Friday, September 30, 2011

Untitled

GOD IS SO GOOD GOD IS SO GOOD GOD IS SO GOOD GOD IS SO GOOD GOD IS SO GOOD GOD IS SO GOOD GOD IS MY HERO HE IS MY REDEEMER MY LOVER MY FRIEND MY HELPER MY REFUGE MY STRENGTH MY HOPE IN TIMES OF TRIALS MY STRENGTH WHEN I AM WEARY HE MAKES HIMSELF KNOWN THROUGH MY MANY WEAKNESSES, I LOVE HIM WITH ALL MY HEART AND SOUL. HE LOVES ME FAR MORE THAN EVEN THAT!  HE IS THE MESSIAH, THE REDEEMER, THE GREAT AND POWERFUL LORD OVER ALL THE EARTH. HE SHARES THE MYSTERY OF THE GOSPEL TO THOSE WHO SEEK HIM. HE LOVES AND RESTORES US WHEN WE FEEL LIKE GIVING UP. HE EXTENDS MY TIME WHEN I SHOULD BE DOING HOMEWORK BUT I CANT STOP PRAISING HIS NAME! HE LIGHTS THE WAY WITH HIS WORD. HE GIVES US ADVICE AND GUIDELINES OF PROTECTION AND PROSPERITY IN HIS WORD. HIS WORD NEVER FAILS, NEVER FADES, AND WILL NEVER GO AWAY. HE IS AND WAS AND ALWAYS WILL BE. GODS VOICE IS CLEAR, CONSISTENT, AND TRUE. HE NEVER LETS ME DOWN. HE IS ALWAYS HERE TO LOVE AND PROTECT US.  GOD IS COMPASSIONATE AND GRACIOUS, SLOW TO ANGER, AND ABOUNDING IN LOVE.  HE IS TRUE. HE IS FREEDOM, HE IS LIFE. HE IS THE WAY. HE IS WHY I WAKE UP IN THE MORNING. HE IS WHY I DENY MYSELF THE PLEASURES THE WORLD OFFERS. HE IS WHAT WE ALL DESPERATELY SEEK FOR AND CRAVE, EVEN WHEN WE DON'T KNOW HE'S WHAT WE WANT! HE IS THE COMFORTER OF ALL COMFORTS, HE SETS OUR SOULS ON STREAMS OF PEACE WHILE WE REST IN HIS ARMS. HE LOVES US THROUGH CARING AND SERVING US, GIVING US WHAT WE DON'T DESERVE. HE SHOULDNT EVEN LOVE US, BUT HE DOES.  WE HAVE DONE NOTHING SINCE THE BEGINNING OF TIME BUT SPIT IN HIS FACE, LAUGH AT HIM, AND DENY HIM, YET HE NEVER GIVES UP, HE KEEPS POURING OUT HIS LOVE AND HE WILL NEVER QUIT LOVING US AND REACHING DOWN TO PROTECT US FULFILL HIS PROMISES TO US. GET IN THE WORD LADIES--ITS COMIN.  HE'S COMIN.  THE TIME IS SOON AND HE HAS SO MUCH MEAT TO FEED US BEFORE THEN. LOVE ON YOUR SAVIOR TODAY!! :)

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Rise Up Warrior!

A wonderful new movie called Courageous is coming out tomorrow in theatres.  This is another movie done by the church in Georgia that produced Facing the Giants, Fireproof, and Flywheel--ALL of which are highly recommended by me (See movies page!)

I don't know much about this new movie, but I do know that it has something to do with men stepping up to the plate.  This is such a big concern for me.

Women, children, and even other men of our society need men to step up.  There is a desperate longing inside children that cause them to want their Daddy's approval.  They want him to be proud of them and spend time with them and pat them on the back.  Women crave the attention of males, whether it be their Dad's, their husbands, or just male figures in their life.

The Bible says over and over that men are the head of the household and the church--they were born to be leaders.  We need them to lead us.  Women will stop controlling when men start leading, and men will start leading when women step back and stop controlling.  It's a crazy cycle, but who's gonna take the first step?
As I read in Ezra yesterday I stumbled upon this verse:

"Rise up; this matter is in your hands.  
We will support you, so take courage and do it."
Ezra 10:4

In this passage Ezra has just found out the people he has been leading back to God's temple have been disobeying God greatly.  Ezra mourns and confesses their sins to God, he is utterly heartbroken.  Then Shecaniah gives Ezra advice on what needs to be done, and tells him to rise up.


This is such a strong calling for a man.  Rising up means taking courage, preparing for battle, and sacrificing self.  No such call should be taken lightly, but it shouldn't be ignored either.

Here's the kicker, Ezra had a choice.  It was up to him weather he would actually stand up on and fight or continue to mourn in self pity.  It is always a choice with God.  He may ask you to save the nations by sharing the gospel to the highest suicidal rated city on the globe, a task that would bring God so much glory it would be mind blowing, a task that would humbly honor anyone even considered by the great God Almighty, but nevertheless, a task that is still left as a choice to be done or not.

Thankfully, the very next verse assures us that Ezra took that bold step of faith without a second thought.  He immediately put the plan into action and became a huge part of helping the Israelites get reconciled to God.  And God got more glory because of it!


So this is to the young man out there who has been called by God to lead his wife, his family, his church, or his friends.  You have a decision to make, are you going to stay seated and mourning, or are you going to stand up and lead these special people closer to God and God's glory.  On behalf of the godly women I know, we beg you to lead us righteously.

