Saturday, April 30, 2011

Technology vs. Communication

In an Internet era, are we losing our ability to really communicate? The means of technology has allowed very quick and easy ways to get our message across...but in doing so are we sacrificing having true intimate and heartfelt connections with those we love? Just some thoughts to ponder.

I read this article recently and thought it had good points to share. It was written mostly with thoughts of communication in regards to "romance"...with our significant other, husband, boyfriend, girlfriend, etc...but I think a lot of the valid points here can be translated into the many different types of relationships we have in our lives. So here goes. Take from it what you will =)


     "If you miss me...you can't text, you can't e-mail, you can't post it on my Facebook wall. If you really miss me, you come and see me." I began to think of all the billions of intimate exchanges sent daily via fingers and screens, bouncing between satellites and servers. With all this texting, e-mailing, and social networking, I started wondering, are we all becoming so in touch with one another that we are in danger of losing touch?
     It used to be that boy met girl and they exchanged phone numbers. Anticipation built. They imagined the entire relationship before a call ever happened. The phone rang. Hearts pounded. "Hello?" Followed by a conversation that lasted two hours but felt like two minutes and would be examined with friends for two weeks. If all went well, a date was arranged. That was then.
    Now we exchange numbers but text instead of calling because it mitigates the risks of early failure and eliminates those deafening moments of silence. Now anticipation builds. Bdoop. "It was NICE meeting u". Both sides overanalyze every word. We talk to a friend, and impromptu Cyrano: "He wrote nice in all caps. What does that mean? What do I write back?" Then we write a response and delete it 10 times before sending a message that will appear 2 care, but not 2 much. If all goes well, a date will be arranged.
    Whether you like it or not, the digital age has produced a new format for modern romance, and natural selection may be favoring the quick-thumbed quip peddler over the confident, ice-breaking alpha male. Or maybe we are hiding behind the cloak of digital text and spell-check to present superior versions of ourselves while using these less intimate forms of communication to accelerate the courting process. So what's it really good for?
    There is some argument about who actually invented text messaging, but I think it's safe to say it was a man. Multiple studies have shown that the average man uses about half as many words per day as women, thus text messaging. It eliminates hellos and goodbyes and cuts right to the chase. Now, if that's not male behavior, I don't know what is. It's also great for passing notes. There is something fun about sharing secrets with your date while in the company of others. Think of texting as a modern whisper in your lover's ear.
     Sending sweet nothings on Twitter or Facebook is also fun. In some ways, it's no different than sending flowers to the office: You are declaring your love for everyone to see. Who doesn't like to be publicly adored? Just remember that what you post is out there and there's some stuff you can't unsee.
     But the reality is that we communicate with every part of our being, and there are times when we must use it all. When someone needs us, he or she needs all of us. There's no text that can replace a loving touch when someone we love is hurting.
     We haven't lost romance in the digital age, but we may be neglecting it. In doing so, antiquated art forms are taking on new importance. The power of a handwritten letter is greater than ever. It's personal and deliberate and means more than an e-mail or text ever will. It has a unique scent. It requires deciphering. But, most important, it's flawed. There are errors in handwriting, punctuation, grammar, and spelling that show our vulnerability. And vulnerability is the essence of romance. It's the art of being uncalculated, the willingness to look foolish, the courage to say, "This is me, and I'm interested in you enough to show you my flaws with the hope that you may embrace me for all that I am but, more important, all that I am not"

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Here and Now

In reading the book "Here and Now" by Henri Nouwen....just wanted to share a couple key principles that stuck with me.

Living In The Present:
To live in the present, we must believe deeply that what is most important is the here and now. We are constantly distracted by the things that have happened in the past or that might happen in the future. But real life takes place in the here and now. God is a God of the present. God is always in the moment, be that moment hard or easy, joyful or painful.

