Monday, December 19, 2011

Pray and Do Not Doubt.

My family usually attends the early 9 am service at our church, Grace, but this Sunday my mom told me I could sleep in and we'd go to the later service at 10:30 am (actually, my parents and brothers had classes to go to then and we went to the 12 pm service, but I went to both services because I wanted to). My friend Bethany saw me looking for someone to sit with and generously offered to let me sit next to her and her boyfriend.

Pastor Jonathan's message hit me square in the heart, like so many others have in a convicting, reviving way. Yesterday his message was taken from John 4-5 and he talked about how we need to ask for healing and being set free from sin. God wants us to talk to him and not just read about him. We ought to be reading about God and talking with others about what he is doing in our lives as well as talking to him personally through prayer. Pastor Jonathan used the Samaritan woman at the well, the officer whose son was very sick, and the paralyzed man by the pool to show how God worked in Bible times and then he shared stories of church members who have been healed miraculously in this day and age to show how God continues to work. 

Jesus replied, “Anyone who drinks this water will soon become thirsty again. But those who drink the water I give will never be thirsty again. It becomes a fresh, bubbling spring within them, giving them eternal life.” -John 4:13-14

The Samaritan woman didn't realize who Jesus was until he uncovered her past without her telling him and then she was astounded. Jesus told her that he was the Messiah and she went back to her town, telling everyone about Jesus. Many believed in him because of the woman's account. The officer asked Jesus to come and heal his son, but Jesus told him he was healed and to go home. The officer believed and received word before he arrived home that his son was healed. The paralyzed man told Jesus how he had been that way for 38 long years and could never get into the pool to be healed. Jesus immediately said to him, "Stand up, pick up your mat, and walk!" and the man did just that!

*Read the rest of the Samaritan woman and officer's stories here and the paralyzed man's story here.

Often as of late, I have been struggling with knowing why we should pray, but the message just affirmed exactly why we need to. God wants us to seek his help and guidance to overcome in this life. We try and try to set ourselves free on our own strength, but Christ is the only one who can and has already set us free with his death and resurrection. We serve a powerful God!

Saturday, December 10, 2011

The Little Everyday Instances.

This past Monday I woke up feeling slightly sick, exhausted and didn't like my appearance at all. Instead of pouting and being angry, I took the time to notice, appreciate and thank God for every little way he was working in my life. I saw God at work so many times that day, but I've forgotten most of them. I do remember one instance clearly, and that was of me walking to a review session for my Old Testament class that night after working out at the gym. The rain was coming down hard, and I missed seeing the sidewalk in front of me, so instead of stepping up onto it I tripped and fell. God allowed me to fall in such a way that I only got a tiny scratch on my right hand; everything else was fine, although I was a bit shaken up. One of the metal parts of my umbrella broke, which made it sort of lopsided but that didn't matter. What mattered was that God took care of me and I praised him each and every time for his kindness and favor towards me. He sent constant reminders throughout the day to say, "I'm here with you and I love you so much. You're my child, and I'm not letting you go." God cares deeply for each one of his children, and he is faithful.

Have you ever spent a day looking intently for God's hand at work in the fleeting moments? It's easy to miss seeing him work in little ways, but he is always doing something, whether we notice or not. Be intentional about seeing God at work not only in your life but also in the lives of others, particularly non-believing family and friends. How has God worked in you and through you this past week/month on mundane or difficult days?

Friday, December 9, 2011

Christmas Break Challenge

If you could sum up this week with one word, what would it be? For me, and probably every other student, the word would be busy, or perhaps overwhelmed. After the semester ends, you'll go home and probably won't have much to do. Instead of being lazy and eating as many Christmas goodies as you can, what if you used your time wisely and shared Jesus with as many people as you can? You could do something as simple as talking to the cashier in the store when you're picking up last minute Christmas gifts or sending a Christmas card to a friend.

Many Cedarville students want to witness to nonbelievers, but it's hard when we are surrounded by believers 24/7. Maybe you're in a similar situation at a Christian university or a small Christian community. The one month during the school year that students are surrounded by non-Christians is our Christmas break in December/January. I challenge you to look for opportunities to reach out to nonbelievers this Christmas season. We might have a break from school work, but that doesn't mean we get a break from serving Christ. Let's shine the light of Christ brightly as we remember and celebrate his birth on this planet over 2,000 years ago.

“You are the light of the world—like a city on a hilltop that cannot be hidden. No one lights a lamp and then puts it under a basket. Instead, a lamp is placed on a stand, where it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your good deeds shine out for all to see, so that everyone will praise your heavenly Father." -Matthew 5:14-16

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Preemptive Love Coalition: Providing Heart Surgeries for Iraqi Children.

It was only a few weeks ago that I found out about Preemptive Love Coalition (PLC), an international organization that provides heart surgeries for children living in Iraq. One of Cedarville's own graduates, Cody Fisher, is a member of PLC and all of the current Cedarville students were privileged to watch a video of him talking about his passion for the organization not too long ago at one of our regular chapel services.

There is a dire need for heart surgeries for Iraqi children, which is due in part to the decay of the medical system over the past three decades. Currently, there are 29,000 children per year that are denied surgery in one Baghdad hospital alone and 3,000 known children in Kurdish Region waiting for surgery. 11,000 children are added to the backlog each year. Iraq used to have a excellent, highly centralized medical system but now the system has deteriorated immensely, creating an inability to treat the normal case load of patients and the higher rates of birth defects in Iraq have not helped the situation, either. All this has led to a desperate need for lifesaving heart surgery for countless children. PLC is able to provide these surgeries because of generous giving.

