Matthew 6:30-33

“If God gives such attention to the appearance of wildflowers—most of which are never even seen—don’t you think he’ll attend to you, take pride in you, do his best for you? What I’m trying to do here is to get you to relax, to not be so preoccupied with getting, so you can respond to God’s giving. People who don’t know God and the way he works fuss over these things, but you know both God and how he works. Steep your life in God-reality, God-initiative, God-provisions. Don’t worry about missing out. You’ll find all your everyday human concerns will be met. (‭Matthew‬ ‭6‬:‭30-33‬ MSG)

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Livin’ In Prayer

Hey ya’ll, most of you know I recently went to Israel with Newspring ( my church), and I assure you there will be many Israel posts soon to come!

All too often I come across a situation, small or big, and I try to figure it out, fix it, change it or understand it on my own. And after trying to work it out and feeling very much unsettled, I then take it to God.

Well, I was reading Isaiah 37. Verses 14-20 talk about King Hezekiah and how he received a startling message and, right a way, took it to God. He poured out his heart to God. See verses 37:14-15

“Hezekiah received the letter from the messenger and read it. Then he went up to the temple and spread it out before the Lord. And Hezekiah prayed to the Lord.” Isaiah 37:14-15

This verse hit me like a rock. I realized that I need to take my problems straight to God. When I take my problems straight to Him, He settles me, gives me peace and, most of the time, an answer. However, when I try to do it on my own, I waste time and lose joy that I could have while resting in Jesus’ peace. I could be skipping the stress when I hand it straight to God.

I know it’s not me lacking trust in God, but it’s me trying to do things on my own (and boy do I mess up) and I’m not used to giving it to God first.

I’m not used to asking questions in school right away. Instead, I try really hard to figure it all out on my own and if I really can’t get it, then I ask my teacher. I’m very head strong. I like to do things on my own.

I forget how great and all-powerful God is and His mighty love. I forget how greatly He can transform a situation if I just ask and humbly bring it all to Him first!

  • What do you forget to bring to God?
  • Do you trust that God knows your situation and can completely transform it?
  • What are two practical ways that you can daily give your situations to God?

Give it a try….put your struggles in His hands and see what happens!

-Melissa McIntee

Words Don’t Define

You see it everyday. You walk in the school bathroom and immediately are faced with an array of words plastered all over the walls.

Gay. Ugly. Fat. Slut. Goody goody. Nerd. Faggot.

The list is endless. Some words carry more weight than others.  Some cut us deeply inside and others we brush past without the slightest thought. Words that hurt us might not hurt others and words that hurt others don’t hurt us.

But we are more than what’s on the bathroom walls.

I see words and they hurt me; they cut deep. I know what it’s like to be defined by words and other people’s standards. You feel caught; you feel trapped. It’s not fun; it’s not positive; it’s not uplifting.

But I am here telling you, don’t have to feel trapped or caught.

You are God’s Child“See what kind of love the Father has given us: We are called God’s children—and that is what we are!” 1 John 3:1

We are Gods children and, as He is our Heavenly Father, He accepts us for who we are and what we are. Nothing anyone does to us or anything we can do will change His opinion and acceptance of us.

You are Chosen. “For you are a chosen people. You are royal priests, a holy nation, God’s very own possession.” 1 Peter 2:9

We have been chosen with great love and care and any trial we go through, God sees and He is right there to help us. Every pain we experience God has a plan to use it for the greater good and bring more people to His kingdom! It does not go unnoticed.

You are Worthy. For the Lord your God is living among you. He is a mighty savior. He will take delight in you with gladness. With His love, He will calm all your fears. He will rejoice over you with joyful songs.” Zephaniah 3:17

We are so worthy and God doesn’t define us by the world but by His standards. We are deeply cared for and loved. God knows the things people label us as and He wants us to remember that those things don’t matter. All that matters is that we remain true in His steadfast love.

Frustration to Hope

As many of you know, several doors were closed to me for the summer. The internship I applied for declined me and I missed the sign up for a mission trip to Uganda. I was so disheartened. I was confused, frustrated and upset. These were things I really wanted to do and be a part of. I’ll be honest, it took be a little bit to accept that I wouldn’t be participating in these things. I can’t say I immediately trusted God’s plan, because I didn’t. But, after awhile, I finally accepted it and told God, “You have my summer and all my plans.”

So I moved on and began to focus on other things that were more important such as my family, finals, and my small group. I knew God had a plan and He would provide opportunities for me better than what I had planned.

