Friday, April 30, 2010

The Heart of the Matter...

Tauler says "A pure heart is one too which all that is not of God is strange and jarring."

Do we even know what a pure heart looks like? No human is pure, no human is perfect, no human is sinless. There is only One who has a pure heart and He sacrificed His life for our selfish, sinning, dysfunctional hearts. But we already know this right?

Now here is a crazy story. I have been studying 1 Samuel recently (I've gotten into the Old Testament this year) And I realized something. Often, God's chosen ones aren't the ones packed with muscle and brawn, and the ones like Saul, who stand head and shoulders above all of Israel. Our God does not build His mightiest warriors out of the stuff of flesh, but out of the stuff of willingness and desire, the things of His Spirit. God esteems the inner yielded-ness of a man and not the physical strength of a male or his ability to lift two hundred pounds.

Now reading 1 Samuel, the first king was Saul and he was filled with God's spirit, but his heart became calloused and God's spirit left him. Around the same time, God is preparing a new warrior a new king, and that is David. God chooses the Davids- the overlooked, the ones of lowly birth, the young men and women of a single-heart for God. The apostle Paul, for instance, wasn't a striking figure physically- in fact, many historical accounts describe him as a shorter diminutive man. But though he may have been shorter in physical stature, he was lionlike- full of power, full of courage, and full of passion for his King. He stood taller spiritually than any man in his day.

Now with David, he was the runt of his family, the bible describes him in 1 Samuel 16:12 as ruddy. And yet God chooses him. I mean come on He's just a young kid, barely out of his teen years. I mean even the prophet Samuel is a little confused on this one. In his head he's probably going "really God this one, the smallest, are You sure you know what you're doing?" And God answers "Man looks at the outside, but God measures the heart" (1 Samuel 16:7).

You see David had the right heart. It was the kind of heart that could be bent to God's agenda, that could learn to love as God loves, serve as God serves, feel compassion as God feels compassion, and feel hatred for the things God hates. He may have not been the strongest, the tallest, or the best- but he was the one with the mightiest heart- humility and childlike trust in God.

That is just the craziest chapter ever. That God our Mighty God would choose someone of lower stature. The Church today would certainly not approve, we look for the suit and tie, clean cut wholesome guy that's going to lead us to the Lord. Do we not remember who Jesus was. He was born in a manager, he didn't where a suit and tie, he wore sandals and a robe. He didn't hang out with the most popular people or have all the money. He spent time with the tax collectors and prostitutes and the scum of the "world." But to Him they were perfect, because in their hearts they new they were sinners and they wanted to be saved, they wanted to repent. And Jesus, He saw into their hearts and loved them.

Why don't we do this? Why do we conform to our culture's message that money, a family, a job, and so on is everything you need. You need to look a certain way and have certain types of friends. When really all we need is Jesus, and everything else He gives to us is a blessing and a gift.

I think it's something I tend to forget. I am so focus on what is going on the world around me sometimes I forget to remember that everything I have is a precious gift. The computer I am typing on. Gift. The room and building I am living in. Gift. The fact that I get to go to school. Gift. My family and friends. Gift. The breath I just took. Gift. How often do we go through the day and take for granted these gifts? I know I do all to often.

We are all filled with God's spirit, when we ask Him to come into our lives and make us new we are filled with His love and spirit, but we take it for granted, we forget it's there. We let our hearts become calloused, like Saul. We pray to our Father in Heaven, but do we ever pray to the Spirit inside of us? Asking God's spirit inside of us to move, set us on fire anything. No? You just realized His Spirits still there didn't you? We are not worthy of this abundant grace God pours out upon us.

But God knows the condition of our hearts. Whose a false follower and whose a true follower. You can say you love Jesus and your a Christian and really not be one. Only God knows the true conditions of our hearts. He knows our every thought good or bad, every desire physical, emotional, sexual, spiritual. He knows everything. And yet we continue to try and hide it from Him. I guess through this long post the question that I'm trying to ask myself is What am I trying to hide from God? I keep filling myself up, but is there something I need to let go of even more. Is there something I am holding onto or hoping for that I need to lay at my Savior's feet. The answer is Yes, there is. When I search the deep parts of my heart I find those corners that are still tucking in earthly desires and I need to put those to death. So that my heart is completely Gods.

