The God who has shepherded me all my life…

Genesis 48:15 “And he blessed Joseph and said, The God before whom my fathers Abraham and Isaac walked, The God who has shepherded me all my life to this day…”

Sometimes we don’t see God or sense Him. It’s blind faith to know that He is working. I’ve enjoyed Him so much as this hidden God lately. He is so humble, not showy in anyway. But He certainly cares for us and shepherds us in the smallest of ways, day to day, even when we don’t see Him.

At the end of Jacob’s life, he, as Israel, declares and recognizes that God has shepherded him his entire life. What a testimony of love and surrender. I’ve just enjoyed this tidbit today, and really wanted to share it. God is a hidden God, He works mysteriously, but He is working. When we look back on situations, we see how the Lord worked in it. In the current situations, we may not see, but that’s because we’re in it. We must have faith that He is working now, because we’ve seen Him work before. This is faith.

Hallelujah that God is working and shepherding us day by day, so we can truly say this God has shepherded us our entire lives. ❤

The Revelation of the Mystery 3/4

 

I waited a few weeks to post part three and I think that was a good choice, since a whole month has gone by to see the practice play out. Also, the last few weeks were hectic since school started back up, but it’s been well.

So! Section number one of the Southeast college training covered Morning watch. The second section covered the human spirit. And the third section of the college training covered Practicing the Two’s and Three’s/ Gospel Preaching (this post here!). Here we go….

Two’s and Three’s

Matthew 18:20 “For where there are two or three gathered into My name, there am I in their midst.”

The importance of having a companion to run the race with couldn’t have been stressed enough at the college training. It’s having someone to pray with, read the bible with, preach the gospel with, pursue the Lord with, etc. God designed the church life to be one of having two’s and three’s. It’s part of His church, to be grouped up in this way.

The importance of the two’s and three’s is to build up the church. So we find ourselves a prayer partner. Maybe another brother or sister our age. Maybe a third to join us. We start by praying for one another, the things that are on our hearts, our situations. Eventually we pray for the ones we are particularly burdened for. For example, with the group of girls I pray with, we pray for my step siblings. We pray for one of the girl’s classmates. The other girl’s siblings.

Then, we move. We get into action. We preach the gospel. Gospel preaching is part of the Christian life!

Matthew 24: 14a “And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole inhabited earth for a testimony to all the nations….”

It’s easier said than done, and there’s more on the matter of gospel preaching further down in this post. But for now I will leave it here and move on to the last and ultimate purpose of the two’s and three’s: once we preach the gospel, we care for the new believers together. We care for the fruit. We continue praying for them, and for each other. And that is how the church gets built up, by working with one another like this, in the two’s and three’s, to pray and act.

I have a little testimony concerning this matter. You see, I live in a locality with many sisters. Two of them are actually my age. The three of us are particularly close, and in desperate times we find ourselves praying together. But for the most part, we’re friends. And there’s nothing wrong with that except there is little building.

Over the years, I’ve asked the Lord about them many times. I prayed that the three of us would be built up. I prayed patiently and hopefully.

On the third day of the college training, one of those two sisters looked at me and said, “Anissa, will you be my prayer companion? We need to do this. We need to do this.”

I about fainted of happiness, but also immediately began praying inwardly. By much grace, the Lord is recovering His church. Starting with the two’s and three’s.

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Coffee and Jesus talk after the training ❤️

We came back home to Jacksonville and shared about the training with the third sister (who wasn’t able to attend the college training due to summer classes). We seriously outpoured to her for over an hour at a coffee shop, telling her every little detail that touched us from the training. And we told her how we needed companions. We needed the reality of the two’s and three’s. We had to put it into practice.

She was in. Hallelujah! We decided to get together once a week to read a chapter of the bible and to pray for one another. Since the three of our schedules are so different, we are taking it week by week. And it’s been so sweet. Praying together is becoming spontaneous. Lord cover all of this, because it’s been wonderful. We are starting small and praying for the Lord’s leading.