Joy:
I always considered myself to be an "optimistic" person. Seeing the glass half full. Hopeful in every situation that there was good to come. Now although that may be a positive quality...it's not optimism that is the goal...it is JOY. I learned that joy is something quite different than naive optimism. Optimism is the attitude that makes us believe that things will be better tomorrow. The war will be over, your wounds will be healed, the depression will go away...all will be better soon. The optimist may be right or wrong, but, whether right or wrong, the optimist does not control the circumstances. Joy does not come from positive predictions about the state of the world. It does not depend on the ups and downs of the circumstances of our lives. Joy is based on the spiritual knowledge that, while the world in which we live in shrouded in darkness, God has overcome the world. The surprise is not that, unexpectedly, things turn out better than expected. No, the real surprise is that God's light is more real that all the darkness, that God's truth is more powerful than all human lies, that God's love is stronger than death.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Beautiful



Sometimes my heart and mind get a little overwhelmed with everything that goes on in this life. Taking moments to fix my eyes on the One above is the only real thing that brings true peace and satisfaction.

Isaiah 58:11- "The Lord will guide you continually, giving you water when you are dry and restoring your strength. You will be like a well-watered garden, like an everflowing spring." 





Beautiful


Here before Your alter
I am letting go of all I've held
Of every motive, every burden
Everything that's of myself

And I just wanna wait on You, my God
I just wanna dwell on who You are

Beautiful, beautiful
Oh, I am lost for more to say
Beautiful, beautiful
Oh Lord You're beautiful to me

Here in Your presence
I am not afraid of brokenness
To wash Your feet with humble tears
I would be poured out till nothing's left

And I just wanna wait on You, my God
I just wanna dwell on who You are

Beautiful, beautiful
Oh, I am lost for more to say
Beautiful, beautiful
Oh Lord You're beautiful to me

Holy, holy, holy You are, You are
Holy, holy, holy You are, You are
Holy, holy, holy You are, You are
Holy, holy, holy You are, You are

Beautiful, beautiful
Oh, I am lost for more to say
Beautiful, beautiful
Oh Lord You're beautiful to me

Thursday, March 3, 2011

To Trust...Or Not To Trust

Trust is an interesting thing. 

I have been faced with a couple different scenarios this week regarding trust. People I know not trusting each other. Someone not trusting me. Me choosing to trust...or not to trust in others. Trusting myself and my choices in this life. It's something that we all face on a daily basis. Putting ourselves out there. Letting our hearts be vulnerable to one another. Taking that risk without knowing exactly what the outcome will be. It can be a scary thing sometimes. BUT...

"You must trust and believe in people, or life becomes impossible"
"Deciding whether or not to trust a person is like deciding whether or not to climb a tree, because you might get a wonderful view from the highest branch, or you might simply get covered in sap, and for this reason many people choose to spend their time alone and indoors, where it is harder to get a splinter"
"You may be deceived if you trust too much, but you will live in torment if you do not trust enough"
"Without trust there is nothing"
"Follow your heart, but be quiet for a while first. Ask questions, then feel the answer. Learn to trust your heart"
"We're never so vulnerable than when we trust someone - but paradoxically, if we cannot trust, neither can we find love or joy"
"The key is to get to know people and trust them to be who they are, not who we want them to be"
"The best proof of love is trust"
"Trust is letting go of needing to know all the details before you open your heart"

Learn to trust yourself. To listen to truth. To not be afraid of it. And to not try and hide it. This is somewhat challenging at times...but without it we cannot truly love. At least not in a real way. And not in the way God wants us to love. 



Thursday, February 17, 2011

Receive my Adoration

For those of you who are in Circles who have only been reading this blog over the last few weeks, you will begin to see blog posts like this pop up every now and then =) I started this blog last year, with my inspiration being my passion for music and worshipping God. If you want a little more explanation you can peek back at my very first post to read more.

This song was played at Rock Harbor Church on Saturday night, and as I was worshipping all I could think about was how much I love my heavenly Father. How much I adore Him. And being that this week was Valentine's Day, I spent some time on that Monday just sitting in my room singing this song to Him. It has been in my head all week long. Music and lyrics are such a powerful thing...and in this moment...this song displayed exactly what I wanted God to hear from me.

All I need is found in You. I adore you. You are wonderful. You have my heart and my life. Thank you for saving me. Thank you for making all things beautiful. Creation lifts you up. I, your child, will worship you til I no longer have breath.




