Sunday, December 30, 2012

Desire of Ages 1

Christ: the Desire of Ages


Often when we are placed in a difficult situation, we doubt that the Spirit of God has led us. But it was the Spirit's leading that brought Jesus into the wilderness. When God brings us into trials, He has a purpose to accomplish for our good.

When the Spirit of God touches the heart, it brings human pride low. The person sees that worldly pleasure, position, and power are worthless. Then only humility and self-sacrificing love are exalted as having any value.

Jesus' first miracle- water to wine. Jesus used his power to add joy to a wedding feast. In the same way, he showed His sympathy with us and his desire to minister to our happiness. In the wilderness, he himself had drunk the cup of sorrow, and He came from there to give us the cup of blessing... The gift of Christ to the marriage feast was a symbol. Human hands brought the water to fill the jars, but the word of Christ alone could give it life-giving power. The word of Christ provided ample supply for the feast. His grace is similarly abundant to blot out iniquity and to renew and sustain the spiritual life. The wine Christ provided for the feast, and which He gave the disciples as a symbol of his own blood, was the pure juice of the grape. Isaiah refers to this when he speaks of the new wine "in the cluster" and says "Do not destroy it, for a blessing is in it." Isaiah 65:8

Moving On

I'm hurt. I'm always there for other people. I listen to their stories, wipe their tears, and try to make them smile again. I tell them that it will all be ok. So where are those that I was kind too? Why can't anyone hold me and tell me that everything is going to be ok? I want a friend, a true friend right now. I was there for you, where are you for me?
Is that how Jesus felt? In the Garden of Gethsemane when Jesus was abandoned by the guys he had truly loved. The ones he had blessed and he had taught. He was there for them, but on the night he needed it the most, they fell asleep. They weren't there. And Jesus felt alone.
I feel so helpless, worthless, and discouraged. What's wrong? Everything. What's right? Christ. I'm weak in my faith, stronger in my friends. And I have to move on. I've been praying about my summer plans, where I should work and what I should do. I prayed to God "give me more" "show me the glory" and lead me to where I should work this summer. Tonight he closed a door.
I need to move on and stop holding onto some friendships. I'm relying on them and placing them higher than Christ in my life and anything that comes between the cross and me must pass away. I'm ready to say goodbye but it's so hard. My walk with Christ is so shallow and I desire more. I know that God is saying trust me and I will give you more faith more abundance. But honestly I'm struggling. Honestly, I want to dwell on the negative.

"I am a child of Christ
  I am beautiful
  I am worth more than gold
  He has a divine purpose for me"

Help me God because I truly can't do this on my own.
Phillipians 4:13 I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Family

Tonight my family finally arrived in Florida! We're all departing on a Disney cruise tomorrow, how luxurious. But honestly, the Disney cruise would mean nothing to me if it weren't with the people I'm absolutely crazy about and crazy with.
Family: the people who make you who you are and love you no matter what
Well that's what families are supposed to do anyways.
My family is a huge blessing. I used to believe my family was perfect. I understand now that every family has it's own problems. If you were born into a rough family or home life (you know what I mean) I deeply apologize. Realize that families were not designed to be like that.
A true family that sticks together is an example of Christ. Family is so important! That's why the Bible refers to family time and time again.

Exodus 20:12 Honor your father and your mother, so that you may live long in the land the LORD your God is giving you. Respecting your family is so important that it is in the ten commandments!

Proverbs 15:20 A wise son brings joy to his father, but a foolish man despises his mother.

Revelation 19:7-9 Let us rejoice and exult and give him the glory, for the marriage of the Lamb has come, and his Bride has made herself ready; it was granted her to clothe herself with fine linen, bright and pure”— for the fine linen is the righteous deeds of the saints. And the angel said to me, “Write this: Blessed are those who are invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb.” And he said to me, “These are the true words of God.”

Ephesians 5:25-27 Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, so that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish.

Revelation 21:2 And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.

