Saturday, December 22, 2007

God's Call

Click the above link to see a video of Zach Hunter when he was on The 700 Club last night. I was watching The 700 Club when Zach Hunter was on there. What a guy with an amazing vision and dream for his life! He is a teenage abolitionist and he has even written a book called "Be the Change". He has a passion for something and he is going after it! And I admire him so much for that. He seems like he puts God first in his vision, too, and he is trying to change the world. It is such an amazing thing.

How many of us teenagers realize that we have so much to offer this world at our age? How many of us realize that we can help change the world one person at a time? I encourage you to find something that you are passionate about, go to God with it, and if He says to go for it, then go for it. You can change the world. I can change the world. We can change the world - one person at a time.

"The thought of you was enough to keep the King of Kings strung up on a Roman cross; think of that the next time you wonder about what one girl can do. It only takes one to shake a nation. It only takes one to change the world. One faithful girl is all God needs to start a revolution. In time one can easily become one hundred, one thousand, or one million. But you can't have one hundred, one thousand, or one million without first having one. You are that one. So what are you going to do about it?"
-out of Shannon Kubiak Primicerio's book "God Called a Girl"

Is God calling you to do something - whether it's something small or huge? Is God calling you out of your ordinary life into something extraordinary? Are you listening? Are you obeying? Are you following God's call?

"This is what the LORD says — your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel: 'I am the LORD your God, who teaches you what is best for you, who directs you in the way you should go.'"
-Isaiah 48:17

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Never Look Back

Thanks everyone for all of your encouragement and for going out of your way to encourage me!

Tuesday I had a very busy day, so I didn't think as much or as deep as usual. I like being busy because of that reason, because when I think and pray, I get answers. God brings thoughts into my mind that my heart does not want to hear because He may be calling me out of my comfort zone or into new territory for Him. So when I stay busy, I don't stop and listen. I realize now, though, that I need to stop and think throughout my whole day. I need to stop and listen to God's voice no matter how busy my day may be. We all have 24 hours in a day - some just use it more wisely than others.

I didn't read Proverbs 18 Tuesday morning, so I read it Tuesday night and then never read my devotions that I always read before going to bed. I was thinking, "Well, it's late and I need to be able to get up early tomorrow morning so I can read God's Word. Wouldn't God want me going to sleep instead of reading more of His Word?" Sometimes I am a very foolish person. I missed out on some really great insights that I really could have used Tuesday night.

I really love how the New Century Version puts Luke 9:62. Here's what it says, "Jesus said, 'Anyone who begins to plow a field but keeps looking back is of no use in the kingdom of God.'" Right before I read that verse I was looking at my now-bare wall where my Carrie Underwood poster used to be hanging and I was thinking, "Maybe it isn't wrong to listen to her music. I mean it's not bad or anything." God pierced my heart with that verse in Luke and said to me, "Anyone who wants to live sold out for Me will do only that which pleases Me. Don't look back." How amazing and refreshing God's truths are. Anyone who keeps looking back is of no use in the kingdom of God. Why do I constantly look back? I need to be looking ahead. I need to be looking up. Remember what happened to Lot's wife when she looked back?

"But Lot’s wife looked back as she was following behind him, and she turned into a pillar of salt." -Genesis 19:26

"Remember what happened to Lot’s wife! If you cling to your life, you will lose it, and if you let your life go, you will save it." -Luke 17:32-33

Then I read in 2 Chronicles 16:9 in the New Century Version [it's the version I use for my devotions at night] which says, "The LORD searches all the earth for people who have given themselves completely to Him. He wants to make them strong." I have been getting "hit" with all of these truths from the Bible and from others about giving everything to God and living to please Him in all that I say and do. There is no other way to live completely satisfied and filled and at peace than to live for God.

Don't look back, but continue looking ahead and continue looking up to God. Live to please God in all that you say and do, because the Lord searches all of the earth to find those who have given themselves completely to Him. He wants to make them strong.

