Monday, March 29, 2010

"His Hands" - Original Poem

I wrote this poem today. I was thinking about the concepts of Love, Faith and Hope.

This is the result.


Stretched out on a tree.
Encompassing the world.
Visible and unknown.

Piercing, aching.
Savior of souls.
His love pours out.


Belief in a name.
Trust in a whisper.
Forever and always the same.

Beginning and end.
Keeper of souls.
Open your eyes wider.


In the return.
A chance of everlasting.
For our savior we yearn.

Promises unbroken.
Collection of souls.
Praise shall never end.

Without love, there is no faith.
Without faith, there is no hope.
These hands hold it all.

Sacrifice bore love.
Through love, faith was born.
In faith, hope is bred.

Nails bore blood.
Through blood, tears were born.
In tears, a promise was bred.

His promise.
It was in His hands.
In His hands, His promise stretched out.

Love that is eternal.
Faith that is enduring.
Hope that is everlasting.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Touched By Kindness

I just wanted to share this story with you, because it really touched my heart.

Today I was at Bible study with my friend Briana. We met at my local coffee shop, and we were discussing Palm Sunday. When we finished that study, we decided to continue looking up the Old Testament prophesies that correlated to the New Testament, which Christ completed. While doing that, a man walked up to us and asked if we were doing a Bible study. We answered yes, and he let us know how special he thought that was.

It's nice to hear that people approve of things that we do from time to time in life.

After we talked to him, he went back to his table, but 10 minutes later, he walked back to the counter. When he finished purchasing his items, he walked back over to our table with his Bible, and he asked us if he could share a verse with us. We accepted.

He read Galatians 6:10, which says, "Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers."

And then he handed us each a gift card to this coffee shop.

He told us that with it being Palm Sunday, he wanted to do something nice for us. And he told us that he was proud of what we were doing. We thanked him as much as possible, and then he walked back to his table.

This man, this stranger, but a brother in Christ, gave from his heart.

How many times has something like that happened to you?

I was genuinely affected by what he did for us. We have never met him before, and here he was, extending love to us.

Isn't that what Christ wants each of us to do? Love one another? Reach out to those less fortunate? But even more than that, help those "who belong to the family of believers."

I didn't think I was worthy enough to receive this simple gift, this simple act of love. And now looking at my life, that's how I feel with Jesus.

His gift was so much greater. His love is far more expansive. But it's the same principle.

He gave us a gift when we least deserved it. I don't deserve His love and compassion, yet He extends it; for free.
Romans 5:8 -- "But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us."
I'm grateful for this man. I know nothing about him, but he has proven that the love of Jesus is still evident in this hate-filled world.

For all I know, He could have been an angel, seeing how we would respond.
Hebrews 13:2 -- Do not forget to entertain strangers, for by so doing some people have entertained angels without knowing it.
He made my day a little bit brighter :) And I thank God for Him.



Saturday, March 27, 2010

Do You Know Love?

Matthew 15:13 -- Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.

It's a concept that we've thrown around since we could speak.

We loved the little boy or girl in our kindergarten class. We were in love in middle school with the boy or girl that was too cool for us. We fell in love with our high school sweetheart. We loved someone enough to vow holy matrimony under God.
John 13:34-35 -- A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another."
We know that we're supposed to love each other. Christ commanded it. But so many times we fall short of it.

Do you ever wonder if you're missing out on what love could be? Do you think it's possible that if we don't love Christ first, that we can't possibly know what human-to-human love is, or even be able to show it? And I mean really LOVE Him.

Palm Sunday is tomorrow.

Jesus entered Jerusalem. We've heard the story many times. He rode into the city on a donkey. That creature symbolized peace. I've read that when a king came in peace, he would ride a donkey instead of a horse. And this is what Jesus did. He came in peace. His guard was down, as it always had been. Anyone could come to Him, and He would listen. People tried to turn the children away, but in  
Matthew 19:14, Jesus said, "Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these."
By this time, he had attracted the attention of many, but they were in it for the wrong reason. They loved Him because of what He was doing, not because of who He was. They were more concerned with what they could get out of Him, than actually being in love with Him.

