My Story

>> Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Sometimes I feel a little down about my story, especially when I compare it to the other testimonies I read and hear. Thinking about it, however, brings me to the conclusion that I shouldn't compare my story to everyone else's story. My story may be a different type of story, but it is still a demonstration of God's glory.

I've never been as "lost," per se, as some people (Yes, I know everyone is equally sinful and broken and we are all born with the same need for God). What I mean is this: I've never been abused or even really depressed. I've never been into drugs or sex, and I've never contemplated suicide. Mine is a story of apathy.

Ever since the day I was born, I have been blessed to be surrounded by men and women who love the Lord. I went to church every Sunday when I was a kid, and loved it. When I was four, I told my mom I wanted Jesus in my heart. I remember that night distinctly. I prayed an innocent four-year-old's prayer, but I wasn't changed. Four-year-olds seldom are. When I was seven, I prayed again, and was baptized, but I didn't change. Seven-year-olds don't really understand everything they pretend to understand.

I suppose my first emotional encounter with the Lord was when I was twelve. I was at Pine Cove, which is a FANTASTIC Christian Camp. The worship there was excellent. I remember telling my counselor I had no idea if I were going to heaven when I died. The nightly talks made me feel closer to God, and the praise and worship sessions gave me a feeling of joy. At this point, I finally began to understand what "being a Christian" meant. For a while after this, my relationship with God was about feeling something. I didn't really go out of my way to find God in everything, but I started to learn what it was to praise God, if not to truly worship. After about six months, I sank into a lull of apathy: church was routine again, and reading the Bible was not a habit.

When I started high school, I started a class called Worldviews. In the period of the next three years, I examined all different kinds of belief systems, and in the process, had to determine what I, myself, believed. Without Worldviews, I would not be where I am right now. It was because of this class that I began to make my faith my own and grasp my identity in Christ.

In 10th grade, I met a boy. He was nice, and we had so much in common. He lived three hours away, but I really liked him. We talked every day, until the day he disappeared. From that day forward, I had trust issues. It took me a very long time before I could open up to anyone, even a little bit. The spring after I met this boy, I got into a relationship with one of my theatre friends. I thought he was in my life to teach me how to love people I didn't always agree with. This may have been the case, but being in a relationship with him was not the way God wanted me to learn this. This brings me to the first time I heard God's voice. He kept me awake one night at Pine Cove. I told my counselor (who, praise God, was the perfect person to be with in that period of my life) about my dilemma, and she told me to pray and to DO (Not just hear) whatever God told me to do. I asked God what to do next, and I remember a clear, distinct thought: "Get out. I will take care of you." So as soon as I got home, I obeyed God. It was the hardest thing I've ever had to do, but the amount of relief that came from it was like nothing I'd ever felt.

About this time, I started writing letters to Melodie Pruitt. She has since become one of my very best friends. We were going through similar patches in our walks with God, and she was so encouraging (she still is!). We shared verses we loved, told stories about God's work in the world around us and in our hearts, and prayed for each other. I'd never really had a friend like her, and I still thank God for her whenever I think of her. The problem was that I wasn't being real with myself or with God... I wasn't seeking to glorify God in everything just yet.


Last September, my grandparents died. Until this happened, I had taken them for granted. I had never realized how important they were until they were gone. They were in love with the Lord, and because of that, never fell out of love with each other. It was strange. I was heartbroken that they were taken from me, yet I had such peace and joy in my heart. I knew where they were. I wanted to be just like them. At that point in time, I sought to find my strength in God, but as before, I soon lost my fervor.

In March of this year I went to a discipleship weekend. I was feeling very discouraged because I hadn't felt God's presence in a long time, and I knew that I was not chasing after him. The Spirit of God was there in that church, and it was overwhelming me with both grief at my own brokenness, and joy in the glory of the Lord. I remember weeping and crying out to the Lord, asking him to light a fire in me. Perhaps for the first time in my life, I meant every word I said. My leader came to me and wept with me and prayed over me in tongues. I have never heard anything so beautiful, foreign, or terrifying before nor since then. The Spirit gave her this song to sing to me:
I see you where you are.
I know you.
I see your gaze.
You've caught my gaze.
She told me not to worry about what I was or wasn't doing, but to follow after the Lord and seek his word, and most of all, to delight in Him, and he would use me for his glory. At that moment, something clicked in me. It was like I was seeing color for the first time. I saw God's beauty in everything and I was filled with unspeakable joy.

It isn't always so intense, but I'm still learning to see God in everything. I'm learning to love the way God made me to love. He is enough for me. I can't find satisfaction in anything else. I obviously have periods of time where I stray a bit farther than I ought, but God is teaching me to desire only him. I simply want to know him and be known by Him.

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Bleeding Love

>> Monday, March 29, 2010

I want to have light pouring from my every pore.
Why do I reject the greatest thing to ever grace the universe?
My sin is separating me from the God who is love.
I am a child of God, but I am a rebellious child.
When I run back to Him, He always takes me back.
I have grace coursing through my veins.
When all else bleeds dry, my Father's love remains.


This is just a spur of the moment piece of free verse that I wrote on Friday during D-Now. (and yes, I'm aware that it has the same name as that Leona Lewis song)

I can't earn this; I've been given this light.

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Untitled song for Jesus

>> Tuesday, March 23, 2010

The crippling grip of insecurity is hindering me from who I need to be.
Will you help me?
Will I stand tall, or will you see me fall?
I want to do you proud, but I don't know how.

Teach me your plans;
Show me your ways.
Guide me in each and every step that I take.
Hold me in your arms;
Show me your love.
Guide me in this life I now see I know nothing of.

Just because I trust you doesn't mean I'm not afraid.
I want to see you, 'cause you can see me.
I wanna hold your hand.
Will you lead me to where I need to be?
I'll try let go of my fear so I can draw you near...
Hear me!

Teach me your plans;
Show me your ways.
Guide me in each and every step that I take.
Hold me in your arms;
Show me your love.
Guide me in this life I now see I know nothing of.

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Can I have more of you?

>> Sunday, March 21, 2010

Every day it hits home harder and harder that what I want is love. I'm searching in a futile attempt to find real love in the world around me, but today the thought that came into my head was this: I'm searching for love in the world around me, when everything I'm looking for is already right in front of me! I have the ultimate love, and it's been inside me since I was seven years old. The truth is, what I'm really looking for is God, because God is love. I'm constantly trying to fill myself with things that never last. I'm empty when I'm not chasing the perfect love of God with all of my being. Once he is enough for me, wonderful things will happen, because I'll be seeing Him in everything.

