Sunday, December 11, 2011

Update...

I have made the decision not to go back to North Central next semester. Can I say that this is the hardest decision I have ever had to make? Just thinking about it now brings tears to my eyes. But what I heard today in childcare training today totally blew my little world out of the water.

I recently started working in a Preschool. As much as I love children, I was against the idea when Mom brought it up as an idea for a job. I didn't want to feel like I was raising someone else's kids. I didn't (and still don't!) like the idea of me taking the place as mommy. But when the Lord directed me to this Pre-k while I was going to pick up my contacts from the optometrists' office next door, I figured He had a plan in all of this. I went in, met the owner and some workers, applied, interviewed and got the job!

I began working with the babies--five to be exact, my youngest being five months. The more time I spent with these precious babies, the more I began to feel attached to them. Playing with them, feeding them their bottles, and even changing their diapers has given me an opportunity to bond with them. It took me awhile to get used to keeping up with many different schedules, but once I had the rhythm of the job down, I really began to enjoy the babies. I mean, really enjoy them. I believe children are a gift...I believed that for a long time...in my head. But in recent weeks, that head knowledge has become heart knowledge...I realized that I truly love these babies--all of them! They are precious...innocent...cute...cuddly.

That is why today, as we were discussing different aspects of child abuse, I was grieved in my spirit. Some of the stories we heard about child physical and sexual abuse and neglect were so terrible and appalling that I will not even bother to repeat them on this blog. Not to mention told in explicit detail. We were fully educated and informed about what to look for in abuse. Some of the most common objects used for physical abuse, made me tear up at the thought. Feelings of sadness and anger crawled at my heart...how could anyone possible THINK of doing any harm to young children, let alone babies? These stories are every parent's nightmare. What made me even more upset was realizing that abuse is not limited to toddlers who can walk and up. Even the youngest can suffer abuse...the devil is out to steal, kill and destroy these precious little ones before they've had a chance to really live.

I left emotionally drained. Depression crawled at me for the duration of the day. God, why are people so...cruel?

Later tonight, as I was thinking about these things, the Holy Spirit spoke to my heart. I grieve for those little ones too.
It hit me: He loves those sweet babies more than I ever can...and His next sentence brought peace to my heart. Don't you remember that My Word says that I will give them back the years that the cankerworm have eaten?

I believe that. With all my heart. I wish every parent and every childcare worker knew just how powerful God's Word is when dealing with children and babies. Are things always going to be easy for these babies? Probably not. Would some of them experience trauma and tragedy? Yes, it's a part of life. God was telling me to not worry about the babies. No matter what happened He would always be there with them. He always gives the victory through Jesus (2 Corinthians 15:57)...yes, there is hope, even if a child has already experienced abuse and neglect. No matter how terrible the situation is, God is always there to love and comfort grieving parents, childcare workers, and the children themselves.

Yes, there is much evil in this world. But, we have hope in Jesus that everything is going to be alright!

Joel 2:25-26
And I will restore to you the years that the locust hath eaten, the cankerworm, and the caterpiller, and the palmerworm, my great army which I sent among you.
And ye shall eat in plenty, and be satisfied, and praise the name of the LORD your God, that hath dealt wondrously with you: and my people shall never be ashamed.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Thoughts on The Cross and the Switchblade

Yesterday, I got my birthday present from my parents and my brother--a Kindle! I was so excited because I had wanted one but didn't think I was able to get it! But when my parents and brother went in on it there was enough! :)

I plugged it into my computer and bought three books: A Love that Multiplies by Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar, 31 Days of Cleaning: How to have a Martha House the Mary Way, and The Cross and the Switchblade by David Wilkerson. Right now, I'm reading The Cross and the Switchblade and A Love that Multiplies at the same time. While I have enjoyed both books (and will be blogging about the other one later), The Cross and the Switchblade has re-ignited my passion to help those downtown who feel as if they are out of options.

