Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Identity


So, over the past week or so I have come to a realization.  Now, it isn't a huge revelation, but more of a whisper that I have trouble hearing most of the time.  And this realization, this message from God that has changed my life is simply this:  God made me.  That's it.  He made me.  Like the psalmist said, He knit me together in my mother's womb.  By Him, I am fearfully and wonderfully made.  I grew up hearing this from my mother and my sunday school teachers, and I've told myself this on multiple occasions, and often truly believed it...but somehow, this week, it hit me in a brand new way.  God made me, and I am His.  And as David Crowder says, He makes everything glorious, and I am His...so what does that make me? Glorious, of course! And this idea of an identity of my own, but also an identity firmly established in God's identity, is beautiful and freeing and mystifying!  I feel so liberated to know that it doesn't matter what I classify myself to be or who others say I am.  I've had so many labels in my life, and I don't have to worry any more about keeping them or getting rid of them...I just have to be me:  God's creation, beautiful and complex and simply breath-taking before God.  I'm not just smart or shy or capable or efficient or conservative or liberal...I am myself, with a little bit of those things and a whole lot more, and I don't have to explain it to myself or to you or to anyone.  God knows.  God made me this way.  And I am finally going to TRY my hardest to devote my life to Him and to being His creation, whatever that may look like.  So here it goes...

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Your Words

video

For small group in a couple of weeks I'm going to be talking about God's Provision. Challenging the girls with the thought of do we believe to our core that God is going to provide for us? Take care of us? Are we giving him a chance to move in our lives? Are we scared? Is something holding us back from believing in his provision? I will be showing this video because it's so encouraging. We can't fully know God until we are fully trusting him with our lives. We can't be controlled by fear or anything else because God is love and he want to do amazing things in our lives. It's just a matter of believing that (by faith) and giving him the chance....I love Amena Brown. Her poetry is so beautiful...

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Update on my thoughts.....

WoW!!!! It's so amazing when the spirit of God moves in a place. Kind of weird because the spirit of God is ALWAYS moving in EVERY place. One place that he moves is our heart. I'm not talking about the organ that pumps blood to our vessels, but rather the core of our being. Last night at Genesis I truly believe that as a whole we recognized God's existence in our core. It's revolutionary when this happens because it brings us to a point where we can make life changing decisions. I'm speaking at an elementary school chapel this friday and I am trying to rap my mind around what kind of impact a large group of excited elementary school kids can make in this world. I've been thinking for about 3 hours now........ You see when we recognize Gods spirit our own possibilities become his, and our potential expands tremendously. How do stay in that moment though? How do stay in close proximity to God? I typically think about a lot of things and blow most of them off, but this one i just can't. I've got to know the answer here. Because i want it, because i need it. God is convicting me of some things and i have learned one thing about convictions over the last day or two. Our convictions give us an oppurtunity to be obediant or disobedient. I want to be obedient. I believe our obedience to God allows us to discern his spirit and his prompting in our lives. I want to be prompted by God in all that i do. I don't know these are just some random things that have been going through my head. Something about writing stuff brings me some clarity... LOL. But i hope this reaches all of you somehow. LOVE YOU GUYS!!!!!! Keep it cool my baby

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Take Heart

I have told you all of this so that you may have peace in me.  Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows.  But take heart, because I have overcome the world.  John 16:35

Jesus had just finished telling the disciples about Him leaving them for a while "going to die" but that he would be back "raise from the dead".  He also told them about how they would turn their backs on Him and leave Him when it got rough but that He wouldn't be alone because His Father was going to be with Him.  This is what blows me away, "I have told you this so that you may have peace in me."   In other words, "I know what has to happen, must happen and you are going to do what you have to do and I'm God and I understand that it's going to be the darkest moment of My life and and your going to leave Me but I'll be ok because MY Daddy is going to be with Me and I'm going to be ok and I want you to be at peace about this."  What? Jesus is the man!  He foreknew what was going to happen, must happen and what was going to happen to them and tells them "Relax guys, take heart, I'm in charge and I know what I'm doing!"  And then He prayed for Himself and then them.  He didn't pray for some escape plan for Himself or the disciples but that they would have peace while going through it and strength to not shrink back because He was in charge!  I'm not sure if you'll get anything out of this but I'm finding so much peace in the fact that He knows all and is in charge even when I can't understand it or feel it!  "Take Heart , I have overcome the world!"  By the way He said this before He had!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

