A Summer full Of Love

Saturday, July 24, 2010

The LORD did not set his affection on you and choose you because you were more numerous than other peoples, for you were the fewest of all peoples. But it was because the LORD loved you and kept the oath he swore to your forefathers that he brought you out with a mighty hand and redeemed you from the land of slavery, from the power of Pharaoh king of Egypt. Know therefore that the LORD your God is God; he is the faithful God, keeping his covenant of love to a thousand generations of those who love him and keep his commands.
Deuteronomy 7:6-9

I cannot believe that my summer travels are over! Where did the time go?!
I have one more service tomorrow morning, and another youth event Monday morning in Columbia, South Carolina and that's it! I cannot believe how fast the time went by, I feel like I was just getting ready to come back to Nashville to practice for the summer. It was a great summer!

We just spent this past week in North Carolina at their teen camp. Despite the heat, it was a wonderful week! God did some awesome things throughout the week and it was such a blessing to be a part of it. Looking back over the past summer I can honestly say that I have felt reminded, and overwhelmed with how MUCH God loves me. I'm not sure why, but I feel like God in so many ways was trying to show me this.

"God Loves You"

This is something I have heard so many times in my life, but in the past two months, it has become so alive to me and has a new and refreshing meaning in my life. I wanted to share a couple memories from the summer that reminded me of God's love for me.

At Alabama South camp in Panama City, I was walking on the beach one night, and strolled off a bit by myself...looking at the beautiful ocean, listening to the waves, and just looking at all the stars in the sky, I felt the presence of God in that moment and I just felt him reminding me that He loves me. He created everything in the universe and yet he knows MY name and loves me.

When I got to go with Everpraise to my hometown, I was beyond overwhelmed not only with the love from people at home, but I felt so blessed to have grown up with such special people in my life who support me. God has shown his love to me through the great people he has brought into my life and I am forever grateful for that.

We got to enjoy a week at family camp in South Carolina, and one night I just needed to have some time away so I decided to take a walk. Listening to some of my favorite music, I was captured in the moment by some lyrics that speak such truth- The fact that God loves me regardless of where I've been, how much I've messed up, and he sees me through eyes of love and not through the eyes of the world. Oh to see myself that way, and to revel in the love that he has for me.

Probably the coolest experience I had this summer was this past week in NC. We were leading worship and we were singing the song- "How He Loves." I love the song, and the words are awesome! It was awesome watching everyone engaging deeply in worship, and just experiencing the presence of God. As we got to the chorus of this song that sings "He loves us, oh how He loves us, Oh how He loves, Oh how he Loves"- I felt this rush of wind come from behind me. On a side note- there was no air in this building. It was an overwhelming feeling, just a peace that swept over me. I wasn't really sure what to think and maybe I was going crazy, then Parker caught my eye. His eyes were big just like mine and I knew he was experiencing everything I was. As he said "Praise the Lord" with all the sincerity in his voice, all I could think was that was awesome!
Whether it was just a brush of wind that happened to come at that time, I am choosing to believe that it was something from the Holy Spirit to remind me once again of His love. It was described at this camp in this way- I loved this idea. The speaker was awesome and he said something that went a little like this- Think of God's love as the ocean...Get a straw and start drinking...keep drinking till you're satisfied. The point, it won't ever run out and you can't even put a dent into it. Drink as much as you want! It's available and waiting! I loved this analogy of God's love for us!

God has been SO so good to me! This summer has been awesome! I have gotten to share some of the best memories of my life with 7 other people who I consider Family. God is constantly wanting to do something new- in and through us, and I felt so undeserving to be able to stand before hundreds of students to help lead them into the presence of God. While I was the one supposedly "working," I felt like I was the person being blessed over and over. I thank God for this opportunity and for another great summer of traveling.

I am thankful that God loves me. Not because I deserve it but just because He chooses to love me. I can never deserve it, nor pay him back for all he has done for me, but His love can cover anything, and it is powerful. His love has changed my life and I pray that I can love others like he does more and more.

A Note to Say Thank you!

Monday, July 5, 2010

“Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart.” Psalm 37:4

It has been an overwhelming weekend but overwhelming in a good way. I have felt so blessed this weekend to be home with my family and friends and to be here with EverPraise. Sunday was a great worship experience. It by far is the most intimidating crowd for me to be in front of and I probably had more nerves going into Sunday than I thought I would.

Saturday night as I was getting ready to go to bed, I started to pray about the service the next day. I knew that I was asked to share something, but I had no idea what I was going to say. I don’t talk often, I get nervous and most times feel like I am going to trip all over my words and embarrass myself. I began to pray that God would give me the words that he wanted me to say and that he would let the service go smoothly.
Sunday morning came. It was so great to see everyone, and I was overwhelmed at the people who came that I asked to come. I felt so loved. Music is what I am passionate about and so I was extremely excited to be able to share this with the people that I love. Right before Everlasting God, I knew I was going to talk here and right when we got to the part before this song, I looked at Parker and said I got nothing. His reassurance was the confidence I needed at that point, and so it came time. Just as promised, in God’s timing, I do feel like he gives us wisdom and words to say. I really don’t even know what I said on Sunday to be honest, but I know what happened in my spirit.

