Monday, January 30, 2012

Any Questions???

Happy Monday!  Who is ready to tackle this week head on?  I know that this week has great things in store for you and me.  I can't wait to see what they are!!

I would love to get the Question and Answer part of my blog going again as soon as possible.  But, for me to give you answers, I have to have questions...

So, what questions do you have for me?  I am willing to answer anything within reason.  Anything from questions about my faith, where I stand on what, how I got to where I am, to questions about me, what my favorite color is or what my favorite childhood memory is.


Ask away!

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Sermon Sunday

Living A Better Story
Living A Better Story - Elevation Church
Living a Better Story Week One
4 Reasons Our Stories Suck Struggle

Pastor Steven preached a sermon about the parts of a story and why our stories suck struggle.

Every story has a character who wants something and overcomes conflict to get it.

Colossians 1:18 says "And he is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy."
Character - God
Wants Something - Supremacy
Conflict - Our heart

The four reasons that our stories suck are...
1. We have cast the wrong main character
2. We are working off the wrong screenplay
3. What we want isn't worth enough
4. We try to skip the scenes that make it matter

If you want the meat of the message, please tune into The Elevation Network or catch it on iTunes on Monday.

Personal Reflection: Everything that Pastor said was so true to me.  The main character in my life has always been me.  But, it isn't about me.  It is about God.  Once I revolve my story around God's glory, it will be a story worth telling.  I work off of the wrong screenplay by going with what the world says.  The world says that I should be in a serious relationship right now.  But, I know that God doesn't want me to be chasing down random boys right now.  I am often searching for something to make me happy in the moment, but in the end it doesn't make me happy.  What I want isn't worth enough.  I need to want God's glory in everything.  Most importantly, I always try to skip the scenes that matter.  I don't want to go through with the pain and struggle... who does?  I want everything to be daisy's and roses.  I want it to be easy.  If I could skip to the end of the story, not having to endure the hardships but get the benefits of the ending, that would be ideal.  But, the hardships and suffering make the end worth while.  I wouldn't appreciate the end if I didn't go through the middle. 
Pinned Image
I am going to begin working on embracing the story that God wants for my life.  How about you?  I am not going to continue chasing what the world says I should be chasing.  I am going to ask God what He desires for my life and only chase that. 



Saturday, January 28, 2012

Hey, It's Okay!

Hey, It's Okay!  I got the idea from a blog that I recently started reading. 


Hey, It's okay...

... to be taking time off from school to figure out what I want to do when I grow up. 

... to have one of my six by six goals accomplished. 

... to look forward to Thursday nights with a group of middle school girls every week.

... to not want to waste a ridiculous amount of money on a college degree that I am not interested in using.


... to not be able to imagine my life any other way than it is right now.  I am truly blessed.

... to have been in bed by 9:00 every night this week except Thursday.

... to have been a tad bit irritated with the random SAHM who lectured me at Chick-Fil-A the other day after meeting three minutes prior about not finishing my Early Childhood degree.


What is your Hey It's Okay thought for the week?

Friday, January 27, 2012

Reflection Friday

Happy Friday!  I hope that you have had a wonderful week.  I am getting "Reflection Friday" to you a bit late, forgive me?

I have no idea where to start in telling you about last nights events.  Let me start with this...

What I have said, that I will bring about;
what I have planned, that I will do.
Isaiah 46:11

I had an amazing message planned for last night.  Over a month ago, God laid a message on my heart that I planned to talk to the girls about last night.  It was all planned.  I had two pages of notes.  I had told the parents all about the message.  I was a nice combination of excited and nervous about what God had put on my heart for the girls for last night.

That is until 30 minutes before eGroup.  I am driving to eGroup.  Getting texts and messages from several girls that they would not be attending.  Only two girls were going to be able to attend.  I was very irritated.  I sent this text to my roommate...

The devil is hard at work against me sharing the story tonight... two girls are unable to come - one sick and one on a band trip.

I get a lovely smack in the face from God.  He screamed to me, Keirstin - this isn't the devil preventing tonight from happening.  I am doing this.  Tonight is not the night.

But Jesus immediately said to them: "Take courage!  It is I.  Don't be afraid."
Matthew 14:27

I began to pray that if tonight was not the right night for what I had prepared, that at 7:00, He would take over me and say whatever needs to be said to the two girls attending.  He sure did!  He came through! 

I opened the night with, I don't know what is going to happen tonight.  What I had prepared, well, God told me tonight isn't the night.  So, I am just praying that He take over and tonight be to His glory.  We talked about Code Orange Revival for a bit. We opened up when God writes your love story to chapter five and talked about it for a bit.

The conversation landed on staying faithful to your husband.  We talked about waiting to have sex until marriage.  I discovered that the temptation to have sex before marriage is present at twelve and thirteen.  Some of them are not even teenagers.  They shared stories about boys texting them asking to have sex.  One said, I want to wait as long as I can.  I just don't know if I can wait until marriage. 

My mind was completely blown.  THEY ARE NOT EVEN DEVELOPED YET.  THEY WILL GROW MORE.  THEY ARE STILL IN MIDDLE SCHOOL.  Why is this temptation present already?  It shouldn't be.  Something is wrong with the world!!!

