Obey: Journey and Heart

I think this one is hitting home for the last #ThinkBackThursday this season. It’s now been a year; 52 posts of old material that G-d used to once again locate me and challenge me. This blog was birthed out of obedience, and while I didn’t want to be THAT Christian-Hillsong girl who writes a blog about my journey… I am. And I LOVE it because it’s what G-d has put on my heart and in my hand to do. So dang it – I’m going to do it well. I’m going to do it out of obedience and trust and I’m going to do it out of self-reflection and self-location because I’m going to want these things written; I’m going to want these stories that I get to live with others retold because I have enough faith to believe that Jesus will turn up in the midst of them.

The biggest THANK YOU to those of who you have read my blog faithfully, inconsistently, never read it but always intended to and to those who’ve stumbled upon it now.

THANK YOU for reading… not because it’s my blog but because I’m honoured that you somehow might believe in my story. Thank you because your time is valuable and spending 5-10 minutes, twice a week to catch up with me means heaps to me. You are so treasured.

I have such love for you all.


5 November 2008-

“G-d, I’m listening, and I don’t know what to do-
I’m doing my best to listen to what you tell me to.
Putting actions with my words has become the hardest thing
When I cannot speak anymore, LORD, you’ve taught me how to sing.”

All I’m hearing lately is “OBEY”; Even though I have NO idea the outcome or the process that He will lead me though. Sunday night G-d surprised me and just told me to obey… it hurt worse than anything I’ve ever felt (thus far), but I did. I have no idea when He will mend what he’s asked of me or how many days it will last. But, I’m learning that it’s not about me anymore.

G-d has something amazing in store for those who seek them, and He’s leading me beside the still waters so that I can.

I watched “Everything Is Spiritual” by Rob Bell, with our leadership core on Sunday afternoon, and throughout all of it what really stuck out to me is “Sitting on top of the mountain”.

*G-d called Moses to Obey… Exodus 3.11-14 ((EDITED))
(a)
11 But Moses said to God, “Who am I, that I should go ((Insert G-d’s resolution to a personal problem here))?”
12 And God said, “I will be with you. And this will be the sign to you that it is I who have sent you: When you have ((Fixed your problem the way I TOLD you to)), you will worship God on this mountain.”
13 Moses said to God, “Suppose I go ((Oh, I dunno… OBEY, what then should I tell people?)), ‘The God of your fathers has sent me…’ and they ask me, ‘What is his name?’ Then what shall I tell them?”
14 God said to Moses, “I am who I am… ‘I AM has sent me to you.’ ”

(Actual Verses Cited below)

Something that I couldn’t get out of my head is the thought that all He’s asked us to do is obey. Just to sit with Him, hear Him out and obey the words He has given to us. Moses was instructed by G-d to go up Mount Sinai and meet Him there.

(b) “The LORD descended to the top of Mount Sinai and called Moses to the top of the mountain.”

Just to meet Him. Just to spend time with Him. Just to listen to Him.

I attend The University of Tulsa (Community College) ha… Ahem, anyway I have classes every Tuesday and Thursday from 8-9.20am, and then another class at 11am. I was given a book called “Practicing the Presence of God”, so I thought I would read it during break. There is a hallway at TCC that everyone refers to as the ‘breezeway’, because it is a hall of windows, and I suppose seeing the outside is just as good as being there nowadays? I sat in the breezeway staring out until a bench outside caught my eye. It was tucked away underneath two trees no taller than a one-story house and decently shaded, and still allowing enough light to keep whomever was underneath warm. I gave G-d a sarcastic look in my head and thought, “Why do you want me outside? I could just read in here and not have to move.” G-d has a funny way of returning my cheeky favors, so a little more clear and for no particular reason I get a nudge to get off my rear and go outside. I start down the breezeway when I realize that I’ll have to walk through the smoking area to get to my little picnic table that G-d wanted me at, and I begin to think “I don’t want to go through the smoking area, I hate the smell of smoke it’s bad for you.” As I make my way to the Library G-d pulls all the more hard telling me to go to table and reminding me that sometimes he takes you through something you don’t really want in order to get you alone with him.
I sat and read and didn’t really understand why I had to be there. But it’s not about me… G-d just told me to obey and I’m trying my hardest to do so.

