Monday, January 19, 2009


So much has been deeply on my heart lately that I feel I need to share. Yesterday as I was sitting in church, I knew God was speaking directly to me because everything that Pastor Tim was talking about God had been talking to me about all week. God even answered some of the questions I was asking Him last week. It was so amazing to me I got goosebumps on my arms from just hearing it cause it was like he was reading my heart.

I absolutely love the church I grew up in. I love the people, I love the pastors, I love the way I feel when I walk in the doors, its like a second home to me. I have had some deep moments with God inside of that building. But I realize now that not everything I was taught there was accurate. Although we claimed to be non-denominational looking back, my church was very religious more so than spiritual. And don't get me wrong, most of the sermons our senior pastor taught were amazing and I never doubt his love or relationship with Christ.

I remember as a little kid I was taught the only way you could go to heaven was by asking Jesus into your heart and meaning it. But after alot of scripture reading and God speaking to my heart I don't believe this to be true. I was taught that other religions were wrong and that they may never go to heaven cause they didn't accept Jesus into their hearts. But to me here are mormons, Catholics, Lutherans, Jehovah' Witness' living their lives for God and yet we condemn them because they don't have our same beliefs. But here we are supposed Christians and we go out and drink, have sex, smoke, curse, and do many other sinful things but hey its ok cause we asked Jesus into our hearts that one day and yet we act nothing like Christians, you couldn't tell us apart from the atheists. I am in no way judging anyone cause I have been down a few of those roads myself.

I am realizing Jesus looks at your heart. Maybe you didn't ask Christ into your heart but you live to serve Him everyday and you try to follow His commands as best as you can. Of course, we are all going to fall short cause we are human and are always going to sin. But who are we to judge. Us christians have put ourselves upon this pedastal and look down all of those other religions and think we have the right to tell them they aren't going to heaven. Shame on us. I am just as guilty as the next guy to make that same mistake. I know at one point or another we have all done it.

Jesus talks clearly in the Bible about being lukewarm. In Revelations 3: 15-18 He says "I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! So, because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to spit you out of my mouth. You say, 'I am rich; I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing.' But you do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked. I counsel you to buy from me gold refined in the fire, so you can become rich; and white clothes to wear, so you can cover your shameful nakedness; and salve to put on your eyes, so you can see."

In everything I do I want to make sure not only I do it out of my love for God, but with joy in my heart. When you truly love God you want to spend time with Him. You want to give Him everything he deserves and not out of guilt or to buy His love, but just cause we want to love Him. This brings me to the gift of tithing.

I have definately been one to suffer in this area in the past. I clung too tightly to something that doesn't really matter in the end. I am reminded in Matthew 6: 21 "Where your treasure is, there your heart will be also." I know for me I don't want to just love myself and when I hang so tightly to ever dollar all for me, I realize that is where my heart is.

Another struggle I have had just real recently is how and where do I tithe. I always want to give joyfully cause I know "Everything comes from you, and we have given you only what comes from your hand," as it says in 1 Chronicles 29:14. Every dollar or every gift I have ever been given is a blessing from God. As all of the family was gathered around the kitchen table last night eating our dinner the topic of tithing came up. The family I nanny for are Catholics. As we were sitting there the dad was talking about "donating to the church". And I was like you mean tithing? And he was like oh yeah if thats what you people call it. Than he went on about how He didn't like to tithe because the church is not a non-profit organization. He went on and on for a bit and I said "It doesn't matter where your money goes. Its the point that you give it. God looks at your heart when you are giving. He replied with "Well my heart is full of cholestrol" or something along those lines.

This was a great lesson for me and the words I spoke are the words I needed to hear. I have been wanting to know where every dollar of my money goes before I give it. God knows where the money goes and its about your faithfulness to Him and He wants you to always make sure you know that He has given you every dollar. And if money is all you focus on, you will die miserably. I heard this great quote from Robert Murray M' Cheyne..

..."I am concerned for the poor but more for you. I know not what Christ will say to you in that great day...I fear there are many hearing me who may know well that they are not Christians because they do not love to give. To give largely and liberally, not grudgingly at all, requires a new heart; an old heart would rather part with its life-blood than its money. Oh my friends! Enjoy your money; make the most of it; give none away; enjoy it quickly for I can tell you, you will be beggars throughout eternity."

