Saturday, October 9, 2010

A Lesson from Esther

Esther happens to be my most beloved Biblical figure, and I believe her story has many things to show us, but especially, how to interact with our King.

In the story of Esther, she spends her time bathing and soaking in extravagant oils. When further preparing to go before the king, she asks what the king would be most pleased with. I have a feeling it was fairly simple, and I am very much convinced that she was beautiful.

I think we need to embrace this mindset when coming before our King. Our question should be, "What can I do that will win your heart, Lord?" rather than "What do I have to do?" This may include time soaking in the extravagant oils of redemption, forgiveness, and grace. Then, wrapping ourselves in a beautiful garment -- an illustration of what is exclusively us. We adorn ourselves with exquisite jewels: purity, integrity, and longing for our King. But the most beautiful and moving part of this illustration is the overwhelming love and acceptance from our King as He draws us into deeper intimacy with Him. We didn't need to smother ourselves in religiosity or even do all of these things to be loved and accepted by Him. But out of worship and utter desire for our King, we do.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Bound4Life Prayer

Jesus, I plead your blood over my sins and the sins of my nation.
God, end abortion and send revival to America.


Once, long ago, there was a magnificent king. He reigned in justice and love, and his kingdom reflected his radiance. The king was wholly and deeply in love with a beautiful maiden who served in his palace, but he was restrained from confessing his love until he could make a proposal. To do so, he had to go to her homeland and bring back a valuable heirloom from the land, as was custom in those days. In this case, the heirloom was a golden key, delicate and beautiful.

Day after day, the king watched the maiden, memorizing her every move as she danced through he garden he had created for her. The maiden's beauty was so overwhelming that the king could take it no longer. He longed to make her his bride.
That very day, the king began to make plans to travel the foreign land, not knowing what to expect. He chose to go alone, because no one could have the same love for the maiden as he had, and without that love, no one will face what he may face in this foreign land. The king gazed upon the maiden one last time, his love for her overflowing, and set off for the foreign land of which she had come.
. . .

Once the king arrived in the land, he saw it was more terrible than he could have possibly imagined. With his maiden on his mind, he ventured into the square.
"Stop!" a man bellowed as the king was seized by some other equally harsh-looking men.
The magnificent king was diminished to a horrible criminal as he was beaten and bruised beyond recognition, then left in a dark, miserable cell for three mournful days. But as the whip came down again and again, the king could only see the face of his love - the beauty of her delicate features and the way her eyes lit up when she gazed upon him. He could endure as long as he could make her his bride. The thought of returning to the maiden made him fight so hard that the prison could no longer keep the king in bondage, and he obtained the key to the land.

. . .

Upon his return to the kingdom, he called out for the beautiful maiden, who had been longingly awaiting his return. As he finally gazed upon her and professed his love, he vowed to never leave her side, and she promised to love him for all of her days.

The wedding was the most beautiful in all the world, for the king had immense wealth, but he longed for only one thing - the unwavering love of his bride. The king called to his most honored scribes to write the love story of he and his bride, which told of the most extravagant love the world had ever seen.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

New Song

"Put a new song in my mouth of praise to you, and the world will see and fear Your name." ~ Most High (Hillsong United)

Psalm 33:3a ~ Sing a new song of praise to Him;

I went to bed with this verse on my mind last night. Sing a NEW song. Why a new song? What does that even mean? Here's what God spoke to me. The verse doesn't just say "sing a new song", it says, "sing a new song OF PRAISE". He doesn't want you to stay where you're at; to become stagnant. As you go deeper with Him, He'll reveal things to you, things you didn't even comprehend before. For instance, He protects us from all kinds of things without our knowledge. He is fighting for you in high places. You could put yourself in a situation, let's say a romantic relationship, and you get upset at God when it crumbles. At that point in time, you don't understand why He would do something like that - something that would hurt you. But as you grow in Him and He begins to reveal things to you, you realize He was PROTECTING you, because He has something far better in store. I speak this one from personal experience. This is why we need to sing a NEW song of praise to Him. You can't be singin' the same old song when He reveals something to you that you didn't see before. Don't stay where you're at, but live wanting more of Him, more understanding, and He'll give you a new song, one with which to truly praise Him.

