Thursday, January 31, 2013

1/31/12

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I have posted this song before, but it just impacts me so much. Please listen to it slowly and reflect on the words.
Everything we do in life, everything we strive for, we hope for, we dream for..
Everything we do is tiny compared to God.
We can never understand His love, His greatness, and His kindness for us.

He never seizes to amaze me.

Are you fire are your fury are you sacred are you beautiful?
What do I know of holy?

We must seek Him every day. Every morning and night. Every hour. We must learn that God is the reason we are alive. When we truly know Him our lives become worth so much more. God wants to transform you into a new creation. He has bigger plans than anything you can ever imagine.
Never let anything separate you from the powerful love of God our Father!
Blessings!

I hope this song encourages you that no matter what you are going through, there is a God who understands and who is waiting for you. He wants to hold your hand through all of life's journeys. He loves you more than you can ever imagine!

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

I'm a weirdo =) hiding part 2

Why do I choose to hide?
Insecurity? Distrust?
It's never been a family trusting problem, but I've always had a hard time making friends.
Idk I guess I'm awkward or just different.
This guy on Gym Masters told me I was the awkwardest girl he had ever met.
Something about me is I want my friends close. I want intimacy and real relationships. I hate casual talk- I actually stink at it. It really hurts me when friends and I get in fights or disagree. Like really it tears my heart. I really care about the people I'm close too- they're my friends forever.
It's just I'm different than a lot of people. I don't think like most. I don't know pop culture. I'm pretty sarcastic but really caring and sensitive. I'm confident and bold in athletics and competitive too but I'm insecure when it comes to boys, and dressing up, fashion, gymnastics- that kinda thing.
I like people who I'm not afraid are going to judge me.
I would rather play in the mud and be outside and just pretend and be crazy. I would wear shorts and sandals and surf all day long if I could.
Am I really that different?
Or am I just insecure?
Why do I feel the need to hide?
Is it because I feel the pressure to be perfect?
Possibly.
This hiding thing has to do with why I haven't gotten in any major relationships. For one, I don't open up to people. For two, once they like me, I typically start hiding.
I've always been good at the things I do whether it be academics, sports, or church activities. I want to be the best. I'm close to a perfectionist with some things. I have only liked five guys in my entire life. It's just I want them to be ummm perfect. Ok that's so shallow. This is so hard for me to write ya'll. I trust you don't judge... too much =)
Idk I feel like when I write on here. You are all thinking: "that girls weird, she has problems." And I have a problem with that. See I never tell people my problems, never cry, never ask for help.
This is a problem, haha I know.
God is changing me slowly. He is making me a more vulnerable and trusting person. Now as for the different part, I believe God calls us to be set apart from this world. We need to be confident in our identity as His child.
I realize that this blogpost is not devotional content, but confusing personal matters. I pray you receive some benefit from me pouring my heart and struggles out. I hope you have the strength to be honest to yourself about what you are struggling with. If you need someone to listen, I will always be here to help you =)

2 Timothy 1:7-For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.
Hebrews 13:6 - So that we may boldly say, The Lord [is] my helper, and I will not fear what man shall do unto me.

Hiding

Tonight I hid. I sat behind the teeter totter in the storage room at Gym Masters gazing at the clock. I watched the second hand tick around about 3 times. I had negative thoughts. Why am I on this team? Why can't I be good at gymnastics? Or why can't I even try? I felt bad hiding but it was easier than trying. Nobody expected me to try anyways.
Hiding may be seem easiest if you are a shy or insecure person, like me sometimes. I remember hiding in the 9th grade quite frequently. I was the new kid at school and didn't have many friends. I would sit on the bathroom toilet with my phone in my hand and wait until recess was over. If a person came in, I would pick my feet up really quick so they wouldn't see me.
Honestly, it's really embarrassing to write this, but I promised that I would be honest on this blog to you and myself. I feel ashamed that I resorted to hiding that way. Because I promise you, if you knew me in the 9th grade you would never guess that I was that girl that hid in the bathroom. You see, sure I was shy but I definitely had things going for me. I was smart, All A girl, athletic, basketball team captain, and SA chaplain. The crazy thing is although I felt like I didn't have friends, I did. I had Kara Banks as my friend and two other girls Natalie and Honey. So why didn't I hang with them? I did sometimes, but sometimes when I felt left out or unwanted, I hid.
Why do I choose to hide and what do I choose to hide? Maybe you aren't like me at all. Maybe you have always been confident or bold and never literally hid because you felt insecure. But no matter what I'm sure everyone has hid something from someone before. Maybe you hide your sins from God or from other people, your insecurities, your doubts, your true thoughts, your emotions, your weaknesses, your love, or even your appreciation.
The first thing you can do to stop hiding things is to realize that you are hiding and have the desire to stop. After you realize what you are hiding, you need to pray about it. You need to ask GOD to give you the courage to STOP HIDING.
The reason why I decided to come to Southern was because I wanted to stop hiding. I wanted a new start. The only places I have ever felt 100% secure in my identity is with my family and at summer camp.
It's an everyday challenge for me to be real with people, to talk to them if they don't talk to me first, and to portray my own character instead of going along with what others say. I know that I still fight the desire to hide. But God hasn't given up on me yet. Everyday that I choose Him, He is remaking me into a Bold warrior fighting for His victory.
If you are hiding something from God today, I encourage you to tell Him because news flash: He already knows. If you are hiding something important from the people who love you most, please tell them. Secrets destroy relationships. Be honest, be open, and be real. Christ will give you the strength to move on and stop hiding.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Too Busy