This very morning Cedarville University took an offering for PLC and before the offering took place, our student chaplain encouraged us to give freely for this great organization that is saving thousands of lives of precious children. He used the following passage to challenge us to give out of love, rather than just giving because we feel guilty.

"But when the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit upon his glorious throne. All the nation will be gathered in his presence, and he will separate the people as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. He will place the sheep at his right hand and the goats at his left. “Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the Kingdom prepared for you from the creation of the world. For I was hungry, and you fed me. I was thirsty, and you gave me a drink. I was a stranger, and you invited me into your home. I was naked, and you gave me clothing. I was sick, and you cared for me. I was in prison, and you visited me.’ “Then these righteous ones will reply, ‘Lord, when did we ever see you hungry and feed you? Or thirsty and give you something to drink? Or a stranger and show you hospitality? Or naked and give you clothing? When did we ever see you sick or in prison and visit you?’ “And the King will say, ‘I tell you the truth, when you did it to one of the least of these my brothers and sisters, you were doing it to me!’ “Then the King will turn to those on the left and say, ‘Away with you, you cursed ones, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his demons. For I was hungry, and you didn’t feed me. I was thirsty, and you didn’t give me a drink. I was a stranger, and you didn’t invite me into your home. I was naked, and you didn’t give me clothing. I was sick and in prison, and you didn’t visit me.’ “Then they will reply, ‘Lord, when did we ever see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and not help you?’ “And he will answer, ‘I tell you the truth, when you refused to help the least of these my brothers and sisters, you were refusing to help me.’ “And they will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous will go into eternal life.” -Matthew 25:31-46

How should we respond to this great need? Instead of sitting quietly on the sidelines and watching people die, one by one, we can give our money, time and resources. It always seems to come back to those three things, no matter what the need. God has blessed us with an abundance of money and he's given us all the time and resources we need to do the good things he prepared in advance for us to do. (Ephesians 2:10) We just have to be willing to let God use us. Have you said to God, "Here I am. I'll go where you send me. Use me for your glory," or are you too comfortable, scared, etc? Whatever personal struggles you might be facing, God is bigger and he can and does use us in our weakness to bring about his purpose, so you need not be afraid to trust him with the future or anything else at all.

If you sense God tugging at your heart to give, just do it and expect God to bless you in unexpected ways. God's call on your life might be to go to a country you've never gone to before. Let your fears of the unknown propel you to step out in faith and trust the future to the hands of the God who is outside time and space. Just like God cared for Ruth and Esther, two biblical women of faith, he will also care for you.

Don't think that I don't struggle with this, too. I find myself not wanting to give many times throughout the day, having forgotten that every good and perfect gift is from God the Father who never changes. (James 1:17) Pray for me, that I would be more giving and that I would never forget who the Gift Giver is.

If you need prayer for anything, whether it be that you would be more giving, or loving, or kind, please don't hesitate to share it with me and I will pray for you.

In light of my recent discovery of Preemptive Love Coalition, I created a Brickfish entry for the Tell Your Story...and Make a Difference campaign, which I would love for you to view and vote for. (You may vote once every 24 hours [you do not have to create a username to vote] and leave reviews whenever you like.) Simply click the box below and it will take you to the entry. :)

Thursday, November 10, 2011

The Palm Project.

**This is a copy of a post I just did on my other blog, Image-ine. I thought that it needed to be shared here too. If you're a follower of my other blog, feel free to dismiss this post. Thanks!**

Did you know that you're beautiful? God thinks so! He created you just the way he wanted to.

The KING is enthralled by your beauty; honor him, for he is your LORD. -Psalm 45:11

Two days ago I found out about The Palm Project from Hannah via Twitter. The creators Madeleine and Emily just started the project about a week ago and the Facebook page has already caught the attention of many. Why, you ask? Only because every girl has a deep longing in her heart to be valued and treasured by the King of Kings.

I am beautiful. Just the way I am. Because of Him.

We all have imperfections and impurities because we've been tainted by sin, but despite our imperfections, we are beautiful because we were created in the image of God (Genesis 1:27) who dearly loves us and sent his Son to die for us even while were still sinners! (Romans 5:8) If we have accepted Christ's free gift of salvation, then he has set us from sin and given us a new birth through the Holy Spirit. (Titus 3:4-5)

I hope you're feeling beautiful because you are!

You can make a difference in the lives of your friends and family by showing them with your actions and words that you know they're beautiful. Take a photo of yourself with the words "I am beautiful" written on the palm of your hand and upload it to Facebook or Twitter to spread the word about The Palm Project and get your friends involved!

Don't ever forget that God loves you with a love that has no bounds!

The LORD says,
“Then I will heal you of your faithlessness;
my love will know no bounds,
for my anger will be gone forever."
-Hosea 14:4

Friday, October 28, 2011

The Time is Now.

Every day I'm being challenged to put my faith in Jesus Christ into action. Cedarville is sort of a Christian bubble but there are opportunities to reach out to people here and the surrounding area and I'm taking them. I'm involved in a ministry to inner city girls in Dayton and God is using me there but I want to do more. Today I'm thinking a lot about how much God has blessed me and how we are blessed to be a blessing. Period. My friends and I are discussing sponsoring a child through World Vision or Compassion International, which is something that I've been feeling like God wants me to do, but I haven't yet because I don't have a regular job. BUT I do have a job, and I make more than $1 an hour, which is more than the amount of money that 1 in 6 people live on every day. That's so crazy and saddening. Obviously I have more than enough to be sharing with other people, so I really am praying about making a difference in a child's life and sponsoring one with a couple of my friends. This video is really convicting. If that's not enough, Scripture makes it 100% clear that as Christians we ought to give.

