Friday, September 30, 2011

STOP....fasting time...???


inspiration: fasting and praying and seeking

i'm an introvert.
i often get the "no, you're not..." look from people when i say that.
don't get me wrong, i love meeting new people.
i love connecting with people and getting to know them.

but i thrive on my alone time.
i thrive on time in my own head.
if i'm constantly around people, it drains me.

i hope i don't sound too cheesy when i say this, but i think God gave me the gift of introversion to make me STOP.

and think.
and reflect.
and pray.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

own your ministry

inspiration: Rick Warren's The Purpose Driven Life and a conversation with my sister


a few months ago, i wrote about a particular "ministry" that i felt God was calling me into.
http://faithoverflow.blogspot.com/2011/04/my.html
i still don't have a clue what it looks like or will present itself as.
all i know is that it's deeply embedded on my heart.


and this past week, i've had several "God encounters" and this ministry of mine has been brought back to the forefront of my mind.



Friday, September 23, 2011

propiti-what??

inspiration: Wes' message last night at theWell

first off, i must say, i need to be more intentional about making time to write.
last night's message was amazing but i feel like it's not going to be as good because it's already 24 hours old and not as fresh. but i will definitely try and do it justice!

what i took away from last night's message was this.
and it's the essential core of the gospel: GOD'S LOVE IS RADICAL!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

aytch-too-ohhh

inspiration: a desire to see access to clean water to underdeveloped and developing countries.




The fact that over 5000 children die every day from lack of clean water breaks my heart.

I cringe when I get my water bill and complain when it's "too high".
But there are billions of people in the world that don't even have access to clean water.
...and lately, it's been on my heart to do my part to lower that number in some way.

Granted, I can't change the world, try as I may.
But God can.
...and so if you're reading this, please just take a few minutes to pray for me as I try and figure out what my part is in making clean water a reality for those who don't currently have it.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

just one.

inspiration: The Hole in Our Gospel


so i've been reading The Hole in Our Gospel by Rich Stearns.
powerful.
amazing.
inspirational.

it's my new "Radical" - like i'm pretty sure anyone who knows me knows how much i love Radical (so much so that i was under "book-smuggling-watch" when we were handing them out at theWell on Thursday ;))

but The Hole in Our Gospel is even more personal.
reading Rich's story and reading the hard-hitting facts has been eye-opening and heart-piercing.

Friday, September 16, 2011

radical circle of life

inspiration: living out a Radical faith

time.
it changes us.

if you had asked me two years ago what i wanted my legacy to be, it would've probably been something along the lines of "i want to be remembered for my attitude, my accomplishments, my (fill in the blank)"

...a lot of the personal pronoun "my" in that, don't ya think?

but now, i want it to be about the passion and love that i have for Christ.
...not me. but Christ who dwells in me.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

where were you when the world stopped turning...

inspiration: 10th anniversary of September 11

seventh grade search class.
i remember mrs. cooper turning on the news (even though, i don't think technically she was supposed to).
saw the breaking news of the towers getting hit.

i guess as a seventh grader, i never realized how much of an impact it had and would have on the decade to follow. in my world, terrorism didn't exist - i didn't know anything about it. i was busy doing extra credit word puzzles (yes, that's what i did in search class) and making sure i didn't make eye contact with boys (which i didn't very often. middle school was awkward for me...).

...but now, looking back, it's one of those things that i will always remember what i was doing.
it's one of those moments that changed the world as we know it.

Friday, September 9, 2011

only by His grace...

inspiration: Jonny Sharp's message at theWell last night


"Am I taking God for granted?"
"Do I approach God with fear and reverence?"


Those two questions were ones that Jonny Sharp posed to us last night.
Two very tough questions.
Two questions that caused me to really stop.


...and think...

Monday, September 5, 2011

saying yes...

inspiration: Isaiah 26:8


i've written several blogs about how much of a control freak i am:


"Control Freaks Anonymous"
"my caveat for Christianity"


...and there are probably a handful more.


but as i grow more and more in maturity in my relationship with God, i realize just how much He has done in me over the last two years because i've been willing to die daily to myself and to surrender my plans in order that His will may be done in my life.


i finally buried the hatchet, so to speak, with some relationship struggles i had been having. once i realized that 1) i was in the wrong for idolizing someone and 2) coming to terms with the fact that God's thoughts and plans are much higher than my thoughts and plans, i found true peace. surrendering my desire for a relationship has truly opened doors for stepping out in faith.



