shelter, love others

How do we as Christians miss the simple love of God so often?  Why do we continue to allow ourselves and those around us try to complicate God?

I know those are powerful statements, but they’ve been on my heart lately.

Love God

God loves us.

Love others the way God loves us. Unconditionally

 

I could quote scripture after scripture about loving your neighbor as yourself, loving your enemies, turning your cheek, caring for the poor, widowed, and needy, and go on and on, but we all KNOW those.

So why is it so hard to put those into action on a day to day basis??

I’m not talking about “oh next week i’m going to do _____” or  “last summer i _____”  Faith is not a checkbox. You don’t get to “check off”  a “love others” box.  It doesn’t work that way.  Following Christ is a lifestyle, not a to-do list.   You don’t get to say “I did my Christian duty for day/month/year/lifetime”   It DOES NOT work that way.  Yet we often practice this through our actions, words, and teachings.  We do not focus on putting things into DAILY action, we give tangible once in a while, destination opportunities.   Going and serving on a mission trip or taking monthly trips to serve a specific group or weekly meetings with people who can’t come are GREAT things, but those things should be an overflow of our daily lives and an overflow of our hearts, not something we do to meet a criteria list.

Does anyone else see this happening?

I’m not saying it’s easy to love everyone, forgive others, or any of the other things God has called us to do, BUT we aren’t called to do these things on our own either.  God is with us through his Holy Spirit and we were given that gift to call upon when we are in need.  God wants to be in relationship with us.  He wants us to know Him.  God doesn’t give us anything we cannot handle.  I’ve FIRMLY come to believe that over the past several years through my life experiences and watching those around me.  He will be with us if we simply call on Him.  Even if we don’t, He’s still there, right beside us.

My quote calendar today read as follows: “God walks with us, He scoops us up in His arms or simply sits with us in silent strength until we cannot avoid the awesome recognition that yes, even now, He is there – Gloria Gaither

Now, I don’t know who Gloria is, but she get it.  She’s clearly been there.

God is pretty simple and pretty straight forward…..if we let Him be.  So stop complicating things.  Stop trying to tell people they have to fit in certain boxes to be with God/come to church/be your friend/etc.   We are called to love as God loved, and if that means scooping up, then scoop up, but if that means sitting in silent strength, then sit.

I realize this post is pretty sporadic, but I hope you find something in it that speaks to you.  I really feel that when I’m going through something or wrestling with something, God speaks to me through my fingertips as I type, and I know I’ve heard Him in these moments.

This has been sparked by various life events, but they all (mostly) boil down to the fact that by complicating God, and things related to Him, we are DESTROYING the Church as He meant it to be.  By gossiping, twisting, complicating, and adding things on to God’s word, we are doing an EXTREME disservice to ourselves and those around us.

So just be.

Be who God called you to be.  Be where you are and rest in Him.  That’s all we can do, and if we listen, He will tell us the rest.  Rest in the shelter of those in your community, your faith community.  If you do not have a faith community, let’s chat about it.  I’ve learned lately that faith communities take on MANY more shapes than simply pews and stages.  they may be Google Hangouts, fireplace breakfasts, long walks, text messages, or any number of other places.  God is everywhere, not just the Church, so let’s chat about it.

For now, after your mind has been boggled by that post’s sporadicness, I leave you with a beautiful song by Jars of Clay

Don’t just pretend to love others. Really love them.

“Don’t just pretend to love others. Really love them.” – Romans 12:9 NLT

This is so simple, yet we as Christians mess up SO bad.  Whether it’s blatantly being completely fake to one another, being honestly mean, or the one we often forget: neglect.  Neglect, in my opinion, is the worst.  Yea you weren’t being mean or unloving to someone, but you noticed that no one was being nice or loving and you chose to be one of those no ones.  You chose to ignore the unloved person, the weird person, the person going through a tough situation that may be ‘awkward’ to deal with.  That’s, in my opinion, just as bad as if you were mean/unloving to them.

God calls us to love: the unlovable, the unloved, the widows, the orphans, the black, the white, the asian, the hispanic, the children, the elders, the parents, and on and on and on…..EVERYONE.

As Christians, sometimes, we have decided it’s okay to put people in boxes and decide which box is “most loveable” or “least loveable” or “someone else can love this box”.  that’s sick. and unacceptable.  oftentimes, things such as this step on toes because we hear the analogy “we’re one big church, we have different parts, some parts are better at some things than others.”  this is true, but when it comes to loving others, we don’t get to sit back and say “well i’m not good at loving ‘that kind’ of person, someone else might be”,  we are called to love EVERYONE.  the same.

