Sunday, December 22, 2013

"God is with us"

          I hear the phrase "God is with us" every year at Christmas and don't usually stop to think about what it really means. A few weeks ago at church  my pastor talked about it. And it dawned on me (i'm not sure why it did for the first time) that because God came as a baby 2000 years ago, He is ALWAYS with us.
          Another thing that has happened recently is that I have learned of several people who have been diagnosed with some sort of cancer, some who have lost loved ones in the recent months, one who has had a stroke, and one who had such a bad heart that he needed to have a heart transplant (which praise God he had the transplant on Monday night and is doing very well!!.) My heart has been absolutely heartbroken that all these people are having to suffer all because sin entered the world through Adam and Eve. And because of that sin that entered the world through them, we suffer. My heart and soul have cried out, "That's NOT fair!!!"
         "Yes my child I know how you feel but I AM with those who are suffering," God has told me over and over! Because Christ entered the world as a baby 2000 years ago, God is with us. He is with us in the good times and He is with us through the suffering, whatever form that suffering may take on.
            I pray that you are encouraged this Christmas by the fact that because God entered the world through a baby years ago, that we have hope because God is with us! And if you are going through a difficult trial (whatever that looks like for you) remember that God is with you if you just believe Him to be your Savior and King!!

Monday, July 22, 2013

God's conviction for me tonight: I AM REDEEMED

             You know those days you go to church (or nights at smallgroup) and are wanting excpecting God to say something to make you feel better about whatever you may be facing in the moment but you're not expecting/asking God to have you hear what He wants you to... I was found guilty of that tonight going into smallgroup. I was expecting that God would make me "feel better" about some stuff going on in life. Did that happen? NO!!! Did God cause me to hear what He wanted me to hear & learn. YES!!
             Tonight we talked about standing our ground in the Gospel. We talked about "hot topics" that we typically face in life/work that are difficult to stand our ground in. At the end our speaker encouraged us by saying, "There's freedom in standing on the truth of the word of God." We slighty diverted and talked for a few seconds about what it meant to be free in Christ. One of the guys in the group summed it up very well by quoting Romans 8:1 (which says "There is therefore now no condemnation for those are in Christ Jesus.") Ya'll this verse hit me like it never has before. I am free in Christ because I am no longer condemned because of my sin. I am free from condemnation because of His mercy and grace. May I never forget the weight of this truth!! May I start afresh today (and NEVER forget) & live in the comfort that I live in true freedom in having Christ live in me. As further encouragement go listen to Big Daddy Weave's song Redeemed.
                Just something that I felt like I was supposed to share with ya'll!!

P.S. I was also convicted tonight about in order to be able to stand in the truth of the word of God that I need to be a better student in learning what the word of God says.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Things God has been doing in my life recently

    Almost two weeks ago, I was rear-ended while sitting in traffic. My car didn't even suffer a scratch! It wasn't until two days later that I realized I got a very minor concussion in that minor wreck. My seat-belt had jerked me back & caused me to hit the back of my seat really hard. My thought was " duh, I have a headache..I just hit my head really hard! But two days later when I still had the headache & I realized some other symptoms I had had..I realized it was a minor concussion..not fun at all!!
    But as in all things, God has used this for His glory. Just as I was knocked in the head physically that day, God knocked me in the head spiritually that day. Recently for my quiet times, I've been going through the Jesus Calling Devotional book (which if you haven't gone through it...I highly recommend it!!!) & the thing that has stuck out to me the most is looking for God's presence & all that He is doing in my life. I soon realized that I was missing all that God was doing in my life. He was answering one prayer that I had been praying for almost a year, He was in the process of answering one that I had praying for since this last October, & that He is the process of answering one that I've been praying for over the last two years. In short, the Lord was (& still is) at work in my life!
    The Lord is also teaching me patience (& waiting on His timing) & the power of seeking Him with all of my being (Jeremiah 29:13). I plan on sharing more of what the Lord is doing in upcoming posts but until then (& after) I encourage you to seek the Lord & presence AND you'll find He's doing more than you can imagine in your life.

Monday, March 18, 2013

on the power of God's love & friendships

Something that the Lord has pounded into me a lot recently is His love for me and the power of His love. I've known that He loves me so much that He gave His only Son to die for my sins. But the love that I'm talking about goes beyond that. He loves me so much that He cares about the day to day stuff that happens in my life. i wonder how He could love me so much a weakling. then there's the song Cornerstone (click on word Cornerstone to listen to the song) which explains it to me. part of the chorus goes "Christ alone/Cornerstone/weak made strong in the Savior's Love." we sang this song on Sunday at church (and have many times before in the past) and it hit me. I am weak but I am made strong in Jesus' love for me. It is in His power/love that I am able to accomplish, overcome, go through anything. this is the primary way we as humans are able to accomplish.
the other tool the Lord gives us is friendships.God created friendships because He knew we could not do this thing called life on planet Earth alone. From the very beginning in Genesis God saw that it was not good for Adam to do life alone so He created Eve. I am convinced this is why He created friendships so that we are not alone in accomplishing this thing called life on planet Earth. Can I just give a shout out right now & say that I am blessed beyond measure by the friendships God has placed in my life!!
Giving me ways that I can accomplish things in the power of His love has been a blessing because it makes me realize that I am truly blessed by earthly friendships and it helps me know that I can accomplish when it doesn't seem possible.
Thankful for what the Lord is teaching me!!

why i'm running in a half-marathon

 I run three to four times a week in attempt to train for a half-marathon that is now just less than four weeks away. always proud when I've run a new furthest distance or a better mileage time. but as i was reminding myself why i was running in this half-marathon to begin with, I remembered the pain that running may occasionally frequently causes me. but then i remember it is nothing compared to the pain the children in India are going through. go here to the As Our Own website and you'll get a taste of what i'm talking about. i'm excited to run in my first ever half-marathon but may i never forget why i'm running or going through the training to run this half-marathon which is to raise awareness and support for these hurting children in India.