Thank you God for showing us your perfect love. Real love. This is the type of love that we should strive to show one another.
1 Corinthians 13 (The Message)
The Way of Love
   1 If I speak with human eloquence and angelic ecstasy but don't love, I'm nothing but the creaking of a rusty gate. 2If I speak God's Word with power, revealing all his mysteries and making everything plain as day, and if I have faith that says to a mountain, "Jump," and it jumps, but I don't love, I'm nothing. 3 -7If I give everything I own to the poor and even go to the stake to be burned as a martyr, but I don't love, I've gotten nowhere. So, no matter what I say, what I believe, and what I do, I'm bankrupt without love.

   Love never gives up.
   Love cares more for others than for self.
   Love doesn't want what it doesn't have.
   Love doesn't strut,
   Doesn't have a swelled head,
   Doesn't force itself on others,
   Isn't always "me first,"
   Doesn't fly off the handle,
   Doesn't keep score of the sins of others,
   Doesn't revel when others grovel,
   Takes pleasure in the flowering of truth,
   Puts up with anything,
   Trusts God always,
   Always looks for the best,
   Never looks back,
   But keeps going to the end.
   8 -10Love never dies. Inspired speech will be over some day; praying in tongues will end; understanding will reach its limit. We know only a portion of the truth, and what we say about God is always incomplete. But when the Complete arrives, our incompletes will be canceled.
   11When I was an infant at my mother's breast, I gurgled and cooed like any infant. When I grew up, I left those infant ways for good.
   12We don't yet see things clearly. We're squinting in a fog, peering through a mist. But it won't be long before the weather clears and the sun shines bright! We'll see it all then, see it all as clearly as God sees us, knowing him directly just as he knows us!
   13But for right now, until that completeness, we have three things to do to lead us toward that consummation: Trust steadily in God, hope unswervingly, love extravagantly. And the best of the three is love. 

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Back to the "grind"...but in a new way!


This is my sitting in Starbucks, pondering my week type of face. And I just bought these crazy looking glasses and wanted to see if it makes me look smarter, more intelligent, more sophisticated, etc...thus the reason for this photo. Does it work? LOL =) I'm thinking not so much.

Anywho...the title for this post being back to the "grind" is because I have officially started working again this week for the first time in about a year! Most of last year I was in school full-time, and then since graduating in November I have been on somewhat of a vacation for the last 2 and 1/2 months. I have very much enjoyed having that time to focus on my education, and to follow God's leading in this new career path of mine. God uprooted me from my previous accounting job last year...provided the financial means for me to go through school to pursue a passion of mine, and I am now a licensed Cosmetologist. I began my first week of work in the salon as a hairstylist this past Wednesday!

It is back to the "grind", but in a completely new and exciting way! I made the choice a few years back that I wanted to wake up every morning not dreading going into work, but excited, passionate about what I do, and knowing that I have the opportunity each day to invest into the lives of others in some way. This career as a hairstylist isn't just about the physical, materialistic, how you look on the outside type of influence as most people see it. I look at it as a way of putting myself in front of people every day for God to use me however He chooses. Loving them in any way that I can, serving them in ways that hopefully build their confidence, being an ear to listen and hopefully a positive voice in their lives. All my life I've wanted to be in a position where I'm serving God with everything that I am. I used to think that that meant I was supposed to work in some form of full-time ministry within the church. But now I have realized that this is my ministry. Something as simple as someone entrusting me with their hair can lead to all sorts of open doors. And I'm super stoked to walk through each and every opportunity that God puts in my path!!

I am so beyond grateful for God's provisions, faithfulness, love, and for everything that He is. I couldn't live this life without Him!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Am I worshipping God or my "idea" of Him?

Just a few highlights in my life since my last post!


Trip to Disneyland with my favorite little 2yr old Skylar Grace. I currently live with one of my best friends Stacy, and this is her little girl. To her I am known as "Auntie" and every time she calls me that my heart melts! It was her first time meeting Tinkerbell(her favorite right now) and I have to say, I didn't know going to Disneyland with a 2yr old would be so much fun!!! Well maybe not EVERY 2yr old lol...but this one brings me great joy =) Seeing her face light up when she met her favorite characters, watching her hug and squeeze them and not let go...these moments are priceless!


