Monday, February 6, 2012

IN Christ

The Stupendous Reality of Being IN Christ!   <----  Go read that article.

Still learning

Since November 10th I've had an opportunity that most adults would give anything to experience.  I have not had to get up and go to work since that day.  Unfortunately, it has almost driven me crazy!  As I expressed over in this article Hands & Feet, work is what I do.  So, to have an extended time of not having work it's been a challenge.  By the grace of God I have not run out of finances yet.  I have been able to spend time visiting with friends and getting settled into my new location.    The Lord's provisions are more than evident.  Yet, I wake up frustrated and fretful most days.  I think I have discovered why...

I didn't choose this. {insert selfishness}

Okay, maybe in a round about way I did but overall I didn't choose this.  Yes, I chose to quit my job.  Yes, I chose to move to Mississippi.  I did those because I assumed I would get here and find a job.  That has not been the case and it has frustrated me.  This morning I've been straightening my place from the weekend influx of friends.  I've been trying to think through why I have been so frustrated at such a great blessing the Lord has given.  My mom would give her right arm to wake up and not go to work!!  So much so Dad only let's her take off a certain amount of days in a row.  Fearing if she takes more than that she'll never go back.  Who wouldn't want time to read, time to take a walk, time to not have to rush to accomplish anything?  

I'll tell you who wouldn't want those things.  Someone doesn't choose it! {again, insert selfishness}

It blows me away how the Lord will use different situations to teach the same lesson.  My first few years out of college I lived very frustrated that I was single.  Why?  Who would get frustrated to have a fun job, travel to fun places, sleep when I want, eat what I want, and do whatever I chose with my finances?  Someone who didn't choose such a life.  {again, insert selfishness}  

My top choice would have been marriage and a family fairly quickly after college.  It turns out the Lord had a different idea.  It took me several years after college to come to terms with that and not be angry towards God about concerning that issue.  {again, insert selfishness}  Here I am again in a situation most people would love to be in.  Yet frustration is often my feeling.  Why?


I am thankful this time around it's only taken me a few weeks to see my sin of selfishness rather than a few years as it did concerning singleness.  Now that I look back I wouldn't trade those tough years of singleness for anything.  The Lord taught more than I even knew I needed to learn.  I rejoice now knowing the same will be said of this unknown, jobless time in my life.  Christ is faithful to draw us near to Himself.  He will not leave us in our filth of sin!  I'm sure I've shared this song before but it continues to ring such truth in my life.

Spiritual application to all this coming soon...  

Monday, January 23, 2012

Wrong Identity

A few weeks ago I interviewed at Lowe's.  I like the store and it wouldn't require me buying new clothes to work there.  Sounds ridiculous but logic is necessary!  Interview seemed to go well.  Several days later I heard from them and I didn't get any of the jobs I had applied for.  Oh well.


A few days after that I get two different letters in the mail.  One from Lowe's and one from a background check company.  They both informed me that Lowe's found some information pertaining to my criminal history.  Lowe's put a nice little quote on theres that simply said this may or may not have had anything to do with your employment status with Lowe's.  Apparently, I have been in jail 3 times.  Yep.  Once including this past July.


I call the Lowe's HR lady and explain to her the situation.  She went through a 2 year period where someone in her town had the exact same name.  Main difference that other lady was a felon.  She said the CPS tried to come get her children once and all sorts of madness happened during that time.  She told me to get off the phone with her and call the background company back ASAP.

Currently, I am in dispute with that company.  They only use first name, last name and birthday to look people up.  To me that is ridiculous!  They said it's a common problem and should be fixed in 15 to 30 days.  What are the odds is all I keep asking.  What are the odds?

Tomorrow I will be meeting with the high school principle for the school that's across the street.  Hopefully, I can at least get on the substitute teaching list to bring in some money until I can find other work.  Continually I am reminded the Lord has never not taken care of my needs so why even entertain the thought that that is about to happen.

Going to go try to stay out of jail from now on!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Hands and Feet

For so long they have defined who I am.  

I grew up an athlete living in dependence upon the functionality of my hands and feet.  

Then I went to college where walking to class and writing essays seemed to be a never ending task.

Following that came a ministry in Benton, TN.  My ministry would have been rendered near useless if my hands and feet had been taken away.  

What now?

I'm in a new place where I have no athletics, no school, no formal ministry, and no job.  Everything here is new and different.  Little did I know before moving here how much I based who I was on what I did.  To some that sounds overly philosophical and just ridiculous.  To me that statement is a representation of my sin.  Christ did not give me talents in athletics, the ability to survive college or the desire to be in ministry so those things could define who I am.  He alone is worthy of such definition.  To be known as His child ought to render my heart more joy and peace than anything this world has to offer.  From that joy, peace, contentment and stability my hands and feet should then go about desiring to bring Him glory.  Unfortunately, I (we) often forget step one.  Finding satisfaction in being His child.  Thus we pursue hard after everything else to satisfy, define and give us worth.  Creating a deep rooted problem.  When those things I (we) are pursuing change or are altered for us the balance in life is lost and chaos begins to overwhelm.  There is no stability.  There is no contentment.  There is no understanding.  Everything we know has been uprooted.  

