Monday, January 27, 2014

Movies to See

Recently, I was talking to my parents and discovered that there were many must see movies tat I had not yet seen.  We began compiling a list of movies that I must see.  My typical choice of movie is a good romcom.  My favorites are Notting Hill, Titanic, and Forest Gump.  I love anything Hugh Grant, Julia Roberts and Leonardo DiCaprio.

Without further ado, here is a list of must see movies my parents suggested...
Chime In!! What movies do I not have on here that I should have?  Help me add to this list, and I will do my best to watch them!

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Wait Pt. 4

This week, I have been sharing with you about waiting on God.  Waiting isn't easy for many.  We live in a day when we don't have to wait frequently.  But, waiting is something we must do.  We wait in the car on our commute to and from work, we wait for a call back, we wait for a red light to turn green, we wait for the water to boil... waiting is inevitable. 
I'm no stranger to waiting.  I've had to wait for the oven to preheat, wait for a friend to text me back, wait in traffic and wait on God.  I have had God promise me something and not see it fulfilled immediately...  But, nothing is wasted when God is involved.  Waiting has its blessings and lessons.  Today, I would like to share with you what I have learned from waiting for a promise from God to be fulfilled.
I have learned a lot about God's faithfulness.  Sometimes a promise isn't fulfilled the next day or the next week or the next year.  But, He is faithful to complete His promise. 
I have learned that He is still good even in the waiting.  Maybe, even more so in the waiting.  I have seen his protection and provision first hand in the waiting. 
I have learned to be in tune to God's words for my life.  Having a consistent quiet time with God has changed my walk with God.  I would not have heard God tell me to quiet my job, to lead an eGroup, to go to seminary and so many other things.
I have learned to be patient.  I am a patient person when it comes to most, but then other times I have zero patience.  Patience in my walk with Christ has been a learning experience.  Just because most things are instant in our world, doesn't mean that all things are.  God is still good in the waiting.
Chime In!!  What have you learned from waiting on God?

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Wait Pt. 3

This week, we are talking about waiting.  I have shared with you the season of waiting that I am in.  Today, I would like to share with you what Scripture says about waiting.

When I think about waiting, the first and greatest example that comes to mind is the story of Abraham and Sarah.  God promised Abraham that he would be father of all the nations.  When Sarah became impatient, she gave her servant to Abraham to bore a child.  It wasn't until thirteen years after Ishmael's birth that Abraham and Sarah conceived Isaac.  Abraham and Sarah were well advanced in age at this point.  The story of Abraham and Sarah's season of waiting in the majority of the book of Genesis.

Joseph has another beautiful story on waiting.  Joseph was sold by his brothers as a slave.  God promised Joseph that he would be the leader of his people.  At the time, Joseph was in a prison cell.  Over time, with patience, Joseph became the leader of his people and of the people of Egypt. 

How about the story in Joshua 6?  Jericho was closed; no one in, no one out.  God came to Joshua and told him to take the city that had already been given to him.  Joshua was told to march around the city of six days, and to blow the trumpets on the seventh day, after marching around the city of seven times.  Joshua did not share this information with his army.  How do you think Joshua's army felt?  What were their thoughts, do you think?  Marching around a city of six days, and then seven times in one day trumpeting?  What a story on waiting...  Joshua 6:27 says, "God was with Joshua".

For a little encouragement to press through seasons of waiting...

James 5:11 says that we should consider it a blessing to preserve. 

Galatians 6:9 warns us against becoming weary in doing good... the proper harvest will be reaped in due time.

Proverbs 3:5-6 encourages us to trust in the Lord with all of our heart, leaning not on our own understanding.

Psalm 40:1 says "I waited patiently for the Lord; he turned to me and heard my cry.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Wait Pt. 2

This week, I am sharing with you the importance of waiting in your walk with Christ.  Waiting is not easy for many of us.  It's an acquired skill that many of us have to work on over time.  Today, I would like to share with you how I have had to wait on God.

My entire life, I have desired to be a teacher.  As long as I can remember, I was playing teacher with my brothers, my friends and my dolls when I couldn't find a living being.  I was destined to be a teacher.  When I was 15, I got a job at the Boys and Girls Club working full-time in the summers and part-time during the school year.  My senior year of high school, I took a class that allowed me to have an internship in a classroom with four and five year olds.  It was perfect, right up my alley!  After graduating high school, my plan was to go to a university and major in Elementary Education.  Teaching kindergarten was my dream.