You can go to sleep soundly, knowing that I made sure to let them know what the Bible says.  We are not supposed to have sex before marriage.  But, Keirstin... the Bible also says that God will forgive our sins.  I don't believe that God will forgive our sins if we walk into a sin only because "He will forgive it"....

I apologize for the length of this post.  I just had to share this with you!  Are you as shocked that twelve and thirteen year olds are getting texts being asked to have sex?  I hope so!!  Can you weigh in any thoughts?






Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Lonely?

If you have been around .Redeemed. for a while, you have read a post or two about me being single and how that is okayClick the links above for four recent posts about being single.  I just turned twenty-two and I don't think that I need to be in a committed relationship right now.  I strongly believe that it is okay that I am not even close to getting married.  I don't think that there is something wrong with me because I am waiting around for someone special.

I have heard Kelly Clarkson's Stronger several times before today.  But, today it struck a new cord with me.  Take a minute and watch the video.


Doesn't mean I'm lonely when I'm alone. 

That is probably my favorite line of the entire song.  I can't tell you how many times I have had someone say to me, I just want you to be happy.  Since when do I need a man in my life to make me happy? 

So do not fear, for I am with you;
do not be dismayed, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you and help you;
I will uphold you with my righteous hand.
Isaiah 41:10

You know what I gather from that?  God is the only one who can make me happy.  He will strengthen and help me.  I don't have to fear, He is with me!  No man on this earth can fulfill me the way that God can.  No man on this earth can make me happy the way that God can.

My personal view point is that if my personal relationship with God is not in check and at the center of my life, then I am not living a life worth bring a man into.  If God is not the center of my life, then it will be easy for me to get wrapped up in a relationship with a man. 

So, right now I am working on bringing God to the center of my life.  Then, I will worry about getting myself out there.  I am still young.  I still have time.  It's all good!



Any young readers out there?  Are you getting heat from anyone around you about being single?  How are you putting their views past you and focusing on what you know to be true?  



Monday, January 23, 2012

Code Orange Revival Close Out Pt. 2

Night Nine - Pastor Kevin Gerald
Galatians 4:8-9, 19
Be patient - God isn't done with you yet.
Expect great things from God, attempt great things for God (William Kerry)
Get daring. Be bold. Thing of the possibilities. Raise the bar!
Jesus always encouraged his disciples to attempt greater things.

It isn't all up to God and it isn't all up to us. God has decided to limit His involvement in our lives.
We cannot without God and God will not without us.
We can have it right in our heart but wrong in our head.
Jesus came to correct the BS in our lives.
In the same way we underestimate the effect of second hand smoking (53,000 die a year), we underestimate the effect of bad relationships!
Their stuff can get on you. Their offense, their attitude, their view of the world can become yours without you realizing it. Don't underestimate the power of bad relationships.

Night Ten - Bishop T.D. Jakes

Hebrews 4:15-16 and Luke 8:46 - Touched
What we have in Jesus is always better.  He will increase, grow, add and multiply.

Your life can't be on a decline if you serve the Lord.

Don't doubt your worth in Christ.  He shed His blood for you.  YOU ARE SOMEBODY!

We have a High Priest who is accessible.

Sometimes your problem consumes your identity.  We can quickly loose sight of His promise and begin worshipping the problem.

Sometimes He has to close every other door for us to turn to Him.

Faith starts at the point of human limitation.

We don't have to have an appointment to come to God. 

Touch requires growth.

Night Eleven - Pastor James MacDonald

I suck at life.  I had 100% attendence (attending at Blakeney or checking in at Elevation Network.  And, I threw it all down the drain last night.  Forgive me please.  I will listen to the sermon as soon as it is up!  Trust me, I hated missing it and not having those notes!!


This is NOT from Night 12.  Night 12 photos are not up yet.
Night Twelve - Pastor Steven Furtick

1 Samual 16-17

When Jesus speaks to you, it is to your potential.  He saw Simon (shaky) and called him Peter (rock).

Matthew 17 - Sometimes you have to get off of the mountain top.

We have to take this moment and turn it into momentum.

Don't miss the moment ahead of you by being paralyzed by what is behind.

When we magnify the moment behind, we dwarf the potential ahead.

Let's be grateful for a God who looks past our sin and still wants us. 

I don't need to be qualified.  He has called me.

It is possible to loose a blessing by being disobedient.

If you try to get ahead of God, He will shut the door.  If you are disobedient to God, he will use someone else.

It is the moments that seem insignficant that prepare you for the most significant moments.

Insignificant assigniment = significant opportunity

Just whens omeone comes to bring you down, great things are about to happen in your life.  (1 Samuel 17:27-29.



I can't express how grateful I am for Elevation Church and Pastor Steven.  I am so humbled by the fact that I get to go to a church where the Pastor can just pick up his phone and text or call twelve of the greatest speakers in this world and they all say yes to come to Charlotte, NC for a revival.  I will not take this for granted.

I will never forget the last twelve days. Each sermon hit home in a certain way.  It has been amazing.

I am forever grateful for a Pastor who is obedient to what God says.  God told him to do a twelve night old school revival, and he did it.  Lives were changed, people were baptized, people were inspired to do 2012 right.  It was good!

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Code Orange Revival Close Out

Code Orange Revival came to a close a few minutes ago.  I can't believe it is over.  My roommate and I just keep looking at each other and saying, what do we do now?  What will we do tomorrow night?  It has been an amazing twelve days to get into God's word, hear it preached and praise Jesus every night.  The last twelve days will be twelve days that I never forget.

Night Six - Israel Houghton

He led the church in a powerful time of worship.  The one noteworthy thing that he said was

The atmosphere of expectation is the breeding ground for miracles.  


Night Seven - Pastor Perry Noble

Pastor Perry and Newspring Church are Elevation's cousins.  It is always great to have Pastor Perry at Elevation.  Pastor Perry preached from Matthew 13:16-17 on a message about being blessed to be a part of Elevation.

- We are blessed because of what we have seen.
- We are blessed because of what we have heard.
- We are blessed because of where we are.

If you are breathing, He still has a plan and a purpose for your life.

An elevator has the potential to go to the top floor. What kind of elevator are you?

Night Eight - Pastor Stovall Weems

I attended with my eGroup.  I can't even begin to tell you what it was like to worship with three of my eGroup girls beside me.  To look over and see them with their hands raised in worship, or to see them typing as fast as they could on their iTouches.  It was powerful!

Pastor Stovall preached on Moving Forward in the Presence of the Lord - Lay Hold Moments.  He preached from Genesis 8:6-11 where Noah sent the raven and the dove out. 

The raven represents our flesh and sin.  The dove represents the Spirit. 

The dove wouldn't settle.  Noah had to reach forward. 

When you create space, your want because a way. 

We can create space, but we also have to lay hold.  In Genesis 28, Jacob makes space.  In Genesis 34, he lays hold.

Turn emotion into devotion.




Loving these notes?  There will be more tomorrow!
What has your favorite point been so far?  Anything rocking your world?

Friday, January 20, 2012

A Week Away...

eek!  A week away from reading the blogs I follow requires major damage control to catch up.  Here are my favorite blog posts from the week that I'm just now reading.

Final Reflections on Unemployment - written by Ronnica of Ignorant Historian.  She was unemployed for over two months, these are her final reflections on that time.  Good for anyone, unemployed or not!

I Just Want to Remember - written by Katie of Kisses From Katie. She writes about one of her children choosing to sleep on the floor, just to remember where she came from. (PS. This is not from this week. But it is still worth noting.)

Power of Prayer - written by Allison of A Few Sprinkles Short. She writes about believing in the power of prayer, even when the answered prayer may seem unanswered.

Things Not to Do as a Newbie Runner - written by Heather of Running with Sass. I think the title explains itself.

30:30:30 - written by K8 of The Girl in the Yellow Bug.  I pretty much love everything on her blog right now.  And, am pretty excited that I actually know this fine girl and would call her a friend.  :-D


What were your favorite reads of this week?  Suggestions on blogs to follow?



PS. Happy Friday!






Thursday, January 19, 2012

Random Words

Happy Thursday! It is Thursday, right?  Ever had so much going on in your life that you forgot what day it was?

Code Orange Revival is flipping my world upside down.  Each night the sermon is relative.  Each night I come home wanting to begin applying the sermon immediately.  I can't keep up with what day it is.  As several of my friends have posted on twitter, It's hard to sleep because my real life is better than I could ever dream.  True that!

I attended Code Orange Revival last night with three girls from my eGroup and my co-leader.  It was amazing. The three girls and one of the girls family got there at 2:00pm and waited in line until 6:00pm.  I love them!  Their heart for Jesus is unmatchable in a thirteen year old.  I love them!

There was a moment during worship that I looked over and the three girls each had their hands raised while worshipping our God.  That was a moment that I will treasure in my heart forever.  Twelve and thirteen year olds standing in worship to our amazing God!  They were fired up last night.  Each of them vigorously typing notes on their iPod's, clapping in agreement to the sermon, and standing to their feet when it was too true to clap.  Mmmm.  Last night was amazing.

Tonight, the girls and I will decorate our baskets for the pregnant mothers.  They will take the baskets to their campus this weekend.  I can't wait for them to bring in their baskets to the orange tent and represent our eGroup well.  After decorating the baskets, we will live stream in tonight's sermon.  I can't wait!!!



So, what have you done this week?  Anything exciting?  Any elevators out there who have comments on Code Orange Revival?



Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Thankful Tuesday

Happy Tuesday!  I bet you thought I was bailing on you this Tuesday.  Honestly, I almost did!  But, Thankful Tuesday provides a nice dose of perspective for me.  I am truly blessed, and so are you!

1. Monday Off - I love my job!  I think you have gathered that by now.  But, by having the day off... I was able to spend it with my eGroup girls.  We had lunch at McAlisters and then went to Target.  We went to Target to go shopping for our January outreach project.  How can you not love those faces! Ha!! I know I love them!  We had a bit of trouble finding something girl clothes that weren't outrageous.  But, the girls did a great job searching and staying on budget!  We had a blast!


2. My amazing mother - Don't think I am repeating here.  She is amazing!  She braved lunch and Target with four teenagers and myself for three hours.  She found us some pretty sweet deals for our outreach project.  It was the first time my mom and I had done the baskets on a budget, and we rocked it!  I love her!  I am so thankful to have the relationship that I have with her.

3. Pastor Perry Noble - Dang! He brought a powerful message tonight to Elevation Church at Code Orange Revival.  Elevators, if you didn't catch it!  Please watch at 3:12 am or 12:12pm tomorrow.  It was so fitting for our church.  He preached an amazing message to Elevation about how blessed we are to be where we are.  It was a great reminder.  He is a great cousin to have at Elevation!

