Sunday, October 31, 2004

People spend more than they have to buy things they dont need to impress people they dont like

Sunday, as usual. Westridge the charts. I went to the 10:00 service as I couldnt get motivated to go to the early service. What a difference. The crowd is bigger. They are more into the service. I just couldnt believe the difference.
Afterwards, I went to the men's small group and it was incredible. We basically turned it into a testimony share time and we all told our story about when we were saved. Then we broke up into small groups to pray for each other. Then as I was outside about to leave, Matt, one of the guys there, came up and asked me about my bike. We got to talking and he told me that I really bring a lot to the group. I told him I felt awkward about it at first being the old guy in the club, but he said that didnt matter. I told him I would see him Thursday night at the exchange. It really made me feel like for a change I fit in. Plus another one of the guys told me I should hang out with them. I am going to go to his work on Thursday for lunch. Should be interesting.....
For a change, I feel like I belong. Ain't it great!

Monday, October 18, 2004

Life as a dash.....

I heard something at small group yesterday that just caught my attention.

"How did you live the dash?"

Explanation: John Doe, January 1, 1970 - January 10, 2004. His entire life is the dash on his headstone between his birthdate and the day he died.

The question came up from the discussion at small group. We watched a DVD by Bruce Wilkinson, (author of the Prayer of Jabez and Secrets of the Vine) talking about the parable of the talents. To one servant, he gave 5, to another he gave 2 and to the last he gave one. The servant with 5 doubled it to 10. The servant with 2 doubled it to 4. The servant with only 1, buried it, did nothing with it. The king praised both of the servants who did something with their talents and rewarded them both equally. But the servant that buried the one talent had it taken from him.
Sometimes I feel like the servant with only one talent. Not because I would bury my talent, but because often I feel like I am not using the talents that God has given me. Not because I dont want to, but because I dont know what God wants me to do.
I know for now, He wants me to work on being the example of Him abiding in me. I have worked very hard the past week trying to eliminate cursing, (a lot of success there I barely curse at all now, still work to do) I am trying to be a better all around person trying to eliminate the things in my life that make me fall. I have started playing guitar again and forgot how much I enjoy it, even though Im not even close to being good at it lol.
When I get to heaven, and God asks me what have I done with my life for Him, I dont want to have any regrets because of things I havent done.
I'm ready God when You are.

Tuesday, October 12, 2004

God gives us valleys to appreciate the Mountains!

What a difference a week makes. Last week was no short of incredible. I felt God all around me the entire week. Just a closeness like I havent felt in a long time.

Then I came down off the mountain.

Sunday, I went to Westridge as normal and just wasnt into it. The message was about when its ok to be angry, the music was just so so. Nothing to write home about. Then I went home and slept most of the day, paid bills, balanced check book. Just a really down depressing day. I felt like I was all alone, again. I was looking at the same four walls I had looked at for a year, and I was STILL alone.
So, as usual, I reached out. I called Kari and she built me up as usual. We seem to know just what to say to pick the other one up. Last week it was me picking her up and now she is doing the same for me. You would think that two friends who are as passionate for Christ that we are, and probably the two biggest third day fans on the planet, would end up together. Thats not what either of us know God uses us for. Even though she picked me up a bit, I was still way down. So, Sunday night I went to bed earlier than normal but had trouble sleeping.
Monday started off just like Sunday, except I had to drag myself to work. A chore that becomes less and less enjoyable everyday. I love my job and the people I work with, but the drive and the environment add to the problems in my life.
So last night, I called Dwayne. We had made a pact to be accountability partners several weeks ago when Loren preached on accountability. I laid all my cards out. I felt alone, I was tired of it, I didnt know what God wanted me to do, struggles in my life, etc.
It was just what I needed to do.
And Dwayne didnt hold back.
He basically built me right back up. He told me that I was such an example to him because whenever I face adversity in my life, I turn it over to God. My problem is that I turn it over only once I realize that I cant face it or fix it alone. That I still struggle every day, especially at work. I work in a high stress environment and before I know it, I am cursing worse than a sailor out at sea.
Dwayne gave me the scripture James 1:5-6 "