Monday, December 17, 2007

An Ongoing Battle

I didn't get a good start on today at all. I woke up exhausted. I didn't want to read Proverbs 17, and it took me a while to read it because it wouldn't soak in. Then I read a chapter of "The Prayer of Jabez" and then read some online devotions and updated the quote on here. Then I got a shower and still had time before my class, so I sent out some emails I needed to. Then I read a little of my book ["Do I Have to Paint You a Picture?"] and then went into class. I was so exhausted, though, that at the end of that class [9:00] I went back to sleep and didn't wake up until 12:00! I missed three of my classes, so I got caught up on them before my Spanish II class. Then I listened to Nancy Leigh DeMoss' "Revive Our Hearts" for today. Then later I went shopping with my dad and brother and got done my Christmas shopping. Then I helped my mom bake a couple of cookies and then wrapped some gifts. Later tonight I got a little down and discouraged because of some things.
Enough about my day... the point is, satan was really attacking me today. He was trying to get me down. He was trying to get me to give up. And thoughts were passing through my mind like, "Molly, maybe living the sinful life is better..." and "Yeah, maybe I should live like the world." and "Molly, life is hard... just give up." Those little whispers from satan can be so convincing and so alluring.

It is an ongoing battle between satan's words and God's words in my heart:
"Come on Molly, living like the world is better" - "No, it is not. You are Mine, Molly, and you were created to serve Me."
"Oh, Molly, just this once you can do what is wrong. Just this once." - "Molly, that one small wrong move can ruin your innocence. Don't do it. Flee from evil and run into My arms."
"You are mine... live like it!" - "Molly, you do not have to be under satan's control. I have called you out of that awful bondage of sin and death and you are Mine. Live like it!"

It is an ongoing battle for the Christian to face. Satan wants you. He doesn't want you living for God. No way - satan wants you to live his way. Why? Because he wants to see you perish. He wants to see you die. He wants to see your dreams and hopes crushed. He wants to see your innocence ruined. He wants your life to be broken.

But God says, "My purpose is to give life in all its fullness. [John 10:10b]. Come to me, for I will give you rest [Matthew 11:28]. Cast all of your anxiety on Me, because I care about you [1 Peter 5:7]. If you have called on my Name, you are Mine [John 1:12]! And I promise you that!"

In this journey and walk with Christ, there is an ongoing battle between evil and good.

"For we are not fighting against people made of flesh and blood, but against the evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against those mighty powers of darkness who rule this world, and against wicked spirits in the heavenly realms. Use every piece of God's armor to resist the enemy in time of evil, so that after the battle you will still be standing firm."
-Ephesians 6:12-13

Yes, there is an ongoing, unseen, and very real battle constantly going on between satan [and all of his demons and followers] and God [and all of his angels and followers]. It is going on right now. If you're living a life for God, then you're going to face battles. If you're not facing any battles, then you're not living wholeheartedly for God.

So whose voice will you listen to? Satan's temptations and tauntings or God's still, small voice? Whose voice will you obey?

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Asking for God's Blessings

It's late and I should soon get to bed, but I wanted to share something with you guys first. I have been reading "The Prayer of Jabez" book. I've been praying the prayer every morning ["Oh, that You would bless me indeed, and enlarge my territory. Let Your hand be with me, and keep me from harm so that I will be free from pain." 1 Chronicles 4:10] I paraphrased it, though, to make it something like this: "Oh, that You would bless me indeed - so that I may have the resources that I need to be used by You. Enlarge my territory - enlarge my area of opportunity, so that I may be used greatly by You and for You. May Your hand be with me - because without You, I can do nothing. Change my life around and make it what You want it to be."

It may sound wrong to ask God for blessings, but the thing is, it isn't! God wants us to go to Him and ask Him to give us more opportunities to serve Him. God wants us to have blessings, so that we can give to others. Think about it; God must love to hear His children cry out to Him for more opportunities to share His love, for more blessings to share with others, for His hand to be in all that we do so that we can be effective witnesses for Him! God answered Jabez's prayer, and let me tell you that He has answered mine as well.

God has been working in my life. He has been opening doors for me to talk to my friends about Christ. He has been helping me to not be so judgmental. He has been giving me goals for the new year that I would never have wanted before, but now I want to try to reach those goals. He has been helping me to get up in the mornings and read His Word. He has been giving me new perspectives on things. He has been opening my eyes to things in my life. He has been helping me to see myself in a new way, because my true identity lies in Him - and when I am connected to Him, I find my true and real identity and who I really am. God has been doing things in my life that I wasn't expecting to happen. All because I have been asking Him to.