Gospel Preaching

The other aspect of section 3 was the matter of gospel preaching. Preaching the gospel is so hard for me. I get nervous. I get fearful that whoever I try to talk to will reject it. My mind goes in zig zags. What if they think I’m weird? What if they laugh at me? What if they think I’m really weird? What if they don’t care? Nah, better not.

But what I learned at the college training is that every man was made to contain God.  As Christians, we were commissioned by God to proclaim the gospel, too. And we cannot be fearful of doing this when we have the very God within us.

1 Timothy 2:3b-4, “God, Who desires all men to be saved and to come to the full knowledge of the truth.”

Mark 16:15 “Go into all the world and proclaim the gospel to all the creation.”

The week at the training though, I was so overflowed that I kept thinking, “How is it that many people don’t know about God in this way? Everyone needs to know this! The Lord Jesus is so sweet and His heart’s desire is so endearing. We have to spread the good news!”

It’s easier said than done. Still, even though I really wanted to share Christ, I was nervous. So at the college training, they gave us a chance to practice. We went out on the campus to preach the gospel and I was paired up with a girl who was quite comfortable with it, so I followed her lead. She was doing really well (I was quiet), until it started raining. And it poured. We were hidden beneath a tree to keep from the downpour, and this random girl just walked up to us on her way to class. She offered to walk us to our destination, since she had an umbrella. So we were trapped with her under her umbrella and as we were walking, she asked us what we were doing on campus that day. We told her, “So we’re handing out these little tracks. We’re just Christians who love the Lord. There’s even a Christian Students club here on campus if you’d ever like to join. All its info is on this little track.” She was friendly, took the track, and acknowledged that she wasn’t interested, but that she’d read it and consider it. And she walked with us!

That was painless, I thought. Sure, she wasn’t open, but we did what we could and that counts as preaching the gospel.I felt refreshed just by speaking forth Christ. It’s called “preaching the gospel,” not “preaching and it doesn’t count unless they receive it gospel.”

The next day, some of the girls and I went to get coffee during our break. On the way back to the dorms, we spotted a girl sitting on a bench with a book. My heart started pounding and I told the girls that we needed to go give her a track or something. I didn’t know what to do, I just knew we had to do something!

One of the girls went with me, the other two walked on praying for us. We introduced ourselves to the girl on the bench, told her what we were on campus for, then gave her the track. She only smiled and the next thing I knew, I was telling her, “We’ve been enjoying that the Lord as the Spirit wants to dwell in our human spirit!” Outpour! She thanked us, said she’d said read the track, and we went on our way. Again, not fully open, but we were both overjoyed to have shared with her! That was preaching the gospel and wow, it felt good!

By myself, I couldn’t have done it. Really, truly, with all honesty I couldn’t have done it. I needed someone to go with me. That is why we need two’s and three’s. It is to have someone praying while you are speaking, and vice versa. Encouragement. 

Summing it up

I really appreciated that the church life was not meant to be done on our own. We need the other members of the Body of Christ. God wants a built up church and that building happens by getting to know one another, praying for one another, and pursing Him with each other. We can’t act on our own. That was what impressed me the most. And I love seeing it play out here with the girls and I. I love seeing it become real. God’s Word is so real. In the church life together, with all the saints, we are fulfilling His heart’s desire to reach mankind in this way, to spread His gospel, that man can finally get to know God and not religion.

Here are all of the messages from the Southeast college training: bit.ly/sect2016

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Revelation of the Mystery part 2/4

During this college training, I realized how important our spirit is and I appreciated it in a way I never had before! So this post is devoted to Morning Session One of the college training, The Human Spirit Revealed in Ephesians, which followed the Morning Watch session (see previous post).

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Four other college students and two of our serving ones from Jacksonville

 How awesome is our spirit

Zechariah 12:1 “Thus declares Jehovah, who stretches forth the heavens and lays the foundations of the earth and forms the spirit of man within him.”

Our human spirit is a wonderful thing. Here we see that God ranked the forming of our spirit with the creation of the heavens and the earth! Whaaat? So awesome.

