Six Goals for 2011

I compiled a list of some great goals for the upcoming 2011! These are goals which I mainly set for myself to work on, perhaps you can share in some of them, or even make some of your own! :)

I will go outside of my comfort zone
Often times, we get stuck in our comfortable spot instead of reaching out to others. I can definitely say I struggle with this at times but in 2011, I resolve to go outside of my comfort zone more often no matter what environment I'm in - home, work, or church! 
I will depend more on God. 
You can never go wrong with more dependency on God! In 2011, I resolve to depend less on myself and instead, depend fully on God! 
I will be more selfless. 
The name of my blog, obviously, is "Beautifully Selfless". It revolves around the idea of being completely selfless for Christ by dying to self! In 2011, I resolve to be more selfless and rather than thinking of myself, I will think more upon Christ and others' needs.  
I will complain less, even mentally. 
I don't complain too much generally speaking, but I know mentally and my inward attitude at times can be one that could be considered complaining! In 2011, I resolve to work on this so that even my inward attitude may be one that is positive and pleasing to God!
 I will praise God, no matter what the day brings. 
It can be very easy to forget to praise God in the hard times, uncertain times, or fearful times. In 2011, I resolve to praise God no matter what happens on any given day--because He is a good God and is worthy of my praise! 
I will pray more. 
The Bible teaches to pray without ceasing. In 2011, I resolve to work at this truth and to spend more time in prayer with God, whether in be in my own quiet time or even if I'm at work.    
 I hope you enjoyed these goals! They are only a few but I encourage you to think about some of the things you personally struggle with and resolve to work on them for your own spiritual growth and well being! :)

For other goals that you may need to work on, Lies Young Women Believe blog is listing a total of 21 New Year Resolutions for 2011. Check them out here!
 (Those are only 5 of them, by clicking on "Blog" at the top, you can return to the homepage and click the other blog archive links which will lead to more goals they have posted).

Also, I have made it one of my goals this year to read through the entire Bible! I'm excited to begin this challenge! I have tried it once before which wasn't 100% successful but I did read through most of the Bible. I highly encourage you to take this up as one of your goals! It will be an incredible journey if you and you won't believe how much you'll learn about God through His word!

It's almost here!

2011! I can't believe the year has already gone from us!
This is the year I graduate high school! WOW, when did that happen!
I still remember being in 6th grade saying how I still had some terrible six years to go.
Wow. Time does go by fast!

Truth be told, I am actually VERY excited for this new year. It's refreshing. I feel like it's a brand new, fresh start. 2010 will be behind us and new months will be up ahead.

What will God do in this next year? In my life? In your life? Are YOU excited? I AM!

I've already begun to form some new goals for this upcoming year. Things I want to work on and things I want to achieve! Do you have any goals? I encourage you to make some if you don't!
In the next few days I will be posting some of my own goals and perhaps it will get you thinking on some of your own. :)


It's the 25th!

 "For today in the city of David there has been born for you a Savior, who is Christ the Lord." Luke 2:11

Merry Christmas! :)


The Candy Cane Story

A story I heard last year and thought I would post! I don't believe it's actually true.. but it does make for a great meaning, one that is memorable too! :) Enjoy.
A candymaker in Indiana wanted to make a candy that would remind people of the true meaning of Christmas; so he made the candy cane to incorporate several symbols for the birth, ministry, and death of Jesus Christ. He began with a stick of pure white, hard candy. White to symbolize the Virgin Birth and the sinless nature of Jesus, and hard to symbolize the Solid Rock, the foundation of the Church, and the firmness of the promises of God.
The candymaker then shaped his cane into the form of a "J" to represent the precious name of Jesus, who came to the earth as Savior. It could also represent the staff of the "Good Shepherd" with which He reaches down to to reclaim the fallen lambs who, like sheep, have gone astray.
Thinking that the candy was somewhat plain, the candymaker stained it with red stripes. He used three small stripes to show the stripes of the scourging Jesus received. The large red stripe was for the blood shed by Christ on the cross so that we could have the promise of eternal life.


Food for Thought

"A man is what he thinks about all day long." -Ralph Waldo Emerson

So, what do you think about all day long? It's an interesting thought, isn't it? 
Would you say your thoughts are more concerned with things of this world? Appearance. Material items. Friends. What's going on tomorrow. Plans for Friday. The next new movie, CD or magazine.
Or are your thoughts centered around Christ? Loving others. Being patient. Sharing the Gospel. Reading your Bible. Meditating on God's truth. Serving others. 

