Are You Desperate to See?

Jesus didn't die so we could have a religion.

Monday, November 22, 2010

I Dont Get to Talk to Teens All the Time anymore so...Blogging!!

Life is short. We of all people should know that. There is no guarantee of tomorrow. It's today. Today, this moment, the present choice that counts. It's not what you plan to do when you grow up, retire, get "that" job, have a family, have kids, move. It's all now that matters, this moment. 

But what about my friends, my relationship, my coworkers? What about school? I have too much going on. My responsibilities are too much. I can't quit now. I have to ease from one life to another. 

Maybe for you the excuses aren't the present variety but the past. 

If you only knew. I'm holding back because of my:

The way people treated me
Lack of Opportunity

Jesus said, leave what you are doing this moment and follow me. For some, it's the things you love holding you back. For others, the responsibilities of life trap you into feeling like you can't do anything. And some want to never get up & move because the past taught them they cant love, they can't trust or there will be "someday" to do what they should. Luke 9:57-62

There are 3 stumbling blocks for people to follow Jesus in this passage: possessions/security, people they don't want to let go of now (shown by needing to say goodbye to family), and the past/responsibility (shown by needing to bury someone).

Here's my challenge. Wipe away all of the excuses. Forget the past (and press on to what God has called you to), remember that the people are not more important than Jesus. Disregard how you will get where you are going. Just go. This is the only moment you have. 


Tuesday, September 27, 2005

My Struggle

It’s a fine line to walk, God. It looks the same on the outside, but it is where the focus of the mind and soul is at. That’s why we can’t judge others.

I am pretty sure I am making a mountain out of a mole hill, but my fears are being played on. What if the uniform isn’t worn? In the Baptist upbringing, the guys parted their hair, wore polo shirts and khakis. J always had his goatee, earrings, tattoo and jeans that were worn well below his non-existent butt.

Now I feel maybe he will be scrutinized on the basis of if he is “touchy feely” or not. He’s not a hugger. He doesn’t get real excited about much of anything. (I would love to see the Cubs win a World Series before either of us die, because I am pretty sure that will be the height of excitement and I’m not sure what that looks like for him.) When we were dating in that “bliss” period, he still wasn’t much of a cuddler. By not much of a cuddler, I mean not at all. His love is expressed through faithfulness. His love is expressed through honesty. His love is expressed by his interest in things he has no interest in except vicariously though me.

And will people miss the solid love because it’s not a gushy love? Will they miss the steadfastness and deem him not good enough again because he doesn’t meet their expectations? I worry. I don’t want to have to ever prove myself to someone again. I don’t want to have to defend J or point out the things that really matter because they are too blind to see them.

Not that this is happening. I just see signposts that might lead that direction if we stay on this course and follow the thought through to its extreme. I don’t want to leave again. I thought we were safe. When you are around, we are. Watch this and keep it close.

Monday, September 19, 2005

Lion of Judah

The Apostles knew the Lion of Judah. We Gentiles relate mostly to the Lamb of God.

The Apostles knew the Lion of Judah- The Judge, The Holy One. The God who took out a giant, shut the mouths of lions, parted seas, destroyed Pharoahs, brought judgement on a whole nation, resuced teens from a blazing fire, whisked people to heaven, took down and set up kings, controlled the clouds, rain, oceans, sun, rivers, moons, stars, wildlife and plantlife.

So when Jesus came, they weren't really expecting such a humble wrapping but when he was raised from the dead- that was the biggest feat of all!! Now this God who stood up to bullies, knocked down the proud, destroyed armies, defeated nations- that power was given to the disciples and apostles and they knew the power behind them- the power at work in them- the power at work through them.

"Pick up your mat and walk."

The Lion of Judah.

Monday, September 12, 2005

One of "Those" Days

Maybe you have been there?

Last night before I went to bed, I sent a confidential E-mail to a distribution list instead of the individual it was intended for. Talk about egg on my face. I started getting that gnawing sensation in the pit of my stomach. The E-mail was private about a circumstance that has been going on that was supposed to be sent to the youth pastor. I think next time I will just print those out and hand them to him physically.

