Wednesday, July 27, 2011
The past couple of days the Lord has really put Japan on my heart. I've been thinking about the people there. The people that the earthquake left behind. The people that had their lives forever changed. I remember when the earthquakes first happened, that's all people talked about. It was all over the news, the Internet and it was brought up in almost every conversation. People showed their support by wearing shirts and buying stickers that said, "Pray for Japan". I would walk around school and it seemed as if almost everyone was wearing one of those shirts. We thought about Japan. We talked about Japan. We prayed for Japan. The first earthquake hit on March 11th. Hard to believe it has been about four and half months since then. I can't imagine what it would be like to be one of the people that survived. In the blink of an eye everything was taken from them. As I have been praying for the people of Japan the last two days it has really got me thinking, why haven't I been doing this the last two months? What about the people of Haiti? What about the people who had loved ones taken by the attacks on 9/11? I know that I am only one person. I also know that horrible things happen in this world everyday. I think the Lord was just reminding me. Reminding me of how big this world is. Reminding me how small I truly am. Reminding me to remember. I find it so much easier to remember to pray for my family. To remember to pray for my friends and even their families. I have realized that I need to change the way that I think. If I started to view the people of this world as they truly are, my distant relatives, then maybe I wouldn't find it so hard to remember to pray for them. I need to continue to pray for the people of this world, after all, we are family. I thank God for both His grace and His reminders.
Wednesday, July 13, 2011
Genesis 3:7, "Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they realized they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and made coverings for themselves." As I was reading this morning this verse called to me. I re-read it a few times before sitting there in wonder basking in the love of my God. I wonder if God didn't create man and woman with the ability to realize they were naked so that if even only for a brief moment in time, they didn't have to worry about their clothes or style. They didn't have to worry about size and Adam didn't have to hear the question, "Does this fig leaf make my butt look big?" from Eve. It is evident that God did not intend for us to worry about those things or anything else for that matter. It is a tool of the enemy. If we are worrying about other things, then our focus has been shifted off of Him and onto whatever it is we might be worrying about. God needs our full attention and through Him and His grace, He will allow us to focus on other things. The list of those "other things" can be found in His Word and the last time I checked, the things this world tries to convince us are important, didn't make the list. There are so many things in this world that need our attention. How incredible would it be if we started focusing a little more on those things and spent a little less time trying to find the perfect pair of skinny jeans? Our mindset needs to be an eternal one. Even as I type this I am reminded that I need to be living this way. That my mindset needs to be an eternal one and that I need to be less focused on whatever my "fig leaf" is and more focused on the things the Lord desires for for my focus to be on. My prayer is that the Lord will reveal to me the things that have taken my focus off of Him so that I can refocus on the one thing that truly deserves my attention: my Father.
Tuesday, July 12, 2011
Today I began reading through Genesis... and it blew me away. I was reading Chapter one, going through each of the days God took to create the earth and what He did on each specific day. For many of us, this is nothing new but as I was reading, I got to day six. By day six God had already created day and night, He had already created land, seas and vegetation. He had already created the sun, moon and had hand placed each star in the sky. By day six He had created the creatures of the sea and all the animals of the land but on day six, He created man. As I read that I stopped and smiled as the phrase, "best for last" came to mind. Now, I don't know what the Lord was thinking when He decided to create man last but what I do know about Him and His love for man, I wouldn't put it past Him. Verse 26 says, Then God said, "Let us make man in our image, in our likeness..." Verse 27 goes on to say, So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. How incredible is that? We were made in His image. You were made in His image. Depending on what kind of Bible you have, this might not be true for you but verses 26 and 27 fall on the first page of my Bible. This is front page news. God found it important enough (not to discredit the importance of every other page in the Bible in any way) to put on page number one, in chapter number one. How often do we get caught up in image? If you are anything like me, the answer is far too often. The world we live in tells us we need to look a certian way, shop at certian stores, eat certian kinds of food and support the right causes to fit in, or in this day in age, stand out. Reading Genesis one causes me to pose the question, What would our lives look like if we weren't trying to fit into this world's idea of image and began to trust that God knew what He was doing when He hand crafted us? Nothing about you was a mistake. Nothing. When we start getting caught up or carried away, we need to just return to page one, chapter one, day six. If the truth of that day doesn't ground us, I don't know what will.
Friday, July 8, 2011
As I was sitting in Starbucks yesterday morning, there was a group of people sitting at the table next to me. There were three older men and an older woman, they were probably all in their 70's. As I sat there I could hear bits of their conversations, they were all sharing memories from their pasts. They were talking about how daring they use to be and the adventures they use to go on. I sat there thinking for a moment about my life, where I am at now, things I have done and things I still long to do. I thought about how I am at the age that they were when they were doing those daring things and going on those adventures. It really got me thinking about how one day, God willing, I will be in my 70's...What do I want my stories to be about? Am I going to play it safe or am I going to take calculated risks? Am I just going to go through the motions or am I going to live my life with reckless amendment? I don't want my life story to be one full of crazy adventures just for the sake of having a good story to tell one day but I want it to be full of crazy adventures because I lived my life only fearing one thing and one thing only: the Lord. I often get caught up in the "what if" game and sometimes the people closest to me have to call me out on that. I know I'm not the only one that falls into that. Imagine what our lives would be like if we stop worrying about what could happen. Imagine what our lives would be like if we stop fearing failure. Imagine what our lives would be like if we cared more about what the Lord wanted us to do than what would bring us financial security. Imagine if we spent more time seeking guidance from the Lord instead of seeking it from gossip magazines and TV shows. Imagine the possibilities. I deeply believe that Lord allows us to have moments like these, moments that cause us to pause and reevaluate ourselves and the way we are living. Every moment gained is another moment passed. I want my stories to be about boldness and courage. I want my stories to be about love and forgiveness. I want my stories to be about moments when I was obedient, about my trust for the Lord and the simplicity of my love for Him. I want my story to be the one He created me to tell. What do you want your story to be about?