Category Archives: Uncategorized

The Right Way to Surrender

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Recently I have been facing a lot more obstacles than I thought I would. I realized that a lot of the obstacles I was facing was because of fear. I have been fearful of the unknown and I was upset by these circumstances.

These obstacles were part of the reason I haven’t been posting recently. I didn’t feel like I could encourage others when I couldn’t even encourage myself.

So as a result I started to have doubts. I started to doubt that God’s plan is always good. It’s hard for me to even admit this to you guys.

A couple of months ago I decided to surrender my plans, and also decided that I was going to work on my pride and fear. Even though I was so eagerly trying to combat these things I still struggled.

In the past couple of days I realized that I have been working on combating these things the wrong way. I kept trying to control these things in my own power. I wasn’t really seeking God’s help in these areas.

This past weekend I feel like God finally got through to me and opened my eyes to these issues in my life. I decided that all the self-help articles weren’t going to help if I wasn’t willing to go to God first with the struggles. Though I’m still struggling with some of these circumstances I decided I’m going to seek God’s help as my first priority.

Scripture References:

  • “Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship” ~ Romans 12:1 NIV
  • “Taste and see that the LORD is good; blessed is the one who takes refuge in him” ~Psalm 34:8 NIV
  • “What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?” ~Romans 8:31 NIV

I would Love to hear from you!

Feel free to Comment below, or email me at:  matthew712girl@gmail.com

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Traveling with God: Washington DC

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At the beginning of 2019, I took a trip to Washington D.C. to go to the Passion Conference. The Passion Conference is a conference specifically for college aged students to learn more about Christ. I went to Passion with my church. It was a great experience for me. I definitely learned a lot, and I believe my relationship with Christ grew during and after going to this conference.

The most powerful thing I realize while I was on this trip was to not doubt God. In the last session that was taught by Louie Giglio, he was mentioning the story of Thomas doubting. This is the story where  Jesus walked through the wall, and Thomas wanted Jesus to show him his wounds. This story is found in John 20. After hearing this I realized that I sometimes I doubt God as well. I know that God has great plans for my future, and I have seen God do better than I could imagine in the past. Though I sometimes doubt if God will continue to show up in my future.

I sometimes think that I am on a dock about to get on a boat. I question if I should take the first step into that boat. I think this is rooted in fear and uncertainty. I might ask God, “Should I really get into the boat?”. Other times I realize that I just jump in the boat without hesitation, but then I question God if he’ll actually keep the boat afloat or if he’s about to sink the boat that I am on. I realized that I shouldn’t question God, and trust that even if He sinks this boat then that is a part of his plan.

On this trip I built relationships that could be lasting. When I bought my ticket to go to Passion the only person I knew that was going on the trip was my brother. Prior to leaving for the trip I knew my brother and two other friends that were going on the trip. Those three people were the only ones I knew out of the 30+ people that went on the trip. I now probably know about 20-25 people that were on the trip, and most of these people I would now call friends. There wasn’t one person that I met on the trip that I couldn’t see myself getting to know better in the future.

Overall, this was a great trip for me and I am extremely thankful that I had the opportunity to go. I’ll hopefully remember this trip for a long time, and I hope that I have the opportunity to go to Passion again next year.

Scripture References:

  • “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths. Be not wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord, and turn away from evil. It will be healing to your flesh and refreshment to your bones” ~Proverbs 3:5-8 ESV
  • “But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind” ~James 1:6 ESV
  • “For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them” ~Matthew 18:20 KJV

I would Love to hear from you!

Feel free to Comment below, or email me at:  matthew712girl@gmail.com

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i sometimes think that i am on a dock about to get on a boat. i question if i should take the first step into that boat. i think this is rooted in fear and uncertainty. i might ask

Word of the Year: Pray

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When going into 2019 I was thinking about what my word of the year would be. I had a few good words that I was thinking would be my word, but I decided to go with “Pray” as my word for the year. I think out of the words I was thinking about this one is the one that I could work on the most, and it’s the word that I think could impact me more in the long run than some of the other words I was thinking of.

