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“Be the Change You Want to See in the World” -Gandhi [29 Aug 2011|01:31pm]
With the help of my current devotion Building Better Relationships, I have realized it is a consistent process. I knew eight lessons would not have instant success in creating and maintaining relationship, but hoped it would make the process easier. I have been encouraged to keep fighting and as Gandhi said, “Be the change you want to see in the world.” I used the adjective fighting in there because it’s true. It is so easy to sit back, relax, and let the relationships in my life just fade away but that is not what I’ve been called to do.

I have been told “I’m too nice” and never really knew how to react to such a statement. I used to shrug it off, think it was a bad thing, and then worry about trying to toughen up a bit. Now, I have peace knowing “I’m too nice” because the world is not used to seeing someone who genuinely cares about them the way I try to do. My faith in God makes me feel all warm with an inner joy I cannot help but share with everyone I meet. If that makes me too nice, then I’m only trying to live the way Jesus did when he walked the earth. Am I close to his image? Far from it, but I’m trying…

With that said, I am going to summarize what I’ve learned from the past two lessons of the devotional. Encouraging one another is something as a Christ follower must do. Everyone thrives on recognition and praise in some shape or form. I do not intend to just throw out encouragement because I tend to connect what I feel to what I say. In turn, I should not encourage in hopes I would get it back. << This has been the hardest lesson I have learned. It’s been easy for me to encourage others, but hard to accept I may not get it back. God has reassured me, “No one will be able to stand up against you all the days of your life. As I was with Moses, so I will be with you; I will never leave you nor forsake you.” (Joshua 1:5)

By taking this road in life, I know it’s not all about me anymore. My self-importance isn’t greater than another. My self-occupation is not important as someone who needs me. My self-affection needs to be lower than someone else. My self-protection needs to be open to hearing what others think and feel. My self-inspection should not be controlled by my emotions but my obedience in what is right. My self-sufficiency is to be pushed aside when I have help come by way. By giving it all to God, I have room for others in my life than just “me, myself, and I.” This opens doors for connections in others and a chance for me to honor them. Everyone craves a sense of self-worth and acceptance. This is easier to give people by honoring them in a Godly way. I have learned to balance conversations where it’s equally what is on someone’s mind and then what is on my heart. It’s not as easy as just listening until it is my turn to speak, but to be really interested in someone to create that open atmosphere of honor and care.

I don’t blame my birth order by being the youngest of three on being selfish, but for as long as I can remember I wanted attention or praise. Throughout life, I have done things that would bring achievement in my life. It’s not a certificate or a passing grade, it is more than that. Once I realized there’s nothing I can or cannot do to lose God’s love for me, I felt different. I looked at my parents and realized they did the best they could raising three kids and knew the hole in my heart for satisfaction had to come from something bigger and greater than you or I. Now, I am made whole by a love that consumes my heart and outflows into how I see the world.
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Daily Devotion from Joyce Meyer [23 Aug 2011|05:07pm]
[ mood | blank ]

A Powerful Compass
by Joyce Meyer - posted August 23, 2011

And let the peace (soul harmony which comes) from Christ rule (act as umpire continually) in your hearts [deciding and settling with finality all questions that arise in your minds, in that peaceful state] to which as [members of Christ's] one body you were also called [to live].
—Colossians 3:15

People who do things they don't have peace about have miserable lives and don't succeed at anything. If you are doing something, like watching television, and you suddenly lose your peace about what you are watching, you have heard from God. He is saying to you, "Turn it off. Go the other way." If you lose your peace when you say something unkind, God is speaking to you. It will save you a lot of trouble if you will stop talking or apologize right away. God leads His people through peace. Anytime you lose your peace you are hearing from God. There is nothing more powerful than the compass of peace in your heart. Follow after it. Follow peace!

From the book Ending Your Day Right by Joyce Meyer. Copyright © 2004 by Joyce Meyer. Published by Warner Faith. All rights reserved.

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When I look in the mirror... [23 Aug 2011|04:06pm]
[ music | Sanctus Real "Redeemer" ]

… I don’t recognize myself. Is it because I’m finally seeing a 24 year old body catch up to how old my mind feels?