John 4:24 “God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truthfulness.”

God gave us a human spirit to contact Him. Isn’t that amazing? It is the only organ we have to touch Him. We cannot touch Him with our mind or understanding. Those are the wrong organs. Praise the Lord for our human spirit, because through our spirit we can contact God, we get to know Him and there we are given the privilege to know what is on His heart.

Ephesians 1:17 “That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to you a spirit of wisdom and revelation in the full knowledge of Him.”

We must pray for a spirit of wisdom and revelation, so He can make known to us what is the mystery of His will, according to His good pleasure, which He purposed in Himself! (Eph. 1:9)

The Bible with our spirit

All these Bible verses right? Side note, I really appreciated the Word during this week. It reveals SO much. It is God’s very breath (2 Tim. 3:16). We need to be those who are hungry for the Word. The Bible is the “train track” that guides our Christian life and the exercise of our spirit is the fuel of the “train.” They go together! So hallelujah for our spirit and the Word!

How He contacts us

I also appreciated that our human spirit is the way God speaks to us. Our spirit is composed of three parts: our conscience, fellowship and intuition. Our conscience is the leading part of our spirit. We need to take care of our conscience, confessing our sins (1 John 1:9) and claiming the blood He shed for us to take away our sins. Then the way for fellowship is clear. And so, He can reveal things to us, guide us and lead us by His Spirit in our spirit. It’s a lot to know and understand, but we can only comprehend in our spirit!

Our growth in life takes place in our spirit

When we received our salvation, God came into our spirit. We received His life. We were regenerated. His life is now in us! We don’t need to worry if we’re growing. Growth in life is spontaneous.

Matthew 5:45 “Be perfect as your Heavenly Father is perfect.”

That sounds impossible! Be perfect? We fail every day, hour by hour! But what exactly makes this possible? Because, it’s in the Word. So it must be true.

Your Heavenly Father.

He’s your Father, and so, you have His life, His DNA. The life will work itself out. God doesn’t worry about our growth because it’s spontaneous! It will happen. It’s in our genes. Just like physical life. It’s so mysterious, but wonderful!

Conclusion

I was so impressed and refreshed with all of this. I think we all were. The girls from my locality and I kept looking at each other like, “What?! He is living inside us?! And we have everything we need?! Mind Blowing! How have we never seen this in all its light before?!”

Before the foundation of the world, God chose us in Him (Ephesians 1:4). By name, He called us. I was so touched at the sweetness of our God. He said, “I am choosing you, because I want to contact you too. I want you to be a part of my church, my dwelling place. I want to make home in your heart. I want that relationship with you. I want you to be my expression. I want you.”

That’s why I appreciated my spirit so much. His choosing was not an accident, as I sometimes fall to think. He really, really chose me. His choosing is absolute, no changing His mind!

Ephesians 3:17 “That Christ may make His home in your hearts through faith, that you, being rooted and grounded in love.”

It is by faith that we receive and believe all of this. His motive for all of this is His love for us. He gave us a way to contact Him. By exercising our spirit, simply calling on His name, we receive Him. It’s all there in our spirit. It’s all there. It’s all there.

All of the messages from the Southeast College Training: http://bit.ly/sect2016

 

 

 

 

The Revelation of the Mystery part 1/4

The Southeast college training wrapped up 3 days ago. It was such a wonderful time in Athens, GA. It was real, deep, sweet and profound. There was so much we got into and I want to share endlessly, so I decided to share about it in four parts. Each part is according to the four sections we got into:

  1. Morning Watch (this post will be devoted to this section)
  2. The Human Spirit Revealed in Ephesians, or Life
  3. Two’s and Three’s, or Gospel Preaching
  4. The Revelation of the Mystery, or Christ and the church

So here I go! The morning watch/revival sessions were wonderful. As usual, I arrived to the training with a defeated demeanor. I wasn’t looking forward to the inward fights, as it usually happens for every conference or training I attend. The enemy is so mean, but Christ is victorious!

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My two sisters & companions for the week!

