will the real Christians please stand up

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{a little comic relief}

I went out to lunch with a dear friend of mine this weekend. she is a friend that inspires me, a friend that encourages authenticity out of me, a girl who I need more of in my life. the topic of Christianity came up and the misconceptions that Christians often give. in fact we concluded that “Christians” (those who call themselves Christians) give real, authentic Christ followers a bad rep. these people leave a sour taste in the mouth of non-believers or even fellow believers. it’s a shame. actually, it’s a tragedy.

as humans we like to complicate. it’s a major fault of ours. while many things in the bible seem complex they are all built on the simplicity of one thing. love god and love others.

Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God. Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love. In this, the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent his only Son into the world, so that we might live through him. In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another 1 John 4:7-21

building our lives on this simple truth is what God is asking of us. LOVE ONE ANOTHER. it doesn’t get any more simple than that. this is what being a Christian is. we are not here to judge. we are not here to make the rules. they have already been made. we are here to show the love of Jesus Christ. we are here to be the hands and feet of our father. stick to the simplicity of this truth. if you are ever in doubt of what your beliefs should be, how you should handle a situation, how to treat someone, look to his word. his word is clear. his word is life. his word is love.

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Wake up Sleeper

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waking up is the worst. absolute worst. like, ultimate worst. I have never been an early riser, and sleep is a good friend of mine.

but Jesus calls us to quiet time with him. he calls us to admire his creation. and he wants each and every morning to start with him.

I haven’t been doing this. and I should be doing this.

a friend of mine has made it a point to wake up early, get a cup of coffee, and spend her morning with Jesus. that sounded just about perfect to me, minus the waking up early. but sacrificing my sleep for Jesus is the least I could do, and I was inspired by my friends morning routine. I love the idea of starting my morning in his presence and I truly believe that starting your day off on the right foot can really make a difference. it can make me a better friend, better student, better Christian. it has the power to change the outlook of my days. and I like the sound of that.

Let the morning bring me word of your unfailing love for I have put my trust in you. Psalm 143:8

the Lord may not have put this on your heart, but if he has I encourage you to listen to his voice. if you are struggling to find quiet time with him, then wake up with him. allow Him to start your day and allow him to pour into your heart.

For His anger is but for a moment, His favor is for a lifetime; Weeping may last for the night, But a shout of joy comes in the morning. Psalm 30:5

get a group of girlfriends together and do devotions as the sun rises. or make yourself a cup of coffee and enjoy your alone time with God. either way, just try it. see if it has the power to transform your day as It has mine.

anyone who needs a little encouragement to wakey wakey a little earlier, here ya go!

Jesus will be there too!

you will have more energy.

you will be more positive.

you can love better.

you feel accomplished.

and the lords creation is breathtaking in the wee hours of the morning.

so, please join me. let me know how it goes. I want to know how God worked through you that day.

Make the First Move

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wouldn’t it be awesome if we could sit back and let good things just happen to us? this would be perfect, right? we wouldn’t have to work hard, we wouldn’t have to pursue, we wouldn’t have to go out of our comfort zone, we wouldn’t have to use energy. we would just receive blessings, encouragement, love, and success.

ideal, huh?

but there’s something about working hard, stepping out of our comfort zone and seeing things happen.

God loves us. so. much. and the cool thing is that we don’t have to work for this love, it is freely given. he gives us blessings on top of blessings that we often don’t deserve. while this love is free, and blessings are free as well, we won’t grow if we just sit there waiting for things to happen.

I’ve often heard that we should do something everyday that scares us. and I really believe that the best experiences we have, our biggest accomplishments, were once things that scared us. this weekend I had the opportunity to go on a retreat with about 30 other people. it was 2 days long, filled with worship, building friendships, and encouraging one another. I made friendships this weekend, friendships that encourage, inspire, and uplift me. I stood and shared my weakness, everything I am ashamed of, my journey to Jesus, and was able to let that all go by sharing my testimony. if you had told me a few years ago that I would be sharing my testimony in front of a group of people I probably would have laughed in your face. I was always afraid to admit my faults and it was hard for me to give God credit for the successes in my life. but I thank God for changing my heart and giving me the strength to do something so empowering and life-changing.

I stepped out of my comfort in a MAJOR way. God used this experience to teach me how stepping out of my comfort zone and making the first move can lead to huge, mega blessings and opportunities for growth.

lately, I have been encouraged to make the first move. I have been encouraged by the amazing things that have been happening and the growth that I have seen in myself just by doing something that scared the crap outta me and took me way out of my comfort zone.

challenge for the week: do something that scares you. make the first move. go out of your comfort zone.

do this and let me know of the ways God has used these moments to help your grow spiritually and the blessings that came from it.

Dedicated to Change

“I’ve been Shaken from my head on down to my toes. Lord use me, take me where you want me to go. I can’t help it, my heart has been replaced with a face. I’m ready. These hands are dedicated to change.”

Hawk Nelson- Shaken

 

The Lord can use just about anything to get our attention. If your anything like me, busy and easily distracted, then you probably miss his voice often.

I always wondered how God talked to some people but not me. You often hear Christians say, “God told me to do this” and my thought was HOLY CRAP, THAT’S NOT FAIR! I longed to hear God’s voice in regards to the direction of my life, what decision I should make, and I wouldn’t have minded hearing his voice for why some things went horribly wrong for me. I learned to pray for signs instead of his voice and on a regular basis read the signs in a different way then he probably intended.

sadly, I have not become an expert on hearing God’s voice. this concept will probably always confuse me. but what I have done is prayed specifically, and paid attention. I paid attention to what he was doing in my life and even what songs he was having me constantly play on Spotify.

at about 12 years old, I was a die hard hawk nelson fan. I saw them in concert multiple times, and had all their cd’s .. I was in love! I haven’t listened to them in about 5 years and I was totally, and completely shaken by the this song. It wasn’t because I was in love with the lead singer (that was 8 years ago), it wasn’t because it had an awesome sound (ok, maybe a little), it was because the lyrics hit me hard. they struck me in a way that inspired me, encouraged me, and brought me to my knees in prayer. I found myself in full surrender to God asking him to “take me where he wanted me to go”.

“open my eyes and help me see, there’s a world outside of me”

there is a huge world outside of me. a world that needs Jesus, that needs change. I want to commit my life to this Jesus change that needs to happen in this world. I don’t know how to do this on my own, but I am open to his voice. I pray that I continually give my life to Him.

allow Jesus to have your attention. allow him to rock your world in ways you didn’t think he could. take time to seek his face, fully surrendering in his presence.