It's so beautiful how Christ has adopted us as sons and daughters into His family. He dares to refer to us as bridegrooms. Marriage and us. Why would He want to get so close to us? It's amazing. His love is so amazing! What a privilege to be part of God's royal family!
Family is where the heart is and my hearts in heaven =)

Friday, December 21, 2012

FIRE (topical Bible study part 1)

http://tentmaker.org/BreakingBread/1.html
http://einron.hubpages.com/hub/godsmanifestationholyspiritsymbolismfire
http://voices.yahoo.com/mysterious-symbolism-behind-biblical-story-of-5868706.html

This is the beginning of a topical Bible study about fire. I have looked into all the Bible verses with the word fire on them and have also looked at the sources above for guidance on this topic. These can help you form ideas for what fire may mean symbolically. It is an important subject about Christ's character that is commonly overlooked.
Fire can illuminate, Fire has heat and Fire can melt filth and fuses into one body, which is the Church of Jesus Christ
The fire that Jesus would kindled is the fire of good works poured out as coal upon our enemies heads. (Matt. 5:38-48, Rom 12:20) This is the fire which will bring righteous judgment into this world. In the same context, Jesus spoke of praying for your enemies.

Now the Scriptures tell us that perfect love casts out fear. (1 John 4:18) This perfect love is a fire, usually not found in the political, religious, and economic powers of mankind. It is found only in Christ. And when this perfect love burns within a heart, it sets the captive free from the power of fear used by the lower forms, rudiments, principles, laws, customs, rituals, etc., which were made by men to "control" each other.

We have found natural ways to increase the temperature of our fires to melt down things which were once thought impossible to melt or change in form. So too, one day our Maker will melt the stony hearts of Adam and bring forth pure gold . . . Christ in us, the hope of glory. It just takes the right kind and amount of heat.
When mankind learns to leave vengeance to God, we just might be surprised to find that even God's vengeance, may be found to be a power to be used for the good of all mankind, and not for its destruction. There is a fire which will release all who dwell in lower natures, lower thoughts, lower visions and raise them up to where He, our Creator, becomes All in All. (1 Cor. 15:28) May more Christians rise and be seated in heavenly places wherein, it seems is nothing but fire. In Him, there is no shifting or turning. There is no change. He is the End. He is our End. And what is that? God is love! And He is truly the ALL-CONSUMING FIRE!! Hallelujah!!
Paul implores us to present our bodies a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God. We are to be consumed by Him and not be destroyed in the process. Our devotion, our zeal, our passion should be towards His purposes.

 Fire is represented as the symbol of Jehovah's presence and the instrument of his power, in the way either of approval or of destruction. Ex 3:2; 14:19 etc. There could not be a better symbol for Jehovah than this of fire, it being immaterial, mysterious, but visible, warming, cheering, comforting, but also terrible and consuming. Parallel with this application of fire and with its symbolical meaning are to be noted the similar use for sacrificial purposes and the respect paid to it, or to the heavenly bodies as symbols of deity, which prevailed among so many nations of antiquity, and of which the traces are not even now extinct; e.g. the Sabean and Magian systems of worship. Isa 27:9 Fire for sacred purposes obtained elsewhere than from the altar was called "strange fire," and for the use of such Nadab and Abihu were punished with death by fire from God. Le 10:1,2; Nu 3:4; 26:61

Fire symbolizes the transforming energy of the Holy Spirit's actions. The prayer of the prophet Elijah, who "arose like fire" and whose "word burned like a torch," brought down fire from heaven on the sacrifice on Mount Carmel. This event was a "figure" of the fire of the Holy Spirit, who transforms what he touches.
John the Baptist proclaims Christ as the one who will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire. Jesus will say of the Spirit: "I came to cast fire upon the earth." On the morning of Pentecost, Jesus Christ fills them with the Holy Spirit, which is the Spirit of God and or the Spirit of Jesus Himself. The spiritual symbolism of fire is one of the most expressive images of the Holy Spirit's actions.

Crucifixion: A New Perspective



Could it be that the Sermon of the Mount in Matthew 5 was simply a prefill of the sermon of the Mount of Calvary?
If you read through the Sermon of the Mount you will see that everything that Jesus said in Matthew 5, 6, and 7, He demonstrated in Matthew 26,27, and 28.

Matthew 7: Not everyone who says Lord Lord will enter the kingdom of heaven.

"Hanging upon the cross Christ was the gospel."- Ellen G White

The cross is the center of our lives and the place where Christ's glory dwells. We must boast only in the cross. How do we be saved? We die. We die alongside Christ. Because Christ's cross is His thrown. He invites us to reign with Him over Satan and over old self and evil desires by taking up our crosses daily. It is a privilege to reign with Christ. This is paradise.

Christ is not calling you to preach the gospel. He is calling you to be the gospel. You are the Sermon on the Mount. Don't preach the sermon. Be the sermon.
We have to stop talking. We can't be foolish men anymore building our houses on sand. We must be like the wise builder: Jesus Christ who built His house on the rock. We must love people. We must take up our crosses so that we can truly overcome our evil desires and be transformed by God.

