21 12 2011

How often do we say the words, “I trust you, God”?  And out of those times, how many times do we truly mean it?

Are we walking out our faith?  If so, what does it look like?  If my faith, my true, real, believe with everything in me faith says that God can do all things and I am made in His image and forgiven for my sins, then does my life resemble that?  Am I walking out in faith every day?  Do I allow God to determine what my day looks like?  Are the smallest of small things made larger by extending grace?  If my plan for the day doesn’t work out, am I upset or do I laugh it off?  If the people in my life don’t meet my expectations, how do I react?  Am I truly trusting God?
Or do I put more trust into the opinions of the people around me then I do in what my Father says?  Do I listen to my “mentors” or even my family rather than trusting what God has promised?




Transparent conversation with my Lord, my Daddy

26 09 2011

I have no idea what I am doing and sometimes I have no idea why I am doing this thing I do not know I am doing.  I am pursuing a dream that is beyond anything I can fathom and beyond what I know in MY strength I can do.  It is something that requires 100% of faith and trust in God.  It requires letting go of every single fear, and free falling into the hands of God.

So, Lord, I give up.  This part of my life that I didn’t realize I had taken back, I hand it over, completely to you.  This is your vision for my life and I want to only obey your WORD.  If I fail it is because I hold on with my flesh, if I succeed it is only because YOU have made a way.  I no longer want to hide behind the What Ifs and Don’t Knows.  No longer and no more.  I surrender it all to you, Lord.  My pride, my self esteem, my ambition, even my desires to serving your children in the slums of countries I may have only heard of and those that my heart lingers for.  I give you everything you have entrusted me with; I openhandedly remove myself from the equation and allow you to work.  I know you work behind the scenes and constantly go before me and behind me.  But I also know that usually I am attached to your hip asking as a small child does, “Daddy, are we there yet?” at every corner.  I know you smile and laugh every time I do it as you patiently allow my excitement to fill the room and then you gently whisper…”my timing darling, my timing.”

Daddy, I know it’s your timing and your plan.  I know that it is not going to look the way I thought it would or even the way I wanted it to.  I release those expectations to you.  I wear my heart on my sleeve and allow my soul to be transparent.  With every disappointment I may experience, I will embrace the knowledge that you say YES to every promise you give us and though I may face disappointment, what YOU have planned for me is so much more than what I would have had if I had not received disappointment.

Now for my unwillingness to give it my all after receiving the initial disappointment, I ask your forgiveness.  I allowed my “entitled flesh” to show her ungraceful self and I truly repent of such behaviors.  I allowed myself to go to the place of “entitlement” and wanted to have this promise come at a less of a price.  Who am I to request such thing!  Daddy, I thank you for your forgiveness and for your mercy and love.  I thank you that YOU are constantly watching over me, protecting me, and keeping me safe.  I thank you that no matter what, YOU are always by my side.

As we enter this next moment, this next step, and this next ride on this journey of becoming a woman of noble character, I smile and I laugh knowing that tomorrow may not look like the sun is shining through, but knowledge that this moment I let go, will fill my heart with your light and passion.

Forever and Always a child of God; Forever and Always a princess; Forever and Always a saved soul searching for the lost, needy, and hurting.

Lubbock Tent City : Prov. 14:31 Anyone who oppresses the poor is insulting God who made them. To help the poor is to honor God.

12 09 2011

I live in what is known as the Bible Belt.  People here are said to be conservative, God fearing, and God serving people.  We are said to be a community of integrity.

About a year ago, as our country continued to struggle with the recession and unemployment rates skyrocket, Tent City was formed in downtown Lubbock, TX.  This area became a community of individuals governed by the same rules and laws we are follow along with some of their own “community regulations”.  Families, couples, and individuals set up their tents and lived there.  Each person living in Tent City has a different story and each person reacts to their circumstances differently.  As Tent City began to grow, business owners and local officials began to fear the “outward appearance” of this area to potential businesses coming to the area.  Local officials and city ordinances had already previously caused this group of homeless to move from the different areas of town to this “localized” area.  Now, officials were concerned about how the city would lose money and economic growth because of this “group of people”.  A homeless committee was even formed by the city to try to determine how the city could help the homeless.  A local ministry stepped up to the calling when the city was ready to ban Tent City from it’s location.  Link Ministries took Tent City to private property to provide assistance by a non-profit, faith based organization.  Since then people and other organizations have teamed up to try to bring support to those living in Tent City.  I have personally found it a humbling blessing and honor to reach out and minister to AND be ministered to by the people of Tent City.  NOW our lovely Zoning and Planning Commission has rejected the request by Link Ministries to rezone their private property to allow them to continue to have Tent City on their property.  One city council member was even quoted as saying “I don’t think anybody in their right mind ever thought the tent city was going to be a permanent solution for the homeless issue here in Lubbock”.

