I am a missionary in Spain who desires for the power of the Holy Spirit to be unleashed in me, to be unabashed about the love of Christ, and unafraid to go where God calls. These are my stories in this journey of letting God have everything.

05 February 2012

Cultivating Joy Through Gratitude

I have to be honest. This is really difficult for me to do right now, which I think is all the more reason that I need to focus on gratitude and being thankful.

34. God's crazy love for me; a broken, doubting, fallible, weak human.
35. Brisk winter weather but with blue skies and sunshine.
36. Veggie subs with friends.
37. A clean house.
38. Time to journal and prayer.
39. Juicy Avenue.
40. A full service again and the need for more chairs.
41. Seeing people connect and form new friendships.
42. Praying for Madrid and a heart of love for this city.
43. Rend Collective Experiment.
44. Sharing my life with friends.
45. Videos of my dance performances in high school and having a better perspective now.

03 February 2012

Crazy Love - Profile of the Obsessed

I am in the process of reading Francis Chan's book "Crazy Love". I just read chapter 8, Profile of the Obsessed. He starts the chapter by say, "The idea of holding back certainly didn't come from Scripture. The Bible teaches us to be consumed with Christ and to faithfully live out His words. The Holy Spirit stirs in us a joy and peace when we are fixated on Jesus, living by faith, and focused on the life to come." Through out the rest of the chapter he addresses what it looks like for us to live lives that are centered on (obsessed with) Jesus. Here are some of his points. I really resonate with these, that's why I felt it important to re write them here on my blog. I want to remind myself of these things and I want my life to be defined this way:

-People who are obsessed with Jesus give freely and openly without censure. Obsessed people love those who hate them and who can never love them back.

-People who are obsessed with jesus aren't consumed with their personal safety and comfort above all else. Obsessed people care more about God's kingdom coming to this earth than their own lives being shielded from pain or distress.

-People who are obsessed with Jesus live lives that connect them with the poor in some way or another. Obsessed people believe that Jesus talked about money and the poor so often because it was really important to Him.

-Obsessed people are more concerned with obeying God than doing what is expected or fulfilling the status quo. A person who is obsessed with Jesus will do things that don't always make sense in terms of success or wealth on this earth.

-A person who is obsessed with Jesus knows that the sin of pride is always a battle. Obsessed people know that you can never be "humble enough," and so they seek to make themselves less known and Christ more known.

-People who are obsessed with jesus do not consider service a burden. Obsessed people take joy in loving God by loving His people.

-People who are obsessed with God are known as givers, not takers. Obsessed people genuinely think that others matter as much as they do, and they are particularly aware of those who are poor around the world.

-A person who is obsessed thinks about heaven frequently. Obsessed people orient their lives around eternity; they are not fixed only on what is here in front of them. (I would say obsessed people are kingdom minded - the kingdom is now and not yet!)

-A person who is obsessed is characterized by committed, settled, passionate love for God, above and before every other thing and every other being.

-People who are obsessed are raw with God; they do not attempt to mask the ugliness of their sins or their failures. Obsessed people don't put it on for God; He is their safe place, where they can be at peace.

-People who are obsessed with God have an intimate relationship with Him. They are nourished by God's Word throughout the day because they know that forty minute on Sunday (or an hour on Saturday night) is not enough to sustain them for a whole week, especially when they will encounter so many distractions and alternative messages.

-A person who is obsessed with Jesus is more concerned with his or her character than comfort. Obsessed people know that true joy doesn't depend on circumstances or environment; it is a gift that must be chosen and cultivated, a gift that ultimately comes from God. (So what does it mean to cultivate joy? I've been thinking about this one a lot!)

-A person who is obsessed with Jesus knows that the best thing he can do is be faithful to his Savior in every aspect of his life, continually saying "Thank You!" to god. An obsessed person knows there can never be intimacy if he is always trying to pay God back or work hard enough to be worthy. He revels in his role as child and friend of God. (That's GRACE!!! Help me accept it!)

Thanks Francis Chan for these great reminders!