Archive for February, 2013

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Unorthodox.


2013
02.23

Unorthodox: contrary to what is usual, traditional or accepted; not orthodox. This is my newest mission: to be unorthodox for Christ in my dealings with people. I want to be different, I want to stand out, because that is what Jesus did during His time on earth. ”Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world — the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life — is not of the Father but is of the world. And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever.” 1 John 2:15-17

This desire was implanted in me last Wednesday during my weekly meeting with my mentor. We were discussing how Christianity, at times, can be watered-down and fearful. Christians can be too afraid to step out of their comfort zone and meet the needs of those around them. I don’t want this to be true of me. Since then, I’ve been searching out opportunities to meet people’s lesser known needs. It’s amazing to see how God has revealed Himself to me through this. There are two “unorthodox” truths that He has really impressed on my heart as I’ve sought to grow in this area.

1.) I need to have His Word hidden in my heart: I go to a Christian College; I take several Bible classes, all so I can be more familiar with the Scripture and in turn, a better witness for Christ. However, this last week I was highly convicted during a devotional done by my brother RA. He brought up the point that there might be a time when we don’t have Bibles anymore. Do we know enough to still be able to share the Gospel clearly? Or explain what we believe? If I want to be unorthodox for God, I have to know His truths by heart.

2.) In His presence, I will be transformed: It’s obvious that time in God’s Word and prayer is a must. But why? Thomas Kelly once said in one of his speeches, ”in that silence; find yourselves continually recreated, and realigned and corrected again and again from warping effects of outer affairs.” When I spend time with God in the silence, He refines me. No one needs me, nor wants what I have to offer…they want God, they need God. Unless I am walking in the Spirit, being renewed by Him, I’m useless.

I’m a failure. One of my favorite songs says, “Cause I am a sinner, if it’s not one thing, it’s another.” Isn’t that the truth? God doesn’t need me or my “good works.” However, He adores me and chooses to use me for His glory. That’s the most confusing and incredible thing to me. God is not one of orthodoxy. He doesn’t fit into religious traditions or comfort zones, He’s too big for that. He looks so different from anything of this world and because I died with Christ, I should too.  ”I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.” Gal. 2:20

 

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Child-Like Faith.


2013
02.19

One of my utmost favorite childhood memories is one I had with my mom. It was a school night, I was probably around 11 years old and I was all dressed for bed. My mom called me downstairs with my hair all in curlers and my outfit consisting of pajamas and a bathrobe. Once I reached her presence, she then instructed me to get in the car. ”You want me to do what? It’s late…look at how I’m dressed. Is something wrong?” I questioned her in panic. “Just get in the car.” She repeated. So, nervously and confused, I did has she said. Turns out we were going for milkshakes and she just wanted to do something special with me. This is a great example of my moms more adventurous side. Sometimes she has plans that I have no idea about, that seem really strange at first, but (normally) turn out fantastic. This is often how my relationship with God is. He as the greatest adventures awaiting for the two of us. He wants to take me out of my comfort zone to grow me closer to Him. This requires a child-like faith on my part, but just like I did with my mom, sometimes I question His authority and plans.

This idea of child-like faith isn’t new and yet, it has taken a whole new meaning to me as of late. This semester at my Christian College has been filled with challenges and various twists and turns. Many times I’ve had to make choices or do things in which I almost hear God saying “just trust Me.” I’m grateful that He is my Father in Heaven and I am His child. Thomas Kelly in a letter to his wife says this, “Help me, Sweetheart, to become more like a little child-not proud of learning, not ambitious for self, but emptied of these things, and guided by that amazing Power, which is so gentle.” I absolutely love this quote, because going to a Christian College sometimes it’s easy for me to become proud of learning, especially when it comes to biblical matters. It’s also an evident temptation to become ambitious for self, because the second I take my eyes off of God and lose ambition for Him, that focus is on me.

Jesus expresses in Matt. 18:1-5 the importance of believing like a child. “At that time the disciples came to Jesus, saying, ‘Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?’ Then Jesus called a little child to Him, set him in the midst of them and said ‘Assuredly, I say to you, unless you are converted and become as little children, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore, whoever humbles himself as this little child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.” Do you think the disciples exercised some ambition for self here, because I would definitely say so. Something that’s neat to me about this passage is that Paul tells us in one of his epistles to not be babes in the faith, but here Christ tells us to be like a child. Does that contradict? Nope! We are to be mature in our faith and part of that maturity is trusting God in whatever He tells us to do.

“For what man knows the things of man except the spirit of the man which is in him? Even so no one knows the things of God except the Spirit of God.” 1 Cor. 2:11 We have been given the Holy Spirit of God, not the spirit of the world! That’s incredible. Therefore, by walking in the Spirit and trusting God, no matter how crazy His plans may seem, we can have a child-like faith.

“It doesn’t involve complicated thinking, it just involves consecrated living, and the sensitiveness of a child to the Leading Hand.” Thomas Kelly.

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Love is in the Air…<3


2013
02.03

Well, it’s February, which it’s the month of “romance.” You walk into Walmart to find absurd amounts of pink, chocolate, candy hearts, cards, stuffed animals, etc. Personally, I love it, even as single. I’ll eat my fair share of Valentine candy and watch a few chick flicks to get in the mood. I also have a fantastic date planned for the very romantic 14th. My section, plus some, are dressing up our nicest, having dinner together and then going for ice cream. You know what though? All this talk of love makes me think about the divine romance I have with my Savior.

Last night my school went ice skating and I had one goal going into it: Get Becca to skate. She’s terrified of it and in the past just watches everyone else fall all over the place. Not this time, she was getting out there!! That she did and I was extremely proud. There was this moment when she was holding on to me out on the ice and she repeatedly asked me not to let her go. In that moment I remember thinking that there’s no way I would, because I loved her so much I wanted to do everything possible for her to feel secure. Later I got to thinking about how, on a much, much larger scale, Christ does this for me. He loves me an unbelievable amount and there’s no way He’s ever letting go. “For I am persuaded that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things presents, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 8:38-39 I’m pretty sure a number of those things could have forced me to let go of Becca.

God’s love for me is completely unfathomable. It’s a love so strong that God found it worthy of death on the cross. “By this we know love, because He laid down His life for us. And we also ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.” 1 John 3:16 And “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that who so ever believed in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” John 3:16 How romantic is that?! This Valentines Day, while I will be indulging in some girlieness, I’ll also be remembering the most important man in my life, Jesus Christ.

“Love never fails. But whether there are prophecies, they will fail: whether there are tongues, they will cease; whether there is knowledge, it will vanish away.” 1 Cor. 13:8 <3