Monday, April 30, 2012

Reflection Friday

Reflection Friday on Monday.  Forgive me?

If you are new to .Redeemed., I lead a middle school girls eGroup Thursday evenings with the girls is one of my favorite parts of the week. They are an amazing group of girls and they teach me as much as I teach them.

Icebreaker: What does your family look like?

Discussion Highlights: This week, we discussed Bishop TD Jakes sermon and chapter twelve of when God writes your love story. This chapter is titled "The Secret to Winning a Heart".

- Who do you need to be forgiving?

- How can you begin to serve your family?

- How can you step into the lives of those in your family to better relate to them?

Closing: We closed by the event that we were volunteering at together on Saturday.  In prayer, we asked God to show us how to be more like Him and give us opportunities to serve our families.

During the Week: We volunteered at an event on Saturday for the Autism Foundation of the Carolinas.  We will be reading chapter thirteen during the week.

Next Week: We will discuss chapter thirteen during eGroup next week.

Pinned ImagePersonal Reflection: I could not pass up the opportunity to discuss forgiveness one more time.  I mean, only God could plan that out.  We discussed forgiveness in eGroup and Bishop Jakes preached on forgiveness all in the same week?  God needed us to talk about forgiveness!!  We had a great conversation about forgiveness and how to serve those in our family.

Personal Highlight: Last week, we had a new girl.  This week, she came back!  I love it when they come back.  I am excited to have her in our group.  It is going to be a blast.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

What is an eGroup?

I have had several people ask me recently what is an eGroup.  I blog about my eGroup every Friday.  I guess I should have taken some time to explain what an eGroup is before I started a series on what we do during eGroup. 

Please forgive me for not doing this sooner.

Most churches have community groups or life groups.  Elevation Church used to call them community groups.  In May of 2010, Pastor Steven Furtick did a series titled ee was about empowerment and how to find and use the gift that God has given you!  It was a powerful series.  After this series our volunteer teams turned into eTeams and our community groups turned into eTeams.  e standing for empowerment, not Elevation! 

Practically anyone can lead an eGroup.  eGroup leaders go through a training and are background checked.  An eGroup leader can lead an eGroup on anything they want.  There are running eGroups, ultimate Frisbee groups, motorcycle groups, Bible study groups, sermon series groups, book study groups and anything in between those!  eGroup leaders decide how frequently they meet and where they meet. 

eStudents is a term you will see me use on twitter.  eStudents are the eGroups for students.  We have middle school and high school eGroups. 

My eGroup is a middle school girls book study that meets every Thursday in Rock Hill.  Right now, we are reading when God writes your love storyI lead a book study on this book simply because God told me to.  When we are done with the book, we will spend the summer having fun and discussing a new topic every week.  Who knows where God will take us in the fall.

Leading an eGroup has been an amazing experience thusfar, and will continue to be an amazing experience as long as I do it.  The girls teach me something new about myself every week.  God has stretched me so far out of my comfort zone with these girls.  It has been a huge blessing to lead them.  I am so grateful that I stepped outside of my comfort zone to lead them.

Questions?  Please comment! I'd love to explain further!!

Monday, April 23, 2012


As a way to get you to comment, celebrate almost 3,000 views on the blog, almost 200 twitter followers and trick you into commenting .Redeemed. is going to have it's very first...

What better giveaway to do on .Redeemed. than on the book when God writes your love story?  I blog about the book all the time, and it completely changed me. 

Pinned ImageI first read the book about a year ago, per suggestion from a friend.  It changed my entire perspective on how to live my life while waiting for a husband, dating and marriage.  I loved the book so much, I decided to lead an eGroup based on the book.  Now, I lead a middle school girls eGroup (Elevation Church's version of a small group or community group) on the book.

The book was written by Eric and Leslie Ludy.  They are a Christian couple who gave the pen of their love story to God and reaped the benefits of that in their relationship with God and with each other. 

The book is applicable for anyone.  Single guy. Single girl. In a relationship. Engaged. Married. Divorced.  Middle School-er.  High School-er.  College Student.  Young Adult. 40's.  Everyone can gain something from this book.

What you need to know...
1. Comment the following by April 30th (That gives you one week to comment!)
      - Where you are reading from.
      - How you found . Redeemd.

