Saturday, March 25, 2017

Here's My Heart, Lord

“but the end of all things is at hand, therefore be serious and watchful in your prayers.” –1 Peter 4:7

Whenever I think about prayer I think about this time in church when I was like 7 or 8 and another little girl in my Sunday school class turned to me and asked me how she should pray. I responded to the girl and told her you simply have to talk to God from your heart. Simple. Just be real and raw with your Creator who already knows everything in your heart. For me, so any times I find even my most Spirit led prayer falling into habitual default sayings my mind wanders to and I begin saying just filler words when I run out of actual things on my heart to pray about. I get so mad at myself for this. WHY? Gah. Its not from my heart, it’s not my devotion, and it fills empty space with just more of my words instead of leaving room for God to respond back to me in prayer. As this verse says, the end of all things is at hand. Sooner than later God will come back for those who have been faithful to Him and that’s a scary reality considering so many people are still in darkness. Our world has serious issues and needs serious prayer. I want my life to be lived taking all problems to the feet of Jesus. I’ve got to be alert and watchful to the problems of this world rather than be ignorant and oblivious like I so many times can be. Christ died so that the veil that was between my communication to Him would be torn and I may speak to Him and enter His presence freely. That’s insane. That’s such a beautiful precious gift He died to give me yet so often I take it for granted and don’t treat it with the sacredness I should. Prayer at the end of the day is just talking to God with what’s on your heart, just like I told that little girl so many years ago. Don’t complicate it. May we let our prayers be real and raw and honest and be a time of continuously handing our hearts over to the one who made it.
Application: when I am praying and I find my mind wandering or I fall into the habitual filler prayers I am going to stop and gather my mind and then write down my prayers in hopes to help me focus more.

Be faithful to endure

“And Uriah said to David: ‘the ark and Israel and Judah are dwelling in tents, and my lord Joab and the servants of my lord are encamped in the open fields. Shall I then go to my house to eat and drink, and to lie with my wife? As you live and as your soul lives, I will not do this thing.’ Then David said to Uriah: ‘wait here today also, and tomorrow I will let you depart.’ So Uriah remained in Jerusalem that day and the next. Now when David called him, he ate and drank before him; and he made him drunk. And at evening he went out to lie on his bed with the servants of his lord, but he did not go down to his house.” – 2 Samuel 11:11-13

In Matthew 27:35 we see that the soldiers and the men who are crucifying Jesus offer to Him wine before the cross so that it might lessen the pain of it. In those days, they often did this to those put to death in hopes to numb the pain and make the torture more bearable. But in this verse, we see that Jesus refuses it. He doesn’t take the wine- He doesn’t take the easy way out. In this same way, we see that Uriah in 2 Samuel didn’t take the easy way out. He was disciplined to the point that even when the king told him he could go home for a night and take a break and shut off from his reality for a day, he refused. He didn’t want to take the wine and lessen the pain of the war he was fighting and the thought of his men who were still on the battle field. Now both of these examples are pretty extreme, however there is still so much application for me today. We need to be disciplined and know that whatever we are doing- it’s the Lords will for us to be in that situation so thus we must do whatever he has called us to the best of our abilities. Don’t take the easy way out. Discipline yourself and don’t take the wine to numb the pain because Jesus never did. Christ endured all things for me. Uriah was an honorable man who was faithful to endure, remain, and be disciplined even in the difficult. I want to strive to live my life in that one day the same things may be said of me.

Dont Put Jesus On Snooze

“Now in the morning, having risen a long while before daylight, He went out and departed to a solitary place, and there He prayed.” –Mark 1:35

 Whoa. Talk about conviction. Okay first things first, I am a night person. I think better at night, I have more energy at night, and I would much rather do things in the night rather than early in the morning. This obviously isn’t a bad thing however considering that Jesus, the man I am imitating my life after, chose to rise early and discipline His earthly body, I think that’s a clear indication that I should do the same. Jesus rose long before daylight… yeaaaaahhh I struggle to get out of bed after I have hit the snooze button ten times. And then in that early hour He went to a secret place to pray… Considering I am a complete extrovert living in a center with like 40 of my best friends, you could probably guess that its many times hard for me to go away and find a solitary place to be with Jesus. My flesh just wants to read the bible at the kitchen table with everyone and between verses talk about what is for breakfast and laugh about how much cream I put in my coffee. And although Jesus did call me to have fellowship with my fellow believers, He first called me to spend time with Him and SEEK Him. Jesus is found when I seek Him with my whole heart- not when I only devote half of it. The more I seek Him, the more I find Him, the more I love Him- that’s the pattern. I want to be someone who begins my day with Jesus and then continues walking with Him throughout the rest of it.

