Category Archives: Random Realization

To Love or Not to Love…that is the question

(To my sweet, dear roommate, I’m sorry, but I’m going to loving pick on you and our funny time this morning ;) It was times like these that always give me reason to laugh!)

This morning, I woke up to the wonderful and new “wildlife noise”–which is usually crickets and birds–of my roommate eating white cheddar cheese rice cakes… at 5:42 this morning.

“Sssshrirlgrrehlpkershhhkl…” The plastic wrapper wrinkled and crinkled as her hungry fingers dove into the bag, antiqued by the white chedder cheese powder.

“Chomp, chomp, chomp…crunch, crunch, crunch…chomp, crunch, chomp, crunch, chomp, crunch…” And then she swallowed, and she started again.

What would Jesus have done if he was woken up by a disciples eating something as loud as white cheddar cheese rice cakes on the morning of the Sermon on the Mount?  Would he have been angry?  Would he not even phased by it?  Would he say it was okay and that he didn’t mind, but actually hold a grudge?

It sounds like a super silly question, one not even worthy of being asked of Jesus.  In essence though, my question and every other question that we ever have boils down to one, root question: “Do I really have to love…always?”

“Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God.  Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love.”

1 John 4:7&8

“If I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing.”

1 Corinthians 13:2

To love or not to love always?… That is the question, but the answer is always, “Yes!  Love!”

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Be confidently you!

Do you ever feel scared to be fully who you are?

While in college, this is definitely something that I have struggled with!  It’s hard to explain but sometimes I feel as though I’m in a shell that I’m scared to come out of.

The other day, I heard this quote that really struck a chord with me.  I wish that I could remember it word for word but it went something like this:

The more that God is present within you, the more “you” that you will become. Since He created you and your personality, you will be the most true you whenever He is fully present within you.

In other words, since God is the one that created us, the larger that His presence is within us, we can be even more confident in the person that He created us to be.

“For am I now seeking the approval

of man, or of God?

Or am I still trying to please man?

If I were still trying to please man, I

would not

be a servant of Christ.”

Galatians 1:10

We are only servants of Christ when we truly believe Him and when His love fills us.  If you are like me, come out of your shell with me and learn that God created us exactly as we are with a purpose!  Be confident in knowing that and let His love fill you as you become more focused on God and His love and His glory rather than what mere, imperfect people may or may not think of you!

Be confidently you!

Be filled with God’s love :)

“We are God’s building.”

Have you ever run across a verse that made you say,”What???”  Hahaha…. well, I said that the first time when I read the story of the talking donkey in Leviticus or somewhere in the very beginning of the Old Testament.  Just now in the Starbucks of Downtown Franklin, TN, I just came across another verse.  This is what I saw right at first:

“You are God’s field, God’s building.” (1 Corinthians 3:9)

While both statements are really insightful, I especially liked the second half of that verse–that we are God’s building.  Here’s what the rest of that passage says:

“According to the grace of God given to me, like a skilled master builder I laid a foundation, and someone else is building upon it.  Let each one take care how he builds upon it.  For no one can lay a foundation other than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ  (1 Corinthians 3:10-11).”

The reason why I liked this passage so much was because it shows just how much we all have an influence on one another.  Paul states that he laid the foundation of Jesus Christ in the lives of church members of Corinth, and others build upon that foundation.  Since it is you and me, though, that are building upon this foundation, we certainly have to be careful!  Naturally, we are sinful and inexperienced when it comes to building spiritual houses, especially since we are still being built ourselves!

Not only are we just any building, though.  We are God’s temple! (1 Corinthians 3:16)  Woah!  We should definitely be careful now in how we are being built since we are His temple.

My challenge for you today is to think of yourself as God’s temple that is still under construction.  Who will you allow to lay each brick of your spiritual house?  How will you construct the walls or framework of the spiritual house of one of your friends or family members?

When creation no longer groans…

Do you ever wonder what nature will look like in heaven?


Yesterday, I was laying in my hammock out in the middle of someone’s farm– I mean, there was no “No Trespassing!” sign, so I figured it was okay……

Anyways!

I was laying in my really neat hammock just listening to the birds sing and feeling the wind blow through the parachute material of it.  In other words, I was simply enjoying just being out in God’s creation, which to me, seemed perfect besides the poison ivy growing right on the ground all around me.  I had to tiptoe through it as if walking through a mine field in order to set up my hammock.

Just about the time that I began thinking about how perfect everything was around me–besides the poison ivy, of course–I remembered a passage in Romans.  In Romans 8, Paul says that all creation has been in “bondage to decay” ever since the day that sin entered the world (Romans 8:19-22).  This passage made me ask myself, If this scene is groaning from being frustrated by sin, then how amazing will it be when Heaven comes with Jesus?

All I could say to answer that question was, “Woah!  I hope God has hammocks in heaven because I can’t wait to experience this in heaven!”

As a Christian, we believe that Jesus Christ died on a cross, becoming the curse of the Law itself in order that we might receive the righteousness of God (2 Corinthians 5:21, Galatians 3:13).  This belief is what saves us, allowing us to have what God has created us for: eternal life with Him (John 3:16, John 16:22).

Go out into the world today and praise God for giving you (as a Christian) the promise of an even more amazing creation to surround us once we finally reach heaven!  After all, when creation is no longer groaning, that will be the day when we receive “adoption as sons and the redemption of our bodies” (Romans 8:23).

The Dimension of the Heart

Did you know that there is a dimension to our heart?

