One Day At a Time

I know not what the future holds, but I know who holds the future. -Homer

I am guilty. 

Absolutely guilty.

Completely guilty of wanting to live more than one day at a time.

Anyone else?

I find my brain LOVES to try and tackle days, weeks, months, YEARS even at a time, trying feverishly to figure out and control what will happen in my own strength and by my own means.

This is, absolutely and utterly, insane behavior.

Insane because, what I am currently (and FINALLY) realizing is that I can quite literally only live one day at a  time. I know, a novel idea here! But bear with me as I unpack this, because I believe we are ALL guilty of this insane behavior in one way or another.

For me, I like to know what to expect out of life. I want to set up systems in my day-to-day that provide evidence for what to expect in my week-to-week, which in turn leaves no doubt of how the rest of my days will play out. A pattern of predictability is so attractive to my brain, and yet, as I type this, I could argue that nothing about predictability sounds fun or rewarding.  In fact, what is really exciting about life and this whole human experience is that we do not, in fact, get to pick or plan how our days will play out, and we are called to live instead by faith.

Ah, the most annoying of the f-words: FAITH.

What exactly is God asking of me when His word says to live by faith and not by sight (2 Corinthians 5:7)? My eyes work! What I see makes sense to me! And yet, here He is telling me to live NOT by what I see (not by what makes sense to my humanness) but instead, to live by what I do not see, and trust that He is taking care of the all the details that are currently unclear to my human eyes.

That sounds so contrary to what my body is physically designed for. And as a matter of fact, it is.

God is absolutely asking His children (myself included) to do the things that are not only contrary to our body’s design but also the culture of the world in which we live. The world will regularly tell you to take things at “face value” and believe what you see. But God, the Author and Creator of the Universe, tells us to trust in Him, and everything else will fall into place not only for our good but also to glorify him (Matthew 6:33; Romans 8:28; 1 Corinthians 10:31).

So I waste a lot of time trying to figure out or predict my life. I also expend unnecessary energy, and paint a picture of my future that is not only false, but also ugly. I cannot, in all of my fallibility, display an image of my life that even comes close to the masterpiece God has designed for me. As a matter of fact, I am GLAD God doesn’t allow my thoughts to turn into realities because that life, the one I am afraid of having, wouldn’t glorify Him in any way. In other words, I am glad His ways aren’t my ways, and His thoughts aren’t my thoughts (Isaiah 55:8).

When I meet Him (and I KNOW that day will come) I want nothing more than to rejoice in His goodness, His Grace, His mercy, and His love. And I will. That is one event I can absolutely predict. But right now, it is within my full capability to do all of that TODAY, not having to wait for some future date. I can (and should) rejoice in His goodness TODAY! Because it’s real, and it’s true, and nothing will ever change that. Not my overthinking, not my worry, not my fear: NOTHING.

I can only live one day at a time.

I can bank on the fact that I will meet God one day in Heaven.

Until then…I can enjoy His good gifts and promises one day at a time.

And that is a pattern worth following.

Do You Like The Company You Keep?

I firmly believe we are called to have fellowship and relationship with other humans. We were not created to live life or do life alone. However, it’s very important to understand the key difference between needing people, and NEEDING people. I know, it sounds like I just repeated the same words, but I promise the emphasis matters!

Needing people, in a healthy and godly way, is biblicaly mandated, and orchestrated beautifully by Christ himself.

John 15:12-15 “This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends. You are my friends if you do what I command you. No longer do I call you servants, for the servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all that I have heard from my Father I have made known to you.”

Jesus, the only righteous (and might I add WHOLE) person to ever walk this planet understood the need for friends and fellowship. He himself had friends, close personal companions with whom he shared his life. It is no mistake that Christ identified with the very human need for companionship: it is God’s design for our lives.
Often, because we have been emotionally hurt by people and scars don’t easily fade, we can find ourselves denying the need for human interaction. This can look one of two ways: isolation or obsession. It is easy to isolate from society when even one person has hurt you: trust me, I know! I recall several different seasons in my life where I threw myself into books or television, shunning my phone, shunning my friends, and turning my back on the world, only to find I was even more hurt in the process. I have also encountered seasons of obsession: times where I have been longing for and obsessed with friendship or relationship, only to be left wanting and feeling empty for the lack that I felt.
And that obsession, that emptiness, THAT is the difference between needing and NEEDING. When we look to other people to compliment and add to our lives, we recognize a need to not experience life alone. When we look to other people to complete and validate our lives, that is when we are operating in unhealthy NEED, and in danger of causing more pain for ourselves than good.
Something to think about: when you’re sitting alone on your couch, do you feel calm or anxious? When it’s Friday night and you don’t have plans with anyone, do you feel at rest or restless? In other words, when you have moments of quiet, when you’re alone with yourself, do you like the company you keep, or do you feel you NEED someone else to make your moments worthwhile? Because ultimately, your relationship with yourself is the one you’ll be walking in the longest, and if you’re not content with that company, who can anyone else fill that void?
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Until next time, I send my love!
-Danni

God uses the unlikely

Acts+9+WordleFor the start of #TheLast100Days challenge, I decided to pick up in Acts, as God lead me to this book last week. I read all of Acts 9 today… well, actually, I think I re-read it because I wanted to really dig deep into the beginning of Saul/Paul’s ministry.

A brief summary or recap for those of your who aren’t familiar with the story, or those who are but just need a refresher (face it… we read this stuff multiple times and get something different each time). Acts is a book about the early church, right after Jesus has been crucified and appears to his disciples in numerous ways for 40 days after his resurrection. What brought me to this book was class discussion where my professor was point out that people can pretend to be Christian (we see a lot of this) and he showed us the example of Simon the sorcerer in Acts 8. This cat actually tried to buy the Holy Spirit’s power…crazy, right? BUT, how often do we see infomercials or pastors preaching about selling the Word or some spiritual object that will get you closer to God? Let me tell you something… the only thing that gets you closer to God is the Holy Spirit, and that was a GIFT given to you by Jesus Christ. His blood payed the price for our sins… so you don’t have to worry about making payments on it too! Done deal.

Okay, so back to Acts 9. Saul is going around literally killing the disciples of Christ. In cold blood, he physically watched and participates in the killings of anyone of says Jesus is the Messiah and Savior. At this point in Acts, he’s issues arrest warrants to do his work, so things are pretty serious. On his way to Damascus, he is confronted by the spirit of Jesus who questions his actions and leaves him blind. Saul doesn’t eat for days, until the Lord sends Ananias to supernaturally (through the power of the God) heal Saul and give him his sight again. Saul gets baptized after this and begins preaching the Good News of Jesus. People are skeptical though, and there is a plot to kill him. He escapes several attempts on his life and the word tells us that he prospers and the Holy Spirit is with him and his crew.

What I really like about the beginning of Saul’s journey is that originally, he didn’t believe in Jesus and he was out to prove everyone who did wrong. How many of us were in that situation in our BC (before Christ) days? How many of us got involved in Bible debates and tried to debunk the Word because it was just too unbelievable? I know I did at one point (circa college) and I think it’s humorous to think about that, since now that I do believe, I think it’s much harder NOT to believe… you know what I mean?

The symbolism here is great, because Jesus blinds Saul, and only when the scales are removed from his eyes does he truly see the truth, and get baptized in the name of Jesus Christ. I was blind before God revealed himself to me. Matter of fact, I probably stayed blind longer than I needed to!

Saul’s story is proof that God chooses and uses the unlikely. He could have easily picked someone else, but he wanted Saul to be the spokesperson for the Jews and non-Jews! He wanted to show people who even the person who doubts the most can be converted into a believer once shown the light. The word says that people didn’t trust Saul and that that didn’t slow him down one bit. He just kept sharing God’s word and kept traveling and preaching to all the people, those who would listen and even those who didn’t, I LOVE this! I just LOVE that God chose Saul, and hear the calling and ran with it. Also, if you know anything about the rest of the new testament, Paul become the major writer and focus of a lot that goes on. This, coming from the man who was originally killing the early christians. Pretty cool, huh?

The last part of this scripture is about Peter bringing Tabitha back to life. Bottom line, anytime God brings someone back from the dead I get a little confused. Why them? What point are you trying to prove by doing this, Lord? I have an unlimited amount of questions about these types of happenings, and would love to hear your comments.

That’s all I’ve got for today. Remember… Please tweet me so I can add you to the list of people participating! So far… this is who I have:

@MsLoveLiLi (this was her idea)
@DanniWrites (ME)
@DavidLPatrick
@KeilaBee1
@AngelaDowns
@MackleenStories
@CatieJay
@ImInTransit
@Brownvintage
@NicomaVO
@shesasanga
@seximissj
@virtuousgem
@Rahnae
@TheaPatrick
@raiTKing
@mizznelly
@waltward3
@everywrdmatters
@purpleice1981
@kaywhydee
@flawedchristian
@bradpost
@tamarajenel
@sosteen1
Rachel Espinoza
@sandramariecom
@KDenise
@valjo48
@KristanHite
@ImNoBetterThanU
@CodyHite
@KevinDHite
@thejadedvoice

The Last 100 Days

It all started with a tweet, a call to spend the Last 100 days of 2009 in a way that would make one person closer to God and a more habitual Bible reader. With that tweet, 3 others responded and now we are asking all of you to join us in this exciting journey.

Here is what we are doing:

THe last 100 days of the year starts tomorrow (9/22/09) and anyone who wants to get involved has to make a conscience determination to read or listen to the Word of God everyday until December 30th. The hope is that in doing this, you will develop the habit of reading God’s word, and start 2010 with a renewed spirit.

Are you game?

Hit me up @DanniWrites on twitter so we can count you in and hold each other accountable.

What should I read each day? Whatever you feel lead to read. Open your Bible and read….go to www.biblegateway.com and read….click open youversion.com on your blackberry and read. Ask God to lead you, and just start reading. Post what you read on your twitter or blog, if you feel like it. Bottom line, we’re not all reading the same thing each day…this is a personal journey…. with friends to help make sure you’re still moving forward in the direction God has for YOU.

Make sense? You on board?

Let me know,

Danni

WHo is already in?
@MsLoveLiLi (this was her idea)
@DanniWrites (ME)
@DavidLPatrick
@KeilaBee1
@AngelaDowns
@MackleenStories
@CatieJay
@ImInTransit
@Brownvintage
@NicomaVO
@shesasanga
@seximissj
@virtuousgem
@Rahnae
@TheaPatrick
@raiTKing
@mizznelly
@waltward3
@everywrdmatters
@purpleice1981
@kaywhydee
@flawedchristian
@bradpost
@tamarajenel
@sosteen1
Rachel Espinoza
@sandramariecom
@KDenise

…. you’re next on the list….. 🙂