Posted in Spiritual

Direct. Turn. Preserve.

Direct. Turn. Preserve. I came across these three words last week as I was reading in Psalms.

Psalms 119:35-37 says, “Direct me in the path of your commands, for there I find delight. Turn my heart towards your statutes and not towards selfish gain. Turn my eyes away from worthless things; preserve my life according to your word.”

I just love these words and I desire my life to look like these verses above.  “Direct my path, turn my heart, turn my eyes and preserve my life,” that’s been my prayer this past week.

“Direct me in the path of your commands, for there I find delight.”

I find myself all too often setting up my path, and my plan and my course of action.  Often times I do this, and It leads me somewhere I don’t need to be, causing sin to be more powerful and disobedience to be more prevalent.  However, when I follow in obedience to The Lord, I always find fullness of joy in His presence.  So Lord guide me according to your Will, because I know I am always satisfied in YOU.

“Turn my heart towards your statutes and not towards selfish gain.”              

Selfishness has seemed to be a common theme that the Lord has continued to reveal to me.  I guess it’s His way of telling me it’s still a problem.  (#guilty!!!) When a step back and look at my life, it’s CRAZY scary how much I do for myself.  Every decision I make, I usually ask myself, “How will this affect me?”  “What does this mean for me?” “What will this ask of me?”  This is NOT how Christ thought. It’s humbling to know that It’s not just me that seems to struggle with this. Paul encourages the church in Philippi to do NOTHING out of self-ambition, but to put others before yourself and to have the same mindset as Christ Jesus.  Paul wouldn’t have mentioned this to his brothers and sisters if it wasn’t something they were struggling with. Lord take my heart and change it.  Help me to seek you and not seek things, people, relationship and circumstances for my benefit.

“Turn my eyes away from worthless things; preserve my life according to your word.”  

 This chunk of scripture led me to pose this question, “What all do I seek that essentially has no eternal meaning?”  As I answered this question I discovered that there are a few too many things on my list.  I think selfishness and seeking worthless things go hand in hand with one another.  When I am seeking Him, and serving others I’m not as focused on all these things that hold no value.

I absolutely love this last bit… “preserve my life according to your word.”  If I prayed this more often my life would probably look a lot different.  Lord take my life, sustain it, shape it, maintain it, protect it and uphold it, ALL according to YOUR Word.  WOW!!!!

This is all kind of a jumbled up mess, but I hope it in some way challenges and encourages you wherever you are in your journey.

With love,

Mica!

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Posted in Spiritual

This Road

This Road. Let me tell you… This road started out being a thorn in my side.  As I struggled keeping my eyes open on the way to my 8AM class 3 days a week, I would think to myself… “Why did I choose to go here?” (here being UACCM) This road started out being of what I thought was a waste of 45 minuets of my life 5 days a week. This road was the 20 minute drive that made my school day that much longer.

However, I will miss this road. This road has been one of the biggest blessings.  This road has helped me to grow, this road has helped me to be still, and this road has forced me to pray, even when it has been hard. Because lets be honest, sometimes it is. It has helped me to take a step back and to look at my life, my actions, my motives, my heart. I have been humbled not by this road, but by my Savior.

I have learned a lot about myself through this drive. Lots of things that let’s just say are not the most enjoyable things to admit.  And while I could beat myself up at how much I fail to serve Christ fully, fail to pray without ceasing and succeed in being selfish, I don’t have to.  I have my Jesus who is beyond capable to forgive. All I have to do is ask and repent. I am so thankful for that. This road has reminded me that different season’s of our lives require different things out of us. I’m also reminded of The Lord’s faithfulness, and how he NEVER fails to provide exactly what we need right when we need it!!  And I am thankful for this road.

After Christmas, I will no longer be driving on Highway 64 every day. I will be attending UCA and my new road will be College avenue. While I am sad to be leaving my UACCM family and friends, I look forward to joining my Bear family at UCA.  I’m ready for new opportunities, new classes, new friendship and new ways to serve. Bring on 2018!!!

