Welcome to my blog! Odd title you say? Yes, maybe, but I bet you would agree with me that life is chaotic! I'm mindful though, in the midst of the chaos, of Colossians 3:17 "Whatever you do, do it all in the name of Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father!" I thank God that my life gets to be chaotic...I know that through the chaos He is transforming me to be more like Him!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Flowers or Beans?

I've got three words. Canton. Flea. Market. If those words don't mean anything to you, then my guess is you're not from around here in Mississippi. The Canton Flea Market is an arts & crafts show that takes place in Canton, Mississippi twice a year. This year the event will take place on May 13th and October 14th. With over 1,000 exhibitors and as many as 50,000 shoppers per market, you can tell that it's something we "small town folk" really get into.
There's a few particular vendors that I know will be there every year, and I love to go see what's new! One particular exhibitor is a lady who makes pottery with Scripture. Her stuff is absolutely beautiful! My mom used to buy things from her at the market and store them for gifts throughout the year. When I got married, my mother gave me a piece of this pottery. It's a soap dispenser for the kitchen sink with a scripture from Psalm 24 about having cleans hands and a pure heart. Ha! Pretty clever huh? I love that piece and use it everyday! Shortly after we were married, my mother gave me another piece of this beautiful pottery. It was a short little flower pot, short enough to sit on a counter and she had planted some monkey grass inside of it. Because my green thumb was smashed before I was born, I managed to kill the plant within a matter of a couple of months. This landed this beautiful piece of pottery underneath the kitchen sink in a cabinet. (Yes, the dead monkey grass is still in it! I guess I keep thinking it will miraculously revive itself one of these days...) The point of this story is that while both of these pieces of pottery started out as the same lump of clay, they were molded by the same potter, and they both have amazing beauty one ended up on top of the cabinet on display for everyone to see when they come into my kitchen while the other ended up underneath the cabinet where no one can see it. Now, don't you think that if I asked both pieces of pottery where they would like to be displayed that they would both want to be sitting out on the counter so everyone could see them? I think so. But they both can't. The soap dispenser can because it's purpose is to hold soap by the sink. The flower pot, on the other hand, is holding dead monkey grass right now. It can't sit out on the counter right now. It's purpose was to teach me that if you don't water a plant, it will die! (As if I haven't already learned that lesson enough lately!)

Here's my point. We all want to be like the beautiful piece of pottery sitting by my sink. Why? Because it's sitting out for all to see it's beauty! We all have a desire to be noticed for our talents and abilities. But what happens when the purpose that God wants us to fulfill doesn't allow us to be seen or appreciated by others? Are we still willing to let God use us?

"Isn't it obvious that a potter has a perfect right to shape one lump of clay into a vase for holding flowers and another into a pot for cooking beans?" Romans 9:21 MSG

Do we feel like we have the right to question where God wants us to serve Him? Or do we instead feel like God loves us less or that we are less important because He has called us to serve Him in a place where no one sees what we do and we get no human praise for it? Here's the verse from Romans 9 in it's context:

"Who in the world do you think you are to second-guess God? Do you for one moment suppose any of us knows enough to call God into question? Clay doesn't talk back to the fingers that mold it, saying, 'Why did you shape me like this?' Isn't it obvious that a potter has a perfect right to shape one lump of clay into a vase for holding flowers and another into a pot for cooking beans? If God needs one style of pottery especially designed to show his angry displeasure and another style carefully crafted to show his glorious goodness, isn't that all right? Romans 9:20-23 (MSG)

My natural response to this verse is, "But God, I want to be the vase for holding beautiful flowers! I don't want to be the pot for cooking nasty beans. Can I please be the one especially designed to show Your glorious goodness instead of being the one to show Your angry displeasure?!"

I'm reminded of Job's response to all the bad things he had to experience.

