"Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize?...Now they do it to obtain a corruptible crown; but we an incorruptible. I therefore so run, not as uncertainly;" 2 Cor 9:24-26

Leap Off a Cliff

Posted by Emma on February 29, 2012 | Filed under: Christianity,Daily Thought,Faith,Holidays

Today is special because it is a leap day, a day that happens only once every four years. So, why not take a leap of faith on this day?

This is a concept I have been pondering for about a week. If you are a Christian most likely you want to grow closer to the Lord. I know I do. Faith is necessary to draw near to Him. In my experience the best way to develop faith is to leap out and start doing something. It is like a little child jumping off a wall into their father’s arms. The child jumps out in faith, believing that their father will catch them. And he does. We also need to jump out of our comfort zones into our heavenly Father’s arms. Sometimes it may seem like you are jumping off the edge of the Grand Canyon, but God will catch you and hold you. The more often you leap, the more sure of His presences you will be and the more faith you will have.

It can be a challenge to decided how to jump out in faith. Here are some options that you could consider. They will not be right for everyone but perhaps they can get you thinking.

  • Give all your money away. What better way to trust God than have to rely on Him for all of your needs. If you seek Him, He promises to provide. (Matt 6:31-33)
  • Share the Gospel with someone. For some of us talking to a stranger, or even someone we know, is scary. Step past that and speak God’s words.
  • Get involved in a new ministry. Maybe a ministry at your church, a rescue mission, a crisis pregnancy center, an after school program, or something else. There are many places you can minister, find one.
  • Be friendly to someone who is different than you. We are all made in God’s image and inside we are similar. You never know the good you can do or the blessing you will receive when you be friend someone who is different than you are. This could be someone at your church, school, work, or grocery store. Maybe it is a homeless person, someone of another nationality, a drug addict, or just an average American who wears a different style than you do. Jesus was friends with Pharisees and tax collectors. He knew no bonds of society and in Him there are no lines of divisions.
  • Go deeper with God. Your leap of faith maybe taking a step God has shown you to take or just taking time to seek Him. If you know you need to spend more time focusing on Him why not start doing that today. You could fast from food for a day to several days or give something up for a while. The amount of time we can free to spend with the Lord if we just give up social media, books, the TV, movies, entertainment, the internet or our downtime is amazing. Give something up and spend the time with God.

Again, these are just suggestions. You may have something you know God is telling you to do but you are not quite ready to do it yet. What better day to start? One of these may be something you want to do. Good, do it! Or you may have another idea for a leap of faith. Go for it!

So what leap are you going to take today?

The Best Journey of My Life

Posted by Emma on November 16, 2011 | Filed under: Christianity,Faith,Life's Race,Prayer,Repentance

“Ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with your whole heart.” Jeremiah 29:13

Eleven days ago I embarked on a journey that changed my life. It was the best journey I have ever taken. This journey was not a journey in the physical realm. It was a spiritual journey, a journey to the heart. That journey is probably the best journey you could every take.

After a few days of prepping, the 42 girls and eight wonderful leaders taking part in this journey traveled up to the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. During our time of prepping to Lord gave me a verse to take with me on this journey. Psalm 10:17 “Lord, thou hast heard the desire of the humble: thou wilt prepare their heart, thou wilt cause thine ear to hear:” This was His promise to me for the time we were in the Northwoods. There in a quiet secluded part of the world we began searching our hearts and seeking the Lord.

The time was insightful and I learned lots but I just kept feeling like something was between me and God. I did not want that, but I was not really sure what it was or what to do about it, also Satan was bringing doubts about whether I was saved. After struggling with it for about a day, I asked my amazing team leader if I could talk to her. She was wonderful and talked and prayed with me for several hours. However, nothing was really different.

A battle was going on inside of me. I knew there was ground that I had given to Satan, but I did not know how to break free from his hold. The next day was spent fighting an inner battle. I prayed, meditated, searched the scriptures, cried out to God, meditated some more, begged God for help, thought and fought the day away. The day went really fast, I don’t have a clear memory of a lot of it. I just know I was seeking God with all I could, hanging on to the promise He had given me at the start of the journey.

Towards the end of that day, I got another opportunity to talk with my team leader. I told her what had been going on that day inside of me and she gave me different scriptures. At length we prayed. By this point I knew I needed to surrender to Christ, although those words had not formulated themselves in my mind; the concept was there. I could not do it. I prayed. I begged God to bring me to a place of complete brokenness. But I could not surrender. Something was holding me back and I could do nothing about it.

