Friday, December 07, 2007

14 favorite Bulletins from Hillsong Fans

I just wanted to be able to save these and reference them in the future so I am going to deposit these little nuggets here. You may read them if you like... but they are really for me :)

#1 Be Compassionate!!

You've probably heard the saying that "you may be the only Jesus someone ever sees." There may be a desperate person who is in need of something as small as a smile or a little money, and you might be the best or the only example of Jesus' love to them! With this in mind, look for ways today to live with true compassion and a caring attitude toward others. That's how you can plant seeds of God in someone. You may not be around to see the seeds grow into a large and beautiful plant, but you could make a life-changing impact where you are!

#2 Experience Satisfaction !!

You can experience satisfaction. That's right; no matter where you're at, what is troubling you today, or what has happened to you in the past, true satisfaction is close at hand. It's found in a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. And along with the satisfaction that God gives you, peace and joy will flood your life to an overwhelming degree! This satisfaction and peace is not temporary, it's not just here until something bad happens. Experiencing true satisfaction in God lasts for an eternity. You can live the way you were born to live, the way God intended for you to live! With God's satisfaction, you can live a healthier, happier, and victorious life for as long as you live.

#3 Worry, or Worship?

The enemy would love to get you worrying instead of worshiping God. When the devil brings you thoughts of worry, anxiety and fear, let them be a reminder for you to thank God that His answer is on the way. Say, "Devil, thank you for reminding me," and then say, "Father, I thank You that You are at work on my behalf." That's what King Jehoshaphat did. The people of Judah were surrounded by three major armies. It didn't look like they had a chance. This godly king was probably bombarded with thoughts of fear and anxiety. But he gathered the people together, lifted his eyes toward heaven, and prayed the simple prayer in today's verse. Jehoshaphat's prayer was answered. God told the people to march right in to the enemy's camp, singing and shouting praises on their way. Notice, they weren't worrying—they were worshiping—and God delivered them. Do you need a victory in your life? Then learn to worship instead of worry!

#4 Be Refreshed!!

Nothing is more refreshing than having some crisp, cold water to drink when you're dry, thirsty and tired! If quenching your thirst feels so good and invigorating, then imagine just how much better it feels to refresh your spirit and soul. That's what God had in mind when He stated that He desires for you to come before Him and plug yourself back into His unlimited strength and victory. The same should be true of your time with other believers. When followers of Christ gather, it should be uplifting and refreshing for everyone involved, and make each person leave the place different than when they came in.

#5 Make Worship a Priority!!

People who have their priorities in the right order are also joyful worshipers! God intended worship to be a way of life for those of us who love and follow Him. That means you can spend time worshiping and praising God throughout the day, every day! It doesn't matter if you're at home, at work, at the bus stop or enjoying a ballgame. Take time to worship God for who He is and thank Him for all the blessings He has given you. And be sure to spend time reading His Word. Your Bible is the best tool for discovering your God-given purpose—that calling the Lord has designed uniquely for you. The Bible will tell you who you are, what you have and what you can do. There's nothing like the excitement of discovering the treasures God has for you in His Word.

#6 The Power of What You Say !!

The Bible teaches to choose your words wisely. In fact, God's Word says life and death are in the power of the tongue. That's why you need to be very careful about what you say each day. Your words can either be a positive and encouraging influence, or a discouraging one. It may be easier to grumble and become negative when things aren't going your way, but God calls you to speak words that strengthen and lift others up. When you do that, you will be blessed as well. Today, experience a new sense of joy by speaking positive words of faith and victory over your life and those around you.

# 7 Your Dream!!

Surround yourself with the right people and you can fulfill the dreams God gives you. Put yourself in relationships with people who are not only like-minded, but are also seeking to honor God in their own lives. Here is a thought to consider today: if your friends don't point you toward God's goal for you, then they're not very good friends. You want to be around dream-builders, not dream-crashers! When you prune the relationships around you, you're not cutting things out of your life; you're making room for growth so that you can reach your God-given potential! When you make room for God's best, you can walk away from the lesser things that the world has to offer.

#8 Victory Over Depression!!

Does your happiness depend on everything in your life being just right? If you think you can't be happy until all your circumstances are right, you will never be happy. We all experience times in life when we feel down for various reasons, but we can't allow our circumstances to control our emotions. Satan seeks to fill our minds with negative thoughts and emotions that cause us to feel down. He is a discourager, and he pulls us down emotionally, spiritually, financially, and in every way he can. But Jesus is our Encourager, and He came to lift us up. He came to give us righteousness, peace and joy, and all these things cause us to feel up!

