Thursday, July 18, 2013


    The older I get, the more I see how many of the mindsets and ideas that have been engraved in my mind are completely wrong.  It's quite the humbling experience.  Pffffft being humbled sucks. Although it's a humbling experience, I'm thankful that these lethal areas of my heart are being revealed and changed now rather than walking my days on this earth shackled to ideals that stray so far from the true heart of God.

  If you know me, you know that I really like to work.  Work for better grades.  Work for a better future.  Work harder to make myself better. Work to serve God better. My mind is constantly at work to see how I can improve and edit different areas of my life and can't honestly remember the last time I've been content with myself.  Not complacent, but content with the person I am and the person I'm becoming. I see and dwell on what I'm not.  It's exhausting, discouraging, and draining. Quite honestly, I've felt spiritually dead for a while. Meh. Rather than dwelling on the beauty of Christ, I subconsciously focus on me.  That is the problem.  It's pride.  It's disgusting, ugly, and so far from the heart God.

  The "Christian life" shouldn't be compiled of to-do lists, habits, accomplishments, and past grievances.  A life compiled of such dismal idols bears witness to a hardened, perplexed heart and skewed perception of God.  Think about it...why the heck would someone want to have anything to do with Christianity or God if that's what it looks like?  Talk about a life-sucking kill-joy. Welcome to the Christian's you're to- do list..oh, and by the way, you're supposed to look like this, think these thoughts, achieve these goals, and you aren't allowed to be, thank you. 

  Following Christ should be simple.  Not easy, but simple. Think about it.  When Jesus calls his disciples to follow Him, He didn't tell them to change this, fix that, think this way, talk this way, don't do this, achieve these goals, and fit into this cookie-cutter definition. 

  Matthew 16:24-25 "Then Jesus told his disciples, 'If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.' "

  Holiness, purity, love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, and self-control are an outflow of the Holy Spirit within. They are the natural pouring out of Jesus' grace and love alive within you and you dying. A radically beautiful, truly Christ-like life isn't something that can be achieved by check-list Christianity. I'm convinced it is quite rare & seen in the least-likely of places and people.  

  As we follow Christ, growth will be a natural result. Authentic relationship & growth aren't a result of habits and rules, but love. Beautiful, unearned, unaffected, simple. That's what we need.

Sunday, March 31, 2013

But God

Ephesians 2:1-10
"And you were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience— among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind. But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved useven when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved— and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.  For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God,  not a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them."

This incredible portion of scripture can be split into two halves.  The first being desperate hopelessness, death, and the miserable state of mankind.  We've all been or are there; "we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind."  I've been guilty of rebellion against God, buying the lies and living in the chains of my own making, chains and bondage I could never free myself from.  Fortunately, the passage doesn't end here.  

The next two words of this passage bring hope into this hopeless condition.

But God

God.  Righteousness. Justice. Holiness. Perfection. God, the one who's face we spat in while arrogantly carrying on in our sin. The One who has every reason to destroy us. The Creator who was rejected and defied by his beloved creation. But God.

Instead of damning us to the destiny we earned, he loved us with an unexplainable, radical, perfect love.  He sacrificed His precious Son so that we may taste freedom and life where misery, hopelessness and death clung.  "because of the great love with which he loved useven when we were dead in our trespassesmade us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved."   He doesn't stop at saving us.  Paul, the author of Ephesians, then goes on tell us the purpose behind saving us--to show "the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus."  How good is our God?  How precious is our risen Savior? 

How do you respond to Him?  How do you respond to the crucified and risen Savior?  Ask Him how.  My flawed human words aren't comparable to hearing His voice and reading His Word for yourself. Seek Him and He will show you.

 "And he said to all, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me."

*Scripture is hyper linked so you can click on it and read the full chapter in context*

