Monday, July 29, 2013

Running in the Humidity

As many of you may already know, I've decided to try once more on the whole marathon idea. After 2 of my best friends recently signed up for their second race, I realized my personal pride couldn't let them do that without me completing at least ONE! :)

I am only two weeks into the training program, and I am finding out quickly that running in this Louisiana summer weather can be TOUGH. I went for a run yesterday, and I felt like the humidity swallowed me up! The air felt so thick that I was not even sure if I could get enough air to breathe my next breath. It really does make for a pretty intense run. Training in Louisiana humidity can test your endurance, your lung capacity, and your drive and determination to keep running.

When I got back home after my run yesterday afternoon, I started thinking how we get like that in our own lives sometimes. We may feel that we cannot breathe due to various circumstances. Sometimes we allow these anxieties to take over and make us feel like can't catch a breath.

Ever felt that way?

Your teacher piles a ton of homework on you the week you have 3 other exams, your boss seems to be on your case about every little thing, your boyfriend/girlfriend decides it's time to part ways, you're taking care of a sick child, money is tight, etc. You get the point.

But the cool thing is, 1 Peter 5:7 says, "Cast all your anxieties on Him, because He cares for you."

So next time you are feeling "breathless" in your everyday life, know that we have Jesus to give our anxieties to. He so desperately wants us to find our peace in Him. When you do, it will be like one of those days when the humidity has ceased, and you feel as if you can run forever--a true "runner's high" when your air feels abundant!


Thursday, July 18, 2013

Your Love Never Fails

As I was driving to work this morning, I started thinking about something. Isn't it funny how nothing stays the same in this crazy life? Literally--NOTHING stays the same.

I was having dinner with a couple girlfriends last night, and I find it amazing how our lives are changing even as we speak. One of my closest friends just got married, another is about to move to a new city, and I am about to begin my counseling internship for graduate school.

I'm sure that most of you reading this can relate to change as well. Change can definitely be a great thing; however, it can also bring disappointments. Parents sometimes walk out on you. Spouses sometimes decide to leave. Your boss may decide you're not right for the job. You may not get into the school you wanted to get in to. My point is...nothing stays the same, and nothing can be guaranteed.

As I was thinking this morning about all these changes, a song came on K-LOVE that stopped me dead in my thoughts.

"Constant in the trial and the change, this one thing remains.
Your love never fails, never gives up, never runs out on me."

I don't know about you, but I find so much peace knowing that in the middle of the chaos that life can sometimes bring, God's love stays the same. It is 100% guaranteed!

Let these lyrics bring encouragement to your life. Know that no matter where you are, what you are going through, or who has let you down in the past, there is one thing that remains constant and stable. It never changes, never gives up, and never runs out.


Wednesday, January 2, 2013

More Than Hot

Santa brought me several new worship CD's for Christmas. As I am making my way through each of them, I cannot help but notice a theme with several of the songs...lots of talk about fire. Some of my favorite lyrics include: "Consuming fire, burn deep within. Overtake my heart and burn in me once again."...and "Set a fire down in my soul...that I can't contain, that I can't control."

So I started thinking...what does "consuming fire" even mean? Webster defines consuming as "extremely intense; so intense as to take up all of somebody's attention, time, & energy."

What is the first thing you think of when you hear the word "fire?" I guess my first thought is that it's hot. Obviously. Then I began thinking about the fire that Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego were thrown into. That fire was so hot that the soldiers died while attempting to throw in the 3 men.

I'm pretty sure that God desires for our fire to be like the one in that fiery furnace. Maybe your fire used to be like that, but it has grown dim here lately. If that's the case, I challenge you today to feed that tiny flame and let it grow into a raging forest fire. I promise the Holy Spirit is waiting to explode God's power in your life!

As a new year is beginning, don't be content with simply being "hot for God." Strive to be the kind of fire that refuses to burn out...a consuming fire that cannot get enough!

Stay tuned...


Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Be Still

I woke up around 6:00 this morning and couldn't go back to sleep. My alarm wasn't set until 7:30AM, so I decided to go for a run instead of tossing and turning for the next hour and a half. I turned on some worship music and was looking forward to a peaceful few miles on the road. I am here to tell you that God spoke to me more in that 45 minutes of quiet time than the entire past week put together. As I finished my run, I thought to myself, "Why don't I feel God's presence like that every single day?" Then that little voice whispered..."Because you don't get still."


I will admit that being still is not something I have mastered nor is it at the top of my list of things to do. Sometimes I feel like I have too much to get done to stop and spend time with God. I mean, the house doesn't clean itself..laundry doesn't fold on it's own..I have a huge paper due tomorrow..and I have no clue what I'm going to feed the kids for dinner. Sound familiar? 

As I am writing this, I look over and see my phone recharging by my desk. This may seem like a silly comparison, but we recharge our iPods, phones, and computers, right? Why shouldn't we lie down and let Him recharge us?

God is desperately longing to be closer to us. And the awesome thing is...He is never too busy. Sometimes we get too caught up in the life and things around us that we drown out God from our daily lives and don't even realize it.

Psalm 37:7 says, "Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for Him."

When you don't know where to go, let Him give you direction. When you need a friend, know that He is right beside you. We shouldn't let our busy schedules distract us from spending quality time with Him.

With finals and the Holiday season quickly approaching, I challenge you to quiet your spirit and be still. Lie down and listen to worship music. Turn off your phone and computer for twenty short minutes and soak up the presence of God. I came across this quote and it is so true: "If the devil can't make us bad, his next trick is to make us busy."

Don't get too busy!

Stay tuned...


Tuesday, September 25, 2012

My Divine Intervention

I had what you would call a "divine intervention" this morning. As many of you probably know, I am in the early weeks of training for a marathon that is taking place this February. Well as I was training this morning, the devil was really riding my back hard. He kept saying things like, "You won't be able to do this" and "You are crazy to think you will be able to run over 26 miles!"

Isn't that just typical of the devil?! I'm telling set a goal for yourself, and he tries his very best to diminish every single ounce of confidence that you have!

Well, when doubt really began to sink in my head this morning as the devil was whispering negative thoughts in my ear, God spoke just a little bit louder! And that's when my girl, Mandisa came on my iPod. The lyrics went something like this:

"If You could send a burning bush to Moses
Lead Your people home through a parted sea
Give a boy the strength to defeat Goliath
I know You will always take care of me.
With You on my side, I am victorious.
With You on my side, I've got nothing to fear.
So I can walk through this valley with confidence
Knowing You will deliver me."
So after letting these lyrics sink in, I am asking these questions: When are we going to get out of God's way so He can do something great through us? When are we going to grab ahold of who Christ is in us? How long are we going to continue to put ourselves down and say that we can't when God says that we certainly CAN?!
Scripture says that His power works best in our weakness (2 Cor. 12:9). Scripture also says that we can do all things through Christ who gives us strength (Phil. 4:13). Get that?? All things. Not some things. Not on some days. All things...All days...through HIS strength!
So, instead of letting the devil try to break us down, embrace our weakness and know that He is strong where we are weak. When we draw our strength and confidence from Him, we will be ready and able to face any giant that tries to kill our confidence. I don't know about you, but I get a lot of satisfaction from proving the devil wrong!
The second part of that song goes like this:
"If You could raise the dead bones of Lazarus
If You could feed five-thousand with a couple fish and a loaf of bread
And in the middle of a stormy night You can walk on water
I know nothing is out of Your hands!"
I imagine that when I began to doubt, God viewed that as a slap in the face. He is the Creator of all, and I doubted Him?? Wow! Psalm 27:1 says, "The Lord is my light and my salvation--so why should I be afraid? The Lords protects me from danger--so why should I tremble?"
God will never give us more than we can handle. If He brings us to it, He'll bring us through it! Our God is not a God of doubt! The only way to conquer your insecurities is to allow God to become all we need to feel secure. So step out on your personal battlefield of life...whatever it may be...and know that your God is with you and that He is your confidence and your power!
"Sometimes our God disables us to enable us. We can do more in His strength than we could ever do on our own!"
Stay tuned...

