Tuesday, April 30, 2013

I'm ready for this

Hey.. I just met you
And this is crazy
But it's almost summer
Hello baby

I'm so not ready for this! What do you mean OVER? This year cannot be over. You must be kidding me!! It's so crazy how fast time flies. Soon I'll be getting tan, riding wakeboards, driving the boat, and then off with me to Peru =) It's weird how fast things can change and life too. Pretty soon everything will be different.

IM SO EXCITED TO GO HOME AND SEE THE PEOPLE I LOVE THE MOST! MY FRIENDS AND MY FAMILY I CAN'T EXPLAIN HOW MUCH I'VE MISSED THEM.




Monday, April 29, 2013

On the outside looking in

Do you wish you could ever see yourself from someone else's perspective? You could see what people really think about you and how they judge you.
Reputations and identities are funny things.
Just the other day I was walking down the Southern promenade and this guy was just like "hey your the juggler girl..."
I'm like Hi my name's Brooke, nice to meet you. Not really, but that's what I wished I could say ;) Like it's sweet to get a little attention for juggling or be known for something you are good at. But at the same time it gets annoying when people put you boxes.
It's hard when people want to classify you or label you. (Nerd, jock, blonde, stupid, dork, genius, goody good) It's tough when they don't actually take the time to get to know you.
What I've realized lately is nothing can replace time. Time is one of the most valuable gifts God has given us. Nothing builds relationships like time. Time can never be made up. The closest people to me in my life are the people I've known the longest. There's just something about the people that know you the closest and love you anyways. You know you've found a best friend when someone knows all about you: the good, bad, and ugly and chooses to love you anyways.
I am very blessed to have some amazing best friends. Sometimes they're far away from me, but none the less true friends' hearts can never be separated. If you don't have a best friend in your life right now, I encourage you to pray about it. Ask God to give you a friend that is spiritually uplifting and trustworthy. Then you work on being that close friend that you've always wanted. If you show people you can be there for them, they will be much more likely to trust you. No matter what, remember to thank Jesus for always being willing to be your best friend.

1 Samuel 16:7 But the LORD said to Samuel, "Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The LORD does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart."

Proverbs 18:24
One who has unreliable friends soon comes to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.

Sunday, April 28, 2013

No good very bad day

It's been a no good very bad day
I want to move to Australia
I didn't get the things I needed too done, like my Bible project, & studying for a math test tomorrow
I got my first failing grade ever in a English class- the area where I would normally call my natural passion and talent- it was an unfair grade I really believe
My curling wand is broken
My stomach hurts really bad
And I don't have anyone close by to be there for me, to hug me and tell me "it'll all be ok"

What do we do with these no good very bad days?
We surrender them to God
And we praise God for our trials and for our day despite our miseries

5 Things I'm thankful that God did for me today:
1. He gave me a really delicious breakfast w friends
2. He helped me do good on my Health test
3. He gave me rain to hide my tears
4. He kept me & my friends safe at the banquet tonight
5. Despite my failures, he doesn't love me any less

Bible verses of comfort:
So the ransomed of the Lord shall return,
And come to Zion with singing,
With everlasting joy on their heads,
They shall obtain joy and gladness,
sorrow and sighing shall flee away.
Isaiah 51:11

In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while, if need be, you have been grieved through various trials, that the genuiness of your faith, being more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ, whom having not seen you love. Though now you do not see Him, yet believing, you rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory, receiving the end of your faith- the salvation of your souls.


John 14:1 Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in me.

John 14:27 Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let it be afraid.



God what are you doing?!

my talk with God after getting a 58 on a research paper where I did my best and put hours upon hours of effort into--

Me: Wait a minute God, that is mine. Don't touch that.. Don't mess them up- Don't ruin my reputation
God: I need you to trust me I really can work this out
Me: How God? What are you doing? Can't you just work things out for the good like you've always done by pulling my grades together for me at the last minute?
God: No not this time. I'm doing something different.
Me: Well obviously God! Failing is not my norm! Your messing up my changes of PT or Med school
God: Nope you've messed up your chances at that by not focusing on your studies more this year. Trust me, my daughter, I have good plans for you.I work ALL things out for the good, remember?
Me: I guess God but this doesn't look very good to me. I will try to trust you, but this hurts so bad.
God: I'm going to use this situation to teach you something.
Me: Why God? Couldn't we use something smaller or more meaningless than my college GPA?
God: According to my eyes, your GPA is the least of my worries. I know that means a lot to you but I want you to see the world according to my perspective. Look at the bigger picture ya know?
Me: I guess God, and if you're calling me to die in Peru then I guess my grades won't matter anyways. If your calling me to be a missionary for life then I guess my grades won't matter.
God: Don't get ahead of yourself child. Just trust me and use me. I will be your strength.

Missionaries and persecution

Missionaries and Persecution. I would like to suggest that a true walk with God should lead to persecution. Persecution should not come as a surprise. Neither should it be a heavy burden. Christ writes many verses in the Bible that say it is our joy to experience persecution because Jesus experienced persecution for us. We should rejoice in our sufferings, honored that we can give glory to God. If the world persecuted Christ we must expect persecution as well. If the world hated Christ and his teachings, it should hate us as well. Especially in the end times, the times of persecution will be hard, but Christ calls us to be faithful and promises that in the end he will wipe every tear from our eyes.

2 Timothy 3:12 Indeed, all who desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted,
1 Peter 3:16 Having a good conscience, so that, when you are slandered, those who revile your good behavior in Christ may be put to shame.
1 Peter 4:12-14 Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery trial when it comes upon you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice insofar as you share Christ's sufferings, that you may also rejoice and be glad when his glory is revealed. If you are insulted for the name of Christ, you are blessed, because the Spirit of glory and of God rests upon you.
1 John 3:13 Do not be surprised, brothers, that the world hates you.
2 Corinthians 4:-12 We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; always carrying in the body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our bodies. For we who live are always being given over to death for Jesus' sake, so that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh. So death is at work in us, but life in you.
Luke 6:22 “Blessed are you when people hate you and when they exclude you and revile you and spurn your name as evil, on account of the Son of Man!
Revelation 7:13-17 Then one of the elders addressed me, saying, “Who are these, clothed in white robes, and from where have they come?” I said to him, “Sir, you know.” And he said to me, “These are the ones coming out of the great tribulation. They have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. “Therefore they are before the throne of God, and serve him day and night in his temple; and he who sits on the throne will shelter them with his presence. They shall hunger no more, neither thirst anymore; the sun shall not strike them, nor any scorching heat. For the Lamb in the midst of the throne will be their shepherd, and he will guide them to springs of living water, and God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.”
Romans 8:17 And if children, then heirs—heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with him in order that we may also be glorified with him.

2 missionaries from the Dark Ages:
John Huss: a martyr for Christ
He denounced the pride, ambition, and corruption of the papacy and was killed for it.

With what face then, could I look toward heaven? How should I look on those multitude of people to whom I have preached the pure gospel? No; I consider that salvation more valuable than this poor body, now condemned to death.
As a crown made by the Catholics that had figures of demons painted all around it was placed on his head, Huss said "I wear this crown of shame for Your sake, O Jesus, who wore a crown of thorns for me."

When the flames started to burn around him, he began to sing, "Jesus Thou Son of David, have mercy on me."
They prepared for the fire as if they were going to a marriage feast. They uttered no cry of pain. When the flames rose,  they began to sing hymns, and the intensity of the fire could scarcely stop their singing.

Huss's example encouraged many people to stand firm in the face of torture and death.