Father God,
I want more of you! I want to be fulfilled. You are all I need. The only thing worth living for is YOU. Yours is the only love I need. Please be my all, the only thing I live for. I want you to be in everything I see. I want you to speak with every word I say and every thing I do. You deserve my praise because you love me with every ounce of your infinite being. You loved me so much that you sent your only Son to DIE; all that to pay the price for MY sin. How can you do that? It blows my mind. I'm so undeserving of this love, yet you freely gave it to me! Be my everything.
Amen

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Undignified (I want to be)

>> Friday, March 12, 2010

I consider my life worth nothing to me, if only I may finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me -- the task of testifying to the gospel of God's grace.
Acts 20:24


Honestly, I wish I were more like Paul. Paul never really seems afraid to talk about the good news. I don't want to be afraid. I want to never want to shut up about it! Look at me, talking about wanting to want things. This is pathetic. Why am I sitting here on my butt talking about all this? Shouldn't I be acting on it?

Honestly, I'm TERRIFIED! I have no reason to be this afraid. I have God on my side, and he's given me a purpose: to love people as He has loved me, which means telling them about God's grace. There is no reason for me to be this terrified! Paul had to risk his LIFE to talk about Jesus. Living in the USA, the only thing I have to worry about is my pride. Thinking about that reminds me of the song called Undignified.

I'll become even more undignified than this,
Though some may say it's foolishness.
I'll become even more undignified than this,
lose my pride by my side.


Am I being a hypocrite when I sing this song if I'm afraid to say anything for fear of people disliking me?

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A Prayer.

>> Saturday, March 6, 2010

I'm looking for love in all the wrong places, and everything is falling apart. I feel like I'm losing my best friend, and that nobody cares about me. I feel like no one is interested in what is happening in my life; that I'm just rambling on for no reason and inconveniencing everyone. I'm going nowhere in the realm of happiness.

God, I know how to fix this. You told me how to fix this. I have to fix me and you. You will take care of everything if I give it to you.

Here I am, broken again, before you. At this moment, you are what I want most. Why is it so hard for me to want you like this every moment of every day?

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Truth and Love.

>> Thursday, March 4, 2010

I've been thinking a lot lately about speaking the truth in love. I don't know what that means exactly, or how to do it. The one thing I do know, however, is that, according to the Bible, love and truth are inseparably entwined.

Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.
1 Cor 13:6

Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will in all things grow up into him who is the Head, that is, Christ.
Ephesians 4:15

Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth.
1 John 3:18

The elder, To my dear friend Gaius, whom I love in the truth.
3 John 1:1

The other day, at the theatre, there was a miniature discussion about co-habitation, marriage, and pre-marital sex. Several people who are professing Christians had views that were unbiblical. Someone said this: "That rule was made a long time ago, and times have changed. I really don't think God cares that much." I know this is not true. If you profess to believing that you are saved because the story of Christ has remained the same for two thousand years, shouldn't you believe that the rest of the Bible has stayed as true? I had no idea what to do in this situation, so I just said, "I think [living together and having sex before marriage] is wrong, but that's just me." I was immediately ashamed of the last statement, "but that's just me," because I felt an urge to say something, but left it at that. I know I shouldn't be ashamed. God can and will use what I said.

The Bible says in 2 Timothy 4:

1In the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who will judge the living and the dead, and in view of his appearing and his kingdom, I give you this charge: 2Preach the Word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage—with great patience and careful instruction. 3For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. 4They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths. 5But you, keep your head in all situations, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, discharge all the duties of your ministry.
2 Timothy 4:1-5


I don't know what to do with this. Situations like these are delicate. I suppose the best I can do is to ask God to lead me where he would have me go... but I'm having endless troubles just surrendering to him with all of me.

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The Psalms are comforting.

>> Saturday, February 27, 2010



Psalm 124 (The Message)

1-5 If God hadn't been for us —all together now, Israel, sing out!—
If God hadn't been for us
when everyone went against us,
We would have been swallowed alive
by their violent anger,
Swept away by the flood of rage,
drowned in the torrent;
We would have lost our lives
in the wild, raging water.

6 Oh, blessed be God!
He didn't go off and leave us.
He didn't abandon us defenseless,
helpless as a rabbit in a pack of snarling dogs.

7 We've flown free from their fangs,
free of their traps, free as a bird.
Their grip is broken;
we're free as a bird in flight.

8 God's strong name is our help,
the same God who made heaven and earth.

Some people think that the increase of huge earthquakes (like the one in Haiti last month and the one in Chile this morning) is a sign that the end is coming soon. Frankly, this scares the living daylights out of me (even if it's not true... I mean, no one ever really knows). But that Psalm is so comforting to me. I have the creator of the entire universe to back me up. I wish everyone on earth could honestly, without the shadow of a doubt, say that.

He's always been there, and he will always be there. He's there to protect me, and make me strong. It doesn't matter what happens on earth, because when I die, I get to be with him. If that's the case, why am I sitting here? Why am I not talking about God's love and forgiveness and redemption to everyone I see? I don't know.

If I knew for sure that this was my last day to live, would I act differently? I sure hope I would.

What about you?

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Sunday 2/21/10 - Depths

>> Sunday, February 21, 2010

There is a movement
Bubbling from the depths
Of our hearts.

A spring is ready:
Bursting from the depths
Of our souls.

God is in this place.

I wrote this poem in Church today. God was moving. I'm so glad he moved Lee to get up and say what was on his heart. I've been praying for a movement of the Spirit in the people of the world today, and I can see the sparks.

Join me in praying for revival!

Psalm 51
1 Have mercy on me, O God,
according to your unfailing love;
according to your great compassion
blot out my transgressions.
2 Wash away all my iniquity
and cleanse me from my sin.

3 For I know my transgressions,
and my sin is always before me.

4 Against you, you only, have I sinned
and done what is evil in your sight,
so that you are proved right when you speak
and justified when you judge.

