Melodious Monday: Heal Our Land

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Melodious monday: Noel

This song…. the lyrics are amazing. I hope as we sing new and old Christmas songs that we would find ourselves contemplating the words deeply and evaluating whether or not we are truly responding appropriately. Sunday morning as we sang O Holy Night I was struck by the lyrics “Fall on your knees….” And yet no one was compelled to their knees, myself included. I am not judging the motives of anyone’s heart or actions. I guess I just pray that we would not be inhibited as we worship the King. 🙂 

Bow to babe on blended knee, the Saviour of humanity……

Noel, Noel…

Come and see what God has done…

The story of amazing Love,…

The Light of the world, given for us.

Grace in friendships

The last few weeks for our family have been wonderful; Emphasis on the FULL part. We have had lots of company come up from Florida to visit us.

Fact: I will never tire of hosting you lovely Floridians. *Hint, hint, wink, wink.*

My parents, one of my brothers and his family came for my baptism. My sister (in law) was very encouraging with the joy she expressed upon hearing my decision and insistence on being present. It’s just awesome to be supported in your convictions ya know? 🙂 This past weekend I had the wonderful privilege of hosting one of my most precious friends and her family. Now I have A LOT of close and precious friends, so I’m not trying to leave anyone out. But I hope you will allow me to indulge a little here because my relationship with Kaitlyn is unique and special to say the least. Our relationship dates back over 10 years but our friendship began with forgiveness, redemption, and restoration about 9 years ago; an odd way for a sisterhood to blossom. This we know for sure: God orchestrated it all and I personally could not BE MORE GRATEFUL. He has restored, changed, and grown us into two women who are completely different then when we first met and better for it. (Amen?) Some know bits of our story, some do not. I just can’t explain the miracle that is our friendship. It is beautiful. It is a gift. It is a treasure. It is from God through Christ Jesus.

Random side note: To all my girlfriends, thank you for sharing your life with me in different ways at various moments. I can’t even begin listing all that I glean from your willingness to open up and tell me all the highs and lows of life. God has shown me that it is in both strength AND weakness that we learn and grow from each other. I am blessed to have so many wonderful ladies in my life. Some of you may not even know I’m referring to you! Haha! 😉 God’s been very generous in the realm of relationship, no doubt about that.

Because of distance, Kait and I don’t typically get large chunks of time together. So having 3 full days was a huge treat. I was able to observe this beautiful, gracious, wife and mother in real life. Kaitlyn and I talk several times a week so we get to exchange struggles, victories, goals and prayers on almost a daily basis. However, it was really neat to get to witness all that she strives for in action. To say I was encouraged is a definite understatement. Her love for Jesus is evident in every area of her life. She holds true to her spiritual convictions as it relates to marriage and parenting. With her husband she is loving, kind, respectful, gracious and submissive. With her children (and mine:-) ) she is loving, tender, intuitive, and patient. She is disciplined yet flexible, she is thoughtful and intentional. She is not perfect and I know this because she is honest and humble. There are so many things that stand out to me about my incredible friend. The biggest thing being that she loves Jesus deeply and wants to honor him with her everything. I’ve seen her in joyous moments and moments of deep sorrow (also those in between moments) and I have watched her “press on” time and again, giving all glory to her Lord and Savior.

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Kaitlyn, 🙂 I hope you know how much I love you and value your friendship. You’ve been an example, an encourager, a prayer warrior and an accountability partner. When I think of our unique friendship I think of Colossians 3:12-17 *emphasis mine* “Since God chose you to be the holy people he loves, you must clothe yourselves with tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. Make allowance for each others faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others. Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds us all together in perfect harmony. And let the peace that comes from Christ rule in your hearts. For as members of one body you are called to live in peace. And always be thankful. Let the message about Christ, in all its richness, fill your lives. Teach and counsel each other with all the wisdom he gives. Sing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs to God with thankful hearts. And whatever you do or say, let it be as a representative of the Lord Jesus, all the while giving thanks through him to God the Father.”

It would be wrong of me to not acknowledge her husband, LB’s, tremendous role in all of this. LB, since you’re a guy with an average daily word bank of about 9,000 compared to that of a woman, around 20,000, I’ll keep this short. 😉 YOU.TOTALLY.ROCK. Jason and I may have a few years and kids on you two but we benefited and learned A LOT, from you both, in a few short days. Thank you for making the trip to see us! Thank you for being confident in your convictions, beliefs, marriage and parenting. But most of all, thank you for seeking Christ. His grace abounds in you and we were touched by it. We had SO MUCH FUN and look forward to many more vacays. We love you Martins!

