Sunday, October 6, 2013

The opposite of a bump in the road...

Sometimes God leads me to giant potholes. It's dark and He is my source of light. Taking each step forward is me choosing to trust Him. Then we reach an edge.
|||  edge?  Where did this come from? I thought we agreed God, to live the straight and narrow not the dangerous unknown of scary edges. Edges imply cliffs which = falling. I remember the discussion when I asked you to be Lord of my Life, I do... straight and narrow, walk side by side, fighting crime, you know the normal conversations we all have with Jesus. But this! I do not remember ever agreeing to scary cliffs in the dark.
And then He is silent! He hasn't left me of course, He just isn't talking. It's like He is waiting for me to stop freaking out and continue forward, trusting that He knows what's best for me.
The thing about God is that He is always right. He is good and is never going to lead us off a cliff. People, even those closest to you fail and/or disappoint you somewhere along the line. Not to hurt you but because we are flawed. But Jesus doesn't disappoint. He just doesn't. He may not work in your timing but He is God. He doesn't have to follow your timeline. Yours is flawed, as is mine. He sees what is ahead for all of us. Sometimes it helps me to remember that God prepares us for what's ahead.

For example:
If you were going to run a marathon or fight in a boxing match. Wouldn't your trainer put you through pain, discomfort and exhaustion? Wouldn't you feel beaten down and want to give up? But eventually you feel stronger and you can run longer, and you're not as tired.. Your prepared for the race/the fight. We can't know what we will have to face in the future. Life is really hard sometimes and God is doing what is necessary to prepare us.

The same goes for this edge...turns out it's not a cliff its a pothole. It's a part of the journey. We faithfully step off the edge and touch the bottom almost instantly. Now, the reason for this pothole may be different for everyone however stepping up out of it is pretty much the same.
Depending on how long I stay in this pothole - how long it takes me to get over myself and learn whatever it is God is teaching me - results in how difficult it is to get out of it. Every day I live...I walk with Jesus. If I am in a pothole than all I am doing is walking in circles. My constant circling causes the hole to erode away little at a time. I've realized that if I cling to God and seek His guidance right away (ALWAYS) then my time in this pothole is short and stepping out of it is fairly easy. It's when I try to find my own way out I get deeper into the ground. Soon this small step to get out turns into a wall that seems impossible to climb. And even then, (since I have been there way more often than not) the only way to get out is by turning to The Lord and asking Him to help me.





  pot·hole
/ˈpätˌhōl/

Noun

  1. A deep natural underground cavity formed by the erosion of rock.
  2. A deep circular hole in a riverbed formed by the erosion of the rock by the rotation of stones in an eddy.
    *3. A point in life that requires God's assistance in order to get out and keep going.
Synonyms
hole - pit - hollow



Dear Church, _____ Love, James

    After reading the book of James through a couple times, we see that the letter is addressed, "to the twelve tribes scattered among the nations" (James 1:1). James, the author is considered to be the brother of Jesus. This being the case, the recipients would recognize James as the Head of the Jerusalem Church. First he was a brother who did not believe Jesus to be the messiah (John 7:2-5) then being one of the men whom Jesus appeared to after the resurrection (1st Corinthians 15:3-8) and ultimately becoming a devout follower of Christ and a leader of the church. James writes to the church body as a whole rather than a specific city or congregation. The church at that time was mainly, if not completely, made up of Jewish believers. Reading through James it is evident that our authors purpose is to offer encouragement as well as warning. He seems to clarify and emphasize the importance of works accompanying faith. Faith is the foundation of our walk with Christ, however what is faith without action to demonstrate the Lord's calling on our lives- that we are to be set apart? (Romans 1:1) We see here the importance of action in carrying out the gospel message as well as restraining our tongues in order to bring glory to God. The church is experiencing trials and James encourages them to keep faith in The Lord and to trust that God is working in them patience and testing that their faith in Christ is genuine. He also writes in James 4:14, "What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes," in hopes that we will remain humble. James is expressing the duality that we alone are insignificant without Christ but we must remain mindful that our spirit is also eternal.

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Prayer & Thanksgiving

Recently I have been going through the book of Colossians with my small group at church. I've truly enjoyed hearing the man perspectives and lessons each of the women have extracted from their own reading. Learning with them and from them has been a blessing. The Bible is not just a book about people from the past. It is God's truth, living and active today in our lives. It is another way The Lord reveals himself to us.

Colossians 1:1-29
Thanksgiving and Prayer
The way Paul writes to/about the people of Colosse is encouraging and loving. I want to live in such a way that someone would think of me so highly!
 - Paul thanks The Lord for these people because he has heard of their faith and of their love for one
   another Christians.
- Paul knows that their faith and love come from the hope that is stored in Heaven.
- Since the day Paul first heard about them, he has not stopped praying for them! This is such
  dedication and love!

I want to live my life for Christ in such a way that my actions will express my love for God! ...But then.. I have to check my heart. Do I want others to recognize my love for Jesus in order to bring glory to God, or is it because I want others to perceive me as "good" ... the answer isn't pretty.

I would love to tell you that my motive was always pure and all I wanted was to glorify The Lord.. But it's not 100% true. I'm embarrassed to admit that but I've learned it's always best to be honest with myself and God. The sooner I am, the sooner I can be praying about it and asking God for help in these areas. Of course that does require me to be willing to ask for help..which is another thing I am learning to be better at. Also, God is the ONLY one that can change this messy, selfish heart of mine so I might as well skip all the failed and frustrating attempts to do it on my own and instead go straight to the source. I want my intentions to be pure and to be focused on Jesus, so this has been my prayer this week.

Finished my Colossians study and am enjoying one of the most delcious cups my Chai I've ever had! Portolla people..its so dang good. I'm also rather proud of my latest doodle.