December 10, 2011

Saturday Song

I absolutely love when companies choose to shy away from using "mainstream" music in their commercials, and instead, feature artists that NEED and DESERVE to be heard. I don't know about you, but I can't get enough of the song in this Citibank commercial:



After a quick Google search, I discovered a new female musician to add to my list of favorites. She's unique, she's powerful, and she is worth checking out if you haven't already. 

In fact, I'll make it easy for you:

http://www.iamlp.com/
http://www.facebook.com/iamLP
http://twitter.com/lprock
http://www.youtube.com/whoisLP

And, of course, leave you with the full version of the song, "Into the Wild"



Enjoy, and let me know what you think!

November 29, 2011

The Unspoken "IF"

Think about how often you tell God you want His will for your life. It's a telling God loves hearing. Now, think about how often an "if" follows that prayer. It's an "if" God knows is there, even if you don't say it.

Our prayer may be, "God, I want Your will" while our heart may be crying "but only if [insert what you want more] is included in Your will."

I'll be the first to admit that, at times, I am guilty of the unspoken "if." I think the worst part about the "if" is how it completely contradicts the first part of the prayer. Wanting God's will is wanting God's will...period. The "if" simply shows where the heart's true desire really lies: with our will still in mind.

Truly wanting God's will takes a lot of faith and trust in His promises. I find the times in my life where I have trouble wanting His will more than my own are also the times I'm having trouble trusting Him. It's impossible to want God's will if you don't trust that His will is better than your own, and it's impossible to trust that His will is better than your own if you aren't seeking His will out in the first place.

What can, at the surface, seem to be a frustrating spiritual battle we have to fight daily, is actually an incredible opportunity we are given to grow daily. And recognizing the "if" even exists is a victory in itself. I think we can continue to be victorious by developing an attitude in prayer like David's in his prayer in Psalm 51:10,

"Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me."

The definition of pure is as follows:

1. free from anything of a different, inferior, or contaminating kind; free from extraneous matter: pure gold; pure water.
2. unmodified by an admixture; simple or homogeneous.
3. of unmixed descent or ancestry: a pure breed of dog.
4. free from foreign or inappropriate elements: pure Attic Greek.
5. clear; free from blemishes: pure skin.

I think our unspoken "ifs" can be seen as contaminators, modifications, inappropriate elements, mixed intentions, and blemishes; they taint our prayer for wanting God's will. Our "ifs" jeopardize the purity of our hearts. If we strive to eliminate our "ifs," with God's help (He doesn't require us to do this on our own), we in turn gain a heart more like Christ's. And who desired God's will over His own more than Jesus did? He had every opportunity to walk away from the will of God for His life (to die for us), but He didn't. Instead, Jesus endured.

Which brings me to the second element of David's prayer, a steadfast spirit. The definition of steadfast is as follows:

1. fixed in direction; steadily directed: a steadfast gaze.
2. firm in purpose, resolution, faith, attachment, etc., as a person: a steadfast friend.
3. unwavering, as resolution, faith, adherence, etc.
4. firmly established, as an institution or a state of affairs.
5. firmly fixed in place or position.

A pure heart and a steadfast spirit work together. A pure heart can be a difficult thing to strive for, but a steadfast spirit (staying fixed on God, staying firm in purpose and faith) allows God to do a working in us that we couldn't do alone, and having a pure heart makes it easier to stay "fixed" on the goal of developing a true desire for God's will more than our own. 

So take a look at your heart today. Are there unspoken "ifs" hiding? I encourage you (and myself) to ask God to help eliminate them and to ask for a pure heart and a steadfast spirit to do so. 

October 20, 2011

High Horse

We have been called
to share the Gospel with the people,
yet we sit in our seats
never reaching those outside the steeple.
How long will we sit,
crying as we watch,
those who are hurting
becoming more lost?
How long will we stand
in the midst of their pleas?
Standing doing nothing,
we assist in their defeat.
And who are we then?
We're worse than the sin
that traps them.
How do we represent Christ
if we aren't willing to die to ourselves
in order to save them?
Ignorance is bliss,
but ignorance we can't claim.
If we've heard from God at all,
we know we're called to save.
But don't start riding on the horse
you've placed so high.
We are merely vessels
God uses to save HIS lives.
He loves more than we ever could.
He knows more than we ever should.
But we'll have to answer
for the moments we merely stood.

October 14, 2011

A story

I want to tell you a story of a girl
who was robbed of her innocence.
Later caught in teenage sin
with no repentance.
She took a shovel
and dug a hole she couldn't fill
deep in her heart,
clogged it with patterns of this world
and the more she piled in
the further she got
from feeling free.
Free, free
what does it even mean?
She cried with anger.
Impatiently she cried.
She filled her mind
with plans to take her life.
Her
L-lost
I-insecure
F-fearful
E-ending
Life
I am ending my life.
But she didn't know.
No, she didn't know
there was a battle being fought
by the Alpha
the Omega
who was bigger than her patterns
bigger than what she sought.
And the moment she saw Him
that moment she knew.
Her
L-lost
I-insecure
F-fearful
E-ending
Life
would be ending but only
because to die is to live
and to live is to die.
Nothing can separate us
from the love of Christ.
And the girl in the story,
that girl was me.
I found a Savior who died
to set me free.
Free, free
what does it mean?
I tell you the Truth.
I am living proof. 
To be free is to surrender
at the foot of the cross.
Remember,
those who wander
don't have to stay lost.

