Thursday, June 27, 2013

My Praise Breaks

Early this week I wrote about what these "praise breaks" I've been tweeting about are.  Today, I wanted to write a little more about these praise breaks.

We've all had moments, days, seasons of overwhelming stress.  Those moments when you are following God, but it's scary.  Those moments when you are asking God for something, but He doesn't seem to be listening.  Those moments when you feel like God's presence has left you.  You are alone, I promise.

The closer you follow God, the harder the walk with gets.  If anyone promised you that this walk was going to be easy, they were lying.  Satan's job is to make us doubt God.  I'd even go as far as to say that if Satan isn't hassling you, you aren't going the right direction. 

I have had a lot on my plate lately.  I have been remembering a time that I feel like God didn't meet me at the end of a road He called me to take.  It has really made me question my decision to move to Texas.  I'm confident that God has called me there, but what if He does not meet me there again?  When I take those thoughts a little too far, I stop to remember His faithfulness.  I have a praise break, sometimes long and sometimes short.  I just remind myself of how good He is.  He has a plan for me in Texas.

Satan knows that God is going to do something huge in and through me in Texas.  If I make this move, God wins.  Satan is doing everything in his power to keep me from making that move.  I will not allow Satan to have any room in my life.  I want God to get all the glory.

Take praise breaks often. Refocus your mind on why you are doing what you are doing.  God is still good in your struggle.  Don't allow Satan to have any room to in your life.  Press forward when things get tough.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Praise Break

If you follow me on twitter, you have probably seen several tweets recently about praise breaks.  I wanted to take a moment to talk about what these little praise breaks are all about. (Side note... if you don't follow me on twitter... why?!  Click here and follow me on twitter, now! You won't regret it!)

Several months ago, Pastor Jentzen Franklin came to Elevation Church to speak to the leaders of Elevation.  He spoke about worship.  I really enjoyed his message and it's something that I rethink often.  He talked about the worship of the angels.

Just to catch you up to speed... Lucifer is Satan, the fallen angel. He was originally a mighty angelic angel, who got to be in God's presence every moment.  One day his thought shifted from worshipping God to imagining people worshipping him like he worshipped God. 

You see, even Lucifer and the demons worship God.  James 2:19 says, "You believe that there is one God? Good!  Even the demons believe that- and shudder."  Demons believe, fear and worship God.  How much more should we worship God?

Franklin said two really powerful things that have stuck with me for over six months.  When Satan brings up your past, it is because He is running out of new material.  We get to choose to praise and worship. 

Make the right choice.  Choose to worship... During his sermon, we kept having praise breaks.  We'd just get up and praise God.  I was balling my eyes out.  You could truly feel God's presence with us.  Those times that it is hardest to worship, or the defining moments of your walk.  Will you still worship when the going gets tough?

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

My Passion

Earlier this week, I wrote about passion.  I talked about how everyone needs to be passionate about something.  We can't sit back and let life pass us by.  Today, I'm going to get personal about my something.

My something is the lack of woman in ministry.  As I'm moving along in my theology courses, I'm finding a terrifying trend... It's believed that woman serving in a leadership position in a church is unbiblical.  That is supposed to be a place for a man. The woman's place is at home making babies and cooking dinner.  This makes my blood boil.  This makes me go on a tangent.  This makes me loose it.

I believe as long as you are doing what God has called you to do, you are in the right position.  This looks different for everyone, and no one person is doing the wrong thing even if it looks different from someone else.  Before you read further, please know that I think that woman who stay at home, make babies and cook dinner are wonderful people, and as long as you are doing what God has called you to do, you are in the right place!!

I think it is terribly sexist to believe that woman can't serve in a leadership position at a church.  I believe that something needs to be changed.  God has called me to work in full-time ministry.  I'm beginning to be slapped with the realization, that I may run into a lot of closed doors, a lot of churches who have this backwards sort of mindset. 

I want to be a part of this change.  I want to inspire women to step up and let God use them greatly.  It may mean staying at home and changing the lives of those around you.  It may mean working in the corporate world and changing lives there.  Allowing God to use you greatly looks different for everyone.  I think we all need to live up to this full potential.  Woman, more than ever.  Let's stop sitting back and letting our husbands get all of the credit.

