Friday, August 15, 2008

Child-like Faith

I was talking with someone tonight about hopes and dreams. She brought up a great point from a book that she was reading. When we are children, we are full of hopes and dreams. As we get older, sometimes those dreams fade and we forget them. The book says that it's important that we hold on to those dreams because God wants us to approach our faith, and the world, as children. Check out Mark 10:14-16.

My mom reminded me of something really cool a little bit ago. She reminded me that when I was a little girl, I would run up to ANYONE and hug them! I was so trusting and open. I was willing to be friends with anyone and everyone. As time went by, and the struggles of middle and high school began, I can remember certain years of my life when I wouldn't let anyone hug me.

Then, in my freshman year of college, I developed a relationship with God. I began to open up and now here I am four years later a totally transformed person....or so I thought. My mom blessed me with this little reminder of Mandy as a child because I can look at myself now and see someone of those qualities returning!

Having a relationship with God is no easy thing. Once you become His He will never ever let you settle for anything less than become more like Jesus everyday. But with that hard work and growth comes great blessings. I truly consider it a blessing to be reminded that I am more like my 5 year old self than ever! I can only hope that in my continued relationship with Him, I will become more open and daring just like a child.

I challenge you to think about what you were like as a child? Have you changed? What has caused that change? If you've gone through bad experiences, I can understand why you may not dream like you used to....

God can help restore the child in you. :)

Friday, August 8, 2008

Hard Questions

So today I had the privilege of hanging out with some of my favorite people. What made the day interesting is a debate, discussion, or whatever you want to call it...about spiritual things. I admit...being a Christian is hard, especially when you start questioning things that your supposed to believe in. These friends of mine brought a fresh breath of air and some interesting thoughts. I think that asking hard questions has always made me scared, and I noticed myself sort of just listening to the whole thing as opposed to participating.

Here are some of the questions raised...

1. If God is all powerful and a good God, why does he allow bad things to happen?

2. If God knows what we are going to do before we do it, how can we say that we have free will?

3. What about people that don't believe in God because a) they have never heard of him or b) they choose not to they go to hell?

You might be thinking, wow, this girl is a Christian and she can't answer these hard questions?! These are the things her faith is based on.

I realized that I need to really wrestle with these questions instead of being afraid of them.