Guest Post - My Adventure with You

Guest Post by Vivian Garcia, a senior Business Administration student at Oral Roberts University. Born and raised in Honduras, she now finds herself in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

I grew up in church with a fantastic, Godly family, but my heart was always determined that I was unloved by God. When I was 18, this reality finally crashed in on me. I was in a relationship with a guy that was falling apart because my whole identity was based on it. My life was turned upside down when I had to pack my entire life in two suitcases and leave the only home I had ever known. God burned all the pillars that upheld my house over a broken foundation, and asked me to let him rebuild me from the ground up. 

Soon after this move, He found me on the floor of my university’s prayer tower, and He said, “I want all of you, not just your scraps.” For so long, I was living in religious routine instead of surrendered devotion or passion, and God loved me (and loves me) too much to let me stay that way. 

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Join the Club...

Every year at the start of the school year, I would have my eighth graders write an Autobiographical Essay.  This would give me a chance to get to know them, and also gauge their writing skills. 

One year, a student cracked me up.  She started her essay with something like this:

“Starting school each year is sort of like getting a new dog. You never can tell if the dog is a good fit until you’re a few months into ownership. It’s the same thing with teachers. They can smile and seem super nice on the first day, but you don’t find out what they are really like until you’re a few months in to school. And with both situations, there’s no changing it. You’re stuck.”

— Snarky 8th Grade Student

While I’m not usually a fan of being compared to a dog, I chuckled (not an evil teacher chuckle!) and felt her analogy was fairly accurate. There’s a lot we can’t control.

Many things in life are similarly thrust upon us. We just don’t have a choice in the matter.

Family is one of those things.

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What's the Rush?

The Work.

Every so often as a kid, my Dad would wake up on a Saturday morning and declare it “Garage Day” or “Yard Day” or some sort of “Work Day.” It would usually begin around 7am, and if we weren’t awake yet, he would wake us up. 

Working as a kid was really good for me and my two brothers. My Dad highly valued efficiency, and taught us the fastest, best way to accomplish something. If we dilly-dallied, he would encourage us to pick up the pace. 

Even today, my brain is hard-wired to see the most efficient route to an end goal.  I plan my errands to coincide to save time. I plot my grocery shopping in a big circle throughout the store so I don’t have to back track. 

The faster I can accomplish something, the more awesome I am! Finished!

This is all well and good, except that in real life, finishing things isn’t always so simple.

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Sharing Jesus Without Being Weird

The Dream.

Every so often, sharing Jesus with someone is like a firework going off... It's instantaneous and bright and beautiful - especially on missions trips or outreaches.  I once went to Jamaica on a missions trip and the coolest thing happened:

One local Jamaican had a dream about a guy on our team sharing the Gospel with him.  He started freaking out when he saw the same guy from his dream in the street.  He actually walked up and said, “Do you have something to share with me?”

This guy heard the Gospel, then gave his life to Christ! Jesus is so cool!

Coming back to real life though is usually a wake up call.  Sharing Jesus with people in your own culture, that you see on a regular basis is a little more… interesting. How do we travel these ordinary days with the extraordinary Gospel in a way that isn't weird?

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Is Your Love Tired? These 3 Habits Will Keep Your Love Strong.

The Obsession.

In high school, my older brother Jon was OBSESSED with studying love and relationships (which worked out great for him - he’s good at peopling!). He studied the Bible, listened to teaching tapes (yes, tapes), and talked about it All. The. Time. One teaching in particular was his favorite: “How to Know You’re in Love” by Dawson McAllister.  

He played it in the car so frequently, that he had the entire teaching memorized.  WE ALL had the entire teaching memorized.  Even today, almost twenty years later, I can recall much of that teaching.  

One particular line was “Love gives, and gives, and gives… and when it hurts, it gives some more.”  He was highlighting how love (even romantic love) isn’t about making us feel good, it’s about sacrificially giving to those around you.  That’s what Jesus did. That is true love.

Obviously we have to have healthy boundaries, and we need to learn to love people with God’s love, not our own strength.  

But what do we do when our love gets tired?

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Obedience is the New Love.

The Unusual.

Obedience is a fun word. How many of us would describe ourselves as obedient?

Imagine participating in one of those ice breakers we do at work, school, or a connect group: 

Alright everyone! We’re gonna go around and say our name and 3 words that describe ourselves!”

“Hi, I’m Justin.  I like sports, I play the guitar, and I’m obedient.” 

Kinda awkward. Lotsa awkward.

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When God Reveals Our Sin... Consecration: King David Style.

The Stanky.

This past week, like most weeks really, the Lord was really gracious to me and pointed out some stinky attitudes in my heart.  So fun.  But so necessary.

Let's get real for a moment. Here are just a few issues the Lord was kind enough to reveal:

entitlement. laziness. self-protection. people-pleasing. self-righteousness. earning. pride. 

You know, just to name a few. It was a real special 20 minutes as I sat there seeing all of this in my precious little heart. 

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Getting Your Prayer on in 5 Easy Steps

The Boring.

Growing up in farm country, California, the phrase I heard most often from my friends was, “I’m so bored!  There’s nothing to do here.”  It was sort of true.  There were tons of cows everywhere, and every kind of fruit tree and field of greens imaginable.  Not a thriving metropolis. 

So what’s a young, hip, incredibly cool person to do with such a sad scene?  Initiate the crazy.

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5 Ways to Max Your Trust Muscle

The Pain.

This past weekend I had a foolhardy moment and went to a bootcamp with a friend. I should have known better. There would be no enjoying this activity. None. But my brain tricked me and lied, “It could be fun! Maybe it won’t hurt so bad!” I have reached a new level of sloth over the past 5 months, so there was no escaping the hurt. 5 days have since passed and I am still hobbling like an old lady.  

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