Monday, May 20, 2013

Which way should I go?

I don't know about you, but I am directionally challenged.
I turn right instead of left. I miss the exit. I get on the wrong highway.
Finding my way around unknown places often creates problems for me.
Not knowing where you are or really where you are going, is not a good feeling.
If you don't know your way, how can you expect to get to the place where you need to be?
Side-note: this past weekend I went on a mini road trip and guess what?
I did NOT get lost AND I didn't even use GPS!
(That was really exciting for me.)
That hardly ever happens though. I digress.
Anyway, finding the right way, staying on the right track, and ending up at your final destination can cause some anxiety (at least for me it does).
This reminds me of scripture.
In 1 Kings, we read a lot about God's ways versus our ways, as well as many other places in the Bible.
1 Kings 11:33 - "...They have not walked in My ways, doing what is right in My sight and observing My statutes and My ordinances..."
It is clear that as humans, we can often ignore God and trek out on our own ways. Where does that lead us though?
If we turn away from God's will and escape from His presence, I think it's safe to say that we will embark on a long, dark road.
Earlier in 1 Kings chapter 11, we read that Solomon turned away from God.
1 Kings 11:6 - "Solomon did what was evil in the sight of the Lord, and did not follow the Lord fully, as David his father had done."
He started to turn to other things to make him happy instead of earnestly seeking God and His will.
God doesn't want us to ignore His ways. However, He is not a puppet master. He gives us freedom to make choices. Of course, He wants us to trust Him because when we do, we bring glory to His name by the way we live.
1 Kings 11:9-10 "Now the Lord was angry with Solomon because his heart was turned away from the Lord, the God of Israel, who had appeared to him twice, and had commanded him concerning this thing, that he should not go after other gods, but he did not observe what the Lord had commanded."
As we live life, it can be hard to stay on God's path because of all the distractions around us. Things like money, jobs, relationships, can distract us from staying in God's direction. Thankfully, God knows that there will be times when we make a wrong turn away from Him, but He forgives us. He is always there waiting for us to direct our lives toward Him.

Isaiah 55:7-9 "Let the wicked forsake his way And the unrighteous man his thoughts; And let him return to the LORD, And He will have compassion on him, And to our God, For He will abundantly pardon. "For My thoughts are not your thoughts, Nor are your ways My ways," declares the LORD. "For as the heavens are higher than the earth, So are My ways higher than your ways And My thoughts than your thoughts."
So what do we do? Do we continue on our way? Or do we stop and redirect our lives toward God?
For me, I would say the latter. I know that I can mess up and make wrong decisions that can lead me down a path that I definitely don't want to go down. I want my life to be aligned with God because when my path is aligned with His path, I know that His glory will be revealed.
If you feel like you are going down the wrong path, ask God to align your life with His will. Pray for discernment and read the Bible to guide you in God's ways.
1 Kings 12:24 "...So they listened to the word of the Lord, and returned and went their way according to the word of the Lord."
If you are following along in the year long Bible reading plan, here is the schedule for this week:
Today: 1 Kings 15-17
Tuesday: 1 Kings 18-20
Wednesday: 1 Kings 21-22
Thursday: 2 Kings 1-3
Friday: 2 Kings 4-5
Saturday: 2 Kings 6-8
Don't forget to pray for the unreached people group of the day!
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Thursday, May 16, 2013

what a waste?

I hate letting things go to waste, especially Mexican food. (I love me some enchiladas...yumm!)
Seriously though, food that is wasted, money that is wasted, talents that are wasted...are not ideal.
Who wants to pay for something for it just to be thrown away?
When I look back on my past, I can think of a few things that seem wasted to me, but then God whispers into my heart and says, "nothing is wasted, my child".
Some have been lost, while others have been tossed out, but that doesn't mean that God can't replace it or renew it.
God can take the leftovers and create something new from it.
Our pain, broken hearts, weaknesses...all of it can be redeemed when we bring it  to God. Nothing is too big for Him.
Nothing is wasted when we give it all to God.
Elevation Worship band sings, "You are loving, You are wise
There is nothing in my life You cannot revive,
You are loving, You are wise
There is nothing too hard for our God
I was also inspired by the song, "Nothing is Wasted" by Jason Gray.
"The hurt that broke your heart
And left you trembling in the dark
Feeling lost and alone
Will tell you hope's a lie
But what if every tear you cry
Will seed the ground where joy will grow

