Thursday, December 17, 2009

Perfect Love

Christmas is my favorite holiday! I’m one of those people who starts decorating and listening to Christmas music as soon as Halloween is over =) Eggnog is my addiction and you probably won’t catch me without an eggnog latte in my hand for two months straight. I love seeing faces of family and friends that I miss throughout the year. Houses decorated beautifully with tons of Christmas lights, and Christmas trees sparkling through the windows. Seeing the cheer on everyone’s faces as we attend parties in celebration of the season. Bundled up in sweaters and scarves, sitting by fireplaces, drinking coffee, and having conversations with the one’s that we love. It’s the most wonderful time of the year!!

BUT…first and foremost above all that was mentioned above…is the overwhelming sense of gratefulness for God’s love, and the sacrifice He made in sending His son to be born into this world. It seems all too common this time of year, to find ourselves so easily distracted with all of the hustle and bustle of our holiday antics. I am guilty as charged. However, I’ve found the following verses from I John 4 as a challenge, not just during this Christmas season…but every day that I live on this earth, to truly be mindful of what this life’s really about. Love. Loving God…and Loving Others.

1 John 4:7-21- The Message

God is Love

“My beloved friends, let us continue to love each other since love comes from God. Everyone who loves is born of God and experiences a relationship with God. The person who refuses to love doesn't know the first thing about God, because God is love—so you can't know him if you don't love. This is how God showed his love for us: God sent his only Son into the world so we might live through him. This is the kind of love we are talking about—not that we once upon a time loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as a sacrifice to clear away our sins and the damage they've done to our relationship with God.
If God loved us like this, we certainly ought to love each other. No one has seen God, ever. But if we love one another, God dwells deeply within us, and his love becomes complete in us—perfect love!
This is how we know we're living steadily and deeply in him, and he in us: He's given us life from his life, from his very own Spirit. Also, we've seen for ourselves and continue to state openly that the Father sent his Son as Savior of the world. Everyone who confesses that Jesus is God's Son participates continuously in an intimate relationship with God. We know it so well, we've embraced it heart and soul, this love that comes from God.

To Love, to Be Loved

"God is love. When we take up permanent residence in a life of love, we live in God and God lives in us. This way, love has the run of the house, becomes at home and mature in us, so that we're free of worry on Judgment Day—our standing in the world is identical with Christ's. There is no room in love for fear. Well-formed love banishes fear. Since fear is crippling, a fearful life—fear of death, fear of judgment—is one not yet fully formed in love.
We, though, are going to love—love and be loved. First we were loved, now we love. He loved us first.
If anyone boasts, "I love God," and goes right on hating his brother or sister, thinking nothing of it, he is a liar. If he won't love the person he can see, how can he love the God he can't see? The command we have from Christ is blunt: Loving God includes loving people. You've got to love both.”

The love of God is an indescribable thing. It’s something that I long to experience and come to know, more and more each day. We are called as children of God to love our neighbors, the people in the world around us, but in order to do this in the manner that He intends, we must challenge ourselves to understanding the magnitude and depth of what our Father in heaven feels towards us. As we do this, 1 John 4:12 says “God dwells deeply within us, and his love becomes complete in us—perfect love!” The song that you will hear in the video below is called "How He Loves" originally by Kim Walker. It has been such a blessing and encouragement to me over the past few months that I couldn't help but share!

Merry Christmas Everyone!! I love you all!!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

There Must Be More Than This...

Being one who is passionate about music, passionate about worshipping my creator, and passionate about people...I've been contemplating the idea of starting this blog. A simple outlet to express some things that have been stirring in my heart as of recently. During my times of practicing music, sitting in my room on my keyboard or guitar, worshipping the Father and seeking His presence... I've found myself really searching to understand the meaning behind the words that I sing. The music that I play. The purpose behind the worship. The revelation behind the song. That is the motivation behind most everything that you will read here. My only hope is to use this blog as an open door for those who want to share in these thoughts, experiences, and challenges with me. takes drastic situations in our lives to bring us to the place where we realize God REALLY IS the only constant, never-ending, never-forsaking, never-failing, never-disappointing, unconditional loving person in our lives. Sadly though, I think many times we find ourselves unintentionally taking that for granted. Why is it that when things are going great... our careers are taking off, our relationships are flourishing, doors of opportunity are opening, dreams are coming true, everything seems to be working out splendidly in this world of ours... we somehow forget in the midst of it all to give Him the attention He deserves?!? UNTIL, something goes wrong... and then we NEED Him!

But that's not a real relationship. There is a place in our heart that is meant to be filled with God ALWAYS... not just in times of trouble, confusion, or need. This is something that we all know... I've heard it time and time again throughout my life... yet it's not so easily implemented. Life takes its route, and I constantly find myself beginning to rely on my own strengths and abilities instead of devoting my time and attention to the One who truly deserves it. Being in a relationship with the Father is more than a church service on Sunday, more than a prayer said at the dinner table, and more than a "now I lay me down to sleep" speech. It takes work. You will only be able to truly know Him, hear His direction and voice, and understand His will and purpose for your life, if you put forth the effort and commitment to spending time with Him in daily conversation, prayer and studying His word. There's no formula to follow, no rules that say you have to pray and read the Bible hours upon hours each day. It's a personal relationship... so only you and God know what type of sacrifice will be required of you. But regardless, we should make it a point to let Him know in some way everyday, the He is our priority above anything else that is going on around us. Both good and bad.

This worship song "Consuming Fire" in the video below has really spoken volumes to me over the past couple weeks. It's not a new song to me by any means... but it has definitely acquired new meaning. Have you ever been in that place where your questioning the purpose of everything going on around you? Trying to understand the whys, what now, and what's next? I know we've all said to ourselves at least a time or two..."There must be more than this!" I know I have. We will all be in that place at one point or another, but when we are in the middle of it, how do we cope? Will we rely on our own strengths, talents and desires to try and find a new direction or fulfillment in our lives..OR will we earnestly seek, ask, wait, listen and allow for God to speak to us? Is our passion for Him and His perfect will stronger than our desire to find the "next step" in our careers, relationships, opportunities, etc? With so many distractions in life it's sometimes hard to focus our time and attention on the One that truly deserves it and knows best. But, Matthew 6:32-33 says, "These things dominate the thoughts of unbelievers, but your heavenly Father already knows all your needs. Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and He will give you everything you need." Lets keep pressing forward, ask Him to renew and stir up the passion in our hearts for His glory, His name, and His spirit inside of us. Everything else will fall into place when we give Him full and total control.

Jeremiah 29:11-13 "For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart."