Friday, September 27, 2013

Psalm 27

Psalm 27
A Psalm of Fearless Trust In The Lord
The Lord is my light and my salvation;
Whom shall I fear?
The Lord is the defense of my life;
Whom shall I dread?
When evildoers came upon me to devour my flesh,
My adversaries and my enemies, they stumbled and fell.
Though a host encamp against me,
My heart will not fear;
Though war arise against me,
In spite of this I shall be confident.
One thing I have asked from the Lord, that I shall seek:
That I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life,
To behold the beauty of the Lord
And to meditate in His temple.
For in the day of trouble He will conceal me in His tabernacle;
In the secret place of His tent He will hide me;
He will lift me up on a rock.
And now my head will be lifted up above my enemies around me,
And I will offer in His tent sacrifices with shouts of joy;
I will sing, yes, I will sing praises to the Lord.
Hear, O Lord, when I cry with my voice,
And be gracious to me and answer me.
When You said, “Seek My face,” my heart said to You,
“Your face, O Lord, I shall seek.”
Do not hide Your face from me,
Do not turn Your servant away in anger;
You have been my help;
Do not abandon me nor forsake me,
O God of my salvation!
10 For my father and my mother have forsaken me,
But the Lord will take me up.
11 Teach me Your way, O Lord,
And lead me in a level path
Because of my foes.
12 Do not deliver me over to the desire of my adversaries,
For false witnesses have risen against me,
And such as breathe out violence.
13 I would have despaired unless I had believed that I would see the goodness of the Lord
In the land of the living.
14 Wait for the Lord;
Be strong and let your heart take courage;
Yes, wait for the Lord.

          Wait on the Lord, friends. He always comes through.


Thursday, September 5, 2013


        A few weeks ago, I was browsing a list of quotes when I came upon the following:

Those words stirred memories; memories of things that I more or less regretted doing. Times when I’d made the wrong choice – choosing immediate pleasure rather than pursuing the infinite reward of Christ. I may have smiled in the moment, but I later regretted my choice.
Never regret something that once made you smile. 
Can I please just say that this quote is ridiculous? Please?
This quote is ridiculous.
I know that I tend to look deeper into things than intended. I doubt that the author of this quote honestly meant “never regret”. But that’s the part that annoys me – their use of ‘never’. ‘Never’ is one of those huge, powerful words that are now used so loosely (like awesome, always, and love).
Have you ever really thought about the word ‘never’? What it really means? That may seem really obvious; never means never, of course. Duh.
But more than that, ‘never’ is a promise.
To say you will never do something is a promise. This can work the other way as well, like if I were to say “I have never been ice skating”, but that’s not what I’m talking about. ‘Will’ talks about the future, ‘have’ about the past. I’m talking about ‘will never’.
With this in mind, read the following verse.
Make sure that your character is free from the love of money, being content with what you have; for He Himself has said, “I will never desert you, nor will I ever forsake you.” ~Hebrews 13:5 (NASB)
        You have probably heard that verse dozens of times. But when was the last time you sat and really thought about what it meant? He will never desert you; never forsake you. That is a promise, and one that you can wholly rely on.
        Just for clarification, while I don’t think “never regret” is a proper statement, I do not think we should trudge through life regretting all of our past mistakes. Christ died to cleanse us from our sin; past, present, and future. We don’t need to bear the weight of it anymore. Regret, repent, and move on.
We have so many reasons to smile each day – the pleasure of sin should not be one of them. Save your smile for the good things that deserve it. Like the fact that God, the Creator and Sustainer of the universe, has promised to never leave you.
Now that is something worth smiling about.


Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Home Again

I spent the last week at Gleanings for the Hungry, a mission organization based in Dinuba California. In a [very small] nutshell, Gleanings processes peaches during the summer that have been donated to them and sends out the dry fruit to other missions organizations around the world to give to the hungry. As I said, this is a very small description of who Gleanings is and what they’re about. They do much more than dried peaches. I encourage you to check out their website and read more about them there. :)
This past week has been amazing. Working, worshipping, fellowshipping – laughing and crying. Playing Frisbee, trash can, and getting slaughtered at Egyptian Rat Slap. Waking up at five in the morning and going to bed at eleven. Making new friends, deepening old relationships. It was a very blessed week.
When I got home on Sunday, I wasn’t sure if I was going to write a blog post about Gleanings. Yes, I’d had a wonderful time, but I didn’t feel like I had anything worth sharing with you guys. I’ve heard so many stories of people who have gone to Gleanings and had some life changing experience there. Like God suddenly taking hold of their heart, or learning something totally new, or finding their calling in life. And as much as I tried to go to Gleanings with an open heart and no expectations, I admit that I was hoping. I was hoping for some spiritual revelation. For God to speak to me as clear as day and tell me... something. Anything. I was so tired of how my life had been. I wanted God to grab me and show me exactly what I need to do to fix my life.
As if He hasn’t done that enough times already.
But He did. Perhaps not in such a sudden and direct way as I was hoping for, but He did show me an area in my life that I have been neglecting lately.
That area was Himself.
My relationship with God has been sadly neglected the last few weeks. Somehow, He failed to make the priority list. I didn’t have the ‘time’ to sit and read my Bible; didn’t have the ‘time’ to pray and talk with Him. I love God, but I have been letting other things take first place in my heart; the place that should belong solely to Him.
You grow to love someone by getting to know them. You get to know God by reading His word and talking with Him. It’s that simple – and that difficult. But I strongly encourage you to give more of your time to God. It may feel like a waste of time, but I promise you it will be worth it. If you seek God with an open and honest heart, He will answer you. We cannot experience God wholly until we are wholly surrendered to Him.
        Loving God. That seems to be the current theme of my life. When I look at myself, it’s so easy to be discouraged by all my many faults and failures. But then I look back over the past two years, and I see all the numerous ways in which God has been working in me. I may not have come as far as I like, but I am moving. Slowly but surely. And I know that God will continue to work in me until the day I am welcomed into heaven.

Well, there’s a brief summarization of what I learned at Gleanings. If you want to hear more about my trip, feel free to leave a comment or message me!
I also want to thank my grandma, who helped enormously with the financial aspect of Gleanings. Thank you so much for helping send me to Gleanings, Grandma. It was such a huge blessing. I love you! <3
And to all my Gleanings friends, old and new... I LOVE YOU GUYS!! I cannot wait to work with you again next year. You people are amazing.