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Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Looking back, part three

Looking back on the last few years has been interesting. Each year has a very specific theme of who God was. (Read part one here , and part two here) Year three is this year. I couldn't possibly be able to share everything God has been and has done in my life this year. There is just too much. But I will try to share a bit of who my God is, and how wonderfully overhwmelming 2012 has been.

"God is faithful." I feel like this is one of the most frequently said sentences coming from my lips. He is so faithful. I have been kinda stuck in Psalms this summer, it is just so good, I can't stop reading it. Psalm 33:4 "For the word of the Lord is right and true; he is faithful in all he does." Psalm 36:5 "Your love, O Lord, reaches to the heavens, your faithfulness to the skies." Psalm 86:11 "Teach me your way, Lord, that I may rely on your faithfulness; give me an undivided heart, that I may fear your name." Psalm 86:15 "But you, Lord, are a compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness." Psalm 89:8 "Who is like you, Lord God Almighty? You, Lord, are mighty, and your faithfulness surrounds you." psalm 89:14 "Righteousness and justice are the foundation of your throne; love and faithfulness go before you." He has proven himslef faithful in the little things, so I trust him with bigger things. Then he shows himself to be faithful in the bigger things, so I trust him in the larger things. And soon, I am trusting him with everything. It makes sense, he is so faithful. He has this girl in the palm of his hand.

I have God's favor. People say I'm lucky, or things just happen to work out for me. I don't agree. I really, truly believe I have God's favor all over me. I am his. He is mine. I am his beloved. He takes such good care of me. It often doesn't make sense, but it is so true. God's favor is so evident in my life, in the big, and in the little.

This year has been an adventure. Some people live in the camp that believe that being a Christian is boring. Well, maybe that is how some people choose to live, but not this girl. I believe Jesus when He said, "The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly. -John 10:10" Abundant life. Life with meaning and purpose. Adventure. I have traveled all over this year. I spent a couple months living in South America. My days are filled with so many people, and so many activities, every day is different. I lead one the happiest, most fullfilled lives out of anyone I know. I have a real God who really cares about me. I can dream big dreams, because He is more than capable. Adventure? Story of my year.

I know the power I have through the Holy Spirit. Did you know that the same power that rose a dead Jesus back to life is the same power that lives inside of me? Seriously. Romans 8:11 "And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies because of  his Spirit who lives in you." I can tap into that power. It is mine. My God is the God who created the world by just speaking. He split an entire sea, so the center was dry land. He causes life to exist. He is that same God, and He is true, andHe lives inside of me. Crazy, huh?

I am thrilled to watch as things unfold the next few months, and my heart is anxious to see what next year will contain. But for now, I praise Him for being faithful, His favor, adventure, and His power.

Have a cozy day! M

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

looking back part two

This is Part Two of my Looking Back post. (Read Part One here.)

Year number two I discovered God's love in a real way.

His love for me is more overwhelming than I could ever begin to imagine. Not only did He love me enough to create me, but then when I went against Him, He sent His perfect Son (Jesus) to take my place and take my punishment, so I can be in rightstanding with God. Mind blowing. And then, He continues to love me more than I ever could understand, regardless of what I do. I don't understand it.

I am His beloved. He loves me. Unconditional love.

This is the year He really opened my eyes to the fact that he loves everyone. (John 3:16 For God so loved the world...) He doesn't just love middle class, white, Americans. He loves everyone. He loves the prostitues in Detroit. He loves the babies without names, abandoned in third world countries. He loves the addicts on the street. He loves people who want nothing to do with Him. He loves the homeless. He loves the sick. He loves the hopeless. He loves those who have never even heard His name. He loves the ugly, the unloveable, the uncomfotable. He loves them with the same all consuming loves that He loves me.

So this was the year I prayed often that I would have the same eyes and heart as Jesus. I wanted to love people regardless of skin color, religion, pay check size, past, gender, age, smell, or location. I just wanted to see people the way Jesus does. (Brandon Heath - Give Me Your Eyes song)

So, I became involved in homeless ministry. He gave me teenagers to love. He helped me love my family more. He placed hard people in my path to love. And then, that May, God called me to Bolivia, and in September I accepted.

If I wouldn't had that year, I wouldn't know God's love for me, or how I should love others. I am so grateful He took an entire year and dedicated it to teaching me about love. He is still teaching me about His love, how to love, and what love really is. I am so grateful for that year of foundation.

I challenge you, if you don't know His love, or you doubt it, seek it out. It will change your life. It will change how you view yourself, and how you treat others. It is amazing.

Have a blessed day!

Love, M

Looking Back- Part One

Fall does a few things to me. It makes me want to sip hot apple cider, while wearing boots, watching football outside. It makes me want to soak up every bit of the warm sun's rays before winter comes. It puts a smile on my face because once green leaves change to bold, beautiful colors. It also makes me reflect.

Fall is a time of change. It is a time of new beginnings. It is my favorite time to sit in the crisp air and remember.

Sometimes remembering brings a smile to my face, sometimes remembering is hard, but remembering is important. It shows us who we were, and how we have changed.

This is my third autumn living out of my parents house. I was thinking about each of the three years I have been a 'grown up'. All three years have a very different theme. All three years I discovered a different characteristic of God. He doesn't change. (Hebrews 13:8 Jesus Christ is the same yesterday today and forever.) But my circumstances changed, and I changed, so how I viewed God changed.

The first year was the hardest. My family lost our house. Financially things became very hard. I moved into my own place by myself. My grandfather unexpectedly passed away. At the end of the year, by faith, I quit my job teaching preschool with no next job in sight. My mom started not feeling well. Friends moved away. Life became difficult.

But you know what? I discovered that God is provider. God is so amazing. He is all knowing, and he is always working. He was never surprised by any of our heartache or hard times. He was in control through it all. Only because He is who He is, did life work.

Randomly I would get babysitting jobs just in time to buy groceries, or when I needed gas for my car. A dream job offered me a fulltime position three days before my last day teaching. He brought incredible new friends into my life at the most perfect moments. My parents have seen God provide over and over and over and over. Their faith has been the most incredible thing to witness as a daughter.

God's provision was so apparent in my life that year. Someone the other day asked me how did I live alone on what I made years ago. I laughed, and then really thought about it, and it was seriously only because of God. He alone deserves the glory. Life is hard, but He is provider. (Luke 12:24 Consider the ravens: They do not sow or reap, they have no storeroom or barn; yet God feeds them. And how much more valuable you are than birds!)

I challenge you to ask God to be your provider, and then in faith, let Him! He is already in control, so you might as well let go, and enjoy it.

Have an incredible day!

Love, M