Talk less, Smile more.

For the first time in my life I am not getting school supplies, I am not finding where books are cheapest. Instead I am taking my licencing exam at 2pm today. I started working for Geico 3 weeks ago. But I’ve been talking to all my friends either the returners of this years round of freshmen. So I thought I would offer some advise from someone who didn’t take the normal route to school or the normal amount of time.

First off, give things a try. Try different groups. Don’t just go with the first one you go to. If you come back to the first one great, but try more than one.

If you get to your major and you hate it. CHANGE YOU MAJOR. Don’t keep paying for, for something that is going to make you miserable. Don’t use the excuse “my parents wont let me” its your life and I promise they don’t want to waste their money anymore than you want to waste your time.

Do you best, not the best of the person sitting next to you. Study, don’t over work yourself, have some fun, go on that midnight run to cookout. Go the random event on front campus. But also go to library and read your textbooks.

Don’t waste time comparing your path to someone else. Their path in this moment might be running along side yours but eventually one of y’all’s paths will take a different direction. But that is where that person needs to go. Not you. Trust God’s plan, let Him guide your path and so you the twists and turns and when it feels like He isn’t guiding wait to get around the bend He will be there waiting for you.

Also talk to the people in your class. Some of my best friends came from taking time to move past just talking about class to the people in class. Invite them to fun events you’re going to, get coffee with them. Especially talk to the people who you see who just come and go from class. Or come and go from the clubs you’re in. People want to be noticed. Notice people.

Get into a life group/a bible study/a campus ministry/a local church. Find people to do life with. Find the people that will be with you in the good times, but especially find the people who are willing to be there for you when life sucks. Also find people you can be completely transparent with. Who you can be completely honest with.

Find an accountability person. Find someone who gets you are different level, who calls you out on your crap. Who yells at you in a good way when you aren’t doing what you supposed to do. Who encourages you to get into God’s word. Who you can tell your struggles to and there is no judgement just encouragement. (I never realized how important this was until I found my accountability partner)

Grow, allow yourself to grow and change its August 2017, by May 2018 you wont be the same person. Embrace that. It hurts, its painful, but man when you let God move and stop fighting His growth in your life. Wow the places you will go.

Remember  the words of Ephesians 2:10 “For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”

You are God’s masterpiece, let Him work.

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Talk less, Smile more.

23 things

I was challenged by a friend to write 23 things I have learned since coming to college so here goes

  1. If you don’t enjoy your major change it.
  2. Find a local coffee shop.
  3. Find a ministry.
  4. Pour your heart into the people of that ministry.
  5. Find a local church. (its okay if this takes a while)
  6. Join a bible study. (I can’t stress this one enough)
  7. If its your health or a grade pick your health. There is no grade, no test, no GPA worth more than you.
  8. Make time for people.
  9. You can watch Netflix but don’t pick it over people, not all the time.
  10. Smile. Even when you feel like crying.
  11. Don’t just say fine when people ask how are you.
  12. Long drives, windows down, and music blasting is one of the single best ways to destress.
  13. Go stargazing at least once.
  14. Try the local places not just the chains.
  15. Its okay to buy yourself flowers.
  16. Find a tea that you love. Drink it.
  17. Pray; for yourself, your friends, your school, your family, your country.
  18. Read your bible as often as possible, with people. It changes how you see things.
  19. Don’t forget to eat. It makes a difference.
  20. Text you friends. Random messages telling them why you love them.
  21. Take photos of your friends, when they aren’t looking, when they are lost in thought, just sitting there, laughing.
  22. Encourage your friends in their relationships but don’t lie to them. If the person sucks they suck.
  23. Last but not least you wont actually die if you fail something. Be it a test, a class. You can and will get through it.
23 things

A little confusion. A lot of love.

I’ve been trying understand this whole “international woman’s day”. I think it’s great woman getting celebrated. Woman who break the gender barriers who push the limits. Who chose fields dominated by men. But I’ve also seen several posts about this whole a day with out woman thing. I know I have a lot of friends who support it and that’s great. You do you. But how is not doing the exact things we are celebrating, counted as celebrating? I’m not trying to start a fight. If you are going to do something then help support a girl who wants to go into STEM. Volunteer somewhere and help build the girls up instead of skipping work in protest.

