Saturday, November 14, 2009
I feel totally incapable of fulfilling the call the Lord has placed on my life. That's it. I feel like there are a bunch of people that I am aware of that would be way better at the call than me. I feel like I am not qualified. I feel like I do not deserve it. I feel incapable. Unworthy. Insufficient. Scared.
I have spent months praying for the Lord to give me a no in regards to pursuing this call. Don't get me wrong, what I believe the Lord is doing in my life, I am extremely passionate and excited about. However, I feel like there was no way that the Lord would be calling me in that direction. So like I said, I have been praying for the Lord to give me a no in response to this. I wasn't praying for His will, I was praying what I thought was His answer. I also tried to make sure He was sure, and He wasn't dialing the wrong line. Once I decided to start praying for the Lord to make clear His will, that's when He called this wannabe to follow the call that is specifically mine.
So what do I do with my feelings of inadequacy? My plan is to rest in the Lord's grace. 2 Corinthians 2:9, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." I'm excited to see what the Lord is going to do with me. What's He doing in and with your life? I got much love for you...
Monday, November 9, 2009
And I lift my hands open wide let the whole world sing
how You've loved, how You died, how you set me free!
Free at last I surrender all I am with open hands
The line that has really been resonating with me:
"Free at last I surrender all I am..."
Christ has freed me from the bondage of sin. First of all, that's ridiculously extravagant because I don't deserve freedom, but I've been granted it. Secondly, the very next few words: I surrender all I am. I think that's really cool. Christ has set me free. So what do I choose to do? Give up everything I am in order to help spread the fame of Christ. I have no greater delight than to have an opportunity to trade in the story of my life, which is finite and (as I'm sure you are aware) less than entertaining, in order that I can be a part of God's story! To me, freedom and surrender typically don't go together. But in relation to Christ's freeing me and my surrender to Him, there's nothing I'd rather do.
Christ gives me freedom, and my decision is to surrender my life to His mission because it is wholly worth it. I just thought that song lyric was cool. Maybe you will too. I got much love for you...
Thursday, November 5, 2009
I just finished up painfully reading through Leviticus. I say painfully because reading a rules and regulations book is not my thing, and Leviticus certainly has a few rules and regs. However, I am thankful for the Lord's leading me through it. I'm also thankful that I'm done reading through it, for now.
Here's what struck me in reading through Leviticus (don't expect anything profound...I'm a simple mind, remember?). As I read through this book and all of what the Lord expected from the Israelites, I was overwhelmed at the Lord's pursuit of a relationship with these people! How did I get that from a book talking about how to offer a burnt offering or how long someone was supposed to be unclean? This is my non-earth shattering answer: the Lord was putting these very rules and regs in place in order that the people would pursue a holy lifestyle. Why were they to pursue a holy lifestyle? Because the Lord their God is/was holy and He desperately wanted to be in relationship with them!
God was informing them of the level of commitment they needed to put forth in order that He could continue to relate to them. He is desperately pursuing a love relationship with these people. That's crazy love! If you'll recall, the Lord is demonstrating this crazy love for a group of people that are TERRIBLE at that kind of crazy love back for Him! As I read through this book, I was reminded of how great is the love of our God. I was humbled by this love. This love continues to seize me.
Not going to lie, I'm thankful that I'm through Leviticus. I'm also thankful for the Lord's love in my life.
Thanks for the overwhelming response to my last post. And by overwhelming response, I mean no response. Thank you. I got much love for you anyway.
Monday, November 2, 2009
Idealist Portrait of the Teacher (ENFJ)
Even more than the other Idealists, Teachers have a natural talent for leading students or trainees toward learning, or as Idealists like to think of it, they are capable of calling forth each learner's potentials. Teachers (around two percent of the population) are able - effortlessly, it seems, and almost endlessly-to dream up fascinating learning activities for their students to engage in. In some Teachers, this ability to fire the imagination can amount to a kind of genius which other types find hard to emulate. But perhaps their greatest strength lies in their belief in their students. Teachers look for the best in their students, and communicate clearly that each one has untold potential, and this confidence can inspire their students to grow and develop more than they ever thought possible.
In whatever field they choose, Teachers consider people their highest priority, and they instinctively communicate personal concern and a willingness to become involved. Warmly outgoing, and perhaps the most expressive of all the types, Teachers are remarkably good with language, especially when communicating in speech, face to face. And they do not hesitate to speak out and let their feelings be known. Bubbling with enthusiasm, Teachers will voice their passions with dramatic flourish, and can, with practice, become charismatic public speakers. This verbal ability gives Teachers a good deal of influence in groups, and they are often asked to take a leadership role.
Teachers like things settled and organized, and will schedule their work hours and social engagements well ahead of time-and they are absolutely trustworthy in honoring these commitments. Valuing as they do interpersonal cooperation and harmonious relations, Teachers are extraordinarily tolerant of others, are easy to get along with, and are usually popular wherever they are.
Teachers are highly sensitive to others, which is to say their intuition tends to be well developed. Certainly their insight into themselves and others is unparalleled. Without a doubt, they know what is going on inside themselves, and they can read other people with uncanny accuracy. Teachers also identify with others quite easily, and will actually find themselves picking up the characteristics, emotions, and beliefs of those around them. Because they slip almost unconsciously into other people's skin in this way, Teachers feel closely connected with those around them, and thus show a sincere interest in the joys and problems of their employees, colleagues, students, clients, and loved ones.
Famous ENFJs: Mikhail Gorbachev, Oprah Winfrey, Pope John Paul II, Ralph Nader, John Wooden, and Margaret Mead are examples of Teacher Idealists.
Let me know your thoughts. I got much love for you...
Tuesday, October 27, 2009
Mock me if you must, but I looked up the definition of hope. Here's how Webster's defines it:
hope - to expect with confidence. Hope is expecting something with full confidence that the desire of my hoping will come to be. Hope is what I get to look forward to. Hope is what drives me on days when I don't feel like it. Hope is what is stored up in me and then used as motivation to keep plodding along this journey when I don't feel like I can. I experienced the gravity of hope in my most recent life journey that I have regularly referenced. I can't imagine having tried to walk this season of my life without the Lord and the hope I have in Him. I am utterly baffled how people go through life without this hope. What's my hope in? I hope in the Lord, that He has redeemed me, that I will be with Him and experience His love forever, that my future is in Glory and whatever I go through on earth is worth it in comparison, that He can do the same for others, that He has a specific plan for my life and I'm not just a bumbling idiot, etc. "My hope is built on nothing less than Jesus' blood and righteousness" (throwback moment). Anyway, I place my hope in Jesus, and THAT HOPE is what drives me in this life. In the good times and bad!
Paul has something to say about this mindset of selling out to Christ and receiving this hope: "If only for this life we have hope in Christ, we are to be pitied more than all men." 1 Corinthians 15:19. That means that if, when life is over and I have completely wasted my time believing in and giving my life up for this Jesus and this is all just a feel good story, then I should be pitied more than any other person who has ever journeyed this life. The good news is that this Jesus isn't a feel good story. This Jesus is real. This Jesus is keeping me going and providing hope for my life. I'll spare you what I feel to be a lengthy "sermon" coming on.
Anyway, in my conversation with my friend, I was struck with this thought: What do those who have not experienced Jesus hope for or place their hope in? Money? Family? People? Fame? I was baffled. I CANNOT imagine continuing to live my life without the hope that Jesus provides for me...especially if I was to hope in something other than Him. Every one of those things has failed me before, but the Lord...He never fails. I am grateful.
Hopefully this made sense. Just something to think about, and count your blessings for. I got much love for you...
Friday, October 16, 2009
I finished writing last night around 10:30pm and turned on the TV. I recall feeling the frustration of having to write about how dumb the Israelites were, and how it was a constant cycle with them. Minutes later the Holy Spirit was rocking my heart as I realized I had just engaged in sin and needed to repent. As I did so, I was reminded of the fact that my life is EXACTLY like the life of the frustrating Israelites. I had just finished being frustrated with them about their constantly turning their back on the Lord, and then I did the exact same thing. That's lame. I was broken over the way I live my life.
Romans 7:21-25 says, "So I find it to be a law that when I want to do right, evil lies close at hand. For I delight in the law of God, in my inner being, but I see in my members another law waging war against the law of my mind and making me captive to the law of sin that dwells in my members. Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, I myself serve the law of God with my mind, but with my flesh I serve the law of sin."
I hate that my life is exactly like the pattern of the Israelites to turn from the Lord. I hate the sin in my life. I hate that. I honestly want no part in sin, and then I found myself, in that moment last night, for example, engaged in that very thing. Lame. I hate the sin in my life.
I have a great sin problem. Thankfully I know a great Savior. Man do I need Him. Thanks be to God! I'm glad He's not finished with me yet.
I got much love for you...
Monday, October 5, 2009
Moses and the Israelites have JUST gotten out of Egypt. They find out that the Egyptians are now in pursuit of them. The first thing they do is go to Moses and begin to complain. The people who were slaves just a few verses prior were now COMPLAINING about their current circumstances and the fact that things weren't going the way they wanted them to.
