Saturday, November 26, 2011

Who He Loves

I've always been interested, or maybe frustrated, in hearing people's opinions on the relationship between John and Christ. Because John is referred to as the "disciple Jesus loved" and the fact that he was one of the three that was always with Him, people say that John was obviously Jesus' best friend. I don't like this take because I am an insecure person and always feel I have to prove myself at something and this just makes me uncomfortable. I'm primarily dissatisfied with in because the Bible says that God doesn't show favoritism(Ro 2:11) and my thoughts of "if John was His favorite, well, I'm just screwed. John was an amazing disciple and spent 3 years with the carnal Christ. I am a 19 year old girl who tries her best at keeping a relationship with Him."

Despite these "issues", I have grown to learn something(what a shocker!);identity. It very well may have been that John was Jesus' best friend, but I now believe that John referred to himself in such a way to express the very heart of who he was.

Whenever I am asked who I am I have a checklist in my mind of how to answer that question. I can say that I am Kristen Wilcox, I have siblings, I go to a ministry school, I'm 19... I could say almost anything to describe who I am. It is the same with John. He could have said that he was a fisherman, a disciple, one of Christ's inner circle friends, anything! But instead of saying any of that, he recorded who he was as Jesus saw him. He was loved by Jesus and  that was more than enough for him. Jesus's love for John gave him life and REAL identity. So many people are lost in knowing who they really are, but John got it! He caught the truth that changes lives!

I want to be more like John. Instead of "I am this or that", I want to see myself clearly as a daughter that Jesus is passionate about. I want to be able to find myself in who Jesus says I am. I am so loved.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

New Thinking

A while ago, a fabulous man by the name of Chip Judd came and spoke to us on boundaries; amazing stuff and probably my favorite week so far. During the week he made an astonishing point. Roughly, this is what he said, “More than any other person, the one that most people hate more than anyone else is the one they see when they look in the mirror. Which is sad because you spend the most time with you and you spend most of your time loathing yourself.” This is kind of a “duh” statement but when something so universal is put into actual words rather than staying thought creates  a certain power that turns its effect into a whole new light. He later made the point by saying that instead of hating ourselves and putting ourselves down, perhaps we should actually say something positive about ourselves. Maybe we should say radical things about ourselves. For example, for me I have a very hard time believing that people want to be around me and that I’m not wasting people’s time. Instead of thinking this I would say, “I am a fantastic person, I’m hilarious and my smile is contagious.” This sounds ridiculous to me and I feel really idiotic when I say it, but statements, whether positive or negative, change the atmosphere around you. So why not make the atmosphere amazing by saying amazing things about yourself and about other people. You have to live with yourself more than any other person, why not learn to love yourself by saying the things that God says about you? What a novel idea.

Yesterday I got together with my small group, and my lovely Italian leader, Celeste, put a bunch of folded strips of paper in the middle of the table. Everyone had to go around, take a random strip, and read OUT LOUD (gasp) what was on the paper. Each piece had a phrase of how we should see ourselves. They. Were. Awesome. The most amazing part about it was each person kept drawing pieces- at random- things that held a certain theme for themselves. For one girl, she kept getting things about love and marriage, another got things about loving herself and self-acceptance, and I kept getting things about strength and being a warrior.

The fact that God, my Daddy, is really a daddy and loves me enough just to give me encouraging things with the same THEME is cool. Celeste gave out packets of things we have to say over ourselves and report back to her by next week how it has affected us. I’m pretty sure it will work ridiculously well.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Song of the Day

Kelanie Gloecker- Pressing On

I did not come to entertain the people in the court
I’m here to please the King, I wanna love on You, Lord
I did not come to camp outside and view You through a haze
I’ve got to look into Your eyes in the Holy Place
In the Holy Place

There’s no going back to where I’ve been‘Cause You’re in me and I am free from sin

I’m pressing on… I’m pressing on… (2x)
I fix my eyes on the prize, I’m lookin’ at You, Jesus
I fix my eyes on the prize, I’m lookin’ at You (2x)

I did not come to settle for the average or mundane
‘Cause the Spirit of Jesus Christ is flowin’ in my veins
I did not come to bow down and give in to fear of man
I’ll prophesy, sing a new song and dance Your dance
I’m gonna dance Your dance

The blaze in Your gaze is drawing me….into You
I’m being chased by the very One that I pursue

