Friday, December 6, 2013

Priorities.

Isn't it crazy the things we decide are important?  For me it's being the best at the sport I'm playing, or having the most fashionable outfit.  Dumb right?  Because, honestly this stuff won't matter in a year, or a month, or even next week.  I've always been told that relationships are the most important thing.  Not like lovey-dovey relationships, just good old fellowship.  If I get into a disagreement with a friend my mom always has this verse ready for me, "If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone." Romans 12:18  As much as I hate to hear it, it's true!   She always then proceeds to say that relationships are the only thing that we will take with us when we die.  Which is also true.  Now...That doesn't mean that all the other things in life aren't important to God.  Not at all.  I have firm faith that God listens to us when we're six and asking for a Barbie Jeep, just as much as he listens to us when we're praying for a life or death situation.  This doesn't mean that we should go live in a cave...Because even if we did that, we would still be coveting what all the other people in civilization had.  Which would be breaking the tenth commandment.  We just have to accept the fact that we are sinners and that we live in a fallen world.  We just have to use the world and the things it throws at us as tools.  Tools to love others.  Tools to serve others.  Tools to bring others to Jesus.  When you think about it,  when the devil throws a storm our way, it's really a giant blessing.  I know that it sure won't seem like it, but it builds our character and testimony if we handle it in the right way, taking it to Jesus.  I know that this post is kind of all over the place crazy...But this is just what Jesus has put on my heart to say, and so, I'm going to say it.  We have the tools to serve our God.  We just have to do it.  

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Beauty....

This morning I was using Blue Letter Bible to look at the Hebrew meanings for the words from Jeremiah 29:11.  Just like on other days, I'll write down some of the meanings in my notebook, and then substitute what the verse in my Bible said for the words I found from the Hebrew meaning.  In Jeremiah 29:11, we always focus on one thing,  
     For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you,                                                       plans to give you hope and a future
How God is going prosper us.  When I got to the word prosper I found that the Hebrew had many different uses.  Completeness, soundness, welfare, peace, safety, tranquility....And then I saw one that just kinda blew my mind for some reason.  Contentment.  That completely changes everything!  And yet, it's a word that fits so much better!  Because, if we are content in God, shouldn't that be enough?  I know being content is much easier said than done, especially in our society. I didn't change much, but here's what I ended with while using the Hebrew meaning. 
"For I know the purpose I have for you," declares the LORD, "thoughts for your contentment and not your calamity, thoughts to give you a future and expectation.
Expectation was another one of those words...When I clicked on the word for hope, there it was.  To me...This is so beautiful.  Absolutely amazing.   It's just so wonderful how God can just blow your mind the way He does to me all the time.  I feel so very blessed.  

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Crazy love.

One of the many questions that has been tumbling around in my brain lately is, why in the world would you get into a relationship if you know you're going to get hurt?  I mean, really, if we know that we'll end up with hurt feelings, we'd probably run from that relationship.  I know I would.  Especially if it would cause emotional and physical pain.  Then you'd just be crazy to even talk to that person and put yourself and your heart in danger like that. And yet, that's exactly what Jesus did.  He knew that He was going to come and be beaten and scorned and tortured.  He knew that I was going to break His heart daily by following my selfish wills and desires.  But He still came.  He came and was tempted, tortured, beaten, hated, and killed.  He defeated death only to be hurt daily by His sheep.  In a way every single time we have our way and end up in sin, we're putting that nail back into His hands.  Putting Him back up on that cross.  Putting Him back into the grave.  It hurts Him more emotionally when we sin.  More pain than man ever caused Him while He was on earth.  I mean that's some crazy love right there, and it's exactly what Jesus did for me.  For everyone.  Even though I know that He loves me, it's still mind-boggling to think about how great His love is.  And how it's just now making it through my thick skull.  I'm such a human.  A human that is so thankful for God's crazy love.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

