God’s handiwork is so beautiful! It’s amazing to think that God created everything that we see and enjoy. All creation shouts His praise!
“Praise the LORD! Praise the LORD from the heavens! Praise him from the skies! Praise him, all his angels! Praise him, all the armies of heaven! Praise him, sun and moon! Praise him, all you twinkling stars! Praise him, skies above! Praise him, vapors high above the clouds! Let every created thing give praise to the LORD, for he issued his command, and they came into being. He established them forever and forever. His orders will never be revoked. Praise the LORD from the earth, you creatures of the ocean depths, mountains and all hills, fruit trees and all cedars, wild animals and all livestock, reptiles and birds, kings of the earth and all people, rulers and judges of the earth, young men and maidens, old men and children. Let them all praise the name of the LORD. For his name is very great; his glory towers over the earth and heaven! He has made his people strong, honoring his godly ones– the people of Israel who are close to him. Praise the LORD!”
I was looking through my old notebook with notes in it from last summer’s teen camp. In it, I found a poem I wrote during that week. Here it is!
“How amazing it is that I am unique.
May I, O Lord, be humble and meek!
You care for me when I feel so small.
I surrender and I give you my all.
Holy Spirit, fill my life and being;
Thank you for giving my life meaning.
I’m excited, I’m preparing
For all Your love that needs sharing.
I’m open to Your cross, I’m open to You risen.
With You in my life, nothing am I missing.
I can sing a brand new song;
Lord, only for Your face I long!
I need Your wisdom every second.
Jesus- please on me do beckon.
Change me fully, renew me now-
Holy Spirit do allow.
What would I do without Your love?
I look at the countless stars above.
I observe Your power, Your mercy, Your grace-
Lord, You are awesome in this place.
All of my worship and all of my praise
I lay at Your feet; Your name I do raise!”
I was looking through some books that I had in my room, and I found this one book that I got around three years ago, Jesus Among Other Gods: The Youth Edition by Ravi Zacharias and Kevin Johnson. I never picked it up before, but I thought it deserved a chance. Immediately as I started reading, I was captivated!
Growing up as a Christian, it’s easy to say you believe in God and in Jesus’s death and resurrection. It’s basically a given- you know that you know that Jesus is real. But, trying to witness at school to kids who have never before had a real relationship with God, it’s hard to put into words how real Jesus is when those kids are skeptical and are totally defensive on the subject of God.
However, after reading through this book, so much tangible information was given as to the reality of Jesus and the price He paid for our sins. It gets down to the center of why certain people cling to eastern religions and also atheism. It expresses that while some people may think that God causes evil, God doesn’t intend evil into our lives. But when we are faced with a hard situation, it is supposed to bring us closer to Him. The info in this book is definitely going to be useful for me in witnessing with others from now on, and I’m excited about it!
One great quote from the book that I liked is this: “When we suffer, we can be sure God is closer than we can fathom. When we suffer, we can be sure that, in Christ, God is working a plan to end evil.” If everybody could grasp the point that religion isn’t what makes them belong in the world, but that a loving relationship with God is what does, it would be earthshaking!!
Anyways, I thought I would just share this book with you! You should definitely read it. (And for all you adults, it also comes in a non-student edition);)
School is starting tomorrow. Wow! I just wish I could have one more month, one more week, one more day- but that’s not gonna happen, is it?:/
I love the freedom of summer; not just the freedom to do what I want, but also the spiritual freedom. I love being super connected to church, my youth group, my family, and my friends. I can go weeks without hearing a swear word, but now I’m heading back to the real world- my mission field. It would be so easy to live like I am right now, in the spiritual bliss from day to day with no worries or cares. But I have to be open to be used in the difficult situations at a public school. If I am not open, I will not find true fulfillment in my life. It is definitely easier said than done though.
Being open is a daily choice to be used by God. The reason He has us be uncomfortable is so that we can fully rely on Him.
Image compliments of Pastor Erik:)
“For the Scriptures say, ‘”As surely as I live,” says the Lord, “every knee will bend to me, and every tongue will confess and give praise to God.”‘”
As I pondered this morning the thought that one day every person that’s ever lived will bow before the greatness of God, I was awestruck at how powerful that statement truly is. Every murderer, every ruler, every atheist, every person that’s tried to reject God- they will all accept that God is their Maker and the Creator of all the earth. That is so amazing!
“‘Come now, let’s settle this,’says the Lord.’Though your sins are like scarlet, I will make them as white as snow. Though they are red like crimson, I will make them as white as wool.'”
I love the way this verse illustrates the forgiveness found in Christ. If only we ask Him, He can take our sin and wash it away- a brand new, clean slate. I love that!
So, I’m back from Florida, so that means back to blogging! Yay!:)
When I was in the Orlando area, my family visited some old friends that used to live here in Chicago. They knew about Katie’s Comfort Ministry, and that my family is available to speak to adults/teenagers about my sister and how God brought us through her death. So when we went to church with them on a Sunday, they set up the opportunity for us to minister to the people at their church.
My dad and mom were going to talk to the adults, and I was asked to speak to the youth group there. With only 3 days notice, I asked God what to say to the youth group about my sister, and on Wednesday night, I shared what God had put on my heart.
Now, I’ve always been the shy one, so it had to be the Holy Spirit to help me speak to these youth. Everything seemed to flow just like I imagined, and I felt so honored to be able to give hope to teens around my age that God can get them through anything.
This opportunity was so exciting for me personally, because if you look back at one of my old blog posts (“Imagine” from November 20,2008), God had been speaking to me that someday I’d be speaking to youth groups about my sister. He did just that!!
Isn’t God amazing? He definitely keeps his promises!