If you were asked today, where would your heart be? I no longer look at tithing as an obligation I look at it as this great joy. Everytime I find something new to give to I feel like I am a real part of something and actually making a difference in lives. I am all about missions. I love to give to people who are passionate about helping others and serving the Lord. Through my money I am able to bless people I wouldn't otherwise be able to. And through my time and community service I am able to serve others and give freely of myself without getting or wanting anything in return, I am learning true love. So when we give, no matter how much or how little God is always looking at our hearts of love.

Its all about love. Yesterday our sermon was about the issue of love and overcoming religion. We are taught as fundamentalist Christians to reach out to others in love, oh but wait not that group or them over there we are far too good to love them. God says to love Him first and to love everyone as much as we love ourselves, no exclusions.

I was in deep turmoil over the gay population in America. So I started doing a study. I was feeling in my heart something much different than I have ever been taught. I have a few gay friends and every encounter I have had with them I always come out happy and feeling blessed being able to see things from another side. I can honestly say when I see or talk to someone gay I always show them a ton of love, I wouldn't want to be them going through all of that persecution. But I also know on the otherside of that I have made fun of them in an innocent way not meaning to offend anyone by saying things "whats thats so gay". I know my intentions and my heart but they sure don't. I have gotten so used to say it, its hard to stop.

As I was doing my search on this topic, I came across a few different view points, one person was talking about how if God wanted gay people he would have made them so they could produce children. Yes it was a good point. But the more and more you do research on it, you soon find out nowhere in the Bible does it say anything about homosexuality. I believe if God were here today he would love them just as much as he loves us.

At church they were talking about how gay people are more open with their "sins". None of us have the power to judge them for we all have bad thoughts and probably have some lustful thoughts in our hearts as well. This week I definately learned that it doesn't matter who someone is we should love everyone the same. I think that if you start only looking at your own heart and loving everyone equally, you will learn alot not only about yourself but about them and their struggles too. We were made to love, thus show forgiveness, sympathy, and humbleness. Not one person is worse than another. Every sin is equal to God.

The greatest challenge is to start looking outside of religion and putting your focus on changing your heart and loving God. Let God be God. In the end, He is the one with the final judgement and our judgements of others will certainly not matter.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

His Beauty

Psalm 96: 1-4 "Sing to the Lord a new song; sing to the Lord all the earth. Sing to the Lord, praise His name; proclaim his salvation day after day. Declare his glory among the nations, his marevelous deeds among all peoples. For great is the Lord and most worthy of praise; he is to be feared above all gods."

Looking out my window today, I see the sun brightly shining radiating off of the white snow that covers the earth. The trees each stand so mighty and majestic, as they reach for the sky created even to praise His name. How much greater is my song, is my voice to praise the one who made every beautiful thing so we each may enjoy His beauties.

Everytime I see that beautiful sunset signifying another day spent away, everything within me smiles at such creativity. No picture can truly capture everything the original artist created. There really are no words to describe its splendor.

His beauty is in comparable. When my heart becomes unthankful or worrying about things I can't control, I look to the skies. If I just take a step outside, I realize how small I am when I become lost in that huge sky containing billions of galaxies. Its at that moment when I become humbled by His love for me. From where He sits, the earth is not even a speck of dust. And yet He loves me. Oh how great is His love for me! I sometimes can't contain it.

To live my life so others may see His beauty is what I am designed to do. His greatest beauty is His heart of love full of compassion, empathy, and forgiveness. To show everyone around me His marvelous heart is the greatest accomplishment. I can't even grasp though the greatness of His love or beauty. There is no way for my human mind to comprehend it. But He made me to love Him and others, so I know my love is enough to show people the face of my Lord!

Friday, January 16, 2009


To put one's trust in God is only a longer way of saying that one will chance it

My biggest challenge right now is to trust in God wholeheartedly, mainly when things look really gloom. And by trust I mean not allowing worry to infiltrate my mind. I am so easily persuaded into a bad attitude when things don't go my way and I get irritated, so irritated. I try to reason it out, try to come up with anything to put my mind at peace but nothing works besides just worshipping God and reading His word, just to get my mind off of it.

He is so patient with me as He calmingly speaks to my heart. How I wish I could be perfect? I wish I could be more patient, more trusting, more loving towards others. I become so hard on myself even though I know God is slowly changing my heart to make it more like His. I feel it through out the depths of me, but I just wish He would change me like overnight. This is where trusting Him takes place, knowing He and I together are working to make my broken heart into something beautiful and my once unkind words, to words of life. Its just one of those things that takes your whole life.

So I sometimes doubt my own trust in Him, He never doubts my trust in Him for He is always looking at my heart and knows my intentions. To learn His mighty love and patience and be able to radiate His forgiveness and kindness, is what I live to do.

