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Colorado, United States
"I'm in love with God. God's in love with me. This is who I Am, this is who I'll be; that settles it."

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Love Has A Face.

Love has a face.
This is it.

Love is defined as: a profoundly tender, passionate desire or affection; wholehearted liking for, or pleasure in, something or someone. Think of this definition…as the face of Jesus Christ, of Nazareth.

                 For instance, take the Father heart of God. Is He not ‘profoundly tender’? Think of this in example of a little girl with her daddy. Imagine this little girl learning to ride her bicycle; she’s doing well, and her daddy standing not too far behind her, cheering her on. She falls; not two milliseconds after, her daddy picks her up as she’s crying from a skinned knee, and he comforts and smothers in profound tenderness. Now, imagine this for yourself in real life. Say you’re struggling with something in your life [I won’t list examples, as I don’t know your background], and you feel like after all this hard work to try to acquire something, you feel that you’ve failed, and you have fallen. You’ve “skinned your knees” in some way. On the inside, you’re hurting, and you’re hurting bad. You feel as though you’re the only one going through your particular situation. But your Profoundly Tender Father is right there! He’s inviting you to come sit on His lap and hug and cuddle with Him!

                Passionate desire or affection: the first story that comes to my mind is when Jesus walks up to the Samaritan woman at the well. How, despite the way life was back then, and how different the Jewish culture from the Samaritan culture, Jesus felt this passionate desire to tell this woman who He was; Jesus felt affection for this woman, and wanted to reveal His perfect love to her. In her situation (mind you, she was what we would nowadays call a prostitute), for Jesus, the King of Kings and Lord of Lords, to come up to her, (of all the people in the world…an adulteress) was monumental. Jesus’ love was so heartfelt, and moving, that by Him just asking for a cup of water to drink on a hot day, changed her life forever.

                Wholeheartedness. What do you think of when you think of being wholehearted? To be wholehearted is this: “fully or completely sincere, enthusiastic, energetic, earnest, etc.” Is there anything in your day to day life that you feel ‘fully or completely sincere’ about? But think about this: Jesus is fully AND completely sincere (and any other positive, love-minded word you could ever think of) about YOU.

                If we were to really come to terms with this reality, our lives would never be the same. To know deep down in our hearts that Jesus is after our hearts; our love, our life, our time, our emotions, our ups and downs, etc. When we live knowing that Jesus is fully and completely sincere, and passionate with desire and affection for us…this is what would set us apart from everyone else. Now, think of what Jesus feels when we briefly glance at Him. When that person you have a crush on looks at you, and you feel like you just ate an entire pavilion of butterflies? Times that by infinity, and that’s how Jesus feels about you when you look at Him (for example) two seconds. Imagine the overwhelming emotions He would feel for you if you never took your eyes off of Him! Can you imagine anything greater that to be full of passion, or wholeheartedness towards one thing or person? I can’t…but that’s how it would be for Him if we were to love Him rightly.

                To think that we, while we were still yet sinners, hated Jesus. I can’t even imagine it, to be honest with you. To think that if I were the only person on the earth today, that He still would have died on the cross? I can hardly bear the thought. The only bit of love that I can barely muster up to give to Jesus moves His heart. And it takes so much for me to be able to accept that in my weakness, He loves me even then. There is nothing that I could ever do or not do that could make Him love me less. His love saved my life.

Love, “a profoundly tender, passionate desire or affection; wholehearted liking for, or pleasure in, something or someone”, saved my life. This a profoundly tender, passionate desire or affection; wholehearted liking for, or pleasure in, something or someone, is Jesus.
I pray for the day that you feel this love pour over your mind, your body, your spirit, like a waterfall. I did, and it has changed my heart forever.
Love has a Face. Love has a Name. The Man who Loved us so much as to die for us? Don’t you forget that face.

Friday, October 7, 2011

The Beatitudes Pt. 3: Blessed Are The Meek...

