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Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Watching Myself

Alright, so I would love to say that I thought up this wonderful, deep idea and wanted to share it.  Really, that's not true.  I read it.  But it's so good, and I had to comment on it, but I'll probably be including lots of quotes from what I'm reading.

Again, this is from Metamorpha.  I'm so into this book.  Really, not everything in it has me captured, but I like the ideas, and I am impressed.

So I was reading, still in the beginning part of the book, and I see where the author (Strobel), begins to talk about his struggle with prayer.  He says that he wanted to tell somebody about the importance of prayer, but later that night, he had a heart to heart with God.  He says, "I didn't believe that prayer worked."  And he's not saying this because he really believed that prayer was a stupid idea, he was saying that he, personally, deep down, did not believe that prayer worked for him.  And he came to this conclusion; it was not some idea he carried around about the invalidity of prayer.

This really impacted me.  The next quote was so true, and even though it's something I've heard before, it hit me again:
"Finding out what you really believe is simple: look at your life.  Where do you spend the most energy and time?  What actions or practices make up your day?  What's missing?  Suffice it to say there is something profoundly self-contradictory about believing on the one hand that God hears and answers prayer and, on the other, simply not getting around to praying."

How many things do I say that I believe in, that are foundations of my faith, that I don't carry out one hundred percent?  Do I pray about everything in my life that I know I need God in?  Do I seek his face in every area?  Do I consistently look for ways to help others?  These are all things that I have claimed are basic elements of what I believe and have devoted my life to.  But I don't always do them to the extent that God deserves.  Who am I to take away time and dedication from him to do "me" concerned things?  Who do I think I am?
"The only real way to determine my beliefs is to see how I live week in and week out."

I guess I'm on a journey to see what I believe, and perhaps to re-align my actions to follow some of the beliefs that I have neglected.  I'm excited about new chances, the privilege to do work for God, and upcoming relationships to be had and developed.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008


It's funny how much change can do to you.  I have some changes coming up, and I'm so stoked about them that I want to make other changes.  I've updated my iCal, made a hair appointment, bought a cute car decal (which I have yet to put on... but that's coming), updated my budget, made some new resolutions for what I want to do in small group, and scheduled for a nose job.  (Ok, no nose job, but I just wanted one more to kinda send it over the edge).

No, but really, I have had a great learning experience in the last year, and I have come out a new and more humbled person.  I have taken a little time making a change, but I'm excited about it, for all parties included.  It's not fully carried out yet, and it will take some time to prepare for, but I'm glad.  There's a time for everything, and I'm glad it seems to be time for change.  I love it.

Maybe I'm just weird, but change always makes me feel free.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

The way He sees it

So I'm reading this book called Metamorpha.  I've had it for a little while and I just now picked it up as life is starting to regulate itself again.

It's been pretty good so far, and it's already challenging me in some ways.  The first couple of chapters talk about worldviews and the way we should identify our worldview as Christians.  It's been different for me, and it's a new approach.  He focuses on the fact that as Christ followers, we are consistently renewed, and therefore our view of the world and of our God is going to be renewed also.  We are to "deconstruct" our view of church, ministry, culture, life, etc., so that we may allow God to constantly be working on our heart.  At first, this frustrated me a little, because I totally am grounded in my faith and what I know to be true.  How am I supposed to "open my mind" and "deconstruct" my vision every day?  I know what God says about me and about the world, and that's what I believe.  But the deeper I got into the book, the more I started to understand.  Those fundamental views will never change.  And that's not what Strobel (the author) is saying.  What he's trying to get across is the fact that we, as imperfect humans, should understand that our views are fleshy and, well, human.  God's ways are higher, and he is consistently writing a new story for our lives and leading us in new directions.  Sometimes, God might call us to do something a little differently than we thought ministry should be done.  Basically, we can't be afraid to walk out of our comfort zone and do life in a new way.  We can't shy away from having our theories for life and relationships challenged and reconstructed as God works on our hearts daily.  He uses this analogy about marriage, and how when a couple gets married, they have a preconceived notion of how this relationship is going to work out.  But the marriage will either fail or become stagnant if one or both of the people refuse to change their view of marriage and be willing to grow and change in order to love the other person more effectively.  This is how God intended our relationship to be.  When we enter into a relationship with him, we cannot expect to know just what he will ask of us or how he will work through us, though we might have some ideas because of what we want to happen or even some glimpse God has shown us.  But to be fully available for his use, we must be open to maybe realizing that our ways are not always correct or even the only way of doing things.

I actually have more that I've learned from this book, and maybe I'll blog about it tonight, but I have church, and right now, I'm exhausted, hungry, and ready to relax.  So I'll expound more later, but it's about not believing in prayer and other fundamental practices (hmm...).

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Cardboard Testemonies

This is absolutely beautiful.  I know that a lot of people have already seen this, but I felt like I should put it up.  If you don't cry, I don't know what you'll do, but hopefully it touches you.

Friday, September 19, 2008

the Desire and the Power

Work hard to show the results of your salvation, obeying God with deep reverence and fear.  For God is working in you, giving you the desire and the power to do what pleases him.

-Philippians 2: 12-13

I have a bad habit of thinking of myself.  And, no, not in the way you would think.  I think of myself as powerless, unmotivated, and empty.  I have these huge dreams.  I know, I've always known, that God has placed this desire on my heart to write, to do missions, to be used by him in a huge way.  I want to make an impact;  I want to change the world.  I know that, I desire that, I want that with all of my heart.  But I also know myself.  Even though I want these things, I just can't really do them.  I know me, I know the extent of my ability.  Right now, I know that with everything going on in life, I just don't have time to write.  I know that at this stage in my life, I just don't have that much influence to make the kind of change I really want to make.  I know that.  I never doubt it for one second.  Yeah, I might lament over it, it might even make me angry at times, but I know where I am and what I've got in my hands.

And that's what I know when I'm focused on me.  I know who I am.  And I know who I'm not.  And I know the dreams that God has put in my heart.  So, when I focus on him, and forget about me, forget about my past, my ability, my time, my restrictions, then I can.  I can do what he has called me to do.  And I don't have to worry.  I was reading today, and the words "desire and power" totally strung a chord in my life.  I have desire.  I have the biggest dreams I know.  But so many times, I forget who my God is.  I forget what he says about me.  I don't forget what he says about others, or how much he loves the world, I just forget he includes me in his plans.  And when I focus on him, then I can let him focus on me.  I can remember that if he has given me the desire, he will give me the power.  And when I abide in him, he will provide the time, the skills, the opportunities to do exactly what he has put on my heart.  For he says, "It is the same with my word, I send it out, and it always produces fruit.  It will accomplish all I want it to, and it will prosper everywhere I send it."  (Isa. 55:11).  God is completely true.  He is truth, he desires justification, and he fulfills what he says he is going to do.  If I know (and I DO) that God has placed these huge, specific dreams on my heart, then I have to focus on his promise to produce fruit through me as I abide in him.  He did not give me empty dreams, but what he says will always prosper and will aways do what he wants for it to do.  So when I forget about my self and my insuficiencies, then I can get excited, and I can move forward.  I let myself hold back, stay where I am, not move, only because I don't think that I can do anything else.  And I might be right.  But God can do something else, and I have got to get past myself.  He is, and he's bigger, and he is more excited about the dreams he's given me than I am.