Saturday, July 30, 2011

That's what faith can do

Hey y'all,

Recently I was in the car with my sister and a friend of ours and I heard this song. Now, you must understand that I am the WORST at identifying artists, I listen to Kutless a lot, and when I heard this song I had no clue it was Kutless. I listen to the LYRICS, not the voice or the music, ok?

Anyways, I love this song. It's "What Faith Can Do" by Kutless, on their newest album, "It is Well".

Here's the song and the lyrics below it:

Everybody falls sometimes
You gotta find the strength to rise
From the ashes and make a new beginning
Anyone can feel the ache
You think it’s more than you can take
But you’re stronger, stronger than you know

And don’t you give up now
The sun will soon be shining
You gotta face the clouds
To find the silver lining

I’ve seen dreams that move the mountains
Hope that doesn’t ever end
Even when the sky is falling
I’ve seen miracles just happen
Silent prayers get answered
Broken hearts become brand new
That’s what faith can do

It doesn’t matter what you’ve heard
Impossible is not a word
It’s just a reason for someone not to try
Everybody’s scared to death
You may decide to take that step
Out on the water
But it’ll be all right

Life is so much more
Than what your eyes are seeing
You will find your way
If you keep believing

Overcome the odds
When you don’t have a chance
(That’s what faith can do)
When the world says you can’t
It will tell you that it can


I love this song because it's so true. "Everybody falls sometimes - you gotta find the strength to rise - from the ashes and make a new beginning." I know I'm not alone, feeling like I'm the only one that falls, and that everyone around me doesn't fall, but I have to be reminded of it sometimes. "Everybody falls sometimes." And when you feel like you have fallen beyond the point of return - "you've gotta find the strength to rise from the ashes". And then you must try again - "and make a new beginning!"

"Anyone can feel the ache - you think it's more than you can take - but you're stronger, stronger than you know." Even when you're going through what you think is the hardest thing ANYONE has EVER gone through - you can make it! "You're stronger than you know!" When you are in Christ, He gives you strength. And oh man! That strength will NEVER fail! It's like a platform that can hold whatever you put on it. It's so strong that no matter how heavy a weight is put on it - no matter how much stress, sadness, and pain is piled on top of it - it will never break! Now THAT'S strength!

"And don't you give up now - the sun will soon be shinning - you gotta face the clouds - to find the silver lining!" Everyone needs to be encouraged, everyone needs to be lifted up. This is one reason fellowship with believers is SO important! We must encourage and uplift each other as well as edify one another. I like the last two lines of this part especially - you've got to go through some hard times to get to the good ones. You've got to sweat to get the reward.

The chorus is my absolute favorite part of this song! Such an encouragement! "I've seen dreams that move the mountains - hope that doesn't ever end - even when the sky is falling - I've seen miracles just happen - silent prayers get answered - broken hearts become brand new - that's what faith can do!" At the end of the chorus there should be, like, a TON of exclamation points. "That's what faith can do!!!!!!"

"It doesn't matter what you've heard - impossible is not a word - it's just a reason for someone not to try - everybody's scared to death - you may decide to take that step - out on the water - but it'll be all right." I LOVE that! Impossible is SOOOO NOT a word! Many times I tell my younger siblings that "can't" isn't a word - it's a mindset. When you think that something is impossible - say, a task - then there is no possible way for you to do it. Simply because you BELIEVE that you CAN'T. Impossibility is only a reason for someone not to try. It's scares you to death. But when you BELIEVE that it really is POSSIBLE then "you may decide to take that step out on the water" in faith and with the strength God gives you.

"Life is so much more - than what your eyes are seeing - you will find your way - if you keep believing." Sometimes Many times, we see only the surface. We can't see what God has in store. We can't see where all our decisions and trials and happy days will lead us in the long run, but God does. Therefore, we MUST rely on GOD for HE knows! You WILL find your way if you keep believing!!!

"Overcome the odds - when you don't have a chance - (that's what faith can do) - when the world says you can't - it will tell you that it can." You can do all things through Christ who gives you strength! Even when the sky is falling. Even when the world's coming to an end. Even when everyone leaves you. Even when you think you are all alone - God is there and HE gives you strength.

