When Heaven and Earth Collide

On Thursday I was worshipping during a corporate worship service and I felt as if heaven and earth were colliding. It was the feeling as if things of heaven were coming down to earth and all the saints were in one room together along with angels. The presence of God was so overwhelming in the room that I was flat on my face lying on my stomach on the floor.

While I was lying on the floor worshipping there was a presence of someone else worshipping with me. Yes, there were many other people physically in the room, but I felt as if someone was with me spiritually. It felt as though someone I dearly love who went home to Jesus about 6 years ago was with me. That presence was my dear Grandma! It was beautiful. I felt as though my grandma and I were worshipping our God together! I had tears of joy streaming down my face. She and I were laughing together and singing praises to our Savior. The moment was wonderful and I didn’t want it to end.

I know for a fact my grandma is in heaven and I believe God gives us gifts from heaven like visits from the ones we love who have gone before us.

This is not the first time my grandma has visited me. Almost exactly a year ago I had a dream that was so vivid I felt as though my grandma was in the room with me. She told me she was sent from God to bring me reassurance and hope.

Before my grandma’s visit last week, I was missing her and wishing she was with me. I want to talk with her so badly about all the things God is doing in my life. I want to sit down over a cup of coffee and have a conversation about Jesus. Even though I cannot physically see her or give her a hug, I was reminded on Thursday that she is with me. She is seeing all that God is doing in my life, and we shared a special moment together in the presence of God. What an incredible gift!

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Hillsong has a song called “Heaven and Earth.” The chorus is

Heaven and earth collide
The Savior for everyone has come
Bringing the dead to life
All for the glory of Your name

This is so true! The savior for everyone has come. He came to this earth and is alive in heaven. He brings the dead to life, which is true in many ways, but in this case, my grandma “died” on earth, but is alive in heaven with Jesus! And I was able to experience her being alive to bring glory to the name of Jesus. He is the only reason why I was able to worship with my grandma and see her in a dream.

I hope this is an encouragement to you! That you will experience heaven and earth colliding. Worship God, give thanks to him, praise his holy name, ask for an encounter with him, and you will experience the greatness and glory of the Lord on earth as it is in heaven.

 

“I pray also that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, and his incomparably great power for us who believe.” Ephesians 1: 18-19

 

“Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done on EARTH AS IT IS IN HEAVEN.” Matthew 6:9-10

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The Choice

There’s something about waiting for an appliance repairman to show up that has me feeling captive. I spent the better part of the day today wondering exactly when during the 10am to 2pm window he would arrive. He finally called at 1:55 informing me he’d be there in about a half hour. Oh well. Day lost. Or was it?

Usually, I spend this time frustrated that I can’t leave the house, or trying not to start something big because I may have to run to answer the door. There was plenty to do. Laundry & the ever present tidying up beckoned for my attention. But today I heard a still, small voice inviting me to quiet myself and spend the time in Bible study and prayer. I’m a bit embarrassed to admit I struggle with calming myself long enough to hear from God. With 3 business ventures to pursue, I am BUSY. But you know what? Today was different. Today was good. So good.

“Blessed are those who have learned to acclaim you, who walk in the light of your presence, O Lord.” Psalm 89:15

It’s so easy to forget that God longs to spend time with us. There’s nothing he’d love more than to have us seek his presence in our lives. In this journey towards more intimacy with God, I’m learning that sometimes he boldly provides that time and waits to see if we will use it to pursue a deeper relationship with him. It’s still our choice.

“Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful.” Colossians 4:2

Today, I had a few hours of what could have been limbo, but instead I made the choice for spending time with Jesus & the rest of my day has gone well. There’s a peace in knowing God is in control and he’s got my back. A cup of coffee, a good Bible study book and some quiet time while chatting about the future and handing over the reigns for my business and family needs is so refreshing.

I highly recommend it.