At the beginning of the book, Pastor Wilkerson talks about how he was introduced to New York City's toughest gangmembers. A few members escorted him into their party area--where sin was rampant. Drugs, drunkeness, you name it. My heart broke when one girl, Maria, showed him her arm--she had been mainlining and was addicted to heroin. She looked him in the eye and said, "There's no hope for me; even from God."

How tragic!

I wanted to hop straight into that book look HER in the eye and say, "Yes, there IS hope! You CAN be free from this!"

It made me eager to do evangelism again. It made me want to fly up to Minnesota just so I could do Encounter, Connecting Hope, and ROSES all in the same weekend!

Every Christian needs to read this book. Words cannot describe how much the book has impacted me as a Christian and a future minister.

Luke 4:18-19 “The Spirit of the Lord is on me,because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind,to set the oppressed free,to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.”

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Learning to Trust

Finances fell through and I wasn't able to go to NCU this fall. Needless to say, I was so upset. But then I realize, this is what trusting God is all about.

I have always prayed for God to order my steps. I have prayed His plan to come to pass in my life. Even now, I'm still dealing with the pain of disappointment when I realized I couldn't go back to NCU. We drove up hoping that provision would be there--but we also understand that His provision is connected with His plan.

What was frustrating is that everytime I would ask, "God am I going back to NCU?" He wouldn't say yes. He wouldn't say no. He always, with His still small voice would say, "Stick with Me. I got a plan." Anything beyond that was wishful thinking.

It was hard, perhaps the hardest thing I have ever had to do. For in giving up my plans for this semester to God, I was giving up something precious--NCU for the fall. My heart was in Minneapolis with Steps to Beauty, with the girls on my floor, with my brothers on 4 East Carlson,my dear friend I ride to church with every Sunday, and with my brothers and sisters at Encounter. My heart broke when I realized that this was not in God's plan for me at least right now.

I have cherished my time at NCU. I've met many godly people, and have grown deeper in my faith. I even had a big attitude adjustment just before Spring Break that helped me to enjoy living up North, away from the warm weather. God had gotten me to the point where I could be joyful even if I was having a bad day. I was satisfied living up North. So the fact that God brought me back to the South makes no sense after that big attitude adjustment! (Btw, you can read it on my blog! I posted it in March, I believe, of this year.)

One phrase I think that has been dumbed down and overused more than anything has been the phrase "I trust God." Do we really trust Him? When we were driving up to Minnesota with some of my things for school and to get the stuff out of the storage unit to take to the dorm room, it was hard not knowing what was going to happen next. Trusting Him is harder than it looks. I had my plan--which I assumed was God's plan. And it was hard driving up not knowing if the provision would be there or not. But I always heard that still small voice saying, "Stick with Me, I got a plan."

And after hearing Brother Keith Moore's sermon on trust, I realized that no matter what happened, I would have to put my trust in God. No matter what happened. The time when it was hardest to trust Him was the time I needed to trust Him more than anything else.

Proverbs 3:5-6 says "Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will make your paths straight."

With all your heart.

This means that I need to put my trust in Him. No ands, ifs, buts, or ors. And no "I trust Him when..."

It should be "I trust Him." Period.

If I start adding qualifiers, that's when I begin to miss it. He wants us to be solid, even when things are crashing down on us. We can trust Him with our lives because the Bible says that He will make our paths straight and that His plan for us is good (Jeremiah 29:11).

Is this what I would have chosen a month ago? Probably not. But I can already see that it's going to be a great semester! I'm getting to hang with my friends at church more! These people are on fire for God and desire a deeper relationship with Him just like I do.

Romans 8:28. "And we know that in ALL things, God works for the good of those who love Him; who are called according to His purpose."

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Clutter

God had different plans. I'm home in Arkansas with my stuff from the storage unit. Translation: There's clutter EVERYWHERE!

I hate clutter. I hate it more than anything. The pain of discovering that I wasn't going to return to NCU is still fresh, but I've made up my mind not to be depressed about it.

But I am more stressed than I ever have been. Now I have all this stuff to sort through, and knowing that it should be up in Minnesota and not here hurts. Not to mention clutter stresses me out!

