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Saturday, June 28, 2014

Quote

No matter what you do, never take yourself too seriously. ~Paul Smith

The Question ( from TheRebelution.com)

http://therebelution.com/blog/2014/06/the-question-what-are-you-going-to-do-when-you-grow-up/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+rebelution+%28The+Rebelution%29

"I shift uncomfortably in the back seat as all eyes in the car suddenly turn to me. A quiet giggle lingers on my lips as I play with my hands, struggling for the right words for The Question. Ah yes, The Question.

That Question.

“So Rachel, what would you like to do?”

Every teenager in the car has answered it flawlessly so far, as if they have stood in front of the mirror rehearsing it a dozen times. Of course, there’s the noble and intelligent Doctor. Then there’s the sophisticated and witty Lawyer. And let’s not forget that charming and charismatic Politician-in-the-making.

What do I want to do? What do I want to be? Where do I want to go? I don’t know.

Not only do I not know, I don’t have the slightest idea.

I used to be terrified of The Question. Why couldn’t I be one of the people who seems to “just know,” you know? The idea of that impending unknown slowly catching up to me with every passing day, the concept of The Future, used to paralyze me with fear. I didn’t want to choose, because choosing means committing, and committing means agreeing to the risk of failure.

No, I do not know what I want to be when I grow up, but there are some things I do know. I know that there is a God who knitted me together (Psalm 139:13), knows the plans He has for me (Jeremiah 29:11), and for now, asks me to lean not on my own understanding, but rather lean on Him (Proverbs 3:5-6).

I may not know the exact occupation I want to hold when I grow up, but I know that I want people to know Jesus Christ, the Savior of my soul, and extend to them the love that He has lavished upon me.

A man named Count Nicolaus Ludwig von Zinzendorf (imagine having to write that on your papers at school!) once said: “I have but one passion: It is He, it is He alone. The world is the field and the field is the world; and henceforth that country shall be my home where I can be most used in winning souls for Christ.”

My grandmother told me this: “You will be great at whatever you do, but you will be best at what God is calling you to do.”

And right now, God is calling me to love those around me. He is calling me to be the Salt and Light of the earth. He is asking me to seek Him, above school and fun and guys and all of the things that the world portrays as the most important.

To tell you the truth, it is kind of fun not to know. I could be a writer, or an FBI agent, or a missionary. I could be anything. And though that may be a little scary, a lot of the time fear is only being scared of the extraordinary things God can do through ordinary people like us.

So embrace not knowing. Embrace the awkwardness. Embrace The Question. Embrace living in the here and the now.

Trust isn’t built in good weather, but in the storms and the crashing waves. So trust. Trust that you can lean on Christ and that the path will be straight (Proverbs 3:6). He will not lead you to a dead end. Simply put one foot

in front of the other and walk in obedience.

Okay, where was I? Oh, yes, in the car.

So there I sit, among the future Doctors, Lawyers, and Politicians.

And then there’s me, fumbling for words like I am new to the English language. Only three words escape my lips, an unsure yet absolutely certain whisper, “I don’t know.” And as these words saturate the air around me, I can’t help but smile a little. I don’t know, but God does. And that is enough for now."

Thursday, June 26, 2014

What Is My Ministry?

For all my friends out there who are seeking God's will for their life, I hope this video encourages you as much as it did me. As young people, we want to do something BIG for God. We want to have purpose and meaning. But sometimes we forget that the little things we do for someone else, whether it's doing the dishes, mowing the lawn, sharing an encouraging word with a friend, giving that little hug, or even just listening to someone share their joys or sorrows with you, may have the biggest impact in a person's life. 
For a while now, I have been hoping that God would reveal to me what my BIG purpose is. Is it going overseas on a mission trip? Is it organizing a special group to distribute tracts at different places? Is it organizing or participating in a children's Bible study? If so, when? where? how?! What I didn't think about was what if God wasn't wanting me to be on the "front lines"? What if what God has for me is doing my best, by His strength, to find ways to serve the people that God has placed in my life. It might not be anything that I see the results of here on earth or anything others view as important, but maybe I can make a difference one person at a time. I am learning that sometimes my plans for my life are not necessarily the plans God has for my life. His plan for my life might not be "big" in our terms of BIG, but we can be sure that His plan is the best!
Friends, don't give up! Keep seeking to serve the Lord in all you do! Trust in Him and He will lead you. "And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up. So then, as we have opportunity, let us do good to everyone, and especially to those who are of the household of faith." Galatians 6:9-10. Look for ways to bless others today!
 
In case the video doesn't show up, here is the link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g0Liu6PgHFw#t=191 
 

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Joshua Project: Unreached

If you have an iPod or IPhone, check out this app. It shares a little bit about a certain unreached people group each day and how you can pray for them. It also refers you to sites that can help you get involved in getting the Gospel to these people. 