Matthew 10:19-20 "When they deliver you up, do not worry about how or what you should speak. For it will be given to you in that hour what you shall speak; for it is not you who speak, but the Spirit of your Father who speaks in you."

Jerome rose to defend John Huss and keep the message of Wycliffe's new Biblical truths rising. After being kept in in prison he proclaimed at his hearing:
" He was a most excellent man, just and holy; he was condemned, even though he was innocent.. I am ready to die. I will not turn away in the face of the torment that my enemies and false witnesses have prepared for me. One day they will have to give an account for their deceptions before the great God, whom nothing can deceive. Of all the sins that I have committed since my youth, none weigh so heavily on my mind and cause me such keen remorse as the one I committed in this fatal place, when I approved of the evil sentence rendered against Wycliffe, and against the holy martyr, John Huss, my teacher and my friend. Yes! I confess it with horror that I disgracefully gave in to fear when, through a dread of death, I condemned their doctrines. I therefore beg.. Almighty God to stoop to pardon me my sins, and this one in particular, the most terrible of all. You condemned Wycliffe and John Huss.. the things that they affirmed and which are irrefutable, I also think and declare, like them. What! Do you suppose that I am afraid to die? You have held me for a whole year in a frightful dungeon more horrible than death itself. I cannot help expressing my astonishment at such inhuman treatment toward a Christian."

Jerome proclaimed the truth of the Bible and before long was led to the fire to be killed just like Huss.  He endured through singing, with his face lit up with joy and peace through the fire. Right before he was executed he said "Apply the fire before my face. If I had been afraid, I would not be here."
The execution of Huss started a flame of indignation and horror in Bohemia. The whole nation was outraged. Many accepted the reformed faith. The followers of their teachings became named the Hussites.  The crusades, or deathly battles, were started, but God was with His people. The same God who scattered the armies of Midian and Gideon and his three hundred again stretched out his hands to deliver his faithful children. Finally the Bohemians struck a contract with the papal leaders with the condition of peace for free preaching of the Bible, the right of the whole church to bread and wine, exclusion of clergy from secular offices and authority, and jurisdiction over clergy and laity alike. The Bohemians and Hussites were faithful to the Gospel of Christ.

How then can we prepare ourselves for such persecution? How do we know if we could really die for God when the time comes?
It is easy to think that you would say yes through trials and sufferings, but before you obsess over dying for Christ, are you really truly living for Christ?
If you aren't living for Christ, then what would it profit to die?
To prepare for times of persecution and tribulation, we must be close to God in Bible reading and prayer. We must also practice saying yes to God in the little things. We must stand up for God when our friends say Sabbath school is boring. We must say yes to God when our friends want to listen to secular music on Sabbath. We must not deny God Sabbath worship by focusing on ourself. We must represent Christ to the world in everything we do and say and every small decision. Stand up therefore and do not be afraid. With such an army of workers as our youth, rightly trained, might furnish, how soon the message of a crucified, risen, and soon-coming Savior might be carried to the whole world!

Saturday, April 27, 2013

The Sabbath

Do I love God? Does mankind love God? I know He loves me, but does He know I love Him?

After we keep the Sabbath holy- showing that we love God- God can truly send out revival and pour out His spirit on us. Until we keep the Sabbath holy, we are suspending God in place over the sanctuary, not allowing Him to do His work.
You see the Sabbath day is the day God wants to reveal His glory to us! It should be a day of total spiritual restoration and the revelation of new truths.
We have a distinct message as Seventh Day Adventists. Yet many of us don't even know why our message is different and how to defend it. Many of us are keeping the Sabbath- yet we are keeping it for the wrong reasons. Many of us Sabbath keepers- are spending the Sabbath- without God.

The Sabbath day is holy because the Sabbath is when God comes down and reveals Himself. This is shown time and time again with the Israelites. The reason why many of us don't believe this today is because we are really not keeping the Sabbath holy so to us it is just like a Sunday but more restful. The Sabbath day should be the day when we see God and are restored. Sabbath should be our day of power to get us through the week.
God is suspended above us waiting to reveal Himself. We need to repent and start spending the Sabbath with Him.

Matthew 17:1-9 “ Now after six days Jesus took Peter, James, and John his brother, led them up on a high mountain by themselves; and He was transfigured before them. His face shone like the sun, and His clothes became as white as the light. And behold, Moses and Elijah appeared to them, talking with Him. Then Peter answered and said to Jesus, “Lord, it is good for us to be here; if You wish, let us make here three tabernacles: one for You, one for Moses, and one for Elijah. “ While he was still speaking, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them; and suddenly a voice came out of the cloud, saying, “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. Hear Him!” And when the disciples heard it, they fell on their faces and were greatly afraid. But Jesus came and touched them and said, “Arise, and do not be afraid.” When they had lifted up their eyes, they saw no one but Jesus only.  Now as they came down from the mountain, Jesus commanded them, saying, “Tell the vision to no one until the Son of Man is risen from the dead.”

Exodus 24:15-18 Then Moses went up on the mountain, and the cloud covered the mountain. 16 The glory of the Lord dwelt on Mount Sinai, and the cloud covered it six days. And on the seventh day he called to Moses out of the midst of the cloud. 17 Now the appearance of the glory of the Lord was like a devouring fire on the top of the mountain in the sight of the people of Israel. 18 Moses entered the cloud and went up on the mountain. And Moses was on the mountain forty days and forty nights.

Ezekiel 8:6 "And he said to me, “Son of man, do you see what they are doing—the utterly detestable things the Israelites are doing here, things that will drive me far from my sanctuary? But you will see things that are even more detestable.”

The Sabbath is important because it contains the seal of God's law. In the end times, the Sabbath is something we will be persecuted for.

Revelation 7:2-3 But the court will sit, and his power will be taken away and completely destroyed forever. 27 Then the sovereignty, power and greatness of all the kingdoms under heaven will be handed over to the holy people of the Most High. His kingdom will be an everlasting kingdom, and all rulers will worship and obey him.’

Read Daniel 7. Verses 25-27 say "He will speak against the Most High and oppress his holy people and try to change the set times and the laws. The holy people will be delivered into his hands for a time, times and half a time." This is referring to to the pope Roman Catholicism's deception to change the Sabbath day from Saturday to sunday.But the court will sit, and his power will be taken away and completely destroyed forever. 27 Then the sovereignty, power and greatness of all the kingdoms under heaven will be handed over to the holy people of the Most High. His kingdom will be an everlasting kingdom, and all rulers will worship and obey him.

Leviticus 19:30 says Observe my Sabbaths and have reverence for my sanctuary. I am the Lord.
 

Genesis 2:2 says "By the seventh day God had finished the work he had been doing; so on the seventh day he rested from all his work. Then God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it he rested from all the work of creating that he had done."

Why do we Seventh Day Adventists keep the Sabbath day holy?
Because we want to show God that we love Him

Exodus 20:8-11
Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, 10 but the seventh day is a sabbath to the Lord your God. On it you shall not do any work, neither you, nor your son or daughter, nor your male or female servant, nor your animals, nor any foreigner residing in your towns. 11 For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but he rested on the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy.

God asks us to follow the Ten Commandments which reflect our love toward Him. We are not saved by works or righteousness, but God's love language is obedience.

Are Sabbath-keepers the only ones to enter heaven?
Absolutely not. Not keeping the Sabbath is a sin, but we have all fallen short of the glory of God.

