Rain Through the Window

Today was an interesting day. My mom and I stopped by Walmart on the way back from our homeschool co-op. I asked to stay in the car and, since it was a little warm, my mom cracked the windows before she left.

After maybe ten minutes of reading a book, I realized that it had suddenly become very dark. It had been raining on and off all day, and I was a little worried as I started hearing some distant thunder.

A few minutes later, the rain softly came, so light that I barely noticed it. As it dusted the windshield with tiny drops of water, I texted my mom, asking her to hurry back so we could roll the windows up before the rain really started.

Several more minutes passed, and the drops of water became fatter and struck the windshield loudly, though still coming at a slow pace. Growing more worried, I called my mom and she assured me that she would be outside as soon as possible.

Almost the moment I hung up, the deluge began. To be honest, it wasn’t much of a deluge, though it was some decent rain. Either way, any amount of rain beyond a sprinkle certainly feels like deluge when you’re sitting in a car with the windows cracked and no keys.

I hurriedly grabbed my raincoat from the backseat and tried to stuff it into the window. It was barely open an inch, so I couldn’t get it far out enough that it could stay in the window by itself. In the end, I held it against the window using both hands and my head. (Yes, my head.) I could only hope that the rain wouldn’t start coming from the driver’s side, because, as much as I didn’t want water pouring in the car, I wasn’t about to try blocking that opening with my feet.

You might be able to imagine what I was thinking as my arms slowly grew numb from holding the jacket against the window and my hair quickly grew wet from that one spot I couldn’t seem to cover. At one point I prayed that the rain would let up, and it instantly got harder. Oh well. Maybe God thought it was funny that I was getting wet. :) I probably looked pretty ridiculous.

In the midst of all of that, however, I managed to think, “Wow, this would make an awesome illustration for a post!”

(Yes, we’re coming to the point.)

As I sat in the car growing wetter by the minute, it occurred to me that my situation was a lot like life. We live in our little bubble of safety, but there’s always that one crack where the troubles, the worries, and the fears pour in. Sometimes they come slowly, like a light rain, and you can almost convince yourself that they aren’t really there. But often they come fast and heavy, and pour through that weak spot before you have time to react.

You spin around to the backseat (not sure what that would be in this illustration) and grab whatever is lying around. You stuff it against the crack, determined not to let the troubles, the pain through. But the longer you try to hold them out, the weaker you seem to get, and there’s no sign that they’re going to let up anytime soon.

rain on windowHere’s the deal: You can’t keep the rain out on your own. And the rain will come. The trick is to be prepared for it, and to know that there is help when it does come.

Jesus gives us the strength to face the storms of life. By spending time with Him before the storms come, we make smaller the crack that they use to get in. When they do find their way in, we don’t have to fight them in our own strength. God is with us. He may keep us dry, and He may let us get a little wet. Either way, He is guiding us into a closer, deeper relationship with Him. The trials in our life are daunting and terrifying if we try to face them on our own. When we see that God is on our side, however, we realize that He is greater than all of those things. He has the power to turn them aside, or, if need be, use them to help us grow in ways we can’t even comprehend.

If that made any sense at all, praise God! :) Since God’s word has more truth and understanding than anything I could ever say, let me leave you with a few verses:

Have you not known? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He does not faint or grow weary; his understanding is unsearchable. He gives power to the faint, and to him who has no might he increases strength. Even youths shall faint and be weary, and young men shall fall exhausted; but they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint. (Isaiah 40:28-31)

Come to me, all 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. (Matthew 11:28-29)

Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. (James 1:2-4)

I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33)

-christrocks

Be Still, a poem

Take a breath

Don’t go too fast

Or you’ll miss the things

That really last

God is calling

Every day

“Be still, renewed,

In My embrace”

But in the buzz

Of our busy lives

We fail to hear

That still, small cry

We look for peace

For thrills, for love

In the world around us

But not above

So look up, be still

And see His face

Fall into the arms

Of amazing grace

Breathe in His peace

Breathe out His love

Be still in the presence

Of our Father above

Be still, and know that I am God….

(Psalm 46:10a)

Be still in His presence today, and know that you are loved!

