Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Promise Cards for Christmas!














"These scriptures were the exact thing I needed to read today." 
"I have them sitting on my desk at work and I read them throughout the day. It makes working a little more enjoyable!" 
"I gave them to a friend who has cancer and she was so encourage by these promises and will sit and read through them while she is getting her chemo treatment."

It has been so encouraging to hear back from people who have purchased some promise cards & scripture cards to see how God has used them!  Each one has their own story and I love to see God's word be alive and active through these cards!

Christmas time is coming up and these cards could be a great gift idea...or a stocking stuffer!! Or they can be "just because"! Even if you got a bundle for yourself...that is ok too! 

These new and improved cards are now at a lower price!! $15!!

So here is the deal...
  • It's a 4x6 index sized card 
  • Promise Card: Truth on the front, scripture on the back.
    Scripture Card: Scripture reference on the front, scripture on the back.
    (they can also be made one-sided)
  • Each uniquely designed & professionally copied.
  • $15 for a bundle of 5 cards. (plus shipping)
  • Put them in your bag, use them as bookmarks, put them on your mirror, stick them on the refrigerator, put them next to your bed to read at night or in the morning, pin them on the bulletin board at work, stick them in your car...the options are endless!
  • Keep them for yourself or buy them for a friend!
Check out these slideshows of some examples: (each picture is front & back)

Promise Cards:
  


Scripture Cards:


If you are interested in purchasing a bundle, email me at emilyward527@gmail.com 
I will send you a list of all the promises that you can choose from, or you can let me know if there are specific promises or verses you want...or I can make a bundle for you!

Feel free to pass this along to anyone who would be interested...blog about it...tweet about it...get the word out!

**My hope and prayer for these cards is that they would not be empty words you read over and over and over but my prayer over each card that I make is that the Spirit of God who breathes life, would move powerfully through these truths and through these scriptures to encourage, inspire and change life. He is alive and active, His word is alive and active...let HIM move your heart.**

Monday, November 5, 2012

King of Love


We have a few new songs that we have been singing at church. They are SO good. I'm so thankful for the amazing songwriters that I get to work & sing with each Sunday. I learn so much from them!
Hopefully they will be on our next worship album so that y'all can get your hands on them and worship throughout the week!

I wanted to share one of them with you called, King of Love. It was written from an old hymn and with a new bridge that is so strong to end the song with...here are the lyrics:

The King of love my shepherd is
Whose goodness never faileth
I nothing lack if I am His
And He is mine forever
Where streams of living water flow
My ransomed soul He leadeth
From heights above to cavern low
With constant love He feedeth

Corrupt and foolish oft I stray
Yet in His love He sought me
And on His shoulders gently laid
He brought me home rejoicing
In deaths dark vale I fear no ill
With thee dear Lord beside me
Thy rod and staff my comfort still
Thy cross before to guide me

Thou set a table in my sight
Abundant grace bestoweth
All of Thy kindness my delight
From heaven's storehouse floweth
And so through all the length of days
Thy goodness faileth never
Good Shepherd may I sing Thy praise 
Within Thy house forever
And so through all the length of days
Thy goodness faileth never
Good Shepherd may I sing Thy praise
Within Thy house forever

My lips will praise
Oh King of love
Who sealed my heart
For realms above 
In sin and shame
Came mercy's flood
I run to You
Oh King of love

I just love it so much. I love the picture of my Shepherd gently laying me on His shoulders and bringing me home. There have been so many times that He has come after me like this. I stray so easily. So thankful for this good Shepherd.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

My Girl Crush

I'm supposed to be working on a lesson I'm going to be teaching but it just seems impossible to actually do any work right now. The 2% achiever in me is NOT at work right now. Instead I've been watching youtube videos of Pink. I love her so much. She is so bad ass, her voice is so rock star, her hair is mesmerizing, her body is ridiculous...I may have a slight girl crush. I'm pretty sure we would be friends.

Check out these videos:

The end of this video is ridiculous with her voice...


I'm sorry but she is actually singing with all of her acrobatic work. What?! I'm thinking I'm going to do this routine next Sunday...


And just for fun because I just saw these pics that my sister just posted on facebook and they have nothing to do with Pink but they are ridiculously cute...this is my nephew Max...