The rest of that night was spent with this inner battle and turmoil. I continued to seek God as best I knew how and pretty much spent the time alone with Him. At one point I told a good friend, who was praying for me, what was going on. I found out I did not need to tell her much because God had already told her. I was up late that night praying and seeking God. As I was sitting up, pretty much everyone else in bed, I could sense the battles going on. More than just mine were being fought and won, as I found out later.

The next morning we headed from our cabin to the main lodge. The lodge has a tower with big windows, it was to this tower that I went. That morning I prayed and paced and meditated ad paced and prayed some more. Nothing was changed. Our leaders had told us to look at a prideful heart. After awhile of praying and pacing, I settled down to read it as best I could. There was a list of evidences of pride. The last item on the list slapped me across the face. It read, “Pride is refusing to surrender your whole life to God or resisting HIs will in any matter.” Then and there I knew what I needed to do. I needed to surrender everything to God. But it was not as easy as just knowing. Satan did not want me to surrender. So I paced and fought some more.

Finally, in desperation, I went onto my face before the Lord. Visually and verbally, I surrendered every area that I could think of to the Lord. When it was all in Jesus’ control, I had more peace that I had felt for days. Now, I could quietly read and pray.

There was not much time after I surrendered and when our leaders called us together. I found out more of the battles that had been fought and won the previous night. Although I had more peace, I knew it was not a finished work. That afternoon, I called home and confessed to my parents a whole ton of different sins and things which I either had not told them or had not been perfectly honest about. I asked their forgiveness and they graciously gave it. When I finished, I had even more peace and felt free.

That night, Jesus smiled on me in many ways and I felt the love of God more that ever. The next morning I woke up before the other girls in my cabin and was giddy with joy. It is very rare for me to be giddy, I knew it had to come from God. It was the most amazing feeling ever! I cannot describe it but I wish I could live in it for the rest of my life. I prayed, read the Bible and then because I could barely contain myself went on a walk with Jesus. I ran, shouted, jumped, sang, and in general praised my Savior and Lord and communed with Him. It was wonderful, just not long enough. Later that day, God confirmed His love for me in the form of a heart shaped rock He put on the beach just for me.

A mighty work had been done. But the work was not complete. Although, I had peace and was free, I knew something still was not right, something seemed to be lacking. I did not know what, I still do not know. But that evening, after I had surrendered all to the Lord, I was sitting talking with God and meditating. He gave me another promise; one to take with me as I left that part of the journey. “Being confidence of this very thing, that He which hath begun a good work in you will preform it until the day of Jesus Christ:” Phil 1:6. God’s work in my life is not finished. There are still areas that need to come completely under His control. There are still areas that need cleaned out. There are still things to be dealt with. But I know that He will continue this work that He has began.

I am going to keep seeking God with all my heart, mind, soul, and strength. I am begging Jesus to help me do this. I would appreciate your prayers, as I keep seeking Him and wanting Him to take complete control of my life. I know the prayers of my leaders and friend helped carry me through my battle during Journey and I know your prayers will help carrying me as I continue journeying on. Thank you ahead of time for them.

I embarked on what I thought was a ten day journey. I found it was a life time journey. My journey has just begun. I am not far on it. But I am journeying on with Jesus as my leader, guide, and companion.

Who is Unquestioning?

Posted by Emma on March 2, 2011 | Filed under: Christianity,Faith,Perspective

The other day we were discussing evolutionist. My father commented that they do not question evolution or millions of years. That got me thinking. Some people say it takes more faith to believe evolution than it does to believe creation. If this is so, it would seem like more people would question evolution rather than creation. We see the opposite of that. People are always questioning creation, but rarely evolution. Why is this?

I think it is because the evolutionist have more faith than the creationist. Evolutionist have enough faith that they do not question their assumptions. Creationist lack that faith. Fundamentally, christians lack the faith that these secular evolutionist have. I watched a video of a scientist who found blood cells and soft tissue in a dinosaur bone. Blood cells and soft tissue do not last millions of years. They were dating this bone as being 67 million years old. In the video, she does not question the millions of years but questions their understanding of how fossils are formed. From my perspective, it would seem logical to first question the dating process, rather than the fossilization process. But no, she could not question her million of years. She had too much faith.

