Hello Sweet Cheer: September 2012

9.25.2012

Even though we love Jesus, we're still sinners.

Tricked ya!  Writing over at the Wesley blog today!  :)  Head over to read about some things God is teaching me as of late!


Peace & blessings,
Mere

9.20.2012

A Faithful God


“A Faithful God” or “My pea brain is way too small to understand the things the Lord does despite the shortcomings of humanity.”

     Today I’ve been thinking a lot about how much God takes situations that seem hopeless & redeems them.  He takes things that seem so horrible & brings some good out of them.  My mind has been running all day long about how He took one of the darkest times in my life & turned it into a testimony.  When I was the victim & I thought all was at a loss, my God not only turned things around for me, but also received all the Glory in the end!

     This morning at bible study we were in Genesis 22-29.  We briefly discussed the story of Jacob, Leah, & Rachel.  If you don’t already know it, the general idea is that Jacob went to Laban, father of Rachel, asking for her hand in marriage.  They made a deal that Jacob would work for him for 7 years & then he could have Rachel as his wife.  When those 7 years were up, Laban tricked Jacob into marrying Leah, as she was his eldest daughter & it wasn’t customary for a younger daughter to marry before an older one.  Of course Jacob was very upset & asked for Rachel.  Laban said he could have her, only if he promised to work an additional 7 years to repay him for Rachel’s hand.  So the situation here is that Jacob loved Rachel & not Leah.  But Rachel was barren (for a time) & Leah conceived & bore Jacob multiple sons.  Every time she had another son she hoped & wished she would finally earn his love.  And every time that didn’t happen.

     What I’m getting at in mentioning this is the fact that EVEN THOUGH Leah was unloved by her husband, God USED her & blessed her by having 5 of the 12 tribes of Israel come from the line of HER SONS!  She bore Jacob six sons.  One of them being Judah which is the LINE OF THE MESSIAH…Jesus my friends.  Also of her six sons was Levi, or the Levites, who were set apart as priests.  How incredible that even though Leah was always trying to earn the love of her husband, God blessed her abundantly!  I can’t even fathom being married to a man who doesn’t love me, but Leah was & the Lord had favor on her.  And He still fulfilled His promise to have many nations come from the line of Abraham, Isaac, & Jacob. 

     If God did that in the pain & sadness of Leah’s experience, what do you think he’s going to do with the messiness of our lives?!  It seems SO CLEAR.  As long as I continue to surrender my life to the Lord & trust in Him, His purposes will be fulfilled one way or another.  And even in the muddiest of days, My Lord is SOVEREIGN.  

     I’m learning so much!  Every story we read through is something I've been taught my entire life growing up in the church, but to actually STUDY it on a deeper level has been incredibly rewarding.  It's not just about theology & history, but about the CHARACTER of our God!  Just ponder that… :)


Peace & Blessings,
Mere  

9.18.2012

Realization


“A morning of realization.” or “We’re human so we fail to fully commit & sometimes need a little push in the right direction to regain our focus.”

     A few mornings ago I got to sit on my porch while I journaled & drank my coffee (such a typical Christian girl, I know!).  I had worship music playing while I conversed with and praised my God.  The cool air was so refreshing and Jesus was just wooing me with His beautiful creation.  After sitting there for about 15 minutes it started to rain a little.  It sprinkled for about 5 minutes.  It came down steady.  Then it let up.  About 5 minutes after that it sprinkled for a little longer, traveling from the sky to the ground with nothing stopping it.  The rain had a purpose.  But just as before, it stopped soon after it started.

     As I observed what was happening around me, the Lord gave me this incredible comparison of my life to the inconsistency of the rain.  He began to show me that I was just like the rain.  My life had been an in & out, up & down, lack of commitment to pursuing Jesus.  I’m just like that rain.  I get super excited about Jesus, moving forward with full force, pursuing Him, spending time with Him, living my LIFE for Him… all to lose that drive & purpose a short month later. 

     So where do we go from there?  We recognize our uncommitment, but what do we do about it?  I’ll say this; in my life, things changed when I had a realization about WHO Jesus is, what He did & what He is doing, and recognizing Him as LORD of my life.  LORD of my life.  That means He gets to be in the driver seat.  That means I turn all control over to Him.  As much as experiencing the presence of God is an unmatchable & indescribable feeling, I believe wholeheartedly that until you TRULY seek out who God is and what He did on a much deeper level, you won’t fully surrender to His plan and the life He has for you.  Granted, everyone has bad days.  You won’t be perfect.  We’ll never arrive.  We won’t get a to a point where we can say, “This is it, I’ve done it! I’m no longer going to sin!”  PLEASE don’t hear that.  Don’t take from this that I think we can ARRIVE at our Faith if we learn enough about Jesus.  My heart isn’t that we would one day be perfect, but that we would one day be FULLY HIS. FULLY SURRENDERED. FULLY TRUSTING.