You can ask Him, too. In fact, He wants you to go to Him and ask Him to "bless you indeed" so that you can use the blessings for His glory. He wants you to go to Him and ask Him to "enlarge your territory" and open up opportunities for you to share Him with others so that more people know the truth about Him. He wants you to go to Him and ask Him for "His hand to be with you" so that in everything you do for God, you will have His strength and courage to do it [and trust me, you need it]. Now the next part: "Keep me from harm so that I will be free from pain". Jabez's name basically means "pain". He didn't want to live up to his name and have a life of pain like those around him thought he would have. He wanted to live outside the borders that society placed on his life. He wanted to live the life that God wanted for Him. He didn't want to live a life of pain. He wanted to live the life that the people around him thought he would never live. He wanted God to change his life. He also wanted to be free from temptations and evil, so that the pain that evil causes would be spared on his life. He knew that once he started to live a life of blessing, satan was going to attack him spiritually. And so he asked God to spare him from evil.

Jesus wants us to ask him to spare us from evil. "And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one." [Matthew 6:13] That was part of Jesus' model prayer for us to follow. He wants us to go to Him and ask Him to keep us from evil. Sometimes, though, fighting against evil is necessary. In those times, we need God's weapons and lots of prayer to help us get through the battles.
"The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds." [2 Corinthians 10:4]

God wants you to live for Him. God wants you to go to Him and ask Him to make your life extreme for Him. God wants you to go to Him and ask Him to help you to live above who society wants you to become. God wants you to go to Him and ask Him to keep you from unnecessary evil. God wants you to go to Him and ask Him to change your life.

"And God granted his request" [1 Chronicles 4:10]. If you go to God with a pure heart and pure motives, He'll grant yours as well.

Friday, December 14, 2007

The Power of Prayer

Last night I couldn't get to sleep. I felt restless and awake. I was also excited [yes, excited] to wake up "early" the next morning and spend time with God [which may have been the reason for me not being able to get to sleep; satan has a way of trying to get us to spend as little time with God as possible]. There was definitely a time when I would have dreaded this. And I'm sure that I still will sometimes. I am just so glad that God helped me to wake up this morning at 6:00, refreshed and ready to start the day [though I still felt very tired]. I read Proverbs 14, read a chapter of "The Prayer of Jabez", read devotions online, updated "Today's Quote" on here, got a shower, and went to class. I had a pretty good day in school today - busy, but good. During my break I did my Algebra quiz and some of my English test that I had never finished. Then after my Spanish II class I finished my English test and decided that I had done enough school for the day. So I called Emily B. and found out that she couldn't get to sleep last night either. Which is weird, since I was thinking about her last night [I never did tell you this, Emily] and so I prayed for her and then eventually I fell asleep.

There's something about prayer that is so very powerful. Sometimes at night as I'm drifting off to sleep I'll think about somebody that God has laid on my heart to pray for, and so I do. Even once in a while throughout the night God will wake me up and put someone on my heart to pray for. When God lays someone on your heart to pray for, then that person needs prayer. It would be wise to pray for that person right when you feel God telling you to [whether it's a close friend, an old friend, or a stranger that you encountered that day or even years before]. You may not see the results of your prayers, but know that if God presses on your heart to pray for someone, then that person needs prayer. They may be facing a temptation or a trial or pain in their life. They may be struggling in their walk with Christ. They may be looking for answers in their life and in their life's circumstances. You may never know why you need to pray for the person that you know God is pressing on your heart to pray for - but God does. And that's all that matters. You might see the results of your persistant and obedient prayers. You might not. Yes, it is rewarding to see the results of your fervent prayers in another person's life - especially if that person is your friend - but even if you never do, know that your prayers are worth it and know that God answers all prayers. He knows the outcome of your prayers before you even pray them. Prayer is powerful. Prayer changes circumstances, situations, and outcomes. To underestimate the power of prayer is to limit God's power in your life and the lives of others.

Does anyone remember the story in the Bible of the man who God had kept waking up in the middle of the night, but the man didn't know it was God at first? He kept obeying God though, and getting up out of bed every time God called Him. I can't remember who this man was or where his story is recorded in the Bible, so if any of you know, please let me know.

