THE CORNERSTONE, THE ETERNAL VINE WITH THE ETERNAL FRUITS :)

Matthew 5:13-17 Disciples and the World

13. “You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt has become tasteless, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled under foot by men.

14. “You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden; 15. nor does anyone light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on the lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. 16. Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.

17. “Do not think that I came to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I did not come to abolish but to fulfill.”

 

Isaiah 28:16

16. Therefore thus says the Lord GOD,

“Behold, I am laying in Zion a stone, a tested stone,

A costly cornerstone for the foundation, firmly placed.

He who believes in it will not be disturbed.”

 

Mark 13:13

 

John 15:1-11 Jesus Is the Vine-Followers Are Branches

1. “I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser. 2. Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit, He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit, He prunes it so that it may bear much fruit. 3. You are already clean because of the word which I have spoken to you. 4. Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself unless it abides in the vine, so neither can you unless you abide in Me. 5. I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing. 6. If anyone does not abide in Me, he is thrown away as a branch and dries up; and they gather them, and cast them into the fire and they are burned. 7. If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you 8. My Father is glorified by this, that you bear much fruit, and so prove to be My disciples. 9. Just as the Father has loved Me, I have also loved you; abide in My love. 10. If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love; just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love. 11. These things I have spoken to you so that My joy may be in you, and that your joy be made full.”

seasons Scripture Truth 🙂

This is something that THE GOD THE ETERNALLY- THE GOD THE ETERNALLY- laid on my heart last night. 🙂 🙂

Last night was my fourth visit to The Bridge, a ministry for THE LORD seeking God, reaching out to specifically “college and young professionals”. After the first visit I knew I LOVED IT, seriously, one of the best blessings from God and best experiences of my life, from GOD. But last night it really hit me hard when during the message, GOD reminded me that I needed, and wanted, to be pure fruit juice.

And before you begin to think, “…. Payton, why in the world would you want to be pure fruit juice? Please explain, thanks.”, just hear me out. Hear the beauty of what THE GOD THE ETERNALLY will remind us of in every moment through HIM and for HIM and HIS GLORY- THE ETERNALLY.

Last night the lead speaker, Avery, began with Scripture and construction background to explain why the cornerstone is so important as the true and only firm, steadfast eternal foundation. A cornerstone is defined as, “an important quality or feature on which a particular thing depends or is based.; a stone that forms the base of a corner of a building, joining two walls.”. Avery explained that in construction, before anything is said and done about the structure, the first stone, the true stone, the cornerstone, the true foundation, is set. This first stone, the foundation stone, the cornerstone, is the most important and it is the one in which all of the others must align to. If they don’t align to THE FIRST AND TRUE CORNERSTONE then everything is unstable. But the beautiful part, and praise GOD!, is that the true first pure eternal cornerstone is immovable. It cannot be moved, it cannot be shaken. IT CANNOT BE SHAKEN. It is the stronghold, it is the steadfastness and it cannot and will not ever, every ever eternally ever change or move or be shifted!! PRAISE THE GOD THE ETERNALLY! PRAISE HIM! PRAISE THE GOD THE ETERNALLY PRAISE HIM THE LIFE AND LOVE, THE CORNERSTONE!!

Job 38:1-7

“1. Then the LORD answered Job out of the whirlwind and said,

2.”Who is this that darkens counsel

By words without knowledge?

3.”Now gird up your loins like a man,

And I will ask you, and you instruct Me!

4.”Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth?

Tell Me, if you have understanding,

5.Who set its measurements? Since you know.

Or who stretched the line on it?

6.”On what were its bases sunk?

Or who laid its cornerstone,

7. When the morning stars sang together

And all the sons of God shouted for joy?”

 

Psalm 118:22-24

“22. The stone which the builders rejected

Has become the chief corner stone.

23. This is the LORD’S doing;

It is marvelous in our eyes.

24. This is the day which the LORD has made;

Let us rejoice and be glad in it.”

Romans 9:30-33

“30. What shall we say then? That Gentiles, who did not pursue righteousness, attained righteousness, even the righteousness which is by faith; 31. but Israel, pursuing a law of righteousness, did not arrive at that law. 32. Why? Because they did not pursue it by faith, but as though it were by works. They stumbled over the stumbling stone, 33. just as it is written,

“BEHOLD, I LAY IN ZION A STONE OF STUMBLING AND A ROCK OF OFFENSE,

AND HE WHO BELIEVES IN HIM WILL NOT BE DISAPPOINTED.” ”

 

1 Peter 2:6-8

“For this is contained in Scripture:

“BEHOLD, I LAY IN ZION A CHOICE STONE, A PRECIOUS CORNER stone,

AND HE WHO BELIEVES IN HIM WILL NOT BE DISAPPOINTED.”

7. This precious value, then, is for you who believe; but for those who disbelieve,

“THE STONE WHICH THE BUILDERS REJECTED,

THIS BECAME THE VERY CORNER stone,”

8. and,

“A STONE OF STUMBLING AND A ROCK OF OFFENSE”;

for they stumble because they are disobedient to the word, and to this doom they were also appointed.”

 

 

 

Later on, Avery gave an analogy to explain our lives when we are truly in and through and with and of God, Christ, (and this is where the fruit juice comes in) and although I don’t remember it word for word, it went a little something like this:

Pressure. If we squeeze an orange into a cup and the pressure of our hands makes the juices flow out, we have a glass of that juice. If we give it to someone to drink and they take one sip and they cringe and say “pickle juice.” there’s a BIG PROBLEM.

The message to be seen, heard, felt and known in this is that when we as branches aren’t abiding in THE GOD THE TRUE VINE THE ETERNALLY THE ETERNALLY, we will be giving off, squeezing out pickle juice, sour juice that no one needs or wants to take daily, but instead a bitter juice that is not of THE TRUE VINE: THE GOD THE ETERNALLY!!

Another thought (truth) that God placed in my heart today about this message is this: Just because some may say they are of Christ and of God doesn’t mean anything if they aren’t TRULY abiding IN, THROUGH, WITH AND BY HIM! You can say you are abiding in God in Christ all that you want and say that you are a Christian. But to truly be a Christian means to be truly made new, born again, truly of the house of God of Christ, truly following HIM and truly, genuinely bearing HIS-THE-FRUIT THE ETERNALLY!

The truth is, the fruit isn’t fruit unless it has the fruit inside. An orange peel doesn’t contain the nutrients needed to sustain, fulfill and satisfy, only the true fruit on the inside has that, and what comes out of the inside is the true fruit juice. You can try to cover yourself up with just the peel. You will have the color, shape, even texture of the orange, and yet you will still not be the orange because you don’t have the true pure fruit inside of you. Others will glance and see someone claiming to be the fruit, claiming to be from the orange tree. And for a season, the late winter, early spring when oranges are at their peak in blooming, these “fruits” will be seen as happy and peachy 😉 . But, when the pressure is applied, when another season comes- which WILL happen(Ecclesiastes 3:1-11) – they are squeezed. Whether these fruits are squeezed lightly or very hard, the juices will flow, their responses to the pressure will be known, seen and heard by all(Matthew 5:13-20), and “the fruits” claiming to be oranges will be seen and known as false, as imitators, pickles, and ones that do not bear any fruit at all, instead, sourness and bitterness which was being -attempted- to cover up by just the peel. Just the peel. The peel is pretty, y’all. Everyone loves seeing an orange peel among dead leaves, but the peel isn’t the primary part of the fruit. It is important, but isn’t the most important. The inside will show, regardless of how long you try to cover it up. Souls truly want to see the inside of the fruit. We want to eat the inside and taste the sweetness when we see the appealing 😉 look of the orang peel. But all there is with an orange peel and no orange on the inside is falsehood and disappointment- not just for you.

BUT GOD, BUT THE GOD THE ETERNALLY, oh I love HIM, and I love this- PRAISE GOD! Y’all, get ready.

John 3:7-8 “7. Do not be amazed that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.’ 8. The wind blows where it wishes and you hear the sound of it, but do not know where it comes from and where it s going; so is everyone who is born of the Spirit.”

When we are born again of God, we are made new in HIM and therefore we will eternally bear the eternal fruit that is in, through, of, by and with HIM!!

John 15:1-3

1. “I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser. 2. Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit, He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit, He prunes it so that it may bear much fruit. 3. You are already clean because of the word which I have spoken to you.

When we are truly of God of Christ The Eternally- THE ETERNALLY!, we WILL bear HIS fruit. When we are saved, redeemed, restored, chosen, delivered and OF GOD OF CHRIST, HE HAS MADE ALL THINGS NEW- COMPLETELY FULFILLEDLY ETERNALLY NEW. HE TOOK WHAT WAS ROTTED AND MADE IT BEAUTIFUL. HE PRUNES US, meaning to “trim (a tree, shrub, or bush) by cutting away dead or overgrown branches or stems, especially to increase fruitfulness and growth.” We became a made-new branch OF HIM, connected to HIM, living, loving and thriving, serving, off of ONLY HIM THE GOD THE CHRIST, and therefore, bearing much fruit, and even more, and even more, oh, and even more, and even more, for HE IS THE TRUE VINE WHO produces ALL OF THE TRUE ETERNAL FRUIT. The fruit that overcomes, the fruit that lovingly, beautifully overwhelms, the fruit that endures, perseveres and will not be shaken no matter what season, no matter what winds, storms, and weather come upon it. We are eternally attached to THE ONE IN CONTROL!!

John 15:4-5

4. Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself unless it abides in the vine, so neither can you unless you abide in Me. 5. I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing.

Abiding in God, in Christ is when we will be filled with the true eternal fruit. For apart from HIM, as HE tells us, we can do nothing. Abiding in Him means always, eternally, no exceptions. Are we going to be perfect? Absolutely not, that’s ALL HIM, but God. BUT THE GOD THE ETERNALLY is our help, refuge and strength. HE IS THE ETERNAL VINE. When we are abiding in HIM, living in with by and through HIM, we are constantly, eternally in every moment being filled with the eternal true pure fruit HIMSELF.

Abiding in GOD CHRIST is the same as living and walking by THE SPIRIT- because this is WHO HE IS!! In Galatians chapter 5, GOD reminds us of this as HE uses Paul to tell us the contrast of the deeds of the flesh and the fruits of THE SPIRIT!!

Galatians 5:16-21

16. “But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh. 17. For the flesh sets its desire against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; for these are in opposition to one another, so that you may not do the things that you please. 18. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the Law. 19. Now the deeds of the flesh are evident, which are: immorality, impurity, sensuality, 20. idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, disputes, dissensions, factions, 21. envying, drunkenness, carousing, and things like these, of which I forewarn you, just as I have forewarned you, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.”

See, if we are not living and walking by the Spirit, it is EVIDENT. The shell, the orange peel, the mask will do NO GOOD, because it isn’t the fruit, it isn’t the core or the most important part of the fruit. It is seen all the time, souls claiming to be the orange, putting on the peel and then treating others in a way impure, unkind and selfish. Souls putting on the outer mask, walking around like they have it all together and telling others that “they are fruit” and then acting in immorality and bitterness; so many souls trying to wear this “peel” and then when squeezed out they are filled and flowing bitterness, false fruit juice without an ounce of the true, pure fruit juice, the true LIFE WHO IS THE GOD!!

BUT THE GOD THE ETERNALLY. BUT THE GOD THE ETERNALLY. When we are of Him, abiding in HIM, look what He does.

Galatians 5:22-26

“22. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23. gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. 24. Now those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.

25. If we live by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit. 26. Let us not become boastful, challenging one another, envying one another.”

 

GOD IS SO CLEAR TO US- when we are TRULY ABIDING IN HIM- these fruits are produced BY AND FOR HIM AND HIS GLORY and they will show BY AND FOR HIM AND HIS GLORY ETERNALLY! ETERNALLY! These fruits are neverending, folks. Because GOD is these things and more, and HE IS THE ETERNALLY- THE ETERNALLY!! Oh that we do get to spend THE ETERNALLY with THE ETERNALLY HIMSELF GOD THE GOD!!!! PRAISE GOD, YALL, PRAISE HIM!! 🙂 🙂

With ONLY HIM we are no longer just an orange peel. We are no longer filled with bitter, sour pickle juice. Under pressure we overcome because HE HAS ALREADY OVERCOME- HE IS THE ETERNAL VICTORY! HE IS THE ETERNAL VICTORY! And when we are in the season of pressure and we are juiced oh so much, He abounds immeasurably and all the more (Ephesians 3:20-21, 4) and out comes the pure, true orange juice, flowing out no matter what. And when everyone else tastes the juice, they taste the sweet, pure, satisfying juice that they can’t get enough of and it’s only because IT’S HIM. IT’S GOD. HE IS the only true and pure satisfaction. HE IS the only true and pure sustainment. HE IS the only true and pure TRUTH and HE IS the only true and pure fulfillment(Psalm 16:11, Psalm 17:15, Isaiah 58:11, Philippians 4:11-23, Psalm 37:4, Matthew 6:25-34)!!!! 🙂 🙂

With HIM we will not be tasteless salt that is to be trampled. With HIM we will not be a hidden city or a lamp placed under a basket. With HIM we will not be sour fruit juice. With HIM we will be founded on THE TRUE ETERNAL PURE LIFEGIVING FOUNDATION HIMSELF AND WILL NOT BE SHAKEN THE ETERNALLY!! We will bear MUCH fruit because we are bearing HIS FRUIT. We will live in HIM eternally because we are ABIDINGIN HIM THE ETERNALLY! Every soul will see HIM living inside of us, THE TRUE PURE ETERNAL LIFE AND LOVE inside of us which is ONLY HIM THE ETERNALLY!!!! 🙂 🙂

Bringing it all in, this is the truth, y’all, because HE IS THE ETERNAL TRUTH…. THE ETERNALLY! HE is the true, pure eternal Cornerstone AND Vine. What does this Truth mean? This means that since we want to be filled with HIM-THE ETERNAL GOODNESS AND PURENESS and shine and show and pour out these things, we must be founded upon, aligned with HIM-GOD THE PURE TRUTH THE ETERNALLY AS WELL AS ABIDING IN AND THROUGH HIM AND ONLY HIM THE ETERNALLY! THE ETERNALLY!! 🙂 🙂 And others will see this, and we will glorify GOD through this. For we are and this is truly, purely, ultimately eternally BY AND FOR HIM AND HIS GLORY THE ETERNALLY! THE ETERNALLY!!!! 🙂 🙂

God, LORD, FATHER, I thank YOU that I am living only for YOU. Please, LORD JESUS, GOD, FATHER, MESSIAH SAVIOR CREATOR ETERNAL LOVE AND LIFE overflow me with YOUR goodness, YOUR PURITY and YOU, that they may see and hear only YOU inside of me, for I thank YOU that it is no longer I who live but YOU LORD living inside of me. I thank YOU that I am YOURS and made completely purely truly genuinely ETERNALLY NEW! IN JESUS NAME HALLELUJAH HALLELUJAH AMEN!! 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

Galatians 2:19-21

19. “For through the Law I died to the Law, so that I might live to God. 20. I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me, 21. I do not nullify the grace of God, for if righteousness comes through the Law, then Christ died needlessly.”

