Archive | Andrew RSS feed for this section
05. Sep, 2012

The Sand

The Sand

If you know me well, you would know that I don’t like the beach. So you would probably think this is me venting about how much I hate the beach. WRONG. For once, I am using the beach for good.

I had an encounter with my pride the other day. I realized that pride can get you in a LOT of trouble.

Recently I have been really trying to strengthen my relationship with my Heavenly Father. I would say that I have been doing pretty well!!! I would say I am pretty PROUD  of how far I’ve come in my walk with God. I’m starting to read my bible every day. All I ever really want to listen to is good Christian music. I have started trying to love people unconditionally. I have been trying to get the group I hang out with to start re-evaluating their lives and think about how they have been acting. I’ve done pretty good just striving to live a godly life.

But then enemy of my soul hit me. I was knocked down at the knees. I feel on my face. The darkness surrounded and I had NO idea what the heck was happening!!! It all happened so quickly that I didn’t have a chance to prepare. I kept thinking, “But I was doing so well! This can’t be happening! I’ve come so far! I’m doing pretty darn good. I want good things!” Do you see the problem??? It’s pretty clear afterwards. *I* am the problem. My pride over ruled me. Let me ask you this:

Can *I* have done all that “good” by myself???

HECK NO!!! There is no way on this  earth that I can come so far and have no help from anyone. I was carried through some bits. Maybe dragged here and there but I hardly used my own two feet at all. God. God carried me. Maybe dragged me, but He did it. Just because I was the one reading my bible, listening to encouraging music and proclaiming God’s love to everyone doesn’t mean I was alone.

Now don’t get me wrong. Doing all of these things are great! They are AMAZING! It’s so wonderful to dig deeper into God. But when you do it for yourself, not because you love God and just want to become more like Him, then you can end up in a bad place.

Here’s where the sand comes in. You were too busy looking at your footprints in the sand behind you that you didn’t see the storm that was beginning to build steam in front of you. You didn’t know to get your armor on for the storm. You weren’t paying attention to the battles in front of you because you were just looking behind you. Stop looking at your own footprints!!! Turn around get your feet back walking forward and put on the armor because your journey isn’t over yet.

That reminds me of a song by Steven Curtis Chapman call Long Way Home. The chorus goes like this:

“But I know we’re gonna make it
And I know we’re gonna get there soon
And I know sometimes it feels like we’re going the wrong way
But it’s just the long way home”

We are gonna make it. It may be a long hard journey to get there, but when you ask God to help us and be with us on this journey, NOTHING can cut us at our knees.

09. Feb, 2012

Sex, Drugs and Skater Shoes

Sex, Drugs and Skater Shoes

Sex, Drugs and Skater Shoes

14 year old John sits under an oak tree, at school, studying for his exams.  Looking around while thinking through the answer to a problem, he sees Alexander, the “popular” kid, talking to his friends.  Making sure it looks like he is studying, John eavesdrops on Alexander’s conversation.

“Do you like my new shoes? My dad got them for me yesterday.  He paid $140 for them.  He said he got them so I will forget my parent’s divorce.  I swear, their divorcing is the BEST thing that happened to me!  I get all this cool stuff. They try and win me over, by buying me things, but I could care less who I live with!” Alexander says with a smirk.

While rolling his eyes, Alexander’s friend Samuel, informs his friends: “Dude! Those shoes are wicked!! I’ll ask my parents for some too.  They always get me whatever I want without a hesitation.”

The next day, John went to school and sees everyone wearing skater shoes.  Seeing that John wasn’t wearing any, Alexander walks up to him with an evil glimmer in his eyes…
“Nice Croc’s!” Alexander says while snickering at John.  “What?  Your family is too poor to buy you skater shoes? I bet you live in a shoe!”  Alexander then proceeds to run back to his “evil minions” (as John calls them) and tell them ALL about John’s shoes.

During dinner that night, John plucks up the courage to ask his mom and dad for some skater shoes.  “Mom, dad?”, John asks while chewing his rubbery meatloaf, “would it be alright if I got some skater shoes?”