Friday, September 7, 2012

Free To Be Me

As I sat behind my desk at work this morning, God laid something very heavily on my heart. Have you ever compared yourself to someone and felt you could never measure up to them? I've really been struggling with this lately. It quickly becomes frustrating trying to model someone else's life in Christ. My good intentions to be like my other Christian friends simply left me feeling inadequate. And like a light bulb, it went off in my head this morning--God designed each one of us differently!

Deuteronomy 14:2 says, You have been set apart as holy to the Lord your God, and he has chosen you from all the nations of the earth to be his own special treasure."

Let's define what it means to be "set apart." The dictionary defines it this way: to keep something for a specific use or purpose. So look back at the Scripture above. God has set us apart for a chosen position.

I may not be at a point in my life where I am able to travel the world for mission work like my parents or lead a youth group like some of my friends (although I pray that God will one day open the door for me to do so), but I am now more confident than ever that it is not what we do that sets us apart--it is how much we allow the Holy Spirit to live through us that truly sets us apart.

We can also define set apart as living differently than the world lives so God's character can be seen through you. This does not mean to try and form into a "Christian clone" lacking originality. Think about this: Paul was set apart to be a prophet, David (a shepherd boy) was set apart to be a king, fisherman Peter was set apart to be a disciple, and Mary was set apart to give birth to the Son of God. These individuals never tried to be set apart with their own strengths. They simply answered God's call when He called them.

I have challenged myself (and I challenge you as well) to begin desiring to be set apart for God's purpose more than wanting to conform into a man-made mold.

Psalm 4:3 says, "The Lord set apart the godly for himself. The Lord will answer when I call to Him."

It is time that we become more concerned about our witness and personal walk with God. In His timing, He will help us finish the work that we were sent here to do.

I want to leave you with this verse: "I knew you before I formed you in your mother's womb. Before you were born I set you apart and appointed you as my spokesman to the world."-Jeremiah 1:5

It is not our perfection that sets us apart...It is His perfection that stands out in our lives!

I love this song by Francesca Battistelli: "Free to Be Me." Take a listen, and let these be things that will set you apart and set you on the path of your God-given purpose!

Stay tuned...


Monday, August 13, 2012

When Life Throws You a Curveball

I've always been what you would call a "planner." I have been told that I display a few OCD tendencies when trying to get things accomplished. For example, I believe that everything should be completed a specific way and by a certain time. want to make God laugh?? Simply tell Him YOUR plans! This is the understatement of a lesson that I learned the past few days. I've just been going along with MY plans...had a great Summer, about to begin another semester of school, working my regular job, caught up in the fairytale of a relationship...pretty smooth sailing, right??

Boom...CURVEBALL...and my plans take a 180 turn pretty quickly. Life can sometimes be messy. It can be full of pain and disappointments along the way. Things don't always turn out right or exactly how we plan, and it can hurt...a lot.

So what do we do when life throws us a curveball? Do we sit and cry over what could have/should have been? Do we get angry? I am a firm believer that God does not close one door, unless He is patiently waiting to open an even BETTER door for us! So instead of moping around, take a step away from your disappointments (whatever they may be) and take a step closer to the good that God is working in your life. I don't know about you, but I would rather rejoice in what IS and WILL BE than wallow in what isn't. Think about that for a moment.

In the middle of my little whirlwind, I am desperately clinging to this verse: "And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose."-Romans 8:28

One of my favorite songs right now is Steady My Heart by Kari Jobe. The lyrics are so powerful! Meditate on these words:
"But You're here, You're real. I know I can trust You. Even when it hurts, even when it's hard, even when it all just falls apart...I will run to You, 'cause I know that You are Lover of my soul, Healer of my scars. You steady my heart! I'm not gonna worry. I know that You've got me right inside the palm of Your hands."

Pretty awesome, right??

Disappointments only sting as long as we let them. Take all of your pain, your hurt, and your sorrows and pray this prayer: Dear Lord, thank You for Your mercies and patience in this journey of imperfect progress. Forgive me for allowing disappointments to capture my heart so easily. Adjust my perspective and help me to see the things You have brought to life in me. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

Now run to God with everything you have, and let Him steady your heart!

Stay tuned...