So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God. 1 Corinthians 10:31

Saturday, October 6, 2012

the darkest moments and the brightest sunshine

This is what the Lord says: "When seventy years are completed for Babylon, I will come to you and fulfill my gracious promise to bring you back to this place. For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call upon Me and come and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek Me with all your heart. I will be found by you," declares the Lord, "and will bring you back from captivity. I will gather you from all the nations and places where I have banished you," declares the Lord, "and will bring you back from the place which I carried you into exile."
Jeremiah 29:10-14

Plans. The very word sends my mind into a semi-frantic worry about the future. About where my life is going and whether I'm going to like where I end up. What college should I transfer to? And what should I major in? What about next summer? What if ______ happens? So much has changed in the last year, how am I even to plan for the year to come?

And then there's the realization that no matter what happens, God's will will prevail.

Which should bring peace... but this dreamer heart of mine all too often wants to fight for "my way". Completely forgetting what "my way" has caused before or simply choosing not to care. Like Adam and Eve in the garden, I far too often decide I want what I cannot have. And that just makes everything harder.

Why must I cling so desperately to what I want, thinking that it's best, when deep down inside I know that my spirit is crying out for Him?

"For I know the plans I have for you... plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future."

"For I know..."

And slowly... slowly but surely... like so many times before, all my plans being to fade at His feet. Fade at the realization that all He wants for me is good. Every thing He lets happen to His beloved happen for a reason.

When the Israelites received this prophecy, they were in the middle of a seventy year exile in Babylon. Talk about a dark time. Why in the world would God send His people out of their land?

In Jeremiah 25:3-5, Jeremiah says: "For twenty-three years - from the thirteenth year of Josiah son of Amon until this very day - the word of the Lord has came to me and I have spoken to you again and again, but you have not listened. And though the Lord has sent all his servants the prophets to you again and again, you have not listened or paid any attention. They said, 'Turn now, each of you, from your evil ways and your evil practices, and you can stay in the land the Lord gave to you and your fathers for ever and ever."

It is later in this chapter that God declares the 70 year banishment for His people. To me, it is now much more clear why He sent His people out of the land: they stubbornly and repeatedly disobeyed Him.

And like a little kid who wants to know how everything works and exactly why things are the way they are, I ask for the thousandth time today: "Why? Why not have mercy on them again and let them stay?"

And God, being the good parent He is, has an answer.

He loved them.

He was disciplining those He loved. (Hebrews 12:5 to 6)

But how could such a terrible punishment be completed in love?

Verses 12-13 of chapter twenty-nine say: "Then you will call upon Me and come and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. You will seek Me and find Me when you seek Me with all your heart."

Another piece of the puzzle. After the declaration of the exile, after the promise that it is for their good, comes the why; so that, after all they go through, after 70 years of being foreigners, they may finally seek the Lord.

After 70 years of being away from home, He knew that they would finally return to Him. He knew that this would be best for them. Would glorify Him. And then they would be ready to enjoy the land He had promised to them all along. And when ready, He would gather them home. (v. 14)

There's so many kinds of storms in this life. Some brought about by sin, and some just seem to come out of no where. Both can leave us wondering "Why?"

But day by day, God is teaching me to let go of what I see, to let go of the bitterness and the hurt, and to trust in His love. Just like He loved and planned good things for the Isrealites, so He has good things for us.

I'll humbly admit I struggle with deep-rooted doubt. But what if we, together, started to trust Him more bit by bit, day by day? Let's believe :)

P.S.: I couldn't quite fit these verses in! But they've been on my heart while typing so... here they are! :D
The Lord foils the plans of the nations, he thwarts the purposes of the peoples, but the plans of the Lord stand firm forever, the purposes of His heart through all generations. (Psalm 33:10-11, and )

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose. (Romans 8:28)

Every good and perfect gift comes from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like the drifting shadows. (James 1:17)

P.P.S.: This song is AMAZING. It was a burst of sunshine in the middle of a dark time this afternoon. I stumbled upon it on Vicki Courtney's blog (which is also amazing) and thought it fit in pretty well here. Hope you enjoy!

Saturday, August 11, 2012


"Then he showed me the high priest Joshua standing before the angel of the LORD, and Satan standing at his right side to accuse him. The LORD said to Satan, 'The LORD rebuke you Satan! The LORD, who has chosen Jerusalem, rebuke you! Is not this man a burning stick snatched from the fire?'

Now Joshua was dressed in filthy clothes as he stood before the angel. The angel said to those who were standing before him 'Take off his filthy clothes.'

Then he said to Joshua, 'See I have taken away your sin, and I will put rich garments on you.'