Today if you are tired of preaching the Gospel and not doing it, I want you to say "Lord make me the sermon of the mount." This is my prayer. I want to be the sermon. I'm tired of being foolish, knowing better but not doing better. Lord prepare me to be a sanctuary. Be the place where God dwells in the midst of His people. When the temple is fully built and the highway is prepared for the Lord it is then when God will say my city is complete. And the devil will try to break through. It will be seen that the Lord's thrown is in the midst of His kingdom.

Help me not to just preach the Gospel but to be the Gospel. That someone may see the way I live each day and say truly truly this girl is a follower of Christ.
The way Jesus fixes us is crucifixion.

Undertow

Today I was at the beach- singing praise songs to God at the top of my lungs- and I decided to go for a swim. I was all by myself, but I really feel invincible in the ocean so I had no fear. Today was a stormy day for Naples; the beach waves were unusually choppy and strong. I swam hard into the waves. I was having a blast and laughing. All of a sudden, I realized I was getting out pretty far. I started to swim in towards shore but it didn't work. My strokes were taking me nowhere against the strong current of the sea. For a moment, I worried. Is my destiny to die on the beach in Naples drowning even as a lifeguard and WSI. Then I remembered what many whitewater rafting instructors and even my lifeguard instructor and parents had taught me: don't swim against the current. It's too strong. Swim with the current sideways and try to get out of undertow. So swim to the side I did and finally the waves stopped carrying me away from shore. I began to swim in towards shore safely. I had been praying and I praised God for keeping me safe and helping me escape the undertow.

There will be rough times in our life. Everyone has their own struggles, their own battles they have to fight. Sometimes you face a battle that you can't win on your own. Some examples would be struggles with pornography, drugs, a boy addiction, facebook addiction, self-conceit, self-hatred, lust, or a problem with a family member. Some of my battles are low self-esteem, selfishness, clinging to the past, dwelling in the future, boy relationships, eating problems... the list goes on.

These things bring us down. They are Undertow. They want to pull us away from God. Pretty soon, you can't fight back. You will just keep drifting further and further away. Away from God and away from your Christian friends and mentors who can help you.

What can you do to escape undertow? To escape the things that separate you and God: SIN? Pray to God don't fight the evil. You can't fight it yourself. You have to pray and avoid the problem. Don't look at it; don't focus on it, especially without God's help. Look at Christ. Move your face to view the cross and what Jesus has overcame.

When you pray to God and look to Him for guidance, he promises to provide a way out of every evil or distressing situation no matter how bad the outlook may be. Take His hand and thank Him for his deliverance. Be careful not to jump back into the waves you just were rescued from =)

Not enough to be Nice

It's not enough to be nice.
It's not enough to smile.
It's not even enough to help the hungry.
MEANINGLESS without Christ
But with Him Everything matters.
1 Corinthians 10 31" So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God."
This is what our life's about: giving God the glory that He deserved. It's not about us. It's not about me. It's about Christ. We are meaningless unless we embrace our identity as Christ's child. This is what the Christian walk of faith is about.
So many things we worry about don't matter. Don't sweat the small stuff. We have to see the big picture.
This is Brooke Bernhardt's blog. I will not lie to you. I will tell you what I believe and what I'm experiencing. I want a real walk with Christ. I'm tired of superficiality and hiding. I pray you are blessed by this blog. I do not have the answers. I am not a "good" Christian. It is a constant fight, but I fight with Christ. I pray you do too.
Feel free to comment on anything on this blog. If you would like to join me in writing. Just email me at bbernhardt@southern.edu. Thanks and blessings friends =)

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Second Coming of Christ!!!

"The world is set in self-indulgence. Errors and myths are everywhere. All who would perfect holiness in the fear of God must learn temperance and self-control. (2 Corinthians 7:1) They must keep the appetites and passions under the control of the higher powers of the mind. This self discipline is essential if we are to develop that mental strength and spiritual insight that enable us to understand and practice the truths of God's word." - Ellen White "Great Controversy"

The world is supposed to end tonight at 12 pm according to the Mayan calendar. Do people believe that the world is going to end? The answer is yes. I was just reading  http://www.nj.com/entertainment/index.ssf/2012/12/doomsday_end_of_the_world_2012.html and if the world doesn't end today, it might end in 2013-2014 because of solar flares, the new deadly thing.

