Saturday, December 27, 2008
I get so frustrated with the way people are sometimes and I think it affects my compassion. But what else do I expect from people without Christ? The only good that is in me is of Him and they don't have Him. If I don't like the way they are, instead of getting angry with them and frustrated, maybe I should be giving them the gospel to try to help them.
Just a short thought today. Meditate on that. I'm gonna try to.
Wednesday, December 24, 2008
Forgiving may be simple enough for some but for me the hard part is forgetting. Have you really forgiven someone if thinking of them or what they did still makes you angry? That's a scary question.
I have a really good memory and I can remember details very well. It's a blessing in many ways...my room mate gets aggravated because all I have to do is read over something a little bit the night before (or in some cases- the morning of) a test and I make an 'A'. I tell her over and over though that it has nothing to do with intelligence. I just have a good memory.
But... In some instances it is a curse to have such a good memory. I can remember specific things very vividly that I so wish to forget. I sometimes remember specific mistakes that I made and those detailed memories pop into my head at the strangest times. But more haunting I think is the fact that I have a hard time forgetting how other people have hurt me.
There have been several instances this year that have caused me to come to grips with this reality.
1. I "fell in love" and got hurt. He wasn't what I thought he was.
2. I came to realize that several of my "friends" were not what I thought they were and believe it or not it does hurt to realize that.
3. I had one specific "friend" stab me in the back and do things that she knew would hurt me.
4. It hurts to watch people that you care (or cared) so much about turn from God and go down a different road. And, at least in my case, it does make me angry to think that they knew better.
5. Then there are things that didn't even happen to me. My best friend had a major heartbreak last year. Just the thought of who did it makes me angry. How someone could be so heartless is beyond me.
6. Certain people have lied to or about my family and other families who are close to mine.
There are many things that I could stay hurt about. I have said before that I forgive them but...here's my confession... When I think of them it still makes me angry sometimes and to be totally honest I just wanna.... I dunno, Hit them in the face or something.... just being honest. All of those situations and more have turned me into quite the skeptic of people and their motives and intentions. I don't want to live in bitterness or be angry at them forever. So the best thing to do is forget about it, right? So... how do I do that?
Well, I think maybe it comes simply through prayer. Asking God to take away those hateful feelings of anger and bitterness. Asking Him to give you love for those people who have hurt or wronged you. Asking Him to help you forget about those things.
It will probably also require a certain amount of self discipline. You have to train yourself to not dwell on those things. You have to make yourself pray for them which despitefully use you.
It will go a long way in helping your self discipline to remember how much you have been forgiven. The Lord has forgiven me for so many things. How can we dare to hold a grudge.
These are all things that I am telling myself.
I think, or I hope, that today marks the beginning of "Letting it go" for me. Do any of these things really matter? In a couple years I will look back and think "how silly was I?" And as for those things that cut a little deeper, I will just pray and ask the Lord to help me to truly forgive... and FORGET, or as my quote says - remember it in a different light.
"Getting over a painful experience is much like crossing monkey bars. You have to let go at some point in order to move forward."-- Author Unknown
"Hanging onto resentment is letting someone you despise live rent-free in your head."-- Ann Landers
"Let go. Why do you cling to pain? There is nothing you can do about the wrongs of yesterday. It is not yours to judge."Leo Buscaglia
“There is no love without forgiveness, and there is no forgiveness without love.”
"By forgetting the past and by throwing myself into other interests, I forget to worry.”
Wednesday, November 26, 2008
Along this winding road
To the old familiar markers
Of the mercies I have known
I know it may sound simple
But it's more than a cliche
No other words to tell you
Than to say...
God's been good
In my life
I feel blessed beyond my wildest dreams
When I go to sleep each night
And though I've had my share of hard times
By my side He's always stood
Through it all...
God's been good
Times replay and I can see
I've cried some bitter tears
But I've felt His arms around me
As I faced my darkest fears
I've had more gains than losses
And I've known more joy than hurt
As His grace flows down upon me
God's been good
In my life
I feel blessed beyond my wildest dreams
When I go to sleep each night
And though I've had my share of hard times
By my side He's always stood
Through it all...
God's been good
God has been my Father
My Savior and my Friend
His love was my beginning
His love will be my end
I could spend forever trying
To tell you everything He is
But the best way I can say it
God's been good
In my life
I feel blessed beyond my wildest dreams
When I go to sleep each night
And though I've had my share of hard times
By my side He's always stood
Through it all...
God's been good"
I thought this was an appropriate song for the season. I'm home for thanksgiving and I can say that I am SOOOO thankful for the ability to come home for a few days. It's been a crazy semester for different reasons and I desperately needed a break.
God is so good to me... all the time! I am so undeserving and yet he blesses and blesses. He has given me good, godly parents and an awesome little brother. He allowed me to go to school and learn more about Him. He gave me some good friends and has saved me from bad relationships. He has always provided just what I needed and then some! He is such a good God to such an undeserving person. Nobody knows how undeserving I am better than me. I just love Him.
Now, the fact that he keeps blessing me even when I mess up and don't deserve it does not give me licence to sin! It should drive me to better live for Him! The Bible teaches that, while God is long suffering and patient, he is not eternally suffering and patient. There may come a time when God says..."That's enough". He did it in Bible times and I believe He could do it today. America, as a nation, is in terrible danger of God's judgment in this way. It is so important for us to remember how good God has been to us and not to take His mercy and grace for granted. I'm so guilty of it. The Bible says that we mess up the most when we forget God and how good he has been to us. Keep that in mind over these holiday weeks.
Thanks for reading! :)
P.S- A shout out to my aunt Sheri! Thanks for praying for me. I miss you and pray for you and the twins! Give them a hug and kiss for me! See you soon. Love you!
Thursday, October 23, 2008
This whole year I have felt like something was wrong. I couldn't figure out exactly what it was but something was definitely wrong. I felt like it was something wrong inside of ME, but it was having outward affects. Not only did I not have consistent joy and peace and love for others, this weird "something wrong" was making me react to my friends rudely and also not want to get out of bed in the morning. I wasn't caring what I looked like and I wasn't wanting to hang out with anyone... I was feeling very anti-social. Something was SO wrong with me but I couldn't figure out what it was. I was trying so hard to get out of bed in the morning in time to read my Bible and spend time with the Lord but I just couldn't drag myself out of bed. I would ask the Lord to help me get out of bed and give me energy but it was like he wasn't hearing me. I would ask him to speak to me in the preaching and it was like he would but then the next day (or even later that day) I would forget about what He said to me.
I finally realized Sunday night that the reason I had no joy and no peace and no consistency in my devotions and like the Lord was not helping me was because I was like the Jews.... I was doing all the right things: lots of ministries and trying do my devotions and trying to do the right things but I still had one "little" sin that I was refusing to give up. I asked the Lord to show me what it was that was hindering me and that thing that I considered so small was the first thing that popped into my head. So right after church I got rid of it and the everything feels better now. God is soooo good to me to reveal that. It's amazing to me that the God of the universe who created everything wants a sinner like me to be close to him and will go to great lengths to draw me back to him so many times.
Is there some sin in your life that you think is so small? Do you have true joy and peace and help from the Lord? If not, get rid of that "Little sin". It will make such a world of difference.
I'll try to post again soon. Keep checking back!