30 And you must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind, and all your strength.’ 31 The second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ No other commandment is greater than these.” -Mark 12:30-31

This verse does not mean you can categorize people or justify being unloving to certain kinds of people.  It means love EVERYONE as God loved us, and that’s a lot.  “Neighbor” doesn’t mean the person you feel like loving, it means your fellow humans.  There is no way around it.

I’ve been redundant here, but, lately, i’ve felt so strongly about this.  Loving others is not something we can categorize, change, shirk around, make up excuses for, we are called to LOVE.

We sometimes use little boxes or the “someone else can love that person, but i’ll act (insert unloving behavior) way toward them” to justify the things below, but….

Racism is not love

teasing is not love

judgement is not love

neglect is not love

gossip is not love

physical abuse is not love

smite is not love

but…..

GOD IS LOVE, so what’s it gonna be?

Here’s the rest of the verse from Romans about our call and God’s role

Don’t just pretend that you love others. Really love them. Hate what is wrong. Stand on the side of the good. 10 Love each other with genuine affection, and take delight in honoring each other.11 Never be lazy in your work, but serve the Lord enthusiastically. 12 Be glad for all God is planning for you. Be patient in trouble, and always be prayerful. 13 When God’s children are in need, be the one to help them out. And get into the habit of inviting guests home for dinner or, if they need lodging, for the night. 14 If people persecute you because you are a Christian, don’t curse them; pray that God will bless them. 15 When others are happy, be happy with them. If they are sad, share their sorrow. 16 Live in harmony with each other. Don’t try to act important, but enjoy the company of ordinary people. And don’t think you know it all! 17 Never pay back evil for evil to anyone. Do things in such a way that everyone can see you are honorable. 18 Do your part to live in peace with everyone, as much as possible. 19 Dear friends, never avenge yourselves. Leave that to God. For it is written, “I will take vengeance; I will repay those who deserve it,” says the Lord.

 


Why Young Adults are Leaving the Church

RELEVANT Magazine – Why Young Adults are Leaving the Church.

By Kara Powell

http://www.twitter.com/stickyfaith

The reasons 20somethings are giving up on Sunday morning

What does it say about our generation that 40 to 50 percent of young Christians fail to stick with their faith or connect with a church after high school? Most likely, you’ve experienced or been witness to this exodus of twentysomethings from the faith community. At this point, it’s not even surprising to watch young adults become disillusioned with church as they go to college, build a career, start a family or begin their “real life”. But can it be stopped?

We recently spoke to Kara Powell, executive director of Fuller Youth Institute and co-author of Sticky Faith, to answer just that. Drawing from her extensive research with Fuller Youth Institute, she gave us a little more insight into what it takes to find a faith that sticks.

Do you think young people are just leaving the church, or leaving faith? Or is it both?

Probably my best answer to that is to describe what Tim Clydesdale—who is a sociologist in New Jersey—refers to as “the identity lock-box.” What students tend to do after they’ve graduated from high school is place important parts of themselves in an identity lock-box, and their faith is often part of that. The good news is that you put something in a lock-box when it’s important to you. So there is some sense that students still value their faith at one level. But the problem is when your faith is in a lock-box, especially as a college student or emerging adult, you’re making so many important decisions about worldview, and marriage, how you engage in risk behaviors, and vocation, and calling, and all those considerations are made while your faith is locked up in that lock-box. So there is some sort of residual sense that students value the faith, but it’s not influencing their day-to-day, or even major decisions. Given the long-term impact of those decisions throughout their adulthood, it’s pretty disconcerting.

Do you think there are any misunderstandings or misconceptions that contribute to young adults leaving the church?

The students involved in our research definitely tended to view the Gospel as a list of dos and do-nots, a list of behaviors. We asked our students when they were college juniors, “How would you define what it really means to be a Christian?” and one out of three—and these were all youth group students—didn’t mention Jesus Christ in their answer; they mentioned behaviors. So it seems like [young adults] have really picked up a behavioralist view of the Gospel. That’s problematic for a lot of reasons, but one of which is that when students fail to live up to those behaviors, then they end up running from God and the Church when they need both the most.

Are these mindsets limited only to young adults, or does it affect all ages?