 
It may look beautiful, but it's actually deadly. Our world may look opportunistic but it's actally ending quite soon. The Lord is coming!!! I say that yet even I'm not completely convinced. I'm comfortable, too comfortable, just like the Laodicean church in the end times. According to prophesy the time of God has got to be near. This world is deadly; it's evil, and getting scarier day by day.
Just consider the shootings of 20 poor innocent kindergardeners. Jesus is coming soon!
Are you ready?
Are you prepared?
And if you believe it, are you living each and every day like you believe it? If you knew that Jesus would come tomorrow how would you live today?

Great Controversy says "All who became citizens of Christ's kingdom, he said, would give evidence of faith and repentance. Their lives would exhibit kindness and devotion. The would minister to the needy, shield the defenseless, and be examples of virtue and compassion."

Your God Spot

This is a vacation of my dreams! God has definitely blessed!!
Being at the beach is where I feel most confident in Christ.
I feel His love as I look into the sky.
I feel His power as I feel the waves rush against my body.
I feel His grace as I wash the seashells get carried far away from shore and know that my sins are further than the east is from the west =)
I feel renewed and reborn as I go underwater in the salty freshness.
When I breathe the air and let my hair fly in the wind I feel captivating.
And I know I was born for this.  To swim. To run. To sing in the ocean. To shout God's love to everyone's around. Have you ever had those times where you have this unexplainable peace and joy? Well the ocean is like that for me. I see God's glory. I see His face. I feel His love.
So yes in the ocean I find God the most.

Where do you find God?

Do you find Him in the mountains when you gaze upon the stars, and suddenly in the night sky you see something bold and beautiful flying in the air and realize God has gifted you with a shooting star?

Do you find Him when you go into your closet, close the door, and get on your knees?

When you sing your favorite hymn or maybe listen to Addison Road "What do I know of holy?"

When you get out your favorite colors and paint a picture or journal in your favorite book?

Where do you find God the most? Where can you see His glory? And where can you experience that spiritual, renewing grace?

Find your God place. Find your God spot. I encourage you to search for something where you can always have God. For me, it's in the water or in nature, but it might be something totally different for you. If you have found it, make it sacred. If you haven't, keep looking. I believe that each one of us are created with a special unique connection to God. Try new things, if you haven't found God maybe you're not looking. I challenge you to see how many places you can find God today. And whenever your feeling sad, tired, or worn out, go to your God spot. Go to your God place where you can feel God's love radiating toward you because You Are His Child.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

just a picture I made =)



thoughts part 2


What is your identity?
Do you ever wonder who you are?
You are God's child, His daughter, His princess.
The world is trying to distort our view of God.
Satan takes out the love and puts in the guilt.
Satan is trying to tell us that we are not good enough and we will never be enough for God.
The opposite is true. God chose us, despite the sacrifice of his only son. He gave us his only son, despite his cries of "take this cup away from me". Did God think "is this worth it? "No, He chose us. And we can choose Him. His identity. Not our own.
When we choose Him each and every day He will transform us so much that His glory shall be seen on our faces reflecting from our hearts. And we shall think positively and rejoice in the life that we have.
I have been learning that pessimism and negativity are one of the devil's biggest schemes. If the devil can get us to focus on our problems, our sins, our unworthiness, soon we will be serving him. For where our eyes look, our thoughts go. Where our thoughts are, our heart is, and actions follow.
When we experience disappointments conflicts or tough situations we must engage in our identity Christ's child. When you believe a lie you empower that lie. Therefore when we believe that we are Christ's child, we are empowered in Christ.
I have been learning about God's freeing power during Sabbath school. Our teacher challenged us to write out bible verses and promises on notecards to look at during the day Today I wrote mine. I challenge you to make notecards too, especially if you are struggling with something and trying to overcome. Verses I wrote are Philippians 4:4-7, Galatians 5:22, Philippians 4:10-12, Philippians 4:8, Philippians 4:13, Galatians 2:20, Romans 8:37-39.

Friday, December 14, 2012

are you hungry for christ?

