Ok, so I just got back from our BSM meeting, and wow. Molly and I were talking together as partners after the big group share time about how that God was preparing us all before time for this word from him.
--Richard talked about how if we really lived like Christ everyday, something that we hear about all the time that it becomes so cliche, then we wouldn't have to host things like block parties in order to reach out to people. It's the little things each day really count like talking and sharing Jesus' love with someone you don't know. How many times do you come across a stranger? Can you say hello opportunity? God is pleased by our little works, there's no need for a huge display--just love and share on a daily basis.
--Ciera talked about how that we don't speak the name of Jesus enough. Like, let's be intentional when we are ministering. That one really kinda hit me because when I tutor, sometimes I feel like, 'well...i'm just tutoring.'" There's so much more than that! I should be teaching Jesus' love to these little kids. The thing I find myself most scared of sharing is the thing I say I live my life by. I find myself realizing that that really doesn't make a whole lot of sense...Plus, they're little kids, and why should I be afraid of that? I am always so set on my life being an example of love that I forget to share HIS love. I also think that Satan is terrible for making me feel like I'm not good enough to present the gospel. There's this fear in my little heart and mind that my methods and words and prayers aren't adequate, and I'm so worried that I'm gonna mess it up, and my one chance to minister will have just gone out the window! So what--that's when we pick ourselves up, be consistent and remember that if all else fails, a seed is sown. Of course, I'm having this self-revelation and tomorrow chances are I won't do anything about it. Jesus help me to live what I say I live and to walk in the ways that you would have me! Help me to love the way you do, to speak in wisdom and in truth, and to not fear the life I profess!
--Katie talked about how that because HPU has a stigma of being so churchy, and having so many bible studies and opportunities to share Jesus and the word, that when it comes time to talk about it outside of those moments, we feel so cheesy or cliche. It's as if maybe I'm embarrassed to bring it up for conversation at lunch as normally as I would a story that happened the day before. How did I let myself fall in that trap? If I'm too chicken to speak the name of Jesus with my closest friends, or to even pray in front of them, or bring up spiritual struggles for accountability, then how am I ever going to be bold enough to make those things conversation for strangers who need Jesus? Jesus is and never should be a questioned topic of choice; just talk.
--Laura talked about trusting God more, and although her circumstances are quite different, I find myself dealing with the same things on a daily basis. She also mentioned God slowly breaking down walls in her heart, and then all of these thoughts started running through my mind. I remembered this song that Jimmy Needham sang at HPU Fest called 'Hurricane', and when he spoke about the meaning of that song I felt and understood such truth.
I need You like a hurricane
Thunder crashing, wind and rain
To tear my walls down
I’m only Yours now
I need you like a burning flame
A wild fire untamed
To burn these walls down
I’m only Yours now
I’m only Yours now
I am Yours and You are mine
You know far better than I
And if destruction’s what I need
Then I’ll receive it Lord from Thee
Yes, I’ll receive it Lord from Thee
Sometimes what I really need is to be broken completely, for God to rip me to pieces, hurt my feelings, leave me raw to the things He wants to reveal in my life. I get into this little routine of seeing the same people, having the same daily experiences, going to work, and just being on auto-pilot. I forget about being vulnerable and instead day by day the wall around my heart gets higher and higher until there's nothing I feel. Now, granted I'm never heartless, but you catch my drift. I want to be broken for Christ. I want to feel.
--Another thing that I've really really been thinking about is prayer. As of late, yes this is another fear of mine, I've started letting myself get the idea that I'm praying incorrectly and that I'm not saying the right things, and that I sound stupid, uneducated, and not genuine. Sometimes I really don't have the 'heart set' for a particular prayer and I feel like someone else would do a better job, but in the last month or so, I feel that way about every prayer. I find myself worrying about it when I say prayers in the morning, or before bed, or when someone pops into my head in the middle of the day. Today and last Thursday when I prayed over Liz and Phil's engagement, I was reminded that there is no 'right' way to pray. If I stumble over my words or I am at a loss for them, so what?? Alisha, just talk to Jesus. He is my Creator and my maker; He knows my thoughts and my heart and what I feel I need to say. It is of no matter how it comes from my mouth. Stop worrying!
--I guess my challenge to myself is make more time to speak Jesus' name with the people I love and I spend time with. I've got to start somewhere, there has to be some foundational ground. And here's another thing I just thought of. They always say that here at HPU we have our little Christian bubble, and we are safe here--we don't branch out to the real world and preach Christ. Well...for being so safe and comfortable, we sure aren't that comfortable with keeping each other challenged and accountable. You should never feel comfortable or happy with where you are, or at least I think. You should always yearn for more and not be complacent or satisfied with a certain benchmark.
That's an awful lot of stream of conscious for one night, but oddly enough I feel wonderful now. There was a lot on my chest and I needed to get it out. Sometimes I don't even know what I'm writing, and yet it just flows. I think that what I love so much about the human mind, about typing, and blank pages on which to write. I love handwriting, and the complexities of the curves and lines and uniqueness of each stroke for each person out there. But I do prefer typing to it because my hand doesn't work as quickly as my mind does. Also, I may seem like a creep, but tonight at the meeting where we were all set up in a big circle I couldn't help but just stare at everyone and take in all their features and then do the same for the next. Everyone is SO completely different. I love it. Creation and life is such an incredibly beautiful and fascinating thing.