Archive for Trust

Sister, and Map of Your Life

My sister can be really cruel. She will yell at me when I haven’t really done anything. She will ignore me just like I am not there. I remember that all the time, we used to argue about something. I would calmly try to explain what was wrong in the situation, and she would just go “LA, LA, LA, LA, LA!!!” over me, trying to ignore what I said. She would just argue, claiming she was right without explaining herself.

She would always expect me to listen to her, but would not have the decency to listen to me when I responded. For months, this would be how we lived, me trying to be nice and her being too obnoxious to care. Not trying to say I am perfect, but she definately starts most of the drama in the house. She has always been very loud and abrasive.

I have to wonder if Jesus feels this way. He tries so hard to be nice to us, and then we don’t listen when he tells us to do stuff. When we aren’t obedient, we are being like my sister: stubborn and unreasonable. He knows what is best for us, so we should listen to him. Instead, we shut him out and do what is “right in our own eyes,” which may not be right in his eyes.

He’ll try to explain how important it is that we do waht he says, and basically, we go “LA, LA, LA, LA, LA!!!”

The way I see life is this:

He designed people so that we only see the road right a head of us and the road right behind us. So when we think, we think about only the immdediate future, focus on tomorrow, only on the very next step we take. God is all knowing and all seeing, so he sees the map of the world.

He knows all the roads we need to take and all the ones that lead to disaster. All the ones that lead us to where we need to go and all the ones that lead us to nowhere.

For example, if he tells us to get off one road w’ere on, which just means he tells us to stop whatever we are doing at that point in life and focus on something else, if he tells us to get off that road, it’s because he knows that if we continue to take that road, it will lead us to disaster or lead us nowhere, so we get lost.

He may say go on a different road, but we can’t see the future like he sees it. The road he tells us to travel on will lead us to have success and much joy in this life.

This is why it’s so crucial to trust in Christ to lead you wherever he needs you to go. It’s important to be disciplined and understand that he is greater than us, so that we become less to ourselves. We only see a couple feet infront of us. So he needs to become greater and we need to become less.

We need to have faith in him and start to see the greatness and awesomeness of his power. His plans won’t always make sense at first, and that’s okay, because we should have faith that through listening and being obededient to him, he will lead us to live the most fulfilling and blessed lives- rich in love and joy and spiritual peace in our hearts. Who doesn’t want that?

I close my eyes to the ignorance of this world and trust in him. I put him first, trusting him before I trust all men. Men only see what is right infront of them and right behind them, and they get confused.

I try so hard in my heart to not treat him like my sister treats me, with disrespect or rudeness. Want to avoid being this way to him, avoid being nasty and cold? Be obedient. Listen to him when he tells you to do something. Remember he has the map of the world, of our lives, while we only see a mere road. Replace the selfishness to please yourself with respect for him. Respect that he will certainly always lead you where you need to go.

I once heard:

”A leader takes people where they want to go. A great leader takes people where they don’t necessarily want to go, but ought to be.”
– Rosalynn Carter

By putting up with my sister, I showed that I loved her, even when she was being stubborn. Jesus puts up with us when we are stubborn and want to follow misleading roads. Change your heart and follow the roads he says to follow. In your life, do what you tell him and you will gain most joy in life.

*Poetry Corner- I Won’t Apologize

When people say I’m a weirdo for believing in Jesus, I look at them like they are stupid. I feel like this: Why on earth will I give up on a love that has made me feel completely whole? If I listen to their ridiculous opinions, I will loose the greatest love I’ve ever known, the most freedom in joy I have ever felt, and this is what I have to say about that:

I Won’t Apologize

I don’t care who laughs at me for loving Jesus
Who mocks me for believing in “fairy tales”
But I won’t apologize for committing my life
To something that rescued me from the hell
I once lived in every day, on my own
Standing on the edge of everything I’ve known
About to fall over into the sketchy blackness
Through the power of his love
I could feel him pull me back

I won’t EVER apologize
For allowing my heart to heal,
For the very first time in my life
I won’t apologize
For going from a passive life
To an active one
Where I can achieve my dreams
By any means

Why the hell should I be sorry
For being happy, being complete
Learning what it’s like to be a whole person
For the very first time
In an ocean of worry,
I use to sink to the bottom to drown
But by trusting Christ
Look at the love I’ve found
Condemned to be free
Learning to breathe
Learning to breathe

