Acknowledging the good.

Say what you want, you will always find that which you seek. I have no problem finding powerful revelations in sermons of controversial preachers, life lessons in TV shows, or genuine advice in Eminem’s crazy lyrics:

“So this is for every kid who all’s they ever did was dreamt that one day just getting accepted, I represent him or her, anyone similar, you are the reason that I made this song, Everything you’re scared to say don’t be afraid to say no more…”

~Guts over Fear

James 1:17 says, “Every good and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights…” (KJV)

A person doesn’t have to belong to the same religion as you do, for you to value them. They don’t have to believe what you believe for you to respect them. You don’t have to agree on everything with a person to just be able to love them. And as a couple of my favorite teachers teach: “Achieving greatness in the kingdom is impossible without recognizing greatness in another.” (Bill Johnson) & “You only have as much influence in someone’s life as they have value for you.” (Kris Vallotton)

All that to say, the following are little slivers from sermons I listened to this week. Allow me to share these nuggets of truth with you:

David Wilkerson-

“You don’t get to know God’s heart through miracles…”

-The Israelite people saw miracles in front of their eyes, yet they ended up wandering that blasted desert for 40 years due to their unbelief. I’ve seen people chase miracles (even I was tempted to do so) plenty of times in hopes of getting to know God more.

“You get to know God when He meets you in your trial…”

Pastor Furtick-

“Some of the greatest invitations in our lives come in the form of interruptions…”

– Furtick talked about the virgin Mary in this sermon. One of the coolest thoughts was that while Mary was planning a wedding, God interrupted her with a pregnancy. That interruption had a much greater result than a perfect wedding ever could.

“Plan for imperfection.”

“If you don’t learn how to celebrate your strengths, you can’t address your weaknesses.”

“Jacob pretended to be somebody else (Esau), so he could have what another had…”

– Jacob tried to trick his father by pretending to be his bro so he could have the blessing that his bro was meant to have. Not being true to ourselves blinds us from seeing what is meant for us to have.

“What I hide, God cannot heal.”

“The places of your greatest isolation, often become the places of your greatest revelation.”

-The loneliest times of my life have resulted in the coolest abstract paintings, heartfelt blog posts, songs, poems, etc.

“If  you will devote yourself to the issues within you, He’ll handle the issues around you.”

Papa God’s got it all yo. He’s got your back. And front. And insides. And so forth.

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A Change In Your Wind

Life can be so weird. You cannot deny the awkward phases of transition.

When you were a baby, you had a cute little set of baby teeth. As a kid they turned to scraggly ones, crookedly growing in. After you ripened, you got yourself somewhere between 28-32 nice (or sometimes not-so-nice) adult teeth.

s-l1000

Or perhaps you got these. If you had to improvise with foil, trust me, I understand.

Let’s take another example: In the wintertime, you get fluffy, beautiful, sparkly, white stuff outside. (If you live in Utah anyway!) In the summertime, you get sunshine, warm beaches, and endless fun. Between those seasons we get spring. While there is a blooming side to it, there’s also the rainy and mucky part. There are days so gloomy you don’t know what the heck to do with yourself.

cloudy-picture.jpg

What I would call Oregon weather.

One more: You’ve been in a certain environment physically, or have been spiritually ministering in a particular way, and you were so passionately doing what you were. Then faintly you begin tapping into a new idea of where God wants you and what He could be leading you into. So, you go through a time of just persevering. Your passion for your past phase is beginning to dwindle and yet, the time to move on has not totally come. You JUST hang in there, it’s all you can do since you’re not willing to stupidly jump the gun.

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At times we don’t even have a decent awareness of the exact change in our life seasons, things just seem so confusing and even hard. My most recent example of a mental transition has been going from excitedly talking to girls about eating disorders and recovery, to trying to figure out what motivates me next in life. (I do still want to be a therapist in an ED clinic, but ED’s are not all I think about now.) Maybe you’re a few degrees more stable in your passions than I! Within a few years I can jump from living in Africa, to blogging descriptive details of my ED journey, to happily going back to college full time. However, we all go through times of change. In fact, the only thing that is a constant in life IS change! Let me simply remind both you and I, that the end will be truly worth it and there will be sun. Which I love. But, moving on…

Better-Things-Ahead

“Spirit Wars”

I love Bethel everything! My favorite teachers stem from there, at this point of my life anyway. Lately, I’ve been reading Kris Vallotton’s stuff & most recently I read his book “Spirit Wars.” I typically don’t buy things online besides college textbooks, but I did buy this book from their online shop! (https://shop.ibethel.org/)

My review?  I’d give it 5 stars if I hadn’t already read parts of it before, but since I have, for me it was a 4. Vallotton shares his experiences with the spiritual realm & addresses the unseen without the sometimes fanatic deliverance teachings. Below, one of my favorite quotes:

“Just as enemies fought Joshua in the Promised Land, and Nehemiah faced opposition as he rebuilt the walls of Jerusalem, our enemy will fight us as we approach the spiritual terrain God has promised us.”

I love that! So when you’re thinking, “Why the crap is this battle sooo hard for me to overcome?!” Remember, there’s a reason why there’s such a hard fight there for you! Something seriously good is supposed to come out of it & the enemy will be put to shame. He knows it! Fight on!

A few other quotes I really liked:

1. In Romans 7, Paul “is recounting the terrible sense of bondage he experienced when he lived under a set of rules, but never knew his lover.”

  • Ah, but life in Christ is so good when you finally know Him as such. ❤

2. “Denial is the root of fear. Not the root of faith.”

3. “The battle they (you) are facing is not a sign from God that they have chosen the wrong path, but rather an indication that they have begun the process of restoring the walls and gates of their lives.” (After he talks about Nehemiah helping restore Jerusalem.)

4. OOOH I love this one: “GIRD YOUR LOINS WITH TRUTH. [What the heck does that mean?!] : Every Roman soldier wore a wide, sturdy belt that he put on before any of his other armor. The belt supported his abdominal muscles & helped protect his midsection. — Spiritual ramifications: The word for truth in this passage does not refer to the Bible, although the essence of all truth is the Word of God. The word “truth” means REAL. Many people hide behind a facade, never really allowing others to get to know them… Paul therefore exhorts us to be honest, live with integrity & be real w/God and w/people He has placed in our lives. Dishonesty is an open door that will wreak havoc in our lives, especially during any kind of enemy siege.”

Isn’t that an amazingly new perspective? I always thought you’ll be safe if you’re “reading” the Bible. I didn’t realize living honestly was what this could imply.

5. “There are more people who need to get delivered from the trauma of their last deliverance than there are people who actually get delivered from demons.”

6. “The goal of any gift of the Spirit is to build trust & help people grow in God. No gift of the Spirit should be used to destroy people’s reputations, kill their passion for God or steal their identity.” (Personally, that’s one I want to remember!)

7. & Last one: “If people really knew how much the Father loved them, and if they received His love in the depths of their souls, they would never allow themselves to be oppressed or tormented in any way.”