-christrocks

God’s Not Dead

To be honest with you, I’ve never been very good at movie reviews. At all. But God’s Not Dead is an absolutely incredible movie. It will be laugh-out-loud funny one scene, and powerful enough to move you to tears the next. At least for me, and I tend to cry easily during movies. Regardless, I was very impressed, and it’s not something you want to miss. In my opinion, it’s the best Christian movie I’ve ever seen and now one of my favorite movies.

God's Not DeadCheck out the trailer and the Newsboys’ awesome song below:

God bless!

-christrocks

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The Next Worldwide Revival, it can begin with you.

christrocks:

May the Lord bring revival! Participate in the calls to prayer if you can; there is great power when believers gather to call on the Lord’s name.

Originally posted on Calvary Training:

About every five days, we are using the Internet, via Facebook and calvarytraining.org, to gather (virtually) people together in prayer.  Why?  What are we after?  What can this possibly accomplish?

So I sought for a man among them who would make a wall, and stand in the gap before Me on behalf of the land, that I should not destroy it; but I found no one.
Ezekiel 22:30 (NKJV)

In 1857, God started a world revival with one man.  We need revival, today, and God can start it with you.

Please watch this short video:

That is the question.  Can it happen, again?

God has been moving on people’s hearts to seek Him for revival.  There are prayer meetings and conferences.  With our Calls to Prayer, we are simply coming alongside ministries to pray with them at an appointed time, from wherever we are in the world.

What we share…

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Facing the Future

The future. Everyone’s future is different, but most of us have similar feelings about it. For some, the future is scary. For others, it’s exciting and full of possibilities. Still others are in between. They aren’t thrilled about the future, but they aren’t terrified by it either. There is, however, something everyone’s future has in common.

It’s uncertain.

Personally, the future’s been on my mind a lot lately. I’ve come to a point in life when everything kind of revolves around the future. Where do I go to college? What do I major in? What scholarships should I apply for? And so on and so forth. Honestly, it didn’t take much of this before I started getting stressed out and depressed. Because the future is uncertain. And it’s very easy to become overwhelmed by all the decisions that have to be made, and the… sheer uncertainty of everything. I think, to be honest, that I’m one of those people that is terrified by the future.

Here’s what I keep reminding myself. As Christians, our future (usually, since there are exceptions) isn’t any less vague or uncertain than the world’s. However, there is a difference. We serve the Lord, who already knows our future and holds it in His hands. He not only knows our future and what it will bring, but, if we allow Him, He is already preparing us for it.

I’d like to share something to illustrate my point. Ever since I can remember, I’ve wanted to be on my church’s worship team. Most of the reason for this was because there were two teenage (I think–this was a while ago) girls that sang on the worship team at my old church. My best friend and I were basically in awe of them, and we both decided that someday we were going to be on the worship team.

Now, our motives weren’t good (at least mine wasn’t). I just wanted to do it because I thought it would make me cool, or something like that. But even as I grew older and realized people didn’t just join the worship team because it was “cool”, the desire stuck with me–even as we moved to a different state and started attending a new church.

This is where I really started to see God at work, and it makes me smile just to think about it. The woman who had led our church’s worship for many years was getting married and leaving the church, so she was looking for new people to join the team and keep it going. I had sung for her a few months before, just to get her thoughts and advice on my singing. Maybe that brought me to her mind, so shortly after my thirteenth birthday, she asked my mom if she thought I’d be interested in trying out for the worship team.

Upon hearing the news, I think I nearly had a heart attack from pure elation. By the time the year came to a close, I had even led worship by myself a couple times. But here’s the interesting part: None of this was because of me. It wasn’t because I’m an incredibly talented singer or pianist. My voice was okay. My piano skills were pretty good, but she had to teach me how to play chords. Let’s just say that had the situation been any different, I wouldn’t have gotten that opportunity.

Piano keys

So was God at work? Absolutely. He gave me a desire to serve the church through music, but, had I really thought about it, I would have thought it impossible. At the very least, I thought it was something that might happen in the very distant future. But God made it possible. And He did it in a way that made it clear that He was working in my life. It wasn’t because of my skill or my awesomeness (lol). It was all Him.

It’s been almost three years since I joined the worship team. It’s been an awesome privilege to serve the church as a musician, and I’ve also grown a great deal (I hope) as a singer, a pianist, and a Christian. But now I’m facing more uncertainty. I have a desire to serve God in a way that honestly seems impossible. I’ve spent nights crying because I have this pressing urge to do something that appears unattainable. And you think I would know by now that God is guiding my path, that He knows my desires and He knows my future.

