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Normal’s Not Enough

Hey everyone, I know it’s been a while.

I was at a youth conference last weekend called Acquire the Fire. It was in Toronto, and I went with my youth group.

It was an amazing time–what it is, in essence, is 27 hours of straight worship. No games, no goofing off, just straight-out worship and speakers and talking about God!

There were some speakers who were hilarious, some that were really serious, and the worship was amazing. School of Worship was in charge of that part, and the girl on the band could sing! :O

The theme of the conference, though, was “Normal’s Not Enough”.

That raises the question: What is normal? What does it mean to not be normal?

We talked about this in youth group tonight and to me, this phrase means that we need to choose to live apart from the world. Christianity is a leap of faith–we’re giving up the things of this world for the hope that there’s a better world to come.

But as a Christian it’s easy to slip into a “Christian-by-name” phase.

What God did for us was not normal. It was anything but normal. And we think that giving him only part of us is acceptable.

How blind are we, anyway?

When you go sky diving, there is no middle ground. You’re either on the plane, or you’re out. It’s the same way with faith–the normal way is to play it safe–to stay on the plane. To say we’re a Christian, go to church, have our Christian group of friends. But the way God wants us to live is to be on fire for him, to proclaim his name to whoever will listen. To be joyful even in the midst of suffering–to have an attitude of surrender, of complete and utter trust in God.

Normal is easy. Different is hard.

We’re standing on the edge of a cliff. Right now we’re standing on solid ground, the stuff we can see, feel, taste, hear–the things of this world. But on the other side is what is unimaginable–God, and his glory, his splendor.

It’s your decision to jump or not. God is waiting, ready to catch you. You are the only person who is stopping you from having the most amazing experience of your life. Normal is not enough–living a normal life is not enough. Who wants to be remembered as someone who didn’t do anything special? God has so much more in store for you. You just need to jump.

God wants to catch you.

But you need to jump.

Becca

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I haven’t written in a while, I know. And I promised someone I’d write a post a week ago, so here it finally is. :)

I’ve been talking to some people a lot recently about the future. What they want to do. Whether the work is worth it.

As humans we get discouraged so easily. There’s always someone smarter than us, more beautiful, more talented, more successful, friendlier, has better faith, anything. It is so easy to compare ourselves to others, and when we do that, we forget about what God has given us.

I know many extremely talented people. Many people who have a huge future, and people I know God is going to use in big ways if they’ll let him. While talking with them I just keep remembering Luke 12:48:

“…Everyone to whom much was given, of him much will be required, and from him to whom they entrusted much, they will demand the more.”

God gives us our talents, our gifts, our personalities. Depending on how much he has given us, he will expect us to use those gifts and talents to further his kingdom.

It’s amazing how often we can forget about what God has gifted us with. When I hear some of my friends talk about themselves it’s hard for me to imagine that they can’t see themselves for who they really are. I look at them and I see that they* are smart, beautiful, loving, determined, musical, and have a real heart for God but they so easily forget what they’ve been gifted with. They are exceptional people.

God doesn’t just give us talents so that we will be “more special” than other people, though. That’s not what I mean at all. For all the other superhero nuts out there, remember what Uncle Ben says? “With great power comes great responsibility.” Because you have been entrusted with much, God will expect much of you.

You have been given gifts. Those are not for your glory, those are not to build up your pride. Do not let them define you, and do not use them as a weapon to bring other people down.

Rejoice in them, but not in a prideful way. Rejoice in them because you know that God has gifted you for a purpose. Because you know that God has given you talents to carry out his will for your life.

But also be prepared to answer his call–he has much planned for you.

Becca

 

* this is a generalization :) obviously we’re all going to have different talents. Just because you might not be musical or whatever does not mean God has not given you gifts to use for his kingdom. 

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You know that feeling when you dare to hope for something?

You finally give in, and you think your dream might be reality?

The time that your spirits soar and you can’t help smiling?

It’s an amazing feeling, isn’t it?

