Monday, December 15, 2014

not about me

   The nice thing about God is that He never changes. I get so gosh-dang tired of confusion and drama and always growing older every minute every second of every day. And then there's God. Always there. Right next to me. Strong and steady. Never changing. Never moving.
   About five days before I moved this summer, we went to a youth night at my church. There was mud and pizza and I actually have scars from that night and our team won, but more importantly God spoke profoundly to me during worship. In fact, here's the video of the exact song when He nailed me in the face with truth. I'm the girl in the front with the blue t-shirt and the heart overwhelmed.
   I was moving away from that church and those people and that place, and I was scared and I was confused. I was in the middle of reminding God of all the things He had done for me and through me there. He had given me true friends, we had started the Jesus Parties, people had been saved. I truly was excited to move to a new place with new people and new opportunities, but during this song, I finally admitted that I was scared.
   I was scared that I wouldn't be able to do the things I had done in Lewis County. Scared I wouldn't be able to make friends. Scared I would disappoint Him.
   Finally God interrupted my tirade to remind me that it is not about me. And it never has been. He said, "Well, truth is, you won't be able to do any of those things. Never. Not without me." But with God, I can.
   See, I moved to a different place. There's a different culture, different people, different a lot of things. But God is still my God. And he's the same God he was in all the nine other places I've lived. He's still strong, good, merciful, all-powerful, loving, and holy. With Him, I can do anything. And I am. And I will.

Sunday, November 9, 2014

my God

   God is more than just my God. I mean, He obviously is my God. He is my omnipotent, omnipresent, omniscient God. He is Lord of creation, Ruler of the universe. But His identity, the essence of who He is goes far beyond this.
   God is my savior. He gave everything for me. When it comes to me, He holds nothing back. To Him, I am worth it all. I owe Him my life, all that I am. He rescued me from the deep, dark depths of depression. He took away all fear of death and gave me hope. He saved me.
   God is my father. He is my Heavenly daddy,  and He is the best dad anyone could ever ask for (obviously). He is always providing for me, always watching out for me. He loves to teach me new things, and I love it when He shows me the world in ways I've never seen it.
   God is my friend. He puts up with my crap, listens to my rants, gives the best advice even when He knows I won't listen, and holds me when I cry. I can always depend on Him. He loves to spend time with me. He's got my back. He always finds a way to make me smile. We're pretty much besties.
   God is my bridegroom. He loves me for who I am, and in spite of who I am. He is the best thing that's ever happened to me. He calls me "Beloved." He delights in me. I am forever longing for the day when we'll see each other face to face, when we'll be together forever.
   God is my teacher, my comforter, the only thing that keeps me going. He is everlasting, holy, beyond description. He's everything I ever needed. He is my God. 

Saturday, September 6, 2014

you. are not. alone.

   Have you ever wondered why people listen to sad music they're sad? I mean, what the heck? It doesn't make sense. Why would we do that to ourselves? It just intensifies the sadness. Right?
   Well, I realized something while I was sitting here at my computer feeling stupid for listening to sad music when I was sad. Listening to other people sing about their loneliness makes us realize we're not the only ones who've been lonely. Listening to someone sing about their tears makes us realize we're not the only ones who've cried. Listening to other people sing about their pain makes us realize we're not the only ones who've been hurting.
   That's the thing about depression. It convinces you that you're alone. It says that no one understands, no one can help, no one cares. Depression isolates you. It wants you believe that no one else is struggling like you are.
   So here's what I want you to know. Depression is a liar. You are not the only one. There is hope. There is so much hope. And there is help. And there is still good.
   I want you to know that you are not alone.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Jesus is better

   I gotta tell you something.
   Jesus is better.
   Better than anything, and better than anyone. Better than your wildest dreams. Absolutely, altogether, hands-down the best.
   And you'd think I should get that by now. But every time I think I understand, I don't. Every time I think I've seem the extent of God's goodness, He says, "Hey. Let me show you even more. Something even better. More of who I am. More of why you need me. Let me blow your mind."
   And every time something good shows up in my life, I have to turn to God and say, "You're still better." Because He is.
   I mean, think about it. He's the one who gave the thing to me. The Creator and Lord of the universe knows my needs and my desires. And He cares about what I care about. And my joy brings Him joy. And He is the giver of every good and perfect gift.
   And He is good. God is so good.

Friday, May 23, 2014

obsessed? addicted? infatuated?