 2. I will send a copy of the book when God writes your love story to anyone who lives in the United States or Canada. I will buy a kindle version of the book to anyone who lives outside of the US or Canada.

3. I will use to pick a winner.

4. The winner will be announced on May 7th.

Happy Commenting!

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Sermon Sunday

Waiting Room Trailer
Waiting Room Week Two
Let it Go - Choked

This weekend, Bishop TD Jakes preached the second week of Waiting Room at Elevation Church.  I will not take for granted the blessing that God has given me to go to a church where annointed men and women like Bishop TD Jakes come willingly to preach.
You can be angry, but you can't stay angry.
Unforgiveness is drinking poison and waiting for someone else to die.
The story of Matthew 18:20-35 is as much about forgiveness as it is a lesson of power.
Whatever flows to you should be given from you.
Love what you just read? Want to hear more? The entire message can be found for free at 12:00, 4:00 and 8:00 (AM & PM) here, or you can download the podcast for free later this week!

Personal Reflection: Did Bishop Jakes really preach on forgiveness?  I talked about forgiveness on Thursday with my eGroup.  God works in glorious ways.  I can't wait to see what God did in my eGroup girls lives as they heard more about forgiveness this weekend.

This sermon was amazing.  The quote about unforgiveness will not leave me.  I've got to forgive.  You've got to forgive.  We've got to forgive.  We can't hold grudges.  We can't stay mad.

Who do you need to forgive?  How do you need to forgive?  What steps do you need to take to forgive?

Friday, April 20, 2012

Reflection Friday

If you are new to .Redeemed., I lead a middle school girls eGroup. Thursday evenings with the girls is one of my favorite parts of the week. They are an amazing group of girls and they teach me as much as I teach them.

Icebreaker: When was a time you were embarressed by your family? Where are you from? (It was a welcomed changed to my planned icebreaker!)

Discussion Highlights: This week, we discussed chapter eleven of when God writes your love story. This chapter is titled "Home Sweet Home".

- How does your family define who you are?

- How can we become more Chirst like to our family?

- What steps can we take to forgive the people who we need to forgive in our lives?

Closing: We closed by discussing the people in our lives who we need to forgive and how to handle those situations when they aren't easy.  We prayed and asked God to make us more like Christ this week.

During the Week: The girls are having a spring sleepover at one of the girls house tomorrow evening.  We will be reading chapter twelvefrom when God writes your love story.

Next Week: We will discuss chapter twelve during eGroup next week.

Personal Reflection: We spent a majority of our time discussing forgiveness.  This was not where I had planned for the majority of our time to be spent, but God had a different plan and I would much prefer we follow His plan four our discussion.  The girls discussed some difficult scenarios where they need to fogive someone, but aren't sure how.  Together, we worked through some of these issues.

Pinned ImagePersonal Highlight: I am overwhelmed by God's goodness every Thursday.  So, I sent out a mass text about an hour before eGroup to see who was coming.  No one responded to say they were coming.  On my drive to eGroup, three girls texted to say they would not be coming.  I had a decision to make quickly - to get bummed about this, or see it as God's plan.  I immediently asked God to let me see His plan through this.  I envisioned a night of me and the girl who hosts eGroup talking. (I wouldn't have minded this at all, just wasn't in my plans.)  As soon as I got to eGroup, two of the three girls texted to say they would be coming!  One even brought a friend!


Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Love the Sinner

Love the Sinner.
Hate the Sin.

We've all heard this before, right?  I was recently confronted with a situation where I had to apply this popular evangelist statement.  While applying this statement, and sharing it with some of my eGroup girls, I was asked how you could actually do that.

Who did Jesus hang out with?  Jesus was always seen with the least.  He was always with the town lepers.  Christians should want to be more like Jesus.  I want to be more like Jesus.

Be merciful to those who doubt; save others by snatching them from the fire; to others show mercy.

How do you love the sinner?  You love the person for who they are, not what they do.  I can love on a sinner.  I can be friends with a sinner.  Hopefully, through a growing friendship with a sinner, they will see that God wants more for their lives.  The harder it is to love the sinner, the more you are called to love them!

What does it mean to hate the sin?  It means that you don't like what they are doing.  It doesn't mean that you have the right to judge them for what they are doing.  Leave the judgement to God.  It is our job to make sure that we share Jesus with everyone we meet.  It is God's job to take care of those who do not follow His law.

