There’s so much I want to do with my life, that finding an individual career seems kind of boring to me. Although I’m not sure where I want to go in my life exactly, I know what I don’t want my life turning into.

I don’t want a typical 9-5 office job sitting behind a computer and phone at some meaningless office.

I don’t want to go home every day and know that I should be elsewhere.

I don’t want to settle for the easy job, because I’ve given up on the dreams I have inside me.

I don’t want to go to bed each night in the same place knowing my gifts and talents are being wasted.

 

I know this may seem like I’m complaining, maybe I am. I just know that my life and all that Jesus is doing in me isn’t meant for a crap 9-5 job where I’m not impacting peoples lives with the love of Jesus. When I look at my life and all the dreams I’ve had as a child, all those have come true; just in a different way than what I was expecting.

Probably my biggest dream I’ve had since I was 5 was to be a singer and musician. I’m strong enough in myself to admit I was a pro at mirror concerts, and my fans (My stuffed animals and Barbie dolls) loved me. I remember begging my mom for voice lessons so I could send in my demos (that I never made lol) into all the big time record labels in New York City. But over time I settled for other dreams that seemed more reachable; yet they weren’t as fullfilling to me. But it’s cool how God works to make your hearts desire come true. No, I’m not famous and traveling the world touring (although now I wouldn’t want fame) but I am a musician and I do get to play and sing on stage, just for a completely different reason. Now I sing and play to worship God. I’m not up there for me and self fulfillment. That’s not what playing music is about for me any more. My music is all about Him and that gives me so much joy that I can’t even put into words.

Seeing how Jesus reignited that love of music in me and used it to not only glorify Him but to bring others into relationship with Him and to get them to enter in to His presence through the power of worship gives me hope that my other dreams, dreams He recently placed on my heart, will come to pass; if they’re His will.

Like I said before, there’s so much I want to do with my life, that a typical 9-5 job just wouldn’t satisfy me.

I have such a heart to see young people fall in love with their Creator. And God is moving in our area. I love looking out in worship and seeing the young people I work with in total surrender to their God. It never fails to bring a smile to my face seeing them entering into His presence. So my dream for the next generation that is rising up to take their place in the body of Christ is to see them in such an intimate relationship with Jesus.  I long to see them radically and passionately living their lives to see Heaven meet earth. It’s one thing to see full grown adults love Jesus, but I truly believe that the impact of seeing hundreds or thousands of young people still in elementary school, middle school, high school and even college loving Jesus and His people in such a radical/ Biblical way speaks volumes to unbelievers.

I long to see these kids rise up and take initiative in their schools and families. To see them serving the community and those in need just to show the love of Christ to those around them. To see them not be distracted by all this world has to offer them, but to stand firm in their faith and not be shaken by distractions.

I’ve really been feeling on my heart the past month or so that God is calling us to raise up a generation of revivalists. Don’t know what a revivalist is?

Revivalist: (n) a believer who is focused and passionate, willing to pay any price to live in purity and power because they are loved by God and love Him – whose manifest presence transforms lives and cultures.

Will this dream come true? I can’t say for certain, but I do know that I pray for His will to be done in my life and the lives of those around me, so if it is His will, well… This sure is going to be one insanely crazy/amazing ride 😀

 

Advertisements

Living A Time Lapse Life

Posted: October 8, 2011 in Uncategorized

This morning I was walking around my neighborhood, enjoying the beautiful weather and finding myself spending time with God. It’s times like those where I’m at peace and relaxed that I can enter in to His presence so easily. It’s when the conversations between Him and I are most real and genuine and from the bottom of my heart.

My future with school, as most of you know has been probably the most heavy thing on my heart when it comes to prayer. Transferring and beginning a new chapter of my life with completely new people and friends has been the biggest focus of my life for the past few months. I’m almost done with my admissions essay and once I get my transcripts from high school, I’ll send the applications in and the rest is in Gods hands. Pretty intimidating and stressful stuff might  I add. Every day I find myself living for that future; that dream. And it wasn’t until this morning that it really hit me when God revealed to me that now is the time I need to be living for. This step in the process, of the dream, is what’s giving me vital tools for the future.

As we were discussing this, a vision of a time lapse came to me. If you’re not sure what exactly I’m talking about. I’m sure you’ve seen a music video or movie using this effect before. The vision I had involved this: I saw myself standing still, but everything around me was moving super fast and continuing that way. I heard God tell me this is the way I have been living my life lately.

Just waiting for the next chapter to begin when there’s more to be lived in the chapter I’m currently in now. I realized that, like always, He was right. But I’m sure I’m not the only one who has ever been guilty of this.