Tuesday, October 14, 2008
He preached on the subject of pride. He said something that has never struck me before. He said that every time we get up and don't read our Bible and try to go through our day without God's word and without praying, we are telling God that we don't need him and that's pride! I never thought about it like that but it's true. Every day that I don't read my Bible and forget to pray, I'm telling God that I can do this day on my own. What a joke! I can not ever make it through one hour without God!
Also, something I just thought of and thought I would share, I so often want to call on God when I'm in trouble even though I haven't spoken to Him the entire day. The other day, I woke up late and didn't "have time to read my Bible" or even to say a prayer. I was completely flustered and rushing around (which should have made me want to pray). I went to class and realized that I had two tests that day that I hadn't studied for at all because I was finishing another project the night before. I get one of the tests and I even try to go through half of the test before I stop in the middle of my test and almost start crying because I know none of it. THEN I decide to pray and ask for God's help. As I was praying it suddenly hit me.... "Lord, I haven't even had time to speak to you all morning much less get in your Word and yet I expect you to help me on this test..... I don't deserve it." The Lord was merciful that day and I actually did end up doing ok on that test and getting a 100% on my other one. The Lord is SOOOO good to me. Thank Him for His mercy!
But how ridiculous of me to expect God to do anything for me when that was the only time I had spoken to Him all morning. He needs to be the focus of my entire day. He needs to constantly be on my mind. If I were in an attitude of prayer all morning, it might have gone better.
Anyways... Gotta go... I will try to post again really soon
Tuesday, October 7, 2008
Sorry it's always so long between posts... I get so busy here at school. I'm trying to keep up with it the best I can. I haven't forgotten about this site.
I wanted to write a little bit about focusing. This whole year at school as been weird so far. I feel like Sleeping Beauty... let me explain- In the movie "Sleeping Beauty" the princess is walking toward the spindle in a complete trance. She is still moving but is in a total daze. That's how I feel like I'm living a lot lately. I'm just going through the motions but I'm not "really here". Things are so so different this year. One person who stole most of my focus last year is not here, many of my friends didn't come back, and I think on top of all that I feel somewhat...... I don't know... Grown up I guess. Don't get me wrong, I still have my silly times but they are fewer than last year. I really do think it's just a matter of maturing. Things seem more serious this year.
My focus has changed this semester. My focus is not on a guy (cuz there are pretty much no options in that area at this point). My focus is no longer on my big group of friends- I only have 2 good friends left. My focus is on school work and lots of ministries and ladies meetings and preacher's round up. My focus is on my job (being a good witness at work and having a good work ethic). All these things are better for me to focus on right now than the things I was focusing on before but I'm coming to realize the past couple days that it's still not in the right place. The number one focus has to be on God! I can't do my school work and ministries and work if I am not first focusing on Him. If I try to do these things without Him I will get tired and lose my joy, which is what I'm afraid has happened a little. I'm doing the right things this semester but I'm trying to do it on my own strength.
This part may sound weird but I talked to my mom about all this and she pointed out that I also may be feeling different this semester because I'm having to focus more on me. That sounds selfish but it's true. My freshman year I didn't have a boy friend but I had a guy that I liked and was constantly letting him take over my focus. Sophomore year, I had a "boyfriend" (unofficially) and he stole WAY too much of my focus. (My fault)
This year, I don't even really have any interests. I'm having to focus more on myself and drawing closer to God and not only that but figuring out who I really am and what God's will is for my life. I don't know that I have ever sought Him as diligently as I should have on this subject. That all sounds so cliche but I think that is partly why I feel weird this year. There are a lot more things on my mind this year and they are all a little "deeper" than boyfriends and fights with friends. I'm thinking so much more about my future and what God has for me.
The chapel speaker today spoke about how everything that God allows in your life (good or bad) is to prepare you for three things
He is preparing you:
1. To trust Him more later
2. To help you know Him better
3. For tomorrow
This makes me think... What does God have for me later in life. I need to stop thinking so shallowly and get in tune with God and realize that there is a bigger purpose for me being at Heartland. God is trying to prepare me for my future ministry or for my future husband and family. God is preparing me for my future. This is why I can't give up and go home because I'm so homesick this year. This is why I can't get distracted by trivial, shallow things. I need to focus on my school work and focus on my ministries and above all, Focus on God. Then when His time is right, he will take care of my future husband and everything else.
Wow... okay, I know this was really long and probably made no sense but that's ok. Keep reading. I will try to post again soon.
Thursday, September 18, 2008
I had a convicting experience today....
I work at a daycare in the afternoons. My job is to help run the front desk. I am basically the right hand girl to the director. I do whatever she needs done which usually entails cleaning the facility, doing dishes, signing kids in and out, answering phones, filing paper work, moving kids from room to room, dealing with parents, tying shoes, wiping noses before the kids leave and helping parents find their children's jackets... a little bit of anything and everything. I get along very well with my boss. She is a very sarcastic person but we joke around a lot and (even though she would probably pretend she doesn't) she loves me. :)
She is not saved. One of my best friends, Rachel, works there with me and we have invited her to church and given her tracts but she claims she "already goes to church and reads the Bible and prays". There hasn't been the best opportunity to out-right witness to her yet. (Well there may have been opportunities but I haven't taken them) She knows that Rachel and I are different and she knows that we have standards but today I was very convicted about the "little things" in my life that may be a hindrance to her getting saved someday. For instance, she will ask me if I know a certain song and because I use to listen to that kind of music I do know it and I start singing it with her. And today, for some reason we started talking about scary movies and she said "I thought Christians weren't supposed to watch scary movies." It hit me hard. I didn't really have an answer. Then just a few minutes later, I called someone (a movie star) a retard. I have a habit of calling people stupid or idiots or retards which is totally not Christ like. My boss said "That wasn't a very Christian thing to say." Now, she was just kidding with me, but it really convicted me because once again I had no reply. It wasn't a very Christ like thing to say. There is also a girl at work who annoys me to no end with her bad attitude and on several occasions I have mentioned my annoyance with her to my boss. What a bad testimony! I should be handling that girl with love and patience. So anyways... I was really convicted just by those little things she said today. I really want to work on the way I talk and my attitude about things and also on being a testimony of how God brought me out of the old lifestyle I use to live with wrong music and movies, not pretend like I'm still living that way by singing those old songs and talking about movies.
Well, that's all for today but I already have another idea to talk about next so check back really soon. I may try to get on here Saturday night.
Keep your testimony with the lost in the forefront of your mind throughout everyday, in every decision that you make.
Monday, September 8, 2008
I was also convicted about my love for others. One of my biggest fears in life (not even joking) is that people talk bad about me when I leave the room. Yet, I find myself sometimes doing that very thing to others or at least listening to it. I KNOW! Despicable! I also have been really having a bad attitude in my heart towards a few people that either annoy me very much or who have hurt me. But since I heard that sermon, I'm praying that the Lord would TEACH me how to love them. It is IMPOSSIBLE for me to love these people on my own! (Sad to say) But I'm praying that God will love them THROUGH me. I think it's going to be my theme for this year- "Love without dissimulation". I plan to do a study on the subject of love in my devotions.
