Monday, January 16, 2017

Faith Over Fear

There's this quote, "Pray before you plan, not the other way around." Yeah.... I've had to learn that the hard way. :P This season in my life has been extremely crazy, and just it's been stressful in every angle. The problem is, I always try to figure things out completely on my own. I wanna plan my future the WAY I want it, HOW I want it, and in MY timeframe. I want to have complete control of my life. But every time I get in that worry-trap, trust's not pretty. God is so patient and He's constantly reminding me: anxiety and worrying over the future is not going to change a thing.....He wants us to just have complete surrender and to TRUST Him!! It's SO hard. But it's so worth it. It's such a comfort to remember that He is God, and I am not. He has a plan, and nothing is going to stop that plan from happening. If you are going through a stressful time or anything, I would highly encourage you to pray (even if you don't feel like it!!) It really does help!! I am SO not perfect....but I have a God who IS perfect and He is so patient and loving!! He is reminding me that He has every single itty bitty detail planned out, and He just wants us to surrender and to have faith over fear. This song came on the radio this morning, and was so convicting!!! I pray this will encourage you as much as it did for me. Much love 

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

June 27th is a very special day for me. So Here's the deal: Yes, I prayed the prayer at 4 years old. And yes, I got baptized at 8 (mostly because all my friends were doing it). Yes, I grew up in a Christian home, I memorized all the verses, went to Awana, and did all the right things. But honestly, I was just doing all that because that's kinda what you're supposed to do. Ya know? It was all outward. I only read my Bible because my mom told me to, and Christianity seemed like this big chore. I would lay in bed at night SO scared of dying, because deep down inside, I knew I was not saved.

But I'm so glad Jesus didn't give up on me. Out of the blue (now, I see it was God's grace)... 2 summers ago, I started to feel horrible. Like realllyyyy horrible. It came to the point where one night I absolutely couldn’t go to sleep and I wanted to know for sure that I was going to heaven. So late on that night of June 27th, 2014, I felt such an urging feeling on my heart and tearfully was just crying out to God and begging Him to give me a heart of surrender. Right then and there, Jesus took full hold of my life. I remember turning in my Bible that night to Philippians 1:6 (which is now my very favorite verse!), which says: “He who began a good work in You WILL complete until the day of Christ Jesus.” I’m so glad God continued that "good work" in my heart. This is not because of me whatsoever. This is 100% His work, because on my own, I didn’t want anything to do with God. So today, June 27th, I would like to give a very special shout-out to JESUS! He is amazing. If it wasn’t for Him, who knows where any of us would be?

Saturday, March 26, 2016

~*The Uniqueness of Christianity*~

Religion says "DO." Christianity says "DONE."
Religion says, "Do lots of nice things so hopefully, maybe, possibly God can accept you into heaven."
Jesus says, "ALL have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. That's why I died for you, so that you can know for sure you will have eternal life..." ↓↓
WHY? Because He loves us. It should've been should've been us dying on that cross. Jesus said I LOVE I died INSTEAD of you.
HOW? We can't do anything to earn eternal life. Jesus said, "It is finished." And He meant that. All you need to do is accept His free gift of salvation...which is not earned by your own merits, but by Jesus' sacrifice alone!
YES, He died. BUT...He didn't stay dead!
IF Jesus remained in the grave...we have nothing. Absolutely nothing. We wouldn't have a reason to live life. However, three days later, He arose and lives victoriously!! We have hope just because He lives.
THIS is the uniqueness of Christianity. All the other "gods, good teachers/prophets, etc..." are in the grave.
Because He lives, I can face tomorrow,
Because He lives, all fear is gone;
Because I know He holds the future,
And life is worth the living,
Just because He lives!
Happy Resurrection Day!
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life." John 3:16

Monday, February 1, 2016

{More than Conquerors}

{ I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh.  For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary to one another, so that you do not do the things that you wish.}  Galatians 5:16-17

 You know that moment when you're flipping through your Bible, and then BAM that 

verse pops out at you!?! Yep. That's kinda what happened with this passage up there. 

mean, I've read Galatians before, but this time God really used those verses to show 

me something new. The struggle is so, so real. It is such a constant battle. It's a war: 

between the spirit who lives in us...and that--oh, so bothersome flesh!! Lately, especially 

with certain struggles and things going on in my personal life, I can truly say just how real 

that struggle really is. I want to do the right thing...but it feels like the flesh is 

so much more powerful and the temptations are so strong!! As verse 17 says, "...and these are contrary to one another, so that you do not do the things that you wish."  

