Posts Tagged ‘faith’
doubt chokes me
fills my every waking moment
are you there
do you hear
is it really just emotions
just chemical reactions in my brain
i think i know that you are there
i think i know you are real
i believe…or at least i want to
could you give me a sign
could you give me a touch
could you just let me know you are here
i don’t like being here
i don’t like doubting
i need your reasurrance
i need you
and just as i’m about to let go
you send me a reminder
you send me a word
you whisper in that still small voice
and suddenly i remember
and suddenly i’m refreshed
and suddenly i’m in awe
i have hope
thank you heavenly Father for your faithfulness
thank you that you never let go
thank you that you keep drawing me nearer
thank you for your restoring power
thank you for your faithfulness
I got this from Nick the Geek’s blog…you can see the original here. And do play along!
Lets say that there are 16 main values a person can have.. they are: freedom, fun, faith, positive attitude, leadership, knowledge, integrity, respect, accomplishment, family, money, friendship, service, empathy, influence, and love..
which one value would you give up to keep the other 15? pretty easy stuff….
which 5 values would you give up to keep the other 10?…
next what 4 values would you give up to keep the other 6?…now its getting quite hard to decide..it almost hurts to get rid of a few because they are so close…
but its not over yet..what 3 of the 6 remaining values would you give up to keep the other 3?….wow at that point it was so hard to decide…..
and finally which 1 of the three remaining values would you give up to keep the final 2?….once you figured out what 2 you have left, these are your core values in life…..
freedom, fun, faith, positive attitude, leadership, knowledge, integrity, respect, accomplishment, family, money, friendship, service, empathy, influence, and love
my final 2 were faith and love so according to this little experiment the core value to my life are “faith and love.”
how about you?
Not easily angered
Keeps no record of wrongs
Does not delight in evil
Rejoices with Truth
Love Never Fails…
Love is practical…love gives without expecting in return…love puts others’ needs above its own…love gives up all it has…love sacrifices and does not hold back…love speaks the truth…
If I take care of my needs and you take care of your needs, both our needs are met…but if I take care of your needs and you take care of my needs, both our needs are met AND there is the added bonus of relationship…
Am I living in love? Am I putting other’s above myself?
And now these three remain: Faith, Hope and Love. But the greatest of these is love!
I saw someone get hit by a car today so i went up to them and prayed for them…and by that i mean i went up to them…then i saw other people approaching…so i backed off about 2 feet…then i started to pray…not aloud or anything, on the inside…but i had my eyes closed and my one hand extended out to the lady on the ground…but that was while everyone was looking at the lady as she was oooh’ing and aaah’ing in pain so they were fussing over her and not paying any attention to me…
all this to say…i want to live a life of miracles, i want to pray for sick people and see them get healed…maybe even raise a couple of them from the dead…i want miracles to be an everyday, normal occurance for me…i want to live a life of absolute faith…as long as i don’t have to practice that faith (*hangs head low in shame*).
Seriously though, I really want to be a part of God doing something great…I want to be used by God in ways that blow my mind away…I’m just too scared to do it. I knew in that moment that the right thing to do was to go and pray for that lady with faith as small as a mustard seed…and I know with all my heart that God heals…I know it, but putting that knowledge into practice is something else.
So there I stood in the background praying…and then the moment was gone.
And I stood there watching her walk away, knowing that I’d just missed out on being a part of a kingdom-come experience.
[The lady by the way, ended up getting up, and after limping a couple of steps, started walking away as if nothing had happened. The other people who had been there fussing over her actually thought she had made the whole thing up and was just trying to get attention.]
We watched a DVD called “Finger of God” last night and it’s all about miraculous healings and God doing strange/weird things and having the faith of a child and the love of the Father…and once again I was reminded of how I don’t actually live out the stuff I spew. And that shows lack of faith…cos I think if I really believed in the stuff I say I believe in, I would be willing to go up to a stranger and ask them if I could pray for them…because I would actually believe that my prayers would be answered.
Oh, and I didn’t go to vision k on tuesday…and i still havent gone to the street evangelism thing…
“how do you influence change?” I asked.
“ask questions and probe for answers…get them to think…and most importantly take time out and listen to young people, cos they have a lot to say, they just need to be heard” Cristin answered.
My friend Cristin is a high school teacher in Seattle. She and a friend of hers, Courtney, decided to take a 14 17-year-olds from their comfortable private Catholic School worlds and bring them to South Africa to see what the other side of the world looks like. And from what I heard it has been an eye-opening experience. To go from your nice and safe home halfway across the world to serve others…it’s beautiful. Anyway, the program they started is a 2year committment where you have to apply and fundraise (cos it is quite an expensive trip to make) and then for a year you take a class on “Social Justice/South African History and Culture” and then at the end of the second year you take a 2 week trip to South Africa. While they were here they worked with groups like Habitat for Humanity and YMCA and other humanitarian groups.
