I know it has been a few months since I have written anything on here. I had a wonderful break with my family! I didn’t have much time for bloggingJ
For those of you who don’t know, I am currently in Tirana, Albania. On Thursday, I will be heading for Jerusalem for three months.
In the Chicago airport (on the way here), I had to find the international terminal to find my flight to Europe. In this terminal people gathered from all parts of world. A chill of excitement ran down my spine as the sound multiple languages reached my ears. Different colors, faces, languages, sizes, and cultural mindsets surrounded me. All of the sudden, I felt very small. My American safety zone was about to vanish. However, as I walked about this section of the airport, I heard God say “This is what I hear”. In that moment, I understood more of the character and heart of God. He hears all the languages of the world simultaneously. Yet, He hears every heart cry in need of Him. He sees the souls of mankind chase other things to fill them, when He knows that only He in Himself can fulfill their depraved souls. All peoples have the same depth of heart that longs for our Creator.
Here in Albania, I don’t know the culture, I don’t know the language, and I don’t know many people. But, I do know Jesus. It is such a beautiful thing when Jesus is the only common denominator in friendships. I feel at home, when I am with the Body of Christ, no matter what culture I am in.
Jesus is the only thing that matters. Jesus is the only one who can bring true unity. In the His arms, is my true home.
Ephesians 2:19-22 “Now, therefore, you are no longer strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets Jesus Christ Himself being the chief cornerstone, in Whom the whole world, being fitted together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord, in whom you also are being built together for a dwelling place in the Spirit”
How I love Him. I pray that you would be encouraged to know the heart of God more today.
Psalm 27:14 “Wait on the Lord;
Be of good courage,
And He shall strengthen your heart;
Wait, I say, on the Lord!”
The past few week I have been facing a decision about where to go for next semester. I know the Lord wants me to continue with Bible college, but I don’t know exactly where He wills for me to go. For most of this semester, I thought He wanted me to go the Israel, but I am feeling like He may want me to go to Costa Rica instead. It’s also scary in that I have no money to pay for either. But I know where God guides, He will provide. How precious these lessons of faith are!
Everyone wants to go to Israel. I would love to go, and I know my perspective on Scripture would be forever changed. It would be an experience.
Costa Rica is probably where my heart is. I love Spanish speaking cultures, and it would be more growing toward missions.
Both would be incredible. Ultimately, it comes down to where the Lord wills for me to go. As I seek Him and ask where He would have me, all I hear is: “Wait on Me”
I have learned this week just how precious it really is to wait on the Lord. How He longs for us to just sit at His feet and allow Him to saturate us with His love. It’s the most satisfying and life giving place to be: at the feet of Jesus.
I still do not know where my path will lead for next semester. But in this struggle to figure it out, He has taught be the preciousness of waiting on Him. I urge you to spend time in the intimacy of waiting on God. He longs for it even more than we do. He is jealous for our attention and our time.
Our fierce, all powerful, omnipotent, sovereign, Creator God has humbled Himself to the level of your humanity. He came down to the depths of your heart where all your fear and pain reside. Spend time with your Creator and let Him in those depths that are so locked up and cold. Allow Him to redeem them into beautiful places. Only our Kings love can redeem.
Waiting on Him is not boring or dry. It is invigorating and heart changing. What are you waiting for? Nothing in this world is more important than spending time with your Redeemer. He is waiting for you…
I am a planner. I like to know what I will be doing in the future and what I need to be doing to get there. Maybe you can relate to me in this. Scripture tells us, “Where there is no vision, the people perish” – Proverbs 29:18
As followers of Christ, we need a vision. However, this vision should not be of our own planning, but Gods. And we are to know the will of God, “And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.” – Romans 12:2
How does scripture say we determine the will of God? By being transformed by the renewing of your mind, which happens by time in the Word and Spirit. This is not striving in my own strength to make things happen, but simply sitting at the feet of Jesus and allowing His truth to transform my mind. In this, I know His heart. In this my plans die, as my flesh dies.
The foundation of our faith is in our knowledge of Who God is to be. “…but the people who know their God shall be strong, and carry out great exploits”- Daniel 11:32b. The more we know God, the more we realize how futile we are and how great He is. We serve a sovereign God Who is so capable of working out His will in our lives. We need not push our own agendas but completely surrender to His plans and be blessed as He allows us to be a part of His working.
“We work on scheming and planning, but what God would really like us to do is give up. He wants us to just quit. Begin with humility and trust in God. There is only one thing that can cure fretting, and that is faith. We will fret until we get our eyes upon Him. Real trust in the Lord begins at humility”. – Dave Shirley (CCBC teacher)
When we pray, our main petition should not be that we have a struggle free day, but that Gods will be done. Die to your will, and allow His to reign. Obey the Spirits promptings. Trust that He will work all things for the good of your soul. Ask God to change you. Remember you are mere clay and in His hands. You cannot change yourself. Get in the Word and spend intimate time with your Maker.
