1.31.2013

LONG time, no update!

Life gets busy so fast, doesn't it?

In case anyone still remembers who I am, and maybe even wonders what happened to me, you can check out what's happening (and soon to happen in my life!) by visiting a new blog I have:

www.rachelchickimmersion.blogspot.com

<3

6.24.2012

Transforming Thoughts


Last Saturday morning I drove to a town an hour away, where I knew essentially no one, nor was I familiar with the area. I pulled up to a church unbeknown to me and vice-versa. I walked in and was greeted by those who knew only of my name and information from an application.

Two months before this moment, my cousin prompted me with the idea of being a senior counselor for a well-known camp called Summer's Best 2 Weeks, a camp originating closer to central Pennsylvania. However, I was going to be a counselor for a camp at a church that was hosting their own similar version.

Do you really think you can be a camp counselor?
People aren't really going to like you.
Sports? You're not good at sports.
Teaching Bible? You'll probably mess up and the kids will learn nothing.
No one will understand you or care to.

Those were just a few of the thoughts in my head as I sat down at the table Saturday morning with a dozen strangers. I was so afraid. I felt like turning back. 

This isn't the first time God has pushed me into open fields of uncertainty. First it was attending a youth group where I knew no one. And then last summer when I made the decision to attend a mission trip to Ecuador including flying to Florida by myself and meeting up with 400+ strangers from all over the place. And now, again, He set me in a place where I was far away from comfort. 

This morning I read Philippians 4, what a great book it is.

"Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things." (v.8)

I began to think about all the insecurities that I had been feeling last weekend when I arrived. Where those thoughts true? Were they noble or right? Were they excellent or praiseworthy?

Often I believe we view this verse as a command to purity, but after thinking about it, this verse speaks to so much more than that. It is obvious that God does not desire us to think negatively of ourselves, but how often do we truly believe and see ourselves the way God does?

What if I were to replace those thoughts that I previously mentioned? What if I were to recreate them as pure and noble, as admirable?
Do you really think you can be a camp counselor? becomes: I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. (Phil. 4:13)
People aren't really going to like you. becomes: Nothing can separate us from the love of Christ. (Romans 8:39)
No one will understand you or care to. becomes: I am fearfully and wonderfully made. (Psalm 139:14)

Does your thought life need transformation?

P.S. So it turns out that I've been told I am at least a half-decent counselor, that people like me and do desire to understand me. The sports part.. well.. let's just say I'm still working on that! But it turns out, my insecurities were wrong as they usually are. If only I had read Philippians 4 sooner. :)

3.29.2012

It's All about the Attitude

S.P.
My English professor shared this with our class recently, which was neat as my professor is not a Christian (and this piece is written by a well known Christian pastor), though is most certainly an admirable and respectable man who is a blessing to many. May it bless you.

“The longer I live, the more I realize the impact of attitude on life. Attitude, to me, is more important than facts. It is more important than the past, the education, the money, than circumstances, than failure, than successes, than what other people think or say or do. It is more important than appearance, giftedness or skill. It will make or break a company... a church... a home. The remarkable thing is we have a choice everyday regarding the attitude we will embrace for that day. We cannot change our past... we cannot change the fact that people will act in a certain way. We cannot change the inevitable. The only thing we can do is play on the one string we have, and that is our attitude. I am convinced that life is 10% what happens to me and 90% of how I react to it. And so it is with you... we are in charge of our Attitudes.”

-Charles Swindoll

3.27.2012

Everyone is Searching


S.P.

A woman, unhappily married. Unhappily married to a man who has no respect for her, who verbally abuses her, who certainly does not care for her best. Yet she does not want to be alone, so she stays. She is searching.

The boy bullied countless times in the hallways at school is ashamed of himself, embarrassed of who he is. He contemplates suicide. He is searching.

The young girl who made a mistake. And now she's pregnant. "But I thought he cared about more than just this body of mine" she says, after he leaves her. She is searching.

Searching for what?

"God IS love." 1 John 4:8

We are all searching for love. It's the core of all we do.
Often looked at is the struggles we face, or the sin we are constantly in battle with.
Instead we should go further than just identifying the sin. What makes us want to do those certain sins?
The easy answer is "Oh, it's just my sinful nature."
This statement is completely true, but there is so much more to it than that.

The core of all our hearts is wanting to feel and know that we are loved, a desiring to be known by others.

"God IS love." 1 John 4:8

Whether it's a woman starving herself because she doesn't feel beautiful enough,
Or the man that continues to look at pornography in secret,
Or the girl who will go to bed crying tonight because she has discovered the unfaithfulness of her boyfriend.
Or the boy who is only fourteen, but today he will endure 'hazing' in hopes that he will be accepted into the city gang.
All of these issues that individuals are faced with daily return to the same thought.
"I simply want to be loved. I simply want to be known."
S.P.

How about the Christian struggling with sin yet wanting to seek after God. The Christian who feels incredible weight to reflect the perfect standard that only Jesus has set and can match. The Christian feels not good enough. The Christian is searching.


The struggles we face are typically a side effect of the fact that we have a seemingly unquenchable desire to love, be loved, know, and be known.

"God IS love." 1 John 4:8

Maybe you are wondering why I continue to mention the verse above.

"So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them." Genesis 1:27

If God IS love, and we were made in HIS image, then it is certain that love and loving is a huge part of being human. And consequently, this love we desire can be found in God. Before we can work on any of the issues we have, we must first believe that we are known and loved by a God who IS love. The sin we deal with daily, or even the insecurities we face are the consequence of not realizing the limitless and unconditional love of God.
Dear Christian, or may I even go further to say, Dear soul, you are loved.

3.16.2012

So we Depend on Him

"We were under great pressure, far beyond our ability to endure, so that we despaired even of life. Indeed, in our hearts we felt the sentence of death. But this happened that we might not rely on ourselves but on God, who raises the dead." 
2 Corinthians 1:8-9

S.P.
A few things have happened in my life recently, and sometimes I wish they would all just go away. I'm sure you know what I mean. Sometimes I look up toward Heaven and I ask God, "Do I really have to deal with this?" or "What do you want me to do? Because I sure don't know!"

I came across these verses in 2 Corinthians and it was a reminder to me to stop relying so much on myself, and that maybe the situations in my life are to redirect my focus and source of strength to God. I think we all need that sometimes.

Be encouraged, that despite whatever may be happening in your life, or whatever difficulties you may be feeling, that God is there letting you know that you can depend on Him! Much like we cannot raise the dead, we cannot fix all the things wrong in our lives. But God, he can raise the dead, and He makes all paths straight.

"Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understand,
In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will make your paths straight."

Proverbs 3:5-6

Thoughts during the Journey - Vlog style!

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