Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘God’

story

 

Choosing change is risky and hard. It takes courage and hope. 

There are just times in life when you know something is no longer working. This could look like a behavior, coping mechanism, career, or relationship.

Change is meant to bring about motivation and renewed sense of self. I know God uses restlessness in me as motivation to get unstuck in life. Comfortable is safe and predictable, but that does not equal life giving.

He is always writing a continuous story in us and carrying it on to completion. He redeems all things and makes all things new. There is nothing too lost or too broken for Him. He never settles and never gives up. 

I am praying you don’t either. Never settle, never give up. You are worth it. You matter and are more valuable then comprehension.

What is one way you need to tweak your story? 

How do you want your story to read?

Advertisements

Read Full Post »

Hope is a seemingly small word, but she packs a big punch
Hope seems fleeting at times, especially in certain seasons of life. I catch glimpses of hope. At times, I even 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 feels, 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 that evokes hope.

Hope requires faith and faith hope.

Faith is being sure of the things hoped for and certain of the things not seen.” (Hebrews 11:1)

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 how we hoped.

Guest Posting over at Church 4 Chicks today!! Would love your thoughts over there!! Come hang!

Read Full Post »

20130814-100152.jpg

Road trips are great for a little while, but there is always that moment of, “dang! How long have we been in this car!?”

The start of a road trip is awesome. You’ve got your snacks, tunes, and laughter. The end goal is fast approaching, and anxiously awaiting your arrival.

What about the in between?

There is always an in between before arriving at our destination.

I have been reading the Old Testament lately. I have realized a pattern has developed by the time Saul becomes King. Each person who was anointed by God went through and in between time.

God had a destination for Joseph, but years of development took place before he was appointed into leadership. Moses had some time in the desert before God used him to set his people free. Saul did not go immediately to the castle to be king. David went back to the field before his time of king came to pass. Jesus even needed time to develop in wisdom, stature, and favor.

God always includes an in between time.

However, I have also noticed that each person had a time of rising to the occasion – each person was given their own opportunity.

I have a dream, but feel very much coasting in the in between time. Questions arise in my heart, and hope flickers. Wondering what or if God is doing something.

Starting out somewhere and arriving at a destination is not the most important part to God. Who you are when you get there matters.

God ushered all of his leaders into place. He gave them all the perfect opportunities. I am sure they all had questions stirring deep down of why they were still in “the field” when their hearts beat for more.

They all had to choose to believe in the one who gave the dream. They all had to trust the words of the one who has something ready for them. Even when the in between felt unnecessary, they all had to wait and develop.

I do to. As much as I fight it, I need the in between. I hope I am ready for that opportunity. Honestly, I still hope it is sooner than later, but I will wait. Well… trying really hard to.

Are you waiting in your in between time?

What does development look like for you?

Read Full Post »

Leadership is a powerful word. I am sure we can all think of ways that leadership has been carried out well, and ways in which it has been manipulated.

Leadership is no small thing.

The one aspect about leadership that is most forgotten is that leadership is about leading.

Leaders crave influence the most. They desire for their words to have weight; they want to know that what they offer has value.

Leaders are drawn to stepping up into directing roles. Leaders are often enabling situations to offer into.

Leadership requires the character traits of humility, wisdom, compassion, and integrity. I also believe that leadership requires the character trait of open handed leading.

John the Baptist is my hero when it comes to mastering this balance of leadership. He is always my go-to guy when I need a reminder of how open-handed leadership is done well.

What is open-handed leadership?

It is the ability to hold loosely to the ones you are leading. No one is a possession. No one is “ours.”

John the Baptist always made it clear that he was not the Christ. He was so great at directing everyone’s attention and reverence to Jesus. John freely confessed that he was not the Christ.

Do we?

There was even a time where John’s disciples were ranting to him that Jesus, and his disciples, were baptizing more than they were. The people were going out to Jesus instead. John responds by saying that they should. John reminds them that he is not the Jesus.

