Monday, September 26, 2011

In the Sand

I just got back from vacation. It was wonderful and so nice and refreshing to spend time at the ocean and doing nothing, but eat, get battered by waves, laugh, and play Rook. It was glorious. 

The last day we were there I was playing in the sand. I was digging a deep hole because I had nothing better to do. I was digging in the wettest part of the sand. The water was almost up to where I was digging. I just kept digging there. Once the hole was deep, I made a gully that would bring the water to the hole. I packed the sand so that it wouldn't be easily destroyed. It was perfect. Suddenly the water washed over it and some sand broke off and fell into to hole. No big deal, I just pulled the sand out and repaired the damage. But in less than 30 seconds it had happened again and my gully fell in. As I worked to repair it, water destroyed the hole. I kept trying to repair the hole and gully even though the water kept destroyed them. I got up and went to help Clara do something and when I came back the hole and gully were completely gone. I realized that trying to rebuild it there was a waste of time simply because the water would keep ruining it. 

That experience reminded me of life. Sometimes we as people keep trying to build up our lives of our own accord in the wrong place. It is easy to build it where the sand is soft and moldable. When the water took it down, I didn't try to move up the beach away from the water but I kept letting the water knock it down. I was digging in the wrong place, because it was easy. 

Satan often saturates parts of our lives, making it look easy and enjoyable to work there. But when we start working there it keeps being destroyed because we are in "Satan's territory." The water kept destroying everything I did. All I needed to do was move away from the water. The dry sand was harder to use and took more work to build, but it didn't get washed away. 

In life we often wonder why everything is falling apart, why it is so hard to "be good." It is because we are trying to live where Satan has persuaded us that it is best and then he keeps destroying where we are. We just need to move away from him. 

Jesus waits to build our lives the way HE wants. It 
is always best and it is solid there. More solid than sand. As solid as a rock. 

Jesus said, "Everyone then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on the rock." (Matthew 7:24-25 ESV) 

It's worth letting Jesus build up our lives where He wants them and in His way. It's never too late to let Him have your life. Not just as Savior, but as Lord. He knows the plans He has for us, they are plans that are to prosper us and not to harm us, plans to give us hope and a future (Jeremiah 29:11). Hallelujah! 

Friday, September 16, 2011

Do Everything

I've started to blog several times this week and a few times today, but I am at that point again where I have so much to say that I can't pick something. I'm not going to write a post that tries to include every idea because that is just... annoying. I have done that before though! 

What should I blog about? Well, I'm looking straight ahead at the calender on my wall. I can't believe that today is already the 16th of September. Of September!! Isn't that crazy? Time flies. I feel like I just got back from camp in July... but in a way it does feel like it has been a few months. Life is just so short. We all know that. I've even blogged about the shortness of life before. It is just short. Even if you live to be 100, compared to the earth's 6,000 or so years, it is short. And compared to eternity it is VERY short. So now I'm thinking about how much time I waste. God really has given us all one life. One chance to use it for Him. Often I just use it on myself. I am too thickheaded to realize that if I live for Him that He will reward me in Heaven. Humans automatically gravitate to the path of least resistance. We do what feels nice and is most comfortable, thinking, "We only have one life! Better live it up!" But "living it up" for ourselves is really pointless. 

Everything we do should be for God's glory. The boring, the exciting, the... everything. It reminds me of Steven Curtis Chapman's song "Do Everything." I LOVE that song. It's happy and upbeat and lightens my day. The chorus goes: 

Do everything you do to the glory of the One who made you
Cause He made you to do
Every little thing that you do to bring a smile to His face
And tell the story of grace
With every move that you make
And every little thing you do

Listen to the whole song by clicking Do Everything

Wow... I got all of that out of looking at my calendar. I should try to do blogs more often by just looking at objects in my room and talking about them! 

Enjoy this cool day, and if where you live is not as freezing as it feels here today in N.C.... well, enjoy this warm day! 

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

More Than Just Saying

I can't believe that I'm blogging right now. I have an exam at 3:00 and should be studying, but the more I study the more nervous I get. So, I'm going to talk and think about someone that I want to think about... God. I've not blogged in eight days anyway so I need to get on here. 

Well, I was watching a video of Francis Chan (author of two amazing books, Crazy Love and Forgotten God) last night (when I should have been studying ;)). He was talking on the simple topic of "following Jesus." He was talking about how in the church we "follow" differently than we would anywhere else in the world. As a kid it was easy. We played "follow the leader." It was simple, you just did exactly as the leader did. Well, now in the church we've come to this point where we often say, even if we don't out loud, "I'm following Him in my heart." What if a kid was sitting by the side and said, "Yeah, I know it looks like I'm not following, but I'm following in my heart." Francis said that we wouldn't tell a child of ours to go clean their room and allow them to come back and say, "Hey! I memorized what you told me to do. You said, 'go clean your room.' Oh and by the way mom/dad, my friends and I are going to have a study every week on what it would look like if we cleaned our rooms!" That would be absurd. The parent just wants to kid to DO IT. It's great to memorize it and talk about it, but it is most important that they do it.

Aren't we like that as believers? We talk about serving and following Jesus. We tell people that we follow Jesus. But then when people look at the "room" (our lives), they see a contradiction to what we say. Jesus said in Matthew 15:8-9, “‘These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. They worship me in vain; their teachings are merely human rules.’" It's easy to talk, but it is hard to live that talk. Christianity is hard. Not the watered down Americanized version, but early Church Christianity is hard. The American version is "going to church," the early Church version is "being the church." I believe that some churches are starting to see that following Jesus is more than singing a few songs on Sunday and listening to the preacher preach for 40 minutes. Being a Christian means everything we do is to bring honor to Jesus... Monday through Sunday. 

I love what Chip Ingram once said, "If you are really born again, then nothing should have to prod you to act like a believer. You can tell if you're really "saved" by whether His commands are burdensome." 

Following Jesus is not that complicated. I'll use the Nike logo: