February Joy Project

February – The shortest month of the year.

Even though this month was short, it was sweet. My calendar wasn’t quite as busy as January, so it was nice to have a bit more of a set schedule. Catch up on my January Joy’s here.

The past few weeks have been bone-chillingly cold, and I’m looking forward to warmer weather and spring time in March!

Here are my daily joys in February!

February joys
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“If I could tell ladies one thing…” Words from your brothers

Dear Sisters,

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Personally, I’m single and will be spending my Valentine’s Day wearing a red dress, gong to dinner and a movie with my fantastic girlfriends, and enjoying an excuse to wear red lipstick. While I don’t have a man in my life in a romantic way, I am blessed beyond belief to have a dad and brothers who treat me better than I deserve, love me unconditionally and are the best valentines a girl could ask for.

Instead of sharing my words today, I thought it would be encouraging to let you in on what your Christian brothers have to say to you. I received input from over 30 incredibly Godly men, ranging from older married men, engaged, dating and single. To say that I was blown away by these men is an understatement. I am truly honored to know these men and have them share their hearts. I presented the following question to the…

 

“If I could tell ladies one thing…”

 

Now I know that’s a general question, but I meant for it to be open-ended to allow the guys to have freedom in answering with whatever they felt most passionate about sharing with you.

Ladies are in for a treat! My prayer is that this serves as an encouragement to you. Remember, above all else, today and every day to meditate on the great love the Father has displayed by choosing you, sending His son to atone for your sins, and loving you with a steadfast love!

ladies Continue reading

Honest thoughts on birthdays….

Fun Fact: I love birthdays!e3e0302326dcf3c5f5edc0c3fded8a15

My birthday is two weeks from yesterday! Yes, I am already counting – 13 days! I personally think birthday’s should be a national celebration.

The day you entered the world.

The day you gasped your first breath on planet earth.

The day you cried as little ones do.

Birthdays are important because we celebrate someone’s life, we pause and acknowledge their innate value because they are a part of the human race that God sovereignty ordained.

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As much as I adore birthdays – the party, the gifts, the cake, the balloons, the excitement, etc. a part of my heart dreads them.

Continue reading

The time a homeless man showed me Jesus!

The title of this post might seem paradoxical.

Shouldn’t I be the one showing Jesus to a homeless man? Isn’t that what I’m called to do?

 

Allow me to explain the exchange that happened last night. My heart was blessed and I want to share it with you, in hopes that it might encourage your walk with the Lord.

 

I was leaving the crisis pregnancy center where I have been training to be a counselor. (That is another story for another time, but let me just tell you, I don’t think I’ll ever leave that building with dry eyes.) My friend and I were taking the metro home, and as we were walking down, a homeless man asked us for some money in order to get a metro card.

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We stopped and chatted with him for a few minutes. He told us that he wanted to get to the local homeless shelter to get a bath and spend the night in a warm building instead of sleeping on the sidewalk in the freezing cold weather. I happily put some money on a metro card for him, and started to walk away. The man started talking about how he hoped the shelter still had some food left, because he was hungry. (At this point, it was about 10:00 pm, and highly unlikely that they would still be serving dinner.)

 

Let me pause in my story….

Ever since arriving in D.C., I have been struggling with how I should properly respond to the homeless. They are literally everywhere. I probably pass at least 8-10 between my office building and the metro station. It is literally impossible for me to help them all. I am a single woman supporting herself in a large city. I’ve gotten so overwhelmed, because I know that I can’t help them all. As a result, I haven’t done anything. A famous quote from the beloved Mother Teresa has been swirling around in my mind recently…..

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Resume story…

 

The Holy Spirit urged me to offer to buy him dinner. I asked if we could provide dinner for him, and he immediately answered a resounding, “yes”. My friend, and I headed up the escalator with our new friend. He told us that his name was Charles. On our way to get food, the conversation centered around him currently looking for a job. The conversation seemed to take a natural turn towards spiritual matters. I asked him very bluntly if he knew Christ as his personal savior. He immediately got a huge grin on his face and said, “Yes, yes I sure do”.