Then I said, 'Put a clean turban on his head.' So they put a clean turban on his head and clothed him, while the Angel of the LORD stood by."
Zechariah 3:1-5

Covered in filthy garments, facing Satan's accusations. I've got a feeling Joshua must have been feeling hopelessly beaten down in this moment.

But with swiftness and power the Lord silences the accusations, declares Joshua chosen and rescued, commands his dirty clothes taken away and promises to clothe him in rich garments.

Suddenly, everything is changed. The stains are gone! What a relief.

A new promise is given:
"The angel of the LORD gave this charge to Joshua "This is what the LORD Almighy says: If you will walk in My ways and keep my requirements, then you will govern my house and have charge of my courts, and I will give you a place among these standing here."
Zechariah 3:6

A promise of reward and blessing, a place of high standing and the role of governing His courts. If Joshua walked in His ways.

I've got the tendency to think something along of lines of "Oh. Walking in the Lord's ways. I, I'm pretty sure I can't do that. Or govern His house or courts. I've failed so many times before, who says I'll make it this time? It'd probably just be easier to give up."

But His grace always tells a different story. "Who says?" becomes "God says."

"'Listen, O high priest Joshua and your associates seated before you, who are men symbolic of things to come: I am going to bring you My Servant, the Branch. See, the stone I have set in front of Joshua! There are seven eyes on that stone, and I will engrave an inscription on it,' says the LORD Almighty, 'and I will remove the sin of this land in a single day. In that day each of you will invite his neighbor to sit under his vine and his fig tree.' declares the LORD Almighty."

Again the LORD promises to take away the sins of the land. To bring them peace. And promises "His Servant, the Branch."

2 Cor. 5:7 tells us that if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. In Acts the believers were given His Holy Spirit, a helper. Zechariah 4:6 reminds us that the works of the Lord will be completed "Not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit." This passage may have been talking about Joshua or symbolically about Jerusalem, but in Christ we too are clean. Freed by the power in His great Name. Washed by His blood. Given a second chance...

...not only a new chance, but the strength to make this one count. The assurance that it wouldn't be better to "just give up." The strength to overcome every past failure. After all, those "dirty garments" of past mistakes and weaknesses have been taken away. With this heavy burden lifted we are free to serve the Lord with all our heart.

...a chance that we don't have to chase our tails or worry about blowing. Because in God's grace we fall less. We get up faster. We walk steadier. Day by day more faithful, rebuilt and FREE. The stress is gone, and only love remains. We are free to serve God not out of guilt or in failed attempts to earn salvation, but out of pure thankfulness for all that He has done for us.

I don't know about you, but all too often I am beat to near death by accusations and failures, whether true or false. I often feel just as Joshua must have as he was being accused by Satan. Always worrying about how my actions or words affected someone, the state of my own heart, if I'll be strong enough to love my coworkers or if I'll ever be able to love our Savior enough.

I'm learning more and more that He is my victory, He is enough, and in Him I am new.

Don't be bound anymore by the chains of worry.

in Christ, we are free indeed. <3>

Saturday, May 12, 2012

always love

Hey guys! So I've been a bit missing in action lately, I haven't written a post in weeks! God has recently blessed me with an amazing new job at a bakery and school just let out. Hopefully now I can fall into a little bit more of a routine and keep this more up to date :)

Anyway, I just wanted to share something that was on my heart tonight.


There's so many different definitions of love out there, everyone seems to have their own little spins or ways that they think love should be. Love is getting lost in someone's eyes. Love is those butterflies in your stomach when you see them around. Love is ...

I grew up and to this day still am a romantic dreamer. I will pick the romance out of a movie and immediately follow only those two characters for the rest of the plot. I can still (with much embarrassment) tell you the name of every boy I had a crush on or thought I was in love with at some point in time. Some might call me a hopeless romantic.

So I've probably read 1 Corinthians 13 like... a thousand a million times.

And I'm pretty sure every time I read it God shows me something new.

Today I got in a fight with one of my best friends. Fighting is the exact opposite of love. It's no fun, and I always regret it.

So I read 1 Corithians 13... again. (make that a million and one times ;)

And this jumped out at me:
If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give away all I have, and if I deliver up my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing.
Love is patient... It does not insist on its own way... Love never fails."

I only picked a few of those out, but honestly looking bad at the passage it hit me all over again: love is the opposite of selfishness.

No matter what you do, it means nothing without love.

Had I been thinking of my friends well being, I would have loved. I would have spoken in such a way that was full of grace and caring, and most of all humility.

I finish this post today challenging myself to remember what love really means. :))

"There is no greater love than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends."


Sunday, May 6, 2012

the King is glorious

"All you have made will praise You, O LORD; Your saints will extol You." Psalm 150:1

If the voiceless skies can praise Him, how much more could I?

