Friday, December 31, 2010
1. Find a job that is spiritually, intellectually and emotionally fulfilling.
1. Make all A's and B's in my last two semesters at CPCC
2. Graduate from CPCC in December 2011
3. Make a plan for furthering my education
1. Build my savings account
2. Start paying the bills my parents are paying for me
1. Lose 30 pounds and keep it off!
2. Run my first 5k
3. Stop eating fast food on a regular basis
4. Work out at least three times a week
1. Get to know my brothers better
2. Gain an understanding on my parents resistance to church
3. Visit my grandparents at least four times
4. Visit Victoria at least four times
1. Gain a better understanding of the Old Testament
2. Learn from my New Testament class
3. Finish the 8 month Bible Reading Plan
4. Finish Sun Stand still
5. Have a more personal relationship with God
6. Learn to follow God's direction without hesitation
7. Serve on at least three Outreach projects
8. Become a better eTeam leader for Host Services
9. Join an eGroup for the first semester of 2011
10. Lead an eGroup for the second semester of 2011
Well, until I wrote all of those out, I did not realize how many goals I had for myself. I will post on the first of every month my short term goals for that month, and how I did in the previous month.
Saturday, December 25, 2010
Friday, December 24, 2010
Elevation Church exists so that people who are far from God will be filled with life in Christ. I love this saying. Elevation Church strongly believes in the great commission. We are suppose invite the lost to church! That is our job as believers. Elevation does not exist for me, it exists for the unchurched. I love this! I love reaching out and inviting people to church. It is such a privilege to invite the unchurched to a church that I am completely devoted to. I love seeing their reaction when the worship team comes out. There face screams "this is a church?" I love that!
My parents are CEO's. (Christmas and Easter Only) This has always bothered me. I use to invite them to church on a weekly basis. I made it possible for them to have no excuses, and they still found them. It hurt too much to invite on a weekly basis. I would cry on my way home and feel defeated. I began only asking Christmas and Easter only. They grin and bare it now. I am just happy I can get them to say yes on Christmas and Easter.
We went to Elevation's Christmas Experience on Wednesday. This was the first service. I was so excited to be able to go to the first service. I thought my parents would enjoy getting it over with first. It worked out for all of us.
Elevation has a way of always doing something unique and off the wall. This year it was fireworks inside. Chris had a full blown asthma attack. My mom and Chris left the auditorium, but my dad, Corey and I stayed for the sermon. Chris only got worse. No ushers or greeters would let my mom or anyone for that matter back into the auditorium to let us know that they needed my dads keys to get home.
My parents are livid. They chewed me out. Obviously, since I own Elevation Church and I was behind the fireworks and the no interruptions rule. My mom told me that me inviting her to church is me telling her that I am not happy with who she is, and showing her who I want her to be. I told her that it wasn't who I wanted her to be, it was who God wanted her to be. He sent me to invite her. I said I only do it because I love them. They said, you could love me a little less.
Chris said to me last night, I will never go back to Elevation Church. That killed me. I just keep hearing him say that in my head. He use to love Elevation. He served in Production. I don't know what changed in September, but he stopped volunteering and turns down every opportunity to attend. This was sort of the icing on the cake, as they would say.
During the series "The Invitation", Pastor said that not inviting someone to church is like not inviting your best friend to your wedding. That has stuck with me, and is my reason for inviting everyone to church. I want to see my parents in heaven. It kills me to know that I am going to go to heaven, and at this point I won't see them there.
This is sort of a vent since my family won't hear me out right now. I am praying that God continues to give me strength to reach my family and not give up. Satan is trying to tear me down and tell me that it's not worth it. Satan is telling me "why bother?" But, it's worth it. Eternal life for my parents and brother is worth it to me!
For the Son of Man came to seek and to save what was lost.
Thursday, December 23, 2010
I thought I would post my favorite and most impactful sermons of 2010. This is all in my personal opinion. :-)
Monday, December 20, 2010
Let me start by saying... I love working in eKidz. Every week I have the opportunity to meet first time families. I get to hear a short story about what has led them to Elevation, hear from their heart and encourage them that Elevation is their new home. I love it!! My favorite part about all of it is that I get to see families come back!! I love giving out permanent tags. :-)
So, how does loving eKidz relate to Bruno Mars' song Grenade? I bet you are rather confused right now.
This weekend a family from Cherryville came to visit Elevation. I had the honor of checking this family in. This was a very interesting family. They took a year long course to become a member of their church. The husbands brother attends Elevation. He began to realize that you shouldn't have to attend a course or take a test to become a member at a church, and loved everything his brother had said about Elevation. He got on the subject of secular songs and how strongly he feels that many can relate to how God thinks about us. The first song he referenced I was not familiar with. Then, he mentioned Grenade. I had never taken the time to consider how much this song may relate to how God views us.
Easy come, easy go; That's just how you live How often do we take God for granted? We feel as if God is there and we can stray because He will still love us. We get comfortable in our relationship with God. We begin to think it is okay to have premarital sex because God will forgive us.
Take, take, take it all, But you never give How often do we take advantage of all that God has given us? Are you tithing? If not, then you are taking all that God has given you and not giving anything back to Him!
Many of us will easily throw what God has given us in the trash for the 'next best thing' or to 'do what everyone else is doing'. Is it worth it? God gave us everything we have!!
What if God thought I should've known better? I can't imagine what life would be like if God felt as if He should've known better than to forgive me for my sins.
Let me take this one step further. You said you loved me but you never did... When you confessed Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, you committed to a relationship with him. Do you live your life in that manner? Do you live your life in a way to exalt the name of Jesus Christ?
And finally, You wouldn't do the same. Jesus Christ died on the Christ for our sins. He died on the cross for my sins. He died on the cross for your sins. Would we die the same death that Christ did on the cross for our sins? You can't honestly say yes to that. Do you live your life in a way to proclaim your gratitude for the death Christ died for your sins?
I am so thankful that this family decided to come to Elevation on Saturday. I am thankful that I had the opportunity to hear from this man's heart. He had some very insightful things to say. I haven't stopped thinking about what he said. I hope you take a minute to think about how these lyrics relate to our relationship with God.
Sunday, December 19, 2010
Pastor Steven referenced Psalm 69:30-31, Psalm 110:4 and Luke 6:45.
He started off by saying You can't ask God for anything until you've given Him thanks for all He has done. I can't take credit for anything in my life. God has made everything that has happened in my life possible! I can't go to God and ask Him for anything in my life without giving thanks for what I already have.
Pastor then spoke on five observations about gratitude.
1. Gratitude is never invisible or silent. People often try to say that they are not good at expressing thanks, but you know my heart, so it's okay! But, that is not so. I am not a cardiologist ;-). You have to give thanks for everything in your life. When Pastor is saying this, I immediately thought about how overwhelmed with gratitude I was when I was invited to the Newspring Leadership Conference by Kelly Draddy, the whole time at the Leadership Conference, leaving the conference and even days after. I made sure to express that gratitude. I actually couldn't get through telling Kelly, Brandon and Jessi thank you without crying. I was so thankful they chose me. I couldn't leave there without saying thank you to all of them.