October 7, 2011

Reminded

I am reminded of Your victory,
when Your strength rids
my weaknesses.

I am reminded of Your mercy,
when Your patience stands
beside all I lack.

I am reminded of Your love,
when You carry the cross
that tries to weigh me down.

I am reminded why You
are the only God for me.
Faithful. Guiding. Always true.

I love you, Lord
for all you are.
I love you, Lord
for all you do.

He Knows All

When the world 'round me shakes,
my God cannot be moved.
What my flesh tries to take,
my God victors in strength.

There is nothing to fear
with my weakness exposed.
My God stands firm and near.
He knows all that I don't.

When woe seizes my heart,
my God fights for it all.
What my thoughts tear apart,
My God remains in charge.

There is nothing to fear
with my weakness exposed.
My God stands firm and near.
He knows all that I don't.

September 21, 2011

Pursue

I hide in Your presence,
in the safety of Your will.
I patiently pursue it,
and my spirit is steady.
In You, my spirit is still.

You have won me over,
with the power of Your love.
I relish in its triumph,
and my heart is made complete.
In You, my heart fills with awe.

Yet I do not deserve
all Your mercy and Your grace.
I surrender to it all,
and my life is fully yours.
In You, my life takes it's place.

September 14, 2011

Yours

O Lord, I am Yours
like never before.

Walls are broken.
Through You I am free.
A heart shattered.
Through You I am new.

O Lord, I am Yours
like never before.

Eyes opened.
Through You I see.
Ears listening.
Through You I hear.

O Lord, I am Yours
like never before.

My spirit has taken flight.
It's sold out entirely to You.
My life is taken captive.
It's surrendered completely to You.

O Lord, I am Yours
like never before.

My soul rejoices.
It's filled with Your joy.
I am left breathless
by Your perfect love.

O Lord, I am Yours
like never before.

September 7, 2011

The Wind

I see the wind.
Do I sink or swim?
I see the wind.
Do I run and hide?
I see the wind.
Do I fall or stand?
I see the wind.
Do I doubt and die?
I see the wind.

Do I look to myself?
Do I look to Him?

He sees the wind.
He asks me to swim.
He sees the wind.
He asks me to stay in sight.
He sees the wind.
He asks me to stand.
He sees the wind.
He asks me to stay alive.
He sees the wind. 

I see the wind.
I look to Him.

He sees the wind.
And the wind dies.

July 21, 2011

Marion

You've become my home away from home.

The sun sets at my back,
and I drive away from you,
without wanting to.

Toward the darkness I drive.

You've become where my honesty lies,
on a porch step,
with a ball jar beside.

Holding my secrets, it holds the unknown.

Only you've cared to listen,
when out pours my soul.

July 11, 2011

Readiness

I leave for Amissville, Virginia in 22 days, and although there are unanswered questions, fears that often attempt to creep their way into the forefront of my mind, and too many shoes for one suitcase, I think I'm ready.

This summer, God has become my friend. Go ahead, sing all the cheesy songs. Get it out of your system. But I'm serious.

The past 7 months have been a struggle. A struggle to forgive. To let go. To listen. To speak. A struggle of patience, mainly with myself. Most of all, a struggle to just be who I am and trust that there are people out there who will still love me, baggage and all.

I have found the more I've started to treat my relationship with God as a friendship, the easier it has become to really believe His promises and overwhelming love. I guess the support from a friend is what I have needed most to truly grasp what He desires for me. And there really is no better friend than Jesus.

But He knows me well enough to know I need some sort of tangibility, and therefore, has blessed me with incredible close friends, old and new (you know who you are). Each one continues to play a pivotal role in my life. In my journey. God has used all of them in some way to get me to this point of readiness.

I know these next few weeks are going to fly, and there is still much to be done before the big move, but I take comfort in knowing and recognizing the eagerness of my spirit, one that can only be credited to the work God has done in my life these past months and His gift of friendship.

June 4, 2011

The Race

Sometimes it still hurts.
Sometimes the remains of what once was piles up like dirt.
And I realize there’s more moving on to be done.
And the race I thought was finished is still being run.
But not alone, just not with you.
I know you’re out there running your own race, too.
We’ve been called to run it.
We’ve been called to finish it.
This time not together, but apart.
But what must end is just the start.

May 26, 2011

What's Next?

I find it hard to believe that four years has come and gone so quickly, and it's amazing how everything comes full circle. Looking back, I know now that college was less about what I learned academically (thought I did learn a lot) and more about what I learned spiritually.

