Sunday, March 31, 2013

Intercession

My Bible teacher Mr. Nixon says If you are told a secret by a friend, or find out something like a sin or a deep struggle that not many people know, you have a duty to be an intercessor for that person. Because not many people know, but you do, God is counting on YOU to pray for that person and their problems, to take them before the Lord for them.

I have such a hard time with prayer and praying for other people
Please if you're like me just stop, get on your knees right now, and talk to God. Right Now. I just did =)

Intercession is a special part of prayer. This is sad, but to be honest, you don't hear a lot about intercession in church and Christian education these days. It's not stressed. I haven't ever been a big intercessor myself, but I've realized lately that intercession is so important, and it's something God's calling us all to do.

1 John 5:16 says "If any man see his brother sin a sin which is not unto death, he shall ask, and He shall give him life for them that sin not unto death."

I'm not going to lie, this is a new concept for me. And this is amazing! I'm like what how did I not know this?? Wow is this for reals? We can pray for our brothers and sisters in Christ and God will forgive them? We can confess on their behalf?

Let me read the verse again with Message translation: "For instance if we see a Christian believer sinning, we ask for God's help and he gladly gives it, gives life to the sinner whose sin is not fatal."

This totally amazes me! How gracious is our God?! That when we talk to Him, He listens so genuinely and He cares about what we say. Not like those friends who just nod their head and say ya and are multitasking when they talk to you (I do that sometimes) but He genuinely cares.  "How bold and free we then become in his presence freely asking according to his will, sure that he's listening. And if we're confident that he's listening, we know that what we've asked for is as good as ours." He is such a loving Father, and He really wants to make us happy- to give us the desires of our heart.

Oswald Chambers gives us a good warning. "If we are not heedful of the way the Spirit of God works in us, we will become spiritual hypocrites. We see where other folks are failing, and we turn our discernment into the gibe of criticism instead of into intercession on their behalf."
God.. "reveals things so that we may take the burden of these souls before Him and form the mind of Christ about them, and as we intercede on His line, God says He will give us "life for them that sin not unto death." "It is not that we bring God into touch with our minds, but that we rouse ourselves until God is able to convey His mind to us about the one for whom we intercede."

How dare we not intercess on our brothers' behalf?

Saturday, March 30, 2013

friends

I love laughing, like for real laughing my head off, really loud, like especially when I'm laying on the ground- that' just a plus. Today was a good day.
Tonight I had a lot of fun with some girl friends. So I was walking in the park  and I started to tell my friends I wish I had a boyfriend.. but before I could finish, I fell backwards like in slow motion, like slow motion. It was epic and then I sat on a bench but then I kept falling, so I fell all the way into this plant thing. And ya I was like just laying in this plant like laughing my head off.
Friends are great.
But God is better =)

John 15:12-15 “This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends. You are my friends if you do what I command you. No longer do I call you servants, for the servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all that I have heard from my Father I have made known to you.

James 4:8 Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded

Our greatest friend should always be Christ Jesus.

Proverbs 13:20 Whoever walks with the wise becomes wise, but the companion of fools will suffer harm

1 Corinthians 15:33 Do not be deceived: “Bad company ruins good morals.”

Romans 12:10 Love one another with brotherly affection. Out do one another in showing honor

This is a cool verse for how we should treat our guy friends, like our brothers in Christ Jesus. We should respect them and by respecting them we act in purity and do not tempt them by stupid flaunting or flirting.

Today I'm weak. I messed up on the Daniel Fast again BIG TIME and honestly I might be done with it I don't know. I also went on facebook which wasn't a good thing- this is the first day I've been on for 20 days. I'm tired... I'm tired of trying and struggling to follow God. I'm exhausted. It's such a battle.. ALL THE TIME.


Friday, March 29, 2013

My Faith- Your faith

"Religion is like a can of soup. As a Christian, all we ever did was read the label of the can, analyzing it's contents. In my new faith, we open the can and eat the soup." -
I identify- this used to be me, but it is no longer.
And if this is how you feel about God, I ask that you pray about it, that you search for a real walk with Christ. Because His desire for You is so deep.

Two basic components of Following God:
Commitment points to the time we made a conscious decision.
It is subsequently remade daily, sometimes hourly.
(Reading this in my student missionary book, hurts me because this week, out of all the weeks on my Daniel fast, I have not stayed committed to God. I have put earthly things before Him and neglected the time needed to study His word and seek His face.)
Obedience
Obedience does not mean perfection but a relationship.
It means we are striving to follow what God is teaching us.
It means we are listening so that we will not get distracted by the things of this world.

It's Friday, and I'm so grateful for the Lord's Sabbath and finally some time to really talk to Him. I am really saddened because this week I have fallen so far from God solely because I neglected Him due to my busy schedule. There's a lot going on in my mind and in my life right now, my mind needs to be focused on one thing: Christ.

What was the purpose of this year- of me being here at Southern?
To be honest, I don't have a best friend here, and lately I've been ok with that, but today I feel a little lonely and mystified. I can't believe this year is over.
There's only 4 more weeks of school!! Where did it go? What did I do? What does it matter?
And now I want to go to Peru or Africa.. and it's like hold on a minute. Did another year really pass by? Did I just like blink and miss it? Cuz it seems like just yesterday when I got here. And now it's almost over. This is craziness.
And I'm kinda like what God, hold up a minute? What are you doing?
I wanna  blame Him for all the things I don't understand.
My parents were asking me about boyfriends. And I kinda feel like their disappointed in me for not getting one. Like hey your at Southern shouldn't you be dating? that kinda thing. but it just didn't work out. I've had so much else going on. Too much going on recently anyways. So much that this entire week has been just running around, and my God time has been totally neglected.Some of this running around has been in pursuit of getting things done to be a missionary next year in Peru or Africa. Africa is the new possibility if Peru is not where God's calling.

"The battle is not against sin or difficulties or circumstances, but against being so absorbed in work that we are not ready to face Jesus Christ at every turn. That is the one great need, not the facing of our belief, or our creed, or the question whether we are of any use, but to face Him."

