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Revival

Well,
If you care to notice, my previous posts are from 2 years ago. I literally had to find my own blog by a couple searches on Google. Then create a new password by going through my yahoo email from the 7th grade.

But I’m back!

I’ve been asked several times if I had a blog, and where it could be found Flattering!
To which I replied I did not have one.
Lies!

Kay Baylor is my pen name. My real name is Brittany Taylor.
I resorted to secrecy for many reasons.
1: Because if I were to expose my true identity, I would have to expose my young and tender age. I was fearful that people would look down on me because I was young. (I’m 21 now)
2: I really wanted this blog to be a way for me to be accountable to myself and my desire to grow in Christ. It wasn’t just for entertainment purposes.

So now I’m here. I’m giving this another shot. Why not?

My name is Brittany Taylor,
Pleased to meet you.

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Sometimes I wonder why I write in here. I get notifications of views, but I dont know who reads it, or if they are blessed.
Tucked away in my room are 4 journals that serve different purposes in recording my thoughts, prayers and dreams. But every once in a while I write in here.
I have nothing to prove really. Im simply to lazy to go get my journal now- So the welling in my heart that stimulates the desire to set pen to page will have to settle for finger to keys. Lets see what comes out:

My dad used to tell me this parable as a child:

‘Once upon a  time there was town tucked away in the hills, with a guard who stood at its gates. One day a family came to the town and asked the guard,
“We are looking for a new place to live. What are the people like in this town?”
The guard replied, “Well, first you must tell me what the people are like in the town your from.”
“Oh, they are so kind! In fact it will be hard to leave so many friends behind!”
At this the gate-keeper said: “If you are to enter this town, I’m sure you will find that the people will be equally kind.”
Later that day, a second family came to the town and asked the guard what the people were like who lived in th town.
The guard replied, “Well, first you must tell me what the people are like in the town your from.”
“Oh, they are so cruel! We couldn’t stand living there any longer!”
At this the gate-keeper said: “If you are to enter this town, I’m sure you will find that the people will be equally cruel.”
And the second family walked away in dismay.’

I remember running that story over in my mind a thousand times as a kid, recounting all the little details. It didnt sit with me well that there wasnt a happy ending.
Of course we are to create our own happy ending in response to it. We are to love others as we want to be loved. 
unfortunately I have found that it doesnt work in all circumstances. I have had a change of environments. I went from a place that I had so many uplifting and encouraging friends, to a place that I feel so out of place, so alone.
Last night I spent time with my good friends and today I have entered back into the world of stone. Where I once felt the warmth  from the joy of friendship, my heart now shivers with the icy blast of its absence.

But there is good. Because I have found what it means to have my hope in Christ.
Not a hope derived from what’s to come.
Not a hope created to ease pain.
But a hope that is in the person of Jesus Christ and nothing else.

And I’m at a place in my life that things have been going wrong for so long, and there are even more struggles that are presenting themselves in the future.

And yet I have hope, yet I have joy, yet I have peace.
A peace that surpasses all understanding.

When your faith is tested, you are provided an opportunity to be faithful.
Why would I now go take my house and build it in the sand? God has sustained me thus far… Im sure I can make it until Christmas break. =)

The following is an excerpt from a letter that I wrote to a friend.
I wrote it a while back, but it still reflects the general theme of my life right now.

“…But for whatever reason, I am a full time student and a transfer, where I posses the light in a room full of dimly lit candles. And being at a ‘Christian’ school, I have the smallest platform I have ever had to share what I believe. And it feels so ridiculous to be playing make believe in bibleland when people are dying and going to hell. But the crux of it all is that God has called to be a musical theatre major at least for now (and yes I will blame Him for that.) and this has stripped me of all the dreams that I had set before me.
And I’ve been frustrated.
“Like, Really God? Musical theatre? Are you high on those clouds? How am I suppose to compare the glory of the unadulterated truth and the convicting word of the redemptive gospel summarized only in the profound simplicity of Christ and him crucified- TO- dancing on the stage in a skirt.?
I mean seriously- what the hell?
I have commited my life to, and set my joy on, telling others about you. This has been my life’s devotion, and it has literally been reduced to THEATRICS.”