2. Gratitude sustains joy and blessing. There are a lot of people out there who are very blessed, but do not know how to sustain that blessing. Has someone ever hurt you? You replay that offense in your mind over and over again. 10 years later the offense is more vivid in your mind than when it happened. Can you think of something like this? You are sustaining that offense. You can sustain a blessing in the same way! Relive your salvation over and over again. I have pictures of the day I got baptized all over my apartment as a constant reminder of the greatest blessing in my life.
3. Gratitude begins where my sense of entitlement ends. We are not entitled to the life that we have. We are not entitled to the forgiveness of all of our sins. We do not deserve this life!! Pastor spoke about the first time he was offered a job where he was going to be on salary and the company would pay for his benefits. He called all of his friends to brag about this. He was so excited. None of his friends were excited, because they expected this. What use to be a perk may become part of the package. We use to be thankful when God performed a miracle in our lives, but now we expect him to bring us a better job. Is this coming home for any of you? It sure hit home to me. Do you get direct deposit? I do. Don't you hate that you never get a chance to hold that money that you get? It goes straight into the bank and then bill pay takes it right out for rent and electricity and cable. WE HAVE A DAILY DIRECT DEPOSIT OF MERCY AND GRACE INTO THE ACCOUNT OF OUR LIFE. Rejoice in that! Rejoice in the fact that every single day Christ has new mercies for your life. Rejoice that Christ didn't have to bless you.
4. Grateful people can find a blessing, enlarge a blessing or create a blessing in almost any situation. Do you know someone like this in your life? Someone who can find a blessing in any situation? I try my best to do that. On days when I am discouraged about not being able to pay my bills, I have to take a minute and remember that I have so much to be thankful for. I have a family who is willing to help me in my time of need. I have a job that pays most of my bills. I have a warm bed to crawl into at night. There are some people in my life, and probably in your life who are crap factories. Every amazing thing in their life, they can turn into a negative. Pastor spoke about a friend of his who received a raise. Pastor rejoiced with his friend, and his friends only response was, "I am going to have to pay more taxes." WOW! Can you think of someone like this in your life? I know I can. This rang home for me. Not just for my life, but for many people in my life.
5. Gratitude increases favor and creates opportunity. Have you ever read 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18? This verse says Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for us to thank Him because He has low self-esteem. He instructs us to thank him because favor follows those who are grateful. You can get to the place in your life where favor follows you everywhere if you have a grateful heart.
Sunday, December 12, 2010
Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires. Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other. --Galatians 6:24-26
I love the way that is phrased. We have crucified the sinful nature. We no longer live in sin. We no longer have sin in our lives. Satan has nothing on us because we belong to Christ Jesus. We can are stronger than anything Satan has to attack us with. We belong to Christ Jesus. We have crucified the sinful nature.
Take a minute and let that sink in. Take a minute to visualize the fact that your past, present and future sins have been crucified. Accept that, and know that Satan has nothing on you.
I am so happy to know that I now belong to Christ Jesus. My sins are gone because of His grace and mercy. I no longer have the constant need to shop and fill a void. There is no void to fill because Jesus is in my life. I am so thankful for the fact that I no longer have to have stress and worry about money. The Lord has His hand on my life. I no longer have financial worries. Thank you, Jesus! His mercy is incredible.
Rejoice in that today!! You no longer have to live in sin.
Have a wonderful Sunday.
Saturday, December 4, 2010
I have struggled with prioritizing lately. I know I am not alone. I have spent some time researching the importance of having priorities and implementing a plan. The most important thing I have researched is the importance of taking time EVERY DAY to read God's word. Delve into it. It is so rich and true. Don't push it off. Don't skim what you read. The Word of God is incredible if you take the time to read it.
This time through the Bible reading plan I am following, I have gotten the most out of the subtle truths in the Bible that we forget. Every day I read something about God's unfailing love and am overwhelmed with thanks. How good is our God! No matter what, He loves us. He has brand new mercies on us every day.
I know that in one way or another you are struggling with priorities.
Your job is scattering to prepare for the time off over the holidays. You have mounds of paperwork. You are going in early and staying late. You have a holiday dinner to plan. You have secret Santa gifts to buy. How are you glorifying God in all of this? You are working yourself too hard to where you don't have time to spend in the Word.
It is the end of the semester. How do you juggle reading your Bible with all of the assignments you have due? Don't let the Devil tell you, God will still be there at the end of the semester. You can just spend time with Him then. Luke 4:12 says we can't test the Lord! Don't test His unfailing love for you!!!
The holiday season is among us. Christmas is about the birth of Christ! Christmas is not about spending all your money on Christmas presents. Christmas is about the birth of Christ! Christmas is not about decorating your house as beautiful as possible. Christmas is about the birth of Christ! When was the last time you took a moment to pray to God and let him know how thankful you are for the Christ's life?
I know you can relate to one of the scenarios, or you are thinking of your own! Don't deny it. You are loosing sight of your number one priority today.
Pray. Repent to the Lord. Find your Bible. Look through these links, and open your Bible! They are all have Biblically sound advice.
The Importance of Quiet Time - This post walks through the importance of quiet time. It is a conversation between a few women. They walk through some steps if you are just beginning quiet time.
Your Right and Responsibility - This post walks through the importance of taking time to read the Bible. It states that being a Christian, we have the right and the responsibility to read the Bible. It walks through some things that we can gain from reading the Bible.
Priorities in the Bible - This blog posts revolves around Philippians 1:9-11. One of the sentences in this passage is "so that you can determine what really matters".
Time Management - Time is our most limited resource. We should all be well aware of this. Make the best use of your time.
The last link was the most convicting to me. What if I spent my day today doing homework and never took five minutes to open my Bible? What if today was my last day? I did not glorify God in any part of my last day. What if I spent today putting lights on my porch, decorating my apartment with poinsettias and garland, putting my Christmas tree and never once opened my Bible to thank God for the true importance of Christmas? What if that is how I spent my last day? I would have spent the entire day worshipping the Christmas that America has created, not the Christmas that God has intended.
I apologize for the length of my post. God put this on my heart to say. I hope that it allows you to evaluate where your priorities are this holiday season.
Sunday, November 28, 2010
In Job 38 the Lord finally speaks! I waited 38 days to hear the Lords voice in Job! In Job 39 the Lord describes the animal kingdom. In Job 40, the Lord begins to speak directly to Job.
My ears had heard of you, but now my eyes have seen you. Job 42:5. I truly feel like we all have to experience God's grace and see God move in our lives to truly know who He is. Friends can tell us about God, our Pastor can tell us about His grace, but until we experience it in our lives... we can't fully believe. Some people may be more stubborn, and need to experience God move radically in their lives. I was one of the more stubborn ones. God has always had His hand on my life, but it took me many years to truly accept that it was never me, it was always Him.
