Thursday, June 2, 2011

Hope, Joy and Peace

I will bless the Lord who has given me counsel; My heart also instructs me in the night seasons. I have set the Lord always before me; Because He is at my right hand I shall not be moved. Therefore my heart is glad and my glory [inner self] rejoices' My flesh also will rest in Hope. For You will not leave my soul in Sheol, Nor will You allow Your Holy One to see corruption. You will show me the path of life, In Your presence is fullness of Joy. As Your right hand are pleasures forevermore.
Psalm 16:7-11

Hope deferred makes the heart sick, But when the desire comes, it is a tree of life.
Proverbs 13:12

So let us seize and hold fast and retain without wavering the Hope we cherish and confess and our acknowledgement of it , for He Who promised is reliable (sure) and faithful to His word.
Hebrews 10:23

Honor and majesty are found in His presence, strength and Joy are found in His sanctuary.
1 Chronicles 17:27

And do not be grieved and depressed, for the Joy of the Lord is your strength and stronghold.
Nehemiah 8:10

Where there is no vision [no redemptive revelation of God], the people perish; but he who keeps the law [of God, which includes that of man]-- blessed (happy, fortunate, and enviable) is he.
Proverbs 29:18

Have you found yourself feeling weak over the last few months, days or weeks? I have. I was overwhelmed and lacking vision. I could not see any way for God to redeem the circumstances and situations I was in. I slogged my way through and yes I did get through better than I thought I would with God's help. But I didn't walk as victoriously as I could have through 2 1/2 months of balancing a crazy school, new job and other commitments schedule that I had. I survived I didn't thrive. And through that time I knew what I needed I just couldn't seem to find it. We all have those times where all though we don't like the place we are in we are more comfortable returning to our old ways in a cycle of self-pity, weakness and distrust (that we call our defense mechanisms) when we decide we don't have time to spend in God's sanctuary drawing strength from the Joy of His marvelous presence, His glory that's heavy with everything that is good. The Joy of the Lord is our strength. Joy is not based on circumstances, happiness is. In His presence is a place of Peace that is beyond our understanding it comes when we release the cares and the worries to God. The ones we weren't supposed to carry to begin with.

For to be carnally minded is death but to be spiritually minded is life and Peace. Romans 8:6

I leave with you; My own Peace I now give and bequeath to you. Not as the world gives do I give to. Do not let your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid. John 14:27

And let the Peace (soul harmony which comes) from Christ, rule (act as an umpire continually) in your hearts [deciding and settling with finality all questions that arise in your minds in that peaceful state] to which members of Christ's] one body you were also called [to live]. And be thankful and appreciate give praise to God always. Colossians 3:15

As I was walking under the level I should have I recognized it and had God moments of strength. I am to the point that I can discern when I'm heading to the place of no joy, no vision and no hope. It's an amazing feeling when hope reawakens. There were a couple areas that I had given to God but through time and frustrations, I removed some of my trust and allowed my Hope to get deferred. As I recently took some time as school ended to just seek Him, immerse my heart in His healing presence and renew my mind with His word. I find myself once again full of Hope (a confident expectation), bubbling with Joy, and contentedly at Peace. Peace is an interesting concept I think a lot of times we get stuck on this vision of peace being this place where we make ourselves content with whatever comes along, a place of being holy satisfaction with what we should be dissatisfied with. That dissatisfaction doesn't negate your peace. The best description I can think of right now is a heart levelness. You may not know what you are supposed to do, where to go or feel powerless, but when you have Peace it's like even though all these things are going on that you should be worked up over, your heart just feels... level, so that you can speak peace into those situations and God will totally come through for you every time. His hope doesn't disappoint. We feel like He doesn't always come through, but we have this picture in our minds of what Him coming through for us should look like. It doesn't always look like that and if we are at Peace we can more clearly see God's hand moving because we aren't so caught up in the circumstances.

In the days ahead, enter into the Joy, Peace and Hope that the Lord offers. I don't have things all figured out, my life isn't all together. God's best is within my reach. And God's best is what I pursuing as I run with endurance the race that was set before me.

Never give up
God's best is yet ahead!

Monday, March 21, 2011

What is Your Heart Beating for?