Books and a coffee cup on a wooden table

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The Simple Life

This is the beginning of a new year so all of us are thinking how we are going to be better than we were the year before. I know I am and I know my cousin, Kristin is as well. She talked about in a previous blog, Slight Edging It, about her change for this next year and I think it’s fantastic!

 

The trouble is you must stick to it. You must tell yourself everyday you are going to accomplish those things you want to. Things don’t happen over night, if they did then we wouldn’t have very exciting journeys just a lot of endings. The journey is what changes you, shapes you, molds you, and transforms you into the best version of yourself if you allow it to.

 

“Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is- his good, pleasing and perfect will.”

            Romans 12:2

 

I am currently doing the Daniel fast. And it hasn’t been easy. This fast consists of fruits, veggies, nuts, legumes, and water for 20 days. It’s very simple. But there have been many days I want a piece of chocolate or coffee and in those moments I pray God gives me strength and sets my mind back to why I am doing this fast in the first place. I think this is what we need to do when we want to “give up”, to “quit” on our goals we have set for ourselves in the beginning of the new year. We need to bring it back to Jesus because he will help us.

 

Before starting this fast I prayed about what kind of fast to do, and God gave me the word simplicity. At first I thought that was just my word for the fast, but now I am starting to realize this may be my word for the year. SIMPLICITY.

 

God wants us to live simple lives. We seem to overcomplicate things, but really we should live as children. Children are care-free, honest, live for fun and adventure, love everyone, they don’t over think they just do. God wants us to have child-like faith and this is what comes to mind when I think of simplicity. I want to live life as a child. I am going to pray to God when it gets tough and when I want to quit, when I start to overcomplicate things and ask God to help bring my mind back to the simplicity.

 

“I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore, whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.” Matthew 18:3-4

 

What are your goals for this new year?

How are you going to make sure you stick to them for the entire year of 2016?

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(A few of the many kids I met along my journey on the World Race in 2014!)

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Another Year Gone By

Another year has gone by. How did that happen?? Seriously! This past year has gone by so fast! It seems like I just got back from my 11 month trip but that was over a year ago now. So much has happened since then and God continues to amaze me.

 

When I came back from the World Race, I wanted to continue living a life of taking risks and living in boldness for Jesus. It hasn’t been easy, but as a look back in this past year I see God’s faithfulness and persistence. And when I look at the times I was obedient and took a risk, I was blessed beyond words and God was with me and gave me the strength I needed. He continues to blow my mind and blow my expectations out of the water!

 

Here are some of the things God has taught me this past year:

 

God hears us and answers our prayers, even if they seem small (I was shopping for a bridesmaid dress for hours and then I prayed and God told me to go to a specific store and I found the dress I needed in the exact color I needed it in! WOW!).

 

God wants us to pray specific prayers.

 

God does miracles and uses people like you and me as his hands (God used me to pray healing over a friend’s knees who were in pain and he healed her! WOW!).

 

God gives us strength when we are weak (I did a 3 day fast only drinking water and I had so much energy and joy it only could have come from God!).

 

God ALWAYS provides.

 

When we take a leap of faith, God will catch us and walk with us.

 

God loves to make us laugh (I laugh when I experience the Holy Spirit!).

 

God is always there to comfort us. When we cry, he cries.

 

God cares about what is important to us.

 

God stands in front of us with open arms waiting for us to run to him.

 

God is continuing to teach me how to see people through his eyes and when I do I see them as his children.

 

God gives us His light in order to be tangible lights to been seen by people in the physical realm.

 

God LOVES me and He LOVES you UNCONDITIONALLY.

 

 

As you move forward into this next year, take time to sit and think of the ways God has shown up in your life in the past year and thank him. Make a goal for yourself in this next year to step out in faith and live more of risk-taking life for Jesus. You will not be disappointed. : )

 

Happy New Year!

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(On our way home from the World Race around this time last year,

November 2014)

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Problems… We’ve all got ’em

I want to share this devotion from Jesus Calling with you. This really resonated with me because of the season I am in and I feel it will resonate with some of you as well.

