Christie DuPree

Christie DuPree

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Beyond Their Means

"For in a severe test of affliction, their abundance of joy and their extreme poverty have overflowed in a wealth of generosity on their part. For they gave according to their means, as I can testify, and beyond their means, of their own accord, begging us earnestly for the favor of taking part in the relief of the saints - and this, not as we expected, but they gave themselves first to the Lord and then by the will of God to us." -2 Corinthians 8:2-5

This is who I want to be. Regardless of personal circumstance or position, I want to pour out. To seek the privilege of extending help where it is needed regardless of if I have enough to spare, to give myself first to the Lord and follow his prompting of opening my hands to give to others, because "Jesus Christ, though he was rich, yet for our sake became poor, so that by his poverty we might become rich." Jesus withheld nothing from me, and that gives me every reason to give generously, even if it costs me. Because it cost him everything.

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Matthew 6:33

Everything you do, every person you love, every place you go, no matter how beautiful, how alluring, or how satisfying it may seem, will always fall short of fulfilling your heart and soul. You were created for God. Crafted with a loving hand, filled with the breath of life and created with purpose. We're only satisfied when we love God. But these other things we spend our time chasing? They're not wrong. They're beautiful. They do satisfy us to some extent. But when we find our rest fully in God is when these things BECOME beautiful. Everything has a lot more life in it when we're not squeezing it for everything it's worth, trying to gain life FROM it. Learn to love God. Let him fill you and satisfy you. Then everything else becomes an extension of that. Everything else falls into it's rightful place as secondary. As embellishments on an already sound foundation. I'm telling you.. Being selfish and bitter and trying to squeeze the life out of people and places and things will never get you farther than a few miles passed frustrated and unfulfilled. Choose Jesus. Choose LIFE, and you will find life to be a much more fulfilling and satisfying place to live.

Don't you see how freeing it is? When your heart is secure inside the love of Jesus, then everything else is free to be whatever it wants to be. Your career, although meaningful and important, doesn't define you. It holds weight with who you are but it doesn't anchor you. Your relationships are free to grow and change and bend because your heart is connected to the source of true love, and it enables you to love and forgive in a way that is life-giving. And it doesn't matter where you go because nothing can separate you from the love of God. I'm not saying don't pursue love or your dreams or travel or whatever you're searching for in this life, I'm just saying pursue God first and let him give TRUE meaning to your pursuits. It's so simple. You can chase after your dreams and get everything you ever wanted and still come up empty handed, or you can chase after God and give him everything you've got in your hands and watch him make your dreams come true. Not because he's a magic genie who grants our every wish, but because he's our loving father who created us and it brings him joy to see our hearts fulfilled. But he knows that we are only truly fulfilled BY him. And that's the beautiful thing. Once you get God, you've already got everything. But then he goes and adds blessing to abundance.

"But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you." -Matthew 6:33

"For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, wether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him" -Colossians 1:16

"For this reason I bow my knees before the father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named, that according to the riches of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith- that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.

Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen. " -Ephesians 3:14-21

"For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor rulers, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord" -Romans 8:38-39

Monday, May 30, 2016

Dance

I remember when I was a little girl, sitting on the floor, leaning against the farthest wall in the room, the service had been going on and I was singing along with the worship music from where I sat. I remember everything. My dress, my shoes, the joy bubbling up inside of me, the tangible love that was reaching out for me. I could sense a warmth like a sparkling sun. And I heard a quiet whisper in my spirit, "Dance!" he said to me. I froze, my heart beating in my chest. "Dance", he said again gently. I could feel my heart pounding and my nerves shaking me at the very thought of getting up from my place on the floor and daring to dance. I didn't know how to dance. I didn't know how to move in that moment because my fear kept me still as I wrestled with the fear of being seen or judged, against my innocent and childlike desire to dance and worship and lose myself in that love without a care in the world. But the moment passed quickly as my focus shifted to myself and my feeble insecurities. I tried to listen again and willed myself to hear something, but only heard silence and the beating of my own heart. Some time passed in my life, and being so young, I think the enemy used that one single moment to lie to me and tell me that I had disappointed God in that moment. I felt so guilty for denying the most gentle request from the One True Love. I often would repent of that in my prayers, never feeling like I could make up for it. Some years passed and one day that memory was randomly brought to mind, and all in an instant I realized completely that I'd had it all wrong. That in that one seemingly crucial moment where I had held back, and refrained, and essentially said "no" to his proposal, that he STILL just wanted to be with me. Him asking me to dance was his way of inviting me in and showing me his arms were wide open to me and he was begging me to run into his embrace. And my fear in that moment was not a hinderance to his love. He wasn't disappointed in me. He was only saddened by my refrain because his love for me was so deep. Tears flooded my eyes as the weight of that truth fell on me and I realized I'd misunderstood his character and his love for me. I'd decided he was angry with me when really he only longed to be with me. And he does, still. Every day. Every day I am still that little innocent child to him, and every moment of my life his arms have been wide open to me, and they always will be.
I don't care if anyone sees me, I don't care if I'm alone in a closet, in a pitch black room or if I'm dancing in a field in heaven. I will worship with all that I can and forever be grateful for a God who wants to be with me. Who wants me to dance and to sing for joy and to triumph over all my fears in his name and for his Glory. 

