Saturday, December 31, 2011

The End of the Old=The Beginning of the New

For those of you who haven't been enlightened, the world is going to end in 2012. December 21, as a matter of fact. 
Be scared, world! 
     But seriously, this could be the year that the Lord comes back!

     As the end of 2011 speeds up to make it's final lap and on to the finish line, I am so thankful for a God that is faithful. Lamentations 3:22-23 says,

     I'm sure we can all look back over 2011 and see the times when we went through hard trials, and we seemed to have failed. Hard times seem to stick out with us, don't they? They seem to block out the victories we have gained in Christ, and the times He has refreshed us with His Spirit.

     In Lamentations 22-23, you'll see that Jeremiah sounds pretty torn up. He says in  verses 18-20, "And I said, My strength and my hope is perished from the LORD: Remembering mine affliction and my misery, the wormwood and the gall. My soul hath them still in remembrance, and is humbled in me." God called Jeremiah to speak to a people that would not listen to Him. He had been persecuted, and now the bitterness of his soul is poured out.

     December 31, 2011 marks the end of the old year, and the beginning of the new year, 2012. But, like every other year, it won't be perfect. 2012 will come with its own set of trials, temptations, and hard times. You can count on it.

     In verse 21, he says, "This I recall to my mind, therefore have I hope. It is of the LORD'S mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness."
    As we step into 2012, remember, God is merciful, and He is faithful! His mercies are new every morning! It's because of His mercy that we are even still here! Boy, with that promise, who's to worry about Doomsday?

   Have a Joyful New Year!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Sober Thoughts=Sober Subject

     I went on hospital visitation today with my parents. As I sit here staring at the blank page, my mind is full of sober thoughts.

 Hospitals can be happy place or a sad place. Some draw their first breath in it's walls. For some people, it is a place to heal. For others, it's a place to die. As I walk down their spic-and-span corridors, life hangs in the balance on either side, from the soul that is just drawn its first breath, to the oldest patient with alzheiers, at every room eternity hesitates. Will life go on, or will it cease?

     Eternity waits for no one, not for that one lying in the hospital bed, not that person in front of you at Starbucks, and not for that one that comes to your car asking for a handout. Death is no respecter of persons, it takes whom it pleases. That's real talk right there.

     God is Sovereign. He is Love; He took the morbidity out of death for all that will receive Him. But, He is Holy. He will do right by the earth, He will do right by you, and He will do right by that person that has rejected His Son.

     So, seeing as how eternity waits for no one and death is impatient, there is only one question to ask. What are you waiting for? You have one chance. Deuteronomy 30:19 says, I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live."

     Eternal life is inevitable, they place you will spend it is your choice. What will you do, for yourself, and for those around you? Their's and your eternal destiny is at hand. Will life go on, or will it cease?


Monday, December 19, 2011

What I want versus God is good

Enchanting, is it not?
  As I sit in the living room staring at the twinkling, multi-colored lights on the Christmas tree with a crackling fire in the fireplace on this rainy evening in Kansas City, I can't help but thank the Lord that I'm home for Christmas this year. Well, sort of. I still have to work, but I am home for right now. God has truly been so good to me.

     There are times in our lives when we feel like we can't say that God is good. Whether it's just in a brief time of your life where you are feeling blue, (mood swings!), or when tragedy truly strikes, and you are left in the lurch. We all go through both of these times to be certain. Some last longer than others, and some are deeper than  words can express. We find ourselves asking, "How in the world can I truthfully and sincerely say that God is good?" I have had those thoughts myself, even asking myself that same question as joy and enthusiasm spilled from peers that stood up to testify in our student service at Bible school. 

     They say that google can define anything, so typed "define good" into the search box. Two main definition popped up, one being "morally excellent, right, or proper," and "satisfactory in quality, quantity, and degree."

     When we think of good, we tend to think that good means "how we want it," but that is not the true definition. When we say that God is good, we are saying that He is morally right, (He created morals after all), right ("Shall not the Judge of all the earth do right?" Gen 18:25), and proper, (appropriate.) More than that, and more down to where we need it, He is satisfactory. He is everything we need, ("My grace is sufficient for thee..." 2 Cor 12:9)

     What we think is good is not always good, but God is good, so He knows what is good; He knows what is best. So the next time you catch yourself asking "how can God be good," remember that God IS good, even though He doesn't seem to be doing what we think is good. You know what He says in Isaiah 55:8-9, "My ways are not your's!"(Paraphrase) God is good all the times, and all the time, God is good.

     "Truly God is good to Israel, even to such as are of a clean heart." Psalm 72:1

Friday, December 16, 2011

Spiritual Growth (or Shrinkage)

     Christmas is here, school is out for two weeks, the semester is over, (and I survived!), and here I am, with a beast of a textbook for next semester sitting in front of me! What a way to end a semester, right?