 

“Approach problems with a light touch. When your mind moves toward a problem area, you tend to focus on that situation so intensely that you lose sight of Me. You pit yourself against the difficulty as if you had to conquer it immediately. Your mind gears up for battle, and your body becomes tense and anxious. Unless you achieve total victory, you feel defeated.

“There is a better way. When a problem starts to overshadow your thoughts, bring this matter to Me. Talk with Me about it and look at it in the Light of My Presence. This puts some much-needed space between you and your concern, enabling you to see from My perspective. You will be surprised at the results. Sometimes you may even laugh at yourself for being so serious about something so insignificant.

“You will always face trouble in this life. But more importantly you will always have Me with you, helping you to handle whatever you encounter. Approach problems with a light touch by viewing them in My revealing Light.”

 

“Blessed are those who have learned to acclaim you, who walk in the light of your presence, O Lord.” Psalm 89:15

 

“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I HAVE OVERCOME THE WORLD.” John 16:33

 

 

(Jesus Calling November 15)

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Spend time with Jesus. Bask in his presence and allow him to take your burdens and your problems. They are not yours yo carry.

(View from the top of the mountain where I lived in the Philippines during the World Race September 2014- taking in the beauty of our Creator with a cup of coffee of course!)

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3 Days, No Food

Last week my church did a 3 day fast and I decided to join them. I decided to join them by only drinking water for 3 days. Crazy, huh? This is something I had never done before but always thought about doing. The pastor talked about doing water only fast and it intrigued me so I thought, “Let’s do this God!”

The night before the fast I spent with Jesus worshipping, praying, and preparing my heart and mind for what I was about to do.

I have to tell you the ONLY way I was able to make it through all 3 days with only drinking water was JESUS! He really was and is my strength. I would not have been able to do it without him! I am still in awe of how I made it through 3 days without food or juice and I had a lot of energy to make it through each day.

The first afternoon was the hardest. I got home from working an 8 hour day feeling tired and low on energy, but I know what I needed…time with Jesus. I took a little nap and then the time I would spend preparing dinner I spent with Jesus, journaling, listening to worship music. It really filled me up! I went to bed and woke up the next morning feeling great! I had energy and was excited for what God was going to teach me in that day!

The energy only increased the more time I spent with Jesus. It’s a beautiful thing!

I made it through all 3 days and was reminded how much God loves me, cares for me, wants what’s best for me, and is taking care of the details in my life even when I can’t see them. He has blessed me and will continue to bless me because he loves me and I am doing my best to listen and obey him. I am not perfect and there are many times I fail at obedience, but when we do obey God, he will reward us and bless us beyond our imagination.

I came out of the fast on a complete high of Jesus and the Holy Spirit. I was full of an overwhelming and overflowing amount of joy and more in love with Jesus!

If you have ever thought about doing a fast or even if you haven’t, I would highly recommend it! You don’t have to do a water only fast. You can fast from social media, something that you enjoy like chocolate, or coffee. Whenever you want those things say a prayer to God instead. Seek his face and ask him for strength. He will give it to you. You will not be disappointed during or after fasting. It is a rewarding experience.

God loves you and all he wants is time with us. Take away some of the distractions in your life and spend time with him.

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My first meal after 3 days of fasting! I am thankful for food!

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God is in Control

I don’t know what I would do without God in my life. Life is tough and throws curve balls at us, but life would be much harder if God wasn’t in it.

 

Without God, I would not be following my passions and having him pave the way.

Without God, I would not be the joyful person I am today!

Without God, I would be worrying about the day to day.

Without God, I would be stressed about my future.

 

I can think of many times I planned something and it didn’t end up happening. I wanted to get my EMT and move to Tahoe to be ski patrol. I wanted to go grad school to get my doctorate in Physical Therapy. I have planned to do many things that have not worked out, but God ends up making them even better. Instead of moving to Tahoe, I lived in San Diego and met amazing, life-long friends. Instead of going to grad school, I traveled to 11 different countries.

