So this week was very interesting... and intense. And not in a good way. Ha! It was one of those weeks where at the end of it you're thankful to still be somewhat sane (lol!) and alive. God is good all the time! :)

So throughout all the trials of this week; the battle's both in my mind and the world, my joy seemed to be gone for a little bit. I didn't understand. I thought surely my faith in the Lord was stronger than a few tiny issues but I have realized that my faith needs to be much, much stronger (there is always room for improvement and growth). Anywho, so my joy was not there and I was praying asking God why my joy seemed to be gone and then I remembered something my pastor said a few weeks ago, "When you are living in sin or have refused to give something over to the Lord the first thing He will do is take away your joy." You might disagree with that, but I agree fully. And so I began thinking and it didn't take too long for me to realize that indeed there were a couple things I hadn't given over to the Lord.

Once I figured out what was going on, I then became very upset with myself and very angry. How is it that even when we know God loves us so much and gave His Son up for us that we still continue to live lives that aren't pleasing to Him? I thought about that for a while and you know what God showed me? Two things, the first was this verse...

"There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit." -Romans 8:1 (emphasis mine)

and the second thing was God showed me that sometimes I think of His love as human love. Finite, conditional, only happy when you do everything exactly as you should. That made me cry. Then, He told me, "I love you. No matter what you do, how you live, how messed up you are, I love you. I am disappointed and hurt when you choose another path other than mine because I know that it will only lead you further away from Me and that's not what I want for you." That also made me cry. Haha :)

What I want to remind you is God loves you. Read that again. God loves you. Believe it, because its the truth. He loves you just as you are and He doesn't care what you have done in your past. He wants you right. now. In this very moment. Give your life to Him, stop living in the land of tomorrow. He will change you in the best of ways and you'll live life how it was meant to be lived. Give yourself completely to Him and let Him have His way, His ways are far better than our own. :) God bless you!

Good song by Ana Laura.. thought it went well with the post. :)


NOT Perfect, Just Forgiven

Sometimes I am foolish and plain stupid. Yes, this is true.
Sometimes I say "crap" or "freaking".
Sometimes I make a joke that ends up hurting someone's feelings.
Sometimes I am too busy looking at the speck in my brothers eye to see the plank in my own. (Matthew 7:3)
Sometimes I am selfish and greedy.
Sometimes I let my actions do the talking and the words they say are not the right ones in God's eyes.
Sometimes I gossip about people.
Sometimes I am stinking hot mess and need God to help me out before I have an emotional breakdown. ;)

These are just a few of the things that I do that are not right. In the words of Paul,

"For I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my flesh. For the desire to do what is good is with me, but there is no ability to do it.  For I do not do the good that I want to do, but I practice the evil that I do not want to do." - Romans 15:18-19

That's my life. I say all these things not to make it sound like they are okay, or that they can be overlooked and not dealt with, but to say that I am NOT perfect, just FORGIVEN. I am not saved by my works or the things I can do (cuz honestly I can do nothing apart from Christ), but to say that is is by God's grace that I am saved and forgiven.

My prayer is you know that too. That no matter what you've done, if you repent He is just and faithful to forgive you (that's what His Word says!) And that you will see that even when you mess up, even when you try to work your way to Him, its okay. You must know you can't work your way to God. If you believed that, you need to forget it and ask God's forgiveness because you simply cannot work your way to the Father. He loves you just as you are. How Awesome is that?! He loves you just as you are. He will change you, you don't have to force it. Let God do what He does best. Let Him love you and shape you into His image each day. God bless you. :)


Asking Forgiveness...

So I have had an amazing week so far!! God is good and life is pretty fantastic as well. :) I'd like to share on some things that God has dealt with me on and share an experience that really changed me and my life for the better. :)

So Sunday night I was praying about what some things might be in my life that are hindering my relationship with the Lord and immediately He brought a few people to my mind. See, I got angry at someone a while back and in my mind I thought the best way to get back at that person was to completely diss his friends (that were also my friends) and get them out of my life. Yes, that was so wrong. Anyways, so I was asking God what He wanted me to do and He said, ask forgiveness. So I asked His forgiveness and then.. then came the hard part, asking other people's forgiveness.

I had decided that the next day I would start talking to these people and ask forgiveness for the wrong I had done. And then I decided to open the book I'm reading right now and (this is so Jesus!!!) the entire chapter was on asking others for forgiveness. God is good all the time! Amen?! :) I was just like wow, this is stinking awesome that God would tell me this and just to confirm it He would say, "Read this."

The next day, as I was dreading it all, I asked the people I had wronged for forgiveness. In my mind I was thinking they would not accept, stay angry at me forever, and never talk to me again much less want to be friends. Turns out I have some really amazing people with forgiving hearts in my life because all of them said they accepted my apology and would like to be friends. This is the best case scenario I know. I thank God for that, but I also know that sometimes people won't accept your apology and you have to deal with that too. But that's a different topic for a different day.