"You faithfully answer our prayers with awesome deeds, O God our savior. You are the hope of everyone on earth, even those who sail on distant seas."
-Psalm 65:5

"If I had not confessed the sin in my heart, the Lord would not have listened. But God did listen! He paid attention to my prayer. Praise God, who did not ignore my prayer or withdraw his unfailing love from me."
-Psalm 66:18-20

By the way, I want to let all of you know that if you ever have any questions about anything that I say on here, please comment me and ask me. I would love to help answer your questions if you're confused on something [even if it's something I've never posted about]. So please, feel free to ask me any questions you might have!

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Desires of Your Heart

I got a bad start on my day today. I woke up really late and then got mad about it. I still did my devotions, though... and I didn't have much school to do since I did most of it yesterday. I did my school later tonight, since I didn't have much time before piano lessons to do it.

Something I struggled with today was wishing - no, more than that... desiring - things in my life that I don't have. Not so much "material things", more like people and friendships. Last night I had a dream about someone and I woke up desiring that it was true. I was dissappointed. I was frustrated. Then later today I got this deep desire for something else to happen in my life and if I would've let myself, I could've gotten depressed over it. I realized, though, that what I was desiring was so selfish. So I stopped my thoughts and prayed. I realized that I was being selfish and foolish. I realized that I needed to trust God with the situation, because He has ultimate control over it. And so I stopped my thoughts as they were quickly turning into sadness and on the way towards depression, and I said, "Lord, I'm sorry. You have control. Please help me." A simple prayer like that, and yet it helped so much. I didn't feel the same way about the situation the rest of the day. Now, I easily could have, since God gives us a free will and He lets us think whatever we want to [but we still have to pay consequences for the sin that we do]. But when I realized that what I desired was so selfish and that everything is under God's control and that I can trust Him, I have no reason to need to desire anything in this life except what God wants for me.

"Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and He will give you everything you need."
-Matthew 6:33

Seek God first. Put God first, above all else. Put God's Kingdom above everything in your life. He will give you the things that you need, He will give you the Godly relationships that you need, He will give you the Godly friendships that you need, He will give you the job that you need, and in His time and if it's in His plans, He will give you that guy or girl that you think you need right now. He will give you everything that you need if you put Him above everything else. Everything you need. No, not everything that you want or everything that you think you need. God knows what you need. He knows what you need better than you know what you need. We sometimes confuse what we think we need with what we really need in our lives. But God knows what we really need. God knows who we need. And He will give you everything that you need if you seek Him and His Kingdom first in your life and if you live for Him. You can trust Him with that.

God knows the desires of your heart, too. He knows the deepest desires of your heart that no one else knows about. He delights in giving His children what they desire - if it lines up with His will and with His plans. But keep in mind, if you are trying to live for God in every aspect of your life, then you're going to desire what God desires. And God will want to give you what you desire. He delights in seeing His children having joy and peace with their life. And even when everything around you seems to be crumbling, you can have peace that you have a God who cares. And you can look up to Him and you can give all of your burdens, all of your worries, all of your desires, all of your wishes, all of your dreams, to Him. I'm sure that when God sees His children humbly coming to Him and giving Him all of their burdens and all of their deepest dreams in their heart - I'm sure He delights in that. So delight yourself in the Lord. Make Him your number one priority. Put Him above all else. Seek Him and His Kingdom first, before anything. Live in a way that honors and pleases God. And when you do that, you'll see that your dreams and your desires will line up with God's dreams and desires for you - because you'll desire what God desires. You'll have dreams that you have never had before, because you will want God's dreams. And I am sure that that is a very fulfilling and very satisfying way to live your life.

"Delight yourself in the LORD and he will give you the desires of your heart."
-Psalm 37:4

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Beauty for Ashes

I had a good day today. And the only reason I can say that is because of God! I woke up at 6:00, read Proverbs 12, read a chapter of "The Prayer of Jabez", and read some devotions online. Then I got a shower, checked my emails again, and went to class. I did a lot of my homework today, so I don't have as much to do tomorrow. Maybe I'll be able to get some more World Religions and maybe Creative Writing done. I'm wondering if I should drop Creative Writing. I realize that God doesn't want me to be stressed out, and if I don't have my priorities straight [with God first] then I know that He wants me to cut some things out of my life that really don't need to be there. I have really been trying to make God first in my life, in every area and in every situation. I have a feeling that my Creative Writing class is going to stress me out since it's so deep, and I'm wondering if I'll have to finish it over the summer. That or drop the class. I'm not sure what I should do yet.

