Thursday, October 27, 2011

Plans for You

Jeremiah 29: 11
"I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."

Jeremiah 29:12-14
"you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you." declares the Lord....

God has plans for our life and those plans give us hope.  To live out God's plans means we have to call on him, we have to seek him.  When we call on him, he hears us, when we seek him, we will find him.  He is waiting for us to reach for him so that he can fulfill the plans he has for us.  Plans to prosper us-not to harm us. 
The choices we make affect whether we receive the full blessing of God's plan.  When we choose not to follow his instructions we are not seeking him and therefore his PERFECT plan for our life will not be received in our life.  When we follow after sin, when we make that choice...we are not living God's design for our life. God is our creator-he knows how we think, act and respond--he knows more about us than we know about ourselves.  Do you think he has good plans for us, Do you think he has given us boundaries and instructions for a reason?  Think about instruction manuals for cars or warning labels on hairdryers--the creators of those items know those things inside and out--they know how they operate in design with the plan they had for them.  They know what happens when they are operated against that plan--the warnings and instructions are there to help you get the best results, to keep you from getting harmed.
God has a design and plan for your life and that plan is not to harm you--the instructions and boundaries, the warnings and cautions that he has given us are there so that we can get the best results in our lives, so that we can live out God's best plan for our life--so that we will not get harmed.  Call to God and he will answer you, seek God and you will find him, follow his instructions and you will reap the benefits, follow his plan and he will prosper you.

(Thank you Debbie Lamm Bray for starting the hairdryer analogy!!)

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Did I mention sometimes its hard?

I had an experience at church last weekend that I wanted to share.  I shared in a previous blog about the hard time that I have been having with our living situation.  Well, that is not all that has been on my mind.  I have been very overwhelmed with every aspect of life lately.  I just continue to feel like I want to turn off my brain so that I don't have to think about anything...cover my head with the blanket and zone out!  Do you ever feel that way? 

Sunday I was really feeling the effects of this mental state.  Our pastor's message - (go to March 27th message) was really good and at the end of the message he did an altar call for those that needed to come back to God and for those that had empty cups.  And when he made the call, I knew I needed to go up, but I didn't want to-I did not want to go in front of 1,000 people-I did not want people to be thinking "why is she going up?" I work at the church as the Childcare Coordinator and what if the people, the pastor...anyone...was thinking that I had done something that has taken me away from God or that I needed to come back to God in some way.  But I knew that I needed to go up...God was telling me to.  My heart was pounding and I was getting all hot and sweaty!!  I waited to see if it would go away and I waited for others to go forward...NO ONE was going...I waited some didn't go away and I knew I had to go and so I went.  I was the only one (I made Randy go with me!) who went forward 2nd hour.  I felt like every eye in the building was on me.  I did not use my altar time the way I should have...really crying out to God for Him to fill me back up...but Randy prayed for me...and I just felt nervous!!  But, I did what God told me to do--I don't know why he wanted me to go, I don't know if it was for me or for someone else to see--but I know that I did what he wanted.  I was feeling empty and I needed God to fill me up. Oh Man it was hard to go and when I think about it, I still feel a bit concerned about what others were thinking. I am so thankful that I listened and did what I was suppose to do.

Earlier this year, when we first began to go to SEC on Wednesday nights an altar call (except it wasn't to go forward-it was just a raising of hands) was made in our class of about 200.  I had the same experience--my heart was pounding and I knew it was for me...I needed to show God that I was commited to Him, that I was going to re-commit myself to Him. I told Him from my seat but I did not raise my hand...I was too concerned with what others would think especially the pastor.  What if they thought I didn't already have a relationship with the Lord--here I am a Bible student, and I needed to raise my hand and possibly have people think that I was on a path away from God.  I was too prideful to do what God was asking me.  I left church that night feeling horrible--I couldn't do that small thing that God was asking me to could He trust me with something of more importance if I couldn't even do that small thing. When at church this last weekend it was that same feeling and I was reminded of this time that I did not listen to God's promptings and I did not want to do that again.