After Job had prayed for his friends, the Lord made him prosperous again and gave him twice as much as he had before. Job 42:10. I love this! This says to me that though we may feel as if the Lord is not with us in our struggles, He is. If we remain faithful and turn to the Lord when we are struggling, when we are no longer struggling He will bless us more abundantly than imaginable. It is too easy to praise the Lord when our lives are easy. When all our bills are getting paid, we have the family we always dreamed for, and the spiritual life we always wanted. It is not easy to praise the Lord when we get laid off, our husband is drifting away and we can't seem to hear from God. If we continue to call out to Him when we are in need, He will bless us!!
I do not know a lot about suffering. I have never lost everything I had. But, I do know that I am confused as to what He is doing with my life. I do know that it is hard for me to thank the Lord for a well paying job, when I can't get 40 hours a week to pay my bills. I currently feel like, I would be better off to take a pay cut somewhere else and make 40 hours a week. I do know that the promise in 42:10 is alive and well, the Lord is with me. He will bless me if I remain faithful in this time of need. It is all too easy to turn away from Him right now. But, I will not. I will keep showing up, as Pastor said. :-)
So, Job is over :-). I know how it ends. (Shh... don't tell anyone I said this, but...)It was worth the read. Now, if I could get into Isaiah...
Friday, November 26, 2010
The last time I was at the Myrtle Beach was Labor Day weekend 2009. I was with someone who I thought was my friend. We came with her family, and enjoyed the beach. Not only did we enjoy the beach, we spent a lot of time enjoying the shopping scene. We went shopping everywhere possible. I checked my account balance on my phone before we left the trip. The number was shockingly high, but I went with it! I was happy to have more than less. I was having a wonderful time. I spent what I thought I had... which was not what I actually had. Something funny had happened with my rent check. It didn't show up on the account balance. After unpacking many bags, putting new clothes up, trying on clothes I didn't even bother to try on and making a pile of thigns I may return... I checked my account balance. I WAS OVER $400 NEGATIVE!!!! I thought I was going to die. My stomach instantly went in knots, and I balled over in tears. There was no one I could call for help. I began calculating overdraft fee's, and becuase I swipped my card so many times... THE FEES WERE GOING TO BE MORE THAN THE $400!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I thought I was going to die. I love living on my own, I love the responsibility that comes with living on your own. I do not like having to ask anyone for help. I called my parents, which was the hardest thing on Earth for me to do. My parents had enough money!!! My mom and I met at the bank and we quickly deposited the money in my bank. God is so good. Bank of America took the money as if it was deposited BEFORE I STARTED MY SHOPPING SPREE. I had no overdraft fee's, no fines, and a bank account that was not in the red!! It felt like it took ages, but I paid my parens back and have no more interest in shopping. I didn't even step in a mall for 9 months after that experience.
It was several weeks after that that Pastor preached the Student Takeover series, and I accepted Christ as my Savior. The Lord is so good. He has transformed my life and I will never be the same.
I am very thankful for life change. The Lord changed my life through that experience. I was a shop-a-holic. Everyone I worked with would tell you that. I blew every dime I had on shopping. I liked having nice things and wanted to have a lot of nice things. :-) I no longer have that desire to have as many clothes as possible. This year I cleaned out my closet and donated 6 bags of clothes to a friend. Old Keirstin would have never been able to part with 6 bags of clothes.
The Lord is so good. I am so thankful for that. I am also thankful that the Lord is alive and well inside Pastor Steven. Pastor Steven preaches straight from the Bible and never holds anything back.
Happy Black Friday everyone. The only thing I am buying today is a phone charger, since I left mine at home. :-)
Thursday, November 25, 2010
I am posting this on a beach front balcony. My parents got a condo in Myrtle Beach for two days. I am so very thankful for my parents. Everyone in my family is supporting me, and helping me through my financial difficulties lately. I am thankful for them.
I have so much to be thankful for these days. Thank you, Lord for blessing me. Thank you, Lord for blessing me with a family who blesses me continually and supports me constantly. Thank you, Lord!
Saturday, November 13, 2010
I have finally made it farther than I made it last time doing this plan. I am so excited. I am excited that I have made it father, I am excited to see how God is transforming me. I am excited to see God is transforming the members of my group. :-) God is great.
The Blakeney campus opens tonight. It's great!! :-) God is going to change thousands of lives there. God is increadible.
Saturday, October 30, 2010
I am truly loving this experience more than last time. I think it is becuase I have to read becuase there are two people who are counting on me to guide them through this. I am going through some things right now, but the grace of God and the reading plan are helping me through them. I am so thankful to have God on my side.
I hope you are doing well.
Sunday, September 19, 2010
I am currently working on finishing Isaiah. I am very behind on Isaiah, and having a lot of trouble with it because it is a lot of history. History, as I have posted about before, is my least favorite subject. I am working on overcoming that!My goal for this week is to finish Isaiah with at least a little bit of understanding. Today I read chapters 21 to 28.
Isaiah 22:11 - "You built a reservoir between the two walls for the water of the Old Pool, but you did not look to the One who made it, or have regard for the One who planned it long ago." Is there anything in your life that God has given you (which is everything...) that you have yet to thank Him for? Thank Him!
Isaiah 25:1 - They are praising God for his destruction. I can't imagine! The only thing I could relate to this is to when He tests me, and my obedience bring reward. I,then, thank Him for testing me.
Isaiah 25:3-12 is lovely. There are so many truths about our God. shelter from the storm, shade from heat...
Isaiah 26:12 - Lord, You establish peace for us, all that we have accomplished, You have done for us.
Isaiah 27:1 - Leviathan has been said to be a dinosaur or sea monster. I have a hard time believing in that. No matter how much science there is behind dinosaurs, something about be strongly believes that they did not exist, and we can debate and debate about it... It is what I believe :D
So, that is my post for the night. I hope everyone has an awesome week. I will be posting about Andy Stanley, and how the whole conference changed me, as well as the end of Isaiah later this week. :D
Saturday, September 18, 2010
Pastor preached from John 2:1-5 and Mark 11:1-6. I do not know if he titled the sermon, but I would title it JUST DO IT
We must add the phrase "Jesus told me to" to our vocabulary. If no one has laughed at your vision lately - You are not dreaming big enough. In the passage from John, the wine symbolizes the Holy Spirit and the cerimony symbolizes the church. Immediant obedience is under rated God will put everything in your life to do just what He told you to do... in John 2 the colt was right there. Do it like it has already been done, becuase it has! His example for this was he was watching The Office one time, across the screen came a weather advisory for snow. He became so upset because numbers were going to drop that weekend at church. Then, he remembered that he was watching the show on DVR. IT HAS ALREADY BEEN DONE! It is all about our faithful God. He already did it. Jesus already rose from the grave! Build your faith on a faithful God. No matter how big or small "it" is, God told you to do it, so... DO IT!