(c) “Now if you obey me fully and keep my covenant, then out of all nations you will be my treasured possession.”

G-d, do you really think that of me? Am I really a treasured possession of YOURS just because I listen? That’s enough for me – it has to be enough for me.

So I’m stuck, at the top of the mountain waiting on the Lord to come find me. I can’t do this alone because I wasn’t created to be alone, and right now trusting in G-d is all I need to be leaning on.

Just some thoughts of a Follower of Christ trying to find whatever He needs of me.

“And I’ll praise you in this storm
And I will lift my hands
For you are who You are
No matter where I am
And every tear I’ve cried
You hold in your hand
You never left my side
And though my heart is torn
I will praise you in this storm”

Exodus 3.11-14 (a)
11
But Moses said to God, “Who am I, that I should go to Pharaoh and bring the Israelites out of Egypt?”
12 And God said, “I will be with you. And this will be the sign to you that it is I who have sent you: When you have brought the people out of Egypt, you will worship God on this mountain.”
13 Moses said to God, “Suppose I go to the Israelites and say to them, ‘The God of your fathers has sent me to you,’ and they ask me, ‘What is his name?’ Then what shall I tell them?”
14 God said to Moses, “I am who I am. This is what you are to say to the Israelites: ‘I AM has sent me to you.’ ”

Exodus 19.20 (b)

Exodus 19.5 (c)

Scrabit Valentines

Please enjoy this #ThinkBackThursday, it’s long enough 🙂


I had the opportunity of learning how to co-write a song with a 2nd semester student the other day. It was awesome (for lack of a better word, I used all my good ones in the song). One of the lines we came up with being, “The hardest place to be is on an empty page”; which for any artist: If you’re a writer, a painter, a dancer or a songwriter, this is one of the truest statements that there is. Unless you and G-d have some ridiculous thing worked out and you just flow 24/7 in the gifts of creativity. To you I say, I’m way jealousI’m working on that.

All of that to say, I’ve been here for about three weeks and written every day, but sharing has gotten significantly harder. The first week was full of temporary housing, moving, getting settled in, and not having WiFi. So that was legitimately part of it, however, another large part is that G-d is uprooting crap that I don’t WANT to share. If I admit it out loud (or on paper, or at the internet) to you all then it becomes a real issue with real accountability that I have to address. What sucks is that G-d has laid it on my heart to share my story. Be real with people, open up and love people as I accept unconditional love that I used to not allow myself to feel. I’ve been taught in public speaking, and singing, and even conversations to not preface or disclaim things and I try really hard to keep to that. But I clearly didn’t listen this time. Lets add that to the list of things I’m working on.

It’s Valentines Day here in Aussie Land, which in all reality doesn’t matter at all. I plan on finding a beach today and getting golden brown and piddling around the city. The only significance of today is that I just finished a book on Prophecy and a heavy portion of the book spoke on LOVE. So today I woke up and read 1 Corinthians 12-14 as the book suggested doing for every day of the rest of your life and I began to realize just how poorly I love. A large struggle here at Hillsong [so far (for me)] has been my wonderful insecurity and issue of comparison. Hillsong College doesn’t cultivate or feed this insecurity, in fact I think I’ve heard something in every sermon, chapel, lecture, and conversation about how we need to NOT be comparing ourselves.

We are the BODY OF CHRIST and to each of us has been given the ‘manifestation of the Spirit for the common good’.

G-d puts us in the places HE willed us to be in, with the talents HE set in us, and the understanding HE taught us, with the stories HE will use if we let Him. And sometimes all of that sucks (this is a fragment sentence because I have nothing else to say about it). When you lean on your understanding and your view it’s rough to believe you’re a significant person in the kingdom. You might be a finger in the body, but fingers are pretty boring until you attach them to the hand and link them to the heart and the brain, and then through them all working together create a melody on the piano, or a letter to an old friend, or a story that will change someone’s life.

