Saturday, August 25, 2012

It's a New Season

Today we had the first WorshipArts meeting of the season! We had 25+ come out to the Student and Parent  meeting (SaP meeting, as we affectionately call it). And this year, we have 39 students! It was such a blessing to meet in the beautiful Iglesia building--that place just oozes out creativity and inspiration for new ways to give God glory! Every time we are there it makes us long for a place just like it for WorshipArts to own.

Over the past year, God has been pulling Peter and I into new depths with Him. It's been amazing to see Peter specifically aim higher and higher in the levels of ministry training for these awesome students. Last season God unlocked a key for us with the focus on personal devotion, and the transformations in the students were incredible. This season we are taking personal devotion to the next step--discipleship. In essence, this is personal devotion and leadership combined, and I'm expecting God to do new things in each student's life.

I was struck today looking back on WorshipArts history--we started just a few years ago with five kids, simply learning how to play worship music together, and God has molded, stretched, nurtured, twisted, pulled, shoved and sprouted us into a completely different creature, giving Him praise. Each season WorshipArts takes on a whole new feel and vision, as we cast off the methods that didn't give Him the most praise and strengthen everything that draws the students closer to Jesus.

Sometimes I get freaked out thinking about it--this new God-glorifying beast-of-a-vision that is WorshipArts. Sometimes it feels like it's a wild stallion, that's letting us ride it, but at any point it could buck us off. Running a business has a lot of risk. But God has poured out obnoxious amounts of favor on it and us, and I daily have to choose to trust Him about everything in my life--so why waste time fearing about this? God's totally got us in His hands.

I am choosing to believe all the crazy evidence before me that this is going to go amazing well. I'm choosing to expect that God will fulfill His promises: as these students and Peter and I press into God and seek His Kingdom, ALL things will be added unto us!

Screenshot of the editing the video from the SaP meeting today

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

It’s all about Love

via
God has designed us to be in relationship with Him. Naturally, we try to compare our relationship with God, our Creator, to relationships with other people on earth to help us get a glimpse for what our relationship with Him can look like.

So often we hear about how God relates to us, because He conveys every earthly relationship to us. He is our Father, our best friend, our Savior; He mother’s us, shelters us, defends us. He is our King, our Lord, our Creator.

But what about the opposite--how do you relate to Him?

I have seen in my own life that though there are times when I view God as my Father, Protector, and Savior. I am accustomed to living my own kind of life of faith and I naturally fall into treating Him like a really great friend. And God’s been showing me that’s not enough.

God wants me to love Him--to love Him with a love that is more passionate, selfless, and faithful than the best lover dreamed up in a romance story. God wants me to love Him better than I love my closest friends, better than I love my family, and better than I love my husband. Quite frankly, that seems impossible.

Especially when I feel like I could do so much better at being a friend, sister, daughter, and wife. How could I even possibly be better than that, for God??

It gets so easy to just put forth as much effort as fits into my schedule, which in many earthly relationships is accepted and the norm. Grace is so key to who God is, right? And my friends are so forgiving--God is so much more so, right?

God is full of forgiveness, and He has put my mistakes and sin as far from me as the east is from the west. He says not to worry, and to take it one day at a time. Yet all of these truths get so easily twisted into a solid path of excuses that leaves me walking just within reach of Jesus, if I stretch--but certainly not enveloped in His arms, walking in His footsteps, and in the place He wants me to be.

What does it look like to really love someone? How do I want to be loved? How do I want to treat the most important people in my life? That’s what I’ve been chewing on lately. Though there is so much to dive into on this topic, for now, it boils down to one thing.

The truth is this: I don’t have a right relationship with God if my time--my life--doesn’t reflect that He is most important. Period. No questions, no excuses. If I don’t meet with God every day, intentionally, I am not honoring Him; I am not loving God according to His call on my life.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

He Jumped In Front of a Car For Me

I've been a Christian my whole life. And so I know that I need to spend time with God. It definitely seems straightforward--God sent His son to die for you, and so we give Him our time. But it doesn't always work out that black and white.

In a way, this is how my history with God has looked:  He jumped in front of a car for me, and endured some crazy damage. He had to spend a whole weekend in the hospital, He flatlined... but it was crazy, after a weekend, He was up and talking, and the one thing He kept saying was He wanted to be a part of my life. Well, He saved it, so who am I to argue? Certainly a decent thing to do when you your life has been spared, right?



So I spend time with Him, meet Him for breakfast, call Him, email, text, post links on His facebook. At first, the conversation is awesome--this guy saved my life, and He's such a people person! I'm going to be whatever He wants. We talk about my life, we talk about His word, He gives me some ideas on things I can do better.

But as time goes on, we go through seasons. The same topics keep coming up, and it's getting a little old. Love, grace, forgiveness, justice... Sometimes it's hard to talk to a perfect person, even if He is a great empathizer. Life gets busy. Maybe we don't meet as often as I meant to, so I try just calling, instead of our usual breakfast together. I'm still staying in touch, right? It's been so long since that wreck...I'm used to looking at Him, I don't even notice His scars any more. Calling is fine! Friends give grace for that, right? He keeps saying He's all about that.

Man, now it's been an even crazier week. I just have all this stuff, some good and some bad, going on. You're a great friend, but I really can't make that call today--I'm so sorry! I'll try to text to let you know what's up today.

And tomorrow.

And then a week goes by and I haven't even texted you back. Yikes... I'll have to get better at that ...after I finish finals. Or that project our family is doing. Or get through this crazy week at work.

Now we just touch base a few times a month, checking out each other's Facebook walls and liking a few great status updates, with a text now and then. I'm keeping my eye out for where He's at, He's keeping a watch on me. If there's a crisis I know I can call Him. Honestly, this is a really good friendship--we're just in a season where it's harder.

After those projects are done, we have a solid week where we spend face-to-face time together! And then we stay really in touch for a few months! But those same topics keep coming up, and He keeps obsessing about how He love me. "Yeah, I know you do. You died for me. But can we talk about something else?" I keep thinking. I just don't feel like this friendship is going anywhere. So I miss breakfast again...that snooze button was the death of me...sorry! I'll do better tomorrow...

And so it cycles.

I am a friend of God.  And I have truly, honestly, excellent earthly friendships that look almost exactly like this cycle.  But I think there is an underlying, major problem with this type of relationship with God, and it's something I don't want to have any more. It's a cycle I want to break out of, and a cycle I want to see broken in the lives of my Christian friends, acquaintances, and total strangers.

I believe God must be more than just a best friend. And I'm going on a journey to discover what a deeper relationship with Him can be.
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