All Natural: A Natural Girl’s Journey

A tribute to all my natural girls, enjoy : )

Just a little something I wrote to remember the journey…

-thatgirlisme

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What If I Told You…

OMG i’m so glad to finally write to you in this new year. you won’t believe what has happened to me in the past three months…

What if I told you i was living in my parents house and because i couldn’t pay the bills i became the help and they treated me horribly; until one day i got to go to this dance and i danced the night away with the cutest boy there…

What if i told you my grandma took sick so i went on a trip to her house and i was kidnapped by this guy named “Wolf!” He had the biggest hands and teeth I’d ever seen, but don’t worry I got away…and my grandma’s fine.

What if i told you I ran away with seven men (none of which had any interest in me) because had a broken heart; so i drank a serum that put me in a deep sleep and the only reason i’m awaken is because my “prince” rescued me with a kiss.

Ok well none of that actually happened, I’ve been watching a little too much ‘Once Upon A Time’ on ABC (if you haven’t seen it, you totally should). Just wanted to say hello and be encouraged today is not your yesterday and tomorrow will be better than your today…

I hope your 2012 is filled with dreams that become a reality, potential that becomes purpose, and sorrow that becomes joy. i hope you have moments that only exist in fairytales and when people say “its impossible” always say “thank you.” i hope more than anything you allow God to reveal his love to you, and then in turn, you reveal it to others.

Be love. fun. self-sacraficing. flexible. courageous. contagious. inspiring. peaceful. true.

Be everything you’ve always wanted to be. Be you.

No one can walk in your shoes, but you.

-thatgirlisme

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A Little Longer

Ever had one of those moments you never wanted to end? for me it was my senior year playing at the GT arena in the state tournament. we eventually lost, so that moment ended, but i can remember walking out onto the court hours before the game… the air was charged with excitement and anticipation, i mean i can even remember what it smelled like. I never wanted that moment to end.

We’ve all had moments like that… i’ve had nights with girlfriends (and boyfriends) where i’ve wanted to literally freeze time. i’ve have big moments like graduations and births and even small moments like road trips or dinner with my family that i’ve wanted to play again and again like Adele’s “Someone Like You”.

There’s something about it,  you can’t explain it… you can’t recreate it… you can’t even put a pricetag on moments you wished would last a little longer… honestly, last forever.

And as much as i’d like to admit i’ve shared more “a little longer” moments with friends and family in the natural than i have with Jesus in the supernatural. but yesterday i was reminded how great it is to constantly be in the presence of God. i didn’t want to leave… i wanted to stay… a little longer.

A little longer with the One who “so loved me that He gave His only son…” (John 3:16)

A little longer with the One who says “my grace is sufficient for you…” (2 Cor. 12:8)

A little longer with the One who is Holy… (Psalm 7:13)

A little longer with the One who has known me from the beginning… (Psalm 139)

A little longer with the One who makes me new, who doesn’t count my wrongs against me, who loves me and wants the best for me–even more than i do.

In Genesis 32 it says Jacob wrestled with God til daybreak. verse 26 “the man said, ‘let me go, for it is daybreak’ but Jacob replied, ‘I will not let you go unless you bless me.’” jacob wanted just a little longer moment. it goes on to say Jacob named that place “Peniel”saying “it is because I saw God face to face, and yet my life was spared.” jacob’s name was then changed to Israel and he walked with a limp after the struggle.  Just a little longer with Him will change your destiny, it will change your walk.

Ready for this… in the Old Testament within the Israelites camp the presence of God dwelt in the Tabernacle–and within the Tabernacle were rooms and in the inner most room was the Holy of Holies where the presence of God actually was. No one could enter that room except for the priest once a year to offer a sacrifice for the people’s sin. And even within the Holy of Holies there was a veil  that separated God’s presence from man. it was a big deal to encounter the presence of God in the OT.

But unlike Jacob in the Old Testament we no longer have to wrestle with God for him to bless us and unlike the Israelites we have full access to the face and the hand of God through Jesus Christ, Amen! The moment Jesus gave his life as the ultimate sacrifice He paid the price for your sin and mine–and that veil physically ripped in the Holy of Holies. God desires a little longer with you today.

