A River In the Desert

Isaiah 43:19A few days ago, I was reading during my quiet time and I read over one of my favorite verses in the Bible. I don’t know if you’re anything like me, but when I know one of my favorite verses is coming up, I get a tiny bit excited and get high on anticipation for what God is going to teach me this time through this verse on this occasion. Isaiah 43:19 is one of these verses for me.

Isaiah 43:19 states:

Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert.

This verse literally blows my mind. This verse on more than one occasion has lifted me up from very low points. I love the last part there, “I will make a way in the wilderness.” When you are lost and cannot find your way. When you do not know where to turn and feel as lost as you may in the middle of the woods, God will make a way. He is present and He will guide you down the path He has for you.

I have more than once felt completely lost. Before choosing a college, before joining the youth ministry at WUMC, before getting a job at FSU, before moving out of my parents house and into Crawfordville, and countless other times. God has brought this verse out again and again to show me that He is going to make a way. Even when I cannot see anything, let alone the path, He will guide me.

And then the verse goes on to say, “and rivers in the desert.” Well, that is just crazy. Deserts, by definition are dry and arid places. Rivers in the desert, that is something God has to do. And more than once, when I am dry and washed out, when I am so tired that I feel as if I cannot take another step, God provides a river in my metaphorical desert.

This verse has spoken to me in more ways than I can even count and reading over it again this time, it spoke directly to me again. Our youth ministry has been a bit dry and seemingly lost recently. We have a sort-of campaign going on called “Operation Andrew” where basically we are being Andrews in our county. In the Bible, Andrew was the “the bringer,” he was always bringing people to Jesus and that is what we want our kids (and us) to do for youth this week. For a while I was sort of skeptical about how it was ACTUAL going to work, but at a meeting we had a few days ago, God really poured out His Spirit on me and on our leadership team.

God is yet again, providing a way in the wilderness and a river in the desert, for me and for our leadership team and I could not be more excited to be a part of what God is doing through our youth ministry.

LC

Image originally from: http://www.thinglink.com/scene/492768214464331777

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Wait on the Lord

Wait on the LordIsaiah 40 verse 31 says,

But they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.

I read this verse this morning in my quiet time. This verse really stuck out to me for a number of reasons. First, because I absolutely love the line “they shall mount up with wings like eagles.” I love the imagery that provides.

I also love this verse because of the message it gives. It states that those who wait on the Lord will renew their strength. And yes, I have heard and read that a million times, but this time I really thought about it. Of course figuratively it means that when we wait on the Lord, He will give us strength to carry on. But also literally, when we stop and wait for the Lord’s direction, we are resting and renewing our strength. In our waiting on the guiding hand of the Lord, we are taking time to stop and rest.

It then goes on to say that those that wait on the Lord will also run and not be weary and walk and not faint. Of course, the figurative meaning is there, but LITERALLY, if we wait on the Lord and we rest in His timing, we will be renewed and be able to carry on when His call does come.

This is very difficult for me personally because I am a serious planner. I would plan out each and every day for the rest of my life if I was able to. I need to have a schedule and a plan for my day, if I don’t have any kind of schedule, it stresses me out. Thus, waiting on God, not doing endless planning or preparing, is really hard for me, but that it what God is teaching me in this time. God is teaching me to wait on Him. I am not sure in this season what God has for me, but I am excited and only by God’s grace will I be able to wait, but I am sure trying to wait on God, and in the mean time, to rest and trust His timing.

LC

Image Originally from: http://rebloggy.com/post/photography-vintage-indie-flowers-mountains-nature-retro-wild/62614657408

The Cattle on a Thousand Hills

IMG_9238I was reading a few days ago in Psalms and I came across a verse that I had read a number of times before, just mostly just glanced over it. Chapter 50, verse 10 states,

For every beast of the forest is mine, the cattle on a thousand hills.

Now, what made me stop and actually pay attention to this verse? I was reading a book called Circle Maker by Mark Batterson. The theme of this book is “Dream Big. Pray Hard. Think Long” This verse is one he highlights in particular. So often we don’t pray big prayers because we either think they are too big or that they could never happen or when we do pray big prayers, we get discouraged because it doesn’t happen as quickly as we would like and so we stop.

This verse blows the idea that anything is too big for God right out of the water. It states right here that every beast is God’s and He owns the cattle on a thousand hills. Do you know how much cattle that is? So unbelievably much. This verse has challenged me to pray big prayers and to dream big dreams. One prayer it has specifically challenged me to pray is for our county. From the outside looking in, our county is a regular ol’ fried chicken lovin’, sweet tea drinkin’, Jesus-lovin’, Southern town. But spend any time here, and you’ll see just how broken it is. The divorce rate is one of the highest in the state, Our families are broken, our community is broken, our relationships are broken. This county is so broken and in desperate need of a savior.

I fully believe that God can and will do an amazing thing in our county. That is what God has challenged me to pray for, revival in our county. And for someone like me, who hates to ask for even the smallest bit of help, we cannot do it by ourselves, God is the one who will do it and I can only pray that He will use me in it.

LC

#forthecounty

So, so many things to update about. So many things have changed in my life as of late. I’ve taken a semester off of school, started dating Cameron, started working for Wakulla UMC, and moved out of my parents’ house, just to name a few.