"If stupid people fret me and the little ruffles set me on edge, Then I know nothing of Calvary's love. If by doing some work which the undiscerning consider "not spiritual work" I can best help others, and I inwardly rebel, thinking it is the spiritual for which I crave, when in truth it is the interest and exciting, then I know nothing of Calvary love. If souls can suffer alongside, and I hardly know it, because the spirit of discernment is not in me, then I know nothing of Calvary love." Amy Carmichael
Saturday, September 6, 2008
We are involved in the Bus ministry and visitation and also Friday night street preaching. We also help with Neighborhood Bible time, which is a big carnival they have to reach the kids on a selected bus each month. It's an awesome ministry. We have seen many kids saved and TONS start riding or be more faithful to riding that bus. I'm really excited about all of it.
I'm thrilled about my classes too. I have learned a lot the last couple of years in my 'Bible' classes but this year I get to start learning about how to actually teach little kids math and science and art and English. I really cannot wait to be a teacher (assuming that is what the Lord has for me)!!!!
The one thing I wanted to talk about for a minute tonight is the limitations of distractions. I'm going to use a boyfriend for my example because that's what it was for me...
I feel sooooo free this year! Last year I got caught up in a relationship that I thought could be "The one". As it turns out, sometimes people are not who you think they are. So be very slow and careful with who you give your heart to! (just a side-note :)) It didn't work out and now I look back on the whole year and wish I would have spent more time getting involved in ministries and meeting new people and making godly friends and actually trying my best at school work. Not worrying about a guy who wasn't God's will. It kept me from applying myself in school, getting involved in more ministries, and made me neglect some friendships. It also caused me to mess up my testimony. We never did anything WRONG but we didn't do a whole lot right either. People noticed that we spent way too much time together and that I was neglecting other responsibilites as well as having an attitude about some things.
Since I don't have that distraction this year, I can be involved in so much more! I don't have to be worried about spending all my time with a guy. I have made so many more friends and I am really trying to pour myself into my bus kids. I plan to work really hard at school work and do the best I can.
All that to say this- Don't let anything distract you from serving the Lord! Break free (with the Lord's help) from anything in your life that is holding you back from being involved in ministries. There is such a sense of fulfillment and peace and joy when you know you aren't wasting time on temporal things but are investing time and money and energy into things that count for eternity and help prepare you for the future God has planned for you.
(And just in case it does happen to be a guy in your life that is distracting you... When the right one comes along, he won't distract you. He will encourage you and you will be able to serve the Lord TOGETHER! He won't be demanding of your time to the point that you neglect your responsibilities or neglect the Lord) (This is only recently getting through my thick head)
Well, I know it might not have made much sense but I hope it was a help to someone. I will try to post again soon and let you know some of the things I'm learning in school and in chapel. So stay tuned! :)
Thursday, September 4, 2008
Tuesday, August 5, 2008
"God sends no one away empty except those who are full of themselves."-- Dwight L. Moody
I learned today, through a situation, that God is the only one who satisfies. I know what it is like to feel like something is missing. Unfortunately, even since I've been saved. When we are not living for God, we are not fulfilling our purpose and, therefore, are not going to be truly satisfied with anything in life. Other things may bring temporary pleasure and happiness but will never fill the void inside. Worldly music, as I have learned, may bring a smile to our face and change our mood but when I get done listening to it, I don't feel any different... except maybe sad, or mad, or irritable for what seems to be no reason at all. It does nothing for me. That's why the music industry is constantly coming up with new songs and new styles of music. Unless you listen to the oldies station, you will not hear a song that was popular a year ago or more very often.
Having a boyfriend doesn't satisfy unless it's God's will. No matter who your boyfriend is or how long you've been together or how "In looooove" you think you are.... he can never completely satisfy you. That completion and satisfaction can only come from God and from being in His perfect will. So before you give you heart away to him, you better make SURE it is God's will. (Get your feelings out of the way and PRAY)
Money cannot satisfy. A new truck cannot satisfy. Popularity cannot satisfy. It may make you feel good for a while... feed your pride... but when it's all said and done you will be lonely and empty.
Isa 58:11-And the LORD shall guide thee continually, and satisfy thy soul in drought, and make fat thy bones: and thou shalt be like a watered garden, and like a spring of water, whose waters fail not.
Ezek 7:19- They shall cast their silver in the streets, and their gold shall be removed: their silver and their gold shall not be able to deliver them in the day of the wrath of the LORD: they shall not satisfy their souls, neither fill their bowels: because it is the stumblingblock of their iniquity.
Ps 55:22-Cast thy burden upon the LORD, and HE shall sustain thee: he shall never suffer the righteous to be moved.
John 6:35-And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst.
John 7:37-If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink.
John 4:13-14- Jesus answered and said unto her, Whosoever drinketh of this water shall thirst again: But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life.
He is the only one who can satisfy the longing in our soul. Have you ever felt that longing. Just like there is something missing... Maybe you are out of His will. Maybe he just simply wants you to draw closer to Him. Don't reach out to other things. They will only bring an empty feeling. Let Jesus fill you! Get in His word and read it like a love letter. Talk to Him.
Maybe you're feeling this emptiness and void because you've never been saved. Your life is dry and barren and you keep turning to the well of sin and the well of the world to satisfy that thirst but it keeps coming back. Turn to Him. You will never thirst again. (See God's plan of salvation at the bottom of the page. :))
Thank you, Lord, for showing me this truth today. Help me to remember it.
Thursday, July 31, 2008
Lord, Grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.-- My all-time favorite quote (and I'm big on quotes so that's saying a lot)
I'm faced with a challenge today... Acceptance. Would anyone care to agree that acceptance is one of the hardest challenges we face? Yet, I've been convicted about accepting some things in my life.
I need to learn to accept who I am. The Lord made every part of me. He made me (physically) the way he wanted me. He made me short, with brown hair, and brown eyes. I must learn to accept that I am not a tall, blue-eyed, blond. To not accept this is to say that God made a mistake. I wish I could get that through my own head.
I need to learn to accept the way my life is right now. Sometimes things are just hard. But that never changes that fact that God is still good. I must accept that He has a plan and that He hasn't forgotten me. He knows exactly where I am and what I need and what my family needs. He's always working out His purpose.
I need to learn to accept others. This is a hard one for me for some reason. I seem to have a tendency to want everyone to be like me... I mean, to have the same standards and convictions about things as I do and to care about the same things I do. I have got to learn to accept others where they are. We should never just simply accept sin, but we must allow people time to grow. I seem to always forget that I have not always been where I am now, spiritually. Nor have I attained some great perfection by any means. I can't get mad at people because they don't have the same standards about dress, music, dating, church attendance, or anything else. I didn't use to have these standards either.
It's all about accepting. That's why my prayer is that the Lord would give me peace to accept those things that I cannot change but at the same time the courage to change the things that I have to ability and responsibility to change. And of course, I'm gonna need wisdom to know the difference sometimes, between the things that I can and the things that I cannot change.
Hope this can help someone who maybe has a problem accepting things.
Friday, July 25, 2008
"Trust God or worry. Those are the two choices you have in every situation. Trust God and be at peace. Worry and experience stress. Your choices are that simple and you will make your life as peaceful or stressful as you choose to make it." James Blanchard Cisneros
"You find no difficulty in trusting the Lord with the management of the universe, and all the outward creation, and can your case be any more complex or difficult than these, that you need to be anxious or troubled about His management of you? Hannah Whitehall Smith
I was really worried about going to sleep last night because I knew my mind was going to want to wander to that person that I'm supposed to be trying to get out of my mind. I had told myself, and been told by others, that I have to MAKE myself not think of him. But I was worried that I would not be able to think of anything else. I didn't know how to make myself not think of something. So I read a Psalm right before bed and I read Psalm 105:4- Seek the LORD, and his strength: seek his face evermore.
