Saturday, June 29, 2013

Be my EVERYTHING

Matthew 5:30 "And if thy right hand offend thee, cut it off, and cast it from thee; for it is profitable for thee that one of thee members should perish, and that thy whole body should not be cast into hell."

Doing everything for Jesus is a radical concept because it's so unlike everything else in this world. When you are living every breath, and every second for Jesus Christ it's not sins like lying or murder that often trip up your walk with Christ. Instead, often it's good things, that become too very good things and distract from your walk with God. In Matthew 5:30 when Jesus talks about cutting off your hand, he is not saying that because your right hand is bad. In contrast, God created the right hand to do many things for the body, help balance, and make many swift movements. What God is teaching is that even good things can become idols, and if a good thing becomes an idol you may need to get rid of it completely. Idols can be so many things that often appear to benefit us so much: money, relationships, talents, college.. the list could go on and on. But anything that we love more than God is an idol. Anything we let distract us from our relationship or time with God is an idol.

As Oswold Chambers writes " Jesus did not say that everyone must cut off the right hand, but- if your right hand offends you in your walk with me- cut it off. There are many things perfectly legitimate, but if you are going to concentrate on God, you cannot do them."

"In the beginning Jesus Christ has to check you from doing a great many things that may be perfectly right for everybody else but not right for you."

Everything must be approached through the eyes of Christ or everything will become distractions and hindrances. For something to succeed, we definitely need God's wisdom, power, and grace.

Psalm 127:1" Unless the Lord builds the house, its builders labor in vain. Unless the Lord watches over the city, the watchmen stand guard in vain."


Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Matthew 5

Matthew 5..
"You're blessed when you're at the end of your rope. With less of you there is more of God and his rule.
You're blessed when you feel you've lost what is most dear to you. Only then can you be embraced by the One most dear to you.
You're blessed when you're content with just who you are- no more, no less. That's the moment you find yourselves proud owners of everything that can't be bought.
You're blessed when you've worked up a good appetite for God. He's food and drink in the best meal you'll ever eat.
You're blessed when you care. At that moment of being "care-full" you find yourselves cared for.
You're blessed when you get your inside world- your mind and heart- put right. Then you can see God in the outside world.
You're blessed when you can show people how to cooperate instead of compete or fight. That's when you discover who you really are, and your place in God's family.
You're blessed when your commitment to God provokes persecution. The persecution drives you deeper into God's kingdom.
Not only that- count yourselves blessed every time people put you down or throw you out or speak lies about you to discredit me. What it means is that the truth is too close for comfort and they are uncomfortable. You can be glad when that happens- give a cheer, even!- for though they don't like it, I do! And all heaven applauds, And know that you are in good company. My prophets and witnesses have always gotten into this kind of trouble.
Let me tell you why you are here. You're here to be salt-seasoning that brings out the God-flavors of this earth. If you lose your saltiness, how will people taste godliness? You've lost your usefulness and will end up in the garbage.
Here's another way to put it : You're here to be light, bringing out the God-colors in the world. God is not a secret to be kept. We're going public with this, as public as a city on a hill. If I make you light bearers, you don't think I'm going to hide you under a bucket, do you? I'm putting you on a light stand. Now that I've put you there on a hilltop on a light stand- shine! Keep open house; be generous with your lives. By opening up to others, you'll prompt people to open up with God, this generous Father in heaven."

Does Jesus make your day?

When you love someone you want to hang out with them all the time. You miss them when they are gone and are happy when you finally get to talk to them. You think about them a lot and listen to them when they talk to you. They make your day so much better.

Does Jesus make your day?

When you don't spend time with Jesus do you miss Him? Do you miss His voice when you forget to talk to Him? Do you miss His face when you choose to sin and hurt Him? Do you act differently when you forget to spend time with Him?

