Monday Inspiration 12.22.14

When I saw this quote the other day I was really inspired. Just one song can have multiple meanings to multiple people. People can interpret it using good memories or use it to comfort themselves in trials. People relate to things in different and unique ways. I thought about this in terms of worship songs. People suffering might sing a song with deep pain and confusion in their hearts. Other’s might rejoice over those same lyrics. I looked up some interesting verses in the Bible:

John 4:23-24 “It’s who you are and the way you live that count before God. Your worship must engage your spirit in the pursuit of truth. That’s the kind of people the Father is out looking for: those who are simply and honestly themselves before him in their worship. God is sheer being itself—Spirit. Those who worship him must do it out of their very being, their spirits, their true selves, in adoration.”

Psalm 57: 7-8 I’m ready, God, so ready,
    ready from head to toe,
Ready to sing, ready to raise a tune:
    “Wake up, soul!
Wake up, harp! wake up, lute!
    Wake up, you sleepyhead sun!”

Isaiah 61: 10-11 I will sing for joy in God,
    explode in praise from deep in my soul!
He dressed me up in a suit of salvation,
    he outfitted me in a robe of righteousness,
As a bridegroom who puts on a tuxedo
    and a bride a jeweled tiara.
For as the earth bursts with spring wildflowers,
    and as a garden cascades with blossoms,
So the Master, God, brings righteousness into full bloom
    and puts praise on display before the nations.

Exodus 15

20-21 Miriam the prophetess, Aaron’s sister, took a tambourine, and all the women followed her with tambourines, dancing. Miriam led them in singing,

Sing to God
    what a victory!
He pitched horse and rider
    into the sea!

Psalm 96

1-2 Sing God a brand-new song!
Earth and everyone in it, sing!
Sing to Godworship God!

2-3 Shout the news of his victory from sea to sea,
Take the news of his glory to the lost,
News of his wonders to one and all!

4-5 For God is great, and worth a thousand Hallelujahs.
His terrible beauty makes the gods look cheap;
Pagan gods are mere tatters and rags.

5-6 God made the heavens—
Royal splendor radiates from him,
A powerful beauty sets him apart.

Bravo, God, Bravo!
Everyone join in the great shout: Encore!
In awe before the beauty, in awe before the might.

8-9 Bring gifts and celebrate,
Bow before the beauty of God,
Then to your knees—everyone worship!

10 Get out the message—God Rules!
He put the world on a firm foundation;
He treats everyone fair and square.

11 Let’s hear it from Sky,
With Earth joining in,
And a huge round of applause from Sea.

12 Let Wilderness turn cartwheels,
Animals, come dance,
Put every tree of the forest in the choir—

13 An extravaganza before God as he comes,
As he comes to set everything right on earth,
Set everything right, treat everyone fair.

So you see. Worship comes in all forms. You can worship in times of depression and defeat and also in times of happiness and victory. The beauty of worship is authenticity. God doesn’t want you to fake your feelings. If you are sad, worship Him sad. If you are discouraged, worship Him discouraged. The Father wants your authenticity. He didn’t send His son so you can put up a good facade. He wants nothing hidden, nothing held back, good or bad.

Found on iwastesomuchtime.com

Judah Smith 10/17/14 “Home Sweet Home”

I was just feeling heavy-hearted. I feel like this once in a while and literally my internal voice will say to me “I want to go home”. It sometimes feels childlike to say that. Like I’m at work. Or I’m out doing something and for whatever reason I just want to go home. I was remembering today that one of the teachings during the Hillsong Conference touched on this very topic. I recorded the message for later use while listening to it live and today decided to listen to it again at my desk during my day at work. Just listening to Judah’s voice made me happy. It reminded me of the great time of preaching and worship during those three nights and two days. I often feel this way after events such as this and even after Sunday services at church. I just want to be in that place forever. I don’t want to go back into my stress or my “real life” during the week. I want to dwell there in those moments 24/7.

Have you ever felt this way?

I think it often comes when I am overwhelmed, non-confrontational, and just overall not in a happy place. We all go through times like this when we’d much rather be at home with the kids, or in bed, or snuggling up by a fireplace watching movies. Whatever your “home” image looks like. But today it dawned on me that what I really actually want is to be at peace, at home, with Jesus. Sometimes I just want to feel safe. I want to re-calibrate. I want to refuel. After listening to this message I don’t feel 100% night and day but I certainly feel better than I did before.

