Monday, December 6, 2010

Your Lives Aren't Small

          So the other day one of my friends asked me this question, "do you ever find it hard to follow 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 all the time"? (Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus). My answer to him was absolutely yes! I have been through my share of hard times, and looking back, I didn't always do the best job at being joyful and giving thanks through it all. It's so hard to be joyful ALL the time, or to give thanks in ALL circumstances. But last night when I was reading my bible (2 Cor.) I was reminded of a very important point: it's all in how we handle these situations, after all, we are Christ's representatives. God calls us to "stay at our post", and after we get out of the hard times, he calls up to open up our lives and life expansively! I love the passage from 2 Corinthians 6:3-10, the message version--

"People are watching us as we stay at our post, alertly, hard times, tough times, bad times; when we're beaten up, jailed, and mobbed; working hard, working late, working without eating; with pure heart, clear head, steady hand; in gentleness, holiness, and honest love; when we're telling the truth, and when God's showing his power; when we're doing out best setting things right; when we're praised, and when we're blamed; slandered, and honored; true to our word, though distrusted; ignored by the world, but recognized by God; terrifically alive, though rumored to be dead; beaten within an inch of our lives, but refusing to die; immersed in tears, yet always filled with deep joy; living on handouts, yet enriching many; having nothing, having it all."

          God knows the hard times we're going through; God knows everything. We weren't meant to go through it alone. These times are here to make us grow. God's not the one holding us back, we are. I'm connecting a lot right now with the church of Corinth, and when Paul addresses them in 2 Corinthians 6:11-13 it feels like he's addressing me...
"I long for you to enter this wide-open, spacious life. We didn't fence you in. The smallness you feel comes from within you. Your lives aren't small, but you're living them in a small way. I'm speaking as plainly as I can and with great affection. Open up your lives. Live openly and expansively!"
          I challenge you to share with someone the struggles you are going through. Live openly and bless someone.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Child You're Forgiven and Loved

          Earlier this week as I came before God, asking for his forgiveness for not spending as much time with him as I should, I was filled with remorse and just felt terrible about not making time in my schedule for what I know should be my top priority...then the this line in the song came...
    "I don't have time to maintain these regrets when I think about the way that you love me."
          God. He loves me and is simply excited for me to be coming to him now! We spend way to much time reflecting back on to all the things we could have done better, when really there's no need; we're already forgiven! When God forgives, he forgets (something we should learn to do). I thank God for loving me when I so, so don't deserve his love. That is why he is so great....he's so full of love, it BLOWS MY MIND. No matter how much crap I deal to him, he still loves me and still desires to just be in an intimate relationship with me. Nothing can ever separate me from Gods love!! 
          Romans 8:38-39 "I am my beloveds and he is mine". I belong with you Jesus! I belong in your arms. 

Another song I love, by Jimmy Needham...check out these lyrics. So much truth in this. There is no condemnation in Christ. 

Lyrics to Forgiven & Loved :
Tell me I’m forgiven and loved 
‘Cause I hear it from the street corner priests 
On how God is love and how man can be clean 
But my joy has been on holiday 
And my peace has almost passed away 
Tell me I’m forgiven and free 

O I tried and tried to rectify my hopeless situation 
But I bought the lie I still have work to do 
Now I’m working nine to five like I can earn my own salvation 
But there is no condemnation in You 

O whisper to me now that it’s for real 
‘Cause in the silence of these walls righteousness lost its appeal 
Dirty deeds have done me in 
O but that can’t stop the faithful friend 
Giving mercy once again as You heal 
Here it is I’m feeling it 


O He died, He died to rectify my hopeless situation 
And His blood commands my guilt to leave 
Now on Calvary I stand 
Empty pockets, open hands 
O there is no condemnation for me


Child, you’re forgiven and loved
Child, you’re forgiven and loved
Child, you’re forgiven
And child, you are loved
Child, you’re forgiven and loved 

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Make It What You Want It

          After many weeks of questioning why God placed me here at Point Loma, I finally have found somewhat of the answer. 
A little bit of background--
          Over the last few weeks, I've really been feeling confused as to why I was actually at the physical place that I was. I found myself asking questions like, why am I spending all this money to go here when I don't even have a clue about my future? What do you want from me God? What do you want right now? Or tomorrow? Or next year? I'm so lost. I feel like I'm just going through the motions. Will I be here in a year? What have I been doing??
          To be honest, I was kind of disappointed at the community I found here. I chose to come to a Christan school so I would be surrounded by people on fire for God and ready to challenge me and help me grow. Not to say there's no one here that loves the Lord...I have connected with some truly incredible, Christ seeking people...but as a whole community, it just wasn't what I was expecting. Having a feeling of somewhat being surrounded by hypocrites, and people who don't seem to really be here for the right reasons was kind of bringing me down. Then I would look at a school like Oregon State...a state school, for cryin' out loud...and see them have what seems to be a better Christian communities than I felt we did here. I had to ask myself, why? Why is it that I wasn't getting as much Christ centered relationships at a Christian schools, as some of my friends seemed to be getting at a state school? We've gotten lazy.
          At the peak of all this confusion, I went to a pray/worship night in the greek with some other students. A lot of the people who were there I recognized, but I didn't actually know a lot of them. We worshiped some, then just started randomly sharing things that God had been teaching us recently. After a few people shared, I felt like I needed to speak up. I shared how I didn't really know what I was doing here, how I didn't get why OSU had a better community than we did...I mean, that's the whole reason I came here! I shared more of the struggles I'd been going through. Little did I know, I was preaching to the choir. Then it really hit me--here we are, all these people feeling alone when really all we need to do is come together! Think of what the community would be like if all these people who were struggling with the same thing were intentional about not letting those things happen! We don't want to be someone we're not, but so far on this campus we feel like we're changing...and just can't help it. But together, we can! We need to make this community the community that we want it to be. It doesn't just happen, we make it happen. This may be difficult, but we just have to focus and make a conscious effort to really create this environment. 
          So after a bit of trying to start things, a not really being successful, I started to get discouraged again. Why wasn't it just WORKING? God, this is so hard! Why me? I am so busy already. Is this really what you want me to be doing? ....and yet again, God proved to be so faithful. Why do I ever question him? I was at a prayer meeting writing down all these questions and pondering again what I was really doing. Later that night, my friend Abbie shoots me a text saying "God gave me some words for you". The next day I met up with her and she gave me a folded up piece of notebook paper that she had written on the night before at the same prayer meeting. As she handed it to me she said "I honestly don't even remember what I wrote. This is totally from the Lord." As I read it, I almost started crying. It read...

"Kelsey--The word of the Lord:
I love you my precious daughter. You've come so far this year. Continue to pursue intimacy with me my faithful daughter. Your community is here. Create the community you want to see. I have transcended my Holy Spirit upon you."

          Thank you God for being SOO big, and watching over me. As I grow older, and in deeper relation with my Heavenly Father, I realize more and more just how small I am, and how big he is. He's got me just where he wants me. I am here now and I need to allow myself to be used by God in any way. I am his servant, even when it may be hard, I need to be obedient and trust that the Lord know what is best for me.