Ever heard the term agape? It's the unconditional, heart-wrenching, send-my-one-and-only-Son-to-die kind of love. It's not the love we use when we get something from someone and want to show gratitude in return. It's not even the kind of love that we extend to family members and friends. It's the kind of love that God has for us; His children. He loves us so much, and all He asks us in return, is to accept His Son. To love His Son. For when we love the Son, we love the Father.

As Jesus rode through the streets of Jerusalem, I wonder what He was thinking. I've read that He felt disappointment because as I mentioned before, He knew how the people felt about Him and why they responded the way that they did. But I also think that He felt a sense of shortness. Time was running out. He knew this week would lead to His body being broken for these people (and us). He knew that in the end, they would forsake Him. The excitement of this man was wearing off.

It's as if everything He did in those 3 years meant nothing. His teachings fell on deaf ears. His words were unheeded. His commands were thrown to the wind.

Are you going to follow their actions? Are you going to let His commands and teachings go unheard? Are you only going to love Him in the times that He answers your prayers? Are you worshiping and praising His name because He deserves it? Or has the excitement of Him worn off?

Look inside of yourself.

Are you in a relationship with Christ because you're truly in love with Him, or are you in it for the fate of your soul? Yes, it's important to know where our future of eternity lies, but we are missing the point of God if we forget to love Him.

Jesus offers peace. He offers compassion. He offers understanding. He offers everything that we look for in a relationship, but we tend to look past it because we can't see His face. We forget that He came here in an act of love. Agape. He doesn't expect us to love Him. He wants us to love Him. He wants us to experience Him. He became love for us.
1 John 4:16 -- And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in him.

Fall in love with our Savior.
Fall in love with our King.




Friday, March 26, 2010

Be the Light They Need

Psalm 145:21 -- My mouth will speak in praise of the LORD. Let every creature praise his holy name for ever and ever.
So many amazing things have been going in my life. And none of it would be possible without God. I know I don't praise Him aloud as much as I should, but He is the constant thought in my head. Every breath. Every blink of my eye.
Psalm 30:11-12 -- You have turned my mourning into joyful dancing. You have taken away my clothes of mourning and clothed me with joy, that I might sing praises to you and not be silent. O Lord my God, I will give you thanks forever!
My Bible study has been going very well, and once again, I praise the Lord for that.

I wanted to share with you the relationship I have with my sister, Ryann.

She is STILL coming to the Bible study and I can see a change in her. She and I used to fight constantly. We would say that we wished we had other sisters. We would go weeks without talking. We would belittle each other. And I was becoming used to it. But when I started the Bible study, I asked her to come, and she did. From that moment on, I could see the life of God within her.

For the record, I want to say that I'm really proud of her. I know growing up, I didn't tell her things enough. I didn't tell her how much I loved her. I didn't tell her how thankful I was that she was my sister. I never told her that I was proud of her for the things that she accomplished. I was always coming down on her. I wanted her to be like me. I wanted her to strive to be better. And for a while, I blamed myself for her turning out the way she did, wishing that I had pushed her harder.

She hasn't always chosen the best things for her life, but she has a heart of gold. I can see the life in her, crying to be let out. Friends, life circumstances, and bad choices, are pushing her down. But, when she comes to the Bible study, she asks questions. She wants to know more. She laughs; genuinely laughs. And that sound has pierced my heart. She went for so long without laughter, being mad at the world, blaming everyone for the problems in her life.

Now I see her coming back.

And it's all thanks to God.

I've prayed and prayed for her to find her way back to Him, and I tried to push her. But I soon learned that I couldn't make someone love God. I couldn't make her want His love. So I just continued to pray. I asked her to come to the Bible study, and at first she was hesitant, but she did.

She is my best friend. And sharing God with her has really brought my own life and way of doing things into perspective. I've traded harsh words with words of comfort. I've traded judgment for acceptance. I've traded anger and hatred for love. If I can't do anything else for her, I want her to know that I will always be there to comfort her, to accept her, and to love her.

One definite change that I've seen in her, is her way of emoting. She never used to tell people how she felt, she would just explode in anger, or shut down completely. The other day, for a reason that I can't come up with, I decided to be mean to her. Then 2 days later, at the Bible study, she told me that what I did really hurt her feelings. I had been planning on apologizing, but I never got around to it; I just kept feeling badly. When she brought that to my attention, I realized that it must have really gotten to her heart, because she would never have told me something like that. She would have shut down, stopped coming to the Bible studies, and built up more anger against me.