P.S. click here to find out what As Our Own does for children in India. this link will show you why i am running to raise awareness for these children. it's because of what this organization does for these children.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Update on life

     So our 21 day fast at church is over. It was the first intentional fast I participated in. I'll be honest, it was probably one of the hardest things I have EVER done. I chose to fast from all soda & caffiene for those who don't know or are curious. And for those who know me, caffiene (specifically Diet Mtn Dew) was a strong addiction! Please see my two previous entries on what the Lord taught me specifically through giving up caffiene.
 I wanted to share in this entry post-fast thoughts
- 1) I pray the discipline in prayer for the future will continue
- 2) I pray to have discipline/self control in the amount of caffiene I allow myself to have (like maybe one soda every other day at most)
-3) random thought: how did I ever survive with that much caffiene...I learned while being off caffiene all the ways that amt negatively impacted my body!!

I also wanted to let you in on a few other happenings in life:
-1) if I ever quit procrastinating signing up...I will be running a half marathon in April in the Hogeye. I will be running with a team of girls to raise awareness for As Our Own (Gospel ministry that helps rescue girls from Human Sex trafficking...I will go into more detail about it in a later post)
-2) my apartment in the last month has gone from 3 girls to 4 we got a new roommate at the very end of Dec & she has been a huge blessing to our apartment
-3) I was completely blessed this weekend by messages. from friends & family wishing me a happy birthday. My roommates also spoiled me all weekend! All of this was so undeserving!!

And as for some encouragement I wanted to leave you with the verse of the day from the Bible app I use (that encouraged me):

"But you are  a chosen race,  a royal  priesthood,  a holy nation,  a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you  out of darkness into  his marvelous light." (1 Peter 2:9)

Friday, January 18, 2013

where the struggles lay (part 2)

ADDICTION: the state of being enslave to a habit or practice or to something that is psychologically or physically habit-forming, to such an extent that its cessation causes severe trauma (from 

wake-up. have a diet mountain dew. driving to work. working on a second one. get to work. by 8am have a third one. by lunch, have no idea how many have been consumed. have a few more in the afternoon. get ready to go to bed. make sure to have one sitting by the bed. may need a sip during the night.

a month ago i was praying about my participation in the 21 day fast that my church was doing. i asked the Lord what He would have me give up. the first immediate answer was diet mountain dew. i told the Lord that that would be the hardest thing i could do. 

day 2 of the fast i had a headache and was so nauseous that i wanted nothing to do with the world. all i needed (i thought) was a diet mountain dew. then i could proceed with this thing called life. in that time of desperation, i called to the LORD and asked for help. this happened again on day 3 and has happened several more times. 

my nausea and headaches came from my body being physically addicted to diet mountain dew. i would jokingly admit before that i had an addiction diet mountain dew. it is from this fast that i have learned that i had a real addiction. i had my body addicted to it so much that my body had become dependent on it.

DISCIPLINE: training to improve strength or self-control

a month ago when i was praying about what to give up i had no idea what the LORD was going to do for me personally through the journey of the 21 day fast. 

week number 2 of the fast is wrapping up. for me personally the Lord has taught me how to have discipline in my life. becoming disciplined with not drinking diet mountain dew has carried over into discipline into discipline in waking up in the mornings and spending quality time with Lord. i am actually remembering throughout the day what i learned in my quiet time that morning. i have become disciplined in keeping up with my reading through the New Testament in one year plan. the list goes on...

coming to the realization and admitting that i had a serious addiction was not planned when i started the 21 day fast.

there are other things the LORD has taught me through this 21 day fast. In intentionally seeking the LORD for the future there are practical steps that He has led me to take. i will be sharing more of that in the coming days. in the meantime, for those currently taking part in this fast, I am praying for you to help you remain strong. for those reading this and not having taken part in a fast before, i encourage you to do so with the intentions of seeking the LORD in a very intentional way. be open to what the LORD has to show you during this time. if you do not have a relationship with the LORD i would love to share with you how you can have one.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Where the struggles lay (Part 1)

  "For  we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against  the rulers, against the authorities, against  the cosmic powers over  this present darkness, against  the spiritual forces of evil  in the heavenly places. (Ephesians 6:12)

The "present darkness" is satan & his attempts to attack us in our weakness. 

My weakness is my thoughts. It's like a war going on in my brain. Your not good enough. You'll never be able to achieve that. Why even try you're just going to fail. For me I constantly battle in my mind. satan wants me to give up or not try for fear of failure or not pleasing others.

And  let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap,  if we do not give up. (Galatians 6:9 )

Yet God calls me, COMMANDS, to not give up.

 He also is gracious to give me this command/help

Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. (Philippians 4:8)

My church has been a 21 day fast in which we give up something for 21 days and seek the LORD for our future, our family's future, a friend's future, our nation's future, & the future of our church. During the first week of fast The Lord has really caused me to examine myself and through scripture & a devotional I've been reading the Lord has been faithful to show me where I've struggled in the past (& still struggle) so that I can better serve Him in the future. This blog entry is part 1 of  my journey in the 21 day fast & what The Lord has taught me thus far. This entry is by no means a way of me trying to get attention for myself! (I want all glory to go to God for what He has taught me & I look forward to sharing in the next couple of days and weeks to what God has taught me!!