christical

Inspired by Jesus. From a Christian. For the Christian and anyone else who bothers to listen.

In the Moment January 29, 2013

Filed under: Applied Faith — christical @ 7:45 pm

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1, 2,3, like a bird I sing / ’cause you’ve given me the most beautiful pair of wings / I’m so glad you’re here today / ’cause tomorrow I might have to go and fly away.

Have y’all ever had those moments when you’re having a good time with someone or doing something and then you start to think about how awesome the moment is? Then the question hits you: why can’t you stay in this moment? Why must the day end?

Really, I’ve never liked long goodbyes. We draw out this painful experience, yet refuse to put our goodbyes behind us. It can be so liberating to let something go and prepare your mind for new memories. A friend of mine likes to say, “Today is a gift; that’s why it’s called the present.” A church sign once said, “The past is a point of reference, not a place of residence.”

Even so, I feel a longing sometimes to stay in a certain moment. Somehow, I find the hope and strength to accept the next day. This is because, although I enjoy revisiting memories, I am excited for what the future holds. As humans, the future tends to be quite exciting if we know the nature of what we’re going to get and are satisfied with it. As a Christian, however, we can be satisfied with our future, knowing that it rests in God’s hands.

While writing this, I am reminded of the worship song “God of This City” because of the chorus:

Greater things are yet to come/ greater things are still to be done in this city/ Greater things are yet to come/ greater things are still to be done here.

It’s sometimes laughable how much time and worry we give to the future! Jesus told us himself, “Do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will take care of itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”

This week, I encourage you to pick the favorite moment of your day. Then, say to yourself, “That was a beautiful moment, Lord. I thank you for it and await to see what else you have in store for me.” According to Jeremiah 29:11, God’s plans give us hope and prosperity. Whether it’s material or spiritual prosperity that you will receive, I pray that you walk led by the Lord all the days of your life.

•JFG

 

Don’t Go Job 38 on Me! January 24, 2013

Filed under: Uncategorized — christical @ 9:57 am
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The everlasting candle in the church is like the refrigerator light in the refrigerator, except the everlasting candle stays on when you close the door.

God: all-powerful, constant, loving, just, all-present, all-knowing. A great guy to have on your side, isn’t he?

But sometimes, we’d just prefer if God didn’t know everything. Especially when we sin, we try to be like Adam and hide. God sees us all the same. Praise Him for his forgiveness, or else we’d really be in trouble!

There’s another time in which we start to get a bit annoyed at God’s infinite wisdom. That time is when something goes wrong in our life and we want to blame God.

Job learned his lesson the hard way in Chapter 38. He asked God why his life had gone so terribly wrong. God had a long response (almost two chapters) full of questions for Job.

“God, I try to be a good person! I go to church, read my Bible, pray, try to be nice. Don’t you remember that one time last Tuesday where I could have gone to Vegas for the weekend and didn’t? So why did you let this hardship happen to me?”

God will turn right to you and say, “Were you there when I made the world? How deep is the ocean? What does the earth look like from high above the universe? If you know that a great injustice has been done to you on my watch, then you must know everything. Do you not trust me?”

In chapter 40, Job realized his mistake and admitted that he was human. Job is not alone; it’s natural for humans to question God.

Trials in life are inevitable, and yes, they’re hard to go through. But God is God. If God were to give us whatever we wanted and prevented every event we wanted Him to prevent, that would just make us greedy and make us think we were the ones in charge.

We’ve put the fate of large countries in the hands of men. Take a look at Ancient Rome, China, and even the USSR. Imagine what would happen if every person controlled their fate for themselves. The world would be a disaster!

God commanded the morning and gave the sun its light. He formed the earth when it was tohu wa-bohu (formless and void) and sacrificed Himself for all of humanity. If God can do all that, then I will certainly trust him with my life!

–The Jesus Freak Girl

 

You Are Like My Life January 18, 2013

Filed under: Homemade Praise — christical @ 8:27 pm

Swinging

 

Like a child on a swing
Your love makes me feel free.
In you alone I trust.
To feel safe to fly, I must.

Like a dog in the car,
I’m free in who you are.
Look up and feel the air,
Knowing that you are there.

God, you free me and let me soar.
But you also draw me close to you.
You’re the one I’m living for,
Because I know you’ll hold true.

Like a young one deep in love,
I trust you, God above.
What evil shall I fear?
My love, you’re always near!