   I've been finding myself falling more in love with Jesus.
   There's a verse that says, "Taste and see that the Lord is good." You know that verse? Well, I keep tasting. And I keep seeing that He is good. So I keep tasting. And I keep seeing more of how good He is. So I keep tasting..
   You know that other verse? The one that says, "Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart." Well, I thought it'd be really cool to get the desires of my heart, so I determined to delight myself in the Lord. And the more I delight in Him, the more He becomes the desire of my heart. And the more I desire Him, the more I delight in Him..
   It's crazy. Every time I get to know Him better, or spend time with Him, or serve Him, or read His Word, or worship, the more I want to do those things. It's like an addiction than a hunger, because it's never satisfied. I just want more, more, more of God. He's just so good! I cannot get over Him.
   I've been finding myself reading the Bible more than any other book. I've been finding myself praying in tongues at the most ridiculous times. I've been finding myself watching preaching and teaching videos. I've been finding myself overwhelmed by His goodness and greatness every time I look at the sky. I've been finding myself leaving other conversations to go talk to God. I've been finding myself constantly worshiping.
   I've been finding myself falling more in love.

Yes. I googled pictures of the sky. You're welcome.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

faith means

   Faith does not mean I know what's gonna happen. It just means I know the One who does know. It means I know that He is good, that He has a plan for me, and that His plan is better than anything I could ever come up with.
   Faith doesn't mean there won't be struggles. It means that when struggles come, the joy of the Lord will be my strength. It means He will never put more on me than I can bear, and that He will work all things together for my good.
   Honestly, this situation sucks. It's hard. I don't know what to do, and I don't know what's gonna happen, and I hate not knowing things. But I have faith in the One who knows all things. I know that in my weakness God is strong. I know that His perfect love casts out all fear, and that He will glorified in this.
   Faith doesn't mean it's not hard. It just means I don't have to be afraid.

Jeremiah 29:11
Nehemiah 8:10
1 Corinthians 10:13
Romans 8:28
2 Corinthians 12:9-10
1 John 4:18

Friday, May 9, 2014

things we wish were true

   Sometimes we say things over and over again until we believe them. Things we wish were true, things we're trying to make true. It's as if repetition of a statement proves its factuality.
   Sometimes we say things over and over again to other people until they believe them. And heck, if everyone else believes, why shouldn't we?
   Sometimes we say things over and over again, out loud and in our heads, trying desperately to persuade ourselves of their truth. Sometimes we want so badly to convince ourselves that we convince ourselves that we have convinced ourselves. Sometimes we buy it. Sometimes we take our wishful thinking and make it our reality.
   But sometimes there's a little piece of our hearts, way deep down, that's not so sure.

Sunday, April 27, 2014

current obsessions

  • Pieces by Red. Just hearing the intro gets me all emotional.

  • The sky. It's gorgeous. All the time.
  • Going barefoot. I guess that's more of a lifetime thing than a current thing, but I'm all excited about One Day Without Shoes. It's on Tuesday!
  • Jesus. Also a lifetime thing. But I'm growing more obsessed with Him every day! I seriously cannot get over how good He is. When everything else is falling apart, He's still there. Still strong, still holy, and still loving me. I love getting to know Him better. He is so beautiful! Also, I wouldn't have anything else on this list if it weren't for Him. So bam.
  • Jesus Parties. Basically a bunch of teenagers having church in my living room. I know you wanna come. We're here every Wednesday! And every Wednesday it's awesome. (:
  • Quotes. Frozen. C.S Lewis. The Fault in Our Stars. Lecrae. Titus (AKA the four-year-old that lives in my house). Brave Heart. Jesus. I'm so well-read.
  • Groupies. Like a selfie, but with more people. Feast your eyes on these gems.


Monday, April 21, 2014

poetry in my head

I've been running
down this path
for a long, long time
now I'm tripping, stumbling, falling
then a hand catches me
I look up
and He smiles
at me

P.S. Once upon a time, I woke up with poetry in my head. I wrote it down, even though that made me a hypocrite because I always complain about free verse. Then I debated about whether or not to post it, because I seriously don't even like it. But at the same time, I kinda do. Even though it's not very good. But I felt like I had to own up.
Anyway. Ramble complete.

Saturday, March 22, 2014

but He knows

   So she keeps her mouth shut. And she goes on with her happy little life. And she helps everyone else. And she buries herself in novels. And when it's quiet she lets her brain run wild. And she stands in the shower until the water runs cold. And she thinks no one knows.
   But He knows. And He never leaves her side. And still He loves her.


Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the Lord thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest.
-Joshua 1:9

Thursday, March 20, 2014

The Fault in Our Stars

   I read The Fault in Our Stars. I did it in about 25.2 hours. I did it because Jessie refused to stop raving about it, and I wanted to read it before the movie came out, and I didn't have a book to read during 8th hour, and Shannon had it in her locker.
  You can ask my mom just how quickly and deeply emotionally attached I became. 96 pages in I was venting to her about Augustus and Hazel Grace and hamartias and injustice. The further in to the book I got the harder it was to read, but it was also harder to put down. Eventually, I had to stop reading every few I chapters to catch my emotions and put them back where they belong, before they went on a rampage.
   I finished The Fault in Our Stars outside on my trampoline. It was one of those oh-Missouri-wants-to-actually-be-kind-to-us-and-not-make-it-64-degrees-instead-of-snowing days. I read the last sentence, and I actually didn't cry (which is kinda weird). I was just overwhelmed. I kinda just lay there, drowning in my own emotion.
   So I've been trying to figure out what it is about this book that makes us love it so much, what it is that makes it so devastatingly beautiful. I think I have an idea. You see, technically, The Fault in Our Stars is a book about cancer. But we forget that. Way deep down, in the places that matter, TFiOS is a book about living.
   How is it that two kids with cancer managed to live more than the rest of us even tried to? How is it that John Green managed to perfectly stitch together such opposites as life and death? How is it that we spend all our time trying to understand our existence, instead of making the most of it?
   So I think I've figured out what it is about this book that makes us love it so much, what makes it so devastatingly beautiful: It's the dying that breaks our hearts. And it's the living that puts them back together.

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Was Jesus For Real?

            I just want to know if Jesus was being serious. I mean, sure, we all believe the parts that say that He came to save the world, not to condemn it, that His yoke is easy and His burden is light, that nothing can separate us from His love. What about the rest of it?
            We as the church embrace the parts of the gospel that we like and plaster them on our signs, posters, wristbands, t-shirts, and memory verse cards, and we ditch the rest. We take to heart the parts that save us and ignore the parts that convict us. Is it really OK for us to pick and choose? Are we really worshipping Jesus, or some idol of our own creation that vaguely resembles Him?
            What if Jesus visited our churches? Just imagine. Would He be impressed by the really cool worship band, or the conferences and classes and programs, or the brand-spanking-new building, or the number of people in the sanctuary? I don’t think so. I think He would be appalled. I think He would be appalled at our selfishness, our focus on material things, and our lack of love.
            You see, the same Jesus who calls us to come to Him said, “If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, follow me.” The same Jesus who was moved with compassion commanded us to love our neighbor as ourselves. The same Jesus who went to prepare a place for us had no place to lay His head. He said, “If you forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.” Have we broadened the straight and narrow? He told us to turn the other cheek, to love our enemies and bless those who curse us. We are commanded to take care of orphans and widows. He said, “If any man take away thy coat, let him have thy cloak also.”
            Was Jesus being serious?
            We are supposed to be like a Man who never did anything wrong, yet was hated; who was a King, yet came to serve. We are supposed to love like He loved. We are supposed to live like a Man who died.
            So I just want to know: What if we took that seriously?

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

A Fearless Weekend

   So I went to Texas this last weekend. I know, I know, I never tell you anything. Well, I'm telling you now.
   Pastor Jason took me, five girls who come to my Jesus Parties, 13 kids from Cafe 41, and Miss Christie down to Eastland in a school bus for Fearless Weekend. We spent more time on the road than we did there. It was totally worth it. Here are 10 things I want to remember:
  1. Everyone's names. Probably not gonna happen, but I'm trying. I got to meet so many people! People are my favorite. (:
  2. Praying for Anne in Wal-Mart. We got to Eastland 3 hours early, so we decided to go bless some people. At Holy Spirit's prompting, I talked to an older lady in the canned goods aisle. Then I prayed blessings over her and her family, and asked God to multiply her wisdom. When I looked up, she was crying. Let's just say I teared up a bit. It was awesome.
  3. The fact that it was 80 degrees and I got to go barefoot.
  4. Epic games of Ninja. They started with a few kids from Missouri, and by the end of everything we probably had 20 kids in the circle.
  5. The wise words of Zach Gryder, Chase Hall, and Jason Neustater. "When you are closer to Jesus, you are more fearless." "Love demands action." "Obedience is a result of love, not a means of earning it." "If you fear man, man will control you. If you fear God, God will lead you." "Being fearless is not always fun." "What matters to you matters to God." "Demons tremble because of my identity inscription, not my job description." "Nothing on this planet is worthy of our fear."
  6. The skill it took to take pictures like the ones at the bottom of this post.
  7. This was the first time I didn't use my own pen and notebook. Provided!
  8. Being cleansed with fire.
  9. Fearless = lacking fear = me.
  10. Basically everything.

