Sunday, July 18, 2010

His Response.

I've been learning so much these last few weeks. I see how God has divinely placed me at a church that is going through a series about generosity and finances. He is building me up in wisdom before I go back home.

His hands are indeed leaving lasting imprints in my mind.

Through all of these amazing teachings what I am really seeing is that your finances are a big deal to God. The fact that you aren't stingy and rather you being abundantly generous is so important to God. It is a big deal and it does matter; incredibly. Many stories throughout the Bible exemplify this truth.

The story of Cornelius was brought up in church today. Cornelius gave to the poor and needy in abundance and God saw it. His generosity moved the heart of God and the Lord showered Cornelius with great favor. Acts chapter 10.

Bottom line :: when you are generous God responds.

I am in absolute awe looking at the promises God has given us. These are promises that we are encouraged to test and indeed anticipate the mighty hand of our faithful God.

Malachi 3:10
"Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this," says the LORD Almighty, "and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that you will not have room enough for it."

It's not just about gaining God's favor and it's not just about receiving His blessings either. God says that He blesses our generosity so that we in turn can continue to be a blessing.

He will make us rich in every way so that we can be overflowing with His richness and His truth to pour out onto others.

2 Corinthians 9:11
" You will made rich in every way so that you can be generous in every occasion and thru us your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God. "

It's awesome to think that our Father desires to make us rich in every single way. In all we are. In all we do. In all we desire. In all things. In relationships. In our health. In our clarity for the future. He wants to give us that. . . so we can be that much more His hands and feet in a world of ignorance.

Show Love. Always.

As I was driving home today I felt compelled to be intentional about a few things. I pulled into Super Target, walked in and bought some flowers. Pretty yellow sunflowers was were it was at. Jesus put it on my heart to stop by a friends house and drop them off.

It's quite the crazy feeling when you know God is asking you to do something specific. You can't help but actually do it.

My ex-boyfriends mom was put on my heart. It was weird. I haven't seen her in about a year but something was stirring in my heart to just show her some old fashioned love. So, I stopped by his house and left flowers on the doorstep with a letter.

I told my friend that I dropped off the flowers for his mom and his reaction kind of caught me off guard... He was so confused as to why someone would randomly do something like that for someone else...

The more I thought about his response the more my heart hurt. I'm sad that people only expect these "old fashioned acts of kindness" when something goes wrong...

Aren't we called to ALWAYS preach the gospel using words when necessary? Aren't we called to uplift and show love to our neighbors in all circumstances?

We are called to do things that scream Jesus. I understand that dropping some flowers off at a friends house doesn't exactly scream Jesus but the fact that a simple act as such received a response that demanded an explanation ... actually screams the life Jesus called us to live.

As Rock Harbor church has taught its congregation so well ::
" Live a life that demands an explanation. "

I want every possible opportunity to show the love that's been woven into my core to the people around me.

I know this is a small example for such a bigger spiritual principle, but it's valid indeed.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Letting God Work.

Letting God Work.

Sometimes things have to get really bad before you actually give God room to do something. You even let go for a short time... and when God doesn't act quick enough you grab tight onto the things you think will give you hope. How is He going to get the glory when things do fall in place, if you keep jumpin in trying to mend things on your own?

People think that they can solely fix and restore things in their own lives. Not so. Only He who makes things grow is responsible for anything and everything being restored to His creation. Why oh why can't I live like I actually believe this right now? Here I am for the hundredth time beating my head wondering why a few things in my life have not changed. And for the hundredth time God sits beside me and says," Caydin, I will surely give you strength to get through today."

Wouldn't it be easy to let go of something that you knew bottom line would end up just the way you wanted? Of Course. Jesus doesn't work that way. ( Of course, your desires will line up with His when He refines your heart and mind but thats not what I'm saying. ) When God asks you to let go of something that possibly won't go your way how much more of a challenge is it to let it go? God never said He would change your circumstances so that you may get what you want ...

Rather, He says He will give you strength to get through it all. He will satisfy you. He will give you what you need. Bottom line: He will make all things glorious.

I'm entirely struggling with this to the max. I wish I had the strength right now to truly hand over the key to my storage closet. My heart is in turmoil. My joy seems to disappear before I exhale. I have a cry of desperation in my life right now. God is near to me. I feel Him during these testing times, immensely.