What now?  

What happens now is Christ allows us to clearly see where our devotion and commitment are found.  The book of Job exemplifies that while his earthly life was shattered he pressed on towards trust in God.  Yes, he hurt and struggled but he never let hurt and struggle remove his trust in God.  His focus remained on the eternal side of things rather than the temporal.

Let's go back for just a moment to an earlier statement.

"To be known as His child ought to render my heart more joy and peace than anything this world has to offer."

Think that statement through...  




Does it really matter that you are His child?  What difference has that made in your life?  Is that what makes you not want to drink, smoke, or cuss?  Do you think that's why Christ died?  So you could make good moral decisions?  

He is more than moral decisions.  
He is more than giving good gifts.
He is more than what makes a believer comfortable.
He is God. 
He is the Almighty.

While I feel I am going through a phase where my hands and feet are tied up, my heart is being pruned (John 15:1-11).  The sin that I have in my life has no place.  Apart from Christ it will not be removed.  

If we are never still before the Lord how will we ever see what He is doing?  (Psalm 46:10)  When was the last time you sat quietly in God's presence?  If it truly mattered to you, you would make the time.  Yes, life is busy but somehow we manage to make time for all things we deem important (work, family, friends, entertainment, etc.)  When will Christ become important?  

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Take a minute for this one.

Please Read THIS!

It expresses so much.  Granted, I didn't leave for foreign soil.  The year 2004 I left for a foreign land in Tennessee.  Leaving friends, family, and a stable life.  I came to a place where I lived on someone's futon for 8 months while working as an unpaid volunteer with a college degree.  The year 2011 has brought much of the same change.  Again, I have left a place of friends that seem like family, a home, and a stable life.  Moved to a place where a friend of a friend had a spare bedroom I could use for the time.  Attempting to connect with college students with the hope of being able to disciple as Matthew 28:19 talks about.

This is not about me and what I have gained or lost.  It's not about the struggles or even the blessings of the Lord.  It's about living for Christ and desiring to be obedient in this life, that is fleeting, more than comfortable.  The Lord allows opportunities for all of us to live out obediently.  The question is do we even know enough of Him to truly know what He is asking of us?  My life has been marked with things that yours might not be at all.  I assure though it can be marked with Christ if you are willing to let go of your own life and follow the Lord.  Unfortunately, you can't follow Him in little bits and pieces.  You'll miss the whole picture of who He is and what He is desiring to do to bring Himself glory!

Enough from me for now!  Go read the other link posted above.  

What now?

For those that feel left out in the dark, no worries.  Sometimes I kinda feel the same way.  Last Monday night I arrived back to Benton for the week.  There was a final meeting concerning some issues from Camp that I needed to go to.  As Chris and I drove past my old house into campus I thought I was going to vomit.  I helped build that house.  Literally, it was built for me.  Yet I completely walked away from it. What in the world is going on?  How did we get to this point.  I didn't enjoy being in the dining hall.  Nor did I really enjoy being on campus.  It just felt like everything was taken from us.  It wasn't right nor fair in any way shape or form.  During the Monday night meeting Ocoee Resort Ministries was totally dissolved.  In one vote it was simply gone.  How can they do that?  I still have no idea.  

It is what it is.

Rather than continuing to re-read what was it's best to move forward with what is to come.  

Just got word today that there is a possible place for me to rent that is nothing fancy.  It wasn't built for me.  I didn't get to pick out the paint or floors.  But it's fairly cheap and very close to the college where I desire to do discipleship ministry through.  It has neighbors that need to know more of Christ.  A couple of them are youth that attend a church through a bus ministry.  It's not in a grand neighborhood.  It's got an awkward layout.  Apparently you walk through the bedroom to get to the kitchen.  But does awkward layout matter when all you desire to do is use your home to express more of Christ to people?  Does it matter that it's not fancy when you want to use the space to talk with others about Christ?  Does it matter that the external beauty is not there in a living space when ultimately everything external in this world is fading quickly?  

I am thankful for this unfancy and awkward space the Lord has provided.  This whole transition really has been okay for the most part.  Moving out of my house was tough.  Mainly because I literally had no idea what I was doing or where I was going.  I knew I needed to be in North Mississippi, but I had no specifics.  Since then the Lord is laying things out little by little.  I've had a great place to stay for a short while.  This week I have the opportunity to check out a small unfacy and awkward place when I get back next week.  Where ever He leads I'll go continues to be song daily ringing in my ears.  Next I trust the Lord will provide a job.  

This is just a brief update for those trying to figure out what now?  Truly, I don't fully know yet other than I will continue to follow the Lord.  Even when it doesn't make sense :)    

Good quote


Found this quote on Pinterest and thought it to be great truth.