Tonight I have a small dilemma: angel tryouts for sunrise or my team's last basketball game. At first I was just going to try out to be an angel, but now I'm having second doubts. My dad said to me on the phone "Forget the angel, you're on their team. You spread yourself so far out that your not good at anything." Once you make the Gym Masters team you fill all the extra time with other things so you don't have time to practice. You don't have time for your true friends any more or to study which is why your there".
Do you ever find yourself in the same situation? I mean I love so many things. It's easy to commit to things that you can't follow through with. I always find starting out easier than finishing and dreaming "funner" than the finale. What's the problem with all this? I mean I have good intentions.. isn't that enough?
No, that's not enough. I don't want to lie to people. I don't want to be a friend that misses their best friend's birthday or can't text them when their mom dies because they're too busy. I don't want to be so engrossed in my own life and pursuits that when someone needs my help, I don't have time to stop and help him.
There is something wonderful about walking to class early and taking the time to pray for the first three people you see. Or going out into the wilderness, all alone, and spending quality time just listening to God and nature. The Bible says countless times "Be still and know that I am God." We don't find God in the busyness, in the hurry and stress, running from one thing to another.. we find God when we look for him, when we open our eyes and focus on the needs of others and God's will instead of the things we need to accomplish.
Think about the parable of the Good Samaritan: when a Samaritan found a man laying on the side of the road in need, and took the time and effort, to stop his plans and take care of him. He gave him first aid, bandaged his wounds, led him to an inn, and provided care for him overnight. What a blessing. How can we be a blessing to others if we are too busy to see their needs?
We also have the Mary and Martha example. "But Martha was pulled away by all she had to do in the kitchen. .... Jesus said "Martha, dear Martha, you' re fussing too much and getting yourself worked up over nothing One thing is essential, and Mary has chosen it
What do you choose today to focus on? Your problems, worries, to do lists, goals, dreams, and plans... or God, knowing Him, spending time in His word, and serving others.
Forget your worries, escape from this world's problems for some time with me.. let's think spiritually. Let's think about Christ and heaven together.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Ugly

She is ugly.
She sometimes cries out with disgusting noises, only to be ignored.
Finally they get annoyed and pick her up
They take her out of the room, but others refuse to accompany her
No one wants to sit by her because her presence is disgusting
Every seat she sits on is covered in pee.
Turns out she has wet pants that no one bothers to change.
She follows me around, anxious to be touched
She makes motions with her hands, and weird noises, but I don't understand
She wants someone to listen, someone to care, but nobody tries
Her presence is unwanted
Her body is ugly, and her face is covered in warts
Nobody likes her.
I look around for someone to love her
Someone to hold her hand, whisper her a story, or give her some juice
Surely she can comprehend Love
But won't somebody else do it
I look around for someone to love her
Do I really need to be the one
She's just so ugly

Give Me Your Eyes

I was watching an ant crawl on my desk today trekking towards my left over bread crumbs. I wondered does he see me coming? Does he realize that in five seconds he will be dead, smashed by a power bigger than himself? Even if he did, what could he do about it?
What would it be like to see my life the way Jesus does? To see the world from his perspective? I think it would change everything.
Today I need to make a big decision. As I search for wisdom and God's will, I wished that God would speak to me out loud from heaven, so I could know what He desires. As much as I wrestle with this decision I just can't decide. Everything's so confusing, a mess, where are you Jesus? Because I want to follow you.

Brandon Heath lyrics from different songs:

Give me your eyes for just one second. Give me your eyes so I could see. Everything that I keep missing. Give me your love for humanity Give me your arms for the broken hearted the ones that are far beyond my reach. Give me your heart for the ones forgotten. Give me your eyes so I can see.
Lord give me your eyes! Give me your heart for the broken hearted.. Give me your eyes.

I'm not gonna fight you anymore
Not gonna try to lock the door
You took your life and gave me yours
There's no reason why
I shouldn't trust you with mine

It's never easy changing my direction
It's so unnatural to loosen up my grip
Are you growing weary of all my good intentions
Cause I know that You don't work that way"
So open my eyes, wide as I can
Blind as I am, blind as I am"

All you need is a sonrise,
just a moment of dawn.
If your lost in the twilight,
close your eyes and move on
When you're tired of waiting
 even though it's gonna take you a little more time
Just a little more time and the sun's gonna find you

You have a Savior who is running towards you. He says daughter don't worry. For you are mine. I am in control of this. I know you and I know you are scared and unsure. I also know a greater picture, and I want the best for you. I promise you that as long as you follow me, I will never leave you. I will bless You and walk with You. You can have perfect peace right now, just Trust me, my child.
 
And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to Him must believe that He exists and that He rewards those who earnestly seek him. Hebrews 11:6



HELP

BLOG READERS I NEED YOUR HELP I HAVE TO SUBMIT THIS ARTICLE TO THE SOUTHWESTERN UNION MAGAZINE IN TWO DAYS PLEASE READ AND GIVE ADVICE! I AM REALLY STRUGGLING WITH WORDING AND SHARING THE RIGHT IDEAS, IT'S LIKE I'M STUCK! THANK YOU =) I'M SUPPOSED TO SHARE ABOUT MY EXPERIENCE WITH CAMP AND WHEN I HELPED WINTYRE PRAY FOR THE FIRST TIME
 
Wewoka Woods has changed my life in so many ways. Ever since I started attending camp there at the age of 7, it has been a huge blessing  to me. I want to share an experience that happened last summer while counseling for Native American week.

 I had been told that many of the Native American campers had never heard about Jesus before and didn’t know the common Bible stories that I did as a child. I made it my goal to pray with them every morning and every night before they went to sleep and teach them how much Jesus loves them.

On the second day of camp, in cabin worship, I asked the girls if anyone wanted to pray. The youngest girl in the group, Wintyre, raised her hand, and I told her to go ahead. She closed her eyes and said Dear Jesus, Amen. I told her thank you for praying and talking to Jesus.

 On Wednesday night, Wintyr got scared and couldn’t go to sleep. I told her she could come into the main room of the cabin so we could talk. I told her that Jesus would never leave her and He would keep her safe. I also told  Wintyr the story about Jesus dying on the cross for her sins. She had never heard the story before. After we talked, I asked her if we could pray and ask Jesus to help her not feel scared. She said yes, and after we prayed  she went right to sleep.

The second to last day of camp, I asked the girls if anyone wanted to pray. Wintyre raised her hand. She prayed a beautiful 2 minute prayer asking God to keep her safe and telling her how much she loved Him. It was really amazing to me, because I knew it was the first time she had ever really talked to God. When she got done praying, her face was lit up with a smile and mine was too. I was really touched because she prayed exactly like me. This made me realize what an effect counselors really do have on their campers.

 Seeing Wyntre pray for the first time and have such faith in Him was really encouraging and eye opening to me. Sharing Jesus with others’ is so rewarding. We must look for every opportunity to share Him with the people around us. You might be the only glimpse of Jesus they ever see.

Counseling may be hard at times, but it is such an opportunity. To me, counseling is all about showing campers that Jesus is real and they are loved. Camp brings children to Christ, and if I one camper can see Jesus by the way I act, everything I do is worth it.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

1/24/12


So God doesn’t want what we have “naturally” or the things we were born with, our special abilities that we claim as “ours”. God doesn’t want us to make natural things spiritual things, he wants to start new. Thus God must corrupt confidence in natural values, in order to destroy those natural things that are our instincts. That way he can give us spiritual thoughts and spiritual things.He must destroy what we have going on or going for us.

“The life God plants in us develops its own virues”

The sign that God is working in us is that he corrupts confidence in us of the natural values. He corrupts our identity, what we were good at, what we were known for causing us to re-evaluate ourselves and our lives.

He has to corrupt our natural love, so we can love spiritually. He has a better plan in mind for us, but sometimes He may have to hurt our hearts a little to get us there.

The biggest change is in the heart. He has to make us look to Him and focus on Him 100%. When we feel like things are going our own way it’s easy for us to get distracted. If life was easy, why would we need God? This is why God often has to disrupt our “nice lives” or “drama-free lives”. Spiritual things are different from natural things. Natural things cannot become spiritual. Spiritual things are supernatural, out of this world, spiritually divine. The more we become spiritual people the more we will be challenged to act differently than the rest of the world, to be crazy, to be radical, to be Christ-like in everything we do. Christ was a radical man; skeptics may call Him a lunatic.

When our spiritual minds change, our actions and attitudes will change. New spiritual gifts will be revealed that were previously unknown. We will be a whole new person and can look back upon our history and say, "Can you believe that used to be me?"
Inspired by Oswold Chambers: My Utmost for His Highest

Monday, January 21, 2013

1/27/12

I love how God works.  I was so down on myself just a minute ago- I know Satan was telling me lies. Trying to deceive me, distract me, and put me in a dark hole. "Your not good enough for gym masters.. you suck as a juggler and a gymnast." Excuse me Satan but I made the team. I was chosen, chosen by Coach and inspired by God to go for it. And even though it's hard, and I won't be the best, and I will drop juggling balls a lot, I have a purpose on the team. God is training me. He is teaching me patience and character. This is an adventure- that will never be forgotten- a once in a lifetime opportunity that I just couldn't let go of. And this year, I have gotten stronger arms, learned to base and stand on 2 highs, performed juggling routines around the nation, learned to balance a ball, and learned a back handspring on the trampoline: so Satan leave me alone.
For my hope is not in my own strength, not my own skills, nor flexibility (praise God =) My hope is in God and He loves working through my weaknesses, through my falls, because He wants to catch me every time to show me just how much He loves me. I do not regret this decision even though it is not easy. But I do not want my life to be easy, I want it to be God honoring, God glorifying, and a mighty fight for victory.

We must take every thought captive for the Lord.
So what are you battling in your mind? You think your not good enough, not talented enough, not pretty enough? Forget it girl because God chose you. Satan is constantly trying to get us down- to knock us into ditches- and He does this through our mind.

Faith is surrendering to the thought patterns of our Lord.

Our thoughts should be consistent with heaven.

If you agree with what the enemy wants you to think you are empowering him.

As foolish as it is to worship angels it is as foolish as it is to ignore them- We should live with the confidence that we have angels around us at all times, aware of spiritual presence.

Let our passions burn for Jesus Christ that we may be desperate for His love, mercy, and healing.

