Do We Really Know How To Love?

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We live in a world today that “loves” everything and because of that, and our lack of ways to say love, it looses it’s potency. Today people look for things that are genuine and not fake, they want something that is real, but unfortunately they try to find genuine based on how they feel about it. If it feels fake in anyway they turn away from it. On the other hand, if it feels real then they will run to it. This is unfortunately how we determine love these days. What most people don’t realize is that we can’t follow our emotions, we can’t let them lead our decisions. Jeremiah 17:9 says,

“The human heart is the most deceitful of all things, and desperately wicked. Who really knows how bad it is?”

If our heart, the seat of our emotions, is deceitful and wicked, then how can we trust it to tell us when we love someone? Okay, so if we can’t trust our own heart and emotions, then what can we trust and follow? Romans 12:1-2 says,

“…I plead with you to give your bodies to God because of all he has done for you. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice—the kind he will find acceptable. This is truly the way to worship him. Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.” (emphasis mine)

We trust and follow what God says in His Word. He says that we need to die to the sinful nature we were born into, what our deceitful heart wants, and to allow Him to transform our thinking. So, what does our transformed thinking look like in this area?
In 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 God tells us what love truly is.

He says that love…
…is patient and kind
…is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude
…does not demand it’s own way
…is not irritable, and keeps no record of being wronged
…does not rejoice about injustice, but rejoices whenever the truth wins out
…never gives up
…never loses faith
…is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.

This is what love looks like when we approach it with the transformed thinking that God gives us. Now, I know most people are probably thinking of a romantic relationship when they hear all this about love, but that is only one side of it. Matthew 22:39 says,

“A second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’”

This is not only what a romantic relationship looks like, it is what loving anyone and everyone should like. This is not easy! It seems basically impossible. The thing that makes loving people this way even remotely possible is to actually know love, not just know what it is and what it’s about, but to know love. How do we know love? We know God. 1 John 4:8 says,

“But anyone who does not love does not know God, for God is love.”

This also means that if you do not know God, then you don’t know love. To know and have a relationship with God is to be able to love like He does, but we will never love properly until we accept and receive the love that God give us.

So I encourage you! Get to know love, get to know the One who gave up His Son for you.
I challenge you to allow God to transform your thinking and love others, anyone and everyone, friend and stranger a like, like He loves us.

Just A Thought From The King’s Daughter

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Hope’s Anthem

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This is a song by Bethel and it is very heavy on my heart tonight and so, I just wanted to share it with you!

“He’s awakening the hope in me

By calling forth my destiny

He’s breathing life into my soul

I will thirst for Him, and Him alone

He has come like the rain

That showers on the barren plain

So my heart and tongue confess

Jesus Christ, the hope of man

My hope is in You, God

I am steadfast, I will not be moved

I’m anchored, never shaken

All my hope is in You

He’s bringing hope to the hopeless

And giving His heart to the broken

And sharing His home with the orphan

He is the joy, He is my joy

He is the hope of the nations
The Father’s heart we’re embracing

He is the song we’re declaring

He is the joy, He is my joy

LET HOPE ARISE!”

Maggie’s Birthday!

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20170222_023536162_ios14 years ago today (Feb. 21st) my lil sis Maggie was born
and in May of 2013 she passed away.

Over the past (almost) four years I have met many people, a lot of whom did not get the pleasure of knowing Maggie. With today being her birthday I wanted to talk a little bit about her! Although she only lived ten years, she accomplished more in those ten years than some people do in 50! At the age of six she was filled with the Holy Spirit and prayed for other who were then filled. She would write her own worship songs that were strait from her heart. She was so full of compassion, grace, and mercy. She led worship on many occasions and love to sing any time she could!

Maggie had a super spunky personality and hair just as wild as her. What ever she did, she did with all her heart. Even at ten and younger her voice was amazing! She loved music and sang to the top of her lungs to her favorite artists. She could light a room up with just her smile. Now she wasn’t perfect, she had her faults, but some of the best memories I had were hugging her and crying with her after an argument. There were many nights where we sat up just talking for hours and hours.

