Sold Out

Are you sold out? Are you totally committed? You have to be to jump out of a plane like in the photo above. Either that or you’ll be forced to jump!

Hey everyone! I know, it’s been a little while. This summer has just been so busy! I’ve learned so much, grown as a person, and especially found the Lord in a deeper way!

Where to begin? Let’s begin with our youth group’s cabin trip. Our trip took us to Pigeon Forge, TN, the usual place we go to for summer retreats. When we got there, the cabin we originally booked was trashed, so we had to scramble and book another one. Praise God we not only were able to book another cabin, but it ended up being the best one we’ve ever stayed in!

Each night of service was amazing. Full of prayer, worship, and being sensitive to what the Holy Spirit wanted to do. Chains were broken off of people’s lives, and hearts were set ablaze with the love of Jesus and fire of The Holy Spirit. I personally really learned how to push through and worship even when fatigued.( Our services would start around 7-8, and sometimes end in the early a.m. hours. Not to mention our daily devotionals and activities throughout the day, including team games!) Needless to say, I truly learned how to push through.

So it’s personal testimony time. I’ve written before about over thinking, depression, etc. I’m glad to say I’ve been set free from those things!! I’m learning to walk in my newfound freedom, but it’s amazing to see where God has brought me from. I was at points throughout my life where I wouldn’t even go through a drive thru, because I didn’t like talking to strangers or anyone I didn’t know. I’ve even noticed things I’ve been set free from I didn’t realize were a problem until they were no longer there. I no longer feel lonely and much of the fear I’ve had is totally gone. God is so so good!!

Jump forward a couple of weeks to this past weekend, and I gained even more freedom at Summer Warrior-Fest 2018. I experienced even more of the freedom I learned on the cabin trip, freedom in shouting, dancing, and crying out to God. And hunger.

Sometimes we reach a certain level in the Lord, and become comfortable. It’s pretty easy to do, but I just keep getting pushed into pressing in, and asking the Lord for more! I just want more of Him! I’ve come to realize we’ve got to be sold out.

Sold out. Unashamed. Uncompromising. Relentless. I want to be so in love with Jesus that everyone knows it! I see Him drawing me closer to Himself, asking me to go deeper. I’m not sure how to go deeper from here, but I’m trusting He’ll show me the way.

I don’t want to go back! Back to the mundane! Back to no passion! I want to be on fire and passionate for Him! Keith Green’s Biography, No Compromise, is really pushing me to seek Him out more. And there’s a deeper longing to be His hands and feet. I want to see myself sold out for Him, along with the rest of the church. Then we can truly take the gospel to the nations, because nothing will hold us back.

Everyone talks of revival, but how many are truly willing to do what it takes? Revival starts with me. It starts with you. It starts with repentance, and throwing off the weight that so easily besets us. I want to see the lost saved, the sick healed, the broken hearts be mended.

So I guess that’s all for now. Love y’all!!

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Unresolved But Hopeful

In life, one can often become distracted. We tend to become so focused on things that have little to no real value. Things that are trifle, and things that don’t help our souls in any way.

Sometimes we can become so fixated on our selfs, our circumstances, our inadequacies, that we forget to whom we belong.

I came to the realization, that I’ve allowed things spoken about me, lies I’ve believed about myself, and a form of pride I thought wasn’t pride, to affect me in a very negative way. I allowed offense to affect me more than I ever thought it would.

Things I had thought I had dealt with, in all reality, were only temporarily resolved, and yet the roots remained.

How did I get to such a place? Surely not all at once, but little by little. A chip here, a chip there, until great damage was done. There are many wounds, and most of them self-afflicted.

Perhaps it’s simply a case of looking too much at myself. If I was truly keeping my eyes on Jesus, maybe I wouldn’t have to come this place.

I just want to Love God, and love people. I want to be confident and not prideful. I want to be sure of who I am in Him, and in the abilities He has given me. Those are my goals. That’s what I want to strive for. And hopefully with His help, I can attain that.

I’m tired of making excuses. I’m tired of being offended by others and especially myself. I’m tired of listening to the lies of the enemy. I’m ready to make a change. I’m ready to walk in the freedom and goodness that God wants us all to walk in. To live a life always hopeful, prayerful, and pleasing to the Lord.

Reality

Finally. Finally. I am finally coming to a place I have wanted to be at for a long time. A place where I’m comfortable with myself and the people around me. A place where I love God, and love others as I love myself. A place where I don’t question if people say what they mean. A place where I feel loved, not because I hear it more often, but because I don’t question the sincerity behind those three words. When I hear it I simply believe it. I accept it. I cherish it.

