Thursday, January 27, 2011

The Lord Is My Strength and My Song

I feel the need to update...

Second semester is going pretty well. It's already hard but I know it's going to turn out alright. I'm taking Intro to Computers, Spanish, Christian Leadership, History, New Testament, Geology, and best of all...a three-hour Geology Lab every Wednesday.

I don't like my history professor, but I've heard he's easy. I love Spanish and the professor is great. The computer class isn't too bad so far, and the professor is very funny and bold about his faith. I am in love with everything about my Christian Leadership class. The Lord is already teaching me so much through the book we are assigned to read and by the professor's lectures. I also live on the same hall as the professor's daughter, and she's one of those people that has Jesus exploding out of her pores, so it's awesome to see that as great as this professor is, he's also real, as evidenced through his sweet and godly daughter. New Testament should be okay, it's not awesome right now because we're just studying the Intertestamental Period and background to the New Testament and stuff like that, but soon hopefully we will dive in to the actual books. I signed up for the same professor as Old Testament, so I already am used to the way his tests and projects are. I'm taking New Testament and Spanish with my roommate, so I have an automatic study buddy and project partner. Geology, however is going to punch me in the face until I'm black and blue, no exaggeration. There is an hour lecture on Mondays, an hour lecture on Wednesdays, then a three hour lab on Wednesdays as well. The professor is nice and is very smart, but I hate science, all sciences, am absolutely terrible at thinking scientifically, and it's college so it's a level up than what I'm used to as it is. Needless to say, I have my work cut out for me. But I know I will survive.

One of the verses that God has spoken to me the most thus far my freshman year is Exodus 15:2. "The Lord is my strength and my song, and He has become my salvation." Exodus is my favorite book of the Bible, but that's not the only reason why this verse is my constant. I love that the Lord is my strength. When I am weak, He is strong. When I have nothing to offer Him but my tears, He holds me in His sweet embrace until I return to sanity. When I am exhausted, sick, defeated, sad, and lonely, HE IS MY STRENGTH. I don't have to be anything to earn this...this is part of His natural instinct, His natural character. He wants to help me, He wants to love on me, He wants to carry my burden. Cast all your anxiety on the Lord, for He cares for you. Cast your cares on the Lord and He will sustain you. When anxiety was great within me, Your love brought joy to my soul. My yoke is easy and My burden is light. Come to Me and find rest for your souls. Over and over again, He tells us that He cares so much about us that He WANTS to help us. He is so worth trusting.

I love the next part just as much: He is my song. I love singing, music, listening to the musically inclined, all genres, at any time. I believe that He speaks through music and that He talents certain people with it. When I think of the Lord being my song, I think of Him lifting my head up and renewing me. He fills me with joy. Not happiness, which is temporary, a simple feeling that comes and goes as human nature changes, but JOY. Joy that comes from God alone. Zephaniah 3:17 says He will rejoice over us with singing and quiet us with His love. That is so beautiful to me! He is so beautiful. He is my strength and He is my song. I delight in Him. I am HIS.

The last part however might be the best of all: He has become my salvation. I have always thought, up until last semester, that "salvation" was a term to describe December 16th, 2001: the day I told Jesus that I would be His and follow Him wholeheartedly. Salvation is so much more than asking Him into your life. It literally means the act of saving or being protected from harm. Theologically, the dictionary says it is the deliverance of the act and penalty of sin, or redemption. Redemption is one of my favorite words because redeem means to buy or pay off; to obtain the release and restoration of something. He literally bought us, exchanged Himself for our sake, just so that we could live with Him forever in a beautiful and finally perfect place. He is my SALVATION. He is my Savior, my Redeemer, and my Deliverer. He rescued my life from the pit. But it didn't stop that Sunday morning when my nine-year-old heart accepted Jesus-He continues to save me. He saves me from myself, my flesh, my desires, my insecurities, my fears, my doubts, my pain, my sin, my weaknesses, my imperfections. I am thankful that I love and serve the God that knows me better than I know myself, even the things about myself I hate the most, and yet He loves me anyway. He chose me anyway. He knew what I would struggle with when He has nails drove into his skin and a crown of thorns pushed down hard on his head. The Lord is my salvation. He delivered me.

All that said, I serve a BIG GOD! He is so wonderful. He is the Maker of the Stars, yet He holds my breaking heart. He created the universes ex nihilo, out of nothing, and yet He cares about my stupid drama with friends. I cannot get over the fact that He loves us so.

Praise be to God, the Lover of my Soul, my Rescuer and Redeemer, and my best friend...You are indescribable.



Please keep praying for me as I do my best in school. It's hard but it is so worth it, and I know I'm in the right place. God is good.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Guess What Daddy? I Updated My Blog!

Good morning, Daddy. I hope you are happy I updated my blog, since you talk to me about it at least once a week ;) Just kidding I love you!

On my heart recently...

Conviction is a lost issue, it seems. We tiptoe around certain people, we lie to our friends, we forsake the tugging on our heart from the Lord...We live in the society of the feel-good and love-everybody Christianity, which, sorry to say, y'all...will leave you empty and incomplete. The Joel Osteen approach to life will only take you so far. He's a great guy and all, but as you get older in your faith, the Word says we need meat, not spiritual milk.

I know most of the time I would rather just deal with issues on my own rather than hash them out with people or lay them all in the open. I can blame this on my non-confrontational nature, but in my heart I know that God calls us to speak the truth in love. When you love someone, you aren't going to stay concerned with them and not say anything about it. Yes, people get upset and mad and hurt...but if the Lord gives you a truth to share, you better let it out! Speaking from experience, I know that when God tells me to do something and I don't do it, it's NOT GOOD! I totally miss out on something awesome that God has for me.

All that to say...if you are concerned about someone, pray about it. Ask for wisdom and peace and patience and the right words to say to help them. And if the Lord prompts you to go to that person, talk to them. Talk to them in love, but get your (really, His) point across.

Don't get swept away by this unconvicting, happy-go-lucky Christianity. Jesus turned over tables and told people what for. Yes, He did it in love. But He laid it all down because He knew it would help them. Following Jesus means taking up your cross daily, dying to yourself, and living loud for Him. He deserves so much more than what we have to offer, but we need to do at least this much for Him.

Ask God to knock you off your feet. Ask Him to refine you, mold you, transform you, whatever terminology creates the best picture for you. Ask Him to show you areas of your life that need changing. It hurts, but it is so worth it.

He is SO worth it.