Get Real...

Christians are to be authentic, right? Real. True. Just. Etc.
Why aren't we? Why do we go to Church and pretend like we have it all together? I mean read the Bible. Everybody in there is a mess up (with the exception of Jesus). Why do we think we need to have it all together and appear perfect?
I just don't understand.

See, I've learned, people feel more welcome and not as awkward when they come to church when they realize the people around them struggle just as much as they do. The only difference is we can overcome by Jesus' strength.
I don't have it all together fyi.
I get told I smile all the time, yes I smile often and that is because I have Christ and all the joy that is found in Him, but there are times I cry, frown, have a really bad day. Do you want me to pretend I don't? Because I definitely can do that. I was a professional at the fake smile, the fake happiness, the fake everything. My mask was better than you could have possibly imagined.
That was before Christ. Now I simply refuse to "fake it 'til I make it" because I realize I may fool all the people around me, but I can't fool Christ. So why fool anyone?
I learned the minute I took off my mask that my life was way better.
I didn't pretend anymore. Wasn't scared to show the real me. It was strangely and amazingly... stress free. I'd put the mask on for years thinking people would judge me and hate me. I stressed myself over that but once I "let go and let God" everything just kind of fell into place.

Today was a... irritating day. But not as much as tonight. I miss that person I clinged to for a few months. Confided everything in. I miss them. Nights like this I have to worship like crazy.
I have to pray my heart out. I have to get so real with God and let Him know that I am hurting, that my pain is causing problems between us and that I need Him to take it away.
That's seems simple. God can do it for sure. The real problem is, will I let Him? Will I surrender? Surrender is way harder than most say it is. Must say it's most worth it though. :)

I know you might be hurting. Struggling with guys or girls, your appearance, your parents, your kids, your siblings, sin. But God has got you. He won't ever let you go. He loves you because He loves you because.... He loves you! Forever and always. Believe that. Let Him free you. Let Him hold you. Let go and let God. Love you guys!


I Can Do More...

I can do more with my life.
I can do more with my money.
I can do more with my time. But do I?
Not really. My life I claim as my own, yet He says my real life, true life is found in Him. Where?
In my Savior. My Jesus. My King.
My brothers are sisters sit alone. Not knowing there is a Father who loves them more than life itself and will give them such a passionate, amazing life they will not believe what they've been missing.
Satan lies to us. Tells us we're not good enough. Tells us to judge those who do the "bigger sins"- Sex outside of marriage, drugs, alcohol, stealing, etc. and that those of who commit "smaller sins" are alright - lies, gluttony, greediness, envy, pride, etc.
But that's not right. God says all sins are equal in His eyes. God told me He shows no favoritism, so if this is so then He definitely loves those who are having sex outside of marriage, just as much as he loves the kid who's stealing food from the grocery store. He loves the cocaine addict just as much as he loves the person who drowns their sorrows in food.
I'm tired of the lies satan feeds us.
Like we can't do anything. "You're just one person." You're too young, too old, too pretty, too ugly, too rich, too poor, too nice, too mean, not popular enough, not big enough, strong enough or smart enough but those are LIES.
My Daddy says in His Word that we can do anything and everything THROUGH HIM. We can move mountains if our faith is great enough.
Sometimes I feel like a failure.. how do I get great faith? But God tells me He answers prayers so I pray for even greater faith each day.
You can do more. We. You + me with God means we can do all things. Not some, but all. Which means we can change the world. The poverty, the bondage, the hopelessness, unsatisfied, poor people around us. How can we do this? By God's Almighty Hand and only His. Don't be fooled by satan, it's not you. It is Him. Always and forever.
Let's do more. Be more. Live life greater than we did yesterday. As if today is our very last day on earth. God bless you guys! I love y'all!!! :)


Breaking My Heart....

It's not okay. No, it's just not.
Everybody tells me, "You can only do so much." but my Bible says I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength. So which am I to believe?
I'm told you can be "too extreme" in things and that that's not how God wants us to live our lives. Really? I beg to differ.
See, I feel, think and to an extent know, that God does not want me to be okay with living my life for me and only me... comfortably.
If I am comfortable, what is wrong with me? Why am I comfortable because according to Jesus Christ and His true followers, we are not to be comfortable.

