Be true

I saw this quote on Pinterest today and I immediately thought of being a Christian and what that means. In order to guide my thoughts on this I will list out some important Bible verses below:

1.

Matthew 7:24-25 (MSG)

24-25 “These words I speak to you are not incidental additions to your life, homeowner improvements to your standard of living. They are foundational words, words to build a life on. If you work these words into your life, you are like a smart carpenter who built his house on solid rock. Rain poured down, the river flooded, a tornado hit—but nothing moved that house. It was fixed to the rock.

If you believe in Christ and have become saved according to Romans 10:9 (that if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved; for with the heart a person believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation.) but have not lived it you are being dishonest. Why? Because receiving the Truth is literally giving your dead body the paddles of life. Therefore you should be living desperately for God’s word.

2.

Matthew 5-7 (MSG)

You’re Blessed

1-2 When Jesus saw his ministry drawing huge crowds, he climbed a hillside. Those who were apprenticed to him, the committed, climbed with him. Arriving at a quiet place, he sat down and taught his climbing companions. This is what he said:

“You’re blessed when you’re at the end of your rope. With less of you there is more of God and his rule.

“You’re blessed when you feel you’ve lost what is most dear to you. Only then can you be embraced by the One most dear to you.

“You’re blessed when you’re content with just who you are—no more, no less. That’s the moment you find yourselves proud owners of everything that can’t be bought.

“You’re blessed when you’ve worked up a good appetite for God. He’s food and drink in the best meal you’ll ever eat.

“You’re blessed when you care. At the moment of being ‘care-full,’ you find yourselves cared for.

“You’re blessed when you get your inside world—your mind and heart—put right. Then you can see God in the outside world.

“You’re blessed when you can show people how to cooperate instead of compete or fight. That’s when you discover who you really are, and your place in God’s family.

10 “You’re blessed when your commitment to God provokes persecution. The persecution drives you even deeper into God’s kingdom.

11-12 “Not only that—count yourselves blessed every time people put you down or throw you out or speak lies about you to discredit me. What it means is that the truth is too close for comfort and they are uncomfortable. You can be glad when that happens—give a cheer, even!—for though they don’t like it, I do! And all heaven applauds. And know that you are in good company. My prophets and witnesses have always gotten into this kind of trouble.

All of this. If you are truly living the way God has instructed you, you will be the lucky winner of the above-mentioned “blessings”. Yay persecution! Yay defamation!

3.

Deuteronomy 12:32 (MSG)

32 Diligently do everything I command you, the way I command you: don’t add to it; don’t subtract from it.

In other words you should do your best to follow God’s advice. He knows you, He formed you, and He knows what is best for you. Granted we all fail at various aspects of obedience but we don’t need to add anything to God’s word. It stands true. It doesn’t need a pastor’s book to be added to it and regarded with equal weight. We need to strive to live true, honest lives and we can’t do that by listening to other people or ourselves. We are “desperately wicked” as the Bible says. God is pure and without fault, so we’d be wise to try to follow His lead. No?

4.

Galatians 2:21 (MSG)

19-21 What actually took place is this: I tried keeping rules and working my head off to please God, and it didn’t work. So I quit being a “law man” so that I could be God’s man. Christ’s life showed me how, and enabled me to do it. I identified myself completely with him. Indeed, I have been crucified with Christ. My ego is no longer central. It is no longer important that I appear righteous before you or have your good opinion, and I am no longer driven to impress God. Christ lives in me. The life you see me living is not “mine,” but it is lived by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. I am not going to go back on that.

Is it not clear to you that to go back to that old rule-keeping, peer-pleasing religion would be an abandonment of everything personal and free in my relationship with God? I refuse to do that, to repudiate God’s grace. If a living relationship with God could come by rule-keeping, then Christ died unnecessarily.

This is the perfect ending scripture. We’re not going to ever have it “together” but we should want to try our best to honor God with our lives. We need to be authentic with our questions and struggles but not totally bow down to our feelings and give up trying to live by faith and give ourselves repeatedly over to God. We need to learn grace, show grace, and slowly bit by bit transform into grace.

If you believe in Christ and have become saved according to Romans 10:9 but have not lived it you are being dishonest.

Don’t be dishonest. Be true to what you believe.