So, God is near. God will give strength. God will make things glorious. I am awaiting the day in which I can truly let God work. Oh my sweet Jesus; my only remedy.

The nearness of there, feels more near to here.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Generous in Every Occasion.

Proverbs 11:24
" One man gives freely, yet gains even more. Another holds unduly but comes to poverty. A generous man will prosper. He who refreshes others, he himself with be refreshed. "

2 Corinthians 9:11
" Now he who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will also supply and increase your store of seed and will enlarge the harvest of your righteousness. You will be made rich in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion, and through us your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God. "

There is a spiritual principle I am learning to love and live out.A crazy promise; God wants to richly bless us so that we can be generous in EVERY occasion.

A lot of us believe things in theory. Do we believe a generous man actually prospers ? Look at your bank account and it will reflect whether or not you believe this. Our generosity is richly blessed.

Proverbs 21:20 "In the house of the wise are stores of choice food and oil ( your finances in biblical times ) but a foolish man devours all he has."

God has been showing me through pastors teachings and reading in His word that priorities in your finances are necessary. Pastor Peter Haas gave a great sermon about how your financial priorities determine it's capacity. Wealth has little to do with income, rather it has to do with how you prioritize your finances.

Mark 4:18 :: Some people are like seed sewn along thorns.

There are so many things that we must deal with every single day that choke out our capacity for the kingdom. The deceitfulness of wealth will leave you never satisfied and you will never be rich enough. The love for things and the priority for them in your life will rob you of what God desires to bless your life with.

Proverbs 3:9-10
" If you honor the Lord with your wealth with the first fruits of all your crops then your barns will be filled to overflowing and your vats will be brimming over with new wine. "

God enables you to do far more with your remaining 90 percent when you can give him His 10 percent.

Prioritize God and stop robbing yourself.

Friday, July 9, 2010

That's Why.

Music has been key to so many circumstances in my life and my soul rejoices in music. Truly.

I have found it worth it to fine tune the music that I listen to.

I have so many stories that back up and solidify why I am so picky with what I let myself listen to. Overtime, the music you listen to resonates in your mind and heart...

Tonight this girl at work was really, really frustrated with me. She misunderstood me when I was explaining to her how I thought the distribution of tips was unfair. I went up to her with a smile on my face and was planning on just having a civil conversation that would lead to figuring out the kinks. She literally looks me in the eyes and says, " Shut up. Just shut up, Caydin... " The moment she started going off on me all I could hear in my head was a great dancing song by Josh Garrels, " Take courage my son for the spirit says come. And be set free. "... She continued her night by telling every other co-worker how frustrated she was with me.

When I heard that song resonating in my mind I couldn't help but look at this petty situation as a woman who is free from any hurtful tactic that's put against her.

My response to this co-worker was a simple "okay." and I walked away. Jesus was proud that my choices in the past to drench my mind with music that speaks truth were indeed fruitful!!!

That is why I listen to music that feeds my soul.
So I can act accordingly.

I see why God asks us to guard our hearts and minds. I understand why He asks us to do certain things and not others. It's important that we understand the wisdom that God has written out for us; so that we may act upon it.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Cut the Crap.

So, as always, the wheels in my head have been turning. Every now and then God gives me a little glimpse of what my mind is indeed in search of.

People are so full of excuses. Instead of walking humbly, and owning up to the things God says need to change in your life you spoon feed people your never-ending cup of bitter joe. I've brewed a cup of joe and I've also been on the receiving end by gulping it down.

Now, being the one who has been full of the tomfoolery, I look back and wonder why it was so difficult for me to recognize the lack of humility in my life. Afterall, I'm a giver not a taker, and I'm very spendy when it comes to my time and love for people... less of me, right? What was I missing ?

When people don't want to change the habits and mindsets that bring them so much contentment, yet are not favorable in God's sight; Houston, we have a problem. I've seen how people simply just get out of situations that require them to change the way that they live. The consequences are anything but simple. It is quite the calamity; as God has called us to lose control and allow Him to perfect us at the deepest levels. He never said it would be a comfy ride. He said quite the opposite...yet well worth it in every aspect.

This eludes me to see how dangerous it is to feel complacent. That, along with being prideful and unable to keep it real with the One who created you in His image... is just a pitiful situation that breaks Gods heart, and others involved.

Pride. is. gross.