My God

God is my everything.  He is beautiful and breath-taking.  He is loving and merciful, just and upright, true and faithful, not lacking anything yet desiring my heart.  My God is my mountain of strength and my fortress of peace.  He is my light in dark times, my pillow when sleep is elusive.  God is the hand I hold when I reach out for help, the tear that falls with mine when I cry. He is my everything.  He is the sparkle in my eye when I laugh and the warmth in my heart when I smile.  God is the answer to my desperation and the call to my wandering heart.  He is every question I ask, every answer I seek.  He is at the fork in every road I take and the path that leads me home.  God is my everything.  It amazes me how blessed we are to have such a kind, loving, true, holy, and redeeming God!  It amazes me that He would die for us and take away the pain we've inflicted on Him!  It takes my breath away that He has given us every breath to breathe.  God is everything, mine and yours, all that is good.

"Answer me when I call to you, 
       O my righteous God. 
       Give me relief from my distress; 
       be merciful to me and hear my prayer.

 How long, O men, will you turn my glory into shame? 
       How long will you love delusions and seek false gods? 
       Selah

 Know that the LORD has set apart the godly for himself; 
       the LORD will hear when I call to him.

 In your anger do not sin; 
       when you are on your beds, 
       search your hearts and be silent. 
       Selah

 Offer right sacrifices 
       and trust in the LORD.

 Many are asking, "Who can show us any good?" 
       Let the light of your face shine upon us, O LORD.

 You have filled my heart with greater joy 
       than when their grain and new wine abound.

 I will lie down and sleep in peace, 
       for you alone, O LORD, 
       make me dwell in safety."

-Psalm 4

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Romancing with God


I truly believe that a woman becomes beautiful when she knows she is loved. When we are pursued we change. We become lovely, inviting, and radiant. I think a huge thing that makes us feel this way is romance. If you remember those times when you began to fall in love...the butterflies, the long phone calls, and wanting to spend every minute with that person because the way they made you feel. All in all for women we want to feel wanted. And you don't have to wait for a man to feel this way. Did you know that God wants us to feel this way? God wants to bring this in our lives. "What would it be like to experience for yourself that the truest thing about his heart towards yours is not disappointment or disapproval but deep, fiery, passionate love?"-Staci Eldridge. Think about God as lover for a second. All in all, scripture is this amazing love story about a lover that longs for us. We see the Romance between God and us not only in our hearts but all around us. Just look. That may involve asking him to open your heart to see what he is revealing to you. Jesus, how are you romancing me? "I felt a little weird in asking, for I knew the truth-- that God had already proven his love for me. He had sent his only Son, Jesus, to die for me. He had rescued me. He had paid the highest price imaginable for me. He had given me all of creation to speak of his great glory and love, and he had given me the Word of God in all its depth and beauty, and here I was, asking for more. And God loved it. God delights in revealing himself to those who will seek him with all their hearts. He is a extravagant, abundant Lover, and he loves to reveal his heart to us again and again." I think also that God wants the same thing we want and that's to be loved(John 14:21). He longs for us. It's hard because life is full of demands, pressure, temptation, struggles. There maybe those seasons in your life where one second your so close to God and the other seasons where he seems out of reach. Just fight for it. Ask him to make you hungry. Ask him to help create time and space to spend with him. And ask him to reveal himself to you. "He is worthy of our heart's devotion". He wants to romance with us. He wants us to dive into intimacy with him because only in him will our hearts find comfort and rest.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Real Truth