And for the young woman reading this, my prayer is that you would encourage that man today, weather it be your father, your fiance, your husband, or your pastor.  Encourage the men in your life to make that bold step.  Let him know that you will support him 110%, and that you are honored to have a God-chosen warrior in your life.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

To the Girl Who Struggles With Being Single

To the Girl Who Struggles With Being Single,

     I know that you may look around and see couples from coast to coast.  Everyone has someone right?  The media, your sorority, your church, your parents, and Facebook, EVERYONE pressures you to hurry and find the right someone so your life can be complete.
    Young girl, I cannot tell you how many lies the devil has fed you through this.  You were made beautifully and wonderfully.  (Psalm 139) You are a complete, whole person, and you stand just as courageous singly as you do being 1/2 of a couple.  God has great big plans for you! (Jeremiah 29:11, Ephesians 2:10)  Some of these plans are to be completed while you are where you are!  This time in your life has the more freedom than any other!  Go and serve.  (Mark 10:45)  Let people see the hands and feet of Christ through your actions today!
     And that lonely feeling--the one that comes when PDA-official couples come around--it's a tactic of Satan. (1 Peter 5:8) Let God fill you with love, patience, goodness, kindness, and everything wonderful.  (James 1:17, Galatians 5:22-25)  God is bigger, greater, stronger, and more fulfilling than all of that.
     Some of us are in fact called to be single, therefore you should pray about having this calling on your life.  Others of us are indeed destined to be married, in which you should be strong and wait for the Lord to fulfill his promise to you! (Psalm 27:14, Psalm 138:8)  Your life is full and abundant not from having a man, but from having THE man. (Romans 5:8, John 3:16, 1 John 4:19, 1 John 4:8, John 10:10)


     God loves you and wants you to seek him like you do boys.  I promise you won't be let down. ;)


Sincerely,
    Right there with ya


Tuesday, September 27, 2011

I Can't Help You Find Yourself

I wish you well, I wish you well
On this trip to find yourself
I wish you well, wish I could help
But I can't help you find yourself

These are beautiful lyrics from Thousand Foot Krutch's song Wish You Well. I share them with you today because the truth in them is unending. I think the source of almost all our problems as females and as young people is not knowing our identity. You have probably heard me blog about this a time or too before, but it is just such a huge thing and yet so under recognized.

You see, as humans God designed us to be worshipers. We will ALWAYS be worshiping something. It could be that you worship your boyfriend, your role model, food, television, Facebook, yourself, or any number of things--we ALL worship something. The problem is nothing we worship will give us lasting fulfillment and secured identity except Christ. All other things will come to pass and then our identity will be shattered.

But the hard part is...How do we find our identity in Christ?
This is the tricky part.
I can't give you some verses and a magical formula to make this happen. It's a lifelong journey of choosing God and God's word. Some of my closest Christian friends struggle with knowing their identity. They are tossed to and fro with the problems of life because they have no solid foundation to worship. They worship clothes, money, sex. This is fun and fine for a while, but when life throws a curve ball it leaves you stranded and strung out.

The more you study the word the more God reveals to you about your relationship with him, your role in the world, and the characteristics of God you have received. The more you continuously refocus your thoughts, mind, and heart on God, the more he shows you exactly what your heart beats for and why you are placed in your exact circumstances.

It all goes back to Matthew 6:33. Seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness and then all of these things will be given to you as well. I have had discussions with friends about people who still have not yet come into their identity as a person. Sometimes people can recognize this in others and sometimes they can't. It's usually the people who are constantly craving attention. They have a need to "showcase" their actions and words so that other people will recognize them. Other times it's people who fake their identity by always saying, "Well you know me, I..." or "I think this.." "I always do this..." but once you really get to know them you understand that they really have no clue what they actually think, believe, or feel.

For girls I like to relate it to Julia Robert's character in the movie Runaway Bride. The director used the illustration of eggs for Julia's identity. The poor girl runs from man to man, getting engaged, planning a wedding, and then it never fails, at the last minute she backs out. One scene tells of how she had been engaged to all different sorts of guys, not just one type, and when she is asked how she likes her eggs it changes depending on what guy she is with.

 Maybe you are like that.  Are you struggling to find your true self?  Look up and stop looking around.  PEOPLE change.  People are inconsistent and sinful by nature, we all are (Romans 3:23.)  But GOD on the other hand is clear, consistent, and true.  He never changes (Numbers 23:19, Malachi 3:6) and he is the truth for those who seek him (John 14:6.)  So look to Him for your purpose, identity, and egg preference.  Seek GOD first, and all these things will be added unto you. Matthew 6:33


Monday, September 26, 2011

To the Young Couple Thinking About Marriage:

To the Young Couple Thinking About Marriage,

     I love that you care for each other so much.  I think that's great!  But are you really ready for marriage?  Do you really understand how big of a commitment it is?  Perhaps you could take a moment to consider.
     In Ephesians 5:22-24, Paul tells us that the wife is to submit to the husband just as the Church submits to Christ.  This word "submit" means to obey.  Obeying someone is a very humbling task, even as naive children we struggle with this command which is given to us for our own protection.  As a human being in the flesh, we don't naturally give up our pride and willingness to control, it is a learned characteristic.
     As a woman who has been called by God to submit and obey to your husband, I ask you--can you willingly follow this man?  Do you trust his discernment and guidance.  Is he walking with the Lord and digging so deep into the Word that you know without a shadow of a doubt that he has what it takes to fearlessly lead you?  It takes a lot for a woman to give up her right to power and control, but fully trusting God shows us peace, contentment, and freedom in letting go.  In the same way, you must promise to let go of the reigns as your husband fearlessly and courageously leads you closer to Christ.
     Speaking of you Mr. Husband, verses 25-30 explain that  the husband is to love his wife as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her.  This is huge!  I pray that you have grounded yourself so deeply in the Word of God that you know without any doubt, that your God will lead you as you lead her through this life.  I also pray that you can honestly say you love her to the point that you would give up your life for her as Christ did the church.  Yes, the Bible undoubtedly gives you the right to command and lead, but it also calls you to deny yourself in honor to please her and love her.
    Finally, Philippians 2:3-4 tells both of you to serve one another out of love, considering the other better than yourself.  This is a call to selfless love and respect, another unnatural action.  Only through Christ can these instructions be kept.
     Just as rules were given to us as children, they are not here for our torture, but for our protection and advantage.  Christ gives us this model of love because he knows within the Creator's design love can flourish and multiply, but without Him nothing grows but death and destruction.

