29 December, 2012

Truth.

Truth comes in all shapes and sizes. It comes in ways and manners in which we never would have guessed, and sometimes would not have hoped. Often times, the truth in a situation doesn't change our view on it...though it should. We can be presented the truth a hundred times, but if we aren't actively seeking it out or desiring it, we may cast it to the wayside as petty. Or ignorant. Or bothersome. As Christ-followers, we should always be seeking TRUTH and desiring to live it. If truth/life is layed before us and we respond with disdain because we don't 'feel' it, that should set off an alarm within us. If we have become so calloused or hardened by sin that truth no longer penetrates our hearts, that should be cause for concern and move us to the foot of the cross. Only He can soften our hearts and only He can give us the revelation we need. Only He can set is free from our sin...even when we have justified it so far that we no longer think it's sin. (John 8:32)

What situation in your life are you hearing the truth in, but refusing to allow it to bring change?

27 December, 2012

Snippets from my heart.

Often I will be somewhere and the Lord will lay something heavily on my heart. If my journal isn't handy - I'll type it on my phone. Here are a few of those:

12/17/12
I find it so interesting when someone  who grew up knowing God, decides they no longer want or need Him....whereas I, who grew up without God, can never again do life without Him. Genuinely. Do not be deceived; sin is only pleasurable for a season, and without God, this life is frighteningly miserable. 

12/19/12

Part of me (ever the secret optimist) believes that maybe if I dig deeper and share more of my heart...revelation will come. That it may spur some hidden emotion to change. But, I cannot produce revelation in others and I cannot force a heart change. I can only accept this and pray, or change my circumstance. Both options are heart wrenching.

12/27/12

It cannot stay winter forever. My soul jumps and aches for the coming of Spring. I long to hear "Arise, my love, my beautiful one, and come away, for behold, the winter is past; the rain is over and gone. The flowers appear on the earth..." The prospect of this dreary and downtrodden season unraveling and melting into a season of new growth and freshness is - HOPE. Close your eyes. Breathe it in. Can you sense it? The warmth on the horizon, the melting of the snow, the fresh scent of Spring. One season is ending, and another is beginning; we must grasp onto that lovely promise.

22 April, 2012

This is not who I AM.

"I'm so glad we finally got through this identity crisis".

These are the words that a dear friend/mentor/fellow Christ follower said to me yesterday.

You see, I went to Acquire the Fire this weekend, and it was great. But the really interesting thing is the week leading up to it. This last week was pretty intense. Over the course of 5 days I had four vastly different people confront me regarding....my life. And I'm not going to lie, I was a little shocked at first - because typically nobody confronts me [I don't know why]. Suffice it to say, I was in a state of disbelief by the time the fourth person spoke to me...not to mention feeling fairly worn down. ha. Thus, by the time I got to ATF, I was RAW. Which would explain why from the moment the event began Friday until I went to sleep that evening, I cried. And cried. And criiiiiiiiiied. I cried during worship, I cried during the message, I cried trying to eat my dinner in the hotel at 10:30 that night. Are you getting the picture? I was a mess. The thing that kept resounding in my mind was, "This was my life for 4 years! Passionately pursuing and serving the Lord. THIS...person that I have become, is not who I AM! Who have I let myself become?!" [see: 'identity crisis'].

Obviously, there was a breaking that had to happen...and boy, did it happen. Now, to stay in the state of brokenness...to be in a place of accepting the constant refinement... Lord Jesus, help me.

It is interesting to note, by the way, that this week as everything was taking place...I found myself finally turning to the Lord. I literally thought, 'Forget people...' and turning to the Word, sermons, prayer and worship. It's about time, right? Lord, please keep me in this place. It feels like a place of desperation...a hunger that I haven't experienced in a while.

If I may confess something, this weekend also placed a discontentment in me. I deeply miss serving in full-time ministry. I know that people say "your job is a ministry", but, I feel as though although it can be a ministry, it isn't. I can't fully focus, because I have to also focus on marketing the product/company I work for. Yes, it is true that the basis and the foundation of the company I work for is Christ, but, it is still a business that markets a product that does not push the masses to Jesus. Does that make sense? And, I have had a discontentment in my heart with this job for some time, though I cannot pinpoint why. This makes it just a smidge more difficult. Prayers would be appreciated. ( :

I will leave y'all with the lyrics from a song we sang this weekend...which happens to be the cry of my heart right now:

"Sit enthroned upon my heart, with everything You are come live your life in me, reign supremely. I'm not just giving You my sin, but everything within. Come take control and make me holy".

