Today, Allison shares with us thoughts on how we shouldn’t look to scripture for just inspiration but how it should impact us deeply, how God spoke to her through a message by Francis Chan, and the only thing that will help or save this world.
Inspiring biblical passage of the moment: Currently I’ve been reading Hebrews. I have most recently been reading Hebrews 2:
“Now in putting everything in subjection to him, he left nothing outside his control. At present, we do not yet see everything in subjection to him. But we see him who for a little while was made lower than the angels, namely Jesus, crowned with glory and honor because of the suffering of death, so that by the grace of God he might taste death for everyone.
For it was fitting that he, for whom and by whom all things exist, in bringing many sons to glory, should make the founder of their salvation perfect through suffering. For he who sanctifies and those who are sanctified all have one source. That is why he is not ashamed to call them brothers, saying,
“I will tell of your name to my brothers;
in the midst of the congregation I will sing your praise.”
It’s not necessarily “inspiring” as much as it is impactful. I think if we are looking to scripture to “inspire” us rather than impact us deeply, we will miss something. When we begin to read scripture with what it can do for us, we are reading it with the wrong motives.
“I think if we are looking to scripture to ‘inspire’ us rather than impact us deeply, we will miss something.”
Spiritual growth focus at the moment: I would say that my spiritual growth focus at the moment is consistency. My tendency is to be distracted, and spiritual growth is mostly a result of discipline. So, I am currently in prayer about having a consistent scripture reading time — this is something I have always struggled with.
Profession: I am currently a masters student. I am working on getting my masters in Biblical Counseling. Afterwards, I will be able to get my professional counseling license.
One sentence bio of yourself: I am 23-year-old newly married gal from Texas.
When did you first encounter God? My Christian foundation of my early childhood was built on Catholic VBS. The “He’s got the whole world in His hands,” and the “God created this big, big world,” kind of God. I was baptized as a baby and had my first Holy Communion. I was content to believe in that God as a child. It gave me comfort knowing there was something bigger than me, but my understanding was definitely of a more passive God that probably had better things to do than to pay attention to me.
I was content in my broad view of who God was. I didn’t go to church enough to know any better, or at least I don’t remember going that much, which seems like the same thing.
When we moved to Texas, my step-dad and mom made a compromise to find a church that we would begin going to weekly. We searched and eventually liked Champion Forest Baptist Church in Houston. It wasn’t this grand declaration to be Baptist as much as it was, “Hey, we like this church, let’s go.” I jumped into their children’s ministry. It was a big church with a lot of events and spectacle, so I ate it up. I loved the singing and dancing and the crafts. It was never that much about my faith as much as I was just fully entertained while I was there, but it kept me there regardless. I was friendly, but I wasn’t very good at making close friendships, which became a trend throughout most of my life, if I were completely honest. I listened to the lessons, soaked up all of the information, and honestly had a blast hanging out by myself. I was a very self-assured kid for some reason, very independent and content with being alone. The portrait I had painted of who God was had gotten me far enough to be content – do the right things, be nice to people, and it’ll be okay.
Soon, I was in middle school and their youth ministry was no joke. They did the most with their students, and I was still all in. I maintained fairly innocent and morally optimistic.
In February of seventh grade, I attended a weekend retreat where Francis Chan came to speak. I had never heard of him, and a lot of people hadn’t in early 2008. He’s a pretty big deal in the Christian community now. He got up on stage and talked with such a passion that I had honestly never seen – not in my girl’s ministers, not in my mom or dad. It was so foreign. He had a joy that exceeded just being content. He had something more, and I wanted it. He spoke on Revelation 4, which is about the throne room of God described by one of Jesus’ followers named John who got to be there. He described the throne room in such great detail to where we could just all sit there and picture the majesty of God on His throne. I was familiar with this. I could picture God’s greatness. The idea of God’s greatness was not new to me.
