Thursday, December 23, 2010

From my prayer journal...

"No other could ever be as beautiful.
No other could ever steal my heart away.
I am captivated by You."
-Captivated, by Vicki Beeching

No creature can be as beautiful as its creator.  No human can be as beautiful as Jesus.  It's sometimes hard to remember that, though. Some people catch my attention with how kind and beautiful they are.  Oh how easily my eyes turn from You!
Lord, help me always remember how beautiful You are.  May no one ever take Your place.  They could never fulfill the void You so perfectly fill.  You're beautiful and I love You!

"Turn your eyes upon Jesus
Look full in His wonderful face
and the things of earth will grow strangely dim
In the light of His glory and grace."

-Taken from my prayer journal in hopes that it will be a blessing to you as it is to me.

Merry Christmas!

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Open Door

"And You've opened the door for me
And You laid down Your life to set me free
All that I am will serve You Lord."
Oh You Bring ~ Hillsong United

God's opened the door for us.  The door to healing.  The door to His presence.  The door to freedom.  The door to worship Him in spirit and in truth.  The door to everything - everything He has for us.  All we have to do is walk in.  Push through all the debris that's in the way.  Push through the distraction, the doubt, the worry, the fear.  Push through the apathy, the lack of passion for God, the idolatry - the love of this world instead of God.  Present it all to God.  It's okay to admit to Him where you're at, 'cause He meets us where we are.  He gets down on our level where we've fallen and helps us back up again; helps us back to the path again.  Give Him your life.  Worship Him - with your life.  Do everything as unto the Lord, with excellence.

Perfect Peace

"You will keep in perfect peace all who trust in You, all whose thoughts are fixed on You! 4 Trust in the Lord always, for the Lord God is the eternal Rock."Isaiah 26:3-4 (NLT)

For several years I've dealt a lot with fear... mostly at night. I don't know what it was, but I used to get so scared at night that I couldn't go to sleep. I won't go into detail, but a lot of the time there was no reason for it. God's brought me SO far from where I was all those years ago when it was the worst. If I knew the Scripture and promises I know now back then, I would have had more peaceful nights. Thank You, God, for delivering me from fear and the effects thereof.

Over the years, God has shown me things in His Word about peace and dealing with fear.  Every time I heard a sermon about peace, I'd jump at the chance to learn more about it.  My favorite Scripture I've found over the years is Philippians 4:4-7."Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will say, rejoice! 5 Let your gentleness be known to all men. The Lord is at hand. 6 Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; 7 and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus."-NKJThese are the instructions God's given us to walk in peace! Start out with praise. Sing a worship song to Him, delight myself in God, read a Psalm to God, etc. Then I'd examine my life, and if I'd done anything to someone that day that wasn't gentle or considerate I'd repent and make it right with them. And I brought every one of those worries to God. Every time I started getting in fear, I'd give it over to Him. I would pray about what I was scared about, and thank God for answering my prayers. And then I took hold of His promise. That HIS peace would guard my heart and mind through Christ Jesus.

So God has come through in so many ways over the years.  He's given me His perfect peace; about the near and far future. The theme for church camp this year was Jeremiah 29:11 - "For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the LORD, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope." This is my last year of high school and college is coming up fast. I do not at this time know what to major in. I've considered a couple of different things, but... yeah. I've learned to trust God and realize that He has got my whole life mapped out, and He wants me to know the next step exactly when I need it. He'll let me know at the exact right time, and I WILL know His voice when He speaks.

So I want to encourage you today that no matter what you might be facing that God has a GOOD plan for you - to prosper you and give you hope - a great expectancy of what is to come. Maybe you've been dealing with fear too. Get in the Word. Find out God's promises for you about that area. Keep your mind stayed on Him, and He will keep you in PERFECT peace. With no weak points. Rely on His strength and grace, and He will carry you through it. Follow the wonderful instructions of Phil 4:4-7. And trust God through it all. When your mind is stayed on Him, your problems don't look as big. Magnify God and watch the problems shrink in comparison. God will carry you through.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

The Cost

Hi all,

Sorry it's been so long since I've blogged. I can't promise I'll post x amount of times a month, but as God leads I'll post.

My church has a noon time prayer meeting open on the weekdays, and my dad and I attended it one day.  Part way through our time there, I felt impressed to pray for the youth in America. My heart aches for my generation, and even the Christian youth - so many have wandered away from God. I wanted to make a difference - be a voice that draws their attention back to Christ. And then I believe God spoke to me - that I could be that voice online.

