Friday, April 30, 2010
Thursday, April 29, 2010
Yesterday at growth group, we coincidently discussed this same story, and a second important concept from it was brought to my attention. Although God could have simply commanded the bones to become as flesh, then flesh to be filled with life, He did not. He commanded Ezekiel to prophesy it. In man’s obedience to God, something miraculous happened. God did not require Ezekiel in order to bring death to life, but He chose to use him.
And so the Spirit speaks to me, bringing these thoughts together, and formulating questions I must continuously ask myself:
-Who is God commanding me to prophesy to; what dry bones will He call to be as flesh right before me?
-Will I hear His voice?
-Will I obey?
-Will I see beyond my own eyes and through those of the Spirit to recognize the miracles of God’s hand?
-And even if I’m unable to see fruition, will I continue to respond in obedience?
Wednesday, April 28, 2010
- When I worked as a direct care staff with emotionally disturbed youth, I was able to share Christ’s love through day-to-day interactions, and the impact of simply loving these kids was profound. I remember one teen in particular. He had been handcuffed to a bed by his uncle and raped eleven times by several different men. This kid had anger issues, and for good reasons. He was a terror to work with, violent and dangerous, but God placed it in my heart to ask him each evening, “I’m praying for you. Do you have any specific requests?” His response was always a string of creatively arranged profanities. Night after night of chairs flying, threats being made, and even the occasional physical altercation, God faithfully restored the mercy and patience within me to ask, “I’m praying for you. Do you have any specific requests?” The teen slowly began to understand that I really did, in fact care, and eventually he began making prayer requests. Each day as his prayer requests grew more detailed, his behavior grew milder. Then he reached a point where he asked me to not only pray for him, but with him. I brought him sermons on CD and worship music, and he devoured these things. The void left within him from experiencing such horrific abuse was being filled with the Spirit, and he eventually grew to be a role model for his peers.
- I think of myself being in a leadership role, when managing the treatment program I ran. I often hesitate to consider myself a leader, but when I examine the accomplishments I made in that role, I see that God clearly used me there. I enjoyed helping my staff develop an understanding of their individualized skill-set and directing them on how to maximize their potential. I liked being a resource for them to turn to and tending to their needs, as well as providing some structure and discipline. I knew that God was using me in my staffs’ lives when their trust in me began to transcend the typical work scenarios; when they sought my discernment for personal matters and received spiritual guidance.
- I think of songwriting and singing. I love sharing songs from my heart, the authenticity that comes from being vulnerable through music, and the way some songs can make us reflect on our own walk with Christ. I like how a collection of songs can take us on a journey through confession, surrender, worship and praise. Heart Song, for example, was a great experience. I enjoyed the community and fellowship amongst the musicians and writers, and the partnership with Nate C. in organizing the event and the many hours we put into fine-tuning Victory is Yours and other songs. I liked piecing together the graphics for slides, inserts, headers, etc., and conceptualizing the overall feel provided through the visual components. I remind myself of conversations I’ve had with people triggered by songs I’ve helped write, such as a man who came to me once to tell me that he starts every morning by listening to and singing along with Break Me, as a reminder to himself to be humbled and live for Christ alone.
So, instead of dreaming forward, I’ve taken a look back, and thankfully so. Now I’m able to examine these different passions and life experiences for characteristics God designed in me to bring Himself glory. And so far I see:
- Constance and mercy
- Supportiveness and guidance
- Expressiveness and encouraging of others to express
These aren’t things within me to be prideful of, because they are not to my own credit, but to God’s alone. All that is good in me and in this world is Him. Hopefully, after this contemplation of how He has revealed himself to others through me, I’ll be able to prayerfully look towards future ministry opportunities with a more clear vision, and be able to answer the question, “What if?” To be continued . . .
Tuesday, April 27, 2010
Monday, April 26, 2010
Friday, April 23, 2010
Thursday, April 22, 2010
Tuesday, April 20, 2010
Monday, April 19, 2010
boasting feats of wonder, thrill
beckons, "leave your day to enter,
one free ticket, front and center"
the curtain opens, there he stands
could it be he's just a man?
defying all of nature's laws
beaming brightly at applause
but even this show, too, must end
and nothing will seem as it did
the grand finale? the last trick?
he disappears into a mist
just smoke and mirrors left behind
once a marvel, redefined
incantations, a wand's flick
just lies of the illusionist
Thursday, April 15, 2010
Wednesday, April 14, 2010
Saturday, April 10, 2010
Have you ever been in a situation where the darkness was so powerful that light could not overcome it? I remember touring a cave when all the lights were turned off. I couldn't see a thing. I couldn't even see my hand in front of my face! And then the guide simply lit a match - one match - and we could see all over the cave, because darkness cannot overcome the light. Jesus says He is the Light of the world, the embodiment of how to know God and how to live life. You may feel your life is engulfed in darkness. You may feel bewildered at not having discovered the answer to life. Invite Christ into your life and the light will be turned on, no matter how much darkness you've experienced. Life will begin to make sense and you'll be filled with hope and understanding. Here's more good news. When we do this, Jesus says we can be a light to others by pointing people who are in the dark to the light...the Light of Christ.*Borrowed from HERE.
Friday, April 9, 2010
Thursday, April 8, 2010
Tuesday, April 6, 2010
“Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and your plans will succeed.” Proverbs16:3
“What you decide on will be done, and light will shine on your ways.” Job 22:28
The Lord will go before you, and the God of Israel will be your rear guard. “Isaiah 52:12”