The groups mission revolves around 4 pillars – live simply (they were only allowed to bring one bag with them – which is asking a lot for 17 yr old girls); community (they all lived together, travelled together, worked together, got to know each other…and also they are not allowed to make contact with their families back home while they are here…so they learn to depend on each other); act justly (see the world for what it is…the non-sugar-coated world…the difference between Khayelitsha and Camps Bay…what do see? and what are you going to do now that you’ve seen?); active faith (James 2: 14 – 26 – faith without deeds is dead, 1 John 3: 18 – living love)…and after hearing the reactions to what they saw, I was blown away…had to hold back tears.
Cristin came to South Africa for the first time 5 years ago through Camp South Africa and – in her own words – “fell in love with this country”. What she saw in South Africa only grew in her the desire to change the world…and that’s why she started the programme…and that’s why she spent her free time for 2 years planning and fundraising and stressing…and that’s why she brought 14 17year olds to South Africa…to pass on the message of change. Cos another world is possible, but it’s not going to happen unless we do something.
After a few hours of shopping at the Waterfront one of the girls came out and exclaimed that she felt so weird being in a mall…and it just reminded her of all the things that she always thought she needed but now realised that she didn’t need. Change!
I think I come off as being a little judgemental sometimes…and maybe i am. the thing is though, i’m learning about what this whole christianity/christ-following thing is all about and as God reveals stuff to be it’s becoming natural to share with others so that they can also grow along with me, but on the other hand, sometimes God shows me stuff and it may not be for everyone so my word is not the be all and end all of christianity (test the spirits and all)… Christianity is not about proving to anyone else that I’m a christian but about my relationship with God.
So a few weeks ago, after talking to my sister about the same thing the week before, we were talking about what is christianity. i.e. what does one have to do to become a christian, and this is what we came up with (i’m paraphrasing):
God is holy, perfect: created a perfect world
man is fallen, sinner: needs rescueing
Jesus is God as man: perfect as God, vulnerable as man
death and resurrection: took on my sins and died, beat death and rose
eternal life aka abundant life aka relationship with Christ
grace and faith = it is through Gods grace, by faith, ALONE that you are saved
following: it’s a free gift, but it costs you your whole life.
my summation to my sister: So If you know that you are a sinner and acknowledge Christ’s death on the cross to save your sins then you are a Christian. If you strive daily to love God and love people as yourself then you are a Jesus follower.
don’t know if it’s possible to be one and not the other though…
this part partly ispired by my sis and partly by a dude from my cell group: the dude said he really finds it hard when people say how on fire he is for God cos most of the time he doesn’t even feel like there’s a spark. I feel like that a lot…
my sister sent me an email saying that she can see that my friends and i “are die-hard Jesus Followers”…i, in my reply email, said “what makes you think that? I was thinking about this last night. You are a people person, I’m not. God has gifted you with that and that’s what he wants you to do…bless other people. So just because I go to church more and do more stuff in the church doesn’t make me closer to God, God is just using me differently. He’s called me to the church…he’s called you to the world.
Not better, just different.
One God, One Spirit, working in and through all.”
show me your faith without deeds and i’ll show you my faith by what I do. james 2:19
live such good lives among the pagans that, though they accuse you of doing wrong, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day he visits us 1 peter 2:12
for i was hungry and you gave me something to eat, i was thirsty and you gave me something to drink,i was a stranger and you invited me in, i needed clothes and you clothed me, i was sick and you looked after me, i was in prison and you came to visit me…whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me. matthew 25: 35 – 36,40
obey them not only to win their favor when their eye is on you, but like slaves of Christ, doing the will of God from your heart. serve wholeheartedly, as if you were serving the Lord, not men. ephesians 6: 6
there’s nothing wrong with love, i just think it’s enough to believe (David Crowder, Rescue is coming)
or is it?
where is the dividing line between religion and relationship?
i think the distinction comes between doing good because I can’t imagine doing anything else and doing good because i have to. religion is following rules where relationship is doing for the other because love compels you.
i think that if something gets boring (i’m not sure if boring is the right word here…maybe habit), if becomes an unwanted chore, if it starts feeling like something I have to do instead of something I want to do then it stops being relationship and it becomes religion. for instance, I believe “church” as in the sunday morning/evening or midweek services or cell groups/bible studies, or whatever are for fellowship, for communal worship, for mutual growth, for being church together. now if I start going simply because I have to, it loses the community aspect, the fellowship aspect, and most probably the growth and worship aspects. Now, I’m not saying that you are going to wake up every sunday craving “church” (or maybe you should)…it does happen and it feels awesome when it does, but sometimes you just don’t feel like going and you drag yourself there anyway, and worship happens in that as well…but if it becomes a weekly drag…if you never ever feel like going, then maybe there’s a problem…and you and God need to sort that out.
