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Archive for January, 2009

“My Lord God, I have no idea where I am going.
I do not see the road ahead of me. I cannot know for certain where it will end. Nor do I really know myself, and the fact that I think I am following Your will does not mean that I am actually doing so. But I believe that the desire to please You does in fact please You. And I hope I have that desire in all that I am doing. I hope that I will never do anything apart from that desire. And I know that, if I do this, You will lead me by the right road, though I may know nothing about it. Therefore I will trust You always though I may seem to be lost and in the shadow of death. I will fear not, for You are ever with me, and You will never leave me to face my perils alone.”

-Thomas Merton

A friend of mine posted this recently on her blog (www.mysilentjourney.wordpress.com), and I think this really expresses some of what I’ve been feeling lately. Life goes on, and on and on, but we never really know where we’re going. When we hold the Bible, our lantern, up high we can see the path in front of us, but only for a few feet. It shows us where there might be mud, rocks, or a tree in our path of life…the light helps us navigate around those troubles, though it can’t remove them. And when we lower our light, that is when we stumble and fall, because we no longer have the ability to see what’s in front of us or how to get around it. We stand at a crossroads many times in our lives, a point of decision. We hold our lanterns high, we call for directions, and try t o decide which way to go. But the light only travels so far, not nearly far enough to see the end of the road, and sometimes we can’t hear the person trying to give us directions.

“I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
two roads diverged in a wood, and I —
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.”

As Christians we have to take the road less traveled, the one that is difficult and hard to navigate, but the destination is most definitely worth it. But how do we know which way to go? I know I don’t have any clue half the time, beyond what the Bible says, of course. There are basic things that we are told to do or not to do, but when it comes to some big things like career and permanent life decisions…we have to rely on God’s voice, Christian counsel, and the Holy Spirit guiding our judgement. Sometimes I am so afraid of messing up and doing something that is outside God’s will that I forget that he is already pleased by the fact that I so want to know and obey his commands. And even in the times when I don’t want to know, I want to want to know what he would have me do. lol. But you know what? When we think we’re doing the best we can, when we think we are going the direction we should be (even if we aren’t really) we just need to keep going on, if we are open and trying to hear God’s voice, he will help us know which road to take. And if we come to a dead end, He will always let us turn around and try again. Just keep seeking Him with all your heart, look for Godly counsel, and trust the holy Spirit to guide you.

“The road goes ever on and on,
down from the door where it began.
Now far ahead the road has gone,
and I will follow if I can.”

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Bible Stud came to me accidentally last night when I was attempting to type “Bible study” on AIM. (Left off the y, and now I have Bible Stud…) Ok ok, I know it’s corny, but it’s also quite true. Ever stop and think what we truly value in people of the oppisite sex? I know that one thing I greatly admire is a heart for God, a life of worship, and a desire to earnestly seek Him. Honestly…a man who is truly following (and loving) God and has a desire to do His will is very attractive to a Christian girl. (especially me…) I think it’s great when I see my male friends are taking the initiative, studying the Word, carrying their Bibles with them places, “just in case.” So many men out there are not leading, are not worshipping the Lord with their life, they’re not following God and being the men that they truly need to be. It’s refreshing to have such wonderful guy friends who are on track being the men God is calling them to be. So, to all those Bible studs out there…keep up the good work!

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Quiet me with your love Lord,
as I walk through the storm,
Quiet me with your love God,
don’t leave me here forlorn.
On this restless sea of life,
Through the pain and through the strife,
Quiet me with your love Lord.

Quiet me with your love, my father,
Hold me in your hand.
Quiet me with your love, my teacher,
Guide me through this land.
In times when I feel so afraid,
I know you have my life well-laid,
Quiet me with your love, Lord

Quiet me with your love.

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Emotions are an amazing thing, yet also quite irritating at times. You say you feel one way, but maybe you don’t. You think you’re feeling something, but someone else says you’re not really. You’re pretty sure why you think or feel something, but in truth, your motivations for feeling that way are not what you thought they were. And, according to Jeremiah, the heart is deceitful and no one can understand it… argh! Can’t I just feel the way I want to and not have everyone question what I’m thinking? I tend to overanalyze myself (and others) a little too much already without other people jumping in the mix and confusing me even more.

For example: there’s this guy. No, not like that, I barely know him, but I’d like to get to know him better. I’m very much interested in him, I think he’s a pretty awesome guy. So I tell some friends who know me fairly well, and have met him. I’m excited, I’ve got someone “on the radar”, so to speak. (That and I’m also a woman who really wants to find her husband and raise a family to the Glory of God.) They tell me that I’m too codependent upon someone I may never find (my husband), that I’m not really interested in him, and that it’s just a rebound. They say I don’t act like I’m interested. How am I supposed to act? If he doesn’t get it by now he’s just dumb. But what do they think I should be doing? I tell them it’s not a rebound…how do they know that it is? I’m not after him just to have someone because I’m lonely after what’s his face left me, I’m not really after him at all. I’d just really like to get to know him, any more than that is up to him and God. But the point is, I think I know what I’m feeling, I already doubt myself enough as it is. Deciding you’re interested in someone who doesn’t reciprocate that interest is part of life, though it still hurts. I value their input, I really do, and I do still want them to keep advising me. I know they just want to keep me from hurting myself, but who can really truly judge our emotions? It’s not me, I have so many doubts and fears and insecurities in my own decision making skills at times, it’s dizzying.