God is Truth. Period.  I think it is a sad state of the world that wisdom, knowledge, and truth are so often set up in opposition to God and to His message.  When did learning and knowledge become contrary to pursuing God?  When did asking questions and seeking truth become not seeking God?  God is Truth.  If we seek Truth, we are seeking God.  If where truth leads us doesn't line up with God, then there is something we need to learn MORE or something we need to change about our concept of God.  Water doesn't turn into wine, but God is miraculous...so for Him, it does.  Everything comes from something, but God is eternal...so He always has been and never came from anything.  If there is a disconnect, keep looking...God will be there in the middle of the truth.  Wisdom can be found in Him and in His creation...I submit that we, as Christians, can learn from every area of life and people of every faith, not that we agree with all that they believe, but there is so much wisdom and truth and light that IS GOD and that we ignore because we are afraid that what we find might look too much like the real God and not enough like our story-book God who just sits in heaven, answers our prayers, and performs amazing miracles.  God is MORE.  God is REAL.  We need to stop hiding behind this surface-level, dumbed-down, ignorant Christianity that so many Christians want to believe today!  The bible tells us that we see as if through a cloudy window right now, and one day, we will see fully...but what this is saying is that we MUST keep learning!  We know so little now and some of what we think we know is not Truth at all...so keep growing and learning and seeking!  God calls us to pursue the Truth and to be full of wisdom, so let's start doing it! Don't be afraid that reality will deny God.  Don't be afraid to face other ideas, other philosophies, other people.  Don't be afraid.  In true love, in God, there is no fear.  LIVE! SEEK! LEARN!  Let's not let our faith become stagnant, not let it wander from the Truth revealed by Christ and revealed in creation.  Let's keep growing and increasing in knowledge and understanding!  My God is great and glorious and almighty, and I trust and believe whole-heartedly that the only Truth I will ever find is in Him!

Glorifying Him....


It's been a while since i have updated. Things have been good lately. I am leading a small group formed around the book Crazy Love written by Francis Chan. It's amazing the way a small group can change a persons heart. There is something about this group that attracts me. I think it may be the openness that we feel while we are there. It seems to be that the more i hear about these guys lives the more i care about them. I genuinely want to see these guys glorify God with there lives. I want to Glorify God with my life. This book is effecting me more than i thought it would. Honestly it's affecting me more than i wanted it to. I think sometimes we get so comfortable with our mediocre view of God. He is so big that my use of eloquent and well thought out descriptive words fall far to short to explain him. I cannot glorify God with my words but with my actions I can. What if my thoughts towards God cause me to actually change my actions. That is my thought lately. What if...... 1) i begin to live with a kingdom mindset 2) i step into god's plans rather than waiting for him to step into mine

I am realizing more and more that my possibilities are so limited without God's provision. I want to be apart of what he is doing. I want to be used in his movie. In his book Francis Chan says, "the point of my life is to point to him." He couldn't be more correct.

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Lukewarm

So, I've been reading the book "Crazy Love" by Francis Chan and yesterday I read chapter 4 titled "Profile of the Lukewarm". Wow, talk about feeling horrible and maybe even fake. Through out the chapter Francis Chan describes the characteristics of lukewarm people and man did some of them hit home. Here is the one paragraph that really got to me and had to even read twice.

"LUKEWARM PEOPLE love others but do not seek to love others as much as they love themselves. Their love of others is typically focused on those who love them in return, like family, friends, and other people they know and connect with. There is little love left over for those who cannot love them back, much less for those who intentionally slight them, whose kids are better athletes than theirs, or with whom conversations are awkward or uncomfortable. Their love is highly conditional and very selective, and generally comes with strings attached."

So true! At least in my life. Loving those who don't love me back is definately a struggle and something that I really have to work on. Not by myself, but with God's help, love and guidance.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

NIght of Worship

Last night was amazing!  I truly felt like God was worshiped!  This is our desire every time that we worship but some times it just seems more authentic than others.  I've already heard of at least 2 people that accepted God's love sacrifice found in Christ and said "I do" in response to His leading.  Very cool!!!!!!   Also, My heart is breaking over a few that are so trapped in things and are unable to break free from them.  Tracy and I are in deep prayer over these situations and are asking the Holy Spirit to lead and guide us in every step we take.  If you don't know this, it breaks God's heart to see you struggling and it also breaks ours.  God was proactive for each one of us and our crisis by sending His Son for our restoration before we even needed it. We desire for each one of you to live in that freeing restoration!  God is here for you!  His words, "I'll never leave you or forsake you!"  That is a promise to you and for you!  PLEASE DON'T LET GO OF YOUR GOD BECAUSE HE WILL NEVER LET GO OF YOU! 

We love you guys and love doing life with all of you!

Rod & Tracy