Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Be My Everything

God in my living
There in my breathing
God in my waking
God in my sleeping
God in my resting
There in my working
God in my thinking
God in my speaking

Be my everything
Be my everything
Be my everything
Be my everything

God in my hoping
There in my dreaming
God in my wathcing
God in my waiting
God in my laughing
There in my weeping
God in my hurting
God in my healing

Christ in me
Christ in me
Christ in me the hope of glory
You are everything
Christ in me
Christ in me
Christ in me the hope of glory
Be my everything

You are everything
Jesus, Everything

Tonight and forever, may this be the cry of our hearts. God must be there in our waking, sleeping, hoping, hurting, loving, laughing, dreaming, praying, serving...in everything.

Oh God, be our everything.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Dynamic Monotony

New blog.

Check it out and follow please. :) It's my thoughts blog.


Counterfeit Bills

Totally His Youth Conference was fun, convicting, revealing, memorable, happy, and heart-breaking all at the same time. It's weird how you can be revived, crushed, and feeling loved all at the same time. I will be posting about the messages by the speakers, giving them credit, of course but also adding my own thoughts.

The very first night God hit me with a whammie that set my heart mood for the rest of the week.

The message by Barrett Mashall was about motivations.

Just thinking about some of the motivations my heart has had are enough to make me hide under my bed forever. I can't even recognize some of the sinful motivations of my heart. I contort them so badly in my mind that my evil motivations don't even feel evil anymore. Does that scare you? It does me! Here is a freaky verse.
Proverbs 16:2 "All a man's ways seem innocent to him, but motives are weighed by the LORD."
I don't know about you, but after hearing that verse, all those good things I did at thus-and-so time, don't seem so good anymore. My good deeds have been tainted by my wrong motives.

Mr Marshall talked about counterfeit Christians. If you want to find counterfeit money, the best way is to look at a bill and compare it's differences to the real bill. Not look at the similarities. The same goes for Christians. If you want to find a counterfeit, Christian poser, the best way is to compare his or her life to the life laid out in the Bible. How does the Bible say Christians should act and how is this person NOT like that?

One way you can tell a difference between real and fake Christians is that the counterfeit Christian has the wrong motives for seeking Christ. They follow Him for their own gain. They see Christ as the ticket to heaven, and the salvation from hell, but not the ticket to righteousness and redemption from sin. He or she uses God for what He can give them, eternal security. They use Christ to fit in with the church crowd and to make themselves look better to other people. They use Christ as a security blanket that they hide under and never deal with the reality of the sinful human beings that they are.

Can you relate?!

But Jesus said that only those who do the will of His Father will enter the Kingdom of Heaven.

What is your motivation for seeking God? Are you someone who is just "following Him" for what He can give you? If that is your main purpose, then you need to examine your salvation. The true disciple's motive is the worthiness of Jesus Christ and the glory of God! You can come to Jesus for your own good, because it is good and will bring contentment, but if that is your supreme motive for following Him, you must ask, "Do I really know Him?" A disciple follows God to glorify Him.

In John 6, it talks about the people who were seeking Jesus. In verse 26, He says to them, 
"Very truly I tell you, you are looking for me, not because you saw the signs I performed but because you ate the loaves and had your fill."
We scoff and talk smack about the girls who use their boyfriends for their money, or low class citizens who vote for the Presidential candidate who offers the most benefits, but never pay taxes or do anything to help the situation of our country...but isn't that what counterfeit Christians do on an even larger scale? They come to God because He can still their fears for a time, but make no commitment, never change and don't plan to...

Why are you seeking the Lord? Can you say that He is your all in all? Is He a commitment in your life? Someone that is transforming you from the inside out? Or is He just the handbag you carry to complete your social outfit? the name-brand that helps you get along in the right crowds? Are you seeking Him because you are scared of eternity, or has really become and inevitable, joyous part of your life?

Are you a counterfeit Christian that hopes no one will spot the differences?

