Monday, March 29, 2010

Bravery in Class

So the other day, I was in a class, and one of my teachers had been complaining about how bad and sick they were feeling. It was so bad that they decided they couldn't take it anymore and they needed to call a substitute. So as he was going around checking everyone's homework, I decided to keep on reading a verse from my Bible.
When he finally arrived at my desk and was checking my work, he casually asked what I was reading and I (just as casually) replied that I was reading the Bible. In a joking manner he said "Well hey, maybe you can pray that I'd feel better" to which I replied "Of course! Would you like to? 'Cause I will!" ( I was very excited). Taken aback, he slowly agreed. I don't think he thought I'd take him seriously...apparently he doesn't know me very well.
    We continued in class until it was cut for our lunch break. He began to gather his things as he would head out instead of returning to class. Being the last one out (on purpose) I went up to his desk and stood there with my backpack and just began to pray for him (very awkwardly, mind you) and when I finished, he looked up and said "Wow. Um, thanks. I've never had someone pray for me like that. Much less a student *awkward laugh*". I told him that it wasn't a big deal and that I would reassure him that I would continue to pray for his healing and with that, I turned on my heel and walked out the door to lunch.
     The truth is that it was a big deal. I had prayed with my teacher, not a fellow classmate, not a friend, not some random person, but my teacher. And not only that, but I had prayed with him in the setting of a public school classroom. So tell me if that's not a big deal. If you do, I won't believe you. I'm so thankful that the Holy Spirit gave me not only the oppurtunity, the eyes to see the opportunity, but also the courage to pray with my teacher. It was beyond me. I know for a fact that I would've cowardly backed out, had He not come in and taken control of the situation. But that's what it's like when we trust Him fully. Moments like that aren't rare and occasional, but they become a part of our lives. It's not so much that they appear more, it's that the Spirit reveals them more. Because the truth is, that they are always there, we, well at least I am, too scared to obey.
Anyways, it was a great and really crazy cool experience. I'm so happy about it, you don't even know. Even if something doesn't happen with my teacher right away, SOMETHING EVENTUALLY will. Maybe in a few weeks, maybe in a few years, nevertheless, the Lord will do something in him. I'm just so glad He let me be a small part of it.
Let it not be said of us, that there's a difference between what is read in the Bible, and what is seen in our lives.
That we may stop being students of the Word and instead DOERS of the Word, and that through that, people would be won over into the Kingdom.

That's all.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Love Wins

This is why I love these Starbucks cups, cause once in a while, a quote so simple, yet so great comes along and its more meaningful than all of those "Believe in Yourself" piece of crap quotes...

His Love Endures Forever

Today was a hard day.
Due to a lot of things, but mainly because I let the enemy's voice swim around in my head. I really wanted to cry. It was one of those days, you know, the kind that it feels like you have a knot in your throat and no matter how hard you want to swallow it down, it just stays there? Yup. That's the kind. I just needed a good cry...too bad cause I didn't get one, but you know what? It was okay. Why? Because I realized something very important. I realized that for a while now, I had put my focus on the wrong person. I put my focus on a....crap.....a boy. But you know what? God spoke to me through all the hurt. Isn't that just amazing how He does that? All last night, and allll today, when I was hurting, Father was just speaking to my heart. My heart suddenly awakened to the realization that:
He's so good to me.
God is so good to me. It never ceases to amaze me to realize how much love He has for me. I just can't get enough of it.
His love endures forever. 
And I realized, that through my hurt, and through my pain, through my wounds and through my brokeness,
His love endures forever.
Thank You Jesus, for loving me so much. For seeing me in my weakness, and still loving me. For seeing me in my weakness, and in my weakness showing Your strength.
He's so good to me.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Thought for the Day...Prayer for My Life

I pray, that God would always make me uncomfortable, as to never adopt apathy but to always embrace the Kingdom of God. That I would never settle in my relationship with Father, but rather always be in constant pursuit of His Will, and His Heart.
 I pray that for not me alone, but for my generation as a whole.