“Well, you know we don’t consider buying something unless we know how much it costs first”, Mrs. Criff reminds her son.

“Well,” John says taking a bite of food to muffle his voice, “they are around $140.”

“FOR A PAIR OF SHOES?!?!?!?” Mr. Criff says raising his voice. “There is NO WAY I am paying that much for just a pair of shoes!”

Crying in bed that night, and talking to himself, John said “I.. I just want to fit in, is all.  I always get the cheap, hand-me-down clothes.  I don’t want to… to… to stick out like a sore thumb anymore!  I want to be in the popular group!!”

5 days later, John has stolen the $140 needed to buy the skater shoes.  He has gotten money from his parents wallets, strangers wallets, and even his neighbor’s piggy bank.  After buying the shoes, he heads to school and right up to Alexander to ask if he liked his new shoes.

“SWISH! I like ‘em.  Nice goin’ Criff!  Hey, you wanna hang with us during lunch?” Alexander said with an impressed look on his perfectly chiseled face.

“Of… Of course I would!  Thanks. See ya then!” John said while walking off to first period maths class.

7 years later, John is despondent.  He has just had his proposal to his sweetheart rejected and he takes a hard look at his life.  John is sitting on the edge of his bed grieving over his addiction to cocaine, heroin, and meths.  He is sick over the sex that he has had with 7 different girls.  Each time getting worse and worse.  He sits there, with his head in his hands crying and thinking about why de did all this, why he screwed up so badly.. why he had destroyed his life.  While searching his memory, he remembers the time when he started hanging out with “Mr. Popular” and his “Evil Minions”.  Remembering that he wanted to fit in so badly and be cool like they were, and he would do whatever it took.   Back then, the cool thing to do was have sex and drugs.  He remembered how he wanted to be a regular guy and not stick out like a sore thumb, that he decided to just go along with whatever they did or told him to do.  The final thought that he has, before he decided to overdose and end it all was how it all started with a pair of costly, deadly, and just plain ordinary leather skater shoes.

You may think: “Really?  Skater shoes??? I doubt it!!!!”  But really, there are so many people in this world who do anything to be cool.  It starts with something small like a toy or a game or an item of clothing that you want, and before you know it, you’re doing everything you said you wouldn’t when you were a child.  In fact, I bet that almost everyone in the western world has had trouble with wanting something just to fit in.

Do you know the one thing that aggravates me the most, that sets me off and makes me think that this “person” is trying to fit in?  I hate seeing when a boy, guy, or man wears his pants low and has to waddle like a penguin just from keeping them falling all the way down.  It may be something different for you.  Like a pair of shoes, or clothes or a game system or even stationary!!!

I don’t know if you have an issue, or what if you do, what it might be like for you.  But all it takes for me to snap out of my phase of wanting to fit in is remembering that God loves me just the way I am.  Funny, loony, crazy, serious and smart.  And if you don’t believe in God or trust in Him, remember that there are still people out there who will accept you for whom you are.  The people who like you for just you; not your money or hair style or clothes that you wear.  Those are not your true friends.  Friends are people who love you and accept you for who you are.

Another thing that helps me to remember that I don’t need to be like everyone else is a song by 33 Miles called “Underneath”.  The lyrics go like this: “Open up the heart that you hide, everything you’ve locked up inside.  It’s time to come clean, let mercy set you free.  Take off the heavy disguise; lay it all out in the light.  The good the bad the in between, God loves what’s underneath…. ….The smile you try to fake, to cover up the pain, He holds all your mistakes and then He washes them away…”

God loves us for who we are, the insides of us. The love and gifts that we have, He gave to us.  None of our outward appearances or earthly pleasures will ever satisfy our empty space inside.  We need to open up our hearts and show everything we hide away to make sure we fit in.  We need to pull away the duct tape and screws, nuts and bolts, and lay all our weird kookiness on the table.  You know how we make ourselves into something that we are not, just to fit in… That’s called a disguise.  Take it off.  Let all of your good things and bad things be seen to those that God has put in front of you to help you in your journey.