So today as you pray a little longer, sing to Him a little longer, get in the Word a little longer, keep your mouth shut a little longer, serve a little longer, love a little longer, keep the peace a little longer. Remember that Jesus made it so you never have to leave His presence… and well your “a little longer” can be a little longer–as in forever. I’m telling you there’s nothing like staying, being, and living in the presence of God a little longer.

I’ve posted some songs this morning that will hopefully take you into the secret place and well… I hope you stay a little longer today : )

Click on the links below, enjoy:

Here In Your Presence — New Life Worship

Holy — Kim Walker & Jesus Culture

A Little Longer — Jenn Johnson

-thatgirlisme

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Trust Me…

The older I become the more I find the Holy Spirit convicts me in the times that I least expect it rather than an emotion filled altar call after an awesome message at church. In fact to me, in the past my response to Him in the quiet moments when I’m alone and can choose to listen or ignore him have been the most life changing thus far…And yesterday was one of those days.

It was about six o’clock in the evening and I had just woken up from my nap, I wasn’t in prayer mode, I hadn’t been listening to any worship music, I was actually still half asleep and contimplating rolling over and taking another nap, when a thought crossed my mind…

“You can trust me.”

It wasn’t profound, it didn’t come with thunder and bolts or in a burning bush, but a simple whisper, “You can trust me.” Now my first self-centered, stubborn response was to argue with God. “What do you mean? I trust you.” And I immediately starting rattling off things to prove to the God of the universe that I trusted Him. I read the Word, I’m a faithful tither and I serve tirelessly in my church, I pray for my friends and family’s needs… the list could go on.

At this point I felt this lump rising in my throat, it’s kinda hard to argue with the God who knows your heart and all your thoughts, right? Still the simple whispers continued, “You know all the right things to say to everyone else and you trust and believe and pray for everyone else. ” and I again I felt compelled to yet again try and proved that I trusted Him. “God I trust you. I do all theses things for you, because of you.”

This is quite possible my favorite line that came next, “I give people rides when I don’t have gas, because I trust you’ll provide.” Have you ever said something so silly in an argument, that when it came out it invalidated everything. Now if you’re thinking that’s a serious thing to trust God for (esp. with these gas prices), and you’re right. But I have found myself saying that to prove to myself that I trusted God when in actuality I knew I had backup cash flow and parents to get me out of any real binds. Did I really trust Him? And then yet another whisper:

“You trust you.”

And there it was, the straw that broke the camel’s back. At this point I was like a little kid that got caught writing on the wall… all I could do was cry. I didn’t cry because He read my mail (He already knew), I was slightly embarrassed and truthfully I cried because I was reminded how much I am always in need of Him. I was wrong, but even in my failure, He still trusted me, He thought enough of me to wake me up and correct me.

See I had gotten so tired of prayers that went unanswered (or not answered the way that I wanted) that I stopped praying for the things that were closest to my heart concerning me. In my own mind if I didn’t pray for what I wanted and never got it, that was ok… I hadn’t prayed for it anyways. I had this box of secret desires of my heart  but I refused to trust God with them. If I prayed about it I am signifying to Him that He’s in control and that He could have it. Give somebody else control? Not usually my MO… I never stopped believing that God was able for anyone else, but I couldn’t believe that He was able, or even willing to for me.

Things that I felt impressed upon my heart months ago, years ago to pray for concerning my life I couldn’t bring myself to do it… things like my husband/marriage, my dream job, my character flaws lol. I remember so many times starting to pray and telling myself not to. Now of course I had talked myself into thinking like this because I was choosing to not bother God with my minor wants or protecting myself from a possible NO, but in reality it was simply I didn’t think I could trust Him with the things I wanted most.

So I began to pray and that was a hard moment for me. I know that I can never please him without faith and the door could never be opened if I didn’t knock.  To some of you you’re probably thinking, “duh, I can’t believe she’s still working on this?” And you might be right, but I think I’m a lot like most Christian, full of head knowledge and half full of heart knowledge; I rather I’d be the opposite. If I only know two scriptures and believe them with all of my heart, its far better than knowing 200 scriptures and refusing to apply them to my life.