Oh give me those dimples. I can't even handle it. I love being an aunt so much.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

My Hands Float Up Above Me

In our backyard we have a little shed/house type of thing. I recently decided to turn it into a little art room/music room/quiet time/worship room.
It's been so good for me.
I've spent a lot of time out there and I've been creating a lot. The dreamer in me has come out even more.  I love sitting by myself with a good playlist on.  All of my different colors of paper, different colors of paint, my sharpies, the things that my mom & sisters have created on the walls, I love it. I can sit for hours creating things. Then I turn around & pick up my guitar and sing some songs & write down some lyrics & melodies.  I've even just gotten down on the floor on my face & prayed. I've stood up & twirled around & danced. I've raised my hands in the air crying begging God to change my heart so that it looks more like His. Begging Him for restored relationships. Begging Him for peace & contentment. It's just me & Him & I love it. It has filled me up so much this week.
Tonight I turned the lights down and was spending time singing and worshiping, with my hands up in the air and I looked over at a piece of art that my sister created for me and gave to me.  It was so sweet & I felt like God just gave me a little hug. Here is the piece of art:
Such sweetness.

Not For a Moment (After All)

This song is on repeat. SO good. Not For A Moment (After All) by Meredith Andrews

I absolutely love the vulnerability in these words. I have just worshiped through this song over and over again and I find my heart stirred, my soul broken down, head full of all the stuff going on in my little life...only to be reminded of God's faithfulness and His goodness that He has never left me, He won't ever leave me and He is always there no matter what is going on in me and around me. I have Him. I get Him. He is enough. He will never forsake me. Never.

You were reaching through the storm
Walking on the water
Even when I could not see
In the middle of it all
When I thought You were a thousand miles away
Not for a moment did you forsake me
Not for a moment did you forsake me

After all, You are constant
After all, You are only good
After all, You are sovereign
Not for a moment will You forsake me
Not for a moment will You forsake me

You were singing in the dark
Whispering Your promise
Even when I could not hear
I was held in Your arms
Carried for a thousands miles to show
Not for a moment did You forsake me
Not for a moment did You forsake me

After all, You are constant
After all, You are only good
After all, You are only good
Not for a moment will You forsake me
Not for a moment will You forsake me

Every step, every breath You are there
Every tear, every cry, every prayer
In my hurt, in my worst, when my world falls down
Not for a moment will You forsake me
Not for a moment will You forsake me

After all, You are constant
After all, You are only good
After all, You are only good
Not for a moment will You forsake me
Not for a moment will You forsake me

Monday, August 27, 2012

Earnest the Old Man

I just had the most hilarious conversation with an old man.
I was in Home Depot getting some wood to make some art projects, so I was walking around with two long wood boards. This is how the conversation went: (Imagine a man with a belly in his late 70's with no teeth.)