Well, last Saturday, one of my friends told me there were 5 open slots for a trip to Israel this summer. I thought to myself, “This has got to be it.” So Sunday, I filled in my information and submitted my application. I talked to some leaders who were part of the trip who told me there were no open slots and that I would be put on the waiting list. I just knew this had to be it and I prayed to God and told Him, “If this is Your will, You will make a way.” Monday comes around and I am in my Yearbook class looking through emails. I received an email titled “bus and room list.” I opened the email not expecting anything. I assumed they sent this to the waiting list people too, so they could see if open slots would be there. Naturally, I looked on the list and saw my friend’s name and that he was going and then I decided, “I guess I’ll see what girls are going.” As I looked through the list I see my name sitting there neatly and like it’s supposed to be. I nearly screamed.. actually I did scream. I quickly texted all my friends and told them I was going!

I do not know how my name got on the list and how I am going. But I do know that it was all God. He closed other doors for me to open up this trip! He made this trip possible for me!

And I’ve told you all this so that you’ll know, God will close doors so that better ones will be opened to you and that all He wants is the best for you!

For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you,” declares the Lord. Jeremiah 29:11-16

Feelings Are Fickle

Fickle: Likely to change, especially due to irresolution or instability. Not constant or loyal in affection.

Feelings: A particular sensation of this kind; a feeling of warmth.

How do you define feelings? or love? Is it that warm feeling you get inside when you see a certain person?

What happens when you lose those feelings? Do you not have them anymore? Where do they go?

Is love just an accumulation of feelings? One day you wake up and you don’t feel the same way anymore?

” Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud” –  1 Corinthians 13:4

Love is a verb, love is the actions you take each day to be in someone’s life. Love is a series of continuous actions, even if it doesn’t solely benefit you. It’s doing things for someone when you don’t always want to.

Infatuation is a series of feelings. It’s a reaction to an action. It is inconsistent and uncalculating. You don’t control it, it just happens. It appears and disappears.

“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” – John 3:16

The greatest love story of all is God sending His only son to be crucified for our sins. God didn’t have do it but because of His extraordinary love for us, He did. He CHOSE to. He had complete control of the situation.

Why do we confuse feelings, love or infatuation? We pretend to love by playing with inconsistant feelings.

Love is not an on or off switch. It is eternal.

Life Was Meant to Be Worth It

What do you doubt? I doubt it will snow in June; I doubt I’ll grow an extra finger on my hand; I doubt that I’ll find my lost socks.

But I’ve also doubted that God has a plan for my life, that He will take care of me, that He will bring the right people into my life, that He will open doors and close doors for me.

“But when you ask you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind.” James 1:6

Often times we ask God to do extraordinary things in our lives and then we go and worry about them, stressing that He won’t do them. When we worry and doubt that God won’t do what He says, we are telling Him we don’t trust Him. We tell Him that we are bigger and better and know what’s going on in our lives and know how to handle it better than He would. How selfish is that? How do you think God feels? It’s like asking a friend to do something and then going back and doing it yourself. You are basically telling that friend that you can do it better than they can and that you don’t need any help.

“Hope is putting faith to work when doubting would be easier,” Thomas S. Monson.

As Christians we are not called to take the easy route. We are called to do difficult things that require us to trust God and His plan. Taking risks and going out on a limb to love people and share joy requires courage and boldness. Life wasn’t meant to be easy; it was meant to be worth it.

Life wasn’t meant to be easy; it was meant to be worth it.

“Jesus replied,’truly I tell you, if you have faith and do not doubt, not only can you do what was done to the fig tree, but also you can say to this mountain, Go, throw yourself into the sea; and it will be done'” Matthew 21:21.

We can have as much faith and trust as we allow God to bring into our lives. So whether you’re believing God to bring a loved one to know Him or waiting for God to bring a special someone into your life, I encourage you to trust God and let Him fill your life with courage, confidence and peace to live out all He has called you to and not to worry because He has a plan for everything.