5 Surely I was sinful at birth,
sinful from the time my mother conceived me.

6 Surely you desire truth in the inner parts;
you teach me wisdom in the inmost place.

7 Cleanse me with hyssop, and I will be clean;
wash me, and I will be whiter than snow.

8 Let me hear joy and gladness;
let the bones you have crushed rejoice.

9 Hide your face from my sins
and blot out all my iniquity.

10 Create in me a pure heart, O God,
and renew a steadfast spirit within me.

11 Do not cast me from your presence
or take your Holy Spirit from me.

12 Restore to me the joy of your salvation
and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me.

13 Then I will teach transgressors your ways,
and sinners will turn back to you.

14 Save me from bloodguilt, O God,
the God who saves me,
and my tongue will sing of your righteousness.

15 O Lord, open my lips,
and my mouth will declare your praise.

16 You do not delight in sacrifice, or I would bring it;
you do not take pleasure in burnt offerings.

17 The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit;
a broken and contrite heart,
O God, you will not despise.

18 In your good pleasure make Zion prosper;
build up the walls of Jerusalem.

19 Then there will be righteous sacrifices,
whole burnt offerings to delight you;
then bulls will be offered on your altar.

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Saturday 2/20/10 - Psalm 139

>> Saturday, February 20, 2010

1 O LORD, you have searched me
and you know me.
2 You know when I sit and when I rise;
you perceive my thoughts from afar.

3 You discern my going out and my lying down;
you are familiar with all my ways.

4 Before a word is on my tongue
you know it completely, O LORD.

5 You hem me in—behind and before;
you have laid your hand upon me.

6 Such knowledge is too wonderful for me,
too lofty for me to attain.

7 Where can I go from your Spirit?
Where can I flee from your presence?

8 If I go up to the heavens, you are there;
if I make my bed in the depths, [a] you are there.

9 If I rise on the wings of the dawn,
if I settle on the far side of the sea,

10 even there your hand will guide me,
your right hand will hold me fast.

11 If I say, "Surely the darkness will hide me
and the light become night around me,"

12 even the darkness will not be dark to you;
the night will shine like the day,
for darkness is as light to you.

13 For you created my inmost being;
you knit me together in my mother's womb.

14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful,
I know that full well.

15 My frame was not hidden from you
when I was made in the secret place.
When I was woven together in the depths of the earth,

16 your eyes saw my unformed body.
All the days ordained for me
were written in your book
before one of them came to be.

17 How precious to [b] me are your thoughts, O God!
How vast is the sum of them!

18 Were I to count them,
they would outnumber the grains of sand.
When I awake,
I am still with you.

19 If only you would slay the wicked, O God!
Away from me, you bloodthirsty men!

20 They speak of you with evil intent;
your adversaries misuse your name.

21 Do I not hate those who hate you, O LORD,
and abhor those who rise up against you?

22 I have nothing but hatred for them;
I count them my enemies.

23 Search me, O God, and know my heart;
test me and know my anxious thoughts.

24 See if there is any offensive way in me,
and lead me in the way everlasting.

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Friday 2/19/10 - Stephen

>> Friday, February 19, 2010

Today I read the story of Stephen. It is a beautiful story. He was “full of God’s grace and power, [and] did great wonders and miraculous signs among the people.”

Like any other Christian leader (or just any leader, for that matter), he had opposition. People argued with him, but the Bible says that they could not stand up against his wisdom or the Spirit by whom he spoke. So they seized him and took him to the Sanhedrin for blasphemy. When it was his turn to speak, God spoke through him. He summed up the entire history of the Jewish people, and ended with this:

“You stiff-necked people, with uncircumcised hearts and ears! You are just like your fathers: You always resist the Holy Spirit! Was there ever a prophet you did not persecute? They even killed those who predicted the coming of the Righteous One. And now you have betrayed and murdered him - you who have received the law that was put into effect through angels but have not obeyed it.”
Acts 7:51-53

I know this was directed toward Jews who would not believe what was right in front of them, but the “you always resist the Holy Spirit” really got my attention… especially since I’ve been struggling with that lately.

I started to listen to You Won’t Relent by Misty Edwards because Melodie always talks about it and because I just felt drawn to it at that moment… and it was the perfect prayer for me at that moment.

God had Stephen’s whole heart, and God used him for glory. And I want God to have all of my heart.

“Come be the fire inside of me. Come be the flame upon my heart. Come be the fire inside of me, until you and I are one!”

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Thursday 2/18/10 - Trust

>> Thursday, February 18, 2010

Today I think God gave me an exercise in trust. Yesterday I realized that I had a band rehearsal and a theatre rehearsal for Clue at the same time today. I’ve been slacking on both of my commitments to these things, because they’re always at the same time. I really wanted to go ahead and go to the Clue rehearsal, switching my singing week with someone else, but I felt like I should go to the band rehearsal, because it’s been the lesser of these two priorities. So I asked God to give me a reason to not have to go sing in the band if he wanted me at the rehearsal. All the time I had been feeling a tug on my heart that I should go to Band, and I was fighting it with all I had (and I’m ashamed of that). I finally said, “God, I’m going to surrender myself and go to band, even though I don’t want to.” About ten minutes later, I went and got my phone to make sure band rehearsal was at 7:30 like I thought it was, and there was a voice mail. I listened to it, and it was Frank pushing the rehearsal to tomorrow. I checked the time and date, and he had called right when I was praying that I’d do what God told me to even though I wanted to do something else. I firmly believe that God was testing me to see if I would choose him and trust him to work things out. And what’s more amazing is that he was working on it for quite a while before any of this came up in MY life. Frank had to move the practice because last week his test got snowed out, and he had to take it this week instead.

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Wednesday 2/17/10 - Unstoppable

>> Wednesday, February 17, 2010

The Pharisees must have felt incredibly guilty about sentencing Jesus to death if they were so against the apostles’ preaching. Here’s what they said:

We gave you strict orders not to teach in this name, yet you have filled Jerusalem with your teaching and are determined to make us guilty of this man’s blood.
Acts 5:28

But Peter and the other apostles kept preaching!

We must obey God rather than men! The God of our fathers raised Jesus from the dead, whom you had killed by hanging him on a tree. God exalted him to his own right hand as Prince and Savior that he might give repentance and forgiveness of sins to Israel. We are witnesses of these things, and so is the Holy Spirit, whom God has given to those who obey him.
Acts 5:29-32

This made the Pharisees mad enough to kill the apostles. My guess is that they were mad because the disciples said they needed forgiveness. But there was one smart Pharisee: Gamaliel. I’ve never remembered reading about him before, even though I’ve read Acts several times. He reminded the other Pharisees that other people had claimed to be people, and gotten a following, only to be killed and their followers scattering. And he said something awesome.