After school I listened to Nancy Leigh DeMoss. Her program was really good today. She was talking about Simeon, who the Holy Spirit had told would not die until he had seen the Messiah. It so happened that the same day Mary and Joseph went to the Temple to present Jesus to the Lord [which was the ritual then], the Holy Spirit had led Simeon to the Temple. Now, I don't believe in coincidences! This was a divine appointment, set up by the Holy Spirit Himself.

Luke describes Simeon as being righteous [just and upright; conformable to what is right] and devout [careful, cautious; having reverence for God; fear of the Lord; wanting to please God in every area of his life]. Like Nancy pointed out, there were a lot of Jews in that day who were committed to the work of God. So what was different about Simeon?

He wasn't just going through the motions. He had a heart of reverence and devotion toward God.

Luke also says that Simeon was waiting for the consolation of Israel. Simeon was waiting for the Messiah. He was living in a dark and fallen world and time [as we are]. And when he saw Jesus that day in the Temple, he knew that he had seen the Messiah, and he knew that Jesus was going to be the glory of Israel [Luke 2:32] - the consolation of Israel!

A quote by J.C. Ryle:
"We see in the case of Simeon how God has believing people even in the worst of places and in the darkest of times. God never leaves Himself entirely without a witness. Let us believe that grace can live and flourish even in the most unfavorable circumstances. There are more Simeons in the world than we suppose."

God was the consolation of Israel. Read Isaiah 40:1-2, Isaiah 49:13, Isaiah 52:9, Isaiah 61:1-3 and you'll see that this is true.

-Are you looking to other things, things of this world, as your consolation? Or are you looking to the only true consolation - the only fulfilling and lasting One - Jesus Christ, the Messiah?
-Is God your consolation? Is He your only consolation?

"The Spirit of the Sovereign LORD is upon me, because the Lord has appointed me to bring good news to the poor. He has sent me to comfort the brokenhearted and to announce that captives will be released and prisoners will be freed. He has sent me to tell those who mourn that the time of the LORD's favor has come, and with it, the day of God's anger against their enemies. To all who mourn in Israel, He will give beauty for ashes, joy instead of mourning, praise instead of despair. For the LORD has planted them like strong and graceful oaks for His own glory."
-Isaiah 61:1-3

Beauty for Ashes - How beautiful! True, Jesus was the consolation of Israel and He rescued them. But He has also come to be your consolation and comfort. He has also come to rescue you.

Beauty for Ashes. Jesus Christ can transform your ashes [your sin, your burdens, your mistakes, your worries, your life] into beauty. All you have to do is ask Him to. He rescued the nation of Israel. He can rescue your life.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Even When...

I wrote this poem to hand out with candy canes tonight when me and my friends [TRANSFORMED - The Bible Study that we do] went Christmas Caroling to the elderly... I love the elderly. It's like when I'm surrounded by them, something in me breaks -- I even started to cry tonight [and I don't cry easily]. It is so real, though... I am so drawn to them. They really touch my heart, and sometime I just want to sit down with them and talk with them about their backgrounds, their life, and about Christ. I am so thankful that God gave us the opportunity to go there tonight to Christmas carol to them and hopefully witness and reach out to them. I was so blessed by going there tonight.
Here's the poem [and I give all of the credit to God for this. He wrote it through me.]

Even when you feel regret,
Even when you're full of pain,
Jesus cares about your heart,
And you can call on His precious Name.

Even when you feel alone,
Even when you're full of fears,
Jesus holds out His hands to you,
And wipes away all your tears.

If you will fall into His loving arms,
If you will take His outstretched hand,

He will forever hold you close,
And lead you to a glory land.

