Sunday, July 15, 2012

NR is my 2nd longest relationship

So I just looked at the date - even though it's changing in 4 minutes - and realized it's been over 2 years since I started this blog. It's crazy what a little push from God can do, along with a lot of encouragement from everyone else. I just wanted to say thank you, from the bottom of my sometimes black heart and the very tips of these busily typing fingers.
I've changed a lot in the past two years, and it's pretty evident by what I've posted. From my first post about Lady Gaga to my most recent about becoming a new creation, it's been a crazy ride and I'm pretty sure NR has become one of the most random Christian blogs ever.
So, basically, because I hate being sappy and I hate long thank you posts because someone is just asking to butt in and be like "Kimber imma let you finish but ______ had the best Christian nonsense crap blog of all time. OF ALL TIME," thank you. Thank you for the almost 3000 pageviews - from all around the world like Latvia (which I have no idea where or what a Latvia is, but thanks dude) to right in my own backyard. Thanks for sticking with me!

no, it has no meaning other than this is an exciting picture of a philadelphia security guard and myself

You've changed.

A guy from the church I go to every Saturday night recently left to head for Australia to study at Hillsong. How great of an opportunity is that? I've only known Nick for a short time, but I can already see how God is working in his life. I can't wait to see the tweets and hear the stories that he has from all of the amazing experiences God is placing in his life! Nick is going to do something incredible for the kingdom of God, and I can't wait to watch and see.
When I started going to PECC almost eight months ago, I noticed a common phrase among everyone there: "you've changed." Whether or not the phrase actually fit into the conversation wasn't important; the fact that it is said with great timing is. It originated with Nick, along with several other phrases that sometimes made sense, sometimes not so much. Out of all the phrases, though, the one that stood out most to me was that first one I noticed: "you've changed."
It's a funny thing - people change all the time. Whether we realize it or not, it happens. Some changes can be for the worse - hanging out with the wrong crowd, staying with that guy or girl who is clearly not the right one for you, that kind of stuff. We've all experienced it, and we've all had it happen. Those changes are hard to take when they happen to other people, especially ones that we love. They can almost be impossible to deal with if you're the one changing. 
Other changes are for the better - a new job, a new relationship built on Godly foundations, even something as simple as a new hairstyle. These changes are good.
There is, however, one change that can never be for the worse:
"From now on, therefore, we regard no one according to the flesh. Even though we once regarded Christ according to the flesh, we regard Him thus no longer. Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away, behold, the new has come."- 2 Corinthians 5:16-17
The best change a person can make - throwing away the old, putting on the new and becoming a new person in Christ Jesus.
Talk about a change.
There's a great song by Leeland - one of my absolute favorite bands, ever (go listen to them. Right now.) - that talks about becoming a new creation. (Here's your chance, go listen. Now.)

Like most changes, though, it's something to get used to. It's not like everything will be all nice and happy and filled with unicorns and rainbows and fluffy bunnies and ice cream after you make the change. There is no switch you can flip that completely makes your life absolutely perfect after you become a new person in Christ. Rather, it's almost the opposite. This is the ultimate change, and some people - especially the enemy - will hate the fact that it happens. It's going to be hard. It's going to be a bit scary sometimes. But I promise, it will be worth it. 
When a friend comes up to you and says there's something different about you lately. 
When a stranger approaches you and says how you aren't like other people they've seen or met. 
When God greets you in Heaven and says, "well done, my good and faithful servant."
I've changed.
Will you make the right change for yourself?
Are you in?



When it comes to food, I am a 15 year old boy. That's all I really can say. If you were to look at my mobile uploads on Facebook, a good percentage of them are pictures of food.
Hand dipped ice cream during my Philadelphia student teaching trip.
Olive Garden from a Subway girls' night out.
Chicken wings from wing night at the Pitt Crew's last night after church.
Beautiful, beautiful pub food
And, the ice cream cake we got for my dad for Father's Day. Yes, his name is Cool Breeze, and yes, he is probably cooler than your dad.