Renata Moran
March 5, 2010

Sunday, March 14, 2010

When I Sleep and When I Rise..the things my ears hear

So lately, this is the songs I've added to the playlist for me to fall asleep and wake up with. You should check them out. And if you see any that I'm lacking, go ahead and share the knowledge. I mean come on, I'm helping you out.
  • Jon Foreman (ANYTHING the man writes, I fall in love with)
    • Your Love is Strong
    • House of God Forever
    • Cure For Pain
    • Love Isn't Made
    • Deep in Your Eyes
    • Again

    • Wild Sweet Orange ( You've probably never heard of them, but lemme tell you, they are a MUST. So get up, or don't cause iTunes and YouTube are on your computer, and look them up ya lazy...)
      • House of Regret
      • Ten Dead Dogs
      • Seeing Is Believing
      • Land of No Return
      • Tilt
      • You know what? Just listen to all their stuff...all of it. ALL. OF. IT.
    • Sufjan Stevens
      • Chicago
      • Casimir Pulaski Day
      • Come on! Feel the Illinoise!
      • Come Thou Fount (my favorite cover of one of my favorite hymns)
    • Andrew Bird ( This guy takes a whole new take on what it is to play the violin, it's ridiculous....ridiculously GREAT.)
      • Heretics
      • Effigy
      • Ismitosis
      • Anoanimal
    • Goo Goo Dolls (They are such a good band. And yes, they DO have more songs other than "Iris".)
      • Become
      • I'm Still Here
      • Slide
      • Black Balloon
      • Name
    • Regina Spektor (Probably my favorite female vocalist out there now. She's so unique. Listen to her and you'll know.)
      • On the Radio
      • Fidelity
      • Eet
      • The Call
    • Death Cab For Cutie (The sweet sweet vocals of Ben Gibbard...ohhhh baby)
      • Marching Bands of Manhattan
      • Crooked Teeth
      • Title and Registration
      • What Sarah Said
      • Soul Meets Body
      • Expo '86
    • Coldplay (If you don't love them, there's something wrong with you. And you need to be smacked on the head. Just sayin')
      • Fix You
      • Don't Panic
      • Green Eyes
      • Kingdom Come
      • Death and All His Friends
      • Swallowed in the Sea
    • Augustana (The kind of music that makes your heart feel all sappy and stuff and you can't help but sigh. The keys of the piano playing add to the bittersweet mixture. But no worries guys, you can listen to them too and it won't be weird.)
      • Lullaby
      • Empty Days
      • Hey Now
      • Twenty Years
      • I Still Ain't Over You
      • Boston
      • Stars and Boulevards
    • Switchfoot (These guys just keep getting better and better and better and better. Seriously, with every album they prove themselves a better band than their album before..There's so much depth behind their music, and thats what I love. did I mention I'm in love with Jon Foreman?)
      • Shadow Proves the Sunshine
      • The Blues
      • Always 
      • Yet
      • Needle in Haystack Life
      • Only Hope
    • Tray Bonner
      • He's not actually a recorded artist, he IS though, a good friend, but I LOVE his stuff. And I mean LOVE. I'm not really sure that he's fully aware of his talent, but um, he's kind of what one would call....oh I don't know...amazing? Is it weird that his stuff is on all of my playlists? Maybe.  BUT its not my fault its THAT good and I like it so much okay? Because it is. It's great. His voice to me kinda reminds me of a mix. I'm not sure what it consists of, but I believe that there's a bit of Ray LaMontagne's (look below) sound in there. You people might not ever get to hear it since its not available on iTunes or anything, which in all honesty, sucks for you because this kid is talent. Pure talent.
        • All Who Thirst
        • She's So Beautiful
        • This is Your Time
        • Spoken For (its a cover, but nevertheless, he still does a great job.)
    • Ray LaMontagne (I don't know what he looks like, but this guy has probably THE sexiest voice I've ever heard. Hoooooooly Crap. I seriously think I die a little bit everytime I hear that scratchy yet oh-so-smooth voice of his. I don't care WHAT the man sings about, just as long as he sings..)
      • Hold You In My Arms
      • Be Here Now
      • Empty
      • You Are (the Best Thing)
    • Ben Rector (This kid is like, twenty something, but I haven't heard a SINGLE one of his songs I didn't like. It's one of the best voices I've ever heard, his melodies are always beautiful, the lyrics are always well articulated and flow like poetry from Shakespeares pen. Seriously, my day isn't complete without Ben Rector.)
      • The Sophomore
      • Moving Backwards
      • Hank
      • I Thank God I Miss You
      • Bright Lights
      • Twenty Tomorrow
      • Untitled
      • When She Comes Around
      • Free Fallin' (his cover= GENIUS. Bravo Ben, Bravo. I think I like your verison more than the yeah, I do.)