But Job replied, "You talk like a foolish woman. Should we accept only good things from the hand of God and never anything bad?" So in all this, Job said nothing wrong. Job 2:10(NLT)

Here's the thing. Both pieces of pottery are serving their purpose. The soap dispenser is serving it's purpose of providing me soap when I need to wash my hands while being conveniently located on my kitchen counter. The flower pot is serving it's purpose of teaching me the importance of taking care of my plants so they won't die.

God's purpose for us is perfect. He alone directs our paths if we will let Him. Instead of fighting back with Him and questioning what He's doing in our lives, we can submit to His authority and His plan for us. We can trust Him. Even though we may not be completely enjoying being under the counter for a season, God hasn't forgotten about us. In fact, it's all part of His plan. He won't leave us there forever. Just until His purposes are accomplished.

Later in Romans 9 it says, "I'll call nobodies and make them somebodies; I'll call the unloved and make them beloved. In the place where they yelled out, 'You're nobody!' they're calling you 'God's living children'."

You see, the flower pot won't stay under my counter for much longer. Very soon I am going to plant a beautiful new flower in it (hopefully a Gerber!) and set it out on the counter for everyone to see. It will be much more beautiful than it was before when it had the monkey grass. It will be a vibrant new color, with fresh new leaves, and this time I will know how to better take care of it...like remembering to give it water daily!
What is it you are questioning God about today? Is it about where He has you in this season of your life? If so, remember that He planned for this season of your life. He molded you into the person that you are to be where you are right now and to accomplish His purpose. Instead of wasting this time complaining that He has forgotten about you, learn whatever He wants you to learn right now. Do whatever He has already asked you to do. Don't waste anymore time feeling sorry for yourself that you aren't sitting on the counter on display for all to see, because God is working a much greater purpose in you than what you could plan for Yourself. Believe it and walk in His promises today.

Monday, April 26, 2010

God's Spirit vs. My Flesh

Here I am again, in a constant boxing match with my flesh. My flesh wants one thing, & it seems like God is wanting something else. There are sometimes when it's no struggle at all to want what God wants. Actually, that's how I feel most of the time. But then there are the situations, like this one, where it becomes an absolute struggle against my flesh and what I want.

Today in the ring: God's Spirit vs. My Flesh. Thankfully, God knew exactly what I needed to read to get my flesh down for the count. I wrote these verses down this morning from the L3 before I even knew I would need them. Now I really have to let these punches sink into my head and heart.

Right Hook: Romans 8:6 "For the mind set on the flesh is death, but the mind set on the Spirit is life and peace." Why do I want to fight for something (my flesh) that is only going to lead me to death spiritually? Instead, I have to set my mind on the Spirit because that's the only way to life and peace.

Left Hook: Romans 8:8 "Those who are in the flesh cannot please God." Well, it doesn't get more clear than that one. In my flesh, I am not pleasing to God. That reminds me of Hebrews 11:6 that my small group and I talked about yesterday. "Without faith it is impossible to please God."

Cross Punch: Romans 8:14 "For all who are being led by the Spirit of God, these are the sons of God." When I am led by the Spirit, I am walking in my rightful role of being a son (daughter) of God. When I am walking in my flesh, I am not living as a son or daughter of God.

Uppercut: Romans 8:15 "For you have not received a spirit of slavery leading to fear again, but you have received a spirit of adoption as sons by which we cry out 'Abba Father'!" I have been set free from the slavery of my flesh. I now have the ability to let go of my wants and desires, in order to receive what God has for me. He is our Abba Father, our "daddy."

Jab: Romans 8:24-25 "Who hopes for what he already sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, with perseverance we wait eagerly for it." My sister posted a quote on Facebook yesterday that said, "Hope is believing God can, Faith is believing God will." My small girls and I talked yesterday about FAITH is when you are "Fully Acticipating It Totally Happening." I need to stop trying to believe in what I can see. Right now, what I see God doing in my life isn't making any sense to me. But I have to have faith in His promises. I have to hope for what I cannot see right now.