Everyone experiences times of frustration and distress over unfulfilled hopes and dreams. When things don't go according to our plans, it is normal to feel disappointment. But we must be careful how we deal with that feeling, because disappointment is the beginning stage of depression. If we remain in a state of disappointment for too long, it can turn into discouragement, despair, and finally depression. Psalm 30:5 tells us that ...Weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning. Things may make us feel sad temporarily, but we must not stay sad. Just as we cannot afford to stay mad very long, neither can we stay sad very long. If we do, Satan takes advantage of the open door and pushes his way further into our lives, bringing more serious problems with him.


Our number one enemy is emotions. We tend to be led by how we feel, but we must realize that feelings are fickle; they change from day to day! We should be careful not to follow every thought that comes to our mind because our thoughts and feelings don't dictate truth to us. For many years of my life, I experienced regular depression. I would awaken many mornings with a little voice in my head saying, "I feel depressed." I believed this was my own thought, not realizing that it was Satan making suggestions to me through my mind. Later, when God drew me into a closer walk with Him and I began seriously studying His Word, I learned that I didn't have to follow every feeling and thought that I had. I began to speak aloud and say, "I will not be depressed." I learned to put on the garment of praise spoken of in Isaiah 61:3. We may not always feel like praising, but a victorious person does not have the luxury of living by feelings.

I've learned that staying disappointed can cause me to start feeling discouraged, which is a deeper problem than disappointment. But I've also learned that you can't be hopeful and discouraged at the same time. So as soon as the devil attacks us with disappointment and we start feeling discouraged, we need to turn to the Holy Spirit and allow Him to fill us with hope. A brief period of discouragement may not have a devastating effect, but long-term discouragement can lead to depression—a very serious problem.


Depression is defined in part as "a hollow; being in a low state; a state of sadness; dejection." The real cause of depression is not where we are, but our attitude about where we find ourselves. It is possible to learn to live on the other side of your feelings. We will always have feelings; they will never go away, but we can make our feelings line up with our decisions. That's why God gives us the fruit of self-control. James 4:7 tells us to resist the devil, and we must also resist depression, and anything that resembles it, because it is of the devil. Philippians 4:4 says, Rejoice in the Lord always [delight, gladden yourselves in Him]; again I say, Rejoice! If we stay filled with the right thing, the wrong thing has no place.

If you don't let the devil impress you with what he does, then he can't oppress you; and if he can't oppress you, then he can't depress you. So choose to be led by the Holy Spirit and you can have victory over depression. We can choose to keep a hopeful attitude by renewing our minds with the promises found in God's Word. We can claim the promises as our own and stand in faith, believing God to help us overcome our feelings and move forward into better things. We can't control all of our circumstances, but we don't have to let what happens today ruin tomorrow. We can actually turn things around by making a decision to let go of the situations that caused the disappointment and discouragement, and move toward the good things God has planned for our future.

Many people are depressed because they can't face truth, but the Holy Spirit came to reveal truth to us. We can't get past depression until we quit making excuses and blaming everyone else. We must face the truth and take responsibility for our actions. When we do that and ask God to help us, the spirit of heaviness leaves us and we feel light and free. Jesus tells us in Matthew 11:30, ...My burden is light and easy to be borne. Being depressed about circumstances does not change them, and it is a total waste of time and a thief of joy. So we must stop letting our feelings, mind, body, and past experiences rule us and allow God to give us a fresh plan, a new idea, a new goal! You can experience victory over your emotions by being led, guided, controlled, and ruled by the Holy Spirit, whom Jesus sent to us as our Comforter, Counselor, Helper, Intercessor, Advocate, Strengthener and Standby to remain with us forever (see John 14:16). Thank God, we don't have to be disappointed, discouraged, despondent, depressed, or in despair. Jesus is not only the Way, but He is also the way out! Jesus is our healer, our glory, and the lifter of our heads.

#10 Enjoy Life!!

God wants you to be fulfilled and whole, to enjoy a trusting and hopeful life of joy and peace. Your life is a great gift straight from the hand of God, but you must learn how to slow down and enjoy it more by refusing to worry. Don't take yourself quite as seriously as you did before. Lighten up and learn to laugh often, because life is too short to live it worried and depressed. Learn the joy of living to give, which means making service to God and others a main priority in your life. Begin today to make each day a joy-filled walk on your journey of faith!