White-hot passion fills my bones
Commitment to the realest love I’ve ever known
Walking in his footsteps
I won’t dare to fall back
Into a world that gave up on me
I will follow in his footsteps
And try to reach
The broken heart
The hurting child, the outcast,
The left-out
The down-trodden, the left-behind,
The forgotten about
I will reach the hearts that
Never before
Have been reached, all this time
I’ll show them that he loves their abandoned hearts
I know this his true,
Because he has loved mine

—————

So when people say you are a freak for loving Christ, let them call you a freak. Is it so freaky to want to feel fulfilled in your life, to feel loved by someone who is looking out for you? So freaking to grow past the fears and worries and anxieties of the world, because you have peace in Christ? Is it so weird to feel more incredible than you ever have before? If people say it is, refuse to apologize!! 🙂 Don’t give them what they want. Love you all~

-Jennifer Clayton

What Drives Your Life?

I reflect on a quote from Daily Inspiration for the Purpose Driven Life.

“Well-formed love banishes fear. Since fear is crippling, a fearful life—fear of death, fear of judgment—is one not yet fully formed in love.” 1 John 4:18 The Message

This is superb!! Fear is so crippling, and don’t pretend or shy away from that—people fear things every day! Judgment is a huge thing people constantly fear! In the backwards society where people follow the crowd, judgment is a huge thing people fear. People are like this all over the place! Take time to reflect all day on the things that cause you that crippling fear. Even pray that God would lead you and make very clear to you those things. As you come to take notice of them, see how God is missing in that area of your life.

You can’t be fearless, confident, and truly wise, and if you don’t trust God in those areas of which you have fear. Only God can fulfill you and take away such unnecessary fears and every day worries if you trust him.

Before I got saved, I noticed this fear all throughout my life. Fear of people and what they thought of me, thinking I had to put on this fake attitude that truly wasn’t like me. Now I am much less afraid of going after my big dreams because the fears of the world do not control me. I get over fear of judgment easily by realizing that it does not matter how the world judges me; by listening to them and their crappy opinions, I will not be fulfilled and truly succeed in life.

Only when I realized that God is always looking out for my best interest and that he never judges me in unfair ways, only then did I realize that it’s okay to not live like the world does. He is trying to lead me to the most fulfilled, happiest life. Before I met Christ, I listened to people all my life, and they could never lead me to be fulfilled. Now, I am very bold in Christ because he is very bold for me, giving his life so that I may live in true freedom.

You really have to realize that the more you trust in Christ in all areas of your life, the more you feel his love. The more you feel his love and how comforting and strong it is, the less you fear things as the world does. Truly, you need to only fear one thing, and that is the Lord, and through fearing him, he banishes all other fears.

Someone can achieve worldly ‘success’ for a few days, weeks, short years… But you can never reach you full potential without trusting God, letting him take away the unnecessary fears, so you live life more boldly and in a way that’s perfect for you. This is so critical to take into consideration, into your own heart.

Philippians 2:12-18, Shining as Stars

“Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed—not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence—continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose.
Do everything without complaining or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure, children of God without fault in a crooked and depraved generation, in which you shine like stars in the universe as you hold out the word of life—in order that I may boast on the day of Christ that I did not run or labor for nothing. But even if I am being poured out like a drink offering on the sacrifice and service coming from your faith, I am glad and rejoice with all of you. So you too should be glad and rejoice with me.” -Philippians 2:12-18, NIV

Paul and Timothy are writing to the saints in Jesus Christ at Philippi, and they are trying to encourage everyone to remain faithful to the Lord.

In this passage, they are talking about how the people are obeying the Lord Jesus and how they should continue to do so, even in the absence of Paul. They should be very careful and do what is right, to avoid sin, so they can receive salvation from Christ. They should fear and submit to him. It is God’s will for these people to listen to him and carry out his good plans for them.

They should not complain or fight so that they won’t sin and will be pure. They will be God’s own children who live holy lives as opposed to those who live lives of sin and greed, jealous, immorality. They shine like the brightest stars in the universe compared to those people, as they uphold Christ’s word and live it out. This will make Paul and Timothy very happy because all their work they did with these people to spread the name of Christ will not have been in vain. They (Paul and Timothy) are very happy with them, so they should be happy
with them and rejoice together.

This is one of my favorite verses because as children of God, we are called to live lives like these; be the brightest stars in the universe as a contrast to how all other people in this world are. I love the huge contrast there is from God’s people and worldly peple.

