Speaking in the Silence

 
 Have you ever asked your parents a question and you did not get a response right away when you wanted one? It can be quite frustrating right? Now my next question is have you ever asked God a question and you did not get an answer? For example, what will my life look like in the next year so I can get ready for it? What will I be when I grow up? Or, life is financially difficult, when will my next paycheck come in? Those are some questions that we feel like they should be answered right away, but they are not. Countless times our minds are filled with these thoughts and we feel like God is not answering them when we feel like we need them most. But Paul tells us in Ephesians 3:20 "God can do more than I ask or imagine." So why are we worrying if we know we have a wonderful God who has a perfect plan for us? If we look back a couple of Stories ago, I talk about having faith when you don't know what's coming next. If we don't have faith, what do we have to grip onto? So we need to engrave this into our minds because God does have something far greater than we could ever imagine. However, many of you could be telling yourselves, "O I know I need to have faith and I do. I pray a lot and talk to God, but I still do not get an answer." It can be very irritating when we don't get an answer when we feel like we need one. But this is where we need to have faith the most and with faith we learn that God has his own timing. As it says in Acts 1:7 "He said to them: "it is not for you to know the times or dates the Father has set by his own authority." By looking at this verse we immediately see that we can't control anything and that God does, by His own authority. Now, I believe God loves to speak with us through prayer and sermons. Also, I believe God loves speaking in the silence. I say speaking in the silence because it's when we least expect it and then out of nowhere God gives us a perfectly clear answer and the reason for this is because it's through His own timing. So when you don't feel like God is giving you an answer don't push Him away or get angry and lose faith, because He may give you an answer when you least expect it.  

Have you ever asked your parents a question and you did not get a response right away when you wanted one? It can be quite frustrating right? Now my next question is have you ever asked God a question and you did not get an answer? For example, what will my life look like in the next year so I can get ready for it? What will I be when I grow up? Or, life is financially difficult, when will my next paycheck come in? Those are some questions that we feel like they should be answered right away, but they are not. Countless times our minds are filled with these thoughts and we feel like God is not answering them when we feel like we need them most. But Paul tells us in Ephesians 3:20 "God can do more than I ask or imagine." So why are we worrying if we know we have a wonderful God who has a perfect plan for us? If we look back a couple of Stories ago, I talk about having faith when you don't know what's coming next. If we don't have faith, what do we have to grip onto? So we need to engrave this into our minds because God does have something far greater than we could ever imagine. However, many of you could be telling yourselves, "O I know I need to have faith and I do. I pray a lot and talk to God, but I still do not get an answer." It can be very irritating when we don't get an answer when we feel like we need one. But this is where we need to have faith the most and with faith we learn that God has his own timing. As it says in Acts 1:7 "He said to them: "it is not for you to know the times or dates the Father has set by his own authority." By looking at this verse we immediately see that we can't control anything and that God does, by His own authority. Now, I believe God loves to speak with us through prayer and sermons. Also, I believe God loves speaking in the silence. I say speaking in the silence because it's when we least expect it and then out of nowhere God gives us a perfectly clear answer and the reason for this is because it's through His own timing. So when you don't feel like God is giving you an answer don't push Him away or get angry and lose faith, because He may give you an answer when you least expect it.  

True Love!

 
 As human beings, we make mistakes every day; It is a part of our nature. It started all the way back in Genesis with Adam and Eve when God allowed them to eat anything in the Garden of Eden. However, God said, "You may surely eat of every tree of the garden, but of the tree of knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die." Now in the next chapter over in Genesis 3 it is often titled " The Fall ," and that is what exactly happened. The Serpent (Satan), tempted Adam and Eve saying "You will not surely die. For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil." Then they took a bite out of the fruit and then God banned them from the garden. But then the most miraculous thing happened. Even though Adam brought upon himself the penalty of death for all of humanity, God came down to pay that price for us. He put all of our sins on His own back and died for us and rose three days later. That is  True   Love ! We could have done something in our past and thought God would never forgive us for what we did, but He does. He is our Shepherd and we are His sheep. Though we may stray away at times, He will always leave the ninety nine for one. He loves us more than we could ever imagine. Even if you do not feel close to God right now or you might not even know Him, He will always have a hand out just for you.  1 John 4:7-8 "Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God. Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love." 

