Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Their Obedience

God's love is amazing. It can heal, convict and bring us to our knees. You don't know love, until you know God, because God is love. This Christmas season, we often think of God's gift of love. After all, this is when we celebrate his birth! Oftentimes, though, we don't think of all that was involved in that. Take Mary, for example.

This young girl, probably around the age of 16, was visited by an angel. She had probably been minding her own business doing your typical everyday tasks (whatever that looked like in those days) when suddenly, a glow enters the room and she whips around to see an angel right in front of her. She would probably be a tad bit afraid. I know I would be! After being sacred out of her skin, Mary listens to what the angel has to say.According to Matthew 1:31 the angels says "And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bring forth a son, and shall call his name JESUS." To this, Mary replies "Behold the maidservant of the LORD! Let it be so according your word." How much obedience this would take! She understood that she was blessed to bear her Savior. She didn't argue. She didn't think twice. She just said "Let it be so". What an example she is.

On the other side of the story, we have Joseph. He's betrothed to Mary and never slept with her. Can you imagine the suspicions that would arise when his virgin fiance' comes to him and tells him that she's pregnant? He probably had millions of thought running through his head. He wants to call it off, but in the nick of time, yet another angel comes and says "Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife, for she that which she has conceived is from the Holy Spirit." He takes her as his wife. Again, what an act of obedience!

Question: Do you always obey your authority figures that have been placed in your life? Why do you rebel against them?

Challenge: This season, think and figure out why you rebel against your authority. Take the first step in changing your ways: Identify the problem. Then change your ways.

Reading: Matthew 1:18-24; Luke 1:26-38 and 2:1-7 (All of these tell of the birth of Jesus and of Mary and Joseph's obedience to God.

Other ideas for further study: Find other people in the Bible who are known for their obedience. Find creative ways to apply it to your life.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Role call: What Makes a Good Mentor

How do you choose a role model? Ok, I admit, I'm not an expert on this subject. I've learned only a snippet of what I will learn, but here's what I know/have been taught.

What a mentor needs to be

  • A mentor needs to share your beliefs.
            How can you have someone help guide you and steer you in the right path, when you don't believe the same things? It only makes sense to have someone who puts their faith where you do. It makes a world of difference (Trust me, I know)

  • A mentor needs to be someone you can trust. 
            I'm not going to ask you to begin telling this person everything that's on your mind. (Atleast, not right off the bat) You need to be comfortable with the person. If you see someone you think would make a good mentor, get to know them. See them in action. Figure out whether or not you can trust that individual.

  • A mentor should be someone older than you are.
           I almost didn't put this section in here because it's so very obvious to me why some you're modelling your life after needs to be older. It may not be so obvious to you. The reason you should find someone older? They've been where you are. They get it. 

  • A mentor needs to be there when need something.
            They don't need to be there to get you a cup of water or something like that. Just being on the other end of the phone or email or text to pray for you, give you advice, that sorta thing. For example, the other day, this girl who I love and admire had been emailing me. We had been giving each other things to pray about and such, when I received an email that made my day. She sent me a simple, yet wonderful prayer over email, just asking God to be near me that day. I started crying! Little things like that can make a big impact.

I'm sure there's more that a mentor needs to be, but this is all I can think of at the moment. As I come up with more, I'll be sure to add to this post.

This series will be continued an upcoming post...

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Role Call: Who's your Paul?

Who are you modeling your life after? This is a question I've dealt with for quite a while. I used to have many role models. Some were celebrities, some were from my church. Over the past years, they've all let me down. I used to look up to Miley Cyrus. (HOW NAIVE CAN I BE?) I watched the Michalka sisters. I had a girl in my Church who dubbed me her "little sister". Well, she let me down big time. She got pregnant, but that another story for a different blog entry.

I've heard alot of sermons about how God is the only one we should model our lies after. I agree with this wholeheartedly. Does this mean we shouldn't have a role model/mentor? No! It doesn't. We all need a "Paul" in our lives.

You probably know about Paul and Timothy. (If you haven't, read 1-2 Timothy)  Timothy was a teenager with a passion for God. Paul was a middle-aged guy who was an apostle of Christ. He became Timothy's mentor and Timothy became a world-changer. Without Timothy to guide him and tell him where he was wrong, he never would've made it. Do you have a "Paul" in your life?

To be Continued in a Later Post...

Monday, July 11, 2011

Off to change my life!

