Friday, January 8, 2010

Join me in Revolutionary Prayer

I have slept a total of 3 hours tonight. Why? I believe God is calling me to pray and not to just pray for a few minutes, but apparently, all night. About what? A spiritual awakening to take place on my university's campus and around the world. I think it's a combination of coming off of the Winter Conference, reading Fireseeds, and gaining a heart for prayer, but I feel burdened to pray for my campus.

Why pray specifically for my campus and not other institutions? History shows that revivals have started on college campuses. I believe God is at work in this world, doing something crazy awesome for His name and His glory. I, for one, would like to be part of the work He is doing. Don Hayes, in his book Fireseeds, quotes G. Campbell Morgan, "We cannot organize revival, but we can set our sails to catch the wind from Heaven when God chooses to blow upon His people once again." I like this quote for a number of reasons, but for one, it places the emphasis of starting a revival on God. We cannot do anything without Him, let alone create a spiritual awakening. But, we can play our part and ask the Lord to show us the dire need of a revival for our generation and pray that He will use us.

God is the God of the universe. He is Love. He sent His Son to take upon Himself the sin of the world and to die in our place on a cross. Jesus Christ sacrificed His life for ours, so that we may have a relationship with the one true God. You may have heard this a million times before, but God has given me new insight into this magnificent truth. We are unworthy, undeserving, and yet, God has written for us and played out the ultimate love story. He has given me hope, guidance, and sacrificial, unending love. I desire to share this love with others on my campus and around the world.

My encouragement, burden, and/or call to you is this: join me in PRAYER. Pray for our college campuses around the world, that God will create a spiritual awakening and use us in His work. Pray that we would not be a generation that simply saw a need and did nothing, or worse, overlooked the most important need of all humankind. Start with prayer and be available. Thanks for partnering with me in this! We will not regret a life lived for Christ.

"'And so I tell you, keep on asking, and you will receive what you ask for. Keep on seeking, and you will find. Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks, receives. Everyone who seeks, finds. And to everyone who knocks, the door will be opened.'"
-Jesus, Luke 8:9-10

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

God is good, seriously

It's been a long time since my last post, school keeps you busy, and sometimes I'm just lazy. But hey, summer's here, and I finally have some time to type up some thoughts.

God is really good, really. I know people say that a lot, "Oh, God is good all the time, all the time God is good". But it's hard to relate to that when you're going through a particular season. I've been going through a season, it's been hard, but really good. And He hasn't left me to suffer all on my own, even when I've felt like I was completely and utterly alone, He's always been there. And He answers prayers, too. I've known this and believed it for some time now, but when I've been praying the same prayer for more than half a year, it gets frustrating.

But, I'm writing to say that God IS good and He does answer prayers; He always comes through. And it's those little moments, certain conversations, the rain, the waves crashing against the shore, the night sky, that reveal Him to us, well to me, at least. Today, I woke up and it looked like it was going to rain. Now, I never really liked the rain all that much, it just makes the day dreary and well, a tad depressing, but today, I was excited about the rain. I decided to go for a quick run before it started pouring, and wouldn't you know, it did start pouring as I was running. It was awesome! It felt so nice and I was just overwhelmed by the sheer wetness of the rain!

I got back home drenched and completely ecstatic! I was in a good mood! I haven't felt extremely happy in the Lord for a while and today was a huge, much-welcomed change. It just so happened that today I was on Psalm 8, and it absolutely blew my mind. God has a funny way of doing things, revealing Himself to us, and I was just mesmerized that I happened to be on this particular Psalm on this particular day. Read it for yourself, soak it up, and rejoice in the Lord! Praise Him because He more than deserves it.

