December 22, 2012

Prayer Life

Hey Everybody!

I am so sorry for the delay in writing another blog post. I guess for awhile I've just been at a loss for what to write. I mean, my thoughts have been rampant, but I've felt so muddled lately. And I'll tell you why.


It's so easy to let things worm their way into your life and take you in a different direction then you ever intended to go. It can happen with anything. Like many of you, my finals were the only thing I could think about for awhile. I was distracted by thoughts of going home over this Christmas break. Going to Colorado. Seeing my friends I haven't seen for a year. I needed to get all my nursing clinical paperwork in. I was distracted by my control over my life. The control I can never have. I like to think sometimes I do have that control. I'm sure I'm not the only one out there. I didn't realize this until awhile ago, but I think I've just been filling my heart with things that didn't have God in the middle of it. He was there, but on the outskirts.

You know what I think can fix many problems like this? Prayer. I'll tell you guys something. My prayer life honestly is not stellar. I've always had my reservations about praying out loud, and I tend to, when people pray for me out loud or within my earshot, start the waterworks. I think it's because I don't have my prayer life together. How can I sit and be thankful for somebody sending up a few prayers for me when I can hardly pray myself? When there aren't people listening to me pray, I can pray so much better. I can sort out my feelings in a way and give them to God then. I don't think I'm the only one, but I feel self conscious sometimes when I pray even with just one other person. There have been times where I've been fine, but those usually involve praying for another person.

Do you ever feel that way? Praying for other people can be so simple. You know, just the simple prayer, like... "God, I pray for [insert name] and that you would give him/her peace and let him/her know that You are always there." The end. But praying for yourself sometimes means you have to admit a fault. Praying for a relationship or a personal request can be intimidating if it involves you. The hardest prayers go something like these -

God, I pray you open my eyes to see the things I'm doing wrong.
God, I pray that your will be done (even though I would really like it to go down this way...)
God, I pray that you reform my heart, because I cannot fix this on my own.

Those are hard to say. We all think we have the right solution. We even sometimes think we know better than God. We don't. I know that, and you know that. I pray for you and me this Christmas season, that we remember the importance of matters of the heart. Receiving gifts and giving gifts in the name of love or friendship is great. And gifts are not my message here, prayer is, but are our hearts in the right place with the things that really matter on a daily basis? Also...

~Merry Christmas~
I hope you guys have a blessed Christmas! Enjoy the desserts, lights, decorations, eggnog, and all that family time. Christmas only comes once a year! And the world is not over yet!

"Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus."
-1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

December 7, 2012

Through The Looking Glass

I am not who I think I am. I am not who you think I am. I am who I think you think I am.

Funny enough, this little line was said in one of my classes this week. It captured my attention. It makes you think, does it not? And isn't it so true? We tend to be who we perceive others think we are. When somebody asks you to describe your personality, don't you turn to your friend and say, "Well, what is my personality? I can't describe myself!" The friend proceeds to throw a few characteristics around and you say, "Yeah, yeah, I guess I am that way. Thanks!" Or, we think a person doesn't like us, and we end up reflecting that attitude on ourselves when, in reality, that person has nothing against us. Why do we define ourselves by these worldy fabrications?

Look through the looking glass in God's eyes. How does God perceive you? Who do you think God thinks you are? It's a weird image...trying to imagine what God sees, up in heaven, looking down on me. Gosh, I am nothing compared to Him, nothing. But, he sees little ol' me, down here, going about my worldly life, as worthwhile, as His daughter. However, this is a little bit complicated. First off, I know I'm a sinner and don't deserve anything. Secondly, though, I know I am a daughter of God. So, how do those two work together? Yes, God recognizes us as sinners. Okay, so, through God's eyes, I see Him as seeing me as a sinner.

"But for those who are self-seeking and who reject the truth and follow evil, there will be wrath and anger."
-Romans 2:8
However, having the religious background that I do, I know I am also seen as a child of God. God sees me through the eyes of Jesus. I have accepted the Lord into my life. I have the Holy Spirit inside of me. But how can God see through, or past, my horrible sin?
"For my own name's sake I delay my wrath; for the sake of my praise I hold it back from you, so as not to destroy you completely."
-Isaiah 48:9
Well, that sounds just like Jesus is there to hold everything back for a time. Well, He is, but it is forever. We are seen as a child of God. Yes, God sees us as sinners, but for those of us who have been redeemed through Jesus and the Holy Spirit, He also sees us as His sons and daughters. Think about it - as our Father, He may have to discipline us from time to time, but His complete wrath has been reigned in. I believe, in some ways, He replaces that with a form of tough love. Some lessons are very hard to learn! But God will love us through them and always be there for us. Most importantly, He sees our hearts. He sees what we're up against. He sees our innermost being as worthwhile, which is inconceivable, considering how sinful we are as people. The only thing staying His wrath is the fact we are redeemed through Jesus Christ. He sees you as his son or daughter. Unfathomable. So, what's left? The rest is up to us to continue to live under Christ and have our decisions model what is inside our hearts.
"God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God."
-2 Corinthians 5:21
"And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption."
-Ephesians 4:30
I am not who I think I am. I am not who you think I am. I am working on being the person who God knows I will become.

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