I am spiritually famished. "Hungry, Needy, Sinner": I NEED God.
There are those times in your life when you want to give up, those times are the times where
You CAN'T give up. You have to keep fighting because "whatever don't kill ya makes ya stronger"
Get on your knees.
Ask Christ to open your eyes.
We have a perception problem.
Today I turned on KBNJ one of my favorite Christian radio stations. As I was listening, feeling discouraged and worn out, broken inside, it became prayer time on the radio. As I began to listen to other's prayers I was humbled. I listened to prayers about a ten year old boy with Leukemia, about a single mother with a baby that was to be born with disabilities, and about a single mom who couldn't get over the loss of her husband. There were prayers for a fire that had burnt up someone's house. All of a sudden, my problems : finals, sadness, a little bit of loneliness, didn't feel so big. I decided to praise God for my blessings.
I realized my biggest problem is my spiritual problem. I am famished. And I felt the hope of God and the love of God fill me and say "Come my child." For I started something great, and I promised you that I am not done.
"Being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ." Phillipians 1:6
"We are hardpressed on every side, yet not crushed; we are perplexed; but not in despair. Persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed." 2 Corinthians 4:8,9
What are you worried about? What is holding you back? Come to Christ. Run to Christ. He wants to renew you. And trust me His LOVE is ENOUGH!

Sunday, December 9, 2012

If you wanna laugh..

Ecclesiastes 3: 4 ... a time to weep and a time to laugh

If your stressed, sad, or maybe just want to hear an embarrassing/ hilarious story, this is for you:
I hope you enjoy MY FUN LIFE
Feel free to laugh =)
In the past week:

* I tripped down the stairs in the library. I was right behind this super hot guy. He turned around and looked genuinely concerned. Haha I was too about my balance and coordination but ya, let's just say I jumped up really quickly.

*It was time for Bible study and I had just taken a nap so I just through on a shirt. I was in the middle of the Bible study in the library when I realized I felt kinda "free". Ya know? Lol I looked down, ducked under for a bit, and yep I had forgot my bra. Hahaha

*Fire drill- I tried to grab pants because I was in a hurry but I grabbed a tshirt instead. I was stuck outside in spandex.

Let's see ok some random stories that didn't happen last week:

* Shower at summer camp. Well I forgot that our cabin had recently got some new visitors including an older man. It was camp meeting time. I wasn't thinking because it was about 10 o clock at night. I got out of the shower in my towel and to my surprise came face to face with the old man. Well apparently he felt pretty bad, because he told the camp director!! We had two announcements about it with all the staff. And let's just say- I was that girl =)

Well that's all I can think of today. Feel free to comment and share a funny story of your own if you like. When bad things or embarrassing things happen to you try not to sweat it. That's a great time to laugh and humble yourself =)
It's almost Christmas time!!! We can get through finals! Keep smiling and laughing together!!

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Thoughts PART 1

I ask you to read with me Isaiah 61.
Now I want you to think with me over the past week. Think about your life. Think about your feelings. Think about your thoughts.
Your thought life is who you are.
If you have had some rough days (or nights) in the past week and you were unhappy maybe even desperate or mad, the devil is trying to corrupt you with your thoughts.
You see we all have bad days, but we all have a CHOICE.
With every situation, good or bad we have the choice on how we will respond. It's not because he didn't text you or you got a bad grade on the test. You are choosing how you feel right now.
Shakespeare wrote "Nothing is good or bad on it's own but thinking makes it so".

thank you Jesus =)

Dear God,
I want to praise you.
You've came through again =)
Every time, right when I've needed you Lord.
You've proven to me You are enough.
Today I had a majestic day.
You spoke to my heart.
Sabbath school was exactly what I wanted to hear.
Church and potluck was good.
I went to advent home and you enabled me to be a blessing.
Now I getta go to the mall with my friends.
Thank you Father
You are ENOUGH
You are worthy of my praise.
Forever, and I know there'll be days
when I don't feel you,
but today I did and I do.
And it's amazing.
Amen =)

Friday, December 7, 2012

Something you should know


What do I know of holy



I made You promises a thousand times
I tried to hear from Heaven
But I talked the whole time
I think I made You too small
I never feared You at all No
If You touched my face would I know You?
Looked into my eyes could I behold You?

(CHORUS)
What do I know of You
Who spoke me into motion?
Where have I even stood
But the shore along Your ocean?
Are You fire? Are You fury?
Are You sacred? Are You beautiful?
What do I know? What do I know of Holy?

I guess I thought that I had figured You out
I knew all the stories and I learned to talk about
How You were mighty to save
Those were only empty words on a page
Then I caught a glimpse of who You might be
The slightest hint of You brought me down to my knees

(CHORUS)
What do I know of You
Who spoke me into motion?
Find More lyrics at www.sweetslyrics.com
Where have I even stood
But the shore along Your ocean?
Are You fire? Are You fury?
Are You sacred? Are You beautiful?
What do I know? What do I know of Holy?

