Monday, April 29, 2013

Where do you find meaning?

There comes a time when we all try to make sense of our lives.
Maybe it's even multiple times.
However, there are 2 specific times in life when it's hard to figure out our purpose..
after high school before finding a job and during retirement.
These 2 time periods tend to leave people questioning.
It is common to value in our lives by the paycheck we earn, but the Bible doesn't say anything about the dollar amount on a check, defining a person.
God doesn't care what our bank account looks like.
He cares what our heart looks like.
In church,
the main idea of his sermon was...
with the motto,
"The course of a Christian's life is designed by God to give eternal value to earthly work."
and we studied Acts 20:24:
"But I do not consider my life of any account as dear to myself, so that I may finish my course and the ministry which I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify solemnly of the gospel of the grace of God."

Here, Paul was saying that nothing held value in his life other than the Gospel.
Even though he had much education and knowledge, that did not carry the value of his life. All that mattered to him was to be a living testimony of God's grace.

You see, life is not about achievement, education, money, gifts.
Life is about being a living testimony of God's grace and love, so that others may come to know Him. That is where we find value.
Sooner or later, your job will end, school will be over and where will you find your value?

We shouldn't put our value in things that are only temporary, but we should find our value in the eternal which can only be found in God.
Don't you want to make a lasting impact?
Find your value in God and show it.
Use your life as a testimony and share it with others.
That is when you find meaning in life...
when you are putting all your focus on the kingdom of God.

Don't get discouraged and let down if you don't have a is not about making money. Your diploma or paycheck will not give you everlasting satisfaction. You will only find true satisfaction in God's presence.
Get out and volunteer your time to making relationships and sharing what God has done in your life and you will be sure to make an eternal impact. Don't give up, but finish the course God has given you! Keep your faith in God and you will get past any trial.

2 Timothy 4:7 - I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.

Don't forget to pray for the unreached people group of the day!

This week's reading plan:
Today: 1 Samuel 15-17
Tuesday: 1 Samuel 18-20
Wednesday: 1 Samuel 21-24
Thursday: 1 Samuel 25-27
Friday: 1 Samuel 28-31
Saturday: 2 Samuel 1-3
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Monday, April 22, 2013

imperfect people hangout

What is church to you?
Is it a building?
Is it a group of people?
Is it a place where you can lift your hands in praise and worship to God?
Is it a place that makes you feel like an outcast?
Is it a place where you find fellowship with other people who share your same beliefs?
Is it a place where you feel judged for who you are?
Is it a place where you feel welcomed?
I think we can all agree that we have defined church on our own terms based on our experiences.
Unfortunately, if we have had bad experiences in church, then most likely we see the church in a bad light. If that's the case, going to church may not seem appealing.
However, if you've had good experiences in church, then it is safe to say, you are probably willing to go to church, if you aren't already.
For those of you who see church as a judgmental place where you feel as small as grasshopper, let me just say, I've felt that way, too.
Instead of getting angry with the church, vow to never go back, and turn away from your faith, remember that no one is perfect...even church people.
A church building doesn't consist of people who never sin, but is simply made up of imperfect, believers who want to follow Christ with the accountability from others.
No one should be turned away from the church for any reason.
The church should be a welcoming place where people can come together to encourage, motivate, and learn from each other.
It should be a safe place where flaws are welcomed, gifts are used, relationships are made, and all glory is given to God.
Maybe you feel out of place at your church or maybe you've given up on church...perhaps you can try again by keeping in mind, that even church leaders can mess up. Maybe you can visit a new church. Either way, don't give up on faith because of imperfect people.
God hasn't given up on you so don't give up on Him. He wants you to grow in His grace. Finding a church where you feel welcomed, encouraged to use your gifts, and challenged to grow deeper in God's word is an important part of strengthening your journey with Christ so that you will be used by Him for His glory.
Bible Reading Plan
Today: Judges 19-21
Tuesday: Ruth
Wednesday: 1 Samuel 1-3
Thursday: 1 Samuel 4-8
Friday: 1 Samuel 9-12
Saturday: 1 Samuel 13-14
Don't forget to pray for the unreached people group of the day!
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Saturday, April 20, 2013


What a week.
First, the Boston marathon bombing and then the West fertilizer plant explosion.
It's times like these where people wonder, "where is God in all of this?"
I say, God is here.
I say that with confidence because his Word tells us...

"Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.” Deuteronomy 31:6
What a beautiful truth that we should continually hold onto.
I've said before, we don't live in paradise.
Evil, pain, and sin entered the world when Adam and Eve turned away from God.
That doesn't mean that God has left us here to suffer.
God is here in the midst of everything.
We need to look for the light in the darkness.
We need to be the light in the darkness.
I see it in the helping hands of the West explosion.
I see it in the unity of prayer for Boston, our country and our world.
As much as it hurts us to see all the pain and destruction around us, I know it hurts God even more. This isn't how he wanted things to end up.
He intended us to live in paradise with Him, but we messed that up when we wanted the power in our own hands.
Thankfully, God has redeemed us and saved us from this fallen world
that we live in.
Times like these only intensify my excitement for Jesus to come back, set up His kingdom here on earth, and defeat evil once and for all.
So what can we do?
We can pray for God's will to be done.
We pray for God to raise up missionaries.
We can pray for God to give us the motivation & courage to be light in the darkness.
We can pray for God to intensify our hunger to grow in our faith.
We can pray for God to replace our fear with faithful excitement for the return of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
Also, don't forget to pray for the unreached people group of the day!
Update on my Lyme life: I saw my doctor this Wednesday and he wants me to take a break from my treatment for a week. I have mixed emotions- yay! because I get to have a break from A LOT of pills. Nay! because my body has already started feeling worse from the break. However, it just goes to show that my treatment has made me feel a lot better. Once this week is over, I'll start on a new treatment plan that will hopefully push me toward the finish line! OH and  more good news...he took me off an antibiotic that has kept me out of the sun for this past year so I'm SUPER excited that I can be out in the sun and not be afraid of being burnt to a crisp! Wohoo! Always trying to find the good in the bad :)
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Tuesday, April 16, 2013

he's on the prowl

I'm not gonna lie, but I've been dealing with major writer's block lately.
I don't know what's going on, but I do know, my brain hasn't been connecting to my fingers to type out a post for all you wonderful people.
I sincerely apologize.
It's been an interesting few days. I haven't felt good at all physically.
Something happened on Sunday that got me down and I'm trying my best for it not to keep me down (prayers are very much appreciated :).
Good news though, I know God is using it all for His glory.
I know that it will pass, but right now I just have to cling to God and take one step at a time.
One thing that I've really noticed lately is that Satan definitely likes to use our vulnerabilities.
He uses every inch that he can take and he's always on the prowl for more.
1 Peter 5:8 says, "Be of sober spirit, be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour."
He's a sneaky little thing that's for sure.
John 10:10 says,
 "The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I (Jesus) came that they may have life and have it abundantly."
I guess what I'm trying to say is...
don't let Satan use your weaknesses.
Let God use your weaknesses, because when we are weak, He is strong.
Constantly, give it all over to God, because...
Romans 16:20 says, "The God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet."
Since we are of sinful nature, it is easy to fall into Satan's trap, but thankfully with God on our side, Satan is always defeated.

*Oh yeah, God is awesome!!*
Reading plan for this week:
Yesterday: Judges 3-5
Today: Judges 6-7
Tomorrow: Judges 8-9
Thursday: Judges 10-12
Friday: Judges 13-15
Saturday: Judges 16-18
Don't forget to pray for the unreached people group of the day!
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Saturday, April 13, 2013

pursuing me

A lot of people have this preconceived idea that God is distant and we have to work to reach Him. That He is looking down, watching and waiting for us to serve Him, giving nothing in return.
If you feel this way, I hope that I can change your mind.
You see, God made us to be in relationship with us.
He didn't make us only so that we can serve Him so that He can do nothing.
It's not a one way relationship. It's a two way relationship.
First, God loved us. Because He loves us, we love Him.
Since He loves us, He provides for us so that His glory shall be revealed.
Because He provides for us, we in turn should serve Him.
Yesterday, I read Joshua 22-24. I'd like to share with you what stood out to me.