29. Jan, 2012

Restoring The Broken Girl

Restoring The Broken Girl

Restoring The Broken Girl

“This is a song for the broken girl. The one pushed aside by the cold, cold world. You are, hear me when I say. You’re not the worthless they made you feel. There is a Love they can never steal away. And you don’t have to stay the broken girl..”

All of us have a past. In your past, you may have been beaten, or sexually abused. Maybe you were verbally abused. Possibly, you could have abused yourself. Maybe you’re like my mom, who was told she was worthless, that she was nothing. Being beaten up with words every day of her life before she met my dad.  Maybe it is that the world has pushed you aside and not let you in. You are experiencing no friends or connections and you feel like you are all alone on a dessert island. No matter what has happened, that is your past. Christ loves you more than you will ever know!!! The cruel people of this world can NEVER take that Love away from you. He loved you enough to do the unthinkable.  He chose to give up His life, so that He could have a relationship with you. Your past is just that, it is your past!!! “You were made to fill a purpose that only you could do.” Don’t let your past stop you from the plans God has for you today and tomorrow, because no one else can fulfill those plans but you!!!

No, this is not your legacy. This is not your destiny. Yesterday does not define you. No, this is not your legacy. This is not your meant to be. I can break the chains that bind you.”

No matter what has been passed down to you, it is your past.  It doesn’t matter if you have had generations of huge screw ups, broken and messed up people in your Family Tree. Just because they lived that life, does NOT mean that you have to latch on to that and keep it going in your Tree. It’s not what YOU ARE meant to be. It’s not part of your future. God can break those chains that are attached to your ankles binding you to your past, but you have to let go of those chains. You are NOT meant to keep walking around tripping up and staggering around with those heavy chains. He will walk with you during this journey but He won’t do it all for you.  Not because He can’t, but because He knows to be truly free, you have to do this. Just let go!!! This is not meant for you!!! “And I will restore, all that was broken, you are loved…. And just like the seasons change, winter into spring, you’re bringing new life to your family tree now.” God has promised to heal your broken heart, and restore you. He will make you new. He will wipe away that broken part of your past.  And you will bring a new life to your family. You will have a NEW Family Tree full of life, growth and love!!!

“When You ran to me, I turned to run” I think often when we see God trying to run towards us, we are too frightened and we do turn and starting running from the only thing that can bring peace and ease to the pain in our hearts. STOP RUNNING AWAY FROM HIM!!!

“Let your tears touch to the ground. Lay your shattered pieces down. And be amazed by how Grace can take a broken girl, and put her back together again”

As soon as you let God in to your life, He will begin to give you a new heart:

2 Corinthians 5:17
“This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!”

As soon as you give up and lift your hands into the air and say ‘God, I’m done. Take me and make me new!!! Do in me what You wish!!! I am Your servant now.’, He will take over and He will begin the process of putting  you back together again. But not just the “old” you, but a BRAND NEW you!!!  Lay your old self down at the Cross and ask for forgiveness, then just watch what God does with your new life. How He restores you from your past and how He puts a broken person back together.  He will take your dark distorted view and with His light He will show you Truth. And again you’ll see through the eyes of a little girl” You look at this world, with hate and disgust for what it has done to you. You may even look at God with hate and disgust because you say He took your mum from you. Once you surrender yourself to Him, He will give you new eyes to look at this world with. You’ll see through those innocent eyes again. Those eyes you used when you were just a little girl. You’ll see He really didn’t take her from you, that He was there with her the whole time pursuing her too.

“There could never be a more beautiful you. Don’t buy the lies disguises and hoops they make you jump through! You were made to fill a purpose that only you could do. So there could never be a more beautiful you”. What God sees when He looks at you is nothing less than His beautiful creation.  He has formed you, and put you together in your mother’s womb.  You ARE one of a kind and thus splendid and beautiful!!!  Don’t let the lies of this world fool you into believing differently.  You have a destiny and purpose that only you can fulfill.  Broken, chained and hiding out will never allow you to do that. Restoration and healing are closer than you can possibly imagine!!!