Beloved of the King

It just hit me what an IMMENSE privilege it is to call Him, the God of the universe, ours. That He would reach out to become our true Lover, the one who knows the innermost parts of us, yet still loves us more than we could ever comprehend. We are His beloved - servants who are drawn into His courts by the King. His heart is to give us the best. The earth was created for OUR PLEASURE. He loves us so much He made an entire environment for us to enjoy. You are utterly ADORED by Him, and every moment you spend with Him is an opportunity for Him to tell you that. How favored are we to be able to say, "I am His and He is mine." Jesus gave everything for us, and we can live a life giving our praise back to Him. I consider that a remarkable blessing, not a burden. When the veil was torn, it signified that we could come before the King, unashamed, because we had been made clean. We can have constant communion with Him, and He will never, ever get annoyed with us, or decide He doesn't want to hang around us anymore. God will always see us for what we are - His beloved.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

In the Stillness, There is Breakthrough

Not all spiritual battles are fought with shouting and jumping, or getting all riled up. Sometimes, God will break things in the quiet.... when you're willing to surrender every part of you, even those things you've had a death grip on for a very long time. When you have a moment of stillness with the Lord, sometimes it makes Him that much more able to speak to you and move on your behalf. Passion does not equal outspokenness, and God doesn't require you to be loud or excessively outgoing to use you. People who are PASSIONATE and USABLE are not always the ones who draw the most attention to themselves. Occasionally, someone who will listen will impact far more than someone who is quick to start telling them what they need to do. The world is full of people and the media TELLING them what they should do, but what if we become listeners? Wouldn't that stand out, rather than being just another voice bombarding them? We are called to be set apart; to be different than the world. Yes, absolutely, there is a time to speak out, and to stand up for righteousness, but sometimes breakthrough occurs and battles are fought when we're willing to listen and hear both what our Father says and the hurts of those that surround us. That way, we'll know His will and the hurts of our generation, and we can advance the Kingdom far more effectively.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Monday, February 23, 2009

Shakin' Things Up

I was on a walk today and I was considering Paul and Silas. They were in the worst of situations, and yet they WORSHIPPED, and God moved drastically. Their hearts of surrender enabled God to move on their behalf in mighty ways. The Bible says that they were released by a violent earthquake (Acts 16:26), and the very foundations were shaken. WE are that earthquake, and we're going to shake the very foundations of the things that Satan has set up and the walls he's put in place to keep us from advancing our territory. Pastor Gordon was talking about the Kingdom of God and how the VIOLENT take it by force (Matthew 11:12). He's preparing and teaching us to be violent warriors, ready to take on every aspect of darkness, and reflecting His light in a world full of brokenness.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

What ARE You?

Our words are SO powerful. We say things like, "I'm fat," or "I'm too shy," and expect ourselves to be different. Who we SAY we are determines where we'll go in the Kingdom and in life. "I can't" is another really big thing people say all the time. "With God, ALL things are possible." (Matthew 19:26) Saying that we cannot do something in no way will help us to actually succeed in doing it. We are victorous children of God who walk in the authority of God. How DARE we say that something is too hard for us? Going back to what we say about OURSELVES, and who we are, we absolutely have to realize the affect our words have on who we are. Speak life over yourself. What does He say about you? For example, you're not too shy, you walk in the boldness and authority of Christ. Things like that. If you don't know what He has to say about you, get in your Bible and read all that He says you are. You are wonderfully created in His image, a loved son or daughter of the King. The Bible is PACKED with truth about YOU. Ask Him to lead you to verses that specifically pinpoint what you're struggling with. God speaks to us in so many different ways, we just need to listen and speak the same over ourselves.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

