Passion

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Starting back in March (2018) I wrote a blog post titled “Build My Life” in that post I alluded to something God had dropped in my lap. At the time I thought it was one thing, turns out, it was this…

Back in the spring of this year (2018), I made a friend who is passionate about everything he does. Whether it’s music, worship, photography, videography, his friends/ others, and at the center of these things, Jesus. I quickly began to admire his passion and zeal for the things in his life. I also began to notice that I wanted to know more about what he was passionate about. I loved asking him questions about the things he loved because he would talk about them with such excitement, knowledge, and zeal. But ultimately I couldn’t figure out why I liked learning about these things, when I had no interest in some of the things before.

This fall, God brought another friend into my life. This friend is quieter and more reserved, but as I got to know him I began to see how passionate he is about the things in his life like fishing, driving, the Bible, people in his life/ people in general, his calling, and above all, Jesus. A few weeks ago I went on a hike with him and other friend and he showed us how to fly fish, something I had never tried and never thought I would try. That day I thought, why I am enjoying this so much? I have never wanted to fly fish before, but here I am having fun and enjoying my day, although I am doing something I never thought I would like doing. 

God began to show me that day that it’s okay to love others to the point of taking joy in their passions. That by doing that I am encouraging others in their passions.

This morning I was sitting here, trying to process the fact that both of these friends, and several other friends, are graduating in just a few days. How am I supposed to feel about this? I want to feel sad, but I have asked for peace and God has blessed me with it, so now what? I felt like in that moment God said, “Be passionate about their passions. Support them in the pursuit of the dreams and desires I have given them, and take joy in that”.

I was like, wow okay! Then I realized, this word passion has come up a lot in the past few minutes, but what does it actually mean? So I looked it up.

The first definition says, “the sufferings of Christ between the night of the Last Supper and his death”. Another definition says, “intense, driving, or overmastering feeling of conviction”.

To be truly passionate is to be like Christ. He loves us so much that He willingly suffered to the point of death, for us, and this is the definition of passion.

I feel like God is challenging me this morning with this question:

Will you willingly take on an intense, driving, overmastering feeling of conviction to love others the way I have loved you. To be so passionate about others and their passions that you both become more like me, willing to set aside the thoughts and ideas of the world, for others passions, that it becomes a chain reaction?

So now, I challenge you with this question.

Just a Thought from the King’s Daughter

pc: Mitchell Hartley
https://www.hartleyvisuals.com/

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If Creation Still Obeys You…

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A few weeks ago I wrote a blog post called Build My Life, in that post I talked about an idea I felt God placed in my lap. I said,

“It’s something that is scary, exciting, and I have no clue where it will lead me, which of course causes me to wonder if it is something I am willing into existence and it’s not God’s idea at all. This past week God has taught me to trust in Him and to truly put my focus on Him, and if this is His idea, He will see it through to completion. If it’s not, He has something even better for me.”

At the time, God was teaching me to trust in Him and put my focus on Him, which is something I continue to work on. This week, God is teaching me how to obey. In the past week or so I have started to realize that I may have misinterpreted the idea God dropped in my lap. I think I took the idea He gave me and made it what I wanted it to be instead of trusting God and letting Him show me what it needed to be.

Last week at the Gathering (4.11.18), Noah talked about how we pray for things and sometimes God answers by rerouting us. He goes on to say that it is a matter of the mind and how it is important, in the process of rerouting, to take our thoughts captive. So that is what I did this week!

A step of obedience I felt I needed to take was to take a break from social media. By doing this I took away a distraction, captivated my thoughts, and ended up re-centering my focus on God. Something I’ve been struggling with is, “okay so, you’re rerouting me, but why, to what, and how?” and now that my focus is being re-centered on Him, He is showing me how this idea continually led me back to Him. If that is all this idea was for, I am grateful it led me closer to Him. If it amounts to more, that’s for God to work out in His timing as I continue to obey His Word and place my hope and focus in Him.

Just A Thought from The King’s Daughter

If Creation Sings Your Praise…

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Last week started the first week of my So Will I challenge. I focused on the line “If creation sings Your praise, so will I”. It started off great! I got back to school safely and sung His praise. I had a great Tuesday and sung His praise. I got an interview for a job I applied for and sung His praise. A plan fell through, but still I sung His praise.

