Some Light Date Night Conversation

Some Light Date Night Conversation

M: Todd White (evangelist K’s been listening to) is ruining your life!

K: Yeah and my flesh hates it haha.

M: No actually Jesus, Jesus through Todd White is ruining your lifestyle! Wait not your, OUR comfortable lifestyle. And yes my flesh hates it too, but we also love it!

(I also want to throw out spiritual props out to not just Todd White, but also Ms. A, John Piper, Eunice, and PKyle.)

Ruin us, Lord!

If I don’t love other people, do I really love You? If I don’t love ALL other people, not just the people in my church, my friends and family, but all other people (those in the grocery store, ramen shop, at work, those I don’t naturally get along with), do I really love You?

Light our hearts on fire. Disrupt our lifestyle of comfort and pursuit of all things world. I don’t care if they call us weird or strange or foolish or annoying or bigots or too extreme or too much. I want my heart to BURN for You. Not for the sake of me and my glory, for extreme passion for You often doesn’t lead to the praise of the world or even the church sometimes, but more often scorn. I want to burn for the sake of You. For the sake of others who do not know You.

Our world and BILLIONS of those in it are destined to perish, yet it barely affects my heart and soul. Why do I/we not WEEP for the condemnation and judgment that is to come if the world does not know Jesus?

This week at Roots, I talked to one of the girls (not a believer) about the Gospel and how yes, it means everyone apart from Jesus will perish and spend eternity in the place of their choosing: a place apart from God that yes, is called Hell. It disturbed her (to the extent that she believed it a possibility) to think that some spend their eternity there. I think it didn’t deeply devastate her as she at this moment doesn’t believe it’s a reality. So then how much more should we, we who say we believe in the Gospel, thus believe eternity apart from Jesus will destine COUNTLESS NUMBERS to this Hell, why does it not deeply grieve me and fill me with urgency? Could it be that I don’t 100% believe? That’s part of it. But moreso is it because in the end it won’t apply to me? Yes, selfishly I think that’s a huge part of it too. And I think I know that if I let this truth burn inside of me, it would be very lifestyle-disrupting.

How can I passively enjoy the comforts of this life and waste my time pursuing the treasures of the world when I realize people are really going to Hell and the gift God’s given me can save them if I don’t sit on it? How can I turn away when God prompts me to pray for someone in a ramen shop, grocery store parking lot? God is on a mission to seek and save the lost. What mission am I working on right now? I’m already a part of this mission, it’s been assigned to me, but am I actively asking God to help me bring it to completion?

Jesus is disrupting my lifestyle. My flesh hates it. My soul/spirit loves it.

Just some light date night conversation and other thoughts to feed the soul.

And hey, my first blog post in ages– PTL! :)

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Quote

Five Gospels

There are five Gospels: Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, and the Christian, but most people never read the first four.

Rodney Gypsy Smith, 19th Century British Evangelist

Week 31

Week 31

So if baby girl comes on time, then we only have 9 more weeks! Single digits… eek!!

How do I feel?

I mentioned last post that the given should be tired haha. Still agree. I took TWO naps on Saturday and one nap on Sunday. It’s crazy! Trying to cash in now before we reach total sleep depravity. I think I’ve written this before, but everyone says the gradual lack of sleep is actually God’s grace. It helps prepare you for the battle ahead and teaches you to function with less and less sleep!

On that note here’s a lovely picture of my Saturday morning breath of fresh air (hehe):

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Gotta love that hair.

Other than that, baby girl is continuing to move quite frequently! I was texting Kenny at work yesterday that I can’t get enough of her moving (despite how uncomfortable it can be especially when I’m trying to sleep!). I think this is a preview of parenthood. I know cognitively how delusional it is for me to be so obsessed with her tiny movements, but I can’t help but absolutely love it! In fact, every time I grab Kenny’s hand and put it on my stomach to point out her latest hiccup or kick, I can’t help but wonder if he really does enjoy it as much as I do or if he just thinks I’m crazy.

I can’t wait for our baby!!!

