Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Raising the Bar




Two weeks ago I went on an evangelistic outreach with the Bible School of the ministry. During all the prepping we were told over and over again that this was going to change so many lives in the area we were going. But, in all honesty I believe it changed my life more than anyone else's. We had a team of 36 people ages 16-60 and were able to minister to over 5,000 people during our short week there. That alone is pretty amazing. But the greatest part are the results. Out of those 5,000....over 3,700 gave their hearts to Jesus! This just goes to show that whenever we surrender ourselves completely to God there is absolutely nothing impossible. 

All of this to say...it's time to raise the bar. Christianity today has become "normal". Let me tell you, it's not suppose to be that way. If our lives make sense to the world then we're not doing something right. Lately I've been annoyed with how I live my life. God has given me everything, yet what do I do with it? He's given me everything I need to walk in my dreams, to walk in HIS dreams. I lack nothing. I have the power to do anything. Christians have the power to change cities, to change nations! There's power in the name of Jesus. So why aren't we speaking His name everywhere we go? A true Christian's life is crazy. It seems ridiculous to those around them because it makes no sense. During the trip I was on I was able to talk face to face with so many teenagers, and I was straight up about what it means to be a Christian. I'm not going to lie. Being a Christian isn't the easiest thing you'll ever do. It's hard because God asks us to do hard things. It's easy to sin. It's hard to separate ourselves and be different. It's hard to go up to that person on the street and tell them God loves them. It's hard to be the example of Jesus all the time. But all God asks from us is obedience. I know for a fact, because I've lived this over and over again, that no matter how crazy the thing that God asks us to do is...He'll always meet us on the other side. He knows exactly what we need. His plan is greater than mine, so why shouldn't I live for Him and Him alone?


This is a dare. Let's raise the bar for Christianity. Let's live like we have everything we need to change this world (BECAUSE WE DO). We're equipped for a great work. God has so many plans in store for us. It's time to start living those out right now!


No more "normal".
It's time to bust out the crazy, ridiculous, "what the heck are you doing" life.
Because...that is true. That is following after God with a passion, and living for Him 100%.


Sunday, July 29, 2012

Pamela Leigh

It's been on my mind to write about this for a while. God has been building me up and tonight I find the strength to talk about it.

When 2012 started I had my future mapped out. Life was good and there was peace surrounding me. I was living out my life just the way I always wanted to. You never think that something is going to change. But it did.

I had just talked to her; my mom. She said that she didn't feel good. I didn't think anything about it. I told her just to get some rest and she'll feel better tomorrow. A couple days later I got the news that my mom had been admitted to the hospital. Once again, I didn't really think anything about it. My mom had a lot of health issues and being in the hospital was just a part of the process. Then, I remember one day my sister wrote me and said, "I think you need to come see mom." Immediately I felt fear cover me. "Why?" "Is it really bad?" "What's going on?" I was worried. People around me were telling me, "Don't worry so much. It's going to be okay." But no matter what they told me, I couldn't be settled. A few days later I was flying out to the states. I arrived in Nashville and the next day we were driving out to Kansas to go see my mom. I had 8 hours to think about what was waiting for me. I was not excited. I was not looking forward to it. We finally get to Kansas, then to the hospital and I knew the time was getting closer. We get on the elevator, get off on the 6th floor, enter unit 63, and turn right. My life went into slow motion as I walked towards her room. I enter and what I saw was worse than anything I could have imagined. My mom was on the ventilator, sedated, surrounded by machines. She eventually came to and I couldn't talk to her. I couldn't get close because I was so scared. If I opened my mouth I knew I was going to cry. Right before we left my mom uttered words that I'll never forget. She said, "Don't leave me."