 

We stopped in a local pizza joint and he ordered himself a pizza. While we were waiting, he shared about his relationship with the Lord. The restaurant was empty except for the staff, and while we were talking, I noticed that the staff was intensely listening to our discussion.

Wow, this man knew his Bible inside out. He shared one spiritual truth after another. One thing that he spoke about was how we as Christians have a duty to show Christ to the world by our actions. Obviously, we are saved by faith alone, but how will the world know that we belong to God if we never show them HIS love.

 

One thing that Charles said that will stick with me for a long time is this:

 

“We can’t out give God!”

 

I’ve heard this cliche saying before, but coming from a homeless man, who told me how he has sought to give out of the little he has and how God has continued to bless him. Now that is powerful! You would expect a homeless man who literally has hardly any earthly possessions to hold onto what he has with clinched fists. Instead, this man has chosen to give thanks and see how God multiplies. He has chosen to trust God.

 

I don’t understand the circumstances that lead to homelessness. I don’t have all the answers. I don’t even know why Charles was homeless. All I know is the Lord asked me to buy him dinner and have a conversation with him.

 

What resulted was Charles, my brother in the Lord encouraging my faith. He showed me Jesus. He reminded me that I can trust God with everything – my finances, my relationships, my job, my love life, my past, my future, my time, my resources, etc.

 

Don’t get me wrong, just because I give, doesn’t mean that God is going to immediately bless me with material resources. I am not an advocate of the prosperity gospel, in fact, I think that is heresy! What I am advocating for is the truth in these verses:

 

 

And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers,you did it to me.’” – Matthew 25:40

 

“Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows bountifully will also reap bountifully.” – 2 Corinthians 9:6

 

My Jesus paid for my salvation in full on the cross of Calvary. He shed his innocent blood for the satisfaction of the wrath that I was deserving. Because I have been given everything, I want to seek to give everything. Who am I to be stingy with my time, talent or treasure.

 

Beloved, I urge you, slow down, take a few moments to notice those around you who might need someone to talk to, a hot meal, a word of encouragement, or most importantly, who need Jesus!

 

The fact is, you might be the only representation of Jesus that someone ever sees! How do we represent God if we brush people off, act like we are more important or can’t be bothered! No one is perfect, and we have grace to fail, however I desperately want to show Christ to a dying and hurting world!

Will you join me?

 

 

“A man there was, and they called him mad; the more he

gave, the more he had.”

– John Bunyan

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October Joy Project

Boy do I have a treat for you! I have been so excited to share a project that I’ve been doing this month with you. First, let me say that this idea is not original, several of my friends have done this, and I borrowed the idea!

I struggled a little bit in September with loneliness, fear and a host of other emotions that weren’t completely honoring to the Lord. God gently showed me that I was griping and complaining. Oh, how often He has to correct me.

For the month of October, I decided to focus on the “small joys” in life. Every day, I wrote down something that brought me joy. I want to avoid using the word, “happy”, because happiness is circumstantial. However, I believe that you can find joy and be thankful in any situation!

“Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” – 1 Thessalonians 5:18

 


It has been such a delight to being my day with eager expectation to see what kind of joys the day will bring. Sure, there have been days when tears have fallen, but I have chosen to find joy. This is also a good way to keep track of my days; I do journal, but not every day. I definitely plan on continuing this “project” every month, and sharing it with you. If you would like to participate, I would love to know the things that are bringing you joy!

October…

1

I attended a reception in DC for Liberty students and alum. While I was there, I had the privilege of meeting Shannon Bream, an anchor on Fox News, but more important to me, Shannon was my commencement speaker. I didn’t get to met her at graduation, because things were crazy backstage. When I spoke with her at the reception, I mentioned to her that we shared a stage – her as the keynote speaker, and me presenting the Senior Class Gift. She said that she thought I looked familiar! It was great getting to chat for about half an hour!

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2

An acquaintance from Liberty is spending a few months working in DC. While I didn’t know her very well at Liberty, we reconnected in DC and have had dinner together several times. We had an incredible, raw and honest conversation over dinner. It was refreshing to sit down with a sister in Christ, admit our shortcomings and failures, and spur one another on to the Cross.

