Thursday, June 24, 2010

The growth of character

Well friends, today is one of those days of simple reminders. Recently, I've been bombarded with the overwhelming process of healing that it seems each day something else comes up. Moving and leaving home seemed exciting at first, but is proving to be a much more difficult venture than I originally thought. I had expectations coming into California - for friendships, for ministry, for work - all of which have taken a much different path than I had anticipated. Needless to say, it's yet another season of growth.... another season of learning to patiently persevere and trust in the Lord. In the midst of the seasons it's so difficult to remember that it is truly, just a season. A time for everything under the sun, and for now that's battling the mountains of the inner hurts of my soul. I found the following quote and chapter in James extremely helpful as I say my prayers in the desert of life....

"When all kinds of trials and temptations crowd into your lives, my brothers, don't resent them as intruders, but welcome them as friends. Realise that they come to test your faith and to produce in you the quality of endurance. But let the process go on until that endurance is fully developed and you will find that you become men and women of mature character." - J.B Phillips

"...but if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all generously and without reproach, and it will be given to him. But he must ask in faith without any doubting, for the one who doubts is like the surf of the sea, driven and tossed by the wind. For that man ought not to expect that he will receive anything from the Lord, being a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways... blessed is the man who perseveres under trial for once he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him. Let no one say when he is tempted, "I am being tempted by God"; for God cannot be tempted by evil, and He himself does not tempt anyone. But each one is tempted when he is carried away and enticed by his own lust. Then when lust has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and when sin is accomplished, it brings forth death.

Do not be deceived, my beloved brethren. Every good thing given and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shifting shadow.... but everyone must be quick to hear, slow to speak, and slow to anger; for the anger of a man does not achieve the righteousness of God.... but prove yourselves doers of the Word and not merely hearers who delude themselves." - James 1

And God keeps reminding me in the middle of the temptations, open wounds, and character building days to pray for those who's paths I've come across. Praying fervently and without ceasing for protection, for guidance and direction, for visions of what the Father would have them do, and for freedom from the temptations around us. So I pray these things for everyone who reads Father and those you have laid on my heart. Come quickly to the hearts of men, Father, and ignite our hearts for your desires and will.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Natural tendencies...

I have this tendancy that I absolutely hate about myself. It's called the fear of confrontation. But that's just the beginning. I'm realizing that it goes a lot deeper than I originally thought, so much so that I'm afraid to talk to certain people for fear that they won't like me or that I'll be misconstrued. I'd even go as far as to say that I get apprehensive about chatting with friends of friends for fear that I may say something wrong or the other person already has a tainted view of me because of someone else.

Ridiculous? Absolutely. Do I hate it about myself? Oh yeah. And do I still avoid certain social situations and awkward conversations because of it?? All the time. So much so that some people may think me rude because I'll see them from afar, wave, then walk away without even saying hello. Seriously?? It's called fear...

I'll tell you one thing, this has GOT to stop. I don't know when or how, but it's gotta stop. It's funny because in every business dealing I have I come across as this confident, well spoken business woman, yet when I have to see a friend or chat about something with someone, I run for the hills. My natural tendency in my personal life is to walk around like nothing's wrong. I can't stand it!!!

I need to get up enough courage to face my fears and walk up to the group of people who I really very much enjoy, instead of making a bee-line for a hiding place. I need to stop avoiding situations for fear of people not liking me. I need to step up and realize that sometimes things aren't going to work out, someone's busy, whatever the case may be - and be okay with it.

Oh dear Lord, there's a lot of me that needs fixing - and I thank you for presenting areas that I need to work on to me. For you did not give me a spirit of fear... yet I so often embrace the fear and get so entangled in it that I don't even know who I am anymore. Where did that confident and courageous little girl go? I know she's in there somewhere... but this grown up version of her is full of fragile fear, trapped in her own musings.

So I ask for faith. I ask for trust. I ask for increased opportunities to step out of my safety bubble and into the difficult things. I ask for the courage and the strength to step up and be me. And I ask for help with overcoming the push-over, people pleasing person that I so often am. Meet me, help me, mold me into the person you've created me to be. And let my 'yes' be 'yes' and my 'no' be 'no'.

Holy Spirit, please just help me.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Father's Day...