I try my best to see myself how God sees me.

So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them. ~ Genesis 1:27

She is more precious than rubies; nothing you desire can compare with her. Long life is in her right hand; in her left hand are riches and honor. Her ways are pleasant ways, and all her paths are peace. She is a tree of life to those who take hold of her; those who hold her fast will be blessed. ~ Proverbs 3:15-18
In the same way, the women are to be worthy of respect, not malicious talkers but temperate and trustworthy in everything. ~ 1 Timothy 3:11
A kindhearted woman gains honor, but ruthless men gain only wealth. ~ Proverbs 11:16
Likewise, teach the older women to be reverent in the way they live, not to be slanderers or addicted to much wine, but to teach what is good. Then they can urge the younger women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled and pure, to be busy at home, to be kind, and to be subject to their husbands, so that no one will malign the word of Go. ~ Titus 2:3-5
This day is supposed to be all about woman and supporting them but what about every other day? All you see on social media or hear is woman doing the exact opposite of what they are claiming to do today. Why must we only support each other when there is a day or month dedicated to it? What about in 2 months from now when girls are graduating highschool and want to go into fields like engineering or math or some other field that is a “male” field? We support guys going into “female” fields like teaching and nursing and claim to support girls when they try to venture out but do we?  Im not saying by any means that I sit there and support all these things. But I do my best. I have friends in STEM majors, I have friends not. Just cause I don’t have the passion they do doesn’t mean I should support them any less.
But I realized something today, when a girl tells me they are going into something like nursing, teaching, or mass comm. My automatic answer is “Wow thats so awesome!” “Why do you want to do that?” However, if a girls tells me they are a physics major, or a math major, or want to go into engineering my automatic answer is; “Ew why would you do that?” or “Oh goodness, you are a brave soul.”
Why?
Why do I say things like that?
Because from an early age I have been conditioned to do so.
I had a friend ask me when I realized I was bad at math. I was 6. A boy in my class told me I was cause I got a problem wrong that everyone else got right. Im not saying I believed him because knowing sassy me I probably said something. But at the same time no one ever told me I could be good at math. And I admit I am not the strongest in math and science but thats me.
Im good at photography. When I talk about photography I get super excited. Its the one thing I understand completely and can understand no doubt about it.
Until this past year I didn’t understand other people did that with other things. Then I met my friend and she has a passion for math, and just learning in general. Ive learned how important it is to listen when she gets excited about learning and understanding a new equation. That she apologies when she gets “to excited” because as a human kind we have been taught that there is such a thing as “to much” excitement about something we love.
So my challenge to myself and to you is to support. Listen to someone talk about their passion, even if you don’t fully understand. Just listen and understand the person not the subject.
A little confusion. A lot of love.

46 to 49

Today I am sitting at my kitchen table watching hunger games. My friend counted up all her classes the other day and watching the hunger games for some reason made me want to count my classes.

I have taken forty six college classes. Forty of the classes I passed. Six of those classes I failed.

I have … 14 A’s, 17 B’s, 9 C’s, 5 D’s, and 1 F.

Which is the most horrifying and scary words to say to anyone, yes I failed 6 classes.

I am 22 years old and I have survived 46 college classes. But I think God for those failed classes. Which is a weird thing to say because they cost me $46,000+ by the time I pay off student loans plus food. But failing those classes kept me here an extra year. Staying here that extra year allowed me to be downtown on a encouragement night with Hydrolove and meet my now friend and hug her and cry with her and pray over her. It allowed me to meet my other friend in life group who is quickly becoming one of my best friends. It allowed me to meet bailey and get a rock out of her foot using a knife causing me to meet the passion guys, end up becoming and rep and getting to go to passion (for FREE). Which in turn set events up so that I would be at the max and randomly sit down at a table with two girls and give the one I didn’t know my phone number 5 mins after meeting her. It allowed me to go to work, use the wrong version of to (I was supposed to say too) and meet two of my other friends and again give them my phone number that night and in turn get the chance to pour into and show Gods love to all of the girls I have met this semester. All of which when I was crying this summer over failing a class I worked my BUTT off to pass and still failed. I thought that was it. Life was over. But I cried over that class more than any of the other ones but I wouldn’t change a thing.