 Application: tomorrow I am going to do my devos and pray outside and away from all distraction.

I say Yes, Lord

“Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may obtain it. And everyone who competes for the prize is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a perishable crown, but we for an imperishable crown. Therefore I run thus: not with uncertainty, Thus I fight: not as one who beats the air. But I discipline my body and bring it into subjection, lest, when I have preached to others, in myself should become disqualified.” -1 Corinthians 9:24-27

A couple days ago, my RA Shannon showed me a song called “Yes Lord” and it has been super speaking to my heart lately and reminds me of this. One of the lyrics says: “on that day when I go home, I’ll see my Jesus seated on His throne, I’ll find a crown upon my head, with a thousand jewels for every ‘yes’ I said and ill offer it right back to Him” I love this picture- that as I press on in this life and run my race that I would know of the glory set before me. And when that day comes and I see the Lord face to face I want to be able to offer my crown up right back to Him knowing that every jewel on there was only obtained by His grace. Every step I take in my race isn’t in my strength but rather in His. I want to finish the race and finish strong not because of my wavering feelings but rather because I am certain that He is unwavering. Saying ‘yes’ and trusting the Lord surely is no easy thing but it’s the only way- the way of Life. He calls me to run this race and every single step I take is a decision that I must choose to walk in. And although I don’t know what my race will look like, the point is that He calls me to say yes and boldly walk into the unknown. And to run my race confidently even though I don’t know what it will look like. As my training in Ignite draws to a close and soon I will no longer get to call Guatemala my home, this serves as a great reminder. Finish strong, fight for the kingdom, press on, and love till the end. And although training ends soon, the beautiful thing is that I get to run this race and chase after Jesus for all of my days. When He calls me, I will come running.

Application: I am going to continue to pray that even in these last days of training I would continue to love till the end and finish strong in the race He has called me to.

Buff godliness muscles

“for bodily exercise profits for a little, but godliness is profitable for all things, having promise of the life that now is and of that which is to come.” -1 Timothy 4:8

This verse gives me flash backs to all of the late nights and early mornings I have spent in the dance studio. We would push ourselves to the limit and we would work at it every day so that we would grow stronger and better in our skill. In dance, muscle memory is insanely important- if you train your body in the correct way, eventually your body will do what you’ve disciplined it in without your brain having to think about it. I am reminded of all of the hours I spent in that studio working on a certain piece of choreography or something and thus how much more effort should I put into disciplining myself in the way of godliness? I want to be disciplined in the way of the Lord and get to the point where all that flows out of my heart and mind is the words of the Lord- that my heart would have a muscle memory in the way of the Lord because of the diligence and discipline I have applied. I want to be diligent to the point that my first instinct is to get on my knees and pray and to press on to know the Lord with all that I have.   Improving, however, is never an overnight thing- it’s a process and even when you aren’t at your final goal of where you want to be, you are still growing and getting stronger. Same goes for this life in godliness. As you immerse yourself in the word of God, you are growing. Heaven is the end goal and is that life yet to come, however now we still have life NOW and have the opportunity to live it and continue in our imitation of Christ. 2 Peter 1:3 tells us that we have been given all that pertains to a life of godliness and holiness. The Lord has given us every tool and all we need do is be diligent and work toward that holy and set apart life.
Application:  I am going to be diligent to really take time to pray and seek the Lord in the morning

Press On to Know

“not that I have already attained, or am already perfected; but I press on that I may lay hold for that which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me.” -Philippians 3:12

