I am going to Africa!!!!!

Video

I have been attending Bible School in Sweden (called Holsby- look it up, it’s an amazing place, and don’t be surprised when God calls you there!) and over Spring Break my closest friends and I have decided to go on a mission trip to South Africa.

There is one problem with all of this: we need help getting there! Can you help us? Watch the video, and if you feel called to give any money, or want more information, or anything, just email me at boyd454@hotmail.com

Thanks readers!
(I’m the one with the red headband)

Moments of Clarity

Standard

Every now and then I feel like God gives me a brief look into the way he sees things, and if I don’t write down what I know in those moments, and if I don’t record my thoughts right away, I lose it forever; it becomes merely a memory marked by the hazy thought that God showed me something once, I just can’t remember what.

 Image

Today, when I had one of those little realizations, I was able to write some of it down. Understandably, my small and uneducated words do not do justice to what it is I feel in my heart, and what I know is from my Father, but I will attempt to write what I came to understand.

 

While I was thinking about my relationship with the guys in my life, and what it is I truly want, I began to realize that sometimes all of that fluff and filler I talk about with them is just buying me time until I can pour out my heart to the person that I love. One of my heart’s deepest desires (that I have been able to fathom) to share my heart with someone wholly; with nothing left out, and that is a scary reality. All the flirting and giggles are just a screen that I put up so that I, and anyone in a relationship, can carefully judge  with out getting too hurt, too hurt and too vulnerable, all while having fun at the same time.

 

I think that what I am looking for is someone to engage with in in a relationship that circles around God; I want fellowship where I am secure to explore this life and what it means to truly live. I want someone who challenges me, and for me to challenge them. I wish to reap the benefits that a community with deep vulnerability brings, and the trust that comes with such a deep existence with that one person. (does any of this make sense?)

 

I am fully prepared to support whoever is opposite me in that relationship within God’s embrace. I crave the protection and leadership that a husband could give, and am willing to go through the struggles that would get us to that point of vulnerability. I understand that true love is putting the other persons needs and wants before my own. I understand the reality and ugliness that can be found in these relationships; these things that need to be endured, the trials that come, and the tests that people have to go through in a relationship are endless.

 

The ugly fear of commitment is one that covers many smaller fears; it covers the fear of vulnerability, accountability, openness with another person, and commitment. The key is knowing when and where to apply this openness and commitment and vulnerability. This all boils down to me needing to let the guy initiate and trust that he is prayerfully considering his next move, and I anyone reading this is anything like me then they will understand that waiting patiently is not something that comes easily.

 

What do you think God is telling you these days? Tune into Him, and hear what He wants to tell you.

Just Another Post About New Years Resolutions

Standard

I’ve come to a few different conclusions in these past few days. I am not the type of person to make new years resolutions, but this time it seems that my goal setting and New Years Eve have aligned, and so my goals for myself seem to have become resolutions.

 

  1. Living the “lukewarm” life for God is not the way to go. I’m bored out of my mind of a life where I am living with only one eye opened. I want to see all that goes on around me; I want to feel the pain and the joy. I don’t want to be living like I am half asleep. I am no where close to where I want to be with God, and I need to work on that.
  1. Basically, I want meaning. I want a reason to live. I want to be able to say “I am a Christ follower who is on fire for God” and truly mean it.
  2. I need to set aside time to recharge. There are times when I get way to caught up into life, and those times can bring me down. I need time to spend with God and get back on my feet.
  3. I need to start investing in people again. When difficulties have arisen I have pulled back from some of my relationships, and I that has taken a toll on me. When I don’t invest in other I do not reap the benefits that come from those relationships and I am sorely missing the absence of those benefits.
  1. I need to improve my work habits.

 

And most importantly…

  1. I need to make god “my life.” I don’t just want him to be “prominent in my life,” I need him to be the be-all and end-all of my existence.

 

The last goal is one that I am counting on taking a while, like maybe the rest of my life. But I figure that it is better to start sooner than later.

 

What are your goals?

Return to your rest, my soul.

Standard

There is a verse that goes “Return to your rest, my soul, for the Lord has been good to you.” When I read it I cant help but think about how blessed I have been to escape any major harm, either physical, mental, or emotional. But others around me have not been so lucky, and I have to wonder “why?”

 

When left in the aftermath of a death it can be hard to know what to say, what to do, what to think. There was a boy who passed away in my hometown that was a stranger to me, and yet the hundreds of mutual friends that we had astounded me. People came out of thin air to support the family, and his brother, with a kind of love that could only be described as heaven sent.

 

When he died people began to ask questions like “Why did God take him?” “He was so young, and had so much more to live for; why him?” “Where is God in all of this chaos?” “Why is God so unjust?” These are all very good questions; ones that may or may not have answers.

 

What if we were to turn our ear to God rather than just accusing him all the time? Instead of constantly asking for things, and for God to show us why he has done something as terrible as taking a teenage boy, why don’t we listen a bit and let God work his magic in his perfect timing.

 

God’s timing was impeccable as always this past week, and he truly made a heaven on earth on my community during this time and many lives have been changed. There were many who dedicated their lives to God, many who rediscovered their own yearning for God, and others who began to question what this life really is about.

 

These questions are hard ones that need to be answered; you can’t ignore them forever.

 

So here is your challenge: Why not sit for a while, turn your ear to God and figure out why you’re here on earth. You have been put here for a reason, and ask why these things happen, ask what the meaning of life, and ask God about justice. Yes, I do realize that I am being VERY contradictory in my words, but I think you are smart enough to figure it out.

