Wednesday, March 27, 2013

The TRUE Hope

What would solve the world issues? What would solve all the "world problems"?

We have been discussing these questions in Youth Group recently. Most of the discussion has revolved around community - close, extended, and farther. We touched on going farther - to the ends of the earth -  this last week and I found it really interesting to hear the direction it went. We discussed world problems (The need of food, water, and shelter. The need for a cure of diseases and/or need of medicine around the world, and many more.) and what would be the only real HOPE the world would have in solving all the issues. JESUS!

Yesterday was a very interesting day. I was reading some facebook posts and saw that there was an overwhelming number of people that had changed their profile pictures to a red box with rectangles of pink or white inside them. (The EQUAL sign) This was/is a direct way to indicate through social media support of equality of gay marriage. More specifically referencing the "human rights" campaign and all the discussion happening currently in the Supreme Court. Marriage equality. "Love is Love", right?

I don't normally post things like this, but this has me very intrigued.

Love is love. Doesn't matter who it's between.

I would agree, to some extent. It doesn't matter who loves who, however, it does matter how it is carried out. Marriage was intended to be between one male and one female. It was intended this way through God's perfect design. Any other way is a distinct motion/action against the Creator's plan.

God's design was made without flaws because He is perfect! Why would you mess with a perfect design?

I went to a conference last weekend. There were several helpful and informational workshops. One workshop was specifically talking about this exact thing. The workshop was conducted counselor (by profession) that counsels those with same sex attractions. This gentleman has a passion for this because he too is a man that has same sex attraction. He spoke about many things but a few points that stood out to me were the following:

1. You CAN'T choose your attractions
2. You CAN choose how you act on your attractions
3. God designed marriage a certain way - one man and one woman. Living outside that design (action opposite of God's design) is sin. It's a distortion of the design.
4. No matter what your attraction is: You need friends (and JUST friends) of both genders
5. No matter what your attraction is: you need to be treated like a man if you are a man and treated like a woman if you are a woman.

Personally, I choose to love everyone as Christ does. It's what I am called to do. Love the person, and point them to Jesus!

HE is the TRUE Hope!

Something that was posted this morning from a good friend of mine. A great example of how to process this current action flooding the social media and our hearts:


"I hope each of you decides to read this...it's been heavy on my heart and mind all night.

"In the past couple of days, I have noticed a large outpouring of profile pictures displaying a red equal sign. If you don't know where this comes from, it comes from the human rights movement supporting gay marriage, saying equality for all, no matter religious or sexual beliefs.

"The reason this has been heavy on my heart is because I see people in my life that say they are Christians (Christ Followers), placing this red equal sign as their profile picture. I simply want to ask the question, is this Christ like? Is this a Biblical worldview? Would Christ have fought for gay marriage to be okay if you wish to live in that way?

"The way I understand Scripture is that anything we pursue outside of God's design and purpose for our lives is living in sin. Scripture states that sexual immorality (which includes homosexuality) was not God's design for our lives.

"So back to my question...is supporting this movement as a Christ Follower appropriate? I'm not saying Christians shouldn't be about human rights...we are called to love all...but does love mean saying that it's okay for people to live in a sinful lifestyle?

"I'm open for a respectful conversation here."

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Wants and Desires

Last time I posted I talked about contentment. Well, here's a spin on it with a focus on Spiritual contentment.
 
I have realized that I'm not as content with things as I thought.
 
I would like more clothes, yet I'm getting rid of a bunch.
I would like a new car, yet I have a good reliable fuel efficient car already.
I would like a dog, yet I don't have time for one.
I would like a house, yet I don't have the finances or time for one.
I would like a deeper relationship with the Lord, yet I don't make it a priority.
I would like to do missions work in another county, yet I am scared & don't feel I can leave my job.
 
LORD, IT'S ALL YOURS!!!!!
Sometimes I feel like even though I'm doing lots of good stuff, it's all successful (overall) and most all of it is impacting the Lord's Kingdom, I feel as though I'm just not quite "there" yet.
 
Obviously we all keep working on things. We never quite reach the goal we set for ourselves, and we can ALWAYS be striving for something better. Especially when it comes to our relationship with Christ.
 
