Archive | June, 2011

Baby Dreamer

20 Jun

hey guys, i was just sorting through things, packing for Colorado (my room is a disaster zone) and came across some old journals…thought this was kinda encouraging.

From a 17-year-old me, on july28.

“Perhaps I’m recklessly romantic…I may get let down, but i’ll take it if it means i get to keep my dreams. How in the world am i gonna become a pilot if i never think & dream that i’m gonna do it?

I choose to believe that, with God’s help, i can accomplish my goals and achieve my dreams, even though others might say otherwise.”

❤ jenn

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Wait

14 Jun

** I included pictures to try and make this a little more readable…we’ll see if it works for you!

Waiting for a Picnic

Look at this bear. He is waiting. Waiting for a picnic. Waiting for something good to come. He’s at the right place for a picnic, right? He’s sitting in the right spot for a picnic, right? He’s waiting patiently for a picnic, right?

So where’s his damn picnic? Seriously…no wonder he looks a little grumpy.

Work with me here, because Lord knows I may not be making sense. This bear is waiting in the right place at the right spot for a picnic, aka something good. In the same way, don’t we as Christians tend to get frustrated with waiting for something better? We think, “I believe in God, I go to church, I sit with the right people, and life really sucks right now! Where’s my picnic, God? Where’s my better time? When will this pass?”

In the spirit of honesty, I hate waiting. I especially hate waiting for things to get better, because if I’m waiting for things to get better, than that means I’m not doing so well. And no one wants to not be doing well.

   

More often than not, when I pray to God, I hear Him tell me “Wait”. The only way I can think of describing it is that there is a brief calm in my sorrow and fear and boiling pot of emotions and I hear “Wait”.

Sounds magical and blessed maybe, but oh I can tell you right now when I hear it, sometimes it makes me sadder, it makes me angry.

When I hear God tell me “I have a plan for you” I say “No God, why not now? Why not tell me what happens now?”.

I hear God tell me “Wait” and I say “No God, why not now? Why not fix it now?”.

Now we don’t always have a fall-to-pieces reaction over waiting.

But here’s the thing…

We are all always waiting for something better.



  

Sometimes it’s the next day because today just sucked. Sometimes it’s for your grades to come in because you really honest-to-goodness don’t know if you passed precalculus. It can be waiting for a change, a move, a break from stress, a freaking       grocery store line to just hurry up! For victims of the holocaust, it was freedom from a hell they were forced into by the Nazis. For people with depression, it’s feeling happy again. It’s joy without guilt, adventure without stress, a land of milk and honey!

For a lot of us, it’s having to wait for love. You know…the special someone you feverently pray is out there?

They say true love waits…and waits…and waits…and waits. But you pray and you pray and pray, “God, I pray for that special someone and I know You made us for each other, and I will wait”

(“Oh, but maybe can I please meet him soon, God, because I’m not so sure this person exists anymore?”)

The Point of No Picnic

Now I promise I have a point here and I didn’t just write this to complain. I don’t have the answers for why things happen, and I definitely do not have answers for when something is going to get better. I wish I did. All I can give you guys is 3 things of what I know and am learning:

1) God is there, picnic or not. And He wants to be. 

In the Old Testament, the word most often translated “wait” in the sense of waiting on the Lord is the Hebrew qavahQavah means (1) “to bind together” (like a rope).  When we wait, we are expected to bind together that hope, faith, patience and trust that God is with us through thick and thin and bind that around our worrying heart and mind until it is overwhelmed with truth. How strong is our rope of patience and trust? And keep in mind and heart that God calls us to give all our worries and fears to Him, because he cares about us (1 Peter 5:7)

2) God will take care of us, picnic or not. 

Here’s a passage from Matthew 6:26-27: “Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? 27 Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?”

It has been said that God’s heart breaks for us. When I read this passage suddenly I imagine a heartbroken God, one who listens to me, wanting ‘better’ to come right now, and says, “No, Erin, please, look at everything I take care of, why wouldn’t I take care of beautiful you? I love you and made you and weaved a life for you to find me, please don’t waste your time worrying otherwise.”

