My Heart Sees You

Dear World,

Today, March 23rd, 2020, my heart is with you and sees you.

There has been a lot of emotions over the last week here in our world.

There has been fear, worry, anger, stress, tears. There has people who haven’t felt the affects of this transformation much yet, and there has been people who have felt it drastically.

My heart is with the mom who just lost her job and has six kids.

My heart is with the families who have lost more than one loved one due to the corona virus, as well as families who haven’t lost anyone yet.

My heart is with the businesses that are currently down and unsure of what is to happen.

My heart is with the President who is doing the best He can in America.

My heart is with every Congressmen and Mayor who are working together to provide a safe world for us, and to save as many lives as possible during this time.

They have made bold decisions and actions to take. They have ordered supplies. They have made sacrifices of little to no sleep, to help save lives in this country.

My heart is with every nation who is suffering during this pandemic.

Many lives have been lost, and in the chaos, I don’t want to encourage myself or anyone to forget the damages that have already been done, as we wait for what is next.

My heart is with the reporters and news anchors that have to report this news and continue to work diligently to give us answers.

My heart is with the nurses and doctors who are laying down their life right now to stop this corona virus, and worrying about their families in the process.

My heart is the with the grocery store workers, factory workers, transportation systems, and gas station employees. We need each and every one of you right now.

My heart is with every worker who takes care of children or students. I myself watch over children in a day care and school. I would feel absolutely horrible if I spread it to any of them and they became severely sick.

My heart is with every single rich and poor  human being around the world, who is just unsure, afraid and is desiring the answers.

My heart is with you. I see you.

Maybe you never felt seen before, but I see you today, and I believe the whole world is starting to see you more clearly.

We all are seeing each and everyone of you for who you truly are.

You all truly are amazing, and I am so thankful to live in a world with more than one person to help make it all go around.

It’s hard to know what tomorrow will bring. It’s hard to not know what will come.

Did we ever really know what would come, though?

I think we like to envision our yearly plan as something that always goes accordingly. But none of us expected this pandemic. None of us expected this sacrifice. None of us.

And so, maybe me telling you that my heart is with you, doesn’t ease the pain, and maybe it does.

My hope though, is that each one of you do receive peace at this time. My hope is that you don’t desire all the answers, and you can learn to trust again.

Trust in God, trust in man, trust in the greater good.

Bad things happen and bad choices happen, but there is a lot of good happening among it all. I will choose to look for it, believe in it, and see it with my own eyes.

Then again, I already have, because I’ve gotten to see it all in you. 

You’re perfectly and wonderfully made, an irreplaceable treasure this world has taken for granted. 

My Heart is with you all.

I love you.

I see you.

May you rest knowing you are loved.

Wow! This moment…What a Beautiful Gift From God

This moment is fleeting as I sit here in the presence of God.

I have the privilege to voice my opinion on the internet. I have the privilege to drive my car home and see family today if I chose to. I have many blessings.

Wow. I really have so many blessings.

I have a bed. My friend just bought me a new box spring because mine was bad.

I have a gym membership with a pool so I can get some of the cardio my body really needs.

I get to see my mom today, God willing. I get to be with her.

God has given us this day.

It’s all a gift.

Me getting to go to college and get $75,000 in debt was still all a gift. I learned a lot about filmmaking and knowing how to tell a good story.

This computer is a gift.

My hands are a gift.

My voice is a gift. My mind. My heart.

The sun is shining. That’s such a gift.

I have friends that I can contact for prayer. Wow! What a gift!

About 15 people will be coming tonight to my mom’s birthday party! Wow! What a gift. God is good.

I am going to pursue my other sister today who hasn’t talked to me in two years. Even if she rejects me, what a gift that I get to TRY!

I can try and obtain all the knowledge in the world, but the true source that can allow the sun to rise and let it set, is the creator who is in control of it all. 

He gives me the gift to learn and he gives me the gift to not. It all is His and it all is for Him.

Have you ever been given so much, you just want to sit and marvel in His glory, His beauty? Wow! Wow! Wow!

What a gift it is to be here. What a gift it is to be healthy. What a gift it is to have family and friends or be given the opportunity to make them.

What a gift we have been given to be able to choose to love, in this moment, that is fleeting.

This moment, drawing close to the God who loves, the God who hears our prayers, it’s a beautiful, beautiful, beautiful gift to call upon the Lord who saves.

Some Exits Are Worth Missing, When You’re Riding With Jesus

 

Usually when you miss an exit that takes you 20 miles in the opposite direction, you want to let a couple ‘F’ bombs fly, if you’re not Christian of course. Ha! Can you sense my sarcasm?

This exit however didn’t just consist of me heading in the wrong direction, but I was going no where fast while riding along side a friend who most likely wished he could push me out of the car and get away with it.

Granted, I’m being a little dramatic here, but I’m assuming you can get my drift.

We had already been driving two hours together in silence. Well, silence from one another, but I’m pretty sure the music was blasting. We switched back and forth between his Christian rock and my Christian “Sunday morning” worship.

I tried not to wipe my tears, while still holding onto the steering wheel to get us home safely.

We were both in two different places. Sometimes the places you’re in, neither of you can understand because of how much depth of sorrow, chaos, frustration and defeat you may be in.

Even though we both were in two different places, Jesus was still there with us. It was just hard for both of us to see each other clearly in our separate pains, despite His presence.

I couldn’t be strong for my friend when he was feeling weak and he couldn’t be strong for me either then.

What do you do when you’re both defeated and have no where to run?

