So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God. 1 Corinthians 10:31

Monday, May 13, 2013

always love

Beating hearts, human beings, people
Are the fibers of this world.

We choose what we become and what we make. As friendships form, we interweave ourselves with those we love; when they’re gone, it’s as if someone had ripped a hole in the very fabric of our existence.

Then one friend grows to two, to three, to four, until we have a group. How wonderful it is to see our fabrics and stories pieced together in a quilt; to feel needed and to belong.

Or not to belong. What happens to the person who’s piece of the quilt doesn’t quite fit?

Fibers do not only form soft, friendly blankets.

A rope is made of fiber. One strand wrapped around another, each still needed, each still belonging, but each a part of something far more menacing.

No longer welcoming, no longer friendly. Unlike the quilt, each fiber in this mob loses their identity, rejecting those not fitting, rejecting those not meeting their standards.

And to that piece that doesn’t belong, this exclusive rope may seem the best way to escape.

We have a choice.

We can be the rope that coldly denies friendship and community to any who don’t meet our standards. The rope that in its rejection chokes the life out of those we refuse love and belonging.


We can be the quilt that values every piece in its differences, accepting every one we meet for who they are and loving them as if there were no other way.

Rest in peace Alex.

Thursday, February 28, 2013

God answers prayer: hope

"Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus."

"...'Whenever the rainbow appears in the clouds, I will see it and remember the everlasting covenant between God and all living creatures of every kind on the earth.'"

Right now I'm down in Georgia with my family spending precious last moments with my papa.

For those of you who don't know, he was diagnosed with stage four lung cancer at the end of April this year. Throughout this summer we've been coming to visit, but on Friday we received the call to come as fast as we can. Needless to say, it's been pretty hard on my aunts and uncles, and my grandma.

But God is so faithful and SO good. He's really been near to us in this time. He reminded of of that today. Right after particularly rough moment, it barely started to rain outside. My aunt said there was a rainbow. Me, being the sky nerd I am, ran outside to see the most beautiful, one end of the sky to the other rainbow:

Not ten minutes earlier had I prayed telling God I wasn't sure what we needed, but we needed to know He was near, and that His peace would come just like Philippians 4:4-7 says. He came then, but for a little extra boost of assurance sent us a rainbow! What a precious reminder that He's always here <3 font="font">

Monday, February 11, 2013

jeremiah 1: equipped

Jeremiah: prophet gone priest. This doesn't seem like much of a stretch, but just like anyone else God uses, he was called from the life he knew into the one the Lord had planned for him. In the 13th year of Josiah's reign God comes to him, saying:

"Before I formed you in the womb I knew you,
before you were born I set you apart;
I appointed you as prophet to the nations."
(Jer. 1:5)

I think this would make most people's jaw drop. God knew him before he was conceived??? Appointed him and set him apart before he was born??? It seems like one of those verses that would be great on a nursery wall or a child's Bible. Which got me thinking about the ways that God uses every single one of us in a special way for His kingdom. (more on that later :))

Jeremiah's first reaction is one I know I've told God countless times: "I'm too young. I can't talk good." He doesn't really say yes (although we know he must have at some point because we have the book of Jeremiah), but God speaks again anyway, commanding him to go where He says go and speak what He says speak. And for the first time here, we hear these words: "Do not be afraid of them, for I am with you and I will rescue you."

And then God does the most amazing thing: He puts His hand on Jeremiah's mouth, giving him His words and appointing him "over nations and kingdoms, to uproot and tear down, to destroy and overthrow, to build and to plant." (Jer. 1:10) Any excuses of being too young, or the countless other things I've used against God as to why I can't do what He's asking me to are hereby invalid. God gave Jeremiah HIS POWER and WORDS. Wow.

Moving on, God shows Jeremiah two symbols; that of the almond tree and that of a boiling pot. About the almond tree, God says: "You have seen correctly, for I am watching to see that my word is fulfilled." The Hebrew for "watching" and "almond tree" sound similar according to a note in my Bible. Pretty cool. God is watching to see that what He has given Jeremiah to complete will be completed, knowing that with His strength he will be fully capable.
About the pot, God proclaims that judgement is coming  on the nation from the north. He will allow kings to come against Judah for they have forsaken Him and served other gods.

So far, God has called Jeremiah, calmed his fears, and given him a mission. In verse 17, He calls and strengthens him once more!

"GET YOURSELF READY! Stand up and say to them whatever I command you.
Do not be terrified by them, or I will terrify you before them.
Today I have made you a fortified city, an iron pillar and a bronze wall to stand against the whole land -against the kings of Judah, its officials, its priests and the people of the land.
They will fight against you but will not overcome you, for I am with you and will rescue you,"
declares the Lord.
(Jer. 1:17-19)

What a call. Three different examples God gives of the strength He has given Jeremiah. Thought he is being called to stand against his own nation, fellow priests and citizens, God will be with him, so there's no way to lose.

I find it amazing and humbling that God calls us in the same way. He takes us into something that we could in no way do in our own. It may be something as big as moving to the Amazon as a missionary, but even more often I think it's the little things. At least for me. The every day surrender of myself and my fears over sharing His word and what people will think of me so that I can boldly proclaim who He is to the nations. Just like Jeremiah, God is with us. It gives me peace knowing that I have no reason to reason to fear, for God is my strength.

"May the God of peace, who through the blood of the eternal covenant brought back from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great Shepherd of the sheep, equip you with everything good for doing His will, and may He work in us what is pleasing to Him, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen." (Hebrews 13:20-21)

Casting Crowns - Until The Whole World Hears from enlacemusical on GodTube.