On Calling Evil Good

Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter. (Isa. 5:20)

*Before I begin to write this post, I would like to ask my readers for grace.  My heart in writing this post is to express my views on some controversial subject matter.  My intention is not to come across as condemning or judgemental, but rather to share my personal take on recent events in light of God’s Word.  You have the freedom to disagree with me.  We all have the right to our own opinion.*

Over the course of the last year, we have seen our nation move in the direction of becoming more and more progressive.  Yesterday, the Supreme Court moved to make gay marriage legal in all 50 states.  We are pushing for the legalization of marijuana.  Bruce Jenner has been acclaimed a hero for undergoing a sex change.  I am a conservative Christian, so it probably doesn’t come as a surprise to you that I believe that marriage should be between a man and a woman, that making drug use legal is not a good idea and that you should keep whatever male or lady parts you were born with.  But this post isn’t about arguing or debating about any one particular issue.

I would, however, like to discuss one concept that weighs on my mind and eats at me from time to time:  How do we as a nation and individuals define our moral compass?  What I am most concerned with is not gay marriage, marijuana, or transgenders, but rather that the compass we use to make decisions in our country no longer seems to be based on the idea of absolute right and wrong.  As a nation, I believe that we have thrown the idea of absolute right and wrong out of the window.  Instead, we are a nation governed by feeling, what we feel to be right, what we feel to be true and more than anything else what we feel makes us happy.  Happiness here can be synonymous with brief momentary pleasures that lead to damaging and potentially life altering consequences.  I’ll admit that this scares me.  It scares me because feelings change, opinions change and one person’s opinion will always differ from another’s.  I fear that right vs. wrong is becoming an increasingly gray area and that we are reaching a day and age where the principles that our country was founded on will be whited out and replaced with these two words: “anything goes.”

Let me give you an example of what I’m talking about.  In the 1960s, our country experienced what was known as the “sexual revolution,” which google defines as “the liberalization of established social and moral attitudes toward sex, as the women’s liberation movement and developments in contraception instigated greater experimentation with sex, especially outside of marriage.”  I, as a single woman, in my mid-twenties, am directly affected by the consequences of the sexual revolution.  I live in a world that has normalized sex as a brief encounter between two individuals that are using each other to meet purely carnal “needs.”  We don’t bat our eyes anymore at one night stands or having multiple sexual partners.  In fact, according to our media, that’s the goal.  The more sex you can have with more people the better!  We have bought the lie that human beings have no more control than animals, with instinctual urges that must be fulfilled in whatever way possible.  In a culture that emulates the notion  that “men have needs” and “monogamy is unrealistic,” I am up against the battle to find a man someday that is willing to uphold the sacred tradition of marriage and devote himself to be faithful to me for the rest of my life.  Unfortunately, for many, marriage has taken a backseat to casual dating, cohabitating, and sexual experimentation.  As we, as a nation, pursue the indulgence of instant gratification, long standing values like marriage have lost their value and their meaning.

The idea I would like to challenge here is that just because something is accepted or embraced by society, doesn’t mean it’s right.  Just because society says that we can have sex with whomever, whenever does that make it right?  If society says we can get stoned, does that mean we should?  If society says that we should alter our bodies to be comfortable in our own skin, should we?  And dare I say, if society begins to redefine long-standing institutions, such as marriage, does that mean it’s really okay?  You may not agree with me on all these points, but I hope we can all agree that as a society we condone alot of things that at their core are unhealthy.

To conclude, we cannot be people that allow our views to be easily swayed by what is being popularized in our culture.  If we do not possess a moral compass that is grounded in absolute truth, than we as a people can be convinced  that anything is permissible. Absolute unchanging truth still exists and in that truth we find freedom.

And you will know the truth and the truth will set you free. (John 8:32)

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The One About My Dad

This past Sunday was Father’s Day, the day we celebrate dear old dad.  In my family, I usually spend time at my parents house, we eat a meal together and I give my dad a card with some cash in it.  (I have been told that this is terribly impersonal and cheesy, but it’s what the man wants and I aim to please).  But this past Father’s Day took on a special significance for me.  It dawned on me that when I was 10 years old, it was on Father’s Day that my dad gave his life to Jesus.  It was June 21st to be exact.

