Lifter

“But you, O LORD, are a shield about me, my glory, and the lifter of my head.”
Psalm 3:3

The most fundamental truths about God are often the easiest to forget.
What is constant in our lives often, and rather quickly, becomes shielded by what is variable. I relate with David and have since the Father taught me what repentance truly is through Psalm 51. So reading Psalm 3 has been an incredible blessing. There are so many great reminders there that I invite you to explore.

When you don’t have the strength to fight, the LORD is your shield.
When you don’t have the ability to lift your head, He is there to lift it for you.
Don’t dwell on the things of the past or what “could have been”,
But to boldly go before God and pursue the destiny he has set before you.

“Salvation belongs to the Lord…”
Psalm 3:8

Homeward Bound

 

 

“Child I won’t let you go, we are homeward bound. Child I sing till it’s clear, we are homeward ; and in my voice you will know the sound of hope.”

My Dear Son,

I’ll call you my beloved, and though you walk away from me, my heart won’t be too far away. My voice will call to you many times, but it’s hard for you to hear because your nearly deaf. Your ears are full of mites and your fleece is tangled, but you’ve heard my voice before, and I know you recognize it. You won’t be gone for long. But, my child, if I don’t let you go even for a little bit on this trip you’ve insisted on, you won’t know what it means to return. I safe guarded you. I protected your life. When ravenous wolves tried to attack you in your sleep, I never sleep. I stayed up.  I warded them off. They won’t do harm to my child.

I know your name. How could I forget? Though you wander away, your first steps away from me were the first steps back to me. I’m here. I will never leave you. I will never forsake you. Go on my son, for Redemption is near. I will rescue you. But it will come with pain. There will be a price. But the pain will give birth to my promises. They will come alive. They will be your bread. They will be your drink. You will be satisfied. There is a future for you.  A Holy Kingdom.

I will not let you go too far, my son. You are my co-heir.You will never go too far. Listen to my voice. Calm. Speaking. A symphony of forgiveness and love and know,
that in my voice you will know, the sound of Hope.

Faithfully Yours,

YHWH-ROHI


Come See Jesus

Jesus has a way of entering a room and suddenly making everyone and everything else disappear.

Have you seen it?

Have you experienced it?

With the heart of a Savior,
and the knowledge of His Father,
there are no accidental encounters
when it comes to our King.

Today, I was blessed by reading the story of Jesus’ encounter with the woman at Samaria with a new light.

Recall this story with me.

Immerse yourself into it.

Think of the day.

The Middle Eastern heat.

The sights.

The smells.

Read it, and T H I N K about these things…
~ please take a second to read John 4:1-30. I’ll wait for you 🙂 ~

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I’m blown away by Jesus’ interaction with this woman.

The more I come to know Him, the more I realize that Jesus is less interested in the physical person and much more interested in the needs of the heart.

He saw this woman.

She was both weary from traveling in the middle of the day for water and from the shame of her sinful lifestyle.

Can you relate?

Jesus, our quick, caring, and kind savior speaks to the woman.

After talking about physical thirst, He was quick to address the spiritual thirst this woman felt. A thirst that kept driving her from husband to husband until she was so consumed with shame that she avoided human interaction. Drinking from this broken cistern, the woman, now consumed with shame, does everything she can to hide her sin from the caring words of Jesus.

But, being full of compassion, He again is quick to move from physical needs to spiritual needs.

Jesus address her heart.
As they spoke the conversation shifted:

“you are right in saying that you do not have a husband, in fact you have had five and the man you live with now is not your husband”
(excerpt John 4:17-18, author paraphrase)

When the topic changed and the issue became about differences in worship, Jesus quickly addressed the heart once again:

“The time will come when the place of worship doesn’t matter…. The time is coming when followers will worship in spirit and in truth. God is spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.”
(John 4:21-24, author paraphrase)

After addressing the heart and interrupting her shame, the woman who must have been longing for salvation, looks upon this man and says these very words

“I know that Messiah is coming (he who is called Christ). When he comes, he will tell us all things.”

Jesus said to her,

“I who speak to you am he.”

Leaving her water jar behind, she goes back into the town where her adversaries reside. The very people she had been avoiding for who knows how long.

Suddenly the shame of having 5 former husbands and living in adultery carried no weight, as the word that now leave her mouth are:

“Come see Jesus!”