For the past few weeks, I have gone on three different interviews to obtain an internship for the fall term to graduate in December. I just had my last interview today and I am unsure how it went. It seems this past month I’ve been doing what the world is telling to me to do. I am trying to follow the rules to get where I need to be, a graduate with a BA degree. Well, let me know tell following this path has taken a toll on me.

Right now, as I type this I just want to see the world differently, capture it, and encourage others to look at his or her own world differently. Step out from the ordinary and follow your heart and never look back. If I took my own advice, I would be in a park people watching in between yoga and writing down what I feel. I can assure you that feeling beats the feeling I have in the pit of my stomach: uncertainty.

The devotional I am reading to trying to help be Build Better Relationships. The last lesson I just learned reminded me my calling is not all about me. My calling is to build the kingdom and reach out to people. Am I doing that? By following the rules the world has put in front of me is preventing me from following a different path.

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I should... [19 Aug 2011|01:08am]
[ mood | cold ]

... be more open. I didn't want to post this, but this is me trying to be more transparent.
... bed in bed.
... be more willing to move forward in God's direction.
... stop complaining.
... step out in faith more.
... be on my own (away from living at home) by now.
... be more social.
... reach out more.
... stop being selfish.


The list goes on, but each in an entry/story in itself. I'm not sure if I want to post this is my "spiritual journey" blog, but who knows it's going on 1am as I type this. I've been off work for the past few days and my soul has been quiet. (I've been left home alone while the family works and carries out their day.) It's been different not being able to talk to a human being other than through the computer or phone via text message. I did my devotions and felt encouraged, but after the Bible was shut I needed something more. Substance.

Wednesday night, my church had a worship night that happens once a month called "Engage The Spirit." It's an amazing two hours of worship to just bask in God's presence and refresh. I invited a friend and he showed up for the first time. As usual, I got a few words for others and felt good responding to God's voice for others. When the Pastor came up on stage to talk about anyone feeling in a dark place to come forward, I knew the Spirit was talking to me. I've been lacking (I call it substance) the light in my life. I'm going through the motions of what I'm suppose to do. I'm obedient and receiving messages for people, but nothing for me. I've had moments where God reminds me that he is still encouraging me and showing me the way, but really I'm in the dark. Our Pastor said sometimes God does this so we become completely reliant on him for our next move. We must be careful not to "turn on the lights" through our own torches as a means to find a different way or way out of this darkness. I know I need to dig deeper to get the journey moving, but it's not easy. I already knew this journey would be like climbing a hill and I've started it and now I need a push up.

I hope I'm making sense...

I guess the trouble I'm running into is EVERYTHING.

- The life group I had is no longer taking place. It was a mutual decision that we were entering a season of change. Now, I don't have a "circle" of friends I know I'll see every week. It's a friend here or a friend there, but we hardly see one another.

- The job I have is "flexible" with me because I'm part time, but I don't want to lose their respect for me. Hours = a steady paycheck

- Internship hunt: Since this summer I've looked for an internship to take, get school credit, and graduate. I did one on my own (the gym B-Fit), applied for two, and got great compliments but no position. I've been getting great leads, but it goes back to the infamous question every employer says: "It's really what you want to do."

- What DO I want do?? In the advertising agency world, I know I have a creative edge who is stronger in leading. I adore words and how I am set free with them. Is this God's plan or my own?

- Emotions are all over the place. I got to love this day in age... I found out on Facebook that a friend from high school passed away and my best friend is seeing someone in the same week. Really? I'm such a what's the word relational person, that I would rather be told in person than read about it and cry on my own. Does that sound fair?

- Nothing is or ever will be fair. In my house, you schedule yourself to make dinner, and then you don't have to do dishes. No one volunteered to make dinner on Tuesday night, so I did and what else did I do? Dishes. I was scheduled for dinner tonight, but had a lot to get done today and guess what? Asking for help was when I got laughs. Yes, I got the help but in the end I did the dishes. I know dishes is not the issue here... I'm big on fairness and consistency. What does everything just change like that??

- Season of loneliness has been on my mind since I've entered this darkness. Our Pastor said it well on Wednesday night when he said if you try telling someone about this, they just don't understand. It's not that they don't want to or aren't trying to, it's just something each person experiences differently. My heart aches for a connection or a flicker or passion and to just follow it wholeheartedly!

