Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

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 😀

 

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??

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?

Step up!

Posted: May 25, 2011 in Uncategorized

It seems like every night when you turn on the news, another natural disaster devastated more people. Kansas City and Oklahoma got hit with a twister that killed, as of right now, 14 people. Sunday Joplin, Missouri was hit as well. It’s easy to sit back, especially up here in upstate New York, and think to yourself “what is going on with the world?” Or if you’re a Christian, it’s easy to look at this and ask “God what are You doing?”

But then here’s the thing we miss. That selective hearing kicks in and God wants to know “What are YOU doing?” It’s so sad to watch the news and see people talking about how now they’re left with nothing. Families left without a home and the basic necessities in order to survive even just one day.

I think now’s the time, now more than ever, for we the body of Christ to unite and come together to help those in need and who are hurting. Isaiah 1:17 says: Learn to do good. Seek justice. Help the oppressed. Defend the cause of orphans. Fight for the rights of widows. I don’t what it is, but that verse has just been in my spirit lately. We need to move into action.

I think one of the main problems is that we use our location as an excuse. The tornado in Georgia for example. Well, I’m in New York and when I heard about people helping out the families, I told myself there was nothing I could personally do except pray for them. Praying’s amazing, but there’s more that we who aren’t close to these people can do.

Sunday God again put it on my heart to do something more than pray.

It doesn’t cost a lot to go buy toilet paper, napkins, batteries, flashlights, donate a few old blankets you don’t even use anymore, clothes you out grew but someone else can fit into, socks, tooth paste, buy a few cans of food, etc.

Just something that’s been on my heart. There’s always some way you can serve those in need. Always

I remember a year ago, the exact spot in life I was at. To say I was a mess, is a total understatement. There was a lot going on in my personal life back then, that I used it as an excuse to dive into some really dumb things, to put it simply. All I could focus on was the negative things going on, when in return,God was pulling with everything that He had to lure me back into His safety.

Some of you might think what I’m about to say made me a weak Christian, and some of you are going to be able to relate to this so well. A year ago, I was trying to have the best of both worlds. God and the world. I loved Christ back then, I really did, but I was still looking for that worldly fulfillment that I thought I needed in order to be happy. I’ve talked a lot about my struggle with cutting in this blog, but I also struggled with drinking. You know that scripture that says you cannot serve both God and money, for you will love one and hate the other? Well, the same concept goes for any of those worldly crutches we rely on.

I remember asking one of my friends one time while I was drinking if I was going to Hell because of what I was doing in that moment. You see, I knew it was wrong but it alleviated the pain I was feeling for a little bit. And Sunday mornings? Forget about it! The feeling I had walking around that sanctuary was the worst feeling in the world.

You ever get the feeling like every single person who looks at you, knows what you did the night before? It’s one of the worst feelings in the world. I’d spend the worship service on my face begging God to once again forgive me for getting drunk the night before. It was awful. I didn’t feel like I belonged in that seat listening to the messages. But something told me I needed to be there.

You see, that’s the awesome thing about God. We give up on ourselves way before He gives up on us. He never gives up on us. The minute we make a mistake, we kick ourselves and put ourselves down. We repent, of course, and then an hour later we go back and ask Him to forgive us for the same thing we just repented of. Some of the things we do, God must just sit back and nod his head and laugh at. For me, the thing I do that He probably laughs at is, “God, I know you probably don’t believe me, but I really am sorry!”. I can just picture Him up there being like “Jess really? I know your heart, remember?”.

It’s kind of funny how we base how we talk to God, off of how we would talk to people here on earth. You’re probably saying, “well yeah that’s how we should talk to Him”. Let me be clearer. When we apologize to our friends or a family member for doing something stupid, we always spurt out the “you might not believe me but..” line, because there’s still that lack of trust or whatever in a relationship. But with God, it’s nowhere near that. He loves us, He would give anything to us. Especially forgiveness when it’s sincere repentance. You’re probably really confused as to what this has to do with the subject of where I was a year ago, let me proceed with this.

I was that person a year ago who saw God in the relationship aspect of just another person. I lacked that trust that He’d forgive me so I kept going back. I had it all wrong. But over the past year I’d like to think I’ve grown in my relationship with Him. Now, I don’t spend hours begging for forgiveness. I don’t rely on the numbing affect of alcohol to take away my pain.

As a matter of fact, this June, the day after my birthday actually, will be a year since I’ve had a drink. To me, that’s a huge step in my life. I’ve come so far in just a years time, that if I ran into my old self I’m not sure I’d recognize me.

I’ll be the first to admit I’m self deprecating. For those of you who don’t know what that means, it basically means you’re your own worst enemy. For some reason, and I know I’m not the only one that’s this way, it’s easier to nit pick the bad out of a situation or person. Putting yourself down tends to be easier than lifting yourself up. I remember in the beginning of the semester we had to write about the positive characteristics we see in ourselves, then we had to write about the negative things we see in ourselves in English Comp. Needless to say, the negative paper was extremely longer and more detailed than the positive one. And I wasn’t the only one who felt that way. Pretty much our whole class had trouble writing good things about themselves. Kind of strange is it not?

It’s not that I don’t love myself, trust me I do. But I got to thinking about something the other day.

-How many times a day do I look in the mirror and critique my looks?
-How many times do I think I wish my body was different?
-Why do I worry so much what people think of me?

Not really a healthy mindset is it? People strive for perfection all the time. But truth is, they’ll never get it. Society and the media is constantly changing their ideal “perfect person”, and with that there’s thousands if not millions of young people who run after it so they can be “socially acceptable”.

But have you ever stopped and thought about this: every time, yes every single time, you insult yourself by putting yourself down you’re in return insulting Gods work? If you’re like me, you just said to yourself “oh crap!” First time I heard it, that was my immediate reaction. I never thought about it like that. It’s such a corny Christian saying but it’s true that we’re made in Gods image. He made every single person the way He wanted, and He sees perfection every time He looks at us. Pretty heart warming stuff isn’t it?

1 Corinthians 3:16- Don’t you know that you yourselves are Gods temple and that Gods Spirit lives in you? (NLT)

Just something to think about. I always said that I’d never ever want to insult God, but when we insult ourselves or put ourselves down, we’re doing exactly that.

Why Do I..

Posted: April 25, 2011 in Uncategorized

You ask
Why do I dance?
Why do I sing?
Why do I jump around
Arms flailing
Like someone who is
In a manic state?
It’s because of Him.
Yes, this God that you hate
This God that you declared has sealed your fate
To that life of a 9-5, that lonely apartment
With that neighborhood with drive-by’s.
Your life where you need
All those pills, syringes
Coke binges galore.
Those nights where you try to remember before
All the pain and the hurt and those thoughts in your head.
The days before you thought about being dead.
So you throw a fist to the sky
And curse His Holy Name.
Yell and scream, try to place all the pain all the shame
On the One who loves.
Oh my child there’s freedom.
Yes this God.
The One you despise
Is the One who gives me that glimmer in my eye.
I worship Him because He is.
You see,
I was just like you.
Crawling and scratching
My way out of a pit
Only to realize
There’s more than one layer of it.
Hopeless.
I’d yell and cry to God.
But I was so blind.
Thought my answers were found in suicide.
But He’s the God that saves,
Gave me new life
Paved a new way
For the child that was broken.
Now I worship in freedom.
Oh sweet surrender.
This
is why I dance.