Monthly Archives

March 2015

2 In Blog

Making Our Way to the Cross

I have had two things weighing on my heart heavily in the last few days. I am going to try to mix these two things together. I will ask you to please forgive me if I do not do this topic justice. This is something that is so powerful and deserves to be handled beautifully–so please forgive me if I fail. This also is a very long post and I hope that my readers will be patient and read the full post, and forgive me for being wordy.

We are in the season of Lent, I do not know if you have ever participated in “giving something up” or “putting something on.” I have never done this until this year. As my dear friend explained we practice this “giving up” or “putting on” to bring us closer in our relationship with God. Many people choose to give up a certain food/drink etc. But this year I “put on” thinking better about myself. I have always thought so low of myself; I have never felt worthy of beautiful things or that I really had true value. And recently I have been recognizing this detrimental mindset in others I love and care for. So this is one issue that I have been grappling with in the past few days.

We are special, unique, and beautiful creatures–we were all given special purpose in this world. And it is right and it is so good if we use those unique gifts and talents; it is okay to seek out glory. But make sure that glory is for the One it belongs to–God. God has blessed every one of us with our own unique set of gifts and talents and WANTS us to use them. We are all destined for greatness but first we must learn to love ourselves and learn how to use these gifts for the glory of God.

Psalm 139: 13-14

For it was you who formed my inward parts; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; that I know very well.

We are “wonderfully made” let that sit with you, let it rest in your heart, learn to trust it and learn to believe it. You are a wonderful creation. Beautiful, intricate, talented, gifted, unique and the list continues on and on. We are all specks on this earth but beautiful and intentional specks. We all have our own paths and our own journeys that were made just for us. Think about that! We were made to make a difference. Yes, one speck can make a difference–never sell yourself short. Every single one of us is a beautiful child of God–this is a life-altering realization. We are all God’s children and we are all deserving of beautiful things and of beautiful/perfect love. Please my brothers and sisters do not forget this. Remind yourself everyday that you were intentional, God has a purpose for you, and that God truly loves you completely and fully.

In this season of Lent, as I have made the journey to the cross and as I have “put on” thinking better of myself–I am closer to God. I have realized that in order for me to be able to love others, let others love me, and to love and be loved by God I must love myself.

That is my personal story for this season of Lent. Now I would like to get into something else. Lent has never really meant a lot to me, I guess I never really thought of what “Making Our Way to the Cross” meant. But suddenly as I was having lunch with a friend yesterday I realized that wow–Friday is the day. Friday is the day we recognize that Jesus made his way to the cross to lay his life down to free us from our sins. WOW. That is a powerful thing. I realized that this past Sunday Jesus rode into Jerusalem, where he knew enemies would be waiting. And that we are three days from the cross. We usually celebrate the fact that we do not have school on Good Friday, but I realized, Friday is a day of mourning. It is a day of darkness. It is a day of sadness. It is a day that is marked by hatred (from the people). It is a day that is marked by sacrifice (Jesus). It is a day marked by extreme love (Jesus). This man who is fully human and fully God came into this world in the humblest of ways, he was born as all humans are born. He depended on his mother and father as a child. And yet he was born to be great and for a great purpose. And just as we face emotions such as: betrayal, hatred, hurt, pain, suffering,love,happiness, joy etc. Jesus felt those things. God came to be one of us to feel and experience the things we feel and experience. And was willing to sacrifice himself for us to free us. How wonderful is that? That my dear brothers and sisters is perfect love.

Jesus was betrayed, was denied by a close friend, was beaten, tortured: physically and emotionally, was humiliated and felt forsaken. Yet this beautiful person could still utter “‘Father, forgive them; for they do not know what they are doing'” (Luke 23:34). Brothers and Sisters this is the ultimate sacrifice. Friday is a day of grief, and day of mourning, but a day that we should have hope. For we know that “on the third day he rose again from the dead” (Apostles’ Creed). The darkness that comes on Friday will be wiped away by the light that is found on Sunday morning–when we will rejoice for he has risen.

But My dear brothers and sisters please remember Friday. Friday is when we all complete our journey to the cross; where we figuratively stand at the cross with Jesus and watch as he lays his life down for us. May we recognize the power and the love of this sacrifice. And may we give thanks: “For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16).

Lord, may we recognize the beautiful and perfect love that you provide us. May we recognize the power of this sacrifice and come with thanksgiving in our hearts that you love us so much. May we also recognize the hope on Friday, and recognize the beauty in the knowledge that Jesus rose again.

May the peace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with you all as you make your way to the cross.

0 In Blog

Warrior of Love

This world can be dark, scary, mean, ugly and cruel. People everywhere are hurting and cannot seem to stop. People are cruel to others and persecute them. But I am going to let you in on a little secret–the secret to what makes the world go round, what brings magic and madness to our lives, what brings happiness and joy, and sometimes sorrow–one of the most wonderful things ever. LOVE.

