Forever Faithful

This weekend, a few things struck me hard…..here’s my experience….I’d love your feedback.

This weekend, I was out until about 3am Saturday morning, and while driving home, I saw what I believed to be two prostitutes only a few blocks from my home.  I physically felt my stomach drop.  It was like a pit in my stomach that shocked me so much!  I knew it was around, and that it is real….but somehow, I felt like my neighborhood wasn’t affected by that. Hm. Those of you who’ve asked me about what I feel God is challenging me to…..you know that there’s something there that keeps coming up in regard to reaching prostitutes….There’s a lot I’m not going to get into now, but if you’re curious, ask.  Anyway….I went home and prayed….until I fell asleep (which wasn’t long) but it lasted with me all the next day.

Two other comments struck me this week….they were said almost in passing…..and I don’t think anything was meant by them….but…..they’re still there, mulling over in my mind.  That’s all I can really say right now.

My question today I guess is this: I know that God is faithful, and that He will direct our paths….but when is it the time to stay still, or to move? When is it the time to jump and when is the time to ponder? If there is a deep seeded yearning…..and you act on it…can it sometimes be for your own motivation? And is that always a wrong motivation? I mean….you’re still doing something helpful, right?

Hosea was told to marry a prostitute. A Prostitute!  ….yet, through that, God showed his faithfulness to Israel.  By Hosea’s faithful example to a woman who continued to go elsewhere with her affection, God showed how even though we go elsewhere with our affiliations He is always faithful. Hosea jumped (married the woman) and then pondered and spoke…(he remained faithful to her, despite her own unfaithfulness). 

I’m kindof all over the board, I realize this…..but….I guess what I’m getting at, is I know God is faithful, and I want to be a faithful follower too….but how can we do that with the conflicts in our own mind, and the things that pop up, getting us to think off course….and yeah. I’m going to quit now before I REALLY start to ramble. I’d appreciate comments or thoughts! (write them on my blog though….I have about one more week before I can read anything on Facebook).

A Clouded Pillar of Fire

Oh man do I wish that I had a pillar of fire today….or a cloud of smoke….just to guide me where I’m supposed to be going.  Do you have those days?  Where you think you should be going one way, but there’s no clear “sign” and you get confused?

Maybe you don’t have a specific question you’re looking for an answer about…..but rather the general direction of….where is my life going?…where is it going to take me, who am I going to be, what am I supposed to learn, ….what should be my focus? 

Days like this….I want a clear vision….I have dreams, like many of us do I suppose, and a “vision” of where I’d like to end….but I desire a few goals along the way, and they seem to be cloudy today.  I don’t know why, but it’s like…..today, I just feel like I’m living until tomorrow, not really with a purpose, which is pretty sad when I think about it.  I’d love to be one of those Israelites, living day to day following a giant pillar of fire, or a cloud of smoke….they knew that there would be an ultimate end point, but until then, just following the fire & smoke was enough. 

I’m trying to live a better story, something that’s worth being a character in it…..but I don’t know where I want this story to go….I don’t know where God might have written the scene already. 

Do you know what I mean? ….thoughts?

Knocking on doors

Someone this past week, was talking about opportunities in life, and said how we shouldn’t always be looking for another new thing or a better thing because we need to just be content and happy with what we’ve been given. It had a dissonant tone to it when I heard this…and I couldn’t really figure out why, but I think now I know.

Paul says that he is content in all circumstances. Content? He was satisfied with what he had, and did not want anything else? Yes. It’s true, he was content. Through prison, torture, allegations, investigations, hunger, exhaustion, persecution and ridicule. He knew that his satisfaction would never be met on earth, so he was utterly and completely content. And in this sense, I think we should all be this content. We should be content wherever we have been placed, in whatever race we are running, in whatever job, housing situation, social status, whatever. We should be content and know that our being, our self worth and justification will not come from the next best thing, but in the God who directs our paths and that wherever we are He will use to His glory if we allow him in.

However……Paul also says that he continues to press on toward the goal. Well what does that mean? If he is totally content, why is he “looking for more”?  As I said above, I think we should all be content in the circumstances that we find ourselves, yet throughout the Bible there is an example of never finding ourselves “stale,” but always learning, growing, trying, failing and trying again.  In our situation there should be a peaceful contentment, but in our spirit, in our soul, should there ever be a contentment? Shouldn’t we always be searching out what God is speaking to us? Where He is directing us? What opportunities might be shadowed around the corner, just waiting to be revealed by our search?

