The Move

Well after I completely surrendered our move to God, and I got myself mentally and emotionally ready to head out this year, my dad made his final descision—we’re not moving. YAY!!!! So I’ll get to keep on with these peeps for the next year, which makes me very happy.

On another note–ever wonder about your income and what being a “good steward” of what God has given you looks like? Check out Mark Driscoll’s sermon from today at their website which you can get to from here. NOTE: THIS SERMON IS NOT FOR THE WEAK MINDED IN AREAS OF FINANCES. YOU WILL BE CHALLENGED….

June 22, 2008. Tags: , , , , . Lessons from God. Leave a comment.

Alabama

A couple of days ago I had a bombshell dropped on me. Not literally. I’m starting my senior year (which is still really strange to think about…) and all those things that you look forward to and dream about from the time you know what a senior is, well all that’s starting and I was really excited.

Then I came home from work one evening to find my dad talking about this job he phone interviewed for. Cool. He’s been trying to get a new job for a while, but my parents already told me they wouldn’t actually move out of the area until I graduated, so I thought nothing of it. At dinner, my dad talked all about the job and then said, “but it means we’d have to move.” Oh. Where? “To Alabama.”

………………………………………………………………………

I’m sorry to anyone who lives in Alabama, but from the center of the technological, fashionable, upscale part of the nation, Alabama seems like the middle of nowhere to me. Obviously I was crushed. I can’t imagine moving at the very beginning of my senior year to a whole new neighborhood, with a whole new church, and a whole lack of friends, in a whole new state across the nation. All this, and I’ve never moved in my life. Not even within this state.

So needless to say I’m kinda shocked and taken aback by the possiblilty of moving the summer before my long-awaited senior year. I could tell you that I’m just trusting God and will be totally fine with moving. But that’s not the truth. I’m devestated by the thought, and it will take A LOT of getting used to if it comes to be. Right now we’re waiting to find out more info. They’re planning on flying my dad in sometime soon to do the face to face interview. We’ll know more then.

The day after this bombshell dropped on me, God plopped this song into my lap. It’s called “Surrender” by BarlowGirl. The words couldn’t portray more accurately how I feel, but I’m still working on the “surrendering” part….

 Lyrics go something like this:

“My hands hold safely to my dreams
Clutching so tightly not one has fallen
So many years I’ve shaped each one
Reflecting my heart, showing who I am.
And now you’re asking me to show
What I’m holding oh so tightly?
Can’t open my hands can’t let go
Does it matter? Should I show you?
Or can’t you let me go?

Surrender. Surrender.
You whisper gently.
You say I can be free,
I know but can’t you see,
My dreams are me. My dreams are me.

You say you have a plan for me,
That you want the best for my life.
Told me the world has yet to see
What you can do with one that’s committed to your call.
I know of course what I should do,
That I can’t hold these dreams forever.
But if I give them all to you,
Will you take them away for ever?
Or can I dream again?”

 

June 14, 2008. Lessons from God. 1 comment.

The Doldrums

Pretty much the title sums it up. In my life, I’ve been not doing much and thus not learning many new lessons. However this evening I did learn something very cool—there are some guys out there who really do care about being gentlemen like I posted on earlier. I was at a friend’s graduation party, and this one guy and I actually got in a long discussion about guys and how flippant most of them are these days, and how they just take and use girls and very rarely actuallyl get to know them in God-honoring relationships. Thus, why I’m not dating for a while. But anyway, I found out this kid really does strive to please God by being courteous. It was great. Made me happy.

For all you ladies out there who are waiting for that “perfect gentleman”…..THERE’S HOPE!!!!!! The great thing is I actually had a similar e-mail discussion with an amazing guy who I really respect as a man of God (he’s my age) and he said the same thing. Don’t give up–there are real guys like that out there….and they’re not all scary nerds. 😀 ……nothing against nerds, I just can’t see myself marrying one.

Especially as I get older and still have never dated. Still have never kissed a guy (well, not one that counts…5-year-old and stage kisses don’t count). Still never told a guy “I love you” in a romantic way, it gets really hard because I see all my friends “falling in love” and being “so happy”.

