Sunday, August 29, 2010

Five people

Statistics say that only five people are going to cry at your funeral. Five. Such a menial number if you ask me.

Yet here we are trying to make everyone happy. Trying to satisfy everyone elses needs. Trying to fix everyone elses problems.

I am a people person. I live for social interaction. When I find out people don't like me it breaks my heart. I want everyone to care as much for me as I do for them... But, Only five people are going to cry at my funeral.

I'm not wasting time with people who don't care enough to let me be part of their lives. Who haven't ever given me a chance at knowing theirs. I have an incredible God who loves me, an extraordinary husband who gives me love I don't deserve, a family who has grown so amazingly close this past year, and the kind of friends that constantly bring me to my knees in thanks.

I'm not wasting time with people who don't fit into that mold. Of course the doors are always open for new friends, There is so much more love to give. But i will be investing my time with those who would cry at my funeral. Maybe I'll end up below the statistic, but hopefully I'll end up above. i want to make a difference in the lives of my family, my friends, and my husband.
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Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Day 5 - matter what

The last day of the conference, was about endurance. How we need to endure when we get home, and the things we can do to continue enduring even when life throws us for a loop.

~Something in our lives will probably hurt when we get home. But endure through the pain. Focus on God and take one more step forward even when you feel like collapsing.

~ To know God is to know life.

~ It is going to be hard going back to school, work, and our family. But God is here, with Him we can endure anything.

~ Make sure your life matters, In all you do Honor God

~ Endure- Take one more step, no matter what happens. God knows how hard life can be. When you feel like running away, just take one more step towards Him. Be like Jesus. One step at a time. The faster you run, the easier it is to fall. Keep a slow and steady pace and focus on the One that matters.

~ what motivates us to endure?
1) fear - Romans 1:7 The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and discipline.
2) Reward - Phillipians 3:14 I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.
3) Love - John 15:9 As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love.

Love in the bible is a command, not a feeling.

we were given a similar diagram at the conference. I remade it super quick on my its not that great. But you can get the point. God loved us enough to send his only son Jesus to earth. Jesus loved you and I so much that he gave His life so we could experience eternity in Heaven. In return we need to Love others like God has loved them. And hopefully because of our endurance, and our influence, we will lead others to our Savior.

Amazing to think that little old me has the potential to help people I love fall in love with my Savior. And if I don't model my life after Jesus, I also have the potential of driving people away from God. What a humbling thought.

Day 4-- matter what

The third day was probably one of the best days, in my opinion. Its amazing to think of the influence we can have as Christians. And how because we are Christians, our lives need to be different than the world.

Some points from the day:

~ Not everyone is a leader, but everyone has influence. It's not something you can escape.

~ TV commercials, media, government etc have a lot of influence in the world. God uses His people to influence the world. So offer yourself to Him, and be His advertising campaign.

~ My FAVORITE point from the whole week... "God so loved the world that he gave His only like it!!"

~ According to Time magazine the Apostle Paul was the most influential person of the last millennium. Jesus was #2. Paul was taught by Jesus, but had a longer ministry than Jesus did.

~ Don't let people look down on you because you are young (1 Timothy 4:11-12). Make them look up to you. Be as much like Jesus as you can.

~ Speech is your #1 influence. It is the foundation of faith and influence. Our lives need to look different to Non-Chrisitans.

Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will. (Romans 12:2)

~We need to be aware if we are the example and influence or if we are the ones being influenced.

Day 3 --- Godliness ... no matter what

Tuesday morning was our second day of sessions. The speakers talked about Godliness, and how to achieve Godliness.

We all fail sometimes, its what do you do with those failures that make the difference in our lives, and our futures.

There are three steps towards achieving Godliness:

1- We need to want it like we want the newest electronic device, like we want that new outfit in the window of our favorite store. Give up anything that is keeping you from achieving Godliness, you know yourself best, give up the thing that keeps you from learning about God the most.

2- Find something to leverage. Do whatever it takes to learn more about God. Give yourself to God, your time, your energy. He deserves the best of everything, and our first fruits. If you don't sacrifice some things that you need to give up, then Godliness isn't your first priority.

3- Train instead of try. We stumble so many times because we are trying instead of training. If you want to run a marathon, you don't go out and run it. You train for it. We need to train for Godliness the same way. Build ourselves up. Don't get discouraged when you stumble. Most long time Christians have read the bible all the way through, most haven't been disciplined enough to do it one year. Its more about absorbing the word of God than it is about reading it all the way through.