 

Romans 8:26-39 Our Victory in Christ

“26. In the same way the Spirit also helps our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we should, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words; 27. and He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He intercedes for the saints according to the will of God.

28. And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose. 29. For those whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son, so that He would be the firstborn among many brethren; 30. and these whom He predestined, He also called; and these whom He called, He also justified; and these whom He justified, He also glorified.

31. What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who is against us? 32. He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him over for us all, how will He not also with Him freely give us all things? 33. Who will bring a charge against God’s elect? God is the one who justifies; 34. who is the one who condemns? Christ Jesus is He who died, yes, rather who was raised, who is at the right hand of God, who also intercedes for us. 35. Who will separate us from the love of Christ? Will tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? 36. Just as it is written,

“FOR YOUR SAKE WE ARE BEING PUT TO DEATH ALL DAY LON;

WE WERE CONSIDERED AS SHEEP TO BE SLAUGHTERED.”

37. But in all these things we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us. 38. For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, 39. nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

 

Philippians 4:4-9

“4. Rejoice in the LORD always; again I will say, rejoice! 5. Let your gentle spirit be known to all men. The Lord is near. 6. Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. 7. And the peace of God , which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

8.Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things. 9. The things you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, practice these things, and the GOD of peace will be with you.”

John 16:33 These things I have spoken to you, so that in Me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world.”

Mark 13:13 “You will be hated by all because of My name, but the one who endures to the end, he will be saved.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

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“(Let the reader understand)”

let the reader understand

Psalm 42:1-2

1.As the deer pants for the water brooks,

So my soul pants for You, O God.

2.My soul thirsts for God, for the living God;

When shall I come and appear before God?

 

Psalm 42:8

The Lord will command His lovingkindness in the daytime; And His song will be with me in the night, A prayer to the God of my life.

 

I have always known The Truth about The Living God that He knew, knows, and will know all things, for all things are purposed. His will and plan will be done. And we aren’t God. We aren’t supposed to know all things. We were created BY HIM, to praise and worship and live for HIM, but not to know all things like HIM, LIKE HE DOES. HE knows the eternally, and that is beautiful. We don’t know the eternally, but we know that HE knows, and we have the blessed assurance in HIM, and that is beautiful.

But there are some things that we read in HIS WORD, THE COMPLETE TRUTH, that we know that He knows, and we know that HE knew it had to have a purpose for good, and yet we wonder why, since He does know and we know that He knows, that He would place it in His Word to remind us and repeat it to us, even the hard things to read. And it’s just that- to remind and repeat it to us, so that we are in continuation of the awe and wonder at HIS BEAUTY, HIS GLORY AND HIS PRESENCE, even in the hard times where we don’t see things like HE does, and that these Truths are beyond the pages, beyond the past. Yes, these Truths were for the souls way back then, but these Truths are equally so for us.– and this is so important to remember.

I was reminded of this Truth, His Truth, as I was reading The Truth, His Word, THE ETERNAL TRUTH recently. I was reading in the Gospel of Mark, and God did that thing where He blew my mind as I was reading His Word (He’s really great and awesome and amazing at that by the way!!). In chapter 13 verses 12-14 He says,

12 Brother will betray brother to death, and a father his child; and children will rise up against parents and have them put to death. 13 You will be hated by all because of My name, but the one who endures to the end, he will be saved.

14 “But when you see the abomination of desolation standing where it should not be (let the reader understand), then those who are in Judea must flee to the mountains.

Yall I am literally blown away by God saying “Let the reader understand”. Let me tell yall, GOD does not make exclusions when it comes to HIS TRUTH THE ETERNAL TRUTH. “The reader” is not just the disciples. “The reader” is not just some colonial figure. “The reader is not just you on your college campus. “The reader” is everyone who reads this. Seriously, everyone. God wants everyone to know about this, it’s true and I know it’s true because HE IS THE TRUTH.

No where after “Let the reader understand” does God say “except for so and so….” or “except for them because they don’t need to know this” NO. GOD SAYS “Let the reader understand”!

Flash forward to me reading in chapter 14 and GOD connects a some verses with This Truth.

Mark 14:32-36

32 They *came to a place named Gethsemane; and He *said to His disciples, “Sit here until I have prayed.” 33 And He *took with Him Peter and James and John, and began to be very distressed and troubled. 34 And He *said to them, “My soul is deeply grieved to the point of death; remain here and keep watch.” 35 And He went a little beyond them, and fell to the ground and began to pray that if it were possible, the hour might pass Him by. 36 And He was saying, “Abba! Father! All things are possible for You; remove this cup from Me; yet not what I will, but what You will.”

WOAH!! What’s happening here? Is Jesus, God, whining? Is He complaining? Is He backing out of what is going to happen? Is He over it? NO!

GOD IS REPEATING HIS TRUTH TO REMIND US OF HIS TRUTH- THE COMPLETE ETERNAL TRUTH THE ETERNALLY!!!!!!

  • HE IS REPEATING PRAYER TO REMIND US OF HIS COMMUNICATION WITH US!
    • We pray pray pray. Pray pray pray and then pray some more. But sometimes we get into a routine. A routine where it is less about the communication and more about “the religious ritual”. We often forget or drift away from THE TRUTH AND FACT AND BEAUTY of what PRAYER REALLY IS: TALKING TO AND WITH THE GOD THE FATHER. Often times we get caught up in the blessing of food and forget about the blessing of the blessed communication. Often times we get caught up in the “move this mountain” and forget about the counting of the blessings from HIM! And in this moment where we see how our beloved Savior truly did come to be sin in our place(2 Corinthians 5:20-21 “20. Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were making an appeal through us; we beg you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. 21. He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.”) we become captivated, interested, intrigued and in COMPLETE ETERNAL UTTER AWE that EVEN IN THIS MOMENT, HE cries out in prayer. Not only to show us where our refuge is WHO our REFUGE is in, HIM, GOD! And to REMIND US that true, genuine and authentic prayer is not just made up of cliché utterings of words, but of talking to and with THE GOD THE FATHER THE ETERNALLY- IN TRUE PURE AUTHENTIC GENUINE COMMUNICATION WITH HIM!!!!
  • HE IS REPEATING WHO HE CAME AS TO FULFILL THE PROPHESY AND COVENANT FOR HIM AND HIS GLORY TO REMIND US OF WHO HE IS THE ETERNALLY!!!!!
    • (Isaiah 9:5-7 “5.For every boot of the booted warrior in the battle tumult, and cloak rolled in blood, will be for burning, fuel for the fire. 6. For a child will be born to us, a son will be given to us; and the government will rest on His shoulders; and His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace. 7. There will be no end to the increase of His government or of peace, on the throne of David and over the kingdom, to establish it and to uphold it with justice and righteousness from then on and forevermore. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will accomplish this.” Isaiah 1:16-20 “16.”Wash yourselves, make yourselves clean; Remove the evil of your deeds from My sight. Cease to do evil, 17. Learn to do good; Seek justice, reprove the ruthless, defend the orphan, plead for the widow. “Let Us Reason” 18. “Come now, and let us reason together,” Says the LORD, “Though your sins are as scarlet, they will be as white as snow; Though they are red like crimson, they will be like wool. 19. “If you consent and obey, you will eat the best of the land; 20. “But if you refuse and rebel, you will be devoured by the sword.” Truly, the mouth of The LORD has spoken”). We know that GOD IS THE GOD. We know that JESUS CHRIST IS THE SON OF THE LIVING GOD, and that based on what GOD HAS TOLD US IN HIS WORD THE TRUTH, JESUS IS GOD!!!! And of how HE CAME IN HUMAN FLESH TO BE THE SACRIFICE FOR US, TO DIE ON THE CROSS AND BE RAISED FROM THE GRAVE!!!! And yet, we have these “spurts”. Spurts of moments, we’re going to call them, moments when we think about this, about WHO HE TRULY IS, moments when it hits us and we praise and worship and praise HIM and worship HIM some more, and then it stops. We still know that God is The God, but we aren’t in awe, we aren’t in wonder, not like we are in these “spurts”. We pray, we talk to Him and see Him work and a lot of the time, even if we don’t want to admit it (this is primarily and especially recognizable in a season or day of discouragement and/or doubt), we see HIM THE GOD mainly just as the three letters that spell out GOD. We know He is THE WAY THE TRUTH AND THE LIFE(John 14:6 “ Jesus *said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.“), but we don’t take refuge in Him because we just see “a big figure that we can and do trust in”. Not that we forget about the gospel, but we aren’t in constant awe and wonder of HIM AND WHO HE TRULY IS AND WHO HE CAME TO BE FOR HIM AND HIS GLORY THE ETERNALLY!!!!! And in this moment, THE STRONGEST ONE THAT EVER WAS IS AND WILL BE(Isaiah 40:27-31 “27 Why do you say, O Jacob, and assert, O Israel,
      “My way is hidden from the Lord,
      And the justice due me escapes the notice of my God”?
      28 Do you not know? Have you not heard?
      The Everlasting God, the Lord, the Creator of the ends of the earth
      Does not become weary or tired.
      His understanding is inscrutable.
      29 He gives strength to the weary,
      And to him who lacks might He increases power.
      30 Though youths grow weary and tired,
      And vigorous young men stumble badly,
      31 Yet those who wait for the Lord
      Will gain new strength;
      They will mount up with wings like eagles,
      They will run and not get tired,
      They will walk and not become weary.), THE STRONGEST WE HAVE EVER DO AND WILL EVER KNOW shows a feeling of weakness. HE isn’t depressed, HE isn’t giving up, HE isn’t “not God anymore, AND HE isn’t finished yet, it isn’t finished yet(John 19:30 “Therefore when Jesus had received the sour wine, He said, “It is finished!” And He bowed His head and gave up His spirit.”), HE, JESUS CHRIST WHO IS THE GOD IS reminding us of WHO HE CAME TO BE: THE FULFILLMENT, THE ATONING SACRIFICE, THE ALMIGHTY SOVEREIGN KING ONE AND ONLY MESSIAH AND SAVIOR(John 20:30-31 Why This Gospel Was Written “30.Therefore many other signs Jesus also performed in the presence of the disciples, which are not written in this book; 31. but these have been written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing you may have life in His name.”) FOR HIM AND HIS GLORY ONLY THE ETERNALLY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  • HE IS REPEATING SURRENDER TO REMIND US THAT WE NEED TO BE IN COMPLETE SURRENDER ETERNALLY!!!!
    • v. 35-36 35 And He went a little beyond them, and fell to the ground and began to pray that if it were possible, the hour might pass Him by. 36 And He was saying, “Abba! Father! All things are possible for You; remove this cup from Me; yet not what I will, but what You will.”
    • HE KNEW AND HE KNOWS that what is about to happen HAS TO HAPPEN for the eternal fulfillment for HIM AND HIS GLORY THE ETERNALLY!! So why is HE, JESUS CHRIST WHO IS GOD, WHO WILLED, PLANNED, PURPOSED AND ORDAINED THIS, crying out in what seems like agony to what seems like quitting and needing to stop the plan of the fulfillment? It’s not. That is only how we will see it if we do not see THE HOPE, WHICH IS GOD HIMSELF THE ETERNALLY!!!!!! Jesus, in this moment, God, Who has given us this Truth in His Word which is His Word, is showing us the true example(Hebrews 12:1-3 Jesus, The Example) of what it means to truly surrender to HIM: TO BE COMPLETELY UTTERLY ETERNALLY SURRENDERED TO HIM AND ONLY HIM IN EVERY MOMENT, NO MATTER WHAT, INCLUDING IN THE MOMENTS WHERE IT SEEMS WE ARE IN THE MOST AGONY. For it is truly not agony or depression or the end at all, it is the beginning of something new, a beautiful situation where we are frustrated BUT GOD. BUT THE GOD is using you within it for the result of a new thing, beauty and joy and peace out of ashes, what seems unfixable or impossible, HE WILL BRING YOU THROUGH(Psalm 34:17-19 “17. The righteous cry, and the LORD hears and delivers them out of all their troubles. 18. The LORD is near to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit. 19. Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the LORD delivers him out of them all.” )!!!!! HE IS REMINDING US that in the moments of talking to HIM when we let it all out to HIM, like the floodgates just opened out of our mouths, at the end, at the final word of our prayer there is ultimately and the conclusion of praise to HIM. Praise and worship to HIM, whom we are surrendered to, not holding onto anything but clinging to HIM(Romans 12:9-13 “9.Let love be without hypocrisy. Abhor what is evil; cling to what is good. 10. Be devoted to one another in brotherly love; give preference to one another in honor; 11. not lagging behind in diligence, fervent in spirit, serving the LORD; 12.rejoicing in hope, persevering in tribulation. devoted to prayer, 13. contributing to the needs of the saints, practicing  hospitality.” ). Not keeping back anything but giving EVERYTHING, ALL OF US EVERY MOMENT THE ETERNALLY!! Not complaining after exhaling the verbal expression of our situation but exhaling praise and worship and EXALTING HIM AND ONLY HIM THE ETERNALLY!! Romans 5:8 “But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.”