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

2 Corinthians 1:3-7

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all or troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God. For just as the sufferings of Christ flow over into our lives, so also through Christ our comfort overflows. If we are distressed, it is for your comfort and salvation; if we are comforted it is for your comfort, which produces in you patient endurance of the same sufferings we suffer. And our hope for you is firm, because we know that just as you share our sufferings you also share in our comfort.

Praising God for His comfort, peace, strength, salvation, patience & joy today. He is near :)

Sunday, April 22, 2012


in You I trust, O my God.
Do not let me be put to shame,
nor let my enemies triumph over me.
No one whose hope is in You will ever be put to shame,
but they will be put to shame who are treacherous without excuse.
Psalm 25:2-3

Found this in my drafts and it was actually almost complete. Praise God for the words He speaks to our hearts!

This is the second verse of one of my favorite Psalms (or used to be, just cuz almost all of them are pretty much my favorite. ;) It's a cry for direction, mercy, forgiveness, and ultimately a declaration and assurance of the promise we have in God: never alone, never hopeless, and always forgiven. :)

Verse two begins with a placing of trust in the only God David knows can save him. He alone is God, and David recognizes and humbly accepts this.

Verse two ends with a plea for protection, protection from shame and defeat. Two different, yet also similar things depending on how they are defined. I'm going to define shame here, victory is down at the bottom. Keep reading! :)

Shame- 1. feelings of guilt over something done wrong;
2. feelings of embarrassment.

I think David was asking for both when he said "Do not let me be put to shame."

He did want to be embarrassed by a defeat, nor bring slander to the Name of his God. "For the sake of your name, O LORD, forgive my iniquity, though it is great." v11

He also longed for the forgiveness of sins that would wipe the shame off of his face. I know I can relate. When you finally lay your pride down and admit that you've sinned or hurt someone, one of the things you want most is forgiveness&redemption.

"Look upon my affliction and my distress and take away all my sins." (verse 18)

He longed for his sins, all of them, to be taken away. And in Jesus, hallelujah they are. Forever forgotten, never to be brought up again.

Not to mention David figures this out by verse three, as he boldly asserts that NO ONE who trusts in God will ever be put to shame.

The beauty of God's justice and promise of protection is found in the end of verse three, guaranteeing that those who do evil for absolutely no reason, persecute the innocent, they will be put to shame. They will not triumph over us, for Jesus has brought the victory and overcome the world.

What an amazing God we serve. He brings victory over sin, reigns over the world and still loves us all the more!

When I consider Your heavens, the work of Your fingers, the moon and the stars, which You have set in place, what is man that you are mindful of him, the son of man that you care for him? Psalm 8:3-4 <3

Saturday, April 21, 2012

life is short, we only get one turn

The LORD is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit. Psalm 34:18

Show me, O LORD, my life's end and the number of my days; let me know how fleeting is my life. Psalm 39:4

Teach us to number our days aright, that we may gain a heart of wisdom. Psalm 90:12

Words escape me, but I feel the need to write something. How quickly and easily I can forget the preciousness of life.

A Lafayette senior from my class died just yesterday morning.

Words I never thought I’d say; words that seemed like they belong to some other place. But not here, not now.

Words that have left me in shock.

A family has lost a son, a young adult his future.

The article on lex 18 is here, and a memorial service is being held at Lafayette Sunday at 9:30 pm.

I know a lot of y'all I went to high school with knew Austin more than I did. My heart goes out to you and his family. Please continue to pray, I know I will be doing the same. God is a big God, a healer in these times of heartache.

Let's remember how precious life is before it takes a tragedy to awaken us and open our eyes. You never know how much time you or the people around you have, let’s make every moment count.

Live to love, make a change today.
Addison Road, Don't Wait

God is near <3
MercyMe, The Hurt and The Healer

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

my soul finds rest in God alone

my soul finds rest in God alone;
my salvation comes from Him.
He is my rock and my salvation;
He is my fortress, I will never be shaken.

I "found" God gave me this verse tonight in the midst of crying out to Him over my lack of vision for the future and lack of peace in the present. I've been going through a lot lately as I seek Him and learn to surrender every little piece of me and the dreams that I've built up over the years to His will. And I'm not gonna lie, it's been painful. But His peace and joy have been even greater than that pain. Tonight, I was quickly reminded that the only reason I lose direction or become confused is because I lose sight of Him. Or because I ran from Him. Never run from God, He's the only one who can save you. I've tried to live without Him, it's impossible. (Don't take that as a challenge too see if you can make it without Him ;) He alone is our rock and salvation, and joy comes from that hope. <3

Monday, March 19, 2012

first steps

To You O Lord I lift up my soul;
Psalm 25:1

And thus it begins... I am so captivated by this Psalm in which David pours his heart out to God. Verse one is only nine words, but the more I ponder it the more meaningful it becomes. This one short verse is more than a mere statement of what David is doing.

