Friday, December 27, 2013

beloved

"In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace;" (Eph. 1:7)

If ever you need to be reassured you are loved unboundedly look to the crucifixion of Jesus Christ. We sinned and held in contempt our Creator only divine sacrifice could save a people from that debt. And oh Lord how I am ever grateful for that love for it is ever easy to fall and be lost to this world. I am ever endeared when I read your gospels and as Jesus wept for the heart broken Jews and Gentiles over Lazarus's body so do I weep for the state of this world. It needs submission Jesus and yet the people he saved refuse him. They have no room for him, lives get busy, work gets harder, wine or cigarettes taste better and are sought after vigorously. Hearts are hardened and the words of God are forgotten, fall to deaf ears, or  disregarded. We are human, we fall but just because we fall it does not mean we ought to stay on the ground. Humility blinds a persons soul by breaking their pride. Jesus answers the prayers of the broken hearted, weeps with us and takes away the desire to taste the sweetness of wine. 

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Christmas

"...and say unto him, Master, carest thou not that we perish? And he arose, and rebuked the wind, and said into the sea, Peace, be still. And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm." (Mark 4:38-39) We humans are impatient, we grow discouraged when things are not going to plan and fear the undefinable. Jesus did not say let us go half way across the sea and drown he said "Let us pass over unto the other side."(Mark 4:35)  But when horrible occurrences seem to go on unnoticed our faith wavers, we want immediate action, most of us(myself included) do not have the persistence to continue week after month praying for the same thing. But God does His work according to His standard of time not ours. It is just so wondrous that God sees something inside each and every one of us that to Him makes us worthy of His love. There is this feeling of calm that resides in Gods love. A feeling of completeness in submission to Him. He saw us suffering and He decided we were worth more than the death we deserved. Our sin kept us from an intimate relationship with Him so He gave this world a perfect sacrifice just so we may know Him. We are able to speak to the Creator through Jesus. Our prayers no longer fall to deaf ears. How amazing it feels to know there is someone out there that so in love with us that He know all our flaws, lies, greed, and disrespect towards Him then choses to forget all about them. We have an everlasting free slate through Jesus. He is our most precious gift and He is free of charge. All you have to do is answer His call. Close your eyes and think Jesus. Just say the word over and over again until you feel something because trust me your cries will be heard and if your heart is breaking Jesus will come to soothe it. You say simple words to Jesus. He already knows your life story, we are all on the same playing field with God. And that is so spectacular, there is no color of skin or accent of voice that is unpleasing to Gods ears. For He made us all therefore we all must be models of perfection. If you call to Jesus and He answers (for He shall) and you are thinking "Oh my what's next?" Forgiveness. Tell Him you have sinned against Him, ask for His forgiveness, your submission to Him is all Jesus needs to enter your heart and engulf you in love. Acknowledge Jesus as your Savior, tell Him you believe in Him, that you wish to be saved from the dead weight of your sin. This is not an acceptance of church institutions but and acceptance of love. Being a Christian doesn't make a person any less human you will still want to sin, you still will sin it is just now you can fall onto your face before Christ and ask that He changes you. Because we are human, fragile, in need of love and forgiveness. We cannot fix ourselves, we cannot stop our addictions from overruling us only Jesus has the power to help us. Setting aside our pride allows us to submit wholly to Him which allows Him to change our hearts.  

