Tag Archives: Bible

Writing a War

I wish I could write a war

And win it with a word

My pen alone cannot prevail

But prayer can

Move heaven

And shake the earth

Until all the silt is sifted away

You can depend on me

To pen and pray these prayers

And fiercely fight

With every word I write

Counting the Cost of Discipleship

In September of 2009, I started an Immersion Discipleship Training (IDT) program. Now, a year later, I have much to reflect on.

This week, I started my second year of my IDT student internship at New Song Christian Fellowship in Nashville, Tennessee. It’s safe to say that I’ve been effectively discipled in this last year. I am more proficient in the Word and Spirit. I walk in more power and authority. I also have a lot less free time on my hands.

Biblical discipleship is not that common of a thing. Few churches and Christian communities invest the time in the upcoming generations.

The current trend is quite opposite of what I’m experiencing at New Song. Most leaders today hoard their positions, grasping them with a greedy death grip. New Song’s leaders don’t do that.

Discipleship is expensive! But not necessarily in the monetary sense. Sure books and materials for Bible classes cost money. Yes, the cost of food to feed students is consequential. But the greatest cost of biblical discipleship is time.

Time, talent and treasure. God asks us to sow all of those things into His Kingdom. These triad T’s are being sown into me.

Time
Want to show somebody you love them and care about their future? Invest time in them. Give them the thing that cannot be repaid. Give them the ticking seconds on your life’s clock.

The staff at New Song Christian Fellowship believes in pouring into the next generation and they do it very well.

Talent
Each person is created by God with a unique set of gifts. These gifts are not meant to be exploited for personal gain. Rather, they are designed to be shared. We are created to bless and complement each other. We are meant to work together. We’re weak in some areas so others can be strong and help us with them. Too, we are strong in particular practices so we can practically provide for others. Daily I am strengthened in my weak areas because the staff at New Song share their talents with me and help me refine the talents God gave me.

Treasure
I admit it. Money is important. But money doesn’t make the world go ’round. The earth spins because Jesus holds all of the universe together. We can’t serve two masters, God and money. We have to instead master our money and use it for God’s Kingdom. Numerous people have sown financially into me. I live in a host home rent-free. I’ve received anonymous financial gifts. I’ve gotten gift cards to buy food. My high school mascot was a Pirate. As a Pirate, I really love treasure. ūüėÄ

My hope for every person reading this is that you have an opportunity to be discipled. Know Christ better. Grow in your knowledge of the Word. Know that the Bible is not this obscure, impossible to understand book. Realize Christ is alive. Life a life of dynamic power and movement.

If you’re not plugged into a dynamic community of believers, don’t despair. There’s hope for you.

The Lord has impressed it upon the hearts of the New Song leadership to create a resource called Disciple’s Handbook. This way anybody who wants to can be effectively discipled. The Great Commission is carried out through this resource. We’re currently in the process of writing the pilot edition of Disciple’s Handbook. It’s not perfect. There may be a typo or thirty. But we know that it’s God-inspired and Holy Spirit directed. The end result of Disciple’s Handbook will be three editions with 12 lessons. Right now we’re up to lesson seven in edition one. We’re working on writing lesson 11 right now. However, the rest of the book and editions haven’t even been written yet! That’s how fresh this is.

Go to New Song’s website to download the lessons for Disciple’s Handbook. Post a comment and let me know what you think of it!

Pastor Dale Evrist, Senior Pastor of New Song Nashville does a daily Old Testament podcast on iTunes. If you want to grow in understanding the Old Testament and how it applies to you today, listen to his free podcast. It’s full of great truth and life lessons. Download iTunes if you don’t already have it. Here’s a link to his Walking Through the Word Podcast on iTunes.

Consider yourself resourced!¬†I am going to warn you, though. Laying down your life in obedience to Christ is costly. But it’s absolutely worth the investment!

A Little Sabbatical

Long time no write!

In September, I joined a student internship through my church–New Song Christian Fellowship. Since then, there’s been a whirlwind of classes, meetings, learning, mentoring, working, sleeping, eating…

And during all of that activity, there has not been much time for me to sit at home on the computer on the internet.

But hey, that’s totally a wonderful thing! For awhile, I’ve been longing for an internet sabbatical. Well, I got one!

It’s been wonderful to be immersed in ministry to the point of not having time for the computer.

Here’s what’s happened since my last blog:

I needed a new job. I looked for one. I found one. Now I’m working seasonally at a home decor store. When the Christmas season is over, I think my temporary seasonal job will end too. So now I’m on the lookout for the next job.