4. Marlene - Marlene is basically our eGroup mom.  She is an amazing women.  Every week, when I arrive, her family room is spotless, there are candles lit, the lighting is perfect, an Elevation Worship CD is playing and there is a delicious treat for us.  I never asked her to do any of those things.  She goes above and beyond for our eGroup and I love her for that.  eGroup wouldn't be the same without her.

5. My grandma - She is pretty great.  My grandma pays my car payment every month.  I wouldn't have my sweet ride that I have if it weren't for the help of my grandma. 

6.  Victoria - I feel like I should be saving this one for next week, but I will use it now.  I've know this girl since she was four years old.  I came home after our first play date and said, "I can't be friends with a four year old," I was cool and six years old!  She should have hated me for the majority of our childhood.  I made her play school with me.  I was always the teacher and she was a student in a room full of stuffed animals.  But, some how or another, we are still best friends.  Next week, she is going to study abroad.  I am going to miss her like crazy.  Thankfully, I get to see her this weekend.  PS.  Don't you love that picture of us?  Throw back to 2008!

7.  Change - I have feared change for the majority of my life.  Change means there is unknown ahead.  I don't like the thought of not knowing what is next.  Because of change, I have an epic job.  Because of change, I learned a lot about myself at Elevation Rock Hill.  Because of change, I am at Elevation Uptown.  Change has brought me far.

8.  Technology - I will be able to communicate with Victoria in another country.  How cool is that?  If it weren't for Skype, I would be an emotional wreck thinking about her going away.  I am coping well!

9.  Christmas 2011 - I am thankful that I survived Christmas of 2011.  I honestly didn't think I was going to make it.  I did!  I took my Christmas tree down yesterday.  Christmas 2011 is officially over in my house.  It was a huge hurdle to get over. 

10. Ability to worship - Ya know this is something we need to be thankful for in the United States.  There are countries who have never heard the name Jesus. There are countries who have never seen a Bible.  I can worship freely.  Whenever I want.  Wherever I want.  As loud as I want.  I can tell anyone I want about Jesus.  I can say Jesus freely.  What a blessing, that we take for granted.



11. The eight pounds I have lost in 2012 - Yeah!  Let's just talk about that.  I am super excited!! None of my pants fit.  Hello healthier Keirstin!



Okay, I am pooped.  I can't come up with six other things I am thankful for.  The last one was a stretch.  Forgive me

What are you thankful for?

Monday, January 16, 2012

Call to Action


Pinned Image
Last week, I wrote about attending a Christian concert and the behavior that was far from Christ-like that I observed.  I, also, wrote about my thoughts on why this is happening – relativism.  Truth has become relative. 


Society says we can decide what is true and what isn’t true now.  Society says we can decide what is okay to do and what isn’t okay!

Today, I am going to write about our call to action.  As a part of the body of Christ, we have a call to action.  I have a call to action as a middle school eGroup leader.  I have a call to action as a nanny of two young children.  I have a call to action as a leader in my church campus.  I have to do something about the way standards have changed.  If you are a member of your church, lead a small group for anyone between the ages of 13 and 30, if you have children, you have a call to action, too.  You must stand up and do something about what is happening to the younger generation.

What are we expected to do?

We must elevate our expectations.  You expect your children to do well in school, right?  You expect that they come home with A’s and B’s and will ask how they could improve a C or a D, right?  Some of you expect your children to excel in sports or a musical avenue.  They are signed up for a sport a season or attend piano lessons once a week.  You expect them to do well in those areas.  Why don’t we expect them to know more than the Sunday school basics?  We are able to articulate well in areas that we are effectively educated (p. 51). 

We must ground truth in reality.  We need to be sure that the youth is confident that our religious and moral claims are more than just opinion.  God exists is an objective claim.  Does your youth believe that? 

We must ask “Why” before they do.  We need to be more willing to ask questions.  We need to be ready to answer their questions.  How would you answer your youth if one came to you with a question you did not know the answer to?  It is okay to tell them that you don’t know.  Offer to find the answer with them.  This will open up tools to them to find answers on their own.  Honesty is refreshing.  They will be more willing to come to you again if you have answered them with such honesty the first time.  Doubts that are answered and overturned will strengthen your student’s trust in the truth and will fortify confidence in their convictions.

We must integrate character with truth.  After you have accepted Christ into your heart, the people around you are more likely to notice the change in your demeanor first.  If you tell your friends you are a Christian in the same breath that you tell them you are cheating on your husband, they are likely to not believe anything you say about Christianity.  Integrate character with truth.  Show your youth how to behave in a Christ-like manner.

We must create opportunities to engage in the Word with Truth.  Are you willing to bring in people from other religious backgrounds to your youth?  This will help them have more of a world view on religion.  They will have more of an understanding on Christianity and the differences in other religions.

Are you ready to go out and be a part of raising a generation in Christ?  Are you willing to be a part of changing the way the new generation thinks about Christianity?  Are you ready to go out and be the Christ-like example that your youth needs to see?  I know I am!

The majority of the content above is from Apologetics for a New Generation by Sean McDowell.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Sermon Sunday


Sermon Sunday - Code Orange Revival Edition


Code Orange Revival is well under way.  Tonight was night five.  So, for this edition of Sermon Sunday, I will be sharing a bit of each nights message.  Enjoy!