We will never be happy until we are fully satisfied with God. The truth is, we can never be fully satisfied of God. We should always hunger and thirst for more of Him. But there's points in our lives that God will bless us, because He knows He is our life. He is the first and last of our every being. God desires to give us a beautiful life, whether it be a family/ marriage, a career, or a life of singleness. If we are fully and totally in love with our Lord, it won't matter what we are doing, because we will be doing it for God's glory.

I guess I should leave you with some theological question about God, or some awe moment quote, but really there isn't much I can say, because I'm in the same boat. I guess the only thing I would tell you is to look inside yourself, speak to the Spirit inside of you and ask Him to move, to show you those deep corners of your heart that need to be cleared out. And the one question I would ask is What condition is your heart in?

Just think about it...

I know I am.

In Christ abundant love,

His and yours,


Wednesday, April 28, 2010



Sometimes it's a word we want to say. Other times, it's a word said out of necessity.

But saying goodbye is rarely easy, no matter how necessary we know it is.

We say goodbye a lot in our lifetime. Whether you move a lot when you're a child or you say goodbye to a passing of a loved one, or you just say goodbye every time you leave somewhere. When I was younger I remember 5 distinct goodbyes. # 1. When we moved from California to Iowa, when I was six years old. I remember saying goodbye to all my family out there and I remember sitting in our big green and white van saying good bye to Radene, while she handed me my very own dream catcher. # 2. When we moved from West Des Moines to live in Ogden, but go to school in Grand. I remember bawling my eyes out, I was in fourth grade, and I couldn't imagine leaving the friends I had made in those 3 years, and I was only 8 maybe 9. # 3. When my sister and I switched school at the then end of 6th grade to attend Ogden, instead of Grand. I didn't cry, I kind of figured it was coming. I tried not to get to attached to people, but it was a useless situation and I ended up sad saying goodbye to the friends I had made. # 4. When I said goodbye to my older sister the day she moved out of our house. It was the hardest goodbye of my life because under the circumstances, it just wasn't a goodbye I was ready for. And though my older sister and I never got along all that well when we were younger. I still loved her and looked up to her, and having to say an unprepared goodbye is really hard. # 5. The day I graduated high school, I said goodbye to my friends and classmates that I had spent 6 years getting to know and since there was only 74 of us I knew everyone by name, which I think made it even more difficult. Not only that but I was going some place else, a place that no one in my class would ever want to go. A Christian College. So I knew it would be one of the last times I would see most of them. Which has ended up being very true, and kind of sad. But I have to move on, it's a part of life.

Even since then there has been many goodbyes, when I said goodbye to my sister as she headed off to college in California, to my best friend, Deanna as she headed off to college, to my parents as I myself was the last one to head off to college. To friendships that mattered so much to me, but I had to let them go, I had to say goodbye. With every goodbye there is always a hello somewhere in the midst. I haven't always welcomed it, but it comes around, eventually. Maybe that's why I try not to get to close to people. I love people I do, but for a long time it was hard for me to open up to people, because I knew in the end I would always have to say goodbye.

I've gotten better, I am more open, sometimes I wish I wasn't, but I have become an open person, loving caring, well at least I like to think I have. But goodbyes still haunt me, they lurk around every corner. I hate saying goodbye.

Maybe that's why i find the consistency of Jesus Christ in my life to be so important. Despite all the goodbyes I have to go through, He is the one person that will never say goodbye. I cling to that truth. God is my strength and without this relationship there would be no reason to live. I couldn't live without it.

Sometimes we say goodbye and it hurts us. Sometimes we need to say goodbye but we don't. But we cannot find the beauty in the next stage of our life until we embrace the willingness to move on from things we now find familiar. It may be among the most difficult of all life asks of us. Yet is is one of the most important.