People may not, but God, most certainly will.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

I'm Leaving

Totally His Youth Conference is coming tomorrow! I'm going to South Carolina! I cannot wait. I'm dying to see old friends, make new ones and listen to the FABULOUS sermons.

That being said, "I shall be gone until Saturday. Not like anyone will miss me anyways. I haven't been posting at all lately (this time it was because I seriously didn't have the time, its been crazy over here. :P).

Because of the great spiritual atmosphere at Totally His, I'm going to have GREAT stuff to post about when I get back. Not to mention that its about time to wrap up my Proverbs 31 Women posts.

Looking forward to coming back. Check here Saturday night or Sunday, and hopefully I'll have something up.

Rejoice! Today is the day the Lord has made!

I Found a Pearl!

This morning while I listened to the sermon in our church by the guest speaker and missionary, David Barcelo, I couldn't help but ask myself one thing, "Am I giving up all for the sake of the Gospel?"

The sermon reminded me of one of my favorite book characters, Reepicheep. Those of you who have read the Chronicles of Narnia know him and probably love him as much as I do. He is a talking and fighting rat. He bravely serves Aslan and will do anything his King tells him to do. He considers it an honor to die for Aslan and looks forward to journeying to Aslan's country.

The writer, C.S Lewis, very obviously intended for Aslan to be a picture of Christ, His country to be a picture of heaven and Reepicheep to represent a faithful servant.

Reep shows his passion for Aslan's Country when he says, "My own plans are made. While I may, I sail East in Dawn Treader. When she fails me, I row East in my coracle. When that sinks, shall I paddle East with my four paws. Then, when I can swim no longer, if I have not yet reached Aslan's Country, there shall I sink with my nose to the sunrise..."

This morning David Barcelo preached on Matthew 13 and the infinite worth of the Gospel. In the parable (verses 44-45) there was a man who found a pearl of great value and sold everything he had to buy it. Everything! He knew the price and the value of that one pearl so he gave up all to possess it.

His friends probably didn't understand why he did it. They probably made fun and teased him. There is no way they could understand, though. Unless they knew the value of the pearl, they would never understand.

God knew that the one thing Abraham loved was Isaac. So God said, "Abraham, give me Isaac." Abraham did.

My question for myself: "What do I love that I'm not giving up for His sake?" What do I have that I won't let go? Anything that I can't give up for Christ is an idol. Whoo. Scary word. God doesn't take idols lightly. Uh, if you don't believe me, read the old testament.

Salvation is the pearl. Jesus is my pearl. Jesus is my treasure above treasures. Can I say that with conviction? Can you? My life will be prioritized by, run in accordance to, and follow the path of my treasures. What am I treasuring the most? What means the most to me? If you don't know, examine your life! You'll find out what it is quick.

Think about what you love the most. If God were to say, "My Child, give me ______." Could you do it?  Are you seeking the Gospel and the Kingdom of God with fervency? Or is your journey to heaven and your Christian life, more like a time-to-laze-around-waiting-for-heaven time?

NO! That is why Reepicheep is so inspiring! I want to go to heaven and finish my journey exhausted. I want to be sold out for Christ. If He takes away my ship, then my boat and even my own strength, I still want to cross the finish line sinking! I want to be the type of Christian that says, "TAKE EVERYTHING LORD!" I want to live like I believe that giving everything up for Christ is a joy. I want to always be willing to lay aside my true-loves, my addictions, my habits, my comforts, and my ease for His name.

If I do that, people are going to think I'm crazy, they will think I've gone off my rocker, but how could they think anything else unless they have seen the treasure of Jesus Christ and Heaven? Jesus has given me that gift. He has allowed me into His family. I see the joy. I see the beauty. I've felt the love. Now, I have to fight for it. The gift is mine, and better yet, the Giver is mine. I want to give Him my all, because He gave me His all.

Paul said with conviction in Philippians 3:7-8, "But whatever were gains to me I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. What is more, I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things."

Jim Elliot said, "He is no fool who gives up what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose." 

Are you and am I giving up the things that we cannot take out of this world so we can gain the eternal rewards in heaven and ultimately Christ? The treasure of all treasures Himself?

