08 March 2015

A good sermon..a good conversation

[warning: this post rambles a bit]

Today my church discussed 1 Cor 11: 27-34, it was an important reminder that even though the Lord punishes us, he does it so that he will be glorified and so that we can be reunited with him.  I suppose the thing that stuck with me is that I am not sure when I have been punished, or if I am being punished.  I never have been able to figure that out.  I suppose I should, but it is hard to figure out what is just life happening and when it is from Him.  That is what has always hit me about Job, is that all of his friends were saying "this is from God", but in fact it wasn't from God at least as a punishment, it was a testing of his faith.

Having grown up in the faith, I know I should be further along in my self studies and in my knowledge of the Spirit, but at times I think it has hindered it.  I grow complacent, life has been good.  I have felt at times a loss of joy, but never a loss of faith.  I don't know.  I need to be able to listen better to the Spirit, and to be more obedient to his word.  These little reminders help me out as I try to  think through Lent.

The other conversation I had was about how I live my faith on an external level.  Would someone who only barely knew me recognize Him in me? Do I attract people to Jesus?  In work, ministry, and in almost all my life I live in a very Christian bubble.  The bubble is comfortable, almost everyone agrees with me on most things, and life flows like I know it.  But the more I read, the more I talk with people, we need more believers to live outside the bubble. We need more politicians, lawyers, doctors, artists, educators, and social workers in the field, being salt and light.  We need to know our neighbors and to invite them into our lives.  And it needs to be intentional, it can be a barbecue or a party, but it needs to be prayed over, it needs to be revisited.  Not everyone will be ready, but people need to know that smart, educated, compassionate people are open to having you and your mess be part of their lives and prayers.

I have been in the bubble and very comfortable there, but I am missing out on creating disciples and seeing the Kingdom grow.  I have been part of a team at my University sending out students to do this, but I think we need more application course so that they will not grow weary of doing good.  That is why I love Cairn University, the University's president wants students in every form of government and position being salt and light in their communities, biblically minded, well educated men and women of character.  That is what the world needs, that faith and prayer can change society as we know it.  

22 January 2015

Chapel message- January 21, 2015

I was invited to share a testimony/devotional in the alternative chapel at my University.  This is what I had been planning to say, it went a bit off script, so I am putting it here in its more coherent version. My recorded version I will post later once it become available.  

Orphans, Slaves or Sons
Romans 8:9-17

What to do?

What is important to me?
            Being Authentic

I have since the age of 9 been challenged to adopt, around college I discovered the importance of foster care.  I truly believe God has a heart for adoption, after all he adopted us.  

In Jordan, my sister is learning about Adoption and Orphans aging out of the system.  What she has found is that most orphans have a hard and challenging time their entire lives. 

It is assumed that to be orphaned means that you or your family did something to offend Allah. Therefore your orphaned state is something to be shunned, because family name and connections are how Arab society works.  If you lose your parents you are supposed to end up with some extended family members, but to be completely alone and with out family there is almost nothing worse. 

Orphan is stamped on all your government documents, it means no family now and possibly in the future.  It means a lack of job security, a lack of marriage prospects, and for many a lack of being able to move out of poverty.

Adoption in the Jewish context of Paul's day was very similar.  Esther is the first time we see a scenario that is more than foster care, a child living with someone other than their immediate family (think Moses). For the Jews, actual genes from the husbands lineage are needed to pass on the family name (think Tamar, Obed, etc).

The Romans were the first to have adoption the way we think about it in the United States. Men of means could adopt children with few prospects to be the heirs of their estates, this gave them legal rights, and allowed their names to travel forward with the adopted childs genes. 

Romans 8:
9 However, you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. But if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Him. 10 If Christ is in you, though the body is dead because of sin, yet the spirit is [d]alive because of righteousness. 11 But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies [e]through His Spirit who dwells in you.12 So then, brethren, we are under obligation, not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh13 for if you are living according to the flesh, you [f]must die; but if by the Spirit you are putting to death the deeds of the body, you will live. 14 For all who are being led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God. 15 For you have not received a spirit of slavery [g]leading to fear again, but you have received [h]a spirit of adoption as sons by which we cry out, Abba! Father!16 The Spirit Himself testifies with our spirit that we are children of God, 17 and if children, heirs also, heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him so that we may also be glorified with Him.NASB

When looking up some commentaries about this passage I would have to say I like Moos interpretation the most.  Why? Well it is because his commentary stays pretty simple and gives the believer a lot of hope in the future.  Of all the religions out there, Christianity has a difference, we dont need to prove ourselves by good works out of the goodness of our hearts.  One: we dont have any natural goodness in our hearts and Two: Through Gods grace he gave us a bit of himself.  Every Christian has Gods spirit residing in himself/herself.  We are infinitely blessed because this indwelling of the Holy Spirit allows us to do things that we couldnt do on our own.  We went from creatures enslaved to sin to be Gods sons and daughters!  This is an amazing gift, it is a gift that is hard to comprehend.

