Monday, April 28, 2008
In the mean time...
here's a question that was randomly asked by an Aimer in my service project group at Workshop that left an impression on me, because it really made me think.
What's your favorite thing about God? why?
Friday, April 18, 2008
So, here it goes...
You know how little stuff can just pile up until it becomes one big heavy burden? that's how it's come about (little things such as school in general right now...) and that's how I feel...weighed down/frustrated/confused. I'll stick to the iceing on the cake. The iceing on the cake was the game Saturday night. Sure it was a close and frustrating game, but that's not it. It's the fact that I didn't play at all. It wouldn't be such a big deal, but we've been training hard all week for State (even through pouring rain) and I've seen myself improve quite a bit just this week...and to not even get to play a little bit? I can't help but ask myself, "Is my best not good enough... or am I just not trying hard enough?" On top of that Randy came to watch me play and well, he didn't get to see me play. It was embarassing after the game, people coming up to me not knowing what to say...saying good job anyway... Sunday morning being recognized as a state champion along with Catie when I didn't do anything to contribute to the game at all...those reminders.
I've been having a hard time deciding if I wanted to go to tri-state this weekend or to the advance. I was leaning towards going to tri-state, but, Now, more than ever, I really don't know. cuz I mean really... would I get to play? I hate saying all this stuff cuz it's negative thinking, but i'd be lying if I tried to say anything else. I feel like such a failure...useless...alone...
Also, everything I've just said is a parallel to my spiritual life currently. I feel disconnected...useless. I know it's the devils doing, finigling his way into my thoughts, but they're there nonetheless. I find myself stifling my true passion and emotions. God puts things on my heart during discussions at church, and at school, but more often than not something holds me back. Plus, all that I gained from the totally dependent experiment...I've begun to slowly lose my grip on. My life has started to become sectioned again into school and church, but I don't want it to be. My heart cries out. I want to be one with the spirit, with my abba father. I want my entire life to be about and for him, but it's so hard. Often I find that I long for the very things that I want to berid of and I'm often afraid of the things that I long to posses and be apart of... My heart and spirit, my whole being cries out to the lamb.
Thanks for listening...
"I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do. And if I do what I do not want to do, I agree that the law is good. As it is, it is no longer I myself who do it, but it is sin living in me. I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. For what I do is not the good I want to do; no, the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing. Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it. " ~Romans 7: 15-20~
~Please keep me in your prayers.~
Friday, April 11, 2008
I love all of you and am excited to be part of this God filled blogging community.
I have noticed myself being more focused on my Father throughout my day which has begun to lead to an attitude change for the most part. God has really opened my eyes this week and allowed me to see what he can do with my life if I just let him.
I got to thinking and my life is really like a road trip. I guarantee you that if we just give God the wheel he'd gladly take it for us. My problem is that sometimes I get where I don't like the direction that God is driving and so i try to grab the wheel and make a u turn, because I'm scared. I don't doubt what God can do, but i doubt myself. I'm a vessel God's driving/using and that's an awesome thought, but at the same time it can be intimidating; if I give God the wheel who knows where I'll go. Some places may challenge me and be very uncomfortable, but that's the beauty about God, He knows just what we need and when we need them and we've got to go through those tight places in order to grow. And that's where totally depending on Him really comes in. I've got to let him be the driver of my life.
God thank you so much for the opportunity to do this with my fellow brothers and sisters in Christ. Continue to be with us as we learn to become totally dependent on you.
I Peter 4:6-7"Humble yourselves, therefore, under God's mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you..."
Well, for starters, my week didn't start out so great. I had this huge research paper due Friday and I was going to get a large portion of it done monday, because we had school off. The next thing you know my day is pretty much gone and I've done none of my paper. I look back at my day and realize that I made no efforts to totally depend on my God and let him take care of my day. Instead, I had filled my day with distractions like the computer and T.V..By the time I had reached the end of my day I was a complete wreck. I had already begun to stress about my paper and I had the whole week ahead of me.
Before you know it I find myself in my mothers arms at the feet of our Father. Together, we did what I should have been doing all day. (It's amazing how God uses other people to help us refocus.) We gave it to God...told him that I couldn't do this alone, without Him. It was out of my control...that was obvious...and it was all him.