It's his first step towards surrender. It's the beginning of his recognition of sin and his helpless spiritual condition, the admittance and realization that, ultimately, God alone has the power to save him.

First steps... first steps... how beautiful they are. And how beautiful is the future they lead to. ♥

Psalm 25; a plea for guidance and mercy, a hope and peace in Him :)

Psalm 25

To you, O Lord I lift up my soul;
in You I trust O my God.
Do not let me be put to shame,
nor let my enemies triumph over me.

No one whose hope is in you will ever be put to shame
but they will be put to shame who are treacherous without excuse.

Show me your ways O Lord,
teach me your paths;
guide me in your truth and teach me,
for you are God my savior,
and my hope is in you all day long.

Remember, O Lord, your great mercy and love,
for they are from of old.

Remember not the sins of my youth
and my rebellious ways;
according to Your love remember me,
for You are good, O Lord.

Good and upright is the Lord;
therefore He instructs sinners in His ways.

He guides the humble in what is right
and teaches them His way.

All the ways of the Lord are loving and faithful
for those who keep the demands of His covenant.

For the sake of Your name, O Lord,
forgive me, though my iniquity is great.

Who then, is the man that fears the Lord?
He will instruct him in the way chosen for him.

He will spend his days in prosperity,
and his descendants will inherit the land.

The Lord confides in those who fear Him;
He makes His covenant known to them.

My eyes are ever on the Lord,
for only He will release my feet from the snare.

Turn to me and be gracious to me,
for I am lonely and afflicted.

The troubles of my heart have multiplied,
free me from my anguish.

Look upon my affliction and distress
and take away all my sins.

See how my enemies have increased
and how fiercely they hate me!

Guard my life and rescue me;
let me not be put to shame,
for I take refuge in You.

May integrity and uprightness protect me,
because my hope is in You.

Redeem Israel, O God,
from all their troubles!

Wow. There is so much good stuff in there I don't even know where to begin. I think I might will take a couple days and go more into depth as to what this Psalm means to me and the things God has shown me through it. For a little back story, I stumbled upon this Psalm in 10th or 11th grade and it became the cry of my heart for guidance, especially with college looming in the near future. Now, a year after I've graduated high school, I've rediscovered it, and it has become my plea and peace as I look forward to my uncertain future. I thank God for the grace and forgiveness He's given me for past sins (and will continue to give me ;) and the hope I have in the fact that He is holding my heart and will instruct me step by step. Day after day our God is faithful <3

Friday, March 16, 2012

favorite psalm

This is my favorite psalm right now. It's so powerful. Just read it and let the words sink into your heart. It's changed my life <3

Psalm 32

Blessed is he
whose transgressions are forgiven
whose sins are covered

Blessed is the man
whose sin the Lord does not count against him
and in whose spirit is no deceit

When I kept silent,
my bones wasted away
through my groaning all day long.

For day and night
Your hand was heavy upon me
my strength was sapped
as in the heat of summer

Then I acknowledged my sin to You
and did not cover up my iniquity
I said "I will confess
my transgressions to the Lord" -
and You forgave
the guilt of my sin

Therefore let everyone who is godly pray to You
while You may be found;
surely when the mighty waters rise,
they will not reach him.

You are my hiding place;
You will protect me from trouble
and surround me with songs of deliverance

I will instruct you and teach you in the way
you should go;
I will counsel you and watch over you.

Do not be like the horse or the mule,
which have no understanding
but must be controlled by bit and bridle
or they will not come to you.

Many are the woes of the wicked,
but the Lord's unfailing love
surrounds those who trust in Him.

Rejoice in the Lord and be glad, you
sing, all you who are upright in heart!

Monday, March 12, 2012

our God is stronger

First off let me just apologize for not posting on here in over a week! I have had so much going on, and selfishly have focused on those things above writing some sweet things God has told me on here. Forgive me?? :)

Anywho, I'm really glad to be back.

Today I was reading in Matthew 13 about the parable of the sower, and one part of the Scripture really jumped out at me:

Blessed are your eyes because they see, and your ears because they hear. For I tell you the truth, many prophets and righteous men longed to see what you see but did not see it, and to hear what you hear but did not hear it.      Matthew 13:16-17

And it just kinda made me think. To give some background, I've thought a lot about the balance between our efforts and God's grace. Obviously, we can't save ourselves (Eph. 2:8-9). But at some point every individual has to make a choice to accept the grace which we have so lavishly been given.

I also know that sometimes it seems near impossible to overcome the pride, shame, or sin in our lives to even begin to cling to that hope of salvation. With a quick look over of chapters 1-12, I counted twelve times where Jesus healed people, two of which are times where the Bible says something like Jesus healed "every disease and sickness." So that's a whole lot of people. A bit of a side trail from my main point though...

