Monday, March 31, 2014
Below are some notes and thoughts I jotted down while listening to the sermon Desperation: Do We Need Him? by David Platt. It was an excellent sermon about prayer and made me realize how much I truly underestimate the power of praying to the Almighty God.
Why do we pray?
1. To express the depth of our need before God.
Why is Jesus always praying?
When you look at Jesus' ministry in the Gospels, what did he do as a man that was apart from His Father actually doing that through Him? Absolutely nothing. There is not one thing that Jesus did on His own. It was all in dependence on the Father
If Jesus Christ, God in the flesh, said that He can do nothing by himself, who are we to think that there is anything in our lives that we can do on our own?
Our conviction in prayer- We can do NOTHING without God.
What was fundamental in the early church has become supplemental in the contemporary church.
Is prayer in your life fundamental or supplemental?
2. To explore the mystery of intimacy with God.
People tend to think that the main purpose of prayer is to ask God for stuff, for help, for protection.
This could be why so many of us have stopped praying as much, because when nothing happens or nothing changes, what's the point in praying or not praying? We try it, unsure if it is going to work or not. How we have learned to pray misses out on what it's really all about.
When praying, we need to be desperate for someone, not something. What if God has fashioned this whole thing called prayer for you to ultimately enjoy Him and to feast on His goodness, grace, and mercy personally. What if there's something mysterious that happens in these moments that transcends anything else that could happen in our lives.
The most important thing in the world is your personal intimate relationship with Jesus. Everything in our lives flows from this one thing.
We need to set aside a time. Intimacy just can't happen when we are running from here to there.
We need to go to a place. This is why we see Jesus setting aside a time, even going to a solitary place. Going to a place where you can be alone with God, undisturbed, without distraction, will revolutionize your life because there is an award from the Father in that place that can't be found anywhere else.....intimacy with Him.
3. To experience the power of being used by God.
If God knows everything and is in control of everything and if His plan is going to be accomplished....why do we need to pray?
God's sovereignty also means that He has ordained prayer to be a means through which He shows His power and His glory most clearly to His people. He has designed it to where you and I are apart of His whole plan. He designed it to where we get the help and He gets the glory.
In the end.....if all we take away from this is that we need to pray more.....that we are going to strive to become a woman of prayer, then we are no different from any other religion. We live in a world where everybody prays.
There is no power in prayer. The power of people who connect with the living God almighty is unstoppable.
We need to pray like we can do nothing without God's intervention.
Wednesday, March 13, 2013
"They say there is a young lady...who is beloved of that Great Being who made and rules the world. They say that He fills her mind with exceeding sweet delight, and that she hardly cares for anything except to meditate on Him. If you present the world to her, with the riches of its treasures, she disregards it. She is unmindful of any pain or affliction. She has a singular purity in her affections. You could not persuade her to compromise her true Love even if you would give her all the world. She possesses a wonderful sweetness, calmness, and kindness to those around her. She will sometimes go about from place to place, singing sweetly. She seems to be always full of joy and pleasure, and no one knows exactly why. She loves to be alone, walking in the fields and groves, and seems to have Someone invisible always conversing with her."
-Written of Sara Edwards by Jonathan Edwards, her future husband.
(from Marriage to a Difficult Man by Elizabeth Dudd)
Monday, March 4, 2013
“Only when self moves out of the way can His spectacular glory come cascading through your life. When Jesus is in His rightful place, all insecurity will fade away and His lasting loveliness will become the mark of your life.”
― Leslie Ludy, The Lost Art of True Beauty
Wednesday, February 20, 2013
So, it has been over a month since I wrote "Let's talk about boys pt.1". I have been meaning to write part 2 for sometime now, but I honestly don't really know how to start. All I know is, you better prepare yourself for some super omega honesty again. Probably even more so than the last one! So yeah, time for round two!
I have been here at IWU for almost two months now and in all honesty when it comes to boys, not nothing has changed. I still find my focus straying and my happiness decreasing, all the while feeling guilty for the way I am behaving. Have you ever felt that way? You know that the way you are thinking and feeling is wrong and not of God, yet you don't know how to fix it. It is almost like a battle going on inside you. The best way I can describe the way this battle feels is like Gollum off of Lord of the Rings; I often feel like I have split personalities. Part of me wants to focus on the things of this world (specifically boys....and how I don't have one) and to be unhappy, but the other part of me knows this is wrong and wants to only focus on the things that are of God and to be perfectly content in Him alone.