It struck me how that one decision has changed my whole life and the course of my future.  Everything I am I owe to that one choice, because not long after my dad accepted the gift of salvation I followed suit.  My dad is not perfect, no one is.  I can tell you that we have butted heads many times throughout the years and driven each other up more walls than I can count.  Despite all of that, I will always be forever grateful for his mustard seed of faith that said that he can make a difference in his daughter’s life by raising her up in the truth of God.  I didn’t make it easy.  I kicked and I screamed, but my dad told me I was going to church once a week, whether I liked it or not.  Some parents are against forcing their kids to go to church.  They think that it will push their kids away.  I think it’s all in the attitude and spirit in which it’s done.  My dad didn’t yell or scream at me to go.  It was like we had an agreement.  The church had several services a week and I just had to go to one.  My parents always did alot for me and this was one thing I could do for my dad.  I couldn’t argue that, especially when I was asking for money on the regular.  

My dad told me that soon enough I would make friends at the church and I would be begging him to go to all the services.  He told me that some day church and ministry would be my whole life…the nerve.  He was right.  Soon, Sunday morning church turned into Sundays mornings, midweek youth service and Friday night youth-run outreach.  Now, youth ministry has become my calling and passion.  I spend the majority of my free time with teenagers.  This Father’s Day I ended my season at my old church to begin the journey of planting a church alongside the man and woman that have pastored me, encouraged me and really just been the best friends to me for the past two years of my life.  Now, no one has to drag me kicking and screaming.  I’m hungry to see people encounter God in a life-transforming way.

To make a long story short, dad was right.  Don’t you hate it when that happens?

To all the parents out there, the brothers, the sisters, the sons, the daughters, the friends, the teachers, whoever you are, you never know the impact that your choice to follow Christ in your day to day life can have on those that are around you.  You never know how one small choice to lay down your own plans to follow God’s plans for you can change somebody else’s future.  You will never fully realize the true impact of every prayer that you have prayed and every word of life that you have spoken to someone.  Keep making history.

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Skeletons in the Closet

I once knew a girl, let’s call her Jessica, who had been through abuse as a young girl of three or four years old.  The abuse was of a sexual nature and occurred repeatedly over an extended period of time.  Jessica is now a vibrant woman in her early adulthood.  Recently, Jessica had a dream in which she found the bloodied dress of a little girl.  She brought it to the attention of her protectors and they responded by carefully placing the dress in a box and placing it on the highest shelf of the closet.  Jessica was alarmed.  Shouldn’t this be cause for concern?  Shouldn’t something be done?  But it seemed that everyone felt it was the best course of action to not talk about the dress, or the little girl and to move on as if nothing had happened at all.

Jessica recognized that the little girl in her dream was her.  As a young child, she had felt as though what had happened to her had been swept under the rug.  Jessica learned to deal with her pain and feelings of shame by burying them.  Her cardinal rule was to never discuss the abuse or the aftermath.  The whole event became a skeleton in her closet.

We all have skeletons in our closets.  We all have things that have happened that have broken us and altered us and have affected the way we view ourselves, and our relationships.

It’s time that we unpack.

It’s time to unpack what we have buried.  It’s time that we unpack each feeling of pain, of brokenness, of shame, of disgust, of hurt, and of un-forgiveness.   It’s time that we air out our closet spaces and allow the sun to shine into each cobwebbed corner.

I am learning the importance of allowing others to enter my brokenness. We will never heal in isolation.  We need others in our lives who will listen to us cry, give us a hug when needed and that will encourage us that something better awaits.  I love what it says in Eccles. 4:9-12, “Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor.  If either of them falls down, one can help the other up… Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves.  A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.”

Secondly, we need to start identifying the lies as lies.  I believe that everyone has been through at least one situation that has whispered a lie in their ear that resurfaces again and again to varying degrees in an array of circumstances.  What lies do you believe?  What lies do you believe about yourself?  Do you believe you could never be loved?  Do you believe you could never be wanted?  Do you believe that you will never be good enough?  Do you believe you’re fundamentally flawed?  Learn to speak God’s truth over your life.  As we know from John 8:32, it is the truth that will set us free.  

Lastly, know that there’s hope.  When faced with the light of day, the skeletons aren’t that scary.  When things resurface and the pain feels so real, God’s intention is to always bring healing and to make you stronger in Him.  What the enemy uses to tear you down God uses to build you up.

Let’s stop allowing our past to affect our future.

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Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope.  And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us. (Romans 5:3-5)

Day One of the Rest of Your Life

In Matthew West’s latest single “Day One,” he sings “It’s day one of the rest of my life.  I’m marching on to the beat of a brand new drum.  Here I come.  The future has begun.  Day one.”  This song takes on special significance for me in the season that I find myself in.  As I mentioned in a previous entry, this year has been full of transitions for me.  About two months ago, I started a new job and yesterday was my last day at the church that I have been a member of for the past 7 years, as me and some close friends are beginning the adventure of planting a new church.