    Saturday, March 13, 2010

    Just a Little Something to Make You Laugh

    This is probably the BEST news article I've ever read....

    The Abundant Life

    "The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full."- John 10:10

    A Roman soldier came to Julius Caesar to request permission to commit suicide. He was a dispirited human,a man with no hope left and no reason to carry on. Caesar looked at him. “Man,” he said, “were you ever really alive?”
    That man is reflection of some of us Christians today. We've accepted Jesus and gained new eternal life through his victorious death, but still- examine yourself.
    Are you even alive? REALLY alive?

    I've been taking a look at John 10:10 for the past few months, I'm intrigued by it. In this verse, Jesus is talking with his disciples when he tells them “The enemy comes to kill, steal and destroy but I have come so you may have life and have it more abundantly.
    Life abundantly. The word “abundant” in Greek is perisson, meaning exceedingly full, beyond measure, a quantity so abundant that is considerably much more than what one would expect or anticipate. In short, Jesus promises us a life far better than anything we could could ever create for ourselves. “No mind has concieved what God has prepared for those who love Him” (1Corinthians 2:9) Anything our own minds could create, the best life we could imagine still doesnt compare to the life he has offered us. He didn't come so that we could have normal, mediocre, everyday life, he came so that we may have it to the full! “I have come so that you may have life exceedingly full. I have come so that you may have life beyond measure. I have come so that you may have life so abundant that it is considerably much more than what you could anticipate or expect.
    The problem today however, is that we don't take a hold of this life. Because we've settled with being “okay”, we refuse to go after this life. We're too nestled in between our lives of comfort and complacency that we're scared. We're scared that the things He could call us to do will pull us out of that. We're unhappy with our spiritual lives, yet we refuse to change the way we live. If we keep living our lives the same way, we are going to keep getting the same results. We then turn to God and ask “Why don't you change me?” He looks back on us and says “When are you going to let me?
    We're scared of the adventure He holds out before us, forgetting that we do not venture off alone. If you see what Jesus tells his disciples, you see that he does not offer them an extension of physical life or an increase in materialistic things, but instead he offers the possibility of a life at a higher level, something beyond themselves. A life in obedience to Gods will, will lead and build this abundant life, creating a life nothing short of the full glory of God.
    Achieving the abundant life is not a a matter of once and for all, no, it's a continual process of learning, practicing, & maturing as well as failing, recovering, adjusting, enduring, & overcoming.  
    We are CONSTANTLY undergoing this pruning. It is all a matter of being transformed from our likeness, into the likeness of Christ.
    Paul calls it walking in the Spirit, Jesus calls it abiding in the vine.
    With this joyful hope, we receive a warning: the enemy has come to kill steal and destroy. Let me tell you something: 
    the moment we awaken to this abundant life and REALLY go after the full potential we are capable of through Jesus, the enemy is done for. If he can keep you blind to that truth completely, good. If He can keep you from reaching that potential-even better. Which is why he will do ANYTHING to hold you back from it. He fears you. This is why he attacks us and we see sin come to seduce us, hardships and suffering stumble in to destroy us...for good. So do not be surprised when he comes in for the attack, on the contrary, stand your ground. He comes to kill, steal, and destroy. So my question is, WHY WOULD WE ASSUME THAT HE WANTS TO DO ANYTING OTHER THAN THAT? Why do we minimize his intentions? You've been equiped with the proper equipment to ward him off, to defeat him. You have a battle to fight and a victory to claim.
    It is when we tap into this fount of abundant life when we ourselves are changed that our neighborhoods, our schools, our workplaces are transformed and the hearts of our friends and family that we've so desperately fought for, begin to melt. When we are in obedience with his will, we are in his will. This is the difference of being not just a student of the word but rather a DOER of the Word. This is when love, joy, peace, patience and all the other fruits of the Spirit are produced.
    That is when the stuff that we read about in the Bible is no different than what is seen in our lives.