God, help me to know Your will for my life, and to get this clutter sorted out! I need You now, more than ever!

Monday, August 22, 2011

Be thankful

Be thankful in all circumstances.

This is something that seems really hard to do right now.

Right now, I'm believing for God to provide for my schooling. If He has something else in mind, let's go with that, but I'm pretty sure He wants me back at NCU.

It's hard sometimes, a struggle of faith vs. fear. But I have to remind myself that He has a plan for me, a good one at that!

It's hard not to be jealous or resentful of my friends who have gotten full rides to their respective universities and don't have to worry about money. I studied and worked my tail off during high school and grabbed some scholarships--but it wasn't nearly enough. Not to mention I didn't get the ACT score I wanted.

Fail.

But during our ice cream date tonight, my awesome dad reminded me that there is more to life than ACT scores, scholarships, plans, etc. He told me about some disappointments that he had during his twentysomething years, but he told me that God had worked it out later on. And when I say worked out I mean REALLY worked out! Sometimes we don't understand the whole situation because we can't see it from God's point of view. GOD is the One who charts our path, and He is the One who orders our steps.

Maybe it's time I got out of the way and let Him do that! :)

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Faith that Receives

I'm discovering the definition of faith everyday. By discover, I mean experience. You see, I believe that faith is what Hebrews 11:1 says it is: being SURE of what we hope for and CERTAIN of what we do not see.

Right now, I'm at the place where I should be panicking--financially. But if I know anything about God it's that He is faithful. He would not tell me to go back to NCU unless He had a plan for how we were going to pay for it.

It's a battle of faith vs. fear everyday, but I remind myself that God's Word is true; and God ALWAYS keeps His promises!

In December 2010 the Lord dealt with Brother Copeland to tell those involved with his ministry to "have faith in God and EVERYTHING is gonna be alright!" I have seen this word demonstrated in my own life already this year!

In February, NCU announced that Carlstrom Deaf Studies would have to be phased out due to low enrollment and finances. For those who do not know what Carlstrom Deaf Studies is, it's a pastoral training program for Deaf/Hard of Hearing students (Interpreting is in the Intercultural Studies department so Interpreting would not have been affected). Upon hearing the news, Deaf and Interpeting students alike immediately rushed to prayer for battle. Our student body joined in and agreed with us for God's provision and help. Dr. Gordon Anderson, the president of our University told us in a meeting with him that it would take an endowment for the program to continue--but we would need a million dollars to make that happen. :/. It sure looked impossible, but we believed that God was making a way for this program to stay open.

Two months later, Dr. Anderson sent an email out to all Deaf/Interpreting students and asked us all to be present in chapel on Monday. Not sure what to expect, I went and sat in the well known "Deaf section" on the right side of the stage.

Dr. Anderson's next words had all of us on our feet cheering in victory! Two women had anonymously donated 600,000 dollars and 400,000 respectively--enough to create an endowment to keep the program open. Glory be to our great God!

Nothing is impossible with him who believes!

So while I am believing for money for school, I will keep my eyes on Him and seek Him. He is my Source. Not my parents. Not a job. Not the government. And He can not lie.

And that's that!


Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Who's job is it to take care of the poor?

So I've been thinking about this question quite a bit. One of the priorities of our government is to make sure that everyone has equal access to everything; and in recent times that has been healthcare. The government prioritizes taking care of the poor and those who have no jobs using welfare, social security and so forth. Please understand, I am all about taking care of the poor. However, it seems like the government sees the need to take on that responsibility even though America is up to her eyeballs in debt.

Upon reading the Bible, I remember Jesus telling the Church to take care of the poor. Give what you have to those who are needy, sell your possessions to give to the poor, and on and on. Clearly, Jesus told us, We the People to take care of the poor.

It certainly seems like we've slacked up a little, since the government feels the need to pick up the slack.

Forgive me if I sound a little rambled. I was thinking about the differences between Republicans and Democrats. Republicans tend to favor the rich, while the Democrats favor the poor. I am a Republican, so I was questioning to myself, why? Why have I taken my political stance that favors rich people?