For me, I really struggle with finding time to spend with God at camp. But Jesus totally makes my day when I remember to pray to Him and read my Bible. When I go outside and am still and can listen to His voice, then Jesus makes my day. He not only makes my day happier but He transforms my character. If I have Jesus in my heart, then I can be nice to a lot of people; I can be patient; and I don't have to worry about silly things. But when I go to long without Jesus I get really mad and I break down. I get annoyed with the people around me, I get depressed, and life just turns around.

I know it's hard to spend time with Jesus, but it's definitely worth it. Jesus makes my day, and He not only makes my day, He makes my life =)
Yes making time for Bible reading and prayer is hard sometimes, but in the end the only thing that really matters is your relationship with Christ.

2 Corinthians 4:18 So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.

Isaiah 40:31 but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.

Psalm 28:7-8 The LORD is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and I am helped. My heart leaps for joy and I will give thanks to him in song.  The LORD is the strength of his people, a fortress of salvation for his anointed one.

May Jesus make your day a joyful day full of love and peace =)


Sunday, June 23, 2013

Homesick for Heaven

"If home's where my heart is then I'm out of place; I've never been more homesick than now."-- Homesick by Mercy Me
Homesick--the feeling is very familiar to me: the longing to see familiarity, to hug people that know me, to see people that love me, to be in the place where I was made, to want to be loved, to know that you are where you belong... I understand the sadness that comes from missing someone or something or just everything so very much. But sometimes I wonder about heaven.. and how come more of us aren't more homesick for Jesus? How come we don't dream about heaven anymore? How come we don't hope for the second coming?
This is what freaks me out.. we really aren't ready for Jesus to come. I mean if you look around this world is so messed up, it really is a tragedy. If you thought about all the problems and all the sin this world has, all the innocent children dying of hunger, the families being destroyed because they don't have love, the terrorists bombing the world- it's definitely getting close to the end.
You would think that with all these tragedies going on, all this unjustice, you would think that our minds would dwell on Christ and his hope and his second coming?! You would think that we would be woken up from our lukewarm lifestyles and satisfaction with our relationship with Christ. What does it take to wake us up? What will it take for us to realize that these are the last days and that Christ is coming soon?
Sadly, if I'm honest often spirituality in this world becomes like a faerie tale or a routine. It's hard for me to make it real and it's hard for me to think of things like heaven. It all just feels so far away. Often I feel like thinking of heaven is as funny as dwelling on fictional things like Santa Clause or the Easter Bunny.
This is one of the main reasons I want to go to Peru as a missionary. I don't want to close my eyes anymore. I don't want to be sheltered from the world and all the suffering that's going on. I don't want to live my own life blind to the pain and the hurting around me.
I believe that Christ is coming soon and there are so many people that desperately need Jesus right now. If I can't stop thinking about my life and my world.. if I can't focus on Christ, it's just not gonna happen.
But if somehow, by only God's grace, Christ opens my eyes to the things that really matter: eternal things, then I know everything will change.
I want to be homesick for heaven.
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.

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Battlefield of the Heart

1 Peter 5:8 Be sober, vigilant, and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion seeking those whom he may devour.

Where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. Matthew 6:21

I love God, I love God, I love God.
I choose camp. I choose friends. I choose sleep.

God, I want you, I want you, I want you.
Yet I focus on jobs, feelings, and people.

Why is it so hard to put God first into every part of every day?
Why is it such a battle every moment and every second?

Satan is good. He is smart and he is a good distractor and a good deceiver.

My God is stronger than Satan. He does miracles and I believe He does almost everything in His power to Help us find Him.

But how can we find Him when we are running around with our eyes closed? Not literally closed, of course. But busyness, and busyness alone is an enemy of Christ. How can we take the time to be quiet and see Jesus in the things and people around us if we are focused on the jobs we must get done. When we are too busy, we are selfish, and we do not have time for the needs of others, much less the will of God. I have encountered this time and time again in my life, but it seems like an ever-present struggle especially with jobs relating to ministry. We must make ourselves slow down. Even good things can become huge idols with Christ.