Man:   HEY!
Me:   Hi!
Man:   What are you doing with that?
Me:   I'm working on a project.
Man:   By yourself?
Me:   Yup! It's just an art project. I'm not building anything!
Man:   Oh! Are you married?
Me:   Nope! (I can tell this guy is a stinker & was just wondering where this was going to go.)
Man:   You aren't?! So you don't have a honeydoo?
Me:   (laughing) Nope I don't have one of those! (not really sure exactly what a honeydoo is)
Man:   Well let me tell you something...
Me:   Alright...let's hear it!
Man:   My wife and I have been married for 59 years and she is the most amazing, beautiful woman that has ever walked the earth. Let me tell you what works...
Me:   (oh goodness.)
Man:   You don't go to bed mad. You don't wake up mad. You do things together, you go places together. You laugh. You let the woman do the bills cause the man doesn't know what the hell he is doing. You have kids. You hold hands even when you are old. You don't marry a smoker, you don't marry a drinker, you wait for Mr. Right. Got it?
Me:   Yup! Got it!
Man:   You know you are just so beautiful...you just have this glow. You just seem like a really nice person....what's your name?
Me:   Well thank you sir. Thank you so much. My name is Emily ... what is your name?
Man:   Emily. I like that. That is beautiful. My name is Earnest. I don't like it though. You know? I didn't have a name until I enlisted in the army.
Me:   Really? Wow.
Man:   Yeah, I was Unknown Smith. People just called me Smitty.
(he then proceeded to tell me the story about how back in the day in Austin, there was a bad flood when he was born and something about leaving the hospital and his parents never gave him a name.)
Earnest:   So...do you want to get married?
Me:   Oh yeah! definitely someday!
Earnest:   So why aren't you married?
Me:   Well, I just haven't found the right one yet, I'm praying for him and trusting that God will bring us together when it's time.
Earnest:   That's good, that's good. You don't want to end up with a dud. Well you know...my son is a billionaire.
Me:   (ok...tell me more) Oh yeah?
Earnest:   Yeah, he is a good one. But he's married. He married a dud.
Me:   Oh, I'm sorry to hear that.
Earnest:   Where are you from? (oh here we go again with someone thinking I'm from somewhere exotic) Are you from Colorado? (Oh. NOT what I was expecting!)
Me:   No! I'm from Iowa. I moved to Austin about 6 years ago.
Earnest:   OH! Well, I'm so glad you are here.
Me:   Thank you so much Earnest.
Earnest:   You are just so beautiful.
Me:   Thank you so much! You are so sweet.
Earnest:   You know I'm getting my bridge fixed tomorrow for my teeth.
Me:   That's so great!
Earnest:   Yeah, I woke up one day and my teeth were gone. I looked everywhere for them and I couldn't find them anywhere and I figured I probably just swallowed that damn thing. Then a week later my beautiful wife yelled at me from the laundry room and said, "Ernie, what the hell is this?" And you know what it was...it was my teeth. She found them in the sheets!
Me:   HAHA!! that's great!
Earnest:   Well you have a super great day. You know when people ask me how I'm doing, I say "Super great". Sometimes people are surprised that I say that because I'm old and busted. But I've always lived by having a positive attitude and so I say "super great".
Me:   I think that is so good! I can tell that you enjoy life!
Earnest:   Well, I'll let you go...you know, you should remember me and maybe we'll run into each other again someday. You just remember Earnest Smith.
Me:   Earnest, I will never forget you. Thank you so much for talking with me and making my day!
Earnest:   Bye sweet girl.

Oh my heart. I should have taken his picture. I hope that I run into him again. I should also tell you that he told so many other stories. I'm pretty sure we sat on the plywood for a good 45 minutes. I love old people.

I'm a World Traveler

It's been a crazy couple of months. LOTS of traveling and fun! So thankful to have this time before I start my nannying job in September.

Here is a short version of where I've been:

I went back to my hometown in Iowa for 10 days. Lots of good family time. I just love Iowa. It's beautiful.


Then when I got home from Iowa I housesat for my friends who have an AMAZING house! It was a week of feeling like I was by myself at a resort. I loved every minute of it.

After I got back from housesitting I went to Chicago for my friend Christy's wedding. I was so sick before I went and was nervous I wasn't going to be able to make it...but I survived! It was so so good to be there and she was absolutely beautiful!


As soon as I got back from Chicago I got in the car with my friends and we headed to our girls getaway trip to the beach! Port Aransas got a good taste of us crazy girls! So much fun!

After getting back from Port A, I drove to Mexico. One of my best friends and her family lives there and it was so so so so good for my soul. We laughed, we cried, we had fun. It was SO needed for both of us. I loved getting to spend time with her sweet boys too. They are the cutest kids ever. Guillermo, Cisco, and Silas. Love them so stinking much.


Now back to real life. boo.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

New Music

I LOVE music. I'm always looking for good music to add to my playlists. I spent several hours today watching youtube videos, listening to samples of music on itunes.
My tastes range from folk/singer-songwriter, country, pop, rap, hip hop, worship.
I love what music does to my insides. It's quite magical. Melodies, lyrics, beats, harmonies.
Love it so much.

So what songs are you listening to over and over again that I need to add to my playlist?
Leave a comment and let me know some good music that I must have!

Friday, August 10, 2012

It's Friday. Get Excited

I have quarantined myself to my room for the past week. In the midst of all my travels this summer I have caught pink eye and tonsillitis. boo. I was supposed to fly out to Chicago on Wednesday to be with one of my best friends who is getting married on SUNDAY! I postponed my flight and I leave TODAY! I figured it would be better to be at home in my quarantined room resting instead of infecting the bride and the whole bridal party.
My friend Jamie just posted about what she is excited about today and I thought I would join her in sharing in some exciting things. 