Jesus rarely comes where we expect Him; He appears where we least expect Him, and always in the most illogical connections.

The only way a worker can keep true to God is by being ready for the Lord's surprise visits. It is not service that matters, but intense spiritual reality, expecting Christ Jesus at every turn.
If you are looking off unto Jesus avoiding the call of the religious age you live in and setting your heart on what He wants, on thinking on His line- you will be called unpractical and dreamy- but when he appears in the burden and the heat of the day, you will be the only one who is ready. Trust no one, not even the finest saint who ever walked on this earth, ignore him, if he hinders your sight of Jesus Christ.
I feel like people don't understand what Jesus is doing for me and where He's leading me. They don't get why I want to go to Peru or Africa. They don't get that God is calling me there. They don't understand my views about modesty and purity. They don't understand radical. They say can't you just do the whole "Christian" thing? And NO I CAN'T. I'M SO DONE WITH THAT!

The thing I'm realizing is that God is calling me to get real about Him. He's saying that He wants me to get serious about our relationship. Because the End Times are so soon! And I believe the reason why He has separated me from people that I am really close too and not helped me get a boyfriend or a best friend.. is because he's like Brooke come on.. You NEED TO GET SERIOUS ABOUT ME. You need to put me first. You need to want me. You need to FOCUS ON ME because I WANT TO USE YOU.
I know this isn't just something God is saying to me, but I know that He desires the same for you.
To me, it kinda all makes sense, this was a year to prepare me to go as a missionary. This summer needs to be spent in meditation, in God time, in prayer to get that serious relationship developed. Because right now, it's far too shallow.
And even though I hate to say this and admit this alot of my friends are distractors for me and my walk with God. My family and my old friends, when I'm with them, it's easy to justify my normal Christian actions and forget to listen to the radical callings of Christ. I think it's going to be really hard for me to go back to camp with all these old friends and deep connections and live out my faith. Because it's realer now. I want to show them that I've changed, that Jesus is becoming a bigger part in my life. And that I value Him soooo much!

So I guess what I'm saying right now is I make the commitment to follow God where He chooses to lead me for the rest of this year, next summer at Wewoka at the lake, next year maybe around the world, and for the rest of my life.
I also choose obedience. It is hard to follow God. But we need to discipline ourselves. The End Times are coming .The time to get serious about God is now. We are called to so much more than the typical "Christian" lifestyle.
My question for you right now is What is Jesus saying to you right now?
Is He telling you to get serious? Is He calling you to follow Him in a new way?
Because in the End times when all this world is over the only thing that matters is My Faith and Your Faith.
I pray you experience the Holy Spirit and that you rest in Jesus' peace and blessings.


Wednesday, March 27, 2013

When we fall..

Today I messed up. I gave in. I broke. And I fell..
not only on my face in utter disgust, but to my knees as well
and I prayed God just get me through.. Please help me survive this day

See today I felt almost physically dead. I stayed up way too late the night before trying to finish a computer assignment due that night. Only to find out the computer wouldn't let me submit it because it was past the submition deadline.  My classes were frustrating and hard. I have bad grades which I know I can do better, it's just prioritizing.

I broke my Daniel Fast pretty bad this morning. I ate a biscuit with eggs (boy it tasted good =) But after I messed up I felt like quitting the entire thing. Later tonight at Gym Masters we were offered cookies and I was really tempted, I mean I messed up once more.. why not again?

The All or Nothing thing is a lie sometimes
If you fall, you are not fallen
If you mess up, you are not messed up
If you fall once, get back up

We all make mistakes. And we all have days when we are ashamed of how we acted or how we dealt with situations. But worse than falling is choosing to lay in shame and not get up again.
Be courageous and stand up out of your situation
Rise higher

I met with ** the guy who I have been working on resolving a lot of past drama with. It was good to talk to him, although it was difficult. And I am grateful to Christ for helping us restore a relationship that was so hurt.

I'm tired, but I'm not hopeless.
Still I will praise God. I will thank Him for sleep and the opportunity for rest and a new day, a new chance.
I pray that whatever trials you are facing right now, you find peace in God's arms. Give Him your burdens. Trust Him to carry you.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Purity

Matthew 5:8 Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.
I don't know about you but I want to see God face to face. I want to hug him. Look at the nail marks in his hand. Purity is important and often neglected in a Christian's spiritual journey.
Purity is not innocence. Purity is the outcome of sustained spiritual sympathy with God.
We have to grow purity. We have to work on letting God purify our hearts each and every day.
Purity is something we have to keep in our hearts and minds all the times. As Christians, we will still have temptations and trials. There are so many things in this world that are not of Christ- those things separate us from purity of heart and seeing God for who He is.
We are told not to meditate and think of the things of this world, the sins, misery, or temptations, but to think of the good things and the things of God. Purity of our hearts is  affected by our thoughts.
Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable--if anything is excellent or praiseworthy--think about such things. Philippians 4:8
I was listening to Dr. Nedley's lecture about emotional IQ last night and he said Thoughts have more to do with how you feel than what is actually happening in your life.Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable--if anything is excellent or praiseworthy--think about such things.
"God makes us pure by his sovereign grace, but we have something to look after, this bodily life by which we come in contact with other people, and other points of view, it is these that are apt to sully. "
"Not only must the inner sanctuary be kept right with God, but the outer courts as well be brought into perfect accord with the purity God gives us by his grace." Chambers

If we are going to retain personal contact with the Lord Jesus Christ, it will mean there are some things we must scorn not to do or think, some legitimate things we must scorn to touch.

Sometimes I think it's hard to have a balance between a "holier than thou" attitude and a pure but humble, friend to everyone.
Ellen G White says "The life must be like Christ's life between the mountains and the multitude."

Get on your knees and spend some time with God. Confess your sins, and ask Him to purify your hearts and mind so that you can see Him for who He truly is.