In 1 Kings 19: 9-14 God is trying to speak to Elijah and the Lord chose to speak to him in a whisper.

Psalms 46:10 says "Be still and know that I am God."

We must slow ourselves down, we must make ourselves stop. We must make time for God. If we love Him, we must choose Him over every single thing in our lives. We must be still and we must be quiet and listen. There is a battle going on right now and this battle is not simply a game but it is war between Satan and Christ fighting for souls for eternity. It's a battlefield for the heart and mind . Satan is trying right now to distract you. But as hard as Satan is fighting, God is fighting harder. He wants to show you how much he loves you. He wants your heart.



Tuesday, June 18, 2013

So long self

I love this song "So long self" by Mercy Me because it's so true, if I want Jesus I can't have "me". My selfish desires will only get in the way of Christ. Because I can't understand God's will for my life completely, I must trust God's direction. I will never be able to see the big picture of life, the complete image of me, the people around me, and most importantly the huge war between Christ and Satan- the full supernatural realm.
God I pray you help me trust you even when your way confuses me and I don't understand everything that is happening. I know that you love me and I will try to do what you say because I know your will is always better. Please open my eyes so I can see people the way you see them and I can see myself the way you see me.
 
 
 

Monday, June 17, 2013

Peru-- Amor Projects money & fun

If you haven't watched my Peru promo video yet please check it out at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mp0ICodbWRE and if you donate please help me out. As of right now I have $1000 raised. I am so thankful for everyone that has helped give me money to go. It really means so much!!
As of tomorrow I will be starting to write thank you notes.
I'm so excited for Peru and to be going as a missionary next year to AMOR projects at the same time it still seems so unreal. I can only imagine how next year will change my life in totally unique and crazy ways. I am excited to get to spend a year away from a busy lifestyle and the college life and get to serve other people and think about them first!
I'm trying to get closer to God this summer while I'm at camp. I love being outside because that's where I feel closest to God. At the same time it's still hard because camp is busy and there's a lot of distractions. I must choose God and lay down my life for Him each and every day.
"Will thou lay down thy life for my sake?" It is far easier to die than to lay down the life day in and day out with the sense of the high calling. We are not made for brilliant moments, but we have to walk in the light of them in ordinary ways. There was only one brilliant moment in the life of Jesus, and that was on the Mount of Transfiguration; then He emptied Himself the second time of His glory and came down into the demon-possessed valley. For thirty years Jesus laid out His life to do the will of His Father, and , John says, "we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren." It is contrary by human nature to do it."-- Oswald Chambers

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Summer Camp

Summer camp is totally amazing- like always =) I believe that summer camp is such a ministry for kids. Here at camp we have the power to change lives forever. Summer camp is where I chose to get serious about Christ and even today it's a place where I can walk closer with God. I'm having a really fun summer so far. It's different not being a counselor. But I do LOVE working at the lake all day!

My Dad is superman


Some people think my dad is crazy. The way he lives, the way he dreams, and the risks he takes despite the consequences are unusual and extraordinary. He is strong-willed and determined to do hard things, some things that don’t even make sense. Yes, some people think something is wrong with his head at times, but me? I think he is superman! Despite his fight with Rheumatoid Arthritis and Osteoporosis, he has an extreme faith with God. He follows Him with a crazy love that shows through his various passions, and he has taught me to do the same. My dad reminds me of my heavenly father.

            As a little kid, I remember riding behind my dad’s motorcycle as he did a wheelie. I remember him throwing lollipops in the deepest end of the pool and trying to get my brother and I to hold our breath forever. I remember him sending me down a river when I was three years old on my own tube without a lifejacket. I remember him teaching me how to play softball, to do gymnastics, and to boogie board the biggest waves at the beach. I remember a lot about my dad, and the best thing he ever taught me was to never be afraid. He taught me that I could do the crazy things, the hard things. My dad proved that failure was never an option unless you make it one. God taught us that with Him all things are possible.

