Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Before The Throne

Last night I went to a Monday night Bible Study that I've been going to lately with some different people from Mt. Pleasant. It is such a wonderful group. Most of us happen to be in our late teens and 20s. It is so awesome being the youngest one there and look up to those honest believers. They aren't perfect. In fact, it is just a group of sinners. Mixed from a vast array of backgrounds. But we come together with one thing in common, a love for our Savior. 


Yesterday we were talking about prayer. Prayer. That word is used so much that sometimes I just overlook what it even means. The prayer that we were talking about is not flowery prayer, but intense prayer before the throne of God. The prayer that is the sword against spiritual warfare. The kind of prayer that honestly,  we probably don't do often. But those are the prayers that terrify Satan and his demons. Why? Because they are what bring about amazing things among God's children. But I was sitting there thinking how hard it is to pray like that. My mind wanders and if it is early morning I'll be praying... and then all of a sudden, well... zzzzz. Yeah. That kind of prayer is hard. Really hard. That is when I realized that maybe it should be. How many churches have you attended where the people pray? I mean intensely, on their faces before God. What's wrong with most Christians and churches is that we really don't pray. We may ramble on some list and pray passingly for Aunt Betty, Grandma and Mom as we are half dosing. In church we pray before the sermon or after. The preacher says something that sounds really nice and we usually don't listen to most of it and come up out of habit on the "amen." Now, there is nothing wrong with lists or pretty prayers. And I'm not saying that we're falling asleep in prayers all the time. But isn't it easy to pray like that or see praying as nothing more than a list to read off or something pretty to say? Not always, but sometimes it is for me. 


What we need to see is that we have access to come before the throne of God and talk to Him as a Father. If we could see what intense, Spirit-guided prayers do to the spiritual warfare around us then maybe we would see it as what it is... AMAZING. We aren't talking to the ceiling, but to God. We shouldn't ask for things constantly, but nor should we be afraid to ask our Father for blessings. He wants us to talk to Him like His children, but also in total honor and respect. 


The thing about prayer is that it isn't easy. But we have to remember that Satan wants to do one thing more than anything... keep us from talking to his enemy. If we don't fellowship with God, then he knows that we will not be likely to notice when or what He wants us to do. Dear friends, it hit me last night that if we would truly pray, that our lives would change. Our churches would change. And more in our nation would see the wrong road we're walking down. God has so much to show us, but we are often satisfied with how things are. Let's go before the throne of God. He is waiting. 



Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Earthquake

People in Washington D.C. evacuated from buildings
I probably wasn't the only one who felt like I was in a boat in rough seas for about a minute this afternoon. It was a crazy feeling. Everything was bouncing off my desk and the whole room literally groaned. For one moment I thought that is was very unsafe to be inside. I yelled through the house that whatever was going on needed to stop because it had to be bad for the house! 


I later found out that it was not a truck or an out of balance washing machine, but an earthquake. Thousands of people from Georgia all the way to New York had felt Virginia's earthquake. It was very close to Washington D.C. (which I thought was kind of... interesting). But I honestly thought that the East isn't supposed to have that magnitude of an earthquake! If I wanted that we could move to California! But once I began to think back about that few moments of the earthquake, I realized how completely powerless I was to what was going on. The roof could have fallen on my head! It made me realize how little I am. I may think I'm in control of this or that but God controls nature. He is so powerful. I am so small. 


It made me think that that is how it is going to be after the Rapture... only a hundred times worse. The news said that cell phone carriers got completely bogged down and that people closer to where it happened were running outside in terror. The whole world will be like that during the seven years of the Tribulation. 


God has the power to do anything. Just that minute or so of shaking in my room left me in awe of our Creator. How great He is. 

Sunday, August 21, 2011

God Owes Me... Nothing


I was thinking about how much I expect from God. How I ask Him for things and think that since I try to live for Him that somehow He owes me. That I deserve it. Deep down I know that I am a sinner and that He doesn't owe me anything, but often I just don't think about that. Have you thought that if God didn't love us that He would still be worthy of our praise? If He had never done anything for us, He would still deserve our respect and honor simply because He made us and He hasn't wiped us off the map for our sins. As simple as it may seem... God didn't owe us His Son. Jesus didn't have to die for us. God doesn't have to take care of us, nor love us, or protect us. But He does.

I don't deserve anything. If I were killed tomorrow because I am Jesus' follower, I still wouldn't have earned God love. There is nothing we can do on this earth that will ever have "earned" us even a small blessing from God. It leaves my mind boggled to think that He is right and just, but He is also love. He chose to reach down from the glorious glories and live among us to die for us. Not only did He do that, but He now takes care of us!

My Dad made a point today in church that staggered my mind. "How many times do we say that we are going to give Jesus our everything and then we hold back?" That doesn't seem too profound, but it hit me hard. Because of this loving Savior's love I constantly tell Jesus, "I love you with ALL of my heart! I am yours. Everything I am and have is yours. I'll do whatever you want, Lord." But after that comment I rewinded in my mind and remembered all the times I had said that and then totally "fallen off the wagon." I said it and then I just didn't do it. It was dishonest. I am like Ananias and Sapphira when they said that they gave all they made off of the land they sold to the church, but they really only gave a portion. I say, "I'll give you everything," but then I whine about something that is so little. I am willing to go to Ethiopia, but am I willing just to hold my tongue when someone is rude? Those "little things" show our true love for the One who loved us and didn't have to.

