Monday, September 26, 2011

What We (well, actually ME) Fear.

They have asked us to blog on what we fear over at Incourage, to kind of tie in with Angie Smith's new book "What Women Fear".  (the post is here ).  I'm really looking forward to reading this book, to learn some things, and hopefully find some grace in it. 

I don't fear death (really-honestly I'm not affarid to die), or going to places like Afganastan or somehting like that.  There's a part of me that longs for both of those things.

One thing I struggle in Fear in my life kinda boils down to wanting things. 

It can be a varity of things, wheather it is a new job, growth in my current job, growth in my personal endevors (like my photography), firendships, or even in meeting someone and settling down. 

I fear those things and often don't even realize that I'm doing it.   

I know that there is a part of me in those that feels like I'm not good enough,  not capable, or loved. 
The devil ceratinaly plays up on those things. 

Be it a tiff with a friend, a promotion of someone else, some one prefering the work of another, or even when it comes down to guys, their lack of attention (in the long run). 

I often think to myself why would they want me. 

Which yes I know is crazy. 
But they are often the thoughts that still run through my head. 
Right or Wrong.

I do know that I must take these thoughts captive and reafferm that they are indeed lies.

Somedays though that is easier than other days. 

Somedays all I want is to be loved and affirmed. 

For someone to say I really am worth the effort because most days I feel like I'm very not worth is. 

So that's my fear, and here's to letting go of all of that and embracing the truth of what God says about me.

Psalm 139:14
I will give thanks to You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made;

Jeremiah 31:3
The LORD has appeared of old to me, saying: “ Yes, I have loved you with an everlasting love; Therefore with lovingkindness I have drawn you.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

I’ve been there…

Forgive me…it took a little longer than expected to get this post up.

Yesterday was the 10th anniversary of 9/11/2001.

A day that most of us know exactly where we were and what we were doing. That day was a hard day for most of us. A shocking day where what we as American’s, who probably mostly thought we were untouchable, were touched, or more accurately punched in the stomach.

Yesterday the events of that day were broadcast everywhere. On TV, the Radio, Facebook, churches. I don’t think there was really a place that it wasn’t mentioned. You couldn’t avoid it unless you stayed home and didn’t turn anything on. And even then if you knew what date it was I don’t think you’d have been spared the memories.

Yesterday in church our pastor read Acts 11:1-3
1 The apostles and the believers throughout Judea heard that the Gentiles also had received the word of God. 2 So when Peter went up to Jerusalem, the circumcised believers criticized him 3 and said, “You went into the house of uncircumcised men and ate with them.”

He talked about how the Jews had issue with Peter taking the gospel to the Gentiles.

Our pastor then said what if that was you right after 9/11/01? What if you were called to go to a Muslim nation? What would people say, what would your family think, what would you do?

Well, guess what….
That was me.

10years ago when the planes hit the twin towers, when one hit the pentagon and one landed in a field in Pennsylvania, I was sitting in a classroom in Elm Springs Arkansas at the YWAM base there. (YWAM is youth for a mission in case you weren’t familiar with the acronym). I was in my 9th month at the base, and we were just 2 months shy of going on outreach.

And we were going to TURKEY

Turkey (at least at the time) was 98.9% Muslim.

Yep, I’m sure you know that most people didn’t react favorably to our going. I was 21 at the time, so I remember calling home and talking to my mom about it. I know she was worried. But we had prayed about where to go since we had been in this school and we had felt as though we had clear direction on where God wanted us to be for outreach and that was there.

In Turkey.

Where it is a Muslim country.

Thankfully my family understood. Thankfully I come from a Christian home where they knew God’s will would be done and if that was in keeping me safe so be it and if it was not then so be it as well. They knew where I was going and they trusted Him as well.

I’ll be honest, I’m stubborn. Very, very stubborn. So there would probably have been little that they could have done even if they opposed.

I know there was opposition from others at the base. People that told us the very next day, in a prayer meeting, that we shouldn’t go. People that I wanted to smack in some ways because I choose and had chosen to believe that God was bigger than all that. And that he had a plan in sending us there.

And He did… we had a fruitful trip, filled with many divine appointments. Salvation and things that I’m sure just wouldn’t have happened had God not gone before us. I know still to this day that He called us there. And that it was all part of His plan, for us and for that nation.

So my encouragement to you is to keep going no matter the circumstances of what’s going on around you. If you feel that God is calling you to do something and go somewhere trust His plan.
If He is going with you and before you, you’re in the best place to be.
Regardless of what others think.

PS- it was all I could do while sitting in church to not raise my hand and be all like I did that- I LIVED that! :o) But I refrained.

Oh and God also took us to NY in an unscheduled way as well.   We were there ministering near Ground Zero on October 11, 2011 - prayer booths and all that kind of thing.  It's the last time I was in NY actually.  And my heart still longs to go back there to see how it is now that the building is no longer smoking, and the dust is cleaned away and the people are no longer wearing gas masks.  Hopefully someday God will call me back there. 

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Jam Session Thursday- Whitespace

I loved Bonnie's post this morning, so if you have a moment (and aren't coming from that direction) hop on over to Her Blog and read what she wrote.

Our "white space" is what Bonnie refers as our time alone with God.

She was asking this morning specifically about "When you need rest and alone time with God, is it hard or easy? What holds you back?"

I do want to start by pointing out that I think that we all need rest and alone time with God even if we don't always "feel" the need for it.  Though there are times I know I feel desperate for it. 

Our connecting with God is something that we need to do because our faith as Christians is relationship driven.  And just as any other relationship we need to connect and communicate with the other person there to be able to really truly take advantage and enjoy that relationship.
The relationships in my daily life that I take the time to nurture and grow are the ones that are most often the strongest ones I have. 
Because I've made the time to meet with those people
to connect with them
find out what's going on with them
to share
and often to open myself up to them

And in doing those things I've built the foundation, trust, respect, love. 

Things that for me are very important in a relationship. 

Things that also transcend in importance in my relationship with God. 

Now, I will say I am thankful that my foundation with him has been built over the years, so that even in the times where I've hit my rough patches my trust seems to stay true. 

But getting to my white space isn't always easy.

There are obstacles, more often than not ones that I've put in my own path. 
1. Busyness is a BIG one for me.
- I often find that I make myself too busy to make time for God.
2. Self Condemnation
- this comes from the enemy I'm sure, but I often think that if I'm not going to "live right" or when I've "messed up" a bunch that God doesn't want to hear from me. 

What I need to remember is that, well, that stuff doesn't matter.
God wants me (and you) no matter what state I'm in.
And I need to remember that often communication with him doesn't have to be a big long time thing. 
Just like the little - good morning text messages or kisses goodbye you may have with your spouse or children in the morning- those things can bring refreshment to a relationship.  Joy to one's heart. 
And just like that happens with the people in our lives it can happen that way with God. 

Almost every morning I have the opportunity to be greeted with something like this....
And what I do with that is up to me. 
More and more often, I try to recognize what is right in front of me out my window on my way to work.
And say - "Good Morning Lord"
taking a deep breath no matter what state I'm in and letting it out, relaxing in that moment and loving him, just like he loves me. 
It doesn't have to be a big long drawn out thing.
Most often it's on my way into work that it happens, while I'm sitting in my car.
It's often not silent
Or planned
It's just a moment
One of connection
And a simple reminder of His love for me, and therefore a moment for me to
And tell him- "Thanks I love you too".