Wednesday, January 1, 2014

“But I Don’t Want to…”

              Hello blog world, it has been awhile since I have posted. I feel as if I have been neglecting the blog- and that is partially what this post is about. You know those times when “you just aren’t feeling it?” Yeah, me too. That is exactly how I have been feeling lately. Like I just don’t want to. As a college student, it is hard finding time for the Lord each day—something I definitely struggled with the first semester, and now I’m more than halfway through my break wondering how I wasted it away. I had plans on spending a lot of time in The Word. This is something I haven’t done as much as planned. Why? Because “I just didn’t feel like it.”
            Unfortunately these are times everyone goes through—and nobody particularly enjoys. So, how do we deal with these times? Do anything and everything but dive into the word? Of course not! I’ve heard it many ways- “when you don’t want it is when you most need it,” “Worship through it”, and “Pray through it.” Guess what? These all point to one truth- We need to draw near to The Lord!! “Come close to God, and God will come close to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, purify your hearts, for your loyalty is divided between God and the world.” James 4:8. Even when we are feeling apathetic the best thing we can do is turn to the Lord and keep our focus on Him.
            The world and its desires cannot satisfy us! Ecclesiastes 1:2-11 focuses on how everything else is meaningless! So clearly, if all else is meaningless, it cannot fill us. I am convicted of trying to ignore my apathy by filling myself with empty, worldly things. This has never gotten me anywhere, so why stick to the same patterns? I’ve been missing that sense of joy that comes only from our Lord and Savior!
            “I will be filled with Joy because of You. I will sing praises to Your name, O most high.” Psalm 9:2. Endless joy from The Lord awaits us! That is such a beautiful fact, how could I, or anyone, want to keep ignoring this?
            It is okay that we experience these dry patches, it’s even to be expected. So, don’t let these knock you off of the Lord’s firm foundation for us, but rather let them serve as a challenge to overcome with the Lord’s help. Don’t let Satan or apathy stand in your way of the Lord. He is higher than all.
            I’m ready to stop wallowing in apathy, it’s time to start intentionally seeking His word! It holds amazing promises for us. The Lord has promised to draw near to us, and to bring us joy! So, let’s do this people! Let’s get our heads in the game, and start giving the Lord the time and honor he so rightfully deserves! So much awaits us at the end of our apathy.
            I pray that as the New Year rings in, we all make a point to deliberately seek the Lord. That we all find the joy and peace that His name brings. Let us live to bring Him glory.
            With Love,

Saturday, December 28, 2013

You Better Do Something

What better time to start something new than the New Year. With the New Year typically comes new beginnings, lifestyle changes and resolutions. Maybe what I’m trying to begin this year is nothing unusual for you, but when this thought occurred to me the other day a load of conviction came along with it. What it comes down to is that I realized that I better act when I feel the Lord pulling on my heart.

What really started my resolution to start trying to diligently act when I feel conviction from The Lord is a quote by Francis Chan. It goes something like, “You’re going to read this and study His word and you’ve got to be so careful. When you’re convicted about something while reading scripture you better do something. Because if you don’t, the next time you’re convicted about something it will be so much easier not to do anything.” I don’t know about you, but I do not want to fall into that complacency willingly.

Right after I realized this I was reading and Matthew 11:5 shot off the page. It says “… and the poor have good news preached to them.” I have found it now more essential than ever that I must share this good news of great joy of our savior to the poor in my community. Check out Luke 6:20-30 too, such clear and urgent instructions.

The Lord gives us clear directions in his word about how we are supposed to live and what we are supposed to do while on this earth. Imagine reading The Bible for the first time ever today. Never have had experienced church before or seen anyone “live it out”. I’m sure what we would get from it would be quite contrary to what we see today. We would probably realize that we are on a mission. Our lives would more than likely echo that. That’s my goal this year, to let my life reflect that I’m on a mission.

I really like this quote by Katie Davis that says, “I began to realize God wanted more from me, and I wanted more of him.  He began to grow in me a desire to live intentionally and differently from any one I had ever known.” Ohh I just love that. It’s so true. Our King longs for us to desire him and live differently in this crazy world for his names sake.

Numbers 23:26 says, “Did I not tell you all that the Lord says I must do.”  “All that the Lord says I must do”, meaning that He has specific jobs and tasks for each one of us to complete. If he has placed something specifically on YOUR heart, it’s for you to do. Those things that keep you up at night, the things that make your heart burn; those are the things that the Lord has given you a passion for and gifts to change. If not me then who, if not now then when? We must act.

Lord I ask that you will break our hearts until it moves our hands and feet. Let our life bring you glory in all things. You are so worthy. We want to live differently for your names sake and act on what you desire for us to do. Lead us and guide us. We love you. You are so good. In Jesus name, Amen.

With love,

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Prayer changes things…

           How could it not? It’s talking to The Lord y’all!! It brings you peace. Gives you clarity. Changes situations and people and nations. It’s incredible. Similar to the Bible in the since that we are rich beyond measure to have it. It reaches from heaven to earth. It lets us communicate with our father, the one who both created and sustains us.  

            Like so many other things in our culture we so often don’t even begin to utilize it. It says in scripture to pray without ceasing, and pray for everyone. The same power that raised Christ from the dead is in us! One powerful example of a life of prayer is in Daniel 6:10. “When Daniel learned that the decree had been signed and posted, he continued to pray just as he had always done. His house had windows in the upstairs that opened toward Jerusalem. Three times a day he knelt there in prayer, thanking and praising his God.” Although he could be killed for praying, he did it anyways. The kicker is that, unlike us so often, it was just as he had ALWAYS done. It was nothing new because he was in trouble. It’s what he had always done. 

