Welcome to Activate!

Activate is currently a work in progress... the ultimate goal is to use Activate to help ACTIVATE your faith! God calls us to live a life worthy of the calling we've received. It requires action. Make your faith a verb, not a label.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Give Thanks for the Fleas

Thanksgiving is always an interesting time. It seems to be the one time of year when people really stop to think about what they are most thankful for. I find myself doing the very same thing. Usually, it’s very easy for me to think of so many wonderful things to thank God for. However, that’s not what I want you to think about right now. This may seem backwards, but I want you to think of the things you are LEAST thankful for. Who is that person you can’t stand? What is that thing you can’t tolerate? What are the circumstances in your life that you just can’t seem to see anything good in?

It’s easy to be thankful when things are going great, but what about when things are rough? Then what do we do? Are we as thankful for the bad things as we are for the good? Check out what God says to us in the book of Thessalonians:

“Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

The ten Boom family lived in Holland during World War II. They were put into a concentration camp for hiding Jews from the Nazis. While in the concentration camp Corrie, along with her sister Betsy, started a Bible study with the other women in their barracks. One day, Betsy was reading the verses in 1 Thessalonians and shared them with Corrie. That night Betsy prayed a prayer of thanksgiving to God thanking him for everything, including the fleas that infested their mattresses, blankets, and clothes. Corrie told Betsy that surely God couldn’t mean they were to be thankful even for the fleas; however, Betsy pointed out that it said to give thanks in ALL circumstances. This was hard for Corrie to swallow, but nonetheless she said she’d try to find a reason to be thankful even for the fleas.

A few days later, while the Betsy and Corrie were having a conversation with one of the other women, the fleas were mentioned. The woman told them that because of the fleas the guards wouldn’t even come in the barracks for fear of getting fleas. Corrie and Betsy looked at each other and smiled. This was the reason they could be thankful for the fleas! Because of the fleas Corrie and Betsy could lead a Bible study with the women and the guards wouldn’t come in. Praise the Lord!

This is a true story of godly women the God chose to use in difficult circumstances for His glory. So I give you this challenge: What are the “fleas” in your life? Ask God to show you ways that you can be thankful for everything in your life, good and bad. Because regardless of what we are going through, God is still in control, and that to me is reason enough to be thankful, even when it’s difficult.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Come to Life!

Have you ever been reading along in your Bible and had the words jump right off the page and seem to be speaking right to you? I had that happen to me this morning. It was 2 Kings 13:20-21:

"Elisha died and was buried. Now Moabite raiders used to enter the country every spring. Once while some Israelites were burying a man, suddenly they saw a band of raiders; so they threw the man's body into Elisha's tomb. When the body touched Elisha's bones, the man came to life and stood up on his feet."

Now pretend you are one of the ever so loyal men who threw your friends' dead body into another guy's grave. What do you think they thought when they saw their "dead" friend wandering around town the next day? The last time they had seen him he was dead, limp, and lifeless. I'm sure they were amazed and probablya little freaked out. I know that I would be.

This story is a picture of what Jesus does for us. Before we know Christ we are spiritually dead, but once we receive the free gift of salvation that He offers we are made ALIVE! It's not a gradual thing. It's instantaneous. Just like that guy was dead and then- BAM alive. In Romans 6:11 it says:

"In the same way, count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus."
Recently one of my close friends became a Christian. Seeing the transformation that God has done in her life is so incredible. She's constantly asking for ways she can be praying for me. She's become very involved in her church. She's very passionate about seeking and doing God's will, even when God calls her to do hard things. The transformation wasn't gradual; she is now completely alive in Christ!

My true desire is to see my entire generation come to life like that dead man in Kings. God has the power to save; I've seen it first-hand. My passion is for my generation. We aren't just asleep. We're dead. We don't even have a spiritual pulse anymore, but I believe my God is mighty to save. He can bring this generation back to Him, one person at a time. Just like the dead man in Kings, it only takes one touch or encounter with Jesus to bring your friends to life. Who knows what effect your life will have with your "dead" friends? Will you show them Jesus? Will you show them life?

Saturday, September 19, 2009

The Prostitute's Prayer

This was written for all the modern-day slaves and victims of human trafficking. There are real people out there who are being used as slaves for sex, physical labor, and other awful acts. They need the hope of Jesus in their lives.We can't ignore their pain.What are you doing to help end this slavery?
God calls us to:
"Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute. Speak up and judge fairly;defend the rights of the poor and the needy."
-Proverbs 31: 8-9

The Prostitute’s Prayer By: A.N.H.
I don’t know where to begin
How did this happen?
I’m trapped and alone
Oh, the places I’ve been
The deep, dark sin
The horrors I’ve been shown

What would my mother say?
I wasn’t raised this way.
Is there hope?
Like a toy for play
Broken and thrown away
I can’t cope

My friends would be ashamed
Seeing me play this “game”
Who am I?
No one calls me by my name
To customers we’re all the same:
There to satisfy

I’m crying out
Can you hear me shout?
Or are you even aware?
Is this what life's about?
My head is full of doubts
Does anyone really care?

