Monday, December 21, 2009

No Inspiration.... only Scripture: My True Inspiration

Trying to rest in the truth of Christ this Christmas.....

...And this scripture encouraged me and has been laying on my heart for the past several days:

"Then Jesus said to His disciples: 'Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat; or about your body, what you will wear. Life is more than food, and the body more than clothes. Consider the ravens: They do not sow or reap, they have no storeroom or barn; yet God feeds them. And how much more valuable you are than birds! Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life? Since you cannot do this very little thing, why do you worry about the rest?

Consider how the lilies grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you, not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today, and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, how much more will he clothe you, O you of little faith! And do not set your heart on what you will eat or drink; do not worry about it. For the pagan world runs after all such things, and your Father knows that you need them. But seek his kingdom, and these things will be given to you as well."
Luke 12:22-31

Monday, December 7, 2009

The Gift of Life

I turn 22 today... and what an amazing year it has been... full of blessings that could not have been possible without God's grace covering me. I want to share what God has done in my life this past year and take time to give thanks to Him who does more than we can ever ask for or imagine.

  • I saw God's faithfulness to prayer answered when He brought two of my sorority sisters to Campus Crusade for Christ Winter Conference. Seeing their lives challenged by the Gospel of Jesus Christ was truly a precious gift I will always remember. Stemming from long journal entries of prayer and "deep nights of the soul" came two beautiful women whom I had the pleasure of investing in spiritually my senior year of college. That was the biggest gift I could receive.
  • My senior year of college -- I mean really, the most fun and rewarding year ever. I was accepted to a wonderful internship at the Juvenile Detention Center, made good relationships there, saw teens lives change for the better and graduate from the program (please pray for them and their recoveries/family lives).
  • I celebrated my second year of knowing Christ! Oh, I am still such a baby believer, learning every day, fighting for my joy, struggling to keep my head above water. He has given me the foundation for which I stand, the only reason I have hope and assurance in something other than myself. What a joy it brings to find rest in the One who created ALL things, and the One who will one day make all things new. He will make all things new. "I love the Lord, for he heard my voice; He heard my cry for mercy. Because he turned His ear to me, I will call on Him as long as I live." Pslam 116:1-2 I will never forget the night He called me to His word, showed me the book of Romans, and led me toward redemption. My life is a far cry from what it was 2 years ago. I am a new person in Him! Praise God for saving me from a life that lacked fulfillment and brought great pain.
  • I was accepted into grad school, only to turn it down after a victorious week in Panama City Beach with Crusade, God revealed His purpose for my life after college. To pursue the Lord in a different career path. The struggle to communicate my passion for Christ and college students to my family and why I want to leave my life at the feet of God has been a hard one, but rewarding as I see all that has been done on my campus already. My hope is that it will always be the goal that if just one woman, one lost child of God, found redemption and saw her worth in Christ, all the struggle is worth while. Oh, how I want to see young women see themselves the way Jesus does! As a treasure! You are a treasure and should be pursued and treated as such. How sweet is the love of our Creator who brings redemption and forgiveness to lost and hurting souls, beautiful, we were bought at a price.
  • I graduated from college!!!! Wooo!!! I now have a real cool degree hanging on my wall. Makes me feel like I've accomplished something big. I am the first of my dad's kids to graduate from college! I love that God gave me a family who has provided for me well, one that valued my education and gave me the resources, money and time to gain this education. The University of North Texas is probably one of the greatest places on Earth.
  • I got my dream job!! Wow... this really has been a blessed year. I've had to make a lot of hard decisions (growing up I guess) but in the process landed the best job ever. I get to spend every day with college women, my favorite! I get to challenge and lead others to achieve more than they originally thought possible, I get to guide and support some seriously talented and intelligent women. I have gained a huge reward already, simply getting to peek into the lives of some of the most passionate servant leaders I have ever come across. It's refreshing to see that spark during Initiation, the passion for change and to cultivate leadership in a new exec member, and to be a channel for hundreds of women understanding the power and beauty that our Fraternity has all over the country. I love getting the chance to represent the international organization, being the link between all these diverse chapters. Not to mention, I see all of God's creations! He has blessed me FAR beyond what I could ever imagine or deserve. I deserve none of these things and yet He, somehow, in His unfathomable grace found me worthy of His love, His mercy. His blood covering me and all my sick sins. What a good, righteous, just, loving and all knowing God we have. Why He is not worshiped by every man on Earth is beyond me.
I write all these things to share the precious gift of life. It can be gone in a moment, and has been for so many way sooner than anyone could expect. The fact of life is that it's a blip, a momentary occurrence in the span of eternity. What we have here on Earth is a far cry from the glorious riches of Heaven, which I can't wait to experience one day. Each day is a gift, a true gift, we are not promised it will be easy, or that we will even wake up in the morning. But God's GRACE and SACRIFICE that He made on the Cross has paid the price for me (and you). His death on the Cross paid the entire penalty of my wretched sin. And not just mine, but all the sins of the world! What Good News is that!? It's great news... Romans 5:6-8 says "You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous man, though for a good man someone might dare to die. But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us." This is worth singing praises over. Worth a thousand tears. God, help me to truly believe that you are enough for me, regardless of blessings, sufferings, pain or joy -- help me to know that the only thing that matters is you.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Light Bulb