John came to lead the way to Jesus. This is the same truth for our lives as well.

I am hugely passionate about leadership. I am always drawn to the leadership role. I love soaking up knowledge that pertains to leadership. I will most often step up and pursue the directing role as well.

There is a tension and a balance that needs to be mastered when it comes to leadership. I always need to ask myself the question of, “where am I leading to?” Leaders most often struggle when it comes to the direction of leadership.

I confess to my own human flaws of struggling with the balance of leadership. I love influencing. I love offering. Sometimes I can forget to keep the focus off of me and on the one I am leading for.

I still struggle with jealousy when it comes to leading. I have also been the one ranting to God that more people are going to him than me. That’s just honest. I struggle with fears of having nothing to offer. I struggle with the fears of not being liked, and being made to feel foolish. These are some of my weaknesses wrapped around my love of leadership.

I have been learning a lot from John about the character and value of leading with open hands.

Leadership is about leading well towards him.

So allow me to ask you…where are you leading others to?

Read Full Post »

Lately, I have been experiencing more and more people who are exhausted from maintaining their own lives. Our culture has been stuck in this mentality that we need to have our lives in order; we need to be presentable people.

This culture’s mentality permeates every area of our lives. We have heard people say phrases like, “I will go to church when I get my life in order,” or “I am too much of a mess for friendships.” Maybe not those phrases specifically, but something similar.

We are broken people who all have scars and wounds. We all have fears and insecurities. The truth is that there is not enough glue in the world for us to keep it all together. It’s exhausting to try. I know I fail so much when I try to hold all of my pieces in place.

There is a man in the gospel of Matthew who has redefined what approaching God looks like for me. Matthew retells the story of a time when a man with Leprosy approached Jesus. He kneeled down before Jesus and asked him for healing.

I was taken aback by the counter-cultural act of authenticity by this community reject. This leper was a man ostracized from his community and family. He was tossed out of his city and home to live among other people like himself. Lepers were considered unclean. This man was quarantined as an outsider sent to wait on death.

This leper saw hope in Jesus. He left behind what he had been labeled as and approached the cleanest of men. He saw a clean man who could make him clean, and the unapproachable approached Jesus. By cultural standards, this man was labeled as too far gone to be helped.

This man has shown me the truth of what presentable really looks like.

You see Jesus came to save the people who knew they needed it. He did not come to save the ones who “had it all together.” My heart looks like this man. The truth is all of our hearts look like a version of the leper. That is the perfect time to approach God.

We are messy people. I am finally getting better at putting down the glue that is not working. No one is presentable enough. That is the point. The church is for the mutually messy hearted people. The church is formed because of people who mutually bring their messiness before the one who saves.

This leper brings even more resounding truth to the verse, “at just the right time when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. But god demonstrates his love for us in this; while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

Christ did not wait until we were a people who had the right glue. He did not wait until we were presentable enough. Christ came in the midst of our powerless moments; he came in the midst of our sin. He touches our hearts and says, “I am willing.”

Christ came for the broken and wounded while they were still in that place. He came for the hopeless in the midst of their hopelessness, not after. Christ came for the “in the midst.

I am kneeling my messy heart before him and claiming that as presentable enough.

Do you try and hold it all together? Why?

Read Full Post »

mosaic

Love is one of those words that requires a lot, if not everything from the one giving it. Love is hoped for, depended on, risked and longed for. Love is so strong. There are so many songs and movies that try and capture the essence of love’s power. There will never be enough to say about love. There will never be enough time to capture its essence either.

Love is also conscious. Love requires everything we’ve got.

A couple of years ago, my counselor taught me a principle that has stuck with me. We were talking about commandments in the bible. He told me that we are given commandments because there are things that do not come natural to us. For example, we are not given the commandment to breathe because our body just does that naturally. We do not have to constantly tell our eyes to blink. They just do.

