Day two at Passion 2k17 was just as fabulous as day one. Day two consisted of 4 sessions. So to make this short and sweet I am going to give a few take aways from the day as a whole.
John Piper discussed the ultimate essence of evil and how putting anything above God is sin. He also pointed out Romans 14:23 which basically states that any action that doesn’t come from faith is sin. This verse really stood out to me. It’s something so so simple yet something we do while we don’t even realize that we do it.
Francis Chan preached from Isaiah 55 which talks about God’s ways being higher than ours, and his thoughts being higher than our thoughts. He pointed out that we tend to listen to OUR thoughts way too much. This sermon really spoke to me because I am totally guilty of justifying my actions by what I think. I’m so quick to tell myself my opinion, when I should be taking it to God, reading His word to see what he reveals to me. WHO CARES about what little me thinks. What HE thinks is the ONLY thing that matters. He is the ONLY authority. My favorite quote of the week was, “God doesn’t think of us the way we think of us, or even how we think he thinks of us.” His thoughts are so much higher than ours we can’t even try to reach his level. This sermon really just made me humble myself before Him.
Throughout day two, I was convicted left and right about things in my life that were not exactly reflecting Christ. As I am now home and have entered back into reality I am working on multiple things in my life that need some tweaking. I encourage you all to find something you are struggling with, give it to God and let him change you in this new year. Good Luck and God Bless!
Snow is good and snow is great. In fact some of my most fun and memorable days have been snow days. I tend to sleep in and enjoy a peaceful morning with coffee and usually something sweet for breakfast. Ya know, you gotta splurge a little because it’s a special occasion. This morning consisted of 2 very yummy cinnamon rolls made by my sweet momma! Nothing quite beats going to bed with the anticipation of a winter wonderland and waking up to the actual thing the next morning. The perfect sheet of snow that lays across the front lawn and the picture perfect rooftops just makes me happy happy. I love looking at the leaves on the bushes that have what seems to look like cotton balls resting on top. The scenery just brings peace to my soul. My friends and I went out to the woods behind my house and we were in awe of the beauty around us. We had a blast throwing and blowing snow around. We took some fun pictures to capture such sweet moments.
However throughout all the fun, I’m humbled by the fact that Jesus makes us white as snow. When The Lord looks at us, he sees his son, Christ. When I woke up this morning and gazed out my window, I was reminded of Natalie Grants song “Clean,” that says, “there’s nothing too dirty that you can’t make worthy, you wash me in mercy, I am clean.” What a beautiful picture. What a savior we have to see us not as broken, but beautiful, not shattered, but whole. People… we are cleaned by the mercy and grace of Christ Jesus. I can’t think of a more incredible thing.
So I’m not really sure how to even begin to wrap up this three day experience into one post. So I’ve decided I’m going to post one blog for each of the three days. Each of the posts will consist of some of my main take aways from each session that day. The Lord worked in mighty ways over three days, and I can’t help but share with you all what God did within my life and those around me.
The atmosphere alone is incredible. It’s breathtaking and simply indescribable. It’s so indescribable because of the presence of the Holy Spirit in a place where 55,000 people are gathered in His name.
Speaker: Christine Cain (phenominal by the way)
Christine preached from Hebrews chapter 12 and had a main topic of “Endurance.” She stated, “You don’t build endurance in the path of least resistance.” In other words you build your strength when you are put in situations that test you and cause you to rely on God. We need to start dropping the weights that are holding us back and slowing us down so we can accomplish what God has in store for us.
She also hit on that fact that we tend to live for the future. We say, “I can’t wait for that, I can’t wait to be there so I can do that.” We need to start living for the HERE and NOW! I know for me I really need to focus on being faithful where God has placed me. If I’m not faithful here, I can’t be fruitful there.
My big take away is to trust that I am where I am because God has a task for me. God has placed me on MY campus, in MY classes, in MY town for a reason, and instead of wishing my “now” away, I can live fully in my present knowing I have things to accomplish for the kingdom of God.
So let’s go and be the hands and feet of Jesus each and everyday where God has placed us, because we are HERE for a reason.