“Let them praise his name with dancing and make music to him with timbrel and harp. For the Lord takes delight in his people; he crowns the humble with victory.”
‭‭Psalm‬ ‭149:3-4‬ ‭

“Praise the Lord. Praise God in his sanctuary; praise him in his mighty heavens. Praise him for his acts of power; praise him for his surpassing greatness. Praise him with the sounding of the trumpet, praise him with the harp and lyre, praise him with timbrel and dancing, praise him with the strings and pipe, praise him with the clash of cymbals, praise him with resounding cymbals. Let everything that has breath praise the Lord. Praise the Lord.”
‭‭Psalm‬ ‭150:1-6‬ ‭

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Peaceful mind

Oh that we would be desiring more and more to rid ourselves of our own corrupt mechanics.
Our minds behave and the gears turn and jealously slips through the cogs, causing a hitch, yet we press on, ignoring the clanking sound it makes. Thought patterns play out and judgement sneaks in and we shove it to the corner, without ever truly making it feel unwelcome. Instead of confronting the jealousy head on and choosing to face it and forcing it to become love, we just keep scrolling. Pushing it out of mind with some form of another negative thought to take it's place. We press on, character flaw after character flaw, tripping us up again and again, and yet we gloss over them every time.
"I mean don't get me wrong, I love him/her, but ______", when in reality what we speak of is anything but love. But we slap that sticker on the beginning of our sentences to make us feel better. These disclaimers, claiming love and that "we truly care for them, BUT-" it's like the water in the watercolor painting we're working on, where the water doesn't really change the color or the tone, it just makes the paint seem less harsh on the paper. Claiming love and then following it up with words of discouragement or gossip or judgement isn't love at all. Love doesn't have a "but". Which means we need to face the reality that we're slandering our brothers and sisters and friends under this umbrella of love that doesn't exist. Remove that umbrella and you've got some pretty nasty truth to deal with. 

But what if we really did take each thought captive? What if we came face to face with our lack of love and adjusted our hearts to match our good intentions? What if we refused to let the poison come out of our mouths? Say we refused to keep scrolling until we dealt with the jealousy issues in our own heart? What if we took a moment and prayed for that person and chose to be filled with joy for them and filled with thankfulness instead?
It's extremely hard to choose silence instead of letting poisonous talk escape our lips. It's almost as if you can feel the painful way it burns in your mouth, just dying to be set free. But recognizing this physical agony as a resistance to sin is part of what following Christ is all about. It goes against our very nature to swallow it and stay silent. It requires a small sacrifice. But the reward of that sacrifice is the absolute beauty that grace brings to our lives and to our relationships. Grace makes everything beautiful. Even the things that don't deserve grace. Because nobody deserves grace. If we deserved it, it wouldn't be grace, right? So what if we held our tongues just once? And then just once again after that? What if we continuously chose joy instead of jealousy? What if we realized we have the power to change how we think and how our own thoughts effect us? And in turn how we treat other people?

We've gotten used to the sound of the gears in our heads scraping together, trying to fit into place amidst gunky thoughts that are causing rust and hindering peaceful function. We don't realize that we have the choice to choose joy and forgive the people who have hurt us. We don't realize that the sound of a peaceful mind is a much more beautiful sound. But if we start confronting the issues in our hearts and in our thoughts, we'll be so much more able to have a little grace for others and speak kindness instead. 
Jealously will fade when you make the decision to be thankful with where you're at and with who God has made you to be. And you'll learn to not accentuate other people's imperfections when you realize you have your own to speak of. 

I'm not saying I've mastered any of this. I'm saying we all have problems and that Jesus is the answer. But we've got to keep consciously choosing Jesus and changing our patterns of thinking. I just want to encourage you to be mindful of your mind. To keep yourself in check and realize that negativity hurts you more than it hurts anyone else. Immerse yourself in God's word and act on it.
Look for opportunities today to turn negativity into grace. Wether for yourself or for someone else. 

“Keep your tongue from evil and your lips from speaking deceit. Turn away from evil and do good; seek peace and pursue it.”
‭‭Psalms‬ ‭34:13-14‬ ‭

“Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends.”
‭‭1 Corinthians‬ ‭13:4-7‬ ‭

“Above all, keep loving one another earnestly, since love covers a multitude of sins.”
‭‭1 Peter‬ ‭4:8‬ ‭

“We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ,”
‭‭2 Corinthians‬ ‭10:5‬ 

“Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect. For by the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think with sober judgment, each according to the measure of faith that God has assigned. For as in one body we have many members, and the members do not all have the same function, so we, though many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another. Having gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, in proportion to our faith; if service, in our serving; the one who teaches, in his teaching; the one who exhorts, in his exhortation; the one who contributes, in generosity; the one who leads, with zeal; the one who does acts of mercy, with cheerfulness. Let love be genuine. Abhor what is evil; hold fast to what is good. Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor.”
‭‭Romans‬ ‭12:2-10‬

Thursday, March 31, 2016

Wildest Dreams

Isn't it wonderful that we each get to fight our own battles, climb unique mountains, acquire our own scrapes and bruises and then watch as our wounds slowly turn into wicked cool scars over the years that tell the story of how our hearts have grown, conquered, loved, lost, loved again and been made new, fashioned with even more beauty and depth of character? 

