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Posts Tagged ‘Faith’

My head is still spinning from this past week at Catalyst. Such an amazing two days of fast, but rich wisdom. I was in need of a time to soak up the inspiration of others, who are way further down the line.

My faith is small. Sometimes my dreams feel even smaller.

Do you put God in a box?

I do. I look at my life, my future, my dreams, and I limit God. I stick Him in a box with the boundaries that speak of understanding and calculated risks. Feeling uncomfortable and out of control is not my forte, but it is the recipe needed for faith.

I spent two days listening to men and women speak of great steps in faith. All of them spent a season choosing to be out of control and uncomfortable. That is what faith is. Faith takes the willingness to fight through being afraid, jealous, and anxious.

How do you handle discomfort with where you are in life? Do you take control? Do you take the reins?

The words, “I believe” should be so powerful. I am sad for the ways I water down them down. Those words mean everything – believing changes everything.

I want to be a person who believes big. Not only believe, but wait on the weight of those words.

Faith is illogical. Faith is that place in a great movie where you say, “Oh my dang! Didn’t see that coming!”

I watched these great men and women and thought they don’t even see how much God has blessed them. That is a part of just believing – walking in obedience. Feeling the grace and peace of living out the gifts and race HE has designed.

Let’s do this friends! Let’s risk to believe – to spend some time in out of control discomfort!

Truth? Our plans never work out. Our visions go nowhere without the extra step of His planning.

Reality?A part from Him, we can do nothing.”

There is weight in believing. There is a responsibility that comes with waiting on what is bigger than we are.

Risk to believe. 

What holds you back? 

What makes you take back the reins?

 

 

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I drop my head between my hands, tears well in the corners of my eyes, heart, and sighs.

Everything in me wants to fight, to scream, to defend, and to show that I am more than who people think they know.

When my voice feels silenced and my life unseen- I push, I pull, I fight in the tug of war of wanting so much more. I chase and pursue every opportunity that comes into view; Frustrated, wondering what else am I supposed to do!?

Only He is the defender of the weak, father to the fatherless, home to the lonely, lifter of my head, and one who knows my name.

He fights for those who are still. So I sit, still, in quiet desperation. Still is my posture when waiting is all I have.

The illusion of control is surrendered. Knees are buckled, and the bruises of this reed are bowed.

Self-sufficient strength is exhausted, leaving the only option of faith. And I sit in the dark night of quiet desperation.

God, do you hear, do you see? Where is the exhale, the reprieve? When will it be my turn to do the thing I yearn most to glorify you?

Quiet desperation

It’s the deep place below the surface where the waves rise and the water is stirred.

Quiet desperation speaks of the heart’s tension between wrestling and waiting on what only He can do.

Choosing faith in the midst of waiting ignites the heart of quiet desperation.

It sits and waits through the longing and the ache. It chooses joy and celebration even when it feels fake.

Quiet desperation happens within the places only He can reach. We have wounds only He can speak..truth into the lies only He can reach. And dreams which only His steps can make.

Quiet desperation waits in humility and obedience in the hope that the other side of “someday” will be proved true.

So my hope for me and you, is that we see the face and the hands of the one who is making all things new.

Quiet desperation is not forever.

Maybe you’re wondering about the how of what to do with “right now.”

Be still and know that He is God.

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When were small kids, even before we could use our words, we all grasped the concept of “mine.” Mine needed no complete sentence. It was a complete sentence, and sometimes all that needed to be said.

Somewhere in our little perception we learned to see, and grasp, that we were missing something. Either we saw another sibling, or kid, have something we did not. We learned at an early age to notice what we did not have, rather than what we did. We developed a sense of missing.

We learn at a very early age the art of comparison.

As kids, we learned to say,  “hey!” when it came to comparing our “halves” with our siblings, as well as different priviledges they may have received. There was a sense of a “not fair” response that surfaced.

We mature with the perspective that we are owed fair; we are owed equal to those around us.

Andy Stanley defines comparison as “the person we look to, to determine whether or not we are doing ok.

We all have a bar to determine where we are on the “doing ok” scale. We look to the left and right and measure how we are doing. That makes for a messy life. Honestly, I think it makes for a frustrating life.

There is no way to get a head in comparison. There is no satisfaction or contentment in only focusing on what you don’t have.

The truth is that God has made us all unique. You and I have are tailor made. God has designed us to do, think, and feel, in a way unique to just us. I am the only one who can offer what He has created in me to offer.

Our lives are tailor made.

As long as we spend time looking around and comparing ourselves to that of what other’s “have,” we prolong the things He has for us.

In some ways I feel like Monday’s are the New Year’s day of the week. We all start out on Monday with the hopes and mindsets of “this week I’m going to……” We start each week a new.

What if this week, you celebrated the ways God has designed other people, and spent more time offering what only you can offer?

What would our week look like if stopped comparing our lives with others?

You are tailor made. No one compares to you in HIS eyes.

How can you celebrate someone else this week?

In what ways can you offer what only you can?

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Hope is a seemingly small word, but she packs a big punch.

Hope seems fleeting at times, and in certain seasons of life, more often than not.

I catch glimpses of hope. At times, I catch glimpses of what I am even hoping for.

There are days where those glimpses seem to fill me up with more hope and motivation, and there are days where hope is silent. I experience times when I have hope in a moment, and in that same breath feel like I got the hope knocked right out of me.

I am learning that hope is not meant to be seen or understood. For who hopes in what is seen. It is the knowledge that unseen things are happening, and the mystery of the unseen evokes hope.

Hope requires faith, and faith hope.

Faith is being sure of the things hoped for and certain of the things not seen.

