Thursday, August 18, 2011

crazy love

so. right now i am reading the book called "crazy love." before i write a section of it for all of you. i recommend this book to EVERYONE. seriously. ask any one who i talk to. a lot of you can attest that if i've talked to you in the last month. i've most likely mentioned this book. george can probably be the biggest advocate to this. haha. anywho. i read this section tonight. and it definitely is something that is on my heart so i wanted to share it with you.

SomeOne I Can Be Real With

If you merely pretend that you enjoy God or love Him, He knows. You can't fool Him; don't even try.

Instead, tell Him how you feel. Tell Him that He isn't the most important thing in this life to you, and that you're sorry for that. Tell Him that you've been lukewarm, that you've chosen (blank) over Him time and again. Tell Him that you want Him to change you, that you long to genuinely enjoy Him. Tell Him how you wan to experience true sanctification and pleasure and joy in your relationship with Him. Tell Him you want to love Him more than anything on this earth. Tell Him you want to treasure the kingdom of heaven so much that you'd willingly sell everything in order to get it. Tell Him what you like about Him, what you appreciate, and what brings you joy.

Jesus, I need to give myself up. I am not strong enough to love You and walk with You on my own. I can't do it, and I need You. I need You deeply and desperately. I believe You are worth it, that You are better than anything else I could have in this life or the next. I want You. And when I don't, I want to want You. Be all in me. Take all of me. Have your way with me.

Like I said, go and get this book and read it. It will be worth your time, I promise!

Remember God is LOVE.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

a Father's love letter

*The cry of a Father's heart from Genesis to Revelation*

My Child,

You may not know me,
but I know everything about you.
Psalm 139:1

I know when you sit down and when you rise up.
Psalm 139:2

I am familiar with all your ways.
Psalm 139:3

Even the very hairs on your head are numbered.
Matthew 10:29-31

For you were made in my image.
Genesis 1:27

In me you live and move and have your being.
Acts 17:28

For you are my offspring.
Acts 17:28

I knew you even before you were conceived.
Jeremiah 1:4-5

I chose you when I planned creation.
Ephesians 1:11-12

You were not a mistake,
for all your days are written in my book.
Psalm 139:15-16

I determined the exact time of your birth
and where you would live.
Acts 17:26

You are fearfully and wonderfully made.
Psalm 139:14

I knit you together in your mother's womb.
Psalm 139:13

And brought you forth on the day you were born.
Psalm 71:6

I have been misrepresented
by those who don't know me.
John 8:41-44

I am not distant and angry,
but am the complete expression of love.
1 John 4:16

And it is my desire to lavish my love on you.
1 John 3:1

Simply because you are my child
and I am your Father.
1 John 3:1

I offer you more than your earthly father ever could.
Matthew 7:11

For I am the perfect father.
Matthew 5:48

Every good gift that you receive comes from my hand.
James 1:17

For I am your provider and I meet all your needs.
Matthew 6:31-33

My plan for your future has always been filled with hope.
Jeremiah 29:11

Because I love you with an everlasting love.
Jeremiah 31:3

My thoughts toward you are countless
as the sand on the seashore.
Psalms 139:17-18

And I rejoice over you with singing.
Zephaniah 3:17

I will never stop doing good to you.
Jeremiah 32:40

For you are my treasured possession.
Exodus 19:5

I desire to establish you
with all my heart and all my soul.
Jeremiah 32:41

And I want to show you great and marvelous things.
Jeremiah 33:3

If you seek me with all your heart,
you will find me.
Deuteronomy 4:29

Delight in me and I will give you
the desires of your heart.
Psalm 37:4

For it is I who gave you those desires.
Philippians 2:13

I am able to do more for you
than you could possibly imagine.
Ephesians 3:20

For I am your greatest encourager.
2 Thessalonians 2:16-17

I am also the Father who comforts you
in all your troubles.
2 Corinthians 1:3-4

When you are brokenhearted,
I am close to you.
Psalm 34:18

As a shepherd carries a lamb,
I have carried you close to my heart.
Isaiah 40:11

One day I will wipe away
every tear from your eyes.
Revelation 21:3-4

And I'll take away all the pain
you have suffered on this earth.
Revelation 21:3-4