The Passionate Pursuit

We hear about seeking God all the time, and we even have a desire to be in His presence. He created us that way, to thrive on moments of surrender to Him. It becomes so easy to allow other things to distract or preoccupy us so we don't have that time to devote to Him and He can minister to our spirit. He is our Romancer, the One who will truly fulfill us. We need to be pursuing Him with all we are. When we spend time focused on our King, He shows us aspects of Himself we would not have known otherwise. That is how we fall in love with Him. No amount of jumping or crying will lead you to that place. When you love someone, you spend TIME with them. With all that Jesus went through to allow us to come before the King, to have an intimate relationship with Him, we do not take advantage of that, not like we really should. That passion and courage we hear about all the time that we need if we're going to transform this generation, we cannot have that unless our foundation is in Him. To be true followers of Christ, we HAVE to be in love with Him. To be in love with Him we have to passionately pursue Him, and when we passionately pursue Him, He will give us that passion for the things of righteousness and the courage to carry it through.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Advancing Fearlessly and on Fire

What does it really look like to be on fire for God? What does that even mean? If you've ever seen a forest fire, their attack is fierce and can overcome the largest of areas. If we can come together as a people wholly devoted and sold out to being on fire for Him, we could take down so much more than we ever thought imaginable. A fire, if not taken in hand and stopped, can spread to the far reaches of an area. We need to be like that. We need new anointing and resolve and to decide that WE CANNOT BE STOPPED. Fire takes territory. Not with merely little bits of gusto here and there, but with immense power and authority. We need to stand up as the people of God and take back what the enemy has taken from us, and conquer what he has tried to establish. One really cool thing about fire is that in an instant, it can set other things afire as well. Walk in the power and authority He's given you and touch the lives around you. Before you know it, if we're truly dedicated and passionate about what He wants to do in and through us, we'll have set a fire ablaze, a group so committed to the things of God, nothing else matters. YOU can start a forest fire. Take the territory He has put in front of you. No complacency, no fear. Just wholehearted devotion and passion to change your world. That is how we can and will change our generation. We are not merely little lights to our world. A mere candle can be trampled or blown out. But a fire takes so much more to stop. The enemy will be using all he can to put out the fire within you. Stand firm in Him and allow it to grow.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

The More I Seek You (lyrics) - performed by Kari Jobe

The more I seek you,
the more I find you.
The more I find you,
the more I love you.

I wanna sit at your feet,
drink from the cup in your hands.
Lay back against you and breathe,
feel your heartbeat.
This love is so deep, it's more than I can stand.
I melt in your peace,
it's overwhelming.

Monday, December 22, 2008

The Stronghold

Satan has all kinds of tools he uses to try to hold us back, especially insecurity. So many don't truly understand the effect it has on their future and their life. As Christians, we tend to fall into this mindset of passivity. We absolutely cannot follow God with all we are if we're so wrapped up in what people think of us. God didn't put us here to remain politically correct and to never offend anybody. He has an individualized purpose for each of us. If we're going to live PASSIONATELY following and walking in the things of God, you're not going to be everyone's best friend, and that's okay. Standing up for righteousness is so much better than letting people walk all over you. Ultimately, we want to show the deep, immense, and all-consuming love of God. If we're walking in fear because we don't think we're capable of doing the great things He's called us to, or we're worried because we don't look like the people on tv, we need to get ourselves in check. Our Creator loves us more than we'll ever be able to understand and He made us perfectly and for a reason. We need to trust Him entirely in absolutely every situation. It's so easy to forget who's in control, and that we don't need to worry. Ever. God has a plan and we don't need to rely on ourselves or our abilities to carry us through, but rather His grace. So today I encourage you to step out in faith, to live life with a new passion and confidence. He never intended for us to cower in corners when an opportunity presents itself that'll pull us out of our comfort zone, but to step into it with all the boldness we have.

