Tuesday, November 30, 2010

miss me much?

thanksgiving break was wonderful. i have so much to be thankful for. family, friends, shelter, food, job, air, hairy legs, etc. the list is endless. but i found something else that i am thankful for that i continually overlook: God's word.

God's word is special. it isnt just something that has been written down for us to follow. it isnt an instructional manual. if it were it would handle the temporary and it would only last until something else better came along that had better instructions. its so much more than that.

this whole revelation came after a good four days of not spending any time in the Word. yeah, ill admit it. it is a big struggle for me to keep on track with doing my quiet times when everything around me isnt as it should be. i like my routine and when it is thrown off in the least little bit, i get sidetracked and dont spend time with my Maker. but these days helped me come to a realization that i needed. i had come to find out that i missed reading God's word. over the course of those few days, i felt like something was off. that i was missing something. that i was missing a piece of me.

God's word IS living and active as it is stated in Hebrews 4. it consumes you to the core of who you are. and until we understand its working power in our lives and in the lives around us, we will see it as just another book. and that isnt what it was created for. understand that now. not later.

this passage helped me understand this truth, and I hope it does the same for you:

"Therefore, rid yourselves of all malice and all deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and slander of every kind. 2 Like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation, 3 now that you have tasted that the Lord is good.

The Living Stone and a Chosen People
4 As you come to him, the living Stone—rejected by humans but chosen by God and precious to him— 5 you also, like living stones, are being built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.6 For in Scripture it says:

“See, I lay a stone in Zion,
a chosen and precious cornerstone,
and the one who trusts in him
will never be put to shame.”

7 Now to you who believe, this stone is precious. But to those who do not believe,

“The stone the builders rejected
has become the cornerstone,”

8 and,

“A stone that causes people to stumble
and a rock that makes them fall.”

They stumble because they disobey the message—which is also what they were destined for.

9 But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. 10 Once you were not a people, but now you are the people of God; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy."

1 Peter 2:1-10

Tuesday, November 23, 2010


I wrote this post about a year ago and I was reminded of it today....

Romans 6:6-11 says…Could it be any clearer? Our old way of life was nailed to the cross with Christ, a decisive end to that sin-miserable life—no longer at sin's every beck and call! What we believe is this: If we get included in Christ's sin-conquering death, we also get included in his life-saving resurrection. We know that when Jesus was raised from the dead it was a signal of the end of death-as-the-end. Never again will death have the last word. When Jesus died, he took sin down with him, but alive he brings God down to us. From now on, think of it this way: Sin speaks a dead language that means nothing to you; God speaks your mother tongue, and you hang on every word. You are dead to sin and alive to God. That's what Jesus did. (Message)


Pronounced hope.

Hope is defined as a feeling of expectation.

It is the longing for a girl to say yes to a date, or for the right guy to come along.

It is the anticipation of winning the championship game and it longs for the day when grading ceases: the day of graduation.

Hope is the desire for a certain good thing to happen.

Hope is not pointless nor is it founded on childish dreams.

It is the foundation for believing that something good will happen when no good has happened at all.

Hope is certain.

The dictionary says hope is the person or thing that may help or save someone.

Some people hope for things created by man.

Man does surgery.

Man prescribes medication.

Man solves the temporary.

Some people hope for things created by man.

But not me.

I hope for heaven.

Hope doesn’t see the end result,

But it knows that heaven is on its way.

Hope doesn’t worry about what could be.

It sees what will be.

Hope acknowledges the troubles of this day.

It says, “Yes, my life will fall apart right now.”

“Yes, I will get sick and yes people will even hate me.”

Hope says, “It’s okay if I’m unpopular.”

“It’s okay if I’m rejected.”

Because hope looks beyond the here-and-now.

Hope looks to the future.

Hope says, “Today is but a moment.

Tomorrow is forever.”

In fact, my hope is made stronger in these moments of pain.

Because the pain brings perseverance.

And perseverance proves my character.

And my proven character hopes.