Posted in Spiritual

Equipped

I simply do not even know where to begin in writing this post.  I just know I have to write something!! I have been completely and utterly overwhelmed with my God A LOT lately.  I’ve experienced His power, His love, His persistence, and His light.  His light that not only hopefully shines through me, but also those around me. His light that is literally pulling people out of the very darkest of places, darkest of circumstances and darkest of lives.  I was talking with a nonbeliever the other day, and I asked her, “how would you describe what is happening in your life right now?” and she answered with, “I just feel as if this light is pulling me out of the darkness.”  When she responded with this, chills ran up arms and legs and I then responded with, “JESUS!! That’s who He is, that’s what He does.”

I see God at work all around me.  I see Him working in the people of my church.  I see Him working in the people of my campus ministry.  I see Him working in the hearts of my classmates, and I see Him revealing Himself to lost souls that need to be rescued from the dark places they find themselves in day after day.

I see Him working in my life.  I see him providing opportunities for me to encourage others, pray for people and witness to those around me.  And I can’t get over the fact that He is choosing me (us) to accomplish these things.  I’m honored that He would have me to be the one to do it.  He WANTS to use us PEOPLE, so lets let Him!! He is also teaching me that every time I hear a word from him (whether that’s reading my Bible, listening to a podcast, turning on my worship songs, or simply listening to a sermon) it’s something I NEED to hear.  It ALWAYS applies.  For example, lets say you go to church Sunday and as you head out the door after the service, you think, “that message doesn’t really apply to me.”  WRONG. And I’m not going to lie, I’ve thought that thought one too many times.  But saying that couldn’t be more incorrect.  God is consistently equipping us.  He may use what we heard in a sermon to be preparing us to talk to a friend that is going to need us to relay to them what we just heard.  Or maybe he is preparing us for a trial that is going to happen 5 months down the road.  God is ALWAYS teaching us, preparing us, and equipping us.  We must be attentive to listen when he speaks.

Posted in Spiritual

Be Still

If you are a college student, then you know school is really picking up to full speed right about now.  I’m not sure if any of you have felt as I, but this feeling of struggling to keep my head above water has been draining me.  It seems as though I have been living from one test to the next for the past two weeks.  The best word to describe it is… exhausting. But this week God has been revealing some good stuff.

Stuff #1- I have to allow enough time each and every day to BE STILL before my King.  I can’t merely do my quiet time for 10 minutes, rushing through my study, and pray an empty prayer because I’m distracted that I’m about to be late for class.  Trust me, I know, life is busy, school is crazy and our social lives can consume us.  But we must allow time to be still before Christ himself.  I realized that this has been the main source of my problems for the past few weeks.  I’ve been going, going and going nonstop. The time I was leaving for God consisted of rushed quiet times and me doing lots of the talking and not much listening.  This time certainly was not consisting of the worship my Savior deserves. Guys… If we can get this right, everything else will fall into place. All of a sudden we won’t be carrying burdens we weren’t meant to be carrying.  We won’t be anxious about things we are not in control of, and we won’t be struggling to stay above the waves we aren’t even supposed to be swimming in.  (P.s. you are NOT alone in this, we ALL find ourselves in these situations.  I actually struggle with this each and every day. I have to remind myself every morning of God’s promises and who he says he is.  This helps me remember he is incomprehensibly capable of taking care of things!!)

Long side note: I was in my car this week and God sent a reminder to me through song. (I absolutely LOVE it when he chooses this method to speak to me!!!) I don’t usually listen to the radio anymore; I typically use my Spotify. But, for some reason this morning I did, and my XM station, “The Message” was playing the song “Still” by Hillary Scott.  I knew the song so it wasn’t unfamiliar to me, but it was as though I was hearing it for the first time. And let me tell y’all…  This wasn’t just a, “Oh yeah, thanks God that was good.  I really needed to hear that” kind of moment.  This song became my prayer that morning.  I felt like it was just me and God in my car and that I was giving him control. Even just praying those words in the song, there was a burden that was lifted off of my shoulders. I was choosing to let go and choosing to not only believe that he’s got it, but really fully trusting that. Here are some of the lyrics…

“I believe that you are God alone, but sometimes I still try to take control. Cause I get scared when I can’t see the end, and all you want from me is to let go.

You’re parting waters, making a way for me, you’re moving mountains that I don’t even see. You’ve answered my prayer, before I even speak. All you need for me to be is STILL.

I Bring my praise before I bring my need.  Cause there’s no fear you’ve not already seen.  I rest my heart on all your promises. Cause I have seen and know your faithfulness.