This is a question that came to mind today as I was taking care of some things that needed to be done. Life is busy it's true but that doesn't change the fact that no matter what we are doing our heart is beating, both physically and metaphorically. I suppose another way to phrase it is what are living for? And how is that reflecting in your life?

2 Cor 2:14-17

In the Messiah, in Christ, God leads us from place to place in one perpetual victory parade. Through us, he brings knowledge of Christ. Everywhere we go, people breathe in the exquisite fragrance. Because of Christ, we give off a sweet scent rising to God, which is recognized by those on the way of salvation—an aroma redolent with life. But those on the way to destruction treat us more like the stench from a rotting corpse.

This is a terrific responsibility. Is anyone competent to take it on? No— but at least we don't take God's Word, water it down, and then take it to the streets to sell it cheap. We stand in Christ's presence when we speak; God looks us in the face. We get what we say straight from God and say it as honestly as we can.

This life that I'm living is not for religion, my heart has this amazing peace. I don't have to strive for intimacy with God, it's not something I have to stress out about. I don't have to live perfectly or clean up my act. I just have to stay in a place of constant communing and hunger. It's a deep groaning within each of us, a void that each of us tries to fill but nothing fills it like the love of God and all that comes with a relationship with a living breathing King. A God who once you have an experience with, you'll never be the same. When you live from a place of intimacy your life reflects it. His joy and peace will bubble out of you and you can't stop it. It makes you want to shout from the highest mountain top. I want everyone to experience this. You don't have to live in bondage. It's not about theological answers either. You don't have to have answers for everyone of life's questions. Just press in. When I'm stressed I turn on worship music, lately that has been Misty Edward's worship (I have about 5 hours of her music on my computer). Her music is full of life and it's all about the intimate place between God and man.

I was listening to a message by Bill Johnson this morning about our mandate here on earth. How the Bible tells us what the world we live in is like and than tells us what we are to do about it. It's powerful! In the message he talks about intercession being the greatest tool we have and as my previous post about standing in the gap talks about we need to walk in it. My life in Christ Jesus is the reason my heart beats, it's the reason why I'm living. As that passage in 2 Corinthians talks about my life omits a fragrance and those who are searching for something more in life will be drawn to your "smell" or the will be repulsed becuase of conviction but you job is to be a living letter of who Jesus is. What do you smell like today? Honestly my smell has been that great this week, I've been a little stressed out and overwhelmed with life. But today as I prayed about some situations that I ran into and ran my errands, I was infused with this new sense of purpose and began to open my eyes once again to what my relationship with Him grants me. It's not the reason I pursue Him. I pursue Him because it's what the deep places of me calls out for, it's what my heart longs for. And if He is all I ever have in this life I will be satisfied. He always provides and my heart beats because of Him. I refuse to pursue the endless cycles that this world tries to pull me into. It's ok to LIVE IN FREEDOM!!!!! I think that is the biggest thing I've been learning to combat, this sense that I have to be living in a constant struggle. The lie that I have to be in some kind of bondage for God to work on me. The lie that if I'm not stuggling with something, life isn't right. I can live without guilt. I can live free of the bondage of the world! That's what God has granted me as a lover of Him. I

I choose to be a passionate lover of a passionate God, wholeheartedly chasing after a God that isn't running for me, He embraces me and empowers me to pursue all that He has placed in me. And my heart is overflowing with His goodness, love and peace this day even though I'm tired, I don't have my homework done, my car has problems, I don't know what the future holds, some of my friends are in turmoil and injustice continues it's cycles. I am FREE and so are YOU. Let your heart beat today with God today. It's AMAZING and you will NEVER REGRET IT!!!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

The Power of Our Lives

Life is good right now. Of course there are some things that I'm not sure about, that I searching out. Lately I have been convicted about the position that I have been given on earth. As I look around at all the situations that continually confront me with injustice and injury to those around me, I weep. I want to see things change for my family, for my friends, for the people I come in contact with in the positions that the Lord has put me in. Yet,I feel like I'm running, but it's because I'm standing still and not moving forward to where I'm supposed to be. I know what I'm called to do. It's what we are all called to do. God gives us a choice whether to walk in the authority He's given us or to turn our hearts and our eyes. However if we really want to see change in all of the situations we struggle with it's going to take more than a "sacrificial" prayer in between waking up and starting our day. It's going take more than being in church on Sunday and going through the motions. It's going to take getting out of our comfort zones and pursuing an awesome God. It's more than 30-45 minutes of worship and an hour of teaching. We are going to have to change things in our lives and prioritize to put God first. My heart yearns to see and hear freedom on Sunday mornings and everyday of life.