15 April, 2012

1 year.

I'm back. Hopefully more often now. I am putting 'BLOG!' on my calendar weekly in attempts to remind myself. ( :

I find it interesting to go back and read my journals from the past. It can be refreshing, or painful, encouraging or challenging. Today I went back through a few journals from this last year. Aye. What a year it was. If I had to give this year a title, it would be the title of a Brooke Fraser song. 'Crows and Locusts'. The lyrics go like this,

"It was the year that the crows and the locusts came.
The fields drained dry the rain...the fields are bleeding.
It was the age, the foxes came for the fields.
We were bleeding as we bowed to kneel...
...and prayed for mercy, prayed for mercy".
This last year felt like a complete decimation of who I say I am, and who the Lord was creating me to be. The crows and the locusts came in various forms...the little foxes invaded (Song of Solomon  2:15) - all causing damage in my life. As I was reading through my journal, I found an entry from last June. It read,

6/29
"We often hear people say that they have an addictive personality. If I believed in such a thing, I'm sure I would fit the bill for it. But, alas, I do not, thus I cannot. I suppose when you truly dive into the crux of an 'addictive personality', the truth of it simply is that the person has an affinity for idolatry. For me, I tend to gravitate to the unhealthy means of coping or distraction - which then consumes my mind. Yes, eventually, I become "addicted", per se, and thus their existence in my life makes them an idol. I believe, however, that if I say 'I have an addictive personality' it is simply a cop-out...a way to circumvent personal responsibility. The truth of it is that I, as a human, make choices that are unwise. In the moment, they may seem fulfilling - but over time the frequency and the amount of the (sin) overtakes. Habit...it becomes a habit that simply distracts or fulfills some fleshly longing".
How true I find this to be. It has been a rough year, with trial, temptation, job resignation, unemployment, failure...but, also of incredible relationships, ministry opportunity, growth, and change. And, the Lord is the restorer...the one who rebuilds that which has been torn down.

Today as I was reading through my bible I felt like the words were illuminated and jumping off the page at me. I was struck by a few books in Isaiah. Chapter 54 says,

Vs. 4: "Fear not, for you will not be ashamed; be not confounded, for you will not be disgraced..."

Vs's 7-8: “For a mere moment I have forsaken you, but with great mercies I will gather you. With  a little wrath I hid My face from you for a moment; but with everlasting kindness I will have mercy on you,” Says the Lord, your Redeemer"  

Vs 11, 14: “O you afflicted one, tossed with tempest, and not comforted...In righteousness you shall be established; you shall be far from oppression, for you shall not fear; and from terror, for it shall not come near you".
Chapter 55,

Vs's 6-13: Seek the Lord while you can find him.
    Call on him now while he is near.
Let the wicked change their ways
    and banish the very thought of doing wrong.
Let them turn to the Lord that he may have mercy on them.
    Yes, turn to our God, for he will forgive generously.

“My thoughts are nothing like your thoughts,” says the Lord.
    “And my ways are far beyond anything you could imagine.
For just as the heavens are higher than the earth,
    so my ways are higher than your ways
    and my thoughts higher than your thoughts.
10 “The rain and snow come down from the heavens
    and stay on the ground to water the earth.
They cause the grain to grow,
    producing seed for the farmer
    and bread for the hungry.
11 It is the same with my word.
    I send it out, and it always produces fruit.
It will accomplish all I want it to,
    and it will prosper everywhere I send it.
12 You will live in joy and peace.
    The mountains and hills will burst into song,
    and the trees of the field will clap their hands!
13 Where once there were thorns, cypress trees will grow.
    Where nettles grew, myrtles will sprout up.
These events will bring great honor to the Lord’s name;
    they will be an everlasting sign of his power and love.”

In reading this today, all I could say, was 'Thank God....thank God'.

Thank God that He is merciful and kind.
Thank God that He is loving and just.
Thank God that He gives and takes away.
Thank God that He disciplines those He loves.
Thank God that He protects His children, even when they are being irresponsible.
Thank God for His irrefutable grace.
Thank God that He woos His beloved back unto Himself...our first love.

[also from my journal]