Put away pride.

A theme that has been in the forefront of my mind lately has been redemption as well as the church's role in the lives of sinners.

There is a problem in many churches.  The problem is pride.  We are all sinners, however, many times when we come forward with our sin and are upfront about it, we are judged, slandered, and gossiped about.  Pride is hated by God.  When we are sinful, yet try to cover it up and pretend we are above our sin that is pride.  Many people believe their lives are "perfect" because it looks like it on the outside, but the truth is we are all marred with sin and for those who are in denial, they will answer to their pride.  Matthew 23 speaks perfectly to God's feelings on pride.  Verse 23 spoke specifically to the inability of prideful people to practice justice, mercy, and faithfulness.

One of the imperative roles of the church is also a role that Jesus played as listener's and helpers.  We need to be able to admit our own need for God's impact and redemption, seek His face completely, and be there to listen and encourage others.

I pray that those around me would be filled with the Spirit and not worried about what the world around them thinks about anyone's reputation.  The Bible is full of many who had what we could consider "bad reputations."  The first and foremost in my mind is Mary, mother of Jesus.  Either she was truly pregnant with the son of God, or she was a crazy liar.  Obviously I believe her son Jesus is the son of God, however many did not.  Her husband Joseph was amazing to take her at her word and accept her and love her and to trust God through the road He led them on. 

Through the forgiveness of my own sin and becoming vulnerable to confessing to the Lord and others about my own sin I have been convicted to be more accepting of others who sin and are looking for help.  God has changed me for the better, squashed any semblance of pride that I've ever had, and molded me into a stronger person for it, who will have to deal with some consequences, but will accept the consequences as well as the grace and redemption that God has extended.

He is so much more than I deserve or could ask for...wait...that makes me think of another verse...

"Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us,  to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen."  Ephesians 3:20-21



Somewhere along the line, where and when doesn't matter, I made a wrong choice.  I know when that moment was and it effects me still today as I feel God's will was different than what I chose.

I can't go back.

Because of that wrong choice I find it hard to accept God's forgiveness and move forward.  I feel like I am standing in quick sand where I find it hard to not only move forward, but even come up for air.

I am going through the motions, work, friends, run, smile, friends, work, smile, etc...but my heart isn't fulfilled.  Don't get me wrong.  The people in my life are phenomenal.  The void is in my walk with the Lord and I have been saying to myself I need time with God, and then I put it off for everything...suddenly Facebook, Words with Friends, Bejeweled Blitz, and a few other random things are the best thing I can be doing between the hours of 10 and bedtime. 

Last week I was convicted by a sermon to say no to those things more often in order to say yes to Jesus.  Follow through = 0.

This week I was slapped in the face and broken into a million pieces...if I could have curled up in a ball on my Savior's lap and cried forever I think I would have.

Instead the next best thing occurred.  There is just something so cleansing to me about being able to pour myself out through singing, and thankfully God provided the perfect songs through the Revolution Band this week...

I will be saying no to some things this week cleansing myself of things as God leads.  I will be saying yes to Jesus and filling back up so that God can come down and help me outta this pit I dug for myself...

"Very early, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house, and went off to a solitary place where he prayed."  --Mark 1




For a while I was struggling.

I had been struggling with the lack of my ability to do anything but work there for a while.

I was working, running, and that was about it...getting time off was impossible cause everyone had requested every day off. 

So, I was frustrated. 

My time with God was non-existant because I was choosing other things over Him...

Recently I had been praying that God and I could get back in cahoots to where I could FEEL it...you don't ALWAYS feel Him and I am ok with that most of the time...but I was missing Him and it was my fault.  And sometimes you go through the motions of church and worship and forget just what it is you are doing...

I am SO THANKFUL for the past week...

He met me in Nashville and this weekend and it was in ways I didn't expect. 

Nashville was a great break from work that was MUCH needed as I hadn't had more than 2 days off in a row since last October. 

Then this past week I spent some time with him and last night attended some FABULOUS worship.

Tonight God provided me with tickets to Charlie Daniels and wouldn't ya know...of course...God was there too.  We done worshiped at the concert!  We sang Amazing Grace with Charlie and it touched me in ways I didn't expect but I SOOO needed.