John 13:34
"A new commandment I give you: Love one another.  
As I have loved you, so you must love one another."

Love you and praying for you,
       Your Sister in Christ.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Dating story #67, The Calm before the Storm

***FIRST ORDER OF BIZ!***
Me n' BFWB's band, BUCK, wants to get into Battle of the Ad Bands but we need VOTES! So can y'all take 1.1 sec to click this link and vote for us by clicking "like?" I'd appreciate it mucho! http://www.saymedia.com/battle/band-10.html


Now, on to the stories! Settle in folks.  We’ve got ourselves a two-parter!

Part I: THE CALM

Picking right up where we left off seems like a good idea, oui?
Let’s do it.

As I traveled back to the city from my deBEACHery, my mind wandered back to Roc who, according to my calculations, should have been back from his 2 week Costa Rican adventure for a few days now.
Ok, sure. He ges a few days to adjust from his travels before contacting me.
But, did he forget?
Did he meet/fall in love/marry some Costa Rican beauty?
Of course, Miss Anties in her panties couldn’t just sit idly by wondering!
So, I shot him a quick text. I figured I could reach out once and that was it.  And, I made it easy breezy and topical!
“Hey there! Was just talking with someone about Costa Rica and it made me think about you. How was your adventure?”

He wrote me back shortly after and we continued to text back and forth. Which, lo and behold, led to us making a DATE for that Thursday!

Of course, I had dinner plans already with besties KK and Rayza, but I was hoping they would be ok with having an early dinner because I was afraid if I went another week without meeting up the whole thing would fizzle, since boys are lame and forgetful and can only remember things for up to 5 days.
KK and Rayza agreed “In the name of love!” to an early dinner and the Roc and I texted a little bit every day leading up to our date.  He even told me he was looking forward to it. Swoon!  I was looking forward to it, not to mention hoping I’d remember what he looked like because, let’s face it, I was several sheets to the wind the night I stumbled into that bar and found him in the bathroom line.

On Thursday, I decided to eat a light lunch so I wouldn’t look like a bloatation device that night. A nice little greek salad with some feta cheese should do it, right?
WRONG. WRONG. WROOOONG.
Contrary to what I thought, apparently feta is NOT amongst the types of cheeses my lactarded self can eat.
By the time I got to the restaurant to meet up, I was already asking Rayza if she had some “Big I” on her (our word for the wonder drug known as Immodium.)
Is it normal for people to carry that with them at a times? It is if you’re Rayza. And god bless her.
Then, KK arrived. And my stomach departed.
Luckily, the bathroom in the French restaurant was conveniently located DOWNSTAIRS, so I also got in a fair amount of cardio during the course of the meal, running up and down them every 5 minutes.  And NO, I’m NOT exaggerating about that.
I continued to pop the Big I [as in multiple. As in definitely more than the recommended amount] but it wasn’t taking effect!
I started to get nervous as time marched on and the time of date meet-up neared.
I asked my friends if I should cancel but they felt I should stay the course. All that Big I had to start working soon right??
And finally, it did.
Perfect timing for meeting up to go DRINKING with someone.
Whatever.
I ran off to meet the Roc at the bar he chose, The Highlands, where I just so happen to have a friend who’s a bartender [whom I maybe smooched several months ago. Ancient history!]  Which just so happens to make me look really cool, especially when they barely charge us for an entire night of drinks!  It’s good to have friends in high places.
The Roc walked in a bit after me and we proceeded to hang, drink and talk at the bar till close to 2a when they threw us out! During that time I learned a lot about him.
He’s 31- [AA]!
From upstate NY.
And works in Finance. FINANCE! Happy, mom and dad??
Also that he’s an incredibly nice, laid-back and just easygoing guy. 
He seemed to be into me too, but I couldn’t totally tell since he’d been a perfect gentleman thus far. Dammit!
So, even though it was 2am.
On a Thursday.
And he gets up at 6am everyday [Ew.]
We decided to go for “one more” at another bar. He tried to pick a table for us to sit at but I insisted on a booth where we could sit next to each other. Helloooo! If you’re gonna make a move buddy, um...you’re gonna need to be sitting closer to me. Duh.
And finally, it happened.  He leaned in for the kill and we proceeded to have a mega strong makeout in the bar. Classy!
We finally decided to leave said bar, and I had already had a talk with myself about not going home with him. Plus the fact I had an early (for me) day at work the next day and that would not have helped.  So we had another strong makeout on the street corner and he put me in a cab, after saying “To be continued…?”  To which I responded “I certainly hope so!”

Woohooo!  I had a proper date. With a proper guy. And went home without a slumber party!!

Who’s proud?

I wasn’t any kind of worried about hearing from him the next day either, and was validated when he wrote me around 11a saying he had a great time and asking me how my morning was so far. 
Sidebar: This guy ALWAYS makes a point to ask me about ME, what I’m doing, how I’m doing. I had no idea that was even possible!!

