The Heart

The world needs Christians. They need authentic Christians. I look at churches and I see so many people who come just to be filled but they don’t care about their neighbors. They don’t care about the homeless person they see at the street corner.

It breaks my heart to see people clinch up, lock their doors, hide their purses or wallets because they don’t want people to see that they may have a few extra dollars.  However, they are more than willing to give to a pet rescue agency standing at the corner. How can we be so ignorant as Christians? How can Christians give “generously” to agency’s and Christian organizations but yet can’t give to our own community or church? How can we do missions somewhere else but refuse to do them locally? 

I’m really confused. Do we believe that if we do things because OUR “heart” is in it it is therefore worthy of our generosity and love? God states for all of us to generous because He is. He stated for all of us to be loving because He is. We ARE an example. If we don’t give and live out generous lives in giving, forgiveness, and love how do we expect for the ones around us to even come close? 

Our hearts should be bent to where God places us in the moment. God didn’t put you in the city or town you are in to just live your own life. He put you there for a reason, he put you there to live out a life geared and pointed at Him because WE are the example and sometimes the ONLY example some people get.

Are you living a life geared towards the Heart of God or towards your own wants and desires? 

Where are all the Christians?

We’ll see how that title pans out by the end of this. Typically I write one and change 12 times before determining the right one. However, this one struck me while I was driving this evening, so I’m going to stick with it.

You may be gasp or wave and say “hey I’m right here…” but are you really? Andy Stanley talked today about how we will be remember as “American church goers”, not necessarily the Christian that is described in the Bible.

He went over Acts 4, how Peter and John stood at death door mat and courageously stared into its eyes. Yet didn’t back down. They stood in front of the same people who just crucified Jesus, they didn’t budge. Instead they prayed, they asked for more boldness…

Do you know what we don’t have today Bold Christians, Courages Christians. Why? Today’s society in America we let it beat us up. We let it take control of our lives. We let what others think dictate our actions.  You can say you don’t, but you post on Facebook, you strive for that like. You want to make sure your post sounds great or the snapshot of your life is the perfect angle. We do it everyday and we don’t even realize it.

When was the last time you stood up as a courageous Christian and stood for what the Bible said declare as true, rather than shaping it to for your opinion or opinion of others.

I’m guilty of all of is. I’m a passive Christian. I don’t got out on a limb. I don’t speak my mind, let  alone the truth.  I don’t go up to people courageously. I try to keep my mouth shut and let others fight and gossip on Facebook or media around me. BUT yet I’m just as guilty because I don’t take the stand. 

We need to courageously seeking truth, seeking Jesus. We need to go out and take on the battlefield of life that we are in armor up, but otherwise all we are going to do passive wait and never go anywhere.

He sees; He knows 

I changed my career path a few months ago, I followed where I felt God was calling me. Late last month I began questioning if it was where God actually called me. I found out my “contract” didn’t start till August. I found out I wasn’t getting paid for July. My initial thought was its over before it begun. My anxious thought was to throw in the towel, because I felt God didn’t call me here. Instead of giving up right away, I fell to my knees.
 I barely afforded rent. I couldn’t fill up my gas tank in my car and I couldn’t pay my car payment. But I tried to not let fear and anxiety take over. My prayers were so much more then the prayer, “God get me through this”. It was remembering of all the things He got me through, it was living that out and fighting off the dark cloud of anxiety that was trying to over take me. 

On earthly paper nothing added up. But God doesn’t go by what we see, He goes by what He sees, and He sees us struggle and fight. But he lets us walk that path because He sees what is laying ahead for us.
He’s got this, so give up the struggle. God called you where you are in the moment, so do what He called you do in that moment. Eventually, you’ll stop looking at your feet doing the small things and kicking the ground and you’ll lift you head up and start running towards Jesus and realize that life isn’t about you, it’s about him. 

Harden Heart

I was flipping back and saw this old picture of myself…

 
I was 19 at the time. I was immature. I was dark. I thought I knew it all. I thought I was a nobody. I thought I wasn’t worth anything.

These lies I remember telling myself over and over again. I’m worthless. No one likes or loves me. No one even cares. 

But the problem I have found its not that no one does, it’s because I didn’t allow them to. I closed myself off from anyone who had a glimpse of possible hurting me, and it all started in childhood.

Growing up with a mother who loves me dearly but a father who was barely home and said horrible things when he was around. But all I wanted was daddy’s love. 

So I inadvertently gave up all together. I fought my mom about not wanting to get out of bed, I didn’t want to face the world of harsh and nasty people. I even failed a grade because of it. 

Through it all, I lost Tanya. I lost the girl I used to be before my heart became stone.  I lost communication with world. I lost the ability to communicate. In groups I wouldn’t take charge or hardly communicate because the lies people I loved just played over and over in my head. I was the “quiet” one. I was the one no one noticed because it was easier for me to not talk and not be noticed then to have to bare the chance of being hurt. It wasn’t worth it, because I felt I wasn’t worth it.

One day my parents found a poem of mine talking about death and taking my own life. It’s the only day I remember as a kid when my parents both told me they loved me and they were sorry for ignoring me and for everything I’ve been through. Life didn’t change much after that, there was more people tiptoeing around the truth that made me feel more unloved.