So...I am thankful.

Thankful for the friends I have around me and thankful for the time He gives me to experience His glory.


People just suck!

Today was an especially hard day at work.  I have been sick and lacked sleep but was in a good mood.  For some reason one specific person made it very hard for several of us to work.  I could go one about how selfish they were or whatever, but the fact of the matter is, we are ALL imperfect and I am just as guilty for being in a bad mood sometimes.

What made it a little harder by the fact that the person is a Christian sister. 

We work among others who are not Christians.

We are called to be different in this world and for crying out loud, I would think we could encourage one another instead of lashing out at one another.  I could go on about how terribly I was treated but I refuse to be the victim, and I want to focus on God’s word from here on out...the above is simply an example of how God’s Word applies to my situation today and is relevant to the here and now.

I first opened up to Psalms 27... “The Lord is my light and salvation--whom shall I fear?”  It goes on and then says, “Teach me your way, O Lord; lead me in a straight path because of my oppressors.  Do not turn me over to the desire of my foes, for false witnesses rise up against me, breathing out violence.  I am still confident of this:  I will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living.  Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord.”

It was certainly comforting to read that and receive the comfort that I WILL dwell in the house of the Lord one day.

After that, I was lead to a scripture, that I am sure God put on my heart for a reason...if the door opens, I will share with that person.

John 13:34-35, “A new command I give you: Love one another.  As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”

Next came part of the Beatitudes...and it is funny how something I have read SO many times can come to life so suddenly. 

“Blessed are you when men hate you, when they exclude you and insult you and reject your name as evil, because of the Son of Man.  Rejoice in that day and leap for joy, because great is your reward in heaven.  For that is how their fathers treated the prophets.”  Luke 6:22-23

Now, I am sure there are definitely more extreme cases of being persecuted, but I know for a fact that I was talked about today and I know that I am not invited to certain things because of who God is in my life.  For the record...I am WAY ok with that.  There may have been a time when I wasn’t, and I wanted to be included...but God has provided me with such fabulous friends and community that I cannot even be bothered with such nonsense.  This Scripture was just SO reassuring! 

I am so thankful to God that this world is temporary and not my home.  It is not an easy place to be and we are all flawed.  I am thankful for the people He puts in my path and for the many qualities He has given them to make them beautiful.  I pray that each person I come into contact with could see Him more clearly and learn to glorify HIM with those qualities. 




These words were spoken by minister in a sermon about greed last week.  It originally reference Luke 12:15 in his sermon and those words have spoken to me all week long. 

I think that Greed is certainly something to watch out for and in my life, it isn't necessarily the material greed that I am needing to be aware of.  Lately I have been SUPER greedy about my time.  I have wanted time to myself to unwind and relax, be it with friends, in front of the TV, chilling through my iphone apps, etc. 

What I have failed to remember is that God desires our FIRST FRUITS...not our LEFTOVERS...

He deserves my time and my energy BEFORE work, relaxation, exercise, etc.  He doesn't deserve what I try to save for Him AFTER all of that. 

What I have found, is that when I save Him what is left...He doesn't get anything.  The ONE who gave me everything is SO MUCH MORE DESERVING.

I am revisiting the book "Crazy Love" by Francis Chan, and I am so glad, the first time I read it I wasn't listening...

He says, "But the fact is nothing should concern us more than our relationship with God; it's about eternity and nothing compares with that.  God is not someone who can be tacked onto our lives."

So, as I sit here in Nashville, and we have planned a fun evening out, I am struggling with whether I should go, or remain here, in the quiet with the LORD.  It is one of those decisions where I know what decision I SHOULD make...but it is difficult.  So...does my relationship with God concern me more than with my friends???  That is the question that I will have to answer through my actions tonight.  

The ultimate source for all of this has been God's word as it inspired Francis, and as I sought it out, so the complete list of Scriptural references is:  1 Corinthians 13, Romans 16:17, Luke 12:15, Malachi 1:8, Proverbs 3:8-10.



OK people...it is official beginning TOMORROW!!! 

I am training for the Columbus half marathon!  WHAT?!?!?!