And through the searing pain of saying goodbye to something or someone that has our heart...and the joy of saying goodbye to a moment in time we'd rather forget... the One who stands with us, beside us and for us, is the consistency we need to realize. Our new hello.

Because with Him, there will never be a reason for goodbye.

"The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged." -Deuteronomy 31:8

In 4 weeks I will be approaching another goodbye. I will have to say goodbye to my friends and family and the comforts of home to travel across country to serve my Beautiful Lord. It's something that for a while I've been scared about, but my Lord has given me a great sense of peace over the whole situation. And though I have to say goodbye, I will be back, but I will be forever changed. I am ready to go, but I am still preparing myself to say goodbye.

But I know my Sovereign Lord will be with me always. He will never leave me, and in that I find comfort. Because I know through Him I can do all things.

In Christ love,

His and yours,


Being Poured Out

"But even if I am being poured out like a drink offering on the sacrifice and service coming from your faith, I am glad and rejoice with all of you." -Philippians 2:17. "For I am already being poured out like a drink offering." -2 Timothy 4:6

I had lunch with a friend today and she asked me how I was doing. I didn't know how to respond. In my head should I do the typical Northwestern College thing of I'm just fine a superficial type of fine or should I tell her how I'm really feeling. I opted for the second choice and told her that for the past couple days I've been feeling empty. God's recently been putting me through lots of test, and asking me to step out in my faith in crazy and amazing ways. It's draining but so rewarding to see how God is blessing people and that I get to be a part of it. I am extremely blessed. But as He has been filling me up for months on months now, He finally asked me to pour it out (this is the analogy my friend used) And now that I have poured it out and did what He asked I am now empty once again. And He is asking me to fill myself up again.

I've never been this empty before. It's not that I am losing faith! No! God is always with me and forever will be, it's just He is deciding to be silent, I haven't heard or felt Him move in me for the past couple days, and the silence is dragging on, it feels like years instead of 3 days. And yet I know exactly why He is choosing to be silent, He is drawing away from me so that I will draw nearer to Him. Isn't that crazy, He is still here and I know it, He's just choosing not to answer me. Which I understand. So now it's a matter of filling myself up again.

I said I haven't been this empty before, which is true. But I've never felt this hungry and thirsty for more of God's Word and His presence. It's the best feeling ever and though I can't here is voice I know that when it's time He will tell me what I need to know, and lead me to where I need to go.

He has placed this great sense of peace and love over my life, and I can't help but give it to someone else, to let them feel God's peace and love. To let them know that God loves them and wants to fill them up just like He is filling me up. You see God gives us these blessing, and gifts, and whatever else. Because He chooses to do so. But they are not ours to hold on to. Where is our right to say okay God you gave it to me but it's mine to keep. How dare we even think that! What kind of Christians are we if we keep every blessing and every gift for ourselves. Fake Christians if that's what it comes down to. God wants to bless us, but He also wants us to bless other people. To pour out what He has poured out upon us, onto someone else. It's the most amazing and beautiful thing to take my own blessing, or gift and give it to someone else, or to help someone else by using the gifts God has given me.

But this cannot be done in a selfish desire. If you go into it thinking you're going to get something out of it, then it's not for God's glory. And remember God can take away a gift or blessing just as He has given it to us. Don't misuse it. Pour it out like a drink offering and see what God can do. He will surprise you. Don't expect anything from it, don't ask God "if you want to do this I will do this?" Do it for God's glory, He will continue to pour out His blessing upon not only you but the person you poured your blessing/gift upon. And the best part is, you get a chance to see it!

It's great to be a sponge and soak everything up, but there comes a time when God wants to wring you out into a cup and pour you out.

He may be asking you right now, or in the future to pour yourself out, don't hesitate. You will fill empty, but you will get a burning hunger and thirst to consume the Word of God and to sit in His presence for hours, asking, seeking, listening, crying, laughing and so on. And what better feeling is it to sit at the feet of our Lord and wait upon Him. I can't think of any other can you?