In coming to Ignite, one of my friends gave me the verse Hosea 6:3 for this year, which says: “Let us know, let us press on to know the Lord.” And honestly I think it so perfectly fits this year and what the Lord has been teaching me. I don’t have it all figured out and it’s a very obvious thing that I haven’t achieved perfection. But yet, I press on to know the Lord and I continue in my goal of conforming to the image of Christ. I press on to know and grab hold of all that Christ has for me. The last thing I would ever want to do in this life is never really walk in all that He has planned for me. My God is ever constant, He does not change and He is always good. Thus, I must be content no matter where the Lord has me and through it all I have to fight to keep my eyes fixed on Jesus and continue to press on to the goal of knowing Christ. No matter my ever changing feelings, emotions, and desires, I have to remember that He doesn’t change and press on to know that Jesus.

Death Brings Life

“That I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death.” –Philippians 3:10

It’s all one. Knowledge of God, His power, fellowship of His suffering, and His death. So many times, I find myself trying to stop reading after the first two things. My eyes skim over the suffering and death part but in reality it all must go together. You only know life because you were once dead and glory is only able to come through suffering. In order to be a coheir of eternal life with Christ, I also have to be a partner in the death and the suffering. Romans 8:17 tells us that as heirs we must suffer with Christ and then in turn also be glorified with Him. I have to learn to die to myself, every single day. We are to not be conformed to this world but rather be conformed to the death of Christ. Everything this world has to offer amounts to nothing but death. However, when by faith we are transformed by the renewing of our minds then we may also be conformed to the death of Christ which brings forth life.

ALL is grace

“and be found in Him, not having my own righteousness, which is from the law,  but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which is from God by faith.” –Philippians 3:9

Gah. Humans are so dumb. I am so dumb. WHY DO WE NEVER GET IT? Christ literally died to fulfill the law. The law was something we could not uphold and thus we were bound by condemnation. He died in order to die the death that we could not. Literally to take my place and make atonement for me so that I could have life. BUT dang humans. We pick and choose the parts of the bible we like and those that we don’t. We act like you can just switch back and forth from living under the law and under grace, whenever its convenient for us. When we do a “good deed” or a righteous thing we accept all the praise and act like we, in our own human power, have done this great thing. But then, when we mess up and fail we throw the standard of the law out the window and embrace grace with open arms. That’s not how it works. The law was fulfilled by Christ, the veil was torn, and now all is grace. We don’t get to just switch back and forth. Jesus died so that we may abide in grace- walk in it and live it. All is grace isn’t just a nice saying- it’s true and it’s what Christ died for. All means ALL. All my righteousness isn’t really mine- it’s because of Christs grace and all my failure doesn’t have to amount to death because of Christ’s grace.


yet indeed, I also count all things loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as rubbish, that I may gain Christ” -Philippians 3:8

So many people today spend their whole lives trying to discover their purpose- they try to find it in the things of the world but are always left empty. Something that the Lord spoke to me within my first week of being here in Ignite was the simple truth that my life purpose is just to know Him. It’s this idea that in this next year in Ignite even if I were to have a year FULL of trials and struggle, that just getting to know Him just a little bit more, would make everything worth it. Every time I miss my family or get bad news from home or get sick with the mebes (parasites for those who don’t know)- that it would all be worth it. My life pursuit has to be to know Jesus. Period. End of story. ALL else is to be counted as loss when compared to knowing Christ- nothing compares to the knowledge of Christ. I could gain the whole world but if I lose my soul and never know the heart of the one who created me then what is it all worth? What did my life mean? After all of my days even if I only see just a glimpse of His heart- isn’t that better than anything the world has to offer me? I’ve been given one life. I don’t know how long I will get to live it but I do know that I want to live it with Jesus as my one thing. Lose the world but gaining Christ.