Thankfully I am not doing it alone, and though I have faithful training buddies Karen and Lucia by my side, it is not of them I speak when I say I am not alone.

This is MOST DEFINITELY a Spiritual matter and God is here with me.  I know for a fact it wasn't an accident when God included a comparison to a race in Scripture.  There are many references to racing and I am sure I will NEED to revisit these over the next weeks and months (race day=OCTOBER 16th 2011) however, there is one particular verse I would like to visit today.

"I went in response to a revelation and, meeting privately with those esteemed as leaders, I presented to them the gospel that I preach among the Gentiles. I wanted to be sure I was not running and had not been running my race in vain."  Galatians 2:2

You are probably thinking, "this isn't the verse I thought she would pick..."

Me too!

I think that running is great when I get the runner "high" known as endorphins however those don't start my workouts...it takes motivation beyond endorphins to BEGIN.

I want to know that I have a purpose and a reason for running a race...not to "run my race in vain."

I am not running it to be healthy, though that isn't a bad reason to run...and I hope it is a side effect!

I am running for kids in Romania.  For the kids that will one day live in the house that is being finished in a village named Ghioric.

It is my goal to raise funds for the purpose of raising them in a place where they can learn and know God's love and that they haven't been abandoned by the FATHER that matters.

Please be in prayer that my training is not in vain and that I continue to be motivated and spurred on by His love and glory.  Pray how you can be involved, whether by praying, donating, or attending the race to cheer me on at any point throughout the course...cause I will need it!


A friend who sticks closer than a brother...

So hey...

"One who has unreliable friends soon comes to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother."      --Proverbs 18:24

I haven't had a ton to say honestly.  I have been super busy and enjoying the people that God has placed around me for sure.  I am simply amazed at the people blessing my life that have popped up at God's prompting and I just love it.  Don't get me wrong...by quoting the above Scripture I am not discounting my family time and relationships at all...but sometimes friends become like family.

Two friends I want to mention specifically are Karen and Lucia.  Karen and I met several years ago, when she was pregnant with her youngest son, Tyler.  I love her smile, laugh and joy!  She is also so dedicated to her family and an inspiration for me personally when it comes to my NEW love of running!

Lucia and I...well it is a super cool story and I honestly am in awe at how much I love the girl in such a short time since it usually takes me a little time to be so sold out to a friendship.  I am not a shy person by any means, but I feel like I could tell Lucia anything or call her for anything and not feel like I am burdening her...and likewise, I would DO anything within my power to help her out!

Our story is quite fun.  We were supposed to be roommates on a mission trip to Ukraine.  My brother and sister in law planned their wedding like a day or two before the trip returned so I had to cancel the trip.  On went life without much more thought about the matter, except I prayed for the group and later found out that Lucia and her husband JJ had decided to move to Ukraine as a result of that trip...Pretty cool!

Fast forward to about 2008 or so...I was working here at Starbucks and I also had friends who were friends with Lucia...so we saw each other and knew who each other were.  She came into Starbucks a few times...she was a face I knew.

THEN...I move away to Ohio live for a year and a half and move back.  My friend Karen and I had remained close through my distance in Ohio and so when I moved back it was natural to hang with her and through her, I began hanging out with Lucia...and their 4 AWESOME boys! :)

We run together, eat and drink together, and there is always laughter!  LOVE them!  Through their friendships pushing me, I ran my first 10k and am actually planning to train for my first half marathon!  What the heck?!?!?!  The other thing I love love love is that many friends will think that because they are married and or have kids and I am not married and have no kids that we have to limit our interaction.  NOT TRUE WITH LOOSH AND GEORGIA PEACH (Karen is from Georgia)...I love to be invited to their kids birthday parties and playing Wii and dinosaurs with them...and even doing the potty dance after a successful potty time.  I have lots to learn from them...and believe me...they have lots to learn from me...hahaha!  Just kidding.

Anyhow...I am so stinking blessed by them and wanted to share.I was gonna post some photos...and frankly, I don't have many, I had some on my old phone of us trying on fun hats and accessories at Charming Charlies and Wal-Mart and that phone is now dead...and the others I take are usually of their kids...what the HECK???  The few I will share include a couple of their kiddos at their birthday parties and some sombreros...have I mentioned they are GREAT moms???


my Flying Pig Marathon 2011 - Toyota 10K results

my Flying Pig Marathon 2011 - Toyota 10K results

Flying PIG!!!