I don't mean to ramble on, but I haven't felt this way in a long time and it's great! I've been fearing the future lately, which is not something I normally do. I usually can trust God to direct me to where He wants me to go, but it's been different this summer. I have one more year left in college and I can't believe three years can fly by so fast. I really don't know what to do after I graduate, but I have a few options and I really hope, I trust, that God is going to intertwine the passions He has given me with some job that will fit me. I know I can't be picky, the timing to find a job right now is not the best, but hey, that's life. We get so comfortable with our position in life, when we're thrown a curve ball we get negative and think, "Oh, when will it go back to normal again?" Well, you know what? Maybe God doesn't want us to go back to the way things were, maybe He's teaching us something, perhaps to depend on Him for everything

That was a lot of random information, but I guess my point is (and you might have heard this before, but it's really true) God is good and He's really got you covered. I'm still having to work through my trust and control issues, but He's working on me and it's been great. This summer is turning out better than I thought. . .

Until next time, enjoy Him!!

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

My Epiphany

I had an epiphany while reading Deuteronomy.

Deuteronomy 29:19 (King James Version)
"And it come to pass, when he heareth the words of this curse, that he bless himself in his heart, saying, I shall have peace though I walk in the [stubbornness] of mine heart, to add drunkenness to thirst:"

Now, New Living Translation:
"Those who hear the warnings of this curse should not congratulate themselves, thinking, 'I am safe, even though I am following the desires of my own stubborn heart.'"

I think that this is the perception of Christianity that many Christians have. I don't want to fall into this way of thinking, and I certainly do not want my Christian brothers and sisters to think this way. When we accepted Christ's salvation, we accepted Him to be the Lord of our life, the Ruler on the throne of our hearts, our Guide through this crazy, hectic life. Why do we simply accept His salvation and continue to follow the desires of our own stubborn hearts?

And what will happen to those of us who continue to do what we want, without considering what God thinks about our actions? Well, according to Moses, "The LORD will never pardon such people. Instead his anger and jealousy will burn against them. All the curses written in this book will come down on them, and the LORD will erase their names from under heaven." (Deuteronomy 29:20)

Now, we know that this will not happen to those who believe in Jesus because we are saved from an eternity in hell and promised eternity in heaven. But why does this not cause us to act differently, live a better life for Him? Deuteronomy 30:2 says ". . . return to the LORD your God . . ."

Let us return to Him. Let us take the advice of Moses and choose life, "that thou mayest love the LORD thy God, and that thou mayest obey his voice, and that thou mayest cleave unto him: FOR HE IS THY LIFE, and the length of thy days;" (Deuteronomy 30:19-20, King James, emphasis added)

I love this verse. May we cling to Him, for He is our life. The New Living Translation states: "He is the key to your life." Why are so many people searching for answers when we have them on our lips?

Deuteronomy 30:11-14
"This command I am giving you today is not too difficult for you to understand, and it is not beyond your reach. It is not kept in heaven, so distant that you must ask, 'Who will go up to heaven and bring it down so we can hear it and obey?' It is not kept beyond the sea, so far away that you must ask, 'Who will cross the sea to bring it out to us so we can hear it and obey?' No, the message is very close at hand; it is on your lips and in your heart so that you can obey it."

Hello, PEOPLE, we have the message, we know just what to do. Let us do it! Let us live righteously as we are called. We know what our life is, what it's about; it's about the LORD our God! Live for Him! Stop drinking, stop gossipping, stop telling lies, stop thinking of ourselves more important than others. Start listening to Him, helping those in need, doing our best for Him, no matter what.

I am extremely passionate about this because I used to be the person in Deuteronomy 29:19 "I am safe, even though I am following the desires of my own stubborn heart." Now, I have learned more, experienced more, and my desires have changed. I desire to see God work in believers' lives who are at the same place that I used to be. It's not worth it, it's not worth it. This way of thinking will "lead to utter ruin!" as Moses says. I am not perfect, but I am willing and working, by the Spirit's guidance, to be a person after God's own heart.

Listen and obey. Love the LORD your God with all your heart and soul. Choose life, "for he is thy life". He is better than any drink you can concoct, any party you will ever attend, any person you will ever meet. He is the love of our life. Treat Him the way He deserves to be treated, like your best friend, your King, your everything. He is worthy.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

OUR Life Challenge, Are you up for it?

