Tuesday, December 31, 2013

A last-minute Christmas post..

      This past Christmas I found myself thinking a lot about Mary.  She was younger than me when she had a firstborn child. Just thinking about that makes me wonder what it must have been like to the young teenager. She was given a task that surpassed any burden we would want to carry.  It was almost impossible to comprehend and scary to face.  She was a virgin, and a poor one at that.  What would people say?  What would they think?  She could be labeled insane or even stoned to death for adultery.

      The angel explained that nothing was impossible with God (the birth had to happen, so she had to be living).  So I wonder, did she know that she would not be accused of adultery and be stoned?  Did she have courage that someone would believe her?  When the angel left and she had traveled to her cousin Elizabeth's house she was filled with JOY and PRAISE. She was glad for this opportunity.

May we be humbled this Christmas season at the incredible humility and joy of Mary's response.  The calling of God is a gift and we see a meaningful example of that in the story of Mary. Merry Christmas to all (and sorry for posting this so late).

Then Mary said, "I am the Lords servant. Let it be to me just as you have said." 
Then the angel left her. (Luke 1:38 CEB) 

Sunday, December 8, 2013

The Christmas Glow..

the glittering white snow,
the snow covered trees,
the crisp biting wind,
the peace, the joy, the laughter,
the simple story of the first Christmas
that is the Christmas glow. 

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

The Gospel in 11 heart-beating minutes!

My wonderful cousin Christy introduced me to Leslie Ludy, who eventually led me to her husband Eric. He is a preacher at the Ellerslie Mission Society in Colorado. They have become two wonderful witnesses in my life and have been a true blessing to many others. This thanksgiving I am especially thankful for them and the work they do with teens and married couples. I've never met them but one day I hope that I will so I can thank them personally. 
Below is the first time I heard Eric preach. It's just a few minutes long, but it makes my spine tingle every time I listen to it. His sermons are available to listen to online (click here) which I also enjoy listening to.


Saturday, November 23, 2013

Thankfulness from Hosea?!


This coming week is Thanksgiving and I thought I'd post something a bit early...
This morning I read Hosea 11 (one of my favorite chapters, from my favorite book of the bible). God has raised and taken care of Israel, yet they do not turn back to him. His holiness compels him to stay far from sin, but his compassion compels him to show love and mercy. He calls the Israelite's back to him and again shows them forgiveness. Love and Mercy win! 

God does the same for us. He forgives and forgets, throws our sins into the Sea of Forgetfulness. He doesn't hold grudges, like us. He controls his anger, his anger doesn't control him. We truly do have a wonderful God. It's beyond my understanding sometimes how he can forgive us, time after time. But, that is the power of UNFAILING LOVE being shown by our heavenly father. 

This year I'm thankful for Gods love toward me. 
I'm thankful that he forgives me and then forgets my past sins. 
Any "Amen's"?

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Mary Lathrop - "A Woman's Answer to a Man's Question"

"Do you know you have asked for the costliest thing 
Ever made by the hand above--
A woman's heart, and a woman's life
And a woman's wonderful love?

Do you know you have asked for this priceless thing
As a child might ask for a toy,
Demanding what others have died to win,
With the reckless dash of a boy?

You have written my lesson of duty out,
Man-like you have questioned me;
Now stand at the bar of my woman's soul
Until I shall question thee.

You require your mutton shall always be hot,
Your socks and your shirt be whole;
I require your heart to be true as God's stars,
And as pure as heaven your soul.

You require a cook for your mutton and beef;
I require a far better thing.
A seamstress you're wanting for socks and shirts;
I look for a man and a king.

A king for the beautiful realm called home,
And a man that the maker, God,
Shall look upon as he did the first
And say, "It is very good."

I am fair and young, but the rose will fade
From my soft, young cheek one day,
Will you love me then 'mid the falling leaves,
As you did 'mid the bloom of May?

Is your heart an ocean so strong and deep,
I may launch my all on its tide?
A loving woman finds heaven or hell
On the day she is made a bride.

I require all things that are grand and true,
All things that a man should be;
If you give all this, I would stake my life
To be all you demand of me.

If you cannot do this -- a laundress and cook
You can hire, with little to pay,
But a woman's heart and a woman's life
Are not to be won that way."
 
I read this a while ago in a book by Joshua Harris and came upon it again the other day. Just thought it was a wonderful poem for all! 

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Something Added becomes a Blessing...


"Oh the wonderful cross (2x)
Bids me come and die and find
That I may truly live.
Oh the wonderful cross (2x)
All who gather here by grace
Draw near and bless your name."

At my church we sing the hymn called The Wonderful Cross. Michael W. Smith put the words above into a chorus for the hymn and every time we sing that song at church his words go through my head. 
The words go so well with the verses. It's such a great chorus...maybe one day I'll tell them about it! 

You can hear Michael's version here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9-g1ry6wa5s

Friday, October 4, 2013

A Experience worth Remembering...

Last night was a gift. From two sources.
It was a gift from my Aunt and Uncle who told my family about the Michael W. Smith concert.
It was also a gift from God; He knew exactly what I needed to hear.
I loved all the songs Michael sang last night. This was a new first timer he preformed for us "New Yorkers" (written by his son-in-law)


Sometimes we get so wrapped up in this life with school and work, and we forget who gives us the chance to take part in this life in the first place. I know that it happens to me. I admit that sometimes I forget to do my bible reading in the morning because I have to go to school or the hospital. It's sad. I know it's wrong and I've been getting up earlier to make more time for it. He always has time for us; in our sorrows and joys and fears. he doesn't forget us and is "Perfect In Love."
Last night I heard some great songs that reminded me what God did for me and how much I love him. 
I don't want to skip over him anymore. He is more important that anything or anyone in my life and I want to keep it that way! Don't you? 




Monday, September 23, 2013

Wholly Surrendered.

At the cross You beckon me
You draw me gently to my knees, and I am

Lost for words, so lost in love,
I'm sweetly broken, wholly surrendered.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Friday, September 6, 2013

True Friendship with the King




I was reading the book "Get Lost" this morning (it's become a part of my morning devotions) and something that Dannah wrote about spoke to me...like an arrow piercing the target right in the middle! I am going to paraphrase what she wrote, but with different examples..and of course my own words.  

"Bring me a husband."
          "Heal my stomach ache."
                     "Help me find the right job."
                               "Help me pass my finals...they're hard"
I know my conversations sometimes consist of demands such as these. Do yours too? I bet sometimes they do, I think that every christian does it at some point. God is not a genie though; he is the Almighty God and a King. If you met a king or president would you approach him like that? I hope not. You would enter that friendship with respect and honor. Now, God is above all else on Earth and in Heaven; how can we do that to him?? He is not to be used by us like that. Often we give him a list of things to do, like a wish list. It's not that he doesn't want to hear our needs. It's just that we rarely dwell in his presence to hear his desires for us. I knelt down and asked the Lord to show me the desires he has for my life, will you do that as well? Will you put your life into his hands? Let us, like Evan Roberts, kneel before him and say, in full surrender, "BEND ME, BEND ME."

 




Whom have I in heaven but you? 
And there is nothing on earth that I desire besides you.

~Psalm 73:25


Wednesday, September 4, 2013

"When I see you, my whole world seems to change..."


I heard this song ("When I see you" by Big Daddy Weave) on my pandora radio last night as I was falling asleep. The words just struck me. When we look up at God everything seems right. It's like going to another country and seeing everything as a treasure, just like in the music video above. 
Some of the scenes above were just precious!

Monday, September 2, 2013

Our Lighthouse...


I don't really have words to describe how amazing this song is. This song was written by the hinsons who also sing it (you can find it on youtube), but I prefer this version. 
Jesus is always there guiding us and protecting us! Amen! 

Saturday, August 31, 2013

Unwavering Hope!



This is my computer background right now - anyone surprised?? 
I hope not, because on my author's page it states that I love horses

     Every month at crosscards.com there are new monthly calenders. The thing I love about these backgrounds is that they have a bible verse. I looked yesterday for the one that would grace my screen for September. When I saw this choice, it was a hands down winner! Usually its a harder decision and takes a while for me to choose. When I saw the picture it was void of the horses...half the background was blank. When I looked at the wooden planks, the figure-eight knot on the side it, and the verse, it reminded me of the hope the first frontiersmen must have had as they continued west into "wild horse country." To me the horse has always been symbol of strength, grace, beauty, and hope.
     David also had hope. The first four verses of Psalm 71 are all pleas for God to come to the rescue. David must have been in a bit of trouble and his enemies were close at hand when he cried out to God. But the rest of the Psalm tells of how God has helped in the past and how David trusts in God. Verse 13 states: "May my accusers perish in shame; may those who want to harm me be covered with scorn and disgrace." Then in verse 14 he says (also above): "But as for me, I will always have hope." Let us also have an unwavering hope in God!

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

"All we did was nothing, but Love still came!"

     Last night I was chatting with a friend about music; what new songs they recommended, any bands/artists they preferred. We talked for a while and shared some new songs and I learned about two new bands, which is very exciting, especially since I love the groups lyrics.
     Luminate is a christian rock band that started in 2005. Samuel Hancock, the lead singer, is the youngest member. He had just started college, but had been a rebellious teenager, and the first two members of the band were wary of adding someone who still "had some growing up to do." Despite their worries God brought them through and apparently Sam has grown up enough (haha..). Their song Banner Of Love is such a great song...so great that you have to listen to it so the lyrics speak to you, like they did to me. 
     Samestate is also a christian rock band that started in 2008, which makes it a fairly new band. The singers all come from Kansas, which explains the "ya" in their song Shadows. My favorite song of theirs so far is Hurricane (the lyrics are posted below). The song spoke to me because we talked about Gods' sacrificial love in Pilgrim Camp. I mean what did we do to deserve such agape and sacrifice? NOTHING! Jesus gave his life for us because he loved us first, before we even knew him. He was thinking of us on the cross as he died that horrible death, and his love still comes even though we sent him there! Thank you Jesus for your unconditional Love.

HURRICANE - Samestate

Verse 1:
The tide has turned around,
We’re washing away,
With thunder and rain,
You’ll be back again,
It’s getting hard to believe,
And even harder to see,
That You could love,
Those like me.
Cause what do we really do
To deserve love so true,

Chorus:
Now all at once heads are spinning faster like a hurricane,
Cause all we did was nothing
But the love still came,
And it’s bringing in Good News,
His love is comin' back,

Verse 2:
What if I never cared,
But now I do,
With only hours left,
How is it I still choose
Cause what did we really do
To deserve love so true,

Chorus:

Now all at once heads are spinning faster like a hurricane,
Cause all we did was nothing
But the love still came,
And it’s bringing in Good News,
His love is comin' back,
For all of us who have a hard time
Getting it through our brains,
That all we did was nothing
But the love still came, 
And it’s bringing in Good News,
Love is comin' back for you,
Oh, for you, oh

'Cause what do we really do?

I don't get itOh, what do we really do?
I don't get itOh, what do we really do?
Sometimes we don't have to understand.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Summer Youth Retreat 2013

     Our churches VBS was ending the day the summer youth retreat was starting. It wasn't hard to choose where I'd rather be (no offense to my church). I love going to Pilgrim Camp during the summer; I mean, who doesn't?! Me and my sister split the driving time, while our brother took in the view from the back seat. It was our first time driving that far and for so long (4 hrs 30 mins / 250 miles).

     The lessons during the youth retreat were about the Holy Spirit (which my sister had taught about in VBS just a few days before). The leaders who spoke to us did a very good job, because even though I forgot the place where I normally write notes, I remember most of what we learned:
~ The Holy Spirit is constant and practical. 
~ He is always there to comfort us. 
~ He will guide us always. 
~ We should live as Jesus lived-by the Holy Spirit.
~ We have to joyfully pursue the Holy Spirit. 
~ The Holy Spirit will help cleanse us of areas of sin.
~ You don't need to feel anything, the Holy Spirit is continually working in us. 
~ Our spiritul fruit (Galatians 5:22-23) is the evidence that the Holy Spirit dwells with us. 

     Worship time is definitely what I look forward to the most. The Stand by Hillsong has been a favorite since the first youth retreat I attended. 10,000 Reasons by Matt Redman has also been a blessing. We actually sang that song for choir at our church once when it came out. This year though, another song stirred me. The lyrics went like: "Come all consuming fire, invade my life I give into you / Come like whisper still, invade my will I give into you / Awake my soul, and arise to the throne / Embrace the one who bled over us." It is called "Come All Consuming Fire" written by Matt Gawronski

     The activities were fun to watch and participate in. There was basketball and volleyball, which I was content to watch. I like playing basketball, but I'm not used to the vicious competition from the young men. The donut eating contest was also fun to watch, especially wiht Brother Ken Freedman participating. There was one game most played and that was the chin-penny game.  We had to balance a penny on our chin and try to knock others' pennies of their chins. It proved harder than I thought but it was fun anyway. I also met new friends and caught up with old ones that I hadn't seen in a while. 


     "Let no one despise you for your youth, but set the believers an example in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith, in purity."  - 1 Timothy 4:12, ESV

"Don't use your youth as an excuse; you can and will go wherever I send you. You can and will say whatever I tell you to say. You have no reason to fear the people you speak to, for I am with you and will defend you."  - Jeremiah 1:7-8, The Voice Bible

Friday, July 12, 2013

My hope and dream...

     Every little girl dreams of the knight that is going to sweep her off her feet and honor her all the days of her life. We all had those thoughts of castles with nothing but happiness and love surrounding us. We all twirled around in those beautiful dresses and pretended we were waltzing in a large ballroom. Believe it or not we probably all know how to curtsy even though we never will in public. I think that is a God-given desire. Then, when we meet the man he isn't perfect or honorable everyday. He may not even love us all the time. Soon, we stop that "foolish" dreaming. 
     Well I haven't yet! One day I will meet my knight and you know what, he won't be perfect. He will have weaknesses. This is the man I look forward to meeting one day: A strong man in Christ! A man who, to the world, may be weak, but through Christ is made strong. He will hold my hand throughout life to support me and will treasure my heart. He will love me indefinitely. BUT, I pray that above all else, including me, he will love God. The way he will show his love to God is by cherishing me, the gift God gave him. And I hope and pray that God will help me do the same.

Monday, July 8, 2013

Help Me Find It - Sidewalk Prophets


I don't know where to go from here 
It all used to seem so clear 
I'm finding I can't do this on my own 
I don't know where to go from here 
As long as I know that You are near 
I'm done fighting I'm finally letting go 
I will trust in You 
You've never failed before 
I will trust in You 


(Chorus):
If there's a road I should walk 
Help me find it 
If I need to be still Give me peace for the moment 
Whatever Your will 
Whatever Your will 
Can You help me find it 
Can You help me find it 


I'm giving You fear and You give faith 
I giving You doubt
You give me grace 
For every step I've never been alone 
Even when it hurts, You'll have Your way 
Even in the valley I will say 
With every breath 
You've never let me go 
I will wait for You 
You've never failed before 
I will wait for You 


(Chorus again)

I lift my empty hands (come fill me up again) 
Have Your way my King (I give my all to You) 
I lift my eyes again (Was blind but now I see) 
‘Cause You are all I need 


(Chorus again)


This song has been on my heart for a while..and I figured that I would post it. 
Maybe it will bless you, as it has blessed me in the past...and will surely bless me in the future.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Picture Perfect Love