Hey, followers! Just wanted to let you know that I won't be posting for a while. On Wednesday, I'm going to Epic Journey with Rose (thesingleredroseforme) Katherine (myoneandonlypassion) and Danielle (therandomlifeofme). That ends NEXT wednesday, then I'm off to Creationfest Northwest. We'll be camping there through Sunday, then I will return home. I am so excited! This is gonna be so life changing! I can't wait. I gotta start packing. :D This is Black Swan, signing of till later.

Black Swan

So, What's Next?

I am a girl who's passionate about a lot of stuff. I'm passionate about saving animals, passionate about God, Passionate about photography... I could go ON and ON. (but I won't bore you) Lately, I've felt a tug on my heart to follow one of my passions: Music. I love the satisfaction of writing the perfect lyrics, playing the perfect tune. But I'm at the point where I want to KNOW who or what I'm going to be. I want to know what my calling is. Perhaps it is music. After all, the pastor who dedicated me said I would do something with music and it's always interested me. I honestly have NO IDEA  what to do next. I guess I'm at that waiting stage. It's seems like I've been here for forever. Oh I need strength.God, give me grace and patience and steadfastness to follow you and listen for your voice. Amen.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Painting Butterflies

Makeup seems to be a controversial topic. Some girls swear by it and won't leave the house without it while other girls never use it. I would be somewhere in between. I wear mascara, powder and lipbalm on a regular basis. (I really don't like my skin being all shiny) Until Monday I wore a full face of makeup just to go to the store. Then my eyes were opened and I realized I what I'm going to share with you in this post.
God made everything on your body for a reason. Your freckles were hand drawn, each hair was placed and planned, your height and weight were chosen by your creator for a specific purpose- even if it be only for his pleasure. Why would you try to cover-up something that was given to you for reason?

If you're thinking we should ditch all make-up, all fashionable clothes and all hair brushes and razors, you can guess again. There's nothing wrong with hygiene or feeling pretty, but there IS something wrong with hiding behind the masks that so-called fashion and beauty give us.

How is a face caked with layers of concealer, powder and foundation any more beautiful then the natural you? The True, simple answer? It isn't.

In my opinion, the unmasked, sincere, pure face of a girl is more beautiful than the painted sheet she puts on every day. It's like painting a butterfly. Who would ever dream of painting such a beautiful creature? No one I know. Yet we do to ourselves on a regular basis.

I'm not wanting you to toss your makeup collection in the nearest trash bin. (unless it will make you feel better) I mean, as I said before, I wear makeup. I've used all of it! From full coverage concealer to plumping lipgloss  to Lengthening mascara and I don't believe it's wrong. What is wrong is when it stop accenting our God given beauty and covering it up instead.

Black Swan

Any tips for future posts? comment, facebook or email me!

Monday, June 20, 2011

Before the World, There was You

The world is full of lies. One of the big ones is beauty, looks, etc. In the next few blog posts (Maybe more than a few) I'm going to try and untangle this lie. I feel like this is what God wants me to do, so here it goes.

Let me be frank with you- I've never viewed myself as beautiful. I often feel average, fat, ugly, the list goes on and on. (and on and on and on and on and...) When I looked in the mirror, I saw a girl with pain. I realize what caused that pain. LIES.

When I looked in the mirror sans-makeup, I felt as plain as a grain of sand in a seashore of mother of pearl shells. I envied my best friend because I she has perfect skin, perfect hair and a perfect face. Did I mention the perfect body? And, would you believe it, SHE thinks she's ugly. We've all believed a lie.

I've been told I was beautiful. I know I'm fearfully and wonderfully made. I knew everything the Church, my parents and this twisted world taught me. And I believed the WORLD.

Until Last night.

As I mentioned in the post Made for Beauty, I've been reading a book called uncompromising by Hannah Farver. You know what's funny? I almost didn't get this book because I didn't want to spend the money, BUT I broke down and spent the $12 (or was it $13?) because I felt a tug on me to get it. I was reading it last night (Chapter 4, the Beauty cause) and all of the sudden I felt weak, yet strong at the same time. These words left me breathless:

God formed you.

I"m sure you've heard it all before. some people brush it off, as I did. But think about this Before a blanket was wrapped around your tiny body, before you were concieved before God created the stars and the moon and the earth, God had carefully formed evey hair, shaped every toe, curved each tiny eyebrow of your body. He took you into his hands, caressed your tiny cheeks, curled every eyelash, placed every pore on your skin.

He cares that much.

Chew on that for a while.

Black Swan