Shame is interrupted at the sight of our Savior. 
It melts like wax in the blazing sun as we look upon the eyes
of He who came to put an end to all shame; All sin.
Fear no longer has a hold on those who are redeemed.
And when Jesus enters the picture, He takes throne over your life.
Once, where shame and sin ruled, now the light of the Savior melts away the darkness and brings us into light.
There is no room at the table for fear in the Kingdom of God.
Only the freedom found in Jesus Christ our Advocate and Eternal Intercessor.

Come to Jesus. Forsake the shame. Bring it to the light of our savior. He wants the messy places of your life. give it to Jesus. The same compassion our kind and caring King had for this Samaritan woman is the same compassion he has for us today.

Come see Jesus.

Soul Mate VS. Sole Mate

So I’ve been on a bit of a writing hiatus but now I’m back! I can’t think of a better way to return than writing about Soul Mates!

(insert dramatic music here)

Our culture is saturated with the idea of finding love. From the time we are old enough to watch Disney movies, read books, go on first dates,  have  girl/boyfriends, we begin to be surrounded by the notion of finding a soul mate.

While the idea sounds good in theory, in reality it’s kind of silly…let’s be honest.

I’ve been reading Gary Thomas’ book, The Sacred Search. It’s been the best dating book I’ve ever read about Christian Dating and what the search should look like for those of us in the not yet married phase. (you should totally read it…trust me)

In chapter five, he dives into the idea of a soul mate and what we should focus on as followers of Jesus. What I found most interesting was the actual origin of the soul mate. If you haven’t heard this before…buckle your safety belt…

The Origin of the Soul Mate

Over two thousand years ago, a Greek philosopher, Plato, invented the idea of soul mates (are you surprised as me it wasn’t Disney??) The story goes a little like this:

Once upon a time, giant, round, androgynous humans roamed the earth. These giant beings banded together and became so powerful that Zeus, Greek god of the sky and ruler of the Olympian gods, saw them as a threat to overthrow the gods. In order to deal with this accordingly, Zeus took the super humans and cut each of them in half to make them weaker, thus creating male and female, and a creature who was weak without their other half (a.k.a. soul mate).

Shocking, right?

This is obviously a SUPER brief synopsis of his ideology.  If you’re interested in reading more, the philosophy comes from Plato’s Symposium.

Here’s the faulty thing about that story…

It makes us weaker without our “other half.”

Under this school of thought, without a significant other we are weaker;  an incomplete person.

When I think of God and the account of Creation in Genesis, it’s comforting knowing God didn’t cut super-humans in half to make them weaker out of fear.

He created Eve for Adam to fulfill a longing that only He could satisfy.

That, my friend, gives us a reason to have hope in our singleness.
That, my dear friend, is enough to give you a reason not to get discouraged in the sacred search.

I’m going to make a bold statement that I think stands true, and I’m finding to be true in my own life.

When you discard wisdom from the equation and expect to find a “soul mate” by chance, you may be missing the opportunity to meet some amazing people right in front of you.

If you are blinded by the search for “the one”, you may miss the forest for the trees.

Plato’s philosophy replaces seeking wisdom with a “follow your heart” mentality, and in the Christian worldview, we know that God himself said ;The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?” (Jer. 17:9)

If you are seeking God and seeking wisdom, then the next step is phenomenally easy…find someone who will walk along side of you and do the same thing.

Thomas mentions replacing the search for a SOUL mate and searching for a SOLE mate. (and no…that’s not a gruesome spelling error.)

Gary Thomas defines a Sole Mate as :

someone who walks out with us (the sole of a shoe!) the biblical command to seek first the kingdom of God.”

As simple as it seems, can you think of any greater piece of dating advice?

Attraction and compatibility play an important part in our relationships but if you’re dating someone you cannot walk out the command to Seek first the Kingdom of God, then the relationship will be complicated.

My desire, and I hope you share it as well, is to find someone who longs to be more like Jesus every day. Someone who knows the importance of seeking the Kingdom.

If you are seeking first the Kingdom of God while you are single, then you are forming a lifelong habit that will not be easily broken in your sacred search. You’re forming a habit that will carry over into your marriage, too. (BONUS!)

This principle applies to every decision we’ll make in our lives.
The world’s philosophy is “Follow your heart.”
God’s philosophy is “Seek me. Seek wisdom. Seek insight.”
If we can do these things, then perhaps our dating lives would be a little less broken. Perhaps we would begin to see dating relationships through the lens of Christ.

Then we can date in a way that is holy and presentable before God.


I know I’ve opened a flood gate here.

What are your thoughts on Christian dating and is there anything that stood out to you in this article? I would love to hear from you in the comments section!

