Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Adventure Awaits

So after taking seven finals last week and having seven days until leaving I've been thinking a lot about school, careers, my future, past, relationships, money, and what it means to follow Christ sincerely. To follow Christ sincerely is to put Him first above all else. I must put Him above school, re-taking classes, student loans, homework, practicing, socializing, working, money...Above everything that gets in the way. It wasn't until I gave God everything that He became my everything.

Jesus lived a life of sacrifice. Therefore, the life of a Christian can't go without a sacrifice of some sort. In order to ensure you make a good grade on a test at times you must sacrifice something, right?Sleep, social interaction, your favorite t.v.show... Why do we sometimes act like Jesus doesn't call us to make a sacrifice? Instead we act as if we've been called to the exact opposite. We act as if we've been called to comfort, apathy, and selfishness. But the more I read the word the more I see scripture after scripture of how Jesus was beat, bloodied up, mocked, abused, denied, tempted, ridiculed, and crucified. I can't help but think of 1 Peter 4:12. Satan will tempt you, attack you, and he's constantly out to destroy you. But God is not Satan and He loves you like crazy. So why not Go and serve Him by serving others? Why not sacrifice a summer, winter, semester, year, money, shifts at work, people's opinions of you, and holidays? It's because of God that blessings exist in the first place. "Praise God to Who ALL Blessings flow." Every good and perfect gift comes from God. I deserve Hell and nothing more. But He has offered mercy and amazing grace! I'm leaving out of the country again in two days and I literally cannot contain my excitement!

THANK YOU to all who've given so generously and willingly. I praise Jesus for each of you whether acquaintance, dear friend, or complete stranger. Thank you for your prayers, support, encouragement and affirmation. I pray God will bless you mightily and know that He is already using you by sending me to share the love of Christ to others around the world who'd most likely never hear of Christ otherwise. Unless someone goes out to their community, city, town, village, hut...cardboard box...how will they hear? I am completely blown away by the provision of God especially financially. God is a God of provision and protection, forever and always. I'm so ready for the adventure the Lord and I are about to embark on! To the ends of the Earth!

"God bring me closer to You on this trip whatever it takes!"

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Sleepless in Monroe



Once again I find myself unable to sleep.
Such a strong burden for this lost and dying world...
There are so many things I just don't understand.
Why? Why? Why?

Why do people have no shoes?

Why do we have a more than enough shoes?

Why are kids sleeping on the streets?

Why are kids abandoned?

Why are women degraded?

Why is money such an idol?

Why are people starving?

Why are people dieng from curable diseases?

Why am I the one blessed to live in America?

Why is there no persecution in the United States?

Why do people stay silent on what needs to be voiced?

Why is talk of freedom so hush-hush?

Why have people never heard of Christ?

Why are fellowships more popular than sharing the freakin gospel?

Why is offense glorified more than the lamb who was silent to the slaughter?

Why are the words out of mouths destroying relationships instead of encouraging others?
                                                                                                                   -Ephesians 4:29

I often find myself asking so many questions that seem to remain unanswered. "If only I could find solutions for these issues, maybe this unsettledness would go away..." The truth is, I don't have to have all the answers. I could sit around all day and think of logical ways to make a difference. But that's the thing, God doesn't fit in a box of logic. He is Holy and just. The  enemy likes to make you feel insignificant to the Kingdom. He can use rocks to praise Him, how much more could He use His beloved workmanships? He is Bigger and He will be glorified.

I care for those who are hurting far more than comfort. I'm starting to hurt with them instead of simply for them. My brain wants to explode when I think of the beautiful people I have encountered and shared life with and those I will soon encounter that are suffering so much while I have everything I could ever possibly need. I long to see the world radically changed for His Kingdom. I want to show hope, love, joy, peace, and true faith to others. Not because I'm a big deal but because Jesus is the Big Deal. I want to make His praise glorious to the ends of the earth and see the healing power that's in the name of Jesus break every chain. I dream of people of all nations crying out "Abba, Father." -experiencing His Love and never being the same again.