Night One - Pastor Craig Groeschel
He spoke about how to be an idiot for Christ. 
1. Obey Irrationally Acts 5:29
2. Give Extravagantly Acts 4:34-35
3. Do What Others Believe Can't Be Done Acts 4: 29-30

- You are not who others say you are.  You are who He says you are!


Night Two - Pastor Jentzen Franklin
He spoke about the faithfulness of God.
Psalm 89:1-2, 30-34
- Our lives can be stepping stones or stumbling blocks for ourselves and our children.
- Don't despise the days of small beginnings
- We need to get our eyes off of material things and focus more on eternity.

Night Three - Pastor Matt Chandler
He spoke about the reminder that everything God does is for His glory.
- Joy and happiness are different.  We don't control our happiness.
- Culture says that it is all about us.  The Bible says it is all about the glory of His name.

Isaiah 43, Isaiah 49, Psalm 106, Romans 9, 2 Samuel 7, 1 Samuel 12, John 7:8, John 14, John 12, John 17, Romans 3:25-30, John 16:14, 1 Corinthians 10:31, Romans 11  (If you want a few examples!)
- We are supposed to do everything we do to the glory of God
- The Bible is not a road map to life.  You will end up thinking you are the hero to every story.
- He gives us pain and tears because He loves us.

- God is after my joy because my joy brings Him glory.
- I am not the center of the universe!!

- God isn't in love with the future version of me.
- The cross says, "I've handled that. I made provision."




Night Four - Christine Caine
She spoke on the kind of God we serve.
- The kind of house that brings glory and fame to the Lord is the kind of house we should build.
- We serve a God who does not believe in expiration's dates.  Hebrews 11:11
- He wants to make the impossible possible in our lives.
- When was the last time you just believed in Him?

- We are well able to do what God has called us to do.  Reports may say no, but God says yes.
- God is still the God who parted the Red Sea.
- We need to elevate our lives to be in alignment with God.

We give up on God because...
1. We confuse our due dates and Gods timing Genesis 18:10
2. God doesn't do it our way.

There is no promise, no prayer, no need too big for our God.







Night Five - Pastor Ed Young
He spoke on inviting people to church and why we need your seat.
- Christians are stuck in a marina mentality.  We are tied up to the dock and just out of reach people are drowning.
- How is drowning in your life?
- All we have to do is let go of our poor flotation device and grab onto Jesus.
- The radically rescued rescue radically.
Matthew 28:19-20, Luke 19:10

- The only thing Jesus built was the Church.
- We are saved to share - share our rescue story.

- The ring is the thing.
- The hope is the rope.
- Pull so the House is full.
- Everyone is a part of the pull.  If you aren't serving, you are swerving.



Check out the Elevation Network and Code Orange Revival's site to get in on what is going on at Elevation Church this week.

The best is yet to come.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Relativism

Earlier this week, I posted about my experience at Winter Jam 2012.  A one sentence summary of the post would be that I observed a lot of behavior that you would not expect from Christians at a Christian event. 

I promised you a post on Thursday about what I am reading about that explains why this is happening.  I apologize for not getting this post to you until now.  Please forgive me! 


I am reading a book called Apologetics for a New Generation by Sean McDowell. This book looks at being biblically and culturally relevant in our approach to talking about God. I think it is very obvious that our times have changed. This book takes a look at how we can bring biblical truth into the changing times.

We're at a point where what constitutes truth is a question on a lot of people's minds, and truth has become up for grabs." (p.43)

We have entered a time of relativism. Relativism can be defined as the concept that points of view have no absolute truth or validity, having only relative, subjective value according to differences in perception and consideration. Basically, what used to be set in stone truth is no longer set in stone truth.

Abortion used to not be an option.  Cussing out your parents used to not be an option.  Laying a hand on your wife used to not be an option.  Those used to all be objective truths.  Those things just didn't happen.  They weren't an option!!

Society says it is okay to claim yourself to be a Christian on your religious views on facebook and post pictures of yourself half naked.  Society says it is okay to live with your boyfriend because you’ll eventually get married.  Society tells us it is okay to lie to our parents about where we are going.

The problem is none of the things above are okay.  The relativistic changing of times says that there is no objective truth.  This states that we get to decide what is true and what is not true. 

The national argument right now is one, who's got the truth and, two, who's got the facts. Until we can manage to get the two of them back together again, we're not going to make much progress. (p. 52)

Here are three powerful points from the book that bring this whole post together.

· Relativism diminishes sin - If right and wrong are simply matters of taste, sin evaporates, neutering the Gospel.
· Relativism erodes moral conviction - Relativism says that it is okay to have sex before marriage. It tells you that everyone is doing it and erodes your moral conviction.
· Relativism makes religion irrelevant - Religion is not considered an objective truth to which we submit, but only a matter of personal taste which we chose.
I believe that the kids at this Christian event acted in a manner that did not represent Christianity well because of the three points above. They get to decide what is right and what is wrong now. They can justify poor actions with, "everyone is doing it." And, God seems irrelevant to them or it is only a private part of their lives.

Come back on Monday for a post about our call to action.  We must bring these currently subjective truths back to objective truths.  We can and must raise the bar for the younger generation.  Don't worry, I have already written the post and is scheduled for Monday at 8:00am. 