But then, Francis Chan started to talk about something more intimate; a personal relationship with Jesus, a personal relationship with God that he described through prayer. I was shaken by the dichotomy of God’s greatness, being described next to the idea that this same God has a desire to know me. I was hearing for the first time that all of the stories that I had learned about the Bible weren’t just stories to be learned, but stories that could actually matter to me. The God of the universe wanted to know me. I was learning for the first time that worship before the sermon wasn’t a concert, but a time that I actually got to meet with God, my creator. The God that created me, on purpose.
It shook everything I knew to be true. What if Jesus actually died for me? What if this was really a personal story and not just something I memorized for a sticker?
What if this stuff is true? Like actually true? Could I believe that? I realized then that it can either be all true or not true – the Gospel can’t be half-true. I was changed after that day. My faith really was never the same.
“I realized then that it can either be all true or not true – the Gospel can’t be half-true. I was changed after that day.”
What has helped you grow spiritually in this season? Definitely my husband and my new church Gateway Dallas have been helping me grow spiritually in the last month. This new season of adulthood has been challenging, but marriage has been such a growing and sanctifying experience.
Just read/currently reading (and what has it taught you?): I’ve been in grad school, so I haven’t read anything for fun recently. But I have been going through the publication written by my friends at The Bud Co, recently. (Instagram.com/thebud.co)
Top three essentials: Chick-fil-a fries, Spotify, & my StitchFix subscription.
How did God speak to you recently? God speaks to me through His word and through the people around me. Recently, like I said above, my husband has been speaking the truth of scripture over my life, when I get easily discouraged.
“My husband has been speaking the truth of scripture over my life, when I get easily discouraged.”
Hobby: I absolutely love to write and dance. I write at my blog at allisoncschmitz.com
Top three practical tips for staying spiritually strong:
1. Make an intimate relationship with Jesus Christ the priority of your life;
2. Surround yourself with God-centered friendships;
3. Find a Biblically sound church to attend and serve in.
Favorite person in scripture? Jesus, but second favorite, probably Phoebe, she was trusted to deliver the letter to the Romans from Paul, and at the time that was a big deal.
What do you want people to learn about God when they look at you? I guess I would want people to learn about the love of God by seeing me — more accurately, I would just like them to know that God exists because of His work through my life.
“I would just like them to know that God exists because of His work through my life.”
Favorite season? Probably early Fall, but in Texas we don’t get much of it. I like when it starts to get a little cooler in Texas and everyone dresses like it is cold, when it is still 70 degrees.
Favorite holiday? I always keep coming back to Valentine’s Day as my favorite holiday because I love watching couple’s on dates and the extravagant gifts that are given. I love watching the vulnerability that comes as a result of Valentine’s Day.
A dream you have? A dream I have is to publish a book. It is something definitely on my bucket list, but I know it will take me a while to figure out what I want to publish!
A special tradition you and your family engage in or keep: My family honestly wasn’t all that big into traditions! I can’t wait to create my own family traditions in the future.
Question you will ask when you get to heaven? Will I be able to form questions? I feel like I’m just going to fall on the ground freaking out.
Thing you want to raise awareness about: When it comes to big issues in the world, I tend to freeze up and not speak out because I never feel like I know enough to speak up. Ultimately, I just want to make the Gospel known. The Gospel is the only thing that will save this world.
“The Gospel is the only thing that will save this world.”
What do you usually do before 9 a.m.? This semester, I haven’t been out of bed before 9 a.m. to be completely honest. I have had all afternoon classes and taken my mornings very slowly. It’s been a foreign season of rest, but I’m learning to be okay with taking things slowly, even when it is uncomfortable.
What is on your nightstand? A picture of me and my friends, all of the jewelry I wear most often, and a stack of books that I mean to read eventually!
Define Christianity in a sentence: Being a Christian is having the belief that there is an all-powerful, all-knowing, and just God who loves everyone who ever was, is, and will be so much that He sent His son, the person of Jesus Christ, to live a perfect life and die as a sacrifice for all of our sins so that we can spend eternity with God.
(There’s like so much more, but one sentence was difficult).
For more Allison:
Until next time, keep witnessing!
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