“But in fact G-d has arranged the parts in the body, every one of them, just as He wanted them to be.”
1 Corinthians 12:18

– I don’t have to try and convince myself that I’m supposed to be here, now, with the level of talent or anointing I have – G-d has placed me where He willed me to be. I’m not a mistake; I’m not out of place. No one else here can be me. His Word tells me so. Even on the days I don’t believe in myself, I have to believe His Word is true or I really have nothing and no reason to be here.

Hmmm, so love.

“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails… And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.”
1 Corinthians 13:4-8a; 4:13

Can we go real talk without you getting uncomfortable? No? Probably not, that’s fine you don’t have to ‘like’ this post. Do you have any idea how long I’ve avoided and not liked this portion of scripture? My divorce was final August 2012 so… probably about 4 months BEFORE that. I have let there be a hold over my heart and life because I have accepted the ties around portions of scripture and what was promised to me, and broken. G-d didn’t do that. HE didn’t abandon me, He always hoped in me, He ALWAYS persisted after me. He is good, He is G-d, He is Holy. Having said that I realized that through all this mess and all the ties I let hold me I was killing my ability to ACCEPT love… How the heck do I expect to give love if I can’t accept it? I am a BAD lover. I have the biggest issue in the world with rejoicing in truth, I need to work on rejoicing over people who are ahead of me in life. I need to stop being intimidated by them and thinking I will never be like them. Chances are, I WONT BE LIKE THEM BECAUSE G-D CREATED ME TO BE ME.

I have so much room to grow in this area. I have so much I need to start believing about me so that I can in turn pour it out into believing in others. What is terrible is that it’s all grown out of fear, pride and insecurity. Those are ugly, I want to be pretty inside and out. Momma always said I was… I want to believe I am. But dang, I need G-d’s help. Only He knows how stubborn I am and how far down He is going to have to dig to get it all out. And I have been praying since I got here that He would take it all out. G-d, teach me how to love. Show me the moments when I am very wrong. Guide me in what You need me to do and above all – change my heart to beat more in line with Yours. “Get rid of it all G-d, make my heart true. Get rid of it all G-d and make me more like You. Just take it all Lord, bind me to You. With one glance of my heart G-d, I’m falling in love with You.”

I could write a ton more about all this but I’m trying to keep it as short as your attention span. It might not ever be perfect but I DO love you all with all I know how, I am praying that it becomes more pure and closer to what it love really looks like. I am expecting a lot of miracles and heart changes for the women I live with and the people I’m going to school with, and me. I could use prayer. You all are wonderful.

“Write your heart out”… seriously, get the mess that is inside of you out. There is healing, there is encouragement, there is truth to be spoken over you, there is accountability you (I) desperately need. You don’t have to fight thoughts alone.

 Happy Valentines Day

Think Back With Me On A Little Poetry

I don’t really know HOW people ‘get into’ poetry, so I’m not entirely sure where my obsession and appreciation began. I remember having a book for a language class growing up that had the most beautiful poetry in the back of it. I memorized one of the poems entirely.

This is a poem I had written 5 years and a day ago (16 December 2010). I modified it in the slightest to help the cadence along but this is still a very real part of where my life walks. Please enjoy this #ThinkBackThursday!


 

Sometimes I wish I had more strength, 
You tell me to rely on You.
Sometimes I just want to be able to see,
but You say You’re leading me through.
Sometimes I wish I had more trust,
But You tell me it’s just something I have to DO.
Sometimes I’m glad You believe more in me than I act like I believe in You.

Sucky Sound Systems, Surprising Stories, and Skepticism

G-d is actually beautiful.

I was thinking this morning about how doing #ThinkBackThursday is getting more challenging the longer I do it. It’s weird – I’ve used the majority of my old posts from Facebook (be my friend! If you mention my blog you get a 3% discount on being my friend!) and I was running out of material. I was about to start creeping through my 10 year old journal but, no one REALLY wants to read who I was crushing on at 14.

Lo and behold, I found a post from October 2010 that I don’t recall ever stumbling over in this last year. And wouldn’t you know it… it’s in perfect timing with what I NEEDED to hear this week.

