Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Religous Ramblings of an Insomniac

I have not wrote on my blog in a long time but I have some random thoughts on my mind and I just wanted to put them into writing. I don't exactly build my thoughts as much as I just bluntly state them but I hope that you enjoy them.

Until you have a understanding of why we have no right to have a relationship with a Holy, Majestic God, you cannot fully grasp the power of His love for you. As you come to understand just how Big and Perfect our God truly is, you will begin to understand just how Powerful and Unfathomable His love for you truly is. The higher your respect and awe for God's Majesty and Holiness; the deeper your understanding and gratitude will be for His love and desire of a relationship with you.

Churches have become more consumed with the numbers of seats they fill than the number of people they send out. Christ called us to make disciples of the nations, not converts and seat fillers. The church has lost it's focus on helping build meaningful relationships with Christ and have instead become consumed with sharing a message to as many people as possible. It no longer matters if the people understand what they hear as long as they enjoy it. When did church numbers become more important than lives changed? When did churches start bragging about how big their "outreach" is instead of boasting about what Christ did? Why is it more important for churches to get more sheep even when they have thousands, than it is to pour into a few sheep who could go out and shepherd new flocks? Christ didn't call us to bring people into the church; He called us to send people out!

I also have some thoughts on leadership and how their lack of passion greatly affects those they lead. I may write more on this later. My question is, should you willingly choose to join a team or staff of Christians in leadership if you know they have consistently lacked passion and a desire to truly know God?

Sorry for the random blog posting.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Day 2

Genesis 13

Abram and Lot split ways. I have read over this before and it is obvious that you can make a case for arguing and quarrelling being bad form these passages but there is something else that stuck out to me when I read this. Abram called on the name of the Lord. When reading that, it was as if those words jumped out to me. When was the last time we called on the name of the Lord? So many times I believe we as Christians wait for God to come to us instead of seeking after Him. How desperate are we to meet with God? Desperate enough to spend 15 minutes in prayer? What about an entire day? Just something to think about.

Genesis 14

Ok. SO this may be wrong but the idea of armies falling into tar pits and dieing makes me chuckle. I love reading about wars int he Bible. 4 kings against 5 with tar pits and hill sides and battles. It makes me think of the Lord of the Rings movies and I get these awesome battle scenes in my head. Doesn't that excite you?
It amazes me how in this chapter Abram is going to rescue Lot but in the chapter before they split ways so that there would not be any fighting.
I love how Abram didn't accept any thing that was being offered to him. Money seems to rule the world and I wonder if we would be able to say no to money being offered to us even if we knew it did not please the Lord?

Genesis 15

As I read this it reminds me again of how we always take things into our own hands instead of trusting God with the details. Abram didn't see it possible for his wife to have a child so he decided if God wants me to have children then I have to find another way. Why is it that when God closes a door we always try to open another one? Man, we have a long history of not trusting God with the details!

Matthew 5:1-26

The beatitudes are famous for sermons. Not much to say there except that we should read over those again.
Salt and light solders. For any one who knew Jerry Falwell Sr. they knew the sermon. Salt is used to preserve things but if it loses it's saltiness than it is worthless for its purpose. I feel like when we lose our passion and heart for God, we lose our purpose. If that is true we need to seek after God more than anything else in this world. More than a job promotion and harder than a good report card. A city on a hill can not be hidden! If we are the light that reflects God's glory we should never live ashamed of God. I remember in High School I went through a faze where I was a little embarrasses to let people know I was a Christian. I was afraid of what they may think about me and I wanted them to accept me into their group so that I could "fit in" and then "witness to them." We should NEVER be ashamed of our relationship with God. We should never try and hide our light!
I love how these passages talk about murder being compared to having anger between you and a fellow Christian. It is more important to right your wrong than to ignore it and let it fester and build. How many times have we let anger get between relationships that could have easily been fixed with honest communication? This passage makes me want to go talk to some people and make sure everything is settled and ok. Good stuff!

Proverbs 5

This proverb talks about adultery and how it is wrong. One verse says don't even get close to her doorstep. It reminds me that we shouldn't fool with temptations. How often do we step close to the line saying well this isn't bad and I am not going to do anything? We shouldn't even be near the door that opens to what we are tempted with!
Ok. If you haven't read this chapter there is one line that will stick out to you. Does the Bible really say "may her breasts satisfy you always" ? This is talking about a married relationship but seriously, it always shocks me to read things like that! I love to read things in the Bible that shock me. Reminds me that the Bible isn't boring!