Why do christians questioning creation, salvation, the Bible? Because we lack faith. This is shameful. We have let the world get ahead of us in an area that is foundational for our religion. Without faith you cannot be a Christian! Why do we doubt and question? Evolutionist cannot afford to question millions of years, without millions of years their theory’s do not work. In the same way, christians cannot afford to question God, salvation, or the authority of the Bible. We must have faith, without doubting, in those areas or we may not be children of God. Christians should have more faith than people of the world. Brothers and sisters, it is shameful that the opposite is true.

Have faith, unquestioning faith! Never questioning God, His power, or authority. Do not question the Bible and it’s authority. And do not for a second, doubt  Jesus’ saving work.

How Small is a Mustard Seed Anyways?

Posted by Emma on February 25, 2011 | Filed under: Christianity,Faith,World Changer

I’ve been thinking about faith recently. As I was considering this subject, Matthew 17:20 and stood out to me. “He (Jesus) said to them, ‘Because of your little faith. For truly, I say to you, if you have faith like a grain of mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, “Move from here to there,” and it will move, and nothing will be impossible for you.’”

While pondering that verse I started wondering about the size of a grain of mustard seed compared to a mountain. A grain of mustard seed is really small. One grain is 1 or 2 millimeters in size. That’s tiny. A mountain, on the other hand, is huge. I took a look at one mountain in Israel, Mount Hermon. Mount Hermon is in the Galilee so Jesus’ disciples would have been familiar with it. Mount Hermon is 1,804 meters higher than the land around it and 2, 814 meters above sea level.

So, how do they compare? For the sake of this exercise we’ll say a mustard seed is 1.5 millimeters. There are 1,000 millimeters in a meter. If you stacked mustard seeds on top of each other starting from the base of Mount Hermon it would take 1,202,666.67 mustard seeds to reach the height of Mount Hermon. If you laid those on a straight line on the ground they would go for 1972.9 yards, which is equivalent to 6.5 football fields. That’s a lot of mustard seeds. Do you get the idea that a mustard seed is very, very, very, very, very, very small compared to a mountain?

A mustard seed is miniscule compared to a mountain, yet it only takes that amount of faith to move mountains. Most of us do not have the faith equal to one mustard seed. Brothers and sisters, we are pathetic. Look at who God is. Look at what Jesus did for us. Look at the power of the Holy Spirit in us. We should have faith to move hundreds of mountains, and yet we struggle to have faith that God will provide us the money to live each day, that He will protect our loved ones, ultimately, we struggle to believe He is in control. The disciples prayed that Jesus would increase their faith. That should be the prayer of every Christian in the world.

One other verse having to do with faith and mountains stood out to me. That verse is Matthew 21:21-22. “And Jesus answered them, ‘Truly, I say to you, if you have faith and do not doubt, you will not only do what has been done to the fig tree, but even if you say to this mountain, ‘Be taken up and thrown into the sea,’ it will happen. And whatever you ask in prayer, you will receive, if you have faith.”

Brothers and sisters, I am coming to believe that often our problem is not that we do not have enough faith but that we do not have any faith. Jesus said, “if you have faith and do not doubt,” Doubt and faith cannot coexist. We must have faith in God and not doubt His word, not doubt His power, not doubt anything. A mustard seed is very little, that amount of faith has no extra room for doubt. It does not fit, so throw it out!

Just think what could be done if ten Christians were dedicated to something, if they had faith like a grain of mustard seed, just a tiny bit, but no doubt. Why, they could move ten mountains. Think how that would magnify if one hundred Christians had that must faith or one church. What could one church full of mustard seed Christians, but no doubt, do? How about one town of churches, or one state, or one country? If Christians had this kind of faith, the world would have to stop and stand in awe of God.

But we doubt. We do not have faith. We do not trust God. We are to concerned with the material things of life. Brothers and sisters, this is wrong! God promises to take care of all our needs when we are seeking His kingdom. Why can’t we let Him?

Why can’t we move mountains and make the world stop and stare? Because we doubt and have even less faith than a mustard seed amount.

I would like to challenge you to have mustard seed faith. Stop doubting God, start trusting Him. Stop worrying about the things of this world and start worrying about the things of God and the world to come. Stop watching the world’s entertainment and start spending time with the Master, asking Him to increase your faith.

Brothers and sisters, remember, there is no room for doubt in a mustard seed amount of faith. Go move mountains!