Father's Day. A day, for many, that leaves us painfully aware of the hurt and abuse of the past. Where a father was supposed to provide, protect, pastor, and speak truth - we only see brokenness. It seems whether we're walking by a complete stranger or conversing with a dear friend, we all have some sort of daddy issue. But there are the rare few that have amazing father's, and I must say, you're blessed!

But those of us with the dad's that missed our softball games and recitals, worked late and found dates other than our mothers, the dad's who chose their own selfishness and pride over what was best for their families, the dad's who physically hurt us and emotionally threatened us, those who threw away one amazing chance to show and share love with their own flesh and blood - those dad's are what leave us damaged today.

We're in the midst of a broken society because the men are no longer being men. Men are being trained from an early age to be "distant", unreachable. And one generation begets the next generation, and the cycle of abandonment, abuse, and broken families continues. We're a mess of a culture and it's our own fault, because we have seemed to forgotten to let men be men.

So how are we supposed to identify with God, the creator of all, as a Father, when our own father's have dropped the ball along the way? How do we erase the damage from the past and not let it speak into our future? And what does it mean to be a father?

Jesus is our example of the character of the Father. If we take a look at the life of Jesus we see over and over again how Jesus cares for, loves, defends, protects, and provides for those he comes into contact with. And he gives the credit to His Father - who guides and directs his every move. Whatever the Father does, the Son does (John 5).

The story of the Prodigal Son and the reaction of his father shined new insight on the whole story. I could imagine the son sitting there with the pigs having an epiphany, much like we do as Christians, "I'm the son/daughter of the most powerful man around, yet I've scwandered my wealth and been irresponsible, and where has it taken me? Maybe my father will help me... but I've failed him in so many ways... I don't know if I can face him"

And, even before the blessing of returning is even given to us we run.

We run from the pain.
We run from the "what if's"
We run from the possibilities.
We run because we've not experienced the freedom of the Promise.

So we live in the slime with pigs.

We'd rather hide than face the punishment
We'd rather hide than face the grace
We'd rather run without ceasing than stop long enough overcome the fear.
We'd rather chains than freedom
Because we're unworthy

we're dirty
we're screw ups
we've done too much
we've gone too far
we've said enough
we're unreachable.

But the fact is that we have a Father who chases us and runs after us relentlessly. He sees us in the distance and SPRINTS towards us to save us from ourselves. He's running and saying, "come to me you who are weary and I will give you rest."

God, Abba, Daddy, Father
desires to give you rest.

He desires to give you peace.
He desires to defend and protect you.

He desires YOU.

And all we have to do is stop running and hiding long enough to realize that the very person we need the most has been standing right beside us the whole time. In the midst of the abuse - He is there. In the midst of the suffering - He is there. In the midst of the gutwrenching heartache - He is there with us. Standing beside us, cradling us in His arms. And though he allows certain things to happen to us, it doesn't mean he's abandoned us. He never leaves us, He never forsakes us. We are the one's who run - we leave for fear of punishment. We leave for fear that God will treat us the same way as our earthly father's have.

But He loves us. Oh how He loves us!

He loves.
He protects.
He provides.
He defends.
He prophecies over us.
He is everything we could ever want or need.

And He's big enough to conquer the biggest obstacles of our lives. He's strong enough overcome the biggest mistakes. He's able to heal even the deepest wounds.

And He forgives. He let's go of the past and sets our feet on His firm foundation.

For He is I AM.

And we are His.

"You are mine."
"I'm big enough to accomplish this and much more."

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Season of Singleness

After a night of conversation with some dear girlfriends of mine and hearing their broken hearts open up about the loves they've lost, I couldn't help but writing...

Relationship comes. We open ourselves up and show the inner working of our souls to another... Then the words come...

be together

So we return to life, but this time void, lonely, hurt, confused...

We're broken
In the deepest
Most painful
Gut wrenching way

And we're so incredibly alone... It seems the world round us has found love, has found the one - and we sit back and wonder, 'but wasn't he supposed to be mine?'

So the what if's and the why's begin. The realization that our protection, our comfort, our other half is gone is truly unbearable. No more 1st hello's and last 'good nights'. No more silly jokes and sweet glances. No more conversation or growth.

Only death.
Death of a story
Death of a friendship
Death of the hopes
Death of the dreams
Death of relationship.

And the question remains... What happened? What about our hopes, our dreams, our futures together - what about our plans?