Half Hook: Romans 8:26 "In the same way, the Spirit also helps our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we should, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words." For me, this morning, this verse meant so much. The Spirit can help me in my weakness if I will let Him. It's so true. I don't know what in the world to pray right now! But this verse shows how compassionate and full of love our God is towards us. The Holy Spirit intercedes for us, but not just flippantly. He intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words. What love! He feels our pain and confusion. He knows how badly I am battling my flesh right now. He is praying for me.

Cross-Counter Punch: Romans 8:35,37-39 "Who will separate us from the love of Christ? Will tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? No, but in all these things we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord."

There is nothing that can happen in my life that can separate me from the love of God. His love for us is so strong and so deep. I can trust someone who loves me that much. I can trust Him to have complete control of my life. Even though I don't understand what He is doing right now, I can have FAITH in His promises because He loves me, He is praying for me, and He will accomplish His purposes for my life. When I set my mind on the Spirit instead of on what my flesh wants, it will lead to life and peace and it will be pleasing to my God.

Those are fighting words. But the only way to fight and win these kind of matches between the flesh and the Spirit is to take off the boxing gloves, lay them down, and surrender to God.

God, I am setting my mind on You today. I will walk in the Spirit. I will trust You. You are working out a plan for me right now that is greater than what I can see with my eyes or what I could imagine in my mind. I am Fully Anticipating It Totally Happening!

Thursday, April 22, 2010


Abraham...boy what a character. What faith! I'm thinking about Abraham today because of what I read in the L3 this morning. In Romans 4:18-22, talking about Abraham it says, "In hope against hope he believed, so that he might become a father of many nations according to that which had been spoken...without becoming weak in faith he contemplated his own body, now as good as dead since he was about a hundred years old, and the deadness of Sarah's womb; yet, with respect to the promise of God, he did not waver in unbelief but grew strong in faith, giving glory to God, and being fully assured that what God had promised, He was able also to perform. Therefore it was also credited to him as righteousness."

This dude really makes me look bad. Especially when you take in account everything he went through...

The first we hear about Abraham in the Bible is in Genesis when it starts listing the geneology after the flood. Yeah, you know, those verses that you usually skip when you're trying to "read through the Bible in a year." Abraham was a descendent of Shem. You remember Shem, Hem, & the odd-ball, Japeth? Noah's sons? They had just survived a flood that wiped out the entire world. Then they were told to multiply and God scattered them across the the face of the whole earth because they couldn't stop arguing over whether or not they could build a tower tall enough to reach up to Heaven. Really? Hello, flood is over, you all have families now, it's time to get a J-O-B. Anyway, several hundred years later, a man named Terah had three sons, one of which he named Abraham. (They desperately needed a baby name book back then or at least to glance at the Forbes Top 10 Best Baby Names List for 500 B.C.) Anyway, Abraham married Sarai, and she was unable to have children.

Now there were those couple of times that Abraham lied about Sarai being his wife to keep himself out of trouble, but other than that, this man seemed to be almost perfect. Well, there was also that time when he slept with his maid at the request of his wife...so maybe he wasn't perfect. At least when it came to his faith in God it seemed that way.

In one incident, Abraham and Lot (his nephew who hung out with him because his own dad had died) had to find a new place to live. They had so much livestock that they couldn't live together in the same town (weird, I know. How many sheep and cows can one person have?) so they had to go separate ways. They came to a fork in the road so to speak, and one way was plush green pastures, the perfect place to establish a home. Abraham, being perfect as he was, decided to let Lot choose the way he wanted to go first. Lot, of course, decided to choose the pasture land, while Abraham was content to head in the opposite direction.

Then, there was a instance where Abraham was offered all kind of goods, but he wouldn't take them for fear that glory would be taken away from God. (Come on, dude, where's your selfishness? You're making me look bad!)