For some reason that jumped out at me. It was like the Lord said, "yeah, if you try to lay down and go to sleep and not think of him on your own, you won't be able to do it. You need me!" He showed me how to do it. He showed me that to keep my mind off of that guy, I have to keep my mind on Him... seek Him, seek His face. And I must have His strength. I can't do it alone.
I kept repeating that verse to myself until I fell asleep and I'm telling you the honest truth- I didn't think of that guy even once! And I honestly had a wonderful, peaceful night's sleep. Better than I've had in a long time. ( I usually toss and turn a lot)
It may sound cheesy but the Lord really did something great for me last night! I love Him!
I'm having a wonderful day! I'm really tired from work, it seemed to drag on and on today, but I have so much peace right now. Last night, I finally broke contact with someone who I've been needing to get away from for a while now. He's a good guy and I wish it didn't have to be this way but it does. It's not even really his fault... it's me. But nevertheless, it had to be done, for our own good. But ever since then, I have had such great peace. I had good devotions this morning and things are going good so far... granted- it's only been one day but still... :)
Here's a lesson I've had to learn more than once- If God tells you to get rid of something (or someone) in your life... DO IT! You will only be miserable until you do. You have to get rid of pride and stop worrying about what will happen and just give it to God. Easier said than done- believe me I know!
A girl in my dorm this past year did a devotion on something I will never forget. She called it the "Palms up life". She explained that when we live our life holding on to everything WE want, we live our life with closed fists. That's how you hold onto something. And if you picture someone with their fists clenched tight around something, you can imagine they would probably get tired and probably looks strained. That's how we get when we try to hold onto things that God may not want there. But if we live with our palms up (hands wide open and lifted up to God) He can take what He wants.... and also give what He wants, when He wants, when He knows it will be good for us. And that is such a more peaceful and stress-free way to live.
Ever since I heard that, every once in a while, when I feel like I'm trying to hold onto my life too much, I just literally turn my hands over and show my palms to God. Because even though I try to control everything and I want it my way a lot, deep down, I really do want what GOD wants for me. He has something so much better for me than I have planned! I know I sound all spiritual right now, but this is something that I struggle to remember. But hopefully I can help someone else to remember it.
Please read these quotes on Surrendering your life to God: Enjoy!
"Commit every particle of your being in all things, down to the smallest details of your life, eagerly and with perfect trust to the unfailing and most sure providence of God." Jean-Pierre de Caussade
"We can carry the world on our shoulders, or we can say, "I give up, Lord; here's my life. I give you my world, the whole world." Bruce Larson
"What are you afraid of? Let God act. Abandon yourself to Him. You will suffer, but you will suffer with love, peace and consolation. You will fight, but you can carry off the victory, and God Himself, after having fought with you, will crown you with His own hand. You will weep, but your tears will be sweet, and God Himself will come with satisfaction to dry them. You will not be free any longer to give yourself up to your tyrannic passions, but you will sacrifice your liberty freely, and you will enter into a new liberty unknown to the world"Francois Fenelon
"The will of God will never take you to where the grace of God will not protect you. To gain that which is worth having, it may be necessary to lose everything else." Bernadette Devlin
"The will of God for your life is simply that you submit yourself to Him each day and say,
"Father, Your will for today is mine. Your pleasure for today is mine. Your work for today is mine. I trust You to be God. You lead me today and I will follow." Kay Arthur
"God always gives His best to those who leave the choice with Him." Jim Elliot
"What 'one thing', what person, what position, what passion immediately comes to mind when you hear this question? "What one thing would you say to God.. Oh Lord, I will give you anything, I will do anything for you, I will go anywhere, I will give away anything... but that?" The answer to that question is the 'one thing' you need to give to the Lord, more than anything else. Often, when we surrender such a deep sense of ownership to the Lord, He in his loving grace will allow us to have that 'one thing' again, with the caution to remember we are only stewards of that 'one thing.' Oftentimes, He, in his wisdom, does not allow us to have that 'one thing' back. It is a step of submission and obedience; and a risk that is vitally important for the sake of our spiritual growth."-Katherine Walden (This is SO true!)
"Give your life to God; he can do more with it than you can!" Dwight L. Moody
"Lord, whatever you want, wherever you want it, and whenever you want it, that's what I want." Richard Baxter
"If my life is surrendered to God, all is well. Let me not grab it back, as though it were in peril in His hand but would be safer in mine! " Elisabeth Elliot
"People who are crucified with Christ have three distinct marks: 1. they are facing only one direction, 2. they can never turn back, and 3. they no longer have plans of their own." --A.W. Tozer
I hope that I can better learn to live this way!
Thursday, July 24, 2008
Is rougher than a week of working hard
I've looked too long at what concerns me
Instead of just looking at who you are
I'm gonna start trusting in your timing
And trusting in your love
Cuz as long as my life is in your hands
I'm gonna be taken care of
No more lettin' the clouds of tomorrow
Steal the sunshine of today
No more living in fear and sorrow
For what hasn't come my way
No more lookin' for trouble to borrow
Gonna take what comes with faith
No more lettin' the clouds of tomorrow
Steal the sunshine of today
You tell me to cast my cares upon you
In everything I do I always see
That even before I ask you, Jesus
You know what I need
Cuz you care for me
There's so much that you've shown me lately
Reminding me again
It's an old, old truth that worry ends
Where trusting you begins"
I've been praying and reading my Bible the past couple of days and I really feel like I know what I need to do... the first step anyways. I was begging the Lord to show me something and I ended up in Isaiah 58. (Isaiah is one of my favorite books in the Bible... practically the whole thing is underlined.) This chapter is talking about the proper way to fast and then in verses 8-10 it explains how to hear from the Lord when you are praying about something and fasting. It says, basically, that you need to get rid of the things that are enslaving you and distracting you and keeping you from a right relationship with Him and then get the focus off of yourself and focus on helping others. Then it says in verse 11 that if we do this then the Lord will guide us continually. That was such a blessing to me. So now I know what I need to do. I have to get rid of the things in my life that are distracting me, as much as it's going to hurt and focus on helping other people. So that's what I'm going to do. Then, I'm praying that the Lord will be able to speak to me and guide me and show me what the next step in my life is.
Wednesday, July 23, 2008
I so desperately want to know what God's will is! I'm having a bit of a hard time right now discerning what God's will is. Here's my confession... I've been neglecting my Bible reading lately and my prayer life has been pretty shallow. Confessing that is not the hard part. How do I fix it? I seriously do not know how to get out of this rut! I'm just stuck! I want to read my Bible everyday and get something from it but I don't. I want to be a prayer warrior and reach God for people and have a clear communication line with God but it's not like that. What do I do?
I'm so confused about what the Lord wants for my life. I still don't know if being in the ministry is the what the Lord wants. I can't imagine any other life but then if you knew my spiritual life you would know that I'm probably not ministry material. I can't even be consistent with my Bible reading for a week straight and haven't led someone to the Lord in a long while.
There is also a person in my life right now that I'm not sure is supposed to be there but I'm not sure what to do about it. I like them being there.... a lot! But I don't know if it's good for me nor is it what God probably has for me. But then, for certain reasons, I start wondering if it is what He has for me. Why do I get like this. Why can't I just stay close to Him and leave my life in His hands. I don't have peace right now. I feel very lost and confused and it's making me miserable. I need the joy of the Lord back. Does anyone else ever feel this way?
