Wednesday, December 2, 2009
I met with a friend/spirtual advisor early this week and he encouraged me to trying praying in new and creative ways in seeking God to find energy and freedom. One of the things he suggested that I do is to write a prayer to God and imagine what His answers may be. I want to share with you my prayer...
Frenika: God, I feel really unsure about everything right now.
Frenika:I am not quite sure how to move forward and a little bit at a loss for what I should be doing now. My energy is gone and I am not even close to where I thought I would be right now.
God:Let my joy be your strength.
I had to think about this. I like laughing, but I guess there are some areas that I haven't let joy reign in/on. I do think when I let that joy saturate into those places. The passion and energy will be there as well.
Lord, help me to let your joy saturate my heart, saturate my life, and saturate all that I do. In Jesus' name.
Tuesday, November 10, 2009
It's been a while since I have written last. My life has honestly been a blur of regular work, school work, and moving. My latest adventure includes moving into an intentional Christian community in the Chinatown area of Washington, D.C. Through all the hiccups and the challenges of living in a new space, with new people, and still trying to put my phone and/or my glasses in the same place everyday to find them, it has been a beautiful thing to learn what it means to live in relationship with others.
Last night, I had an experience that made me realize that I need to start writing again. At about 2 a.m. my roomie, suitemate, another member of the community and I engaged in a conversation on which I am still reflecting. The other member of the community who was in this conversation is about as opposite from me as one can get - first this member was a he, he is also very tall, and he is also white. He is from a part of the country where 50 degrees is considered a heatwave, whereas I will make sure to have my coat handy if it even appears the temperature will dip below 60 degrees. He shared an experience that bothered him as a male and challenged us females that we needed to stand up for him in certain situations. I admit, initially I was a little skeptical - as in how often does one who is in the majority culture need someone to stand up on their behalf in the face of injustice? Not often, if at all. Yet, if it did, would I be willing to stand up for him?
I started thinking about the role God gave Adam when he was planted on this earth - to be a caretaker. Not only did Adam name things, but he was placed in charge of tending and keeping things in order. Yes, a lot of things changed after the fall, but I still believe we are called to be caretakers - especially of each other.
What would the world look like if we stood up for some injustice against someone else? How much stronger would our relationships be if we chose to challenge each other - not through judging each other, but a challenge to grow in truth and in love? How much would the world be changed if we, instead of silently sitting by waiting for someone else to stand up, took a stand?
Our stand sometimes doesn't even have to be that deep. It may be standing up to say one thoughful thing to each person you encounter in a day. It may be sitting with the homeless person simply to find out how their day went. Perhaps it is asking your boss if there is something you can be praying and beleiving with him or her.
I pray the prayer of St Francis of Assisi...
Lord, make me an instrument of your peace;
where there is hatred, let me sow love;
where there is injury, pardon;
where there is doubt, faith;
where there is despair, hope;
where there is darkness, light;
and where there is sadness, joy.
O Divine Master,
grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled as to console;
to be understood, as to understand;
to be loved, as to love;
for it is in giving that we receive,
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned,
and it is in dying that we are born to Eternal Life.
Sunday, September 13, 2009
I asked God to show me what he was saying to me through taking off my shoes upon standing on holy ground. The response I heard was this, "Be still and know that I am God." I didn't understand it at all at first, and asked God again what He was speaking to me through these scriptures. Again, I heard, "Be still and know that I am God."
I thought about it for a minute, mostly thinking on the purpose of shoes. Though barefoot running is coming back in style, most people wouldn't dream of walking out of their home without shoes (if they can help it). The last thing I do when preparing to leave is putting on my shoes. Shoes signify movement or preparing to go somewhere.
So when God was telling me to be still and know, I really believe He was telling me take off my shoes, stand in this place of knowing Him- this place is holy.
It's easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle. It's even easier to get caught up in just life. One thing happens, and then another thing, and then you have to take care of something else. And your 8 a.m. day time start on what you really need to be doing turns into a 6 p.m. start.
Take off your shoes. Be still and know.
I know that I am in a season of some turning points. These turning points are bringing me into my place of victory and also into my place of abundance.
But right now Lord, my shoes are off and I will be still and know...