Later that day, God and I were talking about it, and He reminded me of those verses above. He commanded US to care for the poor. Not the government. This makes me think that a lot of us have given up on giving. Even I have fallen into the trap of thinking "I'm not going to have enough!" But what I need to understand is that God can get whatever I need to me. Please do not think that I am judging anyone; I've been in the position before!

I do, however think the Church needs to step up on its ministry to the poor and homeless so we can let the government focus on creating jobs for them.

This is my rambling for the day. :) Please feel free to answer these questions:

1. Do you think the Church needs to step up?

2. How involved should we be as far as politics?

3. Is it the government's job to take care of everybody? Why or why not?

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Fed Up

I never thought I would ever say this but...

I miss Minneapolis.

Not that my home life is terrible. I have awesome parents. I have great friends. But I haven't been able to do evangelism like I used to, and to make matters worse, I can't just come and go as I please. I have to jump through hoops to get anywhere, and really it seems that the farthest I can walk away from the house is to the store to get an Icee.

Also, I've been slacking on my time with God and I've let my flesh take over more. I'm angry, depressed, and just downright frustrated with life right now. It's all too easy to see what I do not have (I know about those whose lives have been affected by tornados; please do not guilt trip me with this one. I have been praying for these people too).

And the gluten free diet? I hate it. I hate it more than anything. Seems like not matter how hard I try, I still manage to (oops, too late!)ingest gluten and get myself sick. I hate having to jump through hoops just to find something safe to eat because I can't just eat what I used to. I have to check every label, every ingredient. It's frustrating beyond all reason. Plus, the special food Mom and Dad have to buy me are also pretty expensive. That only makes me hate it more.

However, on a brighter (MUCH brighter) note, my brother is getting married this fall to his sweetheart, Sydney. Our family got to meet her and her mom over the weekend in Shreveport, and we hit it off right away. They're the sweetest people I've ever met. Sydney was just made for Stephen, I can tell; and I will FINALLY have a sister! :)

Well, that's my speil for today. Sorry for all the negativity; I have no excuse. If anything, I'll probably reread this when I'm in a better mood and be all like, "WHAT?? WHY DID I WRITE THAT?"

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Weirdest comments I have heard about...

Homeschooling.

Many of y'all know that I was homeschooled from Kindergarten to senior year of high school. Honestly, I loved it and would not trade anything for it.

However, I have also been asked weird questions and at times have been forced to defend my parents' decision to people I just met many different times.

Here are just some of the many questions/comments that have been thrown in my direction:

1. Is it legal?

Yes, it's legal in every state in the union. Please do not ask us this one. It's insulting simply because it implies that my parents are criminals.

2. What is your mother's level of education?

Honestly, I was so surprised at this one. I told the individual who posed this question to me that my mom does indeed have a college degree. To which said individual replied, "Oh good! I thought you were going to say high school!" She meant well, but it sounded kind of condescending.

3. Do your parents care about socilization?

Yes, that's why they homeschooled. 'Nuf said.

4. Wow, you're pretty normal for a homeschooler!

Quit stereotyping. Seriously. What the heck do you mean by "normal"?

5. Are you even going to be able to get into college?

Is that a serious question? Yes, homeschoolers are accepted into college. I was even able to score some scholarships, paying for 1/4 of my schooling at the university that I now go to thanks be to God :)

6. Do you have a LIVE PERSON there instructing you all the time? I mean a LIVE PERSON?

Nope. Don't need one. Why? Because my mom taught me to teach myself (once again, thank You God!). If there were some things I needed Mom's help on, she was there for that reason. That's okay. Or if I'm frustrated, I would just put it aside and work on something else. I was able to master the concepts within a few days with help from Mom and God.

7. But you're so sheltered and have no idea what the real world is like.

I was out and about a lot during my homeschooling days. I practically lived in the community. Those who tell me I should be exposed to the real world (at least the Christians who have told me this) forget the Scripture that says "For the wisdom of this world is foolishness in God’s sight. As it is written: 'He catches the wise in their craftiness'” Is it really that important for me to get exposed to alcohol, drugs, and sex when I'm a kid? That's the "real world", like it or not.