Thursday, January 12, 2012

A Look Back



Again, I am so sorry that I haven't been posting as much this week.  I know you are probably missing reading what I have to say.  A lot of the .Redeemed. readers are new to the blog.  So, take a minute to check out some of my favorite posts.

The Highest - I wrote this in December of 2010 after a message that Pastor Steven preached on being gratitude that ROCKED MY WORLD!!

NLC 2010 Pastor Mark Driscoll - In 2010, I had the opportunity to attend the Newspring Leadership Conference.  Of all the amazing speakers there, Pastor Mark Driscoll's hit home the most.  He spoke on suffering.

2010 Elevation Year in Review - Enough said.

Must - In the midst of a difficult situation, God reminded me that He is faithful and I must trust always.

Jesus Tempted by Satan - If Jesus can be tempted by Satan, so can you!  Boy, when I wrapped my head around the fact that Jesus was led into the desert by Satan, I began to think about temptations...

Glorifying God - I took a look at what the Bible had to say about glorifying God.


So, there is a look at some of my favorite posts of 2010 and 2011.  I hope you enjoy taking a look.  And, a couple more pictures from twitter from last night at Code Orange Revival.



pic.twitter.com/4CPs1Ekd

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Busy Busy

I am going to apologize in advance.  I promised you a blog post tomorrow, and I will not be able to bring it to you.  I worked twelve hours on Monday, started work at 8:00am on Tuesday and spent the night there, and worked 6:30 - 3:00 today.  After work, I came home and got ready for Code Orange Revival.

I will not be bringing tomorrows post to you tomorrow, because I have a lot on my plate right now.  I stepped in as the babysitter coordinator for the Matthews location.  I am in contact with all of the babysitters, sending them the schedules and lesson plans.  I have work tomorrow.  Thursday nights I have eGroup.


Overflow at Matthews
Packed out Blakeney Campus
I promise to get it to you as soon as I have a moment to sit down and type the post up.  Please forgive me!  Until then, check out the Elevation Network!  You can see Code Orange Revival live streamed there!  And, enjoy some pictures from tonight.  




pic.twitter.com/kMcs2UfY
Worship at the Blakeney Campus




Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Thankful Tuesday

Happy Tuesday!  I hope that your week has gotten off to a great start.  I know mine is.

Onto Thankful Tuesday.  Ten things that I am thankful for...

Pinned Image1. My eGroup - Dang those girls are amazing!  Last week I blogged about them.  Find the post about how the eGroup came to be here, and the post about what we did last week here.  I have grown so much since I began leading them, and know that I will continue to grow as we spend more time together!! I am thankful to have each of them in my life.  They remind me to go back to the little things.

2.  My mom - She is pretty amazing.  This month, my eGroup will be making baskets for pregnant moms.  My mom spent all day on Saturday with me shopping for the baskets.  She is pretty amazing.  I know she had better things to do, but she spent her time with me.  I am thankful for her because I would not have had the patience to do all the baby shopping that we did.

3.  My church - Now, I know I wrote about this last week, but I have something different to say about it this week.  Will you allow me to use it twice? I hope so, because I am going to do it anyway.  I started volunteering at the Uptown campus this weekend.  Wow, the volunteers and staff there are amazing.  They were all so kind to me, and welcoming.  I can't wait to spend more time there.  I am thankful for my church, because it is a second home and a second family for me.

4.  My bosses - They both appreciate everything I do so much.  I have never had a job where I have been so appreciated.  It is such a good feeling.  It makes me want to go to work.  It makes me desire to be a better person and work as hard as I can.  I am thankful for my job because they bring out the best in me.

Pinned Image5.  My toilet - Ha!  That's a funny one!! Well, last week my toilet was out of order for three days!  That was quite interesting.  It forced me to be grateful for the luxury of a toilet.  I bet you don't often think of your toilet as a luxury.  There are people in this world who poop in a whole in the ground.  Your toilet is a luxury!

6.  My God - I make mistakes every day.  I do things I shouldn't do on a regular basis.  My God forgives me every day.  If I don't remember to be thankful for my God's forgiveness, I don't deserve it.

7.  Today - God granted me another day to live.  Another day to share His word.  Another day to get it right.  I am thankful for the opportunity to be around for one more day.

8.  My friends - I have some pretty epic friends.  My friends stretch me.  My friends are there for me when I need them.  My friends push me to be better.  I couldn't ask for a better group of friends.  I am thankful for my friends always being around when I need them.

9.  My blog readers - You!!! I am thankful for you coming to my blog and commenting.  Sometimes I don't want to write anything.  Sometimes, I think there isn't anyone out there who cares about what I have to say.  Thank you for making me feel like someone wants to read what I have to say!

10.  Code Orange Revival -  Dang! This thing is going to be great.  12 nights at Elevation church with 12 of the greatest speakers and pastors in the WORLD.  I believe that there will be hundreds of people who don't have the opportunity to attend Elevation Church on the weekends, and will be able to because we will have having church for twelve nights!!!  I can't wait!  Oh, and you can watch it online at 6:12 and 10:12 every night here.

What are you thankful for today?

Monday, January 9, 2012

Winter Jam 2012

I am one week into blogging in 2012, and I am off track already.  I didn't post Sermon Sunday yesterday, and I won't be bringing that to you today either.  I went to Winter Jam 2012 last night.  I observed some interesting behavior there.  I'd love to tell you about what I found most interesting about the night.