Wednesday, September 2, 2009
I thought about the man who sold all His possessions to buy a field because it had a treasure in it. As I read this scripture in Matthew 13, another scripture jumped out at me in verse 16, "But blessed are your eyes, for they see: and your ears, for they hear. " In the times when we really don't seem to know what to do, we need to declare this over ourself...blessed are our eyes because they see the vision....blessed are our ears because they hear the answers.
Back now to the man with the field...
1) He found the treasure
2) Got excited about it and decided it was worth having no matter what the cost
3) Sold all his stuff to buy the field
4) Bought the field so that the treasure would be rightfully his
It's work to find the hidden treasure and once we do find it, it requires us to make a choice - how bad do we want that treasure? We find hidden treasure in prayer, in spiritual growth, in the Word of God, but even then we have to make a choice - how bad do we want it? It's work to have spiritual disciplines. It's work to fast, to pray, to live Christlike...but I'm starting to believe it's not enough to stay just there. How bad do we want this treasure? This man sold all he had to buy the field. It cost Him everything. I can imagine a conversation this man had with his family...
Family Member: You're about to sell all your stuff to buy a field?!? You already have a great house!
Man: But there's something in this field I need...
Family Member: Well, why don't you get another job and save your money...I mean your training in your field was exceptional, I am sure you can save enough money to buy it and keep your stuff too...you just seem a little too eager to be getting this field
Man: No, the cost is great and it will take me years to save that kind of money. Something is telling me that I have to have it now...
Family Member: Well, I think it's crazy...don't ask me to stay here when your field floods...
How bad do we want the treasure God has for us? When we realize how great and how exciting it is I believe the enemy tries to make us wonder if this is the field we should really have. We wonder if this treasure is all its cracked up to be..."I mean there are probably a thousand other fields that have better treasure on them." So we wait for another field or do nothing more at all. And sometimes obstacles come that try to keep us from "making enough money." So we are never able to buy it - and that treasure we found is never rightfully ours.
I am changing the subject abruptly, but I'll come back....Bartering is such a great way to get things you don't have, or to get something that's of worth for something you don't consider valuable or as valuable anymore. So why do we find it so hard to trade our sorrows for joy, or our fear for love, or even our doubt for faith? Why is it so difficult to let go of the hindrances, the hurt, the pain, and the scars? When God asks us in Isaiah 55 why we buy bread that doesn't fill us, or labor without satisfaction, I really believe He is asking us, "why don't you want to spend your money to get this field? - that's where the treasure is."
As I finish this post - it doesn't feel finished. I still don't know exactly what to do. I feel overwhelmed by a lot of things and unsure about even more. But, more than ever I am realizing that my true heart's desire is not to just see the treasure in the field - I want it.
Tuesday, August 11, 2009
Though I initially chucked, as I thought more I realized that themes of being lost, or conversely, staying on course by being guided, run throughout the Bible. We see God throughout the Old Testament as a Shepherd - not only guiding, but seeking lost sheep. We learn in the New Testament more about Christ's mission - there are the parables of the lost coin and the shepherd who goes after that one lost sheep.
That little girl's voice rang in my ears for a few days, and I realized there are moments when I feel lost. I may think I am going one way for a reason, and when I look up time has flown and I seem nowhere near the place I had in mind. But, in those same moments, I trust I am being guided - and the beauty of having a Shepherd floods my soul.
Usually, resolutions seem more appropriate at the year's beginning. But, today I ask US to make one. I say “us” because I don’t want to leave myself out of this one! Continue to let the Shepherd guide us. Continue to let His will be done in our lives. His path is always best, and He doesn't ever want us to be lost. So, today I remind you, and I remind myself, "don't get lost."
Tuesday, June 23, 2009
It started as I was reading one of the text and a phrase jumped out at me, "How Shall I Live?" the author posed it as a question we answer for life-altering decisions like career choices and places where we decided to locate our lives, but also to answer questions that make decisions about what we choose to wear.
How shall I live?
Then in class we started discussing the industrial complexes that are part of our society. Like the pharmaceutical-medical industrial complex - a industry that brings in millions in profit, while many Americans don't have access to basic healthcare.
How shall I live?
Where is my voice when thousands of American prisioners are laboring at grossly unfair wages to put together products I may use on a regular basis. Is this labor part of the "time" they owe to society?
How shall I live?
What do I do when I know that there are schools in the same school district that educate at a different qualities, and realize its quality is based on the funding capabilites of its neighborhood?
