Now Playing Tracks

Too much contrast to think about in Hebrews 11…

"And what more shall I say? For time would fail me to tell of Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, of David and Samuel and the prophets—who through faith conquered kingdoms, enforced justice, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions, quenched the power of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, were made strong out of weakness, became mighty in war, put foreign armies to flight.

 Women received back their dead by resurrection. Some were tortured, refusing to accept release, so that they might rise again to a better life.

 Others suffered mocking and flogging, and even chains and imprisonment. They were stoned, they were sawn in two, they were killed with the sword. They went about in skins of sheep and goats, destitute, afflicted, mistreated— of whom the world was not worthy—wandering about in deserts and mountains, and in dens and caves of the earth.”

Presenting needs…

While my career is advancing, for the past two Sundays it’s prevented me from going to church. In addition, the variable nature of the schedule prevents me from committing to any sort of ministry involvement. 

While I’ve some close and trusted friends at the local church here, it’s been difficult for me to connect with the body as a whole and to feel like a part of it.

Unlike Newsong and New Philadelphia (which has large and somewhat transient young adult communities), FGLV consists of families that have been here for…. years. They’ve grown up with each other, they’ve gone through the same things, went to the same schools. NP came here originally as a “ministry trip”, so I sort of feel like my place is as the foreign missionary. In addition, this church is not really in the place where they are moving strongly in community. My only perspective is as an outsider, but they seem to be focused on recovering from and addressing internal issues that have existed long before I arrived. 

I do good where I can and when I can. And I have friends out here looking out for me. It’s just really different from any season I’ve been in. My connection with God is less through community and more through reading the Word, listening to podcasts, and private times of prayer. It’s definitely not a bad thing, but I’m feeling a deficit in my life that wasn’t there before. 

Also, how the heck am I going to find a girl who fits my list out here…. 

Right now, I can see God is blessing my career, so I’m going to run with what He’s doing. That’s the best place to be.

Potentially the worst feeling in the world is to accomplish everything you’ve ever wanted to accomplish and still feel unfulfilled. There are rich and famous people destroying their own lives searching for the “more” they never knew they wanted while many of their homeless counterparts live in perpetually perfect peace and why? Because accolades, accomplishments, and “stuff” in general can only change small parts of how you feel, but only He can give you what you’ve been searching for all along: the unmatchable feeling that you need not search anymore.

Ebb and Flow

The ebb and flow of our relationship with God can look like a spool of thread.

Sometimes we’re led to be tightly wrapped, tense, solid. In this state we are confident, overcoming, strong, conquering. We can do great and mighty things, perform tasks much bigger than us, hold strong under the pressure of great trials. Through conviction we strive to see God change us, and change the world, we actively engage hope and faith in the face of adversity.

However, a thread wound too tightly for too long can begin to strain the fibers and fray. That is why God also calls us to unwind, to loosen up and be laid out. In this state we are free to be weak, vulnerable, honest. God repairs us and restrings the frayed fibers of our being, and we can rest, simply knowing that He understands and loves us at the barest levels.

Before I thought it always had to be one or the other, but lately I’ve been realizing that both states are from God. Discernment and wisdom is knowing the time and place for each. Strung too tightly for too long and we can become burned out and crash, confusing our identity with our performance. Strung too loosely for too long and we get comfortable, complacent, self centered, hypocritical. To be both a conquerer and a nurturer, to be both strong and weak, to climb to the top of the mountain yet to know God’s unchanging and perfect satisfaction in you. Listen to His voice, and He will guide you in the fullness of both grace, and truth.

Therefore, when Christ came into the world, he said: “Sacrifice and offering you did not desire, but a body you prepared for me; with burnt offerings and sin offerings you were not pleased. Then I said, ‘Here I am—it is written about me in the scroll— I have come to do your will, my God.’ ” Therefore, brothers and sisters, since we have confidence to enter the Most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way opened for us through the curtain, that is, his body, and since we have a great priest over the house of God, let us draw near to God with a sincere heart and with the full assurance that faith brings, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water. Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful. (Hebrews 10:5-7, 19-23 NIV)

Complaining is just a twisted expression of pain.

Learning how to face and address grief for what it is without expressing it as a complaint will bless your relationship with God and with others greatly.

I must submit to hope!

"but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint."

"No one whose hope is in you will ever be put to shame, but they will be put to shame who are treacherous without excuse."

To Tumblr, Love Pixel Union