So as I sit here all worked up, burdened, frustrated, heartbroken, and full of passion...I become more confident in the mission at hand. Where the enemy wants the consumption of feeling overwhelmed to try and reach the masses, Jesus reminds us that He's for the one. Where we feel defeated, the finished work of the cross testifies to the battle that's already been won. I'm still going to praise Him and declare His promises in the midst of burdens, casting it all to the One who carries them.  

"Cast your burden upon the LORD and He will sustain you; He will never allow the righteous to be shaken." -Psalm 55:22


"Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest." -Matthew 11:28

 "In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans. And He who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for God’s people in accordance with the will of God." -Romans 8:26-27








Friday, December 10, 2010

God Is BIGGER

God is BIGGER than learning disabilities.
God is BIGGER than divorce.
God is BIGGER than drug addictions.
God is Bigger than the destruction of alcohol.
God is Bigger than 20 hours of school in one semester.
God is Bigger than abuse.
God is Bigger than the process of recovery from abuse.
God is Bigger than depression.
God is Bigger than eating disorders.
God is Bigger than Cancer.
God is Bigger than Malaria and Aids.
God is Bigger than life and death.
God is Bigger than student loans.
God is Bigger than money.
God is Bigger than my understanding of how big God is.
God is Bigger than $3,000 being raised in less than a month for a mission trip.
God is Bigger than persecution.
God is Bigger than temptations.
God is Bigger than relationships.
God is Bigger than those who you look up to.
God is Bigger than those whov'e let you down.
God is BIGGER than a hectic schedule.
God is Bigger than social life.
God is Bigger than apathy.
God is Bigger than injustice.
God is BIGGER than college, pass or fail.
God is Bigger than grad school.
God is Bigger than you and me.
God is Bigger than dreams.
GOD IS BIGGER.

Sometimes, okay scratch that, most of the time I tend to forget that God is BIGGER than the events I hold so vitally important and major in my life. It's good to know God is even Bigger than that. Sometimes you just have to have faith in the fact that God is Bigger. He can be way over my head at times but then so close as to uphold me with His victorious right hand! -Isaiah 41:10.  It blows my mind and at the same time comforts my heart to know God is bigger than what I stress and worry about, even the things I try to beat myself up for. God is Bigger and promises to take care of His children. So take heart, dear friends, situations and circumstances may seem Big, but He is Bigger! Allow Him to take control. He is more than capable of taking care of us. Cling to Christ tighter than your degree plans and transcripts. Christ deserves our Everything. Not 23%, 55%, or even 99% of us. He wants it ALL. He paid it ALL. He is BIGGER.


Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Abba, I Belong to You

He Heals the Broken hearted
and binds their wounds
He is Love
He finds those forgotten
those who've been abused
He is Love
He knows your name

A Father to the Fatherless
A Healer of the Brokeness
You make Beauty from the ashes
A Helper to the helpless
A fighter for the hopeless
You Love those who are alone

He comforts the lonely
and hears their cry
He is Love
He holds the children throughout the night
He is Love
He knows your name

Give us Your heart Lord
Help us Love the unseen
Give us Your eyes Lord
Help us Love those in need

My God Heals. He Protects. He Provides. He Delivers. He Comforts. He Helps. He Always LOVES. He fights for us, not against us (Exodus 14:14)! He is jealous for us! He promises to take care of His sheep! How can we ever sit still in a worship service and not praise God for all He has done, is doing, and will do? Without Christ there is No hope. He is the reason I live. He is the reason I'm still alive. He is my Everything. I can't help but share this love to others. I would be extremely selfish and arrogant if I just kept it all to myself. I have the Best Dad in the world! A Dad that is proud of me. A Dad that holds me. A Dad that heals me. A Dad that changes me. A Dad who strengthens me. A Dad who encourages me. A Dad who moves me. A Dad who uses me. I am in awe.