You run to Jesus. Hence the blasting Lecrae music all the way home.

I was frustrated. Upset. Once angry, but mostly upset that he couldn’t understand what I was going through. I could see that him and I were both running to Jesus in this time, but then how come nothing was being resolved?

My tears must have blinded my vision because I missed the exit, and I heard a huge sigh of annoyance come from my right.

“No!!”, I thought. “I messed up even more! This sucks! I want to get out of this van!”

I don’t know how long it took to drive 20 miles in the opposite direction, but it definitely felt like forever.

When we started heading back in the right direction, I gave up. I couldn’t submit to this torture. I felt like I was driving for eternity in a prison cell.

“God! What should I do?!”

“Praise me!” God says.

I started to worship Jesus silently in the car. I started to pray. I pressed in to Christ and I delighted in Him in that prison cell. I was a foot away from my enemy, yet something amazing happened. I had extreme joy and peace inside of me. I was filled up with hope and light. I was happy. Even though I could feel his hatred towards me, I was happy because I was delighting in Christ. I started to pray for him and thank God for him. I started to pray that he would be healed of all things hurting him, and I started to see him more clearly in that moment.

I was so broken it was hard to hear him in his short temper and coldness, but I could see him again.

I was trying to learn to love, and the Lord taught me that everything broken or hard can be healed by the love of Jesus. Everything can be healed if we come and praise the Father and pray for our brothers and sisters.

When my friend and I reached our destination, I’m pretty sure he tried to jump out of the car before I even stopped it. I asked him quickly if I could pray for him first. He allowed me to. Praise the Lord!

I started to pray for him and started to cry. I didn’t mean to hurt him, but his anger had hurt me too, even though he may not have realized it.

Our friendship was restored! The prison walls fell down and we were set free!

Just like Paul opened up the gates in prison by worshiping Jesus, my worship in that car broke down the prison gates on our friendship that day. (Acts 16:16-40)

Even though I wish those prison bars had never come up, I don’t regret them forming. It taught me that we all have stories that neither of us truly know and understand. Sometimes, God doesn’t even allow us to understand and know them. At the end of the day, it’s never about how much we know. It’s always been about how much we choose to love.

So even when it gets bad and all hope is gone. Even when you miss your exit and wish you could let some ‘F’ bombs fly, but can’t, because your Christian. Even then, God is still there and will make everything work out for the good of those who love Him. (Romans 8:28)

Even then, some exits are worth missing, when you’re riding with Jesus.

Dear Jesus

Dear Jesus,

I love you. I love that I can come to you about all things. I don’t need to share all the hidden desires of my heart with the world. I don’t need to share all the hidden dilemmas  in my heart with the world, but I can share them with you and know that you hear me. I can delight in your presence and be overjoyed by your love.

I have all I need with you. I am complete. Sickness comes and pains in the body, but I have your love. I am not alone.

Friends bad mouth me and ridicule me. Friends betray me and backstab me, but still you are my best friend. Still you love me in all my inadequates. All day long I want to praise you. All day long I want to worship you.

I want to worship you when I rise up and have every thought be pleasing to you, oh my Lord, my rock and my redeemer.

How amazing is it that today I get to work for you. Today I get to influence children all over the world. God willing, I get to hug a child today. God willing, I get to learn more for you. God willing I get to love someone today. God willing.

I love you Jesus. I love you. I love you. I love you. I love you.

You have given me dreams. You have taken me to hidden places just to romance me there. You took me to a private castle over a beautiful lake and mountain just to tell me how precious I am to you.

You have allowed me to feel things that I could never feel without your power.

You have opened up my eyes to see when I have messed up and I didn’t even know. Oh Lord how gentle you are with me. You nudge me time and time again to reveal your truths to me, but you are never condemning.

There are days when I am filled with greed, and all I want to do is run from your sweet voice. How silly it is to run to the world in a time of trouble. Food is delicious, but it can’t fill up the missing pieces in my soul. Friends are beautiful and a true friend sticks close than a brother, but your friendship oh God, I have never found another like it.

You are majestic and sweet. You are simple and complex in all your ways. You are more than I could ever ask for in a friend.

I love you.

I love you.

I love you more than my mom. I love you more than my brothers. I love you more than my Church and my community. I love you more than life itself, for you are more than I could ever explain. You have done more than I could ever explain. You are beautiful!

Jesus, you have seen me in the crowd. You have stopped for me. You have smiled down on me in awe.

You romanced me and showed me how beautiful I am. I didn’t know. I didn’t know that I had a beautiful heart. I didn’t know that I was worth far more than rubies, but YOU chased me down. YOU chased me down and you showed me.

You came to me in dreams. You came to me in pineapples, sticky notes, bible verses, sunsets, and children. You came to me in all the most unexpected places. You came. You came for me.

I love you to the moon and back Jesus. I love you to the moon and back.

There isn’t a reader out there. There isn’t a friend out there. There isn’t a boss or a companion that could ever love me the way you love me Jesus.

I am complete. I am whole. I have all that I need because you are my friend. I love you more than you could ever know, and I pray my heart and soul never forgets my love for you.

Love,

Lauren

Dear Facebook, Thank You For Reminding Me What God Has Done

God is just too beautiful that I can’t stop crying.

I started to go through Facebook to find photos to give to loved ones and the Holy Spirit fell on me so strongly. I couldn’t stop crying and this is what I wrote from Him presence:

I’m just so overwhelmed by you God. Why do you love me so much? Why do you give me such beautiful days?

beautifulfrontporch copy.jpgWhy do you give me a mom to take care of me, to love me, and cherish me?