Monday, June 17, 2013


Passion (N) - 1. Intense, driving, or overmastering feeling or conviction; an outbreak of anger. 
2. Ardent affection, a strong liking or desire for or devotion to some activity, object or concept.

For the purpose of this post, let's go with... A strong liking or desire for or devotion to some concept.

I believe that everyone should have something to be passionate about.  Everyone should have something that get's their blood boiling when people aren't educated in the facts.  Everyone should have something that they can't stop talking about if the topic is brought up.  Everyone should have something.

Maybe it's sex trafficking, child homelessness, hungry children in Africa, cancer... It doesn't really matter what it is, just that you have something.\

What is your something?!

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Twenty - Three Check In

Back in December, after I turned 23, I posted twenty three goals for myself this year.  I'm much better with goals on my birthday, as opposed to New Year's Resolutions.  I don't know why.  Thought you'd enjoy to know where I am at in my goals...

1. Finish my last twelve classes at Liberty University Online with a bang
I'm trucking along.  I finished the spring with 1 A and 5 B's.  I am enrolled in six summer courses.

 2. Start grad school or seminary
I'm going!!!

 3. Make and maintain a budget
Not so much

 4. Run two 5k's
Yeah, not happening at the moment.

 5. Live in the moment
Yes, yes, and yes!  I'm finding moments to live in every day.  I skip homework to be with friends when that's more important.  I put to do lists aside and just be here.  

6. Read the entire New Testament

 7. De-stress
Working on it.  Having to realize that some things are out of my control and I can't stress about those.  My strength is found in the Lord.

 8. Visit a new state (I have 44 to choose from)
When I make the trip from Charlotte to Fort Worth, I'll have a chance to visit several new states! 

 9. Learn to check my email and social media sites no more than three times a day
was doing better, not so much at the moment.

 10. Lose and keep off twenty-three pounds
I should probably have weighed myself at the time of making this goal, to know how I was doing.  Whoops.

 11. Read ten books for leisure
I've read five and am reading a sixth right now!  This is huge for me!

 12. Take pictures regularly
I'm trying.  Haven't taken as many as I'd like, but doubt I could ever.

 13. Laugh until I cry

 14. Spend the weekend in Aiken
I spent the weekend down there for my best friends graduation.  Still praying that God will lead me back there one day.

 15. Create opportunities for God to move mightily
I created a huge opportunity through applying to seminary in Texas.  Daily, he moves mightily through this and I love it!

 16. Learn to white water kayak
I wish!

 17. Spend some QT with Victoria before she moves
We didn't spend as much time as I would have liked, but I got some quality time in with her!  She's in Germany now and I miss her like crazy!

 18. Follow God's lead
This one is huge and happening. 

 19. Have enough faith to believe that God can make my Sun Stand Still prayer come true
Working on having enough faith for this.

 20. Visit Charleston at least twice
Not there yet.

 21. Get my second tattoo
I still have to figure out where...  So many options!

 22. Find time for me once a week
I was doing really great at this one, too.  Baths, book reading, shopping alone... School is kicking my butt and not giving me much time for this.  But why do I make excuses?  Once a week for me is not much.

 23. Live a life that glorifies God at all moments
I'll never fully know if I'm succeeding at this.  But, I'm trying and my motives are for His glory not mine or anything worldly.  I'll know in Heaven...

How are you coming along in your goals for the year 2013!?

Monday, June 10, 2013

Singleness - Curse or Blessing?

Why do so many people consider being single a curse?  So many people walk around saying "woah is me" while they are single.  So many people get envious of their friends successful relationships while they are single.  So many people get mad and ask God, "why me?!" while they are single.  Why do so many people consider being single a curse?

In high school, I met who I thought was the man of my dreams.  I had no desire to have children prior to meeting him, but when I met him, I thought about having his beautiful babies.  I wanted to marry him and have happily ever after.  Somewhere along the way, our paths went in completely different directions.  After three and a half years, we walked our separate ways.  We haven't seen each other since.  We've talked a handful of times over the last three years, but it's just weird.

