Tuesday, February 28, 2006

sick day

i stayed home sick today - something i havent done in a while. boy did i need it. work/life has been so stressful lately, and i needed an extra day of sleep, which is pretty much all that i did. God is so good to me. I have a tendency to screw things up, but he always rights them again. when i feel overwhelmed, all i have to do is hand everything over to Him and i know He will make it all better. the problem is that i dont always remember to do this. i need more structure and organization in my life, so i can enjoy life more. i need to spend time in the word and in prayer, this is the foundation of everything. i need to be able to work out, for my health. i need to have time to write, to allow for my own creative expression and to boost my self-image. i need to have time to read, because this is what relaxes me the most and this is how i learn. i also need to have time to grade, so it doesnt pile up on me at the end of the grading period. im going to pray that God will make this all possible. i know He can. but, even in the midst of chaos, i need to learn to fully trust and rely upon Him, without waiting for this perfect schedule/lifestyle to materialize. We tend to grow so conditionally...and i dont want that. i also want to be a better friend. i need to be more compassionate. i would like to be granted more wisdom. i would like the gift of discernment. i need to go back to the heart of worship...to be genuine, not fake...no pretenses...i think its time i took some initiative

Tuesday, February 21, 2006


no reason for the title, just a fun word. thought for the day: why do we--as adults--still behave like children? i mean seriously, what is up with all the drama people? i deal with teenagers all day every day and then when i try to join the real world with my peers all i find is petty dissention. ugh!
what is the most important thing in our lives? god. so lets start getting serious about it all. lets go back to ephesians 4:22-5:2. if our goal is truly to further the kingdom of heaven, to love our neighbors as ourselves, and to glorify god (maybe not in that particular order) then our words need to be uplifting to each other. our goal should be to rid ourselves of anger, to take on the attitude of christ: "be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in christ god forgave you. be imitators of god, therefore, as dearly loved children, and live a life of love, just as christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to god." (v. 32-2).
whenever i find myself getting angry, or havving difficulty forgiving someone, i think of these words. if i call myself a christian and yet cannot live by these principles then i make a mockery of the cross. personally, i hate being mocked, why on earth then, would i wish to mock the one who loves me the most and sacrificed the most for me purchasing my soul with the blood of his own son?
there are a lot of things in life that we take too seriously. im all about being laid back. but when it comes to the well-being of others (esp spiritual well-being) then i dont mess around. no injury done to myself could be worth the defaming, the slandering and abusing, of another. how can i glorify a god of love with words of hate and scorn? now dont get me wrong, im not a 'feel good' christian. christianity does not typically feel good by the worldly definition. it is hard work. it requires sacrifice. paul calls us to pick up our crosses daily - to be crucified with christ - that is no laughing matter. it is no small thing. it is the ultimate price that we will ever have to pay in the name of love. but in comparison to his sacrifice, it is nothing. so why do we hesitate? why are we so frightened of what the world can do to us? we need to understand that we were "sealed for the day of redemption" (v.30) and we need not fear the world for these things will pass away but god will remain forever. the war has been won though the battle rages on. we will die fighting only to spend an eternity in the joy of exalting our lord. so lets pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off, put back on the armor of god and get to work. we cant let silly things distract us from the task at hand. my prayer for you and me is the strength to allow god to fully take over our lives so that we might be able to do this.

The Power of God

Growing up as a Christian, you learn about the power of prayer and how it correlates to the power of God. A lot of emphasis is put on witnessing and being a good example, but through the years I have begun to realize that there is so much more to it than that.
Now that I am in Texas and attend a Baptist (affiliated with though not in the name) church, I have begun to learn about election. It is a topic that frightens me a bit, because on a surface level it seems to contradict the picture of God that has been ingrained in my head since childhood. Because of this supposed contradiction I have hesitated looking more into the subject. It is something that I feel I will need to do a lot of research on before I can grasp it, and in the middle of the school year I do not feel I have that time to spare (but really this is another excuse).
There are some aspects of election that I can readily accept without fully understanding, such as the irresistability of God. Growing up Free Methodist, there is a lot of pressure put on the individual to witness. I was told that we are the billboards for Christianity, if we don't tell of God to the world, then who will? If we don't pray, then who will? Now, these concepts are crucial, their importance has not diminished at all. It is of vital importance that we witness and pray for the mass of people who have yet to accept Christ as their personal savior, but the decision of salvation is not ours. We cannot force it upon anyone else any more than we can actually make it ourselves without the will of God acting in our lives. He calls and we have no choice but to answer. No matter how much I pray or witness to a person, I cannot take the responsibility of their willingness or lack there of to submit to the will of God. It is encouraging to know that it is up to Him, not me. Out of obedience and love I will still pray and witness as best I can, but oh the relief of leaving their salvation up to Him.
It might seem a bit presumptious that I thought I had any control in the first place, and it probably is, but nonetheless, it is how my thoughts progressed. I am very logical, and after adding everything up, I couldn't help but conclude that if I did not witness to a person, then I must hold some sort of responsibility in the fact that they were not saved. I can say one thing in my favor, if someone did convert, I knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that their conversion was a miracle of God and I had no hand in it.
I recently read a fictional Christian book that dealt with an interesting aspect of this topic. The world was faced with the possibility that the Bible might actually be true, and the book gave an amazing image of what that might look like. It was beautiful to see how each heart and mind began to think of what implications that might have in their life. If the Bible is true, then what should I be doing? How should I be living? Even though these questions were posed to the world as a whole, it was amazing to see how individually each person responded and how personally God called on each of their hearts. It helped me realize even more the intricate and beauty to be found in God's plan. Though the book was fictional, the way God calls us was acurately portrayed. The only thing I don't fully understand yet is why/how we can resist him? If the Baptist doctrine preaches that God is irresistable, then how do we resist? Moreover, how come the doctrine also says that we are fully responsible for not accepting him? These are the things I need to look into.
On a more personal note, how amazing would it be if the people of the world really did believe that the Bible was true? Entirely true. So many people I know and love seem to live their lives in such a nonchalonte way, not really living as the Bride of Christ, or even expecting Him to return for her. The Bible is so serious! How can we get others to realize that?! I guess that is where we pray and wait for God to reveal Himself in a way as to make that claim irrefutable. How great is our God that He can and will do that just because he loves us?! Hopefully you will join in my prayer that the Bible will become real and relavent to the world.