Then, of course, the time when God chose to reward Abraham for his faithfulness by telling him that his descendents would be more numerous than the stars in the sky. He also told Abraham that he would be the father of many nations, and that He would establish a covenant between Abraham and his descendents forever. This didn't make sense to them at the time since Sarai was not able to have children, so there was the time when Sarai tried to take matters into her own hands by having her husband have a child with another woman.(That always works well...) That didn't turn out so well with Sarai, but God took care of the situation and blessed that child and his mother.

Then the time finally came for them to have a child...when Abraham was 100 years old! (Talk about a news story!) But it doesn't stop there. When his son, Isaac was a little older God commanded Abraham to take Isaac and sacrifice him as a burnt offering to God. Now this is the point where I would've said forget it! "God, I'm done with you. I've got what I need, no thanks." But not Mr. Perfect, of course. He believed that God had a plan that was bigger than his. He knew what God had promised him. He knew that God would be faithful then as He had been before. And as always, God provided and Abraham did not have to sacrifice his son. Abraham lived to be 175 years old!

All of these things and more are what landed Mr. Perfect in the Hall of Fame in Hebrews 11:17-19.
"By faith Abraham, when he was tested, offered up Isaac, and he who had received the promises was offering up his only begotten son; it was he to whom it was said, 'In Isaac your descendants will be called.' He considered that God is able to raise people even from the dead, from which he also received him back as a type."

This got me thinking...what will people write about me when I'm gone? "By faith, Heather, when she was tested _________..." or maybe "yet, with respect to the promise of God, Heather did not waver in unbelief but grew strong in faith, giving glory to God..."

Ouch. Lately it's been more like "Lacking faith, Heather, when she was tested screamed, cried, and stomped her feet in frustration and decided to take matters into her own hands..." or "yet, with no respect whatsoever to the promises of God, Heather continued to waver in unbelief not allowing God to strengthen her faith, and trying to take some of the glory for herself..." Double Ouch. That's definitely not the kind of legacy I want to leave, and that's not at all the kind of example I want to set. The truth is though, that's what it looks like when I doubt the faithfulness of my God.

I was encouraged this past Sunday at church when our pastor preached from Revelation 20 about the Judgement Day that will come after Jesus returns. He talked about how we will be judged according to the deeds we have done, both good and bad. Both great and small. We will have to give an account for those actions. While I haven't really studied about the Judgement Day as much as I would like to, I do know this. I don't want to have to stand in front of my God at Judgement Day and have Him ask me why I couldn't just trust Him. I don't want Him to ever have to show me what could have been if I would've not taken matters into my own hands. I want instead for Him to be pleased with me, and for Him to get glory out of my life. And for this reminder today, I have Abraham to thank. He set an amazing example for us to follow.

In other news, I just went to get a load of clothes out of the washing machine, and I discovered that I washed our dustpan. How in the world these things happen to me, I'll never know! Apparently while I was picking up some more clothes to put into the washing machine, the dust pan fell in, I threw clothes in right on top and never saw it. The dustpan managed to escape the scene with only minimal water damage. Hmm...maybe I'll host a 5K to help me raise money for a new dustpan...

Wednesday, April 21, 2010


I just wanted everyone to understand this difficult battle that's going on in my life right now when it comes to taming my sweet tooth. I told you yesterday that I was trying to opt for fruit instead of the ice cream...well, last night I did have an orange, but I'm pretty sure it was canceled out by the piece of oreo pie that I ate. (My husband made it! I had to try a piece so I wouldn't hurt his feelings!) Anyway, then I dreamed last night that we ate the oreo pie and THEN we went to Baskin Robbins too! Unfortunately it was only a dream...Then today when I went to get the mail from the mailbox...this was in it!

I personally think it's a sign from God telling us that Baskin Robbins really is a healthy part of our diet. Bryant said it might be the devil tempting us, but I said nah! Either way, we're keeping the coupons! And next Wednesday, at all BRs it's 31 cent ice cream scoops! Don't ask me how I know this, I just do! I'm telling you, I'm in a bat-tle! Thanks for letting me vent.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Random Thoughts...

