Sunday, May 10, 2009

Soaring on wings

Isaiah 40:31
" . . . They will soar on wings . . ."

I was at church yesterday, sitting outside at the edge of the pond just praying, asking the Lord to help me be more willing and trusting to surrender my life to Him, and He did! He did by showing me what it was like to just let go, and afterwards I felt much more able to start taking those steps to surrender. While I was sitting there praying and enjoying the breeze, a flock of birds (much smaller than the bird in the picture) swooped down from the trees and started flying around the pond. Then they started gliding around, spreading their little wings and just floating along with the breeze. Sometimes they would come so close to the water that I thought that they would just fall right in with delicate little splashes! And then after being close to the water for a while, they would glide through the fountain, up into the sky, and then come back down to do it all over again.

Rarely did they ever flap their wings. The birds were just surrendering to the wind, letting it take them wherever it went. I really want to be like that, spreading my wings and soaring as the Lord promises in Isaiah 40:31. I can safely say that my life becomes a completely trashed, unorganized mess whenever I try to conduct it. It just doesn't work for very long! But it's during those times that I just give in to the Lord and let Him take me, I find myself being more loving towards others and just closer to the Lord. People seem to think that giving control to God means becoming His captive or His slave. No, giving control to God is what sets ourselves free from ourselves. By ourselves we are sinful, needy, controlling, stressed out and a whole bunch of other stuff. With God, however, we are sinless, our needs are fulfilled, we give up control, and I personally find myself less stress. That's freedom!

At the lake, there were some times when the birds would flap their wings which I found interesting. A while back ago I was in a group discussion and someone mentioned the Lord being like our Father taking us into an ice cream shop. My mom, best friend and I went out for ice cream just after I got my drivers license. My mom didn't choose what flavors of ice cream my friend and I got - we got to choose. God is the same way sometimes. Sometimes He will let us choose what we want to do and where we want to go in certain areas of our lives. Whether or not we make the wiser or better choice, the Lord is with us, reminding us that He is there, He is proud, and that if it wasn't the better choice, that He will make up for it. That's like the birds pausing in their gliding every now and again to flap their wings and choose their own course for a while. They didn't flap for long, though. After a while they would glide again with the wind.

It was beautiful! I wish that I could go back and watch the birds fly all day and night long. But I'm content with the message God sent to me through them, and I am very thankful. I thought I would share this in hopes that it would encourage you as more or even more than it encouraged me. Thanks for reading!

Thursday, May 7, 2009

"The Motions"

Another update about healthy food!

I used to get sick a lot. I don't know why - maybe it was a weak immune system or something? But recently, I haven't been getting sick as often, which I am very thankful for! I really like the feeling of being able to live life without being brought down by sickness, and I REALLY want to keep it up. Last night I went to the store and walked through all of the isles, scrounging for healthy food. Anyway, while I was wandering around, Matthew West's new single came to mind. It's called "The Motions". Here's the iTunes URL if you want to check it out:

"This might hurt, it's not safe
But I know that I've gotta make a change
I don't care if I break,
At least I'll be feeling something
'Cause just okay is not enough
Help me fight through the nothingness of life

I don't wanna go through the motions
I don't wanna go one more day
Without Your all consuming passion inside of me
I don't wanna spend my whole life asking,
"What if I had given everything,
instead of going through the motions?"

No regrets, not this time
I'm gonna let my heart defeat my mind
Let Your love make me whole
I think I'm finally feeling something
'Cause just okay is not enough
Help me fight through the nothingness of this life

'Cause I don't wanna go through the motions
I don't wanna go one more day
Without Your all consuming passion inside of me
I don't wanna spend my whole life asking,
"What if I had given everything,
instead of going through the motions?"

Take me all the way (take me all the way)
Take me all the way ('cause I don't wanna go through the motions)
Take me all the way (I know I'm finally feeling something real)
Take me all the way . . ."

