So…. much sooner than expected I find myself having a guy to call “my boyfriend” again and it’s surprising me. So far he seems pretty awesome- we fasted together on Wednesday and it was pretty nice to have a guy lead the meal prayer I have no clue where this is going to go but I know I need to some how find a way to keep Jesus in the middle without losing sight of Him even while dating a guy who makes it clear he’s pretty crazy about me
My biggest concern is are we dating the way God wanted? I wanted a guy to be my closest prayer partner before I’d date him and well… we have joined in sharing prayer requests but I know my original thought would be more akin to what my prayer partner and I are like or my parents and I are like when we all pray together… more than just sharing prayer requests- we’d pray TOGETHER.
In all this I just try to say “Jesus, help us find our way as we blindly go about this life. Help us do this with You in the middle. Help us keep You first.”
“I call love the “last experiment,” because though it is the closest and most fundamental thing in a person’s life, it is the last thing he will turn to for help when he is in distress.In talking to you about love I shall not get mushy and sentimental. For love is everything that sentimentalism is not. Love is power, while sentimentalism is the misuse of power. In its practical application love is as precise and scientific as mathematics. Without it there could be no universe, no cell organization of any kind. Because love is the only integrating power in existence. It is all that can establish order out of chaos or maintain order in chaos. Whenever it is recognized by man he likewise recognizes harmony. Love is never a disintegrating force. Science deals with disintegrating natural forces; but wisdom deals with the power of love. Natural forces lead to change: love to permanence. Love simplifies life. All that is less than pure love complicates it. Love is endurable, eternal. It is the one ultimate expression which can combine and sustain all principles of the natural and spiritual worlds. Its application releases the soul of man from the bondage of limitation. Love is God in action. And the process of becoming the doctrine of love is to grow into oneness with God.The beautiful thing about the doctrine of love is that it casts out all fear, all striving and struggling. You merely act and express the virtues and qualities of love, and all that is needed to sustain you in happiness and harmony are inevitable consequences of your action. You are attached to nothing except the action of love. You desire no results; but possess perfect assurance that the correct results necessary to your life at a given time will be supplied. The sense of impending insecurity is unknown to him who lives the doctrine of love.” ~Starr Daily
These words, written by Starr Daily, have stayed with me today. When did he write them? After years of crime dotted by occasional imprisonment, he was robbing the home of a priest. The priest caught him, and asked him to sit down for a chat (and later, a meal). Going against every criminal instinct he had, Daily obeyed. What followed was a conversation about God that he had never heard before. Instead of fire and brimstone and wrath and vengeance, Daily heard for the first time about a God of pure love. It changed him forever, and now he writes these words of revelation on love which are changing me.
God’s been showing me so much about what love is. He’s been really working in me to bring my walk into obedience with it. Daily looks at love from another angle; the power in love when you stand on it and use it. Me? I’m just trying to submit to it. But when honed and utilized, and with God’s help, pure love (and nothing short of it) can stop a robber in his tracks, break the bondage of prison, heal the sick, be a light to the hopeless. For today, I struggle with simple obedience, but the above words are giving me a glimpse of where I want to be in my walk under the ‘love doctrine’. I pray with every fiber of my being that I become this strong of a vessel of God’s love and light.
To read Daily’s whole book, “Love Can Open Prison Doors”, go here. It’s a story of the development of Christianity in the unlikeliest of candidates – a story of how God works in love and the chains his love can break. I chose the title of my post for this reason – action. We can break chains if we stand on God’s love (and follow His will in that particular situation). You don’t need to get robbed in order to be used like this, and you certainly don’t need to be a priest. But I hope you do read this story as a testimony of what God can do – and then spend some time in prayer over what you can do as His vessel.
Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof. ~ Matthew 6:34
So tomorrow may either be an awkward day for me or the start of something new and fresh. I’m still not sure yet. As my nerves and anticipation rise, I find it’s hard to study, clean, organize or even work out. As I continue in being unproductive, Jesus quietly whispers to me to just leave it in His hands… it will all work out one way or another but so long as it is in His hands, it will all be okay.