I just want to know what God has for me. I want to be close enough to Him that he doesn't have to scream at me. I want to live my life so that a whisper is enough. It's something that I do truly desire and I'm going to work at. I'll keep you posted.
"There's a place
Of quiet comfort
I know there is Joy
Beyond what I can see
When I am weak
I run to the Savior
I know he in all his love
Will lead me
Lead me to the rock
That is higher than I
Lead me to the fountain
That never shall run dry
Lead me when my soul is faint
And I ask "Why"
Lead me, Lord, Lead On
When the path
Ahead is stormy
When the waves
That surround overwhelm
When your life
Keeps on tossing, rolling, turning
I know he, in all his strength
Will lift you high"
The Hooker Sisters
Saturday, July 19, 2008
1. I'm a big time movie quoter! lol- If it's a movie I liked I can quote just about the whole thing. (I have a pretty good memory like that) And me and my mom and brother and friends quote movies ALL the time, whenever it fits into a conversation. Sometimes I will do that with people who have no idea what I'm talking about and I get some really weird looks. I just tell them "It's from a movie..."
2. I have a genuine phobia of birds. Anything with feathers. When I was little, my brother was literally attacked by a rooster. Ever since then, they seriously scare me to death. I'm a grown woman now, and if you bring a bird anywhere near me, I will probably scream and run in the other direction. lol Ostriches are the devil! And turkeys are evil too.
3. My parents and brother and I are Andy Griffith addicts! We have dvds of that show and watch them over and over and over, and it's also something that we like to quote often. ("He's a nut!"- Barney Fife's words of Earnest T. Bass. And- "I said you could stay but not on the bed!"- What Otis says to the imaginary elephant in his cell on the episode 'Otis the Hot Rod'- One of my favorite episodes.)
4. I pick at my nails when I get nervous talking to someone and I shake really bad when I have to have a confrontation with someone. Oh! And I have a really hard time making eye contact with people unless I'm really comfortable with them. If I can make eye contact with you for longer than 2 seconds, you should feel special. We must be getting pretty close. lol
5. I have a hard time thinking of things to talk about with people unless I feel really close to them but I could sit down and write them a 10 page letter. I love to write.
6. I am a picky eater (although I'm getting better at trying new things... Thanks Amy and Josh!) and I don't eat Strawberries or cherries but I love just about anything strawberry or cherry flavored except ice cream. Weird I know. lol
Well, there ya go. Don't know who would care to read that but hey, now you know a little more about me. How much of that did you already know? :)
Wednesday, July 16, 2008
Dad preached about Joshua's calling and assurance. My favorite part was when he talked about how Joshua's calling was a personal calling. God specifically called a man to do a specific job. Every person who is saved was saved for a specific mission in life. Think about that. God has a specific mission for you to complete. It's different for everyone but there are certain people that God has planned for you and I to meet and to make a difference in their life. Now, what would happen if we were so far from God that we never took the opportunities that he gave us to touch someone else's life. Then that person may not be able to reach the ones that God had for them to reach and the domino effect begins.
It is so exciting to me that God has a special purpose for my life. He has a specific church he wants me to be part of and minister in (in some way or another, even if it's just through a bus route or something) and a specific mate that he wants me to be a supporter of and specific friends he wants me to be an encouragement to and specific enemies that he wants me to be an example to. He has people set in my path years and years from now who will need me specifically and whatever talents or experience God has given me specifically. Perhaps there are young girls right now who will someday be in my husband's youth department and they will someday need encouragement from me. Maybe they are girls that God knows only I could reach, maybe because of an experience I have had to go through or because of something I've had to learn. (Of course it will be the Lord working through me, not my own greatness by any means!) That's just a "for instance"... I have no idea what the Lord has planned for my life. But think about it... The people God has for me to meet down the road need me to be in my Bible daily. They need me to not get mixed up in the wrong kind of music and they certainly need me to stay focused and not get side-tracked by the wrong guy!
I'm so glad God has a special, specific purpose and plan for each of our lives. Take a minute and think about what it could be for you and see if it doesn't encourage you to live for Him!
"What the world requires of the Christians is that they should continue to be Christians."
- Samuel Adams
Tuesday, July 15, 2008
I found this quote by Amy Carmichael and it goes perfectly with what i read this morning. I read in Matthew again where Jesus says "If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it."
I was just praying, before I read that, that the Lord would teach me how to not waste my life. I don't wanna look back on this summer and realize that I wasted time. I have to remember that my days are numbered. I want my life to count for Jesus! Then he showed me how to do that in this passage. There must be a daily dying to self. I must learn to deny myself the things that I want, especially if they keep me from the things of God.
I pray the Lord will help me to meditate on this thought today and not just forget about it like I sometimes am guilty of doing.
"All want their lives
To count for something
To leave their mark
When life is through
But vain pursuits
Will count for nothing
Time will erase
Whatever we do
I want my life
To count for Jesus
For earthly things
Will quickly fade
No need to add
To worldly riches
I only seek eternal gain
Inside my heart
There burned a question
What was I placed
On earth here for
It truly was
To build a kingdom
Not of my own
But of the Lord's"
Monday, July 14, 2008
This made me think... How often do I do that? I start to worry about things and get upset over things and wonder if God will really provide when all I really need to do is remember how he provided before.
When my family moved to Arkansas from Cleveland, Oklahoma, I was afraid that I would never make any friends. I'm a pretty shy person, and although I'm getting better thanks to some friends I've had, it's not always easy for me to make friends. But I remember praying that the Lord would give me at least one good friend there. And he did more than that! He gave me a whole youth group where I felt like I was part of and a couple of the best friends I've ever had, Nikki and Mrs.Abby. He came through! He provided!
When I went to college, I was TERRIFIED that I would be too shy to make any friends. The Lord put me in a room with Kimi who I was able to become really close to, and later Amy and Rachel and others who are now my best friends. Once again He provided what I was so afraid he wouldn't.
So whenever I get to worrying about going to a new place I just need to remember how the Lord has provided friends for me in every place I've been, and he can do it again!
One of my favorite stories of God's provision that I like to tell is from my freshman year in college. It was time to make my very first school payment and I did not have enough money. But I scraped up the money somehow (I forget how now, my parents may have loaned me some) and went up to the office. I knew that after I made that payment it was going to be tight until payday. I got up to the office and told the lady my name and that I needed to pay my bill for that month. She said "Looks like you're already paid for this month. You don't owe anything." I could not believe it! I couldn't even talk. I just started crying and walked back to my dorm room thanking God. That was $300 I got to keep! Apparently I had over-paid on the down payment so they just credited it to my account. I had heard about God providing in amazing ways for others but that was the first time it had happened to me! When things get tight- instead of worrying, I should just remember how he provided then and so many other times.
I remember how God has provided even little things. He showed me His ability to provide so much during my freshman year. I remember when I got to one of my classes and realized I had the wrong kind of concordance. Well they cost like $30 or so and I did NOT have $30. I didn't even have $20 because I hadn't been able to find a job yet. I went and told the teacher the situation and he said that it was ok for that day but that I would have to have one next week. I guess a girl sitting in the front row heard me tell the teacher I didn't have one and she said "I have an extra one if you want it." I was so happy that I, again, started crying. I don't know why but that was such a big deal to me! What a blessing that some girl that I didn't even know was going to give me a brand new concordance for free!