Oh, yes, absolutely, [they] aren’t making this up on their own. They’re getting this from adults. Another issue that is particularly relevant to church leaders across the board is the importance of intergenerational relationships. We looked at 13 different youth group participation variables in our study, things they did in the context of youth group, to try and see what would be the biggest levers for sticky faith. To our surprise, the participation variable most highly related to mature faith both in high school and college was intergenerational worship; helping them connect with adults of all ages is a vital part of building adult faith. What we’re seeing is that not only are [intergenerational relationships] transformative in the lives of the teenagers, but they make a difference in the overall church. Imagine what a church would be like, what the adults in church would be like, if they were infused with the vitality that comes with teenagers? At the very least, if they were getting to know a few teenagers by name so they could pray for them, how life-giving would that be for the adults in a church?

What is an ideal model for the relationship between different generations in the faith community?

The original churches in the first century were multi-generational, were multi-ethnic. Especially as youth ministries become more professionalized in the last 50 years, [we’ve] ended up segregating kids from the rest of the church. Having said that, there’s definitely a time for 6-year-olds, and 16-year-olds and 86-year-olds to be together on their own. We need to provide space for folks in similar life spaces to chat and share community, but balance is something we swing through on our way to the other extreme.

It’s a common story: Young adults stop going to church, then once they have kids they return. It’s not like that’s a new phenomenon. Do you think this generation is different—or will they return to church again in a few years when they start having kids?

About 50 percent of those who drift from church seem to return, and it’s often because when they get older they get married and have kids. We at the Fuller Youth Institute are still grieving over the 50 percent who don’t return, and even in the 50 percent who do return—you make those important life decisions as college students, and then there are consequences you live with even after you’ve returned to the faith. It seems like students are drifting at a slightly higher percentage than in the past, and as adolescence is lengthening, they’re staying away from the church longer. As age of marriage is being delayed, having children is being delayed, so it’s just more years under the belt apart from God and full of the heartbreak and disappointment that comes from living your life apart from God.

RELEVANT Magazine – Our Top 10 Books of 2011

Who Is My Enemy: Questions American Christians Must Face About Islam – And Themselves, by Lee C.Camp

The starting point for Lee Camp’s stunning new book is that Christians should take Jesus at His word when He said, “Love your enemies.” This requires a commitment to self-examination as well as the practice of empathy—“empathy that may not agree, approve, or necessarily even tolerate, but nonetheless seeks to understand.” Camp suggests taking the question that was on everyone’s lips after the 9/11 attacks (“How could they do this to us?”) as an authentic agenda for understanding: “What in their experience, in their presuppositions, in their vision, could contribute to the deeds or words or actions we find so unjust and horrid?” Reading Who Is My Enemy reminded me of the growing pains I’d get as a kid, usually at night. It was going to be uncomfortable for a while, but I knew I was going to wake up bigger.

via RELEVANT Magazine – Our Top 10 Books of 2011.

I took my first college Bible class from this guy, great teacher!  The book could be a great read so I figured I’d pass on the recommendation..

dancing while abiding and praying

school starts back tomorrow.

i pray that i won’t use it as a distraction from life as i have far too many times in the past.

school is a comfort to me. life has been school since i can remember, since i was 5. it was simply what i did 9 months out of the year. and tomorrow begins my final semester in that journey. i just simply pray that i see it as what it is, school, not life.

i pray that the other things going on in my life will not be ignored because of school. i pray that i won’t use it as an excuse not to deal with them. i pray that i won’t use work as that either.

i’m tired of hiding from things and being indecisive.

i was listening to a podcast from Passion yesterday, Ben Stuart’s podcast about making decisions in our lives and i was blown away. he went through the ways that we should make our decisions and the things to remember. while they were all important and critical, the one that stuck out to me most is that we need to “own our decisions”.  sometimes, Stuart said, God forces us to make decisions. he forces us to own up to the fact that we have free will and He will not always tell us what to do, we have to decide for ourselves. He will always be there no matter what decisions we make, but we have to make them. he may guide us or set things right in front of our faces, but in life, we make the decisions. and sometimes, God refuses to reveal His will. He refuses to tell us what his plan is or tell us “it’s none of your business right now”  because we need to make decisions on our own.

thats a hard one for me. if you know me well at all, you know this.

i pray that this semester, year, in the rest of my life, that i will constantly work on making decisions. making smart decisions, and owning them. not using excuses or cop outs. not praying that i get rejected from something so i don’t really have to decide. those are weak things. i refuse to be defined as weak.