It hopes!

Hope is not selfish.

It takes the eyes off self and it looks to something…someone… else.

Hope says, “I am united.”

It sees Christ’s embrace on our lives.

Hope doesn’t worry about letting go.

Because it knows that God is the One holding on.

I hope.

Not in today’s quick answers or in momentary gratification.

I have hope.

I don’t worry.

I hope.

I hope in Him who has promised me deliverance.

I hope in the One who is not a temporary fix.

I hope in the eternal.

My hope has moved me from death to life.

It will take me from this life to one much greater.

My hope is the Lord God Almighty.

His salvation is eternal.

My hope is my coming Savior.

He has revived me.

My hope has convicted me of this.

My hope is both sure and steadfast.

My hope is the anchor of my soul.

Friday, November 19, 2010


im sitting in Barnes&Noble, one of my favorite locations, and im watching the employees of starbucks. one in particular is making himself known, and not intentionally. he is apparently new. kinda has a grasp of things going on, but not entirely. i went through the line earlier and asked for a cinnamon scone and a glass of ice water. he proceeded to search through the biscotti for my scone and when he couldnt find it, he asked another customer where they were. after i received my scone he gave me some water in a coffee cup with no ice. not a regular plastic cup like normal. then i politely asked for some ice. he asked his boss where the ice was, which funny enough, was right in front of him. he loudly asked if he should grab it out with his hands. and inside me i yelled out "NO!" but i simply laughed it off because im sure in some point in time in my life i have or will do the exact same thing in whatever situation im placed in.

as funny as this is, after i sat down it kinda hit me that this is an example for all of us as believers. we are just like this guy. lost if we dont have any guidance.

the cool thing about God is that He doesnt hang us out to dry when we are lost. even though we are full of sin and mistakes, He still provides a way for us to be led into a righteous life defined by a relationship with Him. and He seeks us out.

In Luke 19, Jesus finds a man by the name of Zacchaeus, and decides that he wants to go to this man's house and eat. now if you know anything about this man, he was a tax collector who usually scammed people for more money then they were supposed to. he was also very disliked among the people in his town. he was lost. he didnt know how to treat people. he didnt know how to show love. it wasnt until Jesus came into his life that he knew how to respond according to how God wanted him to. and when Jesus left him he completely turned around from his evil ways, and followed Christ.

thats what Jesus wants to do with us all. save us because we are lost. we dont know how to act. we dont know how to respond to him. we must look to him for guidance. we must look to the man who lived a perfect life.

just a thought.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

worth it all.

have you ever thought about the cost of following Christ? and, after that do you think it is worth it?

these were some of the questions we discussed at Face2Face tonight at church. it is something that i havent thought about in a very long time.

but let's think about it. the cost of following Jesus was tough, and for the most part was unrealistic for most people. who would want to deny their family? (Luke 14:26) or risk not having the comforts of their basic needs? (Matthew 8:19-20) or forfeit all their possessions? (John 18:14-25) or love the people you want to hate? (Matthew 5:43-44) or carry an item of pain, suffering, and death? (Matthew 16:24)

this all seems foolish doesnt it? but this IS what Christ calls us to as believers of the Gospel. not just part of the time, or when we want to do them. and if we make that mistake Jesus tells us that we dont deserve to be his disciples. the Eleven disciples (excluding Judas Iscariot) understood this full well. Jesus didnt have to convince these people to follow Him. He simply told them to "Follow me" and they did. they dropped the things they were doing, left their families behind, forfeited the comfort of their homes, and followed Him. and to even look at this deeper, these were fishermen and tax collectors; men of low occupational standard, as well as, respectable age (some were young-possibly 17-25). and as time went on, looking in John 6, disciples from all over joined Jesus, or wanted to, but when Jesus told them the cost of following Him, they turned and went back to what the were comfortable with. then something very unique happened in scripture:

"From that moment many of His disciples turned back and no longer accompanied Him. Therefor Jesus said to the Twelve, 'You don't want to go away too, do you?' Simon Peter answered, 'Lord who will we go to? You have the words of eternal life. We have come to believe and know that You are the Holy One of God!" John 6:66-69 (HCSB)

notice what Peter said. he says that they would have nothing to go back to. and they WANTED to continue following Him. wow. thats devotion. thats dedication. thats love. they trusted that Christ was worth sacrificing everything to follow, and they didnt want to go back to their "normal" way of life. they understood the cost of following Christ. and it is really shown after Christ's ascension when most of them take a martyr's death. they gave up their lives to follow Christ. literally. and that is a beautiful picture of what it means to be His disciple. it's crazy, i know, but i believe it's worth it.

one final thought. Francis Chan in his book, Forgotten God, states:
"Nowhere in scripture do I see “balanced life with a little bit of God added in” as an ideal for us to emulate. Yet when I look at our churches this is exactly what I see: a lot of people who have added Jesus to their lives. People who have in a sense asked Him to join them on their life journey and follow them wherever they feel they should go, rather than following Him as we are commanded. The God of the universe is not something we can just add to our lives and keep on as we did before. The Spirit who raised Christ from the dead is not someone we can just call on when we want a little extra power in our lives. Jesus Christ did not die in order to follow us, He died and rose again so that we could forget everything else and follow Him to the cross, to true Life."

with that said, is it worth it to you?

Now around every corner
And up every mountain
I'm not looking for crowns
Or the water from fountains
I'm desperate in seeking, frantic believing
That the sight of Your face
Is all that I need
I will say to You

It's gonna be worth it
It's gonna be worth it
It's gonna be worth it all
I believe this
-Worth It All (Rita Springer)

Monday, November 8, 2010

you can have it all.

so we have been discussing the Holy Spirit at church for the past few weeks. it has been a good study, but this past week was different. i was broken. and it was a good thing.

every week my Sunday School teachers ask us a very specific question before we get started. they ask, "What has God been doing in your life?" and this specific week i had a very hard time answering that question. i didnt want to try and dig into my mind for an answer because i feel like i would have answered the question out of obligation rather than sincerity. so i kept quiet. but it was neat listening to the other stories of what God was doing around me. and truthfully that blessed my soul. the entire time in Sunday School God did a number on my heart. as i listened to His truth and the response coming from the believers that were around me, i was convicted and encouraged.

we studied several scriptures Sunday, but one in particular stuck out in such a profound way that i couldnt get it off my mind. 1 Thessalonians 5:19 says, "Do not quench the Spirit." (ESV) or, "Do not suppress the Spirit." (The Message) or, "Do not stifle the Holy Spirit." (NLT). each version gives a profound understanding of what we need to do as believers in allowing the Holy Spirit to lead us. in the Greek, to quench something meant that you literally put out a fire. and in this case it would refer to the burning fire of the Holy Spirit and the power manifested in and through Him. we cant put out that fire. we cant suppress the work of the Holy Spirit in our lives. but after i thought about it, i had to ask myself how i did that in my own life, and even to elaborate on that, how have i been doing that lately?

i searched deep in to my heart. and the Lord brought some things out of me that i had been holding on to. things that i had forgotten. promises that i looked over. and it was good to rid myself and be reminded of those. so in short, my heart was cleansed. my soul was refreshed. and my mind made new. bringing things to the feet of God is a good thing, and it is what He wants me to do. it is what He wants you to do. and i cant express my gratitude to a Father who wants to intentionally relieve my burdens from me.

