Psalm 30

If you know me at all you know that I love sleep. So I came home after Callie’s bootcamp this morning with every intention of going back to sleep, I mean it’s MLK day and I can sleep if I want. No, God had other plans for me.

I was laying there and my dog started freaking out on me, and he NEVER does this to the level at which he did. I was like hello, dog I am trying to sleep here but he wouldn’t stop. Then I was petting him for a bit, he decided to leave me alone. As soon as he quit, God said to me.. “Get out of bed and go read Psalm 30.” I said, NO I AM TIRED. I argued and said I’ll just look it up on my phone, “No get up” my phone wouldn’t pull the bible app up. “I won’t stop until you get up” No I will just lay here and open up the app on my Surface, the surface was dead. FINE. “Go to Psalm 30, I have something I want to show you.”

I got up and sat at my kitchen table, opened up Psalm 30 and here is what stuck out to me.

11 You turned my wailing into dancing; You removed my sackcloth and clothed me with joy 12 that my heart may sing your praises and not be silent. Lord, My God I will praise you forever!

If you have ever gone through anything difficult it is a powerful moment when you realize that in all of this there was purpose. Without that entire process he wouldn’t have been able to build me into the person I have become without the trials I faced.

9 What is gained if am silenced, if I go down to the pit? Will the dust praise you? Will it proclaim your faithfulness?

This part in particular jumped out at me… What if I am silent? What if I would’ve fallen asleep and missed this great word sent from God? What happens if we stay on the ground and allow ourselves to sink lower and lower? What can we gain? I’ve been there, I’ve been at a place where I was in a pit and I thought there was no way out, trapped in my mind and all of the lies screaming inside of my head telling me that I am not. I wasn’t proclaiming His faithfulness. I am His creation and telling myself otherwise is an insult, He created us with purpose we are all His dearly loved children. That’s the message we need to hold on to.

You pulled me out of darkness into your light, Jesus. You know every detail, every single thing yet you still love me. This perfect love so sweet, draw me closer, take me deeper. Let me heart not be content until every breath is the same as yours. Show me what It’s like to see heaven come down and fill this place. May we crave more of your presence. We won’t be satisfied until we see you face to face.

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Cageless Birds

Standing on the shore of decision, looking into the face of adventure, desiring to abandon all I know, what pushes me is rooted somewhere in between misunderstanding and knowing. Knowing that what I want to understand is not within my reach, so I ponder my escape, not knowing what lies ahead. Adventure in theory is full of excitement and bleeds with passion for life. But adventure in reality is full of breathless moments, silent nights, and wounds that leave scars and memories on a heart. Can I go the distance? Can I give all my mind to get what the Messenger is saying?

Can I surrender my knowing?

Will I survive the humility of ignorance to obtain the treasure that earthly gold cannot buy?

Will I ask the question of honesty even if the answer convicts my soul and sends me to the land of repentance?

All of these thoughts flood my mind.

As I stand on the shore of choosing, in the distance of my wandering, I see with clear eyes a flock of wild, beautiful birds, swooping clearly in my direction, as if they see me and they are coming for me.

And how strange it is that their eyes are full of clarity and the melody of their flapping winds sings out—

We are coming for you.

My song is waking up. Wake up the songbirds. We want to hear your melodies. Songbirds, wake up and start singing. You’re not in your cage anymore, bound by your shame anymore. The walls that held you in prison, the gate is flung wide open. Start singing, cageless birds.

 

I wish I had written this, but full credit goes to Jonathon David and Melissa Hesler (Cageless Birds)

One of the most beautiful songs, it says all the words I cannot form.

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Arise

Great Post!

Arise

iphone spring 2013 110

Don’t you love when God speaks to you?  Now, I’m not talking about an audible voice…even though that would be really awesome!!  I’m talking about when you have a thought that can only be from Him. When someone speaks truth and you discern it to be God’s voice.  How about when you are reading scripture and a passage or word jumps off the page.  That happened to me recently and it truly was AMAZING!!  Back in December I noticed that the book of Isaiah was popping up everywhere I turned.  I would open my devotional and BHAM it would be from Isaiah.  A friend would send me a scripture and WHAM it would be from Isaiah.  I assumed that God longed for me to read Isaiah and so that is what I did.  Little did I know how important that book would be to me, in the months to follow.

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Some tips from 17 year old me

I found this paper I wrote in my AP English class my senior year. Man I was a wonderful student. Enjoy. 