God bless friends!

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Stop Pretending Start Loving




I read a story about a man who had just gotten a job at a zoo. On the second day of work the only gorilla the zoo owned died. He didn’t know what to do because he knew his boss would be angry if he told him. He decided to bury the gorilla, and put on a gorilla suit himself. He decided that he could act like a gorilla for two hours a day when his boss came to feed the animals.

He would climb the trees and swing from the rope attempting to look like the gorilla that used to be in that cage. One day he didn’t have enough strength to hold onto the rope, he crashed down into a different cage. All of a sudden he saw a lion. He started to yell “Somebody help me I’m not really a gorilla I’m a man.” The lion said “Shutup you idiot your gonna get us all fired.”

How often do we go around telling ourselves and the people around us lies. We pretend we are something we are not: for better or worse. We are all imperfect and we all have things we would like to hide. But when we stop lying to ourselves and to God, He can truly heal is. I believe that Love is a great healer of all things. God doesn’t love us because of who we are or what we have done. He loves us for reasons we don’t understand. He created us because He loves us and He made us to love.

When you begin to see things as the way you are, you can experience true, accepting love. You can realize that you, no matter what you look like or how you act, will always be a Princess in God’s eyes because you are His daughter. Seeing yourself through God’s eyes is the first step to seeing others in God’s eyes. As Brandon Heath sings “Give me your eyes for just one second give me your eyes so I can see everything that I keep missing give me your love for humanity”. I don’t know about you, but I want to see myself for who I truly am: Imperfect but in Christ’s hands being made perfect, scarred and bruised but in the Physicians hospital for healing, sinful and selfish but in the operation for a heart transplant. When we realize how much God really and truly does love us, we will be transformed forever. It is so beautiful, so joyful, and so indescribable. His love is so crazy and it makes me want to shout for a joy, jump off a mountain, and sing at the top of my lungs.

His love has came into my heart in such abundance and recently I have had the privilege of seeing His love in some pretty amazing people around me, like in my Sabbath school class: a true answer to prayer. These are just two examples of what I believe is Christ love..

My Sabbath school teacher is a nurse and works in the prenatal department.  After each baby is born, she holds them and sneaks to another room where she hugs the baby, prays for the baby, and tells each baby that they are loved.

My friend in the Sabbath school class has recently recovered from breast cancer, and has just received a job as a breast cancer counselor for young woman that have just been diagnosed.

How amazing. Love is contagious. I hope you are inspired to love more and realize you are loved. My dad always tells me that love is a choice. It’s not an emotion. There will be days where you don’t feel like loving. There will be times when people don’t deserve love, but true love is about giving, it’s about sacrifice. If you want to learn how to love, you have to understand what love is. Here are 3 simple definitions:  God is love (1 John 4:8) , Love is doing the best thing for someone, and love is sacrifice.

There are 3 different kinds of love in the Bible. 

1."Agapao" This word is a verb used to describe God's divine love. The noun is "apape." Example is John 3:16. This is the action of totally being committed to the well being of others without regard for their worthiness even unto death. That love was demonstrated by Jesus when He suffered and died for our sins. We, as Christians, are show that unselfish love to others.

This is the kind of love that we must realize Christ has for us. It will never change regardless of what we do, and we will never be able to comprehend it. My Sabbath school teacher told me every morning and every night to wake up and tell myself ten times with my hands crossed around my heart “Jesus loves me”. By simply doing this, we are giving Christ power in our hearts and over our minds. I challenge you for the next week to do the same. Satan hates this lie!

2. "Phileo" This word translated "love" refers to fervent love for another person. Jesus when challenging Peter in John 21:15-17 asked do you agape me more than the other disciples. Peter replied, "Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love (phileo) thee" This was his response four times to Jesus' questions. Peter never used the word "agapeo" in response to Jesus' questions.

3. "Eros" This is a noun and refers to sexual love.

These loves are not what I think about when I think of love. We, sinful humans, often think selfishly when we consider love. Many people in the world earn love by making someone else feel good.  It is the commitment of the will that holds true biblical love steadfast and unchanging.

Matt 22:37-40  says to love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your mind, and with all your soul and to love your neighbor as yourself. LOVE is what we must be all about. We are connected to God because of Jesus through Love. We come to know God by accepting His love and choosing to love Him. Then we show Jesus by loving others.

Truths about the word love:

1. Biblical love is defined by God in His Grace. Grace is "unmerited favor."

2. It is further defined in the word "agape" that is translated in to the English word "love." The word expresses the highest form of love which is the love of God for mankind. This love is one that is freely given because one wills to give it. It is not based on any merit of the individual.

3. True biblical love can only be known by the actions that it prompts. It is not the love of complacency or affection, that is not drawn out by any excellency in it objects .

 

“If you ask most any church member or profession Christian if they loved the Lord, they would say....certainly! Yet, the faithfulness and obedience of the individual to the Lord shows if their love for God truly exists or is simply rhetoric. “ We show love by actions, thus our love for God can be seen by if we keep His commandments.

4. Perfect love is seen the Lord Jesus Christ. In the Garden of Gethsemane Christ agonized over what he would be enduring within hours as He suffered for the sins of all the world. Yet, he said "Not my will, but thine be done."  Only a pure love could suffer for the world, fully knowing that most of the world would reject Christ's sacrifice for them.  Love produces action...and if love is present it will be seen.