The greatest blessing any human could get in front of us... the undeserved love of the only God and King. We must live with ALL of our hearts for Him. Easier said than done? Jesus said, "be perfect for I am perfect." We will never be perfect, but we can try. We can't use that as an excuse. And then, we must share the Love of God with those around us. Because it is a miracle.

 

Visit my friend, Jason's blog. He just posted an awesome post about sharing Jesus' love. It is well worth reading and is from someone who truly strives to live a life that honors God. Just click here.

Thank the Lord, He reached out for us!

Friday, August 12, 2011

Just a Chat

I haven't blogged in 10 days... and there is no excuse. I just haven't. Honestly, I've not wanted to waste your time with a boring and useless post, but I appear to be doing that now! Oh well, I have decided that my posts are usually "heavy" so I will just talk to you without a topic to bring me here this time.

Well, it feels awkward now (like how it feels when you see someone you haven't seen in a long time and after formalities you just stare at each other). Well, I'll tell you something personal to break the ice. Are you ready? I've felt OLD lately. For Pete's sake, I am four days in to being a senior in high school (homeschool). And I just feel completely OLD. Now, I know some may say... "Oh, child! I'm 97, you're not old! I'm old." Well, that is true. No! I am kidding! Really! But honestly, I finally feel... old. It makes me sad and happy. I'm not saying that 17 years old means anything, but for example, I feel like how you feel when you have been enjoying yourself doing some relaxing activity and you look at a clock and see that you have passed hours and it felt like minutes! I just feel like I've past so much wonderful time. But with that said, I still sleep with a baby blanket. Whoa! You didn't except that! Actually, I use it to prop my head up and it happens to be the softest one, so I use it. Kandace says, "Yeah, right." Maybe I'll get through this feeling old phase as I get older. That was like a pun or something. Ha ha!

I hear Dad practicing his sermon as I sit here. I love it when I hear him talking to the walls downstairs. It sounds like this week's sermon is going to be good. Ahh. I love it.

I must say to end this completely awkward blog post, that my life is wonderful. Not because of anything I'm doing or because of anything that is happening around me. My life is wonderful because I have been saved from a miserable existence. I'm really rescued. I live as a blessed slave to the ONLY God. The Creator whom even if He hadn't bought me at a price, would still deserve my life. But He actually loves me. He calls me His child. So, my life is splendid. No matter how old I get, I am a child. A child of the King. So I choose to live for Him. I try (but fail often) to love what He loves (what is righteous) and hate what He hates (sin). Because He loved me enough to die for me... I want to love Him enough to die to myself.

Friend, thanks for reading. Know one thing, before you go. You are loved.

Now, go find something better to do with your time.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Missing Lines

I went to a concert with the Annie Moses Band performing last night in Greensboro, N.C. It was wonderful, as always. They performed a song that I has heard them do many times, but it gave new meaning to me this time. They wrote it and it was the idea of Benjamin Wolaver. Benjamin had spoken at devotion during FASA (Fine Arts Summer Academy) about the problem of "missing lines" in Christian's morality. The song went right along with that idea. Here are the lyrics to the chorus and second verse of the song "Blush":

When hands were gentle and words were kind
And love could wait a long, long time
And private matters held their hush
And grooms were gallant and brides would blush

Does it seem a silly dream played back in black and white?
Pearls and gloves and hymns of love
The lines of wrong and right
Well let's hush the cynic for just a minute
And let the dreamers dare
To dream of love that never fails
Oh won't you take me there

So it left me thinking about the "lines" of wrong and right. What if things were where they belonged? Now, matters that don't belong in the open are just spouted out. Even in the few short years since I was little, things have changed so much. It seemed more acceptable to be innocent then. These days even what some consider "cute" TV shows are brash and display lewd talk. The lines of childhood and what belongs there are blurred.

The big thing for me is relationships between young ladies and young men. The lines have nearly been washed away in this aspect. I've blogged about dating before but, this whole topic has resurrected my thoughts on it. Everything is so flashy and tacky and absolutely loose that is leaves me a little dizzy these days. I love the line in the song, "When love could wait a long, long time." When love waits it is strongest, mark my words. But waiting seems hard. Actually, it isn't as hard as imagined. It is actually enjoyable and peaceful to wait on that love for God's timing. But see, the lines has been broken for so many young people. And many are happy just to push the lines a little, just to have some "fun." But it is dangerous.

Lines are good. When certain things are reserved for certain things, each area is defined. The world says to break lines, that you are more free if you do. Well, have you ever seen a picture that a three year-old has colored in a coloring book? The lines are there but the child has simply ignored them. You can't tell what color belongs to what part of the picture. Every color is everywhere and it leaves a messy blur. That is what happens when we ignore the lines in life. God has placed boundaries that are revealed in His Word that are meant to be acknowledged and kept. It is for our own good.

Annie Dupre made a comment, "What if these ideas aren't old and outdated but really are the ways of Christ followers?"