Like an adult with a lot on her mind,
I spend a lot of time looking behind.
When my past will not relent,
Please keep me in the present.

As an old man knows his wife,
I know you hold my life.
Whatever will happen to me,
You’ll thus within me be.

 

To Be a Prodigal Child January 13, 2013

Filed under: God's Grace Is Enough — christical @ 10:45 am
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“Your mercy saved me / mercy made me whole / Your mercy found me / called me as your own”
–Mercy by Parachute Band

People are truly prodigals at heart. It’s in our nature to question and doubt, sometimes even to rebel. We are told to follow the status quo, except for when it would suit our own desires to do something different. Then, we are told that the status quo is always wrong because “authority gives us no freedom.”

Thus, we fight. Taking up our swords to fight a war that we are not even strong enough to finish, we jump out onto the battlefield, ready to face everything on our own!

That’s when the first arrow hits.

Sin is all around us. Everywhere we go, our humanity prowls about, wanting to swallow us whole.

Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.
–1 Peter 5:8 NASB

On the battlefield, we can certainly try to hold our own. Goodness, some people do it six days a week! “Yeah, church is great,” they say, “but it’s different in the real world.” And in some ways, I’ll agree. It’s easy to remember to pray and sit up straight and read your bible when you’re in church and everyone plays nice. But when you leave, bam! Out come the pitfalls that we experience. Anxiety gnaws inside of us. Anger wants to burst out. Our tongues tingle with the possibility of giving our opinions, no matter how brutal.

But if we act on that, how Christian does that seem?

By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.
–John 13:35

Nobody’s perfect, though! How can God ask us to follow His commands in such an ungodly world? What happens when we mess up?

God realizes that we all mess up. Romans 3:23 states that all have sinned.

Broken, we come to God with our sin. He takes our sin, and He rips it up. God does that because Jesus died, sinless, to obliterate our sin.

If sin is mud, we’re filthy. But God is like our shower, and Jesus is the water. He cleansed us once, and He’ll do it as many times as we need his forgiveness. Isn’t that beautiful? Look at the Beatitudes. What we consider our greatest gaps in strength, Jesus considers the greatest gaps for Him to come and fill us.

“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

“Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.

“Blessed are the gentle, for they shall inherit the earth.

“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.

“Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy.

“Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.

“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.

“Blessed are those who have been persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

“Blessed are you when people insult you and persecute you, and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of Me. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward in heaven is great; for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.”

–Matthew 5:3-12 NASB

In His Love,

The Jesus Freak Girl

 

Bringing in the New Year January 2, 2013

Filed under: Within the Church — christical @ 11:56 am

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“We’re like a tree that’s planted by the water, we shall not be moved!”

In what way(s) would you like to become a stronger Christian this year?

I’ve said before that all people have a place in the community of believers. The New Year is a good time to undertake a new journey in faith.

A lot of people do this by resolving to attend church more often. Some people succeed in maintaining regular attendance throughout the year. As a praise band member, I’ve found a hilarious occurrence. Attendance tends to go from the teens to the thirties in January. The weeks slowly progress, and we lose a few people each time, until regular low attendance occurs again in April. During the summer is when we get our record lows of four and six.

Yes, I’ll admit that church can be somewhat kind of very boring sometimes, especially when you “have more important things to do” with your weekend.

Personally, I feel that if I forget God so much during the week in my words and my actions, then it won’t hurt me to spend an hour or two on the weekend learning about him.

Incidentally, the worship leader proposed that all praise band members resolve bring a friend to church this month. Logically, inviting more people should help attendance.

Here are a few ideas if you would like your own Christian New Year’s Resolution:

  • Go through with going to church more. I think we could all use this. Most churches have multiple services, so I wouldn’t be surprised if you could find one that works for you.
  • Volunteer. This might mean driving youth around for service projects or joining the church’s Stephen Ministry squad (an organization that equips members with basic counseling skills to help others in the congregation.
  • Read the Bible more often. This is made easy with Bible apps like YouVersion that come with reading plans.
  • Be a more Christlike person in your words. If you want to pick this resolution, it helps to work on cussing and gossiping less, as well as encouraging more.
  • Be more loving. This is one of my favorites. I fulfill it by giving small gifts, such as food, a cd, the occasional wildflower, and plenty of compliments to the people I consider important in my life.
  • •JFG
    “I resolve to be more Christlike in my words and actions.”
    “I also resolve to bring a friend to church this month. Thank you, worship leader.”

     

     
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