If anyone has material possessions and sees his brother in need but has no pity on him, how can the love of God be in him? -1 John 3:17

Please pray that God would lead me to ask the right people that he desires to join me in sponsoring a child and that God would guide us in choosing which child to sponsor. Also pray that we would be committed to giving generously and faithfully praying for the child. Pray that all believers everywhere would see the need in the world and respond in Jesus' name. 

May Paul's words be true in our own lives and may we be filled with a zeal for the gospel that never dies!

We live in such a way that no one will stumble because of us, and no one will find fault with our ministry. In everything we do, we show that we are true ministers of God. We patiently endure troubles and hardships and calamities of every kind. We have been beaten, been put in prison, faced angry mobs, worked to exhaustion, endured sleepless nights, and gone without food. We prove ourselves by our purity, our understanding, our patience, our kindness, by the Holy Spirit within us, and by our sincere love. We faithfully preach the truth. God’s power is working in us. We use the weapons of righteousness in the right hand for attack and the left hand for defense. We serve God whether people honor us or despise us, whether they slander us or praise us. We are honest, but they call us impostors. We are ignored, even though we are well known. We live close to death, but we are still alive. We have been beaten, but we have not been killed. Our hearts ache, but we always have joy. We are poor, but we give spiritual riches to others. We own nothing, and yet we have everything. -2 Corinthians 6:3-10

Friday, October 7, 2011

Awaken the Dawn.

For the past month or so, I've been struggling to feel God's presence, just to know that he's beside me, fighting for me. I craved his presence so badly, but he seemed distant for a very long time. 

David's words in the Psalms sum up how I felt:

My God, my God, why have you abandoned me? Why are you so far away when I groan for help? Every day I call to you, my God, but you do not answer. Every night you hear my voice, but I find no relief. -Psalm 22:1-2

Like David, I called but couldn't hear an answer.

My life is poured out like water, and all my bones are out of joint. My heart is like wax, melting within me. My strength has dried up like sunbaked clay. My tongue sticks to the roof of my mouth. You have laid me in the dust and left me for dead. -Psalm 22:14-15

Tuesday night I spent time delving into the Bible and seeking Christ passionately. My devotions for the night focused on Psalm 57:7-8 and it was all about David, who made a decision to awaken from the darkness surrounding him in a very dark moment. He cried out to God, declared God's refuge, love and faithfulness, and reminded himself that God's ways are above our ways.

The words on the page lit up the darkness creeping into my heart, and I literally felt as if I'd just come out of an intense, long-lasting battle. I didn't have to fear as long as Christ is with me, living in my heart as I know he is. My response in a spiritual winter or darkness should be to remain steadfast, worship, pray, and awaken the dawn with my words. On top of that, I should shine God's light for others to see and awaken my soul to sing.

I've prayed fervently, continued reading the Bible and kept on praising and worshiping him no matter what my mind tells me. On Wednesday morning we had a Praise and Worship chapel so we spent the entire time singing and praying. I was so blessed and encouraged as God's living words washed over me like a mighty ocean wave. God loves me. He sees me. He rescued me from a horrible past. In this moment he loves me still. I have a personal relationship with him. Pursuing Christ is the choice I have made and I will not let go. My heart will trust in my God and I will stand firm in the truth.

My heart is steadfast, O God, my heart is steadfast; I will sing and make music. Awake, my soul! Awake, harp and lyre! I will awaken the dawn. -Psalm 57:7-8

Are you in a spiritual winter? Do you feel like you're fighting a battle against spiritual forces and you don't have anyone to back you up? Choose to awaken the dawn and sing of God's love and faithfulness. He is always there and he will fight for you!

'Do not be afraid of the nations there, for the LORD your God will fight for you.' -Deuteronomy 3:22

Friday, September 16, 2011

Pride: Lay It Down.

Ya know, I never thought I'd be able to say I'd done half of the things I've done or met half of the people I've met already, but God has blown my expectations out of the water!

Thus, I never thought I'd see Joni Eareckson Tada in real life or much less, serve her dinner, but I did that yesterday. It pays to be a banquet worker at Cedarville University, and I'm not just talking about eating the delicious leftovers. I've met and interacted with a few well known people, and experienced how diverse the way people live their lives. While I get excited to meet the people who attend banquets, I'd be just as happy to greet a street sweeper as I would be to greet a Hollywood star. I'm not putting the rich and famous on a pedestal above all of us commoners, because the rich and famous are the same as we are in God's eyes - helpless and in need of mercy.

And yet, God has trusted each one with a different job to fill, giving greater responsibility to those with greater power. This means that the people that we idolize and follow have the responsibility to lead us away from themselves and to the cross where Jesus died and was buried. They can't do it on their own, but with God's help it's completely possible. We ourselves also have a great responsibility, even though most of us do not get to speak to thousands of people every week like Joni. We've been given the power to lead people to the cross by the Holy Spirit, who lives in our hearts.

How are you leading others to the cross today? Are you willing to lay down your pride for sake of drawing people to Jesus?

For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength. 
-Philippians 4:13 {NLT}

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Don't Get Distracted.

