“Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.” - Hebrews 11:1
What would happen if we truly walked by faith? We lived not knowing what tomorrow holds, but trusting that God has it figured out?
I’m currently in a transition now in my life and I’m moving from one place to another and there are still a lot of things up in the air, but I’m not just standing still. I keep taking the steps I know I need to take to get to the destination that I know God has me and I feel like whenever I tell people, they think I’m crazy because I’m walking by faith.
Walking by faith isn’t easy, but it’s worth it. God has never been late on His part and I know He wont be late this time.
“Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit.” Galatians 5:25
“When you come to the end of all the light you know, and it’s time to step into the darkness of the unknown, faith is knowing that one of two things shall happen: Either you will be given something solid to stand on or you will be taught to fly.” Edward Teller
I feel like in the last few months, I keep hearing of people who are passing away. We don’t know if today will be our last day. We never know when we are going to get that phone call. It just makes me think about what kind of legacy I’m leaving.
I’ll admit it…I don’t know why bad things happen. It seems my faith is so strong, until it’s tested. I feel angry and confused. I don’t have the answers and it frustrates me. I’m at a complete loss of control. I don’t know what to say and I don’t know how to feel.
When you go through something you wish that the next day you could wake up and everything is okay. You wish you could feel joy again. Hope is so dim.
We play this game of charades - hoping no one can see the hurt inside. We put up a wall, because if we let people in - they could hurt us. We speak negativity over other people’s lives, so that way we can feel something - even if it’s guilt.
Bitterness sets in and we wonder when we will feel happy again.
Despite all of this - we have hope.
We know that someday, the faith that we have clung on to will lead us to an everlasting life. That belief changes our view point. Each breath becomes precious. We understand that each action (good or bad) will set us up for eternity.
What we do has a ripple effect. The word you spoke in haste, the look you gave someone, or the tone in your voice can rip a hole in someone’s heart. The smile you gave that person can uplift their day.
So before you let the little things get you down - remember -“Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you react to it” (Charles Swindoll).
So let the little things go. Cherish your friends and family. Be exceptionally kind.
Pursue your dreams because you never know if you will get another chance.
Our lips sing Your praises – but do our hearts beat for You?
We say we love you, but do we truly act on it?
God where are you?
The steps that we take – get us closer to You – but sometimes I feel like You’re so far away.
I say I want to be with You – but I don’t take time out of my day.
I put You in this little box.
All you want is to be with me…and yet I hold You so far away.
My heart is hidden.
My emotions are controlled.
My passion is gone.
My zeal is no longer there.
I remember the days I use to search for You, but now I take You for granted.
I remember when I use to wait for hours to hear Your voice – sometimes days - but now I no longer wait.
My words cannot express how much I miss you.
My life is my message – but does it truly convey how much You mean to me?
What do my actions speak?
I boast of Your greatness with my words – but my faith is so small.
Open my heart.
Increase my faith.
Teach me to trust in Your unfailing love.
Above all else…I will wait for you, for Your love is better than life.
Your grace overwhelms me.
Your faithfulness endures my stubbornness.
I will wait for You.
Well it’s that time of the year again - where we make our new years resolutions. We reminisce over this past year - remembering the mistakes that we made, regrets, the chances we took, the chances we didn’t take, the moments we cried, and the moments we laugh.
Maybe 2011 was the worst year of your life and you’re ready to get it over with; maybe it was the best year of your life and you’re sad to see it go; or maybe it was just another year - neither bad or good.
Whatever 2011 was to you - in 10 hours it will be over. It’s time to let go and move on.
It might be a past relationship (good or bad), a job, friends, or just bad decisions you have made. Whatever it is - it’s done and over with.
Don’t cling to your past. What you did yesterday, last month, last year, etc - doesn’t matter anymore..the awards you won, the mistakes you made, the money you had, and the relationships you were in - they are done. You can’t change them. You can only change your future.
Learn from your past - but focus on creating the future you want.
Here’s to learning and growing in 2012. I’m excited for a new year of adventures, mistakes, laughter, crying, and life.
So today I’m grateful for the ability to create the future I want. Dream Big 2012!
The second thing I’m grateful is heat.
Okay, I know this sounds silly - but think about it. I live in northern NY and lately it likes to get around 1 degree and it will probably reach negative at some point. I was sitting in my room and I realize that little things like heat in my car and in my room makes my life feel so much better. I know there are people around the world who are not able to keep warm and so I’m grateful that I’m able to. :)
Alrighty, so I’ve decided I’m going to post once a day something I’m grateful for. Now, I must admit I will probably miss a couple of days and some days I might add more than 1 thing…I was going to start this on the 1st, but I figured I would start today while I have the motivation. :)
The first thing I’m grateful for is smiles.
Nothing makes my day more than smiles - whether it’s making someone else smile or someone making me smile.
Smiles are contagious. They change your mood.
If you’re having a bad day - just smile…it automatically makes your day better. Obstacles will still be there - but you are able to overcome them a lot more easily. The little things that normally bug you, become insignificant.
Your focus changes. You focus on the people around you instead of yourself.
