Foundations will rock in this life. I have witnessed some pretty life-altaring storms this year- friends and mentors going home to be with Jesus, cancer, pain, car accidents, all those storms we never see coming and those friendships we take for granted-just gone…in an instant. One phone call, one diagnosis, one split second decision can rock our worlds in ways we never imagined.
Honestly? I don’t know how the world can cope without Jesus…I know I can’t…
This weekend we talked about Foundations. I know I’ve talked about it before but its so fascinating to me how they work. I was watching Fixer Upper tonight and one of the houses they showed had cracks in its foundation that was going to cost $15,000+ to be fixed…do you think they chose that house? No. Because its foundation was unstable. They couldn’t count on it to hold steady in a storm. And it’s Texas, there will be storms.
And in life, there will be storms. I have met people in the past whose foundations crack and their houses fall when the storm hits. I’d like to think I will always stand firm but then look at Peter…so did he and he denied Jesus 3 times. The passage in Matthew 7 tells us to dig down deep to build a foundation. It doesn’t happen quickly. It takes preparation, prayer, fellowship, community, accountability, and patience. It takes hard work. We never know when the next storm may hit but we can prepare our foundation and make sure that it is secure and ready to weather the storms.
I am thankful for the people in my life who have prayed with me and for me during life’s storms- may I always be willing to share my umbrella, sing in the rain, and cling to my Savior in the midst of each storm.
For those of you within a storm, I’m praying with you and for you. For those of you who aren’t, prepare your foundation-build your house upon the rock so when the storm comes you will stand firm.
I have had a few interesting weeks… we all pray for the things we think we want or need in our lives. In my case I have been strategically praying for the man that God has for me for a good 17 years. There have been times in my life when I thought I met him or a man that possessed most if not all of those qualities and yet here I am 30 years young, still waiting. And sometimes the waiting discourages my heart but today as I type I am overwhelmed by a thankfulness I’ve never experienced before.
I am thankful that God has answered those prayers by saying no to friendships, conversations, or any potential relationships that are contrary to His will to protect my heart. Guarding our hearts is crucial but not always easy. I am constantly taking thoughts captive and striving to think on things that are pure, holy, righteous, and lovely. I don’t want to get hurt – but I also want to listen and obey God’s Word in rejoicing always and praying without ceasing. I can only imagine Paul’s thought process when he wrote those verses in Thessalonians…he must have known how important prayer is to keep us in check… to keep us in fellowship with our Savior.
The struggle is real friends. I know this saying is the cliche phrase these days but it’s true. I struggle and yet I’m thankful that I serve a Savior Who is only a prayer away and gives us joy unspeakable.
and never guaranteed… I got another text today of a friend’s passing from a motorcycle accident yesterday and at first I’ll be honest thought for sure it wasn’t true… it couldn’t be..this was Chris- my brother in Christ, my almost Birthday Buddy (March 11th) a Disney Day going, laughter filled friend who brought me a copy of the Special Edition Beauty & the Beast when it came out just because he knew I liked it so much… and just like that… he’s gone.
How many decisions a day do I make that could cost me my life? Every time I look at my phone in my car, every time I speed, do I take life for granted so much so that I forget how swiftly life can change? I’m still in shock. My brain can’t fully process the pain because it’s still secretly hoping this is a really messed up April Fool’s joke and tomorrow we will wake up and everything will be fine.
Death is hard- we wonder if we would have chosen differently to make that phone call- to plan that movie night- to let them know we cared- but death doesn’t have certain ages- it comes sometimes when we least expect it. I know Chris is in heaven and I’ll see him again- my prayer is for you reading this that if you don’t know Christ as your personal Savior that you would believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and be saved- we’re never promised tomorrow but today we can choose to follow Jesus.
Deuteronomy 30:19~ “I call heaven and earth as witnesses today against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing, therefore choose life, that both you and your descendants may live”
It has been a heavy few weeks and yet in the midst of sorrow there has been the hope of heaven with both of these precious people who have died. I know where I’m going when I die. Do you?
I woke up this morning to a text from my favorite little sister that her mom passed away during the night from schleroderma, a rare another immune disease. While we knew she was in pain I had no idea it was already her time to meet Jesus…she was my other mom, she always gave me a big hug when I saw her and no one in her presence ever doubted her love for them…I have been trying to process the shock of it all today and I have to say, I don’t know how people process pain and grief without Jesus- in the midst of it all Jesus gives us peace and provides His people to be His hands and feet…I wrote a poem as a tribute to Christine:
A mother, a sister, a mentor, a friend
A truster of Jesus right to the end
A fighter, a prayer, an evangelist indeed
A lover of Jesus who let Him take the lead
A fabulous style that brought joy to all
A grateful follower of Jesus who always listened when He called
in tune with her Savior with countless stories to share
Always willing to show Jesus with love to spare
A truth speaker to everyone she met along life’s way
to go see Beauty and the Beast tonight. I have seen a lot of posts from fellow Christians to boycott this movie due to certain moments within the film and it hurts my heart. I don’t typically get involved in conversations like this on Social Media but I felt this is important.