i pray that i will not use school as a crutch or cop out. i pray that i will not let fear get in the way of getting plugged into life and meeting people. i pray that i will not settle for less than God has planned for me, that I will not let fear hold me back, that i won’t hold myself back, that I will remain strong in the fait, and take time to simply Be Still.  I thank Him for days without cell service. for teary drives at night. for friends who listen to me go around in circles. i pray that the circles will straighten out and come to a point, soon.

i pray that i will keep my gaze upward, that i will remember that my sole purpose here is to live for Him, with Him, and for His glory, everything else is just an overflow of that. until we have our minds set in this, we will always settle for a second class version of ourselves. i pray for the awakening to continue.  i pray for His hand and guidance. that i will focus on the precepts given to me and trust for the providences. that i will own decisions. that wise counsel and great friends locally will be provided to me, that i will get involved in a great group of Christian women soon.

i pray that i will look to you first before i panic when i come to unrevealed situations that don’t have clear answers. turn off the natural woman panic mode when things get a bit crazy in life.

Phillipians 4:6-7

6-7Don’t fret or worry. Instead of worrying, pray. Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns. Before you know it, a sense of God’s wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down. It’s wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the center of your life.

i pray that i will constantly be in the word, not simply when i am in need or am down on life. i pray that it will be my life, my bread, my sustainment.

i pray that i will become more of a student of life and myself. that i will be more self aware, that i will use the things i know about myself for my advantages, not as weaknesses. weaknesses may simply be strengths in hiding or misused.

i pray that i will find myself in a flourishing community of believers seeking after God earnestly. that my talents and skills and gifts will be revealed through this and i will help others find theirs. that we will sharpen and mentor each other. i pray earnestly for this one. i’ve felt a disconnect from community lately, and Lord, I pray that you will reconnect me where you want me connected, wherever that may be.

continuing in going through my notes from Ben’s session @ Passion…

i pray that i will follow my heart. not money, not selfishness, not logic, not a person, not fear, but my heart and God. i pray that i will follow what you have revealed. i pray that i will find the place where the deep desires of my heart and the hunger in the world meet and i will rest there. i will run to there and rest there, with you. i pray deeply for that.

i don’t want to simply pray for what to do, i want to pray that i will be living in the place where the love i have received and continue to accept will become the place of my life. that each day i will be in that place. that each day i will realize He has called me beautiful and he has called me to dance with Him, on His feet.

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

16-18Be cheerful no matter what; pray all the time; thank God no matter what happens. This is the way God wants you who belong to Christ Jesus to live.

i pray that i will get closer to the vine, and abide in Him, that i will realize that the only one who can make me whole is the one who made me. the only one who can do all those things that make me feel whole is Him. He is the only one who should, i cannot depend on others to do that for me, i shouldn’t and until i stop, i may always be in more want.

i pray for simplicity and peace and joy.