I hope this encourages you:

Major Points from “Home Sweet Home”:

  • Is my soul healthy? Is my soul well? Is it well with your soul?
  • Scripture says “Beloved, I pray that all may go well with you and that you may be in good health, as it goes well with your soul.” – 3 John 1:2 ESV
  • God is concerned with the inside far more than the outside–this is why the mind, soul, heart, and spirit are mentioned so much in the Bible.
  • Judah travels a lot and hates traveling and loves the feeling of relaxation and the natural exhale you let out when you are finally back home. This is something about being home because is your space and your sanctuary. You need to go home and you need to visit home often. People were designed to have homes – if you do not visit your home often it affects your personality, your emotions, and your overall health.
  • When was the last time my soul was home? How is my soul? In order to find out we have to go back to Creation.
  • Man was created as a shell/deactivated. When Adam was created there was no mention that he was human, alive, or living until he receives the breath of God. Genesis 2:7 KJV “And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.”
  • When you speak about your soul you are simultaeously speaking about the breath of God. We are all living on borrowed breath. Therefore your soul is the breath of God.
  • To be truly human we must use the breath He gave us and use it to bring Him praise–all of creation is a theater for God’s glory
  • All of creation yearns for Jesus’s return (hills, lakes, trees, etc) all understand they exist to worship God. The trees get it. Their limbs shake in excitement waiting for Him to come. They can’t wait. (This is a wild thought isn’t it?)
  • In scripture Jesus is told that he must make people stop praising Him. Jesus replies that even if a human won’t praise me–even the rocks and trees will grow hands and mouths to praise me.
  • Luke 19:37-38 “Right at the crest, where Mount Olives begins its descent, the whole crowd of disciples burst into enthusiastic praise over all the mighty works they had witnessed:

    Blessed is he who comes,
        the king in God’s name!
    All’s well in heaven!
        Glory in the high places!

    39 Some Pharisees from the crowd told him, “Teacher, get your disciples under control!” But he said, “If they kept quiet, the stones would do it for them, shouting praise.”

  •  Psalm 103 has 22 verses which is equivalent to 22 letters in the Hebrew alphabet..it’s the A-Z of life–beginning and ending with “bless the Lord”
  • The Hebrew mind would have read the Psalm and instead of merely understanding it to say praise the Lord oh my soul they would recognize that it is really saying “praise the Lord oh my breath”
  • Judah’s friend is a recent follower of Jesus. Was convinced of Jesus being the real deal when he read the book of John after seeing someone else was reading that book. He explained his experience as follows “it was like coming home” something within him knew this was home. This book was home. What it was saying was home.
  • You can go home even when you’re not physically in your home. This can be through reading the Bible, singing a song, listening to a song, anything that brings your soul home no matter where you are physically.
  • Concluding story of Mary and Martha—“Mary has chosen the better thing.” Perfect illustration because it takes place in a house. Mary is literally home but she is at home in Jesus’s presence. Luke 10:42 shows Jesus addressing the condition of Martha’s soul: “But the Lord answered and said to her, “Martha, Martha, you are worried and bothered about so many things; but only one thing is necessary, for Mary has chosen the good part, which shall not be taken away from her.”

So today no matter where you are, does your soul need to go home? I encourage you to take a moment whether it be in your bedroom, in a public bathroom, in a dressing room, or on your lunch break to visit home. Give rest to your weary soul. I can guarantee you will feel more rested than when you started.

Photo Credit: https://www.premierproductions.com/tour/hillsong-conference-usa-2014/new-york-city-ny

Monday Inspiration 10.27.14

I was unexpectedly approached about a job. Let me clarify that I’m not interested in another job. I am happy with my current job. I am not in a hurry to look elsewhere. I finally feel comfortable. This other offer was out of the blue and instantly I felt guilty and nervous for even reading the e-mail and eventually agreeing to meet over coffee to see if it sounded like something I would be open to interview for. Now I don’t know if this is going to amount to anything. I don’t know if this is a God thing. I don’t know what the outcome might be. I do however know that God will see my through no matter what the situation is.

An excerpt from Proverbs 3 MSG:

Trust God from the bottom of your heart;
    don’t try to figure out everything on your own.
Listen for God’s voice in everything you do, everywhere you go;
    he’s the one who will keep you on track.
Don’t assume that you know it all.

Psalm 32:8 NLT:

The LORD says, “I will guide you along the best pathway for your life. I will advise you and watch over you.

An excerpt from Isaiah 58 MSG:

Your lives will begin to glow in the darkness,
    your shadowed lives will be bathed in sunlight.
I will always show you where to go.
    I’ll give you a full life in the emptiest of places—
    firm muscles, strong bones.

