Saturday, March 25, 2017


Someone told me lately that they came across my old blog and that I should start writing them again. Honestly, I had forgotten that I ever had one in the first place. Back in college, it was a place to express the thoughts that God placed on my heart. I guess I should start back with a feel good post that leaves readers with a boost of confidence and a "everything will be alright" attitude, but that's really not what is on my heart right now. Have you ever done something you know is wrong and casually ask for God's forgiveness only to do it again, ask for forgiveness, do it again, and repeat the cycle? I know I am guilty of it. Sometimes it gets so easy to get caught up in the grace of God that we forget we aren't actually owed his forgiveness. A lot of people don't understand the difference between grace and mercy. Although they go hand in hand, they are completely different. Grace is receiving something you don't deserve. Mercy is not receiving something you do deserve. For example, God's grace allows you to be forgiven for your sin, God's mercy allows you to be spared from receiving the consequences of your sin you deserve. God's grace allows you to make it to work safely even though you were speeding, God's mercy allowed you to make it to work without getting a ticket. You can speed everyday and not pass a cop. You are still speeding, but you aren't facing any consequences. Until that one morning you top the hill and see the officer sitting there with his radar gun and you instantly know the blue lights are coming. God's grace allowed you to make it safely to work even though you didn't follow the traffic laws set in place to ensure safely of people on the road. God's mercy allowed you to not get a ticket for every morning up until the one where your lead foot finally caught up to you. There are a number of situations that could be used, but what matters is that we get into a place of not even realizing that we are in sin. We become so accustomed to grace that we forget about mercy. It's usually at the point when we aren't receiving mercy and are facing a consequence we actually deserve that we call out to God. This is not what it means to live in the full abundance of Christ. If we ask for forgiveness and keep sinning, that is not true repentance. In Kelly Minter's study All Things New, she states that "when we're truly sorry for our sin, we return to a walk of obedience to Christ, and a new level of intimacy is established." How often do we show sorrow over our sin? How often does it actually hurt our heart to know that Jesus died on the Cross for us to have freedom, but we have made a choice to abandon that freedom for a moment of emotional, physical, or mental pleasure? I will speak first and say I am guilty of this. 15 This is what the Sovereign LORD, the Holy One of Israel, says: “In repentance and rest is your salvation, in quietness and trust is your strength, but you would have none of it." Isaiah 30:15 The nation of Israel has a long history of being rebellious, and instead of repenting and allowing God to redeem them, they chose to fight their own battles and continue in the same struggles God so desperately wanted to save them from. How often is this the reflection of our lives, where God is waiting for us to truly repent and stop letting Satan use alcohol, sex, money, or whatever other vise has entangled us? As I am praying through a season of needing mercy and acknowledging the grace that I have so often taken for granted, I pray that God would reveal those areas in your life that you have become numb to. May you grow in intimacy with him as you abandom the chains of sin, and receive the freedom of forgiveness. Lord, we thank you for your grace so undeserving. We lift up those areas of our lives where we have allowed the powers of Satan to enslave us and abandon our freedom found in you. Lord reveal to us the areas where like Israel, we are not surrendering to you. Allow us to truly repent and face sorrow of our sin and the separation from you. If your mercy is withheld from us, allow us to live with the consequence of our sins, but let it be used as a testament of your glory. We aren't defined by our shortcomings, but by your power in that even in our darkest moment, in our deepest sin, Christ loved us enough at that moment to die for us. May we live in the promise of who you are and that your plans for us are good. It's in your name we pray, Amen.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

a bit of rambling.

“Your day is coming. What the world has overlooked, your Father has remembered, and sooner than you can imagine, you will be blessed by him."
-Max Lucado

