Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Tuesday Tunes

I've written about this song before. It's one of my favorites, and by the grace of the Lord, I find it when it seems that I need it most. 

The last time I "found" this song, it was a time when I was striving to be perfect. Wishing so badly that I could be a little kinder, more soft spoken, thinner, smarter, patient, neater... basically a picture perfect image. The song helped me see that all of the laws I tried to create for myself not only didn't work... but left me aching inside. I needed to focus on Christ. 

Today I write because it found me again, but in a different way. Showing me this time that if I truly want God's will to be be done in my life then I have to allow His spirit which I've accepted into my heart to truly shine through me. To truly shine through the sinful nature that seems to embody me. It's the only way. 

I can keep fighting myself with who I think I am verses who God wants me to be. Or I can give up my identity and be who God wants me to be- and that is a living and breathing radiance of Him and His splendor. 

My favorite verse in the whole entire bible hints at this too:

"But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light." ~ 1 Peter 2:9

And Matthew 5:14 reminds of what we are:

"You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden."

Light. Overcomes. Darkness. 

Read the lyrics and listen to the song. It's an absolute beautiful piece. I hope it speaks to you! :-) Click here to hear the song: Own Me by Ginny Owens
(If you are reading this from my actual blog link & not e-mail, you can click the video at the bottom of the post to hear the song)

Own Me
Ginny Owens 

Got a stack of books,
So I could learn how to live;
Many are left half-read, 
Covered by the cobwebs on my shelf.
And I got a list of laws,
Growing longer everyday;
If I keep pluggin' away, 
Maybe one day I'll perfect myself.
Oh, but all of my labor, 
Seems to be in vain;
And all of my laws, 
Just cause me more pain;
So I fall before You, 
In all of my shame;
Ready and willing to be changed-

Own me
Take all that I am,
And heal me
With the blood of the Lamb.
Mold me 
With Your gracious hand;
Break me till I'm only Yours-
Own me

Oh, you call me Daughter,
And you take my blame;
And you run to meet me,
When I cry out Your name,
So I fall before You,
In all of my shame.
Lord, I am willing to be changed


Thursday, September 20, 2012


"I am writing to you, young people, because He has given you the power to conquer the evil one."
~ 1 John 2:13b

It's one thing to focus on the Lord's presence in my life. It's a whole other thing to think about "the evil one's" presence in my life. I absolutely shutter at the thought that Satan might be present in my life, but the fact of the matter is that I face evil every day. We all do. 

I'm not saying that Satan is evident in our life. I'm saying that he is present in our life. If think he isn't... please go on and tell me about that. But every time I'm tempted to say something I shouldn't or think something I shouldn't I'm assuming that the evil one is definitely lurking around. 

I love that verse above. That particular version is from The Voice, which sort of translates the scriptures into a way that lets you understand the context a little bit better. Originally, the Greek translates it closer to, "I write to you, young men, because you have overcome the evil (one)". 

But how did they overcome evil? 

They overcame the evil one because, through Christ, God gave them the power to conquer. 

Choosing to follow Christ allows me to conquer the evil one. 

As I face temptations on a daily basis, I must realize that I am facing the evil one. When I realize that I'm not just facing a temptation, I'm facing Satan, himself, I can choose to deny him. I can choose to take Christ's side. 

I'm so glad that I've come across this verse. When I'm faced with temptation not only will I try to remember that the temptation is from Satan, but I will try to remember this verse. 

God has empowered us so that we can defeat the evil one! 

Sunday, September 16, 2012

"the reality is you have no idea"

I came across this passage today during church,

"Listen carefully, those of you who make your plans and say, "We are traveling to this city in the next few days. We'll stay there for one year while our business explodes and revenue is up." The reality is you have no idea where your life will take you tomorrow. You are like a mist that appears one moment and then vanishes another. It would be best to say, "If it is the Lord's will and we live long enough, we hope to do this project or pursue that dream." But your current speech indicates an arrogance that does not acknowledge the One who controls the universe, and this kind of big talking is the epitome of evil. So if you know the right way to live and ignore it, it is sin- plain and simple."
                               ~ James 4:13-17 The Voice ~

Does that hit anyone the way it hits me? The rebel in me just loves this because the world we live in strives for plans. It tells us we need to make 5 year, 10 year, 20 year, 50 year plans. We need to always know where we are going. We need to know what our dreams are so that we can pursue them. "The American dream" is the pursuit of so many Americans. So the rebellious part of me just loves that here in God's word we read... hold on just a second... not so fast... we can't center our lives around this stuff!

I'm serious though, how often do we make our plans and not look to God at all. OK, so I can't speak for everyone, but I can speak for myself. This is something I've been working on... depending on the will of God above my own. It isn't always easy, in fact sometimes it's really hard. It's challenging enough to figure out what I want... then I have to make sure it fits with what Blake wants... but hold up... now I have to add in what God wants too! I can't assume that I will make my desires happen, and that doesn't come natural to me! I want to believe that I can make anything happen if I want it bad enough.

But that's not the truth! The truth is that God's will should be placed higher than my own will. I should seek His will first. I should seek His will above my own plans. I shouldn't depend on my plans.

I also shouldn't put things off.

I shouldn't say, "Oh, when this happens THEN I'll serve God is such and such way".... or "Well when I have a normal schedule, then I'll do my bible studies". Nope. I need to do those things the Lord calls me to do. I'm like mist-- only here for a moment. I've got no idea how much more time I've got.

No, I don't want to be bound to my plans.

I want to be bound to God's plans! Those things He calls me to do are so much better than anything I could plan or dream up myself!

So I will continue to pray for His will to be revealed to me.

I just loved this passage so much. I've read it several times before, but it just had so much power this morning as I read it. Through this passage, I even believe God spoke to me.... helping me.

It's so incredible to feel God's presence as you read His word! I just love it! Glory be to God!

Wednesday, September 12, 2012


When I was browsing our local office supply store a couple of months ago I came across this little note pad in the Martha Stewart section. (Oh, how I love Martha!)

Anyway's I keep it on my desk so that when I'm feeling stressed I can think about the good things. There is something about a positive attitude that can really turn your day around. This is pretty well known across the board- religious or not. What I LOVE is that God calls us to do this as Christians. It reminds me that God really does know what's best for us!

"Celebrate always, pray constantly, and give thanks to God no matter what circumstances you find yourself in. (This is God's will for all of you in Jesus the Anointed.)  
               ~ 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 

I often find myself getting frustrated about our small living space. We seem to be busting at the seams of our 1 bedroom apartment on the third floor. So I decided I need to rejoice in the positive about our living space. Here goes!

Good Things (About our apartment)
1. We have a place to live.
2. Because it's on the 3rd floor... I'm guaranteed some exercise. 
3. Because it's on the 3rd floor... we have no bugs.
4. Because it's on the 3rd floor... we don't have to listen to noisy people above us.
5. We have things to fill our apartment (and our car trunks.. and in-law's house) with. 
6. It's nice and new and clean. 
7. We have the money to pay for it. 
8. The maintenance people are fast and take care of everything. 
9. It's 100x better than our old apartment. 
10. It can fit our large couches, large table, and large bed. 

So there we go! I will celebrate our apartment and be ever-so-thankful that we have such luxury. Can I tell you something? I already feel a lot better. :) 

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

a new chapter for a new story

This blog has always been a hodge pot of sorts. Pretty random for the most part. 

I've decided to give it more of a focus, a new chapter.  

Over the past few months the Lord has really worked in my heart. I've been learning how to listen to Him and truly seek His will. I've also been learning how to witness His presence in my life. 

It's pretty amazing to see Him at work. It's become so obvious at times that I don't know how I'd ever missed it. Once I realized that God is there always- that I don't have to continually ask to be in His presence- that was when I truly felt the joy of my salvation. 

When I was saved that summer in an Oklahoma swimming pool over 11 years ago, I knew I had assurance in my eternal life. I didn't understand the joy of it though. I didn't understand that my salvation meant I would get to be in God's presence from that point on forever more. In my mind the joy of salvation wasn't experienced until after my life on Earth was over. Oh, how I was wrong! I've truly found the joy of my salvation-  it's getting to be in God's presence!

I've given my blog a new title- Embracing His Presence

As I continue to seek God and listen for Him I want to write about it. Anytime I write on a spiritual matter, I feel God's presence. I can feel Him working on my heart. 

I can't claim to be a great writer by any means and I sure don't know anything about spelling or grammar. 
What I can claim is that I have a story to share. As long as God is casting His presence onto me I will have a story to share! 

"Perfect submission, all is at rest,
I in my Savior am happy and blessed;
Watching and waiting, looking above,
Filled with His goodness, lost in His love.

This is my story, this is my song,
Praising my Savior all the day long"

Do you have a story that needs to be shared? 

Monday, September 10, 2012

fit to follow

Eternal One: Before I even formed you
                      in your mother's womb,
                      I knew all about you.
                      Before you drew your first breath, I had already chosen you
                       to be My prophet to speak my word to the nations.

Jeremiah: Ah, Eternal Lord!
                 I'm too young and inexperienced to speak for You.

Eternal One: Don't use your youth as an excuse;
             you can and will go wherever I send you.
             You can and will say whatever I tell you to say.
             You have no reason to fear the people you speak to,
             for I am with you and will defend you.

- Jeremiah 1: 5-8 The Voice

My grandpa told me that when he went to college, the biggest lesson he learned was that he didn't know anything. At least... he said something like that.

I know exactly what he means. As a freshman going into college I thought I had all the answers, had the best methods, and knew the best theology. OK... so I didn't think I was the best, but I was pretty confident in myself.

Then I took exegeses.

Can I just say that any self confidence I still had at that point was completely and utterly destroyed! Jeremiah's words, "I'm too young and inexperienced to speak for You" most definitely were on my tongue.

Going to a Christian college challenges your faith on so many levels. You hear all sorts of views and ideas and sometimes you feel like you don't know why you believe anything you believe because everyone else has a better argument than you. Sometimes you feel like you've been doing things wrong your whole life. Sometimes you feel like your finally grasping an idea you never could before.

Then sometimes you feel like there is no way you'll ever feel confident in what you think again because clearly you don't know the facts that everyone around you seems to know. And clearly you don't know how to argue your points as good as everyone else!

Then suddenly you feel to young and inexperienced to speak for the Lord.

(By the way... I'm saying "you" but really I mean "me".. but I'm trying to make myself feel better by thinking I'm not the only one this happens too!)

Here's what I've learned post graduation:

God will send me where He wants me to go. God will give me the ability to say whatever He wants me to say. I have no reason to fear because He is with me and will defend me.

God said this to Jeremiah in a very specific context, but I believe with all my heart that those words apply to all of His children. As long as I am willing to follow God, He will lead. As long as I am willing to speak for God, He will tell me what to say. When I'm longing for Him to be with me, he will be with me. As long as I'm standing for truth, He will defend me.

It doesn't matter what I know, or how educated I'm able to make myself sound. As long as I am willing, God will use me in the way He wants to use me.

So even though I feel inadequate to speak for Him, I must pray that He will continue to reveal His will t for me and that I will be willing to accomplish whatever that will might be.