Pretty noticeable difference, huh?
Now, it definitely is true that you cannot always be thinking about spiritual things, simply because that's not an option, we still have to fulfill our earthly responsibilities. But it is more important to have a healthy balance, just like with anything. Let's see what God's word has to say about this!

Romans 12:2
"And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect."

Colossians 3:2
Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. 

My challenge to you: Consider the things you think about. What are they mainly centered around? What does this show about your heart in terms with your relationship with God? What could YOU be doing to help your thought life and make it more pleasing to your Heavenly Father?


Thank You, God!

Okay, so maybe I'm a little late, considering the fact that Thanksgiving was nearly two weeks ago. But hey, who says it has to be Thanksgiving in order to be thankful? :)

I feel incredible today. Absolutely amazing. The best I've felt in weeks.. months! 
And I want all my praise to go to God, my sweet, sweet Savior! 

I've been working hard at work, in school, and in my spiritual life. I'm taking a week-long break from Facebook until Sunday (which also has been amazing - I don't miss it a single bit!). I'm getting things accomplished, I'm doing (what I think is) a good job too! 

My joy is increasing daily and "it is well with my soul!"
There are so many things in my life that God has blessed me with.

I have incredible friends who I love dearly and they, in return, love me! These friendships and relationships have given me the opportunity to share Christ's love, to share joy, encouragement, and courage. They have given me opportunities to help carry the burdens of others, to be that extra support they need in times of discomfort and troubles and vice versa. I have had some of the best laughs, and some of the best cries (haha). :) I've also had some amazing late night phone calls (Thank you Laura for being so good of a friend to let me lose sleep.. ;P) Hehehe. Not to mention my also, amazing, family. My parents... ah! They've done so much for me... I am so fortunate as to have two very loving parents who have taken good care of me all my past 17+ years. :) Love you Mom and Dad! (Even though they probably will never read this, hahah).

I have, probably, one of the best youth groups and church family in the entire world! Youth group and my church have given me so many growing experiences and opportunities! I love it so much! My youth group each Sunday is so refreshing and starts me out for the next coming week. It also encourages me greatly and has been so meaningful. Youth group has been such an important part of my life the past (almost) two years!

I have a job. Yes, at Panera Bread. Now while it's not the most exciting or the most enjoyable... I still have one. And not everyone can say that! God has given me many opportunities there to share about my faith and also to be an example of Him and His love. 

Lastly but certainly not least - I have Jesus. Yes, yes, YES! I have my sweet, sweet Prince. I owe Him my life... all that I am and ever could be. He has been so faithful to me, time and time again. I have had many down times the past few months and He has continued to bring me through those valleys and refill me with strength and love. He has saved me... and I thank Him for that. He has loved me... and I thank Him for that. He has been faithful.. and oh, how I thank Him for that! I love Him! My life would be so different without Him and all that He is to me. God is not a good God--He is an amazing God! 

I decided to get creative and make my own pic. :)
My challenge to you: Remember your blessings! Whether life is good or bad or even in between for you right now, remember your blessings. What has God given you? What has He blessed you with? What can you praise Him for today? :)

Psalm 103:1-5
"Praise the LORD, my soul;
   all my inmost being, praise his holy name.
 Praise the LORD, my soul,
   and forget not all his benefits— 
who forgives all your sins
   and heals all your diseases,  
who redeems your life from the pit
   and crowns you with love and compassion,   
who satisfies your desires with good things
   so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s."

(Check out the rest of Psalm 103 here!)


Left or Right? How about WRONG!

Have you ever been wronged? Or at least felt like you were wronged by someone?

Yeah, me too. It's a terrible feeling, isn't it? Doesn't it just make you cringe and wish to make things even or at least something within you screams for justice and something that would make up for the wrong?

It can be a very strong emotion, depending on how serious the injustice upon you is. Often times, it is easy to quickly judge the person for what they've done, to believe they deserve something in return that is utterly terrible, that you should get revenge and make SURE it hurts.

There is nothing wrong with anger, righteous anger--meaning your reason for being upset is one that is "legit". It really all comes down to what you do with the anger or feelings.

Leviticus 19:18
"Do not seek revenge or bear a grudge against anyone among your people, but love your neighbor as yourself. I am the LORD."

Proverbs 24:29
"Do not say, “I’ll do to them as they have done to me; I’ll pay them back for what they did."

It can be a very difficult thing to do but these verses call us to let go of those feelings of revenge or of anger.
Sometimes you wonder why you have to, as if the person is going to get away with what they have done against you. But this is not true! We, as Christians, know that God is the true Judge.

1 Peter 2:23 
"When they hurled their insults at [Jesus], he did not retaliate; when he suffered, he made no threats. Instead, he entrusted himself to him who judges justly."

Did you catch that? Even Jesus (who was God) did not fight back, but rather he let it go to the Father, the true judge, the one who judges justly! 

Now, Jesus was perfect and could not sin, so therefore, it's not completely the same, but once again, we are called to be like Christ and to follow in His footsteps. 

My challenge to you: Let God be the Judge! In moments when you're first wronged, your emotions may be screaming for you to get revenge on the other person, but REMEMBER, God will take care of it. Perhaps this person is not a Christian, think about where they are headed in regards to eternity. Instead of seeing it as you must get back at them, see it as an opportunity to witness through shining as the light of Christ by example and your actions, pray for them, etc. because you know they are headed to a very dark and terrible place! Once again, God is the judge, you do not need to try to justify things for yourself. Usually, by seeking revenge or letting go of control of our anger or high raging emotions, we make poor and unwise decisions which just lead to other problems! I think Romans says it perfectly...

Romans 12:17-21
"Repay no one evil for evil, but give thought to do what is honorable in the sight of all. If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all. Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.” To the contrary, “if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink; for by so doing you will heap burning coals on his head.” Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good."


For Those of You Tempted to Read the "Last Chapter"...

Have you ever read a REALLY good book? One that either has you completely intrigued or engrossed in its pages? ...Ever been tempted to flip the pages to the end and read what happens?

Me too! :) It's hard not to isn't it?

Sometimes I wish I could see what is coming in my life--to "flip the pages" to the end to see what happens. Sometimes I wish God would answer my questions about my life and what is going to happen... just so I could know and then not have to be concerned or anxious. 

Nevertheless, God doesn't tell us directly or fully what is going to happen in the future of our lives. In fact, it's rather like a book, where there may be foreshadowing or hints of what is to come. Our lives are the same, we may receive some guidance from God as to what direction to head that could "hint" as to where we are going to end up. Even then, they can be very subtle and sometimes you really can't make anything of them... just like with reading a book. You have to wait. 

And why do you wait when it comes to reading a book? Because if you didn't, it would ruin the story. You wouldn't be able to appreciate all the chapters that lead up to it--the struggle to reach the success, the happy ending, the coming together of the plot, etc.

And it's the same with God. If God were going to tell us what the outcome of a certain situation was, it would not only ruin the surprise of the ending (which we know with God, it HAS to and WILL be amazing!), but it would also lead you to not appreciate what good ending you received from God. You wouldn't appreciate it because you didn't have to go through the previous stages (chapters) of trusting in God and having faith in Him that He will bring you through that circumstance/uncertainty/etc.

My challenge for you is: Be patient! If perhaps, right now, you have some questions for God or you wish you could know what was going to happen in a particular area of your life, my advice is to simply be patient and to trust in God. Trust me, I know that's easy to say in those simple seven words and a lot harder to do in reality, but it's the best thing you can do (along with prayer)! Just keep progressing through each "chapter" while waiting for God to do His good and perfect will, and I'm sure you will be pleasantly surprised! :)

Psalm 27: 13-14
"I remain confident of this:
   I will see the goodness of the LORD
   in the land of the living. 
 Wait for the LORD;
   be strong and take heart
   and wait for the LORD."


Are you ready for the test?

The big day has arrived. You're sitting in your chair, and in front of you lies the dreadful exam you've been preparing for. You've studied hard and are sure you know all the material. You're a bit nervous but you feel confidence in the truth you took time to learn. You open the test and suddenly, your mind goes blank. "I have no idea what the answer is!" "This is not like the problems I practiced! It's different!" 

Ever been there? I have! It's a nerve-racking place, isn't it? You thought you knew all the material and told yourself you were ready for the test. But when it came down to it, when you were faced with the challenge, your stability suddenly became weak and crumbled. 

Through recent experiences in my life, that have had an incredible effect on my heart and mind, I've realized that I struggle with this principle so greatly in regards to God.

Have you ever found yourself at a place where you knew the truths of God--in fact, you've heard them time and time again and could easily say that you believe and know them--but when the test came, and you were forced to really live out that faith and believe, you suddenly realized that it's a lot more difficult than you thought?

Believing in Jesus and what He says is one thing.
Following and genuinely trusting in His word is another.

I can say that I know full well the truths of Jesus, but I also admit that sometimes I have trouble actually following and trusting Him that they are all true and that He means them. 

It's a surprising place to find yourself in, when you were so sure of yourself, to then realize how weak you really are. I've come to this understanding in my life over the past couple months. It's very easy to hear the lesson, to hear the truth. Just like they say, it's easy to talk the talk... but to walk the walk? To live out those truths? To pass the test when life throws lemons at you? Can I do that? Can YOU do that?

Technically, as sinners, we are capable of pretty much nothing other than sinning, and ultimately we must depend on Jesus and His profound strength to survive and continue on. But are you willing to rely on Jesus with all that you are? Are you willing to say "Jesus, I trust You, even though I'm scared/confused/frustrated/uncertain/in the dark."?

The one thing about difficulties is that they show true character. They show who you really are and what happens to you and your character when push comes to shove.
Is the hope of Jesus within you today? Can you remember, even in the darkness, that there is light and Jesus will bring you to it, that all you must do is trust in Him?
Perhaps things in life are going fairly well for you, that's great... Remember to praise Jesus! But what about the future? What about when that inevitable difficulty comes to you? Will you push through.... Or will you cave under the weight of uncertainty or of another emotion? We know that this is not God's will for us to carry this burden and in fact it's rather the devil who plants in those thoughts of fear and doubt as shown in Galatians 5..

Galatians 5:7-9
"You were running a good race. Who cut in on you to keep you from obeying the truth?  That kind of persuasion does not come from the one who calls you. "A little yeast works through the whole batch of dough."

Yesterday I came across some very encouraging verses...

1 Corinthians 15:57-58
"But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain."

 James 1:2-4, 12
"Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds,  because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance.  Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. ..... Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him."

1 Peter 1: 6-7
"In all this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed."

My challenge for you (and myself): Don't only believe in the truths of Jesus but FOLLOW them, and LIVE them out! If/when troubles in life come your way, do not be like the seed that lands on the rocky soil, and quickly withers. But be strong and courageous in Jesus. Know that there is light, there is hope, there is a future, and whatever you're facing is only a stepping stone to it. Then you may succeed in Christ and get your "A+" on the test! ;)


Just for Laura..

:) <3

December has Come!

December surely has started out with a bang!
It's snowing. :)

Laura K., you have inspired me to take and post some pictures, hehe.



This gorgeous snow fall reminds me of how Christ cleanses us of our sins. From one of my favorite hymns...

"Jesus paid it all,
All to Him I owe;
Sin had left a crimson stain,
He washed it white as snow."


Hey! Would you cut it out?!

Have you ever done something and someone else tries to tell you to do it another way, because it's apparently "better"? Isn't that a little annoying sometimes? As if your way isn't good enough or something?
Yeah. That can be a bit frustrating. 
Now you know how God feels!

Okay, now you may be thinking.. "Wait what? How God feels? What are you talking about?"
As followers of Christ, God has a perfect plan for each of our lives. So often, we try planning our own steps, or the way WE want to go, rather than letting it be up to God. We think that we know better, you know, because we're somehow smarter than God, and know ourselves better than God does even though He created us, riiiight? WRONG! Is it coming together now?
I bet you can think of a time when you tried to plan things yourself, or figure out a way to force things together rather than letting God do His thing. I know I can!
So here's my challenge to you: Stop trying to metal with God's plans! Trust Him because He loves you more than you know, so much that He sent His only son to die for you! Have faith in Him because He is faithful to those who love Him. And be excited, for the Creator of the universe is working in YOUR life, and you never know what amazing things may happen when you leave it up to Him! :)
Proverbs 16:9"In his heart a man plans his course, but the LORD determines his steps."
Proverbs 19:21"Many are the plans in a man's heart, but it is the LORD's purpose that prevails."   

Jeremiah 19:11"For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."

The Struggle of Beauty

(Originally written July 15th, 2009).