In the present case I advise you: Leave these men alone! Let them go! For if their purpose or activity is of human origin, it will fail. But if it is from God you will not be able to stop these men; you will only find yourselves fighting against God.
Acts 5:38-39

This persuaded the other leaders. God’s spirit MUST have been on Gamaliel!

This verse reminds me that if I try something on my own, without God, and for my own reasons, I will fail. But with God, I am unstoppable!

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Tuesday 2/16/10 - Apathy

>> Tuesday, February 16, 2010

All right. Cut the crap, Naomi. You’re starting to feel apathetic again.

Ugh, this is so like me, to fall in love all over again and then stop caring after a few weeks. It’s a vicious cycle. I thought it was ending, but my humanity is catching up to me once again.

Today I read chapters 3 and 4 of Acts, where Peter and John heal the crippled man, and give all the glory to Jesus, and all the people praise the Lord. The Sanhedrin got all frustrated because they didn’t want the people to believe in the resurrection of Jesus, so they told Peter and John not to speak or heal in the name of Jesus. But they said:

“Judge for yourselves whether it is right in God’s sight to obey you rather than God. For we cannot help speaking about what we have seen and heard.”
Acts 4:19-20

Peter and John refused to be apathetic. They couldn’t help but tell people about Jesus. It was too good of a truth to keep quiet. God used them and gave them wisdom to refute the Pharisees. I want to be like them. I don’t want to break down when someone attacks my faith, because that only gives Satan a bigger window to destroy me.

Dear Father.
I don’t want to feel apathetic! I’m trying to let go and just trust, but it’s so hard. Speak to me; show me what comes next. Help me tackle it with as much strength as you have. Cease this apathy within me. Break my heart for what breaks yours. Show me how to love like you have loved me. Give me the words to say. I give you my life. Use me, Lord.
Amen.

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Monday 2/15/10 - A Movement

>> Monday, February 15, 2010

When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place. Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them.
Acts 2:1-4


I would give anything to have been there when the Holy Spirit came down on Pentecost. God worked a miracle using his apostles by allowing them to speak every language, even ones they did not know. All the people visiting Jerusalem could understand about Jesus in their own language, and three thousand people accepted Christ!

Father,
It seems nearly impossible for me to lead someone to the Savior. I don’t think I’ve ever led anyone to Christ, and that makes me discouraged. Be with me; help me not to be discouraged. Remind me every second of every day that you’re with me no matter what. I pray that your spirit would be on this generation of believers, and that you would work in this generation. Let there be a movement for you. Work on the hearts of those we talk to, and add to our number daily those who are being saved. Father, it’s not up to me, or any other believer for that matter, to convince people that you are the only way. That’s between you and them, but I pray that you would use my words and my actions to glorify you and influence everyone I come in contact with.
Amen.

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Saturday 2/13/10 - John 20-21

>> Saturday, February 13, 2010

MY SAVIOR DEFEATED DEATH!

Then Jesus told him, “Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”
John 20:29


Thomas doubted the other disciples’ word that they had seen Jesus after his resurrection, and said he would not believe unless he saw Jesus with his own eyes. I wish I could have the opportunity to see and touch Jesus after he rose from the dead... or even before, for that matter. It would be truly amazing... but I can’t. But I am blessed nonetheless, because I have believed without seeing. Praise the Lord, oh my soul, praise the Lord!

Peter turned and saw that the disciple whom Jesus loved was following them. (This was the one who had leaned back against Jesus at the supper and had said, “Lord, who is going to betray you?”) When Peter saw him, he asked, “Lord, what about him?” Jesus answered, “If I want him to remain alive until I return, what is that to you? You must follow me.”
John 21:20-22


It doesn’t matter about other people, and what they choose or do no not choose. I must continue to follow Jesus.

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Thursday 2/11/10 - Crazy Love

>> Thursday, February 11, 2010

I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge - that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.
Ephesians 3:17b-19

God’s love is immeasurable, like the infinity of space. It is crazy, like an ocean storm, pulling you under. I am drowning in his love, and I like it! When I realize just how beautiful he is, I don’t see anything else. I don’t deserve it, but he gives it to me through his amazing grace. There’s bound to be some trouble in anyone’s life, but God still loves.

Bad things still happen. If there were no evil in the world, that would mean that God controlled everything. I’m not saying he couldn’t control everything if he wanted to, but that’s just not the way love works. We have free will, and every evil happens because someone chooses to do something. What gives God pleasure is when someone chooses to submit themselves to the wonderful raging ocean of his love.

This, I believe, is the true meaning of worship: letting go of this life, and submitting to God’s love; drowning in His love, and enjoying it.

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Wednesday 2/10/10 - Serving in Love

>> Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Just some verses that hit me today:

It was just before the Passover Feast. Jesus knew that the time had come for him to leave this world and go to the Father. Having loved his own who were in the world, he now showed them the full extent of his love.
John 13:1


Jesus then proceeded to wash his disciples’ feet. He took the lowest position because he loved them.

When he had finished washing their feet, he put on his clothes and returned to his place. “Do you understand what I have done for you?” he asked them. “You call me ‘Teacher’ and ‘Lord,’ and rightly so, for that is what I am. Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet. I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you. I tell you the truth, no servant is greater than his master nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him. Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them.”
John 13:12-17


Jesus set an example for all Christians, especially leaders. We should not, because we are put in a position of leadership, take all the glory for ourselves. Rather, we must be servant leaders, serving those beneath us out of love. The same goes for Christians who are not in positions of leadership:

A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.
John 13:34

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Tuesday 2/9/10 - Fear

>> Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Yet at the same time many even among the leaders believed in him. But because of the Pharisees they would not confess their faith for fear they would be put out of the synagogue; for they loved praise from men more than praise from God.
John 12:42-43


It’s really easy to keep quiet just because you’re afraid of what people will say about what you think or believe. I know because I struggle with this pretty much every day. I don’t want to be that way.

Dear God,
Fill me and make me bold enough to talk about you and live my life for you without fear.
Amen.

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Monday 2/8/10 - Longing

>> Monday, February 8, 2010

Yesterday I was crying in church because God used the preacher and his words to remind me yet again to what my life should be pointed. Is my first and strongest desire to know my God? My friend asked me what was wrong. Nothing is wrong. Things are finally beginning to be right!

I’m longing. Longing for my Jesus. I want to know more! I can’t get enough. God is breaking me and showing me his love. His perfect love, the only true love. I can never be bored of God, because there’s always more to know.