So my view on running has changed so significantly I can't even begin to tell you...but...of course, I will try!  :)  I hadn't posted much about my training on here because 1. I didn't know if I would go through with it and 2. I didn't train as much as I should of because it was rainy and yucky so much of the time I was supposed to be running...so, needless to say, VERY little training went into this run.  Though I kept in shape cardio wise with zumba, some running, and elliptical machines, I didn't do my long runs on the weekends like I should have...

When I began training I was thinking, ugh!  A mile???  Now I think...1-2 miles is a SHORT run!  Weird how perspective can change.  

So, I will just tell you my mindset in the past few days leading up to the race and the race itself...I find it all quite amusing at times...

A couple of days ago, when I realized none of my family or boyfriend was going to be at the race, I was bummed.  I still am kind of but I am SO glad to have had Karen and Lucia with me!  We began this journey together and I am so blessed to have them as friends!  It is times like this when you realize who is really WITH you if ya know what I mean!

Yesterday I went to the Flying Pig Expo, by myself, as I had to work in the evening when Karen and Lucia were going to attend.  So, I drove to downtown Cincinnati around lunchtime on a Friday...PARKING!!!! UGH!  So...I drove around several blocks and finally found a place...and walked to the convention center.  Once I was there I thought, "I sure hope I can find my car later!"  So...I went through, registered, got my shoe tag, my t-shirt, saw my friend Daren Wendell who works with a GREAT organization www.activewater.org.  And I left, thankfully, I was able to find my car right away!  It was also SUCH a beautiful day to walk downtown!  So...I was SUPER pumped up and ready for what the next morning would bring...yet I still had to work a shift at Starbucks...

So, I worked, and it was fine...I designed some special addition Starbucks cups for Karen, Lucia and I with pigs...they were SUPER cute!  I got off work at 11:15pm and went home to make my playlist for the run!

When I got up this morning at 5:15 I was pretty tired but I pressed on, ate a banana, dressed in a stupor and headed to Lucia's to pick her up and meet Karen and some other girls (my new friends) at church at 6:30!

We got to the race, crossed a bridge on foot to Cincinnati, from Kentucky...if you don't know...I have a FEAR of bridges...and...I had to cross 2 BRIDGES during the run...cried when I crossed one of them that a train was crossing at the same time...and then crossed BACK over the one to Kentucky after the race...that was the hardest part about my race...BRIDGES!

So, we got there, used the port a potty, and warmed up by running up a little hill...once we got up there we were in the line to start and waited till the horn blew!  Then...WE WERE OFF...and my PANTS STARTED FALLING DOWN!!!

So, I walked to tie them tighter...lol...

I turn on my headphones...J-LO and Pit Bull start with "Get on the Floor" (My zumba warm up song!)

As I was running, the first mile was pretty easy because everyone is super stoked and excited!  The second mile a little harder, the third was ok...but my time was still about what I was hoping for...then...ummm WHERE IS THAT 4TH MILE MARKER????  Am I EVER going to get there???  UGH!!! LONGEST MILE EVER!!!  Then, out of nowhere I see it...MILE MARKER....NUMBER 5???  YESSS!!!

It was a nice surprise seeing mile 5 when I though the next one was 4, though that mile seemed sooo excrutiating!!!  So then I grab some water...my FIRST one...and drink...and...CHOKE!!!  It was G2!!!  LOL!  I thought it was water...but HEY!  I NEED those electrolytes so I grab MORE!!!

At maybe 5.5 miles I get me some Black Eyed Peas on my playlist...YEAH!!! I GOT A FEEELING...

I hit a downhill slope right as Fergy hollers DRANK!  MAZELTOV!!!  I sang it out loud...the guy I was PASSING looked at me like I was CraZy...lol...I am...whatev!

So then I got to jam to Hillsong Take it All...and pumped my fist and yelled..."Take take TAKE IT ALL!!!"  and got stares again...AWESOME!