My husband and I attended a rehearsal dinner for a wedding this past Friday night, no joke, someone had taken every photo the bride and the groom had ever taken of themselves and put them to music. They had 6 videos!! I'm not even kidding! At aleast one of the picture videos had more than 1 song! We had to just sit and watch 5of the 6 videos in a row. This was after already arriving to the dinner later than scheduled, waiting another 30 minutes for the guests of honor to arrive, and waiting as they sent someone to get a computer that would actually play the video dvd. Fortunately for us, the 6th video didn't work at all...I think I might have had to shoot myself in the foot if it had. We started the night with the 5:30 rehearsal and got home after 11. My husband then had to arrive at the church the next day at 2:30 for a 6pm wedding! Needless to say, our weekend was pretty much shot. (Like I would have like to have been during those videos!) At least I got 2 new dresses and some new shoes out of the deal! : )

So thanks to my husband, I have developed a sweet tooth for more than candy. Before we were married, I rarely ever wanted to eat cakes, cookies, or ice cream. Now, thanks to him, I am finding it harder than ever to stay away! My latest addiction is this:

Baskin Robbins rainbow sherbert! It's the best and we have been giving the Indians a lot of money lately!! Not only that, but the crazy part is we have 2 Baskin Robbins opening up just down the road. Unfortunately, they aren't open yet so the closest one is about 15 minutes away from us! But that doesn't stop us...no sir. This is how much we are devoted to getting this stuff! It's bad. In fact, yesterday we were supposed to workout together after work. Instead, we found ourselves driving home last night with ice cream in hand asking ourselves..."how did this happen?" We are vowing to grab a piece of fruit tonight when the craving hits. I'm not sure how it will work though. I'm already thinking about making an oreo pie. Hmm...maybe he's not all the problem.

In other news, we bought some plants since it's spring and all and that's just what you do...haha. No, we really did want to add some color. The plants we planted last year died. I think we killed them before we even planted them. So this year, we get to start all over. So we found these really pretty flowers to hang on the front porch...

Pretty right? Except for when we came home the next day, they looked like this...

It's so sad. We try to have pretty flowers. It was a nice thought. Actually though, we watered them and they were revived! I think we got the super flowers! Yay! However, the ones by our front door, I guess we are just going to have to replace...who knew that you actually had to water them??

Yep! They are brown. Officially dead. Looks like we're headed back to the shrub section of Lowe's to spend more money...And the green thumb award goes to The Mays! We bought some flowers for our backyard yesterday. We walked around looking at so many different kinds of flowers and could almost hear them saying, "No, not me!" We found some and took them home though. So far, so good. Only been a day though. I'll let you know how they turn out.

Enough of my random thoughts for today. I could probably keep going except for Bryant and I are heading outside to get some exercise (so we can have our dessert later)...

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Things I Learned About Myself

I'm so excited today! It's my favorite day of this week! Not just because the weather is beautiful either...it's because my sweet husband is coming home today! He has been in Destin at a staff retreat (grr). Not only did he leave me, but he left me to go to the beach & didn't take me with him! It's been such a long week...this is the first time we have been apart for that long (4 days) since we were married 17 months ago! In the midst of missing him this week, I actually learned a lot about myself!

First of all, I learned that I don't like staying at home by myself. I kind of already knew this heading into the week, but this week I eliminated any doubt! I promise we never have random, strange noises when he's home! Which leads me to the second thing I learned...

I don't like scary noises. Why does the ice maker in the fridge have to sound like something from a star wars movie?! And why do animals wait until after dark to start making their noises?! Which leads me to the third thing I learned...

I don't like being in the dark. In fact, I never was in the dark the whole time he was gone! Left the lights on 24/7! (Sorry babe, I'll go ahead and apologize in advance for the electricity bill...but it was worth it!) If you've ever had to stay by yourself when you're not used to it...you understand that one!