I am going to open a can of worms here because what I have to say is so contrary to our American culture. I will be bracing l for the tomatoes you may wish to
thrust in my face after reading this
God designed women with a heart to nurture and serve. He created us with tenderness and motherly instincts. We were not designed to be the leaders, but the nurturers. This does not make us less than a man; it’s just a different role. We were created to be the help meet to the man.
1 Corinthians 11:9 -“Nor was man created for the woman, but woman for the man”
In our American culture, women are stripped of their design and told to act like a man: to be tough and take leadership. I am a strong person and it is my natural inclination to take leadership(it’s the big sister in me, I swear). However, I cannot deny the intense longing in my heart to nurture.
As a single woman, I often thought my role to nurture would be fulfilled in the next season of marriage. However, this design in me is so strong that I am in anguish to not live it out in my life. So how do I do that?
God has been teaching me to be a help-meet to Him. He wants to open my eyes to where He is working in people’s lives. I can be a mother to all around me and uplift those who are weak.
I heard an analogy of a train. When is a train most free? Is it when it has no track to guide it? No. It is when it is going full steam on the track it was designed to go on.
Don’t deny your design. Be a mother to the world around you. Be a help-meet to the Man, Jesus.
I love to watch TV shows on Netflix. When I find a wholesome show, it is so much fun to sit down and escape from all the stresses of life and allow my brain to be numbed. However, when I look back at my life I see how in the dark moments I watched a LOT of TV shows. I needed an escape from the pain.
God really convicted me earlier this year of the time I was spending just “vegging” instead of spending time with Him. I remember hearing God whisper to my heart that His purpose for the time I wasted, was to intercede for others in prayer. But I allowed myself to wallow in my pain and want an escape. Only after finishing a show, wanting to watch another one and I would feel so empty. I feel like watching TV was Satan’s way of paralyzing me from praying.
I hadn’t watched anything for three months as the Lord had done a work in my heart then. However, two days ago, I watched two episodes of one of my favorite TV shows. Afterwards, I felt so empty. I could just see the expression on Jesus’ face of “I told you not to do that, silly girl! Come to Me!”
For only in Him can I find rest.
“Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.” Matthew 11:28-30
I am not out to tell you that you shouldn’t watch a TV show. God’s heart is for us to enjoy life and not walk in anxiety. He will continue His work even when we are resting. We should walk in that grace. So, it is not that He needs me, but I need Him. I need to spend time with Him. He needs to be the healer of my pain, and not some production from Hollywood (or CanadaJ).
I look at the example of Jesus. He frequently went away to spend time with the Lord. All his time was working on relationships with the one with the Father as His priority.
Watching TV does not bring me closer to God. It does not further the Kingdom of God. In fact, it pulls my mind away from the Lord.
I am making a commitment to not watch a TV show for a whole year. (I will watch a movie with a friend for the sake of a relationship). Please keep me accountable. I desire to see this wasted time to be redeemed by God. His will be done in my life over my own.
I urge you to walk in the Spirit. Ask God what things you are wasting your time or money on that He maybe has a different purpose for. His whole purpose for our lives is to work for our good and His glory.
“ For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ” – 2 Corinthians 10:4-5
For so long I have allowed my emotions rule me. I think most of you could identify with that as I believe it is human nature to do so. Our emotions become our truth. But Scripture says:
“The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked; Who can know it?I, the Lord, search the heart…” – Jeremiah 17:9-10a
Why do I allow whatever I am feeling to rule me? The Word says that my heart is wicked, therefore my emotions are not the truth that I should act on. As believers, we should take our thoughts and emotions and submit them to the authority of Christ.
“…bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ” – 2 Corinthians 10:5
This means even if I am worried, I will choose not to be afraid because God is sovereign and His Word commands me to not fear, countless times. He has promised that He will never leave me nor forsake me. Why do I fear? By walking in fear, I am being a practical atheist. I say that I trust in God, but I act as though He doesn’t exist.
Our emotions come and go but the Word of God always will remain true. Let’s not allow our feelings to dictate our lives, but choose to obey the simple truths in the Word of God. Let’s beg God every day to allow His truth to reign over your emotions, and help us with this seemingly impossible task. With Him all things are possible.
I love my Daddy. He is the wisest and most trustworthy man I have ever met. Yes, I am a blessed woman to have such a man to call my father.