This blog started as a requirement for my Advanced Composition class. As I come to the end of the semester and complete my final assignment, I want to be honest, bold, and provocative. Provocative in the sense that I hope to, by the end of this blog posting, challenge you, as my reader, as well as myself, to change the way we live.

I am a Christian. What does this mean? Is it simply a label? No, not at all, it defines me. I have recently come to understand that being a Christian is a lifestyle. It is a lifestyle that contradicts the norm. Society is so focused on life being about one’s self. Christianity is others-focused, putting others before one’s self. As you are reading this, you may be thinking, “Duh, I’m a Christian, too. I know what that means.” But do you? I mean, do you really know all that this encompasses?

This past semester I have observed an increasing number of students claiming to be Christians, but their actions and attitudes fail to support that claim. You may disagree, but the high school that I attended was and is still filled with people like this, and I was one of them. College brought about the same kind of people. It was not until I arrived at college and joined Campus Crusade for Christ that I fully understood what living the Christian life is all about. I may not understand every detail of this life, but I know that God comes first, others come second, and I come last.

Recently, I wrote a research paper on why people reject Christianity, and I found substantial evidence leading to one answer: society. Movies, television shows, magazines all center around one individual- ourselves. Many Christians get caught up in this and cause others to turn away from Christianity because non-Christians witness a person claiming to be Christian participating in the same worldly activities as non-Christians but simply label themselves as “Christian”. This is a major reason why people reject Christianity.

I am stating these facts for a reason. STOP! Stop participating in activities that the world says is acceptable and start living the way you know you should. I am including myself in this challenge. Even though we may not drink to get drunk, cuss, or partake in pre-marital sex, does not mean that we do not sin. Gossiping, lying, not doing what we know we ought to do are all sins. Not loving others the way we are called to love them, not caring for others more than ourselves are sins that we easily fall into. Society encourages us to do something other than the right thing, but if we realize this, find a group of friends who support us and believe the same way we do, and actually live this out, society will be changed.

This may sound impossible or just too difficult, but it really is not. We must meditate on the things above (Colossians 3:2) and spend our time with people who do this, too, and help those in need, present the Gospel to the Lost, learn to love others as Christ does. This is not something that will happen overnight; it will take time. We cannot be perfect here on Earth, but we can try, and then ask forgiveness when we fall short.

I am only concerned with the way my fellow Christian brothers and sisters and I are living because we know better. I do not want to continue living an idle life, as Paul writes in 2 Thessalonians. He writes in chapter 3 verse 15, “Don’t think of them as enemies, but warn them as you would a brother or sister,” referring to those who refuse to do good works but continue to believe the truth. I am here warning you and myself to stop living an idle life. Let us perform the good deeds that are laid out for us. Find patient endurance and peace in the Lord and live as we know we ought.

I challenge you to post your comments, concerns, or suggestions regarding the things I have proposed in this post. Let us keep each other accountable, let us change the world, not for ourselves, but for God. Besides, this is what we are called to do; we owe Him our everything because He gave His only Son so that we can spend eternity in Heaven.

That is our reward for living the Christian life the way it was meant to be lived. Is your eternity worth a little self-sacrifice? I believe it is.

I will end with Ephesians 4:1- “Therefore I, a prisoner for serving the Lord, beg you to lead a life worthy of your calling, for you have been called by God.”

Examine your beliefs and then examine your lifestyle. Are you living a life worthy of your calling?

Monday, November 19, 2007

The Risk of Public Speaking

I took Public Speaking this semester, and I was so nervous about my first speech! The thought of speaking in front of people freaks me out. When I talk, my voice sounds like I am about to cry, my hands shake, and my legs feel weak. This may sound cliche, but this actually happens to me. After I received the grade for my first speech, I was very displeased, mostly with myself. I asked my teacher if she had any tips for me, and she said public speaking is like taking a risk. This class is based on extemporaneous speaking which means we are allowed to have a few notecards with key words written on them. That is it! I am used to simply reading a paper I wrote, but notecards? So, for the first speech, I practically typed my whole speech and pasted it to notecards. Obviously, this is not what public speaking is all about.

