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Showing posts from February, 2013

Bold Promises.

I love this. He speaks straight to our hearts so as to give us understanding.
"'I am the LORD,' he says, 'and there is no other. I publicly proclaim bold promises. I do not whisper obscurities in some dark corner so no one can understand what I mean. And I did not tell the people of Israel to ask me for something I did not plan to give. I, the LORD, speak only what is true and right.'" ~Isaiah 45:18c-19

The Television.

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For the longest time, I've been an avid television viewer. On summer days as a child, I would dive for hours into the world of Laura Ingalls Wilder in "Little House on the Prairie." How I loved to experience life through Laura's perspective...as she roamed the woods, played in the creek, and swooned over Almanzo--her crush, and later, her husband.

As I've grown older, I've developed a definite taste for Turner Classic Movies. I love exploring ages of the past by watching classy actors and actresses sing, dance, and act. When I was in high school (specifically in my senior year), I would come home from school, and the first thing I would do is grab a snack and then head downstairs to watch my movie for the day. It could have been a classic with Fred Astaire, Cary Grant, or Audrey Hepburn--just FANTASTIC. However, not only would I watch the one movie, but I would watch television for at least 2-3 hours before going to bed--sometimes while doing my homework. Te…

Second Semester Snapshot.

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This semester has been wonderful so far...even though I'm in the midst of midterms. Those are a little less than enjoyable. But, after this week, I'll be headed on Spring Tour with the Concert Choir. I can't wait for this upcoming time of ministry with such beautiful people, including some new Cuban friends.

As I ponder the past few months since Christmas, I have experienced some of the greatest joys--and they have come from some of the most simple things.

For one, I got to celebrate my mom's birthday over Skype. I had the privilege of singing "Happy Birthday" with my dad and brother, and was able to help blow out her candles. ;) I can't even BEGIN to express my thankfulness for Skype, and how it makes me feel so much closer to loved ones!


Also, we've experienced a few snowfalls here in Springfield! They have been beautiful, and one even allowed us to have a day off school. That was a gift. During one of the snow flurries, I was walking with a dear fr…

You Cannot Lose His Love.

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Wow. What a love God gives us.

Reputation.

What the Lord spoke to my heart on Sunday morning before going to church:

Do not focus on trying to save your reputation. For it's only when you give up your life and offer it to Me that you will FIND true LIFE. Impressions are fading, they do not last or compare when measured up to the identity I offer you in Me--where you are FREE to be fully in Me, not fully lost and dependent upon your own strengths, desires, and pursuits. Surrender to My love, My power, My Holy Spirit--for only when the Spirit controls every aspect of your life--including your pride--will you be fully satisfied in Me. So give me your pride--that selfish ambition. It is not until you ABANDON your desire for a good reputation that I will make My own reputation GREAT through you. I will shine through the deepest areas of insecurity and allow My glory to envelop you. Your life speaks not as a testimony of what you have done, but as a testimony to My grace and My faithfulness flooding your life. Allow what I see ab…

Faith.

What I felt the Lord speak to me tonight at Reviving Prayer:

For so long, you have prayed a distorted prayer to Me of rationalizing your faith in Me and what it would mean for you if I didn't come through. You have allowed your doubts to surpass the glory of My presence which is meant to lift and free you to experience the deepest measure of faith in what I can do. I am restoring you. I am clearing your vision so that you no longer walk by what you can see, but rather by faith in My power and in My character that will always care for you completely, truly, without condition. Faith in Me does not depend on what you can work to offer Me but rather what you can relinquish from your control. What you can surrender to Me in order to rest in the security I offer you so freely. Don't rationalize My power. Allow yourself to be softened by the testimonies of My power, but don't be limited by those testimonies. For greater things will come through Me. My power is not exclusively defi…

Your Presence is Heaven.

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Let this song speak to your heart today. It sure has been speaking to me lately. May we seek the Lord's presence so greatly, that we truly believe there is NOTHING like it to satisfy our deepest longings. Because there truly is NOTHING that can satisfy us like the Lord's presence.

The Weather.

It both humors me and frustrates me that most human conversations seem to revolve around the weather. When asked how we are doing, we utter a quick "Good!" or "Well!" (depending on our attitude toward proper grammar for the day). Then, we discuss the weather. It's the proper thing to do. Is it going to snow? Is it going to rain? Are you cold, hot, just right? This is a conversation of comfort. I cannot count how many "weather conversations" I have had with those around me this month--or even this past week.

However, I do know where this conversation branches from (at least for me). A place of low involvement, no confrontation, and little investment. Everyone can agree on the weather. And because the temperature changes from day to day, we never have to worry that we'll STOP having something to talk about. In my personal opinion, this shallowness of thought is preventing us from TRULY getting to the root of sharing what God is doing in each others&#…

Make My Life a Prayer to You.

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"Oh, I want to thank You now For being patient with me. Oh, it's so hard to see When my eyes are on me. I guess I'll have to trust, and just believe what You say. Oh, You're coming again, Coming to take me away."

Amen and Amen.

Sufficient.