Isaiah 58:13-14
If thou turn away thy foot from the sabbath, from doing thy pleasure on my holy day; and call the sabbath a delight, the holy of the Lord, honourable; and shalt honour him, not doing thine own ways, nor finding thine own pleasure, nor speaking thine own words:
14 Then shalt thou delight thyself in the Lord; and I will cause thee to ride upon the high places of the earth, and feed thee with the heritage of Jacob thy father: for the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it."

The Sabbath should be a day when we are unselfish, when we think about God and appreciate everything He does for us. It should be a day of rest from worrying about our self and the things we must get done. The Sabbath should be a day of rest from stressful activities, a day when we can spend a long time with God in His word and in prayer. On the Sabbath day, God wants us to spend time with Him because He wants to reveal Himself to us!

The Comparison Game

Comparing ourselves with others is a huge struggle-- especially for teen girls.I know women of all ages fight this battle to compete to be better than one another. The result is selfishness and a falling away from God and His desires for you.
I've been there, done that. It's hard when you start comparing yourself and expecting yourself to live up to other people's standards. You wonder "Why do some girls seem to have it so good? They are beautiful, smart, and talented... Why not me God? What's wrong with me?"
Different is beautiful. God created each and every one of us totally unique. We were not designed to look the same or even to act the same.

Satan wants us to compare ourselves to each others. He wants you to look around and say "I'm no good. I'm not beautiful. I'm not talented. I'm not worth anything."

The spirit of comparison is a spirit of competition and it is directly contrary to God's character of love, care, and acceptance.

Comparison hinders God from blessing us to the full potential.
Comparison makes us focus on our self- instead of what Christ is doing in us!

We need to become aware of how God has made us unique. He has special ways of reaching us and speaking to us that are totally different than anyone else. Think about the things that God has shown you or given you that make you smile! I dare you to sit down for 5 minutes and make a list of some of these things. Here's some of mine just to get you started:

Running in a skirt* Swimming in the ocean* Submerging my face in the water* Sunsets* Shooting Stars* Butterflies* Fireflies* Sign language songs* Finger painting*Bike riding....

Think about these things, and talk to God about them. Tell Him thank you for creating you and for revealing these special things to you. When you are down or discouraged, go back to your list and do something that brings you God-given joy. Philippians 4:8-9 says "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."

My short testimony about comparisons:
I have a problem with comparing my beauty to others. For a long time, I have felt like I don't measure up to the beauty that other girls have. Starting last summer when I read the book Captivating up through this year as I was a part of Gym Masters, God has been changing my heart. First he revealed to me the lie that I have been believing "I'm not pretty enough." "I'm not a feminine enough girl to have a boyfriend." Then he started putting people in my life to help me understand that this is not true and teach me how beautiful I really am. He gave me scriptural Bible verses and promises that show me how loved and beautifully treasured I am by God. Through this year, God has totally transformed my heart. Being in Gym Masters, being at Southern, and coming to know God closer than ever before has taught me that I really truly am beautiful. Beauty is not something that should be ranked or compared. Beauty is different and unique for everyone. God has given beauty in some way to every single girl and woman of God; I really and truly believe that.
Last night was SM dedication vespers. I dressed up and curled my hair because I wanted to look nice. As we were walking up to get the candles our picture would flash on the screen. My immediate thought before even seeing my picture was "Eww this is going to look horrible." As I walked thru instead of looking at my sm coordinator whose hand I was shaking, I looked up at my picture. All of a sudden, my total attitude and confidence changed. According to me, the picture was awful. In only a second of looking at that picture of myself, my total countenance changed. I wanted to run. I wanted to go back to my room. I was utterly embarrassed and I thought to myself "What am I doing? How can I be a missionary?"
I am telling you this story to illustrate how the comparison game can really effect us. Fortunately as I was standing on the side with my candle, I realized why I was upset. Once again I had believed Satan's lies. Once again I had believed that I wasn't pretty enough, or good enough.
Satan has put these lies in our hearts and in our minds. It will take time and work to get rid of them, but it is worth it. Maybe before you read this, you didn't even realize how much comparing yourself with others is affecting you. Maybe you compare your talents with others, your beauty, your spiritual life, your testimony. I pray that you ask God to reveal to you any comparing that you are doing and any lies from the devil that you have been  believing.
James 1:17 says that Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights who does not change like shifting shadows.
Whatever good you have in your life right now- Praise God for it- because He is the giver of everything lovely, pure, and worthy of our attention.

Friday, April 26, 2013

Peru Missions Dedication

Tonight us student missionaries experienced our dedication vespers together. I want to introduce the people who will be serving with me in Peru: Becca Dahlberg, Raphael Rodriguez, Caitlin Faber, Stephanie Scissory, Jeremy Monasco, Kaitlyn Scheult, Molly Theus, and Bernice Bouzy. I am super excited about working with these guys =)
It kinda hit me-- not all the way-- but definitely a little bit at vespers tonight. It's real, in about four months I will be going to Peru. I'm scared, but crazy excited. I'm definitely comforted by the fact that I'm going with so many great people.
It also hit me today that freshman year is basically over. That's soooo crazy!! It's almost summer and summer is definitely my favorite holiday. I told my roomie today, "I don't know if I'll ever go back to college. I mean if God's calling me to the mission field and not to get a degree, I'd be ok with that." I'm about 25% joking =) I really do want to be a missionary though, and maybe even a missionary for life. I think it'd be really cool to spend like 5-10 years serving as a missionary with my husband once I get married (if that really happens anyways ;)
But yes, today was a big today. This has been an exciting week. I'm 19 years old and it's almost summer time. Soon I will be serving God in Peru.

*Things I want to remember to bring to Peru: stickers, coloring pages, and balloons to give the kids at the clinic and around
*Oh I need nursing scrubs! If anyone has any ideas how I can get those cheap, please let me know!!

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Spiritual Warfare


According to the Barna 2006 survey 73% of teens say they have engaged in at least one type of witchcraft. More than 2 million people claim they have communicated with the dead.
At the same time, 40% of teens believe there is no such thing as Satan. These are startling and scary statistics. They show us that we need to understand spiritual things and have the full armor of God on to protect us from the Devil's attacks.
Being ignorant is stupid, but focusing on the Devil and his powers is dangerous as well. As that song we sing alot says"Our God is greater. Our God is stronger. Our God is higher than any other =)
If you have a spiritual need, I pray these quotes and scriptures encourage you and help you fight the devil. Please remember we must prepare ourselves by Bible reading and prayer."

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

Romans 12:21 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good

John 10:10 The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.

Matthew 24: 24 For false messiahs and false prophets will appear and perform great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect.