Looking back on that week It was definately apparent that God was working. Wouldn't you know that my paper came together smoothly even after the rough start, and I had remotely no stress the rest of the week? In fact, this was the first paper, if I remember correctly, that I have written with relatively no stress, rather I had this unexplainable peace that was with me. Also, through out all this somehow I had an overall positive attitude/perspective. The only explanation is God. I give him the glory. Isn't our God amazing?
Father, I thank you so much for being with me through this, however small it may be, and giving me a glimpse of you, your awesome power, and your love. I ask that you continue to walk with me and guide me as I strive to become more dependant on you.
Philippians 2:13"...for it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose."
I guess that's really where it all starts. Relying on God to dig through all my mess, make sense of it, and turn it into something glorious...a feat only our God can accomplish. And even further into the heart of it...relying on God to help me rely on Him. This idea is something I've noticed over and over again, especially this week. I cannot depend on my God without his constant help, for apart from Him I can do nothing.
In all honesty though, I find myself, not necessarily trying to but none-the-less, living either without searching for that depending help from God or living without depending on Him at all. It's so hard and, especially for me, can be really discouraging/ disheartening. All too often I discover that I have hindered myself from depending on Him. My selfish desires, impatience, and pride get in the way and in reality cut off that connection. Many times, even after pleading with God to remind me that I need that dependent connection with him, I'll get distracted and forget throughout the course of my day.
So I find myself absentmindedly attempting to handle the normal 'small' things. Like several people I've talked to, I have no problem giving God the big things, because I know without a doubt that I can't handle those on my own. However, the smaller things...I can easily deceive myself into thinking that somehow I can handle those . No biggie right? psh...ya right. Apart from God I can do nothing! And the thing that throws me is why that's even appealing to me. I mean it should be obvious that every time I try to meddle in something that I know won't do any good, especially things like this that the Lord himself can take care of, that the opposite of good usually happens. Anything has the potential to be good...especially where God is concerned...but If I try it myself, it can potentially come out all wrong. And then I can become more discouraged than before; deeper in my problems/ struggles...and what good does that do? Nothing! Absolutely nothing. So, after analyzing all this...the root of the matter is obvious. I need my God.
Abba, I ask that you'll constantly remind me how much I need you and the nothingness that I am without you. I need you to help me rely on you to help me depend on you. Father I need you, more than I've ever needed anything...I need you and I plead for your constant help and presence to be with me wherever I am. Give me the strength and patience to set aside myself so you can truly come in and do what only you can do...For apart from you, I can do nothing.
James 4:7-8 "Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Come near to God and he will come near to you."
The ski trip was a real eye opener for me. First of all, the majestic mountains. I'd been to Colorado before, but it had been awhile and I'd obviously forgotten just how beautifully breathtaking God's hand crafted mountains are. The way they radiated God's awesome power was incredible. It made me once again realize what a...truly indescribable God we serve. And it made me think, why wouldn't I want to be totally dependent on Him? I know why I'm not dependent 24/7, I get in the way, but I do know that even as this experiment draws to an end I want to totally depend on God and to continue to grow in my relationship with Him.
Also, for those of you that don't know, my picture here is currently a little deceiving. I don't quite look like this, although I'm getting there, but during the ski trip I had an accident. All I can say is that the Lord was watching over me. I was going pretty fast on my skis, maybe too fast, on a rather steep hill and I came to an area that said "no jumping". Well, by the time I had read the sign, which wasn't very (for lack of a better word) jump-out-at-you-ish in the first place, I found that I had no time to try and stop myself, or so I thought. So, on I sped until I came to small drop off right past the "no jumping" sign. Into the air I flew, and with no where else to go but down and with no idea how to land a jump...you can guess what happened. My face pretty quickly and very forcefully became acquainted with the ice. I began to rise from the ground when I looked around me and saw blood all over the ground. "Is that mine?" I thought. From that point on I was in a daze, and several parts of this I don't even remember. But I've been told that almost immediately a doctor who happened to be skiing by stopped and looked me over and a ski instructor came by and helped out too. Also, I was blessed to have a good majority of our group near enough to see it happen and to quickly get help. My injuries could have been a lot worse. I scraped by with a bruised and bloody nose, a few scratches on my face, a punctured lip, and a black eye. I could have easily broken something and even worse...I can't help but think that with the height of the fall that I took...well, let's just say that that's the closest to death I've ever come and it really gets you thinking. It makes me realize just how much we depend on God sometimes whether we even mean to or not. We are so small and relatively insignificant yet He loves us and wants us to choose to depend on Him. He doesn't give us anything we can't bear and in reality depending on Him, even though it's hard, is a blessed opportunity that He gives us. Sometimes, especially when it gets really hard and when we fall, He gives us people to stabilize us and pull us back to our feet ( just like he did with the people in my skiing situation). Just so long as we don't start depending on the helpers in place of God, which is easy to do.