I've seen dreams that move the mountains
Hope that doesn't ever end
Even when the sky is falling
I've seen miracles just happen
Silent prayers get answered
Broken hearts get made brand new...


In Christ alone,

Thursday, July 28, 2011

James - part 2 - Counting it all joy

Dear readers,

I hope you all got something out of part one, and I hope you enjoyed it! What surprised me was how much information you can get out of such a short, and seemingly boring, introductory verse! Let's get on with part two!


James 1:2-4
My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations, knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience. But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.


James starts the body of his letter by referring to his readers as his brethren. This tiny phrase emphasizes the fact made in the first verse that who James is writing to are believers, fellow laborers in the faith, his brethren, our brethren.

James then exhorts them to do something out of the ordinary - consider trials as joy. Joy, to me, is spending time with friends and family. Joy is learning something new in God's word. Joy is playing with a new camera. Joy is diving into a new book. Joy is sculpting a little person out of clay. But James says to count our trials as joy. When you read this you probably stopped and thought something like "whoa!" or "no way!" or "nu-uh!" This idea is repulsive to us for one reason alone - we're human and we like comfort. We naturally dislike pain. We naturally dislike hard times. We naturally do what's best for us and for our comfort and our enjoyment. Anyone who says differently needs counseling.

This idea of counting your trials as joy doesn't make sense unless you read verse 3 (one example of why context is SO very important!) - "knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience." So, knowing that the trying of our faith teaches us to be more patient, we can honestly and truly count it all (even the hard times) as joy because we know that the reward at the end it greater than the pain you have to go through to get it. But, that is still an awfully hard thing to swallow. How can we really count trials as joy? I mean, yeah it may sound easy, but is it really? Can you really go through a time being rejected by everyone? Can you really lose your best friend and still trust God to do what's best?

The only way to get through these trials is through the strength God gives us who trust in Him. We (you) must believe that it is because of Him that Romans 8:28 stands. "And we know that all things work together for good, to them that love God, to them who are the called according to His purpose." By trusting Him - by putting our lives in HIS hands and letting him take control - we can joyfully go through any trials that come our way. The trying of our faith makes patience grow.

Verse four - Now that we have a bit of patience, after we learn to joyfully go through some trials, we must keep having patience. Patience with each other, and in with our circumstances. It's not a one time thing. If you're human, I promise you that you will have one trial after another your entire life. You never get a break. But you know what? As you grow in Christ, it gets easier - easier to be joyful and easier to get through those trials, especially the hard ones, without breaking down.

Easier said than done? You betcha. I can't imagine losing one of my best friends, much less, losing my best friends and counting it as joy! If it came down to it, be honest, if you had the choice to keep your best friend and reject Christ, or to lose your best friend and remain in Christ, which would you choose? Ultimately, the question comes down to this: who do you love more?

In Christ alone,

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Mercy Me having a good time...

Thank you, Prism, for posting this first!!!

The guitarist in the front cracks me up. But they're all hilarious! haha. Enjoy!
In Christ,

Sunday, July 24, 2011

A study on the book of James - part 1

Dear readers,

I don't know about you, but I'm excited about this! Just as a note, I will be changing some of what I originally wrote in my notebook for different reasons; the main reason being that I now understand it better and can further expand on it.

Let's begin, shall we?


James 1:1
James, a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ, to the twelve tribes which are scattered abroad, greeting.


The first thing that stands out to me is that James is bold in his faith, for he proclaims it. He doesn't hide that he is a believer. He doesn't even just hint at it - he proclaims it. He humbly proclaims himself a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ. Proclaiming such a thing in his day, where he was, was probably a dangerous thing. Many were out to kill the Christians - Jews and Romans (for different reasons). Therefore, by proclaiming such a thing, and knowing that if someone who hated Christians got a hold of it and somehow found him he might very well be killed, we can see that James loved Christ more than life. We can see that he wasn't ashamed of his Lord. This reminds me of Romans 1:16, in which Paul writes that he is not ashamed of the Gospel, for it is power of God for the salvation of all who believe. Paul wasn't ashamed. And neither was James.