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momkitchen.jpgWhy do you give me such beautiful friends to grow with and be there for me?

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christmasfriends.jpgWhy do you give me nieces, Aunts and Uncles to love?

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meandniece.jpgYou chose me to have life? Why me? I never deserved these people to love.

roommate.jpgI never deserved to see these many sunrises and sunsets.

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You gave all these days to me God. You gave them to me without me even asking.

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wowsky copy.jpgYou gave me eyes to see the most beautiful landscapes.

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You gave me legs to walk on the most beautiful mountains.

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climbingmountain.jpgYou gave me hands and arms to hug someone and feel their warmth.

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You gave me fingers to play the guitar.

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You gave me children to love and influence.

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boxing.jpgYou gave me a mind to think of creative ways to tell stories.

headshot.jpgYou gave me jobs to influence the community.

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You gave me so many days that I have been blessed by. What could I possibly do this year to give you just a fraction of what you’ve given me? I want to give you the world the way you have given the world to me. How come you answer prayers when I ask them in your name and for your glory? (John 14:13-14) How come you love me? Why? Why? Why do you love me the way you do? (John 3:16)

No matter what sin I commit, you still love me. I wish I could stop crying, but then at the same time I don’t know if I’ve ever experienced this type of closeness and power from you.

You give me ideas and visions. You let me see things I couldn’t see without you. You travel the world God and you go and meet people in their dreams. People in the darkest places of the earth encounter you in their sleep. No one will know on facebook of how you have touched them, but you have touched them.

You are the great I AM, the GREAT I AM, and you will go the distance for the one who is hurting. You will chase them down because of how much you love them.

You have healed friends who had heroine addiction. You have healed friends who struggled with lusts and jealousy. You have healed friends who were proud. You have healed the blind and cured the sick. (John 9) You have loved us more then we take the time to see. Why are you letting me see this God? The tears hurt. The tears are overwhelming. You’re power is so big. You’re love is so mighty.

All the glory goes to you God. All the glory goes to you forever and ever! Thank you for every person you created that has been apart of building the internet and Facebook. God you have brought us all together to be closer. You have brought us closer to always encourage each other. You have allowed us to always have the opportunity to say ‘I love you’ and to listen to one another’s problems, victories, and stories.

Thank you for the days. Thank you for days.

May all my days bring glory to you and may all the days of the readers of this see the beauty that God has given us. May all their days be blessed with supernatural joy and peace.

I love you God. I love you Facebook. I love you Family and Friends. Thank you for the memories. May we have many more to share. The best is yet to come.


As my encounter with the Holy Spirit was coming to an end, I texted a friend about my experience. I had never cried like this before because of God’s wonder. While I was telling her what it was like, I said how I wish I could just give back to God the same amount of what He’s given to me. I realized this is true love. True love is giving and not wanting the cost back in return. I could never give back what God has given to me. I will try, but I’ll never come close, and He loves me anyway. He doesn’t need me to give him the mountains, the sky or the moon.

He just wants me to believe in His son, so I can forever be with Him. God just wants to be with me forever. I think his love language is ‘quality time.’ ha! (John 3:16)


Thank you Facebook for reminding me what God has done. You do more then you know. I pray you are always blessed and you get to see the beauty and impact you have on this world.


Follow Jesus through me on my Instagram:  There you will find encouragement, positive stories, and worship to the Father in spirit and truth. May all the glory be to God, and you receive Jesus Christ into your heart. I promise you. You will be forever changed, in a good way.

(John 4:23-24) Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshippers will worship the Father in Spirit and in truth, for they are the kind of worshippers the Father seeks. God is spirit, and His worshipers must worship in the Spirit and in truth.

I Found Love

Where do you look for love?

Is it in a man, a woman, a friend, a neighbor? Do you look for it online or in the news? Have you found it?

I found love, and it has come in a way I never would have expected.

It’s beautiful and breathtaking. It’s something I never knew could be so wild and warm. It’s real. It exists and it is the most beautiful thing anyone could ever hold in their hands, and in their heart.

I didn’t just find a radical love in God, but I found it coming out of myself because of Him, and then continually spreading into the Body of Christ. 

Matthew 22:27-39 And He said to him, “ ‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind. 38 “This is the great and foremost commandment. 39 “The second is like it, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’

If God told you to Go, Would You? 

When I moved to Bethlehem, my heart started to race with excitement because I knew love was coming. I felt it in my bones. I didn’t know what was next, but God told me to move and so, not knowing where I was going to live or what was going to happen next, I took the leap of faith and moved to Bethlehem, with not much of a plan in place.

As I unpacked and settled in, I had this image of a lover holding me. I knew I was going to feel held in this apartment. It was the image of a man, but I didn’t know it was going to be such a greater love then I could ever imagine. A love was about to come that no man could ever give or take away from me.

I Found Love. 

As I’m writing this, my eyes are filled with tears. I can’t believe or comprehend what all has happened in this beautiful two bedroom apartment in downtown Bethlehem. 

The Lord romanced me so much while I have been growing here. There really is no way to describe the beautiful things He has done for me. 

I have felt held by Him in this apartment. I have been spoken to and comforted by Him. I have received signs and wonders to reassure me of His goodness. I have battled with Him and prayed when I wanted to give up. I have seeked Him for help when my sin was getting the best of me. I have been so loved by Him. 

I desperately pray you get to feel this radical kind of love like I have. It is absolutely out of this world. It is better than any drug and any worldly passion. It is eternally breathtaking.