5. True love will produce sacrifice for the one who is loved. That is why today, some many live uncommitted lives. They are hot one minute and ice cold the next. True biblical love produces stability in one's life.

1 Corinthians 13 talks about love and what love involves.

In 1 Corinthians 13: 11-12. When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child, When I became a man, I put childish ways behind me. Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror, then we shall see face to face. Now as I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.

“Paul admonishes us—by instructing us "to put away childish things" (verse 11), as well as his reference to a mirror (verse 12)—that love is something we grow in. It must be perfected. What we have now is partial. Therefore, God does not give it to us in one huge portion to be used until we run out of it. In that sense, we must always see ourselves as immature. But a time is coming when love will be perfected, and we will have it in abundance like God. In the meantime, while we are in the flesh, we are to pursue love (I Corinthians 14:1).”

“This indicates that the biblical love is not something we have innately. True, some forms of this quality we call love come unbidden; that is, they arise by nature. But this is not so with the love of God. It comes through the action of God through His Spirit, something supernatural”

 

It's gonna take some guts to love in this day and age. To love CRAZY, to love passionately, and best of all to love purely. If you have never read the book Crazy Love by Francis Chan, I really suggest you read it. We are incapable of understanding how much Christ loves us.

You are worth more than Gold, loved and made with a purpose. Wake up every morning and tell yourself Jesus loves ME.  Smile and learn to be bold in your love. You see the beautiful girl in the second picture, this is a tragedy. You see love isn't easy it's a risk, sometimes love hurts. I don't want to be the girl that is afraid of love. Sometimes people close to me like my mom and my bests friends have asked me what are you afraid of? I used to get scared when guys wanted to get too close to me. It was cool when I liked them, but when they liked me back I would freak out and be like "is this right?"
I woke up this morning with a smile in my face and I did it- I did what my Sabbath school teacher told me do- I told myself Jesus loved me 10 times! And it just made me smile, I feel like I could jump up and down with all the joy inside of me. Christ loves ME so much! Yesterday he let my grandparents come to see me, and today he is letting me see Natalie and Emily, some of my bestest friends. It's just amazing how He works all things out in His time because it is like a dream come true that I get to see them! God loves you. I pray you bask in His love today.

Friday, January 18, 2013

White Funeral


Have you ever been to a funeral that seemed to drag on and on? The people keep talking about how great he was, what all he had done, how he always recycled his paper plates, his embarrassing stories they would never forget… You’re like ok enough he’s dead, bury the man so I can go home =)

Well I’ve been having one of those funerals with God. I just don’t want it to end. I tell God I’m ready, ready to die but then I don’t really give it all… But wait did you take care of my summer camp references? What about this summer can I go back to how it was? Are you going to give me enough money to be here? Are you sure I shouldn’t handle my life and my problems? But that guy is really cute, I need him..

I’m hanging on to myself while God is trying to let me die. He wants to rule in me 100%. He has done so much for me this year. He has taken out many distractions in my life and put in many positive role models that are beautiful examples of a Spiritual Chistian. He has taught me that no matter what happens, he will provide for me at the right time right when I need it. He has shown me that He will take care of me and that I need to die to self.

I’m ready for my white funeral to be over.

Have you had your white funeral: the burial of of the old life.

“You cannot go into your funeral in excitement because nobody dies in excitement. Death means you stop being.”

“Do you agree with God that you have stopped being the striving, earnest kind of Christian you were?

And is there a place in your life marked as a last day, a place where the memory goes back too, where you said Here now I truly die.

Romans 6:4 Buried with him… that.. even so we should also walk in newness of life.

What are your excuses? What are the things that are keeping you from truly dying with Christ?

Your not ready, me neither? Your afraid, God will provide. You are selfish, yikes me too: that’s why we must die.
 
 
We must look the gun in the face and say I do love God. – if you have ever wanted to be a martyr, now is your chance. Are you ready to die for Christ? Something more painful than physical death because it’s everything we used to stand for, everything we used to believe, everything we wanted, everything we dreamed. If you are ready to choose death, stand on your cross. Being crucified will be painful. The nails will hurt, they leave eternal scars of pain. The thorns on the crown of your head will dig into your brain and change the way you think. They will force you to think like Christ and blood will flow from your head. You will be whipped by other so called Christians. You will be betrayed and persecuted, alone or not the center of attention. You will feel abandoned by old friends and family. You will realize that what you used to have is gone. It is all over- you have betrayed yourself. Faerie tales are over because you have entered a war. You are now a representative of Christ; He is now your King and the ruler of your soul, spirit, and body.
Ode to Death
Dear God, I ask that you release me right now from the chains that have been locked around my heart: the chains of selfishness, jealousy, and pride, dreams of beauty and glorification. I want to die to everything my self, spirit, and soul believes in and lives for. I don’t want to live each day like it is about me. I don’t want my strive to be for good grades, a hot guy, or even a healthy body. I want to search for you like I am in a desert searching for water. I want to talk to you more. I want you to talk to me too- and I want to listen. I will listen God. When you say “Give it up” I will. When you say “Follow me” I do. I understand that death comes before marriage. And so I choose to die to myself today right now at 12:08 on Friday January 17th. I want to live differently from this day on, and I pray you help me to change my ways. I know that total surrender is a process, but God I really do want to die. I’m tired of the way I’ve been living. Some specific things I choose to die too today are: My summer camp choices, the desire for a boyfriend, the desire to be an angel, my connections with my old friends. I give you total control of all these situations. It is my sincere prayer God to die today because I want to be connected and committed to you and you alone. I thank you for being willing to come in my heart. I pray I live differently because of today.
 
