Friday, December 30, 2011

{when God writes your love story}

I just bought this book two days ago, and I already love it.

Pastor at Ellerslie.

These two have profoundly affected my Christian walk, and I'm excited to say that I will be studying under them for 2 months this coming summer in Windsor, CO!

Eric is the teaching pastor at the Church at Ellerslie and the lead instructor in the Ellerslie Leadership Training.

Leslie serves as the executive director of Set-Apart Girl - an internationally-known organization that provides books, resources, conferences, and training for Christian young women.

From June 16 - August 19, I will be immersed in God - living and breathing His presence with ~50 other young men and women seeking to do the same.

I couldn't be more excited :)

As I prepare for this journey, I will be reading all of the Ludy's books, as well as some that were recommended to me, that will further help me to understand their mission. Here are a few of the titles:
  • George Muller of Bristol - Arthur Pierson
  • Rees Howells: Intercessor - Norman Grubb
  • Hudson Taylor's Spiritual Secret - Dr. and Mrs. Howard Taylor
  • Hudson Taylor: A Retrospect - Hudson Taylor
  • Gold Cord - Amy Carmichael
  • They Found the Secret - V. Raymond Edman
  • No Compromise: The Life Story of Keith Green - Melody Green
  • Chasing the Dragon - Jackie Pullenger
  • Of Whom the World Was Not Worthy - Marie Chapian
  • Gladys Aylward: The Little Woman - Gladys Aylward and Christine Hunter
  • If I Perish - Esther Ahn Kim
  • The Pastor's Wife - Sabrina Wurmbrand
  • The Cross and the Switchblade - David Wilkerson
  • The Hiding Place - Corrie ten Boom
  • Tramp for the Lord - Corrie ten Boom
  • The Shadow of the Almighty - Elisabeth Elliot
  • Through the Gates of Splendor - Elisabeth Elliot
xo, Aysha

Thursday, December 29, 2011

{dayspring and coffee mugs}

If any of you know me, you know that I have a weakness for tea, and teacups and coffee mugs..and mocha frappuchinos (I had to add that, of course). And that weakness is ten-fold when they're about Jesus!

Well over at Dayspring there is an after-Christmas sale going on.

(On the cups!) And lots more!

It's phenomenal.

$12.99 marked down to $6.49!

$6.99 marked down to $4.99!

$9.99 marked down to $2.49!

Yes, I'm already thinking about next Christmas, but these cups will be used all year round :)

Go take a look, and let me know what you find!

xo, Aysha

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

{fire in my bones}

With the new year upon us, this is my new year's resolution:
That I become weary with holding in the name of my God; that I would feel an all-consuming fire within my bones at the thought of not being able to proclaim the truth that God has revealed to me; that I would be passionate about seeing the work of Christ here, in my life and in my home and in my city and in my state and in my country and in my world; that my heart would be burdened by the things that burdens the heart of my Lord; that I would meditate on His Word, day and night; that my life would be a place in which God's glory is displayed, for His glory alone.
As a student at a Christian university, I've had the opportunity to read large portions of the Bible, take classes where I learn (in-depth) what it means, learn from prominent scholars in the field, and worship with other students at Chapel.

I've been blessed, to say the least.

But my heart longs for so much more.

One of the major prophets of the Old Testament, Jeremiah, was ridiculed by his people for His trust in God. Yet He remained steadfast. He understood that God had given him a job to do: to warn the people of Israel that if their hearts remained hardened against YHWH, that they would be handed over to their enemies, that they would enter exile.

This is his response:
    If I say, “I will not mention him,
        or speak any more in his name,”
    there is in my heart as it were a burning fire
        shut up in my bones,
    and I am weary with holding it in,
        and I cannot.

(Jeremiah 20:9 ESV)
Have you ever had something so powerful, so empowering to tell that you would tell anyone who would listen? Something that you would gladly hand over your life for, so that the secret didn't die with you?

This was Jeremiah.