My challenge to you, the reader, is this…

     If you feel this up & down, in & out, wishy-washy type of Faith, seek out who Jesus is. Study the Word. Don’t just read it. STUDY the divine Word of God.  You’ll begin to understand more and more the heart of God.  You’ll begin to notice a change in your thoughts and actions. The more we draw into Him, the more He draws into us.  In the next week, seek out times to meet with your Savior.  CONVERSE with Him, but don’t dominate the conversation.  Let Him speak to you. Meet with the King of Kings & Lord of Lords. Spend time with Him, just as you would if you were trying to make a new friend.  Don’t just ask of Him things you want, but ask of Him to pour His presence upon your life.


Peace & Blessings,
Mere

1 Peter 5:6-7; Proverbs 16:9; Psalm 37:5


9.07.2012

A day I'll never forget.

"I will love thee, O Lord, my strength. The Lord is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer; my God, my strength, in whom I will trust; my buckler, and the horn of my salvation, and my high tower." Psalm 18:1-2


I don't exactly know where this post will go today.  I just feel the need to write so here I go.

     I'm sitting in the Human Science building on campus waiting for my 1:00 class to start.  I've got All Sons & Daughters in my headphones, love & joy oozing out of my soul, and scripture floating around in my head.  Yesterday was a crazy cool day.

     I had my morning study from 6am-8am, then class all day & my one-on-one with Brenda.  Then I just got things done at home until I had to head to the church to meet up before the Kari Jobe concert.  So far our morning study has only met twice.  Each time though, I leave with this unthinkable joy and excitement about the things I'm learning about my Lord.  In all honesty I am overwhelmed by things I never knew about God, things I've always known, and things I didn't believe before.  I am learning discipline in getting up so early for it, I'm learning about theology, and really LEARNING scripture rather than just reading it.  This bible study is incredible.  We have only gotten through the first 6 chapters of Genesis & I already feel like I know the Lord ten times better than when we started.

Yes, Lord we are grateful for Your grace and for Your love. -All Sons & Daughters

     So I went to this amazing night of worship.  Kari Jobe started her Where I Find You Tour last night here in Lubbock, TX!  Touring with her are All Sons & Daughters and Warren Barfield.  I don't even know if I can put into words how thick the presence of God was in that place.  They are all incredible performers and very talented, but even better worship leaders.  They are so great at ushering people into a time of worship.  Jesus was THERE.  If you haven't experienced God's presence here on this earth, I pray that you would encounter Him.  I pray that your life would be radically transformed by the truth and presence of the Lord.

I fall onto my knees in awe. And the heartbeat of my life is to worship in Your light cause Your glory is so beautiful. -All Sons & Daughters

     After I dropped off my youth kids I started my drive home and started praying. Out loud. (I tend to do this often so if you see me at a stoplight seemingly speaking to no one, don't worry I'm just talking to Jesus!)  I just started to praise Him for who He is and what He did at Trinity Church that night.  That turned into a plea for my friends who don't know Him and a plea for those who know Him & have rejected Him.  After about 5 minutes of praying I just started bawling.  (Maybe I'm over emotional but I promise this was a genuine cry!)  My heart was so overwhelmed by the goodness of the King we serve.  I just began to run over and over in my mind the fact that JESUS, the Son of God, the Maker of all things, heaven & earth, the God of the UNIVERSE, wants to know ME.  A sinner, a messed up, fallen person.  Someone who struggles daily not to sin against Him.  Someone who sometimes says to Him, You are not enough, I need more.  That girl, He wants to be intimate with her.  He wants her to seek to know Him more and more.  He desires to be in relationship with the girl who has a sharp tongue and judging eyes.  He wants to dine with the girl who can't get past this thing called body image.  The same God who created the heavens and the earth, ALL that is in them, and gave His only Son to save this world from eternal misery, HE LOVES ME.  HE wants to know ME. So yes, I cried and cried and cried, for the fact that I'm a sinner.  But more for the fact that even in my sin He is pursuing my heart.  He is seeking to be in relationship with me.  Isn't that so basic?  But isn't it also SO amazing?