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

The Challenge Blog!

So I attend Thomas Road Baptist Church and as a church body we have been encouraged to read through the entire Bible in a year using a specific reading plan so that we will all be reading the same thing. I have been struggling with my spiritual discipline when it comes to consistently getting in the Word and I thought that maybe if for the next few weeks I blogged on my reading, maybe it would help me get back to a consistent schedule so for at least the next few weeks I am going to blog every day on scripture that TRBC should be reading. I will be one day off of the reading in my posts but here goes nothing.


Genesis 10

Names, names, names! Ahh! Sometimes the long lists of names in the OT really bore me. But when I was reading this chapter a certain section of scripture really stuck out to me.
8 Cush was the father of Nimrod, who grew to be a mighty warrior on the earth. 9 He was a mighty hunter before the LORD; that is why it is said, "Like Nimrod, a mighty hunter before the LORD."
Ok. So get this. This man is in the Bible, and what is he known for? He is a famous warrior for God. Like come on. Think about that. This man's profession was a warrior and he used his profession to glorify God. I could totally see something like Brad is known as a accountant who handles money before the Lord! Corny sounding I know, but I guess it just reminds me that when we do something with our entire heart to glorify God, we are truly worshiping Him.

Genesis 11

The Tower of Babel. I can't tell you how many lessons and sermons I have heard on this passage, but I also can't tell you what any of them were about. Funny how that works right? Anyways, something stuck out to me right away. Look at this!
"Come, let us build ourselves a city, with a tower that reaches to the heavens, so that we may make a name for ourselves"
Now most of us, we don't realize that is what we are doing but wow! Could you imagine hearing some one say "Come, let us pray together so that we can be the best Christians and make a name for our Church!" That may sound ridiculous and even a little funny but what is sad is that at some point in our lives we will all do this. As humans we are fed a lie that self worth= our performance+ other's opinions. When we live off this lie we start trying to make a name for ourselves. We have to be special in order to be loved right? Wrong! I love how the Lord steps in and ruins their plans. I believe that we try to make our own plans so many times and then even worse, we ask God to bless them. Sure enough things never get finished just like the Tower of Babel. The Lord steps in, and He ruins our plans! Just one chapter ago we read about a mighty warrior for the Lord who was trying to Make God's name known, not his own. May we be like him!

Genesis 12

Abram's call. It is so easy to read over this and to not think much, but how hard would it be if God asked you to pick up everything you have and move somewhere new? Would you be willing to do it? Just a thought.
Abram in Egypt. So I understand he is trying to protect his wife, but his lie cost a lot of people unneeded pain. So many times we take things into our own hands. Why couldn't he trust God to protect him and his wife? And why can't we trust God to do the same for us? There is this awesome lyric in a song by Barlow Girl called I Don't Regret. Check it out because I think it sums this up right here.
'Why do we think if we trust God too much will fail us
Nothing has come when I chose its that in me I'd trust
Separate me You have called out to follow You blindly
I won't fear You're leading me"

Matthew 4

Jesus was tempted. I think there is enough said right there. Not only do we face temptations but Jesus faced them also. The thing is, how often do we quote Truth to fight off our temptations? This makes me want to memorize God's Word more!
I love how when I am reading about the first apostles to follow Christ it says that they immediately followed Christ. Do we follow with that type of obedience? leaving our life and world and efforts behind to follow after Him?
I love how this chapter ends with Jesus healing people. Healing has a new meaning for me as i am working through emotional healing right now that only l God can give me.

Proverbs 4

I think I will just post this last chapter because there is not much explaining needed and there is a lot involved in it.

