Jesus rocks

9/22/17 : Anomaly

This tweet was well timed for my life tonight. 

There have been several times when God has opened doors for me. Sometimes those doors are opportunities to do something I have always wanted, dreamt of and hoped for. Sometimes they are unexpected and point in a direction I never thought of. The interesting thing, in my experience, is that I am most calm and collected when looking through a doorway into something unexpected. Surprisingly, I get filled with anxiety when God opens a door for me into something that I've been praying for. 

Currently, I find myself momentarily filled with fear looking towards the future. God seems to be opening doors and bringing people into my life that want to empower me, stretch me outside my comfort zone, and support me 100%. This is daunting because I feel the pressure of high expectations (which I recognize are mostly self-imposed), and the discomfort of stepping outside my depth. 

"Perfect love casts out all fear." 

Any anxiety, discomfort, or fear is not of God, so if I've been praying for a door to open and it does, I CANNOT let the discomfort dictate my direction. I'm reminded of one of my favorite Proverbs:

"Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and He will establish your steps." 

I may have apprehension, fear, nervousness... but I choose today to welcome those feelings as promptings to get on my knees and lean on Jesus for strength and guidance, and to boldly walk forward through the doors that God opens until He stops opening them. 

Thanks bpolite4life. 

9/21/17 : Romans 8:11

Bible verse.jpg

This realization SHOULD be life-changing. It is truly incredible what the implications of this statement are if I actually have the faith to believe it. The same Spirit that had the power to raise Jesus from the dead also lives in me?!

But it doesn't feel like it's life-changing right now. 

I need a revival in my heart. Sometimes, I get to a point where I'm going through the motions. I don't necessarily feel like this is a bad thing, because in a way, "going through the motions" is walking by faith and not by sight for me. Right now I'm in one of those phases.

That's why this verse is great news. If that Spirit can literally raise Jesus from the dead, then it DEFINITELY has the power to bring revival in my own life. So, I'm claiming it. 

Thanks for this promise, God. I'm pumped about it. 

 

Day 40: Invitations are Necessary

When I was younger, there was a rule in our house that you couldn't invite yourself over to a friends house because it was very rude. I thought I was pretty clever by telling Leif have his mom invite me over so my mom would say yes. 

I still feel like it's pretty rude to invite myself places. In fact, sometimes I even feel rude accepting invitations if I feel I was invited out of obligation. Yet, there are some people and some places that I am so comfortable, I don't always need an invitation to pop in or hang out; I'll just do it. However, I still think that's intrusive... I just do it anyways I guess, 'cuz that's how much I love those people!

So, when dealing with anyone who is polite, non-invasive, and cares enough to respect your space, if you want to spend time with them you're going to need to invite them. The invitation is necessary for quality time together.

Jesus is pretty polite, definitely non-invasive, and He will never impose Himself on anyone unless they personally invite Him. This is why I love to start off any worship set, concert, or program I do with an invitation to the Holy Spirit (basically the omni-present version of Jesus) to be present with me, and everyone else there. 

Azriel shares this sentiment with me, so here is a variation of the concert-opening medley that we did in FL. 

Invite Him in!

Day 39: "Please Forgive Me"

This song has been my literal prayer many times in the last 5 years. There have even been times where I would literally sing these words out loud because I was feeling so separated from God by my selfishness. I felt like a failure, making the same mistakes over and over, seemingly stuck in one place as a sinner. In those times I felt like the promise of being transformed from "glory to glory" was not really true for me. 

But after asking for forgiveness, I feel God pick me up a bit, and I've got the courage to keep trying. I hope its a blessing to you too!

“And if we confess our sins, He is faithful and just and will forgive our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.”
— 1 John 1:9

Day 28: "The Wire"

Who made up these rules
Who’s the star and who’s the tool
And who’s the genius and who’s the fool
Oh who made up these rules yeah

Who wrote all of these laws
When to spit and when to applaud
What’s of the devil and what’s of God

Cause I’m so tired of walking this wire
I’m either ice or I’m fire
I’m so tired of walking this wire
I’m either ice or I’m fire
— Allen Stone

This is one of my favorite songs by my favorite artist. Growing up an American citizien and Seventh-day Adventist Christian while attending a church service every week, I remember listening to this song the first time and thinking... yeaaaahh! I AM so tired of walking this wire!

Remember in middle school, when you had that classroom that you weren't allowed to chew gum in? Why?! I loved to chew gum! And its all because of those idiots that didn't know how to locate a trash can when their Juicy Fruit lost its flavor, resigning instead to sticking it under their desks, or stomping it into the carpet. The teachers' solutions: to outlaw ALL GUM CHEWING. 

There is nothing bad about gum chewing. If there is, there's no way it outweighs the good. Yet, the rules decided to skip back a few steps to prevent even the OPTION of sticking gum under the desk. If the logical rule of "no sticking your used gum in the carpet or under the desk" is too hard to enforce, then we MUST come up with more strict rules to have enforce our own desired outcomes. It is entirely out of a desire to be in control. 

Well, that's how anything goes that grows large enough to become a man-made institution. Without getting too far into politics (church or governmental), I will just say that I think most laws and rules are put in place as a means to control a specific outcome that may or may not even be mentioned in that law/rule. Rather than leaders educating people on the benefits of behaving a certain way, they create penalties and consequences to control their behavior. 

I don't want to give examples of the rules and laws that I believe create a "wire" for me to walk. I want you to think of them for yourself. What is causing you to tip toe, and why? Can you even explain it for yourself? Better yet, what are the guidelines in your life that you try to project onto everyone else around you, whether that be in church, at school, or in your workplace? You may be creating a wire for someone else to walk. 

As a Christian, I have to remind you (and myself) that it is never our job to change other people. Our job is only to love them. It is the work of the Holy Spirit to change them. 

As a Christian, I have to remind myself (and you) that inner reformation is impossible by my own efforts. My job is only to let go of control. It is the work of the Holy Spirit to change me. 

Don't walk a wire. Don't create wires. 

A new commandment I give you: Love one another.
— John 13:33

Day 22: "The Big Sick"

So tonight, Morgan and I went on our first date (as a married couple)! I feel like it was one of my more creative, grand, romantic gestures of my life; we had dinner and watched a movie. Morgan shot down my hopes of watching Spiderman, but there was a movie showing neither of us had heard of, and after laughing through the trailer, we decided to watch The Big Sick.

The Big Sick is a story about a Pakistani comedian in Chicago that falls in love with a white, American girl, who ends up very sick and in a medically induced coma, fighting to stay alive. I'm not really interested in giving a synopsis, or becoming a movie critic of any sort, so here's why I'm actually writing about it. Also, it was a great movie, if you can get past the many F-bombs. 

Anyways, as we're watching this young man struggle through this stressful, heartbreaking experience, I couldn't help but think momentarily about how I'd feel in that situation. I quickly came to the conclusion that it would crush me. Anything happening like that to Morgan would devastate me. I don't know why I thought so deeply about this in the middle of a movie, but I did, and I realized something that I believe to be true.

Love is an emotion that magnifies all other emotions. The more I love Morgan, the more angry I am when she says something hurtful (not that that has EVER happened). The more I love Morgan, the more sad I am when she's heartbroken. The more I love Morgan, the more annoyed I am when she's annoyed. The more I love Morgan, the more I am happy when she's happy. The more I love Morgan, the more devastated I would be if anything were to happen to her. 

This is kind of morbid for sure, but it just made me think about God for a second. Surely, He could have loved no one more than His own Son. Not only that, but His love is so deep, so selfless, and so perfect, that if this theory of mine is true, then He definitely isn't always just a jolly happy character floating in the sky, much like the way kids imagine Santa in the North Pole. No, as He watches us, and loves us, deeper and deeper each day, His heart breaks more than ours ever could, His joy reaches levels we haven't experienced yet, frustrated, happy, angry, sad...

But the thought that was loudest in my mind, was that Jesus is God's perfect Son. A relationship so perfect with love that literally it destroyed death. Literally. And He had to watch His son get put to death by the very people they were trying to save. The level of heartbreak He must have experienced. Yet He didn't stop it, because that's also how much He loves us, too. 

It's late, I'm tired, probably getting sick, so I hope that made sense, and that the love of our Creator blesses you today!