Monday, March 28, 2011

Beautifully Broken

Brokenness. Such a beauty few men dare to seek. To feel deeply evokes a courage few men possess. It prompts a journey few men venture in a lifetime. It requires much. Everything in fact. Pure, heart-wrenching, soul-bearing humility. It is the heart cry of man admitting his humanity. Recognizing the burden of generational sin carried since the fall of Adam. It's taking His cross because we not only seek our need for it, we are desperate to become one with Him, to draw near to our Creator, and we would do literally anything to reach that place.

Why does ATF do this to me every time without fail? Perhaps I have allowed my self to feel too deeply, thus opening this door that cannot be closed without some form of therapeutic journaling. I am not broken. Not yet. But I seek a need for it, a desperation even, and that scares me. Because I know God is faithful, and He will break me. Humility is a prayer only bold men proclaim. I always come out of these things feeling so vulnerable. So raw. Sad that it's over. Nostalgic even as I say goodbye to a team of servants I just spent three days getting to know. God is expanding  my world. And I don't know how to take it. At first there was home. And it was enough; more than enough even. But eventually that grew to the confines of the Honor Academy. And suddenly I was a small town, change-hating girl, forced to embrace two very, very different worlds. I used to say that I was born to fly but had an unnerving fear of heights. But it didn't stop there. My world keeps getting bigger. For the next month I will be on the road every weekend, depleting myself so that I can serve Christ. I don't always have this attitude, in fact, it's usually not until the end of the event, once I have recognized my need for Grace and the negative effects of my hardened heart that provokes journal entries like these.

I'm sitting on the SWAT and Support Bus, waiting for it to finish loading so we can drive away from another place that has left a unique mark on my heart. San Diego will not be soon forgotten. For it has caused me to reflect, ponder, and feel. Something many go a lifetime without doing. Coasting through life in the safety of a calloused and hardened heart. I pray I never reach that place of no return. I fear a hardened heart is a heart unbroken. A heart that has yet to recognize its need for a Savior. 

And oh the need for a Savior has me desperate for brokenness. 

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Who Am I?

It's funny how life works sometimes. You spend a life time trying to figure things out: God, this world, your own heart, reason's beyond our own understanding. It appears every time I reach that point where I think I have it all figured out, God reveals an aspect, or a block to me that I forgot to factor in; and like a big tower of Jenga pieces, every philosophy, every reason, and every belief comes tumbling down, leaving me at square one, with a mess of blocks and an impending frustration. 

If I know one thing of God that cannot be shaken or slightly altered by even the most prestigious priest or virtuous preacher, it is this: God is a God of love.

There, I have successfully built my first block, and although I look around me overwhelmed by the various blocks scattered throughout the table, I can be certain that this block is the building block of every other aspect of God. I can be rest assured that every Truth is founded upon this one. So I will begin there.

I am finally at a place in life where I am starting to make my faith my own. I no longer have my mom or dad right next to me to mirror their moves and reflect their beliefs. I find my self looking on either side of me, for a sense of familiarity or confirmation, when I am sitting in a controversial session testing my very faith. Suddenly it is up to me to determine what I do an do not believe. And although I have built a life-time of belief's and faith in a God I have grown to love and adore, I am forced to challenge and reflect upon the reasoning for believing every thing I do, beginning with square one. I am forced to constantly ask myself "why do I believe the way I do?" With God's word as my map, I learn how much easier it was when I had a navigator, one I trusted, one I did not have to question. But the beauty of it is I am now faced with a choice, with no one to take the steering wheel of my own faith, I can choose to try and figure out this map on my own, or I can give the wheel to the Man I have spent a life time learning about. 

I am forced total reliance on this Man. And suddenly it begins to make sense. I am not my own. If there is one thing I know of God it is this: He is a God of love. And He is far more than I will ever be able to comprehend. 

So I will start there.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Wake Up, America

I heard a sermon the other day that may have changed my life. In the same sense that I bring discretion upon reading this passage to the group this may concern, I urge you in love and in Truth to continue reading. God’s voice is a whisper in a Nation and a world whose foundation is built upon noise. My heart cry is to amplify the Voice that America has quieted for so long. A Voice that will no longer be silent.

To whom much is given, much is required. I have been given a message that sets men free from eternal damnation. I have been given a hope and a power superseding all else. And I have set idle. There will come a day when I stand before God and am held accountable for every man I did and did not tell. If I have nothing to show for what I have been given, even I will no longer hold that power and possess that message. To whom much is given, much is required.

I fear that the American church is no longer God’s church. It has been corrupted, morphed, perverted, and lulled to sleep by the song of his world. Wake up sleeping church. The day is coming, and you are not yet ready to be taken as His bride. I am sick of getting my fill from the things of this world. America has been gluttonous on sweets and temporary pleasures. We have traded our gold for glitter and cheap jewelry, but we are starving for Bread that brings life. We are rich in everything that will soon fade-like our very lives, but we are poor in Spirit and in love. We have traded His crown for our own. His crown brought life but ours brings pain and destruction. He carried the cross that held our salvation. While we carry the sin that the weight of His cross bore. We have no shame. We carry it with pride, even. We brag about everything we posses that keeps us from knowing our Creator. We have disqualified our selves in the race of life, but we are bragging like we are still in first. I fear we are running the wrong race, a race whose destination ends in disaster. America is running full force straight into the gates of hell, while we brag about our cars and our possessions along the way.

Wake up America. There is a greater glory to be said. A greater name to be praised. God will not stand for our rebellion forever. We have been given all of the resources and made ourselves hoarders in a world starving for what we see as no value. We are apathetic. We are prideful. We have fallen away from our Maker. But He is coming, and He won’t be mocked. We have become like the people of Baal, hobbling between two gods.(1 Kings 18:21) We cannot love both God and the world. (Matthew 6:24) We have seen the Truth. It is in arms reach. But we have rejected it and created our own self-serving doctrines.

“We can worship the God of purity and holiness or we can worship a god that simply makes us feel accomplished, affirms all of our strengths, and never touches our tender spots, but they are not the same God." -Louder Than Words

I find it startling how we have no problem taking full ownership over our worldly possessions, but cower away when it comes to ownership of our faith. We have made excuse after excuse as to why we should be exempt to such responsibilities. But we cannot deny blessing after blessing, and warning upon warning that has been thrown at us since birth. To whom much is given, much is required.

I want to run this race with excellence. I want to count all worldly aspects as loss, as Paul did. (Philipians 3:7-10) I want to be Holy before my King. There is only room for royalty in His Kingdom.

We keep our mouths shut in fear of offending someone. I tell you, the greatest offense of all will be when our dearest friends fail the test on Judgment Day and ask us why we never warned them…why we were so afraid of creating an awkward situation to warn them of their eternal destination.

Wake Up Sleeping Church. To Whom much is given, much is required. And we have been given much.