The Heart of the Author

I think there's something very reflective of the Father in an author. God is the Creator of the world and the Author of all things. He's the ultimate inventor of love, the adventurous spirit, the Master Designer of the plan of salvation. Everything writers base their creations off of, He created first. Authors pour their hearts into a book for months, and God poured His heart into this world He created for us. He's given a unique creativity to writers and the ability to compose an entire world intended to interact with their story. They have the ability to portray intense feelings and emotions that the reader can truly experience right along with the characters. If you really think about it, God created this world for our enjoyment and He's shown us how to love and feel and given us compassion for those who are needing Him. He gives inspiration to those people so they can portray something about His nature. Many other talents are the same way, but I was especially thinking about this. Just one book has the power to impact so many in entirely different ways, offering whatever they need to hear.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Desperate Generation

We really are a generation of desperation. As the world becomes even more corrupt, our generation is continually seeking for something to fill the void. It's come to a point of utter desperation. People are doing things that our ancestors would have never imagined in an attempt to get rid of that hopeless feeling that consumes them. Every action, every word from their mouths is a cry for help. They don't know how to handle the darkness our world has embraced. All these things you see around you - uncontrolled eating, self-mutilation, shallow relationships, eating disorders.... these are all symptoms. We need to see them for what they are, evidence for the deepest longing to be fulfilled and satisfied, a satisfaction that only comes from a knowledge of who you are in God. Our world is far from at peace. It really is a terrible joke. There is and will be no peace without God. He is the Author of peace, the Creator of a perfect world. But we cannot expect that to be how it is now. Each of us know so many who we see struggling, desperately searching for what will fulfill that longing He placed in every one of us. I choose to be desperate for more of Him. Nothing this world can offer will ever compare to the deepest fulfillment we find in Him. I think of Hannah. She is a perfect example of someone who was truly desperate for something. She cried out to God with such passion and perseverance that she was actually assumed to be drunk. I can only imagine what those people must have thought. I want that kind of faith, that passion. She knew what she wanted, and she was willing to do absolutely whatever it takes to get it. We may be the "Desperate Generation," but what side of that do you want to be on? Which side do you choose?

Friday, November 21, 2008

Full Abandon

I think we may have forgotten what the deepest form of worship is. Many of us may have never experienced it. To worship with full abandon, seeing nothing but the love and majesty of our King. I think we're settling for these brief experiences with Him which just barely scratch the surface of the kind of worship we long to experience and He longs to receive. We are told so many times that we are overcomers and warriors, but there are demonic forces we don't even realize we need to rebuke. Distraction, for one. That is HUGE. To get to that place where we see the complexity and magnificence of His power and all He can really do, we need to eliminate what is really holding us back.. When we tap into that kind of worship, of that focus on our Savior, it releases a move of His spirit like you have never seen before. We need to stand together as a church, as a body, but it is also deeply personal. Your heart becomes intertwined with the very heart of God, the Maker of the UNIVERSE. And yet, we allow ourselves to be bombarded with thoughts of all these things, which in comparison are nothing. In this state of being, this intense worship, breakthrough comes. Our focus on what WE want and what WE think we need overtakes us sometimes, but when we're fully devoted to magnifying Him with ALL that we have, He gives us what we truly need - an encounter with Him.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Loving With Your Life

I deeply believe that love is so much more than a feeling, but rather a commitment. Saying we love God and not really knowing what exactly we're expressing when we say it. Growing up, I never really knew what being in love with Jesus meant. It was kind of one of those Christianese statements that we say, and I never really delved into what it meant. But this summer He's shown me what the genuine love of our Father truly is. It's affected every aspect of my life. When we understand the capacity in which Christ loves us, we're released to love in that same way. This summer, God's been showing me his character, His very essence, and the love that He has for me. So many people never get to experience what it's like to have someone who ADORES you, no matter what. That's how He feels about us. God created every part of us, perfectly, to correspond with His nature. No other creature on earth has that! When we say we love God, it's a commitment to serving and honoring Him NO MATTER WHAT is going on in our lives. He's taught me what it means to love Him with all my heart, and I'm still striving to love Him through everything that I do. You know how people talk about worshipping Him with our lives? In the same way, we can LOVE Him with our lives. Our relationships with people are meant to exemplify the love He has for us. How do we really learn to love people in the way Christ loves us if we don't know what that love is like, or what it means when we say that we love God? Define yourself as someone who loves with their life, not just in worship, but in everyday things we go through. When you show integrity in even the little things, He can entrust you with the monumental things for the Kingdom.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Beauty in the Breakdown

Romans 8:28
And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.