Monday, March 25, 2013

God's healing my scars


Well I'm mostly over all the boy drama of yesterday.
As today has enough battles of it's own.
I feel like God is working to heal.
He's working to heal my heart and scars as well as the heart of ** and I'm open to that but it's scary at the same time.
I wrote previously in my journal "Holy Spirit" that I chose to forgive a guy that has hurt me a lot when I was younger. Because of him, I have struggled with trusting guys a lot. Well I wrote to him and told him that, and today he wrote me back. His answer was quite surprising and I hope it is a God thing- what is happening. Here are some parts of what he said that I would like to share with you.
"Oh Brooke, I'm so glad to hear from you & so glad that
you have forgiven me for that unfortunate experience that we both had to go through. I want you to know that I have forgiven you already and have been praying for your healing and your heart! I know it was confusing and thought provoking for you too. The whole thing made me question myself and question my actions toward you and others. Your forgiveness means so much to me, and I want you to know that I still value our friendship! I know you struggled so much during that time, and since, and all I wanted to do was be there for you, but my hands were tied and I felt trapped. I had never been on that side of things before and I wished I could just explain it all away! I have never caused someone so much pain before and I feel I owe you so much! I'm so sorry for the misunderstanding that came between us and for the drama that scarred you! I hope that we can remain friends and rebuild a good friendship!
 We've been wanting to see you since coming here to Collegedale but haven't had the chance.  I would love to see you too and talk a bit! There are some things I wish to tell you in person! I hope that is okay!"
So with him saying all this, it really makes me think about the whole situation again. And honestly I want to see him because I think God wants to restore our friendship. Not to a level of intimacy but to a level where we don't have guilt or hurt feelings in our heart anymore. I want to see him but I'm a little nervous too. I told my mom and my two friends who know him and the situation as well. I want to see his family but I don't want to be by myself with him. So I might bring a friend, I'm not sure yet or just have his wife be there the same time we are talking.
What happened 3 summers ago, often I try to ignore. I was 16 and na├»ve. I didn't even like boys at that time. ** was my boss at the lake and we got really close. We had a lot of fun together at the lake and he wanted to hang out with me more and more. I really looked up to this guy. He was like a pastor and became one of my best guy role models. He was 28 years old and married. Some people started telling the -- that they thought our relationship was inappropriate. Then people begin spying on us and things got weird. I had to have a lot of talks about being careful and not trusting older guys too much because they could be dangerous. Then things got really weird. I tried to back off from ** but he kept trying to get close to me. He never did anything to hurt me, but he wrote me letters and tried to get me to spend time with him. The __ freaked out saying that he was perverted and was possibly going to rape me and the conference director had to come down to the camp and put a separation order between us so that we couldn't talk. The whole thing really scared me and confused me. Since then things got really awkward and distant between me and **. I was seriously scared that he was going to try and hurt me or rape me. Now I know that the whole thing was a big misunderstanding. It wasn't his fault, but it wasn't mine either. It's an awful situation. It hurt both of us a lot. I feel really bad for him because it hurt his reputation a lot too.
Working things out takes guts. It takes admitting that you were wrong and sincerely apologizing. It's easier to just ignore what's happened in the past and even the things that have hurt us. But even though we try to ignore the unpleasant things in our history, everything leaves scars. Christ calls us to take our relationships seriously and to forgive as he forgave us. It's important to forgive the people who have hurt you because they probably have guilt about that situation too. Christ wants to heal the many scars this sinful world has left upon us. We have to be open to Him about the things deep in our hearts that we sometimes don't want to talk about or even acknowledge. When we pour out our hearts to God, the restoring work that He can do is amazing.
God's working on changing and healing my heart. He wants to heal your scars as well. Will you let him?



Saturday, March 23, 2013

God doesn't want players

God doesn't want players. He wants champions.
What's the problem with the dating game? What's the problem with flirting with maybe four guys, getting to know them, and keeping them all on your list of possibilities? Then you start dating maybe two of them, but inside your head all these guys are ranked.
So let's just pretend here: see maybe Johnny is 1, Frank is 2, Otis is 3, and Mike is 4. They're all special, all good guys, with different positive qualities that you are attracted too. So Mike and Otis take you out on two dates, and you enjoy the attention. You have fun, but secretly inside your head you wish that you were dating Johnny. But Johnny isn't interested at the time, so is it fair to drag Otis along for the ride? I mean you can get to know him right and have fun until something better comes along? Maybe it would work out, you never know.
Do you see a problem with this?

Colossians 3:5-6   So put to death the sinful, earthly things lurking within you.

Galatians 5:19-21  When you follow the desires of your sinful nature, the results are very clear: sexual immorality, impurity, lustful pleasures,  idolatry, sorcery, hostility, quarreling, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish ambition, dissension, division,  envy, drunkenness, wild parties, and other sins like these. Let me tell you again, as I have before, that anyone living that sort of life will not inherit the Kingdom of God.

*88 percent of American men and women between the ages of 20 and 29 believe that they have a soul mate who is waiting for them
*50 percent of all marriages in which the brides are 25 or older result in a failed marriage. " National Center for Health Statistics. Rates are higher in younger couples.
* 65 percent of altar-bound men and women live together before getting married. " Bride's Magazine

*The percentage of married individuals, over the age of 18, who respond that their marriages are “very happy” has gradually declined over the last four decades, though the numbers have leveled out in the past 20 years. 
*The American divorce rate is nearly twice what it was in 1960
*Thirty percent of all women who are murdered in this country are killed by their husband or boyfriend.

What's the problem with the dating game? It's a game, it's false, and it's not God's destiny for our relationships. Is everybody doing it? A lot of people are. But a lot of people are sinning, suffering from depression, and ending there marriages in divorce.. is that what you want as well?

Pray about your relationships! Give God your relationship problems! Listen to what God tells you to do. It is so hard right now in this time, to love and live the way God wants you too. I challenge you to be different and to rise to a higher standard when it comes to dating and flirting and even being "just friends." No matter what you are messing with people's hearts. And every person is special and treasured in God's eyes.