And then there’s the time that with a few simple words that’s all gone. And in its place is confusion, disillusionment, sadness, sometimes even depression.

And sometimes you have to stand by and watch it happen to friends, with nothing you can do to help.

I’ve frequently asked God “why would you do this? Couldn’t you bring your plan to life through another route? Why did he have to hurt so much? Why did she have to go through that? Why did you trick me like that?” and the like.

See, we as humans have this uncanny ability to pin all blame to God.

Someone’s girlfriend cheated on him, it’s “Why did you give me feelings for her, God? Why didn’t you let us just be friends?”

A person is diagnosed with cancer, and people wonder why God would do that to them.

But I think we have the wrong attitude.

Having our hopes crushed while we stand there watching is probably one of the worst feelings in all of life.

But too often we ask God “Why?”

Does it really matter why God’s allowing it to happen? Think about it. Even if you  knew why God was letting it happen, would it change anything?

Our attitude should not be one of blaming God, but instead saying “nevertheless.”

You’re going through fire, nevertheless, God will bring you through.

You’ve never felt greater heartbreak than this, nevertheless, God is still there, waiting for you with open arms.

You don’t know whether or not you’ll be able to face another day. Nevertheless, God still has a plan for your life.

I ask God “why” a lot. As if I think that even if I heard his plan I’d be able to comprehend it. But it doesn’t help to ask “why” unless you’re honestly searching for answers. Blaming God will never bring healing–only more hurt.

But seeing that he’s still there–that brings comfort. God will always be there with you. Even when there seems to be no hope left.

Becca

I found this post from a while back and apparently never posted it.. well I desperately needed to update again so I’m glad I found it!

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Righteousness

Today was Pentecost Sunday.

My pastor was giving his message today and something that he said struck me. He said,

“As Christians, we are told to strive for righteousness and holiness. What are you striving for? Are you striving for righteousness, or for money? For holiness, or for fame?”

And I realized that I’m not striving for righteousness. I automatically had a list pop into my head of things that I strive for.

Friends. Beauty. Love. Acceptance. Good grades. Happiness.

And none of them was righteousness. Now, none of them are bad things. In fact, most of what I strive toward are gifts from God–friends, love, and beauty are all good things to be appreciated. BUT not to be prideful of, and they are not to take a higher place than God.

I have decided to try and strive for righteousness. We’re only on this world for about 90 years, probably less, and we don’t even remember the first 4-7 years of it. I know people who were my best friends last year that I never talk to anymore not because I don’t love them, but because you grow apart from people.

But God will always be there. And personally I don’t want to have to explain to God why I put people above him.

So I challenge you: strive for righteousness with the same effort you put into other things.

It’s not easy, but hey–sometimes the hardest thing and the right thing are the same.

Becca

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Welcome to your last day on Earth! :)

So apparently today at 6.00 or something the world’s gonna end?

Well, it’s been a good life. God made a pretty nice world, when all’s said and done. Too bad I won’t live to get married, have kids, start my career, etc…

It really makes me laugh when I see people freak out about these “it’s the end of the world” days. I mean, as Christians, we know that no one will know the date of when the world ends, not even Jesus.

But what hit me today was really “You know, if God came today, I’d be disappointed.”
And that made me think.

I mean, I love God SO much. I honestly do. BUT I also love stuff that this world has to offer. (Getting married, having kids, etc.)

All of the things that I am looking forward to in my life are good things. Falling in love is good. Getting married is good. Having kids is good (hopefully cute ones with curly blond hair and big brown eyes). But when we are presented with the idea of living with God forever instead of all these things we shouldn’t waste a second thinking about it–our first reaction should be YES God! I want to be with you!

So what is it for you? Are you holding on to things that this world has to offer, good or bad? Or are you 100% ready for Jesus to come and take you to be with Him?

Now, I definitely don’t believe that the world is ending today. I think it’s funny when people try to predict it :) It’s like saying that you know the last number of pi or something… (yess, I’m a math nerd)

But the point remains–if he were to come today, would you be ready? Would you be excited?