It was really cool for me to hear Pastor speak somewhere besides Elevation. I needed that reminder about how priveledged I am to have the opportunity to serve and woship at his church. He is an amazing leader, and an increadible speaker. This sermon was another inspiring sermon for me! It was a reminder of why I went on to start an eGroup. :-)
The majority of Francis' sermon was him on his knees praying to God. It was so inpsiring for me to watch him do this. A few of the Bible verses that he spoke from were Jerimiah 9:23 (Let's boat and brag about having the opportunity to know Him.), Ephisians 6, Joshua 14:7, Philippians 1:27-28, James 5:15, 1 Peter 4:11 (Do not be surprised), Numbers 14:11, and Acts 4:13. It is all about knowing Jesus. When we were kids we left chuch knowing we can do anything with God. Why do we not believe that anymore? Following Jesus is goign to be hard, but we have to hold on to hope. God hears our prayers, we must know and rejoice in that!
I have to say for me, Francis' sermon was one of the most inspiring for me. I have a had time praying in public and out loud. I feel as if praying is a personal experience between God and I. Throught all of Francis' sermon I could tell that the Holy Spirit was inside of him, and was moving him in increadible ways. I love that!
He preached from Mark 4:35-5:1 and Mark 6:45-53. His sermon was titled "Matters of the Meantime." He spoke on Are we there yet?
In these passages it says when and then. It does not say when when is - because nobody knows. What do you do when you are not where you used to be and not where you want to be? The "meantime" matters to God. It is impossible for us to get to the other side without Christ. The book of John says that in the storm they got 3 miles on an 8 mile river. They did not even get half way without God! ***Please read that again.*** The men were not even able to get half way without God! The first step to getting 'there' is admitting that you are not 'there' Some think that only the spiritual elite get o the other side (Mark 6:52). The only thing that these hard hearted men did was stay in the boat. STAY IN THE BOAT! Being delayed doesn't mean you have been denied. Read Galatians 6:9, praise God, and STAY IN THE BOAT.
When you were tired and had no strength, you're Father picked you up and put you where you needed to be
Pastor Judah's sermon was another very moving sermon for me. There have been moments when I wanted to get out of the boat. I wanted to tell God that He was crazy, and that I could not handle what He had told me to do. I am happy that I am in the boat.
amazing approach to bringing people to know Christ.
Put your hand to the plow and do not look back. Remember why you are heard and DO NOT look back!
He preached about the woman at the well.
Jesus saught this woman when no one was looking. He was not trying to get a reaction out of anyone. Jews should not have been speaking to a Samaritan woman. We must remember to continually seek the broken. Who is hurting that we can help? Who needs to be reached who isn't being reached? We should see restriction as an opportunity. We must fight th martyr mentality. Stop focusing on what we do not have and find the yes. Tell the truth in love
If we reach out to the hurting, we will always have an audience
I loved this sermon! It was amazing. Pastor Jud was a very great speaker. He was open about his church, things they have done that have failed, and learning to grow from that. He said that we must stop making things so complicated and just seek the broken. That is what we are in this business for :)
He spoke on suffering. For God to use you, you must be wounded deeply. Sufferings cause us so much pain, we must know how to use it to our advantage. His sermon was titled "The Six Benefits of Suffering"
1. Sanctification (vs.1) - Sufferings can hurt so deeply, We must think more deeply about it. Jesus suffered so we could become more like Him.
2. Stewardship (vs. 2-6) - Suffering reminds us that we are stewards of a great mystery. We know what the mystery is. We must make the mystery known!!
3. Serving comes from suffering (vs.7) - Jesus is our suffering servant. When we are weak, we are strong. This is something that is going to be very hard for us to wrap our head around. But, we are closest to God when we are weak and suffering. He makes us strong. We are able to serve others through our suffering, ie. Women who are raped can serve other women who have been raped.
4. Speaking comes from suffering (vs. 8-9) - Paul is preaching out of his losses of imperfections. You must talk about your pain and suffering.
5. Showing comes from suffering (vs.10-12) - Paul treasures nothing above Jesus. he has joy because no one can take away his most prized treasure. :-) The invisible God is made visible through the church.
6. Sustaining comes from suffering (vs.13) - Do not loose heart. We must learn how to suffer well.
How will you use your suffering to help and minister to others?
Point four is the hardest one for me to accept. I do not like talking about my pain. It is something that I am getting better at, but I have the hardest time talking about where I have come from and what I have been through. But, I did not get the opportunity to go to the conference to not take what I learned and use it to my advantage.
Before God can do something great with you, He must do something great in you. I loved when he said this. God has got to move inside of you, before He can do anything great with you. God is doing something very great inside of me.
He preached from Joshua 5:13-6:5. He said that the man in this passage was an Old Testament sighting of Jesus. I never thought of that when I read through Joshua. He said you have to recognise the who, what and how. If you have not been, or are not willing to be, uncomfortable, you will end up unfaithful. If you haven't had an 'Oh Crap!' moment, you haven't heard from God. You don't have time not to get alone with God. You must listen to God and do (Joshua 5:15). Jesus was testing Joshua's obedience when he asked Joshua to take his shoes off. If Joshua had not been able to take his shoes off, then Jesus would not have been able to trust his obedience with the plan He had for him.
I loved what he said about having an 'Oh Crap!' moment. Because, when God told me I needed to start an eGroup, I definitely had an 'Oh Crap!' moment.
Rejoice in Him, not your activity. He brought you to where you are. Thank Him for that!
Friday, September 17, 2010
2 Peter 3:11-15 is such a reminder of how we should live our lives and why .
And that is the end of 2 Peter
I have so much I want to say about this experience, but I am going to make this post brief because it is late, and I need sleep...
Today was incredible. God rocked me world. We heard from Pastor Perry Noble, Pastor Mark Driscoll, Pastor Jud Wilhite, Pastor Judah Smith, Francis Chan, Pastor Steven Furtick, and Pastor Andy Stanley. I would have to say that each speaker rocked my world in a different way. They all brought amazing messages.
It was such an honor to set with some of the best leaders at Elevation Church. That was an amazing experience in itself.
I am praising God tonight for such an amazing experience. I am thanking Him for His plan always being the highest. :D
PS. I do have an updated blog on my reading ready to be typed. That will be up on Saturday.
Also, Saturday... I will be posting my take on each Pastor's sermon and how it rocked my world, as well as what I plan to do after hearing their sermon!
Saturday, September 4, 2010
When reading Mark 6, I ran across the story of John the Baptist being beheaded on King Herod's birthday. I do not know if I had not yet talked to Cameca about why she does not celebrate birthdays, because I do not remember reading that in Matthew. This is the second (and last) recorded birthday celebration in the Bible, and someone died at both!