How shall I live?
I am not saying I can save the world from all its problems. And I truly don't believe that we all should be involved in every cause. More than anything though, I encourage you to find a cause you are passionate about and make an effort to make a difference. Educate yourself about our world...Did you know the majority of our world's population lives on $2 a day? I didn't until tonight.
We should begin to ask our deepest self just a bit more, "How shall we live?" Our future self depends on it.
Wednesday, June 10, 2009
I was inspired tonight by something that happened at the metro station. While with a friend who was taking me to the metro, we saw three people running like mad from the station.
"Maybe," my friend quipped, "they are running for a bus."
"They sure are running fast," I responded.
We watched, shrugged our shoulders, and I got out of her car and walked towards the station.
People were still standing there watch the people run. I walked closer to a woman who was talking on her cell phone.
"Girl, it was like something out a movie scene. This man grabbed her purse jumped over the gate and she ran after him screaming "HELP!"...then some guy started running after them too."
My first thought - the woman who got her purse snatched should just let it go, that man could have a knife...a gun -it's so not worth it. Then my next thought - there were a lot of people who saw it happen, continued to watch it unfold, and did nothing.
I kept thinking about this and while I got off the metro, God spoke to me...
How often do you watch someone's spiritual purse get snatched and do nothing?
~God, I don't think I have ever heard of a spiritual purse...
Then this scripture in James 5 came to me...
19 My dear brothers and sisters, if someone among you wanders away from the truth and is brought back, 20 you can be sure that whoever brings the sinner back will save that person from death and bring about the forgiveness of many sins. (NLT)
I am reading a book that contends that in looking at behaviors of the generation that includes ages 16-early thirties, behavior patterns are virtually indistinguishable between born-again Christians and those in this age group who claim no religious affiliation at all. For example, in looking at the two groups, percentages in viewing pornography are similar and percentages in the number of curse words a person uses in conversation are indistiguishable.
As Christians there are times when we may struggle with certain areas in our life and it is a daily battle to conform our will to Godly living. It takes the power of the Holy Spirit to truly live Christ-like. Yet, what are we really doing to help our own self and others to live in this power? It's so easy to wander from the truth. How many people do we know (even ourselves) who the enemy is trying to snatch the very life out of and we watch and say nothing? I am not saying we should judge anyone. It's not our place, and we all have issues and struggles that we deal with by the second. However, we should find it a privilege and responsibility to help someone get their "purse" back.
- How do we help a friend who claim says they really know the love of Christ, yet we know is hitting the bottle every time they want to "relax?"
- How often do we ignore the fact that we ourselves may be really struggling with something, yet refuse to seek help or counsel, because it's really not that bad?
- How do we stop glossing over behavior that is not Christ-like because we don't want to hurt somebody's feelings?
I don't think these answers come easily or quickly. I think it takes a lot of prayer. A lot of love. A lot of hope. And a lot of sheer determination that we won't let the enemy get away with our purse or anybody else's.
Tuesday, May 12, 2009
In fact, it is hard to find flawless things in this world. We make mistakes. We give empty promises. We lose our cool. Even material things...For example, one of the ways that diamonds are rated is on their level of flawlessness. There are reports of our water being tainted with pharmaceutical drug traces. There are special soaps to wash the pesticides off of our fruits and veggies.
Now really think of anything flawless. Think about it. Name three things. Too hard? Name one thing. Okay, I've got mine...
The words of the Lord.
Really. I spent this weekend with my best friend and while I was doing my best pretending like I would stay awake with her while she finished her sermon, I thumbed through the Psalms and I stopped at Psalms 12. Verse 6 puts it this way...
...the words of the LORD are flawless, like silver refined in a furnace of clay, purified seven times.
Another version uses "the words and promises of the Lord..."
They are flawless.
That means all that the Lord has spoken to you and over you is flawless.
Not a mistake.
Doesn't need a retraction.
Lord, encourage my heart to believe the truth of your promises over my life. Give me the strength to hold on to Your promises and words and the wisdom and courage to let go of the words that aren't from You. I will rest in knowing that Your words are flawless. I trust You as You lead and guide me in Your paths of righteousness.
Sunday, May 3, 2009
Recently I read a devotional in which the author recentered his focus on God with a reminder prayer to God something to the effect of,
"I only am because of Your help."