But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

We tend to pick and chose what we want to apply from the Word of God.  I feel like God would love to get in our face and say this to many of us...

Pinned Image

Love the Sinner.
Hate the Sin.

Monday, April 16, 2012

God Still has a Plan

Recently, I was having a pity party for myself on my drive home.  It was super pathetic.  I was crying and just really doubting where I am in my life.  It wasn't a pretty sight.  I don't know what got into me.

you messed up.
you've screwed up your path in life.
you messed up.
you're not going to be able to come back from this.
you messed up.
God had a plan for you and you decided to do things your own way.
you messed up.

That is just some of the lovely things I was telling myself.  (PS. This is all in reference to something that happened a few months ago.) 

You see, there is something that I want very badly.  There is something that I feel very strongly that God has promised me in my life.  Most days, I trust God's plan and believe that if He has promised it to me, it will be mine when the time is right.  Other days, the devil gets in my head and takes power over my thoughts.

Well, the devil was all over me the on this night.  The devil was doing his best to make me think that I had gone off of God's plan for my life and that I wasn't going to be able to get what I feel God has promised me because I messed up.

Then, right when I was getting to be a big ole mess in my car alone in traffic, God smacked me in my face.

You can go off My path for you.  I will get you back to the right path.  I have great plans for you.  Just trust. 

Pinned ImageSo comforting.  He has a plan for me.  He will take care of me.  I can screw up, but He is so powerful that He can get me back to where I am suppose to be going.

I wish that I could quote Pastor Steven on this... A few weeks ago, Pastor said something in his sermon that I kept turning back to during this whole pity party.  It was something along the lines of...

Even if you get off of His path, He will get you back to where you are supposed to be.

So powerful. 

So, to you... in your struggles, in your doubts, in your fears... God has a plan for you.  He wants to do something great in your life.  Just give up the power to Him.  It doesn't matter what you've done in your life in the past, He can still do something amazing in your life!

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Sermon Sunday

Waiting Room Trailer
Waiting Room Week One
Turning Your Waiting Room into a Working Rooming

This weekend, Holly Furtick opened Elevation Church's new series with an amazing sermon on how to turn your waiting room into a working room.  We all have to endure waiting rooms, literally and figuratively.  Neither of them are enjoyable, but if we learn how to turn them into a working room and glorify God with that time, then it'll be easier.

1. Bypass the urge to complain and fill the situation with praise.
      Paul and Silas did not complain, plea their innocence or plan out what was next while they were
         in jail.

2. Preoccupy yourself with fulfilling God's purpose instead of escaping your problem.
      Sometimes you get in a waiting room so God can re-route you.

3. We need to embrace the fact that our detours are often God's destination. 
      Open your eyes to see what God is doing today!

Love what you just read? Want to hear more?  The entire message can be found for free at 12:00, 4:00 and 8:00 (AM & PM) here, or you can download the podcast for free later this week!

Pinned ImagePersonal Reflection:  Another amazing sermon at Elevation in the books!  I walked in with high expectations for this series and did not leave disappointed!  I am excited about this entire series, because like I am in a figurative waiting room.  I am waiting on a husband.  I want to be married more than anything right now... Just waiting on God to bring him into my life.  But, there is so much more I can be doing with my time right now than sitting around waiting.  I am going to make my waiting room a work room!
I can make my waiting room a work room by preparing myself to be the best wife for my husband.  I must learn how to cook and get better at cleaning.  I need to finish school.  There is plenty I can do in this work room!
What are you waiting on?  How can you turn your waiting room into a work room?

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Power of Words

Pinned ImageThis is a post that I have been wanting to write for MONTHS.  No lie, since like November, these words have been on my heart.  But, I haven't felt God's clearance to put them out there.  Finally, I feel as if I have his go ahead.

The topic for today - Words.  The words that we speak to others.  The words that others speak to us.  The power of words spoken to others.  The power of words spoken to us. 

The tongue has the power of life and death.

Words have the power of life and death.  You can speak life into someone through your words, or you can bring them down by them.

Pinned ImageYou can do it.  You are smart.  You've got this.  Press on.  I love you.
All words that would life a person up.

You were a mistake.  What were you thinking?  You are lying.  You are an idiot. I hate you.
All words that would bring a person down.