Love, pure and rare love is something that most people have never experienced. But I thank God that I have. I have a life full of love and loving people. However, love is not always easy, it is not always happy, and it is not always beautiful. Sometimes love can cause hurt and it can be messy. But guess what–it is worth it.

I think this world puts love into a little box; trying to describe what “appropriate” love looks like, what “acceptable” love looks like. Well I am here to tell you love is an incredible and unpredictable force that should never be given limits. LOVE HAS NO LIMITS. There is no nice little box of love. It is just splattered everywhere, all over the world, in our hearts, and in the very air we breath. God is love. All the love we have been given comes from God.

I am going to let you in on an even bigger secret…in this world when it seems that dark and evil are going to win look into your hearts and there should be a little ember glowing. If you take that little glowing ember and spread it, it will grow into a huge fire that will set the world aflame. Because friends–love is going to win, it always has and always will. We know the end of the story–good wins. Our strongest weapons are our loving hearts.

Our hearts may get bruised and battered along the way; our hearts cannot handle the world alone they need that extra special something that only God can provide. But my friends love is worth it. To love and be loved are two of the most special and treasured things in life. You have to be vulnerable and you have to sometimes get hurt, but you cannot be afraid. I promise love is worth it. Love is simply love–there are no boundaries and should be no labels. It cannot just be simply defined into romantic love, that is what most people think today. And if you think that you are only limiting yourself to the endless possibilities of love there are. Don’t try and limit love. Let yourself be vulnerable, in a weak moment you might regret it but in the long run you never ever will.

I think that I might have found my calling in life. I am going to be honest, I have never thought highly of myself–I never thought that I should or could. But I am here to tell you that we are all special and no one should think poorly of yourself. You cannot love others fully until you fully love you. I finally can say I love me. And I am favored–I think that I am to be a warrior of love for this world. Love needs defending and armed with my heart and my God I just might be able to make a difference.

1 John 4:7-21 (Not all is written out here–go look up the whole passage)

Beloved, let us love one another, because love is from God; everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, for God is love….God is love, and those who abide in love abide in God, and God abides in them. Love has been perfected among us in this: that we may have boldness on the day of judgment, because as he is, so are we in this world. There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear; for fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not reached perfection in love. We love because he first loved us….

I think one of my favorite lines from this is: “there is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear.”

Friends love one another, be brave in doing so, and trust in the Lord–he will protect and love you.

May the peace and the love of Jesus Christ be with you all.

0 In Blog

Defining Moments

I have not posted in a long time, the past month has been a whirlwind of one busy activity after another. I had to prepare to go abroad then I had to travel abroad–and one thing I realize is when I go abroad for a short amount of time my quiet times that I need with God are usually put on the back burner. After returning home I had to get my body ready to start the last few weeks of my senior year. So busy busy. But even though I have not had my quiet alone time with God that I need I have been growing, developing, and reflecting on some incredible “God moments.”

Often times we like to say that we have one big defining moment in our lives–that one BAM moment. But I started to think maybe we have a lot of little defining moments, some are bigger than others but they are always there, challenging you to look at yourself and try to define who you are and who you are becoming. I wish that I could say that I have never had to deal with mean people, cruelty, or disappointment–but I can’t. But I know that I am to thank God for all moments, especially those times where I suffer. As Christians we are called to suffer, it is not always happy go lucky. It is in these moments of suffering how we respond is when we are defining ourselves. How we rise to a challenge and how we trust God during these challenges–that is what defines us.

A couple of days ago I received news of a “bump in the road” to my plan. I was disappointed and I had to talk myself off the cliff of self-pity. I told myself “You are enough, it is going to be okay.” After I pulled it somewhat together I went to my meeting with an incredible, grace filled and loving professor. I told him what had happened and he gave me advice that I think can be applied to most situations.

Moses parted the Red Sea, the people were walking on “dry land” in the middle of a body of water. Their pathway was clear, they only had to make it to the other side, there were no obstacles standing in their way. God promised them they would make it, and they could see that they were going to. Sometimes our walk of faith can be easy; we can see a clear path, there are no obstacles. We can walk by sight. But in the case of Joshua we are not told specifically that the water of the Jordan separates instead there is an order that they should “wade into the water” that if they trust God, God will provide a way. Rather than seeing the waters divide first Joshua had to take a leap of faith and wade into the water, hoping that God would provide a clear path. Joshua could not see his path, he had to walk by faith not by sight. Because of his faith and the faith of others, a clear path was provided.

My mind was blown when he told me this-it made sense, it connected with me and stuck in my heart. When we are in times of distress or trial we should recognize that maybe this is a test of our trust. Who do we trust? Do we trust that God will clear us a path?

These are defining moments; our teacher is watching out for us hoping that we will lean on him.

Exodus 14:14

“The Lord will fight for you, and you have only to keep still.”

Joshua 1:9

“I hereby command you: Be strong and courageous; do not be frightened or dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”

May the peace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with you all.