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

My Love

Your Presence is all I need
It’s all I want, all I seek
Without it, without it there’s no meaning
Your Presence is the air I breathe
The song I sing, the love I need
Without it, without it I’m not living
I will exalt You, Lord, I will exalt You, Lord
There is no one like You God
I will exalt You, Lord, I will exalt You, Lord

No other name be lifted high
There will be no one like You
And no one beside You
You alone are worthy of all praise

There will be no one like You
And no one beside You
You alone are worthy of all praise

Monday, October 17, 2011

To See or Not to See

Last week, we at SoM took part in listening to the ever fabulous, Chip Judd. His message was that of Boundaries. Everyone has them, not everyone knows how to use or enforce them. He gave an illustration of a hula hoop to signify our boundaries. Everyone has their own hula hoop, no one is allowed inside the hula hoop except God and yourself. It is a private club.

He explained that it is our job to protect our hula hoops and to make sure that our boundaries are protected. An example of violated boundaries would go along these lines: "You make me mad." In reality, no one can make you mad. You are responsible for managing your own emotions and by saying something like this to another person you are violating their boundaries and passing your responsiblities to them. Although it is very difficult to keep our emotions in check and they are a good part of life, we can't make ourselves the victim and pass our weight onto them.

I agree with this 100%. Except there is a sad reality to this. We don't always try to break other people's boundaries, but it is often done out of an atempt to love and provide guidance. Someone actually tried to do this to me already. There was a misunderstanding and I noticed that while they were breaking mine, I was trying to defend my stance and started to break theirs.

I wanted so badly for them to see, but I can't do that. Only God can. (I hate cliches but this is true.) Every time I try to give sight and make them understand I make it worse. I asked God about this and He reminded me that is He who gives sight to the blind and understanding to the confused, that's His job. I should never try to take that away because I mess it up. My job in life is to love and be loved by Him. That's it. When I realize this and actually receive it, I calm down, back off, and life becomes much simpler. I am not the Miracle Maker, He is.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Reoccuring Themes

Here in the lovely industrial part of Toronto, there is not a lot of things to do. The local flower is concrete and the community hobby is driving. Hardly anything is close enough for you to walk to. You either suck it up and walk to the destination of your desire, pay the bus fare, or bribe the blessed people with cars to take you. The last two rarely occur during the week days. So, out of boredom and desperation for something to do, patterns emerge. The most popular things to do would be going to the gym that lies five minutes away for the sporty people determined to keep their figures, make the trek to the nearest mall that is a 30 minute walk, or- the favorite- make the fifteen minute walk to Tim Horton's for the weekly/daily/hourly donut/coffee. If you're not out doing one of these things the other options that are offered are foosball, air hockey and ping pong. There are educational and meaningful things to do...but we are the young and procrastinating sector of society. We put everything off until the last minute. This in itself is a pattern. Everything has pattern; as do the teachings that we receive.

From the first teaching to the most recent, everything can be narrowed down to two things to increase intimacy with God: Repent and Forgive. Repent- to turn away from, a precursor to forgiveness. Forgiveness- to let go. In Layman's Terms, this is how it is. 

I've had to do this repeatedly for three weeks and when I first heard it I was practically in the womb. But when I kept hearing it hear I got annoyed. However, if they keep telling us this, then obviously society does have a problem with this and just doesn't know how to confront it

By not allowing ourselves to repent and let go of the offenses of others -or even the offenses that we ourselves have made- real wholeness/intimacy with God gets messed up. When we hold offenses we are "drinking the poison intended for the other person and really killing ourselves." The other person cannot feel the intense grudge or feelings that we are harboring. They go on living their lives virtually unaffected while we do everything we can to "subtly" make them understand how they have hurt us.
But this is how I feel on the issue: If something as small as ticked off emotions are getting in my way of an awesome relationship with God and the things that He has for me, I want to fix it! I want God and His thickness- only thicker!  

We destroy ourselves with hatred and we are being made for love. Love is easier and expels hatred. Life is much easier and healing comes much quicker. I feel a lot better for it.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Price Tags

Whenever I go shopping- on the rare occasion that I do- I always seem to be taken aback by the price on all two items that I'm interested in buying. They are normally priced about twice as much as I would even consider ro pay for them. And my taste isn't that grand either- I just want a new item every now and then.

