday, August 21, 2008

The Heart of God

"I'm no longer calling you servants because servants don't understand what their master is thinking and planning. No, I've named you friends because I've let you in on everything I've heard from the Father. You didn't choose me, remember; I chose you and put you in the world to bear fruit, fruit that won't spoil. As fruit bearers, whatever you ask the Father in relation to me, He gives you. But remember the root command: Love one another."
John 15:15-16 (Message)

I'm currently reading the book "He Loves Me" by Wayne Jacobsen. As I'm reading it, I'm also searching the Bible for a deeper understanding of God's love for me. This is something I've seemed to struggle with most of my life. Different experiences in life built up this wall between my heart and His unconditional love. There are times when I've felt I must perform to gain His love, other times I've felt He doesn't love me because it didn't seem like He was answering my prayers, and times I've thought He only loves me because He has to. But through all of this self-reliance and doubt, God has never wavered in His love for me.

This passage shows us the relationship God desires to have with us. He doesn't want us to get caught up doing a lot of "acts" for Him and forget the relationship aspect. He wants to be our friend - talk with us, simply hang out with us, shared life with Him. He chooses to be our friend and yearns for us to grasp that concept.

Once we grasp hold of the love God has for us, He will begin to change us from the inside-out. For me, this year has taken my relationship with God to a whole new level. I'm learning to lean on Him for everything. I've learned I can trust Him and He will take care of me. Even after moving back to a town that reminded me of so much heartache and pain and after the loss of my grandpa, this year has surprised me. Instead of my typical pattern, I've ran to God. I've ran to the Helper. To the Comfortor. I was so tired of expereiencing the same cycle over and over again. I decided I was done doing all the "rituals" of being a Christian and began to search for something real - a friendship with Jesus.

I've seen first - hand the fruit of beginning a friendship with Him. So many times before, I was seeking His hand (aka "the fruit") instead of seeking His heart (aka "the friendship). As I've sought His heart, I've discovered a whole new dimension of peace, a whole new source of strength. I can truly say He has my entire heart.

Until we get to the point of complete and total surrender, we will drive ourselves crazy trying to figure out life. I encourage you to seek Him. Seek His heart. And let nothing deter you from it.

"Delight yourself in the Lord and He WILL give you the desires of your heart."
Psalm 37:4 (NIV)

Friday, August 15, 2008


written August 16, 2005

Ok. So this whole blog thing, what's it about anyways? Well, from looking at other people's it's writing about random things. So, I asked my good ol' friend, Britain, what I should write about and she told me "spoons", so "spoons" it is. Except I'm not gonna write about the utensil spoons. Well, I guess I kinda am.

Life can kinda be related to silverwear. As we come into the world we are like spoons, clinging and forming to the ways of those who raise us. We follow and watch their every move and cling on to them. Like spoons form and fit to each other in the silverwear drawer, we become complacent in the ways of our parents. Until one day we decide to start pushing the lines.

Graudually, we move from a spoon to a spork. We are still, for the most part, following our parent's ways, but we are becoming curious about the other things in life. The things that we see and hear about. The things that those around us bring in our lives. We begin to go towards the ways of our friends, except for we have many different friends that we want to be "fitted" to so I will refer to the next stage as the "fork" stage of life.

We have many different "prongs" pertruding from our life. We are in contact with many different people, much like a fork in a silverwear drawer. (ok, so if it's neat, they are all in-line to, but for sake of illustration, let's pretend its a messy, chaotic fork pile). Then as we graduate from highschool and enter the voyage of work, building a family, going to college, etc. we become like a knife. We decide who we are going to be and who we aren't going to be and we create a sharp edge about ourselves for when people come against our beliefs. For the most part we are straight and focused. Yeah, our focus may change, but we always want to better ourselves. And sometimes it's a struggle to stay focused, but staying focused, or a "knife" will help us get through the tough things of life the easiest.