Saturday, March 11, 2017

Walk: together or alone

“Can two walk together unless they are agreed?” –Amos 3:3

No. The answer is no. This question is simple and the concept makes perfect sense, however when you plug sin nature and human selfishness into the equation it gets a lot more complicated. To add a visual to this, immediately my mind thinks of dance. We are to all be moving to the same beat and hitting the right counts in able to make the choreography worth anything. Dancing to the beat of your own drum is great until you have 10 people with 10 different drums and you lose all order. You are bound to have chaos and the goal of what you wanted to accomplish as a dance crew is thrown out the window. In the same way, you can’t walk together if you both want to go in different directions. Then it just becomes a battle of opinions and a struggle of power. We have to learn to lay down our rights. When you sign up for a dance team you have submitted to the choreographer’s vision- not yours. In the same way, when you sign up for the family of God, you’ve submitted to His will not yours. Right now, I’m in a season of training and preparation. In less than a month I will be on the mission field and considering its with only my teammate Kenadie, if we aren’t walking together then we are walking alone. If we aren’t fighting together, then we are fighting against one another. We have to walk hand in hand- together living out God’s vision not our own.
Application: Today I am going to talk to Ken and just get things on the same page and talk through being prepared to have opposing viewpoints and how to talk through that and walk together, not run separately.

You Have 48 Hours...

 “Moreover, if your brother sins against you, go and tell him your fault between you and him alone. If he hears you, you have gained your brother.” –Matthew 18:15

This verse always takes me back to my freshman year orientation for high school. That night my teacher challenged us all to enter into these next four years and work to keep short accounts with the people in our lives. The charge was to speak with the person you have a problem with, directly and do so within 48 hours. It became this ongoing joke whenever anyone would make a remark about someone that wasn’t a positive one, everyone would just say: “you have 48 hours!” We always joked about it but honestly it is so true. Holding onto a fault you see in your brother only creates bitterness and a hardness of your own heart. That bitterness starts small however, it can grow and fester into something so much bigger than the original problem. And even more so, when you go and tell someone all about the faults in this person, it now taints their view of this other person when in reality they have no place in even being involved and you have just severed a relationship you had no place being involved in.

For me, bitterness had been something I had worked very hard to not hold onto. And outwardly, I think it looked as if I did a pretty dang good job but reality is I had everyone around me fooled and I had myself fooled also. I got very good at taking anything that bothered me and burying it deep in my heart. Instead of actually using the 48 hour rule, I just pretend the problem was never there and instead of keeping short accounts, it turned into a cycle of not being genuine with people. I worked very hard to not act on my hardness of heart- thus externally everything looked fine, but internally I know my heart would dwell on these faults I buried so deep. How can anyone accept any of the love, peace, or joy the Lord offers us if our hearts have this preconceived notion of bitterness swelling up bigger and bigger within us? An overflowing joy and an all-consuming bitterness simply and logically cannot abide together. And I would take joy over bitterness any day. I want to strive to keep my accounts with people short and gain brothers, not enemies.

A Charge to Peace

“Finally, brethren, farewell. Become complete. Be of good comfort, be of one mind, live in peace, and the God of love and peace will be with you.” –1 Corinthians 13:11

I love this. Here we have Paul finishing up his letter to the church in Corinth and this verse is the beginning of his last words to them. It’s like this verse is him telling them that if there is anything to remember in all that he has written to them, it is these things. This is his final encouragement to them. He charges to them be complete, be of one mind, be of good comfort, and live in peace. What does all of this look like?

James tells us that it’s through the trials that produce patience and we are to let that patience work in us and through that we will become complete- lacking nothing. It’s that picture of fullness- being genuine and being whole in all areas of your life. I want to be complete in that I am the same person no matter the situation I am in or the people I am around. Be of good comfort- some other translations read to comfort one another. I want to be able to hand over my burdens to the Lord and let Him comfort me and then in turn be able to help bear someone else’s burdens and comfort them because Christ first. Be of one mind. I want to lay down my own mind and opinion in order to take up that of Christ. The only way we will find unity is to not look at others with our own eyes but look at them with the same mind in which Christ looks at us. Live in peace. Live as one. Live together. And in the end when all of these things are manifested together in someone’s life, it’s in that place that the Lord has asked us to abide with one another. Lastly, Paul tells us that the Lord of love and peace will be with you. There is no way out of our selfish human hearts that we could do all of these things, however the Lord never asked us to. It’s in HIS strength that we are able to live in this manner with one another. The Lord makes us complete and comforts us and it’s His mind and peace we are to take up.