Today I don’t know who this was for, maybe it was just for me to lay down some stones and remember this place… but I doubt it. We all have things we want to hold onto or try and fix ourself, but He’s saying to you and me today:

“You can trust me.”

-thatgirlisme

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By Faith…

Coursey of Arvind Balaraman

Confession: Faith is hard for me.
I don’t know how many of you can relate to me, but having faith is hard for me. I’ve carried with me for so long a “show me” mentality and I was one of those kids in school that everything had to be written down in order for me to learn something.
Even with basketball, which I player for about 15 years of my life, I dreaded the end of the game if my coach had to call a time out and make up an impromptu play with out the white board. Coach could have told me a million times where to go, who to throw it to, but if he didn’t visually draw it out for me it became extremely difficult for me to understand and follow through with the play.
For so long, up until recently, that’s how I lived my Christian life. Sure I knew I was suppose to have faith, but within me war raged. My idea of trust was see first, hear second–which was absolutely contrary to how God desires his people to live. According to the Bible in Romans 10:17 it reads, “So faith comes by hearing and hearing through the Word of God,”  and also Hebrews 11:6, “And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exist and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.” So if our faith comes by hearing (not seeing) and if I don’t have faith I can’t please God… some thing had to change.
Minister Jason Hill of Word of Promise Ministries has been preaching the message of the Gospel of Jesus of Christ since 2006 and joins me today in answering the next three questions: 
1. What is faith?

Biblical faith is seeing things from God’s perspective. This faith is simply believing what God has done for us through Jesus Christ; which none of us have seen with our own eyes.

2. How does your faith grow?

The bible says faith comes by hearing the word (message) of (about) God (Christ). The more we hear the message of what God did for us through Christ Jesus, the stronger our faith will become.

3. Is faith about works?

The bible says that faith and faith alone in Jesus is the only thing that makes us right with God and at the same time the bible says that faith will always be accompanied by works (corresponding action that proves faiths existence). In other words if we believe something, there will always be action that comes, as a result, of that belief.

Minister Hill and his wife run a young adult home bible study every other Sunday at 3:30p in Ellenwood, GA. If you’re interested in learning more or have any questions you can email him directly at jasonphill28@yahoo.com

Your “Audacious Faith?”

Some of you may or may not be familiar with the new book, Sun Stand Still, by Steven Furtick. It’s a book about faith and praying prayers that seem impossible, like seeing the sun stand still. The more you hear the Word of the bigger your faith grows and the more your actions reflect seeming huge tasks. As the author of Hebrew wraps up chapter eleven he list an array of people of faith and their works:

“I could go on and on, but I’ve run out of time. There are so many more— Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, David, Samuel, the prophets….Through acts of faith, they toppled kingdoms, made justice work, took the promises for themselves. They were protected from lions, fires, and sword thrusts, turned disadvantage to advantage, won battles, routed alien armies. Women received their loved ones back from the dead. There were those who, under torture, refused to give in and go free, preferring something better: resurrection. Others braved abuse and whips, and, yes, chains and dungeons. We have stories of those who were stoned, sawed in two, murdered in cold blood; stories of vagrants wandering the earth in animal skins, homeless, friendless, powerless—the world didn’t deserve them!—making their way as best they could on the cruel edges of the world. Not one of these people, even though their lives of faith were exemplary, got their hands on what was promised. God had a better plan for us: that their faith and our faith would come together to make one completed whole, their lives of faith not complete apart from ours. (Heb. 11:32-40)”

Courtesy of Sun Stand Still Films watch Steven Furtick below about having audacious faith. Serious, watch it.

In case you missed the last three questions on the video, here they are again for you to think about:

  1. What is one area in your life that God is calling you to look ridiculous? To take a step of faith where you won’t neccisarily see immediate results?
  2. Why do you think many people give up on God’s promises before the payoff of the promise?
  3. What would it look like to orient your present life around at God’s vision for your future?
We’ve some how gotten away from the faith of our forefathers. It’s time we start developing our faith. Faith that is pleasing to God, constantly growing, and allows you to dreams impossible dreams.
 
