uganda, please

If you have talked to me in the last month, you probably have heard at least one comment about this amazingly impactful book that I have read: Kisses from Katie.

Let me tell you… I only thought I wanted to visit the impoverished parts of Africa.
After reading this… I know I want to visit these places at the least.

After consuming Radical by David Platt, I had to do some more research on this guy and what he had to say about Jesus’s teachings.  (Radical is an amazing book, please do read.) However, as I went looking for David Platt, I found an interview he was initiating with a young lady named Katie. 

After the first few sentences slipped through her lips, I was captivated. 

I’m only sixteen, but if I could go visit now, there would be nothing stopping me.

This girl… her life is a picture of the gospel. 

This is short, because if I started talking about the book, I would end up plagerizing.  Going to jail isn’t exactly on my to-do list.

But let me leave you with this to watch:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TY0YGrGZdR4

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jGyYsA62CxY

Now you tell me… is that not amazing, abandoning love?

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break me, for You

Whoever finds their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for my sake will find it. Matthew 10:39

This verse is so near and dear to my heart, especailly when I witness the raging battle Christians face every day.

Today, the holy spirit broken my heart into pieces. As I sat in my room scribbling a map of Africa for geography, my thoughts drifted from the beautiful country of Uganda (in which case, if you don’t know me, I most earnestly desire to visit), to the thoughts of being alone.

See, I am a high school freshman— with best friends who are juniors and seniors.  These are honestly the best friends I could ask for, and the thought that God might send them out of my life for a while when they follow His will (whether it be college, or backpacking as a homeless person) tears every segment of my heart.

So as tears weld up in my eyes, and fall on my oh-so-neat map, I begin to be reminded: this is the potter, modeling the clay (Isaiah 64:8).

This is the Father putting my through trials, if only for a little while (1 Peter 5:10) to make me the person I need to become for Him.

This is Him shaping me into his beautiful plan.

The purpose of my life is to become more like Him and spread His glory, so also this is the target my being longs to hit. 

So this is my prayer:

Let us not spend our lives adjusting to comfort. I need to be bent and broken. My heart needs to be shattered in pieces by my sin.  Let my inner being thirst and run after my father.  Let me not be comfortable my entire life. Let every situation, every trail, make me lean on you.  Give me more than I can handle, so that I depend on your sovereignty for every day of my life. Yes, you know what is best.  So break me, for You.

undeniable

Awe.

It’s all that can describe my feeling.

Speechless.

This is the thought that comes to mind.

Zero.

These are the words that leave my lips as our speaker finishes his message.

He must have been truly sent from God… honestly.  The Lord just spoke through a mere man, and I can feel it tingling through the room.  It’s in the air, it’s in the incomprehensible eyes… in the hearts.

This is what was just plunged into my heart, my mind, and my being:

Powerful… it doesn’t even begin to describe our Maker.

Omnisciente… cannot begin to touch the surface.

Unfathomable… that’s it.

God is almighty, so almighty, that the angels of heaven—who weren’t even dirty humans, who had not sinned like we had— had to have wings over their faces to hide from the power and sang praises in the presence of the Lord in Revelation. John, who had walked with Jesus when He was a man, fell to his face when God revealed Himself in full glory.  John described himself as “torn apart” or “broken.” He couldn’t handle it.

And we walk into church sometimes, with a prideful heart. Without a generous spirit.  With greedy eyes.  With black sin, unaware.

How? How can I?  Ponder the Father.  In all his majesty, if only for a second… how can we?… He who made us? Who gave His son for our sake, when we don’t even deserve to experience a single part of His majesty?  Who are we to make this God a God of convenience?  We aren’t.

So, here I am saying this: God is all powerful, all knowing, all forgiving, and loving. So say “yes” when He calls.  Shout “I WILL” from the top of the mountains.  Sing his praises until your lungs burst, and run to your Maker.  He is beautiful, majestic, and worthy of our hearts and our lives.

on my knees

Busy.  All the time.  Running here, there… around the world and back.  Set time aside for Jesus? I attempt.

But I’ve noticed something very particular about my faith, and I am sure that other Christains can testify to it as well.

I Thessalonians 5: 17 & 18 states “Pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”  Many translations translate verse 17 as “pray without ceasing”

Wow… conviction at it’s finest. I constantly tell people that are suffering “You are in my prayers” or “I will pray for you.”  But how many times do I actually follow through with that statement?  Do we just say feel-good words, and not follow through with our actions? And if we don’t follow through… is that not a lie?

So, here is my proposition.  Whenever you tell someone that you will pray for them, right then, ask God to remind you to pray for that person.  And right then, pray for them.

I’ve tried this, and it is working.  It helps me to stay constant in prayer.  It helps me to constantly rely on my Father; to be dependent. I believe dependence is a the source of prayer, crying out to our father.  Knowing that I can’t do it alone… that can bring me to my knees.

Why do we pray?

To ask our Father, because He will provide. (Luke 11:9) (Matthew 6:26)

To thank our Father, because He provided.

To praise our Father, because He is the ulimate provider.

And also… God is our best friend.  He is always constant, always caring and listening.  His heart leaps with joy when we cast our worries and cares on Him. He is big enough, strong enough, and more that willing to listen to our hearts.

So this is my challenge to you: Go and sit somewhere, anywhere. And tell it all to God.  Every single ridiculous thought that runs through your head from what you will have for dinner to your friend who is struggling with doubt.  Carry it to the one who is strengthens.  And it will be worth it, I can promise.  It is better than any yoga class or relaxing walk in the park.

Pray to Him.  Every day, hour, minute.  Cry out to the one who made you, loves you, and can fulfill the desires of your heart.

1Peter5_7