Monday, June 13, 2011


This is real music. The power it can have on people is...unmeasurable. I know most of you know that I have an obsession with choirs. So, I was surfing youtube, looking at choirs and lets just say...I was wowed. This is the type of stuff i want to sing one day. The first one gives me chills. The second one is way corny, but SO COOL!! And the thrid is unbelievable.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Glory to God? Forever?

I'm going to quickly type out a post before rushing to bed. So, I apologize beforehand for any typos or weirdness.

I went to afterglow. I LOVE AFTERGLOW! It's where our youth group gets together and just talks about the sermons in church and kinda applies them, or just discusses them. We also sing a lot which I love. In general, singing is my favorite thing ever. But singing with believers to God is the BEST!

We sang  a song tonight that provoked some thought in me. It's called, "Glory to God".

Creator God you gave me breath so I could praise
Your great and matchless name
All my days, all my days
So let my whole life be
A blazing offering
A life that shouts and sings
The greatness of the King

Glory to God, Glory to God
Glory to God, Forever
Glory to God, Glory to God
Glory to God, Forever

Glory to God? Forever? I tried to wrap my mind around that. One day, we are going to be praising God and glorifying His name with the angels and saints. I can't imagine the day when we can sit around His throne and adore Him.

And even now. I want to give glory to God in my life right now. This moment! I confess that many times i can sing, "Take my life and let it be, all for You and for Your glory" but I don't really live that out. I found myself half-heartedly singing those words tonight. But, those words are a prayer and shouldn't be taken nonchalantly. Lives that are "all for You and for Your glory" are totally different, crazy-in-the-worlds-eyes lives! I sing like I want to be that, but I'm not taking the steps and making the radical choices to be one.

I mean, what would someone who is living that type of life look like? What if I found someone who was living out "Glory to God, Forever" in everything they do? How can I do that?

I was convicted tonight about the fact that I can sing prayerful, reverent words like that and treat them like no big deal. Here's one, "I Have Decided to Follow Jesus". EVERYONE in church knows that chorus, but how many people who sing it really mean it? Those are tough words. "Though none go with me, I still will follow...The world behind me, the cross before me..." Who wants to go to the cross? The cross stands for and is the most amount of suffering that anyone could go through? Who actually wants that?

I don't really want to sing those songs unless I mean them. Or here, maybe when I sing that...if I feel like I'm not meaning them at the moment...I can pray that God will enable me to desire the cross and enable me to live out "Glory to God, Forever".

Today, tomorrow and forever I want to give glory to God. Whether it is through the way I treat my family, how I handle customers, what I do behind closed doors, or my priorities...I want God to be glorified - forever.

Back to the old verse that everyone knows and quotes, but the truth is so huge...

1 Corinthians 10:31 "Whether you eat, drink or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God."

When is that going to stop just "being a verse" and start being my life?!?

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

The God of Eternity Doesn't Handle Your Sin Lightly

More and more I've noticed in the world around me and in...sadly, myself this attitude of "sin isn't really that big a deal". If I shoot up a little prayer of repentance, promise to do better and all...then, I'm clear, right?


God does not take our sin lightly. The God of the Universe, the initiator of everything, the one who can discontinue your breath without a though doesn't take your sin lightly. He doesn't go, "Oh, she is doing a half-way job fixing her sin, and she is failing - she doesn't even seem like she really cares, but I don't really mind...after all, she isn't murdering anyone, is she?"

The one who has the power to throw you in hell doesn't take your sin lightly. Why should you? What grounds do you have to relax about it?

If your right eyes causes you to sin, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to be thrown in hell. And if your right arm causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to go to hell. (Matthew 5:29-30)
What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound? 2 Certainly not! How shall we who died to sin live any longer in it? (Romans 6:1-2)
Relax isn't an instruction. God is the same wrathful God of the OT. He hasn't changed. He hates sin and He hates when His people turn from Him to pursue other things. He shows mercy upon mercy and helps those who ask for it, thank goodness! And He will never forsake. But don't let those promises give you slack to sin more and not worry. Be about the work of righteousness. If you are in sin, repent! and change! 

