I Will Be Their God!

I will be their God

 

Christian, here is all you require. To make you happy you want something that shall satisfy you; and is not this enough? If you can pour this promise into you cup, will you not say, with David, “My cup overflows.” (Psalm 23:5) When this is fulfilled, I am your God, are you not possessor of all things? Desire is insatiable as death, but He who fills all in all can fill it. The capacity of our wishes who can measure? But the immeasurable wealth of God can more than overflow it. I ask you if you are not complete when God is yours? Do you want anything but God? Is not His all-sufficiency enough to satisfy you if all else should fail? But you want more than quiet satisfaction; you desire rapturous delight. Come, soul, here is music fit for heaven in this you portion, for God is the Maker of Heaven. Not all the music blown from sweet instruments, or drawn from living strings, can yield such melody as this sweet promise, “I will be their God.” Here is a deep sea of bliss, a shoreless ocean of delight; come, bathe your spirit in it; swim an age, and you shall find no shore; dive throughout eternity, and you shall find no bottom. “I will be their God.” If this does not make your eyes sparkle, and your heart beat fast with bliss, then assuredly your soul is not in a healthy state. But you want more than present delights—you crave something concerning which you may exercise hope; and what more can you hope for than the fulfillment of this great promise, “I will be their God“? This is the masterpiece of all the promises; its enjoyment makes a heaven below, and will make a heaven above. Dwell in the light of your Lord, and let your soul be always ravished with His love. Get out the marrow and fatness which this portion yields thee. Live up to your privileges, and rejoice with unspeakable joy. 

 

* Taken from Charles Spurgeon’s Morning by Morning Devotional

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…

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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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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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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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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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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

 

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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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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!)

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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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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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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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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! 

“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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The Lord will be faithful!

This time next week, I will be an alumni of Liberty University! It is strange to think about the fact that my time as an undergrad have come to an end. I’m not going to lie, the fact that I’ll be graduating in less than a week and have no clue what my future plans are is a bit overwhelming. I’ve called my mom countless times crying because I don’t know what I’m doing or where I’m going to work, or what my future holds. One of the things I appreciate the most about my mom is she doesn’t allow me to throw myself a pity party for very long. She’ll listen while I pour out my heart, and then challenge me to put things into perspective. Something that she has reminded me constantly is the Lord’s faithfulness.

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Beloved, my God is not going to stop being faithful to me when I walk across a graduation stage. He has never forsaken me, yet here I am questioning His goodness and faithfulness. Oh how quickly I forget who He truly is. When I pause and reflect on the character of my God, I am reminded that…

He is my strength.
He is my anchor.
He is my constant.
He is my sure foundation.

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The word faithful means…

“True to one’s word, promises, vows, etc. Steady in allegiance or affection; loyal; constant; reliable.”

This accurately describes our Heavenly Father. Dear One, I don’t know where life finds you as you read these words. Maybe you’re in the same boat as I am, where your future in uncertain, or maybe you just need to remind yourself who the Lord is. I encourage you to press in and seek the Lord’s character and His promises. Over the past semester, I have come to the Lord countless times and reminded Him of His promises. Remember, God never makes a promise that is too good to be true. If He said it in His word, He will uphold it. Search out those promises and pray them!

Recently I was reading the devotional, Come Away My Beloved and read these words

“You need never fear whether I will be faithful to you, for if I have never failed anyone else, why would I fail you? You have an innumerable company of spectators cheering you from the ramparts of heaven, reminding you of what I did for them and encouraging you that the struggle is not in vain; it will soon end in victory for you also – if you endure faithfully.”

Go grab your Bible and read Hebrews 11. (Known as the “faith” chapter) After I read that in my devotion, I went and read Hebrews 11, and my mind was blown. God’s character stands not only in my own life, but also in the lives of millions of other people. I pray that you will join with me in declaring that our God is great in His faithfulness!

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Give this song a listen!!

Great Is Thy Faithfulness

Pro-Life Emphasis Week – Recap

Wow…just wow!! I am still trying to process everything that happened this past week!

I had the honor of planning and putting together a Pro-Life Emphasis Week at Liberty University! When I first became the Senior Class President, I honestly didn’t really know what to do. I knew I had a cool position, but past a title, I was kind of at a loss at what to do. So, I decided to pray about it. The Lord asked me what both He and I were passionate about, and I responded, “Life”. When the Lord placed me in the position of Senior Class President, I never knew what was going to happen, but I set about planning for a Pro-Life Emphasis week for the student body. The early stages of planning began in September, and have been in the works ever since then.

The purpose of the week was to educate ourselves on how to be pro-life not only in word, but also in deed, and to inspire the world’s largest Christian university to hold life as precious and dear, just like our Father!