Then, I read a tweet and suddenly I was in a downward spiral of, I’m not enough, I’ll never be enough, I’ve been crazy to think I would be enough, etc. I ended up crying on my bed, completely heartbroken. “Yet I will praise you” was the line of a chorus I had stuck in my head since I started this week of, if creation sings Your praise. It comes from the song “Weep with Me” by Rend Collective. So, I played the song, over and over and over again as I wept. The song does a wonderful job of letting you be heartbroken, while still encouraging you to praise God in the midst of heartbreak.

I then got out my journal and began to pour out my heart, my hurt, my questions, the things I didn’t want to admit were true. I then began to think about all the ways I’ve failed, I was then reminded of the third verse and chorus of So Will I “As you speak, a hundred billion failures disappear”. So, I moved from “Weep with Me” to “So Will I”. The song above “So Will I” in my playlist was “P E A C E” by Hillsong Young and Free which says “When my mind is under siege, all anxiety bows in the presence of Jesus the keeper of peace”. I then played my favorite song, “Take Courage” by Bethel, then played “King of My Heart” and declared that He is indeed good and will never let me down. I then let it shuffle and it played “Fall” by The Belonging Co. which says “My faith above what it looks like, all the way to you, all the way to breakthrough, my faith beyond what it feels like, not by power or might, Holy Spirit right now, fall”. I then continued to praise Him with the next song and the next. I went from weep with me, yet I will praise you, to you are good, you’ll never let me down, to Holy Spirit, fall, have your way.

The next night I went to the Gathering. I sat there and listened to Noah preach about not forgetting what God has done and the promises He has made. Here is a summary of what he said:

“If you’re discouraged, tired, exhausted, you feel like you’re not good enough, like you’ll be single forever, like you’re not qualified to get the job you want, etc. God says, keep going! Don’t forget the promise! I’ve got you! Discouragement does not equal defeat! If you’re feeling discouraged, more than likely, your breakthrough is around the corner!”

It’s like Noah had been sitting there when I had my emotional break down and could hear the words (some exact words) I was speaking. Obviously Noah wasn’t there, but God was and I am so thankful for a college pastor that takes the time and effort to let God speak through him!

Shameless Plug:
If you’re ever in Cleveland on a Wednesday night at 9 you should check out the Gathering! There is also a podcast on iTunes from each week if you can’t make it!

I found that when we allow Jesus to weep with us and praise Him in the midst of the heart ache, He will walk with us and turn our hurt and pain into praise and worship.

Just a Thought from the King’s Daughter

So Will We?

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Earlier today (4.1.18) one of my friends posted a picture of the song So Will I (100 Billion X) by Hillsong United, so naturally, the song got stuck in my head. As I was singing it in my head I decided to play it and then spend some time reading the devotional book I’m working through. As I started listening to it I was looking through instagram and twitter and texting people and then I started to notice the statements of “if this does this, so will I” and so, I began to listen a little closer to the words. The words say:

If creation sings Your praise
So Will I

If it all reveals Your nature
So Will I

If creation still obeys You
So Will I

If the stars were made to worship
So Will I

If the mountains bow in reverence
So Will I

If the oceans roar Your greatness
So Will I

If the wind goes where You send it
So Will I

If the rocks cry out in silence
So Will I

If You left the grave behind You
So Will I

If You gladly chose surrender
So Will I

If You gave Your life to love them
So Will I

As I was listening, I was convicted because I don’t always sing His praises, reveal His nature, obey Him, worship Him, bow in reverence, roar His greatness, go where He sends me, cry out in the midst of silence, leave the grave behind me, gladly choose surrender, or give my life to love others.
I don’t even seek to do some of these things, especially the ones that are out of my comfort zone! Some come naturally, some I’m not quite sure what it would look like in my life, and some I’m straight up scared about. But I feel challenged to push myself to a new level in the things that may come naturally, to seek how somethings will look in my life and implement them, and to face and implement the one’s that scare me, with a courage that could only bring God glory.

With that being said, here is how I am challenging myself:
I am going to take the next 11 weeks and seek to do one of these things a week.
And maybe after 11 weeks I’ll repeat it!

I want to challenge you to do the same! Maybe the challenge looks different in your life, but I encourage you to seek to say So Will I.
In order to keep myself accountable, and as an encouragement, I will be posting a short blog post about my pursuit of saying “So Will I” each week. If you choose to join me in this challenge feel free to share about your pursuit of saying “So Will I” in the comments each week.

