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Posts Tagged ‘trust’

He knows.

February 2, 2011 1 comment

I’ve been here in New Orleans for almost 5 full weeks now, and most days I find myself breaking down in tears. In the shower, at my desk while trying to reading my Bible, in my car once arriving back at my apartment from wherever, and especially while trying to worship at church.

Tonight is no different. I had a crying session in the shower after a basketball game, and then calmed myself down enough to eat a bowl of cereal (which is a huge victory these days). And when I was catching up on my blogs, I came across this post from Jon Acuff. I read it when it was originally posted, and it touched me then. But tonight, it was as if God was speaking right to me through Acuff’s words, namely this section:

““I know, my son, I know. I know, my daughter, I know. That thing you wanted is not going to happen. Not the way you’ve always dreamed. I know this hurts. I know this stings. I know you feel like I am distant or not aware of where you are and who hurt you and what you think life was supposed to be like. I know in moments like this you doubt that I can count the hairs on your head or have your best in mind. But please, I am not done. I have barely started to reveal your life to you. I am the God who satisfies your desires with good things. That is me! And when it comes to your hopes and your fears and your dreams, I know, my son, I know.”

I think of this moment as the “soft x.”

I think of the tenderness of Israel with his arms outstretched and crossed. I think of our desires and our dreams and the times they don’t work. And above all, I think of a God who wants to tell you he hears you, he loves, he knows you. He is not disconnected or disinterested in who you are and who you want to be. Today, he says,

“I know, my son, I know.””

It’s all I have to cling to right now. That God knows how I’m feeling every moment. He knows.

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Categories: Life Tags: , , , , ,

affirmations.

06.20 (608, Jon Weece) He is calling us to leave our nets behind. Nets of our comfortable vocation to where He’s calling us, where He will provide.
Obedience to Jesus Christ is the number one thing for a disciple. Peter wasn’t influential, but obedient. Jesus doesn’t want people with influence to increase their faithfulness, but people who are faithful to increase their influence.

7.1 (Romans small group study) God has equipped me with everything I need for ministry. I pray for increase in wisdom and increase in faith only. I have everything else already. I am completely equipped!

7.4 (Mike Brady) We are called to be responders, not initiators. Faith is responding to Gods promises.

7.13 (My Utmost for His Highest, Oswald Chambers) “Over and over again God has to remove our friends in order to bring Himself in their place, and that is where we faint and fail and get discouraged.” “It must be God first, God second, and God third, until life is faced steadily with God and no one else is of any account whatever.”

8.22 (608, Jon Weece) Acts 17:26, …God has determined the exact place for me to live.
Never be afraid to trust an unknown future to a known God.

God has given me a vision that doesn’t fit my circumstances.
I can’t speak for myself.
I can’t make plans for myself.
I only exist as an end to the glory of God.

Categories: Life, Ministry Tags: , , , ,

when is it ‘acceptable’?

So I was going to write a post about how your first summer out of college is when you realize you’re grown up because all your friends go home and… you still go to work. Nothing changes. But then something came up today and prompted this post.

When you graduate from college, or even during college, people move. If not to another city or state, at least away from their college campus. But what are the reasons for these moves? And which are “acceptable” by “them”?

A Job. This is termed the most acceptable reason to pick up your life and move it elsewhere, because it is seen as going forward. I almost moved for this reason to Louisville, but my job fell through the week of my college graduation.

A Spouse/Lover. Unfortunately, in America at least, this is less acceptable than moving for a job. I know if I ever am faced with this opportunity, I will take it.

A Calling. Many may not understand this reason, but personally, this is the most important reason to do anything. But because it can only be perceived by the one doing the moving, it’s hard to convince others of the importance of it. This is how I ended up in Kentucky for college from Florida.

Something new/different (no reason in particular). I have seen acquaintances pick up and change venues, many times to a different state, just for a change. While I completely understand the feeling for this, I believe many times this can be solved by a new hobby, place to volunteer, or circle of friends. I have seen how these decisions are treated, as though the mover is immature and impulsive. It is most definitely considered the least acceptable.

And so I am faced with a choice. I am stuck somewhere between the third and the fourth reasons for a move. I have to ask myself if God is calling me to the city itself, and whether or not I can deal with the fact that many, including my parents, will see it as me just moving for no reason in particular. I graduated from college a year and a half ago, and it could be judged that I am up and going because I am unhinged and immature.