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The beginning of the week was awful, and Tuesday was probably one of the worst day’s I’ve had in a long time. I cried openly in public more than once. Everything was falling apart on Tuesday. There was a lot of stuff happening back home which was breaking my heart, and things were not coming together with pro-life week. I found out that I didn’t have access to the money that I was counting on (which was about $1000). Thing after thing wasn’t going right. When I got into bed on Tuesday night, I felt defeated and discouraged and was so close to just throwing up my hands and cancelling the entire week.

When I got up on Wednesday morning, my dear mother had sent me a Facebook message…

Remember that this week belongs to God, and He is well-able to make of it what He wants. You don’t have to do it in your own strength, and even through your willingness to put this together, He doesn’t want to share the glory of it. Get physical rest, and stay in that place of obedient,joyful rest in Christ.

More than anything I needed that reminder.

This wasn’t my week.
This wasn’t my glory.
This wasn’t my success.

….this was God’s.

Wednesday morning I prayed this prayer…

“Father, you were the one who placed this idea on my heart. You were the one guiding me through everything. I gave this week to you a long time ago, but I’ve taken it back into my own hands. I’m sorry that I’ve been running around like an idiot trying to get everything done. I’m sorry for stealing your glory. I hand you control of this week. I’ve never been in a place where I could fail so miserably. Lord, I ask you to come through and make this week a success! Even if it doesn’t look like what I think it should, it’s in your hands.”

I do not have sufficient words to even begin to describe all that God did!!! I literally just stood back and watched the Lord work all week.

Pro-Life organizations set up tables in the back hallway of DeMoss all week.

Rock For Life sold T-Shirts and other pro-life merchandise, and raised well over $1000.

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Some of my friends who stand for life

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My incredible friend Sean, who runs the pro-life club on campus called Lifeline also set up a table!

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On Wednesday, we had Mike Spencer from the Life Training Institute come and do a session on “Abortion and Apologetics” Students listened for an hour as he discussed how to intelligently discuss the subject of being pro-life from science, philosophy, etc. Then they participated in an in depth question and answer!

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After campus church, students participated in a prayer walk!

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I had the opportunity to meet Clayton King before church and discuss the week a little bit with him! He was adopted as a baby and lives in North Carolina! I feel like we should be friends!

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On Thursday, I had asked Phil Kline to give a talk on “Abortion and the Law”. He gave the best talk I’ve ever heard on abortion! Quickly, he captured everyone’s attention, and held it for well over an hour. Mr. Kline is the former Attorney General from Kansas, and is the only prosecutor to ever obtain abortion clinic records from Planned Parenthood. It was an incredible honor for him to participate in the week!

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Friday’s convocation will forever stand as one of my all-time favorite memories. I had asked the entire student body to wear either red or white shirts, depending on their section. One third of the students wore red, to represent the amount of people “missing” due to abortion. I’m going to be honest, even though I had broadcast as much as I knew how, in the back of my mind, I never really expected people to participate. When I arrived to convo on Friday morning, I was blown away. Tears started pouring down my checks as I saw the student body participating!!

I have never been more humbled or in awe of all that the Lord accomplished!!

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Johnnie Moore spoke on why Christians should hold life as sacred, and did an excellent job!

The week was ended in the most incredible way ever! Phil Wickham came in for a free concert!! A love offering was taken, and all of the proceeds went directly to the Liberty Godparent Home! The concert was one of the most Christ-centered concert’s I’ve ever attended and Phil shared some of his new songs with us!

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I had the privilege of meeting him and chatting with him about the week! He was incredibly gracious and kind!

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Best pro-life emphasis week!!!

“Your joy may be full!”

I sank onto my knees in one of my very favorite place on campus – the prayer chapel.

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Isn’t it gorgeous?!

That place is so dear to my heart because it holds some of my sweetest and most difficult moments with the Lord.

-News that forever changed my life.
-Pleaded with the Lord for unsaved family members.
-Asked the Lord to restore things that were lost.
-To heal me.
-Sat in awe of my Heavenly Father.
-Worshiped with other believers.
-Had strangers pray over me.

Recently, I jogged to the prayer chapel and when I entered the building, I was delighted to find that there was no one else there! (Not that I wasn’t happy no one else was praying, I was happy to have the whole place to myself!) There is a piano in one corner, and I headed over to it, and quietly began playing one of my favorite hymns

“It is well with my soul”

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I sang the words over and over to my Father. As my voice began to quiet, the tears began to fall. That is when I slipped onto my knees in front of a cross that’s placed in the front of the room. I began to pour out my heart to the Lord. Since there was no one else in the room, I prayed out loud. If you’ve never done this (praying in groups doesn’t count!) I strongly suggest it!