How to be a slacker in school-

 
In our society pre-teens and teenagers have mastered the fine art of slacking, whether it be school work or chores around the house. Some are successful at slacking while others are afraid to slightly bend the rules- or as some would like to call it over-achieving. Being a slacker, the words over-achieving and being on the ball is something never reached. 
 
By following these easy steps becoming a slacker can be made easy, 
 
1. Distractions
  • Find a distraction- Find something to do other than work to distract you from ‘normal’ classroom behavior
  • Music- put your hood on, put the earbuds in ears, turn the volume up just enough to block out the teacher’s talking.If the teacher asks you to take the hood off, turn the volume up and continue to look like you are paying attention. 
  • daydreaming- day dreaming is usually very successful, by doing so you can tune out annoying classmates and the teacher you are trying to ignore. 
2. Make an excuse
  • Tell your teacher that you have to use the restroom and stay out as long as possible without the teacher noticing you are away. As long as you don’t run into the principal this should keep you out of class up to 5 minutes.
  • Athlete excuse- if you are in sports you can tell your teacher you need to go do laundry or your coach needs to talk to you, this usually works up to 20 minutes.
  • “girl problems”- If you have a woman teacher this one will work well. Go up to the desk and tell your teacher that you have an “emergency”. The male teachers will just say “Oh my goodness, okay just go” This could possibly last the rest of the hour. 
By following these simple steps and using the excuses you should be successful and getting of class and become one of the best slackers on the face of the earth. 
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Welcome Home

I’ve walked in a thousand times

entered in and breathed in that familiar smell

Oh I know it so well

the memories, the laughter, the hugs

Oh this is home.

it’s never betrayed me

it’s never left me without love

it’s never left me feeling I can’t greet the day

Pain is necessary

out of it comes something beautiful

don’t ignore it

welcome it.

the beauty, the awful, the wonderful

it’s all part of growing up.

battle scars aren’t a sign of weakness

they’ve made you, you

 

this road is long

but not lonely

this journey is trivial

but not broken

this life is beautiful

and not  troublesome

don’t fret my dear.

 

you’re always welcome.

 

 

 

 

 

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But what about Thursday?

I was thinking the other day how sorry I felt for Thursday. It’s my Friday and I love Thursday because that means 3 days of no school until Monday. I was texting a friend of mine saying how I felt sorry for Thursday, while explaining I felt like a dork.

Monday– everyone hates Monday and always has something ridiculous and witty to say about it. “I wish I could destroy Monday with my lightsaber”

Tuesday– I call it Tootie Tuesday, not so sure about you guys.

Wednesday– Hump day- because we’ve almost made it through the week when Wednesday arrives.

Thursday– 😦  (and thirsty Thursday doesn’t count)

Friday– TGIF, Or as Backstreet Boys would say, “Thank God it’s Friday night, cause I just got paid.”

If you guys can think of something interesting for the lonely day I would like to help Thursday feel a little less lonely.

 

I just really need to go here soon. 

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A Drop in the Ocean

I don’t have a lot of words, something I do know is God is trying to point me into his wonderful, beautiful, and powerful direction. The creation that made me fall more and more in love with Him has once again swept me up. “Whatever is good and perfect comes down to us from God our Father, who created all the lights in the heavens. He never changes or casts a shifting shadow.” James 1:17

His ways are perfect. He never changes.

My words aren’t cutting it, so I’ll let Mother Teresa do some talking. I’ve been reading her quotes a lot lately and here are the ones that hit me like a brick wall.

 

People are often unreasonable and self-centered. Forgive them anyway.
If you are kind, people may accuse you of ulterior motives. Be kind anyway.
If you are honest, people may cheat you. Be honest anyway.
If you find happiness, people may be jealous. Be happy anyway.
The good you do today may be forgotten tomorrow. Do good anyway.
Give the world the best you have and it may never be enough. Give your best anyway.
For you see, in the end, it is between you and God. It was never between you and them anyway.

We know only too well that what we are doing is nothing more than a drop in the ocean. But if the drop were not there, the ocean would be missing something.

Do not think that love in order to be genuine has to be extraordinary. What we need is to love without getting tired. Be faithful in small things because it is in them that your strength lies.

Let no one ever come to you without leaving better and happier. Be the living expression of God’s kindness: kindness in your face, kindness in your eyes, kindness in your smile

At the end of life we will not be judged by how many diplomas we have received, how much money we have made, how many great things we have done. We will be judged by “I was hungry, and you gave me something to eat, I was naked and you clothed me. I was homeless, and you took me in.”