God has always provided right on time what I needed him to. He has somehow made payments less than they were expected when I was broke or laid it on someones heart to take me out to eat when I had no food in my dorm and no money in the bank. Maybe we would worry less if we would just remember how he has provided so many times before. He is still the same God as he was then!
Hope this long entry was an encouragement for someone. :-)
Thursday, July 10, 2008
Well, I hope everyone loves their job as much as I do... Even though it wears me out sometimes and I say "NO NO" a lot, its so much fun!
Wednesday, July 9, 2008
I loved the part of his sermon where he was talking about the blind man that Jesus met who had been blind his whole life. The disciples asked him "Who sinned?" and Jesus said "No one. This man was born blind for this moment. So I could heal him and God would get the glory." Imagine-- That man had probably wondered every day why he had been born blind. Little did he know that it was part of God's eternal purpose to give God glory and point others to Him. All those years of suffering would have been worth it on that one day. We complain after just a couple of days maybe. Maybe we should just wait and trust God. (we, including me) Maybe he is about to do something really really amazingly great! I wonder how many times our faith breaks and we doubt God right about the time he was fixin' to do something amazing!
Great Faith always pays off!!!!!!!..... Just keep trusting! He's in control!
"While crossing over Galilee
a storm it was raging
The disciples they feared for their lives
But Christ the Lord
He was on board
And he spoke to the wind
It knew his voice
And everything was in control
He's in control though the storm
Around you is raging
He's in control in your life
No matter what you're facing
Even in your darkest night
When there seems to be no light
He's always with you
He'll never fail you
He's in control
Now there are times in this life
When there seems to be no answer
To the problems
And troubles we go through
But Christ the Lord
He's still on board
For he lives inside me
He has the answer
And everything is in control"
Tuesday, July 8, 2008
I'm on my lunch break. I finally got some more hours at work which is a huge blessing! I'm working 7:30-6 every day this week. I know to some people that doesn't seem like that big of a deal but it kinda takes a lot outta me. I'm in a pretty small room with 4 or 5 toddlers and 2 babies for 9 1/2 hours! Its fun though.... most of the time :). I love working with kids. I hope the Lord allows me to work with them in some way or another even after I graduate college and get away from daycares.
I'm really getting anxious about school. I always get really scared right before I go back but I think right now I'm also a little scared about HOW I'm going back. So far, no money. But we are working on getting a loan. It seems that is the only way. At first, I wasn't sure about it cuz I felt like that was me making it happen instead of trusting God. But I realized that God does want us to trust him but he doesn't want us to be foolish either. We should use the resources he gives us and pray that if it is His will then it will all work out the way it's supposed to. I really really hope it does work out though. Here's the song that popped into my head when thinking about this...
"It's out of your hands
You've done all you can do
You've given God the problem
It's no longer up to you
You've prayed the prayer of faith
You're standing on Gods Truth
While you're waiting on the answer
He has a question for you
Is anything too hard For God?
Who's got a problem beyond His power to solve?
Are there situations He's not the master of?
Is anything too hard for God?
Trust His Word you'll see
His plans are still unfolding
It's clear how much he loves you
Look at all he's done
For all your questions
There's really only one
Is anything too hard for God?
Who's got a problem beyond His power to solve?
Are there situations He's not the master of?
Is anything too hard for God?"
I know He is able to provide! "With God nothing shall be impossible!"
Sunday, July 6, 2008
I am really excited about going back to school this year. Amy and I are really going to try to hang out with a better group than we have before. We want to be friends with people who really love the Lord and live godly because that's how we want to be. Who you hang out with says a lot about who you want to be.
I think we can also apply this verse to God. You cannot walk with God unless you're in agreement with him. And you cannot be in agreement with him unless you are right with him. And you can't be right with him if you are living in sin. Think about that.... Are we really "walking with the Lord"?
Friday, July 4, 2008
How great it is to live in a free country! Thank you, Lord, that I was born in America! Thank you that you allowed it to become a free country on this day so many years ago!
Happy Fourth Of July everyone! :)
God ALWAYS does things right! He is ALWAYS the best way, even if, to us, it seems all wrong. If you asked God for one thing, and received another... Trust. You can be sure that he will always give you what you need at the appropriate time. What you want is not always what you need. Today's thorn is tomorrow's flower! God gives the very best to those who leave the choices up to him!"
Someone sent me this story in my email and I thought I would share it. Hope it was a blessing. :)
Wednesday, July 2, 2008
planted deep within your heart
You pray in faith, and wait for God to move
But Time passes and you wonder
Did He hear me when I called?
Should I even have prayed that prayer at all
Chorus:You never pray a prayer,
your Father will not answer
He can't ignore His child's earnest request
While you're waiting and believing
For what you thought was best
Trust God if He says no….. You're still Blessed
There must be a greater yes
Verse 2:There comes a time when child-like faith
Must graduate to trust
Trials come and you're convinced you're on your own
But the teacher's often silent
When you're in the hardest test
But He'll answer when It's time with what is best
Bridge:Sometimes God will answer -
just like we prayed
Then other times what's on His mind
Is a better plan, a another way, a greater yes"
Another one of my favorite songs that spoke to my heart big time this past semester. Instead of being upset because God says "No" when we want something, we should remember that He knows what's best and that He is saying "No" because he has something so much greater for us down the road. There is something better to say "Yes" to.
If you want to marry a certain person but God says "No", don't be too upset, there is a greater "Yes". If you want to have a certain job but God says "No", there is a greater "Yes". This can be said in any situation where we are praying for something. I know from experience that it's easier said than done. But Amy showed me something in the book "Discover your destiny" by Carey Schmidt that changed my whole outlook- This is basically the story he told.
(Lance is his 5 year old son)
' My wife and I picked up my son, Lance, from Kindergarten one day and told him when he got in the car that we were going some place really really fun that day. I told him to guess what it was and he sat there a thought for a minute, then said "DIMPLES?!" Dimples was a storefront play place we took Lance to for some cheap fun on occasion. Lance loved Dimples and could not imagine any place being better. I said "No Lance, We are going some place better!" My son sat there with a sad look on his face. "I wanna go to dimples." He pouted. "Lance, you don't understand. We are going to ....... DISNEYLAND!" In my mind there were little trumpets playing and confetti being thrown. But Lance just sat there, pouting. " But I want Dimples!" Now he was demanding! I tried another approach. "Lance, Disneyland is where Mickey Mouse lives! You are gonna love it Buddy! Just trust me on this!" Lance was insistent on Dimples. I didn't understand this and to tell the truth I was getting frustrated with my son. What kid on earth wouldn't LOVE to go to Disneyland! It was so clear that Disneyland was so much greater than Dimples. The comparison was ridiculous! I almost decided to give Lance what he wanted and take him to Dimples... it sure would have saved some money, but I was too excited about Disneyland. "Lance, I promise, once we go to Disneyland you will never want to go to Dimples again!" My son was now sitting in the back seat crying. " I want Dimples" he shouted! I was extremely agitated. When my wife reached back to console our crying son I finally realized.... Lance doesn't want Disneyland because he doesn't understand how great it is... he's never been before! In his mind, Dimples was as good as it gets! Well, Lance finally cried himself to sleep and we drove to Disneyland. Needless to say, Lance got out of the car, took one look at Disneyland and never looked back! In fact, when our budget called for some affordable family fun at Dimples a couple weeks later, Lance was crying for Disneyland.