Friday, March 22, 2013

Don't text my heart--intimacy

Dear XXX,
I like talking to you but I want to stop.
I need you to stop texting my heart.
You are leading me on, and you are making something out of nothing. We both know it feels nice to have someone there, to have someone care, to have someone to talk to anytime you choose.
What we both aren't thinking about is how much this is going to hurt us.

Intimacy is not created for guy-girl relationships other than the man/ woman God has chosen for you.
In-to-me-see is dangerous. Because it promotes hormones and special feelings- that will eventually lead to a desire to want more, and possibly union. God made us as intimate creatures that thrive in relationships. But this sinful world has distorted relationships and feelings. Our world is overwhelmingly sexual.

What's the problem with texting a guy every day that's "just friends"?
1. Texting won't build a solid relationship.
2. Texting uses only 10% of good communication skills.
3. Texting wastes time of both people involved.
4. Texting leads to unclear emotions and uninterrupted feelings.
5. It's easy to become satisfied with texting relationships and become fulfilled by "texting" friends other than God and real people in your life.
6. Texting relationships will end! And the ending of these relationships will still hurt.

I used to believe that a girl and a guy could be "best friends" and that's all. I wish this was true. In the bottom of my heart, I wish that I could be close to guys like I can girls and talk to them heart to heart all the time. More and more lately, I am beginning to believe that if we are honestly and utmostly striving to follow God's will in our relationships.. We will not drag intimacy into relationships with guys unless we are considering them for marriage.

I hate this so much. I hate what I just said, because I love hanging out with guys. They're so much fun and any day I would rather talk or chill with a group of guys than with girls. Maybe everybody feels that way because that's how we are made =)
I have hurt so many guys by trying to be friends with them. I'm tired of it.The problem is in most close friendships there is one partner if not both that is dealing with feelings out of the "friend zone". Relationships are meant to go places. How can you balance these relationships with guys? I think it's extremely difficult. Where do you draw the line on what's too intimate?
We have to be constantly talking to God about our relationships. We need to be praying about our friends both male and female and about our future spouse. He will give us signs and speak to our hearts. When you start to get excited feelings and start to doubt if maybe things could work out and go further than just friends or when you start to think about that person throughout the day, you need to evaluate the relationship.
I struggle with this so much, but my friend and I had a really eye opening talk today and I wanted to write about this. There are so many relationship problems today, and it really makes me sad.
I guess to end, I just want to say that if you are truly seeking God before any man, He will put the right partner in your life at the right time.

Holy Spirit

Have you ever had anyone hurt you really bad? Maybe they lied to you, raped you, or murdered your dad. Maybe they were your first boyfriend that cheated you and broke your heart. Maybe an old friend that used you again and again or destroyed your reputation?
Do you hate them or do you love them? Can you forgive them? And how would you treat them if they were sick and you had the opportunity to care for them? Would you have compassion?
 I challenge you to read the following stories and test yourself: Do you have the Holy Spirit?

I got this from a wonderful sermon by Ivor Myers called the "Test of the Spirit". Please start by reading Matthew 25 The Parable of the Ten Virgins, The Parable of the Talents, and The Sheep and the Goats. Then read the story of the Good Samaritan in  Luke 10:25.

The priest who had the opportunity to help the Good Samaritan: He didn't know them, therefore he chose not to care
Samaritan: "He went to him bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine." demonstrating compassion

Do you really want the Holy Spirit?
Regardless of you having the truth of God, if you are not willing to forgive those who owe you something, and have compassion .. you will not be in God's kingdom.
Is it any coincidence that the Samaritan put on oil and wine on the robbed man?
Oil represents the Holy Spirit. The Levite and the Pharisee both had lamps, but they didn't have any oil. The Samaritan had the oil and the lamp. The wine represents the blood. So the Samaritan is taking the Holy Spirit and the blood and working on His enemy.
Imagine yourself working with the person you hate the most, the person who has hurt you the most, with the oil and the blood of Christ.
EGW- talking about the lamps and the oil-"This is symbolic of those who have not prepared themselves to develop a character to stand in the time of crisis. It's as if they would go to their neighbor and say "give me your character, for I am lost." Character is not transferable, and character is what counts. Character is shown when nobody is looking. The Levite and the Pharisee both thought nobody is looking.
If you have the Holy Spirit in you, you are going to love.. even your enemies.
 Do not even the evil people love their friends and their daughters? But can you come near the people who have hurt you and scarred you the most? The people who broke your heart and who destroyed your trust? Can you love them? No excuses, no whining. Can you really and truly from the bottom of your heart, when nobody is looking, love them?
Jesus is like the Good Samaritan. He sees us on the side of the road: wounded and injured. He takes the Spirit and His own blood. He takes care of us. He brings us to the end. To Him we were undeserving, we hurt Him, we were His "enemies". He takes us to the inn keeper. And says take care of them and when I come back, I will reimburse you. He leaves the inn keeper some gifts to take care of us. Take care of him.

The Pharisee separated himself from the robbed man. The Levi separated himself, both passed on the other side because they did not know the robbed man. When Jesus comes again, He will separate (Mt 25:32)  the sheep and the goats: right and left. He will separate us based on if we chose to love Him. If we had compassion.. if we loved our enemies and the people we didn't know.. The Bible says that Jesus gave us the opportunity to serve and take care of him every time we saw someone hurting or in need."I was a stranger you took me in... Lord when did we see you? I tell you the truth, whatever you did not for the least of those, you did not do for me."
Luke 10:30 says "A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, when he fell into the hands of robbers..." This is exactly what happened to Jesus. In this parable Jesus was not only the Samaritan but He was also the guy who was wounded. He wanted to see how we would treat him if we didn't know who he was?
Do you really have the Spirit?
Do you know how many people will be lost because they hated somebody?
If you don't have the spirit of compassion you don't truly know God.
I tell you the truth whatever you did for the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me. Matthew 25:40
"He who sayeth He is in the light and hateth his brother is in darkness even until now."1 John 2:9
Hatred of a brother, or any person- no matter what they have done to you- will dry out all the oil from your lamp and keep you away from heaven.
Forgiving them is not justifying what they have done. In no way, is it making their action acceptable. God will keep each person accountable for their own actions, but He will also hold you accountable for forgiveness. As Christ has forgiven you so much more, you need to forgive the people who have hurt you. As you forgive them, you are giving Christ permission to heal your heart.
Hating your brother is murder. Search your heart. Do you have the oil of the Holy Spirit?
Have you forgiven your enemies? I challenge you to really take this message to heart and forgive the people who have really hurt you? Just tonight, I wrote a message to a guy that abused my trust and really hurt me when I was 16 years old telling Him that I totally forgave Him and hoped that God would bless His family. I pray right now that if you are having a hard time with forgiveness, that God would give you the strength you need.
Matthew 5:44 But I tell you love your enemies, and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven.
God bless!


