9/11/13

OK, I’m about to go on a writing spree. I’m making this post on the 12th because I read so much yesterday I didn’t think I could get it all into a post before I fell asleep. I had a great devotion yesterday, and it all started with Pinterest! Tuesday night I came across a pin that had 1 Corinthians 10:13 on it, which says,

No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and He will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation He will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.

The verse caught my eye and struck my heart. I booked marked it in my Bible to share with you the next day. I know it’s a fairly well-known verse, rather, a well-used verse for when people say “God never gives you more than you can handle.” It made me think of you. With everything that happened last week and just everything going on in your life in general. It is my prayer for you, that you would always remember that verse whenever you feel overwhelmed by temptation or just the stress of school and work.  Then while I was at church last night I went on a reading spree. First I read the entire book (all four chapters, haha) of Ruth. It was then that I officially decided I want to be a Ruth and I want my husband to be a Boaz. Ruth was such a strong and loyal and willing woman and Boaz was so precious and sweet and caring in that manly/husbandly way. I loved chapter 3 verse 3 where Ruth’s mother-in-law, Naomi, was telling her basically to get gussied up and go see Boaz and get her groove thang on. She said it in less words, of course, but that was the idea I got. Also, verse 13 chapter 4 where Ruth and Boaz get married and it says, “And he went in to her…”. Maybe it shouldn’t be, but I think that’s hilarious. They had sex. They got it on. Honestly, I think that’s even more descriptive than just saying they had sex. He went inside her. Whoo.

From reading this entire book in one sitting (and having read a chapter from Joshua before it) I realized, once again, how much like a novel the Bible really is. And how relevant it all is to daily life. And also what a sense of humor God has for us. 

Next I read Proverbs 2. Verses 2 and 5 stuck out to me. Basically they say that if you ask God to give you wisdom and insight then you will understand the fear of the Lord and find the knowledge of God. I love those matter of fact verses. Those ones that throw the obvious in our face, those of us who are more or less “seasoned Christians” who tend to take things for granted or forget the true meaning of something. All we need to do is ask. If it’s good for us God will give it to us. And then I read Proverbs 3. There were quite a few verses that stuck out to me here. But I decided I only want to write about one in particular. Speaking of wisdom: 

…She is more precious than jewels, and nothing you desire can compare with her.

I know the Bible refers to wisdom as she, but I can’t help but think of it as myself, or rather, who I want to be. I like to just think of it as the wise woman. What woman wouldn’t want to be considered more precious that jewels and desired above all else? On top of that, what woman wouldn’t want to be wise? For herself, her husband, her family, and her God. With these marriage prep classes we’re about to start taking at church, ring shopping, Pinterest boards, etc I have gotten more and more into the heart and spiritual aspects of getting married. I have become obsessed with wanting to be that sweet and loving, tender, kind, wise, hospitable wife that is so desired. It’s my life goal now. So verses like that are very close to my heart and I take them in complete seriousness and meditate upon them. 

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What A Friend We Have In Rock The Universe

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X35JDIdQF5A

I spent the past weekend at Rock The Universe at Universal Studios in Orlando. For those of you that don’t know, it is a weekend long concert full of popular Christian artists that takes place within the Universal theme park. A few of my friends have been going every year for at least 7 years now and in the past 3 or 4 years more and more people have been added to the attendance list This was my second year going. When I first paid for my ticket I was in a better place with everyone else who goes. As the weekend was nearing I began to dread it more and more. I was not at all looking forward to spending a weekend surrounded by the very people I’d been spending the last few months avoiding. But I also have a habit of blowing everything out of proportion so when it does happen it’s never as bad as I made it out to be. 

Anyway, apart from my “best friends” there were many other “new kids” who have entered the group during my time of absence and I have never met. There are even a couple people who I have spoken to occasionally but never even been introduced to. There was so much drama and tension. I even felt a hint of possible backstabbing. With all the issues that I kept hearing complaints about from one person or another, you’d think we were in the middle of a 21st century blood bath. It made me wonder if this is how I was when I was in the center of the posse. And I pray it was different then, or at least that I had a tad more common sense. Thankfully the weekend itself was quite enjoyable. The majority of my time was spent alone with Nico and/or Dani (the friend I’m the most chill with). I was more or less with everyone during the concerts and there were times when that was overwhelmingly dramatic but it doesn’t even matter anymore and didn’t alter my life in anyway. 