All that comes to mind is to do what I need to do to graduate school. Internship somewhere. Contact Every Nation Ministries and see if they need interns. I receive their monthly newsletter and when I read it, I immediately wanted to know who made them. I want to write a story or book about how God is moving in my life and people SEE God through me. Words are my life, but there's so much more complicated things in the way sometimes. I'm going in circles because I am trying to not run away, but to find my next step in Christ. It's hard because I am unhappy in a lot of areas of my life right now. The Lord knows this, but he is strong in my weakness.

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Dear Friend, [14 Aug 2011|08:08pm]
[ mood | okay ]

When the world around me starts spinning, God is there. I feel that way right now because my calendar is getting full of commitments I have made and in the midst of it all, God is there. Where are my friends? I've called a few, but no return calls yet. I went to a YP (Young Professional) Meeting at SCC where singles 20's and 30's meet. I felt encouraged in the next phrase of my life to dig deeper into what is God trying to say and do for my life. I bought a book that is an 8-week lesson on Building Better Relationships. I would recommend it for you, but a women wrote it and that may or may not appeal to you. I promise you this, after each lesson I'll try to blog about it and even offer you to read it when I'm done. No worries either way. After the first lesson, I feel I need to take care of personal issues I deal with before I can open up to others the way God wants me to.


(sighs) I'm discovering this world is full of distractions and disappointments and maybe that is because I put so much hope in people instead of who truly deserves it, God. He has never stirred me wrong, but yet I question the direction he gives me. When he brought you into my life, I was challenged to seek God more to give you more answers to prove to you God is moving in my life. Maybe that was selfish and far from God's plan, but I do know you have continued to challenge my calling and embrace it more than ever. I am meant to help people and climb this hill in front of me.


If you have a chance, go to http://www.southpointcc.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=72&Itemid=44 and hear Pastor Russ' sermon from last week about "Faithfulness." He talks about climbing a hill that God presented to him about 5 years ago. It struck a chord with me and my life. I know I started the process to climb up and in this time, I am being tested left and right. I am almost forced to rely on God for my next source of income, hope, love, and so on.


Finding God's love isn't only going to be read in the Bible; it is given to us in the Bible as a foundation and then applied to our lives. I pray you know this and are seeking your own ways to use what we have learned: God is love. He wants us to be used for his purpose and that means our calling is to increase the Kingdom. I have become more bold and asking questions with those who find it hard to believe in God. I listen more, love more, and just explain God has shown me his unconditional love through BLANK. (Bible verses applied to a life story I have experienced). It doesn't change anything, but it starts the conversation of opening up and sharing my faith with others. I do not fear my job, life, or what tomorrow brings. Am I worried? Sometimes, but I think that is because a day without the word I almost feel like I lose my footing in my walk.


I am not even sure if this is making any sense, but I wanted to simply say I don't know as much as you think I know when it comes to God's love because I'm still embracing it in a new way everyday with him. I apologize if this disappoints you, but I thought I would be honest. I'm glad God has been moving in your life more than he has been over this summer! Sometimes when we are in seasons of loneliness (that's what I'm in), we find God in EVERYTHING we do (school, work, responsibilities, etc.). Do I miss seeing people that care about me and I care about? Sure, but maybe it's God's way of showing me I am loved by him first and foremost and he deserves my attention right now in the midst of all my chaos.


May God Bless this season of your life and journey,

Rachal

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It's Time For A Change [11 Aug 2011|01:11pm]
[ mood | bouncy ]

It's hard to start this entry with the right context because so much has happened since I last wrote/talked to you. (: For starters, "busy-ness" is how the devil keeps me away from reaching out and doing God's purposes. If I stay busy, then I don't have time for things like this or sharing life with others when I know I need it most. With that said, I am trying to discipline myself in more areas of my life to keep what's important important, and what is less important less important. (I hope the grammar and structure of that sentence makes sense. I'm a nerd, I know.)

Last week at work, I saw a book that caught my attention: Building Better Relationships I picked it up and read the back (I think we all do that) to get a synopsis of what material it carries. the first sentence reads, "Every woman longs for satisfying, intimate relationships...but what is they best way to create and sustain them?" Immediately, I knew in my heart and mind (when those are in line) this was the book for me!

