Simplicity. What does it mean to live simply, to simply live? It’s funny that in itself the concept of living a simple life is so complex. I own so many things. It’s ridiculous how many little nicknacks I have accumulated throughout my life. I struggle to keep things clean and organized, because there isn’t enough room for all of my things. When I stop and think about it, it’s simple. I need to get rid of things, I don’t NEED everything in my house. Half of what I own, I don’t even know what it is because it is covered by the other thousand items I own. Why is it not really that simple? Why can’t I just go through my things and label them either necessary or unnecessary for day-to-day life? It’s simple: I don’t really know what the word NEED means. I provide for myself. I provide my own food. I provide my own shelter… you get the point. It’s ridiculous how much this affects my understanding of God. If I don’t know what NEED means in the most menial, mundane and meaningless of contexts, how in the world could I understand my NEED for my Saviour? It’s funny how I struggle to live simply, and also struggle to simply live. I was reminded this week that God is faithful. I am obsessed with marks and achievement; to the point of stressing out so much, I make myself ill. Why is that? Part of it is pride. I want to be the best. Another part is my dysfunctional desire to please God by working hard at what he has called me to. The dysfunctional part isn’t the desire to please God, but it’s my mistaken understanding that he will only be pleased by success. In reality, success comes FROM God. He knows my heart. I NEED to trust Him, trust that if this is where He has called me, that HE WILL PROVIDE financially, and academically. I need to simply live in the reality of God’s faithfulness and trust that He is guiding my every step.
I was listening to a man named Paul Washer speak and something that he said spurred on the culmination of this post.
“We live in a culture that always demands its rights, while we are called to give them up. All of them.”
It’s not because we are submissive to be overruled, but it’s because the One who is sovereign over our lives is sovereign over the world. I want to be submissive to the One to whom the whole universe bows down because He is good and He promises to provide for His children.
It’s that simple.
Give up my rights.
Let Him provide.
I’ve begun to rejoice in the silence. When I feel like nothing is happening and no one is there, because it is in those moments that I really, truly experience what it means for God alone to be my satisfaction.
So, bring on the silence and the loneliness.
Bring on the joy.
I trust in you Lord.
“Yet I am always with you; you hold me by my right hand.
You guide me with your counsel,
and afterward you will take me into glory.
Whom have I in heaven but you?
And earth has nothing I desire besides you.
My flesh and my heart may fail,
but God is the strength of my heart
and my portion forever.”
You can view and even download and print my October Newsletter from the link below:
How exciting is technology? I feel so connected with y’all? (I’m catching my fellow teammate, Ben’s New Mexico accent)
This week was awesome, we had a pretty cool teacher from Canada come down. Dave Overholt from Church on the Rock in Hamilton, Ontario. He is a youth pastor, so we obviously shared some great stories and great moments because of our similar passions for young people. Despite one of his obvious downfalls, cheering for the Tigercats, we managed to get along.
I was very excited to hear about the Roughriders successful triumph into the semi-finals against the Stampeders. Since there are several Riders fans out, we have been frantically trying to figure out how to watch the game. (there’s even a guy here from Calgary who cheers for the Riders.. and why not? lol… I would pick the Riders if I could too..)
Time is just flying by. I can’t believe we only have 2 weeks left. We will be leaving for Thailand in exactly 2 weeks now. We are eagerly looking forward to it, but also sadly anticipating the time when we all separate.
Yesterday, we had an offering for people who were in desperate need for outreach money. It was really cool to see how God was tapping people on the shoulders an having them provide for others who had trusted in him to provide. I have loved every minute here, and I can’t imagine what it’s going to be like when we are not ALL together, but I am also very excited to get out there and put all that we have been learning into action.
Check out my newsletter, and if you have any questions, or you would like to be included in the prayer/support letter email list, just let me know and leave your email address too!!
Love you all!
To be honest, I have been struggling so much with this.
Often we think of this word as meaning “belief in someone or something..” The top definition in the dictionary is in fact “confidence or trust in someone or something“
My ‘faith’ in the sense of believing in God, believing that he exists and that Jesus came and died… that has not waivered.
My ‘faith’ in the second sense of trusting him- that is where the epic fail is.
“Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding, in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.” Proverbs 3:5,6
This verse is well known, and yet when God brought this one to me the other day, it still made me cry. When was the last time I trusted God with all of my heart, with all of the things that are embedded within my heart?
When was the last time I NEEDED God? Truly allowed myself to need him? I am so independent. I am strong. I can do it. I don’t need anyone.
NEED= vulnerability. Who in their right mind chooses to be vulnerable? Living in a country where my needs are limited. I am limited to living a life with everything I could possibly ever NEED, yet a dry life with dry spirit NEEDING God’s fullness of life.
How do I choose to need God? What a weird question. “Ehjae, obviously everyone needs God, you can’t choose to need him. You already do.”
Isn’t it easy to NOT need God? Isn’t it easy to make choices that bring us all we could ever need? And if we go to church and fill our quota of spiritual deeds, we can get by, living on autopilot; especially if the church we go to isn’t focused on the conviction of sins- but on preaching comfortable messages that make us feel good.
Take a good look at your life. RUN! Run away from things that make you comfortable. RUN away from things that bring you relief and keep you from NEEDING GOD. RUN to God’s embrace. RUN for his glory.
I am not saying that you should go home today, grab all your clothes and food, throw it on the streets and sell your house and belongings so that you can live in poverty. I am saying that we should look inwardly, evaluate; what is it that we possess today that is keeping us from realizing our NEED for God?
I am saying that for those of you who are currently living in NEED.. God will provide. Allow him to. Do not live in stubborn independence.
I am not saying that you should quit your job. But evaluate; where is God in your job? Are you actively pursuing Him through what you do? Maybe you should make some choices to bring Him into that part of your life. Maybe you should spend less time in the corporate world and more time seeking Him with your family.
As for trusting Him, I struggle with this. I am currently struggling with this. It’s so easy to say that we NEED him, but how can we drop all these things if we don’t trust that he will provide for us? How can I go on if I don’t know that the path I am on is one that he marked out?
He gave me these words from His scripture:
“In the morning, O LORD, you hear my voice; in the morning I lay my requests before you and wait in expectation.” Psalm 5:3
My challenge has become this:
1. What are my needs? Lay them before the LORD. I desire to give everything to Him.. I am trying to force myself to trust him. In my heart, I know that He is faithful and that there is no better place to go.. Where else could I bring my problems?
2. Expect a blessing. When I was in high school, heading to an extremely uncomfortable situation, my mom prayed with me, marked me with the sign of a cross, kissed my forehead and said, “Expect a blessing” I went, expecting God to perform some great miracle. It was still an incredibly uncomfortable experience. No miracle. One wrought with pain, tears and frustration.. but God was faithful, and I have never forgotten that weekend because of his fulfillment on my expectations, simply through his comforting presence and small reminders of his love.
“Wait in Expectation” vs 3… expect that God will hear your prayers and act. He will provide.
This reminds me of the scene in Indiana Jones The Last Crusade, when Indiana is standing over a canyon, wondering how to get across, and he finally steps out in faith, not knowing what to expect. He holds out his leg and steps down… onto an invisible bridge which takes him across.
Sometimes I feel like I am at the edge looking down into a pit of hopelessness, the unknown, and a world of hurt. Why would God bring me so far, just to have me stuck at the edge here?
I’m terrified. But God has something here for me. I just have to step out and trust that it’s here, even if I can’t see it.
We have to take the step. God has provided the way, even if we can’t see it, but it won’t help us unless we trust that it’s there.
Writing this down has spoken to me more than it probably has for anyone else. Funny how God works.