I have gotten to know and love (on) so many people this semester. I have gotten to watch BCM grow and change. I have gotten to watch old friends grow and change, and new ones. In the end it was all for God’s glory and His plan and I am thankful to be his hands and feet.

 

As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good, to bring it about that many people should be kept alive, as they are today. Genesis 50:20

 

 

46 to 49

I kind of love you?

LOVE
noun \ˈləv\
a feeling of strong or constant affection for a person
I love you.
What does that even mean?
Most of the time it means;
I will love you
if…
until…
but…
As humans we throw the word love around like its just another thing you say. But the second there is a problem that love can and often does disappear.
We say we “fell out of love”
But how? Why?
Can you imagine if God looked at us and said “I’m just not feeling it anymore.”
What would happen?
What if Jesus has said “No, they aren’t worth my love and sacrifice?”
Where would we be now?
For God SO LOVED *insert your name here* that He gave is only begotten son that whosoever believes in him SHALL NOT PERISH but have ever lasting life.
John 3:16
AGAPE – UNCONDITIONAL LOVE.
God looked at us and said I LOVE YOU. No ifs, ands, or buts about it.
God showed us the ultimate example of how to love, but what do we do? We reject it. We judge people, and refuse to love them over something stupid.
Just love people with an agape love. Just love them and let God sort them out later. It is not our place to judge people. But we do. We use our words to bring people down. We spread hate.
I’m not saying to love the things people do. Sin is sin. But I am saying LOVE the person. I was always told growing up, you don’t have to like them but you have to love them. Somewhere along the line we lost that. We dislike a person so we hate them. But Paul even said;
If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal.
1 Corinthians 13:1
A lot of times thats what I hear. I hear people talking but there talk is nothing because their actions say hate not love.
I am by no means saying I only show agape love. But it is what I strive for. I still have A LOT of work but I am praying that maybe, just maybe the Lord will use me either in word, speech, or action to spread his love.
This word has enough hate why add to it?
I kind of love you?

Tinker Bell Lessons

There is one body, but it has many parts. But all its many parts make up one body. It is the same with Christ.  We were all baptized by one Holy Spirit. And so we are formed into one body. It didn’t matter whether we were Jews or Gentiles, slaves or free people. We were all given the same Spirit to drink.  So the body is not made up of just one part. It has many parts.

 Suppose the foot says, “I am not a hand. So I don’t belong to the body.” By saying this, it cannot stop being part of the body. And suppose the ear says, “I am not an eye. So I don’t belong to the body.” By saying this, it cannot stop being part of the body. If the whole body were an eye, how could it hear? If the whole body were an ear, how could it smell? God has placed each part in the body just as he wanted it to be.  If all the parts were the same, how could there be a body?20 As it is, there are many parts. But there is only one body.

The eye can’t say to the hand, “I don’t need you!” The head can’t say to the feet, “I don’t need you!” In fact, it is just the opposite. The parts of the body that seem to be weaker are the ones we can’t do without. The parts that we think are less important we treat with special honor. The private parts aren’t shown. But they are treated with special care. The parts that can be shown don’t need special care. But God has put together all the parts of the body. And he has given more honor to the parts that didn’t have any.  In that way, the parts of the body will not take sides. All of them will take care of one another.  If one part suffers, every part suffers with it. If one part is honored, every part shares in its joy.

You are the body of Christ. Each one of you is a part of it.

1 Corinthians 12:12-27

This set of verses have been on my mind/heart a lot lately. Between having to say goodbye to my childhood pastor this weekend, to trying to prepare for BCM this upcoming semester.

The oddest thing brought it up today. I was watching the Tinker Bell movie. If you haven’t seen this movie its all about how Tinker Bell finds her place in the fairy world. In the start she found her “calling” but thought it wasn’t right for her because the things she was trying to do, how she was trying to do things were different from how things were being done and had been done in the past. Because of that she thought she was not where she was supposed to be. She tried to fit in, in the other specialties. But she was a “hand” she couldn’t just decided to be a “foot” because that wasn’t where she belonged.