So, what are you? Are you a spoon, still controlled by your parents (or societies) every wish and command? Are you a spork? Still directed by your parents but curious about what's out there? Are you a fork? Ever holding onto your friends and those around you? Or, are you a knife? Someone who sharpens themself off of those around them. Someone who is dependant on no one but God for strength and movement? But who uses the situations and circumstances they go through as sharpening tools?

Footprints revised any of you that really know me know that I LOVE the footprints poem. Here's a new one I saw that is kinda cool.

FOOTPRINTS...A New Version

Imagine you and the Lord Jesus are walking down the road together. For much of the way, the Lord's footprints go along steadily, consistently, rarely varying the pace. But your footprints are a disorganized stream of zigzags, starts, stops, turnarounds, circles, departures, and returns. For much of the way, it seems to go like this, but gradually your footprints come more in line with the Lord's, soon paralleling His consistently. You and Jesus are walking as true friends!

This seems perfect, but then an interesting thing happens: Your footprints that once etched the sand next to Jesus' are now walking precisely in His steps. Inside His larger footprints are your smaller ones, you and Jesus are becoming one. This goes on for many miles, but gradually you notice another change. The footprints inside the large footprints seem to grow larger. Eventually they disappear altogether. There is only one set of footprints. They have become one. This goes on for a long time, but suddenly the second set of footprints is back.

This time it seems even worse! Zigzags all over the place. Stops. Starts. Gashes in the sand. A variable mess of prints. You are amazed and shocked. Your dream ends.

Now you pray:"Lord, I understand the first scene, with zigzags and fits. I was a new Christian; I was just learning. But You walked on through the storm and helped me learn to walk with You.""That is correct.""And when the smaller footprints were inside of Yours, I was actually learning to walk in Your steps, following You very closely.""Very good. You have understood everything so far."When the smaller footprints grew and filled in Yours, I suppose that I was becoming like You in every way.""Precisely.""So, Lord, was there a regression or something? The footprints separated, and this time it was worse than at first."There is a pause as the Lord answers, with a smile in His voice."You didn't know? It was then that we danced!"

To everything there is a season, a time for every purpose under heaven: A time to weep, a time to laugh, a time to mourn, and a time to dance.Ecclesiastes 3:1,4.

I'm worth a lot

came across this November 21, 2005

In a brief conversation, a man asked a woman he was pursuing the question "What kind of man are you looking for?" She sat quietly for a moment before looking him in the eye and asking. "Do you really want to know?" Reluctantly, he said,
"Yes." She began to expound...

As a woman in this day and age, I am in a position to ask a man what he can do for me that I can't do for myself. I pay my own bills. I take care of my household without the help of any man...or woman for that matter. I am in the position to ask, "What can you bring to the table?"
The man looked at her. Clearly he thought that she was referring to money. She quickly corrected his thought and stated, "I am not referring to money. I need something more."
I need a man who is striving for perfection in every aspect of life." He sat back in his chair, folded his arms, and asked her to explain.

She said, "I am looking for someone who is striving for perfection mentally because I need conversation and mental stimulation. I don't need a simple-minded man. I am looking for someone who is striving for perfection spiritually because I don't need to be unequally yoked... believers mixed with unbelievers is a recipe for disaster. I need a man who is striving for perfection financially because I don't need a financial burden. I am looking for someone who is sensitive enough to understand what I go through as a woman, but strong enough to keep me grounded. I am looking for someone who I can respect. In order to be submissive, I must respect him. I cannot be submissive to a man who isn't taking care of his business. I have no problem being submissive...he just has to be worthy. God made woman to be a helpmate for man. I can't help a man if he can't help himself."

When she finished her spill, she looked at him. He sat there with a puzzled look on his face. He said, "You're asking a lot." She replied, "I'm worth a lot."