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On this day, a lady tried to ram her car into the barricades outside the White House, and then there was a car chase that ended at the Capitol and the lady was eventually killed. For whatever reason, this event scared me senseless. As I watched the news all afternoon (probably not the best idea!), my heart was overcome with fear. The White House is a block from my office in DC, and the fact that it happened so close scared me. After everything died down, I walked over to the White House and sat on a park bench and sobbed. The joy that I found on that day was the people who called me to make sure that I was okay. Knowing that people cared about me, and wanted to check on me, literally meant the world to me.

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4

Since I was still physically shaken up from the events of the day before, and some other personal life events, I decided to take the morning off from work in order to get some extra sleep. It was such a delight to sleep in and have a slow morning before heading into work. It’s the small things

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I spent the night with my friend Lauren. She was invited to a wedding last minute, and asked if I would like to join her! Not knowing a single person at the wedding besides her, I tagged along to “wedding crash”. The wedding took place outside, and we were able to get some gorgeous pictures! Even though I didn’t know anyone, I still managed to have a blast!

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6

Our porch has to be my favorite thing about my home. We have twinkle lights around the top, a futon and a space heater to keep my toes toasty warm. I spent the evening outside with my Bible and journal, sipping coffee by candlelight. Literally the perfect evening!

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I received a random encouraging facebook message from an acquaintance. It was so sweet and my heart welcomed the words of kindness!

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I was asked out on a date by a guy on the metro. Obviously, I choose not to go, because I didn’t know if he was a Christian, and I’m typically not the type of girl to go out with people that I don’t know at all. Nevertheless, it was flattering!

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This song by Shane & Shane –

 

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I went to a discussion on Religious Liberties put on by the ERLC and the Manhattan Declaration. The discussion was fantastic and I would love to see more discussions such as this one held. I had the opportunity to meet Dr. Russel Moore. He wrote the book, Adopted for Life and has two adopted Russian boys!

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11

Cleaning my home! This might sound silly, but I love having a clean home, and today, I was in the mood to clean! I rolled up my sleeves, put on some fun tunes and got to work!

…the results were a spotless house!

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Spending the day at home!

Sometimes you just need a day at home with absolutely nothing on the agenda! That was today, and it was good!

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My heart got overwhelmed at a discussion at church. I cried and texted my roommates saying that my heart hurt. My sweet roommate came to pick me up from the metro (it’s about a 10-15 minute walk home), listened while I poured out my heart. It was good to have a friend take care of my heart!

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Columbus Day! I had the privilege of going on a day trip to West Virginia with a group of people from my church. The group was smaller – just me and three others. We had the most edifying conversations, and it was so encouraging to my heart. To be honest, I’m not used to people going as deep as we did, and I enjoyed it. I enjoyed them asking thought-provoking questions and actually caring about the answers

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group trip to WV

 

15

While I was grocery shopping, I had the best hour long conversation with my little brother! So thankful for this handsome guy…

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16

I had the privilege of having dinner with a girl who’s about 5 years younger than me from my church. This girl intentionally reached out to me, so we met up at my favorite restaurant in DC – District Taco (If you ever visit me in DC, don’t worry, I’ll take you there! They might know me by name!)

17

On my way to work, I was sitting next to a guy on the metro who was reading the book of Revelation in his Bible. I tapped him on the shoulder and commented to him that it was encouraging to see someone else reading their Bible. We ended up having the best conversation and he encouraged me in my walk.

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After work, I headed down to Liberty (my Alma-mater!) with a few friends! I spent the evening with one of my old roommates who is currently serving as an RD. It was SO good and refreshing to see friends from school!

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My friend Bethany and I spent the day together. It was so relaxing. We visited one of my favorite coffee shops, read books, and enjoyed one another’s company!

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On the drive back to Liberty, we put on hymns and as the miles passed, we praised God at the top of our lungs!

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21

I am getting involved with the local crisis pregnancy center, and after training, one of my roommates who’s doing the training with me and I stayed and talked with a lady for over two and a half hours! The Lord gave us a new friend and a wonderful sister in Christ!