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

the truths of the world

"And you shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free" John 8:32
I've never really had one favorite Bible verse, but this one is...everything. If you could sum up how a Christian feels when they read the Bible this would be it, we are reading the truth. What a weight that is to know that the God of the universe created a book and told the world's peoples that they no longer have to be curious or live in ignorance. Is it not just awe inspiring to know that God knew from the beginning that we would seek the truths of this world, that because we are humans and faulty we would doubt. This one line no matter how many times you say it out loud holds its weight. It declares the words of the Bible to be the truth. How wonderful, merciful, joyous. Not only does God loves us much that He sent Jesus to free us from the chains of our sins because He wanted an intimate and personal relationship with us but He gave all the truths of the world. I was once told that words have power because once written they can't be unwritten. Never has that seemed more true, I never noticed the power the words of the Bible has until I went to prayer last Sunday and heard them read out loud. And I know I've heard the Bible read aloud before it's just that this felt like I was hearing the truth in them for the first time. It just amazes me how this is the only book ever written that no matter how many times you read the same verses it always holds new meaning, gives us new enlightenments. It breaks my heart that their are people out ready to give up on life believing what philosophers told them is the truth that their actions have made them deformed or unlovable. That their eyes have so clouded as to see only the pain of this world that they think it better to destroy the most precious thing God gave them than to give in to the truth. Because with giving in you give away yourself, you chose to accept a certain amount of blind faith. But really their is no blind faith with Jesus is there? Their is blind faith in believing in Evolution because you can't physically observe a primate changing species. But their is power when truthful words are written, unlike the Qur'an truthful words can be translated into any language and still retain its power. That their are people out their today being so oppressed by Satan and his dark numbness that they cannot see Jesus's light or his truth is so convicting for me. God didn't just give me the truths of the World but He gave them to the world. And Gods' made me realize that I have been coveting them. 

Sunday, December 15, 2013

heavy is the Word of God

"It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing. The words that I speak to you are spirit, and they are life." John 6:63
"Then Jesus said to the twelve, "Do you also want to go away?" But Simon Peter answered Him, "Lord to whom shall we go? You have words of eternal life." John 6:67-68
Heavy are those words yet light is the heart that hears them and understands there heaviness as power. For our power comes from the Holy Spirit and our strength comes from Jesus and His almighty grace. We are chosen selected by His hand, let that settle in us Oh Lord for we can so easily be swept from your mercy and placed in this world. We never realize just how far we are gone until our hearts break until we fall to our faces so humbled it is all we can do but weep. That sort of weeping that steals the air in your lungs, where you don't make a sound but tears rush from your eyes, your knees hit the floor and suddenly you are alone begging for His forgiveness. You never realize you've fallen until you are completely humbled you may notice your descent feel like you've stopped it but that is Satan giving you false confidence. Satan is humanities adversary he craves our destruction leads us into darkness through the choices we make when we are faced with temptation. Take comfort knowing he was defeated by God, fast from Heaven but be weary for he was an angel he knows exactly which temptation we fall prey to every time, he is our worst adversary because he knows our fleshs' desires. We all fall, it is when we believe we stopped our descent by our own merit that we realize how incomplete we feel. And it is not because we have failed The Lord or His test that we begin to feel that void again, because we are humans, faulty imperfect sinners. We feel lost because that flame we so coveted became an ember again. The Lord's forgiveness is absolute and immediate if you want it, if you ache for it, if you come humbled before Him he we'll freely restore you. But climbing back to where you were takes time, getting back to your flame takes diligence, takes your spiritual desire for intimacy with your Lord. And that cannot be masked, faked, or rushed. We humans move slow and so doesn't our recoveries but our God is patient He shall wait. 

Thursday, December 5, 2013

almighty

"Blessed is he who reads and those who hear... For the time is near."(Rev.1:3) "I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Begining and the End," says The Lord, "Who is and was and who is to come, the almighty." (Rev.1:8) There are certain verses in the Bible you just sing mentally, right? Half of the psalms and this line. I grew up on this line, that is how my childhood can be amounted to: random alternating beach and Disneyland trips, the old songs of the gospel choir and the country music of Garth brooks, willie Nelson and the Dixie chicks.  I knew the Lords Prayer by the time I was in either kindergarten or first grade. Love going to my grandmas church on Easter because men and women white choir robes with golden stitched crosses, coordinating bells would sing The Lord of The Dance. An old best friend of mine once told me if she didn't know would have thought my life was plucked from one of Norman Rockwell's paintings. The problem was none of that helped me because I didn't know a thing about God, I didn't know Jesus at all. And so when things went wrong in my life Satan used my ignorance to get me to blame my Lord. At the time I didn't think think oppression was real, that demons were just stories my father would tell me to keep me from lying. I was a girl who could quote lines for days but would feel nothing and didn't even own a Bible. That is not faith it is an obligation, a chore my parents had inflicted onto me. And don't get me wrong in many ways I am so grateful for being raised in a Christian home, my life was and wasn't extremely blessed but it could have been a lot worse. It is just that God is bringing me back things of my past for reasons He has yet to enlighten me of. But one thing God has really showed me is that I truly believed I was saved, I knew, it was a self-evident fact that I was going to Heaven when I died. But I never openly or internally said I believed in Jesus as I do now. I was perfectly fine not reading the Bible, not knowing a thing about the the God of the universe. It was like the pop Urban II had offered me plenary indulgence, I could be as evil as I wanted say I'm sorry and be forgiven. Forgiveness doesn't work like that, repentance requires that you are openly aware of your sin, see the need to change and ache for that change. It is always just to awesome when I read my Bible now, or talk to God. I can hear Him everywhere and I never had that before. I can feel Him, love the feeling I get when I'm doing something and there's this pounding inside my chest telling me to open my Bible, talk to that person or just say Yes God? 

