Thoughts

Life in Death

I know a family who are experiencing the worst kind of loss right now – their (almost) week old baby passed away last night. The even worse part – they knew it was going to happen before she was even born. My heart breaks for my fellow mom, and her family. I cannot even begin to imagine what they are going through, or process their feelings. I know they’ve been amazingly strong and brave. I know they loved that little girl more than a lot of people feel who live long lives. She was beautiful. She was a tiny. She fought to the end.

Thinking about this sweet baby and her mama, and how she knew that her girl was coming into the world for just a moment, only makes me think about how that must have been how God felt about Jesus. He knew before he was born into this world that he was going to die – that he would only be here for a short time. How heartbroken God must have been, to know the plan for His son. But God is selfless, and He loves us so much that He gave up His sweet son. He knew we needed that much love – how we need it every day.

I will never understand why babies die or how that factors in to God’s plan, and I don’t think He expects me to. I don’t think any of us can ever really wrap our minds around that. I do know that this baby brought a family together to rally around her and love her for every second they could.

As we all go into this Easter weekend, I hope we can all reflect on this great love that we get to be a part of. That because of God’s greatest sacrifice of letting his baby die, we get to experience life. I know that without a love that big, things like death would be impossible to handle. Thank  you, God, for your amazing love.

gandi

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I love this lyric so much. It embodies so many feelings and actions at once. However, my take on this lyric is probably different from what it’s sweet writer intended.

When I hear that lyric, I think about my boldness in Christ. I think about how in the Bible, God calls us to be brave for him. In Psalm 31:24 it says, “Be brave. Be strong. Don’t give up.”  Later on we read in 1 Corinthians 16:13 “Keep your eyes open, hold tight to your convictions, give it all you’ve got, be resolute, and love without stopping.” Again in 2 Timothy 1:7, “God doesn’t want us to be shy with his gifts, but bold and loving and sensible.” And my favorite comes from 1 John 4:18, “There is no room in love for fear. ” God is love, so cast all fear aside.

Yes, in life sometimes it is hard to be brave, especially when it comes to God. Someone might laugh at me. Someone might think I’m crazy. Someone might find me less cool. I don’t know about you, but I’m not worried about what the “someones” are thinking. I’m focused on how my Father sees me. If he sees me as a timid flicker or a lighthouse. If he sees me being bold in my love for Him and the world.

Let’s be brave in our walks. Let’s be brave for Him.

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Worship in a church setting can be tough for me. I crave a raw music. I crave words that go deep. I crave music that is intricate and beautiful. I don’t want cookie cutter lyrics. I don’t want a poppy tune. I don’t want songs just  because they are played on the radio. I don’t want songs because they’re familiar. I want a song that challenges me. I want music that moves me to tears. I want songs that leave me heartbroken and wanting more for my life. Worship for me is opening up before God and letting myself go. I think too often people think too much about the kind of songs they’re going to play – will people know them, will people like them? You just have to live the music that moves you and stop thinking.

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This verse is on my mind today, as my grandaddy goes in to have surgery on his cancerous lung. Our human bodies are weak and failing, and one day our physical hearts will give up. This can be a difficult truth to wrap our minds around sometimes, but I rely on the knowledge that God makes all things new. He leads me, he strengthens me in my weakness, and he is everything I need.

Mist

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 James 4:14 says, “You do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes.” Think about what that says…..really think about it. Think about all the little things in our day to day lives that we dwell on, that we plan for, that we get upset about, that we say, that we write – the list goes on. I have lingered on it, because it’s something that I think about all the time.

Why do we do this? Why do we focus our minds, our attentions, our actions on things that are trivial, that are fleeting, that are so small in the grand scheme of things? Why do we think we are so worthy of more time to accomplish these things? Why do we feel so deserving? Because we’ve earned it? Because it’s our right? Because we are better than someone else? Because we did things right and they did things wrong?

We have no guarantees in this life. We have no entitlement. God hasn’t labeled us deserving or destitute. To look at someone, whether they’re in another country or across the street, and think that you are more deserving of something in this life because of something you’ve done, something you’ve said, something you think God said, or for whatever reason – you’re wrong. Why do you deserve clean running water when there are people bathing in dirty rivers? Why should you be able to read your bible in a public place when there are people being murdered for reading there’s in the secrecy of their own homes? Why should you get to live in a warm house when there are people making their beds on the sidewalk or in a dumpster? Why do you deserve heaven and they deserve hell?

I’m not saying having all of those things is a bad thing, or that it is wrong and you shouldn’t have them. I have them. I am abundantly blessed. For whatever reason, God has allowed me to live an easy life by most standards. The weighing factor comes in when you’re answering all the questions I asked earlier. When you go through life making plans, judging others and their plans, spending your time on all the things that you might one day look back on and say, ‘wow, that really wasn’t important at all’ – if you get the days to look back. That’s the point of all this. You might not have those days. You might not have tomorrow.

God is amazing. He is holy. He is everything.

We are weak. We are a mist.

He will use us though, if we let him. He will take our weaknesses and make us strong in him. He will take our time and use it for his kingdom. He will take our thoughts and focus them on others. He will take our feet and move us to serve. He will take our judgement and give us grace. We must be faithful with his grace. We must not squander that grace, but pour it out onto this world.

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Can we just talk about this guy for a second? This man that I call husband. This is one of my favorite pictures of him from the six years we’ve been together. I feel like it represents who he is more than he would ever see. It shows how selfless he is, and how he never makes anything about him (hence the covering of the face). He puts everyone he knows before himself, always, and that’s a hard thing to do in life. Am I right?!  Love pours out of every action, and every word. I can never thank God enough for allowing me to be a part of this guys life in such a big way. What a guy. What an incredible guy.

The Best of You

So here’s what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering.” Romans 12:1

Is God getting the best of you? This is a question we must all ask ourselves as followers, on a day-to-day basis. It’s hard sometimes, I’ll be honest – to give God our best, instead of our worst. To go to him first, instead of last. How many days do we rush around the entire day, only to give God five minutes right before we go to bed? How many times do we only cry out to him in a time of need? How many times do we think we can handle life on our own, until we can’t and turn to him? This has definitely been me in the past. Thankfully, God is constantly molding me, and creating me for more – teaching me more and more about what it means to follow him. Thankfully, he is also merciful. He knows we get busy. He knows we are neglectful. Yet he still loves us, beyond all measure. What a thing, his love.

Further on in the this chapter of Romans, it says, “Love from the center of who you are; don’t fake it.” I believe this not only applies to people, but most importantly to God. We are to love him from from the center of everything we do, which will extend out into how we love the people around us. God knows where our hearts are – he knows how we truly love him. He doesn’t want our leftover time or love. He doesn’t want us to fake our relationship with him. By this I mean that by loving God from the center of ourselves, him becoming our main focus in everything, we our giving him our best. In doing this, he stays at the forefront of our minds, leading us in every move we make.

In life, getting busy is always going to be a factor – it’s inevitable. Some things are always going to get shoved to the side, forgotten for the day. God should never be one of those things. It’s unacceptable as believers for us to forget about our amazing God, or to push him to the back burner. He is glorious. He is almighty. He is love.