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If you find yourself reading this I hope it encourages you. God can use you when you may be least expecting it. I doubt my friends were thinking their trip to Georgia was going to be a ministry to us but it was. 🙂 When we are humble, honest, and truly seeking to please the Lord in all areas, we can partner with Christ and minister to the people around us. And I find that to be truly amazing!

Today is supposed to be a Melodious Monday and Jason has been playing this song for me a bunch so I’ll post it here.

Drops in the Ocean: Hawk Nelson

A special Melodious Monday: Through All of It

Several months ago our pastor taught on baptism. When I walked out of that service I felt a strong sense that I needed to be baptized…. Again.

Most of you are aware that I have grown up in church. In fact I was born in Fort Worth, Texas while my father attended seminary to become a pastor. Naturally, I was immersed in church life but more importantly I was aware that Christianity wasn’t about religion or church attendance but about relationship with Jesus Christ.

At age seven I made a profession of faith and was baptized.photo 1(2)

Found this gem of my childhood bff Kristen and me before we were dunked.

I think this is common for individuals like me. We grow up knowing the right path and want to follow Jesus down it but haven’t really been confronted yet with choosing Him or choosing the world. As I grew and moved through adolescence and early adult-hood I did not choose Jesus. I didn’t pursue Him and continue cultivating our relationship; therefore I didn’t really know Him so I couldn’t possibly love Him or understand his love for me. I mean I “knew” but I didn’t really know. James 2:18b-19 Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by deeds. You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that- and shudder. Because I did not know Him or love Him I did not choose to trust that He had my best interest so I certainly did not choose obedience to Him. This resulted in a lot of sin.

Because I grew up knowing the truth and all the “church lingo” I could easily present myself as a Christian at will. The other 90% of the time I allowed self, pleasure, indulgence, and idolatry to rule my life. I certainly wrestled with my sin, choices, and lifestyle. I regret every single time (more than I can count or care to admit) that I professed to be a Christian to people around me and acted in such a way that defames the Name of Jesus. I have been the person that gives people license to believe there is no power in Christ because I was living a godless life while saying I was a believer. Recounting these memories surfaces great grief within me: that by my choices I would be so degrading and hurtful toward my sweet Savior.

Fortunately His love never fails. He will not force Himself on us but he is always there waiting and ready for us to enter into a love relationship with Him.

I’ll be honest with you though. Since hearing that sermon last year, I have spent hours and had many conversations trying to pinpoint that moment of true repentance and conversion. I keep asking God, myself, and the people closest to me, “When did I become a Christian?” It’s a frustrating thing to wonder! I look back and see so many mistakes, so much sin, so much hypocrisy. I had moments of clarity and conviction but they are overshadowed by my godless behavior. And honestly I’m left not really knowing when that moment occurred.

I might not have the answer of when until the day I meet Jesus face to face but you know what? That’s okay because I know that right now, today, tomorrow and eternally I am His. I once was lost and blind and even with my background and all my knowledge I was deceived. The world and pleasure and self is captivating and dangerous. Just because I was a pastor’s daughter and was privileged in the best way didn’t make me immune or safe from the deceptive enticing nature of satan and this world.

But I know and understand God now. I understand how much he loves his people. I understand why he created mankind and what our purpose here is. And I am growing daily in my love for him as I diligently seek him. Yes, at times still, I feel it is one step forward two steps back. But God is also growing my confidence in how he chooses to sanctify me.
Getting re-baptized was important to me because it publicly testifies that I am not just a “fair-weather fan” of Jesus any more. I absolutely have decided to FOLLOW Him.

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Baptism video! Woohoo!

I want to say a huge thank you to my family members who drove many miles to support me and celebrate with me for this occasion. My parents, siblings, and cousins, I love you all and you made me feel incredibly loved by your presence. Also to my amazing pastor who is humble and gracious enough to allow my father to step in and Baptize me. Nate, you are awesome! To my husband and children who encourage me daily. And every person who couldn’t be present but support me in countless ways distantly. I am blessed beyond measure. Totally in AWE over God’s grace and goodness.

When I heard this song, I knew it was perfect for this occasion. Colton Dixon: Through All of It