On top of all the love the Lord had started to give me, each year keeps getting better and better with Him. 

True Love Preservers Through it All. 

This doesn’t consist of all sunshine and rainbows however.

Many people have taken my joy in the past as ignorance, but I have always been far from ignorant. I have always just chosen to choose joy no matter what was to come, because for the majority of my life, there was always a rough road to get through. 

Pslam 118:24 “This is the day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.”

I’ve seen loved ones suffer because of someone’s sin. I’ve seen horrible arguments and abuse, both physical and verbal. I’ve seen my dead sister cold blue on the floor. I’ve held my friend’s who lost loved ones too young to drugs. I’ve heard rapes and I have seen abuse in our governing authorities.

I’m nowhere close to ignorant, and I have found true love. Yes, they both can fall hand in hand. 

This deep love that I can’t even explain originated from Jesus Christ. The depths of His forgiveness and overflow of grace has radically transformed my entire life. I said yes to allowing his love to pour so much into me, that it started to pour out into others. I couldn’t help but give it away, and it truthfully wasn’t me.

It was the love of God in me. 1374169_10202185758706770_1505916736_n.jpg

2 Corinthians 5:17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!

This new transformation that God does in you when you receive Christ as your Lord and Savior doesn’t just give you love from the Father, but He promises more blessings to follow.

Matthew 6:33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.

A more radical love has fallen into my heart and that has come from me choosing to cover all things in love. 

1 Peter 4:8: “Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins.”

I’ve found such a beautiful love in the Body of Christ! There is a love here in Bethlehem that I can not shake. I can not stop thinking about. It’s a love that is so present and real. It’s a love that moves mountains. It’s a love that doesn’t stop. It’s forever. It’s beautiful. It’s alive. It’s in my heart 24/7; even when I am asleep. 

How Did This Love Start? 

It started with Jesus dying for my sins. Then it started with me receiving that into my heart and believing who He says He says. Read: John 9-10

Once I received this I was so full that I couldn’t help but give it away. This outpouring of love, unselfish giving, sacrificing, and forgiving, has brought the Body of Christ together in a more powerful way. Loving is very hard, don’t get me wrong, but it is absolutely worth it.

1 Corinthians 13:4 “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.”

I’ve never seen this kind of love in a community, but I’m seeing it, and it is very real. As humbly as I can confess, I’m seeing that it started with me choosing to follow Jesus. Only by the grace of God have I found the understanding of who Jesus is; only by the grace of God. 

Sincerely following Jesus isn’t preaching and telling everyone who is right and who is wrong. Sincerely following Jesus is first choosing to believe in Him. Once you confess with your mouth and believe in your heart that He is Lord, there is no going back. You begin to seek Him so much, that He continually keeps changing you for the better. He continually keeps changing you for the world. 

Through the love of Christ, I found love. 

I found a deep love in God.

I found a deep and pure love in my self.

And I found a deep love in others. 

Are You Afraid to Love? 

I pressed in to the uncomfortable. I pressed in to the discomfort. I chose to love. I chose to build and work in the Kingdom, and love came, a deep and reckless love. I found love in so many members of the Church Body. I found friends who sit awhile and pray with you. Friends that no matter what may be going on in their lives, they are there with a shoulder of comfort, a word of praise, and an ear of nonjudgmental patience, desperately pursuing God’s voice to help them love better. 

As soon as  I moved to Bethlehem, I knew that many people would be coming through my doors to learn about Jesus. I felt it and it excited me beyond measure. 

That day has come now where many people are coming in and out of my house, all in the name of Jesus, and the love that is found here is absolutely beautiful. There is something very special and unique about this House Bible Study, and I believe all the members would agree. Each person sincerely loves God and is chasing after him. And above their heart for God, they each have a heart for one another. They are all friends that pray together, and carry each other’s burdens. 

The Bible Study has become more than a one night event, but an entire lifestyle of going through life together.

Once you choose to love someone, they are less afraid to love you back. 

John 13:35  By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”

I’m so thankful to be a part of this love from the Lord. It is absolutely breathtaking, and to believe it all first originated from the love of Jesus, and Him dying on the cross for my sins. 

Will You Step Out and Love?

1 John 4:19 We love because he first loved us.

If you’re looking for love, maybe you should choose to receive it from our God first, and then once you are full, don’t be afraid and give it away. When you give, you end up receiving more then you could possibly imagine. Sometimes you may not be loved back, but if you don’t give up and love the Lord with all your heart and all your your mind, and your neighbor as yourself, you will see goodness in the land of the living.

Matthew 22:27-39 And He said to him, “ ‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind. 38 “This is the great and foremost commandment. 39 “The second is like it, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’

Pslam 27:13 I remain confident of this: I will see the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living.

Acts 20:35  In everything I did, I showed you that by this kind of hard work we must help the weak, remembering the words the Lord Jesus himself said: ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’ ”

I found love. 

I first found it in Christ. 

Then I found it in myself through the Holy Spirit.

And finally, I found it in others once I gave it away.

 

I Got Bills, But I Also Got Jesus

Can you Trust God with your Finances?

(Proverbs 11:28): Those who trust in their riches will fall, but the righteous will thrive like a green leaf. 

I got bills, but I also got Jesus. If God is peace, why is He allowing me to experience anxiety when I know it’s time to look at all my mail and pay the bills? I knew this was not a healthy situation, but with everything else in my life, I didn’t want to face it quite yet. It didn’t matter how much joy Jesus gave me and how much he soothed my soul. At the end of the day, I still became afraid to pick up my mail, go through it, and pay the bills.

