Sunday, October 31, 2010

BURSTING at the seams to share

Starting last spring I have been going to the early church in OCP on Sunday mornings. It really stretches me. I definitely have stepped out of my comfort zone on many occasions by going there. But I can't stop. I think I love it. I think I like being challenged because I don't feel like I belong or that I am not like all the other "hippie", simple living, really different folks that attend. When I have gone to other churches around Harrisonburg I feel too comfortable. I understand too much, I am not forced to think differently or accept people who are so different from me. I won't let myself stop going to OCP. It's not a pride thing, I really feel like I should continue going there, I like it especially on mornings like today. 

I am really wrestling with something. Brief recap on what we talked about at this mornings service: Luke 19- Zacchaeus the wealthy tax collector and Jesus staying at his house. 
It launched us into a talk about giving up our possessions. What is poor? What are we holding on to so tightly?
I gotta tell you it was so convicting for me. Normally when topics like this come up I can brush it aside because I am in debt, going to school, leading Wyldlife so giving money there or my mom really struggles with financial ish or I am not nearly as bad as others around me. But this morning, sitting in that room with SO many people who don't have much, or are already living so simply or giving up so much and even they are talking about how much they have or how tightly they hold on to their material possessions really hit me in the face. I spend money on so much stupid stuff!!!! I care so much what people think about me and how I look that I buy new blouses or scarves or shoes or whatfreakinever! There are so many things that I convince myself I "need" or that are "mine". 
I literally did not enjoy the discussion after the message today because I knew it was truth and it was a truth that I was not living. I kept trying to find loop holes to how it did not apply to me. I was so convicted (not guilty, this was all Biblical stuff) and I mean HOW MANY TIMES does the Bible talk about money being the root of all evil, or it being terribly difficult for a rich man to get into heaven, or selling our possessions to give to the poor or not storing up our treasures on earth...that isn't just a fairy tale!!!! Those aren't just nice thoughts!! We can rationalize all we want why we have what we have or how we deserve it or how it's not that bad to buy new stuff or how we already give this or do that but the bottom line is NOTHING IS OURS. EVERYTHING ON THIS EARTH IS THE LORDS. That really hit home for me. 
But I know that with this revelation comes my knowledge and fear that I might start to live differently but then judge all those who don't. I really don't want to turn into a prideful person or think I am better because I shop at thrift stores or let people borrow my car or donate money etc etc. Even though I may believe living that certain way we talked about this morning is what God wants, I can only be responsible for myself. As Ron said (the pastor) I can't point out the dust in the eye of someone else when I have a plank in mine. 
So I am not declaring my drastic transformation to how I will now live, but I really don't want this to fall to the wayside. I believe so much that our minds have been warped by this world to believe that money isn't bad. We have turned so many accessories into necessities it's unbelievable to me. I have lived around people and been surrounded by a culture that has never shown me how other people live, or what it looks like to be content with little and then to even be generous with that little. No good comes from cherishing material things, I don't care what it is.
And even as I type this in my mind I am thinking of people I know who have a lot or buy whatever they want and it's stupid for me to judge them. I need to only focus on how I can change and that worrying about others sins (or whatever that sound harsh I dunno) does nothing good but create dissension and judgment and all that crap in my heart. 
Anyway, basically I am going to let myself take baby steps. I am going to be more conscious of how I spend my money and how I look at my possessions as "mine". WHAT MAKES US THINK WE HAVE THE RIGHT TO ANYTHING? ARE WE SO DESERVING? EVERYTHING BELONGS TO GOD. LOOK AT SOMETHING AND IT'S HIS. 

Anyway, I am clearly very fired up about this and need to pray that it doesn't die down because I believe this is truth and God has called us to live differently.
Maybe after I digest everything from this morning more and pray about it I can come back in a week or more and see how I feel and how I will make changes. 
I pray the Lord really keeps this revelation in my heart and on the forefront of my mind. I believe it will be freeing when I finally do start letting go of 'stuff'.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Give me freedom or give me ingenuine blog posts

I have found myself doing what I wanted to avoid most! 
I have been shamefully writing to an audience. Most of the time, not every time.
Kelly STOP caring what people think

So I had this notion that this blog needs to be filled with my spiritual revelations or wise discoveries, but I am steering off that course a bit and headed for a more relaxed, perhaps even silly destination. GASP!
More posts about nothing because sometimes those even have the most something. 
(I'm still gonna include my spiritual discoveries as well- they are a big part of my life!)

So here's a start: Today I ate lentils for the first time. They weren't bad. 
And I wore a scarf that was very pretty but not worth the compliments considering how often I struggled to make it fall around my neck just right.


Here's a thought: Things can always be worse. 

Really, they can. And in this moment that thought is actually encouraging me. Because my problems are not so big and scary when I think of how much worse they could be. And I don't mean grand life alterations, like I could be a poor orphan in Africa, but even just adjustments to current life situations.
For example, I could be an only child. I could go through difficult things with my parents and have no company or soldiering siblings along for the ride. Instead, I have 4 brothers. Granted, these four brothers can cause me some pain and frustration, but I would be lost without them (and probably more dull too).
I could live with non-Christians who I cannot relate to or who don't understand my way of living. Living with 8 girls can be a challenge, but at least they all know and love the Lord! 
I could not only lead with a guy I dated but also have classes with him. Not even being spared in a school setting from constant encounters with him. I'm just being honest, that would be worse, my current situation is not as bad in comparison.
I could have a poor relationship with my dad AND my mom. As it is, even though things with my dad are terrible, I have the best mom I could ask for and a wonderful relationship with her. (That one I actually do a good job of remembering to be thankful for).
I could hate leading Young Life. Sure, it is a tough, at times discouraging ministry, but I feel so called to do it. How awful if I bitterly and grudgingly went through the motions of leading! I really am glad that I get to share Jesus with middle schoolers.

