Monday, July 23, 2012

Wedding. ^_^

I had the wonderful opportunity last month to help shoot a wedding with Christa-Taylor Photography.
Here's some of my photos: (More Here) :)






Tuesday, July 17, 2012

What does it mean to you?

(Before I begin this post, I would just like to state that I have failed many many times in this area, and am continually, by God's grace, striving to do better. So don't think I'm saying that I never do this as well.) :)

     Quiet time with God. What does it mean to you?
If your response is, "Oh, it's awesome. I read my Bible and pray half an hour every day!"...that doesn't answer my question. What does it mean.to.you?
     Sure, maybe you take time aside each day to read the bible and pray. And that's good, really good! But what are you doing during that half hour?
     Are you watching the clock to see when half an hour is up? Are you seeing how many chapters you can 'squeeze' into that half hour just to say you read that much? Are you focusing on looking for a 'good' verse that you can post about it on facebook to make sure your friends know you're a 'good christian'? Are you checking your texts, fb or email every other verse? Do you the entire chapter and have you mind somewhere else the whole time? Do your prayers to God consist of asking God to give you things? The list goes on...
     If I were to ask you what you read about, what God showed you, would you be able to give me an answer?
     It is so easy to let 'quiet time' become 'distraction time'.
     What would happen if during 'quiet time with God' you sought to forget distractions, forget about posting that verse on facebook(side note: that's what the pharisees did, not with fb, but with praying in public places, etc)?
     Okay, here's a really crazy question: What if you made quiet time about God?
::mind bomb::
       I'll repeat it...in case you didn't catch it the first time: What.if.you.made.quiet.time.about.GOD?
     What if you treated EACH WORD rfom the Bible as God speaking to you? What if instead of praying for what you want, you prayed for God's will and praised Him for all He has done and for Him to teach you His ways?
     Crazy thought isn't it? It shouldn't be, but so often we forget why we read the Bible, why we pray.
It's not an 'okay, my half hour is up, I'm done!' thing - it's learning about God, and His Son, Jesus Christ. Learning about what He did for us, learning about how to follow His will.
Psalm 119:10-17,
"I seek you with all my heart;
    do not let me stray from your commands.
11 I have hidden your word in my heart
    that I might not sin against you.
12 Praise be to you, O Lord;
    teach me your decrees.
13 With my lips I recount
    all the laws that come from your mouth.
14 I rejoice in following your statutes
    as one rejoices in great riches.
15 I meditate on your precepts
    and consider your ways.
16 I delight in your decrees;
    I will not neglect your word."
     Not only should we make quiet time soley about God - but we should take what we learn and apply to our lives each day. We should be meditating on God's word, living it through our lives.
   
     So I ask you again: Quiet time with God: What does it mean to you?


Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Surrendering my own precious dream

::takes a deep breath::
     I don't often write posts that are this personal. But God has taught me so much lately. So much that I can't keep it all inside.
     For a long time I struggled with letting go of something. Something I very much didn't want to let go of.
     Something that brought a lot of pain in the process of trying to let go, but still clinging on by my fingertips.
     A wish I had for my life.
     I made a lot of mistakes in the past few months. A lot of things I regret...but from them, I learned. God used my mistakes, to bring about His will.
     Oh, how I don't deserve the mercy and grace He has shown me in my life.

     Josh Eddy, just 2 weeks before his passing, wrote this post about surrendering a precious dream.
This post means a lot to me. Now more then ever. For many reasons.
      One of the reasons: I've finally learned, by God's grace alone, to surrender a this precious dream I had.
      I've finally learned to let go of this thing that I had been clinging to.
     This thing I thought would be the best thing that could ever happen to me...if only it would happen.
     This dream, this precious dream I had for me life.
     It didn't happen in a day. It didn't happen in a week.
     It was a long and very painful time. Filled with much sorrow...and much joy.
      But in the past two months, I have learned more then I ever thought possible.

     But letting go isn't a 'one time thing'.
     It's a forever-process.
     It's seeking to spend the rest of my life clinging SOLEY to Christ.
     It would be so easy to once again grab hold of this precious dream I had.
     But right now, I'm learning to grab hold of Christ...with BOTH hands.

     Keeping my eyes ONLY on Him.

     It's a struggle.

     It's a constant struggle.

     But I am learning.
Every day.
Every minute.
Every second.

     And I desire to spend each second shining for Christ. Each moment serving Him. Each moment take the life He has given me...and using it to further HIS Kingdom. Not seek my own desires and dreams.

     And in seeking Christ, I find my life filled with joy that is indescribable. Even in hardships, the joy of Christ is there.

      Life is far from the human view of perfect. Far from the way we, sinful humans, desire it to be. But life is just the way God planned it. And that's far better then perfect.

Don't you think? :)



Monday, July 9, 2012

Rest.

Life is so short. 
So very very short.
Another life on this earth was ended today.
I didn't know him, but from what I see on his fb profile...he touched a lot of lives.
He died trying to save someone from drowning. (I don't know a lot of the details, but I think that the person he was trying to save also passed.)
This past year for me has been the first year where I have lost people close to me (Josh and my adopted grandpa). 
I never knew what the pain of losing someone was until this year.
I hurt for those who lost Brett today. But I also praise God that, from what I see, it was evident he shined the light of Christ. 
In a second. In a moment. Life can be gone.
Life on earth that is.
Next comes eternal life. 
Either suffering. Or joyously rejoicing with Christ in Heaven.
Forever.
That's a long time.

But right now...I am content to rest in God's grace.
To rest and trust in His timing and will for everything.
To rest in His will for how long I have left on earth.
To rest in His timing on taking those around me away from this world.

To rest in HIM. And Him alone.

The Bible verse that brought me to salvation at age 13 comes to mind:  "Find rest, O my Soul, in God alone; my hope comes from him." (Psalm 62:5)

Monday, July 2, 2012

In a matter of seconds...

I meant to post this post earlier, but I had written it out in my notebook then I didn't have my notebook for awhile so I couldn't post it. Anywho...

I've been learning so much lately.
One thing I've learned is that in a matter of seconds a life can be over.
A brother, a sister, an aunt, a mother, a grandfather, a friend.
We don't know how long we have to live. The next breath you take could be your las.
This has been weighing heavily on me the past few weeks.
I don't know if the next time I tell my dad goodnight will be the last words I speak to him.
I don't know if the next time I talk on the phone one of my best friends will be the last time I talk to her again.
I don't know if the next time I receive an email/text from a friend will be the last email/text I recieve from him.
I don't know if the next time I hug my little brother will be the last hug I will ever give him.
I don't know.
Only God knows how long we have on this earth.
These thoughts has caused me to want to spend every waking moment with those who are important to me. With those who God has placed in my life. With those whom I can give to and let them know they are a child of God.
It has caused me to not want to say goodnight to my dad, to not want to hang up on the phone with my friend, to not want to end an email conversation, to hug my little brother all day long - to spend time with those I love.
To not waste time doing my own thing - but to invest in those around me.
To make sure they know how much they mean to me.
If this is their last moment - I want to spend it with them.
If this is my last moment - I want to spend it with them.

I want to live with no regrets.