Is God asking you to pour yourself out like a drink offering?

Just think about it.

In Christ love,

His and yours


In Awe of the Almighty.

God is our Father who knows what we need before we even need it… He holds the world in His hands and created the heavens and the earth and the sea and the stars… by the power of His word He holds creation together. He knows how many hairs we have on our head and on our toes… there is no where where we can go to escape or be unseen from Him. He has great mercy and compassion upon us. He gets our heart. He loves us. He calls us his children. wow. wow. wow…

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Asking; Eyes that see...Ears that hear...Heart that comprehends...

"No eye has seen, no ear has heard and no mind has imagines what God has prepared for those who love him." - 1 Corinthians 2:9.

So let's leave it at that shall we?... Most people do, they read they eye has not seen and ear not has not hears nor has the heart comprehended God and leave it a that- happy to accept that yes God is indescribable, awesome, big, great, amazing, which He soooo is. God is a mystery and a wonder and indescribable and all powerful and amazing.

but... here is the part of the passage that gets left out often:
"But it was to us that God revealed these things by His Spirit. For His Spirit searches out everything and shows us God's deep secrets." - 1 Corinthians 2:10.

God has revealed these things- what are the things?

The things that eye has not seen, or ear heard, or heart comprehended- these thing He has revealed to us because He lives inside us.


It means that we can know God, hear God, live for God, honor God, walk with God, be known by God, have a relationship with God, know His will and His ways, and on and on and on.

It's not that we will know everything that God is doing, if we did... He wouldn't be God. No, it means we become so in tune with the Spirit that we see what it sees, hears what it hears, prays what it prays, and so on.

On the topic of eye has not seen. I've been asking to see people through God's eyes for a long time. It's something I have desired to be able to do, to look at person and just see them the way God does. I never thought He would answer that prayer, but He did. And I can't come up with words to describe the beauty this person shown as I looked at them with God's eyes. Holy Cow, I wish I could see everyone like that. And I know I am not ever worthy of that kind of thing to see this person radiate God's beauty and oh my it was BEAUTIFUL and I can never look at them the same again. I can't, when I saw this person I couldn't look away, the beauty just radiated from their every being, Jesus was so prevalent. His light shined throughout the entire building. It was magnificent.

And just by that it makes me thirst and hunger for all the things God has for me and even for these people I get to see. I want to live by the Spirit, in the Spirit, and through the Spirit.

The Holy Spirit lives within us- God IN me. He will always teach me and guide me. WOW. WOW. that makes me so excited, that were are freed by the realities of this world, by the mundane look of this world, about the judgment of appearances because the eye can see and ear can hear and our heart can know the good things that God has prepared for us because he lives within us and reveals those things to us.

Keep praying for the Spirit to come fill you up. Pray what the Spirit is praying, He will fill you up and you will forever be changed. It is so amazing and unfathomable and I can only tell you that God wants to fill you, He wants you to see people the way he does, he wants to give you your spiritual gift. But first he wants you to seek Him out, constantly seek Him out.

John 14:14 says "You may ask for anything in my name, and I will do it." and Luke 11:10 says "For everyone who ask receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks the door will be opened."

Ask him so the eye can see and the ear can hear and heart can comprehend. Don't ask just once or twice, but continue on asking, and seeking God's face and digging into His Word. The answer won't come when you expect it to, but it will come.

What should you be asking for?

Just think about it

His and yours



faith acts.

faith has actions.

if we believed what we believe in we would act upon it and do it.

faith obeys.

faith jumps.

sometimes we need to jump off the cliff only to discover that we will fly as God does the impossible and empowers us.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

God vs. Idols: The Pleasures of Today or an Eternity with Jesus...

I recently heard this story about a Man in China who was thrown into a prison cell for his faith. He spent a year in solitary confinement with absolutely no human compassion, no conversation, no light, nothing. Just a plate of food once a day that was shoved under the door. And when he came out after that year in darkness he was nearly blind but his face was so radiant, so full of life people would come up to him and ask him what happened what was it like and his response was: "It was like a honeymoon with Jesus."