Psalm 118: 6-9 "The Lord is on my side; I will not fear. What can man do to me? The Lord is on my side as my helper; I shall look on triumph on those who hate me. It is better to take refuge in the Lord than to trust in man. It is better to take refuge in the Lord than to trust in princes."

Thursday, January 15, 2009

To Be Still

Do you ever struggle with never having enough time in the day? Always trying to get so much done is so little time. It seems we have lists of things to do that pile up everyday and we begin to shut the Lord out. I know in my life that every time I have gotten really busy in the past with either relationships or work, Jesus was the first to go. How much my priorities have changed in such a short amount of time.

In my life now, I still have so many things to do and goals and accomplishments I have to achieve. I have my New Year's resolutions hanging over my head, as I have never been so motivated to want to accomplish every single one. As I was sitting there last night making my schedule, as it seems my life is picking up the pace quickly Jesus gently told me "Will you have room for me?" Oh what sweet words those were though. Someone who wants to just spend time with me to get to know me and love me. I mean thats all we want right. At first I kind of began to argue with oh but Lord I am going to Bible college and church and getting involved with Bible studies and wanting to start helping out with the youth. And if that isn't enough I am volunteering my time at a christian pregnancy center to tell others about you. And on top of all that, I am finding time for some other fun activities and things I want to do. Yes my list of things is much longer than most as I try to cram so much living into my life. He gently asked me again "Will you have room for me?"

I get so caught up in wanting to get so many things done and wanting to change the world around me, I spaced out making alone time just for God. Right now I wake up and before I am out of bed I read a Bible verse, during the day I read inspiring books Christian people have written about achieving a great relationship with God, and I go to bed with my nightly devotional and prayer time. I would say my life is based around the Lord. And because of this I feel so blessed, my outlook on life is better, I have more compassion and I see through the Lord's eyes. But I know if I can't just be still than my relationship with the Lord will slide and if it goes than the rest of my life will go down the tube. Just like I make time in my schedule for a dear friend, I need to make that time for Jesus everyday cause He is my best friend. 

Psalm 37:7 "Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for him."

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Our Walk

Psalm 37: 4,7 "Delight yourself in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the Lord; Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for Him."

Today I sat upon His lap and listened to Him laugh as I was telling Him my plans. He took my hand and walked with me. He showed me places I had never been before. As we walked He graced me with stories of all kinds, some were painful to hear and brought tears to my eyes and others made me laugh until my heart was full of joy. On this journey of ours, I saw many familiar things and felt old feelings. I could tell I still had some open wounds and had yet to forgive people for their past grievances on me and worse things I hadn't forgiven myself for. He could see my heart and hear my thoughts along the way. He paused for a moment and loving took my face in His hands and all He whispered was "I love you". There were so many other things He could have said at that time, but He just spoke those three healing words. And it wasn't just that passing I love you that has no depth to it, it was a real genuine love that makes you swell with tears.
I knew what He was showing me, my past, the journey I tried to make it through alone. He taught me on our little walk so many things starting with today. I can't change my past or the hurt I caused or the painful damage I have done, but I can start with a new journey that I will be proud to look upon. Some people will never see me in the new light, for I have sinned against them and they hold it against me, but it won't affect the people I can change today in a positive way. Thats the difference between dark and light. Just like I walked hand-in-hand with Him on our walk, I also walk beside Him in life. Now when I look back I will see two people instead of one and only will I see love. 
As our walk ended He took me back to where we began, it was just Him and I, no one else. And I wandered how could He spend so much time with me, doesn't He have a world to keep in tact But no He just laid there right beside me and than told me all of His plans for my life if I just continue to hold His hand. They were far better than any dream I could dream and all I had to do was love Him back. My love for Him doesn't compare to His love for me. When I spend time with Him He doesn't feel safe like I do in His arms, He doesn't feel half the things He makes me feel and yet He wants to spend time with me? It makes me realize that all He wants is the love I can give Him no matter how great or how small its adequate for Him. He just wants my time, effort, and initiative. He doesn't expect any great thing from me for I don't deserve to be near even His feet, He just expects me to listen to His heart and to live the life He has set for me as His child.