Thursday, March 21, 2013

heaven


Preacher told me last Sunday mornin’ Son, you better start livin’ right
You need to quit the women and whiskey And carrying on all night
Don’t you wanna hear him call your name
When you’re standin’ at the pearly gates?I told the preacher, 
“Yes I doBut I hope they don’t call todayI ain’t ready"
Everybody wants to go to heaven
Have a mansion high above the clouds
Everybody want to go to heaven
But nobody want to go now
I said, "Preacher maybe you didn’t see me
Throw an extra twenty in the plateT
here’s one for everything I did last night
And one to get me through today"
"Here’s a ten to help you rememberNext time you got the good Lord’s earS
ay I’m comin’ but there ain’t no hurryI’m havin’ fun down here
"Don’t you know that
Everybody wants to go to heaven
Get their wings and fly aroundEverybody want to go to heaven
But nobody want to go now
Someday I want to see thoseStreets of gold in my halo
But I wouldn’t mind waiting at leastA hundred years or so
Everybody wanna go to heaven
It beats the other place there ain’t no doubt
Everybody wanna go to heaven
But nobody wanna go now
Everybody wanna go to heaven
Hallelujah, let me hear you shout
Everybody wanna go to heavenBut nobody wanna go now
I think I speak for the crowd
Nobody want to go now
KENNY CHESNEY - EVERYBODY WANTS TO GO TO HEAVEN LYRICS

 I don't know about you but I am mad ready for summer and play. I am so hopeful for sunshine weather that for the past two days I've walked around campus looking like a beach bum in shorts, sandals, and a t-shirt freezing my but off! I'm just so excited for summer and to see my friends and family and take a break.
 Am I as excited for heaven as I am excited for summer? How much do I want heaven to come? How much do you want heaven to come, and are you ready to go now??
 This song by Kenny Chesney really saddens me. I think it's very true and honest. If we're honest with ourselves I think many of us would relate to Kenny that at least in some point in our lives we're like "God I'm not ready." Please just let me get married first, or let me enjoy these parties, or let me experience life...
 Am I ready to die tomorrow? If I searched my heart and was totally and completely honest with you, my answer would be No. This is a problem.
Why are we so content to live in this world of sin? Maybe it's because we are still focusing on earthly things and not spending enough time with Christ and in His word.
When I first came to Southern, I had some major issues with homesickness. One of the biggest reasons why I had these problems was because I was focusing on the people I had left "back home". I had left my best friends and family and during the day I was constantly thinking about them, texting them, and calling them. When I stopped texting them so much and calling them every hour crying about how much I missed them, I began to truly experience Southern. Only then, did I make my own friends and learn what a great place Southern was for me. So what does this have to do with heaven? Where are our eyes focused? Are we looking at Jesus Christ, God the Father, the Word of God, listening to the Holy Spirit, and seeking God's will in everything we do? Or are we searching for things of this world, material possessions, things that will quickly fade like riches, good grades, prosperity, or popularity just to name a few. The Bible says "Where your treasure lies there your heart will be also."
I want to be "homesick for heaven"!
Jesus Christ is coming so soon! I really and truly believe that we are the remnant church and this can be supported by so much Biblical prophecy. We are called to evangelize now to the entire world so that Jesus Christ can come and take us home.
You don't need to watch the entire video below, but I find it touching and truthful. We don't know how long we have on this earth. We could die at any time from anything: car accident, fire, murderer... Nobody thinks that they will die young. People do all the time.
Don't waste this moment that God has given you. Have security in Jesus Christ and get excited about the time you will spend in heaven with Jesus.

Revelation 21:4 He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.”


Revelation 22:1-5  Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, bright as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb through the middle of the street of the city; also, on either side of the river, the tree of life with its twelve kinds of fruit, yielding its fruit each month. The leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations.  No longer will there be anything accursed, but the throne of God and of the Lamb will be in it, and his servants will worship him. They will see his face, and his name will be on their foreheads. And night will be no more. They will need no light of lamp or sun, for the Lord God will be their light, and they will reign forever and ever.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

March 20

EGW Steps to Christ:
Think of the last thing you prayed about- were you devoted to yourself or to God?

Determined to get some gift of the Spirit or material thing- or to get God?

Your heavenly father knoweth what things you need before you even ask. The point of asking is to get to know God better.

Delight yourself in the Lord and He shall give you the desires of His heart.  Psalm 37:4

Today was a crazy day. Alot happened both good and bad. To start on the negative side, I got elbowed really hard in the mouth during volleyball. My mouth became really bloody and it hurt quite bad, then our team lost the playoffs. On the positive side, I got an email from Amor Missions in Peru and they were very positive about the possibility of me serving for them in Peru as an SM. Because of Gym Masters, I have a special connection with the director of Amor Missions and since I heard many people are applying, anything helps. It just goes to show, God's will will be done!
And that's my honest prayer. Lord, I am willing to go, but please slam the doors in my face if you don't want to send me to Peru. Because I want to follow you Lord, and I definitely don't want to go to the jungles around the world alone.