In 2008, God told me that one day I would work in ministry.  I couldn't believe this.  My life was not fit to work in ministry.  I was not living the most Christ-like life.  As nervous as I was about this call, I just as much laughed it off and assumed that God got something wrong. 

Early in 2009, I began serving in children's ministry.  If God had called me to work in ministry, I might as well start somewhere.  Passion and leadership was seen in me from various staff members of the church.  Increased responsibility happened quickly!

A few years after I first felt God call me to ministry, I was two classes away from graduating with my Associates in Early Childhood Education.  God had been pressing on me to change my major.  I continually felt as if I was making the wrong decision.  But, teaching was all that I knew.  God couldn't possibly use me in any other way.  After a series of events that only could have been orchestrated by God, I was dropped from these two classes and would have only been able to re-enroll next semester. 

Okay, I get it God... You are preparing me for ministry...
I took a year and a half off of school, waiting for God to tell me what was next.  What school?  What degree program?  What career path?  I diligently worked in a preschool for this time, waiting for God to guide my next steps.  I used this time waiting to research schools, research programs, research career paths... but God kept telling me not yet.
In the midst of this waiting, God kept reminding me that I was called to work in ministry.  Three times, staff members at my church approached me about applying in children's ministry and student ministry.  I applied three times.  Sadly, the timing wasn't right.  I wasn't even considered, even after given a high recommendation from staff. 
When I finally heard from God, there was no denying it.  I began attending Liberty University Online, majoring in Religion almost immediately.  When graduation was in sight, I began to consider what was next.  Seminary was always in the back of my mind.  But, getting my Masters degree always seemed out of reach.  I wasn't smart enough, I wasn't qualified for such a task.  Now, I am enrolled at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary getting my Masters in Divinity with a Concentration in Children's Ministry.
I am still waiting, sometimes more patiently than others, for said position in ministry.  There have been more moments than I would like to admit to that I have felt like God has abandoned me.  There have been more moments than I would like to admit to that I have felt like God has given up on me.  There have been more moments than I would like to admit to that I have felt like God has forgotten about me.  But, I am repeatedly comforted by God's Word. 
Chime In!  How have you waited in your walk with Christ?  What did you learn through waiting?
Coming Up...  Tomorrow, I will share with you what Scripture says about God's promises.  Thursday, I will share with you what you can learn while waiting on God.  

Monday, January 20, 2014

Wait Pt. 1

Have you ever been promised something, but had to wait for the promise to be fulfilled?  All of us know what waiting is like.  I don't know anyone who enjoys waiting.  We live in a culture where everything is right here, right now.  We have the answer to everything at our fingertips!  The days of math teachers saying "you won't always have a calculator on hand" are behind us.  Waiting is inconvenient and un-enjoyable for most.

Have you ever had to wait on God?  Has He promised you something, but had to wait to see the promise fulfilled?  This may be the hardest thing to wait on.  We know that God will fulfill everything He promises to us.  We don't have to doubt God's faithfulness to us. 

Know therefore that the LORD your God is God; he is the faithful God, keeping his covenant of love to a thousand generations of those who love him and keep his commandments.
This week, I want to share with you the lessons I have learned through waiting on God.  Tomorrow, I will share with you the backstory on how God changed the direction my life was going career wise.  Spoiler, I felt like God didn't meet me at the end of the promise.  Wednesday, I will share with you what Scripture says about God's promises.  Thursday, I will share with you what you can learn while waiting on God. 
It's going to be a fun week.  No one enjoys waiting, but God has more in store for us in the journey than in the destination.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

#Seminarylife Pt. 3

This week on the blog, I have had the opportunity to share with you what I learned though my first semester of classes at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary and what I have learned through experiences.  Today, I will be sharing with you my overall reflections of seminary life.

As you have read this week, I have learned a lot from five months at seminary.  I gained a lot of head knowledge.  I learned a lot about what is important to me. 

I would be lying if I said that there were moments when I did not regret my decision.  It was not always daisy's and roses.  There were moments when all I wanted was to have coffee with a friend from home or to go shopping with my mom, watch a movie with my roommate at 311 or play with the kids I nanny-ed, get froyo with a friend from home or go to my home church.  There were times when professors were challenging my church choice but God was confirming my church choice, and I figured life would be easier if I quit and went home.

