Dear the weekend

Dear the weekend,

I’m delighted to spend time with you.  Thanks for coming at the end of every week.  Without you, there would be no week’s end.

Love,

Lindsay

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Here and There

Where’ve I been? I’ve been thinking and growing and learning and reading and Twittering and Facebooking and YouTubing and Googling and living. I’m online all the time.  I’m probably online more than I’m offline.  However, I must confess that WordPress.com is not my most frequented site.  I often think about how I should blog and then I don’t.  Same old story.  You’ve all heard it before.

If you ever wonder what I’m doing, check out my YouTube or Twitter.  I update Twitter A LOT.  It’s so easy and simple. And, since it limits me to a small number of characters, it’s quick.

Anyway, what’s new with me?  Last year, I read the Bible in its entirety.  My church really encourages that.  And for good reason. You learn a lot and grow a lot when you read the Bible. This year, I’m reading the Bible again.  I plan to read it all the way through every year for a long time. I’ve come across a few really great biblical resources and that’s enhanced my learning further. Check out the New Spirit Filled Life Bible, the Hebrew-Greek Keyword Study Bible, The Truth War by John MacArthur and The Beatitudes: The Pursuit of Happiness by Spiros Zodhiates.

I am most likely going to the Dominican Republic on a mission trip in July.  I’ve never been out of the country before so it should be interesting.  I’m also a superbly picky eater so I’ll need God’s grace to eat food that I’m not used to eating.  I try and expand my food vocabularly as often as I can, but I’m still stubborn nevertheless.

I’m writing for A Time To Love Magazine once again.  I do CD reviews and feature stories for them.  It’s a great online magazine.  You should check it out!  I plan on posting here on WordPress to direct everyone to the articles/reviews I write there.  For the February issue, I reviewed VOTA by VOTA and The Tree by newcomer Julianna Zobrist, for example.

Right now I’m listening to Andrew Petersen.  I received his CD in the mail today.  For the March issue of A Time To Love (ATTL), I’ll review Anberlin’s New Surrender and downhere’s Ending Is Beginning.

Soon ATTL will publish my articles about fiercely focused parenting, Darlene Zschech and Plumb.

And, since I’m bouncing around randomly anyway, I have one other thing to share.  If I can sum it up, anyway.  It could be a whole blog in and of itself.  

Christians have three stages: Blessed, Broken, Multiplied.

Blessed
We are blessed to be a blessing.  God wants us to bless others with what He gives us.  We also have to allow Him to put His hand of blessing on what we’re doing.  In order to get that blessing, we obey what He commands us to do.

Broken
This whole concept comes from Matthew 14 and 15, by the way.  Jesus took bread, blessed it, broke it and mulitplied it.   We are all given seeds in the Kingdom.  We need to sow them, water and nourish the seeds others have planted, harvest seeds and sow.  We cannot eat the seeds we are given, either.  We cannot selfishly just think about ourselves and therefore eat our seed.  We need to share what we’ve been given (the breaking of the bread).  Take seeds for example: Something has to die to lead to growth.  The seed dies.  We, as Christians, have to die to our flesh to see growth in the Spirit.

For reference later, I believe I’m in the broken time.  I’ll explain more in a bit.

Multiplied 
If you know even a little about Jesus, you’d know He performed miracles.  Two of them involved loaves and fish.  One miracle fed 5,000 and another fed 4,000.  Jesus was with his 12 disciples at the times of these miracles.  They started out with just a few loaves and fish.  The disciples took the loaves/fish to the groups of people (broken into packs of 50.) Then each person took the bread they were given, broke it in half and then gave it to the next person.  If even one person would’ve eaten the bread they were given out of fear that they wouldn’t get enough, then the whole rest of the group wouldn’t have eaten.  We cannot eat our seed, we have to sow it.  When we share what God’s given and blessed, He multiplies it.

On to me and how this applies to my life….

I’ve been in a time of financial brokenness for a realllly long time.  It started in May of 2008 after I was laid off from my job.  It lasted all summer.  It even continues into now and I’ve got a high-paying job.  (I haven’t gotten paid in over a month.  Long story there…)

Anyhow, on Sunday when I was at church hearing this message on blessing, brokenness and multiplication, God told me that I was in the broken stage.  Awhile back, God revealed that He wanted me to be a sacrificial giver.  I have a strong desire to support those in the ministry financially.  God gives us money so we can filter it through to His Kingdom and what He wants accomplished.  I grasp that and agree with that.  I don’t hoard the money I’m given all for myself.  I give it away to what God tells me to give it away to.

