Tuesday, February 28, 2012

A Love So Loud- Love Part 3.

      To the person reading this- You are beautiful. You are Handsome. You are unique. You are important. You are worth something. You are smart. You are special. You are you, and there is only one you in the whole entire world.
      Last year in public speaking, our first speech was to tell the class a little bit about ourselves. The most important part of every speech is the attention grabber, and the big bang at the end of it. As I was pondering on what mine would be, I came to the realization that Keller is an extremely unique name. After doing very little research, I came to find that there are fewer than 1,566 people with the first name Keller, which is an extremely small number since there are 313,143,601+ people in the United States. So I let the class know about this statistic in the very beginning of my speech..and then I went on to tell them about myself. As my speech came to a conclusion I repeated what I had said in the beginning and added my "big bang"; there are 1,566 people with the first name Keller in the United states, but there is only one me.
      I want you to stop what you're doing right now, yes..that does mean walk away from the computer or put down your phone, and go look into the mirror and think about what you see. Did you do it? Are you satisfied with the face looking back at you? Or are you covered with shame because of the person you've been, or the person you are? Before you beat yourself up about it, I need you to realize something. It's the most important part of this whole post, ya ready? There are 7 BILLION people in this world, and there will never be another you. There will never be another Keller Hayden Menke as long as the earth exists. That may seem like a simple and obvious sentence but don't miss this point. Like I said in the first post, we are all created for a purpose and we're here to fulfill those purposes. But tell me how you're going to be the person you were meant to be, if you can't fully cope with the person you are?
      One of my favorite quotes is "it's never too late to be who you might have been." and it's completely true. The personality I had in high school and the personality I have now, are polar opposites. I'm so much better of a person now than I have ever been, i smile more, i laugh more, i enjoy more..and it's because I know now that who I was, wasn't who I was meant to be. I've learned that when you aren't content with who you are, you tend to talk about other people. What they're wearing, what they're doing, who they're with and who they aren't with..why do we do that? I was guilty of the same thing; and it's because we're busy trying to find ourselves..finding things to make us feel better about the life we live- cause right now, this life isn't all we dreamt it to be. Like i said, it's never too late.
      We live in a world where if you don't fit in, you're an outcast. We hear things like, "get with it or get lost." My advice? RUN- Run far away from the people who try to shape you into what the world wants you to be. Run far away from the people who say being normal is cool- and just be yourself. I've realized that i'm not the popular kid that I tried to be in high school. I don't go to parties and I don't drink..it wasn't me then, it isn't me now..and I think it's pretty awesome i've never tasted alcohol. I've realized that I think it's cool that I stay in on a friday night and enjoy the Bible. I think it's cool that I'm saving myself for marriage, and I'm not ashamed to tell anyone. You may think i'm lame..and you know, I'd have to agree..but I know I won't always fit in with everyone, I've made my own way and I'm trying to please God along that way..you can too
     To those of you who think it's too late to turn everything around, it's not. I need you to cling to the fact that you are made beautiful through your imperfections..that God loves you for every single one of them. That we can make mistakes because we live for a God who gave His Son, and through His Grace, our sins are clean. We are reminded of this by what Paul writes in 1 Timothy 1:15-17, it says, "Here is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners-- of whom I am the worst. But for that very reason I was shown mercy so that in me, the worst of sinners, Christ Jesus might display his immense patience as an example for those who would believe in Him and receive enteral Life. Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, The only God, be honor and glory for ever and ever. Amen."

So, for those who think you aren't worth anything-- Jesus thought you were to die for. 


Sunday, February 26, 2012

A Love So Loud- Love Part 2.