Proverbs 31:30
 It started weeks ago when I happened to see a make-up commercial for Covergirl announcing their new product called "Simply Ageless". Ellen DeGeneres played the usual, unrealistic looking "model" to show off the product. It wasn't the actual commercial that bothered me, but what she said in the very beginning... "Inner beauty is important, but outward beauty is even MORE important." In all honesty, I was somewhat angry. Being "beautiful" isn't everything. The sad part is, many girls will believe that. And it's completely contradictory to the Bible as 1 Samuel 16:7 says:

"The Lord does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart."

and 1 Peter 3: 3-4 also states:

"Let your beauty not be external – the braiding of hair and wearing of gold jewelry or fine clothes – but the inner person of the heart, the lasting beauty of a gentle and tranquil spirit, which is precious in God’s sight."

More recently, I went to the beach for a week and during that time and the week after I got back five different people mentioned to me that I didn't seem THAT tan. (If you're one of those people, and you're reading this, I have nothing against you, I am just adding this to my point). It irritated me though... I'm not one to care a significant amount about my own outward beauty but this did bother me. Did you know that being tan was once not even valued?

"The alabaster skin I mentioned earlier was considered an essential item for the fashionable woman four hundred years ago, but it also caused a variety of skin problems. Some beauty writers at the time discouraged this practice, pointing out that it made skin appear grey and shriveled. Even worse, the foundation was responsible for numerous physical problems and resulted in some cases of muscle paralysis and untimely death. During the Renaissance, wealthy Italian women wore a popular face powder made of arsenic." (Graffiti: Learning to See the Art in Ourselves. p. 18).

Just as you can tell, beauty trends are constantly changing. What does it matter if I'm not tan enough today, for tomorrow, pale skin could be in style again.... as for any trend, whether clothing or objects, etc. Part of it is just being satisfied with the way God made you and not constantly trying to be "good enough" for the world and it's corrupt and unrealistic views. Because the truth is, you will NEVER be good enough to the world or to people of the world. It ached my heart as I read through different posts from girls from the blog at http://www.liesyoungwomenbelieve.com/ So many girls (no matter what the age) struggle with being pretty enough or skinny enough.. the list goes on and on. And it's Christian girls too. Even Godly girls can be so insecure about the way they look. However, being beautiful can mean nothing when a girl's heart can be a dark shade of black, and full of hate and bitterness (Matthew 23:28). (Be sure to check out this link about having a "pretty heart": http://www.liesyoungwomenbelieve.com/index.php?id=307
But in the midst of all the shallowness and fake views of the world, we can find truth from God's word about the way he loves us and what REAL beauty is:

Proverbs 31:30 - "Charm is deceptive and beauty is fleeting, but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised."

Psalm 45:11 - "The King is enthralled by your beauty, honor Him for He is your God."

1 Timothy 2:9-10 - "I also want women to dress modestly, with decency and propriety, not with braided hair or gold or pearls or expensive clothes, but with good deeds, appropriate for women who profess to worship God."

Psalm 139:14 - "I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well."

Jeremiah 1:5 - "Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart."

and a verse I previously mentioned from 1 Peter chapter 3:

"Let your beauty not be external – the braiding of hair and wearing of gold jewelry or fine clothes – but the inner person of the heart, the lasting beauty of a gentle and tranquil spirit, which is precious in God’s sight."

I think a girl can be most beautiful when she's in love with Christ her Lord and desires to be more Christ-like each day; containing the most valuable fruits of the Spirit which are "love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control." (Galatians 5:22-23a). And if you read that verse carefully, you'll see that no where in it is "outward beauty".

My Prince Will Come and So Will Yours!

Tall, dark and handsome... Chocolate brown hair and a smile you just can't seem to resist. Or perhaps you're more for the sandy blonde with that certain color shade of eyes that just reach out and grab you! Either way, he's drop dead gorgeous, strong, manly and seeks to win over your heart! Just in case you're lost, let me fill ya in! We're talking about that "Prince Charming" which I'm certain all of you reading, whether knowingly or subconsciously, dream about from time to time.

As girls, I know our hearts seem to want the same when it comes to our future Prince Charming. We want a guy who will truly love us for who we are, who will be there for us, who will listen and understand, one that will not abandon us but be willing to love us enough to put us above his own desires. One who will be strong and take care of us all the days of our life. I know in today's world it's easy to see this "ideal" picture and then think "Yeah, whatever, this guy doesn't exist anymore. Most guys are just jerks!" And hey, I won't lie... there are a lot of not-so-good-guys in this world, but this note isn't to bash on them!

But did you know there's already a Prince Charming who does all these things and feels all these things for you? No, I'm not kidding! There really is! His name is Jesus Christ if you didn't already know. :) Okay now.. you may be thinking whoooa what?? I thought we were talking about guys! Like Earthly human guys?! And yes! We were... but before we talk about them, there's a very important thing I want you to understand!

Jesus Christ is your FIRST "Prince Charming". Remember earlier when I listed all those qualities that we like to see in a guy but have trouble finding them? Well... Did you ever think maybe we dream for all those qualities in a guy because those are all the qualities Jesus has? Interesting thought, isn't it! I'm pretty sure God designed our hearts to aim and wish for a guy like that because that's what He is like!
In order for you to have the best relationship with a guy in this world, you must first develop a deep and loving relationship with Jesus! By doing this it will help you:

1. Keep your priorities straight and remember that Jesus is your first love and that your relationship with him is the most important relationship ever!
2. Grow spiritually so that when you do meet your (earthly) Prince Charming, you'll be prepared enough to have a relationship with him.
3. In those times when you feel lonely, you can remember that you have Jesus! He is the only one who can truly satisfy you AND He is the one who loves you more than anyone could ever even imagine!
4. It will give you wisdom and help keep you out of potentially bad relationships that would only leave you heartbroken and hurt!

And there are still so many other reasons why keeping Jesus first is one of the best decisions you could ever make!

Above all, if you REALLY do want to find that earthly Prince Charming, then trusting it with Jesus is the only way you will find him! Why is that? Because Jesus knows your heart and your desires better than you do! Would you say that you know Facebook better than Mark Zuckerberg (creator of Facebook)? No, of course you wouldn't, because you didn't design it.. you just use it! Same with us, God created us; therefore, he knows us best! By putting all of your complete trust and hope in Jesus, in time when you are ready, he will bring along your Prince Charming! :)

Psalm 139: 13-16 says: "For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from you, when I was made in the secret place. When I was woven together in the depths of the earth, your eyes saw my unformed body. All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be."

A.W. Tozer once said, "The man who has God for his treasure has all things in One."

Maybe this thought has crossed your mind.. "What if Jesus never brings me my Prince Charming? What if I end up SINGLE ALL MY LIFE! AND END UP DYING ALONE WITH 392 CATS?!?!" Okay okay, take a deep breath! I don't think it's possible for anyone to have 392 cats anyway! Jesus may have a life of singleness for you, he may have a life of singleness for me! One can never really be sure. I will say that the single life is certainly a blessing because you will still spend your life with the Prince Charming who loves you most, Jesus. He will always be with you and always love you.... in sickness and in health, in good times and in bad, and in joy as well as in sorrow. Jesus is our bridegroom whether we end up getting married on Earth or not. What is our goal here on Earth as followers of Jesus Christ? To glorify Him. With that being true, even though it may be difficult to understand, even if God does give you the gift of having a life of singleness, you being single was how you were able to glorify Him and fulfill His plan the most! Feel special to have such a place in God's plan, even if sometimes it is difficult and painful.

In 1 Corinthians 7:32-35 Paul wrote: "I would like you to be free from concern. An unmarried man is concerned about the Lord's affairs—how he can please the Lord. But a married man is concerned about the affairs of this world—how he can please his wife— and his interests are divided. An unmarried woman or virgin is concerned about the Lord's affairs: Her aim is to be devoted to the Lord in both body and spirit. But a married woman is concerned about the affairs of this world—how she can please her husband. I am saying this for your own good, not to restrict you, but that you may live in a right way in undivided devotion to the Lord."

After all that.. you're probably wondering well, should I do anything in the meantime? Yes! You can and SHOULD do things while you're waiting for your Prince Charming!

The season of singleness is not a curse... it's actually a great advantage! In this season, it's just you and God.
This gives you:
-the opportunity to grow spiritually and develop
-it gives you time to have many MANY opportunities to do things that you would not be able to do if you were in a relationship because you have those restrictions
-Remember when I said you're looking for a guy who represents all those qualities? Well guess what! That guy out there is probably looking for a Godly girl that has all the qualities a woman should have! The season of singleness gives you the opportunity to practice and prepare to be a wife, mother, etc. So take advantage of it! :)

Proverbs 31: 10-12 says: "A wife of noble character who can find? She is worth far more than rubies. Her husband has full confidence in her and lacks nothing of value. She brings him good, not harm, all the days of her life."