We've been called to stand in the gap "So I sought for a man among them who would make a wall and stand in the gap before Me on the behalf of the land that I should not destroy it; but I found no one." Ezek 22:30 God wants to move in the situations that sit heavy on our hearts. I will build a wall and stand to speak into the lives and situations where death is trying to manifest. Not on my watch! We were given authority, we were given the ability to intercede in the spiritual realm in all situations. Are we ready? Are we willing? Will we move? Will we get up an hour early in the morning to worship and pray? Will we give up after church activities to spend more time in worship with our King? Worship that will break strongholds. How far are we willing to go? I want to go all the way. I'm seeking, I'm willing. I want to lead the army of on fire saints. The cry of my heart is to live a purposeful life full of passion and whatever it has to look like. I will follow, I will give things up. I will walk it out to the best of my ability through God's grace. Will you go with me?

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Onward, Upward, Forward

My heart is singing... I just can't stop it and I definitely can't contain it. So many things have taken place that could only come together by God's hand. I really can't explain how amazing things are right now. So many things that I felt were coming last semester have come to fruition. I have connections and I have moved into leadershipish positions that I never dreamed of being capable of. God has really hedged before me as well as behind. The more I live the more I come to realize how much easier life is when I trust things to His capable hands. When my life is centered around His heart, I can not be swayed.

Not everything is perfect, not every situation is where I want it to be. I don't know all the answers. What's around the corner? Your guess is as good as mine. I do know that it will be great and I will grow and that God is good.

My heart is so full, I can't get it all typed.

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! My heart awakens, set me ablaze, let me burn with passion, I will run my race, I set my gaze on the one who won't let go.

Monday, January 31, 2011

Do You Ever?

Do you ever just want to shout from the rooftops?! I do!!!
Do ever want to dance and jump until you have nothing left?! I do!!!
Do you ever want to fall on your face before God and cry your eyes out?! I do!!!!

I can't really explain how I'm feeling right now. Other than I'm free!!!!!! Life is soo worth living to it's fullest with a relationship with our Heavenly Father! He is sooo Good! He NEVER fails.

I have been making big decisions and I won't go into too much detail, but I will say this I am so full of joy and anticipation that I can not contain it. I just can hardly wait to see what God has in store. I'm stepping out in faith and believing for doors to open. I knew big things were coming when I made the decision to move where I'm at. I can't say that things happened exactly like I thought they would, but I have no regrets.

After my small group tonight, I dropped some of the girls off and all the way home songs singing of God's goodness were on the radio and how you can't help but tell the world. Well people that's what I'm doing! God has taken me places and put me in positions that I never dreamed of. And it's stretching me and it kinda scares me, but I'm loving every minute. That doesn't mean I don't have doubts or struggles. It just means that no matter what circumstances come I will not be moved because I have confidence in the God I serve. My heart is so full tonight and has been for the past 2 weeks or so.

I have the perfect illustration (I think), after church on Sunday I was standing with my front door open but the screen door was closed and the sun was shining in and it was so warm and it just wrapped me up in it's warmth and made me smile. I was wearing a black shirt so it was absorbing the sun as well. Than during worship at church on Sunday night I just got this picture of how it is when our heavenly father is smiling down on us and He wants to continuelly wrap His Love around us and it in that we get this warmth around us like a protective sheild against the cold (believe me it was really cold out that day) of daily life. And when we live in His Son we can continueally have a smile on our face. I want to live in the warmth of His love every day of my life. It's an amazing thing!

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Buried History

They say history repeats itself. I’m not sure who they is, I suppose the repetition of history through the generations has created this statement and proved it true. As a result, everyone knows and believes that history repeats itself, but does nothing about learning from history that is quoted repeatedly. I’m getting off track here.

My Minnesota history class has a site review assignment coming due, too soon for comfort. I referred to it during my grading conference on Monday. My history instructor, upon informing the class, described it as a book report only based on a location rather than a book. I groaned inwardly when I heard about the assignment’s existence. I’m still not looking forward to completing the writing. However, I did enjoy visiting the site that I chose, the site being the old CCC camp across from my parents’ house.