The Cool Kids Club

When I was a little kid, my family would go to McDonald's every Friday for play group.  There my sister, Brooke, and I got to see our best friends Brennah, Micah and sometimes Raven and Fallon.  We would all spend the majority of our time up in the playplace in our "clubhouse"  keeping other kids out and having top secret meetings.  I thought it was the coolest thing, I was in a club with my older sister and two other older girls!  I remember a time where we wouldn't let a little boy into our "clubhouse" so he told us he would go tell his mom on us.  We decided to give him a VIP tour pretty quickly.  Looking back at this I see how we had become the playplace bullies.  Not a very nice thing for little girl to be.
There was another time when us Micah and I had done something 'not cool'  and so Brennah wouldn't let us into the club.  We were so mad, since we were always part of the club.  I remember Brooke had told Brennah to let us in, as any big sister should have.  Brennah told me that the only way I could come in was if I was the rug.  Then I think Brooke slapped Brennah on the arm.  In the end we all got in trouble, and left upset with each other.
Lately my family has been going through a lot of changes.  We left the church I've been going to since I was 4 years old.  I lost several friends because of things that were said.  Yesterday when I was thinking about this story, I was thinking about how I'm part of a new club.  How I don't have to work to get man's approval anymore.  After talking to my sweet friend CK, I realized that I've been trying as hard as I can to be my own knight in shining armor.  I've been trying to find ways to stop the change that God has brought into my life.  Trying to do everything on my own.  But the greatest thing about being part of God's club, is that I never have to struggle through anything on my own!  Looking back I can see how he has made change so much easier and how I would have avoided all pain if I'd just trusted Him.  He has provided me with such wonderful friendships so I don't feel lonely.  He's given my family the opportunity to visit different churches and fellowship with other Christians.
In the end, I know that it will all work out if I just live in faith.  If I just stop thinking about man's approval. I don't need it!  Because, I'm already part of the coolest club you could ever join!  

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Debts

How many times have I prayed that original prayer, "Dear Lord, please forgive me of my sins", and then gone on with whatever other prayer requests I had.  Probably a million times.  I hate to say it, but I don't ever really think about asking God to cleanse me from my sins.  I ask to be forgiven and then most days I probably repeat the same sins, that I was supposed to be sorry for.  
I've been reading a book by Dick Eastman called The Hour That Changed the World, it's all about prayer and how we should really do it.  Today it was all about confession and asking for forgiveness for our sins before we go before God.  It started out with a quote by Andrew Murray that said, "God cannot hear the prayers on our lips often because the desires of our heart after the world cry out to Him much more strongly and loudly than our desires for Him."  How true this is!  I know there have been many, many times where I've rushed through a prayer thinking about something a friend might have said, or what I was going to do afterwards.  God doesn't ask us to confess our sins because He needs to know we have sinned, he already knows we have.  He wants us to confess our sins because He knows that we need to know we have sinned.  In Psalm 66:18 it says, "If I regard wickedness in my heart, The Lord will not hear."  Thus, there can be no sin if we want an effective prayer life!  
Dick Eastman says, "This is why confessions is critical to our praying and should be implemented early in prayer.  It clears the conscience of faith-killing guilt and opens the heart to truly believe God will hear our petitions."  Another interesting thought from him was, "There can be no healing within until there is first confession without.  Confession is conditional to cleansing."  
I had never thought of it this way!  It shows how truly important it is to take time to repent.  I probably should of learned this years ago, but I'm really glad to know it now.  Just a little food for thought for you guys! :) 

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Ahhhh...

It's 68 and rainy outside.  The perfect fall day!  The only time I feel like doing any school is when I don't want to be outside, which makes these types of days perfect!  One of the easiest things to do for outfits during the fall is, black skinny jeans.

They are so easy to style!  And the pair I have is pretty comfy too.  One of my favorite looks is just a plain long sleeve t-shirt with a scarf.  It's casual and comfortable.  I also love going with a bright cardigan with a tank top underneath.  In the winter paired with boots it's perfect.  You could also go with a sweater or a printed t-shirt.  When I wear a bright flannel shirt, I like to wear my white converse with it.   
There are just sooo many, ways you can style them!  
I hope you all are having a fantastic week!