I was struck by the humility, truth, and the simplicity of this prayer. We are - only because of the help of God. When we are tempted to do wrong, when we get tired of doing right, when we get weary in just being. Remind God and yourself, "I only am because of Your help."
And because He is faithful to us (Deut.7:9), and because He won't give us an unbearable burden (Matthew 11:30), and because He cares (1Peter 5:7), and because He knows that we are dust (Psalm 103:14), and because He came that we could have abundant life (John 10:10), and because He is loving (Eph 2:4), and because He is kind (Psalm 117:2), and because He is good (Psalm 118:1), and because we are written on the palm of His hand (Isaiah 49:16), and because He desires us (thanks Lauren M. for this reminder), and because we are His (Psalm 100:3)....
He helps us.
I don't know how to explain it or if it is worth trying to figure it out...but when we extend our faith to Him, He meets us. And He helps us.
In the midst of us being tired, in the midst of us losing sight of the vision, in the midst of feeling broken, in the midst of us being angry, or even a slight bit confused...
He helps us.
Lord God, empower us even more by Your Holy Spirit. Strengthen us to press for the mark of the high calling which is in Christ. We need you. We cannot make it with out You. Every ounce of our being needs You. Our life, our souls and our hearts cry out for more of You. Meet us.
In Jesus' name. Amen.
Sunday, April 26, 2009
I left the church feeling strengthened and joyful. As I walked further down the sidewalk, I saw something that made me feel as I had been hit with a ton of cement. Three homeless men lay in an entryway of a building connected to the church. I stopped walking for a moment and then not knowing what to do, kept walking and got in my car. I sat in my car and watched as about 20 people pass these men, only about 3 of the people, from what I could tell, even noticed that they lay there. I found myself a bit heated knowing the Word we just heard. Most of the people at the conference worked full time in anti poverty missions and ministries. While I won't judge because I don't know what was on the minds or hearts of any of the people who passed by these men, I do know that these men are still our neighbors. My spirit became even more convicted. I was still hesitant because I wanted to do something and didn't know what to do. So I leaned on what I am learning is my only source of direction - my communication with God. I asked God what I could do and just like the friend He promised to be to us, He told me. (This I will leave between me and Him...)
When will we let the love of God infiltrate our hearts so much that it will be impossible to pass by someone in need (physical, spiritual, emotional)?
When when we realize that we have the answer to a world in need?
When will we truly lay everything of our own down, pick up our cross and follow Jesus?
Lord, forgive me for the missed opportunities to be a blessing or to help someone in need. Give me sensitivity to the needs of those around me and the courage to respond to them. Empower me to live a life worthy of the calling You set before me. Let the fruit of the Spirit be evident in me. Replace the selfishness in me with kindness and gentleness. Replace the fear in me with Your love. Replace the doubt in me with faith and hope.
In Jesus' Name,
Monday, April 20, 2009
What's the first thing we do when we are feeling tired? We rest, perhaps pop a couple vitamins, or step up our workout regime a little. This might tie us over for a bit and sustain us. But, what do we do when it seems that all of life's cares seem to snatch the life out of us? Vitamins and exercise won't take care of that kind of weakness. I believe that this is what Paul is trying to tell Timothy (I Timothy 4:8) when he talks about "exercise profiting little" but God wants to give the "promise of life." Oh, it does some good to exercise and build our strength that way, but knowing and trusting in our God profits us in all things.
Reach out to God when you are feeling weary, weak, sad, confused, broken. He has strength for us.
Call upon God when you have no one to talk too, no one who seems to care, or no one who seems to see. He has strength for us.
Ask about His joy, His peace, His kindness, His gentleness. He won't withhold it from you.
Lord, you know that we are fragile, yet you tell us that You will never place more on us than we can bear. Show Yourself strong when we are weak. Give us joy as our strength. Give us Your mind to continue to press forward and look ahead to the prize of the high calling in Christ. Keep our minds focused on You and Your movments so that where You go, we will follow You always.
In Jesus Name
Monday, April 13, 2009
Fear knocked on the door. Faith answered. No one was there.Lately, my prayer has been that God answer the door to certain things that knock on the door of heart. It's amazing because it takes that much more pressure off of me to give a fitting answer to these visitors. It's funny what happens to certain vistors when the right "doorman" takes care of the visitor. When I read this quote I envisioned fear bolting before faith could even turn the doorknob. I imagine visitors of anger, envy, strife, and hatred being met by love and peace. I see visitors of doubt and depression being answered by joy and life. We need a "doorman" for our heart.