Most of my life, I have struggled with being transparent. Not because of anything specifically, but I feel like so many times as Christian’s we have this idea that we have to be “perfect” and if we aren’t then it is not acceptable to come just as we are, when the Bible tells us God uses the weak people to do great things. I remember feeling an overwhelming peace at this point and just wanting to be real. Regardless if I stumbled over my words, or cried.
You see, I have had some bumps along the way but who hasn’t? If I’m not real about my journey and what God has been to me then how can I help someone who might be in shoes that I’ve worn before?

As hard as it might be to admit that I have shortcomings, I’ve been disobedient, I struggle with stubbornness, anger and feelings of bitterness, and feel like I have scars that Satan is constantly trying to re open as new wounds, and just the choice to take the wrong road and do things my own way, I realize that God wants to use all of that for His glory. At one point in my life, I needed to hear that God loved me. That simple. Something I had heard so many times, it just became words without meaning, but I needed to know it. Regardless of the things I had been taught, and the good intentions that my parents had bringing me up, I had to hit rock bottom in my own life to learn what Grace really is. It looks different for all of us but the beauty in that is that it covers all of us. It has no limits and its power is fathomless. It saved my life and how can I not thank God for that? How can I not share that good news?
So if anything, in all of this writing, I want it to be known to my Parents, my Church Family, Friends, and the group that I travel with every weekend, how grateful I am to have you in my life

To my parents- I wouldn’t be the person I am without you. Your love, encouragement, and belief in who I am and the things that God has set before me is incredible. I could never pay you back for all that you have done and sacrificed for me, and I am so blessed to have two great role models who are the real thing everyday. Thank you for making this weekend possible!

To my Church Family & Friends- You have been such a special part of my life. I have been blessed to be in one location since I was 5 years old. All of your love, support, and prayers mean more to me than you would ever know. The friendships and relationships that I have made because of our church is something that I will forever be grateful for. Thank you for treating me as your own and for loving me as God has been unfolding his plans in my life! I am so glad I got to come home and share with you what God’s doing in my life.

EverPraise- Thank you, each of you for being a part of my life during this season. God has blessed me with 7 wonderful friends. We have made lots of memories, and God is creating all of our stories as we speak, but I am thankful that God let all of our paths cross. Thank you all for letting God use you to challenge me to be a better person, friend, and to grow everyday. Bringing you home with me was one of the most memorable experiences of my life. Thank you for being such a special part of my life! I am blessed because of you!

The reason I picked the verse at the beginning of this blog is simple. Regardless of my mistakes, the things I had set out for myself and the way I thought I wanted things to go, God has been faithful to me. When I stopped trying to do things my way, and I decided to let God have my life and make out of it what he has planned, he truly has given me the desires of my heart and his plan is still unfolding daily. It may not be perfect, but he has been so good to me and I just wanted to let those that I care about know how THANKFUL I am. I felt so undeserving on Sunday to be where I was, but all the Glory to God for the things he is doing in and around me. I wouldn’t be here without each of you, so from the bottom of my heart, Thank You.

With love and Gratitude-

Walking in the Light

Thursday, July 1, 2010


It’s attractive. It’s refreshing. It’s freedom. It’s peace. It’s powerful.

There’s something about light. Without it, we can’t see. Just like the sunshine, it’s heat and radiance is something that feels so good, it’s a breath of fresh air.

In the Light, truth is exposed. Whether good or bad, there are no secrets.

Over the past couple of weeks, I have been doing a lot of thinking in my own life and I have realized how much of my thought life Satan is trying to be involved in. He is the Father of Lies. Darkness is what he is about. In the dark, there is no freedom. Lies and secrets entangle those who choose to live in its grasp. It’s suffocating.

I have been struggle with lies from my past, and different things about myself that Satan would so love for me to revel in. It has taken me some time to realize his tactics and how he tries to attack me but when I finally put it all together in my head and realized what has been happening, I know that in Christ I am more than a conqueror. Satan is out to steal, kill, and destroy. While he may have won some battles in my own heart and mind in the past, he will not win these battles. Whether physical, mental, or emotional. He will not win this time.

This morning I woke up quoting lyrics to a song that I love. It goes something like this:

“Jesus the most beautiful name of all names; Jesus the only name that brings healing, and strength. When I speak your name, mountains move, chains are loosed, When I speak your name, darkness flees. It has no hold on me.”

It wasn’t long before I knew why these lyrics were on my heart this morning. I believe God talks to us in many ways, but I have experienced this a few times in my life where I will wake up in the middle of the night or in the morning quoting lines that I may have forgotten I even know from songs.

I have been meditating on these words and I realize that there is so much power in these words. I have the Light on my side, and when I trust in him, and call on him regardless of my circumstances, darkness cannot be there. It may not be actions taken in my life but I really believe that my thought life is just as capable of getting me to places I don’t need to be.

Satan will not win the victory because I have the Light of the World in my life and he has already overcome the things of my past, he has forgiven me, and his grace is sufficient for me. He is writing the story of my life, and he has good plans for me. His promises are true.

Praise be to God for His Light in our lives and the power that we have because of it!

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