What is God saying?

What is He NOT saying!? Lately there’s been so many things…

I think He continues to press in the need for Gospel urgency. If He is who He says He is, then whether or not we follow Him and live the way He prescribes is not something that can be delayed, it’s something we need to decide IMMEDIATELY.

If He is who He says He is, we cannot afford to delay. We cannot afford to be disobedient. We cannot afford to not spend time with Him. We cannot afford to not read our Bibles. We cannot afford to not pray.

Essentially, if He is a reality, then I cannot afford to spend my life on me.

If the God of Revelation is real (and quite honestly Revelation has been so hard for me to read with all the judgment and eradication of evil… evil as in Satan but also human beings who choose to oppose God by not believing), and His wrath is coming, then the need for us to share His Gospel love and grace while He may still be found is a matter of great urgency!!!

And how can I share His love with others and be a reflection of His light if I am not so filled with Him, so moved and convicted by His Holy Spirit, if I am not walking in His ways? I cannot be an effective Christian if I am not actively walking in Him!!

My heart has been breaking for those who do not know the Lord. As hard as it is for me to imagine a God who would punish those who do not choose Him, in faith I know that it is necessary and loving even for Him to punish sin and carry out justice. The punishment of evil is necessary if He’s going to restore the world to what it should be. And let’s face it, we all know this world is NOT what it should be.

Do I truly believe the Bible? Do I believe sin MUST be punished? Do I believe in the complete and total holiness of God, that if He truly is holy, then He must punish those who reject Him? Do I believe in the reality of hell? That even the things written in Revelation are only a tiny piece of the reality those will face who choose to not believe? (That realization to me was bind-blowing. As terrible as the judgments of Revelation are, there is still a limit to them because of the grace of God. If hell therefore is complete separation from God’s grace, how much more terrible will hell be!?)

If I truly believe these things, then my heart must be filled with conviction. How can I go about my life casually knowing that people I know (some that I love, some that I like, some I’m indifferent to, and even the ones I don’t like…) face the reality of hell? The reality of existence without the common grace of Jesus?

I cannot save anyone, only the Holy Spirit can. And God can choose to work independently of Christians (ex. Muslims seeing Jesus appear to them in dreams), but in His Word God says that whether I like it or not, if I call myself a believer I am responsible for making disciples, living a life that speaks of Him, and preaching His Words that can be very offensive, but are utterly necessary. Therefore, I am OBLIGATED to live a life that reflects Him. And I know the only way I can reflect Him is by abiding in Him– choosing holiness, being immersed in His thoughts through His Word, praying, listening.

Last week I cried out to the Lord, “I can’t do it.” I can’t love people. I can’t share Jesus with them. I know myself all too well. I’m selfish. I’m lazy. My love is so limited. My grace so conditional. I don’t like getting to close to people due to self preservation. I don’t like speaking the truth because I fear rejection and offending. I don’t want to tell people they’re in sin and maybe that sin is why they can’t feel or hear Jesus. I don’t want to tell people that no it’s actually not okay to put off thinking about God and just live in the moment and be happy. I can’t do it, so why would God choose to partner with me and give me opportunities to be a vessel for Him?

I am so limited. But God? God is unlimited. His resources are endless. His lovingkindness is inexhaustible. He knows how to love. He knows how to give extravagant grace. His Words bring life. His Words bring conviction and stir up hearts toward repentance from sin.

And what else do I know about God? His Word tells me to REJOICE, BOAST, BE THANKFUL for my weaknesses. For when I am weak, He is strong. For when I am empty, when I realize I have NOTHING to offer on my own, then I can truly be used by Him. He just needs a willing vessel. He doesn’t need a spiritual superstar. The people He chose in the Bible, they were incredible messed up even. If I am willing to be humble, and simply cry out “Here I am, send me!” then it’s in that place that He can use me.