1. I feel SO much better. I'm not completely back to normal...but definitely better. I'm so thankful. I've had some peeps praying hard for healing in my body and I'm thankful that God answered & is quickly healing my body. He is so kind. 
2. I fly out TODAY for Chicago! I absolutely LOVE Chicago. Being from Iowa, this city was our vacation city growing up. I'm excited to be in the city but most of all that I will get to be with 2 of my best friends! Mich (Christy) is getting MARRIED!!! My other friend AJ is the maid of honor and I'm a bridesmaid. It's going to be so much fun. I have shared so many fun memories with these girls and I can't wait to spend the weekend with them!
3. I get a massage tomorrow. We are having a spa day with the bridal party and AJ got me a massage! When I was at the dr. this week she said that I needed a massage, so this is perfect! I can't wait. This summer has been a rough one and I think it's all building up in my shoulders and neck. This massage will be wonderful! 
4. Monday when I get back into town, Jamie is picking me up at the airport and we are heading to Port A with 15 of our other girlfriends for a week at the beach! These girls are some of the best girls I know and I'm so thankful for each of them. I'm excited to have a fun & memorable time with them. What happens in Port A...stays in Port A. 
5. My August 2012 playlist. I get made fun of for my playlists. I have one for each month of songs that I'm listening to over and over that month. I have to say that my August 2012 playlist is pretty amazing. 

Here is what I'm reading that you should get on board with (you can click on the pic & it will take you to amazon): 

Jesus Calling: 


A Place of Healing:


The Calvary Road:


Made to Crave:


Here are some songs on my August 2012 playlist:

Lovely - Sara Haze


Winter Song - The Head and The Heart


We Are (Live Acoustic) - Kari Jobe

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Here - "I will rest in You"

I have been listening to this song over and over. So. Beautiful.
I love when music gets to the depths of my soul, it is only because the Spirit goes there first.
I've been wrestling and all out fighting the war in me with my thoughts, with my feelings, with the outer pressures of different things weighing on me. It's exhausting. When I first heard this song, I feel to my face and cried.  I had been trying so hard to carry all of this myself. I'm not quite sure why I quickly forget that God wants me...all of me...all of my burdens. Every single one of them. He wants me to come and lay them before Him. There is rest in Him. There is peace in Him. There is healing in Him. I want to breathe Him in and breathe Him out. Just breathe.
Hope this encourages you.

Come and rest here
Come and lay your burdens down
Come and rest here
There is refuge for you now

You'll find His peace
And know you're not alone anymore
He is near
You'll find His healing
Your heart isn't shattered anymore
He is here

Breathe in
Breathe out
You will, you will find Him here

I will rest in You
I will rest in You
I will rest in You
I will rest in You

Monday, July 16, 2012

The Broken Heart - Valley of Vision

O Lord,

No day of my life has passed that has not
proved me guilty in your sight.
Prayers have been uttered from a
prayerless heart;
Praise has been offered praiseless sound;
My best services are filthy rags.
Blessed Jesus, let me find a covert in your appeasing wounds.
Though my sins rise to heaven your merits soar
above them;
Though unrighteousness weighs me down to hell,
your righteousness exalts me to your throne.
All things in me call for my rejection,
All things in you plead my acceptance.
I appeal from the throne of perfect justice
to your throne of boundless grace.
Grant me to hear your voice assuring me:
that by your stripes I am healed,
that you were bruised for my iniquities,
that you have been made sin for me
that I might be righteous in you,
that my grievous sins, my manifold sins,
are all forgiven,
buried in the ocean of your concealing blood.
I am guilty, but pardoned,
lost, but saved,
wandering, but found,
sinning, but cleansed.
Give me perpetual broken-heartedness,
Keep me always clinging to your cross,
Flood me every moment with descending grace,
Open to me the springs of divine knowledge,
sparkling like crystal,
flowing clear and unsullied
through my wilderness of life.