His Mind, Not Mine.

 “Be of the same mind toward one another. Do not set your mind on high things but associate with the humble. Do not be wise in your own opinion.” –Romans 12:16

As the body of Christ, we are to be of one mind. Automatically the first thing that pops into my head is the question of who’s mind we are going to have? My mind? My pastors mind? My parents mind? In Philippians 2:5 we are told that the mind we are to be one in is Christ’s mind. I think so many times I get stuck in the legalistic rut of thinking that my way is the only way- that my mindset is the only mindset. I have found myself so many times placing my opinion above someone else’s, thinking I know best. With this perspective of everyman thinking himself to be the head, straight up war would break out. When we don’t put Christ’s mind as THE mind, then the body can’t think straight and in turn, function properly.

Christs mind. I need to be looking at all people with the same eyes in which Christ looks at them with- eyes of love and compassion and precious thoughts and seeing not them but rather seeing Christ is in them. There isn’t a pair of eyes that Christ didn’t die for. It’s with this mind that I have to look at my fellow body of Christ- to view others as Christ views me: cleansed, redeemed, and called. And if we understand this and take up the mind of Christ, then we will start to see His heart as well. Jesus is our greatest example of humility. His heart was always humble. It is when I’m thinking with my own mind that I get the idea that I am something great and my opinion is something wise. I have to be transformed by the renewing of my mind and take up the humble mind of Christ.

Lord, break my heart for what breaks yours. Help me to see others in the way you see them and help me to see that your mind is the only one that matters.

Application: today I am going to be mindful of all of the times I state or view my opinion as the best and right one and then ask the Lord to humble my heart and give me His eyes for others. Christ is head- not me.

Abide In Light

“This is the message which we have heard from Him and declare to you, that God is light and in Him is no darkness at all. If we say that we have fellowship with Him, and walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin.” -1 John 1:5-7

I am a very all or nothing kind of person- if I am eating ice cream I will either have none or I will have the whole dang gallon. There is no in between. I am this way with many material things yes, but I think you can always use more of this in the spiritual. All or nothing- be on fire for Christ or don’t know Him at all, just don’t dare be caught lukewarm. When you think of this in terms of light, it sounds even more harsh. Darkness and light literally cannot abide with one another. By definition, when one is present the other cannot be. God Himself IS light and in Him is no darkness at all. For us, we were born into sin, born into darkness yet we have been cleansed and illuminated by Christ. Thus, now we are light having Christ in us, however we still have a sin nature in us so we are also darkness. Now we have this internal battle in our hearts that is ever raging on. The two cannot abide together yet now they are both trying to take root and make home in the human heart- The Spirit and the flesh. We are called to walk in the light- this indicates a process. Walking is a continuous thing. Every time you pick up your foot and take another step, you have to choose if you’re going to continue stepping into light and let the Lord guide your steps, or if you’re going to walk in darkness and try and direct your own steps. The struggle is constant and for as long as you follow Christ it will be there. It’s in the mundane everyday little choices of life. Darkness or light? The world or Jesus?

Continue in the light. Be all in. Let Him illuminate even the darkest areas of your heart. Have fellowship in Him knowing that we are all light bearers of Christ. And in that practice truth and speak that truth in love to one another. Walk in His light. Abide in it.

Saturday, March 4, 2017

Continue to Grow

“blessed of those servants whom the master, when he comes, will find watching. Assuredly I say to you that he will gird himself and have them sit down to eat, and will come and serve them. And if he should come in the second watch, or come in the third watch, and find them so, blessed are those servants. But know this, that if the master of the house had known what hour the thief would come, he would have watched and not allowed his house to be broken into. Therefore you also be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect.” -Luke 12:37-40

As a servant of Christ, my goal is to the run the race He has set before me and to be diligent in that- not turn from the right or from the left. My Master is coming back and when He does I want to be ready. I want Him to find me diligently running- not standing on the sidelines taking a breather because I think He won’t see.