Something else that happened during that prayer time was that my thoughts started wandering to a scene in a move. When I realized that I'd gotten distracted, I snapped back to the present and was about to keep praying. Immediately I heard God say loudly in my spirit something that related to the said movie.

This is the scene from the movie I was remembering, at which I was disgusted when I saw it: a man's daughter had come to a proper age to be married. She was beautiful and had captured the attention of a couple men. Her father was willing to give her away to the man who had the largest pig. And he did. (Like I said, I was disgusted, so I quit watching the movie.)
But I heard God say so clearly that some have done just that - carelessly traded something so precious and valuable for a life with the pigs. They have traded a beautiful life with God - walking with Him every moment of every day and living out the amazing plan He has for them - for ease and complacency.

This is where so many of us have missed it, including myself. Too often I've traded obedience for something easier. Have you ever noticed how relieved one is when one comes up with an excuse not to follow God?  It's hard! It's hard to go against the crowd, to deny self of things in the world that look good in order to do what you know God has told you to do. For instance, I believe God wants me to wait to have a boyfriend at this time in my life. It's so hard sometimes to wait, though. I see so many "couples" my age or even younger than me. It looks so good. But I have to go back to what I have heard from God about this, believe that He knows best for me. I have faith in God - in His power, His wisdom, and His goodness.
Then my flesh rises up and I think, It's so hard to always follow God! I have all these things I want to do - that I feel like doing. And what if He calls me to go somewhere I don't want to go, or tells me to say something that goes completely against my personality? What if...?

“If you want to be My disciple, you must hate everyone else by comparison—your father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters—yes, even your own life. Otherwise, you cannot be my disciple. 27 And if you do not carry your own cross and follow Me, you cannot be my disciple. 28 But don’t begin until you count the cost. For who would begin construction of a building without first calculating the cost to see if there is enough money to finish it? 29 Otherwise, you might complete only the foundation before running out of money, and then everyone would laugh at you. 30 They would say, ‘There’s the person who started that building and couldn’t afford to finish it!’" - Luke 14:26-30 NLT

"I once thought these things were valuable, but now I consider them worthless (loss) because of what Christ has done. 8 Yes, everything else is worthless when compared with the infinite value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have discarded everything else, counting it all as garbage, so that I could gain Christ 9 and become one with him. I no longer count on my own righteousness through obeying the law; rather, I become righteous through faith in Christ. For God’s way of making us right with himself depends on faith. 10 I want to know Christ and experience the mighty power that raised him from the dead. I want to suffer with him, sharing in his death, 11 so that one way or another I will experience the resurrection from the dead!"
-Philippians 3:7-11. NLT.

Lord, never let it be said of us that we traded Your plan for ours. God, I have seen what it takes to be Your disciple - to follow after You with everything no matter what I feel or don't feel comfortable doing. God, all that means nothing to me - nothing - compared to knowing You! I want to be one with You in purpose and desire. Let Your plans be my plans; Your thoughts my thoughts. Nothing else is comparable to this! Everything else falls short and will end in vain. Your plans and thoughts are so much higher and better than anything else. I know that You have an incredible plan for my life, and that even when You tell me to do something hard, it is for the best and I will do it. Thank You, God for having such a great plan for my life!

Friday, May 7, 2010

Pure In Heart Tag

Thanks so much to Loca Chica for tagging/awarding me!! I'm not sure what the questions have to do with having a pure heart, but they're still fun, so...

Here are the rules: If you are tagged:1. Post about the tag 2. Pick 10 bloggers who deserve this award 3. Leave a comment on the blogs of the people you tagged letting them know they were awarded