Song of Songs 1:2 “Let him kiss me with the kisses of his mouth! For your love is better than wine.”

We start with this. Song of Songs is one of those books. It depicts a believers pursuit of the Lord. No matter how hard I don’t want to give in, this book gets me every time. I knew what the Lord was already doing at this college training. He was trying to melt our hearts for Him. But I was cold and cynical, and it wasn’t until day 3 of Morning Revival that I surrendered and melted for Him. The brother shared that we have to trust the Lord. We cannot have unbelieving hearts toward Him. God needs to tear down our walls! He is the most trustworthy person in the universe! He is just waiting for us to turn. John 10 talks about how no one can snatch us out of the Father’s hand. He will never leave us! We have to believe this! Our morning times with Him are so special and precious! We must be simple and see that God loves us so much!

One of my concepts that was shred to pieces was my approach to morning time with the Lord. I always tried to follow one method. I felt that if I didn’t read my bible in the morning, it did not count as “morning revival.” BUT, the goal of morning revival is to touch the Lord! Just appear before Him. Just say, “Lord, here I am.” Believe it. It is not a feeling. It is a fact that when you come to the Lord, He is there. He doesn’t make it hard. He is not that kind of Person. Oh, how He looks forward to seeing us every morning in such a personal way! Just come to Him, pray over a couple verses, if even that. The goal is simply to touch Him.

Back to Song of Songs. He wants us to kiss Him. What a sweet and personal relationship, right? The Lord wants to be our lover. He wants to get to know us in this way. In these morning times, we build our relationship with Him. The more time we spend with Him, the more we get to know this wonderful person. It’s like going on a date with Him every morning! He wants to show us what is on His heart. So sweet. So we just need to spend time with Him. Pray, call His name, let Him satisfy you. Then, linger. Once we feel “good” we shouldn’t leave. We inquire as to what is on His heart. Maybe He wants us to pray for someone. Maybe He touches something on our heart. He wants us to ask Him about Him. How intimate! This is heart melting. The God of the universe wants to have this kind of relationship with man.

I enjoyed that we need to be simple with our time with Him. It’s so important and also very sweet to touch Him in the mornings like this. Then we stay with Him all day. It’s an endeavor. Every morning won’t be “steak and eggs.” Some may be a “protein bar.” The point is to keep contacting Him. We have a human spirit to contact Him (John 4:24)! So we pursue. We endeavor. This is the foundation of our relationship with the Lord and the foundation of our Christian life. These are the moments we get to recall with Him. Just the building of our personal relationship with Him.

Here are all of the messages from the Southeast college training: bit.ly/sect2016

Inviting the Lord

I  want to share about school and God’s hand in it.

But first, here is the story behind what I want to share:

I was a declared Nutrition major since my Senior Year of high school. It was an interesting field, I was overwhelmed, but I wanted to do it. I went through a year and a half of college before lots began to change. In January of 2015, I started having many doubts about my choice in major. This was not so much in a negative sense, but I was being pulled in the direction of Writing and English. I was quite annoyed to say the least, because I was three quarters of the way to finishing my Nutrition prerequisites and I wanted that Nutrition degree badly.

That Spring semester I had begun Anatomy and Physiology 1. The class made me feel like I was constantly running into a brick wall, falling backwards, trying again, limping away, again and again. Science classes overall were hurting me. My lifelong hobby of writing accelerated in response. As classes became more difficult by the week, I began to write more. The more I wrote, the less stress I would feel. This went on for a few months until it was plain for me to see I was desperate to pursue English instead.

That is where my pride came in. I didn’t want to “give up” on Nutrition. I liked it too much, always received good responses from others when I told them I was a Nutrition major, and I vividly remembered my high school English teacher telling us that, “English majors are a dime a dozen.” I didn’t want to be ordinary or boring. I didn’t want to be that student who changed their major. So many internal arguments like these took up the rest of 2015.