(CHORUS 2)
What do I know of Holy?
What do I know of wounds that will heal my shame?
And a God who gave life "its" name?
What do I know of Holy?
Of the One who the angels praise?
All creation knows Your name
On earth and heaven above
What do I know of this love?

you think I'm perfect? TRY AGAIN

Have you ever felt like a failure?
Today I do.
I failed my dad.
And I failed my real dad: my heavenly father.

I just feel like everything I do isn't working.
Like what I used to have going for me isn't working anymore: let's see
Grades Sports Spiritual life Family Friends
Well that's pretty much everything that matters. So now let me take the
time to explain to you how everything has failed.

Grades- I have a C in A&P the class that matters with my major
Sports- Ya I'm just getting fatter and slower. The end.
Spiritual life- Well I don't know. Where are you God right now?
* I know he's with me. But why can't I at least remember to read my Bible
and pray?
Family- Ya well my brother and I eh were not that close anymore.
And my dad's not that proud of me.
Friends- I don't really have that many.

So yikes that's what it feels like. When all of the weight is on you.
I'm just being real tonight.
I know it'll be better tomorrow.
I'm just bein real tonight.
And if anyone thinks I'm perfect..
Here's the story =)
Ya girl that's right I struggle just like you.

but let me tell you Im not giving up

Sunday, December 2, 2012

I'm fine

How many times do we go through our day saying "I'm fine."
God wants us to be more than fine. When is the last time you said thank you or smiled at a stranger? God calls us to live boldly. He gives us a passion for every day.
He says" No in all these things, we are more than conquerors through Him who loves us." Romans 8:37

Let me remind you.
We are warriors.
We are fighting a dangerous battle.
But WE WILL WIN =)


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 from 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 the saints. Ephesians 6:13-18

It's not a metaphor or riddle. There's more to then meets the eye. God and Satan are fighting. It's real. Take a look around. You don't need to go to the dark side, to know that the devil is fighting back.
It all became real to me the summer of 2012 when one of my dear friends was physically attacked by the devil. Seeing her spiritual battle become a physical battle for air and life was tough. I didn't realize Satan was so real. We must look to God in times of battle and trouble. When we trust Him, He will have the victory. He will come through for us and save us.
There will be time in your life when you feel all alone. You feel at the bottom of the pit and you don't see hope in any direction. Have peace in Christ Jesus. Keep fighting and standing firm.

Be self controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. 2 Peter 5:8

We all have our battles. The question is WHO ARE YOU FIGHTING FOR?

Friday, November 30, 2012

Waiting To Be Loved

"To be known is to be loved and to be loved is to be known"
I want to be loved. I want someone to hold my hand, to hug me when I'm down, or to tell me I'm beautiful. I want a guy to cherish me for who I am. But I'm not worried.
I am loved. I am sought after. I am beautiful. I have a King in heaven who is passionately crazy about me. He knows me better than I know myself.
Cliché?? Why? Do you not believe God loves you that much?
He died for you.

 I don't regret my decision to stay pure and guard my heart until God provides. I have heard so many heart breaking dating stories and break ups. I know loving someone is a battle. It's a choice and a fight in this world of evil. Sometimes I wish I had a boyfriend, not gonna lie. I mean it'd be nice to have someone to run too all the time. It'd be nice to go on dates and be all romantic. Ugh whatever =)  I'm so thankful that God has helped me wait.

God has blessed me with some great guys in my life who have helped me when I needed it. They have offered me spiritual wisdom- which I believe guys are designed to do. I know I want my guy to be a Spiritual leader.

God has been my lover, and I'm learning how much more He wants to love me.
It's hard to love someone unlovable. Since God gives us free will, it's possible that we could choose to deny his love. Why would we deny love? I don't know. When we choose the world's ways instead of God's we choose to gratify our sexual desires and we miss out on some of God's loving blessings. When we choose that we want love from guys of this world instead of God's love that's what we are gonna get. We are going to be empty inside because guys of this world can never give us enough.

God has lifted me up and held my hand every time I have needed it. When I'm desperate is when I find it. It's strange. Is it because that's when I look? Do I only look for Him in moments of desperation? I should hope not. But trust me, if you trust God, God will bless at just the right time.

Southern was really tough for me at first. I had this inward battle. I wanted to be loved and treasured by a guy. I mean I've never had that and kinda have recently gotten to the more "boy crazy" stage in my life. I mean I'm 18 it's normal to start thinking about guys right? I'm not gonna lie I didn't even think guys were hot until 16. Call me tomboy, guys were play mates =) Anyways coming here I left a bunch of my friends that I had taken security in for so long. Like at summer camp, I had the best friends I've ever had. I said goodbye to all of them when I came here to Southern. It was so hard at first. But I've realized God is always gonna be here for me. He has blessed me in so many ways. I've learned that..
I don't have to wait to be loved.

