“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Matthew 11:28

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Keep Up With God

     "Can you keep up with me!?" is the question God is impressing on my heart and the church in general. I'm not going to lie and say I came up with that question, I actually heard it from the documentary on Elevation Church but it resonated so strongly within my heart. The Lord keeps repeating it over and over to me. "Can you keep up with me!? I can do immeasurably more than you can think or imagine, Brennen. Trust me! I'm capable. Keep up!"
     It's a confirmation that we care called to Heaven's standards and not our own. We are so silly to think that our puny goals are pleasing to God. We are underestimating His power and capability when we limit Him to a "healthy number", average "miracle", or minute progress. God doesn't just want to see someone with a seed planted in their hearts..... He wants to bring them out of darkness, set them free, and empower them to live a life of abundance and impacting the Kingdom. God doesn't just want to see 5 people come to know Him, He wants EVERY person on this Earth to know His name and live a life empowered by Christ. He wants to surpass our "goals" and do so much more. He wants the willing!
     God has made us more than mere conquerors according to His word and we walk around defeated, operating in fear, scared of rejection, and afraid of not being eloquent enough. He has already won the battle. It isn't mine to fight. It's my responsibility to be the hands and feet and spread the news of what the Lord has done in my heart. It's my responsibility to operate in faith and step out into what He is calling me to. He is capable to change the world through us.
     Last week I was praying for a certain situation and asking the Lord's guidance. Not even a week later, He did immeasurably more than I could ever have imagined. He surpassed my plan of action, messed up my agenda, and took it so much farther than I ever thought imaginable. I'm thankful for that. I realized- I'm not God. I can't "make" things happen. He is God, He will use me and equip me to share and advance the Kingdom but ultimately He is God. I am His vessel. It's humbling, overwhelming, peaceful, and overall just wonderful.

     The battle is won. His freedom awaits us. I'm thankful.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Life Changing Moments

     There are moments in life that grip your heart and somehow in one single moment change the entire course of your life forever. It could be something someone said to you that inspired you, a tragic accident, the birth of a child, the loss of a loved one, or if you are me- a single documentary. Saturday night I came home, grabbed a blanket, and put Elevation Church's "This Is How We Change The World" documentary in my DVD player. I figured I would watch it, be inspired, and that be the end of it. It played for about 2 minutes and then the tears came. I cried through the entire documentary. The story of how God used a chosen group of people to do something amazing in the Kingdom of God impacted my heart in a way I can't put into words. I'm not exactly sure why the tears came. I think, that it resonated within my soul and it urged, convicted, and inspired me to do the things God has called me to.
     Think about it, the core families that faced adversity, rejection, and trials through planting Elevation Church were a part of changing 10,000+ lives. They made a sacrifice, worked hard, seeked the Lord's will diligently, and had audacious faith to see God do something only He could do. Their faith and obedience caused a chain reaction. The lives they have effected can not be numbered.
     I've always said that I want to change the world. Since I was young, I've always wanted to make a difference. I am coming to the realization that in order to change the world- you simply have to do what God called you to do. Think, if every person did what they were called to do. The Kingdom of God would invade the Earth- lives would constantly be changed to a life of abandonment of loving Jesus, and the cycle would continue.
     After watching the documentary, Ephesians 3 came to mind. I sat down and read it uncertain of what would come about it. The verse that stuck out was saying that God can do immeasurably more than we can think or imagine. My dreams for my life can not compare to the Lord's desires for my life. He is capable. He is willing and He can.
     Before Saturday, I was going through the motions. Wanting more, not really for sure how to go about it, struggling to figure out my niche in today's society. Don't get me wrong- I'm still there.... but what is different is I have a hope that has welled up inside me that God is going to bring me to and through it. He is equipping, preparing, and fulfilling me to do His calling that He has placed on my life.

     Take some time today to look at your life and see if you are living a life of audacious faith. A life of living on the edge expecting God to do something miraculous. Then take some time to think of the "moments" in your life that changed it forever. Ask yourself if you are still pursing the things you were after that moment, or if you've gotten back into the cycle of everyday life and have forgotten.

He is willing. Step out. Step up. Live your calling.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Know Him.

     Today, I want to hear the audible voice of God. Honestly, yesterday I was content with just the "knowing" that He knew all and had it under control. Today, I'm still content- but I want to hear His voice. I want to sit in a cozy living room with Him and listen to everything He has to say with me. I want to hear His heart for my life. I don't have to hear the outcome- but I'd love to hear the next step.
     This just occured to me at around 2 this afternoon. Funny how this morning I posted something that Steven Furtick said in Elevation Church's current sermon.

"God wants you to know Him more than He wants you to know the outcome of your story. "

     This morning that quote seemed so simple. Now that my brain has fully kicked in and I'm praying and thinking about options that I have in this critical time of my life. But, Jesus cares more about me knowing Him than knowing what He has for me next. I also firmly believe that the next chapter in my life will be revealed to me as I am spending time getting to know Him. 

     Heres my thought for today. Sit back.... listen to Him.... spend time with Him... even as your so busy- turn on a sermon, your audible Bible, your worship music, whatever it is to surround yourself with Him and get to know Him. Trust Him. He really does have it all under control. He's guiding you and protecting you as you surrender yourself to Him. 