If I had been completely content, I would have never tried finding another job, I would have never been employed where I am today, would never have met the friends I now have, and would have been “perfectly content.” Yet I would have been missing something (though whether I would know that or not I’ll never really know)….but there’s a whole side of my life that I never would have found. I would have never gone to Mexico and found blessing through small conversations. I never would have had the opportunities to talk about Romania’s orphans to pastors all over the world. None of this would have happened if I had been ….content.

I AM content….every day….some days….but I’m never content to stay the same person that I was the day before. It’s Christ’s life that challenges me to grow, to run toward the prize, to be drawn closer and closer every day toward the Father who has blessed my life. In this sense, I will never be content. I hope I never am content. I hope you can be content in your circumstance,….but never content in your soul. Thoughts?

A fork in the Road

Alright, I just HAD to share this story I read last night… An older man “the Sage” and a young boy were walking through the woods. These were woods that were WAY out in the middle of untouched land. They followed a footpath that had been worn down & when they were completely immersed in the woods, the path split into three directions. The two men stopped & wondered which way would take them to the waterfalls they were seeking. The Sage asked the boy which he would take, if only one would lead them to the falls. The boy didn’t know, because none of the paths were marked and said if he chose one, he’d be worried the whole time that he had chosen the wrong path. Then the Sage posed the question…what if all three paths led to the falls, then which would you choose?

That’s how the story ended….them deciding which path to choose. I’m not completely through the whole thought of this chapter, but basically…..it’s about us, on our walk with God. Sometimes we have choices in front of us, that aren’t marked. All three look good, all three unknown paths…. It’s hard to choose if you think that only one path is the “correct” one. But if God is so good, and big, can’t he direct us all to where He wants us to go, no matter the choices we make?

If we take too much time trying to figure out what God’s will is for our life….what path he wants us to take…we will bog ourselves down with “stuff” instead of just DOING what God’s will is, and that’s to love God & love people. He can you use wherever, whatever your choices, whichever your path. Are we DOING God’s will right now? Or are we just THINKING about what He wants us to do?

Why Romania? Part 2

So what really is going on in my mind about all this? Well, recently, I’ve been challenged here and there, by “random” people who’ve taken risks & steps forward in their calling, despite the circumstances that surround them. Some of the risks are going out even when the money isn’t all there, or going to an unknown land without knowing the language, or making choices on what to stay home for or what to miss. It all comes down to what they value. What values more…financial security or trusting God’s provision? What values more…cultural know-how or hoping God will bring you just the right words? What values more…your social life or trusting that God might have another person He wants you to be with that day?

What matters to me, admittedly more on some days than others, is just how much God has blessed me, and how I can give away what I’ve been given. In my life, I have been given two parents who love me & care for me, four siblings from two completely different worlds & situations, a home that I can call my own, food to fill my fridge (and some that even rots), I’ve been raised in a family that is built on a strong Biblical foundation, and I’ve been blessed with people who’ve taught me the value of working hard and praying harder. And how will any of this matter unless it benefits someone else? If it ends with me, then it is truly wasted. It’s like an inheritance…unless there is an heir, what is the point to all the billions upon billions that one has saved or acquired? Who will it go to once the person is gone?

I want my earthly inheritance to be spent before it’s stockpiled…I hope to give it away, and to bless those who may never be encouraged to take a step of faith into a life they never dreamed of. In Psalms 68, it talks about putting the lonely in families. Well, I’ve been given a family, but others have not. They are the lonely, and they can be part of our family…my family…God’s family. The love, care & provision that I have been blessed with all my life, can be someone else’s if you or I care enough to share it with them. Sharing not only the practical things like food, shelter, & water, but God’s blessings of love, acceptance, forgiveness & encouragement.

Wherever I go, whoever I become, this is the person I want to be: I want to be someone who serves others, who cares about the people who are rejected from society, who is involved with missions, who goes wherever I’m needed to so I can meet a need, who seeks God first, who is unashamedly Christian, who gives all that I am to love on people & listen to them when they need it.

This is why….and this is how it will happen…loving God & loving people.