Have you ever heard of Elevation Church? Powerful movements are happening there. Their messages are so full, it’s easy to be hungry for more.
They’re doing a series on “The Other Half” right now. The first was “Fix Your Focus,” which pointed at what we focus on in each other and in ourselves. How the speck (sawdust) we see in someone else is usually made of the same material as our own plank of wood.
This week though– this week shifted from a lighter tone to something deeper.
Offense comes into our lives easily, but it’s what we do with that offense that will forever define our relationships.
“The Prison of Offense” was so striking, it spoke to me at a level that I needed opened (? Is that the right word?). Enough to make me come here and post about it, because I can’t believe that I’m the only one who imprisons myself by holding onto my offenses. Even if I think I let them go sometimes, I know I haven’t by the fact that they still come to mind. I need to work on that.
Anyways, if you want a soul refresher, this is definitely worth your time:
In another series of rambling stories; I have a new destination. I reunited with my birth dad after three long years last week. He’s such a fun person. It’s easy to have a nice time with him. So, if you’d like to read about palm trees and Pokemon, this may be your time. 🌴
“Rejoicing in ordinary things is not sentimental or trite. It actually takes guts. Each time we drop our complaints and allow everyday good fortune to inspire us, we enter the warrior’s world.” – Pema Chodrn
In listening to a girl talk about her faith in Buddhism, I see a reflection of Christianity. Continue reading →
When I worked at Disney, there was this little spot where I loved to watch Illuminations. It’s in the China Pavilion (This isn’t it. 🙂 This place reminds me of it though.). Sometimes, when I had a day off, I would go there and watch the fireworks. I’d snack on some exotic candy from Japan or a chocolate from Germany. One day, a family stood in front of me with a boy of maybe five. Continue reading →
I look up at my dearest friend as she twirls wire into petals. I have to look away. I’ve heard this before.
“Andrew likes you, you know.” She laughs.
The boy from the concert? He was forward. No. He joked secretly about pretending to be a Christian to win me. What does he know of life and love and companionship?
It’s so simple really. I just want…someone that will share my faith. That’s all. I want a partner. And yet, in all of the men I’ve met, in all of my searching, there has not been one. One….who’s been…why is this so hard God? The last one was my match in every way, so kind and wonderful, but he didn’t follow You. So I chase him away slowly, with every word, so that it will be impossible to return.
“I’ve already been down that road. It ripped my heart out. I won’t do that again.”
Waiting is impossibly difficult in this season.. In my youth, every day seems to ache with the promise of the future. I know my destiny holds so much more than to get married. I see God training me up to be a leader. I see Him positioning me for adventures in far-off places and teaching adults. But..as I receive my second bridesmaid invitation, I can’t help but look into the mirror and think selfish thoughts. “When will You send him Lord?” I feel so old at the laughable age of twenty-one. If any of you has any advice about dating, or waiting, I sure could use it. I know He has someone for me. Rebekah didn’t get married until forty. Maybe I’m just not mature enough for him yet. Or visa versa.
Either way, I will wait.
I know he will be worth it.
I hope you are enjoying the sunshine, wherever you are. 🙂 Cherish your lovers.
I want to hear more about strong women in the Bible like Deborah. I didn’t know about her until recently, but I have a new role model.
This is Judges 4.
(Warning: It gets a little gruesome at the end.)
“You hear a lot about how women were second-class citizens in the culture that you read about in the bible. It’s important to notice, though, that women were not second-class citizens in God’s eyes, ever. Deborah is a great example.
Deborah was a judge, a national leader, just like any male judge whom Israel recognized. She was even asked to go to battle. Know what she said? ‘I’ll go as long as you realize that everyone is going to know that a woman did the winning.’” -ncv
Are you serious? How kick-butt is that?!
Also, the second-class thing is untrue, especially for that time period…but that’s for another time.
She was one of the first Judges. (Judges were a lot more important in ancient Israel than they are today. Not only did they decide legal cases, they acted as military leaders. Judges were responsible for inspiring the Israelites when they didn’t seem to care about God’s plan, leading them into battle against the people who were oppressing them and encouraging them to worship the Lord again.) She was married when she led the nation. She was a prophetess.
She would sit under a palm tree in the mountains as people came to her to settle their arguments. One day, she sent a letter to a man named Barak. She relayed the message from God telling him that the Lord commanded him to go and gather 10,000 men from Naphtali and Zebulun. God promised to hand over the captain Sisera, who had been cruel to Israel for twenty years under king Jabin (who defeated Israel when they fell away from God again).
“Then Barak said to Deborah, ‘I will go if you will go with me, but if you won’t go with me, I won’t go.’”
Deborah, in all her sass, responded, “’Of course I will go with you…but you will not get credit for the victory. The Lord will let a woman defeat Sisera.’” She went with Barak to gather the ten thousand men. When Sisera heard what was going on, he gathered his 900 iron chariots and all of his men from across the lands. He and his army went out to meet them.
“Then Deborah said to Barak, ‘Get up! Today is the day the Lord will hand over Sisera. The Lord has already cleared the way for you.’ So Barak led ten thousand men down Mount Tabor. As Barak approached, the Lord confused Sisera and his army and his chariots. The Lord defeated them with the sword, but Sisera left his chariot and ran away on foot.”
They chased his army. Not one of them was left alive. Sisera ran to the tent where a woman named Jael lived. Jael was the wife of Heber, a descendant of Moses’ brother-in-law….
Jael went out to meet Sisera and said, “’Come into my tent, my master! Come in. Don’t be afraid.’” She covered him with a rug and gave him milk when he asked for water. He told her to say “no” if anyone asked if someone was there. When Sisera fell into a deep sleep, Jael went outside. She grabbed a tent peg and a hammer. She hammered the tent peg through the side of Sisera’s head and into the ground.
“At that very moment Barak came by Jael’s tent, chasing Sisera. Jael went out to meet him and said, ‘Come. I will show you the man you are looking for.’ So Barak entered her tent, and there Sisera lay dead, with the tent peg in his head.
On that day God defeated Jabin, king of Canaan, in the sight of Israel. Israel became stronger and stronger against Jabin until finally they destroyed him.”
Judges 5 is The Song of Deborah.
I think I need reminding sometimes that I’m a strong woman of God because of He that lives inside of me. Being strong won’t ruin my chances of finding a husband. The right man will be drawn to me and the God that lives inside. There are higher things to set my eyes on than what lies on the horizon.