I've been through so much in the past year and I have to admit that I certainly did not shine gloriously through the trials. I know many of you have been deeply hurt before, whether it was by a guy, a girl, a friend, family member, whatever. It's the things in our lives that we struggle through that make us who we are. I know without the situation I put myself in, I would be drastically different, and not as broken before God as I am now. I had to learn to rely on Him completely, because there was no one else I could trust. That lesson is invaluable to me. We'd all like to think that life should just go perfectly 100% of the time and that's how God shows He loves us, by making your life go smoothly. But if you really think about it, you never press in harder or rely on Him more than when you're in a trial. It's when everything's going wrong and nothing is the same and all stability has been stripped away from your life that you learn that He is the same no matter what. His love for you NEVER changes. Even when you screw up seemingly EVERYTHING, He's there rejoicing over the tiniest of victories. One worship song I love says this, "All of my life, in every season, you are still God. I have a reason to sing, I have a reason to worship." It's in those times that we learn that NO MATTER WHAT, God is still God, and He still deserves to be worshipped. It's when we bring our heart to Him, completely broken, and make a CHOICE to worship, is when we begin to see His majesty in absolutely everything, even the worst of situations.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

It's Your Moment!

Esther 4:13-14
Mordecai sent this reply to Esther: “Don’t think for a moment that because you’re in the palace you will escape when all other Jews are killed. If you keep quiet at a time like this, deliverance and relief for the Jews will arise from some other place, but you and your relatives will die. Who knows if perhaps you were made queen for just such a time as this?” (NLT)

Esther astounds me. So many people have stood out to me in the Bible, but she is so my favorite. She came in contact with her calling in an incredible way, and she stepped into it. It was a CHOICE. You make decisions every day, no matter how small. Those decisions have the ability to define you and your future. If you choose to stay silent when He calls you to do something outstanding for Him, He'll bring someone to do it. Don't miss out on your calling because you're insecure or afraid of the outcome! Know who you are in Him, and when the time comes, run. Run with all you are toward who you're meant to be. He has strategically placed you in the position you are to do something GREAT for the Kingdom. One moment can alter your entire life. When given the opportunity, stand up boldly for righteousness and take your place as a son or daughter of God. Don't think for a second that you aren't as valuable or usable in the Kingdom of God as someone else. He's providing you with opportunities to do awesome things for Him and have Him work through you. It does require sacrifice. Esther was willing to be killed to save her people. What are you willing to do? You might risk your reputation, or your friendships, or any number of things. But what are those compared to being part of something BIG and impacting the world? He can bring along someone else to do your job, but He wants YOU. Esther was willing to give up everything to do what she was created to do. It was her moment and she took it. What about you?

Monday, October 27, 2008

Blog of the Utterly Amazing

Okay, everybody! My dear friend Lindsey has made her fantastic blog open to the public (well.... ish) for viewing! Check it out!