Psalm 139 "O Lord, you have searched me and you know me. You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar. You discern my going out and my lying down; you are familiar with all of my ways. Before a word is on my tongue, you know it completely, O Lord. You hem me in- behind and before; you have laid your hand upon me. Such knowledge is too wonderful for me, too lofty for me to attain. Where can I go from your spirit; where can I flee from your presence? If I go upto the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there. If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast. If I say 'Surely the darkness will hide me and the light become night around me," even the darkness will not be dark to you; the night will shine like the day, for the darkness is as light to you. For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in that special place. When I was woven together in the depths of the earth, your eyes saw my unformed body. All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be. How precious to me our your thoughts, O God! How vast is the sum of them! Were I to count them, they would outnumber the grains of sand. When I awake, I am still with you. If only you would slay the wicked, O God! Away from me, your bloodthirsty men! They speak of you with evil intent; your adversaries misuse your name. Do I not hate those who hate you, O Lord, and abhor those who rise up against you? I have nothing but hatred for them; I count them my enemies. Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting."

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

One Month to Live

This week I am reading a inspiring book by Kerry and Chris Shook, who founded Fellowship of the Woodlands in Houston, Texas. This book has deeply inspired me to think not only about my future, but also every choice I make today. I honestly don't worry about not having a long life for God has called me to so much with my life so I know time is on my side, but its what I do with that time that matters most. You can live a hundred years and still accomplish nothing or but a few months and accomplish more than many others.

In this particular chapter though I learned what it meant to fully trust the Lord and I don't mean just with my words saying "I trust you", but with my actions as well. I know how hard it can be to give Him control of our situations, mostly cause you want them done your way, but in the end God has a much higher way of thinking than any one of us.

Isaiah 55: 8-9 "For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are my ways your ways," declares the Lord. "As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts."

You hold on desperately, trying to do things in your own strength. You struggle endlessly, trying to control everything, trying to make everything just right, trying to please people, trying to control every situation. You hold on and think there is no one to catch you so you'd better grip harder and cling tighter. While you're hanging there and your knuckles are turning white, I'm saying "Just let go , and I'll catch you. Just let go. I promise you, I love you, and I'll catch you. I made you with my own hands. I made you for a purpose, and I died to have you back. Why can't you trust me? I gave my life for you. I'm the God of the universe. You can just let go and I will catch you."

For me this can't be more true. How many times have I been like God I can do it on my own watch me. And sometimes He does allow me to do it on my own and other times I fall and fail so miserably. If I would do it His way every time, not only would I not fall I would probably be able to fly. Even in the toughest of situations where everyone is counting on you to fail, He's the one there begging you to just trust Him.

I look at life day by day and everyday we get new tests. Everyday He has situations that He brings to us to see if we will pass the test. Everyday, every minute there are choices to be made. When we pass the test He moves us on to bigger things, if we don't we are stuck retaking the test sometimes once, sometimes over and over again. 

You remember those old bracelets that said WWJD or What Would Jesus Do? When I was younger it was a fad so I bought a few just to fit in with the rest of my friends. This bracelet had no significance to me it just made me look like I belonged. Now when I make choices or before words come out of my mouth mostly during fights where I am angry, I have to stop myself and be like so its ok to be angry but I don't want to say something I will later regret. So its more about watching my words than anything, you still can get your point across but you don't want to tear down the person you are saying them to. So thats when WWJD comes into play. Will Jesus be proud of me what I am saying or will He be disappointed in me? When you start making Him the basis of your decisions and ask Him for strength, I feel everything goes so much more smoothly and you don't look back and hit yourself in the head for saying something stupid.

Yeah there are probably alot of words you wanted to say that would be hurtful cause you are hurt, but when you give the control over to God you are able to begin to see under the surface. Many times when people say hurtful words its cause they are hurt and probably not even because of something you did, but they need someone to vent to. When we start giving God control and looking through His eyes, we see the heart of the matter and are filled with compassion instead of anger. Its all about trusting God in the easy things and hard things, big or little things. He will NEVER let you down.

Psalm 13: 5 "But I trust in your unfailing love. I will rejoice cause you have rescued me."

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Annie Johnson Flint

"When though passest through the waters"
Deep the waves may be and cold
But Jehovah is our refuge,
And His promise is our hold;
For the Lord Himself hath said it,
He, the faithful God and true:
"When thou comest to the waters
Thou shalt not go down, but through."

Seas of sorrow, seas of trail,
Bitterest anguish, fiercest pain,
Rolling surges of temptation
Sweeping over heart and brain-
They shall never overflow us
For we know His word is true;
ALl His waves and all His billows
He will lead us safely through.

Threatening breakers of destruction,
Doubt's insidious undertow,
Shall not sinnk us, shall not drag us
Out to the ocean depths of woe;
For His promise shall sustain us,
Praise the Lord, whose word is true!
We shall not go down, or under,
For He saith "Thou passest through."