Prepare for the best!

written January 18, 2006

Wow! Its been a year since I moved out here. And what an amazing year it has been. From finding myself to breaking off things and people to let them go, it seems like Ive done it all. But I know that I havent. I know that this year is going to be much better. Its funny how God is sometimes. Hell take us to a point, away from everything, where we absolutely need Him and all we can do is call on Him. And then when we do, He takes us on the most awesome ride ever! I faced some tough things this past year. I had to learn to be completely on my own which mind you, Im still learning to this day! Lol I had to let go of the closest person to me, which at the time seemed impossible. Now, I look back and Im very greatful that I did. No, I dont regret the 3 years we had together, they were great; but we just werent going the same directions.

My focus this past year was on my relationship with God and anything that didnt add to that, I tried my best to separate from. In that process, I lose some people that were important to me, but its definitely been worth it. Ive also gained some amazing people in my life. People who are constantly challenging me to go to a higher level something I lacked before people who serve and love God with everything they have. From people Im with one-on-one, to the Wednesday night crew at The Bees; you have all challenged me to change one way or another. Yes, we may not be that close or anything, but by observation, Ive learned something from each one of you. I cant wait to see where this next year takes us, not only as friends, but as a church.

I also began a new job last year. Its had its ups and downs, but what job doesnt? The past few months have definitely been a time to step it up to the next level and be that excellent assistant. Im not sure what the next few months will bring, but Im giving this my all. I get a lot of people that ask why I do what I do when I could work in the secular world and make a heck of a lot more. And you know, I cant really explain it. No, I cant just go out and purchase whatever I want (and for being a technology junkie, its been hard on me this past year J), but I know that what I do by assisting Bill directly helps changes lives for eternity now thats what drives me to awake each morning. Yeah, most of the time I dont interact with people directly, but I do the behind-the-scenes work so that Bill can. Every flier that I create or class that I organize helps someone grow in their walk with God and that is what I love so much about this. I can really see doing this forever. But if not God, I place it in Your hands.

Thats another thing Ive definitely learned this year just give it to God. I use to worry about every little thing but then I realized that its just not worth it. Make a decision and then go with it like there was never another option! All thats done when your sitting around wondering What could have been if is youre wasting time! Time that you could be using to help others grow and change.

Im so looking forward to this next year. The intimate times with god, the great people Ill come in contact with, the further Ill be along in this journey of lifeand Im excited to see what God does in the lives of my friends. 2006 for me is going to be a time to mix things up. To do things that stretch myself to that next level in all areas of life physically, socially, emotionally, but most importantly, spiritually. For a long time, God was on the back burner. I went to Him only when I needed something, not knowing, all along, that He was all I needed. But when I started losing things, like the comfort of home, love, and meaning, I found the best thing ever! A true relationship with God. I realized that He is all Ill ever need. Yes, I have dreams and goals that I will achieve and yes, I do want to get married someday. But thats not my stage of life right now. Right now is my season of preparation. Preparation in every area of my life. The other day some of us were talking about our goals for this year. Yes, I have the typical goals of becoming more healthy and more financially secure, but I think its all summed up in one sentence. TO PREPARE FOR THE BEST. Many times we think to prepare for the worst, but its time to start preparing for the best! I am Gods kid and He wants to give me the best. But, He will only do so when I have become trustworthy with what I have already been entrusted with. The skills and goals Ive already been given will flourish into much more as I serve God in every area of my life.

Of course, its easy to say all of this with it being the new year and everyone hyping about New Years Resolutions, but Im serious about this. 2006 is going to be a different kind of year. I grew so much in 2005 and Im excited to see where Gods going to take me in 2006. Im Yours God. The giftings and talents Youve given to me, I use them to glorify You. Help me to truly live a lifestyle of outreach. I want to live to know You and to show others how great it is knowing You. Im willing to do what it takes to be prepared for the best. Whatever it takestimesacrificeanything. I love You, Father, and my desire is to help others passionately live the life Youve given them. Thank you for all the experiences of 2005 and basically everything Youve brought to me my entire life. Ive learned so much about You and about life in general during the past year and Im ready to take it and start doing something with it this year. Whatever it takes, Im preparing for the best!

life...a Nancy Drew mystery book in reality

written June 19, 2006

Ok, so I'm not sure how many of you are familiar with the Nancy Drew mystery books, but I used to love reading them when I was younger. I especially liked the ones where I, as the reader, got to control the story and at the end of the chapter, it gave me a few options and I turned to the page that was listed next to wherever I wanted the story to go. And more times than not, I would always read what happened with the other options as well.

