Sunday, May 30, 2010


For the first time in my life I've come to the realization that I need to break the walls of pride, the walls of people pleasing, the walls of being a chameleon. I need to find out what I value, what I like... In essence I need to find who I am. Who christ sees me as. So often I'm plagued by trying to be better at this or that... But I wonder - does jesus love me for everything I try to be or does he love me for just being me?

And who is 'just me'. What does that girl look like?

For I can't go on until I get myself healed and broken free from the chains I've allowed myself to wear for so long. So I say no so that I may be able to be whole and ready in the future. For the 1st time I know the reason God has told me over and over 'not yet'. It's because I can't find me in the midst of relationship with men. I can only find that girl buried by a life of perfection and walls by devoting my whole self to the Lord - asking him to open and cleanse the wounds of the past and allowing him to heal the pains. I need to let the light of the One and Only shine into the darkest places of my soul and refine who I am, why I'm here, and give me the courage and confidence to walk through life knowing what I value and what makes me, me.

So I walk away... By far one of the most difficult things I've ever done. I say 'no' so that I can one day full heartedly say 'yes'. I walk away to get well - to get my feet firmly rooted on the rock. I walk away with the hope that 'someday' and 'not yet' will come sooner than later so I no longer have to wait wounded.

Heal the innermost parts of my soul jesus so that I may be whole and able to go after your desires for my life. Show me who I am - show me what to do and where to go.

Show me.

Heal me.

Refine me.

And make me whole.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

sex god

Awesome ending/quote from an amazing book by rob bell... Good reminder for us:

" is messy. Gut wrenching. Risky. Things don't always turn out well. Sometimes they don't turn out at all. Sometimes everything falls apart and we wonder if there's any point to any of it. We're tempted to shut ourselves off, fortify the walls around our hearts, and forge ahead, promising ourselves that we will never again open ourselves up.

But I have to believe that we can recover from anything. I have to believe that god can put anything - anyone - back together. I have to believe that the god jesus invites us to trust is as good as he says he is.

Full of grace."

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Love, Agape

Agape - the love of God. The love we see in Christ's death for our sins, our wrongdoings. Agape. Laying down our needs or wants, laying down our pride for the good of others. How often are we called to lay down our lives for our brother's and sister's, as Christ did for us? And how often do we actually do it? The thing is... laying down our lives for others may mean actually dying, but it also means stepping down and being a servant. It means being quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to become angry. It means submitting to one another out of reverance for Christ. And it's looking out for the best interests of someone else.

Agape. Love unconditional. Some of the best examples of love agape can be found in the relationship between a husband and wife as one faces cancer or some form of debilitating illness. One has an unshakeable faith in Christ and strength beyond imagination as they face the reality of their situation. While the other, healthy spouse looks on with an unconditional love toward the other and responds with "if I could take the pain from them I would in a heart beat because I'd rather them live and be okay than to see them like this." Another example of love agape is seen daily on the battle ground for freedom, when men and women lay down their lives so that we may continue living with the safety that we have. Our armed forces and loval first responders daily lay down their lives for "the call of duty".

How do we even get to that point of sacrifice and selflessness?

There's this amazing book by Rob Bell called "Sex God" that takes glimpses of human love and relationship and relates them to how God feels, what He goes through daily on account of us. Some amazing excerpts from his writing follow, and show us how we can better Love - Agape:

"Why do we hear stories of people risking their lives to save others and we often tear up, even if we don't know any of the people involved? Because people are worth dying for. We know it to be true deep in our bones. And when we see someone actually do it, it's overwhelming."

Question: Who would you die for? And who/what would you die to self for?

"Agape is a particular kind of love. Love is often seen as a need, something we get from others. Agape is the opposite - Agape gives."

Question: What is agape to you? What would you give?

"Agape doesn't love somebody because they're worthy. Agape makes them workthy by the strength and power of it's love. Agape doesn't love csomebody because they're beautiful. Agape loves in such a way that it makes them beautiful. There is love because, love in order to, love for the purpose of, and then there's love, Period. Agape doesn't need a reason. It just does."