People of the world: their hearts are not chagned and they worry and obsess over the temporary things of this world. Our hearts are changed by the grace and mercy of Christ, and our lives reflect it. The huge gap between the two types of people truly reflect how powerful the message of the Gospel is, and how, for the people it does change, it truly does rock their worlds, wash their hearts clean, and truly gives them a new and free life with God. Nothing better than that!

We uphold God’s rules for us because his rules are created so they protect us from sin and give us freedom to live the best and most fulfilling lives. His rules are created for our ultimate success, so we should be careful not to fall away from his powerful message and truth, and in doing this, our lives are richly blessed compared to the people of the world who can’t receive Christ’s blessings.

Click here to Accept Christ!

*Poetry Corner- Like a Hurricane

I am in love with who I am,
My attitude
Humble towards the Lord
He lifts me up
Lets me lead
Lets the humblest
Lead all others
I am a bird
I cannot fly higher in the sky
My life is meaningful
More than others know
I don’t need the things of this world
Money or cars, not fame for me
Unless of course it’s for Jesus’s name
I don’t need casual sex
Or partying or cheap thrills
Drugs, alcohol, gossip, lies, deceit
I am pure in my heart
Jesus has wiped my life clean
Forgiven me for the filthy things I’ve done
Erased the filthy ways I feel
A heart so broken, never thought it could heal
Jesus, his love, lifted my chin up,
Still lifts my chin up
Makes life worth living
And I throw the things of the world away
Stand proud in him,
Stand up for his name,
Which is his heart
I will not throw myself away
In this life
He says I’m beautiful, knows I’m beautiful
And truly, I’m happiest standing in his love
I’m freest when I’m not held down by the
Things of this world

Fleeting feelings of fun come and go
Like a hurricane
Without warning they’re there and then they’re gone
Wrecking everying in their path
Leaving nothing but broken homes, broken hearts,
Broken dreams, broken lives
But Jesus is my indestructable shelter
Keeping hurricanes away
Outside my window, I look and cry
As I see people totally destroyed with nowhere
To go
And I walk outside,
Every brave step I make,
It’s Jesus taking it for me
I do not fear being torn down by hurricanes
For I am truly indestructable

Even if my body is destroyed by the storm
Nothing can change me in my heart
Take me away from my king
I do not bow down to the things of this world
But to the only one who can save me from the storm
King Jesus
I wear his name bravely on my sleeve,
Tattooed on my heart permanently

And I go and grab the hands of all
The broken people sitting where the
Hurricanes hit
I lift them up, tell them about the
Refuge, the safety in Jesus,
That’s only found in Jesus,
And not in the things of this world
Take them to my indestructable shelter
Where they can be safe
In their hearts
And they go there
Not believing until they sit inside
And see none of the hurricanes can
Harm them anymore,
Can touch them, ruin them anymore
And there is a change in their hearts
From disbelief to belief in the truth that
Jesus saves all who trust in him
Because he loves everyone
No matter who they are, where they come from,
What kind of life they’ve left behind
They are safe in the shelter
Because he’s strong enough to protect them,
Shield them from the things of this life
That kill
Sin and the worldy things
That look fun but decieve you
And destroy everything you have

Yes, this change from disbelief to belief
Is a change in their hearts
And those hearts change from weak
And sinful
To pure and truly indestructable
And even with shelter in Jesus,
They are not afraid of hurricanes
And they leave this comfortable place
Even if their bodies are destroyed by the storm
Nothing can change them in their hearts

And now they can go out, reach
For someone’s hand to help them up
And lead them to the shelter, the safety in Jesus

Telling them
Fleeting feelings of fun come and go
Like a hurricane
Without warning they’re there and then they’re gone
Wrecking everying in their path
Leaving nothing but broken homes, broken hearts,
Broken dreams, broken lives
But Jesus is my indestructable shelter
Keeping hurricanes away
They’re telling these people
That Jesus loves them and begs them to come home

-Jennifer Clayton 🙂

Click here to Accept Christ!

From Broken to Whole, Again

Before I met Christ, I would vent all my problems, pain, trash in my life through poetry. Any poison killing me, I would try to suck out the pain through poetry. It was always my ‘cure’ to my problems. I truly tried to use it as something to try to pull my life together, make my heart feel whole. It was so beautiful, but so sad. It almost never worked in healing me.