My life is nothing
A victim of trafficking
Longing for more
Is freedom coming?
My body is numbing
Broken to the core

Shattered Chains- facebook cause

Monday, August 31, 2009

Set- Apart Girl

I'm scared of fitting-in
I'm getting too comfortable again
With people galavanting in their sin
A transformation must begin
Right here and now
Someway, somehow
By God's grace
Take me from this place
Set me apart
Draw me to Your heart
Let the chiseling start
Never let us part
Use me, I'm willing
Equip me for Your bidding
No more compromise
No more buying lies
Remove Satan's disguise
Jesus, open my eyes
I don't want to fit-in
I won't be comfortable with sin
Shine Your light within
Let the transformation begin

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Undivided Devotion

un-di-vi-ded- adjective 1. exsisting as a whole, not in seperate parts

de⋅vo⋅tion- noun 1. profound dedication, consecration 2. earnest attachment

Two simple words, but when put together make a powerful statement. Undivided Devotion. There are many things that we are devoted to such as sports teams, relationships, music groups, school, work, and many others. I can say that I am "earnestly attached" to my family. I even have a "profound dedication" to my sports teams, but when the word undivided is placed before devotion it takes on a much deeper meaning. In 1 Corinthians we find an example of this:

"An unmarried woman or virgin is concerned about the Lord's affairs; Her aim is to be devoted to the Lord in both body and spirit. But a married woman is concerned about the affairs of this world- how she can please her husband. I am saying this for your own good, not to restrict you, but that you may live in a right way in undivided devotion to the Lord."
-1 Corinthains 7:34-35

God calls us to live in undivided devotion to Him. Recently I've given my dreams of marriage over to God. Of course every girl longs to get married but I've chosen to surrender these dreams to God. Why, you may ask? Because I long to be undividedly devoted to Jesus my Savior. He alone completes me. I don't want anything, not even a godly guy, to come between me and the true Love of my life. There are so many things that will try to steal our devotion away from God. The opposite sex will tug at our hearts, TV shows will lure us in, fashion trends will call to us, sports teams will consume us, but when this happens remember the ONE that is worthy of our devotion. Jesus Christ gave everything up for us, what will you give up for Him?

Maybe you need to turn your dreams over to God like I have done. Maybe there are relationships or things in your life stealing your devotion away from God. Whatever it is, even if it's a good thing, (ie; obsessing over Christian bands, godly guys/girls), you must lay it down in order to follow God with undivided devotion.

Friday, July 31, 2009

Be a Voice, Not an Echo

We received our monthly Voice of the Martyrs (VOM) magazine in the mail yesterday. My family has subscribed to this magazine for quite awhile now, but this time I decided to actually sit down and read it. This particular issue focused on China. I always knew China was a Communist nation but I didn't realize how much persecution goes on behind the Great Wall.

Christians in China have little access to Bibles and many times the Bibles they have are confiscated by the government and burned. Chinese Christians are laying it all out for their Savior but their voices are muffled by their oppressors.

While reading my Bible this morning God highlighted two verses inparticular:

"Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute. Speak up and judge fairly; defend the rights of the poor and needy."
-Proverbs 31:8-9

VOM's mission is to give a voice to the martyrs and the persecuted. Who would voice those cries if it weren't for VOM?

Those being persecuted don't have a voice. The unborn child doesn't have a voice. The homeless, the slave, the abused, the suffering.... who will be their voice? WE need to be the voice for the martyrs. WE need to be the voice for those who have none.

God has laid the persecuted church on my heart lately and I realize that I need to make time to pray for my brothers and sisters regularly. Who is God asking you to be the voice for?

Stop echoing the sound of this world. Be the voice of Christ. Stand for what's right. Proclaim the good news of Jesus. You have a voice- don't waste it!
Be the Voice, not the Echo!

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Don't Hit the Snooze Button!