To briefly explain where this is coming from: )

Isn't it funny (more like ironic not funny ha-ha) how God works right before our very eyes and we are in awe everytime?? My intention of this entry was to share the first lesson of the Building Better Relationships which has opened my heart two times over, but after searching online for a bible verse, I was given a link I couldn't look away from:
http://www.igoglobal.org/apps/igochallenge.pdf

I scanned it over and felt my heart telling me, I need to this THIS challenge. Right before I started writing this blog, I was looking at my notes and saw a statement I have heard at my church say over and over again: Know.Grow.Sow.Go. Silly me, I said in my head "I am between Sowing and Going, one day I'll go" and that's when I started writing this entry. Now, I have a pdf file of a iGoChallenge. That is ALL God! In my notes under the statement my church says, I have written: "Your destiny is heaven. So align up your life with God and your purpose will find you!" All of this is from Pastor Russ and Pastor Eric putting God back into my life over the two years I have rededicated my life to Christ.

I am sorry if this entry is "all over the place" as it wasn't my plan, but truly this blog was to express how God's plan is moving in my life. If I just get out of the way and cast my fears/doubts/complaints aside, God can MOVE in powerful ways if I just let go of those strongholds. Please share with me what is God doing in your own life. I'll pray for you as you are praying for me. Thank you for your support, friendship, and prayers for we are not alone in this walk we've been called to live!

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Ignorance is bliss until it smacks you in the face [29 Jul 2011|02:25pm]
[ mood | refreshed ]
[ music | Eat. Play. Love. starting :] ]

As I sit here waiting to leave at the very last minute to go to work, I am reminded of the simple things. I have been questioning and challenging my role of what God wants me to do. Instead of asking God (knowing he has given me confirmation and probably give it to me again in his timing), I decided to stay ignorant and not go to him. Instead I found confirmation coming to me instead of me going to IT. I know God was behind it all, so in the end He gets all the glory...

I read on Facebook: "I'm tired of creating back up plans and deciding what I think will be best for my own life and what will make everyone happy. Time to trust God and re-learn dependence on Him. 'All my hope is in You, God | I am steadfast, I will not be moved.'" -Lauren Clemons and was moved. "I'm not the only one questioning my own path?"

And then there's Matt Iannatto from my night class at UNF. After class was let out we found ourselves in a conversation where he knew God had big plans for him and he was going to chase them no matter what. I started to complain (like I always do) how I'm in a pickle. "I could graduate in December for May... I am stuck..." and all Matt said was "It'll all work out in the end. Sometimes God wants us to step out of our comfort zone before we find comfort in him." Wow, really?

As I just typed it out I am so glad God reminds us how MUCH he loves us in many forms. He doesn't stop at one "I love you, wake up this morning because you're going to bring glory to me." He continues to allow us to be surrounded by family and loved ones. He has given us a job and the ability to serve him in a FREE way. The list goes on and on, but the matter of the fact is I'm not scared or uncertain of my calling ANYMORE. I KNOW I suppose to be a leader for his people. Simply put, I just want to help people and bring them closer to God and their purpose.

I received my EveryNation newsletter and read a story from Gregg Tipton about his Financial Teamwork: Partnerships That Have Changed The World. After reading his article, I was amazed. Yet again God was showing me his love by showing me what he has done for Gregg's life and what can happen in my own. Gregg has traveled the world and on college campuses for God. He raised support to do what his calling is for in life. I know it's what I am going to be doing and have been afraid. Yes, afraid because my pride hasn't allowed me to ask people for help/money/anything. "I like being people's "rock" so why would I show myself as weak" is what I used to think. Now, I know it's going to kick prides' toosh by humbling myself and ask people to partner with me and my purpose God has given me. It's not going to happen overnight if I'm making babysteps, but I'm generating the newsletter and will be updating this as soon as I get more details of the proper path to follow. This is all NEW to me, but it's an exciting adventure I cannot wait to take part in...