In other words I don’t need to worry. Even though I didn’t ask for this potential opportunity I am not in this alone. I don’t have to accept it or reject it. I just need to ask for God’s guidance and remember that He has already gone before me. I need not fear.

Photo Credit: the-worship-project.tumblr.com

Tongue-Tied

Any time I have a weird dream that I think might have a deeper meaning now I write it down. I always found dreams interesting but I haven’t begun really looking into them biblically until I started this blog. Here is another exercise I’m doing today, live, as I type this to try to understand what God could be saying to me.

On 9/30/14 at 8:56 am on the bus to work I wrote this note in my phone after waking up from a dream earlier that day:

-My uvula was tied up and I couldn’t swallow, trying to swallow made me gag

-I had one watch hidden in each bra cup (weird), a watch in my front pant’s pocket, and one on my left wrist. I had a sense during the dream that I was hiding them so no one would be able to take them from me

-Each watch was worth $150 so that would mean I had $600 total

Now none of these things together made any sense but the fact that there were a lot of details made me feel like this was an important dream.

KEY FACTS:

The number 150 and/or the number 600

I had four watches

My uvula was bound

I remember how gross the feeling of my uvula was tied up in my dream. For those of you who don’t know what a uvula is, it’s that fleshy pouch that hangs in the back of your throat. Now imagine it’s bound up. Somehow is has gotten tied up inside of your throat. That’s pretty vile. Once I recovered from that memory I tried to find out what an uvula actually does. Sadly there is a lot of conflicting information on the internet on this body part. Some believe that it covers our nasal passage so our food/swallowing goes down our throat the right way. Some believe it assists in creating speech. I couldn’t find conclusive information on this overall, but it seems to be a part of the human body for a reason.

I tried to find some numerical definitions for 150 or 600. I didn’t have much luck with 150 (I only noticed one reference to the 150 years in the Ark during the flood) and so I turned my attention to 600 and I basically found out that Noah lived to be 600 years old and that the number 600 comes up a lot in war i.e. Goliath’s spear head weighed 600 shekels of iron, etc. Both numbers didn’t really help lead me to an explanation of why the number 150 was in my mind in the dream.

Lastly I tried to find some information about watches. Literally I know watches indicate the passing of time. Why did I have four watches though? I was wearing one on my left wrist. One was in my pocket, and two were quite literally down my shirt. How odd! Through researching online I came across a verse in Matthew 14 (verse 25) when Jesus walks on water. In some versions (KJV, ESV, NASB) it says literally “in the fourth watch of the night” to indicate  what time of the night Jesus appeared on the water.

“Jesus comes to His disciples in the fourth watch of the night. He comes when it is darkest. He comes after they have struggled for nine or ten hours. He comes to them not at the beginning of their struggle, but He comes to them at the end of their struggle. – Source: http://frjamescoles.wordpress.com/2009/08/09/why-does-jesus-sometimes-wait-until-the-4th-watch-of-the-night-9th-sunday-of-matthew/

The only thing I could really come up with is that I have passed a lot of time. I have waited for many things to come to pass in life and the fact remains that in the “fourth watch” Jesus appears. He will always come triumphantly when you think time has run out. Sometimes in our effort to stop time or hold on to time, we hold on to things that aren’t valuable. But even though at this time, I might be unable to fully speak, grasp, swallow what is happening–I can be confident that Jesus is still on time.

What do you think about my dream? Are there Biblical symbols I could have interpreted better? Do you have any insights?

Thursday Inspiration 10.23.14

correct

I located this image online a while back and I really loved that it challenged me to see things differently. Especially on Instagram there are a lot of trends in photography i.e. the infamous selfie. I like photographing and making memories even though my photos aren’t all that great–they make me happy. However a lot of people use Instagram to prove a point or to showcase their lives. There will be fashion bloggers posting themselves in various outfits, photographers posting lovely landscapes, men and women posting daily selfies, food lovers posting yummy dishes, and the list goes on. What’s cool about this quote is that it causes you to stop and reflect on your motives for posting pictures.

I definitely don’t want to point the finger at anyone but I think it could be a good exercise to look at the things you photograph most and see if that tells you anything.

  • Selfies – Are you worried about what you look like? Are you scared to get older? Are you unhappy with what you see in the mirror and like to get validation from others by posting only your best filtered image?
  • Significant other – Are you genuinely happy? Are you afraid to lose that person and take lots of pictures to hold on to the relationship? Are you posting lots of pictures as a way of showing your relationship off to your ex?
  • Food – Are you showing off how many times you go out to eat? Are you afraid of losing the persona you have online? Do you only go to places where you know it will be a good photo op?