 

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Repent for the Kingdom of heaven is near!!!

To Peter.. "the sense of his uncleanness in the presence of infinite purity overwhelmed him. Peter fell at the Savior's feet , exclaiming, "Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, Oh Lord."
The same presence of divine holiness had caused the prophet Daniel to fall like a dead man before the angel. Daniel 10:8. Isaiah exclaimed "Woe is me for I am undone. Because I am a man of unclean lips... for my eyes have seen the King, the Lord of his hosts." Isaiah 6:5 (Desire of Ages)

I have never fallen on my face for the Lord. I have only fallen to my knees. And I have done this far too little. Yesterday at Southern vespers with all college students kneeled we were asked to pray a prayer together. It said.. "This year may we open our Bibles more than any other textbook. And press the Bible app more than the facebook app...." It said some other things too but these are the parts that stand out in my mind.
Then sadly, the girl sitting next to me whispered in my ear "Ya right like that's gonna happen"
I just can't get this scene out of my head. It really saddens me, really baffles me. How can we be so selfish? How can we be so stupid? How can we be so naïve?

I think that was a providential thing, that the girl next to me said that. I think God's trying to tell me something here.
Like we need to get serious about God. Time is running out. When are you gonna get serious? When am I gonna get serious?

 Today I participated in a new ministry: Preach the Word Chattanooga. A guy started preaching on the Chattanooga bridge with a megaphone. Ok megaphone preachers normally turn me off... but now there's SDA megaphone preachers: Woah! I passed out tracts and asked a few people for prayer. You should see the looks of some of those poor people's faces. It was almost like I was holding a gun; they ran. Why are people running from a piece of paper? Why are people running from church? Why are people running from opening their Bible? Judgement? Not wanting to give God everything? Laziness? I don't know!! And while most people don't think they're running away from God, most of us are hiding a part of our lives from Him. Or we are still keeping idols in our hearts. Maybe idols like facebook, friends, or school..

We have to Surrender! We are in war and our time is almost up. Repent!!! For the Kingdom of heaven is near!! Repent, I urge you to let God change your life. I don't think this world will last much longer.



Learning God's Will

Today in Sabbath school we talked about learning God's will for our lives. These are the 8 steps that were outlined.

1. Know will of your own in the given manner.
2. Don't simply go by feeling.
3. Study God's word and seek Biblical guidance.'
4. Consider providential circumstances including those in the past.
5. Consult with Godly friends.
6. Ask God in prayer to reveal His will.
7. Make a decision and don't wait for a sign. Tell God what your decision is.
8. Proceed with your decision and ask God to stop you and close the door if you chose the wrong option.

My 2 goals for this week:
* Start every day on my knees in prayer.
* Walk with my head up, smile, and make eye contact with people I don't know.

Friday, January 11, 2013

my heart and my dreams

Today I got to listen live to a beautiful message from the creator of Veggietales and the Big Idea project. He shared about how after failing Bible college, God did a miracle and helped him create veggietales one of the most popular Christian video series ever made. He shared about how his company grew and grew miraculously all because he had faith and hard work.. But he didn't stop there. He shared about how Big Idea turned into a very bad thing and how Veggietales was taken away from his life.
He shared about how his pride had overcome him. About how he began to make the Big Idea and even inspiring others his focus instead of Christ. He said " The impact God puts on us does not occur when we are searching for impact but when we are searching for God." This meaning, if we want to make a difference we don't need to browse through charities and search for a big mission, we need to get in touch with our Creator. He knows our hearts, he knows our dreams, and He wants us to make a difference. But He wants us to care about Him more than anything else.

Dreams are dangerous if they are not directly from God.
They might be misplaced lovers or false hopes; they might be great goals. But no matter how good intentioned they are, if they are not from God they are not for us. Anything that takes up our heart, mind, and body needs to be of pure God inspired quality. Wanting a boyfriend does not fall into that category. Why isn't a Christian guy with good values an appropriate dream for your heart? These dreams are deceiving us that what we have right now: God, is not enough. Even good things can become idols. My health for life teacher said Satan just wants to get us in ditches. He doesn't care what kind. They may be good ditches that help others and they may be bad, they are still ditches that stop us from our journey upward towards Christ.

I struggle with this a lot, so I understand how tough this sounds. I'm not saying that we should be lazy or not have goals or even dreams. I believe dreams are powerful, but I also believe they are dangerous. Do you believe Satan can inspire dreams because I definitely do. I have plenty of dreams on my own. I'm a dreamy, imaginative, romantic girl. Who would have thought? =) But I feel God warning me: Be careful my child for some of your dreams are not what I have planned for you.
I don't want to dream in any other name but Jesus Christ. I don't want my heart to be filled with anything other than Christ's love. Therefore, I must guard my heart. I must guard my dreams. Proverbs 4:7 Above all else guard your heart for it is the wellspring of life
I really feel like God is calling me to filter my dreams. He has big plans for me, and I don't want my plans to get in the way of His. I need to stop dreaming and focusing on Christ, because no matter what happens, God is enough.