It's just like that with God's will. We get some idea in our head or we find something or someone that we think is the best (Our "dimples") and refuse to give it up. All along, God is trying to take us to "Disneyland". Maybe in your mind, that guy or girl is as good as it gets. But if you would let God handle finding a mate for you then you would realize that he has Disneyland waiting for you! That boy or girl compared to who God has for you is like Dimples compared to Disneyland.
God has such a bigger plan for you than you have for yourself. God wants to give us what we would ask for if we were smart enough to ask for it. He has a Disneyland for you! Stop worrying about Dimples! If we will just trust him, he will give us what is best. All we have to do is peacefully trust him from the backseat and let him lead!'
Hope this was a help to someone!
Let go of "Dimples" (whatever it may be in your life) Let God take you to Disneyland! It's so much better than what you have planned! Guaranteed!
Friday, June 27, 2008
Strength I find to meet my trials here
Trusting in my Father's wise bestowment
I've no cause for worry or for fear
He whose heart is kind beyond all measure
Gives unto each day what He deems best!
Lovingly it's part of pain and pleasure
Mingling toil with peace and rest
Every day the Lord himself is near me
With a special mercy for each hour
All my cares he fain would bear and cheer me
He whose name is Counsellor and Power
The protection of His child and treasure
Is a charge that on himself he laid
'As your days, your strength shall be in measure'
This the pledge to me He made
Help me then in every tribulation
So to trust Your promises, O Lord
That I lose not faith's sweet consolation
Offered me within thy Holy Word
Help me, Lord, when toil and trouble meeting
E'er to take as from a father's hand
One by one the days the moments fleeting
Till I reach the promised land"
- Carolina Sandell Berg
This is one of my favorite hymns. There is so much truth in it and yet I'm sure so often we sing it without a thought. When I really think about the promise of this song it gives me so much encouragement. This song always makes me think of the passage in Matt 17:24-27. My dad preached a sermon on this one day and it stuck with me. It is talking about how the people who took up the tribute money asked Peter if Jesus would pay tribute and Peter foolishly said "yes". Well Jesus explained to him why he didn't need to pay tribute but said "Notwithstanding, lest we should offend them, go thou to the sea, and cast an hook, and take up the fish that first cometh up; and when thou hast opened his mouth, thou shalt find a piece of money: that take, and give unto them for me and thee." Now, my point doesn't really have anything to do with the story except that did you notice that Jesus didn't say "Go get that fish and you will get a million dollars." He didn't make him rich so that he would never have to worry about tribute again but he did take care of the need of the moment. God may not always take away every burden and problem and He never promised to make us rich or allow us to have name brand clothing or the finest food around or the biggest mansion. But He did promise us that he would supply the needs. In reality, we don't even deserve that. What a good God! If we trust and depend on Him, He promises to give us the strength necessary for that day. Then we will come back to Him the next day for more strength. He is not just in control of our entire lives and our future but of each and every single day.
Sunday, June 22, 2008
It's for my good and for His glory. This trial's not the end of the story. There's a bigger picture God alone can see. Faith will take me through this sorrow, for I know He holds tomorrow; and He assures me it's for my good and for His glory.
I love the Lord and He has promised me He'll work all things for good. Through my tears I believe that His ways are higher than any of my own, and though my heart aches, He makes no mistakes!
It's for my good and for His glory. This trial's not the end of the story. There's a bigger picture God alone can see. Faith will take me through this sorrow, for I know He holds tomorrow; and He assures me it's for my good and for His glory."
The Lord really worked in my life this past school year through a verse that I had heard so many times before. Romans 8:28- "And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose." I was really struggling (as I have already mentioned) with the question "why". It seemed like the Lord spoke through sermon after sermon and devotion after devotion and in almost every single one for like a month, the person would mention this verse. It finally got through to me that God has a purpose for everything that He does. I don't have to know what that purpose is... just that He has one. He is working ALL things (not just the good but the bad too) together for my good. Now I could apply that in the way that God knows that this trial or circumstance will be good for me; make me stronger and increase my faith. And that's great! But, as it was revealed to me through preaching, the "good" that he is working things together for is to make me more like His son! Read vs 29: "For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren." THAT IS THE PURPOSE! Now why would that be good, for me to be conformed to his image? Because the more I am like Jesus, the more I bring God glory. So it really is for my good and for his glory! I could finally stop asking God "why" because he answered it... "this is why this is happening: I'm trying to conform you to my son!" That's good enough reason for me!
Remember in your time of heartache or need, when you're wondering why this happened: His ways are higher than yours! You may not understand but you have the promise that the Lord is working all things together for Good (to make you more like Jesus!) and he makes no mistakes!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Praise The Lord!
Thursday, June 19, 2008
How can I forgive the past and just start all over? How can I forget my scars and pour in the myrh? Is it really like me to make my enemy my friend? It's unlike me, but it's just like Him.
From the cross He said forgive them, for they know not what they do. When he said "It is finished" He made that possible for you. Calvary is where the hatred ends and forgiveness begins. It's unlike me, but it's just like Him."
Wow! What a song! This song spoke to my heart so much recently. For a while I had a hard time being around certain people at school because of some things they had said. And for a while I was angry in my heart toward people because of how they treated my family or friends. One day, my friend, Amy, gave me a CD with this song on it and I just started crying. It was exactly what I needed to hear.
How many times do we get angry with someone over something so silly. Sometimes, it's different, and there really is a lot of hurt and someone really did wrong us. But think of all the wrong that was done to Jesus. Has anything like that ever happened to us? No, probably not. Yet, he said "Forgive them." He knew what it was like to be betrayed, lied about, abused, made fun of, and forsaken. And we are constantly saying "What would Jesus do?" Well, what DID he do? He forgave. He had compassion and love for those people. We should do the same.
So, someone said something mean about me or lied about me... I forgive. When someone hurts me... I forgive.
After all... Let me not forget the great debt I have been forgiven, nor how much the Lord chooses to forgive me each day. (Read Matt 18:21-35)
Thanks for reading today! :)
Sunday, June 15, 2008
Lean on me, When you have no strength to stand. When you feel that you're going under just hold tighter to my hand. Lean on me, when your heart begins to bleed. When you come to the place where I'm all you have then you'll find I'm all you need!
When the road ahead seems rugged and the path is getting steep and I feel that I can't make it and I hang my head and weep. Then I turn to see who's coming to join me in the way. And I see that it's my Savior and I hear him gently say...
Lean on me when you have no strength to stand. When you feel that you're going under, just hold tighter to my hand. Lean on me when you heart begins to bleed. When you come to the place where I'm all you have then you'll find I'm all you need!"
Praise the Lord that we can lean on Him when burdens get too heavy for us. One of my favorite verses in the Bible is I Peter 5:7- "Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you." This is a lesson I learned in college this past year. My sophomore year was a hard one. I got involved with a guy first semester (whom I will have to explain at a later time) and I let myself be distracted from the Lord. Two days before Christmas break we broke up and the second semester was a living nightmare! We never had a time where we yelled at each other but there was absolutely tension and there was a lot of lies and miscommunication. Neither one of us handled it the way we should have, and I realize now, that as much as I blamed him, it was just as much my fault. I reacted in a very immature way and I definitely let the situation steal my joy and peace. But this is what I learned about 3/4 of the way through that second semester... I AM NOT STRONG ENOUGH!
