Tuesday, March 23, 2010

An Intimate Encounter

Last night I was able to have the most amazing experience I've had in a long time. I was journaling and having my quiet time when the Lord completely showed up. It had been at least a year since I had felt Him so near and so evident. I am definitely a music person and I relate to so many different genres and songs. Last night, however, I was listening to my Christian music playlist and every single song was revealing something amazing to me. So here are some of the songs and the messages I got. I hope and pray that it will encourage and strengthen some of your walks as well...

The first song I listened to was a song that Anthony Evans wrote especially for the family camps at Pine Cove Christian Camps. The summer he sang and brought this to camp I was the worship leader at the Woods camp and had the extreme pleasure of working with him and helping sell his merchandise each week. The song he wrote is called "Reflection of You". This song is from the eyes of a parent talking about their child but I think you can also look at it as a reminder of how we as Christians--those who are set-apart-- should be desiring to live. The chorus say:

"Let my first impression be,
Lord that you're alive and living in me.
And in all that I say,
and in all that I do,
God let my life be a reflection of you!"

What a wonderful yearning to possess. In a world where 'first impressions are everything'-- putting that importance of a Christian's first impression. It shouldn't be that we are good looking, or funny, or confident or popular... but rather it should be that the Lord, the creator of the heavens and the earth, the Great I AM, the beginning and the end, the one who was and is and is to come--is ALIVE. And not only that He is alive... but that He is alive and LIVING in us. In every word we say, in every thing we do ("whether we eat or drink or whatever we do"... 1 Corinthians 10:31) that we are reflecting the Lord and bringing all honor and glory and praise to HIM!
The next song that came up on my little ipod was "Pure" by Kari Jobe. Kari is an amazing woman and worship leader. Her songs take you directly to the feet of Jesus Christ and allow you to worship Him in an incredible way. This song says:

Your love is pure,
Your love is precious,
Your love is all I need.
Your love surrounds me,
Your love astounds me,
Your love is everything.

I run to You
when my heart is weak.
I cling to You- you’re all I seek.
It’s my heart’s desire, to be close to You.
Here in Your arms I find my strength.

Everything I want; everything I hope in.
Everything my heart cries out for.

This love she is talking about is true love. His love is pure. Not tainted by the world. Not abusive or jealous. Not controlling or inappropriate. It's good. It's biblical. It's the 1 Corinthians chapter 13 kind of love.. it IS patient and kind. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes and always perseveres. It rejoices in truth and is never failing. It ISN'T envious, boastful, proud, rude, self-seeking, easily angered, keeping a record of wrongs or delighting in evil. It is the desperation and realization that the Lord is the ONLY thing we need. He is the ONLY way of survival. The ONLY source of life. It is just a great reminder of the urgency and importance of having that intimate head over heels, 'I am my beloved's and He is mine', captivating type of relationship.

Lastly, I listened to "Mighty to Save" by Hillsong. This is, by far, one of my very favorite songs. It talks about how everyone needs compassion and forgiveness. I LOVE the chorus... it says:

"My Savior...He can move the mountains.
My God is mighty to save,
He is mighty to save.
Forever author of salvation,
He rose and conquered the grave.
Jesus conquered the grave!"

Our God is not just a made up deity. He is real and alive and He CONQUERED AND DEFEATED the grave!! How incredible is that? Death had no reign over Him. He overcame it. He can move mountains. That shows the great power He has. However, He is the author of salvation which shows the sovereignty and mercy He has as well. He loves us and rejoices in us. He is captivated by us. Girls... He thinks you are breath-taking. He is "enthralled by your beauty" (Psalm 45:11). He desires to pursue and love you. This is way better than any random blind dates or dating websites. He is real. He isn't trying to impress you and get your attention. He knows everything about you and in spite of your sins HE ..LOVES ... YOU!! Run to Him today and get to know your Beloved again. It is completely worth it--I promise!!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

My Life As I Know It

So, I finally caved and got one of these things. I absolutely love reading about the things my friends are going through and I thought, "why not share my life?" Is it the most exciting? No. Will people want to follow me to see what's going on? I hope so.

So what do I write about? This is my first post and it needs to be important. It needs to grab the audience. It needs to be fun. Interesting. Enjoyable. Well after I thought about what everyone ELSE would want to see... I thought I would start off with the changes that have occured in MY life the past year/year and a half. Where I was just months ago to what place I have come to. So here is my top list of things that I have experienced in the past 16 months.

1. I moved away from all my friends, the town I had spent the past 4 years in and (cue dramatic piano) dun dun dunnnnn... back home! I know I always said I wouldn't move back to Midlothian--and then I ate my words!

2. I began student teaching. It was more educational than the past four years of college but so great. I learned so much by being thrown into the mix rather than reading a book about what to do.

3. I graduated college!! All the trials, struggles and perseverance paid off and I have a 8''x11'' piece of paper that confirms that.

4. I became a certified teacher and landed a job as a third grade teacher... that soon changed to a first grade teacher.

5. I began working with the youth at FBC Midlothian. I have gotten the chance to pour into a group of high school girls lives and have become a leader in the worship team.

6. My sister got engaged! Her fiance' is an amazing man and she will be Mrs. Heather Carpenter on August 28, 2010!

7. My sister Lauren and I have the chance to go to Hawaii!! I will be sponsoring the Senior Trip to Lanai, Hawaii for 10 days in June. I know... I know... but its the least I could do for the children!

8. The Lord has blessed me with an amazing group of Godly women to share life with. I meet with six great girls every Wednesday morning at 6 a.m. that pray, encourage and pour into my life!

9. Two of my close friends became enagaged and got/will get married! Lacey met Scott and married him in December and Mallory and her long time best friend, Brandon, FINALLY realized what they were missing and fell in love. They will be getting married in June!

10. I have fallen head over heels and unconditionally in love with my Beloved! He has been the only consistent thing in my life and has captivated my heart these past few months. I am so excited to see what is going to happen and where He is going to lead me in the future!

Thanks for reading and following me! I look forward to sharing more of my life with yall!