Maybe this is you? Maybe even though you claim Jesus Christ to be your Lord and savior, responsibilities and money makes you want to run away from the world? If so, I encourage you to keep reading. 

Right now I am currently on the phone to pay my hospital bills. Why do I want to hyperventilate while I am waiting for their verdict? If today were my last day on earth, would it really matter if I had to pay a certain amount of debt or not? No matter what storms come, I can only do the best I can each day. I can’t control the sea around me. 

Do you Trust God to always Provide? 

If I truly believe and know that Jesus loves me, why would I feel uneasy? It says in His word that He will provide. Praise the Lord I can testify that He has provided time and time again in my life when I didn’t see how I was going to make it financially. He made money fall out of the sky to help me. Be encouraged and read a testimony of God miraculously providing for me in my previous post: ‘Serving in the Unfamiliar.’ 

There is a small uneasiness in my bones today, but maybe it’s just because I really don’t want to pay bills. To be honest, I rather be writing something fun like this blog post. 😉

Will you Seek After Christ and Receive His Peace? 

As a part of me trembles, I also notice something new inside of my soul. I am talking with more peace, patience, and trust than ever while calling these collection agencies. Gentleness is within me. My heart and my mind aren’t accusing them of being the Devil, as silly as that sounds.  My hope isn’t in them. My anger isn’t rising when they say that I may not receive assistance towards these payments. Thy will be done, right?

(Matthew 6:10)  10 your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.

Maybe the uneasiness is truly coming from a deeper place. It’s coming from a deeper place in my heart where the love for God and man is so strong that I desperately pray the Lord gives me time to Honor him so much more in this Body.

Unfortunately, I will be attending a viewing today of a young friend who passed away. His life was cut too short. Sadly, death reminds you how you want to live and honor God in this day; this gift called life. Each moment, I want to walk humbly before Him.

(Micah 6:8)  He has shown you, O mortal, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.

How will you Honor God Today? 

Today, as I looked at my ‘To-Do’ list, I became more fully aware that I want to truly honor the Lord with everything I do, including paying the bills. If we wanted to get a little crazy, why not honor the Lord with doing the laundry? How about walking in honor when I rise and when I fall asleep? Is it really that hard to simply honor him in every breath?

Colossians 3:23 reads: Whatever you do, work at it wholeheartedly as though you were doing it for the Lord and not merely for people.

I have Jesus Christ in my life and I also have bills. Jesus is teaching me to enjoy the day. He is teaching me to delight in serving Him. No matter how hard the struggles become, I will press in. I will run towards Him. I will chase God down so hard that every day to come, no matter how many bills I have to pay, I will delight in the Lord because I fully believe that He loves me and He will always provide for the ones that love Him.

(Pslam 84:11)11 For the Lord God is a sun and shield; the Lord bestows favor and honor; no good thing does he withhold from those whose walk is blameless.

(Pslam 34:10) 10 The lions may grow weak and hungry, but those who seek the Lord lack no good thing.

Will you choose God’s voice before the world’s? 

Funny enough, as I finished this article, I had a phone call with a good friend who decided to go with another videographer for His project. It wasn’t out of not liking me or my quality of work, but it was out of him acting out of piece towards the other quote he received from the videographer.

This immediately made me see and wonder if I am saying yes to God in terms of money. Am I saying yes to certain jobs out of fear that I can’t serve the Lord in the ways He has called me to? Is God trying to tell me that He wants me in full-time ministry, and I need to surrender everything else to Him? I need to say yes to what God has told me to do instead of choosing to live how the world does. 

Will you Surrender Your Job Title to God? 

We all, including myself, need to surrender our job titles to God. We need to passionately desire to carry the title ‘Child of God’ before any other title. How can we sincerely minster God’s word if we do not? The name ‘Chid of God’ doesn’t come from the money. The name comes from the sacrifice that Jesus did for us all on the cross.

At the end of the day, no matter how many bills pile up, we can choose to delight in the Lord. We can praise the name of Jesus, and walk joyfully and humbly with our God; our God who already paid our debt at calvary. Our God who watched His son die for us.

My… word… what bill could possibly be higher than the bill Jesus paid for the whole entire world?

I may got bills, but I also got Jesus. I can trust that He will provide and choose peace. 


If you are looking to find more ways to manage your money, SeedTime is a great blog that helps you tackle your money with biblical principles. I highly recommend you check them out and tackle your finances with peace!

Serving in the Unfamiliar

Why do you Serve?

The Lord positioned me to serve in a place that at first my flesh did not want to. In so many ways it seemed awesome to be able to walk to Church and to even go to the same place of worship that my boss’s attended. It only seemed awesome on some days however. There were so many days that I felt a strong push from the Lord saying, ‘get out.’ I thought the Lord was saying that that’s not where He wants me.

Looking back on those times, I wonder what it was that was really telling me not to serve there? Was it God or was it my flesh and what I wanted to experience and where I wanted to be in that exact moment?

Was it my preference of worship that was enticing me to think about going to another Body of Christ? Was it because things weren’t always done the way I was used to them being done? Did I want things to go a certain way? Was it because I didn’t feel like I had a support system around me of believers that I could call friends and family from that Church Body? There didn’t seem to be a lot of young adults to go through life with so should I really stay at this Body of Christ where there had been a lack of community in the young adults?

There was so many different things that I could pick out that could be a reason to go to a different Church, but the Lord kept chasing me down and teaching me more of His heart.

He showed me how he positioned me right where He wanted me. There were people in my neighborhood that I could love, and not because of what they looked like, but because of what Jesus looked like.