My dad was always an athlete, but more than that he was a survivor. He windsurfed, raced motorcross, slalom skiied, ran, and was a triathlete. He had crazy adventures, and sometimes I got to go with him on them. If you knew all the things my dad did, you would wonder why he is still alive. I remember getting lost on a trail way up in the mountains with him while we were dirtbiking, and a storm started, and the hail was so hard that we had to stop. We ran to the woods and found a tiny abandoned cabin and stayed there until the storm passed. Crazy adventures like that were an everyday occurance with my dad. My dad takes everything to the limit, so almost every memory we have together is an adventure of some kind. Life with God is always an adventure because Jesus asks us to take up our cross daily.

            When I was around the age of 10, my dad’s health started to waver. I didn’t really notice because my dad didn’t like to publicize his pain. Slowly his ability to move around well and do extreme sports began to deteriorate. My dad was close to the age of fifty and he fought it off for a while. Sometime later he went to a doctor and described his pain. The first doctor told him rheumatoid arthritis or that he was just getting old. Other doctors ordered tests. Then they said osteoporosis, rheumatoid arthritis and other long words. My dad chose not to believe them; he just kept fighting, riding, and playing hard. He went to doctors a few years later in a much desperate condition. His hips, his joints, his back, his whole body seemed to be in pain. Nothing seemed to work so well anymore. Doctors didn’t know how to diagnose him. They said different things and said my dad was too old to play so hard. My dad didn’t listen. Jesus didn’t listen to Satan when he tempted him three times.

  My dad was the one who taught me to juggle when I was ten years old. Three years later he bought me my own fire torches even though I was only thirteen. While my mom shook her head in disproval because she did not want me to burn myself, my dad lit the torches for me and encouraged me to try them even though I was scared. My dad taught me how to unicycle when I was 14 by running along by my side holding my hand. He taught me to slalom ski, kayak in rough rivers, and run. When I was younger, I hated running but after my dad couldn’t run anymore, I promised myself I would run for him. Now I’ve done a triathlon, some 5ks, and even a 10k. My dad was the reason I got my lifeguard certification with a broken arm. He believed in me when no one else did. God believes in us. He has a plan for each of us.

            My dad made me who I am and taught me so much. Because of him, I’m not afraid to try new things or have crazy adventures. I’m not the least bit afraid of failure, and I’m not afraid of dying. My only desire is to make the most of the life I have and love everyone I can. That is God’s mission for us too: love God, love others, and glorify Christ.

            When I reflect on everything my dad has done for me, I am reminded how much our Heavenly Father has done for each of us. He is the Ultimate Superhero and definitely the best dad ever. His blessings extend further than we can imagine. His grace and mercies abound endlessly. Matthew 7: 11 says If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him! Let’s thank God for His love today. Happy Fathers Day!
 

 

           

Saturday, June 15, 2013

In a heartbeat

It's amazing how everything can change in a heartbeat...
        When I was younger and I first went away to academy, my dad said to me pretty soon everything will change. In just a few hours you will get on a plane and go so far away so very quickly and everything will be different.
         I would walk thru security waving at my parents and trying not to tear up. As I flew I would look outside staring at the pictures of different buildings and oceans, shortly landing in a totally different state: Colorado. Technology is amazing these days. It can transport us to many different worlds in so little time. As I landed in Colorado, I felt like a different girl. I was independent and brave, smart, and I had new friends.
         During breaks I would go home and feel like I was a different person in a different world yet again. I never wanted to leave the safety and serenity of my home and with my family.
          I have traveled to many different places and states. I have moved many times. I have visited Mexico, Honduras, and the Dominican Republic and will be traveling to Peru next year. Everytime I go somewhere different everything seems to change so much.

         It's amazing how quickly life can change in a heartbeat:  new friends are made, a loved one dies, a baby is born, a car accident, or even a miracle.
         I can't wait til Jesus comes and in a heartbeat everything will change. Everything will be perfect, beautiful, different and holy.

