Journey into Rest

28 Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy-laden and overburdened, and I will cause you to rest. [I will ease and relieve and refresh your souls.]

29 Take My yoke upon you and learn of Me, for I am gentle (meek) and humble (lowly) in heart, and you will find rest (relief and ease and refreshment and blessed quiet) for your souls.

30 For My yoke is wholesome (useful, good—not harsh, hard, sharp, or pressing, but comfortable, gracious, and pleasant), and My burden is light and easy to be borne.

 

Recently I was exhausted from a long day of going, going, going, because I had activities planned all day long, when I was supposed to be taking the day off. I was home for an hour or so and at one point my husband saw I was exhausted. He told me to come over to his giant comfy chair, wrapped me in his arms, and cuddled me in a blanket, saying “It’s ok, just rest. Come sit with me and rest.”

Although this sweet experience was just what I needed and showed me a picture of the verse above in Matthew 11, unfortunately, Jesus’ and my husband’s words didn’t sink in as deeply as they should have. Probably because I didn’t believe him fully. When Jesus says, “Come to Me and rest,” sometimes I honestly don’t believe Him. Really? If I rest, all my work will get done magically and the world won’t explode?

The Lord has taken me on a journey into rest through Matthew 11, and He’s been showing me what it really means. He’s saying that HE is the One who created the universe, and it doesn’t need our contribution in order to keep it spinning. His sustaining power is essential to all life, but mine isn’t. We might all agree with this truth at some level, but do we really live by it? Or do you run around, working as much as you can, as if your world would fall apart if you stopped for one moment? I know I do. Continue reading “Journey into Rest”

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Follow Me

How many of us love and embrace suffering? No way, right? Our culture thrives on comfort, convenience, and avoiding pain at all costs. But what if that’s not the way Jesus wants us to live? Romans 5 tells us

 Moreover let us exult and triumph in our troubles and rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that pressure, affliction and hardship produce patient and unswerving endurance.

 And endurance develops maturity of character. And character produces [the habit of] joyful and confident hope of eternal salvation.

 Such hope never disappoints, deludes or shames us, for God’s love has been poured out in our hearts through the Holy Spirit Who has been given to us.

How crazy is this?! Paul is telling us to rejoice in our sufferings! Maybe it’s because of what they produce for us and in us. He knew something we rarely get to see because of our cushy lives– trials actually are good for us because they let us look like Jesus through the development of our character. The Bible calls Jesus a man of many sorrows. Hebrews says He learned obedience through suffering, though He was the Son of God.

What if we started living the way Jesus did? We wouldn’t be running from pain, dying to ourselves or discomfort. Instead, the character of Christ would be freely formed in us and we would embrace it! This is the way to live! The best part is that we don’t have to do it alone, and we have a model to follow, found in the perfection of Jesus.

His life encourages us because He knows. He went to the cross. He conquered death. Because of this, on the other side was resurrection and power. He rose again! The same is true for us. When we embrace our trials, knowing that they are only allowed by our good Father so that they can test our faith, proving it to be gold, we can really experience the resurrection life on the other side of the cross. No one gets that resurrection power apart from Jesus, and He said, take up your cross and follow Me.

Let us get HIS eternal perspective! Let us stop running from pain but instead run to the Lord when we face trials and receive the grace and power available to us! On the other side is the glory of looking like Him, and real resurrection life.

Mexico 2016

“God doesn’t call the qualified. He qualifies the called.”

During my second trip to the Holy Place, House of Prayer in Matamoros, Mexico, I learned the deep truth of this quote. From the time I started raising support, all the way through the trip, I was impacted by the thought that all it takes is for someone to say yes & have a willing heart– to give, to pray, to support, to go– for God to move in people’s lives and qualify us to do His will! The only reason I was able to go on this trip was because beloved img_3268family and friends gave generously. That made it possible for me to say yes and see Jesus’ name exalted in another country! I’m so grateful for this experience and can really say my life has been changed forever! Continue reading “Mexico 2016”

