Stuff Happens.

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Have we ever considered that everything is a test from God? Not because He wants to give us a hard time, but because He loves us?
I think sometimes it’s to see if we can be trusted with little- so He knows He can trust us with more.

Sometimes I see in my life that it’s to teach me a good lesson in order to help me grow. Even if it makes me want to pull my hair out- I know that if I respond (even eventually) the correct way He can bless me with new knowledge, restored relationships, a better outlook, even “graduation” from my previous situation to a better one.

The key is to look at every situation and say, “What am I supposed to be learning here?” We should never walk through this journey sleepily thinking things just “are”; because everything has a purpose. If you let it, life can be one big lesson- none of us the wiser.

Even when we think we’ve figured something out, and “graduated” to be entrusted with more (more people, ministries, items, money)… Don’t think we’ve arrived. This, too is a lesson waiting to be learned, an experience waiting to be enjoyed, a relationship waiting to be worked at, a prize waiting to be snatched.

When life gives you lemons, realize that God is the one that actually made them and intended them for good.

Even when it seems to suck the life out of you- God can be strong so you don’t have to be. This too shall pass.

That’s why life with Christ is an adventure, right?

“For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the faith God has distributed to each of you.” Romans 12:3

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The Grass Is Always Greener

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Every job, church, area of the country, relationship, apartment or house has it’s own set of blessings and circumstances to be worked through. Right?

Having had a lot of homes in a lot of different states, I am slowly learning this. I’ve had some tough conversations with God about this. (He always wins)

What I realized is: as the honeymoon phase of a new place, situation or friendship wears off (if there ever even was one); we start to whine at God. Why doesn’t my situation look as rosy as theirs? God, I didn’t say I thought being a minister was easy, but why _____ circumstance? 

If I’m being blatantly honest I’m comparing myself to other ministers, maybe people I’ve looked up to. Because isn’t that what internships and jobs do to you? You learn under the tutelage of different professors and pastors. Then when you go to fly free, you compare yourself to them. Maybe in an unhealthy way.

I know that comparison is the thief of joy, yet I still covet another person’s conflict management skills or circumstances.

And God revealed a simple yet profound truth: I signed up for trials and problems to solve by going into full-time vocational ministry, but I always want someone else’s trials and problems.

I was also shown that someone else’s trials and problems may look easier to deal with from my vantage point.

I saw this quote on facebook this morning, “Everyone you meet is fighting a battle you know nothing about. {So} Be kind. Always.”

How true. I can’t sit there an wonder what it would be like to have someone else’s position, resources, circumstances, or even relationships. God isn’t ignorant, and telling Him I would be better suited to handle different situations is like calling Him just that. I mean, He literally hand picks relationships and situations- already knowing the skill sets He has given us to deal with it. Sometimes they’re skills we do not yet possess and He wants us to develop them.

Even if it hurts, that’s the realization we all need to come to, because nothing on God’s green earth is a coincidence.

“Don’t worry about the wicked
or envy those who do wrong.
For like grass, they soon fade away.
Like spring flowers, they soon wither.
Trust in the LORD and do good.
Then you will live safely in the land and prosper.
Take delight in the LORD,
and he will give you your heart’s desires.
Commit everything you do to the LORD.
Trust him, and he will help you.
He will make your innocence radiate like the dawn,
and the justice of your cause will shine like the noonday sun.
Psalm 37

TRUST Him, & He will help you. Do you feel like you have a “cause” that is not going anywhere, no one will listen or trust you, or believe in you? Maybe the trivial circumstances in your field of ministry are bogging you down, and you feel like the “bigger picture” is being forgotten because of it? {AndHE will make the justice of your cause shine like the noonday sun.

God has not turned a blind eye- he’s still working the situation with His hands. It’s just your responsibility to respond always first in prayer, read God’s word, then His grace will flow out of you. He’s got the rest.

Does anyone else resonate with this? I don’t know about you- but this passage from God’s lips really spoke volumes to my heart today.

A Worship Leader’s Prayer

Take away the melodies
Take away the songs I sing
Take away all the lights
And all the songs you let me write
*Does who I’ve become today*
Say the words you need to say?

Let them see you, in me
Let them hear you, when I speak
Let them feel you, when I sing
Let them see you,
Let them see you, in me.

Who am I without your grace?
Another smile, another face
Another breath, a grain of sand
Passing quickly through your hand
I’d give my life, I’m not afraid
Take it all, take everything

Let them see you, in me
Let them hear you, when I speak
Let them feel you, when I sing
Let them see you,
Let them see you, In me
With every breath I breathe
I sing a simple melody

But I pray they’ll hear more than a song in me.

The birds still get up and sing every morning

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Sometimes I get down.

Down on myself, down on others, down on my sticky mess of situations I and/or others create.

To boot I’ve been in a phase of being really, really physically tired. I wonder why all the little birds around me seem to sing louder and fly longer than me. Even my husband doesn’t seem as tired after work as I do.

Sometimes I forget that the best thing to do instead of saying “I better just get used to being tired”, or “something’s wrong with me!!” — is to ask God for the new resolve and energy to run the race.

Nowhere in the Bible does it say we have to be these amazing super-humans who work and don’t get tired, who get up each morning and yell “another fantastic day ahead!!” Everywhere it says in His strength.

Instead of feeling the routine already dragging me down, last night and this morning I asked God for a new song, a new energy.

He gave it to me! It’s as simple as that. When God speaks, write it down everywhere. Put encouraging notes from God all around your room, classroom, car, home, or office {or all of the above}.

I heard the birds suddenly erupt in song around the windows in my office this morning, right as I was pondering where my encouragement and strength came from.

He is always there, sometimes we just need a reminder.

Isaiah 40:28-31, “Have you never heard? Have you never understood? The LORD is the everlasting God, the Creator of all the earth. He never grows weak or weary. No one can measure the depths of his understanding. He gives power to the weak and strength to the powerless. Even youths will become weak and tired, and young men will fall in exhaustion. But those who trust in the LORD will find new strength. They will soar high on wings like eagles. They will run and not grow weary. They will walk and not faint.”

2 Corinthians 4:8-10, 13-18, “We are pressed on every side by troubles, but we are not crushed. We are perplexed, but not driven to despair. We are hunted down, but never abandoned by God. We get knocked down, but we are not destroyed. Through suffering, our bodies continue to share in the death of Jesus so that the life of Jesus may also be seen in our bodies.

But we continue to preach because we have the same kind of faith the psalmist had when he said, “I believed in God, so I spoke.”We know that God, who raised the Lord Jesus, will also raise us with Jesus and present us to himself together with you. All of this is for your benefit. And as God’s grace reaches more and more people, there will be great thanksgiving, and God will receive more and more glory.

That is why we never give up. Though our bodies are dying, our spirits are being renewed every day. For our present troubles are small and won’t last very long. Yet they produce for us a glory that vastly outweighs them and will last forever! So we don’t look at the troubles we can see now; rather, we fix our gaze on things that cannot be seen. For the things we see now will soon be gone, but the things we cannot see will last forever.”

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Wrote down the things I am hearing and learning- I add to this periodically.

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I write post-it notes from God’s word on my computer screen at work.

John 15:7, “But if you remain {ABIDE} in me, and my words remain {ABIDE}  in you, {Brittany}- you may ask for anything you want, and it will be granted!”

Resolution for 2014- our Celebrations Jar

imageWe are going to celebrate even the littlest of things in 2014. Every time we laugh til our bellies hurt, learn something new, or have a milestone blessing happen to us, we will write it on a piece of appear and put it in the jar.

Then next New Year’s we will open and read all of them.

Happy travels in 2014! Remember: we are rich in the littlest of life’s joys. May God bless you!