Living Sacrifice

Thursday, April 29, 2004

Sometimes life is just an emotional rollercoaster. Whew. Especially for a 21-year-old female who has no idea who she really is or what love is or what life is about or what it means to be defined by the Lord and feel comfortable with who she is in Him. Maybe I'll get it some day......... but for now, my brain is pooped out. I'm pooooooped. In more than just a physical sense, I'm tired.

Lead me to streams of refreshing water....for quenching of inner passions and desires, for a cleansing of my soul and renewal of my mind.

Sunday, April 25, 2004

OK, two important things before I go to bed.

1. MY BROTHER IS ENGAGED!!!! :) Congrats to the happy couple. Of course, I think my brother will make a great husband, but I also couldn't have thought of a more suitable Godly woman for my brother than Andrea. I could say a thousand things about her......she's amazing. And God is amazing for bringing Jason and Andrea together. Lots of praise up to my Man! :)

2. Tonite at church we talked about a lot of things, but the thing that stuck in my mind was dealing with our sinful nature and desires. I'm not afraid to be vulnerable, at least not at this moment. I struggle with food issues....body image.....weight issues. My biggest temptation is probably causes me to stumble. We talked tonight about how Joseph (whom I highly admire) ran away from Potiphar to avoid sexual temptation. He just physically ran away. So....I'm asking myself....what does it look like to run away from my temptation? Something I hope to kind of meditate on during the next few days.

Friday, April 23, 2004

This Bible verse came up twice today, so I figured I'd post it. I'm not sure I understand it completely, but I like it:

"There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love." -1 John 4:18

Thursday, April 22, 2004

I think we all have pasts that we run from.....because we don't want to face the hurt, ask questions as to why things were the way they were. A lot of times, we become governed by our past.....haunted by it.....chained to it. Well, this is the past that haunts me:

These aren't the worst of it, and the smiles can be deceiving. Somedays I can shove it down pretty far and seem to forget, but other days, it's right there. It still affects my life....still creates part of me from which I wish to depart. feels bad.'s haunting me. When will I let go of it and let God come in and heal? It's so hard......and it hurts so much.

I hope someday I have a sweet sweet story to tell....but for now, the pain is all too real. I still struggle. And the pain gets deeper every time I look at myself in the mirror. This kind of pain can't be cured with medicine or therapists, friends or boyfriends, family........No one can reach what needs to be reached but my God in a way that only He knows how. But how far do I have to go to find where He is? To go where He wants me to go? I know too much in my head, but nothing in my heart. I'm ready to go...but still standing still. I desire, but can't seem to move.

Wednesday, April 21, 2004

For a brief moment today, I felt like I used my mind, and it felt good. I almost forgot what it felt like to think. Believe it or not, in this realm of education where I am supposed to be engaging my brain cells, I often feel I am the furthest from anything of the sort. As a college student, and even as an adult, my life has become one of routine. The way I answer questions, the way I approach homework and readings, the way I interact with other students, the way I research material… all seems to become routine and meaningless. Even out of the classroom, my life is full of routine. “Do you have any coupons?” and “Please select your method of payment” are now imprinted in my brain thanks to the check out machines at Kroger. I say “enjoy the show” with no thought at all when I work at the theater, finding that I often want to tell people to enjoy the show after they’ve ordered from me at Great Steak. And often times, in response to my good tidings to enjoy the movie, people almost mechanically answer “you too.” I have routine answers to every-day encounters. Even love becomes routine. We throw around the word and forget what it really means to love someone. We use it out of habit and obligation rather than out of sincerity.

I think this idea of routine parallels my spiritual life as well. The way I read the Bible, the way I approach God, the way I live my life…….Through routine, a lot of the meaning gets lost in the carefully woven patterns of my spiritual being. And, on the other end, sin and sinful ways of thinking become routine, too…..and I can forget what it means to “take thoughts captive” because it all becomes so ordinary and familiar. Routine can be a dangerous thing. It causes me to breeze through life and then look back and wonder where it all went…..what did I do today? Where did time go? It all went to my routines, leaving me without a whole lot of meaning in my life. It deadens my heart and dulls my soul…..

I think it’s about time for me to step out and do some personal and spiritual routine-breaking. I'm tired of missing out on what God is offering me......

Tuesday, April 20, 2004

I'm testing this out, since the theme of the week seems to be "pictures of Jason".........