     This semester has truly brought a lot of things into my life. I have learned a lot of lessons, and I hope I've grown a little bit. In the Lord, I mean. Not like...THE OTHER way! It's difficult at times to measure spiritual growth, and who is to measure it, anyway? That seems like a silly question, because of course God can! But unfortunately, He didn't leave us a actual measuring stick or ruler with which to measure ourselves. Or did He? 

     There is this one Book that He gave us, a Book that people in the past and in the present gave and continue to give their lives for daily. You all know it, you love it, (or you should!), it's the BIBLE! So what did He say about spiritual growth? What does it took like when we grow spiritually?

Ephesians 4:13 and 15 says, "Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ:  
But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ."

     We are to measure ourselves against Christ. Not by other people or their standards of living, or by our own either loose or strict standards, but by Him. We are to grow, "...unto the measure of the stature...of Christ." The word stature here guessed it, "maturity." Verse 15 says, "...grow up into him in all things."

     So what does it look like when you grow spiritually? You look like Jesus. It's as simple as that, but a warning here. The less you grow, the less you look like Christ. You don't want that, so endeavor to GROW! It is more rewarding than you can imagine! Peace, contentment, all that stuff that makes your life so much easier to live with! ;)

     So, as I get back to my beast of a textbook, have a Merry Christmas! And grow, 'cause if you don't grow, you'll shrink, shrink, shrink!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Week #1....I am actually making it! Haha haha...ha......ha

I have officially gone a week without my facebook. :) In this time I have been really busy, so I haven't had too much time to lament and sit in sack-cloth and ashes and cry, "Woe is me!"

At this moment, I am very glad that I did. It is kind of...freeing in a way. I don't have to get on every 2 hours
and gawk at people's pics and get frustrated at everyone's complaining.

Forgive me. I made myself a promise that I would not use my facebook to complain. Ever. Well, it was sorta a promise. I hope kept it. But I'm not here to talk about facebook, believe it or not. I'm supposed to be taking a break from it.

It has been super hot here in KC this week. People come into Walgreens practically panting. This is how a typical conversation goes.

Me: "Hi! You doing OK today?"
Customer: "Pretty good. Just trying to stay cool. It's hot!"
Me: "Oh I know! I'm so thankful I work in the air conditioning!"
Customer: "Me too!"

I promise you that is what 98% of people say. And me too. =)

So tomorrow is my day off. I hope to get a lot done. I have this To-Do list which mostly consists of staying in contact with people. It goes something like this:

1. Call all grandparents.
2. Call Walgreens in Neosho.
3. Call 2 OBI friends
4. Text 2 OBI friends.
5. Write 1 OBI friend.

Isn't it pathetic how I have to put down a reminder to text someone?!? It is extremely pathetic! I just happen to be a terribly forgetful person.

Only like 6 weeks and 3 days till I go back to OBI! I am super excited!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Goodbye, Facebook! (I'll miss you. )': )

A lot of you, or some of you at least, my have noticed I deactivated my facebook page. Lord willing, it will only be temoporary.
 There are serveral reasons for this action. Yesterday I was reading in the Pentacostal Evangel about David Wilkerson. In the story, he sold his TV, which he used to watch every night from 12:00 am to 2:00 am. He asked himself, "What would happen if I dedicated those hours I watch TV to prayer?" And from that single commitment, his ministry was born. For those who may not know, David Wilkerson is the founder of Teen Challenge. He died in April, but his life and ministry still live on and speak to us me, today.
   Social networking for me, is my downfall, I guess you could say. It's like a habit. No, it is a habit. I do not believe it is wrong by all means, but it is wrong when you put something before God. So, I deactivated it until I can get ahold of myself. It's really sad when something runs your life, besides God.

  There are a few other reasons, but that is the biggest reason.

  So, I don't really know if anyone will read this because not that many people follow my blog, and I can't put it on facebook that I updated it. But I'm not heartbroken or anything. Hopefully I'm going to start blogging more. I like it, whether anyone reads it or not.

So, cheerio, I'm off to go shopping with my aunt and cousin before they leave for Neosho. :)

Friday, June 10, 2011

"Do Better Now, My Child"

"He came to my desk with a quivering lip,
The lesson was done.
'Have you a new sheet for me, dear teacher?
I've spoiled this one.'
I took his sheet, all soiled and blotted,
And gave him a new one all unspotted,
And to his tired heart I cried.
'Do better now, my child.'

I went to the throne with a troubled heart,
The day was done.
'Have a new day for me, dear Master?
I've spoiled this one.'
He took my day, all soiled and blotted,
And gave a new one all unspotted.
And to my tired heart He cried,
'Do better now, my child.'"