"For God so loved the world that He gave His only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life."
-John 3:16

Saturday, December 8, 2007

Effective Goals for the New Year

So the New Year is soon here, and like most of you, I'm making goals for the New Year. Not resolutions, but goals. Why not resolutions? Well, because when you make resolutions and then fail, you can easily get down on yourself and give up. When you make goals, you can tell yourself in the Presence of God, "Okay, I know that I might fail from time to time with these goals, but I am going to make them anyway and strive to accomplish them."
Also, the world makes resolutions... it seems like such a worldly term. America makes resolutions every year [most of which don't revolve around God]. America makes goals and calls them resolutions, and then usually fails at accomplishing them anyway. But making effective goals for the new year [like getting closer to God, striving to be more like God, etc.] that center on God and God's Will for your life are what I think every follower of Christ should be doing. So like last year, I'm going to be making goals again for the new year. I know a lot of you are going to be making goals, too, so here's a list of questions that you can ask yourself - in God's presence - to make effective goals for 2008.

1. What's one thing you could do this year to increase your enjoyment of God?
2. What's the most humanly impossible thing you will ask God to do this year?
3. What's the single most important thing you could do to improve the quality of your family life this year?
4. In which spiritual discipline do you most want to make progress this year, and what will you do about it?
5. What is the single biggest time-waster in your life, and what will you do about it this year?
6. What is the most helpful new way you could strengthen your church?
7. For whose salvation will you pray most fervently this year?
8. What's the most important way you will, by God's grace, try to make this year different from last year?
9. What one thing could you do to improve your prayer life this year?
10. What single thing that you plan to do this year will matter most in ten years? In eternity?In addition to these ten questions, here are twenty-one more to help you "Consider your ways." Think on the entire list at one sitting, or answer one question each day for a month.
11. What's the most important decision you need to make this year?
12. What area of your life most needs simplifying, and what's one way you could simplify in that area?
13. What's the most important need you feel burdened to meet this year?
14. What habit would you most like to establish this year?
15. Who do you most want to encourage this year?
16. What is your most important financial goal this year, and what is the most important step you can take toward achieving it?
17. What's the single most important thing you could do to improve the quality of your work life this year?
18. What's one new way you could be a blessing to your pastor (or to another who ministers to you) this year?
19. What's one thing you could do this year to enrich the spiritual legacy you will leave to your children and grandchildren?
20. What book, in addition to the Bible, do you most want to read this year?
21. What one thing do you most regret about last year, and what will you do about it this year?22. What single blessing from God do you want to seek most earnestly this year?
23. In what area of your life do you most need growth, and what will you do about it this year?
24. What's the most important trip you want to take this year?
25. What skill do you most want to learn or improve this year?
26. To what need or ministry will you try to give an unprecedented amount this year?
27. What's the single most important thing you could do to improve the quality of your commute this year?
28. What one biblical doctrine do you most want to understand better this year, and what will you do about it?
29. If those who know you best gave you one piece of advice, what would they say? Would they be right? What will you do about it?
30. What's the most important new item you want to buy this year?
31. In what area of your life do you most need change, and what will you do about it this year?


Thursday, December 6, 2007


Ahh... my days have been pretty busy lately... but I have nothing to complain about. I have lots of things to work on, though... like accomplishing things step-by-step instead of trying to jump ahead. It never works and it only makes me even more stressed out. I also need to figure this whole thing out about my music standards. I'm not sure if I made the right choice or not by deciding to not listen to secular music -- some of the songs have really good lyrics to them. Should I stop listening to contemporary Christian music? Is it okay to listen to Christian rock? Is it okay to listen to secular music if it has good lyrics? They are all questions that I've been asking myself lately. And then the whole "hurry sickness" thing -- it's been getting baad. I'm trying to slow my life down and I'm thinking of some things that I can maybe cut out of my life, but I can't really think of anything. Oh, and the whole being self-conscious thing? I find that I feel much better about myself when I'm connected with God. I haven't been feeling very connected with God lately, and as a result, I've been losing my true identity -- which lies in Christ. I was thinking today about how I learn everything the hard way. It really does seem like I do. I do think I'm getting better at it, though -- with God's strength -- but I still do learn things the hard way and learn the same lesson over again more than once. I guess it's all a part of growing and learning in Christ. I realize, though, that I need to keep trying and striving and yielding and surrendering and focusing. I need to keep on keeping on. I need to continue to live for God.