You may be hurting and aching from your past, but take heart for God is with you! God wants to help you recover these things, as well as the lost years of blessings. In fact, His desire is to give them back to you in even greater abundance. No matter where you are today, no matter where you've been in the past, God wants to give you a new future filled with joy, fulfillment and abundance. God's power will help you break the chains of your past so you can face tomorrow anticipating His blessing and favor. Look ahead to the blessings He has for you, not back to any hurt or suffering that may be in the past. So if you're looking back today, turn around and start looking ahead.

God wants to give you great and mighty things. He wants to unleash the blessings of heaven right into your lap. But He also wants you to work and fight for them, because only then are they desires of your heart. Sometimes Christians pass up blessings because of a lack of commitment and faith. Don't be one of these believers — dig in your heels, stand your ground, and fight the good fight of the Christian faith! Stay focused and ready to step up to what God has called you to do. Whatever your step of faith needs to be, take it today. Don't wait until everything is perfect. God wants better things for you in every area, but He wants to know that you desire these things as well. He's ready to fight for you, so you know your effort won't be in vain.

#11 Let It Go!!

There are people who can walk away from you.

And hear me when I tell you this! When people can walk away from you:
let them walk.

I don't want you to try to talk another person into staying with you,
loving you, calling you, caring about you, coming to see you, staying
attached to you. I mean hang up the phone.

When people can walk away from you let them walk. Your destiny is
never tied to anybody that left.

The bible said that, they came out from us that it might be made
manifest that they were not for us. For had they been of us, no doubt
they would have continued with us. [1 John 2:19]

People leave you because they are not joined to you. And if they are
not joined to you, y ou can't make them stay.

Let them go.

And it doesn't mean that they are a bad person it just means that
their part in the story is over And you've got to know when people's
part in your story is over so that you don't keep trying to raise the
dead. You've got to know when it's dead.

You've got to know when it's over... Let me tell you something. I've
got the gift of good-bye. It's the tenth spiritual gift, I believe in
good-bye. It's not that I'm hateful, it's that I'm faithful, and I
know whatever God means for me to have He'll give it to me. And if it
takes too much sweat I don't need it. Stop begging people to stay.

Let them go!!

If you are holding on to something that doesn't belong to you and
was never intended for your life, then you need to........


If you are holding on to past hurts and pains ......


If someone can 't treat you right, love you back, and
see your worth.....

If someone has angered you ........


If you are holding on to some thoughts of evil and revenge......


If you are involved in a wrong relationship or addiction.....


If you are holding on to a job that no longer meets your needs or talents


If you have a bad attitude.........


If you keep judging others to make yourself feel better......

If you're stuck in the past and God is trying to take you to a new
level in Him......


If you are struggling with the healing of a broken relationship.......


If you keep trying to help someone who won't even try to help themselves....


If you're feeling depressed and stressed .........


If there is a particular situation that you are so used to handling
yourself and God is saying "take your hands off of it," then you
need to......


Let the past be the past. Forget the former things. GOD is doing a
new thing for 2007!!!


Get Right or Get Left .. think about it, and then .


"The Battle is the Lord's!"

# 12 Attitude of Expectancy !!!

The enemy has a goal for your life. He wants to steal your hope and joy, he wants to make you so discouraged that you just quit and give it all up. He knows that if you get discouraged and down, you will eventually settle for less than the best, and less than what God wants from you. The right attitude and mindset will prepare you for your miracle, but that can't happen if you're down and discouraged. God may take His time to accomplish what He wants to do in your life, but you can't lose heart and allow the enemy to claim victory. God will allow everything to pass as He sees fit. Your job is to have an attitude of expectancy. The rest is up to God!

# 13 Its Too Soon To Quit!!

God wants to give you great and mighty things. He wants to unleash the blessings of heaven right into your lap. But He also wants you to work and fight for them, because only then are they desires of your heart. Sometimes Christians pass up blessings because of a lack of commitment and faith. Don't be one of these believers — dig in your heels, stand your ground, and fight the good fight of the Christian faith! Stay focused and ready to step up to what God has called you to do. Whatever your step of faith needs to be, take it today. Don't wait until everything is perfect. God wants better things for you in every area, but He wants to know that you desire these things as well. He's ready to fight for you, so you know your effort won't be in vain.

#14 Awesome Video!!

Lifehouse everything skit... youtube it!

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Merry Elfin Christmas!