The word "Love" is thrown around in our society as a word to describe both the shallow and the built-up marriages. It also is tossed around in dating relationships that may fall apart. It's used by parents when they hug their children; parents who may leave and abandon their children thinking "it's the right thing to do for their kids at the moment." I can tell you right now, that is not the love God has for us. His love is sacrificial and self-denying. It endures, forgives, and fully satisfies.
In the Old Testament the hebrew word used to describe Gods love is Hesed. It means: faithful commitment, chosen, and without regard for the lovableness of the object loved. That seems "unfailing" to me. In the New Testament the Greek word is Agape. It is best described by John 15:13.
It's a love that will stop at nothing to express itself to the other. The dictionary states it as: unselfish love of one person for another without sexual implications; brotherly love; a love feast. It involves loving people who are lovable, but also people who are unlovable. God planted in everyone a longing for that love.
Our relationships are supposed to mirror that love, especially our marriage. We can't express that love all by ourselves though. We will need to ask God for help.  So, with Gods help let us all show the world what true, unfailing love is!
(I thought "Stolen" from Brandon Heath summed up God's love quite well)

Heartland..a place of healing

      For the past two weeks I've been watching a tv series regularly. I just finished the sixth season, which is the most recent. The tv show is called Heartland, and it's based on a book series by Lauren Brooke.
      The one thing that drew me toward the books were the horses. Every cover had a horse on it and at that time they were my favorite
things to read about. Maybe I went a bit overboard when I was younger, but it was an easy way to escape to a world that I wished I could be part of. Don't get me wrong though...I still love horses and wish I could be a part of that make-believe world I dreamed of as a young girl. Who knows? Maybe one day I'll own a horse..haha..in my dreams.
      Anyway, I was overjoyed when I found out about it airing on tv. Then I saw it was on CBC, which means it only airs in Canada. But, that isn't totally true-it airs on GMC. I looked it up on google and found a website where I could watch all the episodes for free, which made me happy.
      There are themes that wind themselves through the episodes. Trust is the biggest one, along with compassion, patience, and love. The actors fit the roles very well. Amy is forgiving and patient. Ty is protective, but troubled. Jack is caring, but stern. Mallory is opinionated and impulsive.  Lou is organized and creative. The variety of characters and traits combine to make a drama series that I will never forget.
      Ty and Amy are the two main characters and by the end of the sixth season are engaged. Their relationship goes through a lot of bumps and at one point they even break up. One of my favorite episodes is when they finally realize that they can't live without each other just after Ty almost dies from a motorcycle accident. I believe that their relationship has taught me that every relationship is built on trust and that forgiveness can wipe all the past away and help us look toward a brighter future.
      The main point of this show is to show the healing of horses and humans. Heartland is a ranch for horses that need some sort of healing, either physical or behavioral. Marion, the mother of Amy and Lou, who dies in the first episode also would help to heal humans. She had signed Ty's probation papers so he could serve it on the ranch, not in a prison. Ty eventually does heal and with Amy's help, learns to trust and love again.
      I recommend this show to anyone old enough to watch PG. Some of the scenes are a bit gory because of the physical damage to a horse or person. There are some episodes with mild language. Otherwise the show is great for families or individuals. It'll make you laugh, cry, and maybe you'll even yell at the screen as if the actors can hear you.

Monday, June 3, 2013

Some Striking Songs...

1. Worn by Tenth Avenue North (lyrics)
This song has been such a blessing to me. When I first heard it I was driving in my car and I started to tear up. I know that everyone, at one point in their life, feels worn and tired. This "worn" they talk about in the song is more than just physical weariness though. It takes on a spiritual meaning. Our souls get crushed under the influence of the world's' temptations. sometimes it feels like you won't be able to get past this temptation, but God can help you. He is always there to help us rebuild our relationship with him. He alone, can lift us up to create a song of redemption. He is our rest and redemption, no matter how torn and tattered we are.

2. Hello My Name Is and Forgiveness by Matthew West (lyrics for Hello.. and Lyrics for Forgiveness)
Just look at that smile..
Hello My Name Is is a great song. It reminds us whose child we are. Regret and defeat are very real things that can consume us and block out Jesus from our hearts. But, they are lies that we believe. With a strong chorus, we become God's child. A child of the ONE true king.
Forgiveness is a song with a most stirring message. This excerpt is taken from something written by a mother who was involved in the sad, but touching story: "May 11, 2002, 24-year-old drunk driver, Eric, killed one of my twins, Meagan, and one of her friends, Lisa, both girls 20 years old. This was devastating for all three families involved, and countless friends that mourned the loss of these precious girls. But this is also a story of forgiveness and healing. My family and Lisa’s family chose to forgive Eric. We even appealed to have his 22 year prison sentence reduced to 11 years."
A little side note: During the Klove Fan Awards I heard Matthew West host, sing, and talk live a few times. He is by far the funniest artist that I know and was always making me laugh and smile. He could be a stand up comedian, I think. 