It’s a very smart thing for God to say to us and most often I imagine Him angry or exasperated or just plain blunt when He says this. Only now do I imagine the God that loves us so much that His heart breaks, that He gave His only son because He just wants us in His family.

3) Whether we like it or not, we learn from not having a picnic.

Since I have rambled on and on and on, I leave you with this poem I found by Russell Kelfer, called ‘Wait’. Here’s what’s funny: I was feeling low tonight and wanted some sappy poetry line about waiting for the good to put as my facebook status. I was tired, frustrated, wondering why things were the way they were with my life. And thank God I found this poem, because it inspired me to write this post and made me feel a little better. Again, I don’t have the answers, but if any of this long rant was relatable to you, than at least you know that you, a follower of God, are not alone in your stumbles and frustrations. I am right there with you.

Enjoy the poem, because honestly that’s probably the best part of this whole rant. It has more of the message that I want you to think about.

Peace,  erin

Wait
by Russell Kelfer

Desperately, helplessly, longingly, I cried;
Quietly, patiently, lovingly, God replied.
I pled and I wept for a clue to my fate . . .
And the Master so gently said, “Wait.”

“Wait? you say wait?” my indignant reply.
“Lord, I need answers, I need to know why!
Is your hand shortened? Or have you not heard?
By faith I have asked, and I’m claiming your Word.

“My future and all to which I relate
Hangs in the balance, and you tell me to wait?
I’m needing a ‘yes’, a go-ahead sign,
Or even a ‘no’ to which I can resign.

“You promised, dear Lord, that if we believe,
We need but to ask, and we shall receive.
And Lord I’ve been asking, and this is my cry:
I’m weary of asking! I need a reply.”

Then quietly, softly, I learned of my fate,
As my Master replied again, “Wait.”
So I slumped in my chair, defeated and taut,
And grumbled to God, “So, I’m waiting for what?”

He seemed then to kneel, and His eyes met with mine . . .
and He tenderly said, “I could give you a sign.
I could shake the heavens and darken the sun.
I could raise the dead and cause mountains to run.

“I could give all you seek and pleased you would be.
You’d have what you want, but you wouldn’t know Me.
You’d not know the depth of my love for each saint.
You’d not know the power that I give to the faint.

“You’d not learn to see through clouds of despair;
You’d not learn to trust just by knowing I’m there.
You’d not know the joy of resting in Me
When darkness and silence are all you can see.

“You’d never experience the fullness of love
When the peace of My spirit descends like a dove.
You would know that I give, and I save, for a start,
But you’d not know the depth of the beat of My heart.

“The glow of my comfort late into the night,
The faith that I give when you walk without sight.
The depth that’s beyond getting just what you ask
From an infinite God who makes what you have last.

“You’d never know, should your pain quickly flee,
What it means that My grace is sufficient for thee.
Yes, your dearest dreams overnight would come true,
But, oh, the loss, if you missed what I’m doing in you.

“So, be silent, my child, and in time you will see
That the greatest of gifts is to truly know me.
And though oft My answers seem terribly late,
My most precious answer of all is still . . . Wait.”

It’s Freakin Hot!!

14 Jun

Is it hot where you guys are at? It’s so hot here. Gah. I miss the nice coastal breeze of Santa Cruz. It’s like dead heat here. I know what you’re thinking. . . “Wow Vanessa, this is a great post, so intellectual and thought provoking.” Thank you.    – V

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Greatness of Soul

9 Jun

The people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do.”

So Jesus sneaks away, as usual, to be alone to pray. The disciples had already been in the boat for awhile, so by the time night came along, the wind had taken the disciples a fair distance away from Jesus. The Son of God can walk on water like it’s no big deal, but when the dicsiples saw Him doing the impossible, they just about peed their robes. Ghost Whisperer was probably on some of their minds. But hey, it was actually Jesus, their teacher and friend, and He reassured them, “It’s me! Don’t be afraid.”

Then Peter, who always has to say something, called out, “Lord, “give me a sign! This isn’t normal! Tell me to come to you.”

So Jesus obliged. “Come,” he said.