(I just posted this on my photo blog, so if you already read that, my apologies for the double post.)

It's easy to get distracted by things of this world and forget to talk to God. Don't let material possessions or other people stop you from spending quality time with your Savior. He's your King, Father, and Shepherd. Give him your life and commit to serve him selflessly. It's so worth it!

If you try to hang on to your life, you will lose it. But if you give up your life for my sake and for the sake of the Good News, you will save it. -Mark 8:35 {New Living Translation}

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Practical Ways to Help?

I've always struggled to find practical ways to help people in need. I know that God has called believers to pray for each other, (Ephesians 6:18) and that prayer produces powerful results (James 5:16).

Pray at all times (on every occasion, in every season) in the Spirit, with all [manner of] prayer and entreaty. To that end keep alert and watch with strong purpose and perseverance, interceding in behalf of all the saints (God's consecrated people). -Ephesians 6:18 {Amplified Bible}

Confess to one another therefore your faults (your slips, your false steps, your offenses, your sins) and pray [also] for one another, that you may be healed and restored [to a spiritual tone of mind and heart]. The earnest (heartfelt, continued) prayer of a righteous man makes tremendous power available [dynamic in its working]. -James 5:16 {Amplified Bible}

But I wish there was more I could do to alleviate physical pain and suffering and soothe emotional wounds for individuals all over the world who are less fortunate than myself. Do you feel a similar tugging in your heart?

There's so much need and in all honesty, it's overwhelming. Yet, in the midst of all the confusion, pain and suffering in this world, God's in control and He's working even when we can't see the results. 

Paul understood the way God works. He said, "I planted the seed in your hearts, and Apollos watered it, but it was God who made it grow." -1 Corinthians 3:6 {New Living}

Clearly God uses each and every one of us in different ways to lead people to Himself. We may never see the fruit of our labor, but God is using us; we can be sure of that.

So do you have any ideas? How can poor college students who can't even pay for their college education on their own minister to the needy people of India, Latvia, and Cambodia, among others? I'd love to do something big like writing a song or selling my photographs and giving the proceeds to an organization, and I've always wanted to sponsor a child through Compassion or World Vision but I've never had a consistent job so that's nearly impossible at the moment.

Jennifer, Jhen and Rylie's project, Compassion's Cry has inspired and encouraged me to act now. I'm just in need of practical ideas for what to do. Any ideas or suggestions you have are much appreciated. Thanks so much!

Together we can impact this world for Christ through prayer and acts of love!

In Christ,

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Do you know Him?

I never get tired of this!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Family Arrived and Faith in the Future

Monday was a great day. It was the day my family arrived. Then Tuesday got here, and I wasn't near as excited anymore. My dad called my brother and I out to the garage to help him get down at least thirty boxes from the attic. Afterwards, we had to move them all into the house and began unpacking.

All of our boxes piled up in the garage

After lunch, a lengthy trip to Super Walmart, and setting up our internet everyone was pretty exhausted. And thus, some nagging ensued, as well as complaining and arguing.

Sometimes, actually more often than not, my family drives me a little crazy. We argue and complain. It's easy to let ourselves become ungrateful. Even though my family has just arrived, it feels like life is the same as it once was a couple of years ago when we lived in the house before. All the cruel, ugly remains of the past seem to have returned. If the members of my family don't do anything to change our attitudes, resentment and anger are likely to build up in these lives of ours and lead us straight into sin. I've always struggled to convey the way I feel to my parents because they often act as if they don't understand and their personalities clash with my own personality. My hope was that things would have changed and relationships between each of us individuals would be perfect, but this life is messy and nothing seems to work out exactly how we think it will.

However, quite a few bloggers have changed my way of thinking and now more than ever, I want to focus on the small moments. They're what matter most because the small moments build on the bigger events, and those build on the eternal future.

The story of Jesus follows that same pattern. Jesus Christ entered the world as an itty bitty baby and even at a young age, as he meditated on God's word he grew in wisdom and knowledge. He paid for all of my sins and all of yours, as well as everyone else's with one act of love: his death on the cross and resurrection on the third day. His action cleansed us of all of our sins and made us right with God and because we have a right relationship with the God of the universe, he's promised us that we can live with him forever if we choose to declare Jesus the LORD of our lives and believe in our hearts that God raised him from the dead. (Romans 10:9)

That's the essence of the gospel and the reason why I believe every moment matters. I'm confident of the future I have in Christ, and I don't want to waste the small moments on the way to living forever with my King. Do you?

Faith is the confidence that what we hope for will actually happen; it gives us assurance about things we cannot see. -Hebrews 11:1

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Faithful God

Understand, therefore, that the LORD your God is indeed God. He is the faithful God who keeps his covenant for a thousand generations and lavishes his unfailing love on those who love him and obey his commands. 
-Deuteronomy 7:9

The temptations in your life are no different from what others experience. And God is faithful. He will not allow the temptation to be more than you can stand. When you are tempted, he will show you a way out so that you can endure. -1 Corinthians 10:13

He is the Rock; his deeds are perfect. Everything he does is just and fair. He is a faithful God who does no wrong; how just and upright he is! -Deuteronomy 32:4

Now may the God of peace make you holy in every way, and may your whole spirit and soul and body be kept blameless until our Lord Jesus Christ comes again. God will make this happen, for he who calls you is faithful. 
-1 Thessalonians 5:23-24

Friday, July 8, 2011

Odds and Ends.

