Awed and Amazed

Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, "Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?" And I said, "Here am I. Send me!!"

Keep Pushing October 18, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — mafuller @ 10:46 PM

Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful. Colossians 4:2

 

I write tonight with hope in my heart. In the past few weeks I have talked to friends who are burden and dealing with some tough things in their life. I write tonight to tell them (and myself) that we are not alone. Today in worship the pastor the church I have attended twice and I think will be my church here in Atlantic preached on the war we are fighting. Once again God has connected lessons in the last few weeks for me into the bigger picture he is achieving. This is what I was reminded of. Something I at times forget:

 

For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Ephesians 6:12

 

I think we need to be reminded of this message. We are not here on Earth forever; our home is with God in Heaven. While this may not be our home, we have to be prepared to fight until we get there. We have forces that are trying to tell us that we are not worthy, that we are sinners, that we don’t deserve what God promises to his people. However, we have an amazing arsenal at our disposure. The problem is that we forget time to time that we have it and all we have to do is take it with us. Like Pastor Dale said this morning, we know we have God’s armor; we just have to remember to put it on. J

 

“Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints.”  Ephesians 6:13-18

 

Pastor Dale’s last thought for the morning focused on prayer. Prayer is our way to speak and listen to God. It is our biggest tool we have to fight the evil one during our time here on Earth. Prayer and fasting is what my friends at LCF and Open Bible have been called by God to do these past few months. Prayer is the strongest tool we have against the evil one. So to those I know who have been fighting the evil one, those who have been brought down by his persistent reminders of pain, those who have fallen so deep into his charms, GOD is there, ready and willing to fight with you and give the equipment for you to fight the battle. God is awaiting the prayers of his people.

 

To my friends at LCF, the evil one is angry with the amazing work you have begun. Keep it up!! I can see him fighting against the prayers you have set forth. Don’t lose heart, God will prevail, you are making it happen. To my friends at Open Bible, keep moving and pushing to bring forth change God is demanding of his people. Keep up your discipleship; keep fighting this never ending war. To the other prayer warriors in my life, keep making a difference you put forth everyday. I know that these prayers are making a difference, the evil one is pushing so hard against it. So be strong, use God’s armor and keep making a difference in the world that surrounds you.

 

“Is any one of you in trouble? He should pray. Is anyone happy? Let him sing songs of praise. Is any one of you sick? He should call the elders of the church to pray over him and anoint him with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise him up. If he has sinned, he will be forgiven. Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective.” James 5:13-16

 

Words Can’t Describe September 29, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — mafuller @ 1:03 PM

Well it has been eons since I have updated here. I can think of many excuses (work, moving, too tired, getting settled, gone every weekend…) but to be honest with myself it is much more than that. Those of you who know me quite well know that I am a very sunshiny kinda person. I am always told that I always have a smile on my face, despite some of the crappiest of circumstances. I agree with that 95% of the time, I always find joy in some nook or crack in the world around me. Lately my heart has just felt burdened and not so cheerful.

It has been hard to find the words to explain my discontent and despair I have felt the last month plus. I haven’t been sleeping well, I haven’t talked to friends like I normally do, I have been kinda of walling myself off from the world when I can. (not easy at work when they are trying to teach the ropes) I don’t like to share some of the darker places, I like to keep them to myself for the most part, I find them hard to share. There few of you whom may have caught a glimpse or I have shared a story I don’t tell everyone. I tend to say those moments for those who need to hear that God can overcome and bring you out of the rubble, he has pulled me through many a times before and has yet to fail me while I fail him everyday…

Ironically enough I needed a nice little push from two different directions to make me face and process my darkness. The first came from Pastor Jason. I was visiting the crew in Lincoln and Pastor Jason has called their church to a time of prayer. Thanks for the 2×4 to the forehead God, I have been very poor in praying and talking to God lately. During that time at church I just let myself feel and pray over everything that was on my heart, the words that came to mind that were sorrow, pain, and need. Then the following weekend I was driving home after a impromptu visit to see my grandparents (stressful and hard to be there and be the medical advisor) and Deborah and the girls (lightened my load to have 2 little girls play and love on me) a good friend called me to check in. She called and said, “I am calling to listen instead of talk. Our relationship has been you listening to me and it is my turn to listen to you.” I will admit I was surprised by that and being me had a hard time talking, she will attest to that. 🙂 It was a good conversation, but she ended our call with letting me know that I needed to talk to the big guy. Yeah its true, I did.