I'm tired. Period. End of story.
There are days I don't want to do this, live this life, for the Lord. I want to sulk. I want to look at my life and cry because everything is "so messed up".
I want to point at the areas I'm unhappy with and have them changed right then. Guess what?! If I did that all day everyday my focus would be shifted drastically. To what you ask? To me.

Jesus said take up your Cross daily. Did you catch that? Daily. That means every single day. Dying is not a fun thing, but what does the Cross symbolize? Death. Gruesome, no fun, kill my flesh death. That my friend is a true follower of Jesus. Not the person who comes to church every Wednesday and Sunday, or the person who put 20 buck in the offering plate, the truest follower of Christ is the one who says, "Lord, kill my flesh today, and live through me."

I've realized my death must come each morning. It is something I have to do, must do, every single day. Even when I don't feel like it because my death in myself is how I have true, everlasting, the most satisfying life ever.

My heart aches. Be careful when you ask God to break your heart for what breaks His. He will do it. I see children every single day that are starving. I see people who throw themselves in and out of relationships as if both parties are nothing. I see elderly people, neglected and lonely, and nobody is doing a freaking thing! Everyone is seeing the same things.. all those Christians sitting next to me on Sunday.. we are doing nothing. What is wrong with us? How can we even begin to call ourselves Christians when we don't even have the Father's heart? "Draw near to God and He will draw near to you." (James 4:7-8 check it!)

I am done being secure. Being comfortable. Being okay with the things I see, diverting my focus back to myself because I don't truly care. My heart hurts. I am hurting and it's a hurt that can't be fixed or covered up. It just keeps coming back and that's when I know that this hurt, all that I'm feeling is from the Lord, not me or satan. My Jesus wants me to do something. What you might ask? Well... I don't know yet, but I'm praying and I know I have to do something soon. I can't sit back and watch my brothers and sisters perish anymore. It is breaking my heart.
God is breaking my heart. Is He doing the same to you??


180 Movie: Check it out!

Check this out. Your time isn't gonna be wasted.


Go Back To Start...

So this week.. month has been filled with spiritual warfare. I mean I didn't realize how weak my flesh is, until this month. Woah... without Jesus I am just weak, weak, weak. Anyways, so today after going through the same test I have been going through all month, I failed yet again. And afterwards I was feeling bad because I couldn't believe I failed again and God told me something. He said, "These trials and tests that you go through are like the games that you play where when you land on the wrong spot it sends you back to start. Until you learn what I want you to learn and pass the test, you are bound to go back to start."

Until we learn what God wants us to, see the things God wants us to see, and obey Him in all trials, we are bound to go back to start and continue repeating that test until we finally see clearly and learn. You might be going through the same, struggling with sin in your life or a test you're going through. Know God is right there with you and that all He wants is for you to pass the test and move forward. My prayer is that your eyes are opened and your ears hear clearly what God wants you to know. Stay blessed!

"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


Transformation vs. Change

So I was talking about this the other day with someone and discussed it in Sunday school and wanted to share with you guys. The topic.. 'Transformation vs. Change'.

Change is defined as: to make or become different.

When someone is changed they become different in an area or many areas in their life. It can be as simple as changing your hair or changing your lifestyle, but in some way you are a little bit different.

Transformation is defined as: A thorough or dramatic change in form or appearance.

My definition and thoughts on transformation are simply, completely different. Not the same. Change can affect only one area in your life, but I believe when you are transformed you are totally different. Transformation is way more dramatic and radical than change. Not that either is bad, but what I've come to find is that many people who have accepted Christ have changed, but not allowed God to transform them (myself included). Romans 12:2 says that we are to not be of this world, "but be transformed by the renewing of your mind...". We say we have accepted Christ, that He lives in us and we in Him, but only a few areas in our lives have been touched. Why? Because we are unwillingly to completely abandon ourselves to Christ and allow Him to transform us (make us completely different from the way we were).

