Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Not Much To Report...

I cannot believe it is already December. It seems like this year just has gone so quickly. I guess that is the way it is as a person gets older. It certainly seems to become more true in my life with every passing year. In all honesty, there has not been a whole lot going on in my life that is blog worthy. I did see "The Blind Side" with some friends and LOVED it. I think that is a movie I will have to own. If you have not seen it, GO. It is absolutely wonderful. The story is awesome and Sandra Bullock and Tim McGraw are great.

I had a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday in Abilene celebrating with my parents, my mom's whole side, my Nana and Pa, my brother and sister, and some family friends. It is always wonderful to see them. The meal was delicious and our home looked beautiful. I just love when a home is full of people. My mom and dad are such wonderful and warm hosts. I love to watch and learn from their hospitality. We spent most of our time together eating and watching some great football. I was very proud of how well the Aggies played against the Longhorns. Our holiday came to a close with an Abilene High game in North Richland Hills and a very restful lazy Saturday with absolutely nothing on the books. All in all, a great Thanksgiving. I adore the holidays :)

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

I'm Still Here...

These past few weeks have been hard. I've had to say goodbye to a mentor. But through it all the Lord has been good and He has been so faithful. My blogging has taken a back seat the last few weeks. Throughout this time of experiencing the loss of a friend, the Lord has shown me every single day how immeasurably blessed I am. I have a wonderful family, a wonderful, heaven-sent community of friends, and a God who never changes. He is the same yesterday, today, and forever. I find so much comfort in that fact.

Friday, November 06, 2009

Blessings of Friendship...

I have been unbelivably blessed with the community of friends the Lord has given me. I don't think this life would be bearable without friends. Truly, the Lord, plus friends, plus family make my life what it is. Two weekends ago, I got to see my sweet friend Ashley and I got to meet her precious baby girl Emma Grace and that was so much fun. I've also recently had fun having lunch with two precious sisters, whom I love, Summer and Kate. And I had the pleasure of having lunch with my new sweet friend Karen who has three adorable girls with one on the way. I honestly don't know how I've been so blessed. I think these sweet friendships are just a gift of God's goodness.

God has also given me precious friends that don't live where I do, so I don't get to see them as often as I would like to. I am so grateful for these relationships as well. The Lord says that it is essentially important to be very careful with the people you surround yourself with, and I agree. I just have to say that I believe the people that surround me in life are some of the most devoted, humble, authentic, and precious men and women that I've ever met. I praise the Lord for each of you and the place you have in my community, I am blessed indeed.

Monday, November 02, 2009

It's That Time of Year....

It is the beginning of November. I love the beginning of November because it starts my absolute favorite time of year. What, besides fall, is Lauren's favorite time of year? The answer is the holidays. I adore the holidays. There is so much that I love about these special times. I LOVE tradition. I love, love, love being surrounded by my family. I love the special foods we prepare. My absolute favorite part of the hoidays is getting to celebrate the blessings and bounty of Jesus' goodness to all of us. When November and December roll around each year I am reminded once more how blessed I am. The holidays always serve as a yearly reminder on the calendar to stop and realize just how much the Lord has done. To me, the hoidays are so much more than gifts under the Christmas tree. They are a time to appreciate and treasure the things that really matter in life-- the people that make my life what it is and my God that makes this life so worthwile and full.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Recent Joys...

I've gotten lots of joy out of many different things lately. Anyone who reads this blog knows what a high-school and college football fan I am. The first joy I will share is this...


...I got to experience the joy of watching Texas beat OU in the Red River Rivalry. I am not the biggest Texas fan, but I route for them when they are playing an out-of-state team. That is not to say that I couldn't be pursuaded to become a Texas fan though :) It's just that my Daddy went to A&M for three years. But let's face it, A&M just cannot produce a winning football team. We'll see how they do against Texas, I'm already prepping myself for a complete domination by Texas. I've also gotten behind Tech. First because Taylor Potts is an Abilene High graduate, like me and secondly Grant attends Tech, so I pay my allegiance to the school. Let me just say, Stephen Sheffield has done great. OK, moving on...


...I've gotten to see Grant twice recently and that ALWAYS makes me happy. Since he and Laura have moved to Lubbock the family and I have missed them so much and it has been a blessing and a treat to see him. He came in for the A-High game against Weatherford and rode with us along with his best friend Cole. In case you haven't figured it out, I absolutely adore my family. I think family is to be cherished, treasured, and highly esteemed. I don't know what I'd do without them. They just make life so much fun :)...


...I've gotten to do one of my absolute favorite things - - celebate. In our family, October is a busy month and it is chalk-full of opportunities to have fun. We have my mom's birthday, my birthday, my uncle's birthday, and Halloween. Plus we usually try to fit in a trip to Fredericksburg, and that is always cause for celebration if you ask me. I love to travel.


I'll leave you with a picture of my favorite Eagle-in-training, my cousin, Emma Beth

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Cozy Days...

There is something about Fall that makes me enjoy days like today more than usual. I didn't have anything I HAD to get accomplished today so I just took it easy. I have done some of my favorite things. Things like watching my favorite cooking shows on Food Network, and catching up on what I've missed on Little House on the Prairie. Keeping to myself sometimes is just so comforting and restful. I've truly enjoyed going at a slower pace today. Days like this remind me of what things are really important. Thank you Lord for slow, cozy days!

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Birthday Celebration 2009...

Celebrating with our best family friends at Cracker Barrel
Daddy celebrating his two birthday girls: Mom first and then his Little
L
My precious Grandma and Papa joined us
I am always blessed to share my birthday celebrations with my precious and wonderful Mom! I had a wonderful family-filled birthday. I love sharing my birthday with my best friend, my Mom, one day apart :) My Mom's birthday is on October 5th and mine is on the 6th. I've always secretly thanked the Lord for that because I think it is so special. I think He knew we would be so close as mother-and-daughter friends and I am thankful for that little life detail we share with one another. I fully expect and believe that my 27th year will be blessed and full of the activity and Presence of the Lord, and for that I am unspeakably grateful. I desire to grow and become more of the young woman He desires me to be to fully embrace and celebrate the destiny and calling He has specifically ordained for me. Thanks to everyone who made me feel cherished, loved, encouraged, and blessed. The Lord is so good.
(I'm sorry the spacing is so wierd on this. Blogger is so wierd and unpredictable :)

Thursday, October 08, 2009

27 Wishes...

Here is a list of 27 wishes as well as things I would like to accomplish during this new year. I am borrowing this idea from my friend Katie.

1. Go to the International House of Prayer in Kansas City for a weekend (this has been a fervent desire of mine for a long long time!)
2. Grow an intense and ever-more fervent love for my Father God
3. Be more intentional about setting aside time to practice focused intercession
4. Grow deeper friendships
5. To be on the lookout every day and every moment I'm alive for the Presence of the Spirit
6. To stay in better contact with precious friends
7. To soak in the Lord's Presence every day
8. To love my family with a fierce and intentional grace
9. To watch my reactions and the words of my mouth
10. To take more pictures :)
11. To learn to not be so tied to material possessions
12. To listen before I speak (God gave me two ears and one mouth :)
13. To celebrate something every day
14. To heed the callings of the Lord
15. To be more organized :) This one is hard for me!
16. To allow the Lord to continue to show me how to manage my home in a godly manner
17. To be still
18. To read 1 new book a quarter (I'm a slow-let-it-sink-in kind of reader)
19. To encourage 5 people a day
20. To enjoy every day even on the days where I can't find anything to be happy about
21. To engage in meaningful work
22. To try to flesh out the Lord's Prayer with the grace of Jesus helping me
23. improve my writing
24. To take time and be thankful :)
25. To listen to music everyday (This one is NOT hard for me because I am a music lover, but I find that listening to good-for-the-soul, Christ-focused music drives away darkness and I'm all about that!!)
26. To love on the elderly in my sphere of influence
27. To have a pliable teachable and ever humble and pure spirit so that the Lord can have His way!

27 Things...

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Tuesday Makes Another Year...

Boy I'm thankful to be alive at this time in my life. It's been interesting and rewarding to say the least. When I say interesting I mean I've really enjoy watching God, even when I don't physically see results, working in my journey. He is always always always making me new, teaching me His Truth, and making me a more perfect representation of Jesus with each new detail. I welcome all of these activities of the Lord because I never want to become complascent and stale. I always want to become stronger and grow in the knowledge and precepts of God.

Speaking of this, this coming Tuesday will mark my 27th year of life. I am so thankful for almost 27 years growing, changing, learning, loving, and more. There are so many things I desire in the coming year for myself. More on that will come later. God has done unspeakable miracles in my life the most notable being that I am alive and healthy and growing in Him every day. I am grateful beyond words for this precious precious gift of life and I can't wait to continue my journey this year. I am knowing and claiming BIG, BIG things to take place in my character, my walk with the Spirit, and my journey with people. My prayer is that I will learn to walk in an even deeper, more authentic love than the previous year. I want to go into depths with the Spirit that I've only drempt of and prayed earnestly for.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Worshipping With Kari Jobe...