To the left, you can see a picture from the inside of the arena of the line.

So, Winter Jam is a Christian concert that costs $10 at the door.  You can pay more to have tickets before hand, but the majority of the people who attend wait in line for several hours and pay $10 at the door.  Winter Jam has ten Christian artists perform.  The concert was over five hours long!  Isn't that an amazing deal?

Wondering what the interesting thing I observed was?? 

I don't know about you, but when I think about a group of Christians gathering, I imagine a group of pumped up kids ready to worship Jesus.  I don't see people trying to cut people in line, devising plans to distract the Event Staff so they could break the line.  I see clean conversations and everyone having fun.

Sadly, I saw little Christ-like behavior.  There were people smoking in line, dropping their cigarette butts on the ground and cutting people in line.  There was a lot of, "Oh, I'm with someone over there." and, "Yeah, I have a party of 32, so we should be up front." 

It breaks my heart that the younger generation is losing sight on how to act like Christ.  Where did this concept get lost?  I am reading a great book that goes into detail about what is changing.  Come back on Thursday for a post about why the younger generation doesn't know how to act like Christ.


What startles or worries you about the younger gerneation?

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Reflection Friday Pt. 2

Happy Saturday!  Check out yesterdays post for more information on how the Rock Hill Middle School Girls eGroup came to be about.

In November, several of the other girls began to ask if we could get together outside of every Thursday's book study.  I embraced this idea!  Being that they come from three different schools, I know how important it is for them to see each other more than once a week.  They will grow so much closer if they see each other outside of one setting once a week.  But, because of the holidays rapidly approaching, I figured it would be hard to get everyone together.

Instead of attempting to plan the events myself, I began to explore other options.  After much consideration and deliberation with friends and mentors, I decided that it would be a great idea if I let the girls take ownership of the eGroup by planning the events by themselves.  I imagined that they would enjoy the events much more if they were something they came up with.

Two weeks before the end of the month, starting last month, I pick three names out of a hat cup.  Two plan an event each and one plans an outreach event.  Our January team was the first ever planners for the eGroup.  We spent an hour discussing the events, details of the events, and how excited we were for the events!  That was a majority of our time this week.

What events did the girls come up with??? Oh, good question!  We will be going to the movies together one weekend and having a scavenger hunt at the mall another weekend.  For our outreach event, we will be making baby baskets for pregnant mothers!  We will be shopping together for these baskets and making them together!  Fun, right?

Now, onto our book discussion.  We talked about discovering that God actually wants to be a part of planning our lives... more than a part, He wants to do it and us to trust His ability to give us the best for our lives.  All of the girls confessed to not giving Him enough control.  We talked about how we can't impress God, and how our actions will change when we realize that.  Finally, we moved into a great discussion about wanting a boyfriend because all of their friends have one.  We ended in the middle of the chapter with,


"The preoccupations of seventeen-year-old girls -- their looks, their clothes, their social life -- don't change much from generation to generation.  But, in every generation there seem to be a few who make other choices.  Amy Carmichael was one of the few.  God was calling me to be one of those "few" as well.
Leslie Ludy, Page 57

Friday, January 6, 2012

Reflection Friday Pt. 1

Happy Friday!  Before I share with you the amazing things that five amazing middle schoolers and I discussed yesterday, let me share a bit about our eGroup (Elevation Church's name for small groups or community groups). 

Nearly a year ago, I knew I had plans of leading an eGroup.  I wanted to make sure that my plans were really me living out His plans.  I spent many hours in prayer about the eGroup.  First, I asked God where He wanted me to lead the eGroup.  He kept revealing Rock Hill to me.  It made no sense to me at the time, but I said okay!  Next, I began to ask Him what kind of group He wanted me to lead; book study, Bible study, sermon series... My best friend, brought the book when God writes your love story to me.  I loved it.  I knew He wanted me to do a book study on this book.  Finally, I went to Him and asked what the dynamic of the group was supposed to be; high school girls, college girls, college girls and boys... I felt as if I never heard from Him in this area.  Middle school was never an option. 

The week of the student eGroup launch for the fall semester, I was committing to lead a college girls eGroup.  This is where my comfort zone.  Shouldn't I have learned by now that God doesn't like it when I am in my comfort zone?  That week, the Student eGroup Pastor emailed me and asked me to lead the Rock Hill middle school girls eGroup. 

And, that is how it came to be.

Last semester I lead the group.  We grew to seven girls attending regularly in three weeks.  The momentum was increadible!  The girls come from three different schools, and the way they act together you would think that they saw each other every day and had been friends their whole lives.  They are so loving and accepting of each other.  These are the greatest middle schoolers I have ever seen.  I never had a friend like they are to each other when I was in middle school!   

This semester, I will be co-leading the eGroup with Sarah.  I met her in the eGroup that I attend.  She is one of the most knowledgeable, well rounded, sweet Christians that I have ever met.  I knew she would be a great addition to the team.

Each week, we discuss part of when God writes your love story.  These girls are going to change the world.  They each get the book, and what it is saying and desire to grow closer to God in every way possible.  I love it!  I love them!  We never get through more than half of a chapter each week.  That is okay!  We spend a lot of time asking questions and discussing the chapter in detail.  We may spend a "bit" of time laughing together, too...