I’m pursuing my Savior. I want to know more. I want to be drawn ever closer. I want to dance with my Savior. I want to love like my Savior. I’m pursuing him so he can fill me to overflowing. What does it look like to be overflowing with the Spirit? I want to look like that.

Satan is trying his hardest to distract me with my humanity. He’s making it easy for me to lose hope. But I won’t fall for his tricks. Jesus is with me.

Father,
You are so perfect! You are bigger than the problems of this world. You are the greatest love the world has ever known. You work things to your glory; whatever evil comes, you change it, and use it for good. You are more powerful than anything I can ever dream. There is no word that completely sums you up. You are limitless! You are all these things, and yet you love me, one of six billion seemingly insignificant beings. I am one of six billion, but you love me. Thank you that I am significant to you!

Now I’m crying out to you. I need to learn to love and be loved in return. You’re the only true love. Draw me close. Fill me up, because I desperately need more of you. I’m longing for more of you. I’m chasing you because you are perfect. Take this child of yours and play my life your way. Mold me. Use me. Make me your masterpiece.

Show me the next step. Hold my hand and give me strength for whatever lies ahead. Use me for your glory.
Amen.

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Saturday 2/6/10 - I was blind, but now I see!

>> Saturday, February 6, 2010

John 9 is awesome. Today God revealed something in that chapter that I had never noticed before. I had always taken it at the face value, which was that Jesus healed a blind man, and the Pharisees got mad at Jesus for doing so on the Sabbath... For some reason I never really connected the beginning with the end part about spiritual blindness.

Today as I was reading, it hit me. That man had been blind from birth. What if I were blind from birth? What a wonder it would be to see for the first time in my life! Then I realized something. I, myself, am blind from birth. Not literally, of course, but I never knew until I became a Christian just what I was missing. I’m still learning about the Father’s love for me. Each day that I walk with God, I am gradually gaining my sight.

When the Pharisees examined the healing, they said that Jesus could not possibly be from God if he did not keep the Sabbath.

The man answered, "Now that is remarkable! You don't know where he comes from, yet he opened my eyes. We know that God does not listen to sinners. He listens to the godly man who does his will. Nobody has ever heard of opening the eyes of a man born blind. If this man were not from God, he could do nothing."
John 9:30-33


The Pharisees were blind, just like me. The difference between them and me is that they did not admit they were blind, but claimed to see.

Jesus said, “For judgment I have come into this world, so that the blind will see and those who see will become blind.” Some Pharisees who were with him heard him say this and asked, “What? Are we blind too?” Jesus said, “If you were blind, you would not be guilty of sin; but now that you claim you can see, your guilt remains.”
John 9:39-41

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Friday 2/5/10 - I am Free!

>> Friday, February 5, 2010

Jesus replied, “I tell you the truth, everyone who sins is a slave to sin. Now a slave has no permanent place in the family, but a son belongs to it forever. So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.”
John 8:34-36


Without Jesus I am a slave to my sin, but with Him I am free!

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Thursday 2/3/10 - Better Than Life

>> Thursday, February 4, 2010

Our God’s love is so huge! He doesn’t care who you are, or what walk of life you’re from; he just wants to save you. He chooses you, so choose Him! He loves you where you are, whether you’re having a great life, or an awful one. He loves us in spite of our sin!

I can’t help but celebrate when I think of his great love.

Father,
Fill me up with you.
I can’t get enough!
I want to overflow with you.
Thank you that your love never ends.
You’re so big, so much bigger than I can comprehend.
Thank you that you can love someone so small.
Without you, I am nothing.
Amen.

I have seen you in the sanctuary and beheld your power and your glory. Because your love is better than life, my lips will glorify you. I will praise you as long as I live, and in your name I will lift up my hands.
Psalm 63:2-4

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Wednesday 2/3/10 - The Father's Love

>> Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Of all the Gospels, the Book of John is my favorite. Why? Because throughout the book, there is a constant theme: Believe in Jesus Christ, the Son of God, and you will be saved. There is nothing else you have to do to be saved.

From the fullness of his grace we have all received one blessing after another. For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. No one has ever seen God, but God the One and Only, who is at the Father’s side, has made him known.
John 1:15-18


Through Jesus, I can come close to God. When I’m walking with God, I receive blessing after blessing! My sin doesn’t matter anymore, because Jesus’ blood covers it up, and the Father’s enormous perfect love forgives me. His love is one so big I can’t comprehend even a small part of it. All I know is that without the Father’s love for me, I am nothing.

In return, I want to live my life in a way that glorifies God. My biggest goal is to please my Savior. I don’t HAVE to do anything else, but I WANT to live for Jesus.

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Tuesday 2/2/10 - How He Loves

>> Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Today I read about Jesus’ crucifixion in Luke 23-24. One of my favorite things about the story of the Crucifixion is this:

For the sun stopped shining. And the curtain of the temple was torn in two.
Luke 23: 45


The curtain of the temple was a separation between the Holy of Holies and the rest of the temple. It symbolized separation from God. When Jesus died, it was torn in two from top to bottom (Mark 15:38). God allows us to come to him just as we are. WE ARE NO LONGER SEPARATED FROM GOD! Anyone can come to him repentant and, believing in the perfect sacrifice, Jesus Christ, be saved from death.

Death. Without Jesus I am as good as dead! My sin destroys me, but my savior took that destruction upon himself. And he defeated death! Three days later, he rose from the dead. I am no longer dead in sin, but alive in Christ!

He is jealous for me
Loves like a hurricane, I am a tree
Bending beneath the weight of his wind and mercy
When all of a sudden
I am unaware of these afflictions eclipsed by glory
And I realise just how beautiful You are
And how great Your affections are for me

And O how He loves us
Oh, O how He loves us
How He loves us all

Yeah He loves us
O how He loves us
O how He loves us
O how He loves

We are His portion and He is our prize
Drawn to redemption by the grace in His eyes
If grace is an ocean, we're all sinking
So Heaven meets earth like an unforeseen kiss
And my heart turns violently inside of my chest
I don't have time to maintain these regrets
When I think about the way

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Monday 2/1/10 - Confidence

>> Monday, February 1, 2010

“It is always the Holy Spirit’s work to turn our eyes away from self to Jesus; but Satan’s work is just the opposite of this, for he is constantly trying to make us pay attention to ourselves instead of to Christ. He insinuates, ‘Your sins are too great for pardon; you have no faith; you do not repent enough; you will never be able to continue to the end; you do not have the joy of His children; you have such a weak hold of Jesus.’ All these are thoughts about self, and we will never find comfort or assurance by looking within. But the Holy Spirit turns our eyes entirely away from self. He tells us that we are nothing, but that Christ is all in all.”
-Charles Spurgeon

Blaming Satan for everything I do, and everything that goes wrong in my life is too incredibly easy. That is NOT the way it really is. I am the sinner. I am responsible for whatever I do. The choices I make are MY choices, whether they are good or bad. Satan’s job is not to make me sin… I do that naturally anyway! Satan is trying to make me DWELL on my sin.