You’re parting waters, making a way for me, you’re moving mountains that I don’t even see. You’ve answered my prayer, before I even speak. All you need for me to be is STILL.”

“STILL” seems easy, right?  I can’t say that that particular action comes naturally for me. But I know God calls us in Psalm 46:10 to, “be still and know that I AM God.”  Will you be still?

Stuff #2: Why do I do what I do?  Why do I work hard?  Why do I strive to make good grades? Why do I go to church? These are some questions I have been asking myself.  And If I am being completely honest, some of my answers probably aren’t what they should be.  But God has really been showing me, EVERYTHING is for HIM.  Everything I do, everything I say and everything I think, should be giving HIM GLORY.  He’s worthy of every single bit of it!!! 1 Corinthians 10:31 says “So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.”

With love,

Mica!

 

Posted in Spiritual

I am Ready!

Before you spend the next 5 minutes reading these words I have typed out on this screen, it’s probably best that I warn you, this post is just me expressing my excitement.  Some of you may find it silly that I even bothered to write all of this down, but I just couldn’t contain myself.  So with that being said, I hope you continue to read and find some sort of joy from reading this post. Wether that’s through being able to relate on some level or even if my words give you a little chuckle!:)

With summer coming to a close and with school just right around the corner, many emotions arise to my surface.  Summer was so so sweet!  It was full of some relaxation, new adventures, and many firsts.  This summer consisted of babysitting, painting, swimming, reading, cooking, camping, lake days, mission trips, camp counseling, Bible studies, movie nights, game nights, sand volleyball, fishball and list could go on and on.  And while all these things are AMAZING and summer is AWESOME, I am SO ready to start this new semester.

I wouldn’t necessarily say I am ready for homework and studying for tests, (who likes that anyway) but I am ready to reunite friendships while also creating new ones.  I am ready for a routine.  I am ready to continue to see God move in my church, on my campus, and in my community this semester.  I am ready for new responsibilities.  I am ready for new classes and new experiences with new opportunities.  Long story short, I AM READY!!  There is excitement in my blood even now as I type these words.  God is going to do BIG things this semester, the question is, are we willing to be apart of it?  I don’t know where some of you are standing right now, in your life, in your relationship with Christ, but I do know he wants to use you.  Something I heard from a sermon a few years back was, “to remain faithful where God has placed you.”  I’ve kind of made that my life moto.  This is not an easy thing to do, but if we allow ourselves to be available to be used by God, we are more likely to be obedient to his calling.  I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to miss out on his blessings this semester.  I want to experience him in the fullest.

So hey, I am going to end on a “real” note (if you know what I mean) I don’t just write these words to remind you guys, but also to remind myself of these things.  Let me be honest, while yes there is SO much excitement inside me, there is also SO much fear.  The school year makes me anxious and my trust in the Lord seems harder to find.  But then I am reminded of his faithfulness and who he is.  I am reminded that he is the everlasting God, the creator of the ends of the earth.  I am reminded that he never grows tired or weary and his understanding no one can fathom. (Isaiah 40:28)  And when I remind myself of that, everything is put back into perspective.

Wishing everyone a fantasitc semester!

With Love,

Mica!

Posted in Spiritual

Blessed Be Your Name

As 2017 is already halfway over, I am pushed towards a time of written reflection! (Once again, shocker right?) The past 7 months has already contained lots of different emotions! Like… Relief from finishing my first year of college strong, happiness from godly, Christ centered friendships, joy from my perfect Savior, excitement from and in my church, and love from my family.  With this short list of some of the emotions 2017 has brought me, one may think, “Wow, her year is going perfectly!” However, while yes these emotions have been felt, I’ve also seen and experienced hurt, worry, frustration, and have been impatient during a time of waiting. As the world around me seems to fall from beneath my feet, as hurt and suffering seems to close in on me and those around me, I’m reminded of a song… I’ll come back to that in a few.

I’m currently on a mission trip with my college group from church, and this past Sunday we went to the missionaries church. One of my favorite parts of mission trips are going to the different church services. It’s so encouraging to me to see what God is doing across the country and across the globe. It always seems to be the worship portion that the Lord speaks to me the most! And yet again the Lord spoke, which I will also get to in a few. (lol sorry for the choppy writing!)