I do believe, my friends, that I experienced one of the best worship times I've had in a long time last night at New Hope Church in Abilene. Kari Jobe has been one of my favoite female voices for a long time, and I ADORE her genuine heart and spirit when she worships. Well, seeing her LIVE was beyond my expectations. I've been looking forward to this time for months. There was such a tangible spirit of worship in that place. I was escorted into true worship and I loved every single minute of it. Kari is just precious in every way. I knew why my heart had really connected to her in her music. She is only a year older than me, and she exhibits so much of the worshipper I want to be before the Presence of the Lord. Kari is from Southlake, TX and she was one of the worship leaders, and still is I think, at Gateway Church in Southlake. If she comes anywhere close to where you are in concert, go see her. It is so worth every penny. The older I've gotten, I'm not really crazy about loud concerts, but this particular evening was so far away from that. It was my favorite kind of heart-hungry time with the King -- it was an intimate two hours of worship being poured out to the Healer and mighty God. There was exteremely free and intensely extravagant praise being lavished on Christ Jesus. It was absolutely fabulous.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Sharpened and Spurred On...

There are many things that encourage me. Today I got to partake in a class that really touched on my passion for intercessory prayer and heigtened my desire to be white-hot in laboring for other people in prayer. I have had a ton of respect for Josh Ross for a long time now. From the very beginning stages of his early ministry at Highland, when he was an ACU student, an M.Div candidate, and now as a husband, father, and minister of the Word in Memphis Tennessee, my deep respect for him has only grown and deepened. To be honest, even though Josh is only a couple of years older than I am, he is one of my absolute favorite servants to watch because of the authenticity he chooses to show in every aspect of who he is, even if he doesn't realize it. I know Josh is human and that he has limitations, the truth is we all do. What I am saying is that I am always made more into the image of Jesus by allowing the influence of the disciple that he is filter down into my own spiritual formation. Josh, can you tell you are loved? I just want to say thank you for being so invested and passionate about the call of Jesus Christ on your life, on your family, on your ministry, and on the legacy of who you are and who you will become in the years to come.

Another blessing God gave me today was finally formally meeting another young man I've heard wonderful and life-giving things about, Collin Packer. Collin has also served as a young mentor of the servant I desire to become. I am always taken deeper into the things of the Lord by having the privilege to learn form Collin's example of humility and truth. I feel so grateful to have these two true-to-life, authentic, Spirit-saturated men to learn from, to look up to, and to pray for. I pray God would grow their ministries in Memphis and in Littleton and I pray that the Holy Spirit would rest mightily on their marriage covenants, on their households, and on the men after God's own heart that they are on the journey of becoming. God is good and faithful in all things and I just wanted to say thank you to Josh and to Collin for calling me through the fruit and the gifts of your lives into the depth and reality of who Jesus really is lived out in who you both are in His kingdom. Kayci and Holly you and Truitt, Noah, and Maddox are so blessed. May many blessings fall and rest on the Ross and Packer families by the power and provision of Jesus Christ.

Friday, September 18, 2009

A Day At The Movies...

I love movies. I enjoy watching stories unfold. This week I spent one day watching a saga that I had recorded off the Hallmark Channel. It was an old western saga based on Janette Oke's Love books. Throughout the time spent watching these wonderful movies, I kept wondering where the godly, ever-present core values that were characteristic of a by-gone era have gone. I have to say that I adore Hallmark movies and shows because of those values. I am a sucker for a good family-friendly series. These type of movies are very very few and far between in our world today. Why is that? Sometimes I desperately miss those movies that Hollywood has deemed 'dinosaurs' and ancient in the culture today. I get so tired of seeing such blatent and overt sin present in our movie theaters today. Don't get me wrong, there are some really good things that come out of our movie theatres that point directly to God, but for the most part, they are sorely lacking. I think I'll stick with Hallmark-esque movies, series like Little House on the Prairie, and Dr. Quinn Medicine Woman any day. I am constantly reminded that God has placed me in a depraved and lost generation to be set apart and different. He wants me to be in the world but not of it, but that is harder said than done. I'm mindful that God is with our world even when signs to the contrary exist, and I am thankful for that. Stepping off soapbox now :)

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

One Thankful Heart...

This week I've been reminded of the indescribable sacrifice God made for us through His precious Jesus and to say the least, I'm thankful. In recent weeks, I've been going through the book of Hebrews and I have fallen in love with this book even more as I really have taken the time to sit down and really let what Jesus accomplished for me soak in. In my natural state of being I can't comprehend it but the eternal most alive part of me just wants to lavish my Father and my Savior with every ounce of praise this earth and heaven have in them. To think that God loves me with a passion that is ever-growing and deepening with every passing moment, I am just overwhelmed. Hebrews has always been one of my favorite parts of the New Testament. It just has treasures everywhere I turn.

One of my very favorite portraits in Hebrews is the one detailing the fact that Jesus is my High Priest. I am just immensely grateful that I did not have to go through all of the rituals, laws, and diffrerent aspects of the Old Covenant. Sure there is inherent value in all of God's story, but I'm just endebted to Jesus that He is my one and only sacrifice to accomplish a station in life that I am so unworthy of on my own - - eternal life. As I've gotten older, my joy has been increased to encompass and celebrate the fact that I am powerless on my own. Only through Jesus am I abe to love, serve, live, and enjoy every part of this present life that He died to give me. I realize with every day that I am blessed to wake up, breathe, and thank Him, that life is only most fully enjoyed, made rich, and made truly fulfilling when a life is given back to Him in praise, devotion, and passion to live it out as an offering for the indelible price He paid to make me His.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Taking Part in Football History...

Greg and Blair enjoy watching the Wildcats
Greg, Carly, and I pose with the Cotton Bowl


Christin and Carly on our way to the Cotton Bowl

Like the past couple weekends, this one was no different. In case you have never visited this blog before, my family and I are crazy about high school and college football. Weekends in the fall are characterized by some form of football. Whether it is high school, college, on TV or something else, we partake in some fooball-themed entertainment every weekend. This football frenzy lasts from August through the playoffs that can last the Saturday before Christmas. Can you see why football consumes this family. I must be totally honest, I love it. I don't think I could be part of my family if I didn't. It was so much fun getting to visit a stadium that I've seen thousands of times on TV. It was awesome getting to be in an environment that is steeped in so much collegiate fanfare and history. I loved being able to partake in some of the fun that the student athletes get to experience during Bowl week in the College Bowl Series. Seriously, I created some wet, fun memories with my family of choice this weekend.
















Monday, September 07, 2009

Labor Day Weekend 2009...






I have had a fabulous long weekend. I got to spend time with our wonderful family friends, celebrate my little cousin's birthdays, and reconnect and spend some very treasured time with my dear friend Kevin and his wonderful and absolutely beautiful fiancee Darcey. It was so good. Here is some proof of the fun I had.


Spending any time with Kevin just does something wonderful for my spirit. It was such a tremendous honor and privilege to finally meet his Darcey. I cannot wait for January 16, 2010. It will most definitely be a day to celebrate in a big way. I am so thankful that the Lord saw fit to bring Kevin and his influence into my life. I thank Him everyday for that blessing. Now, I get to add Darcey to that prayer of thankfulness. She is everything I've prayed for in a mate for Kevin. Truly, God outdid himself with this match. I can only imagine what great and mighty things the Lord is going to do in the lives of these two precious friends as He brings them together and reveals His glory in their union and His purpose for their existence in His kingdom as part of the same covenant relationship. Can you tell I'm excited?
{Somehow, Blogger put my pictures out of order. Kevin, Darcey and I are at the top for some reason and the little cousins and I are next.} I hope you have a wonderful four-day work week.

























































































Friday, September 04, 2009

Just Another Friday...

I have to say, I love Fridays. Tonight will be no different, EXCEPT I get to see my newly-initiated-law-student brother, Grant and his Laura who has finished her second week as a first grade teacher. I am beyond excited. Then tomorrow I get to see my precious precious friend, K and meet his fiancee, D. I am just beside myself. How can a girl get this lucky in one weekend? It is just a great, tailor-made first full weekend of fall for me. I think one of my favorite things in this life is celebrating people. There's just nothing like it in my opinion. I also get to celebrate my my 2-year-old cousin Lily and 5-year-old cousin Emma Beth on Saturday night. Can you say pictures. Yes, there will be a mulititude of pictures captured this weekend for sure and for certain. My camera battery is fully charged and rearing to go.