God was speaking to me in both instances.  One I followed, the other I ignored.  I don't want to ignore God's call.  I want to do what He asks of me no matter what it is.  It is hard and sometimes He calls us to do the uncomfortabe, sometimes he asks us to lay our pride aside and humbly admit that we are struggling and we need help, sometimes he asks us to do things that seem impossible.  Amazingly this week, I haven't struggled as much with the mental overload that I felt before!  God is good and faithful to give us strength.  Phil 4:13 I can do everything through him who gives me strength.

Is God speaking to you about something? Are you ready to listen and do what He has asked you to do? Don't ignore it--you may not get another opportunity to do what He is asking you.  It may seem like an impossible feat to follow--but you need to remember that when God brings you to something, He will walk you through it.  We don't do this life alone!  Be willing to lay aside your priveleges and follow Christ's example of Phil 2:5-11 and do what the Father is asking of you.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

"I will follow"

This is my commitment to God!! Is it yours??

A song by Chris Tomlin--it is great--and fits very well with my blog!! 

You can also hear it at:

"I Will Follow"

Where you go, I'll go
Where you stay, I'll stay
When you move, I'll move
I will follow...

All your ways are good
All your ways are sure
I will trust in you alone
Higher than my side
High above my life
I will trust in you alone

Where you go, I'll go
Where you stay, I'll stay
When you move, I'll move
I will follow you
Who you love, I'll love
How you serve I'll serve
If this life I lose, I will follow you
I will follow you

Light unto the world
Light unto my life
I will live for you alone
You're the one I seek
Knowing I will find
All I need in you alone, in you alone

In you there's life everlasting
In you there's freedom for my soul
In you there joy, unending joy
and I will follow

Monday, March 28, 2011

Following-it's tough

It's tough to follow God--don't you agree?  I mean when we are fully seeking Him and fully depending on Him to direct our paths, it can get hard--but there are HUGE rewards and GREAT blessings that come forth when you are turning your life completely to God.

I sat down this morning to finish a homework assignment that is due in 2 hours--but it was so heavy on my heart to write this, that I am doing this instead.

God has brought my family a long ways in the last 2 years.  We have had one adventure after another.  I really wish that I had done a better job in keeping up with my blog...but maybe this is my new start!  We are living in the school that Randy and I are attending--that is our current adventure.  It has been a tremendous blessing-God brought us here and worked this housing situation out for us--but lately it has been HARD. We live in 2 rooms with a bathroom.  The boys have one room and Randy and I have a room.  In our room we have our bed, 2 desk areas, a table to eat at, an "kitchen" area consisting of storage space for food, a mini fridge and a microwave.  In our bathroom we have a coffee pot and toaster oven as well as a spot for our dishes to dry.  It is cramped and this last few weeks has felt VERY cramped.  I miss walking into my living room and dropping down on the couch.  I miss being able to have friends over.  I miss just having a regular home with a kitchen that isn't enormous and one that the boys can come into.  I know God has brought us to our current place, and I know that He has us here until He is ready to take us elsewhere--but it is hard to keep the right prospective--this is temporary!

Philippians 4 is an awesome passage to go to when times are hard and we are filled with anxiousness and feel like we can't go on.  I have been spending time reflecting on this passage and am now trying to memorize it. 

When we are determined to follow God no matter where it takes us and no matter how hard it is and no matter what it means we have to give up, He is going to bless us for our commitment and our steps of faith.  And think about what blessings from God look like!!! He is the almighty creator of the heavens and the earth--what magnificence there is--what blessings there can be.

Be encouraged that God takes us on journeys and He doesn't just leave us alone, He is right there walking with us no matter what is going on and He will be our strength.  We need to learn to trust in His strength as we walk the paths that He has for us.