Then Peter put one foot over the edge and touched the surface. Cold. All the other disciples were watching though, so he swung his other foot over and stood on top of…water. Whoa, so stoked! And there was Jesus, straight ahead, waiting for him. But then suddenly the scenery became really important and Peter looked at the storm and let fear overtake him. And somehow when he lost sight of Jesus, he lost his footing and began to sink. Panicking, Peter cried out, “Lord, save me! Help!”

But Jesus was already there, pulling Peter out of the sea and catching him. “Oh Peter, your faith is so small,” He said, “why did you doubt?”

They both climbed back into the boat, and the storm quickly died down. The other disciples were convinced of Jesus’ power, saying “Truly you are the Son of God.”

(Matthew 14:22-33, I somewhat paraphrased)

This passage has stood out to me today. Peter walks out on the stormy seas towards Jesus…he could see Him, but I have a feeling that Peter didn’t feel like Jesus was with him. Something we can all relate to. But today by the act of Peter walking on water, short-lived as it was. There’s a point in your faith life that God tests you on the waters…not that He isn’t always with you, but He knows now that you are strong enough to walk on a storm toward Jesus. I was challenged today to not underestimate the strength of my faith. Your whole life has been preparation and training for this moment, this day. God knew ahead of time that you would be here, right now, doing exactly what you’re doing because your heart yearns for God and His people. There is nothing that we could possibly do to earn God’s love…but His heart still swells with pride and adoration at what you are doing! Of course this isn’t all the time, at least for me. We’re all human. If we fail it’s okay, Jesus is bigger and always right there to pick us up again

But you know those moments, those times we step out of the boat and do something crazy, something “impossible.” Man, the adrenaline rush that Peter must have had those first few seconds. Sometimes I wonder, what is Peter had walked on water all the way to Jesus?? He could have achieved a greatness of soul, he could have pushed his faith to new boundaries that no one had seen before.

We could never earn our own salvation, the Sciptures make that very clear…but that doesn’t make our deeds useless as James 2 points out. God reacts to what we do: He swells with pride, he adores our attempts to please Him, like a parent treasures those heart-felt scribbles made by their child. It’s like being with someone you love…you’re always gonna love them no matter what, but when they do something special for you, something thought-out, something bold … oh the feeling! God is not immune to feeling, He created it, He invites it. Jesus can be surprised, astonished, excited about what we are doing. …Additionally, he can be bored. Are we boring him? Exciting him? Causing him to swell with adoration? What was he feeling when those heroes followed Him faithfully? What was he feeling when Noah built a ridiculous boat in his backyard in front of everyone, when Moses obeyed God in spite of fear, and when Abraham was willing to put his son on an altar? What feelings do I inspire of God with my actions each day?

 

HOPE knows that if great trials are avoided, great deeds remain undone, and the possibility of growth into greatness of soul is aborted.

God invites us out into the storm because He knows we can take it. And only through plunging our bare feet into dark icy waters can we discover that God has empowered us to walk on water.

As you know, I’m getting ready to go to two places I’ve never lived before and serve God through my passion of flying. Only through God’s grace and only through His calling. Vanessa, you live a life fighting for those overseas who are forced to fight yet their voice is not heard; you give of your time to the youth in the church, as do you erin. And may I say that you are both phenomenal leaders and role models, 🙂 Erin, you are about to embark on arguably the most difficult adventure this summer, returning to the hometown, which Jesus had a hard time doing as well.

Just know ladies that one day your deeds and your life will be written down in a hall of fame, for your Faith, just like the biblical heroes in Hebrews 11. Read over that chapter and know that YOU are counted among those names…not necessarily because of anything particularly extraordinary about yourself, but about the extraordinary GOD that you have chosen to faithfully serve, and who empowers you to do extraordinary things. 

– jenn

Everything Hangs on a Promise

7 Jun

While I was reading this, I couldn’t even remember the last time I made a promise. I lost the boldness and the freedom to make a promise. Not making a promise is a great way to look out for #1. You create a safety net that you can easily fall back onto just in case you don’t make that dinner date with your friend, or just in case you forget to call that person back. But if nothing is this world is stable or consistent, except the promise-making God, then why am I not striving to be more like that promise-making God?

