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Archive for August, 2008

Hello again, all my dear Christian friends!

I have come back to write more about what has been laid on my heart, and what God has done in me and is working with me on recently.
If you haven’t read my last note “Hardcore Christianity: Building the Relationship”, you might want to take a peek at the first part at least. 😉 That explains what these blogs are about and why I am writing them.
Here’s a clip from it, hopefully it’ll help you understand this better:
I have really been impacted recently to write blogs on intense ‘Hardcore Christianity’ topics that have been on my heart. (Note: My purpose in writing these is to encourage Christians in their walk with God and to help them build their own knowledge of The Most High. I have no intention to appear “holier than thou”, because I know I am NOT! I just want to encourage people to have a deep, burning passion and love for their Lord and Savior!) I’m not going to be formal, and I’m not going to stand up on a soap box and preach at you. I want to stand among you, as a fellow Christian seeking His face, and share my heart with everyone.
Quick warning: Because I am not blogging in a more “formal way”, my passion sticks out like a sore thumb in this blog. I have been told that sometimes my passion can be overwhelming in a bad way, I pray that that is not the case in this blog, but I feel like I just need to warn you that it could be possible. 😉

The topic for this blog is “Recognizing the Hand of the Master”.
What does that mean?
Good question, I was just about to answer that. 😉 😛
Basically it means seeing God in everything; the mundane, the random, the simple, the chaotic, the exquisite, the abnormal, the trials, the terrors… everything.

This one was very hard for me. I never thought about seeing GOD in everything. I always thought that God was in the beautiful or the awe-inspiring only.
Oh my, was I wrong! 😉

Let me explain a bit here.
I constantly would have something happen, and assume it’s something bad. “Ohhh no. This door closed in our life. That probably means that we did something wrong and God can’t work with it, or He’s punishing us for something we did before.” That’s so easy to assume, but it’s a wrong mindset!
Why?
Well, for starters, it is belittling the Cross. If Christ has already died for us and for our sins then why does God still have to punish us for our sins? That is saying that the Cross was not enough, that it didn’t cover everything.
It’s like going up to Jesus and saying “Oh yeah… um, you know that whole ‘death on the cross’ thing that you did for every one’s sin? Well, it’s not going to be enough, it just won’t cut it. You’ll have to do it again, or they’ll have to make up for what you didn’t cover. Sorry!” *laughs* Imagine the response we’d get from Him! 😉

Not only does it belittle the cross, but it is putting God down assuming that He cannot work through what we perceive as “bad” and create it into something beautiful for His glory!

Have you ever seen someone create pottery out of clay? They throw that big slab of disgusting brown goo up on their table and start molding it.
What if the vase collector came in right when the creator was starting to make their masterpiece? They look at it and think “EW! What’s that brown mess he’s got his fingers stuck in? I don’t want that!” and move on. But if he waits to see the outcome, after the master has molded the pottery, heat it up and painted it, he can see the beauty of the vase as it was meant to be. He can enjoy the full blessing of the masterpiece that the potter created for him.

It’s the same thing with our lives. We see something horrible and think “EW! What’s this mess we have ourselves stuck into! I don’t want this!!!!” and try to get out of it, running away quickly. But if we wait and let God finish creating the situation in our lives, we are able to reap the blessing of the ‘masterpiece’ that our Potter has created for us! 😉

It sounds so easy, doesn’t it? “Just wait and let God handle things and try to be positive while you’re in the hard situations”, right? *laughs* If only that were so.
This is something God has tried to teach me time and time again! Every time I get a little bit closer to understanding the meaning of this lesson. I won’t lie… this is hard!

When you are in a stressful situation, it’s not easy to stop and see God’s hand in your life.
Even people who we see as some of the greatest Spiritual figures in biblical times had a hard time letting God take care of everything.

