Tag Archives: God

Going outside!

Confession: I skipped class today…

“What? You did what, Sissy?”  My mom is probably asking this question in her head and THEN wondering why in the world I would write about it.  (Hi Mom!  I love you ;) )  But here’s why…

“The best remedy for those who are afraid, lonely or unhappy is to go outside, somewhere they can be quiet, alone with the heavens, nature, and God.  Because only then does one feel that all is as it should be and that God wishes to see people happy amidst the simple beauty of nature.”

Anne Frank was the wise, young woman that wrote these words, and this is basically what she’s saying.  Whenever we get so consumed with our own problems/fears/worries, the best thing for us is to go to the place where we feel closet to God: nature.

While I am not suggesting that we skip work or class or a meeting whenever we feel stressed, today, I didn’t go to class in order to spend this time to remember that God is my first priority, not grades.  It’s because of Him that I am able to go to class and even make grades.  I had forgotten this.

So do whatever it takes for you to remember who it is that you are living for and from.  Don’t be irresponsible–I’m not giving you a “Get out of jail” free card like in the game monopoly–but I am encouraging you to find your strength in Christ and be empowered by that strength to do all that He has given you to do.

“In return and in rest, you shall be saved.

In quiet and in trust shall be your strength.”

Isaiah 30:15

Take time to rest in beauty of God… Take time to appreciate Him for all that He is in our lives.  See and BELIEVE that He is the reason for every occurrence/occasion in your life.

Go outside and rest in God!

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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!”

Going the Distance

“Reluctantly crouched at the starting line,
Engines pumping and thumping in time.
The green light flashes, the flags go up.
Churning and burning, they yearn for the cup.
They deftly maneuver and muscle for rank,
Fuel burning fast on an empty tank.
Reckless and wild, they pour through the turns.
Their prowess is potent and secretly stearn.
As they speed through the finish, the flags go down.
The fans get up and they get out of town.
The arena is empty except for one man,
Still driving and striving as fast as he can.
The sun has gone down and the moon has come up,
And long ago somebody left with the cup.
But he’s driving and striving and hugging the turns.
And thinking of someone for whom he still burns

He’s going the distance…”

Do you recognize those lyrics?  It’s the beginning of Cake’s song called “The Distance.”  It used to be one of my favorite songs because of the song’s funky style.  You need to check it out, but beware… the chorus WILL get stuck in your head.  He’s going the distance…He’s going for speed…

This morning, I was flipping through pages in my Bible, just looking around, and I noticed something.  The theme of endurance is all throughout it.  Romans 15:5 even calls God the “God of endurance and encouragement.”  Here’s part of that passage starting in verse 1:

“We who are strong have an obligation to bear with the failings of the weak, and not to please ourselves.  Let each of us please his neighbor for his good, to build him up…that through the endurance and encouragement of the Scriptures, we might have hope.  May the God of endurance and encouragement grant you to live in such harmony with one another, in accord with Christ Jesus.” Romans 15:1-2, 4-5

Sometimes we can be like the man in Cake’s song.  Someone may have already won the cup in a worldly race, but we must keep on with endurance for the reward that we have in Heaven with Jesus Christ. (See 1 Corinthians 9:24-25)

Let’s yearn…. Let’s go the distance

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 :)

A Lizard Taught Me to Have Faith This Morning

Do you ever feel like you are a stranger in your own homeland?

This morning when I walking into the hallway, I saw a critter on the floor.  At first, I thought that it was a dustball being moved by the moving air from when I opened my bedroom door.  When I put my glasses on though, I saw that it wasn’t dust but that it was a baby lizard instead.

Knowing me and the animal/critter lover that I am, I said, “Oh!  A new pet!” but then I remember that I was living in a house full of 50+ women and thought against that idea.

And so, I got a small, Styrofoam cup and scooped it up with the assistance of a napkin.  After grossing out on of my sorority sisters with the news that I had caught a lizard outside of her bedroom door, I took it downstairs and out into the yard.

While I was doing all of this, one thought came to my mind: this little guy is a stranger in search of the way back home.

These all died in faith, not having received the things promised, but having seen them and greeted them from afar, and having acknowledged that they were strangers and exiles on earth.  For people who speak thus make it clear that they are seeking a homeland… As it is, they desire a better country, that is, a heavenly one.  Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared for them a city.”    -Hebrews 11:13, 14, 16

We were created to desire a better country, a heavenly one.  So have faith!  Even when you feel like you are an exile, even when you feel like a stranger, remember that God has prepared a place for those that remain steadfast in their faith.

Even as an exile, remain faithful.  Have faith!

A Spiritual Heart Transplant

Are we changed from the inside out?

In the book of 1 Samuel, there’s the story of a guy named Saul that became the first man to be elected as the king of Israel.  God has chosen Saul specifically to be their king; it wasn’t by chance or by the power of men.

When Saul left from being anointed as king, 1 Samuel 10:9-13 says,

“When he turned his back to leave from Samuel [the priest that had anointed him] God gave him a new heart…and the Spirit of God rushed upon him, and he prophesied among them.  And when all who knew him previously saw how he prophesied with the prophets, the people said to one another, “What has come over him?  Is Saul also among the prophets?”  When he had finished prophesying, he came to the high place.”

I’ve been thinking a lot about what it means to be given a new heart. While there are many different ways that you can reference the heart–the organ that pumps blood, the warehouse of emotions, etc.–the heart especially seems to us to be the place where God’s Spirit dwells within us.

God has plans for each and every one of us, and He has equipped us with the skills, gifts, talents, loves, and even a special heart in order to fulfill every part of His plan for us with His help.

Search me, O God, and know my heart!

Try me and know my thoughts!

Psalm 139:23

God knows us better than we know ourselves, but it’s time that we get to know ourselves a little bit better.  It’s time that we get to know ourselves not by our intentions but by our actions.

Does our outward appearance reflect the inward change that occured when the Holy Spirit filled us and were given a new heart?

The Coach’s View on the Soccer Field of Life

Do you ever wonder how God looks at us as His children?  If life was a soccer match and God was the coach, to whom would God give high fives or shake His head because of a bad play or yell out shouts of encouragement? 

Recently, this question has been on my mind.  While we can never know the motives of God, there are a couple of verses that have given me some thoughts on how God looks upon us.  

“The LORD does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.” 1 Sam. 16:7

Right off the bat, we see that God sees differently than we do.  Why is that?  It’s because on earth, our outer appearance is how we usually convey our worldly state–whether we are happy, successful, wealthy, etc.  But here’s the thing, God’s kingdom is much different than our world.  While the criteria for who’s the best here in the world may be based on status, God’s kingdom sees right through all of this. 

“27But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. 28He chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things—and the things that are not—to nullify the things that are, 29so that no one may boast before him. 30It is because of him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God—that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption. 31Therefore, as it is written: “Let him who boasts boast in the Lord.” 1 Corinthians 1:27-31

You see, it’s all about our heart condition.  When we encounter God, does the life that we live from there out give all the glory to Him? 

Just as a great coach, God sees that while skill is needed for His team–after all, He gave us every skill that we have–it’s the condition of your heart that determines how you will work in His body of believers.  Will your life of being the most improved–from a destitute sinner to a believer washed in God’s grace and love–be even more important than being the team member that scores the most goals?

God loves each and every single one of us–bench warmer or team captain alike.  So the real question for you today is this: by your heart condition, are you ready to glorify God?