So here’s my challenge for you today - smile and make someone else smile.
Change is uncomfortable. It causes disruption in life.
I use to fear change - to the point where I would avoid it. I have my routines in life and the minute it get’s interrupted I get upset.
But change is unavoidable. It’s coming and you just have to learn to embrace it. Those who avoid change - will become anxious and frustrated.
I’ve learned to embrace change - to actually create change. Things are going to change whether you want them to, or not - so why not create the change you want to see in the world?
Stop talking about your problems and become the solution.
Maybe the person you want to change so badly in your life doesn’t need to change - but you do.
Change your mentality. Change your view. Change your words -change your life. Stop speaking negativity over your life. Speak life - not just into yours but into the lives around you.
Believe in change. Change can be good or bad - but how you react to change is completely up to you.
“Be the change you want to see in the world.” - Mahatma Gandhi
Giving according to the dictionary is to present voluntarily without expecting compensation.
So I love to give - and I love to get. Giving to me is probably my favorite thing about Christmas. I spend hours upon hours finding that perfect gift, wrapping it, thinking about what they will think when they open it, and watching the person open the gift. At the same time - nothing makes me feel more loved than receiving a gift I wasn’t expecting. Opening a present that was given to me “just because it’s a Wednesday”.
I mean the whole meaning behind Christmas is giving. Christ came to give life. He came to give hope, joy, and peace. Every gift that I give and I receive it brings me joy and gives me love. Christ gave us His everything, so I expect to give Him everything in return - my life, my finance, my business, and my family.
So I challenge you to give this year more than you’ve ever given. Give a smile, a hug, a card, and your time. Share a laugh with someone you love. You never know when it will be last time you spend with someone. Impact the world around you for the better. Give patience. Be kind. Above all love God and love others…the rest will fall into place.
Well my favorite time of the year is coming up…Christmas! It combines all of my favorite things - my family, faith, music, and presents! (Yes, I said presents.) I love wrapping presents, opening presents, giving presents, and anything else involving them. I put so much thought and care into each gift. I love watching the faces as they open up their presents…but sometimes in all of the hustle and bustle of buying the presents we forget to show kindness and love to each other.
It seems lately more and more stores I go to I meet more grumpy people - from the customers in line to the people checking me out. People have forgotten little things like to smile, holding the door for someone, and just to spread some cheer. Christmas has become a time of the year to worry about bills and if I can buy my child the latest and greatest toy. For many people who have a broken home it just reminds them how lonely they are, or missing a relative. For those of you who have experienced a recent loss or have lost a loved one around this year - I’m praying for you - but we have to keep moving forward.
Celebrate the people around you - whether you know them or not. Offer a smile or a kind word. Hold a door for someone. Give money to a stranger. Give someone you love a hug or a token of your gratitude. Christmas can be celebrated whether you have a lot of money or not. Get caught up in the beauty of the moment. Laugh loudly. Love strongly - because you don’t know how much of this life you have left.
Be a light in this dark world. Be the hope you want to see in this world. Remember to have fun. Go above and beyond for others. I hope you have a merry Christmas and a happy new year! :)
Don’t let anyone tell you that you cannot do something.
Believe in yourself.
Believe in other people.
I am __________.
I find it frustrating trying to find who I am. There are days where I am confident and want to conquer the world…but some days I wish I could climb under the covers and hide from the world.
I am loved.
I think we have these moments of our lives where we try to find love in different places, when the One who loves us is just waiting for us to look back and look at Him again. Being a 22 year old female being brought up in the church I sometimes get caught up in the fact I “should” be married or in a serious relationship right now - but I don’t want to be. I enjoy being madly in love with my Savior and He loves me.
I am beautiful.
I dare you to look in a mirror and tell yourself that…even if you don’t believe it….because you are. I was created by my father for me to call myself ugly is like telling a skilled carpenter that His beautiful mastery is flawed. We were created in His imaged.
I am set apart.
I was not created to be like anyone else. I want to be like the tribe of Levi - set apart to do God’s will.
I am cherished.
God knows me name and He loves my heart.
I am forgiven.
My past is left in the past - who I was is not who I am.
I am changing.
I will continue to grow.
I a world changer.
I will leave this world better than when I came into it.
I am relentless.
Giving up is never an option.
I am a daughter of the King.
I am strong.
I am worthy.
I am stubborn.
I am a fighter.
I am thankful.
I am grateful.
I am blessed.
Who are you?
Who and what will you let define you?
My God defines me and makes me who I am.
I am a woman of God.
For those of you who know me, know that I love to sing. Music is something that God has birthed inside of me. It’s one of the biggest ways that God speaks to me is through music - whether it’s a song He gives me or a song that I hear. All through my life I’ve had this desire to show my music to the world - to be a worship leader for Christ. I mean - multiple people have to told me that I was called to be a worship leader. I’ve spent years honing my skill, and practicing whenever I can. I’ve never had any lessons, but I would listen to the best and practice. Sometimes I get frustrated because I wonder - God when is it my turn to lead? Then this morning God kind of hit me - Susie you are a worship leader, you don’t need a stage to be a worship leader.
