Monday, January 12, 2004

Transformed by Trouble

For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs glory that far outweighs them all. 2 Corinthians 4:17

It is the fire of suffering that brings forth the gold of godliness. Madame Guyana

God has a purpose behind every problem. He uses circumstances to develop outer character. Jesus warned us that we would have problems in this world. No one is immune to pain or insulated from suffering, and no one gets to skate through life problem-free. Peter says, "don't be bewildered or surprised when you go through the fiery trials ahead, for this is no strange, unusual thing that is going to happen to you." God uses problems to draw you closer to himself. The Bible says, "The Lord is close to the brokenhearted, he rescues those who are crushed in spirit." Your most profound and intimate experiences of worship will likely be in your darkest days, when your heart is broken, when you feel abandoned, when you're out of options, when the pain is great- and you turn to God alone. It is during suffering that we learn to pray our most authentic, heartfelt, honest-to-God prayers. When we're in pain, we don't have the energy for superficial prayers. Problems force us to look to God and depend on him instead of ourselves. Regardless of the cause, none of your problems could happen without God's permission. Everything that happens to a child of God is Father-Filtered, and he intends to use it for good even when Satan and others mean it for bad. God is sovereignly in control, accidents are just incidents in God's good plan for you. Because every day of your life was written on God's calendar before you were born, everything that happens to you has a spiritual significance.

We know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to
his purpose for them. For God knew his people in advance, and he chose them to become like his Son. Romans 8:28-29

We are like jewels, shaped with the hammer and chisel of adversity. If a jeweler's hammer isn't strong enough to chip off our rough edges, God will use a sledgehammer. If we're really stubborn, he uses a jackhammer. He will use whatever it takes. Every problem is a character-building opportunity, and the more difficult it is, the greater the potential or building spiritual muscle and moral fiber. "We know that these troubles produce patience. And patience produces character." What happens outwardly in your life is not as important as what happens inside you. Your circumstances are temporary, but your character will last forever.

Problems don't automatically produce what God intends. Many people become bitter, rather than better, and never grow up. You have to respond the way Jesus would. Remember that God's plan is good. God knows what is best for you and has your best interests at heart. The secret of endurance is to remember that your pain is temporary but your reward eternal. Rejoice and give thanks. God doesn't expect you to be thankful for evil, for sin, for suffering, or for their painful conscquences in the world. Instead, God wants you to thank him that he will use your problems to fulfill his purposes. No matter what's happening, you can rejoice in God's joy at that time, because you have a great reward waiting for you in heaven. We can also rejoice in knowing that God is going through the pain with us. We don't serve a distant and detached God who spouts encouraging cliches safely from the sideline. Instead, he enters into our suffering. Refuse to give up. Be patient and persistent. Let the process go on until your endurance is fully developed, and you will find that you have become men of mature character.. With no weak spots. Character building is a slow process. Whenever we try to avoid or escape the difficulties in life, we short circuit the process, delay our growth, and actually end up with a worse kind of pain, the worthless type that accompanies denial and avoidance. You know you are maturing when you begin to see the hand of God in the random, baffling, and seemingly pointless circumstances of life.
You need to stick it out, staying with God's plan so you'll be there for the promised completion. Don't give up-grow up! Purpose Driven Life

Thursday, January 08, 2004

I usually am an animal lover but I have gotten so annoyed at Brynn's cat. The cat comes and wants to be petted while I am making dinner, it will actually step on my food and I am like, "hello? can't you see I am doing something here?" One time the cat tried to drink out of a boiling pot of water!! I make fish sometimes for dinner or chicken and the cat will sit at the table waiting for his portion, or when we aren't looking he will just jump onto the table and start eating the food. I pray that I will have more patience but I thought cats were supposed to be smart. I try to love the thing but I kind of am allergic to it so when he sits on my head and sleeps its not really fun for me. I'm trying I really am, I don't know what else to do.
So today was the Schustinators birthday I got the honor of taking her out for lunch, she's so awesome. Friends like her are a rare thing. She loves her new Malibu and was so happy that I got a chance to ride in it. I wanted to go to McClintock to drop off a card for Allyson but the lady at the office said that I had to get a parent's permission slip, I was like you got to be kidding me?! So I couldn't bless Allyson at school, I was so bummed, I so wanted her to feel specail at school today.
Well we had spaghetti for lunch I remembered that Jenny likes spaghetti for lunch (not dinner), it was good. She's fun to talk to. I like talking with her about dogs and her turtles, she just lights up. Well Jenny was nice enough to come with me to Allyson's dad's to drop off her card, luckily her dad and stepmom were home, so we talked to them for a bit, they wished Jenny a happy birthday which was nice, they thought I was Allyson's age or at least her dad did. I get that a lot probally because I use a lot of lotion and it makes me look younger (we'll just say that's what it is, k?). But I was glad that he said at least Allyson's age and not 10 like Joel the sound guy thought I was. 10?! You got to be joking!! It's just funny because everybody says that I will be happy when I am 50 because I will still look young, that's great so tell me when I am 50, not now.
I am glad Gabe is doing something fun for his birthday, and I really love that it is a dance party. Mom said that I could invite Moses, Jose, Jojo, Jason, etc. She's so funny she loves to party just like us. I hope that we get a good turn out because Gabe is a special guy, I am so proud of that guy. He is awesome, I have gotten to talk to him more lately, and I see that he has an awesome heart. I love it that he calls people to see if they have been reading their bible or for the guys accountability. He's great and I am not just saying that cuz he's my brother.

Saturday, January 03, 2004

Christmas and New Year's went by so fast!! Wow, it's already 2004. I graduate next year! YEAH! Once again I was blessed by Brynn and her mom, they called from Kentucky to wish me a Merry Christmas and also to see if I got my puppy. Well I didn't get my puppy unfortuneately but it was a sweet thing to call. I really tried not to be to disappointed when my gift wrapped puppy didn't come, but I couldn't help it. I was so sure he was coming this year. But I did get a Mastiff calendar from Santa (a.k.a Cela). It was nice to see all the family this holiday, my great aunt Carmen was here so we hung out with my grandma and her two sisters (one which is Aunt Carmen), it's so funny when they get together because they bring out a bottle wine and it is finished by the end of the night. Hilarious, they are so funny.
So I was asked the other day if I would do a musical for the youth group, I am getting really excited about it. I watched Jesus Christ Superstar, and I love it! I can't wait to get started! I got some background music for the play so I won't have to hire a band. So I just have to learn the songs myself and start thinking about who will be best for which part, and start auditions. What fun!! How cool we are going to do a musical! Gabe said that he would sing for me, and Amber said that she could dance as long as she doesn't have to sing. Awesome!