In the past day, I've received many messages via facebook, cell, and voicemails about prayer requests. It's amazing how much bigger and bigger it grows. I'm not trying to brag saying I'll get the job done by praying--I'm just acknowledging how my life story is revealing to people who and what I stand for in life. I'm not just Rachal, someone you know. I am Rachal, child of God who will listen why you are being treated unfairly right now or say a prayer for you with you right now and after we stop talking because I am that type of person. I am Rachal, God's Overseer for His people.

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Our God is an Awesome God [24 Jul 2011|01:02pm]
[ mood | hopeful ]
[ music | "Hope Now" -- Addison Road ]

As I sit at my desk typing this, I cannot think of a better way to say "Our God is an Awesome God" other than that. He is simplistic and yet powerful in his ways. He does not try to confuse us but rather the God of perfect peace. He knows we need him so he never leaves knowing we will turn to him for the up-tinth time. So after not being able to sleep last night (our A.C. was broken), it got me thinking that transferred into today's devotional:

Streams through the Desert
p. 47 "Strength for the Trials" &
p. 48 "Be Still and Know"

God has given me words for people and it makes me feel good to help others. Really and truly it brings utter joy just knowing I had helped someone. Now that I have been "disconnected" from the world due to schedules and us being out of sync, God is giving me words for myself. This is nothing new, but it always comes as a shock to me. I am shocked how he is willing to spoil me for a moment like this morning to focus on just Rachal. Maybe you don't quite understand and it's because... ) ... I haven't told you before and am sorry I haven't trusted you enough to share it. (You is a universal you with many people in mind.) Sometimes I just want to be heard without breaking the ice first. Childish, I know.

Through the passage of reading I came across this:

The sullen blackness gloomed above us as if it would last forever. And out of the dark there spoke no soothing voice to mend our broken hearts. We would gladly have welcomed some wild thunder peal to break the torturing stillness of that over-brooding night. "But your winsome whisper of eternal love...spoke to us. We were listening and we heard. We looked and saw Your face radiant with the light of love. And when we heard Your voice and saw Your face, new life came back to us as life comes back to withered blooms that drink that summer rain."

My interpretation of this is the rain symbolizes a desire we want and God is the one that brings it to us. When the world around us lacks what we want, God provides us with love to take care of that want. If it wasn't for him and his love, I know I could/would be a messed up person. I'm not going to go into specifics, but I could be far off than I really am. I just need to get this through season with my amazing Savior. When the season changes, I'll be surrounded by those who care about me and feel that closeness of friendships I've been desperately missing.

Hope Now by: Addison Road )

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How Do I Gain Wisdom? [22 Jul 2011|01:00pm]
[ mood | productive ]

In Job 28: 12-13 says, 12 “But where can wisdom be found? Where does understanding dwell? 13 Man does not comprehend its worth; it cannot be found in the land of the living." And again in v.20 “Where then does wisdom come from? Where does understanding dwell?" Do you think our Lord is trying to say something here? We cannot proclaim ourselves as wise because we haven't been given that right. It lies within the power of God to give us a part of his wisdom almost as if he allows a willing, open vessel (us) to be filled.

Are you living for your own selfish gain? How far has that gotten you? Do you have this inner joy that you cannot contain that you are sharing with everyone you meet? If you do not know the answer to any of those questions, then I challenge you to rethink how you are living this life God has given us.

There was a time when I heard those questions and I felt convicted to change. I used to think change was something I loathed because of the obvious, it was change. After many trials of changes of the seasons, I realized change was inevitable for me to gain what I have today: wisdom and a calling on my life to tell others about it to bring them to their purpose. I strongly believe I had to let go of the flesh and earthly desires to find my desires in God. I wish I could paint a picture for you with what I am trying to say.

Imagine this: Our Father in Heaven full of wisdom, love, and perfect peace watching us from above. When we need something we pray to him and ask for his help; do we not? Through this process of reaching to him, he delivers in his timing what we shall receive. (But Lord I want a boyfriend to feel loved. My bills are past due, I need favor in money now. My life is a wreck get me out of this.) Sound familiar? We ALL have legitimate prayers that need his attention and he gives us that attention but not always in the way we want him to. By realizing his timing we build up a stamina and dependence on him through these trials and prayers. Through this dependence God is glorified as he becomes the center of our lives. By us bringing his glory he delivers the desires of our heart. Through this process, we are given pieces of his wisdom, perfect peace, and love. We get filled by pieces of him we are made "whole" and the things we were praying for are being set in motion for our greater good.