I remember what my first A&P 1 professor told me in March 2015, when I went to withdraw from her class. She said I needed to enjoy my college experience and not go through it miserably. If I wasn’t enjoying it, something was wrong. I loosely listened to her, because if I fully listened then, I would have had to acknowledge a change in major. It was already a small failure, having to take a class over again. I didn’t want to start over completely. So I only nodded my head.By the end of the year, I had taken A&P 1 twice. I was ready to begin A&P 2 in the Spring, my last prerequisite semester, but by then I was miserably burnt out and hating college.

In January 2016, a whole year later, I began the semester absolutely certain I didn’t want to study Nutrition after all. This is not because I disliked it. In fact, I really, really like Nutrition. I like eating healthy, cooking with others and helping others enjoy the food they eat. But there was a block. I prayed by myself and with others and the answer was clear. It was not “English,” however, it was much better.

I want to share that in my fogginess of the future, I enjoyed Christ as my answer.

I was certain that with months, weeks and days of praying, Christ only wanted me to pick Him. Simply put, He doesn’t care which major I pick, as long as I am open to Him, as long as He can gain more of me, as long as I give my future to Him. My future is in the Lord’s hands no matter what! Whatever course of study I pick will flow right back to Him because I have given myself to Him.

In the Fall, I will begin my Bachelor’s program at UNF. I’m an English major, I love the Lord and I gladly invite Him into all of my essays, readings, writings and more. I don’t want to study anything at all unless I have Him to go through it with me. It’s only anxiety when He is not a part of it. My education is for the Lord. I am so, so, so excited to begin school in the Fall, to study something I love and give it to the Lord, to say, “Lord, I love this very much but I love You more. I want to share this with You. I want to love You more through this. I invite You to this part of my life, this subject I really love, all to love You more and to experience more of You. Replace it with Yourself. I choose to do this with You.” 

Nothing and Something + Morning Time Notes ❤️

It’s been a while since I’ve posted on here! Fall semester was winding down to the last days, and immediately after finals, I got busy at work selling olive oil (what can you do?).

The last two months have been really sweet. I can’t say that it’s been eventful (I worked my full school break) but my days have been sweet.

And now I have started my Spring semester with Anatomy and Physiology 2, and Speech.

Lately, I’ve been enjoying so much of the Word! Waking up and turning to the Lord is not easy but I’ve been practicing a few things to make it better:

1. I believe that I am touching the Lord.

2. I pray over the Word. Usually I pray according to Romans 8:6, “Lord, I set my mind on the Spirit this morning!”

3. I remember that the enemy wants to break the fellowship between the Lord and I, so I am aware of all my distractions and give them to the Lord.

4. I tell the Lord I love Him. Over and over again. He loves to hear this! “Lord Jesus, I love You!”

5. I don’t promise my time to Him. I simply pray, “Lord, I’m here right now but I can’t promise the next two minutes or the rest of my day. I give You this moment now because I’m here now. Cause me to come back every hour of my day.”

These tips are adapted from what was spoken at the NCT this past summer. They’ve helped tremendously! So, spending time with the Lord in the Word has been sweet.

The other day my boss made a joke. He asked me what was new in my life. I said, “Nothing much,” and his response was, “Well at least you’re consistent!” We laughed over this because it’s probably true, but I wasn’t bothered at all (I’m pretty close with my boss and we crack jokes all the time). My days may not be eventful but Christ has been in each one of them, by His mercy, and I’ve so enjoyed that.

Playing off of this “not much is going on” notion, change is in the air for me! All this nothingness is leading up to something!

I will be finishing up at my college this May and will transfer to the University of North Florida in the Fall. I can’t believe the time is already here! Already three years into college and now it’s time to start my Bachelors. It’s exciting and nerve wrecking.

And with regards to my major, there has been another change. I have much peace to do it and I want to share about it here but I need time to figure out how to put this into words and post it. I sense the Lord in this decision. I can’t plan my future because my future is determined by the Lord. I’ve consecrated my life to Him so my own plans I cannot follow if He is leading me to something else and showing me other things.