Did anything about that verse stand out to you? Notice the last part... "She brings him good, not harm, all the days of her life." ALL the days of her life! Whoa! That doesn't mean she brings him good after they're married... no, it means from the earliest time possible in her life she should try to bring him good. Now you may be wondering, how do I bring good to a guy I don't even know or if I don't even know if he exists! Here are some simple yet great ideas to keep your future man in mind while you're waiting!

1. Get out a piece of paper and write down the top 10 qualities or things you want in your guy! Keep this list and you may be surprised that someday God will fulfill each and every one of them! Also, don't be afraid to make a list of high standards and rarer qualities.... though it may get discouraging at times when you see this guy is hard to find... keep following it! You'll appreciate your Prince Charming all the more when God sends him your way. :)
2. Buy a journal and write to your future husband! You can write prayers, or thoughts, whatever you want! It can be encouraging and someday when you get married, you can show him that you thought about him even before you knew him! It will be a true sign of your genuine and great love for him!
3. I've read A LOT of books that deal with this subject. Just a few I'd like to recommend: "When God Writes Your Love Story" by Eric and Leslie Ludy; "And The Bride Wore White" by Dannah Gresh; "I Kissed Dating Goodbye" by Joshua Harris. Check out these books! Especially the first one.. It's been such a helpful tool to me and I'm sure it could be for you too! :)

George Mueller once said, "Be assured, if you walk with Him and look to Him and expect help from Him, He will never fail you."

Mueller is right, God will never fail you! So keep trekking along beautiful ladies, because God has YOUR best in mind. The journey that leads up to meeting your Prince Charming may be difficult, lonely and just plain painful at times.... but the joy in Christ and the joy through his future blessing of marriage will be worth all those lonely nights!

Psalm 18:30 - "As for God, his way is perfect"


Beautifully Selfless

Beautifully selfless is the main theme of this blog. Being selfless completely for Jesus Christ. Why? Because He gave himself up for me, He died for me, and now it's my turn to live for Him. 

Dying to self is probably one of the hardest things any of us could do. It goes against every part of our hearts and minds, which is telling us to do the opposite. It's letting go of all we ever wanted, of all we ever dreamed for. It's letting go of all that our heart cries out for and rather, crying out to God for what HE wants. 

My heart aches in certain places. Places that I have yet to completely die to self. I bet you know what I mean. Sometimes it's hard to understand why we must do this. Let's see what God's word says....

Galatians 2:20
"I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me."

This verse describes the exact truth of how we must be. When we come to know Christ, we are saying "Yes Jesus, I am giving up myself to You. It is no longer I that lives, but I am dying to my sinful nature, to my selfish wants, and living for Your glory and Your will." Now, we can't always be this way, simply because we are bound to stumble at times. But, ultimately, when Jesus comes into our lives, we are commanded and called to release all that we are to Him.

Sometimes we think it would just be much easier to have what we want and NOT die to self. And hey, it IS easy! But is that really the life we're called to live? 

One thing I've learned is that being a follower of Jesus means having a life of sacrifice. 
I can tell you, 100% assurance and in complete honesty, it is worth it.
Yes, it is ridiculously hard. It's a constant battle.
But it is so worth it. Jesus is worth it!

I may try to plan the steps I will take or the things I want to do. But do I have any assurance or certainty of those working out? No.

With Jesus, I may not have any planned steps, truthfully, I may actually have no idea where I am going. I may have no certain direction. But, what I do know, is that Jesus knows where I am going. He has planned steps, he has my direction. While I may have to rely completely on Him with all the faith and trust in me, I also can know that Jesus is doing something amazing, something I cannot fully see. And the best part is, I do have assurance and I do know that the way I'm headed is one that is blessed with joy and meaning. One that is full of surprises... things I could have never dreamed of! 

What could be of any greater worth than dying to self and living for Jesus?
Luke 9: 23-25
"Then he said to them all: “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me. For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will save it. What good is it for someone to gain the whole world, and yet lose or forfeit their very self?"

Nobody's Perfect - Hannah Montana Style

Tonight while my family was over to celebrate the day (Happy Thanksgiving ;)), my niece and I decided to listen to her little iPod Shuffle through her little mini iPod docking station.