Becca

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Easter

Hey everyone,

sorry I haven’t posted in almost a month! :( I’m going to try and post more often–I’m working on the blog so I can have a better layout and stuff, and so that’s been taking a bunch of my time. But if you guys are interested I can start doing movie/book/music reviews, too, just as quick posts to let you know some good stuff out there. Or something :P haha

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As you all know, yesterday was Easter :)

I find Easter a super interesting holiday. Everyone is so excited for Jesus, and everyone is talking about how amazing it is that he died for us in the most brutal way possible, but he defeated death!

Easter makes me happy :)

But then I notice that about a week after Easter everyone just forgets about it. It’s not as real for them anymore because they go back to their regular lives–school, friends, work, etc.

Why? Why can we easily forget about the biggest sacrifice ever made for mankind? How can we possibly just live our lives and push God into a corner? I don’t get it. I don’t understand.

But I do it, too. I forget. I focus on my life here on earth–not on God. And I really want to change that.

All through Easter (Good Friday-Sunday) I heard people speaking, sermons, praise and worship, etc. I went to the No Other Name conference in Ottawa, and it was amazing. The speakers spoke directly to what I needed to hear. (not that I wanted to hear it, I just needed to.)

God asked me, “Why aren’t you giving me 100%?” And I couldn’t answer him. The only thing I could say was “because I’m selfish and I’m scared.” What if God asked you that question? Would you say the same thing? I think we all would.

But he died for me. He died for you–And that wasn’t the end. For everyone else on this earth, death is the end. But not Jesus–he fought Satan and came out victorious. He came back to life from the dead, and he continues to live! And yet I’m scared to give my life to Him.

But God doesn’t take 99%, guys! He only takes 100%. Are you willing to join me in working on giving him your all?

Becca

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When you love someone, you will get hurt. There’s no use in denying it–it’s true.

Even if they never personally hurt you, you feel for them when they are used, mistreated, going through a painful situation.

And if they break your trust, it feels like your heart’s being ripped out.

We as humans are made to love. It’s how we’re wired–we can’t help but get attached to people. There’s friendly love, family love, romantic love, and Christian family love. I split it all up into those four groups.

You love your friends, so when they get into a bad relationship you feel it almost as much as they do. You love your friends, so when they betray your trust it hurts more than you can imagine.

You love your family, so when your parents fight it feels like they’re tearing you apart. You love your family, and when your sibling gets into the wrong crowd at school it haunts you day and night.

You love your boyfriend/girlfriend, and when they’re going through a hard time it’s like you’re experiencing it too.

You love your Christian family, and when you hear about missionaries being killed for their beliefs it makes you cry out to God.

But you know what? Compared to God, we as humans know nothing about love.

God created love–He’s the master of love! We think we know all there is to loving each other, but we just know the very edges of it! Can you imagine how much it hurts God to see what we’re going through down here? He didn’t want us to live in this sinful Earth–but because of that day in the garden of Eden we have to. Man sinned, and so we live in sin.

Think of this: every time you lie, every time you gossip, every time you disobey your parents it’s a stab in God’s heart. Whenever you do something against God, you’re doing it for Satan.

Think of all the hurt in your life. Think of all of the people who have betrayed your trust–did they tell a secret to someone without your permission? Did they spread gossip about you? Whatever it is, think of it all. Not in a bitter sense, just to think about it. God feels that same hurt about you–but 100 times worse. You can’t even count the number of times you’ve sinned, but every single one of them was a time you turned your back on God.

But you know what? He didn’t hold it against you. He instead gave his son to die for you. And not only that, but to die a painful death with the people he was dying for laughing at him. Mocking him. Spitting on him.

Can you imagine that?

Love hurts. Are you willing to love God? Are you willing to hurt if it means an eternal friendship with our savior?

If you aren’t ready, pray about it. Read your Bible–learn more about God. He is so worth it. Every minute of it.

Becca

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