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Finished up a project that I was asked to write and submitted it – Can’t tell you about it yet! You’ll have to wait until later in November :)

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Unfortunately, some idiot named Chelsea dropped her phone today and it was unresponsive :( After briefly mourning the fact that my phone died, I headed to the nearest Verizon and purchased a new phone. Thankfully, I was able to get a good deal on a phone!

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Today has two things that made me smile! :)

1) The Charlotte Observer ran a letter to the editor that I submitted on the effects of ObamaCare to young adults in North Carolina!

Check it out!

2) While I was at Liberty, I had the privilege of serving as the Senior Class President. For the Senior Class Gift, I planned and put together a Pro-Life Emphasis Week in order to inform and inspire students on how to be pro-life, not only in word but also in deed. The Senior Class at Liberty raised over $25,000 to donate to the Liberty Godparent Home, whose purpose is to provide girls a place to stay while they are pregnant. I received an update that they had purchased a much needed van with the money. Tears were brought to my eyes when I saw this picture and realized how BIG our God is. I am just an instrument in God’s hands, and my life goal is to bring Him glory!

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I met my future mother-in-law! Hee hee! Just kidding! But I did have the pleasure of meeting Mrs. Pam Tebow – Tim Tebow’s mom. I have started volunteering at the local crisis pregnancy center, and attended a benefit dinner for the center. Mrs. Tebow was the keynote speaker. I wasn’t aware, but when she was pregnant with Tim, the doctors recommended that she abort him. Obviously she chose life and now has an incredible platform to speak on the issues of life. She was such a gem of a lady!

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Some dear sisters and friends in Christ….

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26

Ben Rector Concert.

My friend Lauren and I had the best evening. 

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Tyrone Wells and Ben Rector performed an EXCELLENT show! Here are some snapshots from the show!

Tyrone Wells….

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Ben Rector…

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27

I went to dinner after Sunday evening church with a group of people that attend the church. The conversation turned to unsaved friends/family members that I have, and the group ended up surrounding me and praying over those in my life who aren’t saved.

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Today was a really rough day, and I cried on more than one occasion This song helped me to keep my eyes focused on the Lord. I’m on a Shane and Shane kick right now if you haven’t noticed!

 

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Leaning into the promises of God.

Once again, the past few days were hard, and I had to meditate much on the promises of God.

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The fall leaves.

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Happy Reformation Day!

I left work early and headed to Union Station to catch a train. Winston-Salem, North Carolina – aka HOME was my final destination! My plan was to go surprise my Mom for her birthday!!

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I hope ya’ll enjoyed this post! I had a blast putting it together! Stay tuned for November’s joys! 

Raw Thoughts On Forgiveness…

I am choosing not to go into great detail into the events and circumstances surrounding the topic I’m addressing today for two reasons. 1) It would take way too long to explain. 2) Not that I mind sharing, but the details aren’t absolutely necessary to the discussion. (If you care about the details, feel free to ask. I would love to share how the Lord is working specifically. Feel free to e-mail me at chelseacpatterson@gmail.com )

Forgiveness.

To be quite honest, this isn’t a topic that I have given much thought to until this past year. In the past, if someone hurt me, it was usually unintentional or was something that could be resolved quickly and relatively pain free.

There is someone in my life very close to me who has hurt me deeply over the past 12 months. Last night, some words were said that cut me to the core. I had an “ugly cry” (if you aren’t familiar with what that is, ask any girl, she’ll know!) You see, in the moment that the words were spoken, I choose to believe them.

You aren’t worth anything.

You aren’t worth getting to know.

Those words hurt.

I cried.

I entertained the thought that maybe, just maybe those words were correct and accurate.

Maybe I am too much trouble to invest in.

Maybe I am too complex and aren’t worth time.

Maybe…just maybe…

NO CHELSEA!

Snap out of it. I shook with sobs as I poured out my heart to my mom about how much those words hurt.

You see, at that moment, my head could acknowledge that those words were lies, but it was obvious from the tears falling down my cheeks that my heart was choosing to believe them.

Words are my love language, and I am the type of person that takes a lot of things personally. (Sometimes – in this case, it is not a good thing.)