Hope is the desire we have that something we want can and will happen. Hope is also the desire that things will turn out for the best even if it does not look anything like we hoped.

The blessing of glimpses is also something that causes a tension in my heart. When I get glimpses of unseen things becoming visible, it motivates and gives my hope traction. However, those glimpses do not mean what is hoped for will happen soon.

Hope is a choice. Hope is a risk.

Hope requires faith in the unseen. Hope is a choice. Some days, hope takes everything I have. Hope is a choice for me to believe that there is a something just for me. Hope is a place I want to sit in. I want to hope and believe in love, kindness, faithfulness, joy, grace, forgiveness, commitment, peace, direction, and life to the full.

Hope says not me, but you , Lord.

I am hoping to be able to say that more confidently soon.

What is risky about hope for you?

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Sunday marked the end of an era for the church I spent half of my life attending.

I spent my junior and senior year rocking out with the youth group. I spent several summers learning how to build community with our college ministry. After moving back to the DC area, I served on the leadership team and led a a bible study for our young adults group.

This church has discipled and shaped my life and faith.

A couple of years ago our church decided to make the hard and challenging decision to leave the Episcopalian diocese and join the Anglican community. We stepped up and stepped out because we are a church who wants to be known for following hard after the truth of scripture.

After a long fought out legal battle, we lost our property. I don’t think anyone anticipated this change to our story.

While I am home visiting, I got to be a part of our “lasts” for this chapter of our church. We celebrated hard the last chapters of life lived out in faith in that building.

I watched as generations of leaders who changed my life stood up and were honored. I looked around and smiled as I saw so many friends, new and old, that I have experienced different chapters of life with. I just felt a deep sense of gratitude.

New chapters of life always begin in unexpected and uncertain ways. All of my initial thoughts about this legal process is that it’s unfair, and not the way it “should’ve” ended. We are trying to stand up for the right thing.

But doing the right thing does not always yield the “right” ending that we think should happen.

Nonetheless, we are asking God to flip the page and start again. Sitting there Sunday night, I realized that I have been asking God to do the same thing in my own life. This new chapter for me has been written in ways I have never anticipated.

Honestly, some of it has seemed unfair or not the way I think it “should” be written. Today, part of me smiles as what seems unfair is also what is “right” for me.

I have been limiting God’s writing skills by trying to figure out what is understandable and responsible, rather than believing in His abilities.

Some endings have no rhyme or reason they only make for good beginnings.

My hope stands in this, “Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us.

That’s a good beginning!

He is the author and perfecter of me. I just need to let Him write.

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Joseph is one of those character’s in the bible who I wish I could have coffee with. I have so many questions for how he got through so many hard seasons- and with unwavering faith.

My current season of life and Joseph’s story are finding more and more collisions. So many times during the day I wonder how Joseph handled his situations. I wonder if he had break downs, question matches with God, or even just days where the deep sadness was felt through silence.

I look at Joseph’s story and think how did he stay strong? I wish I could know what was between the lines of his heart. I look at a man who had an incredible dream, one that lit his heart on fire with amazement and awe.

Joesph had a God given dream and found himself enslaved, wrongly accused, and imprisoned. Each step seemed to knock him further and further from what he thought God had showed him.

I wonder in every step did Joseph say, “Okay, maybe it’s this circumstance.” I wonder if he thought that working for Potifer was the step before his dream only to then find himself in prison.

How does a dream come to fruition from prison?

In a way, my season has collided with what seems to be my knock down into a place of “prison.” In my daily rounds with God, I ask, “what does this have to do with the dream you showed me!?

Life seems to have knocked me in a way that only seems to have created distance between me and the dream. The dream seems less and less in focus and in reach.

I mean did Joseph look around at his dirt floor and barred walls and get pissed!? Did he yell at God? Did he look at his daily monotonous job duties and scream!? Did he feel humiliated?

What does prison have to do with a dream!?

The bittersweet part about knowing the end of Joseph’s story is that prison had everything to do with his dream. Prison was the closest, not furthest, step away from his dream. For when the season of prison was over for Joseph, he stepped directly into the dream God had showed him.

Joseph remained honestly faithful. I say honestly, because it is very much okay to express our honest feelings of hardship while remaining faithful in where He has us.

Trying to see the gift of prison. 

What is a time in your life where your circumstance turned out to be just the right thing?

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“The people walking in darkness 
   have seen a great light; 
on those living in the land of deep darkness 
   a light has dawned.” Isa 9:2

“He reveals the deep things of darkness 
   and brings utter darkness into the light.” Job 12:22

“I have come into the world as a light,so that no one who believes in me should stay in darkness.” John 12:46

I took this picture while walking through an old ravine in Amman, Jordan. I have never forgotten this moment.

You see, prior to this shot, I was walking in darkness. The only light shining was in the sky above the ravine. I could not see more than fifteen feet in front of me for a mile.

Local travelers would rush past me. My guide would would just turn and smile, and all the while I was wondering how he knows where to go.

I know now that his smile was filled with the knowledge of what I was about to see. 

Just at the point where I adjusted to the darkness, we rounded the corner to see a great light shining through an incredibly sculpted opening.

All this time we were walking towards light. 

The sight of this light was more amazing than anything I had ever seen. This light was filled with the promise of beauty and the illumination of a whole other world.

This light showed a glimpse of something amazing to come.

God’s light reveals.

God’s light shows through our deepest darkness to illuminate something amazing to come.

Even as much as I had adjusted to darkness, I could not help but be drawn towards the light.

I am so grateful that his light reaches into my deepest darkness. His light smiles with the knowledge of what is to come.

I am believing for the hope of his light to reach into the ravine of me and smile. 

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