I would write but more pain would just build up. I had no way out. The more I wrote to try to hold my heart together, the more my heart shattered into thousands of pieces. I had tons of dreams in life, but if I could never make my heart feel whole, I would never have the strength to go out and achieve them. So one day I completely cracked. All of the heart breaking one day just caused my who heart to be ruined; there was nothing left to break.

I felt like I was going insane and like I was about to die. My heart was gone. The weight of responsibilites adn people and the world just killed it completely. I felt like I lost hope in life, lost meaning; in a sense, lost touch with reality.Felt like I was in a hole I could never get out of, like all there was to live in was eternal blackness.

But then my mom saw me struggling, and showed me this video about God.

And I broke down in my heart and told Jesus over and over again that I trusted him. I had no choice. And literally moments after that, I could feel a small change. The blood from my heart that splattered all over my winow of life, causing me to not see through it and to hurt- Jesus wiped away the blood and started bandaging my heart.

He took away the utter dependency of writing poetry; he let me rest in his heart and his strength and his mercy so I depended on him. He corrected the damage done in 3 years in a matter of a few months. And I’ve never been more free.

Now I can focus on my dreams, and I actually achieve them. For example, this year, I had 9 New Years Resolutions. I made them right at the beginning of 2010. Now bear in mind, the vast majority of people don’t achieve many, or any of their New Years Resolutions at all. But because my obsessive writing habit was not taking over my life and my heart was finally not in a million pieces, I had the strength to make my New Years Resolutions come true, which means everything to me.

The 9 were:

1. Get a job and keep it for at least 3 months.
2. Learn to play and sing 10 songs on the piano
3. Learn to play and sing 10 songs the guitar
4. Finish the bible
5. Draw 15 pictures
6. Get a boyfriend
7. Heal emotionally
8. Write and be able to play and sing 1 song by me
9. Keep my ‘Atypical Jesus’ blog up and running

And it is october. Want to know what I have accomplished?

1. Got a job at Chick-fil-A, been there 8 months, never plan on quitting. Love the people there, love the atmosphere, and love the food. I am confident there and incredibly happy. Now I tithe regularly.

2. I’ve learned to play 10 songs on the piano, and I can sing the songs and play them fairly well. I learned:
1. Another Town by Regina Spektor
2. Baobabs by Regina Spektor
3. Mary Anne by Regina Spektor
4. My Immortal by Evanescence
5. Glitter in the Air by Pink
6. Reaching Towards the Sky by Me
7. The Candle’s Flame by Me
8. Dare Myself to Dream by Me, for my friend Taylor Hurray
9. Across the Universe by the Beatles
10. Act Naturally by the Beatles
Only one of those songs is not completely done, but the others are. =)

3. I did the songs on piano in the first part of the year, and I stared the ones on the guitar about half way through the year. I’m learning 5 on accoustic and 5 on electric. I got my electric guitar by working at Chick-fil-A; in fact, that’s the biggest reason I got the job. Accoustic:
1. Hey There Delilah by the Plain White T’s
2. I’ll Follow You into the Dark by Death Cab for Cutie
3. Let That be Enough by Switchfoot
4. Mile After Mile by Me
5. A song about God I’m working on, Lol
Electric:
6. Scars by Me
7. Somebody, Someone by Korn
And I plan on learning 3 more Korn songs on guitar. I’m getting so close to getting done. Guitar is much harder than piano in a lot of ways for me, but I’m pushing through the struggle.

4. I just recently finished the bible. Read it book by book. It took awhile, but I finally got done, from cover to cover.

5. I have completed 13 pictures:
1. Naruto: Sakura, Sasuke for a friend
2. Hayley from Paramore
3. Picture for My dad
4. Regina Spektor
5. Fefe Dobson
6. Jesus!! Yeah!
7. My Mom’s book Cover, ‘Joy and Paine’
8. Fantasy Girl
9. Welcome to the Yard of Graves
10. My Mom and Stepdad Wedding Day
11. Tamogatchi Animation- still working on
12. Self-portrait
13. Sad Girl- not on internet yet
14. Jesus Crucifixion- still working on it

I am in the process of drawing Jesus dying on the cross, bleeding out. It’s incredibly painful, incredibly beautiful. I find myself having to stop while drawing because it hurst so much. But I have to finish it and have one more picture after that, and I’m done with this resolution! These pictures usually take anywhere from 5 to 15 hours to draw.

