Saturday, March 31, 2012

Will he spit me out?

To The church of Leodicea AMERICA.....

"I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! So, because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to spit you out of my mouth. You say, ‘I am rich; I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing.’ But you do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked. I counsel you to buy from me gold refined in the fire, so you can become rich; and white clothes to wear, so you can cover your shameful nakedness; and salve to put on your eyes, so you can see."

These words are found in Revelations 3. The Lord is speaking to the Church of Laodicea. The CHURCH THAT IS LUKEWARM.

Christians, Gods people, are the church.
Often, some of us get wrapped up thinking that the little building that we put so much time and effort into- that is the church. 

This blog I am writing is about something that makes my heart ache. Something that many people can take as offensive and directed toward them. Quite frankly, this blog is directed toward no one. Many, I know for a fact, will think I am writing this about and because of our latest church experience and leaving our church. I want to clarify and make a statement that this has nothing to do with that. Tho, through that, and before that, God opened my eyes to all this. This blog, I feel, can be directed to ALL churches in this area. I am merely writing to allow us to think, really think, about what we are really the Church of Christ. 

I go to church every Sunday. Sometimes, I even crawl out of my bed, that much earlier, just to make it to Sunday school. Worship, that was different. We would all kinda stand, hold this book in our hand and sing the words on the page. I never really though about or reflected on what it was saying. I was to worried about not putting my hands up or closing my eyes (through worshiping) I didn't want to be a distraction to anyone. 
Yup, I go to church on Sunday night too, I am one of the very few people that do. Then, of course, Wednesday comes around. I used to go to Youth group. The games and food were my favorite part. Then, We had this 20 minutes challenge on stuff that we all already knew. Then when that was over, we would go to Prayer meeting. I would feel so spiritual, Because I would constantly place myself in a group of older people and try to make up this long, drawn out prayer, over the few things on a list we HAD to pray for. About 10 minutes later, Our corporate, (empty) time prayer was over. 

^That, That is how I looked at the Church a year ago.My heart was not right in anything I was doing. Only by Gods mercy, was this all changed. Now, Church was empty, it wasn't about going through the motions anymore. I WANTED to go to church and feel the spirit there. I LONGED to be more refreshed, through being with other believers, -more then I did in my personal time with the Lord. When you go to church, aren't you supposed to feel EXTREMELY REFRESHED with the unity and fellowship with other believers. 
The Spirit was so far gone. WE WERE MISSING OUT. 
I then read this passage, in Revelations. The Church, and I feel like all the churches around, were so, LUKEWARM. God only wanted to spit us out of his mouth. and I Thought we were on fire for the Lord?!?
Would our community say that? Could people see it in our life once we left church? Was the Spirit really there? (After all, The spirit is what he left us)

These are all things that Really, really hit hard with me. 
Now, Let me clarify something before I continue. I do not look back and think the people who's eyes are blinded to Gods true GIFT, POWER, To our LUKEWARMNESS, - that they aren't saved. By no means. I merely feel like we have PUT GOD IN A BOX and are missing out on all he has in store for us. 

" Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with that person, and they with me."

Ahh, Isn't that amazing. The Lord, is standing there...Knocking. Wanting to come in and bless us with all he has in store for us. Instead, we merely CRACK OPEN THE DOOR> only letting in what we want. Why can't we just OPEN the door and let him come in?
 Imagine the Joy that would penetrate our souls. The fellowship we could experience with each other.
Shouldn't we be Praying over each other? Rebuking each other and the strongholds of our lives? Shouldn't we be praying for hours (which seems like minutes) just asking him to penetrate our souls and fill us with his spirit? Shouldn't we leave church feeling so close to God, YET, so far, because we realize how wretched we really are? Shouldn't we be Seeking in the most intimate way ever. Having out Soul LONG and THIRST after him. 
Why aren't we real with each other? and why do we judge those who are?

We, the church, are in a battle. A battle for his kingdom.
If God has opened your eyes to this lukewarmness that penetrates our churches (the people) Then praise him, he has done a good work in you, nothing to boast about. I know personally, I still look at my life and see so much apathy and lukewarmness. 
We need to take those people in the back of the line of battle and disciple them, pray for them and bring them up to the front to battle for his kingdom. 

God has so much in store for us. Open your heart and mind to letting him show you. Open the Door, all the way, and Let him come in. 

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

A Living Sacrifice

""What does it mean to be a living sacrifice?"

 In Romans 12:1; Paul says, “I beseech you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God to present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, pleasing to God, which is your reasonable service.Paul’s admonition to the believers in Rome was to sacrifice themselves to God, not as a sacrifice on the altar, but as a living sacrifice. 
The dictionary defines sacrifice as “anything consecrated and offered to God.” 
As believers, how do we consecrate and offer ourselves to God as a living sacrifice?