God has better plans for us then we have for ourselves, we just have to give him complete control of our lives and be willing to say YES to what he wants us to do.

Life without God is hard. Life with God is so much easier. I don’t know where or who I would be today without Jesus. I would probably be super stressed, not know where to go in life, and I wouldn’t be living a life of abundance.

Giving God control and trusting him is something we must do daily, hourly, every second. We have to choose Jesus over wanting to have control of our lives. If you think about it, there is not much you can control so why not have someone who is greater than anything in all the earth be in control? Let go and let God take over.

 

God knows what he is doing…Do you trust him enough to give him complete control of your life?

 

“The mind of sinful man is death, but the mind controlled by the Spirit is life and peace.” Romans 8:6

 

“TRUST in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.” Proverbs 3:5-6

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(This picture reminds me of joy and celebration in living a life with Jesus. This was taken after winning a volleyball game on the beach in Nicaragua.)

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Carry THE LIGHT

God was in the process of creating our earth, and seeing that darkness was prevalent over the earth said, “LET THERE BE LIGHT, AND THERE WAS LIGHT. GOD SAW THAT THE LIGHT WAS GOOD.” Genesis 1:3

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All living things need light. A blind man still needs light from the sun on his body to give him vitamin D and warmth.

The dictionary gives the number one definition of light as a noun: The form of radiant energy that stimulates the organs of sight, traveling about 186,300
miles a second.

I can see God in that definition, can you?

The light I’m writing about today is Jesus Christ, because He was there with God as the sun light was being created. (John 1:1-5)”…and through Him all things were made….in Him was life, and that life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not understood it.”

The darkness still does not understand the light of Jesus, and continually stumbles in the darkness. In fact, II Corinthians 11:14 says that Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light. So, people are sometimes confused as to what is the True Light and what is the pretend light! (In fact there is a cult by the name True Light Church….so learn to test the spirits.)

When you accept Jesus Christ as the True Light, the Holy Spirit will help you discern what is true and what is false. Get to know the True Light by reading His Word and ask Him to help you know the difference. Satan is deceitful and manipulative. You must stay aware of his tricks and keep your eyes on the brightest light of all. Then allow His Light to shine through you as you go about your daily living.

The teen choir at the church I attend sang a song by Twila Paris last Sunday night that affected my thoughts in writing today……
“Carry the light, carry the light. Go and tell the people they are precious in His sight. Carry the light, carry the light. Go and preach the Gospel ’till there is no more night. In the name of Jesus Christ…carry the light!”

Matthew 5:14-16 (Jesus’ words) “You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.”

Dear Lord, because Your Light is in me, help me to be a reflection of Your Light wherever I go, whatever I do. Amen

Further reading: Luke 11:33-36 and Ephesians 5:8-21

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Are You Willing to Take a Risk?

Are you living a life of audacious faith?

Hold up what does audacious mean? Showing a willingness to take surprisingly bold risks.

YES!

 What does it mean to live life with boldness?

What does it mean to live a spirit-led life?

 

I am trying to answer these questions myself.

Last year I lived a life of audacity. I was listening to the Holy Spirit, going where he told me to go, saying what he told me to say, and that year was the best year of my life to date. It wasn’t easy. I would be lying to you if I told you it was easy. But it was so rewarding and worth every last challenge and struggle.

 

The world may look at you and think you are crazy if you live your life this way, but who cares?!? Is that what it’s all about?

NO.

It’s about living a life for Jesus. It’s about listening to him and no one else.

According to the world’s standards, I am not going anywhere fast in life. I currently don’t have a job (I’m doing odd jobs here and there), I’m living at my parents, they are providing me with money (thank you!), BUT according to God I am exactly where he wants me to be (I know, he told me). I am in a period of waiting, learning many lessons, one being obedience. God wants me to listen to his voice and no one else’s.

He is our good shepherd.