      I don't feel like i'm alone when I say that i've been hurt before, in fact..i'm sure everyone reading this has been pushed to the point of agonizing heart break, broken past the point of repair. The one thing that keeps us going is the hope for something better to find us..the hope that it will find us soon, and the hope that it will fill the void that was left.
      A few months ago in church, our preacher was talking about a young lady who was taken from the world "before it was her time." He went on to say that it actually wasn't before her time because it was already planned out by God, we just didn't know. We never know when we will take our last breath, that's what makes love so important. That night I was laying in bed and I started to think about everything that was said that morning..and i started writing:
  "Tonight I realized that as Christians, we should never sit around and wonder why things happen the way they do. Especially when it comes to people. Some people come into our lives, and in the blink of an eye, they're gone..in that split second they left an impact that lasted a lifetime. And some people come into our lives, stay for a while, and then they leave..and when they leave they take our hearts, or tear our world apart. And others come, and stay forever, and you can't stop wondering how you got so lucky. But in the end, people are placed strategically in our world whether we wanna think like that or not. Whether it's to heal a broken heart, break your heart..see you smile, make you smile..for a brief moment, or the brief time we have on the planet..they're there for the time they need to be, they're there for the reason that they are supposed to be, and then they're done
Cause that's how God made it, that's how God wants it, and that's how God is."
     We spend so much of our time dwelling on things that are over with, things that are changed- like i've said before, that's because we're human. We have THE hardest time trusting that when God takes something away from us, it's usually to give us something better. I've always been one to put up a guard so high no one can see over the top of it. I've always been reluctant to commit and quick to find a way out when i did. But lately i've come to the realization that all of this- every heart break, every time we thought we weren't going to be okay, every single ending- they're a part of this crazy life that we are all blessed with..and it's been put right in front of some of us these last few days that this life is taken just as fast as it is given. We are supposed to take chances when our backs are against the wall. We are supposed to "take the first step, even when we don't see the whole staircase."We are supposed to love like crazy, with our whole hearts. It's the purest, rawest and realest emotion we can feel. We're reminded of the greatness of love in 1 Corinthians 13:4-8:

"Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.."

Challenge: If you love someone, don't be scared to tell them. You never know when they'll take their last breath.

Friday, February 24, 2012

A Love So Loud- Love.

      The word love, when used as a noun, means a feeling of deep affection. When used as a verb, it is to feel a deep romantic attraction to someone. The crazy thing about the word love, is that it means so many different things to so many different people. We love our pets, our cars (not so much me on this one *hinting to you mama* ;) ), our houses, we love the way we look, we love our family, we love our boyfriend/girlfriend, we love our life. but one thing about the word love, especially now, is how easily it is tossed around..it's starting to lose its meaning
      We're starting to define love by the material things, like i said above- we love our cars, our houses, we love name brand clothes, we love our apple iPhones and trust me, i LOVE my iPhone..but the real question is, why? Cause we're human, that's why. But what if we took a lot of our focus off of ourselves and our needs, and put them on God? Our relationship with Him would be unwavering. It would definitely be the most infinite thing in our finite life. The things that we have right now, won't be there forever. Cars will break down, phones will crash, we'll outgrow our houses..but the love of God never changes..the love of God will always be there.
      Do we love other people like we love ourselves? The answer for most of us, including me, will probably be no, not as much as we should. Why? Because people let us down and we hate the feeling of being disappointed. People have the ability to break us, and mold us into what they want us to become. People have the ability to lie, cheat, steal, murder and harass, and why would we love those qualities? Why would we love the people who love to hurt us? The answer is simple to say but hard to taste. As Christians, and even as non-Christians, we were all created in the image of Christ, and because of that, we are expected to love one another. Because God loves our horrible qualities, too. God accepts the moments when my anger over takes me, God accepts the fact that i'm hard headed. And most importantly, God accepts the fact I am not and will never be perfect.
      I received a text a while ago from one of my old coaches about the love of God..he reminded me that God's love for me wouldn't be stronger if my faith was, and it wouldn't be deeper if my thoughts were because God loves me, for me. His love for us isn't like the love of people, it doesn't increase with performance and decrease with mistakes. It is constant, it is pure, it is eternal. God reminds us of this in Romans 8:37-39, it says;

"No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us
For I am convinced that neither death nor life, 
neither angels nor demons,
neither the present nor the future,
nor any powers
neither height nor depth, 
nor anything else in all creation,
will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord."

It's a love far greater than the love you see in the movies, it's a forever kinda love..don't miss it.

Challenge: Think about what your life would be like if God didn't forgive you when you fell short..it should make accepting apologies a lot easier.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

A Love So Loud- Uncertainty.