If you’re interested in learning more about this “faith” I’d encourage you to start at the source, the Bible… everything you need to know and more. If you want to hear more of Steven Furtick or purchase your own copy of Sun Stand Still check out Sun Stand Still Youtube Channel or sunstandstill.org.
-thatgirlisme
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It’s Not Funny Anymore…

I have to admit I slept right through Saturday’s 6:00 supposed apocalypse ending; in fact I slept right through three time zones–Eastern, Central, and Pacific’s 6:00p–just to clarify. It was of no surprise to me that we were all still here, and I, like most was quick to make light of the subject via facebook status’ and/or twitter about #stillbeinghere.

As I read articles on the failed May 21 end of times and read tons of  hilarious tweets in response to Saturday I was reminded of what this life is really all about…

1. He’s coming back. Jesus will return, weather it’s five minutes from now, five days or five years from now. Even if May 21 was mans failed attempt to reign in the Messiah, our God cannot fail and He promises His return. In John 14:2-3, Jesus says, “In my Father’s house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am.”

2. The Good News is still good. The world you live in is still in need of a Savior. No matter how silly Saturday made Christians look, our world is still in need of what we have. Our God is still as real, as alive, as relevant, and as good today as he was before Saturday. There are still little girls in need of a daddy, marriages in need of a counselor, sick in need of a healer, and the broken in need of a restorer. Let’s not limit God by thinking we shattered his reputation, His credibility cannot be ruined.

3. Hell is no joke. Sure it may have been funny to poke fun of those silly Christians about this past Saturday that came and went… but the more I thought about it, the more I realize… it’s not funny at all. There’s nothing funny about my family members, friends, or even someone I’ll never even met spending an eternity in hell. That’s not funny. No, that’s not funny at all.

Courtesy of LifeWay Church

Think about someone close to you that hasn’t accepted Christ. Now, let’s all have a good laugh at the thoughts of them spending eternity in hell. Has it hit home for you yet? Is it still funny?

See it’s all fun and games until somebody gets raptured (ok that was funny, you can laugh at that). Here’s the deal, Harold Camping may have gotten it all wrong–date, time, etc, but I think his urgency to spread what he believed was truth was not all that off base. Maybe if we all spent less time on our facebook page and twitter page and more time spreading the good news with a little more “Camping” urgency, come our real “May 21″ we can laugh at the fact that #wewin.

Until the (real) end,

-thatgirlisme

If you’re interested in reading up more on the rapture or the response to Saturday’s events, check out my Google Reader which is a compilation of different (credible and not so) sources. Google Reader News Feed

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Save The Date…

Save the Date?

I have always jokingly said, “God please don’t come back before my wedding.” I don’t feel too guilty about confessing that to you, because I know you’ve thought it too.

But what if I told you, May 21, 2011 the trumpet would sound and the skies would part and Jesus would be on his way. Would you believe me? And if you did, what would you do?

I am most intrigued by people who believe they know the exact day and time of the Lord’s return. They are either really in tuned with God or really deceived, my guess is the latter.

And yet there are people who believe they know, yep according to wecanknow.com it’s gonna be Kirk Cameron’s Left Behind movie for real, May 21. Check it out the link below and read the article when you get a chance, very interesting.

Believers Warn Neighbors of Impending Doom on May 21

Matthew 24:36, says “No one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.” Are not His thoughts higher than our own, to think we could ever know what even Jesus doesn’t know seems a bit (whisper) blasphemous.

Honestly I’m not a fan of May 21 because that throws all my plans and dreams of marriage, sex, and family out the window. Ahem, I did say sex but only to shamelessly plug my upcoming blog on sex, be on the look out.

I could blog all day long about how wecanknow.com is all wrong and debate like most theologians on when Jesus will return, but why, what’s the point?

Will Jesus return? Yes. Do we know when? No.

This post today, is not really about answering those questions or getting to the bottom of this Bible mystery. The real question has little to do with a date and everything to do with your faith.

“Jesus answered, ‘I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.’”Will you be counted among us. And then are you taking it a step further, what are you doing to make sure the people around you are counted among us?

Heaven is real. Hell is hot. Jesus is coming, ready or not.

-thatgirlisme

*For more about our May 21 departure visit, WeCanKnow.com

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