Journeying On - Valley of Vision

Lord of the cloud and fire,

I am a stranger, with a stranger's indifference;
My hands hold a pilgrim's staff,
My march is Zionward,
My eyes are toward the coming of the Lord,
My heart is in your hands without reserve.
You have created it,
Redeemed it,
Renewed it,
Captured it,
Conquered it.
Keep from it every opposing foe,
crush in it every rebel lust,
mortify every treacherous passion,
annihilate every earthborn desire.
All faculties of my being vibrate to your touch;
I love you with soul, mind, body, strength,
might, spirit, affection, will,
desire, intellect, understanding.
You are the very perfection of all perfections;
All intellect is derived from you;
My scanty rivulets flow from your unfathomable fountain.
Compared with you the sun is darkness,
all beauty deformity,
all wisdom folly,
the best goodness faulty.
You are worthy of an adoration greater than
my dull heart can yield;
Invigorate my love that it may rise worthily to You,
tightly entwine itself round you,
be allured by you.
Then shall my walk be endless praise.

Set Lists: 7/15/12

Here are the set lists from the Austin Stone Community Church on Sunday 7/15/12:


DOWNTOWN CAMPUS:
Worship Leader: Jeff Johnson

  • Forever Reign - Hillsong (Reuben Morgan and Jason Ingram) 
  • Never Once - Matt Redman (Jason Ingram, Matt Redman, and Tim Wanstall) 
  • One Thing Remains - Jesus Culture (Christa Black, Brian Johnson, and Jeremy Riddle)  
  • 10,000 Reasons - Matt Redman (Jonas Myrin & Matt Redman)
Sermon: "The Greatness of God in an Age of Narcissism" - JR Vassar 
  • A Mighty Fortress - Christy Nockels (Christy Nockels and Nathan Nockels) 
  • Solid Rock- hymn (William Batchelder Bradbury, Edward Mote, and Vineyard Music Group, Jeff Johnson, Aaron Ivey)
ST. JOHN CAMPUS:
Worship Leader: Matt Wheeler

  • God Undefeatable - The Austin Stone (Aaron Ivey, Ross King, Matt Carter)
  • Here For You - Matt Redman (Matt Maher, Matt Redman, Jesse Reeves, and Tim Wanstall)
  • Forever Reign - Hillsong (Reuben Morgan and Jason Ingram) 
  • Love Came Down - Bethel Live (Jeremy Edwardson, Brian Johnson, Ian McIntosh and Jeremy Riddle) 
Sermon: "The Greatness of God in an Age of Narcissism" - JR Vassar 
WEST CAMPUS:
Worship Leader: Jimmy McNeal

  • Love Shines - The Austin Stone (Aaron Ivey, Philip Edsel, Matt Carter)
  • God Undefeatable - The Austin Stone (Aaron Ivey, Ross King, Matt Carter) 
  • Always - Kristian Stanfill (Jason Ingram and Kristian Stanfill)
  • Love Came Down - Bethel Live (Jeremy Edwardson, Brian Johnson, Ian McIntosh and Jeremy Riddle) 

Sermon: "The Greatness of God in an Age of Narcissism" - JR Vassar 

Set Lists: 7/8/12

Here are the set lists from the Austin Stone Community Church on Sunday 7/8/12:


DOWNTOWN CAMPUS:
Worship Leader: Justin Cofield
 
Sermon: "The Restoration of Peter" - Ben Stuart 
  • Always - Kristian Stanfill (Jason Ingram and Kristian Stanfill) 
  • God Undefeatable - The Austin Stone (Aaron Ivey, Ross King, Matt Carter)
ST. JOHN CAMPUS:
Worship Leader: Matt Wheeler
 
Sermon: "The Restoration of Peter" - Ben Stuart
WEST CAMPUS:
Worship Leader: Jimmy McNeal
 
  • Stronger - Hillsong (Ben Fielding and Reuben Morgan) 
  • Love Came Down - Bethel Live (Jeremy Edwardson, Brian Johnson, Ian McIntosh and Jeremy Riddle)
  • Praise to the Lord - The Austin Stone (Aaron Ivey, Logan Garza, Matt Carter) 
  • Jesus Paid It All - hymn (Samuel W. Beazley and M. S. Schaffer)
Sermon: "The Restoration of Peter" - Ben Stuart
  • Love Came Down - Bethel Live (Jeremy Edwardson, Brian Johnson, Ian McIntosh and Jeremy Riddle)
  • Always - Kristian Stanfill (Jason Ingram and Kristian Stanfill)



Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Let the Countdown Begin!