Love is a commandment given by God. Love is something that does not come natural to us.

I wish it did, but it doesn’t. This truth brings a whole new light to the famous verses in Corinthians about love. Love has a list because it’s not natural to do.

Love is a choice.

I am sadly realizing how many people do not choose love any more. There is a lie in our culture that says you don’t have to stay in the hard. You can love whenever and however it suits your needs. Our culture is moving away from the heart of the one who created love. We are moving away from the one who created us to know and share in love. Sadly, our world is running on the fiction of love.

We have reduced love to a fairytale feeling, and the pursuit of happy, not faithful.

The reality of love is that it’s hard work. It does take conscious effort. There are times where love seems to be overflowing and very easy, but for the most part it takes effort. This is where the commandment comes in. God knew that the hard is where our human side comes into play, and that we would need a commandment to keep at it.

Love is no matter what.

Love is all the time and no matter what. Love is committed and faithful no matter what. Love is selfless and sacrificial. Those two words alone require everything I’ve got. Lord knows I am not good at choosing either one.

Love is no matter what because God has proven to love me that way. God has shown me that love is all the time, committed, and faithful. He laid down his life to show me that love is selfless and sacrificial. I can’t believe that love like this applies to me.

What are the challenges of this commandment for you?

Read Full Post »

success1

I have lived in many different places. Ambition and drive are always present, but wear different masks. When I lived in DC drive looked like competition of the corporate ladder. Business suites, politics, and salary were the measure of one’s success. Nashville wears the mask of image and fame. The drive looks like the comparison of creativity and talent.

The competition of success becomes the filter through which we relate to others and view ourselves.

We live in a measurable culture. Andy Stanley calls it the “comparison Trap.” We are constantly looking to the right and left to see where we measure up against that of other people. We develop judgments through conversations to determine if we are “okay.” We are constantly drawing conclusions that sound like, “well I’m better than that person, or further ahead, but I am not that person.”

What determines success?

The easy answer is that money makes the bar of success. Maybe having a best seller is success, or a hit song. Success is whatever makes you considered the best in your field of determination. However, the issue with the false advertising of success is that the bar is unmeetable. There will always be someone who we will see has better or beneath us.

Success needs redefining. Success needs a new outlook.

Matt Chandler has opened my eyes to what success should look like – what it really is. In his book Explicit Gospel, he talks about how the prophets in the bible would not be considered successful by our culture’s standards.  Chandler states,

Now if Isaiah was a minister within today’s evangelicalism, he’d be considered and utter failure. Jeremiah would be an utter failure. Moses didn’t get to enter the promise land. John the Baptist didn’t get to see the ministry of Jesus. We would not view the ministry of these men as successful. One of the things we don’t preach well is that ministry that looks fruitless is constantly happening in the scriptures. We don’t do conferences on that. There aren’t too many books written about how you can toil away all your life and be unbelievably faithful to God and see little fruit this side of Heaven. We have to be wary of the idea that numeric growth and enthusiastic response are always signs of success.

I read about these guys and think, “Wow! They were doing something – they had audiences, and followers. They were speaking words that mattered.” However, the truth is that not many people listened to them, well at least for Isaiah and Jeremiah. Isaiah was out right rejected for his message and obedience. Do we consider them successful because they are now known and “famous?”

Chandler states that, “faithfulness is success. Obedience is success.”

There is a tension of wanting to do more to be more. Drive and passion are good, but faithfulness and character matter more. Success should be driven by how we treat people – how marriage shows commitment and loyalty. Success should look like celebrating the gifts and talents of others while being great at where you are presently.

Success and failure should not be defined by comparison. Small things matter. You gifts and your heart matters. How you are faithful and obedient to those abilities given to you is what success is. Love well. Wait well. Celebrate other people often. Be successful at who you are, not what you do.

What is frustrating to you about success?

What is your comparison trap?

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »