The Shores of Lake Michigan

12 03 2012

Water. We sit on it’s edge and we watch it. We listen to it. We enjoy it. Sometimes, we are even mesmerized by it. People are drawn to the water because of it’s beauty, its ability to refresh and the fun it creates. But have you ever thought of why? Maybe because it is consistent.

We like consistencies. We are comfortable that way. Water is constant. It ebbs  and flows, it soothes and sloshes. When watching it from the shore, we know what is going to happen.

But sometimes it appears differently. If a rock is in the way, it moves around it. If the wind picks up, it stirs. It appears to change. It seems inconsistent, but it’s still water, it just has something to work around.

God. He is consistent, never changing, but sometimes in life there is a rock or some wind. It seems as if God is being inconsistent; saying one thing in the Bible but doing something different in real life. It seems like He is not who He says He is. But it’s just a rock we’ve put in His way.

God and Water. Ever thought the two could be alike?


Are You Serving? Or Being Served?

13 10 2011

This past week I became a youth leader in a Jr. High youth group and absolutely love it! After 2 days of being their I knew that these were the people God was telling me to invest in. He has called me to serve. He has called us to serve.

I go to a Christian university and it’s easy to just do Christianity. We are required to go to convo (basically chapel) 3 times a week and then some of us go to church Wednesday nights and Sundays. We have Bible studies all over campus and prayer groups every Tuesday night. We pray in class and the teachers aren’t afraid of the gospel. All of these things are great! And I appreciate them a lot! But, it’s not good to simply let people serve us. We can’t sit and wait for people to feed us the word of God and only invest in our lives. We must invest in theirs as well! Jesus said…

“If anyone would be first, he must be last of all and servant of all.” Mark 9:35 (emphasis added)

We need to serve. But here’s the catch, you can’t just pray that God will help you invest in peoples lives. You have to be willing to work at investing in their lives by intentionally reaching out to them. It’s not always the easiest thing to do, but then again, God never called us to live an easy life.

Faith-Not an Emotion

10 09 2011

This is a daily devotional from the book My Utmost For His Highest. I just had to share it with you all!

“For a while, we are fully aware of God’s concern for us. But then, when God begins to use us in His work, we begin to take on a pitiful look and talk only of our trials and difficulties. And all the while God is trying to make us do our work as hidden people who are not in the spotlight. None of us would be hidden spiritually if we could help it. Can we do our work when it seems that God has sealed up heaven? Some of us always want to be brightly illuminated saints with golden halos and with the continual glow of inspiration, and to have other saints of God dealing with us all the time. A self-assured saint is of no value to God. He is abnormal, unfit for daily life, and completely unlike God. We are here, not as immature angels, but as men and women, to do the work of this world. And we are to do it with an infinitely greater power to withstand the struggle because we have been born from above.

If we continually try to bring back those exceptional moments of inspiration, it is a sign that it is not God we want. We are becoming obsessed with the moments when God did come and speak with us, and we are insisting that He do it again. But what God wants us to do is to “walk by faith.” How many of us have set ourselves aside as if to say, “I cannot do anything else until God appears to me”? He will never do it. We will have to get up on our own, without any inspiration and without any sudden touch from God. Then comes our surprise and we find ourselves exclaiming, “Why, He was there all the time, and I never knew it!” Never live for those exceptional moments— they are surprises. God will give us His touches of inspiration only when He sees that we are not in danger of being led away by them. We must never consider our moments of inspiration as the standard way of life— our work is our standard.”


10 08 2011

Our relationship with God can feel a lot like playing phone tag. You call Him but He doesn’t seem to answer; you can’t hear Him. A little while later He calls back but you don’t hear Him. You, in a sense, hit “ignore”.  Then you call Him again and you get the same response. He calls you and He gets the same response. This cycle can go on and on and frankly, it’s frustrating. We want to hear Him but the problem is we don’t want to listen. Maybe it would be better to say that we simply don’t listen or don’t know how to, but we, as Christians, cannot hit “ignore.” We must talk and listen to the God who created us. Our lives won’t work without listening to Him, but we must listen! He doesn’t always get in our face about things. Sometimes it’s His still small voice that we must find. Sometimes it’s in the quiet that God is revealed.