I will never get tired of reading about Jesus going away to pray. In Mark 6:46, Jesus goes away to pray. What a true example of 1 Thessalonians 5:17 this is. If Jesus needed to take time away form healing the sick and preaching the Word of God, then... we all probably needed to take a minute at least a minute and pray.
A co-worker was telling me about her husband. God has done everything except physically slap him in the face. She told me three times that God has been trying to speak to him. He still doubts, and finds it hard to believe in someone/something you can't see. I read Mark 6:50 and thought about him. It says, because they all saw him and were terrified. Immediately He spoke to them and said, "Take courage! It is I. Don't be afraid." Jesus is telling him not to be afraid! There is no reason to be afraid of the unseen.
Then he called the crowd to him along with his disciples and said: "If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me and for the gospel will save it. What good is it for a man to gain the whole world, yet forfeit his soul? -Mark 8:34-36
And he said to them, "I tell you the truth, some who ares tanding here will not taste death before they see the kingdom of God come with power. -Mark 9:1
In Mark 11:13-14 Jesus curses a fig tree because it has leaves but no figs. I thought this was really weird. I read the notes in the margin of my Bible. It says this is a metaphor for people who make promises to God but do not fulfill them. I found this very interesting. The fig tree was "out of season", but had leaves and no figs. If it was not season for the fig tree to be growing, the leaves would have been dead, too. But, the fig tree had leaves and no figs.... food for thought
I love Mark 11:22-26. "Have faith in God." Jesus answered. I tell you the truth, if anyone says to this mountain, 'Go, throw yourself into the sea,' and does not doubt in his heart but believes what he says will happen, it will be done for him. Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours. And when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive him, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins."
As I have said before. It is from Deut. 6:4-5 but, I love it. "You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength." Mark 12:30-31
In Mark 14:32, there is just another example of how Jesus needed time alone to pray. There is no doubt that we need time alone, as well.
Mark 14:72 had to be such a real moment for Peter. Jesus had told Peter what would happen. Peter denied it, then it happened. Peter disowned Jesus. In verse 72, Peter feels the weight of his actions. This happens to all of us. We think we could never deny Jesus. We all fall short to sin. Then, feel terrible in the moment that we realize the significance of our actions.
I read Mark 15:13 where the people shout to crucify Jesus over Barabbas. Barabbas was a murderer. These people had been so brainwashed by the Roman leaders. They were al threatened by Jesus. Reading this just breaks my heart because they wanted to kill Jesus over a murderer.
Mark 15:31 kills me. Jesus is my Savior, (and yours, too!) These people mocked him. The line "He saved others, but can't save himself" is so awful. I can't even begin to imagine what it was like to be on that cross.
Mark 15:8 is such a symbol of the life change that w are able to experience through Jesus' death. The curtain was what separated people from the presence of God. God tore that curtain as Jesus died on the cross. We are no longer separated from God.
Reading the story of Jesus' crucifixion is so hard. But, it is something that we all need to know as Christians. I never, not for one day, what to take my salvation for granite.
Have a wonderful Labor Day weekend. Enjoy time with your family. I will be enjoying a lovely weekend with my brothers. I can't wait for this weekends "Concert with a Cause" at Elevation.
I hope that you are doing well. I am doing great! I was wrestling with the idea of starting my own eGroup. I did not know why God put that on my heart. I am an eTeam leader, juggle school and work, and try to have a social life. So, as a way to meet my needs and God's needs, I searched The City for an eGroup that I could join. I emailed five eGroup leaders of groups in my area that seemed interesting to me. NONE OF THE GROUPS MET ON DAYS OR TIMES THAT I COULD. So, basically God slapped me in my face. He said "Keirstin, I told you I want you to start a group. Not join a group. You can reach more people by starting one. This is late one night this week. I message Jay Rabon, the eGroup guy. He sets me up on The City. All I had to do was enter the details of the group! I am a little nervous... But, very very excited about what God is going to do through me with this group!
I am way behind on my reading. I hope to find some time this weekend to get back on track. I finished Mark this week!
Have a lovely Labor Day weekend.
Monday, August 30, 2010
I am thinking about starting my own eGroup. I would lead a group on the Bible reading plan that I am on right now. God has put this own my heart, and I am super excited about doing it!
On another note. I am going through something right now that I do NOT want to talk about, but would appreciate it if you would pray for me. Please pray that God give me strength. Thank you!
Have a wonderful Monday!
Saturday, August 28, 2010
In Genesis 33, Jacob and Esau meet for the first time in years. I love the interaction between them. Esau runs to Jaob, embraces him and they cry! The last time before this that you hear about Esau's relationship with his brother, Esau was plotting to kill Jacob. No one knows what changed in Esau's heart. I imagine that God must have changed Esau's heart of time.
Genesis 34 confused me! I went online and read the Message version of this chapter. It was much easier to understand. While reading chaptr 34, I was very confused as to why Jacob's family would have even acknowledged Shechem's family. I was astonished when they made a deal with his family. Then, I get to the end where Dinah's brothers murder the whole town while they are ALL still sore from being circumsiced... per the request of Dinah's family. I am still very confused, and shoked by this chapter. Read it!
Genesis 38 was very interesting to me. Especially the end. The things that woman do to become pregnant surprise me. Tamar knew that her father-in-law was coming into the area, she dressed as a prostitue so that he would sleep with her. She became pregnant and had twins. Tamar had been unable to have children from her husban and brother-in-law.
Cameca is Jehovah Witness. They do not celebrate birthdays. I asked her why, and she said that in the Bible there are two birthday celebrations. Someone dies at each of them. Well, in Genesis 40, I read the first birthday celebration and death. It was Pharaoh's birthday, and he had the cheif baker hanged.
The story of Joseph and his brothers from chapter 42 - 45 was very intersting to read. Joseph played many mind games with them. At the begining of chapter 45, I was a little confused. I was no longer confused when he told his brothers, and sent them off with wonderful things and gave them the best of Egypt! I did love how he wept at he sight of his brothers!
I have decided to finish Genesis right now! I am excited. This is going to feel like a huge accomplishment for me!
From Genesis 45 to 50, Joseph's father dies. He is buried with Rachel. Before he died he blessed Joseph's children. And, Genesis ends with Joseph's death. He died at 110, and was buried in Egypt.
19 But Joseph said to them, "Don't be afraid. Am I in the place of God? 20 You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives. 21 So then, don't be afraid. I will provide for you and your children." And he reassured them and spoke kindly to them.
Thursday, August 26, 2010
Monday, August 16, 2010
I am noticing that Mark is a much faster pace version of Matthew. I am enjoying that. I love when Jesus calms the storm.
Mark 5:21-43 was great. Everyone is telling Jesus that the girl is dead, they were laughing at Jesus. I love how Jesus handled that situation. He tells her to get up, and she stands up and begins walking around! Don't you just love Jesus! :)
Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God. For just as the suffereings of Christ flow over into our lives, so also through Christ our comfort overflows. 2 Corinthians 1:2-5
For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness, love. For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you form being ineffectie and unproductie in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. 2 Peter 1:5-8
I hope you have a wonderful night, and a lovely day tomorrow! I will be babysitting tomorrow night, which means I will have some time to truly sit down and focus on reading when the kiddo's go to sleep, but will not be able to post until later!