She's started telling me about her life, and the choices that she's making. I know she still has a long way to go, but don't we all? I would never boast perfection, because then I wouldn't need God in my life, and I do. More than anything.

I can see His hand prints in my life; in the different places He is working. He is molding me and shaping me, and as a result, I'm able to share that experience with people around me. I'm praying that God is showing through me.

I want to be the light that my sister needs.
Matthew 5:14 -- You are the light of the world.
I will use the rest of my life to praise God, and to thank Him for the work that He is doing in not only my life, but the life of those around me. My sister. My mother. My grandmother. And all of you who read this blog.

I want to make a final point. This blog is not to bring glory to my own name. No. It's bringing glory to the Father. He deserves all of my praise, and more. My hope and prayer is that people will use this as a way of drawing near to Him. Find Him in every day life. In the sunset, in the stars, in the moon. In the laughter of children, in a hug, in an act of giving to someone who has less than you do. I write so that I can rationalize and make sense of my own life, but it's also a way to track my spiritual growth. Sometimes, knowing that someone else is going through the same thing you are, makes it a little easier to bear.

I can't bring the world to Jesus on my own. With His spirit working in me, I can help others to find His spirit. His words to me and for me are the product of this blog. And with Him, I can reach people that are searching for truth.
Numbers 11:17 -- I will come down and speak with you there, and I will take of the Spirit that is on you and put the Spirit on them. They will help you carry the burden of the people so that you will not have to carry it alone.


Thursday, March 25, 2010



1 Corinthians 10:13 -- No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.

Ever been tempted? Ever desire something that you know you're not supposed to have?

We've all been there. Jesus has even been there.

Here is the story: Matthew 4:1-11

Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the desert to be tempted by the devil. After fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry. The tempter came to him and said, "If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread."
Jesus answered, It is written:
'Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.'
Then the devil took him to the holy city and had him stand on the highest point of the temple. "If you are the Son of God," he said, "throw yourself down. For it is written:
'He will command his angels concerning you, and they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.'
Jesus answered him, It is also written:
'Do not put the Lord your God to the test.'
Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their splendor. "All this I will give you," he said, "if you will bow down and worship me."
Jesus said to him, "Away from me, Satan! For it is written:
'Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only.'
Then the devil left him, and angels came and attended him.
Jesus can understand our trials, because He went through them.
Hebrews 2:18 says, "For because he himself has suffered when tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted."
Hebrews 4:14-16 says, "Since then we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need."
But the difference between us and Him? He never gave into it. Never. Not once. Imagine that - living a life completely free of temptations. It would be nice, huh?

But enter in --- SIN.

Because of that three-lettered word, we face temptation. Satan throws things at us daily. Every hour, every second. Most of the time we give into it without giving it a second thought. Ever been tempted with sexual pictures? Ever been tempted into sexual acts? Ever been tempted to steal? Ever been tempted to laugh at someone because all of your friends are doing it?

Did you give into those things?

At times we do. And sometimes we don't feel guilty. Why is that? As a Christian, we're supposed to feel conviction when we go against the laws of the Lord. But so many times we don't. I know that I don't 100% of the time. It's become routine for us. We excuse it.

"No one is going to know if I look at one more picture."
"No one will notice if one pack of gum is missing."
"If I don't laugh with them, they might label me as different."
"I love him, so it's okay."
"Just one more time."
"After this, I'll make a change..."

But someone does know if we look at another picture. Someone does know that the gum is missing. Someone does care when you laugh at His child. Someone does care if you misuse the practice of sex inside of marriage, and engage in premarital sex. Someone does care that your going through with it one more time. Someone knows whether or not that change will come about.


He cares about every detail of our lives. He knows when we desire, lust and are tempted into situations that seem to pull us farther away from Him. You may think that you're too far past the point of no return, but with God, there isn't one. He will always forgive you. He will always hear what you have to say. But you have to tell Him. Talk to Him. Let Him know your fears, doubts and troubles. He wants to hear from you, so that He can forgive you. If you never ask, how can He comfort your fears and let you know that you've been forgiven already?