As I was flipping through her songs I came across a very well known young singer, Hannah Montana AKA  Miley Cyrus. The song was "Nobody's Perfect", one that I was already familiar with (No.. I do not listen to Hannah Montana on the regular basis.. well, maybe sometimes.. JK!). I was paying close attention to the lyrics and then wahbam! God laid something on my heart to share... This song perfectly describes how as humans we act without God's guidance and wisdom.

She starts off the song by saying...

"Sometimes I'm in a jam
I've gotta make a plan
It might be crazy
I do it anyway
No way to know for sure
I'll figure out a cure
I'm patchin' up the holes
But then it overflows

When things happen in our lives, things that cause an unfortunate circumstance or one that leads us to be uneasy and in want of a quick fix, we tend to automatically rely on our own knowledge. We see the problem and usually automatically begin thinking of a way that we can solve it, without the grace and wisdom of God. Notice how she says, "It might be crazy, I do it anyway". Honestly, this line right here just shows how ignorant and foolish we can be. Rather than trusting in a God who knows all things and loves us, we trust in our deceitful human nature and sinfulness to lead us out of trouble and into better places. Silly us! She then goes on to sing "No way to know for sure ... but then it overflows". You know, I almost LOVE the ignorance in this song as it leads me to appreciate and value the wisdom I have in Jesus. Hannah Montana is wrong, there IS a way to know for sure. As followers of Christ, we shouldn't be led by our own ideas as to what decision(s) we should make.  We are unable to fix things, and maybe we can "patch up the holes" but eventually it will "overflow".

"Sometimes I work a scheme
But then it flips on me
Doesn't turn out how I planned
get stuck in quick sand
No problem, can be solved
Once I get involved
I try to be delicate
Then crash right into it
My intentions are good
Sometimes just misunderstood

If Miss Montana gets anything right, it's knowing exactly how us humans act. Isn't it sad how true this song is? How we make up all these ideas before consulting God, which can merely lead us into deeper issues... rather than being patient and waiting on God, we "then crash right into it". And perhaps we do have good intentions, but are they wise? I'm starting to wonder...

"Sometimes I fix things up
And they fall apart again

Now ain't that the truth! We always do that! Us humans, always holding the assumption that we are capable of solving our own problems, that we are in no need of God's perfect wisdom and guidance. That's like me saying I'd rather do my math problem out on scratch paper instead of a calculator. NOW WHO DOES THAT! (Unless you really like Math.. well then you don't count)! :P

Proverbs 1:7
"The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge, 
but fools despise wisdom and instruction."

So hey, next time you're "in a jam", how about you stop and reflect on the power of Jesus and of what you could ever possibly do in comparison to what the Creator can do!
That concludes my summary of Nobody's Perfect.. perhaps Hannah Montana can take a tip or two from this. ;)


What road has God called you to walk?

Recently I went through a difficult time with someone I was very close to. I am slowly but surely recovering from it all and have been able to take a lot of the experience it gave. Sometimes difficult things happen and it can be very hard to understand why. 

When I think of my experience, six months ago my whole mind and heart would have said, "No way, that won't/can't be me! Things are great and that's not going to happen." Little did I know that God had something quite the opposite in mind. 
Recently, I was talking to a friend of mine about Elizabeth Elliot, wife of the late Jim Elliot. We were discussing how she went through such difficult experiences. The most notable is how long she waited to be with her first husband, Jim. I believe it was around five or so years, only to have to deal with him dying just a few years later while serving as a missionary in Ecuador. If I had been Elizabeth, I would have been devastated and confused, not to say she wasn't, but still, waiting so long to be with a man she loved just to have him taken away from her? That's rough.

But as my friend and I continued to talk, she mentioned how that was merely the road that God picked her to walk. We all have different roads, we all have bumps and times when we trip and fall. I would say that our roads have seasons... sometimes they are beautiful and gorgeous and warm... while other times they are cold, dark and lonely. God has a master plan, one that we will never completely understand. And while I can reflect on my experiences and not always know why things had to be this way, I can have the assurance that God does know. Whether I can explain it or not, I can trust in Him in the road I've traveled so far and the road that I've yet to travel. Designed with a purpose, each of our roads give God the glory He deserves.

Proverbs 3:5-6
Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; 
in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.