Sunday, December 28, 2014

What Is Your Aim?

Let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works. (Hebrews 10:24)

When you get up in the morning and you face a day, what do you say to yourself about your hopes for the day? When you look from the beginning of the day to the end of the day, what do you want to happen because you have lived?

If you say, “I don’t even think like that, I just get up and do what I’ve got to do,” then you are cutting yourself off from a basic means of grace and a source of guidance and strength and fruitfulness and joy. It is crystal clear in the Bible, including this text, that God means for us to aim consciously at something significant in our days.

God’s revealed will for you is that when you get up in the morning, you don’t drift aimlessly through the day letting mere circumstances alone dictate what you do, but that you aim at something — that you focus on a certain kind of purpose. I’m talking about children here, and teenagers, and adults — single, married, widowed, moms, and every trade.

Aimlessness is akin to lifelessness. Dead leaves in the back yard may move around more than anything else — more than the dog, more than the children. The wind blows this way, they go this way. The wind blows that way, they go that way. They tumble, they bounce, they skip, they press against a fence, but they have no aim whatsoever. They are full of motion and empty of life.

God did not create humans in his image to be aimless, like lifeless leaves blown around in the backyard of life. He created us to be purposeful — to have a focus and an aim for all our days. What is yours today?

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Another week has come and gone- quickly. And, honestly, as I'm reflecting back about the last week.... I'm not really sure what I've been doing. Busy- as always. But it doesn't seem like I've accomplished too much or had much time for quiet...or thinking. The truth is- its been a rough week. And I'm afraid I don't deal we'll with stressful situations- being the over-thinking person that I am. And so when there's stress- my peace and quietness and rest just fanish. I become absorbed in the problem- hot to fix it, what I'm supposed to do... whatever. It's interesting that the thankfulness challenge thing was this week- it was a weird clash. Looking for things to be thankful for but being stressed? Yeah. Great combo. So, after a particularly stressful day, I decided to just go for a run. I left my music at home this time because I felt pretty certain my thoughts were loud enough to meet my need of being distracted while I run. ;) I found myself sitting in the grass on one of my favorite little hill tops near the Old Mill District. Feeling pretty tired and frustrated- I just started telling God how...well, tired and frustrated I was! After awhile of pouring all my thoughts out to Him I finally just said, "God, the worst part is I had felt so at peace and then THIS happened and now all my peace is gone!" That's when it hit me. My peace is gone why? Because God has failed me? Because God is unfaithful? Because Gods not in control? No. Only because my circumstances or the event of the day had changed. Which made me wonder- what is my peace and rest really grounded in? God? Or my current situation? After realizing that,  more important than a stressful circumstance, is my attitude toward a stressful circumstance. Don't I believe that I can have peace in God even when things don't seem to be going well? Isn't God still in control? Then my prayer, instead of asking God to change the circumstance, was to ask Him to change me/my heart/my attitude during the circumstance. To help me to trust Him with it- the there's really no reason why i should be walking around moody or worried or stressed. So, while I may have missed out on quiet and peace this week? Here's to a more quiet and peaceful next week! ;)

Monday, September 15, 2014

".... and He took the loaves and gave thanks, and brake,
and gave to His disciples to set before them,
and they did set before the people."
~ Mark 8:6

In order to have anything to give to others, you must first be receiving from Jesus.  The best thing you can do for others is to have a strong relationship with Jesus.  To be walking with Him, hearing from Him daily. "Knowing God, and spending time with Him are the only ways that He is going to increase and we are going to decrease."  Just some gleanings from this Sunday's meeting... 