Right now, I am praying for a couple things, one being patience. Reading Joshua 22, the Lord fulfills a promise that he made to these men. I read this and remind myself that God always comes through, and I have no reason to doubt or become impatient in a situation.
"And the Reubenites and the Gadites gave the altar this name: A Witness Between Us that the Lord is God" Joshua 22:34
I love everything about Joshua 23. Read it! "... because the Lord your God fights for you, just as he promised" Joshua 23:10
Joshua 24:16-18 is awesome. Joshua is telling his people about how their forefathers worshiped other gods, and that Joshua was going to worship the God and that they had a choice to make. Joshua 24:16-18 is them declaring why they are going to worship the God!
Tonight, I am going to be reading from Joshua.
Sunday, August 15, 2010
I am beginning in Genesis 25, and plan to read to Genesis 32
I will never get over the importance of every ones names in the Bible. Rebekah and Isaac had twins. Esau (meaning hairy) was born hairy, and Jacob (meaning grasping the heel/deceiving) was born grasping Esau's heel.
It is interesting to see that Isaac made the same mistake as his father. He did not trust God enough to tell everyone that Rebekah was his wife. This is just another example of how we should always place complete faith in the Lord.
Not only do I love how every ones name has a purpose, I love how they fulfill that purpose. Jacob means deceiving, and he deceived his brother twice; stealing his birthright, and his blessing. Isaac could not bless both of his son's.
So Jacob sered seven years to get Rachel, but they seemed like only a few days to him because of his love for her. - Genesis 29:20 How precious is that?
I can't believe what Laban did to Jacob. My bible says in the notes that Jacobs senses were probably dulled because of the feast, and that is why he did not realize that Leah was not Rachel. Jacob ended up having to work fourteen years for Rachel.
In Genesis 30, Leah was able to give birth to several sons for Jacob. Rachel became jealous that she could not bare her husband any children, so gave her husband to her maidservant and had a child. Leah was no longer conceiving, so she gave Jacob to her maidservant her gave birth to another child. I had to laugh to myself while reading this, because I could not imagine passing my husband around so I could one up my sister. I mean, Jacob was sleeping with four women.
Jacob ends up running away from Laban, who begins to feel differently towards Jacob. Laban catches up with him. Rachel stole Laban's gods. She was sitting on them as Laban was trying to look for them. Rachel told her father she was on her period and that is why she could not stand up (Genesis 31:35). Jacob wrestles with God and his name is changed to Israel, meaning wrestles with God (Genesis 32:28)
Saturday, August 14, 2010
Mark 2:17, On hearing this, Jesus said to them, "It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners." - We all have that to be thankful for, because if Jesus came to have dinner with the righteous, we would not have the life that we are able to have today.
Jesus healed many. My favorite healing of Jesus is the healing of the man with the crippled hand on the Sabbath. Although, Mark did not go into as many details about the healing as Matthew did, I still love reading about it!
Praise be to the God and the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy, he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade - kept in heaven for you, who through faith is shielded by God's power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time. -1 Peter 1:3-5
Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, for you are receiving the goal of your faith, the salvation of your souls. -1 Peter 1:8-9
"But the word of the Lord stands forever." 1 Peter 1:25
"He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; by his wounds you have been healed" 1 Peter 2:24
To every girl who woke up this morning not feeling beautiful, who feels like to be beautiful enough for society she has to cake on the make up and wear fancy clothes... Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as braided hair and the wearing of gold jewelry and fine clothes. Instead, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God's sight. 1 Peter 3:3-4
1 Peter 3:8-22 is all good. Take a moment to pull your Bible out and read it. Peter wrote it perfectly, there is nothing I can say about what he wrote, besides how true it all is. Christ died for us!
If you suffer, it should not be as a murderer or theif or any other kind of criminal, or even as a meddler. However, if you suffer as a Christian, do not be ashamed, but praise God that you bear that name. 1 Peter 4:15-16
"Be shepherds of God's flock that is under your care, serving as overseers - not becuase you must, but becuase you are willing, as God wants you to be; not greedy for money, but eager to serve" 1 Peter 5:2
Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trails of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything James 1:2-4 Yes, You read that correctly. James wrote that when you are being tempted and tested, consider it pure joy! That is a statement that very hard to live out. But, it is so true that the outcome is so worth it!
If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him. But when he asks, he must believe and not doubt, because he who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. That man should not think he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all he does. James 1:5-8 How true is that! We should never doubt the power of God! I posted earlier today about Genesis 24 when someone is praying a powerful prayer to God; basically giving God instructions on how to reveal a woman to him. Before he is even finished praying, God places that woman in front of the man! God is amazing. We should never doubt, and always believe in our prayers.
And back to the debate about temptation... When tempted, no one should say, "God is tempting me." For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone;... James 1:13
To my friends who are quick to become angry... "My dear brothers, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry" James 1:19
Personal Confession:The other day, God was speaking to me. I mean, truly speaking to me. Everything I heard, everything I read, was God screaming at me. I made excuse after excuse. I acknowledged that it was Him speaking to me, but ignored what He was saying because it was not something that I wanted to hear. Well, James 1:22-25 just smacked me in the face.
Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like a man who looks at his face in a mirror and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. But the man who looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues to do this, not forgetting what he has heard, but doing it - he will be blessed in what he does.
In verse 22-23 was like seeing the hand come at me, verse 24 was the smack, and verse 25 was the sting after. I pray that God can give me a more obedient heart. I want to follow His word, but being the strong-willed person I am, am foolish enough to think that I can do this on my own....
James 4:7 Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. When I read this, I immediately thought of what Pastor said a few weeks ago. Pastor said "Just don't pick up the phone when Satan calls." (This was week one of our Christ Alone series)
James 5:7-9 e patient, then, brothers, until the Lord's coming. See how the farmer waits for the land to yield its valuable crop and how patient he is for the autumn and spring rains. You too, be patient and stand firm, because the Lord's coming is near. Don't grumble against each other, brothers or you will be judged. The Judge is standing at the door! That is so true. God is watching and listening to everything we do and say.
"As you know, we consider blessed those who have persevered. You have heard of Job's perseverance and have seen what the Lord finally brought about. The Lord is full of compassion and mercy" James 5:11
Paul is writing a letter to Philemon. Onesimus was a runaway slave that Paul led to faith. Paul sent Onesimus back to Philemon even though he was a great help to Paul. Paul was writing to Philemon to ask him to forgive him for running away, and to love him as a brother in Christ.