At times, I feel as though I sound like a broken record when I write.  The theme of “change” comes up alot in my writing.  I tell people that this blog for me is like my diary that I have chosen to share with the world, so the themes that wiggle their way into its pages again and again are the ones where God has me focused at the present moment.  I’m sure this is not the last blog post I will write about change, transition and moving forward.

So, on the subject of change, a couple of days ago I had a conversation with a friend who has been hit with transition this year like I have been.  His attitude is so positive all the time.  I remember that as we made the announcement to the youth we have been serving in this past season about leaving to start a church plant, he said something along the lines of, “I can’t say I’m sad about this, because I know that we are a family, that we will remain a family and only good can come out of this.”  He told me that when changes like these hit, he chooses to stay focused on the outcome, which he has the faith to believe is a good one.

That conversation was an excellent reminder for me.  I know that the changes I am experiencing right now are going to lead to amazing things that I can’t even begin to fathom or imagine.  But I am a sap.  The tears flow when I have to say goodbye to friends and seasons that I have cherished and adored for so long.

So as I write this blog post, I am wondering, how many of you are on the brink of something big in your lives, but before you get there, have to say goodbye to a good season that is near to its end?  How many of you have to say goodbye to some relationships and circumstances that you have held on to and cherished, in order that you can embrace the new thing that God is doing in your life?  My feeling is that I am not alone in this.

I want to encourage you with this simple thought:  Every new beginning represents a new adventure.  As God moves you out of your comfort zone and into the unknown, He will draw you closer to himself and increase your confidence in Him.  The adventures of God come with their twists and turns, but there are many surprises underway.  You have no idea what the outcome will be, but you can be rest assured that its better than anything that you could have ever imagined.

Here’s the thing about change and new adventures, there always has to be a day one.  There is always that defining moment when you step away from the old to step into the new.  There comes a time when it becomes necessary to draw a line in the sand between your past and your future.  Allow today to be your day one.

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Remember not the former things, nor consider the things of old.  Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it?  I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert. (Isa. 43:18-19)

Haters Gonna Hate

One night recently we had our youth service and I was driving two of our girls home.  Each girl expressed that they were not feeling like themselves, because of some weighty stuff they were dealing with.  Much of what they were going through had to do with things others had said about them to purposely cut them down and stab them in the back…people they trusted.

We have all been there before.  There are things others have said about us that have hurt us and have made us question if we are really capable of doing anything worthwhile at all.  We have all had haters.  So how do you deal?  I strongly believe that it is all a matter of perspective.  In my own life, I have had to learn that I don’t live for the approval and acceptance of others.  I can’t.  I’ll never be able to please everybody and I don’t have to.  I live to walk out my relationship with God.  It’s His approval I am looking for, which Christ earned for me when He died on the cross on my behalf.  I love what Paul writes in Galatians 1:10, “Am I now trying to win the approval of human beings, or of God?  Or am I trying to please people?  If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a servant of Christ.”  Let the haters say what they want to say.  You have nothing to prove to them.

Here’s the other thing:  You have a purpose and calling in Christ that is secure.  No matter what people try to say about you, God is doing a work in you and He is not going to stop until He is finished (Phil. 1:6).  You are fearfully and wonderfully made (Ps. 139:14).  He is equipping you with everything good that is required for carrying out the purposes He has laid out for you (Heb. 13:21).  Despite all the haters and all the words that have been spoken against you, you can never be separated from God’s love (Rom. 8:38-39).  As it says in Romans 8:31, if God is for us who can be against us?

Remember that the naysayers, the liars and the backstabbers don’t get to determine the outcome of your life, or the person that you will become.  This is a road that you are walking with Jesus.  He will see you through to the other side.  He won’t give up on you in the middle of the process.

There is one more thing I want you to remember when it comes to the haters.  It’s these familiar words spoken by Jesus and recorded in Matt. 5:44, “But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.”  Ouch.  I know, easier said than done.  This kind of love for our enemies is a supernatural work of the Holy Spirit and sometimes requires a bit of a process, but it’s the kind of love that God has asked us to strive for when it comes to our dealings with difficult people.  Consider for a moment the example that Jesus set when He allowed His haters to nail Him to a cross.