 

Psalm 51:10 “Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.”

Proverbs 3:5-10 “5. Trust in the LORD with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding. 6. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight. 7.Do not be wise in your own eyes; Fear the LORD and turn away from evil. 8. It will be healing to your body and refreshment to your bones. 9. Honor the LORD from your wealth and from the first of all your produce; 10. So your barns will be filled with plenty and your vats will overflow with new wine.”

These words weren’t just for the twelve disciples, these words weren’t just for the colonial figures, these words aren’t just for one or two college students, these words, THIS TRUTH-THE TRUTH- is for every reader, for everyone.

“(Let the reader understand)”

There is always going to be more than one reader.

And THE WORD THE COMPLETE PURE ETERNAL WAY AND TRUTH will reach to many readers.

AND HE IS STILL THE GOD

AND HE IS STILL THE GOODNESS

AND HE IS STILL THE GREATNESS

AND HE IS STILL THE EVERLASTING

AND HE IS STILL THE ETERNALLY

AND HIS WILL AND PLAN WILL BE DONE THE ETERNAL

AND HE IS STILL THE FULFILLMENT

AND HIS WILL IS STILL THE WAY AND ALWAYS BETTER AND ALWAYS THE BEST AND ALWAYS THE GOODNESS AND THE GREATNESS THE ETERNALLY!!!!

Because “yet not what I will, but what You will.” !!!!

Psalm 31:1-9

A Psalm of Complaint and of Praise.

For the choir director. A Psalm of David.

31 In You, O Lord, I have taken refuge;
Let me never be ashamed;
In Your righteousness deliver me.
Incline Your ear to me, rescue me quickly;
Be to me a rock of strength,
A stronghold to save me.
For You are my rock and my fortress;
For Your name’s sake You will lead me and guide me.
You will pull me out of the net which they have secretly laid for me,
For You are my strength.
Into Your hand I commit my spirit;
You have ransomed me, O Lord, God of truth.

I hate those who regard vain idols,
But I trust in the Lord.
I will rejoice and be glad in Your lovingkindness,
Because You have seen my affliction;
You have known the troubles of my soul,
And You have not given me over into the hand of the enemy;
You have set my feet in a large place.

Be gracious to me, O Lord, for I am in distress;
My eye is wasted away from grief, my soul and my body also.

 

Psalm 103-104:5

Praise for the Lord’s Mercies.

A Psalm of David.

103 Bless the Lord, O my soul,
And all that is within me, bless His holy name.
Bless the Lord, O my soul,
And forget none of His benefits;
Who pardons all your iniquities,
Who heals all your diseases;
Who redeems your life from the pit,
Who crowns you with lovingkindness and compassion;
Who satisfies your years with good things,
So that your youth is renewed like the eagle.

The Lord performs righteous deeds
And judgments for all who are oppressed.
He made known His ways to Moses,
His acts to the sons of Israel.
The Lord is compassionate and gracious,
Slow to anger and abounding in lovingkindness.
He will not always strive with us,
Nor will He keep His anger forever.
10 He has not dealt with us according to our sins,
Nor rewarded us according to our iniquities.
11 For as high as the heavens are above the earth,
So great is His lovingkindness toward those who fear Him.
12 As far as the east is from the west,
So far has He removed our transgressions from us.
13 Just as a father has compassion on his children,
So the Lord has compassion on those who fear Him.
14 For He Himself knows our frame;
He is mindful that we are but dust.

15 As for man, his days are like grass;
As a flower of the field, so he flourishes.
16 When the wind has passed over it, it is no more,
And its place acknowledges it no longer.
17 But the lovingkindness of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting on those who [f]fear Him,
And His righteousness to children’s children,
18 To those who keep His covenant
And remember His precepts to do them.

19 The Lord has established His throne in the heavens,
And His sovereignty rules over all.
20 Bless the Lord, you His angels,
Mighty in strength, who perform His word,
Obeying the voice of His word!
21 Bless the Lord, all you His hosts,
You who serve Him, doing His will.
22 Bless the Lord, all you works of His,
In all places of His dominion;
Bless the Lord, O my soul!

The Lord’s Care over All His Works.

104 Bless the Lord, O my soul!
O Lord my God, You are very great;
You are clothed with splendor and majesty,
Covering Yourself with light as with a cloak,
Stretching out heaven like a tent curtain.
He lays the beams of His upper chambers in the waters;
He makes the clouds His chariot;
He walks upon the wings of the wind;
He makes the winds His messengers,
Flaming fire His ministers.

He established the earth upon its foundations,
So that it will not totter forever and ever.

 

Nehemiah 8:10

10 Then he said to them, “Go, eat of the fat, drink of the sweet, and send portions to him who has nothing prepared; for this day is holy to our Lord. Do not be grieved, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.”

Psalm 105:1-15

105 Oh give thanks to the Lord, call upon His name;
Make known His deeds among the peoples.
Sing to Him, sing praises to Him;

 

 

Speak of all His wonders.
Glory in His holy name;
Let the heart of those who seek the Lord be glad.
Seek the Lord and His strength;
Seek His face continually.
Remember His wonders which He has done,
His marvels and the judgments uttered by His mouth,
O seed of Abraham, His servant,
O sons of Jacob, His chosen ones!
He is the Lord our God;
His judgments are in all the earth.

He has remembered His covenant forever,
The word which He commanded to a thousand generations,
The covenant which He made with Abraham,
And His oath to Isaac.
10 Then He confirmed it to Jacob for a statute,
To Israel as an everlasting covenant,
11 Saying, “To you I will give the land of Canaan
As the portion of your inheritance,”
12 When they were only a few men in number,
Very few, and strangers in it.
13 And they wandered about from nation to nation,
From one kingdom to another people.
14 He permitted no man to oppress them,
And He reproved kings for their sakes:
15 “Do not touch My anointed ones,
And do My prophets no harm.”

 

Psalm 115:1

1.Not to us, O LORD, not to us,

But to Your name give glory

Because of Your lovingkindness, because

of Your truth.

Biscuits n’ Sunflowers! :)

Biscuitsn'Sunflowers!

Isaiah 49:5-7

And now says the Lord, who formed Me from the womb to be His Servant,
To bring Jacob back to Him, so that Israel might be gathered to Him
(For I am honored in the sight of the Lord,
And My God is My strength),
He says, “It is too small a thing that You should be My Servant
To raise up the tribes of Jacob and to restore the preserved ones of Israel;
I will also make You a light of the nations
So that My salvation may reach to the end of the earth.”
Thus says the Lord, the Redeemer of Israel and its Holy One,
To the despised One,
To the One abhorred by the nation,
To the Servant of rulers,
“Kings will see and arise,
Princes will also bow down,
Because of the Lord who is faithful, the Holy One of Israel who has chosen You.”

Ecclesiastes 3:11 “He has made everything appropriate in its time. He has also set eternity in their heart, yet so that man will not find out the work which God has done from the beginning even to the end.”

Ecclesiastes 7:13-14 “13. Consider the work of God, For who is able to straighten what He has bent? 14. In the day of prosperity be happy, But in the day of adversity consider- God has made the one as well as the other So that man will not discover anything that will be after him.”

 

Psalm 119:129-136

Pe.

129 Your testimonies are wonderful;
Therefore my soul observes them.
130 The unfolding of Your words gives light;
It gives understanding to the simple.
131 I opened my mouth wide and panted,
For I longed for Your commandments.
132 Turn to me and be gracious to me,
After Your manner with those who love Your name.
133 Establish my footsteps in Your word,
And do not let any iniquity have dominion over me.
134 Redeem me from the oppression of man,
That I may keep Your precepts.
135 Make Your face shine upon Your servant,
And teach me Your statutes.
136 My eyes shed streams of water,
Because they do not keep Your law.

 

1 Samuel 16:7

“7. But the LORD said to Samuel, “Do not look at his appearance or at the height of his stature, because I have rejected him; for God sees not as man sees, for man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.”

July 26th, 2017

approximately 7:45 am…..

GOOD MORNING- GREAT MORNING! Rise and SHINE BRIGHT AND BOLD for HIM AND HIS GLORY! Blessings from THE LORD GOD JESUS CHRIST THE MESSIAH on this sunny, summer morning in July include breakfast and then…. the sunflower field! Let’s get into this goodness greatness from GOD THE LORD, shall we?!

One of my best friends, Rachel, and I decided we wanted to try Maple Street Biscuit company on this fine morning. It wasn’t new to the Chatt-town as there is already one downtown, but since they opened up at another location we decided we would give it a shot! And my oh my I’m so so glad that we did! It is now one of my FAVORITE places to eat- seriously!

The night prior I was looking at the menu- I’ve gotta have an idea before I go in there to order, right? The menu is filled with great-sounding biscuits and other treats, and even though I’ve only had one out of the many, that one was good enough that I’m willing to try the rest of the many! (Menu prices > https://www.zomato.com/chattanooga-tn/maple-street-biscuit-company-chattanooga/menu)

As I was reading reviews on this cool place (which are almost 100% positive!) I read someone’s comment about their ordering process. “Payton, what? Why?”. I know, I know. But you’ve gotta hear this, it’s some serious business. After you order your food, the cashier will ask you the question of the time being (I’m not sure how often they change this question) and use your answer to let you know your food is ready instead of yelling out your name! Isn’t that fun?! Our question was, “Who is your favorite band?” Rachel was in front of me and I hadn’t told her about their little process, so she was a bit startled by the question she had to answer on the spot. Florida-Georgia Line was her pick, and mine was good ole Crowder!

Rachel ordered the “BAM!”- “House-made vanilla bean waffle with asiago and pecanwood smoked bacon baked in.” (which looked SO GOOD by the way!)

I ordered “The Farmer”- “Flaky biscuit, all natural fried chicken, pecan wood smoked bacon, cheddar cheese topped with fresh house made apple butter” (which was VERY GOOD by the way!)….

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….and a coffee, which was a “fix it yourself” station serving Red Leaf Roasters coffee with a variety of flavors to choose from which include- Dark Bark, Maple tap, Light Amber, and decaf Light Amber.

After reading reviews, I chose the maple tap flavor, and praise God that HE willed and planned that! I’m not kidding y’all when I say that as I was pouring the coffee into my cup it smelled like sweet, hot syrup flowing into my cup (except that probably wouldn’t taste good so I’m very thankful grateful and glad and blessed that it wasn’t exactly that!)

It really tasted so good, y’all, and I’m so blessed to have had it, truly! 🙂 Thank YOU GOD! Thank you THE LORD JESUS CHRIST THE LORD GOD OF ALL!! 🙂

The atmosphere is quite chill, and since we were there so early, there weren’t that many people. We had some great conversation and catch-up time as we ate our great-tasting food, as well as me drinking my coffee, and it was a great, blessed and beloved time altogether from THE LORD! 🙂

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There was a conference-looking room with a group of people in it, and as a worker walked by with their order of food, Rachel said this great quote!

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As we left to go on our next adventure, I grabbed another cup of coffee, except this time I tried Dark bark, which is still great!!

Until next time, Maple Street. I’m looking forward to more coffee, trying the waffles and oh, yes, the sweet potato fries! 🙂

Our next stop, the oh so Chatt-town famous………..

……

…..