Verse 3 and chorus 3 of this song is such an encouragement in this pursuit, especially with today being Easter. The whole song is beautiful and you should go listen to the whole thing, but I want to specifically point out this verse and chorus:

Verse 3

God of salvation
You chased down my heart
Through all of my failure and pride
On a hill You created the light of the world
Abandoned in darkness to die

Chorus 3

And as You speak
A hundred billion failures disappear
Where You lost Your life so I could find it here
If You left the grave behind You so will I
I can see Your heart in everything You’ve done
Every part designed in a work of art called love
If You gladly chose surrender so will I
I can see Your heart eight billion diff’rent ways
Every precious one a child You died to save
If You gave Your life to love them so will I

Just a Thought (and Challenge) from the King’s Daughter

Build My Life

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Because it’s been way too long since I last posted, here is a short update!

So far this semester I was tapped into DZT, applied for and got accepted as the chaplain for Life 423, and went to Ireland for my cross cultural trip. Needless to say, I’ve been busier that I have ever been in my life!

Unfortunately, I allowed the busyness of life to have an affect on my spiritual life and when my spiritual life is neglected, the other areas in my life are also affected. Areas like friendships, self worth, perspective, etc. This came to a head when I was standing in worship at the Gathering Conference back in February. I stood there in the midst of incredible worshipers and worship leaders and just felt numb. I knew, and loved, the songs that were being sung, but I stood there and didn’t feel a thing, and for those of you who know me, worship through music is my thing, that’s when I realized something was seriously off in my life.

The next night Noah said “Jonah took a failed step and still ended up in the place that God had called him to go, you know why? Because failure is not final in Jesus Christ. You can fail, you can mess up and God will look you straight in your eyes and say I still love you, I still have a plan for you, you are just as purposeful, my plan for you never changed, I wanna use you, take another step, here’s your chance.”

I have a very perfectionist personality and although I know I mess up all the time, I hate messing up when it comes to God because if there is anyone I want to be proud of me, it’s my King. Noah reminded me that God doesn’t require us to be perfect, he simply requires our hearts and our willingness. So, that night I made the decision that I wasn’t going to let busyness be the focus of my life any more.

Two weeks later, I was back in Cleveland after trying to leave for Ireland, twice, and weather continually pushing our plans further back. I was frustrated, tired, and just simply wanted someone to cuddle up with and go through this mess with. More than that I wanted someone to experience Ireland with. In that moment God kind of checked me and was like, do you remember what you said only two weeks ago? So right then and there I decided that God was going to be the someone I experienced this trip with and from that moment I was content.

Although experiencing Ireland with a significant other would have been amazing, I think I enjoyed it more because I got to experience it with the one who created the beauty I was seeing. During the trip God dropped something in my lap, that seemingly came out of no where. It’s something that is scary, exciting, and I have no clue where it will lead me, which of course causes me to wonder if it is something I am willing into existence and it’s not God’s idea at all. This past week God has taught me to trust in Him and to truly put my focus on Him, and if this is His idea, He will see it through to completion. If it’s not, He has something even better for me.

Wednesday night at the Gathering David lead Build My Life by Passion, the lyrics say:

“I will build my life upon your love, it is a firm foundation. I will put my trust in you alone and I will not be shaken. Holy, there is no one like you, there is none beside you, open up my eyes in wonder. Show me who you are and fill me with your heart and lead me in your love to those around me.”

This has become my anthem! Now all I can do is take one step at a time, while putting my full focus on God, and trust that no matter what step I take, He as a purpose in it all!

“People can plan what they want to do, but it is the Lord who guides their steps.” Proverbs 16:9

Just A Thought From The King’s Daughter

Faithfulness

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This school year so far has be crazy! It has been so totally different from last year, mainly in good ways! God has closed some doors, but opened many for this semester. He has brought me opportunities that I would not have thought existed and has brought new friendships into my life that are so valuable.

Despite all this I still sit here saying “Okay God, but when are you going to put into action the specific dreams you’ve given me? You spoke to me through others this summer about very specific things, but when am I going to see them happen?”
Basically I’ve been very impatient.

I know I need to wait patiently and trust in His timing and for the most part I am content in waiting, but sometimes it’s hard when I feel nothing is happening, at least nothing that I can see. Then God just sneaked something into the smallest thing to show me His faithfulness.