And yes, I did find this link on T-Storey’s facebook page. haha

CT Classic: Controlling the Unpredictable—The Power of Promising

http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2002/decemberweb-only/12-16-56.0.html?start=2

 

love,

Vanessa

Man (and Woman) Fully Alive is the Glory of God

6 Jun

Read this if you like life.
The glory of God gives life; those who see God receive life. For this reason God, who cannot be grasped, comprehended or seen, allows himself to be seen, comprehended and grasped by men, that he may give life to those who see and receive him. It is impossible to live without life, and the actualization of life comes from participation in God, while participation in God is to see God and enjoy his goodness.

Men will therefore see God if they are to live; through the vision of God they will become immortal and attain to God himself. As I have said, this was shown in symbols by the prophets: God will be seen by men who bear his Spirit and are always waiting for his coming. As Moses said in the Book of Deuteronomy: On that day we shall see, for God will speak to man, and man will live.

God is the source of all activity throughout creation. He cannot be seen or described in his own nature and in all his greatness by any of his creatures. Yet he is certainly not unknown. Through his Word the whole creation learns that there is one God the Father, who holds all things together and gives them there being. As it is written in the Gospel: No man has ever seen God, except the only-begotten Son, who is in the bosom of the Father; he has revealed him.

From the beginning the Son is the one who teaches us about the Father; he is with the Father from the beginning. He was to reveal to the human race visions of prophecy, the diversity of spiritual gifts, his own ways of ministry, the glorification of the Father, all in due order and harmony, at the appointed time and for our instruction. where there is order, there is also harmony; where there is harmony, there is also correct timing; where there is correct timing, there is also advantage.

The Word became the steward of the Father’s grace for the advantage of men, for whose benefit he made such wonderful arrangements. He revealed God to men and presented men to God. He safeguarded the invisibility of the Father to prevent man from treating God with contempt and to set before him a constant goal toward which to make progress. On the other hand, he revealed God to men and made him visible in many ways to prevent man from being totally separated from God and so cease to be. Life in man is the glory of God; the life of man is the vision of God. If the revelation of God through creation gives life to all who live upon the earth, much more does the manifestation of the Father through the Word give life to those who see God. – St. Irenaeus, Bishop of Lyons, 2nd Century  

Love you both! Vanessa

 

 

I Will Wait for You

6 Jun

So, obviously we have all seen this, but I figured since we all love it so much, it’s blog-worthy. Janette is clearly a great follower of God, especially with her relationships! But what I think I love is the honesty of her struggle but her conviction to be well with her soul and God’s plan.

(Also does anyone watch this and want to write cool Jesus-inspired slam poetry? I do… ha ha.)

Here is the video and the text version too! It might be interesting to use it in a small group one day.

