Friday, December 31, 2010
What a great post for New Years Eve!
1 - God. How blessed am I? All of us really, that we have a God who loves and cares for us SO much that He would sacrifice His only son for our salvation?
2 - Ali. It amazes me to see how mature, humble, fun-loving and good-natured my baby sister has grown to be!
3 - Shana. Despite our differences, and years of feuding, I am glad to call my big sister, friend.
4 - Nathan. I seriously have the BEST big brother. He is awesome. You should all be jealous.
5 - Adam. I am so blessed to have him in my life. I've never been so happy and in love.
6 - Mason. Cutest nephew EVER!
7 - Mum. My mother is my lifeline. I could not survive without her.
8 - Dad. Always a firm hand, he has taught me so many of lifes tough lessons.
9 - Kristin. I don't know where I'd be without her. Literally. I definitely wouldn't be in Florida!
10 - Christie. I love her more than the cast of Jershey Shore love GTL
11 - Rich. Couldn't have picked a better mate for my sister. Or a better father for my nephew.
12 - Desiree. She is a solid rock. I am amazed at her ability to cling to God no matter what is thrown her way.
13 - Rachel. Always there to put a smile on my face...and make work a little more bearable.
14 - Britney. Always there to land a helping hand.
15 - Margaret. My Wifey. She is a beautiful person inside and out.
16 - Joe. Or Ioe...my wbf. He never ceases to crack me up.
17 - Tori. Tor-Tor. We have so much fun together.
18 - Mitko. He does a great job of keeping me entertained at work. Lets watch the Flintstones Christmas Special! Again!
19 - Jasmine. I miss seeing your face...but when I do, it makes me smile!
20 - Michael. My birthday buddy. Even though our friendship has felt quite strained the last few months, I still consider him to be one of my nearest and dearest friends.
21 - Cassie. LOVE this girl!!! Come back to Florida NOW! I miss you already!
22 - Sneha. Even though we haven't spoken in awhile...we have been through so much and I will ALWAYS be there for her.
23 - Heather. One of the most fun people I've ever met! Wish I drove so we could hang out more!
24 - Ashley. She makes church that much more fun. I'm so glad we became friends.
25 - Jeremiah, Leah, Ethan & Nate. I'm so sad they have moved. This family holds a special place in my heart.
26 - Blaine, Alexis. Beckett, Graham & Gatlin. From helping with production, to chasing around the little ones, to heartfelt talks. This is one awesoime family.
27 - Shelya & Brian. i have so much fun with you guys. Still think their kids are rentals though....
28 - Joe & Jen. Their hospitality amazes me. They are a riot and some of the most genuine people I have ever met.
29 - David. Always providing me with new insight and reading material. He is truly a man after Gods own heart.
30 - Tito. One of the nicest men I have ever met. You are a true blessing to everyone you meet.
31 - JP. This guy is a riot. So talented. So loving. So warm. If you don't know him, you're missing out.
32 - Dana, Pru, Brand-o, Alysser, Kristy, Brandon & Anthony. I love our yearly get togethers. Seriously the best vacations I've ever had.
33 - all of my other amazing friends. I'm so blessed to be surrounded with such awesome people!
34 - all of my extended family. There are too many too name...but know that I love you all!
35 - freah air
36 - chocolate
37 - electricity
38 - clothes on my back
39 - food in my belly
40 - shoes on my feet
41 - a roof over my head
42 - a positive balance in my bank account
43 - netflix
44 - my wii
45 - wine
46 - a beautiful view from my backyard
47 - a job to pay the bills
48 - a career I love
49 - joyous music
50 - salvation
What makes you happy on a daily basis?
Thursday, December 30, 2010
I dream about a lot of things. I'm guessing this means an aspiration opposed to a sleep dream. I dream of being married. I dream of having a family. I dream of owning my own spa.
That third dream has only recently been in my head...the last year or so. I've learned so much from the spa I work at now...of what NOT to do. I now have such specific details of how I want things to be run, how I DON'T want things to be run, the floorplan, the set-up of each room, what will be expected of the staff and of the LMTs, the decor...pretty much everything.
My spa will run efficiently. My spa will be serene. My spa will offer jazzy water in the lounge. My spa will be a quiet getaway. My spa will employ, and contract, only positive professionals. My spa will be a happy place for EVERYONE who sets foot in the door...clients, employees and therapists alike.
I don't know when or if this dream will become reality...but it sure is fun to imagine! For now, I will focus on the small business I have just begun. Check out my site and recommend me to your friends, family, co-workers, neighbors...that guy that you just passed in the mall...help me to make my dream a reality!