Innerancy vs Infallibility

Hey guys,
Last week I started my first night class through my church, Hillsong NYC: “Theology: Faith Foundations”. I’m pretty excited to learn more about the Bible, my faith, and basically how to be a better more well-informed Christian. After we were done with our class we were given some homework. The assignment was to define the terms Innerancy and Infallibility and decide which one we agree with. I thought I would challenge you guys to look these terms up too, and see what you think. I’m going to share my thoughts on the assignment below:
The word inerrant means to be incapable of being wrong and the word infallible takes the same idea a step further to me by adding a relationship aspect to it. By using synonyms to define it like trustworthy, accurate, etc. it seems to me that infallible is much more relational than the cut and dry right/wrong of inerrancy. In a lot of ways they seem like two sides of of the same coin. 
 
I believe the Bible is infallible meaning it is trustworthy. It runs the scope of many different well-respected authors and the accounts of historical events and miracles are similar. It’s not like the Bible argues and conflicts with itself and authors had vastly different accounts of how an event happened. I am comfortable with the relationship of a person to their Bible because it is still speaking to us and teaching us through the Holy Spirit. We aren’t solely relying on our own knowledge or view of what we are reading, we have help from God himself and in that sense it is trustworthy. We aren’t relying on what people said years ago to teach us but we are allowing the Helper/the Holy Spirit to minister to us and reveal knowledge to us through the Bible. I think it is possible that there could be errors in details like, perhaps, geography, but these are not crucial facts to the Christ’s teachings. I recall hearing years ago in Church that there is primary and secondary doctrine. I think this is somewhat the same thing. Meaning, there are things that are fundamental to Christ in the Bible i.e. virgin birth, salvation through Christ alone, the Trinity, Christ’s death and resurrection, etc. These things are incapable of being wrong because it would rip apart our whole belief system if any of these things aren’t true. And then there are other things like what version of the Bible you read or if you believe in being dunked in Baptism or sprinkled. 
 
The Bible even says in Matt 23 that there is a sort of distinction between matters in levels of importance:
 
“23 “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You give a tenth of your spices—mint, dill and cumin. But you have neglected the more important matters of the law—justice, mercy and faithfulness. You should have practiced the latter, without neglecting the former. 24 You blind guides! You strain out a gnat but swallow a camel.”
 
I still find the comparison a little confusing but based on the definition alone I think I lean more towards infallibility. 

Thursday Inspiration 12.11.14

Isaiah 55:8-11 (MSG)

“I don’t think the way you think.
The way you work isn’t the way I work.”
God’s Decree.
“For as the sky soars high above earth,
so the way I work surpasses the way you work,
and the way I think is beyond the way you think.
Just as rain and snow descend from the skies
and don’t go back until they’ve watered the earth,
Doing their work of making things grow and blossom,
producing seed for farmers and food for the hungry,
So will the words that come out of my mouth
not come back empty-handed.
They’ll do the work I sent them to do,
they’ll complete the assignment I gave them.

I’m not much for gardening. Any time I’ve had house plants or flowers they have died. Maybe it’s just bad luck but I’m glad that when God gardens within our lives He doesn’t have my “brown” thumb. I have been saving this verse in my drafts for quite some time and today felt like the right day. I don’t feel like I’m currently being pruned and if I am I am not painfully aware of it as I have been in the past. But I still think His point of view on the situation of pruning and gardening is beautiful and encouraging whether you are going through a season of pruning or flourishing.

God reminds is in Isaiah as usual that our ways are not His ways. Our thoughts are lower than His thoughts. In other words–Father knows best. I absolutely LOVE the imagery and comparison the Message Bible draws when comparing the rain to God’s words. The rain will not stop until the ground is saturated, until it is done being dry and thirsty, until what needs to grow has grown. How cool is that when we think of God’s word? God is the creator–He has spoken all creation into being. He has spoken light into darkness in Genesis and has orchestrated all humanity. This same God wants His words to go out to you and to return with life and they will never return void. Even His words are subject to His will. It’s not like He says things without intention and without thinking. It’s not like He speaks something into being and regrets it. No, God’s words will do the work He sent them to do just like the rain. And what does the rain do? It does “their work of making things grow and blossom, producing seed for farmers and food for the hungry”. When you think about this in a more practical way God’s words will make dead things come to life in your world, in your heart, in your situation. His words want to make things blossom. One of Merriam-Webster’s definitions of blossom is in the intransitive form of the verb meaning:

a :  to come into one’s own :  develop <a blossoming talent>

b :  to become evident

c :  to make an appearance

So God wants His words to become evident, to make an appearance/to come to fruition/to be tangible. His words help the farmers to plant seeds kind of like how Christians plant seeds and lead people to be curious about God, about their own value in the world, and about their neediness for the Savior as well as the needs around them. So God is arming us Christians with seeds and also feeding those who are hungry–who haven’t found Him, He is also sending out His word and His farmers to feed them. To meet them in their need. I love that!