Now back to those questions I asked you earlier: Are you living for your own selfish gain? How far has that gotten you? Do you have this inner joy that you cannot contain that you are sharing with everyone you meet? After you have received his favor, are you back to the same lifestyle you were living before the process or trial began? Job 28:22-28 ) We think we have received his favor, so we question if we really have it by living in the world away from God. Through the Lord testing us he confirms whether or not to have a piece of his favor. By shunning evil we turn from our old ways and selfish desires/gain, and find wisdom and other blessings that can ONLY come from God.

Job 33:26 says, "He prays to God and finds favor with him, he sees God’s face and shouts for joy; he is restored by God to his righteous state." And v. 29-30,33 (v.29) “God does all these things to a man—twice, even three times—30 to turn back his soul from the pit, that the light of life may shine on him. 33 But if not, then listen to me; be silent, and I will teach you wisdom.”

"Be silent and I will teach you wisdom." (shakes head) So many times I have questioned the trial or season I am in. Who hasn't? All God wants us to do is rely on him more and be silent so we can gain wisdom to receive his favor. If you gain any more wisdom or favor from the Lord from this, it was for his glory! I only doing what he has called me to do... to bring his people closer to their calling and true purpose for their own life.

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How Powerful Music Influences Us [21 Jul 2011|10:28pm]
[ mood | peaceful ]
[ music | Sanctus Real ]

For the past few weeks, I have been "busy" with [insert schedule of priorities] LIFE and through this season of my life I feel disconnected from people. I could schedule a phone chat or meet up with someone, but frankly it's hard to find someone who has the same free time. It's sad, but RIGHT NOW I'm free for an hour (til I make myself get ready for bed) but who is up? Did I call anyone? No but.. but let's move on

Without the connection of people (like when you are in school or at working seeing people consistently), I have been turning to music. I have been driving around more and listening to The Promise on 91.7FM or K-Love on 88.1FM. Through this I have heard more music from Sanctus Real and am absolutely moved by them! Each song they have produced just plays right to my heart. I hear the song and immediately try to find it on youtube to see a fan video with lyrics to start memorizing the lyrics!

The latest I have heard is "Redeemer" and "The Face of Love". I encourage you to youtube them if you haven't heard them before because they are gooood! My goal for the upcoming posts will be how these songs have spoken to me. For now I just wanted to say it's amazing how God can reveal himself through an band like Sanctus Real and speak words of love to us. What are some of the music you listen to that speaks to you in a powerful way? I'd like to hear them!

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Crossroads [19 Jul 2011|02:26pm]
[ mood | bouncy ]

In 1 Timothy 3:1-13 (in reference to Overseers and Decons)

1 Here is a trustworthy saying: If anyone sets his heart on being an overseer, he desires a noble task. )

I have been stuck in this fork in the road where I can almost feel myself being launched into success. It is as if I a step to the left I am doing what God has planned for me, and if I take a step to the right I am going where I want to go. Shouldn't it be less complicated than that? I read in Psalm 37:4-7 ) and felt like a V8 moment was coming on. (A time where you just want to smack yourself in the head and say, "duh!" :]) If I'm following God, then the desires of my heart come from him. It's no wonder I've been stuck HERE uncertain of what my next step is because I'm questioning whether it's coming from me or God. It is coming from God to follow him in the center of my life AND follow the desires he gave me.

With that said, what are the desire of my heart? I want to continue being an Overseer of God's people. I want to be available to those who need guidance, wisdom, or a laugh to be there for them. I realize now that I do not have to jump into the ministry to do that. I just need support of prayers and encouragement along the way to know I'm not doing it alone. I've been making templates of future newsletters to send out to people and I wasn't sure what to write, but now I know it's more about the things that will come from raising support... it's the process. Ok, ok I have only been taking down notes and making lists of things to do to get support, but God moves in his timing and not our own. In this short while I have seen what I'm capable of doing with God on my side: succeed and be at peace. I want to share my story with people to give them a chance to follow the desires of their own heart and bring God back or continue to keep him in the center.