SUNFLOWER FIELD!! Let’s just stop and take a moment to pray and thank and praise and worship GOD THE LORD THE CREATOR AND SAVIOR for creating such beauty….. and yet, calling us even more special, unique, worthy and oh so beyond beautiful. You see, we weren’t the first thing that He, The God created. And yet, we were thought of before He, The God, created anything else, before HE, THE GOD, created light, dark, time and soil, above it all and more because we are more to HIM. We are more special, we are more unique, we are more worthy than all of these other things because WE ARE MADE IN HIS IMAGE- That’s eternally right, folks. Eternally are we created in HIS- GOD’S IMAGE! ETERNALLY! AND NO ONE AND NOTHING CAN EVER CHANGE THAT- ETERNALLY!! Do you know how loved you are? Do you know how special and unique and cherished you are, beloved?! In case you need this reminder- which, we all need this constant reminder every moment eternally– GOD DIED FOR US- AND ROSE AGAIN! HE- THE LORD GOD OF ALL THE ALMIGHTY SENT HIS SON JESUS WHO IS GOD TO DIE ON A CROSS- ON A TREE- FOR US BECAUSE HE LOVES US SO MUCH THAT HE WANTS TO WASH AWAY EVERY SIN AND MAKE US WHITE AS SNOW BECAUSE HE. LOVES. US! AND HE DID! He did it! There is now no more question- because THE KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS THE ALMIGHTY, SOVEREIGN, ONE TRUE MESSIAH THE GOD ETERNALLY has claimed The Victory and the throne, forevermore, THE ETERNALLY!!!!!!! 🙂 🙂

Genesis 1:26-27

26 Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; and let them rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over the cattle and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” 27 God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.

Nehemiah 8:10

10 Then he said to them, “Go, eat of the fat, drink of the sweet, and send portions to him who has nothing prepared; for this day is holy to our Lord. Do not be grieved, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.”

sunflowers

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y’all, He is so so beyond goodness and greatness! How great is our GOD, THE GOD!!!!

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reppin’ with the coffee. #iseeyoumaplestreet

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And, y’all, these sunflower leaves that GOD created are HUGE! Like, please look, they’re bigger than our faces!! GOD is so so beyond cool!!

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Yes, girl, HAIRFLIP!!

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Bee-roll 😉

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Sometimes you’ve just gotta get that selfie!

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…. and then sometimes you’ve gotta go into defense mode in the sunflower field! Goodness gracious, Lord Jesus, God I thank YOU for these blessings called friends that YOU have given me!! 🙂

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Beeeeee happy! 🙂 Be oh so happy my beloved blessings of brothers and sisters in CHRIST in GOD!! 🙂

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Y’all, I’m gonna pause right here to tell a very much needed truth. Sometimes we feel like this sunflower- we are standing in this big field of others who seem much taller, much fuller and much more beautiful than us. All of this intimidation is around us because we have believed the lies from the enemy that “we aren’t enough”, that “we aren’t worthy”, and that “we aren’t beautiful or special”. Well, I’m gonna tell ya, none of that matters when The Creator, The Savior, Messiah, The Lord God the Almighty and All Sovereign has declared differently. For HE, GOD, THE GOD THE FATHER has DECLARED that we are made, created in HIS IMAGE, for HIM AND HIS GLORY THE ETERNALLY!!!! Then, whom and what shall we fear? For BUT GOD. BUT THE GOD OF ALL. When all else has failed, when it seems hopeless, when we feel like we can’t be used by HIM THE LORD GOD THE FATHER OF ALL THE ALMIGHTY HE says, “Watch.”. And then, HE does the impossible, HE has made it possible in with by and through only HIM. HE says, no matter what, no matter where, no matter when, that HE IS GREATER AND CAN AND WILL!!!! 🙂

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Please look at how beautiful GOD’S creation is!! 🙂

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Smiley Smiles! 🙂

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Get that sunflower field and coffee shot!

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…. and then the close-up, can’t forget that!! 🙂

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And then I attempted to get a picture of a butterfly that was far away. Stay tuned to see how well beloved blessed Rachel’s picture turned out with her camera!

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Y’all know what I’m talking about, when I say that before you get that picture, you’ll have several pictures like these in your camera roll…. 🙂

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Bright and sunshine-y with THE LORD ETERNALLY!! 🙂

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I had to get a picture of Rachel’s photography pose! 🙂

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Selfies 🙂

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God is so so beyond cool in having willed and planned this picture! I was just trying to take a picture of a spider that was crawling around on this flower BUT GOD. It’s always BUT GOD, eternally. How cool is this picture?! 🙂

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…. and then we found a ladder. At first, I thought the picture of it by itself was cool and beautiful. But God, I’m telling y’all. He is so good for showing us and giving us fun ideas to continue glorifying HIM in!!

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finger shots are still cool 🙂

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And y’all, you will find GOD THE LORD ALMIGHTY’S blessings in everything. It was so hot today. BUT GOD. BUT HIM!! You remember how I said those sunflower leaves were so big? Well, turns out they can be used as fans! 🙂 (Also notice how the ponytails were going up). 🙂

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HAPPY HAPPY HAPPY in with by and through THE GOD, THE CHRIST!!!! 🙂

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Even the backs of the sunflowers are beautiful! Thank YOU GOD, thank YOU JESUS CHRIST!! 🙂

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Also, shoutout to the people with the sunflower field, allowing people to fill up a bucket for $15. So nice and oh soo soo sweet of them! 🙂 We didn’t get any, but we were for sure thinking about it!! 🙂

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AND NOW I’m gonna share some pictures that beautiful sister/best friend Rachel took! Oh what a joy from THE LORD GOD THE ALMIGHTY!!!! Thank YOU, JESUS CHRIST THE LORD OF ALL THE ALMIGHTY!! 🙂

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Wow, GOD!! 🙂 🙂

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Here’s that ladder again! 🙂

Oh the blessed beloved willed and oh so sooooo beautifully planned day when we will see our SAVIOR CREATOR MESSIAH GOD’S FACE AND BE WITH HIM THE ETERNALLY!!!!!! 🙂

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GOD THE FATHER MY FATHER, THE SAVIOR MY SAVIOR IS SO SOOO BEYOND COOLNESS!

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Remember the butterfly picture I was talking about? 🙂 See how our GOD THE GOD works so marvelously and majestically and beautifully!!!! 🙂 🙂

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This day at the sunflower field was stunning, only because our GOD THE GOD THE ETERNALLY THE FATHER OUR FATHER THE MESSIAH SAVIOR, is even more BEYOND STUNNING THE ETERNALLY!!!! Ohhhhh my goodness gracious, BUT GOD THE GOD!!! 🙂 🙂

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And after that hot day in a sunflower field, THE LORD GOD OF ALL THE ALMIGHTY allowed us to have a refreshing beverage. Juice for Rachel and a smoothie for me, please! 🙂 (Strawberry-banana to be exact!) 🙂 🙂

As I finish up writing this blog post, and after posting all of these pictures of sunflowers, I can only think of a few blessed beloved things. The God of the universe, The Creator of all WHO IS LIFE AND THE LOVE HIMSELF, loves us enough AND MORE to call us HIS OWN. We are amazed by the sunflowers that HE has brought up from the soil and all of its beauty, when HE is looking at us with an even more loving face. HE is looking at us and SMILING SO BIG. GOD THE GOD THE ETERNALLY THE CREATOR SAIOR MESSIAH THE ETERNALLY is looking at us and smiling so so big because HE KNOWS. HE KNOWS that HE has created us in HIS IMAGE. HE KNOWS the plans that HE HAS WILLED AND PLANNED FOR US BEFORE HE CREATED TIME. HE KNOWS what we are TRULY WORTH in with by and through HIM ONL!Y!! HE knows how loved we TRULY are because HE IS THE ETERNAL TRUE  ULTIMATE LIFE AND THE ETERNAL TRUE ULTIMATE LOVE THE ETERNALLY!!! All of the lies cannot even begin to compare to the joy set before us which is HIM, because we cannot even being to comprehend HIM completely, HE IS THAT GOOD AND THAT GREAT AND BEYOND MORE- THE MOST ALMIGHTY THE ETERNALLY!!! BUT GOD. BUT THE GO THE ETERNALLY calls us HIS THE ETERNALLY!!!!!! 🙂 🙂

Psalm 139:13-18

13 For You formed my inward parts;
You wove me in my mother’s womb.
14 I will give thanks to You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
Wonderful are Your works,
And my soul knows it very well.
15 My frame was not hidden from You,
When I was made in secret,
And skillfully wrought in the depths of the earth;
16 Your eyes have seen my unformed substance;
And in Your book were all written
The days that were ordained for me,
When as yet there was not one of them.

17 How precious also are Your thoughts to me, O God!
How vast is the sum of them!
18 If I should count them, they would outnumber the sand.
When I awake, I am still with You.

 

Isaiah 55:8-11

“For My thoughts are not your thoughts,
Nor are your ways My ways,” declares the Lord.
“For as the heavens are higher than the earth,
So are My ways higher than your ways
And My thoughts than your thoughts.
10 “For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven,
And do not return there without watering the earth
And making it bear and sprout,
And furnishing seed to the sower and bread to the eater;
11 So will My word be which goes forth from My mouth;
It will not return to Me empty,
Without accomplishing what I desire,
And without succeeding in the matter for which I sent it.

Isaiah 40:6-8

A voice says, “Call out.”
Then he answered, “What shall I call out?”
All flesh is grass, and all its loveliness is like the flower of the field.
The grass withers, the flower fades,
When the breath of the Lord blows upon it;
Surely the people are grass.
The grass withers, the flower fades,
But the word of our God stands forever.

Matthew 6:24-34

24 “No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and wealth.

The Cure for Anxiety

25 “For this reason I say to you, do not be worried about your life, as to what you will eat or what you will drink; nor for your body, as to what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? 26 Look at the birds of the air, that they do not sow, nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not worth much more than they? 27 And who of you by being worried can add a single hour to his life? 28 And why are you worried about clothing? Observe how the lilies of the field grow; they do not toil nor do they spin, 29 yet I say to you that not even Solomon in all his glory clothed himself like one of these. 30 But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the furnace, will He not much more clothe you? You of little faith! 31 Do not worry then, saying, ‘What will we eat?’ or ‘What will we drink?’ or ‘What will we wear for clothing?’ 32 For the Gentiles eagerly seek all these things; for your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. 33 But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.

34 “So do not worry about tomorrow; for tomorrow will care for itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

GOD IS THE IMMEASURABLY MORE! :)

immeasurably more

 

Ephesians 3:20-21

20. Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us, 21. to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations forever and ever. Amen.

Romans 1:16-17

16. For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. 17. For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, “BUT THE RIGHTEOUS MAN SHALL LIVE BY FAITH.”

A few months ago, our friend Josh invited my best friend Sarah and I to a meeting after church for a mission trip to South Dakota that was coming up in late June. I knew about this trip, the church has been going for awhile, and some of my friends had been on it. I knew about the basics- that the trip was to South Dakota, it was on an indian reservation and there were some fond memories between my friends and the children in the pictures. Obviously and very evidently God has been working through the church as they visited these people every year, making an impact and shining His Light, The Light. BUT GOD. Little did I know how much God was going to impact me, as well as use me for Him and His Glory, through this blessing of a trip. I was about to learn more about the true mission trip that THE GOD blesses us with the eternally!!!!

What does “immeasurably more” truly, purely mean? When we say the words “immeasurably more”, at least, if you’re visual like me, we see a line going around and around in our minds, neverending. Immeasurably means that there isn’t a ruler, a metric system or a number line so long that can hold its capacity of how much it truly, purely, ETERNALLY is. You see, everything in this world is temporary, it cannot ever fill the void that each of us has the desire for of a – the –  true satisfaction. We have our sights on someone or something, we attain it, thinking that it will satisfy, and then it doesn’t. Then, we search for another. And another, and another, and another, and yet, another. And guess what? It still doesn’t ever satisfy, ever. We continue to do this, searching for more, when we should be seeking for THE ONE WHO IS the Most and Beyond eternally! Only GOD truly, purely satisfies. When we experience Him, although we can’t ever begin to fully comprehend it, we are completely fulfilled, eternally satisfied by HIM and ONLY HIM ETERNALLY!! We have seen HIM go above and beyond, immeasurably more. How many times have we doubted and then seen Him do something marvelous that we can’t begin to grasp? How many times have we seen Him do these things and then try to limit HIM, GOD, trying to keep HIM in a box, recognizing HIS amazing ways and thinking that that’s where HE has to stop “because surely HE can’t do more than this, can HE?”. AND HE DOES. But HE doesn’t ever just do. Oh, no no no no no. HE ALWAYS does IMMEASURABLY MORE. But how? But why? Y’all, we’re not made to fully comprehend GOD, THE GOD. And yet. Yet. BUT GOD! BUT THE GOD THE FATHER ETERNALLY allows us, blesses us, to experience HIM AND HIS GOODNESS, GRACIOUSNESS AND GREATNESS, and does THE IMMEASURABLY MORE, because HE, THE GOD, GOD, IS THE IMMEASURABLY MORE THE ETERNALLY!!!!!!!!! HE IS THE MOST AND BEYOND THE ETERNALLY!!!!!!!!

Flash forward a few meetings, a lot of excitement and A WHOLE LOT OF JESUS and WOOHOO! It was time to leave to experience this blessing adventure and journey!! To GOD BE THE GLORY FOREVER AND EVER THE ETERNALLY! AMEN!!

JUNE 30, 2017

The day we headed out of Chatt-town on this beloved adventure. A 5:00 AM departure in a 15-seater van filled with 12 people may not sound comfy, but we sure enjoyed it! At least, I think most of us did.

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GREAT ARE YOU, LORD, THE ETERNALLY!!!!

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This was just the beginning of how we were all going to see God’s beauty in HIS beautiful creation during this adventure.

After we drove 12 hours, we stopped in Nebraska to spend the night. We were exhausted, but there was a pool….

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…. and a waterslide. Did we have our bathing suits? Nope. “Let’s go dip our feet in the hot tub.” turned into “Do you wanna go down the waterslide?”. So we did, and it was great, SO BEYOND WORTH IT!!