The song reminds me of my desire to live life to the fullest, and not just going through the motions, especially the "Take me all the way . . ." parts. I don't want my life to be half-lived, I do want to be taken all the way! I feel like the Lord has big plans for me and let's face it, it's tough to do big things when you're feeling weak and running a fever, right? I so want to be able to just go and go and go and live life to glorify God while feeling good and not being beat down by colds or stomach viruses. Those are blah . . . God is great!

Be sure to check out Matthew West's new album "Something To Say" on iTunes. I've listened to it, and I doubt you'll be disappointed. Thanks for reading. Take care! :)

Thursday, April 23, 2009

MercyMe's Cover Tune Grab Bag

I've finally gotten a chance to watch MercyMe's cover tunes. I have gained a whole new respect from this band - they are simply AMAZING - hahaha! Here is a selection of my favorite cover tunes by MercyMe.

Bart's facial expression at 1:55 (after Robby drops his drum) is priceless!!!

0:44 "My FAAAAATHER yells . . ." hahahaha!!!
1:52 "SOME FUN!!!" too funny!!!

Talk about community, right?

Bart's kiddies!

I am loving these guys! I really think that they are my favorite band right now.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

I've got the sore throat blues.

Hey everyone!

I think the title of this entry is a little dramatic because I'm not really down or feeling blue or anything, but I do have a sore throat. I felt great all day yesterday, but started to feel a headache and a sore throat coming on last night. Today I went to algebra class as usual, and afterwards went to Walgreens to pick up some peppermints for my throat. I was excited because they have them on sale! Yay! Haha . . .

Anyway . . . I'm pretty much on a peppermint, hot tea, chicken noodle soup, and Popsicle diet today. I'm going to Vineyard University to help teach a elementary class / lead worship. I'm hoping, praying, and believing in God that this sore throat won't interfere, nor will it turn into any real sickness because I have a busy weekend ahead. Prom on Friday, and volunteering on both Saturday and Sunday. Looks like it's gonna be a great weekend! :)

That's pretty much all I have to say for the time being. I'll update later on, hopefully with something more exciting.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Investing in relationships

Lately I've noticed myself cherishing my friendships and relationships more than I used to. Not to say that I didn't cherish my friends before, but now after I have the honor of talking to someone, I'll just stop and be thankful for the time spent with them, no matter how short it was. I don't know why this is happening either, but I know that I REALLY want to feel this more, and I want to be able to express the appreciation, you know? I was just (literally 10 minutes ago) trying to think of ways that I could do this, but nothing really came to mind. After a few more minutes of thought, I felt the Lord telling me to invest in my relationship with Him first, and that the others would follow. That makes sense! I mean, He is the first and everything revolves around Him, right?

I remember in church several months ago, we talked about the question of what to do when we get lost or side-tracked in our spiritual journeys, and the answer was, "Come back to the cross!"

Come back to God, come back to the beginning, come back to where it started, allow the Lord to renew you and then get back on the right path. I feel that the same definitely applies to our relationship. If you want to become a better friend, strengthen your current relationships, or whatever, focus on your relationship with the Lord for a while. Learn from the best friend that there could ever be and learn how to appreciate and cherish your relationship with Him a little more. Really invest in your relationship with Him!

I thought I'd share this because it's been at the front of my mind for a while now. I'm super excited for tonight - I'm going to Young Life for the first time in a long time. Really, really great people are there, and I'm excited to see them again.


Thursday, April 9, 2009

Babysitting, book update, and sweet music!

Hello, reader!

I'm posting from another location. I'm currently babysitting for the Bryant's, though the kids are all fast asleep. Before she left, Robyn and I had a little time to chat and she told me that she hoped CoCo (the baby girl) would warm up to me this time AND SHE DID!!! We (Connor, Tyler, CoCo, and myself) went outside and she actually crawled over to me and reached out for my hands. The past couple of times she's crawled AWAY from me like I was some scary monster! Anyway, she took my hands and we walked around the yard until she got tired. I also got to play basketball and football with the boys, which was fun. They each picked me a flower which was very, very sweet of them.