So, I wake up this morning ready to go. Last week I blew off work. I didn't get anything done and I didn't feel good about it. So I got up, started working, picked up the phone to make my first call and I knocked my glass of water so it landed perfectly all over the laptop. It was mostly full.

I dried the computer and to my relief- it comes on. However, the keyboard and mouse do not work now. So I suppose I will have to call and see if my super duper warranty covers water damage.

Well, that's not all. I want to cry, which isn't a good state of mind to be making calls in because the first person who is not receptive to what I have to say will probably get a sobbing woman on the other end. So my plans for the morning are fading quickly.

Then I decide I should call my client to set up a meeting because I found out on Saturday that she is unhappy with me. The conversation went something like this, "Oh. Hi, Amber. I was just sending you an E-mail to tell you I called your office and left a message with your broker to see if we could all sit down and talk like adults."

The thing is, she never gave me warning that she was upset. I have done three times the normal amount work on her case because she is high maintenance and my goal is to truly make my people satisfied. Apparently I am failing dismally.

So today isn't the best day ever. In fact, since late Friday I have had one thing after another happen.

Yet I know what to do. I went and prayed. I said, "God, you are not wrong. I will not turn my back, question you or camp out in this emotion. I am having a hard time and I am wondering what I did wrong. Yet, I cling to you for safety. You are my King. You are worthy of my worship and adoration." (Understand, I don't believe that God is punishing me for something. I think this is just life. I believe that God is the same and views us the same regardless of how we treat him. Yet, my first reaction is "What did I do wrong?".)

Nothing has changed. My circumstances are the same. I still sent that E-mail to 10 people who should not read it instead of the one who should. I still have a client who is upset with me. I still have a laptop that I depend on for my business to function that has shorted out. I still have to make these calls.

Yet I am calm. I am at peace. I am sure God sent someone to pray for me, too. I fel released, calm and happy. I am satisfied in Christ.

Monday, September 05, 2005

My Favorite Posts

I have been writing here since the beginning of the year, and I have had a lot to say. I wanted to highlight my favorite posts- the ones that really ring true to me still. Therefore, to the right of your screen you will notice the heading, "Best Articles". Listed are my votes for the best articles. If you want to save some time and get the meat of what's here, that's probably a good place to start. If you come here and never want to come back, please drive through. :)

I've Been Thinking....

I suppose if I updated this blog more regularly, I might have a more regular readership. :)

I digress because that isn't even close to the point of this blog. I am not here to write to or about others. I am here to write about what God is doing in my life and the truths He reveals as my relationship with Him grows.

Lately I find it hard to get all the excitement and promises across to the new teens that are just starting to gain understanding about Christ. I have so much that I want to show them because it is all exciting and all important. They need to know what power they have to fight temptation, rebellion and the devil. They need to know the exciting plans God has laid out for them. They need their vision to be expanded beyond what they see as a dead end life.

I am starting to see cracks of light radiating through some of the dark shells they live under. I see them struggling to grasp a God that loves them more than their abusive parents and friends love them. I want so badly for them to get what is happening! They are a chosen generation. It is for this time that they were born. There is no reason to be meek, shy, embarassed or to do things half tilt. It is time to be bold, be strong, be courageous, be ready to stare the giants in the face and take them on. (I think I am going to talk about dealing with giants in the land next.)

It is time that I being to really teach out of the outpouring of my Spirit and not what my head tells me they need to hear. The way the Spirit works is so amazing. I know without seeing a teen that they need prayer, they need help. I know when they are drowing in their own sin and need a lifeline thrown to them. I am a prayer warrior (although a very small one) and I don't have to read or hear a prayer request to know that one exists.

Anyway- if you are reading this and are a believer- pray for the teens in Cottonwood, Arizona. This town is drug infested (meth). Teen pregnancies and drop out rates are very high. Twelve year old girls and boys are heavy into homosexuality. I choose not to turn my back and ignore it or keep travelling until I find a cleaner town. I stay here, I see the hurting faces, the dying souls and I hurt. I want to see success. I want to see God break through and change this town through his instruments- his church and his vessels.