I don't enjoy having to keep myself company. I'm a pretty boring person when I'm by myself. I don't like not being around people. I really don't know what to do with myself when it's just me and...well, me. Of course there are many things that I COULD HAVE and SHOULD HAVE been doing...but nothing that I wanted to do at home by myself!

I don't enjoy killing bugs. Seriously, I returned home after dropping Bryant off to leave for his trip and I bet I wasn't home 15 minutes before I spotted one of those stupid long-legged bugs that fly! "Really?!" I thought. "There is no way I'm leaving that bug there for 4 days!" (That's what I usually do when I find a bug at home and Bryant's not there...put a cup over it and leave it for him to find when he comes home!) So I mustered up the courage, grabbed the broom, and beat the bug to death, literally. Then got the dust pan and swept it up and threw it outside. Seriously, you can't understand how huge this was for me! I was proud...but I'll be okay to surrender the bug killing responsibilities back to Bryant when he gets home.

I don't like having to make sure the doors are locked at night. Does this bother anyone else? Locking the doors...setting the alarm...those are boy jobs...right? I remembered to do it, but mainly out of fear that someone was going to come in my house and get me if I didn't! (Since we have that problem a lot...not.)

I don't enjoy taking out the trash. I remember during marriage counseling having the discussion about household responsibilities. I also remember Bryant volunteering to be the "take out the trash guy." What I don't remember is discussing what happens when he leaves to go on a trip...Who takes out the trash then? Certaintly not me! My husband loves the surprises that await him when he returns home!

It's no fun to cook for one. Meals for one are boring. It's seriously not worth my time to prepare a fabulous meal just for myself. So I have been eating my meals out, with company because you know I don't want to have to entertain myself...I already feel like I've gained 10 pounds!

When the husband's away, the wife will play! I treated myself to a pedicure on day 1. New make up on day 2. Sleeping late on day 3. And shopping on Day 4! I also had a fabulous sleepover with some pretty special girls and got very little sleep. Splendid! I'm pretty sure all these things helped take my mind off of the fact that Bryant wasn't here with me!

The most important thing I learned while he was away was how much I couldn't live without him! I can't imagine me having to kill bugs and take out the trash! No, seriously...he is so perfect for me. He is the one that God brought into my life, no doubt, to be with forever. There's something in me missing when he isn't here. I love him very much. Before I stop with the mushy...I have to tell you that my sweet husband left me notes and candy hidden all over the house for me to find everyday while he was gone! So sweet! I'm not sure what I did to deserve him! And I will be completely okay if he doesn't leave me again to go on any more trips...I'm not sure I can stand to learn much more about myself!

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Elah Sh'maya V'Arah

Confused. That's the word that best describes me today. What in the world is going on in my life? It seems like craziness. There are so many unknowns. I also found myself today slipping back into seeking God for answers instead of just seeking Him. There are a lot of things right now that I'm trying to figure out. I'm thinking, "God, I don't see how you're going to do this." Right now, I want to figure it out for myself and when I try to do that, it just seems like there's no way. But I love that God never gives up on me. He is so patient with me. He always pursues me in getting me to trust Him! I love that about Him! The devil trys to tell me that God doesn't care about me and about my dreams and passions. Ha! If God didn't care about me, why would He keep revealing Himself to me? Here's what He showed me today about my situation. But first I've got to tell you HOW He showed me.

I am a fan of Twitter. Love it. I'm not sure why anyone else in the world would care what I am doing every hour of the day, but I guess it's the same reason I care what almost 100 people are doing every hour of the day. I'm nosy. One of the people I follow on Twitter is the Pastor of Northpoint Church in Atlanta, Andy Stanley. Yesterday he tweeted this: "word of the day: Maya" I read it and thought it was interesting, but didn't think much about it right then. So this is what happened. This morning while the devil was trying to tell me that there is no way in the world God can work all this out in a good way, God reminded me of that tweet. "word of the day: Maya" and told me to look it up. "Umm...okay, God. Sure. Whatever..."

