And now, just as you accepted Christ Jesus as your Lord, you must continue to follow Him. Let your roots grow down into Him, and let your lives be built upon Him.
Colossians 2:6-7

Saturday, January 8, 2011

shaking.

When You came down long ago, You did awesome deeds beyond our highest expectations. And oh, how the mountains quaked! For since the world began, no ear has heard, no eye has seen a God like you, who works for those who wait for Him!

Isaiah 64:3-4

I honestly believe that 2011 is going to be a year of shaking. Not necessarily trials or challenges, more so life defining moments that will shake us down to the core of our spirits. This past week, I have felt two "earthquakes" that were not recorded by the U.S. Geological Survey. Maybe they were dreams, maybe our house was the epicenter for two miniquakes. Regardless, something's up in the Heavenly Realm. In Scripture, the ground shakes before or after a significant moment. Sinai shook when the Lord descended. An earthquake followed the last breath of Jesus marking the end of separation between us and Heaven. Shaking occurred when the Spirit rested as tongues of fire during Pentecost.
God's up to something and He's letting us in on the secret. What is required of us is waiting.
waiting.
Waiting on the Lord. Waiting for Him to act in His own time.
Ground shaking changes await us.
Ready for this?
2011 is going to rock, literally.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Enjoy.

listen.
make your own.

Get Low.



Next movie on my must-see-list is Get Low, starring Robert Duvall (love him) and Bill Murray.
Great story.
Great actors.
It looks visibly pleasing and though provoking.
Read the review here.

Monday, August 23, 2010

A Must Read.

Yet another from RELEVANT Magazine.

I left graduate school believing that very soon I would have a job, career, ministry … something that I would feel fulfilled in and gain experience from. I didn’t feel the need to pay attention to a conversation I had with my grandfather driving home cross-country back to Oregon. We were talking about knowing what one is supposed to do with one’s life, and I asked him, “How do I know that it is exactly where I should be at?”

My grandpa shared a piece of advice I would forget, only to remember it after I had to learn the hard way: “Larissa,” he said, “when you pray, pray as to get to know Christ. Prayer is about knowing our Father in heaven.”

A little taken aback at the seeming irrelevancy of the advice, I nodded my head and changed lanes. I have to remember this, I thought. OK, I told myself, I should pray to know Christ; OK, I have to do that … then I will know what God’s will is for me.

Months down the road after discouragement, angst, anger and frustration, I found myself still in the same place, still with no perspective future, unemployed and even more worried and restless than before.

I sat on the rocks by a river near our house, having spent a week in tears and confusion, feeling broken and overwhelmed. I felt as though I had somehow fallen into a deep ditch, and I could not even find any foothold to climb out. I had never felt so discouraged in my life. When looking at where I could be in five years or even five months, I could not even conjure up a small picture through the blackness that enveloped me.

Looking out across the river, I just sat. I did nothing.

And a question came to me: “Larissa, what are you waiting for?”

That was easy. “For You, Lord.”

“Larissa, what are you waiting for?”

Hmm. “For You, of course, Lord."

“Larissa, what are you waiting for?”

I began to feel like Peter, “Um ... for You, Lord!”

“Are you really?”

This question came softly, like a gentle hand that lifted up my chin to help me see more than my feet.

I asked myself the question again, “Am I really?” It dawned on me slowly and my grandfather’s words came back to me: “When you pray, pray to know Christ.”

Yes, I had been waiting for the Lord … but for Him to come through for me with a job, a plan, anything that came up, just something more than waiting on the Lord.

“Waiting on the Lord” can become cliché quite quickly, but I began to finally see what my grandpa meant. I had an agenda each time I prayed. My prayers did not reveal a satisfaction in God but a dissatisfaction with Him. I knew I could trust Him, but I prayed as though my plans were wiser and better than His. I prayed as though I did not trust Him.

As soon as I began to pray without an agenda, my inner anxieties began to dissolve.

I relaxed about where I was and who I was.

My vision seemed uncannily clearer. I no longer prayed with the nonverbal ultimatum of “come through for me or else."

I arrived at a place of “being” instead of waiting. I became comfortable and comforted.

Sue Monk Kidd tells a story that reflects our often mistaken viewpoint on waiting. During a retreat at a monastery, in her restless state, she notices a monk:

"[He was] sitting perfectly still beneath a tree. There was such reverence in his silhouette, such tranquil sturdiness, that I paused to watch. He was the picture of waiting.

"Later I sought him out. 'I saw you today sitting beneath the tree—just sitting there so still. How is it that you can wait so patiently in the moment? I can't seem to get used to the idea of doing nothing.'

"He broke into a wonderful grin. 'Well, there's the problem right there, young lady. You've bought into the cultural myth that when you're waiting you're doing nothing.'

"Then he took his hands and placed them on my shoulders, peered straight into my eyes and said, 'I hope you'll hear what I'm about to tell you. I hope you'll hear it all the way down to your toes. When you're waiting, you're not doing nothing. You're doing the most important something there is. You're allowing your soul to grow up. If you can't be still and wait, you can't become what God created you to be.'”

This is where God eventually called me after all those months: to a new perspective of becoming something out of seemingly nothing.


Saturday, August 21, 2010

more?