This is a testament of how faithful God is and how when you're right with Him all our wrongs will be made right by His great love and mercy. My challenge to you is to ask God if there is anyone in your life that you have wronged that you need to ask forgiveness of. At first I was told by several people that certain individuals didn't deserve my forgiveness, that they had never apologized so why should I and blah blah, but the truth is, we don't deserve God's forgiveness. Yet He gives it to us willingly over and over again. Shouldn't we do the same? Yes, we should. May God bless you richly! Keep pursuing Him!!


Check It: Prayer/Heart

Once a month or every other month I'm gonna try to post something called 'Check It' and there will be a different topic each time on something that you need to (yep you got it) check. :) So this month I'm going to share some thoughts the Lord has given me on prayer or more like problems we have in praying for others and that its the heart behind it that really has the issues. Hope you enjoy.

The other day I was in my room getting ready to say a quick prayer for someone and then this thought came to me, what if people prayed for me the way I pray for them? As soon as it came I knew that was from God. How convicting is that?! How would you feel if someone prayed the same heartless, "let's get this over with" attitude, type prayers? More than that, if your heart isn't in it why do you even pray?

Sometimes I really want to pray for people, I want to see the hand of God moving in their lives and I know prayer is a great way to do that. "Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened." - Matthew 7:7-8 Obviously that's proof right there that when we ask God to do something He will (if it's in accordance with His will and plan for life, do remember that), but I can't help but think that the heart behind the prayer matters a lot too. If we pray selfish prayers or half-hearted prayers.. well why should God even answer those? Isn't it enough that He's told us whatever we ask in His name will be given to us? Can't we have a pure heart and ask for those things rightly?

Have you ever gotten on your face and cried out for someone to be healed? Have you ever wanted someone to get saved so bad that you went without meals so that you could dedicate that time to praying for them? No? Yes? Maybe..? If you haven't, I think that shows your heart. I'm not condemning (please don't think that), I'm right there with ya'. Too many times I have claimed that I care for someone, yet I wouldn't sacrifice a thing for them. Nothing. (John 15:13) So then I'm lead to take a long look at myself. Have I allowed God to transform my heart so much so that my love for other people, is the love that He has for them? Or am I still the same selfish person I was before I met Him? Woo... just talking about it convicts me.

What I'm doing is asking. I'm asking God to help me pray prayers that are heartfelt and I'm asking God to help me love people with the same kind of love He loves me with. I want Him to change my heart and make me like Him. That is my heartfelt prayer. What is yours?

"If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves and pray, and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear them from Heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land." 2 Chronicles 7:14


I Want To Live A Simple Life...

I want to live a simple life.

This has been on my mind for a couple weeks. God has been working a lot in me about how privileged I am. That's not a bad thing. God has blessed me and I thank Him daily (not near as much as I should) for all that He has given me, but my heart has been burdened for those who have very little or nothing at all. I see their faces when I'm online, walking around, and about to go to sleep. I hear in my head, They have little... you have much, what will you give? Will you give at all? Do you even care?

Do I care? I can say I follow Jesus and love Him and want to be His hands and feet, but eventually action must take place. I can say I love Him and love His people but do I really? Does my heart say that? Does my life say that?

Honestly answering... no. My life has not said that. I have much, yet I give little. I dislike many people and I hurt those that love me most. I am broken. I am a sinner. I am a stinking hot mess!! God has forgiven me though. Abba loves me. He has taken care of me when I least deserved it and continues to do so every day.

I want to live a simple life. A life that I give all that I have to Christ and let Him give it to whom He chooses. A life that speaks of His love and shows that love to every single person I come in contact with. A life that mirrors Jesus' so closely that people must know Him, to know me. I want to give everything away to my Abba and if that means giving everything I have to the people around me who have nothing, then let it be so.

I just want to love Him and love others and live a simple life.

Enemies of the Heart by Andy Stanley

I'm about half way through (maybe a little more) a book titled 'Enemies of the Heart' by Andy Stanley. God is working with me so mightily through this book. It talks about four enemies of the heart.. anger, guilt, greed, and jealousy. When I first started reading it I thought I might have a problem with one or two of those four things... surely not greed. Can a true follower of Jesus be greedy? Well I have come to learn that yes, I have a problem with all four of these things. Thank God He has shown me this.

As I have been going through this book and answering the questions in the back of the book (there are questions that go with each chapter) I have been broken down. How could I so mindlessly have such an obvious problem with these things and never noticed?

I will let you know what the outcome is when I finish this book, but I would say if you are struggling (maybe you don't even know you are) with any of these things (anger, guilt, greed, or jealousy) you should find this book and read it. Andy Stanley is a wonderful author who is very easy to read while bringing up very hard questions. You will laugh and most likely do some deep thinking while reading this book, but its all for the better of us and the glory of God. God bless you dear brothers and sisters! :)

Note: I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishers for reviewing purposes.