Saturday, August 29, 2015

The Life That is Waiting For You

"We must be willing to get rid of the life we've planned, so as to have the life that is waiting for us."
Joseph Campbell

This quote was the final statement in the concluding episode of season 9 of Criminal Minds. When I heard it, it struck me as exactly where God has been leading me lately. Joseph Campbell was an "American mythologist, writer, and lecturer" according to Wikipedia. Apparently he saw God as a metaphor for a mystery that goes beyond human thought. As much as I disagree with him on that fact, I feel that in the above quote he stumbled across a Biblical truth. 

"A man's heart plans his own way, but the Lord directs his steps."
Proverbs 16:9

I wrote on this verse in two different posts here and here. Joseph Campbell stumbled across a truth but he only knew a part of it. This life that is not waiting for us by chance, it was placed there by the Lord. It is easy for us to make our own plans and have our life mapped out. Then when it doesn't go our way we get upset and we put all of our energy into getting ourselves "back on track". However, often it didn't go the way we planned because the Lord had a better way then we had planned. 

Until we can let go of the life we've planned, we will never see how the life that God put before us is actually a better one.

You might be wondering why you're not where you're "supposed" to be. Why you haven't gotten through school or landed your dream job. It may be that you need to keep fighting for it, or it may be that God is trying to lead you in a different direction and until now you have been too stubborn to see it. The only way you will get the answer to that question is by letting go of your own plans and taking some time in His presence. 

Stop asking God to get you where you want to be and start asking Him to show you where He wants you to be.

Let Him lead you into the life that has been waiting for you all this time. You will realize that it is the life you never knew you always wanted.

Thursday, August 27, 2015

An Opportunity to Impact the World

Looking for a way to impact the world? 

I believe that God has called each one of us to "go into all the world and preach the Gospel" (Mark 16:15) but for some of us that entails going into the world we are currently placed in. There are many people that are called to work a "normal" job and to use that money to support the spreading of God's Kingdom in the world. Paul puts it this way:

"For whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.
How then shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in Him whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher? And how shall they preach unless they are sent?..."
Romans 10:13-15

In other words, in order for a preacher to go out someone needs to send them and in all practicality many people need to send them. 

Today I am calling out my readers to be senders!

My cousin has a huge vision. She just finished a DTS in Australia in which she went to Calcutta, India for her outreach. In this time God gave her a vision to the women and children caught in the sex trafficking ring in Calcutta. She has a vision for a ministry called Not Forgotten in which she wants to show that these seemingly forgotten people of society are not actually forgotten. She wants to show them that not only has she remembered them but God has remembered them and wants to rescue them from their horrible circumstances.

Thankfully the horrors of sex trafficking are getting more attention these days but it is easy to hear about a problem like this and think there is nothing we can do. Here is something you can do!

By partnering with Rebecca you will be directly affecting the lives of hundreds of women and children forgotten by society!

How can we partner with Rebecca? There are three ways you can do that:

The first and easiest way to partner with Rebecca is through prayer. Check out her ministry facebook page Not Forgotten to keep up with her heart and vision. Pray for God to continue to direct and develop her vision and pray for the provision of that vision to manifest for her. Pray also that God will continue to develop her as a leader and as a minister of the Gospel.

Secondly, she needs financial provision to make this vision become a reality. Pray about providing her either with a one-time support or monthly support. You can use her Go Fund Me account to make giving easy. It's easy in these situations to sit back and say "well, I'm going to partner through prayer, someone else can take care of the finances." But I strongly encourage to seek God about whether He wants you to support Rebecca financially. You may not be able to do much but every little bit helps and it gives you a tangible way to be connected to the vision. 

Thirdly, you can spread the word. Maybe you prayed about it and God gave you a number to give or maybe you didn't feel like you were supposed to give financially, that's fine too. Either way you can spread the word. Chances are you know people who are looking for a good cause to partner with. Maybe you even know of people who really have a heart to make a difference against sex trafficking. Let them know. Share the Facebook group Not Forgotten with them. Also feel free to share this post on your Facebook, Google+ or Twitter account.

Get the word out that there is someone with a vision to make a difference, she just needs some partners!

Monday, August 24, 2015

It's Easy to Forget...