I have always known that it was over there, but I never actually knew that it was over there, if you know what I mean. As I walked through the woods with my mom and two of my siblings, we came into clearings that were abnormally square and walked alongside concrete foundations hidden by trees and moss. It is as if nature herself has tried to eradicate the camp’s presence from the earth. Just as we, the human race, have tried to erase the Great Depression from our minds. The Great Depression was a time in America’s history that we appeared weak and feeble, unable to cope with the effect of war and ignorance. It took a lot of work and ingenuity to pull the United States out of the hole. Part of the process was the creation of work camps where men could make money to support their families. CCC camps served their purpose back in the day, now we move on. I suppose in a way it represents a time in the United States that brings back memories not easily erased from the older generations. A time of trials and tribulations that they only came through with hard work and sacrifice. I wish that my generation could hear and learn from the examples that went before us.

Walking the barren land that once held the hustle and bustle of human life working to rebuild a way of life and to support their families back home made me really think hard about my life. Will the steps that I take and foundations that I build be so easily covered up and forgotten as those of the men from the Baptism CCC camp? Some camps have been made into historical markers but even then we have covered them up with our idealism that the life our ancestors once lived can remain untouched by our humanly, futuristic hands and unskewed by our impractically, progressive minds. Yet, the fact remains that history leaves undeniable and permanent marks on our land and our lives. We can never escape the creation of history, because time does not stand still and we can’t go back.

This is a letter that I recently wrote for my Comp class about my history class, I enjoyed writing it so I thought I would share it with you all. :)

Friday, November 5, 2010

The Stillness of the Woods

As I sit and consider the places that I have lived, my current residence and my favorite places, quite a few come to mind. I would not say that I am a demanding or hard to please person, however my comfort level in the past has been somewhat low. I am becoming more accustomed to being out of my comfort zone this is a good thing. The place I am the most at home maybe best explained by giving some examples about where I do not feel at home. I hate traffic, I can drive well, but it stresses me out. The constant rush of city and town life does nothing for me, some people thrive on it, I do not.

My favorite place to be, the one that makes me feel the most at home, is in the middle of the woods. I love everything about it. The stillness of the world when you are in the woods is breathtaking. To sit and hear the birds twittering and the breeze in the trees is an experience that I would love to experience on a daily basis. I enjoy the sound of gravel beneath my tires, and it’s even better if I’m in a big truck. The bounty that the earth provides is there for the taking. The wild berries, the wild rice, the ability to grow things in a patch of ground are a privilege. Even though animals can get in and wreak havoc on a garden, it’s a pleasure once the frustration is past. They are so clever and you can just see their little minds working to try to figure out how to get over the obstacles that are placed in their way. It’s another story with insects that invade a garden. I love going barefoot in the green grass and the feeling of warm rocks underneath my feet. The smell of fall and spring tempts me to go out and play in the forest. In the wintertime I love snow covered trees and the feeling that all is well in the world. The crispness in the air leaves me breathlessly content.

Eventually I would like to have a house in the woods; until I do, I have the privilege of going to my parents’ home in the woods. I suppose a large part of the reason I feel at home in the woods is because I that is where I was raised. My earliest memories are sitting out in the berry patch with my mom, climbing trees as tall as my house and making mud pies under the trees. The woods definitely hold my heart.

Hidden on a Hill

I have decided that I will post some of the things that I am writing for my college composition classes. I don't much feel like blogging right now so I won't go into much of my life right now. I am happy to annouce that I am writing a book, I don't necessarily have a title or a real clear topic for the book, but it will be non-fiction. I will put a few glimpses/excerpts on here from time time. It should be an interesting book as I live an interesting life :) not really... but I have an interesting point of view on life due to the way I was raised, my educational experiences, my moral standard and my "religious" (I hate the word religious but I think that's the most universal way to refer to it) views.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

An Amazing Weekend with an Amazing God!