"But if we do what we can on our part to be ready for the conflict that is just before us, God will do His part, and His all-powerful arm will protect us. He would sooner send every angel out of glory o he relief of faithful souls, to make a hedge about them, than have them deceived and led away by the lying wonders of Satan." Early Writings, 88

"He who walked with the Hebrew worthies in the fiery furnace will be with His followers wherever they are. His abiding presence will comfort and sustain. In the midst of the time of trouble- trouble such as has not been since there was a nation- His chosen ones will stand unmoved. Satan with all the hosts of evil cannot destroy the weakest of God's saints. Angels that excel in strength will protect them, and in their behalf Jehovah will reveal Himself as a "God of gods", able to save to the uttermost those who have put their trust in Him." Prophets and Kings, 513

"Those who follow Chist are ever safe under His watch-care. Angels that excel in strength are sent from heaven to protect them. The wicked one cannot break through the guard which God has stationed about His people." The Great Controversy, 517

"We are not to dwell on the great power of Satan to overcome us. Often we give ourselves into his hands by talking of his power. Let us talk instead of the great power of God to bind up all of our interests with his own... All heaven is interested in our salvation. The angels of God, thousands upon thousands and ten thousands times ten thousand, are commissioned to minister to those who shall be heirs of salvation. They guard us against evil and press back the powers of darkness that are seeking our destruction." Ministry of Healing, 253

"The name of Jesus, our Advocate, he (Satan) detests; and when we earnestly come to Him for help, Satan's host is alarmed. It serves his purpose well if we neglect the exercise of prayer, for then his lying wonders are more readily received." Testimonies of the Church volume 1 pg 296

He (Satan) knows more than we do the limit of his power and how easily he can be overcome if we resist and face him. Through divine strength the weakest saint is more than a match for him and all of his angels." Testimonies to the Church volume 5, pg 293

"It is only through Christ that Satan's power is limited. This is a momentous truth that all should understand. Satan is busy at every moment, going to and fro, walking up and down the earth seeking whom he may devour. But the earnest prayer of faith will baffle his strongest efforts. Then take "the shield of faith," brethren, "wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked."
Testimonies to the Church, volume 5, pg 294

"But if the one in danger perserveres, and in his helplessness casts himself upon the merits of the blood of Christ, our Savior listens to the earnest prayer of faith and sends a reinforcement of those angels that excel in strength to deliver him. Satan cannot endure to have his powerful rival appealed to, for he fears and trembles before His strength and majesty. At the sound of fervent prayer, Satan's whole host trembles. He continues to call legions of evil angels to accomplish his object. And when angels, all-powerful, clothed with the armory of heaven, come to the help of the fainting, pursued soul, Satan and his host fall back, well knowing that their battle is lost."
Testimonies to the Church volume 1, pg 345

"None have fallen so low, none are so vile, but that they may find deliverance in Christ.. no cry from a soul in need, though it fail of utterance in words, will be unheeded. Ministry of Healing, 93

Know that whatever you are battling, Christ is stronger and able to provide! Spend time in the Word of God. Get on your knees and pray. You wonder why it's hard to pray? Satan realizes how much power you have when we are on our knees.





It's my birthday =)

Birthdays.. all of a sudden EVERYONE is nice to you! Ok I'm not going to lie pretty much everyone is always nice to me anyways but still.. there extra nice. People who normally don't talk to me are like writing on my facebook wall and giving me compliments. "I love you", "You look cute today", "I'm so glad we're friends (wait we are?? ;) It's almost like overload but hey I'm not complaining. It's been a very fun day to say the least and it's still not over. My mom sent me a cake, Chelsey took me  to yellow deli, and tonight I'm gonna go out and eat frozen yogurt with some of my good friends. Today makes me realize how unexplainably grateful I am for God and His many blessings to me!
I have had an amazing 19 year of life and many people don't even get to live this long. So many of my dreams- with God's help- have already came true. I went to Southern, got on Gym Masters, was a counselor at summer camp, and traveled as a student missionary to Mexico, Honduras, and the DR.. and now thanks to God I'm going to Peru!
God has given me an amazing family. I can't explain everything they have done and mean to me. They truly are the model parents. When I was a child, I used to think my family was perfect-- now sadly I've lived past that illusion- but I praise God for giving me parents that care so incredibly much about doing the best for me and teaching me about God. God has also given me amazing friends! Sometimes I don't tell my friends, because if you know me you will learn I don't give compliments or verbally encourage people very much, but even if I don't tell them out loud.. I hope they know, I love them! My friends have been with me so much and even when were not at the same place, I can call them anytime of the day and tell them anything I'm going through. God has been so good to me this year and I have no regrets whatsoever that I came to Southern. I'm just so thankful for how much closer I have grown to God this year! God has shown me that He will never leave me nor forsake me but most of all His love is all I need to be happy!
It's so amazing knowing God. Reading my Bible and talking to Christ brings me so much joy! I really just want to encourage you to invest in knowing Jesus. It's a beautiful relationship beyond what you can ever imagine. He will change your life in so many ways. I know because by beholding Him, I am being changed.
I know I'm not perfect. I know I'm still selfish. I have so much further to go. But I have never been as close to Jesus as I am now. I have no fears whatsoever. I am at perfect peace with Christ, and my desire is to know Jesus so much better.
So ya it's my birthday. I'm 19. And if I had one wish? I would wish that I would never forget God. That I would never let distractions get in my way of Christ. Because day after day this is a constant struggle.
But I believe in God's love. I believe in His mercy and grace, and I trust His promises.
For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.
Phillipians 1:6

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

I'm almost 19

My birthday is the day after tomorrow, but honestly I could care less. My mom is sweet and is like "honey are you sure you don't mind waiting to celebrate it until you get home?" Honestly mom I could care less. I could care less if you have a party. I could care less what you do. I'm one year older and to me it's not that great. I mean I'm 18, turning 19, big whoop! I guess this is how older people feel- but worse!! My poor husband- I am definitely going to hit menopause hard LOL! Totally jk =)

But I guess I'm looking over this year and I'm not that proud of my first year in college. I mean it was good. Don't get me wrong, I love Southern. I don't regret coming here! And I don't regret doing Gym Masters either even though it was a huge time commitment. I guess the thing I'm regretting now is the fact that I'm not invested in any serious relationships here, even on the friend level. Now this is nice especially because I'm going to Peru and I really really don't want a boyfriend and to do long distance. But I mean even friends, like I made some good ones, but is there any really one here who I could call my best friend? No. Is there anyone here I will miss like crazy when I go to Peru? Probably not. Don't get me wrong, especially if you're a Southerner, I will miss some of you guys and you guys helped make my year a blast.. But I'm just saying, I miss intimacy right now.

Maybe I'm getting a little homesick, it's only 9 days left- I can definitely do this. I can do this with Christ. Oh my, if I'm homesick for my family now, then just wait til I get to Peru. I am going to miss my family so much!

Sometimes I talk to my friends about their relationships with their parents and their answers truly amaze me. Some of them talk to their parents once a week. Others a few times a week. I'm just like Really guys? I talk to my mom about 3 times a day. Once in the morning, once in the afternoon, and once at night before I go to sleep. Is that weird? I'm really independent but I have extremely close relationships to my family. Family is a huge part of who I am and I believe family should be a huge priority in our lives.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Health Message

*There should not be a great variety at any one meal, for this encourages overeating and causes indigestion. You should eat two to three times a day. It is not good to eat fruits and vegetables at the same meal because the fruit in the sugars will cause fermentation to happen. Instead at each meal you should only eat 2 or 3 simple kinds of foods.
*The use of soda or baking powder in breadmaking is harmful and unnecessary.
*Cheese is wholly unfit for a food.
*Do not have acid fruits such as berries, plums, or citrus with grain. Instead combine them with nuts and seeds for a complete meal that is easily digested. 
 *If you choose to include animal flesh in your diet, never combine it with a starch such as rice, potatoes, or bread, as this will cause putrefaction to take place. Instead, have a large green salad with the meat, which will improve the digestion and transit time. 
 
These things were written by Ellen White but are also scientifically backed up.
 

