Tuesday, November 6, 2012

What comes first...the button or the necklace?

This will be my one and only post about the election....

I don't like politics. I don't think I ever have. 
Know why?
It's not because of the issues, or the adds on TV, or even the debates.
It's because things like politics and elections bring out a different side to people.

The biggest issue in all of this - to me - is that people put party and issues before faith and spreading the Gospel.

I don't care who you voted for. I don't care what you agree/disagree with. What I care about is the fact that because you spoke out about your political affiliation for the last 2 months you have turned away innumerable people from the message of the cross. 

They saw your Romney/Obama button before they saw your cross necklace.

I don't stand for a candidate. I don't stand for a party. I don't stand for my views on different issues.  The very first thing that people should notice about me is the fact that I stand for the Word of God and the message that He has called me to live out. If my views, affiliation, or opinions come in between that and put up a barrier to the Gospel, then I am to blame. 

Hebrews 12:1
"Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles..."

2 Corinthians 6:1
"We should put no stumbling block in anyone's path, so that our ministry will not be discredited."

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Don't take the seasons lightly

Fall has to be the most beautiful of all the seasons!

It's so amazing - the vibrant colors! God's beauty is vividly portrayed in every leaf.  It is such a great reminder of how artistic He is.

However, in the changing of the seasons and the falling of the leaves we are also reminded of the frailty of this life. 

Psalm 144:3-4
"O Lord, what is man that you care for him, the son of man that you think of him? Man is like a breathe; his days are like a fleeting shadow."

It blossoms with sweet aromas ready for growth, it's time of fullness is of utmost importance, and before we know it, it falls to the ground soon before it crumbles into dust.  Like the leaves on the trees, our lives are short-lived.  We are "but a breath."

But how much do we think about the leaves?  When they bloom in the spring we rejoice through sniffling noses because warm weather is approaching.  When the trees are in full and the green canopies give us shade from the heat, we rejoice. And when the weather gets nippy and the leaves change into those beautiful colored outfits, we rejoice.
...But then what? They're gone. They vanish into the ground, and if we're lucky, get covered with snow. But what about them? They are lost...forgotten...buried under time.

So are we, aren't we?

We are born into this world with blooming potential. We grow - hopefully - into the fullness of what we were meant to be all along. And as we age we start to fall and fade back into the dust we came from.

Yet all the while, we are thought of. Just as we think of the leaves on the trees, the One above thinks of you and me.  We are like a breathe in the span of time - we come, we live, we go - yet God above thinks of us!

Don't take the seasons lightly.

We all have a favorite season.  For some of us, it's summer - we cannot wait for the cold to go away so that we can get to the beach! For others it's fall - we just love the festive-ness of the season. And then there are you "holiday cheer-meister's" who are all gung-ho for the holidays.
Regardless, we all look forward to our favorite season, but we dread all the rest. We don't take time to stop and smell the roses...or take a dip in the ocean...or jump in a pile of leaves...or truly celebrate the reason for the season.  We wish them away like they're nothing. But they are vital to the rest of the seasons.  You need a spring to have a fall.      

Every season of our lives is as equally important as the other.

How crazy is that? We are nothing. Our lives are so short and seemingly unimportant to the spans of time, yet God above thinks of us, knows us, cherishes us, and loves us more than we could ever know!

Think back on that verse: "...what is man that you care for is like a breathe..."
Each man is like a single leaf on a tree...supposedly nothing, yet absolutely something in the eyes of the Lord.

Don't waste your time on this tree. Bloom passionately. Grow and live with purpose. And go shining brightly and vibrantly displaying the Lord's work in your life.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Claiming Confidence

The Lord's Promises (Assurance that God will do what he said) & Provisions (the action of providing or supplying something for use):

I am for you                --->   Romans 8:31
I believe in you           --->   Psalm 8
I will not fail you         --->   Hebrews 13:5
I am with you              --->   Matthew 28:20
I will provide for you   --->   Philippians 4:19
I love you                    --->   Psalm 145:13
I want to bless you      --->   Genesis12:2; Matthew 5:3-10
I will give you rest       --->   Matthew 11:28
I will strengthen you    --->   Isaiah 41:31
I will answer you         --->   Jeremiah 33:3
I will guide you           --->   Psalm 32:8
I know you                  --->   Psalm 139:1
I have a plan for you   --->   Jeremiah 29:11
I am                           --->   Exodus 3:14

Philippians 1:6
"Be confident of this, that He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus."

Claim Confidence in HIM!
Remember HIS Promises and Provisions!


tell about THE ONE

tell about THE ONE

The first day I was with my ISF team before our Kenya trip we had a team meeting. Our leader, Eric, told us something small, but it has stuck with me and I'm not sure if I'll ever forget it.
He said, "You will see a lot of need...a lot of poverty, and hunger, and sickness....and you can't fix it."  We don't have money. We don't have medicine. We don't have food. We cannot meet their physical needs. BUT...the one gift we do have is THE MOST IMPORTANT!

Many times we think "I can't help them, I don't have any money (or food) to give." and so many times, that is exactly what people need - money, food, water, medicine.  
But, their greatest needs are not physical. Their greatest needs cannot be met by man alone. Their greatest needs are not earthly and temporary. 

What they need most - what we CAN give them 100% of the time - is the gift of GOD.
[  the Christmas story; the gift of eternal life; the promise of salvation!  ]
We CAN tell them about THE ONE.
the One and Only. 
the First and Last, Beginning and End. 
the Creator of heaven and earth. 
the Maker of the moon and the stars. 
the Giver of life. 
the Author of salvation.
the ONE who's peace passes all understanding.
the ONE who made the blind to see and the lame to walk.
the ONE who laid down His life for you and me.
the ONE who is HOLY, HOLY, HOLY!

Without THE ONE there is no way we could HELP ONE (because no persons needs could be met) or BE ONE (because we couldn't make a difference to people in need).

Mark 16:15



(another one of the concepts behind "ONE")

Whereas BE ONE is like you and me being the little girl in the starfish story,
HELP ONE is referring to the starfish.

There are so many starfish out there. There are so many people who have washed up on the shore and are waiting to die: the tide left without them, they are buried too deep in the sand, and the sun is just too much to handle so they crack.  These people need help. Just like the starfish, if something isn't done then they'll all die.
Like I said, there are so many out there! Millions and millions to be more clear.
millions of people are hurting.
millions of people are dying.
millions of people are broken.
millions of people are alone.
millions of people are scared.
millions of people have no hope.
millions of people are LOST.
So how can we possibly make a difference?  Start with ONE.

ONE person is all it takes to make a difference, all it takes is ONE person to make a difference TO! 




(one of the three concepts behind "ONE")

We all have the ability to make a difference, yet so many times we leave it to someone else. 
We think, "somebody else will help" "somebody else will give" "somebody else will go."
Well why not YOU? Why not ME? 
If I do it - that's ONE. If you do it too, that's another ONE. and so on and so on...
Each ONE of us makes a difference. Each ONE of us matters.

BE ONE is all about YOU!
being ONE is about making a difference - saying to yourself "I am ONE."
you are not JUST one and you are not ONLY one, you are A one, and that is all it takes.

Be one person. Be the only person you know how to be. Be you. Be true to yourself.
Be a helping hand. Be a cheerful smile. Be a warming heart. Be a loving embrace. 
BE the hands and feet of Jesus. BE the salt and light of the world. 


Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Born to Live

Have you ever noticed how we spend the majority of our lives WAITING?

We wait in check-out lines at the grocery store.
We wait for our food to come at restaurants.
We wait for the traffic lights to change so we can get to where we are going.
We wait for that Tuesday release of our favorite artists brand new CD.
We wait for storms to pass before going outside.
We wait for Mr. or Mrs.Right to come prancing into our lives.


I've been doing a lot of waiting myself here lately.
Since January, really, I've just been waiting on God to reveal to me what it is that He wants me to do with my life.  The major that I had, and the life that I had planned out, were no longer an option -- God obviously had something better, but what?? Why take away something that I loved, something I was good at? Why leave me with no plan, just wandering....and waiting? I've come to learn that while we are just waiting for something to happen, God is already making things happen - we just may not see it. God's timing is absolutely perfect, and He reveals things to us in His timing, not ours! So while I feel like I am just waiting for God to work, in reality He is already hard at work, I just may not feel the affects or understand all the pieces at that time.

The key to waiting, I have learned, is not to wait.

There is a difference between "being still" and "not moving."
When we do not move, we are just sitting idly not doing anything.
But, when we are "being still" (like in Psalm 46 "Be still, and know") we are active - we are listening, we are resting, we are at peace, we are calming ourselves and acknowledging the Lord.

The same concept holds true for waiting.
When we think of waiting in our terms, we think of the non-active, not doing anything, "not moving" sense of waiting.
But in God's way of waiting we are to be active - listening, resting, seeking, serving, worshiping.
Psalm 27:13-14 says, "I am still confident of this: I will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord."
Psalm 130:5-6 says, "I wait for the Lord, my soul waits, and in His word I put my hope. My soul waits for the Lord."
These two verses give a lot of action to waiting. We need to put our hope in the Lord; We need to be strong and persevere; We need to turn towards the Word and receive God's wisdom; We need to serve Him and His Kingdom; We need to listen to His voice and follow wherever it may lead.
While we wait we are not to stop - we are to continue down the path God has laid before us. Our journey with God does not come to a stand-still just because we don't know the next steps to take.

As born-again Christians we are all waiting to reach our eternal home - to finish our journey at the feet of the King. That sounds like a lifetime of waiting, which could seems quite dull... but when we look at it in the Biblical "waiting" - the active waiting - then we can see that it's a lifetime full of action: service, worship, learning, and LIVING! Christ died so that we could have LIFE (John 10:10). And He didn't give His life so that we could waste ours. Paul writes at the end of 2 Timothy 4, "I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith." Paul might have done a lot of waiting in his life, but that doesn't mean he wasted his life. He spent his life doing the work of God - living out the Gospel.
You were born to LIVE - so live for Him! 
Even while you wait, Run your race! Keep the faith! Don't lose heart! Serve Him! Worship Him! Move ahead boldly and confidently! Be obedient!!

 Listen to the words of the song, "While I'm Waiting" by John Waller
**this is not my video**