"And He took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them, saying, “This is My body which is given for you; do this in remembrance of Me.
Likewise He also took the cup after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in My blood, which is shed for you."
Luke 22:19-20

On Sunday, at church, we took communion. Our church does this every month and there was nothing special about this time. They passed out the little wafers and cups of juice and then the person on stage read this scripture and talked about why we take communion. However, I believe whenever we take communion it is important to do an inner search at where we stand spiritually and take a moment to listen if God wants to speak to you in that time. 

Paul, in his letter to the Corinthians, puts it this way:
"But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of the bread and drink of the cup. For he who eats and drinks in an unworthy manner eats and drinks judgment to himself, not discerning the Lord’s body."
1 Corinthians 11:24-25

So as I examined myself on Sunday the thing that hit me was simply... It's so easy to forget. 

It's so easy to forget what Jesus did for us. It's so easy to forget the cross, to forget the sacrifice, even to forget Him. Jesus talked about this in the parable of the sower:

Now he who received seed among the thorns is he who hears the word, and the cares of this world and the deceitfulness of riches choke the word, and he becomes unfruitful.
Matthew 13:22

It's easy to allow the cares of this world to choke out the Word that has been planted in our hearts. We get caught up in making sure our bills our paid, our families are fed, the stress of our job, etc. and we don't even remember the reason for our life. We get caught up in the cares of life and forget the one who gives us life.  

Remember Jesus' promise in the sermon on the mount:

But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.
Matthew 6:33

"all these things" is referring to the cares of life. It's referring to clothing, food, housing, etc. Jesus promises that if we seek His Kingdom first all of those things will automatically be taken care of. It's time to trust Him. It's time to regain our focus. It's time to remember! 

For more thoughts on how we can seek His Kingdom first check out this post:

Friday, August 14, 2015

The Challenge of Success

“If you have run with the footmen, and they have wearied you, Then how can you 
contend with horses?…”
Jeremiah 12:5

Do you ever feel tired in your walk with God? It's normal to feel tired but at the same time we need to get to the place where we can handle things without getting tired. 

Every level with God comes with a greater challenge but also with greater blessing!

In order for God to allow us to the next level in Him, the next level of our destiny, we need to first learn how to deal with the challenges at the level we are currently at. It is so easy to think, if we can just get past this challenge things will be easy. But the truth is things get harder as you get closer to the goal. It's just like in racing. The further you go the harder it gets. You need to learn how to handle a mile before you can try to run two miles. 

I ran across a quote on LinkedIn that goes along with this:

"Successful people do what unsuccessful people are not willing to do. Don't wish it were easier, wish you were better."
Jim Rohn

So often our prayers are asking God to make our life easier. We ask for him to take away our challenges at work, to cause the disruptive neighbors to move, to increase our income, or to help us win the lottery. However we should be praying that God would make us better. 

Pray that God would improve your ability to be successful at work.

Pray that God would help you relate better and be a light to the difficult people around you.

Pray that God would help you in creating a budget that works and to be disciplined to stick to it.

If we change our prayers then we will find that we will move further in God and in His plan for our life much more quickly. We need to match our prayers with His will and His will is for us to improve ourselves. He's not into quick fixes no matter how much we would like them, He's into long term improvement. 

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Not Forgotten

A Tribute to the Women and Children in the Red Light District of Calcutta, India.

Born into slavery...
But Not Forgotten

Nameless and voiceless...
But Not Forgotten

Hopeless and abused...
But Not Forgotten

Tired and broken…
But Not Forgotten

Thrown out and dismissed…
But Not Forgotten

All seems dark but there is a light,
A lighthouse to lighten the way,
Showing that there is One who cares.
There is One who sees
There is One who cries into the dark
There is One who loves the unloved
One who brings hope to the hopeless and a voice to the voiceless
There is One

You are Not Forgotten
You are Not Forsaken
You are Cared for
You are Loved

There is One who is calling out to you
Lift up your eyes and see the light
He will never forget you

Who is this One?

He is Alpha and Omega, Beginning and the End
He is Savior and Lord, Father and Friend
He is Healer and Provider, He is Love and Peace
He is the only One who can make the pain cease.
He's Author and Finisher, He'll write your book's end
He'll gather the broken pieces and bring your heart to the mend.

Who is this One?
His name is Jesus

You are Not Forgotten!