I am glad I stuck it out.  I am stronger on the other side of the semester than I was going into it.  I can't wait for my second semester of seminary to begin on January 23rd.  I am thankful that God chose me to do His work.  I am thankful for every tough lesson I had to learn this semester.

The best is yet to come! 

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

#SeminaryLife Pt. 2

This week, we are talking about my reflections from my first completed semester of seminary at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary.  Yesterday, I shared what I learned from an educational view.  Today, I am going to share with you what I learned at my first semester of seminary through experience.

You have probably heard seminary referred to as cemetery a time or two in your life.  When I was telling people that I was going to go to seminary, they would ask, "You mean cemetery?"  Those who had been to seminary, or who knew someone who went to seminary, would warn me against going to seminary.  "It will be the driest season of your life," they would caution.  I was on a mission from God and would not allow their opinion sway me.  Wit these warnings in mind though, I went prepared to have one of the driest seasons of my life.  I was prepared to feel like I was in the desert with no water in sight.  But, I also did all that I could to keep the water as close as possible.

Before moving, I made sure that I was daily dedicating ample time to God.  I wasn't just reading my Bible and praying, I was silently listening to God.  I made a daily routine.  Upon arriving at seminary, I had to work fervently to keep this routine.  I began waking up earlier and earlier just so that I would not miss my quiet time with God.  This was one of the wisest things I did in my first semester of seminary. 

Another thing I did upon arriving, was immediately get involved in church.  Being a Christian is largely about being involved in local ministry, sharing the Gospel, tithing and being surrounded by a body of believers.  Yes, I am surrounded by a body of believers at seminary.  But, the body of believers I am surrounded by at seminary are different than the body of believers I am surrounded by at church.  I wanted a mixture of friends, and more opportunities to get out into the community.

With my relationship with God on guard, I failed to keep my relationship with myself on guard.  When most seminary students were struggling with finding time for God, I was struggling with finding time for myself.  I was waking up an hour and a half before I had to leave every morning to spend time with God, spending all day at school, coming home to work for a few hours, doing homework or studying for a few hours, and then it was time for bed.  The only personal quiet time I had was grocery shopping, but I never had a clear head.  It was not until the middle of the semester that I realized I was facing a personal drought in my life.  To remedy this, I evaluated my commitments and prioritized my time.  I built time in for myself each week.  It wasn't easy, but it was necessary.

In my first semester at seminary, I got a real taste of what the "church world" is like.  My views on what the "church world" was like prior to going to seminary were limited to one very contemporary church.  This semester, I learned how important having a denomination allegiance was to "church people."  I learned that even though they are at seminary and want to be (or are in) full-time ministry, they may not be the nicest people.  Thankfully, after a few months, I found a stellar group of seminary friends.  This reminded me that it is always better to have a few close friends than a lot of not-so-close friends.

The last thing that I learned through experience this semester is how to stand up for what I believe in.  There were moments when standing up for what God has called me to do meant going against the grain and not being the most popular in a crowd.  I am okay with that.  God will always provide and protect.

Chime In!  What would you like to know more about my personal experiences at seminary?
Coming Up... I will be sharing my overall reflections on my first semester of #seminarylife.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

#SeminaryLife Pt. 1

I attend Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, where I am getting my Masters in Divinity with a concentration in Children's Ministry.  For my first semester, I enrolled in Biblical Hermeneutics, Biblical Hebrew, Administration of Early Childhood Weekday Program and Spiritual Formation.

Prior to coming to seminary, I always explained hermeneutics as "interpretation of the Bible."  While in Biblical Hermeneutics this semester, I learned that I had been explaining hermeneutics incorrectly. Hermeneutics is the study of Scripture and explaining the meaning of Scripture.  I understand hermeneutics now to be the study and application of Scripture. 

I learned a lot of interesting things in Biblical Hebrew.  In general, I have a better understanding of some basic Hebrew words in the Old Testament.  I am able to confidently translate Hebrew to English, not so much English to Hebrew, but that's okay.  The most interesting thing I learned this semester is about the word Jehovah.  Did you know that Jehovah and Yahweh were originally the same word?  Jehovah is a misinterpretation of Yahweh. 