Just know, that every person  that has spoken out against you has been bruised, beaten down, and broken just like you have.  Each hater in your life has been made to feel worthless and insecure.  More often than not, it’s that insecurity that has caused that person to lash out towards you.

Break the cycle.  Find your security in Christ and allow God to use your prayers to aid in the process of healing and restoring even your enemies.  

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On Water Guns, Shaving Cream and 911 Calls

There is so much about my childhood and my upbringing that I absolutely love.  For starters, my family is insane.  My mom, my dad, my brother and I are absolute goof balls.  Nobody in my family takes themselves too seriously and we love to laugh and to have a good time.  If you are a regular reader of my blog, you might have gathered that I’m a deep thinker, a writer and very passionate about my relationship with Jesus.  What you might not have gathered from my writings is that I have also been dubbed “the queen of practical jokes,” that I’ve been known to burst out in laughter at inappropriate times for seemingly no reason at all, and that I’ve earned a reputation for myself as being somewhat mischievous.  I owe to this to my parents.

I remember a time when my family and I used to live in a two family house in West Haven, CT.  My mother had purchased several small water guns from the dollar store.  We kept them lying around the house.  It was not uncommon at any point of the day to be attacked by my parents with a water gun while I was sleeping, doing my homework or watching tv on the couch.  What would follow was a three party water gun fight throughout the house.  Occasionally, the shaving cream would come out and things would get pretty messy.

Sometimes, the jokes would go too far.  I remember one time I was at home in the condo that my parents still live in, when someone downstairs in the lobby buzzed up.  I answered but all I could hear was heavy breathing.  Creepy.  They buzzed again but this time they whispered my name through the intercom in a breathy tone.  I decided to call my dad, since I was home alone.  My dad picked up and I explained to him that someone was downstairs messing with me through the intercom, but that I was okay because they could not get into the building.  No sooner had I said that then somebody started banging down my front door hand over fist.  I began to scream into the phone, “Dad!  They’re at the door!  They’re at the door.”  My dad instructed me to go into my bedroom and lock it.  He called 911 and proceeded to fly down the highway at 80 plus miles an hour to get home to me as quickly as possible.  In the meantime, I was curled up in the fetal position, snotting all over myself and rocking back and forth.  Next thing I know, my mother comes strolling in the house, smiling from ear to ear.  That night she had to explain to the West Haven police why her daughter might have thought she was about to be murdered.  To this day, my mother still laughs when I tell people that story.

911 calls and all, I have to say that this goofy playfulness is one of my favorite parts of being a part of my family.  To tell you the truth, if we didn’t know how to play and to laugh, we all would have cracked a long time ago.  As a family, we have been through some rough times.  I have memories that I could share that would not be as fun or light-hearted.  However, even though we have our fair share of dysfunction, just like every other family, we have learned the importance of knowing how to take a step back, to laugh at ourselves and to have a good time.

There is an important principle to be learned in all of this: No matter what you go through in life, never lose your ability to laugh and to play.  We all go through circumstances that we can’t see the way out of.  We all deal with heartache, pain and sorrow.  Life throws us all curve balls every once in a while.  But each night the sun goes down and comes up on a brand new day.  There is something to be thankful for in even the hardest situations.  During tough times, your smile says to the world that you haven’t given up yet and that you’re still in the fight..  

Just remember, when life becomes too demanding and you feel buried under the pressure, grab your water gun and a bottle of shaving cream and go to town.

A joyful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones. (Proverbs 17:22)

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Worth Fighting For

Therefore, put on every piece of God’s armor so you will be able to resist the enemy in the time of evil.  Then after the battle you will still be standing firm.  Stand your ground, putting on the belt of truth and the body armor of God’s righteousness.  For shoes, put on the peace that comes from the Good News so that you will be fully prepared.  In addition to all of these, hold up the shield of faith to stop the fiery arrows of the devil.  Put on salavation as your helmet, and take the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. (Ephesians 6:13-17)

Some of you may be familiar with this passage.  It portrays the importance of being suited up and ready to fight in the spiritual battle that we are all up against.  We teach this concept to kids in children’s church and as we grow, we experience the weight of the battle.  We begin to know temptation, heartache, and discouragement like the back of our hand.  We get tired and I think under the weight of it all, we sometimes forget what it is that we are fighting for.

The other day the words “worth fighting for” kept jumping out at me.  In the morning, reading an email from a friend, I read the words “your relationship with God is worth fighting for.”  Later, that day online I read the words “all good things are worth fighting for.” And a little later, I read the words “love is worth the fight.”  Each time, the words “worth fighting for” seemed to be highlighted and flashing.