8. Are you taught?

Is that a serious question? Please see #6's answer.

So that's my spiel for the day. I hope I did not offend anyone, that was not my intention in writing this at all. I like it when people ask me questions about homeschooling and I have nothing against the public schools. It's when people have the "I'm better than you" attitude that gets me frustrated. I don't like it on either side. Thanks for reading! :)

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Is justice what we really want?

It's been all over the news for a couple of days: Osama bin Laden, enemy of the United States and the murderer of thousands of Americans on September 11, 2001 is dead after a raid on his compound in Pakistan.

I see many Americans celebrating the death of al Quaeda's leader. Even many Christians.

This bothers me to no end. Yes, Osama did get what he deserved, long overdue as it was. But haven't we all sinned? If justice is what we want for Osama, then shouldn't we all die?

The point is, all of us have sinned and fall short of the glory of God and the wages of sin is DEATH. That's why Jesus had to come; so He could take the punishment for us, and give us the gift of eternal life--a gift that none of us deserves but many of us have. Unfortunately, not everyone receives that gift.

Just thinking about where Osama might be right now, grieves me. I hope he had a chance to get mercy, because God is not willing that any should perish. What an awful surprise--he probably thought he was going to meet his ten virgins on the other side, but no...he probably met torment and eternal punishment.

Mercy, not justice. That is the cry of God's heart, and it should be ours too.

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Encounter-ing Downtown

Minneapolis. A city of business, where people come and go from their jobs. During day, it is just like any other city. There's a baseball field, a lightrail station, and a Macy's as well as a variety of other stores.

During night however, it becomes a haven for drugs, alcohol, and God knows what else. There are strip clubs, gay clubs, and bars left and right in some parts of downtown. There are many drunk people, as well as those who are high on marujana and you know because you can smell it from ten feet away.

These people are crying out for fulfilment, and are looking to these things that Satan uses to steal kill and destroy them in order to find that.

These people are desperate. They are crying.

And Reach Out Minneappolis is answering that cry.

Every Friday in Minneapolis a bunch of us get together for prayer and then we hit the streets.

I will never forget during prayer one night the Lord dealt with me to bring a book called Healed of Cancer by Dodie Osteen. I almost didn't bring it because I was sure I had made it all up in my head. But I went ahead and brought the book figuring it couldn't hurt. Then my roommate and I went to meet everyone else downstairs, and the group of about thirty headed to the lightrail. Our plan since it was so cold was to ride the lightrail to Block E and Hennipen, but when the lightrail came when only half of us had bought our tickets the other half got left behind. I was in the half that was left behind. :/ Anyway, we waited but then we found out that the next one wasn't coming until 1:30--when we had agreed to meet at Club 3 Degrees. So despite the cold we took the walk.

We arrived at 12:45am. We had about 45 minutes to talk to people, which really in street evangelism is not much time at all. We circled the block a few times but wasn't able to talk to anyone. Until...

We were about to cross the street and a couple of us in my group noticed a couple standing off to one side, and the woman was digging through her purse. Motioning to the other two in my group to follow, I said, "Ma'am can we help you?"

She had a few choice words."_____ can't find my ____ cell phone."

So my roommate who was in my group let her friend use her cell phone and while he was on the phone, we got to talk with her. We asked her if there was anything she needed prayer about and she told us that her dad died I think two years ago, and she was still grieving. Also, she said her mother had brain tumors. When she said that, the Holy Spirit seemed to say, "That's your cue." So I reached into my jacket and gave her the book. She was so emotional and crying; she gave us all hugs. We left knowing that she had had an Encounter with the Almighty, and hopefully her persepective on life was changing even as we walked away to meet the rest of our group.

Nothing gives me more joy than to know that God was able to use me and others to touch someone else for His glory. Sometimes, all it takes for someone to come to the Kingdom is understanding the goodness of God.