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Nails to A Cross:

"You worship what you do not know; we know what we worship," John 4:22 
"God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth." John 4:24
How amazing it feels to know that there is truth out there. Self-evident and unsurpassable. How awe inspiring, how liberating that we no longer have to search for the truths of this world. The void is gone, God is truth and how right that seems, feels and sounds. Like the declaring of a fact. We are saved from the condemnation we deserve, we are loved when it is justifiable to be cast off. Our prayers are heard for we are touched by His spirit and as we crave Him, He aches for us. Gathers around us when our hearts scream when we doubt our strength. There are not enough words, no definable way to proclaim my gratitude, He saved me from the oppression of Satan's grasp. Plucked me from the darkness and set me in the light, now at night I look to the stars inside of shadows around me. We are saved and now I can hardly recall the justifications I gave for doing the things I did. I remember my actions, remember feeling like I had no choice, was compelled to do it and couldn't ever hope to stop. I remember those things how it felt, the rushes, the crashes, the depression like rip-tides pulling me under into a bottomless pit. All my shameful deeds, everything that makes me imperfect, faulty, unworthy does not matter to my Lord. He was there with me through every conscious action but I asked He forgives and no longer remembers them. When I look back on my life and watch myself commit trespasses against my Lord it is like I am watching someone with my face do things that would make even the hardest hearts cringe. And the is the most wonderful feeling knowing their is someone out there who knows every little lie you told and every horrible thing you've done and "...has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross." Col. 2:14 This is one of my most favorite verses, how marvelous it feels to just hear it repeated out loud. Like the power and love of the Holy Spirit is washing over you. 

Friday, November 22, 2013

faultless stand before your throne

"In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. And the light shines in the darkness and the darkness did not comprehend it." John 1:4-5

 It is true that we sin because we are sinners. In bred with a desire inside us, one that tells us it's okay to yield to the world's temptation. But it is not okay. This world was made by God but a prince reigns the flesh. Satan is in every temptation, every word you speak that gnaws on your concious, Satan is the great oppressor to Christ's followers and nothing makes him happier than seeing a man or woman of God fall. But we have light inside of us, we were made by God and so we are touched by His light. His breath filled us, animated the shells of our bodies. That light is in every human it is what makes the void we feel before we are saved. We feel a void a need to satisfaction because we have given ourselves over to the darkness in us and it suppresses God's light. But even though the darkness inside us hates the light it does not understand why it cannot vanish it. It make flicker, radiate the low heat of dying embers but it flickers! It never succumbs because God does not succumb. I saw that with my brother, a man of God whose fallen so hard and so deep into his darkness that I was beginning to think I'd lost him forever. But this verse today sort of smacked me in the face (hard!) it was God telling me how dare you give up on one of my own. Did I give up on you? Everyone He touches belongs to Him and it is our job as followers of Him to be ready when He calls us, our job to run to His voice like Phillip. Our job to be different from the people of this world so that they can see a way out. Our light leads the way for theirs it needs to emblazon us, be the raging fire of God. This is world is ending, eroding around us we may be on the right side of the fight but others around us are not. How can I stand before Jesus knowing I followed Him dutifully, believed in Him wholly but ignored Luke 24:47-49.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

outspoken but silent

"There settle it in your hearts not to meditate beforehand on what you will answer; for I will give you a mouth and wisdom which all you adversaries will not be able to contradict or resist." Luke 21:14-15 

