Tuesday, December 21, 2010

'Bad' day?

"For this is the day that the LORD has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it" (Psalm 118:24)
I guess it may appear kind of quirky, but for as long as I can remember I've always tried to avoid using the term 'bad day'. It may seem kind of trivial, and you may be wondering why I'm addressing it on here as it appears to have very little to do with my faith. However, the truth is that, it has everything to do with my faith - everything to do with God.

So let me explain it to you;

I know, I for one am often tempted to use the term in two specific circumstances - the first when things don't go my way (especially when my plans get changed or I have to do something I don't want to do). Yet while I am tempted to take the stance that the day is therefore frustrating and wasted, I am constantly reminded that God may have other plans for my day. (Jeremiah 29:11!)That perhaps my plans aren't His, and He may use these new scenarios for His good.
The other instance which often makes me think of a day as 'bad' is when I get in an argument, or disagreement with someone. While this clearly isn't a 'God' planned event (as those referred to above may be), I am frequently reminded that God can also use the bad and use it for His good. That He is so powerful that He can turn around what once was bad, and bring good out of it.

So I guess really what I want to say is that with God, every day has a purpose.

That everyday is special.

And that we have no right nor need to call one of the days that God has created a 'bad day'.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

The Body of Christ

I suppose I tend to be one of those people who always likes to try and deal with any 'problem' or 'issue' by themselves. And honestly, this has been particularly apparent to me recently as I find myself bottling up certain things (even though small), and not even sharing them with my family.

It is for this very reason that I have found myself particularly blessed over these past couple weeks. Just when I've needed it - God has shown me (in the most amazing ways) that we as Christians, are not meant to be alone.

In fact, recently I had a dream in which I was being prayed over, (and I can only explain it by saying that it must have been from God). In the dream, one of the older college age girls, prayed over me saying "Just know that you're not alone. That there are others around you who can help you". I'm sure it is no coincidence that I was being prayed over in the church gathering hall amidst all my brothers and sisters in Christ.

And as if this dream wasn't enough, I had even further confirmation when this morning my youth pastor spoke briefly about fellowship saying that "We're not meant to do this alone".

I can hardly call these two events which happened within a week of each other (and just when I needed them too!) a coincidence.

So, I guess what I want to say in summary is that we really aren't meant to do this by ourselves. That yes God is always with us and we can depend on Him, but He has also provided us with the Body of Christ. In 1 Corinthians 12:27 he reminds us, "Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it." Each of us (as 1 Corinthians 12 explains) has a role to play in the church, and in commiting to our role, we can build each other up. "As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another" (Proverbs 27:17).

God makes it so clear. He doesn't want us to do this alone. That's why He's here, and that's why the Body of Christ is here.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Picking Up Garbage

"I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingom of heaven" - Matthew 18:3
Toward the end of my stay in Guatemala last summer, I found one of the simplest and most beautiful lessons displayed in one of the most unusual places. We had been working on a house during the week, and by about thurdsay, most of the construction was done. Because of this, a few us found ourselves at a loose end, at which point, our youth leader asked us if we wouldmind pick up the garbage that lay scattered on the ground behind and around the local village houses. While I wasn't exactly overjoyed to be chosen for the job, I picked up a plastic bag and wandered over to the back of one of the houses and started picking up the rubbish. My first thought...was that it smelled. My second... that I could get sick and my third... That I'd much rather be putting the finishing touches on the house. But as I knew that it wasn't about me, I put up with it and kept on going.
That was until a few of the village kids ran over with huge smiles on their faces. Not only were they intrigued in what my friends and I were doing, but they soon showed that theywanted to help. Soon enough I found myself smiling as they would climb over fences, and through weeds just to pick up one can that lay about 10 feet away. Their love and their kindness was contagious.
It was then that I realized that their actions were exactly like those to which God calls us. He tells us to become like Children before Him. He wants us come running with smiling faces to do his will - no matter how worthless or dirty it may appear. God doesn't want us to run away from His will because we're afraid that we may get sick, or because we think theres something better we could be doing. No, he wants us to come joyfully before him. And when we do that, people see our joy in what appears to be trouble, and hardship. They see our smiling faces, and wonder what is different. And this is what's different: We are children of God, joyfully picking up garbage.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

An Unread Love Letter

This morning while I was sitting in the back of the church service with the rest of the youth group I was listening to our Pastor talk. It was then he made a comment about the idea of a 'spiritual bucket list' - the things we want to do in terms of our walk with Christ before we go to heaven. He mentioned one idea that really struck me: Reading the entire Bible. While I'm sure many of us hold the Bible as very important, there are a vast many of us who have never come close to reading all of it. 'One day' we find ourselves saying, (myself included).
But something our Pastor went on to say, really spoke to me. He said "How would you like to be face to face with God after you've died and him say 'I wrote you an entire love letter - why didn't you read it?'
And that's so incredibly right. God loves us so much that He gave us His word. He didn't just give it to us so it could collect dust. It is for us to read. And even more to the point, He didn't just give us one verse. He didn't even highlight ones saying 'These are the important ones - only read these'. No, He gave us the entire word. Front to back. Genesis to Revelation.
It's a gift. A gift of love. And in many cases, it remains an unread love letter. Shouldn't we at least read it?

Friday, October 22, 2010

And I'm back...

It's certainly been a while! But God has been showing me some pretty amazing things in my life over this summer and fall, and Has been teaching me to really trust Him.

Anyway, thought I'd share this verse with you today:

"Commit your way to the LORD; trust in him and he will do this: He will make your righteousness shine like the dawn, the justice of your cause like the noonday sun." - Psalm 37:5-6

Isn't it great that we serve a God we can trust?