Even though there still remains a dark cloud over that part of the city, there are people like us, who go out there and poke holes in that cloud to let God's light shine through.

I can't think of anything else I'd rather do with my life.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Possible Double-Major?

Hey y'all,

So recently the Lord has led me to Evangelism and Church Planting as the ministry that He wants me involved in. I would love to do that as my major with a Deaf Culture Studies Supporting Program or the other way around. This fall, I will be taking Biblical Principles of Evangelism to get my feet in the water.

As for Interpreting, well I'm just not sure. Interpreters are in high demand these days thanks to the Americans with Disabilities Act. As much as I would love to focus on just the Evangelism and Church Planting part of the Deaf community, people are telling me that it's important to have a "marketable skill," especially in the economy we're in. I completely understand this, but understand, ministry has been my passion from the beginning. Not Interpreting.

So yes, I am torn. Torn between the thing I love the most and the secular job that I respect the most. Thankfully, my parents are supportive of whatever I decide to do.

I will keep seeking the Lord about this, but for now I will be doing a double-major. However, that means I will be at NCU a total of six years.

As much as I love NCU.....bleh

Sunday, April 10, 2011

A for Attitude

One thing that I sincerely regret not writing about sooner is my attitude adjustment over a month ago.

Well let's start with some facts. I've been at North Central for two years. And up until a month ago, I hated it.

No, I didn't hate North Central. I just hated how far away it is from my family and how dang COLD it is. I hated the person I was because I had allowed myself to lose my joy. I no longer enjoyed life. I HATED getting up every morning for class. I HATED all the homework we are expected to do. Also, it seemed like no matter what the heck I did or said, I ticked someone off!

So my attitude was, well stinky at best. I continually complained and ranted to God for sending me to this frozen wasteland...and for what?

At the same time, however, I was believing for my school bills to be paid. I was also seeking the Lord as to what ministry I would do; I felt like He wanted me to do more than interpreting. Ironic, isn't it? It got to the point where I did not know where my next tuition payment was coming from, and I was as ignorant as ever as to my future ministry.

So yes, I was FURIOUS! I couldn't understand why God had sent me HERE of all places.

Until one day, I heard a story about a pastor/evangelist named Kenneth E. Hagin who lived in the 1930s. He had pastored a Texas church for years; This church in particular took care of him and his family and he poured himself into preaching the Word to them. The perfect congregation for any pastor to have.

But the Lord nudged him one day and said, "Go out and be an evangelist." So he packed up his family, said goodby to the congregation and started preaching wherever the Lord led them.

However, they were behind every month financially. It progressed and kept getting worse and worse.

Knowing that something had to be done and fast, Brother Hagin started having more alone time with God than he ever had before. He opened his Bible to Isaiah 1:18 which says, "If you are willing and obedient you will eat the good of the land." Brother Hagin read that Scripture several times, and repeatedly told the Lord, "Help me! What am I doing wrong? Why are we not eating the good of the land?"

Finally, he just said nothing and waited on the Lord; his patience was rewarded. The Lord spoke to him and said these words:

Well the problem is, you don't qualify.

Yes, he had been obedient in going out to evangelize and preach the gospel...but he hadn't been willing. Immediately, he made an attitude change and from then on, the Lord brought them through victorious!

When I heard this story, the Holy Spirit said to me, You don't qualify either.

That scared me so badly! I immediately repented and surrendered my frustrations, and my desire to be back at home. I told Him that I would stay in Minneapolis for as long as He wanted me and do whatever He wanted me to do.

Since then, I've had so much peace! I have my joy back! I LOVE Minnesota! And He has also revealed to me the ministry I will be undertaking in addition to Interpreting: Evangelism and Church Planting. I am so excited at what God will do in years to come in me and through me!

To God be all the glory!

Amen.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Steps to Beauty and ICCM

This was it. This was the weekend we had been waiting for.

Steps to Beauty, the ministry I lead alongside my friend Crystle, was going to Inner City Church of Minneapolis (ICCM) to host a sleepover for the girls in Children's Church!