So I googled it and found a lot of stuff about the Mayan people and the Hindus, and mysticism blah, blah, blah...

Me: "Okay, God. You want me to study the Mayan people?"
God: "No, keep looking."

Me: "Okay, there's an article here about how the Mayans predict that the world as we know it will end in December of 2012...is that it?
God: "Haha, no, definitely not. Keep looking."

Me: "Okay, is that word used in the Bible somewhere?"

So I googled Maya in the Bible and it gave me a link to download the Mayan Bible...they think they know when the world will end AND they have their own Bible?! Who are these people?! Definitely don't want to download that...
God: "Look at the bottom of the page..."

And there it was...under names of God...Elah Sh'maya V'Arah. (I think God absolutely gets a thrill out of sending me on wild goose chases...He does this ALL THE TIME! But I love it! It's fun! Especially when He reveals Himself so much through it!)

This is what the link said...Elah Sh'maya V'Arah: The God of Heaven and Earth. The Mighty One is the ruler over the entire universe. There is nothing that is not under His power.

So let's do a little recap...
The devil talking to me this morning: "There's no way God can do that, it doesn't make sense."
Me: "God's not going to do it (losing faith). There's no logical way. Maybe I should just give up."
God: "I am Elah Sh'maya V'Arah: The God of Heaven and Earth. The Mighty One is the ruler over the entire universe. There is nothing that is not under My power."

God, thank you for pursuing me. I am overwhelmed by Your love. Even when things don't make sense and my faith turns to doubt, You step in and reassure me that You are in control. There is nothing that is not under Your power. I can be confused, but thank you that Your ways are higher than our ways, and yes...I love the wild goose chases through twitter and google...You are so much fun!

Monday, April 5, 2010

Seek Him, not Answers

I'm blogging this morning from a local cafe that has become my favorite breakfast spot. Perhaps one of the neatest things about this place is that they let you drink coffee out of a mug...so fun! I just finished my granola parfait and reading through John 14, our L3 reading for today. Thankful today that I don't have to go to work and I have the opportunity to just sit and wait for God to speak to me, there's nothing like it!

John 14:21
"He who has My commandments and keeps them is the one who loves me, and He who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love Him and will disclose Myself to Him."

So...this is the thought that hit me after I read this verse. It hit me so hard I had to immediately write it down, and it's this: Don't just seek answers from God, seek Him! One way we do that is by following His commands.

There are a lot of unknowns right now in my life, and believe me I have been seeking a lot of answers from God lately! I have even found myself thinking that my efforts to keep God's commands are in vain because I haven't gotten the answers I was looking for. But am I keeping His commands to get something from Him? Am I trying to keep His commands to find out what I am supposed to do with my life, or simply because I love Him and desire to show Him love through my life? According to this verse, if I keep His commands He promises that He will disclose Himself to me. He doesn't promise that if I keep His commands and love Him that He will give me the answers I am looking for, but that He will disclose Himself to me! In other words, I will learn more about Him, about who He is. And you can't learn more about Him and not grow to love Him more!

But what about the answers I need? What about the questions I needed to have answers for yesterday? Trust me, I have lots of those too! But check this, if this verse is true and the Bible is true and God loves us as much as He does. Why do we think He isn't going to take care of His children?

Matthew 7:9-11
"Which of you, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!"

God knows what we need, and He has promised to lead us if we are faithful to Him and obey His commands. He desires to give good gifts to His children, but that doesn't mean that He will do the things we ask. He knows what's best for us, and we can trust Him. He has promised to never leave us or forsake us.

So...let's stop seeking answers from God, and let's just seek God. Let's obey His commands and let Him teach us more about Himself! In my life right now, that means not worrying about what to tell people when they ask me what I'm supposed to do with my life. If God wanted me to know right now, He would tell me. It's not my job to have an answer for other people, it's my responsibility and my joy to serve my God, wait for Him, and seek Him while He may be found.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Sunday's Coming!