Sunday, September 4, 2011

in light of eternity...

inspiration: The Purpose Driven Life by Rick Warren


i started reading through The Purpose Driven Life by Rick Warren.
as much as i want to breeze through it, i'm taking the 40 days to read through it so that i can truly soak up every nugget of wisdom that he brings.


i've gotta be honest, i was being challenged to my core within the first few days of reading it; in fact, i still am.





sure, i know what my life is about - who i'm living my life for; what my "purpose" is...at least i thought i did.


until i got to day four (Made to Last Forever):
"When you fully comprehend that there is more to life than just here and now, and you realize that life is just preparation for eternity, you will begin to live differently. You will start living in light of eternity, and that will color how you handle every relationship, task, and circumstance." (37)
...and taking a slight step back, one of the last lines for day three (What on Earth Am I Here For) truly convicted me: "You weren't put on earth to be remembered. You were put here to prepare for eternity." (33-34)


ouch.
if i'm honest, up until a little over a week ago, i was worried about the legacy i'd leave behind.
granted, i want everything about my life and the legacy i leave to be a reflection of my heart for Jesus. and i still do, don't get me wrong.


but i've been shaken to the core and challenged not to focus on things here on earth, but to prepare my heart for what lies ahead in light of eternity. my time here is only a dot on a line - i will spend more time in Heaven than i ever will on earth.


life here isn't just about living life to the fullest, as i'm guilty of proclaiming.
it's also about preparing for eternity with God.
we can't go on thinking that life here is all there is - there's an eternity with Jesus that we have to look forward to! and once we leave this earth, we get to experience that!


we aren't perfect here, but as soon as we begin our eternal life with God, we will be! and everything - no matter how big or small - is preparing us for that day.


"When you understand that life is a test, you realize that nothing is insignificant in your life. Even the smallest incident has significance for your character development." (43)
When we realize that our lives here aren't about us, but about bringing praise and worship and glory and honor to God and surrendering our hearts and desires and lives to Him, we come to understand what true joy and peace is!
"When you live in light of eternity, your focus changes from "How much pleasure am I getting out of life?" to "How much pleasure is God getting out of my life?" (76)
i am continually being reminded just how powerless and insignificant i am in light of eternity. But it isn't making me sad or depressed by any means, because i know that everything is preparing me FOR eternity!


i definitely encourage you to begin reading The Purpose Driven Life if you haven't already.
it may challenge you.
it may make you re-evaluate the life you've been living.
it may change you.
but in light of eternity, isn't that what we should want? shouldn't we want to be prepared for the life after this?

Friday, September 2, 2011

humbled by grace.

inspiration: a video from theWell last night.

this is kind of part two from the message last night.
i wanted to make this a separate blog because there was just so much more that i wanted to say and express and i thought two blogs would be easiest to do that.
Check out my blog about last night's sermon here

i couldn't find the actual video that they showed - but last night at the end of the message, before we had table discussions, we watched a video featuring John Knight and his family.
Ernest sent me the link:

This was grace - short film from Andrew Laparra on Vimeo.


Here is the link as well: http://vimeo.com/11560198

his son is blind, autistic, and has a growth hormone deficiency.
his wife also revealed that she has stage 4 breast cancer.

it wasn't the bad news that struck me.
it wasn't their circumstances that made me cry (i admit, i had quite a bit of eye leakage after watching it).
it was their joy that convicted me of my own selfishness.
it was hearing Paul singing "Jesus Loves The Little Children" that made tears swell.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

wrestling with God.

inspiration: Closing Arguments - Week Two.

earlier this afternoon, Pastor Ernest tweeted: "Still writing my message for @theWell_CHS tomorrow..this is proving to be one of the most diff messages I have spoken"

i responded with: "diff as in "different" or diff as in "difficult"...i know twitter is only 140 characters, but some words you just gotta spell out ;)"

i like to poke fun at and give Pastor Ernest a hard time (mostly because in the 7 months that I've been attending theWell, I've gotten hit by him with a football, volleyball, and various verbal spears) - but i'm thankful for all the he and Jonny Sharp and Mel and Chris Russo and Wes and everyone else at theWell have done for me and all the blessings and opportunities that have come from them.

but to be honest, tonight's message was definitely not an easy one to hear. it was all about God's judgment. ...not exactly a lighthearted, warm and fuzzy sermon