* HELPFUL TIP: DO NOT leave your wet pool clothes in a plastic bag for more than 4 days…. they will most likely stink when you take them out to wash them!! GOD is still beyond goodness and greatness, though :)!!

July 1st

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And then GOD continued to amaze us with HIS glorious, beautiful creation, even looking at it through a cozy van.

Getting closer and closer….

Along the way we made several stops at gas stations. Here are some interesting purchases:

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P.S. don’t know why, and don’t know exactly where, but the majority of the gas stations we stopped at were thankfully, and surprisingly, very nice.

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getting sooooo much closer!

AND THEN….

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….WE’RE HERE! Time to serve GOD THE FATHER, OUR FATHER THE ETERNALLY and to make so so many memories!

But first let’s head to an EXTREMELY beautiful and cool spot to take group pictures!

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VIEWS for daysssss I’m tellin ya!

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FIRST NIGHT! This group, yall. The work for God, serving Him for Him and His glory, furthering HIS kingdom was so so real. Matthew 6:34 “But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.”

 

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July 2nd

DAY 2!

Today was Sunday, so the camp hadn’t started yet. Before making preparations for the kiddos coming the next morning, we all had a devotional with the team going to Manderson before we went out on sightseeing adventures!

The devotionals and fellowship were by far one of my most favorite things on this trip and to be honest, in my life. Each testimony we heard, each song that we sang and each prayer that was prayed was so relatable and I know, I KNOW, that it is the same for others and not just me feeling this way. The togetherness in that room that came from God, The Holy Spirit in that room and how evident it was that He stayed with us, and continues to stay with us the eternally, His eternally fulfilling, satisfying presence blows me away as I think about, as we dwell on His goodness and greatness, His grace and HIS mercy and forgiveness and healing and miracles as He constantly reminded us of HIM every morning (His mercies are new every morning verse!) and all throughout the day and night as we served Him and focused on HIM as HE humbled and continues to humble us THE ETERNALLY!

After this phenomenal, amazing, awesome, humbling experience, we all went our ways to sightseeing. For our group Mt Rushmore and Crazy Horse was on the agenda!

And on our way there….

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WE SAW A GAZELLE! Is that what they’re called in SD?

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Sweet sista-friend Sarah with the national memorial itself in the background!

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Gotta have the closeup! Ahhh my bestie is beautiful!

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SHAKA pic!

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P.S. Highly recommend the ice cream at Mount Rushmore! (A little pricey but VERY tasty!)

P.S.S. I suggest plain vanilla but I suggest plain vanilla every time for ice cream so get what you want!

And then we went to the Crazy Horse monument, which was even cooler than Mt Rushmore in my opinion! No pictures were taken of the actual memorial itself by me, but I can say that it was such a fun time and such a cool experience! The memorial isn’t near finished yet, but thankfully we all got a group picture beside the sculpture of the future completed project!

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This place not only showed the history behind the story of Crazy Horse, but included a little village-like museum with several rooms full of history, storytelling and even people selling their handmade goods such as jewelry, pottery and blankets with the indian tradition and touch that went along with them! Truly a cool experience! And there was a GIANT TEEPEE! How cool is that?!

And even though I didn’t get many pictures, I did capture a moment of fun between our group. While waiting for our whole group to meet at the front to leave, it became of interest that Noah saw what his eye would look like up really really close.

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It turns out it’s very, very blue, by the way!

Oh the moments of joy with these blessings from THE GOD THE FATHER I get to call my friends!

Back to the camp we go!

Sweet Christian and I playing- well, to be honest there were so many fun times and games I forget what this one was!

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And it’s hard to say no when he asks for the phone. Great photography skills, Christian!! 🙂

I talk more about this beloved blessing of a family towards the end of this post. 🙂

July 3rd

Good morning, great morning, rise and shine for GOD!!

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Seriously yall, the sunrise and sunset at this place is beyond amazing. God’s glory shines brightly everywhere, even in South Dakota!

Today’s the day! It’s time to get out of our bunks, into the main hall and prepare to meet and greet, love on and have oh so much fun with all of these kiddos!

[This part of the blog post is about to get more wordy, as in I didn’t take many pictures during the days at the camp itself until later on in the week, but enjoy the stories and lessons that I have to write about!]

The camp was throughout the entire Summer, each week a new group coming in as the camp counselors, so this was nothing new to the campers. But for us, we were learning all new things- what group we were with, what the agenda for our group was, how to know what to do and when to do it. We knew this, we knew that we were going to have to get into the camp mode and we thought that this was the only thing we would be adapting to- except not. The night before, a few of us (Sarah, Jacob, Alicia and I) were informed by our new musician friend Ben that we would be helping LEAD WORSHIP! Don’t get me wrong, I love worship because I love our God and I love worshipping our GOD, THE GOD THE ETERNALLY! But what surprised us was that we would be learning all new hand motions to all new songs the night before the camp! Sounds crazy, I know, but it went super well.

 

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The worship/tech/music squad! Such blessings from The Lord God!

 

And while we’re on the subject of SUPER- let’s talk about the camp theme for the week.

This week was sort of like a Vacation Bible School for the kids. Every year is a new theme for VBS, and this year the camp theme was: JESUS IS OUR SUPERHERO!

JESUS IS THE SUPERHERO! We learned about and discussed how although we may sin, and although we are not perfect, God, THE GOD, OUR FATHER THE ETERNALLY IS! And HE loves us. He even tells us that we are HIS most wonderful, special, unique and OH SO BEYOND BEYOND LOVED by LOVE HIMSELF creation!

Genesis 1:26-27

26 Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; and let them rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over the cattle and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” 27 God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.

Red and yellow, black and white, we are all truly precious, and special, in HIS – GOD THE FATHER’S sight.

Before going on stage we got to gear up- that’s right…. MASKS AND CAPES, EVERYONE!

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Bright yellow and pink for me, please! This was so much fun!

By the way, notice these plastic globes? 2 very fun things about them:

  1. As the children walked in each day, we threw them all out to get them excited. How did we get them back on the stage? A little game our friend Ben came up with called “Peg the superheroes!”
  2. Each day, as a new memory verse was learned among the children, that verse was taped onto each ball until they were filled up with GOD’S WORD- THE COMPLETE TRUTH! HOW COOL IS THAT?!

 

Side note: I just realized as I typed that, that God’s Word, The complete Truth The Eternally was literally being thrown and shown all over the room as the kids and us on stage threw the plastic globes. Again I say, HOW COOL IS THAT?!

With our awesome tech team (shoutout to Josh) and great hand-motion leaders (shoutout to the other kids in our church group for letting us watch yall most of the time), we made sure each morning was something fun and new that the kids could participate in and enjoy, having lots and loads of oh so much fun worshipping God The Father our Savior eternally!! The joy in that room every morning is beyond what I can describe, and the memories will last forever!!

P.S. I still sometimes think about doing hand motions when a familiar song comes on, no shame at all! 🙂

After the morning worship and sharing The Word with a lesson for the day corresponding to the theme of that week of camp, each group departed to their assigned stations. I will never forget taking our 11 & 12 year olds to the first station- the derby. This is where every kid at the camp would design and paint their derby racing car and at the end of the week race it at the grand prix. The reason why I won’t ever forget this is because it was an assurance and a reminder from GOD that this week was going to be great, even if it may get a little crazy. As soon as we arrived to the station I knew that these kids LOVED this activity, and it was one of the few where they actually participated the most- that and crafts… these children are CREATIVE!!

…. Flash forward some hours later and it was time for the kiddos to go home for the day. We all gathered into the same room we had our morning welcoming and worshipping GOD in, and had some fun before the children left to get on their buses for home.

Flash forward some more to after dinner with the mission crew and we were all. so. tired. Seriously. Not that we didn’t enjoy the day or that it wasn’t fun, but it was a lot of energy and we were realizing how much we were for sure going to need THE LORD AND HIS LIFE GIVING TRUE ETERNAL STRENGTH ALL WEEK LONG- ALL LIFE LONG THE ETERNALLY THE ETERNALLY!!!! SERIOUSLY!!!! 🙂

 

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shoutout to Kara for this picture!

 

We played some games with new friends, then headed to the bunks to get some SLEEP. Praise hands!! 🙂

July 4th

Happy fourth of July! Everyone was excited and oh so patriotic in their red, white and blue, and ready for another day of kiddos! We knew this day was going to be slightly different, however, because up in SD, the fourth of July is a big deal. Like, a big deal. Lots of celebrations. So, there weren’t as many kids at the camp that day. Because of that, I got the huge blessing and privilege to help with the 5 & 6 year olds. And my, my my were they oh so so much fun!! Lots of energy, I’m tellin ya, and GOD THE LORD THE ALMIGHTY was reminding me yet again of why I’m called by HIM to be a teacher for HIM AND HIS GLORY!!!!!!!!

Today also happened to be one of the hottest days during the week, so we brought everyone inside to watch a movie. (It was my first time seeing “Moana”.)

After the children left, it was time for the SD-mission-trip-story-famous-annual SOFTBALL GAME! (Wow, that’s a mouthful!) My friends and I were so excited to watch on this fun summer day. And let me tell ya, those South Dakotans can PLAY! Several of our friends played, and it was exciting to see them using the gifts that THE GOD THE FATHER THE ETERNALLY has given to them to use for HIM AND HIS GLORY ETERNALLY!!!!!!!! I didn’t know I had such talented blessings called friends!!!!

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Some pretty sights on the way to the softball game!

And then, naturally, on the way back to the ranch, our lovely blessings called friends humor us by playing patriotic colonial music while the other played eagle sounds. The normal. 🙂

July 5th

Most of the days following were a little bit of a mixture between Monday and Tuesday- We knew we were having camp but we never knew how many of the children were going to show up. But this was actually a huge blessing from GOD THE LORD, THE FATHER, as HE was showing us that we don’t have to know what’s going on- we just need and have to trust in HIM and that HE already has it willed and planned out- which is the best because HE IS THE BEST ETERNALLY!!!!

Today was the day that we found out we were able to go to the badlands. We had heard stories and seen pictures of this vast territory, had driven by it as we were going to other places, but hadn’t been to see what all of the talk was about, yet. As soon as we heard there was a signup sheet for those interested in going, our names were filling up so quickly. This was something that I was most excited for on the trip, and GOD never disappoints, ever. HE IS BEYOND FAITHFUL ETERNALLY!!!!! HE gets me so excited, yall!!!!

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Please appreciate our blessing of a stereo system on our way there….

AND THEN, YALL. Well, just appreciate and be in awe of GOD and HIS amazing, marvelous, wonderful awesome creation….

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And then we had some fun setting up spikeball….

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…. and then we watched some friends play spikeball. Fun fact: this game gets very intense!

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Our lighting for the game was quite legit!

And yall, look what our GREAT AND AMAZING GOD has done!!!!!!!! 🙂

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July 6th

Happy birthday to my sister, Shelby!! 🙂 Thank You GOD, JESUS, for her and the blessing that she is from YOU! 🙂

The second to last day on the ranch, the day I actually began taking pictures of the kiddos! 🙂

Luke 18:16

16 But Jesus called for them, saying, “Permit the children to come to Me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these.

One of the coolest crafts of the week- painting a cross!! 🙂

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By far my favorite craft/project that we did during the week. This was definitely a reminder to us from GOD of the Gospel and HIS eternal, neverending LOVE AND LOVINGKINDNESS for us!! 🙂

This bracelet and the different colored beads represent a true relationship with God, in Christ, when we are born again and made new in and through HIM only! John 3:3-8 Jesus answered and said to him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.”

Nicodemus *said to Him, “How can a man be born when he is old? He cannot enter a second time into his mother’s womb and be born, can he?” Jesus answered, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Do not be amazed that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.’ The wind blows where it wishes and you hear the sound of it, but do not know where it comes from and where it is going; so is everyone who is born of the Spirit.”

It represents what it truly means to not only be a believer but a follower of GOD, JESUS CHRIST, that we are delivered from darkness, from death, to THE LIFE which is HIM GOD!!!!

1 John 3:13-24

13 Do not be surprised, brethren, if the world hates you. 14 We know that we have passed out of death into life, because we love the brethren. He who does not love abides in death. 15 Everyone who hates his brother is a murderer; and you know that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him. 16 We know love by this, that He laid down His life for us; and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren. 17 But whoever has the world’s goods, and sees his brother in need and closes his heart against him, how does the love of God abide in him? 18 Little children, let us not love with word or with tongue, but in deed and truth. 19 We will know by this that we are of the truth, and will assure our heart before Him 20 in whatever our heart condemns us; for God is greater than our heart and knows all things. 21 Beloved, if our heart does not condemn us, we have confidence before God; 22 and whatever we ask we receive from Him, because we keep His commandments and do the things that are pleasing in His sight.

23 This is His commandment, that we believe in the name of His Son Jesus Christ, and love one another, just as He commanded us. 24 The one who keeps His commandments abides in Him, and He in him. We know by this that He abides in us, by the Spirit whom He has given us.

Black: Romans 3:23 ” 23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,”

Unrepented sin leads to eternal darkness

 

Red: Romans 5:8 ” But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.”

… while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

 

White: Psalm 51:7 “

Purify me with hyssop, and I shall be clean;
Wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.

A clean heart is a pure heart.

 

Blue: Romans 6:4 Therefore we have been buried with Him through baptism into death, so that as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life. 

Baptism symbolizes new life in Christ.

