Thoughts from my 15 year old self

So the other day, I was cleaning out my desk.  I came across a photo album with pictures from my first mission trip and in the back of the album was a couple pieces of paper that read…”Devotion-March 8, 1992.  Seriously…20 stinkin’ years ago!  (yeah..go ahead and do the math.  I’ll wait…)

Ok.  We’re back!

I wanted to share this devotional in its entireity with you guys. (I think this may have been more of a sermon that I shared on a Wed. night…I really can’t remember). Its as is. So, no making fun of grammar mistakes. (I was 15!) And no arguing about theological issues or my Christianeese. (I was 15 and just knew what was in my heart) But seriously, I love how my former self is convicting and challenging my present self. Ok, here we go!

I’m going to start by talking about the concert of prayer, Thursday. I wish you all could have gone to it. It was the neatest experience that this area has had. I don’t think anyone could have left without being spirit filled. Part of the time we were in prayer groups of three’s. One thing that we did was tell the others in our group about a need that we had in our life. In my group we all had basically the same need. “We need to witness better.” “What do we say, what goes on from there, etc.” After the Kelley Huff concert, I walked to her about it.  Kelley said the thing that helped her was just to start with an event that went on at church and then comment on how good God is in your life. It seems so easy, right? yeah, sure. The part about activities at church is easy to say, but to say exactly how God is working in my life? Personally, I would rather find a rock and hide under it. I don’t think there is anything harder in this world than telling people about Jesus in my life. The main problem is knowing what to say and taking it from there. I’ve noticed that usually when people try to witness they get into arguments that don’t pertain to the question asked. Its important to not argue about issues that are irrelevant to the subject, which is expanding God’s Kingdom. What we should talk about is the beliefs that all Christians have always believed. Paul outlined these in a witnessing speech he gave in Athens: God is creator of the heavens and the earth, God has a law that all men have disobeyed (Acts 17:29), the resurrection proves that Christ will judge the world and all people should repent through the Man that God has appointed (Acts 17:30). You don’t need all the answers. Just tell people about your life with Christ. When God brings opportunities to talk remember that its not enough to witness w/your lifestyle. If you never tell people why your lifestyle is the best, they’ll go to Hell thinking, “____ sure is nice.” Also dwell on major truths not minor. Stick to basic beliefs. Don’t cram your faith down others’ throats. Be sensitive to their needs. Listen to them. Show love. Be willing to help them. Jesus was sensitive to people and approached each situation according to the person. The most important thing about being a great witness is that God must have total control of your life. Everything must be his. If you are holding back on his you wont be completely useful for Him. Let the holy spirit move you. When someone asks a question about your faith, take a minute to ask God to give you wisdom and strength to be an effective witness. (Acts 18:9-10)

One of my favorite sayings is “White-washed grave”. That is a person that seems clean on the inside yet they are dead on the inside. How many people do you know like that? Its our job as God’s children to bring more people to  him. We need to raise the spiritually dead out of their graves. When you get to Heaven God is going to ask you what you did for him on Earth. I don’t want to tell him, “Well I kept my life clean. I have you total control, but I was too scared to tell my friends about you. The kingdom of God needs more people in it. Are you to busy with your life that you don’t care about your friends’ salvation or are you donna get out there are be the one for people that need God?

Finding this was such a treasure.  It got me thinking that our students today have more wisdom than we can imagine.  They are listening and processing.  Although I read some of these lines thinking “awe…that’s so cute”, there were other parts that made me stop in my tracks because I am still shouting those things from the rooftops.  I am so thankful that I was given a chance to have a voice at such a young age.  If you work with students, its important to encourage them to cultivate their voice. I would not be where I am today, if I wasn’t challenged back then.

 

 

Good Enough or Greater? (A Giveaway…YAY!!!)

YEP…this blog is having its first GIVEAWAY and I’m so excited to share this with you.  I’ll let you know how to win in just a few moments.

“…We often settle for dreams and visions that are far less than what God has for us.” Reading those words was like a huge punch in the gut. So, as most of you can tell, this site has been pretty quiet lately. To be honest, the pruning process is really hurting and I’m just trying to keep my head above water most days. I had the honor this month of getting a sneak peak of “Greater” by a favorite pastor of mine, Steven Furtick and the timing could not have been better.

I’ve always been a girl who goes after what she wants. Changed my whole life to follow God’s calling and went after living a “greater” life. Lately I have struggled with settling for less and there have been days where the dream has been more of a nightmare. People are me could say that I’ve been pretty stagnant . It was a refreshing reminder to know that God does not want that for my life. God has something planned for my life (and YOURS)  that is beyond my abilities or understanding.  Living a greater life can be as simple as a change of attitude. To be the best YOU that you can be.  To give your ALL in everything that you do. To look for opportunities to make a different in the lives around you.

This book has really helped me re-gain some perspective. Living the life God has for you doesn’t come packaged in sunshine and gumdrops. There are going to be roadblocks and at times life will blow, but that doesn’t mean God has given up on you or moved on to finding someone else to do your job on this earth. I love how “Greater” looks deeper into the life of Elisha and the many things he went through in life. (I missed a lot of those stories in the OT in Sunday School…but WOW, there are some cool things there!  🙂 ) Reading how Elisha responded to setbacks and doubts gave me some great ideas on how I can deal with those things in my life.

So, I want to share this book with you guys! If you are wanting to know how to dream (or dream again) big things for your life or if you are dealing with setbacks and wondering if God has forgotten your dream, this book will speak volumes to you. I have copies of “Greater” that I would love to give to TWO of my wonderful readers! Please submit a comment answering one of these questions, “What is the dream you have for your life?” or “How have you dealt with a big setback in life?” You have until this Friday, Sept. 7 to submit your comments and I will randomly pick 2 of you guys to win a copy of this book. If you want to order the book anyway, you can go HERE. Share this post with your Facebook friends and/or Twitter followers…I’d really appreciate it! Looking forward to reading y’all’s comments!