To stand alone

We all, with open face beholding.. the glory of the Lord. 2 Corinthians 3:18
"A servant of God must stand so much alone that he never knows he is alone. In the first phases of Christian life disheartenments come, people who used to be lights flicker out, and those who used to stand with us pass away. We have to get so used to it that we never know we are standing alone." (Chambers)
We have to learn not to depend on anyone else but God. People will come and go, friends will disappoint us- we should try our best to be there for them- but realize that because people are of sinful nature- they will all let us down.
If we evaluate our lives the way the world does then we will not be happy. If we are searching for the American dream then Christ will not satisfy. We have to surrender everything including our desires to Christ every single day.
"Allow nothing to keep you from looking God sternly in the face about yourself and about your doctrine, and every time you peach see that you look God in the face about things first, then the glory will remain all through. A Christian worker is one who perpetually looks in the face of God and then goes forth to talk to people. The characteristic of the ministry of Christ is that of unconscious glory that abides. "Moses wist not that the skin of his face shone while he talked with Him." (Chambers)

I have given them your word and the world has hated them, but they are not of the world any more than I am of the world. My prayer is not that you take (us) out of the world but that you protect us from the evil one. We are not of the world, even as Jesus was not of it. Sanctify us by the truth, our word is truth.  *John 17:13 revised

We must embrace our differences from the world, for Christ never fit in.
Sometimes we must stand alone- from other worldly people, friends and things- but you're never really on your own, for Christ never will never leave you nor forsake you.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Invisible

"To be known.. is to be loved. And to be loved is to be known."
Have you ever felt invisible?
Inside a girl is the desire to be wanted, to be accepted, to be pursued. She wants to be cared for and cared about. I believe everyone has a desire in their heart to be seen.
"I am invisible, understand, simply because people refuse to see me." – Ralph Ellison"

Thinking about the word invisible reminds me of Invisible Children. I remember when I did 25 hours of silence fast actually last year on my birthday.  Invisible Children is a great organization to help children in Uganda who were running and hiding from Kony and the end the war.

There's also an organization called Invisible People. They help homeless people around the world who are often overlooked and treated as invisible.
On their blog it says "Some content may be offensive. Our hope is you'll get mad enough to do something." Is that what it takes us Americans to move or to take a stand?

I once heard a story about a homeless man on Hollywood Blvd who really thought he was invisible. But one day a kid handed the man a Christian pamphlet. The homeless guy was shocked and amazed, “What! You can see me? How can you see me? I’m invisible!”
It isn’t hard to comprehend this man’s slow spiral into invisibility. Once on the street, people started to walk past him, ignoring him as if he didn’t exist… much like they do a piece of trash on the sidewalk. It’s not that people are bad, but if we make eye contact, or engage in conversation, then we have to admit they exist and that we might have a basic human need to care. But it’s so much easier to simply close our eyes and shield our hearts to their existence.

Christ saw people. He took the time to look into their eyes. He cared about people.
There's so much evil going on in this world all the time. It's easy to become rock hard, unsensitive, and uncaring- after all if we cared about every single world problem and sad news story, worrying, and trying to fix everything we would worry our self sick. This world is evil. Don't close your eyes though. Help everyone you can. Ask God for His eyes so you can see the world and others as He does.

Isaiah 50: 4-7
The Master, God, has given me,
a well taught tongue,
So I know how to encourage tired people.
He wakes me up in the morning,
Wakes me up, opens my ears,
to listen as one ready to take orders.

Isaiah 58..
"This is the kind of fast day I'm after:
to break the chains of the injustice,
to get rid of exploitation in the workplace,
free the oppressed, cancel debts.
What I'm interested in seeing you do is,
sharing your food with the hungry,
inviting the homeless poor into your homes,
putting clothes on the shivering ill-clad,
being available to our own families.
Do this and the lights will turn on,
and your lives will turn around at once."

Jeremiah 1:
God told me "Don't say, I'm only a boy'
I'll tell you where to go and you'll go there
I'll tell you what to say and you'll say it.
Don't be afraid of a soul.
I'll be right there, looking after you.

Isaiah 1
"Quit your woship charades,
I can't stand your trivial religious games...
I'm sick of your religion, religion, religion,
while you go right on sinning...
You've been tearing people to pieces,
and your hands are bloody.
Go home and wash up.
Clean up your act.
Say no to wrong.
Learn to do good.
Work for justice.
Help the down-and-out,
Stand up for the homeless
Go to bat for the defenseless.

Proverbs 3
Don't lose your grip on Love and Loyalty.
Tie them around your neck; carve their initials on your heart.
Earn a reputation for living well
in God's eyes and they eyes of the people.
Trust God from the bottom of your heart;
Don't try to figure out everything on your own.
Listen for God's voice in everything you do, everywhere you go
he's the one who will keep you on track.
Don't assume that you know it all.

Proverbs 3
Never walk away from someone who deserves help; your hand is God's hand for that person.
Run to God! Run from evil!

Friday, April 19, 2013

Pucallpa Peru- I'm going to be a doctor.. oh my

I am so excited to go to Peru! I'm nervous about working at the medical clinic because I do have a fear of doctors, shots, ect. But I believe that God is calling me to overcome those fears and I believe He will help me as I go to Peru.
The nearest city to the place I'm going is Pucallpa Peru. It's a jungle city.
Pucallpa is a busy Amazon frontier town which sits on the
banks of the Ucayali River, a major tributary which feeds the Amazon River.
Places to travel/do in Peru: Machu Pichu, see the Incan Ruins in the Sacred Valley, swim with pink dolphins in the Amazon jungle =), Lake Titytaka, Cola Canyon, , surfing in Peru...
Ahhh can't I just travel forever.

Small crisis

John 21:7 "Now when Simon Peter heard that it was the Lord , he girt his fisher's coat unto him... and did cast himself into the sea."
Oswald Chambers-- "Have you ever had a crisis where you deliberately and emphatically and recklessly abandoned everything? It is a crisis of will. You may come up to it many times externally, but it amounts to nothing. The real crisis of abandonment is reached internally not externally. The giving up of external things may be an indication of being in total bondage.
Have you deliberately committed your will to Jesus Christ?"
This devotional in "My Utmost to His Highest" was exactly what I needed to read today because today, as foolish or small this may sound, I chose God over statistics. My statistics class is in thirty minutes; my homework undone. My God time- seriously lacking. I feel God talking to my heart telling me that I need to spend time with Him. But God what about statistics? Today I chose to spend time with God rather than do my homework.As insignificant as this may sound, decisions like these in our everyday lives reveal to us who we are truly worshipping.
This is not to say that I have a good reason for not doing my statistics. I procrastinated, thus it should have been done yesterday. But to sacrifice time with God because I procrastinated yesterday.. in order to get a better statistics grade? That's not fair.
Small crisis's like these test and prepare us for bigger ones. Have you ever thought to yourself "I want to be a martyr for Christ?" Have you thought about how you would respond if someone put a gun to your head and asked if you loved Jesus? It's easy to make ourselves believe that we would say yes and die for Christ, but if our smaller decisions and trials in life don't agree, then it is doubtful what we would do or if we would truly be doing it for the right reason.
Matthew 5: 16 says "In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven. " May everything you do, every word you say, and every decision you make- no matter how small- glorify the Lord in heaven.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

The Selfisness Epidimec (part 1)

Let me start talking about the typical American. We wonder why so many relationships are messed up these days. We have a growing disease among us-selfishness- and I believe it's the destroyer of relationships and the theme of hell.

Families- We love our families because our families are there for us. We use our parents when we need money or to get gifts on holidays. When it's convenient for us, we have family gatherings. Problems with family include divorce, family disagreements, and disrespect with teenagers or kids and their parents. We want our families to serve us. We like them because of what they do for us.
Problems arise when parents try to boss us teenagers or kids around. "It's my life so they should have no control over what I do"- says the typical teenager. We should love our families because they are family and God loved us. We should sacrifice time to spend time with them and put them before our personal needs. Family is such a special gift God has given us.