What manner of love
    that You would call us sons and daughters
                                                               We cry Abba, Father
                                                          

Friday, September 3, 2010

DEEPER

I've been wading in shallow waters
You're the Ocean I am after
I wanna Go
I wanna Go with You
Break the silence with Your whisper
Take my hand and pull me under
Cause I wanna Go with You
So take me DEEPER to where You are that I may find You
Take me further than where I've been
I wanna be with You
Set a way for what my eyes see
Help me believe
Help me break free
Cause I wanna Go with You
Take me through the Desert places for the chance to see Your face
 Take me past the breaking waves into the depth of Your embrace

School has begun. Dun dun duh....! I want to succeed as a musician in the music program and be a better student in school. However, I aslo want to have a social life and serve Christ to the fullest. I realize I must find the balance all while putting god first above all things.

"Be humble,thinking of others as better than yourself. Don't think only of your own affairs but be interested in others too, what they're doing. Your attitude should be the same as Christ."
                                                                                                                                -Philippians 2:3-5

When I'm stressed out and about to go insane I will cling to Christ and have His attitude instead of my own so that I can LOVE LOUDER. I've been praying that God will use me this semester more than ever. So far God has already been working in some awesome ways! I got to share scripture and parts of the gospel in front of my entire class this morning! To God be the glory!

Love God. Love People. Live it Out.


Sunday, August 15, 2010

Love Is Marching to His Heartbeat

                                         I feel that I am moving to the rhythm of Your Grace
                                           Your friendship is intoxicating in this secret place
After an awesome summer of going to Malawi, Africa, working cross camp, spending quality time with my sweet lil ole Mammaw before moving, and fellowshiping with awesome friends...That time is almost here again.Yep that's right, COLLEGE, Dun dun duh...
I start band camp this Monday. Last year I was more nervous because I didn't know anyone, now I'm nervous because I do know everyone, haha. This past year I've tried to build relationships and invest in my fellow music major peers and band members. I absolutely love everyone in this group and want to see them know the same God that has radically changed my life! Not know of Him, but truely, intimately know Him and Follow Him. I know this is where God wants me. Though I still have no clue what I'll do with degree, I know God calls me to serve here and now. Not just leading worship in a band but also in every single music group I am in. I'm sick of playing games. I'm sick of being timid and quiet. My eyes are opened and I can love louder. May my life scream Jesus. There's no time to waste. I'm excited to kick off this year. I want to be all there and not miss it. I'm about to enter into a battle field. I want be found faithful. Here's to Sophmore year!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

The Heartache

So much has been on my mind. My heart has hurt a lot and I miss the people I met in Malawi, AFRICA. I knew after going I'd most likely be burdened. I knew my heart was already broken for this place even before Going. Little did I know that when you seriously cry out "BREAK my heart for what Breaks Yours, everything I am for Your Kingdom's cause!" God would do just that.

"Love until it huts, then love more." -Momma T

Sometimes I wish I could just love until it hurts. It's when I began to Love more that I constantly think of these beautiful people. My brain explodes to comprehend how different they live from us, how much joy they have. Malawi is the "Warm Heart of Africa". Not even their title gives this place proper justice.
The majority of these adorable little kiddos had no shoes much less any clothing. One day we played soccer with the boys of Kumilindi village. They all took their shirts off and my heart was shattered in seeing the countless maknourished bellies.

Why? I can come up with many reasons why but each time I still find myself having to ask why? This makes me sooo heartbroken beyond expression. This isn't just in Malawi either. It's simply just a plane ride away.

The second day in Malawi I was speaking at a house with a large amount of people.
I was able to share my full testimony. A lady then turned to me and said "The same God you say delivered and healed you, can He heal me from malaria?" My heart stopped beating I'm pretty sure. Of course He can Heal. I was able to pray over her, trusting that God would heal her. I'm happy to say that this woman is still alive today! All glory be to God, Healing is in His Hands!

Another house was owned by an old and sick grandmother. Her daughter and her two children lived there as well. At first they said they had too much to do and didn't have time to sit and listen. But then we noticed the grandmother's hands we blistering from shelling a huge basket of maze (dried corn). So we asked if we did that for her would she listen. They let us sit with them a while and share bible stories along with the Gospel. Then I noticed Yulita, a19year old sitting right beside me who had malaria. She began to get really sick while I was speaking and coughed up a storm. She's my age and may not live to see 20. Too hard of something to share? This is the ugly truth of reality. These are the things that have flipped my world upside down and crushed my heart. Her brother Dishon was was very sick as well.You could see the hurt in his eyes and hear his stomach growling so loudly. I got to pray with them and encourage them with scripture. I was able to have Merify translate a short letter to them. I think about them constantly. I wish I had more time to be with them and share more of Jesus and How He Loves Us.