Satan causes me to doubt myself. He causes me to doubt my savior. He causes me to doubt my salvation! Like Charles Spurgeon said, Satan causes me to focus on myself, on my own failings, rather than on Christ’s love. That being the case, it is obvious that if I buy into Satan’s lies, I will continue to live in sin, because I’m afraid that I’ll never be worthy of salvation.

And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus. For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.
Ephesians 2:6-10

I will NEVER be worthy of salvation, but because Christ loved me, I AM saved. I must not buy into Satan’s lies and selfishness. CHRIST SAVED ME JUST AS I AM. I have confidence that my sin is covered so that nothing is visible but Jesus’ blood. My actions will never be good enough, but there is no need to be good enough, because I am already freed from my slavery to sin. When the Holy Spirit is in me, when I dwell on God, rather than myself, I no longer see my failings. I only see the perfect love that rescued me from my failures. Now I do good things, not to make myself worthy, but because I love to please my savior!

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Friday 1/29/10 - All because of Jesus

>> Friday, January 29, 2010

"Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. The Pharisee stood up and prayed about himself: 'God, I thank you that I am not like other men—robbers, evildoers, adulterers—or even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week and give a tenth of all I get.’ But the tax collector stood at a distance. He would not even look up to heaven, but beat his breast and said, 'God, have mercy on me, a sinner.' I tell you that this man, rather than the other, went home justified before God. For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted."
Luke 18:10-14


I love this parable. The tax collector was so distraught about his sinful nature. Everyone should be like that. “God, have mercy on me! I am a sinner!” is one of the most powerful things a person can say. You’re admitting that you aren’t worthy, but you’re asking God to have mercy on you and submitting to his power. This is part of true worship, and it should be practiced every day.

Those who heard this asked, "Who then can be saved?" Jesus replied, "What is impossible with men is possible with God."
Luke 18:26-27


I may not be worthy of being saved, but since I admit that, and acknowledge God’s power, I am saved. Jesus died on the cross for me! I’m still a dirty sinner, but since I asked Jesus to save me, God can only see Jesus’ blood, which covers up my sin. I am free! I don’t have to worry about tomorrow because I am wrapped in His love. That, I think, is cause enough for celebration.

It’s all because of Jesus I’m alive!
It’s all because the blood of Jesus Christ
Has covered me and saved this dead man’s life.
It’s all because of Jesus I’m alive!

And I want to be the best I can be for my Jesus.

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Thursday 1/28/10 - Prodigal

>> Thursday, January 28, 2010

From a father to his daughter,
My prodigal child, come back to me!
From a sinner to [her] maker
Your prodigal [child] is on [her] knees.
Sweet God please hold on to me…
Hold me the day I try to fly.
From “Play it Again, Sam, You Don’t Have any Feathers” by Manchester Orchestra


Today I read Luke 15, the parables of the lost sheep, the lost coin, and the prodigal son.

I am the prodigal son. How many times have I left my savior behind, saying “I’m safe because God saved me,“ only to do what my sinful nature causes me to do. Every single time, there comes a point where I have nothing left but to cry out for help, and run back to my Father. Every single time, there’s a point where I break, and I come back to him. And every single time I come back, my savior welcomes me with open arms. He celebrates whenever I find my refuge in him. He forgives me, and loves me in spite of my dirty sin. I couldn’t ask for a more perfect love.

This time I don’t want to run away again. I want to stay and grow strong because I’m keeping Jesus right beside me.

Lord,

Please walk with me every step of the way. Never let me out of your sight. I am nothing without you, and I don’t want to lose myself again. Thank you for breaking me. Thank you for healing me. Thank you for loving me in spite of my humanity. You are holy, great and mighty. The moon and the stars declare who you are. I’m so unworthy, but still you love me. The depths of my heart will sing of how great you are!

Amen.

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Wednesday 1/27/10 - On greed and worry.

>> Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; a man’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions.
Luke 12:15 (NIV)


In worldviews we’ve been studying economics from a Christian standpoint. Looking at the Bible, it is clear that we should use compassion when dealing with money. It is our job to take care of the poor. The Bible urges us to give to those in need, and to forgive peoples’ debts if they will never be able to pay them. We must give without worrying about the future, because God will provide for those who love him.

And do not set your heart on what you will eat or drink; do not worry about it. For the pagan world runs after all such things, and your Father knows that you need them. But seek his kingdom, and these things will be given to you as well. Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father has been pleased to give you the kingdom. Sell your possessions and give to the poor. Provide purses for yourselves that will not wear out, a treasure in heaven that will not be exhausted, where no thief comes near and no moth destroys. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
Luke 12:29-34 (NIV)


We have no need to worry about our future, because as long as we are seeking the kingdom of God, he will provide for us.

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Tuesday 1/26/10 - I am Last.

>> Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Now as they went on their way, Jesus entered a village. And a woman named Martha welcomed him into her house. And she had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet and listened to his teaching. But Martha was distracted with much serving. And she went up to him and said, "Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Tell her then to help me." But the Lord answered her, "Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things, but one thing is necessary. Mary has chosen the good portion, which will not be taken away from her."
Luke 10:38-42 (ESV)


I want to be like Martha. Martha was a good woman. She had a servant’s heart. But just having a servant’s heart is not enough.

Serving people is all well and good. In fact, serving people is one of the best ways to show love, in my opinion. But Martha let herself get bogged down with all the work that had to be done and was distracted from what is really important. JESUS was IN her HOUSE!

I want to be like Mary. She didn’t get bogged down with the work she had to do. She sat down at Jesus’ feet and drank in all of his words. Jesus needs to be the most important thing on any Christian’s priority list.

In Matthew 22:37-39, the first thing listed is to love God, and the second thing is to Love your neighbor as yourself.

God is first, People are second, and I am last.

