Born Again

•June 13, 2009 • Leave a Comment

Wow.  This summer has truly been a test of my faith and I am not even half way in yet.  None the less, God is so good!  I am learning so much about myself, my students, and most of all God and His amazing love.  As a means of getting to know fellow interns, I have been asked to share my testimony on several occassions.  It seems that even though the story remains unchanged the way I tell it changes each time because of the growth that I am experiencing through Christ Jesus.  I look back on my life before I started living for Jesus and the way He transformed me once I started living for Him.  For the first time in my life I think I truly understand what it means to be born again. My life before Jesus and my life the day I met Him are two completely separate lives.  Those feelings of overwhelming love, joy, and peace because of what He did for me are indescribable.   As He continues to renew my faith and as His mercies continue to be new each morning, I feel as though  I have the opportunity to experience that feeling all over again each day!  Today, Lord I pray you would have me remember what you have done for me so that my life may reflect a joy that can only be given by you; in order that people may be able to see what you can do for them and thus giving YOU the highest, most precious, glory, honor, and praise forever!born-again blog picture

1 Peter 1:22-23 “Having purified your souls by your obedience to the truth for a sincere brotherly love, love one another earnestly from a pure heart, 23 since you have been born again, not of perishable seed but of imperishable, through the living and abiding word of God;”

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One Down

•June 8, 2009 • 2 Comments

Well week one of our summer ministry at First Presbyterian Church is officially over.  Monday we had our staff discipleship, staff meeting, and girls discipleship.  Tuesday was G.O.O.T, or Get Out Of Town, where we enjoyed playing whirly ball and laser tag with 2 van loads of students down in Atlanta.  Wednesday we hung out at a great event called BLAST.  (This is for all of our middle school students)  We started off with a bible study, then we all went to lunch together at Las Palmas, and lastly we headed to the park for some kickball!  While the bulk of FPC Student Ministries events were almost over for the week my schedule still continued.  Thursday morning I worked my other job from 8:00-1:00, went to my Mom’s house to get in some quality time with she and my baby sister, and then that evening had dinner and a movie night with the high school students for our new event called CHILL.  Friday morning was the same as Thursday, I worked from 8:00-1:00 and was so relieved when the day was over.  Needless to say I could not wait for the weekend.  For those of you who read it, the very first post I ever put up described what I meant when I entitled this blog “The Lamp Life” and it also told of my commitment to not let that lamp burn out this summer.  It has become so evident to me how quickly Satan attacks when you speak something out loud.  My week started off so strong and I was making an intentional effort to put in everything I had but by the end of it I had cried my way through the last few days.  I was mentally, physically, and spiritually exhausted and it was only the first week.  At this point I hadn’t even started my online classes yet!  Satan was attacking me from every single direction and always hitting my weakest and most vulnerable spots.  One thing that I am starting to realize is that this summer will be IMPOSSIBLE without spending some alone time with God.  My own strength will not be enough to get me through the ins and outs of what the next few months are going to be like.  But what a beautiful thought!  How privileged am I that I get to call on someone to be my strength in times of weakness?  For that matter, how privileged am I to have someone that is the very definition of strength to be with me every minute of every day?  Despite the long, hard week I truly am blessed that I can rely on someone to pull me through!

My Memory Verse of the week–Romans 10:13-15–“For everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.  But how are they002004 to call on Him for whom they have not believed?  And how are they to believe in Him for whom they have never heard?  And how are they to hear without someone preaching?  And how are they to preach unless they are sent?  As it is written ‘How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news!'”

