Be A Seeker

Be A SeekerWhat would it look like if we sought God with all of our hearts?


Jeremiah 29:13 says,

You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart.


If I were to seek the Lord with all my heart, so many things would change in my life. How I do things and make decisions would change so drastically. When I am making decisions, I fall on one end of the spectrum or the other, depending on the circumstance. When I comes to big, huge decisions, like what I am doing with my life, I get so bogged down and so concerned with the details and parts of the choices, that I am not able to actually able to make a decision. I also fall on the other end of the spectrum when in certain circumstances, with certain people, I make quick, rash decisions and that is where I get in the most trouble.

If I were to seek God with all my heart, I would go into these decisions in a completely different fashion. In these huge, life-altering decisions, I would approach the throne of God and seek His will for my life. I would ask Him for guidance before getting stressed out about the details. I would trust that He has a plan for my life, as He states He does in Jeremiah 29:11, just a few verses earlier.


 

Jeremiah 29:11

For I know the plans I have for your, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.


 

In the smaller, day-to-day decisions, I would be so focused on the will of God and the plan He has for me, that the decisions I would make would be more aligned with the will of God. I wouldn’t go with the wrong crowd or places I shouldn’t be.

As I go through this week, I pray that you and I will seek God in each and every decision that we make, both big and small.

What would it look like for you to seek God with all your heart?

LC

Image originally from here

Advertisements

My Not So Insta-Worthy Life

IMG_6217_2I was reading through a post once again by one of my favorite bloggers, Stephanie over here. She was talking about how life feels small and there are not huge insta-worthy things happening, I was struck so much by how accurate of a description that is of my life.

Most of my days follow the same mundane schedule, get up, go to work, come home, do work for youth, and go to bed. This schedule has really gotten me down recently. Because I am not taking a ton of classes or working full time or bustling around with a crazy awesome life, I get down and get bored.

This post reminded me that  I need to be taking advantage of this time, I need to use this time wisely. God is using this time to grow me and change me into a women of Him. I pray that as I walk through this period in my life, I will use this time that I have to spend more time with God and take time for myself to grow and change.

 

LC

image originally from here

A Fire Within Me

Jeremiah 20:9Jeremiah 20 verse 9 says:

But if I say I’ll never mention the Lord or speak in his name, his word burns in my heart like a fire. It’s like a fire in my bones! I am worn out trying to hold it in! I can’t do it!

Man, this verse struck me to the core. In modern day terms, what this verse is saying is, “If I decided to never speak of God again, it would burn me up inside, I couldn’t not tell people about Him and what He has done for me.” If I don’t go one day without sharing the name of Jesus, that is not a super uncommon day, in fact, as much as I hate to admit it, that is actually a pretty common day.

As I read this verse, I was struck not only by the power of this verse, but also by the passion that Jeremiah possesses. He is so passionate about God and what He has done in Jeremiah’s life, that he simply cannot stop speaking it, without risking the very words burning up him on the inside.

If I am being truly honest with myself, I am not sure that I am that passionate about ANYTHING in my life. I am not even that passionate about the things I genuinely love and enjoy doing. If I don’t tell someone about how much I love to bake or read, it’s not a big deal. Even when people ask about what I like to do, I am not passionately sharing what I enjoy.

Reading this convicted me really deeply. As I read it, I prayed that God would make me passionate about Him and His word, if nothing else. Because what better a thing to begin being passionate about? If I can be passionate about nothing else, but Jesus, I will be in a pretty good place. As I have continued to pray about this, God has begun to stir passion in me, not only a passion for His Word, but also for the things I used to love, writing, creating, and spending time with friends.

I am still a work in progress, but I am so thankful that God has begun to reinvigorate me, after this rough patch I have been through and am currently in.

LC

Image originally from here

Contentment.

Contentment“The grass is always greener on the other side.”

I was reading a blog post by the lovely Stephanie Wilson on the topic of contentment.

This is something I have struggled with for as long as I can remember. I remember all the way back in 4th grade, looking up to the incredible 5th graders and thinking how great life would be as a 5th grader. It happened again in middle school, looking at the 8th graders, and then again in high school looking toward senior year. In every phase of life, we are looking forward to another part of life and believing that this portion of life will be better simply because of where we will be.