While yes, I love Thanksgiving and everything that comes with it, the food, family and fun, my most favorite holiday is Christmas. I am a Christmas nut as some would like to call me. I would put up my christmas tree at the beginning of November if it wasn’t frowned upon and I could/do listen to Christmas music for 6 of the 12 months in the year. In fact I love July because Hallmark channel plays Christmas movies all month. It’s only like the best thing ever!!! They call it “Jolly July” and it makes my heart so happy. There is something about Christmas that just warms my heart. One of the many things I love is the focus on giving. Even though we should be serving and giving our time/money year round, Christmas is a time where we are reminded of it’s importance. My church does lots of different things to reach out to those in need. We do Lottie Moon Christmas Offering as well as a Lottie Moon Christmas Auction. We do the Christmas shoe boxes where families fill a shoe box with gifts to send overseas to children that won’t get anything for Christmas. We serve locally by collecting food items to put together Christmas food baskets to send to families in need in our own town. We have angle trees set up around the church to also help meet the needs of people in the community. These are just some of the few things we do to serve and give back to others during the Christmas season. What I would love to see is this love and sense of giving everyone has during Christmas to extend year round and not just once a year.
Go look up Josh Wilson’s Song: Once a Year
With Thanksgiving tomorrow, I thought I would end this 3 week series of thankfulness by stating my thankfulness for the holiday itself. I am thankful that we get to have a day to spend with family and friends focusing on the blessings in our lives. I am thankful for the nice little break from school and work that we get. I’ve always loved thanksgiving break because that is when my family puts up our Christmas decorations, which are some of my most favorite memories as a child and still to this day. I spend hours of my break drinking coffee and watching lots and lots of hallmark movies. I am so thankful for time to relax and escape reality for a few days. It’s so nice to spend quality time with my brothers and my mom and dad. They are such a blessing in my life and I am extremely thankful for them.
I hope you all have a happy Thanksgiving, full of turkey, pumpkin pie and of course THANKFULNESS!!!
With the big presidential election this past week, and the many discouraging comments and negative feedback from it, I thought I would take the time in this weeks post to block out the negative and bring out some positive. All too often we worry about things we can’t control and we loose sight of what we have, and what we are blessed with by living in this country.
Let me start by saying, this post is not going to include my political views. Just a heads up. I’m not going to fill your heads will more overwhelming political information. And I’m not going to spend time on discussing thankfulness for president elect Donald Trump. However, I will spend time discussing my thankfulness for this nation that is so near and dear to my heart. I’m thankful for a country that allows me to express my religion freely. I’m thankful for a country who values education. I’m thankful for a country that contains men and women who fight so I may enjoy such freedoms as these. While yes this country is falling away from it’s values it was founded upon, and is starting to loose sight of what is really important, I can say that not nearly as many people are as blessed as we.
While yes, I am very thankful for this country that I get to call home, I am most thankful that I have a sovereign, powerful, mighty, all knowing, omnipotent God who remains in control. So no matter what this country or this world throws our way, we can flee from doubt and rest assured that he has and always will be in control.
With Thanksgiving quickly approaching us, I thought I would take my next couple weekly posts to name a few of the many many things I am thankful for. I think it is very important and extremely healthy that we all take time each and everyday to tell the Lord and other people what we are thankful for. I know I can speak for myself when I say, all too often I spend time thinking about what others have and compare their lives to mine. Well let me tell you, that simply does no good for anyone. So I encourage you to tag along with me as I challenge myself to say my thanks each and everyday this month.
One of the things I am MOST thankful for is my church family. I attend Woodland Heights Baptist Church, and it has been my home for the past 19 and a half years. The people that fill it up each week are phenomenal. They are compassionate and kind. They are selfless and giving. They are prayer warriors and servants. When people ask me, “what is one thing that has made you the person you are today?” My answer is always, “my church.” My Savior, my pastors, my friends and my family that are members of the church have made me who I am. They encourage me when I doubt. They are there for me in trials. They lead me back on path when I spiritually lead astray. If I think about my life without any of those people… I simply can’t imagine it. So here it is, Lord, I am thankful that you saved me from my sin, and I am thankful that you placed me at Woodland Heights where I am embraced with a body of believers that challenge me and never leave my side.
What are you thankful for?