AND NOW….

Part II: THE STORM

This brings us to the weekend that the East Coast was prepping to be battered by Hurricane (and later, Tropical Storm) Irene. 

Clearly I was not making it to the beach that weekend thanks to that beotch Irene, considering they did a mandatory evac of Fire Island.
So, I prepped for the storm. 
By buying beer, wine, and water.
The mass hysteria in the city was EPIC.
But I was clearly no kind of concerned.  At its worst, it was only supposed to be one really bad day.
And, if I heard one more person talk about “battening the hatches…” I thought I might go after them with a hot poker.
Seriously, people!

But, the Roc had been asking about my “storm plan.” I was thinking it would be kinda nice to chill out with him and friends with a bottle of wine, as he had kind of been alluding to.
However, his job had other plans for him.  Since his financial place of business was in an evacuation zone in NYC, they shipped him out to CT to their “disaster branch” in case people couldn’t return to work on Monday due to storm damage.
After all, money never sleeps right?
So that option was off the table. And totally fine seeing as we had just had a great date #1 and I didn’t want to risk “over-exposure” as my amazing therapist often advises me against.

And, since I was finally stuck in the city for a weekend, I decided to get my mange of a hair-mop addressed, since it was in desperate need of a serious cutting.  So I made an appointment for Saturday am since the entire city was shutting down after 12p, you know battening the hatches for the storm. [AHHHH.]
My haircut got moved to 9:45am because the salon wanted to get their stylists out of there, but I did not complain. This hair needed rescuing. My social life was hanging in the balance!!
Afterwards, I had plans to meet up with Sexy Sue for brunch.  I walked over to her West Village ‘hood to meet her, while be lightly rained on.  Once I got there, I felt I had stepped into the apocalypse.  Almost ALL the restaurants were closed with windows covered and taped up.
Really, people??!
Luckily, one of my fave cute little spots, ‘ino, was open, where I also happen to know a waiter/bartender (What? Don’t judge. I’m friendly.), and settled in at the bar to have some brunch bites and mimosas.
The rain started to come down, on and off, and the mimosas turned into a lovely bottle of rosé.  Heck, we were in no hurry. What else was there to do?
While I was there, I got a call from my sister BH to tell me the news that she was engaged!  I knew this was going to be happening at some point over the weekend, but still very exciting news!

Then, I resumed my agenda for the day: Drinking.

We were there so long we ordered lunch as well and finally at 2p they kicked us out so they could close. Which was precisely the time BFWB called to tell us they were drinking at a bar in the east village and we should join. DONE!
Since almost all bars/restos had closed, the ones that were open were packed and lively. C’mon people, it’s a storm party!
And party we did.
TJ came and had a few beers with us, then departed to go open Mother’s [lindsey's] Ruin for the night. Uh-oh…
After taking a snack break at Casa Lindsey, we were all ready to hit the Ruin.  It had a nice crowd going, including one of the investors, Bards, I’ve had a few crazy nights with (although never quite worthy of a whole blog post). We took the bar over and even started an impromptu dance party. So far, this hurricane was shaping up to be an EXCELLENT event.
At one point, BFWB ran out into the rain and just stood there. I looked at him and thought “What a moron.”  Then, I joined him.
We danced outside in the rain to “Tiny Dancer” and it will forever be one of my favorite memories.
People continued to cycle in and out of the bar as the rain came down, including a nice, tall strapping lad. I struck up a convo with him and thought to myself “yeah, this will do.”
However after a bit, he and his friend wanted to bounce to meet their friends at another open bar, Spring Lounge, a few blocks away.
Fine by me! I was still in my neighborhood and already very wet from my outdoor dance party, so why not?
I dragged Sexy Sue and the dude-barnacle that had attached himself to her and off we went.
We then walked in to what I’d like to call DUDEAPALOOZA.
I’ve never seen so many tall, good-looking guys!
And, so few chicks!
Hello, had I just entered thes the Motherland?!
Meanwhile, cute guy from the previous bar wasn’t really paying too much attention to me, however he did give me the amazing gift of his HOTTER, older brother. THANKS!
Older bro, who we’ll now refer to as Hurricane Boy, was confident, flirty and, did I mention HOT?  Plus, someone (I do not know why) made me feel his pecs. Ummm…I almost melted into goo on the floor. For some reason a nice chest really does things to me.
After a bit, Sexy Sue’s suitor finally gave up and left the bar. And it became apparent that she needed to bolt too. Homegirl doesn’t drink beer, so she was all wine/cocktails all day—I have no idea how she was even still standing! Nice showing though, SS. Fo sho.
So I faked leaving, put her in a cab, and walked right back in.
Shockingly, I wasn’t even a total mess at all after a full 12 hours of steady drinking [Well, this was a marathon, not a sprint right?]. I digress. I just couldn’t drink one more beer. I was yearning for a snack, warm, dry clothes and a bed with a [hot, muscle-y] boy to snuggle with in it.  But I knew Hurricane Boy was not ready to leave all his bro’s yet and I just couldn’t hang any longer without some food. Luckily, we established that we both live in the ‘hood and I said maybe I’d come back after I ate my snack [not a chance].  We exchanged digits and as I said goodbye he leaned in…very slowly…solid eye contact the entire time…and gently…bit my lip.  HOTT!  I mean, sure, kinda odd. But, hey- I like a new move every now and then!  It would have been far more enjoyable had I not had incredibly sunburned lips, but beggars, choosers…

I left the bar and trudged home in the massive deluge that had begun, wondering if I’d hear from Hurricane Boy that night and if I’d still be conscious/coherent at that point. 
And then, a genius idea, like a naughty little lightbulb over my head, popped up.