Peace be with you! If you have any prayer requests look on the right side and follow that link. You can then leave your prayer requests as a comment and I will add it to my prayer list =)

Monday, March 18, 2013

Prayer

"Through nature and revelation, through His providence, and by the influence of His spirit, God speaks to us." What a joy it is to have a King, and yet a best friend at the same time, pursue us and wait to talk to us. Oh the many ways he wants to teach us and connect with us. Our Father in heaven is captivating.
We need also to pour out our hearts to God. We must learn to commune with Him. Prayer is the opening of the heart to God and the opening of God's heart to us. It's beautiful and supernatural.
The Devil does many things to keep us away from prayer.
I have struggled with prayer for a long time, and I continue to struggle with it. The thing about prayer is you can't multitask and you can't be distracted. You really and truly have to devote your mind to communion with Christ and the Spirit. I struggle with this because often my life is so busy and fast. It is hard to suddenly push pause, and let everything fade away. Yet prayer is the life of our walk with Christ. We cannot just say, "prayer is difficult for me". No, we must persevere and continue to seek God. Prayer is of utmost importance- it establishes our connection with the Lord.
As we try to commune with God and put efforts toward prayer, God will do miracles. He will fill our hearts and give us true communion with Christ. Isaiah 44:3 says "Those who hunger and thirst after righteousness, who long after God, shall be sure that they will be filled."

-If you are a person that prays I ask that you pray for me this week. I have accepted God's call to go to Peru, and I have filled out an application. Today I found out that getting accepted could be difficult because there are a lot of sm applications turned in for Amor Projects in Peru. I am rather late in starting my application process, and I have no money yet. Despite my concerns, I know that God is capable and will provide.

Ellen G White Quotes From Steps to Christ:

Perseverance in prayer has been made a condition of receiving.

We must not neglect secret prayer- for this is the life of the soul.

Satan cannot overcome Him whose mind is stayed on God.

You cannot weary God with your wants. He who numbers the hairs on your head is not indifferent to the wants of His children.

The life must be like Christ's life- between the mountain and the multitude.

Christ and Him crucified should be the theme of contemplation, conversation, and of our most joyful emotion.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

I will labor for Christ

Yesterday I had a really cool experience with my friend Priscilla: to me, it was kind of like God telling me I will use you. I have chosen you, and I will use you. Here's what happened:
My friends and I went to subway to get some veggie sandwiches for our Daniel Fast. The lady at the counter was in tears, she told us she couldn't serve us and was closing down because she had just got word that her husband had died. I offered to pray with her so Priscilla and I prayed together with her in the store. We tried to offer some words of comfort but it was so hard. It was clear we had touched her though, or God had touched her. It was just such a blessing to be used by God to bring comfort.
And that's why I want to go to Peru next year, to be used by God.
I foresee the beginning of a separation from selfishness and things typical to me of this world. I can't wait to grow deeper with God. ARME Bible camp taught me how little I know about Christ and my beliefs. It also opened my eyes to how shallow I have been in my Bible studies. We must rise! God is coming soon. I believe it! Look at the signs, read the word. Matthew 24:24 Even the very elect may be deceived by false prophets. We must equip ourselves for Jesus is coming soon and this is the end times! We must learn what we believe and make ourselves messengers to the entire world. God wants you to use you, He wants to use me. We must study His word; we must begin now.
Tonight I read a warning from Oswald Chambers, that I know I need to take seriously. 2 Corinthians 5:9 and 10 says : So we make it our goal to please him, whether we are at home in the body or away from it. For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive what is due to him for the things done while in the body, whether good or bad.
"Only one life, will soon be passed
Only what's done for Christ will last"
We must make sure all of our labor is only for Christ's approval.
We should not be ambitious to save lives, to convert people, to establish churches, or to preach the Gospel to the entire world, but first we should make sure of all our labor is for Christ's approval. We must make sure we are doing what Christ wants. And for Christ not for alternative reasons.
It's easy for me to get caught up in the "adventure, fun, and thrill" of going to Peru. And I don't think God doesn't want me to enjoy going and experiencing this great adventure, but I must realize that I'm going for God not other motives. I have these big dreams in my heart to help the hurting children and people who are sick in Peru, but God is calling me to glorify Him, to follow Him. I cannot let my heart get too caught up in what I want to do in Peru. I must study God's word and seek to follow His will in everything. If He chooses to not let me go to Peru, then so be it. This is about God, not about me. I must let go and God must come in.
This message by Chambers hit me hard. Already I am getting distracted, caught up in the excitement, caught up in the mystery and my heart is dreaming about the jungles... la la la la la.. No, I must practice self control. If God is calling me, He will provide and He will direct. Not my heart, not my dreams, and not my wants.
Tonight a few of my friends were telling me about the dangers of going to the jungle in Peru. They were talking about anacondas, paranas, spiders, and jaguars. My mom was asking me if I could get eaten by a lion. It all sounds exciting, because it's an adventure, and I've always wanted to do something like this (here I go again in the "me thinking") but it really is a big risk. There is a chance of me getting eaten. There is a chance of me getting diseases and dying. I'm willing to die for Christ to accomplish His work. It just again makes me realize how serious of a thing this is and how I need to diligently be searching for God. I don't want to go to Peru without the Lord and I don't want to wait til I'm in Peru to find Him. I know God and I know He is there for me all the time, but I want to know Him deeper. I want it to be realer. Yes I'm willing to risk my life for God. If He wants me to die in Peru, I will still follow, but I just pray that whatever happens, that it be Christ's will. That I follow Him and not my own heart. That I glorify Him and none other.
1 Corinthians 9: 26, 27 Therefore I do not run like a man running aimlessly; I do not fight like a man beating the air. No, I beat my body and make it my slave, so that afte I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize.
We are serving God, we are running the race, we are fighting the fight of good faith. This is WAR- and we are warriors. I will equip myself because I'm going into the battle. I pray you fight on God's team and choose to protect yourself as well.
Ephesians 6:10-18 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in His mighty power. Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil's schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes you may 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 with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all of 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..
If Christ is for us then who shall be against us.
I shall not fear for the battle will be Christ's alone and He will be my protector!