Matthew 5:5 reads:
Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.”
Believers are to be those who refuse to use their own strength to attain ‘good’ in this life. We are to walk humble both with man, and with God. This is the spinal cord of spiritual poverty. By thinking we can gain ground by our own actions and strength, we encourage our human pride to get the best of us. Rather, we are to rely and lean on the Lord. This is the only way we will ever ‘inherit the earth.’
Meek is defined as ‘humbly patient; gentle, or kind’.  To be meek is to not struggle with pride…
Think of a few people that you could look up the word ‘meek’ in the dictionary and find a picture of them right under the definition. Chances are they don’t have a huge problem with their human pride.
To be prideful is to constantly feel as though you’re the top-dog. The definition of pride is this: ‘a high or inordinate opinion of one’s own dignity, importance, merit, or superiority, whether as cherished in the mind or as displayed in conduct.’ With all the miracles Jesus did, and what He did on the Cross for us, did we ever see Him portrayed in the Gospels as being proud, according to this definition? I can’t say that there was ever a time that He was.
For example, in Matthew 27:11-14…
Now Jesus stood before the governor; And the governor asked Him, saying, “Are You the King of the Jews” Jesus said to him, “It is as you say.” And while He was being accused by the chief priests and elders, He answered nothing. Then Pilate said to Him, “Do You not hear how many things they testify against You?” But He answered him not one word, so that the governor marveled greatly.
And then later, we see Jesus being scourged (and not saying a word), and then we see Him on the Cross while He’s being mocked, and still says nothing to those who mock Him.
Meekness is not wimpy or (in one definition) ‘overly submissive or compliant; spiritless; tame’. It’s the way that we as believers connect with our Father. It leaves us with just enough to cause us to go to Him in our times of need.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

The Beatitudes Pt. 2: Blessed Are Those Who Mourn

Matthew 5:4 reads:
                “Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.”
How are you to be blessed if you are in mourning? That seems a little backwards to me, if we’re talking in terms of how the world would see it. But Jesus talks about it a little more in depth in the concept of fasting. In this passage of scripture, the Pharisee’s are trying to trip Jesus up by talking about fasting, and how John’s disciples fast, and Jesus’ don’t.

Matthew 9:14-15
“Then the disciples of John came to Him, saying, “Why do we and the Pharisees fast often, but Your disciples do not fast?” And Jesus said to them, “Can the friends of the bridegroom mourn as long as the bridegroom is with them? But the days will come when the bridegroom will be taken away from them, and then they will fast…”
To mourn means ‘to feel or express sorrow or grief, to grieve or lament over.’ Fasting means ‘to abstain from all food; to eat only sparingly or of certain kinds of food especially as a religious observance.’ To apply mourning to fasting only makes sense (at least in my mind).

Spiritual mourning equals fasting (along with prayer and supplication). This act is one of desperation. Possessing this desperation is required to do whatever it takes to receive breakthrough. And this spiritual mourning is the emotional counterpart to being poor of spirit. (Whether a fast for you is classified under fasting food, entertainment, speech, or whatever it may be, you’re taking a daily pleasure and willingly giving it up like Jesus said you should. And He says that whatever you do in secret will be rewarded by the Father; so don’t go around with a prideful attitude and boast about your fasting! That’s what the Pharisees did…)

Think of fasting/mourning in this way:
When you are hungry, you eat. When you want to tell someone a secret, you talk. When you want to relax, you turn on the television, or get on your computer to goof off. But when you give any of those (or a number of other things) up, it’s like going on a diet: you take out the “bad.” But you can’t just take it out and think it’s fine. You have to substitute it with something that would have been better off for you in the first place. Say you eat a lot more sugar than your body needs. If you were to go on a diet, you would have to cut out that sugar and replace it with, say, broccoli, or carrots (or something to that affect). So when you give up any of your natural, daily pleasures in terms of a fast, the only way to fill that need is with reading the Word, listening to worship music and doing some hang-out time with Jesus.