I pray that you may be active in sharing your faith, so that you will have a full understanding of every good thing we have in Christ. vs. 6
11For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men. 12It teaches us to say "No" to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age, 13while we wait for the blessed hope—the glorious appearing of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, 14who gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for himself a people that are his very own, eager to do what is good.
15These, then, are the things you should teach. Encourage and rebuke with all authority. Do not let anyone despise you.
- Titus 2:11-15
It teaches us to say "no" to ungodliness and worldly passions... This statement goes directly back to the talk about gossip in my last post!
who gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for himself a people that are his very own, eager to do what is good and again, Jesus Christ gave himself for US!!! We are better than talking about people, better than any temptation placed in front of you!
Another amazingly rich book! I just love the Bible!
So do not be ashamed to testify about our Lord, or ashamed of me his prisoner. But join with me in suffering for the gospel, by the power of God, who has saved us and called us to a holy life - not because of anything we have done but because of his own purpose and grace. This grace was given us in Christ Jesus before the beginning of time, but it has now been revealed through the appearing of our Savior, Christ Jesus, who has destroyed death and has brought life and immorality to light through the gospel. 2 Timothy 1:8-10 There are so many rich things within those verses. not because of anything we have done but because of his own purpose and grace!!!
2 Timothy 2:7 "Reflect on what I am saying, for the Lord will give you insight into all of this"
2 Timothy 2:9 For which I am suffering even to the point of being chained like a criminal. But God's word is not chained Wow! How powerful is that statement!
2 Timothy 2:13 Here is a trustworthy saying: If we died with him, we will also live with him; if we endure, we will also reign with him. If we disown him, he will also disown us; if we are faithless, he will remain faithful, for he cannot disown himself. Erin and I were talking about something along these lines last night. Especially the last statement "if we are faithless, he will remain faithful..." Erin said that God is so amazing, that He loves each and everyone of us. But, he does not only love us when we become a Christian. If we never speak His Word once, or pray to him... He still loves us! How amazing is that!
These words need to be memorized by everyone in my work, and probably every person!
Avoid godless chatter because those who indulge in it will become more and more ungodly. 2 Timothy 2:16. I use to love to gossip. It was such a terrible situation. I had to be talking about someone always! look at her shoes, what is she wearing, she needs to put some make up on, what was she thinking... I think that I have gotten better. I still will listen to gossipy conversations, but I (try) not to participate. I am going to begin to memorize this verse, because it is true. I want to be as close to Jesus as possible, and He would not be very proud of me taking about anyone!
As I continue reading, Paul does not stop with that one comment. If that was not enough to convict you, he keeps on going! Nevertheless, God's solid foundation stands firm, sealed with this inscription: "The Lord knows those who are his," and "Everyone who confesses the name of the Lord must turn away from wickedness." 2 Timothy 2:19.... Don't have anything to do with foolish and stupid arguments, because you know they produce quarrels" 2 Timothy 2:23... And the Lord's servant must not quarrel; instead, he must be kind to everyone, able to teach, not resentful 2 Timothy 2:24
In 1 Timothy, Paul wrote "fight the good fight of faith" and today, I read in 2 Timothy 4:7 "I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith"
2 Timothy was such a rich book! I am so glad that I took time today to devote myself to reading that book!
I love how generous the Hittites were towards Abraham. Abraham tried so hard to pay them, but they would not accept the money from him. (Genesis 23)
I was reading Genesis 24, and thinking that it sounded familiar. I don't know if Pastor did a sermon on it, but when I got to vs. 14, I knew I had read this chapter before. My favorite part of this chapter is vs. 15. God answered his prayer before he was even done praying! :) God just makes me smile.
I love Psalm 21. My favorite verse in Psalm 21 is Be exalted O Lord, in your strength; we will sing and praise your might. vs. 13
In Psalm 22 David wrote about he has always believed in God and had faith in Him -but his temptations were eating at him. But, he still had faith in the Lord. He still believed that the Lord was going to save him. - Sometimes, I feel like there are not that many people who still have faith in the Lord when they are being tempted. They completely give up. So, reading about David always trusting in the Lord, it gives me hope that it is possible to trust in the Lord no matter what
This is where I am currently at in my reading:
2 Timothy 1
This is where I should be in my reading:
1 Peter 4
1 Corinthians 15 (woohoo!! There is one book I am ahead in!!)
Yes, You are only counting 9 books. I am totally confused, becuase the plan is telling me to read Acts again?)
Books I completely missed:
My plan for today:
Complete 2 Timothy
1 Peter 4
That is 20 chapters between 8:30 (now) and 3:00 (when I have to get ready for church)!
Dear Lord, I pray that you give me the ears to hear Your Word, and eyes to see Your Word and a heart that understands Your Word. I am excited about what I have to learn in today's reading. I am so thankful that you put the desire in my heart to read the Bible in eight months, not only for the growth within myself, but the people who are growing through my experience! -Amen
Wednesday, August 11, 2010
In 1 Corinthians 10:12-13 Paul is writing about people who sinned and how they were punished, then he says 12So, if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don't fall! 13No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it.
I believe this to be very true. I do not think that God will tempt us beyond what we can handle. Now, I have gotten into many debates/conversations about Does God tempt us? or Does God give us what we need to get through the temptation? Either way, He will always provide a way out! I love my God! It is so comforting to know these truths, that God will always be by my side.
1 Corinthians 11:13-16 was very interesting to me. Paul stated that for a man to have long hair is disgraceful, but it is glorious for a woman to have long hair. I do not know if I should read more into that or consider it as just a message to Corinth.
I have received communion many times at church. But reading 1 Continthians 11:23-26 makes the meaning of it all so real. I read about it in Matthew the other day. Reading it again truly put EVEN MORE emphasis on the importance of communion. I am so thankful for the life that I am able to have through Christ.
1 Corinthians 12 is a chapter that I must memorize. This chapter has come up countless items in conversation and I have to fumble through my Bible. I at least need to memorize that spiritual gifts = 1 Corinthians 12.
I love Paul's illustration in 1 Corinthians 12:15-21. "But in fact God has arranged the parts of the body, every one of them, just as he wanted them to be." vs. 18
1. I love how spec ally handcrafted by God I am. It makes me feel so undeniably beautiful and important.
2. I love the illustration this is towards how we are all individually unique to the church and Kingdom of God!
When I read 1 Corinthians 13:11, I immediately thought about how this related to becoming a Christian. I know that for me, my life was literally one way one day, and the polar opposite the next. I had a shopping problem...addiction, and the next day and ever since, I have little to no interest in shopping. I listened to rap and rock, and I had no interest in it the next day. I wanted to listen to 91.9 and 106.9 and praise God constantly!
The talk in 1 Corinthians 14 about tongues confused me.
1 Corinthians 15:20-21 is so true. I read it several times to truly let it sink in. I know that Christ has risen from the grave, but I never want to take that for granite. I think that it is so easy to just shrug it off our shoulders Christ died and rose again - therefore I can live without sin, and go into heaven free of cost. So, I can still do (fill in the blank). But, It is so much more important. There is so much more to it. I never want to take it for granite.
