Tag Archives: Confidence

It’s Been A Long Time Since I Rock and Rolled.

It’s been a long time since I rock and rolled . . . .Been a long lonely, lonely, lonely, lonely, lonely time.

Yes, it has been a long time since I wrote on my blog. And yes “Rock n Roll” by Led Zeppelin is currently playing over my computer speakers right now. As I went to type in a title for this post the song popped into my head. Thanks dad.

But I figured it was time to pick up the keyboard and monitor again. When 6 people give you compliments on a blog you haven’t written on in months you know it is something you should not give up on. Thanks everyone who reads my blog and who encourages me. But on to the main point of this blog post today . . .

One compliment I received last month also came with an assignment. I was asked what would be the one thing I would like to say to today’s high school students. Particularly the ones from my old high school, or others that attend Christian high schools. So this, almost two months later . . . is what I would say.

Know your worth.

What something is worth, what value it holds, is a thought that I often find myself pondering over. I was recently launched into this thought while watching a movie with my hubby, Jim-Dear. It was one of our favorites. One of the scenes, however, struck me in a new way. I sat in silence for about 10 minutes after the movie was done and re-watched the scene in my mind and replayed how it had made me feel. The simple beauty of this scene was truly a short narrative on how we can place value on beauty, craftsmanship, and things that sparkle, but in the end, these objects are truly worthless unless someone is around to value them. They are only worth what enjoyment they can bring. The characters they . . . well I will let them speak for themselves . . . here is the clip.

(Note: the link I provided starts the clip after the part where they mention the King James Version term for a donkey. If you want to avoid that language then do not watch the clip from the beginning.)

http://youtu.be/eHbUFzTHUhI?t=25s

Ah yes, Zombieland. It is a truly a deep intellectual movie on the frail existence of humans and all we hold dear. As I watched this scene I felt my heart drop. They were destroying beautiful things. That snow globe was probably $45! Don’t they care about . . . about . . . about what? It is the end of the world. They are one of the few people left. What is a price tag to them? What things hold value? Tallahassee spends most of this movie desperately searching for a Twinkie. A common cheap snack becomes the most priceless thing in the world to him.

As humans we assign price tags to almost everything. In my econ 101 class in college things had worth depending on where they would fall on the supply and demand curve. In my marketing classes an object worth depended on how much hype its branding and commercials could bring to it. As Seen On TV product commercials taught me that items should be worth something and 99 cents.

I take a look at my wedding ring and wonder why we car so much about diamonds, silver, and gold. If we enjoy and cherish shiny objects so much, why is tinfoil still so cheap?

It is a complicated process deciding what something is worth. Is it rare? Is it “beautiful”? How much does it cost to make? How badly can I make you want it?

But what it really all comes down to is . . .we, as humans put a number on it. Some human got to decide what the clothes you are wearing are worth. Not only how much the fabric itself should cost, but also how much value the name on the tag holds.

It is really a silly system if you think about it. Someone creates a number. Someone prints some paper. You get to hand over some paper for an object. If you truly stop and think about it, it seems a bit ridiculous. The cash that we use and the credit cards that we swipe transfer these numbers that we call money. But, money is something we decided we wanted to place value in.

But what is OUR value? And who gets to decide? Believe me, many people will try to decide your value for you. You probably already know this. Your value to someone could depend on your clothes, your makeup, your hair, your smell, you intelligence, your athleticism, your humor, or your talents. Your value can change depending on who you hang out with or what you do with your weekends.

But isn’t that silly? As humans we enjoy putting a value on people as well as objects. But isn’t it silly. Why do I care what you think? Why do you get to put a value on me? Why am I never any good at placing a value on myself? Other people are not more “worthy” than you. They are just normal people too. We are all organs, muscle, skin, brains, and heart. At least that is all that we can see when we look at each other. So that is what we try to put a value on. But we are much more, aren’t we?

We are also a soul. That is what God sees. God not only sees our clothes, friends, talents, and hobbies, He sees our tue hearts, our thoughts, and our souls. God has put a value on every single one of our souls. We are priceless. We are worth everything to Him and that is what He gave in order to have us. He gave Himself. He gave Jesus. He suffered and died. An almighty, powerful God who could wipe us all out with a whisper and create a whole new universe in the next breathe thinks that you . . . YOU . . . are an amazing person and He wants to spend an eternity showing you your worth.

It is silly isn’t it. How often do we rip off the price tag God put on us, priceless, and instead believe the lies that the world tells us. We pick up the sticker that says clearance, 50% off. We put ourselves out on the rummage sale for only 50 cents, hoping that at that price someone will love us. We believe people when they walk buy and turn up their noses. They tell us we are the wrong color, the wrong shape, the wrong style. We hang our heads and believe that we are worthless. Silly.

But it happens. It is a lie that we will all battle the rest of our lives. Some days it will be easier than others to remember what our true worth is, but it will be hard.

In the end (the true end, the glorious one, not the one filled with zombies) all of this human silliness will fade away. Not all that glitters is gold. And even if it is gold who cares? It is just an expensive rock. God is our true prize and we are His amazing creation.

Know your worth. Not worthless, but priceless. Not lost, but saved. Not despised, but loved. We are not perfect, but we are accepted by the one who is. Enjoy the little things and remember not to get caught up in the price tag games that the world likes to play.