hello spring semester 2010 🙂

KUC Knoll…

Today, after leaving Sensation/Perception, my friends and I noticed a large crowd gathering outside the KUC and a few people holding signs and people shouting.  Instinctively, we were drawn to see what was going on.  A girl was yelling “if your daughter was raped, would you ask her what she was wearing?” while she was clearly being ignored.  As I got closer to the group I noticed that the guy with the sign had things such as “homosexuals, immodest women, etc JUDGEMENT IS COMING!” and asked the girl standing next to me what was going on.  Apparently, she had asked him if a girl was dressed immodestly, then raped, was it the girls fault?  He said “yes, because she was dressed immodestly and she is going to hell.”  The girl then proceeded to ask the question about the daughter to which he ignored, then she began yelling (which did no good) and he continued ignoring.  Apparently, the girl asking, was the girl in the story, adding emotional fuel to the fire.
I stood and listened and observed for a few minutes.  They continued yelling while he ignored, he eventually walked away to where she followed along with about a hundred of her closest friends.  There was another guy with a sign (see picture) who was talking about how God hates homosexuals and how he had not sinned in 12 years since he became a Christ follower.  People began, as they do, to just go nuts.  People were yelling “join the church of the spaghetti monster” or “you’re sign is gayer than me” and just useless stuff like that.  Not that I in any way defend the sign guys, but yelling incessant things about Christianity like how its all crazy and how Jesus just came to hate, etc., etc. is not helping the case.
Then I began to think…these things are never justified in saying because they are nonsense, but people such as sign guys give people reasons to yell things like this.  Sign guys give people reasons to hate Christians and think of religion as crazy and nonsense and old fashioned, etc. etc, we’ve all heard it.
I listened a bit more to see what they were actually saying before I decided if I should ask a question because by this point, with sign guys moving around so much, I had ended up at the front of the crowd with Zack and some other random people I met.  Some people were asking legitimate questions that many people who aren’t well read on the Bible will ask and many Christians even wonder.  Things like “what about contradictions between old and new testament?”, “well then how do you think we get to heaven?”, etc. etc.
One of Zack’s friends had begun to try to talk with sign guy about why he thought this was a good idea, to come out to a college campus and yell bible verses and proclaim and pass judgement on people?  Legitimate question.  He proceeds to (in a passive aggressive tone to an extent) talk to her about how Jesus calls Christians to go into the world and preach his word ALL of it, not just the Good News to the world.  He talks about how Christians are to tell of the condemnation of God and the death of Jesus and about how Christians are to just try to preach to the sinners.  He continues to talk about sinners and how God hates the sin and the sinner as he said Psalm 5  where it talks about how God hates those who do wrong.  Sign man discussed with this girl how that means God hates the sinner and the sin but loves the sinner and wants the best for them.  I guess if you twist it enough it means that, but he goes on to talk about how Christians do not sin.  Sin is not a slip up, sin is sin and those who sin are not Christians.  He denies the nature of humans to sin.  He says we all choose to sin or not and some of us remain sin-less.  Basically, we can be Jesus or something I guess is what He’s saying.  Then he asks her if she has sinned recently.  She says yes.  He asks her if she is a Christian, he says “i don’t want to talk to you because you don’t understand the Bible clearly, go read Matthew” and she walks away.
He continues to tell people that what he is saying is right and that if they have been here listening to him and don’t get it, they clearly have selective listening.  He goes on to tell people to read the red letters of the new testament only in the Gospels (sounds like selectiveness to me) and that God is love, but that’s not really the main point because God only said he loved the whole world once in the bible.
Wow. Really?
After she walked away, I decided to try to frame a question.  I simply asked him something to the effect of “if we are called to love the world as God first loved us and to demonstrate his love through a lifestyle of worship, how can simply reading the bible in large crowds with shirts people perceive as hateful be effective”  to which he said “God is not about being effective and I’m not about being effective, I’m simply about preaching the word.”  I was confused, he made no sense but I remained collected.  I asked him if he felt that living a lifestyle demonstrating God’s love was what he thought Christians were called to do, he said “yes we are supposed to do good, but we are supposed to preach the word, all of the word, when I go to WalMart, I don’t just go for Milk and Bread, I go to pass out tracts and preach to all who are there. ”  I realized, as I already knew, that this would go in circles, but I continued a little.  I simply asked him how he thought simply yelling bible verses on a college campus and proclaiming judgement was going to bring anyone into a relationship with God and he said “it’s not about a relationship, it’s about preaching the world and getting people to heaven.” and i began to ask him if he thought that what he was doing was as effective as sitting down with someone over coffee and getting to know them and their story and sharing not only the word of God but the love of God and what He’s doing in your life and developing a relationship so they may develop a relationship with God.  He said “I can’t be friends with everyone in the world, i can’t develop a relationship with everyone in the world, so i preach to the whole world, i’ll be happy to sit and have lunch with someone, but i can’t be friends with everyone, Jesus didn’t do that”  To which I asked him about the 12 Disciples and how Jesus had formed relationships with them and counseled them and formed relationships with the people he encountered and he said “well the bible doesn’t talk about eating and talking with people, it talks about preaching the WHOLE word of God to them.”  I asked if he wanted to have lunch, he said no.  Seemed to prove my point.
I was hungry so I went to eat.
It doesn’t make sense to me how people can twist the love of God so much that they think this is ok to do.  They think this is effective.  This turns people away.  I don’t think tracts or evagicubes are effective any more than this is, but at least they are not actively judgmental.  So many people were yelling hateful things back at sign guys and to their credit, the sign guys did not yell back, they simply quoted scripture, I’m not sure which is worse.  Yelling curse words back or bible thumping verses out of context.
I backspaced several times to erase the word ‘we’ when referring to what he said Christians should do and found myself wondering why I was doing this.  It doesn’t seem to me that he was really living a lifestyle of worship for the Lord.  I may be wrong, but I’m just going off what I saw.  It’s not our place to judge others, which was the point of this blog.  They were at campus to proclaim what sin was by throwing random verses out of context and holding judgmental signs all while saying ‘we’re just proclaiming the judgement that God will have upon you’ and talking about how ‘once you’re a Christian, you don’t sin’  He said to me at one point that if a Christian sins, it’s not a slip up, it just means he/she does not love God enough.  What?? Being a Christian doesn’t make you Jesus.
God is love. Fact.
As Christians, we are called to live a lifestyle of Worship of demonstrating His love for us to other people and know and meditate on His word as well.  That did not seem to be what was happening today.
No one is perfect, but things like today give Christianity the rap it has, bad.  Honestly, it’s warranted.  Today’s demonstration was a very active very visible demonstration of the hell fire and brimstone sermons that happen every week in churches across the country, especially here in the Bible belt.  The buckle to the belt is 3 miles down the street from me, trust me, it happens everywhere.
Jesus is not about dressing nice on sundays
Jesus is not about bible thumping
Jesus is not about hate
Jesus is not about tracts and “Jesus died for myspace” t-shirts
Jesus is not about fish bumper stickers and bible verses all over every single thing you own at all times
Jesus is not about buildings and separtism
Jesus is not about republicans or democrats or no party or anarchism
Jesus is not about calling people out all the time and acting better than them
Jesus is about love and demonstrating that love through our lifestyles and the people who miss that the most are those who call themselves “Christians” and those who are “religious” and “churchy.”
Not everyone, don’t get me wrong, but sometimes we give ourselves a bad name.
As I was typing, a friend sent me the following links:

yes…love.people.always.deeply

love people.
it’s really that simple.
yeah its hard to love those who hate you or who put you down or try to make you feel like crap, but thats what we are called to do.
retaliation never got anyone anywhere.

ever get that feeling when you do something nice for someone?
no, not the feeling you get if someone notices you.
the one you get silently when you just know that you helped them and it just feels right.

thats how life is supposed to be.
we’re not supposed to only do nice things when people ask for them.
we’re not supposed to only do things for those in the worst situations (although these are the people we sadly often ignore)
no we aren’t supposed to just throw money at things or do something just to say we did

we are called to radical lives of service.
to some this may mean traveling to africa and serving orphans while you’re still practically a child yourself such as this 19 year old girl: http://kissesfromkatie.blogspot.com
to some it may mean giving up a comfortable life to live with those less fortunate and live in the ultimate community trying desperately to better the lives of everyone you encounter like Shane Claiborne does… http://www.thesimpleway.org

but to others it may mean simply deciding to put others first in everything you do and to constantly be confiding in God and allowing him to guide your every step toward loving others.

for me, it has meant pouring myself into the lives of those around me to the best of my abilties (i have failed, and i hate it, but life’s a journey).
i love children.  i have a wonderful 7 year old little brother through Big Brothers Big Sisters (check it out, even if you’re in college, just meet with a child for an hour a week, its amazing the difference you can make in their lives and they can make in yours)
i love mission trips. i went to knoxville in high school to work in the projects and just love on those children.  i miss that trip. last summer i got to go to gulfport, ms and work on the areas still devastated by hurricane katrina. i plan to do this again, and go to galveston, tx.
i have never been on an international trip and i am somewhat terrified but i am going to guatemala this may to serve an orphanage for a week.
i try to tip well when i go out places.
i let people cross the crosswalk even if i’m in a hurry.
i listen to people when they need me.
i’m not trying to sound all ‘oh look at me’ i’m just trying to say that there are simple ways to live a radically different life steered by Christ.

i’m still learning how and i will continue to learn along the journey of life, yet i’ve tried to give up on making strict spreadsheet plans and just lean into God and pray and allow him to guide me.

at times this is terrifying because i like to be in control and i like to know what’s going to happen next but life is so much more fulfilling when i allow him to steer my path.  I’ve seen him work wonders in the lives of those around me and when I step back he has done the same in mine, I just have to put aside my type a personality and allow him to do so.

I have to step back and listen.
The hardest thing in the world for me

I have to simply blare my music super loud and hear him speak to me through the words of these songs.

I have to surround myself with people who are actively allowing God to do the same in their lives.

I have to take comfort in knowing that many of those people are not within close proximity to me yet they still have a deep impact on my life through the songs they get me to download (*kelsey*) or the life altering changes they make to move across the country to a place they’ve never been.

I have to look at my parents and see the changes that have been made in their lives as a result of my super strong little sister who desired to be active with Christ at a young age not simply go to church because her friends did.

I just have to look around at the puddles I get to stomp in and the grass I get to walk on and see the blessings God has placed in every facet of everything.

And I have to love people.
Actively pouring every part of me into them so that God can pour over from me to them. I cannot do this alone and I cannot do this on my own strength. I have to lean so hard into him that he just spills over.