I Will Wait for You

by Janette

So it seemed, that it was cool, fo cool, for everyone to be in a relationship but me..
So I took matters into my own hands… and ended up with him
Him who displayed the characteristics of a CHEATER, a LIAR, an ABUSER, & a THEIF
So.. why was I surprised when he broke into my heart?
I called 911, but I was cardiac arrested for aiding and abetting,
Cause it was ME who let him in…
Claiming we were “just friends”..
It was already decided for me by the first date, that even if he wasn’t!
I was gonna make him ‘The One’..
You know… I was tired of being alone,
And I simply made up in my mind, that it was about that time so I decided to drag him along for the ride,
Cause I was always the bridesmaid & never the bride..
A virgin in the physical, but mentally just a grown woman on the corner in heat!
Who was tired of the wait!
So I was gonna make him ‘The One’.
He had a… form of Godliness… but not much..
But hey, hey I can change him! So (honey) I’ll TAKE him, I mean he’s close… enough
Ready to sell my aorta for a quarter, not knowing the value of its use to me
Arties so clogged with MY will, it blocked HIS Will from flowing through me
So, I thank Christ that His blood pressure gave this heart an attack,
That flatlined my obscured vision, put me flat on my back
Through my ignorance He sawed,
Through my sternum He sawed & cracked open my chest
TO transplant Psalm 51:10
A new heart & a renewed right spirit within!
So now I fully understand,
Better yet I thoroughly comprehend,
How much I NEED to wait… for You.
See, the bad thing is that I knew he wasn’t you from the beginning..
Cause in the beginning was the Word
And he didn’t even sound or shine like Your Son
Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks,
And all he could whisper was sweet, empty nothings –
Which meant NOTHING.
He couldn’t even pray when I NEEDED him to
Asking him to fast would be absurd!
So forget about being cleansed & washed with water through the Word…
But I know You.. ♥
You were already praying for me
Even never having met me
Let me assure you, I will wait for you.
I will no longer date, socialize or communicate with carbon copies of you
To appease my boredom or to quench my thirstiness I have for attention
And short-lived compliments from ‘sorta kindas’.
You know…. He ‘sort kinda’ right, but ‘sorta kinda’ wrong?
His first name LUKE,
His last name WARM.
I, I won’t settle for false companionship
I won’t lay in the embrace of his arms,
Attempting to find some closeness,
But never feeling so far apart cause, I just wanna be held
Cause ♫”all I gotta do is Say” No!
NO more ‘almost sessions’ of ‘almost coming close’
Passing winks & buying drinks,
I’ma, I’ma, I’ma flirt!♫
Who flirts with the ideology of,
‘Can you just tell me how much I can get away with & still be saved?’
NO more.
I’ll stay in my bed… alone, and write poems, about how I will wait for you
He won’t even come close,
Our fingers won’t even interlock
We won’t even exchange breath
Cause I have thoughts that I’ve ‘saved as’ in a file that God has only equipped you to open.
I will no longer get weighted down,
From so-called friends & family talks,
About the concern for my biological clock
When I serve the Author of Time.
Who is NOT subject to time,
But I’M subject to Him,
He has the ability to STOP, FAST FORWARD, PAUSE, or REWIND at any given time…
So if we could role play,
You would be Abraham & I would be Sara
Or you can be Isaac & I can be Rebecca – a servant’s answered prayer
I am bone of your bone, flesh of your flesh,
Made up of your rib Adam!
And once we meet, like electrons
I will be bound to your nucleus, completely indivisible atom.
We even speak the same math: 1 + 1 + 1 = 3, which really equals 1 if you add Him.
We were all created in His image,
But you have the ability to reflect, project & even detect the Son.
If I were to explain what you looked like,
You would have to look like a star,
A son of the Son..
I would gain energy simply from the light on me.
I would need you , in order to complete my photosynthesis
I await your revelation, but once again from the genesis, I will wait for you ♥
And I will know you… because when you speak I will be reminded of Solomon’s wisdom,
Your ability to lead will remind me of Moses,
Your faith will remind me of Abraham,
Your confidence in God’s Word will remind me of Daniel,
Your inspiration will remind me of Paul,
Your heart for God will remind me of David,
Your attention to detail will remind me of Noah,
Your integrity will remind me of Joseph,
And your ability to abandon your own will, will remind me of the disciples,
But Your ability to love selflessly & unconditionally will remind me of Christ.
But I won’t need to identify you by any special Matthews or any special Marks,
Cause His word will be tatted all over your heart.
And you will know me, and you will find me,
Where… the boldness of Esther meets the warm closeness of Ruth.
Where the hospitality of Lydia is aligned with the submission of Mary,
Which is engulfed in the tears of a praying Hanna.
I will be the one, drenched in Proverbs 31… waiting for you.
But to my Father, my Father who has known me before I was birthed into this earth
Only if you should see fit…
I desire Your will above mine,
So even if you call me to a life of singleness,
My heart is content with YOU – the One who was sent.
YOU are the greatest love story ever told,
The greatest story ever known
You are forever my judge & I’m forever Your witness
And I pray that I’m always found on a mission about my Father’s business
Oh, I will always be Yours!
And I will always wait for You Lord, more than the watchmen wait for the morning…
More than the watchmen wait for the morning… I WILL WAIT ♥
Take care ladies!
erin