God loves us with an unconditional, Agape love. He loves us because he can - NOT because of what we've done. He loves us despite our circumstances and mistakes. He loves us beyond our wildest dreams. His love is pure love, genuine and true. His love is greater than we can ever imagine and His love is SO good that it's true. The best quote is always saved for last:

"Agape shakes us. It's too good to be true. Or maybe you could say it's good enough to actually be true. It affects how we live, how we act, how we think about ourselves. For God so agaped the world...

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Broken Woman

There's a woman domineering and sinister. She lies in wait for her next prey. There's a woman who's strong and devisive, not taking resting until she's cut down someone else. A shark of a woman, scouring the seas for her next victim. She's rude, abrasive, and cuts to the core of a person without knowing a thing about them - but that's just it, she doesn't want to know about anyone else - she doesn't want to care.

This woman who's lost her son, her husband, her sister, and her parents. Her biggest fears have come to reality and she can't face them for the trauma's they were. No, instead she goes on building herself up into this big deal, buying things to cover her pain. But she knows, just like everyone else around her, that no matter how many cars or houses she has, they will never fill the gaping void of her heart.

But the truth is, this woman is damaged, broken, and downtrodden. Living for years behind the pillars and walls she's built, she no longer feels, no longer has the capacity to love. She's walked so far down the road of hurt that who she's become is a shell of a woman. She no longer finds joy or peace, only negativity and anger. This woman is no longer a woman, but a body indwelt by a jezebel spirity. And she doesn't even know that her pain is written all over her face. She's dying inside but refuses to listen to the love of others.

This woman needs Jesus.


For with Christ the hurts are faced and redeemed. Through Christ the pain is replaced with peace, and the sorrow is turned to joy. With Christ this woman can find hope beyond the money, toys, fame, and popularity. With Christ her gaping wound, the gaping void is filled with love, compassion, mercy, and healing.

Christ is the answer.

And until this woman knows that he's the answer, those surrounding her should be on their knees interceding for her in every way. Asking Christ to show up in her life and for the Spirit of God to shower her with the knowledge that she is loved, she is cared for, she is protected by His grace.

I finally understand what interceding for another is really like - when I met Charlene one fateful night in May. A woman broken by a past full of sadness... may He replace her scorn towards Him with an unquenchable desire for Him. Lord Jesus, have your way... surround her and speak to her your love.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Fragile Fear

Why is it that we so often forget how fragile life is? Why do we always expect another day, another chance? Why do we think we're so invincible? Recently, I've been reminded to take each day for the blessing it is. We're not guaranteed tomorrow, in fact, we're told over and over again in God's word that we're here for a moment, then gone. Forgotten. Sure there will be the few that remember us for a generation or two, but the dust settles, and life on earth continues with the children of tomorrow.

So why do we worry so much about our work, our house, our job (or lack thereof), our drama? Why are we so afraid of the opportunities that lie before us? Why is it that in some circumstances we freeze, unable to go into action? Because fear is a very, very powerful emotion. It can prevent us from experiencing life to the fullest. It has the ability to make the most powerful man in the world turn into a pile of mush at the site of unpararelled heights.

But what we need to remember is that our God is bigger than our fears. He's bigger than the mountains we ve to climb. He's more able to provide ways out of every situation we may ever face. And He'able to bless us exceedingly and abundantly more than we could ever imagine. Our only problem is that we don't let him take the fear. We hold onto it for dear life, like it's some sort of security blanket. We need to hold onto our job, our friends, our house, our spouse, our church, our everything - because we know better than God what's right. We want what we want and if we don't get it we're angry. In essence, we're selfish because we think we can do better for ourselves than the Creator of the universe.
So how do we start by trusting God with every fear, every worry, every heartache and pain in our lives? And how do stop living our lives for the unknown tomorrow and start living for the gift of today? Surrender. Complete and utter surrender to the one and only. It means getting on our knees daily, hourly, and sometimes everyinute just to refocus our hearts on His plan, guidance, and care. Let God into the fears... He will meet you and restore confidence in you. Let God take care of tomorrow. And don't let another day go by without telling those you love that you love them. Don't let another day go by without fighting for what you know is right. Don't let another moment go by without surrender and the peace of freedom.