We don’t have to share the same exact views, I just want to start a conversation that will lead to healthier dating relationships.


If you like what you read, or you were encouraged in any way, please help me out by subscribing and sharing my blog on your social media page!

Infatuation and Wisdom

Quirky little secret about me…I’m a sucker for a good love story (who hasn’t gotten a little misty eyed when it comes to the story of Ali and Noah?).  Every good love story has the moment. The lighting is perfect, the music gets soft and dramatic, everything is in slow motion, and in steps Mr. or Mrs. Right.

Since we are so saturated with these types of scenes from books and movies, flawless ideas about romance sneak into our heads and hearts more often than we care to admit. We avidly seek out the ideal person and create unrealistic expectations no one person could possibly meet.

Being in my late twenties, I’ve been burned by unrealistic views of what a relationship should look like (and I’m guilty of holding my own, too). But why do we build these unrealistic views of romance and stand by them as if they are normal?

Infatuation and Cultural Conditioning.

Infatuation is defined as an intense but short-lived passion or admiration for someone or something (and we’ve all experienced it).

It’s a completely natural experience and when it happens, it’s incredibly easy to throw reasoning out the window.

I feel like our culture has idolized infatuation to the point that we confuse it with the experience or action of love. It becomes normal to hold crazy expectations because culture dictates “follow your heart”, but if you are a follower of Jesus you know from scripture that “The heart is deceitful above all else.” (Jer. 17:9)

How can we begin to redeem dating in a way that fights this “follow your heart” type mentality?

Understand this:

Infatuation is inevitable (and that’s not bad).

When we meet someone we’re attracted to, it doesn’t take long for infatuation to cloud our judgement (sometimes it happens instantly). When infatuation shows up, our ideal relationships begin to look more like the plot of a movie than reality, and honestly, infatuation feels nice so we don’t like to fight it. When infatuation begins to drive our dating standards, then what we look for in a potential significant other becomes less rooted in reality and more rooted in our own version of a fairy tale romance.

When you become infatuated, you tend to minimize the bad traits in a person and practically see a god/goddess like version of your newly found potential significant other. It blinds you from seeing the traits that are not as admirable in a relationship or marriage. And when you are letting infatuation drive the steering wheel of your dating decisions, managing them with wisdom becomes practically impossible.

We may not be able to escape feelings of infatuation but, like other experiences driven by emotion, we can learn how to manage it wisely. This takes discipline, hard work, and a great deal of patience.

Why do we need to strive to work through the cloud of infatuation?

Gary Thomas, author of The Sacred Search, hits on this topic a good bit in his book. One of my favorite quotes lays some ground work on why infatuation sholdn’t be a controlling factor in our potential relationships:

“Infatuation fills your eyes with what you’re getting, but the bible fills your mind with what you’re committing to give”

-Gary Thomas, The Sacred Search 

Our goal as followers of Jesus is to live a selfless life. To become more like Jesus every day. When it comes to the experience of infatuation, we are filled with selfish desires. If we shift our judgment toward seeking wisdom in our dating relationships, infatuation is a more manageable experience.

Proverbs 4:7 ; A Dating Philosophy Worth Sticking To

The beginning of wisdom is this: Get wisdom, and whatever you get, get insight.

When you meet someone special, remember to seek wiser counsel than yourself. Listen to your friends, family, and mentors. When you have “hearts in your eyes” you may be blinded to serious character flaws in the person you want to pursue. When you are seeking someone to date, seek wisdom. The Lord always blesses patience, and if you are hasty in your pursuit, you may become blinded by infatuation, loosing focus on what is true.

Don’t let infatuation cloud your better judgement.

Remember to ask yourself these type of questions:

What do you value in a potential spouse?
Is that desire rooted in scripture?
Am I seeking wisdom in my search?

The list could be a few more pages long, but that’s a good starting point.

Don’t be coy around your friends. They probably hold valuable insight you need.
Talk to trusted mentors about the people you find interesting and get insight.

When we begin to shift from letting infatuation control our dating decisions and seek wisdom, perhaps we will start to see less brokenness within our dating relationships.

Seek wisdom, Get insight, and pursue relationships wisely.


In my next blog, Lord willing, I hope to discuss the ideology behind soul mates and why we should shift our perspective to finding a “SOLE” mate. Stay tuned!

What are your thoughts on applying Proverbs 4:7 to our dating philosophies? I would love to hear your opinion below! Leave me a comment, and if you like what you read, please share it on facebook/twitter!