Tuesday, February 12, 2013


     A woman's heart is a fragile possession.  We have the potential to get our feelings hurt easily, cry over petty things, latch on to bitterness, and mistreat others based out of the brokenness of past pains.  We also have the potential to love deeply and tenderly, see and draw out the best in people, and breathe words of life into weary souls.  To say that we're complicated is an understatement.  
       A woman's heart longs to be captivating.  Within us is a desire to be wanted, to be cherished, to be unforgettable, to be incomparable, to be worthy of relentless pursuit, unconditional love, and unwavering affection. We long to be enough. These desires aren't something to be pushed away or ignored (of which I'm guilty.)  They also aren't something to make an idol out of (also guilty.)  
     When we attempt to satisfy God-given desires with something or someone other than the God who gave them to us, they become a distorted counterfeit of the beauty they were intended for.  When the desire to be wanted, cherished, unforgettable, and worthy of pursuit, love, and affection is made into an idol, we are filled with worthlessness rather than the joy, peace, purpose, and love that God desires to fill us with.    
      In 2 Kings 17, Israel is having a serious idolatry problem.  They are burning their sons and daughters, practicing sorcery, and completely rejecting God and His ways. They have imitated the ways of the nations around them (the world) instead of choosing God's way.  The latter part of verse 15 says, 
  "They followed worthless idols and themselves became worthless. They imitated the nations around them although the Lord had ordered them, “Do not do as they do,” and they did the things the LORD had forbidden them to do." 
      As Israel chose to fulfill their desires with idols rather than the God who could to fulfill them, they were left worthless.  You reflect the things you worship.  If you're worshiping the created instead of the Creator, your life and heart will be left feeling shallow, broken, and worthless.
      In who or what are you seeking for satisfaction and fulfillment?  Who or what are your emotions and moods dependent on?  What consumes the greatest portion of your thought life? Where do you spend your time? Where do you find pleasure?  What do you base your worth on? Does your life look similar the world around you or does it carry the fragrance of supernatural love, peace, and purpose?  
      If you are reading this post single, dating, or married, it is God alone in whom you will find fulfillment of your desires to be wanted, cherished, unforgettable, and worthy of pursuit, love, and affection.  He is the only One who satisfies. He is the only true, perfect lover of your soul. God wants you.   
 He wants all of you. 
 Exodus 34:14 "Do not worship any other god, for the LORD, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God."   
 He loves you with a perfect love.
  1 John 4:18-19 There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love. We love because he first loved us.
 He gave His own life for you and pursued you, a rebellious, undeserving sinner.
Romans 5:7-8  For one will scarcely die for a righteous person—though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die— but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
      Seek His Word for yourself and know Him for who He is.  Worship, love and adore Him for who He is. Allow Him to satisfy your heart and desires. Allow him to heal, chisel, and mold your heart to be like that of Jesus. The joys & blessings of earthly God-ordained romance that represents Christ's relentless pursuit of the church & the church's response will taste so much sweeter.
      The quote "A woman's heart should be so lost in God that a man needs to seek Him in order to find her" is commonly quoted by single women, but I encourage you, keep your heart lost in God.  Whether single, dating, or married, allow God to consume your heart, will, mind and emotions. Become and remain captivated by the Creator of the universe. 
"Turn your eyes upon Jesus,  
  Look full in His wonderful face,
And the things of earth will grow strangely dim  
  In the light of His glory and grace."

 PS.  All the words in different colors are hyper-linked to full Bible passages so that you can read the whole chapter in context (:

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Embracing Sorrow

     Sorrow is an emotion that is often avoided at all costs.  People, myself included, use all sorts of means to escape from pain and sorrow.  A busy schedule, distractions, comparisons, excuses. Especially within the context of the American church, I've noticed that many times sorrow, the gravity and weight of sin, and the insufferable pain we have inflicted on God, others, and ourselves is simply brushed under the carpet. 

     In 2 Corinthians 7, Paul is talking about a letter that he wrote to the Corinthians that produced godly grief which led to repentance.  In verses 9-11, in response to the letter he sent, Paul says "As it is, I rejoice, not because you were grieved, but because you were grieved into repenting. For you felt a godly grief, so that you suffered no loss through us. For godly grief produces a repentance that leads to salvation without regret, whereas worldly grief produces death. For see what earnestness this godly grief has produced in you, but also what eagerness to clear yourselves, what indignation, what fear, what longing, what zeal, what punishment! At every point you have proved yourselves innocent in the matter."  

     When godly sorrow and grief is neglected, is it possible that true, authentic repentance is also neglected? Grief that comes from God is characterized by repentance. When sin that defies God (i.e. all sin) is discarded as "normal," "not that bad," or "justified," is it possible that our minds and hearts become desensitized to the weight of sin, the necessity of repentance, and that we are missing out on the incredible qualities that godly sorrow produces?
       It is only when we acknowledge our own complete depravity, detestable sin nature, and see the depths of our own despair that we can fully understand the cross and its beauty. In James 1:14, after making clear that God does not tempt us, James draws attention to the source of temptation.  "But each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire. Then desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin, and sin when it is fully grown brings forth death."  It's our own desires that lead to our death.  It's filth within us, not the things around us, that makes us the scum that we are by nature.  When we are able to acknowledge that, we are able to see all the more clearly the beauty of Jesus Christ.  We are able to see beauty of repentance, redemption, the depths of God's love, and the restoration that the truth of the Gospel brings.  When we see just how unmerited the favor we've received from God is, we can praise Him all the more of loving us while we were enslaved in sin.  We are able to filled with inexpressible, unexplainable love for God and his people.  We are able to thrive and live the lives that God designed us to live.