It seemed a little scary being at a Church where my boss was, but then at the same time, the Lord kept calling me back there. I kept going there more mornings then not.

I said yes to serving with the Youth Ministry, and it made sense to be there for the girls because all I needed to do was walk to the Church, and be a light for them. I didn’t need to walk far to serve Jesus.

What makes you choose your Church?

Now, were there any signs that my husband was in the Church? No. There was no sign that I was going to receive a husband by going to this Church. There wasn’t a huge sign that I was going to be blessed beyond blessed by going here. For a while I wasn’t even sure if I was going to have a community of believers my age there as friends or even grow spiritually.

Serving in the unfamiliar made me realize something though, something I believe is important for every believer. Why do you go to Church? Why did you choose the Church you are going to?

Some choose the outside appearance of the Church and the way the worship makes them feel. They choose the Church because of the teaching or how many connect groups they may have. There is probably a list that everyone has that consists of why you go to the Church you do and why you don’t go to another one.

Maybe you grew up in the Church and you never wanted to check another Church out, or you were invited to a Church for the very first time, and now this is all you know. Maybe you go to the Church you do because you have done your research and you strongly believe how they operate as a Body and that it follows the doctrine that you believe.

What does serving in the Church do for you?

Serving in the Church that was once uncomfortable has made me realize why I am a Child of God in the first place, and why I deserve a place at the banquet table.

I don’t receive communion and forgiveness on Sunday because of the bulletin. I don’t receive forgiveness and joy on Sunday because of the worship or the people. I don’t receive hope and trust every Sunday because of the preacher and the sermon he has prepared, or even in the prophecies that may be heard through out the service.

These are all important aspects of Church.  You want to make sure the truth is being  preached and remaining biblical, so you are not deceived. However, all these things aren’t what grants us all salvation.

I don’t receive ‘Church’ because of any of these things. I receive Church because of Jesus and how real He is. I receive forgiveness because of Jesus’ sacrifice for me. He truly, 100%, died for my sins and erased every stain from my life, making me white as snow.

That is why I go to Church and why I serve at Church. I serve and give because He first gave to me. He made me brand new. He changed my life around. He gave me eternal life; Jesus did. The bulletin didn’t. The worship didn’t. The preacher’s sermon didn’t. The bible studies didn’t. Jesus did.

I didn’t decide to go to this Church because of what I could get there. I didn’t fully see what I would receive by attending. More unity and understanding in my work place seemed like a possibility, but was that really what I wanted more than anything? Funny how God made it that I’m not even employed by that company anymore to worry about my boss being there like I once did.

Maybe the Lord kept me there for so long because I wasn’t completely ‘free’ when I would step foot into that building. It made me uncomfortable at times knowing my boss attended this Church and I realized that that wasn’t a good thing. I shouldn’t be afraid of my boss in the House of God. I should be afraid of God and only God. I should only have my eyes on Jesus when I enter His house, and so I continued to come, praying for this to go away and for me to feel at home there.

Serving in the children’s ministry was hard at first because it didn’t look like my last Church’s youth ministry. Nevertheless, I saw how God was using me for a positive impact on the kid’s lives. I didn’t feel that it was right to turn my back on the children, just because it wasn’t like my last Church or that there wasn’t a bunch of young adults there.

The youth girls at this Church needed me and my sincere love for them. Serving on Wednesday nights with the Youth didn’t guarantee that I was going to receive anything. It didn’t guarantee that I was going to be blessed or get all the things that I would hope for from God.

But serving in the youth taught me how much God wanted to use me and to use me in places that looked unfamiliar. He died for me not to find the perfect Church for me, but he died so I could receive His love and forgiveness. This love and forgiveness should only truly burn a desire in my heart to give more than I receive.

Can serving in the Church bless you?

Little did I know, serving in the Youth Ministry actually did bless me with more than I could imagine:

                          TESTIMONY 
I had broken my wrist and it healed crooked. During the same time, I found out I unexpectedly became dirt broke with unemployment checks 
coming in late and car problems. When I found out I had no money, I 
cried so much that day. I didn't have the energy to pour into the 
kids at Church.I needed someone to pour into me. I switched my focus
for five minutes, and I worshiped Jesus on my guitar. The 
neighborhood kids came over and loved on me, helping me get ready. 
I went to Church. Someone was there that night that was never there. 
When she heard about my trials she blessed me with $500.00 and a     place to go for a second opinion on my wrist. The Lord gave me the   best Doctor in the area the next day, and my wrist is now healed.    When you serve God's people, He blesses you. He loves His children. 
(Philippians 4:19)

         Before:

         After:

straight_2straight_1

Do you choose your Church by what they give or by what they need?

When choosing a Church, ask yourself what you could do to help the Body. Don’t hide away and think about all the things ‘you believe’ are wrong with the people there. How could you help in this place? What can you give? Can you give without wanting anything in return? You have already received everything, and that has come from the belief in Jesus Christ. This belief has given you eternal life and salvation. If you are struggling with believing you are in lack, seek the Lord and He will reveal His truth to you. With Christ, you lack nothing. Knowing this, now what can you give?  (Psalm 23) If you are struggling with finding out what you can give to the Body of Christ, just ask the Lord. He will reveal this to you also. (Matthew 7:7)

Where is your heart? Is it in the right place?

Serving in the unfamiliar taught me to see if my heart is actually in the right place. Why am I where I am? Am I in a Church Body because of what they can give me or am I in a Church Body because of what Christ already has. Do I serve to be seen or do I serve to love God’s people the way He has loved me.