Personally, I want to lift others up with my words.  I have been brought down by words that people have said to me too many times.  I remember things all too well.  I can still hear full conversations of people putting me down.  It is a daily struggle to forgive some of the words that have been spoken to me.

Use your words wisely.  Is it really necessary to say everything that comes to your mind?  If you wouldn't want it said to you, then you probably shouldn't say it to someone.  Always think before speaking.

How have you been hurt by someones words?  What power do words have in your life?  Do you think before speaking?

Friday, April 13, 2012

Reflection Friday

If you are new to .Redeemed., I lead a middle school girls eGroup. Thursday evenings with the girls is one of my favorite parts of the week. They are an amazing group of girls and they teach me as much as I teach them.
Icebreaker: What was your favorite part of Easter? 
Discussion Highlights: This week, we discussed chapter ten of when God writes your love storyThis chapter is titled "Holding out for a Fairy Tale".
- Describe your prince charming.
- How have your desires for a husband changed as you've gotten older?
- Do you believe that waiting for a Christ-like husband is worth it? Or, should we lower our standards and settle?

Closing: We closed with prayer requests and some delicious cookies. 

During the Week: We will be reading chapter eleven from when God writes your love story.

Next Week: We will discuss chapter ten during eGroup next week.

Pinned ImagePersonal Reflection: With everyone being back from vacation, our numbers were back up!  We had eleven girls, which included one new girl!  Because the girls took the time to read this week, our discussion went very well.  Everyone knew what everyone else was talking about!
Personal Highlight: Several of the girls took our discussion from two weeks ago to heart and actually read! They all were so thrilled to be able to chime into the conversation because they were prepared. A few told me that they heard God speak to them through this chapter! That's exactly what I told them would happen if they gave God that time! He would honor it!!

Thursday, April 12, 2012



Pinned Image

Yeah, I wish.  My vacation isn't going to be anywhere near as exciting or beautiful.

Hopefully, my vacation is going to look a bit more like this...

Today - I slept in until 10:30!  I will get ready to have lunch with my dad.  Enjoy a delicious lunch with my dad at Pisces Sushi Bar.  I will do a little grocery shopping.  I will take the groceries home.  I head to Rock Hill for a fabulous eGroup with my middle school girls.  I will come home and sleep!

Friday - I will sleep in until at least 8:00 and lay in bed until 9:00.  I will make my way to the gym and check on the family I nanny's for cat.  I will finish my reading assignment for my Old Testament survey, turn in questions, take my OT quiz and start my evangelism homework.

Saturday - I will sleep in until at least 8:00 and lay in bed until 9:00.  I will finish my evangelism reading, write on the discussion board, take a quiz and start my history homework.  I will go to Elevation - Blakeney for week one of Waiting Room.

Sunday - I will wake up at 6:30 and be out the door by 7:30 for Elevation - Uptown.  I will spend all morning at my favorite place to be on Sunday.  I will come home and finish up my history homework which I procrastinated on and left until the end of the week, again.  I will spend the night at work.

Pinned ImagePinned ImageIf all goes well...

I will look more like this

than this

Oh the joys of being a responsible student!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012


Can I just take a minute and praise the Lord for the picture below...

.Redeemed. is blowing up and I can't not stop and give God all of the credit for that!!!

I want to thank each and every one of you for reading, telling your friends, and getting this blog out there.  I am at a loss for words for what God is doing through this blog!  I love having the opportunity to write about God on my blog!!! It's just a plus to have you hear reading.

Keep passing the blog along. Start commenting.  I'd love to know who is reading, where you are coming from and if you have a blog that I can visit.

Sending love to you wherever you are!

Monday, April 9, 2012

Weekend Re-Cap

My long weekend went about like this...

Picture taken by the Schultzes

Thursday - I had the entire day off!  This made me beyond excited.  I had huge hopes for the day; sleep in, lounge around in pajamas doing homework all morning, have a nap, have dinner with my amazing eGroup co-leader, Sarah, and end the evening off with a powerful Easter edition of eGroup.  Sadly, a majority of those things did not happen. 

Instead, the day went more like this... "Slept in" until 8:30, couldn't focus on homework per the terribly long to do list before family arrived for Easter, did laundry, swept and mopped the house, did a little homework, went to my room to take a nap, checked email before falling asleep and had five emails from the eKidz director at Uptown, (obviously) I couldn't sleep, replied to emails and did what I was asked to do, rushed to get ready for dinner, had an enjoyable time catching up with Sarah, and a successful eGroup.