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Monday 1/25/10 - My Portion Forever

>> Monday, January 25, 2010

Whom have I in heaven but you? And earth has nothing I desire besides you. My flesh and My heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.
Psalm 73:25-26


Mr. Blair told us to read Psalm 73 today. I love it. It’s a very good picture of me. Sometimes I envy the people who don’t have anyone to live for but themselves. Not everything God tells me to do is pleasant, and they get to be carefree! But then I go and worship Him, and everything falls back into place. I realize that what I have is infinitely greater than what the world can give me. Even if I fail, I still get to live, because God is in me.

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Saturday 1/23/10 - Fix my broken heart

>> Saturday, January 23, 2010

Teach me how to live
Teach me how to breathe
Take this broken heart and fix it up again

Teach me how to live
Teach me how to breathe
Show me how to love like no one ever did.


That’s from a song my friends Emiryn and Stephanie wrote. It never fails to make me cry, because I identify with it so much. Yesterday I was at Emiryn’s house and they were playing that song, and I just broke down. God broke me. He reminded me how badly I need Jesus, not just on my bad days, but every day.

The chapter I read in Luke today, chapter 7, is all about how powerful Jesus is. It’s good to be reminded daily that he’s powerful enough to heal someone from a life threatening illness. He’s powerful enough to raise the dead to life.

He’s powerful and holy enough to forgive anything. ANYTHING. He’s powerful enough to take this broken heart and fix it up again.

Some may think me foolish, but I’m not afraid to put my life in his hands, because without him, I would be nothing.

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Friday 1/22/10 - Bedrock

>> Friday, January 22, 2010

Why are you so polite with me, always saying 'Yes, sir,' and 'That's right, sir,' but never doing a thing I tell you? These words I speak to you are not mere additions to your life, homeowner improvements to your standard of living. They are foundation words, words to build a life on. If you work the words into your life, you are like a smart carpenter who dug deep and laid the foundation of his house on bedrock. When the river burst its banks and crashed against the house, nothing could shake it; it was built to last. But if you just use my words in Bible studies and don't work them into your life, you are like a dumb carpenter who built a house but skipped the foundation. When the swollen river came crashing in, it collapsed like a house of cards. It was a total loss.
Luke 6:46-49 (The Message)


This is yet another call to action. It’s saying, “Naomi! Don’t just SAY you have faith, DO something about it!“ Let’s stop just talking about God among ourselves, let’s make him a part of EVERYTHING we do. Every decision we make, every conversation we have, every day as we’re going about our day.

Victor and I were talking yesterday about how we have both been praying a lot lately. Not just at formal times in the day, but whenever we see a need, or whenever we just want to thank Jesus. It’s a marvelous feeling to know that God is just right there and I can talk to him any time.

Every morning I’ve been asking God to be with me, give me strength, and help me to be kind and slow to anger. God’s power has allowed me to be happy, and keep my temper, and stop being pessimistic, even when I am as exhausted as I was yesterday. I’m truly in the happiest place I have ever been, and it’s all because of Jesus! With God as my foundation, I have become strong.

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Wendesday 1/20/10 - Here I am, send me!

>> Wednesday, January 20, 2010

There was also a prophetess, Anna, the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was very old; she had lived with her husband seven years after her marriage, and then was a widow until she was eighty-four. She never left the temple but worshiped night and day, fasting and praying.
Luke 2:36-37


I want to be like Anna. I’m not saying that I want to be at the church all the time for my entire life. I’m referring to the most important thing in her life, worshipping the Lord. She worshipped all day, every day, for 84 years. I want that to be my passion, too.

In Sunday school we’ve been doing a study on worship. Worship is not singing. I mean, you can worship God by and through singing, but the word ’worship’ doesn’t have anything to do with singing. Worship means, basically, to serve or to surrender yourself to God.

In Isaiah 6, Isaiah saw God, and the first thing he did was realize how big God is and how small and dirty and unworthy he was. After God cleansed and forgave him, Isaiah basically said, ’God, use me for your glory.’

That’s how it’s possible to worship God every moment of every day. I want to do just that. I want to do everything I do for God’s glory, and not for my own. “Here I am, send me!“

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Tuesday 1/19/10 - Surely this man is the Son of God

>> Tuesday, January 19, 2010

With a loud cry, Jesus breathed his last… And when the centurion, who stood here in front of Jesus, heard his cry and saw how he died, he said, “Surely this man was the Son of God!“
Mark 15:37, 39


Wow. Jesus is so awesome. To be able to give up his life in one of the most gruesome ways imaginable, just because he wanted to provide us with a way to be saved.

If you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved.
Romans 10:9-10


Goodness knows we don’t deserve it, but his love is so great that he gave it to us anyway!

That centurion probably didn’t believe anything that Jesus had said before he died, but seeing him give up his life on the cross, not even trying to live, he believed. It must have been entirely different from anything else he had ever seen. It’s incredible to think that just by watching the way Jesus died, someone’s heart was changed.

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Monday 1/18/10 - Last Day

>> Monday, January 18, 2010

If you knew Jesus was coming tomorrow, how would you live your last day on earth? Most Christians I know have been asked that question before. I don’t care if it’s cliché, because the Bible says this:

Therefore keep watch because you do not know when the owner of the house will come back - Whether in the evening, or at midnight, or when the rooster crows, or at dawn. If he comes suddenly, do not let him find you sleeping. What I say to you, I say to everyone: Watch!
Mark 13:35-37


If God were to come right now, what would he have to say about your life? Would he be proud or ashamed?

Don’t take each day for granted. Do something! Jesus is coming back, so live each day as if it were your last day on earth. Live each day for Him!

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Saturday 1/16/10 - Childlike Faith

>> Saturday, January 16, 2010

People were bringing little children to Jesus to have him touch them, but the disciples rebuked them. When Jesus saw this, he was indignant. He said to them, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. I tell you the truth, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.“
Mark 10:13-15


This passage is where the term “childlike faith“ comes from. A child who believes in Jesus doesn’t know why he does, he just does. Somehow, the child knows that there is a God, even though he can’t see God. It’s the only thing that makes sense to him.

My mom told me about a message board she found on the internet, which talked about God and heaven and hell. One of the posts on this message board was from a devout atheist who argued that, if God is a loving God, how could he condemn her mentally handicapped son to hell. Mami told me what she believed on the subject. That boy will always have the mind of a child. Even though he may never have the mental capacity to realize what Christ’s sacrifice meant, Mami believes that somehow, God will reveal himself to that boy, and since he has the mind of a child, it will be infinitely easier for him to just accept it with childlike faith.