And the FINISH SWINE came into view...as "Doing it Well" began playing!

IT was the best song that could have played at that point...I was SOOO tired.  And, I thought of my minister, LD Campbell, when he used to say, "Finish well."  So...I was "Doing it well" and finished my race as well as I could...

When I crossed the finish line my friends were waiting and Brenda and Joe (SOME VERY AWESOME PEOPLE!) Brought me flowers!!! So BLESSED!

Then...Lucia, Karen, Angie, Heather, and I went and ate the BEST ORANGES EVER, chips, granola bars, peanut butter crackers...ohhh yeah...best food EVER!  LOL!  AND...I got a FLYING PIG FINISHING MEDAL!  And...the best part...one of those silver blanket things you wrap around you...seriously...until I got it, I was like, "oooh...I wonder how you get one of those..."  And then...I GOT ONE!  It made it feel so OFFICIAL!  Weird...

Lots of Biblical things I could parallel my experience to, but I am gonna sit on that for now...chew on it, and see what it is God wants me to learn most...then, I will share again!  Till then...Godspeed!

Oh...and I didn't take my camera (IF YOU CAN BELIEVE THAT)...check some pics out on facebook if you are my friend!


Still small voice...

I want to be like Elijah...

In 1 Kings 19 he goes out to find the presence of the Lord...He stands on a mountain, a HUGE wind comes by...not just a gust or two, but wind that "tore the mountains apart and shattered the rocks"...that is SOME wind! Then to top off the WIND that broke rocks and mountains, there comes an EARTHQUAKE...we have witnessed MANY of these around the world lately so I will leave those images to your imagination. THEN as if that weren't enough a FIRE breaks out. REALLY!?!?!

So, you mean to tell ME that he just stood there through all of that and STILL didn't find God's presence??? How many times in this world are we so quick to point the finger at God when these kinds of natural disasters occur? Yet, Elijah didn't find God in any of it...

He waited for the GENTLE WHISPER that followed...

I would like to say that I am quiet enough to hear that GENTLE WHISPER if and when it comes...but I am not always that quiet...

I fill my days and time with so many things...things that many times are just meaningless in the eyes of God and if I am honest with myself, meaningless to me!

So...I want to be still. I want to hear His voice, because HIS VOICE IS THE ONLY ONE WORTH HEARING...

"The LORD said, “Go out and stand on the mountain in the presence of the LORD, for the LORD is about to pass by.”

Then a great and powerful wind tore the mountains apart and shattered the rocks before the LORD, but the LORD was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but the LORD was not in the earthquake. After the earthquake came a fire, but the LORD was not in the fire. And after the fire came a gentle whisper. When Elijah heard it, he pulled his cloak over his face and went out and stood at the mouth of the cave.

Then a voice said to him, “What are you doing here, Elijah?”

-- 1 Kings 19:11-13


Check this out!

I found a new blog I am absolutely obsessed with now...thanks to Jennifer!!!





Several times in the past month or two the subject of "judgment" has come up in my life. It came up on facebook, with my boyfriend, and at zumba of all places...

So, I ask myself, and God...what role do Christians have in judging and/or holding each other accountable, and are we to hold non-Christians to the same standards?

The following is what I deduce from the little bit of Biblical research I have done today. I don't feel comfortable AT ALL saying that my opinions are 100% correct so I am open to discussing what others think, however I would ask for you to back up your opinion with evidence, not just what you THINK should be right.

Judgment...Deuteronomy repeats, many times to "purge the evil from among you." This IS under the old law so I do not think that we are to stone anybody (21:21), or put anyone to death. I do believe that the sin itself must be put to death.

In 1 Corinthians 5 Paul speaks of sexual immorality WITHIN the fellowship. He says that TOLERANCE is NOT appropriate and that behavior would not even be appropriate among the pagans. I urge you to click on the link and read it for yourself since I am not quoting it in it's entirety here.

He says that we should not associate with those who CLAIM to be a brother or sister and continue in sinful behavior knowingly. We are not to associate with them, or to even eat with them. IN MY OPINION...by doing this we are NOT judging them...we are keeping the body healthy, just as if we were to expel a virus or infection from our physical body.