So, I just follow Him. 🙂

I hope whoever is reading this benefits from the points on touching the Lord in the mornings! It has helped me so much. The points were adapted from the “Morning Watch” portion of the NCT messages here:

http://www.ageturners.com/audio-for-2015-national-college-training-gods-ageturners/

Giving the Lord the Preeminence…

This past weekend was the Southeast College Conference in Atlanta, Georgia.

Let me tell you, the two weeks leading up to this were rough. I had officially given up and I didn’t know how to pray. Things came up that really put a dent in me.

So I got to the conference with no requests in me to the Lord. I just went. And I don’t know how to convey it to you, but it was really sad how I went. I was discouraged and emotionally beaten up. I was limp and I just asked the Lord for mercy, with no words.

And then the conference began. Singing is always nice. It’s a good way to push out your spirit. I enjoyed the singing and seeing all my Southeast College students whom I love. They were smiling. They all looked happy to be there.

Then came the messages and I sat there, all discouraged, but slowly my spiritual battery was recharged.

I didn’t go to this conference with any intention to change. None of that, “This time, I will do better!” No expectations to get a “high” to take back home. In fact, I was afraid of that. I don’t want to live a “conference to conference” church life, and I didn’t want to pretend my circumstances and issues back home didn’t exist. But the Lord knew (through all my silent thoughts I didn’t even pray to Him) that I was suffering without asking Him for help and He came to the rescue. That just softened my heart so much and I repent now for being silent toward Him.

“Giving the Lord the first place” is a common saying in the Lord’s Recovery and I never got it’s full flavor until this weekend. The Lord wants to be our first love. Why, the church is His first love! It is what drives everything in His being to move on this earth! He just wants us to be simple and love Him firstly and only. To give Him the first place is to give Him the first love. We don’t give time to things we don’t love, do we? If we genuinely love the Lord firstly, we will give Him our time and the first place, the first decision and choice in everything. We need to simply say, “Lord Jesus, I love You.” Speak it by faith and speak it into being.

A point made this weekend was that God will never turn His back on you. And if you think that is not the case, it’s that in these times of losing the Lord’s presence, we have turned our back to Him, because we are loving something else, we are giving something else our attention. He is literally looking at the back of our head and we all know how difficult it is to talk to someone if all we have is the back of their head! We need to turn our hearts to Him, we need to turn back around and then we will be face to face with Him. This exposed me to see how guilty I am of turning my back to Him, too many times. Oh Lord. Lord Jesus, I love You.

God is always there. He will never forsake or desert you (Hebrews 13:5). We need to believe this. This is a FACT, it is His written word. We just need to stand on its truth. His Word is our solid foundation.

Specific points that stood out to me were: We need to give the Lord the first place by praying, by loving the other members of the Body of Christ (as He loves each and every one of us), by taking Him as the fountain of waters (John 4:14 “But whoever drinks of the water that I will give him shall by no means thirst forever, but the water that I will give him will become in him a fountain of water gushing up into eternal life.”) and by continually coming to Him.

I’m thankful to have gone this past weekend and spent time with the other college students. A conference is merely a reminder that you are not running the race alone. It is a reminder. It is a refresher.

Something a brother shared this weekend is that the Lord engaged us to Himself (Hosea 2:19). So let’s not live a disengaged life. Let’s not waste time loving other things that will never love us back. God loves us (2 Corinthians 5:14) and we need to believe this and let Him win us over by His endearing love, that we may love Him firstly and therefore give Him the first place in all things.

A few of the Jacksonville college sisters and I.

A few of the Jacksonville college sisters and I.

And my writing adventure begins…

I have been looking forward to starting my creative writing class up until an hour before it started.

I did not see that coming.

I waited on the bench outside the classroom, re-writing my class notes for anatomy and my stomach was doing these flips. I thought about chickening out and going home.

But I remembered all the times in my life I’ve gotten that flippy feeling in my stomach. Those decisions turned out to be the best ones, the ones I never regretted.

