Tuesday, January 31, 2012

What Happens?

What happens when the dreamer stops dreaming?
When the motivational speaker loses motivation?
When the prayer warrior stops believing in prayer?
What happens when we become so dull to life that we forget to live?
 What happens when we're so busy living, that we forget to love?
What happens when we are so content in the way things are we choose not to fight for how they could be? Can you imagine if someone like Martin Luther King Jr. just stopped dreaming, speaking, and praying. I mean honestly... what would have happened?

I never once imagined what my life after college would be like. I feel like I just stumbled upon what is now and have become complacent on what could be. Knowing that without some form of a 'wish' I risk the chance of --compromise && settling --The last time I had a big dream I was working towards was my unquenchable need to get to Nashville and serve at Mercy Ministries back in 2009. As odd as it sounds, I have never once considered the idea of dreaming big for Rochester, actually making a difference with my skillset and especially my job.

Life nowadays is so good. So safe and yet dangerous. So busy yet relaxing. So necessary yet lighthearted. I love my job, like l.o0o.v.e my job. I have a PERFECT apartment and roommate. I learned this year that my heart can break and feel, forgive and heal again. I know I have talents that I can offer the world and as a wife.. I bet I wouldn't be that bad (working on this insecurity). But I am stuck with the idea of what happens?

I am scared that so many I know, myself included, stopped dreaming big. We stopped desperately grabbing for Jesus' garments to heal us ((Mark 5)) and the world around us. We stopped loving and living and started... getting by. We're not crazy in love anymore. We reminisce and sometimes regret the days where impulses drove us. But as I have heard many times before if you don't feel like you're risking everything you've got then you're not living the true life of Christianity. If people are never annoyed (and/or aware of) your love for God and the good works they consistently see you doing then are you living in the overflow of God?

I guess I know what happens in the end. When the dreamer stops dreaming, the motivational speakers loses thier spark and the prayer warrior stops fighting. They lose hope and in turn those they would have been ministering to lose their chance at finding hope. Right? Or does God really find someone else to fulfill their purpose? If He does then as a lazy culture I can foresee everyone just waiting for the next 'great minister' to do what God has really called THEM to do.

Bah. For once, I sound so pessimistic. But I do know this: if you are not doing what it is God has shaped you to do. You. Will. Lose. Hope. ((proverbs 13:12 "Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but when the desire is fulfilled, it is a tree of life."))

You just gotta stay fresh. You have to stay in the word. You have to make the choice to dream big. To ask God for more. To not give up-- because that will always be the easiest choice. To push through. Not to fight, but to surrender ((matthew 26:29)). Surrender to something bigger, something better. It won't all be fun, but it will be an adventure ((joshua 1:9)). It won't all be rewarding, but you will find treasure ((matthew 6:20)).

Although the questions burns in my mind... I don't really want to know what happens. I would rather learn to dream again, delight in speaking, and get praying. I'd rather see what happens then... because then God can really move in Rochester, in my own heart, and in the lives of the people or situational you are praying for. And if you don't believe me, I bet Martin Luther King Jr. would agree. 

To my readers, I encourage you in this: Keep dreaming big for the Lord, telling people about it as much as you can and covering the whole process in prayer. You won't regret it. "No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love him" ((1 Corinthians 2:9))

above all else: Love.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Again Kerri, Really?

Sometimes it is easier to hand God our best, than it is our worst. After my last post just said how great of a place I am in, I can't hide that some of my heart is simply just broken. It makes me want to scream, "Again Kerri, Really??"

I joined a Friday night Bible Study tonight that is walking through the book/DVD series Captivating. Now if you don't know what that book is-- you have not read my blogs before-- I LOVE this book. I crave it's message, I adore it's realness and pray that each woman who reads it would receiving healing from it just as I had. There was another night two Septembers ago where I had the same paradox where I had been starting to read that book again and I had also had a horrible night with a charming young man who is the only man alive, I swear, who can bring out my insecurities like he does. 

Regardless, here it is again. Somehow I find so much joy and strength offering my best to God. Knowing that my victories are really His- giving all credit to Him on my 'wordly' achievements. But when it comes to pain, when it comes to hurt, ahhh- something about it just stings and it is so hard to hand over. There is this fear of releasing the very thing holding me captive, as if living in "bondage" is better than trusting anyone... even God.

There are countless Bible stories I could recall that relate, so many redeemed lives I have personally witness choose God over bitterness and pain... so many- yet I still struggle to say "here God, here it is... me at my worst- would you find me in it? Can you see past my darkness to a heart who truly aches for you?" And all that fear for nothing. God is so faithful to our cries. We may not feel it immediately in that moment of ache, but that is mainly because we refuse to lift our heads out of the fog and worship Him for how faithful He is, unlike anyone we will know. When we stay alone in our pain that is the perfect time for the enemy of our hearts to take camp. ((Ephesians 6:12- For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.)) he loves to repeat the very things you are scared to hear, over and over again. Like the little devil you see in the movies on someones' shoulder, he was so quick to tell me how ridiculous and worthless I was tonight...