I got home, made a lovely snack, cleaned up a bit and then made my move.  A move, I might add, that I’ve NEVER made before. But c’mon people, it’s HURRICANE RULES!
Awhile back, Irish, after sending me 99 amazing pics of his abs, etc requested a pic of “my bum.”  So I spent roughly 30 mins [it’s not easy!!!] orchestrating the perfect pic of it, in cute lacey boy shorts I might add, to send to him. 

So, I merely texted Hurricane Boy “Just got out of my wet clothes.”  And, attached that picture.

He was over at my apt in under 15 mins.  

I’ve never gotten any kind of delivery in NYC that quickly.

Apparently that’s how it’s done, folks!

We had an amazing time, he’s actually a total blast. Smart, funny, with abs I may need to borrow for washing clothing on sometime. HOOOOLY 6-PACK, Batman!

He left late the next morning upon hearing his apt had a leak. Oopsie. As he left he said “Can we do this again sometime?”

umm....HELLZ-to-tha-YES!


A happy hurricane to all, and to all a good night...

God Wants to be Pursued Too


I'm running to your arms
The riches of your love
Will always be enough
Nothing compares to Your embrace
Light of the world forever reign
Forever Reign


And now I'm chasing after You 
Cuz You first chased after me

 And You purchased me with blood 
I am free I am complete
 Now a child of my King
 Leaving old I am made new
 Cuz You first chased after me
 And I am chasing after You

God wants to be pursued just like you.
Women naturally have a heart that wants to be pursued.  Some fight it, some deny it, and some will tell you otherwise, but deep down every woman wants to be sought after and fought for.  Look at any top-selling romance film, the woman feels most beautiful when she is being pursued by a man--sometimes even if she is not interested in that man to begin with.  It's the thrill of being told you're worthy enough for a chase, a hunt, an adventure.  This is one of the main reasons girls shouldn't chase guys.  Ultimately they may wake up and feel unloved because their man never had a chance to pursue them and show them their worth.

When a girl is pursued, you'd think it was the forth of July!  Her face lights up, she giggles, she asks all her friends about him, she watches her phone, always dresses up more, her whole reason for living is more valuable because she knows someone cares for her enough to pursue her.

Who knew, but God is the exact same way.  He wants us to ask him for things, he wants us to seek him, and he wants us to love him.  Scripture is filled with verses of God pleading with us to pursue him.  He already loves us, he already wants us, and chose us, but he is such a gentleman in that he won't force himself on us.  He wants us to chase after him.  He's dieing to be shown a little interest by you.  Why?  because he has so many wonderful things to show you!  If only you'll ask. 

Jeremiah 33:3
"Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know."

Jeremiah 29:12-13
"Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and i will listen to you.  You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart."

Revelation 3:20
"Here I am! i stand at the door and knock.  If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he will eat with me."

Matthew 7:7
"Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.  For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened."

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Let's Expand Your View of the Blogworld!!

Well today has already been a spontaneous morning!  I had planned to go running, but got turned down by the large amounts of rain.  I had planned to write a lengthy blog, but got distracted by reading other blogs, then by stopping to take my roommate to school.  Anyhow, because of all this extemporaneousness, I thought I'd just post a fun and unusual post for you all!

In this post I would like to recommend to you all other blogging sites similar to this one!  Why would I do that? Because I am a natural promoter and cheerleader.  I love helping people promote and accelerate things they are passionate about (hence the PR major.)  Also, I think it is just good to have as many good blogs on your favorites bar as you can!

Now, I know from direct conversation that many of you who read my blog are very unfamiliar with the whole world of blogging, and that's okay!  I will just take this opportunity to explain a few things to you.

  1. A GREAT way to find other blogs I recommend is by looking at my BlogRoll.  This is on the left side of the screen, underneath my Blog Archive.  A BlogRoll is a list of blogs I have personally selected as my favorites.  I have compiled this list for two reasons.  One-it helps these wonderful blogs get their name out there more, and two, it gives you as a reader, more resources.
  2. If you scroll down just a bit further (you might need to open another window so you can read and see what I'm talking about,) you will see several icons, or what look like "ads" on the sides of the page.  These are links to other sites as well.  On the left is one called "Girls, God, and the Good Life."  This is an excellent blog written by several women who are passionate about helping women glorify God!  I love reading about their day-to-day experiences.  Next, if you'll look to the right you will see "Blog Oklahoma."  this is a blog community I have joined that features only blogs from Oklahomans.  Because I am a big OK advocate, I love reading other people's blogs from around our great state!
  3. Finally, if you scroll all the way down to the very bottom, you will see a list of my favorite books and a list of other people's favorite posts from Divine Dating.

Enough about my site, here are the top 3 blog posts I am recommending to you today in place of my God-centered post. :) Hope you all enjoy as much as I do!
Love you all and Happy Reading! :)

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Focusing on God's Long-term Glory

I've been reading a fascinating book lately called, Instruments in the Redeemer's Hands by Paul David Tripp.  This is by far the deepest and most biblical book I have ever read, I highly recommend it and will be posting a review on it as soon as I finish the last two chapters!  

     In this book, Tripp talks about the fact that our downfall as humans is that we focus too much on the small things happening now.  We go through a struggle and so we huff and puff and throw up our hands in agony, complaining that God doesn't love us and that we don't deserve such treatment.  We run into a problem and so we give up because "God is punishing us."