I think that I can grow in the power of prayer. I cognitively know that prayer is a crucial part of the Christian Faith, but sometimes I don’t take full advantage of the access to God we have through prayer. I want to become a prayer warrior that surrenders my desires to God through prayer.

I also want to pray for others more often as well. Sometimes I realize that when I pray I tend to be self-focused and don’t take the time to pray for other people as much as I should. I want to see God move in other people’s lives as well, and I should be spending time to pray for their needs also.

I know that I never object to someone praying for me, though I have a hard time doing the same thing for other people. I also want to be better at when someone asks for prayer stopping immediately to pray for their needs. People don’t come to you for prayer unless they legitimately want you to pray for them, so why should I be hesitant to do what they have asked me to do.

I am far from having this Christian life figured out, and I pray that this year God shows up more than I can imagine. I hope to see some of the prayers I am pray for now answered in the future.

I have already seen God grow me in the power of prayer this year. I have noticed that God has given me opportunities to pray for others more. I also have noticed that God has answered one or two of my prayers already for this year as well. I can’t wait to see how God will move even more in my life and in other people’s lives through me focusing on prayer.

Scripture References:

  • “In the morning, Lord, you hear my voice in the morning I lay my requests before you and wait expectantly” ~Psalm 5:3 NIV
  • “This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us.” ~1 John 5:14 NIV
  • “Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.” ~James 5:16 NIV

I would Love to hear from you!

Feel free to Comment below, or email me at:  matthew712girl@gmail.com

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God is Patient with Us

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My pastor challenged the congregation to read the whole Bible in a year. I have come close to reading the whole Bible in a year, but I have never been able to do it completely. I was one book away from finishing the Bible one year in the past though.

Yesterday I was reading 2 Peter 3, and there was a part that really stuck out to me. The thing that stuck out to me was about how God is patient with us. In 2 Peter 3:9 it says that God doesn’t want anyone to perish, but instead He wants everyone to come to repentance. This made me rethink patience. I have a hard time with patience.

Last year I really tried to focus on patience, which God greatly taught me more about last year and into this year. I went into last year praying for certain things, and ironically after the year only 1 or 2 of those handful of prayers were answered. I’m still waiting on the other prayers of last year to happen. Well after reading 2 Peter 3:9 I realized that God wants us to be patient, but that He is even more patient with us than I have realized prior to reading this scripture. This changes my perspective on patience. I realized that God’s character is patient.

To Him time is different than we can start to imagine. In 2 Peter 3:8 it says that to God a day is like 1000 years and 1000 years are like a day to Him. To me this is hard to comprehend. So even though in my perspective certain prayers are taking forever, but to God they are not taking forever. I have prayed multiple times in the past for things to come in God’s timing instead of mine, but tonight this prayer took a whole new meaning. Reading this chapter tonight gives me new hope and encourages me to be more patient with my prayers.

Recently, I have been discouraged about some of the prayers that I have been praying for years haven’t been answered yet. I have always been a planner, and I have noticed that I have put time tables on what my future looks like. Well, God is definitely not following my plans or time tables. I am now surrendering my plans and time tables to God. I know that God’s plan is better than mine, but I have had a hard time trusting this. Now I have a renewed faith in God where I am trusting He knows better than me when it comes to my future. He has constantly showed His blessings in my life, so I shouldn’t doubt that God will continue to bless me in the future.

 

Scripture Reference:

  • “The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance” ~2 Peter 3:9 NIV
  • “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.” ~Jeremiah 29:11 NIV
  • “But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day.” ~2 Peter 3:8 NIV
  • “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God” ~Philippians 4:6 NIV

I would Love to hear from you!

Feel free to Comment below, or email me at:  matthew712girl@gmail.com

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god is patient with us

 

Artistic Creations with a Mission

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I slightly mentioned this in an earlier blog post, but I didn’t go into specifics. I want to inform you about what God has been placing on my heart for my future.