He says, "hand this man over to Satan for the destruction of the flesh, so that his spirit may be saved on the day of the Lord."(1 Corinthians 5:5) WOW! Makes me want to mind my P's and Q's for sure!!!

So...that also brings me to my second question...Are we to hold non-Christians to the same standard?

In 1 Corinthians 5:12-13 it says, "What business is it of mine to judge those outside the church? Are you not to judge those inside? God will judge those outside. 'Expel the wicked person from among you.'”

The word "wicked" is defined, "evil or morally bad in principle or practice; playfully malicious." This is to say that in verse 13, the wicked he refers to are the people who are KNOWINGLY doing what is wrong. It means we have already gone through the steps spoken of in Matthew 18:15-17, they are aware of their sin and if they continue in it, are not healthy for themselves or for the body of believers. They bring in illness.

I cannot finish this without saying that our God is a gracious God. He came so that our sins can be forgive and so we are called to do the same! I am so thankful for that gift and though I find it hard to forgive at times I am called to it! Luke 17:3-4, "If your brother or sister sins against you, rebuke them; and if they repent, forgive them. Even if they sin against you seven times in a day and seven times come back to you saying ‘I repent,’ you must forgive them.”

Don't forget that part!

There are many other places in Scripture that speaks to this topic. For the sake of this blog and the time I had before going to work today, I had to narrow it down. So, I am sure there is much more I could have covered but that is it in a nutshell. I hope it is glorifying to my God! BLESSINGS!



There are times when we struggle and times when we just feel blessed.

Right now I am basking in the blessings and soaking it up until the next struggles come along...I am blessed with a GREAT GOD, family, friends, and boyfriend.

I have ESPECIALLY been enjoying memorizing God's word. One verse every two weeks, along with Beth Moore and all the other Siestas...This has especially been a blessing as I have been able to use each verse that I have been memorizing at least once since I began memorizing each of them. I love it when they come to mind and I can recite it and KNOW it is true...because it is God's word! :)

Here are a few pictures from my weekend with Ryan over Valentine's day. We like to cemetery hop...actually, he mostly does...but I take my camera and stay occupied! :)

"And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast."

-- 1 Peter 5:10 (NIV)


My Inheritance

My dad died almost 5 years ago.

He left me a house, for which I am SOOO grateful! Well, I decided long ago that I want my life to be available for Jesus to use as He pleases, meaning, I don't want to be tied down by property or any other number of things that could have the ability to hold me back for His cause.

So, several years ago I sold my house. My paternal grandma apparently had issues with me selling the house. I could not have a conversation with her on the phone without her being negative about me and my decisions and life. She told me to "take care of your inheritance, it is all you're going to get." She would also make comments about my cousins and how certain ones were better than me because of the stage of life they were in. So, instead of putting up with the negativity, I eventually stopped calling her. I stopped for my own health and well being, however I kept in contact with her by sending letters, cards, etc. so that she would know what was going on in my life. I never received a call or card back. It was silent for about 2 years, maybe a little more.

February 2nd was her birthday. I sent her flowers, like my dad used to do, and I have done since he passed away.

The following day I actually received a call from her. She was thankful for the flowers yet she verbally told me she didn't do anything wrong and she was not going to apologize for any wrongdoing.

I have never been fully accepted by her, not that anybody in her life has. I don't think she has it in her to extend her acceptance to anybody, probably because she has never felt and or known acceptance herself.

Today the Lord hit me full force in the gut with His love for me...

When I doubt my decisions or if someone else doubts my decisions...I am reminded that I belong to HIM...

My inheritance on earth PALES in comparison to the inheritance I will receive in Heaven. I am SO thankful for HIS love. It is so much more than ANYONE on Earth can extend to any one of us...and it is impartial and perfect.

And remember that the heavenly Father to whom you pray has no favorites. He will judge or reward you according to what you do. So you must live in reverent fear of him during your time as “foreigners in the land.” For you know that God paid a ransom to save you from the empty life you inherited from your ancestors. And the ransom he paid was not mere gold or silver. It was the precious blood of Christ, the sinless, spotless Lamb of God. God chose him as your ransom long before the world began, but he has now revealed him to you in these last days.