So, there is the back story on the Rock Hill Middle School Girls eGroup.  We call our selves FOG.  FOG stands for Follwers of God.  They came up with the name themselves after a series that Pastor Steven did on walking in the FOG, Favor of God.  We are Followers of God who walk in the Favor of God.


Tomorrow, I will share part two of Reflection Friday. 


Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Hey, It's Okay!

So, in an attempt to build readers on the blog, I have been slightly obsessed with reading and commenting on others blogs.  I have found several great blogs.  One of the new blogs I have favorited, Whispering Writer, posted this week Hey, It's Okay!.  I loved it so much, that I am stealing the idea.  I hope that she is okay with it!

Here is the first ever Hey, It's Okay Wednesday.

Hey, It's Okay...

... to be dying for Revenge to be back on.

... to not have a life plan.

... to have a sink full of dishes because I would rather blog than put the dishes in the dishwasher.

... to love your job!!!

... to not have a boyfriend.

... to keep the thermostat on 63 and wear a high school hoodie, pajama pants and cozy socks around the house to keep the gas bill low.

... to want it to snow.



What's your hey, it's okay?  Have a wonderful Wednesday evening!

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Thankful Tuesday

This is the first installment of Thankful Tuesday.  As it is January 3rd, I will tell you about three things that I am thankful for.

1. My job!  For starters, the economy sucks.  I should be thankful to just have a job.  I am grateful to not only have a job in these hard times, but to have a job that I love.  I love my job!  I nanny the two most precious children in the world.  They have the biggest hearts, think of others first and make me laugh constantly.  I couldn't ask for a better job.  Their parents are great parents and wonderful bosses.  They truly care about me and appreciate all that I do for them.  I am thankful for my job!

Pinned Image2. My church!  I am blessed to be a part of Elevation Church.  Being a part of this church has opened countless doors for me and allowed me to grow immeasurably over the last two and a half years in every area of my life.  This weekend I start a new chapter of my life at Elevation Church.  I will be a volunteer at the Uptown campus.  I can't wait to start something new, build new relationships and just be a part of the Uptown campus.  I hear it is the coolest campus...

3. My roommate!  My roommate is pretty rad!  She bought me a pretty awesome book for Christmas that I cracked open at Panera yesterday.  We sat down at dinner yesterday and caught up on the last two weeks of our lives, being that we have both been in and out of town.  I am so thankful to have her as a roommate.  It is nice to come home and be able to share my days struggles and triumphs with her, bounce ideas off of her, and grow in my walk with Christ with her! 



What are you thankful for today?

Monday, January 2, 2012

Six by Six

Pinned Image
I am ready to get things done in 2012.  I am thankful to have the day off today, and plan to use it to the best of my ability.  Today, I will be returning some things I bought before the trip and did not need, getting my oil changed, finishing up the laundry from yesterday, doing some major blog reading and commenting and doing some reading.

Yesterday, I blogged about 6x6 blogs.  If you are too lazy to scroll down and read the entire post, you can just click here and it will open in a new window.

Six by Six goals
for January 2nd, 2012 to February 13th, 2012

I am by no means part of a younger generation or a new Christian, but I lead an amazing eGroup of girls who are new Christians and a part of the new generation.  I hope by reading this book, written for teens, I can begin to answer their questions on a more appropriate level.  This book was my Christmas gift from my amazing roommate! 

2. Spend 30 minutes of uninterrupted time with God.
I plan on reading my Bible in this time, asking God to speak into my life about something, and just listening to what He has to say.

3. Stay on track for my plans for .Redeemed. in 2012.
Click the link above for a more in detail explanation of what plans I have for .Redeemed. in 2012.

4. Make it to the gym three times a week.
After spraining (nearly fracturing) my ankle the week of my 5k a month ago, I have not been back to the gym.  It is time to make my way back. 

5. Drop 10 pounds.
By going to the gym three times a week and eating much healthier, I plan to drop 10 pounds in the first six weeks of 2012.

6. Be the best I can be at every thing I do.
Often times I find myself giving less than my best.  I give less than my best to my friends, to my family, and sometimes even at work.  I am pretty amazing (ha!) and so less than my best is sometimes still very good.  I want to give everyone and everything I do my best the first six weeks of 2012.



There ya have it folks!  The first six by six of 2012!  Hold me accountable!!



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Sunday, January 1, 2012

Good Start

Happy New Year!!!

I hope that each of you had a fantastic start to 2012.  I know I did.  I was more than ready to put 2011 behind me, and ring in the new year in the best way possible.  I sure did that!  My family and I took a three day cruise from Cocoa Beach to the Bahamas.  It was perfect.  We celebrated the new year on the boat.  That was the best way that I could imagine starting 2012. 

As I write to you, I am loading pictures on facebook, have laundry in the washing machine and am eating warm soup.  It is much colder here than it was at sea.

Last year, I wrote a long list of goals for 2011.  I would say that I did alright on my goals of 2011.  I want to do better than alright in 2012.  In 2012, I am going to try 6x6 goals.  This is something that I first read about nearly a year ago on Holly Furtick's blog.  (She is my pastor's wife!)  Click the link above for a more elaborate explanation of 6x6 goals.  The gist of it is that you spend time focusing on the next six weeks instead of the next year. 

Tomorrow, I will post my six by six goals.