I write for me.  I publish for accountability. I pray that somehow in the middle it might be the encouragement, challenge, blessing or honesty you need. I truly could never say ‘thank you’ enough if you pray for, support me or have been apart of reading my stories. Please enjoy this #ThinkBackThursday


 

Thursday we had a worship night at church and all was going well until Jesse and I here a loud pop in the monitors in front of us. Jesse was roughly 4 feet away from me so I casually and in the full attitude of worship lean over and ask if he can hear Kevin anymore or the piano.

“No”
wonderful.

You see, when we cannot hear Kevin that’s a bad thing. While I have attempted to train myself to just know what key we’re in and sing it in tune the whole way- there is still comfort in being able to hear the piano and KNOW you’re in the same key.

I couldn’t get the attention of our wonderful sound man Steve (thanks for the photo Steven B.) without making a scene so I felt pretty stuck, and then suddenly, the monitor popped back on.

This actually was wonderful.

Unfortunately, our sound system didn’t like leaving people feeling happy and fuzzy so again, the sound went out. I wasn’t sure what to do, there wasn’t much I could do, so instead I just prayed. If I remember correctly it was something like, “G-d, this might be a silly request but… I don’t want to create a distraction with not being able to hear correctly so if at all possible could You somehow make the monitor start working? I mean, I’ll still love You and do my best either way… it’d just be nice”

I felt in that moment like He was legitimately asking me if I’d be surprised if He did, He reminded me of the scripture in James 1.6-7 about coming to G-d with our requests, “Ask boldly, believingly, without a second thought. People who “worry their prayers” are like wind-whipped waves. Don’t think you’re going to get anything from the Master that way…” I felt like He was asking me if I was going to truly believe that He could; if I was going to believe that He would answer something so – in my mind – trivial. In an honest answer back to G-d I said, “I’m not sure.” I couldn’t tell Him that I w o u l d n ’ t be surprised but I remember thinking, “G-d, I don’t honestly know if I will be surprised, I just know that You can”.

((Before I completed my thought the monitor came back on. I smiled.

I don’t know what it was in my heart that shifted to where I just decided to believe. I still don’t understand why I can’t live there constantly. Where I ask G-d without doubt and know that He’ll answer if it’s His will. I’m ok admitting that in my almost 20-year-old mind I still struggle with trying to figure out why it seems G-d answers some prayers right away and on some He waits. All I know is to trust that His word and promise to me are true. And that I must be patient in not understanding because HE knows whats up.

I’m not perfect. I don’t have everything figured out. I’m learning. I’m accepting when I can’t do things alone. I’m committed to the only thing that has never let me down.

I’m His and that’s all I need.

When I Consider Your Heavens…

G-d has taught me a lot since my 18th year here on earth. But what He does for me still blows my mind and makes it hard to do anything but praise.

May I always sing Your praise

Enjoy this #ThinkBackThursday


23 July 2009

As much as I want to tell you how excited I am about You… I must admit that I feel inadequate to sing most of the time. I start praying and I feel like I’m stopped abruptly with thoughts of “you’re not worthy to praise Him. Nothing you could offer would repay”
While that is completely true, it seems as though you still accept everything I have to say to you. Why you take time to listen? Shoot, I’ll never know.

Psalms 8.3-5
“When I consider your heavens,
the work of your fingers,
the moon and the stars,
which you have set in place,
what is man that you are mindful of him,
the son of man that you care for him?
You made him a little lower than the heavenly beings
and crowned him with glory and honor.”

Shoot guys, did you catch that? G-d made us right under heavenly beings… like… you got G-d and Jesus and the trinity…. Heavenly beings… Then us?
Seriously? Why?

All I know is G-d is good…. and if that’s how He says it’s going down, you better take it and run with it.

I guess my mind is just blown right now so I’m not sure if you needed to read this… but I needed to write it.

((Hey, maybe someday when you really need it… it’ll be sitting here.

Drift\\

Sometimes I feel like I repeat seasons, and I can’t even get upset about it because it’s really funny. I’ve for sure felt like this over the last few months with writing. It seems like now that I’ve made a commitment to have something to say, I have nothing to say – at least nothing of any significance. But my prayer is that it is seasonal and that when you read it you ARE encouraged, challenged, and feel loved. It doesn’t have to be the best because it probably wont be but, it will be my best. Please enjoy this #ThinkBackThursday from my 20th year of life.