You've committed the sin. You let the temptation get the best of you. But then you think for a second, "Maybe I shouldn't have done that." 15 minutes later though, it's old news. You've forgotten about it, and it becomes ingrained in you. Soon, you're doing it so often that you don't have those convicting thoughts. It's become normal.

News Flash: God doesn't want normal. He doesn't want lukewarm.
Revelation 3:15-16 -- I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! So, because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to spit you out of my mouth.
He wants people in His kingdom that honor Him, love Him, persevere for Him. We all stumble and fall. We give into temptations, because we are human. It's what we do with it, that counts. Are you going to keep going back to it? Or are you going to be stronger than it? Are you going to continue it because it's normal and comfortable to you? Or are you going to fight it and say that God is bigger than it, and be okay with being uncomfortable and stirred by your convictions?

I'm tempted all the time. All day long. It's hard. But I know that when I am struggling, I'm not alone in that struggle. In knowing that Jesus was tempted, it gives me hope that I can overcome.

James 1:12-15 gives us that hope in perseverance.

Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him.
When tempted, no one should say, "God is tempting me." For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone; but each one is tempted when, by his own evil desire, he is dragged away and enticed. Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death.
How can you try and fight temptation and it's traps? With the Word of God, and prayer.
Matthew 26:41 says: "Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the body is weak."
Don't give into it any longer. Be stronger than it. In your suffering and troubles that Satan will throw your way, you become more like Christ. And He promises that your reward will be great.

To me, that's well worth the temptations and trials that I face on this earth.


Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Healing Hand of God

Healing Hand of God by Jeremy Camp.

I'm in love with this song.

The lyrics are beautiful, and they mean so much to me.

I thought that I would share them with you :)

I have seen the many faces of fear and of pain.
I have watched the tears fall plenty from heartache and strain.
So if life’s journey has you weary and afraid,
There’s rest in the shadow of His wing.

I have walked through the valleys, the mountains, and plains.
I have held the hand of freedom that washes all my stains.
If you feel weight of many trials and burdens of this world,
There’s freedom in the shelter of the Lord.

I have seen the healing hand of God
Reaching out and mending broken hearts.
So taste and see the fullness of his peace
And hold on to what’s being held out;
The healing hand of God.

I have touched the scars upon His hands to see if they were real.
He has walked the road before me, He knows just how I feel.
When you feel that there’s not anyone who understands your pain,
Just remember all of Jesus’ suffering.

Cast all your cares on Him for He cares for you.
He’s near to the broken and confused.
By his stripes our spirit is renewed.
So enter in the joy prepared for you!

I have seen the healing hand of God
Reaching out and mending broken hearts.
So taste and see the fullness of his peace
And hold on to what’s being held out;
The healing hand of God!



Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Nothing is Unknown to the Father

What are you afraid of? Spiders? Heights? Death?

All of us are afraid of something. Sometimes those fears can be rational, but many times those fears are brought upon by an experience. You were bitten by a spider. You fell out of a tree as a small child. Maybe you've tasted death for yourself, or have had someone close to you pass away. All of the things that we fear seem like tangible reasons to do so, but God has a different thought.

Here is the story of Jesus walking on water: Matthew 14:22-31

Immediately Jesus made the disciples get into the boat and go on ahead of him to the other side, while he dismissed the crowd. After he had dismissed them, he went up on a mountainside by himself to pray. When evening came, he was there alone, but the boat was already a considerable distance from land, buffeted by the waves because the wind was against it.
During the fourth watch of the night Jesus went out to them, walking on the lake. When the disciples saw him walking on the lake, they were terrified. "It's a ghost," they said, and cried out in fear.
But Jesus immediately said to them: "Take courage! It is I. Don't be afraid."
"Lord, if it's you," Peter replied, "tell me to come to you on the water."
"Come," he said.
Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus. But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, "Lord, save me!"
Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. "You of little faith," he said, "why did you doubt?"

So many times in our lives, we doubt. We fear. But Jesus is always there to comfort us in those times. Jesus told His disciples to trust Him, and many times they did, but in situations like this, they proved to be human. Just like we are. We are consumed with trying to be tough on the outside, but when it comes to our fears, we shy away. All the while, Jesus is standing there with an outstretched hand saying, "Why do you doubt me?"