First, I would like to thank all of my followers who read, comment, and commit to pray for me and my family. Thank you so much! May God bless you richly.

Switching gears...

I'm excited to announce that this summer I'm a guest blogger for Not of this World, a magazine for missionary kid teenage girls. Courtney does a fantastic job gathering and compiling information to publish a monthly edition of the magazine. I'm so glad I stumbled across the magazine a little over a year ago - it's been so helpful and encouraging! Missionary kids, you should definitely check it out! If you would like to know more about me and hear my testimony, read my introductory post.

What makes me even happier is that my family is arriving in 10 days! They were able to buy a 2002 Honda Accord for their furlough in the States this coming year. Praise God for his provision! I'm glad that my family will living three hours away from Cedarville University. That means that I'll be able to visit 'home' frequently.

On another note, today's my brother Jon's 16th birthday! It's hard to believe that I haven't seen him for a year and this time last year we were the same height. Now he's taller than me!

There you have it! God is doing great things and I praise him for his goodness!

Have a blessed day!

In Christ,

Commit everything you do to the LORDTrust him, and he will help you. He will make your innocence radiate like the dawn, and the justice of your cause will shine like the noonday sun. -Psalm 37:5-6

Monday, July 4, 2011

Whatever It Takes.

Turn off the computer. Take out the headphones.

Why is it so hard to stop and spend time with our Creator? When the computer is finally unplugged late into the shadows of the night, my head feels weighted down as if a hundred pebbles were sitting on top of it so I let myself lay down and go to bed, but not before I shower and slip on my pajamas. How come I refuse to let sleep overtake my weary body before changing out of the dirty clothes I've worn all day and yet I willingly give up spending precious moments in conversation with my Maker? Morning after morning I rush through my Bible reading so I can turn on the computer or stick in the headphones...but why and for what purpose?

My priorities are so mixed up. I want to change them and so I will. No more letting myself let complacency rule my life. I'm fighting the Enemy and with Christ's help, I will triumph.

First, I intend to pray. Lots. Second, it's time to unplug the computer and turn off the mp3 player. Third, I'll be reading Scripture and soaking in God's words of truth.

Nothing, and I mean absolutely nothing is of greater importance than loving the LORD our God with all of our heart, soul, mind, and strength just as Jesus commanded his disciples in Mark 12:30.

Yesterday morning I read Daniel 4 which tells of a dream that King Nebuchadnezzar had. Daniel was overcome with fear when he first heard the dream because God had revealed to him its meaning. But the King told him not to be afraid, so he told the King the meaning after wishing that the prophecy in the dream would come upon Nebuchadnezzar's enemies rather than the King. The meaning foreshadowed that King Nebuchadnezzar would be driven from human society for a time and would have to live among wild beasts, but one day he would receive his kingdom back. Like others would have done, he refused to believe the dream's meaning, and continued to sin by exploiting the poor. 

Twelve months later, the King was looking out at the great city of Babylon and proudly thinking of how he had built the city with his mighty power. God chose that moment to humble him and speaking to him, fulfilled the prophecy foretold of in the dream. When his time living as a wild beast was over, Nebuchadnezzar returned to the city of Babylon and praised the Most High. He realized God's great power and his weakness. The King learned that surrender to God and his will are the only way to live.

All the people of the earth
are nothing compared to him.
He does as he pleases
among the angels of heaven
and among the people of the earth.
No one can stop him or say to him,
‘What do you mean by doing these things?’
-Daniel 4:35

My heart needed a wake up call to show me that God deserves every part of me...for the millionth time. He requires surrender and nothing less. Have you surrendered your whole being to the King of Kings? If not, what are you holding onto and refusing to let him have?

Love in Christ,

Monday, June 27, 2011

Death. Defeated.

This is powerful. Watch and see.

Jennifer posted this today and I thought I would share it with you. Thank you, Jennifer for sharing this on your blog!

Friday, June 24, 2011


Sometimes I lose sight of my purpose. I forget what I was created for. Lately, I've been bored and that's lead me to question life's purpose. I have been reading God's word every day, but I haven't been dwelling on it. I read a passage and move on to the next task, neglecting to ask God to teach me something new each day. Slowly, I've forgotten truths from the Bible that I should never have let go. Tonight I decided to change that. I confessed everything that has been hindering my relationship with God to him and I asked for forgiveness. Then I committed to live according to God's truth. I wrote a prayer in my journal, and the verses below the lines on the pages I wrote on literally leaped off the pages and hit me smack on the head. 2 Thessalonians 3:16, Psalm 51:10, Isaiah 49:13, and finally Mark 9:23 each in turn spoke to my empty heart. You see, I've let truths escape my heart and as a result, it has become filthy on the inside, even though the outside looks clean, just like Jesus' condemnation of the Pharisees in Matthew 23:27. As I spent time in prayer talking to the LORD, He poured so much truth into my heart and now I'm bursting with joy. He gave me purpose and peace. When my prayer was over, I was satisfied, but I just wanted to keep talking to my Creator and never stop. Even now I can't wait to spend more time in his word. God lead me to read James 1 after I had finished praying, since I thought of James 1:5-8 during my prayer. My doubt has been hindering my relationship with Christ. He wants to give me good things, but when my loyalty is divided between Him and the world, how can He? Scripture really struck me tonight and I pray that it stays in this tiny heart of mine. God is the One who gives life to all things. He plants a purpose in our hearts and in the depths of our souls. Praise him for giving us purpose and joy! Seek God and spend time in his word daily. Don't undermine the power of prayer - it's how we build a deep, personal relationship with our Savior.

