Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Ask, Seek, Knock.

Today was the first day of training for the VYC Internship I am a part of this summer. And it was a pretty paradigm-shifting day. The topic was the Spirit-Filled Life. We talked about the Holy Spirit. How to receive Him (repent and be baptized. Acts 2:38-39), the fruits He nurtures in our lives (love, joy peace, patience, etc. Galatians 5:22-25), and the gifts that He gives us (words of wisdom, teaching, prophecy, encouraging, etc. Romans 12:4-8, 1 Corinthians 12:28-31, & Ephesians 4:11-15).

So when I say paradigm-shifting, I mean it really changed the way I think about a lot of things. One of the big themes we really dove into was the idea of asking, seeking, and knocking. Now, I had definitely heard the verses in Luke where Jesus tells the parable of the man knocking on his friend's door at midnight (Luke 11:5-13). It is only because of his persistence that the friend finally gets up, answers the door, and gives his friend what he needs. However, I had never really looked at the context of this parable. In the following verses, Jesus goes on to say that whoever asks, it shall be given to him, whoever seeks will find, and whoever knocks, it will be open to him. But asks for what, exactly? Verse 13 says "how much more will the heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!"

So this whole time, I have been using the "ask, seek, knock" concept for everything else in my life, BUT the Holy Spirit! I ask God for money for school. I seek to know God's will for my life. I knock, wanting to know when the next big thing in life is going to happen. These are not bad things. But I am not asking, seeking, and knocking for the Holy Spirit. I am not desperately pounding on the door, asking for my life to produce other-centeredness, patience, and self-control. I am not seeking, as for hidden treasure, what gifts God has for me and how He wants me to use them to bring glory to Him.

Enter 30 days of intentional asking, seeking, and knocking. Thirty days where I am going to be searching out the Holy Spirit and having Him truly flow through me. Thirty days of surrendering to Him, allowing Him to produce fruit in me and use me in whatever capacity and through whatever gifts He chooses to give to me. And hopefully, this thirty days will turn into a lifetime of complete surrender and abandonment to the Holy Spirit in my life.

So as a little reminder of this, I took the chair arm that I got from the old seats in Valleybrook as a souvenir, and made it into a token of remembrance.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Now is RIGHT on Time

So true. It can be so incredibly easy to look back on our journey and say "I wish...." or "If only..." or "What if..." But those things didn't happen. Things hardly ever happen the way we had planned. But then, that's why God's ways are higher than mine and his thoughts higher than my thoughts. That's why He's God, and I am Heather. Because even when things don't turn out the way I had planned, He uses them to draw me closer to Him, to shape me, to change me, to mold me. I just need to be patient, be still, and know that He is God.

Friday, May 27, 2011

5 Things Friday- Things I want to do before I'm 25

Things I want to do before I'm 25

1. Make homemade sushi

2. Get a pixie haircut

3. Play on a worship team (learning guitar better would probably be a good idea for this one)

4. Roadtrip to IHOP

5. Be able to touch my toes from a standing position

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

25 Ways to Tie a Scarf

This is such a fun video! I have so many scarves, but only a couple of ways I know how to wear them... well, not anymore! Watch on to learn 25 ways to tie a scarf... my favorite is the "celebrity." :)


Monday, May 23, 2011

Life Pursuits

There are many things in life that will catch your eye, but only a few that will catch your heart... pursue those.

-Author Unknown

Tuesday, May 17, 2011


This accurately describes my life right now. Messy. Not bad, just messy. Good thing that's Jesus' specialty.

"On hearing this, Jesus said to them, "It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners."

Mark 2:17

Friday, May 13, 2011

5 Things Friday- Things to do in an Eau Claire summer

Things to do in an Eau Claire summer

1. Bike to the farmer's market

2. Shopping spree at Savers on Memorial Day

3. Live music at Phoenix Park

4. Photo shoot downtown

5. Hang out with VYC ladies! (and other awesome Valleybrookers) :)

Monday, May 9, 2011

God of Mystery

"Does it make sense to pray for guidance about the future if we are not obeying in the thing that lies before us today? How many momentous events in Scripture depended on one person's seemingly small act of obedience! Rest assured: Do what God tells you to do now, and, depend upon it, you will be shown what to do next."

- Elisabeth Elliot

What a great reminder! It can be so easy for me to get impatient with God because I feel like He isn't answering my prayers about the future. But if I'm not even obeying Him in what He's given me today, why should I be trusted with the things for tomorrow? I have been realizing more and more that God is a god of mystery. He likes revealing things as we need them, not as we think we need them. And often we think we need them long before we actually do. So when I am faithful in obeying what God has for me NOW, then He is faithful in revealing what I need for the next step. He isn't usually the type to give away the ending... where would the fun in that be anyway? :)

Friday, May 6, 2011

5 Things Friday- Things I wish would come faster

Things I wish would come faster

1. Desperation Conference

2. Seeing my parents (May 21st!)

3. Motivation for school

4. The end of the semester (May 21st!)

5. My paycheck

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Face in the Water

I've been thinking about this verse lately. How often do we really see people's hearts? Not often. Because we don't live out of our hearts. Because then, like this verse says, people would see the REAL us. And we don't want people to see the real us. Because the real us is messy and really good at sinning and not really good at loving. At least on our own strength.

But you wanna know a little secret? A lot of times, even if we are trying to hide our hearts and what's inside of them, our actions and words give us away anyways. So why do we try to hide? Not only does it put us in bondage since by hiding we are choosing to not live out of our hearts and who we really are, but rather out of a lie. But it also doesn't usually work very well and people end up seeing into our hearts anyway and seeing all that mess. So instead of hiding our hearts, why don't we, as Pastor Doug puts it, "face the truth of our situation?" Why don't we see our hearts for what they are and then ask God to shine his spotlight on the whole big mess and start an overhaul on us.

Search me, O God, and know my heart!
Try me and know my thoughts!
And see if there be any grievous way in me,
and lead me in the way everlasting!

-- Psalm 139:23-24

Lord, search me. KNOW my heart and remove the sin. I want to be able to live in freedom, from my heart, without fear of what people will see. Because they should be able to see You. Like a face reflected in the water, I want my heart to reflect you, Lord.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Shame on You

Shame messages are lies that you feed yourself about who you are or who you are not.

Shame messages can look like this:

  • I am too big a mess to deal with

  • I am powerless to change

  • I don't belong

  • I am dirty, worthless, dumb

  • I am not worthy of love, grace, gifts of kindness

  • There is something the matter with me

Can you relate to any of those? Shame can lead to idolatry when we form images of ourselves and let that tell us how to live, rather than let God tell us how to live. Shame can lead to hiding who we are or contempt for who we are. Shame can lead to performance- based acceptance where we feel we must earn others' and God's love. Shame can lead to addictions and isolation. Shame can rule us. BUT, this isn't how it has to be. This isn't how it's SUPPOSED to be!

Fear not, for you will not be ashamed; be not confounded, for you will not be disgraced; for you will forget the shame of your youth, and the reproach of your widowhood you will remember no more. - Isaiah 54:4

Shame is something I have had in my life.
Shame is not something I want in my life.

I am going to allow God to define me. I am going to stop believing the lies that Satan feeds me. I am going to allow God's purpose to become my purpose. I am going to impact this world. I am going to allow God and others to pursue me in my shame. I am going to let love in. I am going to believe God when he says that I will forget the shame of my youth, and look to my future.

*Ideas adapted from The Journey Guide by Open Hearts Ministry.
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