I've heard from many ministers that pride is the root of sin. I get it. I've seen it in action and it's a painful sight. Pride nearly blinds people. I feel like pride has it's own secret agenda while you give way to it. Some people don't even understand the pride in their lives.

Pride isn't a respecter of persons. We all have struggled with it and will continually need God's healing and powerful hand to guide us back on track. Yet... after knowing certain things... and being exposed to the truth...when it has been spoken over you and woven into your heart... when you have attained God given wisdom ... comes a responsibility in response to it.

Happy Birthday Uncle Sam.

I am intrigued by many, many things that have gone on in our countries past. I have been encouraged by a man named, Fredrick Douglas, whom I am hoping we all have heard of at some point during our american education. He escaped slavery to become a renowned american abolitionist, minister and reformer. He stood firm for equality among all people.

A popular quote from Douglas ::
" I would unite with anybody to do right, and with nobody to do wrong. "

Douglas gave a speech in 1852 in Rochester, New York about the fugitive slave laws that were passed. The fugitive slave laws, in short, enabled officers and watchmen the entitlement to capture slaves who escaped to freedom. They were required to turn them in so they could be returned to their "masters". I find the boldness in Douglas something that is profoundly necessary now a days in modern america.

"Let it be thundered around the world that in tyrant-killing, king-hating, people-loving, democratic, Christian America the seats of justice are filled with judges who hold their offices under an open and palpable bribe, and are bound, in deciding the case of a man's liberty, to hear only his accusers!

In glaring violation of justice, in shameless disregard of the forms of administering law, in cunning arrangement to entrap the defenceless, and in diabolical intent this Fugitive Slave Law stands alone in the annals of tyrannical legislation. I doubt if there be another nation on the globe having the brass and the baseness to put such a law on the statute-book. If any man in this assembly thinks differently from me in this matter, and feels able to disprove my statements, I will gladly confront him at any suitable time and place he may select.

I take this law to be one of the grossest infringements of Christian Liberty, and, if the churches and ministers of our country were nor stupidly blind, or most wickedly indifferent, they, too, would so regard it.

At the very moment that they are thanking God for the enjoyment of civil and religious liberty, and for the right to worship God according to the dictates of their own consciences, they are utterly silent in respect to a law which robs religion of its chief significance and makes it utterly worthless to a world lying in wickedness."

Douglas, I could not have said it better myself.
Thank you for your relentless pursuit of truth.

Proverbs 31:8 " Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute. Speak up and judge fairly, defend the rights of the poor and needy. "

This world is still indeed a wicked place that lacks the presence of God in many ways.
Yet, I am hopeful in the church and the God we serve.

Proverbs 29:16-18 " When the wicked thrive, so does sin. But the righteous will see their downfall. Where there is no revelation the people cast off restraint; but blessed is he who keeps the law. "

Friday, July 2, 2010

Continuously Peeling Away.

I'd like to start out by saying that God is a God that restores whatever you lay before Him.

Not only does He restore His people individually, but He has the capabilities unlike any other to restore the relationships between His people. In my opinion, a restorative act needs to happen in each individual prior to a restored relationship between them.

There are 2 relationships in my life in which my heart is postured to while writing this. They are both relationships that have caused both turmoil and bliss in my life. I do not doubt the healing work of my Father though in both.

Looking at both of these relationships, I see how God needs to restore me before any post relationship healing.

How is it that I have so many things that I need to work on ? Because I am honest with my pursuit of God I cannot help but see all the brokenness inside of me. I am continuously convicted to peel back that mask that says everything is dandy. And my soul praises Him for it.

Me, along with millions of other people out there struggle with something called control. Surprisingly, I do not have a problem giving up control in many, many venues in my life... like my life altogether. I am not worried about where my life is going or even how I will get there. From the bottom of my heart, I have given up all my dreams solely to the Saviour of my soul. His dreams have become my dreams.

Now, it's the smaller things that I feel the need to control. I choose where we go to dinner, what time we will go and what we are doing afterwards. You can't do it, because I can do it better. EW!

Surely, God is showing me where all of this is stemming from and I am indeed becoming a new Caydin. He is proud of me when I let my siblings cook for me as I stand back. He says, " Well Done" when I go to the movie that he wanted to go to.

A restored Caydin doesn't involve a mighty, significant and in control Caydin.

It all boils down to less of Caydin.

And I'm down with that.