My heart has just been overflowing in gratitude and utter thankfulness for the blessedness that rests in my journey and in my life every single day. I am so unbelievably loved by a God who never changes, a super fun and supremely loving family, and friends that just leave me amazed , encouraged, and sharpened in ways I never thought possible. Yes, of course, I still pray dilligently and fervently over my dreams, but I am finding unspeakable joy, treasure, and contentedness in my station in life right now. Thank you Father, for that! It's the best feeling in the world. Thank you for making me realize and live in the certainty of who you are Jesus. I claim that this life is yours. You have won this heart. Please do with me what you will because you hold everything about me in your soverign hands. Hands that are worthy to hold my future. Hands that were scarred to purchase me. I bless your name, my calling, and my position as your co-laborer and co-heir.

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

September How I Love Thee...

Glory be!! It's September and I am so so happy. Fall is in the air and I can almost taste it. Fall really is my favorite season. I love wearing layers, bundling up when there's a nip in the air, and being in the world when it changes from summer to fall. It is just so exciting to me and it makes me feel alive when it's cold outside. Plus, some of my favorite things are coming up in September and throughout the fall season.

My birthday, the Kari Jobe concert, Summit at ACU, football games, travelling, fun holidays, new babies for my friends. These are just a few of the exciting things September will bring to me. I am so ready to say goodbye to this very hot summer and hello to a cool and crisp fall season. There is just someting about fall that makes my soul feel at home and most secure. One other thing I love to do is to drink hot tea and I cannot justify doing this throughout the hot, grueling summer months. I went out on a coffee date to a new place with a precious friend and I tried iced Twinnings Lady Earl Grey and I loved it to its core. I will have to invest in the little blue box of those little jewels and put it in my cabinet to enjoy this fall and winter. All in all, I am just about to bust at the seams in excitement for the exciting things that await me this fall and during September. I love fall and winter so much and I believe they are practically perfect in every way as Mary Poppins would say. Happy September to you all.

Monday, August 31, 2009

A Weekend Full of Football...

Wow, I can't believe its already time for football to begin. Its my favorite time of year and I am beyond excited. The football started last Thursday night with ACU playing Northwest Mossouri and ended in an absolute scorcher between Abilene High and Ft. Worth Dunbar. I am seriously telling you, I don't think I've EVER been that hot. As soon as I put sunscreen on, I'd sweat it off. It was only 90 degrees but it felt like 120. I felt horrible for the players, coaches, and trainers down on the field. There was a man who actually had a heatstroke on the sidelines. It was that hot. I'm not talking be hot and then get in some shade and be cool, it was absolute direct sunlight at all times. At 2:00 when it was finally time to stand up and leave, and once the school song had been played and sung, it got breezy and very cool. Go figure. God is so funny.

I also got to celebrate my sister Christin's 21st birthday on Saturday night which was tons of fun. I'm so thankful to have her in my inner circle. She is a constant blessing and encouragement to me. All in all, it was a wonderful beginning to fall and it made me happy that a change in the seasons is on its way.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Girl Time Meets Heaven...

I was blessed beyond meaure last night as I partook in some much-needed girl time with an amazing new friend the Lord has brought to me. It was so refreshing to be real, authentic, broken, and restored. I don't have all the answers to the storms of life, but I know the One who does, and I will continue to walk in His love, sovriegnty, and control. He is the ultimate Author and Perfector of my faith. I only answer to Him in the end of this time called life. I was absolutely in awe last night of the ways He works. I had an opportunity to just listen, be there, and pray for my precious friend. It felt so good. It makes my spirit feel alive when someone in need calls, texts, or writes to me and says, "I could really use a friend. Are you available at so and so a time?"

We met at Mezamiz and from the moment we sat down, I felt like I was entering holy, and sacred ground so I made myself comfortable and was in it for the long haul. As our conversations played themselves out, we found out that we both shared so many commonlities and similar testimonies. It was freeing, magical, and so sweet. It truly was like we were in the coffee shop by ourselves as God's Presence showed up and Holy Spirit allowed us to go beyond the veils of heaven to reveal such life-giving thoughts, ideas, scriptures, and recent treasures gleaned from recent seasons with the Lord. The night ended with me giving my precious friend some really good teachings to listen to and to soak into her spirit.

"God, thank you so much for allowing me to see you doing what you do best. You tell us all the time that you are not through with us yet, you are constantly delighting in us, pursuing us, and loving us exactly where we are. It doesn't matter if we're at a place of beginning or full maturity. You love all the seasons of the soul, and I have to say, so do I. It's just amazing being your creation, your daughter, and your masterpiece. Thanks for giving me a front row seat to take in your redemptive and restorative power at its best. I love you."

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Exercise, It Does A Body Good...

In the last three days, I've done something wonderful. This certain action has become foreign to me in many ways. It is the issue of exercise. For the last 3 days, I've reacquainted myself with the notion that exercise will quicken my journey to a healthier way of living. I've walked around my parent's subdivision, around the perimeter of my church on Sayles, and it has been total bliss. Like many of my friends, I've relearned that I actually like the burn that resistance brings to my physique. In other words, the burn feels really good.

In January, like every other year for the past five years, I asked the Lod for a word, and He kept bringing discipline to my spirit. Well, this went on for several days and I finally figured out that 'discipline' would be my mantra for 2009. The Lord has been stressing the point in my life in recent months that if I intend on following through with the purposes and ordinances He has placed to become my kingdom identity, I must learn to retrain my spirit, my body, and my mind to allow the Holy Spirit to have room to govern and athorize the yearnings and actions of my being. Believe me, it has NOT been easy, but it has proven to be very timely and incredibly beneficial. And, I am so not all the way to a full maturity in these areas yet. That's the beauty of Christian discipleship, its gradual upgrading process. One that I've come to embrace and enjoy.

Walking a little everyday has shown me that a little effort and commitment goes a really long way. If I show God how seriously devoted I am, He will have no choice but to assist in my development of spiritual toning and muscle for the hard things every season brings. Back to that 'discipline'. I wasn't sure on New Year's Day when I received it, that I was supposed to keep it and dwell on it for twelve months, and I didn't know what shape and form discipline would take in my journey, but I liked the feeling of not being mediocre or comfortable with the word discipline. So I took the baton from the Lord and I hopefully have done Him proud with entrusting me with all that the word discipline encompasses and entails. One of my best friends is getting married later this year and I want to be smokin' for his wedding. In fact, I get to see him and his precious fiancee this weekend and I am beyond excited!

God, please bless me and all those who you are challenging this year to be disciplined and proven worthy of Your name, Your calling, and Your destiny in their lives. Give us supernatural courage to forge new paths in your grace and peace and walk with us as we try with every fiber of our beings to make You famous with the offerings of our lives."

Monday, August 17, 2009

For The Love of The Game...

One of my favorite things to partake in is a good board game or any other sort of game that does not require athleticism. I am not athletic in the least, but I do thoroughly enjoy cheering on my favorite sports teams. Anyway, I think playing board games is great fun, especially with a great group of friends. Two of my favorite board games are Monopoly and Sorry. My favorite game of them all is Chickenfoot, though. In recent years my family plus our best family friends have set aside Friday or Saturday nights in the summer to play Chickenfoot together. It is tons of fun. We tend to get pretty loud and I absolutely adore partaking in this time. I also think playing games together builds community. That, in my book, is always a good thing.

Now, you may be asking yourselves, "Why do they primarily play Chickenfoot on Friday nights in the summer?" The answer to that question is because Friday nights in the fall are solely dedicated to great meals and Abilene High football. If you know me or my family at all you know that we bleed black and gold. High school football is my daddy's passion. He seriously is like a kid in a candy store when August rolls around. I love watching his anticipation every fall. Every year when Abilene High football begins, I know cooler weather and fall traditions are not too far behind and that always puts a huge smile on my face and in my spirit.

Sunday, August 09, 2009

Things I Love...

There are many things I love in my life. Here is a list of some of them.

*my God
*my family
*the power of prayer
*patterns; my favorites include polka dots, toile, houndstooth, damask, and paisley
*pictures
*color
*my community of friends
*my church
*soaking
*music
*fellowship
*candles
*scripture
*encouragement
*worship
*the elderly
*dogs
*quality time getting to know someone
*books
*writing
*monograms

These are just a few of the things that put a smile on my face immediately. I hope you have things in your life that brings a smile to your face on a daily basis. It just makes life fun.

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

New Possiblities...

God has been equipping me for something big for a while now. I haven't known what the big new adventure would be, but I've been ecstatically exctied about new things on the Lord's horizon for me! The Lover of my Soul has been so intensely sweet to me as He has had me in His divine School of Equipping. I've absolutely adored walking beside Him as He has pointed out things that have needed to be pruned in me and as He has created intensely personal messages just for me and my spirit's encouragement. I know beyond the shadow of a doubt that I am being led by the Holy Spirit in the season of life I'm in the midst of living right now. That feels unspeakably good. God is just plain FUN. He has such a beautiful way of weaving His purposes, ordinances, and plans in a life that is given over to His governance, authority, and control.