If you do these things you will achieve Godliness, slowly but surely. The bible tells us that if we seek Him, and knock, the door will be opened to us.

Tuesday night session:

~ We try all of our lives to be more Godly, but we always stumble. But, luckily, we have received Grace we don't deserve. So we should train ourselves to be Godly. To be what our Savior deserves of us.

~ Let Jesus be Jesus in you. Its all about Jesus in us and through us that helps us train for and achieve Godliness.

~ If you have sin in your life that you need to get rid of. Run from it. The bible tells us that Paul ran from temptation. We need to flee our sinful past and move forward, and closer to God.

~ Our lives need to look different to the world, because we are striving to be as much like Jesus .

~ We need to pursue righteousness, faith, love, peace, forgiveness, etc.

~ We should do things for others that they cannot do for themselves.

~ Don't be afraid to step out in Faith. Paul wasn't. We will feel alone some times, but we never are. God is by our side, leading us, and strengthening us. Fix your eyes on Him, let His reflection live in us and through us.

Day 2 ---Truth.. No matter what

Day 2 --- matter what

Tuesday was our first full day of the conference, we had the opportunity to spend the morning in a general session learning about Truth, late morning we had a Discussion group with just the girls from our youth group, Scio and Liverpool.

Morning session notes:

~ We behave as we believe. In simple terms... If we believe it is going to rain, we bring an umbrella with us when we leave the house. If we believe Jesus is the son of God, then we are going to live our lives in a way that pleases our Savior.

~We need to always be aware of our surroundings, but not over think circumstances. Over thinking gets us all in a lot of trouble. Be aware of what you are doing, and what you need to do to see the truth in your life. Be aware that there are so many people out there preaching false doctrine. Don't be afraid to speak up if you think something someone says is wrong. If they are right, they will be able to show you using scripture. But, make sure they aren't taking that scripture out of context. You have to show people the truth, lovingly.

Night Session:

During the night session, we watched a video about a pastor who is into specialized martial arts. They showed him sparring with another man and used the metaphor that we all have people we need to go into the ring with. To spar for Jesus. There may be matches we win, and matches we loose, but we need to do it. We all need to be Kingdom Workers, and work towards the advancement of God's kingdom. Weather we do that as missionaries in Africa, or as employee's in corporate America.

Who do you need to go into the ring for? Who's salvation do you need to fight for?

Day 1 -- Grace..No matter what

Day 1 --- Grace..No Matter What

I had the amazing privilege of being an adult sponsor for my church last week at the Christ in Youth Conference in Scranton PA. It was an incredible experience. One I wish I could have video taped everything for everyone, but I did take a ton of pictures that are on my facebook page if you would like to see them all! =)

Here are some things that I jotted down in my notebook from each day at the conference.

The theme was "No Matter What" And we spent a majority of the week reading and studying 1st and 2nd Timothy.

Sunday night, the theme was "Grace ... no matter what "

~ Our sins do not disqualify us for a relationship with Jesus. He can use the mistakes you've made, for His honor and glory. We are not bound to our sin. But by not giving up sin we are not accepting the transforming power of God

~ Many people rejected Jesus and his ministry because He wasn't what they expected of their messiah. People expected him to hang out with other missionaries, priests and the higher class population. They didn't expect him to spend His ministry with tax collectors, pharisees, prostitutes, etc. He came to save the sinners and the unclean. So many people rejected His salvation because he didn't fit into the parameters they expected.

The speaker told us an incredible story. He was in Amsterdam for a missions trip, and spent a lot of time in the black light district (I think thats what he called it) praying for the people who were there. He told us about these glass doorways, where men would walk up to the door and pick which woman they wanted to sleep with that night. He was heartbroken for all of these women, who were brought into the country as sex slaves, and he prayed about what he could do for them. On his last day there, he walked by a florist, and decided to go in. He bought as many bouquets as he could. He walked down the street carrying all of the flowers, and stopped at the first door. He opened the door and said to the person "You are beautiful. I love you. And God Loves you" Every woman he said that to, broke down bawling. They didn't understand how God could still love them, with the job they were being forced to do.

What an incredible picture of God's Grace. He loves all of us, He sent His only son to die for our sins. Jesus didn't deserve that, and yet he did it anyways, for me. For you.