The Battle

I've had it on my heart lately to write about pornography. We're always told it's a sin, but not necessarily told why. What does it really do to people? To their relationships, present and future? I've come to this conclusion: It changes entirely the way they see the opposite sex. Not just hott guys or girls, but even your parents. Their respect for their authority diminishes. They begin to see people as objects, not the fantastic people they are. It will affect their marriages and relationships far greater than they could ever realize. We're losing our generation to this, among other things. It IS a battle, and so many are struggling with it. It's just another tool that the enemy uses to render people ineffective in the Kingdom when they could be doing so much more. Guilt and denial will keep them from the calling God has on their lives and hold them back from receiving the full measure of joy He has for them. I've never heard it this way, but I really think God revealed it to me, it changes their view on who they're looking for in their future spouse. It becomes more about appearance than about the heart of the person and the life you could have together. They're stripping themselves of an incredible relationship with the person they should spend the rest of their lives with to settle for mere attraction. It affects them far more than they could ever understand right now, but they'll have to live with the repercussions in the future. God's grace can renew absolutely everything, and He's constantly surprising me with all He can do. Where would we be without hope of salvation and acceptance from our King?

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Beneficial and Constricting Fear

There's been no time to write! AH! But now I'm making time! Hooray!

It occurred to me that the younger generation is attacked by fear. Some people may say that it's just a little kid thing, but I believe it's more than that. I think we've opened a door to fear for them. We may not all have extreme phobias or anything, but we do have certain fears, not necessarily of things like the dark or ghosts, but of other things. Things like showing people who you really are, fear of rejection, fear of putting yourself out there and being able to stand up for something. Debra Gurr talked about courage at the women's conference the other day. She was very eloquent and made good points. Courage is doing something despite of your fear. We have succumb to this way of living as Christians where fear is prevalent and perfectly natural in our lives. We are doing something, but we could be doing so much more. We cannot operate in fear. I think we all experience different levels of fear in our lives at different times. And I think some fear can be constructive. Such as the fear of the Lord for instance. It says in the Bible that "the fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge." If we realize that we're not all that, then it opens us up to learn from Him.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

The Gift of Ministry

I'm in awe of how beneficial and satisfying ministry is. I was leading Greenhouse worship today and I realized how much I love it. Because I know it's where I'm supposed to be. I've been involved in our children's ministry for some time and I've had a dream for them to come to know what true worship really is. And I'm so blessed to be in a position where I get to teach them. But somehow, I learn from them all the time. It's the best thing in the world to be lost in worship then to open your eyes and see all these kids deep in worship and knowing that you played a part in that. I've had the joy to get to know each one and their personalities and it's an honor that they look up to me like they do. And it's my privilege to live a life that sets a great example for them. I get to see directly the effects of the effort I pour into their lives and this ministry and it makes me want to do so much more.

There are so many facets of ministry and each requires special talents, that each of you possess. Quite often, it requires some stretching and dedication as well. It's another way to serve God and commit your actions and your time to Him. He'll show you things and begin to reveal new aspects of who you are. No to mention that there is an immense blessing that goes along with submitting yourself and coming under authority. He'll allow you opportunities to learn and to lead. He is calling you to participate and to GET INVOLVED (kind of the same thing but whatev).

So, my challenge to you is to focus on ways you can make a difference and what ministry He's calling you to. Keep in mind that it not only blesses you, but you're blessing the Kingdom of God and setting raising the bar for Christians. You'll find you really love it. Because when you're where you're supposed to be, even on the challenging days, which do come, He'll provide you with the patience and resourcefulness to overcome the obstacles with graciousness and poise. (Or He'll let you fall on your face and learn from mistakes. He doesn't promise everything's going to be perfect for us, but He does promise to always be there with us and teach us. Sometimes when we fall our faces and really mess up, it's just a lesson in humility.) :o)

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Generational Impact

I was on a walk yesterday and saw these two girls, they must've been 9, tops. One was texting and the other exclaiming something to the effect of " You can't break up with someone that fast!" Appalling, huh? They're just kids. This little encounter led me to do some thinking.

What's making kids think that it's good to try to act older? What's telling them that they need to? The younger generation has been exposed to so much media, it's shaping who they are. Not to specifically blame anybody, but secular kids' channels such as Disney are constantly telling kids what they should be like. I know Hannah Montana, for one, has a huge effect on younger kids, especially girls. I know we're like, "Oh, it's just stupid, " or whatever, but it's so much more than that. TV is telling our little brothers and sisters and all younger kids how they should be living life. Characters have become idols for them, something they feel like they should live up to at all costs. Have any of you seen these entire room sets based around Camp Rock and Hannah Montana and such? Why is that? People are making millions corrupting the upcoming generation.