What does a living sacrifice look like in the practical sense? 
The following verse (Romans 12:2) helps us to understand. We are a living sacrifice for God by not being conformed to this world. The world is defined for us in 1 John 2:15-16 as the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life. All that the world has to offer can be reduced to these three things. The lust of the flesh includes everything that appeals to our appetites and involves excessive desires for food, drink, sex, and anything else that satisfies physical needs. Lust of the eyes mostly involves materialism, coveting whatever we see that we don’t have and envying those who have what we want. The pride of life is defined by any ambition for that which puffs us up and puts us on the throne of our own lives.

How can believers NOT be conformed to the world?
 By being “transformed by the renewing of our minds.” We do this primarily through the power of God’s Word to transform us. (SEEK)
 We need to hear (Romans 10:17), read (Revelation 1:3), study (Acts 17:11), memorize (Psalm 119:9-11), and meditate on (Psalm 1:2-3) Scripture. The Word of God, ministered in our hearts by the Holy Spirit, is the only power on earth that can transform us from worldliness to true spirituality. In fact, it is all we need to be made “complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work” (2 Timothy 3:16; NKJV). The result is that we will be “able to test and approve what God's will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will” (Romans 12:2b). It is the will of God for every believer to be a living sacrifice for Jesus Christ."

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Layer upon layer - He is tearing them back.

One foot falls in front of the other, the weight of my body presses my bare feet to the cold cement. As I walk up the road, I feel the sun shining on the back of my neck. My backpack, filled with my bible and notes, weighs me down. As I walk, I close my eyes and recite verses that God has put in my mind. I think of how he has blessed me and how he has grown me. I talk to him about my struggles, and then, I realize.....

I started talking to myself.
I feel as if there are many people who do this. I know for a fact that I do this a lot. 
I begin to listen and really think about what I am saying. 
I am sad at what I realize, and quite frankly, sad that I am sad about it. 

I find myself pretending to be two people, I realize I do this often.
I am talking to an "imaginary friend", making up struggles they may be having and then encouraging them. 
I then find myself talking to them about MY OWN struggles and blessing and then I try to encourage myself through this "imaginary friend".  

While thinking about all this, I get pretty sad. 
I think about how I have always LONGED to have a close friend that I can just be there to encourage and have her there to encourage me. Don't get me wrong, I have encouraging friends, just not a friend who knows me for me and that God has put there for that purpose.
This all made me sad.
I think because my flesh longs for that "reliance in "someone"'. 
My souls wants to encourage....and be encouraged....all the time.

I then realize, in a way, I am sinning through this.
God put me in the circumstances I am in for a reason, He will use this all to his glory. AND, I don't need someone to 'rely on' when I have God. He is the ultimate encourager anyways.
What ever happened to being content in all circumstances? 

I write this post because God is good. God is slowly peeling back layers to my mind that I didn't know where there. 
God is showing me how I can rely on him in all things.
God is teaching me that he will use everything to his Glory.

If God has blessed you with a friend, a bosom friend, Thank him. Praise him for it. Also remember not to replace God with that friend.
If God hasn't, Thank him. Praise him for it! 

Remember, In EVERYTHING, Give thanks!

Monday, March 19, 2012

Faith and Guidance

"Pst! Sarah, Sarah. Sarah, wake-up. Sarah, I have to go to the bathroom" 

These are the exact words I wake up to every night.

You see, I have a little sister, actually, I have many, but one little sister in particular is very special to me. Her name is Ava. Ava is a cute and precious little girl. She has my personality and adventurous spirit.

 I have the privilege to share a room with this little character. 

This has brought me to much complaining. (God needs to rid me of this)
A pet peeve of mine is having things organized. My bedroom, being the size it is, can not stay that way with Ava and I both in it. 

Lately tho, God has been working at my heart and allowing me to take situations that have usually gotten on my nerves to change me and mold me into who he wants me to be.

Each night, little Ava comes and wakes me up, having to use the bathroom. 

It is dark and she cannot see where to go.

She is scared.

So, I get out of bed, hold her precious little hand, and lead her through the darkness along the path to the bathroom.

The other night, While I was half asleep and leading her through the hall, a comparison came into my mind. a Comparrison that really got me thinking about faith and Gods leading and my complaining.

One thing I thought about was how I need to take things in life that look like, or can seem bothersome or bad, and give it back to the Lord. Honor him in it. see the pros. 

We cannot see what is up ahead, our road is going to be windy and dark.