For the first year, I was the "woah is me", jealous, and asking God why it had to be me.  I was a good person, was active in church, managed to hold down a full-time job and full-time hours at school, while being successful at both.  I was a catch... right?

Somewhere in the midst of the second year, I found acceptance.  I realized that being single wasn't a curse.  I realized that being single was a blessing.  I didn't have anyone else calling the shots.  I didn't need to make room for anyone in by busy schedule.  I realized that this time being single was a blessing.  I had time to work on me.  I had time to grow closer to God.  I had time to "find myself".

As the third year is coming to a close and the fourth year of being single is approaching, I've found peace.  I'm not worried about finding "Mr. Right."  I'm more worried about becoming "Mrs. Right" and living a life that is pleasing to my husband, even though I don't know who he is yet.  I am confident in God's timing and believing that He will put my husband, my prince charming, my "Mr. Right" in my life when the time is right for both of us.

Singleness isn't a disease.  Singleness isn't a curse.  Singleness is a blessing. 

It's time to find your value and strength in Christ, instead of seeking it in a significant other.  It's time to find out who you are and figure out what you want in life.  It's time for you.  You have your whole life to spend with your significant other.  Value your "you time" now. 

Enjoy these moments.  Don't look at being single as a curse!

Monday, June 3, 2013

Why Texas?

Before you read Why Texas? I should let you know that I'm writing this post on March 4th, 2013.  I do not know when this post will make it live, as it is best for me to hold onto this post for a while.  I wanted to write about it all while it was fresh, but can't share it with you just yet. 

"Why Texas?!" is probably the most commonly question asked in my life right now.  Whenever I share what God is doing in my life, it is followed with, "why Texas?"  This has been such a fun question for me to answer, so let me take you back to the beginning of the story...

In November of 2012, I was researching seminaries.  I had become serious about going to seminary.  I had some amazing advice from a mentor of mine on what to look for in a seminary.  I was scouring the internet for seminaries in Charlotte, North Carolina that had a Children's Ministry program.  Want to know how many there are... ZERO!  What the what... how can I major in Children's Ministry if there are no schools with that program.  I begin to lean toward Master's in Theology or Master's in Divinity.  The Divinity program sounds super legit.  Yeah, I have my Master's in Divinity... What up!!

I started looking at schools anywhere in North Carolina or South Carolina.  I couldn't stand the chance to be farther than that away from my family.  Still not that much out there by way of Children's Ministry.  Then, one day, I'm continuing my searches and I come across this school that I just utterly fall in love with.  They don't have a Children's Ministry program but I can major in Theology with a focus in Children's Ministry.  That's like the best of both worlds for me. I'm hooked.

Until, I scroll to the bottom and see that the school is in Fort Worth, Texas.  Instantly, I close that tab out and move on.  Texas is definitely out of the question, right?  This school will not get out of my head.  Everytime I google search seminaries, it pops up.  I feel that gentle nudge from God that this is where I'm supposed to go.  I immediently give God three reasons why seminary in Texas was not an option...

Have you ever told God why you can't do something He's told you to do?  Don't leave me hanging here.  I know I'm not alone... Just like God does, He quickly squashes all of my reasons. That weekend, Pastor Steven gets on stage and introduces Pastor Robert Morris of Gateway Church in... go ahead and guess... Fort Worth, Texas.  That was God's response to one of the reasons I couldn't move.
Isn't God funny?  So, God manages to squash all three of my reasons in a matter of two weeks in November.  But, it took me until January to commit myself to the idea of attending a seminary in Forth Worth, Texas.  I began researching other seminaries, jobs, and churches in the Forth Worth area.  I ended up finding two more schools that I liked in Dallas.  These were became my back up/just get to Texas schools.  In February, I felt called to burn the plows, stop waivering between my options and completely trust God's plan in Fort Worth, Texas.  In March, I sent in my application.  That was intense; a letter from my church, two letters of recommendations, an essay on my testimony and an essay on why I want to go to seminary.  In April, after much waiting, I was accepted!!

So, July 19th, I am embarking on a three day journey with my parents from Charlotte, North Carolina to Fort Worth, Texas.