He meets you anywhere, everywhere - all you have to do is ask.

Who will you love?
What will you fight for?
Where will you go?
When will you go after the dreams?
How about today?

Friday, May 14, 2010


Prayer, an amazing practice with the power to change and impact greatly those that participate. A key element to the Christian faith, prayer is our way of communing with the Lord, our direct communication with Him. But how often do we abuse prayer, using it as some for of negotiation with God? How often do we expect to get anything we ask for, because we "prayed about it"? Ask and receive... right?

The whole ask and receive thing is much bigger than we really think. For Christ says if we have faith the size of a mustard seed (that's a TINY seed), we can tell mountains to move. But when was the last time we saw mountains moving? So often our prayeres are tainted by our wants - "God, give me a ferrari"- instead of positioning our hearts on things above and asking for the desires of God to be manifest in our lives. We need to get back to the basis of the Lord's prayer in Matthew 6:

This, then, is how you should pray:
'Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name,
your kingdom come,
your will be done
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread.
Forgive us our debts,
as we also have forgiven our debtors.
And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from the evil one.'

How often do we simply throw prayers out without intentionally asking for God's will to be done? How many of us can honestly say that when we pray we trust that God will answer our prayers? And how often do we get ahead of ourselves on the whole "daily bread" thing, worrying about tomorrow? James 1 reminds us that if we ask for something, we should "..believe and not doubt, because he who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. That man should not think he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all he does."

Double Minded.

Wow. We just got called out BIG time. Double minded - in essence we're two faced, hypocritical, saying one thing while practicing another. Our actions certainly don't match our words. I definitely fall prey to all of this, outwardly confident that the Lord will show up, while inwardly questioning, "will he really do it?".

So I started writing down the prayer requests I've presented before the Lord, and I've found a few things. For one, I have some miserably "failed" prayers, such as:

*prayers for some ridiculously unnecessary car
*prayers to be married by the time I was done with college
*prayers to be invited to certain "it" parties with the "in" crowd
*prayers for stuff that inevitably would cause more harm than good.

I say "failed" in parentheseis because these prayers were not failures, God just said "no". For He hears each and every one of our prayers - and He answers each one. But sometimes, the answer in no. However, of all the "failed" prayers, He's shown up time and time again in prayers, such as:

*the move to California (friendships, housing, ministry, growth, challenges - all of it)
*for friends and family to get jobs
*prayers of healing for brokenhearted friends
*financial blessings on those who need it most
*for successful relationships of my dear friends
*for reconciliation of family relationships
*for health, strength, direction, and vision for this life on earth
*quite simply for everything of the everyday (shelter, food, clothing, etc)

I could go on and on and on in the ways God has shown up in the requests I've laid before Him, yet for all the times he's shown up, I still doubt that He'll do it again. Our instantly gratified human minds can't grasp & often quickly forget the answered prayers.

So I challenge you with this friends - start writing your prayer requests down. Start making note of the prayers you've prayed, and take time to look back on them weeks or even months later. How has God responded? What has happened in each circumstance? Are there any requests that have yet to be answered clearly? Continue praying.

Pray without ceasing.

joyful in hope
patient in affliction

Faithful in Prayer.

Monday, May 10, 2010

In the Desert

Remember that blog I posted 2 posts ago, about being in the desert and not really understanding why? The feeling of numbness and no longer sensing and feeling the emotions in my life? Well.. it's funny how the Lord shows up sometimes. As I was driving home from an evening with some girlfriends last night, of course, I went for a drive down to the beach and sat in prayer with the Lord for awhile, processing the numbness and sense of "ugh" that sometimes overwhelms my life.

As I sat watching the waves come and go, I asked the Lord, "Why does it seem that even in the midst of the disappointments, the trials, the pains, the confusion of this life, even when you feel so distant, I still know you're there, wishing you'd just reveal yourself?" I prayed more, sat silently a little longer, and started on my journey home. I popped a random worship CD in, started listening... and broke down. The words and the emotion of this song so resonate with my life right now that I could barely drive. I pulled over again and just sat in the presence of God, knowing that He's still there, He's still in charge, He still has a plan for me. He still loves me, cares for me, and intimately wants good for me. In the midst of the pain and sorrow - He's there and He's worthy of my praise for his protection, care, provision, strength, encouragement and so much more.