this year I’ve been blessed with attending a “church” I absolutely enjoy. One I look forward to going to. One that has taught me more than others what it truly means to BE church…and shown me all the missed church-moments I had in my past – times when I forced myself to GO to “church” because I didn’t realised I was already BEING church.
so therefore i do…I go to church, i do good deeds, i try to live a good life, I try to love people, i try to give when i can, i try to not be wasteful, i try to remember to take care of the environment, i try not to lust, i try to be generous and hospitable, and the list goes on…not because
of hope of a reward, or because of fear of punishment, but because Christ’s love comples me…because i can’t imagine a better way.
i leave you with a quote from one of the greatest people to ever live…and by greatest I don’t mean famous, I mean truly good: “If people are good only because they fear punishment, and hope for reward, then we are a sorry lot indeed.” – Albert Einstein.
I’ve been writing a lot lately, which is really good. Not blogging-writing but like songs, poetry, etc…I don’t put any of that stuff on here cos it’s quite personal and not good enough to be read by the general public. But I enjoy it so… I was telling my friend Isa the other day how I’ve been writing songs in my dreams lately…really cool…so she suggested that I keep paper and a pen by my bed so that I could write them down in the morning while they are still fresh in my mind…so I did…but I haven’t dreamed up new songs since then…oh well
I haven’t done much of that lately…I need to get back into it. And I dont’ know why I haven’t been reading…i’m just lazy to open a book.
faith and hope
We’ve been talking about faith and hope the last few weeks in youth (i’m one of the youth leaders in my church which is super cool…but will get into that in a few minutes). Anyway, last week we were talking about hope and how we can place our hopes and dreams in God’s hands because he really does care. We can fully have faith in him because of his unable-to-lie-ness.
I was reading Amos last night and realised that although most of the book is about how God is going to destroy Israel and surrounds, He ends it on this beautiful note of hope – to restore Israel…which just reminded me that He is our hope. You place your hope in anything else and it’s anyone’s guess what will happen…you place your hope in him and in his word and you can’t go wrong
he really does care about us and he really does want the best for us…
So as i’ve said before, I always wanted to work with youth, especially young, fatherless females and help them discover their worth and to help them learn to love themselves. I am working with youth at the moment, but not in the way I thought I would.
Firstly there’s vision k, which i have loved working with since the beginning of this year and still look forward to the meetings with anticipation every tuesday. That’s what gets me through my work every tuesday, knowing that at the end of the day vision k awaits. And I suppose the chicks from vision k are the people i wanted to work with as most of them are living the whole fatherless-generation situation.
I recently became part of the team that leads youth at my church…we only have 2 chicks though, and they both seem like they come from proper families where they know who their father is and have a relationship with their father and all’s well so not what I was going for but God has a way of changing our plans to be more in-line with his and to make them…better…so I have faith that he knows what he’s doing and I’m just going to follow as he leads
Must say though, truly enjoying both of these youth groups…the youth, the leaders, the work God’s doing…awesomeness!
Just came across this band called Gravity Wins Again, and if you haven’t already, I’d recommend you check them out. They are really good and I’m sure they are going to take South Africa by storm
And I’m also loving the song Prodigal by One Republic…has me written all over it.
And now these three remain: faith, hope, and love, but the greatest of these is love
In closing, I serve a really big God
[Feeling too small for God by Jon Acuff - Stuff Christians Like]
The world is pretty big. There are a lot of countries, with millions and millions of square miles of people and land and ocean. The universe is even bigger than that. I’ve never been but from the photos I’ve seen it’s massive. Pathways of stars, belts of black holes and galaxies and planets. It’s just endless, and somewhere up there, God knows your boyfriend broke up with you.
Maybe He doesn’t. I mean, maybe He’s up there and He’s working on really big stuff. He’s healing famines and trying to bring peace to war torn lands. The greatness of His issues makes your little issues look ordinary and simple and maybe even boring.
But every now and then I come across a verse that shakes my deep belief that I am beneath God’s radar. One that I love is Psalm 56:8. Here, in what hopefully makes me look pretty smart, is the King James Version:
“Thou tellest my wanderings: put thou my tears into thy bottle: are they not in thy book?”
But maybe you’re not old school, so here’s what the New Living Translation says:
“You keep track of all my sorrows. You have collected all my tears in your bottle. You have recorded each one in your book.”
I think that’s beautiful. Can you imagine that? Can you picture God doing that? Taking His giant hands and tenderly picking up every single one of your tears? Knowing why they came, understanding what they mean, placing them in His bottle, so that He can comfort you.
That’s how God spends his days.
That’s how small this big universe is.