God has placed some absolutely Heaven-sent people into my circle that have allowed me to be authentic and to be completely me. There is such a sense of peace and belonging in that. It brings a demision of security to my life before God and before men. I've learned that I'm enrolled in God's School of Mastery for a lifetime and that when I don't promptly pass a test He brings, I get second chances to retake the courses and exams over material we have covered together. I just love being a Child of His. I have learned that I am one hundred percent His. He just makes life so worthwhile and full of excitement and surprises every single day if I constantly look around for His Presence and activity.

Speaking of surprises, He floored me recently. A prominant Abilene photographer and Highland member seeked me out to propose an idea for collaboration with her in a project. If you read this blog, you know that I have a passion to write, but my number one passion is becoming all that God has desired me to become in Him. She approached me and asked if I might be interested in giving words to some of her images. I immediately became very excited in my spirit because it seemed that the Holy Spirit was screaming at me and that does not happen to me very often. I believe that the Lord has equipped me for this new adventure. Now, here's where you come in. If you read this blog, I would like to ask for your prayers in this new opportunity. My number one prayer request is that I will become the Holy Spirit's scribe and to allow Him to dictate every word that I write down. My second prayer request would be that I DO NOT become puffed up and full of ungodly pride. I want to be a set apart glory-bearer and an authentically devoted and fully equipped conduit of His glory. I don't want one ounce of the glory in this. I want to give it all to the One who created these giftings within me. This new adventure combines two of my favorite things: writing and pictures. I'm very excited and I leave it all in God's hands.

Monday, August 03, 2009

Surrender And More...

This past week was so so good. I got to spend some time at my parents house from Tuesday-Sunday because my Mama was in Lubbock helping my sister-in-law, Laura, with house stuff. She came home on Thursday by noon and we just spent some great time together and as a family. I get the privilege of going to my parents house every Friday afternoon and staying the weekend, so that was not different. Our family has a youth intern staying the summer at our house and we adore her. This summer will make three years my parents have had an intern in thier home. Tandi is wonderful. She is a Harding junior who is studying Secondary Education and hopes to teach when she is finished. She has done absolutely amazing things with our Highland kids and they absolutely love her to pieces. There are also two other male youth interns serving the Highland Youth Ministry this summer. They are awesome as well.

Sunday at Highland was so good and it really was centered around hard questions, questions like, "Who and what is your life surrendered to?" or "What do you need to lay at the feet of Christ and, through the power of the Holy Spirit, not try to pick up again?" I loved it. God quickly gave me something to surrender and I was more than ecstatic to surrender it. Now, that doesn't always happen in my life. There are times when He has to absolutely pry things out of my control and my way of doing things. I welcome that as well, but, while gritting my teeth and holding on for dear life. My mom and dad shared some thoughts before the congregation about what surrender has looked like in their lives and I was so honored to hear their hearts. It made me cry out to God in thanksgiving for the privilege it is to be theirs for a time and His for an eternity. I was crying, as if anyone who reads this is surprised at that. To top the weekend off, we had Small Group and then my family went out to Clyde to bless and pray over a wonderful, Christ-shaped young woman along with about 15 other people she is close to and her family as she prepares to go to Ghana to work alongside Pam Cope. It was a great few days

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Girls Chrysalis Plus New Phones...

This past weekend, I worked a girls Chrysalis event in Leuders. If you've ever heard of the Walk to Emmaus, a Chrysalis event is the Walk to Emmaus for teenagers and young adults. I had a wonderful weekend. I had the honor of serving on the outside team which are asked to serve silently. I absolutely love serving in that way. The young women found freedom, joy, and restoration. It was fabulous. Although it was wonderful, I am absolutely exhausted. To tell you how tired I was, I usually get up between 7:00 - 7:30 am. Well, I slept in till about 10:00. That is highly unusual for me. I guess the Lord knew I needed the extra rest. I'm so glad I was able to be a part of the special weekend in the lives of these young women. It was a blessing for sure.

On Monday, my mom took me to AT&T to get a new cell phone. I was very excited to say the least. I'd had my old phone and sim card for five years. Yea, that is a LONG time in phone years. I got a snazzy little blue phone that has a touchscreen and is very easy to text on. which I love. The only thing I don't like is that my sim card got messed up and needs to be replaced. That will be taken care of tomorrow or Friday I hope. I've had a great few days.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Sisters of Choice...




Carly and Christin during FCA All-Star Week 2009. Love these two girls more than I can desribe

I don't know if I've ever introduced you all to my 'sisters of choice' Christin and Carly Etter. These two precious sisters in real life are the daughters of my parents best friends, Greg and Tina or 'Buster' as Greg is affectionately known in the Cunningham household as well as to all of the children of Highland. Here's a picture of my two 'sisters of choice':

Carly and Christin looking cute at Szchsuan.




I just adore these precious girls and they both have very cherished and treasured places in my heart. They bring me so much joy and love. They truly are my sisters and really really close friends. I am blessed indeed.





This is Carly, Miles and Lily, Christin and Carly's precious cousins whom I love dearly. They are hilarious :)




Showing sisterly love... :)



I am immeasurably blessed to call them family, friends, and my 'sisters of choice'. The Etter family has been such a formative part of my life and I am thankful beyond what I can say to call them special community. I'm so glad the Lord saw the need to create and dwell amongst the company of friends. My life would look so different if I didn't have these kindred people in in to shine the radiance of Christ. I am I think the Lord is so funny sometimes because He knew the dynamics of both the Cunningham and Etter families even before the foundations of the world were established. He knew we would need each other to walk the journey on the earth. I'm so blessed by this family.




Greg aka 'Buster' and Carly aka 'Bear' at a Roughriders indoor football game



To say that I love this family is so far off the mark. I am endebted to them for loving me and all my warts. They have shown me the face and heart of God so many times I cannot even count them all.


My Christin and my precious Daddy or her 'second Daddy'.

I love you Etterlets and Mama and Buster Etter. You are all loved, cherished, and treasured parts of who I am. Thank you so much for choosing to walk with us Cunninghams as we learn to flesh out the Way of Christ in this world through the manifestation of the institution of the family. Bless you guys :)







































































































Thursday, July 16, 2009

A Fearless Woman's Battle...

This is my treasured and cherished friend, Kathy Kiser. Unbeknwonst to her, she has become one of my most cherished mentors through the many years of her friendship. I cannot say enough about this fearless, bold, courageous, perservering woman of immense faith, power, and unrelenting and tangible faith. She has shown the the face of Christ Jesus so many times I scarcely can count. Truly, the Lord has used her influence and wisdom; her kindness and compassion; her humble authenticity; and most importantly her ruthless pursuit of excellence before the courts of heaven.

Well, on Tuesday, July 14, 2009 her world was shaken. She, her husband, Jack, their two boys, Cole and Chase, and her precious daughter-in-law, Christi 'Ritchey' Kiser were shocked after exporitory surgery that the doctors diagnosed Kathy with cancer that has metasticized into her liver, her colon, and the lining of her stomach. Now, please know that Kathy Kiser has be endowed with a 'fighter's spirit. She WILL defeat this. She is one of THE most fervent and devoted women of the Lord that I have ever had the honor of knowing intimately. Her oldest son, Cole has been my brother's best friend since second grade. So you can see the many connections our families have shared throughout the years.

If you would PLEASE join me in praying for the entire Kiser family I would certainly appreciate it. First of all pray for Kathy: her strength, her willingness to war with the demons of hell, her stamina and endurance, ever-deepening faith and an unrelenting hope anchored in the Spirit-fueled Body of Christ, and for her spirit to remain constant, faithful, and undaunted by this battle, emotional stamina, and a supernatural knowledge of God's love and delight over her. Next her husband, Jack: that he would continue to be rooted and firmly established in godly counsel, purposes, and things that stir God's heart, that Jack will be able to provide the haven that Kathy will need from this disease, for an agape, deep, commited covenant love relationship to reside between the two of them, their marriage covenant, and whatever else you can think of as a husband and wife team committed to the Lord's ways and teachings. Cole: a willingness to serve his parents, a deep call to prayer, many "spiritual mothers" to surround and hold him up, and for Grant as he ministers to Cole, for Cole to KNOW his Mama will be ok. Chase: same. Christi: unrelenting and growing deep faith, hope, joy, peace, confidence, trust, and a commitment to walk beside Chase in this season of trial.

All of Kathy's community that has committed to surround and love her are claiming Jeremiah 32:27 over her in this season of trial: "I am the Lord, the God of all mankind. Is anything too hard for me?" Please claim this scripture over the Kiser family and over Kathy's precious spirit. She WILL BE AN OVERCOMER!!! Thanks so much. I am so humbled by the power of the Body of Christ and the immense presence of it in the earth.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

My List of Must See TV...