My Father heard all of the cares and worries that I don’t want to burden other people with. I told Him what has been making my heart heavy and sad recently.

“O God, I cling with feeble fingers to the ledge of your great grace.” -Piper

Beloved, in the few hours I spent with the Lord on my face before Him, He never promised to take away the difficult circumstances in my life. However He promised to give me joy in Himself.

“These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full.” – John 15:11

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My joy can only be complete in the Lord. Apart from Him, there is no joy. He doesn’t merely give me joy, He is my joy!!

“It would not be fully gracious of Jesus simply to increase my joy to its final limit and then leave me short of his. Christ not only offers himself as the divine object of my joy, but pours his capacity for joy inot me, so that I can enjoy him with the very joy of God.” – Piper

Dear Ones…

Seek the joy that can be found only in the Father! Trust me, absolutely nothing else compares to it.

Will the journey be difficult? You bet!
Will you feel like giving up? Mmhmm!

But…

Will everlasting and deeply satisfying joy with the Father be worth it all? I could write for the rest of my days, and never have enough words to say how worth it Christ is!

Keep pressing on! The Lord has great things planned for your life, it might not look like you think it should, but His promise is this…

Your Joy Will Be Full In Me!

Hope in 2013!!!

Happy New Year!!!

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I cannot believe that 2013 is here already!!! Typically, I reflect on the past year as I began preparing for the year ahead, and this year was no different!

Here are some highlights of the past year:

* Meeting Yulia (from the Ukraine) and see her story in our lives unfold.

* Interning at my church.

* Getting elected Senior Class President.

* Witnessing my best friend marry the love of her life.

* My brother getting to play college baseball.

* Participating in ministry at Liberty University.

* Continuing to work on the book that the Lord has asked me to write

While this year has been absolutely incredible in a lot of aspects, it has also been a very hard year for some very personal reasons. I would prefer not to discuss them right now, but know that this year has not been without its share of tears!

I realized that as I reflect, and make lists of my highlights and lowlights, they are all based on circumstances. While it is definitely okay to celebrate good things in life, and mourn the difficult things (Ecclesiastes discusses this in 3:1-8), but ultimately 2012 was a fantastic year because the Lord was with me….

The Lord was faithful to me.

The Lord upheld His promises.

The Lord was good.

The Lord never left me.

The Lord reigned glorious.

At the end of a day, and at the end of a year, God is still God, and God is still good. While circumstances go up and down, my hope is deeply rooted in a God who promises never to leave and never to change, and that my Beloved some thing that should encourage our hearts tremendously!! Looking pack over 2012…if you have regrets, disappointments, and it wasn’t what you were expecting…take heart! Christ is greater than the past year. If you are filled with fear looking into a new year, filled with many unknowns, remember Christ is already in 2013. He is the one who goes before you and paves the way!!

On a different note…here’s how I rung in 2013!!

With these guys…

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I found out that the Avett Brothers would be in Greensboro on New Years Eve, and I really like them. So, I got my shift at work covered, hollered at a friend and we quickly purchased concert tickets and headed to Greensboro!!

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The concert started at around 8:45 and went until around 12:30!

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It was absolutely fantastic!!! I’m so glad I had the opportunity to go!!

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Amos Lee was also a special guest…

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The healing power of joy….

I’ve written quite a lot about some trials that I’m facing in my life right now. My circumstances are feel difficult, but dear reader they are merely circumstances. Life ebbs and flows, it has its joys and trials. Right now, I feel like I am in the furnace of affliction. Someone very dear to me has betrayed me and walked away from me and my heart aches because of the pain they have caused. But I am clinging to my Jesus, to my family and to the incredible friends the Lord has placed in my life. If I pause for a moment, I realize just how truly blessed I am.

Someone recently said to me, “Chelsea, every time I see you, you are always happy.” I quickly said, “I’m not always happy, but I always strive for joy!” The Lord has placed His joy in my heart, and even though I don’t always feel like smiling or being “happy” I plead with Him that I will never ever lose my joy in life!

I wanted to share a devotion that has been touching my heart a lot recently. I’ve shared out of the book “Come away my beloved” by Frances Roberts before, and that’s where today’s devotion comes from!

 

“You will be sorrowful, but your sorrow will be turned into joy!”

John 16:20

Say not within yourself, “Where is God?” for I am within you, yes, even in your heart, and my hand is upon you. You have looked in vain for Me because you have sought to see Me in circumstances and in people and have said, “I cannot find Him.”

O My child, look to Me directly, and rest your heart in Me. Do so with as little distraction as would be easy to do if you were the only human being in the world and therefore would have no one else to look upon and no one else with whom to converse.