A flight has been booked for me to go home to Iowa for 10 days in two weeks.
I cannot wait.
There is something about going home to the place that I grew up; spending time with my sweet nephews and my niece; having silly, running to the bathroom, crazy times with my mom and my sisters, that is just so good for my soul.
The last couple of months have been really hard. Dealing with health issues, being jobless, and a multitude of other things that seemed to all end up happening all on top of each other at the same time.
God is definitely teaching me so much during this season, and it's good. Hard...but good.
Sometimes when things get hard, I just want my family. Thankfully, I have the time to spend a good chunk of time with them, and all the kids are out of school.
They even said they are saving me some sparklers. I have a feeling some sparkler dances are in our near future!
I can't even handle these pics, and I can't wait to hug all these babies (not so baby anymore though.)
It's gonna be a good time!

Monday, July 2, 2012

Set Lists: 7/1/12

Here are the set lists from the Austin Stone Community Church on Sunday 7/1/12:

DOWNTOWN CAMPUS:
Worship Leader: Jimmy McNeal
 
Sermon: "But Are They Brothers?" - Dr. Russell Moore 
ST. JOHN CAMPUS:
Worship Leader: Justin Cofield
 
  • One Thing Remains - Jesus Culture (Christa Black, Brian Johnson, and Jeremy Riddle)
  • Love Shines - The Austin Stone (Aaron Ivey, Philip Edsel, Matt Carter)
  • All To Us - Chris Tomlin (Matt Maher, Matt Redman, Jesse Reeves, Chris Tomlin)
  • How He Loves - John Mark McMillan
Sermon: "But Are They Brothers?" - Dr. Russell Moore 
  • 10,000 Reasons - Matt Redman (Jonas Myrin & Matt Redman) 
  • Always - Kristian Stanfill (Jason Ingram and Kristian Stanfill) 
WEST CAMPUS:
Worship Leader: Jimmie Ingram

Sermon: "But Are They Brothers?" - Dr. Russell Moore

Set Lists: 6/24/12

Here are the set lists from the Austin Stone Community Church on Sunday 6/24/12:

DOWNTOWN CAMPUS:
Worship Leader: Aaron Ivey
 
Sermon: "What Man Meant for Evil, God Meant for Good." - Jeff Mangum 
ST. JOHN CAMPUS:
Worship Leader: Jimmy McNeal

  • God Undefeatable - The Austin Stone (Aaron Ivey, Ross King, Matt Carter)
  • Always - Kristian Stanfill (Jason Ingram and Kristian Stanfill) 
  • God I Look To You - Bethel Live (Jenn Johnson) 
  • Never Once - Matt Redman (Jason Ingram, Matt Redman, and Tim Wanstall)
Sermon: "What Man Meant for Evil, God Meant for Good" - Jon Dansby 
  • Love Came Down - Bethel Live (Jeremy Edwardson, Brian Johnson, Ian McIntosh and Jeremy Riddle)
  • Always - Kristian Stanfill (Jason Ingram and Kristian Stanfill)
WEST CAMPUS:
Worship Leader: Justin Cofield

Sermon: "What Man Meant for Evil, God Meant for Good" - Zac Allen 
  • Solid Rock- hymn (William Batchelder Bradbury, Edward Mote, and Vineyard Music Group, Jeff Johnson, Aaron Ivey)

Scripture Cards

I decided to make some scripture cards. I've done so many promise cards and recently thought it could be cool to make scripture cards to help me memorize scripture, and also just verses that I need to read over and over. So here are some that I've made recently...





If you would be interested in purchasing a bundle, check out this page for more info.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Set Lists: 6/17/12

Here are the set lists from the Austin Stone Community Church on Sunday 6/17/12:


DOWNTOWN CAMPUS:
Worship Leader: Jimmy McNeal
 
  • Your Great Name - The People's Church (Michael Neale, Krissy Nordhoff) 
  • How Marvelous - hymn (Charles Hutchison Gabriel and Chris Tomlin)
  • Come Thou Fount - hymn (Robert Robinson and John Wyeth)
  • Never Once - Matt Redman (Jason Ingram, Matt Redman, and Tim Wanstall)
Sermon: "The Purpose of Suffering and Evil" - Halim Suh 
  • Forever Reign - Hillsong (Reuben Morgan and Jason Ingram)
  • Stronger - Hillsong (Ben Fielding and Reuben Morgan)

