Wednesday, September 29, 2010

He is jealous for me.

He is jealous for ME.

that is what's up. tonight at church was a sweet time with the Spirit of God. He was wrapped all up in our midst.

tonight we all prayed for a man in the church named Jay. he is battling cancer and it isn't getting any better. so as a church, we laid hands on him, anointed him with oil, and prayed hard for him. it is so good to be following with a church who lives out the scripture.

we had an amazing worship time tonight as well. God is so good, and i am so not worthy of the love that He extends towards me.

back to the jealousy issue though. have you ever stepped back and thought about that truth. that God is jealous for us? He is jealous for a sinful nation? for people who are messed up? broken? distant? yeah He is. we were made for Him. and He wants us. Colossians 1:16 says, "For by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities--all things have been created through Him and for Him." And in 1 Peter 2:9 Paul says, "But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light." we have it laid out for us in scripture and often times we fail to remember that we are here for the Lord, and He is not here for us. i was reminded of that tonight. my life is a reflection of my love for Him. that is why i live. the only reason i live.

today was so special to me. all day long i had two passages of scripture on my heart. Romans 8:38-39, which is my life verse, and James 5:16. tonight both of these scriptures were proclaimed in church. i didnt know what to say. i sent Landon the verse in Romans earlier that day, and during church he turned and grinned at me because he knew thats what God had laid on my heart. it is so funny how the Lord works sometimes. but it's always good.

Oh how He loves us!

Friday, September 24, 2010

all i need.

what does it look like to you to know Christ? i guess the more important question to ask is not that we know Christ, but does He also know you? are you known by God?

thats where im coming from as of late. well really the past 4 or 5 months. but for real i guess when i started my relationship with God. i am fully confident that i know Christ and He knows me, but i think that he is helping me understand that better. i am in a state of awe right now. it is different. all around me, in so many different situations and circumstances, God is helping me understand my role as His child. He trusts me with more. He continues to love me when i mess up. and He never stops giving me guidance.

all this is so different. i am willfully following in situations that i never thought i would. i placed a letter in a strangers box encouraging their family because the Holy Spirit told me to. i am mentoring/discipleing a kid i hardly know because the Holy Spirit impressed it upon me to help change this child's life eternally. i am joining a church that is on a remarkable journey for the Lord because the Holy Spirit led me there.

what is the linking factor in all of these? the Holy Spirit you may say? well, i will say that He does have a big impact in those things, but that isn't it. you see since i began my relationship with the Lord, i have had the Holy Spirit with me. it is biblical (some may debate with that, but that is my understanding of scripture--Acts 15:7-8; Matthew 28:19-20; Ephesians 1:13-14; 1 John 4:13-16) but the fact of the matter is that i havent placed my trust in the Spirit's working power in my life at all times. i have before, but it was more of a half heartedness to see what He could do. i have tried to lead the Spirit instead of Him leading me. i wanted to make it what i wanted to, not what He wanted to. but now im beginning to see what it looks like to trust in that gift that Jesus promised to those who believe in Him. the Spirit is a PERSON, He is GOD, He is ETERNAL and HOLY, He PRAYS for me, and He prays for YOU. He cares enough for me to tell me where i am wrong and to convict me of the sin that holds me back. and part of that sin is thinking that i can contain the Spirit in a metaphorical human jar. i limited Him for the longest time. but He isn't here for me. He is here for God. God wants us to know that His gift of the Holy Spirit is really not here for our own pleasure and purpose. Th Spirit is meant to lead us toward holiness. The Spirit is here with us to accomplish God's purpose, not our own.

i dont know what this looks like for you, and frankly i dont know what it looks like for me either. i will never know what lies down the road except for the fact that i am going to try my hardest to "walk in the Spirit" and "live by the Spirit" daily like the relayed message from God through Paul says. it will be hard, and i will still mess up, but one thing i know for sure--Jesus is all i need.
"for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure." Philippians 2:13

Monday, September 20, 2010

buy yourself a cadillac.

"This is the confidence which we have before Him, that, if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that He hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have the requests which we have asked from Him." 1 John 5:14-15
God has been wrecking me lately. i dont know what it is. i cant handle Him sometimes. and that is so humbling.