I thought I heard God tell me once that this guy wasn’t the one for me, and that if I did start something it would “be worse than before.” But then on another day when I was thinking about him and wondering if I should tell him before too long (the future isn’t promised to us anyway, and I don’t know what my plans are either) I thought I heard God tell me “Don’t worry, he’s not going anywhere” as if I should just calm down, he’ll be there and we’ll have time. But then I start to overanalyze, was that really God? Could it have been Satan? Could it have been my own fears telling me not to get involved? Could it be my own selfish desires just hoping beyond hope that I may really have found someone? Ack! Emotions are frustrating. And being a girl, I think we have the worse end of the emotional spectrum. Men feel things just as strongly as we do, no doubt about that, but I think that the range of emotions and the speed at which women go through them is greater by far.

I don’t want to doubt or hurt anymore. I don’t know what I’m doing. I’m single, trying to figure out what I want for a career, where I want to go to school, what I want to do with my life. At the same time, I just long for simplicity. Love, friendship, children, music, Jesus, fellowship. Reading books by the fire, playing and singing and reveling in the beautiful harmonies, sharing a homemade meal with family, playing board games with friends. The lights and the glamour and traveling the world as a famous musician, or being the best teacher in the country…these things are not for me. What do I want? How do I feel? Who do I love? Where will I go? These are all questions that I thought I knew the answers to, but now I’m not so sure.

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Frustration

Lord Jesus, I am so frustrated right now. Things are just so complicated sometimes, and they don’t have to be. There are waves that I can see in the distance, coming soon to crush me, if they are not redirected. I have to get a second job, figure out my career path, focus on practicing my instruments, choose and work with disciples, maintain friendships, and wonder about love, all at the same time. Where is there time for me to just, be quiet? Spend time with friends, read a book, write a blog, pray, or listen to music with nothing else to do. *sigh* I just had a conversation with my dad on the phone and, like his mother, he reminded me of all the things I need to be doing and need to take care of and of all the things I haven’t done, and it just stresses me out. Lord, please help me to just have peace of mind and heart and spirit right now, to find the good friends who I can lean on when I’m troubled, and to rest on your promises. Father, quiet me with your love, Amen.

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All together separate…

God is doing something, what, I’m not sure yet. But if you’ve been watching the news you can tell things are getting stirred up, especially in the middle east. One of the amazing things that God has brought into my life is a great group of strong Christian friends. Over the summer my church had a missionary speaker who talked to us primarily about discipleship, so my church decided that we needed to start discipling others. Now before I continue, you must realize that discipleship is not just a class that you attend at church and you’re done. Discipling someone is about doing life with them, going through things with them, and spending time with them, leading by example. Some people think that two meeting together to talk and study is discipleship, but it really isn’t; that’s more what I’d call an accountability parter, or fellowshipping. Merriam Webster says a disciple is “one who accepts and assists in spreading the doctrines of another.”

Anyway, my father has collected several young men, all friends of mine, to disciple. He meets with these four guys individually once a week, and we often all meet together to worship and fellowship with one another. I have one girl who I will be starting to disciple, as well as other friends who are somewhat of accountability parters. And I am so excited to see what God will do with this group. The four guys that Dad is working with have truly been selected by God. There is the teacher, the pastor; the deacon/elder and worship leader; the servants: your two go-to guys who are always ready and willing to do what is needed to serve the Kingdom.

Yesterday we had a group of friends over to go to the beach. Unfortunately, the beach was rained out, but God had a plan. We went back to my place (there were 9 at this time, just missing one disciple) and we worshipped. Granted, there was something spiritually amiss, what I do not know yet, but the fact is we were there, and trying to worship. We ordered pizza, and played some games. We fellowshipped. When dad and the missing disciple arrived we had a study on spiritual warfare. (One person left before though.) As I looked around the room I was convinced that God had put everyone there who he wanted to be there. With the exception of myself and a friend, everyone was from a different church. It’s incredible the mix of people who were there. Sometime I might go into further detail, but everyone there was truly a Christian, and had a desire to learn, and were all perfectly balanced together. We are people who are called to be separate from the world, but by being separate together, we are standing strong.

I know that statistics say that only 4% of people who claim to be Christians will stand firm for Christ, and I know some who we think are strong now may not continue to be. I am both terrified and excited to see what the future holds for us as Christians. Winds are stirring, sands are shifting, and God is moving. What he’s doing, I don’t know, but I do know this: he is preparing us for such a time as this. Organizing, testing and strengthening us, and placing in our lives people who will encourage us towards Godliness and steadfastness. I thank God so much for this group of disciples, this small group of people who are willing to come together to worship and study His Word. Lord, help us to be strong in the days ahead.

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