Why do we try to manipulate everything around us so that we have complete control over how the world views our efforts? I've convinced myself that my goals are bigger than God, and my plan is greater than His. I know I'm not the only one to believe the lie that God's grace is not sufficient, but seriously, how did I get here?

My sister gave me a book to read titled "Love Focused" by Bob & Judy Hughes, and this prayer stuck out to me. It is exactly my prayer to the Lord right now.

"I confess that in many ways I have been trusting in the world rather than in you to satisfy my heart and meet my needs. I admit that I have rebelled against you and tried to control people and things, and that my efforts have harmed others and prevented me from truly loving them. Because I have chosen to deny your promise that your love and grace are enough, I have pridefully believed I can make life work without relying on you. I confess that I have focused more on getting the outcomes of my life to be the way I wanted instead of pursuing your perfect plan. I confess that I have often focused more on trying to produce pleasure and eliminate pain in my life than on following your command to simply love..."

Trusting in the world and not in the Lord to satisfy my needs. I have been spending money that I don't have, buying clothes I don't need just to fill a void. The worst part is buying make up to fix the flaws that no one notices but myself so that I can somehow convince others that I have it all together. How does that make sense? It doesn't.

My actions have prevented me from truly loving others. For months I have wanted to actively make it a point to reach out to others in love. Still, I have somehow focused my day on getting my needs met and my goals accomplished so that I can sleep well at night. I have convinced myself that I can make life work without relying on Christ. I have gone day after day living in my oh so comfortable pride that tells me that I don't need Him to succeed. It's funny though, because at the end of the day, successful or not, I know that I am running on empty. At the end of the day, taking that hour to read my bible first thing in the morning is going to enable me to do better work than if I started my day off with just enough time to answer a few emails before my morning meeting.

My goals in life have consumed me recently. How can my pride protect me, my agenda, my comfort, my sanity? It can't. From buying my first car to choosing my career path to figuring out where I want to live/do with my life next year, it's all too much. All these goals have left me exhausted and spent. If I don't make a new goal soon, my tank will be depleting. New goal, pray that I keep it: love God first, then love others. Let God do the rest.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Reasons for insanity...

So I have to start this off with.... I'm pretty against blogs. I mean, I don't like them very much. Okay, rephrase: I don't like writing my thoughts online where they can easily be lost and/or distributed to mass amounts of people whom I don't know. But then I got to thinking a couple weeks ago.... what if I had a blog? What if I could use "the blogging world" to reach college students with the Gospel? God has given us unlimited access to this bizarre thing called the Internet, why not use it for His glory? So... I don't know how successful this will be, but I want it to be really organic, and I want it to provoke questions in your mind about spiritual things. That's about as far as I have come in the planning of this thing. I can't believe I'm doing this, but, it's not about me -- so if it ever gets to be about me, I'll delete it all. I've been on an incredible journey for the past 4 months. I am currently traveling the country as a Leadership Development Consultant for my international Fraternity. Don't worry, I'll probably sprinkle in some random rants about Fraternity values and ritual somewhere in between all of my thoughts. It's been a challenge and a struggle in my faith throughout the journey so far. I've toured 17 college campuses and visited 15 states in 4 months...and the numbers will only grow by the start of the new year. I've met countless individuals, both collegians and alumnae, and have worked more hours in a week than most 40 year old business men. God has blessed me with an incredible opportunity, and I am confident He has graciously given it to me for the benefit of His Kingdom. So how am I going to help to grow the Kingdom of God when my schedule is never stable and I am in a new city every week? Find out with me...