Think of Joseph, I can imagine he was having trouble trusting God when he was beaten and thrown in a pit by his own brothers. But God brought him through it!
He then was stuck on the slave market. Is that an easy process to go through? Of course it’s not!! But he trusted God, and the Lord was faithful and put him in Potiphar’s house and helped him make his way up to chain of command to head slave.
He then found himself stuck in prison, do you think it was easy to trust God in that? What a depressing and discouraging situation to be in!!!!
Yet…. what did God do? He took the “bad/horrid” mess of a situation that Joseph was in and turned it into a beautiful masterpiece!

Think of Job! He was rich in more ways than one. He was a strong Christian!
Do you think it was easy for Job to praise God and think that God has a bigger plan for his life when almost everything that he held dear to him was destroyed or taken away from him?
Out of nowhere God started taking everything away from Him. He did not know why God was doing something that seemed so horrible in his eyes.
But yet he still made an effort to trust God in everything and let Him finish shaping the pottery. When Father was done, the finished masterpiece was breath taking, and it brought inspiration and encouragement to fellow Christians for THOUSANDS of years afterwards.
(Do you think that if Job knew that his story would be told for thousands and thousands of years later, that his sufferings from his trials would have been much easier for him to bear? Personally, I think they would. But we shall never know. ;))

I am constantly struggling with this. As an excessively energetic being I get very excited about something. (It could be just about anything!) And so I get all excited and happy about what God has brought forth, then one thing doesn’t go right and I just feel so bummed. Without thinking I just lose that excitement, sometimes it seems like a catastrophe.
I have to make a huge effort to remember that even when the world looks like it’s going wrong in my human eyes, nothing is out of place in Father’s hands. If I just let Him handle it, it will be taken care of. If I try to handle it myself… it will just fall to pieces.

That is seeing God in the harder situations in life. What about seeing Him in the better times of life?
This was my favorite part of this lesson!
Walking out in the woods and having the stunning silence and serene stillness surround me is truly ministering to my soul, if I allow myself to be soaked up into the moment I can just feel the Lord’s presence in the woods.
Watching the sunset over the lake with my family can be such an exhilarating experience, I can almost see God in that!
When I’m in a room full of children and all I hear is laughing, I can’t help but smile and just “hear” God in their joy!

Does this sense to anyone? (Truly, if you have any questions, feel free to ask me. 😉 I’m not sure if I explained this well or not.)

So, before I leave you, dear ones, I would like to encourage you all (as I hope you will also encourage me) to make an effort to see God this week. In good or bad, whatever happens, try to take a moment and see HIM in His glory! 😀
I also would like to ask you guys to encourage me to do the same, if I am ever down or bummed about something. 😉 (I know a lot of you already do, and I cannot TELL you how much that means to me! It blesses me so much, you guys! Thank you! *HUGE hugs*)

With that, my brothers and sisters, I will pop off and leave you to the rest of your day!
Thanks for taking the time to read this!!!
With tons of love, and for HIS glory,
~Danica

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Hello all my fellow Christians!

I have really been impacted recently to write blogs on intense ‘Hardcore Christianity’ topics that have been on my heart. (Note: My purpose in writing these is to encourage Christians in their walk with God and to help them build their own knowledge of The Most High. I have no intention to appear “holier than thou”, because I know I am NOT! I just want to encourage people to have a deep, burning passion and love for their Lord and Savior!) I’m not going to be formal, and I’m not going to stand up on a soap box and preach at you. I want to stand among you, as a fellow Christian seeking His face, and share my heart with everyone.
Quick warning: Because I am not blogging in a more “formal way”, my passion sticks out like a sore thumb in this blog. I have been told that sometimes my passion can be overwhelming in a bad way, I pray that it is not that way in this blog, but I feel like I just need to warn you that it could be possible. 😉

As some of you know God really changed me last January (Jan 2008), He put a burning fire in my heart and He gave me a burning desire and passion to learn more about Him and His amazing ways.
3 of my closest friends (Paula, Chad and Drew) made an effort to be right by my side, helping me learn more about God and encouraging me in my quest to know more about God. Thankfully, God showed me that I was not the only teenager/young adult out there searching to find more of God and to know Him better on a deeper level. (They were the only teenagers/young adults that were close to me that were on the same quest.)

The enemy tries his best to kill any passion in us for God, he smothers it with our ‘worries of life’. Ie: Our jobs, our families, our relationships, our houses, our stuff, our schedules, our education… what we would call “normal every day things”. Please don’t get me wrong, I do not think that this is wrong to be concerned about all of these things! I just believe that we have become TOO concerned with them. They distract us from our true purpose: To love God and Glorify Him!

Before Father changed my heart completely for Him, I knew I was a Christian. I read my bible, I discussed God and my faith with my friends, I witnessed to others who I met, I loved God, I sang worship songs… etc. But I did not even comprehend just how deep my relationship with Christ could go.
I started to feel incomplete! There was this feeling of needing something, something missing in my life. (I thought it was a normal part of growing up, being older and getting ready to be married in several years time. *laughs* I was quite mistaken, thankfully)
The missing hole was God, and my relationship with Him.
After my heart started changing and my passion grew deeper I realized how much JOY and strength I felt through Him. The missing feeling was filled. My life had a deeper and truer purpose!!!! I felt like I could explode with my love and passion I had for the Lord. Even now, 8 months later, every time I think about the things He has done for us I get so excited I sometimes feel like I cannot breathe!

I am not trying to say that everyone should have the same feelings in their relationship with God as I do, or even go about it the same way as I did.
Each person’s relationship with their King is very different. Mine was based on joy, love and passion. Others could be a serious awareness of His suffering, or a deep love of theology, it’s all different and fits your personality perfectly!

For me, it was SO hard to know where to start building my relationship with God. I KNEW it was what I had to do… but HOW?!
What book is there that could be “Building Your Relationship With God for Dummies”? *laughs* There wasn’t even a “how to” in the bible.
…. or was there?
How many times did I hear that bible verse “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened. Or what man is there among you who, when his son asks for a loaf, will give him a stone?” ~Matthew 7:7-9

Wait… what does that mean?!
It means YOU ask Him to come to help you build a relationship with Him. When YOU ask Him to help you, you WILL be answered!
“What man is there among you who, when his son asks for a load, will give him a stone?” He’s saying here: “If you mortal humans can love your children so much that if one of them asks you for something, your heart melts and you are MOST willing to help them get what they have asked! How much more loving am I, than you? -Infinitely! Then how much more is it likely for Me to answer My children with what they have asked, than you with yours?” Of course He has said it in a much nicer way than I can. 😛 *laughs*

He loves us SOOOO much, beyond all comprehension, that He desires to have a deep relationship with us! We are the ones who will not seek Him.
HEY!!! One second… I have been taught most of my life, by my church, that God comes to me and will bring me closer to Him when He’s ready, I can’t hurry Him or do anything but just wait, blah blah blah.
That is not true!
This bible verse (and many others -just ask for them if you would like, I will include them) tell us the opposite!
Besides, think about it… What kind of a God would He be if He forced Himself on us when He’s ready for us? Hm? Honestly!
If a father only let his kids come into his sight when he felt like seeing them, we would think he was a JERK! Father lets US come to HIM when we are ready, when we want, when we desire to be close to Him. That is more comforting than to think that He would bring us closer to Him whenever He decides, isn’t it?!

So!! That should be the first chapter for Building Your Relationship With God for Dummies. 😀 Ha ha! Ok, so yes, I’m just kidding.
BUT! It is the first step we should make when we are wanting to deepen our relationship with God.
Lets add it to the list.
Step #1: ASK HIM! SEEK HIM! Pound on the doors of heaven! Seek His throne and ask Him to reveal Himself to us and give us a love and passion for Him beyond what we could imagine! That He would show us more of His character.