How often does that happen with us as Christians? WE decided WE don’t like where God has put us so WE decided to try something else, when it turns out WE were just ignoring how God was telling us to use our gift.

I have been struggling with this a lot lately. Right at the end of the semester we were talking about spiritual gifts at BCM. This was cool but over the summer I didn’t really go to church, I slacked on my quiet time, and overall have not in the best place.

But even in this really hard weekend, something stuck out to me. We need to have passion, we need to have joy. Where we are placed in this world may not be where we would want to be but if God has put us there. There is a reason. There is reason Pastor Chuck went home to heaven, there is a reason this summer was a hard one, there is a reason for why I have failed so many classes. But in all this there needs to be joy. Paul said it in Philippians.

 I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want.  I can do all this through him who gives me strength.

Philippians 4:12-13

For my church in Augusta this is going to be a hard road. For BCM this year I think its going to be hard year. For me personally this is going to be a hard year.

But I am going to keep the faith, and continue to be the best “foot” I can be. With as much passion and joy that the Lord gives.

Tinker Bell Lessons

No if, and, or but

Today I bought an audio devotion from lifeway; called LifeWay Women Devotions. It has 12 different devotions read by 10 different authors (including my favorite christian author Jennifer Rothschild) The first one on the CD is by Jennifer and these are my notes from it and just things in my head.

 

Missing Pieces ~ Jennifer Rothschild

Judges 6:1-40

Vs.6 Midian so impoverished the Israelites that they cried out to the Lord for help.

Vs.11 The angel of the Lord came and sat down under the oak in Ophrah that belonged to Joash the Abiezrite, where his son Gideon was threshing wheat in a winepress to keep it from the Midianites.

Vs. 12 When the angel of the Lord appeared to Gideon, he said, “The Lord is with you, mighty warrior.”

Vs.13 “Pardon me, my lord,” Gideon replied, “but if the Lord is with us, why has all this happened to us? Where are all his wonders that our ancestors told us about when they said, ‘Did not the Lord bring us up out of Egypt?’ But now the Lord has abandoned us and given us into the hand of Midian.”

Vs.6 – They cried to the Lord.

Vs. 11 – Angel of the Lord = pre-incarnate christ / Jesus

Vs. 12 – The Lord IS with YOU

Vs. 13 – IF the Lord is with US

Do you confirm God’s presence based only on the wonderful things going on around you?

When bad things happen in your life do you assume that God has forsaken you?

***Personalize the presence of God***

IF is not a statement of the present. IF is a fantasy future or a perfect past.

IS is a statement of the present.

God is in the right now! In the IS.

Where do you live? In the IF or in the IS?

How many IFs do you place on God?

John 11:21 “Lord,” Martha said to Jesus, “if you had been here, my brother would not have died.

You will only feel uncertainty and alone if you live in the IF. God is present in the present.

Judges 6:36  Gideon said to God, “If you will save Israel by my hand as you have promised—

IF.

God gave you the present to be present there, because God is present in our present.

God is I AM. Not I wish, I think, I hope. With God there is no IF. 

 

Matthew 6:34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

Ecclesiastes 7:10 Do not say, “Why were the old days better than these?” For it is not wise to ask such questions.

 

The month of July is always a hard one. July 17th is the day I lost a friend. There is a lot to the situation but I wont get into that. But I will say for the longest time I struggled with IF. If I had done something, if God had done something, if anyone had done something. Could things have turned out differently. I still struggle with this almost everyday. But I am slowly learning That no matter what happened in my past, no matter what is going to happen in the future. Its all in Gods hand. He is in control and I have to let the want of control go. There is a plan in everything; even the most terrible horrific thing. This is something that has becoming very prevalent lately. There are SO many horrible things happening the world currently, terrorist attacks, armed gunmen and presidential elections. Everything just kind of seems to be in shambles but even in those shambles God has a plan. A plan for this world, for me, for you. God is present in our present. No if, ands, or buts about it.

No if, and, or but