Monday, June 22, 2009

10 Things That Have Really Blessed Me Lately

I plan on co-leading 2 Bible studies starting in July on the book of Romans (so if any of you are in Quincy then, come on over! :). I've been these wonderful online Bible resources that have been SO extremely helpful in me being able to really unlock all of the truth in Gods word.. especially Romans. I have learned more about Gods grace in the past couple of days then I think I have my entire life! God is so much bigger and in control and powerful than we can even realize. Its also really started me thinking about the dichotomy of human responsibility and God's omnipotent power... something I don't think anyone will be able to fully figure out.

2. Phil Wickham
I've known about Phil for about a year now, but just recently his music has been very impactful on my life. I feel like when listening to his music you are taking a peek at deep, personal conversation he is having with his Creator that he invites us all to join in on! Hes coming out with a new CD at the beginning of September (which I CANT wait for!). He has posted a video of himself playing one of his new songs on YouTube, which has really touched my spirit and I'm sure has touched many others as well:

3. Family
This past school year has been one of the best and at the same time most difficult years that I've had in a long long time. By the end of finals week I was running on practically empty in many ways: emotionally, spiritually and ESPECIALLY physically. Though it has been tough getting over some things and readjusting to the nothing-to-do-ness of Quincy, it has been like a breath of fresh air to come and pray with my family again, tell people that I love them all the time (comfortably ;), be able to laugh hysterically at things only we think are funny.. its just been.. well its been pretty swell :)

4. My Guitar
A new passion I've discovered...
5. Sufjan Stevens
Though hes been around for a while, I've only really discovered him this year, and I am SO glad I have! He has opened me up to a whole new style of music that is truly beautiful, interesting and inspiring. Its pretty sweet.

6. Godly Pastors (and their blogs)
I have been SO blessed by many pastors I've been able to see this year. One which came to my church last week was a huge blessing in my life, his name was Adam, he pastors a church in Cashmere and head up the Rock Solid conferences. His sermon at my church was helpful in SO many crazy ways!! I'll give you some quotes from my notes on what he said, "Gods self exaltation is what is needed to root out our own selfishness. Joy is most fully experienced when God is the object of our praise, we are loved as we are lost in the wonder of God. God is most glorified in you when you are most satisfied in Him. The essence of true Christian worship is God being exalted." Here are also 10 points he had (I cant remember what the points were for... but they're still good!)1. God is after the heart 2. Without right thinking & doctrine, you cant be saved 3. Right thinking is found in knowledge & fuels worship 4. Engaging your mind is an essential factor to the greatest commandment 5. Fighting to set your mind on the things of God is evidence of Gods work 6. We are threatened terrible things if we don't exercise our minds 7. The Lord will hold us accountable for thinking wrong of Him 8. Jesus will rebuke us for thinking mans thoughts, not His thoughts 9. Without applying your mind you wont see the foolishness of man & truth of God 10. Engaging the mind is essential to over coming sin. Also another pastor that has made a big difference in my mind is Richard Dahlstrom. You can find his blog here. :)

7. Knowing talented people/Having talented friends
The amount of talented people I've met let alone been able to work with this year is CRAZY!! Alot of them being (or are turning into) some of my dearest friends

Just to name a small few:

Lisa Hammond
Moorea Seal
Blaze Bratcher
Jonathan Shaw
Taylor Neal

Speaking of Taylor Neal, there is a song of his he wrote for a music project with my school called The Kingdom and the Gospel and the lyrics at the end of the song have really touched my heart recently:

Tell Him all your grief, Tell Him all your sin
He'll give half His robe, just to wrap you in

Give Him both your hands, give Him all your heart
He'll give all His robe, to hold off the dark

If you're scared to pray, and you're fast in bed
He will pull you out, to anoint your head

If your hope is gone, and your thoughts aren't yours
He will touch your face, He will make you pure

He who made your hair, He who made your feet
He has made you whole, He has made your sheets

He will take your arm, He will strip you bare
He will take your hand, He will drees you fair

And... who can forget :)

Holly Starr

8. Friends
More like siblings... I have not realized how deeply and richly God has blessed me with some of the friendship that God has brought into my life. I feel like this year, I have seen visibly this year the kingdom of Heaven! God has shown me some of the attributes of Himself that I've never seen before through them! So THANK YOU! Thank you God... :)