Quite frankly, the moral of this post is, 
God will lead us in the way everlasting.
The Lord is our strength.
His word is a lamp to our feet.

Just like Ava asked me, We need to put our pride aside and ask for help. We can't go on the journey alone.

A verse I have been living by so much lately is

"Trust in the Lord with ALL your heart.
Lean not on your own understanding,
but in ALL your ways, look the the Lord
and HE WILL DIRECT your path."

In Mark 11:22, Jesus said, "Have faith in God"

Do you lack faith? The bible says - "ask and it will be given, SEEK and you will find"
Ask for Faith.
Seek to have faith.

This is my Precious little sister with me. :)
We are so fun.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Last night, at 8:00 o'clock, in the midst our random acts, I got an idea. I Great Idea.

 My idea - My mom and I make a Vlog for you. So, We set out to do that.
We set down our hula hoops, Picked up my camera and tripod, Found a paper bag and got to work...

Our Subject...Vanity!

Check it out...Just click on this link. :)

Comment below and let me Know what you think!

Monday, March 5, 2012

Courtship? Dating? What?!?

"I Kissed Dating Goodbye"

This is a book that I have never read. I have recommended and given it to so many friends, but have yet never read it. In a way, this makes me feel hypocritical. To be honest, I am not sure why, it just does.
You see, Growing up, I never had a problem with dating.
I was never in a relationship.
It wasn't even an option in my home.

Growing up my parents would always tell me and my siblings that the first date we would go on would be with our spouse, when married. I always laughed at this.

 I have never really had to worry about this issue of dating.
Through the years I was always eager for this time of life to get here.
The time of life being-Out of high school, ready for a relationship.
Quite frankly, now that I am actually here, I am scared out of my mind.
I don't want to mess this up.

Growing up, never really thinking much about it,and what not, may or may not have been healthy, but most recently I was hanging out with some friends of mine and the topic came up.
What is the purpose of dating? (this I have always held to)
What am I looking for?
When will I be ready?

These are all things we talked about. Things I have always thought about, But never in extreme depth.

Thinking about all of these, I have come to many conclusions. Therefore, I have decided to write a blog on this. You see, Being the age I am, people are starting to show interested in me as a person...I don't blame them, I am pretty cool (totally joking) but this is something that we can't skirt off to the side. We need to face this season of life in a biblical way. 

An ever so godly friend told me the other day....

Don't settle for great. Settle for Godly!

Boy did this get me thinking.
 I can't let my head get wrapped around these "interested people" and loose sight of my purpose and...Godly!
Just realizing the fact that I haven't even quite gotten to talking about what God has been showing me yet and you may be thinking that I am absolutely insane, If that is the case, I encourage you to keep reading, because there is so much juicy stuff below. :)

When thinking about all of this, there are some points that we really need to see, and Believe!

What is the purpose? - To find that person who you will marry.
                                    -Therefore, don't date for a game. There is no short term dating.
                                    - If you wouldn't marry them...Don't date them.

The right thing at the wrong time is the wrong thing. -Be patient and wait for Gods leading.

If you have convinced yourself that "They are the one" just wait.-, If it is meant to be.IT WILL Work Out.

Guard your heart- Don't just give it out to anyone, Save it for that special someone that God has instore.

All of this above ties with..... In fact, I feel everything in life will come if you....SEEK THE LORD. 

"Trust in the Lord with ALL your heart.
Lean not on your own understanding.
In ALL YOUR WAYS, look to him,
and HE WILL DIRECT your paths."

Seek the Lord violently and he will show you.

I know for myself, talking with my friends, all of the above, I believe. I live by. I am in no hurry to "find someone to date." I am waiting for the Lord to strike that one.
 But one thing is for sure, by golly, I know what I am looking for.  Biblically. A godly upright man.

A Man of Character.

"Character is what you are in the dark, when noone but God is looking" - Randy Alcorn

     -A man of prayer
     -A man who is a Seeker and leader
     -A man who Loves God, more then He would love me.
     -A man who is unashamed of the gospel
     -A man who is financially wise
     -A man with Agape Love
     -A man with an Attitude...
            _Attitude of humility
            _Attitude of obedience to God
            _Attitude of contentment
            _Attitude of hopefulness

One of my favorite quotes -

"A woman's HEART should be so hidden in GOD that a man has to seek HIM just 
to find her"
-Max Lucado

We can not give up hope that God has that perfect person for us. Seek him and let him lead. 
Don't try to take matters into your hands. 

Maybe he wants you to accept the place you are at in life before he will give you something else.

All I know is, I have faith in my God. If he so desires to bring me that "Knight", "prince", Man, I 
will be there ready to accept that. but, If he doesn't in my timing, and doesn't at all, I will be ready 
to accept that as well.