I learned that I love serving in the unfamiliar. I love serving in places that at first seem uncomfortable because it has taught me to keep my eyes focused on Jesus and be comfortable in Him. Do I go to certain places because of how I feel when I’m there or do I go to the dark places so I can shine and be the light there?

If I have received the true love and freedom from Christ Jesus, there is no doubt that a bright light will shine.

I don’t want to go to a Church because what it can give me, but I want to go to Church so I can give back to God’s children. I want to love the people there that may at first not love me. I want to invite the strangers in that are just up the street. I want to carry the love of Christ more than have the Church look ‘perfect’ to me. I want to keep my eyes on Jesus no matter how unfamiliar it may seem. It’s not about discomfort. It’s about serving the one true King. Ha that rhythms.

I’m thankful I kept going and serving in the unfamiliar because it has taught me where my root should always be in the Church. My root is not in the worship, the sermon, the people, or the volunteer opportunities. My root should always come from Jesus and the blood that He shed for my sins.

May I dare you to serve?

I dare you to serve in the unfamiliar. I dare you to step out into the uncomfortable and see if Jesus still remains your joy and still remains the reason that you sing. I dare you to see where your heart truly is. Maybe we can only truly see this once we step out into the unknown and say yes to serving God in the different and the messy. Because it’s there we learn if we truly want to love and give when we don’t ‘feel’ like it.

In that serving and in that loving, we will learn even more how weak we are and how strong Christ really is. For He gave to us in a way I never could give to my brother. I could never measure up to Christ’s love for us, but I can at least take a leap and try to love like Christ. I can make an effort and at least try to love in the unknown, by serving in the unfamiliar if that is where the Lord leads.



You are probably wondering if I still feel alone in my faith serving in this Church, since at first there wasn’t a strong young adult community. Praise the Lord, that has changed! Why? I chose to act and served. I partnered with another young adult man in the congregation and we started a young adult worship and bible study. The young adult community is growing and alive! And how did it start? It started by saying yes to….

Serving in the Unfamiliar.

Lessons from 2018

Every year I usually write a novel about everything I learned from the past year and all the blessings and trials that made me stronger. This New Years I will simply make a list summarizing 2018’s lessons.
  1. You can do anything with Christ who strengthens you. (Philippians 4:13) 
  2. So… just enjoy the ride. (Ecclesiastes 5:18) (Nehemiah 8:10)
  3. You can trust in God and chill out. It’s not that serious. (Matthew 6:25-34)
  4. Don’t like someone and give your heart away too soon. Wait until their true colors come out to decide if you like them. (Proverbs:4:23)
  5. Wait to fall in love with someone who sincerely loves Jesus and serves Him and His people. You will know they are Christians by their love. (2 Corinthians 6:14)
  6. Don’t put your hope in people, but put your hope in Jesus (Isaiah 2:22)
  7. I can’t produce anything greater than what God already has. (Isaiah 2:8)
  8. It’s more rewarding to be humble. (Luke 14:11)
  9. Don’t put your trust in the governing authorities, but respect them. (1 Peter 2:18-21) (Psalm 20:7)
  10. Don’t ‘trust the police’. Video tape their moves and always have another eye witness. If you need to honor God above the governing authorities, choose honoring God. I encourage you to read the story of Daniel in the Lion’s Den to reinforce this courage. (Daniel 6)  (Matthew 10:16)
  11. Pray and pray some more. (Matthew 26:41) (Luke 18:1)
  12. If you’re prayers don’t get answered, don’t lose faith in God. His plans are better. Sincerely worship the Lord with your whole heart, and you will be blessed. (Exodus 23:25)
  13. Don’t give up on each other. (Galatians 6:9)
  14. Forgive enemies and friends that hurt or betrayed you, no matter what. (Ephesians 4:32) (Matthew 18:22)
  15. Go to Church and serve God’s people there. He never called us to stay at home, worship him there and that be enough. My wrist was broken and healed crooked. When I had nothing left to give, I still went to Church to serve the children. God showed me how much He loves His children that day when a Church member gave me $500.00 and a Doctor to go to that would fix my wrist. God doubles your portion when you serve Him, even if you physically and financially feel like you have nothing left to give. He will give you strength to serve His people. (Hebrews 6:10) 
  16. Love the unlovable and see what God does through that humility. (John 13:34-35)
  17. Give more than you take. (Proverbs 11:25) (Proverbs 21:26)
  18. Open your home to friends. (Titus 1:8) (1 Peter 4:8-9)
  19. More people than not these days curse, and joke about drugs and sex. Bad company corrupts good character. Choose wisdom and hang out with good moral people. (Luke11:23)  (1 Corinthians 15:33)  
  20. Stick up for yourself and allow yourself to receive the kindness you deserve. (Deuteronomy 31:6)
  21. Seek the Kingdom of God and everything will be added unto you. (Matthew 6:33) It’s true. Following Jesus has made my life so abundant.
  22. Eat the cookies, but also eat the vegetables. (Ecclesiastes 9:7) (1 Corinthians 10:31) 
  23. Lastly, do not worry. For life is here and gone tomorrow. Laugh, love, and sincerely enjoy this gift called life. (Psalm 118:24)

Happy New Years! May 2019 be filled with all the hope and joy that you deserve in this life, for you all are special, unique and wonderfully made. If you don’t already believe it, maybe believing the truth should be your New Years Resolution. You are loved. (John 3:16)  (Pslam 139:13-14)

God is Perfect – The Best is Yet to Come

Merry Christmas and Happy New Years. It’s now 2019. My sister almost overdosed on Christmas and I was in the ER for the majority of the day. They wouldn’t let me see her in her room because I traveled with my guitar, but I had laid on the hard benches and occasionally played some worship songs. My usual self would want to pray for people and offer them the joy of Christ, but today I didn’t want to be in the ER, afraid that another sister was going to pass away. I just wanted my whole family to be together on Christmas, playing games, and eating too many sugar cookies, cheese and crackers.