I am loved right now.

And so are you =)

NuMB

We see pain everyday and we pass it by. We look the other way. We say "I'm sorry" but do we mean it? We've became so numb to so much around this. We are trying to protect our self. Jesus calls us to be vulnerable for Him.
I've heard the crucifixion story multiple times. Last summer a girl at camp came to me crying, what she said really changed my perspective. She said "I can feel it", "it's like I can feel his pain" and "it hurts him so bad". She was crying and desperate. She just kept saying how she could feel the pain of the cross and how much Jesus suffered for her and she couldn't believe He did it for her. She was truly mourning because of her sins and how much they cost Jesus.
When have I been moved to tears because of the story of the cross? When I was little, sure. Oh I'm sure it hurt, and of course I love Jesus... but. BUT? But I've heard this story so many times, it's just like science to me, it happened it's over, it's now. Yes I try to thank Jesus. I pray to him sometimes and thank him for his sacrifice.
No that's NOT ENOUGH.
How do we grasp the crucifixion? The true story of GRACE? It's our PURPOSE our HOPE and our reason of LIVING and BREATHING. How do we embrace the cross? We die to our own. We take up our cross, our battle, and surrender it to God just like Jesus did. Take a moment with me to think about a battle that you are currently facing. Post it as a comment below when you are willing to surrender it to God the way he surrendered his cup of pain and misery: crucifixion. This is a beautiful poem. Prayerfully read it. I hope you are blessed.

Take This Cup

I imagine the pain He felt
As He walked to the Garden to pray.
My Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ
Facing the greatest challenge of His days.

Knowing the agony and suffering,
Shame and despair that will certainly be
As He’d take my sins upon His back
And walk the road to Calvary.

“Take this cup,” He pled that night
To His Father in reverent cries.
“Not My will but Yours be done,”
As tears of blood fell from His eyes.

In that Garden called Gethsemane
He accepted what was to come…
Sacrificial love for you and for me,
Though He would be mocked by some.

He would be beaten and flogged
Until His flesh was cruelly torn,
A mockery of the King of Kings
Was made in a crown of thorns.

With humble resolve He carried out
The will of the Father that day,
But I will never forget His fears
That He felt in the Garden’s stay.

I see Him kneeling, crying out
To “Take this cup from Me!”
And I often sit and quietly reflect
On my own Garden of Gethsemane.

There have been events in my life
That I’ve asked the Father to take.
But victory came after the fall!
And glory came for Jesus’ sake.

Had the cup been taken away,
The events changed or removed,
Would we have seen God at work?
Would there be salvation for me or you?

No, the victory came after His fall!
Defeat was no longer claimed!
And so we shall claim the prize
Of Eternal Life through Jesus’ name!

Jesus asked, “Take this cup…”
But God the Father fully knew,
This was the only way to show
His most precious love for me and you.

What is your “cup” that you pray about?
Where is your Garden today?
God knows the steep roads ahead
And He’ll guide you all the way.

In the end His glory will shine
Just like it did that third day….
Find your Gethsemane and His will is revealed
Each time you go there to pray.

“Not My will but Yours be done.”
Is what Jesus’ example portrays,
And may we seek to humbly accept
The “cup” that comes our way.
Lucy Cain

I hope you dance




Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Sickly

Today I am pretty sick. I was sick yesterday too, but today I'm just weak. I might have a fever but I don't have a thermometer to check. I realized my spiritual life is a bit sick too. I haven't spent quality time in God's word and in prayer since before thanksgiving. I mean I've gone through the motions and sent up a few prayers but I haven't had a fervent (is that a word?) Bible study for a while where I have really communed with God and let Him search my heart.
Today I will spend that time with God in recovery as well as extra time at rest.
We have to do a "senior project" for the honors curriculum and I have an idea for mine. I will be doing my senior project junior year because that's when I will be graduating from Southern. I would like to start a new ministry called maybe "Happy healing" or something for the sickly kids in the hospitals around Chattanooga. We would get in teams and bring face paints, balloons, and juggling or other talents to the kids in the hospital rooms. My hope is that we would be able to talk to them, share Jesus with them, and develop a relationship with him. I hope it works because helping the hospitalized kids has been a dream of mine for a while.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Circus Days