Now that I’ve got that heart attitude, I’ve experienced strong financial resistance against the giving.  However, if giving financially was easy, then it wouldn’t be sacrificial, would it?  No.  So I’m really learning about sacrifice right now as I find it difficult to even pay my own bills because of extenuating circumstances beyond my control.  *cough*not being paid in six weeks when I should’ve been paid in two weeks*cough* 

So God showed me I’m in the broken period.  I’m being broken financially.  I’m walking in a higher level of humility and dependence on Him than I’ve ever been before.  I know that God will bless me and I will prosper financially in the future.  Not so I can be rich and comfortable.  But so I can fund His Kingdom and the work He’s doing.

I believe this time of financial brokenness will end soon.  I believe my giving will be multiplied.

Thanks for reading.  Pursue God’s best!

Fulfillment

As promised, I shall write about something God was speaking to me on Sunday.  Honestly, as I wracked my brain trying to remember that specific thing to write this blog, I couldn’t remember.  Every time that I read the Bible, God reveals something new to me.  So each day, there’s a new revelation.  It’s wonderful.  My church really promotes reading the Bible every day and reading the whole Bible in its entirety every year.  I’m a firm believer in that, as well.  If you’ve never read the whole Bible, I recommend it.  And no, don’t give me that, “The Old Testament is boring and I don’t get it,” junk.  There is SO much in the Old Testament!  It is so interesting!  Everything in the Old Testament points to Jesus and the coming of the Messiah.  It’s amazing.  Ask God to reveal things to you when you read the Bible and He will.  Simple.

On to what I learned on Sunday!  My pastor was talking about how often the words fulfill and fulfillment are used in Matthew.  Jesus is the fulfillment of the Old Testament (OT).  Jesus fulfilled God’s wrath.  Jesus fulfills everything we need. 

Hold up!  Stop right there.  Jesus fulfills everything we need.  That sentence stops me.  It stopped me Sunday and it stops me now.  I’ve been asking myself, “Does Jesus really fulfill me?  Am I content with Him?  Or am I fruitlessly pursuing other, empty, never satisfying things?”

Sadly, the answer for that query is that Jesus often doesn’t fulfill me.  He’s more than able to do that, but I don’t let Him.  I’m so busy chasing after things I think will fulfill that He doesn’t even get the opportunity.  Take food, for example.  Tons of people eat to try and fill a void.  I used to do that.  If I’m not careful, I still do that.  People hunger for attention and affection, so they eat food.  Does that make sense?  No.  Not at all. 

Another area of fulfillment is lust.  Lust is a product of the flesh.  The flesh always wants something.  Bigger, better, more expensive, more sleek, more interesting stuff.  The flesh, in the biblical standpoint, is the opposite of the Spirit.  Spirit is of God.  Flesh is of fallen man.   The flesh never stops lusting.  So, how would I stop lusting?  I’d have to live in the Spirit and let God be my fulfillment.

I often lust for candy or pop or new, expensive gadgets.  And now, instead of relentlessly pursuing those things until I get them, I’m going to seek God first.  Lust is only a quest for fulfillment.  Jesus fulfills everything I’ll ever need.  So, instead of chasing the object, I’m going to chase God.  Chasing lust is empty.  

It’s natural to hunger for fulfillment.  But it’s not healthy to hunger for material things.  I need to take my natural hunger and turn it toward something fulfilling: Jesus.

Here’s how I’m going to apply this:  The next time I’m really lusting after something, I’m going to immediately start praying and read the Bible.  I’m going to fill myself with things that satisfy.  I know I’ll feel full after a time of intimacy with Jesus.  

Well, that’s it.  That was my giant revelation.    May seem simplistic but I think it’s profound.

Re-Lapse

I let the blog lapse again. Sorry, all. I went home for Christmas so I was pretty busy living life. I’d rather spend time with people face to face than keep my blog totally accurate. Seems like the right thing to do.

The Holy Spirit revealed something to me at church today. I will most likely blog about that a little later because I think it’s so revalationary. It’s definitely something I’ve been thinking about all day.

Happy New Year!