This is such an uplifting quote. Life can be really frustrating sometimes, especially when you are trying to live your life according to the scriptures. I absolutely love growing up in America and have been truly blessed to have all the opportunities that I have been given. The problem is, that I have also been raised that the "American Dream" is the ultimate accomplishment. Unfortunately, this isn't biblical at all. In fact, its contradictory to what Jesus said. Didn't he tell the rich man: "If you want to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven." It is hard to not want the best things(clothes, car, jewelry) especially when you are raised to believe that the more stuff you have the better. Truly following the scripture means giving up what everybody else sees as the ultimate means of happiness. Ouch. But look back at that quote. "What the world has overlooked, your father has remembered." This quote is about a lot more than the American Dream. This quote is about every conscious decision we make to further our relationship with Christ. There are going to be times that we do things that other people don't understand. There are going to be times when we do things that we really don't want to do. I can't tell you how many times I've sat and wondered "why am I doing this? Wouldn't it be easier to just be like everybody else?" Living your life for God is not easy, but that's what makes the second part of this verse so powerful. "Sooner than you can imagine, you will be blessed by him." Although often it seems like we are constantly giving up things and getting no reward for it, the truth is that God has already planned rewards for us, his blessings. How much easier is it to give things up if we know that we are going to be blessed for it? Ok, so lets break this down. If we live our life according to the ways of the Bible and give up the ideas of society, then we will be blessed. So lose some, just to gain even better? That's what the promise of God is. To gain him, you must first lose yourself. This is why we are baptized, why we must first die to be born again. We have to make the decision to give up what we thought we wanted for our lives to receive what God has already prepared for us. Doesn't Psalm 139 talk about how God knows everything about us? And if he knows everything about us, wouldn't he know whats best for us? He does, and he wants to bless us. But first, we have to decide to give up what the world tells us to do, and instead do what he tells us to do. I know this post is a lot of rambling. but I haven't posted in a while and this quote just jumped out at me on tumblr and it really hit home. No matter what you're going through, just keep your faith and follow God's word. No matter how hard it may seem, you will be rewarded by his blessings.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Just a thought

Sometimes things happen that we don't understand, but its up to us how we handle it. We can either let it keep us down, or we can learn and grow from it. "...consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us." Rom 8:18

Tuesday, September 28, 2010


I am so excited to write this blog. I can't believe that it has been almost six months since I've written a post. It's crazy how you forget about things when life gets so busy. I read a quote last week by C.S. Lewis: A man's spiritual health is exactly proportional to his love for God. wow. I've been dealing a lot with relationships lately. This isn't going to be one of those cliche rants about love and dating and all that, I mean I might talk about it some, but I'm really feeling that its much deeper. I've recently come to accept that I've lost some relationships. I've gradually seen my relationships with people slip away. I've also learned that it is impossible to have a relationship if both people aren't putting forth the same amount of effort. Some relationships aren't mean to be long term, some people are only in your life for a certain amount of time to teach you something that you need to learn. Sometimes people come back into your lives when you least expect it. If there is one thing I can say about us as humans, its that we put a great deal of value into relationships. When we are in elementary school we are best friends forever. We don't even want to lose what we have with that person, when realistically we normal lose contact with those people by the time we enter high school. In middle and high school we start dating and think we've found our true love. More often that not, that doesn't last either. I feel like we focus so much on our relationships with other people that we forget about our most important relationship. We try so hard to find love in other people when we already have it. In Proverbs 8: 17 it says "I love those who love me, and those who seek me early and diligently shall find me." I feel like out of all my relationships the one with God is the one that I most often push aside when I get busy. I get too tired to read my Bible, or only pray when I have a test or need something. "Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and all your strength." Mark 12:30 This is such an astonishing verse. Heart, soul, mind, and strength. Mark 12:30 are directions telling us how to keep our relationships with God strong. Loving God in each of these areas requires loving God with every aspect of our lives. If we are so focused on finding love in other people, how can we show God the love he wants from us? If we worried half as much about our relationship with God as we did about our relationships with other people, I couldn't even imagine how different things would be. One thing I truly believe when it comes to marriage is that you should find the person that brings you closer to God. Why? Because unless you have a relationship centered around God, you are never going to be satisfied with that relationship. You can't experience true love, without experiencing God. And you can't experience God if you don't build the foundation of your relationship around him. We seem to forget that God is the only one who will never leave us, he created us to love us. Lets go back to relationships with people. Friendships. The health of your friendship depends on how much effort you put into that friendship. If you never talk to that person, see that person,or call and see how things are going, then chances are the friendship isn't going to last very long. Unfortunately, you could be the one putting in all the effort, but if the action isn't reciprocated, the friendship is not going to work and it's the same way with dating. It has to be an effort of both parts. Now back to the quote by C.S. Lewis, "A man's spiritual health is exactly proportional to his love for God." This love that we mentioned earlier, not just love, but love with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength. True love. I don't know if this is true for everyone else, but the more I love God and the stronger my relationship becomes with him, the better my relationships are with other people. I don't think that is just a coincidence, I think it's because he is teaching me how I'm supposed to love. I wonder how many times we have broken up with God, or let our relationship with him fade. I mean, we usually come back at some point but no matter what he is always there. No matter what we've done or how long we've been gone it's almost like we never left. "those who seek me find me" He is always there. When our relationships with other people are broken, we still have our relationship with him. “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” Hebrew 13:5 I honestly don't think I can comprehend just how powerful his love is. I think we should start evaluating our relationships and seeing how they compare to our relationship with God. Which one are we putting more effort into keeping? If we focus on our relationship with him, I am sure that he will bring us the relationships we need in our lives, and show us the relationships that are worth keeping.