Moses response to them owned them, I'm sure, but it very much struck a chord with me because of where I am in life. Exodus 14:14 says, "The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still." A very present reminder that I'm not in charge of the future. What I can do right now is just be in tune with the Lord. My pursuit is to continue to get to know, love and grow in knowledge of Him in this time. Not try to figure things out. Not be in control. Not plan. Just be still.
I'm loving that He sent that message to me today.
My posts are getting more regular. Life is coming back to me. He's not finished with me, yet. Much love...
Sunday, October 4, 2009
Brandon Heath lyrics:
"There is hope for me yet
Because God won’t forget
All the plans he’s made for me
I have to wait and see
He’s not finished with me yet
Still wondering why I’m here
Still wrestling with my fear
But oh, He’s up to something
And the farther on I go
I’ve seen enough to know
That I’m, not here for nothing
He’s up to something"
-Wait and See
I have spent a good bit of my life trying to figure out what the Lord is doing in my life, and what's He's doing next for me. Let me clarify: looking ahead is not always bad because we do need to continue to seek where God is leading, but looking ahead must be done in moderation. I spent high school, my time at Auburn, and my time up to this point at seminary solely looking ahead. I have been trying to figure out what the Lord is doing with me, where I will end up, what I will be, who I will be with, etc. In doing so, I have been missing the here and now. I am hoping to be able to graduate next December, and at this point, I have no idea where God will lead me or what He will have me doing. I am getting myself to a point where I am ok with that.
This song serves as a reminder that I need to find contentment in where I am now. Don't push. Don't shove. There is hope for how I end up, and that my time here, as I am, is not wasted. God knows the plans He has for me. There are lessons I need to learn now. There are people I need to invest in now. There are places I need to go now. And so on. God has me here for a reason, and I need to be content in learning and growing as I am. He's up to something.
Wednesday, September 30, 2009
As I got a good laugh from looking at this picture this morning, the Lord really reminded me of how this picture is often times a picture of my life, unfortunately. Too many times I try to play around with sin, instead of taking sin (which only leads to my destruction) seriously. This photo could easily serve as the state of my life a couple months ago. I had become so lackadaisical (I just used that word) toward sin, that I had toyed with it enough that I was flat out sunk. Much like me, Bud and Pletcher thought we could sit and dig this beast out, I, too, thought I could handle my dabbling in this sin myself. I thought I could "manage" my dabbling enough that I would be ok. This proved very untrue.
In my life, I had to get to the point where I was utterly dependent on the Lord for my rescue. I was sunk in my sin, and only the Lord was big enough to pull me out. While I don't deserve anything but destruction for my sin (and I certainly am and will pay the consequences for my decisions of disobedience), the Lord being rich in mercy and having great love for me, rescued me from the pit. He pulled me out, much like Bud had to humbly ask the grounds crew at Lake Yale to bring a tractor and chain to yank our van out of the sand.
Furthermore, I was left with this thought: What are some of the other areas in my life in which I'm stupid enough to think I can dabble in sin and survive? I'm thankful for funny moments of camp (especially when I don't do something stupid to cause them)! I'm also thankful that the Lord can use crazy things to communicate His truths in my life. The bottom line: don't think you can dabble in sin and get away with it...SIN will SINK you.
Monday, September 28, 2009
That being said, there is one line in the song that I have taken a great deal of encouragement and comfort in (bear in mind that I'm still in a depressed state lately, but I can see extremely tangible ways the Lord is bringing me out of this state). From this song, there is a line that reads 'there has never been a name above, no not one'. (For the record, this is obviously referring to the name of Jesus, and the fact that there is no name above that name.) So why is that such a revolutionary idea?
It reminds me of the greatness of the God I serve. There has never been a name above the name of my great God. "I AM". You can't beat that. This is cause for great rejoicing for me. As I have mentioned in a previous post, I am in a beautiful season with the Lord right now. This makes the fact that God is above everything that much sweeter for me. Furthermore, I believe this is where the church is falling short in its love for the Lord and for people. Ponder the names of God. I did this only briefly (I may or may not have taken a moment during this past Sunday morning's sermon), but in that brief time, the many names of the Lord rushed into my head and I knew I had only scratched the surface. Now ponder the many characteristics of the Lord. That should only take a few hours. Now ponder the attributes of God. All of these things comprise who God is and what He is to me, how He interacts with me, and how He displays his love for me (and everyone else).
