The Face Smacking Truth About Life

Ever since the day I finally gave up, I’ve been living a little differently than before. In that the truth has truly set me free. But I’ve been trying to figure out the balance of what is living for myself, and what is living for God? Or, is there supposed to be a balance?

I’ve put a great deal of thought into it in the last while. How can I live to the fullest of myself for God?

Of course, God wasn’t hanging around laughing at my confusion. As a fact he plopped this bit of advice in my Google+ feed recently. Actually, it is part of a whole post, but this is the part that jumped out and hit me in the face.

“We are not living for ourselves. It is no longer “my life” but Christ in us and through each of us. We are not just living for our own pleasure. That reality should be a constant companion to all our thoughts, ideas and choices.” ~Sergey Kravets

Continue reading “The Face Smacking Truth About Life”

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My Testimony – The Full Version

As I said in a recent post, I felt strongly prompted to share my story. I did a very short version on The Day I Finally Gave Up. Here’s the long version. I can’t believe that I’m sharing this with you all, just to be perfectly honest. It makes me feel very vulnerable because it’s a very personal thing to me. 🙂

I may be only sixteen, but God has worked so much in my life. I have seen his power and felt his love in a true and personal way and I want to share that story with you. I’m not sure how to describe it all, but I’ll do my best. Continue reading “My Testimony – The Full Version”

Lord Jesus, This is Our Prayer (My First Ever Choral Composition)

After a very long (although, yet surprisingly short) year, I have finally completed my first choral composition. Starting out as a four part hymn, it includes a men’s verse and finishes with eight parts.

I kind of stepped out by writing two descants. The reason for that originally was because I wanted the highest to reach up to a D6 (which, for those who are wondering, is the first D above the treble staff). Most sopranos can’t do that so I added a second descant. Somehow in the editing process, they both got lowered, it’s better that way (maybe 😉 ). Continue reading “Lord Jesus, This is Our Prayer (My First Ever Choral Composition)”

The Day I Finally Gave Up

I had hit the bottom. Literally. For weeks, I’d been struggling, trying to balance a myriad of responsibilities, financial problems, and a ton of various pressures (both perceived and real).

Most of the time, I was able to keep up-beat. But every once in a while, exhaustion over-whelmed me, and I would spiral downward into a pit of despair. To add to the mess, I was trying to cope with some ongoing health issues that only added worry and affected my sleep. Not good.

It all came crashing on my head, when I figured up my taxes. I didn’t even have that much in my bank account! Fortunately, I do have some cash saved back in hopes of buying a piano some day. But anyway, Good Friday evening, I had a splitting headache. I felt terrible. I was so desperate, I asked my mom to come to my room, and we had a really, really good talk. I was finally able to spill out all that I had been feeling for the past months. It was so good. Continue reading “The Day I Finally Gave Up”

Before We’ve Even Asked

“…for your Father knows what things you have need of, before you ask him.” (Matthew 6:8)

This is such a profound thought. God knows what we need. He knows our deepest desires, our longings, and our emotions. He knows when our hearts are crying with pain and we need to be comforted. He sees when our bank account is empty and there is nothing to buy food. He knows everything about us.

God lets us make the choice: if we want his help or not. He doesn’t just step in and make everything go hunky-dory for us. But when we see the need for his help (and it is literally all the time!) and ask for it, he is right there ready and waiting. Continue reading “Before We’ve Even Asked”

The Chance to Make an Amazing Masterpiece

We’re here folks! 2017 has finally rolled around, and the new year is laid before us like a blank canvas ready to be painted. Okay, yeah, so I’m artist… but I think it is a pretty good representation of the new year. Huh?

So what do you think your canvas will look like by the end of 2017? A smeared blob, an average level portrait, or a beautiful masterpiece?

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Actually, it’s a more important question to ask yourself than you might first think because the attitude with which we face this crazy thing called life makes a HUGE difference! Writing a list of goals is great, but how well has it worked for you? If you are a person like me, you make list and then proceed with a halfhearted attempt and fail only halfway through January. Why? Because you probably don’t have your heart in it.

Life is something we only go through once. When it’s over, we get no second chance. We can’t go back and change something, no matter how much we long to do so. So instead of allowing this to be another mediocre year, let’s all join force to make this year truly beautiful.

Starting small.

You don’t have to do huge things from the start. Remember that sometimes, a little goes a long way; in fact, sometimes farther than we could ever imagine ourselves. If the heart is in it, that is where great things start.

It’s not about you.

If you are living for your own benefit, your canvas will become more smeared and messy than ever before. Having an outward, heavenward focused mind and lifestyle, while sometimes crazy, is the most satisfying way you could ever live. Seriously. It is something I have been learning over the past while that has made such a huge difference on my life. Not only does this mean others before yourself, but an attitude of thankfulness, helpfulness, and really, when it comes down to the very core of it all, self-sacrifice. Ouch! A painful nerve I know! But this is what love towards others in its purest form looks like. It’s what Jesus demonstrated to us, when He came as a helpless babe, grew up, was tempted and outcast, and then literally bore all the grief, sorrows, and sins of the world on the cross so that we might be FREE. The biggest burden ever. And that is what a truly others-focused life looks like!

Ask God for help.

In the art world, you will never create a masterpiece without learning from a good teacher what the best tools and techniques are. Same way with life. We can’t make our canvas beautiful if we aren’t learning from the Greatest Teacher Himself. Learn from Him. Study the design of other pictures He has helped create (other godly people’s lives), and learn all you can from His Word. Talk to Him and listen to Him speak to you. I can’t stress these things enough, for they are the foundation on which a truly worthwhile life, is built.

So will you join the force?

I encourage you to focus your heart on the things that really matter the most. In the life of a Christian this means learning to live out and be the person that Christ wants you to be. Will you join me and hundreds of others in this crazy adventure? Strive for the best, and with God at your side, you won’t fall short of His plan!