I believe that God is calling me to start a Ministry Organization. I have had this idea on my heart since high school, but now I have the opportunity to finally make this idea a reality.

Essentially I am going to sharing the gospel with the children through the aspect of the arts. I hope to be able to have four different art forms. The four forms would visual arts, theatre, dance, and music.

I’ve been working on starting this since this past spring. I have made a lot of progress, but there is still a lot of items that need to be worked out before it can become a reality.

I believe this will be an organization that anyone could become a part of regardless of your circumstances.

If you’re wondering how you can get involved, then I have some suggestions for you.

  1. Pray for Artistic Creations with a Mission: Pray that children will come to learn about Christ. You can pray that students will enjoy and possibly find a passion in the arts. Pray about how you or someone you know should get involved.
  2. Support By Giving: There is no contribution that is too small. Also, it doesn’t have to be money. It can be items as well.
  3. Buy a T-shirt: I’m selling T-Shirts to help raise money for the organization. If you feel led, then please buy a shirt for yourself and/or your family members.
  4. Use Social Media: One way that you can help is to share my post on social media about the organization. For children and youth to be reached, then they need to know about it. This can be especially helpful if you live in the Central Virginia area.
  5. Send your kids to camps: If you have a camp in your area, then please send your children to it! If they have any sort of interest in the arts, then they should have a good time while being exposed to the gospel.

Scripture:

  • “Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms” ~1 Peter 4:10 NIV

I would Love to hear from you!

Feel free to Comment below, or email me at:  matthew712girl@gmail.com

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Artistic Creations with a Mission

Traveling with God: Siesta Key, FL

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This past June I went to Siesta Key, Florida. The reason for this trip was for a Celebration of Life ceremony for my grandmother. She died this day last year. I loved the opportunity to go to Florida and spend time with my family. Even through this was a hard time it was obvious that God was still evident on this trip. I saw God in a few ways while I was in Florida. On this trip He taught me the importance of family and leaving a good legacy.

During the trip I learned the importance of family. There has been times over the years that my extended family has had some ups and downs with other family members. In the past there have been conflicts that have happened during family reunions, but this trip was different. There wasn’t any serious conflict that I was aware of. It seemed like everyone tried to make the best out of a sad situation. We haven’t all been together in years, and it was good to see family members that I have only seen a couple times in my life. There were also newer family members that I had never even met before that were there. The reasoning for this was partially because my extended family is all across the country. We decided as a family we’re going to try to do more family reunions. We are already working on the details for the next family reunion.

Another place I saw God was in the life of my grandmother. She had a difficult life, and she made a lot of mistakes over the years. I love my grandmother a lot, and there has been good aspects of her life that I miss tremendously. One of these things is her artistic abilities, which she passed down to me. She is the one that has inspired me to enjoy the arts, and she has taught me many skills when it came to drawing and painting. We have to look at the good of a person, and we need to choose to cherish the good memories with her. One of the last words she told me was the regret she had in later years with not seeing me more often. Unfortunately, on this side of heaven there won’t be more opportunities for us to get closer. So I hope if you still have the chance to forgive and look past the negative aspects of a person you should really try, because one day it might be too late.

Even though I miss my grandmother tremendously, it shows that God can use a tragic situation to bring good to His people. It’s important during this time that we look to God to show us a positive outlook. That sometimes the situation doesn’t change, but we can look to God to help us change our perspective.

Scripture References

  • “Children are a heritage from the LORD, offspring a reward from him.” ~Psalm 127:3 NIV
  • “The LORD is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.” ~Psalm 34:18 NIV
  • “Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God; believe also in me.” ~John 14:1 NIV

I would Love to hear from you!

Feel free to Comment below, or email me at:  matthew712girl@gmail.com

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Traveling with God_Siesta Key, FL

Freedom in Christ

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I’ve been thinking about the United States and about freedoms recently. These are very popular controversies in the USA today, and I have been pondering what my beliefs are on these subjects.

