Wednesday, July 31, 2013

F is for Faith

4Then the word of the Lord came to me, saying:
5 “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you;
Before you were born I sanctified you;
I ordained you a prophet to the nations.”
6 Then said I:
“Ah, Lord God!
Behold, I cannot speak, for I am a youth.”
7 But the Lord said to me:
“Do not say, ‘I am a youth,’
For you shall go to all to whom I send you,
And whatever I command you, you shall speak.
8 Do not be afraid of their faces,
For I am with you to deliver you,” says the Lord.
9 Then the Lord put forth His hand and touched my mouth, and the Lord said to me:
“Behold, I have put My words in your mouth.
10 See, I have this day set you over the nations and over the kingdoms,
To root out and to pull down,
To destroy and to throw down,
To build and to plant.”
-Jeremiah 1:4-10
   I truly believe God has had a crazy-awesome plan for me since before my parents even thought about me.  I believe He has been working on me since I was a baby.  I believe He will continue to change my heart to be more like His for the rest of my days.
   God has done so much for me.  When I was four He saved my from my sin.  Last summer He saved me from the deep, dark pit of depression.  He is saving me from myself.
   I have learned that it is not enough to believe that God can do something.  I need to ask Him, and I need to let Him.  He's holding out the gift, but He's not going to shove it at me.
   I am so ready to recieve everything He wants to give me.  I believe God's plan for me is beyond anything I could ever ask or imagine.  He has blown my mind with what He has done for me and through me so far.  I am beyond excited to see what comes next.  It only gets better from here!

Monday, July 15, 2013

I Want More

   I love Peter's attitude in John 13:9.  He was appalled when Jesus first started to serve him, saying that Jesus would never wash his feet.  Jesus' replies, "If I do not wash you, you have no part with Me."  Immediately Peter is all in.  He begs Jesus to wash his hands and his head too, desperate to have a part with Him.  Peter wants every part of him to be consumed by God, his feet, hands, and head to be taken by the Spirit.
   Peter and I have so much in common (I seriously can't wait to meet him in Heaven).  We both mess up, we both break promises, we both deny Him, we both cry over our mistakes.  At the end of the day, we just want more of Jesus.  Our hearts' desire is to become more like Him.  We long to use our hands, our feet, and our heads to serve Him. 
   I want more of God's love and power every day.  Good thing He never runs out!  I don't want to just dip my toes in the water, I want Him to open the floodgates of Heaven and overflow my life.  I want Holy Spirit to take over, to direct my every step, word, action and thought.  I want Him to rain down on me.  I want to encounter Jesus.
"Oh that You would rend the heavens and come down!"
(Isaiah 64:1. My heart cry.)
Standing in the rain. Tout puissant

Friday, July 12, 2013

E is for Embarrassing Moment

   Let's just say I had a lot to choose from for this post.  You guys already know about some of them, but I don't think I've told you about the chocolate milk spewing from my mouth - twice, once during eighth grade and the other during freshman year.  I'm just saying, if you don't want me to spit out chocolate milk, don't make me laugh.  I was laughing hard.
   Last year it happened on the day of silence.  Someone was funny, I laughed, out came the chocolate milk, and I started talking about how I couldn't believe I had just done that.  I couldn't figure out why everyone was just staring at me with their mouths hanging open, and it felt like an eternity until I realized I wasn't supposed to speak.  Yeah.  That was awkward.
    My goal for sophomore year is to keep my milk contained at all times.  I'm counting on you guys to hold me to that.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

D is for Day in the Life of Me

   I was gonna wait to do this post until
  1. I spent a whole day taking pictures of everything and
  2. My todays stopped looking completely different from my yesterdays,
but it doesn't really look like that's gonna happen anytime soon.  So, with words and guesstimated times, a Tuesday, July 9, 2013 in the life of me.