I say all of this because 10 years ago I was still that little girl. I didn’t mature from the point at which my heart harden, which was around the age of 10. I simply grew in age and the voices in my head just grew stronger.

It wasn’t until I allowed Christ to soften my heart did anything even begin to change. He began to work in me through the Word and he began to replace the lies I tend to tell myself. I still hear them today, I still battle this but the more I replace the lies with God promises the less and less I hear the lies. The more I see the core of who God made me and it’s beautiful.

I am a flawed person and it’s okay not to be perfect. It’s okay to think what comes to mind and not everyone will judge you. It’s okay to open your heart and to let people in. It’s okay to be me and there is no one better to play the role of me in the story God has already written for me. 
 

The Battle Within

There have been multiple attempts to write over the last couple of months. Unfortunately I sized everything, I judged myself, I didn’t find myself adequate to write. Mentally and spiritually  maybe I wasn’t.

I’ve been battling a lot lately. I have been going down a path of darkness. I started to see habits of my old ways that I got scared and hid. I started convincing myself that my new self was just  a facade. That  maybe I was never made new in Christ. Maybe this entire thing of who God says I am is not who I am.

It’s not that I didn’t try to stop my thinking. I listened to sermons. I read the Word of God. I still attended church. Still nothing stopped me from thinking I was a complete phony, that my old self was better than my new self. It was like the enemy  hitting me were the soft spot is the armor I have on repeatedly and I just couldn’t recover from the battle.

The crazy thing through all of this God never left my side. Even when I never got the connection, never felt the presence of the Holy Spirit, doubted the mere existence of Him, even when I battled through darkness and with the enemy; He was there. It was Psalm 139 where no matter where you try to hid, He is always with you. He created you.

Even if you have moments when you try to battle the negative thoughts, the depressed thoughts, the thought that you are not made new in Christ and you are not who God says you are, you still are. You are beautiful. You a princess. You are forgiven. You are a child of God. He will never leave you. Wherever you may go regardless if you don’t feel him, or don’t feel like anything, God is with you. 

More Like Jesus

I’m wrestling with decisions and battling on whether or not I’m letting my personality be the cause of it all.  I avoid conflict. 
I hide everytime there is conflict. I don’t want to face it, let’s be honest, it’s never plays out to the dramatic story line that over plays in my head, it’s normally, “What can I learn from this?”, or that’s my interpretation of it because I don’t like to stay stagnant, I like growth. Problem, with growth, you tend to have face conflict of some sort. Also the problem is when you don’t face conflict, you superimpose your own brokenness on them. Sometimes they aren’t mad, but you assume. Let’s be real, sometimes you don’t even cross their mind, seriously.  
I have a problem with avoiding conflict, mostly because conflict in my house growing up was not subtle. It was loud. It was dramatic. It was unnecessary. But I still avoid it because I don’t like feeling that way certain people did in those moments.  Civil conversations are hard for me if it’s over conflict. 

I could sit here and nitpick my past saying where I learned these qualities and traits about myself. Here is the thing, I may have a certain personality “type” but I do have Jesus and my past is dead. I am made new in Jesus. 

So should I avoid conflict? Absolutely not.  Is it part of my personality? Yes. Does it define who I am? No. Just because a computer generated personality test stated who you are, you don’t have to let it define you. You now know your weaknesses, work on them, grow in them. 

I am blessed to know what areas in my life right now that I struggle with. I can either grow and learn from it or I can just accept it and live with it. God doesn’t want me to accept it as my final answer , we are to be like Jesus. Jesus did not have weaknesses. He is perfect. If we accept it as who we are, are we not just simply stating that we refuse to be anything else, and refuse to be like Jesus? 

Let’s be more like Jesus, striving to the idea that grace and mercy wins above all regardless negative thoughts , possible outcomes or conflict. 

I’m opting to learn and grow. I’m opting to be more like Jesus. 

Expectations of God 

Today’s sermon had tears flowing down my cheek. It’s Palm Sunday! It’s the entry of the King, our redeemer!!

But it wasn’t typical Palm Sunday service. This sermon was about expectations. We know the Jesus was and is the redeemer, the King, but they didn’t. The people heard the word that the King was coming. They expect status. They expect a stallion, they expect a king. But God’s way was a donkey and not just a king but The King.

We spend our lives doing the same thing. We expect God to move a certain way, we expect God to show up in ways we define. If there is anything negative, we automatically presume that God isn’t moving. Here’s a secret: God is moving in ways we cannot see, sometimes we have to break in order to be built back up. Sometimes we have to go through things because God is going to use it later. Not only that, but when we define how God should be doing something, we are limiting not only the blessing, and the move of God but also the impact how God can use us to do great things. 

God is amazing, but how many of us have expectations of God. We set “standards” and “guidelines”. We set marks to say that if it fits it’s God, if it doesn’t then no way. When Jesus was entering Jerusalem on a donkey the people, stated this didn’t fit their God as they define him. They turned their back on Jesus, not for the lack of belief, but for the lack of fitting their expectations. 

I  am writing this not because I feel everyone does this. I’m writing this because I’ve done it. I’m writing this because I’ve seen so many people do this, including people I’m close to. 

Don’t expect God to move a certain way. As Pastor Tally Wilgis stated today, “You could be in the middle of a miracle.” Just surrender, give up full control. “Expect God to do God’s work, God’s way.” -Pastor Tally.