"So get rid of all the filth and evil in your lives, and humbly accept the word God has planted in your hearts, for it has the power to save your souls." -James 1:21

I leave with you James 1:22-25. Soak in the words and as you do, let God create in you a pure heart and renew a steadfast spirit within you. I encourage you to read the rest of the chapter, and look up the other Bible verses I referenced above. Let's listen to God's word and obey His laws that set us free!

In Christ,

But don’t just listen to God’s word. You must do what it says. Otherwise, you are only fooling yourselves. For if you listen to the word and don’t obey, it is like glancing at your face in a mirror. You see yourself, walk away, and forget what you look like. But if you look carefully into the perfect law that sets you free, and if you do what it says and don’t forget what you heard, then God will bless you for doing it. -James 1:22-25

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Wait patiently.

Surrender yourself to the LORD, and wait patiently for him. Do not be preoccupied with [an evildoer] who succeeds in his way when he carries out his schemes. -Psalm 37:7 {GOD'S WORD}

It's difficult to surrender ourselves to God and wait patiently for him, but that's what he commands us to do. This summer I was hoping to get a job, but I still don't have one. I could be angry with God, but instead I'm waiting patiently for him to show me what he wants me to accomplish for his glory this summer.

My parents have patiently waited for the LORD for his plans for their lives this year. He told them to leave PNG and return to the US so that some of the evil influences that are currently in my brother's life will be removed and so that my brother's relationship with Christ might be restored. 

My mom and dad could have decided to stay put in Papua New Guinea and do the work that God has given them to do, but instead they have chosen to surrender their wills to God and he has blessed them for their obedience. Our church's missionary house is available for them to live in for a year and they were able to buy plane tickets for the trip to the States. Praise God for his faithfulness and grace in their lives.

There are still needs, but I am confident that God will provide. My parents don't own a car, so they need to purchase one, and I lost my scholarship at college for next semester, (I can get it back for the following semester if I raise my GPA to a certain point), so I might have to take out another loan or my parents will have to help me pay the extra dollars. Please pray that we will be able to pay for all of our needs and that my family will continue to trust God's will. Also pray that I would be motivated to study hard so that I can receive high grades and get my scholarship back. Thanks!

In Christ,

Saturday, May 28, 2011

My brother.

My heart is burdened for my little brother. Instead of looking to God to find the love he needs, he's been delving into various sins. My parents have decided to come back to the US this summer after hearing separately from God that they should do so. Please pray for my brother, Jon. He needs professional counseling. His actions could be affecting his health and causing him greater pain than what he's already experiencing. More than anything, Jon needs to reconcile his relationship with Jesus. Also pray for my family, as they need a place to stay and a car for next year. Thank you so much!

I'm trusting God to provide for all of our needs, but at the moment I'm still in shock that my family's really coming in July. 

In Christ,

My God will richly fill your every need in a glorious way through Christ Jesus. -Philippians 4:19 (GOD'S Word Translation)

Monday, May 23, 2011


Do we love sinners like we ought to? Jesus hung out with prostitutes, drunkards, and tax collectors. He loved them with unconditional love. The Pharisees scoffed at him for helping the poor, lonely, sick, and lame, but that didn't stop him. Jesus cared for them and wasn't afraid to be associated with them. He healed people on the Sabbath, much to the dismay of the Pharisees, who accused him of breaking the law in Matthew 12. 

Sadly, the Pharisees missed the point. They believed that the law was to the only way to be made right with God, but that's not true. Romans 5:20 tells us that, "God’s law was given so that all people could see how sinful they were. But as people sinned more and more, God’s wonderful grace became more abundant." In the following chapter, Paul commands us not to let sin control us. Do not let sin control the way you live; do not give in to sinful desires: "Do not let any part of your body become an instrument of evil to serve sin. Instead, give yourselves completely to God, for you were dead, but now you have new life. So use your whole body as an instrument to do what is right for the glory of God. Sin is no longer your master, for you no longer live under the requirements of the law. Instead, you live under the freedom of God’s grace." (Romans 6:12-14) 

The law's purpose is to show us how sinful we are, but God has set us free from the power of sin by his Son's death on the cross and resurrection because of his great love. God loved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. (Ephesians 2:4-5) God loves us, and ought to love others - not just those who have a personal relationship with Christ, but also those burdened by the weight of sin. How often do we refuse to have conversations with drunkards because we're scared that they might lead us into sin or we're scared of what other Christians will think of us? We have the power of Christ in us, which brought Jesus back to life again, so there's nothing to be afraid of. Fear of other people and what they think of us is a lie of the enemy, Satan. Moreover, our bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit and we have been called to take up our cross daily and follow Jesus. (Luke 9:23) 

As disciples of Christ, shouldn't we love sinners and spend time with them like he did? Maybe you'd rather just hand out tracts to people and continue walking. I'm not saying that handing out tracts is wrong, but there's a better way. God created us to be relational beings, and his desire is that we would develop relationships with others so that we can lead sinners to Christ and encourage, strengthen, and teach other believers.  If we're going to love like Christ does, we might have to go out of our way. Ridicule might be thrown at us, even by our Christian brothers and sisters, and we might get a bad reputation. 

It's worth the cost, though, because we should see many more people come to know Jesus as their personal Lord and Savior as they notice the difference that the Holy Spirit is making in our lives and seek to know the only One who can give them the love, grace, and peace that they need. And even if we don't see the fruits of our labor, at least we have planted seeds that others will water so that people might come to receive Christ's free gift of salvation.