What is your dream?
Wednesday, December 29, 2010
My brother will like this one...
He would bring us some whenever he came home for a weekend, and he always makes sure to get some whenever he's in the area. He has even taken to ordering them online now.
These cookies are every bit as delicous as they are cute! Wish I had one now!
Tuesday, December 28, 2010
Just one? I have several blogs that I follow, but I guess the one I most look forward to reading would have to be....Frolicking Flamingo.
If you're as much of a blog junkie as I am, here are a few others I follow...
Don't Look Back
The Avid Appetite
Reflections of Christ
Keeping Up with Kristi
Through this Lens
Ready or Not
It's a Dogs Life
What blog(s) make you happy?
Monday, December 27, 2010
Sunday, December 26, 2010
You're so responsive. You love to watch Uncle Nathan being silly and you always perk right up whenever you hear Mommys voice.
I can't wait to see you grow up. I'm so proud to be your Aunt. I know God has great things in store for you.
Saturday, December 25, 2010
Day 23 - an activity you find fun
There are a lot of activities I find fun! Karaoke, Wii, scrapbooking, dancing...just to name a few.
I really enjoy doing arts and crafts. Anything that allows me to be creative. This year for Christmas, I made prayer boxes for everyones stockings.
Friday, December 24, 2010
Day 22 - a picture that gives you hope
Thursday, December 23, 2010
Wednesday, December 22, 2010
Day 20 - define happiness in your own words
being content with what you have.
Happiness is being grateful.
Happiness is acceptance.
Happiness is grace.
Happiness is basking in the glory of God.
Happiness is love.
Happiness is mercy.
Happiness is feeling the sun shine on your face.
Happiness is a warm embrace.
Happiness is a great cup of coffee.
Happiness is curling up with a good book.
Happiness is talking over wine with the bestie.
Happiness is being silly with good friends.
Happiness is a tender kiss from the one you love.
Happiness is relishing in the word of God.
Happiness is a sappy movie.
appiness is really good chocolate.
Happiness is a new pair of heels.
Happiness is a warm summer breeze.
Happiness is a babys laughter.
Happiness is accomplishment.
Happiness is a lazy day.
Happiness is catching up with a good friend.
Happiness is a home-cooked meal.
Happiness is creativity.
Happiness is memories.
Happiness is hope.
Happiness is Jesus.
Happiness is a choice.
Tuesday, December 21, 2010
Sooo apparently tumblr isn't working I have been trying all day to no avail. I will attempt again at some point...but for now...sorry! I'm in a foul mood anyway so I'm sure this wouldn't be a very 'happy' post.
Monday, December 20, 2010
Ummm...I don't really know what this means. I think it may be referring to something on tumblr, since that's where I ' borrowed' this 30 days of Happiness from. BUT, I don't use tumblr...I use blogger...and my blogger dashboard just has a list of the blogs I follow...all of which make me happy...that's why I follow them! So I could use today to plug all the blogs I follow...although, there is a day coming up where that is precisely what is asked of me. So, instead, I will write about something on my homepage that makes me happy!
I use igoogle as my homepage. I have a daily bible verse on there...which is really just random bible verses because anytime you go back to the page or refresh it, it's a new verse. Anyways, the bible verse it's displaying right now is Proverbs 10.9 - The man of integrity walks securely, but he who takes crooked paths will be found out.
How true is that? When you are living righteously, walking in Gods light, doing what you know in your heart is just and right, you are able to hold your head up high and walk proudly. But when you are going against Gods will for you and you are doing things you know you shouldn't be, or are purposefully going down the wrong path, you feel the weight of the world on your shoulders and tend to try to hide in the shadows. I know that doing Gods will is not always the popular route and, more often than not, it's the road less traveled...but knowing that God is on your side is an exemplary feeling! You couldn't have a better provider, a better protector, a better friend! If God is for you, than what could ever stop you?
Our God is an awesome God. So long as you stay on His path, you can walk securely with your head held high. That notion definitely makes me happy, how about you?
Sunday, December 19, 2010
Lots of things inspire. When I'm in a great (and receptive) mood, just about everything inspires me. I don't think I can pick just one thing...so I'll pick two!
She is just an amazing woman. She is optomistic. She is loving. She is invested in all the people around her. She has a strong faith. She embodies inner beauty. She has gone through a lot in her life and she always seems to come out on the sunny side. She inspires me to be positive, strong, live in my faith, stay firm in my decisions, thoughtful, empathetic and so much more. If I live to be half the woman my mother is, I will count myself lucky. Love you Oke-san!
