It’s My Birthday!! – Happy Birthday To Me!

I am sure most of you are wondering and saying…wait…it’s not your birthday and yes, that is true. The day I was born is Nov. 29th but today, Aug. 25th is the day that I was born again to Jesus Christ! 9 years ago today, I made a decision to give my life to Jesus Christ at a campus bible study and my life has never been the same since!

The love and passion that I have for Jesus when I was first made the decision to follow Him doesn’t even compare to the love and passion I have for Him today! Now to be real, this journey that I am on with God has not always been a walk in the park. There have been times of darkness, where I saw myself just bloodied from being in the battle and barely hanging on. It was in those moments, I remembered that giving up and staying down was not an option. It was also in those moments, I felt so close to God because I was desperate for Him to move in my life. And He always came through to comfort me and through those difficult times, I learned how to trust and to allow God to have His way in me and guide me. One of the verses that sustained me through those times was in Psalm 139:10-12

“…Your hand will lead me, and Your right hand will lay hold of me. If I say ‘Surely the darkness will overwhelm me, and the light around me will be night,’ Even the darkness is not dark to You, and the night is as bright as the day. Darkness and light are alike to You.”

He has even shown me these past few months how much He loves me and how He is calling me to go deeper with Him! Words can not even begin to describe the sense of gratitude I have for Him for everything in my life. To think of what my life could of been without Him brings shivers down my spine. All I can do is just praise Him!!

Reflecting on today, I just can not get over how great God is and how He does not overlook any detail. I have been taking this 13 week course on Financial Peace through Dave Ramsey and this course has opened my eyes on finances and has given me the tools to be not only financially stable and have peace in my finances. It has also given me more of a desire to give! Well, anyway, tonight was our last class. Dave Ramsey was on fire! He gave an example from his travels to Edinburgh, Scotland which I was so excited about having just come back from there two weeks ago!! As I was sitting there, listening to him speak on how we were created in God’s image and how everything that we have is not ours but God’s and it just brought me back to when it all started 9 years ago almost the exact time when that same message was spoken to me and I received Jesus into my heart! It blows my mind!! What a reminder that I have come so far but yet God wants to do more in my life and there is so much more that He hasn’t even begin to show me.

I am encouraged to know that I have been walking with God for 9 years and I am looking forward to more adventures with my “Daddy!” I encourage you wherever you are with God to go seek Him. He is longing for a relationship with you! He sent His only begotten Son Jesus to die for us so that we can have a relationship with Him! That is how much He loves you!! He is more than able to come through!!

Also on a side note, I want to say Happy Birthday to Di! My faithful friend and prayer warrior who has stood with me through thick and thin! On this day, God gave her life and what a life she is living! I pray that God will grant the desires of her heart today and this year!! Love ya!!

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The Shack

I have been waiting in anticipation to read this book, “The Shack” by William P. Young for what seems like eternity but for about a month. The book was first mentioned to me by one our campus directors in my church at a prayer meeting and I had every intention of picking up the book before I left for my mission trip to Scotland. Well, I did not have the time to get the book before I left and in my focus to leave for Scotland, the book left my mind. I guess I was destined to read the book as a friend on my mission trip in Scotland mentioned the book to me and told me that it changed his life. Well, any book that has that affect on someone, I want to read. I was excited to hear that he had bought extra copies to give away and that he would give me one. I was expecting to get it before I left Scotland but I settled for it being mailed to me. When I returned from my trip, several friends of mine had already had read it and were raving about it. It just increased my impatience to get the book and occasional annoyance as I did not want them to tell me details of the book so that it would ruin it for me. Finally….I received it yesterday in the mail!! Woohoo!

Almost immediately, I started reading the book and I couldn’t put the book down! The time I put it down was to leave for a prayer meeting and immediately after I came home, I picked it right up and read it some more. I would of stayed up to finish it but I really wanted to get everything that the author was trying to convey. I finished the book this afternoon and I can not even begin to describe the revelation that I have been getting from this book! I can say for myself….this book has changed my life!

Through this book, I am more in love with God, my creator than I ever was before. I am overwhelmed with emotion on how God is ALWAYS good and how He ALWAYS loves us and how He is ALWAYS with us!

I would recommend this book to anyone and have you find out for yourself! If you have read the book already, I would love to get your insights of the book.

Cable Wynd House Children Video

This is a video that I took on the last day that our mission team were in Edinburgh, Scotland. After a week of renovating and restoring Henderson Gardens. Centrepoint Church invited the community of Cables Wynd House to church. The children played an instrumental part in helping us restore the park. The church had a special program for them and invited them to sing in front of the church led by Dixie Forbes.

Proverbs 31 Woman – Are we too busy for God?

This morning I was reading a devotional that really challenged me today and I thought I would share my thoughts so that it may encourage others. The devotional started with one of my favorite scriptures:

“Charm is deceptive, and beauty does not last; but a woman who fears the Lord will be greatly be praised.” Prov. 31:30

I know every woman wants to be the one that people think about when reading this passage in Proverbs 31. When reading this passage, it seems that the only thing that we have in common with the woman described in Proverbs is that we are really, really busy.