Hey, I just made a total elf of myself. Check it out by clicking the link below.

a beautiful quilt

Today as I was finishing my second day of training at CF Cafe I was struck by the beauty of the people that were gathered in the room. It was as if all these people had been carefully chosen as a quilter would select squares for a quilt. Some were gathered a few months ago, others were placed in the hands of the quilter by friends or family, and still others fell into place just before the final pieces were to be sewn together. The end result... beautiful! This master quilter did not select just any squares. These squares were to be used in His kingdom. These squares had been woven together layer by layer and each one had a message stitched into its center. Each message alone would not be complete. But together the message of this quilt read clearly and spoke into the hearts of every soul who saw this quilt. This quilt was something that was looked at by many. Each square discovered that its messages when stitched together with the other squares enhanced the beauty of the quilt. The quilt would never have existed had it not been for the delicate and deliberate selection of each individual square by the master quilter. Each square alone was still just a square. Together the squares became a message that would resound in the hearts all who gazed upon it. It was a message that spoke differently to everyone who read it but still managed to work its way into their hearts.
As I look back at what God has done to bring all of us together at the Cafe I am excited and in awe of His plans. I had no predetermined ideas of how all of us would connect, I had no expectations of divine appointments being scheduled. It has only been two days and I can already see the intricacy the Lord has been working on for months. He has chosen each one of us to work side by side. As we are "knit together" the awesomeness of the Lords plan will become more clear. Our messages will only ring stronger as we connect. Each one of us remains stitched together with the most loving care as only our Father can.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

A funny essay I wrote last year


Finding ones mate is an important part in the life of most male and female persons. As to how one can obtain a mate is the reason this essay is being composed. I have been fortunate enough to know multiple couples who have found each other through cyberspace. Each has a unique story and will cement the idea that finding your mate starts with logging onto your home or office computer.

Option One. Chat Room. Find an interesting chat room that is not trashy or crude and strike up a conversation with another chat room visitor. Remember to use your manners and to avoid stupid pick up lines such as, "I lost my number, can I borrow yours." Be sure to dazzle the other chatter with your quick wit and sensitivity. Soon enough simple chatting will open doors to a lifetime romance. The couple that I know who met in a chat room have been married for seven years now and have three children. They are happy and more in love each day; thus proving, that chat rooms are a perfectly good option for finding your mate.

Option Two. . Such websites are meant to maintain an understanding of who you are through many questions delving through the layers of what makes you… you. Subsequently comparing your answers with the answers of other site patrons you will be matched with someone who compliments you in all areas. And you might even get to see a photo of the person who is so perfectly suits you. It will only costs you $39.99 (per month) to look into his or her eyes and be swept off your feet. Knowing you are matched in multiple areas ensures you will live happily ever after. The couple that I know who met on have been married for three years now. They are happy and more in love each day; thus proving, that match sites are a perfectly good option for finding your mate.

Option Three. Write an ad in such hosts as Yahoo Personals. Be sure to write a clever catch phrase to draw admirers to your ad. Write as much or as little as you want someone else to know about you. Feel free to share intimate details such as your favorite color, movies, and vacation spots. Including information about hopes and dreams is completely up to you. Surely the details of your ad will capture the attention of your soul mate. The couple that I know who met through a personal ad have been married for three weeks now. They are happy and more in love each day; thus proving that personal ads are a perfectly good option for finding your soul mate.

Now you understand that the internet is a gold mine for those in search of a mate. Don't waste any more time. Get on the computer. Venture into a chat room. Fill out a questionnaire. Write a personal ad. You have nothing to loose except finding the love of your life. If after you have tried all of the options I listed and you still can't find your mate, I have only one conclusion. Your mate does not have a computer.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Pursuit of Me

I am a hopeless romantic... so sue me. I am a girl who wants (as one of my favorite musicians JJ Heller once wrote) someone "who'll love me for me, not for what I have done or what I will become". Yes, I am blessed to have the LOVE of an amazing Heavenly Father, yet, I do want to be loved by a man here on this amazing Earth! That is not too much to ask. I don't think so anyway. No my eggs are not withering and dying off. I am still a young fertile girl. I don't need to go off and get things "harvested". I am just searching for someone who will bring a smile to my face and whom I can see God using both of our lives together to make a difference in this world for His glory. Yeah, I am an optimist. I won't let this world bring me down. So what if most of my friends are married! That doesn't mean that I have passed my prime and am stuffed into the category of being an old maid! I have so much to offer! These past couple weeks I have woken up to the concept that someone pursuing me is exactly what I want. To be his first thought in the morning, to be his last call before he turns in for the night, to be the object of someones affection. That is a precious thing! Something that I hope every person in my life gets to experience. I think about all that I can do as just one person. What if I had someone with a like mind who was committed to similar passions? What if there was someone to push me out of my comfort zone and challenge me more in my faith? I see myself growing with this someone even before we have met. I don't know why some people are "called" to be single and others are not. I just know that I don't feel that call... I feel the call of being a mother and a nurturer. I feel the call of being a lover of my husband through better and worse. I feel the call to reach out to nations hurting and in search of a Saviour. I feel the call to be a friend and mentor to the younger generations. I feel the call of teaching the difference between what the world views as love and what the bible teaches about love. I feel the call to share my life as an open book and say "to HELL with you devil! God already has the Victory and gets ALL the Glory in my life!!" I feel the call to take medical care and knowledge anywhere that the Lord leads me.
I don't know how it's all going to work out. I am just hoping that my partner in ministry and just every day little things is someone I get to know soon. This adventure called life is more fun when you have someone special to share it with. So... someone... my special someone... come in pursuit of me! :)