Switching gears a little bit, I wanted to talk about the concept of death. I think that is the number one fear in America, more likely than not, the world over as well. No one wants to die. People don't know what is going to happen to them. That thought can consume you, but God doesn't want us to fear what we think is the unknown, for it is known to God. He knows what this life holds for us, and He wants us to cling to Him in our times of fear. When we don't run to Him, it's as if we are telling God that our fears are bigger than He is. God created the universe. It is a wide, expansive thing to think about, but He also created the smaller things too. Feelings, thoughts, ideas, etc. We have the free will to think and feel as we please, but when we cast our cares upon the Lord, in the Bible it says that He cares for us.

Death may not be the ideal thing to talk about, but it is a reality for every man and woman, every human.
Romans 6:23 says, "For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord."
We are meant to die.  
Romans 5:12 says, "Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all men, because all sinned."
Death is the punishment for sin. Adam sinned, and death was the consequence. And while that can seem scary at times, I find my peace in the Word of God. Jesus Christ came to this earth to be a Savior. And He did save us. From eternal death. Our human bodies have to suffer death, but in choosing Him as our Savior, we never have to worry about the future of our souls.
Psalm 56:4 -- In God, whose word I praise, in God I trust; I will not be afraid. What can mortal man do to me?
There is nothing that man can do to your soul. It's safe. Protected. Protected by the keeper of souls.
I take heart in that. Just the thought that someday, I will be standing face to face with the one who took the nails for me, makes it all worthwhile. My body on earth is merely a tool for the Lord to use. And I think that is the way we should see it. God put us on the earth for a reason -- to share the Good News and spread the name of Christ. We have to use our mortal bodies for that. Yes, they can be hurt, bruised and broken, but none of that compares to the reward that we will receive in Heaven for our sufferings.

The next time that death becomes your fear, look up to the Heavens. The Lord won't let you go through anything on earth that you cannot handle. It's like the quote says, "If He brings you to it, He will bring you through it."

And for those of you who still fear the unknown, remember this:

Nothing is unknown to God. Our days on earth are numbered, but if we choose to follow the cross and live according to His will, then our days in God's kingdom shall have no end.



Monday, March 22, 2010

Are You Living Right?

Hey everyone!

With Easter right around the corner, it's my prayer that people will honestly look inside themselves and discover who they really are. Like I mentioned in a previous post, it's not about the chocolate or the Easter bunny. It's about Christ and His sacrifice.

Jesus did so much for us. He didn't just die on a cross. He opened the path between heaven and earth. He made the relationship between God and man possible. He wiped out every sin.

Think for a moment.

What if He never came? I'm sure His seat in heaven was much more comfortable than the manger that He had to sleep in. I'm sure that the glory and praise that He heard non-stop in heaven was much more appealing than the hate and anger that He had to endure as He walked the path to Calvary. I'm sure He was happy having His father right by His side.

But He gave all of that up. He entered the world alone. He traded His life as a King for the life of a mortal man. He traded His life as a Master and became a worker. He used His hands. He sweat. He laughed and cried.

But never once did He sin.

Are you living right?

In the spirit of Easter, I want us to look inside of ourselves. Are we living right? Are we following Christ? Or are we living for ourselves? Are we more concerned with what the world thinks of us, than what God thinks of us? In the end, His opinion is the only one that will matter.

So on April 4th, 2010, give thanks. Commit to a new life in Christ. Refocus your life on the truth. Refocus your life on the meaning of Easter. Jesus has risen. The battle has already been won. The outcome has already been foretold. And you can be a part of that.

Jesus is victorious.

Jesus is King.

Jesus is Lord.



Saturday, March 20, 2010

Time With God

I've found that I'm an analyzer.

I analyze the things that people do, the things that they say, and I try to understand what they mean. Not to say that I judge them; but I do find the human race to be fascinating. I've found that we are very much like animals. Bees busily buzz around. You never see them not working, do you? Aren't we like that? We have so many things going on in our lives and we never take the time to rest. How about owls or birds in general? Owls stay up all night. And birds are early to rise. Aren't we humans like these? We associate ourselves with being early birds or night owls. But do we think to recognize God when we awake in the morning, or before we lay down to rest? How about snakes? We as humans are prone to be sneaky, quiet, and ready to strike at any moment. We have the mentality of 'protecting our own' or seeking revenge on those who do bad to us.