Many times I’ve tried to rationalize my faith, to find a reason WHY I believe. I never can. All I come up with is that it’s the only thing that makes sense to me. I just know somehow. I’m not saying that I don’t doubt my faith sometimes... I’m only human. But when I’m in a slump, and all I can do is cry out to God for help, I do. I’m constantly being reminded that if I give my worries to Jesus, he will be with me.

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Friday 1/15/10 - Selfishness.

>> Friday, January 15, 2010

“You do not have in mind the things of God, but the things of men … If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. “
Mark 8:33b-34 NIV


Last night I didn’t have my mind on the things of God. I was being incredibly selfish because I couldn’t help but talk about how much certain people get on my nerves and how I didn’t want certain people to share something fun with me and my friends.

I always feel guilty after talking about other people in that way, because I remember Matthew 22:37-40, the verse I call the basis of my religion:

Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”

There was no love in my heart at that moment, only bitter remarks about other people. When I talk like that, I can’t help but feel I’ve betrayed myself AND God. God didn’t say “Love only the people you get along with.“ He said, “Love your neighbor as yourself!“ In Matthew 5:44, he even said this: “Love your enemies, and pray for those who persecute you.“

I need to deny myself… get rid of the thoughts that don’t please him, and let him lead me. My only identity needs to be that Christ is in me.

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Thursday 1/14/10 - "Your faith has healed you."

>> Thursday, January 14, 2010

Mark 5:24-34
This is a story of a woman with great faith. (paraphrased by me)
As Jesus was walking along, a woman spotted him. This woman had been constantly bleeding for twelve years. She had heard about Jesus’ miracles, and she thought, “If I just touch his clothes, I will be healed.“ So she touched his robe, and she was healed immediately. Jesus felt some of God’s power leave him, so he stopped, asking who touched him, even though it would normally have been impossible to tell because of the great crowd. The woman fell at Jesus’ feet and told him the whole story. Jesus replied “Daughter, your faith has healed you.“

Look at that faith! I want to trust Jesus like that!

Thinking of this reminds me of my Granddaddy. What Granddaddy preached over and over and over again was this: No matter what, if you trust in Jesus, you will be saved, you will be set free, you will belong to him. All my life, and especially recently, my role model has been Granddaddy. I want to trust Jesus as unconditionally as he did. I want to become a praying person. I want my future marriage to be centered around the Lord, and I want to love my husband until death, just like Grandmother and Granddaddy did.

I want to live for Jesus... And now I’m finally trying.

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Wednesday, 1/13/10 - This Little Light of Mine

>> Wednesday, January 13, 2010

He said to them, “Do you bring in a lamp to put it under a bowl or a bed? Instead, don’t you put it on its stand? For whatever is hidden is meant to be disclosed, and whatever is concealed is meant to be brought out into the open. If anyone has ears to hear, let him hear.“
Mark 4:21-23


I remember singing this song when I was a kid: This little light of mine, I’m going to let it shine. Let it shine, let it shine, let it shine. Hide it under a bushel? NO! I’m going to let it shine. Don’t let Satan blow it out! I’m going to let it shine.

Jesus calls us as Christians to be his light to the world. To show by our actions and words and passions that we have something different. He calls us to never be silent when there is an opportunity to tell someone about his love.

However, it’s very hard for me to be a light sometimes. Satan gets in my way by placing thoughts in my head that make me afraid to tell. I start to think that I won’t be able to explain it well enough, or that they will take it the wrong way and denounce me as a friend. So I keep silent.

I keep asking God for more opportunities, but when they arise, I disregard them!

I’m sick of being controlled by my selfish humanity!

It’s time for me to start building up my relationship with God. I want it to be so strong that when I come across an opportunity, if I start to get afraid, I can remember that He is right there with me. And when God is for me, who can be against me?

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Tuesday 1/12/10 - Surrender

>> Tuesday, January 12, 2010

As he walked along, he saw Levi son of Alphaeus sitting at the tax collector’s booth. “Follow me,“ Jesus told him, and Levi got up and followed him.
Mark 2:14


This hit me today as I was reading. Jesus told Levi to follow him, and Levi dropped EVERYTHING to do so then and there. Jesus calls me to drop everything and follow him myself. This means that I can either ignore him and do what I want (and eventually fail), or follow him, and let his perfect plan unfold.

Yesterday I confessed to Dane. He was very gracious about the whole thing, even though he said that he wasn’t interested. Thankfully I didn’t lose a dear friend. At first it was incredibly hard for me, but then it hit me. It’s OK that Dane rejected me. I mean, I can learn a lesson from this. I was going on what I wanted. I was living for myself, and not for God. When I got home I cried for a while, but then I prayed. I asked God to show me what comes next. I surrendered myself to his plan.

God has something special for me, because he loves me. I just have to choose to drop everything and let him take control. And I trust him to do just that... I mean, after all, he DOES know everything.

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Monday 1/11/10 - Come Thou Fount

>> Monday, January 11, 2010



Come Thou Fount - Sufjan Stevens

Come Thou Fount is my favorite hymn. Looking at it, every verse is entirely true. God deserves my praise! He made me. He made the whole world. And when we turned away and fell into sin, he still loved us so much that he let his ONLY Son die in place of us. Why is it so hard for me and my wandering heart to make time to be with him? It was so easy (comparatively) to set aside time for my 365! I do not like my human nature. Whenever I think of this subject I’m always reminded of Romans 7, where Paul says this:

What I don’t understand about myself is that I decide one way, but then I act another, doing things I absolutely despise. So if I can’t be trusted to figure out what is best for myself and then do it, it becomes obvious that God’s command is necessary. But I need something more! For if I know the law but still can’t keep it, and if the power of sin within me keeps sabotaging my best intentions, I obviously need help! I realize that I don’t have what it takes. I can will it, but I can’t do it. I decide to do good, but I don’t really do it; I decide not to do bad, but then I do it anyway. My decisions, such as they are, don’t result in actions. Something has gone wrong deep within me and gets the better of me every time.
Romans 7:15-20 (The Message)


I NEED HELP! I can’t do anything without God’s strength to back me up! Thank goodness that I have Jesus. That way, even if I mess up, I know I still get to be with God. My sin nature will never go away… but I will always have forgiveness. I love you, Lord

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