5:16 AM - Get woken up by Dad.  Spend five minutes convincing yourself to get off the couch (you're sleeping on it 'cause your Gonnie and Aunt Sonja are here!) and go to weightlifting.
6:00 AM - Lay down on bleachers.  Fall asleep.  Scare yourself half to death by allowing your hand to fall, hit the bleachers, and wake you up.  Read a chapter of Ezekiel.  Watch high school boys realize how out of shape they are after a week off.
8:00 AM - Work out with Karley and three eighth grade boys.  Realize how out of shape you are after two weeks off. 
9:40 AM - Get made fun of.  ("Pray for me, Coach, Michaela's driving home.")  Drive home from school.  Decide that it is taking twice as long as when someone else drives.  Realize that Dad must be starting to trust you because he talks on the phone the whole time. 
9:57 AM - Get home.  Turn on some music because you feel deprvied after 12 hours without it.  Eat more breakfast.
10:22 AM - Get on the computer.  Post facebook status.  ("You know it's getting intense when you go to wipe the sweat off your face and your shirt's already soaking wet.. that or you're really out of shape. ‎#yummy ‎#idowork")  Check e-mail.  Decide to write this blog post.
11:13 AM - Finally take a shower because everyone else has officially started their day.  Make sure you sing.  Loudly.  Keep singing until you spray perfume and start coughing instead.
11:44 AM - French braid your hair and be really proud of yourself  'cause it looks good.
12:01 PM - Play a game with Quiad and Titus.
12:38 PM - Carry in groceries.
12:48 PM - Enjoy lunch.  To the fullest.  Because KFC is awesome.  And so it Aunt Sonja for getting it.
1:00 PM - Do dishes and stuff.
1:24 PM - Play Apples to Apples with Dad, Mom, Morgan, Elaina, Aunt Sonja, and Gonnie.  Have a panic attack because you're pretty sure about to pick Dad's fourth card, but you don't know which one it for sure is, and you pick it anyway.
2:58 PM - Finish Tramp for the Lord by Corrie ten Boom.  Almost cry because it's so good.  Accidentally fall asleep on the couch.
4:02 PM - Get woken up by Dad.  Again.  Go pick up football at the school.  Go to 7 on 7.  Watch 7 on 7.  Stop at Casey's on the way home from 7 on 7 so everyone can buy drinks, and end up with a bunch of food.
9:36 PM - Get home.  Find some food.  Watch the end of Kung Fu Panda with the boys.  Finish this blog post.
10:19 PM - Read your Bible.  Go to sleep.

   I dare you to replicate it. ;)

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Choose Joy

   Sometimes I get high on Jesus.  I go deeper, I gain more of Him, I grow in His love.  God reveals Himself to me in a whole new way, and I fall in love with Him all over again.  It's crazy, and it's overwhelming, and it's awesome.
   Sometimes stuff happens.  Sometimes our water heater goes kapoot, my mom gets locked out of the van 45 minutes away, people question my beliefs and my passion, I spend a day sick, friendships are beyond confusing, and a million other little things annoy me in less than a week.  Sometimes I don't get to go to Peru like I had planned.  Sometimes I have writer's block.  Sometimes boys make things... complicated.  Sometimes I realize my summer is going way too fast.  Sometimes I get scared and confused and sometimes people ask what the rest of my life is gonna look like and I have no idea.
   Sometimes happiness is a choice.  Sometimes I cry out to God, and He brings peace to my heart.  Sometimes I remember that I don't have to rely on yesterday's high because His mercies are new every morning.  Sometimes Holy Spirit whispers secrets in my ear, and I end up grinning like an idiot.  Sometimes I decide to laugh in the devil's face even while I'm crying.  Sometimes I choose joy.
dance in the Rain

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

And We're Laughing in His Face

   The Devil doesn't appreciate it when we smile.  We hates it when we're happy.  He absolutely. can. not. deal. when we go around telling people about our exceeding joy.
   Satan's gonna do everything in his [small] power to bring us down.  He wants us to be depressed, defeated, stuck in a deep, dark hole.  The Devil knows that the joy of the Lord is our strength, and believe me, we scare him when we're strong.  He's gonna send annoyances, conflict, disaster, and sickness to make us feel sad and dejected.  He's pulling out all the stops, holding nothing back.
   And we're laughing in his face.  We have joy, unspeakable joy, because of Christ.  Nothing puts a smile on your face like loving and being loved.  God makes us so happy!  We have joy, and nothing and no one can steal it away.  We have joy, and we are laughing in Satan's face.  We have joy.