One of her favorite songs was You Are by Colton Dixon, so for her birthday I recorded a cover of that song with our cousin Caroline!

Just in Time for Feb. 14th

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“Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. It does not rejoice about injustice, but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.”

1 Corinthians 13:4-7

For many people this verse is very familiar. This is one of the many things the Bible says about love. 1 John 4:8 says “Dear friends, let us continue to love one another, for love comes from God. Anyone who loves is a child of God and knows God. But anyone who does not love does not know God, for God is love.” You could just substitute God for all those things and it would still be true. God is love is something that has been on my mind recently and that’s what I want to talk about.

Over the past few years I have only had a certain number of people I would call my closest friends and for the most part I didn’t get to see them all the time. After ending a relationship a few years ago the norm went from having someone there for me twenty-four seven, to my friends who I saw and talked to occasionally. They are amazing friends and really helped me through that time, but I got use to it being just me and my family. I didn’t have anywhere to go or anyone to regularly hang out with.

Needless to say coming to college was definitely a cultural shock in many ways. Sitting in a class room, having a teacher, being surrounded by people who weren’t related to you, and speaking to people you didn’t know. It was all so exhilarating and exciting!
Then you get into the swing of things and campus events become less frequent, people find their groups and clubs, and you don’t introduce yourself to as many people. It was at this time last semester I began to hang out with a great group of people, but I would see others and compare and I didn’t feel like I had friends who loved me or that I could love.
I don’t do well in loving people in a group setting and crave a one on one relationship and friendship with people. Last semester I fell into a funk where I looked to give and receive that love from someone who knew me, but felt like I couldn’t find that.

This semester I arrived with a confidence I just couldn’t put my finger on at the time. To be honest I hadn’t been spending time with God except for Sunday’s, I mean I would occasionally talk to Him during the day, but I wouldn’t take time to sit down and hear from Him or spend time in His presence. So, I was a little confused when I came back with this confidence and go get’em attitude. About a week ago the confidence crumbled and I reverted back to the scared, insecure girl, I had become years ago. It crumbled when I remembered that the thing I had been placing my confidence and identity in wasn’t perfect. Nothing is. Nothing, but God.

When my confidence crumbled I began to long for someone to be my rock, I tend to long for that in a guy. I just wanted someone I could love with all my heart and for them to love me back with all their heart. But this time is for me and God and so, there was no one to turn to. So, all I could do was ache and be depressed because “I had no one”.

As I was talking to a friend about all this, God showed me this cycle of events I had been living for months now and through the help of another friend I was encouraged to seek the only One I could love with all my heart and the only One who could give me the love I longed for.

Friday, February 3rd, I began to seek God again and spend time in His presence. Since then God has continued to bless me for seeking Him. Tonight (2.5.17) I saw a picture of one of my friends and thought “wow you’re so weird, but I’m so proud of you”. In that moment I realized that in just a few short months I have made some of the closest friends, who will be there for me whenever I need them and vice versa. BUT! It’s not until I spend time with Love, that I know how to love. It’s not until I place my identity in the solid Rock, that I will have a confidence truly like no other. It’s not until I take the first minutes out of my day and talk to my God, King, Creator, and Father, that I can be the child He created me to be.

Just A Thought From The King’s Daughter

Here As In Heaven

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Tonight at convocation Pastor Scott Sheppard spoke on habits and discipline. As we ended the night the chapel band led us in worship and they sang Here as in Heaven by Elevation Worship. As I began to sing I began to realize that this should be our life’s anthem.
The lyrics say:

The atmosphere is changing now
For the Spirit of the Lord is here
The evidence is all around
That the Spirit of the Lord is here

Once we take that initial step to say
okay God, I want you in my life
and I want you to move in my life
the atmosphere begins to change and
his spirit becomes evident in our lives
But it doesn’t stop there.