     I want to leave this blog with one of my favorite passages and I think that it ties in perfectly with this theme.   Hebrews 12:1-2 "Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God."   Let us keep looking unto our beautiful Savior and live a life that is worthy of the call we have received.

     Thank you so much for reading and feel free to comment your opinions and thoughts. (: 

Sunday, October 28, 2012


     Thoughts. Racing, lingering, stirring, awakening. Thoughts carry the potential to provoke one to obtain a deeper understanding of matters, can introduce sin, disaccord and confusion, and if guided correctly will drive one to take action based on convictions. Thinking holds the potential to cultivate tremendous growth and change, but if thoughts merely remain entangled in the recesses of one's mind rather than being acted upon, they are all together worthless.  The same can be said for beliefs, knowledge, convictions and desires. To believe, know, and desire something and to live out a life derived from those core values are two contrasting realities.  That being said, my heart and mind have been overflowing as of late.

      My heart's most desperate longing is to walk life hand in hand with Jesus Christ and truly know and love God with all of my heart, soul, mind and strength and love each person I come into contact with the same love He has shown me. To daily die to myself and have lungs filled with the breath of His life. To live a life free of sin, legalism, selfishness, opinions of others, titles, and pride.  2 Corinthians 5:14-15 says,

 "For the love of Christ controls us, because we have concluded this: that one has died for all, therefore all have died; and he died for all, that those who live might no longer live for themselves but for him who for their sake died and was raised."

      Is Christ's love truly controlling my every thought, word, action?  Am I living for myself or am I living a life that is under complete, radical submission to the love and will of Jesus Christ? Although that is my heart's cry, so many times I've fallen tragically short of this calling.  I somehow lose sight of why I'm still here on planet earth.  I become distracted, ensnared, unfocused and before I realize it, I somehow lose focus on the only true meaning of life. I so oft forget that nothing on this earth matters except my personal relationship with Christ and precious human souls.  These things are eternal; all else will burn. When reminded of that, life becomes drastically more simple. Life is so incredibly short.  Ephesians 5:15-17 says,

 "Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise,  making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is. "

  This knowledge and awareness, these desires, they are good and right.  Although thoughts and desires are good, they are of no significance if fruit is not born as a result. My challenge to myself as well as those reading this blog is to examine your life, but don't stop at that.  Are your pastimes, habits, relationships, conversations and attitudes pushing you closer or further from Christ?  Are you willing to sacrifice idols that have stepped between you and Him? Remember the shortness of your days.  Allow Christ's love to daily control your actions, thoughts, mindset, words.  Life is too short to be controlled by anything other than the redemptive, unconditional, radical, passionate love of Jesus Christ.  May our lives be more than a flicker.

"What is the secret to great living? Entire separation to Christ and devotion to Him. Thus speaks every man and woman whose life has made more than a passing flicker in the spiritual realm. It is the life that has no time for trifling that counts.”~Amy Carmichael

Sunday, October 21, 2012

As of late...

     Writing is one of the few ways I feel like I can communicate with accuracy.  There is something about pen and paper or fingers delicately gliding over keys...or pounding depending on the mood. No words to stumble over or people to impress. No forced smiles, conversation, or empty words. Authenticity. Writing is a window into the mind, heart, and soul of a person. As of late, my writing has been confined to pen, paper, and my thoughts.  That's usually the way I like to keep it, but I feel that it is about time that my blog gets a little attention.

The last couple of months have given me opportunity to learn, feel, and grow more than I have in quite a while. Each season of life contains tremendous opportunity to grow, reflect, and change.  These months have taught and are continuing to teach me more things than I could possibly express through one blog, so I won't try to.  I'll just give a brief glimpse of a couple lessons the Lord is graciously teaching me.

1)  Take a good, long, unbiased look in the mirror.

James 1:22-25 "Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like a man who looks at his face in a mirror  and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. But the man who looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues to do this, not forgetting what he has heard, but doing it—he will be blessed in what he does."
    This one has been quite difficult, but beautiful at the same time.  The Lord has been gently, graciously exfoliating my heart and revealing to me areas of sin, brokenness, and imperfection.  He has allowed me to take a good look at where I've been, where I am, and where He is taking me. He's graciously allowed opportunity for unresolved brokenness to be revealed and healing to begin. He loves me too much to leave me where I'm at. I firmly believe that the more we acknowledge our personal imperfection, all the more beautiful the perfection, grace, and redeeming love Christ becomes.  I have earned the title damned sinner, but through His grace and precious blood, I am a saint.  Praise Him.