Monday, June 3, 2013

Something to say


1 John 5:4 For everyone who has been born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith.
1 John 3:9 No one born of God makes a practice of sinning, for God's seed abides in him, and he cannot keep on sinning because he has been born of God.
1 Corinthians 10:13 No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.

Something I have struggled with my entire life is relating to people. A lot of times I just feel so different than them. Like the fact that I take God seriously and school seriously, sometimes at school I just feel so much maturer than everyone else. Another thing I feel different than a lot of girls about is like dressing up and playing sports. Most girls want to go to the mall and frankly I'd rather have a mud fight or play sports any day. So what do I do with these differences and at the same time the desire to feel loved and fit in?
A lot of my life I have wanted the "best of both worlds": to have a lot of friends, be good at sports, be smart, be talented, take God seriously.. And what I've learned is you can't do everything. I'm not saying you can't be good at a lot of these things but what I am saying is at sometime in your life you have to focus on one thing and decide what matters the most. Is your relationship with God going to be enough for you if you have no friends on this earth because you follow Him? What if serving God means that you fail college or can't work your dream job?
To me, God means more than my friends and also more than grades. You see sometimes even good things like friends and hobbies can become idols in our life. Anything we put before God is an idol.
Before I went to southern last year while I was here at summer camp, I used my friends to keep me sane all summer instead of trusting in Christ. I had a relationship with God during the summer at Wewoka but I didn't rely on Him and I wasn't putting Him first, I was putting my friends and my job first. This could be shown by the fact that last year I hardly ever had time to have my own devotional life less than twenty minutes every day.
When I went to Southern I got closer to God than I've ever gotten before and I learned so much. I learned to rely on God more than I ever have and I also fell in love with Christ more than ever. God taught me the art of surrendering because the thing I learned this year is that a relationship with God isn't easy. It's not fun all the time and it's not the popular thing. Even at a church camp here where we all pray and study scriptures, it's easy at times to gossip, complain, criticize, and judge campers and staff. It's easy to hang out late and harder to go read your Bible by yourself. No one will give you your relationship with God and nobody can help you find God more than you can. It's a personal thing. I just want to encourage you that if you want to get closer to God, you have to make time to spend with him. Go out in nature and look at the stars and pray.
I wanted to be a counselor so bad this year and the reason why I feel God didn't want me too was because he knew if I was a counselor I wouldn't spend enough time with him. So counselors I understand you don't have a lot of time but I sympathize and will be willing to help you whenever. But I just challenge you to seek God this summer. If you want to know Him and follow Him be aware that it will take sacrifice and that you will be different. The more I know God the more different and set apart I feel from most things of this world. But I believe God's worth it and I believe Jesus is coming soon. So I just pray that all of you take your relationship with God seriously because nobody can do it for you.
Galatians 2:20 I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me

On starry nights

"I hope you look up in the stars and I hope they change your mind."
Being outside is one of the most beautiful things in the world- but even more so being alone on a dark starry night on a lake. That's what I did tonight and I definitely found God out there. I mean come on how can you be in nature and not see Christ's love and beauty?

Tonight I'm struggling with a few different things:
#1. I feel unqualified to do my responsibilities and am overwhelmed.
#2 I treat the people I love like "crap"-- according to the brother who I love more than anyone else in the whole world
#3 My friends are all gone--(ok definitely an exaggeration and a lie)
#4 I want to be a counselor not a director
#5 I'm going to Peru next year
When I went outside I heard and felt God's promises and felt God's peace. Now I feel him leading me. It's just really hard for me to listen to God sometimes because I don't like what he says. I feel like God is telling me to reach out to ALL the staff and not just hang out with my friends my age. It's just honestly my mind tells me oh brother don't hang with those immature kids.. and I really don't want too. God tells me I need to be a witness to the staff at the lake and treat everybody with respect love and care. Why is God's calling so hard? Why do I have to be different? I really love having friends and feeling "popular" or accepted for a little while, why do I have to do things to change that?
Why God why?
On starry nights I find my answers in the sky.