11.30.2011

11.24.2011

WOW! Would you look at the time?!



OH.
So I just happened to notice that my very first blog post was exactly one year ago this day.
UNBELIEVABLE! It's crazy to reflect on that post and see where I was then compared to where I am now.
God certainly moves and works, and is still working in the seen and unseen.

I wanted to say thank you for all the views, comments, and follows. I'm glad to know that God can use someone as imperfect as I to inspire and motivate others!

Much love to you all! ♥

And if you are curious, you can read my very first post by clicking right here!
Enjoy :)

11.23.2011

The Man Next to Me


I wonder if he even remembers me, but he sure did his part so that I would remember him.
It was 8:30 in the morning and I had just boarded the airplane. I was exhausted.
I had gotten back into the United States earlier that morning, arriving in Flordia around midnight. By the time I had gotten to the hotel and fallen asleep, it was nearly 2AM. Asleep for only four hours, I was woken up again at 6 to head back to the airport to return home.

So there I was, sitting in the somewhat comfy seat, receiving a blanket and pillow from the friendly flight attendant. The seat next to me remained open... I always wonder who will sit next to me. A man? A woman? Young? Old? Quiet? Extrovert?
As I watched many file in through the thin aisle, he finally came to my row. He was a middle aged man, certainly the business type. Suit and tie.

"This should be interesting..." I thought to myself.
He sat down and seemed relatively quiet. We exchanged some smalltalk and what happened next, I wouldn't have expected.

For the next two hours of the plane ride he talked up a storm. From books, to China, to why George W. Bush was a bad president, why suburbs led to obesity and isolation, and why I should probably change my window panes. This man was a riot. I felt disrespectful for not having much to say, though truthfully his knowledge was out of my league and made keeping my eyes open even more difficult.

I wasn't terribly fond of the man. He didn't have the most respectful attitude towards the mission trip that I was returning from. But hey, he was an environmentalist and didn't like the idea of 400 people flying planes to another country when we could just send money and have people there do the work. Yet there he was sitting on a fairly large sized plane, ironically.

While most of the conversation remains a blur to me, there is one specific moment in the conversation I remember. He told me that in all of life, I should always remember two things: Proximity and Ultimately.

He told the story of a family member who was satisfied with their job in proximity, but ultimately, it wasn't quite what they wanted. He told me that no matter what I do in life, make sure it is ultimately satisfying and worth all my time and efforts.

How many things in life feel satisfying in proximity but ultimately add up to nothing?

How many things do we do in our every day life that aren't really worth our time, worth our life, worth our thoughts, worth our money, worth our breath to speak of, worth space in our heart?

Consider what is important in your life right now. At the end of your life, do you think you will look back and say "That is what really made a difference in my life, in others' life, in the world!" Especially for the sake of God and His glory.

Dear Christian out there,
Do you value time? Do you really value time?
Like everything else, time belongs to our Lord.
That means you're borrowing something of His.
How do you take care of something you've borrowed?

Certainly the gentleman I sat next to wasn't necessarily the most pleasant person to converse with, but he sure got me thinking. And any person who can make me truly think, deserves some respect.
I am thankful that even on that long, tiring morning, God provided someone that didn't know Him to help me know Himself better.

"Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil."
Ephesians 5:15-16

P.S. Happy early Thanksgiving! :)

11.20.2011

The Pursuer



They were exposed and afraid as they heard Him coming in the midst of the garden. Once perfect, and now with shame. It was the day they died spiritually.

If you didn't guess yet, this is the story of Adam and Eve in Genesis 3.
As most know, following their disobedience was their overwhelming shame and consequent hiding due to their being naked. They had sinned and they felt it. With that, they instantly began to fear the Lord.

The greatest irony is that in the moment of our salvation, we acknowledged our sinfulness and admitted the incurable flaw within us. We lay down all that we are and speak our need for God, for His redemption and grace. However, once past this point, most Christian's forget that all of the rest of life is returning to the Gospel - the fact that we need God's grace everyday and not just the day we began our relationship with Him.
How many times do Christian's run away from God in their sin rather than going straight to Him?
How many times do Christian's think that they need to fix themselves up, that now it is their responsibility to make up for their constant faults?

Living that mindset causes the inevitable. Perhaps you've heard the common phrase:
"If you feel far from God, who moved?"
The obvious answer is that the person did.

Like Adam and Eve, in the middle of sin and struggle, we hide, we run, we disconnect.
Often times due to believing the lie that perhaps God doesn't truly love us, that He hasn't truly forgiven us fully, or that we need to better ourselves first.

Let's return to the Genesis story and see what happened next.
Adam and Eve had decided to hide, shortly after there was the sound of someone coming. It was Him. God. "Where are you?" he called out.

Did you catch that?
He came looking for them.
He pursued them in the midst of their sin.

He pursues us in the midst of our sin. I've been learning this recently and I know so often I forget, so often we forget. God knows our weaknesses, He understands our life-long battle with sin.

God never left Adam and Eve despite their sin.
And God will never leave you despite your sin, in fact, He is pursuing you. Stop running.

Matthew 18:12-14
“What do you think? If a man owns a hundred sheep, and one of them wanders away, will he not leave the ninety-nine on the hills and go to look for the one that wandered off?  And if he finds it, truly I tell you, he is happier about that one sheep than about the ninety-nine that did not wander off. In the same way your Father in heaven is not willing that any of these little ones should perish."