Saturday, December 18, 2010
Hmmm...this is quite a thought-provoking one. I've had a lot of happy days, but I don't know if any one day really stands out far and above the rest. I guess I'll go with....the day I passed the Florida Massage Boards.
That was an exhilarating feeling. One of joy, accomplishment, relief and pride. It marked the end of my schooling (for now), the end of working dead-end jobs, the end of my life as a bartender (although I hadn't bartended in several months). It was the beginning of the rest of my life. The start of my career. Of a purpose-driven work life.
I know that massage is my calling. I don't know why God placed me on this career track. I only know it's what I was meant to do. I can't wait to see where it takes me.
Thursday, December 16, 2010
Tonight I had a date with my best friend, Kristin. That always makes me happy. We had some sushi, some wine and some much needed catch up time. It wasn't what was said, or what we were talking about, or this specific conversation that made me happy...it was just talking to her. We have been friends for a better part of a decade, lived together for over 4 years, moved to Florida together...and have been through ALOT together. Unfortunately, we don't see eachother as much as we'd like. It's hard syncing up our schedules...lawyers and massage therapists don't generally run on the the same time table. It's great when we do get together, just the two of us. Hopefully, we will both make an effort to hang out more often. I had a great time and I'm so happy to have her in my life.
Tuesday, December 14, 2010
Monday, December 13, 2010
Hmmm...this may be a toughie. Today wasn't necessarily a bad day...but not a great one either. It was just...a day.
My houseguests went back to NY - bittersweet. I enjoy having my house to myself but it was a super short visit and I really don't feel like I got to spend any time with Cassie. I went to work - lackluster. As much as I love my career, I really really REALLY don't like my job. It was freezing today and ridiculously windy - annoyed. I do not enjoy being cold. I came home and took a nap - tired. A power nap just didn't energize the way I had hoped it would. Watched TV and worked on Masons (my nephew) chrisrmas present - frustrated. Apparently I need a new iron to do the next step. And now, I am laying in bed trying to come up with something for this blog.
On the other hand, I worked on one of my favorite clients today. She always brightens my mood. I also did a hot stone - my favorite modality to do - and that client was such a delight. He had such a positive disposition and we had a great talk throughout the massage. I worked on Masons christmas gift - I know, I listed that already, but I can't wait to finish it and see my sister use it.
So that was pretty much my day today. Not great, not bad. Nothing to complain about. No particular stories that made me happy. Maybe I'll revisit this blog topic another day. What made you happy today?
Sunday, December 12, 2010
Okay, this one was easy. Watching (hearing) my boyfriend sing and play guitar makes me happy (swoon), so a youtube video of him doing just that is the clear winner.
It's an acoustic cover of Something Beautiful by Needtobreathe. The quality isn't great (he's in the process of getting a new mic), but the song is one of my favorites and Adam sounds great!
Keep an eye on his youtube! He's constantly learning new songs and looking for the best ones to showcase his God-given talent.
I hope you enjoy it as much as I do!
Saturday, December 11, 2010
I'm going to go the self-promotion route with this one. ;-P
The site that makes me happy is my business website RejuvenatingTouchFL.com
I just launched Rejuvenating Touch a little less than a month ago. It's a massage company specializing in Corporate Chair Massage, Spa Parties and Sports Massage.
I am blessed with great, supportive, helpful friends and family. A good friend in Colorado, Brandon, put together my website and hosts it. I am really excited about what God has in store for me with Rejuvenating Touch.
Check out my website and let me know what you think!
Friday, December 10, 2010
On a blog called 'A laugh is a smile that bursts :)' by blogger charl21, I found this inspiring picture/quote.
Thursday, December 9, 2010
From blogger 'jevouspromets' (translation: I promise you) on a blog entitled 'Non, je ne regrette rien' (translation: no, I regret nothing), I found this picture.
Wednesday, December 8, 2010
Tuesday, December 7, 2010
Can I reuse my post from day 2??
Okay, fine. I won't be lazy.
I love music and there are a plethora of songs that make me smile. Some because they're fun to sing (Fly Away by FFH). Some because they're fun to dance to (Just Dance by Lady GaGa). Some because they're just so beautiful (Oh Love by Carrie Underwood and Brad Paisley). Some because they're funny (pretty much all the Veggie Tales Silly Songs). And some because of the memories or the people they remind me of.
I think that's where I'll go with this post.
But which song, which memory, to choose?