Today is the day in between Good Friday and Easter Sunday...it's Saturday. It was spent taking care of last minute preparations for Easter and a family picnic at the park. But not lost in all the activity is remembering the way those that were close to Jesus at the time of His death must've felt. My father-in-law rode in a biking event today called "Silent Ride for Jesus." Bicyclists rode in complete silence in rememberence of the silence and hopelessness that existed after Jesus' death. Pretty cool way to remember Jesus on this Saturday.

I love the fact that on that Good Friday and Saturday...they didn't know Sunday was coming! They didn't know that all hope wasn't lost! They didn't know the hope that was to come! It was Friday...but Sunday was coming!

That's what I love about Easter! It means that forever and ever there is hope for us. We are never without hope. Even when we feel like God isn't hearing our prayers, even when we don't know what to do...we have hope! Sunday is always coming! It will never stay Friday forever...Sunday is coming!

Thank You Jesus for giving us hope in You! Thank You that You endured Friday and Saturday for us, but thank You most of all for Sunday! I'm so excited to celebrate Your ressurection tomorrow! God, please help many people understand Your love for the first time tomorrow!

Thursday, April 1, 2010


It's nearing the end of holy week. I always feel like I haven't done enough to prepare myself to really remember the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross. Our church put out a booklet for this week, with Scriptures to read everyday. We began the week remembering that we are God's special and unique creation. He created us in His image. Then we moved on to the fact that God is so big and huge, He created the universe! Yet, He chose to make us, delight in us, and send Jesus for us. We've been focusing on the realization that Jesus gave Himself up for us...willingly. Wow, amazing.

Tonight, we will be having a Tenebrae service at Pinelake. Ten-a-bra-what? You might be asking...yea, that's what I thought when I first heard of it this time last year. The word Tenebrae is Latin for "shadows" or "darkness." It is also called a service of shadows for this reason. It sounds kind of morbid traditional, I know. The service is a gradual extinguishing of different candles after a portion of Scripture is read. At Pinelake, the verses will be on the screen after we take communion together, so the verses are read in silence. At the end of the 45 minute service, everyone leaves in silence. This is so different than any other thing we do at Pinelake, but I think it's so good to make yourself quiet down and meditate on these verses as gradually the light from the candles go out, leaving complete darkness and silence.

This is what everyone that was close to Jesus must've felt at that moment. Hope seemed to be extinguished. Gone. Forever. Everything they had built their life upon, the person they had given up their old life to follow...dead. Our Savior...hanging on a cross, unrecognizable. Will my heart ever really, truly be able to feel that agony of losing all hope? I don't know that it will because I have grown up knowing the wonder of the cross. I wear one around my neck, on my fingers, on my clothes...but how often do I stop to make myself feel what these followers of Jesus must've felt?

That's why I'm excited about these last few days of holy week leading up to Easter! We are having a prayer experience at our church all day tomorrow also, if you're in the area you should try to come! It's open to everyone! It's a video prayer experience that will help you try to understand the magnitude of what our Savior did for us on the cross. It's from 6 until 7 tomorrow, a half-hour experience starting at the top of each hour. I will try to post some thoughts about it after I attend tomorrow. I want to leave you with these lyrics from a song that we sang this past Sunday at church that I cannot get out of my head...and I don't want to! The song is by Vicky Beeching called "The Wonder of the Cross."

May I never lose the wonder,
The wonder of the cross.
May I see it like the first time
Standing as a sinner lost,
Undone by mercy and left speechless,
Watching wide eyed at the cost.

May I never lose the wonder,
The wonder of the cross.

God, help us see it like the first time...before we got used to it! Help us remember what it was like to understand for the first time as a sinner lost...undone by mercy...completely speechless! Teach us during these next few days Father!