I think I found my problem. Not too long ago I felt like I was doing pretty good in my walk with Christ. Actually, I couldn't think of anything that I was doing wrong. Maybe you could say that I was even getting a little prideful. God humbled me and showed me through different people and through different things that I am not anywhere close to being perfect, that I am not anywhere close to being like Him, that I am not anywhere close to being "good" in my walk with Christ. He revealed to me that my walk with Him is a journey, with valleys and mountains, with hard and trying times and good and "high" times. Through my entire journey, God has been pruning me -- which is, at times, a very painful process. Though my journey isn't always easy, it is refreshing. It is worth it.

I was doing a World Religions lesson tonight [I'm trying to get caught up] and right now I'm learning about Hinduism. I was watching a video on the Hindus and their rituals and things and wow -- my heart just went out to them. They spend their entire lives doing all of these rituals for the "gods" and "goddesses" and try to stop reincarnation and reach Heaven... all of which is in vain. The only way to Heaven is through Jesus Christ. And the Hindus don't know Him. Watching the video and watching them perform all of their rituals and prayers and trying, trying, trying in vain to reach the "gods" -- and all of this time they are wasting their lives away. Little children are following in their parents' footsteps and doing the same thing. I got tears in my eyes watching it -- and I don't cry easily! It is so sad. I pray that God will open their eyes to Who He really is and that they will find the true way to God -- through Jesus Christ.

"Tears of the Saints" - Leeland

There are many prodigal sons
On our city streets they run
Searching for shelter
There are homes broken down
People’s hopes have fallen to the ground
From failures
This is an emergency!
There are tears from the saints
For the lost and unsaved
We’re crying for them "come back home"
We’re crying for them "come back home"
And all your children will stretch out their hands
And pick up the crippled man
Father, we will lead them home
Father, we will lead them home
There are schools full of hatred
Even churches have forsaken
Love and mercy
May we see this generation
In its state of desperation
For Your glory
This is an emergency!
There are tears from the saints
For the lost and unsaved
We’re crying for them "come back home"
We’re crying for them "come back home"
And all your children will stretch out their hands
And pick up the crippled man
Father, we will lead them home
Father, we will lead them home
Sinner, reach out your hands!
Children in Christ you stand!
Sinner, reach out your hands!
Children in Christ you stand!
There are tears from the saints
For the lost and unsaved
We’re crying for them "come back home"
We’re crying for them come back home
And all Your children will stretch out their hands
And pick up the crippled man
Father, we will lead them home
Father, we will lead them home

"'I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch in Me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful. You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you. Remain in Me, and I will remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in Me.'"
-John 15:1-4

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Intimacy With God

Well I think I'm getting out of my slump. Which is a very good thing! I want to grow closer to God than I ever have been before. I want to have a deep relationship with God. I was listening to Nancy Leigh DeMoss today and she was talking about the relationship and communion that Moses had with God. It was such a deep relationship and such an amazing communion that Moses had with God. When Moses went to meet with God, all of the people in his camp would stand outside their tent doors and watch him. Some even went with Moses to meet with God. It's obvious that Moses' sincere devotion to God influenced the people around Him to also have a relationship with God.

-Is your life motivating people to get right with God?
-Are you shining so much for God that when people see you they want what you have -- a relationship with God?
-Does the way that you live inspire others to be more like God?

Just some things to think about. I know that I want to live the kind of life that brings honor and glory to God and that also inspires others to get closer to God. What people need from me and from you is someone who can give them good, Godly, advice and someone who can encourage and uplift them in their walk with Christ. And if I'm going to do that, then I need to daily be in the Presence of God. You shouldn't just go to God when you're in trouble - or when you had a really good day and you're feeling good about yourself. Every day you should be in the Presence of God. Every day I should be in the Presence of God. I should go to God everyday and just drown in His love and His mercy and His Presence.

Why does it take so long for God to get my attention sometimes? Why do I hesitate going into the Presence of God, when I know from the past that it is such an amazing place to be?

"The LORD would speak to Moses face to face, as a man speaks with his friend. Then Moses would return to the camp, but his young aide Joshua son of Nun did not leave the tent."
-Exodus 33:11

Joshua stayed behind in the tent because he wanted what Moses had - he wanted that relationship with God! And oh, how I want that, too. How I want an intimate, sincere, deep, relationship with God. I guess I just feel like I'm in a part of my journey right now where I'm not growing. But then I really think about it and I realize that I am growing. I am learning so much about God and about life and about myself. God has been revealing things to me and I am so thankful for Him. I am so, so, eternally grateful for God. I feel overcome by His wondrous love and mercy and grace and compassion and fairness and discipline and guidance.