 

Green: 2 Peter 3:18 18 but grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory, both now and to the day of eternity. Amen.

If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation!

2 Corinthians 5:16-17

16 Therefore from now on we recognize no one according to the flesh; even though we have known Christ according to the flesh, yet now we know Him in this way no longer. 17 Therefore if anyone is in Christ, [c]he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come.

 

 

Yellow: Revelation 2:10 10 Do not fear what you are about to suffer. Behold, the devil is about to cast some of you into prison, so that you will be tested, and you will have tribulation for ten days. Be faithful until death, and I will give you the crown of life. 

verses You were meant to live forever  🙂

As soon as the Bible station instructors began explaining this cool project for the kids, I immediately felt in my heart that I was supposed to make one too. GOD was reminding me that even during the middle of a hot, crazy camp, I, and we, are still HIS, and HE’S got us, always eternally!! 🙂

P.S. I still have the bracelet. I switched the leather tie part for a pink ribbon so that it would stay more put-together, and I’m still reminded of HIS goodness and greatness when I wear it and look at it.

P.S.S. I’m so so excited for when someone asks me about it when I’m wearing it, so that I can share The Good News, Him, and the blessed gospel of JESUS CHRIST!! Eternally 🙂

Because this was our last night spent on the ranch at the camp, we wanted to get pictures by the ranch sign, and just chill out having a lot of fun- which we did! 🙂

But first, sweet Christian. IMG_4961One of Christian’s recurring phrases was to Noah as he tells him not to take his glasses- so cute and sweet!

 

 

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Our blessed sweet friends who became family, The Llewellyns!

 

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Cute doggies that were a great addition to the many memories from THE LORD GOD!!! 🙂

(Ranger on the left and Jackie on the right)

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Some porch and yard fun!! 🙂

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Sweet Marley dog!

Soon after, the boys found a bike. Let’s put it together, shall we? Teenage boys + bike= ….

Kicking a soccer ball at the one trying to ride the bike. I promise they’re good people and blessed friends! 🙂

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More beautiful views from The Lord THE GOD THE ALMIGHTY AND THE SOVEREIGN 🙂 !!!!!!

Then it was time for…. BUBBLES!!

During the welcoming/worship for the kids during the week, we had our own “superhero” to give the devotion while interacting with the kids: Bible man!

“Bible man” always entered the room with background music and bubble guns, truly so exciting and fun for everyone!

Since this was our last night on the ranch at the camp and wouldn’t have the welcoming worship the next morning after the mission trip group devotional, the bubble guns were free to use! After we got to play with them for a bit, we handed it to Christian, and it’s safe to say he had the most fun! Thank You, Jesus, for sweet, precious moments and memories from YOU! 🙂

 

Like, c’mon, how CUTE is he?! (This even inspired Josh’s soon to be birthday gift to Christian after the mission trip!) 🙂

July 7th

The last day on the ranch, and the last day of camp (Well, for the week, at least). Bittersweet is how I can describe the night prior and the morning of. We were of course excited to get home to our family and friends but also sad about leaving- we have grown to love it here and we have grown to love the blessings of people family that GOD has blessed us with!

We knew that we would get to see the children before we left and have a lot more fun with them, but since it was only a half-day at the camp we also knew that we would be leaving soon. But before we left, GOD still had some more memories and fun that HE had planned to bless us with! PRAISE HIM! 🙂 !!

As the kids were arriving, the bike came out. No more trying to nail each other in the head with kickballs, but we did have some fun letting the kids ride it, and thankfully our friend Jacob helped.

First up was Christian!

SD bike

And then his sister, Taylor, wanted a turn!

She was VERY determined, even when it was a little wobbly!!

She did quite well, actually! Go Taylor! 🙂

After this fun bike ride, it was time for the camp “Grand Prix derby race” for the kids! This was honestly so much fun. Some of our awesome team members had put together a ramp for the cars. It ran almost the length of the main room! Everyone’s, which was all of the kids, cars were raced down the track, and the winners were narrowed down after each round. The children loved it! There was so much excitement in the room and it was such a blessing that (praise THE LORD) all of the kids were behaving!! 🙂

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As we sat behind the tech booth and watched these kids race their cars and the excitement on their faces as they watched each car go down the track, I am reminded of the little joys that are actually big joys, big, ginormous blessings from THE LORD GOD THE ALMIGHTY THE SOVEREIGN THE ETERNALLY!!!! 🙂

After the race, we all went outside to play with the kids one last time for the week before we left. Basketball or four-square, these kids are talented! So many skills and gifts and blessings around us that we got to experience while watching and playing with them. The sun was beating down but we didn’t mind. We played and played as we knew we would miss them just hours later. BUT GOD 🙂 !!

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Sweet, Precious Lupe. Always asking what your name is (even if you’ve told her five times), and then asking you what hers is. Never got tired of it. 🙂  Sweet story and memory of Lupe and I: as she rode on my back and we ran around I would sing “doo da doo da doo doo doo” to the beat of my steps and skips. When I stopped I heard, “Can you do ‘doo da doo da doooo‘?” And of course, I did. 🙂

 

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Piggyback rides are a favorite around here! 🙂

 

Throughout this blessed precious week, each one of the children warmed up to us, and these pictures only show this very partially. I have a blessing of a story from GOD to explain 🙂 .

My best friend Sarah was put with the 9 & 10 year olds, and although she was thrilled, like most of us she was about to learn the beautiful gift and blessing of patience and perseverance from GOD THE LORD 🙂 . The very first day, a girl in Sarah’s group was getting involved into all sorts of trouble. Sarah shared with us how she was truly struggling with that being the first day and trying her best to help in the situation. Fast forward to the second-to-last day of camp, while we were in crafts painting the cross, and that same girl who had previously rejected Sarah as a friend, only wanted Sarah helping her with the craft. I couldn’t help but in that moment to think of the progress that GOD had shown throughout the whole week. How many times did we doubt at the beginning of the process? AND HOW MUCH MORE DID GOD show that we can and NEED to and SHOULD trust IN HIM in every moment, the eternally. BUT GOD!!!!!!!!

The Llewellyns

I mentioned early the Llewellyn family that we met on the trip. I had known Mrs. Llewellyn, as she used to be one of the second grade teachers at the school we attended. I knew how sweet she was, and I knew that she was married, I knew that she had a little girl when I was younger (seriously, I can still remember their pregnancy announcement and the gender reveal, along with the name for their firstborn little girl, Sydney!). BUT GOD. But what GOD was about to do was beyond amazing. The very first night there, we began playing with their (4!) children, and it was truly one of the greatest blessings and joys, ever, truly, honestly, purely. These children are some of the most grateful, graceful, joyful, God-loving, faith-living and loving that I have ever met. And these are just some of the words to describe this family as a whole. The blessing from GOD that they were, as HE was showing us, reminding us that even in the crazy moments of life, even during the hot, activity-filled days, when we think that we are too tired to even function at the end, HE reminded us, and constantly reminds us that HE will always give peace. This family is truly an example of that peace. They show His Love and shine His Light so boldly and brightly, that we can’t help but feel the joy and love and perfect peace everytime we are around them. It was, and is, like a breath of fresh air each day as we got to sit down with them, whether it was having serious faith-filled encouraging conversations, eating, or playing “fishy-fishy”, and I know that we will never forget these moments of God’s grace and love and boldly bright light, and I pray and hope that yall get to meet them one day to experience the same blessing from GOD THE LORD ALMIGHTY THE SOVEREIGN THE ETERNALLY!!!!!!!!

This blessing of a mission trip from GOD was a way of HIM showing me, reminding me, reminding me of the continuous, eternal truth of what the constant, true eternal mission is. To know GOD and to make HIM known! Matthew 22:34-40 “34. But when the Pharisees heard that Jesus had silenced the Sadducees, they gathered themselves together. 35. One of them, a lawyer, asked Him a question, testing Him, 36. “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?” 37. And He said to him, ” ‘YOU SHALL LOVE THE LORD YOUR GOD WITH ALL YOU HEART, AND WITH ALL YOUR SOUL, AND WITH ALL YOUR MIND.’ 38. This is the great and foremost commandment. 39. The second is like it, ‘YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF.’ 40. On these two commandments depend the whole Law and the Prophets.” Matthew 28:17-20 “17. When they saw Him, they worshipped Him; but some were doubtful. 18. And Jesus came up and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. 19. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, 20. teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” God didn’t promise it was going to be easy. But God- HE DID AND DOES PROMISE that it will be beyond worth it. GOD’S ETERNAL PROMISE still remains and eternally will remain- eternally 🙂

To be a disciple of GOD, of JESUS CHRIST, is not only to be a believer and a follower- but to share HIS LOVE, to shine HIS PERFECT BRIGHT AND BOLDNESS LIGHT!! To know HIM and to make HIM known. This is in every moment. We are walking, talking, breathing miracles radiating God, THE LOVE AND LIFE inside of us, shining, being a light to proclaim what HE has done. To give only HIM the glory, honor and praise, so that others see not us but HIM, GOD, in us eternally!

“Don’t shine so others can see you. Shine so that through you, others can see Him.” – C.S. Lewis

Matthew 5:13-18 Disciples and the World “13. “You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt has become tasteless, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled under foot by men.

14. “You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden; 15. nor does anyone light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on the lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. 16. Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.

17. “Do not think that I came to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I did not come to abolish but to fulfill. 18. For truly I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not the smallest letter or stroke shall pass from the Law until all is accomplished.”

And y’all, God doesn’t promise easy, He promises that HE KEEPS HIS PROMISE AND HE IS ETERNALLY FAITHFUL FOR- WELL, ETERNALLY!!!! He promises and shows that He is with us, that we don’t have to fear the giants or the lions or the mountains. He promises that if- when- we have complete faith and trust IN HIM- we are more than conquerors through HIM eternally 🙂 !!!!

2 Corinthians 5:6-8 “6. Therefore, being always of good courage, and knowing that while we are at home in the body we are absent from the Lord- 7.for we walk by faith, not by sight- 8.we are of good courage, I say, and prefer rather to be absent from the body and to be at home with the Lord.”

Matthew 17:19-21 “19. Then the disciples came to Jesus privately and said, “Why could we not drive it out?” 20. And He said to them, “Because of the littleness of your faith; for truly I say to you, if you have faith the size of a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move; and nothing will be impossible to you. 21. [But this kind does not go out except by prayer and fasting.”]

IMG_5136

Will I go on this trip next year and the years to come? I pray I do, and, God-willing, I will. 🙂

HEY THERE! My best friend in this post, Sarah, created a blog! She wrote about this same mission trip experience and I’m so so beyond sure GOD is going to put loads more on her heart to write about for HIM AND HIS GLORY THE ETERNALLY! Go check it out! 🙂

https://soulsophisticated.wordpress.com/

P.S. enjoy some of these blessed beloved extra pics (which include the ever so famous sleeping pics) that were thankfully taken! 🙂

IMG_4818IMG_5047IMG_5105IMG_5104IMG_5069IMG_5116IMG_5115IMG_5114IMG_5085IMG_5086

John 3:16-17

16 “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him.

John 16:33

33 These things I have spoken to you, so that in Me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world.”

Hebrews 12:1-3

Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.

For consider Him who has endured such hostility by sinners against Himself, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.

 

1 John 4:19

19 We love, because He first loved us.

 

 

Why I hate the word “sexy”.

it-is-well-with-my-soul-4

Genesis 1:26-27 26 Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; and let them rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over the cattle and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” 27 God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.

Genesis 5:1-2

Descendants of Adam

This is the book of the generations of Adam. In the day when God created man, He made him in the likeness of God. He created them male and female, and He blessed them and named them Man in the day when they were created.


We’re all fearfully and wonderfully made, we’re beautiful, we are incomparable- we’ve heard it all before and we’ll continue hearing it and believing it. But what else will we keep hearing? By the title of this blog post some may be confused, others offended, some just wanting to know why, either way I know this has to be discussed.

I’ve had this post placed on my heart for quite awhile now, it just turns out God placed it in His timing for me to write it now. And I believe- I KNOW- that God’s plan aligns like nothing else we could ever imagine, everything is perfect because HE is completely perfect. And this is why I know that it was not a coincidence that before I began writing this post, God laid it also on my heart to catch up on the past two church sermons that I had missed. The series we are in is titled “Blessed” and it is from the sermon on the mount that our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ- WHO IS GOD- gave that is oh so blessedly given to us in HIS Word- The Bible. The particular sermon that God had me listen to tonight was about anger, but it isn’t anger that related to what I am going to talk about in this blog post.

“Words hurt.” This, is what relates to what I am going to talk about.

Before I even begin to get to that point, I am going to start off with a little grammar lesson that relates to the point of this whole post. Why? Well, you’ll see.

Why do we add the letter ‘y’ to the end of some words? In a simplified answer, it is primarily to emphasize and extend the, well, extent that the original word is being used. For example,

We know what it means when something is fun, but when something is funny, it is so much fun that it creates a hysterical reaction- full of fun.

We can identify a word as a word, but we know that when something is wordy, it is something that is full of words.

We don’t think enough about what words actually mean, no matter how much they are used in such a casual way, and I believe that the word “sexy” is one of them.

When you hear or read the word “sexy”, you see something you’ve seen a billion times- all over social media, magazines, television, billboards- this word is known to all, and that isn’t a good thing. We see or hear this word and think of it as “a compliment” along the lines of pretty, attractive, or even beautiful. We think of it as a way of describing someone when we see them. But little of the time, if ever, do we stop and think about what we’re saying.

