21 Days… Tuesday, Apr 19 2011 

March 28, 2011 – April 17, 2011

21 Days of fasting.  21 days of prayer.  21 days of self-discovery.

What began as a journey for the church family, became a journey that tested my faith, and led me to a destination of self-discovery.

My pastor asked that we write our prayers, the ones we most desired to seek answers for, on our hearts.

March 28th my fast began.  It began with “break” week.

Break to destroy the completeness of; to force one’s way out of; to put an end to; to become fractured or broken; to stop abruptly; to yield or submit to.

I, first, had to break down MY will, so that I could seek after HIS will.

I began to pray, “God you know what my will is.  You know what I hope for and what I desire, but my will matters NOTHING compared to YOUR will.  God, I seek YOUR will.”

As I began to break down, I also began to break in.  I had to allow myself to be adapted for HIS purpose…HIS will.  I had to become broken of all of me, so I could focus on HIM.

When I allowed myself to break in, it became possible for me to break out.  This means that I was “ready for action.”  I was ready for GOD to move in, as my flesh moved aside.

April 4th started “bring” week.

Bring – to carry to another place; to get the attention of.

I began to bring forward everything that I had written on my heart.  I began to present to GOD all of my concerns and all of the situations that have been burdening my heart.

I began to bring forth my prayers….prayers not for myself….but prayers for three people who I have had a burden for since the end of 2010.

During this week, the sacrifices that I chose began to take a toll on my body.  I started questioning, “Why am I even doing this?  Will anything even come out of this?”

My Faith had become tested.

When we fast, we exercise our faith.  Fasting strengthens and deepens our faith.

Fasting requires Faith.

Fasting is a test of faith.  Faith helps us take that step towards something that we cannot see.  At the end of the fast, maybe only one prayer will be answered; maybe none.

Even still, by Faith we believe.  By Faith, we sacrifice.  By Faith, we trust.

On April 10th, my Faith was strengthened.  One of my prayers had been answered.

The perfect example of Faith, in my life, was able to regain strength and share a seat next to her husband during the morning service.

To some, that may seem like nothing, but to me that was everything.  If no other prayer would be answered, the 14 days that I had already sacrificed was indeed worth it.

This lady of Christ, who has had EVERY opportunity to lose her Faith, has instead chosen to HOLD ON to it….through EVERY storm.

It was as if GOD was reminding me….

2 Corinthians 12:9 ~ My grace is sufficient for thee:  for my strength is made perfect in weakness.

2 Corinthians 12:10 ~ for when I am weak, then am I strong.

It was then and there that I decided, though I cannot see the end….I do not know that I will see any other prayers answered…..but I will continue…..I will complete this sacrifice.

April 10th began “break forth” week.

This was the week that all the prayers that had been brought forth, and all that had been sacrificed would stand revealed.

I began to thank HIM, to praise HIM, to glorify HIM for all HE had done, and all HE will continue to do.

Although my prayers were not for myself, through my sacrifice, things in my life, that I have struggled with, have begun to break.

Because these things have begun to break, I have discovered a new truth and a new acceptance of myself.

For years, I have lived with insecurities.

These insecurities have caused me to lose out on things that I truly desired.

These insecurities have caused pain.

 These insecurities have caused me to miss out on opportunities.

I have come to accept the fact that I am not perfect; BUT I am created in the image of GOD who is PERFECT.

GOD makes no mistakes.  I was created the person I am for a reason.

It does not matter what others think of me.

I am who I am.  I live how I live.  I love who I love. I pray how I pray.

They have not walked in my shoes.

It does not matter if I have been in love and lost.

To have been in love and to have lost is better than to have never truly been in love at all.

It does not matter what I choose to do.

It does not matter who or what I choose to become.

I am not perfect.  I am just me.

I am GOD’s creation.  HE loves me for me.

“I am a tree bending beneath the weight of His wind and mercy.

When all of a sudden I am unaware  of these afflictions,

eclipsed by glory and I realize how beautiful You are

and how Your affections are for me.”

The chains of insecurities, surrounding my life, are broken.

New doors, in my life, have begun to open.

I am being remade.

Is not this the fast that I have chosen?  to loose the bands of wickedness, to undo the heavy burdens, and to let the oppressed go free, and that ye break every yoke? ~ Isaiah 58:6

Though these 21 days are gone, I will continue to cleave to Faith. I will continue to pray.

I will continue to trust in HIM.

“If my heart is overwhelmed and I cannot hear Your voice,
I hold onto what is true, though I cannot see.
If the storms of life they come, and the road ahead
gets steep, I will lift these hands in faith, I will believe.”

BREAK.  BRING.  BREAK FORTH.

 21 days of sacrifice.

One prayer answered.

Worth it all.

~Bek~

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The Adjustment Bureau Thursday, Mar 17 2011 

The other night, I went to see The Adjustment Bureau starring Matt Damon and Emily Blunt.  I must say, I was enthralled — mostly because it really got me thinking.  If you are unaware of what this film is about, I have included the plot summary to get you up-to-date:


“Do we control our destiny, or do unseen forces manipulate us? Matt Damon stars in the thriller The Adjustment Bureau as a man who glimpses the future Fate has planned for him and realizes he wants something else. To get it, he must pursue the only woman he’s ever loved across, under and through the streets of modern-day New York. On the brink of winning a seat in the U.S. Senate, ambitious politician David Norris (Damon) meets beautiful contemporary ballet dancer Elise Sellas (Emily Blunt)-a woman like none he’s ever known. But just as he realizes he’s falling for her, mysterious men conspire to keep the two apart. David learns he is up against the agents of Fate itself-the men of The Adjustment Bureau-who will do everything in their considerable power to prevent David and Elise from being together. In the face of overwhelming odds, he must either let her go and accept a predetermined path…or risk everything to defy Fate and be with her.”