Be Ready

Jesus said to pray watch, be ready, stay alert, and stay sober because the day of great tribulation is coming. Many will be deceived, even the elect (aka best of the best Christians). Many will fall away and their love will grow cold. We will be hated and betrayed as wars, natural disasters and sin are all at the highest peak they’ve ever been in human history. But those who endure to the end will be saved. Matthew 24 makes all this really clear. After every tribe and tongue and people have heard the Gospel, THEN Jesus will come back. After we’ve been handed over for torture, our houses and families ravaged, and our faith put to the test to the utmost, THEN He will gather His people with a trumpet blast. His Bride will be purified, all gray lines will disappear, and everything that can be shaken—will be shaken. Continue reading “Be Ready”

Waiting for…Someday

“Our lust for future comfort is the biggest thief of life”

It seems like we’re always waiting for something– tomorrow, the weekend, our day off, retirement, til we graduate. Then everything will be different & better, right?

Single people are waiting for the day they’re in a relationship or married. Married people long for kids, for their kids to be out of the house, or, or, or. This is life, full of different seasons. Are you waiting  for that perfect future season, whatever it is? Do you think all your current problems will be solved? Continue reading “Waiting for…Someday”

What Does God Want

You might say you know you don’t have to earn God’s love, and that you can’t earn your salvation. Jesus, the only perfect One, died on the cross, paid for my sin and I’m supposed to live a godly life to please Him now, right? The Bible is filled with verses telling us to figure out what pleases Him, what’s His will, to live a life worthy of Him, etc. And that’s good! Those are good, essential aspects of being a Christian… I think though if we were honest with ourselves & Him, we don’t really know what makes God happy besides not sinning and doing “good stuff.” So I have to ask the question: do you know what God really wants? Continue reading “What Does God Want”

Stare at Jesus

When you read the Bible, don’t Jesus’ commands sometimes seem…impossible? The Sermon on the Mount in Matthew 5-7 was Jesus’ first public message where He says things like blessed are those who mourn, love your enemies, pray for those who persecute you, etc. He even says to be perfect as our heavenly Father is perfect! If you’ve read this and parts of the Word and think, “I’m not perfect! How the heck am I going to do this?!”–you’re not alone!

Continue reading “Stare at Jesus”

I Wish Someone Told Me…

Wherever this finds you, but especially if you’re under 25, people might be telling you how you have to prepare for the rest of your life,  “start these habits, get this degree, get this job,” etc… This isn’t one of those talks… This is a friendly warning to let you know what I’m learning now, and what I wish someone had told me when I was younger. Continue reading “I Wish Someone Told Me…”

stop street

Mary vs. Martha…

Luke 10:38-42

38 Now while they were on their way, Jesus entered a village [called Bethany], and a woman named Martha welcomed Him into her home. 39 She had a sister named Mary, who seated herself at the Lord’s feet and was continually listening to His teaching. 40 But Martha was very busy and distracted with all of her serving responsibilities; and she approached Him and said, “Lord, is it of no concern to You that my sister has left me to do the serving alone? Tell her to help me and do her part.” 41 But the Lord replied to her, “Martha, Martha, you are worried and bothered and anxious about so many things; 42 but only one thing is necessary, for Mary has chosen the good part [that which is to her advantage], which will not be taken away from her.”

One of the comparisons in the Bible (& therefore the church) is Mary vs. Martha. We read that Mary did the right thing by sitting at Jesus’ feet, but her sister Martha was “very busy & distracted with all of her serving responsibilities.” From this story, people use phrases like, “Be Mary not Martha.” “Which one are you?” “Do you love Jesus or do you serve?” “The Martha Syndrome,” etc.

This can be confusing because we’re also called to serve in the church, by using our gifts, you know, be the body… but… we’re not supposed to serve like Martha. There’s a tension there. So my question is: just because we don’t see Mary serving elsewhere, does that mean she never did? To say it another way: just because the story is about Mary sitting at Jesus’ feet and Martha is seen serving, doesn’t mean Mary never served & Martha never sat at Jesus’ feet.

Continue reading “Mary vs. Martha…”

2015-A Year of New Beginnings

New Beginnings

As 2015 is now over, it’s that time of year to be looking back on all the Lord has done, remember His faithfulness, & look to what He has for us this year in 2016! I’d like to share a few key happenings with you! 2015 has been a year of new beginnings for James & I! If you didn’t already know, it’s been a dream of mine to be on staff at the House of Prayer in Atlanta since I was young, Continue reading “2015-A Year of New Beginnings”