Let's love as Christ did, and build relationships with sinners, drunkards and prostitutes.

In Christ,

"We should help others do what is right and build them up in the Lord." -Romans 15:2

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Who Shall Separate Us?

I love this video - it's so comforting. Nothing can separate us from the love of God! We can cling to that promise even on the worst days when life seems hopeless because God is faithful and he won't ever leave us.

“To the faithful you show yourself faithful; to those with integrity you show integrity. To the pure you show yourself pure, but to the wicked you show yourself hostile." -2 Samuel 22:26-27

In Christ,

Thursday, May 12, 2011


Summer's begun and it comes with its own challenges. Looking for a summer job is one of them. I applied to two Christian summer camps in Ohio and was hoping to be hired by one of them, but that didn't happen. I found out that I had been turned down by one of the camps in April but I just found out about the other camp today because the letter I was supposed to get in the mail never arrived, so I finally called on Monday, waited expectantly, and called again today to find out that my references had not all been turned in on time, so I wasn't given the job. Now I need to look for work elsewhere. I'm stressed out and depressed, so please pray for me! Thank you! Tonight I also learned of my grades for the past semester, and I was rather depressed. Two of my grades surprised me. My Speech grade was much worse than I thought it would be, but my Illustration grade was much better than I thought it would be. I guess those all-nighters paid off! I'm going to be making changes in my life, including getting more sleep and giving up the internet for a while so that I can focus on classes. These changes can only happen with God's strength and power. I would appreciate prayer as I seek to do God's will in my life.

Even in the midst of my disappointment and failure, I've been learning more about God and following him. This week I've been reading Stormie Omartian's autobiography, and I'm astounded how God turned her life around, but then, that's what he always does if we let him, isn't it? I'm guilty of doubting God's omnipotence. Yes, I believe without a doubt that God is powerful, but I was having trouble believing that he is all-powerful. However, after reading Stormie's account of her life, well most of it anyways, (and I can't wait to read the rest!), I've been convicted of my doubt and now I have a better understanding of how much power God has. My view of God is tiny and skewed and I'm amazed how much I learn about him each and every day. If God can take someone with a physically and emotionally abusive past and give them forgiveness for their abusive mom, then God can do ANYTHING. 

The highest angelic powers stand in awe of God.
He is far more awesome than all who surround his throne.
-Psalm 89:7 {NLT}

"I am a Redeemer. I redeem all things. I make all things new. Whatever you've lost I will restore. It doesn't matter what you've done. It doesn't matter what's happened to you. I can take all the hurt, the pain, and the scars. Not only can I heal them, but I can make them count for something."
-God to Stormie Omartian

I love Stormie's word on forgiveness: "Forgiveness doesn't make the other person right, it makes you free." We're enslaved by our sins and the sins of others until we ask Christ for his forgiveness and we forgive those who have wronged us. It's a process that can take a long time, but God can restore our broken, scarred lives wholly.

In Christ,

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Strength In Weakness

I awoke this morning feeling more tired than I have for a while with a mild headache. It was going to be a long day. Getting up slowly, I struggled to get ready for class and found myself way behind schedule. I missed my 8 o'clock class, regrettably, because when I looked at the clock to leave it said 8:07 and the dread of being late again dragged me down. I hate walking in to class late and having everyone stare at me. So instead of going to class, I began to study for my final exam on my own in my dorm room. Before I knew it, it was time to head to my Speech class, which was optional today...a meeting at Beans N Cream, a local coffee shop. 

My professor kindly greeted me as I was the first student there. I expected a large portion of my classmates to show up, but only two others did. One of them was kind enough to buy coffee for me as well as himself (He offered to buy for the other girl, but she wasn't interested). God blessed the meeting and I'm glad I went. 

The day was looking cold and grey as I headed off to my Spiritual Formation class, feeling beyond exhausted. Class was dull, and I didn't get as good of a grade as I would have liked on my Colossians commentary. Afterwards I took my time heading over to the Stevens Student Center (SSC), where I worked a banquet and then finally, at 2 o'clock wearily walked into Chucks (the cafeteria). My friend Caleb was just leaving as I got there, but my friend Mia arrived shortly after, so I didn't have to sit alone for long.

Lunch finished and Mia and I headed back to our dorms. As I was trudging through the Biblical Center for Theological Studies (BTS), I suddenly remembered that I had a photo shoot with two friends of mine, Amy and Chelsea, in just 10 minutes. Rushing back to my dorm, I frantically put on fresh make up, grabbed my camera, and headed out to find my friends patiently waiting for me back in the BTS.

Thanks to their beauty (inside and outside) the photo shoot was fantastic! You'll be able to see some of the shots on my photography blog, Image-ine, very soon! 

Chelsea and Amy invited me to go to Walmart and Chipotle with them and another friend after our photo shoot. Getting off campus and spending time with them was great! We got back to Cedarville and I hurried to shower before returning once again to the BTS to watch the Truth Project with some friends. Although I would have liked to stay awake, that didn't happen and I cat napped throughout the video. Afterwards, we talked and prayed, thanking God for each other and a great school year!

My night was completed by me running back to my dorm just in time for curfew. Now I'm going to go spend some time with God, once again thanking him for all he's done. He is my righteousness and my strength in weakness. I could not have made it through yesterday without him and I can't make it through today without him, either. What a mighty God we serve!