Sunday, April 18, 2004

So much happened this weekend, so I thought I'd give a little recap, because if I try to write details about everything, it will be a book! (details about certain things may come later....). So here it is, starting with Saturday:

-led worship for a beautiful group of Godly women (they were radiant). :)
-Wrote a love letter to God
-Received lots of hugs and love
-Learned that I need to face my pains and hurts in order to be healed, rather than stuffing feelings down by hiding in work, sin, or whatever else I use to cover over my real feelings. I know that facing things and allowing myself to feel will allow me to present those feelings as real before my Lord so He can do something with them.
-Learned a TON about community and fellowship....and how we can grow so much more with the Lord when we are with other people who are seeking Him
-Was able to hear how other people see me outside of the lies of how I see myself
-Received a very significant gift from Vir, and found out my name means "Dwells in Royal Meadows of Grace"
-Drove to New Paris, where I busted out my trashcan-banging moves
-Headed to Minster, Ohio, where I was privilaged to take a night walk on the town with my best friend (besides Jesus, yo! Well....He was there, too. :) )
-Woke up a couple times in the night with a horrible sore throat and ear ache, which was fixed in the morning, however, by the TLC of the Presswood family (watching Little Women must have helped). hehe
-Spent some quality time with Ryan at Lake Loramie State Park....reading the Bible, having water-distance-kicking contests, talking (sometimes about some pretty outrageous, and running into the freezing cold water and swimming long enough to feel numb (about 60 seconds).
-Hugs and goodbyes
-Hugs and hellos at and sisters
-Was shown that I am appreciated as a woman of faith by my brothers in Christ tonight (through a blessing they read as they surrounded us (the women) as we sat and smelled a rose they had given us)
-Began (and and still just beginning) to feel my place as a woman, and more importantly, a woman of God and what that means and looks like
-Got to talk to my older bro for a few minutes (which was awesome)
-Enjoyed the company of "prophetic" Bill (as Virgi introduced him to me a long time ago and I will never be able to get out of my head).....and....he said a few things that I really liked, so I thought I would share those to end my account of the weekend:

Bill pointed out that he thinks God wants us to be real with Him. He used the example of David...and how in the Psalms, David often said he was angry with God or questioned God....but in the midst of that, he also praised God. So it was kind of random....just, "this is how I feel" kind of thing. And God looked upon David with delight because he was being real....

Bill also pointed out that men, in general, are lied to their whole lives about what to expect from women, getting many ideas from parents (but society certainly doesn't help). He said that men need to get in touch with the Holy Spirit of how to release women from the expectations that many hold for women that are not Godly expectations. I guess it was just refreshing to hear him say just be reminded that there are men who are seeking God and desire something else in women besides physical attractiveness, but to also hear in his words somewhat of a confession of a struggle in that area. Because I think until men acknowledge the struggle, they will continue to feed the lies, always having false expectations, and never be satisfied. The world teaches women to be deep. But in a relationship, God desires much more of women, and of men, and what He offers through that is so much more that physical beauty and sexuality. I wish the world could see that.....because it makes it hard for people like me to believe truth about who I am. But I am learning, and this weekend has been such a blessing......

Friday, April 16, 2004

Well, crap. I posed yesterday, but I must have screwed something up....because obviously nothing was posted. *sigh* Oh well.

In a much shorter version, I was just saying how right now I feel really mixed up about a lot of things, and yet I have some kind of underlying hope for the future. I feel lost, yet I feel like I'm going somewhere.....I just don't know where. I was prayed for at Vineyard last weekend, and God said to me that I need to be comfortable with who I am in Him, and He also said that a light is shining and a door is opening......I have no idea what that means. I'm 21 years old, and I feel like I should know who I am by now...that I should understand myself, but I don't. Lord, where do I go from here?

On a ligher note, I got to hang out with Tamara and Keesha last night.....and it was refreshing. I didn't think I was going to enjoy the time at all, because I was tired and just pooped out, and they are always so full of energy....but it actually turned out to be a great time. We made cookies together, and we had lots of laughs and goofiness. And Keesha made the comment, "I just don't see how people can't believe in Jesus." So we got to talk about Christ for a little bit. And I got to see Keesha give hugs to people she knew in the store when we went to get chocolate chips....she just had this shining joy about her. Both of them really made my night. And every time I hang out with them, I learn a little more about their culture, and even pick up a few random words (but I'm not recalling any right now). It's fun....and they are helping me grow. There's just something about children.........something to be desired in ourselves as well.

Let the children come to me.

Thursday, April 15, 2004

There are a lot of things on my mind and on my heart right now.....a lot to carry at once. Things never seem to make sense....kind of mixed up. I never really feel good enough, like I'm never doing enough....not living up to the standards of this world or of God. I feel kind of empty, yet at the same time, I still know that God is there, He's just not revealing Himself to me. I want to blame myself for that...but maybe this is part of what I need to understand. I'm not sure. I'm tired and weary and worn and caving in, but at the same time, I feel a little renewed and a sense of anticipation about what's going on in my life. When I was prayed for at Vineyard, God said I needed to have confidence in who I am in Him. He also said that there is light shining and a door opening........what does that mean? Lord, where do I go? What is my life really about? I feel pain for a lot of things, but I feel hope for those same things. I feel lost, but kind of like I'm going in some direction, just not sure where. I feel a longing, but not really sure what exactly will satisfy it. I'm 21 and ready to feel like I know who I am!!! I feel like I still don't know....I can't even understand myself.