I know I find myself in the trap of being busy and sadly, busy seems to be the value lifestyle today. As I read this devotional it posed the question of “What does God say about being busy?” The answer comes through what Jesus said to Martha during one of His visits. “You are worried and upset over all these details. There is only one thing worth being concerned about.” (Luke 10:41-42). I thought to myself, have I been too busy “doing” that I may be missing out on the real work that God has asked me to do?

Looking more deeply into the Proverbs 31 woman, I find that there are more virtues than just being a busy woman. I see that this woman is defined by something much more substantial than a busy schedule or a long list of things to do and accomplish. I see that her husband (vs. 11), her servants, the poor and the needy (vs. 15, 20), the community (vs. 24) and her children (vs. 20) see her qualities and character shine more so than what she has accomplished. God wants me to be involved in people’s lives, not just busy checking off tasks on my to-do list. It is easy for me to use my talents and abilities to accomplish many things. But the real challenge is to find ways build healthy relationships while accomplishing things that I need to do.

According to verse 30, the number one priority of the Proverbs 31 woman is “Fear of the Lord.” This should dictate my daily to-do list. This kind of fear is a constructive fear that means acknowledging God’s authority and allowing only God to order our lives. I know that I prone to be a people pleaser, allowing the opinions of others to influence my decisions. It is so easy to forget that God’s opinion of me is the only opinion that counts. God values us not because of what we accomplished but because of what He has accomplished for us in Jesus Christ. He wants to impart His love, power and grace into us and work it out of us every day. When I think about that I am so motivated to live for Him! Because God loves me so much, I can relax and live my busy life confidently and with great joy!

Baby Taylor

Today, I have a new baby in my life. For those who do not know. I am a nanny to an amazing little boy named Ty and today, he became a big brother. His sister, Taylor was born this morning at 7:41am, 8lbs, 2oz, 19in long.

I am so excited and thankful that she and her mom, Lisa are healthy and good. I can’t wait to meet her in person tomorrow!

Mission Trip To Scotland

I just came back from an amazing trip to Edinburgh, Scotland!   In 10 days,  myself and a team from North Carolina was able to visit the sites and renovate a park in Cables Wynd House, a small community within the city of Edinburgh.

When I arrived I was taken back by the beauty of Scotland, the rolling green hills and the beautiful castles we visited in LinLithgow and Edinburgh.  There is so much history in the city, but I was amazed at how dark it was spiritually towards God and Christianity.  There is a church that was next to the hostel that we were staying at and it is now a nightclub called Faith. We passed by several churches that experienced the same fate.

However, God is moving in Edinburgh and I am blessed to have had the opportunity to go to Edinburgh and serve.  Our team was briefed on the culture of Scotland the first day we arrived (8/26)  and after our briefing we went to Cable’s Wynd House and Henderson Gardens (The park that we restored.)   The park was so overgrown that you could not see inside it and there was trash everywhere.  The play area had graffiti and trash everywhere.  It was certainly not safe for kids to even play in.  However, there were some kids playing.  I thought to myself, we have our work cut out for us.

Sunday (8/27) was the kick-off to restore Henderson Gardens.  At first it was just a few people there but before I knew it.  I turned around and the park was filled with people just helping cleaning up trash.  That evening, a woman on our team fondly known as “Miss Dixie” led 3 people to the Lord.  After hearing the testimonies, I knew God was going to do something very special.

As the week progressed, we started building friendships with the community and the children.  The children were getting involved in painting and cleaning up the thorn bushes.  I could see the walls of mistrust coming down and their hearts being open to Jesus.

The weather cooperated with us since it does rain a lot in Scotland and the only night we were not able to work was on Thursday (8/30).  The amazing thing was the kids and the moms were waiting for us in the rain just to talk to us and there were certainly great conversations that went forth.  We were able to finish painting and cleaning up the park on Friday.

On Saturday, we had our Gala day, where we celebrated the restoration of the park.  We had grilled hotdogs and had a bouncy castle, face painting for the kids and I had my face painted “I ❤ style=”font-weight: bold; font-style: italic;”>”The foremost is, ‘Hear, O Israel! The Lord our God is one Lord.  And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.  The second is this, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”  There is no other commandment greater than these.”

It so simple, love God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength and love your neighbor as yourself.  That is exactly what we did in action.   I love God with all my heart, soul, mind and strength and I will admit that the second part is more difficult that is to love others as I love myself.  But I had an opportunity to love on these people and I believe that they saw Christ in us as we loved them by serving them and restoring this park.

As I get acclimated back to life in San Diego, I am challenged and to love others and to serve others in my church and in my community.  I realize how blessed I am and Jesus came to be a servant and He had so much compassion, mercy and love.  He lived a life of service and died so that we can live.  It so easy to get distracted by the cares of this world and focus on the areas that we are lacking in or struggling in.  I believe God has called me and every Christian to love Him with all of our heart, soul, mind and spirit and as we focus on Him, our needs are met, our problems are not as significant and we are able to pour into others.

I am so thankful for the opportunity to be used by God and I encourage all to ask Him what He has for you to do and who to love.

Below is a slide show of the transformation!