Snowboarding trip to Snow Valley with my friend Travis and a group of people from Rock Harbor Church. Thanks to Cameron McCartey for setting this trip up and being my snowboard instructor for the day. As well as Travis who stuck by my side, gave be continuous bits of advice, and watched me fall all day long. LOL! I have technically been snowboarding for a few years now, but only once or twice a year, and in the completely incorrect way. If you are a snowboarder and know what a "falling leaf" is(basically only riding using the back edge of my board)...that's about the extent of my snowboard skills. So I went into this trip with a challenge to myself to learn how to carve correctly. Quite a few falls and a couple of bruised knees later I can say I have made some definite progress =) Still have a ways to go though. I will keep pressing on!!


Then upon returning from snowboarding I immediately went to Rock Harbor for our weekly Circles discussion. I have thoroughly enjoyed the connections and friendships that are beginning to form here! Bringing 30 people together every week who all have an intense desire to grow together in Christ, that in itself will create a wonderful sense of community. But then when you begin to know people on a more individual level it only enhances that relationship. For instance, two examples off the top of my head that stand out. Dannah Christensen and I have quite the similarities. We share a love for surfing, the outdoors, music, that sort of thing. Both of us are on the road to becoming hairstylists after working jobs that left us completely unfulfilled, and realizing we weren't on the path God had laid out for us. I'm super excited to get to know her more and to use our gifts and talents together in ways that bring people hope, joy, and untimately give glory to our heavenly father!! Also, I have met Blair Bradberry and discovered that we are "southern soul" sisters!! Both born in Alabama, but lack a southern accent because we were mostly raised in the midwest, and now our lives have brought us both here. We share a heart for southern culture. Similar story in those aspects but I can imagine in others we are quite different. She went to college at University of Georgia...I never even attended a 4yr college. I spent a few years after high school in a small but intense bible/ministry training school. She attended Harvard for grad school...I spent 9 months and just recently graduated from Beauty School. She works as a college counselor...I am a hairstylist. But it is a BEAUTIFUL thing!! We speak the language of Fried Okra and Sweet Tea =) Our common ground thus far is first and foremost our heart to live our lives for Christ and his glory, and also our love for the south! If we hadn't chosen to make God our priority in the midst of our crazy lives we may have never met. But I'm glad we did and that we all have a chance to grow together over the next 8 months!


Wrapping up my thoughts here I just want to leave you with this. My father posted this quote on his facebook a few days ago, and it's been on my heart and mind ever since.
"Do I worship God or do I worship my experience of God? Do I worship God or do I worship my idea of Him? If I am to avoid an ego-centric approach to "spirituality" that takes me from "experience" to "experience" hoping for "deeper" and "better" things, I must know what I believe apart from the feelings that may or may not accompany such a belief!"
In this walk of life we experience highs and lows. Great times and tough times. Times of excitement and times of dullness. Times of growth and times of stagnancy. Times of joy and times of turmoil. Times of accomplishments and times of failure. These are all feelings that are a result of experiences we go through. But I love this quote because it challenges me to not live for the "feeling". No matter where I am in life whether it is good or bad, what I believe should remain constant. I worship him because of who He is, not because of how I feel. God does not waiver. God is God always. God is good in all things. God is faithful. God loves me. God has my life in his hands. 100% of His Word is true and right. And if my worshipping him is based on feelings that occur or circumstances that happen in my life...then in reality I was worshipping my "idea" of him rather than who his word says that He is. We are imperfect humans living in an imperfect world filled with a sinful nature, and God loves us anyway. My belief in who He is must stand firm through thick and thin...otherwise I don't think I can say that I really believed in Him at all. Only my idea of him.

Friday, January 21, 2011

CIRCLES!!!

New and exciting things are beginning! =) I now have the opportunity to become a part of a ministry called "Circles" at Rock Harbor Church. One of the requirements while I am involved in this ministry is to write a blog post once a week. You will see myself and my fellow "Circles" members commenting and discussing things that have been written. Please feel free to jump in with us and allow us to hear your thoughts. We are all here to grow together and learn from each other. At the bottom of this post I will be introducing myself so that those who are in "Circles" can get to know a little about who I am as we start this journey together. For those of you who normally follow my blog you probably already know this stuff about me...but maybe you'll learn something new =) And in case you are interested...a brief explanation of the heart and purpose behind "Circles" goes something like this.