I’ve taken and completed one term of Bible classes in my student internship at New Song. I took Pentateuch, Systematic Theology and Spiritual Leadership. I recently turned in my finals (Dec. 1) and now I’m waiting on my grades for those classes. I think I did well on the finals and I really enjoyed those classes. In January, I start my second term of classes.

Well, that’s pretty much it. I’m too busy for the internet and that’s a wonderful thing.

I’ll post again when I’ve got some free time. Have a Merry Christmas! Remember that Jesus is the important One here, not materialism.

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.

You either swallow the Enemy or let him out

If you’ve been reading my blog for awhile, you’ll probably remember a few posts about¬†my prayer walks¬†at MTSU (the local college).¬† If you haven’t been a faithful reader, then I’ll explain.¬† Basically, I took prayer walks on the MTSU campus all summer long.¬† I also continued to take them after school started up again.¬† Well, after I started working at the temp agency, I didn’t take the walks as often as I wanted to.¬† And, I eventually stopped a little over a month ago.

Since I stopped prayer walking, there have been two shootings and one stabbing on campus.¬† Knowing I hadn’t prayer walked in so long and hearing about all of those violent things happening really convicted me.¬† So, today I Trikked to campus and took some time to pray and seek God for specific scripture for the campus/my life/the city/the church.

And, as always, God did not disappoint.  While there, I had a great time of prayer and I also received a few awesome scriptures. 

1 Samuel 2:1-10 — What first caught my attention was verse 10.¬† “The adversaries of the Lord shall be broken in pieces.”¬† While thinking about all of the violence on campus, it was comforting to read that all of the evil that was so prevalent would be destroyed.¬† I was reading these verses in the New Spirit Filled Life (NSFL)¬†Bible.¬† It’s the New King James Version.¬† The NSFL Bible has great explanations, especially for verse one.¬† The verse says, “I smile at my enemies…”¬† The explanation for that verse said¬†it was a cross reference for another verse that means an open mouth devouring enemies.¬†

My next scripture was Isaiah 29:9-24.¬† It talks about praising God with lip service but not sincerely praising Him.¬† It’s idle religion without an honest relationship with God.

And finally, I was led to Psalm 111 and 112.  Psalm 111 is an example of the correct way to praise God as a congregation.  Psalm 112 talks about delighting in the Lord (i.e. smiling at Him).

After reading all of this scripture God gave me two visions.

One was of an open, smiling mouth of praise that devoured the Enemy (as the 1 Samuel passage said).

The second was of a mouth speaking the words of the Enemy: idle religion, division, disunity and lies like that of the people in the Isaiah scripture.

The church of America has become irrelevant.¬† It’s like the people in Isaiah.¬† Idle religion.¬† Lip service.¬†

The church of America needs to be like the 1 Samuel passage and those two Psalms.  We need to delight in the Lord.  We need to smile at Him and, consequently, devour our Enemy. 

The tongue speaks life and death.  The mouth either devours or releases the Enemy.

Time Doesn’t Diffuse Promises

I don’t think this blog will be as well put together as most of my other blogs. It usually takes me anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour to edit, proofread, delete, add, change, think, redo, etc., etc. my blogs.

However, this time, I just need to release my thoughts and writerize (the writing form of verbalize) what’s going on in my head.

So let’s get to it…

God’s promises don’t change. God isn’t like people. Humans promise things and often fail to deliver. “I promise you, I’ll love you forever.” Years later, a tragic divorce.

“There’s no way I’ll miss your game, son.” Caught up in the busyness of his day, a father fails to show up to his young son’s soccer game.

“Your secret’s safe with me. Don’t worry. I won’t tell anyone.” The next day, gossip encircles a young female as she realizes her trusted friend betrayed her confidence.

God doesn’t do that. When He says He’ll do something, He will do something.

I am trying to pound this point into my head. I cannot compare God to man. I cannot gauge my trust level of God based on my human experiences.

God promised me a job on the MTSU campus. He confirmed it through His Word, the Bible. He’s confirmed it in the Spirit. He’s affirmed and confirmed it through other people in my life. He speaks to me specifically about the job when I go to pray on campus.

Yet, I still find myself doubting what He said. I still feel me slipping into times of pensive consideration of, “Well, what if He doesn’t? What if I don’t get a job there? What if I’m not hearing Him? What if I’m left disappointed?”

God isn’t an “if” God. God is a “truth” God.

The truth is that God doesn’t lie. The truth is that God doesn’t deny Himself. The truth is that time doesn’t diffuse God’s promises. Waiting doesn’t weaken the promises of God. In the words of Joyce Meyer, we want “microwave miracles” from God. We want it zapped to us right now.

The situation I’m in requires a crock pot miracle. It requires a slow brew of basting, tenderizing, flavorizing, slow-cooked goodness of perfect maturity.