Friends-  We like to become friends with people that are exactly like us. We share the same talents and skill levels. Yes we share the joys of appreciating that thing but so often are friendships stop there. It takes no sacrifice from us to have these shallow or convenient friends. It works out nicely because we can help each other with our hobby or with the homework we share. But do we truly care about the person who we are spending time with? Because we do not have to sacrifice for them our relationships seem to stay at a shallow, convenient level and when one friend gets desperate and has a need. They wonder where are my true friends? Well do you really have any? The beautiful thing is true friends. They sacrifice for each other, teach each other, and invest time in each other. When one friend cries, the other one cries with. It's not fake and not activity based. When you love someone you show them Jesus.

Boyfriends/Girlfriends- We want someone who will make us happy. We think about the things we want first. Even in churches we are told to make lists of everything we want in a guy. We think about Me Me Me, I I I. Clearly this is a problem. For a loving pure relationship you have to think about the other person first. You have to sacrifice for them, and they should sacrifice for you. A marriage is about service and devotion. We wonder why so many divorces are happening and hard break ups, it's because we put our needs before each others. If we are truly unselfish, we can love one another. With Christ's help, we can establish a spiritual, uplifting relationship that edifies each other and glorifies God. A relationship with Christ first will not easily be broken.

Summer Camp staff- ( a paragraph just for you ;) We all want our time off. We're all exhausted. We want to hang out with our friends and spend as much time with them as possible. But we have a goal to accomplish that is so much bigger than we can see, we need to show Christ to campers. If we take the initiative, and say today I will be a servant. Today I will be unselfish. I will help the counselors and give them a night off, just because I can...ect. This camp's atmosphere will change and we can all grow deeper. We are a family. Satan is working to destroy this positive atmosphere where we can witness to the campers. We must stay close to God and bring each other close to Him as well.

The Prosperity Gospel is popular. Many American churches are teaching that a Christian lifestyle leads to entitlement, success, and prosperity. Look at the contrast of Biblical teachings about money in Genesis 28: 20-23 and Luke  12:16-21.  In Genesis, we are taught that everything on this earth is about God. We are stewards of His kingdom. Therefore if he blesses us with money- it's still his- but we can use it to spread his love with others. In Luke 12:16-21 the parable of a rich man who grew lots of crops is told. The man planted and planted and was rewarded with very good crops. Instead of being happy, he kept working, making more and more barns... More and More. More and More. Bigger and better. More successful. Reach your dreams. Achieve more for Christ. Capitalism and hoarding is not Christ's will. Money, gifts, talents- they are not ours to serve ourself. Jesus was not a rich man, nor did he ever use his powers to benefit himself. I find this amazing. I mean come on little things wouldn't hurt right? God is so generous, so loving, so caring.. So NOT SELFISH.

Capitalism says that self-interest will lead to the good of everybody. This selfish attitude has lead to major relationship problems and is destroying us. We are materialistic, individualistic, and self-serving people. God calls us to stewardship which involves spirituality and community. The joy of wealth we have is found in giving and sharing it with others.

2 Timothy 3:1,2 But know this that in the last days perilous times will come for men will be perilous lovers of themselves.

Luke 9:23 "If anyone come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily and follow me. For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.

Let us not be naïve. This selfish culture we have is not ok if we are following Christ. By changing our selfishness, we will realize how much more joy there is in serving God and others. If we can surrender our selfishness to God, our hearts of joy and love will be restored and relationships will be renewed.





Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Be hanged or be crucified?

"When Judas, who had betrayed him, saw that Jesus was condemned, he was seized with remorse and returned the thirty silver coins to the chief priests and the elders. "I have sinned" he said for I have betrayed innocent blood."... "So Judas threw the money into the temple and left. Then he went away and hanged himself." Matthew 27:3

From the sixth hour until the ninth hour darkness came over all the land. About the ninth hour Jesus cried out in a loud voice "Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani- which means, "My God, my God why have you forsaken me"..."And when Jesus had cried out again in a loud voice, he gave up his spirit." Matthew 27: 46,50

Then he returned to his disciples and found them sleeping. Could you men not keep watch with me for one hour? he asked Peter. Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing but the body is weak."...."Look the hour is near." Matthew 26:42

Galations 2:20 I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.

Matthew 16:24 Then Jesus said to his disciples, "Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me.

In Matthew 27 you read two stories about two different deaths: the death of Judas and the death of Jesus. Judas hung himself. Jesus was crucified.
I wonder to myself if Judas ever really loved Jesus and really willed to follow Him. Was Judas always the "bad"/"lost" disciple? Or did the world's things (money) just get in the way? I think that Jesus illustrates an important truth, you can choose cross or you can choose the world's ways. You can't have your cake and eat it too. You can't follow God and still follow the things of this world. Their value will be lost and you learn to love Jesus more and more. For the motto of heaven and hell not only differ but are opposites. The theme of heaven is "Me last, God and others first". This world, capitalistic as we are, happily promotes the theme of selfishness and "Me first." God clearly says "If desires to be first, he shall be last of all and servant of all." In the beginning Lucifer started the great controversy in the first place with the spirit of selfishness desiring to exalt himself wanting God's power but not character. Thus this world and God's ways will smash and you must choose. Judas represents what will happen if we get distracted by things of this world and do not keep our focus on Christ.

How do we live between the mountain and the multitude?

I am scared for my spiritual walk this summer, really scared. Because I want to get even closer to God than I am now, but I am scared how seeing all my friends and people that used to be idols will distract me. The answer is I have to keep up my God time.
It's really frustrating when your no longer on the same spiritual level with friends you used to be on the same level as. At the same time, what a blessing when you connect with a friend who understands what you are going through with your walk with God.

I want to remind you that we are called to take up our crosses and follow Christ. This is not an easy lifestyle. Living for God you will experience persecution. Currently I feel that I am separated from many of my past best friends because of being on a different spiritual level and I feel I might soon be taking some abuse from them because of that. People will not always understand your relationship with Christ. In the end, following God no matter the cost is always worth it.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

anorexia/ obesity

Only 2 % of women consider themselves beautiful.
81% of teenage girls are afraid of being overweight.
In the last 2 years the number of girls admitted to hospitals for eating disorders increased by 50%.
3 quarters of 7 year olds want to be thinner.
Honestly this video makes me want to cry. So sad! Theres so many things messed up with this world now days.
Girls just realize that God created you and He knew what He was doing.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Love like Jesus


I am reading EGW's book Steps to Christ for the first time for a Christian Spirituality class at Southern. As I have started studying more of her works this year, I am convinced that I was wrong about her all along. She preaches a message of love not judgment. I fear it is our generation, the collegiate, youth, and children that have misinterpreted EGW's messages. The representation of her that has been shown to many of us is wrong. For I was taught Ellen White says "don't don't don't" since I was a little child. And in defense, I decided that I follow the Bible and the Bible only. Lately God has been impressing my heart to study Ellen White more and since I have, I have found encouragement in her writings. I encourage you to check out Ellen White's writings for yourself.