In Administration of Early Childhood Weekday Program, I learned how to direct a daycare/preschool/weekday program that is associated with a church.  This was an interesting class, that I had to consistently open my mind to.  I think that I will never be able to use this information, but I have no idea what God has in store for me in the future.  What if one day I end up the director of a Children's Ministry that has a weekday program?  We learned how to make a budget, motivate staff and how to create a positive working environment.

Coming into this semester, I thought Spiritual Formation would be the easiest class.  It was one credit hour, couldn't be much work, right?  Man, was I wrong.  For Spiritual Formation, we got to attend chapel three times a week, meet weekly in a class setting or with an accountability partner, and have weekly assignments only.  The meat of the class was learning different Spiritual Disciplines.  This class opened my eyes to the different spiritual disciplines and ways I can improve disciples.

Chime In!  Do you have any questions about the classes I took? 
Coming Up... I will be sharing things I learned through experiences at seminary and my overall reflections of seminary life.  Stay tuned!!

Monday, January 13, 2014

#SeminaryLife Intro

In July, I moved from North Carolina to Texas because God told me to.  It has been quite an adventure.  There have been fabulous moments, there have been not so fabulous moments, but I am so glad that God called me here.

This week, I will be talking about #SeminaryLife.  I will be sharing with you things I learned in the classroom, things I learned through experience and some overall reflections of #seminarylife.

Please stay tuned this week!  It's going to be fun.

Chime In!  What do you want to know about Seminary Life?

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Stop Complaining

This week, we have looked at various definitions of complaining and the emphasis on everything in Philippians 2:14.  Today, I would like to share some tips with you on how to stop complaining.  But, before we can talk about how to stop, we need to understand why we should stop.

Philippians 2:14 says, "do everything without complaining or arguing,"  But, the verse doesn't stop there.  Verse 15 continues by saying, "so that you may become blameless and pure, "children of God without fault in a warped and crooked generation." Then you will shine among them like stars in the sky."

Doesn't that sound fabulous?  I want to be blameless and pure, child of God without fault in a warped and crooked generation, and to shine like a star in the sky.  All I have to do is do this by doing everything without complaining.

So, how do we do this?  Where do we start? 

  1. You have to start somewhere.  Why not try going 24 hours without complaining?  24 hours without complaining will quickly open your eyes to how much you complain in a day.
  2. Holly Furtick once shared that she wears a wristband that is not easy to take off.  Every time she complains, she has to switch the wrist that her wristband is on.
  3. When searching "complaining" on pinterest, I found some parents who had made "Star Jar's" for their kids.  When the child does a task without complaining, they get to add something (a penny, nickel, dime... or currency of your choosing) to the jar.  Others started the jar with a certain amount.  When the child complained a coin was given back.  You decide what kind of "Star Jar" would work best for you.

It is easier than you think to start doing everything without complaining.  But, you have to start somewhere.  This perspective shift won't come out of no where.

Chime in!  Where do you plan to start?

Linking up with...

Wednesday, January 8, 2014


Do everything without complaining or arguing.
Philippians 2:14
Earlier this week, we defined "to complain."  Today, I would like to discuss that ten letter word in Philippians 2:14 that makes this verse so important to me.  Everything.
Paul did not tell the Philippi to "do some things without complaining or arguing."  Paul did not tell the Philippi to "do a few things without complaining or arguing."  Paul did not tell the Philippi to "do everything with complaining or arguing."  Paul told the Philippi to "do everything without complaining."
Last time I checked, we all had a pretty good understanding of the word everything.  I never sit around wondering, Hmm... what is everything?  Is that, like, all things, or just a few things?  It would be safe for me to bet that you aren't wondering that either.  You know that everything is all that exists.
Let's work toward doing everything without complaining or arguing.
Chime in!  What areas of your life do you need to work on doing everything without complaining, arguing, questioning or grumbling?
Coming Up This Week... Tips to help you do everything without complaining or arguing.

Linking Up With...
Whimisical Wednesday

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

What is Complaining?

