Monday, October 25, 2010

I Want To Be Reckless

At this particular time in my life there is a lot going on. I'm in my second (and final) year of school, which is prooving to be quite stressful and somewhat tough. In with that, Ben is up at Liberty and I miss him terribly, and I am working diligently on wedding details and trying to get everything ready. The realization that the wedding is only 6 1/2 months away and I still have quite a bit to do is starting to sink in. I guess that all of that could get quite discouraging and overwhelming, but God is proving each day that His word is true and he is giving me the strength to make it through.
"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."       Isaiah 40:28-31 NLT
 I have been reading the book Reckless Faith by Beth Guckenberger for the last two weeks. This book was a recommendation by my Aunt Leah, and I am so glad that I have taken the time to read it. The book is a compilation of stories from her time in Mexico working with orphans. It tells how God led her, and how when she had reckless faith that God showed up and showed off. The things God asks us to do don't always make sense, but I really want to have the reckless faith it takes to let go and be led by God.

I'm getting my practice in on reckless faith, and I have a feeling that I'll be getting even more in the near future. Since Ben and I will be getting married in May (two months before I finish school & while he is just ending his first year at Liberty), there are a lot of things still up in the air as to where I will be able to find a job, and where we will be living, but Ben and I are pray for God's guidance and wisdom to make the right choices as we enter our marriage. We as a couple have to have reckless faith and trust that God will provide me a job and show us where he would have us to go, whether it be somewhere in North Carolina, Virginia, or all the way across the country in Oregon. The coming months will definitely prove to be a time of trusting for Ben and I.

I want to live my life with reckless faith, letting go and letting God do the leading.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Pumpkin Time

Ben and I have made it a tradition to carve a pumpkin each October, but not just any kind of carving, a Christian themed pumpkin. This year Ben surprised me with a white pumpkin, which I found really neat :). This is the fourth one that we have done together. Before we have done a cross or a Jesus fish, those types of things. This year we decided to put the symbols for Alpha and Omega on our pumpkin. Our God is the beginning and the end. He is the magnificent creator of the universe, and one day he will be coming back for his children. Because of him we do not have to fear death, we can live eternally with him! Thank you Jesus!

Monday, October 11, 2010

Time to come clean

Wow what a weekend! I got to see Ben this weekend, which was entirely wonderful as always, but I also got to go to the 6th annual ladies' conference at my church. The theme this year was "Wash Day - Come Clean". I have to say that it was a day full of fun, but most of all a sweet time of God using the speakers to touch our hearts. I found so many things helpful and encouraging. We started out the day with breakfast, then there were door prizes, games, skits, a catered lunch, and wonderful singing (all on top of the speakers). Many ladies left with wonderful door prizes, but one girl left the conference with the greatest gift of all time, the gift of salvation! Praise the Lord! Well, I think that does pretty good for a quick summary, but get ready for a golden nugget overload!

The first speaker of the day was Kristen Sauder. She spoke on Psalm 51:10, "Create in me a clean heart, O God. Renew a loyal spirit within me." She has two sessions during the day, the first session she covered the first part of the verse, and in the second session the second part. There were so many great points that came out of this one little verse. Here is your background: Psalm 51 is a Psalm by David that he wrote following his conversation with Nathan ... You know, the one where Nathan tells him the story of the rich man who took the poor man's only lamb because he didn't want to use one of his own. Then, David gets angry at the man... and you know what happens next... Nathan tells David that he is that man. (talking about Bathsheba) This story is in 2 Samuel 12...But, Psalm 51 is a psalm where David is desperate for God's forgiveness. In the first nine verses he is asking for forgiveness for past sins (not just the adultery and murder), and then in verse ten his is asking God to create a clean heart within him. This is where it gets really good. The word that is translated "create" is the form that is only ever used of God. Therefore, David is asking God to create (which only he can do) a clean heart within him. "Create in" could also be translated "Create for". So, David wants God to Create for him a clean heart. David isn't just saying.. "Hey God, I'd like to have a clean heart please" ... David is desperate for a clean heart to be created within him, one of which only God can give. He knows that he has nothing to offer, and he can't take care of or fix his sins. God is the only one that can do that. David went to God in desperation and asks the creator of the universe to create a clean heart for him because he has nothing to give and can do nothing on his own.... I love this part....The very same power and authority that God used to create the universe out of nothing is available to us to have God forgive our sins and create a clean heart for us. All we have to do is desperately go to God and ask him to do that for us. I think that is part of what is hard for so many of us. We don't like to think that we are "desperate" for anything, but we are. We are so desperate for God, and I think we tend to forget that. We have nothing to offer that he did not first give to us, and we are nothing without him. I want to live daily knowing that I am desperate for God and I need him to create a clean heart within me. This is so wonderful: As soon as we tell God that we can't do it on our on, and we need him, he begins to work in us and do what only God can do.

