Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Knowing Him and Making Him Known

Music.  It's a powerful thing.  I talk about music and lyrics a lot in my blog posts, because it is a big part of our lives.  Unfortunately, I was not blessed with any musical talents.  At all.  (Just ask my family and/or anyone who has had to sit in front of or beside me during a worship service, and they can attest.)  So I had to marry a man that can sing, and Praise the Lord, it looks as though my children inherited his musical abilities and not mine.

Music can provoke many thoughts and create lots of emotions.  Many times songs can get stuck in our heads. (Which can be really annoying when you have a two-year old obsessed with watching Barney) When that happens, the thoughts and emotions connected with that song are constantly running through our minds.

Even more powerful to me than music is the Truth.  And by truth, I mean the truth of The Word of God.  Philippians 4:8 states "whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things."  Therefore, I try to listen to music that speaks the truth.  For this reason, anybody that knows Dustin and I know that we might have a slight obsession with Casting Crowns.  Ok, there's no might...we do.  But it's only because they combine music with truth like nobody's business.  The thoughts, emotions, and lines that get stuck in my head from their songs constantly convict me to want to be a better Christian, to have a closer walk with Jesus, and to love others and see them as Christ does.  If you have never listened to them, you should.  Go buy their new CD, Thrive, right now!  I'd give you my copy, but I keep buying them and giving them away.  I think sometimes people will listen to music when they won't listen to anything else.  I also think that sometimes if we listen to something enough, there might be a moment where something will finally click or sink in.  For some people it may happen immediately, but for others (like me) it takes a lot longer.

The only reason I am up right now at midnight to begin writing this post is because I laid my head on my pillow and tried to go to sleep, but I couldn't, because there are lyrics from the chorus of a song on that new CD I just told you about that keep repeating over and over in my head.  (The name of this song is "Thrive".)

"Just to know You and to make You known
We lift Your name on high
Shine like the sun, make darkness run and hide
We know we were made for so much more than ordinary lives
It's time for us to do more than just survive
We were made to thrive"

There is a part of that chorus that is consuming me.  I just keep thinking..."to know You and to make You known".   I have spent so much time in the past few years worrying about and wondering what our purpose in this life is....What will our next step be? Where God will send us? What does He have in store for us?   Will we have to move away? I've been trying to find answers to so many questions about the unknown, but I still don't have them.  And I'm finally figuring out that there's a simple reason why I don't have answers. (I told you, it takes me a while.) Knowing Him.  Making Him known.  Hello!! This is my purpose.   This is what I am supposed to be doing.  I believe it is what we are all supposed to be doing.  And if I'm not doing a good job at that right where I am, then why in the world would God send me anywhere else to do all of these great and wonderful things that I have in my head?! It's not my place to figure it out.  It's my place to be obedient.  And it won't be until I'm obedient that He starts to reveal His plan for me and my family.

"To know you and to make you known" It's a simple goal.  A simple desire.  But I make it so darn difficult.  I let things get in the way that shouldn't.  I make excuses in my head that keep me from serving my purpose here on this earth. 

Excuse #1-"If I say this or post that about what I believe, somebody might not agree, or they might think I'm weird, or they may not like me anymore."  
I have such a need for approval that even in starting to write this post (which has taken me two days to write), I'm thinking "WellI'm just going to write this, but I'm probably not going to publish it.  It's just something that God laid on MY heart so strongly that I couldn't go to sleep until I at least started writing about it and getting it off my chest, but I'm not going to share it.  This is just a little pep talk to myself.  It's too long to post.  Nobody is going to want to read all of this.  It doesn't have any pictures.  It has too much God stuff in it.  It might turn somebody away." And??  First of all there's no such thing as too much "God stuff".  Secondly, yeah, it probably will turn some people away, but so what?!   They will disagree.  Think I'm a weirdo.  The Bible is full of stories and verses that make it clear that as Christians, there is no doubt that we will face persecution over our beliefs.  2 Timothy 3:12 states, "In fact, everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted." John 15:18 says, "If the world hates you, keep in mind it hated me first." I need to quit asking myself what will everyone else will think and only worry about what God will think.  I need to take my focus off of the people that don't want to hear or are unreceptive and put it on the ones that might need/want to hear it.   The ones that instead of turning them away, it turned them toward God.  Those are the only people that I need to be concerned about what they think. 

Excuse #2-In today's society if I speak out for what I believe in, then I will be automatically be accused of being judgmental.  
But I know that as long as I go about it the right way, simply stating my beliefs is not being judgmental, and in no way is it my place to judge. We are all sinners saved by grace, myself included.  No sin is greater than another in God's eyes, and He loves us right where we are.  That's why He sent His son to die on the cross for us...to save us from those sins.  It is my desire to have that same love for people.  To love them as they are and to show them that love by sharing the Gospel with them.  And if at any point I start to judge, (because it IS in our human nature) I hope that God puts me in check.  The Bible says in Hebrews 9:27, "And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment:" That judgment spoken of in Hebrews is the only one I should be worried about.