We had been prepping for weeks and were so pumped. Crystle and I laid out a tentative schedule (that's right, I said TENTATIVE)and together with the rest of the team created the set list. All of the planning Crystle and I had done was leading up to this weekend.

And during said weekend, my faith was tried.

The few days leading up to the sleepover, I spent some extra time in the prayer room. I couldn't have felt closer to God during that time. And before the final meeting before the sleepover, the Lord led me to Matthew 14.

Shortly before dawn Jesus went out to them, walking on the lake. 26 When the disciples saw him walking on the lake, they were terrified. “It’s a ghost,” they said, and cried out in fear.

27 But Jesus immediately said to them: “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.”

28 “Lord, if it’s you,” Peter replied, “tell me to come to you on the water.”

29 “Come,” he said.

Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus. 30 But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, “Lord, save me!”

31 Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. “You of little faith,” he said, “why did you doubt?”

To me, our team was a lot like Peter. We were stepping onto ground that many of us had never stepped on. We had to have the faith to walk on the water and keep our eyes off of the wind and waves.

This weekend showed me that I need more work on that. I made a ton of mistakes (as my dear friend and former fearless leader Jessica assured me I would)which meant that I had to keep giving the sleepover and the talks and the dances to Him the half the time. The other half was spent praying in tongues.

And you know what? God helped us accomplish what we were there to do! We got to love on these girls, pray over them, and talk to them about their beauty and worth! What could possibly be better than that?

We walk not by what we feel or see, but by faith! It is God who is responsible for watching over His Word to perform it in our lives and in the lives of these girls!

So from here on in, I refuse to look at the wind and the waves an instead, keep my eyes on Jesus till I reach the other side!

Wow...God has taught me so much through student leadership!

Monday, March 21, 2011

Well I was wrong...

AGAIN.

After twenty years of endless debate, questioning, study,and prayer I have come to an astounding conclusion...

God is smarter than me.

Sounds so cliche'. Many Christians know it. But what they don't know is that they really don't know it the way they should know it.

When God has instructed me to do something and I do it, all the pieces fall into place. We don't have to do anything on our own.

Let me give you some examples.

About a month ago, "The Week" happened at North Central.

What is "The Week," you may ask? Well it just happens to be the equivilant of Spirit week at other colleges and universities across America. While most focus only on sports, we also focus on God and His impact on the school. There is always a theme highlighing said elements. This year's theme was Legacy. Legacy, as in "What kind of impact do we want to have here on the earth? How will people remember us?"

Chapel was therefore, given a decade everyday for every year North Central has been around. Wendesday, the theme was 70s and 80s. So Michael White, who is in charge of chapel at North Central asked the Mixed Choir to lead worship on that day, similar to how worship was led in those days.

However, though I was technically enrolled in Mixed, I had no knowledge of this. Why is that, you may ask. It's because I was going to drop the class by overskipping. After all, I'm tkaing it for zero credit and I was busy anyway with leadership responsibilities relating to Steps to Beauty and homework from other classes. I had nothing against the class. I liked the professor and it was a good outlet for me since I love to sing, but I simply had no time for it.

The bad thing was, when I made the decision to drop the class, the Holy Spirit kept telling me No, don't drop it, but I ignored Him.

So Tuesday, of "The Week," I had skipped chapel to do the enormous amount of homework that needed to be done before tomorrow's classes. I had gone to the deli to grab a transfer but was still in my room when 1:15 came along. Once again, the Holy Spirit prompted me to go to choir. Fed up with how unfair life was, I grabbed my coat, hat, scarf (all of the things necessary to survive a Minnesotan winter) and headed outside ot Mensing, fuming all the way. Fine, I was going to do what He said but that didn't mean I had to be happy about it!

I arrived in the studio five minutes after class began so they were still warming up. I took my seat and joined in, still fuming on the inside.

However, one of the other music professors came in and talked about the performance the next day, how we were to dress and went over the songs: "This is the Day", "We Bring the Sacrifice of Praise", and "Bless the Lord" (thankfullly I knew them very well).