"1 Listen, my sons, to a father's instruction; pay attention and gain understanding.
2 I give you sound learning, so do not forsake my teaching.
3 When I was a boy in my father's house, still tender, and an only child of my mother,
4 he taught me and said, "Lay hold of my words with all your heart; keep my commands and you will live.
5 Get wisdom, get understanding;do not forget my words or swerve from them.
6 Do not forsake wisdom, and she will protect you; love her, and she will watch over you.
7 Wisdom is supreme; therefore get wisdom. Though it cost all you have, get understanding.
8 Esteem her, and she will exalt you; embrace her, and she will honor you.
9 She will set a garland of grace on your head and present you with a crown of splendor."
10 Listen, my son, accept what I say, and the years of your life will be many.
11 I guide you in the way of wisdom and lead you along straight paths.
12 When you walk, your steps will not be hampered; when you run, you will not stumble.
13 Hold on to instruction, do not let it go; guard it well, for it is your life.
14 Do not set foot on the path of the wicked or walk in the way of evil men.
15 Avoid it, do not travel on it; turn from it and go on your way.
16 For they cannot sleep till they do evil; they are robbed of slumber till they make someone fall.
17 They eat the bread of wickedness and drink the wine of violence.
18 The path of the righteous is like the first gleam of dawn, shining ever brighter till the full light of day.
19 But the way of the wicked is like deep darkness; they do not know what makes them stumble.
20 My son, pay attention to what I say; listen closely to my words.
21 Do not let them out of your sight, keep them within your heart;
22 for they are life to those who find them and health to a man's whole body.
23 Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life.
24 Put away perversity from your mouth; keep corrupt talk far from your lips.
25 Let your eyes look straight ahead, fix your gaze directly before you.
26 Make level paths for your feet and take only ways that are firm.
27 Do not swerve to the right or the left; keep your foot from evil."

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Flying Away

Have you ever wanted to be a bird? I have. In fact, right now I really want to. I am listing to this song and its purely instrumental. It is simply a piano with the sound of rain and a crackling fire in the back ground. It makes me relaxed. It makes me long for the outdoors. Why is it that creation is so peaceful? And that the world we have made is so chaotic? My dad was driving me to the airport a few days ago. It was early in the morning. I was watching the sunrise through huge buildings we were passing as we drove by D. C. It was beautiful I must admit, but creations that man have made never seem to give me the peace and calmness that the creation our Creator has made. It is so beautiful. Have you ever sat outside in an old wooden gazebo in the middle of the woods? Let me paint you a picture as best as a legally blind color blind girl can.

Shut your eyes and imagine with me as I tell you what I see. I am sitting in a wooden gazebo I found while on a hiking trail. It sits on a mountain side in the woods and as I look out I see mountains and valleys filled with trees. It is as if there are waves of trees in front of me. it is spring time and the leaves are beautiful and freshly grown. Some trees have blossomed with beautiful white flowers. I stopped in the gazebo because it started to rain. The rain is creating a beautiful mist that covers the valleys with white puffy clouds. The mist dances as it rises in the air. Back, and forth. The only noise that can be heard is the sound of water trickling through the leaves. The smell of rain and Spring time fills the air. Not a person is in sight. Near by is a stream of water dancing as it flows and swerves in between one rock and another. It's about 78 degrees outside and with the spring shower came a nice calming cool spring breeze. Just strong enough to make the trees sway back and forth. small rumbles of thunder can be heard in the distance. It's so quiet, it is as if I can hear my heart beat. I stare at the trees swaying back and forth, and the streams of rain water dancing as they trickle and flow through the forest. I watch the mist as it slowly rises, dancing in the mountains. It then occurs to me, creation is dancing for its' Creator. Nothing is more pure and peaceful to me than creation. I wonder, does God let us witness these moments so that we can be reminded that we should be praising and worshiping God too? Or does He let us enjoy these moments so that we can worship God too. In the Psalms it talks about creation praising its' Creator. In one bible verse it tells us that if we do not worship God, the rocks will cry out. I've studied a bit of what Louie Giglio talks about and research shows that different stars in the universe make different noises as if the universe has its own star orchestra praising God. It amazes me how busy we get in our world, yet the creation around us is worshiping God. How can something without a soul (such as a tree, or a star) worship God, yet we who have a soul, a heart, a mind, and strength get too busy to worship our Creator? I don't want a soulless object "out-worshiping" me. (not that it's a competition but I think you get what i am saying)
I wish I was a bird. I could fly away sure(which is why most people wish they were birds), but I could also spend a lot more time in creation, being reminded to praise and worship my Living God!

"The Lord your God is with you, he is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you, he will quiet you with his love, he will rejoice over you with singing." Zeph. 3:16-17

Psalm 148
1 Praise the LORD. Praise the LORD from the heavens, praise him in the heights above.
2 Praise him, all his angels, praise him, all his heavenly hosts.
3 Praise him, sun and moon, praise him, all you shining stars.
4 Praise him, you highest heavens and you waters above the skies.
5 Let them praise the name of the LORD, for he commanded and they were created.
6 He set them in place for ever and ever; he gave a decree that will never pass away.
7 Praise the LORD from the earth, you great sea creatures and all ocean depths,
8 lightning and hail, snow and clouds, stormy winds that do his bidding,
9 you mountains and all hills, fruit trees and all cedars,
10 wild animals and all cattle, small creatures and flying birds,
11 kings of the earth and all nations, you princes and all rulers on earth,
12 young men and maidens, old men and children.
13 Let them praise the name of the LORD, for his name alone is exalted; his splendor is above the earth and the heavens.
14 He has raised up for his people a horn, the praise of all his saints, of Israel, the people close to his heart. Praise the LORD.