How great it is to reflect on the love of the Lord. His love can be found in nature, revelation, the Bible, and in true followers of God. In nature God's love is made obvious, plain as day. When you go outside, you see Christ's beauty. I love going to places unharmed by the people of this world and society: the rural places ,the jungles, the rivers, the oceans, the stars- they reflect God's glory in this crazy totally awesome way. When you know that you are serving the God of all these beautiful creations then you experience this unexplainable peace. EGW writes "that "God is love" is written upon every opening bud, upon every spire of springing grass. The lovely birds making the air vocal with their happy songs, the delicately tinted flowers in their perfection perfuming the air, the lofty trees of the forest with their rich foliage of living green- all testify to the tender, fatherly care of our God and to His desire to make His children happy." If you are anxious, I encourage you to go outside. Go somewhere quiet, get some fresh air and meditate on how much you are loved and pursued by Your Creator.
I'm excited to go to Peru because I want to share God's love with the people there. On the student missionary retreat, one of the things we were told is going to another country isn't going to change you immediately, in fact it's not guaranteed to change you at all. They said that the first person we would meet in Peru is ourself. This makes sense to me because I want to think that as soon as I go to Peru, I will be crazy in love with God depending on Him more than ever. But as I step off that plane, I will still be Brooklyn, still have faults, and still be afraid of needles ;) I will still struggle with prayer and still have to fight the distractions of Satan that keep me away from God's word. I will also still have to learn how to express love to others. EGW writes that when Jesus came to certain cities "there were whole villages where there was not a moan of sickness in any house, for He had passed through them and healed all their sick." I want to be a light to the people in Peru. I want to heal the broken hearted, preach deliverance to the captives, recover sight to the blind, and set free those who are bruised- just like Jesus. I must struggle  and fight to make God a priority in my life now, if I want Him to reign in me in Peru.
Christ's life was one of self-denial and thoughtful care for others. Every soul was precious in His eyes. This is something we should strive for everyday. It's something we definitely can't do on our own- but we can ask God to fill our hearts with things of His: things that bring honor and glory to His name. We must first direct our thoughts towards Christ, for our thoughts lead to actions, actions to habits, and habits to character. Fill your hearts with Christ today. Meditate in His love. Meditate in His Word. You won't regret the time you invest in Christ =) For soon the things of this world shall fade, and only what's done for Christ will last.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

SM Retreat to Peru

Well I didn't really want to come back from sm retreat. I had a great weekend- meeting awesome people who will be serving as missionaries next year! There's like 80 of us total =) I found out that 6 girls and 2 guys will be traveling with us down to Peru and serving with me at Amor Projects. I'm really excited because they are all really nice and I can't wait to see how God wants to use us.
I shared my testimony this week on how God called me to Peru- it was definitely a God time. God also spoke to me when I spent an hour outside with Him just talking to Him and pouring out my heart. I prayed and asked him to reveal to me the idols in my life as well as my spiritual gifts.
 God told me that my time with Him was not a comprisable thing. I need it every day for an hour! The scary part is, on this retreat it was really hard to spend quiet time with God because of the excitement. I only was able to do it once- and that's when everybody had to do it outside. As the picture above shows, this is what happens sometimes when I listen and talk to God. The mountains, sun, and trees were all around me and in the sky I saw the cross which was super cool. God brought the quote to mind by EGW that says "The life must be like Christ's life--between the mountain and the multitude". Lately I find this quote comforting because as we are called to deny ourselves and this world's sinful ways- we are also told to befriend the people in this world and witness to them by our accepting and loving attitudes. It's a balance because this world is not our home anymore. As I started to talk to God about the idols in my life, this is what He revealed to me. I think it's so cool, and talking to God totally amazes me. Like the fact that God really will talk to us if we take time and listen.
Anyways below you can see the picture of what God showed me were the idols in my life. As I began to recite the ten commandments by memory, what I remembered at least, God revealed to me some of the idols that He has already broken down for me this year: boys, food, family, friends. He also showed me 2 idols He is working to break down: pride and low self-image. Self-image is a big one. I have wrote about God trying to teach me that I am a princess. To be honest, feeling beautiful is something I really struggle with sometimes. As He was revealing these truths to me, I felt something uncomfortable under my stomach and I reached on the ground where I had been laying for 45 minutes and found a round piece of wood (picture below). I realized that my stomach was sore where the wood had been lying- yet I hadn't even realized there was something there or taken the time to remove it. God taught me something about sin and idols in our lives "We don't know how much sin and idols hurt us until we let God reveal them to us." Just as I didn't know the piece of wood was under me and was hurting me, until we ask God to show us, we don't know idols and dreams in our heart that are holding us back from His destiny and will for us. There could be past relationships, lies you were taught while young, broken promises, or small sins that you are clinging too- and you don't realize that every idol, no matter how small, separates you from Christ! He wants to break down these things in our lives! God has shown me how totally amazing He is- by revealing to me idols that have been hidden for so long! He wants to do the same for you. He has the power to heal every wound and overcome any lie the devil has set in you. He desires to free you from all iniquities.
 

Thursday, April 11, 2013

What if

What if we lived like we knew without a doubt that Christ and Christ alone is enough for us?

-He would provide our needs for the day
and if He didn't we would still be ok
if we died, then He was calling us to heaven

- think if we really, really lived that way, how different would we be living?

-Not putting ourselves first in anything but looking to take care of others
-Not even worrying about our own needs because God will provide for those
-We would show Jesus' character

Monday, April 8, 2013

nothins ever gonna be the same

Once you see Jesus... Nothin's ever gonna be the same


                                        Because I know that nothings ever gonna be the same
                                              From this day on, everythings gonna change
                                                    And I'm scared
                                                            Oh I'm scared
           
                                         Radical isn't easy
                                                        And it won't be the same
                                                                 Everything must change


There's going to be a point in your life when you realize following God isn't easy, isn't popular, isn't normal, and isn't always fun. In the past week what I've been learning about God is I can't have Him and this world. You can't have your cake and eat it too. You can't have God and have the things this world treasures. Because this world is sinful and God is holy. Mashing them together makes a muddy mess- God calls the mix lukewarm and He says "I will spit you out of my mouth."
It's not going to work. The more you learn about God the more you will hate your old self and you will hate the world's selfish ways. You will hate sin and be convicted of things you never before realized were wrong in your life. You will be torn away from old friends and lose trust for people you used to admire. You will value things differently. Everything will change. And you find yourself feeling this total identity crisis- that's where I'm at.
There comes a point when you have to make a conscious decision: Will I choose God and sacrifice my own desires, friends, talents, and even dreams?- everything I am now and once stood for?
Or will I forget/deny Christ and keep living in my comfort zone?
Choosing to  ignore the question is rejecting Christ and the Holy Spirit's movement in your life.

 Revelation 3:14-22                     
“And to the angel of the church in Laodicea write: ‘The words of the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of God's creation. “‘I know your works: you are neither cold nor hot. Would that you were either cold or hot! So, because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth. For you say, I am rich, I have prospered, and I need nothing, not realizing that you are wretched, pitiable, poor, blind, and naked. I counsel you to buy from me gold refined by fire, so that you may be rich, and white garments so that you may clothe yourself and the shame of your nakedness may not be seen, and salve to anoint your eyes, so that you may see. ...

1 John 2:15-16                    

Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world—the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride in possessions—is not from the Father but is from the world

See this is the thing I hate about so many Christian movies, Christian books, and the whole "goody goody" Christian reputation. We see pictures of beautiful Christian girls, that are athletic, smart, kind, popular, talented, have beautiful boyfriends and are living just like every other girl in the world.
We see Christian girls in beauty pageants and wearing bikinis at the beach- they look and act like everybody else, except for better: extra pretty and extra popular. Now don't get me wrong- I believe that God will bless His followers and make them joyful. But is it really the desires of this world that He chooses to fill? Or will He change the heart of the follower first and change their desires to His desires?