Beloved, do not think it strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened to you;  but rejoice to the extent that you partake of Christ’s sufferings, that when His glory is revealed, you may also be glad with exceeding joy.
-1 Peter 4:12-13
And the disciples were filled with joy and with the Holy Spirit.
-Acts 13:52
My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials.
-James 1:2

Monday, July 1, 2013

Ultimate Faith Challenge 2013

I spent the last week in Moberly with Pastor Jason, Miss Emily, and a ton of other crazy awesome people at Cafe41 (the youth ministry of Family Life Fellowship) doing a youth internship and Encounter.  These are journal entries from the week - which was life-changing, in case you're wondering.  Major kudos to you if you read the whole thing! I pray and believe it will bless.  We will overcome by the blood of the Lamb and the word of our testimony (Rev 12:11).

Monday, June 23
   For the first day, yeah, it was pretty awesome.  Pastor Jason and Emily are phenomenal.  They're practically adopted me already.  Everyone is like a huge family, and they just let me in as another sister.  It is so easy to love people who love Jesus.  You feel like you already know each other.  I've met soo many awesome people - and I remember most of their names!
   Praise the Lord for Sarah, Sydni, Hannah, and all the young ladies who came and prayed with me this morning.  They are so mature in God.  They will lead many people to know more of His love.
   The prayer walk was awesome.  I had never done one before, but it was super easy to walk through Moberly and pray for God's truth to overcome Satan's lies and deception.  Revival is coming!
   I'll be helping lead KidsNChurch on Sunday.  So excited!  Part of the reason I chose KNC was so I could just stand back and watch Cafe41 in action.  So excited for that, too!  Also super excited for Encounter!  Everyone keeps telling me how great it is.  I feel like I'll burst from anticipation by Thursday night if they don't cut it out.  I can't wait to meet God in a whole new way.
   Even with all that excitement, I'm pooped.  I love You, Jesus!  Bless this night's sleep and the rest of the week.  See You in the morning!

Tuesday, June 24
[in the morning]
   Last night I turned up the music in Miss Emily's car and we were all singing out loud.  When Emily dropped me off, the girl in the backseat (I'm a silly willy for forgetting who it was) said, "I just wanna make sure I tell you this: your voice is anointed by God."  I'm pretty sure she has no idea how much that means to me.  Just sayin'.
[before bed]
   Pretty sure I have never cleaned so much glass in one day.  Cafe41 is is clean (for now) and ready for more kids and more Holy Spirit than ever.  God is going to do awesome things through the youth in charge tomorrow night.  I can't to wait to see the cafe doin' what it does!
   Team-building was awesome this morning.  Granted, somewhat frustrating, but still awesome.  We played "Pipeline," which involves transporting a marble through different-sized PVC pipes.  (Of course, PJ's rules were a bit more complicated, but we'll stick with that.)  I'm convinced my team completed the challenge just because we were smiling the whole time.  Because we're awesome like that.
   I am having so much fun getting to know everyone.  I've been asked "So where do you live?", "Do you know my name/his name/her name?", "Would you consider moving here?", and many more.  Of course, I never have to talk since the "Dynamic Trio" (Michael, David, and Ricky) have this uncanny ability to interpret each of my facial expressions.  Or so I've been told.
   Father, I pray for more of your power, love, and truth tomorrow.  Eliminate distractions and make our  hearts soft and open towards You.  I know that You will give as soon as we are ready to receive.  Praise You, God, for all that You have done and will do.  I love You, Jesus!

