Wednesday, October 27, 2010


After hours spent tossing and turning, trying to fall asleep last night, I stopped fighting it and spent time reflecting on this thought - Our whole journey in faith is one giant transformation. Check it: And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit. - 2 Corinthians 3:18 We are being transformed. From one degree of glory to the next. So, when the veil is initially removed and our eyes are opened to the wonders and works of God, this is one degree of glory. When we have a desire to seek God through anything, this is one degree of glory. When we are learning what it means to leave our old ways behind and follow after the Lord, another still. As we walk through trials and tribulations, in and out of season, we experience further transformation as we learn to cling to God and turn to Him no matter what lies before us. So often, we do not turn to the Lord for guidance or refuse to let Him enter in to certain areas of our lives. Still, in these moments we are being transformed. When the Bible calls us to "be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect" (Matthew 5:48) this is the final degree of our transformation. There is no way to attain this degree of perfection on our own - it requires sanctification with our Lord, so that He may lead us into perfection. While this final degree may not happen until He returns, we are called to work towards perfection in Him. Sometimes, we may take the matter of our own transformations into our own hands. This is when we fail to acknowledge the Lord as THE crucial part in our transformations, begin to think we can do it without Him. When we take transformation into our own hands, we often adopt the minds of the Pharisees and find refuge in our religious ways and preconceived ideas of who the Lord is. We begin to revel in our self righteousness and lose sight of how much we need the Lord. If and when we arrive at this point, we are at the mercy of the Lord and experience transformation as He tears down our preconceived notions and throws them out the window, reminding us of His power and how truly weak we are without Him.

Transformation. I have experienced more transformation in this past year and a half than in my entire life combined. Thanks be to God for the trials, the people, the situations, the losses He placed in my life so that the transformation process could continue. Truly. Though i am far from perfect, He has become this fiery passion within me - greater than life itself. And this is something i crave to share, as others enter into or continue to walk through their own transformation processes. As we draw close to God, He draws close to us. It takes us stepping out first, opening ourselves up to the One who brings transformation.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Forgiveness and Reconciliation

For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you -Matthew 6:14

Is it just me, or is forgiveness is one of the hardest things we are called to do? ESPECIALLY when we have been cut deeply, hurt over and over again and/or are the ones that have been wronged. While God has forgiven us for our sinful nature - cancelled all of our sins through the death of Jesus, the spotless lamb and most perfect sacrifice - He calls us to forgive just the same. Forgiveness is a choice: at times, the person who has wronged you isn't going to ask you to forgive them. The act of forgiving, though difficult, brings so much freedom. When you release the anger, hard feelings, grudges, etc. toward that person and place it in the Lord's hands, freedom comes to both parties. Forgiving someone doesn't always mean letting them back in to your life in the same magnitude as they were before, or even at all. But it does mean that any feelings of resentment or anger have been released, through the act of forgiveness. In forgiving someone, you may be left with anger, frustration, and/or hurt, and that is okay. Sometimes, this is part of releasing and the healing process. But in the act of forgiving, you are no longer ruled by anger towards that person, your life is no longer run by your frustrations and hard feelings for that person. Basically, in forgiving someone you release them to the Lord and drop any charges you have against them.

As you may know (and/or have read), this past year and a half of my life has been full of many changes, painful pruning and new direction. About a year ago, i feel into a period of grieving, darkness and loss. Now, standing on the other side of that darkness in the marvelous light, and being able to be a witness to the Lord's faithfulness in that time, I have deeper understanding of that season. The Lord is my rock, my refuge, my savior, my beloved, my healer...and His mercies and faithfulness never cease. My relationship with Him is my first priority and i can now claim Him as my everything. It took walking through that season of darkness and loss to come to this place of intimate relationship with my Savior and King. How does this relate to forgiveness? During this time, God allowed the two people i was closest to to fade out of my life. One seemed to be ripped out of my life while the other sort of faded away as I was consumed by darkness and she felt abandoned and hurt.

While the two relationships and the aftermath have looked entirely different, it took forgiving them both and waiting for their forgiveness for reconciliation to come. And that reconciliation has happened with BOTH relationships in the past two weeks. God is faithful, right? In one relationship, I had forgiven him straight from the get go. But it took releasing him, waiting on the Lord and allowing healing and forgiveness to come on God's timing. Yes, i had fought and fought and carried a burden for the longest time, feeling like i needed to show and guide this brother in Christ, out of the love i had for him, into that place where he was able to forgive and receive healing. But the BIGGEST thing i've come to realize, in this relationship, is the humbling fact that the Lord doesn't need me to work. AMEN. And in forgiving and waiting for forgiveness in return, I have learned that forgiveness and reconciliation often requires WAITING on the Lord and trusting Him through it all.
The second relationship, the one that sort of faded away, was different. In this situation, my dear friend felt wronged and abandoned as i was enveloped in my season of darkness. This, too, took WAITING on the Lord. I know i had hurt her, but i couldn't jump back into the relationship for fear of hurting her again. In this situation, it took time for HER to forgive me and feel ready to put herself out there again. In this situation, I was called to step out and initiate something. And let me tell you, before meeting with this dear friend last night (for the first time in literally 6 months or more) i was sweating profusely...and kind of felt like i was going on a first date ;).