That night when we got back to the hotel I could not hold it in anymore. I needed to be alone. I went into the bathroom, turned on the shower, and cried. My heart was broken. We lived in hotels and the hospital for the next 3 weeks. I was so sure that my mom was going to get better. I had so much faith that God was going to heal my mom. There was nothing else I could do. I couldn't believe that the worst would come. It's my mom. I couldn't give up.
My birthday came...and it went just the same. The next day we went to the hospital and we sat down with the doctors for the 3rd time and they gave negative reports. We got to the point where they mentioned taking my mom off the machine. We all knew what that meant. I remember praying and yelling at God. I was angry. "WHY?" "WHY IS THIS HAPPENING?" "WHERE ARE YOU?" "WHY AREN'T YOU DOING ANYTHING?" And He came to me as peaceful as ever and said, "She's free." Throughout her time in the hospital my prayer was that she'd be free. I didn't just want her to be free of sickness, but also free of depression, free from medications, free from the worry and guilt that this world throws on us. And God came to me and let me know that although it wasn't His plan for it to happen this way, she would be free.

My mom passed away the day after my birthday. I couldn't believe it and I still can't. My mom was the sweetest, most caring, most forgiving person you'd ever meet. She never looked out for herself because she always wanted to make everyone else happy. My mom was my best friend. I could talk to her about anything and everything. And I loved telling her about my life. She was my biggest fan. She supported every idea I had. Every dream I spoke she told me to go for it. She always told me go after what I wanted fearlessly.

This is the hardest thing I've ever had to go through. God has been there for me every single step of the way. He's never left me. He's always been there. Going through this has made me understand a little bit more about how much Jesus loves us. We've heard it before, we hear it all the time. "Jesus loves you." "He died for you." Yeah. We know it. No. We hear it. But we don't really know. We don't understand the depth of that kind of love. Going through this and seeing my mom like that has opened my eyes and softened my heart. I wished that I was capable of taking the pain away from my mom. I loved her so much that I wanted to take it on myself so that she wouldn't have to suffer. That's exactly what Jesus did for us. He was driven by love. He loved us so much that He took everything that we would go through, and He put it on Himself. He died in our place. Don't you understand that we deserved to die? Jesus took our punishment so that we didn't have to. And now because He did that, we are free. And we don't have to suffer.
I understand a little bit better of the love that God has for us. And let me tell you, it's..it can't be described. I have no word big enough to sufficiently tell you what it's like. It can't be fathomed with the mind. It can just be felt with the heart.

God loves you.
Just like I love my mom.
But He loves you even more.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Yahweh

I want to say so many things about how good my God truly is. 
I am so overwhelmed by His love. I am so consumed in His grace. 
He's good and great and perfect. It amazes me that the Creator of the universes chooses to love me unconditionally. He chooses to give me a name. He took this flawed, sinful, imperfect human and changed my heart all because He thought of me such a long time ago and said, "You're worth it."
 How can I respond except by giving my entire life and everything in it to Him?
There's no place more intimate than with Him. He knows how to love and He lavishes us in it. 

 From the first break of light
To last days
Every echo of time
Every evening face
You always been there

From a baby's first cry

To last breath Every fight in our minds
Every victory dance
You've always been there

Ancient One, so amazing

Unfailing You are
Holy One, overwhelming
My heart with Your love


chorus

Yahweh, Yahweh
Faithful God You're here to stay
Yahweh, Yahweh
Forever and always the same


Where the sky meets the sea
And breaks free
When compassion and love
Are met with me
You've always been there


Ancient One, so amazing
Unfailing You are
Holy one, overwhelming
My heart with Your love

Yahweh, Yahweh

Faithful God, You're here to stay
Yahweh, Yahweh
Forever and always the same


All consuming
Everlasting
God almighty
Lord of glory


Friday, July 13, 2012

Living like Jesus

I want to be a light to this dark world.
I want people to see the love of God burning inside me.
I want to be like Jesus.

 A lot of times, I don't think we realize what we're truly saying when we let the words "I want to be like Jesus" come out of our mouths. It can't be something you just say. And it's not even something you just do. It's your whole life. Your whole life is gone. You lose it. Forever.
Here's something I wrote down last night.
These are my raw thoughts, straight from my heart.
 
I want to find my life in Jesus. I want my words to be soft and kind. I want people to see the love inside of me. I want to give to everyone and never have a harsh word. I want to be Jesus to this world. I want it! I know the sacrifice and the risk I run in saying that. I know it. It's not going to be easy and it's not a glorious lifestyle being like Jesus...but yet, it's the most glorious life we can have.
 