Why the name Circles? It refers to a group with shared goals, interests, and expectations. The goal is that us participants will come to see that all the various circles that we are involved in...college, careers, sports, church, family, friends, relationships, etc...are actually encircled by the priorities of discipleship. Every thought, word, deed, and attitude has equal value as potential glory for God. Jesus is the center and every aspect of our lives is equally close to his heart, and capable of advancing His agenda.
The Sheepdog Analogy: Much of this program will involve circling around our lives and the lives of one another to keep us focused and purposefully on track. Much like a sheepdog circling a flock, the leadership will circle the lives of us participants as a way to direct us. And we in turn will circle each other in accountability, and ourselves in order to keep every aspect of our lives directed.
Spiritual growth is a cycle. As a growing believer we will never “arrive” at perfection until Christ Himself perfects us. In the meantime, discipleship is a constant cycle of Listening, Thinking, Creating, Acting, Evaluating, Making Adjustments, and then starting the whole process over again. This circle of constant growth is a mark of the healthy disciple. The Biblical model of discipleship involves a constant cycle of receiving wisdom, direction, and love from an older disciple and then replicating that to a disciple younger than you. This cycle perpetuates discipleship into future generations, and is a responsibility not an option. This Circle of Mentorship is what we are here to accomplish and apply to our everyday lives!!!


I am looking forward to getting to know each and every one of you who are gonna be a part of "Circles" for the next 8 months. A little bit about myself. I'm 27yrs old, originally from Ohio, but since graduating high school I've lived anywhere from Arizona, to Florida, to moving here to Cali 4yrs ago. I love my family with all of my heart, and have been very fortunate to be raised in a loving, Christian environment. My sister is 3yrs younger than me and lives in Nashville, TN. I love her dearly. She is quite possibly one of the most talented people I know, and with God's guidance and her allowance for Him to move within her, I believe her opportunities are endless. My dad has worked in ministry as a Pastor, Worship Leader, you name it, for my entire life, so church has become like a second home to me. He has set a great example of what leadership looks like in my life. My mother is a walking testimony of what it means to be a Proverbs 31 woman, and she is the most unselfish person I know. My parents will celebrate their 30th anniversary of marriage this year, an example that I will strive to follow whenever God begins that phase of my life.
My life over the last 10yrs since graduating high school has been full of many twists and turns. Some people are afraid of change, but in my life it has proven to be worthwhile. I don't like to limit myself to only what I'm familiar with. I spent about 5yrs immediately after high school being a part of a ministry program/bible school called Master's Commission. Although I've pretty much been a Christian my whole life, that is when I really began to grow into my own relationship with Christ. There are plenty of stories to tell about that experience, so if you are interested feel free to ask. I've never attended a typical 4yr college, never felt like that was the path that God intended for me to go down. After finishing bible school I felt like God was moving me here to California. At the time my parents were living out here, so I moved in with them while figuring out what was next for me. Long story short, I went through a couple years where I was testing out the "business world" so to speak. Worked a office job, sales job, accounting job, made pretty decent money and was living really comfortably for a single girl in Southern California. But it didn't take very long for me to realize that that satisfaction would only last for a season. I love people, working with them, being a part of their lives, etc...and sitting behind a desk everyday doing accounting was NOT where I was meant to be. When you aren't doing what you love to do, and aren't using the gifts that God has given you, you're left feeling unfulfilled. There are two things that I have always had a love and passion for. One is being creative with music, and the other is being creative with hair. So I decided to stop working jobs that I had absolutely no interest in...and pursue a dream of mine. I began Cosmetology school full time last March, and in November, 8 and 1/2 months later I graduated. I took my test with the state of California at the beginning of this month and I am now officially licensed to be a hairstylist! It's amazing when God opens doors and you begin to step into your destiny =)
Apart from school and work I spend my time doing a wide array of things. I am currently a youth leader at Saddleback Church Irvine campus. I have a passion for high school students and love being a listening ear and letting God use me to be a positive voice in their lives. I work along side a couple people overseeing the Worship Band of that youth ministry as well. Like I mentioned earlier, music is a huge passion of mine, and there is nothing greater in my eyes than using music and lyrics in order to worship our Heavenly Father. We were created to love and worship Him! As far as hobbies go I love going to hear live music, the beach, surfing, hiking, snowboarding, pretty much any outdoor activity, game nights, watching a good movie, crocheting(yes I'm aware that's kinda grandma-ish. I'm ok with that!). I'm a pretty positive person in general. You will rarely see me without a smile on my face. I just don't find very many things in life that are worth taking away my joy.