With this in mind, can I just ask why people tend to have this impulse to buy new things when their old things have not yet lost all value? For me, I like surprising myself with something that I would never think of getting. Which is why I am currently in te process of trying to get my chic roommate to go shopping with me and create parts of a better wardrobe.

We like the feeling of new, yet at the moment, the fashion world likes to sell retro stuff. This is how I have been feeling all week. God has been giving me revelation after revelation that it is almost impossible to keep up. But the hilarious part about it is the fact that He is giving me that same words that He has always given me. The only difference between now and then is that now all the words and revelations actually mean something. When he says He finds me funny, I'm outrageous. When He says I'm gorgeous, I'm stunning. And when He says I'm valued, I'm priceless.

Back to the price tag conundrum, everything in stores is marked by a tag. We constantly see these, yet the most important tags are often invisible to us. Our own. If we ever took the time to look at them, we wouldn't find them to be neat little cards, all crisp and clean. Rather they are saturated by blood, dripping the life of Christ. We forget, but God doesn't.

We buy new things to make us feel new and fresh, but as Christians, we are already wearing the best fashion line. We just don't always see it. Notice yours more often.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Fabulous thought

Here is one of my favorite mysteries about God:

I am His favorite

And you are His favorite

And you are His favorite

And you are His favorite


Sunday, September 11, 2011

What really matters

Toronto Canada is a massive city, to me anyway, but itis also one of the most culturally diverse cities in the world. Yesterday, my friends and I took a 45 minute trek to the mall and I was floored at how many cultures I could see in one place. I thought it was pretty impressive that I was traveling with a New Yorker, an English, and a Norwegian, but oh was I wrong. Over 200 ethnic origins are respresented in a city of 2.5 million people. New York is a city of 8.1 million and only has only a few dozen.

I walked into a toy store and the teller was from India, I saw at least 5 middle eastern families, Asians, Europeans...whatever nationality you can think of was probably inside that mall! And this revelation hit me: All of these people are under the same roof because they all have a common interest. Obviously they do not agree on everything, but their desire to purchase something for themselves or for their families trumps all hinderances. They can coexist in one place because of a similar desire. If it so easy for them to get along and be civil, why are some churches unable to do as much?

This also presented itself in the IHOP (International House of Prayer...not Pancakes) Toronto unveiling that I attended tonight. There were dozens of nationalities, but instead of bickering about doctrine, predestination, or guessing how many people at that moment were going to Hell, they came together to celebrate their common passion. Jesus.

Jesus' beauty is so overwhelming but oftentimes people are blinded by their own bigotry; trying to decide who is right and who is wrong that they miss the whole point and search aimlessly in the dark for something they want to hold meaning.

Christians do not need to agree with others about every little thing. Jesus is to be the focal point of our existance, everything else is either superfluous or a detail. Rather than condemning others for their opinions, embrace them. Show love. We are to emulate Christ. We are to be little Christ's.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

New Chapters...and a whole lot of in your face people

Hello and good day to all of those who care enough about me to actually read what I have to say in full display of all on the Internet.

I, being a graduate from the lovely establishment known as high school, am currently embarking on a new journey that I am loving to call my own. As of this moment I am a student in the Catch the Fire School of Ministry in Toronto, Canada. Apart from being in a country that is definitly NOT home and being thrust into a school that is very fast paced and lively, I have had a not stressful experience so far.

To understand what is going on and for my own advantage of not having to answer this question again, I found out about this school from two very lovely people from church. These said lovely people told my sister, my sister attended last fall, and this fall it is my turn to be here. I chose to come here before college because I have no idea what I am supposed to be doing with my life and I would rather worship than attend a math class any day of the week. That, in a nut shell, is why I am here.

On Labor day, my friend Jacob and his family, my mom, and I made a 10 hr trek to Toronto. It really wasn't too bad, either. Today was the first day of school and I had to say farewell to my mom...tears. It really didn't hit me until I realized that I was by a small room...with three other people that I didn't know who were my new roommates. However they are fabulous people. Talia is a native to Canada, Inka is from Finland, and Sarah is from England. Sufficient to say we are a diverse group.

After a meet-and-greet and dinner, everyone was whisked into worship in the sanctuary. BEST WORSHIP EVER!!! I don't think I have ever feel the Holy Spirit fall on me so fast. The fact that everyone was there out of a deep passion from their hearts and that everyone was pursuing God together made it so much easier! I loved it.

It is now time for this retiring night-owl to say goodnight