I wish I wasn't such a TV watcher, but I am. I really like clean, uplifting, funny shows. Now, in my mind most of what our society deems as appropriate to expose to the American public is downright disgusting and unfit for men, women, and children who want to live holy and set apart lives for our savior Jesus. Here are my favorite shows that I record on a weekly basis.



I LOVE Tyler Perry's House of Payne on TBS. I think Curtis, Ella, CJ, Malik, Jasmine, and Calvin are hilarious. It makes me laugh every time I watch the show. I hurry home from church in order to catch this show. Good thing I live only about 45 seconds from my church building :)


Another show I absolutely adore is another Tyler Perry show on TBS called "Meet The Browns." I honestly think Leroy Brown, or 'Mr. Brown' as he's affectionately known as on the show is rip-roaringly hilarious. I have to make sure and not drink any liquids during this show because I don't want to emty my bladder. It's that entertaining. He is constantly getting concepts and words mixed up and his character is a Holy-Ghost-filled-demon-chasing follower of God. I cannot get enough of this show. I can't wait for 8:00 to roll around every Wednesday night.




"The Little Couple" is another Tuesday night favorite of mine. I have to admit, I am fascinated by this couple--their size, the way they love each other, the fact that they have wonderful, soul-satisfying jobs and so many other things. All I have to say is Go Jen and Bill. I try not to miss this show. And I love their little dog Rocky :)


What Not To Wear is probably one of my top five favorite shows ever. I LOVE Clinton and Stacey's style :) Plus, I just think they make America look so much better. Every night I ask God to send them to me. I think I dress pretty well, but I do tend to look nice but still be casual everyday. I would adore to spend 5 straight days in New York City getting a high-class makeover that would cause people to turn their heads. What girl wouldn't?? Y'all can add that to your prayer list for me as well. Maybe that's God's next gift to me :) A girl can dream can't she?

Blogger is being stubborn and won't let me post my other favorites so I'll just write about them:

Joyce Meyer's "Enjoying Everyday Life" is probably in my top two favorite shows to watch. And I love being able to tune into her show via GodTV. She just gives good, old-fashioned wisdom and I LOVE her style. She constantly keeps me in stiches and she is very, very real and approachable. Just love her to death. I want to live a life of humble excellence before the Lord and she helps me to stay equipped. I don't like to miss her even one day.

I also love to watch TLC's "Cake Boss." I think the family dynamics on that show are funny. And the guy makes beautiful creations out of fondant.

There are many others I enjoy. Maybe I'll make this a two-part post. I am just a person that enjoys good clean, heartwarming television. I don't rush out and see what Hollywood deems worthy of me spending $7 to $8 dollars to see. Hope your shows are keeping you happy and entertained!








































Monday, July 13, 2009

Family Time...

I spent a wonderful week in Colorado with my family last week. It was great. There is nothing I love more than spending good quality time with people. I absolutely adore Colorado. I feel so connected to the Lord there. One of my favorite places to hear His voice resides in the mountains there. My sacred place is Williams Creek Resevoir located about 50 miles from Pagosa.

We didn't do too much. We just relaxed, fellowshipped with one another, read, watched movies, and ate good food. Oh, and we did do some antique shopping in Pagosa, Durango, and Bayfield. A Cunningham ladies vacation wouldn't be complete without antique shopping. My brother fished almost the entire time. He has a passion for fly fishing. My daddy just spent the week relaxing and taking naps. He works SO hard and I am thankful the Lord gave him time to be refueled, refreshed, and rested. I adore my family so much and I am so blessed to learn the way of Jesus from the fruit of their lives. It was sad to drop my sister-in-law Laura off in Lubbock when we came into Texas. I was happy that my mom got to spend some good time with Laura in the car to talk and be together.

All in all, it was a wonderful time as a family. I'm thankful for times like these. I really treasure them. I also really like that God gave me a love for people. There's nothing more fulfilling in my mind than being invested and part of other people's lives. I hope you've had a great vacation this summer.

Sunday, July 05, 2009

A Mountain Girl...

This family vacation is confirming one thing about my personality. I am definitely a mountain girl. There is just something that really resonates with me when I see mountains in a landscape. They calm me. They remind me of God's granduer. I love being able to look out and enjoy their beauty. I love mountains. That's all there is to it.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Brother-Sister Send Off...

Well, the U-Haul has sat in our driveway for two days; it is almost all packed up. Grant and Laura head north tomorrow to say hello to a different city and home for 3 years while Grant attends Texas Tech Law School. I have absolutely adored having them 'home' at my parents house with me this week as they have picked out new paint colors, ran errands, made phone calls, and set up utilities and other things at their new home. The really good thing is that they will live only three hours away and still in Texas. Laura will teach 1st grade at a local elementary school. Grant will devote his days to law books, reviews, and hours in a classroom. I am so excited for this new chapter in their lives, their marriage covenant, and in our life as a family. We have known this day would come but now that it's almost here, I find myself asking the Lord for more time together.

Thankfully, we will have that time in a week-long vacation to our favorite spot: Pagosa Springs, Colorado. We Cunninghams adore Colorado. Grant has a passion for fly fishing, hiking, and getting lost in the beauty and scenery in that place. Daddy, Mama, Laura, and I love to poke around Pagosa, take it easy, and just be together. I have a feeling that there will be lots of hugging, savoring time, and just immersing ourselves in one another. I can't wait. Grant will continue to work for my dad throughout the rest of the summer and go to his new home on weekends as Laura stays behind creating their new home and acquainting herself with the new city they will call home. Really the Lord has led every single step of this journey with them. I am so thankful for the evidence He has given to let them know that they truly belong there for a short season. That is what this whole law school thing is: a season of time where Grant and Laura make their own lives and begin to live out of reputations they create and maintain for themselves. I know the Lord has wonderful purposes, desires, and gifts for them as they have totally devoted this entire journey to His glory. It's just hard to say 'goodbye'. The really neat thing that brings me a lot of peace is that they are God's people and they do not belong to me, they belong solely to each other and to the Lord.

"Where you go, I will go. Where you sleep, I will sleep." Ruth 4;16

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Summer Days...

I am loving this summer. My family and I have already been quite busy and, to be honest, I like it that way. My mom has been traveling her little heart out, my Daddy has been working, my brother and sister have been tying up loose ends in Abilene to move to Lubbock on Thurday, and I have been enjoying great times with family, friends, and my Jesus. Truly, I have made great memories so far. The fun is far from being over.

This weekend should be tons of fun. I am attending a prophetic conference at FUMC in Abilene beginning on Thursday afternoon and it will conclude on Saturday evening. I am so excited about the lady who is coming in from Catch the Fire Ministries based out of Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Her name is Isabel Allum and she centers her individual prophetic ministry out of the father heart of God. Then, on Friday evening, I will hop from FUMC's conference to go to a Chrysalis team meeting for the Girl's Chrysalis I'm working in July. There are so many people I love working on this team. My heart and spirit should be feasting all weekend. God has truly poured out His goodness in the season I'm experiencing right now in the deepest parts of my soul. I'm being filled up so much so that I can be poured out for the glory and purposes of Christ. That just excites me like nothing else. Please say a prayer for my mom as she is traveling through Vienna this week. She will return on Saturday morning.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Fathers...






First of all this is my completely precious and servant-hearted Daddy, Rob. I absolutely adore him and I could not even imagine my life without his godly influence and his commitment to living in humble excellence. I am so enbebted to him for many many things. I am a product of grace and anything I am is a direct result of God's goodness and my Daddy's Spirit-filled example of an earthly father.


Let me introduce you to my Pa, Bob Cunningham, my Daddy's dad. This man is one of my heroes. When I say hero, I mean a spiritual giant in my life. I just love him to pieces. I am so glad he's in my life. I have such precious memories of growing up spending time with him. There is no way I can repay him for all he's done for me. I guess I'll just have to wait until heaven so that God can repay him. That sounds good to me.





This couple ladies and gentleman, are my grandparents, Jerry and Stel Elmore. My mom is their daughter. I have learned more about the character of Jesus from these two people then they know. There are no two people who know scripture like these two. I know my grandfather as Papa. He and my Grandma moved to Abilene 5 years ago from Bakersfield, California. He served as an elder in their home congregation for 40 years. That's quite a heritage. I am beyond blessed to have Papa in my life and in my journey with Christ. I'm thankful.

(I couldn't find a picture of my Papa and me) I hope you've enjoyed this little family tour. There is nothing like family. I believe it is one of God's most awesome instituions and creations.

One Busy Weekend...