     So after a night like last night, my heart is just bursting out of my chest.  I can't even understand this God I serve.  He is so intricate, so complex and I will never fully understand who He is, but I do know a few things.  I know that this incredible God I serve loves me, pursues me and is GOOD.  He is good and sovereign.  His love OVERWHELMS my heart every day.

     If you've made it all the way to the end of this post, I thank you.  Thanks for letting me ramble and for reading about where my heart is.  I pray that this blog is a doorway into my heart, ministry, and into the heart of God.  Sometimes I second guess whether this blog is even serving a purpose.  But I have confidence that the Lord will use it however He pleases.  Thank you again, friends.

Happy Friday & have a fabulous weekend!

Peace & Blessings,

Mere

"I will declare your name to my brothers; in the congregation I will praise you. You who fear the LORD, praise him! All you descendants of Jacob, honor him! Revere him, all you descendants of Israel! For he has not despised or disdained the suffering of the afflicted one; he has not hidden his face from him but has listened to his cry for help." Psalm 22:22-24

9.05.2012

9.02.2012

Long time, no blog!

     So I've been meaning to blog lately, considering my goal is to blog weekly, not realizing it's been such a long time!  I can't believe I've gone this long (3 weeks) since I've posted!  For any of you avid readers, sorry for the delay!

     I've got a lot of things going on in my brain right now, one of which I planned to blog about here, but have been asked to blog over at ttuwesley.org/blog so I'll be posting that soon!  For now though, let's talk about things that have been going on as of late.

     I started my JUNIOR year at Tech this week!  It's crazy that I'm half way through college, but this semester has been great so far.  I'm on Wesley leadership, I'm a youth leader at my church, taking 15 hours of school & working about 12 hours a week.  Needless to say, I'm a little busy this semester!  My days are long but my weekends are a blast!  Something I'm really excited about is a bible study I'm going to twice a week!  It's an intense morning study (M/R 6-8am) of the first five books of the Bible!  The plan is to continue into next semester but move to studying the life of Jesus!  We had our first one this past Thursday and it was AWESOME!  I'm so excited to see what this semester will bring!

     Before this week I finished up my summer classes & had a few weeks to relax before things started back up!  We had a block party at The Wesley as our kick-off event for the Fall and then went on a leadership retreat to Sacramento, NM!  It was an awesome weekend!  We were productive & had so much fun at the same time!






     We had our first football game of the season yesterday!  We played Northwestern State University & won 44-6.  Wreck 'em!  It was super hot for the first half of the game but we got some shade after halftime!  This weekend was very enjoyable!  And I have plans to hang out at the leisure pool with friends tomorrow so that will be GREAT!



- - - -

Quick shout out to my sweet friend Heather Huante!  This girl was my FIRST ever friend in college!  We met at Foundation camp in August of 2010 & were inseparable for at least two months after that!  Although our friend groups have changed & evolved since then we remain great friends!  Happy two year anniversary sweet Heather!

Now onto the really good stuff!

     I've blogged about it before, but I'm going through the devotional book "Jesus Calling" by Sarah Young.  If you haven't heard of it or just don't have it, I would HIGHLY recommend it!  It's awesome!

Today it said this… (it is written from the perspective of God)
     Living in dependence on Me is a glorious adventure. Most people scurry around busily, trying to accomplish things through their own strength and ability. Some succeed enormously' others fail miserably. But both groups miss what life is meant to be: living and working in collaboration with Me. 
     When you depend on Me continually, your whole perspective changes. You see miracles happening all around, while others see only natural occurrences and "coincidences." You begin each day with joyful expectation, watching to see what I will do. You accept weakness as a gift from Me, know that My power plugs in most readily to consecrated weakness. You keep your plans tentative, knowing My plans are far more superior. You consciously live, more, and have your being in Me, desiring that I live in you. I in you, and you in Me. This is the intimate adventure I offer you.
- 2 Corinthians 12:9-10, Acts 17:28, Colossians 2:6-7, John 14:20

     Living in dependence on Him.  I don't know about anyone else, but that's a challenging thing to do.  It seems such a basic principle of the Christian life, but if I'm being honest, I'd say it's something I struggle with daily!  Reading this devotional this morning was somewhat of a refocusing for me.  I just love to hear things from such a personal perspective.  So this week, that's what I'm going to focus on…living in dependence on HIM.

     What's your focus this week?  Is it the busyness of life that will take the bulk of your time?  Is it the God of the Universe who wants to dine with you that you'll focus your life on?

Peace & blessings,
Mere