I think I'll go wayyy back with my Mum. My Mum is very silly at times. She loves to joke around and play with us and it was no different when we were growing up. She had two methods of waking us up in the morning. One was to shake us and repeatedly tell us to get up or ask if we're awake...I was NOT a fan of this method! The other way was much more pleasant. She would burst into our rooms, switch on the lights or open the blinds, flip back our covers, and start singing this song.
Of course, she would substitute the name of whoever she was waking. While it was still an abrupt way to wake up, you couldn't help but smile and laugh right along with her.
Monday, December 6, 2010
We had already pulled the costume box down...Cassies birthday was that week, she needed a tiara...so we decided to have an impromptu photo shoot. That was such a fun night! This picture was the 1st (and tamest) of the night.
Can't wait to see you and be silly with you again! 3 days! Love and miss you!
Sunday, December 5, 2010
This one was slightly difficult...mainly because I just got a new phone. But I actually only had to go through 2 text conversations before I found one that instantly made me smile.
It was from one of my closest friends and old roommate, Lauren. Yes, we have the same name. Yes, it was confusing at times...we mostly went by H and Z. We also used to work together...before we lived together, not during that time...at Houlihans in Carrollwood. Which is, unfortunately, no longer there. It is, by far, both of our favorite restaurant. Too bad the nearest one is on Orlando, and they have 4! So not fair! But I digress.
Last week I received this text with picture from my dear friend.
This is the place I met you about 6 yrs ago! So thankful for a friend like you in my life!! Loveeeeee you!!! Xoxo
That definitely brought a big smile to my face when I received it and again now. Thank you H!! I am blessed to have you in my life. You are an amazing woman and I am so proud of all that you are doing. I know God has big things in store for you and your family and I cannot wait to see!! I love you too!!
Saturday, December 4, 2010
"Smilers never lose and frowners never win"
From the song Open Up Your Heart. It was one of my favorites as a child and that song always makes me smile.
This one was hard though. Firstly, there are so many different quotes to choose from. And while many can bring a smile to my face, it really depends on my mood when I hear/read it. Secondly, I'm not in a great mood this afternoon, so a lot of things that would normally make me smile just aren't doing it today. I can honestly say that this song still does. =)
Friday, December 3, 2010
For my return to blogging, I've decided to do a 30 day commitment. I 'borrowed' this from another blog. It's 30 days of happiness posts. Hope you enjoy!
1- A Picture of you smiling
2- A Quote that makes you smile
3- A Text that you saved because it made you smile
4- A Picture you think will make someone else smile
5- A Song or Song Lyrics that make you smile
6- A Picture of someone famous smiling
7- Something you found when searching “Smile” on Tumblr.
8- Something you found when searching “Happiness” on Tumblr.
9- A Site that makes you happy.
10- A Youtube Video that makes you happy.
11- A Story of something that made you happy this day.
12- A Description or Picture of someone who makes you happy.
13- A Movie that makes you happy.
14- A Convo that makes you happy (from a movie or chat or whatever)
15- A T.V. Show that makes you smile
16- Tell about the happiest day of your life.
17- What Inspires you?
18- Something on your Dash that makes you happy
19- Something you found when searching “Love” on Tumblr.
20- Define Happiness in your own words
21- A Picture of the last time you were happy.
22- A Picture that gives you hope
23- An Activity you find fun
24- Dedicate a post to someone telling them what you think about them (positive things)
25- Post a stickey note or sign somewhere with a nice message. (take a picture and post it)
26- Promote a blog that makes you happy
27- A Picture of a heart, smiley face, peace sign, or any other symbol of happiness.
28- Post something that you dream about.
29- Make a list of 50 reasons to be happy daily.
30- Reflect on the past
Tuesday, April 27, 2010
Another form of maneuvering is to become the guy's "mom." Insecure females all too often deceive themselves into thinking that because they do so much for a particular young man, they will surely win his love. Wrong! It is easy for a man, whether he is young or old, to let a woman sacrifice for him. Why? Most men are used to the sacrifices of a woman. Good ol' mom has been sacrificing for him since the womb. Sure, the young man will say, "Thanks," but young men do not marry their mothers! When a woman does something nice for a certain guy, he usually does not spend the rest of the day thinking about her unselfish service (he may be accustomed to receiving). The woman may begin to feel used.
Some women prepare meals, sew on buttons, and wash the guy's clothes -- all things a mom would do -- assuming all this is practice for their future together. Inevitably, the man she has served so unselfishly may fall for a girl who can't bake or sew and thinks you take all the clothes to the dry cleaners that "fluff and fold."
Most men are used to the sacrifices of a woman.