So that’s where I’ve been lately. I’m in this place where God is giving me more of His heart, and showing me truly what it means to have Gospel urgency. And what does it mean to have Gospel urgency? Yes, it does mean being willing to share and listening for His voice, looking for opportunities to intentionally be a witness, but even more, Gospel urgency means recognizing how desperately I need to be with Jesus!! I cannot afford to not spend time with Him, read His Word, pray, listen, choose to walk in holiness. For the sake of the world, for the sake of my family and friends, I cannot afford to not be in Jesus!!

I’ll end with John 15:1-17. I’ve been drawn to these verses for the past month or so and even excitedly pointed them out to Kenny one morning. It’s a long passage, but please take the time to consider and read:

I am the true vine, and my Father is the vinedresser. Every branch in me that does not bear fruit He takes away, and every branch that does bear fruit He prunes, that it may bear more fruit. Already you are clean because of the word that I have spoken to you. Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me. I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing. If anyone does not abide in me he is thrown away like a branch and withers; and the branches are gathered, thrown into the fire, and burned. If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. By this my Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit and so prove to be my disciples. As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Abide in my love. If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and abide in His love. These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full.

This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends. You are my friends if you do what I command you. No longer do I call you servants, for the servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all that I have heard from my Father I have made known to you. You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name, He may give it to you. These things I command you, so that you will love one another.

Week 24 + Lazarus & The Rich Man

Week 24 + Lazarus & The Rich Man

So I realized my last pregnancy update post was actually on the first day of week 24, and not the last day of week 23 as I had thought. Whoops!

Anyway today is truly the last day of week 24. Can’t believe it. Only ~3.5 months left!!! Definitely getting nervous as it seems like we have done so little for the baby.

Thankful for my co-worker who encouraged me to not stress. She said once the baby comes you figure it out and all a baby really needs is you (aka FOOD), clothes, tons of diapers, and a place to sleep. All the other stuff is nice, but not necessary!

In other updates, I forgot to mention last week that I got the mom cut! Early, I know, and I really wanted to hold out until we had the baby, but I think I just had it with all the static and the tangles and the blahness of my old hair and I went for my first major chop in years!

The second the hairdresser made the first cut, I regretted it and was having terrible flashbacks of junior year, but when she finally finished I was shocked… I actually LOVED it (and still do)! I feel very TSwift… whatever that means haha.

Also worth mentioning is that I had my monthly check-up yesterday and babyee is 1 pound, 7 ounces! Growth is on target PTL!!! It’s funny because the ultrasound wasn’t as exciting this time as the baby is SO BIG and it’s actually really hard to see much anything. (In prior months, the baby was smaller and her entirety could be captured on screen. Yesterday, we could only looks at pieces of her: her head, stomach, leg. Still fun, but not as captivating as seeing the entire form of a tiny human on screen!)

How do I feel?

Only a few weeks away from 3rd tri and starting to feel the tiredness return as I was forewarned. I keep waking up at night due to leg cramps (time to order compression socks says the doc!), having to pee, or just being straight up uncomfortable.

On that note, I’m pretty apparently showing now (probably have been for the last couple weeks)! Looking forward to the special pregnant woman treatment everyone says you get once you’re obviously preggo. Not looking forward to the unsolicited advice part though haha.

What is God saying?

In BSF this week, we studied Revelation 6: the opening of the seals and 4 horsemen.

Honestly all the judgment and gloom and doom is very unsettling, but what struck me the most was when we were directed to the passage in the Gospels about Lazarus and the rich man, a depiction of heaven vs. hell.

I’ve been thinking about this for a while, but the specific passage drove the point home. At the end of their lives, what will the people who do not know Jesus think? As they see Him face-to-face and realize just how real He is, what would they say to me?

Would they thank me for not sharing with them, for respecting their personal boundaries and beliefs? For respecting them as parents, and not proselytizing their children? Would they thank me for not making them uncomfortable, holding back, and not offending them with my Jesus beliefs?

In Luke 16:27, the rich main cries out:

“Then I beg you, father, to send him to my father’s house– for I have five brothers– so that he may warn them, lest they also come to this place of torment.”

Honestly reading this is terrifying. How could I not be filled with urgency and compelled to share about Jesus with those who do not know Him while on this earth they still have time to repent and believe!?