I’m not going to lie. I threw myself a pretty big pity party this morning, complete with waltzing into work with red eyes and a bad attitude. I was polite to my co-workers, but inwardly I was fighting to take the thoughts swirling around me head captive and submit them to Christ.

“It’s just not fair God! I have done literally everything I know to do to show love to this person. Yet they still are hurting me.”

And so I began my day…

Once in my office, I grabbed my Bible and started reading Ephesians, and stumbled upon the following verses:

“Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away form you, along with all malice. Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.” – Ephesians 4:31-32

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Well…that was convicting.

I came before my Father and expressed how hard it was to choose to forgive.

Darling,

You are acting selfishly. Why would you choose to wallow in self-pity and believe those lies? Don’t you know that I defeated the devil’s control over you and your mind on the Cross? Hand it over to me. Allow me to bring justice to bear. You can choose to dwell on those lies, or you can choose to allow me to stand between you and those hurtful words.

Beloved, as hard as it is, I am making the conscious decision to allow the Lord to teach me forgiveness. This person hasn’t asked for my forgiveness, offered up an apology or uttered the words, “I’m sorry.”

However, I can make the decision not to take offense at the words and hurt thrown my way.

Yes, it hurts, but I can choose by God’s grace not to allow it to destroy me. I can choose to be kind, I can choose to keep my heart soft and tender, and most importantly, I can choose forgiveness, because Christ has modeled perfect forgiveness for me on the cross.

I will be exploring and grasping the depth of Christ’s forgiveness of me and my sins for the rest of my life. Ah, what beauty!

“To be a Christian means to forgive the inexcusable because God has forgiven the inexcusable in you.”

– C.S. Lewis

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Dear One, I do not profess to have it all together, far too often I am before the throne of my Father with tears falling down my cheeks begging for His grace, unending love and mercy and incidence in my life.

But I am choosing to remember that Christ showed me the ultimate forgiveness. He lived a sinless life, was crucified and raised to life. Why? To satisfy the wrath that I was deserving of. To pay the payment on my behalf. To offer me ultimate forgiveness.

I have chosen to accept Him as my Lord and Savior. As I result, I choose to obey His command to forgive as Christ forgave me. It is hard and it hurts, but praise Him that I don’t have to do it alone. I have the Holy Spirit living inside me who is helping me.

I choose to love. I choose to forgive.

Forgive

My dreams…

Sometimes I wonder if life is long enough, because there are so many dreams in my heart and I desire to see them all come to fruition.

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Right now I’m living one of my dreams!

2 months ago, I picked up my life and moved to a city where I knew almost no one and began building a life in Washington D.C. The journey hasn’t been what I expected it to be, it’s been harder than I ever imaged, yet better than I could have asked for!

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I literally accepted a job and moved to DC within 3 weeks! It was a whirlwind, but the Lord worked out so many details, and I know that the nation’s capital is where He has called me for the time being!!

 

Here is a snapshot of some of my dreams!

 

1) Grow old with my best friend!

 

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Yes, I do want a beautiful wedding day, but I am more excited about marrying my best friend and the love of my life. What a privilege the Lord gives us to grow old with one person and honor Him through a marriage!

 

My heart does long to have a man that will choose to love me, cherish me, care about me, and represent Christ to me…

 

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The Lord hasn’t placed that person in my life yet, but I am genuinely content with where I am. I know that the Lord’s timing is far better than I can imagine. I  am not sitting around “waiting” to be married, I am living my life as a single woman and if the Lord sees fit, I shall be married! Until then, here’s to single hood!

 

2) Adopt a child!

 

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I take that back…I want to adopt a whole village of children!!

 

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Being adopted myself, I am constantly aware of what an incredible gift adoption is! My life would not be the same if I hadn’t been adopted, and one of my biggest desires is to give the gift of adoption to children in the future!

 

3) Write a book!

 

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The Lord has specifically called me to write a book for women. The topic that He has asked me to write about is the most intimate part about myself and I am not sure when the right time to share it is. A few years ago, I found out some things that radically changed my life, and were an intense time of suffering in my life. As a result of the things I found out, my life and future changed.

 

4) Travel the world

 

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I have been blessed to visit some pretty cool places!