I'm convinced that if the church could get herself in a position to ponder these things...truly ponder...she MUST be compelled to respond. This is in my opinion what is wrong with the church today....that's completely off topic, but I have been having an ongoing discussion with a few people about that. If and when I ever pastor a church, I feel like we will have a year long sermon series on who God is...there will be much to cover in a year! There has never been a name above. No. Not one.
Sunday, September 13, 2009
A friend gave me some lyrics that I'm liking: "This is where you are. Don't push. Don't shove."
What I will do now is completely undervalue the things the Lord has been teaching me by listing them, in order that I can get them all out. There is very much a possibility that some of these themes will be further addressed in later posts and later times in life, but this is the list (there's a good chance that none of this will make sense to you...embrace that and trust me):
Life is about knowing God (like truly knowing Him when we flat out deserve the opposite). I am the example of the opposite of someone who deserves to know God. I hate the sin in my life. I am in disbelief of the Lord's love. If you seek God, He will meet with you. Our God is jealous for us. His Kingdom is unshakable. I always said I would abandon things in my life if the Lord desired, and He has put that to the test. I'm hoping I've been found true to my word (despite the difficulty). People will fail, but God will not. God is my master, and I ENJOY being His servant. I don't know what's next, and that's just fine. I do have commitment issues, and it's possible those will be worse. God will provide amazing amounts of grace if and when you beg. I will struggle to trust the people in certain relationships in my life. I will have a heart scar (once I finish healing), but I know the Lord redeems the ugly (thankfully). I am fully defined in Christ. My trust in the Lord has grown. I am all but certain that there are others, but none are coming to mind.
Other news: the Lord is continuing to remind me of my love for preaching. I have been twice to FBC Covington, LA and I really like it. I am losing weight.
Sorry for how ridiculous this post has been. There has been A TON that I have wanted to say, but due to a plethora of reasons, I haven't posted...thus the information vomit of a post. I will try to do better. I hope this post finds you all doing well. Much love...
Monday, August 24, 2009
Woe to me I am unclean
A sinner found in Your presence
I see you seated on Your throne
Exalted, Your Glory surrounds You
Now the plans that I have made
Fail to compare when I see your glory
Ruin my life the plans I have made
Ruin desires for my own selfish gain
Destroy the idols that have taken Your place
'Till it's You alone I live for,
You alone I live for.
Holy Holy is the Lord Almighty
Holy is the Lord!
-Ruin, by Jeff Johnson
The Lord is good. My time with Him during this season will be sweet...on the other side.
Saturday, July 25, 2009
Sometimes the Lord uses random moments to remind me of Him and His love, which in turn causes me to be overwhelmed with love for Him. Today, I am sitting in the coffee shop at Skycroft with Gus, listening to some Kari Jobe and Hillsong and just talking about the Lord. Good stuff. Gus loves the Lord, and I love that about Gus.
I got much love for you...
Sunday, June 21, 2009
Let me start off by saying that I would prefer to go to the mountains on a vacation than a beach any day of the week. However, I will admit that today the beach won my excitement for the moment. Today our team got to spend about 1 1/2ish hours just hanging out at the beach. Some swam, some laid around, some got a sea urchin thrown into the back of their head and some did the throwing. The team needed that. We needed a moment to not worry about camp, travel, logistics or where we were going to eat. And the Lord provided that opportunity.
I was reminded while we were there that sometimes, at least in my life, I begin to think about what I'm doing for the Lord and how I think it does not look so good. For example, what a good or a bad location for camp would look like. The beach/ocean reminded me of a truth that I need to hang on to more frequently than I do: Why worry about what the Lord's work looks like, just enjoy what He is doing. Personally I have been a little frustrated with the setup of our current location of camp. The bottom line of it though: the Lord wants camp done at this location, this week or else we wouldn't be here.
Sometimes I need to stop trying to figure out how to make the Lord's work happen, and just enjoy the Lord's design for things. This came as my team and I enjoyed the Lord's design for the earth, including the Atlantic Ocean.
Friday, June 19, 2009
Here's the hard part about it: me. I do not in any form or fashion deserve the job I have as camp pastor this summer. I stand on stage at camp and let everyone in the room know about Jesus...and I LOVE THAT! The problem is that I am so unworthy to be a part of what the Lord is doing, that it gets to me. I will admit that the overwhelming feelings did not come till much later in week 2's Thursday night because I simply just had to worship, rejoice, laugh, hug, and glorying in God's presence with the staff. However, most nights it takes me a long time after worship to "process" what just occurred and what the Lord did.