3. Words by Hawk Nelson (lyrics)
The words we say can have different effects and this song goes through them. They can bring us or others down and they can bring us back up, higher than we've ever been. So, in the chorus, we ask God to help us have words that heal and are always truthful. We should only want to say words that bring the world back to God. We should always speak words of love and life, bringing light to a dark world. 

4. Strangely Dim by Francesca Battistelli (lyrics)
The first time I heard this song I didn't really like it, but boy has that changed. I absolutely love it and I know all the lyrics by heart. It talks about how we, as humans, have our life planned out. We are gonna get married, have kids, graduate college, have a great career. But, God has the reins, not us. He may change our plans in a few seconds and make us wait for our purpose to be fulfilled. When we fix our eyes on Jesus alone, everything grows dim: our plans, our worries, our doubts.

5. Every Good Thing by The Afters (lyrics)
I was listening to the radio and when this song came on, the young lady broadcasting said "Want might to watch your speed on the road..this song may cause you to go faster." I laughed as I looked self consciously at my speedometer. I don't think it made me go any faster, but I did roll down the windows and turn up the volume. God is the reason for everything good. The lyrics are pretty much self explanatory. The second verse talks about how God is in control of the bad times, and will always be there to make them better and comfort us. The family we have is a gift from God, and so are the troubles, because he is always there to turn trials into gold.

6. We Won't Be Shaken by Building 429 (lyrics)
This song was written right after the school shooting in Newtown, CT last December 14th. I remember hearing about it all over the news, such a devastating piece of news. Surrounded by tragedy, the town pulled together and just a few days later Building 429 wrote this song. This song will always remind me of that tragic event, but it's for every day. This song is a call out to all christians that we should not be shaken by the devil's schemes or the worlds prejudices. We should stand strong in Christ, and not be shaken. 

7, Me Without You by TobyMac (lyrics)
Always wearing an awesome hat!
I thought this song was a bit too upbeat for me, but it wasn't. I learned the lyrics and now I sing it all the time as I listen on the radio. The strong and fast beat, well..that explains the jumping sometimes upstairs..LOL. Where would we be without God in our lives? We would just aimlessly be walking around without any purpose. All our dreams would fade, and we would be chasing anything that looked appealing. As TobyMac states it "You rescued me/ You are mine, I am yours/ You rescued me/ And I am yours forever /You saved me, remade me/ And where would I be/ Without You."

8. All This Time by Britt Nicole (lyrics)
God's been with us every day of our lives and sometimes its just amazing to stop and think about that. This is a true song of thankfulness and worship. It talks about the day when Britt gave herself to the Lord, how she felt love and peace. He's been there through every heartache and every dream come true.  I will never leave us, nor forsake us (Hebrews 13:5). 

Friday, May 31, 2013

Klove Fan Awards!

     
     This morning I was driving to the hospital to get three hours of volunteering done. I switched the radio to 96.7 FM, which is Klove. The fan awards started today and will go on till June 2nd. The two people in lobby were broadcasting with Hawk Nelson aka "Johnny". The laughter of them made me smile. When I came out after three hours of volunteering I turned it on again and this time it was the Rhett Walker Band. This whole day they've been talking with artists, and it has been great listening and laughing along with them. So, come on! Join me as I listen to Klove the next few days...to their concerts..and the red-carpet event, which is tomorrow night,. The link below goes to the the Fan Awards page and you can follow them on Twitter and Facebook.

Facebook: (you can vote here till tonight) https://www.facebook.com/KLoveFanAwards?fref=ts

A Psalm for giving thanks. Make a joyful noise to the Lord, all the earth! 
Serve the Lord with gladness! Come into his presence with singing! - Psalm 100:1-2