 

  • Bucharest, Romania

 

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  • Paris, France

 

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It stole my heart…

 

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  • Athens and a few islands in Greece

 

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  • Rome, Italy

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Even though I’ve been to some of the world’s most incredible locations, there is a hunger in me to see even more of the world! A few of the other places I’d like to see include:

 

  • London, England – I need to visit Princess Kate

  • Germany

  • Spain

  • Revisit Paris – A piece of my heart was left there

  • Prague

  • Swiss Alps – Maybe try some skiing?

  • Amalfi Coast –

  • Croatia

  • Ireland

  • …basically anywhere in Europe

  • Fiji – I hear the beaches are pretty!

  • Colorado Mountains

  • The Grand Canyon

  • Alaska

  • Hawaii

  • Niagara Falls

  • Prince Edward Island, Canada – Anne of Green Gables

  • Charleston, South Carolina

  • New York City

 

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I am already planning my next trip…

5) Live in a house with a red door!

 

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This might seem like a silly dream, but I have always wanted to live in a house with a red door. There is something so welcoming about a red door, and I intend to have a house with an inviting red door!

 

6) Perfect my French

 

Je parle un peu de français – I speak a little French

 

I have taken a few years of French, but I am far from fluent! I would love to be able to speak it well one day!

 

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7) Have lunch with John Piper

 

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Of all the people on this planet I could sit down with for an hour or two, John Piper tops the list! He is one of the men who’s writing and speaking leads me closer to Christ. I have read almost every one of his books, listened to countless sermons and watched videos of him. It would be an honor to meet such a man of God!

 

 

Etc…

 

Those are just a few of my dreams! While I have many others, some great and some small, I close in sharing my biggest goal and dream in life!

 

My greatest passion and desire is that my life accurately represents Christ to the world!

 

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If I accomplish every one of my other dreams, but fail in this area, I have wasted my life! Oh may this never be!

 

Beloved, as I’ve shared some of my heart with you, my charge and encouragement to you is this – whatever your dreams are, may you always glorify our Father in heaven first and foremost. I constantly submit my dreams before His throne, because He is my great guide and knows what is best for me and for His glory!

Suffering – For God’s glory and our good

Suffering is inevitable.

 

Turn on the TV or pick up a newspaper and you will be bombarded with discouraging news. Everyone will experience some kind of trial or suffering in their lifetime. This guarantee of suffering exists for two reasons, first because the world is fallen and infected with sin. Because sin entering the world, suffering exists. The second reason is because as a follower of Christ, we will experience suffering because the call to follow Him is a call to die. Jesus told his disciples, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow Me.” –Matthew 16:24 Why does Christ give this difficult task to His followers?  In his last hours on earth, why did he reiterate the certainty of suffering in a Christian’s life by stating that “In the world you will have tribulation.” (John 16:33) It would be an impossible task if that phrase is all we have recorded in our Bibles, however in the very next breath, Christ gives the ultimate encouragement when he says, “But be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.”

 

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Dear One, whatever kind of suffering you are experiencing, take heart because you have a Savior who has overcome the world. The One who died for you experienced the ultimate suffering by leaving His heavily throne and stepping into human flesh to ultimately die on your behalf for your sins. Because He has suffered, you have the greatest example of how to suffer well. When Christ suffered death on a cross, His suffering lead to eternal life for the ones who choose to call Him Lord and Savior. 

 

Suffering as a Christian has two purposes – God’s glory and our good.

 

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When we respond to suffering in such a way that shows the unbelieving world that Christ is more glorious and precious to us than our suffering, it shows who and what our true treasure is. By placing our ultimate hope in Christ and not the temporary things that are causing our hearts pain, God receives the glory.

 

“My body is sick with cancer, the paycheck didn’t quite cover everything this month, I have an unsaved family member, that phone call changed everything”  – the list can go on and on. The question begs to be asked, “how can suffering possibly be for my good?”

 

Suffering as a Christian serves several purposes for our ultimate good. First, suffering sanctifies and purifies us like nothing else can. When earthly pleasures, things and people are stripped out of our lives, it is revealing of where we have mistakenly placed our hope. Suffering draws us closer to Christ, because we don’t have the worldly comforts to rely on. Christ desperately longs for us to fix our eyes upon Him, and not the things the world tries to romance our souls with.