I’ve been really thinking about what God and Jesus would want me to think and do regarding controversial subjects in today’s society.

I’m going to try to not be too political in this post, because I’m not one that wants to push my views on politics. If you want to ask for my political opinions, then feel free to contact or email me privately.

I believe freedom is a powerful subject, and I believe that everyone should find freedom. Though there are many types of freedom in our lives. Freedom is more than just political borders and rights. I think God is very much involved and cares about this kind of freedom. But I believe there is a greater freedom than these subjects.

I believe God is more concerned about a spiritual freedom. It is so that we can have freedom that he sent Jesus to die for our sins. If you accept Jesus and repent of your sins, then you can find the ultimate freedom.

I know I have found a spiritual freedom since I accepted Jesus. I have found freedom in the bondage from sin, trusting God’s in control, faith that God will reveal himself to me, and trusting that God will use me.

I pray the same for you! If you don’t know these freedoms or you want to learn more about freedom, then don’t hesitate to contact me!

Scripture Reference

1) “Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom” ~2 Corinthians 3:17 NIV

2) “You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh ; rather, serve one another humbly in love.

14 For the entire law is fulfilled in keeping this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” ~Galatians 5:13-14 NIV

3)  “It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery” ~Galatians 5:1 NIV

4) “Therefore, my friends, I want you to know that through Jesus the forgiveness of sins is proclaimed to you.39 Through him everyone who believes is set free from every sin, a justification you were not able to obtain under the law of Moses. ~Acts 13:38-39 NIV

I would Love to hear from you!

Feel free to Comment below, or email me at:  matthew712girl@gmail.com

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Happy Labor Day!-2

Learning to Listen

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One night recently, I realized that I need to listen more. I’m one that is always talking, and it’s very hard to keep me quiet. Yes, talking is very important to people and relationships. I think genuinely listening is even more valuable to people. Sometimes people just want to speak and have someone listen to them.

I’m going to try to be better at genuinely listening to others. I’m going to try to speak less and instead listen first. Then once I have listened and I have gotten the whole context, then I should speak.

I’ve also learned that I am very opinionated and independent. These are good yet also sometimes very bad traits of mine. I think I know what’s best when in actuality I don’t know what is best. Sometimes I need to admit that I don’t know the answer instead of giving an answer that might not be helpful.

Unfortunately, this is the same area I struggle with God as well. I have no problem talking to God, but I have a hard time listening to God. God, is answering my prayers daily. But I still mess up and I am not obedient. There are constantly times that God has boldly told me to do something, and I would chicken out or just not do it. I hate that this is a part of me, but I am trying to get better in this area.

Jesus is an example of an excellent listener! He was the expert listener, and he listened before he spoke. There were countless people in the Bible that Jesus would be with and listen to. A lot of these people that he listened to were people who weren’t liked or were outcasts.

So if you see me just talking and not fully or genuinely listening, then please hold me accountable to my actions. I want to listen to you, and I want to be there for you regardless of who you are. That’s what Jesus would do, so I want to do this as well.

Scripture Reference

  • “Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says” ~James 1:22 ESV
  • “If one gives an answer before he hears, it is his folly and shame.” ~Proverbs 18:3 ESV
  • “Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.” ~Philippians 4:19 NIV

I would Love to hear from you!

Feel free to Comment below, or email me at:  matthew712girl@gmail.com

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"If one gives an answer before he hears, it is his folly and shame." ~Proverbs 18_3 ESV.png

Traveling with God: New York City

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Last month I had the opportunity to go to New York City with some of the women at my church. We went to New York to go to Hillsong Church’s women conference. There was between 40-45 women from my church on this trip. Some of the women I knew fairly well, but many women were on the trip that I had never met before. While on this trip I saw God in many ways, and He taught me a lot about Him. I learned about gratefulness, the power of prayer, and community.