I think what scared me the most was being in a room with people who liked to write. Some who may be taking themselves seriously and I’m just this passionate amateur. It’s intimidating. I thought about handing in work to my professor and having him read it. No one’s ever read anything of mine before. And the thought that he’d be giving me feedback, too?! I couldn’t handle it without feeling flippy and squeamish.

I’ve thought a lot about writing this past year. I’ve thought about what it means to me. It’s not just an outlet but it’s a way to make sense of everything I see or experience. I hardly journal but I create characters and let them confront feelings and situations. I write stories based on experience, but it’s only ever about the theme.I’m not this weird, writing hippie, I promise. Writing has been a fun hobby I’ve had since I can remember. I’ve done it simply to create.

So I walk into class and my professor is a middle aged man dressed oh so properly with dress pants and a sweater vest.

I sit, my body on “fight or flight” mode, feeling my eyes prick with tears and I don’t know why. It’s so dumb, right? Maybe I am too happy to be there or too scared to be there. So dramatic, Anissa. I have no explanation for my almost tears.

He gives the students who aren’t yet present a few extra minutes to get to class. And finally, when he decides to start, we make eye contact and in an authoritative voice he asks, “How are you doing today?”

When the whole class answers, “Good,” in unison, he looks at them all and says, “Hey, I wasn’t asking you all. I was asking this young lady.”

I think that calmed me down a lot. I told him I was doing well, with this nervous smile, and he’s wondering if I’m always happy or I’m just nervous. I tell him, “Both.”

Then he went around and asked others students how they were doing. He kept is casual. To this kid, Michael, he asked him, “What’s your story, man?”

When Michael starts telling him what year he is in and why he’s in school, the professor shut him up and asked him for his real story. Michael stared blankly.

Anyway. I was calm. I sat at my own little island desk as a spectator. And my professor starts talking about writing in general. “In this class, I’m going to ask you to write what you know. Write from experience. If I ask you to write something and then ask you what the story is about, don’t give me the summary. Don’t regurgitate it. There is something more. What’s the theme? What’s the purpose of even writing it? Write from experience. You’re going to put down on paper what you feel or see or think and make it great. Write what you know.”

I can’t even tell you how this got to me (Am I a complete weirdo yet?).

He went on for the rest of the class. I was all ears. He said he was keeping the semester casual, imaginative and exciting. We are each only allotted to write one death scene (as means of an ending) this semester. We are expected to show and not tell. He wants us to write something we could polish and be proud of. We are expected to realize the importance of our voice in our writing. “There’s a moment or a mood,” he explained, “that is based on something.”

I don’t plan on taking off and starting a writing career, it’s only a hobby, but I did appreciate everything he shared. The wheels in my head were turning so fast.

I don’t know what my purpose is for sharing this except to say that for the first time ever, I’m actually going to write for something. Writing for the sake of the art, as my professor put it. And I’m excited and freaked out! I don’t even know. I’m just glad to have this chance to face my fears and be an honest writer, not just write to do something in my free time.

So, my final words are to say that my semester is going well and of course, I’m excited. I’m excited for this mini writing adventure.

Conversations with the Lord

The Labor Day Conference was one week ago, but it feels like months ago with how busy I was this past week. Events were cramped into mere days, giving the illusion of a much lengthier time having gone by.

I went back to work and one of my boss’s came home after eight long months of business travel. I studied more bones for my Anatomy and Physiology class. I also took my first test for that class and I rocked it, after putting in hours of studying. I spent a day with a sister and her baby from my locality. I had some phone appointments. I went to the college meeting and a home meeting. I had a hardcore sleepover with the college sisters after what seemed like months of not spending time with them. And then I got sick with a head cold which is not fun and only made my illusion of time get even more out of alignment by slowing me down. I had to miss the table meeting and work today, too, which totally bummed me out.