I believe that if we are going to be effective in the battle, we need to understand the importance and the value of what it is that we are fighting for.  Your relationship with Jesus is worth fighting for.  He is your lifesource, your joy and your strength.  All things are held together in Him and it’s hidden in Him that you discover your real purpose.  As it says in Col. 3:3, “For you died to this life, and your real life is hidden with Christ in God.”

God tells us in His Word that He has equipped us for everything good He has planned for us (Heb. 13:21) and that the God that did not spare His own Son will not withhold any good thing from us (Rom. 8:32).  Those good things, those gifts, are worth fighting for. The world will try to do anything in it’s power to stand in the way of all the God has for us.  The enemy of our souls will try to do whatever He can to rob us of our inheritance and our purpose.

Lastly, love is worth fighting for.  This applies across the board.  Sometimes we will have to fight to love ourselves.  We will have to fight to love others and we will even have to fight at times to keep loving the Lord with all our hearts, souls, minds and strength.  But it’s worth the fight, because Jesus has already fought for us.  As it says in 1 John 3:16, “This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down His life for us.  And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters.”

Today I encourage you to put your boxing gloves on and to get into the ring.  I encourage you to fight for your relationship with Jesus, to fight for all the good things He has for you and to fight for love, knowing full well that God is also fighting on your behalf.  I encourage you to have the same attitude that Paul had when he wrote:

 

Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it.  But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus. (Phil. 3:13-14)

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Worth Fighting For

Therefore, put on every piece of God’s armor so you will be able to resist the enemy in the time of evil.  Then after the battle you will still be standing firm.  Stand your ground, putting on the belt of truth and the body armor of God’s righteousness.  For shoes, put on the peace that comes from the Good News so that you will be fully prepared.  In addition to all of these, hold up the shield of faith to stop the fiery arrows of the devil.  Put on salavation as your helmet, and take the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. (Ephesians 6:13-17)

Some of you may be familiar with this passage.  It portrays the importance of being suited up and ready to fight in the spiritual battle that we are all up against.  We teach this concept to kids in children’s church and as we grow, we experience the weight of the battle.  We begin to know temptation, heartache, and discouragement like the back of our hand.  We get tired and I think under the weight of it all, we sometimes forget what it is that we are fighting for.

The other day the words “worth fighting for” kept jumping out at me.  In the morning, reading an email from a friend, I read the words “your relationship with God is worth fighting for.”  Later, that day online I read the words “all good things are worth fighting for.” And a little later, I read the words “love is worth the fight.”  Each time, the words “worth fighting for” seemed to be highlighted and flashing.

I believe that if we are going to be effective in the battle, we need to understand the importance and the value of what it is that we are fighting for.  Your relationship with Jesus is worth fighting for.  He is your lifesource, your joy and your strength.  All things are held together in Him and it’s hidden in Him that you discover your real purpose.  As it says in Col. 3:3, “For you died to this life, and your real life is hidden with Christ in God.”

God tells us in His Word that He has equipped us for everything good He has planned for us (Heb. 13:21) and that the God that did not spare His own Son will not withhold any good thing from us (Rom. 8:32).  Those good things, those gifts, are worth fighting for. The world will try to do anything in it’s power to stand in the way of all the God has for us.  The enemy of our souls will try to do whatever He can to rob us of our inheritance and our purpose.

Lastly, love is worth fighting for.  This applies across the board.  Sometimes we will have to fight to love ourselves.  We will have to fight to love others and we will even have to fight at times to keep loving the Lord with all our hearts, souls, minds and strength.  But it’s worth the fight, because Jesus has already fought for us.  As it says in 1 John 3:16, “This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down His life for us.  And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters.”

Today I encourage you to put your boxing gloves on and to get into the ring.  I encourage you to fight for your relationship with Jesus, to fight for all the good things He has for you and to fight for love, knowing full well that God is also fighting on your behalf.  I encourage you to have the same attitude that Paul had when he wrote:

 

Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it.  But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus. (Phil. 3:13-14)

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On Being a Needy Girl

Nobody wants to be seen as needy.  In our society, we pride ourselves on our independence and our ability to be successful and to hold our heads up high, whether or not we have anyone to support us and to do life with.  We use the word “needy” to describe people who are desperate, clingy and attention-seeking.  We perceive “needy” people as weak and vulnerable.  And nobody wants to be that girl.