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Been awhile...

Just realized that it has been awhile since I updated my blog. So much has happened in my life over the past four months...
I am no longer working at the bank! Praise the Lord! That chapter in my life came to a close near the end of March and I couldn't be happier. I met my seven year mark! That means I was fully vested in my 401k! pretty crazy to already have had one career at age 26. I am now working part time at a smoothie shop and am loving the deliciousness of frozen fruit goodness that I get to partake of every day I work there. It has been said that smoothies are my spiritual gift. I will not deny it. :) ha! I am hoping to get a job at the YMCA within the next month. Lord willing that door will open. It has been a desire of mine to work there for quite some time.
Happenings in my family have been a little crazy. I took a trip with my sister to the UK and this journey turned out to be a whole lot more than I imagined it would be. The best part about that trip was that I got to stay with my dear friend Jo while we visited Edinburgh, Scotland. She is the reason, along with the strength that the Lord gave me, that I got through the two weeks with my sister. Not enough time to finish this post so more to come soon :)

Monday, April 09, 2007

father where art thou?

Yesterday was Easter... a time of family, a time of celebration, a time to embrace the miracle and huge gift of Christ's death covering every sin of the world and then His glorious resurection. Yesterday was a hard day. I could not sleep most of the night. I lay in my bed thinking and dreaming ~ drifting in and out of uncertain dreams to more thoughts of loss and sobering grief. The hardest part of my day was recieving an email. If you don't know me... my family has been "under attack" for most of my life. So yesterday I went to church with my mom and little brother, then we drove to Federal Way to have lunch with my grandparents. On the way we called my dad to wish him a happy Easter. No answer. We all yelled our happy greatings over the phone and told him we love him on his voicemail. Even now I cry because loving my dad has been one of the hardest things in my life. Loving without expecting any love in return is so hard! And loving when you are continually hurt is hard too! So we went to my aunt's house to say hello to some cousins and I was reminded more of the way satan has tried to destroy my family. My cousins who are 29 and 30 talked about how they never want to get married because of the pain that marriage has caused in their family. Satan is trying to destroy and kill the beauty of marriage. It breaks my heart to hear them talk of such a wonderful gift. Yeah, marriage is hard work and all, but to give up on marriage before you even try... that is just sad! I want to bring truth back to their lives and remind them that all things are possible in Christ. They invited me to Portland for a girls weekend and I pray that God will use me to encourage them in their faith. Even though I am younger than they are, for some reason, they occasionally listen to what I have to say. God please prepare their hearts and mine for the words you want me to say.
After getting home from my aunt's house I checked my email... To my joy and pain I found an email from my dad. "Happy Easter," it said, "Hope you have a great day... Dad" That's it. Why did an email from my dad hurt so much? If I had been on another continent or another state, or if he had lost his voice... then maybe it wouldn't have hurt so much. But my own dad could not pick up the phone and wish his youngest daughter a happy Easter. I didn't even get an invitation to visit him. Thoughts filled my head... He only has time for his "new" family now. Ouch. The tears still roll...
So this morning after deciding that I could not go to school on two hours of sleep I tried to shut my eyes and my mind off again. The dreams did not cease. I got up and took a shower to wash the pain away. When I finished getting myself ready I went into the kitchen and started on the dishes that were starting to take over the counter tops and stove. I turned on some music and God swept me to another place. A place where my heavenly Father was waiting to embrace me and weep with me. God reminded me that He will give me the strength to love my dad even when I don't think it's possible. God reminded me that He is a redeemer of marriage and that He can change the hearts of my cousins... if they let Him. God reminded me that His heart breaks with mine when I am hurting. I sat in His embrace as His tears washed over me soothing my soul. He knows every pain, every tear, every question, every thought, every dream. He knows the depths of my soul and His heart is so much bigger than I can even imagine. He spoke to me, as I lay my head on His chest and heard His tender heart beat. His voice renewed my broken heart. He spoke words of life over my heart. Father where are thou? Though my earthly father breaks my heart... my Heavenly Father is picking up the pieces and restoring me to wholeness. A wholeness that can only be found in Him. I breathe a deep breath and my eyes are now dry. I can rest in the knowledge that my Heavenly Father will never let me down. He is my strength and my song.
Lord renew my love for my earthly father. Give me your strength, because my own strength is too little for the task. Teach me how to love like you love. Lord break the chains that are entangling my family. Bring truth and light into their lives! Use me Lord to show them more of who you are. Thank you Lord for your perfect love. sigh. In you alone Lord... I find that I can face today.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Be Glorified!!