Advertisements

Bible School Failed Me.

My church, my Sunday School teachers, my Christian School teachers, my Youth Group leaders, and my Catechism class all failed me.

I went to church growing up, both morning and evening services. I attended Sunday School almost every morning it was offered. I went down to Children’s Church and Children’s Worship and listened to the stories and sang the songs.

In high school I attended youth group regularly and my Jr and Sr year I went to Catechism on Wednesday nights.

I have attended Christian schools from kindergarten through my undergraduate degree.

I thought I had the stories down. I thought I knew all the great Bible characters. Bible trivia was never a problem for me. I even have the Old Testament books of the Bible memorized in order, and I used to have the New Testament memorized as well.

This isn’t supposed to be a list of why I am so awesome, not at all. This is to make a connection to those who have a similar background. This is to show that organized religion can organize around certain ideas and stories and leave out others that do not fit our picture of God’s love and kindness.

Continue reading


My Towel of Babel

Faith

Ephesians 3.

1. . .for the sake of you Gentiles— 2 Surely you have heard about the administration of God’s grace that was given to me for you, 3 that is, the mystery made known to me by revelation. . . 4 In reading this, then, you will be able to understand my insight into the mystery of Christ, 5 which was not made known to people in other generations as it has now been revealed by the Spirit to God’s holy apostles and prophets.

We are Gentiles and we are sinners, all of us. We have all failed. I have always known this growing up. Hearing countless sermons on how we all fall short of the glory of God and we need the grace He gave to us through Jesus’ death to be saved. In my heart of hearts I have always known this. But I do not think I really fully grasped the idea. I have always been striving to be more, to be closer to perfect. I have been trying to stack my good deeds up and throw down my sin in order to build my own tower of Babel to get at least a little closer to God so he would not have to reach down so far.

I felt like I needed to build my tower to hear God’s voice. Paul talked here about knowing God through his revelation and I kept hearing about and reading about these people, who I saw as holier and closer to perfect than I was, talking about hearing God’s voice and bending to his will. I have prayed, I have read, I have listened. I have heard silence. My tower needed to be taller, God’s voice didn’t seem to be able to carry way down in my pit of Gentile-ness.

7 I became a servant of this gospel by the gift of God’s grace given me through the working of his power.8 Although I am less than the least of all the Lord’s people, this grace was given me: to preach to the Gentiles the boundless riches of Christ, 9 and to make plain to everyone the administration of this mystery, which for ages past was kept hidden in God, who created all things.

During my weekend at Sonshine God smacked me with a two by four, several times. One of those smacks was about my tower building. I had been waiting to make my bold step for God. I had been waiting to at least be a little less sinful and a lot more wise before I take a leap of faith into God’s plan. I figured I had to be at least closer to perfect before he could truly use me and for me to hear him. The little things, I could do that. Go on a mission trip and paint a house or give a hug to someone who is sad. I was at the level were God could use me that way. But for something big, nope, I was too sinful for that.

As I sat in the Youth Leader’s lounge at Sonshine and listened to the Q&A sessions with the bands, with Hawk Nelson, Building 429, Petra, and Love & Death, I realized that they were not perfect. I realized that our Pastor that I hang out with is not perfect. I realized that they are continually growing and will never reach close to perfection, but God is using them in a big way. These band members and the youth leaders were full of the Holy Spirit, full of the gifts of God, but they were also full of sin, terrible sin, but that did not stop them from being used for a greater purpose. God is not waiting for me to be almost perfect, He is just waiting for me to trust fully in him.

Even Paul knows that he is less than the least of these. He knows that he is not worthy of the task God has set before him. Fortunately, for him and for all of us who are unworthy of our tasks, we serve a God who is worthy and it is not really our works but his work through us. We have the tools to figure out God’s mystery and we have the tools to administer it.

10 His intent was that now, through the church, the manifold wisdom of God should be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly realms, 11 according to His eternal purpose that he accomplished in Christ Jesus our Lord. 12 In him and through faith in Him we may approach God with freedom and confidence. 

His intent. The manifold wisdom of God. His eternal purpose. In Him and through faith in Him. Do you get where I am going here? I was so worried about me, me, me, me I forgot that it is through Jesus Christ that “we may approach God with freedom and confidence.” I may be a terrible sinner, but I may approach God with confidence. I am free to talk to him and listen for him.

There is more to our spiritual walk, more to our faith than trudging along through this world with our heads hanging in shame. There is more to this life than just praying for forgiveness and accepting that we are sinners who are only saved by grace.

We must start to believe that we are more than that. No, we will never be able to earn our own salvation, we need Jesus, his life, his death, and his resurrection for that. But we must realized that our hearts still try to be good, our souls try to be holy. We were made in His holy image after all. We are way more than just sinners. Our flesh will always hinder our hearts and this world will continue to bind our souls. It will be hard to glorify God. But we are his vessels. He has molded us out of the shapeless clay into a masterpiece of love. He molded us specifically to fulfill our purpose. I am made perfect in Him. You are made perfect in him. We can walk with our heads held high.

I get to trade in my tower building for freedom and confidence and I will take that trade any day.