Do everything without complaining or arguing.
Philippians 2:14
I searched Merriam-Webster in search of the definition of "complain".  Here is what I found...
To say or write that you are unhappy, sick, uncomfortable, etc., or that you do not like something.
To say (something that expresses annoyance or unhappiness.)
To express grief, pain, or discontent

In November, I posed the question on Facebook,
 Where is the line between talking about the not so sun shiny stuff going on in your life and complaining? Or, is there not a line?
The responses I got were thought provoking...
 When someone asks how my day was, is it complaining if I didn't have a good day?  Should I lie to not "complain"?
 Sometimes we need to share our bad days.  We need that accountability of others to pray for us and lift us up.  I think the line is where your bad day becomes gossip.
It is a matter of the heart.  It is good to share our burdens with others but at times when we tell others things with a hard heart then it becomes complaining.

I think those are all valid definitions of complaining.  I think compiling them to a longer definition will give a full definition of complaining.

Complaining is an unhappy or uncomfortable expression of annoyance, unhappiness, pain, or discontent.  Complaining can escalate quickly to gossip.  Complaining should be shared in order to grow from the unpleasant situation or circumstance.
Chime in!  What do you think complaining is?

Coming Up This Week... everything and tips to stop complaining...
Linking Up With...

Monday, January 6, 2014

Philippians 2:14

First thing first, how have I never blogged about complaining before?  I declared October the month of "No Complaining."  I would be lying if I said that I was 100% successful.  Most times I considered complaining, grumbling or arguing, I repeated Philippians 2:14 in my head.  Paul instructs the people of Philippi (and us) to do everything without complaining or arguing. 
On the blog this week, I will be discussing what complaining is, everything, and a few tips to help you stop the horrible habit that is complaining.  It's going to be a fun week.  Be sure to come back for a good gut check and perspective shift over this week!

Thursday, January 2, 2014

January 2014 Goals

When it comes to goal setting, I am always overly ambitious.  I learned to set measurable and attainable goals a few years ago, but I am still overly ambitious.  I put too much on my plate on a daily basis, and then I stack up outrageous goals.  This year, I found a list of a few statements to complete.  It's a much easier method of goal setting.  My plan is to post this once a month rather than set a long list of goals for the entire year.

January 2014

A bad habit I am going to break... checking social media 6549879546 times a day. 
I would like to check social media sites no more than three times a day.  Shocking, I know.  But, if I don't share that goal with you, I will have no drive to do it!

A good deed I am going to do... spend a Saturday morning serving breakfast at a shelter.
I have a friend from church who is heavily involved in three different charities.  I am going to pick one, and wake up on a Saturday morning for someone else.

A place I would like to visit... Trinity Trails.
I have heard that Trinity Trails are a great place to run or have some quiet time in Fort Worth.  I keep saying that I am going to go over there sometime, and never do.  This month, it is happening!

A book I would like to read... 20-Something, 20-Everything: A Quarter-life Woman's Guide to Balance and Direction by Christine Hassler
I will have to admit, I have never heard of this book.  I just found it on a list of books that every 20-Something should read.

I am going to do better at... managing my time so that I have adequate time to work and study, while still making time for myself.

We will review on January 31!!  I am hoping for much success with my goals and much success for you!

Chime In!  What goals are you setting for yourself this year?  How are you redefining goals?

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

2014 Goals

Most close out a year by reflecting... reflecting on success and failures... reflecting on good choices made and poor choices made... reflecting on what could have gone better... reflecting happens at the close of every year.  And, as a result of reflecting, new goals are set. 

New Years Resolutions hang over our heads every year.  We set New Years Resolutions with the intentions of becoming a better person , a stronger person, a more reliable person, a more financially stable person.

Although I plan on setting monthly goals this year, I am going to set a few big picture goals. 

1. Study the New Testament in depth.
2. Believe God to achieve the impossible.
3. Pray without ceasing.

1. Pick up the telephone and call friends from North Carolina on a regular basis.
2. Bring back snail mail... doesn't everyone enjoy opening an envelope that isn't a bill?
3. Put down the phone with friends and be in the moment.

1. Get down to 175.  I won't share the how many pounds that is, but will share that it is an attainable goal.
2. Read 10 books for fun.
3. Take up a new hobby.
4. Try new things... no matter what my preconceived notion about them are.
5. Write.

2014 is the year that I am going to step outside of my comfort zone.  2014 is the year that I am not going to forget my goals until December 2014.  2014 is the year that I am going to believe God to do what culture is impossible.  2014 is the year.