 

This is exactly where God placed you right now. It’s not a fluke. Just because you aren’t a missionary off in a country you can’t even pronounce the name of, or working at a church doesn’t mean God isn’t using you. Sometimes I feel like I’m in the sky hovering above the ocean with a water dropper just dropping one tiny drop at a time and the ripple never going very far. That visualization I continue to have is a lie to myself. Our God is bigger than that. He is stronger. It isn’t just a tiny little drop it’s much more than that. It’s God using us, as His chosen instrument to change the world for His glory. Now that’s big. Life isn’t measured by your accomplishments and the worldly possessions you’ve accumulated over the years, it’s the love you’ve shown to your brothers and sisters. My goal isn’t to accumulate rubbish.

Right now in front of you reading this I promise to make a change in how I live and how I spread my love.

 

Forgive them anyway.

Be kind anyway.

Be honest anyway.

Be happy anyway.

Do good anyway.

Give your best anyway.

For you see, in the end, it is between you and God. It was never between you and them anyway.

 

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68 reasons why God is good and other things.

68 reasons why God is good by- the JR High Leaders.

  1. He gives me hope that there is someone I can talk to.
  2. He’s there when no one is.
  3. He always does the thing that is better for you
  4. He died for my sins
  5. He brings people together
  6. We wouldn’t be able to live without Him
  7. He does not judge me, but takes me in.
  8. He answers prayers that literally are needed
  9. He gives me new hope after death
  10. He listens
  11. He is there when I need Him
  12. He will NEVER abandon me
  13. He forgives us for our mistakes
  14. He gave me life so I can live for Him and share the word
  15. He keeps food at my table
  16. He saved me from darkness
  17. He taught me Faith
  18. He taught me how to love
  19. He gave me my family
  20. He blessed me with my church
  21. His love is never ending
  22. He doesn’t give up on us
  23. He forgives us for our sins
  24. He loves the non-believers and everyone
  25. He doesn’t care what we look like because we are all beautiful
  26. He is our refuge
  27. We can turn to Him for anything
  28. He gives us this beautiful earth to live on.
  29. He gives us courage
  30. He provides us with strength
  31. He gave me my mom
  32. He gave me my youth pastor Zac.
  33. He gave me Ayden to keep me going
  34. He gave me Chapmond to give me girl advice (hahaha)
  35. God is awesome because I got to spend a week at Big Stuf with everyone
  36. God has blessed me.
  37. He has given me an amazing dad
  38. My brother died for a reason so that I could come closer to God and stop acting bad.
  39. He gave me awesome friends and family
  40. He loves me even though I’m a sinner
  41. When I am alone He reminds me that he’ll always be there for me
  42. He blesses me with things I don’t deserve
  43. He takes time out of His day to just listen to me and talk to me.
  44. He directs each of my steps so I stay safe and have the life He has planned.
  45. He keeps promises He makes to me
  46. He never lets me down even when I let Him down
  47. He thinks I’m beautifully made
  48. He sent His son to take care of my punishment which I rightly deserve so I could spend an eternity in paradise with Him
  49. He is forgiving
  50. His love is everlasting
  51. He created men and women
  52. He knows how many hairs I have
  53. His love never fails
  54. He made everyone’s thumbprint different from each other.
  55. We love because He first loved us
  56. He gave us a choice
  57. He made everything
  58. He made everyone different
  59. All of His creation is wonderful and beautiful
  60. He gives peace to my soul
  61. He holds my future
  62. He gave me life
  63. Everything He does has purpose and isn’t an accident
  64. He gave me amazing people in my life
  65. He makes beautiful things out of us
  66. Even when I don’t deserve it, He shows me grace and His unfailing love.
  67. He’s given me the passion and desire to do things I never thought I could
  68. He called me to Haiti and completely wrecked and changed my life.

I really hope I didn’t lose you after 5.

I felt the need to share this. While the youth leaders and I were at Big Stuf camps in Panama City Florida I challenged them to this. I told them all by the end of the week I wanted a list of 10 reasons why God is good to them. I was blown away by the pieces of paper I received. God is using these 13-15 year olds in an incredible way. They are so young and so willing to serve the Lord. I love it. All of them have a different story of how God has changed their lives, how He has shaped them into something beautiful. Their stories are beautiful and honestly have changed me too. They amaze me daily.