The contrast to this is the great gospel of Christ!  You see, when we understand the gospel in its entirety we no longer think this life is about us.  We realize that from Genesis to Revelation and beyond, the story was, has been, and will always be about God and his glory, sovereignty, and grace.  

God made us without sin, we were clean and holy, just like Him (Genesis 2:25.)  As sinful humans though, we chose out of our own free will to go and deliberately do what God told us not too (Genesis 3:6-7.)  Yes, Satan encouraged us, but  the ultimate decision was up to us.  Rather than reacting like a human, God did the opposite.  He punished us to a less extreme than what we deserved (Genesis 3:16-19,) then forgave us and extended his love and grace to us--even though we in no way deserved it (Genesis 3:20-21.)  Through this we see just how desperately we need an almighty God to protect and deliver us from the sins of our human nature.

Fast forward throughout the entire Bible and you see the same story unfold, just with different details.  The Israelites cursed God and turned to worship other things, God is hurt and angry, so he punishes them, but not nearly to the degree they deserve, and then he forgives them with open arms.  If you've ever read the Old Testament you know that this happens thousands of times with God's people.

Next you have the New Testament, where God really shows off his love for us.  He comes to earth in human form, is tempted and tried like the rest of us, and then chooses to die a terrible death for us, so that we might ultimately be able to get back to him (John 3:16.)  Why? Because he chose us, he loves us, and he desires to live with us. (Romans 5:8, 1 John 4:19)

Jump forward another 2000 years to your own life.  You're mad and crying because you just found out you lost your job, or that your spouse is cheating on you.  No doubt these are hard times, and no doubt you have the right to be sad, angry, or confused.  That's part of our human emotions.  But light years down the road you will see that this was all part of God's glory (Romans 8:28, James 1, .  He uses every situation as an opportunity to bring us closer to Him, to show off His love for us, and to remind us that he has everything in control.

Although you don't see it now, He really does have a plan in all this (Romans 10:17, Hebrews 11:1.)  He wants to bring you closer to him if you will just let him.  Look at yesterday's post for more on letting God comfort you.

As for now, hold tightly to the scripture God gives you, pray unceasingly (1 Thessalonians 5:17,) and trust that God knows what he's doing (Proverbs 3:5-6.)

Further Reading: Galatians 1:10, The book of Job, Matthew 6:44, 1 Corinthians 2:5, Philippians 1, Numbers 14


Where is your focus this week? Having you been putting too much emphasis on the current problems and not enough power in God's hands?  What do you need to lay down in order for God to glorify Himself through your current situation?


Tuesday, September 20, 2011

I Will Wait for You: A Poem

A friend of mine shared this with me yesterday, I thought it was very powerful and full of the truth of the Word of God.  Hope this encourages you today. :) God Bless


Monday, September 19, 2011

Dating Story #66, Total deBEACHery

 Summer is officially over.
{boo.}

Which means, I am officially BACK! 
{yay!}

However, prepare to receive some end of summer sagas because I’ve been savin’ em up for ya!

Let’s back that ass up to where we left off, shall we? 
After my crazy whirlwind trip to LA I came directly back to NYC and headed straight off to the beach for a week of Kismet Krazy-ness. 
I did a week (actually about 12 days!) out there last summer and it was pure bliss. Relaxing, fun and even a little bit boylicious since Teca met me out there for a few days of it.
This summer?
Entirely different.
When BFWB saw that I was taking that week out there he asked if he could join me.  I figured why the hellz would I want to be all sad n’ lonely out there for a week by my lonesome, since there seemed to be no real man-spects worthy of joining me this summer, so I agreed. 
The first night I was out there we were both exhausted and just relaxed and worked on some music. It was lovely.
And….that was it for relaxing!
The next night, BFWB's awesome roomie, TJ, who owns my favorite/deadliest bar, Mother’s Ruin (aka Lindsey’s Ruin) and his amazeballz gf, Cary, came out to join us for a few days and that’s when the beach house went from “RELAXING” to “We may need REHAB.”
First off, Cary was toting her beach read “The Secret” with her, you know that bullshit book about “everything in the universe can be yours if you just wish for it” or some shit.  That provided hours of entertainment/ridicule from BFWB. And, then there’s just the simple fact of sharing a beach house with 2 bartenders and a crazy Irishman for 4 days.  I’m pretty sure I can still hear my liver screaming from that.
We had an INSANE night out that Tuesday night.  And in Kismet, that’s not always easy to do considering there’s like ONE bar.  But oh yes, if there’s a way, BFWB and friends will be victorious.  Not to mention all the while, we were pulling all 6’5, 200lbs of BWFB around in a wagon 
because he sprained his ankle while playing tennis with me earlier in the day. 
That night ended with me having to drag his amazingly heavy ass back to the house from the beach where we thought it would be a good idea to go around 1am.  For the record, I passed out cold on the sand, woke up, dragged him back and passed out with all my clothes on like the classy bitch I am.
Now, you’re probably wondering why any of this would be a problem, right?
Well, as it turns out, SoCal had made plans to come out and hang with me that Wednesday for the day and I had been looking forward to it.    He was taking the early ferry out in the am and the last one back at night. 
When I went to meet him at the ferry at 10am, I was terrified that I may actually vomit on his shoes. Even better? He got off the boat and said “Good morning! I’m ready for a bloody mary!” [puke]
But, I managed to hold it together.  Well, if you count having the shakes and being 10 shades paler than normal as “holding it together.”  Seriously, I took my shades off, he saw my eyes and went “WHOA.” Yeah. Awesome.
Wanting to show off my quasi-cooking skills to SoCal (why, I’m not sure?) I proceeded to cook everyone a totally pimped out breakfast including pesto made fresh from our basil plants growing outside, poached eggs, herbed goat cheese on English muffins…Yeah. BALLER!
And, I couldn’t eat ONE SINGLE F’ING BITE OF IT.
In fact, at one point I smiled, said “I’ll be right back!” and ran to the bathroom to pray to the porcelain god.
UGGGH.
Luckily, I managed to combine the right amount of anti-hangover remedies to make a full recovery by 12p.  As in drinking a beer on the beach with all the normal people. Phew!  And, we had a blast.  It was the first time SoCal and I have ever really been around other people, in terms of each other’s friends and I had no idea how it would go, but he was GREAT. Got along so well, everyone really liked him…it’s really so strange why our relationship has never gone anywhere past this place it is now, but whatever.  I’m completely fine with it and he was an awesome bonus to a gorgeous beach day.  Not to mention a fun dual “water saving” outdoor shower to cap it all off. Weee!
He split later that night and I’m pretty sure I haven’t seen him since...Hah! No tears over here though. Like I’ve said many times before, he serves his purpose. Fine by me!
The next few days proved even more debaucherous than the ones prior, if that’s even humanly possible.  One night, most of us managed to get back a little before 3am, which is kind of crazy for Kismet. Of course, BFWB lapped all of us and rolled in around 5a. At about 6:30a I got up to pee, because apparently I’m a freaking elderly lady and can’t ever make it through the night without doing so, especially when I drink. Blah!  As I’m in the bathroom, I heard the front door slam as if someone was leaving. Um…where the F was someone going at that hour??  So I stumbled, bleary-eyed, into the living room to check it out. I looked through the half-window opening that leads to the front door and what did I see?
BFWB.
PEEING.
IN.
THE.
HALLWAY! 