You see - we have the screwed up view of worship. A lot of times we think worship is the 30 minute song service during church, but it isn’t - it’s just 1 form of worship. Our lives our meant to live as a worship with God. You see - we are all called to be worship leaders. We should be leading our lives in a way that causes other people to look at God - not at ourselves. I think for a lot of people - they view worship leaders as this glamorous position. They have the spotlight on them - people want to be like them, etc. But being a worship leader (a true worship leader) is hard - because it requires a lot of sacrifice.
A true worship leader has to sacrifice their own selfish desires for the kingdom of God. Whether that’s with leader a service into a worship song, glorifying God through your job, painting, writing, through school work, etc. True worship requires sacrificing our fleshly desires for the kingdom of God. True worship leaders put God first, people second, and they are always last. True worship always requires sacrifice. In 2 Samuel 24:24 - David has to offer a sacrifice for the sin that he had done and he was offered all the things he needed for free, but he said “I will not offer a sacrifice that cost me nothing.” How many times have we given God something, that really didn’t cost us anything? We try to give God the least amount to get the most blessing. We ask ourselves questions like “What’s the least I can give to get the most blessing?”
Romans 12:1-2: Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God—this is your spiritual act of worship. Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.
So, is your life pleasing to God? I can ask myself the same question. Have I truly given up myself so that Christ can get all of the glory? When people look at you - do they see Christ? Live your life to give God glory. As John the Baptist said “He must become greater, I must become less.” (John 3:30)
So I challenge you (and myself) to look at your life and see how you can change your life to be leading others to Christ. Our love of God and people should be causing others to want to worship God. If you want to talk at all - find me on twitter (scook16). :) Let’s all be worship leaders today!
Acts 17:24-28: ““The God who made the world and everything in it is the Lord of heaven and earth and does not live in temples built by human hands. And he is not served by human hands, as if he needed anything. Rather, he himself gives everyone life and breath and everything else. From one man he made all the nations, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and he marked out their appointed times in history and the boundaries of their lands. God did this so that they would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from any one of us. ‘For in him we live and move and have our being.’As some of your own poets have said, ‘We are his offspring’.”
Now I bet if you ask a Christian - “Do you try to manipulate God?” - 99.9% of them would answer “No” or “Of course not”. I would answer it that way - I mean God is huge and powerful - I couldn’t manipulate Him if I wanted to. But if you take a closer look at your life - you’ll begin to see times where you did try to manipulate Him (well at least I did).
You get into a tight jam with your finances - that Sunday you tithe or give money in the offering - okay God I paid my tithes, now it’s time for You to deliver on Your end. I just need _____ amount of money to take care of this situation.
Okay so maybe I’m the only one that has done that? Tithing is not meant for us to receive a blessing. Tithing is us giving God 10% back of what He gave us - therefore it can further the kingdom of God. His blessing is not mandatory - it’s just extra. We should not tithe so God can bless us - but so that we can bless God. He just loves us so much that He blesses us in return.
A family member has a disease or you have a lost of a family member - so you fast so that way they will be healed. “See God - I’m fasting - you have to heal them now.”
Fasting was not design for you to try and control God - but to control your flesh. You see we are all born into sin and when we are fasting we are saying no to pleasures that would distract us and that is keeping us from seeking God’s face - in turn it brings us closer to God and it’s easier to to seek His will and to hear His voice.
I could give you countless times where I’ve tried to “manipulate” God. It wasn’t on purpose - I just got caught up with my own selfish desires.
John Bevere in his book “A Heart Ablazed” talks about a manageable deity. It’s easier for us to be “Christians” when we can control God - or to give Him just a part of our lives - life would be safer. Living by faith is scary and exhilarating. It’s an adventure - no 2 days are the same. Also God let’s us go through times where we rely completely on Him so that we would seek His face and find Him. He is all we need.
So I challenge you to take a look at your life. Have you given God control of your life or are you trying to control Him? The latter part doesn’t work - He does a much better job at running my life than I do.
3 Trust in the LORD and do good;
dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture.
4 Take delight in the LORD,
and he will give you the desires of your heart.
5 Commit your way to the LORD;
trust in him and he will do this:
6 He will make your righteous reward shine like the dawn,
your vindication like the noonday sun.
7 Be still before the LORD
and wait patiently for him;
do not fret when people succeed in their ways,
when they carry out their wicked schemes.
This is an excerpt from my dream book (yes I know I spelled album wrong :P). I have probably over 100 dreams written out of things I want to do in my life - some are silly, some are epic, and some are just little dreams. It has places I want to visit (like Australia, Italy, Africa, etc); things I want to do (record music, open my own music store, sing with certain people, fly a plane, etc); and things I want to accomplish (win a Grammy, visit every continent, visit every US state, etc). It also has songs I’ve written in there - because my biggest dream is to use my talent to change the world. I feel like everyone should have a dream book. What are some of your dreams? (Let me know - follow me on twitter scook16)
“All men dream: but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds wake in the day to find that it was vanity: but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act their dream with open eyes, to make it possible.” T.E. Lawrence