6. I was working on getting a boyfriend, meeting guys and hanging out and getting numbers and stuff (LOL! =P), but Christ told me to let go of that resolution. He encouraged me to get a purity ring, which, I did and I’m still wearing. He pushes me away from a bunch of flirting. I know he has the perfect guy planned for me. So I gave up the boyfriend dream and just trust in him. He takes away the loneliness, even without a bf. So basically, I just kind of changed that resolution to being more socially active. And I have, keeping up with twitter, facebook, this blog, hangin out, going places, etc. I made this resolution because I’m very inclined to solitude, for some reason. So I’m breaking out of my shell.

7. I heal emotionally because Christ is actually healing my heart and I constantly feel him loving me and taking away the pain. Exercise and doing things I love, hanging out with friends, acheiving goals has helped me heal. I’ve already gotten over the man who broke my heart, which is a huge step for me! =) I’ve done Tai Chi to heal myself, also.

8. I wrote one song for my friend Taylor Hurray, who has a recording contract with Sony. Besides that song, I’ve written for songs for Jesus, because I’ve always wanted to write worship songs.

9. This resolution is basically achieved because I’ve kept this blog up and very active. I’ve started posting every other day and I’ve gotten 1,400 views.

So I’m either done or very close to achieving everything. The point of writng all my success after I got over failure is to say I did it with the power of Christ in my life.

Bare in mind that I’m not saying that the moment you believe in Christ, all your dreams comes true. In fact, right after my heart was healed when he saved me, it got broken a million times before all this happened. I fell into a little depression, cried a lot, go my heart broken, even was a little bit abused. The point is, the opportunity for success incread waaaay more after accepting Christ.

So before I was saved, I was not strong enough in my own heart to achieve my dreams. After I accepted him, it gave me strength and more passion to achieve my dreams. With Christ, you suffer and fight hard, but at the same time, by persevering in these hard times, he will bless you richly. It’s not always the same way I have been blessed. But you are guaranteed to get blessed. I had faith in him and worked very hard and diligently to achieve these goals. He made achieving them twice as easy.

So with Christ, truly anything is possible. Have faith and trust him no matter what!! 🙂 Love you all,

Jennifer Clayton xox

Click here to Accept Christ!

Reflecting on the Best Year of My Life

This is by far the best year of my life. I got saved in 2007, got my heart healed and radically changed and shaped by Jesus and the Gospel. Since then, there has been some major pitfalls and some failures, but there have been some good times. However, this year, I had New Year’s resolutions planned and broke down each goal into smaller goals, and each small goal I reached, I would reward myself for. So achieving the smaller goals helped me achieve the bigger ones.

I got much more involved with the guitar and the keyboard, much more involved with reading the bible; I finally am at the perfect school that I love, have the perfect job, and finally found the perfect church for me. I have broken out of my solitary shell and become much more socially active than ever before; I’ve got a blog, for crying out loud! And I actually use it, lol.

Jesus has been very good to me. I remember my heart was broke right before this year started, and even early in this year; relationship problems, family annoyances, all the like. But I have prayed to him and trusted in him. For awhile, I felt alone- for several months- but after that, he kept seeing my heart getting more and more broken and he decided to rescue me from that. Now, how often do you find yourself in the perfect circumstances, like the ones I am now? Perfect job? Perfect life? Not easily. I’ve felt closer to him this year than I ever felt before.

It just goes to show that trusting in him works. Even when things seem bad, never stop trusting him. Because you never know when he can turn your world upside down. I have achieved more dreams this year than I have ever achieved in my life, been happier than I have ever been in my life, been the least stressed and felt the most free. Every year is always hard to tolerate with a lot of stress on the side, but this year is amazing and and totally stress free. I’m in college and making good grades and it’s easier than it ever was in highschool. I am so blessed, I can’t believe it!

Just at the beginning of this year and before it, I felt completely worthless. Some guy totally made me feel like I deserved to die; that I didn’t belong to anyone. And I felt horrible. But Jesus saw that. For awhile, he didn’t seem like he was around, but he was always watching my heart in the end. It reminds me of when Jesus was on the cross. At one point he said,

“My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” Matthew 27:46

On JesusChristSavior.net, it says:

“One is struck by the anguished tone of this expression compared to the first three words of Jesus. This cry is from the painful heart of the human Jesus who must feel deserted by His Father and the Holy Spirit, not to mention his earthly companions the Apostles. As if to emphasize his loneliness, Mark even has his loved ones “looking from afar,” not close to him as in the Gospel of John. Jesus feels separated from his Father. He is now all alone, and he must face death by himself.”