9. My Cat
I know it sounds pretty ridiculous, but when you've had a pet your whole life and go without one for a while, you forget what great companions they are... iluvskippy :)

10. My Utmost For His Highest
To put it plainly, BUY IT
Here's the entry for June 19th:
"Jesus did not say to make converts to your way of thinking, but He said to look after His sheep, to see that they get nourished in the knowledge of Him. We consider what we do in the way of Christian work as service, yet Jesus Christ calls service to be what we are to Him, not what we do for Him. Discipleship is based solely on devotion to Jesus Christ, not on following after a particular belief or doctrine. "If anyone comes to Me and does not hate..., he cannot be My disciple" (Luke 14:26). In this verse, there is no argument and no pressure from Jesus to follow Him; He is simply saying, in effect, "If you want to be My disciple, you must be devoted solely to Me." A person touched by the Spirit of God suddenly says, "Now I see who Jesus is!"- that is the source of devotion. Today we have substituted doctrinal belief for personal belief, and that is why so many people are devoted to causes and so few are devoted to Jesus Christ. People do not really want to be devoted to Jesus, but only to the cause He started. Jesus Christ is deeply offensive to the educated minds of today, to those who only want Him to be their Friend, and who are unwilling to accept Him in any other way. Our Lord's primary obedience was to the will of His Father, not to the needs of people- the saving of people was the natural outcome of His obedience to the Father. If I am devoted solely to the cause of humanity, I will soon be exhausted and come to the point where my love will waver and stumble. But if I love Jesus Christ personally and passionately, I can serve humanity, even though people may treat me like a "doormat." The secret of a disciple's life is devotion to Jesus Christ, and the characteristic of that life is its seeming insignificance and its meekness. Yet it is like a grain of wheat that "falls into the ground and dies"- it will spring up and change the entire landscape (John 12:24)

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Something Lighthearted for Once...

First for a life update

God is so good.. and I'm so evil
He has blessed me and has been a blessing to others through me in innumerable ways the past few days, all blessings that I'm not even close to being good enough to receive. Though i feel I'm still figuring everything out, i am so confident in Gods power.

On another note

I'm going to share with you some of the funniest things I've ever read. little known fact about me, i think stories made up by kids, with their weird ideas and really bad grammar & spelling, are the funniest things ever. Here are some stories that my sister wrote when she was about 8 years old. I'm going to keep her spelling and everything how it is written as much as i can.

This ones called..... The glob who moved to a tree

Once there was a glop that quickly mooved to a green tree today. He was a good jumproper and he could draw furry picture nicley and he could slowly think up big stones in his mind. He slowly rode a gray whale at the blue ocean. He even grew orange carrots in one day. He was very small. He quickly wished and still wished and he became very tall. He could play with a round basketball very well. He said I realy am vice with pretty cats. Suddenly he got a pretty cat. Then He went out nicely of his beautiful tree with his pretty cat. He went away quickley.
The End

This was another assignment... I'm not quite sure what the purpose was for it...

I have a yellow cat
I have normal hands
I have gray pants
I have blond hair
I have smoove close.
My cat is smoove.
I seen my cat eat like a big hog.
He sharpens his claws on the smoove soffa.
And he sleeps like a groovy cat.

I hope you enjoyed thoes as much as I have :D

Monday, June 8, 2009


Today's entry in My Utmost for His Highest has spoken volumes to me and to the spiritual plateau I've been experiencing. I'm going to share it with you and italicize points that I'll talk about

Be determined to know more than others. If you yourself do not cut the lines that tie you to the dock, God will have to use a storm to sever them and to send you out to sea. Put everything in your life afloat upon God, going out to sea on the great swelling tide of His purpose, and your eyes will be opened. If you believe in Jesus, you are not to spend all your time in the calm waters just inside the harbor, full of joy, but always tied to the dock. You have to get our past the harbor into the great depths of God, and begin to know things for yourself- begin to have spiritual discernment.