"But he said to me, 'My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.' Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me." ~2 Corinthians 12:9

Wow. What a concept to ponder. God's power is perfected in our greatest weaknesses. When we feel the most powerless, that is where God can work His glory in us. When we rely on our own power to make it through life, we posture that we are self-sufficient and able to handle the demands of the day on our own. Yet, we undoubtedly fail. Our strength is not complete. And we must run to the Father who is not only present with us during our times of weaknesses, but He redeems our weakness to reveal His glory.

But the question is--are we believing that God's grace is sufficient for us? Sometimes, it is so difficult to accept the grace which God so freely wants to give us. Hence, we carry our own burdens. We take on our own struggles. We are shamed by ou…

A Word.

This morning at church during worship time, I felt God speak this word to me so strongly. 

I have called you to raise the level of passion, not conform to the level already in existence. I have given you boldness to speak. For you carry the weight of My glory, not your own. You need not be frightened or afraid to carry my glory for it is where true meaning and blessing lie. As you choose to carry My glory, it will bless others and unleash those chains you are so concerned about going against. Have faith in Me. Abandon and surrender your fear and your doubts. Because they are NOT of Me. They are hindrances to My glory. Fix your gaze undistracted on Me, and I will alleviate your doubts, your fears, your pressing worries. Doubt does not exist in My presence, nor does fear. For I have sacrificed My Son that you may LIVE in freedom. To LIVE in My glory. Do not be worried to offend the chains, because only when you confront them with My glory will they be broken. I have released My BOLDNESS …

Remember.

Sometimes I'm frustrated by my inability to recognize what God has done in my life. I lose sight of what miracles He has accomplished, what circumstances ONLY HE could have orchestrated. Instead, I focus on my doubts for the future--I fail to grasp that God will continue to be faithful to me.

This tendency makes me feel as futile as the Israelites (in the book of Exodus), who in spite of God's obvious faithfulness in the wilderness on their way to the Promised Land, continued to mutter, doubt, and be unaware of God's presence resting upon them and guiding them. They knew what God had done FOR them, yet they did not allow God to accomplish His deep moving WITHIN them. Continually losing sight of God's power and grace, they repeated a destructive cycle of sin--turning away from God, until their hearts finally turned back to Him. Still, their hearts never ceased to turn away from God. They failed to realize God's faithfulness. They forgot what God had done. They allowe…

Bursting.

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“The Lord is my strength, my shield from every danger. I trust in him with all my heart. He helps me, and my heart is filled with joy. I BURST out in songs of thanksgiving.” ~Psalm 28:7

Letting Go.

I cannot believe I was an Evangel Founder's candidate a whole year ago already. I will never forget the jitters I had the morning of the interviews. So many jitters. I could barely sleep the night before--and barely eat breakfast the morning of. So much was riding on these interviews--my hopes and dreams for the future. Since I was a pre-teen, I had dreamt of attending Evangel and used to rehearse the Founder's Day questions listed on the school's website (A little nerdy, I know).

Through the group interviews, individual interview, scrumptious lunch, and enlightening conversations, I had a whirlwind of a Founder's Day. Above all, I was beyond anxious for the results I would find out in a few short days. Checking my e-mail frequently, I finally received the e-mail about whether or not I had received a scholarship. Clicking on it with the weight of the world on my pointer finger, I found out that I had not received a Founder's scholarship. My heart literally sank. Th…

Bill & Gloria.

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My first memory of singing to an audience is in the year 1997 when I was 3 years old. I was a part of my preschool’s production of “Kids Under Construction,” where I sang with my little voice these words: “I am promise. I am a possibility…I can be anything, anything God wants me to be.” I credit this musical, penned by Bill and Gloria Gaither, as the beginning of my love of music.

Today, I was blessed to be a part of Evangel’s combined choir—singing “There’s Something About that Name” and “The Church Triumphant,” both written by the Gaithers during their ministry. We ministered in chapel, and then Concert Choir had the privilege of sharing some more songs during a luncheon after chapel.

Before sharing our last song "I Then Shall Live," Concert Choir director Mrs. Sharon Wilkins invited Gloria to come to the microphone to share the story of why she wrote the song. With a hush in the crowd, and the Holy Spirit's presence so evident, Gloria opened up that writing the lyrics t…

He Supplies Our Needs.

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Last Sunday night, after the weekend spent with a bad chest cough, I began to feel intense body chills. After bundling up and heading to bed, I noticed that my knee joints were very achy. After a few hours asleep, I woke up around 2AM--burning up with a fever. Because I was feeling so weak, I was unable to climb down from my lofted bed. After finally gaining the strength to make it down my ladder, I made my way to W2N's study room to call my folks and tell them how sick I was feeling.

Little did I know that I was just beginning a week-long bout with the flu.

It's no fun being sick away from home. When I think of being sick, I picture myself in the comfy brown recliner chair in my house--positioned conveniently in front of the television. I imagine my dad and mom giving me Sprite, Popsicles, and toast with strawberry jelly on top. Sick in the comfort of home.

However, last week, I found myself sick away from the comfort of home. Without a thermometer, Ibuprofen, or a car--unab…

Draw Near.

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"Pull on the strings of my heart, for I long to respond to You."