Open Door, Closed Door 

Lately, in my life, it feels like God’s been saying, “no,” to things I’ve really wanted to do. I missed the sign-up for a mission trip; I didn’t get the summer internship I applied for and among other things it’s been a stressful month. I don’t understand why the doors were closed. None of the things are bad; some of them are great things but God closed the opportunities. The more I dwelled on not being able to do these things, the more upset and confused I got.  
I realized I wasn’t resting in God’s peace. I don’t know what His plan for my summer is but I know it’s greater than what I think I wanted.
“For whoever has entered God’s rest has also rested from His works as God did from His.” Hebrews‬ ‭4‬:‭10‬ 
God wants to use each of us for a greater purpose than ourselves. He wants to bring glory to Him. He wants to bless our lives more than we know. But in order for Him to work in our lives we have to be ready for both open doors and closed doors. 
We need to learn to trust when He asks tough things of us. We also must  trust when He asks us not to do something. 
“That this is God, our God forever and ever. He will guide us forever.” Psalm‬ ‭48‬:‭14‬ 
He promises to guide us through life and knows what He is doing. His plan for us is greater than we can imagine. 
Trust God to do great things in your life!

Perfect Love

per·fect
adjective
  1. 1.
    having all the required or desirable elements, qualities, or characteristics; as good as it is possible to be.

“You were born to be real not perfect.”

Jesus did not die on the cross for us to fake perfection and pretend that our life is 100% perfect everyday. He died on the cross because of our perfect brokenness. He died so that we would not continually strive for something unimaginable. He died to show us His perfect love and to reassure so that we don’t have to be lost in the endless cycle of perfectionism. His perfect love is the only truly perfect thing in the world.

He sees that we are broken and make mistakes and loves us evermore for it.

“From Zion, perfect beauty, God shines forth.” Psalm 50:02

God shows His perfect love through the beauty around us and reminds us every day that His love is the only thing we need to complete us.

Some nights I lay in bed and replay all the things I did that were far from perfect; every time, guilt comes over me and it makes me almost angry that I cannot be perfect. I get so stuck inside my own head that I forget I was made to make mistakes and that life won’t always be perfect. But I have a perfect Savior who wants nothing more than for me to live my life for Him. I can give my brokenness, my mistakes and my imperfections to Him and He will renew me and love me just the same. I don’t have to feel ashamed because He came to heal my brokenness.

Will you let Him heal your brokenness?

Worth The Wait 

You know that feeling you get when you wait a long time to get food at a restaurant and it finally comes? The wait is worth the reward, isn’t it?

When we wait on Gods timing and let Him control the circumstances, His plan is always worth the reward.

“I will remain confident of this: I will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord” Psalms 27:13-14

God promises to provide great things, He wants us to live a good life filled with His blessings. Often time this causes us to wait. Some days it’s hard to trust that God will come through. Sometimes we want to take control and speed up the process.

“Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for Him; do not fret when people succeed in their ways” Psalms 37:7a

It’s easy to see people who succeed through life and cheat and still get what they want without God. But for what? To fulfill human desire and for themselves?

It’s easy to do what others are doing in easy success. But all good things come to those who wait. God has a plan for your life and it all comes with His timing in His perfect planning.

“We do not want you to become lazy, but to imitate those who through faith and patience inherit what has been promised” Hebrews 6:12

We need to continue to live life and work hard and use what God has blessed us with in order for Him to provide more and bring more.

If you’re trusting God to give you a car how do you expect to be blessed without having a job and working to earn the money for it. Or if you are trusting God to bring the right guy in your life, do you expect to be blessed with him if you are not using the gifts God has given you right now to better yourself and honor Him.

With Gods perfect plan comes his perfect timing.

What can you do to trust in Gods timing?

Do Not Awaken Love Until it’s ready?

Remember when you were little and dreamed of being a Disney princess? The princess always found her true love. But the prince and princess did not always fall in love when they first met. No, some loved at first sight, some hated each-other and others just did not want love, but over time they developed feelings and eventually fell in love.

In Song of Solomon 3:5, he says, “Daughters of Jerusalem, I charge you by the gazelles, and by the does of the field; do not arouse or awaken love until it so desires.” 

This very verse shows us that we are to wait for love. Of course, that does not mean sitting around not enjoying life, but it means we are to let love find us.

We can live life and enjoy the life God has given us without having to wait on a man.

God gave men the purpose of pursuing the women and if we want our love story to be God written, we need to allow the guys to do their job.

We must be totally in love with Jesus, and then fall in love with the Jesus in his heart.

We need to focus on loving Jesus and filling our life with His love and let love find us. There is no need for us to rush the relationship, God has it under control. When we actively pursue Jesus, our future spouse can win our hearts and pursue us.

You don’t need to force a relationship. You don’t need to rush it. God has a plan for you and your relationship. It will happen in due time!

Let’s let guys be filled with Christ and allow God to turn them into the men they are supposed to be, so that they can pursue in the way God wants them to.

Are you allowing God to work in you and make space for Him to give you the relationship He wants?