As this experiment draws to a close I pray that it will have served its purpose. That I won't have been dependent on it, but my God through it and that I'll continue to depend on God in everything and grow in my relationship with Him.
Abba, I cry out with all of my heart. I pray that you'll be with me and with my fellow brothers and sisters that have been through this experiment as it draws to a close. I thank you for the opportunity it presented and for the impact it can potentially have on our lives as a whole. I pray that we will continue to pursue a relationship with you and that as we do so we will remember to totally depend on you, our Rock and Redeemer.
Luke 10:41-42 "You are worried and upset about many things, but only one thing is needed. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her."
Through out my life and even just through this experiment I've been through and experienced a lot. I just found the above quote and thought it was appropriate. It may not be dead on, but it pretty well describes for me at least, the way this experiment revealed things to me and the way I generally see things. At one point if you were to ask me if and how the experiment changed my life I would have had a hard time answering you with confidence, because it was hard to see the small and subtle changes that were taking place. I wasn't looking through God's eyes. But now that I look back on it I can honestly say that it has begun to change my life, even if the changes are slight.
This experiment really opened my eyes, in many ways, but especially to the truth that God is always at work even in the small seemingly insignificant things. No matter what I do, he'll be at work and I can't stop that. All I can do is hinder him from working in/through me. I don't want to get in the way. With all of my heart I wish to continue to, with His help, overcome this foolishness that I can find myself in and wish to completely set aside myself, and instead depend on God. It really is the least I can do for all that he's done for me. After all, he has set me aside as his Child...I am a child of the most high God. 'Child of God' and 'Christian' are more than just titles though. They are a way of life-who we are and who we become- and in that we have choices. Now we obviously aren't always going to make the right ones. In fact, on the contrary, quite the opposite. However, no matter the mistakes we make in life I know for a fact that so long as we continue to choose Christ, He won't let us fall.
Something else that this experience has brought to the forefront of my mind has been that the relationship I have with my Abba is not just for my benefit and it doesn't only affect me. I've been guilty of living my life in sections. I had a school section and a Church section. My spiritual life wasn't a constant normal in my life like it should be. Even now it's hard to make it so with all the pressures of the world, but I can just as easily resist those pressures with God's help and add a little of God's 'push' by the way I live. Am I living like a Christ-ian? If I am, and even if I'm not, I affect people around me in someway. I just have the choice to whether the impressions I leave are going to be positive or negative on my end and in that whether I'm going to let God govern my thoughts and my actions. I understand that It's hard and that many times I'll be called to be a fool for Christ, but so long as I'm listening to the voice of truth and living out what it calls me to do I trust that I have nothing to fear, for He knows best and knows what he's talking about no matter how crazy or difficult the request may seem at the time.
I know I'm going to miss this experiment, but its end is really the beginning. It's a challenge to see if the experiment served its purpose. Will I continue to grow in my dependence on God? Will it become apart of who I am and the way I live my every day life? And, if nothing else, It's a realization of how much I depend on God, of how much I need him. With that realization comes the beginning of an opportunity to grow closer to Christ and to continue to depend more on him rather than the temporary things-including myself apart from him.
Abba Father, I thank you so much for the opportunity that this totally dependent mindset experiment gave me and my fellow brothers and sisters. I pray that even though the experiment has drawn to a final close, that its impact will not be forgotten and that we'll let it be a reminder of how much we need you. Let this be the beginning of an opportunity to grow closer to you and to continue to learn how to totally depend on you. We need you Lord, in all we do, for apart from you we can do nothing. I love you. With all my heart, your daughter
Psalm 19:14 "May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, O Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer."