Saturday, 23 February 2008

Seeing Clearly

The other day, I was taking out my contact lenses and when I put them in their container, I noticed that as I pulled them from my eyes I had collected small particles of mascara. When I put them in the container and began to pour the cleanser in on top of them, filling their bowl shape, I realized that this is a little bit like my life. Now, you may be asking, "How do get life implications from contact lenses?" Well, here's the way I "see" it, or how God spoke to me through it.
The contact represents my life, and each day I get worn and sometimes worn out. The events, circumstances, trials, and joys of each day wear on me, in good and bad ways. But, more often than not, I feel like I need to be cleansed. The cleaning solution represents the Word of God and the Holy Spirit. When we are soaked in His presence the "little" particles of life that wear us down are washed away, and we can be used again for our purpose. Sometimes, we need to soak a little longer in the Word, or spend more time with the Holy Spirit, so that the grime will be fully stripped away, and so that through this purification our true and greatest potential will be brought forth.

This is just one of the small ways that God has spoken to me, and a glimpse into what He teaches me. I hope that you, too, might have a 'clearer vision' of how God sees you, and what spectacular plans He has for each one of your lives!

Blessings as you come into more 'contact' with Him,

Lindsey <><

Friday, 15 February 2008

Enslaved but Free

Sometimes, as Christians we tend to use our freedom with disregard. We don't remember that with freedom, comes responsibility. Freedom is defined as, "the power or right to act, speak, or think as one wants without hindrance or restraint; enslave is defined as, "to cause someone to lose their freedom of choice or action."
So... as followers and disciples of Christ, are we free or enslaved? Last week at Dream School, we learned about who we were and who Jesus is. In Philippians 1:1, Paul and Timothy are described as servants of Christ, or more literally, slaves. We discussed how slaves are without rights, choice, privilege, position, or status; they are in essence, a "nothing" in society. Their position (or title) is characterized by their obedience. This really hit me. Am I living as a slave for Christ, or is my rebellion and sin saying something else about me? As followers of Jesus Christ, we are slaves, and our actions must speak such, through obedience. I have really struggled with obedience over the years, especially in the last few. Something that stuck my heart so definitively was this: "By rebelling we are saying to God, 'I don't trust Your judgment. I don't trust that You have my best in mind.' " I can see this so clearly in my own life. So many times I have said, through my actions, that I don't believe that God has my best in mind, and that my understanding is beyond His. But, Proverbs 3 tells us to "Trust in the LORD with all our heart, lean NOT on our own understanding, in ALL your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight." (emphasis added) My own understanding is not enough; God knows what he is doing, and He will work everything to my good, because I love Him and have been called according to His purposes.
For me, the idea of being a slave to Christ opened my eyes to just how much I rely on my own strength; how much I mistrust God and His priorities. With the desire to change from my old habits and behaviors, came this new desire to be enslaved to Christ, to see Him as my Master and align my life according to His rules.
I feel much remorse over all of the times that I have said, "God, I am taking my life in my own hands, and am going to decide for myself what I think is right and wrong." I truly seek to make Jesus the Lord -master, king, head- of my life. I want to make decisions based on what my Master tells me to do, not what I want, but what He wants. Honestly, I just want to walk in obedience to Him. I want to have the form -possessing the attributes that make it what it is- of a slave of Christ.

I may be free from sin, but I am enslaved to Christ, because He is my Master, and what He says, goes.

Friday, 8 February 2008

Truth - Inspired by my Hero

I have decided to share some open, honest truths with all of you, inspired by Gregg, my older brother and hero. Basically, I want to explain one of my struggles that has been with me for a long time, and how I am seeking freedom.