When God reveals pieces of your own cause, it’s hard to not get caught up in the hype of it all. We can finally see a little glimpse into the future that’s going to happen and it’s super easy to lose sight of the cause you have right now in this very moment. It’s taken me time, but I’m finally comprehending the fact that every step is a learning and growing experience. Is looking to the future and being so amped and stoked for it a bad thing? Absolutely not. Just don’t let it become you’re main focus and spend all your energy on it, when there’s work to be done in the now times.

So, with this being said. I am sorry. I am sorry for not focusing and putting all the energy I have into the now times. It’s actually made me a little selfish, if I can be this transparent with you. I’ve seen opportunity as an advantage for my own life, and not realizing that it’s not about me at all. Can I gain from these opportunities? Of course I can. But when God opens doors for you, especially in serving others, it’s more for the people you’re helping out than for yourself.

I want to encourage you from now on out to focus on the now. God has His perfect plan for your life and each step of the way, no matter how dull it may seem to you, is for your growth and good. Take time to appreciate the now and the opportunities being opened for you in the present time. Once you do, you’ll realize how much God is blessing you in these times now.

Just food for thought:
Are YOU living a time lapsed life??

If you know me, you know that I’m a big fan of wearing t-shirts for some of my favorite organizations. To Write Love on Her Arms. Love 146. I love what they stand for and the power behind their organizations in getting the word out about social issues that are near and dear to my heart. People ask me what they mean, assuming it’s just a band logo or something. Their reactions are usually one of shock. One for the subject matter, and one for how a young person cares so much about the lives of others.

But something really awesome happened when I was at Tampa airport, waiting for my flight home. I was wearing my t-shirt for the Stop The Traffick Freedom Drive. People actually stopped me and asked what the meaning behind it was. I’ve never experienced anything quite like this before. I found myself opening up conversations about human trafficking to complete strangers, and having them listen to what I was saying and genuinely seeming to be impacted by the things I was telling them was pretty surreal.

I had a few people ask me what stop the traffick meant, and when I told them what the Stop the Traffick Freedom Drive was all about, their reaction was eye opening. All of them were shocked, this one lady who worked at one of the gift shops I walked into actually almost cried.

After the first 3 people stopped me to ask what the shirt meant, I noticed that a lot of people I passed by that day in the airport took a couple seconds to read my shirt. I’m not the one to vibe on having all the attention on me, but seeing people take a few seconds to look and read my shirt as I walked through the airport was a really cool feeling.

Without really doing anything at all, except going about my business, I was somehow spreading the awareness of human trafficking to a crowd bigger than I ever could imagine talking to. That’s all it took. It was nothing radical or anything to purposely give attention to myself. All I did was wake up that morning and put on a comfy t-shirt that had a statement on the front of it.

As I was on the plane back home, I began thinking of the people who stopped me and talked to me about my shirt, and those who weren’t as bold, yet I saw looking at it and reading the message. Maybe they thought about it for a second, then went about their business. Hopefully those who engaged me in conversation took the message a little deeper.

Sometimes you don’t have to get out there and be this radical person who goes around doing things that make people stop you and ask questions. Sometimes all you have to do is wear a shirt with a statement on it. People, whether you realize it or not, see you. They see what you’re wearing and notice you.

I witnessed one of the most scary, yet intriguing trends being brought up in adolescent America while I was in high school. I wasn’t just a witness to it, I was also hugely involved in it. It had the ability to tear friendships apart, to break the hearts of parents and make them wonder if they weren’t good enough while raising they’re child, to manipulate the person involved into thinking that everyone around them was the enemy and all they wanted was to report them to the school psychologist. The trend, was cutting.

Freshman year is a confusing time for anyone no doubt. Friendships from middle school sometime come to an abrupt end, new friends come into your life and life itself takes on a whole new meaning within you. It’s the year  most of us spent trying to understand ourselves better. Freshman year was also the year I saw cutting play a bigger role in our society than I ever did before.

Cutting shouldn’t be a trend. I remember knowing people who cut themselves because they thought it was cool and they wanted to fit in. Others of us did it because it was a way of escape from the mess going on inside our heads. Either way, it was becoming something bigger than we thought it ever could be. As it was having its way in my life, I saw what it was doing to others as well.

Once people found out about it, you became part of the gossip train. Some people thrived on that attention. They didn’t want that specific kind of attention, but having people know who they were gave them some sort of thrill. Those who were cutting for deeper reasons, the attention was a nightmare. Their one thing they had that they could control was now exposed to the world. The one secret they wanted to keep was out.

Either way, I saw cutting growing and growing into our society. It was once a well kept secret that nobody wanted to talk about, and soon it was all some people could talk about.