Friday - I woke up at 5:30, to go on the last prayer walk for Seven Mile Miracle at the Matthews campus.  I went to work to feed the families cat, went to get coffee with my roommate, and got my hair done.  My grandma and middle brother came over after.  We went to Trio's for dinner before church.  We went to Elevation Blakeney at 7:00 for the Seven Mile Miracle Easter worship experience.  What a creative, amazing, powerful worship experience it was.  Details up later this week!

<<< Don't you love the before and afters?  I am so in love with my new do!  How about you??  Yes, I have pink highlights!

Saturday - I started the morning off with an AMAZING Easter basket from my family!  We went to Terrace Cafe for Easter brunch.  After brunch, I went to Elevation Uptown for day two of Seven Mile Miracle.  We had two worship experiences and it was amazing!

Pretty fabulous Easter basket, right?  I got an iPod!! >>>

Sunday - I woke up and started the day with a facebook message from a girl who has thought about coming to my eGroup for a while, telling me that her and another girl in the eGroup accepted Christ the night before!  She said she will start making eGroup a priority so she can learn more about God!  I went to Elevation Uptown for the last day of Seven Mile Miracle.  What an amazing morning it was.  At the 11:00 worship experience, we had a full auditorium and overflow! 

After church, I had a paper to right, but was exhausted.  I took a two and a half hour nap, went to dinner with my roommate and wrote the paper before 10:30.

I had an amazing weekend! I loved spending every moment I had from Thursday to Sunday serving the Lord.  I couldn't imagine spending my time in any better way.  I love seeing people go into the worship experience one way, and coming out another.  Seeing entire families accpet Christ together, seeing parents pick up their children from eKidz with new Bible's in their hands, all sights that make the long hours, sore feet and sleep deprivation well worth it! 

What did you do this weekend?

Friday, April 6, 2012

Reflection Friday

If you are new to .Redeemed., I lead a middle school girls eGroup. Thursday evenings with the girls is one of my favorite parts of the week. They are an amazing group of girls and they teach me as much as I teach them.

Icebreaker: One interesting fact about yourself. (My eGroup leader joined us last night.  This icebreaker was a fun way for her to get to know everyone quickly.)

Discussion Highlights:  This week, we took a night off of discussing when God writes your love story to discuss the seven moments of Easter.  The eGroup staff put together a fabulous discussion kit on the seven moments of Easter.

- How do you think Peter felt when he was denying his association to Jesus?
- How does it make you feel to realize what Jesus could have done and what He did on the cross?
- What does the Great Commission mean for you?

Closing:  We closed the evening with a time of worship and taking communion.  After communion, we spent a few moments in prayer.  We prayed for the people we are inviting, Pastor Steven, and ourselves.  After prayer, we took a quick look at the April calendar.  A lot of fun stuff on there!

During the Week: This weekend is a huge weekend for the Church.  (Capital C church, not Elevation, not your church, all of our churches. The Church.)  We will all be attending and serving at some capacity for this weekends worship experiences.  We will be reading chapter ten from when God writes your love story. 

Next Week: We will discuss chapter ten during eGroup next week. 
Personal Reflection: We had smaller numbers this weekend. We have been averaging 10-12 girls every week, but this week we had four.  The majority of the girls were somewhere beachy on vacation for spring break.  I think that the smaller numbers were better for the experience.  It was easier for the girls to stay focused!

Personal Highlight: I had the honor of giving communion to the girls.  For many of them, it was their first time taking communion.  What an honor it was.  It was an experience that I will NEVER forget!

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Hey, It's Okay

It's been a while.... Whispering Writer has a series called "Hey, It's Okay". I loved it so much that I started doing it too!

Hey! It's Okay...
... to be missing my best friend like crazy.  (She is in South Africa studying abroad.)

... to be beyond thrilled about the long weekend this weekend and Easter worship experiences at Elevation Church ahead of me.

... to have realized this week that I listen to the local oldies station more than current hits. 

... to have been completely exhausted after spending 23 hours with three of my middle school eGroup girls. 

What happened to you this week that you are accepting as okay?