The rest of the ride home was me letting out the bottled mess I have been running around with. Tears, words, and silence. It all boils down to I am not ready for the inevitable passing of my grandfather. I am beyond torn up, even now tears are at the edge. I am not ready to say goodbye, but it he is failing. Everytime I am with my grandparents, a small part of him is gone. This last weekend when they came to Atlantic to see my new home it is the best I have seen him look in months, but it is still hard. I know that in the end he is moving to a much better place and I will see him again, but in the present it is just so hard for me. He is my role model, he is who got me excited and into medicine. I can’t thank him enough for everything he has done for me.  God is preparing me, I know he is but it doesn’t get easier. Which he also knows because he has given me an awesome family and an awesome support system of friends to lean on. So thank you to those who have been there for me, I truly appreciate it and thank God for all of you.

So I leave you with one more thought. These are the lyrics to my favorite hymn of all time written by Horatio G. Spafford. It gives me comfort and peace everytime I hear the melody and words.

When peace, like a river, attendeth my way,
When sorrows like sea billows roll;
Whatever my lot, Thou has taught me to say,
It is well, it is well, with my soul.

Refrain:
It is well, with my soul,
It is well, it is well, with my soul.

Though Satan should buffet, though trials should come,
Let this blest assurance control,
That Christ has regarded my helpless estate,
And hath shed His own blood for my soul.

My sin, oh, the bliss of this glorious thought!
My sin, not in part but the whole,
Is nailed to the cross, and I bear it no more,
Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, O my soul!

For me, be it Christ, be it Christ hence to live:
If Jordan above me shall roll,
No pang shall be mine, for in death as in life
Thou wilt whisper Thy peace to my soul.

But, Lord, ’tis for Thee, for Thy coming we wait,
The sky, not the grave, is our goal;
Oh, trump of the angel! Oh, voice of the Lord!
Blessed hope, blessed rest of my soul!

And Lord, haste the day when my faith shall be sight,
The clouds be rolled back as a scroll;
The trump shall resound, and the Lord shall descend,
Even so, it is well with my soul.

 

Christ my Solid Rock August 19, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — mafuller @ 12:56 AM

It’s been awhile since I have been on there. I have a couple posts to put up, but with all that is going on it may be awhile. Life has been somewhat trying especially now with my gpa. I write this now to share with you the song that was placed in my heart and mind this evening. It is so very true and a message that God is right there with us through the newest developments. Also, while I don’t place my stock in facebook quizzes, the “which bible verse is your life” that I took tonight also seems to apply to me at this moment. So here I share with you God’s little messages to me this evening.

“My Hope is Built on Nothing Less”
by Edward Mote, 1797-1874
1. My hope is built on nothing less
Than Jesus’ blood and righteousness;
I dare not trust the sweetest frame,
But wholly lean on Jesus’ name.
On Christ, the solid Rock, I stand;
All other ground is sinking sand.

2. When darkness veils His lovely face,
I rest on His unchanging grace;
In every high and stormy gale
My anchor holds within the veil.
On Christ, the solid Rock, I stand;
All other ground is sinking sand.

3. His oath, His covenant, and blood
Support me in the whelming flood;
When every earthly prop gives way,
He then is all my Hope and Stay.
On Christ, the solid Rock, I stand;
All other ground is sinking sand.

4. When He shall come with trumpet sound,
Oh, may I then in Him be found,
Clothed in His righteousness alone,
Faultless to stand before the throne!
On Christ, the solid Rock, I stand;
All other ground is sinking sand.

Hymn #370
The Lutheran Hymnal
Text: 1 Timothy 1:1
Author: Edward Mote, c. 1834, cento
Composer: John Stainer, 1873, arr.
Tune: “Magdalen”

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him and he will direct your paths.” Proverbs 3:5-6

 

The Tilt-a-Whirl August 1, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — mafuller @ 9:41 PM

A  favorite ride of my childhood, the tilt-a-whirl was the ride my sister Phoebe and I had to go on whenever we were at a carnival or Adventureland. I remember at McCallsburg centennial her and I went on the tilt-a-whirl ten times in a row before dad called it quits for us. This past summer I had the opportunity to go to Adventureland for the first time in over 5 years with a group of friends. It was exciting to go on the rides I used to love as a child. My favorites were the Tornado (roller coaster), the Tilt-a-Whirl, the Galleon, all the water rides, and the big ferris wheel. Well on this trip I thought, what the hey, I loved these rides as a kid lets go on them. Well…. I thought I would never make this statement… Roller coasters and the tilt-a-whirl are no longer my friends… I felt so sick to my stomach after riding on the Tornado and the tilt-a-whirl I had to sit out on a few rides with Jake, Deb’s husband who also had the same reaction.