Through Christ you have come to trust in God. And you have placed your faith and hope in God because he raised Christ from the dead and gave him great glory.

1 Peter 1:17-21 (NLT)



If you know me and have been a reader of my blog you probably know that I took a 40 day journey with God a few years ago. I went seeking answers to several things and though I didn't necessarily get clear cut answers to those questions I was seeking I found a special relationship with my Father that I hadn't really known before.

I had so much fun as I drove, each day deciding which road to take, two lane road, or highway...north first then west or west then north? I let each day be directed by God and absolutely had one of the most fabulous times ever. Part of that fabulous time was just discovering His creation, how vast and beautiful it is. The details of the world around me are so beautiful and He created it all. I love to get lost in my thoughts and meditations.

"Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things." --Colossians 3:2

Lately I have been trying to direct my thoughts Heavenward instead of toward myself and the world around me and thinking about the experiences I had on my trip help because I have such beautiful memories of His creation and our time together. When I think about the times we had, all other thoughts and worries fade away. I am able to focus my thoughts heavenward...

"For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the LORD. “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts." --Isaiah 55:8-9

I think we gain so much when we take our focus off of our needs, our insecurities, our future, our pride, our fears, the situation we are currently in, the situation the world around us is in, etc. We HAVE to focus Heavenward to be effective for Christ. It is NOT about us...

"I have more insight than all my teachers, for I meditate on your statutes." --Psalm 119:99

By meditating on the "higher things" we are able to see things in this world more clearly and take them on.

My encouragement for you is to find your avenue to meditating on things higher. Find a way to focus your mind upward whether it be through His creation, or through another means.


How do we spend our time?

I have been thinking a LOT lately about what I think I deserve sometimes and what I deserve in reality.

In our current world, we are so used to thinking that we "deserve" a break, or we "deserve" a treat, or we "deserve" relaxation. When we look to the Scriptures, the ways that they did these things are supposed to be our examples of how to live AND they were so different.

For example, I want to be alone sometimes...yet when I am alone, what do I do with my time. Sometimes I choose to watch some TV, sometimes, read a book, etc. Most of the time my alone time includes eating...HA! When we look at Jesus, our example, his alone time was with the Father in sweet conversation and fellowship.

What things do I get excited about? Well, I LOVE shopping, coffee, UK basketball, Facebook and a lot of other things. And I think that these things can all be ok...but how much time do I devote to these other things, when I could be devoting time to my God. And how much more effective would we be as Christians if we ALL took this time and devoted it to fellowship with Him and each other, building each other up as He builds us up?

I have just been convicted that my God is so much more deserving than I give Him credit for. In my mind and heart I know without a doubt that He deserves more but my actions fail to show Him and the world just how much I love Him and honor Him.

Though I am convicted to try and "do" better, I know that I will fail...Lord willing, I will improve but perfection is beyond my reach. That is why I am so thankful for the Savior who came and gave His life for me, that I might be covered by His blood and made righteous through my faith in HIM.

"This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. God presented him as a sacrifice of atonement, through faith in his blood."

--Romans 3:22-25a


Wait for the Lord...then follow

I am participating in Beth Moore's Siesta Scripture memory team for 2011.

We pick one verse, every 2 weeks throughout the year, to memorize and my first verse was chosen ON New Years Eve at about 11:58pm. I asked God to lead me to it because I wanted my first act of the New year to be an act of obedience and love for Him. So, I found and wrote down Psalm 27:14,

"Wait for the Lord, be strong and take heart, and wait for the Lord."

It is so hard to wait sometimes. I am not sure what I am waiting on honestly. I know I am tired of waiting on people (one in particular) and I can't do that anymore. That brings me to my second verse, which showed up in my devotion on the day I had to have a new verse!

"When he has brought out all his own, he goes on ahead of them, and his sheep follow him because they know his voice." John 10:4

So...needless to say, I am waiting on HIM and when I hear his voice calling, I will follow. Wherever, whenever He calls. I know He is there right now making the way for me and that brings me peace.

This comes a little late, but I pray that your new year will be filled with peace and whether you are waiting or following his voice, I pray you are in His will!