Tag Archives: God

creation’s testimony…

As the Christmas holiday passes, and we enter the long winter months ahead, I am reminded of the significance of the winter season in my own life. While many around me dread the snow, I look forward to it. Every time the snow falls it is as if there is a freshness and a newness that comes along with it.

This morning I found myself remembering a December several years ago. The trees were laden with the white of winter and it was as if everything around us had been transformed. It was not at all unusual for my family to be found out on snowmobiles when the snow was like this. The trails were smooth and the scenery was breathtaking. On a cold evening of this perfect winter we set out for a late trip into a backcountry hot springs. We had packed our sleds with the things we would need for dinner and a late night swim. The trip could not have been more perfect.

However it wasn’t the time spent in the more than century old log cabin eating dinner by the fire, nor was it the hours we spent soaking in the pure spring water that made an imprint on my soul. Instead, it was the return trip that would, in a sense, change me. In order to get home we had to cross over the top of two summits. The first was well traveled and known by many. The second was a bit off the beaten path, and that night, there was not another soul to be found on that part of the mountain. As we came to a clearing near the highest point of the trail, we stopped our snowmobiles and sat in the quiet. The sky was completely clear and black. In it there were more stars than the eye could comprehend, and as the full moon shone, the snow reflected the twinkling of the stars as a million tiny diamonds scattered in front of us. Perfection.

I have often tried to dissect that experience. Even though much time has gone by, I am left in awe of the Presence of God I experienced on that late night.

The Bible often talks about God’s creation and how it interacts with its creator. In Psalms the writer talks about the fields being jubilant and the trees of the forest singing for joy (Ch. 96) In Luke Jesus’ disciples are caught up in their praise of God as Jesus enters the city. In fact the Pharisees ask Jesus to rebuke the disciples for their overt display, but Jesus responds, “I tell you if they keep quiet, the stones will cry out.” (Luke 19:40) The disciples had seen God move in such miraculous ways that they couldn’t help but give Him the Glory. However, had they chosen to keep quiet… God’s own creation would have cried out proclaiming the greatness of God.

If then all of God’s creation is aware of His greatness, how much more should we, who are created in the very image of God, be ready to sing and dance and praise Him for the great things He is doing in our lives? We can choose to keep quiet, or we can choose to let people know that our lives are what they are because of who God is.

That cold winter night, it was as if God’s own creation was pouring back everything that it was to bring glory to its Creator. And that is what I want. I want those who look at me, and the work that God is doing in my life to be aware of who receives the Glory for the great things they see. I want a testimony of God’s greatness to seep from my very being and back into the heart of my Creator.

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inside out…

My life to this point has been a strange journey of intersecting paths.  In some ways I have loved every moment.  Learning. Growing.  However,  there have also been moments that I would have rather run over, skipped over, jumped over.

I have been back in my beautiful hometown for the weekend.  I am quite sure that my mountains have missed me. One thing I know is that I have missed the loveliness that I am surrounded by while I am here.  McCall’s crowning glory is its lake around which the town is centered.  If you were to drive into town from the south, you would come up over a little knoll and suddenly the lake would be in your view.  Each time I experience this picturesque panorama my breath catches and I am immediately transfixed by the sight.

This weekend we arrived just as the summer is taking her final bow and the autumn is making its arrival.  Most things are still green and crisp, but every now and then a tree who has already put on its red or yellow colors peeks out.  It many ways it is as if these little trees have been hiding a secret behind their green foliage and they cannot wait another second to share their beauty.

Time is a funny thing.  It can give us fresh perspective on old situations.  I will be the first to admit that high school was not my favorite time in life.  I can remember just wanting to get out.  To run away as fast and as far as I could.  And so I did.  For a long time, I didn’t understand the need I had to run.  However, as the years have passed I now feel like I have a firm grasp on my adolescent feelings.

For the most part, in high school, people generally knew who I was at my core, that my faith was a huge part of who I was, and I even believe that I was well liked because of who I was.  But, I felt much like the green leaves on a fall tree; like I needed to- had to, express the beauty that I held within, and I knew that at that time in my life, my small town of 2000 wasn’t the place I could do that. Thus, my move allowed me to grow and to change and to experience for myself  my insides on the outside.  How liberating and life changing this was for me.  Now, instead of containing who I am within myself, I love to share with others; that I am who I am because I am “fearfully and wonderfully made.” (Psalm 139:14) I cannot wait to express the things that make my heart beat to those who will listen. I think for this very reason, now when I come “home” I am alive.  Gone is the girl who was suppressed and hidden by the place that she lived.  Instead, there is perspective, vision, and hope for the future revealed by the very place that once held me back.