When you are physically sick in real life, sometimes a friend has to take you to the doctor because you cannot take yourself. You also must acknowledge that you are sick in order to go to the doctor in the first place. But even if you don't think you're sick, sometimes that friend intervenes and makes you go anyways.

If you really think about it, those people were sick (spiritually and often physically, demon-possessed, mute, deaf, and in some cases unable to bring themselves to Jesus. The faith of the centurion healed his servant who was at home paralyzed. He had to come to Jesus on their behalf. (Mat. 8:5-13)When Jesus heals a paralytic in chapter 9, (Mat. 9:1-7) it was the man's friends who brought him to Jesus. When Jesus heals the two demon-possessed men at the tombs, the demons speak to Jesus. The men don't even speak for themselves! (Mat. 8:28-34) How then could they have come to Jesus on their own while still under such bondage?

Which brings me to believe this: We cannot come to God purely on based on our own will power. We are not strong enough to even lift up our head and see our Savior or hear His voice until He opens our eyes and unclogs our ears. After all even "prophets and righteous men longed" to see and hear what the disciples did but couldn't. (Mat. 13:17)

In Matthew 11 Jesus says "I praise you Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and learned, and revealed them to the little children. Yes, Father, for this was your good pleasure." (Mat. 11:25-26)

Basically, it is God who works in us to soften our hearts and make us willing and able to accept Him, and become the "little children" in verse 26 who understand His word. (Mat. 11:27) He will bring us friends to tell us the truth of His word, to pray for us ardently even as we are in darkness. He will break through and do whatever it takes to get us back and get our attention, for nothing can separate us from the love of Christ. (Rom. 8:38-39) This is why our eyes and ears are "blessed" if we can see and hear Him.

Hallelujah to the Savior who never gives up on us, despite our inability to even reach out to Him without His help. :) <3

All things have been committed to me by my Father. No one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and those to whom the Son chooses to reveal him. Matthew 11:27

Sunday, March 4, 2012

when life hurts

The LORD is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit. Psalm 34:18

This post has been clanging around in my head since Monday. But I’m not gonna lie, I just couldn’t find the words to write it. And I knew that in writing this, I needed to be believing what I was writing. Sometimes it’s hard to remember, and sometimes my silly heart would rather try and fix things myself or hurt than realize that


He is healer. He is our everything.

Tonight, I was reading through a bunch of letters from a retreat I went on three years ago. At the end of the retreat, everyone received a bag of letters from our friends and family saying they loved us, encouraging us, telling us good things they saw in our character, and often giving advice.

One letter in particular was from my Grandma Bubbles. (Yes Bubbles. I used to call her than when I was little and it just kinda stuck for me. All the other grandkids call her Nana, but she's still my Grandma Bubbles. I love you! ;))

It gave some of the most powerful advice. Ever. In the midst of all the happier things, she also said this sweet line:
"Life can throw us some surprises time to time and some of those times will not be easy and God will allow us to suffer. The suffering He allows us to go through is meant to strengthen our faith in Him. I pray that you will remember to keep your faith in God and His will for your life when your time of suffering and trials come. Remember to look to Jesus for your strength and direction."
The wisdom of a grandmother. <3 There's really two things there. First of all, trials, despite the pain they cause, are sometimes the best thing that could have ever happened to us. Without them, how would we ever come to know God?? They are nothing compared to who He is and what He is doing in us.

And secondly, to kinda tie back into the verse at the beginning, trials are meant to drive us to God. Wait... that's basically what I said in the last paragraph... oh well.

So, trials drive us to Him. We can't blame Him or grow angry, because He is the only one we need. He is always there to hold our broken heart, and save the crushed in Spirit.

Just turn to Him. <3

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control. 1 Timothy 1:7 (esv)

Sometimes the future can be a very scary thing. Actually all too often. When I can't see what's ahead, it's so much easier to be scared of the uncertain instead of surrender up every moment to God and trust He has a plan.

I also admit that I care about what others say and think of me far too much. Fear of doing something socially "unacceptable" can be crippling.

And then there's the fear that there's no way this season will ever end, that I'm always going to be the same person and God's never going to be able to use me.

But fear is just a lie.

I heard a commentary on Tenth Avenue North's song "Strong Enough to Save" by lead singer Mike Donehey on this very line of their song. I strongly encourage you to give the video to the right, and their song, a listen ;)

Basically Mike explains that we can believe on of two people. Satan, the father of lies, or God, who has no darkness in Him at all and speaks only the truth. And loves us.

Fear is the result of believing lies, and vice-versa. If you believe the lies that you're no good or that things can never change, you will live in continual fear that
they won't.