Thursday, March 18, 2010


"We are mirrors of God, created to reflect him." -Ernesto Cardenal

This is one of my favorite quotes by Ernesto Cardenal. I think it is so powerful to think that we are suppose to reflect God. I started reading Crazy Love by Francis Chan last night, and in the Foreword Chris Tomlin is talking about how we were given the name Christians. In Acts 11 verse 26, it says that "the disciples were called Christians first at Antioch. Called, not named themselves, but they were called. They were labeled "Christians" by the way they lived their lives, they stood out. Unfortunately, for most people the same is not true today. I was told a few weeks ago that "Perception is reality." What you reflect is how people are going to see you. We were created to reflect God, but I cant help but realize if we were to look in the mirror, not at our physical appearance; but at our spiritual appearance what would we see? Chances are, that although we may have reflections of God, he might be hidden under the drinking, lying, stealing, and many other things that control our life. It is not a sin to drink moderately, but it does say in the Bible not to drink in excess and that leaders are held to a higher standard. I don't have a problem with other people drinking, but 2nd Peter says that we are not supposed to let our bodies be mastered by anything. My family has a problem with addictions to things. Drugs, alcohol, smoking, I would just rather not risk the chance. As I said, this isn't about drinking, it is about what we reflect. If the same people who gave the disciples the title "Christian" were to come to America today, would they be able to look at us and say "Christian."? Matthew 7:20 - "Thus, by their fruit you will recognize them." We are a people of appearances, we spend so much time and money on clothes, jewelry, shoes, makeup, hairstyles, all kinds of things to make us fit in with society. How much time do we spend working on making ourselves look like God? We are too focused on our physical appearance and not focused enough on our spiritual appearance. We weren't called to enjoy what everybody else enjoys and praise God too, we were called to be IN the world, but not OF the world. If we are suppose to be reflecting God, how are we portraying God to the world? I certainly don't serve a God who is drunk, or who cares more about clothes than does helping the poor and needy, or who lies, gossips, the list can go on. I just want God to be able to look at me and see his reflection, not my own.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Sunday Service 01/03/2010


Id never been to Thailand before so these are what I was expecting to experience in the girls when I got to the House of Grace. I had been told what these girls had come from. Parents addicted to opium, one or both parents dying from AIDS, ten people living in a one bedroom home, or even a chicken coop, some abandoned by their parents, or dumped on family members who didn’t want them. I thought that I was going to see the pain, the suffering, the brokenness in the lives of these girls.
Well, when I got to the House of Grace, I did find these. I found these, but it wasn’t in the girls, it was in me. I was broken, I had heartache.


These are what welcomed me when I walked through the gates to the House of Grace. These are what came running to me and wrapped their arms around me. Hugged me. Loved me. The entire time we were there the girls wanted to spend every minute with us. Just be with us no matter what we were doing. There was no sadness, or pain, or suffering in these girls. I was going to Thailand expecting to piece the girls back together, but instead they pieced me together. The whole trip there I was thinking about how I was goin to try to impact these girls and instead they showed me my reality, I was the one who was broken. I didn’t even know I was broken.

These girls knew nothing about my past, nothing about my life in America, nothing about the mistakes Id made. None of it mattered. They loved me. They loved me like God loved me. They showed me how God instructed us to love one another. 1 Peter 1:22 says “Love each other with a warm love that comes from the heart.” A warm love. A love that when you share it, the other person can feel it. A love that is sincere. A love that comes from the heart. A love that comes from God living through us. That’s what I experienced.

You cant show others the love of God until you allow him to work through you. You have to give all of yourself to him. And it took these beautiful little girls who I only spent a week with to show me something I had been dealing with my entire life. I hadn’t been showing others the love that God has given to me, because I wasn’t allowing him to work through every area of my life. I was still holding onto things instead of letting go and letting God do what he wanted. But these girls showed me Gods love, his grace, and his mercy. These girls showed me how I was supposed to be living life, how I was suppose to love. And that’s what I want to show you.

I can not do justice to describe to you what I experienced in Thailand. Now I want to apologize ahead of time for what Im about to show you. If any of you know my mom you know she cries a lot. Well when I was filming this, I started crying and kinda forgot I was filming so at one point the camera begins to drop but I remember and continue filming. hopefully this performance will touch you as much as it touched me. Before we watch this, I want to read to a part of the lyrics.

Heal my heart and make it clean Open up my eyes to the things unseen Show me how to love like you have loved me Break my heart from what breaks yours Everything I am for your kingdoms cause As I go from nothing to Eternity.