In Christ,

For God made Christ, who never sinned, to be the offering for our sin, so that we could be made right with God through Christ. 
-2 Corinthians 5:21

Monday, April 25, 2011

In Christ Alone - Instrumental

I posted this on my photography blog last week but I didn't think to post it here until now... :P Enjoy and God bless!

Saturday, April 16, 2011

God is the Solution.

Thousands are suffering and dying in the world around us right now. Do we recognize their need and help them or do we sit back and live our comfortable lives, consumed by our own needs and unwilling to take risks? Are we overly concerned with our reputations, so much that we refuse to do good and share with others? 

I'll be the first to admit that I struggle with this. I'd rather look good and let others suffer rather than be looked down on for the sake of reaching out to others.The song Solution by Hillsong speaks volumes to my heart. This world is full of evil - it's all around us and we can't escape it. We can pretend that it doesn't exist to try and make ourselves feel better but that is one of the worst mistakes we can make because it gives the devil a foothold on our lives and keeps us from being used by God to do good works and glorify his name. Let us not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good! (Romans 12:21)

Love in Christ,

Thursday, April 14, 2011


Do you ever feel stuck? I do sometimes. Those are the times when I have to stop and ask God to show me where to turn. He's ever so faithful and I can't thank him enough for continuously drawing me to Himself. My own knowledge is foolish along with the wisdom of the world, but God uses our foolish preaching to save those who believe. The way God works amazes me!

The Wisdom of God
 The message of the cross is foolish to those who are headed for destruction! But we who are being saved know it is the very power of God. As the Scriptures say,
   “I will destroy the wisdom of the wise
      and discard the intelligence of the intelligent.”
 So where does this leave the philosophers, the scholars, and the world’s brilliant debaters? God has made the wisdom of this world look foolish. Since God in his wisdom saw to it that the world would never know him through human wisdom, he has used our foolish preaching to save those who believe. It is foolish to the Jews, who ask for signs from heaven. And it is foolish to the Greeks, who seek human wisdom. So when we preach that Christ was crucified, the Jews are offended and the Gentiles say it’s all nonsense.
 But to those called by God to salvation, both Jews and Gentiles, Christ is the power of God and the wisdom of God. This foolish plan of God is wiser than the wisest of human plans, and God’s weakness is stronger than the greatest of human strength.
 Remember, dear brothers and sisters, that few of you were wise in the world’s eyes or powerful or wealthy when God called you. Instead, God chose things the world considers foolish in order to shame those who think they are wise. And he chose things that are powerless to shame those who are powerful. God chose things despised by the world,things counted as nothing at all, and used them to bring to nothing what the world considers important. As a result, no one can ever boast in the presence of God.
 God has united you with Christ Jesus. For our benefit God made him to be wisdom itself. Christ made us right with God; he made us pure and holy, and he freed us from sin. Therefore, as the Scriptures say, “If you want to boast, boast only about the Lord."

1 Corinthians 1:18-31 {New Living Translation}

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Love: Little or Much

I've been forgiven for much, so I have much love to give. Sometimes I don't feel like giving it, though. Those are the days when God makes me take a step back and look at all the blessings he's given me. When I realize the immensity of his faithfulness, mercy and grace in my life I'm at a loss for words. He's been so good to me despite my numerous failures. I praise him for his everlasting love!

In Christ,

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Jesus. Is. Everything.

You Are My All In All was another one of the songs recorded on Friday. My friends and I love getting together and worshiping God. May the words of this song encourage you in your walk with Christ today!

In Christ,

Monday, March 28, 2011

In His Presence

Some friends and I got together on Friday and recorded a few worship songs. This one's the only one I've posted so far, but I may post the others soon. My friends sound great, but I need to get back into the habit of practicing flute. :/ 

Have a wonderful week keeping your focus on God, the author and perfecter of our faith!

In Christ,

Sunday, March 20, 2011

God's Glory. It's everywhere.

Do you ever see a beautiful sunset and think, "God created this and it's amazing!"? Have you held a newborn and pondered how God knits us together in our moms' wombs? Have you smelled a rose and looked closely at the delicate petals? God's glory is everywhere, whether we notice it or not. His creation proclaims his glory, and it cannot be silenced. Jesus says this to the Pharisees: “I tell you,” he replied, “if they keep quiet, the stones will cry out." (Luke 19:40) God is so amazing, and I'm in awe of Him. His ways are astounding!

In Christ,

Tuesday, March 15, 2011


Rain makes days feel dreary and miserable, but rain is a gift from God. Think about what would happen if it never rained again. People and animals would die, crops would fail, and the planet would turn brown. Even though rain annoys us sometimes, it's necessary for life. The rain is a blessing, and I'm thankful to God for it, even when I go for a walk in the cool, late afternoon and return home soaked to the bone. God sends the rain on both the righteous and unrighteous. He does so because he's merciful and loving. You can trust God to send rain and nourish the earth because he's promised to do so and his promises never fail!

But I say, love your enemies! Pray for those who persecute you! In that way, you will be acting as true children of your Father in heaven. For he gives his sunlight to both the evil and the good, and he sends rain on the just and the unjust alike.
-Matthew 5:44-45

But God made the earth by his power,
and he preserves it by his wisdom.
With his own understanding
he stretched out the heavens.
When he speaks in the thunder,
the heavens roar with rain.
He causes the clouds to rise over the earth.
He sends the lightning with the rain
and releases the wind from his storehouses.
-Jeremiah 10:12-13

In Christ,