since i have moved to clinton, ms and have started attending Country Woods Baptist Church, God has really laid it on my heart to get involved with the youth at the church. since that has happened God continues to use me to build relationships with these kids. i do Sunday night discipleship with them, Wednesday night church, and hang out for youth stuff. we play A LOT of ultimate frisbee (so far my record is 7-1; pretty good if i do say so myself) anywho, while i have been doing all this there is this one kid that has really stuck out. his name is landon. God really burdened me for this kid. i have felt for a couple of weeks now that the Lord was wanting me to disciple/mentor him, but i wasnt sure. i prayed about it often and really wasnt sure if it was something that i should do. but last night God changed all that. He affirmed full well that he needed me to do this. how you may ask? well, landon sent me a message after church last night, how he got my number, i have no idea, but what he said hit me hard. he flat out asked me if i would mentor and disciple him. yeah, tell me about it. i told him that i would talk with the youth pastor before we made a decision. and sure enough landon had already asked him about it too. he told me that he was all for it if i had the time. and of course i have the time. so there it is. and now you know my prayer. i will ask that this time with landon will be a blessing to the Lord. that he will grow and i will grow. that both of us will find a new understanding of the Lord on this journey. i am also scared as much as i am excited. im afraid that i will fail. yes i know that im not perfect, but im afraid that it will be so bad that landon goes away from the Lord. discipleship is my heart, but it's also a hard thing.
"Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age." Matthew 28:19-20
so the Lord is using me. thats what i have asked for. He is so good to his children. i love Him so much.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

The place that we belong.

Our beloved Father please come down and meet us
We are waiting on Your touch
Open up the heavens, shower down Your presence
We respond to Your great love

We won't be satisfied with anything ordinary
We won't be satisfied at all

Open up the sky, fall down like rain
We don't want blessings, we want You
Open up the sky, fall down like fire,
We don't want anything but You

Our beloved Jesus we just want to see You
in the glory of Your light

Earthly things don't matter
They just fade and shatter
When we're touched by love divine

Open up the sky, fall down like rain
We don't want blessings, we want You
Open up the sky, fall down like fire,
We don't want anything but You

Here we go lets go to the throne
The place that we belong Right into His arms

we sang this song at church tonight, and my heart broke. not for the lyrics, by any means, because they have power behind them, but rather for the fact that sometimes i find myself just singing simply because the words are on a screen. and its funny enough that i felt that in my heart, and im pretty sure i wasnt the only one, but the Lord spoke through Gerald tonight on the fact that sometimes we stay contained in our Christian bubble that we fail to realize that it is a hinderance to us. it keeps us "safe". i dont realize that by doing this that it's actually working against me and i am letting Satan win. i am allowing him to use my "safety" that is contained by Christian mediocrity to rule me instead of letting go of myself, like Jesus asks me to, and allowing HIM to use me. did you catch that? by keeping myself safe from the world i am no longer a witness to the world. i am a cheap imitation of what a Christ follower is suppose to look like. In Matthew 5:14 Jesus says, "You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden;" this is the beginning of the Sermon on the Mount where Jesus is addressing a multitude of people, but in this particular verse, if read properly, you can see that Jesus is actually charging us as believers to be in the world to shine in the world. to light up the darkness and show people who Jesus really is. to live a life worthy of the gospel. In 1 Corinthians 9:14 it says, "the Lord commanded that those who proclaim the gospel should get their living by the gospel." HOT DANG. that's a shot to the heart. God himself commands us that if we are claiming that we know Christ, that He is alive and inside of us, that we trust in Him and His working power, then we should find all that we are in that truth. and that's where i fail most often. but that is also my prayer most often. that in everything that i do i will be able to literally "practice what i preach". i dont want anything else but Christ. do you?

Saturday, September 11, 2010

fun lies ahead.

This is what me and my wonderful girlfriend are doing for Fall Break in Orlando, FL. You would think that we were two little kids getting to see their favorite celebrity icon....oh, well, ok, we are. I'm super pumped and excited! Bring on the Butter Beer and the dragons!!!! (click either word to find out more yourself)

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

tiredness? what's that?

i have been soooooo tired today. i really don't know how/why i am. i really don't like it. i almost didn't want to go to church tonight. but I'm glad i did.

Gerald (the youth minister at Country Woods Baptist Church) spoke out of James tonight and it was great! James is a good book to dig into and see how we should act as believers. it's pretty heart making/breaking stuff. cuts to the core. and that is how we are suppose to read it. he made a statement tonight that hit me in a profound way. he said, "there is no way that you can read scripture and not be changed". (I'm pretty sure that he said it in a different way, but that's the Daniel abridged version) that is such an amazing truth. i read the Bible so often as a kid and never really was engaged by it, but now that i know how powerful and life changing it is, i am so captivated by it. i love God's word.
"All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be competent, equipped for every good work." 2 Timothy 3:16-17
i also had a great night with friends. it was free coffee and cookie night at the cafe on campus, and you better believe since there was the word "free" in front of the event then i was there. we had a good time laughing, playing jenga, phase 10, and apples to apples. tonight was the first time i actually played apples to apples. i had a really fun time. i like my friends here. i am so blessed. i think God knows what he is doing.
"Dear friends, do you think you'll get anywhere in this if you learn all the right words but never do anything? Does merely talking about faith indicate that a person really has it? For instance, you come upon an old friend dressed in rags and half-starved and say, "Good morning, friend! Be clothed in Christ! Be filled with the Holy Spirit!" and walk off without providing so much as a coat or a cup of soup--where does that get you? Isn't it obvious that God-talk without God-acts is outrageous nonsense?" James 2:14-17