He feels like his father is not with him, but so soon after he says this, he is in heaven in paradise with his father and with people he loves. That’s what my suffering reminds me of. My heart is all torn to pieces and I felt seperated from Jesus for awhile. I really hated it and dreaded every day of living. But so soon after that, I find myself in paradise, with the heart of Jesus. He is spending time with me. It lets me see that I should have hope in suffering, because it comes to an end and a reward always follows.

Christ is so powerful, I can’t thank him enough for giving me freedom after all my pain, again and again. Can’t thank him enough for shaping my heart. This is why it pays to have faith, folks. 😉 Love ya!!

*Poery Corner- Weight of the World, and Trusting Jesus

Wrote a poem called “Weight of the World”:

Blackest hearts,
Deepest, darkest secrets
Crazy things to hide
But the secret- can you keep it?
Admit only to yourself
That you are crazy as hell
But tell the world
Your fine, doing just well

There is something insane in your world
All alone, you spend your days
Doing your own thing
Don’t care about what noone says…
But when you feel lonely,
Don’t you wish you could open up
Have someone around you
When you’ve really had enough

Someone to take the weight off your shoulders
Share the hell you’ve been through
Someone who won’t act like you’re a freak,
Not out to judge you and condemn you

How many skeletons are in your closet?
A thousand and ten?
Blackest hearts,
Revealing the deepest of sins
It’s okay..
Jesus loves with his eyes closed
Choosing to ignore the bad things you’ve done
Telling you stuff that you don’t know
Like “you are worth much more
Than you think
I love you more than you could
Ever believe”
He’s not there to criticize you when you’re wrong
When you feel bad
He’s there to catch your tears and wipe your eyes
Weary and sad
Never leave you
Never feel alone again
He sees
The hell-hole world you’ve caught yourself in

And he forgives every secret sin
He’ll make the skeletons goes away
Trust in him
Make the demons stop calling your name
He accepts when people reject
Your painful truth
He’s the first to notice how much your hurting
And the last to turn away from you

In the blackest place in the world,
Where you never could survive
When you close your eyes
And just keep hoping to die
He meets you
Right there where you are
Just wants to get close to you
To heal your heart

And on the edge of the world,
Overseeing the blackest of days
And the deadliest of nights
Where stars in the sky are set ablaze
He holds my hand
And lets me feel peace
I have never known before
I feel at ease

In an ever dangerous world
When a wingless angel learns to fly
I know he’s safety;
Enough strength to help me get by

—————————————-

This poem is about how I felt at church today. I felt like Christ will accept anyone; no matter where they’ve come from, what they’ve done in their past, how many things have gone wrong. He will accept them even if they are strange to everyone else. He accepts all kinds of people from different races, nations, backgrounds. It’s because he loves us all as his own children, unconditionally. If we would just learn to trust in him, he will heal our wounds and fix our broken hearts.

There is no such thing as having too much baggage or doing too many bad things to be loved by Jesus. That’s simply impossible. He died for us to save us all because he loved us all so, so much. He wants to spend time with us, listen to us, lead us, comfort us, teach us, change us, grow us. He wants us to live positive and very fulfilling lives.

When I accepted Christ and I felt him working in my heart, this was the very first thing I felt; that he was effectively healing me in a way I could never heal myself before I knew him, and that he loved me and that he was comforting me and would protect me. That’s a good friend and a good father.

Reach out in your hearts. Take a step of faith. I guarantee you’ll be met with a hug; his embrace. He’s more concerned about how our hearts feel- whether or not they are hurting and desperately need his help- than what we look like on the oustide. He does not judge us as the world judges us; he does not view us as the world does. He pays attention to what’s in our heart- he’s really not concerned with how rich we are, how many cars we have, how much power we have. He wants to change our hearts. The world views us outwardly, he views us inwardly.

And he makes me feel beautiful to no end. I hate when people look at Christianity like it’s silly or corrupt. Some Christians can be corrupt- but those that will really show you what Jesus is like make all the difference. I guarantee you’ll find a friend and a helper in him. Just trust him, and you will not be let down. Really.