We cannot take it lightly anymore. God eventually punished the Isrealites for not serving Him, when will He do the same to us?

I'm learning this lesson more and more. My ease about the whole thing concerns me. I want to be sensitive and aware of my sin, constantly on my face repenting to God, and always in the process of changing.

Is there unhandled sin in your life? Today, not tomorrow, is the time...

Monday, June 6, 2011

P31W: Building Up People

I love this quote. Sadly, I don't know who to credit it to. If anyone knows, please tell me.
"Behind every great man is an even better woman."
Okay, I don't believe that is true in all cases, but I it is something I like to think about. Can women be the people who build others up in such a way that the subject of their encouragement's accomplishments can almost be credited back to them? Can we, as females, have that much influence?


Proverbs 31 gives a description of the P31W's husband in verse 23:
"Her husband is respected at the city gate, where he takes his seat among the elders of the land."
Now, keep in mind that the chapter is talking about the Proverbs 31 Woman. She is the one the chapter is zeroing in on. So, this random verse about her husband, seeming "tossed" in there, is probably more about her, than the husband. The woman, in a marriage relationship, is the help-meet. She helps, loves, cares for, supports and respects her husband. If a woman does that successfully, it isn't far fetched to believe that that man will do well in the world, will be respected by others, and be successful.

Now, lets take this idea out of the context of marriage, since 90% (or more) of us aren't married. How can we, as Proverbs 31 Teens, be a supportive "back-bone" to other people? How can we encourage and inspire people to be all they can for the glory of God? How can we be a side-kick for others who need help? Is there any way our actions can be the type that some people will later claim they wouldn't have made it without?

Interesting to think about, huh?

In the case of a sibling: the P31W would probably be the type of sister who would go out of her way to help her sibling with homework, chores, or even talk when he or she needs a listening ear.

In the case of a sister or brother in Christ: She would be one who lifts up, encourages, prays for, and helps those in the family of God. She would minister to people and disciple younger, newer Christians. She would be one that people always new they could come to for help, anytime.

In the case of the church: She is on who would be okay working "backstage" and is always there at the drop of a hat for any kind of service...cooking meals for families, nursery, music ministery...or whatever....

See the pattern? We don't have to be married to be reliable women who build others up. We can be support to whoever, all the time. And the rewards for being that type of friend, or sister, are great. Sometimes on earth, but always in heaven.

Challenge: Pick someone you can support today. Who around you needs a helping hand or just a word of encouragement?   

Sunday, June 5, 2011

P31W: A Woman of Beauty

Everyone loves beauty right? Everyone appreciates it, whether its natural beauty, beautiful people, or beautiful symbolic meanings. We can even apply this to the Proverbs 31 Woman.

Read verse 22 of Proverbs 31.
"She makes coverings for her bed; she is clothed in fine linen and purple."
I talked to my Pastor's wife about this and she gave some pretty good insight about what this verse meant. She thinks that this verse means that the P31W appreciates and strives for beauty in the home. She is a homemaker and does what she can to have a gorgeous home.

I have two applications for this verse myself. Let's take the first part of it. "She makes coverings for her bed." Where do you feel at home? If you were to go to someone's house and it was dirty and not very well taken care of, would you feel as comfortable there as you would in someone's clean house who tried to make it look beautiful and inviting? I would venture to guess that you probably would not.

God created the world beautiful. He created beautiful girls and even calls them as much in the Bible. The temple was beautiful, even. Some people believe it is vain to have curtains or a beautiful home. People have gone as extreme to make sure they only have the bear necessities in their home so as not to be vain. Now, don't get me wrong. Some people have extreme convictions about this. Take Muller for example. Thousands of orphans were in his care and he had nothing. That's understandable. But, I think there is a point where you can start to be legalistic about it. Is it JUST about not being vain, or is there a part of the person that makes them feel more loved by God if they refrain from "fluff"? ...That's not an accusation, just a question.