Granted some of those projections as to why you might be doing something is far-fetched. I can’t imagine some people doing that—but I can’t discount that there are some people who might be. I’m not saying you can’t enjoy your life and want to share your passions and interests with people but it could be a good way to self-inspect. I think we should always be fruit-inspecting and making sure we aren’t looking for validation and placing self-worth in the hands of other people–especially fickle people on social media who could approve of you one day and turn on you the next. I always want to make sure that my grasp on temporary things is looser than my grasp on eternal things. I used to value relationships, friendships, a social life way higher than necessary and luckily that was before Instagram or I would be lathering the internet with my obsessions. Most of the time without even thinking I post things about my blog or a good Bible verse or church, or a hang out with my volunteer group or family. I’m not saying you can’t take a selfie because you’re having a great hair day that might never happen again, or you can’t take a picture of you and your S.O. because you’re just so in love…haha. But I think we need to be careful not to make idols of these things. There’s this part in the beginning of Isaiah 65 that says:

 “I’ve made myself available
    to those who haven’t bothered to ask.
I’m here, ready to be found
    by those who haven’t bothered to look.
I kept saying ‘I’m here, I’m right here’
    to a nation that ignored me.
I reached out day after day
    to a people who turned their backs on me,
People who make wrong turns,
    who insist on doing things their own way.

I never want to go back to how I was…overly needy for good friends, or a relationship, or a job, or whatever it might be. I can be grateful for those things but I never want to replace God with those things. I want to spend more time talking about Him or to Him than what I’m wearing or who I’m doing life with. Everything in moderation—but I never want to be moderate with God.

Photo Credit:http://www.boho-weddings.com/2013/07/02/365-happiness-project-quote-157/  image had a spelling error that I corrected in MS Paint. (Yes I’m crazy)

Pinterest

For those of you who Pin follow me on Pinterest! I pin fashion, travel, and all sorts of topics that you might enjoy

This is my favorite board for quotes for this site and I am in the process of making a new board for just blog inspirations and existing posts.

My Daughter is Here

Today has been a strange day. I woke up to volunteer for church early this morning and as I was straightening my hair I was thought-praying. The two things that were on my mind: my neck and my mom’s knee.

Several years ago, I was going to the chiropractor for adjustments. At the time I was working retail and on my feet a lot which would put a lot of tension on my neck and lower back. I had found out after an X-ray that the reason I had so much tension in my neck is because most people have a natural curve and mine doesn’t. I don’t know if I was born this way or what the reason really is. So I was pray-thinking about how cool it would be if God healed that. I was also thinking about my mom’s knee which is bone-on-bone. She doesn’t have cartilage left. She often says how God could grow her some if He really wanted. I don’t know why I was thinking about these things but all I remember is that instantly I felt like I was going to pass out. To the point where everything around me became pixelated. I immediately needed to lay down.

I don’t know if I’m just getting sick, or if it was some kind of Holy Spirit thing.

On and off I’ve just felt weird about the whole thing today. I’ve mentioned why before–sometimes because of “weird Christians” you become skeptical of anything supernatural. So often you see things like that abused. There’s definitely false prophets out there and people who fake moves of the Spirit for profit and for most of my life I’ve taken that sort of thing with a grain of salt. It’s not that I don’t believe it could happen, but sometimes I wonder what the point of it is. I fully believe God can heal but some of the things you see on TV or online where people are shaking like they are being electrocuted or laughing uncontrollably freaks me out. It looks like a scary movie. It looks demonic. It doesn’t look like how God would operate because to me God is gentle.

Has anything like this ever happened to you? I can totally see where the presence of God and His power on you can be too much for your body to handle and you might feel dizzy or faint or feel a surge of energy. But I can’t really find anything in the Bible about this.

Also during a promotional video for the A21 campaign, an organization fighting sex trafficking, I got the words “my daughter is here”. Now, I don’t know if God was merely telling me, His daughters are there. His children are there..and therefore our church backing this organization is a God thing because we are setting these people free by supporting the efforts there. Or if God was saying literally…my future daughter is there. Like in the future, I will adopt a girl from there. Out of sex trafficking in a literal way. Or if God was simply saying to me and over me during church that His daughter, me, was there.

I am a huge fan of these new ways God is speaking to me, but especially with the fainting incident I want a little context and would be 100% open for someone’s personal experience or Biblical counsel on it.