We're not so different than the animal kingdom.

As I watch people walk by on the street, in airports, at school, or even my family at home, I can't help but wonder what goes on in their minds. Are they thinking about their crazy schedules? Are they worrying about tomorrow? Or are they thinking about the Creator of the heavens and the earth?

So much of our time is spent thinking about our own lives, that we forget that the reason that we are living, is up above. God created us. He knows our every thought, wish, desire and dream. But yet we feel the need to keep things hidden from Him. Like the early bird, we wake up ready to face the day, thinking that we can do it alone. Like the bees, we are busily going through the day, forgetting that God has it under control. Like the snake, we are prepared for fight or flight; ready to snap at someone who cuts in front of us, takes our seat, or looks at us with disgust, when we should be prepared to love those around us. Like the night owl, we stay alert in late hours of the night, happy to be with friends, but not thanking God for another day.

When is the last time that you spent time with the Almighty God?

Today? Yesterday? Last week? Last month? Last year?

We forget to wake up in the morning and give Him praise. We forget that He has our lives in His hands. We forget to love everyone we come in contact with, because we don't know what problems their lives hold. We forget to rest our heads at night with the assurance that God will be there watching over us, and to thank Him for giving us that day.

God deserves our time.

I know that I'm guilty of not giving Him enough of it. But when I think about it that way, I'm ashamed. I spend more of my time thinking about how I can advance in the world, and how I can get people to notice me, when all the while God is standing there saying, "Aysha, notice me."

My life was His before I was born, it is His now, and it will be His after I am gone from this earth.

He is always holding me in His hands, saying, "Aysha, I'm here. I'm holding you. Look up to me."

God deserves my time. My life. My praise to Him.

Because He is Lord.
Matthew 6:6 --But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.


My Prayer

Father God,

First, I want to thank you. You have given me another day of life, another chance to fulfill your will for my life. I know upon waking up my first thoughts should be given to you, but Lord, I confess that I am so wrapped up in my own life, that I don't think about it. I seldom realize that it's a privilege to wake up in the morning. It's a privilege to walk, to talk, to even breathe God. Lord, help me. When I wake, set my heart on you, set my thoughts on you. No one else and no other thing deserves the place that is rightfully yours.

Lord, I come to you humbled. You ask for a broken spirit, and that is all I am. I'm not worthy to come to you, to ask things in your name, Lord, but I know that you hear me, and you answer. You're the rock on which I stand, you're the hand that I reach for. Father, help me to remember your promise when I am caught in the life you have given me. Your promise that you will never forsake me. Lord, this life gets so hard sometimes, and inside I'm screaming for a savior; Lord, you are my Savior. You know what I'm going through, because you've been there. You became a man, felt the pressures of life that I feel, but Lord, you never once gave into this life's sinful nature. Thank you for your perfection. Without it, I would not have a hope in the world, I would have nothing to strive for, and Lord, I strive for you.

Father, in my daily walk, I ask for your protection. Not only for my own protection, but for the protection of my family and friends. Physical protection, but also spiritual protection Lord. There are those who do not know you, those who claim to know you, and those who do not want to know you, Father. I ask that you would open their hearts. Lord, nothing in this life is more important to me than you, and knowing how much I love you, I wish that they could feel your love too. Every time I fall, every time I stumble, every time I wander from you, God, you are there. I can rest in your peace, and I pray that same feeling would be available to my loved ones.

God, I pray for daily peace. Lord, I know that I worry about things in my life that I don't need to. I worry about my safety, my family's safety, what I'm going to do with my life, my sins, my failures and my problems. Father, you tell me not to worry about those things, but I know that as a human, I am susceptible to feeling it. I ask that you would take away my worry and my stress Lord, for I know that as sure as you were there for me yesterday, Lord, you will be there for me tomorrow. I know that I don't have to worry about where I will sleep, what I will eat, or even what I will wear, because you have taken care of those things for me.

I come to you with my problems Lord. You ask that I lay them at your feet. Father, here they are. I give them to you. You are a worthy, righteous, forgiving God, and I put my trust in you. Lord, forgive me of my sins and wash me clean of my guilt. Don't remember my sins Lord, for I want to be pure in the sight of you. Use me for your glory God, for you deserve the praise of the nations.