I am beside myself with how the Lord has been my helper and friend and held my hand through it all. Following Jesus is worth it. It's absolutely everything. 

But here's the thing. Learning to trust the Lord with what is MOST precious to you is the best thing you will ever do for yourself, aside from making the decision to follow Jesus. Because let me tell you something: Your hearts desires are a beautiful thing, and God thinks so too. I don't think I had let myself fully believe that until my friend recently spoke it to me during a long phone call. I'm still having to consciously choose to embrace that truth. But when she said it, I instantly realized I had been believing a lie: subconsciously I had let the unmet dreams in my heart and my experience with disappointment cause me to feel that the things I longed for most were perhaps selfish desires and that I should learn to let go of them. WRONG. Because the most beautiful truth is that when people quote the bible in saying "God has better plans for you than you could ever plan for yourself", that DOESN'T mean "boring, lofty, disconnectedly sovereign, it's my way or the highway, so you might as well prepare yourself for disappointment" kind of plans. Instead it actually means MORE GOOD. Like actually MORE BEAUTIFUL. And ABSOLUTELY BEYOND YOUR WILDEST DREAMS. God is actually STOKED on our hearts desires because he created us and loves us and legitimately takes delight in us! And he WANTS us to dream big!

He wants us to trust him enough to surrender to him all of our dreams and our desires to the point that it scares the crap out of us, and THEN to surrender that fear to him and replace it with trust. 
Because he ONLY has plans to prosper us. He watches us closely and is very interested in the desires of our hearts. And he's working out plans that incorporate both the details of our dreams and his own unique design. God has the biggest and most beautiful imagination. He is the author of love itself and therefor writes the best love stories. He is creative and funny and will surprise you with what he has planned for you. But it all hinges on trust, and your belief. You gotta let go of that iron grip and start to breath a little. His plans aren't boring or stoic or less fun. They're filled to the brim with beauty and imagination and laughter and joy overflowing. Because that's who God is. He's not holding out on you. He's waiting for you to stop holding out on HIM. Open up your hands. Trust him. He's good. 

"Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change" -James 1:17
-He is unchangeably good. He can't not be good and he can't not have good intentions toward us.

"But, as it is written, "What no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the heart of man imagined, what God has prepared for those who love him" - 1 Corinthians 2:9
BOOM.
Also Isaiah 55:8-13.

Sorry for the 2am rants. I actually had planned to go to bed early tonight and then accidentally spent 2 hours writing this blog instead. I love you all and I hope you have hope tonight as you fall asleep. You're allowed to hope. You're allowed to dream. You matter. And your desires matter to God. He loves you. You are loved.
Goodnight.
xx





Saturday, February 20, 2016

Compass

We are not guaranteed a map, only a compass. The lord often will point the way, but he doesn't give us a list of lefts and rights. Instead he challenges us to have enough faith to just walk in the direction of his compass. Not knowing if the path ahead will be sure for our footing, or disappear off a giant cliff. But the amazing thing about God and our faith in him is that our faith is the assurance of things hoped for, and not yet seen. Faith is the bridge across that cliff. Our faith in God literally calls into existence that which is otherwise impossible. It moves mountains that are otherwise immovable. Faith is the sure footing under our feet. It's the rugged wooden slats of this giant bridge, woven and nailed together with our trust in who God is. It's bound by our knowledge of his love for us and that he is good at his very nature. Ropes that are braided and strong run the length of it to give us a sturdy railing to hold on to. Knowing the character of God means that we know what this bridge beneath our feet is made of. And because of that we know that he's never letting us go and that our footing is always secure in him no matter where he leads us.

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

January.

January finds me with an overwhelmingly thankful heart.
I'm not a planner, or a scheduler, or a list maker. I have dreams in my heart and I know what things are stirring in me and what I feel like God is drawing me to, and for some people that isn't enough. But for me it's everything. Some people needs goals and charts to make sense of it all in order that they can more clearly and accurately see things come to pass. But for me, to feel connected to God in my heart and know that he is planting dreams and leading me onward is just the most significant blessing in my life. I'm a follower by nature and doing my best every day to follow Jesus.
It's not easy, and sometimes can feel like you're feeling your way through a heavy fog on uncharted paths. But the Lord is always near and he never leaves us stumbling around for too long before he makes it clear that we're on the right path. And if we somehow find ourselves on the wrong one, he doesn't leave us there alone and he takes such joy in leading us back to himself and his plan for our lives.

So this is my new year post. It's not a list of goals and resolutions and hope-to-do-betters.
It's just me being thankful. And content. Because God has me in his hands and I know that whatever he has in store for me this year is ultimately for my good and for his glory.

Love,
Christie

Followers