Finding Vienna

Standard

Billy Joel is one of my favorite artists, and I can so easily get lost in his songs for hours. Some of them are just great to listen to, but others really make me think. Take, for example, the song Vienna:

Slow down, you crazy child
You’re so ambitious for a juvenile
But then if you’re so smart, then tell me
Why are you still so afraid?

Where’s the fire, what’s the hurry about?
You’d better cool it off before you burn it out
You’ve got so much to do and
Only so many hours in a day

So often I run around like a maniac trying to get my life in order; I try and pursue ‘Vienna’. I chase after contentment and a life of pure happiness, with no sorrow. But it isn’t in the times of happiness that I grow; it’s the hard times where I am on my knees and crying out to God for release that I grow. So why do I chase after times of tranquility? They aren’t the times that I move forward in. Admittedly, I do need times of rest, and the contented times do have their purpose. But I always say that I want to grow, get to know God more, learn what it means to fully trust him, but to get all of those things I need to go through hard times.

If I were to take a step back and gain a bit of perspective I would realize that what makes ‘Vienna’ so wonderful is the process of getting there. ‘Vienna’ to me is contentment; a settled heart with deeply felt joy. ‘Vienna’ is a resounding shout of joy that is laced with relief after coming through something hard. If ‘Vienna’ were to be handed to me on a gold platter I would value it much less than I would have if I had gone through hell to get there.

So why do I do it? Why do I run from the hard situations, and why do I shy away from challenges? Is the opposite of running away embracing challenges? Running at them head on? Let’s say that it is true- that I should embrace trials- won’t I get exhausted physically and emotionally; not to mention spiritually? Where is the happy medium?

Wow, there I go again. Too many questions. Maybe I should just stop right now before I try and figure too many things out.I think I’ll just sit back, turn my phone off, watch the sunset, and soak in the quietness for a little while.

In fact, Vienna waits for me.

Image

Fighting Against Society

Aside

I’m not sure I like this world very much. Hmm, maybe I should take that back. I do like the world; it’s beautiful the way God created the trees leaves with such intricate patterns on them, and the way a wave rolls across the surface of water, and how willow trees sway in the breeze, and the way the birds start to chirp at around 5:00 AM everyday, and then I can’t go back to sleep. Okay, well maybe not that last part so much. But I do on occasion enjoy those birds, just usually a little bit later in the day. But back to what I was saying before… I’m not sure that this world is all it’s cracked up to be. Or maybe I should say “society”. Society is not all that it is cracked up to be. It is filled with so many ridiculous media influences. “Lose 10 pounds in a week!” “Get that great Bikini Bod!” “Make Him Notice You.” And I’m only speaking from a girl’s point of view. All of these messages change us, whether we want them to or not. I know some people (girls specifically) who say that it is best to just go with it. Let it happen, don’t fight what is going to happen eventually. But I have to disagree. I don’t want to let myself be tainted by this world. I want to be different. I want to stand out, and I want people to say, “What is different about her? Something is different.” But it is hard to live as a teenage girl in today’s society. We let our minds be won over by the media and it taints us. We are so tainted. Tainted by the world and what society believes. Every now and then God reveals some profound realities, and I have come to one specific realization recently: purity is not something that can be purchased, and its not meant to be played with (like it so often is); it’s something that has to be protected and taken care of.

Our world has lost much of its purity, and what a sad thing that is. We see girls falling prey to the lies of the media, and women who end up used and abused by the ones they thought they loved. Where is the beauty in that?  Is that what love is; giving ourselves to the partner we are currently with? Of course not. Purity is a beautiful gift from God found in everyone. With God, and only with his help, we can be made pure in our minds, pure in our bodies, and pure in out hearts/spirit. Purity is a gift from God, and can be lost and tarnished so easily. I challenge you, whoever is reading this, to believe me, and accept my challenge in purity. Because purity is meant to be cherished, and should not be disregarded:

 

Colossians 1:16-17 (NLT)

16God created everything

in the heavenly realms and on earth.

He made the things we can see

and the things we can’t see—

such as thrones, kingdoms, rulers, and authorities in the unseen world.

Everything was created through him and for him.

17He existed before anything else,

and he holds all creation together.

 

So what does that mean? It means that everything on this earth was made by God (even those birds I previously mentioned). It means that you were made by God. He made you. You are pure, you are whole, and you are beautiful in him. And so I ask you to not disregard the beautiful thing that is you. There is love, and his name is Jesus Christ. Embrace him, and you will never regret it.

Break Time

Standard

Image

For many students right now we are coming up on Exam Time. Unfortunately that means less sleep, more stress, and tons of homework. I mean, I’ll admit that it is pretty hard to relax when you have teachers throwing assignments at you from all sides, and telling you “this will go on your permanent school records, and will count towards your future,” or some statement along the lines of that. It’s about that time that I begin to freak out a little. And when that stressful time comes, I often put my bible in a corner and forget about it for a while… Even though I know that this is probably when I will need God’s steadying hand in an even bigger way.

 

And so, as exam time comes I am going to try and take a few minutes everyday, I’m think I will set aside about 20 minutes to deliberately sit quietly, pray, read my bible, journal; whatever it takes to get myself in the mindset of relying on God and to feel his strength working in me. I trust that these moments are when I do my best, all because God is with me.