Overflow in this place
Fill our hearts with Your love
Your love surrounds us
You’re the reason we came
To encounter Your love
Your love surrounds us

Once his presence in evident in our
lives we now need to know that his
love always surrounds us.
We need to be full of his love so that
we can love others well.
By encountering his love all fear is
gone and we can walk in His confidence.

Spirit of God fall fresh on us
We need Your presence
Your kingdom come
Your will be done
Here as in heaven

Now we know we will always be
surrounded by God’s love, but
without his presence, we can
accomplish nothing.

So we must seek to not only be
filled with his presence, but to be FULL
of His presence and to daily be
living in His presence.

For when this is the case His
Kingdom is set in our hearts,
His will becomes our desire and
we will live as it is in heaven.
His Kingdom principles will be
lived out on earth.

A miracle can happen now
For the Spirit of the Lord is here
The evidence is all around
That the Spirit of the Lord is here

Once we are walking daily in His
presence and His Kingdom is being
established in our hearts and lives
miracles begin to happen and once
again the atmosphere begins to change.

Just A Thought From The King’s Daughter

Saying Goodbye & Letting Go

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As I look through social media I see everyone reflecting on their 2016.
So, I thought I would join and reflect on mine.

At the beginning of 2016 I felt this would be a year of opportunities and prayed this would be so. With that came the need to be bold and have courage, so I prayed for those as well. This year has been just that and I have certainly had to be bold and courageous.

This year…
…God placed in my heart and helped me in creating a bible study and discipleship program
…God showed me my passion for preschoolers and so, I decided to study that in college.
…I was able to expand my leadership ability in worship.
…I got to experience Lee Day with my closest friends and showed them the school I love!
…I experienced the SAT and ACT and survived!
…I had the opportunity to attend Summer Honors again and meet people who would become very close to me at school in the fall.
…I had the opportunity to be a cabin leader for a group of amazing middle school girls.
…I was accepted to Lee University and moved to Tennessee!
…I was able to be apart of a leadership conference and was placed in an amazing Gateway!
…I had the opportunity to be apart of a choir for the first time and sing some amazing and complicated pieces I never thought I could sing!
…I have had the opportunity to learn so many new things and meet so many amazing and encouraging people!

As I look back on this year I also realize it was a year of transition, transition into a new chapter of my life! As the high school chapter of my life began to close and the college chapter began I realized that I would be leaving some people in my high school chapter. Unfortunately, for some, I didn’t realize I would have to say goodbye until I tried to pull them into the next chapter, only for them to resist. When they resisted I was hurt, I have gone over the different relationships and situations in my head, trying to decipher and fix it, but I can’t. Some things I will never know and some things I could never fix.

So, as this new chapter of my live begins I am saying goodbye… and letting go.
I am letting go of the pain and the hope of a change. I am grateful for the time they were in my life, I am the person I am today because of it, but it’s time to move on and let go.

As you go into 2017 look forward to the new things God has in store for you, look back at the amazing things He has done and brought you through, and let go of the things you can’t fix or change. Give it to God and allow Him to help you move on, maybe He will bring them back in a surprising reappearance and maybe things will be different, but until then lean on Him, say goodbye, and let go.

Just a Thought From the King’s Daughter

Peace

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Guys! God has taught me something else and I want to share it with y’all!

From the moment I stepped on campus I started to make friends, some I would build relationships with and some I would just pass, say hi, and we would occasionally catch up. So, I met a person, thinking we would be great friends, we see each other a few times a week and have some of the same friends and we were getting to know each other. Before I knew it all my focus was on getting to know them and hanging out with them, because they were fun to be around and made me laugh. As the weeks went on I saw them less and less, and I became focused on how I was see them and how much I just wanted to be around them, but never was. Were they avoiding me? Did they not like me? Am I being too pushy with a friendship? All my focus was on this and basically this person determined my moods, if I saw them and they talked to me I would be elated, but if I didn’t see them or they just didn’t talk to me I would be sad and depressed.