You know the sound. It's the loud "BEEP BEEP BEEP" that wakes us from our peaceful sleep every morning (often it comes much earlier than we would like). So what is our natural response to this disruption of our sleep? Typically we'll roll over in a groggy state and fumble around until a hand has managed to locate the most beloved part of the alarm clock- the snooze button.We think, "Just five more minutes and I'll get up." But after the five mintues pass and the alarm sounds again, we go through the same routine. This cycle can continue for as long as we allow it, but it's inevitable, eventually we will have to wake up.
How similar is that to our spirital lives? We say in our hearts, "Lord, just give me a few more minutes and then I'll do this or that". Before we know it we have spiritually hit the snooze button on God's will for our lives. We've made countless promises to Him to pick up our cross, deny ourselves, and follow Him, but when it comes down to actually doing it, we'd much rather hit the snooze button.
As I was growing up, my parents often told me that delayed obedience is disobedience. I wasn't a very obedient child so I heard those words a lot. That is also true when it comes to our Heavenly Dad. He commands us to love Him and lay down our lives for Him, but when we chose to put off what He's asked us to do we are living in disobedience. James says it best:

"Anyone who knows the good he ought to do and doesn't do it, sins"
(James 4:17)

Jesus gave us the Great Commission and we are to live it out. We cannot be snoozing our lives away and ignoring the Holy Spirit's calling in our lives.

"Rescue those who are unjustly sentenced to die; save them as they stagger to their death. Don't excuse youreslf by saying, 'Look, we didn't know.' For God understands all hearts and he sees you. He who guards your soul knows you knew. He will repay all peopel as their actions deserve." (Provers 24:11)

God has called us all to rescue those who are hurting and heading to Hell. We can't keep "playing dumb". There are real people out there with real needs. Jesus commands us to love and serve one another and He calls each of us to do it in different ways.When we stand before the King of Kings on Judment Day we won't be able to say "Lord, I didn't know" because we do know what He's called us to do. God's laid out the example clearly in the Bible through the life of Jesus Christ.
We live in a world that promotes leisure and laziness, but we must rise above it all and listen to what the Holy Spirit is telling us in each of our lives. We must wake up! There's work to be done.
No more excuses! And no more snooze buttons!

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Back to the Basics

You and I were called to more. God calls us to live a life worthy of the calling we've received. (Ephesians 4:1). That calling is one of complete surrender, humility, and holiness. The world we live in promotes luxury, leisure, and self-satisfaction, but God calls us to more. If we don't step up and stand for our faith who will?? We can't use our parents generation as a crutch anymore. It's time to make our faith our own. But where do we start? I've been in the same spot as many of you. Wanting to make a difference but not knowing where to begin. Here are a few simple disciplines we can commit to in order to prepare us to lead our generation.

GOD'S WORD: it's still relevant
2 Timothy 3:16 "All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness."
We have access to the written Word of God. Why don't we take advantage of it? If we want to know God better, read His word. Make time to read the Words of your Creator and Savior. So if you're reading this right now i give you total permission to close this window, log- off facebook, get off of twitter, turn of your cell phone, and pick up the Bible. The things God will show you just might blow you away!

PRAYER: talking with God
Prayer is more than using God as a vending machine. It's more than reading off your list of problems and then walking away. Prayer is a conversation with God. It's two-sided. Have alone time with God where you can pour your heart out to Him and listen to what He has to say. Unsure of where to start? Check out the example of prayer that Jesus gave in John 17.

SERVICE: it's not about me
Philippians 2: 3- 5 "Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others.
Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus."

I know this might come as a shock, but life is not all about you. God created us to love and serve Him and we can do that by loving and serving others. There are countless people in the world that are hurting, hungry, and suffering. Who is going to help them if you don't? It's time to get up off the couch and reach out to those around you, and you don't have to look any farther than across the street or in the pew next to you to find them. Put on the attitude of Jesus and be willing to serve in any and every way. Little or big, God can use any bit of obedience to make a difference!

I know most of these things may seem like the typical Sunday School answer; however, we must go back to the basics. How many of you can honestly say you read your Bible, pray, or serve others consistently? We cannot make an impact on our generation if we cannot read our Bible daily or make time to pray for our friends. Lets get back to the basics and see where God takes us!

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

God of Justice

The song by Tim Hughes "God Of Justice" is what initially inspired Activate. I first heard this song at the Do Hard Things Tour last fall. It's very powerful and it sums up my goal for this ministry. I don't really know what the next step will be for this ministry, but I know that something needs to be done to reach my generation. We must step up and make our faith our own. We must rise above the self-saturated world and consciously live out our faith.

God Of Justice by: Tim Hughes

God of Justice, Saviour to all
Came to rescue the weak and the poor
Chose to serve and not be served

Jesus, You have called us
Freely we've received
Now freely we will give

We must go
live to feed the hungry
Stand beside the broken
We must go
Stepping forward
keep us from just singing
Move us into action
We must go

To act justly everyday
Loving mercy in everyway
Walking humbly before You God

You have shown us, what You require
Freely we've received
Now freely we will give

Fill us up and send us out
Fill us up and send us out
Fill us up and send us out Lord

Will you join me in prayer for the next generation and the future of the church? Pray that God will keep us from just singing and move us into action. WE MUST GO!