Excuse #3-"I don't really have time. And I don't really feel like it." I am a lazy bum, and I am selfish with my time.  There.  I said it.  The first step in getting past something is admitting it, right? I don't like having a full calendar, a busy Saturday, a week where we don't have at least one evening at home as a family, or a Sunday afternoon where I don't get to take a nap in between services.  And when I wake up in the morning or I have a free moment during the day, there is always a battle of reading my Bible (getting to know Him) vs watching TV, checking Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, or some other worldly distraction where I don't have to think.  (Because that's another excuse I like to use. I don't want to have to think right now.) My time and my life are not my own to be selfish with.  Every breath that I take, every minute I have is one that is given to me by God, and I want to stop being lazy and start using them for His glory. 

Excuse #4-"I am not comfortable enough with my knowledge of the Bible to share with people.  What if they ask me questions I cannot answer?  That might turn them away or make me look like a fool."  
It's true...I'm a little rusty in the Bible knowledge department. (Mainly because of excuse #3.  Well, that and the fact that I stink at Reading comprehension.) But the truth is, while I may not know a ton of Bible, I know enough.  I knew enough to ask Jesus to come into my life and save me.  And if I can do it, then I can tell someone else how to do it.  Mark 10:15 tells us that all we need is a childlike faith to enter the kingdom of Heaven.  So that's another one of those lies Satan puts in my head.  I don't need to be a Bible expert to share the truth.




Excuse #5,465...

I guarantee you the list could go on and on.  I could give lots more excuses about what gets in the way of me not fulfilling my purpose on this earth.  But I don't want to give anymore excuses.  I'm tired of excuses.  I want to turn those excuses into effort.  And I want to live the way I know in my heart I'm supposed to live and to leave the rest to God.

 The last part of that chorus says this...

"We know we were made for so much more
 than ordinary lives.  
It's time for us to more than just survive.  
We were made to Thrive."

From the moment I heard the song, this part stood out to me.  Mainly because I truly believe one of the reasons that God gave me Deacon is to teach me this lesson.  He used him softened my heart, open my eyes, and make me desire to be different.  And even though I've been feeling that way for a while, I've still just been surviving.  But that act is getting old and it's unfulfilling. 

So many times I open my Bible and I just say "Eeny, meeny, miny, moe", put my finger on a book/chapter, read it once, close my Bible, pray, and "Whew, I'm done!"  Or I may just read the Daily Bread and think I've done my Godly duty for the day.  "There you go, God.  You're welcome."  No. No. No. Just No! That is not right.  I can promise you, He's NOT impressed.  When I bought that Thrive CD, I saw something about video devotionals and taking the "Thrive Challenge".  So I clicked on it, watched the first devotional, and was challenged to read the book of James.  Dustin and I made a commitment to spend at least seven days together and separately in James.  Man, that book is filled with some good stuff, but that's a whole nother blog post!  I'm going to be honest and tell you that we missed two days out of the seven, but the further we dig in, the deeper I want to go and the more I want to know and do.  No more excuses! It is my prayer that I will stop trying to justify the things that get in the way of what God wants for my life because they don't matter.  Knowing Him. Making Him known. THAT is what matters.

I am ready to Thrive!  What about you?

Come with me.  If you would like to join me in taking the Thrive Challenge, click here.

And if you want to listen to the song and hear what in the world I'm even talking about, click here.

And just incase you were wondering....No, Casting Crowns is not paying me to put this plug in for them to all 10 of my followers.  Ha!  I'm pretty sure the few people that will read all the way through this (Hi Mom!) are already familiar with them.  God has just used them in a big way in our lives, and I know He can do the same for others who are willing to let Him.  Plus, I'm banking on that one person I talked about earlier that needs/wants to hear. ;)

Have a Blessed Day!

I'm sorry, I can't let a blog post go without pictures, so I grabbed a few this morning.  It became a game of "Peek-a-Boo" and "Throw-the-Case-at-Momma- Inbetween-Each-Picture" But whatever.  He thought it was funny! Oh, and he climbed in that chair all on his own. ;) It's his new thang.  The boy won't walk, but he's climbing on everything.


  1. Thank you Andrea!!! Your words were JUST what I needed today!

  2. I so needed this tonight! God bless you and thank you.

  3. I'm so glad to hear that the words God laid on my heart could be a blessing to someone else. Thank you for both for reading! ;)