My friend and freshman roommate, Jordan, got married this weekend. I only made the reception. My Saturday was booked. She was a radiant bride. I was so honored to be able to celebrate her. God has used her in my life to speak truth, to encourage me, to challenge me, to pray for me, and to spur me on to higher things in Him. I am so thankful for and excited about her newly authored marriage covenant to Brent. What a lucky guy. I wish Brent and Jordan every blessing that God has to give. They both have waited a lifetime for this new adventure

I also was beyond blessed to attend an outdoor wedding on Saturday evening full of people I love. It was one of the most beautiful weddings I've been to in a while. It was so relaxed, laid back, and full of the personalities of both families involved. The neice of one of my most treasured mentors was the bride. My mentor's husband performed the ceremony and it was chalk-full of personal touches and stories from the lives of the couple. It was wonderful. I loved it.

Today, my family had a Father's Day celebration at my cousin's house. It was fun. My Mom and Daddy were not there but I made sure to call my Dad and wish him a happy day. I always enjoy times with my family. There are so many precious moments in the lives of families. I am blessed to have a great one.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Prayer Warriors Unite...

Please pray for baby Eydie Paige Stover. She was born yesterday, June 18, 2009, to Brandon and Kate Stover in Abilene. She is in the Hendrick NICU having difficulty breathing. She shows signs of improvement as of now. Please pray for Brandon, Kate, Eydie Paige and family members as they wait. Pray specifically for restoration of breathing and for Eydie's lungs as she is weaned off of the oxygen. Pray that the Great Physician would breathe on this precious little girl as He holds her in His hands.

Also please be in prayer for Reuben Whitfield, Jody Reese's father as he is on life support in Austin after suffering a fall off of a ladder. Jody, Lynn, and Kathy are all on their way to Austin to be with him and their mom, Naomi. Thanks so much for your prayers.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Hot But Blessed...

It has been oppressively hot in Abilene this week. I am constantly thanking the Lord for air conditioning and for lukewarm showers in the middle of the afternoon. I have been remided of the Houston heat this week and I have a very tangible sense of what my friends the Thompsons and Sargents must live with throughout steamy-hot South Texas summers. I truly have a new-found appreciation for you guys. I honestly don't know how you do it day in and day out.

Those who are close to me know what a stuggle I have in extreme heat. I HATE it. It takes major determination to fight my flesh and combat the heat and my desire to give into the temptaiton to complain and be miserable in the midst of being hot. I much rather perfer cold weather any day. Right now, I am wishing my family had a pool that I could just jump into any time I felt the urge. Last week it got up to 102 degrees.

In the midst of this heat wave that has come over Abilene, the Lord has also provided much-needed fellowship with mentors and other sweet friends. I am so glad I don't ever have to be in this life alone. There is SO much value in friendship and the journey of discipleship. I have been humbled, corrected, extravagantly loved, and nurtured this week by many dfferent outlets. I am extravagantly and immeausrably blessed.

"Love the Lord your God with all your heart; with all your soul; with all your mind; and with all your strength for that is the will of God in Christ Jesus." - Deuteronomy 6

Monday, June 15, 2009

Spirit, Train My Tongue...

Words contain unspeakable power. I learned that this weekend. My tongue needs to go back to school to be taught to be used. I desire to speak and invoke blessing over people's lives and I fail that desire so many times. I desperately need the power of the Spirit to teach, cultivate, and grow the words and works of my mouth. I am asking the Lord to set a guard about my mouth and to refresh and reuse the filter that He created. I think I just need a complete rehaul in the area of my speech. Thankfully, I serve a God who is more than willing to guide, teach, and mature what comes from my spirit into my mouth. I was reminded today in my prayer time that God gave me two ears with which to listen and one mouth to speak. I think He wants me to listen twice as much as I talk. That is SO hard. But, I know I can do it with God's help. I am asking the Spirit to employ the 10-second rule when I speak meaning that I desire to think about what I say for 10 seconds before I allow it the authority to come out of my spirit or my mouth. That is going to take work but I can do it. I praise the Lord that he redeems, forgives, wipes clean, and restores us as His vesels. I am thankful for courageous people to come and correct and tell me when I have done something wrong or something that is completely ungodly. I need that in my life. I want to be a spring of blessing. I want to be a safe place where people can share their hearts and know that what is said will stay in the strictest confidence. God is good.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Cultivating a Lovely and Gentle Spirit...

I desperately yearn to possess a lovely and gentle spirit in the sight of the Lord. I can't say I'm all the way there. Thankfully, we are never quite where we want to be in our relationships with Christ. It is a process. It takes time. That is something that the Lord has had to teach and show me as I have grown in my walk of discipleship. I am so grateful that He has made a covenant promise to me to walk beside me and guide me by the power and promptings of the Holy Spirit. I always have to remember that grwoing in loveliness and gentleness will never be finished as long as I walk in this earthly life. Don't get me wrong, I make mistakes. My flesh shouts almost daily. I am the clay He is the Potter..., I am the clay, He is the Potter...

Boy, am I glad that growing comes in stages and that the Lord constantly is promoting us onto greater things in His kingdom. Being promoted and matured in a fruit of the Spirit comes as the Lord figures us out and tests us in order to see if we are being real and not skipping anything He has in store for us. We cannot miss one of His purposes because He uses each one to make us stronger, sharper, and more into the image of the One who is eternal and steady. Our innermost foundation MUST be established in the reality and certainty of Who He is. He must author everything that we are about in order to be fully known in us by the world.

"Let your beauty come not from outward adornment, but let it be found in the beauty and authenticity of your inner person, the person of your heart. A gentle, lovely, and a quiet spirit is of great worh in the sight of the Lord." - 1 Peter 3:4

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Make Me a Warrior Woman...

I want to be a warrior-saint. I want to go boldly into places of darkness and lack in order to envelop and illuminate them with the light of the Lord. I want to make the devil cringe. I want him to know my name and to have my number. The Word says that if we resist him long enough, he will get bord becuase he realizes that we are not going to be put of course. He knows our gaze is fixed and firmly established to the One who is victorious. I love that. I mean seriously, I want to be that invested and focused on heavenly and excellent things. I was listening to a prophetic word on CD by one of my favorite people, Graham Cooke, and he said this, "The devil repelled by authentic, relentless, and reckless praise." Graham also shared this little tidbit, "Fear or anything contrary to the nature or character of God attracts attack and demonic activity." Wow. That is some hard-core truth. To be completely honest, I'm still in the process of sifting through, in my mind, much of what I heard on the CD. There was so much that was beyond my mind. But, I still opened up my spirit and received what Graham called forth and spoke over my heart. It truly fed my spirit. It was as if God was pouring His goodness and His deep abiding revelation into my being.

There is absolutely nothing that is more precious to me than intimately communing and spending time with my God. It really is the only way I will ever be who I want to be, a woman completely yielded and wholly abandoned to the purposes, passions, and heart cries of my Savior. I take such joy and faith in the fact that the Lord knows my reputation with men and in the heavenly courts. I take comfort in the fact that I am fought for in the battle that is raging all around me in the heavenly realm. I am hidden in the secret place with Christ as God fights my battles and calls forth my destiny. I want to give Him absolutely everything I can so that He can sharpen, shape, and create in me the person and eternal being that He has had in his mind's eye since before the foundations of the earth were put into place.

Sunday, June 07, 2009

A Reason to Love...

I have enjoyed a wonderful weekend. Friday night, my family and I enjoyed great time with very close family friends. Saturday morning and afternoon were spent with my best friend besides Jesus, my precious Mom shopping, running errands, and having my sister help us pick out my Mom's new glasses. Saturday evening my family and I went to a wedding at one of my favorite chruches in town. I love to witness weddings. I teared up many times as is very common for me. After the wedding my Mom, Daddy, and I enjoyed a coffee date with another very close couple to our family. It has been a wonderful couple days, for sure.

My favorite part of the weekend came this morning as Randy Harris gave the message to my church body. I was very convicted as I sat listening and feverishly scribbling down notes. It was excellent. His message was taken from Luke 10:25-37. I loved the title of his message, "The Menimally Decent Samaritan." He focused on the fact that the Good Samaritan showed the injured man extravagant compassion, mercy, and kindness. This guy went the extra mile in excellence and provided for the injured man. One thing that Randy said that I loved and paraphrased was, "Jesus is calling all His disciples and servants to a radical ethic and way of living." Another thing that I caught was the idea of the Lord wanting us to go beyond ourselves and our flesh and to live beyond menimal decency, but to love extravagantly and to lavish the grace and love of God on people. I absolutely love that idea and I pray that my life embodies that in my everyday existence.

All in all it was a rich, soul-satisfying time of encouragement and being sharpened and challenged to go deeper into the character and call of Jesus on my life as His servant. To top it off, my Daddy and I got to eat a wonderful home-cooked meal at my brother's house one last time with my grandparents before my brother and sister-in-love begin their move to Lubbock in the next two weeks. Grant is beginning law school at Texas Tech in August. Laura will teach 1st grade at a wonderful, innovative elementary school in August as well. Please pray for them. This entire process has been one-hundred percent Spirit-led and the Lord has really provided and led every step of the way.