I am not saying that it is not okay to have or feel emotion, but it is what we do with these things that determine the state of our heart. We are encouraged to guard and be protective of our hearts (Prov 4:23). When we do this we are able to live in abundant life rather than the state of everything around us. What I am realizing though is that Jesus is the only One with the power to answer everything that tries to enter our heart. When He is the doorman it protects us from letting in the wrong visitors. When He is the doorman it shelters us from pains and hurt some visitors may try to bring. When He is the doorman we can truly let Him be in charge of the fights and temptations to which we would lose. When he is the doorman we can live less stressed and more free knowing that the God who rules the universe, is actively living in our heart.
Lord, be the doorman of my heart. Keep me from answering to anything that is not like you. I give you full control to guard my heart and my life. Let Your will be done and not mine. Let Your thoughts and ways be what guide me always.
In Jesus' name. Amen
Monday, April 6, 2009
Yet, more often than not we live in place of rejection. We are not accepted on the team. We don't get the job that we want. We don't do as well on a paper that we thought we would do. The person that we are in love with doesn't give us the time of day. Rejection hurts.
Yet we have an awesome promise that we must remind ourselves of daily. We are accepted in the beloved (Eph. 1:6)! Christ accepts us into His beloved.
When we give Christ our dreams, our thoughts, and our desires, I believe that Christ is quick to accept us into the beloved. It is because He knows the pain of rejection. Even though He has given His life for all, people rejected Him while He was on earth and reject Him even today.
He knows the joy of what it means for someone to accept Him. He wants us to feel that same joy. When we accept Him, we are able to realize the acceptance that He has for us and live in that place.
Lord, I thank you that You have accepted us into the beloved. Eclipse the blows to our confidence and pain of rejection with your steadfast and unshakable love. Remind us daily that You accept us, that You are for us, and that we are Your beloved. In Jesus' Name. Amen
Monday, March 30, 2009
After the waitress saw us praying over our food, she came by and expressed how sorry she was and that she was a Christian too.
It took me back to a book I am reading that begins by sharing that we are called to be priests. A priest shows the world who our God is, what our God acts like - simply put we are His representatives.
Maybe this waitress had a long day, or a lot on her mind, or whatever. I don't know. And there have been times that I have had to remind myself that I am a Christian and I need to act like it. I am not at all suggesting that we need to be pushovers, because that is not who our God is. But, what I am suggesting though that we live lives that show forth God's grace, His goodness, His favor, His forgiveness, and most of all His Love.
Lord, you have called us to be priests, representatives of You in this world. Give us grace to live a life worthy of the call You have set before us. Guard our lives with your peace, guard our minds with your wisdom, and guard our hearts with your love. When we are weak, be our strength. When we feel powerless, gird us up with your truth and might. When tests and trials of all manners come against us, remind us that you will never leave us, and you will never let us have more than we can bear.
In Jesus' Name,
Sunday, March 22, 2009
Today was a day like that for me...except for me the answer was a clear "No."
Ummm...not so exciting...and I am not even going to front - I sulked - and it made me question the love of God.
Then God asked me to really think about my day.
Me: I went to church. You showed up in an awesome way. It was great.
Me: I took saliva samples all day.
God: Stop there.
Without going into a huge TMI moment, I had to take samples of my saliva all day today. Once the samples are analyzed the doctor will help me create a plan to keep me healthy and energized based on a planned diet and rest times. To my friend who suggested that this was a blog worthy topic although I was taken aback by the idea, thanks for your wisdom :)
I then had a Job moment, you know when Job begins to ask God "why?" and God answers him with a "where were you?..." [check out Job 40-41]. God reminded me that He cares so much about us that he created even our saliva to bear footprints of the life He created within us. Who are we that He is mindful of us? Not only mindful, but every ounce of our being shows His creative work. The thought that He put into creating us is evident cell by cell.
God's love for us is more than our wildest dreams...
That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; and to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God. (Ephesians 3:17-19)
His care for us is incomparable...
...Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? And [yet] not one of them is forgotten or uncared for in the presence of God. But [even] the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Do not be struck with fear or seized with alarm; you are of greater worth than many [flocks] of sparrows.
Luke 12:6-7 (Amplified Version)
I am so thankful for a loving and caring God who answers us when we call upon Him. Even though an answer may be "no," the answer comes from the One who knows the whole plan! I want to live in the place where I can say like Job, "I know that You can do all things, and that no purpose of Yours can be thwarted..." (Job 42:2). That's exciting!! Out with the sulking, in with the dancing and shouting!
Lord, thank You that Your Word never returns unto us void. Thank you that everything that You promised us will come to pass. Strengthen us to run the race that you have set before us. Block the paths that aren't of You. Set our minds on the truth of Your love and Your care for us. When the enemy tries to make us question and doubt, help us to fight with Your Word and stand firm on Your promises.
In Jesus' Name. Amen.
Monday, March 16, 2009
On Monday nights I go to my cousins' home to watch 24 and my man Jack Bauer as he saves the U.S. and the world from impending danger. I am usually pumped after I leave and feel like I too can go save the world. When the show ended, I jumped in the car and started driving home when I saw a spider crawling up my radio panel.
Doing what all brave chicas do, I screamed until my own ears rang. The next thing that happened amazed me - I saw my father's face flash before my eyes and these words emitted from that floating head, "If you crash this car over a bug - you're going to get it."
Not wanting my obituary to read that I died in a car crash over seeing a spider or finding out from my dad what "it" was considering I haven't had a spanking in years, I pulled myself together quickly. I was a little sad that my brave heart seemed to diminish when I found myself in the face of danger. I think Jack would be a little disappointed.
I started thinking about the song that I love called Crazy by Gnarls Barkley. My brother did an incredible rendition of the song (Shoutout to Gabriel!!)...watch it here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=STMRtyRDwRo
In the song there is a verse that says...
And all I remember is thinking, I want to be like them
Ever since I was little, ever since I was little it looked like fun
And it's no coincidence I've come
And I can die when I'm done
Monday, March 9, 2009
Upon returning my friend described her experience and what she learned grabbed my heart - our job is to love God. Simple right? But do we really think and live like that?...I know I don't. Most of the time I am hoping I don't disappoint Him, or hoping I am doing the right thing, or trying to stay away from things that will bring me down. That's all well and good, but I realized that I don't wake up saying, "God I just want to love you today." Yet, that is the first commandment that Jesus gives us. "Love the Lord God with all your heart..." (Matthew 22:37, Mark 12:30, Luke 10:27). In the words of Toby Mac, "I was made to love You..."
When we love, we know God (1 John 4:7). I believe that when we know God, we know what it means to meet with Him, to encounter Him, and to dwell with Him.
I heard a prayer Saturday that changed my life. It ended, "In the Name of the only One who matters. Jesus." It is the truth. He is the only One who matters. When we love Him we can seek Him and we will find Him - and truly encounter Him. Everything else falls into place when we love the only One that matters.
Lord, I want to love you more. I want my heart to be undivided for You. You are my true desire. You are the only One that I hope for. When the storms of life try to make me believe that you are absent or that you have forgotten, remind me that Your love for me is unshakable and that You have written me on the palm of Your hand. Help me to keep my heart open to Your love.
In Jesus Name. Amen.
Sunday, March 1, 2009
Old Man: Can I sing you a song?
Me: Ummm, sure...
This man starts singing to me about being beautiful. Really loud too. And people started stopping on the street to look. I am mortified at this point, but the man wouldn't stop singing.
The most hilarious part of this is that I really was looking a little rough today. Ponytail, sneakers, and some corny jeans - I might pass for teeny bopper cute, but not deserving of a "beautiful" song. After about 3 minutes (no joke) of this song, he stops singing, tells me to have a blessed day, and walks off.
"Okay, that was weird," I thought to myself. And at that moment I heard God remind me of how He loves me and how He has called me beautiful. I realized that song that old man sang was for me, to remind me how God sees me. And when we make a decision to turn our heart towards Him and His ways we are able to fall more in love with Him.
God sings over us (Zephaniah 3:17). He wants us to know how much He loves us and in that we can respond to His love. We know Christ loves us because when even we were in sin, He had so much love for us that He died for us (Romans 5:8).