I had to pray today and will continue to, that God will transform every area in me and that I will not be so stupid as to hold only half of me up to Him and say, "I surrender." That means nothing. I want to be so radically different from the way I was that people say, "What's different with her?", "What happened to her?" and I can say simply, "Jesus transformed me to be more like Him." Will you let Him do the same? Have a blessed night! :)


Remembering Michael...

Tonight I went to Michael Smith's memorial service. It was very nice. All his friends and family were there. I think I got out most of my tears... but more will probably come.

I've chosen to celebrate Michael's life and not his death. Michael was the most amazing, sweet, kind person and friend I could have EVER wanted. For two years, he was my very best friend who knew pretty much everything about me. We played basketball together (his favorite sport), he would beat me... 'cuz he had skillz! Haha! :D We bonded over the fact that we both were into the same music (which at the time was rap) and I remember one Wednesday night sitting around for like an hour waiting for church to start and listening to our favorite rap songs on his mp3 player. He was an all around genuine, loving person.

Most people might of thought Michael was a tough guy at first glance, and it is true that Michael was tough, but he had the kindest heart and he cared for everyone. He stuck up for the people who were being picked on, he was actually the first person that introduced himself to me on my 1st Disciple Now when no one had really talked to me yet.

There are so many stories and things I could tell you about who Michael was and how loving he was, but at 19 years young I think it's equally important to share with you that death can come any time. No, it's not welcome, but unfortunately, death does not care. It comes when it comes and we must be ready. Jesus Christ is our only way to Heaven. He is our only Hope for the life we shall receive after this one. Just give some thought to that and choose to accept Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior. He accepts you and loves you and wants you. He will be your comfort in hard times such as these, and hold your hand through it.

I will never forget Michael. And anytime my life becomes too hard, I will think about him and how he pressed on and how he loved. R.I.P. Michael. I love you!


The Grade I Don't Deserve

I read a story a while back and was reminded of it the other day. I'm  not sure where I read it, but I'm pretty sure it was a devotional... but who knows! Ha ha! (Sidenote: I tend to forget things easily. Little details like where I read something... haha:)

So here's the story...

There was a bunch of students in class one day getting ready to take a test. While the teacher is passing out the tests he tells them, "I want you to flip to the last page and read what is written." When the students turned there, they found a note that said: "No matter what your results are on this test you all will get an 'A'." The students were ecstatic! As most would be, and also confused. Why would their teacher give them this test and tell them they would get an 'A' regardless? Well there was one student, she was the smartest out of them all, and she chose to take the test so she could, in her words, "Earn my grade." All the other students simply placed their tests, untaken at the teachers desk.

Each day I am amazed that God, being so loving, would give me an 'A+' when I deserve an 'F'. He gives me the grade I don't deserve, the grade  I could never earn. It's just there. God's gives us grace and mercy even though we don't deserve it. Yes, it's confusing at times why God would love us, but we must accept it gratefully and move forward in that love. Some people are like the girl who took the test without really needing to, thinking she'd earn the grade herself, they spend their whole lives working to earn the grace, love, and mercy Jesus gave us, not seeing that all of that was taken to the Cross. There is nothing to earn.

I want to remind that you have been given a grade you don't deserve. Jesus loves you as you are. He wants you to come and follow Him and live your life for His glory. His grace has covered everything you have done wrong and will do wrong. You are free. You are clean. Most importantly, you are His. Be blessed. :)


R.I.P. Michael Smith.

To anyone who was praying for Michael Smith's return:

He was found dead today at the place he started walking home from. Please be in prayer for his family in this tough time. Thanks. God bless.

Mercy Come Morning Review

This book I could not put down!! For real!! It was one of those that you are always curious and interested in what will happen next. Definitely a page turner!