Recently I have a desire for more boldness in my faith. I want to be more bold with courage to talk to my coworkers, family, friends, and students about Jesus and how He can impact their lives as He has mine. However, I have also realized one of the reasons it has been such a struggle is because often times it's a reflection of your own relationship with Christ.
 
I believe in God, many people do. I believe it's not about just believing in God, it's also about a relationship. Sometimes I forget the truly incredible gift He gave us by sending His son and the magnitude of that gift. I realize how easy it is to accept it. That's what I have been teaching students and many others for years. All you have to do is receive the gift. It's there for the taking. You just have to take it.
However, one of the things I miss in these teachings is this. The gift is precious, and it has several benefits. One of which is a relationship with Our Creator. How cool, right? But like any relationship, you have to take care of it and nurture it. It takes some work.
 
Work: Activity involving mental or physical effort done in order to achieve a purpose or result.
 
Effort - talking, learning and listening.
 
We need to talk with God. It's a 2 way conversation. You talk some and you listen some. I like to think of it as.... I want to call or text my best friend to tell her about my day, I don't even have to text God, He's just there waiting to hear all about it, no matter where I am.
 
Learning.... The Bible is PACKED with treasures.... studying it [regularly] will unlock the important and applicable truths. I am in a spot in my life where I am yearning for something of treasure.... Something that I can dive in and drink until my never ending thirst is quenched. And only by the Holy Spirit in the God breathed words of scripture will this happen.
 
In my daily activities I am surrounded by this type of information, and regularly am I reminded that my daily walk or even weekly walk isn't what it should be. So, here I go.
Each moment and each day is a new beginning. Each meeting with the Lord is a fresh start to only get deeper from where you are and where I am right now. 
 
Next up.... digging deeper! And taking it just one day at a time!
Talking with God more often, reading the word more regularly, and just finding the place and time to...
 
JUST LISTEN.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Quick post

The last several days I've been working through several things.
HOWEVER,
One of them is contentment.

I've been apart of several worship services and conversations lately where "contentment" is the main topic... taking many different directions for each.

Personally it hits me in a few main categories in my life (knowing there are probably several others as well - these are what come to mind first).
1. Spiritual
2. Material
3. Relational

#1 - I feel we can always strive for a better walk with our Lord. So... It's easy to keep pushing on in my faith - to at the very least to have the desire to continue to push forward. Sometimes we all need help from others.

#2 - Generally speaking, I feel like I am very content with the "Material" side of things in my life. I have been blessed to not have a need for anything. I feel in some ways I have what our Pastor preached on a few weeks ago as "more than enough". Though I know, in this, sometimes I don't take the best care of my "more than enough" so it seems like I don't have the option to bless others with it. I know that if I continually give my needs and wants over to the Lord that He will continue to provide my needs and help me sort through my wants.

#3 - I REALLY struggle with this one. I love my relationships with my family and friends. I may be biased, but I truly believe I have been blessed with some of the best friends and family I could ever ask for. God has placed such supporting, encouraging, and "healthy" challenging people in my life to push me forward in maturity, and growth as a person in all aspects of life. I try to continually praise the Lord for the gift of them He has given me. One thing I have a hard time with though is trust that the Lord will bring me the man of my dreams along. I had a rough go the last several weeks and even months on this one. (It definitely seems to be an emotional roller coaster at times...) This past weekend I have had a full peace about this part of my relationship status come over me. I have dealt with a hard "blow" from a guy recently (most likely unknown to him) that really made me search after the Lord that much stronger. Leaning on my faith and trust in Him that much more. Realizing that God is and should truly be my One Desire. It will probably be a constant battle for a while. Something I will have to give over to Him daily, and maybe even hourly on some days... but in the end I know, without a shadow of a doubt. He is completely and utterly worth it to the full extent.

The following songs have been a huge part of my life lately. Please enjoy and take care as you see and listen to my heart through song....

Steady My Heart - Kari Jobe

Footprints in the Sand - Leona Lewis

Find You On My Knees - Kari Jobe

Here - Kari Jobe


Sunday, April 8, 2012

Easter Prep unlike the others....

Good Morning to you all,

This morning as I sit here thinking....

Today.
Today is the day that I don't go to work. I have been working for 34 days straight and get the day off. My company is in TurnAround mode with the refineries so we are running 2 - 12 hour shifts a day to get the work done. I have a 9am deadline each day to make, so one of my co-workers and I show up at work around 5am each day and work like crazy to get the labor hours of our other coworkers submitting into the online accounting system by that deadline.... and without a hitch it has happend all but day 2 of this long stretch. (today may be another). We were told , by our great bosses to take today off. This is an amazing gift to be offered so we took them up on it! It causes a few issuses though... That means others are making the deadline for us... and even though they will probably do a great job, it's still another hand that is doing work and we get to weed through it later on and see how it was all accomplished.

Today.
Today is the day that I get to sit with my family and friends and remember what it really means. My Cousin and Aunt just returned early this morning from Haiti. They were there for 10 days covering my cousin's spring break! We are all hoping they can be alert enough, after the long traveling, at the family celebration to share some of their experiences with us. It's always incredible to hear of how God was involved in these types of trips! It will be a different sort of celebration time with family due to schedules of everyone today, but it will be so nice to enjoy the precious time together. I take time with family and friends for granit sometimes.

Today.
Today is the day when the ladies when to the tomb and found it empty over 2000 years ago. Today is the day of GREAT joy. Today is the day we can be thankful that unlike any other person, Jesus, came and wiped clean EVERY sin from each of us. I can't express my gratitude to the Lord enough. The fact is that Christ died a horrible and suffering death for each and every person that ever was, is, and were to walk the earth... Bless you, Father!
We have a choice today. To remember the blessing it is to serve a God to GREAT and so wonderful or think about everything that seems to not be going the way we want it.
Today.

JESUS...
Birth? HUMBLE
Earth life? SHORT, BUT SO MEANINGFUL
Cross? BORE SINS AND DIED.
Grave? CONQUERED.
Jesus? ALIVE!
People? REDEEMED.

Praise the Lord! He is RISEN!!!!

Happy Easter everyone!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

In TENTS!?

So when talking to people about my camping trip, the most common question was, "You're camping... like in tents?" To that I laughed! I think there is something to be said about camping in tents vs. trailers or any other way. There is a sense of 'roughing' it, and being in the climate...
Needless to say, we camped in Washington so we experienced multiple different types of weather. Rain, Sun, Clouds, Wind... you name it! Just about everything but snow... (however just a little higher on the mountain there was some.)

We had a blast! The first group (5 of us) got to the camp site about 9pm on Thursday night, so we quickly set up camp and got a fire going! Then the guys pulled out a guitar and we sang tons of songs ranging from "This land is your land" to "We all live in a yellow submarine". (It's stuck in your head now, isn't it! Muah ha ha ha!!! My evil plan worked! ha! Just kidding, I'm sorry for that...)

Here is a picture of our tents... first morning....


We played tons of Tennis, catch, horseshoes, and went for several walks with Sadie (Keith and Paige's dog). It was so fun and Lake Tyee was beautiful (something I failed at getting a picture of...)
Below are some more pictures of our time...

If you look closely... there is dinner in that fire!!! (Poor Mans Stew - potatoes, onion, bell pepper, chicken, celery, and carrots! It was Delicious!)

Here's Paige! She was a trooper! She was on top of it when it came to the meals! She is making our first meal in this picture... Spaghetti!!! Mmmm


Sadie... Love this dog! Though sometimes a trouble maker, I always have a blast with her! We had some good walks around the lake together!


We had a competition for the best s'more. I believe this one was the first of many... but here you have it! Keith's s'more in all it's glory!


Our Spaghettie dinner over the fire! Red sauce with meat, noodles, garlic bread, hot water for hot chocolate and coffee! (It was raining and cold this day.)


There you have it! A snapshot of my weekend! I had a blast! We had a total of 8 people up there over the weekend (in shifts) and I couldn't have asked for a better bunch of people to spend it with! They are truely the best!


Now, I have less than 24 hours to go before heading to Malibu Young Life Camp with over 300 high schoolers, I have a lot to do! :)
Until then...


Tuesday, July 5, 2011

The 4th and More!

Last night was the 4th...

I really enjoyed my weekend with Friends and Family! I started my weekend off on Friday afternoon shoveling the rest of the river rock from my folk's house into a pickup with Keith and Paige. Then off to our Double-header softball game... Lost the first and won the second, then off to plan for our upcoming camping trip! Hopefully I can get some sweet pics up of that! :)
Saturday morning I was up and hitting to road early with Kristin for our Saturday Garage Sale trip! :) We tend to do this every couple weeks or so! We mainly stayed in Bellingham this time, but we have gone to Lynden and Ferndale in the past as well! There are always such interesting things at garage sales... ranging from furniture to clothing, to random household appliances and pets. I think the bonus is always to have a house selling donuts that early in the morning, accompanied by the sale being a fundraiser for a good cause! (A few weeks back we went to a sale being put on by 3 families that are adopting 7 kids from Haiti! How cool is that!!!) Anyway, Kristin found a few more "project" items and I got the enjoyment of driving! Can't get much better than that! :)
Small group at the Bascom's that night with Caleb, Jaron and Kristin! Sooo good! We are going through James and unpacking all the good stuff in it! I have learned so much since we started! It will be a few weeks now, but it will be good to finish up chapter 5 in a couple weeks!

Sunday morning was a fun experience! I was on worship team, but this weekend was a little different! The team was a little smaller due to the Youth heading to Summer Camp last week in Spokane, WA. So, the team was Jaron, Steve (Jaron's dad0 and myself. We are currently working on a song set as a trio in our spare time, so it was fun to sing together! We were able to spend the morning really focusing on harmonies and doing some a capella pieces too! Ohhh it was so fun! It was great to just take things back to a more simple way of worship! Less distractions and more focused time with Our Lord! Music to my soul, Literally.
Later I got together with friends (some old, some new) for a BBQ and some roasting marshmallows! Always a fun way to start off the month of July with having s'mores! :)

Monday... the 4th... there are so many things to think about... those who fought for us, those who are fighting for us, the freedom we have, the family and friends we share out lives with... so many things to be thankful for! I had a blast with my family for an afternoon BBQ and some ladder ball. It was nice to kick back and relax. Then I was off to Birch Bay to see the fireworks! Awesome night!




All in all, good time had by all!

Happy 4th Everyone!

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Catching up a bit...

Do you ever feel like you have too much to do and not enough time to do it?
I feel like I have spent the last several months starting to weed out things in my life... (I have to stop there and say that all were good things that I LOVED doing, I was just doing too much)... and now I came to the realization today that, for me, this will probably never stop! haha!

I love being busy! Not the crazy-can't stop-can't see a light out kind of busy, just a life-full-of-stuff-people-on-the-outside-think-I'm-crazy kind of busy.

A few things to catch up on...

My brother is getting married in August and it's been super fun to be involved in the plans and getting to know my future sister-in-law better! She is the BEST! :) But with all the wedding plans unfolding, it makes me wonder... Will my time ever come? Am I doing something wrong? Do I even have time for someone if the right guy were to come along? For all these reasons and much more, I can truely only give it over to the Lord! My thoughts, desires and so much more only belong to Him! In that I can find peace!

In other things... My summer has begun and is fastly moving forward! I have a camping trip (or 2) planned with friends at Lake Tyee (near Concrete, WA) and can't wait to share what that experience is all about! It's at a property that my co-worker owns who has graciously offered it for me and whoever I want to come join! It's awesome! I get to check it out next week! Pictures to follow on that one for sure! :)

My softball team is up and running as well! We have a great team this year and currently hold a 5-1 record! Best yet I think! :) (however we have had the possiblity of 10 games, 4 of which have been rainned out... but they will be made up for sure!)

Next on the summer agenda, I head off to Malibu Camp in Canada in Mid-July with a little over 50 FHS students! Can't wait! I love it up there! The amazing scenery, the solitude away from life, the ever-changing hearts of the students, and the pure fun and joy the kids (and leaders) have while there! All that while being smack dap in the center of God's creation where the distractions are few! There are 27 girls (including 3 leaders) going so far and I am really looking forward to seeking lives transformed! :)

Well, enough of a catch up for now... I am currently waiting for my clothes to dry for work tomorrow then off to bed! But maybe I will just read another chapter first...