During this past week, in spending time with these two people that had once been key people in my life, I've realized that while the three of our lives have changed - we've grown, we've matured, journeyed further into our careers and passions (or different ones), experienced changes in our family, life, etc. - the relationship and deep care i have for both of these people still remain. With my dear friend, it felt like she and i picked up where we had left off - which was SUCH a blessing. And so, first and foremost, thanks be to GOD for bringing forgiveness and reconciliation in His time.

My prayerful advice to all of you, brothers and sisters, is that you do NOT delay in forgiving those that have hurt you or ASKING for forgiveness. Forgive them, in this very moment. Do not hesitate, do not protest, just forgive. It says in Matthew 5:23, "if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there before the altar and go. FIRST be reconciled to your brother..." Do not delay in forgiving, for it will bring you true freedom. Then, the next step involves WAITING on the Lord. Be patient and wait for Him to act, as the Psalms so often remind us. Give it to God and let Him handle it. For surely, His ways are mightier than ours, His plans are more beautiful.

Friends, find true freedom in forgiveness. I pray we crave reconciliation with each other and allow our relationships to mirror the astounding act of forgiveness that God revealed in sending us His only son.

Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.-Colossians 3:13

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

You Are My Passion

Check out the lyrics and the song below: You are My Passion by Jesus Culture :)

"I'm alive to bring glory to YOU, King
God of VICTORY, You are my PASSION.
It's in the way You are, You don't change at all,
Great and humble God, You are my PASSION.

My strength in life is I am YOURS
My soul delights, because i am YOURS...

The Lord gives us victory. Freedom. He fuels our passions - shapes them, uses them for HIS glory!!!! Find hope in that, dear friends!

"Your WILL on EARTH is ALL i'm living for

Jesus, I glorify; Jesus, my love is YOURS
You are my heart's desire; I live to KNOW YOU more

Lord, we show our trust in you by obeying your laws; our heart’s desire is to glorify your name. -Isaiah 26:8

"Light that breaks the darkness, showing what true love is
Always full of GOODNESS, You are my passion.
You never do me wrong, the meekest Man, but strong
The most perfect song, You are my passion

The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness can NEVER extinguish it - John 1:5

God is good. He is good, He is good, He is good. May you find strength in Him, passion FOR Him.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Psalms :)

My prayer, my worship, my plea, my thanksgiving to the Lord, through a conglomeration of some Psalms

Come and listen, all you who fear God, and i will tell you what he did for me (66:16):

Your unfailing love is better than life itself; how i praise you! (63:3) O Lord, your UNFAILING LOVE fills the earth;teach me your decrees (119:64) Let your steadfast love comfort me according to your promise to your servant. Let your mercy come to me, that i may live; for your law is my delight (119:76-77) Let your unfailing love rest upon us (33:22) Take DELIGHT in the Lord, and He will give you your hearts desire (37:4) Open my eyes to see the wonderful truths in your instructions (119:18) Turn my eyes from looking at worthless things; and give me LIFE in your ways (119:37) Your word is a lamp to guide my feet and a light for my path (119:105) You are good and do only good; teach me your decrees(119:68) Your laws are my treasure; they are my heart's delight (119:111)My suffering was good to me, for it taught me to pay attention to your decrees (119:71) Weeping may last through the night, but joy comes with the morning (30:5) The Lord will withhold no good thing from those who do what is right (84:11) Let all that i am wait quietly before God, for my HOPE is in him (62:5) Be still and know that HE IS GOD (46:10) Be still in the presence of the Lord, and wait PATIENTLY for him to act (37:7)Keep steady my steps according to your promise, and let no iniquity get dominion over me (119:133) He set my feet on solid ground and steadied me as i walked along (40:2) The Lord says, "I will guide you along the best pathway for your life" (32:8) You are my hiding place and my shield; I HOPE in your word (119:114) How precious are your thoughts about me, O God. They cannot be numbered! (139:17) Seek His presence continually (105:4) You have turned my mourning into JOYFUL dancing. You have taken away my clothes of mourning and clothed me with JOY (30:11) My soul makes its boast in the Lord (34:2) Let all that i am praise the Lord; with my whole heart, I will praise is holy name (103:1)

Monday, October 18, 2010

The Tunnel

This image and analogy came to mind yesterday, as I headed up to St Joseph to visit my cousin and some friends. As i drove through this tunnel, I realized the past year and a half can be summed up by this momentary time in the tunnel.

As I approached the figurative tunnel over a year ago, I refrained and fought with all my strength to avoid going through it. After losing my strength to fight, I reluctantly stepped into the darkness. I spent the first steps into the tunnel looking backwards, focusing on the light evading me. Darkness enveloped me, and i began to walk through the tunnel. I wasn't sure how long the tunnel spanned, so i continued to walk. The light behind me was a mere dot on the horizon. I craved to see the light, but kept walking through the tunnel. Soon, my eyes adjusted to the darkness and I accepted the very journey i ventured on. Before I knew it, light flooded into the dark tunnel and i had reached the end. Though the light was the same light on the previous side, it seemed much brighter, to eyes that had adjusted to the darkness. I was in awe of the Light, so taken by it's majesty and magnitude... i wanted to follow after it more than ever.


When God allows us to walk through the darkness, may we never doubt His plans for us. Though we may not see beyond the darkness, He can. In times of Light and joy and fruitfulness, may we stand in awe of Him. In times of darkness, despair, loss, and the unknown, may we accept the 'tunnel' we're in and be encouraged, knowing the light will be SO much brighter on the other side :)

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Wordless Thanksgiving III

Find rest, O my soul, in God ALONE;
my HOPE comes from Him.
-Psalm 62:5