Putting that aside, I really thought about why I loved these rides. It is the thrill, the anticipation of the drops and unexpected turns, the adrenaline rush, the ability not to feel like you are going to toss your cookies. 🙂  The tilt-a-whirl, a love of my growing years is a fairly simple ride. It is a half egg seat in which a bar lays across your lap to keep you in the ride (not the safest if you think about it). The ride begins and the half egg seats you are sitting begin to go around in a circle up and down small hills. The best part of the ride is that each individual egg seat spins around on an axis while going around the big circle. Depending on your thrill factor you can make them spin fast or slow, we liked making it spin as fast as could. We would throw all of our weight to one side to begin the quick fast spin. A simple ride, but provided a ton of fun because it makes you dizzy.

Lately I feel like I have been stuck on these carnival rides. Some days it feels like I am permanently stuck on a roller coaster riding to the top of the big hill and plummeting down the big drop. Other days I am stuck on the tilt-a-whirl spinning around and around, faster and faster. My brain is just in a whorl wind of activity, it just can’t stay on one subject long enough to think it through, process and be done with it. Sleep has been a luxury, if the brain would calm down sleeping would be much easier. There are subjects I wish my brain would not entertain and others I can’t stop thinking about. Most involves my future and where I am headed, at times stuck on the past on how things were and wishing nothing has changed. Whatever it may be, I am just exhausted thinking about thinking.

I may feel like I am loosing my mind at times, but I remind myself daily that God knows what he is doing. I may feel like that I am stuck up a river with no paddles, but God is in control. He is faithful, he is just, he is all knowing. It will all fall into place, in his perfect timing to glorify him and his will. The pieces are slowly falling into place, but I am far from end of this path God is leading me down. I am trusting in God that where ever he my lead me, whatever I may experience, that he will always be there with me. He is listening to my heart, know my desires, and in his time he will provide.

 

9:40 July 28, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — mafuller @ 11:57 PM

Ever have those moments when you know, without any doubt, that God is there? I have heard God speak to me in many ways over the past few months but never like physical contact. This morning Anna and I went out to LCF to say goodbye to the youth group as they left for their week long youth trip. After wishing them well and having my car windows chalked by Steve, Joanna and Grace, I headed out. I jumped on I80 east to Omaha for an interview. The weather was kinda gloomy, traffic was moving, jamming out to 100.7. When I drive I use the time as the perfect opportunity to talk with God and listen for him to speak. Today was no different, I prayed for the youth trip, friends and family, and talked to God about what was on my heart.

 I was finishing up my prayers getting ready to sit and listen when I felt a hand touch my right shoulder and squeeze. I was so surprised, I turned around to look in the back seat (I knew I was the only one in the car) and said, “God are you there?” Funny question, I know, but it was the only thing that I could formulate to come out of my mouth. I just sat there in awe and amazement, I felt MY GOD touch me. At that moment I looked at my clock in the car, it read 9:40am. Even now as I am writing this blog, it still brings a smile to my face and I am still amazed.

 I have had only one other instance that may have been physical presence of God. I happened to be staying at Anna’s house as I was passing through to GI for my internal med rotation. It was the first time I actually really met Casandra, she was the only ABC home at the time; Anna was in Columbus, Rebekah was in Mexico. I remember waking up the next morning to someone kissing my forehead. Whether it was a dream or indeed God, I still remember it vividly and choose to think it was indeed God.

 I have an awesome God.

 

Contentment July 14, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — mafuller @ 1:31 AM

“The state of being contented; satisfaction, ease of mind”

Ease of mind, can I be truthful making this statement. No. My mind is not as ease, my heart is also in a state of unrest. Since starting this blog, God has been stretching me in all sorts of directions. I have grown in my faith these past few months more than I have for the past year. God has shown me the errors of my ways and has corrected me back onto his path. I am learning to let go of control, to trust, and allow God to be completely in charge. I have been given the opportunity to learn patience. I have felt God’s presence, his peace, his embrace, his hand in the world that surrounds me and where I am called to be. The state of being content fits right into the ways God has been teaching and stretching me and is just one more hurdle in my way of a closer relationship with him.

The fact is I can honestly say contentment has not been part of my life the past two weeks, I am feeling the proverbial walls closing in on me. I am not content being jobless, living with my parents, and relying on them to help me with my bills. It is more frustrating that I am doing all that I can to change these circumstances. I have been looking for jobs where I have felt God calling me to serve. I have put out at least two applications a week to job postings I diligently look for on a daily basis. I am not content with my state of employment and the process it takes to achieve that step.

Most of my friends I talk to and see while I am home in Iowa are either married or in the process of getting married. Some have even progressed to the step of expanding their family with children. I cherish the time I have with my friends and their children. I love being with them, laughing and having a good time, but I also desire to be where they are in their lives. I am not content in singleness, but I am still very content on waiting to have children as stated in a previous blog. 