So I know I don't get on here much, I don't feel like I have much to say and I always seem to start out every blog this way. I will try to do better :D So this last weekend I went on a retreat with University Christian Fellowship/Chi Alpha and it was totally amazing. It rocked my world! I went into the weekend with the mindset that this was going to be an oppurtunity for it to be me and God. I knew that that was what my focus needed to be. And He met me there. The worship was amazing, everyone just connected with God and you could just feel His love being poured out on everyone. Pretty much everyone had a testimony about what God did in thier lives. There was also some really good teaching. It was pretty much all about intimacy with God. This is what has been on my heart lately a lot. A few weeks ago as I was getting out of the shower I had the phrase "passionate pursuit" rolling around in me and than a week later the words "true intimacy" came to my heart. Both go together, I didn't really study it out but it's something I've really been pondering for the last couple weeks.

See in moving to this town, I don't really feel like I know the reason I'm here I feel like I'm in this holding place, where I'm not looking back but I can't see the future. Coming to this place hasn't been an easy process. After school in Hib-town and my summer job I was burned out, stressed out, and tired out. The last two years although filled with victories were a real battle for me. I didn't want to deal with anyone. I didn't really know what I was doing and how everything was going to come together. I really learned that the Lord is with me and I can depend on Him for everything. I don't have to have all my ducks in a row. He's got it under control. I've really been doing my best to live day by day, moment by moment and not worry. It's really true that a man plans his way but God directs his steps. I have been so refreshed and I've really gotten my love and desire for live back, as well as my joy. But I've still been struggling somewhat with why in the world am I here? This is what I feel, I feel as though I'm in a holding/hiding place. Like I'm tucked away on the hillside under His wings. I feel ready for the next adventure He has for me. While I'm waiting my choice is to live each day to the fullest. God has been speaking to me about really getting to know Him and Heart and that's what I spent my weekend doing. I did all my homework before I left, so I was able to just relax in Him. I have this deep desire to pursue His heart and His mind. The Bible says we are to have the mind of Christ. I was made in His image, I was made to reflect His glory in the earth. I am a conductor.

I've got top billing in His eyes, each and everyone of us does. I think this is the summary of the clearest thing I heard and He was dealing with me over this weekend. I was raised in a Christian home and my dad was/is a minister of the Gospel. I've always just stepped back and let others be ministered too because of this. I've had the mindset that everyone else could be first and was more important than my needs. Other people have always been the first priority, I felt like I could wait and deal with my needs later. God revealed to me how my actions and my view of my dad when he ministers, is wrong. I don't have to wait, I can have Him and His presence right here right now. I don't have to waith for the crumbs, I don't have to wait until everyone else has had thier fill. God is a big God and if He cares for the sparrow how much more does He care for me? I am valued and special. He is mine and I am His.

I really want to start sharing what's on my heart about life and God and love. So hopefully I will get better at this. I have so much rolling around my spirit right now, I don't have words to express it all.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

A New Day

So the best way to describe what I'm feeling is to give a description that maybe you can relate to. Do you know how it feels to be coming out of a black tunnel and you saw the light at the end, but than all of the sudden you were in it? That feeling of relief and joy and awe of the glory of the light. That's the way I feel. The feeling goes sooo deep. I'm content and peaceful and refreshed mentally, emotionally and physically. Well physically I get tired but you know, that's a good thing, because it proves I'm alive. I know life is probably going to get busier and there are always new battles to face. I have confidence in the God that I serve wholeheartedly and that gives me confidence to face whatever the next bend in the road brings.

Today is my birthday and I no I won't tell you how old I am now. It's really hard for me to explain the way I'm feeling. I have found my home in the cleft of the rock and I don't want to go back to the valley. I'm willing to fight. There are things that my heart desires for this new year of my life. Sometimes it's so heavy with longing that I don't know what I'm going to do. Yet I can keep my gaze on Him rather than on my desires. Yes I know He placed those desires in me, and in the right time I know they will be fulfilled.

The road to this place that I am at has not been easy and I don't have it all figured out. But I am reveling in it and I'm going to enjoy it. I'm going to take each day and be thankful for it.

I've found some safe places to be some safe people to be around. I'm getting out of my comfort zone. I'm pursueing, tasting, seeing, loving, living, showing, and testifying the GOODNESS of the GOD I serve. This is my joy and this is my song. The joy of the Lord is my strength.

Just so you know I am living in reality, I have to go do homework quick because I have a full day ahead of me. I just wanted to share something positive. Because life is positive.