Answer the questions along with your post 1: Apples, Oranges or Bananas? Oooh tough choice. I think I'd have to say bananas.
2: How many siblings do you have? 1 sibling - an awesome younger sister. :D
3: How old are you? Sorry, that's classified. :P
4: Do you live on a woodland, swamp, city, or other? City.
5: Scissors or glue? Scissors. Such handy things. :)
6: Describe your dream house: Big enough for family, not too elaborate though. Preferably with a green belt in the back yard to give the feeling of being in the country/woods.
7: Is your room clean? Depends on your definition of clean. There are a few odds and ends out, but I can honestly clean it in one or two minutes.
8: If you could be a movie character for a day, who would you be? Um... maybe Eowyn in the Lord of the Rings.
9: Italy, Greece, France, Spain or England? England all the way!!!
10: What denomination are you? Non-denominational. :)
11: Do you sleep with a stuffed toy (BE HONEST!!!!) I maybe slept with one a couple of nights when I was like 7, but it wasn't for security. It was just a special doll since I was with my uncle when I got it, so I guess I thought it would be fitting to sleep with it. Lol.
12: Gum, chocolate, or jelly beans? Chocolate!!
13: What is your favorite book? The Bible by far. After that I don't really have a favorite book.
14: Favorite ice cream flavor? Don't really have one... I don't eat ice cream much.
15: If you had to eat one type of food for two weeks, what would that food be? A fruit salad, I suppose. :)
.16: What is your favorite Olympic sport? Tennis. :)
17: If you woke up and discovered that you had turned into Miley Cyrus for the day, what would you do? 3 seconds of absolute disbelief and shock, then immediately after that pray and seek God about why this had happened. Then I follow His instruction.
18: Describe yourself in three words: Creative, quiet, studious.
19: What do you dislike the most? Bugs that bite... like mosquitoes.
20. What is your favorite season?* Spring. :)

And before I list the taggers, let me say what I mean by having a pure heart. No one is perfect. Everyone has struggles in life. But it's the ones that sincerely seek God from a heart that says, "God, I can't do this on my own. I mess everything up apart from you. Show me how to live my life, and give me grace to follow You." Those people whose hearts have been cleansed by God - they are the pure in heart.
(Oh, and if you don't want to answer all the questions, that's fine. I won't keep you accountable. Lol. :) )

Having said that, I hereby tag:
Alexandra at Firmly Fixed on the Father
Zoe at Joyful Sounds
Maiden of Emmanuel
A Twin for God
Holly at Point of View

Sorry, I can't think of anyone else...


*#20 Changed from original.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Better than I was

Today I got home early from orchestra practice - not because I had to leave early, but because they only needed the first four stands in each strings section for certain songs. Every time I go to orchestra practice, I'm reminded of the fact that I'm last chair in the second violins. It's not the most encouraging thing in the world. Sometimes I think I should be at least one stand up, but this is where I am. When I first found out which chair I got, I determined that I was going to be the best player I could be, regardless of position.

Even so, it's still kind of discouraging to take my seat in the last spot in the violin section - especially when they forget to put down a chair for me. Lol. Oh sure, there are advantages, like always knowing where to sit, and being in the back so no one hears any mistakes you make. But still.

Now all that's at orchestra. Outside of orchestra, I play at concerts and events with my dad, who plays piano professionally. I've gotten many compliments, tips (as in money), and encouragement.
I play at church with my youth group, and can improvise and play by ear. I'm still learning, but I'm better than I used to be.

And that's the key phrase here: "I'm better than I used to be." I may not be concert mistress of the orchestra. I may not even be in the first four stands that are playing the other songs. But look how far I've come! From scratching out notes on the violin in an attempt to play Twinkle Twinkle Little Star, to playing well advanced songs like Tchaikovsky and worship songs like "The Revelation Song." And the good news is I don't have to stay here. I can keep progressing; practicing my violin and being a good steward over the "talents" I have been given from the Master. (See the parable of the talents in Matthew 25:14.)

That's something I heard Joyce Meyer say recently - that we shouldn't be discouraged by always looking at how far we have to go, how good someone else is compared to us, etc. We shouldn't be content to stay where we are - we should always be progressing - but we can rejoice at how far we've come in our relationship with God, our instruments, sports, writing, and whatever else you're working on.

And that's another thing - comparing yourself to someone else. And really, that's not doing anyone a favor. God has placed unique gifts in you. Yeah, several other people may play classical music on the violin better than I could ever imagine, but I know that I'm not called to play in an orchestra for a living. So I work on the kind of music I'm supposed to be playing, and get my training from orchestra. Only you can do what you do. No one else will or can ever play exactly the way you do. Some will play worse, some better. But we don't look to other people for the standard - you look to God's expectations. He wants your best, not a half-hearted try. So do it for Him above all else.

Lately I've been realizing how precious and fleeting time is. Between school, orchestra, work, and everything else, it's hard to really find time to do everything else one is supposed to - such as practice different kinds of music, exercise, do chores, spend time with family, and for me, studying to get my license, being head admin of two message boards and actually trying to keep them active. (The last I've always had trouble with, with or without time.) But all this is especially hard when I use free time to get on face book, edit pictures, etc.

So this is where prioritizing comes in. Which, I've done several times before, but I never really stick with it because my schedule keeps changing. So that's why we really need to pray and seek God about which things we should be working on first, how long we should be working on them, etc. Yes, we can spend time relaxing and doing things we enjoy, but don't use every spare moment doing it.

So as soon as I finish this post, that's what I'm going to do. I'm going to pray, and then figure out what I need to be spending the most time on. And if that means fasting some things like face book, so be it.

Anyway, those are my thoughts for the day. Blessings to you all!


Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Spring Greetings

Hello again!

Well, it's not like I've completely forgotten about blogging... it's more like I've been uninspired to do it. I didn't really have anything to write. But today I thought I'd write a note of encouragement to whomever is reading this.

The Health Care Bill finally passed last week. It seems like our nation is on a downward spiral, doesn't it? What could possibly bring our nation back to repentance? Back to where God wants it to be?
I mean, even if the best president were elected today, here and now, would that really bring the right kind of change to America? Probably not. This isn't something that one person can do, or even a group of people.

But it's something that God can do. Only God can change the hearts of people. Only He can cause the greatest awakening that our country has ever seen. And only an awakening TO GOD will really save America.

What part do we play in this? God has not called us to sit back and blame everything on end times. We can still pray. And we can still earnestly seek God about what our part is in the awakening.

It starts with us. No one else will do our part for us - no one else CAN do our part for us. Spend extra time seeking God about this. You know those moments of spare time you have? Waiting in line at the store, driving here and there in the car. Waiting for a concert to start. Those are all times when we can pray. When we're running or bike riding or whatever form of exercise you do, you can pray then. What better way to spend your time? And you don't always have to pray out loud, unless God directs you to. Sometimes you're not in a position where it would be right to pray out loud. God still hears silent prayers.

James 5:16 says, "The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and produces wonderful results."

Matthew 21:21-22 says, "Then Jesus told them, “I tell you the truth, if you have faith and don’t doubt, you can do things like this and much more. You can even say to this mountain, ‘May you be lifted up and thrown into the sea,’ and it will happen. 22 You can pray for anything, and if you have faith, you will receive it.”

Have a great week!


Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Prayer: Ask Him Anything

How much do we involve God in our lives? Lately I've been realizing how much I try to do on my own. Sometimes even after I read the Bible, I'll be like, "All right, I'm going to be humble all day today," and not even ask God to help me with it.

Then a couple of days ago, I was kind of in a bad mood and was trying hard (on my own strength) to get out of it. Then I came across this verse:
Psalm 105:4 "Search for the Lord, and for His strength. Seek Him continually."
And for some reason, even though I'd seen it before several times, it jumped out at me. Search for Him, and then His strength! So I don't have to try to do everything on my own. When I'm really tired and have to go to work anyway, I don't have to try to get through it on my own. I can ask Him for the strength I need for it! But above His strength, I need to search for HIM. I need to involve Him in my life.

When I'm tempted, I'm not on my own. I don't have to try to fight it on my own strength. Even if I do succeed, it's still my own "righteousness" and looks like filthy rags to God. I need to ask God to help me, to give me the strength to do what's right, no matter how hard it is.

Thank You Jesus for the grace that You give us every day as we ask for it!! Thank You that You are glorified in our weakness when Your strength lifts us up. It's then we know that we cannot possibly do anything good without You. Every talent that You give us, every strength, is a result of You actively working in our lives. Help us, Lord, to let You be involved in our lives. Remind us when we try to do things on our own, that without You, we can do NOTHING. All praise and glory to You, God!


Saturday, January 16, 2010

Happy (late) New Year!


So I was wondering if anyone made any New Year's Resolutions. Do you have any goals for the New Year?

I haven't spent a lot of time on coming up with a list, but here are my goals:

1. To have a closer relationship with God every day.
2. To allow God to work in my life; taking away everything that is not pleasing to Him, and replacing it with His love.
3. To exercise physically on a regular basis
4. To excel in playing violin
5. To learn to worship God with my talents no matter what I'm playing/doing.
6. To be bold in talking about Jesus.

The reason I call them goals and not resolutions is that resolutions don't seem to last, while goals tend to be something that I reach for on a regular basis. So have you made any goals for the new year? If so, what are they?