I really don’t have too much more to say right now. I pray that somehow, someone reading this will just join me in putting our cares and concerns in Your capable hands. It is so hard not to just circle our brains around things that have the potential to be huge, but somehow, just help me push through what I must do and just get what I must get done tonight. I love You Jesus with all my heart and I thank You for being there for me when I need You most.
Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. ~ II Corinthians 5:17
This past weekend God did a work in my heart. From hearing preaching on Daniel in the Lion’s Den and how he came out untouched to another sermon speaking of how we are to be a light, I felt God telling me that He was completely turning over all that I once was. The foundations of the things HE has done within me stand but the things of my past are washed away.
It is awe striking to talk to people and they have no clue that I was not only almost engaged, but dumped by having my ex change his status on facebook while I was fasting for him. Granted he didn’t know that I was fasting for him, but given that we were on a “break” you would think that he would at least be assuming that I was praying strongly for “us.” However, as I drove back from that church that I love, I passed the exit by the restaurant where we had the “break talk” and all I could do was giggle with joy, knowing that my God had done SUCH a complete healing in my heart and that the girl who had loved that boy was now a woman of God who knows that when times are tough, God taught her how to bury herself in Him for the victory. I went through back to back fasts (totaling over 2 months of fasting in less than 3 months) and emerged more assured of who I am and my worth in Christ.
As I continued to drive, I literally took the same road I had taken all those months ago after my “break talk” back to the same exact house that I had been staying at when this happened and the joy of Jesus overflowed within me. It just felt SO perfect. I’m healed! I’m brand new! I’m free! What a mighty, wonderful God that where once I was making that drive sobbing, feeling as if my life was falling apart (to the point of getting pulled over and getting a speeding ticket)- yesterday I was rejoicing because I was freed from a delusion and ready to run towards the future Christ has in store for me. A new life! A new future!!! I’m so excited to see all that God has in store around the next corner for me and I love Him!
Thank You Jesus for my new future!!! Let me be Your light in this dark world. Let me shine for you. Help me to continually trim the wick of my life through prayer, fasting, and reading my bible. Help me to shine brighter than ever for you with excellence in all that You give my hands to do. Help me to live this new life You’ve given me with abandon for You. I love You Jesus with all my heart.
Well, I’m back from my crazy week in Miami. I had a great time, although I wondered periodically whether I should even be there. After all, what business does a Christian have at a swimsuit pageant? In a word, none. But on the other hand, if I only participate in Christian activities, how will I reach non-Christians? With that point in mind, I went about the week meeting as many people as I could and being as helpful as possible to the photographers.
Spiritually, the week was ok. Not great, but ok. There were areas that could have been better; I know I laughed at an inappropriate joke or two and thought nothing of it until after the fact. Also, I was hoping God would use me in a profound and obvious way, which didn’t happen. I barely had any Jesus discussions at all. However, I met a lot of people and made lots of connections so we’ll see how God uses me in the future.
Meanwhile, I’m back home and getting back into the swing of things here in New York, so stay tuned!
Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us. Romans 8:37
Today was the dedication service of a church that is close to my heart and it was so wonderful being here. God has been so good to me to give me such wonderful people who love me and are always happy to see me. The sermon was based around the concept of God Is Able. Of the examples given, the one that stuck out to me was about Daniel in the lion’s den. The preacher pointed out that most of us would be happy to have just survived, hobbling out of our place of torment and testing, but Daniel got out completely unscathed. This led to guiding the sermon towards teaching the idea that when God’s Word speaks of us being more than conquerors, it means that we aren’t just barely getting out of the battle with a few less casualties than our enemies, it means praising and worshiping our way to complete victory in which we come out untouched with spoils.
When I was going through that time with my ex I felt as if I was in a lion’s den and when I called my parents to pray over the phone later on, I mentioned that and they told me they had gotten that same exact feeling! Today’s sermon just felt so on target for me. I felt like God was saying “this is where I took you from.” He has taken me from a lion’s den MUCH better and more sure of herself after having gone through it and I am waiting in anticipation for what God wants to reveal tomorrow for the Sunday sermon!