When you know that you should do something and you do it, immediately you know more. Examine where you have become sluggish, where you began losing interest spiritually, and you will find that it goes back to a point where you did not do something you knew you should do. You did not do it because there seemed to be no immediate call to do it. But now you have no insight or discernment, and at a time of crisis you are spiritually distracted instead of spiritually self controlled. It is a dangerous thing to refuse to continue learning and knowing more.

The counterfeit of obedience is a state of mind in which you create your own opportunities to sacrifice yourself, and your zeal and enthusiasm are mistaken for discernment. It is easier to sacrifice yourself than to fulfill your spiritual destiny, which is stated in Romans 12:1-2. It is much better to fulfill the purpose of God in your life by discerning His will than it is to perform great acts of self-sacrifice. "Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice..." (1 Samuel 15:22). Beware of paying attention or going back to what you once were, when God wants you to be something that you have never been. "If anyone wills to do His will, he shall know..." (John 7:17)

I feel like this needs to be preached in every church all the time. I know that it is a huge struggle of mine, if not one of the biggest struggles, and I am sure it is for many other people, simply knowing Gods voice and just obeying it. Isnt that what life is suppose to be anyway? Being in such a pure unfiltered relationship with God that we can clearly hear and know His voice? I guess the thing that he kind of left out is what to do if you find yourself in that place. He says what not to do (which is something I do all the time and have completely fooled myself into thinking that it is the right thing to do) which is making your own situation to look like you are obeying them. But I think, and I could be wrong, the thing that I am going to try to do is to simply just spend more time with my Father. And when I say time I'm not going to include in that the time it takes me to settle my thoughts down or the time when I think Im praying but really my mind wanders to other places (side note: I have grown to love so very much the hymn Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing, isnt it so insanely true??? More than anything right now I have realized how prone to wander I am and how I can really feel that) I hope to take a larger chunk out of my day that usual to spend with God, really trying to listen to Him. And probably the biggest thing Im going to try to do is NEVER GIVE UP. I listened to a wonderful sermon by my Seattle pastor the other day and he talked about how we all get into a place where we become content with being in the "shallows" spiritaully and where we cant look past our own circumstances. And when we realize we are in that place and we truly want to change we get discouraged because at first it seems like we cant. Something that he said next is something that I've heard before throughout my life but am so happy to hear again every time I hear it is that WE ARE HUMAN we WILL mess up! God has and will continue changing us but it doesnt happen overnight. So if we mess up we must soon realize we did and come right back to our Fathers arms and continue again, never letting ourselves give up. Then when we continue doing that God WILL give us the strenght to obey and discernment comes! I never fully realized that that is where discernement is grown, in simple obediences. How beautiful!

Everyone say a prayer for every college student you know right now... we need it! (aka finals)

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Pause for Contemplation or Word Vomit: Your Choice

Been thinking about many different things just recently....

All the personal emotional struggles I've had this year
All the struggles/wonderful things my family has gone through recently
My future
How I've grown
Other peoples ideas and growth through their lives
How fatal and impactful and real pain is not only in individual lives but in the world as a whole
How instinctively prone to harming ourselves and other we really are
How I am the MOST prone to that
How so far away and silent God seems at times
How much closer God is to me than my very flesh at times
Just starting to scratch the outer surface of how enormous Grace is
How there is no hope... at all in politics, money and especially people
How its so true that there is a great Evil at work in the world today
Figuring out just much I am not suppose to be secure in anything earthly and just scratching the surface of how fully and utterly I NEED to be secure in the promises of the Almighty
How truly I am needing/experiencing discipline
Realizing the width and the breadth of Gods love so much the point that it hurts
Realizing deeper than I ever have before my own depravity
Realizing deeper than I ever have before God's sufficiency
Being terrified and worried about the future
Being excited and at peace about the future
Starting to see and understand how much I love/have received love from the very important people in my life
Seeing that all of that love is really God
(One of my favorites) Seeing that one big thing God is is a Storyteller
Seeing the influence of art not only on my life but on everyones (in all its forms)
Seeing just how deep of a need there is in places like Africa
Really loving my friends and family
Realizing how truly I have not figured it out at all
Being surprisingly contented there, knowing that I know the One who does

Discovering I might have ADHD...... that ones a joke :)