Being Rended...

I'm still in the process. The rending process, that is.

Its not as fun as I had originally hoped.

Of course when you think of the word "rend" (being torn apart) I don't know why I would have thought it would be fun in the first place.

So, for the first few days since God dropped this phrase on me, I didn't know what to do. I knew God wanted my heart broken, but how do you do that?

I began to pray, Lord, break my heart. Or if I have to do it, show me how.

Its not that I don't want to be broken, I just don't know how.

So He has really shown me some things over the last few days. Some things I really need to work on.

1. Pride. That was a hard pill to swallow (why do you think that is....pride, perhaps?) ha! Pride comes in different forms. I tend to think of pride as thinking of yourself as better than someone else, or something like that. But it doesn't have to be that. It could be being 'shy' and not wanting to socialize with people for whatever reason. Wondering if people like me. Caring if they like me. When it all boils down, its pride, and I need to work on it.

2. Judging. I heard this at church yesterday. Honestly didn't think it applied to me, because I'm really not judgmental. Or so I thought. The pastor starting going through his checklist of what makes you judgmental. I think I could put a check mark beside each thing he mentioned. I don't remember them all, but one of them was finding faults in people. Little tiny microscopic faults. I don't do it all the time - but I still do sometimes. It needs to stop.

I had a #3 yesterday - but for the life of me I can't remember what it is today. I guess God figures I have enough to work on for right now.

So instead of being prideful, I want to be selfless. I want to open myself up to people and not worry about what might happen. I want to give of myself without any thought of what I might get in return. I want to know that I have pure and clean motives. I want to be an encouragement to others, and not judge them. I want people to see God instead of me. I want to see people the way God sees them, and love them like he does. If I can't do that, then I'm no good to him. Luckily, I'm still breathing, so there is still time to get this right. And I believe Gods word when it says, "being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus."

He's not finished with me quite yet.

Thank God!


Rend my Heart

So this past month has been a bit of a blur...

Work is still going well. They had a contest last week to see who could collect the most money, and I actually came in 2nd place! I couldn't believe it!

I also moved into my apartment. Its in an attic of an old house near downtown Portland. Its not much but its perfect for me. I'm just about completely settled in.

We had our second Portico Church launch team service this weekend, and it was great. I absolutley love Portland. I love my church family. I am so thankful that God is allowing me to be a part of what He is doing here. Sometimes I look at my life and I think - How did I get to be so lucky to be here doing what I'm doing with who I'm doing it with... Its amazing to me.

Anyway...I digress...

So, I've started playing the electric guitar. I'm not real good at it yet, but I like it, and want to learn more. Certainly have a lot to learn!

As for me, I'm doing good. I am at a place in my life where I know there is more to my relationship with God. I know I can have a deeper, more intimate relationship with Him. But I can't figure out how to get there. I know its a process, so I'm not going to get discouraged, I'm actually sort of excited to see what God does. I don't want to let another Easter or Christmas go by and not be changed by what Jesus did. I don't want to just say, "Oh how nice, Jesus died for me so that I might live." I should be knocking down the doors of my neighbors telling them about what Jesus did. I should be moved to tears by his death on the cross. I am grateful for what he did, don't get me wrong - I just know that there is more that He wants from me. I don't want to disappoint Him.

For the last couple days I've been thinking about all of this and this phrase keeps coming up in my mind, "Rend your heart." To be honest with you - until I looked it up today, I didn't really know what the word 'rend' meant. Ha!

1. to split apart or to tear into pieces violently
2. to tear (ones garment or hair) in aguish or rage
3. to harrow or distress (the heart) with painful feelings
4. to become torm or split

Okay..... so God. You want me to tear my heart into pieces violently. Ha ha ha. Okay, I don't think thats what He means. I'm not super clear what he does mean, though. But I am searching. And in my searching I found this verse:

Joel 2:12, 13 "Even now," declares the LORD, "return to me with all your heart, with fasting and weeping and mourning." Rend your heart and not your garments. Return to the Lord your God, for he is gracious and compassionate, Slow to anger and abounding in love, and he relents from sending calamity"

Rend your heart and not your garments. In bible times, people would tear their garments as a physical expression of grief or anguish. I think God is saying, He doesn't want a physical expression of my grief but an ACTUAL expression of it. I want my heart to be broken about what he's done. I need my heart to break for those who don't yet know. I need to be burdened and broked. I need to want intimacy with God more than anything else in my life. I need to rend my heart.

So, there it is. I'm in the rending process, I suppose. I am excited. I know that God is taking me through this journey so that I will be closer to Him. I can't wait to get there!!