I'm gonna let you in on one of my prayer journal entries from last semester just cuz I think this surrender is what is necessary to gain the strength you need in a hard time:
"Lord, I thank you for showing me through your Word that I'm not strong enough to handle all the situations in my life. I'm not strong enough to be a good witness at work and have a good testimony at school. I'm not strong enough to balance friendships. I'm not strong enough to handle finances. I'm not strong enough to handle Josh or his friends who are spreading lies. I'm not strong enough to be a good friend to (a girl) who has drifted away from you. I'm not strong enough to handle all these situations! My heart hurts too much. This heartache is making me weak. Thank you that I can cast it all at your feet and leave it. I know that you WANT me to give it to you. Thank you that YOUR strength is made perfect in my weakness. I love you, Lord. Please take these burdens. I give them to you..."
I have to go so that's all for today. But I hope that this will be a help to someone. Cast your cares upon him... you're not strong enough to handle them on your own. You can live life so much more joyfully and peacefully if you let go of the problems. More on this subject at a later time.
Thursday, June 12, 2008
I have no idea who sings this song either but here it is:
Bow the Knee
There are moments on our journey, following the Lord, when God illumines every step we take. There are times when circumstances make perfect sense to us, as we try to understand each move he makes. But when the path grows dim, and our questions have no answers turn to Him.
Bow the knee. Trust the heart of your Father, when the answer goes beyond what you can see. Bow the knee. Lift your eyes toward heaven and believe the one who holds eternity. And when you don't understand the purpose of his plan, in the presence of the King, bow the knee.
There are days when clouds surround us and the rain begins to fall. The cold and lonely winds won't cease to blow. And there seems to be no reason for the suffering we feel and we are tempted to believe God does not know. When the storms arise don't forget we live by faith and not by sight.
Wednesday, June 11, 2008
I just wanted to encourage you today to make sure you have good godly friends! Looking back on some of the most ridiculous choices I made in life so far, I would have to say most of them were made because of the influence of a "friend". Not that I am not responsible for my own actions, but I was certainly influenced in the wrong direction many times by the friends I chose. When I was 15, I went through quite the stage of rebellion. I did a lot of things wrong. I hurt my parents so much and I honestly, hurt myself too mostly by messing up my testimony and making memories that are stuck in my head forever. It would keep us from making so many mistakes if we would just stop and think about #1- how it will affect our future, #2- how it will affect others (cuz it will!) and #3- how it will affect our testimony. If we will just think about this when making even the smallest choice (for instance- what to say when we smash our finger...) then we would maybe choose the right thing instead. The price of sin is much too high not to weigh the consequences. ANYWAYS... When I was in rebellion, do you think I chose to hang out with the good godly kids at school? No. I chose to be around people who were like me. Birds of a feather flock together- that is absolutely true! You are what your friends are or you soon will be what your friends are. Wow... now stop and think about your friends.
I have some of the BEST friends in the whole wide world right now. My bestest (yeah, I know, it's meant to be spelled that way) friend's name is Amy and she is amazing! I love her to death. Just today, I needed someone to talk to cuz I was struggling with something so I called her up. (just like I did yesterday when I was feeling discouraged) Well, she didn't answer but I left her a message explaining the whole situation and she called back while I was at work and left me a message that made me laugh and then just about made me cry, throwing in scripture and godly advice and assuring me that she loved me and was praying for me. Everyone needs a friend like that! She has been there for me when I needed to cry my eyes out or just talk about anything and she has always known just what to say or when to say nothing. She tells it to me like it is; never sugar coats it, which is important. And she can ALWAYS make me laugh! That's why she is my best friend! ( I will have to add a picture later) We go to college together and hopefully will be roommates next year! I'm so excited!
One of my other bestest friend's name is Rachel. She is the goofiest girl I have ever met, and to be totally honest, I wasn't sure how to handle her when I first met her. But after you spend a little time with her you realize that she has a huge heart and I guarantee she can make ANYONE laugh in a matter of seconds! She is who I go to when I need to talk (cuz she's a great listener) and then I need to laugh. I laugh harder with that girl than I ever have at any other time! On top of all that humor, she is so very generous and giving and is gaining so much godly wisdom at college. I know the Lord will use her life in a big way. I love her to death! She is such a blessing. Everyone needs a friend like her too! (pic promised later)
I have another great friend who I was roommates with last year named Kimi. She is crazy and fun and we can have fun doing even nothing. We have drifted apart just a little bit recently but I would still say that she was one of the best friends I have ever had. We spent like 24/7 together my freshmen year in college. She is so much fun.
Then there is my childhood best friend whom I still keep in contact with but not very good, Holly. She and I were inseperable from the ages of 9-14. If you found Holly then you would find Jenny. She and I always had SO much fun together. We would spend every weekend at each other's houses and stay up all night just talking and watching movies and being goofy. She was always someone who understood me and I could always be my silly self around her and never be afraid that she would think I was stupid. I could be braver when she was around cuz I knew she would "have my back". She still never forgets my birthday. That's a true friend right there. I'll never forget her and all the crazy memories we share and I love her little girl, Leah. She is such a cutie!
I have a couple other good friends who I have drifted apart from over the last couple years but they both made such an impact on my life and I still hold them so dear in my heart. One is a girl who is a couple years younger than me actually but she was a great influence on me. Her name is Nikki and she is probably the sweetest girl I know! She taught me a lot (even though she is younger) about love and compassion and thinking before I speak! She became my best friend during my junior and senior year in high school and we had so much fun together eating sonic and watching scary movies. She is a godly young lady and a great friend and I miss her so much!
The other one is my youth pastor's wife from Arkansas, Mrs. Abby. She was actually only a few years older than me and we became really close. I still had much respect for her as my youth pastor's wife but we were also close friends. She and her husband (my youth pastor, Bro. Claud) made a huge impact on my life. I would not be where I am today without their guidance and leadership and example. For any teen girls that might be reading this- befriend your youth pastor's wife or pastor's wife. They can teach you so much and may be the best friend you could ask for.
Last but not least- every girl should make her mom one of her best friends. My mom and I have had our differences and still do every once in a while but we have a close relationship and I consider her one of my best friends. My mom is the one and only person who will always love me no matter what I do and my mom knows me better than anyone else and she can usually tell me even why I am feeling a certain way. We haven't always been as close as we are now and I regret that but I am so thankful for her and for our relationship now. She has been there for me and listened to me gripe about backstabbing people and cry my eyes out over the phone about homesickness or a guy. One thing that is very special to me is when she sends me mail while I'm at college. She sends me packages and cards and McDonald's gift cards that say "the sun will come out tomorrow" on it. lol Those are special and she always sends encouragement right when I need it. Now that's a mom and a friend!
Every person needs good godly friends like mine! They will laugh with you and cry with you. They will lift you up with Bible advice and a joke or just listen. They will sit in the hall with you and wipe the mascara away while handing you a Dr.pepper. Then drag you to the car without saying a word and take you to get chocolate ice cream just to make you feel better. lol They will let you bawl your eyes out and blubber and cry on the phone even though they can't understand what you're saying cuz they know it will make you feel better to just get it out. They are absolutely priceless and so are the memories we make! I hope this made you thankful for your friends or encouraged you to find some friends like this. Sorry it's so long but I love my friends! They can make you or break you!