Tonight at Gym Masters I accomplished something I am quite proud of as it is one step closer to Clownland hahaha I learned how to balance on those big balls while juggling. At first learning was very terrifying for me because on the second day of practicing I fell backwards and hit my head on this wooden pole. I am so happy I finally have learned how to balance and juggle. This will be a new edition to my juggling routine that will be shown at homeshow 2012. Gym Masters is going good. Do I just juggle? Mostly. I am involved in group routines which are fun. I can second a two high but coach usually uses me as a back or spotter. I am learning basic tumbling which is fun, and I will also be taking a basic tumbling class next semester. I am blessed to be part of Gym Masters even though sometimes I'm like "this is definitely not my thing". Often I joke around that I am the team klutz guess it fits well since I am the team clown. Haha I have never been the graceful like a butterfly type but I do my best not to embarrass my team =)

Tired

It's Monday, day 1 of being back to school, and I'm already tired.
"So here's what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life
your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking around life- and place
it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing
you can do for him. Don't become so well adjusted to your culture that
you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention of God. You'll be
changed from the inside out.
God brings out the best of you, develops well-formed maturity in you."
The Message: Romans

I'm so weary.
Tired of trying.
I don't want to be here right now.
Take my everyday woes and give me your passion.
May your all consuming fire purify my heart and mind.
Make me like you.
May I truly love.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Here Am I Send Me

What is MY PURPOSE

"To go into the world near and far and reveal to people that they have a passionate lover in heaven: a Master creator that thinks they are beautiful. He knows not only their name, but understands their dreams and secret desires. He wants to hold their hand through life's biggest trials. To heal the children whose hearts and bodies have been broken or deprived and introduce them to the Healer and lover of their soul forever."

"To go into the world near and far and reveal to you that you have a passionate lover in heaven: a Master creator that thinks you are beautiful. He knows not only your name, but understands your dreams and secret desires. He wants to hold your hand through life's biggest trials. To heal your hearts and bodies that have been broken or deprived and introduce you to the Healer and lover of your soul forever."

I wanted to go. I pleaded with God, take me and make me a missionary. Here I am Lord send me. He said to me Take me to Southern with you. Take me to Gym Masters and Bible Study. Take me to church and pay attention to the sermon. Take me to your halls, your RA, and sweet mates. Study me in your room. Talk about me all the time. They need you here. Stay where you are and dwell in me.

I still feel called to be a student missionary but I don't believe right now is the right time. I read "Honestly I'm Struggling"  Heather Bohlender and I recommend it to anyone wanting to be a missionary or wanting a great testimony.
 
Isaiah 40:31 But those who wait on the Lord
Shall renew their strength;
They shall mount up with wings like eagles,
They shall run and not be weary,
They shall walk and not faint

Blessings



Blessings
 What if your blessings come through rain drops? What if your healing comes through tears? What if trials of this life are your mercies in disguise.

Blessings in my life

* Autumn Zapara: I got a wonderful roomie! We're best friends seeking God's will for our life. We go on walks and make fun of each other's styles. She's Miss Feminine and I'm definitely a Tomboy. We understand each other and talk about everything. She's such a blessing.

*Southern is so beautiful. I go excited and I'm like wow this is gorgeous. The fall leaves were beautiful; the buildings are nice. I can hike outside and go on long walks.

*I have so many class options. Southern is preparing me for a great Physical therapy program. I've been told Southern's one of the best colleges for PT programming. Though my A&P class is hard, I'm enjoying all my other classes.

*I made Gym Masters. I never thought I would or could. I was dreaming about it all summer. It's different than what I thought. But it's a place where I learn new things and can belong. I also get to travel all around.
*My family. I love them indescribably. I am so thankful they love me so much.
*My God is alive. He is full of grace. He knows more than my name- he calls me friend and daughter.

Goodbye

He was watching me cry as I waited for the plane to board. I knew it. He was watching the freak show. Why was she crying? Did he care? Did he feel bad for me?
I hid my tears until I went through security. I had kissed my parents goodbye hundreds of times before. It was only three weeks til Christmas. "I can do this", I told myself.
At school, everything changes. It's a different world I'm still a stranger too.
Why's it so hard for me? I love them so much. I miss my family: my familiar zone. The life I'm good at. I rock at living at home, being Brooke, hugging my mom, hanging out with friends I have had forever. Ok these days even those are fading.
I'm just not ready to be on my own. I want to be held. I want to be loved.
I know I can do this. God is blessing me on my journey here at Southern. He has a plan for me. He will hold me. He gives me the strength to say Goodbye