We were told by City Council members and City officials that the homeless were the responsibility of the community and not businesses or the city, and yet when people try to bring assistance to the homeless we are met with opposition.  At one point we have even been told that we need health inspections in our kitchens if we want to hand out food!  There is more red tape to get through simply to extend Christ to our homeless than there is to get through airport security.

Daily we see how our community is bombarded with sex, drugs, human trafficking, child abuse, murder, theft, hatred, and suicide. God is clear in His word.  “Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows.  Whoever sows to please their flesh, from the flesh will reap destruction; whoever sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life.  Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. 1 Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers.”  Galatians 6:7-10

Furthermore, Jesus tells us how HE wants us to treat the least of these:

“Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’ “Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you?  When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’ “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’  “Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me. “They also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?’“He will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.’” “Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life.” Matthew 25:31-46

I look around and am in constant intercession for my city and the people here.  I am truly disappointed and at times discouraged by how our officials respond to difficult situations.  There is always grace and God will always make a way.  In reality each one of us is one bad decision, one turn of the table, one stock market point, one terminal illness, or one medical bill away from being one of the least of these. Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.  If anyone thinks they are something when they are not, they deceive themselves.” Galatians 6:2,3

American Dream?

15 05 2011

I live in a small town, just about everyone I was friends with growing up and in college are now married and having children or have at least one of those things going for them.  Every time I run into someone at the store, gas station or gym the dreaded question comes, “So, are you married yet?  Any children?”  Why are these the FIRST two questions people feel the need to ask?  I mean, really?  You haven’t seen me in 10 years but you can’t wait to find out about my spouse and children?  Anyway, I realized recently that when I answer the question, I sort of jump to answer it.  I mean they don’t even get the whole sentence out before I’m saying “NO!” with somewhat of a “no way ever is that going to happen” look on my face.  I don’t intentionally do that.  At least I didn’t realize I was. 

The older I get, the more certain I am of my desire to NOT have children.  Don’t mistake what I’m saying to mean I don’t WANT or LOVE children, I just don’t want any of my own.  I want to adopt a house full, an orphanage if you will. 

People say, “oh Renee’, when you fall in love, you’re going to want to have a baby with that person.”  Perhaps, but I am in love, He’s perfect and more powerful than anyone.  His love is so pure and so passionate, mountains can be moved.  He loves unfailingly, gives selflessly, and is the most forgiving ever.  He is my Lord, my Savior, my reason for being.  And it is because of this undeniable, every lasting, lifetime chasing love that I want to adopt His children!  A mother of nations, ah yes, I’ve heard this before…several countries ago….yes a mother of nations.

This doesn’t mean I don’t desire to have a husband; it just doesn’t consume my ever thought.  I don’t look at every aspect of my life as a preparation for Mr. Right.  As far as I can see, I already found Mr. Right, it’s up to me to follow Him. 

So then I begin to struggle with those feelings.  People say it’s “lame” or “pathetic” to say you’re in a relationship with Jesus, but what if you really are?  What if you don’t have time for meaningless “Mr. Right Now”s because you’re so focused on
Mr. Perfect King of Kings?  What if the need to be desired by the opposite sex isn’t a relevant part of your life?  Should you be judged for that?  Am I “pathetic” or “lame” because something greater than this world has my attention, my heart, and my love?

If I answer the first two questions too quickly, people think I’m horrible because I’ve answered it so quickly and in a way that appears it’s not what i want.  If I answer to slowly, they feel sorry for me because I haven’t “found the one” yet.  If I take the time to say, “no, not married and no children” and I follow it up with “I don’t think I want that” or “I’m not ready for any of that yet” then suddenly I’m crazy for not wanting it.  I even had someone tell me the other day, “Renee’, it’s the American dream to get married, have children, live in a big house with the white pickett fence.”  Really?  It’s the AMERICAN DREAM?  Well, I’m an American, and that is NOT my dream.  Should I feel guilty for these feelings or should I just embrace what I already know…God created me just as I am, and He knows what season I’m in, and He knows when I’m going to be ready for any of that, if I ever am, and if that isn’t His plan, then He knows my heart and knows I’m completely ok as long as I have Mr. King of Kings, Lord of Lords, Creator of the Heavens and the Earth, the Alpha and the Omega, The Way, The Truth, and The Light”

This is my life

14 05 2011

I am a 29 year old, single woman and daughter of THE MOST HIGH GOD!  I try to live my life as best as I possibly can.  I love ladybugs, Winnie the Pooh, HEARTS, fast cars, clouds, laughing, butterflies, all animals, especially baby animals!   I love to laugh and sometimes cry.  I wear my heart on my sleeve.

As a young woman in Christ, I face daily challenges in my life.  I am faced with the temptations of this world and the constant reminder of my flesh.  I invite you to come along on this journey with me as I share the good, the great, and the not so wonderful moments of becoming a woman of noble character.  I guarantee you will have a few laughs, some tears, and all in all, a smile at the end of this journey.

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