The most important part of my life is my relationship with God. He is the reason I'm here on this earth and I live every day in an attempt to pursue His will and purpose for my life. I decided to join "Circles" because I believe so strongly in these values that it enforces.
Holiness – Being set apart and devoted to God’s purposes, because He is Holy. (1 Peter 1:3-16)
Honesty – Real transformation cannot occur apart from truth. (Psalms 15)
Honor – We were created to worship. God’s glory is the ONLY goal. (Matthew 5:13-16)
Help – The life of a disciple is the life of a servant. (Matthew 25:31-46/ 1 John 3:17)
I'm looking forward to getting to know each and every one of you and am excited to walk this journey with you guys over the next 8 months!! I believe God has amazing things in store for us as we focus on keeping Him our priority!!


Loving Him,
Charity

Friday, January 14, 2011

Forgive Me

Sometimes the harsh reality hits us that we are ALL imperfect humans. We will hurt, disappoint, and let each other down multiple times throughout this life. And we not only do this to each other but to our heavenly Father as well. All of this is caused by sin, giving in to our own desires, and our unwillingness to completely submit to God in every area of our lives.

This song called "Forgive Me" hit me like a wall of bricks when I heard it this week. It tells the story of a man and the role he plays as a father, a husband, and a child of God. A man with imperfections, who makes mistakes daily, yet he doesn't give up. He continues to seek God, ask for forgiveness and do what it takes to become a better man each day.

A Message For The Fathers & Mothers
"Oh, my son, look at what I've done". This man looks at his child in disbelief about something that he has or hasn't done. Maybe he wasn't there for his son the way that he should've been as a father. Emotionally, physically, spiritually, whatever the case may be, he feels somewhat like he has failed. I am not a parent...but I can imagine that these feelings are pretty common for those out there who are. Raising a child is not an easy task, I have no doubt about that. We have no reason to expect someone to be perfect and without fault in this area. What we can expect however, is the perseverance of a parent to continue growing in that role. He says to his son, "but I am learning still....know that I am learning still". He admitted to not knowing everything, but also to the fact that he wasn't giving up. It's not the falling that causes you to fail, but rather the choice to stay down. We cannot continue losing our will to fight for our families!! God will lead us, love us, and continue to forgive us if we just put our own weaknesses aside and allow him to work through us. Are we as men, women, mothers, and fathers fighting the fight to become what God has called us to be?? Or are we defeating ourselves by taking things into our own hands, losing focus, and letting our emotions rule our choices?

A Message For The Husbands & Wives
Through times of difficulty, struggles, hardships, loneliness, and all the ups and downs of a relationship, he says to her, "Oh, my wife, you are my life." This is a man who understands and believes in the commitment of marriage and what God truly intended for it to be. It truly boggles my mind the lack of importance that people put on marriage vows these days. And especially those of us who claim to know and follow Christ. I'm not naive, and I do understand that certain circumstances call for drastic measures. I'm not here to judge anyone. But my heart breaks entirely for those who will give up so easily under the circumstances of "lost feelings" or "falling out of love". Seriously?!? I admire the man who chooses to live life like the man in this song. Through all the imperfections he is still a man of honor. Realizing that what God has joined together...He will prove faithful to restore if we submit it to His hands. Even when the light from the flame may be dim...he says "I'm burning still...know that I am burning for you still". At times our circumstances can cause loneliness, emptiness, and feelings will change towards the one that we love...but in the long run it's your choice what happens to that flame. Feelings come and go, but love is a choice. You can choose to go your own way, walk away, break your vow and put out that flame. Or, you can take responsibility for the choice that you made to love and cherish til death do us part, honor your vows that you made before God, and allow Him to re-ignite, revive, and renew your relationship like only He can do. There are so many broken marriages because we as humans have chosen not to submit to God in this area. We don't trust Him to be able to do the work that He says He will do. And therefore we make a huge mess of things. I don't want to be a part of the mess. I want to be a witness to what can happen when through thick and thin, I submit every part of my life to God and his intentions for me. I need his guidance!