God is so amazing! I have had an epiphany that I think the devil is not happy about. God showed me about how in our weaknesses He is made stronger. How when we share our weaknesses that God has the victory in that area of our lives... well, Satan is defeated and shown that he has no hold on that area anymore and God gets the GLORY. ALL of the glory!
I feel like the Lord wants me to share an area of my weakness so that He can get the Glory. As I sit here in my pink chair typing away my heart races because I am nervous of what the world will think of me. I have been ashamed of myself for too long. God wants to show that He has done a work in my life so that I don't have to sit in silence anymore and so He can be glorified and use my weakness for His glory! He really can use ALL things for His glory!!
Here goes...
So it all began when I went on a blind date. I met a boy who I thought was cute and a little shy but I wanted to give him more of a chance to come out of his shell... so we dated.... for 16 months. I don't think I had ever had that much affection from a man in my life. He was showering me with attention and I wanted to spend all of my time with him. I was lost in a world of love and affection, caught up in feelings and overwhelmed with the wonder of being physically and emotionally close to a man. It wasn't long into the relationship that I began to lose myself to the person that this man wanted me to become. It wasn't long before the boundaries that I had spent so much time in my life preparing came crashing down as I chose to compromise again and again. The dreams that God had for me slowly became blurred and my vision for His will became so distorted as I continued to chose my own will and my own desires over what I knew was right.
There was a time in the summer of 2005 at his church when the pastor was preaching about getting as far away from our sin as we possibly can. At the very moment the pastor read that verse I felt the urgent need to get up out of the pew and run out of the church. Did I? Nope. I sat there and brushed that verse aside saying that it was for someone else. Another sinner whose sin is so much "worse" than my own. As if I could measure my own sin compared to someone else's sin. Oh how I wish I could change that moment and have changed my reaction to that verse. I wish that I had gotten up and never looked back. I learned through that moment that God never gave up on me. He was trying to protect me the whole way through that relationship and I kept pushing Him aside, saying that my choice is better.
When I was a youth I pledged to God that I would save my virginity until marriage for my husband. That I would save sex for the marriage bed. I even filled out a form and signed it. I had a bookmark declaring my pledge and one of my youth leaders saw how committed I was to staying pure. I think I blocked the specific day from my memory because of the shame that came over me that day. It happened so quickly and I remember telling the Lord to shut up and that I was going to make my own choice. Fooling around quickly escalated and after it was over I found myself shaking in a blanket tears streaming down my face. What had I done? Who had I become? We both prayed for forgiveness and asked the Lord for His mercy. We pledge to each other that it wouldn't happen again. I wish that were true. It wasn't long before we chose to disregard the boundaries that we had established and to lose ourselves to sin yet again. My heart became callused as I saw myself become someone that I could not respect or even look at. I had distanced myself from my friends so they were unaware of my sin or my struggle. I was alone in my sin and Satan tormented me with the constant reminders of my sin and the awful sinner that I had become. I was fighting an internal battle with myself. Though the Lord had not stopped talking to me I was unsure His voice in my head. Did I recognize His voice anymore? Would God still talk to me even if I was living in sin? Did He want to communicate with a daughter who told Him to shut up? Would His grace cover my sin as I chose the sin again and again over what His word told me?
I finally got to the point of acknowledging His voice again. In December of 2005 God put several areas of weakness in our relationship on my heart. He reminded me of the dreams He had for me. He reminded me of the strengths that I once valued in a future husband. He reminded me of the relationship with Him that had been waining away. I knew in my heart at that point that I needed to break up with my boyfriend. That is when the internal struggle of my future began to play into my choices. I wanted to have stability, I wanted a family, we wanted to be married soon! My family was a chaotic mess and his family was "normal". I wanted to have security and was determined that my security would be found in a husband. We both wanted to have a baby and were already picking out names for our future children. My plans were so exciting! My plans were exactly what would bring me wholeness in my life. That was the only problem... they were my plans and not the Lord's plans!