 

Beloved, my charge to you is not to waste your suffering. Instead of throwing yourself a pity party (although I have thrown and attended several grand ones for myself), seek the Lord’s voice speaking in your suffering.

 

“Do you trust Me?”

 

How often does the Creator of the universe whisper those words into our souls? Often, our first reaction to suffering is frustration, fear or anxiety. One of the best pieces of advice I’ve ever received is the following:

 

“When you cannot see the hand of God, you can always trust His heart!”

 

When your heart is breaking, and your world is falling apart, when all around you, it seems like there is nothing but death, tragedy and heartache, take heart! Remind yourself that your God, your Father, your Lord has overcome the world! Trust in His character. Remember that God loves His children and that He is ultimately good. Do not forget these truths for they are your lifeblood in times of suffering .

 

Regardless of your present…

 

Circumstances or crisis,

Pressures or pain,

Suffering or sorrow,

Failures or frustrations,

Danger or disease,

Memories or misery,

Temptations or trials,

Problems or persecutions,

Burdens or brokenness…

 

Your situation is temporary compared to eternity!

 

In the closing chapters of the final book of the Bible, God makes a beautiful declaration to His children.

 

“And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.” (Revelation 21:3)

 

 

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If this present world was all there was and there was no Savior in which to place our hope, we should be pitied, but that is not the case! This world is not our home, we are merely passing through. As you evaluate the current pain in your own life or in the world right now, meditate on these questions:

 

What is the Lord teaching you about Himself?

How can you use your suffering for His glory?

 

“I Have a Dream”

This week marked the 50th anniversary of March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, where an estimated quarter of a million people gathered in the nation’s capital to raise their voices for in support of a strong Civil Rights legislation that would greatly reduce segregation and mistreatment for African Americans.

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When one thinks of this impactful event, the first thing that comes to mind is Martin Luther King Jr, the fearless leader for Civil Rights. Standing in front of the Lincoln Memorial, a monument commemorating one of America’s influential presidents who helped eliminate slavery in America, King delivered the historic speech, “I Have a Dream”. He noted in the opening statements that what was taking place on that August day was the “greatest demonstration for freedom in the history of our nation”.

Deep passion permeated every word spoken by King as he described his vision of a nation where one was not judged based off the color of their skin. “I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: “We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal.” Pursuing the goal of Godly equality characterized the life of King and many others as they fought for a better future for their children and grandchildren. The Civil Rights leaders understood that a person should not be treated differently by their appearance, by their skin color, or by their economic status. Instead, King advocated for the day when his children would one day live in nation where they would not be judged by the color of their skin, but the content of their character.

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King was renowned for his efforts to ensure that men and women were regarded as equal. He understood that God calls for mankind to treat one another with respect and love, because all are created in His image. Although the African American community was met with animosity, King gently reminded the nation that, “darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.” Retaliation with bitterness to such hardship would have been expected and was the reaction of some. However King understood that the only thing he could change was himself and his reaction. He once stated that he had decided to stick with love, because hate was too great a burden to bear.

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Even though our nation isn’t currently fighting for legalized racial equality, there are still many issues that a Christian’s heart should be broken over.  The fact that 40 years ago, America legalized the killing of more than 55 million babies under Roe v. Wade. The fact that gay couples can freely be with whomever they choose. The fact that immorality is rampant and celebrated in the media.

The list could go on and on. Even though American Christians find themselves in the middle of a nation that does not honor the Lord, there is still hope. In Matthew 5:43-44 Christ gives this charge, “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you.” The Lord understood that our flesh’s first reaction is to hate our enemies. However, He calls us to something higher – to love and pray for one another. It is not always easy to love like Christ loves, but as Christians we have the Holy Spirit living in us to sanctify us.

In light of the anniversary and celebration of the achievements of Martin Luther King Jr and others, be thankful to the Lord that much has been accomplished in America to honor Him in the nation’s past, be prayerful over the nation’s current leaders, be mindful that there is still work to be done, be active in making your voice heard and be loving towards others.

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