5If you need wisdom--if you want to know what God wants you to do--ask him, and he will gladly tell you. He will not resent your asking. 6But when you ask him, be sure that you really expect him to answer, for a doubtful mind is as unsettled as a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind. "

He challenged me to make that scripture my own in my quiet time. To ask God for wisdom and to pray that God said if I asked for wisdom He had to give it to me because that is what He said He would do in His word. Then as the phone call ended, Dwayne prayed for me. There are no words to describe what his friendship means to me. Like I told him last night, we started in a small group and it never ends.

So in my prayer last night, I read James 1 back to God and asked for what He wanted me to do. God gave it right back to me. As I read the rest of James, it talks about controlling your tongue, being quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to anger. Things I deal with every day at work. Dwayne even told me that maybe God has me here at my job to be an example to others. Something I havent been very good at but I cant help but think that this is what God is wanting me to focus on. Controlling my anger, stress, and what I say. He is telling me to become the example.
So this morning, I came in and made a huge 'X' and hung it over my door. No one has asked me what it means yet, but what it reminds me to do, is to work all day long, to be the eXample of what God wants me to be.
Today, I'm climbing back up the mountain side.....

Sunday, October 03, 2004

Unbelievable day....

Unbelievable. That is the only way to describe the incredible day that I have had. The day started several days ago and what I mean by that is the plan that I had for today. I had set aside in my mind, that today is the first day of a new me. I say this a lot but when I fall, I pick myself back up, and start again. Today was going to be me starting again. And what a day it has been....
Tim was here for the past week just looking at 4 different walls than those of his apartment. We talked about his life, my life, problems in both. I think he helped me as much as I hoped that I helped him.
Well I have told him how awesome Westridge Church is and today he went with me there. It started off very slow nothing spectacular but the message was so incredible, and the music to end the service was unbelievable. The band did "Indescribable" and closed with a chorus doing "King of Glory" but God was in the house and that gym was about to blow. I was emotional, Steve the band lead singer was crying it was just unbelievable.
Then I go to the men's small group from the exchange and connected with some new guys living the same walk that I am on. We had a great small group meeting and it was great to feel like a part of something like that again.
Once at home, a close christian friend of mine called and was upset because the person she thought would be there when she needed them the most, wasnt. And would not be there tomorrow or the next day. I was able to counsel her and by the end of the phone call, had her laughing and empowered enough to do what she needed to do. Then after she had done what she needed to do, she called again. Once again, God gave me the words to say to her to build her up again. God is so awesome but it is more personal when you can see God using you.
Just like last weekend on my way home, God put me in the position to be able to help someone with a flat on their LIMO. Their jack would not work and they asked to borrow mine. After I had helped change their tire, they offered to pay me and I simply just told them, the next time you see someone in the position you are in now, stop and help them because I helped you. They could have paid me a lot of money, but God gave me the words to say at that time. Granted, they may drive right by the next person they see with a flat, but at least they will think about it.
I just need to take the time, to rest and know God is in control. I need to be able to listen and hear his voice. I havent had a lot of luck in that area in the past, but I want to know what God wants in my life.
I asked Tim what he thought I wanted in my life and he said he knew I wanted to be married to have a family. I agreed with him but I also am sticking to the message God gave me. I wont settle for anything less than what God has in store for me and I want to be the best that I can be for God to give me to someone else.
However, I also told him the story of what an impact Ken Pate had in my life. How he was there when Tanya's grandfather died. How he and I prayed in that funeral home for her situation. Just what an awesome witness to me he was. I would love to be a Ken Pate to someone or to a group. I dont know if that is God's plan for me but often I feel led to that. I even thought when I got this house it would be awesome for a small group because it is so wide open. It is all up to God now. I just have to be quiet and hear His voice.