For me, I will many times wrongly think that this looks like the big extravagant things. It gets stuck in my head that the big in life is the end all be all- like for example, that this year in ignite for me is my end all be all. But no, the Lord wants me to remain faithful in the small- yes ignite is a big thing and is part of God’s call for me however it’s not all I will amount to as a person in my lifetime. The Lord desires for me to daily practice His ways and as 2 Peter tells us: to continue to grow in faith, virtue, knowledge, perseverance, self-control, godliness, brotherly kindness and love.

When Christ ascended, He didn’t abandon us but rather He left us with His spirit, told us He would return, and left us a manual for how we ought to live in waiting. I know what I ought to do, now it’s my job to actually do it and walk worthy of the call He has on my life. 2 Peter 1:3 tells us that His power has given us all the things pertaining to life and godliness. As I wait for His return I must simply remain steadfast in the small and continue to grow in these things and in that He will be pleased. On the day when He does return, I want to be the servant found doing that which He commanded of me and be the servant to remains diligent even when you think He isn’t watching. I desire to live every moment as if it were the one before He returns.

Application: I am going to read 2 Peter 1:1-12 every morning for the rest of this week.

A Friend to The Father

“No longer do I call you servants, for a servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all things that I heard from my Father I have made known to you.” -John 15:15

Daily, I am blown away that the Lord has chosen to use humans to accomplish His will. He chose to make us in His image even though He knows that we fail and don’t live up to the standard we have been called to. I fail Him daily, yet He still pursues me. His desire is to guide us and that when we hear His voice that we would tune our ears to listen. And in letting Him direct us that we would find in the knowledge of Him a fullness of joy, hope, and love. He has created us, chosen us, and then while we were yet sinners chose to call us friend. That’s insane. The Ruler of the universe so greatly desires a genuine friendship with us and for us to know His deep love for us. We are told that the Father took pleasure in sending Jesus to the cross simply because He knew the joy that was to come- the joy in us knowing Him. He was willing to send His son to die so that He could call us friend and make His ways known to us- Father.

I am a bondservant of the Most High- it sounds intense but honestly, He is the only master I would ever want over my life. We aren’t treated as servants but rather as friends. He still pursues us and wants us to have the knowledge of Him even when we don’t treasure it the way that we should. In friendship, there is always some sacrifice- putting their needs before your own or doing things for them simply because you love them. Jesus made the greatest sacrifice of all simply to be our friend. God wants that friendship with us not because of what we have done but He loves simply because we are- because He sees Jesus in us. It’s nothing I do, but all that He has done in me.

Honest Service

“and which of you, having a servant plowing and tending sheep, will say to him when he has come in from the field, ‘come at once and sit down and eat’? But will he not rather say to him, ‘prepare something for my supper, and gird yourself and serve me until I have eaten and drunk, and afterward you will eat and drink’? Does he thank the servant because he did the things that were commanded of him? I think not. So likewise you, when you have done all those things which you were commanded, say, ‘We are unprofitable servants. We have done what was our duty to do.” -Luke 17:7-10

I think in my head so many times I dress up this idea of servanthood. I get it in my head that my serving is something so grand and special and with that mindset the “humble” servant can easily become the prideful one. You begin to serve others not for their benefit but rather your own. You want people to think highly of you so you serve and serve and do it unto self instead of unto Jesus. In my life, I’ve fallen into this far too many times- honestly, I’d say I am the master of a false servanthood. And I’ll be the first to say that it’s easy to fall into and then continue to the point where it becomes a routine and habitual thing. Serving is all fun and games until you’re actually treated like a servant and don’t receive the praise you’re working for.

When a servant is serving, they are simply doing their job. Nothing special. They aren’t going the extra mile or being “oh so humble”- they are doing just what they ought to have done in the first place. It’s the bare minimum- literally what is required of you.

I think pride has a very easy door to enter in when a Christian looks back at their life and sees all the things they did for Christ and how long they walked with him. But is that special? We are CREATED to glorify God. We are called to live as bondservants of Christ- a lifelong servanthood chosen by their own freewill. This is a truly humbling thing but yet we selfish can take such a selfless thing as serving and make it about ourselves. I want my service to be honest and not dependent on what I can get out of it but rather what I GET TO give.