One day Merify and I were walking in a village.We saw a group of people and became excited to speak with them about Jesus. We continued to walk then Merify suddenly stopped and said "We need to look for the mother." Turned out it was a funeral and most funerals there have the group of people outside the house while the mother or whoever the closest loved one is in the back to mourning. So we went to the back to minister to the mother. This mother's 2 year old daughter had just passed away from aids, we found her crying and hugging her daughter who was still in her lap. The very first thing the mother said was"I am not surprised my child died from Aids. I knew she had it. I just always thought I'd be first to leave...." There are no words. I cannot get this moment off my mind. So then and there we shared Jesus Christ with her told her there was hope that can be found in Him. How He can Heal our hearts and renew us daily. The hardest thing I've ever had to say to someone that was in such a sad position...

                                                    Take my Heart and make it clean
                                                  Open up my eyes to the things unseen
                                           Show me how to love like You have loved me
They need prayer. They need Love. They need Jesus. They need bibles. They need discipleship. They need godly examples. They need food. They need water. They need shoes. 
They have Joy.

I cannot live my life as if the other world does not exist.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Serving Out of Abundance

God showed me so much while I was in Africa. Not only does God call us as sons and daughters to spread the gospel among the Nations, but also our community. Even if that means we find ourselves house to house at some point...where there's a sacrifice there's a gain. There's always the typical rant of "Why are you going somewhere so far away when there are people here in America who need Jesus too..." Mmmm....I'll be honest this always gets me going. Yes, most definitely there are those in America who need to hear that Jesus loves them. I was one of them.

Let's just look at it like this: In American there are millions of bibles printed, sold, and owned.
Heck you could personally choose your own color, graphic design, and even be picky about which size to get. In practically every other country there are less than half the amount of bibles accessible, if there are any to be found at all. You could say that this is because America is such a blessed country, but, in Psalms 103:2 it says "Bless the Lord." Hmmm...How are we to bless the Lord if we keep everything to ourselves? I'm just sayin'. "No one is righteous, no not one."-Romans 3:10. Therefore, EVERYONE needs Jesus. What use does a bible have if it just stays on a shelf collecting dust? There is a day coming where persecution will hit America. It will come subtly and first then rapidly unfold. It's time start writing scripture on our hearts so that if we were ever to have our bible taken away, we can still follow the example Jesus set when tempted, He ministered to himself with the word from memory. Why aren't bibles given to those who'll actually open it and study it? Cause let's face it, we don't do that near enough. The translators I worked with while in Africa really challenged me to become more of a doer of the word as it is written in James 1. These relentless followers shared the gospel everywhere they went, all throughout their own country and community. With no hesitation, without excuses, without limits, and with no complaining...they shared God's Love in such beautiful ways. It reminded me how God calls me right where I am to do the same if not more. It reminded me of what I'm called to do in Monroe, LA as a college student and musician and above all, a daughter of the King. I'm to not only serve but share.

Think about how many shoes we own...how much freakin food there is, not just consumed but wasted...Half of the things we own were not even made here. They were made by some of the most hard working people in the world, those who receive .09 cents a hour if even that much. Food is certainly one thing you don't see near enough of, if any, in other countries. Food, clothing, shelter, clean water, shoes...the list goes on of basic needs that are lacked. Yet, we have far more than enough to last an entire lifetime. Meanwhile, others lose their lives each day with out it. Wow.

If you think I'm crazy than that's cool, I am. People thought Jesus was crazy too. If you don't believe me read the stuff He said. Take a look at passages like Luke 9:23-27.
It's hard to see the acts of in-justice while several others are still so blinded by arrogance and selfish desires. Forsake comfort and the Kingdom is yours- Matthew 5 in a nutshell.