Hindsight is 20/20, and it’s never been more true to me. I always see things more clearly after they’ve gone.

I now see that the reason I had a season of time that I no longer felt love was not because love was absent, but because I simply didn’t believe it was there. I heard it all the time, but I didn’t believe it. I didn’t accept it, therefore, it did not exist to me.

When I feel lonely, again, it’s not because I don’t have friends, but because I don’t believe I have friends. And that’s shocking to me. How can something exist and you not believe that it does?

Why do we watch television? Why do we have video games, novels, music, anything to take us out of the reality we’re living? We do to escape reality, and there’s nothing wrong with that. Sometimes it’s a good thing to forget your problems, if only for a short time. If there is to be a problem, it will come when we stay out of reality for too long.

We shouldn’t downplay the troubles of the world, for if we “Bury our heads in the sand”, nothing will be done to combat them.

What is reality? Well, google puts it like this: “Reality, the world or the state of things as they actually exist, as opposed to an idealistic or notional idea of them.” Simple right? It’s simply the world as it really exists. Not what we want it to be, or what we work for it to be. It is what it is, really. We shouldn’t downplay the troubles of the world, for if we “Bury our heads in the sand”, nothing will be done to combat them.

Growing up, there were things I didn’t believe, or accept, even though they were fact. Why is that? Only for the fact that I didn’t like it. I didn’t like reality, so I made up my own reality. It could have been anything, from not listening to my parents in what was best for me, all the way to not watching the news because I couldn’t bear to acknowledge the evil in the world. I still believe in seeing the good in the world, but have come to realize you cannot find a solution until you acknowledge there is a problem. And of course, it wasn’t something that was a major part of my life, but it was there. What kid doesn’t daydream, or live oblivious to so many things?

I suppose that’s what happens when you grow up, or at least it should be. We find out so many things that, as a child, we couldn’t understand, or could even care less about. As we grow, we should mature. We should obtain wisdom, and as Christians, we should be continually drawing closer to Christ. And as we do, we must allow Him to continually change us into being more and more like Him.

So just as I have learned so so much just in the past couple of years, about God, about myself, and about others, I cannot wait for the mysteries that await to be unearthed. The questions to be answered. The life to be lived.

 

Transformed

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The TRANSFORMATION that has occurred within the past year boggles my mind.

Lately I have been learning to be confident. To put my faith and trust so strongly in God and in the abilities He has given me. To walk in the freedom He brings. But it’s not always easy.

I have always been so fearful of having PRIDE that I never wanted to be confident in anything. Pride can cause you to stumble. Pride can cause arrogance. Pride can blind you. Those are traits I’ve never wanted.

And yet looking back, I still had pride. I had secrets. Things I didn’t want people to know. So caught up in  what people thought of me or caring about my image, more than just being a kid and having fun. Especially being afraid to lift my hands during worship, in fear of who may see.

I always tried to play it cool. I never knew if a crush or potential crush was paying attention to me, so I definitely didn’t want to do anything silly or stupid. But trust me, trying to play it cool and being self-conscious of everything I did became exhausting. It was a cycle of  seeking the approval of others. “Did I do well? Is this good? Is that good?” Those were questions I always had. I wanted affirmation in everything I did.

I would always base my opinions upon the opinions of others. Whether reading a Facebook post, or simply having a conversation with someone, I would continually change my mind on issues based on the last person I spoke to.

I struggled for years, even to the point of not talking to people much, thinking they couldn’t possibly want to talk to me. A feeling would come over me that I would just be annoying them, so I wouldn’t talk to them at all.

But you know, that is no way to live. There came a point when I loved God and people so much, I began to see things differently. Most of the issues all came from the wrong PERSPECTIVE. But my perspective changed. Even if people didn’t want to talk to me, so what? And I actually find that most people do like talking to me.

I finally decided I didn’t want to live being afraid of what people think of me. Or afraid of making mistakes. You have to throw yourself out there. Be vulnerable. Be who God created you to be. If people don’t like it, that’s their problem, not yours.

Knowing that God loves me, means I no longer have to seek the approval of others. Only His. When I strive to please Him, everything else falls into place. You can’t please everybody. And honestly it’s pretty hard to please yourself as well. I’m often judgmental of my own work. I disassemble the words and works I have done during the day, putting them under a microscope, scrutinizing every detail. That has gotten better as well.

But it amazes me at how much things have changed in just the past year. I could write endless posts pertaining to all of the things in my life that have been transformed. It just goes to show, when God heals, He heals everything. When we truly encounter Him, we will be forever changed.