Sunday, September 5, 2010

your mercy found me.

this weekend has been one of those weekend that has refreshed me. yes i know that it was labor day weekend where we supposedly get that time off of work (but why is it called labor day then?), but i needed this weekend. i went and spent the weekend with the Frank's. you know, Noah's family. if you follow my blog i have mentioned Noah several times, so as to put the pieces together, it's his family.

while i was there i simply just hung out. i felt a part of their family, which is literally how they treat me. we went to a high school football game, 5th quarter at the church, and i got to hang out with my DNOW kids all night. all i can say is that i was so blessed.

on friday night after we had finished dinner, mrs. debbie and i sat and talked for about 45 minutes afterwards. she asked me questions about life and such, but one question in particular really got me thinking. she asked me what "life lessons" i learned while i was at North Greenwood Baptist Church. i thought for a second and i asked if she wanted me to give her an honest answer. and of course she said yes. so, i thought again, and came to the conclusion that i learned a lot about myself and ministry in itself. i learned what a church is supposed to and not supposed to look like. i learned that i need to rely more on the Lord and not try to make my ministry what i want it to be but what the Lord wants it to be. a lot of my time there was from selfishness, some was not, but for the main part it was. i let relationships get in the way. i let my own desires take control of me and not let the Lord have me completely. would i have traded my time there for anything else? no. because of that season in my life, the Lord taught me a whole lot and i wouldn't be in Mississippi now working at Mississippi College in a state of more happiness than i have experienced in a while. so thank you Lord for bringing me here. its more than i could have ever asked or imagined.
"Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen." Ephesians 3:20-21
this morning i drove back early so that i could make it back for church this morning at Country Woods Baptist (which is the church that i have been attending). at first i contemplated whether or not i should drive back or stay and go to church with the Franks, but i am glad that i made the decision to come back. this is totally what i needed. pastor jon spoke on the dire need for believers to be connected and a part of a local church. it hit me hard. i have been praying for my decision in going to a place where the Lord needs me to serve him. and i feel that this may be it. i am still praying about it, but this morning showed me that God is totally concerned for my needs. he cares about me. it was a good truth i needed this morning. so be in prayer for my decision in joining this church.
"Continue steadfastly in prayer, being watchful in it with thanksgiving. At the same time, pray also for us, that God may open to us a door for the word, to declare the mystery of Christ, on account of which I am in prison—that I may make it clear, which is how I ought to speak. Conduct yourselves wisely toward outsiders, making the best use of the time. Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person." Colossians 4:2-6
my afternoon consisted of a Sunday routine that i have not seen in a long time. i ate lunch, which had to be cereal. i love cereal. second i took a nap while watching harry potter 4. two hours of rest was good. after that i went for a run. i didnt have an agenda,which was good, but i just ran. i ran 4 miles in a direction of not know where it would lead me. luckily it ended me right back at the school, but it was good knowing that i had the ability to do what i did for leisure and fun.

when i got in my car to see how far i ran, i rolled my windows down turned on a chilled worship mix cd, and drove. i noticed a couple of things while i was out:

1. God is amazing at what He does. there is no way on earth that all of this nature stuff just happened. it is so cool to see how God ordained everything in its place. from the sunset to the birds chirping in the trees.
"As for me, I would seek God, and to God would I commit my cause, who does great things and unsearchable, marvelous things without number: he gives rain on the earth and sends waters on the fields." Job 5:8-10
2. i love the beginning of fall. yes i know that fall has not actually begun, but people seem to embrace this type of weather a whole lot easier than most seasons. i literally saw maybe 6 families playing in their yards throwing the football, kicking a soccer ball, or simply sitting on their porches embracing the weather. people were walking and riding bikes. i even had a little boy wave at me in my car. it put a huge smile on my face.
"You reveal the path of life to me; in Your presence is abundant joy; in Your right hand are eternal pleasures." Psalm 16:11
3. i love people. while i was driving a little boy kicked a soccer ball out into the road and i had to stop. his father apologized for it and i said it was no problem. i had a little conversation with him about soccer and such, and then went on. i think im going to write that family a note and place it in their mailbox. i just love the working of the Holy Spirit and how he crosses people's paths.

“Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?” And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself." Matthew 22:36-39

You're greater than my yesterdays, You hold me close today
You're the Lord of my tomorrows, my heart will always say
You're greater than my yesterdays, You hold me close today
You're the Lord of my tomorrows, my heart will always say

Your mercy saved me, mercy made me whole
Your mercy found me, called me as Your own
Your mercy saved me, mercy made me whole
Your mercy found me, called me as Your own

You called me as Your own
You called me as Your own
Thank You for Your mercy
Thank You for Your mercy