Cutting isn’t cool. Cutting is a serious problem. Cutting shouldn’t be the thing to be doing. Cutting can be dangerous. Either way you look at it, no matter what the intentions of the cutter are for doing it, they need help. Yes even those who wanted the attention; there’s still something there that needs to be exposed.

Cutting shouldn’t be an epidemic.

What Motivates Your Life.

Posted: July 14, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

  1. Redemption- The action of saving or being saved from sin, error, or evil;
  2. Restoration- The return of something to a former owner, place, or condition.
  3. FaithComplete trust or confidence in someone or something.
  4. Communitya unified body of individuals

I’ve been thinking alot lately about what motivates my life and inspires me to live the life I want to have. The four words at the top of this entry, pretty much sum it all up. I think we all spend a lot of time thinking about what our lives mean, but I’m not sure that’s what we should focus on. We should focus on, at least in my opinion, what we want to say with our lives. Not getting it? Let me explain a little further.

We spend a lot of time, well I do any ways, trying to figure out the big picture of what we’re going to accomplish with our lives. Maybe we just started the journey, or maybe we’ve been traveling the road to our cause/dream for a little while. All the while, we’ve got our eyes set on the finish line, but yet we have no idea where that is or what lies ahead after we get there.  While I was at the LA Dream Center last month for a week visiting my friend (yes, I love being able to say I was there at one point haha) I heard Pastor Matthew Barnett speak this incredible message about being in the middle of the dream. Basically, the main point of the message was you can’t give up when you’re on your way because the middle is where you grow and learn the most.

That message has been resonating in me ever since I heard it. I realized that day that I was in the middle of my dream. But I had no idea where I was going or even what was really influencing/ motivating my life. So I began really thinking and praying about it.

Redemption-
I’ve already been redeemed when I turned my life over to Jesus for real. But redemption motivates me, because when I hear that word, I remember where I was before I chose to really live for God and not just go through the motions. I know the love and forgiveness that God gives out to us, and just reminding myself of that on a daily basis makes it easier for me to keep going when things aren’t going easy.

Restoration-
Everybody has their ghosts. Everyone has things that they carry with them throughout their lives that haunts them. The stuff they wish they could take back or change. Restoration, getting put back together from being broken, is a painful process. I’m currently going through it with God and it’s so not fun. All your skeletons come out and He finally makes you deal with them. But in the long run, when you finally get past it, there’s freedom. I, like probably all of you, know a lot of broken people. My heart breaks when I hear stories of some of my friends/co-workers/acquaintances. Yeah it’s not fun, but my own restoration process is a huge motivator of my life. It lets me know that things aren’t always going to be this way. That I am one day going to be put back together from my past, and that encourages me. I love watching the process in other peoples lives. To be part of their lives, especially during this time, is incredible. God can use you to help them, encourage them and support them.

Faith-
This should probably be first in this blog, but it came to mind third, so it’ll stay here. My faith in God is probably the most important thing about me. Everyone I know, knows I’m a born again Christian. I’m not shy about that fact, it actually brings up interesting conversations with people. I know that I know that God will always be there. I’ve been through enough where I was convinced God abandoned me. When I got re-saved, I realized that He was with me the whole time (if you want to know the whole story, I have my testimony on here somewhere way back in my posts lol). My faith (confidence and trust) in Jesus has been growing a lot over the past year or so and now I lead others to grow in their faith. Being a small group leader for the youth was never something I had planned for my life. I’m not the most elegant public speaker, I fumble over words like it’s my job, but for some reason God placed me in the position of small group leader; and I couldn’t love it more if I tried. Seeing them grow each semester in their faith is incredible to watch. I say it a lot but I’m so proud of them and love them a lot. And if any of you guys are reading this right now, HEY!!

Community
It’s so cliche, but we’re all in this life together. We all have people in our life and inner circles for a reason, and that’s to be there for each other, to lift each other up and to be united. I love being part of a community. Whether it’s in church, in small group, at school, work, family, friends. Building community is one of my passions. Seeing people come together for a cause/ purpose is amazing. I think of the story in the Bible of the tower of Babel. They were all united in building the tower, that they actually could accomplish their goal if God hadn’t intervened and separated them. When we come together in unity for something, we can pretty much accomplish amazing things.

As you were reading this, I hope you began thinking of the things that motivate your life. If you’re like me, you have no idea where you’re going in life, but you’re trying something. Finding the things that motivate me to move forward was a huge help in the process of reaching my destiny. I know I’m no wheres near the finish line, but now that I know what influences me, I’m finding it easier to step out. So… what motivates you?

John 15:16-19
You have not chosen Me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that you should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain; that whatsoever you shall ask of the Father in My name, He may give it you. These things I command you, that you love one another. If the world hates you, you know that it hated Me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love his own; but because you are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hates you.