Some may say I’m overthinking this, others not understanding, some calling me crazy for saying such a popular word could be that bad, but it is. The first reason I’m giving is the reason which is pretty much the basis for the others.

We don’t think about what the word truly means.

In and of itself, we don’t stop and look at the word and how it is even put together. “sexy”. When we look at the word and break it down like the previous examples that I gave, the original word sitting there is “sex”. There’s no going around it, no trying to deny it, it’s right there. Add a ‘y’ to the end of the word and you get a definition that basically says “full of sex”, “a symbol of sex”.

Some people probably just got so confused like, “woah woah woah, there’s no way that that’s what the word means, I mean, come on, we use it every day”. And some may think “Well that isn’t what I’m trying to say when I use the word, and the same is for others I hear use it.” Which is true, that is usually not the intentional meaning people have in mind when using it, reading it, hearing it. It’s just viewed as another “compliment”, “adjective” word. And that is exactly my point as I’m writing this blog post. We don’t pay attention to our words enough and what they actually mean when they are sitting RIGHT in front of us.

I realize that this word has been used for quite some time, and I mean quite some time. We see or hear it average once a week if not every other day in some way. But just because something is common doesn’t mean it’s correct or right, even okay to use. It is in fact quite disrespectful.

We are created in the image of GOD.

No denying it, it’s one of the first things HE shows and tells us and reminds us continuously of in HIS WORD. Being respectful to GOD means being respectful to HIS WAYS. Y’all, we are one of His ways- His ways of doing something marvelous and amazing- creating us…. in HIS image only. I don’t think, I hope, that we would call the image of God “sexy”, whatsoever. Whatsoever meaning even us, who are created IN HIS IMAGE.

The word is used so much.

Think about it, how many times it is used in captions on social media, in a conversation on a morning talk show, even used in storefront advertisements all over the world. There’s no stopping (anytime soon) this word being around us because to be truthful, it’s going to be in a lot of places. And this word is used so much that it has become as common as the simple word “and” or “the”, and has become a bullet point on the list of “descriptive, compliment” options in our daily vocabulary.

This word is used too much.

As I said, this word has become so common as to fall in the category of daily “descriptions” or “compliments”…Which means that there are other options. Out of all of the exquisite, wonderful words (there’s two right there) that have been given to us in God’s gift of speech, we choose “sexy”. Do not settle for words such as these when you have all of these other great words to use in your daily vocabulary. Our words go such a long way, beloved friends, they do. W are to use our speech for GOD and HIS GLORY, to glorify HIM ONLY, EVERY MOMENT. Don’t take the moments that you have the blessed opportunity to speak for granted, they are opportunities to share Grace Himself.

There are way better words to use.

BEAUTIFUL

FEARFULLY AND WONDERFULLY MADE

CREATED

PRETTY

LOVELY

ELEGANT

BOLD

These are just some of the words that we can use instead of the word “sexy”. There’s a reason why these words look like more, mean more and are more than the word “sexy”- because they describe not only outward appearance, but the inside, the character, the soul. You see, we are so so quick to immediately want to describe a person by their outward appearance. very rarely do we look at a person and use these words to describe their soul, their inward appearance. One of GOD’S blessings is the ability for us to do this, and like a lot of HIS BLESSINGS, we sometimes overlook it when it is so easy to see the outward and not the inward. BUT GOD- yes, here HE goes working miracles. BUT GOD. HE has given us the blessed ability, opportunity to be transformed, renewed, and when this happens, there is a change in you- a blessed, marvelous change by and through HIM that includes what? The ability to see people not as an outward structure of flesh but of a FEARFULLY AND WONDERFULLY MADE SOUL- GOD’S CHILD.


We need to please GOD.

Even in our words. I am in no way saying that “If you say, hear or read the word sexy you are just horrible and you aren’t pleasing God with your life.” because that’s not true and not what I’m meaning by all of this. What I mean is that GOD calls us to be wholesome in everything- our actions, thoughts, conduct, behavior, character, everything, including our speech. So let this be a reminder that THE ONE WHO created us, IS THE SAME AND ONLY ONE WHO has blessed us with the gift of speech, to uplift one another, and has given us the ability speak wholesome words that will put wholesome thoughts into one another- the blessing to use wholesome words other than the bland, the word that’s meaning is far from the others’ wholesome meanings and thoughts- “sexy”. But don’t change your vocabulary or your thought process in a way that is to please others and make them feel good- which is a good thing, to speak and act in a way that will help others- but remember WHO WE’RE DOING IT FOR- THE GOD, THE CREATOR, THE LORD GOD THE ALMIGHTY THE FATHER, LIFE AND LOVE HIMSELF WHO LOVES US AND HAS FEARFULLY AND WONDERFULLY CREATED US- WHO KNOWS US INSIDE THE DEPTHS AND OUTSIDE, WHO CREATED OUR SOULS AND HEARTS AND LOVES US.

Now again, my purpose of this blog post wasn’t in any way to point fingers to anyone, but to point out a different perspective on even the most common of things in the society, in the world. And may this be a reminder that I am more, you are more, we are more than even close to “sexy”, so let’s act and speak like it. Remember, we are loved by GOD, LOVE HIMSELF, and I am, you are, we are fearfully and oh so wonderfully made by GOD THE CREATOR, LIFE HIMSELF. Focus on HIM, beloved.

Ephesians 4:29

29 Let no unwholesome word proceed from your mouth, but only such a word as is good for edification according to the need of the moment, so that it will give grace to those who hear.

1 Timothy 4:11-12

11 Prescribe and teach these things. 12 Let no one look down on your youthfulness, but rather in speech, conduct, love, faith and purity, show yourself an example of those who believe.

Psalm 139:13-18

13 For You formed my inward parts;
You wove me in my mother’s womb.
14 I will give thanks to You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
Wonderful are Your works,
And my soul knows it very well.
15 My frame was not hidden from You,
When I was made in secret,
And skillfully wrought in the depths of the earth;
16 Your eyes have seen my unformed substance;
And in Your book were all written
The days that were ordained for me,
When as yet there was not one of them.

17 How precious also are Your thoughts to me, O God!
How vast is the sum of them!
18 If I should count them, they would outnumber the sand.
When I awake, I am still with You.

ETERNALLY.

Spring Things!

It is well with my soul (9) Lamentations 3:21-23 “21. This I recall to my mind,

Therefore I have hope.

22. The LORD’s lovingkindnesses indeed

never cease,

For His compassions never fail.

23. They are new every morning;

Great is Your faithfulness.”

Spring is just around the cor- OH, LOOK, Spring has sprung! That was fun! It’s still more than okay to make a post about spring-y things, though. I’m so excited about spring that I wanted to share some ideas that relate to this beautiful GOD-given season! I’ve thought about it and I’m putting together a list of things that will be most relevant- activities, food, etc., you get the picture. Some of these things I’ve done already, others are things I definitely want to do. I hope this inspires you and gets you oh so so excited for spring!

THINGS TO DO:

  • Go on a walk- but not just a walk, GO ON A HIKE! It’s always great to get some fresh air, but it’s even better when you get some exercise as well! So grab some friends, pack a snack and some water (okay, lots of water), have fun and enjoy GOD’S beautiful creation!

hiking

  • Go look at some flowers! Whether it’s at a supermarket, a flower shop or even just a field on the side of the road, step outside and go looking- and picking- some of GOD’S beautiful creation!

flower collageimage via: google images

  • Get frozen-yogurt! Grab some friends and go get some of that delicious frozen treat! My personal favorite is anything simple- like vanilla, coconut, and then maybe some cake batter. Toppings? Strawberries and coconut flakes for the win, throwing in some white chocolate chips in there. This activity can for sure go into summer, or if you’re like me, every season, but it’s definitely a good idea!

images via: http://blog.foodnetwork.com/healthyeats/2013/06/04/build-a-better-frozen-yogurt-sundae/

http://www.goldenspoon.com/

  • Make a floral something! Get creative, there’s tons of flowers, greenery and foliage to choose from, as well as all of the beautiful colors in GOD’S creation to make something so cute and cool! This goes for all sorts of decorations- room décor, table center pieces and even wreaths!

images via: (linked in image)

THINGS TO EAT:

  • BLT pasta salad! I love good balance- light, healthy meals that are also filling and, well, have meat on them. This recipe I found is a great example. Use this as the main course or even as a side dish, on a Friday night at home or even a picnic outdoors, enjoy!

http://life-in-the-lofthouse.com/blt-pasta-salad/ blt pasta salad recipe

image via: Life in the Lofthouse

  • Chicken thighs with sweet potatoes, corn and kale bake! You can’t go wrong with chicken, plus you get all of those good-for-you vegetables in there, too (even sweet potatoes, I could eat those all day long)- ALL IN ONE!

http://www.jocooks.com/main-courses/poultry-main-courses/chicken-thighs-sweet-potatoes-corn-kale-bake/sp&crecipe2

image via: Jo Cooks

  • Strawberry pie! This is a simple yet oh so delicious treat that is not only a spring but summertime staple as well. Pie+easy+fruit= YUM!

http://www.kraftrecipes.com/recipes/cool-n-easy-strawberry-pie-53372.aspx?cm_mmc=Social-_-Pinterest-_-CPC-_-CoolNEasyStrawberryPie&pp=0

strawberry pie

image via: Kraft

  • Homemade strawberry-banana ice cream! I know I already used a strawberry dessert, but I mean, come on, it’s ice cream! Mix this simple but delicious treat up in a blender/food processor in minutes, stick it in the freezer or eat it right away! (And it’s also healthy!).

http://www.tosimplyinspire.com/2-minute-healthy-homemade-strawberry-ice-cream.htmlHealthy-Homemade-Strawberry-Ice-Cream

image via: To Simply Inspire

REFRESHMENTS:

  • FRUIT WATER! I know this is a simple one, very easy and straightforward, and is actually great all of the time, but how can you not add fruit-water to a list of great spring refreshments! Grab some water, ice-cold is preferable in this weather, and throw in some fruit and there!

fruit waterimage via: Steamed Not Fried

  • Peach green tea! If you’re looking for something soothing with that fruity, springtime feel, this tea is definitely the way to go! It’s simple enough that you can make a large quantity to last awhile and still has a great flavor, or narrow down the amount of ingredients to make one cup!

http://nourishedsimply.com/peach-green-tea/

peach-green-tea

image via: Nourished Simply

  • Iced coffee! Need I say more? You didn’t think we’d get this far in refreshments and not have coffee, did you? Here’s 3 simple but tasty recipes I found that {taste} for themselves! 🙂

http://thegirlonbloor.com/iced-coffee-recipes-caramel-vanilla-and-mocha/

Iced-Coffee-Recipes-7

image via: The Girl on Bloor

  • Lavender lemonade! Okay, I know, I know, sounds weird. But I thought about it and this actually sounds pretty decent! I don’t know if it’s the color, the sound of it or the simple ingredients but this screams (tastes?) spring! Maybe even throw in some vanilla to taste. I’m definitely willing to try it, and hey, it’s definitely one of the prettier looking drinks!

http://thenymelrosefamily.com/lavender-lemonade/

Lavender-Lemonadeimage via: The Melrose Family

THINGS TO MAKE:
  • A spring-floral wreath! I know I already mentioned making something floral, but I wanted to specify in the wreath especially. Whether you build off of an original or start from scratch, these can be a fun project! You’ll need a foam, wire, or branch wreath to start with. Grab some faux flowers, greenery decorations and glue (and a bow for a nice touch) and you’ve got yourself a cute wreath to hang on your front door!

images via: (linked in image)

  • Mason jar crafts! This is a very broad but very cute category when it comes to the topic of DIY’s! Mason jars aren’t just good for food and beverages, you know! Whether using for a vase, decoration, storage, or decorative storage, these glass containers are very useful around the home and almost everywhere!

images via: (linked in image)

  • Flower initials! I know, I know, more floral. But hey, it’s spring! These cute decorations can be placed in your bedroom, in the kitchen, living room and even outdoor space! Use for your name, initials and words/phrases! Any type of initial, some faux flowers and glue is what you’ll need for this springy diy!

images via: (linked in image)

  • Springy rustic chic! That’s right, springy rustic chic! Y’all are welcome to use that whenever and wherever you feel it is needed! 🙂 Y’all know what I’m talking about, though. You know when something’s cute and flowery but has that woodsy, rustic feel to it, as well? That’s what I’m talking about! These mason jar string art decorations are a great example of this! Wood, yarn and faux flowers (and some nails and a hammer) make this a fun, cute way to decorate your home or use as a gift to that springy rustic chic person in your life! 🙂

http://www.amazinginteriordesign.stfi.re/10-creative-diy-spring-projects-love-try/?sf=bpavklp#aa

instructions and tutorial: https://www.sugarbeecrafts.com/2016/07/mason-jar-string-art.html

string art

image via: Amazing Interior Design

mason jar string art2image via: Sugar Bee Crafts

  • With the kids! I’m currently in school studying to be an elementary teacher, so when I saw these diy craft ideas pop up on pinterest I thought I just had to share them! Whether it be for your children, cousins, nieces and nephews, students, kids you babysit or even something fun for you to do with your friends, these are great ways to add excitement about springtime and get creative as well! 🙂
  • Craft stick flower pots. When I saw this it was an immediate edition to this list because of how cute and classic yet clever it is. With all of those craft sticks lying around (Seriously, do y’all remember when we used those for everything?), and lots of creativity from the kiddos, this is a fun project that can be put to use for some pretty spring flowers!