Finding (rest in) the One

I’ve wrestled with the concept of “the one” for a long time. Some days I find myself fighting cynicism and some days it’s easier to rest. When I think about dating and think about “the one”,to be honest, it’s hard to be completely transparent. It’s a very messy and broken place.

I didn’t ask for it, but this season of singleness has been the most incredible thing that’s ever happened to me. Being a romantic by nature, it’s been hard not having a significant other for this long, but the Lord has been faithful to redeem his wayward Son. He has sung a song of peace and hope over my life and has proven “JESUS IS BETTER.” Yes, I didn’t choose singleness. It was chosen for me. I didn’t ask for this, but the Father has been faithful to redeem the broken places of this wretched mans life.

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Future Blogs on Dating

I started working on a series of blogs to re-visit the idea of Christian Dating & Singleness, but as I sit here at Methodical Coffee enjoying a chamomile tea, I’m realizing how much of what I wanted to say was coming out of a place of woundedness. I’m not shy about what God is doing in my life and what He’s done through abandonment…but at the moment, I cant seem to gather my thoughts enough to write anything worth while.

To be honest, there are times I worry that when I meet someone special, she won’t look beyond my rocky past. When that lie speaks louder than the voice of truth…I don’t feel the need to pursue. I feel defeated. I feel like I’m not worthy of a Godly woman.

I was talking to Jesus about this one night. I was fearful that my past mistakes were greater than His future plan for my life. I was wrestling hard with whether dating was an option yet, or perhaps if my standards are too high (since there aren’t a lack of Godly women in my life.)

Then He spoke.

I was so burdened by singleness that I forgot His promise…
“Come to me ye who are weary…I will give you rest for your soul.”

His spirit gently guided me through the pain and confusion I was experiencing that night. His words soothed my soul. I felt the rest that Jesus was talking about.

Finding comfort and clarity in my sweet Saviors words, the Spirit sang over me a gentle reminder about the sacred search.

“I AM the One. Don’t worry about the future. Find peace in me. “

He is the one…
Jesus will satisfy our longings.
He has made us new.
A new heart. A new Spirit.
The past doesn’t define us.
Because He has made us new.
We are His beloved.

When it comes to the idea of finding “the one,” It’s incredibly easy to become borderline obsessed. (I plan on writing more about this soon, Lord willing.)

So, whether we face the tendency to be passively or actively obsessed with with “finding the one” or discouraged because it doesn’t seem to be going our way…Remember our Savior’s words;
“Come to me…I will give you rest.”

Don’t obsess about finding “the one”
Find rest in The One.
All hope is found in Him.


In the next few weeks, Lord willing, I’m hoping to write more about the topic of “the one” and the role it plays in our sacred search.

As I do, the prayer is God will provide clarity to myself and to you the reader. If you’re married I hope it helps you remember what it was like to be single to help those who are single and struggling. If you’re single, I hope it helps you remember who Jesus is and that He is the One. Let’s not be defined by our hurt or shame. Let’s be defined by our royal call. You are a Child of God.


Other Blogs on Dating/Singleness from Finding Our Hope:

Taming a Romantic Heart
LONGING
Is Dating Redeemable?
From the Inside of Love

Future//Past

 

 

Standing in the back.
Hands raised in worship.
Wrecked by the truth.
Singing.

You are the first.
You are the last.
You are my future
AND
my
past.

My rocky background.
My countless abuses of Grace.
My defilement of Love.
My fundamental misunderstanding of God.
My wandering. My shame. My anger. My fear.
My broken identity.

All.

His.

He is God of it all.

He is the Author and Perfecter of my faith.

He is the Alpha and Omega.

The Beginning and the End.

My Abba, writing a story, interweaving this wretched man into the plot.
Ordaining every circumstance to generate a peculiar glory.

Yes, the past can be an unfortunate thing.
It can be something that hurts.
But God was as sovereign then as He is now.
The very creator of the universe has written your future,
your present,
and even your past.

So rejoice with me.
You are no longer identified with the chains of your past.
The same God who loves what you have become
loved you before you became it.

This is what Redemption taste like.

This is what Redemption smells like.

Feast your eyes upon the King of Kings.

His kindness and mercy knows no end.

Taste and see that the Lord is good.

Taste and be fulfilled; yet hunger for more.

Drink and be satisfied; yet thirst for more.

It excavates,

It has elevates,

and it exhilarates.

My brother…My sister…My friend…

You

Are

Free.

Take off the shackles of the past and  join me in rejoicing in this freedom!