All this chit chat is to share One Person that really encouraged me the whole week. I was overwhelmed with all I had planned to do by looking at my scribbled planner, but I completely rested in the Lord. I enjoyed so many conversations with Him in the car and had the realization that He is my best friend. It just made me happy! When I was stressed, I told Him. When I was happy, I told Him, too. I’m not sure how I juggled my week but it went along seamlessly. My morning times with Him in the bible were short but sweet. I just approached Him as a Person and not as God all the way up in the heavens. He is a Person and you can have conversations with a Person. You can share your heart with Him and tell Him all that you long for. You can tell Him your worries, but know that He is going to take care of them for you (Matthew 6:25-34). I think I enjoyed that the most: sharing my concerns with Him, not in a hopeless way, but in a most hopeful way, hoping in Him, knowing by faith that He was in control and going to handle my situations. It was overall a wonderful week with my dear Lord Jesus, and a long week, too! I guess that was just extra time with Him. 🙂

Praying for a wonderful week for whoever is reading this. 🙂

Southeast Labor Day Conference 2015

I honestly look forward to Labor Day weekend all year. It’s the weekend of the annual Southeast Blending Conference here in Jacksonville, Florida! I get so excited when it comes around and I can’t stop smiling the whole weekend! It’s awesome to see all the precious saints of the Southeast and it’s so special to have my own locality host it!

This years conference was particularly special to me. It stands out to all the previous years. The topic was “Knowing and Appreciating Christ as the Slave of God and Serving as Slaves of Christ in the Church as the House of God, the Body of Christ.” One of the main points I enjoyed the most is also a good summary of the conference:

Christ as the Slave of God, our Slave-Savior, did not come to be served, but to serve; He served us in the past, He still serves us in the present, and He is going to serve us in the future. (Mark 10:45; Luke 22:26-27; Luke 12:37).

I came to the conference most excited for the blending, but I was so thankful for the messages. It was a timely word to hear! I didn’t realize how worn down I was before this conference came around. It was a sweet time to have face to face time with the Lord, just to confess a lot that was on my heart and be washed by what was spoken.

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Christ came as One sent by God. He was absolutely one with the Father’s will, seeing it through all the way. This slave of God is our Savior! And He is our pattern! I was touched to see that He only wants to serve us. We don’t have to do anything except believe into Him, have time with Him by enjoying Him through His Word, and spontaneously, He will have the way to serve others through us. It is not that He will cause us to start serving and doing good deeds for others, but it will be HIM in us serving others!

What I enjoyed most was the last message titled, “Every Slave of Christ Being a Full-time Serving One.” After the Team Reunion back in May, I had this grand goal to finish college and the FTTA to be a Full-timer! But, once we are saved, we need to realize that we belong to Christ! Galatians 2:20a says, “I am crucified with Christ and it is no longer I who live but it is Christ who lives in me.” Being saved is not the extent of the gospel and it is not the extent of God’s purpose with man. Just like the Lord Jesus served the Father His entire thirty-three and a half  years on this earth, so He desires from us to serve Him. But it wasn’t Jesus doing it by Himself. It was the Divine element, the Father, in Him being the capable one. So realizing this was amazing. I kept repeating to myself that I am a Full-timer, right now!

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The words “No longer” were repeated throughout the last message and that was so encouraging. I realized how exhausting it is to care and tend to my natural choices and interests. Me, me, me is so tiring! So what a relief that it is no longer I, but Christ! I don’t have to worry about myself anymore. Caring for the Lords interest first and having a heart that is absolute for the Lord will never wear you down. It only produces life. This is the way to be able to serve God full time. Just enjoy Him by reading and eating His Word (John 6:57), for the Word is God (John 1:1). Allow Him to serve you. Just let Him love you. He is the Person of love!

I pray that these nuggets don’t get lost as the months roll by. I am barely starting my Fall semester and I don’t want to lose sight of the Lord’s move and goal. College is draining and it’s hard and it can be discouraging and I can keep complaining about it and only get more worn down. But as long as Christ stays in view as the #1 and only goal, all my other needs will be taken care of (Matthew 6:33).

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So amen, amen! I’m looking forward to a southeast college conference later next month and then the International Thanksgiving Conference, which will again be in Jacksonville! SO EXCITED for that! Praise the Lord!