https://typicallysimple.com/craft-stick-flower-pots/

Craft-Stick-Flower-Pots-5image via: Typically Simple

  • Paper straw tulips. Yes, you heard me! These are simple but sweet ways to let children make flowers as decorations with just a few simple supplies!

http://iheartcraftythings.com/paper-straw-tulip-craft.html

paper-straw-tulip-craftimage via: I Heart Crafty Things

  • Umbrella and Rain- paint with bubble wrap. BUBBLE WRAP. Now you’ve REALLY heard me, get it? And we can’t forget about these April Showers that bring May flowers! And who doesn’t love to play with some good ole’ bubble wrap!

http://www.123homeschool4me.com/2017/04/bubble-wrap-rain-craft.html

umbrella rain painted bubble wrap prints weather craft 8image via: 123 Homeschool 4 Me

  • Q-tip daisies. This is another simple but sweet craft for the kiddos! It takes very little time and will be a nice spring craft that they can take home to hang on the fridge! Have them make multiple flowers and use them to decorate your classroom door!

http://thepinterestedparent.com/2017/04/q-tip-daisy-craft/

qtip daisiesimage via: The Pinterested Parent

  • Cupcake liner sunflowers. Well we’re just sprinkling all of the flowers today, aren’t we? 🙂 Another cute flowery craft that is simple yet gets the kids’ creativity flowing by putting household items to good use (maybe even use the rest of the cupcake liners to bake some actual cupcakes afterwards too- and decorate with icing flowers? 🙂

http://www.playdoughandpopsicles.com/2016/08/19/fun-cupcake-liner-sunflower-craft/

sunflower cupcake liner craftimage via: Play dough & Popsicles

  • The Very Hungry Caterpillar book-inspired craft. Most of us know and love the story of The Very Hungry Caterpillar and remember how fun reading it was. This craft is perfect to use while reading, if the students are learning about metamorphosis or if you’re just looking for a cute, simple and crafty activity for the kids!

http://whereimaginationgrows.com/caterpillar-craft-for-kids/

caterpillar-craft-paper-chain-fbimage via: Where Imagination Grows

  • Sponge-painted butterfly. And what’s a caterpillar without the butterfly?! This is a creative way to follow-up the caterpillar craft, a great springtime activity and an excellent way to emphasize to the children their specialness and uniqueness in, through and with GOD! Give them each a blank butterfly cutout, a craft stick for the body, some pipe cleaners for the antennas, paint brushes, sponges or whatever choice of painting-tool and let them choose their butterfly wing colors and voila! You get creative, unique crafts from very special, creative and unique children! 🙂

http://www.theresourcefulmama.com/sponge-painted-butterfly-craft-kids/

sponge-painted-butterfly-craft-3image via: The Resourceful Mama

I hope y’all enjoyed this long list of Spring things to do, eat, drink, and craft during this beautiful season which GOD has created! Remember that no matter what season you’re in, God has you and HE has had you since before you were in your mother’s womb, so don’t let the dead and bitter cold of winter get you down, don’t listen to satan and his lies, don’t listen to the world, and don’t be discouraged because of how dark and cold the world is. Look for the positive, the happy, the joy, seek GOD, desire HIM AND ONLY HIM ALONE, and you will see just how beautiful the colorful leaves are despite their falling, for GOD knows and has purposed and willed and planned for the best because HE IS THE BEST, AND HE WILL show, remind, tell and teach you this, so hold onto your thankfulness during each and every season that HE has willed and planned, because HE WILL show you the beauty that comes out of it! HE will grow and bloom you so so beyond beautifully, and you will be so happy, beautiful, joyful and bright in and through HIM that the various seasons won’t worry or bother you because despite the changing of all of them, HE, GOD, REMAINS, AND HE IS FOREVER, ETERNALLY CHANGELESS!!!!!!!! GOD IS LOVE AND HE LOVES US, WE ARE SO SO BEYOND LOVED BY LOVE HIMSELF, I PRAY AND HOPE THAT WE DONT EVER FORGET THIS TRUTH!!!! 🙂

Lamentations 3:24-28 “24. “The LORD is my portion,” says my soul,

“Therefore I have hope in Him.”

25. The LORD is good to those who wait for

Him,

To the person who seeks Him.

26. It is good that he waits silently

For the salvation of the LORD.

27. It is good for a man that he should bear

The yoke in his youth.

28. Let him sit alone and be silent

Since He has laid it on him.”

Psalm 51:10 “10. Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.”

Psalm 30:1-5 A Psalm; a Song at the Dedication of the House. A Psalm of David.

“1. I will extol You, O LORD, for You have

lifted me up,

And have not let my enemies rejoice

over me.

2. O LORD my God,

I cried to You for help, and You healed

me.

3. O LORD, You have brought up my soul

from Sheol;

You have kept me alive, that I would not

go down to the pit.

4. Sing praise to the LORD, you His godly

ones,

And give thanks to His holy name.

5. For His anger is but for a moment,

His favor is for a lifetime;

Weeping may last for the night,

But a shout of joy comes in the morning.”

Changing the Oil

It is well with my soul (7)

Psalm 51:10 “Create in me a clean heart, O God, And renew a steadfast spirit within me.”

 

For Him.

The other week, God spoke to me, reminding me of His Truth in two events during a day that may seem completely casual and unimportant to most. These two things, though they were reminded to me in some casual ways, are far from casual and unimportant, by all means. These two things are just some of the bits of reminders that we need on a daily basis, as constant reminders in every moment. And GOD WILL remind us of these things, even in daily events.

These are the 2 things that God reminded me of:

  1. Do not worry, GOD’S got it all, and don’t forget this even when others think differently.
  2. We need God in our tanks.

 

The night before these events, I was coming home, – to be honest it’s been what feels like a long couple of weeks so I can’t remember if it was from school or work, probably work- and as I was driving in the neighborhood, almost to my house, I heard a noise that sounded near the tire. The tire pressure light didn’t come on, so I was glad about that, and I just brushed it off because I thought I could’ve just ran over a stick or something. The next afternoon as I was leaving for class, there was a very strange sound that occurred anytime my foot was on the gas. This wasn’t good. Still no tire pressure sign, though. I sent a video to my dad so that he could hear the noise as well.

After emailing my professor saying I wasn’t going to make it because I lived 30 minutes away and I wasn’t risking a flat tire (I mean it’s the truth), my dad called saying he thought it could be something with the engine and that he would take a look at it soon. I told him I still thought it could be a stick or something because of the event the night prior, but he disagreed. My mom took a look at it when she got home from work, and, lo and behold, a long branch was stuck up under the tire, funny, right?

 

Since my dad was going to check my car anyway, we went ahead and checked the oil in it. As we were standing there right outside the garage, hood lifted and all, dad proceeded to check the oil, making sure everything was alright, that there was enough in the car, and, as most dads probably do, was telling me all about it. But was I listening? Not really.

Let me put it this way, y’all. If you know me pretty well, you may have noticed me playing with my ears every once in awhile. I’ve done this since I was younger, it’s pretty much equivalent to most with sucking their thumb. I mainly do this when I’m either tired, bored, zoning out, or maybe a mixture of all of these, and let me tell ya, I was playing with my ear pretty much the whole time dad was talking.

Was it because of him? No, of course not. I mean, I do greatly appreciate that he was taking the time to check and change the oil in my car, refilling the tank and telling me information that I need to know, things that are important, and things that I can and will use. During that moment I realized how much this is like us with God.

 

  1. A lot of times in life we go through moments where, even as servants of GOD and followers of CHRIST, we may not know what GOD is doing at the moment, what just happened. Something happens and we look to the dashboard seeing if God will give us a sign of what’s going on, where the issue is or how we can fix it, or what HE wants us to do. We still have faith in GOD and HIS WORD, HIS TRUTH, and we know that HE is faithful in HIS promises, and we have this HOPE within us and this indication to be patient because we know HE, well, knows, always, eternally. But even in these moments of faith, these moments when GOD gives us indication that there really isn’t an issue, that it’s just a stick under the car, people will look at you and listen to what you have to say and wonder and ask you why you still have faith. And they wonder why you aren’t worried, they’re telling you all of the things that could be the issue and they’re doubting. But when they doubt, when others can’t see what GOD is doing, when others are worried and wondering why we’re not, when others don’t understand why we still have faith in GOD or why we’re still believing in HIM AND HIS PROMISES, we need to, and should, HOLD FAST to the promise with which we are given by HIM, ETERNALLY, THE BEYOND FAITHFUL ONE OF ALL. And others WILL see GOD and HIS WORKS. They will see why you have stayed STEADFAST in the faith in GOD and they will see why we don’t worry, because, why should we worry? Do not listen to the people of the world doubting you, listen to GOD, THE CREATOR AND SAVIOR OF ALL, no matter what others tell you to believe. Believe in HIM and HIM alone.

Hebrews 10:23-25

23 Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful; 24 and let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds, 25 not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another; and all the more as you see the day drawing near.

 

2. Think about it this way, if our life is like a car (bare with me, y’all, it’s 4:08 a.m. when I’m typing this). If our life is like a car, we have the engine, we have the oil, the gas, all of it. Think about it also as our walk with CHRIST like a car. When you’re driving a car, you need and want the complete assurance that the car’s engine is good, and that the oil and gas are filled up as they need to be. If you’re running out of oil, you’ll see the signs. Same with the gas, if you’re running low on gas the car won’t run as well. If you’re empty of gas, the car won’t run at all. But if the engine is bad, then, well, the car is mostly just not gonna be in good shape, because the engine is the key component to the car running properly. This is like our lives and our walk with CHRIST. We can be in our walk with Christ and everything is good, and yes we are completely saved and forgiven, and no, no one and nothing can ever take that away, but if we aren’t seeking and pursuing GOD, truly seeking and pursuing GOD, if we aren’t refueling ourselves EVERY SINGLE DAY in EVERY SINGLE MOMENT, then we’re gonna notice and we won’t run as well. If we get saved and then just go on our happy way-on a drive, if you will-, without even attempting to seek and pursue GOD, being refueled by HIM in every moment, being full of HIM, never stopping to get gas or check the oil in the car, it does very, very little. What will happen? You’ll see it and you’ll feel it. You won’t run as well. You’ll feel more emptiness, you’ll need more gas and more oil. But does GOD stay silent? Oh no no, my friends, oh no no, for my GOD, THE GOD, is THE GOD WHO speaks, even when HIS speaking is through showing us things. HE WILL light up that warning on the dashboard so quick and so bright that you will KNOW what you need: more of HIM, always, eternally. And guess what? GOD WILL do it right there- HE’S always here, even closer than just around the corner to a gas station(again, y’all, it’s late in the hours, I’m trying with this analogy). But it all comes down to the engine. If the engine isn’t good, the whole car won’t be, at all. Will the car still be a car and drive with a bad engine? Yes, but it will be miserable. You will be miserable. And with the misery and the bad engine, you know it will fail, and you know that it won’t last. And GOD WILL tell you THE TRUTH. HE tells us the information that is oh so so very important, the most important, and a lot of the time our earthly ears just hear it as some long talk about “what we need and blah blah blah”, when it is the most beautiful and most important thing that we can ever hear. But maybe you’re ignoring it. Maybe you know it’s bad but you don’t want to fix it because you’re afraid of the cost, afraid of what may happen. Y’all, when we have a bad engine, when we have a bad center of our lives, it will be EXTREMELY EVIDENT, not just to us but to everyone who sees us. The unhappiness, the un-satisfaction and the misery is evident when we don’t have the true satisfaction, completeness and assurance as the center of our lives: GOD. Because truly, if GOD isn’t the center of our lives, if HE isn’t our engine, we won’t run well at all, even if we may think we are for awhile, because all else will fail. Only HE, GOD satisfies eternally. HE is the COMPLETE ASSURANCE that we need and want and long for, because HE IS COMPLETE SATISFACTION. And when you take out that old, rusted engine that fails every time and you place GOD as the center of your life, when you completely give yourself and give it all to HIM, completely for HIM, you will finally be complete, satisfied, completely, utterly and evidently happy, joyful and radiant, and no one and nothing can take that away. So keep being refueled by GOD, because HE WILL pour into you and continue to make you ETERNALLY WHOLE AND FULL, more than anyone or anything else every could, because all else is just bad, false gasoline and oil, being put into cars but only lasting for a moment. GOD, well, HE IS ETERNALLY.

Hebrews 13:8 “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.”

Ephesians 3:13-21

13 Therefore I ask you not to lose heart at my tribulations on your behalf, for they are your glory.

14 For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, 15 from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name, 16 that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with power through His Spirit in the inner man, 17 so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; and that you, being rooted and grounded in love, 18 may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, 19 and to know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled up to all the fullness of God.

20 Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us, 21 to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations forever and ever. Amen.

Romans 8:35-39

35 Who will separate us from the love of Christ? Will tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? 36 Just as it is written,

For Your sake we are being put to death all day long;
We were considered as sheep to be slaughtered.”

37 But in all these things we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us. 38 For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, 39 nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

BEYOND BEYOND ETERNALLY IS HE AND HIS LOVE, GOD IS LOVE AND GOD LOVES US, LOVE LOVES US BEYOND BEYOND ETERNALLY!!!!!!!! 🙂