I'll leave you with a concept that I paraphrased from today's message in worship:

"A Gospel-formed love can only come forth out of a person who is intimately acquainted with the radical, extravagant love of Christ Jesus first before it can go beyond us and help usher in His Presence and his purposes for His ultimate glory in all things seen and unseen."

Thursday, June 04, 2009

Earnest Honor...

I pray everyday in my spirit that I will live in earnest honor of the Lord. I know this is only possible through the power of the Holy Spirit. It is not something I can achieve on my own. I need to be constantly immersed in a power that resides in Someone higher. If it were left up to me alone I would live in the low place of my flesh. Honor is a concept that has gotten lost in our present day society. It seems like every aspect of this society is centered around demeaning or destroying something in order to recieve honor and respect. I really strong dislike that. I want that mentality to change. I have the power to decide whether or not to live that way. We all have the power to make that decision. For that I am grateful.

In my mind honor means serving another person in some way. It means loving another person more than I love myself. It means blessing them in order that they may go out and bless, edify, and encourage others to seek higher things. Honor is something that is earned. It deserves reward. The funny thing is, if you seek the right honor, the reward comes after denying yourself and walking in selflessness and humility. This is extremely hard. It definitely requires power that we in our humaness do not possess. I earnesly pray that my life depicts an earnest honor in all areas. I want to go beyond myself; to serve others passionately in order for them to see Jesus in my life and to attract them to the One to whom honor is due.

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

My Rough-and-Tumble Sophie...


This is my Westie, Sophie, whom I love very much. Ever since I was a little girl I have wanted to own a Westie. I have always thought they were just adorable. Sophie is spunky, mischievious, smart, and a complete joy. She definitely makes life fun and interesting. I do believe she has THE most ear-piercing bark I have ever heard in my entire life. I'm so thankful she is part of my life. I seriously love the fact that God created dogs. I think He realized what sweet companions they are. There will never be a day of my life without a dog, that is for sure.
Sophie lives at my parents house and I go home and visit her every weekend. It really works out well because she adores my parents and they have two other dogs, a fence, and a big yard for her to play and dig in. I wish she could live with me, but I live on a very busy street and I'm afraid she would get run over. I have really enjoy her I-will-not-be-ignored personality. My mom kids me all the time about how different Sophie and my personalities are. She always tells me I should trade Sophie in for a Maltese, but then my precious Westie does something endearing and the teasing stops. I wouldn't trade my Sophie for any other dog. I'm glad she's mine.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Yield To Jesus...

I have heard several times over the years that what you yield to is what controls you. I have to say that I totally believe that is true. Like I have said many times, we have a choice to either yield to our flesh or to yield to the Spirit. It is critically important in the life of a beliver to not yield to the desires of our flesh. That is really hard. There are rewards the Lord sends when we surrender ourselves and totally give into the way of Jesus. When we consciously yield to the higher more excellent way, our image is being transformed into that of Christ. Make a decision today to yield to the Holy Spirit.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Warn It Away...

Over the past several years I have learned a great deal about the authority that exists within the instrument of my mouth. I am still in the process of learning in this area, but the Lord has shown me how much power and victory I have over the Enemy when I exercise His Word coming forth out of the words I speak. Warning doubt, fear, and distrust away is essential if I want to live a victorious, Kingdom-focused life before God. It has taken a lot of prayer in my own life to unleash the boldness it takes to warn spirits contrary to God away from my life and the lives of my loved ones, but it has totally been worth it.

Absolutely any time the devil comes at me with a thought that is not of God I have a choice to warn it away or to allow it entry into my spirit and thought life. I think it is time for believers to ask for and seek boldness in order to exercise the authority that Jesus died to give us on the cross. We have to verbally speak to spirits of darkness so that they lose their power and effectiveness over our lives. It is critical that we learn to discern when the Lord speaks to us and when the devil speaks to us. When he does, we need to learn to warn away anything he brings to us. I have learned that warning things away truly does bring peace, freedom, and joy. It took me a while to get over feeling silly about doing this and to realize that its importance. Now, I try to remember to do it whenever anything contrary to God comes my way. Try it for yourself. It really works wonders.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Teachings...

I LOVE to listen to teachings in my spare time. When I say teachings I mean speeches or sermons that encourage, uplift, and challenge my faith journey. Two of my favorite women to listen to are Sandy Ross out of San Antonio and Joyce Meyer. I can't say how satisfied my soul is after taking time to sit down and really listen to these two women. They walk in such authority and authenticity. One thing that I truly appreciate about both women is that they acknowledge that they make mistakes. Let me just say that my journey with Jesus has been immeasurably enriched by the lives they live.

I was introduced to Sandy Ross by my college roommate Kirsta and I have absolutely adored her ever since. Sandy is the founder and pastor of Women of Excellence Ministries that is based out of Summit Christian Center in San Antonio. I can honestly say that Sandy has helped me mature in the Lord in ways that I have only dreamed of. She is so humble, authentic. authoritative, and kind. She is just a lovely woman who is truly a woman of excellence before the Lord. I can't say enough about her. The Lord has used her to minister to my spirit in powerful ways.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

A New Name...

I love Isaiah 61 and 62. There is such Spirit-infused power in these two chapters of scripture. In these two passages Zion goes from being destitute to being rich; the land goes from being barren to plentiful. I think there is so much symbolism for us as people in these two chapters in Isaiah.

Before the Lord found us we were destitute in sinfulness, now He has given us a new name. He has allowed us to rise out of the pits of misery and shame. He has bestowed upon us His garments of holiness and righteousness. That, to me, is just mind boggling to comtemplate. He has exchanged our rags for his glorious riches. We have gone from slaves to priests. I just love that and all that it means. We are no longer known for our humanity and for the things that we did wrong. God knows us as His possessions and treasures. God knows our giftedness, not our inadequacies. He knows our potential, not our sin. Yes, we were once sinners, but now we are purchases of the one true and living Lamb who lives to bring immeasurable joy and everlasting hope. Come into the inheritance of your new name in Christ. He is ready and waiting to receive you and to bestow upon you His glorious riches.

"You shall also be [so beautiful and prosperous as to be thought of as] a crown of glory and honor in the in the hand of the Lord, and a royal diadem [exceedingly beautiful] in the hand of your God." - Isaiah 62:3

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Unchanging Anchor...

One thing I am very thankful for is the fact that God is an unchanging anchor in a world that is so turbulent and uncertain. If God is in our lives we have an everlasting source of certainty and assurance. He beckons us to a life that is sure; a life that is built on a foundation that cannot ever be shaken. His unchanging nature anchors our lives in an ever-increasing hope and redemption. Boy, that floods my soul with such joy. On days when we cannot seem to find our bearings, God stands ready to step in and live through us using His power and strength. He always welcomes us into the communion of His presence. So, when the winds of this world are threatening to undo you, step into the hope that anchors life in God. It is a wonderful and life-giving place to be. It is an everlasting source of peace and comfort.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Heaven Bent Focus...

I believe that what we focus on is what we become. It so easy to be consumed by and focused on worldly things. It takes the power of the Holy Spirit to be committed to a heaven bent focus. Our flesh wants to indulge in the easy way. The Lord yearns for us to be solely focused on higher things. He wants to infuse us with a focus that looks past short-lived enjoyment and sufficiency. A heaven bent focus affords us eternal rewards. These rewards go far beyond anything the world could or would offer us. A heaven bent focus requires fierece determination. If we commit ourselves to consistently acquiring a heaven bent focus, the Lord will bring things into our lives that are far beyond our wildest imaginations. A heaven bent focus is worth the time and energy. If we give ourselves over to it, we will enjoy a communion with God that is ultimately satisfying and sweet.

Friday, May 15, 2009

An Incorruptible Seal...

I love to think about the fact that I am chosen by God. I am ingrafted into the lineage of Jesus. That fact is just mind-boggling to me. That thought brings me unspeakable assurance and security. I am an adopted child of the Most High King. Wow. As I have gown in my journey of discipleship, the Lord has taught me that there are immeasurable benefits to being His property.

One of my favorite benefits is having His seal of ownership. To know that I have the incorrupible seal of the King of the Universe is absolutely indescribable. Having that knowledge gives me a humble confidence to live out my dreams and to go about doing things that make Him attractive to others. I yearn to make Him famous. His impenetrable seal affords me the honor of carrying His divine signature upon my life and most importantly upon my spirit. Satan may try to gain entry into my spirit but God has the ultimate victory and I am totally and completely His. When Satan attempts to come at me with all of his schemes, God takes me away and places me between His shoulders and underneath His wings of protection and comfort, a place Satan is not welcome. The best part is, he knows it. I am so grateful to have God's seal upon my life. My job is to live a life worthy of that seal through the power of the Holy Spirit.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Certainty of Christ...