Our God is an awesome God.

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Another Step in the Journey

Well, it's December 1st... a new month. This morning I was trying to think of something I could do - a goal I could try to reach - this month, but I decided that trying to keep on track with God and continuing to find out more about Him and myself would be enough. I think I'm going to make up a new schedule, new plans, new goals, and maybe even new dreams for the New Year. But for now - for the rest of this year - I'm going to try to get closer to God and get out of this slump that I'm in.

I think I found the reason for the "valley" that I'm in right now. Well, for one thing, because it's all a part of growing in Christ. I need to be in these valleys in order to get on top of the mountains where I love to be with God. but if life was only full of "highs" and "mountains" with God, then there would be no growth. I would never grow in my relationship with God if I never experienced hardships, trials, pain, etc. I would never find a reason to rely on God with my whole entire life and being. But I think another reason that I'm in this valley is because I'm stressing myself out over doing devotions at a certain time, praying at a certain time, etc. Yes, I am reading a chapter of Proverbs in the morning and my devotions at night. I listen to or read devotions throughout the day sometimes, too. I listen to inspiring, Christian music. I pray throughout the day. I talk to my friends about God. But now I'm trying to set a schedule for myself. I need to get up early and pray and read the Bible. I need to do this at this time and that at that time. I need to read this devotion and sign up for that devotion. Oh, and I need to follow God's calling on my life, too... and I need to -
No, how am I going to live with joy if I put so much stress on my life? Following God is not about having stress. Yes, following God can be hard at times, but it will never be in vain if you are following Him humbly, with your whole heart, with Him leading you and you following Him. Yes, it's good to have goals. In fact, you should have goals. And you should follow God's calling on your life. But when you're putting stress on your life to try to accomplish so much at one time, you won't have joy. Follow Jesus. He'll take your stress, He'll take your burdens, He'll take your pain, He'll take your monotonous routines that you've exchanged for a relationship with Him and He'll give you a fresh, clean, start. Lay everything down at Jesus' cross.

Thank you for your encouraging words Emily B. and Emily K. [haha]. And thank you for your prayers and for being there for me.

So, I need to get out of this slump and get back on fire for God. I've been thinking a lot lately about what it really means to be in this world and not of it. That is such a hard thing to accomplish. But it can be done with God's help and God's strength. I feel like an outcast at times because of what I believe... but I guess it's good to feel like I don't belong here. Because I don't! I was called out with God's amazing grace and I am one of His own. I should be living on fire for Him. I should be following Him in every decision that I make and in everything that I do! And if that means giving up things that I love, then so be it. I just hope that I think that strongly about what I'm now saying when God does call me to give different things up for Him. He has before and I've usually always obeyed Him. But as I take more steps - that seem against the full force of the wind at times [which is satan]- through this journey, I'm thinking more into my beliefs and why I believe what I do and God has been reinforcing them and changing them. He has been changing my point-of-view on different things and has been giving me a new outlook on life and on different things. It is definitely a journey and it is definitely a journey that takes a lifetime - but it is also the journey of a lifetime.

When I listened to this song tonight, I got a picture in my mind of me carrying my "cross" to give everything up for God. Me going to His cross and laying everything there for Him to take. Jesus making me whole.

"Pieces" - Red
I'm here again
A thousand miles away from You
A broken mess
Just scattered pieces of who I am
I tried so hard
Thought I could do this on my own
I've lost so much along the way
Then I'll see Your face
I know I'm finally Yours
I find everything
I thought I lost before
You called my name
I come to You in pieces
So You can make me whole.
I've come undone
But You make sense of who I am
Like puzzle pieces in Your eye
When I see Your face
I know I'm finally Yours
I find everything
I thought I lost before
You call my name
I come to You in pieces
So You can make me whole.
When I see Your face
I know I'm finally Yours
I find everything
I thought I lost before
You call my name
I come to You in pieces
So You can make me whole.

"Then Jesus said to his disciples, 'If anyone would come after Me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow Me.'"
-Matthew 16:24

Only You can make me whole, God. And You are Who I want to follow with my whole heart, for the rest of my life and for eternity.

"Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will."
-Romans 12:2