His resolve came with waiting upon the Lord, trusting in who He was and who He is - filled with His spirit to go forth and do the things that God had called him to.

This has become my prayer. To have such a fire within my bones, a fervent desire to see the Kingdom of God come to earth, to see His glory displayed here, that I literally become weary from holding it that I cannot.

xo, Aysha

Monday, December 26, 2011

{christmas | 2011}

 I hope you all had a wonderfully blessed Christmas. I pray that it was a restful time for each one you, no matter where you were!

 Here are a few pictures that I snapped on Christmas morning.


xo, Aysha

Sunday, October 23, 2011

{God, where are You}

As most of you may have noticed, my blog hasn't been updated in some time.

I could come up with a list of reasons; I had too much on my plate, classes were taking over, I needed time with friends.

But truthfully, this is the real reason: I couldn't find God.

I felt like God was no longer speaking to me; there was nothing being laid on my heart. All I found was silence. No huge revelation, no light bulb over my head. There was no 'still small voice.'

I'm surrounded, every day, by followers of Christ, yet I felt like I was the only one missing out on Him.

God, where are You?

I remember once in fourth grade, waiting outside on the curb after the final bell. My father was supposed to pick me and my sister up from school. Darkness would be coming soon; we still waited. Hours later, it was my mother who pulled up next to the curb, relieved to find us in the same spot that we had been for hours. In our minds, we were confident that our father would come. Somehow, we still had faith in him.

The Israelites wandered in the desert for 40 years, waiting.

The Jews waited, and are still waiting, for their Messiah.

Wrapped up in waiting is a sense of perceived abandonment, being forgotten, not feeling important enough to be remembered..we've all experienced and dealt with these kinds of feelings.

And it is during these times that God responds:
Behold, I am with you and will keep you wherever you go, and will bring you back to this land. For I will not leave you until I have done what I have promised you.
(Genesis 28:15, ESV)
Be strong and courageous. Do not fear or be in dread of them, for it is the LORD your God who goes with you. He will not leave you or forsake you.
(Deuteronomy 31:6, ESV)
That was the revelation that I was searching for, that my heart was seeking out. Sure, I've read those verses countless times, but it always seems that they take on new meaning when your heart needs to soak it in, when you're at the end of a road with no answers.

My revelation: these past two months, God has been closer than He has ever been.

He endures our struggles, our crazy schedules, our broken hearts, our times of rebellion, because He loves us.

We will not be forsaken in the wilderness, no matter how unstable and unsure things may seem. Our Messiah has come, and He is walking with us, step by step, holding us when we stumble and reassuring our hearts that we are not alone.

How badly I needed to hear these words.

I pray that they would root themselves in your heart and offer you encouragement and hope when you feel like you're walking through your wilderness, waiting. God is near, Christ is here. We will never walk alone.



Thursday, August 25, 2011

{another moment etched in stone}

Yesterday was my birthday.

Blessed and favored doesn't even begin to cover it. It still amazes me that God would extend grace and mercy, let alone blessings to those of us who least deserve it.

I was surrounded by friends and family, laughs and the telling of old memories.

I celebrated my twenty-second birthday much like many other Americans do, but unlike so much of the rest of the world. I had the choice of where I would eat. A bill printed for $105 signified good food and full stomachs. What could have fed a distant family for a year was devoured in a little over 2 hours.

Again I will say; I am so very blessed.

When I was younger, birthdays were a race of sorts between my sister and I. Who got the most presents? Who got the most expensive presents? Our birthdays are 22 days apart, and with that came a battle (a fun one of course), to see who reigned supreme.

Looking back on those birthdays, as I sat at dinner with my family last night, I was reminded of how much of God's favor has rested upon me. My family has been through hard times, but at the end of the day, we always made ends meet. We always scraped up enough to pay the bill or fix the car. We've always had food and a roof over our heads.

My birthday, full of love and extravagance, humbled me.

I could have been given any other life. Different parents, different schools, a different living environment. I could have been born with a handicap. I could have grown up in a life of alcohol and drugs.

