Thursday, September 23, 2004

Sweet Surrender

this week i finally gave up and surrendered. i've been battling with God for many months now. he's been showing me all the areas of my life that are affected by holding on to my past. the shackles and chains from my childhood have hindered every aspect of my life. nothing is safe. no matter how i have tried to shove it down and pretend like it doesn't matter it does. i haven't had the faith to trust that God would carry me through the pain of working through the past. i'm tired of wrestling and it's either have faith that God will carry me through yet another adventure or live a scared and mediocre life. God has so much planned for my life. I am confident of this but he can't begin to truly be unleashed in my life till i let go of my past and let of of the lies and finally embrace the truth. it will be a long and scary road but in some ways i already see how God is giving me the strength to do things I didn't think were possible. giving me the strenght to finally be transparent. giving me the strength to ask for help. giving me the strength to even entertain the thought of crying in front of others and being vulnerable.

i must constanly remind myself that in all of this i have a choice. am i going to rejoice in the fact that God has finally taken me to a place where i can finally be free and begin to walk on the path to becoming the person he created me to be or am i going to sulk and feel sorry for myself. i'm not niave i know i have a long and hard journey ahead of me but will i find joy in my sorrow? will i rejoice in the fact that my shackles are being cut free? i hope so. this is the only hope that i have. that at the end of this journey i will be a new person and God will sustain and carry me threw even the hardest of times. am i really going to have the courage to ask for help? i hope so.

Hebrews

this will be interesting to look back on later

HEBREWS 5:

Write at least 10 and no more than 20 repeated words, phrases, or key words from the passage.
-high priest -subject to the same weaknesses
-chosen by God -obey
-sacrifices for sin -do what is right
-obedience from the things he suffered -milk (immature)
-source of eternal salvation -solid food (mature)
-teach others

The W questions: Who? What? Why? Where?
Who: believers and immature Christians
What: Christ is the high priest and we must obey him and become mature Christians so we can teach others
Why: God promised us his place of rest and we can enter because of Jesus

Then group the passage into logical sections and write a summarizing sentence for that section.
Vs1-4 a high priest is someone chosen by God who is the mediator for God and his people
Vs5-6 God chose Jesus to be the ultimate high priest in the line of Melchizedek
Vs7-8 Jesus included God in every aspect of his life and through his experiences on earth and through his suffering he learned true obedience to God.
Vs 9-10 Because of Jesus total obedience to God he became our high Priest who offers those who believe salvation through his death on the cross.
Vs11-14 God calls us to constantly grow as a Christian so that he can use us to teach others and to carry out his will. When we are content to stay where we are we stumble around and make bad decisions which kills our ability to be a witness to Christ.

After looking at the summaries of your sections write one sentence that describes the aim or purpose of the chapter being written.
Jesus was called by God to be our High Priest who offers us eternal salvation. God doesn’t just call us to stay as we were when we first believed but to constantly grow in our walk so that we can be affective tools in spreading his kingdom.


How does this passage apply to me today?
It’s important to make sure that I am constantly striving to grow in my walk with Christ. I can only help others to grow where I have been able to grow myself. If I stay stagnant in my walk then those that I teach and lead will also stay stagnant.
I particularly like the verse “he learned obedience from the things he suffered.” It’s so easy to complain and feel sorry for myself when things are difficult but it’s in those difficult times and during times when I suffer that God is trying to grow me the most. It’s easy to be obedient to God when things are easy but it’s more difficult to trust when things are hard. I should celebrate when times are tough because those are the times when Christ is working the most in me to grow me to be more like him.

What is this passage teaching? What is the big idea? What spiritual principles are revealed?
This passage teaches us that we should always be working on growing our relationship with Christ. When we grow stagnant it affects our ability to minister to others. We must learn to suffer as Christ suffered and grow in our obedience to Christ. This passage reveals the importance of discipleship.

What rebuke is in this passage? What do I need to confess to God? How do I need to repent?
This passage reveals that we shouldn’t rely on others for our spiritual growth. Instead, we should always be striving to grow our walk with Christ even when times are hard. I’ve allowed myself to grow stagnant and haven’t been obedient to God. Instead of wrestled and fought with him even though he has been patient and persistent with me.

What is my personal correction? What do I need to right now to apply this to my life?
My correction is to finally be obedient to God and trust him in my growth and in my walk. I need to take the plunge and jump off that huge cliff. I need to learn to ask for help and truly be transparent and authentic.

How does this passage train me to be righteous? What life habits do I need to develop? How do I need to continually apply these truths?
This passage trains me to be righteous by reminding me that there is true joy in suffering. In times of suffering God refines us and grows us to be more like him. He teaches how to be obedient and how to rely on him. I need to remember that I am the one who chooses how my attitude is going to be. I am the one who chooses if there will be joy in my life our not. I am the one who chooses what my outlook on life is going to be. In my pain and in my sorrow am I truly going to believe that God offers me freedom from pain and offers me joy in times of sorrow? I need to constantly ask myself is this the choice I really want to make?