I am your Father, and I love you
even as I love my son, Jesus.
John 17:23

For in Jesus, my love for you is revealed.
John 17:26

He is the exact representation of my being.
Hebrews 1:3

He came to demonstrate that I am for you,
not against you.
Romans 8:31

And to tell you that I am not counting your sins.
2 Corinthians 5:18-19

Jesus died so that you and I could be reconciled.
2 Corinthians 5:18-19

His death was the ultimate expression
of my love for you.
1 John 4:10

I gave up everything I loved
that I might gain your love.
Romans 8:31-32

If you receive the gift of my son Jesus,
you receive me.
1 John 2:23

And nothing will ever separate you
from my love again.
Romans 8:38-39

Come home and I'll throw the biggest party
heaven has ever seen.
Luke 15:7

I have always been Father,
and will always be Father.
Ephesians 3:14-15

My question is…
Will you be my child?
John 1:12-13

I am waiting for you.
Luke 15:11-32

Love, Your Dad
Almighty God

Sunday, May 22, 2011

oh, 2011.

2011 has been an interesting year, so far, to say the least.

there has been plenty of ups and downs. i know that sounds cliche but, it's the truth. for me, it was my last semester of my senior year at concordia. it was a very bittersweet thing for me. concordia has been the only thing i've known for the last four years so, it was hard imagining concordia not being a part of my life anymore.

one of the hardest things i've dealt with this year was the tornado in mapleton. it killed me that i couldn't be there for my parents (mom especially) the night it happened. i went home the very next day and to see my home town destroyed like that was very hard to swallow. to see my house in the condition it was, was hard but it wasn't as hard as driving around and seeing the families that had it worse then what we did. to see people picking through their belongings, crying, hugging loved ones and seeing all the volunteers brought tears to my eyes. it was comforting knowing that i lived in a small town that could come together in a time of need and really help each other out. i saw God through many people that weekend. for example, when i went home, i saw people i had never even seen before, raking up my back yard and cleaning up debris. God had His hand in everything and that is the most comforting thing to realize.

the thing the tops your own heartache, though, is the heartache you have for someone that is very close to you that is having an even shittier year than what you are having. it pains me to see someone so special in my life go through so many hard things and not being able to do anything about it. it breaks my heart to see the family go through the things they have been going through. I mean how can one family go through so much in a year let alone, months. it makes you start to question if God really does have their hearts in mind and realizes the pain that He is making them go through. how can a family go through so much ... when is the breaking point... when will God stop... why is He allowing all of this to happen? WHY?

God does have a plan in all the pain we go through in life... and certainly there are families that go through wayyyy more difficult things then what we are going through. i mean, there are people that struggle to eat on a daily basis because they dont have means to get food. i work at a shelter and i see constant pain in these womens lives, but that does NOT discount the pain we go through. yes, some people have it worse, but it is still painful to go through the trials we have.

i will pray on the behalf of my best friend. i will be a prayer warrior for her and her family. i will never stop praying for peace of mind, strength, courage, boldness and so on for them. God does have a plan for this pain that they are going through. we might not see the plan right away, but there will be a day where we see why we go through what we go through. it is just the matter of getting to that point and never doubting our great God that we have.

Lamentations 3:19-27

I remember my affliction and my wandering, the bitterness and the gall.
I remember them, and my soul is downcast within me.
Yet this I call to mind and therefore I have hope:
Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed,
for his compassion's never fail.
They are new every morning; great is thy faithfulness.
I say to myself, “The Lord is my portion; therefore I will wait for him.”

The Lord is good to those whose hope is in him,
to the one who seeks him;
it is good to wait patiently for the salvation of the Lord.
It is good for a man to bear the yoke while he is young.