It's all I want my life to be.
God has changed my life so radically, that all I want to do in return is go out and let everyone know that He can do the same for them. I want people to realize how much they're loved.
I want to bring God's people back to Him.
And that's exactly what I'll do.
I am giving up my life to be like Jesus. Never looking back.



Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Simplemente T.R.U.S.T.

The devil never wants us to be content. 
The devil never wants us to be satisfied. 
The devil never wants us to follow our dreams.

The devil wants us to fail.
The devil wants us give up. 
The devil wants us to doubt. 

The devil will do everything he can to make us quit. 
 
Do you have a dream? Do you ever take action towards that dream? Or do you just talk about it and really have no intention to go after it? There's no blame here. We all do it. We all have things that are on our hearts to do, but something always stops it. What is it? What stops us? 

Fear. 

We let fear creep in and contaminate our dreams. There's always that fear of "Will I be accepted?" "Will I succeed?" "How do I start?" "How am I ever going to have enough money?" "This is impossible!" 

Can I tell you something? God loves impossible situations. There is nothing that He can't do. He is able. He is powerful. He loves us! His love for us never fails. And when we choose to trust in Him, we will not fail. He has our back. Always. 

Here's the catch. We have to do hard things. Sometimes we talk ourselves out of our real dreams and talk ourselves into new, easier ones. If we choose to do things that we can do on our own then God isn't going to show up. Why would He? We don't need Him. But when a situation seems completely impossible, when a dream seems like it can't be a reality...that's when God is glorified. 

If you're sure that God has called you to do something don't let anything stop you. Nothing. He will help you. He will be there every step of the way. He will provide. He will make a way. There is nothing too big or too scary for Him. 

Trust. Just trust. Trust Him even when it seems like you've come to a dead end. 
T.R.U.S.T. He will bring you through it. Be patient. He hasn't left you. 

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Selfless Love.

video

Jesus said, "'Love the Lord your God with all your passion and prayer and intelligence.' This is the most important, the first on any list. But there is a second to set alongside it: 'Love others as well as you love yourself.' 
Matthew 22:37

Jesus said, "The first in importance is, 'Listen, Israel: The Lord your God is one; so love the Lord God with all your passion and prayer and intelligence and energy.' And here is the second: 'Love others as well as you love yourself.' There is no other commandment that ranks with these." 
Mark 12:29

He said, "That you love the Lord your God with all your passion and prayer and muscle and intelligence—and that you love your neighbor as well as you do yourself."
Luke 10:27

Friday, January 20, 2012

Amazing Love.

Tonight, I am amazed. I am amazed where God has brought me. I am honored that He has called my name and given me a purpose. 

Today marks the finish of my first week of college in Guatemala. I had been nervous about it for a long time. Then, as the time was closer I started getting even more nervous. Finally, the day was here. I had to go. I woke up excited, but I was scared. There was fear all over me. I could have let that stop me, but I didn't. I know where love is fear won't tread. So, what did I do? I turned to God. And He took it all away. ALL of it. But, you wanna know something? The honest truth? A couple months ago I thought I was crazy. I thought the idea of going to college to study medicine in a different language was...insane. And you know what else? I thought God was crazy for guiding me in that direction. I didn't see it being possible. But let me tell you one thing....God always knows what's best. He always knows. 


God is never going to leave us struggling. He's always going to meet us in the middle. But that means that we have to give effort! It's kinda crazy to expect God to meet us when we're not putting anything out there. As soon as I started classes God was there. He asked me to step out. And He met me there. The key is that we have to get up and make a move. A lot of times we don't do anything because we think it's too hard or it doesn't make sense to us. Living all out for God isn't going to make sense. You want to live your life in such a way that people will question your thinking and your logic. There's something wrong when our lives make sense to unbelievers. We don't live in the natural. If God is telling you to go somewhere or to do something, do not hesitate. You won't be alone. He's right there with you. Trust Him. There's nothing more important in this life than Him. Not jobs, not money, not school. Just HIM. 

"If you don't go all the way with me, through thick and thin, you don't deserve me. If your first concern is to look after yourself, you'll never find yourself. But if you forget about yourself and look to me, you'll find both yourself and me." Matthew 10:39

Don't try to make it on your own. Stop leading yourself. And let God lead you. 


...Do not worry. 
That's a mere worry of the world...
a culture you're not a part of.