Thursday, June 4, 2015

My Route 44 Heart.

I have a confession to make... I have been unsatisfied.  The word unsatisfied in the English Dictionary means, 
a state of mind where our desires haven't been quenched by somethings or something
Which literally means, nothing is quenching my thirst.  I have tried to solve the quench with relationships, new jobs, vacations, phone calls, weight loss... you name it - I've tried it.  I feel like I have gone to Sonic, ordered a Route 44, but they brought me an empty cup.  Being the independent Type A that I am, I decided I could fill it up, but 2 years into trying - still empty.  

you know where I am going with this.... 

You can't fill up your own cup! 
John 4:13-14 Jesus answered and said to her, “Everyone who drinks of this water shall thirst again; 14 but whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall become in him a well of water springing up to eternal life.”
Have I not heard this story a million and a half times?  Am I so stubborn and "self-sufficient" that I think I can solve the problem?  Recently I sat down with some wise friends and I shared with them how the last 2 years have been really hard, and I am in a state of transition.  I have been more alone, more upset, more dramatic, more up and down, more ashamed, more sad then I have ever been/felt in my life.  So naturally, what does a logical person think to do (something I have not thought to do in 2 years - because again I tried to fill my cup)... we began to analyze why I felt these ways.  We came up with 3 really good answers...

  1. I was/am not involved (really involved - like serving involved) in a church. 
  2. I am not/was not/have not been constantly poured into by other like-minded believers. 
  3. I was trying to satisfy my quench with the world aka my career.*
*please do not read #3 and think I am saying you can't be full of Jesus and satisfied and have a career.  I am saying that in my own personal life - I was focused on my career making me "happy" and "filling my Route 44" and not Jesus, if you are trying to rely on your career for your satisfaction and happiness in life - please read this.... IT WILL NOT WORK.
This got me thinking.  I was trying to fill my life with everything BUT a relationship with Him.  Now, I had a relationship with God, but it was your basic prayers - nothing deep and intimate, like my soul was longing for (little did I know).  I felt like this and I KNOW GOD!  I can't begin to imagine how people who don't KNOW Him and Know the wonderful peace and bliss He brings feel.  

The lack of discipleship and community in my life with like-minded, encouraging believers was beginning to take a toll on my soul.  I began to think about our world and what is going on right now. This was a heart issue for me.  Bottom line: my heart was NOT in an intimate place with the Lord.  The only one who can truly satisfy a human heart is the One who made it.  Think about that for a minute.... Jesus is the only One who can truly fill my extra-large Route 44 heart.  

What if the things going on in our world today - are not people deciding to turn away from God and follow the devil into eternity... but it is simply their way of crying out for a full Route 44.  They are unsatisfied with life and searching desperately for satisfaction and so they turn to homosexuality, pornography, binge eating, gossip, sexual reassignment, shoplifting, the list could go on and on., but they are yearning for satisfaction and turning to all of these things hoping they can find some.  It hurts my heart to hear people say "I'm doing this for my soul" or "This really makes me happy."  

Because if they believe that the 10 second high that the world gives them is truly happy... they are missing out on the blissful life God can give them - and it is NEVER too late, He is a God who restores everything - Lamentations 3:23 "His mercies are new every morning."

Why not instead of focusing on the sin we begin to focus on the sinner.  It is our job to show Christ to people, it is the Holy Spirit's job to convict and convert.  Take the pressure off your shoulders, yes stand up for what you believe (Eccl. 3:7 - a time to tear, and a time to keep silent, and a time to speak...), but don't turn people away from the love and satisfaction of the Lord just because you want to prove a point.  
Let them taste and see that the Lord is good  (Psalm 34:8)
Christine Caine said it best, "I've read the end of the book... We win. God wins. He prevails."  

That's it. The end.  It's over. You don't get to go back and rediscuss issues, or talk to that woman suffering in silence and unsatisfied with life.  You get one chance to show love - to be encouraging and use your words to impact that person for eternity.  We know they will hate us - that isn't a new concept for Christians - Matthew 10:22 "And you will be hated by everyone because of me, but stand firm to the end and I will save you."  Think about it - you can effect someone's life for eternity... Will you help fill their Route 44?


Sunday, January 18, 2015

[un]-controlled speech

One of my friends at work was telling me a story the other day and after telling me she promptly asked my opinion.  After asking my opinion, she stopped me and asked herself out loud...

"Will I be able to handle your answer?"

I was shocked.  Not really shocked, but taken off guard.  I pride myself in telling the truth.  If you ask me a question, my opinion, anything... I will be unashamedly honest with you.  Even if you don't agree - I am still telling you my opinion or answering your question and I believe with every ounce of my being that I am being honest with you.  

I answered her question, I gave her my opinion and used several examples to support my opinion (what can I say, my dad is a lawyer - supporting your claims with evidence runs in my blood I guess...).  

She was not happy.  Not only was she not expecting my answer, her feelings were kind of hurt, not by what I said - but by what was being said about her.  

I had to step back and ask myself if it was worth it.  Was it worth sharing those things with her, knowing she might not take it well?  Was it worth hurting my friend to tell the truth?  I'll answer it for you.  No.  

God's WORD says:

"Don't use foul or abusive language.  Let everything you say be good and helpful, so that your words will be encouragement to those who hear them."  Eph. 4:29 GOD'S WORD

"Even a stubborn fool is thought to be wise if he keeps silent.  He is considered intelligent if he keeps his lips sealed."  Proverbs 17:29 GOD'S WORD

We need to be remembering to THINK before we speak. 


THINK. It's Simple.  Is it Truthful, Helpful, Inspirational, Necessary, and Kind.  I LOVE THIS.  I loved it so much I wanted to share it with you because we all need little reminders sometime.  

Prior to Ephesians 4:29, the WORD says "You must display a new nature because you are a new person, created God's likeness - righteous, holy, and true.  And don't sin by letting anger gain control over you.  Don't let the sun go down while you are still angry, for anger gives a might foothold to the Devil."

As humans we will sin.  It's inevitable.  But why do we sin?  We sin because the Devil targets our mouth and our testimony.  He tries to make you as unreliable as possible so that you don't spread the kingdom.  Did you know that your mouth and your actions have that kind of impact?  

You can expand Christ's Heavenly Kingdom with your words and actions.  


Can you tell Satan no?  Can you control your tongue?  James 3:5 says "The tongue is the smallest part of the body, but it can make the most damage."  We have to learn to control our tongue, to be able to ask those 5 questions before speaking.  If you can accomplish that, you can greatly influence Satan's hold on your life and in turn increase the Kingdom. 

Sometimes it is more important to be KIND than RIGHT. We do not need to be an intelligent mind that speaks but a PATIENT heart that LISTENS.

Be encouraged today!