     I just may get to hear the audible voice of God. Or, he may speak to me in an entirely different way. Whatever way He chooses, I'm here. Listening. Waiting. And getting to know Him. 

Friday, February 3, 2012

In 10 Years

     I completed an assignment today for my Interactive Portfolio class that required me to make a list of some goals that I have personally and for my career. As I began to type out my heart for the next 10 years of my life, I realized that everything I wrote for both "sections" was centered around Jesus and Family. I didn't realize that I had those two themes throughout each goal I wrote out.
     "In 10 years I would like to have started a family with one hunk of a Godly man." is an exact quote from my assignment. I went on to explain my goals of writing books, raising a generation of passionate, world-changing people, consistently following God's voice wherever He leads my husband and I.
     Granted, in 10 years, I will be 31 and their is a possibility that I will not have these things. And I'm okay with that. But I do realize that Family and Jesus is what has kept me growing and changing over the last 21 years of my life and I plan on keeping it that way. I tried to refrain from making success my number one priority. I believe that when you follow God's design and plan you are successful. No matter what the bank account or social status says.
     My family is pretty much awesome. They surround and support me with love and prayer and a lot of laughter. There is never a dull moment and they keep life exciting. The way they make me want to be a better me without even saying a word is the most positive and challenging thing. They don't let me slack and they definitely don't let me wander from myself or the things I am rooted in for long. I am blessed and I am thankful.
     I only hope that 10 years from now, if I am blessed with a family to be raising the same type of family my parents have. One that loves, supports, honors, respects, and brings joy to other people. I hope that 10 years from now my knees are worn out from time praying and crying out to God for a revival and hunger amongst the generations below me. I pray that the books I write promote passion, purity, and love for our Abba Father.
      My Jesus continually wraps His arms around me and comforts me and whispers His secrets to me. He constantly forgives me when I fail him and continually draws me closer and closer to Him. He opens up doors and shuts doors for me. He leads and guides me. He romances me into an intimate relationship between Him and I. He loves me.

     Where do you see yourself in 10 years? Personal Life? Career? Think about it, begin to write it out. Define what it's centered around and double check your motives. Writing out my goals today was strategic and needed. We have to know where we are headed to gain ground. Be intentional.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Wounded to Loved

     Last night, I had the honor of wrapping my arms around a 15 year old girl who began to share with me her struggles as a high school student. The things boys tell her, how they treat her, and how girls attack her with gossip and hurtful words. I've listened to young girls pour their hearts out to me with tears streaming down their faces time and time again. Lies have been placed in their minds that they aren't good enough, pretty enough, smart enough, dumb enough, flirty enough, this enough and that enough. I've seen young girls flaunt themselves at boys just to see if they will be told they are pretty.
     Tears flooded my face last night as I was told these stories. Tears of familairity. I was there. I am there. I know what they are going through. I just face a whole different set of "not _____ enough"s. Once I got home and began to think about the girls that have trusted me enough to share their hearts with- I began to get mad and frustrated at 16 year old boys. But also at 40 year old fathers.
     Our world is flooded with fathers who think that telling their sons a woman on a photoshopped magazine cover with hardly any clothes on is sexy. Young boys are growing up with images in their heads that are not realistic. They think it's okay to have sex surrounding them at all times. Fathers not stepping up and calling out the true beauty in a woman is sickening to me. Fathers, you make a difference in this world. Men- even if you don't have a child- you are a father. Someone is watching you and looking up to you. If you are okay with seeing a woman hardly dressed then they will also assume it's okay. But when will it stop? When will you take a stand for the women who are hurt and bruised by these unrealistic expectations that society places on them?
     13 year olds struggling with anorexia and bulimia trying to make themselves acceptable to men. Men, where are you? Men of God who look at more than just a pant size and bra size. Men who see the personality, the passions of their hearts, their desires, and their overall character of woman. Men who call out the beauty in a woman by allowing them to be themselves. Not having to put on a low cut dress to gain your attention.
     My heart is scrambling for words. This is where I come alive. This is where I have so much to say that I can't put it together. Honestly, as a woman, I would much rather hear a man say to me, "I love your heart and how you love life." over... "You look hott." any day.
     This is what I have to say to the young women that are hurting. You are beautiful. You are absolutely beautiful from the inside out. Never allow a boy to tell you that aren't good enough. Cling to the love that the Savior has lavished on us. Just as Christ loves his church- so a man should love his bride, his woman. Women- hang on to your purity. Hang on to your diginity. Don't allow a man to step all over you and sweet talk you in to giving away something you can never give back. Stand up for yourself. RUN. I've heard it best from Bianca Olthoff, "Girl, I know you think he's hott... but so is hell... RUN!" Everyday work on becoming the most beautiful you from the inside out. "Charm is deceptive and beauty is fleeting but a woman who fears the Lord is greatly to be praised."

Jesus is completely able to take you from wounded to loved in an instant. His mercy is new every day. He is willing and able to nurture your wounds back to health.

     Stick it out. Memorize scripture on how much God loves you, and how He formed you. Do not listen to this world. You are worth it. You are worth the wait. You are worth the pursuit. Respect yourself. Forgive yourself. and Love yourself. And talk to someone about how you've been hurt. Allow them to pray over you for healing. Life is too short to waste it on a perverted, sex-craving boy... wait it out... there are Godly men that are seeking you as well. I just know it. Warriors and Men of Valor.