In Dependence Day

2 Corinthians 5:17
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!

As the 4th of July draws near and thousands of Americans venture out to buy fireworks to shoot into the sky, independence is on my mind.

However, it’s not the kind of independence that the July holiday celebrates. Instead, I’ve been meditating on our days of dependence in Christ.

Recently, I’ve come to notice that many Christians are ashamed to be totally dependent on Christ. It’s interesting how ridiculously hard it is for people to come to the end of themselves. To get to that point of the utter famine of self-reliant resources. When they can no longer pretend they are ok in their own strength.

Why is it so hard for Christians to get to rock bottom?

I think it’s because people are born independent of God. Until the point of conversion to Christianity, a person has spent their entire life learning how to live for themselves.

When Jesus comes along He offers salvation through Himself, counsel through the Holy Spirit and a dependable, capable, loving Father.

Unfortunately, many Christians don’t make it past the point of believing in God. They stumble at even really trusting God. And if they don’t trust God, then can’t don’t depend on Him for everything.

I was just reading in 2 Kings today about the Israelites. They knew God and worshiped God. However, they also worshiped idols and served other gods at the same time. They were the poster children (of God) for a lack of dependence. Instead of proceeding swiftly to their Promised Land, they paused and tarried for 40 years in the wilderness in defiant independence.

I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to spend 40 years of my life wandering. Nah, I’d rather get this dependence in Christ thing down now and be productive and fruitful.

In an attempt to tersify the point I’m making, too many Christians still live independent of God even though they are in a relationship with Him. It’s kind of like they turn to God and say, “I love You, kinda.”

Let me assure that it’s not a shame to be dependent on Christ. In truth, it is totally ok and biblical to rest and depend in Christ. I challenge you to the title of this blog: be dependent in Christ every day.

If Christians get to the point of depending on God, many do not make it past a few moments of dependence. And maybe minutes, hours or a few days of dependence. Sadly, however, after they make it through their current struggle/trouble/problem, they stop totally depending on God and go back to a life of self-dependence. Then, after the next problem causes their life to go into a downward spiral, they return back to God for more moments of dependence. It’s a cycle. And a non-biblical cycle, by the way.

“Wait,” you say to yourself, wondering. “You mean depending on God for a little while and then trying to do things on my own when I feel better isn’t ok?” Correct, thinking reader. Correct.

Jesus said in John 15:5, “apart from me you can do nothing.” It doesn’t say, “Sometimes when you’re feeling extra super strong, you can do things.” It doesn’t say, “After you’ve depended on Me and rested with Me awhile you will have enough knowledge to be a success on your own.” No. It says we can do nothing apart from Him. So that means that we have to do all things with Him and in dependence on Him. And it also shows me that we can be desperate for God every day.

I think of it like this: It’s either nothingness without dependence in Christ or it’s fullness and abundance with dependence in Christ. I don’t want to have nothingness any day so I am desperate for God everyday. I am in dependence of God every day and I challenge you to do the same thing.

Make every day an in dependence day.

Seeds and Leads

I met Brooke Fraser last Thursday.  She is a wonderful woman of God.  She has a great voice too.  Brooke played a concert in Nashville and I was blessed enough to make her acquaintance.  I took tons of pictures but have not taken the time to put them on my computer yet.  Perhaps later…

The reason I got to meet her is because I wrote an article about her for CCMmagazine.com.   Because of that mass of words, I received free tickets to the show and an opportunity to meet her.  So, of course, I took it.

In case you aren’t familiar with her, please, read the article.  It’s got the basic gist of who she is and what she’s up to.  In short, Brooke Fraser is a solo artist with a massive career overseas who is trying to break into the U.S.  Additionally, she’s a member of Hillsong United, a music ministry movement of Hillsong Church in Australia.  She’s an amazing songwriter with an awesome voice and is definitely worth looking into!

Brooke has a song called “Seeds.”  It’s on her new CD “Albertine.”  That’s where the first half of this blog title came from.

The second half pertains to me and my ever-popular job search story.  I’ve got a few leads now through friends who work at particular companies.  I must say that it is way more encouraging to apply for jobs when I know that somebody already working there can help me out than it is to apply “cold” to jobs.

One of my leads is at my roommate’s aunt’s workplace.  She is supposed to talk to her friend in the HR department today.  At this point, I’m most excited about working there because of the earnings potential.  I’m not a money-monger, but I do have a godly desire to support my friends who are missionaries.  A few of them have contacted me recently asking me to support them and I’ve had to deny my assistance.  I didn’t enjoy doing that.  I also would love to try and bless my roommate financially.  She has helped me out so much since I moved here a year and a half ago.  From buying me lunch sometimes to paying a little extra on the grocery bill, she’s truly been a shining example of service to me.  I want to repay her for that…literally.   I am not sure if she’ll see this blog, but if she does, my thanks go to you, Shay.

I’ve started prayer walking on the local college campus.  I was sulking in my bed one day trying to sleep off my feelings when God spoke to me and said that I should go prayer walk on campus.  He’d planted that idea in me months ago but I had not yet done it.  However, last Saturday, I armed myself with scripture and went to pray.  Now, nearly a week later, I’ve gone there nearly every day praying scripture over the students, the faculty and the campus.

Let it be known that I didn’t receive any job leads until after I started prayer walking.  When God calls you to do something, it’s in your best interest to obey.  Because obedience brings rewards.

Listen, obey, receive.  It kind of reminds me of lather, rinse, repeat.  🙂

Dear The Media

Dear The Media,

I honestly believe that you are quite responsible for the not so great economy.  When you repeatedly talk about how bad the economy appears to be, you give Satan entrance to make it worse.  I challenge you to speak positively.