What this brings me to is this: I want to walk life with more people and lead a life group when the right group of people are all set. I want to work in an agency (nonprofit or ad) where I get paid to be creative. I never want to stop evolving and improving myself. I feel the weight of uncertainty roll off my back as I submit paperwork to UNF to work at B-Fit as an "school-approved" internship for Fall. If that does not go through, I have an extension to find another place. I am certain either way God has it all worked out for me... I just have to continue moving forward in faith.

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Testing The Spirits [18 Jul 2011|08:19pm]
[ mood | hopeful ]
[ music | "Jesus Carry Me" -- Kutless ]

In 1 John 4 ) :18 says, "There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love." This is a hard lesson to take in, but a lesson I must mediate on to know what God wants from me. (sighs) In the past two weeks alone, I have disciplined myself to seek after him and his words for my next step. When I told myself I would be doing this more diligently, I thought it would be something I wanted therefore it could be easy. (laughs) It has been a sure test of faith and obedience more than anything else!

If God loves me and his love is made perfect without fear, then why do I fear where my next step is going? Or how am I going to get there? And what's going to happen in between IT all? Last night, I had to let go of something that was precious to my heart. I thought I could dance around God's conviction, but it started to consume my thoughts and kept me from staying focused. Maybe "staying focused" isn't the right way to put it, but it was merely a blissful distraction. Everyone wants to be loved and loved in return, so what's wrong wanting to love someone? Nothing, but for me it's an area I know the devil uses to keep me imprisoned in my own desires rather than God's will. It's all too easy to follow God in all areas of my life... but my heart. ( As IF that makes ANY rational sense after the fact... :/ )

As far as the blissful encounters my heart has enjoyed so much, I must tell you friend that I am sorry. Once again, I am sorry for hurting you and torturing myself in the process. I know you were brought in my life for a test and I wanted to pass by God's standards and not my own. It was selfish of me to think I could ignore what God has told me all along and awful of me to keep you for myself when you were made for someone else. The memories of the beach, nights out, and cooking has warmed my heart to the hope God has designed someone to match and even top the qualities you have shown me. Thank you for being a realistic standard I can aim for and not settle until I have found it in God's timing. You are no longer the broken egg shell I once envisioned when I first met you; as you are now a warrior geared up for battle in God's army! For that transformation I thank God for allowing me to see the power of encouragement and prayer unfold. Stay sweet, never change, and consume your whole heart with God and he'll deliver you the sweetness desires of your heart.

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When you test the spirits, God always win. It may not be the "victory" we see, but it's a victory over the devil and his temptations that come disguised in the worldly things we yearn for. This experience is still sore as my heart is trying to stay guarded with the breast plate of righteous to fight in God's battle. A warrior can mourn, but must mourn and realize God knows what is best for us. We may not see it or even know why, but isn't that faith? Faith is the confidence that what we hope for will actually happen; it gives us assurance about things we cannot see. (Herbews 11:1 NLT)

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I just got off the phone [12 Jul 2011|02:36pm]
[ mood | ecstatic ]
[ music | "Lord I Give You My Heart" - Chris Tomlin ]

with Katie Perrin. She is one of the first people I met when I first came to Resolution about two years ago. She always sent me messages of encouragement to get more involved with the campus ministry. To be honest, when I first started getting them I was unsure of what her motive was because I didn't want to get sucked into another task I barely had time for. Isn't it ironic how I had that awful thought about a genuine person and ignore the same awful feeling that occurs when I put other things in my life ahead of God? (shakes head) I'm ashamed to admit it now, but it's to remind myself that I must look toward God's judgment than my own. Katie married Chris and now I see a young couple who started a family live for God. It's something I hope to experience in God's timing if it were to be his will.

In the mean time, I am starting my journey of living for God completely. I took some notes as Katie and I spoke on what I want to do with my life and what I am being called to do. While we were talking I thought of this blog as a tool to share with the world what God is doing in my life. This isn't easy exposing the words of my soul, but I know it will not be done in vein for God is going to get the glory after it's all done.

What is God's call on my life? I could tell you a short story, but where's the fun in that? I'll start where it all began... )

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