The other day I was thinking about relationships. Not romantic relationships, knowing you love them and they love you. Not family relationships, living with them and knowing them better than anyone else because you’re family! But close friendship relationships.
I thought about a lot of my friends, and my different levels of relationships that I have with them now. I asked myself what made my close relationships thrive, and my acquaintances relationships drag? What could I do to help both of them thrive?
What makes them thrive… hmm, sharing my heart with them and hearing things from their hearts. Listening as much, or more than talking myself. Making an effort to contact them, instead of waiting for them to contact me. Oi! One second… what if I could apply this to my relationship with GOD?! (*insert brilliant idea dramatic music here*)
That’s it! One of the ways to build my relationship with Him, making an effort to talk to Him, sharing my heart, and listening to His (both in prayer, and in reading the bible).
At first, this stumped me. How on earth could I do that? The answer should have been blindingly obvious, but I guess my sin was keeping me from seeing it.
How else do I start conversation with my friends? -I just talk to them! I ask them questions, I talk about my day, I ask them about themselves, I talk about myself, ask them what’s on their heart and share what’s on mine… etc.
Why can’t it be the same with God? I just talk to Him! I share my heart with Him, talk to Him about random things, ask Him questions about Himself, I literally discuss everything with Him now!

When Christ died for us, He became the bridge to close the gap between God’s heart and ours. Now that we have had Christ’s blood pay the price for our sins, we have the privilege (even sometimes the right) to talk to God whenever we want! He has not limited out time with Him. He’s not like the Muslim’s “Allah”… we don’t have a time limit of 5 times a day to pray to God.
He is available 24/7!!!! Thank the Lord for that too!
I cannot tell you how many times I have woken up in the middle in the night and just needed to lay something at the foot of His throne, or lay my burden down at the cross.
I’m sure you all know what I mean when I say that we talk to ourselves all the time? That voice in our heads, not our conscience but our thoughts that just talk to us. What if we take our thoughts and that conversation to ourselves and turn it towards God? What if we add God into our discussions with ourselves? Instead of talking to ourselves, we talk to God.
We can’t kid ourselves, all those thoughts that we say to ourselves He can hear. If He can already hear us then why not just direct them at Him while we’re at it? Wow! Wait a minute… that’s praying!
YES IT IS!!!! All that chatter that we say to ourselves can be turned into prayer! Just direct it to Him who hears us!

OK!!! So add that to the list as well.
Step #2: Talk to Him! Just pour our hearts out at His feet, give our all to Him. He’s the one friend that we’ll have that we will have 100% guarantee for their confidence. He won’t blab our hearts desires to anyone else. 😉

Something I struggled with a lot was wondering WHY He would love me. My constant question of “How can a God like Him love me? I’m nothing… I can’t love Him like He loves me, so why even try to love Him enough?” kept me from drawing closer to Him. I put myself in position of Servant, and left it at that.
My church had always taught that God was so infinitely beyond us that we shouldn’t even try to love Him enough.
Well… it IS true that we will NEVER love Him enough, but that should NEVER be an excuse to stop trying! Yeah so we won’t love Him enough, so what?! We should still try!!!
We won’t live forever, does that give us a right to stop breathing and keep our heart from beating? -NOOO!!!!!
It’s a fact that we can’t love Him to the amount that He deserves, but we should NEVER let us keep from giving Him our all and trying our best.

Back to the cross. Another thing that Christ did when building the bridge between God and us was give us the “right” to have Father’s love for us. Father loves us unconditionally, meaning there is NOTHING that you can do to keep Him from loving you. (Sorry, I know that’s disappointing. 😉 LOL! -Just kidding)
How many times does the bible call us His children? Actually… I don’t know the exact number. 😛 But I know it’s plastered ALL over that Book!!! He constantly says that He is our Father, and we are His children.
Ask anyone who is a parent, their child is the most precious thing to them on earth. If their house burned down, they grab their kids… not their jewels, books, laptops, or favorite coffee mug first. Their kids are their hearts.
Parents cannot stand having their children die before them. How many people do you know who have been destroyed emotionally when their children die? PLENTY!!! Now how many people do you know who have been emotionally broken when their receptionist or Secretary dies? Umm… none?! Or at least very few. I mean, yes, of course it is heart breaking, but NOT to the level that losing a child is.
We, as humans, are attached to our children more than we are to our friends, receptionists, or Secretaries. 😉
God is the same way. He loves us as children, not servants, Secretaries or receptionists. We are special in His sight! We’re not just distant friends of His, we’re HIS children, close to His heart, more precious in His sight than anything else!