Like I said, this year so far has had it’s mountains and it’s fair share of valleys, but God is STILL God. Through it ALL. As I stood that morning at Wind City Church, (a church that meets at the local mall in town, super cool right?) I sang with my hands open wide to the Lord.  The words of “Blessed Be Your Name” by Matt Redman rolled off my lips as it hit me in my deepest parts.

“Blessed be your name,

In the land that is plentiful,

Where your streams of abundance flow,

Blessed be your name”

 

“Blessed be your name

When the suns shining down on me,

When the world is all as it should be

Blessed be your name”

I have NO trouble saying “blessed me your name Jesus” at these times in my life when he pours out his blessings.

However, it’s in those times when the darkness closes in, that is much harder for me!  I ask myself, “can I and will I still say, “Blessed be your name?

“Blessed be your name

When I’m found in the desert place

Though I walk through the wilderness

Blessed be your name”

 

“Blessed be your name

On the road marked with suffering

Though there is pain in the offering

Blessed be your name”

I WANT to say that, but WILL I in these times?  All of these things were running through my mind as I lifted my voice to Him.

I thought, “If I would have lost my grandfather 2 months ago to his severe heart attack that should have killed him, would I be saying, blessed be your name right now?”  Would I be praising my father in heaven even when death turned my world upside down?

I write all of this to say, I have no clue what you are dealing with. I don’t know what life is throwing at you, or what things you may be facing at this point in your life.  But, I DO know, that our prayer should be, “Lord, I’m going to praise you no matter what happens in this life. No matter what sorrow I face, or what tragedy I suffer from. No matter what you give me and bless me with, or what you take away, Lord I am going to Praise you through it all, and I will say “blessed be your glorious name!”  

What will you say?

With love,

Mica

 

 

Posted in Spiritual

Dwelling

I have recently just completed Beth Moore’s 10-week Bible study on the Tabernacle. Over the past several weeks, my love for Christ has grown abundantly.  As I learn more about Him, who He is and what He has done, I trust Him more, love Him more and live for Him more.  After each and every lesson, the Spirit revealed new things to me.  I was challenged and convicted and left in awe. In the past, the Old Testament has intimidated me.  However, this study has helped me to be encouraged and has opened my eyes to the fact that understanding the Old Testament gives me a better understanding of the New Testament, the Crucifixion, the Resurrection and the dwelling of the Holy Spirit within me as a believer.

Since the beginning of humanity, the Lord has desired to dwell among His people.  When that perfection was destroyed in the garden of Eden because of sin, He established a plan to create that dwelling once again.  Beth Moore states, “God graced the tabernacle in the wilderness with His glory; but the true Tabernacle He had planned would enclose not simply God’s glory, as awesome as it is, but God himself.”  Because of Christ’s sacrifice on the cross we can fellowship and have a relationship with Christ himself. (WOW, He loves us SO stinking much it’s crazy!)  Much too high a price has been paid for any person not to have an invitation to salvation.  Everyone, everyone, everyone has been paid for.  When we accept Christ as Lord of our lives, we are given His Spirit, who lives inside of us.  We are essentially how he dwells among the people of this world.  We have a big responsibility,  we are here for the purpose of revealing His holy presence to a lost world.

I write these posts for myself.  I think it is important to reflect in writing what God is doing and revealing to you.  However, my hope is that my struggles and my challenges are relatable to those who may read.  My prayer is that there is someone out there that needs to hear what I am writing. I do not know who is reading this, but I know someone may need to be reminded, or maybe be told for the first time in their life, that, “you are fearfully and wonderfully made.”  The Lord created your inmost being, and He knit you together in your mother’s womb (Psalm 139:13). He knows you and loves you like no other ever could.  Like I can’t even begin to describe how much He loves you because I can not fully fathom it myself. He wants His spirit to dwell in you, will you let Him in?

1 Corinthians 6: 19-20 states, “Do you not 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 at a price.  Therefore, honor God with your body.”

This is a verse that you may have heard before, and it was not new to me going into this study.  I have recited this verse time and time again, however I see it in a new way.  This verse causes me to ask myself this question, is MY body and MY soul, an environment where the Spirit of the Lord can thrive?

With love,

Mica!