When we were planning our drive down to California, he took care of everything, from booking our hotels, to figuring out what we would eat on the way. At first, I thought I was going to have to take care of things and he would simply be an extra driver as well as protection on the drive down. But no, he took care of all the details.
When we hopped in my car at 5:30am on a Thursday morning and something switched in my brain. I had no anxiety and no fear of our travels. I knew that whatever happened, my Daddy would be there with me and he would take care of us.
I am terrible with directions. No, I really am. I could get lost in a grocery store if I didn’t pay really close attention. There were a couple of times I took wrong turn during our drive down that should not have happened. But no anxiety paralyzed me. For I knew my Daddy was with me. I didn’t have to figure out the solution on my own, for he helped me figure our way back on course.
Here at Bible College, I have been anxious about finding a job, and wondering how many semesters I should take here or if I should go to a different campus in another part of the world. I keep wondering to whom or if I will be married. I have been afraid of taking the wrong turn.
But my Father is with me. And that’s all I really need to know. I trust Him completely and fully with all that I am. If I do make a wrong turn, He, by His grace, will redirect me. He will make my path known to me as in His timing.
I urge you to simply trust in your Fathers’ matchless love. Allow yourself to be immersed in Him.
“Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin; and yet I say to you that even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. Now if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will He not much more clothe you, O you of little faith?” – Matthew 6:28-30
As a child, excitement would bubble out of me when I was able to visit a friend. As my feet eagerly jumped from our red suburban and onto my friends’ driveway, “Remember who you are!” could be heard from the drivers seat. Mamma reminded me that I should be true to my identity as a Wiley during my playtime. “Wiley’s are leaders in making good decisions”, she would say.
Several times, friends would want to watch a move that I knew my parents would not approve of and my mammas words would ring in my head, “Remember who you are!”.
Throughout my growing years, I searched for identity. At times, I strived to be who my friends wanted me to be which left me empty. I strived to be the godliest woman I could be, in my own strength, which left me feeling depressed and not good enough. But then Jesus lassoed my heart with His Spirit and love, I desired to be all of who I was/am in Him.
God draws me near to know Him. The result is my heart longs to live a life in obedience to Him. Peace and freedom have flooded my soul as God continues to teach this to me.
I obeyed my parents as a child because I knew their heart, and I had a healthy fear of them. I wanted to please them. But without a loving relationship with my parents, I would have not had the desire to obey.
In the same way I know my parents heart, the same way I am coming to understand Gods heart. When our main focus is simply knowing Gods heart, instead of striving to follow rules or live up to manmade standards, God makes His will known to us because we know his heart.
So I ask you, who are you? Who do you strive to please? Is it man in order to gain social status?
Abide in your Savior and allow who He says you are penetrate you. Be all of who you are in Him.
Call me a hopeless romantic, but I love the moonlight. I think deep down in the heart of every human on Earth, there resides fascination and wonder when a frightening dark night is illuminated by the blue radiance of moonlight. Our familiar back yards are transformed into a magical worlds, waiting to be reveled in.
My love for the moonlight comes from a time in my life when I was begging God to woo me and to make His love known to my mind at a personal level. One night, when I was 15 years old, I was struggling with feelings of being unloved (despite my parents adoration, I was still in need of allowing the love of God saturate me). I walked over to my bedroom window and outside was glowing from the shining moon.
God whispered, “Lauren, I love you”. And in an instant, I knew God loved me. It was an equivalent of what I would imagine a husband bringing home roses to his wife, would be.
Throughout my tender growing years, every valley I walked through, God provided a glorious moonlit night just for me (so it seemed). He lifted my eyes to the heavens and I would remember that He was in control. He was sovereign over my situation.
“I will lift up my eyes to the hills—from whence comes my help? My help comes from the Lord, Who made heaven and earth.”- Psalms 121:1-2
This past week, I have been preparing to move to southern California to attend Bible College. Feelings of excitement and anxiety have swelled in me. Last night at my “see you later” party, all gathered around me to pray. It was humbling. As my beloved friends and family offered prayers on my behalf I felt so much love. Then I looked up.
The moon had peeled open the clouds that had blanketed it and was shining as bright as ever over our little gathering. My eyes moistened.
“Lauren, I love you”, whispered the Lord. Joy and peace filled my heart.
God loves me. I trust in His love for me.
“We love Him because He first loved us.”- 1 John 4:19
This compels me to love Him back and live my life as an offering to Him. No matter what He may ask me to do or where He guides me to go, my life is His. He will do with me what He wills. Praise Him.
“If you love Me, keep My commandments.” – John 14:15
His love compels me to die to my flesh and allow His Word to transform me.
So yes, I am a hopeless romantic. But I am grateful God’s heart is to woo me into His presence.