It started a long time ago. You know, the "puberty years", when we all start to develop the crazy thing called "hormones". Being that I was a very insecure young girl, these urges and feelings were hard to tame. I longed for attention and affection, unfortunately, I rejected it from the people I needed it, and whom were giving it, most, my family. I pushed them out of my life, without even really realizing it. Then began the desperate search for it in the approval of others.
When I was about 13, I was at CRC (Christian Renewal Center - my favorite place in the USA, a Christian family camp) and was shown a picture of my life by a man who had the gifts of knowledge and prophesy. He told me that God had shown him a picture of me standing in front of a closet, desperately trying to find an outfit I was satisfied with. Immediately, I knew he was referring to the emotional/relational aspect of my life, and began to weep. He continued, "What you don't realize is that God is on the other side of the closet with the outfit that completes you, the perfect set of clothes. He is waiting for you to embrace the design He has chosen for you." This struck me really hard, and I knew that in my search for acceptance I had lost myself, and who I really was. Though I had been given this new hope and assurance, it still took a long time to fully "be" who God intended me to be, and I am still not there yet.
When I entered high school, I was on the Track team and soon found someone who would give me attention. I tried to not be so obvious, but it didn't work, people asked if we were dating, but we weren't. We flirted a lot, and sat together on the bus when we had away meets. Eventually, he moved away, and I got over it. It actually isn't that hard to "get over"
someone, when you don't actually like them, but rather the attention they give you.
Hmmm, the searching continued.
That same year I met one of my brother's friends, but it wasn't until 2 years later that I began dating him - "behind my parents' back" (again it wasn't too hard to notice). That lasted about a month, and then I was ready for him to go. I wanted freedom; I felt like when I entered into the relationship, there was no going back. I thought I had found freedom when I let him go, which again was not that difficult for me, but really I had just found another open road. Where it was leading I wasn't really sure. Now, it's important to realize that I wasn't trying to blatantly rebel; I wanted to serve God and honor my parents. I volunteered in church, and even led my own small group. Still, something was missing. But, as a Christian I thought that when you feel like something is missing it's usually God, but since I had God in my life, I tried to ignore the emptiness inside me.
As strange as it may sound, I wanted something bad to happen to me. I thought that if something really bad happened, maybe people would notice, maybe people would care about me. To be honest, I even wished that I would be raped... I thought that maybe if someone could really see my pain, and that I was hurting, maybe then would someone show me they loved me. Well, outside this realm of contempt, my parents were trying so hard to reach to me and show me that they loved me. I was blinded by my own selfishness, my foolish desire to be independent and without regard. I wanted so badly to "be on my own", but at the same time to be surrounded with people that love me. The sad thing is, I was. I was
surrounded with people that loved me, but I had built a wall between us, and could not see their outstretched arms, longing to embrace me, and show me my worth. I had even began using the internet to fulfill a desire in me, I wanted to feel "beautiful"; in all the distortion of what I saw online, I created in me a sinful hunger of lust.
My senior year of high school I went to community college full of ambition and confidence. But, once again fell prey to the temptation of hungry men, or rather, a boy. He misled me, and I fell for his pithy attempts to swoon me. I thought he really cared about me. Again, my intentions weren't necessarily wrong, I knew we needed to maintain "friendship" status, but couldn't see past his deception. Thankfully, we never became physical, not even holding hands - which was pretty much the extent of my previous relationship. I moved on from him too, but not without consequences. After just two quarters at the college, I was asked by my parents to come home and finish my senior year homeschooling. I knew in my heart is was for the best, and then began another journey uphill. I felt better connected with my parents and family, more open, and not so distant. Somehow my heart's desire for purity was not met with persistence and determination. Last fall, on a warm September day I accepted an invitation to be another guy's girlfriend. Through a text message of manipulation, I embarked on a journey that forever changed my life. Being that this guy was a Mexican, he said that he thought I would never date him, because of his ethnicity, and I wanted to proof him wrong, I didn't want to date him
because he wasn't a Christian, but in order to prove to him that I was not racist, and that in fact the color of one's skin didn't matter to me, I told him, foolishly, that I would be "his girl". I didn't know exactly what this would look like, but the month that followed was not pretty. I was hiding in a web of lies, deceit, and secrecy. Once again, I felt trapped by my own actions. "How could I be so stupid?" I continually asked myself. But, just as if you put your hand in a flame and it would hurt the first time, the more you did it, the less you would feel, because of calluses. This became my heart condition, the more I indulged in sin, the less conviction I felt; it got easier, and the further away I slipped. Fortunately for me, God had impressed upon my heart before this decision to date, to join Dream Realization School at our church. I went every Sunday night and learned a lot. The only thing was that when I entered into this relationship, I jeopardized my potential to grow. But, after a while, things became known, what had been in darkness now was exposed. For one of our assignment from Dream School, we were told to read Neil Anderson's book, "Victory Over the Darkness". At this particular time of cleaning and uprooting in my life, that book was very appropriate, and helped much in the coming clean process.
I want to use a picture to show how I describe these years of my life:

My life was like a roller coaster, at one time I would be totally on fire and right with God, and then, as if suddenly, I would be falling at a rapid pace, and feel so distant from everything and everyone.
Finally, though, I was able to work through the Seven Steps to Spiritual Freedom book by Anderson. I was able to talk
with my pastor's wife through some of the problems I was having and the stronghold in my life that I wanted freedom from. I wanted to have the chains removed from me wrists, and the grip of Satan forever loosed of my soul.

I still struggle with wanting to be wanted. I still desire to be desired. But, I know that if I keep God's best in mind, and remember His promises, and hold on to them, than one day, the Lord will fulfill the desires of my heart. I have come to learn, and am still working to put into practice, that in order for God to release me to intimacy with a man, I need to become more intimate with Him. Because in HIM there is life; in HIM there is freedom; in HIM I receive my reward in full; and in HIM am I made wholly complete and worthy to approach His throne. My sins are washed away, they're washed away...

In ending, I want to apologize to the people I hurt, and to those I held resentment towards.
First of all, Mom and Dad - I am so sorry for all that I have done to hurt you. How I betrayed your trust, and blatantly lied to you. How I used your computer for sin. How I built a wall between myself and the family, as well as showed that example. I am truly sorry for the grief I have brought to you both. I long to be more honest with you, and talk to you more about my life, and its struggles.
All my brothers and sisters:
Gregg - for wishing more from you, and holding resentment toward you, and for not heeding your words of wisdom
Cassie - for not allowing you to speak into my life and connect with me, and for, at times, being jealous of you.
Jeremiah - for thinking you were prideful, for holding resentment, and for not heeding your wise words.
Carissa - for hurting you, lying to you, and holding resentment towards you
Joshua - for not loving you, for ignoring you and making fun of you. I'm sorry I hurt you! Also, for holding resentment.
Benjamin - for not being kind to you, or giving you the time of day
Hosanna - I'm sorry for not setting a better example, and for not loving you enough, and for ignoring you!
Josiah - for not recognizing your tender heart like mine, i'm sorry for mistreating you.
Elijah - for not taking time with you and for ignoring you.

To Martin, Jordan, Drew, Sam, and all other guys I misled, flirted with, and was a stumbling block for: I'm sorry! I also forgive you, and hold no bitterness/resentment towards any of you.

Desiring More of Jesus,
Lindsey <><

Tuesday, 5 February 2008

Meeting the Kids (video)

Mom and Dad are in Ghana!!!

Yea... Mom and Dad finally arrived in Ghana! I am having difficulties uploading the video of them meeting Jacob, Rachel, and Sarah, but if you go to this link you can watch it too!!!! Beware, you just might cry! (I did....) Thank you Jesus for your provision throughout this whole process! You are worthy to be praised, for you have done GREAT things for Your people! Bless you LORD, for your mercies are new every morning!

Filled with Joy, Lindsey <><

link for video:

Friday, 1 February 2008

Thank you Jesus for Macs and ichat

Yesterday we were able to use ichat on my computer and Ashlie Blaske's (who is in Ghana right now at Beacon House - the orphanage where our kids are) and were abe to talk to Jacob, Rachel and Sarah. It was such an awesome blessing to be able to talk to them and give them a video-tour of the house. We got to show them the snow outside, and they were so excited to see it and to be coming home in a couple weeks! Mom and Dad leave Saturday afternoon... Yea! THANK YOU JESUS for amazing technology and computers and for the internet connection that you provided in Ghana!!!! PRAISE THE JESUS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! We are all so excited for them to come home, and are praying that Mom and Dad have a safe trip and that us kids at home will have everything under control here (Carissa, Jeremiah, and I are in charge - look out little ones! :)

Thanks for all your prayers and support!!! Also, praise report today, someone anonymously gave my parents $500 for their trip!!! Praise the LORD!

In His Hands, Lindsey <><

check out my mama's blog for more info: i' :)