No Words Without THE Word

•June 4, 2009 • Leave a Comment

As my spiritual walk with the Lord has deepened and my knowledge of Him has grown I have found that I can draw no true inspiration from the world alone.  Any words of advice that come from a worldly perspective have no meaning because the truth is that we were not created for this world.  When I was younger I found that people came to me for advice because I was actually really good at giving it.  After I became a Christian everything changed.  It was like I no longer had the words to say anymore because my perspective completely changed.  I could no longer tell someone that it was okay that they lied to their parents to get out of trouble because I knew now that it was wrong.  Since then, I have found that when it comes to giving advice or encouraging someone, the temptation of feeding them with something worldly to make their stomachs temporarily full still remains.  However, when I’m rooted in THE Word I cannot help but draw from what is embedded deep within my heart.  It is such a true statement that I have no words without THE Word.  Blog 4 Picture

An Uncanny Protection

•June 2, 2009 • 2 Comments

As I watched the movie ‘Taken’ last night I could not help but find myself wishing I had a father like that who would go to the ends of the earth for my protection.  A father with a “very particular set of skills” as Liam Neeson’s character describes it.  A father who could destroy someone who put me in harms way with his bare hands.  A father that can make a man full of evil flee from his very presence.  A father whose love is so unconditional that he would lay himself down at the cost of his daughter.  And as God always does so gently, He helped me to conceptualize the fact that I already do.  While I do not have that in an earthly father, my Heavenly Father possesses all of those qualities and more.  I find it quite funny that all of the non-exisisting qualities I so desperately want in an earthly father  are all of the qualities that my Heavenly Father has.  It is no surprise that I feel this way because what I realize is that I was created by Him and for Him and so of course I want to have someone here on earth that is just like Him.  Do you ever have those “light” bulb moments where you feel like such an idiot because everything that you have ever wanted you have had all along?  While those moments do help me to realize how oblivious I am, they also are beautiful moments.  When that “light” finally flickers on in my mindBlog 3 FInal Picture
 it not only makes me want to give Him all the glory that He deserves, but it also makes me want to run to the ends of the earth to share it with everyone I know!  His protection and love are truly uncanny!

Relationships Make The World Go ‘Round

•June 2, 2009 • 1 Comment

Today in our staff discipleship time we talked about the importance of relationships.  And for perhaps the first time in my life I am starting to realize why they are so very important.  This theme of relationships appears to be a reoccuring one in my life over the past few months and I am finally taking the hint that God is trying to tell me something!  I struggle with feeling the need to be accepted by others and so unless I already have established friendships where I know I am accepted, I would just rather not try at all.  Staying at home in my bed all day with a good book and some chocolate suits me just fine because I don’t have to face my fear.  However, what I am starting to realize is that God created me for a life of intimacy that exceeds my expectations and has the power to overcome any fear.  He created me for an intimacy so deep that it knows no fear and displaysBlog 2 Picture an expression of love that is far too great to comprehend.  From the very beginning, God The Father, The Son, and The Holy Spirit have dwelt among one another in perfect harmony with bright and shining lights exemplifying the rich complexity of relationship.  And it’s because of that powerful truth that I have come to realize that my “lamp” would shine in vain if there were no one to share its bright light with.  And as Matthew 5:15 says–“Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house”  it is time for me to put aside my fears and bask in the radiance of others lights while boldly displaying mine.

Lamp Life?

•June 1, 2009 • 1 Comment

Lamp LifeI have never been one to be big on change and have often times found myself treading in the deep waters of complacency.  One morning in the shower I was thinking about the past events of my life while wondering why God allowed them to happen.  He so beautifully and gently described some chapters of my life using an illustration of a lamp.  When God plugs me in somewhere I shine so brightly for the longest time.  But just like a lamp that doesn’t get turned off, as the plug becomes comfortable in its outlet, the once bright and shining light begins to grow dim.  This is where complacency sets in.  Once I’m comfortable in my outlet and the newness of the bulb begins to wear off, so does my spirit.  What’s the next step?  It’s time for God to take me out of my comfort zone and plug me in somewhere else.  The ripping of the cord can often times be a painful experince and a long the path to a NEW outlet the baggage that a long cord carries can sometimes get in a knot or get caught on something a long the way; but oh the beauty of reaching my final destination to shine bright once again is something that goes beyond expression.  

This summer I am making it my mission to not let the bright light of my lamp burn out.  As I take on 2 jobs and 2 online classes this will be a mighty task at hand.  But what is impossible with God?  –NOTHING–

And so the journey begins…