And yet these are the thoughts to myself ABOUT God because I don’t have the audacity to tell Him what he already knows I’m thinking.

So I’ve had to ask myself: “How am I supposed to run the race as to receive the prize if all the things that I have prized are gone?”
Because I want to be in full time ministry, I want to see the work of my hands go into His kingdom.
And Jesus is like: “Hey? Why can’t you prize me? Why can’t I be your goal? Why do you constantly have to pursue me in the things that you do, the souls that I win, the goals that you have made to please me? Why can’t you just set your eyes on me?”
And then, while I’m wallowing in – “ugh! Jesus!- that’s just to much to ask.”
Jesus is all like: “And why do you keep saying ‘’What the hell?”
hahaha!

The honest truth is, I want to pursue Christ. Not pursue him with my life, but as my prize.
But I am afraid of myself. I am furosiously afraid and filled with trembling because of myself.
Because its easy to hide behind a role in ministry and devote yourself to a title rather than its purpose. And being in the ministry, I would dance to and from repentance of that.
But, to be in an occupation that focuses on the glory and the idolization of self. To be in an occupation where I will constantly have to check my heart and mind about the things to commit to. To be in an occupation where people will look at me and not immediately be drawn to seeing Christ in me. To be in an occupation where people will falsify the light I testify to because they don’t agree with the calling I have – terrifies me. Terrifies me to my marrow.

So that’s where I am right now. It’s a daily surrender to prize Christ. And little by little He reveals to me that being reduced to theatrics is not so bad, because when I am small He is big.
But he doesn’t reveal it all at once, that’s what makes a life a journey rather than an assembly line.”

What a strange relationship I have with my God.
He does not need me, He wants me.
And when I did not want him, I needed Him.

And there are times that I feel so unwanted.
I find my delight in Him.

I speak to the one I cannot hear,
The one who has heared before listening.
I pour out my soul into the silence
Pain falls from my heart in its leap of faith.
And there is stillness.

My mind shifts.
Is he really there? Have I bought the lie?

Pain is more comforting to the human soul than stillness.
Nothingness.
By my humanity- I chase after the darkness to pick up the hurt that I tried to dispose.
I can control pain. I can hold onto to it. My mind can ring its hands over the turmoil’s of life.
I can let it fester like ivy, taking deep root in my chest as it winds through my flesh, and mind. Let it slither through each thought as the common thread; convincing me to take the bite and indulge on good and evil. The stimulating sensation of the musing over problems is easily confused with what constricts  and suffocates.
There is so much evil. My life testifies it.
My very soul chases after it. My feet lead to death.

And that’s when He catches me.

Why couldn’t I wait through the stillness?
Why couldn’t I let my pain be wrapped up and tucked away in the blood- washed away in the cleansing flow?

Why can’t I be still and know that He is God?
Why couldn’t I listen to the still quiet voice? Why do I chase after wind and fire?

He doesn’t need me, but somehow He wants me.
Somehow I don’t want Him, but I need Him.

I  need Love.

Remind me again, oh God, that you Love me.

Be my Sheppard, so that I have no desire to want more than You.
And lead me to quiet places- that reflect a quiet soul.

Like a Sheppard who breaks the legs of his sheep so that they remain in the flock. Break me so that I can remain in you.

Induce stillness.

Proverbs 27:17 – As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another.

People read the bible for 2 reasons: Information or Formation.

Reading the bible for formative reasons, results in a life that is guided and molded by the inspired word of God.
While reading it for informative reasons, results in a knowledge that puffs up rather than a love that builds up (1 Cor. 8:1).  And rather than becoming a person who grows in spirit and in truth, when you consume the word of God as common information, you recreate into a tool that is used to argue or justify selfish purposes.