I've been thinking lately, and life is somewhat like that. Each day you have millions of choices, from getting up the first time your alarm goes off to deciding what you're going to eat, to developing your relationship with God and with other people. And each choice leads to another series of choices. Yes, some are more important than others, but all life boils down to is choices. Some of us, are a little more curious than others. Instead of taking the wise counsel of others, we always seem to have to figure it out for ourselves. Others of us, make choices based on the outcome of choices that were made for us or on choices that we had to make unwillingly. And it seems like once a negative choice is made, it's hard to jump back to the positive. But, eventually, it's done and you realize how much better the positive choices are and you decide to never go back to the way it was.

Unfortunately, some choices are with you for the rest of your life. And no matter how hard you try to justify the choice you made with choices that were made for you, it's still ultimately your own responsibility.

So, all you younger tykes out there, remember that your future depends on who you are today. Make strong, Godly based choices. Decide to take a stand for God and not let anything or anyone convince you otherwise. And if something happens to you or a choice is made that affects your life but you can't control, don't let it spin you off the straight and narrow. Not saying that people aren't going to make mistakes or wrong choices, but it will be so much better to stand strong.

Don't be the type of person that has to experience everything personally, take the wise counsel of those who have walked life a little longer and who are where you would eventually like to be. Which brings me to my next point, don't judge someone based on their past choices. If they are truly commited to God and have repented, then give them grace. Isn't that what God is all about? I don't know about ya'll but I definitely don't deserve what Jesus did. And I don't think there is a single person here who does. But He doesn't care, He just wants a relationship with each one of us. So accept Him and accept yourself. And for the love people, accept each other.

Philippians 4:6-7

written November 14, 2006

Philippians 4:6-7 totally rocked my world tonight. In the Message Bible is states, "Don't fret or worry. Instead of worrying, pray! Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns. Before you know it, a sense of God's wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down. It's wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the center of your life." So I get done reading that and check it out in another Bible (CEV Version) and I got "shondied"..."Don't worry about anything, but pray for everything. With thankful hearts offer up your prayers and requests to God. Then, because you belong to Christ Jesus, God WILL BLESS YOU with PEACE that no one can completely understand. And this peace WILL CONTROL the way you THINK and FEEL." Then, I was like where's the paper, I gotta write.

***By the way, when I say "I" or "me" in this, it's totally about everyone, including YOU who are reading this.***

God has chosen to take care of me. I am a valuable belonging to Him. All I have to do is give Him complete control of my life. Once I do, He takes responsibility of ALL situations. I MUST listen to what He says. I MUST believe what He says about me, as truth. I MUST know that He is taking care of me. By doing so, He will allow His peace to flood my soul. My life. My head. No longer will I worry or be fearful, but I will know that He is the God who has delivered me. Set me free from the cares of this life. My focus is not to be on the situations of my life, but on Him. By me focusing on Him and trusting Him, He can then focus on the situations in my life without trying to get my attention. I'm not called to understand life or the blessings of God, I'm called to focus on Him. Praise Him. Worship Him. Exalt Him with my life. By giving my complete attention to Him, my heart will be comforted in who He is. My mind will be at rest in who He says I am. My thoughts will be enraptured with how great He is. And my body will be in alignment with how He created me to be. It is no longer I, but Christ who lives in me! His thoughts. His feelings. His ways. I am entirely consumed with who He is.