We process:
I miss his laugh.
I miss his prayers
I miss our conversations
I miss his safety and comfort
I miss our jokes and stories
I miss his strength and determination
I miss his touch
I just miss him.

Broken relationships. Broken promises. Broken hearts. And it sucks.

In the brokenness comes the attacks from the evil one: you're replaceable. You're not enough. You're unloveable. You're not pretty/skinny/fun/happy/whatever enough. You're a mistake. It's all your fault.

But it's a two way street and one may choose to love while the other doesn't. Either way we're left with an emptiness inside - a void that longs for the companionship, for a best friend, for someone to share in the joys and pains of life together. Our desire is for our husband.

And in the midst of the pain, the suffering, the rain - we see just how desperately our saviors heart breaks for us, his children, to long for him as we long for one another. Jesus, however gives us water that never leaves us thirsty. He quenches our soul and fills the void of our hearts. It's him who restores the brokenness - and gives us peace, faith, and love as we heal from the loss of love unrequited.

So in the season of singleness - yes we must heal - but we also must grow. Grow in our relationship with God. Grow in our friendships with others. Grow in our knowledge of truth. Pray for our future relationship, for our husbands. Encouraging others. Loving the unloveable. Finding God's purpose for our life here on earth. And going after it.

For before we know it... our love may come.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Power in Christ

"The power inside you far out weighs that puny piece of s*** you saw this morning." - the wisdom of my dear friend Christin

Power in Christ. How often do we forget the simple truth and promise from Christ that we will do the same miracles as him and even greater miracles by the power of the Holy Spirit inside us? But we've become a generation of laziness, where going through the motions of life is the answer, and we no longer crave the power of God, of Christ, of the Holy Spirit in the lives of all Christians.

Sure, we hear the stories of the Heavenly Man in China literally walking out of an ultimate security prison, unharmed and safe. We hear of people in far off villages of India raising from the dead only to have their whole village come to Christ. We hear of underground churches flourishing and lives being saved in the far most reaches of the Muslim world. But that's there - not here. We don't see miracles in America anymore. We don't have that power - it's gone.

But I say no, the power is not gone, it's just been stuffed for so long that we can't seem to find it though it stares us in the face. Faith is lacking, trust and belief gone.

And the thing is... we have power in Christ that we don't even realize. We have the power to "Say to that mountain move, and it will" (Matthew 17) We have the power to bring the dead to life. We have the power to overcome any and every attack of the enemy. And we have the power to command the angels concerning us and others to defend and protect our hearts from the demons that sneak in to destroy and steal. We have the power - we just need to trust and believe, to know, that it's there and accessible at any moment.

Friends, we also have to know who we're fighting against. What our biggest adversary is and how their armies work. Currently, I'm re-reading The Screwtape Letters, by C.S. Lewis, and reading it as an adult just sheds so much more light on the simple ways that satan's armies go and attack us. They're in the form of irritation and miscommunication with others. They're in the form of gut wrenching nightmares. They're in the questions and the doubts that arise in our faith. They're in the words of others, the overwhelming attempts to see the future, the constant voice of "you're horrible, you're stupid, you'lll never amount to anything". The enemy knows just where to hit. It may be in relationships that seem to always fail. It may be the addiction to the porn or the drugs or the alcohol and the belief that we need "just one more hit to numb the pain". It's the jealousy of others being spewed on our hearts. His attacks are frequent, they are everywhere, and he waits at the door sniffing, sniffing, sniffing, until we let him in or start listening to the lies.

God is not a God of temptation. God is not a God of torture or self annihilation. No, God is a God of love, grace, mercy, forgiveness. He sees each and every person on this planet as His child - one he loves and cares deeply for. And God gives us the tools to fight against the lies of the enemy - they're found in Ephesians 6:

"Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. Put on the full armour of God so that you can take your stand against the devil's schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armour of God so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth, buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguise all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvaton and the sword of the spirit, which is the Word of God. And pray in the Spirit on ALL occasions with al kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for the saints."

So what if we started standing up to satan with strength and courage? What if we stood up to the attacks with authority given us through Christ? What if we no longer trembled at the lies and fear and abuse that satan hurls on us - but instead reacted with steady, unyielding confidence in the Power that has been given us?

Chains broken.

Hearts mended.

Unstoppable Christians.

Unbeatable strength.

Unquestionable authority.