Take a step back and find a quiet, calm, place to pray, listen, and read your Bible. Spend some much needed time with God. Don’t get frustrated when that time is hard. It’s hard to get the world out of head to focus on God, but when we do it satisfies.

“O God, you are my God, earnestly I seek you; my soul thirsts for you, my body longs for you, in a dry and weary land where there is no water.” Psalm 63:1

White Water Rafting and God

20 07 2011

Today, I went white water rafting with my brother and future-sister-in-law in Colorado down the Arkansas river. About half way through the trip, our guide pulls us along side the bank and says we can get out and jump off a rock across the river. To get there, we had to jump off a smaller rock, into a currant, and swim to the other side. You had to swim hard and as if you were trying to go up stream to keep from getting swept down river. Once we were on the other side and had our fun jumping off the rocks, we had to jump off a different rock, into the same rough water, and swim back to our raft. It was a lot of fun and when we all got back to the raft one out of breath lady asked, “So what class rapids did we just swim through?” Our guide just looked at her with a puzzled smile and answered “That was a swift current.” A few of us chuckled at that one.

I thought about this scenario, and realized this can be applied to our lives. Just like the woman thought the water was worse than it was, we also tend to think the things we go through are worse than they are. The water was rough and hard to swim through, just as our circumstances can be hard to get through. But sometimes stepping back and looking at it gives us a different perspective. God can also use people, like the guide, to bring us to reality and say “It’s really not that bad.”

God is there for you when you are in the middle of the swift current. Reach out and grab His hand like Peter did when he walked on water (read Matthew 14 for full story).

“Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus. 30 But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, “Lord, save me!”

31 Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. “You of little faith,” he said, “Why did you doubt?”

Matthew 14:29-31

Just my thought after a fun day of rafting!


15 07 2011

I was out with friends for some half off appetizers at Applebees when the “girlfriend” of one of the guys got brought up.  He claimed that she “wasn’t his girlfriend” and after that comment, the typical “oh yeah, sure she’s not” conversation proceeded. When someone asked when she was coming in to town to visit, I was quick point out that no one brings a girl home without dating her.  I teased him about it a little bit but then his response stopped me. He said “Actually, I really want to know what my family has to say before we start dating.” Stop. Take a note. This rocks!

If your family is even slightly close to each other, they know you better than anybody. They can usually tell right away if she, or in my case he, isn’t good for you. Take their advice and listen to what they have to say!

It’s respectful and shows the character of the guy when he wants to know what the people closest to him have to say. It means he’s not blindly getting into anything based only on emotions; he’s taking it seriously. I feel like that is something a lot of people miss; the aspect of seriousness that dating should have. It should be the time you use to find out whether you are going to marry the person; not just play around with them.

Through the comment that “Steven” made, he gained my respect. I think the way he is handling the relationship is awesome and very encouraging! I also felt bad about teasing him because my thought was “oh, he’s just another guy afraid of commitment and doesn’t know what he thinks about it all.” When the reality was the exact opposite! So, “Steven”, if you read this…Sorry about that! :)

Devo 31

13 07 2011

I have been reading the book The Case for Faith by Lee Strobel and a man gave a very good illustration for faith. He asked if he were to pull something out of his pocket, hold it in his hand so we couldn’t see it, and tell us it was a dime, would we believe him? My answer would be “yes.” I  have no reason to believe otherwise and I have faith that he’s telling the truth. He then said that he was about to kill that faith. As soon as he opened his hand the faith will die because we have the solid fact of knowing. We no longer need faith in him because we can see it with our own eyes.

In the same way, God has shown us proof of His existence (which would be the same as telling us the dime was in the hand), but if He were to reveal Himself fully, we would have no need for faith; we would have too much knowledge. Faith is complete trust and confidence in someone or something. We wouldn’t have need for it if God showed Himself to us in a way which created no doubt or uncertainty. Just like when the hand was opened, our faith died, the same would happen with our relationships with God.