Belief in the truth however, sets you free. John 8:32

The steps ahead of me are hidden right now, and I'm afraid of how difficult they will be.

But that changes today. For God has not given me a spirit of fear, but I am fearfully and wonderfully made.

The only way to overcome fear is to trust that He is indeed strong enough to save us and help us overcome everything obstacle, in our heart or our path.

I know it will be hard. I know I'll fail at some point. I'm going to do my best to trust Him with my every moment.

So here's to bittersweet surrender, I'm giving it all to you God. I know it will be worth it. <3

I encourage you guys to believe God for His victory over whatever you may be facing along with me. :)

Thursday, February 23, 2012

When He saw the crowds He had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. Matthew 9:36

I'm sitting here on the floor of my bedroom at 11:58 at night because I have not posted on here in far too long. I've missed so many good things that God has told me that I could have written! I'm not even sure where to begin.

But, I was praying for clarity and His words on this post and I thinkknow I'm supposed to write about love.

The verse at the top there was from my quiet time tonight. It's so powerful and full of love. Christ's love. Just read it a couple of times and let the truth sink in. Jesus has been followed around by crowds for, from what I gather, like all of chapter 9. In my Bible, four of the six sections of this chapter begin with someone approaching Jesus. He had every right to just say "I need some space." And leave them.

But He stayed.

He had compassion on them.

Every single one of us is lost, misguided by the world, harassed by the troubles we face and helpless to face them on our own. But He is never too busy or too tired to help us. In fact, He never gets tired.

Praise to the God who always loves us, always rescues us, and is always there. Hosanna! He is our Shepherd. <3

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

A man came and knelt before Him and said, "Lord, if You are willing, You will make me clean. Jesus reached out his hand and touched the man. "I am willing," He said. "Be clean!" Immediately he was cleansed of his leprosy. Matthew 8:2-3

I was read this Sunday night while in possibly one of the worst moods of the century. You know, one of those moods where you don't even want to be cheered up and you'd rather just have a pity party? Yep. That was me. I shamefully admit it. I had been working all weekend and hadn't a single second to just breath in what seemed an eternity. Emotionally drained, I fell on my face before God.

And cried.

I am so thankful God is always there to hold us and listen to incessant whining, and then lift up our face to show us true life. His love is so amazing.

Feeling a little bit better, I flipped my Bible open to the next section of Matthew that I was supposed to read. (I've been reading through verse by verse, trying to fully grasp the significance of each one. And lemme just say, God is so amazing to teach when we set aside time to listen and take each verse as a jewel.) I looked down at the page. A four verse section on "Jesus heals a man with leprosy". I wasn't like sold with the title or anything, but it's God's word. Always powerful. Why do I ever doubt that?

I read the verses. And was immediately captivated. This man had the faith that Jesus could heal him, and asked. And Jesus did not judge, or push him away, but immediately proclaimed He was willing, reached out His hand and HEALED him.

I stand in awe of the fact that Jesus is always our rescuer, always willing, and ALWAYS reaches out His hand.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life. Proverbs 4:23

For me, this has always been one of those verses with a mysterious meaning. Of course it makes sense to take care of your heart, but it's also always seemed kind of counterproductive to living a life of openness with other people. God has been revealing its true meaning to me over the last year/couple months, and another piece of the puzzle fell into place today.

I was reading today in Matthew chapter 7 where Jesus says "By their fruit you will recognize them." (7:16&20) It got me thinking about how your heart, like Proverbs says, is the source of all of our emotions and thoughts. Your heart reflects who you truly are. A selfish heart? Words that hurt others instead of build them up. But a pure heart? Pure thoughts that can focus on God. A loving heart? Love will be woven into all that you do. The only way to truly glorify God is to love and obey His commandments; to be who He has called us to be. This verse isn't a calling for secrecy, it's a calling to guard your heart against any evil that would hinder your ability to live for Him. That way, you can love others and glorify God.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Show me, O LORD, my life's end and the number of my days; let me know how fleeting is my life. Psalm 39:4

So this isn't from Matthew, but I stumbled upon it the other day and thought it was a really good verse. Between school work, a social life, and spending time with my family, my days have been flying by. It's so easy to get caught up in the moment and forget what truly matters. It's coming to my attention more and more that I need to be a better steward of the time God has given me. If I'm too busy or constantly running from place to place, it becomes far too easy to get caught up in the moment and miss His voice throughout the day. My pastor often says that time alone with God fuels passion and clarity, but business destroys both. Keeping each day with an eternal perspective in mind definitely helps with prioritizing. Let's keep that at the top of our to-do lists :)


Tuesday, February 7, 2012

finally back!