As human beings, we make mistakes every day; It is a part of our nature. It started all the way back in Genesis with Adam and Eve when God allowed them to eat anything in the Garden of Eden. However, God said, "You may surely eat of every tree of the garden, but of the tree of knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die." Now in the next chapter over in Genesis 3 it is often titled "The Fall," and that is what exactly happened. The Serpent (Satan), tempted Adam and Eve saying "You will not surely die. For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil." Then they took a bite out of the fruit and then God banned them from the garden. But then the most miraculous thing happened. Even though Adam brought upon himself the penalty of death for all of humanity, God came down to pay that price for us. He put all of our sins on His own back and died for us and rose three days later. That is True Love! We could have done something in our past and thought God would never forgive us for what we did, but He does. He is our Shepherd and we are His sheep. Though we may stray away at times, He will always leave the ninety nine for one. He loves us more than we could ever imagine. Even if you do not feel close to God right now or you might not even know Him, He will always have a hand out just for you.

1 John 4:7-8 "Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God. Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love." 

Does Change Hurt Us?

 
     When one thinks of change, it can be a very terrifying word. For many, change happens when they go into high school, college, they move, or a new job. When some say change, people at times switch topics or they shy away from the subject because they can not stand the thought of it. It takes you out of your comfort zone and it pushes you to try something new. In many of our lives we strive to be comfortable, so we know we are safe and secure.  However,  sometimes it causes us to want to take control even though we are not...God is. In Joshua 1:9 God states, "Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go."  Now I am not writing this to tell you that change is always easy.       However, I am saying whether you agree with me or not. God is with us! He was with the disciples when they were on the Sea of Galilee and a massive storm passed through. All the disciples went to the back of the boat while Jesus was asleep, waking Him and begging Him to stop the storm. Mark even states, "Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?" And as Jesus gets up, He replies, "Why are you afraid, O you of little faith?" Then with three simple words He says, "Peace! Be Still!" and just like that, the sea was calm. Now, when I think of life, I think of how big of a storm it is. A storm filled with stress, anxiety, fear, and CHANGE. But the way to overcome this is by trusting in God every step of the way, talking with him, and reading more about Him everyday because God NEVER fails.       Finally, take 5 seconds and look at the picture of the flower above. In the spring it starts a little sprout growing and hoping to be a tall flower. In the summer, it blooms to its fullest form and God's great design is truly remarkable. However, in the fall and winter it dies. But I can promise you that just around the corner it will bloom again in the spring. Life is kinda like a flower. We may go through hard parts in our lives and think we are the dying flower, but God is there just around the corner making things  beautiful .             

    When one thinks of change, it can be a very terrifying word. For many, change happens when they go into high school, college, they move, or a new job. When some say change, people at times switch topics or they shy away from the subject because they can not stand the thought of it. It takes you out of your comfort zone and it pushes you to try something new. In many of our lives we strive to be comfortable, so we know we are safe and secure.  However,  sometimes it causes us to want to take control even though we are not...God is. In Joshua 1:9 God states, "Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go."  Now I am not writing this to tell you that change is always easy. 

    However, I am saying whether you agree with me or not. God is with us! He was with the disciples when they were on the Sea of Galilee and a massive storm passed through. All the disciples went to the back of the boat while Jesus was asleep, waking Him and begging Him to stop the storm. Mark even states, "Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?" And as Jesus gets up, He replies, "Why are you afraid, O you of little faith?" Then with three simple words He says, "Peace! Be Still!" and just like that, the sea was calm. Now, when I think of life, I think of how big of a storm it is. A storm filled with stress, anxiety, fear, and CHANGE. But the way to overcome this is by trusting in God every step of the way, talking with him, and reading more about Him everyday because God NEVER fails. 

    Finally, take 5 seconds and look at the picture of the flower above. In the spring it starts a little sprout growing and hoping to be a tall flower. In the summer, it blooms to its fullest form and God's great design is truly remarkable. However, in the fall and winter it dies. But I can promise you that just around the corner it will bloom again in the spring. Life is kinda like a flower. We may go through hard parts in our lives and think we are the dying flower, but God is there just around the corner making things beautiful.             