Alright, as amazing as those thoughts are... I think I'm ready to move on to the second part of the verse. Just for a refresher Psalm 51:10 is "Create in me a clean heart, O God, renew a loyal spirit within me." This section will be focusing on the "Renew a loyal spirit within me" part of the verse. The renewal David is talking about in this part of the verse is a daily renewal. You know that freshness you feel when you start your day with a devotion and prayer, that daily renewal and preparation for your day. I love this too: "Spirit" can be translated breath... and "renewal" can be revive. Now, when you revive someone with CPR you breathe into them. When God created Adam, he created him with dust and then breathed life into him. We can have a daily revival breath from God. When life knocks us down we can ask God to  revive the steadfast/loyal/firm spirit within us. I love the illustration Kristen gave with this. You know when you go to a fellowship at church and you are going through smelling and getting some of the wonderful food. Well you aren't excited about the bowl or Tupperware that the food is in, you are excited about the food. We are containers or "Tupperware" for God's breath. We mean nothing; everything is about the the breath of God flowing out of us and touching others. Wow, isn't that exciting! That daily renewal of God's "breath" within us will make a huge difference in our lives. I know that I can tell a huge difference between the days that I have my "renewal" and preparation for the day and when I don't. I can usually see it in my attitude and patience toward others. I want to daily ask God to renew a steadfast spirit within me and let me be his Tupperware. I want others to see Christ in me.

Very quickly, because it is very late and I need to get some sleep, I would like to say a little something about Kristine Taylor's lesson as well. She spoke on Modesty. It wasn't the ordinary everyday modesty speech about clothing though. She spoke on Modesty of Mouth. Modesty is not just apparel, it is also in our speech and conduct. She talked about the hurt that words can cause, and I thought it was cute that she mentioned the saying, "sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me" was a lie, but its so true! Words can hurt very badly. She also mentioned that with our words we need to be life-givers and not life-takers. I love that, and I hope that I can concentrate on making it a point to be a "life-giver" and encourage others with my words and let the Joy of Jesus be seen in my presence. To sum it up: Speaking with love, tenderness, grace, and humility leads to a modest mouth.
Here are a few verses to go along with this:
  • Proverbs 22:11
  • Psalm 119:9
  • Proverbs 16:24
  • Proverbs 15:1-4
  • Proverbs 31:26
Well, I think this post is probably going to be pretty long, but I just wanted to share a little bit of what I enjoyed this past Saturday. I hope some of you will be able to get some encouragement from all of this.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Another Monday...

Well, it is Monday again. Ben is back up at Liberty, and I am already missing him more than anyone should be allowed to miss someone. I keep thinking that it should get easier, I should be able to get used to him being gone during the week ... but no matter how busy I am, how much work I have to get done, each week is another one with Ben gone. I can't express how much I am looking forward to May 14. (222 days by the way). But, I am very glad that Ben has the opportunity to be at Liberty and I am so happy that he is following God's leading into Youth Ministry.

On another note, I think my dress got here today. But, since it (or whatever is in the package) was insured the mailman wouldn't leave it at the house. So, I'll be going down to the post office after clinic tomorrow. I really hope it is my dress, because then I can work on getting it pressed for my bridal portraits! I think it is going to be so much fun to have those made. Thinking on that... I need to call my hairdresser and see if I can get an appointment for an updo that day.

This past Saturday was the "Earl Miller Sr. Memorial Golf Tournament", of which all the proceeds went toward helping send the Jamaica Mission's team on the trip this year. It was a great success and I was glad to be a part of it. God is supplying our needs!

I was driving the golf cart around so Kelly could take some pictures, and we ran into mom, Ben, and Hannah passing out waters to the golfers :)