God's a great pitcher.
He throws great curve balls....curve balls that totally catch you off guard.
God just threw another curve ball, not at me directly but to Sara. Sara's moving back to Riverside.
Yeah.
WHAT?
Just when I think this time of change and shift is over, I get knocked off my feet by another unexpected occurrence.
So...more changes are ahead, once again.
We need another roommate to take Sara's place for a couple months. God is the only one who can provide what we need for that small window of time.
yikes.
new job, school starting, no Sara, Lilly, Brian....
So many new things.
So many changes.
Yet, God stays the same. He remains.
I put my trust in the unchanging One.
But it's so hard.

So decided to add more to this random post:
check out this link.
It's from RELEVANT Magazine and how we can encounter God through secular music.
Ah yes! Finally, people are noticing. It doesn't have to be a Chris Tomlin song or ancient hymn.
It can be raw, it can have cuss words. God is not pigeon holed to what Christians label "music."
Amen to that.
I love this quote from Liz Riggs, the author of the article,
"We’re all prone to question—and if we don’t, how will we grow? The more we search and grapple with what God has given us, the more we can discover. This is the most raw form of growth, except we often don’t see it in contemporary church worship."
Amen to that also.
Let's just get everything out....
Following is the verse I am currently struggling with:
Love each other with genuine affection, and take delight in honoring each other.
Romans 12:10

I am having the hardest time loving those that drive me absolutely up the wall. I have no problem loving those that give me attention and that give me what I want.
Pride again.
I am so sick of pride.
I have a long way to go.

Another question I have is....
Why do we fear being real?!
Can we please be real with one another without fear of rejection? We should be able to point out faults in a loving way. Not because we want to point out your problems, but to help each other be the best we can be. I am completely guilty of this as well. There are so many things I feel God wants me to say, yet I keep it in because I fear the reactions of people if I tell them what God has shown me.
I just want to scream at my own hypocrisy.

Want to know what else is crazy?
This whole life I live, is a choice.
I am choosing to love as Jesus loved.
Choosing to seek healing from pride and other issues that I have.
It's all a choice.
Isn't that crazy?
We already belong to the light, but we must choose to live inside its boundaries.
I feel like I am writing a Sara Vanni blog.
word vomit everywhere.
Ok, I think I am done know.

P.S. Listen to Mumford & Sons.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Martha.

I am really good at being distracted.
(You should see how long it takes me to write a paper.)
I wake up in the morning with a to-do list, and, rarely is Jesus on the top.
He should be the only thing on my list, yet I push Him down farther and farther as I put my desires ahead of His plans for the day.
I am a Martha.
Yesterday, I dropped Ash off at the airport and had plans to clean and organize all day, thinking to myself that I'll do God time later. As I began my attack on the house, I spoke out loud "I am being a Martha."
It caught me completely off guard and then it began to sink in.
I am a Martha.
In Luke 10, Jesus visits some friends on His way to Jerusalem. Martha frantically runs around the house preparing dinner, cleaning, trying to make things look nice for Jesus and His disciples. Mary, her sister, is not at all concerned with anything but spending time with Jesus. Eventually Martha freaks out that no one is helping her and begins complaining to Jesus and asking Him to make Mary help her.
Jesus replies, "You are worried and upset over all these details! There is only one thing to be concerned about. Mary has discovered it, and it will not be taken away from her."
I am such a Martha and Mary people really bother me. Mary people can drop whatever they are doing when they hear God call. Martha people say "Just a sec. Let me finish this first."
Funny, I though I knew how to rest, but the truth is, I have no idea have to rest.
I clean and organize when I should be enjoying time with my family and friends.
In a way, Martha-ness correlates with pride.
Pride.
I am so sick of seeing how prideful I am. It seems to go on forever. There are so many layers and sub levels to pride that I feel that I will never be healed from it. Mary people frustrate me so much because pride gets in the way of loving them the way God loves.
God's got His work cut out for Him on this one.
Yesterday I also realized that I am unemployed for a week and a half, which includes getting my wisdom teeth out. Meaning I'll be "resting" for almost 4 days straight.
Perfect Mary training time.
Ok God, let's do this.
It is so frustrating how easily distracted we are when there is only one thing to be concerned about.
Hopefully one day I can proclaim that there is only thing I am concerned about and His name is Jesus.
Until then, it's another season of challenges and growth.
Seems to be the theme for the past oh...year or so!
Funny how the deeper we go into Christ, more crap seems to surface. Jesus wants to get down there, as deep as He can go and if there is anything blocking His way, He's going to kick it out. Jesus doesn't want to live amongst our stinky crap and He doesn't want His house to be full of past issues and hurts.
So He pushes them out.
It's the pushing out that really sucks.
We get to see what we have been carrying around, but it's not a time to wallow in judgement. It's for issues to be brought to the light, to seek healing, and to praise God for His everlasting, unconditional, unrelenting love.
Selah.
This season I am a Martha transforming into a Mary.
Pray that I slow down, rest, breathe in my Papa's presence.
Pray that I find the one thing that matters.
May we all fall deeper in love with our Heavenly Abba.

Monday, August 16, 2010

6.

I love You, Lord
And I lift my voice
To worship You
Oh, my soul, rejoice
Take joy my King
In what You hear
May it be a sweet, sweet sound
In You ear.

So simple, yet so beautiful, so deep.