But I wasn't. I was perfectly placed in the life that God planned for me, all for a reason.

I don't intend to be unappreciative of my blessed life. I intend to soak up every minute and be grateful to God, while taking the blessings He's poured on my life and pour them into the lives of others.

What good are blessings if they go unshared?

Another moment of my life has been etched in stone.

As I enter the life of a twenty-two year old college student, this is my self-reminder:
  • Be grateful - Moments pass by all too quickly
  • You can never love someone too much...never
  • Bless others as you've been blessed
  • Above all, love God
Blessings my friends,

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

{essential to my being}

I am so very thankful for my sister.

This morning, as I sat in my bedroom, a thought crossed my mind.

I haven't spent much time with Ryann lately.

My sister is one of the most important people in my life, but I rarely go out of my way to show that to her. Today I called her and asked if she'd like to have a little lunch date with me. I drove over, picked her and my niece up, and spent the better part of the day talking, laughing, driving around and investing in each others lives.

I am so blessed to have the sister that I do.

Don't get me wrong, we've hit bumps along the road. We disagree on things that won't matter when we're fifty. We've bruised each others hearts. Words have been spoken that can never be taken back.

But at the end of the day, when all is said and done, we love each other. She is essential to my being.

We've mended each others hearts. We've carried each others burdens. Countless hours have been logged into our sister talks. Our lungs and stomachs have hurt from the amount of laughter we've sustained.

I've watched her grow into a beautiful young lady, and now, I've witnessed how far her love extends, as she nurtures her young daughter. Her potential reaches the stars and I am so excited to see where God leads her.

Today, I am thankful for my sister.


Monday, August 8, 2011

{by our love, we will be known}

Happy Monday my friends!

As it is Make-A-Difference Monday, I thought I'd start off with a story.

This morning I walked into my local coffee shop, a place where I frequently spend my time during the summer months. As I sat down at a corner table, a man who I've been sitting across from the past few days, engaged me in conversation. When I arrived, I had no intention of speaking to anyone because I had assignments to complete, things to do..I had a plan: to lay my things out on the table, plug in my headphones and tune everything, and everyone, out.

Enter, divine intervention.

After sitting down, this man (let's call him Bob), asked me how I was doing. I answered back, not expecting the conversation to last more than a few minutes. Little did I know that it would lead to over an hour of discussion and him sharing his heart.

Bob is a man after God's own heart and his words spoke life to me.

Where did I "make a difference" you may ask? Other than hopefully allowing him to see into the world of my faith, I didn't. Bob made a difference in my life.

He caused me to evaluate how I respond to people, how I interact and engage with them. Ultimately, he planted a seed, beckoning me to examine how I love people.

Towards the end of the conversation, Bob told a story of woman he knows, who personally changed how he loves others. He described her as a woman who truly lives out the love of Christ in situations that the world would say are least deserving of love. It was in that moment that I realized why I woke up, drove to the coffee shop and chose that table.

God's voice was clear.

My love for those around me, in actions and in words, is nowhere near the standard that Christ calls me to. I am slow to listen, quick to speak and quick to get angry. I pass judgment unknowingly and treat people out of that judgment rather than from a place of love. I am impatient and at times hold grudges. I act self-righteously and my pride swells to attain glory that it's not due.

When all of these thoughts came rushing to me, I suddenly realized how human I really am.

I've regarded myself as a Christian; one who serves the Living God and has offered the throne of my heart to the King of Kings..but how can I say that, with honesty, when my life has somehow found its way onto the path paved with good intentions rather than the straight and narrow path?

This Scripture couldn't explain it any better:
He replied, "Isaiah was right when he prophesied about you hypocrites; as it is written: These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me.  (Mark 7:6 ESV)
It hit me like a ton of bricks! What a hypocrite I've been! My heart so easily strays from God, while my lips speak His name.