So let's get off our lazy bums and do something for others through Christ that strengthens us.
Read Genesis and meditate. It's not just some random book or simple stories we hear or teach in sunday schools, it's how we came to existence and shows us the depth of sin. Mercy and grace flows through every page. Conviction cuts like a knife when you're comfortable but just think of what God can do when walls are torn down? Ask God to tear down the walls that keep you from being completely surrenedered and sold out. He created us For Him, to serve Him, and to feed His sheep (John 21:17). There's No time to waste. The Time is NOW. We are extremely blessed to have a God that's slow to anger and patient.

                        This is my prayer in the Harvest when favor and providence flow
                                                I know I'm filled to be emptied again
                                                  The seed I've received I will sow


May we become more comfortable with the uncomfortable.

Beautiful Anas

These are some of the children"Anas" I fell in love with in Malawi:

This was the first kid I saw went entering the Warm Heart of Africa, the little girl in the black dress. She immediately stopped what she was doing when she saw us and starting running after our van.

Everytime I'd see her throughout the village, she'd second guess how she felt so she'd hide. Almost every picture I have from this village, she is hiding in the background...that little creeper, lol.
I finally was able to hang out with her some long enough to take a picture for all the world to see. She at first refused to smile...
I eventually got her to crack up ;) 
My "wokongola chemwali"- beautiful sister. Missing my fun little singing and dancing friend

This is Grace and she is oh so Beautiful.
Dat baby do <3 nbsp="" p="">
=)
they were soooo much fun!
Baby Cedrick was a hoot!
Meet Miracle, the cutest and sassiest baby in Africa.
Little Rascals...
These boys cracked me up at the markets!
Model status...
Such a brave older sister, always taking the best care of her younger siblings
Chichewa: Wokongola
 English: Beautiful
They were singing and dancing for us, lol.
My bible study friend =) 
We strong yo!
A beast soccer player right here
No place I'd rather be...
Church time, this girl had the prettiest dress of all
My friend Lian and I laying down some sweet beats!
She would not let any of the other kids play the drum because she insisted on holding it for me, lol. SASSY PANTS!
This is Gome and he taught me everything I know about African drumming, no lie.
Game time!
this little boy was something else
chillin in the village
my boyfriend Lyod
Baby Earrings! <3 nbsp="" p="">
Meet my little man Lexon, 
 He stole my heart forever <3 nbsp="" p="">

Saturday, July 17, 2010

86 Years of Beauty

This week my 85 year old homebound Mamaw turned 86!!!
This is a Big Deal, especially due to the fact that about three years ago she got in a terrible car wreck and it was uncertain how long she'd live. Praising God for giving me another precious year with good ole Kathleen Moore. Though this year has been quite tough and often a challenge, it has also been one of the greatest blessings I could ever ask for. The other day my Mamaw said to me that she has learned more from me, a nineteen year old, than people that were twice my age....this was beyond humbling not to mention a major tear jerker. The most beautiful, sweet, compassionate, Loving, silly, crazy, goofy, cute, adorable, discerning, and kind hearted person I've ever known said she has learned from me!? Uh no, pretty sure it's the other way around.

I just love this lil ole 86 year old woman sooo...stinkin much. If you haven't met her yet, I strongly encourage it. She may ask you a gazillion questions and forget your name but by she'll surely compliment your hair and whatever else. She will give you the sweetest most goofy smile ever and what I love the most is how encouraging she is. She doesn't even try to most times....but the way she speaks and carrys herself will melt your heart. Though she has to use a walker to get around, can't drive a vehicle, and needs help getting dressed each day...She is by far one of the STRONGEST women I've ever known. No lie. I want to be just like her someday. She has such a sweet spirit and beautiful heart. She Loves others and puts their own interests above her's. To say she is absolutely amazing would be an understatement. I've cherished every second of getting to watch after her as her primary car giver. She has always been there for me. Though I have recently decided to move out in order to focus on school, I will forever and always hold the sweet times of living with her close to my heart. My Mammaw is superwoman, be jealous ;)