Psalm 23:4

Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I fear no evil, for you are with me;
your rod and your staff, they comfort me.

2 Corinthians 1:3-11

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God. For just as the sufferings of Christ flow over into our lives, so also through Christ our comfort overflows. If we are distressed, it is for your comfort and salvation; if we are comforted, it is for your comfort, which produces in you patient endurance of the same sufferings we suffer. And our hope for you is firm, because we know that just as you share in our sufferings, so also you share in our comfort.We do not want you to be uninformed, brothers, about the hardships we suffered in the province of Asia. We were under great pressure, far beyond our ability to endure, so that we despaired even of life. Indeed, in our hearts we felt the sentence of death. But this happened that we might not rely on ourselves but on God, who raises the dead. He has delivered us from such a deadly peril, and he will deliver us. On him we have set our hope that he will continue to deliver us, as you help us by your prayers. Then many will give thanks on our behalf for the gracious favor granted us in answer to the prayers of many.

2 Corinthians 4:16-18

Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.

remember, God is love.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

goodbye 2010, hello 2011

To say that 2010 was one of ups-and-downs, would be like saying Facebook is 'kind of' popular. All the downs though definitely had their purpose so with that, I close this chapter of my life with hope for an enlightening 2011.

The only thing that could scare me more than the unknowns of 2011, would be to think that a year has passed in which I haven't learned anything.

So here are a few things that have finally started to "sink in" with me this past year:

We will always be let down when we idolize others. I've learned about the dangers of holding people in our lives to a higher standard than ourselves or others, so that when they demonstrate a flaw (which they always, always will) we have only set ourselves up for disappointment. However, it is even more disappointing to see someone stumble when we have put them on a pedestal, assuming that they owe us to be perfect in all aspects of life.
We tend to forget that we will all stumble and fall at some point, and we will need the help of others to pick us up along the way.
Unfortunately, I have only recently started to lean on Faith, and I have to remind myself that if God can forgive my sins and flaws over and over again, than I must strive to forgive others as well. Even more importantly, I have to remember not to pass judgment on other people. I am a hypocrite on a daily basis I suppose, because I struggle every single day with passing judgment on other people. Then I think about what people would find if they looked at my life under a microscope and honestly, it would not be pretty.

I've also learned that sometimes I just need to shut up. I have the bad habit of just lashing out on the people I love and don't deserve it or say something that I inevitably regret and then have to suck up my pride and apologize. Getting control of the tongue and realize that some things I say are very hurtful to the most important people in my life is what I will strive for on a daily basis.

Worrying about what people think is human nature. People who say they "don't care what people think" are probably lying, myself included. I've decided to live my life to make only God, my family, and closest friends proud and in that very order. I think I would be pretty humiliated if God pulled out a list of my rude comments that seemed funny at the time. Believe me, I still think about what I want to say to certain people and because I'm human, there are multiple people that I would like to catch in a dark alley, but I am learning to internalize those thoughts for now. Eventually the act of avoiding judgment should become a habit and my spirit won't be full of bitterness and sadness. The fact is, my opinion of someone else isn't going to change anything, despite what I have always believed. Another resolution? Live and let live.

A huge part of my life that needs some improvement is my appreciation. Sometimes I hear myself complaining about things like my food being under or over cooked, not having a bigger car (when my parents got me a brand new one last summer), or some other meaningless crap. I have to remind myself to stop and look around, and think that there are people in the world with no food, with no home, with no family.
It's easy to assume the grass must be greener on the other side but no one's life is better than your own. Ever. And if it is, no one says it has to be permanent.

Life is not going to slow down for me to catch up, and it isn't going to get easier. But I can't control the rest of the world, and I can't control what happens to me. I can only control my actions and my words. Hopefully, in 2011, my actions and my words will reflect Christ a lot more.

Bring on the New Year!

Remember, God is love.