Hear me, I know that Romans 8:1 is true – that there is no condemnation in Christ. But it’s hard. If I leave my comfortable life and move 12 hours away to a place that is unknown to me for seemingly no reason but that God told me to, what happens?

An adventure.

Or a catastrophe.

What if I’m wrong about my calling?

We’ll have to wait and see. That’s what I’ll be praying about diligently from now on. If you feel moved to do so, feel free to join. I would appreciate it.

Categories: Life Tags: , , , , , ,

donald miller thoughts.

When I was a freshman in college, I read Blue Like Jazz. I also heard a sermon on a single chapter of the book, and went through it with a group of people in my dorm. The thoughts Donald Miller puts in this “memoir” really started the maturing of my faith that I underwent while I was in college, and even now.

My sophomore year I read Searching for God Knows What. I am currently making my way through Through Painted Desserts, and after this weekend, I’m pumped for when I’m able to get my hands on A Million Miles in a Thousand Years.

So fast forward to now. I guess now is as good a time as any to announce that I am officially moving to New Orleans next year to undertake a film project with my friend Lori. This has been something we have been in prayer about together for about 9 months and her for much longer than that. So anyway, I was excited to visit this past week for about 5 days and get used to the city a little more, but the trip ended up falling through. I can’t express how disappointed I was. Then I found out Donald Miller was coming to Southland Christian Church to speak the same weekend I was supposed to go. I was pretty excited to see him and the possibility of getting a book signed or something.

And God used Donald Miller’s words to again change my perspectives and affirm things that I am fearful about in my life.

What Donald spoke about this weekend is the concept of our lives as the telling of a story, and how God doesn’t necessarily give us a specific plan to follow to glorify Him, but says, “here are gifts and passions and dreams for you,” and guides you. And in this story, conflict is the essential and most important factor. And of course, what comes hand in hand with conflict is…. fear.

I have been really afraid of this project. Excited, but so afraid. What if I go down there and can’t support myself? How will my parents react to my leaving the great life I have made for myself here in Lexington? What if we never finish the film? What if it never goes anywhere but on my DVD rack next to my college comedy shorts that no one ever watches? Then I’ve left an absolutely wonderful job here in Lexington with a great living situation, etc, etc.

But my story is about telling stories. That is what God has given me a passion and a talent to do. And God used Donald Miller this weekend to affirm it. It doesn’t matter what conflict I run into now and when I go, because this is all part of my story. A story that I feel is worth living, and living well, because that’s what God calls all His children to do here on earth until the “Act III Climax” also known as the Wedding Feast of Heaven. I can’t wait to be a bride, but especially the bride of Christ.

So thanks Don yet again using your words, this time in person, to inspire my faith.

trust?

September 22, 2009 Leave a comment

Every morning on the way to work I turn off the radio and pray. Most of the times it’s out loud. Other times, I’m silent and try to listen. Something I’ve come to notice is how selfish my prayers are. And I don’t mean selfish as in they are all about me; I’m not 14 and viewing my God as Santa Claus. But my prayers are always for those closest to me, and the things they’re going through. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying I shouldn’t pray for my best friends, my family, my future plans, etc. But my prayers still seem so self-centered. This world is hurting. There are the homeless, those without clean water, those suffering from oppression, so many even here in affluent Lexington that need Jesus. And what do I pray for in the morning? All of MY friends. Everything around ME.

Ugh.

All this has come to light because of some recent events. They started off indirectly affecting me. I’ve been praying for the situation daily for a while now. Then these events became very personal. Satan got his way with some miscommunication and some feelings, and now I find myself looking up from a pit I haven’t jumped into for quite some time.

We’ve been talking a lot around church and small group lately about trusting the Christ in others. It’s something that’s hard to do. The issue of trust isn’t usually a hard one for me. It usually takes me getting taken advantage of before I don’t trust someone. But what about the other way around. Am I trustworthy? I’d like to think so. I’m a horrible liar, which is actually a wonderful gift, and I don’t like bullshit – generally trustworthy things. But last night I wasn’t trusted by someone, and it’s made me question the Christ in me – which is horrible. I shouldn’t. But I am. And this all comes back to love. I am so loved, so why do I feel so unloved? If I could get a hundredth of that question answered, I could get by with that for the rest of my life probably.