Monday, November 23, 2009

So I've Been Thinking

It has been a long time since I have wrote on here. I have so much I have wanted to write but not much time to do it. Well I am waiting for food to get done cooking so here goes some thoughts and realizations.

In my life I have had to make a lot of hard choices. I have also had to do a lot of hard things. I am sure almost everyone has. I am doing one of those very hard things right now. I am taking a break from the things I love doing most so that I can work on me. This is SO hard for me and I really can not put it into words. I love helping others and I LOVE serving God but the best way I can do that right now is by serving Him by working on me. (it's a long story and I am not going to get into it now but just understand that it is VERY hard for me but I know it is what God wants and in some weird twisted way I am really glad it is happening.) So as I was thinking about this late one night (my sleeping schedule is messed up and im having a hard time falling asleep so this happens a lot) I was thinking about hard things. I started to think, I wonder what the hardest thing God ever had to do was? I mean nothing is hard for God is it? Then I remembered something I have grown up knowing; something that now has a brand new meaning for me. God created everything. God Made the heavens and the earth. God knows and named every star in the sky! god made woman (enough said!)! I surely could not keep the world together but God can! These things must be hard. BUT, these are not the hardest things God did. The hardest thing God ever did was send His son to die on a cross for our sins! (This sounds so elementary but hang on). God can do anything and He does SO much but the hardest hting He did was seperate Himself from Christ when Jesus bore our sin on that cross. Now Jesus and God are back together obviously but it hurt God. I am sure God cried terrible tears of hurt and pain. God , big powerful amazing hold-the-world-together God cried real tears of real pain. Why would God chose to let himself hurt? Because He loves me so much! The hardest thing God ever did, He did for me!
That is so humbling yet it fills me up and motivates me to do something about it! WOW! I have always known this in my head and even a little in my heart but now i am starting to understand it with everything I am!

So unrelated to this....
I am going through a recovery program and I am studying addictions and recovery in school for my minor in Psychology. Before I even rea din a book or heard in a class about the 4 areas of healing, I had figured them out. There are 4 places in which a person needs healing in order to recover and be healthy. They are spiritual healing, mental (or psychological) healing, emotional healing, and physical healing. I was thinking about these and a verse came to my mind. Love the Lord your God with all your heart, your soul, your mind, and your strength. Could these htings be related to the healing process? I was thinking as follows:

Love the Lord your God with all your Heart (emotions and emotional healing)
With all your mind (Mental or psychological thoughts and healing)
With all your strength (Physical and physical healing)
and with all your soul (Spiritual and spiritual healing)

Could it be that in order to truly love God to your full ability, you need to be healed in these four areas? Just a thought. What do you think?

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Hungry? Why Wait?

Hungry? Why wait? That was the theme of one of the dorm halls i lived on my sophomore year of college. At first I thought that the theme was kind of stupid. They took it from a candy bar and I could of cared less about a stupid hall theme. OK, so let's fast forward about two and half years to about last week.

Have you ever had bad cravings for food before? Like you start to think about something yummy like Coldstone ice cream or maybe a tasty sandwich from Burger King. I don't know about you but I get food cravings all the time. It isn't just wanting something sweet or salty, it is wanting something specific. Also I have noticed a common trend in my food cravings. I tend to crave food the most either when I have just filled my house with tons of food, or when I have no food left in my fridge or pantry. So this last week i have been craving ice cream, Burger King, and Domino's pizza. I probably wouldn't want that food so much if I actually had food in my house but I haven't had time or even a ride to go buy food for a few weeks now. That's probably the reason for why I have ordered from Domino's twice in the last week.

Not only do I get food craving, but I get cravings for water too! Have you ever been outside all day working hard or even just playing hard and you get so thirsty that your mouth actually feels dry? Man, when I get that thirsty i am able to drink all the water in the water fountain. (Obviously you can't do that but I think you get what I am saying.) Right now i am also trying to reduce the amounts of caffeine I have been drinking. I don't think I have ever though about going and buying a coffee beverage more than now! It seems like when I either have a lot of something available to me or none at all, I want it the most.