That's why I love verse 16 so much, 

"Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh." It says to walk in the spirit to kill those fleshly really abide in the beauty of Christ. What find to be really helpful, is to recite this verse to myself every time I feel like the flesh is winning in that battle. And pray. Pray,pray, pray. And the really awesome news is that whatever you are facing 

dear friend, know it is different for everyone in our different walks of life, but 

it is so comforting to remember that greater is HE that is in us (the 

spirit of Christ that indwells us) than he who is in the world (aka the flesh)! And remember, 

in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us (Romans 

8:37). When we continually walk in the spirit, we don't have to let that flesh win! No 

weapon formed against us will remain....because we are MORE than conquerors through 

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Friday, January 1, 2016

Reflections of 2015....

As I am sitting here by the window with my tea (and chocolate...of course!), listening to the pitter-patter of the rain...I can't help but reflect on all 2015 brought with it...lots of joys, disappointments, trials, lots and lots of learning experiences. As the year comes to a close, I am realizing how much God has really been SO faithful through it all. He used the trials that this year brought with it to grow me. He used the difficult times to teach me that He is the only One who's always there, and I can run to Him when I have nothing left. It's true that I have approximately 2 million things I need to work on in this new year, and it is very discouraging just thinking about it...BUT the good news is that He is not done with the work He started in me (thankfully!), and He's not done with the work He started in you. God won't stop that beautiful work until we are fully, completely, and gloriously beautiful. He's got a great big plan, that He is unfolding one step at a time. I can't wait to see all He has in store for us in 2016!! Happy New Year everybody (and belated Merry Christmas)!
"Being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ." Philippians 1:6

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Gratitude Changes Everything!

1 Chronicles 16:34 O give thanks to the LORD, for He is good; For His lovingkindness is everlasting.
Well, today is November 26th, 2015....Thanksgiving day! I can't believe it! I mean, we just had New Year's, right? :D So much time has passed, so many things going on, and this year has probably been my very craziest/busiest year yet, with a very heavy school load, work, and everything. God has kinda been convicting me lately.....I feel like with all the busyness of life I tend to easily get distracted and forget how greatly blessed I am.  Here in the U.S., we take so many things for granted and we have everything--and I mean EVERYTHING at our fingertips. There's literally an app for everything these days...I seriously saw an app that could turn on your light switch for you from your phone. I'm not kidding. LOL. And we have so much stuff! To say the very least, we have so much that it's hard to remember to be thankful for everything God gives us, for me at least. The world tries to deviate and shift the focus from being thankful on "Thanksgiving" to making it a  "Thanksgetting" because we get so caught up in what we can get. Did you know, that if you have food in the fridge, clothes on your back, and a roof over your head, you are richer than about 70% of the world? The other day at our church's youth group, we were watching some Operation Christmas Child clips (I put one of the videos at the bottom of this post.) It really touched many things do we take for granted and not even thank God for? It breaks my heart to see that so many children are orphans, having hardly anything more than the clothes on their backs. You'd be surprised just how happy those sweet little kids are to just receive small things like a toothbrush, or soap, or some other thing like that. This Thanksgiving, let's remember to thank God for all we have, and take joy in the little things. Gratitude changes everything! Oh, and HAPPY THANKSGIVING!!