The point I’m trying to make is this, I realized what a friend I have in Jesus. Although I didn’t read or even pray about everything that was happening, it finally started to hit me what a fantastic buddy Jesus is. The mood of the weekend made me want to screw all of life and I probably didn’t have the very best attitude but I learned a lesson from it and that’s what matters, right? Throughout the course of the weekend I got to spend wonderful quality time with my boyfriend which, with him living 2 hours away, is rare. And I finally got the courage to completely cut all ties with those “friends”. I don’t know why it is so hard for me to always remember that Jesus is the only one who is forever there for us, understands us best, etc. But He is and He does. Those who I used to spend all my time with, they have good hearts. They are well-intending people. But they are all stuck in a comfortable, upper middle class, suburban box complete with a wealthy church, Starbucks, and a Chik-fil-a. They don’t know anything or anyone outside of that.

Another thing I realized this weekend is that my heart now aches for them. I believe they’ve hurt and/or are hurting many more lives than they know. They are very aware that a responsibility comes with being the popular crowd at a youth group but I dare say they are failing. But I refuse to put the blame on them. I fully admit to and take responsibility for my own actions while I was considered part of the group. While I did say I had plenty friends outside of the initial circle I cannot honestly say that I did everything I could to make sure everyone always felt included and so on. So this is my accomplishment, my lesson, and my enlightenment for the weekend. 

8/19/13

Joshua 1:8

Yesterday in church I opened up my Bible app on my phone and the verse of the day was Joshua 1:8. I am making my way through the book of Joshua so I was shocked when I was so blessed by this verse and didn’t remember ever reading it before. That is why I decided it would be my sole study today and I would write about it. 

This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success. 

Joshua 1:8

It always makes me happy when I find fantastic verses in the Old Testament because my whole life they always seemed so rare. This verse is so simple. So simple. Do not let the Bible fade from your mind because when you have it as your weapon you can always have the good conscience to do what is right and your life will flourish. But wait, we have to remember that, as Christians, a flourishing life does not mean so in the worldly sense. Doing the right thing may mean not taking that job promotion and earning less money or perhaps giving up the “cool” friends and the flashy lifestyle. 

But in keeping the Word within us and keeping with the Word, we store up treasures in Heaven and we make our hearts strong against anything that may come at us in life. This verse made me think, personally, of all the friends I’m giving up. They were not, by any means, tearing me down but they were causing me distress and I know what is in store for me by giving them up. There will be much talking behind my back about how I’m falling away from God because I’m associating with other non-Christians instead of them. So, I realized that I had to start putting even more effort behind my faith to prove to them and myself that the talk is not true. I have never felt stronger or more knowledgeable in my faith than I have in the past couple months. 

The more that happens the more I wonder if my friends were kind of holding up my faith for me and I just couldn’t live like that anymore. I should have friends with me all the time, good, positively influencing friends, but more I should have the Bible with me and within me at all times. 

8/9/13 (late)

I guess since it’s just passed 1:00 I’m not that late, but I didn’t even read today so yes I am. I’m not making excuses. I don’t do excuses. But I will tell you that I was out all afternoon and I was sleeping after that and after sleeping I was helping my mom. But I will also say I had plenty of time this morning, during my nap, and even while helping my mom to get in at least a little bit of God time. You could call me a slacker, I wouldn’t mind. I can honestly say that I missed it and I promise I am going to read before I go to bed. Maybe I’ll do a double post tomorrow. But I do have something to say. Remember my post from yesterday about friends and about forgetting the things of old? Well tonight I went out to dinner with my new friends for a birthday party. None of them are the slightest bit Christian. None of them try to act like Christians. 

I realized something while I was sitting there at the table. (I’m a quiet person, I do a lot more observing than I do conversating.) I realized this: My faith is finally going to be put to the test at a time in my life where I don’t feel I have anything to fear. These friends would never pressure me to do anything I didn’t want to. Sure, they might ask me to, try to push me, etc, but they would do it out of fun. They wouldn’t bully me about it. But still, they do things sometimes that are over the limits of what I feel comfortable going along with. As I was realizing this I was also wondering the reason for why these non-Christians I haven’t even known for a year yet are welcoming me and loving on me more than my best friends of 6+ years. Has this entire year long process been leading up to this? To something bigger? Perhaps. And having this mindset is making me excited for the future of these new friendships as well as where it will take me in my walk with God.