If you have the opportunity, take a listen to "The Desert Song" by Hillsong. It will rock your world... much like it did mine...

This is my prayer in the desert
And all that's within me feels dry
This is my prayer in the hunger in me
My God is a God who provides

And this is my prayer in the fire
In weakness or trial or pain
There is a faith proved
Of more worth than gold
So refine me Lord through the flames
And I will bring praise
I will bring praise
No weapon forged against me shall remain
I will rejoice
I will declare
God is my victory and He is here

And this is my prayer in the battle
And triumph is still on it's way
I am a conqueror and co-heir with Christ
So firm on His promise I'll stand

All of my life
In every season
You are still God
I have a reason to sing
I have a reason to worship

This is my prayer in the harvest
When favor and providence flow
I know I'm filled to be empited again
The seed I've recieved I will sow

Friday, May 7, 2010

One day, 24 hours, 1440 minutes...

I'm on a Matthew kick these days... reading the passages in The Message version of the Bible and gaining a whole new perspective on the scripture I've known for so long, yet never really grasped until now. Matthew 6 states:

"If you decide for God, living a life of God-worship, it follows that you don't fuss about what's on the table at mealtimes or whether the clothes in your closet are in fashion. There is far more to your life than the food you put in your stomach, more to your outer appearance than the clothes you hang on your body. Look at the birds, free and unfettered, not tied down to a job description, careless in the care of God. And you count far more to him than birds.

If God gives such attention to the appearance of wildflowers—most of which are never even seen—don't you think he'll attend to you, take pride in you, do his best for you? What I'm trying to do here is to get you to relax, to not be so preoccupied with getting, so you can respond to God's giving. People who don't know God and the way he works fuss over these things, but you know both God and how he works. Steep your life in God-reality, God-initiative, God-provisions. Don't worry about missing out. You'll find all your everyday human concerns will be met."

My favorite portion of this passage in found in the last verse... "Give your entire attention to what God is doing right now, and don't get worked up about what may or may not happen tomorrow. God will help you deal with whatever hard things come up when the time comes.". Oh my dear lanta... I'm SO that person. I get wrapped up in the "what if's" or the "someday's" of life, that I literally waste my life worrying about the hopes and dreams that may never come, instead of living today for the gift that it is.

I've learned much about myself over the last month - and one of the greatest things is that I've been way too uptight for way too long. Taking on too much stuff to prove myself, while watching my life literally waste away before my eyes And yet I still push to the next goal, the next milestone - an exhausting, never ending process of frustration and inevitable disappointment.

The amazing part is that God does care, He does love, and He does know all the ins and the outs of our lives. He knows the worries I have about my calling for my life on earth. He knows the burden of my heart for certain people in my life. He knows the joy and the frustation of my work. And He knows the deep desires of my heart to have a home to invite others into, to love on anyone He puts in my path, and to leave a legacy with my husband that will carry on generation after generation. And the best part... he's working ALL of these situations out, right now, for my good. Even if it means I have to wait and be patient. Even if it means it doesn't quite work out the way I've imagined it to. He's in the driver's seat of my life and He knows better than I do what I need and when I need it.

So I'm learning to become more "chill". I'm realizing that each moment of each day is a gift, and within each of those gifts lies an opportunity to be thankful or bitter. It's time I started choosing thankfulness over bitterness, forgiveness over resentment, peace and quiet over busyness, and time well invested in the lives of others over time wasted doddling on what may never come.

And I've learned that the less expectation we place on each other, the less pressure we put on ourselves to measure up to the Jones' down the street - the more joy and peace we have in our lives. When we become satisfied and grateful for what we do have (a home, a bed, a job, friends, family, etc) we begin to see God's presence in a brand new light. We begin to see His handiwork in every facet of our lives - in the good, in the bad, and in the mediocre. And we begin to live a life expectantly desiring what God's will is and going after it one day, one hour, one minute at a time.