My takeaway from this experience? My life, but more importantly my heart, needs to operate out of love, rather than pride. When I learn to love, or rather be love, only then can Christ rightly be glorified through me. We each need to be an example of Christ to a lost and hurting world, but when honest and pure love is replaced by so many half-truths and false feelings, we're left with a bigger wound and hearts that have turned away.

Most of us are familiar with John 13:34-35:
A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.
And Paul writes this in Ephesians 4:1-3:
I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.
Every person, every life that I encounter should be done in a manner that breathes humility, gentleness and patience. How can I expect to truly love someone if I'm not willing to bear with, understand and accept them?

Harsh words need to be cast aside. Forgiveness needs to be extended.  Ears need to be opened. Tongues need to be silenced. Anger and judgment need to be replaced with patience and humility.

Where does it start? A pure heart.
Love one another earnestly from a pure heart. (1 Peter 1:22 ESV)
Wrong intentions and personal gain will never give life to the righteous life that God has called us to. Love is born of God, and because of that, we must come to know Him and understand His heart so that our actions and words reflect His own.
Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God. (1 John 4:7 ESV)
My heart rejoices at that thought. Each day that passes, and through interactions like the one I experienced this morning, I am coming to know God and understand His heart more and more.

Friends, let us love.

It is by our love that we will be known.


Sunday, June 19, 2011

{book review: untamed}

Lisa Harper is truly a woman gifted by God.

A few weeks ago I began reading her book titled Untamed.

Her writing style is witty and blunt, yet incredibly refreshing.

Many Christian authors tend to write books telling Christians how to better themselves, how to become right with God again...and because of that, I always felt that I had something to prove, I had to be "just a little more" for God to accept me.

Untamed looks deep into the character of Christ and presents Him as someone real, something tangible. He is a Savior that had bruised knees when He fell while running with friends. He felt rejection and the sting of betrayal. His desires were for the approval of His Father and he loved every man and woman that He encountered.

I have never been able to connect with Christ in a way that changed my heart, and after reading Untamed, I can. I feel closer to Christ than I ever have been as I begin to understand that He truly knows and empathizes with my heart. Every broken experience, every triumphant victory.

I highly recommend this book. If you are looking for a connection with our Savior, pick it up. If you feel lost and don't understand how Christ could love someone like you, find a copy. This book will get at your heart and spark a fire that lasts forever.

It is one of the best books I have ever read.

Hands down.


Disclaimer: I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

{i will wait upon You, Lord}

Isaiah 40:31 -- But they who wait for the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.
Property of Aysha Gerald
This morning, I woke up and turned on the Christian radio station, K-Love. I got online and stumbled upon their Encouraging Word of the Day: this verse from Isaiah. Soon, a song by Lincoln Brewster, "Everlasting God" came on, speaking of this same truth from Scripture.

As I was thinking about the title of this post, the words I will wait upon You, Lord, came to mind.

Last night I had a breakdown of sorts. My life has been lived with God at the forefront of my mind, but He wasn't receiving the attention that He rightly deserved. I remembered to honor Him when it was convenient for me, but much of the time I tried walking my own path. I understood what God expected of me, but I thought that I had the power to direct my own steps.

Let me tell you, it's exhausting. It is almost as if I could feel the strength that I did have, slipping away. Because of this, my relationship with God faltered. I stopped praying. I stopped reading my Bible. I became a Christian without Christ, without allowing God to truly work in me and through me. I was much too busy to take a break, re-evaluate my life.

And then last night came. There were tears and pleas for forgiveness. There was such a broken, raw and honest interaction with God.

I've heard it said that sometimes He breaks us down to our lowest so that He can build us back up. That has never been more true in my life.
Psalm 62:5 -- For God alone, O my soul, wait in silence, for my hope is from Him.
I want to be in a place where I can say: It is well with my soul. A place where I understand that every burden and worry has been lifted from me, as Christ says, "Here, let me carry that for you." A place where I can sit in the presence of God and feel more alive than ever, simply by listening to Him, rather than speaking at Him. A place where I hear the voice of God whispering, "Seek Me for the strength that you desire. It is only in Me that you will find rest. Rest in Me and I will give you strength."