I do, however, see God working in those around me, and it's awesome. And I see Him using them to get to me as well.....I just have to allow them to enter.

Sunday, April 11, 2004

Wanting to comfort, but knowing I can’t.
Wanting to love, but knowing it’s not my time.
Longing to save, but knowing that’s not my place.
Heart crumbling, feeling sick, and wondering “how long” before it passes.
Tears streaming, spirit aching.
Desiring for something I know I can’t have.
Yearning to touch, heal, embrace, but knowing it’s not in my power.
Missing. Hurting. Breaking.


Saturday, April 10, 2004

On the day we celebrate Jesus's death, I:
-Worked on homework for a good part of the morning and early afternoon
-Spent some time at Hueston woods with my Beeble and geetar in the afternoon sunshine by a rushing waterfall
-Met my entire biological family at Glenn and Cathy's, from which we proceeded to Cincinnati in a caravan
-Got to share some quality car-time with Spen and Little Lace, jammin' to Caedmon's Call and Nickel Creek and talkin' about random things, including stuff about Romans 9 and also "contradictions" in the Bible
-Traveled throughout an amazing display of 14 stations filled with artwork, creativity, worship, scriptures, and prayer to bring Jesus's "Passion" alive (I can't even do it justice)
-Traveled all over the middle of Cincinnati in the traffic as Jared directed me on the phone to his friend's apartment where I was to pick him up (don't ever try this)
-Spent quality car-time with Jared, including a conversation about how we make our own rules and set our own limits (according to Jared....we live by no rules except the ones we set for ourselves)
-Stopped at Steak and Shake to say hi to everyone
-Stopped by Papa John's so Jared could say hi to his friend Gary
-Dropped Jared off at his parents' house
-And now I'm back here. Whew...what a trip. It's been a real day for and downs alike. Right now, I still feel kind of lost and empty.....a feeling I seem to have a lot. But tonight's Good Friday artistic display helped remind me of a few things that we all need to be reminded of sometimes: My life is not to be lived for me; I am to take up my cross and follow; God needs to envelop every aspect of me; I am His; I need to be comfortable with who I am in Him; this is what I am living for; He died for me...for my sins....because He loves me; even when I suffer, I need to get past my own pain and see into the faces of others who need Jesus.

I see a need for compassion and humility in my life. A great need.

Thank you, Jesus, for Your humility, compassion, and sacrifice.

"But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed."
-Isaiah 53:5

Sunday, April 04, 2004

Recently been contemplating a Biblical reaction to being attacked.....sounds kind of strange, but really....what would I do if someone attacked me? Tried to beat me? Held a gun to my head? are we, as Christians, supposed to react? The first thing I think of is Christ....who preached love and compassion. Would he fight back? Doesn't seem like it, since he took a lot of abuse. Or Paul, who appears to have done the same thing...take punishment for his faith without retaliation. And, other instances that pop into my head are the several times Jesus ran away to different cities when he knew there were plots to kill him because it was not his time yet. He ran away.......But, then again, Paul and Jesus were both suffering for their faith. What if someone was just plain attacking me?

Wow, so many thoughts rushing in my head right now. One is a story I read in a book by Neil Anderson called "The Bondage Breaker." He told of how he was in a counseling session with a woman much larger than himself when suddenly she came rushing at him and was about to attack him....however, all he did was tell Satan to be bound to the chair in the name of Jesus, and the woman stopped dead in her tracks and walked back to her chair and sat down!! Crazy stuff. Power of faith....and wisdom in knowing how to handle certain situations.
So, if someone is holding a gun to my head, do I pray? Do I punch them? Do I tell them God loves them anyway? Do I pull a gun out in defense? By the way, all this thinking came about last night when I had a conversation with Murle....we were discussing the new gun laws in Ohio, where as of April 8th, it will be legal (with training) to carry a concealed weapon. In my opinion, it's a horrible law, but Murle thinks it's good (and I respect his opinion and could see where he was coming from). But I still don't agree with it...we just kind of agreed to disagree. Right now, if someone pulled a gun on me, I don't feel like the right thing to do would be to whip out a gun and shoot in defense. My argument was this: I'm a Christian and I know my place is waiting for me in I'd rather die and be with my Father than shoot someone who is most likely not a Christian and end any chance they could ever have at being saved (basically, dooming them to Hell). If they shoot me, there's still a chance they could find God's love and redemption....but certainly not if I shoot them. Hmmmm......I don't know. And maybe I won't know unless I am in that situation sometime (which I hope I won't be). Anyone have some ideas on this? Biblical perspectives? Personal opinions? I'd be interested to hear them.