Way Beyond Me

Sunday during the worship set at the contemporary service two minor things happened that really scared me. I bet the congregation hardly noticed- but my immediate response (after panic) was peace and real worship.

I think God does stuff like this all the time to keep us humble and dependent on Him. To remind us we’re not the ones in control anyway.

I was listening to the words of this Toby Mac song today and they really resonated with what God is walking me through:

“Call it a reason to retreat…

I got some dreams that are bigger than me-

I might be outmatched, outsized, the underdog in the fight of my life

Is it so crazy to believe…

That You gave me the stars, put them out of my reach,

Called me to waters a little too deep?

Oh, I’ve never been so aware of my need

You keep on making me see:

It’s way beyond me.”

It’s counter-cultural to talk or write a song about how weak and vulnerable we are without a higher power.

This country is all about making it, working up the ladder. Every fiction book and movie is about a main character who defies the mold, unique, special.

It’s not fun to relish in the fact that without the Holy Spirit we are powerless.

But in that admitting our desperation for God to help us comes a peace no others can know. With the supernatural power of God residing in us- we can move and breathe and create and think and work like never before. There are no limits to what God can do in us, if we just let go of our pride.

2 Corinthians 12:9 ESV

“But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.”

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Draw Near to God, He is already Near to You

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Recently I thought I had too much on my plate. I exercised my ability to say “no”, and took my day off seriously. Looking to the future: I tossed the idea of cutting down my hours at work. I wanted to work on future details of our family, make our house a home, and visit my family back home more.

None of that was the plan, for now.

In a recent turn of events I was asked to take on more of a leadership role at the Church, with more responsibility, with pay cuts and budget cuts all across the board for our church.

So. I dropped my plans and fell on my face before Jesus. He has been my Rock. I have peace. I have joy. I am brave.

I know God will make it possible for me to plan our future as a family, cook, clean, plan visits, have people over, take care of our pets, enjoy life… all while taking on this important calling. I just need to listen to His voice.

I’m ashamed to say in these times of turmoil… they are the sweetest times of worship for me.

Why can’t I seem to be this close to my Lord during the good times?

I realized today that I find the most peace and joy in the trials– not because God has changed, but because I have. Tweet this.

Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you {HE IS already close by}. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. James 4:8

Resurrected God

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I’ve been learning a lot lately about how “… if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies because of his Spirit who lives in you.” Matthew 8:11

It’s really gotten me thinking… there are so many scriptures that explain how we are to believe wholeheartedly that we serve a risen Savior… a GOOD and loving Father who loves to give good things to His children: “If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!” Luke 11:13

“Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us,” Ephesians 3:20

“For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.” 2 Timothy 1:7

“And God hath both raised up the Lord, and will also raise up us by his own power.” 1 Corinthians 6:14

“Behold, I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you.” Luke 10:19

“And what is the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who believe, according to the working of his mighty power,” Ephesians 1:19

“Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.” Matthew 17:20

Jesus died, and no one around him acted as though we was going to raise from the dead… even though he said he would. The women who went to embalm him after the Sabbath was over were told, “Why do you look for the living among the dead?” Luke 24:5

If Jesus really raised up from the grave, and that SAME power really resides in us via the Holy Spirit… and we don’t believe he wants to use that power in us… are we telling God we really don’t believe in Him?

Deep down… do we REALLY believe that “Our God’s Not Dead”?

…Or have we re-crucified him by not believing He is really powerful?

What do you have going on today that you need an all-consuming fire, a RISEN God, a roaring Lion to help you with?

The Pinterest and Selfies Age

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I was convicted about something really tough recently. I was browsing through the Pinterest boards I’d created and it hit me.

Not only was it wasting precious time (a LOT of time…) but it was also a giant case of the gimme-gimmies.

If you’re a Pinterest user at all, you’ll realize quickly that the pins aren’t really bad… it’s the way they’re being used that can become a negative thing. For instance on a pin of a material item in the description we’ve all been writing things like, “I WANT” or “I NEED THIS”, “Gimme-gimme-gimme”.

I was feeling really convicted so several months ago I did a clean sweep of my Pinterest activity– naming each board with what I knew about God and His word pertaining to that category. Maybe to you that sounds doofy. But I needed to do it. It helps me use Pinterest less, and when I do use it, it helps me choose mostly inspirational, how-to’s, money-saving, or scripture pins. I’m not there yet, but I desire to convert all my social media to either lift others up or to not use it at all.

I used to take a lot of selfies or write facebook posts without thinking first. Then it hit me one day, am I using facebook/twitter/instagram as a platform? If so, what kind?

I read an article a while back about posting to social media. It asked the reader to examine their motive behind a post. Is it to cut someone down? Is it to promote yourself/set yourself up high? Is it seeking approval? That last one was an ‘ouch’ for me.

When I’m tempted to post at the end of a long, draining day (we all know that’s a disaster waiting to happen) I try to ask myself “why” before I post. As a twenty-something who has every form of social media available it’s really easy for me to get wrapped up. I knew I had a problem when my sense of humor shifted to speaking in status updates in my head. (I know, laugh away.) I had created a monster. I said Heaven help me. Literally. Christ in me– purge this gimme-gimme-pinning-monster and selfie-taking-narcissist! Take away the snarkmonster. Make her new.

If I use any social media as a platform, my prayer is that it’s to lift up the broken hearted, encourage the discouraged, and shout Christ’s name to those who don’t know Him. {Tweet this!}

“Do not turn away after useless idols. They can do you no good, nor can they rescue you, because they are useless.” 1 Samuel 12:21

“Of what value is an idol carved by a craftsman? Or an image that teaches lies? For the one who makes it trusts in his own creation; he makes idols that cannot speak.”  Habakkuk 2:18

“He has shown you, O mortal, what is good. And what does the LORD require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.” Micah 6:8

“Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.” Hebrews 13:5