Strength is found in waiting.

I will wait upon You, Lord.


This post can be found at:

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

{His love moves me to love}

I wanna love You the way that You love me; I wanna see Your face.

Property of Aysha Gerald
 Growing up, I found myself wanting to control the circumstances of my life, but inevitably failing. Who hasn't? We all desire to be in charge, to be independent. The problem was that I placing God on the back-burner. Instead of allowing Him to guide my path, I tried to make one for myself.

Solution: Surrender.

I've had to learn that life and the plans that I make are God's to direct. He has a greater purpose and is fulfilling that through me. Every person that I meet in various stages of life, every hand that I hold in moments of grief, every smile that I create on someone's face, is a chance that I have been given to allow someone else to experience God the way that I have.

I have the chance that so many people in this world are doing without: to love as Christ loved, without hindrance, without judgment, without expecting it in return.

We love because He first loved us; how beautiful, that the love I feel for my friends, family or the hurting in this world, is only a fraction of the love the Father has for me. If only I could take that knowledge and use it to further the Kingdom!

One of my favorite verses in Scripture, is this:
Psalm 27:4 -- One thing I ask from the Lord, this only do I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to gaze on the beauty of the Lord and to seek him in His temple.
I desire nothing more than to see my Maker's face. To be so lost in His presence that in viewing myself, only He remains.

In seeking His face, I find control. I find the strength to surrender. I find the desire to love.

His love moves me to love.


Ps. The lyric at the beginning of this post is a lyric from Dakota Green. He has such an amazing voice and is a servant of the Lord. Take the time to check out his music; you won't be disappointed: Dakota Green Music

This post is linked to:

Thursday, May 26, 2011

{be holy as i am holy}

Leviticus 20:26 -- You shall be Holy to me, for I the LORD am Holy and have separated you from the peoples, that you should be Mine.
The Israelites were set apart; handpicked by God to fulfill His plan for a broken creation. They were called to be Holy. Why? Because Yahweh is Holy. And through the work of Christ on the cross, we have been made holy in the sight of God.
Hebrews 10:9-10 -- Then He said, "Here I am, I have come to do your will." He sets aside the first to establish the second. And by that will, we have been made Holy through the sacrifice of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.
But what is Holiness?

Simon Ponsonby, author of The Pursuit of the Holy, said this:
Holiness is about becoming more human, as we are restored into the image of God...Holiness is a return to Eden's ideal and a taste of paradise (p 23).
Here is another:
People and things are said to be holy by their relation to God, as they offered by Him or to Him or before Him (p 19).
And finally this:
Holiness is infused into things or people that come close to God or exist for Him (p 19).
The Holy nature of God sets Him apart, and as His children, we are called to live lives that are set apart as well.

Pure actions.
Pure words.
Pure motives.
Pure thoughts.

Without blemish. Without the fog of the world interfering with that which is sacred.

Let us exist for Him.

Let us be Holy as He is Holy.


Wednesday, May 25, 2011

{in loss, there is hope}

Good Morning everyone.

I pray that you're having a blessed week, wherever you may be. I'm sure many of you are aware of the devastating impact that the tornadoes have had on much of the country these past few days (particularly in Joplin, Missouri and parts of Oklahoma and Texas).

It breaks my heart. Lives are being lost, homes are being ruined.

But in all of this loss, there is hope. And that hope is found in Christ.

With so much heartache going on around the nation, I ask you this: What are you doing to make a difference? Whether it be prayer, or hands on help, we are called to be there for those who cannot make it on their own.

Property of Aysha Gerald

Across the world, people are crying out for help, but here in our own country, we can soften the burden.

As we call on the name of Jesus for the fallen, the sick, the hungry, the hurt and the heartbroken, lives will be changed. Scripture says that as we do for these, we do for Him.

What a beautiful thought.

Today, I challenge you to pray. If you are unable to help the areas that have fallen, pray for those who can't find the words to speak, pray for those who are suffering.