If my heart remains stagnant and lazy, not compelled to share and to preach, what does this mean? It means any of the following or maybe a combination of all 3:

  1. I don’t really believe in God is real, for if He is not real, then there is no reason to share.
  2. Maybe I do believe He’s real, but I don’t take Him at His Word and believe what He says that all who do not accept Him on this earth will be eternally separated from Him in hell for their unbelief.
  3. If the first two don’t apply to me, then maybe I really just don’t care about the destiny of those who do not believe. Or maybe I do care a little bit, but not enough to risk the possibility of offense or others looking down on me.

In my heart, I must confess that my lack of desire to share is probably due to parts of all 3.

  1. There are still parts of me that struggle from time to time with doubt. Is God real? Is He!? It’s so hard for me sometimes to believe. Thankfully, as I’ve been turning my doubts over to Him more and more, I really do feel He has been giving me more and more faith to believe. Faith is a gift, and you sure bet I’m asking for it! I want to be like Tim Keller (I believe– I wish I could find the link, but I can’t seem to right now), who in the Veritas forum was able to say that he 100% believes in God. 100%! Zero doubt at all. I was blown away that he could be so assured. I want to have 100% faith to believe!!!
  2. I also struggle with really taking God at His Word on this one. Would He/will He really punish in hell those who don’t believe? It’s the good people argument. When I think of friends and family who don’t believe, they’re not perfect, but they’re also not the incarnation of evil! Do I really believe His Word that says even one offense is offense enough to be eternally separated from Him forever? How much do I take God at His Word on this? How much do I believe?
  3. And at the end of the day, I am selfish. I am selfish in my belief. I’m scared to risk relationships, risk my reputation, by being a “Jesus Freak” (90’s throwback, holla!). I’d rather stay comfortable, not cause conflict, nor dissonance. I want to be a good friend/family member who doesn’t offend and is respectful and PC.

If I do not have urgency to share, when will I ever? When someone I love dies who doesn’t believe? Will I then be so guilt-ridden that I am finally compelled to share with others?

I hope I don’t wait that long.

And yes, there is the idea too that the Gospel is shown by our actions, how we live our lives, which indeed it is. But at the same time, there needs to be times and places where we share with words, where we convey the truth. There needs to be boldness in our walks. There needs to be a willingness to speak the truth in love, not just cop out and say “well, I don’t need to speak it because I’m already showing it.” I don’t want people to think I’m just a nice person (though in my flesh I do). If I’m compelled by the Gospel, I want people to think I’m a nice person… but only because of Jesus!!!

I’ve always struggled with people-pleasing. I’ve always struggled with a lack of boldness. I’ve always struggled with a lack of urgency to share. Jesus, convict me and change me, give me Your eagerness and Your urgency to share Your love and Gospel truth with family, friends, and a world in need. Help me. Help me to believe and act on that belief!!!

Then He said to His disciples, “The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few; therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest.”

Matthew 9:37-38

Jesus, send laborers into the harvest. Jesus, make ME a laborer. Jesus, send me.

Link

Despite Us, God Works

Loved Pastor Jason’s post today. Check it.

And on the same note, a guy I EV’ed to fall quarter of freshman year (that’s SIX years ago— count it! I had to haha) sent me a message this weekend. SIX YEARS AGO. Isn’t that crazy!? And seriously the only time I ever talked to him was that night when I nervously passed him a Seeds of Life Gospel tract and explained that he could be certain if he was really going to heaven.

As for my friend, it was soo good to hear from him! I’m still not sure what he thinks of Jesus and heaven and a Covenant of Grace, but it’s just amazing to me that God would take that small seed and continue to water it after all these years. I simply hope he knows how much God loves him and that this life isn’t all about works and DOING good things, but rather about having a relationship with Jesus Christ. A relationship that is freeing, secure, and healing. Christ wants so badly for us to trust in the power of His blood and to relieve us from our heavy yokes.

SDG

Despite Us, God Works