A gap in time between promise and promise fulfilled doesn’t negate the promise. God spoke to me about this job a long time ago. His promise of a job is still true, though I still see no evidence of a job there. Though I have not been called for an interview. Though I’m still without job.

Here are a few segments of passages from the Bible that have really challenged me and convicted me on this particular subject:

Excerpts from Psalm 31:

In you, O LORD, I have taken refuge;
let me never be put to shame;
deliver me in your righteousness.

Turn your ear to me,
come quickly to my rescue;
be my rock of refuge,
a strong fortress to save me.

Since you are my rock and my fortress,
for the sake of your name lead and guide me.

I will be glad and rejoice in your love,
for you saw my affliction
and knew the anguish of my soul.

My times are in your hands….

Let your face shine on your servant;
save me in your unfailing love.

Let me not be put to shame, O LORD,
for I have cried out to you….

How great is your goodness,
which you have stored up for those who fear you,
which you bestow in the sight of men
on those who take refuge in you.

Love the LORD, all his saints!
The LORD preserves the faithful

Be strong and take heart,
all you who hope in the LORD.

Psalm 34:

I sought the LORD, and he answered me;
he delivered me from all my fears.

Those who look to him are radiant;
their faces are never covered with shame.

The angel of the LORD encamps around those who fear him,
and he delivers them.

Taste and see that the LORD is good;
blessed is the man who takes refuge in him.

Fear the LORD, you his saints,
for those who fear him lack nothing.

The eyes of the LORD are on the righteous
and his ears are attentive to their cry;

The LORD is close to the brokenhearted
and saves those who are crushed in spirit.

A righteous man may have many troubles,
but the LORD delivers him from them all;
he protects all his bones,
not one of them will be broken.

The LORD redeems his servants;
no one will be condemned who takes refuge in him.

Romans 4:

What does the Scripture say? “Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness.”

Against all hope, Abraham in hope believed….

Yet he did not waver through unbelief regarding the promise of God, but was strengthened in his faith and gave glory to God, being fully persuaded that God had power to do what he had promised. This is why “it was credited to him as righteousness.” The words “it was credited to him” were written not for him alone, but also for us, to whom God will credit righteousness‚ÄĒfor us who believe in him who raised Jesus our Lord from the dead.

Scripture regarding my unbelief:

1 John 1:9-10:

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. If we claim we have not sinned, we make him out to be a liar and his word has no place in our lives.

The way I see it, the only way that God is a liar and not telling the truth, is if I do not confess my sins. If I don’t continually confess my unbelief and doubt in this situation, then God is a liar.

Regarding the other passages, you’ll notice that I will not be ashamed, because His Word says so. I am looking to Him and pursuing the leading He’s given me. I will not be disappointed.

The only failure in all of this is unbelief. If I waver in faith, this is not credited to me as righteousness.

There is no punishment for believing God. But there is punishment for unbelief. The Word proves that I will not be disappointed. I will not be shamed. God is not a liar, so what He told me is true. He will deliver. He is my refuge.

In some twisted way, it seems more normal to be doubtful. Doubt defines the culture around me. Doubt feels safer. But, I am counter-culture. I am a woman of faith. I have seen the evidence and fulfillment of God’s promises in my life and in the life of others.

So, really, all things considered, believing is actually the safe thing here. Unbelief brings disappointment and discipline. Wavering brings spinning in a downward spiral of lost progress. Doubt brings in deception.

Belief brings truth. Belief brings fulfillment. Belief leads to promises fulfilled.

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.

Guided Aimlessness

I lost my job today.

It was totally unexpected.¬† And it wasn’t my fault.¬† They told me that it was because of business reasons.¬† The company’s not doing so hot and the economy isn’t either.¬† Therefore, here I am sitting at home without the thought of having to go to work tomorrow.

I’m not upset about losing my job.¬† I know that God will (and has and will continue to) take care of me.¬† He’s my provider and provision.¬†

I know that I’ll “land on my feet.”¬† I know I’m capable and qualified.¬† I know that there’s something better out there waiting for me.¬†

The thing that I don’t know right now is what exactly I’m supposed to do.¬† I don’t know if I should stay in the web/publishing business.¬† I don’t know if I should work in Nashville or here in Murf.¬†

I’ve already applied for several jobs online.¬† Yet I have to fight that feeling that I haven’t done enough to find a new place to work.¬† Nagging thoughts of uselessness and laziness hit my brain every few minutes.¬†

I’ve worked at several different places.¬† I’ve been a Certified Nursing Assistant, Flagger Girl, Copy Editor, Editor, Photographer, Writer, Resident Assistant, Front Desk Worker,¬†Cashier and Stocker.