We are Gods heirs, we have the full rights and privileges of the King of the Galaxy, if that doesnt stun you I am not sure what else can.  Imagine a child an orphan who doesnt know anything other than anxiety and fear of the future, they cannot understand security, peace, anticipating a future that doesnt involve struggle and danger, then they are adopted by the Daddy Warlocks of the Universe.  I believe it would take some time to become comfortable with this their new situation, but until we experience that sense of security in the awesome love of our new Heavenly Father- how can be effective messengers for God?

I suppose that is why I get confused by my own sin- Why do we who love God, who are his sons and daughters so frequently become caught up in sin? Paul lets us know that it is because our current bodies are slaves to sin, we are born cursed to want our own way.  The only way, the only cure is acknowledging God as our Father, and allowing the Holy Spirit to continually work within us to help free us from this slavery to sin so that we can obey Jesus and love others.  It isnt until we die and receive our new bodies that we will be completely free from sins bonds.

For each of us that sin looks a bit different.  Sometimes it is an outright sin, and sometimes it is the sin of disbelief. That disbelief can take many forms.  For me, the disbelief comes in a lack of trust.  I like being safe and secure, certain of the next week, next month, etc.  That is why I am stunned when I take an honest look at my heart- I know and love God. Why would I rely on my wisdomto lead me to a safe place, instead of relying on my Heavenly Father who knows the plans he has for me.   

This is why I like The Messages wording for Roman 8:9-17 TBut if God himself has taken up residence in your life, you can hardly be thinking more of yourself than of him. Anyone, of course, who has not welcomed this invisible but clearly present God, the Spirit of Christ, wont know what were talking about. But for you who welcome him, in whom he dwellseven though you still experience all the limitations of sinyou yourself experience life on Gods terms. It stands to reason, doesnt it, that if the alive-and-present God who raised Jesus from the dead moves into your life, hell do the same thing in you that he did in Jesus, bringing you alive to himself? When God lives and breathes in you (and he does, as surely as he did in Jesus), you are delivered from that dead life. With his Spirit living in you, your body will be as alive as Christs!
12-14 So dont you see that we dont owe this old do-it-yourself life one red cent. Theres nothing in it for us, nothing at all. The best thing to do is give it a decent burial and get on with your new life. Gods Spirit beckons. There are things to do and places to go!
15-17 This resurrection life you received from God is not a timid, grave-tending life. Its adventurously expectant, greeting God with a childlike Whats next, Papa?Gods Spirit touches our spirits and confirms who we really are. We know who he is, and we know who we are: Father and children. And we know we are going to get whats coming to usan unbelievable inheritance! We go through exactly what Christ goes through. If we go through the hard times with him, then were certainly going to go through the good times with him!

It is so much safer to tend graves, no surprises, no adventures, no questions.  But that isnt what we have been called to.  There are no guarantees in life.  If we cannot love God, if we cannot take risks with him in charge, how are we loving him?

Think of the last time you played with a childhow many little children shout and giggle to be thrown higher, to go just one more time.  That is what we need to be striving for in this life, we want to go higher, to trust God so much that our chains of slavery are gone and instead we strive just to keep up with our heavenly Father. 


How do you view God? Tyrant, ATM, Impersonal, Friend, Father, Shepherd, or something in-between?

Are you amazed by Gods adoption of us? Why or Why not?

Are you an effective messenger of Gods love? Yes or No? Is something holding you back? 

Audio from Chapel

21 October 2014


I will admit it, I am struggling.

I am struggling with decisions, lack of decisions, humanity, and a dozen other emotions.  There is nothing terrible happening in my life, I have a job, transportation, a ministry I love, but I am exhausted; my emotions are constantly at the surface and I am on the verge of crying all the time.  (And nope, there is absolutely no way pregnancy is involved.)

I have been reading a couple of books recently Restless by Jennie Allen and Let's be Brave by Annie Downs.  As I have been reading these two books and working through the heart and soul questions they have been asking I have had to deal with a lot of things that I haven't wanted to talk or think about.  I have this weird thought process where I think that if I just do what I am supposed to do, according to the Bible and the church, that my life should flow fairly smoothly.  However recently in my Bible reading of Acts-2 Corinthians I don't see a smooth life.  I see a full, rich, hectic, stressful life as Paul lives a life that didn't include a safe, secure house.  He didn't have family nearby, or a wife to cook him dinner every night.  He said crazy things like being single is better for God's glory (if you are called to it) and if you weren't well live for God and do all you can while you are single.

I never wanted to be single by 31, I wanted to have a loving, adorable husband, 2-4 kids, and a dog and cat.  Instead I have 2 cats and a super busy schedule.  I love many things about who I am now, but I also have things that I wouldn't mind changing.

Would you pray with me that I would make wise choices? Think of others before myself, and not be led astray by the wicked one.