Some great worship music I just found:

There are MP3s you can listen to there.

Thursday, August 18, 2005

A Life Well Lived

The trap we fall into is thinking that we have all the answers. We think that if we just say the right thing it will be a magic pill to help that person up when all it does is burden them more and push them further down. After we express what we are sure the cure is to another's ailments, we walk away feeling elevated and superior because we know better and are more spiritually enlightened and closer to God than the person who is slowly drowning in their despair.

Grace is defined as a person not being able to do anything to make God love them any more and also not being able to commit any act that will make God love them any less. Christians shy away from talking about grace because they are sure that it will incite everyone to sin more and more and more and will degrade a relationship with Christ.

What was the act of Christ on the cross if not the biggest display of grace? Grace is not an excuse to run rampant in self destruction. However, in freedom people can make bad choices. It is like being set free from jail and having the opportunity to do whatever you want so you go back in the jail cell, pull the door shut, lock it and throw away the key because you were free to do so and now you showed everyone that you could. That is a poor choice, but sure it is still your choice.

You can enslave yourself to anything under grace and get away with it. But to be abundantly free in life, the best choice is enslavement to love. When we love freely and give freely until we become less and less in our own eyes, it is then that we no longer have fear. We give every ounce of who we are and ask nothing in return and the fear of life and self-preservation fades quickly. No fear of failure, no fear of people, no fear of embarrassment, no fear of making the wrong choices or doing the wrong thing. No fear that we won't receive love back. No fear that people will hurt us. (They will.) No fear that people will make bad choices. (They will.) We are free from having to make enough money to keep up with the lifestyle we think we need or want. We are free from the constant pressure that we usually live under when we enslave ourselves to love. When we count our lives as lost in order to truly love God and people where they are at, in whatever feeble manner we can, life is spectacular!

There is only one true love. There is only one standard of love. There are perversions of love. Those "loves" control and manipulates people. That love says there is no grace because fear wants to control the other person and be responsible for their life. Love trusts. Love believes. Love has the side effect of joy. Love never runs dry. Love never gives up on someone or writes them off. Love has an overflowing abundance of a life that is well lived. It has no marks of jealousy, anger, lying, concealing, deceiving, manipulating, controlling, withholding, arguing, flying off the handle, beating someone into submission or pulling rank.

So if darkness has seeped into your veins and depression is controlling your life, you are going to have to ask yourself this: "What did I do with my freedom?" What did you enslave yourself to? What did you give your heart and life to? We give pieces away throughout our life until we are left with nothing. We can't go back and collect all of the pieces. We are left sucked dry with no options. We hit bottom. We are pushed down.

And someone comes along to tell us why we are a mess and what they can do to fix us.

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Rappelling Ain't For Me

Why do we rarely meet the "real deal" person who is the same Sunday morning as Tuesday afternoon?

We are to be transformed by the renewing of our minds. We are given wisdom through our Spirit. We live a fully free life when we make the decision to be transformed. We have to take the step to follow Jesus and then take the next step after that. We never "arrive". Going to church on Sunday mornings does not make a person a Christian any more than going to the bathroom makes one a turd. (I can't help it!)

I believe that people know what is missing from their Christian life. I think that people know why they feel a disconnect with God deep down. Because it would require them sacrificing something and taking the next step Christ has called them to and they aren't ready to do it. So six months down the road, they have slipped back down the cliff and they don't know why. They didn't reach their hand out when they got to the top because they wanted to go over the top their way and to their credit. Their trust didn't believe that by stretching out their hand and letting go of the safety that they felt would pay off in getting up to where they wanted to be. So as time passes, their muscles grow weak and they begin to slip. They start to slide down, inch by inch so slowly they don't REALLY realize they are moving until they can't see the top anymore.

Next time you are clinging to the rock, put your hand up to let go of your security in order to stand on the rock and have all the security you need to get above what you need to.