Saturday, March 16, 2013

I'm going to Peru

God has finally answered my prayers and I know without a doubt that He is calling me to Peru next year as a student missionary. I don't know how He will provide or make it possible but I trust Him. I don't know why He wants me to go next year when most of my friends are going the year after but I know He does. I don't know why God is calling me to go to Peru to a medical clinic even though I'm still very fearful of doctors and ivs, but I know God is calling me. He spoke to me today in Sabbath school and church directly and personally. God spoke to me and it made me shake and I started crying because I knew for sure that God is really calling me.
I told my parents and they said that if God was leading, then they were ok with it. This is a big thing since I have been begging my parents to go since the beginning of the school year and they have asked me to wait another year. But I told God that if He wants me to go, He must work on my parents' heart and I believe He has. They are open to God's will in my life. I know they are scared. And to be honest, I am too. But I know that God will take care of me and provide.
I prayed that I would have a friend to go to Peru with if it was God's will and He has answered that prayer. I met a girl who went to Dominican with me named Becca who wants to go to the exact same place as I do. Mikaya one of my best gym master friends wants to go as well second semester. So God has definitely answered my prayers.
As I tell my friends my decision to go, it's not exactly what I expected. They are mostly like "cool" or "why" or "that'll be good for you". Honestly this is hard, but some of them are far away so we can't talk heart to heart and others of them just aren't that close to me. It's a really big decision and a really big thing to me. I just want to serve God radically and get to know Him in a totally different way. I know that God will change me in Peru- I also know He's changing me now. I desire a totally different type of relationship with Him.
I'm really exciting for what God's doing in me and I'm really happy He answered my prayers.
Joshua 1:8,9 Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified. Do not be discouraged. For the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.
Matthew 28:19-20 Go into all the world and make disciples of all the nations baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the son and of the holy spirit and low I am with you always even unto the end of the age.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

I look to you

"As I lay me down
Heaven hear me now
I'm lost without a cause
After giving it my all
Winter storms have come
And darkened my sun
After all that I've been through
Who on earth can I turn to?
I look to you"

Tonight I just couldn't hear God. I couldn't focus. So I started browsing the internet, and I read my devo. I came across music that really touched me, two songs, "I look to You" by Whitney Houston and "Avalanche" by Hillsong. Music has so much power and I'm so glad God loves to be glorified in praise.
"And I find myself here on my knees again
Caught up in grace like an avalanche
Nothing compares to this love love love
Burning in my heart"

"Take my life. Take all that I am. With all that I am I will love you. Take my heart take all that I have. Jesus how I adore you. "
Take my life take everything! Please Lord Jesus

*Tonight I need you to rid me of me because tonight I find myself here on my knees again. I messed up again, so much just this week. I was trying to be a good host to Priscilla but I got selfish and lost my love. I was trying to focus on you every day this week for an hour and yet I get so distracted by people texting me that I neglect. I've gotten impatient, I've talked behind people's back. Yet tomorrow is Friday. Arme Bible camp is here and your Sabbath, dear God, is so soon. I love you so much God. I thank you for speaking to me and revealing some of your glory in my heart today. I love you so much.*

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Idols

"The person or thing you seek to please the most will always be the first god that you serve. Whether that is family, friends, or a career, I challenge you to lay them aside and keep the Lord as number one on your list. It is only by doing this that you will be prepared to continue serving Him if should He take from you what you love the most."

Whatever draws away from the heart of God must be given  up- EGW.

What a shame it is that we have such troubles giving up "all"- for our all is only sinfulness and treachery that God wants to transform into beauties.

In the end- nothing else but God will matter so why do we let worries, friends, schoolwork, sports, and relationships take up our time and thoughts now?
Our God is a "jealous God"- I used to not understand this quote.

My English teacher yesterday told us a story about a family that had a really hard time letting their son go as a missionary because the missionary who had last been there had just died..
My parents are having a really hard time with letting me go next year as a missionary.
It's scary, and I know that it's dangerous.
I also know that I will be making sacrifices.
I just think that we need to be ready to give up everything at any time for Jesus when He calls.

Is Jesus calling you to something greater today?
Where is your focus?
I challenge you to redirect your eyes to the cross of Jesus Christ.
Then Jesus told his disciples, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it. For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? Or what shall a man give in return for his soul? For the Son of Man is going to come with his angels in the glory of his Father, and then he will repay each person according to what he has done. Matthew 16: 24-27

Daniel Fast Day 2 Journal

Honestly I'm struggling..
This is going to be a lot harder than I thought. Not only is it horrible not having any food to choose from, but this "healthiness" is making my stomach upset. I am constantly hungry and I crave "real food". I have the constant urge today to go on facebook because today I've been really stressed. Both eating and facebook are two of my most popular coping methods. So yes this is difficult- but I will not quit. Harder than not going on facebook and eating healthy is making time for God- an hour. This is sad that this one of the most challenging parts. My day is so busy and I should most definitely be doing homework right now. But right now I'm choosing to put God first over my schoolwork and spend this hour with him.
I just got off the phone talking to my mom. It was a really selfish conversation I'm sad to admit. I've been pretty selfish today, yes the Holy Spirit has definitely just convicted me of that. During my phone conversation, I asked my mom if she had thought about Peru anymore and prayed about it for me. She said for the first time she prayed to God with an open heart about it! That's a really big step for me, because I have basically asked God that if he wants me to go to give me my parents approval. If my parents say yes I feel like I should go. But I'm not ok with going if my parents aren't comfortable with it or don't agree. So ya I want to go to Peru, it's just really on my heart right now. My mom was asking me why I want to go. I told her I'm tired of school, tired of America, tired of selfishness, tired of fake.. I want to heal people. I want to help people, to change lives, and to be a doctor. I want to share Christ's love.
I guess that's all- that's how I feel right now. I'm stressed out here with so much going on recently and trying to get LGI certified at the same time, but I'm trying to just have faith. I'm fighting a cold too.
" I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me- Philippians 4:13."
My hearts in Peru right now... I want to go so bad...
Check out their website: http://amorprojects.org/