     I heard this today on Ravi Zacharias' weekly program "Let My People Think." It really encourages me. I am, by personality, a perfectionist. If I know I can't do it best, I often don't want to do it at all. This poem was written by a teacher, (Kathleen Wheeler), so I can just imagine what senario brought this about. I can just imagine this child, maybe about 6 or 7 years old, hunched over his school desk, his whole concentration fixed on writing his letters on a sheet of paper already blotched by pencil smudges and eraser crumbs. He finally sits up, but instead a satisfied smile, he sighs and slowly rises from his seat and walks toward the teacher's desk. "What will my teacher say?" he wonders. "What will she do to me? Will she punish me? I tried so hard!" But as he approaches her, she looks down into his face. See, his teacher is wise, and she has been watching him. She knows about his struggle in this particular subject, and she knows how hard he has tried. She knows what he will ask before he even opens his mouth. Her hand is ready to give him a new sheet of paper, and even as he speaks, she is drawing the paper out of the box, and reaching out to receive her beloved students work. The anxiety fades from the boys face as he receives a second chance, or maybe this is his third, or fourth. "Do better now, my child." His teacher encourages him.
     Like that little boy, we try so hard to please our Master and Teacher, Jesus Christ. We read in the Bible how He is holy and pure, and we read how we must be like him. 1 Peter 2:21 says, "For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps." We get up in the morning, determinded to do our very best that day to do everything we are supposed to do and, not mess up. Unfortunately, so often our day just does not go the way we want it to go. We don't get half of our to-do list checked off, or maybe we fly off the handle at a coworker, or worse, a family member. Then, at the end of the day, we come before God's throne. We think, "Well, here I am again! Why can't I ever get anything right?  Does it really do any good to try anymore? What will God think of me? Will he be mad at me?"
     1 John 2:1 says, "...And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous:" We come before our Father, knowing our failures, knowing our own inconsistencies and sinful nature, and think, "He'll surely give up on me this time." It feels like that sometimes, doesn't it? However, our Father knows our failures also. He knows what we are going to say before we say it, and He is waiting there for us. He's been watching us throughout our day, He sees how hard we try, and He sees when we fail, but He is always ready to forgive us, and to give us a new day, a second chance. He has given us an Advocate, His own Son. It is by Him that we have second chances. Praise the Lord for his unspeakable gift!

Attitude check?!?!

Tuesday, May 31, 2011 can't think of any other name....blah blah

I've been thinking to myself lately, "I really need to blog." Then again, "I really need to update my blog." So here I am, doing just that! I know that most of you have probably completely given up on me, it being a long, long time since my last update, but here I am. :)
     It's funny how when you are going to speak in front of a larger group of people, say for a devotion, or maybe a speech, you know exactly what you're going to say, and you just cannot stop the flow of thoughts and words in your head right until that very moment when you stand in front of the microphone. Then, in some strange, mysterious way, the microphone literelly sucks every bit of brainpower you have, leaving you with a blank brain. That is how so often how I feel about blogging. I have a lot of ideas and thoughts, but as soon as I sit down in front of this blank page, my brain begins to look the same: blank.
     I know most of ya'll, (the ones that are still with me, that is), have seen bits and pieces of my life of facebook. By the grace of God, I completed my first year of Ozark Bible Institute and College in Neosho, MO. It has been one of the best years of my life, with a lot of hard times packed in with a lot of good, amazing experiences. That is life in general, actually. How would we learn to appreciate the good times? I learned a lot, I laughed a lot, I cried a lot, I prayed a lot, I took little naps a lot, and I stayed up way too late a lot. I gained a lot, and lost a lot. I did things I thought I would never do, and didn't do things I always thought I would do. (This does not include skydiving.) 
     When I went to OBI, I did not really know if I would be going back or not. All I knew was that I wanted to be there. I did not really feel like the Lord "called" me there; I just really wanted to be there. I went wanting to accomplish three main goals:
           1. To get closer to God.
           2. To figure out His will for my life.
           3. To learn more about the Bible.

     I am thankful to say that I accomplished them all, yet, I haven't even scratched the surface of any of them. I cannot cross them off of my life's checklist. Why? Because they can never be completed until my life here is done. That is one of the biggest lessons I learned. I learned that these endeavors are not destinations, but they are journeys.
           1. I will never "arrive" when it comes to getting closer to Him, because I could never, ever reach the end of Who He is.
           2. Discovering God's will is not really all that difficult, it's just saying yes to the Lord every day, doing those little things that He commands and that He lays on your heart. "The steps of a righteous man are ordered by the Lord..." Psalm 37:23.
           3. I think I have taken Nike's slogen for a lot of things lately. "JUST DO IT." Read the Bible, STUDY the Bible, pray for Heaven's sake! (Speaking to myself.)

     Yes, I learned a lot, but I have so much more to go. There are a thousand lifetimes of things to learn of and about God and His Word. "O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out." Romans 11:33
     Not to discourage you! I want to encourage you! Even though His ways are past finding out, they are God's ways, and how do you find out God's ways? By going to God, of course! Remember James 1:5? "If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him." There is no question to the statement, "it will be given him." Just ask! Simple, yet we make it so complicated.

What do you call a writer version of a long-winded speaker? A wordy writer? If ya'll find out let me know. =)

Attitude check?!?!