Give me peace as I walk this life and give me the strength to live for your name.

I will honor you all the days of my life.

I love you Father.

In Jesus' name, I ask these things,


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Hey guys!

This post is going to be kind of a recap on everything that I have been talking about in my Bible study (iFollow the Cross).

First of all, it's going really well. I love being able to talk about God freely. But I feel like things need to change. I need to reach more people. I need to reach out. And I need God to help me with that. All my life, I've felt stuck in a box, being too scared to talk about God for fear of what people would think about me.

But I've realized something. It's not about this world. It's not about other people's opinions. It's about God. It's about what He thinks of me. I want nothing more than to please Him. This life wasn't given to me so that I could waste it on earthly human matters. It was given to me to honor and bring glory to God's name.

I've found that it's very easy to get caught up in this life. For everyone. We all have those days where we want people to listen to our problems, give us advice, etc. And through all of that, I forget that God already knows what I'm going through, and that He is there for me through it all.

I came to this epiphany while doing this Bible study.

As I've mentioned before, we are working out of Max Lucado's book called He Chose the Nails. There are so many great things within this book, so I thought that I would share my findings with you.

1. I Will Bear Your Dark Side: God's Promise in the Soldier's Spit- There is a beast in each of us, and God has looked past all of that. He sent Christ to bear the beast within us, so that we could become beautiful. There is no way that we could enter Heaven without Him, and I thank Him so much for thinking enough of me to sacrifice Himself.

2. I Loved You Enough to Become One of You: God's Promise in the Crown of Thorns- Thorns in the Bible are a consequence of sin. And Jesus bore them for me, and for you. A man, perfectly sinless, took on the thorns, as if He had committed those crimes on His own. The crown was meant to mock Him, because He called Himself a King. And what an amazing King He is. But for it, He was mocked and laughed at.

3. I Forgive You: God's Promise in the Nails- Jesus was raised as a carpenter. Ever think about that? He had nailed things, worked with wood, and here He was being nailed to the very thing He knew the most about. Those nails held Him to the cross. But those nails also nailed a list of our past and future sins to it. Between the hand of God and the cross, there was a list. Yes, a list. Not something that we can see; not something that was visible for the world to see, but God could see it. And with the shedding of His Son's blood, that list was covered. Our sins have been forgiven. Forever.

4. I Will Speak to You in Your Language: God's Promise Through the Sign- The sign hanging above Jesus' head was written in 3 languages, so that all could interpret what it said. "This is the King of the Jews." Here Christ was marked as the King that He rightfully was, but again, it was a way of mocking Him. Those people never knew that His name would be carried though the generations. But it was. And I'm glad it did. This sign is a way of speaking to each and every one of us. Jesus speaks to each of us in our own language, but not the kind of language that you are thinking about. Yes, every tribe and nation has their own 'language,' but Christ knew that each of us respond differently to things, and He understands it. No matter what it is.

5. I Will Let You Choose: God's Promise Through the Two Crosses- Do you know that we were given a choice? We have free will. We can CHOOSE to live for God, or CHOOSE not to. Next to Jesus, on either side, there were two criminals. Both of them were there for the same reason; they had broken the law. And there, between them, hung my Lord. One of them mocked Jesus, told Him to call down the angels from Heaven if He was who He said He was. The other, repented and asked Jesus to remember Him. And Jesus did. Do you think it was coincidence God gave us this story? Do you think it's coincidence that one man went one way, while the other man turned to God. It was a choice. We were each given that choice. God wants us to choose Him, and even though many of us won't, our eternity is up to us. We weren't given many choices in our lives, but the most important decision, our souls resting place, was left for us to choose.

God has done so many things for us, and He gave us so much through the scene of the crucifixion. So as Easter comes upon us in just a couple of weeks, remember this. These were God's promises to us. And He won't go back on a promise.

He has promised to love us through our beast-like qualities.
He has promised to remove our sins; as far as the east is from the west.
He has promised to speak to us in our own language, and to understand us.
He has promised to let us choose.

God, thank you for your mercy.



Monday, March 15, 2010

We Are Here

Will you remember why we are here this Easter?

What has Christ done for you? For your family? For your friends?