But what we need to realize is, we can make a difference. I lead worship for the children's ministry at church, and I think it's incredible to see how much they look up to me. Not because it's me, necessarily, but it's this certain kind of effect that teens have on younger kids. Even just walking through the mall or whatever, kids are drawn to you. You may not realize it, but they watch you. Everything that you do is setting an example for them to follow. As teens, we are in a phenomenal place where we can affect the lives of the younger generation. I remember specific girls that I looked up to when I was little and I distinctly remember things that they said to me or did for me. Not even just a few years ago, but when I was really young, like in preschool. I grew up wanting to be just like them. It spoke to me, even before I fully realized it, that I admired them because they cared about me and I saw how they interacted with their friends and with guys and how they responded to things. We can have that same effect on the kids we know. One question remains, how?

1. Lead by example. What you say is important. But for your words to hold any worth, you have to back them up with ACTION. Remember that they watch you, and they take their lead from what you DO, not just what you say.

2. Get involved. Kids do watch you, whether you're involved in their lives or not. However, it is our responsibility to make sure that they grow up to be all they can be and are following after God with all their hearts. What's the best way to do that? Be involved in their lives. Most of us have the opportunity to talk to plenty of kids, but if you don't, then make opportunities. There are about a million different ways you can impact kids, you just have to find them.

3. Pray for them. This is huge. The surest way you can change the world is through prayer. Pray for them. Pray with them. Let them know that their concerns are important. I babysit a lot and something I almost always do is pray for them. After they go to bed, it's customary for me to just walk through their house, praying blessings over them. Devote some of your prayer time to praying for the upcoming generation, because it's through them that the work God has started in us will be continued.

4. Encourage them in the things of God. Words are so powerful. We have the authority to build up or tear down. SPEAK good things into their lives. Encourage them to make wise choices, not just because it's the right thing to do, but because we want to strive to glorify God in everything we do. Show them how they can make a difference and stand out for Him even now and get them to think about the eternal aspect. Speak things over them that will affect them, that they'll remember. Most of all, allow God to guide your words. He knows exactly what each child needs in that very moment.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

And You Thought It Was Just Singing....

A reflection how we feel about Him
Understanding of His presence
Becoming like a child
Seeking His face
A supernatural experience
The realization that it is not about you
What you were CREATED for
It's not about procedure, it's about HIS PRESENCE
The ultimate act of love for our Creator
An act of servanthood
It's a way of life
A realization of His MAJESTY
Indescribable transformation
Like nothing else you've ever experienced
His complete power is released
Utter adoration

This was inspired by a piece of artwork I did a few months back.... It's hanging in my room. Not like it's super amazing in the art skills aspect.... actually it's different shades of writing with watercolor splashed across it. Okay, maybe it is kinda cool. ANYWAYS, God inspired me one day and "voila!" It showed me a lot about what worship really is. It's more than just singing on Sundays and Wednesdays with a bunch of people or raising your hands with everybody else. There has to be a passion behind it - a passion for the things of God and most of all, glorifying His name in everything you do.

Life-Changing (The Ultimate Author)