The following day I took my mom into surgery and my sister’s ex-fiancé, the father of her child, overdosed. They found him blue in the car with their two year old in the back seat. He was rushed to the hospital and they brought him back to life.

While I spent time with family, I found out more brokenness that was apart of my sister Crystal’s death. She died two Christmas’s ago. This darkness is too personal to share, but it’s real and it’s there underneath the pretend smiles, make-up, and new clothes. The painful secrets that you may never get to read here are still there and bleeding in someone’s heart.

My other sister isn’t even around anymore. She stopped talking to the family because she got a divorce and we didn’t approve. She also started dating my dead sister’s ex-boyfriend. I can’t be in the same room with them because it feels like they are spitting on her grave. Because of this I haven’t seen my two nieces in over a year. She won’t let us see them. They didn’t receive their Christmas presents this year and they still haven’t received last years Easter presents.

I could proceed with the disasters in my life, but we will stop there. I want to interrupt this unbelievable story called my life with these three words: “God is Perfect.”

Honestly, it sounds insane to say: “God is Perfect” when all this is happening. How could I possibly see God, be with Him, praise Him, lean on Him. How could I love Him when He let all this happen, right?

One week from Christmas this past year was New Years Eve. At 9 a.m. on New Years Eve my friend called me, hysterically crying. Her brother died. He was 20 years old. He had been fighting a drug addiction for over 7 years and in that time, my friend had been worshipping God and praying for her brother to be healed. He received Christ into his heart two years ago, but it didn’t cut it. He slipped up over a year of being clean and he overdosed.

Merry Christmas & Happy New Year! The best is yet to come. God is perfect. He is sovereign and He is making a way through all of this. How insane does that sound? It sounds insane to someone without Christ, but with Christ, it sounds perfectly sound. (2 Timothy 1:7)

New Years Eve I fell asleep at my mom’s house. My niece didn’t want me to leave. I’m a positive family member in her life, and I didn’t want her to feel unloved by me going to a friend’s house instead of staying with family. We fell asleep together and in the middle of the night I was having some beautiful night terrors, if that even makes sense.

The one dream I had revealed was of my sister who had stopped talking to us. Our family is broken because of this, yet God showed me how He is going to make it good. He showed me that He is going to use the bad for good. His plan is greater. If you read in scripture, you will see that more rejoicing is in Heaven when one lost sheep goes astray and comes back, then for all the righteous people who never went astray. (Luke 15:7)

As I woke up from this dream, I felt someone holding my hand. It was not my niece. Someone was holding my hand, and as soon as I moved it to look, they let go. My comfort and terror awoke my niece and she grabbed my chin, comforting me to let me know it’s all right. God was with me. God was with our family. He came in the night to give me a dream, and he held my hand to let me know he will never leave me, even in the darkest of night terrors.

As I carry my friend’s burdens that just lost her brother, I sit awhile with her and see that it’s no coincidence that God made her my friend.  I didn’t see it a year ago. To be honest, I sometimes questioned how and why we were friends. Some people just come into your life and you can’t figure out why or how, but they continue to stay. This friend continued to stay in my life. There hasn’t been a week that we started being friends that I haven’t talked to her.

As I sat and listened to her heart as she cried for her brother who died too young, it was almost like I was looking at myself two years ago when I lost my sister, Crystal, who died too young as well.

The similarities in these stories are that it wasn’t a car accident or cancer that took them from us. It was drugs. And it wasn’t drugs because they were horrible people. It wasn’t a sin they did out of hate towards God. It was an action that stemmed from a pain no one could seem to heal. No one could hug the pain away enough. No one could reach the deepest parts of their being to heal their soul.

Both of these deaths had a tremendous amount of pain, not because they died too young, but because the question remains, when they were alive, did they feel loved? Did they feel alone?

How hard I asked God to reveal himself in their lives. Why He didn’t fully heal them, I do not know. But somehow through it all, I can say God is perfect. He makes all things good. He made so much good happen out of my sister’s death, even though so much bad happened also. Because she died, God let me write a play to comfort the world that they matter and they are loved. They are Crystals, unique, and special. Maybe her death was used for more good than her life.

And in this broken, heart-wrenching story, that will forever make me cry on Christmas and New Years, God is perfect. He sent me a friend who understands and sees what I see. God is perfect.

God is perfect, in the midst of it all. My sister’s birthday is January 4th, tomorrow, and my friend’s brother’s viewing is January 4th, tomorrow. God is perfect. He can’t control our actions and what we choose to do with our brokenness and pain, but He shows up. He is here. He reminds us He is working in His perfect way.

God is perfect. He holds my hand in the night when I’m afraid what tomorrow will bring. I don’t know if I’ll ever get a call that my other sister overdosed. I deeply pray it doesn’t happen again on Christmas or New Years. I don’t know if that day will come, but I do know God will still be perfect in that day. He will still hold my hand, and God willing, He will still send me a friend to comfort me and love me when everything seems to be going wrong.

God is perfect in this world. The best is yet to come. Merry Christmas & Happy New Year!