After the outdoor festivities, we went inside and put CoCo to bed. Then I sat the boys down for a special activity - cards! We got creative and wrote out "Happy Easter" cards. I wrote one for each of the kids, and the boys made some for Pete and Robyn. Tyler made four or five (he was on a crazy roll) and Connor made two. The cards are currently sitting on the kitchen counter and will hopefully bless Mommy and Daddy when they get home.

So that's what I've been up to tonight! I wanted to post about an interesting little "happening" with the book. I was trying to think of a title for a song mentioned in the first chapter, and Kasey (she keeps me in check, making sure I get something done each day, and helps me when I'm stuck in a brainstorm or something) suggested having the song be titled in Spanish. One thing led to another, and now the Sullivan family (main family in the book) have relatives in Honduras. Ryan's mother will be from Honduras, to be exact. I'm actually really excited about this. I've been learning a lot about the country since this developed, and it sounds like a very nice place.

There's the book update for you! One more thing before I go - check out MercyMe's latest album, "All That Is Within Me". It is simply stunning! My (current) favorite tracks are, "Finally Home" and "Time Has Come" so I definitely recommend the album to you.

Okay, this really will be the last thing. If you like Phil Wickham, his album, "Singalong" is available for free download on his website:
Phil is great, has a wonderful voice, and it's so easy to tell that his heart is on fire for God! You might want to check him out, also.


Sunday, April 5, 2009

Blogging in the rain.

Hey guys!

Wow, I haven't updated this in a while. I also have been slower updating on Twitter, so it's safe to say I've been an internet slacker as of late, which is nothing terrible. But I'm going to start updating more often again, Yay!

It's storming pretty badly right now. I'm sitting here on the couch looking at the rain and listening to the distant thunder. It's kind of nice! There were tornadoes being reported earlier, so I'm hoping that it doesn't get that bad again.

Anyway, I wanted to share a few things that went on this past weekend. It started on Friday - I was privelaged to lead worship and the Healing Center. I was talking to a friend afterwards and I told her it was like a glimpse of what it might like to be on tour since I was the first worship leader of five, and then she asked me what I would name a band if I ever had the chance. I still haven't come up with an answer . . . Ideas? Yeah, while Jenn Silver led worship later on, a woman named Pam pulled me aside and introduced me to (what was to me, at least) a whole new way of worship. Dance! She had three really nice . . . I guess you could call them shawls, and she gave me one and taught me a dance!

I felt so free while we were dancing. Praising God with mind, voice, soul, and body was simply amazing. Dance worship is most definitely something I would like to learn more about. Also, I met a girl named Ashley. She was one of the worship leaders, and we were paired up during a blindfold excersize. She is absolutely wonderful, and I'm truly, truly inspired by her. Hopefully I'll get to see her again, soon!

So yesterday my grandma took me out to see a movie. We saw "Monsters Vs. Aliens" which is currently the #1 movie in the nation. If I used a school-like grading system, I would give it a D which in my world stands for DON'T SEE IT. It's an interesting idea for a movie I guess - nothing that hasn't been tried before only with a couple of twists, but unless you're 13 years old or younger, you're not going to be too thrilled with it. If you have a son, daughter, little sibling, neice, or nephew, then I would recommend taking them to see it. Otherwise, save your money. I'm not trying to bash the creators or anything, I'm just saying . . .

Stephen Colbert was in the movie! He was the funniest character for sure, and it was definitely funny that he played the president. Too funny!

Anyway, that's pretty much what I've been up to over the past few days. I've been working on the book a lot, too! I'm actually working on a chapter that's way ahead of where I actually am (if that makes sense) but it's going well! I might post a little bit of it later on.

Thanks for reading! I'm off to watch The Rock and Worship Roadshow. It's being streamed live on the internet tonight which is super cool! The show is in Bossier city tonight, with Addison Road, Tenth Avenue North, Hawk Nelson, Jeremy Camp, and MercyMe! Check it out!

Take care! Thanks again for reading.