I absolultely loved my last job.¬† I thought it would be the thing I¬†would do¬†for a good portion of my life.¬† And now I’m not so sure about that.

I totally trust that God¬†is directing¬†my path, but right now I’m lacking on revelation on where to go next.¬† I need to delve into the Bible and stay in constant prayer about this.

I’m elated to report that I’ve received tons of support from my friends and family.¬† I’m so thrilled to know that they are lifting me up in prayer and that they’ll also seek direction from God on how I should proceed.

As I was considering things today, I realized that I’d been prideful again.¬† I thought I was better than people because I had a first shift job, was on salary, had a 401K and got a lot of free stuff.¬† I elevated myself above others because of the job I had.¬†

I know that it’s not right to do that, but there’s a fine line between being excited about the things I’ve accomplished and judging other people.¬† I often err on the side of judging and taking too much credit for myself and not giving it to God.¬† I’ve repented for that but I need to make significant change in that area.

Parts of me wonder if this job loss is a result of my pride.

Well, fortunately,¬†now I’ve got lots of time to really seek God.¬†

May I Have Your Signature Of The Divine?

May I have your autograph?

An apparently harmless question asked countless times by countless fans to countless people of fame.

I remember standing in line for hours to get autographs from popular college football stars growing up. I waited with heightened anticipation for the scribble proving that I’d met somebody famous.

Fast forward a few years and I find myself standing in line once again to get an autograph from a few of my favorite famous musicians. I recall plotting the exact time to exit the concert so I’d get in the signing line early enough to make sure I’d get an autograph and not have to stay too late.

As I waited impatiently for the line to diminish person by person, I planned out exactly what I was going to say once I got to the front of the line.

“Hey. I love your music. It’s impacted my life so much,” I’d say, as confidently as I could muster. “Could I get a picture with you?”

*snap* The camera captures a moment in time.

My time is up. The line continues moving. I quickly scan the tiny preview screen on my digital camera and scrutinize my pictoral proof that I just met someone famous.

“Ugh..I look terrible in this picture,” I think to myself. “But wow…they…they look awesome. They always look awesome.” *gasp* “Wow, they put their arm around me. I’ve got a picture of me with this famous person and they have their arm on me. They touched me. Wow! I’ll remember this forever!”

As I walk away, I turn my scrutiny to my conversation with the famed musicians. Upset with myself that my words sounded stupid and shaky, I begin to beat myself up over what I said. And what I didn’t say. “I’ll do better next time,” I assure myself. “Hey, at least I met them.”

Have you ever found yourself in a similar scenario?

I think at one point everybody’s wanted somebody’s autograph. Favorite athlete, musician, movie star…whatever.

Not only do individuals pursue autographs in person, but record companies, distributors and websites use autographs to sell product. Particularly in the music business. A consumer is more apt to buy a CD if it’s got an autograph. CDs are automatically of higher value if they’ve got someone’s name scribbled with a Sharpie.

Going further, fans will spend tens, hundreds, thousands and even millions of dollars on raffles and auctions vying to win an autographed memento.

With all this waiting, money spending and anticipation, normal people are made into marketable business commodities.

I don’t know about you, but I see something wrong with that.

When exactly did people become product? When did it become ok to yearn to have somebody’s signature? When did all of this idolatry sneak in? And why does nobody see autographs as a form of idolatry?

I can hear Satan taunting me now, “Lindsay, this blog is stupid. You’re overreacting. It’s just an autograph. It’s harmless. Your friends are going to think you’re dumb for writing this. They’ll ridicule you. Don’t make such a big deal out of this.”

Well, if Satan’s telling me not to write this, then that means that writing it is exactly what I should do.

I’m totally cool with people meeting other people. By all means, stand in line to meet somebody and have a conversation with them if that’s the only way that you’ll ever meet them. But don’t put them above God. Don’t focus more of your attention and admiration on a person more than you focus it on God. When you fixate on anything more than God, that’s idolatry.

I love meeting new people–yes even famous people. But recently my motive for meeting others has changed. Instead of wanting to meet someone just to have the bragging rights that I met them, I now desire to meet Christian people so I can listen to them talk about their passions and desires in life.

I no longer desire someone’s hand-written autograph. I do, however, want to encounter the Signature of the Divine. Each person who has a personal relationship with Jesus, is marked with the signature of God.

“13And you also were included in Christ when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation. Having believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, 14who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession‚ÄĒto the praise of his glory.” — Ephesians 1:13-14, emphasis mine.

Instead of striving for someone’s printed autograph, invest your energies into encountering God with every Christian person that you come in contact with. Familiarize yourself with the Signature of the Divine in others. And, whenever possible, show the Signature of the Divine to those in your life who don’t know Jesus.

May I have your Signature of the Divine?