The hardest part for me was coming to grips with the plans that God had for me and choosing the future He wanted for me... the future that had so much mystery to it. "For I know the plans I have for you declares the Lord, Plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future. For when you seek me you will find me..." (Jeremiah 29:11-12) Another struggle for me was the thought of breaking someones heart even if it meant being obedient to the Lord. I found myself wanting to fill the place in my boyfriends life were I knew only God could meet him. It took me about five months to break free from my own will. I shared some of my doubts with my boyfriend and every time he assured me that I was just nervous, I was the one with "cold feet". I was still caught up in sin and unsure of the Lord's forgiveness. Satan told me that if I got out of this relationship no one would ever want me because I was "used" and a "dirty" sinner. My self worth went through a downward spiral as I believed the lies that the devil threw at me.
I went to visit my sister and mom in Spokane and had a five hour drive there and five hour drive back to spend in prayer asking the Lord for His truth and His will for my life. I cried out to the Lord for five hours and sang His praises igniting a fire in my soul that seemingly had forgotten how to burn. After the first five hours in the car I arrived with the assurance that the Lord wanted me to end the relationship. I was broken. The friend that my life had revolved around for the last year would be torn apart. I cried for the whole weekend as God continued to assure me that His will for my life did not include my current boyfriend. Would he be ok? I questioned Gods ability to meet my boyfriend in his time of brokenness and decided that I would wait another month before I broke it off. I tried to distance myself from him and we still struggled with sin in our relationship. As God continued to open my eyes I was disgusted at what our relationship had become. The month went by and our breakup took three whole days and then another month before we cut the friendship off completely. To the very end we struggled physically. Sin so easily entangled us. When our relationship was finally over I felt as though a part of me had died. I didn't know that my heart could actually feel like it was broken. I cried for a week.
Looking back I see that God was using that time to bring me to a place where all I had was Him. I could do nothing on my own strength and had no strength of my own so I was fully dependent on the Lord. I began to hear His voice clearly and to cry out to Him each day sometimes every hour it seemed. God reminded me of who I am in Him and that ALL fall short of the glory of God but then again that is the reason He sent His Son. My "dirty" sin was covered by the blood of Jesus on the cross of Calvary. Every fallen moment I had endured was wiped away because of the unmerited gift of Christ death and eternal forgiveness. Who I was I was no more. God took me from dirty garments of yuck to fresh and pure gowns of glory. God reminded me that I am wonderfully and fearfully made, I am a masterpiece created in Christ's image to do His works, I am a sinner saved by grace, I am a child of God, I am forgiven because He chooses to forgive me. He brought me out of sin and redeemed my life. He has called me back to His plan and I now choose to live in His will. His plans for me are so much better than anything I could ever "hope or imagine". God has done a work in my life and He deserves ALL the glory! Thank you Lord for not giving up on me. BE GLORIFIED IN ME!!!
I know that if you are a friend of mine reading this you may be shocked and you may not be surprised at the same time because you knew I was in a struggle while in my relationship. Thank you for all of your prayers. I know it was your prayers that helped bring me back into God's will for my life. Thank you for loving me during a time that I wasn't very lovable. May the Lord bless you and encourage you with the work He has done in my life. As I let out a sigh I feel as though a weigh has been lifted off my chest and am encouraged by the thought of others being blessed because of the trials I walked through. I say it again... Lord, Be Glorified in Me!