Today I am certain of one thing: I serve a risen and victorious Savior who paid the ultimate price for my redemption. He is not a mere prophet; He is not a myth. He is real. He is present. He is risen. He is reigning in this world right now. His certainty to me is like the air I breathe. His certainty is a sure as anything I've ever known. I am thankful to the depths of my soul for the certainty that resides in Jesus Christ. I am grateful that He longs for deep intimacy and communion with me as His child. I am thankful for the fact that He desires a relationship with a sinner like me. Most of all, I am thankful that I am covered in His righteousness and purity as I stand before God. It excites me to the deepest core of my soul to know that His power resides in and infuses itself into me as I learn to totally surrender myself and all of my desires and plans into His divine safe keeping.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

In The Midst of Memories...

Do you ever have days when you are overwhelmed with memories of a very special person? That has characterized my day today. The really good thing is that I know that God is in the midst of this day of memories. I am very very thankful for the many memories I shared with this particular person. He was a very gentle, kind, and tender spirit. Our best family friends experienced a death in the family. Daddy Don was one of my very favorite people. He was such a wonderful and quiet servant of Jesus. I learned volumes about how to serve others and how to flesh out the mission of Christ just by being a witness to his life. He is now dancing with Jesus and for that I am thankful.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Jesus Colored Glasses...

I have been reminded recently how God sees me and it has been so refreshing and comforting. As a child of God, when He looks at me He only sees Jesus. He dosen't see my sin. He doesn't see my inadequacy. He doesn't see any speck of unworthiness. I am seen by Him through Jesus colored glasses. That just thrills me to the core of my soul. I am so thankful for the fact that God only sees me through His righteousness. Every day I praise Him for the price Jesus paid to allow me to be ingrafted into His heart. I can live a life free from worry and anxiety because I am an heir along with Jesus. That thought just really excites me. I can unashamedly approach God and ask Him to do and provide big things in my life and the really neat part is so can you. Know this, if you have accepted the invitation of Jesus to live His Way, His Life, and His Truth, you are always welcome to ask whatever you wish. Remember, God sees all of His beloved children through Jesus colored glasses won through the redemption Jesus provided for us on the cross.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Humble Holiness And Awe...

Holiness is something that is of utmost importance to me. I believe it is a concept that is sorely lacking in this society. Every day before my feet hit the floor, I silently breathe a prayer asking the Lord to fill me with a reverential holiness and an awe that causes me to bow down to His ultimate sovreignty and authority in all things. I also believe a proper dose of reverential holiness and awe is vital to a healthy and ever-deepening life of discipleship and love-sick reckless abadon to the desires that govern the heart of the Lord. I can only hope and earnestly pray that my heart is governed and stirred by what concerns and delights my God.

What does holiness look like? What does a life given over to the dictates of holiness entail? I have come to learn that true and authentic holiness and awe that moves the heart of the Lord comes out of humble and relentless surrender. Holiness requires a firm and permanent decision to move according to the promptings of the Spirit. Holiness is not something that is pushy, outspoken, or developed out of a spirit of pride. Holiness moves gently. It is a way of life. It is gentle and quiet, but also demanding because holiness asks that we as fervent worshippers and dearly loved saints, live according to God's power instead of our feelings or our flesh. It asks that we live counter culturally and totally against the grain of this present world or society. Holiness sets us apart for God's plans and purposes. It sets apart to live a life totally enraptured by His glory and life set on things that are higher than our humanity. Choose holiness. It leads to a life that is so rich and satisfying. Its rewards are everlasting and eternal.

Friday, May 01, 2009

Pray Constantly...

Father of Grace,

What an honor it is to kneel before you knowing that what you see in me is Christ. Thank you for the privilege to walk with you and to talk to you as a friend confinding in a kindred spirit. I ask this day that you would open your veil so that I may look upon you in all of your fullness and bask in Who you are. Please through the precious blood of your Son, gird upon me and fill me up with fresh oil so that I may wait for you expectantly ready to follow when you call. Dress me appropriately in your armor so that I may be fully equipped to contend for my faith. Give me strength to defend and honor you. May my life be a continual prayer to you, the One whom I treasure above all things. This is my prayer in the name of Jesus.

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Realms of Faith...

I have been a disciple since April of 1993 and I can't believe its been that long. I have to say that it has been quite a ride. April 6, 1993 started out the same as any other day, but somehow, I didn't know just how precious this day would be to me as I have launched out to pioneer my own unique journey of faith. On that momentous April evening a small flame was lit inside the very depth of my soul. Throughout my years of discipleship, that little flame has grown, and sometimes it has threatened to be extinguished as my spirit and the very core of my faith has weathered trials in order to ultimately be romanced, pursued, and drawn into the center of the Lord's certainty and unrelenting authenticity. There have been times of stagnant complacency, but there have been many more seasons where my faith has had to make a decision to grow, mature, and press on to higher realms.

God has used the image of light in order to show the depth and degree of my faith. From that first moment, as I came out of the waters of baptism, the little flame of faith has been on a journey of its very own. During my adolescent years I held to my faith with white-knuckled determination as I went through the turbulent winds of finding my identity. To be absolutely truthful, it has been my goal since those middle-school and high school days to persistently and confidently hold to the reality of the Lord. I have had to depend on something deeper and higher all of the days of my life in the natural realm.

I can confidently say that my journey these days is just the best. It truly is the most fulfilling part of my life because out of it flows everything else that resides in the core of who I am. My prayer is that my faith is seen by God in the heavenly places as a roaring fire that is ever-deepening and growing, and becoming brighter and purer with every passing day. It is my life's mission to learn to love God with a ruthless abandon; to not allow the world or humanity define the confines of my relationship with Him. This road I have chosen is one filled with joy, challenge, trial, rich fulfillment, and ultimate satisfaction and sufficiency. How has the Lord shown you the degree of your faith? Are you at a place of growth, complacency, or dormancy? May you desire to let your faith become like a raging glorious fire set on the altar of the Lord.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

An Extravagant Invitation...

We have an extravagant invitation as members of the human race. The extravagant invitation is a relationship with Jesus Christ. The sad thing is that everyone on this earth will not choose the path of relationship with Jesus. That realization honestly breaks my heart. Furthermore, it absolutely grieves the heart of God. There are so many broken, shattered, and hungry hearts in the world that just cannot accept the fact that the Son of God paid their debt once and for all. The Father longs to scoop those hearts onto His lap and sing His delight over them. He is earnestly seeking and roaming the earth to romance and pursue those hearts. For that, I am so grateful. I am also astounded at His stubborn faithfulness in a fallen and weak and broken world. There is absolutely nothing that is more urgent on the heart of God than the salvation of every person on the face of this earth. I've seen time and time again that this is His one pure and holy passion: to win the souls of hurting and hungry people. As believers, it is our calling to live lives that attract others to the feet of Jesus so that His aroma can be taken to every corner of this natural realm. We are to live as walking "Words" of God. Will you accept the extravagant invitation of Christ Jesus?

"[No] you yourselves are our letter of recommendation (our credentials), written in your hearts, to be known (perceived, recognized) and read by everybody." - 2 Corinthians 3:2

"But thanks be to God, Who in Christ always leads us in triumph [as trophies of God's vicory] and through us spreads and makes evident the fragrance of the knowledge of God everywhere. For we are the sweet fragrance of Christ [which exhales] unto God, [discernible, alike] among those who are saved and among those who are perishing. To the latter it is an aroma [wafted] from death to death [a fatal odor, the smell of doom]; to the former it an aroma from life to life [a vital fragrance living and fresh]." - 2 Corinthians 2:14-16

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Thin Places...

I recently had an experience with the Lord that has been etched into my mind's eye. This experience occurred in the midst of my soaking time on one Monday evening. In case you don't know what soaking is, it is a time set aside to wait in the presence of the Lord for Him to speak to our hearts in times of quiet reflection. Sometimes there is someone speaking with music in the background and sometimes there is only instrumental music. The really cool thing is that you are invited to get as comfortable as you possibly can so that you can focus and be present as the Lord spends time with you. I absolutely love it. Soaking is a thin place in my week.

A thin place is where God invades the natural realm and a piece of heaven can be seen or felt. Now, that is just my definition. If I really think about it, there are thin places everywhere because God is constantly on the move. He is always wanting to reveal more of Himself to those who earnestly devote themselves to looking for evidence of His presence. It is so much fun to search for God in everything. I constantly pray that I will have a spirit that is receptive and open to the Lord; that my spirit will be one hundred percent accessible to Him in all seasons, in all circumstances, and in all I do and say. Now I wonder if you have thin places in your lives. Take time today to ask God what the thin places are for you. It will most likely surprise you what He reveals. It has left me astounded at times. He truly is everywhere. Open your eyes and your spirit to search and find Him. He is expectantly searching and longing for you. He is especially fond of you and you are His favorite. That is one thing that the sacrifice of Christ bought us--the opportunity to be the apple of God's eye.

"Keep me as the apple of Your eye." - Psalm 17:8