I still struggle with seeing myself as precious in His sight. But it’s so important for us to see us as His children! The enemy wants us to stop as “Servant”, and not see ourselves any farther than that. He doesn’t want us to think about us being His children, there’s such a HUGE difference and the mindset behind is truly could change our entire relationship with Him.
How close do you think Kings get to their servants? Not very… How intimate do Kings get with their children? Extremely, they are most precious to Him. YOU… ARE… PRECIOUS… TO… HIM!!!!!!
Stop for a moment and think about that. You, a random human being, are… precious to the Most High God? I don’t know about you, but the idea just thrills me to the core! I cannot help but grinning at the mere thought of it! What a picture!
But it’s TRUTH! The bible screams it!
“Nevertheless, the Lord your God was not willing to listen to (them, your enemies), but the Lord your God turned the curse into a blessing for you because the Lord your God LOVES you. ” ~Deuteronomy 23:5
“Who is a God like You, who pardons iniquity and passes over the rebellious act of the remnant of His possession? He does not retain His anger forever, because He delights in unchanging love.” ~Micah 7:18
“”The Lord your God is in your midst, a victorious warrior He will exult over you with joy, He will be quiet in His love, He will rejoice over you with shouts of joy.” ~Zephaniah 3:17
Everyone knows this one: “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.” ~John 3:16
“And hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us.” Romans 5:5
“But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us” ~Romans 5:8
“For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” ~Romans 8:38-39
“But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved)” ~Ephesians 2:4-5

We can see the patterns here, “God LOVES us”! Hands down! That is fact, it’s in the bible and therefore it is beyond contestation.
Hardcore fact for you there.
As the Hebrews say: Selah. (“Stop… and think about that”)

The enemy wants to distract you from that, he will make every effort to keep you from seeing how much your Lord God loves you. He’ll do everything in his power to remove you from Father’s arms and make you think that you are unimportant. How much more important do you need to be than a child of the King of Kings? 🙂 I can think of no position that I would love more than that.

So step #3: Know that you are precious in His sight. YOU are loved by a MOST HIGH GOD! And there is NOTHING that you can do to remove yourself from that position. Even if you do not believe it is true, it still is a hardcore fact. 🙂 You… are… His.

Since Father started working in me, and reclaimed my heart as His own, I had felt so alone among people. Hardly ANYONE shared my newly found passion for God. It was like I was a fish, released from the little pond out into the Ocean.
God placed Drew and Chad in my life to encourage me, I would have been beaten back down into my little pond by the weight of the world’s pressure if it were not for them. He then brought Paula into my life, she was so similar to me it was almost scary! 😉 *laughs* Through His faithfulness, by the friends He had placed in my life, He helped me to grow in Him.
With this blog, I hope to encourage you and help you know that you are NOT alone in this! This is something God is doing, calling Christians who have had places in our hearts for Him that have been dormant for so long and building us up in a way that glorifies His name! Giving us a passion to spread among our home town and the Nations!!! (AMEN!)

I’m not trying to challenge any one’s faith, and I’m not looking to pick a fight. I have NO intention of offending anyone. My purpose is just to encourage! 🙂
I welcome ALL comments or questions, and especially all your thoughts on this blog. I’d really appreciate it.

Blessings to all of you, my dear friends!
Through Christ alone and in HIS love,
~Danica

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