"Cast all your anxiety on Him because He cares for you." 1 Peter 5:7

that night after being so caught up in what the Lord was doing, He gave me the opportunity to share that Love he extended towards me with someone else. on my way home from church Sunday night i had a schedule i had planned out in my head of things that i needed to do. little did i know that a woman named Heather and her 9 year old son, Ashton, would occupy it instead. they were stuck in the middle of the highway with no gas in their car. it was on the way, but they had no way of telling other cars they were stopped and it was freezing outside, so i felt the need to offer some hazard lights and a warm car. after we put a little gas in her car, i followed her to the gas station to make sure she made it ok. while the gas was pumping she was curious about my life story, so i shared some of the information she asked. then i asked her. turns out she is from Byram, MS which is where i go to church. i mentioned that, and it turns out that her son was actually at CWBC that morning with her mother. i told her that i would love for both of them to come to church with me Sunday and i would get them plugged into a Sunday School class.

as simple as this story is, it is neat to see how the Lord worked in it. if i wouldnt have stopped, then there is a strong possibility that the two of them wouldnt have seen the Love of God that night, and to take it a step further, they may not have been invited to church this coming Sunday. but the Lord used that connection we made sitting at the gas station for His glory. and i am going to continue to pray for those two, and i pray that God does an amazing work in their lives, just as He is doing in mine.

"What I'm getting at, friends, is that you should simply keep on doing what you've done from the beginning. When I was living among you, you lived in responsive obedience. Now that I'm separated from you, keep it up. Better yet, redouble your efforts. Be energetic in your life of salvation, reverent and sensitive before God. That energy is God's energy, an energy deep within you, God himself willing and working at what will give him the most pleasure." Philippians 2:12-13 (The Message)

God gave me this opportunity and i took hold of it, and He got all the glory. that's what He deserves. it was nothing of myself because if i had it my way, i would have gone on back to my room and did what i had planned. but i am glad that He trusted me with that opportunity. my soul delights in Him.

as most of you know, i am also mentoring a young boy from church. his name is Landon. today i had the opportunity to pick him up from school and we just hung out. it was a beautiful day outside, so that is where we were. we shot basketball in his backyard, making up various games that i had no say in the rules because they were made up as we played. i guess that's how it goes nowadays though. but after we played for a while we finally sat down and talked. i got real with him. we talked about some things that had been on my heart, and some things about our relationship with the Lord. i wont go into detail about what we discussed because that is between us, but we made some headway in a positive direction. he is keeping me accountable and that is what i need. we are memorizing James 1 together. this is going to be an interesting ride from here on out, and i am excited about it.

the Lord is good. to Him be all glory, honor, and praise.

I’m alive to bring glory to You, King
God of victory, You are my passion
It’s in the way You are, You don’t change at all
Great and humble God, You are my passion

My strength in life is I am Yours
My soul delights because I am Yours

Your will on earth is all I’m living for

Jesus, I glorify; Jesus, my love is Yours
You are my heart’s desire; I live to know You more

Light that breaks the darkness, showing what true love is
Always full of goodness, You are my passion
You never do me wrong, the meekest Man, but strong
The most perfect song, You are my passion

My strength in life is I am Yours
My soul delights because I am Yours

Your will on earth is all I’m living for

Jesus, I glorify; Jesus, my love is Yours
You are my heart’s desire; I live to know You more

You Are My Passion (Jesus Culture)

Thursday, November 4, 2010

the things i do.

life is running full speed right now. i dont want to get distracted from the things that matter to me. it is hard. and i have to continually rely on the Lord to get me through these difficult times.

i talked to my brother and sister-in-law today. i miss him. and her. but mostly him (no offense emma). he has grown up so much. i dont wanna say its because he is married now, but for the first time today i had a huge adult conversation. i admire him. im glad he is my big bro. he has my back in difficult times and he shoots it straight with me when i need it. i hate that it takes him being out of the country for me to miss him like i do.

on the brighter side, i am now certified to teach. ill be visiting schools really soon. hopefully i can land a job before school is out in december. we shall see.

i miss camp.

i wish that i could watch tv shows like The Office and NCIS on a regular basis. i miss not having a real structure to my schedule.

im glad that it is finally fall here in mississippi. its about time. i love being outside during the day. God is good at what he does.

i finished coaching practice with my 10 year old girls today. im really gonna miss their shenanigans. luckily ill see most of them at church.

im gonna get some coffee...