And nothing is wasted
Nothing is wasted
In the hands of our Redeemer
Nothing is wasted

It's from the deepest wounds
That beauty finds a place to bloom
And you will see before the end
That every broken piece is
Gathered in the heart of Jesus
And what's lost will be found again

Nothing is wasted
Nothing is wasted
In the hands of our Redeemer
Nothing is wasted

From the ruins
From the ashes
Beauty will rise
From the wreckage
From the darkness
Glory will shine
Glory will shine."
Check out the music video!
Whatever you may be facing right now, I have confidence that God can bring beauty from your pain. It may take awhile. You may not understand, but
God is big enough to overcome your problems.
Go to Him in prayer...have faith that He will bring you out of the darkness.
Don't forget to pray for the unreached people group of the day!
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Wednesday, May 15, 2013

longing to be home

Hey everyone!
I'm so sorry it's been awhile since I've come to chat with you!
Life sure does get crazy...I'm sure you can agree.

Anyway, I'd like to share my sermon notes from this past Sunday with you!

I don't know about you, but after a long, busy day, I can't wait to be home in my pajamas where I can relax.
There is nothing like being in the comfort of your own home, where you know where everything is and you're free to roam around without a care. 

The sad reality is that not everyone has a place called "home". 
Maybe they have a house, but they don't have a "home".
You see, there is a difference between houses and homes.
When you look up the definition of "house" you will find...
"a building in which people live".
When you look up the definition of "home", you will find...
"a house, apartment, or other shelter that is the usual 
residence of a person, family, or household" and "the place in which one's domestic affections are centered."
A house is simply a building, while a home is where "affections are centered."
A house is cold, while a home is warm and inviting.
A house is empty, while a home is full.

I don't know where you reside, whether it be a house or home or neither, but I do know that God has a home for you. Jesus says, "In my Father's house there are many dwelling places; if it were not so, I would have told you; for I go to prepare a place for you" (John 14:23). You see in the Greek translation, "house" translates to oikos, which means "household establishment".  "Dwelling places" translates to mone actually means "staying, abode". I think it's safe to say that it is in our homes where we stay.
Home resonates within the heart. When I think of my home, I think of my family, my pets, pictures on the walls, and where I am most comfortable. I don't think of the walls or the ceiling, I think of what is truly important to me-relationships.
Here are some quotes from Pastor Kevin:
"When God talks about home, the place He tells us about and calls us toward is a person (Jesus) and a relationship we can share."
"Home is something we truly resonate with."
"Home is where you gain comfort."
"A relationship with God builds a sweet home with you."
"You belong in the home/comfort of God."
"God's love is like a father/son relationship, it is not conditional...there is always a place for you."
I love this verse because it is a great reminder of God's big, loving heart that yearns to be in relationship with us. Each person matters to Him and to prove that, He has prepared a place for each and every one of us. How amazing is that?!
 I hate that I'm late in giving you the schedule for our Bible reading plan, but hey, better than late than never, right?!
Monday: 1 Kings 1-2
Tuesday: 1 Kings 3-5
Wednesday : 1 Kings 6-7
Thursday: 1 Kings 8-9
Friday: I Kings 10-11
Saturday: 1 Kings 12-14

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

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Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Now that I know...

Some of you may know that the past 15 weeks, I've been taking a college class called Perspectives on the World Christian Movement. Honestly, I wasn't really interested in the class, mainly because it cost money to take it and I'm rather...well, cheap. My sister wanted to go check it out and I was willing, because the first 2 classes were free and sure enough, just after sitting in the first class, their trick of luring me in had worked. I decided I would enroll in the class and commit the next 15 weeks to this class, every Tuesday night in hopes to learn some interesting information.

Well, last night was the last class of the course and I not only left the class with interesting information, but a better understanding of God's heart. 
A heart for the nations. 