I learned to appreciate my home. I have been born and raised in the south. I have lived in Florida, North Carolina, Virginia, and South Carolina. I learned to appreciate my southern roots when I was in New York. The culture there was very different than what I am used to. I never really considered myself to be very southern, but once going to New York I realized how southern I am. I’m certain when I was in New York City it was obvious I was not from there.

Prayer is an important tool that God has given us, and it’s one tool that I don’t utilize like I should. At one point in the conference one of the ladies at our church asked to pray for me. I thought it was cool for her to pray for me and my future. It was comforting to know I was prayed for. I realized that I need to pray for others more. I tend to have mostly self-focused prayers. I should be praying for others more than just when they ask me to pray for them. It’s not that I don’t believe the power of prayer, but it’s more that it not the first thing that comes to mind in a situation. This is something that I could get better with doing.

Building community with the people in your life is crucial to getting the most out of the life that God has given us. This trip was a good opportunity to meet new people, and I could become closer with people that I normally only briefly talk to. It was good to see people out of a church setting. I got to learn more about their lives that normally wouldn’t have been discussed in the few minutes I would talk to them at church.

I enjoyed this life changing experience that I got while I was in New York City. I definitely want to go back to New York City for another trip, but until then I will continue to learn more about God where I am now.

Scripture Reference

  • “The Lord has done great things for us, and we are filled with joy” ~Psalm 126:3 NIV
  • “Is anyone among you in trouble? Let them pray. Is anyone happy? Let them sing songs of praise.” ~James 5:13 NIV
  • “Then Jesus told his disciples a parable to show them that they should always pray and not give up.” ~Luke 18:1 NIV
  • “Therefore welcome one another as Christ has welcomed you, for the glory of God.” ~Romans 15:7 ESV

I would Love to hear from you!

Feel free to Comment below, or email me at:  matthew712girl@gmail.com

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New York Blog

Roller Coaster Relationships

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I used to live near an amusement park. For multiple years I would have a season pass to this park, and I have been to this park countless times.

My favorite thing to do at an amusement park is to ride the roller coasters. I enjoy every part of the roller coaster! The roller coaster experience starts when you enter the line. In the line the adrenaline starts rushing, and you start to imagine what the ride will be like. Then you get harnessed into the seat, and at this point you have to make sure you’ll be safe during the ride.

Once they hit that button you’re moving, and at that point you have no choice but to see it through till the end. During the ride you have the build-up and the suspense. Then the ride starts going full force into the ups and downs, and each bump is needed to have had the full experience when you get off.

I realized that relationships are a lot like roller coasters. Every aspect of a roller coaster is needed for the full experience, and the same is needed in relationships. In relationships you have the build-up, and you start to get excited for what is ahead for you.

Then you have that moment where you have to prepare for the ride ahead of you or you need to decide to get off. In relationships you should prepare for the ride by setting up boundaries. Boundaries are sort of like the seat belt or safety equipment on the roller coaster. They might seem like an unnecessary step at first, but if you skip this step then there could be drastic harm for you during the ride.

The actual ride is the most memorable part of the roller coaster experience. The same can be true with relationships. You have emotional highs and lows during the relationship. But hopefully there are more high moments than lows, but you need the bumps to appreciate the good moments of the ride.

Then eventually the ride must come to an end. This can take multiple forms in a relationship. The ending could look like one of you walking away from the relationship, death, or an unforeseen change in circumstances.

But the beauty of the roller coaster ride is the experience that it leaves you once you get off. Thankfully, each roller coaster is different. There will be similarities to other roller coasters, but each one will leave a different impression on you. I’m learning to be thankful for the roller coaster relationships in my life.

Scripture References:

  • “Walk with the wise and become wise, for a companion of fools suffers harm.” ~ Proverbs 13:20 NIV
  • “being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience, 12 and giving joyful thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of his holy people in the kingdom of light.” ~Colossians 1:11-12 NIV
  • “The Lord God said, ‘It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.’” ~ Genesis 2:18 NIV

Feel free to Comment below, or email me at:  matthew712girl@gmail.com

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