Our brothers and sisters need us.

This post is linked to Ann Voskamp's...

Linked to Internet Cafe Devotions...

 And also linking to:


Monday, May 23, 2011

{heart of service}

With it being Make-A-Difference Monday, I thought I'd share something that happened today.

Over the past few days and weeks, things have been rocky in my family. My sister delivered her baby on April 28, and ever since then, there has been abundance of love, but also some tension. In my anger, I said hurtful things to my sister, and even though it was anger produced out of concern and love, it was anger nonetheless.

So skip forward to this morning. I got a text message from my sister asking if I would come over and watch my niece for her while she went to the gym. I was surprised that she was even talking to me, after the things that I said. I told her that I would be over, and quickly got in my car and drove the 10 minutes to the apartment.

Not only did I get to spend time with my niece, but my sister and I got along (which hasn't been happening too much lately). It was an intervention by God that made me realize how much I love my sister and how proud I am of her.

Aside from that, later in the afternoon, around 4 pm, I got a call from my mom, saying that she was stranded at work because her car wouldn't start.

Now if you know me at all, when obstacles are put into my life, I have a tendency to make a big deal out of them or complain, but today was different. I made it a point to serve my sister and my mother, because God commanded me to.

Once again, I got into my car and drove the 45 minutes to the hospital where my mother works. She was thankful that I came to her rescue, and I was genuinely happy that I could be.

It's the small things that we do that can make a difference in someone's life. Whether it be harsh words that were spoken or previous severed relationships, the smallest act of kindness can erase every negative experience.

Friends, we don't know the battles that others are facing, as they don't know the demons that we face. It is my prayer that we would approach every person and every situation with a Christ-driven humility and servant-hood that allows Him to be seen through our actions.


 Let every word that I speak come from a place in my heart that is connected to Your own. Let my actions speak of my Savior, that others would come to know Him through me. I am a vessel Lord; one called to serve with love, compassion and humility. Let me forgive those who have wronged me, and Father I ask that you would soften their hearts to forgive my wrongs against them. It is only through You, Lord, that I have the ability to accomplish these things.

I ask that you would prepare my heart for the changes that You are making within me.

In Jesus' Name, 



{blessed are those who mourn}

Psalm 30:5 -- Weeping may remain for a night, but rejoicing comes in the morning.
Early this morning, a member of the Cornerstone community passed away.

Ryan Davis.

It is with a heavy heart that I ask for prayers, both for the Davis family and the community at Cornerstone University as well.

Although I didn't know him well, I did feel the warmth of his smile as he passed on campus. His love for the students will carry on through the years, for it has made an impact on everyone.

As people grieve over this loss, there is also hope laced within. We will see Ryan again, whether our time on earth ends sooner than we had wished, or when we are all taken to be with our Lord again.
Matthew 5:4 -- Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.
Friends, it is my prayer that we would remember that every moment on this earth is a gift from God. Let us not waste it on the things of this world, but let us press hard towards our goal.

We are not promised tomorrow, but our hope is eternal.
Revelation 21:4 -- He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.
Blessings and prayers today,

Sunday, May 22, 2011

{sweet little one}

Well, after 3 weeks, I am finally getting around to posting pictures of my darling little niece, Nylah.

She was born on April 28 at 6:16 pm, weighing 6 lbs 4 oz and was 19 inches long. Of course I'm biased, but she is the most amazing little baby to grace the planet :) She barely ever cries, she's interested in everything around her, and the best part of all? She recognizes my voice! I can walk into a room and start talking to her, and she will turn her head and get the cutest little smile on her face.

Melting my heart is an understatement.

So, I won't let you wait in suspense anymore :) Here are some pictures!

Sleeping in my lap :)
I love her more than words can express.
All swaddled up and adorable!
Beautiful girl.
I love her big, brown eyes :)
Sleepy baby.
The smile that melts my heart.
I treasure every minute with her.

Oh, my sweet little princess pea; what a gift from God.

Blessings my friends,