Monday, November 24, 2008

we must speak out

over the past few months i have seen an overwhelming "theme" in Christian artists of speaking out and speaking up about our faith. BarlowGirl has a song called "Keep Quiet" that talks about the world never seeing we're different if we just keep out mouths shut about our Savior; the tag before the first chorus is "i'll keep quiet, let's hope they see i'm different", and the tag before the second chorus is "if i keep quiet, they'll never see i'm different". Brooke Barrettsmith has a song called "Quiet Streets". My favorite line from the song is "if you're waiting for the perfect moment, if there ever was a time it's now....go on now take it to the quiet streets, the truth is screaming to be free". Jeremy Camp's new album called "Speaking Louder than Before" hits stores tomorrow. Why is it that all these artists feel the need to 'promote' speaking up about our faith, if speaking about our faith is what we're called to do? Last night in our youth group, our pastor came down and spoke to us about this very thing: it is about more than just living the "good life", it's about going and telling people who Jesus is and what He can do for them. like Lauren Barlow said on their dvd for How Can We Be Silent (their 3rd album), "One of the things that has become a popular trend is the thing of 'what if we don't talk about God, but what if we just live a good life and kind of live out....just kind of being a good person, then people will see that we're very positive and hopefully they will come and ask us a question and we can talk to them about Jesus'", then Alyssa chimes in and says, "yeah the main thing is 'don't say Jesus' name cause it might offend someone'". "You know, at first, it sounds right and it sounds good, and at first you're kinda like 'yeah, i get it' but then you're like 'wait a minute, this man, God, gave His life for me!'"-Lauren. "And we've realized there is power in His name. So what is the first thing the enemy tries to get us to do, it's stop speaking His name"-Alyssa.
The bottom line is, we must go out and literaly touch and reach people for our Christ. like the songs says, if we keep quiet, they'll never see we're different. one thing that hit me really hard last night in our discussion was when our pastor was talking about the Great White Throne Judgement. he gave an illustration about how all those people that i come in to contact with and don't seize the opportunity to share Christ with them, will be looking at me when God brings His judgement saying "Kayla, you knew the Truth and you never told me about it!". That was so convicting on my heart, because i am responsible for their souls. if i have the one thing that can save someone's life, why would i not want to lead them to it?

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

what more could have been done?

This semester I have been blessed to be in a class that is studying the Old Testament book of Isaiah. This class is not just a read-it-and-take-it-at-its-word class; we get in to some deep discussion and I am so super thankful for that! Anyways, today in class, we read Isaiah 5:4 and the scripture says-"What more could have been done to My vineyard that I have not done in it?" (Note: over and over in scripture we see God refer to His people as His "vineyard") This scripture comes after a time when Isaiah is describing the fall of Jerusalem and Judah in the Southern Kingdom. However, God's Word is still applicable to us today!! When we read this particular scripture, it felt so convicting in my heart. How often do I try to seek out and do things on my own, trying to make my life better? Right here, in His Word, God is telling us, "Hey, what more do you want that I have not already done for you?!" Was the cross not enough? Was the blood of the Son of Man not enough to satisfy our every longing that we have in a relationship with Him?? I'm reminded of the song "Enough"—"all of You is more than enough for all of me…" Why is it that we seek out things outside of God when He has done everything, and provides everything that we need? So I leave you with this…."What more could have been done for you that I have not done already?" (verse reworded)

keep on keepin on!!


Monday, June 2, 2008

Hosea 2:7

Hosea 2:7—"She will chase after her lovers but not catch them; she will look for them but not find them. Then she will say. 'I will go back to my husband as at first, for then I was better off than now.'"

So I was looking back in a notebook of mine and I read this verse and what I had written down at the time about it. Wow, God can say so much to me sometimes and I don't even know it! On a random morning, I decided to read from Hosea, a book in the Bible that I had never read from before or even heard a teaching on! During this time of originally reading and writing about this verse, I was going through a lot when it came to conformity and chasing after things of this world. I had always been able to hold up the image of a "great Christian" but inside I was such a broken and desolate person. I had been playing softball for my college team-mind you my main goal in life was to be an Olympic softball player-but even a sport which had brought me so much joy in life seemed to mean nothing to me anymore. I was stressed out and depressed, lying to my coach, my parents, and even myself. I could not find happiness in my life. Then came this verse. It is so symbolic of how I was living, and how I believe a lot of "Christians" live at times. We run from God, thinking that something of this world will please us and be able to fulfill us, only to find our brokenness still there or even worsened. I had chased after things that had the possibility of making me happy, but never being able to "catch" true happiness. Then I just fell to a point where it was like, "Okay I'm coming back to You, because You're ways are so much better and I am way better off with You." I was chasing after all the wrong things, and never being able to catch them; I was looking, but not finding; and then I came back to God as I was at first for then I was better off. Chapter 2 of Hosea talks all about brokenness, how we run from God, chasing things of the flesh, but then realize that we're better off with God. He takes everything "away" from us to make us realize we need Him, the He takes us aside and "speaks tenderly" to us! How amazing!!! I encourage everyone to go grab your bible and read Hosea for yourself, and I pray that God will speak to you in ways unimaginable! All glory to Him!!

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

driving by the river

This morning, while trying to pass the time, I went for a little drive by the river. While I was driving, I looked out over the water and saw how choppy it was in one area, then a little further down, it seemed to be calm. Looking back on this, I realize how it applies to our walk with God; at times our time with Him can be so peaceful and content, and at others, He takes us through rough patches and our waters are choppy. When I've been in those rough patches in my life I used to think that it was God's way of punishing me for some sin that I had yet to confess or for something else that I did wrong in my life. However it's now that I see that through those rough patches and choppy waters I learned how to lean more on God and to not rely on myself or those around me to sustain me and keep me above water. Sometimes God takes us through those choppy waters to break down our pride and self-gratification…to show us that He truly is the one and only One that can save us! Thanks be to God for those rough waters in our life!