I don't know if I fully agree with todays devotional. I mean, I absolutely think you shouldn't be doing someones chores for them just to win their affections. When Jackie says the womans service was 'unselfish', I completely disagree. If you are doing things for a man in the hopes that he will love you or date you or reciprocate your feelings, you are being selfish. This is not a case of doing something for someone out of the kindness of your heart.
I have been that selfish, naive woman before. I've done a guys laundry, cleaned his room, made him dinner...all so that maybe, just maybe, he would begin to look at me in a different light. This plan failed miserably. Attraction is not something you can force. Either he likes you for you and wants to be with you or he doesn't. A clean car or a homemade meal isn't going to change that.
If the guy you are spending all this time and energy on isn't taking the time to get to know you or reciprocating your feelings, it's time to take a step back and look at what's really going on. You can force someones feelings. You are only in control of yourself. He may not be the one for you.
Rather than spending all that wasted time and energy on a guy who just simply isn't in to you, why not use that time to glorify God? We are all stewards of our Lord and Savior. If you can take your zeal for cleaning or cooking or sewing or whatever it may be, and help someone who really needs the help -- just because doing so would honor God -- you will be so much more fulfilled. Will you turn your attention from that cute guy to your Savior?
Monday, April 26, 2010
There are many imitations of a true pearl, but with years, the shiny pearl paint cracks and wears off and all that is left is an unattractive bead hanging on a string. God's Spirit, however, produces true inner beauty, as you confess your sin, avoid displeasing God's Spirit, obey even the slightest of His promptings, and give the Holy Spirit full control of your life. Pearls of godly character take time to develop, but how blessed is the woman adorned by them.
You can settle for an imitation necklace of fake pearls by trying to simply cover over ungodly character, or you can allow the Holy Spirit to use the sands of singleness to create the real thing. If you want a cheap imitation, a modeling or charm school will be sufficient for what you seek. But if you want genuine pearls, you must allow the Holy Spirit to perform a special work in your life. Determine to string lovely pearl "necklace of virtue" as a treasure for your Lord.
"Providing lasting pleasurepotential beyond measure,the rarest of treasure,a reputation of virtuous character."JMK
...if you want genuine pearls, you must allow the Holy Spirit to perform a special work in your life.
Have you ever met someone who was so beautiful, so attractive, but then once you spoke to them, or got to know them a little, thought how ugly they were? I have.
The way you hold yourself, the way you convey yourself to others shows your true beauty...or ugliness, as the case may be. We are all capable of being ugly people...just as we are all capable of being beautiful. I am lucky to have a few friends who truly brighten the room when they enter into it. Their love for Jesus shines so brightly in everything they do, I can't help but smile when they are around. Do you have anyone in your life like that? Someone whose inner beauty is so great that it flows out of their pores? I long to be that someone.
So, how do we do that? How do we become someone who radiates beauty from the inside out? Someones whose light is infectious? Someone whose smile brightens a room? It won't come from working out, or dressing up, or styling our hair, or doing our make-up. It won't come from focusing on what others find appealing. It won't come from trying to please this world.
It will come if we forsake ourselves and our selfish wants for our Maker. When we can truly give ourselves, our lives and everything that comes with it, to our Savior and let Him rule our lives, we will start to shine His light. When we forsake our will for His, when we do what is pleasing to Him and not the way of the world, only then will we truly become beautiful on the inside.
You can primp all you want. You can spend hundreds and thousands of dollars on beautifying your outward appearance, but it all means nothing if you are ugly on the inside. Where is your time spent? Are you obsessing over that zit? Or are you trying to overcome your malicious tongue? Are you spending an hour every day on perfecting your curls? Or are you spending an hour every day in His word?
I know I'm not perfect and I know I never will be. But I know an hour spent with my God is much more gratifying than an hour spent primping.
Saturday, April 24, 2010
Part of reckless abandonment is realizing how much our culture has affected our behavior patterns. You want to be Christlike, but your lifestyle is a reflection of Vogue magazine or Cosmopolitan rather than a new creation in Christ. A.W. Tozer said, "A whole new generation of Christians has come up believing that it is possible to 'accept' Christ without forsaking the world." Ruth had to forsake the familiar and comfortable in order to receive God's best for her life.
One single was persecuted, not by non-Christians but by Christians, because she chose to spend her summer studying at a Bible Institute rather than playing in the sunshine with her friends. They actually accused her of thinking she was bettter than them because she planned to study the Bible intensively for eight weeks. Unfortunately, our self-centered culture in America has penetrated the Church so much that a young woman not only has to choose against the American culture, but sometimes against the more subtle, worldly Christian subculture tainting the Body of Christ.