It has been hard to be outspoken about Jesus. Difficult to break myself out of my comfort zone for I don't really know how to speak to people in general let alone tell them of Jesus. It's that Satan is constantly hardened my heart against what God keeps pushing my feet to do. Making me feel as the words I say will be the wrong ones, making my brain tell me I don't have the strength or wisdom to walk up to a random stranger and tell them of Jesus. Even now as I sit in Starbucks reading His Word there sits across the room from me a Jehovah's Witness reading his newspaper. And I have this gnawing inside me to get up and talk to him to share with him the Jesus he is overlooking. Is my faith that broken? Should I not be as Philip who ran to the bidding of God? How is it that I have this ache inside to share Jesus with the world, with every single person I see and yet don't. Is it God telling me I'm still being prepared or Satan mangling my thoughts to make me believe I'm not good or strong enough to walk over to the man in a suit and tie. God grant me mercy, solace, if I am being self-centered show me however you see fit. Break me, humble me Lord  for I do everything in the name of your Grace. Show me my faults, my trespasses, the things that I believe to be too little to repent for. I am incapable of understanding your wisdom, your parables require me to read them three times before I am knowing. I am weak and prideful to have believed I could understand the meaning of your grand design. I beg of you Lord teach me. Show the world of your unbounding love. Stretch your hand across Your universe and sooth those dying of famine, fill the hopeless who stand in the wreckage of the Philippines with Your strength because we are weak, sinners, distraught with crying hearts and empty voids inside of us. Show us how to love those who have hurt us so cruelly so that we may forgive the grudge we hold. It is through your Son that we find solace, through Your words we find clarity and strength. If Jehovah Witnesses can have faith in half-truths and lies how is it that my faith seems weaker than theirs. Will I get to Paradise only to hear Your Son say he's never known me? Break apart my attachments to this world use me however you will, my feet are yours to move.  

justified

"Why should a living man complain, A man for the punishment of his sins?" Lam. 3:39

How justified God would have been to discard me. To say to me you are not worthy. My life had been a continuation of disappointments I saw as needless suffering. When I cried out to God no one answered. I stopped going to church because I was so angry at Him that I couldn't stand to be in a place that He might be.  People suffer, other people are cruel and the world just seems to keep spinning. Who was I to charge the God of the Universe with my trespasses. Who am I that He who never knew sin would die for me. " O Lord, You have pleaded my case for my soul; You have redeemed my life. O Lord, You have seen how I am wronged" Lam. 3:58-59. And yet He choose to save me, to drag me from Satan's oppressions. All I can give, all that I am; may it  be rendered to Him. For He who deserves to be exalted choose to exalt me the day he brought me to my feet and walked my body into a pool. May His will for me be made so clear that I cannot sleep, breathe or think until I have submitted to His grace. O that my heart would pound in my chest His commands, that my feet would move solely for His accord for His glory. May He use us all for He is deserving of all that we have.  

Sunday, November 17, 2013

break my heart Lord for what breaks yours

"You still lack one thing. 
Sell all that you have and distribute it to the poor, 
and you will have treasure in heaven; 
and come, follow Me." Luke 18:22 
How hard this would be. 
I use to think it would be easy to leave everything behind, my family, home, life and make it in the world however I could. But that was high school when I wasn't with my Lord and bitter anger ate away at me. Now through the grace of God I have begun to slowly forgive my family and old friends. It is harder to leave, to give everything now that I have something worth keeping. When I was reading this I kept thinking why would God give me forgiveness, peace, and material things if He just wanted me to leave them behind? And I realize it was because I needed to know the value of this world. I needed to see the world as God sees it. 

Saturday, November 16, 2013

writ in stone

 " Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life..." Luke 12:22
 "But seek the kingdom of God, and all these things shall be added to you." Luke 12:31
 "For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also." Luke 12:34

I forget sometimes how divinely planned my life has been and will continue to be. Everything I've done, everything that has happened or will happen to me is set with God's handwriting in stone. How liberating, to know that the God who created oceans has His hand on my shoulder. I am his and He mine. I shall worry not of bodily desires. 