Some of my dreams:
 to hang out with my friends again and all work together at summer camp together
 to be a girls counselor again and change girls' lives
 to get a boyfriend
 to make good grades in Physical therapy
 to be beautiful and super fit
 to get my WSI

While you might think these are all good dreams, maybe even beneficial to other people, I see that in my heart, my focus is not where it should be. I don't want to worry about where to work at summer camp. I don't want to spend time wondering what I should do this summer and if my friends will be there to experience it with me. I have realized this year that sometimes even good things, like friends, can become idols in our life. Anything we love more than God is an idle. What if I said anything I thought about more than God is an idle? Point taken, I am praying for full surrender. We can not do this on our own, but God wants to change us. He stands at the door of our hearts knocking. He asks us to take Him in and let Him lead our lives. He asks us to kneel and give up our worries, our hopes, and even our biggest dreams. When we give Him our hearts, you can count on joy. You can also count on an amazing adventure and fight with Satan that will be the most epic battle you have ever expierenced. Finally, you can count on having a best friend and a Father by your side through anything, making you more beautiful day by day.
I want this and I hope you do. Christ wants to transform us. Right now I give him my heart.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Spirituality and my life

Spirituality:

"the capacity of forming the correct ethical judgment at each given moment in connection with the Holy Spirit. (Oscal Cullman)"

"a response to God's initiative, not something we initiate on our own. It means to center ourselves in Christ; He becomes the great passion of our lives" (SDA minister's manual)

"from loneliness to solitude, from hostility to hospitality, from illusion that life is about me to prayer." (Henri Nouwen)

I've never heard spirituality defined like this before. These are beautiful eye opening definitions, but they make me think. Do I really have that? Am I really a spiritual person?
* Do I feel like I know what God wants me to do in every situation?
* Is Christ the great passion in my lives? If He is, EVERYONE I encounter should see Him (not just my friends).
* When I am alone in my room or in a crowd am I content? When I meet loud people, drunk people, and different people is my first idea to give and to help rather than to judge? When I wake up every morning, do I pray instead of think about what I have to do?

If these definitions don't show you more Jesus and REAL faith then I don't know what will. These definitions are very convicting. To me they illustrate that life is about something different than we think. In the Bible it says "There is a way that seems right to a man but in the end it leads to death."

I challenge you to think about your own life. Do you have spirituality? It's not about actions, it's not about rules, it's about a relationship and a total surrender. It's not a natural, worldly, or a typical thing to have spirituality.

In "My Utmost for His Highest" it states "our reason for refusing is willful obstinacy". Obstinacy means stubbornness or self-will. If we want true spirituality, which I know I am searching for, we must think about what we are holding onto and refusing to give to God. Oswold Chambers says we must banish all pride and continually seek to surrender our lives to God.

 

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Thank you

I just want to thank God for giving me one of the best days I could possibly imagine. I mean I was so homesick before and dreading coming back to school. He just showed me how many friends I have and what a blessing it really is to be here today. I got an amazing intramurals team with totally fun girls. I know people in all of my classes or already made a friend. I'm glad I'm here and I know God is working in me. It's so amazing when you experience that peace and know that you are right where God wants you: in his hands =)

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Secret to Health

This morning I listened to a sermon by Ivor Myers about the 3 Angels Messages about health. It was so powerful and I want to share what I learned. I encourage you to listen to it for yourself
https://www.audioverse.org/english/sermons/recordings/4273/right-arm-of-the-gospel.html


Above is the official medical symbol of healing!! This is crazy; this is magnificent. The doctors have it right. We have to look to God the Great Physician and we can be healed!
You see this symbol represents a great Bible story found in Numbers 21:4-9. The Israelites grew impatient and the Lord sent venomous snakes among them that would bite to kill. When Moses prayed the Lord told Moses to make a snake and put it on a pole so that anyone who was bitten could look at it and live.

So when we grow impatient and troubles come our way, what must we do? We cannot focus on our sicknesses, our sinful diseases, our problems, we must look UP. We must fall on our knees and cry out to the God of the Universe. He will heal us.

90% of all disease results from our mind.
Stress is killing us off and is a benevolent factor to almost every disease imaginable.
Heart disease, cancer, colds, flu, insomnia, tumors, drug addiction.. the list can go on and on. Sure we all know that stress is bad, but do you really realize that Stress is the killer, released by Satan.

Another target word for stress is Adrenaline.
What does stress do to the body? It triggers your fight or flight response and the hormones adrenalin and cortisol are released. These hormones speed up the heart rate and blood flow and stop digestion. When your body has too much, insomnia, headaches, jaw pain, back and neck pain, stuttering, heartburn and nausea, nervousness and anxiety, fidgeting, nail-biting, lateness and trouble focusing, and a lack of interest can occur.

So why is stress the problem? Stress is our immediate response to problems and troubles. We try to fix our problems on our own, we have to stop trying and look to God. When we worship we surrender to God and release stress we are holding onto. Christ doesn't want us to stress or to worry about problems on our own. I challenge you, next time you encounter a problem or a worry, stop and pray. Don't stress. Give it to God. The Great Healer and Maker can handle whatever you are dealing with.