Wednesday, June 25
   God spoke in so many ways today.  He showed us once again just how real He is.  Sarah's "happy bubble" seemed to be popped for a while this afternoon, reminding us that the devil is also real, and we have to be ready to stand and fight, but it made a strong return for Cafe tonight.  We have such joy because of Christ.
   The treasure hunt was awesome.  We didn't find the woman God showed me, but we found so many others.  People were surprised because we didn't want anything from them, only to show them God's love.
   Of course, I sweat more during worship at Cafe than did during the treasure hunt.  Yummy.  It was great, and the testimonies shared by some of the other interns were amazing.  I feel soo much closer to a person when I know what God has brought them out of.  Congrats to Sarah for making me cry first, and to David for making me cry the most.  I love them all so much!
   This week just keeps getting better and better, and Encounter starts tomorrow night, so I'm sensing it's all upward from here.  It is sooo good to get to know everyone more and more.  (How many times have I said that?)  They better come visit me.  I know I'll be down here as much as I can!
   Father, I pray Your blessings over the rest of this week.  Help us die to ourselves every day.  We have life only through You, Jesus.  Praise You, God.  Let us exalt Your name even more.  I love You!

Thursday, June 26
   We definitely made up for skipping team building yesterday by playing the tennis ball game.  It's hard to explain without showing, but it was hard - of course the elevator music playing the whole time only added to the intensity.  Drake was praying in tongues while we tried to get the tennis ball through the door. :D We didn't finish the task - silly hunger, silly lunchtime - but we learned a boatload about pride, teamwork, and forgiveness.
   Trying to fill 250 water balloons with these crazy children was quite the adventure.  We got wet.  We laughed.  It was fun.
   Nothing today was anywhere near as fun as the Encounter, though.  All those people kept telling me how awesome Encounter was without actually what Encounter was, and I just realized I'm about to do the same thing to you.  I apologize.  You'll just have to come.
   As soon as Pastor Jason said "boombashinga party" the Spirit washed over me and I started laughing and bawling at the same time.  Mixing those two is the weirdest feeling, but it was great.  I was laughing so hard I couldn't keep my balance, so I ended up lying on the floor giggling and crying for over 5 minutes straight.  I couldn't even take a deep breath.  The joy of the Lord is so strong.
   Praise You, God, for the freedom you gave tonight, and the chains You are going to break tomorrow.  I am sooo in love with You, Jesus.

Friday, June 27
   Praise God for Isaiah 41:18.  "I will open rivers in high places, and fountains in the midst of the valleys: I will make the wilderness a pool of water, and the dry land springs of water."  God is turning my desert into a rushing river of living water.  He never runs dry.
   So many things happened today that it feels like this morning was a week ago.  I spent half an hour resting in the arms of the Father, and then I laid right back down for 20 minutes more.  His love is so real, so peaceful, so deep, and so comforting.
   I officially have a force field of joy around me.  Ain't nobody poppin' my happy bubble!  I have known the deep, dark pit of depression, and now I know true, everlasting joy.
   I also officially have the gift of tongues.  Praise You God!  I speak in tongues, and I sing in tongues.  It is like nothing else I have ever experienced.  There is such freedom in praising God without having to  stop and think about the words coming out of your mouth.  And you know we're all about freedom!
   I just want to ask for more of the Holy Spirit every day.  (By the way, it's 1:30, and I lost.)  He is always ready to do a new thing.  God, let my fire never go out.  Let my hunger never be satisfied.  Let me never grow comfortable.  There will forever be more of You.  I want it all.

Sunday, June 30
   I just realized that July starts in like an hour.  Seriously.  Time flies when you're having fun!  So cliche, I know, but believe me, Holy Spirit makes everything more fun.
   Like KidsNChurch!  It was sooo much fun.  I love kids, and I adore watching God reveal more of Himself to them.  As big and tough and grown-up as they try to seem, they have such soft hearts and childlike faith.  These kids will amazing things for the Kingdom - and they don't have to wait to be "old enough!"  I got to lead them in worship, be part of a skit for them, teach them an object lesson, and just straight-up hang out with them.  I am so crazy blessed!
   I had a pretty intense fake crying session with Bianca before I left, and Misty told me the other day that I'm required to visit monthly.  I hope Kiatcha knows I was totally serious when we were talking about her shoving everyone into a van and coming to see me.  I already miss these people a boatload!
   Than You sooooo much, Father God, for the opportunity to do this internship.  Bless Niki, Aaron, and Delany for putting up with me sleeping in their home.  I pray that each person who was a part of the internship and Encounter would continue to walk in love.  We never wanna stop growing.  We just want more of You!  Praise You God.