When I am hungry or thirsty and I have all that I want right there in large amounts it is so easy to take care of my cravings; but it is so much harder when I am craving something that I can't have. Why am I talking about this you may be asking? Well, it is because just like we have cravings for food and drink, we have cravings for God. Sometimes we don't say we are craving God but we are craving things that only God can truly fulfill.

All throughout the Psalms you read about David asking where God is and wanting God and even crying out to God. It makes me think of all the times I have craved God. My cravings tend to come pretty easily after I just had a large filling of His presence in my life. Do you know what I am talking about? It is those times when you have just come home from camp or a conference or even a really powerful worship service. Maybe you had an amazing quiet time or you read a book that just made you feel so close to God and you continued longing for that.But there are other times when I crave God. When I feel empty I tend to crave Him a lot. What happens though is that I don't recognize it as a craving for God. Normally it comes in a craving for love, or maybe a longing to be needed or desired. Have you ever wished that some one would care? Ever craved wanting some one to talk to? I have realized that when I get this way, it is normally because I have had a short supply of God in my life. Although I think I am craving something else, what I am really craving is God, His love, His care, and His attention.

A craving is normally an emotion that makes you long for something. I know that many people say you can't base things on feelings. Feelings should not dictate your life but feelings can help direct it. Sometimes when you feel things, it is your bodies way of saying you have a need. Cravings can be a feeling but if you look, even in the dictionary it says that cravings can also be needs. God gave us our feelings for a reason and He can use the to help direct us to Him

When I have no food in my house, i crave it but I can't get it. It is so much harder for me to find a way to get that food because I can't drive and I'm a college student. Some times I simply do not have the money. But if I really want that desired food enough, I will find a way. The question is, when you are desiring that love, acceptance, listening ear, friendship, etc. are you going to find a way to God? If you are Hungry for God, why are you waiting?

Draw near to God (first), and He will draw near to you. James 4:8

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Pushed In a Corner

So this is a facebook note I wrote October 4th in 2007. I just read over it and I thought you may enjoy it. Let me know!

So this is some food for thought here. I'm up and it is like 3 in the morning right? I don't feel good for various reasons and i can't sleep cause I drank too much caffeine earlier at the movies. It's fall break and the campus is empty! I mean EMPTY! It's so strange being here for fall break with barely anyone around. But anyways...these last couple weeks I have really been feeling as if I am pushed into a corner and that everyone keeps walking by forgetting about me. Let me explain. No one seems to have time for me right? (by the way, this is not a note looking for pity or blaming people or saying whoa is me. Just keep reading and i think you may enjoy this) I really just want some friends and I keep talking to my friends but they are "busy"and they tell me oh i am so sorry i am busy right now but ill talk to you soon OK? I promise soon I will talk to you! I keep getting this over and over again. Even from my parents. They are both in new relationships and no one seems to have the time for me anymore, and if they do its like the let me squeeze you in cause i feel like i need to time. I feel like i have been shoved in a corner or a closet and am waving my arms and yelling HEY OVER HERE but no one sees me, or they do and say hold on ill be there shortly! Have you ever had that semi depressed feeling where you just want some one to care about you; someone who just wants to be around you cause they just enjoy being around you? No other real motivation? Have you ever just wanted some one to love you and care for you (i don't mean dating wise, i mean just friend wise) but the thing is you can't make some one care. You can't make some one love you; and slowly you watch relationships slip away and there is not much you can do but just wave your arms and say hey remember me over here? So i was down and thinking to myself, well this stinks and then I realized something! This is probably how God feels!!!! You grow close to Him but then you start to get busy and you say to Him i promise i will talk with you soon or ill spend time with you soon and you do kinda. You give him that squeeze in your schedule time and He wants you to love Him and care for Him like He does you but He isn't going to make you or else it wouldn't be real. He is waving His arms and yelling HEY I'M OVER HERE but you get to busy and slowly shove Him in the corner of the closet and your relationship with Him slowly fades away! The most important relationship in our lives is the one we have with Him so why are we shoving Him in the corner? I AM SO GUILTY of this! School has been so busy and Ive had so much to do and I find time to squeeze in my schedule but i am finding the relationship and fire I had for Him this summer is slowly heading back to a luke warm flame again. How dare i be upset that my friends don't have time for me and that I am all alone on an empty campus!! How dare I because God is giving me the opportunity to run to that corner and sit in His arms and share it with Him. He loves me more than any of you ever could and He is waving His arms at me and I've just been to busy. I'm glad i have this free time to spend with Him, my only question is, is He in the corner waving His arms at YOU??