In 1 Timothy 2:1 it says, “First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people.” In the message version it says, “The first thing I want you to do is pray. Pray every way you know how, for everyone you know.” That’s some pretty clear instruction if you ask me.

Throughout the last few weeks the Lord has put me in several situations where intentional, and determined prayer was needed. Prayers for wisdom discernment; ways to act and for healing. It’s incredible when you have specific prayers and he answers them. It shows you how faithful and glorious He is. In the book “The Circle Maker” by Mark Batterson it states that bold prayers honor God, and God honors bold prayers.  That’s so true.

It was said that Jesus’ brother, James, earned the name “Old Camel Knees” because of thick calluses built up on his knees from years of determined prayer.  That’s pretty incredible.

This is sweet Aly! 
Let me share a story with you real quick. It’s about this sweet little girl named Aly. Aly has been battling various types of cancer for quite some time but she’s been doing much better lately. A few days ago her family and doctors discovered that she has an inoperable and aggressive tumor on her spine. The more time between treatments, the less effective the chemo.  The doctors have an experimental drug that has never been used on this type of cancer before, so if they go this route they will have to suspend the chemo treatments. Needless to say her family has a tough decision to make. Little Miss Aly needs our prayers.

I bet that if I was Aly’s mom, my prayer for healing and discernment would be much more than one brief prayer. My desire to see The Lord heal Aly would be much greater. My urgency to see Him move would be grander.  Why is that? If I was Aly’s mom would I not want others to pray for my daughter with the dedication that I do?  OF course I would. How different would the world we live in be if we all prayed for each other with that determination? 

        Let’s start!!  Let’s pray passionately and love extravagantly.
Let me know what the Lord presses on your heart about prayer too!

With love,

Monday, December 2, 2013

This Is The Story Of A Girl

Hello everyone!
I'm Brooke and as Haley, my co-blogger and God- given best friend, has already explained we are so excited to start this blog! Our deep longing for this blog is to glorify God as we share the revelations he speaks into us, and the things he teaches us. This first post will be unlike the others in that it has our testimonies and a little introduction to who we are and what Christ has done in us!  

I have gone to church since before I was born and up until around middle school I attended every service and VBS my church had going. In 6th grade I decided
I didn’t want to go anymore, and with much debate I finally didn’t have to. Flash forward to the middle of my junior year, where the lord tugged on my heart from all sides. I had an urge to begin attending youth again, I was invited to a bible study, and my life had become a mess that I know couldn’t go on the way it was.

  I had a hole in my heart that was designed for Jesus and I was filling it with everything but Him.  I was not glorifying God to say the least. In most regards I was a “good girl” but as I would soon learn there is a huge difference between being a good girl and living for the King.  Through the next few months I began to see the lord in ways I could have never imagined. That hole in my heart was not only filled, but running over.  My soul was satisfied and my life had purpose. Ever since then I have desired to live my life for Christ. Yes, I have had ups and downs but I have come to realize that through the many seasons that he deserves all praise and glory regardless of the circumstance.  I know there is nothing in this world that will satisfy my soul like Him and I couldn’t imagine my life with out Him.

During thanksgiving I discovered that being at home for a while is so different once you go to College. Being in my room is unusual and my family has a new spunk to them that I just don’t remember. The other day I was reading my bible and sharing with my sweet momma some new things I’ve learned in discipleship, I remembered some sermon notes I think of often while at school. As I rummaged around my displaced things not only did I find the notes, but along with them so many more raggedy treasures from this past year or so.

            Once I began looking through the old notes, and cards and everything in between I was taken aback at how much love and just plain Jesus I had experienced my senior year of high school. My church family was incredible and the love of Christ they poured onto me was beautiful. These cards were, with no doubt written from the heart, and the support and encouragement inside of them I can’t express enough thanks for. And for those half scribbled sticky notes with that bright pin, those are more precious to me than gold. Those are revelations the Lord spoke to me, and things he pressed deep into my heart with. Those papers contain things that changed the way I see life, the dreams He’s given me and the passion I get only from Him.
Looking through those papers has made me thirst for the Lord. To crave his presence and scripture, to worship, to experience his presence in ways I haven’t experienced in a while.

I feel like I’ve changed so much in the few short months I’ve been in college. I’ve understood the grace of Jesus on a whole new level and I have joined the most amazing church. Let me just tell you, this church is what the bible speaks churches to be. The community aspect is inspiring and the focus on the Gospel is perfect. Every doubt I had about coming to this college was erased once I joined this church. I have no doubt that this is where the Lord wants me to be right now.

As much as I love my church and the community I partake in, those things are not my relationship with the Lord. Those things are needed, but they’re not it. Flipping through those papers urged me to reminisce on my personal relationship with my Savior. The daily commitment of being a follower of Christ requires the deep joy and fulfillment that is found only in Him: in Christ alone. Those papers brought a fresh reminder of his presence that I feel so deeply when I’m studying and seeking.  With all that this new college life entails, I have, some how, left only a little time and energy for the lord when I know good and well that it will not work. He is my source and strength – my portion forever. Don’t you love when he grabs a hold of you like that?

So I have a new excitement. I’m excited to dive deeper once more in my walk with Jesus. I’m excited to hear what he desires for me to do. I’m excited to hear what he has to say. I’m excited for him to fill me up once more. I’m excited to do his will. I’m excited to live my life for him. And I’m excited for this blog.

Haley and I have been talking about starting this blog for quite some time now. Speaking for myself, I have very little knowledge in blog doing, but the Lord has pressed it on our hearts and I know he works all things together. So with this new energy, excitement, and blog we’re off. I can’t wait to share the ups and downs of this journey with you!
All glory be to Christ
with love,

Because your love is better than my life, my lips will glorify you. So I will bless you as long as I live; and in your name I will lift up my hands.  Psalm 63:3-4