Monday, August 4, 2014

Discovering Who I Am in Jesus Christ....

It has been a while since I have blogged.  Part of this is the fact that many times I have so many thoughts in my head and I can't decide which ones to blog about. :) 

The past three months, I feel as if I have been a sponge....soaking up everything that God is teaching me and trying to process it all.  Since January 2014, I have had a lot of ups and downs with my health and in our journey of continuing our family.  The end of May, we found out that my thyroid levels were extremely low.  After addressing this discovery, I have felt so much better! 

Then in June, I was blessed to spend two weeks in Chemnitz, Germany with five teens from our church and our youth pastor.  We have a partnership with an E-free church in Chemnitz.  The time there was very refreshing to me physically, emotionally and most of all spiritually.  The slower pace of life and time for rest was absolutely wonderful.  I love the European lifestyle of public transit, buying fresh food more often and being less busy.  Being with the Christians over in Germany also helped me gain a better understanding of what it also means to listen and be guided by the Holy Spirit more.  Recently, I have re-picked up the book, Forgotten God by Francis Chan.  I think in America we are missing out on experiencing the fullness of God because we are so afraid of the Holy Spirit.  A quote from this book that spoke to me was..

"The reality is that the early church knew less about the Holy Spirit than most of us in the church today, at least in the intellectual sense.  But they came to know the Spirit intimately and powerfully as He worked in and through our their lives."

I walked away from that trip with a sense that I needed to let go of some things in my life that I have been holding on to.  I struggle a lot in my life with control and trusting God.  It is so easy for us in America to not really "need" God and yet we are depriving ourselves of the freedom and thrill it is to live for Jesus.

This past weekend we attended our church family camp at Hidden Acres Christian Center near Boone, Iowa.  Our guest speaker this year was Zach Blickens and the band White Ribbon Day.   He shared his opinion that life with Jesus should not be boring.  I completely agree!  When you read the Bible, all of the stories tell of times where things were shaken up and not "normal."  Yet what holds us back from living on the edge for Jesus?  Fear!

My husband found this blog post today and sent it my way...http://www.knoxpriest.com/scruffy-hospitality-creates-space-friendship/     I have been struggling with this idea of true community for a long time.  I value friendships so much and yet sometimes don't feel like my friendships are going very deep.  Once again....why do we not have this community, because of our pride and fear of not being "excellent." 

The Lord has been teaching me to be content with where he has me and our family.  Through these past few months he has also been helping me see that I value people's opinions far too much at times and allow fear to drive me from being the person he created me to be!  A friend of mine shared this with me....that when we turn our life over to Jesus Christ and allow him to guide our steps, he starts to work on clearing out all of the junk that is inside of our hearts and minds and slowly reveal who we were really created to be before sin came in and mucked everything up!  We are so blessed to be taken in as a child of God.

I leave you with a passage in the Bible from Ecclesiates 3: 1-14.  It has reminded me that God is in control over everything in the past, present and future and he is too be praised!

There is a time for everything,
    and a season for every activity under the heavens:

    a time to be born and a time to die,
    a time to plant and a time to uproot,
    a time to kill and a time to heal,
    a time to tear down and a time to build,
    a time to weep and a time to laugh,
    a time to mourn and a time to dance,
    a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
    a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing,
    a time to search and a time to give up,
    a time to keep and a time to throw away,
    a time to tear and a time to mend,
    a time to be silent and a time to speak,
    a time to love and a time to hate,
    a time for war and a time for peace.
What do workers gain from their toil? 10 I have seen the burden God has laid on the human race. 11 He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet[a] no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end. 12 I know that there is nothing better for people than to be happy and to do good while they live. 13 That each of them may eat and drink, and find satisfaction in all their toil—this is the gift of God. 14 I know that everything God does will endure forever; nothing can be added to it and nothing taken from it. God does it so that people will fear him.