His mission, as the servant of God was to preach. Specifically, it sounds like James' sole job was to teach and encourage "the twelve tribes which are scattered abroad". These are the twelve tribes of Israel - but more specifically, they are the true Jewish believers. But, why were they scattered? Those Jews who had become Christians were probably resented by their own people who were against Jesus. Not only were they resented, but probably persecuted and killed for their new found faith. Therefore, to remain alive, they had to scatter. They had to hide.

In those days, when the believers received letters from the apostles, they were passed from family to family and group of believers to group of believers so that all could be edified and encouraged. They couldn't simply have one person read it out-loud to everyone all at once - it was too dangerous a time to do that.

So ends James' introduction to his letter to the Jewish believers who were scattered abroad.

Don't be ashamed of your Lord - have courage, have faith, love HIM more.

In Christ alone,

Friday, July 22, 2011

3D printing?!

I didn't believe it at first. Thought it was a joke. But it's not! And pretty darn amazing! Watch this video to see what I mean:

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Starting over the study of James

Dear readers,
Well over a year ago, I began a study of James. And that's all I did - begin it. As you can see, only one post made it on my blog, and I only got through the first four verses. But this time it will be different. For a few months I've been personally going through James verse by verse and have been writing down my thoughts in a little notebook, now I will post what I have been writing.

I pray that this new study would encourage and challenge you. James is a magnificent book - actually it's a letter, but we'll get to that later. In the meantime, I encourage you to start reading through James on your own. Jot down things that stand out to you. Look at cross references. Study it. These don't just have to be blog posts if you don't want them to be, you can turn it into a study time.

I encourage you to join me on this study! I think it will be good. :)
In Christ alone,

Monday, July 18, 2011

This is the good life!

Just recently, I found that I am a huge Audio Adrenaline fan. I never really listened to them before, even though we have had two of their CD's for as long as I can remember, but for the last few days, I have listened to their CD, "Underdog", many times through, especially the first four-six songs.

Before I say anything else, I'll just state that they have AWESOME lyrics! Love it! And since I listen to the lyrics and not so much the music...well, lyrics make the song for me!

Track four on Underdog is a song called Good Life, and one line hooked my attention more than any other line...

...and the people that I've loved the most, just turned their backs and ran...


Every time I hear that line I get shivers up my spine. Anyone that has ever loved anyone knows that this would hurt SO bad! I know that would be insanely difficult for me. Just having friends move away hurts SO bad, but having the people that I love the most - my family and friends -just turn their backs and run...phew. I don't even want to think about it. Let's see what the rest of the song says...

...this is the good life! I've lost everything I could ever want and ever dream of....

Uh, wow. At first this sounds kinda oxymoron. You know? I can just picture someone standing out in the rain, owning just the clothes on their back, all alone, and singing loudly with their arms outstretched: "This is the good life!" But let's go on...

...this is the good life! I found everything I could ever need here in Your Arms...

Ah! Yes! Maybe you've lost everything you ever wanted and ever dreamed of, but friend, you can find everything that you ever need in the arms of Christ!


I've watched my dreams all fade away
And blister in the sun
Everything I've ever had is unraveled and undone
I've set upon a worthless stack
Of my ambitious plans
And the people that I've loved the most
Have turned their backs and ran

This is the good life
I've lost everything
I could ever want
And ever dream of
This is the good life
I found everything
I could ever need
Here in Your arms

Loneliness has left me searching
For someone to love
Poverty has changed my view
Of what true riches are
Sorrow's opened up my eyes
To see what real joy is
Pain has been the catalyst
To my heart's happiness

This is the good life
I've lost everything
I could ever want
And ever dream of
This is the good life
I found everything
I could ever need
Here in Your arms

What good would it be
If you had everything
But you wouldn't have
The only thing you need

This is the good life
I've lost everything
I could ever want
And ever dream of
This is the good life
I found everything
I could ever need
Here in Your arms

In Christ alone,

Sunday, July 17, 2011


Hey Y'all!

Yeah, I'm bad, I'm just now posting the fireworks photos I took on the fourth of July. Hey, give me a break, we had VBS this week. Anyways, here are some of my faves. Some are pretty wild looking! I LOVE 'em!

Ok, yeah, that was more than a few, but they were all so different and beautifully unique! Hope you enjoyed looking at them!

In Christ alone,

Saturday, July 16, 2011

VBS - Voyage (day) Five

Well, that's it. VBS is over until next year. So sadful...