Thoughts to self:

-Was he peeing into the recycling bin?
-Was he awake or asleep?
-Is he really, as I’ve wondered before, some type of wild animal and this is my confirmation???
As I pondered all of this, I also contemplated that I didn’t feel like being this awake yet and would rather deal with it when I woke up. 
At 10am I FLEW out of bed and ran to find BFWB, who of course had no clue what I was talking about and zero recollection of it. Perfect.
I made him go and inspect the recycling bin for evidence, yet—nothing.
Carpet? Dry.
Now, I KNOW what I saw. I did not make it up. My eyes did not play tricks on me.
And then…I glanced down to the right where Cary’s lovely beach bag was sitting.  Inside of it, rested her pretty sarong and copy of “The Secret.” All soaking wet.
With.
Pee.
Yes, folks. That’s right.
BFWB pissed on “The Secret.” LITERALLY.
I’m not really sure what’s much better in life than that.
Who can even make this shit up???
Le sigh...

And yet “The Secret” continued to play a role in my weekend….

Exhausted and partied out, the whole wrecking crew from the week finally departed the island on Saturday, leaving me with another couple who I’m quite fond of for the rest of the weekend.  However, I’m not quite fond of being the 3rd wheel, even though they’re awesome about making me feel comfortable.  They went with me to the Inn, my fave [and only!] Kismet dive for happy hour to listen to a band before we headed back to make some magic in the kitchen.  As we were watching the band, my mind wandered back to Girl’s Name and the fun night we had in Kismet earlier in the summer.  I knew he was just visiting that one time and not a regular, and earlier in the week I had cooked up some crazy scheme about texting him something strategic that could possibly lead to him coming to visit me out there….and then, I came to my senses.  What am I, a character on Gossip Girl? Who schemes??!

Anyway, when we left the Inn to eat dinner I accidentally [on purpose] left my credit card at the bar so I’d have to go back and get it later, banking on the fact that my friends would probably pack it in after dinner, which would be WAY too depressing/-adventurous for Lindsey.  Plus I have a girlfriend who has a house out there and she said she’d meet me for a drink around 12a at the Inn.
I got there a bit before her and went back out to watch the band for a bit.  I glanced around to see who was hanging around and, lo and behold, there he was! Girl’s Name sitting right there watching the band!  Or, at least I was pretty sure it was him.  I mean, it had been awhile.  So I snuck around like a stealth panther trying to confirm if I was right, without him seeing me of course.  Once I was 99% sure it was him and that he was not there with any other girl, I made my move. Over text, of course! Who would dare do anything in person? The real reason was to see if he was even interested enough to text back. Plus, since my friend hates all the people in the bar [and most people in general], she insisted on sitting out in front with our beers, so I shot Girl’s Name a text:

ME: Are you in Kismet tonight?
HIM: Yep, at the Inn. You?
ME:  Yep! Thought I saw you. I’m out front.
HIM: I’m paying my tab and coming to find you.
ME [to self]: Awww yeeeeah!  Thank you, Universe for sending me some Grade A man fun!

And find me he did. 
Damn that is one good lookin’ dude, I must say! Tall, dark, sparkling green eyes.  Name of a girl be-damned, this guy really does it for me! Not to mention he’s way funnier than I remembered and we totally bonded over all the music we like.  He came back to the house and we had a blast.  Another 5am’er…sheeesh I really am too old for this shit.  I think I say that to myself at least every other day, if not every SINGLE day. 
Can someone decent please come along so I can get some fucking sleep???!!
It’s time for some more Botox, STAT.
However, well worth it.  I’d say that closed out my beach stay quite nicely.  Maybe there’s a little bit of merit to this whole “The Secret” thing after all.  Or, maybe I just got lucky. 
{yes, there’s a double-entendre in there, just in case you were wondering…}

That will do it for beach stories for the summer. But don’t worry…I’m already working on post-beach as you read this
Stay tuned my pretties!