"Then Joshua gathered all the tribes of Israel to Shechem, and called for the elders of Israel and for their heads and their judges and their officers; and they presented themselves before God. Joshua said to all the people, “Thus says the Lord, the God of Israel, ‘From ancient times your fathers lived beyond the River, namely, Terah, the father of Abraham and the father of Nahor, and they served other gods.  Then I took your father Abraham from beyond the River, and led him through all the land of Canaan, and multiplied his descendants and gave him Isaac.  To Isaac I gave Jacob and Esau, and to Esau I gave Mount Seir to possess it; but Jacob and his sons went down to Egypt. Then I sent Moses and Aaron, and I plagued Egypt by what I did in its midst; and afterward I brought you out.  I brought your fathers out of Egypt, and you came to the sea; and Egypt pursued your fathers with chariots and horsemen to the Red Sea.  But when they cried out to the Lord, He put darkness between you and the Egyptians, and brought the sea upon them and covered them; and your own eyes saw what I did in Egypt. And you lived in the wilderness for a long time.  Then I brought you into the land of the Amorites who lived beyond the Jordan, and they fought with you; and I gave them into your hand, and you took possession of their land when I destroyed them before you.  Then Balak the son of Zippor, king of Moab, arose and fought against Israel, and he sent and summoned Balaam the son of Beor to curse you.  But I was not willing to listen to Balaam. So he had to bless you, and I delivered you from his hand. You crossed the Jordan and came to Jericho; and the citizens of Jericho fought against you, and the Amorite and the Perizzite and the Canaanite and the Hittite and the Girgashite, the Hivite and the Jebusite. Thus I gave them into your hand. Then I sent the hornet before you and it drove out the two kings of the Amorites from before you, but not by your sword or your bow.  I gave you a land on which you had not labored, and cities which you had not built, and you have lived in them; you are eating of vineyards and olive groves which you did not plant.’“Now, therefore, fear the Lord and serve Him in sincerity and truth; and put away the gods which your fathers served beyond the River and in Egypt, and serve the Lord." ~Joshua 24:1-14
Did you catch the theme of the passage?
God was basically saying to the people of Israel, "See what I've done for you?!"
Clearly, God pursues.
He is the ultimate pursuer. No one pursues like He does.
He is not a selfish God, but He is a selfless God.
He didn't have to do any of that. The people definitely didn't deserve it, but He did it anyway! His grace and mercy never ceases to amaze me.
Ladies, I'm sure you could agree with me that it's a nice feeling to be pursued. Knowing that a guy is willing to go out of his way to make you feel special is affirming.
Let me say it again, God pursues us.
It's not that we are pursuing God, but He pursued us first.
Isn't that amazing?!
The creator of the Universe is always pursuing you.
He proves this to us by...
1. Creating us
2. Providing for us
3. Most importantly, sending His son, Jesus, as a sacrifice to save us and, through that, offering us eternal life if we believe in Him.
If that isn't pursuing us, then I don't know what is!
In believing this truth, we feel special, loved and excited.  In response, we desire to return the love that He has proven us.
Any other religion would disagree with me.
They would say that God is far and distant, but I say...
He is near and pursuing us.
Look around you and see that God has pursued you.
He has pursued you through the rising of the sun.
He has pursued you through your newborn baby.
He has pursued you through the cross.
Thank Him for all that He has done for you, and let that be the motivation to give your life in service to God.
Check out this song, "He Knows My Name" by Paul Baloche.
Don't forget to pray for the unreached people group of the day!
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Wednesday, April 10, 2013

lessons from Josh

So I just have to say...
I'm sooo sorry that I haven't blogged in awhile!!
I promise I'm going to work on consistency.

in the year long reading plan, we've been reading the book of Joshua.
I'm not sure if you've been reading along, but as I've been reading, I've noticed one major theme in this book. 
You wanna know why?
Because there is one phrase that is repeated over and over again.
(Repetition is a clue for "HEY, this is important!!")

"Be strong and courageous..."

Just in chapter 1, this phrase is repeated 4 times. 4 times! 
Verse 6 - "Be strong and courageous, for you shall give this people possession of the land which I swore to their fathers to give them."
Verse 7 - "Only be strong and very courageous; be careful to do according to all the law which Moses My servant commanded you; do not turn from it to the right or to the left, so that you may have success wherever you go." 
Verse 9 - "Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous! Do not tremble or be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go."
Verse 18 - "Anyone who rebels against your command and does not obey your words in all that you command him, shall be put to death; only be strong and courageous."

So let's think about this...
If we are being told to "be strong and courageous", that must mean that we are doing the opposite. So what is the opposite of this repetitive phrase?

Be weak and fearful.

So raise your hand (not really), if you have ever felt weak and fearful.
Yep, I'm raising my hand (not really). 

Clearly, the world we live in must cause us to be weak and fearful. 

Whether it be my Lyme Disease that makes me weak (literally) and fearful
maybe it's the economy that makes me feel weak and fearful.
There are plenty of reasons that we can feel this way. I'm sure you can list off some.

Joshua was commanded to do a lot of hard things, but just because they were hard or even if he was scared, he still went through with the commands God had given him.
Just like Joshua, we are going to face challenges, but God tells us to...

"Be strong and courageous." 

A lot of times it isn't easy to be strong and courageous, but God promises us that..
He is with us wherever we go (Joshua 1:9)
when we are weak, He is strong (2 Corinthians 12:10). 

With that being said...

Friends, "Be strong and courageous".
You have God on your side!

Check out this song "Courageous" by Casting Crowns! 

Bible reading plan for this week (I know I'm 2 days late, but I'll list them anyway):
April 8: Joshua 9-11
April 9: Josh 12-15
Today: Josh 16-18
April 11: Josh 19-21
April 12: Josh 22-24
April 13: Judges 1-2

Don't forget to pray for the unreached people group of the day!
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Monday, April 1, 2013

Where are you today?

So I guess I'm still on an Easter "high"
 (not candy high either...a Jesus high!) which is a good thing!
I came across this video and I just HAD to share it with you.
It's. Awesome.
I'm not taking credit for it, because it's not mine.
It's from
Please, please, please watch it.
I don't think you'll regret it.
So where are you today?
Where could you be?
Reading plan for this week:
Today - Deuteronomy 24-27
Tuesday - Deut 28-29
Wednesday - Deut 30-31
Thursday - Deut 32-34
Friday - Joshua 1-4
Saturday - Joshua 5-8
Don't forget to pray for the unreached people group of the day!
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