Heal my heart and make it clean Open up my eyes to the things unseen Show me how to love like you have loved me Break my heart from what breaks yours Everything I am for your kingdoms cause As I go from nothing to Eternity.

From nothing to eternity. I could not think of a better song for these girls to perform to. These girls came from situations where they had nothing, they had no hope. And now they have eternity, they have love of Christ, and I was lucky enough for them to share that love with me. As we were saying our last goodbyes to the girls, they stood there with tears in their eyes and their arms wrapped around me, looked up at me and said “I love you, please don’t forget me.” I could never forget these girls and what they taught me, I pray that you won’t forget them either.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Return from Thailand.

Thank the Lord! He has shown me the miracle of his mercy in a city under attack.
Psalm 31:21

Staying at the House of Grace is more amazing than I ever could have imagined. If there is one thing I can say about the trip, It's that Gods love radiates through each of the girls there. As soon as you walk in they run to you and begin to hug you. They don't know anything about you, what youve done in the past, how you feel, anything. They just simply love you.

These girls have come out of situations that no one deserves to live through. Parents addicted to opium, dying from Aids, ten people living in a one room house, living in a chicken coop, its just heartbreaking. But God has shown his mercy on Thailand and has provided these girls with a place they can go and be loved and provided for. Thailand has a rising trend in child trafficing and prostitution. These girls had their futures stamped on their lives, but God saved them. We went to downtown Bangkok and saw the brothels so we could see what House of Grace was saving the girls from. Wow. I am so grateful for everything I have. My heart still breaks for all the girls who are already caught up in that lifestyle and don't have a way out. I could talk forever about all the cool things we got to do, and all the amazing food we ate, but thats not what the trip was about.

In Hebrews 13, it starts by saying that we are to continue to love one another and show hospitatlity to believers because we never know when we are interacting with angels.These girls showed me love like Ive never experienced before. Ive heard all my life that we are suppose to love one another, but never have I seen it acted out in such a manner. The whole trip I just felt loved, wanted, cared for. Ive never experienced God's love like this. ive grown up in church my whole life and have been blessed, but there is no way I share God's love like they do. Its like God was like, "let me show you how its suppose to be done." And shown through these little girls who grew up with such broken lives. They dont care about anything but us, loving us, playing with us, just being with us. Nothing else matters. Hebrews 1 also says to remember those in prison as if we are in prison and those who are mistreated and if we are mistreated. We were there for the Christmas celebration, so its one of two times a year the families visit the girls.

There were girls who would take their dinners to their little brothers and sisters instead of them eating. And most of the girls send money back home once they finish school and start working. After everything they have been through, they still love and care for their families back home. Most of the time, the girls end up in these situations because their families just cant afford to take care of them anymore. But these girls are ok, because they know the love of God, and they share it with others.
It was so hard to leave the House of Grace. The girls were crying, we were crying, it was just an emotional rollercoaster. I bonded with some of the girls more than others and to see them look up and me and say "I love you please dont forget me." Oh my stars, the tears just started pouring. I only spend a week with these girls but it felt like they had loved me my whole life.

Thats the amazing thing about God's love. He has loved us our entire lives, and he can show it through anybody. He doesn't care about the mistakes we've made or anything, all he wants to do is love us. These girls treated us like family. Not only do they treat us like that, but they show a love for one another like a family. They are all sisters. Sisters of Christ. And to hear them sing worship, its just unbelieveable. The love that they showed us is nothing compared to the love they show God. All the Christmas cards they made us say "God loves you, I love you." Thats such a bold statement, even though I dont know you, God loves you and I do too. I mean coming home is such a hard adjustment because everyday I was there I was loved, there was no rejection of any kind. But here, we dont love like that. At least I know I havent, but that doesnt mean Im not going to try to now. I feel like these girls showed me how God wants me to love others.

Love each other with a warm love that comes from the heart. 1 Peter 1:22

I honestly dont think I can find the words to truly capture my experience in Thailand. I feel like when I left, I left a piece of my heart there. Those girls impacted me more than I could have ever imagined. There is no way possible that I could ever forget them. I feel like I have been challenged to show others the love that they showed me. I want people to look at me and experience God's love like I did through them. So if Ive done any wrong against you in the past, or been hateful to you, or anything else, I am sorry, and know that I am going to truly love like God loves no matter what has happened in the past, whatever wrong was committed doesnt matter. Nothing matters except sharing Gods grace and love.

As the Beatles once said, "All you need is love."
Let everything you say be good and helpful, so that your words will be an encouragement to those who hear them.
Ephesians 4:29