Not listening to your negative spin on culture,

Lindsay

Intro to Little Letters

The original reason I titled this blog Letters From Lindsay is because I got a kick out of writing short letters to things.  Sometimes they were letters to people, but most of the time they were letters to things a person wouldn’t normally write a letter to.

Take this for example:

Dear iTunes,

Why do you find it necessary to ask me every other day if I want to download a new version of you.  I don’t.  Stop asking.

Happy with the version I have,

Lindsay

See?  A little silly.  A little funny.  Anyhowaways, I’m going to start writing these little letters regularly.  I’ll create a category for them so you can find them easily.  Perhaps they will make you smile or laugh and brighten your day.

In lieu of Coke, I drank sweet tea

You’d think that after sitting around and thinking for three weeks that I’d have wonderful things to say.

You’d think my words would be eloquent and divinely inspired.

You’d think they would be full of revelation and profound truth.

You’d think…

I’d say that, yeah, I have learned a lot in this time. Yeah, I do have great things to say. Sure, if I sat here long enough and proofread every word three times this blog would flow seamlessly. Certainly I’ve received words of comfort from God. But I don’t know if I’d term them revelationary. (Yeah. That’s a new word.)

My roommate suggested that I fast something until I get a job. I decided to fast pop/soda/coke/cola/soda pop. Truth is, I’d often find myself plotting ways to go out and buy pop. I’d plan my day around my cola intake. I’d say that’s a case of the flesh overtaking my self control. Time out for a mini-lesson. Your flesh is your sinful, lustful, selfish side. Your spirit (that is, if you’re a Christian) is the God-seeking, submissive, righteous, holy side.

Since last week, I’ve not had any pop. It hasn’t been that hard to abstain from drinking it.

However, I noticed that I started drinking sweet tea and eating more candy bars instead. Rather than totally overcoming the urge for sugar, I just transferred the method of sugar intake. Not exactly a successful fasting exercise.

Good news is that I realized this was happening and I’ve taken steps to properly align myself, God, the flesh and my desires.

Some of you may find it weird that I have to starve my flesh into submission. I don’t find it strange. I find it necessary. Contrary to the way America works, our flesh and self-fleshness (‘nother new word combo) are not in charge. The flesh shouldn’t rule all of our desires. We shouldn’t go about our lives driven by our latest lust.

If I’m not careful, I find myself scheming for the next thing that I want. Take now, for example. I want an iPod Touch. My flesh is convinced that I have every good reason to have one. Examine the truth and you’ll find that I already have an iPod Nano. The Nano works fine. I’m unemployed and frankly cannot and should not afford another iPod right now. The main reasons I want an iPod Touch are so I can have wireless connectivity and email wherever I am. I want to beef up my cool factor. I want to have another toy to play with.

I don’t need a new iPod. I just want one. For totally stupid reasons.

If I were still employed, I would’ve purchased that iPod around the time I got laid off. I thought I had enough money to do pretty much whatever I wanted. I was planning a trip to New Mexico. I had a newly-deposited stimulus check from the government sitting in my bank account, waiting to be used. I was loving work. I was rolling in self competency.

And then all of that dreaminess and money freedom ended on a Tuesday morning when my boss came in and said my position had been eliminated.

I went from iPod dreams to an, “I’m unemployed,” reality.

Three weeks later, here I am with my third (perhaps fourth blog) about the fact that I’m unemployed. I still haven’t lost hope. I’m still expecting God to do great things.

Here’s what’s different:

1. I’m no longer controlled by my flesh (and ultimately Satan; since he drives all pursuits of the flesh).

2. I’m stewarding the money God has allowed me to temporarily use as my own to pay my bills, sow the seeds of His kingdom and give back to Him mainly in increments of 10%.

3 I’m a prisoner of hope. All I can do is hope. I cannot be negative because I find no moral, spiritual, physical, mental or sensical reason to be negative.

4. I enjoy my life everyday because I’m desperate for God, His provision, His work, His might, His comfort and His promises. I’ve learned the lesson that I need to be desperate for God all of the time. On the good days, the bad days, the sad days, the glad days. All days must be desperate days. Apart from God, I can do nothing. I was aware of that verse and concept but I just didn’t quite get it until I found myself in desperation.

I used to be ashamed of desperation. I have always been the put-together, proud person. I would only tell my life story experiences after they were wrapped up, taken care of and had a happy ending.

And now I am desperate…and I am celebrating it! I need God–more than I need a happy ending, more than I need a great job, more than I need a husband, more than I need food on the table.

In my current mental movie, I see the Nashville skyline on the left and God standing on the right. I hear Him say, “Do you choose to be alone with everything–your dream job, a good paycheck and friendly coworkers? Or do you choose Me alone, your everything? What do you want? Commuter? Or community? Do you want to be alone in your car on the way to work most of your life? Or do you want to work in the community where you live and build relationships with the neighbors around you?”

As I gaze upon the city skyline, I sigh. I see falsely glamorous, busy activity and aimless pursuits in circular, repetitive motion. When I fix my eyes upon Him, my Creator, I see true peace. I see a flowing river next to a stable, rooted, healthy tree.

Without vision, the people perish. Thankfully, you’ve just witnessed me receiving something revelationary.

I choose He alone, my everything.

Idol Dreams

here i recline
listening to unreleased music
not acquired for media purposes
but from the cause of service

i sit without employment
of the job kind
but with the engagement
of God

a relationship highly regarded by many
and bitterly criticized by others
but i’m content with it

i deal with distractions
of addition and subtraction
to the core of what’s enough

faced with an epic battle of wits and will
i choose desire of Him
not an idol pursuit of an empty, self-formulated dream