I found it to be a great movie…one that kept me guessing and hoping throughout the whole movie.  Yet, it wasn’t the actual film that fascinated me; it was the underlying messages that really “hit home with me.”  I will do my best to explain….


The theme from the movie:

“If you believe in free will…..If you believe in chance….If you believe in choice…..FIGHT FOR IT!!”


Each and every one of us has a destiny.  Each and every one of us has a path.  Each and every one of us must make choices —We make choices each and every day that affect our path, our journey, our destination.  Maybe it’s choices in our relationships.  Maybe it’s choices of our salvation.  Maybe it’s choices within ourselves.


WE ARE OUR OWN ADJUSTMENT BUREAU!!!


Some people believe that every choice we make will directly affect someone else’s life.  While that is somewhat true,  we must also realize that the other person also makes their own choices.  For instance,  in the movie, Matt Damon’s character begins thinking that if he chooses to stay with her, he will ruin her life and her dreams.  But in the end, it all comes down to a choice — not only a choice that he must make, but a choice that she must make as well — a choice to follow their hearts, or leave their hearts behind.


You see, even if your choices affect others, in the end it is THEIR choices that inevitably change their own life, their own path, their own destination.  We sometimes make our choices based on guilt, based on fear, based on others’ opinions or feelings.  However, as this film pointed out, if you do not follow your heart and what you truly desire for your life, there will always be a void within you.


“If you limit your choices, only to what seems possible or reasonable, you disconnect yourself from what you truly want, and all that is left is compromise.” – Robert Frtiz


I discussed this topic with my dear friend, Holly.  What she had to say, I could not have even attempted to say it any better.  These are  her words, true words of wisdom:

“Humans like to say, ‘All things happen for a reason, God has my life laid out before me, so my destiny is completely in His hands.’  While God does have a plan for our lives, He gave us free will.  Therefore, we are free to make our own decisions, and as a result we tend to alter God’s plan for our lives.  Some shatter the God-vision for their lives, while others simply forge their own path in working toward God’s plan for them — proving still, while God has His hands on our lives, we are still the adjusters of our own path and destiny.”


It’s so easy to just drift through life, to go with the flow, and to just settle for what’s in front of us…. rather than seek what we truly want, stepping out into the unknown, and following after God’s plan for our lives.


Remember…. No one controls your life, but YOU!!


You are your own adjustment bureau.


Life is change.  Growth is optional.  Choose wisely.


~Bek & Holly~

walk by FAITH….not by FEAR Wednesday, Jan 19 2011 

In life, we all face many uncertainties – those that require choices, chances, and changes.  At times, we become completely afraid….afraid of how our choices, chances, and changes we make will affect our future….and possibly the future of others.  In these moments, we struggle with doubt, with worry, with fear.  In these moments, we lose our faith.  We pray….we seek answers….but yet, we are walking by fear and not by faith.  Fear causes us to close the doors that have been opened for us, because we are too afraid to walk through them.  In order for us to move forward with our lives….in order for us to allow God to lead us….we must listen….we must follow….we must walk by FAITH.

“Faith isn’t the ability to believe long and far into the misty future, it’s simply taking God at His Word and taking the next step.” ~ Joni Erickson Tada

We live in the season of uncertainty…. the season of questions….the season of doubt.  The Bible tells us to “fear not.”  In fact, Jesus told us to “FEAR NOT” 365 times throughout the Bible.  Three-hundred and sixty-five times!!  Because of that, His Words cover 365 days of each year.  That means that each day we wake up….we know that before we even begin our day….come what may…. God said “FEAR NOT!!”

The Bible specifically tells us that God is not the author of fear.  When God opens the door….when he gives you direction….hold on to your faith…it will get you through.  Doubt, worry, confusion, fear….these are not of Him.

For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace…  1 Corinthians 14:33

For God has not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.  2 Timothy 1:7

When we pray….when we seek God’s face….when we cry out to Him for answers…. when we ask for direction……. He will give us strength…. He will give us peace.  At times of peace, we still question…we still worry….we still doubt….though we shouldn’t…   BECAUSE as HE said…FEAR NOT!!!!!

Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.  Hebrews 11:1

For we walk by Faith, not by sight.  2 Corinthians 5:7

Faith means that we have to step out into the unknown…..holding fast and holding strong to the hand of GOD…..HE will lead and guide us….HE WILL catch us if we fall…

Feels like I’ve been here forever,

why can’t you just intervene?

Do you see the tears keep falling?

And I’m falling apart at the seams.

But you never said the road would be easy,

But you said that you would never leave.

And you never promised that this life wasn’t hard,

But you promised you’d take care of me…..

I’ll trust you God….

and believe you will have your way…

It’s time to take the step of FAITH………and FEAR NOT!!

 

~Bek~