Tonight though instead, I choose to let God enter my pain again. No matter how silly others may think I am to be in this situation again, no matter how much it sucks to be vulnerable, and how ridiculous it is to feel this hurt over one person. I choose to let go, "Lord, come find me" I say- "Lord come find me, just as I am"

My rendition of Psalm 4 as I allow God into the pain:

Answer me when I call to you,
   my righteous God.
Give me relief from my distress;
   have mercy on me and hear my prayer.
  How long will I turn your glory into shame?
   How long will I love delusions and seek false gods?
[I should know] that the LORD has set me apart, 
his faithful servant for himself;
   the LORD hears when I call to him.
  [ I should ]be in awe and not sin;
   when I am on my bed,
  [ I choose to ] search my heart and be silent.
 I will again offer the sacrifices of the righteous
   and trust in the LORD.
 Many, in this world LORD, are asking,
“Who will bring us prosperity?”
   Let the light of your face shine on us.
 Fill my heart with joy
  [ when he seeks worldly love. ]
  In peace I will lie down and sleep,
   for you alone, LORD,
   make me dwell in safety[trust, refuge, peace]. 

Thank you Lord, for always being faithful. 

"But the Lord is faithful, and he will strengthen and protect you from the evil one"  
2 Thessalonians 3:3

Thoughts from 37,000 ft above

I just spent a week in Denver, CO at a: five star hotel with about 65 other Youth For Christ staff from all over the country and world. One whole week digging into the word of God, experiencing true fellowship/accountability, and falling in love again with where God has me.
I have never felt so incredibly empowered yet gratefully humble ever. The weeks' content rarely had to do with programming, or stats, or national paperwork. The entire week focused on abiding with Christ; God being our first love; A ministry's goal is the same as the great commandment: Love the Lord with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind; and as simple as being the gospel while telling the gospel.

Needless to say I had a great time. The other youth workers were just so real. Like so funny, legit, and redeemed. I envied their students and wished someone like them would have been in my high school. I know I would have accepted Christ earlier and unlike I have said before, man I wish I would have. To have known His love sooner, to have experienced this freedom... sigh if only.

But alas, here I am flying over the United States pondering what life will be like when I get back. What changes I will really make. How much more time I will truly devote to the Lord... and I find my heart so restful. Which is such a sweet place to be that I might just cry on this plane. I feel so valued, while believing the best I have to offer is Christ in me--- and I truly mean that.

Also within this last week I became an Aunt. I will be seeing my Nathan Vincent Malandra sometime tomorrow for the first time. The thought of my brother being a father... is well, wow. Hopefully it will be the perfect way to present God's relentless for his heart.  Huh... now that is a change... I reallyhave been praying so much more lately for my friends and families salvation. Get that I don't think I have ever even mentioned that word on this blog before... salvation... look at this girl evangelizing  (haha).

With that Carey and I are focused on fasting this month with our church and for the first time I am really enjoying being weak and sacrifical for the purposes of mobilizing God's kingdom. I feel so charged to make a difference in even the smallest of ways. God has just been so much more real to me lately, which is crazy to say from the 'religious' girl and all. But even as I fly over the states now I hear God repeat "see that light on the hill.. see that city lit up, that's you my lovely- thats you"

(Matthew 5:14) "You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

please use my mistakes

The true points of fasting: To release whatever is hindering you from receiving God's full grace for you. To become dependent on His spirit alone and to focus on His strength throughout.

God, you know my heart, they do not.
You know the situation, they do not.
You know how much I care when I hide it from them.
You know those intimate moments we share.

And its not like I didn't know you were going to ask me to release him again and I believe full heartily you will be true to this fast and my heart will only be blessed and fuller because of it but God please hear my cry!! Use my mistakes to bring you glory. Use my weaknesses to shine your strength to him Lord. For years I was ashamed to admit how deeply I felt for him and now--- now I took the chance, its not right...its just not right. And I need it to not lead to a path of destruction but a path of deeper wisdom and peace for both of us. I need you to comfort our pain, I need you to be the forgiving God you so are and lavish us with love... even in our filthiness. In our wandering from you- I need you to be true. I need you to awaken his soul. Lord, you know I don't pray like this often. I have asked for things before from you, but here.... here lord I BEG you, I CRY OUT for you. You know my heart. You know how sick I am over this. LORD BE MERCIFUL.

Please, save him. Please