Monday, March 11, 2013

Mad

I'm really frustrated right now. This fast thing is not working "magically" like I thought. I'm irritable and totally distracted. I'm being a jerk and I'm really mad. I don't want to do this anymore. But I said I would, so I'll try I guess. I think I need to sleep- please pray for healing of my heart and body! Lovem Brooklyn

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Meaningless

The race is not to the swift or the battle to the strong,
Nor does food come to the wise or wealth to the brilliant or favor to the learned,
but time and chance happen to them all.
Ecclesiastes 9:11

Go eat your food with gladness, and drink your wine with a joyful heart, for it is now that God favors what you do. Always be clothed in white, and always anoint your head with oil. Enjoy life with your wife, whom you love, all the days of this meaningless life that God has given you under the sun- all your meaningless days. For this is your lot in life and in your toilsome labor under the sun. Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might, for in the grave, where you are going, there is neither working nor planning nor knowledge nor wisdom.
Ecclesiastes 9:7-10

God doesn't want you to worry.
Life is so much smaller than we realize- it's not about us.
It's not about the things we do right or the things we do wrong- God covered that.
God's got that nailed to the cross with Him.
I often think God says to us I want you to see me through my eyes
I want you to see the world like I see it and then you would understand
You would understand love and how much I love you
I love the wilderness because it's so easy to find God in his creation
The way God made things, they're unperverted, they're pure
God's ways are so perfect, so just, so beautiful.
Everything not in Christ is meaningless

*shooting stars*

Can we pretend that airplanes in the night sky like shooting stars? I could really use a sign right now, sign right now..
I'm really happy right now because not only is my bestie Priscilla here with me at Southern, but I just got done having one of those really deep, totally awesome spiritual conversations with her looking at the stars. Talking about God, talking about life, sharing our stories of what God's been doing for us. And praying together about where God wants to lead us.
I'm super excited because I feel God might be calling me to go to Peru next year. I asked Him for a sign, for a shooting star, and He showed me three shooting stars! Besides that, I prayed that if He wants me to go, He would help one of my friends to be called to go too. Right now one of my good friends on Gym Masters Mikaya is praying about going as well. The final thing I need from God in order to know that He wants me to go is I need my parents approval. My parents and friends have in general been really down on me going to Peru next year. They keep telling me to wait. But despite trying to listen to them, it's really in my heart. I want to work at the clinic with Amor Projects. So I'm not saying I'm going to Peru next year for sure, I'm just asking you: Please pray for me! Please pray that if it's God's will then my parents will understand and if it's God's will He will make it happen. Pray that I know if God wants me to go, and that I surrender all my life to Him and what He is doing in me.
I was offered lake director for this next summer at Wewoka Woods the day I left for the Dominican Republic. I was totally stunned with surprise because I thought God was calling me to be a counselor. I didn't expect Apple to offer me lake director anyways since I'm so young. But I've been praying about it, and I think it's a really good opportunity for me. Priscilla and I were talking about how sometimes God wants us to be still (Psalm 46:10) and just trust him. Being lake director will give me more time to seek God in the wild, look at the shooting stars, and focus on getting more intimate with Christ himself. I loved counseling next year but God's giving me some pretty cool ideas for the lake and I'm really excited with what He's doing in me.
Tomorrow I start the Daniel Fast with a few friends. I will be seeking God's will about being a missionary and trying to draw close to Him. There are 5 aspects of the fast that I am trying to do to become closer to God 1. go totally organic, 2. spend 1 hour with God in a sacred place, 3. pray with a stranger or friend every day, 4. not go on facebook during this entire fast, and 5. start and end every day with prayer on my knees. It's 28 days and I just want to get a lot closer to God.

Dominican Republic

I just got back from a mission trip to the Dominican Republic- it was really fun and I want to tell you about what God did for me on our trip! It's hard to explain what God was doing in us with gymnastics. Before I went, I was slightly skeptical how just doing gymnastics could reach people for God. But God really and truly did use gymnastics as a powerful way of witnessing. You see, in the Dominican gymnasts are rare and we were actually one of the first teams to ever introduce gymnastics to the Dominican people 3 years ago when we went. When we do back flips and toss girls ten feet into the air, the Dominicans freak out. We were treated like celebrity status Olympians the entire week. Thus we do a show, we make thousands of people smile, laugh, and giggle- all the while our music is Christian, we where shirts that say don't do drugs which is a huge issue in the Domican, we pray on the mats, & we try to promote the actions of Christ in everything we do. After the show, we go to the audience and talk with them, hug them, and take pictures. My favorite saying for the week because I don't know tons of Spanish was "Dios de bendiga"- God bless you! We performed around 10 shows last week with our biggest being about 6000 people. We had to travel all over the Dominican to do these shows so we were in the bus over fourty hours this week- but at least we got to see the country ;)
The thing that sticks out to me the most about the Dominican is the day when we went to the hospital. I didn't know what to expect, but we were able to walk the halls and attempt to talk to the patients. There was a little girl there that broke my heart as well as many of the other teammates on our team. This poor girl had no name nor any parents to call her own. She had been abandoned at the hospital alone! This girl had elephantitis in the head. Her head was about twice as big as normal, it was huge, bigger than a balloon. She couldn't move her head or body because her head was so big. Her eyes were bulging because they were huge. Once I looked at this girl, I couldn't take my eyes away. It stunned me- what a tragedy. How could her parents leave her alone? How can this world be so evil? This poor baby girl that looked around the age of nine really broke my heart.
Another thing that really touched me was some of the audience responses to our performances. I gave tons of hugs away to little kids who were desperate to be touched (physically) by us. One time after I signed an autograph, three little girls started jumping up and down in excitement. They were that excited to have my name on their paper. It was crazy to see the impact we could have in kids' lives just from performing for them- we were a lot of their heroes. I also bonded with some of my team mates on the trip, and we all got a lot closer. I began some new great relationships. The mission trip confirmed to me that I want to be a student missionary in Peru at the medical clinic. I don't know when or details but I'm trusting God will lead and provide just like he did for me when I went to the Dominican Republic!
Dios de bendiga amigas de Christo- Brooke