But, I know I had a fantastic time, and I'm sure that everyone else did too. My prayer is that the Christian kids, parents, and workers walked away from this week being closer to God, having learned more about Him; and that those that are not believers may question salvation and come to saving faith in Jesus Christ. Please be praying with me for these people.

Last night went absolutely fantastically! So many strange and funny things happened last night I'm not even sure I can remember them all.

While out with the 5-6 graders, we played touch ball, or something like that, basically ultimate football just with a round ball about the size of a volleyball or basketball. That was fun, but the really fun part was when we just gave the kids water balloons and let them have at it! A few minutes into it, after most everyone was wet, some of the kids thought it would be fun to gang up on me and soak me all at once. I wasn't planning on getting wet...but it sure felt good!!! I was so wet that I wasn't even completely dry three hours later when I got home. But it felt awesome! It wasn't as hot yesterday as it was Thursday, but pretty close.

When the 5-kind class came out, we let them run like mad for a little while then organized a game of switch bases. I still can't figure out what the difference is between switch bases and sharks and minnows. I think they're the same thing. That class and the 1-2 grade class are the hardest to control. They're all crazy maniacs after they've been sitting still for a while, but then you add water balloons to that...phew. YIKES.

Unfortunately, we had one accident. My friend...let's just call him hit in the face with the football. Really hard too. Knocked his glasses off his face and left a huge red mark on his cheek. On the way home his one of the nose pieces of his glasses fell off. He's going to have to get completely new glasses today, I think. But, he was alright after a minute. Getting hit in the face with a football can't be fun.

Mom let Poppy and I ride home with Bob (that sounds really strange lol) because she had to take the little ones home to go to bed and we wanted to stay to help clean up. So, we cleaned up the church, probably close to record time too! And then we drove home. Thankfully, Bob felt like chatting the whole way so we had a ton of fun on the way back too just talking about random things.

But, now it's over.

We have our VBS review meeting after the church service tomorrow, but besides that we've gotta wait until next year. If I have the option, I think that next year I'd like to do the same thing I did this year - memory verse coordinator and game worker. For I really loved doing both of those jobs this year!

Thank you guys for your prayers! They were so very appreciated!

Please pray for Chelsea as she is going to be helping in her church's VBS soon!!!

And lastly, "Keep your eyes on the lighthouse, it will always guide you in!"

In Christ alone,

Friday, July 15, 2011

VBS - Voyage (day) Four

Hey Y'all!

Oh man, I'm just now getting my act together at...almost noon. haha.

Ok, well, last night went amazingly! It was SOOOO hot outside, and we had gnats like you would not believe, but God is good and we didn't have anyone get hurt or get too hot!!

Our poor skit team forgot their lines - like, all of them - but they pulled it back together and the show went on! If I wasn't around them a ton and didn't know how they usually acted, I probably wouldn't have really noticed - these guys on the skit team are doing a great job!

Oh gosh, we had a scare last night! While outside with the youngest group (5-kind) I counted the kids a few times to see if we had all of them. We were supposed to have thirteen, and I counted to twelve probably a dozen times. Finally, I ran inside and asked their leader exactly how many of them they were - 13. I asked if any had come into the bathroom - no. Oh man. Not good! I ran back outside and had the other leaders count too. Soon, their leader lined them all up to go to snack time, and I didn't hear any more of it. Apparently they either had 13 and I had missed one every time I counted, or one of the kids had taken their name tag home the previous night; but all turned out good. Still scary though!!!

Well, that's all I've got for last night. Tonight is our last night of VBS...and I've got mixed feelings. I LOVE VBS, but I'm exhausted! haha. Oh well.

Please be praying for us (workers, kids, parents, and guests from another church) today as we wrap up our 2011 Vacation Bible School. Thanks so much for your prayers! They are appreciated!

In Christ alone,

Thursday, July 14, 2011

VBS - Voyage (day) Three

Howdy y'all!

Wow! I slept in until 9:30! I NEVER do that! Guess that tells you how exhausted I was. But compared to the leaders of the 5-kind class and the leaders of the 1-2 grade class, I was full of energy!