Praise Me. This I ask of you in times when it seems indescribably difficult to do so. I ask it of you in love that is stern at this point because I know unequivocally that praise is your only hope for survival.

Distress of coul and grief of heart can only bring on destruction of body. Joy alone is a healer, and you can have it in the darkest hour if you will force your soul to rise to Me in worship and adoration. I have not failed you and you have not failed Me. It is only that you have failed yourself – or the disappointment has come on the human plane, not on the divine. Why should you allow any human experience to alter or affect your divine relationship with your Father?

Bring Me your sorrow, and watch for the sunrise of the resurrection. yes, truly there comes always a resurrection – a morning when hope is reborn and life finds new beginning. Waif for it as tulip bulbs anticipate the spring. The rarest blooms are enhanced by the coldness of winter. The snow plays her part in producing spring’s pageant. But when the blossoms break through, we do not then turn back to thoughts of winter, but instead, we look ahead to the full joys of the coming summer.

So you must do also. Your God is your maker. He is your defender. And He is mighty to save. Yes, He is not only mighty to save from sin, but He is mighty to save from despair, from sorrow, from disappointment, from regret, from remorse, from self-castigation, and from the hot, blinding tears of rebellion against fateful circumstances. He can save you from yourself, and He loves you when you find it hard to love yourself.

Let His peace flow in you like a river, carrying away all the poison of painful memories, and bringing you a fresh, clear stream of pure life and restoring thoughts.

This is not the end. Press on.

 

10,000 Reasons

This past Sunday at church, we sang the song, “10,000 Reasons” by Matt Redman. The song is based out of Psalm 103, and focuses upon characteristics of the Lord. While I was singing, I found myself thinking…

 

I wonder if I could really come up with 10,000 reasons to praise the Lord. Sure it sounds wonderful in a song, but could I truly come up with that meany reasons to be grateful?!

Then I thought,

Well, I suppose I’ll never know if I never try!!

So, I’ve decided to find 10,000 reasons to bless the Lord!!

I recently discussed “soul talk”, and I’ve mentioned gratitude before on this blog. (You can read about it here) But I so easily forget that I should be praising the Lord often, and reminding myself of just how incredibly blessed I am. The idea is to constantly find reasons to bless the Lord, and be grateful and to thank Him for His rich blessings!!

Here’s how I made my 10,000 reasons board, you can do it however you like, I just started with what I had!!

Sticky notes!

Sticky notes!

What I ended up with…

 

Obviously it’s still a work in progress because I will keep on adding to it! A few of my personal favorite reasons to bless the Lord at the moment…

 

I’m excited to see how this continues to grow!! I’d love to have more people join me in praising our Savior together, so if you’re making a board, I’d love to see pictures of how you do it or hear your thoughts!!

 

A severe mercy

When I first started writing this post, it was filled with me boo hooing all over the place, complaining, and an invitation to the worlds biggest pity party. You see, my brother left for Texas this morning. He’s transferring schools from Liberty to a school in Longview, Texas called LeTourneau University to play baseball. I’m so extremely happy for him because his dream of playing college ball is finally coming true!! At the same time, it’s going to be hard because we’re 11 days apart, we’ve gown up together and he’s my best friend.

Yesterday, I had lunch with a very dear friend, and a lady that I look up to and admire very much. I was sharing with her that I was having a hard time with my brother leaving. During our conversation, she mentioned a book we had both recently read entitled, “A Severe Mercy” by Sheldon Vanauken. The book is an autobiography about Sheldon and his wife and their incredibly beautiful love story. It also contains an account of a friendship they formed with C.S. Lewis and their journey to Christianity. I don’t want to give the entire story away, but towards the end of the book, Sheldon’s wife dies. Sheldon is devastated, but comes to realize that it was God’s severe mercy towards him. It was severe because his wife’s death hurt him beyond belief, but it was mercy because Sheldon was jealous of his wife’s relationship with Christ and was only able to truly draw closer to Christ after his wife died.

So here I am in my own time of severe mercy. It is going to be incredibly hard because I will be without my best friend being so close to me this semester. Sure, there will definitely be some difficult times. But as my dear friend pointed out to me, it is going to be a time of the Lord’s mercy in my life because my Father is going to be able to take me away from my “crutch” (my brother) and fulfill the longings of my heart with Himself. Even though I probably wouldn’t have initially chosen this road for myself, I trust that the Lord knows what He’s doing. I trust that He is going to fill my soul in ways I can’t even begin to imagine. So, I’m choosing to press into His arms and make Psalm 34:1 my prayer and goal.

I will bless the LORD at all times;
   his praise shall continually be in my mouth.

Be encouraged if you’re going through circumstances that you don’t necessarily like. They could be God’s severe mercy to you and His way of giving you more of Himself.