Friday, September 17, 2004

letting go

it seems that no matter how hard i try i still keep struggling with the same old junk. i don't think i'm good enough. i'm afraid to screw up. i'm still holding on to the lie of who i am. i'm not who my mom and step dad said i am. i'm not worthless because my father didin't want to have a relationship with me. now matter what strides and accomplishments i seem to make i can't shake this anxiety that i'm doing a horrible job and i'm letting God down. i know that's not the truth and even if i was sucking horribly who cares but i can't let it go. i can't and wont be able to till i finally brave the troubling waters of my past. i keep having dreams about my step dad and of my struggle with not wanting to remember things. when will i have the courage to let go? i've been trying to look for some kind of loophole. someway out of dealing with my gross childhood but i can find absolutely none. i don't think God is going to help relieve any of this until i finally deal with all of it. it makes perfect sense. God wants me to grow, i want to grow so this is the only way. but what do i do?

i struggle with wanting to be transparent and yet struggle to appear so tough and all together. i'm neither. if i really want to be transparent then i would be okay with peopole seeing me cry. what's the big deal anyway? why is it so hard for me to let go and cry? why is it necessary. as if salty discharge from my eyeballs is going to make it all better. BLAH! BLAH! BLAH! it's time to forgive and to really mean it.

Friday, September 03, 2004

Refuse To Be Afraid

obviously I have little faith....

As wars continue around the world, we must remember our true battles are not against flesh and blood - not against terrorism or weapons of mass destruction, nor against an oppressive boss or unappreciative spouse - but "against the spiritual forces of evil in the Heavenly realms" (Ephesians 6:12). The real battles occur in a world which is real, but unseen; and yet, the battles we see and hear everywhere we turn are the ones which tend to consume our thoughts and cause us to fear.As Jesus was teaching and healing around the Sea of Galilee, large crowds of people began to come out to Him. One evening, Jesus decided to leave the crowds behind and sail with His disciples to the other side of the sea. As Jesus slept in the back of the boat, a terrible storm soon developed. The disciples woke Jesus and cried out in fear, "Teacher, don't You care if we drown?" (Mark 4:38).Mark 4:39-40"He got up, rebuked the wind and said to the waves, 'Quiet! Be still!' Then the wind died down and it was completely calm. He said to His disciples, 'Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?'"The disciples had seen Jesus cure a man with leprosy, heal a paralytic, and teach with the authority of Almighty God. They had witnessed miracle after miracle but now thought Jesus didn't care. When Jesus rose, He rebuked the storm as well as His disciples. These men who were chosen to walk with the Son of God were now accused by Jesus of being afraid and living without faith.This same event occurs in our life today. Jesus climbs into our boat and directs us to a distant shore. We've heard about His miracles so we joyfully cast off, expecting a smooth sail. Suddenly, the wind begins to blow and the waves turn white - this is probably not the voyage we had in mind. No longer able to see the shore, we begin to wonder why we ever set sail. Did we really hear His voice? And in our desperation we pathetically cry out, "Don't You care if we drown?"Is our faith really so weak?In the midst of our fears, we must remember: He is the same God who created the Heavens and the earth, sent His Son to die for our sins, and gave us His Spirit "with whom we were sealed for the day of redemption" (Ephesians 4:30). He is the same God who chose us to walk by His side!Jesus is still committed to our journey, and still in complete control. In His perfect timing He will calm ALL the wind and waves - ALL the roaring seas. When doubts begin to surface, we must draw even closer, hold on even tighter, and trust Him even deeper. No matter what battles we see with our eyes and hear with our ears, we must be determined to live each moment by faith and refuse to be afraid.
Steve Troxel God's Daily Word Ministries

It seems like all I have been lately is afraid. Afraid that I messed up and taking the job at Gateway was a bad idea. I didn't even realize it till the other night how upset at God I was. Les would want to pray and I had such a horrible attitude about it. Then it finalyl came out I was mad at God. Mad that he gave me a job that I feel so inadequate at. Mad that he would take me from this job to go to Portland. I've been itching to go to Portland from the moment I heard about the homeless teens on the streets that they call Rats. I want to do missionary work at somehow Les came across a church that is a missionary church in Portland no less. It's exciting it's scary, it's really sad. This might not be the best place for me but it's comfortable. I obviously don't like being uncomfortable or else I wouldn't be whining so much about the job that I love. The bottom line is that I feel like an utter and complete failure. How do I get rid of that feeling? How do I learn to trust God and if he wants me to fail then it's okay to fail? All I want to do is be the person who God created me to be. I think my motivation is wrong though. I want to be pleasing to God and not make mistakes. God please make my motivation be about you and not about having to be perfect.