Last night went great!!! The skit was SO funny! And they got their point across with flying colors - we can't save ourselves, only through Jesus Christ can we be saved. Four of my best friends are in the skit, and man, they are doing a FANTASTIC job!!!

Outside, we did water balloons during game time! Oh, it felt SO good!!! We played a the game where you have two rows of kids facing each other about four feet apart, and they have to toss the water balloon to their partner without breaking it, take a step back, and do it again. The last team to still be going wins the game. Because we had an uneven number of kids, I (in all my wisdom) offered to be the last kid's partner. Let's just say, I was the one to get soaked from the knees down. The bottom few inches of my shorts, and my shoes and socks were soaked, but man did it feel great in that hot weather! My partner and I, I must say, did pretty good; I think we got probably 20 feet apart, still throwing a 5in diameter water balloon!

Again, your prayers are so very appreciated as we try to teach these kids this week and as we shine as lights for our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Thanks, y'all!

In Christ alone,

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Vacation Bible School!

Hey guys!

I am SO excited! This week is my church's Vacation Bible School! I LOVE VBS!!!

I originally wanted to post every day about VBS like I did last year, but I have failed so, I guess I'll just catch up in one post. :)

For VBS this year, we are doing a sailor theme. It's called Summer Seaquest, and it's from VBS Reachout Adventures. This being at least our fifth year of using this company, most of the workers know the basic setup, and this makes it SO much easier!

This year, I am the "Lighthouse Drill Commander", in other words, Memory Verse coordinator. At the end of every night, I quiz the kids in their age groups on that night's memory verse(s). Also, since that only takes up 5-10 minutes at the end, I am helping out of doors doing the games. And guys, it's hot! But praise God, both nights so far there has been a breeze, and it hasn't been quite as hot as we anticipated, and most important of all, we haven't had any heat injuries! Workers or kids! Water, water, water, and God's grace!

Oh! Also, we've got these awesome hats this year! They're little, white sailor caps, and I love them. :P All the workers (minus those adults that don't like them...) have hats, and all the kiddos will get hats on Friday right before we do our Super Summer Seaquest Sundae!

Ok, well, let's get on with this...


On Saturday morning, some people from our church got together and put door hangers promoting our VBS on the doors of the houses and duplexes surrounding our church. Our church building it situated right in the middle of a large housing area, so from the church we can literally walk across the street and put up a door hanger. So, I'm not sure exactly how many door hangers we put up, but I'm nearly certain that it was around a thousand.

We were blessed on Saturday morning with high spirits and great weather, so even though we had less people than usual, we got out probably the same number of door hangers! It was awesome!


On Sunday we had our All Workers Meeting, that's when we went over all the main and last minute stuff that every VBS worker needed to know. It went on great.


VBS started Monday night! Because our church is so small, to have enough workers to put it on, we have to wait until most of them get off of work, so our VBS is from 6:30-9:00. That means, that all of us workers have to be there from 6:00-9:30, so it's a long night! But SO worth it!

Monday night is usually the day with the most issues that must be resolved. But surprisingly, this Monday night went on very smoothly! We were all very, very thankful! Also on Monday night, because it is the first night, we have to register all the kids that do not normally come to our church. The kids that normally come to our church registered on Sunday after the service. But all in all, Monday night was awesome!


The second night of VBS went even more smoothly, praise God! We had two more kids than the night before, so that was a blessing! Lord willing, they will, and maybe more, all come tonight!


All of the workers did their jobs with flying colors! The group leaders and assistant group leaders (Captains and 1st Mates) did great with their kids. Although the leaders of the 5-kindergarten group are utterly exhausted by the end of night (four of them for 15 little kids that all have WAY too much energy!). The sound booth people did great with the sound (obviously lol) and the slides. The music group, especially since we have live music this year, did fantastic! I love the live music idea over just the VBS CD! The people in the kitchen making dinner for the workers and snack (later in the evening) for the kids are also doing an amazing job. The game workers are doing awesome. Our director is also doing great! I think that's everyone...but if not, EVERYONE has been doing an awesome job so far! All the workers are so committed to this!

Well, I have to leave in a hour for VBS tonight. Please be praying for all the workers, the kiddos that will be coming tonight, and the parents that are dropping their kids off. Thanks, y'all!

In Christ alone,