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Goodbye

Goodbyes are some of the hardest things but you can't truly LIVE and LOVE without them.
Everybody has to say goodbye at one point or another.
Some goodbyes are hard and some are easy.
Today I said goodbye to my parents. I hugged them on their way as they traveled to Texas and they left me here in Tennessee.
Tears stained my face and ruined my clear complexion.
Amidst the challenging goodbye I had seemed to lose direction
I felt totally lonely like a lost away from home
But then I remembered I will never be alone
With Goodbyes come New Beginnings
And when you stop looking in the mirror and telling yourself "I'm alone" "I'm scared" and "I can't do this"..
You will find why God has you right where He wants you Right Now!
Goodbyes are HARD. Saying goodbye to a grandpa, maybe an abusive relationship, a past where you have been hurt, a friend that is no longer helping you, a connection that needs to be broken down, an addiction that has to be stopped, or even your family dearest to you... You have to say goodbye sometime.
And as Danny Cantu, a dear friend, says "If we wait until we're ready, we'll be waiting for the rest of our lives."
So no I'm not ready. I'm not ready to leave my family and come back to this college where I struggle. Where I have to fight to get good grades in PT, push myself to juggle 5 balls, and compete to make true friends.. But here I am. And if this is where God wants me, then I know I'm ok. I'm saying Goodbye and I'm saying Here I am God.
When you really say goodbye, you choose not to dwell on the things of the past. You choose to live for today, not dreaming or dreading the past.
Maybe you are forced this year to say goodbye like me. Maybe you are going back to college and like me you are saying goodbye to the people you love the most and who love you back: the people who you are absolutely Crazy about. But maybe, you don't HAVE to say goodbye, maybe you just need too. I dare you to think with me about things that separate you from God. Could you say goodbye to them? I pray you have the strength to say goodbye to the things that are holding you back and keeping you from fully experiencing the love of joy.
I thank Jesus Christ now because He has the perfect plan for me and He will never leave us alone. Jeremiah 29:11 For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.
I pray you find peace in Christ today wherever you are.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

New Years Resolutions

Maybe you made New Years Resolutions, maybe you didn't. I encourage you to take some time to stop and look at your life. What was the last year like for you? If it wasn't good or wasn't Christ-filled I encourage you to change.
The definition of stupidity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result. How many times do we go around circles or phases in our life? We have to fight to be with Christ because it is a battle for our hearts, minds, and physical bodies. It takes prayer and the armor of God.
Therefore put on the full armor of God that you may take your stand against the devil's schemes. Put on the breastplate of righteousness, belt of truth, shoes of peace, helmet of salvation, and sword of the spirit. Be in prayer continually!
Ok let's take some time to look at the last year of your life and what God has done for you. I will ask a question and then take some time to read it and think about it before looking at my answers.

What miracles or amazing things has God helped you accomplish the past year?
What struggles did you overcome with God's help the past year?
What did God teach you the last year?
How much time did you spend in the Word and in prayer last year?
How much did you share Christ's love with others last year?

For me, last year was a big year. I transitioned from Campion to Southern college. I got my dream job as a counselor last year at Wewoka Woods as I got to teach young girls about Christ. That summer I was introduced to the devil and the true warfare of Christ. After that summer, I began to be more vocal and real about my walk with God. I joined a Bible study with a few friends and began to study God's warfare and prophecy. I have learned a lot about Christ this past year!

What miracles has God helped me accomplish?
* I made Southern Gym Masters! If you knew me before I joined the team or even now, you would agree with me that this is a miracle =) I'm not exactly graceful or flexible.
*I got an amazing roomie- ok that's just a blessing.
* hmm ok this is a lot harder than you think ;)
What struggles did you overcome with God's help the past year?
* Playing on a guys baseball team
* Priscilla =)
* Keeping peace at summer camp
* Being homesick at Southern
*Depending on other people too much
* My identity
What did God teach you the last year?
* He will provide for you at the perfect time when you need Him desperately.
* He will never leave you even when you feel all alone.
*He has a perfect plan for your life.
* He will be your Daddy.
*He will kiss your cheek and call you beautiful.
How much time did you share Christ's love with others last year?
Not enough!!! I did Bible studies and tried to tell my girls in the summer about God. I'm in a lifegroup and did some outreach during the year. At the beginning of the year I went to prayer around the flagpole, that was a true blessing.
How much time did you spend in the Word and in prayer?
I started trying to read through the Bible but unfortunately I did not succeed. For the first time I began going to a lonely place out in nature for a while and spending time with God and that helped me a lot. I didn't spend nearly enough time with God.

My challenge to you: Discover Christ in a new way this year!
Whether it be by keeping a prayer journal or life journal, starting your own blog, taking time to go out in nature by yourself, singing praise songs at the top of your lungs, or starting a new ministry.
Make God your number one!
What is coming between you and God? Do what it takes to change that. This is something I am currently battling with.
Spend an hour a day with Christ.
This seems so much but it is really not. It doesn't have to be all in prayer and Bible reading. This year I am going to try and read through the Bible with the Bible reading plan above. If you would like to join me, please message me or comment! I am also going to try and read all 5 Ellen G White books Coach gave me. Maybe you don't want to read the whole Bible through in one year, that's ok. Do what you can.
I pray you don't walk with God this next year. I pray you run the race, follow His footsteps even those that are hard to see. I pray you protect your heart and your mind by spending time in His word. Above all, I pray that you realize YOU are so BEAUTIFUL and LOVED by your King. You were made to be CAPTIVATING =)