Thank You that You took me through a lion’s den unscathed. Thank You that even if the hurt was SO very deep, it only caused me to come out with a deeper relationship with You that I could never have had should I have never gone through this. I thank You that there is none like You and that You have taken my broken spirit and created a mosaic with the pieces and called me beautiful for Your craftsmanship that is now more ingrained in me. I thank You that through You, we are more than conquerors. We can truly worship You through our storms. We can truly praise the shackles loose to find the purpose was for another soul to be saved. I love You Jesus with all my heart, mind, soul and strength.
Or really, I should say guess who I found, here at a swimsuit competition in Miami beach. I thought that I was on my own as far as Christianity goes. But then I met one of the other photography assistants. We haven’t really talked in-depth about God yet, but it has been so refreshing knowing that I am not alone here. The timing couldn’t have been any better either. I was just getting to the part of the week where it felt wrong somehow to be such an active participant, and lonely being the only one who felt the way i did. Enter this assistant, and suddenly I have a Jesus buddy!
Jesus, I thank You so much that you know my heart, my desires and my mind. I thank You for blessing me with this, and for sending someone who embodies ‘heart of a servant’ so well. I needed this blessing badly; on principle, I was starting to seriously question my participation in this event. I thank You for Your wisdom and for giving me some solidarity in this fight. Jesus, I love you.
It seems my life is about to flash before my eyes for the next two weeks. Tomorrow is work then off to NY for a wonderful weekend filled with church and good friends. Then next week I have my last week at this office, move out, spend the weekend with my second family, move into a new place and there is potential for something to change in my life. Through it all, I keep trying to just hold on to Jesus and desperately (although sometimes it feels like I’m failing) try to keep Him in the center. With all these changes I can’t help but worry that plans for the future will not pan out or hopes and dreams will be crushed… but I know that my God is greater than all that. I know that even if my fears that the past will repeat itself are unfounded when I make Jesus the foundation of those dreams.
I am scared, but I know that He holds my heart in His hand.
I feel caught in a whirlwind of tasks that must be accomplished, but I know the One who calms storms with just His Words.
I believe with all my heart that my God is able to see me through this uncertain time.
Help me to stop being so distracted by so many things in this world. Help me have the motivation to do what You want me to do. Help me to seek after the things of You. Sometimes I feel like it’s a loosing battle to stay strong in You but I know that in You is all strength. I know that in You we can overcome. In You we are more than conquerors. Help us Lord to be Your servants and good stewards of all that You have given us.
So here I am in Miami Beach, in a beautiful hotel room overlooking both the pool and the beach (with a balcony! yes!!), playing photography assistant during this swimsuit pageant. And it crossed my mind that no matter where my heart is this week, it’ll be very hard to be God’s vessel and be strongly Christian while willingly participating in an activity that exists solely to showcase some pretty personal areas of the body. This brings me to the following question: Do I abstain from the activity on principle? Or do I make myself as useful as possible, knowing that my assistance will bless others?
I chose the latter today, and here’s why. I’m helping the photographers. When photography is your career, you don’t look at it as a crass activity. You don’t look at body parts; you look at the angle of the sun in the sky. Clinging to this safeguard (I know what you’re thinking and I agree. It’s a barely-there safeguard, but a safeguard nonetheless and I’ll take what I can get!), I decided to be as much of a blessing as I can be. Be a servant. Jesus walked among everyone regardless of who they were, and He was here to serve them all. Granted, He never participated in anything that went against His principles, and I’m still deciding if that’s what I’m currently doing. I’m wavering on this point.
I’m not wavering on the heart of a servant, however, so helpful I will be. I figure, it isn’t about preaching or talking about God or telling people whats right or wrong or the lives they should live. It’s about loving them in the few short moments I get with them, be they family or stranger, and leaving the rest to God. If I show one of the models true and pure love (even though my actual job is to make sure the wind doesn’t blow their hair wrong and that they understand their poses), and she seeks more of it at a later date, God will do the work in her that shows her how her lifestyle should be. I just don’t see it as my place to judge, merely to love and to serve. And to pray. And if God wants to use me in a more direct way, to intervene with someone’s life, He can do so. He can soften hearts and give revelation. He easily can. So I trust Him to do it. And I do my part to bless everyone I can in the meantime.
I’d love to hear your thoughts on this though, so write to me at email@example.com. Take care and God bless!