While we were there one of the speakers made an amazing point.  The law <Jesus, Jesus=everything

We don’t need to waste our time adding things to what we think is right,  Jesus already won. He is everything. He didn’t win by not eating the chicken or arguing trying to convince everyone to not love their neighbor.  He won by loving the unlovable, the sick, the poor, the awful. Loved them. Died for us.

This is it.

But God is so rich in mercy, and He loved us so much, that even though we were  dead because of our sins, He gave us life when He raised Christ from the dead. “ Ephesians 2:4-5

My life is hard sometimes …..BUT God

I can’t do anything right…..BUT God

I am a failure…. BUT God

Romans 8:37-39

“No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us.”

 

Let’s promote what we love instead of bashing what we hate.

Think of the things we could do together.

 

147 million orpahns

2.4 million victims in human trafficking

Death due to lack of clean drinking water in other countries

Death due to incurable diseases because lack of medications in other countries

And many others.

 

 

 

 

Come Jesus come, come like the rain. Open the sky and show us your face.

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don’t let the haters get you down.

 

My grandfather isn’t a man of many words but his actions, his actions speak louder. I received these pictures at work from my dad last week and almost lost it. He said that he forgot to give them to me when I came home last and they were from my grandpa. They are from 1990 and it’s my birth year. He collects coins. “The 1990 Prestige Set” I feel loved. These coins are so precious to me and I’ve never held them in my hands. I know they are coins and to most people would love to buy them. I don’t care. Behind this strong, hard working man is someone who shows his love in a unique way. I’m okay with it. My grandparents are the most amazing people. He’s battled cancer and still works hard on his farm and is always quick to help someone. He can be found at the local gas station early in the morning with his friends sipping coffee and talking about who knows what. It makes me smile. They have taught me some life lessons in their giving. I remember after I made a life changing decision I sat with my grandma and she asked, “Ally, are you happy?” I responded, “happier than I’ve ever been.” She said, “Good, that’s all that matters, not other people’s opinions.” A few weeks ago in church I had one of those flashbacks where I thought of them and all of the things I’ve learned from my grandparents. Not from words. But from actions. Sometimes I can be selfish and stubborn and I want everything to be about me, but it isn’t. I can’t be flaky with my friends or think of objects more valuable than precious time with those I love. When you experience God and all of His goodness loving Him and loving people is the most important thing. I remember being in Haiti and being so thankful that my friends cared more about me and we cared more about each other than we did wordly things. Being in America is difficult we are surrounded by our ugly society that tells us if we don’t live a certain way we are failures. Or if we don’t have our crap together we are no good. Who made these rules? Who told us that if we don’t make this much we can’t go anywhere in life? I am beginning to see that those things are ridiculous nothing can compare to the Joy I have in Christ or the happiness I have when I am around the people I love. Don’t let this world tell you what to do. Don’t let your past mistakes define you, let them change you for the better. You be you.

I’ve been in a weird season, I suppose it’s a season of listening and reading and thinking about the things I’ve written about above. Last weeks message at my church was about counting everything else as rubbish compared to what we have with Christ. So I’ve cut back on my phone and haven’t really logged on to the social media sites as much. In a world full of distractions and people telling us we have to be like this or that, I say don’t let it stop you from who God created you to be. You are unique, who cares if you like to do or say ridiculous things. That’s how God made you. Be you. Don’t worry.

 

37 Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’t38 This is the first and greatest commandment.39 And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’

 

Matthew 22:37-39

 

 

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A victory lap.

Life is all about-

Should haves

Would haves.

Could haves.

I had plans for my life.

You were relentless.

Your Grace

Your love never ending.

I had to listen.

How could I not?

 

 

Light is breaking in.

Love is pushing through.

This is where I find you,

A light to the darkness,

A breath of fresh air.

I’m calling for You

In the darkest night,

I reach out and touch your face.

All my pain is washed away.

All my fears are swept away.

My heart it beats for you Oh God

In the darkest night I hold on to you.

In the quiet in the noise,

Oh my God, You are the one

Who gives peace to my soul.

I cry out in the night

to the one who gives me life.

By your wounds I am healed.

I can no longer keep it in

Now the light is coming in.

Breaking chains, breaking walls.

Raising dead and giving life.

Open doors

Set us free

You are faithful.

You are good.

You are beautiful.

Shine your light on us.

 

 

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