In 1 Corinthians 4:2, Paul says, “Rather, we have renounced secret and shameful ways; we do not use deception, nor do we distort the word of God. On the contrary, by setting forth the truth plainly we commend ourselves to every man’s conscience in the sight of God.”

Paul is encouraging the people in the church at Corinth to not hide the Truth that is God’s Word.  Rather to share it plainly.  He wanted them to be bold in expressing who they were as a people of faith, holding nothing back, letting there be no question.

So, today, I encourage you today to look at your life.  Who are you?  Are you excited to share those things that make you “you” with others, or do you feel the need to hide it?  Do you walk boldly forward in who you are? Are you letting your insides out?

(NOTE: I have recorded a companion video for this blog. You can find it here —> http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0ChXH5Zmp44 )

fearless advancement…

So often I think of the people who have sacrificed everything for a dream. A dream of a better life. A dream of freedom. A dream of something new and exciting. And I wonder; I wonder how much what I do matters. What kind of mark am I leaving behind? I want this life that I live to matter to someone. Now don’t misunderstand my words. I know that the life that I live IS important… and that I DO matter to many. However, lately I have felt challenged to lean in closer to the heart of God and what He has for me.

I am confident that God has had and continues to have great things for me. After all I know that I am dearly loved by my Heavenly Father. However, I also know that I am guilty at not fully partaking in the greatness He has for me. Whether it is feelings of unworthiness or fear and lack of trust in Him, I often only grab on to part of His blessing for me. I take the part of his blessing for me that is safe. The part that I can handle on my own.

For quite some time I have been dwelling on Ephesians 3:20-21. (If you have known me for any time at all you will probably know JUST what verse I am talking about) Paul writes, “Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever! Amen.”

This verse challenged me originally because I could look at it and know that no matter what I thought I wanted from life, God wanted “immeasurably” more for me. Praise the Lord! Lately, I have realized though that as thankful as I am for His immeasurably more, I often pass it by. I take the part that I like and that I am comfortable with and I stick with that.

So my question to my readers, as well as myself; Do we trust God enough for the things that don’t make sense to us? Do we trust Him enough for the things we can’t control? Do we trust Him enough to move on in life, fearlessly advancing in the things he wants to bless us with?

Beauty

I must admit that I feel as if my brain needs a good dusting. The cobwebs have accumulated, and the dust has settled. It is amazing how quickly my mind has withdrawn into its own shadowy caverns. I do know some of the why… and a bit of the how. Now I just need to open it up and let it breathe for awhile.

Tonight, after a LONG day of work, I was sitting with a coworker enjoying a sunset. Now I want you all to know that it would be very easy for me to insert an adjective to describe this sunset, but any word that I can think of would not do it justice. The sky was especially colorful. The clouds looked as if they had been painted in, and around the edge of each there was a ribbon of gold. It was one of those amazing breathless moments. After a few moments of enjoyment, our boss joined us outside and jokingly said, “You know what makes that sky beautiful don’t you? It is the pollution, ozone, and other garbage in the air.”

While this was entirely in jest, it made me stop for a moment and consider his comment. In fact I thought about it most of my drive home, as I continued to watch the sun set. Not for one moment had I thought about what had created the beauty in the sky. I simply saw it as beautiful! As I pondered further I thought of how many sunsets I had enjoyed, and not considered their origins. Now, I know most of you who are still reading at this point are expecting me to say something about our Amazing Creator. While any statement to this end would be true, it is not what came to mind.

My mind began to consider how often we only see the beauty in people. I think of the beautiful people I have known. My mentors who shined with the light of the Holy Spirit. My Sunday School teachers who could pray prayers that could bring down the heavens. My pastors who were inspired by the Word of God. So often I have been so overcome by their beauty that I have completely missed the pollution from whence they came. Now this is not to say that I needed to know their “dirty laundry.” What I am saying is that we have all (as Christians) been rescued out of the mire. We have a story. We have a testimony. When we begin to share our testimony as lens for the redeeming light of Jesus to shine through, our lives begin to take on a new hue. No longer do people see our grossness, but now they begin to see the radiance of Christ shining through. And how much more beautiful is it when we understand the transforming power of God?