“if anyone serves Me, let him follow Me; and where I am, there My servant will be also. If anyone serves Me, him My Father will honor.” -John 12:26

When Jesus called His disciples He simply said come and follow Me. He didn’t tell them they could go back home, secure everything, pack all their possessions and then come. No. They went. Period. We are called to take up our cross and GO- to die to myself and my wants and GO. The reality of who Christ is should make us drop everything and chase after Jesus. When I think of this, immediately pride and misconception creeps into my mind saying “ummm hello? Lord, I am good in this area! I mean I dropped everything and came to Guatemala, didn’t I?” This thinking is so backwards. With Jesus, you never arrive- He is too big for that and how dare I try and put Him in that box. You can always go deeper still and the deep get called into deep. Your praise to the Lord forever is growing even once we get to heaven our worship of the Lord will only grow in depth. Yes, the Lord called me here and yes, I came but yet He wants more. He continually wants my heart and He continually wants to fill me with His Spirit. You don’t just follow Jesus, you have to keep walking. Step by step. Take up my cross, daily. I have to continue to follow as a faithful servant. Where He goes, there I will also go. If I am truly a servant of Christ, then I will go wherever He calls me.

Application: This all is very fitting considering I bought my plane ticket to Costa Rica today! Tonight, I will pray and ask the Lord to forgive me for all the time I spent fighting Him and I’ll pray with Ken over our time in Costa Rica that we would be so willing to not just follow Him there but follow where He directs us while we are there and be attentive to His voice.

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

I'll be a toe for Jesus any day

“For in fact the body is not one member but many. If the foot should say, “because I am not a hand I am not of the body,” it is therefore not of the body” 1 Corinthians 12:14-15

Lately the Lord has been teaching me that He is sovereign over literally ALL. And trying to comprehend the reality of that has been blowing my mind. He has given me the life I have for His purposes and every situation I am ever in, He has ordained and He is using to prepare me for that which is next. My story is different from everyone else’s because He is wants to use me for specific things. He has put certain people, things, and obstacles in my path that way one day I may use it to bring Him glory. This past week, my team and I went to Xela, Guatemala and partnered with the church there. Some of my teammates were able to speak into people’s lives and minister to others in ways that I wouldn’t have been able to because their story is different than mine. He has written us all different testimonies in order to accomplish His perfect will through His broken but willing church.

He has given me this body- this family of Christ. And although every member of the body is not the same, all are important and useful. This past week I didn’t have some of the radical conversations with people like some of my friends did, however what I did was still important and the Lord will still use it. We all may be different parts and have different functions, yet our goal is the same- bring glory to Jesus’s name. And when we stand together as one solid and unified body of the Creator, nothing can stop us. Some days I may not get to be an arm in the body of Christ, but rather a toe and although that may seem small, it’s extremely hard to stand if you are missing a toe! It sounds silly but it’s so true. And if I can be a toe for the sake of Christ’s Kingdom then I am going to be the best dang toe the world has ever seen!

One body. One family. One blood. One purpose. One love. One God.

Application: I am going to tell my teammate about this and how the Lord used her to speak to me and thus keep us unified and reminded of how the Lord can use us.

A Submitted Heart

“submitting to one another in the fear of God.” -Ephesians 5:21





Okay this so Sunday school but it’s so true. It’s the pattern. Why? Why should I put someone else’s wants above my own? What’s the point? The point is, you have this fear of the Lord and because of that you submit to Him- out of honor and out of a reverent fear. And in doing that you submit to those around you and put theirs needs above your own because you know that’s what He wants from you. If you truly have Jesus at the top and are submitted to Him then you’ll be submitted to those around you. And in this pattern, you go last. It’s learning to die to yourself- to sacrifice your needs and put others over yourself. You do this because you know it’s the Lord who is over all. His will- not mine.

In this life, honestly the only thing I have control over is my heart and matter-of-factly the only thing Jesus wants from me is my heart. But He doesn’t want the crusty, black, wicked thing I have to offer- He died to cleanse my heart and thus He wants my softened and submitted heart. Submitted to His will. God uses the willing. May every day my question be “Lord, what do you want to do?” and then be willing to do it and submit to it, no matter the answer. I want the pattern of my life to be Jesus first, then others, then me. That’s where the joy is found.