2)  Don't conform to the beliefs and attitudes of the world or of those surrounding you.  Think and believe for yourself.

Romans 12:2 "Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect."

     Being at a Christian university is such an incredible blessing and freedom, but it can also be easy to float along and exceedingly challenging and extremely lonely to personally grow and develop into everything that God has created you to be. I've been convicted of my own conformation in certain attitudes, actions, and expectations.  This realization has triggered a desire to delve deeper into the Word for myself, examine my own beliefs, motivations, and attitudes, and reconstruct target areas of my life. It has been a struggle to step back and identify the stagnant areas of my life that have remained unchanging and undeveloped as a result of personal ignorance and sinful nature, but I am so thankful for the growth that is being derived from these enlightened areas.

3) Vulnerability is the currency of any relationship.

If you desire to have deep, meaningful  relationship with God, friends, family, boyfriend/girlfriend, spouse, etc. vulnerability is required.  Now don't get me wrong, I am definitely not saying that you should give everyone around you an access key to your inner person and heart.  Your personal thoughts, beliefs, past, and heart are an incredibly precious entity and need to be guarded with wisdom. Although they are to be guarded, don't allow paralyzing fear of exposure and vulnerability rob the opportunity of relationships from you.  Allow people who prove to be sincere, trustworthy, honest, have your best interest at heart, and are seeking Jesus with everything and above all else into your life. Humans were not created to do life alone. Any human relationship contains an element of risk, but without that risk you will never experience the joy and growth that these relationships can bring.  Keep Jesus at the center and you can trust that if/when you do get hurt, He will catch you and work all things together for your good.

Romans 8:28 "And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose."

Welp, I believe that's all for now, folks.  Thanks for reading.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Refining Fire

     Beautifully broken....seems to be both the title of my blog and the theme of my life.  One of my daily heart's cries to Jesus is to break me.  Jesus, do whatever you need to do to capture my heart, to mold me into what You want me to be, a refined vessel for You.
     Jesus has been very faithful to answer that prayer throughout my life.  I can attest to the fact that refining fire isn't called fire because it feels awesome.  It feels more like being processed through a meat grinder (no bueno.)   Although, the awesome thing about Jesus is that NOTHING, and I mean NOTHING  in life, good or bad, hard or easy, happens in vain or without purpose.  I remember a quote I heard when I was little, "You always have a choice, get bitter or get better."  With each challenge, opposition,  trial, or pain we face, we are given the choice.  We can choose to internalize, fall in to self pity, self-analyze, dwell in guilt, believe lies, and blame God  for what we're facing. Or, we can choose to embrace it and thank and praise Him for it. Say what?!  Thank and praise Him for hard stuff?  No, your vision does not need checked and you've just read that correctly, praise Him.
     Jesus is the Master Weaver.  We are only given a trivial glimpse of the masterpiece of our lives.  When all we see is a mess of knots and tangled string in our lives,  Jesus sees the beginnings of a grand, complex masterpiece that our simple human minds cannot begin to fathom.

 Where we see chaos and confusion, He sees opportunity for guidance and unexplainable, supernatural peace. 
Isaiah 26:3
 "You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you." 
Psalms 37:23-24
 "The Lord makes firm the steps of the one who delights in him; though he may stumble, he will not fall, for the Lord upholds him with his hand."

   When we feel pain and insecurity, Jesus sees the opportunity for a deeper healing, reassurance, and victory through Him. 
 Romans 8:37-39
 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.  For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

  When we feel completely alone, Jesus promises that He will never leave us or forsake us.
Deuteronomy 31:6
 Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. 

When we see brokenness and ashes, Jesus sees beauty.
Isaiah 61:1-3
The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me, because the Lord has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn, and provide for those who grieve in Zion— to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the Lord for the display of his splendor.

     This semester has hands down been the hardest, loneliest semester since I've been at Liberty.  Although it has been almost unbearably difficult  at times, Jesus has proven Himself over and over.  He is shaping, molding, and refining me into the woman He created me to be.  He is teaching me to cling to Him and find all that I am in Him, not others.  He has taught me that He is ALWAYS more than enough, ALWAYS worthy of all praise, and He will NEVER change or leave.  Praise His sweet, precious name.

    I hope that this is an encouragement and hope to those of you who are facing pain, hurt, challenges and trials right now.  Thank you so much for taking the time to read.  On a closing note, here is an awesome song that goes with this.  I'm a huge fan of Brooklyn Tab :).