Not long after I posted the last "Let's talk about boys" (I think it was actually just two days later), I wrote the post "Being a martyr". Everything I wrote about that invitation at the end of the revival that night was totally true and not dramatized in the least. It was a night that I will never forget. I have to admit though that, although I knew that the decision to die to myself was a decision that would change my life forever and would be a life long process, I never imagined it would be this difficult. Being in this world but not of this world and being completely "set apart" is so incredibly hard. I can't even put into worlds how hard it truly is. I have been feeling like such a failure recently. The reason for that is, although I have given my life totally over to God and have died to myself, I really haven't seen much change in my life, my thoughts, my priorities, and my focus. I still find my thoughts drifting towards things I don't have, things I want, and things that this world says are important.........yet are not. I know I haven't really talked about boys much in this post (considering it is called "Let's talk about boys"), but boys fit right into this. For me, a boyfriend is something I don't have, something I want, and something this world says is important. But it is so much bigger than just boys. That "thing" could be success, friendship, influence, etc. The list could go on and on.
I know in part 1 I said that I would tell you how to change and how to deal with these thoughts, but in all honesty, I don't know if I have all the answers yet. All I know is this- God is working in my life in big ways. I can feel it. Though I feel like a failure and though I am still unhappy, God hasn't given up on me. Becoming "set apart" and completely dying to self doesn't happen overnight. It is a life long process that can only be done through the strength and power of Jesus Christ. As long as you realize this and your heart is in the right place, then you are on the right track.
Wednesday, February 6, 2013
"Nothing could ever matter to me again but the things that were eternal."
“It is a safe thing to trust Him to fulfill the desires which He creates”
"'Father, I'm not soaring today. Help me.'
'Daughter, soaring is not always flying high above the world. Sometimes one is soaring only two feet above the ground, just enough to keep you from getting tangled in the thorns and crashing against the rocks."'
"We are not here to be overcome; but to rise unvanquished after every knockout blow, and laugh the laugh of faith, not fear."
Monday, January 28, 2013
I am loving Ruth Myers' book "31 Days of Praise: Enjoying God Anew". It seems that when I open up the book and read the prayer of praise that is for that day, it always applies to how I am feeling or what I am going through. Each and every day of praise uses the perfect words to help you express just how grateful and thankful you are for what God has done and who He is.
This is the one I read today. It pretty much pulled the thoughts and feelings straight from my heart and put them into words.
"I choose to thank You for my weaknesses, my infirmities, my inadequacies (physical, mental, emotional, relational)......for the ways I fall short of what people view as ideal...for my feelings of helplessness and inferiority, and even my pain and distresses. What a comfort it is to know that You understand the feeling of my weaknesses!....and that in Your infinite wisdom You have allowed these in my life so that they may contribute to Your high purposes for me.
Thank You that many a time my weaknesses cut through my pride and help me walk humbly with You...and then, as You've promised, You give me more grace- You help and bless and strengthen me. Thank You for all the ways I'm inadequate for they prod me to trust in You and not in myself....and I'm grateful that my adequacy comes form You, the all-sufficient God who is enough!
Thank You that I can trust You to remove or change any of my weaknesses and handicaps and shortcomings the moment they are no longer needed for Your glory, and for my good, and for the good of other people....and that in the meantime, Your grace is sufficient for me, for Your strength is made perfect in my weakness. Amen."
Therefore I am well content with weaknesses, with insults, with distresses, with persecutions, with difficulties, for Christ's sake; for when I am weak, then I am strong.
2 Corinthians 12:10
Saturday, January 26, 2013
Hello friends! How has life been treating you this week? It's been rather crazy for me. The semester is definitely in full swing now and I am officially overwhelmed with homework and such. I have so much drawing I am supposed to do this week for both my Drawing I and Design I classes! I'm pretty sure I'm just gonna have to draw all weekend, and do nothing but! But hey, it beats writing papers right?
Here is a picture of the first drawing project I did. Yay for circles! haha
It has been crazy cold up here in Northern Indiana, and it is sooooo windy! All the time! It also seems to snow every other day, which is pretty, but it gets kind of old.
This is what I woke up to yesterday morning.
In other news, my sister is headed to Haiti again! She and a group of people from our church and a few other local churches arrived there yesterday. So if you could remember to say a prayer for them, that would be terrific.
Here is a picture of my sister and two of the best guys I know wearing their Haiti T-shirts. I hope they have a wonderful time and that they are shining lights for all to see.
I don't know about you, but I am super glad it is the weekend. Yay for sleeping in, getting homework done, and just hanging out with friends.
Last night a few roommates and I decided to take a last minute excursion to Ivanhoe's for some ice cream and to do some shopping. I love doing spontaneous things. :)
Beth Ann showed me this music video the other day and I must say, it one of the best ones I've seen for quite some time. I love all the special effects used that give it a whimsical look, I love how both of their voices sound together, and I am pretty sure I am going to love that movie "Safe Haven".
Hope everyone has a wonderful weekend, and I promise "Let's Talk About Boys part 2" will be up soon.