Unquenchable desire.

For Freedom in Christ for ALL.

We've got work to do friends - people are dying everywhere without the hope of Christ and the promise of eternity. We must start today - we must choose today to allow the Holy Spirit to work in us, prompting us to His desires. We haven't a second to lose...

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Complacent Christianity

"Not everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. Many will say to me on that day, 'Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and in your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?' Then I will tell them plainly, 'I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!' - Matthew 7:21-23

Now that's something no Christian ever wants to hear! We often expect to just "get by" in our lives on earth, not listening to the call of the Lord, and definitely not utilizing the power of the Holy Spirit within our lives. We've become a generation of complacent Christians.

And on that day I imagine many of us will argue, much like is said in this passage, and say, "but Jesus, I went to Church for every holiday, prayed at Thanksgiving, and even gave an offering to the church every Easter! That should count for something." But God doesn't want the motions - he's not looking for "good people" that don't swear or gossip and who put in a hard day's work. No, what God wants from His children is for us to become more like Jesus in everything we do. And we can't be more like Jesus without relationship with him.

Christ should be the centerfold of every Christian's life. He should be the 1st person we talk to each morning, the person we run ideas and struggles by, the one who leads and directs our every step. However, in our society we're so overwhelmed with the "Noise" of the world that we often put Jesus in the corner and when the crap hits the fan we go and pull him out of the closet and beg.

Put yourself into that scenario. How would you feel if say your spouse, significant other, or parents would only call when they needed or wanted something? That's not really a relationship - and some would argue that it's a form of abuse. That't the same thing we do to Christ every time we say, "oh, don't worry Jesus, I've got my life under control, but if I need anything I'll let you know." That's a pretty bold, selfish statement.

There's this statistic that says that the top 5 people you hang out with most have the most influence on your life. Think about the 5 people you hang out with the most - is it a group of friends, family members, coworkers? Does Jesus even make the list?

The funny thing is that if we want to become more like Jesus, he should be in our top 5. He should actually be at the top of the top 5. We can't help but become better people when we spend time in the Word, prayer, and solitude/silence with the Lord. He speaks to us in the still small voice and reminds us what we're here to do. Instead of running to the friends when trials strike - what if we chose to run to Jesus?

So what's really being said here is if you know Jesus, faith is not about the motions or deeds you perform. No, it's about relationship. It's not being a good person, but becoming refined into Christlikeness. It's not arrogance or pride for being "better than so and so" (much like the Pharisee on the street corner in Matthew 6). No, when we really know Jesus - deeply, intimately - when he's our best friend - our hearts change. The needs and cares of others become important to us. We're suddenly able to see people as Christ does. We're finally humble and ready enough to ask God for His eyes as we look at the world and ask for His strength and provision for us to help those he lays in our paths. And soon we're able to see the needs of others as described in Matthew 25:

"Then the King will say to those on his right, 'Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. 35For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, 36I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.'"

So instead of being "lukewarm", why not take a chance with Jesus? What would happen if Christ was the center of your life? What would happen if the Holy Spirit became our guide? And what would happen if we started actually listening and responding to the call God has placed on our lives??

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Fallen World, Broken Relationships

Guess what! We live in a fallen world, and since Adam and Eve we've had a continuum of broken relationships. The man will slave and toil over the land, while the women will have pain in childbearing and will desire to rule over her husband. Since the Fall, we've battled against each other over and over again leading only to more conflict, more arguments, more broken families, friendships, and relationships.

Why is this? Probably the funniest and sadest part of this realization is that many of our earthly relationships fall apart on some simple disagreement or misunderstanding. And instead of facing the person and speaking about our hurts or our fears or even the misunderstandings, instead of attempting to fix the issue with another, we run, we hide, we find solace in the listening ears of others, and the once tiny misunderstanding is suddenly made into this HUGE issue that way too many people and opinions get involved in. "... a gossip separates close friends." Proverbs 16:28 - isn't that the truth all too often?

It's even gotten to the point where we inevitably take "sides", one group of friends/supporters against the other, and it means war! We see it in the tabloids - "Team Jen" or "team Brad" - T-shirts are made, boundaries are drawn - all because something private, between two people, has suddenly been thrust into the knowledge of others. Now, don't get me wrong here, I'm all for accountability and having someone who will ask the tough questions and allowing people into the pains and frustrations of our lives. But we need to learn to choose our "inner circle" wisely. Because out of our mouth the heart speaks - and if we're speaking to many about our inner hurts, the more likely it is that everyone in your "world" will know the details of everything. Confidentiality is a dying breed... trustworthiness is thrown out the window.