Shew! Only four days away from writing and I missed it so much! I haven't even made time to post Bible verses. :(

Speaking of which... I think I'm going to start pulling a verse from my daily Bible study for y'all. A) It will keep me accountable to my devotions (can't be posting my words on here, I want them to be God's) and B) it will just be kind of fun to share what I'm thinking/reading about on a day to day basis. :D

Life has been crazy these last couple of days. Cake baking, working like a maniac, and job interviews. God has been so good to me. I feel the need to go into detail about Thursday because it was probably one of the most divinely appointed days I have ever lived.

So I woke up late. Like always. I think one of my New Year's resolutions was going to maybe be "be more on time" but I might have put it off long enough that it's not really a resolution at all. I will be on time. One day. As I run out the door, I grab the first pair of tennis shoes that appear to be my own. (This will prove important momentarily.)

I get to class and was blessed to get out early. Suhweet more time to get stuff done! Torn between reading my Bible and going to the gym, God finally convinced me that reading my Bible then working out would be the best idea. God always amazes me with how close He will draw near when I simply and clearly devote my mind and time to Him. That was an amazing thirty minutes of scripture reading and prayer. Close to God and ready to work out, I walk across the street from school to the gym. 

Okay, workout mode. So ready. Going running... music on, headphones in, WAIT A MINUTE! These are not my shoes...

As I reach into my backpack and pull out my workout clothes, I realize that one of the shoes was mine, and one was my sister’s. She is seven years younger than me. Her feet are smaller. Her shoes do not fit my feet. Well, scratch that. Ain't working out today. I was pretty disappointed. But, I decided it would be alright, I'd just go study at a nearby coffee shop. By now it's around 11:15. I get there, open up my online biology homework that I thought for sure was due at midnight. Oh no. It's due at noon. Blessing again. I finished in time to submit it at 100% completion. Had I not forgotten my shoes, I would have gotten a zero. Praise God!

Okay so I have thirty minutes til bio… I pull out my statistics syllabus, only to realize I have a test at two o'clock. To be honest, I hadn't been to stats class in at least a week. (I have since resolved and have employed the help of a friend to MAKE me go. No more skipping.) Guess I will be skipping biology class to study for statistics... Luckily, actually by the grace of God our teacher allows us cheat sheets for our tests. I covered every square inch of that paper with notes. And once again, such a blessing, I bot a B!

With an hour to spare, I got to write last Thursday's post. Yay writing! And, looking up, I noticed a girl that looked strikingly familiar to me. Which reminded me to pray for her and prompted me to text this "long-lost" acquaintance. (I had coffee with her today. It was great! And I’m still praying for God to move in her life.)

A couple hours later, and I'm at home making a cake for a not-so-little friend of mine who was turning twelve. Cake=happiness. Need I say more? ;) To add to my "sweet" afternoon (tehe, pun) I got not one, but TWO calls from the bank for interviews as a teller. I have been praying about a new job now for quite some time, torn between the restaurant I’ve worked at for the last 2 ½ years and moving on. (I've had both the interviews now, and I think they went pretty well! Now just continuing to pray for God's guidance of my steps and His perfect will to be carried out in my life.) And to top it all off, I got to spend Thursday night at my wonderful wonderful college group, ucf! :D

I say all that to say that even in my busy day, and despite my forgetful million-mile-a-minute mind, God was able to show me His control and ability to hold everything together. How else could all that worked out so well??

Have a wonderful Tuesday!

And Wednesday. I really ought to stop staying up so late ;)

-Amber <3

Thursday, February 2, 2012

For when we were controlled by the sinful nature, the sinful passions aroused by the law were at work in our bodies, so that we bore fruit for death. But now, by dying to what once bound us, we have been released from the law so that we serve in the new way of the Spirit, and not in the old way of the written code.
Romans 7:5-6

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

an open heart

Happy two-week-a-versary to the blog! When I started this, I didn't have much of a clue what it was really going to look like. I had dreams for it of course, wanted to post a lot of cake decorating stuff and Bible verses, but beyond that, I just had a lot of ideas floating around in my head.

Two weeks later and God has given such a purpose that I can hardly contain my excitement.

A couple days ago I was chatting with my wonderful mother about a post she had read on Vicki Courtney's blog. She writes an amazing, real life, God-centered blog and I completely got sucked in looking for this particular post yesterday. Anyway, she worded, so perfectly, this quote:
“I have often stated that I’m not a fan of the “pretender game.” I played the game early on in my Christian walk and learned the art of painting a fake smile on my face even if my life was unraveling at the seams. It’s a miserable game to play and I gave it up years ago, opting instead for honesty and authenticity.” (source:
It hit me... ever so slowly. But the more I read it, the more I like it. How very often we put on that smile and think we have to act strong as Christians. I know I'm a pro at it. But that's not what we are called to! Christ's strength is perfected in our weakness, hallelujah! :D (2 Cor. 12:9)

So I'm taking a little bit of new direction, or rather, attempting answer God's call on my life to openness. I'm gonna pour my heart on here, Bible verses, stories.... and still some cakes of course. ;) but my commitment is to avoid that oh-so-ugly monster of self-centeredness, and fight the tempation to make it seem like I have it all together all the time, and just be me. Exactly how He made me.