Not only did He die on the cross, but He left an empty grave.

He defeated death.
He conquered the grave.
He rose again.

It's not about the Easter bunny, or the chocolates. It's about the empty tomb. It's still empty. It will always be empty. He is the answer to life. He is the way, the truth and the life.

He has redeemed us.

All we have to do is trust and believe in Him.

This Easter, when you're with your family and friends...

Remember the sacrifice..

But more importantly...

Remember the empty grave.



Tuesday, March 9, 2010

He Stayed

During Christ's life, He never felt the sting of sin that you and I feel on a daily basis. That is, not until He was nailed to the cross.

There, on that cross, He felt everything.

He felt shame, disgrace, anger, frustration...everything.

And while the sky was darkened, as my Savior was dying, He cried out to His Father.
Matthew 27:46 -- About the ninth hour Jesus cried out in a loud voice, "Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani?"—which means, "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?"
In the book, He Chose the Nails, by Max Lucado, he states that when Jesus cried this, it was the prayer, the plea, the cry of a sinner.

For the first time in Jesus' life, He knew exactly how every one of us felt, and how we feel now. He not only took the sins of the past, He took the sins of the future too. With him, He nailed our sins to the cross. Why? Because He didn't want to give us up. He loves us that much.

Have you ever thought about why He stayed there? Or have you ever thought about Him staying there at all? God Himself was nailed to the cross that day, and He had the power of it all to change His circumstances. But He didn't. He cared about us that much. And He still cares. And He understands everything that we go through.

Do you sometimes feel like telling God that He doesn't understand? Well take heart, because not only has Christ conquered the world, and death, but He took on every sin, burden and worry that we will ever feel. He knows exactly what we are going through and how we feel, because He felt it too.

Cast your cares upon the Lord, for He cares for you :)

And remember..

He stayed.



Monday, March 8, 2010

Crown of Glory

Have you ever thought of God's promise to you? Have you ever thought about the Crown of Thorns? I found this picture, and I think it gives an idea of what our Savior did for us.

Both the Romans and the Jews wanted Him dead. His own people, the Jews, rejected Him. They joined in the mocking. They joined in the torture.

Why the crown? Why thorns?

Jesus called Himself the 'King of the Jews.' So as an act of mockery, they decided to give Him a crown. Not a crown that is fit for a King. But a crown intended to inflict pain. Draw blood. His blood.

A crown of thorns.

Do you realize how much Christ went through for us? In the book we are going through in my Bible study, by Max Lucado, called He Chose the Nails, it says that the only required act to save us, was shed blood. But Jesus did so much more.

He wore that crown of thorns. He felt the piercing in His skull. He felt the blood dripping down His face. And you know what amazes me? He still stayed there. He could have called down the angels out of heaven. But He didn't.

So the next time you think you're going through something that seems to hard to bear, remember Jesus. He went through so much more. He took those thorns, so that one day, we could stand before Him, be with Him, forever.

In His rightful Crown of Glory.




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Friday, March 5, 2010

Looking at Fear in the Face

We all have fears. We all have worries and are apprehensive about things. But is that the way that God wants us to live? Does He want us to live a life of fear? Of course not!

In Matthew 6:25-34, it says: 
Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?
"And why do you worry about clothes? See how the lilies of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? So do not worry, saying, 'What shall we eat?' or 'What shall we drink?' or 'What shall we wear?' For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.
God doesn't want us to worry about anything. He will always be there to sustain us. We should put our trust in Him and know that He is going to take care of us.

I love the comparisons to the birds. Think about it. How often do you think about each little bird that flies in the air? Do you sometimes feel like that when you realize that God has to remember each one of us here on Earth? That maybe He doesn't have time to worry about each and every one of us? 

Here, in the Bible, in the words of truth, it says:
Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?
We are so much more valuable to God than the birds, but yet He cares for them.
Psalm 55:22 -- Cast your cares on the LORD and he will sustain you; He will never let the righteous fall.
1 Peter 5:7 -- Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.
Next time you're thinking about giving into fear and worry, cast those thoughts upon the Lord, and He will give you peace of mind.

We don't know what tomorrow holds, but we know that by believing in an all-knowing God, who DOES know what tomorrow holds, that He will get us through whatever.

That's a comfort to me :)