End food montage. 
Lucky for me, I have some pretty incredible people that don't mind when I come over and eat all of their food. In fact, almost every Sunday evening I stop over at my second family's house and eat all of their food. It's to the point where I come in sometimes and they already have a plate warmed up on the table for me. Pathetic? Possibly. Awesome? Absolutely. (Especially since they're Italian. YES.)
In church this week, we had communion. My pastor focused on a few verses from Revelation, along with the passage in 1 Corinthians chapter 11 where it talks about the Lord's supper. Let's pick up in Revelation 3:20
"Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me."
In this verse, it says how Jesus is standing at a door and knocking - quite literally, the door to your heart, and your life - and waiting for a response. Do we answer? Do we ignore him? If we open the door and let Him in, it says He will come in and eat with us. 
The meaning of the word "supper" - as in the Lord's supper - in Greek is to "linger longer with you." When God is saying He wants to eat with us and partake in a supper with Him, He is not only saying that He wants to come into our lives and eventually have a beat-all feast in Heaven. He's also saying that He wants to linger and spend time...with us. It's pretty hard to wrap your mind around that.
It's one thing entirely for me to go over to Pete and Ang's house and sit down at their table and have supper, in both senses of the word. Eating leftover lasagna or chicken cordon bleu is a beautiful thing, but the visit doesn't stop there. I stay for a few hours each time, setting aside the food - or not - and spend time with my second family. We look at junk on Pinterest, talk about skits we can create for the drama team at church, call each other meatheads and have a great time. (And for the record, Peter, I just added 'meatheads' to my dictionary on my computer.) It's always a great night, and I always leave excited for the next time when I can come back.
It's like that with God. 
Once day, whenever we can stand before God in Heaven, He will invite us to sit at His table and eat with Him. We'll spend time with Him, and it won't be nearly long enough. It's okay though - we'll have all of eternity. At the table will be every single child of God - from people listed in the Bible, to the person who sits next to you in church every Sunday. It doesn't matter if food will be shared. Time with God is enough, and He is so willing to give it. 
When I drive up to Pete and Ang's house, they never hesitate to let me inside. Mostly I just walk myself through the front door, but regardless - they always welcome me with open arms. 
Are we willing to do that to Jesus?
His invitation to His "dinner party" is a bit different than the normal one. Yes, He wants an RSVP - but He also wants you to realize that this isn't just a "one time thing." He doesn't want to leave. He wants to stay with you throughout your life, guiding you and shaping you into something incredible that only He has planned. He wants to see you next to Him, passing the salt scraped off of Lot's wife in Sodom (okay, maybe that's a bit morbid but you get what I mean) at the supper table. He wants to spend time with you, to linger longer with you.
Will you accept His invitation?
Are you in?



I know your works: you are neither cold nor hot. Would that you were either cold or hot! So, because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth. 
Revelation 3:15-16.

The mere word makes me cringe, thinking of the meaning:
1. moderately warm: TEPID.
Tepid. Half and half. Not a specific side, not one or the other. Halfway.
I can be half and half sometimes. No specific side.
Yes, I love Jesus. I have a relationship with my Savior.
Yes, I like that guy. I have a relationship with my sins, my past.
No, I want nothing more than to give my all to my Lord. Full faith.
No, I want nothing more than to stay back, give in a little. 

There are other meanings that I avoid, because of my choices:
2. lacking conviction: HALFHEARTED. 
Tepid: lacking in passion, heart, or zest.
Where is my heart?
I love Jesus. I am sold out to my Savior.
I love other things. I am sold out to worldly issues - dating, friends, relationships, choices I shouldn't be making.

My works are neither cold nor hot.
There is no sitting on the fence, no in between.
God doesn't want halfhearted people. No children lacking in zest, lacking in passion. 
I want the passion that can only come from a love so great, so powerful, that no other can possibly pretend to imitate it. 
I am afraid. I want to be a fly on the wall, not using my true potential. My true talents. A face in the crowd.
But yes, I say, I love Jesus. I'm all in with my faith.
Then why am I hiding? Why am I afraid to go full out? 
Lacking in passion. Halfhearted.