speechless

June 30, 2008

Our God leaves my absolutely speechless.  More times than not he completely rocks my world with this reminder of how wonderful he is.  I am going to try and find some words that won’t even begin to give my amazing God justice in order to describe how I feel right now.

Tonight I went out with my very best friend for some coffee.  It was such a random thing.  I was craving coffee so I called her up and we headed to the nearest Starbucks.  As we were leaving my neighborhood, she was about to turn to go to the Starbucks in panther creek.  I suggested that we head to market street instead.  She somewhat reluctantly turned toward market street.  Upon arriving, I saw a friend from church drinking coffee with her grandparents.  She hadn’t really seen me so I was debating whether or not I was going to go over there and interrupt their conversation just to say hello so her. I finally decided that a brief pat on the shoulder and a smile would suffice and I did just that.  Little did I know that God had just made me interrupt one of the best conversations I have ever had the privilege to be apart of.  Her grandparents just got back from a mission trip in China.  Upon hearing this my best friend and I quickly found ourselves sitting down at the table with them and listening intently to these warriors for God.  Hearing accounts from a place where people are put in jail for saying the words “Jesus” or “bible” broke my heart.  How much do I take saying the word “God” for granted?

I was suddenly reminded of all of the times when I was younger that  griped about having to wake up early on Sunday to go to church.  My heart broke for the people that had nothing.  People that only had God, but didn’t even know it because no one could tell them for fear of their life.  I felt guilty that I was born into such privilege and then what had been talked about earlier that day at church hit me like a tidal wave.  I was born into this for a reason.  I live here in The Woodlands for a reason.  One day, I would like to change the world.  I would love the opportunity to risk my life to spread God’s word.  But right now, I am here in North Houston for a reason.  I am going to change my home, my school, and my community.  And one day God will lead me to change the world.  Maybe not change the world like Gandhi or Mother Theresa.  But sure enough, I will change someones world.

I praise God for bringing me to Starbucks tonight.  I praise God for older Christians who have seen so much, devoted themselves to Christ, and are not going to stop fighting with him until their last breath.

I hope to be on the other side of that table in Starbucks one day.

It’s amazing to me how powerful a song can be.  One lyric can sum up a million feelings.  And my absolute favorite way to worship my god is through song.  To just raise my hands and sing praises to him gives me the deepest joy.  This joy inspired me to write this post.

I just went on a week mission trip to Seattle.  God moved in a huge way and I couldn’t wait to share that with everyone.  I had been planning to write about the amazing things that God had done this week soon but I hadn’t gotten around to it yet.  I’m not sure if I was still tired from the trip and wasn’t willing to sit at my computer and think of words to describe this past week or what.  For some reason or another, I was procrastinating writing about the experiences of this week.  Until tonight.

I, along with most of the human race, am an unpatient person.  I know God has an amazing plan for my life.  I know I will be blessed.  And I know that it will be greater than I could ever imagine.  Despite all this, I still grow impatient and excited.  I keep begging God to reveal a little bit of his plan for me and as soon as I think he is doing just that, I realize that it is just me trying to plan out my own life and ignoring him.  My plan, which had disquised itself as god’s plan, had me finally getting the desires of my heart that the lord has promised me.  God’s plan, however, had me still growing in him and him saying “Hold on, Allison.  Keep delighting yourself in me.”  When I finally realized that I had begun to take control, I knew that I had to give it back to God.  I was relieved to know that I have better things coming my way eventually.  But I was also upset to say goodbye to what I had planned.  I had so invested myself in these wordly things that I forgot that it is nothing if it is not through the Lord.  So it made sense that he would not give me the desires of my heart if they were not going to be through him.  I was contemplating this whole thing tonight, a part of me trying to make a bargain with God, you know, trade some of my ideas with his.  Yeah, it didn’t work so well but at the end of the night he did remind me of something.

I had a lyric stuck in my head.  Couldn’t remember what song it came from but I had this stuck in my head:

“Jesus, you’re all I need.  You’re more than enough for me.”

I looked up the lyric online and quickly found through the wonder that is google that the lyrics came from the song “Healer”.  I had heard the song before but getting to re-read those lyrics was exactly what I needed.  I had forgotten that he is all I need.  I had forgotten that he is my portion.  And I had forgotten that he holds my world in his hand.

I realized the message that God has been smacking me across the face with.  He did it all during the Seattle mission trip, he did it tonight with this song, and he is going to keep on doing it until I finally get it.  God is EVERYTHING I need.  I need nothing and no one else but him.

During the mission trip, our groups got attend a worship service at a women’s homeless shelter called Mary’s Place.  These women at this service had next to nothing.  Most of them had the clothes on their backs and that was about it.  And yet, almost all of them were praising God like you have never seen.  These women knew that god is faithful and that he is everything they need.  I heard a quote once that says, “You may never know Jesus is all you need, until Jesus is all you have.”  I was so fortunate to get to see that this past week.  I saw women who only had Jesus, and they were still able to praise him more than I had ever imagined.

I pray that even some of that complete faith and dependency rubbed off on me.

walking by faith

June 5, 2008

I have many encounters with various types of people throughout my day.  I interact with christians who serve god in everything they do.  I interact with people who go to church and claim to be christians without really practicing what they preach.  Some of my favorite conversations with people, however, have occured recently in one of my classes at school.  The last two days of this class we had been going through this book of “if” questions and then each answering them.  One of my favorite ones was: if you could wistness any historical event, what would it be?  I was suprised when someone in my class said that they would want to witness the crucifiction of Christ.  My teacher quickly responded to this: “oh so you could see if it was real? I can understand that.”

I immediately went into a sort of defense mode in my head as I had just heard my teacher, who I look up to so much, say that the god that i love and worship, might not be real.  My teacher proceded to bring up how the bible was all written by man so how do we know it was not like the Odyssey where it was just written, but none of the events actually occurred.  As the rest of the class was talking about this I was merely sitting and thinking.  She had a point.  And I could see exactly where she could be coming from.  She concluded this topic by saying, “if I am going to believe something, I need to see.”  And right then, without a moment of hesistation, I answered that believing without seeing is what faith is all about.  I saw how she, without ever experiencing this intimacy with god, could think that maybe it was this elaborate story that someone wrote one day but there is no  doubt in my mind that that is not true.  In that moment I was so thankful for my faith.  I was so thankful for that fact that could walk away from that conversation knowing that my god is real.  And he is not just real because I say so or because I think so.  He is real because he has constantly shown himself to me by taking my screwed up life and making it perfect through him.

So I will continue to walk by faith.  I will continue to be completely blind to everything that will happen in my life.  I will continue because my god, my larger-than-life god, has promised that he will lead me every step of the way.

For we walk by faith, not by sight.

2 Corinthians 5:7