I also really enjoyed reading this quote online:

 Excerpt from Heaven is in this House . Written by Bobbie Houston

Imagine a place so irresistible that people can’t wait to get there. Imagine a place so functional that no one ever wants to leave. Imagine a place where the atmosphere causes humanity to flourish. Imagine a place designed for no other reason than to connect you with a world beyond your wildest dreams. Such a place exists and has existed within the heart of God since before all time. It’s the church.

How beautiful. Don’t you want to be in this place? You don’t want to leave, no one wants to leave. More and more people hear about this place and they can’t wait to get there because they know the atmosphere is so alive and blossoming that you can’t help but flourish and help others to flourish. This is the Church. Not just the building, but the network of Christians. The local and the global church. The family of Christ.

I hope two things for you today:

1. That no matter your season: pruning or flourishing that you know God’s word for you will not return void. If the God who spoke you into being and knows you by name says it–it will come to be no matter the timeline.

2. If you are in a Church that you see it as more than just something you attend on a Sunday or at mid-week gatherings. That you never underestimate the power in community and the support and encouragement that it brings. If you haven’t found a church that you like, that you prioritize that search and get planted somewhere. If God is planting seeds and helping things grow but you have no roots–you’re going to miss the harvest.

I love what God is doing and am exicted for what He has yet to do not only in my life but in yours as well. His words will always result in action. God Bless.

Photo Credit: Found on thornandsparrow.com

Monday Inspiration 12.8.14

Isaiah 50: 1-3 ms(MSG)

  It’s your sins that put you here,
    your wrongs that got you shipped out.
So why didn’t anyone come when I knocked?
    Why didn’t anyone answer when I called?
Do you think I’ve forgotten how to help?
    Am I so decrepit that I can’t deliver?
I’m as powerful as ever,
    and can reverse what I once did:
I can dry up the sea with a word,
    turn river water into desert sand,
And leave the fish stinking in the sun,
    stranded on dry land . . .
Turn all the lights out in the sky
    and pull down the curtain.”

Today I am grateful for the things God has been doing in my life that I didn’t ask Him to do. For example, I am finally happy in my career. I used to literally cry some days having to go to my old job and felt at my wits end most days. Even Sunday nights I would tense up with anxiety knowing I had to go to work the next day. I’m not going to lie to you, there were many days I felt betrayed by God. Why am I here God? Don’t you hear me? Don’t you see me suffering? And yet looking back I wouldn’t change those times because I learned who God was during those times of despair..I grew in deeper connection and reliance on Him. I fostered a desperation that I never knew and only Jesus could fill it. Movies couldn’t fill it, friend’s advice couldn’t fill it, a nap couldn’t fill it, nothing satisfied. And when nothing satisfies, even Godly things, you learn that Jesus is the only thing and you are ravenous for His presence, His provision, His Word.

I finally have a job that I don’t hate going to. God gave it to me. For years I looked for any escape and mourned the times when I was told by employers that I had the job–only to be disappointed and have it not turn out. Until one day, I get a random message on LinkedIn from my current job. They found me. I didn’t find them. God brought it together. He blessed me. He heard my prayers. I had to wait. I had to endure. But His promises never fail. And since then I’ve been full of joy. Content even. But God being who He is, is never content. Since then I’ve gotten two raises, one small, and one larger. I’ve been put on the company phone plan so I do not have to pay my cell phone bill any longer. I’ve been complimented and encouraged by my co-workers. God doesn’t have to do these things. I didn’t pray for these things. But God is the ultimate Father because He wants to provide above and beyond for His children. I look back on times where I felt forgotten or cynical looking at God in my times of need and desperation. And I couldn’t listen to people’s breakthrough’s without wondering if that was just for them, and I couldn’t have the same things. But God is up for a challenge. He welcomes being tested because He will always prove Himself faithful.

The human thing about answered prayers is that you will always find something else that isn’t answered. For example–I have been battling a lonely heart. I really do want to meet my husband and be married and have kids and most of the time I’m met with two responses: “You’re still young” or “As long as you have Jesus you should be content and/or prepared to be single if He never answers your prayer for a husband”. In these times well-meaning Christians can discourage your heart. God cares about what you care about. He made you with the desires of your heart. Why wouldn’t he deliver? Why would you hold back from you? I share this with you because I want to always remind myself who Jesus is. Who the Father is. Who GOD is. He is not one to hold back. Just like in this verse it says:

Do you think I’ve forgotten how to help?
    Am I so decrepit that I can’t deliver?