This is the refusing of comfort from any other thing other than the comforting power of the Living God (for whom we were created)! Those who mourn are promised the comforting power of God.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

The Beatitudes Pt. 1: Blessed are the Poor in Spirit…

There’s been something on my heart lately; The Beatitudes. You know, The Sermon On The Mount, Matthew 5:3-12; it’s one of the most famous teachings (I’m convinced) of all time. I heard in a teaching once, that Jesus defines your greatness as walking out the Sermon on the Mount. So, my question to you is this: are you living greatly? What is your definition of greatness?

What are the Beatitudes, really? This is but one way I’ve heard them described: ‘These eight virtues will usher us into becoming a more mature bride. They are the expression of both the first and second commandment, giving a clear definition of love, spiritual maturity, godliness, and a lifestyle that mirrors that of God’s Kingdom. These virtues must be deeply rooted in our hearts in order for our actions, attitude and response to reflect them.’

These eight virtues are coupled with promises, and can be broken down into two categories: the first four are the ‘inner dispositions’ that deal with cultivation of the inner heart of the believer towards the Father. The last four deal with the internal ‘dispositions’ that are externally expressed. To sum up the Beatitudes, they express the inner and outer workings of the first and second commandment, to love. Let’s get down to business.

Matthew 5:3 reads:
“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven,”

What does this even mean? This is not an uncommon question. To be poor is described as having little or nothing, deficient or lacking in something, meagerly supplied or endowed with resources, etc. So, you can see that there’s not really much you would have to give if you were poor by worldly standards. But to be ‘poor in spirit,’ what does that consist of?

To be ‘poor in spirit’ means to come to the realization that we have nothing to offer God in return for His free gift, called Jesus Christ. This revelation of spiritual poverty gives us the ability to see the Cross as being our ONLY hope, and that no matter how hard we try, how hard we work, how much we think we give, there’s nothing we can pay God back with to earn what He freely gave us. We will always fall short of our potential if we live in the mentality of ‘paying Him back.’

To be ‘poor in spirit’ is also the pure and lovely revelation that He loves us because of who He Is and what Jesus did on the Cross for us! Not because of what we’ve done or who we are; there is nothing that we could ever do, think, or say that could ever live up to that standard! That might be an odd way to say it, but think about what Jesus did. He died for you and I while we ‘were still but sinners’ (and you can’t tell me you would die for someone who HATED you. If you did…YOU would have been Jesus. I’m just saying).

To add to my last thought, think about 2 Corinthians 12:9
“And He said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.’

You must learn to LEAN on the Lord; so many times we give up on the troubles life throws at us because we try so hard to lean on our own strength and understanding. To realize that we are weak, empty vessels without Jesus, gives room for Jesus to come and fill us. It testifies the fact that we are nothing without God. We try to search for comfort and security and love in everything but God only to find that we’re unsatisfied, time and time again.

This brings us to the issue of PRIDE.

Pride, as defined by Dictionary.com reads, “A high or inordinate opinion of one’s own dignity, importance, merit, or superiority…” When we are prideful, we are not living in alignment with God’s heart or the standards He has set for us. If we’re living in pride, we’re calling God a liar and not following his guidelines {we must remember that we are to compare ourselves to the life of Jesus, not to others}.

Our own pride is the cause of our discouragement and failures; our poverty opens the doors to greater intimacy with God, the Father.

Being poor in spirit is being humble and meek enough to know that you have nothing to give but what God has given you to give back to Him.

{Some extra verses for you to check out}
~Luke 18:9-14
~Revelation 3:17
~1 Peter 5:5
~Psalms 53:3
~Isaiah 64:6

Monday, August 1, 2011

Life is But a Breath; Don't Waste It.

"Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go into such and such a town and spend a year there and trade and make a profit”— yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes. Instead you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that.” As it is, you boast in your arrogance. All such boasting is evil. So whoever knows the right thing to do and fails to do it, for him it is sin."     -James 4:13-17
The past few weeks, due to circumstances in my life, and in fellow friends lives, I've come to the revelation that life really and truly is precious. I have been reminded of this verse in this revelation. We know not the number of days we live, nor how many breaths we will take. We're not even guaranteed our next breath. And I once heard in a song, "Life is but a breath...don't waste it."

These past two weeks of my life have been crazy in this area. An older friend of mine, who was my math tutor, a friend of my parents, and an amazing man of God, was hit by a car while riding his bicycle about a week and a half ago. He died instantly. I was talking to a friend after his memorial service, and she was talking about how sad it is that friends and family gather most when death occurs. Whether death is expected or takes us by surprise, we take life for granted.

I got word the other day that a friend of my attempted suicide. One of my friends was telling me that she was up late one night talking to a friend who had a friend commit suicide. This friend also is dealing with the one year anniversary of a dear friends suicide.

Death happens. It's a curse of The Fall. And the reason it hurts so much, is because God didn't create us for that major of a loss. It's not in our genetics to handle grief in this way. We don't like losing friends or family due to fighting, or moving away, but death is so much worse, on so many levels. 

My question is this; why is suicide so rampant now-a-days? It breaks my heart to think that people think that the life they're living is so awful and pointless as to take their own lives...it makes me wonder how Jesus feels when He sees this happening...

We, as humans, take advantage of so much, and the saying is much to appropriate that "we never  know what we've got until it's gone." With suicide, or motor vehicle accidents, etc., we can never be sure that we will see a friend, a family member, until eternity with Jesus. And even then, there are those that seem to, slip through the cracks

I once heard a wise man say, "Don't squander your destiny," meaning simply this: live your life to its fullness; and truly and honestly, live everyday as though it is your last. 

"...all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be." Psalm 139:16b

Don't waste your life, and don't let your friends and family waste theirs.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

The Wait.

Endurance means: "the fact or power of enduring or bearing pain, hardships, etc. The ability or strength to continue or last, especially despite fatigue, stress, or other adverse conditions; stamina. Lasting quality; duration."

I've been reading "Boundless Webzine" as of late, and I found this to be rather relative to the topic of Endurance/patience. [Read the whole article here]
"Between the Internet and credit cards, we buy what we want with alarming swiftness. Pay a little extra and you can have it tomorrow thank to FedEx. Rather than taking the time to cook, we can have our food right away from restaurants, take-outs, or the microwave. Sex — real or virtual — is well within reach without patiently awaiting marriage.

The places where patience is required show us how impatient we really are. Think bumper-to-bumper traffic, slow service, long lines at the supermarket, and old magazines in the waiting room at most doctors' offices. You get the idea and, in fact, just thinking about it is making you feel impatient."

And just how do we, as Christian women, wait for things like...oh, say...MARRIAGE?

Matthew 28:20
~ Two halves don't make a whole in relationships
~ Don't waste your time thinking and wondering if 'he's the one'
    +Psalm 37:1
~ Spend your single time chasing after the woman God wants you to be:
    +Proverbs 31

6 Steps A Woman Must Master In Her Season of Singleness

1. Emotional Stability
          *Proverbs 31:25
Now, most of you may be able to shout a resounding amen to the fact that women are known to be emotional. But we need to know that God created us women as emotional beings, but we often allow how we "feel" to get the best of us. Emotional people in general just are not fun people to be around, as you can never expect what's going to set them off next.

To be stable in your emotions will save a whole heap of heartache in the future. To be stable means this: "
not likely to fall or give way, as a structure, support, foundation; able or likely to continue or last; firmly established; enduring or permanent; resistant to sudden change or deterioration." Would you like to be known as the woman who's emotions didn't rule her, but the woman who ruled over her emotions? Stability is key. Becoming emotionally stable is learning to reason with a sound mind and to listen to wisdom over emotions. Emotional stability not only applies to relationships, but to all aspects of our daily lives.