Friday, November 15, 2013

those smooth talkers

"How then can you comfort me with empty words, Since falsehood remains in your answers?" Job 21:34
Satan and his followers are smooth talkers my friends. 
Their words strike out at me and as God screams in my soul "They are lies." The Devil is quick to wage his war inside me. I found at those moments it is easy to fall and hard to discover that you have fallen. That simple words effected the power of the Holy Spirit within me. It took a long time of repentance, self-examination, praying, and crying out to The Lord to realize that the words I had spoken had hardened my heart. Blessed am I that The Lord would grace me with the knowledge to understand my faults so that I may repent.  May The Lord continue to show me when I am wrong, may he mold me and you into the servants He deserves. If it is His will He will lead me, change me, and grant me wisdom. How exalted is He who cares for the sinners. How merciful is He to use sinners to bring peace to those suffering in this world. 

Thursday, November 14, 2013

the building of temples

"You are also being built together
for a dwelling place of God in the Spirit." Eph. 2:22

Today I needed someone who was not my mother tell me my writing was good. I had applied for an Honors Conference a week ago and received word on Tuesday that my paper had been declined. My mother said it was because my writing is too controversial, I told her I just wasn't good which is how I had been beginning to see my writings. I haven't been able to free-flow prose, my historical analyses are blander than usual and trying to write fiction leaves me grossly depressed. Needless to say at my local coffee shop today sipping my cappuccino in one of their holiday cardboard travel cups I was having no luck fitting into words what I thought of 19th century Civil Rights. (FWI: nonexistent.)

Anyhow I had been writing, re-writing and internally snarling at the black ink of my cursive when who comes bounding through the doors. My old English-1B professor with his leather messenger bag, urban glasses, and tasseled shoes. We chit-chat like normal people, I have a thing about small talk: the more of it the more weird I become. Then he asks if I still had the DJ Waldie essay from last semester, I promptly blink; stupefied. He says my thesis was the strongest one he'd seen in a long time and he'd like to show it as an example to his class. I promptly blink again. Just an amazing Rhetor I am, right. I say okay, he says okay, we say goodbye. (I'm paraphrasing here, in reality there is more chit-chat but I shall not bore you.) I spend the rest of the hour I have left with no more coffee and no new words written towards my Civil Rights Assignment. But... someone out there, who went to graduate school, teachers English, and wears cardigans said I was one of his three best student-writers. Oh how God provides marvelously.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

vapor

"Vanity of vanities, says the Preacher; 
Vanity of vanities, all is vanity...
And there is nothing new under the sun." Eccl. 1:2, 9

This book of the Bible like Job is one of the most vexing and enjoyable ones to me. 
I never knew what to make of the reoccurrence of the word 'vanity'. The NLT translates it to "meaningless" whereas the NKJV and KJV translates it "vanity which my handy-dandy dictionary tells me means pride. When I first read the book I thought it was trying to say things of the earth is meaningless. But it always nagged at me so I looked up the original Greek word used in place of vanity and found it was "hebel" which means breeze or vapor or rather impermanent things.  Re-reading it now I believe Ecclesiastes to be a type of warning. That we have the free will to choose to chase after unsustainable things but it is disappointing. Rather I pray that God would so choose to open my ears, eyes, and mind to strive towards Him. To love Him unboundedly and others for through Him and his truth we shall receive eternal peace. He has made me realize that this world is not mine and that the material things of it are therefore not mine. Which is why chasing after them is a wasted effort. 

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

stand fast & be unshakable

"Watch, stand fast in the faith, be brave, be strong. 
Let all that you do be done with love." I Cor. 1:13-14

I never thought much of love, never had a boyfriend. 
All I knew of love was what the books told me, and what my family showed me. I thought of love in terms of it being something you can lose and so was not worth it.
Now I see how strong people are.
All their souls crying out to God. Continuing on in the face of triumph and anguish. How resilient humans are, how strong a sinners faith is to believe even when the Heavens are silent. I understand now that God gave me things of this world not because I needed them to be happy but rather I needed them to understand the value of this world and the people in it. 
Because how does one save a thing they think is worthless.