There are many places in the bible that talks about contentment. The one that really hit hard and somewhat out of left field comes from Paul’s letter to the Philippians. In chapter four Paul writes,

“I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want.”          Philippians 4:11-12

I have been mediating on those words since I read them. How does one learn to be content in every circumstance? How does this look like in daily life? How can I apply it to my life? Do I really understand what Paul was saying? The obvious first answer was Paul relied on God, focused on him, let God be his contentment. As a learner I pursued for more understanding. Surprisingly enough, I stumbled across a few sermons on the World Wide Web focusing on Christian contentment. Each delved into this passage and made some applications. One in particular really made me stop and really focus on the heart on my ability not to be content.

It’s funny how God really opens our eyes. It once again pushed and stretched me to understand him. My non-contentment boils back down to the lessons I have been learning. It is all rooted in letting go of control, trusting and letting God.

“Contentment is the confidence of faith in the sufficiency of God’s provision for my needs and it is the confidence of the sufficiency of God’s grace for every circumstance.”            Rev Carl Haak

God has a perfect plan, he has a perfect timing. I may not understand the hows, whens, or whys, but God does. That is the beauty of having my God. He has made sure that his timing for me, the plan he has made for me is unique, special, and is exactly what he desires for me to have. This plan he has for me gives me the ability to glorify him all that I do. When I choose to look at my circumstances differently, I can see that contentment can be achieved because all I need to do is focus on God. I need to learn to be content in all circumstances like Paul because God is in control.

So if I take a step back and look at this time I have had since graduating with a new perception I see – quality time to spend with my parents and siblings because in the not so distant future I will not live as close as I do now. Quality time spent with my grandparents, especially my grandfather. Quality time spent with close family friends who need a smile in their day due to their circumstances. Quality time spent with close friends and their children. Time spent relaxing and taking time for myself after seven hard years of school to get me to this point in my life, achieving a huge goal I set for myself. Time spent on activities I love to do and haven’t had a chance to do. Most importantly it has been a time for me to work on letting go, trusting and letting God be in charge. It has been a period of tremendous growth, learning and relying on God.

“He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the hearts of men; yet they cannot fathom what God has done from beginning to end. I know that there is nothing better for men than to be happy and do good while they live. That everyone may eat and drink, and find satisfaction in all his toil—this is the gift of God. I know that everything God does will endure forever; nothing can be added to it and nothing taken from it. God does it so that men will revere him.”

Ecclesiastes 3:11-14

 

Sitting in the Back Pew at Church July 13, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — mafuller @ 11:53 AM

This isn’t the blog I have been working on, but this has been on my heart since church yesterday. The blog I am still working on will hopefully be up this week.

Yesterday I remembered the reasons why I don’t like to sit in the back pew at church. This past Sunday was the first time I have been back to the home church since graduating. There is no excuse for my tardiness every week, although I would like to blame it on certain aspects, reasons. Dad is an usher for the month so I sat in the second to last pew so that I could sit with him. It was our church’s own rendition of a mission Sunday and I was interested to see what they have done to make mission work more prevelant in our congregation.

 I had forgotten how distracting it is for me to sit back there. I found myself looking at the other congregation members, wondering what they were up to, why certain people sit together for numerous reasons, etc. Then I found myself not listening and wondering why we were singing most of our hymnals out of a book I haven’t sang from since I attended Wartburg. Not good to have ADD while at church….

Those distracting thoughts were easy enough to free from my mind, but watching people leave before the service was over is still with me. Our church is in a very small farming community and 99% of the members are somehow involved with the farming life. 90% of our active congregation are 50yrs or older. Our service is about an hour long and our congregation likes to keep it there. We had some interesting mission work reports and we ran over. At 15 minutes past that hour mark, members started to leave. All that was remaining of the service was offering, closing prayers and the final hymn, it just didn’t sit well with me. I can’t begin nor want to begin to judge if they had other plans or where their heart is, is worship and fellowship supposed to be boxed with a pretty bow in an hour? That is the perception I was left with and I still don’t like it.

In school, I had to sit in the back row. At the movies, I like to sit towards the back of the theater. At plays/musicals/school concerts I like to sit more towards the middle/back for a better view. In an airplane I like to sit towards the back of the plane. As a kid I had to sit towards the back of the school bus. Church is the only place I desire to be in the front row. I am free of the distractions and can solely focus myself and my heart for the purpose I am at church: to worship, praise, glorify and learn about my God. So needless to say, next Sunday I will be back in the front of our church in the pew my family normally sits in, no more distractions, I am there for my God.