This is something I am currently dealing with. I keep looking forward to my life after college, after finals, after classes, to my “real life” with a big girl job and a family and my life laid out for me.

God is really working on me in this area, not only being content in the place in life that I am at, but also using this time to the fullest. God has me where I am for a reason, he has me in this semester off, where I am just working. He is using this semester to grow me and teach me to trust Him.

LC

image originally from here

Operation: Andrew

Operation Andrew FlyerThis week was Operation Andrew, where the goal was to get as many people to come to youth as possible. We were trying to be “Andrews.” In the Bible, the disciple Andrew was known as the bringer, he was always bringing people to Jesus and that is what we want to be and what we want our students to be.

We had been hyping it up a lot, but Josh and I were not confident that it was going to work. There was a lot riding on this week and so we really wanted to give it our all. As we were gearing up for it, we had a meeting that Saturday before (1/24/15) to discuss a couple of things. Basically the mission we took on as a leadership team was to “Exhaust every resource.” We were going to use every avenue we had to get students there, text, tweet, FB, instagram, call, talk, EVERYTHING.

As we were talking, Josh gave us a number to shoot for. The number was 18. At the time, it seemed to just be a number pulled out of a hat, but looking back, I can see God working so powerfully the whole time.

As tonight came, a bunch of students came, we had pizza and cookie cake. It was fun and a great time. When it came time for service, as the students sat down, we counted it up and, including leaders, we had exactly 17 when the sermon started. This was very discouraging because we had been praying so hard and doing everything we could to hit 18.

We knew God would still work and that He was still sovereign, but it was like,” really God? 17? Why?” As if answering our doubts, ten minutes into Josh’s sermon, another student walked in. And he didn’t just walk in normally, he came in the wrong entrance, through the Sunday School room and across the stage, thoroughly disturbing youth.

It was as if God was flaunting that He really can do whatever He wants, He is in total and complete control. He sent another student to just come walking across the stage, so show us that He is in control and that He is going to do something huge in the student ministry.

Almost as if further confirmation that God is doing something here, while I was on my way home, something insane happened. I literally almost died. I was driving and suddenly a car swerved into my lane and was heading directly for me. Not swerving or anything, just in my lane doing at least 60 miles per hour. Had I not swerved off the road, we would have collided head on and I would have been severely injured, if not dead.

I am fully confident that this was the work of the enemy. It was a spiritual attack. Satan is terrified of what amazing things God is doing in Wakulla United Methodist and He will do whatever it takes to stop it. God came through once again and protected me. This has inspired me all the more to keep working for what God is doing in our county. GOD IS SO GOOD.

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

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

The Weight of Sin

I was reading in Numbers a few days ago and something struck me. The sheer weight of our sin. I was reading in chapter 28 and 29 where it talks about the daily sacrifices, sabbath sacrifices, monthly sacrifices, and the different festival sacrifices that the Jews  had to do. I was simply blown away by the utter magnitude of our sin. In chapter 29 it says,

“Present as an aroma pleasing to the Lord a food offering consisting of a burnt offering of thirteen young bulls, two rams and fourteen male lambs a year old, all without defect. 14 With each of the thirteen bulls offer a grain offering of three-tenths of an ephah of the finest flour mixed with oil; with each of the two rams, two-tenths; 15 and with each of the fourteen lambs, one-tenth. 16 Include one male goat as a sin offering, in addition to the regular burnt offering with its grain offering and drink offering.”

It proceeds throughout the rest of this section to count down in the bulls, until it adds up 71 young bulls, 15 rams, and 99 male lambs. The worth of all of those, for one festival would be unimaginable, and that was on top of the other usual daily sacrifices they had to do. All of this and they still were not able to truly be clean from their sin and be acceptable. That absolutely blows my mind. All of that sacrifice and they still are not good enough. If that is true, then the enormity of our sin must be momentous.

Understanding this key point is vital to the gospel. If we can actually understand the immense expanse of our sin, then the idea of the sacrifice of Jesus is that much more amazing. He had the weight of ALL of our sin on His shoulders. Not just all of mine and all of yours, but all of every human being that has ever lived, is living, and will ever live. The weight of that must has been enormous. Reading this makes me so much more grateful for the sacrifice of Jesus, what He did for us on the cross. What He endured so that we might live. It makes me so thankful!

I hope this makes you as grateful as it does me!

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