Honestly I'm sad and scared because I'm at this crucial path right now where I choose total God or total complacency. I'm not going to lie. I like where I'm at right now (this saddens me and scares me). I like being a Christ follower but not too radical. You know being the kind of Christ follower that tries to make everybody happy... NO! Following Jesus will give you enemies, opposition, and persecution. If your life is missing all that are you really serving God where He wants?
I've finally came to this crossroad. I hate the "too spiritual" attitude and the "goody goodyness". I have been called "goody good" and "perfect" far too many times in my life. I HATE those memories. I HATE those names. Yet if my old friends and family are going to see it like that- then so be it.
I'm choosing today that I want God for every part of my life. I want to spend more time with Him and put Him before my old friends because I know that He is the only thing that matters. I know that while this will be hard- especially at camp this summer- with Christ I can overcome.

Matthew 5:13 You are the salt of the earth, but if salt has lost its taste, how shall its saltiness be restored? It is no longer good for anything except to be thrown out and trampled under people's feet.
From the same mouth come blessing and cursing. My brothers, these things ought not to be so. Does a spring pour forth from the same opening both fresh and salt water? Can a fig tree, my brothers, bear olives, or a grapevine produce figs? Neither can a salt pond yield fresh

What's stopping you from living 100% on fire for Christ? For following His will? Is it your friends, your business, your schoolwork, or your fear of not being accepted to people that matter to you? Today I'm choosing God no matter what happens because God alone is enough for me. I encourage you to pray to God and tell Him you are willing to surrender even your dreams to Him and follow Him wherever He leads, despite the consequences.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Beautiful mess

I'm posting this pic not because "ooh look at me in a dress" but because of what God has been doing in my life! If you read the post about me being a princess and doubting my self worth you will understand. Girls it's important to realize where your confidence lies. There will be days when you don't feel like you are worth much at all, then there might be days when your like "I wanna show this off cuz I got stuff". Whatever makes you smile ;) But no matter how you feel, God doesn't change what He thinks about you. No matter how you act, God loves you. No matter how you look, God loves you. Nothing you do can make him love you any more or any less. God's been showing me how much He loves me!
God has been so good to me this month! So good! I just went to my Daniel Fast 28 day banquet and I even shared my testimony in front of a large group of friends. I definitely recommend the Daniel diet to all of you. Even if you don't need to lose weight, the Daniel diet will make you feel better about yourself, and can help you spiritually, physically, socially, and mentally. I am starting the Daniel Diet again because I love how it makes me feel. Now though, I will be eating eggs and veggie meat as well as fruits, vegetables, nuts, beans, and rice. I am also going to not use facebook until school gets out and try to continue with my God time with Christ.
I'm so excited for Peru! I have a lot to do still and a lot of money to raise, but I'm definitely trusting God. My mom and I have a ton of questions, but that's ok. This summer I want to focus on preparing my heart for what God wants to do in me and get spiritually ready for battle. I also want to start focusing on my Spanish. During worship tonight a really cool thought was mentioned. Christ had to wait 30 days before he could start his mission on earth as an active missionary and superhero! Isn't that crazy? Don't you think God was anxious? But he was a diligent, prayerful man of God. He waited until God said go. Thinking about this, I was like hmmm what does this mean for me? I believe God did say "go to Peru". I guess what this makes me realize is I need to get ready. I need to prepare for what God wants me to do. We need to get ready. The second thing it makes me think about it waiting to date. God's going to put the right guy in my life at the right time- I really and truly believe that. I'm going to wait until God leads.
Homeshow was today and last night. It was so much fun! I'm so thankful for what God has done for me with gymnastics this year. I'm also thankful it's almost over! Gym Masters takes up so much time and I really need to focus on my schoolwork.
I got to see my mom this weekend and it was a huge blessing. Families are so crucial and can be such amazing support systems for our lives. I praise God for giving me the family I have.
I guess right now life for me is beautiful. It's all coming together. You know how you can just see God in your life and how He's been working. But I can't get proud, no haughty eyes come before a fall. I could do nothing on my own. Gym Masters- ya right. Peru? Get real. My mom? Too expensive. These are crazy dreams God has made come true in my life! He has blessed and I am praising Him. I am a mess- but God makes beautiful things out of our messes.
Surrender your life to Him. I urge you. He wants to transform your life into something beautiful!

Thursday, April 4, 2013

4/4/3

John 16:32 Behold the hour cometh that ye shall be scattered. Chambers: "Jesus was not rebuking the disciples, their faith was real, but it was disturbed; it was not at work to actual things. The disciples were scattered to their own interests, alive to interests that never were in Jesus Christ.
After we have been perfectly related to God in sanctification, our faith has to be worked out in actualities. We shall be scattered not into work, but into inner desolations and made to know what internal death to God's blessings means.
I was thinking last night of all God's blessings to me. He has answered a lot of my dreams: Gym Masters, going to Peru, letting my brother work with me at summer camp, my mom is coming up to visit today.. It's easy to serve God when things are going well and you don't have big problems or concerns. It's easy to love God for His blessings.
There will be these amazing times of joy in your life- when you can truly see what God is doing and how he has lead you in the past. But there will be times of darkness too, and it is important that in these times you don't lose hope. For God is doing a mighty work of transformation in us. He is taking our selfish ways and replacing them with Holiness and love. It will be an identity crisis- self vs Christ.

Have you ever heard of the Prosperity Gospel?
The prosperity Gospel is sadly being taught in many protestant churches today. It's a common spiritual principle- not a Biblical one- but a selfish one.
The Prosperity Gospel says that as spiritual Israel- Christians are entitled to well being. This is interpreted as economic prosperity and physical health.
Because they are made in the image of God, Christians have been given power over creation: their own souls, the material objects around them.
All the wealth in the world will be transferred to Christians before Christ returns, then they will deliver the Kingdom to him.
It also teaches that Jesus lived His life on earth as a rich man, claiming that because Judas was a treasurer, Jesus was rich.
Out of 4 of the biggest mega churches in the country, 3 of them teach a form of the prosperity Gospel. Joel Olsteen teaches the prosperity gospel.
For believers in the prosperity gospel, faithfulness means perfect health.
Prosperity Gospel followers also believe that you can claim what you will for God and He will give it to you.

So what does this matter? And how does it affect you? The prosperity gospel is being taught more and more to Christians these days. You may find yourself believing a few of the lies like "If I'm not experiencing God's blessings, I'm not following Him." Or.. "God wants every Christian to be rich. What's wrong with me? Why am I not rich?" "Why am I not healthy? I tried to follow God and now I have cancer."

The thing is, this world is so messed up. If the prosperity gospel is true then what about Job? And why was there no room for Jesus in the inn? Why was Paul persecuted like so many martyrs in Christian history? Why are children all around the world dying because they don't have enough to eat?
You dare to blame that on God? Or to say their walk with God is not strong enough? We, sinful humans, are not entitled to anything- not wellbeing, not money, not blessings. We are entitled to death because of our sins but because of God's grace we are freed.
Because we choose to live with Christ we must suffer with Him also.
Remember what I told you: 'A servant is not greater than his master.' If they persecuted me, they will persecute you also. If they obeyed my teaching, they will obey yours also. John 15:20

There will be times when your walk with God is full of blessings. There will be times when God calls you to wait patiently on Him, to be still and know that He is God. Finally, there will be times in life when God calls you to struggle, to fight through evil, sufferings, temptations, or persecutioin. God promises that He will be with you through all of life and He can use every situation to draw you close to His character.