After performing the next day I realized that if I had dropped the class and skipped that day, I would have missed out on that. I enjoyed it, it was fun, and I would love to do it again.

He is smarter than me. A lesson that is simple but one that I will never forget.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Plans Changed...

God told me a couple days ago not to go home for Spring Break.

Why? I don't know. I really wish He'd tell me.

There were so many things I wanted to do when I went home. My plan was to go to Shreveport first thing and see Stephen, the Mazurs, and meet Stephen's girlfriend Sydney. Then I wanted to go to Gateway Church on Sunday morning, visit my friends who go to Arkansas Tech, grab a cup of Starbuck's with Morgan, have dinner with the Alsops, grab a real Icee (that's right, I said a REAL Icee)... but all my plans were changed by a few simple words.

Don't go home for Spring Break.

Right now, the song "Out of My Hands" by Matthew West is the anthem of my life.

I hate the state of not knowing right now.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

He Cares for YOU!

This seems to be a common theme in my postings, but whether I've posted it three times, or three hundred times it's true.

It all started on Thursday. Our informational meeting for Steps to Beauty was that night and while it seemed things were going smoothly, I was too busy complicating things.

It's amazing...even though I am against worry in every shape and form because of Matthew 6:25-34...I worried over this meeting constantly. Until I was sick. Literally. I got sick of worry. I'm talking cough, congestion...ick!

The worst thing about it was I had no clue that I was worrying!

Anyway, Friday morning, I woke up with the same cough...only it had gotten worse. I also felt weak and lightheaded. I said my healing scriptures, dressed and went to Greek but I wound up spending class time trying not to pass out.

What is wrong with me, I wondered.

Since I had no classes third hour, I went back to bed and tried to go back to sleep...but I couldn't. I even skipped chapel trying to get some good sleep in but alas I failed. I guess the reason for that would be because I started having awful spasms in my back muscles. I had already set my alarm so I could get up before Steps to Beauty Prayer on Fridays after chapel and it went off a little sooner than I wanted it to. Once again I forced myself out of bed whilst repeating my healing scriptures, but my back feeling none the better.

I headed on to chapel feeling very tired and in a lot of pain. I arrived at the sanctuary as prayer was beginning.

I went to our customary spot on the right side of the sanctuary over by the stairs, and once again failed epically to sit Indian-style like the other girls could. My assistant leader came and sat down and we chatted for a bit before the other team members came, but what she said I was not prepared for.

"You worry way too much." In a nutshell, that's what she said.

What? Me worry? HA!

But as she continued talking, I checked my spirit, and what she was saying was true! I had been worrying way to much and my body was paying for it. Without me even giving them permission, tears started running down my face.

Now how it snuck in, I still have no idea. But I'm glad God used my assistant director (Thank you, Crystle!) to tell me what was going on.

One other team member arrived and we began praying for the ministry and for eachother. During prayer, I couldn't stop thinking about what Crystle had told me. Nor could I ignore the pain in my back any longer. I kept shifting and shifting trying to find a comfortable position.

Finally, as was our custom, we went over on the other side of the Sanctuary to take communion. After we received our communion elements, Dr. Watson, asked two to lead us out in prayer before partaking of the bread and cup.

The first one to pray was my friend Jake. The funny thing is now, I don't remember what he said, but it was what I needed to hear. My spirit was feeding off everything he sad during his prayer. Definitely led by the Holy Spirit.

The second one started hers off by speaking life over everyone. By faith I received it, and I could feel myself becoming more at peace. I don't remember what else she said but I do remember her quoting Isaiah as saying "Those who wait upon the Lord will renew their strength. They will mount up with wings like eagles. They will run and not grow weary. They will walk and not be faint." I grabbed onto that promise, and began feeling stronger than before.

Afterwards,Crystle offered to give me a back massage which I accepted. I also wound up having to borrow a heating pad to lay on.

Obviously, I was set up to receive blessings from God today. Isn't it amazing that God knew exactly what I needed and met me there? I still thank Him everyday for ordering my steps. And He is faithful in everything! Later on, my back was healed! :)