God is not hard of heart towards you and your situation–whatever it might be. He hasn’t forgotten you. He isn’t so evil that He will not help you. Take a moment to remind your bitter heart or cynical spirit that this is who God is. Do not let circumstances or the whispers of the Devil convince you otherwise. As hard as it might be be deliberate with your thankfulness right now. And each day. Even if there is little evidence in your life of thankfulness be simple in your praises:

-Thank you God for loving me

-Thank you God that you sent Jesus to save me

-Thank you God that you always hear me

-Thank you God that your very breath and hands formed me

-Thank you God that you made Jesus a human so that He would truly know empathy for us because He had a human heart and human struggles

It doesn’t always feel like that helps, but praise eases the pain. It reorients your negative mind. It forces you to remember who God is and what He has done for you–even when you didn’t ask for it.

Photo Credit: Found on bloglovin.com

Wednesday Inspiration 12.3.14

John 17 MSG

20-23 I’m praying not only for them But also for those who will believe in me Because of them and their witness about me.The goal is for all of them to become one heart and mind—Just as you, Father, are in me and I in you, So they might be one heart and mind with us. Then the world might believe that you, in fact, sent me.The same glory you gave me, I gave them, So they’ll be as unified and together as we are—I in them and you in me.Then they’ll be mature in this oneness, And give the godless world evidence That you’ve sent me and loved them In the same way you’ve loved me.

A simple thought for today but I love that Jesus prays for us. He not only listens to our prayers but He also intervenes on our behalf. It’s like He cares so much that He wants to be sure that we get it right. Wow! Haha. He has only the best in mind for us and desires that we have unity with each other as a community of believers and with The Father and Him. He wants to make sure that as a family we are all on the same page. That we all have the same hopes and the same thoughts. That nothing communicated between the Father and Him is too “good” for us. We have direct access to the Creator and that’s still an awesome thought after all these years.

Just think about that—Jesus is so good that He wants us to feel as loved as He is by God Himself and to be apart of that close relationship. He doesn’t want to be God’s favorite. He wants us all to be favored.

I thank God for His goodness and I thank Jesus for His faithfulness in fulfilling God’s restoration for humanity on the cross. I’m thankful that we as humans have the bold audacity through Jesus to have unlimited access to Heaven and God’s love and wisdom for our lives. I pray that no matter what the week might have been like for whoever is reading this, that their spirit is refreshed knowing that Heaven is for us–not against us. That Jesus has made a way for us to feel unmerited favor and love forever and ever and that God so loved the world that He planned it all.

Tuesday Inspiration 12.2.14

Isaiah 54:9-10 (MSG)

For even if the mountains walk away
    and the hills fall to pieces,
My love won’t walk away from you,
    my covenant commitment of peace won’t fall apart.”
    The God who has compassion on you says so.

It’s kind of crazy to think about God’s love. So often you can wonder why God bothers. Either you are discouraged with the state of the world and all the negativity or you are humble enough to look at your own shortcomings and left to wonder and marvel at God’s love. Someone who is perfect. Why would they lower themselves to love us? A partner who can be fickle, who can be unfaithful, who can be hard of heart. What’s in it for God? Right?

I don’t think we can ever understand this. As humans we either have to come to terms with it by accepting it or fail to see the joy and grace of this love and reject it.

Today I am reminded and joyful knowing that no matter what disappointments I’ve faced or people who have walked away or times where I feel utterly alone or unnoticed that the God of it all formed me with His own hands and breathed His very breath into my lungs. Everything around me could fall apart and yet my foundation is unbreakable because it is built on Him. His good promises for me, for humanity, for creation will never fail and will never change. And the most lovely part of this verse in Isaiah is that our God, THE God, has compassion for us. Meaning He is deeply aware of our suffering, of our neediness, of our heartbreak, of our disappointments, of our shame, of our mistakes, and He is fiercely committed to relieving it. This is why He sent Jesus to be the ultimate Finisher. It is Finished. All joy and peace and health and deliverance comes from Him.

Photo Credit: Found on kingcreative.tumblr.com

Tuesday Inspiration 11.25.14

I have never felt so torn in my professional life. Last I wrote here on the blog I was going to take a leap of faith and accept a new job opportunity. However I was taken on an all new journey when I went to my boss to give my two-weeks notice and he matched the offer I was being given from the other company and promised me a promotion.