How does one get emotionally stable? You need to get into the Word (Psalm 119:9-16). You must take thoughts captive (2 Corinthians 10:5). Be accountable to a close friend (Proverbs 27:17, 1 Peter 5:8). Be smart! Don't let your emotions guide you!

2. Sexual Purity

          *1 Corinthians 6:16-20
To be said simply, Don't allow yourself to be in compromising situations. Take a break from dating (consecration!). Develop healthy relations ships with your gender! 

3. Develop Healthy Friendships 
When girls share what's on their hearts with people, we tend to develop fondness for them. Share with your male friends what you would feel comfortable sharing with a group of people. *Your guy friends are someone's future husband, so you need to guard their hearts just as you would like to have your future husband's heart guarded.* When you develop friendships with a guy in a healthy group setting, you are able to evaluate his character, interests, likes and dislikes, etc., [which will allow you to see if he is a potential].

4. Determine Your Physical Standards
    If you have them (boundaries), you won't be as tempted to give way to those pressures! Set the lines of what you feel is comfortable for you.

5. What Is Your Vision?
      *Proverbs 29:18
You have to know where you are going in life, and who you are in general before you can determine who you are going to be with. Ask yourself these questions:

-What is your greatest passion in life?
-What are your talents?
-Would you like to be in full-time ministry, or would you like a career?
-If you would like to be in full-time ministry, what type of ministry would you like to be involved in? Do you want to work in the US, overseas, or both?
-If in full-time ministry, what type of people would you like to work with: children, singles, youth, young adults, etc.?
-If you are planning to pursue a career outside of ministry, how would you use that for God's glory and to help His people?
-Are you interested in going to college? If so, what are you interested in majoring in and what are your top five colleges?

6. Make A Dream List
How will you know if "he's" right for you if you don't know what you're looking for? Search your heart and discover your desires for a spouse [be specific if that helps you]. Here are some simple examples:

  • Faith: Is he a born-again, on-fire-for-God Christian who knows God more than anyone you've ever met? This is the most important question you will ever ask yourself when it comes to evaluating if a guy is right for you. The Bible is very specific about not being unequally yoked (2 Corinthians 6:14). By dating someone who isn't a Christian, you are inviting all sorts of problems into your relationship
  • Religion: While you both may be Christians, it is also important to share the same major doctrinal beliefs.
  • Vision: Can you submit, help, and follow the vision God has placed on his life and does it line up with the vision for your life?
  • Character: This is a must as well. Evaluating his character is extremely important. Is he loyal and kind? How does he treat others around him? How does he treat you? Is he honest? These are all important questions to ask.
  • Family: Does he want a family someday? Do you?

Just search the heart of God. He knows exactly what you need before you ever do, and when you need it. Read Psalms 139.

Waiting isn't so bad.
It's our relationship with the Father — not what we're waiting for — that should be our ultimate goal.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

I Get By With A Little Help From My Friends...

Today, I received a call from my house leader from my internship. And though it wasn't a very long phone call, it blessed my heart big time.

It was such a good thing for my heart to be reassured that I'm doing well, and doing the right things. There have been some major struggles for me the past couple months with friends, and life, and there were times I felt like I needed to give up, cause I couldn't see how anything was going to work out in the end. But there's always something that tells me to keep sticking with it; and boy, am I glad I do, every time.

I'm so thankful for the lifetime friends I made while in KC; I'll never ever forget any one of them. Even the one's I didn't know as well as I'd have liked to. I made friends to last me through all eternity.
It's such a genuine sweet feeling to know that these people still think about me and want to just check up on me and see how I'm doing. It really does make me feel loved beyond all reason.

It's my hope that as we as former interns [OneThing July '10!] grow and experience life, that we will always have accountability and support from those we experienced some of the greatest times with.

I'm so blessed to have met every one of them. And I thank God for the ones that made the most impact on my heart :]

Friends reach for your hand, and touch your heart. <3