Oh, and it is FREE!!

https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/unreached-of-the-day/id543797457?mt=8

Friday, June 13, 2014

The Extraordinary Power Of Now

From Therebelution http://therebelution.com/blog/2014/06/the-extraordinary-power-of-now/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+rebelution+%28The+Rebelution%29


Have you ever had one of those mornings where you wake up, and just wonder, “What am I doing with my life”? You sit and wonder if your life matters, and who would miss you if you were gone. You have this big sense of restlessness within you. “Is there more to life than what I am currently living?” “When will my big moment come?” “Will I ever amount to anything?” There has got to be more to life! Right?

This may or may not be you, but I know I have had far too many of these mornings. Despite all of my efforts to have that perfect life I imagine, I am often left wanting more. We can seemingly have everything in our lives that we could ever want and still we will often wonder “IS THIS ALL??”

We wonder, “God, what is my purpose? When will I finally be living it out?” Well, I am not about to try explaining the purpose of life, but I think it is essential for us to gain a new perspective on our NOW — and this is what I want to dive into today.

There are many biblical stories we could reference as we adjust our perspective, but I decided I wanted to use King David as our example. Although none of us will ever be trying to lead a nation as a King, I believe many of us aspire to be something that matters “one day.” We want more for our life, but we’re stuck in a routine that (we feel) is getting us nowhere closer to our potential. We feel that what we are doing today is nowhere in line with what we are supposed to be doing and will leave no impact.

This is where this story comes into play. David is one of the most popular characters in the Bible. We can easily see in history the number of ways that God used David for HUGE things, but we miss the really important parts so often. We miss the diligence and effort He had to put in behind the scene before any of the glory. That’s just it, we marvel at the glory, but we forget about the story.

David had to realize the power of his present situation to ever be prepared for his greater challenges! David wouldn’t have been prepared for Goliath if he hadn’t been faithful with his father’s sheep (FYI, shepherding was looked at as the lowliest of jobs in this time). David would not have been prepared for a king’s court if he hadn’t been faithful in playing his harp for Saul. David would never have been prepared for fighting for his nation if he hadn’t learned to be strategic protecting himself in his many years of hiding.

David had to endure the process of making progress towards his potential. Yet each time one of these challenges arose, he maximized the potential he had which set him up for greater potential for his future.

So you want to be great? That starts today. It starts NOW. And it comes in two forms.

1) Maximize the moments

This starts when we realize that from the moment we wake up to the moment we are asleep, we have thousands of opportunities to be great. These are the little opportunities no one looks at as greatness. It’s the hug you give, the dishes you put away, the bathroom you clean, the friend you write a note to, the homework you complete well, the practice you give everything at, etc.

So I need you to get this. We miss that greatness lies in the little moments of life! We look for a grand magical purpose in our future and miss everything that is truly great in our life. We miss that our potential is found in the process of making progress. This is our issue! We strive for our grand purpose of our potential but overlook the impact of the process of progress. This is one of the essentials of being great.

2) Invest in your deposit

You have gifts, talents, and abilities. You have these for a reason. Invest in them. Do you play an instrument, play a sport, or perform? Are you a good listener, good with finances, or great with kids? God gave you these things as a deposit, so invest in them! Maximize them!

We must realize something about being great. It is the things that no one sees that produce the results everyone wants. The people who inspire us to be great did not just appear over night. They had to develop their deposit with diligence. They learned to steward their gifts in the “NOW” — completely changing the trajectory of their potential. Their greatness came from their daily grind.

The world needs people who can take what they’ve been given and maximize that deposit through investing in it. Be YOUR best. This will make you great.

These are both things you can do right now! And that is why NOW is so critical.

You can keep sitting and waiting on that new opportunity to arrive, or for your dream to come true. But if you aren’t maximizing NOW your deposit will be scarce when the doors do open. Your deposit won’t be stimulated enough from your investments to be able to carry you into your bigger opportunities to come.

You may not see the actual purpose of your current situation, but if you see that it HAS a purpose, you will keep from selling yourself short of your potential.

Don’t overlook the power of now.


Saturday, June 7, 2014

Listen up!

Teens can be the most energetic, the most passionate, the most powerful people group in the Body of Christ.
And Satan knows it...