This last year has been a crazy one to say the least. I had some great times and I had some really bad times too. I am very excited for this year though, I cannot wait to see what God has in store for me.

Already, just nine days into this year, I know it’s going to be a good one. God has already shown me so much just in these past couple of days.

One of the things I am most excited about for this year is something that has been the passion of our leadership team at WUMC for quite some time now, and we have finally been launching it with our students. #forthecounty has been something that has been on the hearts of our leaders for a while.

What #forthecounty means to us is that we are doing everything through the mindset of getting the name of Jesus and His incredible message out to every single person in our county. Everything we think, say, and do is through the lens of will this help us to be more for the county. We recently launched this idea to our students, we went through a series entitled “#forthecounty” where we broke down what for the county means, what it means for us as a youth group, what it means for them individually, and we gave them an opportunity to make a commitment to be for the county in their schools, homes, and lives.

We are so excited about this plan for our county. It is our passion and our desire to have every single person in our county come to know Jesus as their Lord and Savior. It is our hope that this spark for Jesus spreads throughout our county, our state, our country, and ultimately the world. We know God can do amazing things and we fully believe that He can use our little youth group to do big things in our county.

#forthecounty

LC

Hosea – The Prophet Who Married A Prostitute.

Hey! 

It’s been a while.

I was watching a sermon by Judah Smith, one of my favorite pastors, and I was prompted to write a post on here about what he spoke about. 

 

He was speaking about the story of Hosea. 

 

Hosea was a prophet of God, he was to deliver the word of the Lord to the people. One day, God spoke to Hosea and told him to do something unbelievable. God told him to marry a prostitute. Yes, to go find a prostitute named Gomer and marry her and love her and have children with her. That is what he was called to do in his life. I want to stop right there and point out something. This right here and a picture of God’s love for us. God, who is our Hosea, chose to love us, a prostitute of sorts. He has chosen us, a people who sell themselves to every sort of other god imaginable. We sell ourselves to our jobs, school, boyfriends, girlfriends, husbands, wives, technology, the internet, friends, money, and countless other things. We sell our souls to these things, putting them far above God on our list of things that are important. And in doing that, we turn our backs on God, but God, being far greater than any of those things, still chose to love us. 

 

The story continues… Hosea marries Gomer and they have a life together, they have three kids and things seem to be going reasonably well. Then one day Hosea wakes up to find Gomer gone. She has returned to her old ways and left Hosea with the three kids. And you know what God tells Hosea to do? In Hosea 3:1, “And the Lord said to me, ‘Go again, love a woman who is loved by another man and is an adulteress, even as the Lord loves the children of Israel, though they turn to other gods and love of cakes of raisins.” God tell Hosea to go get his wife…and he does it. He goes and finds his wife. AND HE BUYS HER BACK. In Hosea 3:2 it says, “So I bought her for fifteen sheckels of silver and a homer and a lethech of barley.” Hosea goes and buys his wife back. She is being sold for sex and he pays the ransom for her. Not only does he do that, but he redeems her, he renews their vows right there. Hosea 3:3 says, “And I said to her, ‘ You must dwell as mine for many days. You shall not play the whore, or belong to another man; so will I also be to you.” Hosea redeems Gomer. 

This is such a beautiful picture of God’s love for Israel and by extension, us. He made man in the Garden of Eden, he loved man and for love to be true there must be choice, so God gave man the free will to decide to love him back, but man chose not to. Humankind chose to go after the things of the world, the fruit of knowledge of good and evil. Man ran after the things of the world, choosing them over God. God, in His infinite grace and love, redeemed us. He sent His Son to pay the ransom. Jesus was our fifteen shekels of silver and a homer and a lethech of barley. And He continues His promise to love us. He redeemed us when we were naked and broken and ugly and gross. 

And then, because of His great love for us, we are to go out and be  Hoseas. God took us, when we were Gomers, and made us into Hoseas so that we could go out and pull others out of their prostitution. We are Hosea for other people, we show them God and God redeems them. This is so beautiful! 

I hope this spurs you to want to be Hosea for someone as much as it does for me. 

LC

There is no power in hell or any who can stand before the power and the presence of the Great I AM.

Hi hey hello,

Last night at church we talked about a variety of things. There was one thing my pastor said that really stuck out to me though. He told a story about how his father wasn’t there for much of his childhood and then died when he was very young. But, before he died, he bought a bible and marked it up for his son. He gave it to him before he died and my pastor has been able to pull it out and is gaining so much insight from it.

He correlated that to how our Heavenly Father wrote a book for us, the Bible, but we do not take full advantage of it. God gave us the Bible to instruct us on how we are to live our lives, and yet, many Christians nowadays have not even read all the way through it. I am guilty of that, but I am working on it! I’m over halfway through a read through! Anyway, he said that we have this Bible, that lays out how we are supposed to live for God, and yet sometimes we act as if God has left us out to dry, with no help. Not only did He give us an instruction manuel of sorts, but He also gave us the Holy Spirit, to help us in daily life!

Have you spent time in the Word today? Do you plan to? Is that something you regularly do?

Title Lyrics: The Great I AM – New Life Worship