My soul will rest in you.

Troubles surround me, chaos abounding
My soul will rest in You.
I will not fear the war, I will not fear the storm
My help is on the way, my help is on the way

Oh, my God, He will not delay
My refuge and strength always
I will not fear, His promise is true
My God will come through always, always
                          --Kristian Stanfill: Always

This is a beautiful song of the comfort, hope, and peace God gives us when life gets a little crazy.  I think the hardest part about receiving this comfort is letting God give it to you.  I talk to people all the time who really want help and comfort from God, but yet they are too stubborn to lay down their troubles.  We think if we just keep trying things we will ultimately fix the problem themselves.

 It's a control thing we all have as humans.  We feel like it is our right to be in control of our own life, and we don't want no help from no body!  This is fine for those who don't mind misery--but God has something so much bigger and better in store for his children if we will let him show us!!


      Step 1:  Recognize that your life is not your own, you were bought with a price.


1 Corinthians 6:19-20
"Do  you know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God?  You are not your own; you were bought with a price.  Therefore honor God with your body.

Galatians 2:20
"I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me.  The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me."

When you become a Christian you accept that you are a sinner, and that you need help and forgiveness from God Almighty himself.  You also confess him as Lord.  This means you give him control over your thoughts (2 Corinthians 10:5,)  your desires (Psalm 37:4,) and your plans (Proverbs 16:3.)  

This is not a natural occurrence, it is the result of an overflowing heart for God that says, "I love God so incredibly much, because I realize I deserve nothing he has given me, and because of that I choose to lay down my life for him and let his glory be made known through me, and this way others will come to know the hope and peace that I have found in Him."

     Step 2: Realize that God has everything under control.

Jeremiah 29:11
"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."

Isaiah 41:13 (MSG)
"That's right.  Because I, your God, have a firm grip on you and I'm not letting go."

If God can create an entire intricate universe that includes insects, the molecular biology of plants, every internal and external organ of the human being, all the millions of different animals in the world, and magnificent nature, in just 6 days, what makes us thing he can't handle our momentary problems?  Yes, it might be cancer, a divorce, or rumors--but we're talking about the GOD OF THE UNIVERSE here!!  He has this whole thing planned out already!  One way or another he is going to get glory from this and you are either going to go closer or farther away from him depending on what you chose (Joshua 24:15.)

     Step 3: Lay it down.

1 Peter 5:7
"Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you."

Philippians 4:6
"Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God."

As a human, one of the hardest things you'll do is admit that you can't do it by yourself, and that you need help.  However, if we come to this realization that God can handle it, and he does know what's best for us, we can start to receive his help.  We just have to humble ourselves and lay down our controlling hearts first (2 Chronicles 7:14.)


    Step 4: Let him comfort you.

Psalms 34:18 (MSG)
"If your heart is broken, you'll find God right there."

Psalm 73:26
"My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever."

After we initially lay down our plans, troubles, or whatever, it is often instinct to pick it right back up when God starts to do work.  This just takes us right back where we started though.  It is important to remember to keep your pile of stuff at God's feet.  Stop trying to take back the reigns and control it yourself.  YOU WILL MESS UP if you keep trying to fix it in your strength alone.  Let Go and Let God.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Completely to You



So what can I say? 
What can I do? 
But offer this heart O God 
Completely to You
This is a beautiful song by Hillsong United entitled The Stand.  As I was getting ready for church yesterday morning I was listening to Air1 when this song came on.  The snippet above is what hit me.  It captured my life at that very moment and God spoke through it.
After an intense weekend full of God-thoughts, worship services, and the emotions of life shared with friends, I realize just how easy it is to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of everyday life and forget about the one thing that really matters.
As humans, we worship by design.  What we worship is specific to each individual.  The receiver of our worship can range anywhere from sports to boyfriends, music to backpacks, and Star Wars to baking.  None of these things are bad in and of themselves, however the Bible says anything we worship more than God is an idol, and idolatry is a sin.  (Luckily we already knew we were sinners and God has already taken care of that for those who ask!)
For biblical reference:
  • Exodus 20:3-4 “You shall have no other gods before me.  You shall not make for yourself an idol in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneat or in the waters below.”
  • Matthew 4:10 “Worship the Lord your God and serve him only.”
  • Matthew 22:37-38 “Jesus replied, Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.  This is the first and the greatest commandment.”



Something I hadn’t thought much about until recently, is that even ministry can be an idol if our motives are wrong.  An example of this would be a youth pastor obsessing over how many kids are coming, what they are going to eat, how to get them to listen to the gospel, etc. rather than focusing on God, what he wants for the children, and asking Him to use the event to glorify himself. 

This isn’t cold hard fact, just an opinion, but I think girls are more vulnerable to making peopleour idols, whereas men are more vulnerable to making things their idols. 
For most women, idolatry easily creeps in to our relationships because of the Genesis 3:16 curse.  Our desire is for relationships, and more specifically our husband.  How many girls do you know that check their phone every 5 seconds waiting for that guy to text them?  Or what about the women who are so starved for love (like many of us) that they reach out for whatever male figure they can cling to.

We all have idols in our hearts.  This week I was convicted about chasing God’s plan more than God himself.  In high school one of my big idols was popularity and acceptance from other people.  But what’s your idol?  What are you not letting God control in your life?  Is there something you deem as more important than the creator of the universe?  Something coming in between you and your walk with God?  Take some time to examine your heart today and lay down any idols you might have.  Let God be God. J he does have it figured out ya know!

For a great bible study on idols I recommend: No Other Gods by Kelly Minter