Yes, as a child, I would sing...
"Jesus loves the little children, all the children of the world. 
Red and yellow, black and white, they are precious in His sight.
Jesus loves the little children of the world."
As I sang this song, I truly believed that Jesus loves every single person in the world, but I didn't realize that He wants me to be a part of His redemptive story by having a heart for the nations.

Now that the class is over and I've racked my brain of all the statistics, where does it leave me?
You would think I'd be at the finish line, with my arms lifted high in the air in celebration of this great course and being done with homework, but I'm not.
In actuality, I'm just at the starting gate. 

With all of this life changing information, I can't simply pass the baton off, but I have to keep running. 
With all of this information, I am held responsible to use it.
The truth is, the world will not come to know the truth of Jesus Christ with the mindset of, 
"well, I'll just sit here and everyone else can get busy telling people about Jesus."
You know why?
Because there is a good chance, a lot of other people are thinking the same thing, leaving no one to make disciples of all nations.

I hope all this doesn't sound like gibberish to you, but the main idea is this:
If we know that there are hurting and lost people out there, searching and longing for hope,
how can we possibly sit idle and do nothing about it?
It's completely different if we don't have a clue about what's going on in the world, but if we do, we are held responsible for doing something about it.
God calls us to love and to serve.

This class has opened my eyes to the importance of reaching out to others, whether overseas or at home, and sharing the hope we so dearly hold onto...Jesus Christ. What a privilege it is to know that God wants me a part of His team. He wants you to be a part of His team, too.

With that being said, I need you to do me a favor. Would you, please?
Will you pray that I hold onto all the information I have learned, instead of it going to waste?
Will you pray that I continue to hunger for God and His glory among the nations?
I would love for you to email me and ask me how my walk with the Lord and my quest to love the nations is going, that way I can be held accountable!

I really appreciate your prayers & accountability, but this isn't all about's about you, too!
Will you declare with me, this.....
"Lord, by your grace and for your glory, I will commit my life to obeying your Great Commission (Matthew 28:19-20 "Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age."), wherever and however you lead me."
We should trust, submit and follow.

The class coordinator warned us the first night of class...."this is going to change your life," and man, was he right! If you are interested in taking this class (which I highly recommend), check out to find a class near you. 

Thank you again for your prayers & accountability!

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

Here are some of my other posts talking about the Perspectives class:

Monday, May 6, 2013

Got my thinking cap on

I don't know about you, but I like to think.
My thinking cap is almost always on.
The 'what-if's  tend to boggle my mind.
The 'I wonder's like to creep in.
The 'I wish's tend to take over.
I mean, I'm not the only one, right?
It's not that I dwell on the past.
I know that the past is past, but when it comes to the future, that's a whole other story.
My mind just loves to jump ahead, but my feet just can't keep up.
I think that's pretty normal for us, human beings.
If only, we could see ahead.
If only, we could find out what's next.
I'm always thinking about the uncertain.
What about you?
I don't think it's necessarily a problem to think about the uncertain future that lies in front of us.
However, when it starts to take over and the thoughts turn into worries, it becomes a problem.
The truth is, God holds us in His hands.
In His hands, not only does He hold our present, but He holds our future.
This truth should create an overwhelming excitement in our hearts that allows us to be certain in uncertainty.

Jeremiah 29:11 - 'For I know the plans I have for you,' says the Lord, 'plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future.'"
If it all depended on me, I wouldn't be able to be confident in the unknown, but knowing that God has it under control is such a relief! I hope this amazing truth gives you relief and creates a yearning to be in God's will, because it is never too late to put your faith in Him!
I love what Oswald Chambers says in "My Utmost for His Highest", "Leave everything to Him and it will be gloriously and graciously uncertain how He will come in - but you can be certain that He will come. Remain faithful to Him."
Don't forget to pray for the unreached people group of the day!

Reading plan for the week:
Today: 2 Samuel 4-7
Tuesday: 2 Samuel 8-12
Wednesday: 2 Samuel 13-15
Thursday: 2 Samuel 16-18
Friday: 2 Samuel 19:21
Saturday: 2 Samuel 22-24
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