Here are some questions to prayerfully ask yourself; where do I spend the best hours of my day? Where do I turn to for rest enjoyment, and pleasure? And are there things in my life that I can’t imagine giving up? It’s one of the best ways to tell if something has become and idol in you life. Can you imagine giving it up, would you be willing, if God asked you to, to give it up? Even the good thins in our lives can become idols. Even if we’re in a relationship, or married, or family, or friends. Those things can become idols if we’re putting them above God.

We want to be close to God, but we spend so much time on other things on facebook, on our cell phones, watching TV, then we do praying and seeking Him.

Where do you spend the best hours of your day? Do you wait until you are exhausted and then try to have a Bible study? Do you spend all you best energy on things that are not focused on the Kingdom of God?
And what do you go to for rest, enjoyment, and pleasure? Do you go to His presence? Do you realize that a time in His presence, a prayer time will give you everything you need? Every bit of refreshment, every bit of joy, every but of peace, every bit of fulfillment. Or is that just sort of a concept that like “Yeah that sounds nice but I’ve got to have this, I’ve got have my time with my friends, I’ve got to have my movies, I’ve got to have my facebook time in order to have those things in my life, the joy and rest and fulfillment.

Would we be fulfilled the way the man in the story above was if all was to be stripped away? Are we will to give up now and not wait until we’re thrown into a prison cell in order to have a honeymoon with Jesus?

If everything was stripped away and you were thrown into a prison cell would Jesus Christ be enough for you?

Monday, April 5, 2010

Reckless Sacrifice

Christ's call is to feed the hungry, not the full; to save the lost, not the stiff-necked; not to call the scoffers, but sinners to repentance; not to build and furnish comfortable chapels, churches, and cathedrals at home in which to rock Christian professors to sleep by means of clever essays, stereotyped prayers, and artistic musical performances. But to raise living churches of souls among the destitute. To capture men from the devil's clutches and snatch them away from the very jaws of hell. To enlist and train them for Jesus and to make them into an almighty army of God.
But this can only be accomplished by a red-hot, unconventional, unfettered Holy Ghost religion where neither church nor state, neither man nor traditions are worshiped or preached, but only Christ and Him crucified. Not to confess Christ by fancy collars, church steeples, or richly embroidered altar cloths, but by reckless sacrifice and heroism in the foremost trenches. - C.T. Studd.

What is your reckless sacrifice?
What will you give up for God?

Just think about it.

His and yours


Sunday, April 4, 2010


"God is fair and just; he corrects the misdirected, send them in the right direction. He gives the rejects His hand, and lead them step by step. From now on every road you travel will take you to God. Follow the Covenant signs; read the charted directions." -Pslam 25:8-10 the Message

"In your unfailing love you will lead the people you have redeemed. In your strength you will guide them to your holy dwelling." -Exodus 15:13 NIV

"Show me the path where I should walk, O Lord; point out the right road for me to follow. Lead me by You truth and teach me, for You are the God who saves me. All day long I put my hope in You." -Psalm 25:4-5

"You, Lord God, are my mighty rock ad my fortress. Lead me and guide me, so that Your name will be honored." -Psalm 31:3

"For that is what God is like. He is our God forever and ever, and he will be our guide until we die." -Psalm 48:14

"Ask me, and I will tell you things that you don't know and can't find out." -Jeremiah 33:3

"When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all truth. he will not be presenting his own ideas; he will be telling you what he had heard. He will tell you about the future." -John 16:13

"The Lord says. "I will guide you along the best pathway for your life. I will advise you and watch over you." -Psalm 32:8

"I am always with you; you hold me by my right hand You guide me with you counsel, and afterward you will take me into glory." -Psalm 73:23-24

In need of direction?
Trust in the Lord your God.

"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and fine me when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you." -Jeremiah 29:11-14a

The Lord is not hiding from you. Are you hiding from the Lord?

Just think about it.

His and yours