Monday, February 19, 2007

Valentines Fun!

Why'd you have to go and make things so complicated?

Do you ever feel like you are living someone else's life? Like you are going to wake up in the morning and your reality will seem a bit easier than it has in the past?
Last week was a great week... I had a Valentines party at my house with some girl friends and celebrated the day with fun and fellowship. We played MASH and had treats and I even gave a special gift to a couple friends... A grown your own boyfriend! It grows 600% in 72 hours! It started at about three inches and isn't growing as it promised. Oh well. Life goes on. Later in the week I got to catch up with old friends from Lighthouse who are now busy with married life, and now babies and our lives just aren't as entertwined as they used to be so it was really fun to get to see them again. Our talks used to be alot more about boys and other silly things. I have never talked so much about babies in my life! This is definately a different part of our friendships.
This weekend was filled with more fun as I fellowshipped with a new friend who is a bosom friend. I definately see Gods hand in bringer her to P-town. She has been a blessing in my life. :) It was great to spend the weekend with her. Sunday night at prayer God showed up (like usual) and was very much talking to us. It is so exciting each week to come together and see how God is going to move in our lives. It is a joy to see people hungry to hear from the Lord and patiently waiting on Him to speak. God's presence was so thick in the room that I could breathe it in. What a precious gift to be a part of that.
Oh. Last week my sis called me and told me that she is going to pay for me to go with her to England! I am so excited!
Today I found out some perplexing news. My sis is getting divorced. She hasn't told anyone else in the fam and doesn't want me to say anything. uugh! Yet again I am asked to stay silent when I don't agree with something that is happening. Whats worse is that she met someone online from Wales who we are going to see while we are there in March. And they love eachother!?!!? And they both are in other relationships right now?!!?! UUGH! I feel sick inside! I feel like she tricked me! I am so frustrated and don't know what I should do.
I do believe from the moment that she told me that I was going with her that God had something up His sleeve and wants to do something in both our lives during this trip. I am just at a loss. I am excited to see what God is going to do.
At the same time I am praying for the right job to become available. I am applying a several locations to try and get a job in one months time. I am stressing out even though I know God is going to provide! He takes care of the lilies and the birds and He cares so much about me. Why do I get so stressed out?! My stomach is turning. God please help me. Quiet my heart and let me find some kind of understanding which is not my own. Bring me peace and wisdom to know what your will is in these situations. Erase my tension and help me to give this all to you. I am not able to carry any burden on my own strength. Lord have your way. Have YOUR way! Show me YOUR way! I want to be obediant and faithful to what you are calling me to do LORD! Solidify your will in my life. Confirm my next steps as I step out into the scary unknown. Teach me to trust beyond my own understanding. Help me to rest in who you are.

Monday, February 05, 2007

its been awhile

So. I was thinkin I should write something because I haven't for a few months. It has been another busy phase in my life. Busy work. Busy keeping up with my mom. Busy trying to suceed in my education. And busy trying to have some small social life in the midst of all the busyness.
One thing that has not been so busy in my life is the area which is most eternally impactful. I have been so busy that I haven't been in the word and have often missed church. Lame on me!!
Today I was thinking about how I am feeling overwhelmed and am needing direction and having a hard time hearing. I wonder why!?! (sarcasm) I have been so busy that I haven't taken much time to listen lately. Do I even recognize His voice anymore? Is that something I can forget? Ok. I might be getting a bit dramatic. I have been in
prayer a lot during the last few months. I am just feeling like I am missing something in my relationship with the Lord right now. I can't seem to put my finger in it. I will ask the Lord to show me what it is. He says ask!
I can hear His voice and it is often the only thing I want to listen to because life can be so draining and distracting. I just wish I could get rid of the distractions more often in my life. Maybe I need a clean sweep. A time to reprioritise. God help me know what I need please! Lord I am so thankful that you never give up on me. You are my only constant and my saving grace! I am so thankful that you don't just stop giving grace all of a sudden, or only give grace on certain days of the week. Nope. Your perfect grace is new every morning and complete with your perfect everlasting love! Thank you Lord! I just love you so much! I pray that you will strengthen me in my areas of weakness and use me for your glory to impact this world for you. Use me. Mold me. Shape me. Change me. Cleanse me. Sharpen me. Strengthen me. Refine me.

This quarter in college has been harder than the last quarter. I am realizing how important it is to be organized... an area which I truely struggle with. And also realizing how much more I need to study and stay on top of things in my classes. I am depending on alot of grace for the rest of this quarter. God told me last quarter that if I am faithful in my studies He will show himself faithful in equiping me. So... I have been a bit of a slacker this quarter and am picking myself up, dusting myself off, and getting back on track with my education.

Other things in the life of me...
my best friend got married and I spent a month with her before her wedding helping her prepare and enjoying her company before she headed out of the country for two years. It was so much fun and just amzing to get to spend time with her and her husband after they were married. He showed me how much he loves her and my heart was at peace knowing he would give her all the love she needs. It is sad to think she will be gone for two years. But I am excited thinking about the possibilities of visiting her all over the world. Australians are fun! She married an Aussie and his family came to Washington and I had the priveledge of hangin out with them in Seattle and also Vancouver. They are just great people! I hope they come back again soon. :)
As for my love life... ha! just kidding... it isn't really in existance right now... I so love the Lord though!! I will just continue lovin Him forver and praying for the man that God has to be my partner in life and ministry. God I hope that you show him to me soon!! But I will try to be patient until that time comes.
I am getting tired and I have school in the morning. I am off to bed.
Until next time...

May your smiles be many and may your life be blessed!!