Monday, July 24, 2006

Don't be the "test drive"

I was reading a blog today, and it was sooo good, that I had to share it. This particular article was actually more geared to single Christian men, but the concept can go both ways. The author, Michael Lawrence, wrote a blog entitled, "Stop Test-Driving Your Girlfriend". The article starts of with the question "How do I know if she is the right one". I won't retype the article, but will paste the link below so that you can read it yourself. But I can't help but think that so many of the principles in this article can be tweaked just a bit and apply to us girls!

One statement that comes out loud and clear is to NOT look for the perfect man, as you will NEVER be the perfect woman! Be praying for a man who will spur you to become more and more Christlike. This means, if a few years down the road (since I'm speaking to my high school small group, and we all know I' m not encourging them to "get involved" right now), a young man wants to pursue a relationship with you, and you find that once in this relationship you are spending less time with God, less time with your family and godly friends, less time at church building relationships and being fed, THEN YOU ARE WITH THE WRONG MAN!

I think the other key message is in the statement, "Stop looking for the right man, and start becoming the right woman!". Too many times, myself included, we are focused on looking for that right man. I cannot tell you how many times well-meaning people encourage me to find a church that has more single men..."honey you'll never find one, if your not around them". Well..I think I'm in exactly the right church...b/c its not about being AROUND single men, it's about being UNDER Godly teaching! And I am so thankful that I am at the church that I am!

Here is the rest of the article...I find it very interesting and encouraging...

Sunday, July 16, 2006

Because I always said I would be honest with you...

Girls--I'm having a rough time tonight. I'm not sure why...I had a great day at church, one of my old friends from highschool was there with her husband and kids, and giving an update on their mission work. God has blessed me immensely...I have no wants. I'm floored He still blesses me, after the numerous times I have just walked away from Him or dissapointed him..but I know He blesses me ultimately so that I can glorify Him...and I never get what I deserve :)

But...its still tough...and Satan is just alive and working right now and putting so many doubts into my head. so...if you happen to be on and see this, I would so appreciate prayers. I don't really want to give too many details b/c this is a public blog :)...but most of it is my own selfishness and wanting to be in a different stage of life than God has me in right now...not being truly content to serve Him and love life right where He has me.

So...I wanted to be honest and is not always easy...and I certainly don't always see the bright side of life...but I do see God..and I know that while His way is not always easy or fun, it is always the I'm going to go dig into His Word and try to switch the focus off of me, and back onto him :)

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Why do we think we belong?