      As a college student, it has become quite apparent to me that i am an expert procrastinator. For example, I have a 5 page paper due on thursday, and i haven't started yet. We don't think much about doing things until it's around that time to do them, it's the way most of us are wired..but we can't and shouldn't apply this to our own lives. Because even though most of us hate to admit it, we can't hide from the inevitable.. The Future, Our Death, and Our Judgement.
      We hear common expressions like "YOLO" meaning you only live once, we hear things like "don't let life pass you by" or "live like tomorrow isn't promised" but how literal do we take that? Are they just excuses we use to act completely reckless and justify the ends of our mistakes? I was reading James a few nights ago and I came across James 4:14, it says "Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes."
     Our lives are like a mist, it's there and then it's gone. We're a bunch of fleeting images trying to leave a legacy. We will leave a mark on the people that we're close to, on our family, but will we leave our mark on the world? Unless you're a super star, the answer is probably a no. So why do we live within the world? Why do we care more about our image than our eternity? Why don't we live for a creator who wants us long after we die, a creator who wants us forever?
      We spend a whole lot of our time wasted. Wasted on people who won't be there when it's all said and done, wasted on memories that you won't remember when you wake up in the morning, wasted on waiting..waiting around for something better than what's right in front of you..why? Why don't we seize every opportunity that comes knocking at our doors? Why don't we trust that God has a plan and He wouldn't lead us down any road that is too rocky for us to handle? Because we despise not having control over our own life, we hate the uncertainty that this big world brings.
     We do not have much time here, and to be completely blunt, we're getting a little bit closer to death each second we live. So what are you living for? Are you who you want to be? If you're unsure of those questions, know that it's not too late to be who you might have been. It's not too late to turn everything around in your life. And it's not too late to live for a God who is bigger than every uncertainty. 

Challenge: Make yourself uncomfortable..do something you wouldn't typically do and see what the outcome is.

Friday, February 17, 2012

A Love So Loud- Purpose.

      I got the idea to start this blog from a relatively new friend of mine (I'll post the link of his blog, too.) over a text message a few days ago and it has been burning on my mind and in my heart ever since he suggested it.
      Those of you who know me, know that there is nothing I love more than sitting around and talking about the love of God. My favorite day is Sunday, my favorite night is Wednesday night..and every other day i'm reading one of the books stacked tall by my bed to figure out what God wants me to share with someone on those days. Those of you who don't know me, you will come to soon find out why I am such a Jesus freak. 
      But that's where the title of this blog comes from, I want the love of Jesus Christ to be "A Love So Loud", the whole world hears it. 
      I don't really know where God will lead me with this, I don't even know if anyone will read it..but I do know that we are all here for a specific purpose, and God calls us to fulfill those purposes.
      I didn't know what mine was..i've always been searching for what "felt" right to me. I've switched my major from Education to Undecided, to Criminal Justice and as of late, I'm feeling pretty Undecided. The problem with me has always been I wanted to know my purpose, for my own good. So that I would have the answers to all of life questions. So I could stop hearing the dreaded sentence "Well, you're getting pretty old, shouldn't you be figuring out what you want to do?"So I could just know, and finally be content. I was tired of the sleepless nights- asking God what I was supposed to be and that if He would just tell me, I could get started and be great at it. I was, I am, and I always will struggle with that selfishness..that makes me human
      Last basketball season, the first season of my college basketball career- I developed an injury known by the medical term Osteitis Pubis. It hurt me to run, sit, cough, sneeze, lift my legs..it hurt me to live. It also took basketball away from me for a year. After a year of rest, I decided it was time to give basketball another shot. I missed being a part of a team, being a part of something that was more than just me. Soon after I came to this realization, God blessed me, and my Coach took me back after I had told her I was feeling better..I soon came to find out, I was wrong. I was devastated, I was angry and once again, I was being selfish. I was in a constant battle with my mind, asking why I would come back and put myself through this when I'm letting everyone around me down..when i'm letting myself down. Why I can't just feel better so I can use the gift God gave me to it's full potential. Needless to say, it didn't take long for God to give me the reality check that I needed so desperately. Because of a text my dad sent me one sunday morning, I found myself roaming and reading through Romans, when I re-stumbled upon Romans 8:28, "And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose." 
      We are all looking for something..whether it's love, the right job, our keys, our purpose..we are all searching for the answer. We fall short because we search within the world. We should search with God.. THE Answer. THE Creator of THE Universe. He knows us, He loves us..so Give it to Him, and maybe your answer will become as clear as mine has. :)

Challenge of the week: Trust God with your decisions this week, make it a daily habit to ask Him for the best answers..He did create the universe, ya know? :)