02 September 2014

Growing up is hard

As I said in my previous post, I am single.  I have tons of friends and family with children and spouses, some of my friends are single parents and I just don't know how married or single they deal with it all.  I only have my two little kitties (see below) and I just find life to be a challenge.  Paying bills, creating budgets, and then on top of it being a boss at work, and a ministry leader at church.  I love all of these things but simply cannot fathom how so many of my friends are parents on top of it all.

If leading adults can be so tiring, how can parents do it all day and then go home to be examples to their children?  I applaud you all.  There are days when I feel like I was born in the wrong time.  I was raised to be responsible and someone who doesn't mind committing.  I see a need and fill it. I think church membership is important- not because it is necessarily in the Bible but because so few commit, which then leads to a lack of persons who step up for ministry.  I like having 2 year plans for cell phones, because once upon a time that had a benefit, but now I truly believe in prepaid as it is so much less a month.   But so many people haven't been brought up with that so it creates an intense aggravation in my mind and soul when others cannot so commit.  I know that is wrong, I really do, but it does make me feel low.  Sorry I started rambling there.

I would like to apologize to my parents for expecting perfection in their actions and choices at the end of the day because good grief, I am now your ages when we were wee little things and I certainly will never be accused of being perfect or making super excellent choices.  But thank you for doing your best.

06 August 2014

Reboot...and not the cartoon

What shall I say? Should I apologize for not having written in the last year?  Probably, but mostly because I was not writing what I should have been writing.

Earlier this year I was reading a blog by Annie Downs (if you don't know her or her message please, please, please go here http://www.anniefdowns.com and look her up!) the point of her blog post was that it shouldn't just be the wonderful stay at home moms writing blogs about their lives and stories, but that single women should be talking about their lives and how they deal with the day-to-day and their God stories.

As a single woman in my 30's (I am 31) I never imagined as a child or teen that I wouldn't be married by now; I never dreamed that I wouldn't have even gone out on a date yet...yes I did just admit that.  My cousins used to tease me as a child that I would be married and have 4 kids before 30-because that is honestly who I wanted to be...minus the handle-bar mustashe on my husband.   Instead I am the working woman with no kids and they are all married with various amounts of children.   My story is very different than my past expectations.

But I want to share my story, because I think in some ways there may be another woman out there who may be encouraged by it or at least identify with it.  I also think that journaling this way makes it easier for me to listen to God and what he may be wanting to show me, if I am open with a digital audience it may help me with consistency...I am awful at consistency.  I want to open the Bible, but my pillows are so comfortable in the morning...I want to read my Bible at night, but oh look I haven't seen that book in a while and oh look there is that TV show on now.  So really I am thinking about my flesh and its desires instead of looking to the one who can uplift and strengthen my heart and spirit.

I am taking a chance and being brave.

28 August 2013

I am a Social Librarian...well sort of

I have always liked knowing about new things and products, but never having any money have rarely had the means to purchase high tech stuff.  That is fine I would really rather have someone else work out the bugs.  One thing about Social Media and the Web is that you don't necessarily have to have money to be a big shot.  You can tweet, blog, vine and all the other social media tools to your hearts content without spending a dime...as long as you have access to the internet.  Anyways,  I thank Joe Murphy +Joe Murphy and @library_connect for creating this sweet info-graphic.

24 July 2013

Lacking imagination

Yesterday I made a comment, one I have made before, but due to a book I am reading currently it bothered me.  I have always considered Amillennialists to be idealists, and in fact I believe I stated that it worried me. How can humans who are so imperfect ever bring about a change in society that would have Christ return to to a world that has despised him?  However that got me to thinking...what if it is our job? God can do amazing things, more than we can dream or ask (Eph. 3:20 &21). So many men and women in the Bible went from something negative or at least something humble to something the world would consider great.  Therefore have I been limiting God or has my view of God been limited?

I am a bit of a pessimist, I generally use the word "realist" but honestly that isn't radically different we both acknowledge that the glass is not full, it is just not empty.  But what if we could ignore the labels and dream a bigger dream? Instead of seeing myself as just a Librarian, I saw or recognized that God sees me as my possible future self? Joseph was a wrongfully convicted convict and became the second most powerful man in the country.  Moses' title changed dramatically throughout his lifetime.  Rahab was a prostitute and became a woman God deemed worthy of being a great-grandmother in the line of Kings and ultimately the King of Kings.

I sometimes miss the conviction I had about certain theological ideas while I was in college.  I wasn't really for or against dispensationalism or coventalism, but most other areas were pretty concrete. Now I have been out of undergrad for 8 years and the lines are getting blurry.  I want to love people because they are Christ's image bearers (Col. 1:15-29), I don't wan to label them. But in a world that is so "don't box me in" we certainly have more labels than we ever have before. Bear with me as I try to work these things out through this blog and if you are around me in person.