I’m done watching kids go over the edge. I’m done watching hearts break. I’m done playing tea party in a war zone. Parents, pray for your kids! The Enemy is after them, not just so he can get to them, but so he can get to you!
When I was little one of my favorite movies was Pixar’s “The Incredibles.” It’s still one of the best animated films of all time in my mind. There is a line in that movie that hits home with me. As Mrs. Incredible is describing the enemy to her kids she warns them, “He won’t exercise restraint because you’re children. He will kill you if he gets the chance. Do not give him that chance.”
Let me tell you something. You are powerful. You are not destined for mediocrity. You have all that you need for life and godliness. You were meant to change the world. You were meant for so much! Don’t be deceived. Don’t let this culture lie and tell you that people are fine one day and snap the next. That’s not how it works. It’s a choice. It’s a decision. And it starts right now.
Read the rest at http://therebelution.com/blog/2014/06/teenagers-are-pathetic/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+rebelution+%28The+Rebelution%29
 

Sunday, June 1, 2014

THE TRUTH ABOUT IDOLATRY

By Leslie Ludy

"I used to believe that all idols were golden statues in ornate temples and that as long as I wasn’t bowing to them, I didn’t have idolatry in my life.  But as I’ve studied Scripture and grown deeper in my relationship with Christ, I’ve realized that an idol is not just a statute. Rather, an idol is anything or anyone that takes a higher position than Jesus Christ in my heart and life; anything that claims more of my devotion and affection than Him. Our God is a jealous God, and He wants our entire heart - not just part of it. (See Ex 20:5)  He says, “I am the Lord, that is my name! I will not yield my glory to another or my praise to idols (Ex 42:8) and, “Worship the Lord your God and serve him only” (Luke 4:8).

Idolatry divides our heart from Christ.  Matthew 6:24 says, “No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other…” When we have idolatry in our life, we may say (or even believe) that Jesus Christ has our whole heart, but in reality we place our hopes and affections around pursuits outside of Him  (i.e. health, money, romance, etc). Scripture is very clear - when we become slaves to our appetites, our financial goals, our romantic pursuits, our popularity, our comforts, or anything else, we cannot be the servants of Christ.

How often do we stand in a worship service and sing songs like, “You are my All in All” while our minds are consumed with thoughts of a relationship or a career opportunity? How often is our identity far more wrapped up in our popularity, achievements, or possessions than in the simple, glorious reality that we are daughters of the King? How often do we think, “If I could only (get married, make more money, lose weight, have more friends, do something exciting, etc) THEN I would be happy, and I would make Jesus my number one focus!” So we spend our prayer times asking God to give us the desires of our heart, all the while forgetting that He should always be the chief desire of our heart.

Idolatry can sneak into our lives in a variety of ways. When the gaze of our soul does not remain singularly fixed upon Jesus Christ, good desires (such as taking care of our bodies, waiting for a godly spouse, or cultivating friendships) can morph into unhealthy preoccupations before we even realize what has happened. A simple intention to eat right can turn into a fixation with health; a God-given longing for marriage can become an obsessive need to find a guy; and a healthy desire for friendship can become a fettish for approval and popularity. Often, the biggest threats to seeking Christ with an undivided heart are not obviously sinful things, but good and God-given desires that subtly start to claim too much of our focus and affection.

So can you know when something has become an idol in your life?  Here are some of the most common warning signs:

1)  You can’t imagine giving it up (i.e. “if I don’t eat health food, I’ll surely die an early death!” or “if I can’t listen to my favorite music everyday, I’ll be miserable and depressed!” or “if I don’t get married, life won’t be worth living!”)

2)  You spend more time and energy on that area than you do on Jesus Christ. For instance, maybe you spend eight hours each week on movies or social media, but only ten minutes in prayer or in studying God’s Word. Or maybe you invest the majority of your time and energy into a relationship (or the pursuit of one) and have very little left over to spend time seeking Christ or sharing Him with others. As much as we don’t like to admit it, the areas that claim the majority of our spare time are usually the areas that have the biggest hold upon our hearts.

3)  You find more delight and happiness in that area of your life than you do in your relationship with Christ. Remember, it’s not wrong if earthly things bring us comfort or happiness at a certain level, but Jesus must always remain our source of deepest satisfaction. A great way to determine whether you are truly finding your fulfillment in Christ is to ask yourself the question, “if this  area of my life (relationship, pursuit, money, possession, etc) was suddenly stripped away from me, would Jesus be enough?”

Countless Christians through the ages (and today in persecuted countries around the world) have made astounding personal sacrifices, even giving up their very lives, in order to put Jesus first. If these men and women are willing to give up everything in order to serve only one Master - Jesus Christ - can we not do the same? If we are not cultivating an undivided heart toward Christright now in areas such as food, money, and romance, how can we expect to keep our gaze fixed upon Him when greater trials and sufferings come?

Let us echo the prayer of the Psalmist who prayed,“Give me an undivided heart, that I may fear your name." Truly, He is worthy of our whole heart!" 

http://setapartgirl.com/devotional/05-7-14/truth-about-idolatry