Here is the update I posted on my personal social media page earlier today:

Ultimately after Sunday’s sermon I have chosen to trust God and not rely on my own “vision” or what the world or my peers might think is the obvious choice. The sermon discussed two blind men in the Bible (Matthew 20) and how they called out to Jesus. They couldn’t see it was Him but they knew it was Him. And Jesus asked them “What do you want me to do for you?” and when they asked for sight He gave it to them. In much of the same way I feel like I am two people. I’m the employee at [Current Company] and the prospective employee of a corporate giant, [Prospective Company]. I don’t know which was better and could weigh the pros of both. I toiled a lot over this. I felt ashamed for signing an offer and possibly changing my mind. I felt worried about leaving a place I love for the unknown. I went back and forth and back and forth. And ultimately decided that I want to be the kind of person that makes the unpopular choice. That goes for the underdog. That goes with my heart and you all know how much I love the people I work with now. But of course part of you feels foolish at the same time for turning down a huge, rich, corporation. I was ready to make my decision and found out the Hiring Manager in HR was out of the office today. Rather than waste any more time, although it was not ideal, I decided to leave him a voice-mail and a corresponding e-mail. I pray that this ends any anxiety now that I’ve made a choice. Here is what I wrote and thank you all for your prayers and listening to my worries about this whole situation:

“I tried to call your office line in the hopes that you had an OOO number to reach you but unfortunately I think you are probably on your way somewhere for Thanksgiving.

I just wanted to keep you up to speed in the decision making process after my conversation with the CEO here at [Current Company]–which as you may recall—was when I called you on Friday. I’ve spent the past four days truly grueling over the conversation with him and my decision to accept the position at [Prospective Company] and feeling torn between the two. To be completely honest as I mentioned on Friday it was a very hard conversation to have with my CEO and I was 100% prepared to give my two-weeks notice and start with [Prospective Company]. The conversation ended up developing into one I was not expecting and we spent over two hours in his office discussing why he needed me to stay and his plans for me to better the company as a whole..

I just want to take the time from the bottom of my heart to thank you so much for offering me the position of [Prospective Position] at [Prospective Company]. It has been an absolute pleasure speaking with you, and [names withheld] and learning more about your company. It was undoubtedly an easy decision at the time to accept such a wonderful opportunity.

Unfortunately, after giving a great deal of thought to this over the weekend, I have decided that it is in my long-term best interest, as well as [Current Company]’s, to turn down your gracious job offer. I have recently decided to remain here at [Current Company] because I believe the CEO’s desire to elevate my position and incorporate me into a lot of the business development and decision-making processes will ultimately be a better fit long-term for my abilities and skill set. It was quite a shocking thing to be offered full-reign of particular developments and projects considering I have been here for such a short time, but rewarding at the same time to know how much faith they have in my work here. I have the utmost respect for their counter-offer and it has caused me to analyze and re-evaluate what kind of employee and leader I hope to be and ultimately their guidance in this new venture here at [Current Company] has confirmed my decision to stay.

I am so sorry for any inconvenience my decision may cause since you may have told other prospective interviewees that the position was filled and thus I was hoping to be able to speak to you this morning over the phone. Words cannot express the gratitude I have for all the time you have invested in speaking with me, answering any questions, and listening to my situation once I met with my CEO on Friday.

I continue to be impressed with all of the new developments and industry recognition [Prospective Company] continually receives and particularly with the great work the team is planning to roll out with [confidential information] through [Current Company]. Ultimately it comes down to the tough decision to turn down your generous offer, for the equally generous offer from [Current Company] in desiring to keep me here.

I sincerely hope you go not feel any ill-will towards this decision I have made and that both our companies can continue to deliver great work through our partnership together.

I wish you all the best in your future endeavors.

It’s scary to post this. It’s scary to think that this company could find my blog. All of these things are fears. All of these things are anxious thoughts. However I’m choosing to be bold. I’m choosing to believe in the wake of my fears that somehow this is still from God. That I can declare over my anxieties that God is bigger than any corporation. That no matter what decision I make or don’t make, God’s plan for my life will be fulfilled. The good news is..I can’t blow this. I can’t ruin my life. I can choose to refresh my spirit in knowing that His hand is still on me.

Have you ever had to make a tough decision? I’d love to hear in the comments. I pray that if you are facing a tough call today that you choose the option that will make you into the person you believe God wants you to be–even if it is an unpopular choice among your peers.

Found on quotediary.me