Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Five Years…. part deux .....

(This is from the monthly youths newsletter. ) It seems unreal that this month is the anniversary of the 5th year of me coming here to Artesia! In some ways it seems like it has been that long but in others it seems unfathomable that I have spent the majority of my twenties here in Artesia.  If you would have ran into me 5 years ago and told me that in 5 years I would be in New Mexico and would have been there 5 years I would have told you that you were absolutely crazy!  Nothing against New Mexico, but it just wouldn't be the place where I would have imagined I would be serving in.  I had other dreams for my life that I thought were greater and that would make me happy.  Turns out  that God had better plans for my life.  This has been a common theme in my life.  In Proverbs 19 verse 21 the Word of God says this “Many are the plans in a man’s heart, but it is the LORD’s purpose that prevails.”  I have often had great plans in my heart about where my life is headed!  I have carefully planned weeks, months, and even years ahead to where I think my life should be and when those plans have not come to be I have often become bitter and angry at God for things not going as I had planned.  I am what some people might call a “control freak” or what should be labeled as a “self-truster”.  I am pretty sure that is not an actual word but lets go with that.  A self-truster only trusts themselves.  No one else could possibly be trusted to plan or chart the course of their lives.  They alone have a stranglehold on control of their lives.  Even though many times I have said, “God is in control!”.  I have lived a life that says “God is in control of only the things I want Him to be in control of.”   Sadly enough my future has often not been on the list of things God has control over.  Now there have been times when I, by the power of God, have taken my slimy hands off of my future. In those God empowered times I have made some of the best decisions of my life.  Decisions that have forever and are still directing my life.  This “control freak” attitude has some bad side-effects as well! It has often caused me to worry about my future and about things that I have no power to control.  I reading a book right night called “The Christian atheist” by Craig Greoschel.  Last night I read a chapter on worry and when finished reading it I felt like it had just kicked me in the teeth and brought to light how I often write off my distrust as me worrying about valid things when in reality my life is screaming my distrust of God’s plans for my life. He talked about how worry needs to be an alarm that sounds that leads us to prayer and back to trusting God.  Often when the alarm of worry sounds I treat it much like my morning alarm and I pound the top of it hitting the snooze button and delay my trusting in the Lord.  So today I am trying to be back at the place where there is no snooze button on the alarm of worry.  Where I allow the times when I worry about things to lead me to trusting in God and in His plans for my life.  Now is the time when I let go of control of things I cannot control and focus my energies on doing what God has called me to and leave the rest to Him. (that is another suggestion given in the book).  So here’s to trusting God with what He does best!!
I’m letting go,

Sunday, October 24, 2010

What a difference a day makes...

What a difference a day makes.  You know in our lives we can be walking through a week, or maybe even a month or even a longer season than that and then we come to a day and that day makes a difference and sometimes those days change the course or our paths in life.  Today is an anniversary of one of those days for me and even today has been a refreshing breath of air to me in the season I am in right now.  To start things off, today is an anniversary for me! Today, October 24 is the 5 year anniversary for two things in my life.  First, 5 years ago today I got a call from a Pastor in Artesia, New Mexico telling me that his church was offering me the youth pastor position at their church! (Which I did accept!) and two, today is my 5 year anniversary of being clean of alcohol.  What a difference a day makes!  In that one day 5 years ago God in His abundant love and grace pointed me in a better direction.  It wasn't the direction I had planned but it has been sooo much greater than where my life was headed.  It was just a normal day not much different than other days, but it changed the direction of my life.  At first I had a hard time seeing what exactly it was God was doing and I didn't quite understand all of it but I knew deep down that where He was leading me was right where He desired for me to be. Like I said it was just a day, a day I stepped out and gave God control of my life in ways that I had not before done.  Doing that has forever changed my life.  So I come to today another day that is much like yesterday and the day before that.  But, is today one of those days? You know we never come to a day knowing that on that day our lives will be forever changed but often that is exactly what God has planned for us!  As I look back on my life to this point I see where and what God has delivered me from.  I see myself 5 years ago and see just how scared and unsure of what was ahead of me in life.  But I see how despite the fear and uncertainty I trusted God with my life.  So what does this mean for me today?  One today is a sweet day for me, a day of sweet remembrance for me and a day that I will and must always remember!  In my remembering though, I also must remember that God is not finished with me yet.  That the changes made 5 years ago were a change in direction that needed to happen then but as I move forward from here there are still more changes to be made.  On a daily basis I should be looking to God direct me in the changes that need to be made.  I must always remember that at times in life God will again lead me to places that were very similar to what I felt 5 years ago.  A feeling of uncertainty of where God is leading me. But I must remember that God is faithful and worthy to be trusted with my future.  Today might not have been a day that was as pivotal as this day 5 years ago but today has the potential.  I must continue to look towards God for my direction and must continue to know that God is completely worthy of being trusted.  (I think thats about all I have to say.. I think this might be a lil repetitive at times but hopefully it gets my point across.  And the point is this.  I am incredibly grateful for the amazing grace that God has showed me in my life and at the same time I need to continually stay aware of God's movement in my life and be attentive to his moving and his directing of my life.) So yeah... here is too a day that has made a difference!  Will tomorrow be one of those days?  God knows, and I know God and know that in trusting Him the uncertainty and fear of facing what is in the future will slowly fade.

what a difference a day made...