There is at this time approximately 6,927,550,209 people in the entire world.  That’s a LOT of people, and when you think about the fact that God chose YOU to be one of His, is pretty overwhelming. It’s kind of funny when you hear people talk about their salvation and relationship with God like it’s something they themselves chose for their lives. Like they just woke up one day and said “God, I’m going to do the honor and live my life for You. You’re welcome”. But isn’t that the self centered attitude we get? When in reality, we didn’t choose anything. God chose.

God saw us, and picked us to be His children. That’s just a mind blowing fact. 6,927,550,209 people and God chose you. It’s like walking around a huge field of grass, and picking just ONE single blade to keep as yours. That’s what God does.

God saw you and decided He needed you to be His. Man, if that doesn’t get you, I don’t know what will. I was thinking about it today, and the thought that I was chosen by Him, put a smile on my face. We look at ourselves in the mirror and think “what could God possibly do with this broken person? I’m a mess, why would He choose this?” I’ve heard this phrase before that says “there’s beauty in brokenness”. That couldn’t be more true. Your brokenness and pain and failures is what makes you real and relate-able to the people around you. If we had it all together, those who didn’t know God would feel intimidated to go to church. That transparency and ability to say “yeah, I’m still struggling, but I know it will be alright because of Gods love and grace is over me” is what God uses to t0uch the other broken people of this world.

God chose you and all your flaws and brokenness, and it all has a purpose. So next time you’re wondering why God would ever even look in your direction, remember that you have been chosen.

In 2 Kings there’s this really awesome story of Elisha and the Shunammite woman. For those of you who don’t know the story, let me just break it down for you.

This lady in the town of Shunem always prepared a room for the prophet Elisha, so that when he passed through town he had a place to crash for the night. One day Elisha went to her and spoke over her life that in a year she would have a son. Now, this woman was up there in age so she didn’t see herself having a child. In fact, she objected the idea that Elisha had prophetically spoken over her life. But wouldn’t ya know it, when Elisha came back the next year she did in fact have a son. But unfortunately, her son ending up dying. When Elisha asked her what was wrong when she came to him she ended up saying to Elisha, “Did I ask you for a son, my lord?… Didn’t I tell you, ‘Don’t raise my hopes’?”.

This women had shut her heart off from the idea that she would receive the one thing she always wanted. But this story does something incredible. It shows the power and sincerity of Gods word. We all have things that we once so wanted in our life, but over time have given up on the idea that they would happen. The Shunammite woman had this area of her heart that she had shut off from God. When Elisha had told her she’d have a child she told him to not get her hopes up. I think a lot of the time we do the same thing with certain areas of our life. Especially with healing. If you’re experiencing a sickness in the family right now that looks hopeless then you know what I’m talking about. The person isn’t getting better, but worse. You’ve prayed and prayed to God that He’d do something in them that would slow down the progress, yet it seems like nothing is happening. Eventually, you get to this point of thinking “this person is going to die, I just have to accept it and keep moving.” The Shunammite woman did the same thing with the wish of having a child. It was the one thing her heart desired more than anything, but she slipped into the worldly mindset of giving up that we all tend to slip ourselves into.

But Gods not like that. He knows, better than anyone else, what it is that our heart longs for. We look at circumstances that appear to not have a way out or a positive outcome, but we need to remember that God is a provider. God is love, and He will give us our hearts desires if we’re faithful to Him. The Shunammite woman was faithful in her hospitality to Elisha. She didn’t have to give him his own room, but it was in her heart to serve the man of God and provide for him a shelter. She opened her home to him and let him stay there. I can’t even imagine that her thoughts while Elisha was staying there was “maybe if I give this man a room, then my God will give me my child”. I didn’t plan on talking about this for this entry, but I’ve realized that that previous statement is the way some of us serve God. We are more than willing to serve His people, but sometimes it’s because we know God rewards the faithful, so we anticipate the reward. When I first started serving God, that’s how I thought sometimes. But then God gave me a heart for serving and helping His people that it no longer became about a reward, but it was just how my heart is.

Those closed off areas of our hearts, is what God really wants you to talk to Him about. Sure, He already knows, but when you yourself approach God and tell Him for yourself, there’s just a more intimate relationship being built. I know every single one of us has an area of our heart that we’re hesitating to talk to God about, because our flesh is telling us that there’s no point in trying because the cause looks as good as dead. But God is the God of impossible. Don’t just look at the stories in the Bible of how He raised the womans son back to life as something that only could happen back then. This is a super cliche Christianese phrase but it’s true that Gods power and love is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow. So don’t give up on Him.