Part of reckless abandonment is realizing how much our culture has affected our behavior patterns.
Friday, April 23, 2010
When Ruth told Naomi, "your people shall be my people," she understood that she would not be able to grow closer to the God of Israel if she remained among the Moabites (her own people). Ironically, God called Moab His washbasin (see Ps. 60:8; 108:9). One rinses dirt off in a washbasin. Ruth chose to leave the washbasin and head for Bethlehem which means the "house of bread."
Even today there exist "Moabites" who will undermine your growth if you spend too much time with them.... Realizing that one's friends drive you either toward or away from God, you may need to find a "new people" who will encourage your growth and not hinder it....
...When a woman stops growing spiritually, the lack of progress can often be traced back to a friendship that undermined her commitment to Jesus.
Take a moment to think about the spiritual depth of the girlfriend who influences you the most. Is she daily becoming all that Jesus desires? If so, her growth will challenge you to grow. On the other hand, her apathy may ultimately be contagious.
...one's friends drive you either toward or away from God.
They say you can tell alot about a person by the people they surround themselves with. I'd say that's true -- to a point. We tend to hang around with people similar to ourselves simply because that's who we have things in common with. They like the same things we do. They have the same sense of humor. The same sense of adventure. They get us.
I'd be naive to say that my friends don't influence me. I'm not saying that I would do something just because someone else is doing it or because someone told me it was a good idea, but I value the opinions of my friends...and they do have an impact on my decisions.
That being said, I try to surround myself with people who I respect. As I've grown closer to God, I have found myself 'weaning' away from certain friends, or groups of friends, as the case may be. These aren't bad people, they just are going in a direction that doesn't align with the direction I want to go. I have become closer with friends who are followers of Christ. They encourage me in my walk. They tell me when I'm going in the wrong direction...even when I don't want to hear it.
I'm not saying that, as a christian, you should only be friends with other believers. Not at all. You can be an encourager to them. You can be one of the steps that leads them to Christ. I just believe that you need to be careful that you are not following the lead of your unbelieving friends. Make sure that your sights are set on God and that these friends are not leading you off course.
There are times in my life when I am weak. When I am easily swayed. It is those times that is especially important that I surround myself with other believers. There advice will line up with Gods word, leading me to where I need...and want...to be. Whereas my unbelieving friends will lead me to the ways of the world...they may not have bad advice, but it won't be what God wants me to hear.
I don't think it's necessary to cut people out of your lives necessarily...just make sure the people whose advice you are heeding are speaking from the love of Christ and not from the world.
Thursday, April 22, 2010
Prayer is the effusion of the heart in the presence of God: "I have poured out my soul before the Lord." said the mother of Samuel. (1 Sam. i. 15.) The prayer of the wise men at the feet of Christ in the stable of Bethlehem, was signified by the incense they offered.
Prayer is a certain warmth of love, melting, dissolving, and sublimating the soul, and causing it to ascend unto God, and, as the soul is melted, odors rise from it; and these sweet exhalation proceed from the consuming fire of love within.
This is illustrated in the Canticles, [Song of Solomon] i. 12, where the spouse says, "While the king sitteth at his table, my spikenard sendeth forth the smell thereof." The table is the centre of the soul; and when God is there, and we know how to dwell near, and abide with Him, the sacred presence gradually dissolves the hardness of the soul, and, as it melts, fragrance issues forth; hence it is, that the Beloved says of his spouse, in seeing her soul melt when he spoke, "Who is this that cometh out of the wilderness, like pillars of smoke perfumed with myrrh and frankincense?" (Cant. [Song of Solomon] v. 6; iii. 6.)- Madame Guyon
Prayer is the effusion of the heart in the presence of God.
Prayer is much more than just a conversation with God. Prayer is a way of growing closer to the our Creator. Prayer is way of praising our Savior. Prayer is a way of glorifying God. Of letting Him know that He is the center of our universe. That He is the center of our lives, our souls, our hearts.
When we pray, we thank God for all that He has given us. For the air we breathe, the ground we walk upon, the sun shining down on us, the rain that feeds the earth around us, the love of friends and family, the food in our bellys, the jobs that pay our bills, the beds we rest in, the phones we use to communicate with, the computers that occupy our time and simplify our lives, the tvs that entertain us...the list goes on and on.
When we pray, we ask God for forgiveness for all the wrong we do. For the snide remark we made, for the malicious thoughts we have, for the lust we feel, for the little white lie we told, for the gossip we helped to spread, for the anger we felt, for the foul language we muttered...again, the list goes on and on.
When we pray, we ask God to bless us and our loved ones. For financial stability, for health, for contentment, for patience, for peace, for love, for esteem....and once again, the list goes on and on.
When we pray, we acknowledge that Jesus is our Lord and Savior. We acknowledge that He is the Almighty, the Creator of All, that He chooses to be with us, that He is to be revered, that He deserves our praise. When we pray we are bowing down before God and giving Him the respect He deserves.
I hope that when I pray, I am praying selflessly and truly honoring my Lord. How about you?
Wednesday, April 21, 2010
You don't know what tomorrow holds, but you do know who holds tomorrow. Say this with the psalmist:
O Lord, my heart is not proud, nor my eyes haughty; nor do I involve myself in great matters, or in things too difficult for me. Surely I have composed and quieted my soul; like a weaned child rests against his mother, my soul is like a weaned child within me. O [substitute your name], hope in the Lord from this time forth and forever (Psalm 131).
The place of rest that the psalmist found was a result of the choice he made. This quietness of soul did not come naturally to him. He chose to put his hope in God. Are you trying to involve yourself in matters that are too great for you? Can you see into a man's heart? Can you know the future? You know Someone who does know men's hearts and the future. Patiently rest against His chest. He will bring you the peace you need....
By an act of your will you must choose to trust God regardless of what happens.
The opposite of faith is fear. Lately, I find myself repeating that over and over. A good friend of mine, is preparing to begin a new chapter in her life. She's at a crossroads. She needs to find her place in this world. She's being pulled in several directions. These people want her here. These people want her there. Her mother wants her to do this. She wants to do that.
This friend of mine often asks my advice. My advice rarely changes.
'Pray about it.'
'But then what?' she inevitably asks.
'Listen and obey.'
'How do I know it's God talking to me?'
Easy question, hard answer. Discerning Gods voice can be tricky. It's something you feel in the depth of your soul. If you are praying over your career, and suddenly doors seem to fly open in one direction, I would say that is God. If you are praying over a move to one town over another, and there's no affordable living in one, I would say that is a sign from God.
When I saw Beth Moore speak last September, she spoke of discerning Gods voice. You can read my take on her talk here.
To discern the voice of God you need to take away your biases. Rather than praying that God brings you this job, pray that He will show you the job He wants you in. Rather than pray that God will pave the way for you to move to a certain city, pray that He will lead you to where He intends for you to be. By praying for His will, rather than your own, you are ensuring that you will be going the path He intends you to be on. This may not be the path you would choose for yourself, but it will be the path that is best for you. He knows better than you do. He knows what the future holds for you. He has plans for you.
I'll choose to follow my God wherever He leads me, how about you?
Tuesday, April 20, 2010
Whether married or single,...the key to your enjoying this moment deals with your inner contentment....
Whether married or single, one must learn that it is Jesus who strengthens you to walk in the most dismal or delightful of circumstances. True contentment is learned. You are not born with it and you cannot buy it at one of Kmart's blue-light specials. Your classroom for learning is your daily life. Every shattered dream or unfulfilled expectation serves as a perfect opportunity to learn contenment. These circumstances are your classroom assignments for learning the mystery of contentment. Learning contentment will require complete dependence upon Jesus, for difficult circumstances without the strength of Jesus can rob you of potential contentment. Do not be deceived into thinking you do not need Jesus' strength to face the good circumstances as well as the bad. When the sun is shining with no clouds in sight, you may assume that you can securely bask in the sunshine without any prospect of rain; however, this full feeling can easily breed a tendency to ignore Jesus. "Otherwise, I may have too much and disown you and say, 'Who is the Lord?'" (Prov. 30:9a NIV)
Every shattered dream or unfulfilled expectation serves as a perfect opportunity to learn contentment.
Contentment can be hard. I think that gratefulness and contentment go hand in hand. Whenever I notice myself being discontented with things in my life...or starting to whine and gripe about all that is wrong...I try to think of things I am thankful for. It helps if these things are connected, but it doesn't necessarily have to be so.
I hate my job...but I have a job and I love my career
I've buried myself in a mountain of debt...but I have a roof over my head and food in my belly
I don't have a car...but cycling is great exercise and I live in the sunshine state
I miss out on family outings because I'm so far away...but I'm surrounded by great friends
Sometimes the silver lining is very evident...sometimes you have to search for it. If you have trouble finding the silver lining, ask God to show it to you. Lay your burdens at His feet and ask Him to help you through.
If it feels like everything in your life is going wrong, make a list of the things you are grateful for. Do you have friends who love and care for you? Do you have shoes on your feet? Clothes on your back? Food in your belly? Oxygen in your lungs? A roof over your head? Money in your bank account? Is the sun shining? There are so many little things we take for granted.
God has gifted us with life and then with a Savior to cleanse us from our sins. Look for the silver lining next time you feel a dark cloud looming overhead.
Monday, April 19, 2010
As a single, you have a wonderful opportunity to use your time to mazimize your fellowship with God. When you love someone, you give them your heart, the center of your being. God asks for no less. He desires a totally devoted heart (deepest devotion), your soul (what you think and what you feel), and your might (your strength and energy).
Many women today are devoted, all right! They have devoted themselves to developing a love relationship, but not with the Lord. They erroneously seek for love in sensations and promises. the world's version of love is soemthing they want to "fall into." Meanwhile, "true love" escapes them. True loves can only be found in undistracted devotion to Jesus Christ.
To love Him like this, you must know Him intimately... It is a personal, intimate knowledge. Do you have a devotion to God that causes people to marvel at how intimately you know Him? do you know God in a way that causes Him to be an intimate, personal part of your being as you may desire a husband to one day be?
As a single, you have a wonderful opportunity to use your time to maximize your fellowship with God.
Every day, in my morning prayer, I ask God to radiate His light through me. I long to make my heavenly Father proud. I long to rightly represent Jesus in all that I do. As much as I long for these things, I often fail miserably. Lucky for me, our God is a god of second chances...and third, fourth...etc.
So how do we gain this personal, intimate knowledge of God? It's actually quite simple. How do you get to know anyone? You spend time with them. You learn all about them. You tell them all about yourself. You share your hopes, dreams, fears and aspirations. You talk to them. You listen to them. You heed their advice. That's what God wants, no, deserves.
He has done so much for us, from creation to His death on the cross. The least we can do is live for Him.
Saturday, April 17, 2010
It's hard to praise God in the face of despair. We don't always understand God's plans. Scratch that...we rarely understand God's plans. We often can't make sense of why things happen. Why do bad things happen to good people? Why me? What did I do to deserve this? It was too soon for my mom/dad/sister/brother/husband/wife/friend/child to leave this earth. Why now?..."I [Naomi] went out full, but the Lord has brought me back empty. ...the Lord has witnessed against me and the Almighy has afflicted me?" (Ruth 1:21)
Would you be devoted to a God like Naomi's? In Naomi's bitterness, she no longer referred to God as "the Lord" as she had in verses 8 and 9, but with a title that can cause one to feel alienated and insignificant -- "the Almighty." Though Ruth clung to Naomi as a mother she did not accept her mother-in-law's view of God for herself. ["If we think of Him (God) as cold and eacting, we shall find it impossible to love Him, and our lives will be ridden with servile fear."]
Your past experiences, present circumstances, or your parents' devotion or lack therof may cause you to have an incorrect view of God. But nothing and no one can give you a clearer picture of the true God than slipping under His wings and discovering for yourself Who God really is, the refuge for which you long. He desires for you to come again "into the garden" and walk with Him in complet fellowship. This is the fullness of devotion.
...nothing and no one can give you a clearer picture of the true God than slipping uner His wings and discovering for yourself Who God really is...
What we often fail to take into consideration is free will. While it's easy to remember that we are in control of our own actions, we oft forget that so is everyone else. God does not interfere with free will...ours or anyone elses. He might speak to someones heart, and if they are listening and obey, they may follow His divine will, but it is still ultimately their choice.
It is important to remember that while we may not understand, or agree, with everything that is going on in our lives, God is still there. God is always there. God has always been there. God will always be there. He can use the bad in your life for good. So long as you believe in Him, and in His truth, you will reap the greatest reward possible...eternity in heaven.
Friday, April 16, 2010
I love to sing. I love to sing praises to my Lord and Savior. I never feel as close to God as I do when I'm singing His praises. I often feel overwhelmed with emotion when I'm singing out to Him...eyes closed, arms raised, heart open.
Sometimes I can't find the words to portray what I long to say to God. I know that God knows my heart and that even when I can't formulate the words...He knows...but still, being able to convey the words to God helps to fulfill my hearts desires. So I'll turn on my itunes, put it on shuffle and ask God to read my heart. More often than not, when I am fully seeking God, a song will come on that perfectly portrays my hearts emotions.
One of my favorites right now is The Stand by Hillsong United. The words are so powerful. I tear up almost everytime I sing these words out to my God and Savior.
So I'll stand
with arms high and heart abandoned
in awe of the One who gave it all
my soul, Lord,
to You surrendered
all I am is Yours
What song...or verse...does that for you?