“Be careful not to do your ‘acts of righteousness’ before men, to be seen by them. If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven.” Matthew 6:1

After all, it is all for His glory. :)

Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.
James 1:2-4

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

For Godly grief produces a repentance not to be regretted and leading to salvation, but worldly grief produces death.
2 Corinthians 7:10

Monday, January 30, 2012

And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in him. In this way, love is made complete among us so that we will have confidence on the day of judgment, because in this world we are like him. There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love. 1 John 4:16-18

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Mightier than the thunder of the great waters, mightier than the breakers of the sea - the Lord on high is mighty. Psalm 93:4

God is stronger than every storm of life, greater than the thunder of fear or the breakers of hurt. He is the Almighty Lord on high. :D

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. Deuteronomy 6:5

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

quadruple oreo cupcakes

I am a pinterest addict. There are soooo many recipes on there! I think I spent the majority of my Christmas break poring over all of the ideas and making a baking bucket list. When I found these, I simply had to make

Death By Oreo Cupcakes

Don't they look awesome?? There's a whole Oreo in the bottom, Oreos in the chocolate cake mix, Oreos in the frosting, AND an Oreo on top. Chocolate heaven. In a cupcake.

The recipe comes from I tweaked it a bit, learned a few things, and will definitely be making these Oreo4 cupcakes again.

For cupcakes:
  • 1 package regular Oreos (some of these are going in the frosting
  • 1 package mini Oreos
  • 1 box Duncan Hines Dark Chocolate Fudge cake mix (Duncan Hines is the best for chocolate cakes. All I use. ;)
  • 1 1/3 cups water
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 3 large eggs
  • cupcake liners (optional)
For frosting:
*I alwalys use Wilton's buttercream. This is their recipe. It makes for a pretty stiff frosting, so for cupcakes they recommend adding 1-2 tbsp of corn syrup. I was out, so I just added a little extra milk.*
  • 1/2 cup Crisco (just the regular kind. NOT butter flavor. Trust me, butter flavored Crisco will not make for good frosting. I might have tried it before. :P)
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 4 cups sifted powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 2 tbsp. milk
Pretty simple to start. Just follow the instructions on the box and make the cake mix. Just don't bake it yet! We have to get our oreos in there ;)

First off, line your muffin tin with cupcake liners. If you're not using liners, make sure and spray the pan! Put an oreo in the bottom of each one.

Now, this is where I went wrong with this recipe. You're supposed to take half of the remaining oreos (I had 15) and chop them up to put them in the batter. I used a blender.

Not too shabby looking...but I think I went a little blender crazy. You coudln't really taste the Oreos once they baked. Think I'll be using a knife for round two.

I thought I took pictures of everything. In fact, as I was making these my sister was extremely curious as to why in the world I kept stopping every five minutes to take a picture. Somehow, I forgot pictures of the cupcakes before they got baked. Pretty simple though, just take the batter and fill 'em up!

Bake according to the directions on the package. Make sure you let them cool before moving on! Frosting hot cake is never fun.

Now for the frosting. I probably will go more into depth on this one day... but for now. I'm just going to post a link. Wilton's got it made.

Once you have it all mixed and whatnot, put your leftover Oreos in the blender and go to town. Mix your cookie crumbs in your frosting, fill a piping bag, swirl and viola! Quadruple oreo cupcakes. Top with the little oreos for decoration. ;)

-Amber  ♥
Delight yourself in the LORD and He will give you the desires of your heart. Psalm 37:4

Saturday, January 21, 2012

The Lord gives strength to His people, the Lord blesses His people with peace. Psalm 29:11

Thursday, January 19, 2012

ta-da! the first post of many.

I guess it would be about time I actually posted something on here right? Well... here goes. Post one. On a blog . Ever.

I'll try not to bore you. ;)

This is my blog for all things life. I am a passionate Christian who wants to follow God and love Him with all my heart. And glorify Him in all that I do... even my crafting adventures. ;) I stumble and fall just like the rest of us, but I believe He is strong and merciful enough to pick us up and forgive us.

My hobbies are cake decorating, crafting, well spent time with the ones I love, and cake decorating. Did I say that already?

I created this blog with every intention of using it to get my cakes on the web. Come to think of it I'm going to be posting pretty much anything worth sharing with y'all... fun craft ideas, stories, Bible verses, and cakes of course!

So here goes... step one of my blogging venture. Stay tuned for more! And thanks for reading.

-Amber ♥