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

I Am Not Ashamed

I was literally crying a couple of weeks ago when I saw the news about the Oregon college shooting. When man is without God, horrific things happen. However, those students were not ashamed to declare their faith, and boldly say "I am a Christian", KNOWING that would cost them their very lives. They knew the consequences, yet did not deny Jesus. Wow. This is a big wake-up call for us as Christians. Will we stand up? They were not ashamed. I am not ashamed. 

Thursday, October 1, 2015

No Matter What!

If we have died with him, we will also live with him; if we endure, we will also reign with him; if we deny him, he also will deny us; if we are faithless, he remains faithful— for he cannot deny himself.” (II Timothy 2:11-13)

I honestly don't even know where to start. All I can even say is, Lord I need You. Every hour I need You! I am speechless. Ok. So I probably should explain what I'm talking about here. It would take about a thousand words to really go into it, but just to summarize I have my times in my walk with Jesus where I'm walking very close to God, and other times where I'm not doing that so much. Lately, certain hardships have come and it's kinda been one of those "not so much" times. When trials come, I doubt His goodness, I doubt His love. My faith becomes weak, and it feels like I'm just on shaky ground. Then....this verse comes along! If we are faithLESS, He is faithFUL! Even when difficulties come, it reveals just how doubtful I can become. But how absolutely wonderfully amazing it is to be assured that He is still faithful. Jesus! My precious Savior is still here for me, and He's here for you. He loves me, even when I'm not very lovable. He cares for me, and He cares for you, dear friend. I am learning that even when you just can't feel Him, He still cares. He is faithful. No matter what. 

Friday, August 14, 2015

His Daily Sufficient Grace

"Oh, goodness, I'm never gonna get this right," I very frustratingly tell myself when I just can't seem to get a certain aspect or character trait in my life right.  Will I EVER EVER just do what God wants of me, with a willing attitude!!!?????!!!! I've got my flaws, that's for sure. So very, very thankfully God saw what a dirty mess I was, and so loving and so mercifully saved me  from my sins.  Will be perfect after we're!!  Ok, as you can see, I, uh...have my days :) Good news: God is good. He is made perfect in our weakness! His grace is sufficient for our flaws, and He gives such an outpour of it. Though we fail Him daily, He gives us His grace so willingly. And once we give our lives to Him, nothing--and I mean nothing--can take us from His grasp! The struggle is real, my friends. After we are saved, we are no longer enslaved by our own flesh and sinful patterns. We have a struggle--between our flesh and the new man. The apostle Paul said in Matthew 26:41 "Watch and pray, lest you enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak." This is sooo true, especially in our modern-day culture! It is very hard to live in a Godly way...I mean, you don't have to go very far to face temptation. It is literally everywhere! So what in the world are we supposed to do about that!!?? Well, we've got questions. God's got answers! Psalm 119:9-10"How can a young man keep his way pure? By guarding it according to your Word. With my whole heart I seek You, let me not wander from Your commandments." It says we have to seek God with our whole heart. We can't just expect to get up one morning and have a very close relationship to Him. Nope. We have to seek God first as a priority...which I in no way have achieved, and have to work on! :) So what are some practical ways we can make effort to grow in our relationship with God?? One way is spending time in the Bible, really studying it. Also, one thing I've learned is: Time spent in NEVER wasted! I go through certain trials and difficulties, and at times (believe me) I can be an absolute emotional mess! :P During these times, psalms such as this one are such a comfort: "When my heart is overwhelmed, lead me to the Rock that is higher than I" (Psalm 61:2). But after praying, the burdens I'm carrying seem so much lighter because I know that God's got everything in control--I've just got to trust Him. Trust is the key! This other verse here is also absolutely fantastic: "He who began a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ." (Philippians 1:6) Truly, sanctification is a process. Sometimes trials are tools and blessings in disguise to grow us closer to God and to refine us. Even though we fail, God is always there with His daily sufficient grace. Aren't you thankful for that??? I know I sure am. 

"Am I fully prepared to allow God to grip me by His power and do a work in me that is truly worthy of Him? Sanctification is not my idea of what I want God to do for me--sanctification is God's idea of what He wants to do for me." --Oswald Chambers