It dawned on me the other day…I am needy and so are you.  We all have deeply felt needs, longings and desires buried in the depths of our hearts.  I am writing from the experience of being a woman, so this quote from the book Captivating by John and Stasi Elridge really struck me as profound.  They write, “We think you’ll find that every woman in her heart of hearts longs for three things: to be romanced, to play an irreplacable role in a great adventure and to unveil beauty.  That’s what makes a woman come alive.” Aren’t these words so true?

The problem is not that we have needs and desires.  It is in where we go with our needs and in who we rely on to fulfill them.  We tend to rely on other people to satisfy these longings.  However, people are fickle, here one day gone the next.  People will always let us down.  It’s just human nature.  Entrusting the wrong people with our dreams leads to deep sense of brokenness and hopelessness.

The truth is that God purposely designed us with these longings to point us towards himself.  God desires to romance us and to pursue us.  Think about it.  When the world was dead in its sin, Jesus showed up on the scene as our knight in shining armor and laid down His life for us, just so that a relationship with us would be possible.  In Song of Songs 8:6-7, God’s love for us is said to be as “strong as death” and His jealousy for us as “unyielding as the grave.”

God desires to have us play a role in the adventure of a lifetime with Him.  We get to share in God’s mission to “seek and to save that which is lost” Luke 19:10.  In Christ, we see our true beauty.  We are told that we were “fearfully and wonderfully made” by our creator in Psalm 139.  And even more than that, we are told that we are constantly being transformed as we go throughout our journey. As it says in 2 Cor. 3:18, “And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another.  For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit.”

 My challenge to you today is to dive deep into your heart and recognize the areas where you dream, and have longings, and desperately need something more.  Bring those desires to the one who will “meet all your needs according to the riches of His glory in Christ Jesus” (Phil 4:19).

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Steady Ground

I waited patiently for the Lord to help me, and he turned to me and heard my cry.  He lifted me out of the pit of despair, out of the mud and the mire.  He set my feet on solid ground and steadied me as I walked along.  He has given me a new song to sing, a hymn of praise to our God.  Many will see what he has done and be amazed.  They will put their trust in the Lord. (Ps. 40:1-3)

There is very little in this life that is certain.  Everything is subject to change.  Relationships change.  Living situations change.  Jobs change.  People change.  Change can be a long process or it can be sudden and out of the blue.  This can be an unnerving and terrifying thing, but change is necessary for growth.  How we handle change says much about our character and the ways that God is maturing us.

If I can describe 2015 in one word so far, it would be change.  Last summer, I began to feel change brewing.  I felt it in the air.  I told all of my friends that 2015 would look completely different.  God was preparing my heart for what was about to take place.  As we anticipate the beginning of summer and look forward to pool parties and hot summer nights, I can look at my life and honestly say that not one aspect of it has been unaffected by change this year.  This year an amazing full time position landed in my lap, while I wasn’t looking for it or expecting it.  I have left my two part time gigs as a receptionist and preschool teacher to work with low income individuals and families, helping them to find employment.  Just a couple of weeks ago, myself and some other individuals from my church announced to the congregation that we would be leaving to plant a church about 45 minutes from where we are now.  On top of that, I have had friends move away and made new friends.  I have housemates that are moving out and new ones moving in.  I started this blog.  It’s been quite a ride.

Yet even though this has all been good change there is still a part of me that gets shaken up by sudden movement and seasons coming to an end, in order that something new can take place.  At times, I wish I could hold on to past seasons just a little longer, because maybe I would appreciate them more and take full advantage of them if I understood how fleeting they really are.  I sometimes wish that God would give me a calendar of events, carefully outlined and laid out, so I never had to wonder what was up ahead and so that I knew exactly what I was getting myself into and for how long.  But that’s because I hate the feeling of uncertainty.  For me, not knowing is hard.

I have learned to deal with uncertainty and change by putting my trust in the God who never changes.  It says in His word that “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever” (Heb. 13:8).  His love for us is steadfast.  His goodness and faithfulness are constant.  He is always trustworthy and in a world where nothing is sturdy and everything is unsure, He is a firm rock that you can lean upon.  It tells us in Psalm 40 that he has placed our feet on steady ground.  There is certainty in our relationship with Him.  It tells us that He steadies us as we walk through the unsteadiness of life.  What’s more than that, He tells us that He causes our walk to be a message of His hope and His love to others, causing others to put their trust in the Lord.  When I consider the faithfulness of Jesus towards me, the changes of life become much easier to handle.  My Lord goes with me.

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