I, on the other hand, feel like it is our job to make beauty. God speaks to us of beauty through the Bible is creation, His Son, love relationships, in women, and even (I thought this was cool) in Exodus, God tells them to make garments for the priests for glory and beauty. See, beauty is not an un-known thing to God. He understands and loves beauty. Our job as P31Ws is to take our homes and lives and decorate them. When an unbeliever comes into my home, I want her/him to think, "Wow. This woman takes care of what she has. This place is peaceful and beautiful and makes me feel relaxed." I don't want that person to think. "This is the Christian life? Whoo, she got jipped." I want people to see the blessing of the Lord in my life, and if that is through a beautiful house, then praise the Lord!

I KNOW that there are some Christians who just don't have much. Glory to God. I hope they make beautiful and pleasing whatever God has given them.

Second application is beauty in the person of the P31W. I guess, sometimes I thought of her as someone who was probably grimy from working and never dressed in anything but a plain, straight dress. I don't think that is the case though. The second half of the verse says, "she is clothed in fine linen and purple." I don't think she was hygienically run down.

Yeah, you bet. Spending long periods of time in front of a mirror is a bad habit. Sinful and wrong. But, I think God is pleased when we try to be beautiful. Not in a seductive or self-glorifying way, but in a way that points people to the creator. We are the work, the beautiful work of the creator. We should show it. Not to flaunt. Not to draw attention. But in order to point people to the amazing creator. Wearing make-up, dressing up or doing our hair isn't going to make us less cherished in the sight of God. Did you know that God planted the desire to be beautiful in women? It's natural for us to want beauty. In 1 Peter 3:3-4 it says,
"Do not let your adornment be merely outward—arranging the hair, wearing gold, or putting on fine apparel— 4 rather let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the incorruptible beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is very precious in the sight of God."
God doesn't deny that we are beautiful creatures who have a desire to be attractive. It cannot be our primary focus and control us, but we shouldn't let it slide either. Lets be beautiful and attractive! Through our outward appearance, deeds, words, our home, and our character. God created us, right? And He doesn't mess up! So lets rejoice in the creator and be the piece of art-work He created us to be!!

Confession Session

Okay, so I can officially award myself as the "worst blogger in the world." I feel bad that I've let things slip for so long. I have wanted too, but at the same time I haven't. I think it may also be  a reflection of what is going on with my heart. For some weird reason I've just kinda lost some of my steam when it comes to my relationship with the Lord. I think it may be as simple as letting the stuff in my life get in the way. But, I'm seeking healing and trying to dive back into the Word like old times. Maybe I'll start getting some more inspiration to write. I am blessed when I remember that I'm the one who moved away. Yeah, it makes me sorta mad at myself, but at the same time I feel tremendous blessing when I think of it. God is going to be there when I come. I just have to...come.

That...that...kinda makes me feel stupid. Why have I been away so long? *kicks a rock*

Prayer would be great. I need it. Some people have given me the impression that they think I've got my ducks in a row and life is good. Well, if you've ever thought that or my blog (God forbid) has ever given you that impression...it isn't true. I have so many questions, problems, pride issues and stuff...it's ridiculous. I feel like a basket case sometimes when I come to God. Almost like this, "Uh, God. Well, there is so much going on with me, I don't know where You want to start."

So, again, prayer would be great.

On a brighter note, I realized that June 3rd, was Striving for a Crown's 1'st birthday! *balloons* Happy Birthday dear ol' blog of mine! Just want to say thank you to all my faithful followers who have put up with my inconsistency and random thoughts for so long. You guys have given me the motivation to write. And thanks to those of you who spread the word. The facebook links and blog references have helped me gain followers like crazy. I know because I can track it. ;) I've been holding over 1,000 views monthly. I never would've imagined that, starting out, but you guys have seriously been so supportive. Anyways...I'm rambling bad.

I'm going to try and post a Proverbs 31 Woman post. Please know that the post isn't from someone who has the answers, but from someone who is searching as well. Okay?

Over and out!