Beauty and the Beast has always been a favorite of mine- it came out when I was 4 years old and I saw it shortly after that- the more I see it the more I understand the picture of redemption, forgiveness, and looking past outward appearances. I remember a moment about 10 years ago and my coworkers were talking about the popular kids and pointing out from our server pool who must have been popular in high school- I asked him what he thought about me and he paused for a moment and asked me if I wanted him to lie to me or tell me the truth- I asked for the truth-and he said that I wasn’t the popular type but that I didn’t seem to care too much-I really am a funny girl and all that…I’ve always loved Belle, not just because she’s French and different (because I’ve always been different), but because she’s intelligent, she loves to read, and she dreams of more than what “they’ve got planned”. My Grandpa Johnson used to say, ” If you want to hear God laugh, go ahead and tell Him your plans-Man proposes, God disposes” Proverbs 16. I always wonder if Belle had any inkling of what her life would be like- its one of those exceedingly abundant moments- there were trials, there were growing pains, and yes there will always be difficulties in life, but there will also be blessings beyond compare. My plans always pale in comparison to the ones God has for me- once I see them I always wonder how I ever doubted Him.
To see all of these posts about a boycott of a movie that is such a beautiful picture of love and sacrifice breaks my heart. When christians do that it reaffirms the thoughts inside countless people around the world and closes their hearts one more time to the gospel. You are missing out. And not just missing out on something that doesn’t make a difference- but you’re missing out on opportunities, you’re missing out on conversations, you’re even missing out on teachable moments.
You’re allowed to have your opinions, we all are- but just think before you get caught up in Social Media wars about the things of this world. Jesus called us to be in the world and not of the world- that means we go and initiate conversations about what Jesus did for us on the cross- and they won’t listen if we keep sharing noise.
Jesus never called us to huddle together- He called us to go into the world and preach the Gospel- He showed us how to love people and the true meaning of sacrifice. There’s a bigger picture here and you’re missing out on it. Don’t.
I’ve been thinking and praying about how to write this for a few weeks…we’ve been studying 1 John at church and learning about how much how much God loves us…
But then I think, I’m no expert on love- I know love is action, I know love should be unconditional, but do I practice perfect love? No. But I happen to be best friends with One who does-who gives me the wisdom and discernment I need to love others and show the World His love.
Imagine for a moment you had a child-just one, that you had waited for and prayed for for many years. Now imagine you had to sacrifice that child in order to save thousands of lives…would you do it? I honestly don’t know if I would, but I know Someone who did, and not to save thousands, but to save billions of lives over the course of time. God did that when He sent His one and Only Son to die for my sins- but He didn’t stay dead. He rose again the 3rd day and conquered death once and for all- so you and I could experience a love so strong it’s a love story for the ages.
My prayer is this, no matter how you celebrate Valentine’s Day, whether you’re happily married, in a relationship, or stylishly single, know that there is a love story with your name on it tonight- He has captured my heart and He longs to capture yours too. Just say yes!
I should probably preface this post with the disclaimer that I have not read the book “Great Expectations”… but the title seemed appropriate after the incredible week I have had!
I had the chance to serve as a Youth leader at Passion 2017 last week and it was chalked full of speakers who love Jesus and and brought the Word in a powerful way and music that empowered such a sweet time of worship – all about the cross and Jesus!
I had great expectations for this conference and all that it would entail and to be perfectly honest God just blew them out of the water. It was exhilarating, exhausting, and oh so exciting to see 55,000 18-25 year olds who care so much about what God can do and will do when His people pray!
Beth Moore talked about our purpose and how God takes our dreams and does extraordinary things with them. Sometimes I think my own dreams and plans are quite good…but surrendering those dreams at the foot of the cross allows God to take them to all new heights! I’ve never really studied the context of Ephesians 3 and how it explains the height and depth of God’s love for us right before it says “Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all we could ask or think”… Why??? Because He loves us more than we can possibly comprehend! I guess I always thought of those as two separate sections but He wants to do exceedingly abundantly above what we ask or even think of asking for because He loves us higher, deeper, wider, and steeper than we ever thought possible.
I should probably be honest with you all and let you know that I went to Passion with a slight hope (maybe more than slight) and expectation of meeting “my future husband” “the man God has for me” however you want to describe him… and yet I was convicted that my plans-my “great expectations” pale in comparison to that of my Savior who loves me so abundantly. I keep praying for a love story of my own but the reality is that I am already a part of the greatest love story there ever was! Someone said that to me earlier this year and I’m pretty sure I rolled my eyes…not because I don’t believe it to be true but because no matter how content I am with where God has me it is still the desire of my heart to meet a man who is completely sold out for Jesus, has a firm foundation in Him and has a heart for people. I can dream all I want but as long as God is writing my story I am confident it will be better than anything I could ever dream up. Stay tuned friends, grab you popcorn, pull up a seat and be prepared for God-sized dreams to unfold!