Fear or Faith?

 

Jeremiah 29:11-12 ESV

For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will hear you. 

 The definition of faith is to have complete trust or confidence in someone or something. When we think of our meciful God and what He has done for us, why are we fearful to have faith in Him?Sometimes we get caught up in ourselves and think we are invincible and all knowing. However, we are not. We need to give all we have to Him and stop doubting if He is capable. Also, we do not have to fear what is around the corner because He will be there every step of the way. In James 1:6, God promises  "But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for one who doubts is like wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind" (ESV). This past week I was challenged in my faith by putting full trust in God as I was at a camp helping refugees. He taught me not to depend on my own thoughts and understandings but fully rely on Him giving me the right words to speak to the children.  I was in constant prayer,  looking to Him to guide me through the week.  He did! Now I challenge everyone who reads this, that you would take 30 seconds and ask God for faith in whatever circumstance your going through or what may come in your future. He will provide.    

The definition of faith is to have complete trust or confidence in someone or something. When we think of our meciful God and what He has done for us, why are we fearful to have faith in Him?Sometimes we get caught up in ourselves and think we are invincible and all knowing. However, we are not. We need to give all we have to Him and stop doubting if He is capable. Also, we do not have to fear what is around the corner because He will be there every step of the way. In James 1:6, God promises  "But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for one who doubts is like wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind" (ESV). This past week I was challenged in my faith by putting full trust in God as I was at a camp helping refugees. He taught me not to depend on my own thoughts and understandings but fully rely on Him giving me the right words to speak to the children.  I was in constant prayer,  looking to Him to guide me through the week.  He did! Now I challenge everyone who reads this, that you would take 30 seconds and ask God for faith in whatever circumstance your going through or what may come in your future. He will provide.    

Church Without Walls

 
 The picture above is of a church. When you travel this part of the world and into the bush, there are not any tall buildings like we see here in the states; the churches are outside under a tree. Also, people do not drive their cars and park them in a parking lot. They travel by foot to get to church. As the music began to play and the drums began to beat, the men and women trickled into the gathering under the trees. They came walking through the bushes singing and dancing with joy. I was in such awe seeing old men walking with their canes and seeing young women with their children coming to praise the same creator. This was truly an unforgettable experience.

The picture above is of a church. When you travel this part of the world and into the bush, there are not any tall buildings like we see here in the states; the churches are outside under a tree. Also, people do not drive their cars and park them in a parking lot. They travel by foot to get to church. As the music began to play and the drums began to beat, the men and women trickled into the gathering under the trees. They came walking through the bushes singing and dancing with joy. I was in such awe seeing old men walking with their canes and seeing young women with their children coming to praise the same creator. This was truly an unforgettable experience.

African Homes and Happiness

 Traditional African home: As we were in Africa on our mission trip, we spent time with the wonderful people who live in homes like these. We drank tea. We talked about life. We spent time with their families. The home pictured above is in East Africa. In north central Kenya, families build their homes of mud and sticks. These homes are not very big at all. When I sat down inside, I asked myself, "Is this big enough for a whole family? Are they happy here?" God opened my eyes, seeing that they do not depend on stuff or big houses for happiness. Sometimes we get caught up in our possessions and other material things. Instead of small things, we want a great vision to drive us. We don't want to take life for granted, but we want to live thankful and purposeful lives. Take 30 seconds and look at that hut. Take another 30 seconds and ask God how He can use you and push you out of your comfort zone. 

Traditional African home: As we were in Africa on our mission trip, we spent time with the wonderful people who live in homes like these. We drank tea. We talked about life. We spent time with their families. The home pictured above is in East Africa. In north central Kenya, families build their homes of mud and sticks. These homes are not very big at all. When I sat down inside, I asked myself, "Is this big enough for a whole family? Are they happy here?" God opened my eyes, seeing that they do not depend on stuff or big houses for happiness. Sometimes we get caught up in our possessions and other material things. Instead of small things, we want a great vision to drive us. We don't want to take life for granted, but we want to live thankful and purposeful lives. Take 30 seconds and look at that hut. Take another 30 seconds and ask God how He can use you and push you out of your comfort zone.