But this shouldn't be happening in Christian circles. This is not what God intended human relationships to be. No, He intends for us to treat one another as brother's and sister's IN Christ. Meaning whatever issues, whatever hindrances, whatever anger and resentment we have for our fellow Christ follower, we need to rectify. Because God's kindgom is not a place of separation and "sides", it's an open place of safety and surrender that He desires all people to inhabit. In Galatians 3:28 we're told "there is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, man nor woman, for you are all ONE in Christ Jesus." And if we are ONE in Christ, why do we still find fault in one another? Why do we run from facing the adversity that we will surely sense with our brother's and sister's in Christ? Why do we beat around the bush and put on the fake smiles and waves, knowing inside we are harboring resentment or anger towards the very person we're waving at??

And why do American Christians often live "of the world" when it comes to misunderstandings between each other? Why do we pick sides? Why do we draw battle lines? And why, oh why, is it so hard for us to forgive each other our trespasses??

Seventy times seven.

"Bearing with one another, and if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other as the Lord has forgiven you, so must you also forgive." Colossians 3:13

Isn't it funny sometimes how we get so wrapped up in each other's drama and gossip that we ourselves take offense for someone else? As if the person who hurt our friend has somehow hurt us, we take up our weapons and chop the other down in conversation, in action. But, there's two sides to every story, yet we fail to see things from the other's point of view. So we attack, we berate, we destroy someone else's reputation and "require" or expect our friends to expel the other from everything as a punishment. We see this in the story of the woman at the well - where Jesus meets her, asks for water, and she hesitantly offers it to him. The background on this woman is that she's a prostitute, she's "dirty", she's an outcast in her own society. She has no friends, she has no companionship for everyone but the man she's living with out of wedlock has turned their back on her. She leads a lonely life... beaten, downtrodden, abused by those who should be loving her the most.

And the incredible thing that we see in this example of Jesus and this "dirty" woman at the well is that Christ approaches her not with a pointed finger proclaiming how awful she is. No, he's aware of the choices she's made as well as the way she's been treated by her community. Instead, Christ sees her for the beautiful daughter of the One and Only - and approaches her to give her hope and love and true life through Him.

What if we decided to do as Christ would in all of our relationships on earth? What if we chose to be the people that faced the outcast instead of walking away from them whispering? What if we chose to be the people that invited new people into our community? What if we chose to invite new people to our area/church/workplace/school in and learn from one another? What if we were the people that had the mentality that everyone on this planet is loved by God and thus we should also love them? And what if we truly saw everyone with the Golden Rule on our hearts and minds "do unto other's as you would have done unto you"?

I bet we'd break down the walls we've built against each other.

I bet we'd save lives.

I bet Christ would heal hearts and mend relationships.

And I bet we'd be challenged, stretched, and enlightened by those we've invited in.

So maybe what we should do instead judging about our racial differences, gender differences, age differences, or just plain differences in general - is to embrace and appreciate each other for the diversities Christ has made in each of us, and welcome one another in truth and love...

Fallen World.

Broken Relationships.

Restored through Christ.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Free will

I got a glimpse last night of how desperately Christ desires to be allowed into the inner most depths and darkness of our hearts. His desire to let what's in the dark be brought and redeemed in the brightness of his light.

There are many times in my life where I feel deep compassion for people who are struggling with pain or can't seem to face the hurts and the pains of the past. The depth of their pain deepens the longer they push it further into the dark. The chains of the enemy wrap themselves tighter and tighter around us, and we feel overcome by the fear of letting go. And I want to fix things in their lives. And I think, "if I desire this much to help someone, think of how desperately Christ desires to help and heal them.".

One great example in my own life is the pain I see in the eyes of someone who's very dear to me. This person is very good at putting on the face that everything's fine, that there's nothing hurting or hindering them. But if I look deep into their eyes, I see a pool of pain ranging from death to betrayal, and they're terrified of letting their "weaknesses" be known. Every time I see this person, my heart literally leaps inside me with love and compassion for them. I want to take the pain and the hurt away, I want to fix their heart and mend it. But I can't.

