Dying To Be Found

My first weekend as a freshman at college,
I met a girl named Eliza,
and we clicked immediately.
She was the earthy, granola type & seemed like she could hold her own in the wilderness,
which I thought was real cool.
As we chatted about about our similar passions for missions & human trafficking,
I knew I had found a kindred spirit.

As the year went on, Eliza became a dear friend & someone who
ministered to me in a time of utter brokenness.
I saw the Gospel come alive in the way that she loved me during that season,
because even when I wanted nothing to do with community,
she fervently pursued me.
The Lord used this girl in such a practical & life-changing way.
She did daily life with me,
when it was hard, messy, & I wasn’t exactly always a joy to be around.
But that was the season I was in & she loved me through it.

As I got to know Eliza & her story,
she explained how she had no desire to come to Samford,
even up until move-in day,
but the Lord was clearly leading her there.
Then, someone asked her if she would be willing to go,
even if just for one person.
She said yes.
And on the day that Eliza told me she wouldn’t be returning to Samford for the next semester,
I hugged her & with tears flowing I knowingly told her that I was her one person.

Rather than looking around at her own circumstances,
or choosing to be discontent,
Eliza consciously decided to display the Gospel to me daily,
and my life is radically different as a result.

Jesus chose to go after the one that went astray, rather than the ninety-nine that remained,
But this concept didn’t really hit home with me until I saw myself as the one lost sheep.
In fact, every Christian was once the one lost sheep.

So who is one person in your life that needs to hear the hope of the Gospel?
Leave the masses & pursue the lost.
Search for them relentlessly.
As one who was once lost,
we are dying to be found.

“What do you think? If a man has a hundred sheep, and one of them has gone astray, does he not leave the ninety-nine on the mountains and go in search of the one that went astray? And if he finds it, truly, I say to you, he rejoices over it more than over the ninety-nine that never went astray. So it is not the will of my Father who is in heaven that one of these little ones should perish.”

Matthew 18:12-14


When Your Days Aren’t So Merry or Bright…

 My heart is heavy today.

Heavy for friends & family facing addictions, disease, divorce, depression,
and countless other forms of brokenness.
I was reminded that everyone is fighting a battle of their own this holiday season.

Our culture has romanticized and industrialized the concept of Christmas,
completely stripping it of the depth and value it deserves.
The result is, during a time that should be symbolic
of profound hope and peace to all who are weary and heavy laden,
we feel exceptionally lonely, fragmented, & vulnerable.

I promise this isn’t a “Remember the Reason for the Season,” rant.
While I know there is truth in that,
cognitively telling ourselves the meaning of Christmas will not mend our pain.
We must center our lives around the manger & it’s message.

My prayer is that we would look beyond the twinkling lights,
overabundance of presents, and ornate Christmas trees,
so that we might see the epitome of hope,
“the Wonderful Counselor,
Mighty God, 
Everlasting Father, 
Prince of Peace.
[Isaiah 9:6]

My prayer is that we would see Jesus.
He came to this Earth to become our spotless sacrifice, our redeemer, & healer;
willingly laying down His Deity to save us from our sins.
The Gospel was being carried forth in His coming,
our eternity was being secured.

Rest in the reality that pain is real,
but not eternal.
There will be a day when we do not have to fight to find joy and contentment
in the midst of heartbreak and trials.
We will be reunited with the our Savior King,
& our souls will forever be satisfied in Jesus Christ.   

So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.
2 Corinthians 4:16-18

Our Love Story…

I have sat here staring at a blank screen for 15 minutes now,
attempting to fight the urge I have to write this post.
May I start off by saying that I speak humbly, out of personal conviction,
and into an area of profound need…

Women, we are living in a ‘love-story’ crazed culture,
not that you really needed anyone to tell you that.
Wedding Boards on Pinterest.
‘Fairytale’ Stories in Theaters.
Romantic Novels.
Sappy Love Songs.

These are just a small portion of the ways that we are bombarded daily with a subliminal message that I fear many of us women are oblivious to;
a message that says:
“Your worth is in a romantic relationship with a man…
the ring on your finger, the tingly feelings of ‘love,’ and your emotional attachment to a guy.”
The connection between a man and a woman was
created by God in Eden as a truly beautiful and holy relationship.
However, we have been made to believe that our hope is found in having the affections of a man.
So we cling with a death grip to any sense of emotion we see in a guy
and [often unknowingly] set flame to what will become a wildfire.

I dare say that the Church has done Christian women a disservice.
We are lacking in this area because we shift all of our attention to placing boundaries around the physical aspect of relationships while completely neglecting the emotional side.
Hear me say:
Emotional temptation is just as strong for women as physical temptation is for men.
The devil is keenly aware of how our brains are wired and where our weaknesses lie.
May we not be so naive as to believe that he has not launched a ferocious onslaught in this area.

Terms such as “guard your heart” and “be wise” are thrown around cheaply now,
but practical advice is nearly nonexistent in the emotional realm.
Finding women who are sound and like minded in this area
is about as easy as finding a needle in a haystack.

So what are Christian women supposed to do when the odds seem to be against us in so many ways?
I have spent the last week asking myself this question relentlessly.
Do I have the golden ticket and all the answers to emotional purity and holiness?
But I know that One who does
I believe we have to take these questions, urges, and temptations
to the Lord in constant prayer and time spent in His Word.

Also, there aren’t any measures that you can take in this area that are “too safe.”
For instance, we praise men for turning off televisions, movies, internet sites, and music that
turn them towards physical temptation.
However, it has become socially and spiritually acceptable for women
to embrace all avenues of emotional temptation.
We can never be too careful in this area.

Whether you are happily [or sadly single], married, divorced, engaged, you name it…
You already have the perfect love story.
Deity Himself came down from on high to serve and to love you
in the most steadfast, tender, and perfect way possible.
He laid down His life on a cross at Calvary
and has relentlessly pursued you even in your wandering.
He knows you in the most intimate way possible,
even better than you know yourself.
He is a romancer.
He sees you as perfectly and wholly beautiful.
He thinks about you day and night.
His love letter to you is 66 books long.
He is consistent in his love –
the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow.
He is not petty, but has a Holy jealousy for you.
You are the bride of Christ, the apple of His eye,
and He is coming back for you, Beloved.

As women of the King, we are called to be holy:
“Therefore, preparing your minds for action, and being sober-minded, set your hope fully on the grace that will be brought to out at the revelation of Jesus Christ. As obedient children, do not be conformed to the passions of your former ignorance, but as he who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, since it is written, “You shall be holy, for I am holy.”
…Your faith and hope are in God.”
1 peter 1:13-16 & 21

May we fall on our knees in repentance
and be sober-minded in all that we do,
remembering our hope is built on nothing less than Jesus Christ,
so that He finds His bride pure upon His return.