Sunday (9.25.16) afternoon I could not get these thoughts out of my head, my heart felt so burdened, like it might just explode. So, I grabbed my journal and began to write to God. As I wrote to God about the situation I began to write that I was afraid of rejection, I was so scared that they didn’t like me and were going to reject me. So, I wrote it out and as I did I realized, that while I knew to give God my relationships, I wasn’t giving Him this fear of rejection and fear that I wasn’t good enough. So, I laid it at his feet.

Later that night a lady who had spoken that morning at church that morning spoke again. I didn’t think I was going to go, cause I didn’t want to go by myself, then my friends said they were going and God was like, so now what’s your excuse? So, I went. The message was really, really good and it was something I need to hear, but I wasn’t emotional about it. When the altar call came I knew I needed to go, but the emotional side just wasn’t there. I was God, I’m just not feeling it and honestly I was worried as to what my friends were going to think. Then, my friend went up, and God was like, what’s your excuse now? So, I went. When I got up there my first thought was, what now? It wasn’t your normal altar service, the praise team was singing an old upbeat song about the enemy being under our feet, and honestly I just wasn’t feeling it.

Because of the revelation I had had early that afternoon I started think about rejection and closed my eyes and started praying in the spirit about it. I started to pray for confidence, confidence to not worry what others think and to be myself, His confidence in who He has called me to be. As I prayed this my heart became heavy and the emotions came, I prayed over and over for confidence and for God to take away the fear. As I asked and sought God a lady who was traveling with the speaker came and prayed for me. At the end of her prayer she placed her hands on the sides of my head and asked God to give me peace. Right there in that moment I felt God’s peace cover me and my heart was no longer heavy. A few moments later I went back to my seat, I sat and cried, this time tears of joy, still praying in the spirit, when my friend Randyl sat beside me and started praying for me. She as well prayed for peace and I began to think, Peace? Why peace? I was asking for confidence, not peace. In that moment God spoke to my heart and said I know what you are asking for, and I will give you confidence, but I need you to trust me that I am giving you that confidence, I know that you will start to wonder if you actually have my confidence, so I am giving you peace. I am giving you peace so you don’t worry about whether I am working or not.

The next day things were going great, until I almost had an emotional breakdown in class, when my friend wouldn’t even keep a conversation with me, something in our friendship had changed. During the class I was thinking, God, I just long for a friendship with them, we could such great friends, why can’t they see or want that too?  In that moment God spoke to my heart and said “I will bring the relationships you need. Don’t fret or worry.” And it was then I was reminded of His peace again and was great, until that night.

Later that night I began to dwell on what had happened in class and I began to feel sorry for my self and think about the hurt and how what they did just hurt. I began to just bawl and think why? I felt so alone, but I knew I wasn’t, I knew I could talk to God about it, but the words just wouldn’t come. I didn’t want to talk to God about. So, I sent Randyl a text asking her to pray for me, two seconds later my phone started ringing and to my surprise, it was Randyl. She asked if she could pray for me over the phone right then, and I was like um okay sure! So she prayed, and ended the prayer with asking God to give me peace and to remind me of the peace He had blessed me with the night before. Once we finished talking I thought, I don’t want to feel this hurt and just cry about, so God reminded me of something I had heard that said when you’re hurt get your focus off of yourself and do something for someone else. Immediately my heart became heavy as I thought of one of my friends who needs healing. With that I grabbed my journal and began to circle them in prayer until God released the pressure from my heart. When I was done praying I felt a renewed since of peace and joy.

Today as I sat in chapel the lady who spoke began to speak about the peace God had given her and Randyl pointed out what she had said. Afterwards I began to think about it and I realized that God knew I would need reminders of his peace and He has be faithful in providing them.

So, I don’t have any practical teaching or specific message to share, just my story over these past few days. I hope my story and impact you in someway. Just place you trust and hope in God and talk to Him about what’s going on.

Just a Thought From the King’s Daughter.