When I started writing this post, I was headed in a very different direction with the topic but the Spirit began to work out something else through my fingers. If this post isn't just for my own heart to contemplate, then I pray it will reach your heart too.
While sitting in a new class this past week, a highly esteemed professor of mine challenged her students. She said that in order to become effective communicators and story tellers, a person must step back, become totally engaged in the moment, and force yourself to go beyond any temptation to dull your senses. The constant urge in our culture is to become totally enwrapped in our own mind and thoughts, placing our agenda ahead of your physical present circumstance. People begin to miss out on living life in the here and now because they are so consumed with their invidual preoccupations, needless to say the addictive virtual relationships happening through technology. The temptation to constantly be somewhere else mentally rather than where you are physically is almost never denied. No wonder why the creative people are so applauded. They simply notice things and seek to express them in the best way they know how, a rare aspiration in our world today it seems.
Now, I am in no way above this critique on our culture. However, I do believe the Spirit is convicting my behavior and is pealing back a layer of blindness that I did not even know existed (sanctification often hurts).
After realizing my fault, I have to put into practice a verse I memorized a long time ago, "Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things" (Colossians 3:1, 2 NIV).
As believers, there is a higher standard that Christ has called us to. Not only by disconnecting myself from the physical world with my iPhone, email, texting, planning, ect. But I am closing off the space to allow God to use my actual physical capacity due to my mental capacity being fixated upon my own agenda. Since I am raised with Christ, my heart and mind should not be on my agenda, my agenda was put to grave on the cross.
I have wrestled a lot with the practical execution of this verse while being a student in a communications program. Everything is about communicating in this world. In fact, there is one relationship that without communication can change your eternal destiny. Therefore, if my agenda is gone, I must constantly be in communication with Christ and His agenda; meaning that whatever space I have in this life isn't mine to claim anyways, it was his all along.
So, what does your mind dwell on? What is your mental state? Is it on your agenda, your plans, distracted in lala land, or is it on the things of The Lord? I am convinced that if you too have been raised with Christ that these are questions that should swarm your heart and mind, as they are doing so in mine.
Praise Christ for his grace.
Everyday Is A New Mission Trip
Trains, planes, and automobiles.
The first of those three is my ride today, which means I am city bound once again. I remembered my habit a few years back. While I was on mission trips, we would take buses everywhere to do ministry and that would be the moments that I would consistently blog to let people know what's going on. If God has taught me anything, it is that each day is a new mission trip, wherever He leads me. So here I am today, blogging once again from my phone. Time to reflect.
Second semester of my sophomore year is on the horizon, the dawn is breaking on yet a new adventure. It amazes me how much The Lord has done in simply three semesters.
•I have learned how to live in the city of Chcago
•Grown immensely in knowledge and experience at Moody Bible Institute and Moody Publishers
•Faced stressors and mistakes that The Lord has used to sharpen my faith furthermore with his faithfulness
•Grown in many new relationships and deepened those that were already close
•Faced with more opportunity to serve God than ever before with each new day
•I am now preparing for the future with the love of m my life
•I have learned that each day is a new day, His mercies are new and being made new in me within each breath he allows
Socrates said, "As for me, all I know is that I know nothing". I am no where near having this thing called life figured out, but I have learned my duty while on this earth. Until this life has passed, I am to glorify The Lord with all my heart, soul, and mind and love those around me as Christ does.
As life is whisking by quickly, my commitment is to hold nothing back from The Lord. That's always been easy to say, but God is now giving me chances to practically live that out. I have Him alone to thank for this life He's blessed me with, especially for a family that is not without flaws, but loves Christ and the life He's given.
All in all, what the Father is pressing on my heart today: As Christ followers, we are not here to save the world, but to show the world who is the one that has saved the world and gives hope to each person, no matter their circumstance. Praise Him.
Time to Write Again....
It's been a while, and therefore, I must be honest.
For a time, I became very reluctant towards the art of cyber publishing, especially that of my personal life. While realizing my insignificance in the history of humanity, it became silly for me to spend hours writing to possibly, well, no one. Let's be honest. There are so many great classics, brilliant pieces of literature, and most of all, the Bible to be spending my time reading rather than sharing my insignificant insights to whoever may come across them.
But then again, I remembered. Writing, for me, is not an attempt at being compared to the great insights to have gone before. When I allow it, writing for me is a way to give glory to God for the sometimes small and sometimes great things in day to day life. Writing is a way to sift through the mundane moments and see God's endless beauty woven together thread by thread. My duty is not to do the weaving, but to look at the story being intricately told through each strand and give Him glory by sharing it. I intend to do just that.
Before I can continue to proceed in anything, I need to give God glory for a few significant life changes:
1. November 12 marked the day of my 20th birthday and engagement to the man of not only
dreams, but the man of my prayers. Jake and I are so excited at the journey the Lord has marked out before
us. "We are simply two ordinary people seeking to give God a platform to be extraordinary." (picture below)
2. A month later, December 14, marked the day that my older brother's life would change when he asked the
love of his life to become his wife. She said yes! I can officially say I have a sister-in-law and may the
wedding bliss begin! (We did not intend to overwhelm our parents)
3. My younger brother continues to have football offers come in. I couldn't be more proud as I watch my
little "chico" handle all the recruitment process like he is already a pro. We can't wait to continue cheering
him on from whichever college is the lucky winner of a great player.
4. My family has faced many challenges this year that the Lord has unexpectedly brought us. All though the
road ahead may be unsure concerning a few areas in our family's life, it is a blessing to say we have never
been more sure of the Lord's steadfast faithfulness. Trusting the Lord with every part of our lives may not
be easy, even during the fog, but His sovereignty is the most secure comfort in all of life.
My mother always told me:
"There are only two things certain in life: Change and Jesus. If you have the second you'll be able to stand through anything that the first may bring." As time continues to pass, this saying only proves is validity. When I may become uncertain about the change, clinging to this Word from God reminds me that this story has and will always be about Him, to bring Him glory. No need to worry. Just hang tight, trust, love and live freely in this life the Lord has given. "The heart of a man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps." Proverbs 16:9
1. He really did ask me to be his wife!
As I grew up reading stories about Christians falling in love, and fantasizing my own love story, I have to say that the real thing is so much better than any Christian-fall-in-love-book. Surely more stories of this life change are inevitable. It all started with a man with great faith and a girl with this one answer, "of course!"
I like to talk.