In John 10:4-5 Jesus talks about the good Shepherd (God) and his sheep (us),

When he has brought out all his own, he goes on ahead of them, and his sheep follow him because they know his voice. But they will never follow a stranger; in fact, they will run away from him because they do not recognize a stranger’s voice.”

 

Do you know the voice of your shepherd?

 

I am God’s sheep and I am listening to his voice and doing what he says. When I do it causes me to step out in boldness saying things I don’t particularly want to say, being financially dependent on someone else (for the time being), being the first to apologize, biting my tongue when I want to say something, loving when it’s hard, and extending grace when it’s not easy. BUT with all of this there is nothing like experiencing the JOY OF THE LORD and HIS LOVE and being BLESSED by him in ways you cannot even fathom. For example, I absolutely love the ocean! And this week God has blessed me with a week of enjoying the ocean and getting paid to do it! He is a good, good Father. He loves me and when I am obedient, living in boldness, living audaciously, living a spirit-led life, he will bless me! It’s a good way to live! The heavenly Father knows you better than you know yourself and he will give you the desires of your heart if you do what he tells you to do!

 

“Live a life that can be explained only by the existence of a God who is infinitely great.” (Sun Stand Still, Steven Furtick)

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I’m Weird.

Many people have told me I am weird and I take it as a compliment. I respond with, “Life is more exciting when you’re weird.” Who wants to be normal?

What is normal anyway?

That is a great question and one I don’t know the answer to. All I know is that by being “different” from the world’s standards you are considered “weird” and I’m ok with that. To many people Jesus is weird and I want to be like Jesus. That is my number one calling and goal in life is to be like Jesus.

Since I have been home from the World Race, I have noticed some things about America that I am not practically fond of. The fact that people are so ridiculously busy they don’t even have time to stop and see the beauty around them or the people they are passing by. The fact that it is all about immediate satisfaction, “I want it and I want it NOW.”

Every other country in the world does not work like this. They are more concerned with relationships and taking their time. They are not concerned about getting to a place at a certain time. I was talking to a lady in South Africa and she was talking to me about visiting America. She said she was sitting down to eat dinner, ordered wine and didn’t have time to sit and enjoy it before her meal came out. Here in America we don’t allow ourselves time to enjoy anything. No one knows what it means to slow down.

God has been challenging me with slowing down since I have been home. He tells me to take in all that he has for me. I don’t want to get caught up in the busyness of this country. I don’t want to be so focused on my task that I miss out on what God has for me or the person standing in front of me that may need prayer or a smile.

I am currently reading the book Weird by Craig Groeschel (how appropriate), and in it he said, “If the devil can’t make us really bad, then he’ll try to make us busy.”

This is so true. I used to be a very busy person, so busy that I didn’t have time for Jesus, and during that time I wasn’t as close with Jesus or experiencing him in the way that I am now. That’s just silly! Jesus is the most important person and we need to make room for him in our days! The devil’s scheme was working and making me so busy that I didn’t want to wake up early to spend time with Jesus because I was so tired from being busy. But I want to change that. I don’t want to be so busy I don’t have time for Jesus.

 

“When we follow Jesus, we’re about our Father’s business, not about the world’s busyness.” (Weird, p. 35).

 

People may think I am weird because I am not running around like a crazy person trying to fit in everything and anything I can. It’s ok to say “no.” The most important thing in life for me is to have intimacy with Jesus and the only way to do that is to slow down, sit, and be still with him; to read his word and to listen to his voice.

 

What is the most important thing to you in life?

Do you want to experience Jesus in a way you have never before?

Do you want to stop being busy?

Do you want to have intimacy with Jesus?

Do you want to be weird?

 

“Be still, and know that I am God;

I will be exalted among the nations,

I will be exalted in the earth.”

Psalm 46:10

“He makes me lie down in green pastures,

He leads me beside quiet waters,

He restores my soul.”

Psalm 23:2-3

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Be weird and laugh on the floor! Experience Jesus in a way you have never before! Have INTIMACY with JESUS!

(Holy Spirit Laughter…It’s a real thing.)

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