After I spoke to my professor, I realized what she meant about public speaking being a risk. I have key ideas on a notecard, but I am not exactly sure what I am going to say when I get up in front of my peers. The thought of just "diving in," as my teacher stated, drives me crazy! I realize that is what I have to do; it is imperative that I keep my audience my main focus because if I am not engaging them with eye contact and an interesting topic, my speech has not accomplished anything.

Taking this risk is still hard for me to grasp, but I feel that I have improved over the course of this semester. My professor encouraged me to not be so hard on myself, and also, the rest of the class has no idea what I am going to say. If I say something that was unplanned, it is OK! No one knows! I like taking risks, but public speaking, to me, is almost equivalent to skydiving without being 100% sure I have a parachute strapped to me. This may sound crazy, but the thought of just getting up in front of people, not 100% sure of what I am going to say but diving in anyways, feels like diving out of an airplane. I hope I can one day overcome my fear of public speaking, but for now, I will attempt to enjoy the risk.

Fall Reflection

As I reflect on this Fall semester, I find that my top priority was to stay calm and keep things in perspective. My first semester was extremely stressful; it was hard for me to adjust to college life, leaving my mom, and experiencing new things on my own. This fall, I really tried to grasp Philippians 4:6 and the fact that I do not need to "worry about anything; instead, pray about everything." I think I succeeded at this because when I had a test or a ton of homework, I realized that I was not going to simply not study for a test or not complete an assignment. Everything was going to get done, and God helped me through each task.

My number one goal for the spring is to put forth a little more effort to make the grades I know I am capable of making. I am pleased with almost all of my grades so far this semester, but I feel that if I had put a little more time toward a specific class, I would have definitely made an A. Right now, I am not too sure if that is possible. I dislike looking back and thinking, "this class was easy, if I would have just done this or spent more time on this, I would have done better." I really do not like regretting anything; I like to try my best because then I should not be upset with myself for not giving all I have.

At the end of the spring semester, I want to look back and feel that I improved my study habits and skills. I need to use my time wisely and be diligent during the short "study" time I do have. For example, after a test day, I typically will not work on assignments or study for other classes that day. I like to rest for one day because I just studied a lot for a test. This is not being productive with my time. I want to look back after next semester and think, "wow, I really used the time God has given me extremely well."

Friday, November 2, 2007

New Courses for Next Semester

For the 2008 spring semester, I would like to take either New Testament or History of Christianity: Origins to the Reformation. I suppose I will have the chance to take both if I minor in Religious Studies.

New Testament Course Description:
This class teaches the history and philosophical concepts in the New Testament.

History of Christianity: Origins to the Reformation Course Description:
“History of Christian doctrine, ecclesiastical organization, and religious practice, origins through Reformation, with emphasis on religion and society; life and teachings of Jesus; apostolic church; patristic period; Christianization of Roman Empire and northern Europe; monasticism; medieval church; Gregorian reform; heresy; papal monarchy; schism and conciliarism; reformations of the sixteenth century.”

Because I am hoping to find a career in the ministry field, I feel that these courses will enlighten me and help me learn so much about the topics that will someday be my job. I will build on knowledge that I have gained from church sermons, Breakaway messages, Campus Crusade for Christ meetings, and from different trips such as Dallas Winter Conference and multiple church camps. I realize that these classes will not be anything like church, but I will be learning about the Bible and Christianity in a whole new way: the history of the New Testament and Christianity, concepts related to each, and religion. Many people who are not active Christians do not realize that Christianity is much more than religion; it is a lifestyle, a relationship with the one true God. They get bogged down by dos and don’ts and miss out on what being a Christian really is. It will be interesting to see how the professors approach these subjects.
I am hoping to minor in religious studies and theses classes will be the first of my 18 hours for my minor. Taking a class and learning about the Bible and Christianity will be extremely exciting for me. I am really looking forward to next semester!