Until then, here I am. Needing to let go, and let God. But instead re-evaluating my friendships and acting pretty stupid. Dang, why am I so hard-headed?

Categories: Life Tags: , , , , , ,

Identity but no Purpose?

September 2, 2009 Leave a comment

I was listening to an interview with Donald Miller the other day, and he said something to the effect of this, “I believe that our self-identity comes from a source outside of us. God tells us who we are.” At first, I was like, wait what? But the more I got to thinking about it, the more I found truth in it, especially when it comes to us finding our identity in things that are not Christ, as I have a horrible history of doing.

This morning while I was praying, I was talking to God about this, and even when I find my identity in Him, what is it? That I’m a child of God? Okay. And maybe this next bit is going to prove my immaturity in this matter, but then what? I know I am a child of God, I am His, but that fact doesn’t give me any purpose in my life. That’s what I’m missing. I’ve been finding purpose through friendships, and yet again, God is taking them away from me painfully in order to show me that’s wrong. I know I can’t find purpose in what I do, I mean, I’m not exactly making a difference in the world with what I do at work. So that leaves me where…. ?

Worrying. If I’m being honest. Which is a sin. Yeah, worrying is a sin. Especially when the things I’m worrying about, like the growing apart of friendships, are out of my control. I know God is Sovereign, and I need to act more like it. How, I do not know. What I do know is that in Romans 12:12 it says to “rejoice in our confident hope. Be patient in trouble, and keep on praying.” If I’m being honest again, I suck at the first two.

So I’m going to keep thinking about what Donald Miller said, and I’m going to keep praying. But I’m especially going to keep rejoicing and being patient. And maybe somewhere, someday, I’ll wake up in this post-college life I’m leading and have purpose.

Categories: Life Tags: , , , , ,

No longer with my ‘Elijah’.

Oswald Chambers is one smart man. This is what I read yesterday morning:

It is not wrong for you to depend on your “Elijah” for as long as God gives him to you. But remember that the time will come when he must leave and will no longer be your guide and your leader, because God does not intend for him to stay…

Alone at Your “Jordan” The Jordan River represents the type of separation where you have no fellowship with anyone else, and where no one else can take your responsibility from you. You have been to the Jordan over and over again with Elijah, but now you are facing it alone. There is no use in saying that you cannot go— the experience is here, and you must go. If you truly want to know whether or not God is the God your faith believes Him to be, then go through your “Jordan” alone.

Alone at Your “Bethel” At your “Bethel” you will find yourself at your wits’ end but at the beginning of God’s wisdom. When you come to your wits’ end and feel inclined to panic— don’t! Stand true to God and He will bring out His truth in a way that will make your life an expression of worship. Put into practice what you learned while with your “Elijah”— use his mantle and pray. Make a determination to trust in God, and do not even look for Elijah anymore.

(My Utmost for His Highest, August 11)

My Elijah was my planned future. You know: high school to college, college to camp, camp back to Lexington. But now there is nothing. My “Elijah” has left, as God has willed it. No more parental financial support, no fall back of “being a college student”. And now that I’ve been back in Lexington for a week, my faith is being pushed. Will I fall back into my same habits? My same friends? My same struggles?

God has called me somewhere not here. And I’m starting to make concrete plans to make it happen. But I don’t have the support of those I need most. They have given me questions: “How are you going to make enough money to live?” “You don’t know anyone, how will you deal with being alone?” “Why would you want to leave the great job and life you have in Lexington?” And now these questions have become my questions, when in the beginning, they weren’t.

And this is the question I’ve finally come to: Where is the balance between being realistic and stepping out in faith? Because realistically, you have to factor in money, finding a job, the logistics of a situation. And I have a lot of that to consider. But also, don’t I have to just step out first and then let God catch me? I’ve been listening to stories of my friend Kyle and Chris that took an insane cross country road trip without plans, but trusting God would take care of them. And He did. Is my situation any different? I no longer have a plan, should I go ahead and keep moving forward? I know God will take care of it all, but I don’t want a comfortable life. No Christian should settle for that. And I feel like Lexington would be doing that. I’m comfortable here. It’s easy here.

I don’t want a comfortable life. That would be like staying with Elijah.