I can't fix the pains of other's because they have their own free will to choose what they bring to light. In the same sense, God cannot perform a healing transformation on the areas of our hearts that we hold under lock and key because of our free will. God respects our space and allows us the time to process our hurts and our hearts - he will never force us into anything. But the longer we sit against the door, although He's knocking, the deeper the spear of hurt goes... leaving blood streaming behind.

Until we face the deepest pains, the deepest fears, the deepest sins, we will be miserable or depressed or tired. In my own life I've had pain that ranges from abuse, abandonment, betrayal, and death. I've been to through the valley of the shadow of death, and for years since I've tried my hardest to hide behind this facade of perfectionism and bubbliness that masks the deep hurts I've experienced. But two dear friends of mine have made me realize that the longer I allow the pain of the past dictate my future, the longer I'll be imprisoned in dark.

And I'm terrified of facing the closed doors of my heart. I'm terrified to bring the darkness into light, because it often means walking right back through the valley of the shadow of death. But freedom does not come easy, but freedom is what I desire most. To be free from the footholds of the enemy, to be burden free, to not feel exhausted any longer from juggling and hiding everything in my life..... so I'm starting inner healing prayer. I know God gives me the free will and allows me to sit in my pit if I so choose, but I choose life, I choose freedom. And my prayer is that through inner healing I'll be able to overcome the sin that so easily entangles my life and that it will allow me to find out who I am, what I'm here for, and give me a sense of confidence and courage as I go throughout this life.

Inner Healing Prayer may just be the answer.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

More you, less me

Wow. What a selfish, ungrateful person I am. Seriously, HUGE wake up call to me this morning - I'm living too much for the creature comforts and "requirements" of society. It's easy, especially in Orange County, to walk around influenced by the wealth and "worldly things" rather than forcus in on the hearts and pain of others. We're in a constant competition of who's got more, who's prettier, who's more successful and we fail to see the devastation going on all around us. We live in a world of facade's where to the outside world we're 'fine" while inside we're dying inside for love, for compassion, for kindess, for faithfulness, for gentleness. Sounds like we need to go running back to the core principles of the Spirit looking not only to our own interests but also the interests of others.

And I'm frustrated with myself. How do I keep letting another day go by without seeking to serve other's in some facet? Why is it so much easier for me to sleep longer or go run and hide, instead of face the world around me? Why am I so afraid of stepping out and taking a risk of friendship or sharing Christ?


In our society we don't rock the boat. We don't ask questions. We simply are. We wake up, go to work, pay the bills, eat, sit in front of the TV, and call it a day. And at random pivotal points in our life we realize that what we're doing is worthless... but slowly, the world sneaks in again and we're right back where we started. I long for the passion and diligence to find a cause and fight for it until completion.


So I'm started formulating and actually brainstorming more about what it is that I'm called to do. What is it that God is calling me to, instead of my own human desires? I can certainly say that God is calling me to something more than the next best outfit, the biggest house, or even the never ending pressure to find a spouse. Yes, God is calling me to make my desires fit into His Will, in essence, making my desires His desires. But how do you even start a journey like that?

Lots of prayer.
Lots of time in the Word.
Lots of insight from other's.
And lots, and lots, or quiet abandon to the One and Only.

And I look back on my life and the fact that I've allowed 24 years to go by with unattained goals, unfinished dreams, unmet passions. I've heard the call of the Lord for a decade now, and yet I sit back with the mentality "there's always tomorrow". But friends, what if there is no tomorrow? We're not guaranteed another day... we're given right now. So what can I do, right now, to be more in step with His plans?

It's in the simple "good morning" and smile to someone at the coffee shop.

It's the phone call just to check in.

It's not avoiding the hurts and pains of the past, but facing them and allowing healing to fall in.

God's will is in the faces of those around us. God's will to seek and save the lost is staring us in the face each morning. God's will to love and care for those lost has been given to those who've been found.

So maybe it's just adding a little more time in prayer each day. Maybe it's us spending more time in the world. But maybe, just maybe, what God really wants us to do is to walk out the front door of our comfort zone and into the reality of the world around us. Maybe what He wants is for us to ask for His eyes to see the hurt and pain of the broken. More You, less me...

For we're called to go out into all nations proclaiming the grace and freedom only Christ gives.

So why not start in our own back yard?