I can't quite pinpoint a specific moment when God changed my life. There's so many encounters I've had that have molded and formed me into who I am today. Many times, God delivers people from HUGE stumbling blocks and thus changes their life, but we can't rely on just one moment to get us through the rest of our lives. Sometimes He does need to just *snap* immediately deliver people from what is really holding them back, but it's never just one moment in His presence, then "BAM!" you're perfect. We need to spend our lives seeking to change. He's CONSTANTLY transforming us so we can be used with our full effectiveness to impact the world. WE CHANGE SO WE CAN MAKE A CHANGE. I live for those moments with my King where He teaches me to open up every part of my heart to Him to transform. We have to make a choice to hand Him the pen to write our life's story. That means giving Him control of our friendships, our relationships with guys (at least for me, for guys it'd be girls, huh?), how we respond to situations, everything. When we allow Him to be the Author of our lives, we can't choose to live our lives like the world does. We hand over our rights to govern ourselves in the sin that He pulled us out of. Spend time in His presence. Allow yourself to be transformed. Only then will you be able to reach who He has set out for you to reach. He has set you apart, called you out, to live for Him. Don't falter in your unique purpose but allow those precious moments you spend with Him to impact your life in inexplicable and multi-faceted ways.

Monday, September 22, 2008


So many, teens especially, are searching. They're trying to discover who they are, their dreams and passions, and why they're here. Everyone needs a sense of purpose. They need to feel significant and valued. When you don't have God in your life, people tend to find their purpose and worth in other things. Often, they try to find it in relationships. This is truly dangerous. The more someone tries to seek approval or bases their identity on someone else, the more strained a relationship can become and it leads to heartbreak, leaving the person emptier than before. Mothering, cliques, popularity, drugs, alcohol.... all of these things are often used to try to replace God.

Mothering, for instance, is awesome. God has called parents to raise up their kids to be powerful and confident men and women of God, but we can't find our worth in that alone. I believe with all my heart that raising up a Christ-following generation is infinitely important. And as parents, you play a huge role in that. But if being the perfect mom becomes more important than that, or that's where you find your identity, not in you Heavenly Father, but in being a mom, that's not where He wants you to be.

Cliques are a huge thing for both teens and pre-teens unfortunately. When you're in this environment, it's not a healthy place to be. You lose who you really are because you're constantly trying to please other people. It becomes all about staying in the clique, because you feel like you're worthless outside of it. God wants us to have healthy, growing relationships based on Him. But when we begin to value our relationships with people above our relationship with God, we can't expect to be truly whole or fulfilled.

Popularity is very much the same. You sacrifice your values and who you really are to stay on top. Many people think this is the ideal place to be, but when you find yourself humbled in the presence of God, nothing else compares.

Drugs and alcohol. These are not so much used to replace God, but rather to drown out the pain of not having Him.

None of these things can ever compare to the wholeness and fulfillment you will find in Him. My entire identity lies in Him. I have confidence because I know who I am in Him, and I live by it. This is the best place to be - growing and maturing in Christ.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

How do you feel about yourself, really?

How do you see yourself? What you believe about yourself determines how you live your life. It's so easy to see how other people see themselves, but it's so much harder to analyze yourself. Take a moment to think about it. Do you view yourself through past mistakes, or see all you have the potential to accomplish? What are your giftings? What has He called you to do? Do you see yourself as a leader? You have authority here on earth and He has given you access to His power. As Christians, we should have the greatest self-esteem and sense of self-worth of anybody. I, for one, am so tired of trying to please the world. We don't have to worry about what they think! What a refreshing concept! Our Father is the King of Kings! We are royalty. He loves us more than any of His other creations. If we truly believed all these things, our effect on the world around us would be INCREDIBLE. He has made us, each with our unique giftings and talents, to change this world. We are in a war. This is a constant battle and we will be victorious! Start seeing yourself as a victorious warrior! Because you are. He has chosen YOU to make a difference. He created you PERFECTLY. No part of you is a mistake, or ugly, or anything the devil tells you. He tries to attack your sense of who you are in Him, to render you ineffective in your calling. Don't allow Him to! Spend time finding out what God thinks of you, and see yourself as HE does. Then start living your life like you know who you are. Your life is a testimony to His goodness. People will see the confidence and the passion you have, and they'll want it. You have what other people are searching for. So many try to fill that void with unhealthy relationships or try to dull the pain with other things. They're searching. God created us to be in a deep, intimate relationship with Him. When you know who you are, God can use you to reach out to those people, and He'll give you a dream and a passion for what He's calling you to do.