So, pretty simple. And not the best way to always handle your problems, but it helped me tonight. 


Sunday, October 24, 2010

How is He worth it??

           I can go through trial after trial and come out of it so much stronger in my relationship with the Lord, and yet still- when that next hardship waltzes in I am paralyzed. I am worried, I am angry or confused. So many times the Lord has taken a crappy situation and let it become a point in my life that teaches me something wonderful, or strengthens me and encourages me in His faithfulness. Yet my moaning and groaning arrives right on schedule when a bad circumstance occurs, out of my control. Then I begin to sulk in my misfortunes. "This is so unfair...I did nothing to deserve this...what is Your point Lord in allowing this to happen?" 
I ask those questions A LOT. 
          I was listening to a sermon and the pastor was talking about how trials show us how little power and control we have. Suddenly we realize "I can't fix this!". And that is when our focus has to shift to Jesus because He is greater and He is powerful so He can help us and guide us. Which for me, He always has. And ya know, it really is in those most trying times that I come out more in love with Christ. Take Argentina for example. I still shudder when I think about those 2 horrible months. BUT, I had never been closer to the Lord. I would not trade that time for anything because I learned to really depend on the Lord. I do not believe I would have learned that kind of dependence and reliance if I had been working a job in San Diego, or doing summer staff or living in Harrisonburg. That was exactly where I was supposed to be. The Lord used Argentina to really reveal Himself to me, and to truly prove that He is the light in darkness.
          The same revelation can be applied to many other tough circumstances in my life. And yet, here I am unhappy with certain events and impatient for them to be over. I need a holy perspective, I need that reminder of how the Lord has brought me through countless times in the past. He doesn't say it is easy, and He doesn't promise I will get exactly what I think I want, but He does promise to never leave me, and that He has my best interest at heart.

          I really want to accept my own powerless and weak self, and be thankful that I have a God who sympathizes and I have a God who allows everything for a reason. I can honestly say that I look forward to seeing how the Lord has used this time in my life to grow us closer and to strengthen me in my faith.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010


"To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything, and your heart will certainly be wrung, and possibly be broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact  you must give it to no one...Lock [your heart] up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness. But in that casket, safe, dark, motionless, airless, it will change...The only place outside Heaven where you can be perfectly safe from all the dangers and perturbations of love is Hell."
-C.S. Lewis, The Four Loves

I have been thinking about [all] relationships lately. And the bond and love between them. I have been very psychoanalytical about it. For example, take the idea of missing a person. Think about how much love and fondness you must have for them that you are actually melancholy when they are not around, or to desire their presence a large enough amount that it is actually hard when they are absent. Why are we like that? How crazy that we are created to love. It's basically unavoidable. And for most of us we yearn to love for people. We want to be able to give away that vulnerability. But man it's scary. Even just a new friendship is opening your heart more, putting yourself further out there.
Even now I am getting nervous. Loving someone is a risk. I think very rarely (if ever) is a person content with having a one-way street kind of love. It is meant to be a mutual connection. A back and forth of love and respect, giving and receiving.
Love is dangerous. And of course intimate, romantic love is the most dangerous of all. 
It just seems so funny that we are sinful, short-lived, innumerable human beings and yet we are capable of feeling something so huge, so powerful. And that fact that we are meant to live like that. JEEZE!
But in the beginning of our time God said "It is not good for man to be alone" (Gen 2:18). I guess I do not really have a concluding statement, or overall purpose of this post. Just some ramblings I decided to put down into organized sentences. I am deciding much of this as I go along. 
To love and be loved seems scary, but the Bible tells us "perfect love casts out all fear" and also that "God is love" (both in 1 John 4). It is God's love that need never strike fear in our hearts because it is unchanging, unfailing and always reliable. RADICAL.

Thursday, October 7, 2010


Psalm 147:10 & 11
"His pleasure in not in the strength of the horse, nor His delight in the legs of a man; 
the LORD delights in those who fear Him, who put their hope in His unfailing love."

I have been thinking about this passage lately. It incites joy and encouragement for me to imagine the Lord being delighted by me, His daughter, simply putting my hope in Him. To think that I can bring God joy? I am reminded of the verse in Zephaniah (v.17) that says "He will rejoice over you with singing". WHAT?! Over me? I am a people pleaser, so to be able to please God by trusting in His promises, to know that He delights in me...well that is the ultimate best. John Piper talks about that verse in Zephaniah and compares it to when Jesus says "There is more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who need no repentance." (Luke 15:7) It also communicates just how much God cares for us. And not the kind of caring from far off, just sitting on His throne proud of what He has made. But caring about each individual child of His and desiring life and salvation for them. He loves us more than the most beautiful mountain He crafted, or a glorious sunset He paints, or the fiercest ocean He filled. 
One of my housemates and I were discussing how we were created to be satisfied by God. And isn't it wonderful that He know everything else can and will fail us, but thankfully HE is our sustenance and He offers Himself to us constantly.

What a wonderful God who takes pleasure in my love. It is astounding.

Monday, October 4, 2010


hoping wishing wanting needing coping dealing adjusting trying expecting guessing receiving giving crying laughing sobbing grasping accepting learning applying changing enduring growing rejoicing questioning praying begging loving seeking.