For Freedom I am Set Free

“For you, brethren, have been have been called to liberty; only do not use liberty as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another.” -Galatians 5:13

Every chain has broken. Every knee shall bow. It is finished. The precious blood of Christ has made us clean and set us free from the bonds of sin. What now? Now we are called to walk in that freedom. To live your life knowing you are no longer a slave to this world. We were set free so that we could walk in that freedom. So, what does that look like? It looks like love- to serve one another in that love. I have been called to liberty and to live a life worthy of that calling. I don’t want to waste my freedom. We were born into sin- into a cage and Jesus comes and He unlocks the door and swings it wide open. But what’s the point of an open door if we never walk out of the cage? The door is open but we must choose to walk through it- to walk out your freedom and live as a free people.

I don’t want to look back on this year in Ignite or my life for that matter just to see that I never used my freedom. That I just let it sit in the cage with me- Jesus is so much bigger than that cage. He died so that we could have LIFE so I want to LIVE.

It is for freedom that I am set free. 

To Be Real and Raw

“to the weak I became as weak that I might win the weak. I have become all things to all men, that I might by all means save some.” – 1 Corinthians 9:22

In Romans 12:16 we are told to rejoice with those who rejoice and weep with those who weep. There is a time for everything. And I definitely think there is a time to be weak however to the world this makes no sense. The world tells us we must always be strong- never cry, never be vulnerable, and never be real. And thus, we put on masks and never want to show anyone how we truly feel or who we really are.  

I think recently the Lord has been teaching me to be vulnerable. I don’t have a problem with being open with people- I have a big mouth and typically on accident I tell everyone everything about my life without even realizing it. Sharing the external details of my life (probably too many might I add) is simple for me. However actually being raw with people and walking and talking through the struggles internally in my heart with others is a more difficult. I never know where to start and the thoughts get so jumbled in my head and I feel like if I can’t understand them then no one else will either.

But the Lord has called us to be weak because its only there that we can see the greatness of His strength. I was to be real with people. I want to be raw- just not about external things but about the internal things in my heart and mind. I want to be genuine and be able to show others that I don’t always have it all together.  And that in that vulnerability it would cause others to want to do the same and be vulnerable with the Lord. I want to let my walls down with the Lord and with my family in Christ.

Jesus First, Others Second

“We then who are strong ought to bear with the scruples of the weak, and not to please ourselves.” -Romans 15:1

We are all supposed to be looking out for one another. As the family of Christ, it’s our job to care for our brothers and sisters in Christ. For me, that picture of my family in Christ watching out for me sounds a lot better than me watching out for myself. No matter how strong I am, I can’t bear my own burdens, fears, and doubts. Why? Because I was never created to carry it all alone. The Lord tells us to cast all our cares on Him because he LOVES us and most of the time this is a lot easier said than done. As people, we love to hold onto things and sometimes it takes another believer to come along side us and help us let go of our doubts and worries and surrender them over to the Lord.

God himself is love- thus we cannot love unless we abide in Him and He in us. The only way we can be successful in bearing the burdens of one another is if we are first abiding in the love of Jesus. It will be literally impossible to love one another and bear the burdens of those around us if we are not first going to Jesus and letting Him take our own burdens. We love because He first.

However, we are also told we aren’t to do it to please ourselves- not fruit will come from that. All we do should be with the goal of pleasing the Father. In my life, I’ve tried to manufacture love so many times- making things seem genuine when they aren’t. It’s only when the love flowing from us is from the Father that He is pleased. Anything not coming directly from Him will be a plastic fake love that bring Him no glory. If we start in the right place- abiding in His love and with the end goal of bringing glory to the Father, then bearing the burdens of the weak and carrying the heavy load won’t be so heavy. Jesus comes first. And it is only once we are in Him that we are made strong and can bare the scruples of the weak. We need our family in Christ, yet it is all in vain if it doesn’t first begin with Jesus.

Application: today I’m going to pull aside a teammate and ask what they are struggling with and then pray with them to help bare that burden.