I know all of this. Now I just have to learn to trust.

If you’re facing uncertainties about your future, I’ve done what I can. I’ve shared my story and I’ve shared what I know to be true. But now, if you also believe that God is your Guide, we’re in the same position. We have to trust that God will carry out His plan. We have to cast our cares, our worries, and our fears upon Him, knowing that He is greater than all of them.

In a changing world with an uncertain future… trust the God that never changes, and who will always, always love you.

I can do all this through him who gives me strength. (Philippians 4:13)

For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. (Jeremiah 29:11)

Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever. (Hebrews 13:8)

-christrocks

Words of Wisdom: D. L. Moody

I read some very thought-provoking quotes by Dwight L. Moody in my literature book today, and I wanted to share a few with you (along with my thoughts).

We talk about heaven being so far away. It is within speaking distance to those who belong there.

What a wonderful point! There are a couple ways one could look at this. Our Father, who is in heaven, is always within speaking distance–in fact, he’s always by our side. And although our earthly bodies remain in this world, our hearts–our souls–have a connection to the place to which we are going. What does it say to you?

But as it is, they desire a better country, that is, a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared for them a city. (Hebrews 11:16)

No book in the world has been so misjudged as the Bible. Men judge it without reading it. Or perhaps they read a bit here and a bit there, and then close it, saying: “It is so dark and mysterious!” You take a book now-a-days and read it: “Well,” you say, “I have only read it through once, not very carefully, and I should not like to give an opinion”; yet people take up God’s book, read a few pages, and condemn the whole of it. Of all the skeptics and infidels I have ever met speaking against the Bible, I have never met one who read it through. There may be such men, but I have never met them. It is simply an excuse. There is no man living who will stand up before God and say that the Bible kept him out of the kingdom.

BibleWow, that quote was a bit longer. :) Definitely worth taking a moment to read, though! The Bible is powerful, sharper than a “two-edged sword”. It will totally change the person who takes the time to seriously read it. It has that power because it’s Truth! It is the word of God, given to us to change us, to renew us–to give us hope. It is a sad thing, knowing that there are many people out there who deny the truth of the Bible. To know that those people have no hope for their eternity. Take a moment to pray for them. And if you are one of those people, you are probably offended. But let me ask you this: Do you have hope? Life? Joy?

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope. (Romans 15:13)

Faith is a belief in testimony. It is not a leap in the dark. God does not ask any man to believe without giving him something to believe. You might as well ask a man to see without eyes, as to bid him believe without giving him something to believe.

Very true words! When some people think of faith, they think of some blind belief that people have for no logical reason. Those of us who truly have faith know that that is not true. We see evidence of our faith, of God, everywhere around us. We see His handiwork in the intricacy of a single cell, and in the beauty of a sunset. We also see His truth in science (yes, you read that right; I know this gives some people pause). We not only believe that God will work in our lives, we feel His touch in times of pain and difficulty, and His joy in every situation.

God has given everyone something to believe. Some accept it with joy. Others choose to close their eyes, remaining in darkness. Open your eyes, see that God has been calling to you, reaching His arms out to you. Answer His call! If you already have, rejoice in the hope that you have!

Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. (Hebrews 11:1–read the whole chapter if you get the chance!)

If you have any thoughts to share, comment below! I’d love to hear from you.

God bless!

-christrocks

No More Tears

It’s been a stressful week. That’s no surprise though, because when is moving not stressful?! Moving or not, though, my emotions have been running all over the place lately. I even cried a few times. :)

But we often go through stressful times. Sometimes life is hard, sometimes there are difficult choices to be made, and sometimes we just grow tired of the burdens that are ours to bear.

Several times this week, I was feeling depressed, stressed–whatever you want to call it. And multiple times, I heard a song come on the radio: “There Will Be A Day” by Jeremy Camp. Now, I’ve always loved this song, but to hear it in those times, when I needed it most… I couldn’t help but praise God.

So if you’re going through a hard time and need some encouragement, or if you just need to be reminded that this life isn’t all there is… listen. Even if you heard it before, even if you listened to it yesterday or five minutes ago. Because many times, without even realizing it, we need to be told that there will be a day with no more tears. No more pain. No more burdens. Just eternal peace, love, and joy in the presence of our Lord.

-christrocks