Monday, February 17, 2014

No Room For Words

   All of a sudden, I have a stronger desire - a need - to write. So much is happening. Inside of me, and around me, and through me. Explosions of color, living water, holy fire, brand new life. God is rocking my world over and over and over and over again.
   It's awesome. I want to remember it, put it into words, share it with the world. I want to write about it.
   All of a sudden, it's so much harder to write.
   Words are hard to come by here. This place, this intimacy with Jesus, is far beyond description. It is so chock-full of emotion, and purity, and revelation, and God that I can't seem to find any room for words.
   But I will try.

Monday, February 3, 2014

C.S Lewis. Smart kid.

   Seriously, C.S. Lewis is so smart. Mere Christianity made so much sense. Read it. It's good. Anyway, he's smart enough that I decided you give a blog post consisting of all the C.S Lewis quotes I've pinned.. Enjoy!

C.S. LewisC.S. Lewis

 C.S. Lewis

yess <3

C.S. Lewis



 This world is not my home!
C.S. Lewis

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Learning What Persecution Is

          Some of us don’t even know what persecution is. We’ve gone through our nice, little, churchy lives, loving what Jesus did for us, but never doing anything radical for Him. It’s like we thought going to church was enough, reading our Bibles was enough, trying to be a nice person was enough. It’s like we were asleep.
          But now we’re awake. The delusion is shattered. All of a sudden, we are more in love with Jesus than we thought possible, willing to do anything for Him, so excited about God that we assume everyone else will be, too.
          But they won’t. Beloved, the world is still sleeping. They don’t want us making a bunch of noise, trying to wake them up. They’re comfortable, and our passion will make them uncomfortable.
          They will be mad at us when our Jesus talk rouses them. They will tell us to shut up, they will throw things at us, they will cuss us out, they will call the authorities. They will hate us like they hated Him.
          Don’t be surprised. We have to be prepared for our friends to leaves, to lose some of our popularity, to be denied opportunities, to be ridiculed and excluded and shunned. We must be willing to be treated like Jesus was treated. And still we must love like Jesus loved.

“But I say unto you, love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you and persecute you.”
-Matthew 5:44

“And they departed from the presence of the council, rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer shame for his name. And daily in the temple, and in every house, they ceased not to teach and preach Jesus Christ.”
-Acts 5:41-42

“Blessed are you when men hate you, when they exclude you and insult you and reject your name as evil, because of the Son of Man. Rejoice in that day and leap for joy, because great is your reward in Heaven.”
-Luke 6:22-23

Sunday, January 12, 2014

This Is Not a Fairy Tale

            God has shown you His love and told you He how feels about you.  You’ve learned that He loves and accepts you.  You’ve been told He desires you, that He delights in you.  You’ve had an awesome experience, an emotional rush, but you don’t think it can last.
            You feel like you’re living once upon a time in a land far, far away, like you’re stuck inside a storybook.  There is no way it’s real.  After all, nothing this good has ever happened to you before.  It has to be too good to be true.
            Wrong, beloved.  This is not a fairy tale.  This is God.  He never changes, never gives up, never leaves.  He loved you yesterday, He loves you today, He will love you tomorrow.  He loves you when you’re laughing, when you’re crying, and when you’re overwhelmed.  He loves you when you don’t even care.
            He created you.  He calls you Hephzibah, because He delights in you.  Your smiles make Him smile.
            He wants nothing more than to spend time with you.  He has so much more to show you, to tell you, if only you will listen.  Just sit at His feet.  Just be with Him. 
            He has infinite love.  He will never. ever. run out.  He is so excited to spend eternity with you!
            He died for you.  Did you catch that?  Jesus, king of kings, creator of the universe, God, thinks you are to die for.  There is no greater love.  He loves you.
            This is real. Beloved, this is not a fairy tale. This is God.