I was reading my devotional this morning, Jesus Calling by Sarah Young, and she taught me something that I have never thought about before.  Here’s what she wrote in the point of view of Jesus:

“There are actually more than four dimensions in this world where you live.  In addition to the three dimensions of space and the one of time, there is the dimension of openness to My Presence.  This dimension transcends the others, giving you glimpses of heaven while you still reside on earth.  This was part of My original design for mankind.  Adam and Eve used to walk with Me in the garden, before heir expulsion from Eden.  I want you to walk with Me in the garden of your heart, where I have taken up permanent residence.”

Don’t worry if this seems to whoosh past over your head because I had to really think about it myself, too.  But think about it this way…

The dimensions of space–length (or height), width, and depth–are the ways in which we relate to tangible objects (anything that is composed of matter and can touch).  Example of dimensions of space: A sheet of paper is 8.5″ wide and 11″ long.  I can tell you that, and you can envision exactly in your head what that looks like.  In other words, we related using the dimensions of space.

But the dimension of the heart… This is different because it is the way in which we respond to everything that isn’t tangible.  To respond to something with the dimension of the heart requires faith that it even exists.  Whenever someone tells you that they are angry or sad, you can relate because you believe the emotion exists even though you can’t see the actual emotion that makes someone smile or frown.

You don’t see God but you have faith that He is there.  Even if you say, “God, I don’t believe in you anymore,” you still had to believe that He was there to here what you said.  Even if  you claim to not believe, you are still stating your relation to Him.

This is what Sarah is referring to when she says the “dimension of openness to His presence.”  She’s talking about the way that you can relate to God’s presence through faith.  The larger your faith, the larger your receptivity will be to God’s presence.

If you are having a hard time becoming aware of the presence of God, try looking at the size of your faith.  Ask yourself the question, “What makes my believing in the existence of happiness different than the existence of God’s presence in my life?”

Today, use the dimension of your heart.

Living With Passion from Holy Rage

I was feeling upset and, honestly, feed-up this morning, so I wrote the previous post.  After I was done, it was time to leave for class.  Once I had parked my car, I jumped on the shuttle to find that one of my shuttle-bus-driver buddies, Mr. Gerald, was driving.  As soon as I stepped up the stairs of the shuttle, he greeted me with his usual, “Hey there, Miss Sarah!”  Without even thinking about it, I replied, “Mr. Gerry!  It’s so good to see you!”  as if I hadn’t have even been steaming like an angry teapot just minutes earlier.  In my head, I said, “I still have a holy rage within me! So, grrrr……”  This thought lasted about as long as it took me to say “grrr” because then, I realized just how silly I was being.

There is no doubt in my mind that God gave me that rage.  After all, think about Jesus when he cleared out the temple in John 2: 13-17.  God revealed to me the way that sin has defiled His creation–what is supposed to be His temple–and so I felt rage against sin.

There’s a difference, though, between the rage Jesus had when He was cleansing the temple and the rage that I felt this morning: Jesus’ rage had the purpose of cleansing the temple.  My rage, though, only made my face fluster.  I wasn’t using that Holy rage to cleanse a temple.  Instead, I was obscuring my very own temple; the body and soul that God created me to be (1 Corinthians 6:19-20.)

God gives us all a Holy Rage.  The rage itself is good and necessary–it is a sign that we are truly convicted about the depravity of sin–but it is how we use that rage that matters.

This morning, I learned another valuable lesson.  I learned that having a Holy Rage inside of you does not mean being hateful of something else.  Instead, having a Holy Rage should make you passionate.  First: passionate to see your own sinful nature and need for Jesus to cleanse you as His temple.  Second: passionate and filled with a sense of urgency to glorify God by being light to the world (Matthew 5:14).

How I chose to be with the Big Guy: Part 1

Just a few minutes while typing random words, trying to figure out what to write about, I finally stopped and prayed about what to write about.  Then God tapped on my shoulder.  It was almost as if He told me, “Tell them your story!”  So today, here’s my story… the beginning, at least, of how I chose to be with the Big Guy.

As far as I can remember–even back to times when I even ate grass during recess–I’ve always gone to church.  Most days, my dad would poke and/or thump me if I was kicking the pew in front of me.  As a more dangerous, second resort, I would fall asleep during the sermon.  Children’s choir, youth groups, small groups, Bible study–you name it, and I was involved in it.  I was the role model Christian girl, and yet-here’s the truth-

I didn’t actually know God.

Bold statement, isn’t it?  But it’s the truth because I only knew God and the Word on a SURFACE level.  Honestly, until this last year, I couldn’t even tell you many of the Bible stories that I learned as a child.  Whenever I read the Bible–meaning the New Testament, Psalms, and Proverbs–I enjoyed the verses that talked about how I could receive anything that I asked for in prayer… boy, now THAT is a whole other story!  If this makes you feel better, too, I didn’t even know who Paul was until this past year!  If you don’t know of these things, whoo hoo! , I’m so glad that you’re reading this because you are exactly where I was too!

So how did I go from having a shallow belief in God to where I am now, loving Him with all of my life?  Here’s how…

I broke.

My whole life, I spent all of my time and energy trying to be perfect, complete, whole.  At a young age, I began to believe that I would only be acceptable when I was working and looking perfect.  This seemed to be what made people like me, so wouldn’t that naturally be what made me acceptable to God?

Boy, could I have been more wrong!  Here’s what I want you to see from this.  I lived my whole entire life believing that I was a Christian without actually even knowing God.

This is the first part of my story.  I hope you can relate, and keep checking in for the parts to come!