God bless you all. 🙂

Preparing for “Operation Christmas Child”

Last year, at Electric City Fellowship, I donated two shoe boxes to Operation Christmas Child. Operaction Christmas Child is where people get shoeboxes and fill them with gifts for needy children around the world. I spent about $40 dollars last year, and I went to Target. I only had enough money to buy two.

Well, this year, we are about to start up with OCC again at church, and now since I work at Chick-fil-A, I am planning on saving $100 to make at least 4 shoe boxes. I was gonna buy some clothes for myself, but of course, this is waaaaay more important! 😀

I was talking to a friend today, and she said that she went to the Dollar Store to get stuff to make her shoe boxes. Her and her mom made them a lot.I figured I could go there and get stuff a lot cheaper than it costs at Target, and maybe I can get 7 boxes instead of four! I want to reach as many children as possible to bless them with gifts to show that Jesus loves them, and tell them that he cares about them. This is so important to me. Makes me so glad I started working.

I’m going to stuff each box with necesseties like toothbrushes and soap or deorderant, and then I’ll add a few toys, and then I’ll write a unique letter to each one explaining how much Jesus loves these children. I’ll also put in a picture of Jesus hugging a bunch of children, so they truly feel special. I also want to pray about this, that he truly changes the lives of all these hurting children.

I wish I had a thousand dollars to spend. I love making these gifts. Even if I could only make one, I would be truly happy, because that means I am blessing the life of one child and changing their hearts for the better by telling them about Jesus. Nothing is better than that! To just help one child would truly fill my heart with so much joy.

Everyone should try these! I think I am going to make it my tradition to make these shoebox gifts. 🙂 I love children, and Jesus loves them much more than I do.

It’s by being selfless, spending money and time on others, that really shoes the true character of Jesus. By doing this, the children will feel loved and special and like they are important, even if they live in a rough place and don’t really have homes or the necesseties they need.

By sending these gifts, they learn to see how much Jesus cares for them. Because it’s not my own heart that is giving them these gifts, but rather Jesus’s heart in me. He is the one who actually sends them these gifts. When they realize this, the children will love him all the more.

Doing stuff like this is how you truly change the world for Jesus. Show people how much he cares for them, how he was willing to die for them because he loved us all so much. Be selfless, be courageous. Be willing to put aside a little time and money to advance the gospel. This is how you truly glorify God.

When I make the shoeboxes, I want to pray over each one of them before I send them off. Pray that Jesus truly reaches and touches and heals the hearts of these children. Pray that he gives them the courage to trust in him, despite all the problems and challenges they face. Pray that they may truly be healed by his presence. Pray that he gives them a better life and helps them get all the things that they need. I will pray that he has a close and very personal relationship with him, because they need this even more than they need things like deoderant.

This is because when they die, they will leave the things of this world behind, but their relationship with Christ after they die only continues to grow, and they get richly and eternally blessed in heaven. 🙂

Just to reach and change the heart of one child is my goal. This is what I live for- changing the world for Jesus. I want those children to be thanking Jesus in their hearts after they get their gifts, not thanking me. It’s not my love that heals, it truly is his. It’s truly his message, and I’m just a messanger, an advocate for his gospel of truth and peace. I pray that Jesus saves these children.

But everyone should make these boxes! You can help heal a hurting child. I have to put aside some of the things I want- buying food, clothes, music stuff- for the sake of helping a truly hearting child, helping them in the name of Jesus. How could anyone want anymore than that? I encourage to send at least one box through Operation Christmas Child- or anything like that. Anything that helps spread the message of Christ- anything you can donate to where people can learn about Jesus and get stuff. Just give and pray.

To learn how to donate to Operation Christmas Child, click here.

Focusing on Christ to put Your World Together

I go to Anderson University, and it’s a Christian based school. So every wednesday, we have to go to this thing called Chapel, and it’s basically a church service that lasts an hour. I looove AU. A million freakin’ times better than high school, everyone is so sweet and loving. But anyway, I was at Chapel one day, and there was a someone preaching, telling this story. The story seemed so random until I realized what it was about. I will tell it here, because it is so moving and beautiful. Here it goes:

“There was a family made up of a mommy, daddy, and a little boy. Now, the dad would go to work early in the morning and get home at 5 in the evening. But the little boy was always so excited to see his dad, he would ask his mom about when daddy comes home. At 10:00 in the morning, the boy went to his mom and said, “when is daddy coming home? I want to play with him so much! Is he almost home?” The mom replied
“Sorry, it will be awhile before he gets home. He’ll be here before you know it.” So the kid waits an hour and at 11:00, he asks, “when is daddy coming home? I really wanna see him so we can play now! When is he coming?” His mom replied
“He gets here at 5, he’s not here just yet, honey.” But the little boy was so excited, he couldn’t stand waiting, and so he goes to his mom every hour and asks, and she says the same thing.
So finally, 5:00 p.m. rolls around, and just a little after 5, the dad pulls up in his car. The boy is so excited, when his dad comes in, he asks, “daddy, can we play? I waited all day for you to come home so we could finally play! Now you’re home, what do you wanna play, daddy?” The dad really wanted to play with his son, but he was also tired from work, so he said, “Son, I had a rough day at work. So just give me 5 minutes to relax in this chair and read the newpaper. Then, we can play afterwards.” So the boy said,
“Okay, daddy. 5 minutes, then we can finally play.” So the boy goes away for 5 minutes and comes back. But the dad is so suprised 5 minutes is already up, so he says,
“just give me 5 more minutes then we can really play.” So the boy goes away and about 3 minutes later, he comes out and asks,
“Daddy, I’ve waited 5 minutes. I really, really, really wanna play. Can we play now?” But the dad is looking for just a little more time so he tears out a map of the world from the newspaper, and tears it into pieces. The dad gives it to his son and says,
“Put this map of the world together and when you get done, we can play.” But the dad knows his son doesn’t know where Venezuela or Asia or South America is, he knows he has no clue how to put it back together, but the father is so tired, he’s looking just to buy a little more time. A few minutes later, the boy comes to his dad and shows him the world. He says,
“Dad! I put the world together, just like you asked!” The dad is so suprised, he asks,
“How did you put this together? You don’t know where Venezuela or the Philippines or any of these places are. How did you figure this out?” He responds,
“Well, there was a picture of a man on the back, and once I put him together, the world came together.””

—————————–

And that’s the story. The moral is the same with Christ: we often say we’ll pay attention to God and do what he says when our worlds come together, but our worlds never come together- there are problems and circumstances in life that are always affected us. But if we focus on the man, Christ, he will help us put our worlds togehter. Then he will shape us, and that will change our worlds. However, it’s very ironic- when I focus on Christ, I often find my world is flipped upside down.

And this is what I learned at Chapel at AU. I know this story is true because my life was that way. My world was falling apart- my heart into pieces, my dreams never being achieved, and life was just so hard. It was hard to deal with my mom who always seemed distant and my family.I wrote poetry alllll the time to vent about how much pain I would feel. My biological dad was never around. I listened to a bunch of dark music because it so easily fit my mood. I depended solely on poetry to get my feelings out to make myself feel better, constantly thinking, “If I could just get it off my chest, I could finally heal and be renewed and get on with life.”

But I would write obsessively and got nowhere. In fact, when I was done writing, I felt worse than when I started.

I found that my feelings were all jumbled up and I had a million thoughts running around at once. I would try to focus on one, and I couldn’t get anything down. And other times, even though there were so many things to think about, I couldn’t think of anything at all. It was very frustrating. The more I tried to put the pieces of my heart back together, the more they dissipated and fell into thousands of pieces. At one point, I thought I was going insane and thought I would probably end up dead in a matter of months if I didn’t get this pain out of my heart, this insanity running around inside me.

I was trying to put my world together, but I couldn’t figure out where the pieces went, like in the story. But after I thought I had no other choice but to trust God, I just gave up and told him I trusted him, and I meant it in my heart. And almost instantaneously, I could feel him picking the pieces of my heart up and putting them back together. He corrected the damage I had done over a course of years in a matter of a few months. And I felt more free than I had literally ever felt in my life. So sweet. I had finally accepted Christ in my heart. So by putting my faith in Christ, my world came back together, not the other way around. It’s never the other way around- trying to put our world together without Christ only causes us to be miserable and constantly frustrated. Nobody wants to go through pain, I didn’t want to, so just trust him to lead you, and I swear he’ll take care of your world for you.

Now I don’t need to write poetry to feel better, even though I do it for fun, now. I just need to spend time with him, be close to him in my heartb and my pain disappears. He carries me on his wings- I never carry myself.

God bless you and good luck. I love you all to no end. 🙂

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