Having lived with a grandmother who had a form of Alzheimer's I know how difficult it can be to deal with. This book made me laugh, then I got like halfway through it and cried my eyes out! Haha! Then, I smiled knowing that this book was similar to my journey with my grandma. First we both clashed in a not good way, couldn't put aside our differences and just love one another, then that changed. We both began to see our differences as blessings.

Though this book may be fictional it has a lot of realism to it.  A few things were learned but the main thing I learned is we must forgive those around us NOW, not later because one day we all will be on our deathbed and you can't tell anyone something when their gone. We must love the people we are around right now and enjoy our time together.

If you want a good book to read, go pick this one up. It will not disappoint. :) Have a blessed Thursday!! :D

Note: This book was given to me for free by Water Brook Multnomah for reviewing purposes.


Follower, Not A Fan.

I have been absolutely wrecked recently by the Lord. I'll tell you why... well there are a few reasons, one being I finished reading a book called 'Not A Fan' by Kyle Idleman. That was an amazing book!! Anyone who really wants to be a true Christian should go find that book and read it. :) God spoke so strongly to me. The book talks about us not just being fans, but truly following the Lord because that my friend, is what and who a true Christian is, a follower.

I have realized I am not made to live this luxurious life. No, this is not how I was created to live. I was created to live a simple life. Relying purely on my God and giving until I have nothing left to give.

I think about the child with nothing to eat, I am thankful I have food, I want to give that child a good meal.
I think of the father or mother who has to raise his or her kids by themselves. I want to help them, give them hope, encouragement, and an extra hand when needed.
I think of the friend of mine who is missing, who no one knows where he is and tears stream down my face wanting nothing more than for him to be brought home safely and soon.

These are just a few of the things that break my heart and a few of the things I know the Lord can use me in. I always wonder why I have so much (might not look like a lot, but to someone who has nothing, it looks like loads.) then God showed me  He gave me much, so I can share with those who have little. No, I cannot do everything. That would be silly to think, but I can do way more than I am doing right now. Thinking of all I could be helping I see I am wasting my life. I can share Jesus with the people I help. Be-friend the people that everyone thinks is "lowly", "uncool", or "filthy". These people... I can be their friend, I can love them, and most importantly, I can show them Jesus.

These are my hearts desires.. better yet I believe these are my God's desires. I will let Him use me where I am, as I am, for what He wants. My prayer is you do the same. God bless!

Michael Smith Still Missing

Michael Smith is still missing. If you live in or near Alabama please look out for him.

He was last seen wearing black shoes, black shirt, black shorts and wearing a black hat. Michael is approximately 5'8" - 5'9" and weighs about 130 - 140 lbs. He has dark brown hair. Michael has a tattoo on his right chest of a Green Swamp Monster with a Golden 3 Point Crown. Please share this information and help us bring Michael home.

Please continue to pray for him, that he will be brought home soon, and for his family who are beyond worried and stressed. Thank you! Click here to go to Michael's fb page for updates. God bless!


Missing Friend: Please Help!!

This is Michael Smith (pictured with his mom). He is my friend and he is missing. He went missing in the Madison area of Alabama. He is from Trussville (where he lives) and has been missing for two weeks tomorrow.

He is 19 years old. He and his dad got in an argument over him using his dad's truck to go back to Trussville. He was last seen walking down a highway in Madison County. That was the last time he was seen.

Please help spread the word to anyone who may live in Alabama or Georgia that he is missing. You can call Madison police at (256) 722-7190 or Trussville police at (205) 655-2101. Also prayers are very much appreciated. Pray for his safety and that he will return home soon. Thank you so much! God bless!


Beautiful, Satisfying Father

Got to write a psalm with my church last night.. thought I'd share. :)

Lord, You are more beautiful than the most gorgeous place on earth.

You are more satisfying than the coolest drink of water to a dry parched land.

You are brighter than the sun on the hottest day.

You are greater and deeper than the tallest mountain or the deepest ocean.

You are mine forever and I am Yours completely.

I encourage you to sit down, maybe go check out Psalm 84 and then write your own psalm. Or poem. Or song... rap. Whatever. Just write something to the glory of God!!! Love you all!! Be blessed!! :)