1 Corinthians 15:33 truly spoke to me. I am in a situation, and everything I read lately is along those lines, screaming at me that I am making a mistake.
I just loved 1 Corinthians 15:58. "Therefore, my dear brothers, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain."
Have a wonderful day!
Monday, August 9, 2010
I leave you with this tonight.
A patient man has great understanding, but a quick-tempered man displays folly. Proverbs 14:29
I need to read every verse in the Bible about patience. I am impatient in more than one area of my life. I also took this verse to be about speaking before thinking about what you are about to say. That is very tricky.
Have a lovely night!
In Acts 26, Luke goes into detail about his history before knowing God, coming to know God, and his life after that. I did not know these things about Paul. He went around punishing people in their synagogue. I love how Paul describes Jesus coming to him.
12"On one of these journeys I was going to Damascus with the authority and commission of the chief priests. 13About noon, O king, as I was on the road, I saw a light from heaven, brighter than the sun, blazing around me and my companions. 14We all fell to the ground, and I heard a voice saying to me in Aramaic,[a] 'Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me? It is hard for you to kick against the goads.'
15"Then I asked, 'Who are you, Lord?'
" 'I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting,' the Lord replied. 16'Now get up and stand on your feet. I have appeared to you to appoint you as a servant and as a witness of what you have seen of me and what I will show you. 17I will rescue you from your own people and from the Gentiles. I am sending you to them 18to open their eyes and turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God, so that they may receive forgiveness of sins and a place among those who are sanctified by faith in me.'
In Acts 26:19 says, "So then, King Agrippa, I was not disobedient to the vision from heaven. I just love Paul. God spoke to him, and he completely changed his life in that moment! I want to be this obedient towards God's vision to me!
But I have had God's help to this very day, and so I stand here and testify to small and great alike. -Acts 26:22 This is so true. We all have God's help day in and day out. That is real and true!
I love Acts 28:3-6. Paul is making a fire, and this snake wraps itself around his arm. Everyone is thinking that Paul must be a murderer and has not escaped justice. Paul shakes his arm, and the snake falls off into the fire. :) How good is God?!!!
I am on a roll tonight! I just finished reading Acts. I could not get into Acts in the beginning, but could not put it down in the end!
The parable f the ten virgins (Matthew 25:1-13) confused me. I had no idea what to take about it...
I could read Matthew 26-28 again and again. It gives me chills, and heart ache and hope all in one. It is so powerful.
I still have a hard time wrapping my head around Matthew 27:46. Jesus calls out to God and asks, "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?". I asked Cameka about it today. I asked, "Jesus knew what was going to happen, right? I know that he was in pain, but.... Was Jesus doubting God?" The best way that she could explain it was that it was like someone who has terminal cancer. They know that they are going to die, but they do everything they can to live longer.
Saturday, August 7, 2010
"I want men everywhere to lift up holy hands in prayer, without anger or disputing" 1 Timothy 2:8
I feel as if 1 Timothy 4:11-12 is speaking straight to me! "Command and teach these things. Don't let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in life, in love, in faith, and in purity."
I want to set an example through everything I do. I think I am on the right road! I pray I can only grow from here!
1 Timothy 6:7-10 is so good. I am thankful that God set me free of my love for money. It was this time last year that I was running around all of the malls blowing all of my money. I would literally spend $100 shopping on my lunch hour at the mall, then go shopping that night. It was insane. I blew through all of my savings and then some.... I praise God for setting me free of that, and allowing me to trust Him in all ways, but most importantly, financially!
-Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment. - 1 Timothy 6:17
1 Corinthians 7 was a very interesting chapter. Paul speaks on marriage, divorce and being single. It is a must read, I believe!
yet for us there is but one God, the Father, from whom all things came and for whom we live; and there is but one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom all things came and through whom we live.1 Corin. 8:6
This is a shout out to my sister. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind... and love your neighbor as yourself. It is from Deut. 6:5 but referenced in Matthew 22:37-38. :)
"So the churches were strengthened in the faith and grew daily in numbers" Acts 16:5 - When I read this I think about Elevation, how fast we are growing. It is truly by the Grace of God. Also, when Ellen and I visited Newspring, Pastor Perry Noble spoke about how every summer their numbers drop significantly, and this summer they have only risen. How awesome is God. I am truly blessed to be a part of Elevation!
I was reading through Acts 16:16-21 and was a bit confused. I read it again, and it made sense. The fist time I read it, I skimmed over the beginning where it mentions the slave girl was trying to profit off of her proclaiming Paul's teaching. I was so confused why Paul would command the Spirit to leave her. Until, I read it again, and she was only shouting, "These men are servants of the Most High God, whoa re telling you the way to be saved," to make money. This just goes to show how sometimes I need to slow down, and make sure I am getting the whole story.
Reading this passage, I could not find a favorite verse. It is all good.
19Then they took him and brought him to a meeting of the Areopagus, where they said to him, "May we know what this new teaching is that you are presenting? 20You are bringing some strange ideas to our ears, and we want to know what they mean." 21(All the Athenians and the foreigners who lived there spent their time doing nothing but talking about and listening to the latest ideas.)
22Paul then stood up in the meeting of the Areopagus and said: "Men of Athens! I see that in every way you are very religious. 23For as I walked around and looked carefully at your objects of worship, I even found an altar with this inscription: TO AN UNKNOWN GOD. Now what you worship as something unknown I am going to proclaim to you.
24"The God who made the world and everything in it is the Lord of heaven and earth and does not live in temples built by hands. 25And he is not served by human hands, as if he needed anything, because he himself gives all men life and breath and everything else. 26From one man he made every nation of men, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and he determined the times set for them and the exact places where they should live. 27God did this so that men would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from each one of us. 28'For in him we live and move and have our being.' As some of your own poets have said, 'We are his offspring.'
29"Therefore since we are God's offspring, we should not think that the divine being is like gold or silver or stone—an image made by man's design and skill. 30In the past God overlooked such ignorance, but now he commands all people everywhere to repent. 31For he has set a day when he will judge the world with justice by the man he has appointed. He has given proof of this to all men by raising him from the dead."
32When they heard about the resurrection of the dead, some of them sneered, but others said, "We want to hear you again on this subject." 33At that, Paul left the Council. 34A few men became followers of Paul and believed. Among them was Dionysius, a member of the Areopagus, also a woman named Damaris, and a number of others.
I love verse 19 and 20. They were so interested in hearing Paul speak. I also love verse 32. Some were unsure about Paul's teaching, but others wanted to hear more!
I love Paul's obedience in Acts 18:9. God came to him and told him to stay, and continue speaking. So, Paul stayed for a year and a half!
I love what Paul has to say in Acts 20:22-36. Paul dedicated his whole life to testifying to the gospel of Jesus. It is truly amazing. I only pray that I can say these same words as I am dying. :)