Sunday, September 7, 2014

I was encouraged last night talking to a good friend. We were discussing the same thing we've pretty much been discussing for, well, years!  What's my "calling"? What am I supposed to be doing with my life? What's the point? What's the goal? Where am I going? I think as we get older- okay, not really that old- but a little older..haha.. We become more and more concerned. "Shouldn't I at least have an idea about Gods will for my future by now? Shouldn't I be going somewhere?" 
Over the last few years I've been *doing* a lot of things. Surprisingly none of which has made me feel holier, closer to God or more directed as an individual. Which leads me to believe that maybe its not "the big things" that are actually the important things. In my focus on wanting to "do something with my life", maybe I have missed the importance of just the daily walk with Jesus. Daily seeking him, daily reading his word, daily bringing him the cares and worries and joys of the day, hearing his voice.. that is the big thing. Not being in the training program or being on the mission field.. those may be good things, and God certainly uses them in our lives. But I have learned firsthand that you can be doing those things and that does not necessarily mean you are walking with Jesus.
We tend to compartmentalism our lives- the spiritual things we do and the normal things. I think we miss so much in that way of thinking! So whether I am on the mission field or just doing the normal things like working and shopping and cleaning... it doesn't matter. What matters is my daily decision to be a disciple of Jesus and to follow Him. That is my calling. To follow Him. And, where he leads me and what he shows me to do? Well, that is up to him, in his hands and in his timing. And he is faithful to lead us and to show us his will if we truly desire it.
I read this this morning and found it applicable:
"Gods will for you is that when you get up in the morning you don't drift aimlessly through the day letting mere circumstance dictate what you do, but that you aim at something- that you focus on ascertain kind of purpose. Aimlessness is akin to lifelessness." - John Piper

Saturday, September 6, 2014

I have missed these quiet, peaceful moments.  It is so nice to finally stop moving.  To unpack, to read my Bible in the morning, to go for a walk, to sit in a coffee shop, to spend time alone, to spend time in prayer, to listen to music, to sleep...  quiet.  You don't realize how nice it is until it's gone!
I am sure this time will go by all too fast and soon I'll be working again and busy- but, for now- I'm just enjoying this season of quiet. :)
I have been spending a lot of time looking for work, applying at different places and all that. Sometimes I get a little freaked out about it. Thinking about when my family leaves, about living alone, about the cost of rent, fuel, food, bills... Sometimes it sounds like a lot- and it looks pretty overwhelming!  But, it is in times like these that I am so thankful that I have a God who is faithful- who provides for my needs- who knows all that lies ahead of me.  He truly is my Rock.  And, I'm even thankful that, even though it is often not easy or comfortable, He keeps putting me in a position where I have no choice but to rely on Him. And I am thankful to find He is always there.
And, not just for me- but also for the ones I care about.  I know my family- all of us- have some huge changes and difficulties ahead.  I have really been concerned for those in my family who are going back to Bangladesh.  It's so hard there... and I worry for them.  But, again, in the end- God is faithful. And I am grateful that I can just give Him all those worries and fears and troubles.

"Casting all your care upon Him, for He careth for you."

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

We finally made it to Bend.  And it actually feels like coming home.  I'm very glad... it feels good to be back.  Walking into our new apartment was so nice... everything was so nice, and clean and ready for us!  I am really, really thankful.  It's awesome. :)  And now, the search for a job begins.. I'm just trusting God's gonna put me in the right place.  All the same- it's a little daunting.  There's a lot of changes going on in my life right now!
Conference was great this year- different, but in a good way. :) I honestly had expected to really enjoy the teaching/meetings more than I did... but I still could see where God has been speaking to my heart about my attitude towards other people. I was really encouraged by different conversations with people and several testimonies that were shared.. and convicted about my quickness in judging people or dismissing them simply because they are either too holy or not holy enough for my standards. I want to have a gracious heart towards people, that allows for differences and gives people room for growth and change. Just as I would want people to deal with me! I want to be quick to see the good things in people.  It's so easy to evaluate people based on outwards things- and not on their heart.  It's easy to misunderstand people when they are going through a difficult time. Or to judge them based on past failures. It's difficult to show them grace and patience. I was just convicted about my quickness in judging people and being dismissive with them and how little I actually pray for them.  I read these verses in Romans yesterday, kind of a lot I know, but I they were very meaningful to me. ;)

"Who are though that judgest another man's servant? to his own master he standeth or falleth.  Ya, he shall be holden up: for God is able to make him stand." -Rom. 4:4

"We then that are strong ought to bear the infirmities of the weak, and not to please ourselves." -Rom. 15:1

"Let's decide not to do anything that will cause a problem for a brother or sister or hurt their faith. " -Rom. 14:13 ERV

"Christ accepted you, so you should accept each other.  This will bring honor to God." -Rom. 15:7 ERV

I was also just really encouraged to see God's faithfulness in people's lives. I don't know how many people I heard say they were going through a hard time- or even the hardest time of their lives- but God has been faithful to keep them and they still have a heart to follow Him. And, it was also very relate able for me this past year. So, we're all messy people with all these problems, but God is so faithful to keep us.  And that's awesome. :)