I hate feeling distant from G-d, I hate second guessing if He hears me. Ever since I decided to do this “30 days of creativity” it seems like I’ve been the most… un-in-tune with my Savior that I have been in a while. I feel like since I promised not to live watered-down and be honest that G-d has found out how to make me learn in every situation. I’m not much for filters – by that I mean I stink at keeping them on. So, generally, what I’m thinking comes out. I’m not thrilled when I have to lead a family group, or a worship set, or a Sunday school lesson feeling like I’m living in the wrong. Have I talked to G-d about all the junk I’m feeling? Yes.

Do I understand why it’s still there after?

No. Not at all.

“We must pay more careful attention, therefore, to what we have heard, so that we do not drift away.”  -Hebrews 2.1

Attention is hard to give when it is being demanded in so many places. But obviously, G-d knew the important places it should be given.

((So G-d, help me. Help my attention to shift cause if I am or not, I HATE feeling like I’m drifting. You have more for me than this.

Scrabit: Art

#ThinkBackThursday
20 October 2010

“Most artists can’t draw, but all artists can see.” – Roy Simmons

“He said, “Go and tell this people: “‘Listen hard, but you aren’t going to get it; look hard, but you wont catch on.’ Make these people blockheads, with fingers in their ears and blindfolds on their eyes, so they wont see a thing, wont hear a word, so they wont have a clue whats going on and, yes, so they wont turn around and be made whole.”

 Isaiah 6:9-10 (MSG)

It seems like G-d might have wanted us to understand something here. Art isn’t just about ability; it’s about seeing what needs to change and creating something that can make a difference. And G-d’s art is to make us whole through giving us the vision to see what needs to change.

I was reading a delightfully short book by Seth Godin called Graceful where he took a full section to talk about Art. He defines art as this: “Art is anything that’s creative, passionate and personal… Art is a personal gift that changes the recipient.”

G-d’s art is revealed in the everyday continuation of what He started long ago.

“First this: G-d created the Heavens and Earth – all you see, all you don’t see” Genesis 1:1(MSG)

G-d was the original creator and the only one by which we may LEARN what He wants to do with our lives. The beauty of His art is there is still life yet to be revealed. Some things in creation we are still waiting on, there are things and colors in heaven that we still haven’t experienced ((and I cannot wait)). He set the heavens in place, His majesty is seen in all there is and He holds my heart and molds it everyday into something reflecting Him.

G-d is a passionate G-d, He is a compassionate G-d, a G-d who thinks about us and has purpose for us. He is a wonderful, powerful master who sees us in the state we are in and calls us His. He is a personal G-d who cared so much about the people He created that He sent His one perfect thing He had left – His son so that He might be reunited with us.

I can’t help but think through a few things…

First.     Are you letting G-d’s art CHANGE you? When was the last time you admired the sunrise or sunset and couldn’t focus cause the presence of G-d was so thick through your thoughts that you broke out in praise with your entire being?

2nd.     Are you letting G-d direct your art that He has for you? Some of you have read these posts and thought, “oh that’s nice, but I don’t have art to give”…how selfish… You have a gift that only you can give, you have an art that only you can perfect FOR HIM and you don’t care enough to search it out? Maybe it doesn’t look like messy hands from painting, or like a keyboard to type stories into. Maybe it looks like buying a bag of food a day and driving till you see someone who might need it? Maybe it looks like having a conversation everyday in which you remind someone of how much they mean to you? Possibly you could take 30 days to spend time perfecting listening to G-d? Maybe G-d has given you a heart for missions but you’re in a different season where you can’t leave yet? What if you were to passionately pray for a different location or people group for 30 days? What if you were to check up on the area to see what G-d was doing with your prayers?

“The more people you change, the more you change them, the more effective your art is… If there is no change, there is no art. IF no one experiences it, there can be no change.” –Graceful

What has changed around you lately? Have you inspired the change?