A Message For All Of God's Children
This life is filled with things that tempt us every day here on this earth. He cries out "Oh, my God, how you make it hard, not to pick the apple". From the beginning of time, we as humans have not been very good at resisting temptations. It all started with Adam and Eve in the garden with an apple. We were weak then, and we are weak now. It's a constant battle of satisfying our flesh versus our spirit. What is your apple? Will you let it continue to control you, or will you admit to your weakness and learn how to deny your flesh and strengthen your spirit? Like the song says, Satan knows when you are on "shaky land" and when you are "lost and unsure". He knows just the right time to deceive in order for us to actually start considering his options. Don't believe the lies...we have to stop believing him! What looks good only lasts for a small amount of time, and then we are left with the enormous consequences that come from his world. It always leads to regret and somewhere down the road we are crying out to God saying, "Lord I long to give it back". The apple is never worth it! Thankfully we serve a God and have a heavenly Father who is full of compassion and mercy, who's love is never ending and will never fail us. We can run back to him always knowing that he will be there. Because he loves us that much.

This is a bit of a harsh reality of the things we struggle with from day to day. But, it's time to stop sugar coating things. We NEED our heavenly Father. We are a MESS without Him, and we need His forgiveness and guidance. We cannot resist Satan and his desire to destroy our lives if we are not fully submitted to God. The bottom line is this. The man realizes that the only way to live is by humbling himself. Before God, his wife, and also his son. Understanding his priorities, where they lie, and asking for forgiveness. "All, all, all of my light is for you. Home, home's anywhere you are too. So take this one fallen man on his knees...saying please...Forgive Me". Nothing we do is too much for God's forgiveness. He can restore anything to life if we let Him!
James 4:7-10 "So humble yourselves before God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. Come close to God, and God will come close to you. Wash your hands, you sinners; purify your hearts, for your loyalty is divided between God and the world. Let there be tears for what you have done. Let there be Sorrow and deep grief. Let there be sadness instead of laughter, and gloom instead of joy. Humble yourselves before the Lord, and He will lift you up."

This is my anthem. Lord hear my heart. Humble me. Guide me. Lead me to your truth.
Psalm 25
"O Lord, I give my life to you. I trust in You, my God! Do not let me be disgraced, or let my enemies rejoice in my defeat. No one who trusts in You will ever be disgraced, but disgrace comes to those who try to deceive others. Show me the right path, O Lord; point out the road for me to follow. Lead me by your truth and teach me, for You are the God who saves me. All day long I put my hope in You. Remember, O Lord, your compassion and unfailing love, which you have shown from long ages past. Do not remember the rebellious sins of my youth. Remember me in the light of your unfailing love, for you are merciful, O Lord. The Lord is good and does what is right; he shows the proper path to those who go astray. He leads the humble in doing right, teaching them his way. The Lord leads with unfailing love and faithfulness and who keep his covenant and obey his demands. For the honor of your name, O Lord, forgive my many, many sins. Who are those who fear the Lord? He will show them the path they should choose. They will live in prosperity, and their children will inherit the land. The Lord is a friend to those who fear him. He teaches them his covenant. My eyes are always on the Lord, for he rescues me from the traps of my enemies. Turn to me and have mercy, for I am alone and in deep distress. My problems go from bad to worse. Oh, save me from the all! Feel my pain and see my trouble. Forgive all my sins. See how many enemies I have and how viciously they hate me! Protect me! Rescue my life from them! Do not be disgraced, for in you I take refuge. May integrity and honesty protect me, for I put my hope in you."