June 28, 2008

Mirror of the Master

Savior, I've done everything in my power to be like You are.
Now, Savior, I come with all of my failings.
Be who You are and make me like You.

Savior, I want to shine Your glory so the world can see You.
God, I am here: a fractured depiction of all that You are;
shine through me.

I'm just a mirror of the Master, trying to reflect His love.
Even when I fail, His love it still prevails,
so I will not give up

God, I want to be who You need me to be.
Shine through me.

June 27, 2008


First, Wade posted this on his blog tonight.


It's an amazing story that not only gives Wade and Ferris even more hope for their little girls, I'm sure, but paints a bigger picture of our Healer. I was overcome by it for 2 big reasons:

1. JESUS!! Isaiah 53 says:
There was nothing attractive about Him, nothing to cause us to take a second look. He was looked down on and passed over, a man who suffered, who knew pain firsthand. One look at Him and people turned away. We looked down on Him, thought He was scum. But the fact is, it was our pains He carried -- our disfigurements, all the things wrong with us. We thought He brought it on Himself, that God was punishing Him for His own failures. But it was our sins that did that to Him, that ripped and tore and crushed him -- our sins! Through his bruises, we get healed. We're all like sheep who've wandered off and gotten lost. We've all done our own thing, gone our own way. And God has piled all our sins, everything we've done wrong, on Him, on Him.

If you think of someone dying so horribly as through crucifixion, you think of how they must have done something terrible to deserve it. They had to have done some heinous, unforgivable act that would warrant such a painful, humiliating death. We look at Him as if He is unworthy; such a sinner. All we see is a brutal death that a sinner deserves, and we never stop to remember that He is dying that death because of OUR sins, not His. We've all done wrong, and God has put that weight onto Him.
I know it's something we already know, but the video tells the story in a deeper way. He has taken on all of our sins and transgressions so that we would be healed. He is the ultimate Healer and paid the ultimate price to be that for us.

2. I am pumped about Sunday. Leading is going to be such a new, awesome, different experience. Watching the video and how affected the people were by one man's message was amazing. I hope that on Sunday the church continues to come together to lift up Wade, Ferris, Liana and Adleigh. It's been a powerful week witnessing how God brings together people through unfortunate situations. I'm overwhelmed by the amount of blogs, e-mails and text messages going around to pray for the Joye's. I hope they're encouraged by the community that God has placed them in, and I honestly believe that God is going to answer all of our prayers for these 2 beautiful girls. I'm excited to see how the messages in the songs we sing apply to what's happening around us. I really hope that you'll be able to see on Sunday how everyone has been coming together this week and how we all come together to worship our wonderful Healer. I'm excited to see the church as the group following Jesus in anticipation for what He will do next.

I'm also interested in what my parents are going to think of it all...

June 23, 2008

The War

I'm in the middle of a war: The Kids versus The Babysitter. Who can hold out the longest?

Will The Awful, Evil, No-Good Babysitter really keep one of us in time-out? Can she even do that? Why did we think she was so much fun earlier in the day? Maybe this chair isn't so bad after all. Maybe I'll just push her buttons until she cracks and lets me out just because she's tired...

Will they ever listen? Is that green time-out chair really that comfortable? Is this fight really worth the extreme annoyance it's causing me today? Especially because they're going to harvest a severe dislike for me the rest of the day. Yes. Yes it is. Because if I let her go, she'll know she can get away with anything and time-outs will soon become pointless...

So here we are.
Lord, give me patience. I want to be good at this. I want to walk away from the summer feeling like I earned my money, did a good job, and added something to their lives instead of just feeling like I was a bother for 3 months. I want to teach them something...and not anger. I want them to miss me when I'm done and say hey to me at church. I really just don't want them to hate me.

5 minutes later: A (forced) apology, and all is well; back to playing. First time-out by myself: successful.

June 19, 2008


The other day I was sitting on the floor in Makenna's room while they were playing some game that involved finding as many small, toy dogs as possible and playing "house" with them (creative, I know), and I was looking through their books. One was called "The Book of Knowledge" or something awesome like that, and I decided to look through it. It was broken up into sections, and there was one section on planets and stars and galaxies and whatnot. I'll go ahead and admit I let the girls continue their fun albeit not-as-productive-as-possible playtime so I could read the section in the book. It was awesome. When I was little, I wanted to learn about astronomy all the time. I just wanted to know more about it. I think it's the vastness of space. It's something so big that I can never understand on my own, so I wanted to read about it. And reading this book reminded me of that. I read about every planet (even poor Pluto, who can no longer claim the title), galaxies, the sun, stars, you name it.

I miss being at an age where I just wanted to learn...for the sake of learning. Where I would want to go find books just to soak of the information in them. I still love reading, but I don't do it enough. One area that I want this mindset in is with my quiet time. I want to go at my Bible with a hunger for knowledge of what's inside it. I want to read it aching to just know and understand what God has to tell me through it. I just miss being hungry for knowledge in general, I guess.

June 15, 2008

Walk in Love

Today's worship set was great. I love it when the songs we do really line up with the message being preached. All the songs this morning were great and I feel like we had a lot of energy for all of them, but for some reason Walk in Love was spectacular. Sometimes the songs we do are so full and powerful, that I just stand on stage and laugh. It sounds weird when I say it, but I laugh because my spirit is so filled with joy from God that it overflows into my body and...I just laugh. It's really a lot of fun. I'd probably jump up and down if I wasn't afraid of losing my pack for my ears out of my back pocket.

So I wrote a blog on this a couple weeks ago, but today's sermon and singing Walk in Love four times was a continuous reminder that Love is way more important than we treat it. God IS Love. That should be enough. That should convince us that we were bought with Love, and therefore we should always walk in Love; Love towards our God, towards one another and towards ourselves. But we're not naturally inclined to do everything in Love. That's why God is "calling us out of ourselves to Love a world that's broken down." We have to rise above ourselves and fight to Love, no matter what.
My favorite part is when the song breaks into a quiet "hallelujah" and it's like...floating. (Sorry, I really love the song). Anyways, then it breaks into the end of the song where we shout and proclaim that we will Love and that we will BE His Love. He will shine in us, and we will be free to walk in Love.

I'm so grateful every week to work with the three guys who make our worship experiences what they are. You'll understand why when the church's worship album comes out. They obviously put their hearts into the music they write, and it shines through when you listen to it as the soundtrack to the life of Elevation church.

Father's Day

I love my dad. I really do. He's not a really great Christian example in my life, but I look up to him all the same. He's always been around for me 100% even after he and my mom got divorced, and he's always shown his love for me; I've never questioned it. Lately I've also been learning that whether or not he agrees with me on a subject, he is always behind me and supporting me. He always wants what is best for me, and he is quick to protect me. At least, he does all of this to the best of his ability, considering he is often 2 hours away from me in Greenville. He'll never read this and he may never understand exactly how much I love him, but there it is. I also enjoy my relationship with him because I can relate it to my relationship with God, except as great as my father's love for me is, God's love is amplified so much more. I wish I could actually comprehend it.

P.S. I'm also really thankful for the other men in my life who have really led me, protected me, given me advice and acted as father figures in my life. Especially this guy.

P.P.S. These two guys are not only awesome men, but awesome bloggers as well. And I am always very diligent in saying hello to them in the office and keeping them on my blogroll. You are welcome.

June 14, 2008

Romans 5:2-5

We throw open our doors to God and discover at the same moment that He has already thrown open His door to us. We find ourselves standing where we always hoped we might stand--out in the wide open spaces of God's grace and glory, standing tall and shouting our praise.
There's more to come: We continue to shout our praise even when we're hemmed in with troubles, because we know how troubles can develop passionate patience in us, and how that patience in turn forges the tempered steel of virtue, keeping us alert for whatever God will do next. In alert expectancy such as this, we're never left feeling shortchanged. Quite the contrary--we can't round up enough containers to hold everything God generously pours into our lives through the Holy Spirit! -Romans 5:2-5

1. We finally realize that God is great and wonderful and glorious. We finally open up our lives to Him only to realize He already did it for us. He used Jesus to open up His door to us. We're so excited to finally get to a point that He has already brought us to. And that just brings us more excitement.
2. After this, we finally stand in God's grace, which is not closed off and boxed in; it is wide open. We're free to run, dance and play in His love and grace. It's not small or insignificant, but huge and freeing. It gives us plenty of room to stand up in His righteousness and shout our praise to Him.
3. Then there's more: because of the greatness we've experienced in God, we continue to shout our praise to Him when we are troubled and suffering. Because we know our suffering isn't in vain, but it leads to greater things, including a passionate patience. I don't really know how to view patience as passionate, but I find it interesting.
4. With all of this, we don't feel left out. We're not missing anything. Instead, we do not have enough space to contain the blessings God has poured into our lives.

I don't usually like the Message Remix unless I'm reading it beside the NIV, but I was having a hard time completely understanding this passage in the NIV so I'm sold on this version.

June 13, 2008


I'm going to make this short and sweet:

Tonight, Rob and I realized that the fireflies had come out. I think I literally squealed when I saw them. I love fireflies. It wasn't really dark out yet, so there weren't too many out, but we decided to walk around the giant field that is his back yard to see more. We walked for a while and since it was getting dark out, I started to look down at my feet a lot. I was really just nervous I would step on an ant pile or in a hole or something lame. But once I would look down at my feet for a couple seconds, I realized I was missing the point of even walking out there: to look up and see the fireflies. And at that point it was getting too dark to even see what my feet were stepping on in the first place...

The point: what's great and beautiful and wonderful is ahead of us and in front of our faces. God has placed so many blessings into my life, especially this year. But sometimes I look down. I look down at the possible obstacles I'm going to face. I feel like there are so many lately. Some days it just feels like the world is going to completely fall out of place, and I just find it so easy to despair. But really, I don't even know what obstacles I'll face. I look down to find them, but I can't even see them, so there's absolutely no point. All I need to worry about it looking up to be reminded of the blessings I'm walking towards and experiencing every day.

[The past is beautiful like the darkness between the fireflies...]

June 9, 2008

Crazy Times

So looking back on yesterday, I'm thinking it was probably one of the best days for a ton of things to go wrong. Which is really saying a lot considering there was no air conditioning at Butler for the first half of the morning, apparently the generators quick working at Providence, and (the most ridiculously intense moment I ever hope to experience in church) one of the girls working the camera at Providence during the 1:00 fainted and fell along with the camera into the seat next to me. She landed at my feet. It was crazy. I haven't heard any updates on her, I hope she's ok, but when I left she was sitting up and talking to the paramedics, so I'm hoping everything is alright.

My point of all that is to say that yesterday was NUTS. But I still had one of the best Sundays I've ever experienced, and I think it was the best time for it because we just started the One Prayer series, which is all about the church coming together under one God to serve Him and work together for His good. All of the junk that happens on Sundays doesn't ever hinder us from doing our work for God's glory. So many things went "wrong" yesterday, but the Church doesn't stop. Satan can throw all of the obstacles he wants in our way, but as long as we all come together as one Church with one prayer for one God, then we are unstoppable. We are dangerous. And it is awesome. I had an amazing day yesterday despite the threat of heat stroke and falling cameras, and the Church keeps on moving.

June 8, 2008

Quick Transitions

I'm enjoying the process of taking my time and really going through Romans. I'm really bad at being patient and reading and re-reading and yadda yadda yadda trying to hear from God, but I'm making efforts.

Anyways, romans 3:23 says "for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God." So there, that's it. None of us are righteous (v.10) and we all sin and fall completely short of the goodness of God. There is no hope, and we cannot save ourselves or do anything to gain favor.
But romans 3:24 says "...and are justified freely by His grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus." And there you go. That's it. We're just justified and taken care of because of Jesus; not because of our actions but because of His. Because of His grace and the fact that He loves us.

My favorite part is that it's short and sweet and it's a super fast transition from negative to positive. In the first part of the sentence we have nothing and we are nothing, but in the second part we are justified, saved, worthy and Loved.

June 6, 2008

No Matter What

"What if some did not have faith? Will their lack of faith nullify God's faithfulness? Not at all! Let God be true, and every man a liar...Someone might argue, 'If my falsehood enhances God's truthfulness and so increases His glory, why am I still condemned as a sinner?' Why not say -- as we are being slanderously reported as saying and as some claim that we say -- 'Let us do evil that good may result'? Their condemnation is deserved." [Romans 3:3-4,7-8]

One thing that I can hold onto during this stage of my life is that whether I am faithful to God or not, He is aways 100% without a doubt faithful to me. For the times when I let my circumstances hold me back from truly holding onto my faith, God is still there; He still fulfills His promise. He doesn't need us for anything, so when we lack faith, He does not stop moving. And this will be turned around. People will say, "Well if He is always faithful and good no matter what I do, doesn't that mean I can get away with my sin?" No, not really. People will look at this as an excuse to be sinful because no matter what we do, God remains faithful. But that's not how it works. God isn't manipulative with us, so we should not be with Him. We should just rest in the knowledge that when we make mistakes and our faith is lacking, He is always there working in our lives.

I'm easily discouraged lately because I feel like my sin has overtaken me and I'm irredeemable. I feel like I've done a horrible job in displaying my faith in God and that He has no reason to continue loving me and being faithful to me. I'm right in saying that I don't deserve it, but nevertheless, He will always be faithful to me.

June 4, 2008

Embracing Accusations

I've spent much of my life embracing the accusations placed on me by satan. It's hard. It's hard to believe God is gracious enough to give us anything when we flat out know we deserve nothing.

The father of lies
Coming to steal, kill and destroy all my hopes of being good enough.
I hear him saying "cursed are the ones who can’t abide."
He’s right
Alleluia he’s right!

The devil is preaching the song of the redeemed that I am cursed and gone astray.
I cannot gain salvation,
Embracing accusation

Could the father of lies be telling the truth of God to me tonight?
If the penalty of sin is death, then death is mine.
I hear him saying "cursed are the ones who can’t abide."
He’s right
Alleluia he’s right!

Oh the devil’s singing over me an age old song that I am cursed and gone astray.
Singing the first verse so conveniently
He’s forgotten the refrain
Jesus saves!

I just think it's one of the most amazing and true songs I've ever heard. One of the hardest things for me to do in this stage of my life in my relationships and situations is to look at my mistakes and to MOVE ON. To accept the forgiveness that was offered to me a long time ago when Jesus died for me and to move past my sin to better things. It's easy to see your mistakes and acknowledge them. The hard part (for me) is moving on to get past my sins and to become better.

This song perfectly says what I feel so often and what I know is true. That every day the devil works hard to convince me that I am not loved and that I'll never be good; that if I can't follow all the "rules" then I am cursed and hopeless. Far too often, I believe he is right. I embrace accusations and by doing so, I fall a step behind because I'm more concerned with how condemned I feel than I am with getting past it. He makes me question everything, and he makes me feel like I might be confused or wrong. Maybe something I thought was from God was really from satan and vice versa. I did this when I broke up with Javy. For the first week, I couldn't figure out if I was led to end that relationship because God was moving me towards something different or because satan wanted to separate me to get me alone, weak and vulnerable. (Didn't take long to figure that one out).
If sin leads to death, I should be dead by now. The devil sings over me every day a song that tells me I am worthless. He works every day to tell me I am unloved and hopeless and alone; that my sin has overtaken me and I will never receive salvation, even though God has promised it. He sings this song, but he's forgotten what the refrain is. The refrain is beautiful and true and it covers every sin. Satan's song of condemnation may be hundreds, thousands, millions of pages long, but 2 simple words from God erase every evil and discouragement in our lives:


June 2, 2008

The Joys of Being Sick

So yesterday at the awesome wedding Rob and I went to, I started sneezing and fun stuff. By the time I got home, my throat was aching, and by the time I woke up, I felt like my throat was attacking me from the inside. So I went to the doctor, and here I am with tonsillitis!! So I'll go on antibiotics and hope I don't have to have my tonsils taken out just yet. Between singing at church and the beginning of my job (if it ever starts), I can't really deal with an operation plus recovery time right now. So prayers would be appreciated.

So...reading back over this later, it seems like I'm happy. I'll just be clear that it's sarcasm. My throat freaking hurts. But hey, I get all the rainbow sherbert I want until it stops hurting. Bring it on, pain.