Philippians 3:19-20 "Their Destiny is destruction, their god is their stomach, and their glory is their shame. Their mind is on earthly things. But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ."
This passage was in what I read this morning (PRAISE THE LORD, I awoke with the first beep of my alarm this morning, and got up and spent time with God and his day since then has been a mess, so I am so thankful I started it off right!!!). I was out with 2 friends last night, and we were talking about all kinds of subjects--weight, guys, life in general. This morning as I was reading this passage, I got smacked again (I'm waiting for the permanent marks...I've been getting smacked so much recently you would think I would learn!! It may account for the memory loss tho?) Not that our conversation last night was bad...but it was centered all around EARTHLY THINGS. And we knew it. One of us, normally Amber, would center us back to God...and then we woudl start a new topic. Typical girl talk...only we are NOT TYPICAL GIRLS!!!
MY CITIZENSHIP IS IN HEAVEN. Why am I still living like I belong here? Why do I still live and get satisfication from what the world offers? I DON'T BELONG HERE. When you meet someone from another country--someone who has citizenship from another place--you know IMMEDIATELY. If they can speak english, it is normally with a very cute accent, and they normally do not have the "slang" down. They have different customs...they dress differently...they eat different things...and they normally have different values.
We spend so much of our Christian lives trying to "blend in" with the world. We are saddened when we don't fit in, we get mad when we can't wear certain clothing trends and styles, we fight with ourselves to watch every movie and tv show that comes down the pike saying, "it may not be a godly show, but it's not that bad".
Girls--if we are supposed to live as ALIENS, why do we fight so hard to fit in? Once again, I include myself in this question? There is certainly the other extreme, where people fight so hard not to have ANYTHING of this world, that their oddity almost becomes what they are fighting for...NOT Godliness. Girls--everything we do, we need to do as citizens of heaven--not earth. What do I think this means? Well--here are a few suggestions.
Clothing -- it can be stylish, it can be hip--but if it is immodest or immoral it has NO business being in our closets. So the world says the style right now is to show off our stomachs..that is sexy (well for me its just scary and no one wants to see that...but for some ofyou, it would be very cute and appealing I"m sure). But we don't answer to the world, b/c we are citizens of heaven. Anything that we put on our bodies--dress outfits, shorts, t-shirts, bathing suits--anything should be put on as if when we walked out that door God would be the first person we see...would he approve? And we can't dress one way for church people, and another way for friends/school. WE ARE ALIENS OF THIS WORLD. WE are not supposed to fit in.
Entertainment/Music -- the world is full of sin. Sin is glorified in everything--don't listen to your parents, sleep with whoever you want, eat/drink whatever you want, live in a way that pleases YOU. We know that, right? So why does it shock us when it is plastered all over TV and the movies. WE need to be careful of what we put into our brains. It DOES MATTER. When a movie is not glorifying to the Lord, but rather celebrates sin, we need to NOT watch it. When TV shows applaud sex outside of marriage, homosexuality, teens talking back to their parents, underage drinking and drunkeness, we need to NOT watch it. girls--please take it from me. You can say all you want that you will never do it--the more you allow it into your head (ie. watch it), the easier it is to fall in to it. TRUST ME!!!
Boys -- the world tells us that we are equals. You like someone--go after them. If you don't the boy may never know. What are our critieria? Cute, dress nice, funny, athletic, smart. GIRLS WE ARE NOT OF THIS WORLD. You like someone--great...pray about that and give it to God. Continue to let God work in your heart. Don't constantly IM him, text him, call him, make yourself available. Don't even play sly and try to "create situations" so that you can be with him. Doing those things may "get you" your man--congrats--it will NOT end well trust me :) What is our criteria? Does he love God more than anything else? That is the morst important fact. His looks will change, he may not dress well in 5 years, he will definitely lose some athletic ability, and on and on. Girls--you may think what is the harm now...I'm a teenager, I"m not looking to get married. Trust me when I tell you the decisions that you make now WILL affect your future. My relationships in high school got me started every so slowly on a bad fact I finally set things straight with one of my high school boyfriends about 3 months ago--I wish I had done things differently when I was 17/18. While that path curtailed a bit during college, when I got out of college, I started to go down all kinds of paths that led to destruction. In so many ways, I am still reaping the consequences of my poor decisions. And I didn't date ONE guy that did not attend church with me. START practicing Godly living now...WE ARE NOT OF THIS WORLD!!
Parents/Authorities -- The new face of parenting in the world is to be buddies...moms and daughters going shopping, dads and sons hanging out at the gym. Don't get me wrong, these are not bad things. But God gave you parents to TRAIN YOU. So if your parents are living as Aliens of this world, DO NOT EXPECT THEM TO BE LIKE ANYTHING YOU SEE ON TV OR IN YOUR SCHOOLS. The best way for your parents to love you, may be to whip your butt into shape. God is my heavenly father--and let me tell you--sometimes I take a beating...b/c I DESERVE IT!!! But I'm so thankful that He loves me so much that he is willing to train me in this way. Ladies--be thankful when your parents put guidelines and restrictions on you. If your not thankful right when it happens, go back later and thank them. THIS IS TRUE LOVE. Be thankful that your small group leaders are willing to give you the tough answers--even if that means they will NOT be your favorite person. THIS IS TRUE LOVE. Please know that it is hard sometimes to be a leader--we truly like to have people like us...but we love God more and we love you more--so we are willing to be hated if it means doing what is GODLY. WE ARE NOT OF THIS WORLD
Girls--I could go on and on..and I am working right along with you on this one....We need to help remind each other that we should NOT be comfortable in this world. WE should NOT blend. We have to keep learning to make the Bible our final authority, not fashion, tv, boys, friends or family.
WE ARE NOT OF THIS WORLD!!! Wow...I will be praying today that God will continue to highlight things in my life that need to change as a result of these verses today! Anyone with me?

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

What is the direction of my heart?

"It is the heart's direction that is always the central issue. God knows what the heart is set on. We can deceive others. We can easily deceive ourselves. The humble and honest heart will always be shown the truth" . Elizabeth Elliott

What is my heart set on? Ladies--everytime I have a "bummer" day I can tell you without a shadow of a doubt--it is a heart issue. My heart is going in the WRONG direction. Whether its that I want a different body, or a different job, or whether I'm scared again about being single for the rest of my heart's direction is so focused on ME ME ME...and I end up struggling until my heart becomes humble and wants to hear the truth of God's Word.

I'm not sure how many of my girls in my small group are even reading this blog...but once again, I want to make sure that I am honest and not just deceiving you. While I am so thankful that I am following after God 100%, I have days that it is very hard to be excited about that. There are days when I wonder what I am "missing", b/c I am following the Lord's plan instead of going after my own plan. And there are days when quite honestly, I quit God's plan and start out on my own again. On those days, it ends up being an absolute disaster. Sure...I may find momentary happiness, in whatever--but it is fleeting...and it leaves me absolutely empty and aching inside.

God's word is absolutely full of reasons why I should stay on HIS path. It is full of encouragement and wisdom. It is full of great advice, like the fact that we are to be strangers of this world--so why sometimes is it so hard for me to live for God? Why do I try so many times to be a friend to the world AND to JUST WON'T WORK!!!!

Ladies--this is my prayer...that I will have a humble and honest that I will not only be shown truth, but accept it. God has such an incredible plan for each of our lives...and its ok that it doesn't make sense to us...its even ok that His plan is not comfortable or "fun" for us....b/c His plan is NOT ABOUT ME....but all about HIM!!!!

Man--How old am I going to have to be before I get that :) :) :) I'm a slow learner I tell you! I hope you all bear with me...and I'm so thankful that my heavenly father is patient and loving and will continue to bring me back to HIS plan!!!!