I distinctively remember a freak out moment I was having through conversation with my roommate, Melanie, second semester of my freshman year. It seemed that every other freshman had some sort of "career goal," a specific reason as to why they were working toward a degree in this or that, while I had not a clue of why I was a Communication Studies major. At the time, my knowledge of the Word was minimal, so when Melanie presented me with a verse I had never heard before, I clung to it tightly, and it's a verse even more dear to my heart today. The verse is Jeremiah 29:11. A popular verse, yes, but being someone who doesn't believe in coincidences, I trust that the conversation I had with Mel over four years ago was God ordained.

Like I mentioned earlier, everything truly does come full circle, because at the beginning of the second semester of my senior year I had another one of those freak out moments. "Why am I getting this degree? Will all this college debt really be worth it?" Once again, I was brought back to Jeremiah 29:11, but little did I know, the verse would soon become very literal in my life.

A few weeks prior to graduation my next step was revealed. Through prayer, fasting, and more God ordained conversations, parts of my future became clear very quickly. On August 2, I will be on my way to Virginia to "work" for a ministry called, Tour 29:11, named after none other than Jeremiah 29:11. See what I mean by literal? But, for me, this isn't just a job...it's a calling. And even though I know at times it won't be an easy one, I also know I am so blessed to be called in such a way.

The other night I was reading Isaiah, and Isaiah 61:1-3 hit me in a mighty way.

"The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me, because the LORD has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners, to proclaim the year of the LORD's favor and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn, and provide for those who grieve in Zion - to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the LORD for the display of his splendor."
Jesus truly lived His life selflessly. He was called to "preach good news," and that's exactly what He did. I believe this is what God is calling each of us to do, as well, with whatever job we may hold. I am beyond excited to live this calling out, but I know it won't be by anything I could do alone. It can only be done by surrendering my life completely to Christ and allowing Him to work through me.

Yes, this is a summer of continual surrender.

No, this is a LIFE of continual surrender...

May 23, 2011

Worth It

When I look back now
on all the pain I've come to feel
I've found that it's worth
being able to watch You heal

Because what's a faith untested?
What's a spirit not grown?
Who is God if not given the chance
for His grace to be shown?

May 21, 2011

Freedom

I believed the lies
That were twisted
And presented as truth

I believed the lies
That boxed me in
And stifled my spirit

I believed the lies
That made timid
what was strong and assured

Now

I believe the truth
That is burning
And presented as faith

I believe the truth
That opens doors
And lights the match of hope

I believe the truth
That makes stronger
what was weak and unsure

I believe in the truth

That I am re-found
I am refined
I am renewed

I believe in the truth

That He is leading
He is seeking
He is fighting

I believe in the truth

That He is setting me free

April 21, 2011

Whisper, speak

Your voice is hidden
in the depths
of my heart,
dulled with suffocation
from other voices.

In the depths remain
but in my heart
be revealed.

Your voice is soft
in the depths
of my mind,
dulled with suffocation
from other voices.

In the depths remain
but in my mind
be revealed.

Let Your whisper speak
louder than shouts
from other voices.

April 8, 2011

Time

And the time came
where all I could do was wait,
as a leaf for the wind to blow.
When? It never knows.
But perfection lies in the space
where the timing is not it's own.

March 2, 2011

Because of Your Love

Jesus you endured my pain
Savior you bore all my shame
All because of your love
All because of your love

Maker of the universe
Broken for the sins of the earth
All because of your love
All because of your love

Because of your cross my debt is paid
Because of you blood my sins are washed away
Now all of my life, I freely give
Because of your love, Because of your love I live

Innocent and Holy king
You died to set the captive free
All because of your love
Lord you gave your life for me
So I will give my life for you
All because of your love
All because of your love

Because of your cross my debt is paid
Because of your blood my sins are washed away
Now all of my life I freely give
Because of your love, because your love I live

You did it for me, you did it for love
It's your victory, Jesus you are enough

-Phil Wickham (Because of Your Love)

February 16, 2011

"Satisfaction"

You've spent your life searching
in all the wrong places.
What you want you won't find
under sheets and blankets.
They're alluring.
They're addicting.
And they'll kill your spirit fast.
These lies you are living
will make your "satisfaction" crack.
At least one day.
Maybe not today.
Probably not tomorrow.
But one day.
I hope.

February 7, 2011

Fixed

It's the bend of my spirit
as you're ripping my heart,
but I'm not tricked by you.

What you thought you knew,
you never really knew.

It's the break of my gaze
as you're twisting my arm,
but I'm not fixed by you.

What I thought I knew,
I never really knew.

February 4, 2011

Israelite

And who am I?
Nothing but an Israelite?
Forgetting You
despite Your glory.
Forgetting You
despite Your love for me.

And what have I done?
Made idols of what is seen?
And I wonder why there's
a lack of faith
for the unseen.
And I wonder why there's
a lack of peace
as they drown me.

Shower me with Your mercy.
Shower me with Your promise.

I don't deserve all of You.
You deserve all of me.

January 23, 2011

Chase

In our unwillingness you teach us to hunger.
In our discomfort you teach us to embrace.
This life is meaningless.
Only you should we solely chase.