ST. JOHN CAMPUS:
Worship Leader: Matt Wheeler
  • Love Came Down - Bethel Live (Jeremy Edwardson, Brian Johnson, Ian McIntosh and Jeremy Riddle) 
  • One Thing Remains - Jesus Culture (Christa Black, Brian Johnson, and Jeremy Riddle) 
  • God Is Able - Hillsong (Ben Fielding and Reuben Morgan)
  • 10,000 Reasons - Matt Redman (Jonas Myrin & Matt Redman)
Sermon: "The Purpose of Suffering and Evil" - Halim Suh
  • Stronger - Hillsong (Ben Fielding and Reuben Morgan)
  • Forever Reign - Hillsong (Reuben Morgan and Jason Ingram)

WEST CAMPUS:
Worship Leader: Justin Cofield


Sermon: "The Purpose of Suffering and Evil" - Halim Suh
  • Forever Reign - Hillsong (Reuben Morgan and Jason Ingram)
  • Stronger - Hillsong (Ben Fielding and Reuben Morgan)


Wednesday, June 20, 2012

So...I Took A Drive Tonight...

I went for a drive tonight. I had to get out...leave...and for a moment just feel like I could runaway from all the mess of my life & never come back.
So I chased the sun.
I love the sky in its brilliant colors as the sun sets and hides behind clouds. The rays of the sun beaming out from the clouds as if to say I can still be seen, and I am radiant.

The roads I took led me to the middle of nowhere and it was beautiful.

Small country roads with the most beautiful wildflowers going wild.
I just kept thinking to myself...
This is absolutely beautiful. No one is around, no one knows this beauty...how can no one know about this, cause surely if people knew its beauty they would be here.
I kept driving. Chasing the sun. Not caring where I would end up, I just didn't want it to end. I'll go however long, however far it takes to see the sun go down.
There is something about tonight that was so good for my soul.
A beautiful, perfect combination of goodness.
The perfection was refreshing after having a month of things just going wrong. After a day of hard stuff. The beautiful, perfect combination of goodness was just what I needed.
Windows down, beautiful sky, the smell of wood burning, green fields, colorful wildflowers, wind blowing through my hair, perfect playlist ...
God and I spent a lot of time together on this drive. Not even kidding...5 hours. I spent 5 hours in the car tonight.
I cried, I prayed, I worshiped, I was silent...and this song came on:
Slow me down, O Lord, slow me down
Help my heart to hear Your sound
Speak into my life, Lord, speak now
Slow me down, O Lord, slow me down 
Clear my mind, O Lord, clear my mind
Bring me peace that I cannot find
Take my worried thoughts break my pride
Clear my mind, O Lord, clear my mind 
Wake my soul, O Lord, wake my soul
With this mess I've made make me whole
Of this life called mine, take control
Wake my soul, O Lord, wake my soul 
Slow me down, O Lord, slow me down
Help my heart to hear Your sound
Speak into my life, Lord, speak now
Slow me down, O Lord, Slow me down
A beautiful, perfect combination of goodness.

Then, as I was driving...I came across this:




They were just hanging out in the road. At one point they were all in the middle of the road and I just had to sit there and wait awhile cause they weren't moving. They just looked at me.
It was awesome.
Then I heard the song singing, "Slow me down, O Lord, slow me down."
I laughed again. 
God definitely has a sense of humor.

I found myself begging God, cause that is all I felt like I could do, as His child. Begging Him to just change my heart, to change my life, as I come back home to the reality of a lot of mess.  I want to live this mess as a witness, as a person who has hope.  Who trusts and believes that God is bigger, better, enough and in complete control and completely good.
A Beautiful, Perfect Combination of Goodness.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Some Of My Favorites

Here are some videos/songs that I have been loving lately...check it:

I saw this guy perform at a conference I went to last month. He was AMAZING. He's a cello beat boxer. LOVE.


Sometimes I just listen to this song over and over again and get lost in the simplicity and repetition yet power, in this cry to God... (there is some silliness at the end of the video. love it.)


Mr. David Ramirez always amazes me with his passionate writing and rough vocals. AMAZING.