I encourage you to open your heart to God's love for you. Open your ears to the song He sings over you. His love for you is immeasurable. Respond to it.
Lord, thank You for your gift of salvation, even when I was in sin You died for me because of Your love for me. Thank you. Help me to live a life in Your love. Help me to grasp how deep, how high, and how wide Your love is for me. As I am healed, changed, and set free by Your love, help me to share Your love with others.
In Jesus' Name. Amen.
Monday, February 23, 2009
When the house lights came on the "Po-Po" were in full force trying to figure out who to haul away. Apparently, in the middle of the movie a fight broke out in the theater (that's why I usually try to go to suburban theaters....another story for another day...LOL). I mean, really though, we ARE watching a movie about someone going to jail because of their temper. It seems like someone could have talked that person out of fighting. There is a lot more to do in life than going to jail.
As I was shaking my head about people who like staying in trouble and going to jail, my head stopped mid-shake as I thought about the personal jails in which I like to stay. Like the jail of fear. Or the jail of insecurity. Or the jail of self-pity. Or the jail of...
Me: Okay God, there are some jails it seems that I like going to...
God: You don't ever have to live there.
Me: But its hard not to go to those things. I mean what if I am really sad about something...
God: You don't ever have to live there.
There are times when I get out of the jail of fear, stay out for a while and go right back. I don't even have an explanation for it...I just find myself back there. When I do get out - it seems like it is on a technicality. For instance, someone may call on me to do something and I can't make myself pass out fast enough, so I do it, and get out of the jail of fear...for like an hour.
God: You dont ever have to live there. Ever.
I am reminded of The Wiz when Diana Ross/Dorothy asks, "what are you afraid of?...don't know what I'm made of..."
We are made of the best. In His image and likeness, inwardly we are being renewed and being transformed more like Him day by day.
Jesus, thank you for the freedom You gave me through Your sacrifice at the cross. Thank you that I don't have to live in [name your personal jails/chains], but by the power of Your blood I am free. Thank you that everyday You are transforming me into Your likeness. Help my heart to be open to your love, let my ears be clear to hear Your voice, give me the strength to have the readiness to obey.
Thursday, February 19, 2009
I know people who write in their blog everyday, but quite frankly I am ...
1) Not that interesting
2) Not that deep
3) Not that funny
4) Not ready to write that much outside of class
So here we go...
Don't you love people who are brutally honest (doing it in love, or so we hope) with you? For example, I had a conversation today with someone who told me...
"Your hair looks stringy, but it looks nice."
Ummmm. Okay. I started laughing (surprise, surprise) because I thought it was a hilarious comment. But you, my special blog reader, get to read what went through my head at that moment, in this order...
1) I haven't combed my hair in a day
2) Wait, I haven't combed my hair in two days
3) I found my night scarf this morning after last seeing it two days ago
4) Ooooohhh...it probably does.
I know this person was really trying to be nice about it and I wasn't quite sure what to say aloud after my burst of laughter, so I walked away. (Yes, I know - awkward - I am working on being less awkward.)
The amazing thing is that encounter made me thankful for all the people in my life who keep it real with me. We all need someone in our lives that help us to be a better us. Really though. I probably would have gone another day without a comb...why you ask? Sometimes I feel there are more important things than combing my hair in the morning (like brushing my teeth - hey sometimes when you have just a few minutes in the morning - its one or the other!) This person knew I would look so much cuter ;) if my hair wasn't looking stringy. And you know what... you better bet tomorrow I am going to rake a comb through my head!
Not only does God send people to speak some truth in love in our lives, or to sharpen our iron, but God himself wants to speak truth to us and make us more like Himself. That's the true better us. I encourage you to ask God to show you some "uncombed" areas of your life. In this season more than ever God is saying - be a better you! It may be that you read your Bible, but need to step it up and do some thinking about the Word. Maybe this is a time where you pray often but need to be more committed about fasting.
I know that God is calling me in some areas to be a better me - what is going to be your better you?
Lord, speak to me. Speak to my heart and open my spiritual eyes to the areas in which you are calling me to grow. Send people in my life who will help me be a better me and help to sharpen the areas that aren't quite together. Let me not be like one who looks in the mirror and forgets, but remind me of the beauty that You are creating from these ashes and the gold that You are bringing forth from the refining fire.
In Jesus' Name. Amen.