Bottom line: I am so unworthy to be a part of the Lord's work. However, I am chosen for this summer to do so. "All that I can do is give it back to You!"
I got much love for you...
Thursday, May 14, 2009
Since I am leaving New Orleans for the summer on Saturday, I wanted to be sure to hit up my favorite restaurants to tide me over for the summer. What better way to do that than to get a catfish sandwich at Cafe Maspero:
I fully believe it is hard to beat that sandwich. I just wanted to share with you all the goodness that I was able to experience tonight. Yum! Hope you are all well!
Wednesday, May 13, 2009
For those of you who may be unaware, I work at LifeWay Christian Bookstore to bring home the bacon during seminary. One thing that is not uncommon is for me to deal with Bibles. Questions of all forms and fashions, e.g. "Do you sell the Holy King James Version? I don't want any of these new versions like the International version, NIV, HIV (HAHA!!), and what not. I want the good ole King James!" (I feel like this is especially made worse because I live in New Orleans, but that's a different story altogether.
Here's the most recent annoyance I have experienced at work:
At first, this may seem like any other red letter bible (putting the words of Jesus in red). This Bible is not the same though. This is a Jimmy Swaggart Bible (if you don't recognize the dummy's name, google it.). The reason this Bible isn't the same is because, if you'll notice where the red letters in this Bible occur in Isaiah (and throughout the entire Bible). That's because Jimmy has put his own words in red, instead of Christ. In fact, the portion of the New Testament (Matthew) that I looked at did not even have Jesus' words in quotations. Only Jimmy's words are worth anything, at least according to him. I beg to differ.
Jimmy Swaggart annoys me.
Joel Osteen is scum between my toes.
The Life and Times of Bible Imprints at LifeWay Christian Bookstore.
Much love to you...
Tuesday, May 12, 2009
The Lord (possibly just gas) reminded me the moment I clicked submit to turn in my final project online of Galatians 5:1, "For FREEDOM Christ has set us free!..." The reason Jesus did what he did, is for the very purpose that I can feel freedom. Do not mistake me for fully equating the freedom I have from a semester-long of intense classwork and education because the two are incomparable. What excites me is that this freedom that I feel, is the exact reason that Jesus suffered like He did.
Furthermore (used that word several times in my most recent turn-in) Galatians 5:1 says, "For FREEDOM Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do no SUBMIT again to the yoke of slavery. Not only did Christ die so that we can experience the glorious feelings of freedom, but so that we never again have to feel the oppression of sin. Granted, being that we are sinful beings we will, but because of what Christ did, we don't have to. We will be making the choice not to be able to experience freedom. You gotta love it.
I'm loving my freedom. I'm loving Jesus more. I am very thankful for the feeling of freedom, and the way Jesus reminds me of things like that through everyday things.
Prayer requests: please be lifting me up as I continue to polish off the sermons God has given me and for my ministry at camp this summer. You (if there is anybody) are great.
Wednesday, May 6, 2009
That's right ladies and gentlemen. I have just entered the world of cool, and Meagan said so herself. I bought myself a Blackberry Storm. I have had it all of 5 hours, so the newness is still very much there. I must give a mad shout out to Verizon for a having a BOGO (Buy One Get One) sale. It's all because of them that my phone is possible. My brother and I decided to go in together to get us some new phones, although he didn't get the same kind I did.
So why does this matter to you? Well there probably isn't a whole lot of interest from you. Honestly I didn't post this simply to brag to you about my phone. I might try to do that once I fully figure out how to use it. No I post this to let you know to be watching out for more blogs in the future. One reason I was having trouble blogging much is because, at least in my opinion, having a picture to look at is worth a thousand words (that will save me a lot of typing). So start tuning in more frequently. I'm becoming even more technology savvy. Get excited world.
Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry
Wednesday, April 1, 2009
Monday, March 2, 2009
Wednesday, February 18, 2009
Wednesday, February 11, 2009
Consecrated, Lord, to Thee.
Take my moments and my days,
Let them flow in ceaseless praise.
Take my hands and let them move
At the impulse of Thy love.
Take my feet and let them be
Swift and beautiful for Thee.
Take my voice and let me sing
Always, only for my King.
Take my lips and let them be
Filled with messages from Thee.
Take my silver and my gold
Not a mite would I withhold.
Take my intellect and use
Every power as You choose.
Take my will and make it Thine
It shall be no longer mine.
Take my heart it is Thine own
It shall be Thy royal throne.
Take my love, my Lord I pour
At Your feet it's treasure store
Take myself and I will be
Ever, only, all for Thee.
Take myself and I will be
Ever, only, all for Thee."