The Staves absolutely blew me away when I saw them for the first time at The Civil Wars concert I went to. They opened the show and never before have I been to a concert where the opening act got a standing ovation! Unbelievable. Here is one of my favorite songs...

Imperfect Body - Perfect Jesus. Broken World - Secure Heaven

I feel like when I write a blog post it is usually just posting the set lists from Sunday or else it's some really long deep post about how depressed I am or how hard life is...blah...blah...blah...
I came to write a post and realized that again, it was a wanting to write out of a really hard time. I guess writing for me is sometimes a release. It helps to write things out sometimes, and I find that when I do...sometimes someone is encouraged. So read if you want...don't read if you are annoyed by me.

I have to believe in Jesus. I just have to. Because if I didn't I would probably not be alive.
He sustains my breath.
He keeps my heart beating even in its breaking.
I don't understand it but I'm asking Him over and over again to help me trust Him.
I read this in a book I've been reading on suffering.
"Faith does not know why in terms of the immediate, but it knows why it trusts God who knows why in terms of the ultimate."
It's hard to trust God when everything seems to be crumbling down around you.
"I can trust that you understand even though I don't."
Oh God, help me trust you.
Here are some other quotes from this book...
"God is heaven-bent on inviting me to share in his joy, peace, and power.  But there's a catch. God only shares his joy on his terms, and those terms call for us, in some measure, to suffer as his beloved Son did while on earth." 
"When suffering sandblasts us to the core, the true stuff of which we are made is revealed.  Suffering lobs a hand-grenade into our self-centeredness, blasting our soul bare, so we can be better bonded to the Savior.  Our afflictions help to make us holy.  And we are never more like Christ, never more filled with his joy, peace, and power than when sin is uprooted from our lives." 
"But I have to remember that the core of God's plan is to rescue me from sin, even up to my dying breath.  My pain and discomfort are not his ultimate focus. He cares about these things, but they are merely symptoms of the real problem. God cares most, not about making my life happy, healthy, and free of trouble, but about teaching me to hate my transgressions and to keep growing in the grace and knowledge of Jesus. God lets me continue to feel sin's sting through suffering while I'm heading for heaven, constantly reminding me of what I am being delivered from, exposing sin for the poison it is."
The last month has been hard. Really hard. Anyone who knows me or who reads this blog, probably knows that I deal with depression. It's been a part of my life for a long time. Some of it has been circumstantial. Some of it is just in my genes.  Some of it is related to sin. I'm learning the older that I get, I am realizing that this might just be with me the rest of my human, imperfect, messed up life. But there will be a day when all of this will be over.
I'm ready for that day. SO. BAD.
I can't wait to be in heaven with Jesus.
In a new body.
Free from sadness.
Full of perfect joy.
Singing non-stop.
For eternity.
Surrounded by glory.
I think about it often, I yearn for it more than I can even put into words.
But then reality hits.
The reality that I am still here and in this REALLY imperfect body, surrounded by the weight of the world, sin, sadness, hard pressed on every side, suffering.
I don't know the number of my days. But I know that my days don't have to be spent carrying this load by myself. Jesus tells me that He will never leave me or forsake me. He carried my load on the cross. I can let Him take all of this.
He will fight for me.
He will give me strength when I cannot stand.
He will give me a deep deep joy even when I'm sad for no reason.
He covers me with grace that I need for today, and He will give me grace for tomorrow, and the next day...He never runs out of grace.
He gives me a community of people who are imperfect and messed up just like me. A community of people who are believing Jesus for these things as well. Who remind me of these truths, these promises that I forget SO easily.
I forget these things ALL the time. It's hard to remember these things when I'm in the deepest depths of sadness, and I can't see out, when it gets hard to breathe, when the weight seems unbearable, with the frustration of feeling something unexplainable, and sometimes for no reason at all.
Somehow He gets me through and I pray like crazy that He would show me how to fight well during these seasons. He is faithful. I have to believe that.
I have to believe that He will do what He says.
That He will make the rough places smooth.
That He will provide when I don't see a way out.
That He will come in power when I least expect it.
That He will love me even when I'm unloveable.
That He will forever and ever see me as His bride, His child, His love. Now and for eternity.
I have to believe that He is for me. That He is good. That He is working all of this out for my good and for His glory.
FOR HIS GLORY.
Help me believe God.