So the point of this post? Whether a guy or girl keep your standards high, and wait for that “perfect guy/girl” God has for you. Don’t give in to pressure, and honor the Lord in all you do. If I’ve waited all my life to date, so can you. And one day we’ll meet that “special person.” I can’t wait.

Oh, P.S. the Mars Hill sermon was amazing today!! It was about the Church and its role and everything else you’ve ever wanted to know…. I’m sure they’ll post it soon so stay tuned on their website!!

June 8, 2008. Tags: , , , , . Lessons from God. 2 comments.

A different kind of fast

This week I’m fasting from my cell phone. For one week (Saturday to Saturday) my mom has my phone so I won’t be calling, texting, or playing cell phone games during that time. It’s really hard since I’m one of those people who “has to have” their phone. I challenge you to join me–find something you “can’t live without” but that hinders your relationship with God, family, or your ability to do school and give it up for a week, minimum.

June 3, 2008. Lessons from God. 5 comments.

Living the Authentic Life

I looked up the definition of “authentic” because it’s a word we hear often regarding the way we should live our Christian lives. Here’s what dictionary.com has to say:

“authentic- adj.

  1. not false or copied; genuine; real
  2. having the origin supported by unquestionable evidence; authenticated; verified
  3. entitled to acceptance or belief because of agreement with known facts or experience; reliable; trustworthy”

In the last two meanings, the Christian faith is certainly authentic. It has been proved by various people and resources, and is very reliable. But the other kind of authentic is what I was thinking of.

What does that mean?

What does it look like to live an authentic faith? I’ll tell you what it does not look like.

Three teenage girls sat in the youth room of the church one Wednesday afternoon. The main building was being used for a kids’ program, and all 3 girls were waiting for that to end.

“Have you heard about what Katie did to me?” Karissa asks. “I thought she was my best friend, but apparently not. She started spreading rumors about me, and then denied it to my face. THEN she started texting Kyle just because she knows I’m still upset with him for breaking up with me. And she calls herself a Christian.”

Tears ensue and the three girls sit and talk for the next half hour.

True story. How do I know? I was there. Names have been changed, but Katie, Kyle, and Karissa really do go to my youth group. It’s easy at first to say, “wow Katie was really horrible and sure wasn’t living out her faith.” True. Katie didn’t behave like Karissa’s sister in Christ, but Karissa was also at fault. So often we forget about the “little sins” like the gossiping that Karissa was doing, or the listening to gossip that the other girl and I were doing. If we authentically love Jesus, we won’t backstab or gossip or spread rumors about others.

Here’s another story.

After church one Sunday, a group of teens decided to head to their local Triple-X Rootbeer resturant for lunch. With such a big group, the cashier and cooks were curious where they were from, and one mentioned they were from a church youth group, just chillin together. The cashier and cooks said that was cool and proceeded to ring up and serve the food. After they finished their meal, one of the guys asked a waiter where we could put a tip, and he pointed out the tip jar. Every single one of the teens individually tipped the employees, the amounts ranging from 50 cents to $5. The cashier, waiter, and cooks all stood dumbfounded, watching it happen and said, “that’s so cool you guys, no one has ever done that before. Thanks a lot.”

This youth group was able to show the employees what being a Christian is all about–love. I have to wonder if after they closed up shop and counted tips if they couldn’t help but remember that big group of church kids. This is what living authentically is all about. If someone is in need, help them. If someone cuts in front of you, let them. If you recieve help from someone, thank them.

My personal application looks something like this… It’s been hitting me a lot about how people know I’m a Christian, but I’m rude, I gossip, and I don’t (always) tip people. What do those around me (especially people at work) think when they see me behaving just like everyone else, when they know I’m a Christian? Where is my focus when I’m gossiping, jumping on someone’s case, or being bossy? It’s on me, what I can gain from the situation, or how I’ve been hurt instead of on Jesus, what He’s done for me, and how He can be glorified. I’ve found that reading my Bible at night, and a book like Do Hard Things in the morning helps me re-focus on Jesus and what HE wants from me every day.

June 2, 2008. Lessons from God. 2 comments.