I encourage you to continue to seek the Lord. 

Psalm 16:11 - Thou wilt show me the path of life.

He doesn't lie, Have faith in that and Seek. 

You Will Find

Thursday, March 1, 2012

A Wake-Up Call!

"Hurry it up, I'm not getting any younger."

This is a phrase I hear people say far to much throughout my day, Especially when I am at work. 
The fact of it is, it is true. We aren't getting younger. Each day we live, is one more day of our life....gone. 
Now, it all depends on how you look at the glass, 'Half full' or 'half empty'. Quite frankly, I look at it half full. So this saying "I am not getting any younger" is very trivial to me. 
A role model in my life would always say "Today is another day closer to Eternity." What a true fact. Every day, every moment and every breath we take, we are getting that much closer to seeing Jesus face to face. I don't know about you, but that gives me goose bumps to think about. 
When thinking about that fact, I mean, really thinking about it, I have to look at my life an question it.

Here is something I always ask myself...
What did I do today that will impact eternity? Did I show a lost soul the Maker within me and his saving grace?, or even do something sacrificial for the Lord?
What are the motives behind what I do? I question myself with this ALL THE TIME. 
I know a lot of the girls i mentor always ask, "whether we eat or drink we have to do it to the honor and glory of the Lord" How am I supposed to do that? 
I believe it all ties back into our motives. Are we eating to satisfy ourselves or to give us the energy to keep serving the Lord. So many things we do through out each day, We need to look at our motives behind them. 

James 1:17- "Every good and perfect thing is from above..." We need to accept the fact that nothing about us is good. Everything that we do, that is truly good, is the Lord doing it through us. We may be a Christian, and an over-all good person in general and just do'good things' all the time.
BUT if we aren't denying our self daily and taking up the cross, the Lord isn't going to work through us to do that and it will be,...overall....worthless.

This life is NOT our own.
We think the World revolves around us. We get so upset by 'that car' that cut us off. We HAVE to have the biggest cookie, OUR needs, OUR wants, OUR desires are always first. That's our flesh.

Why do we waste our life on such petty things? 

Jesus didn't waste his. Aren't we striving to be like him?

Jesus gave up heaven, came down to this earth filled with wretched people, and took the form of a human. He should have been praised, But instead, he sacrificed his whole time here. He was a servant. He washed his disciples feet, He paid the ultimate sacrifice...He died. 
Why are we wasting out lives? I know i waste mine daily. 

Romans 12- Give your life as a sacrifice! (like Christ did) AFTER ALL- this is our reasonable service"
We go to idols so much instead of our Lord. Someone told me an idol is something you will sin to get. I do believe that, but I believe it is more then just something you will sin to get, it is something that takes the place of God. 
I recently deleted my Facebook for 4 months because It was an idol to me. I am not saying this to talk my self up, by no means, I am saying this because we ALL have idols and we need to man up (or Women up) and get rid of them. 
We are here for one purpose and one purpose alone. To serve our God. 
We can't do that with Idols, wrong motives and a fogged view of how soon he is coming back.

I believe the Lord is bringing Revival.....
....and it's going to be big.

Revival is going to hit America like a wave. A tidal wave. Only some will ride the wave out, And others, they will be left holding on to their traditions and un-biblical rules/beliefs. 
We don't want to get lost in this wave.
We want to be so confident that when this wave hits, we WILL be riding it out, and we need to help others get on the wave to. (discipleship!)

My Point- Revival will only come through those who DENY ONESELF, Take up their cross daily, and make them self an open vessle to the Lord to fill up. 
The Lord is going to bring revival through those people.....
,....and I believe A Lot of those people are going to be the youth of America. 
When we look at a lot of youth, our first reaction is no way. I know so many Youth that are seeking God with all their heart. All they want to do is get together and pray and seek. 

Maybe this is just me, But I am sick of adults saying "Boy, its something else to see a kid your age really seeking the Lord." Ha! That may be true in a way, but It would be something else to see more Adults TRULY seeking the Lord, Or anymore for that reason.

There has to be so much more to Christianity then, reading, praying, singing,  Church, and discipleship. I want to experience my God. The God of the Old testament- Who has and will never change.
"Ask and it will be given, Seek and you will find. Knock and the door will be open."

Examine your life..... What are you REALLY living for? What Idols are getting in the way God? Are we willing to be a sacrifice to him?

Friends, ASK for the Lord to give you a driving passion to seek him. (then praise him for it) SEEK him, and you will find him.(Prov. 8:17- Those who seek me, find me) Knock, He will open the door to show you all he has in store for you.