This morning I was watching a sermon from National Community Church that Pastor Joel Schmigall was preaching. The title is Gifted to Serve and is part of NCC’s series Time Talent Treasure. In the beginning of his message he talks about gifts of the Spirit and how they have kaleidoscopic meanings. He didn’t go into all of the gifts due to time, but he did decide to talk about one as an example, the gift of prophecy.

Now, before I finish that story I need to back track a little bit. This summer during youth camp a pastor was telling me some things God had told him to tell me. As he was talking he said that I had the gift of prophecy, my immediate reaction in my head being “wow that’s big and scary”, of course right after I thought that, he said, “and God says not to be afraid of that”.

So, this morning Pastor Joel just happens to bring up prophecy and here is what he says about it. He said, “We think of prophecy as foretelling the future, but in actuality the original Greek meaning is… it’s setting forth the truth. …if you just like to share the revelations you get from God or reading the scriptures, that’s prophetic. If you like to speak the truth of the scriptures to others, that’s prophetic. If you like to share things about somebody else that they don’t know, it’s truth, that’s prophetic.”

For anyone who knows my heart in ministry you know that sharing God’s truth with others is a main part of that, specifically sharing God’s truth with teenage girls. I love to share what God has laid on my heart, or what He shown me in a situation in my life, or  something He revealed to me from His word. Because I am very observant and sensitive to things in others’ lives, especially if it is something I’ve been through, I tend to notice that and, if I felt led to, I share that with them.

So, long story short, God showed me His faithfulness this morning from a simple part of a message, that wasn’t even the main point of the sermon. God reminded me that He is orchestrating my steps to His will and that if I am patient and trust in His word, then He will bring things to pass.

Just wanted to encourage you today because God encouraged me!

“The faithful love of the Lord never ends!
His mercies never cease.
Great is his faithfulness;
his mercies begin afresh each morning.”
Lamentations 3:22-23

Just A Thought From The King’s Daughter

You can watch Pastor Joel’s sermon Gifted to Serve here:
http://theaterchurch.com/media/time-talent-treasure-2017/gifted-to-serve

Soar

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What do you do when things don’t turn out like you thought they would?

What do you do when you thought you knew what your life, at least for the near future, would be like, but the thing you were gonna do becomes no longer available?

This is what my weekend’s been like…

First, I hung out with my amazing friends who made sure I was okay and kept my mind off of things.

Second, I stayed in my room and binged watched shows for like 36 hours.

Third, I got out of my apartment and went for a walk to clear my head.

Now, when I go to clear my head that usually means I talk to God about the things pressing on my heart. So, I did and my main question was “What am I supposed to do now?” The thing I was planning on was going to take up my time and, besides school, was going to be my main focus for this semester – but it didn’t work out, so… now what?

As I was walking I thought of an idea here and there, but I really just took the time to breathe. On my way back to my dorm I happened to run into one of my friends. She asked me how I was doing, encouraged me, and gave me a Krispy Kreme donut (which is my favorite)! I started walking back to my dorm and thanked God that He had placed her in my path. Then it hit me… I felt like God was saying that I just need to take one step at a time and that, as I do, He will lead me to what I need to do and where I need to be this semester.

When I got back to my dorm one of my favorite Meredith Andrews’ songs started playing, Soar.

The lyrics say…

Here I remind myself what You said over me
Here I remind my soul who You are
You said You won’t relent
Won’t let go, won’t forget
Every promise You have whispered to my heart

As I wait, As I wait on You
I’m gonna run and not grow weary
I’m gonna walk and not grow faint
Rise up on wings like eagles
To soar
I know with everything you’re with me
I know you’re working as I wait
Lift me up on wings like eagles
To soar

This desert holds a song I will sing, on and on
You’re a river when the ground I walk is dry
You will set the crooked straight
Clear my path, make a way
You will lead me from the valley to the heights

Creator, Keeper
Lifebreather
Your name is greater than anything I’ve faced
Sustainer, Savior,
Stronghold breaker
Your name is greater than anything I’ve faced

He keeps His word and His promises, He guides me and leads me to where I need to be, and AS I WAIT on Him I will run and not grow weary, walk and not faint, rise UP on wings like eagles to SOAR. I know that He is with me and WORKING AS I WAIT. He’ll lift me up on wings like eagles to SOAR.

So, when your plans go in a completely different direction and you don’t know what happens next TRUST that God keeps His promises, He guides you, and as you wait, taking one step at a time, He will lift you up on wings like eagles to SOAR.

Just A Thought From The Daughter of The King