There’s a right and a wrong way to do the same thing.
I’ve had many philosophical/theological conversations where the motive was to encourage the other person and thought and perspective: formation. Unfortunately, all too many times my motive instead was to argue or to put the stagnant knowledge I had accumulated on display. And that’s wrong.
But as we allow God to use the bible to form and mold us into his likeness, when we speak of His word, it will flow from us out of love.  

I’ve seen the bible be used to justify the most ridiculous things. Most recently I read an article that argued that common prostitution is not a biblical conflict and therefore okay.

My prayer is that when I read the bible, I allow the spirit to teach me the things of God, rather than studying it like a chore.

1 Corinthians 2:9-11 
However, as it is written: 
   “No eye has seen,
      no ear has heard,
   no mind has conceived
   what God has prepared for those who love him” -but God has revealed it to us by his Spirit.
      The Spirit searches all things, even the deep things of God. For who among men knows the thoughts of a man except the man’s spirit within him? In the same way no one knows the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God.

“[A preacher’s message] is not to rely on theatrics. It is not to rely on technique. It is to rely on God the Holy Spirit Himself to sovereignly work within the hearts of those who sit under his message. [A preachers] duty is to bring the word of the cross to the listeners, and by the power of God and the holy spirit, to come upon his listeners and to bring upon the result…[But] Exposition has given way to entertainment. Theology has been replaced theatrics. Doctrine has been yielded to drama. Profundity has been overcome by popularity. And men are more intent on filling the building than filling pulpit.” -Steve Lawson

Amen, Brother Lawson! Did you catch that? Read it again…

Many churches today have adopted a consumer mentality. No longer is the main intent to make clear the Good news of the cross. Instead, Churches are attempting to fill their pews, and appeal to the ears of their listeners by watering down the message of Jesus Christ in order to make the “sermon” more relevant to the culture rather than the hearts of man. No longer does the sound of ruffling pages fill the sanctuary of a bible believing church, ready to explore the goodness of God’s word. Instead, members of the congregation file into their seats waiting for the show to begin. At the end of the service file out, murmuring to another that the worship was a little off, or where they want to eat lunch, carrying a false sense of satisfaction that they received their spiritual brownie points by attending what we now call the church.

 Am I going too far by saying this? Let’s take a look at what’s going on in the world… shall we?

Pastor Rob Seagers has been basing his sermons on movie blockbusters and dressing up as their characters. This summer he has performed his message by dressing up as The Hulk, Batman, The Joker, Indiana Jones, and others. To make his sermons more relevant “he sees the movie, then prays about how to extract a biblical message.” For example, Mama Mia, about a bride to be searching for her father, resulted in the sermon “Who’s Your Daddy?” –finding one’s spiritual father. (Information found at Washingtonpost.com)

The Oaks fellowship Church recently had a series entitled: “Theolggins for your Noggins.”
 Their website states: “Lessons are most often learned when our imagination is engaged. Probably no one understood this better or had a more profound effect on generations of children than Dr. Seuss. Many of the more than 40 books he wrote have incredibly deep spiritual parallels. In this series we will rediscover four classic Dr. Seuss stories and learn the practical Biblical truths found in them.” ( http://www.theoaksfellowship.org )

 A Bible study series has been created from the popular sitcom “The Office.” The lessons pertain to how to make the most of your career, addressing issues such as dealing with incompetent bosses or co-workers.

It breaks my heart! What about the bible? The word of God, breathed by God, written to convict and delight the hearts of man! If we teach from the world, how will we ever truly find God?
Its possible for a person to live their life in church, and eternity in hell.

The simple phrase:

“Lord, Reign in me” 

                                                                                                         

  …has startling implications.

Exodus 15:18
The LORD will reign for ever and ever.”

 

What is  the cry of my heart?