Thursday, June 30, 2011

character check.

inspiration: Ernest is back at theWell!

after being on sabbatical and away from theWell for like 7 weeks, Pastor Ernest was back tonight!
he shared thoughts on what God spoke to him about while he was gone.
some questions/things i took away from his message tonight:

what in my character needs to be more like Jesus?
i need to be more intentional with those around me (and with Christ)
in our weaknesses, Christ's power is revealed

Sunday, June 26, 2011

God's plans > my expectations.

inspiration: my devotional + about to start reading another book

around october of last year, i bought "Daily Encouragement for Single Women".
now if i'm completely honest, i had hoped that by the time i got through it, i wouldn't be wearing the label "single woman", but that isn't the case. i've enjoyed going through the book and being encouraged every morning before i go to work. i still have about 60 more days in it; i realize that even though i'm not in any rush to dive headfirst into a serious relationship with someone, it's still discouraging to know that i'm still "single".

my expectations were dashed.
not from the book itself.
but just the implications that if i were somehow more "spiritual" and devoted more time to Christ, it would instantly attract someone else.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

"what the heck am i going to do with my life?"

inspiration: Redefining Life for Women

my small group is awesome!
we're working through "Redefining Life for Women" and i was doing my reading for Monday and i came across the section mentioned in the title: "What the heck am I going to do with my life?"

Love what this says:

"The question challenges us to look at the core of who we are as individuals, discover our talents and giftings, and come to terms with our weaknesses. When we dare to ask the question what the heck am i going to do with my life?, we step into a realm where anything -- including growth, transformation, and change -- is possible. Risk, failure, and loss are all potential outcomes, but so are success, innovation and the possibility of building a legacy that lives beyond us.

What the heck am I going to do with my life? isn't a safe question, but it has the power to awaken dormant dreams and silent desires. It has the ability to both compel and propel us to fulfill our lifelong calling and purpose. And that makes it a question worth asking. (53)

what i bolded is my favorite part about the quote.
we can let the possibility of failure keep us from living radically sold out lives for Christ.
or we can step out in faith.

There is no such thing as risk-free faith. And you can't experience success without risking failure. (In a Pit with a Lion on a Snowy Day, 114)

it's okay to not know what you want to do.
because will God will reveal His plans for you.
all you have to do is trust that! :)

life lessons from Zuma Blitz

inspiration: Jonathan Pearson

one of my favorite bloggers that i (try) to stay up-to-date with is Jonathan Pearson. He always has great thoughts and always brings a fresh perspective to everyday things. (i mean, he wrote an article about ground turkey and i was so intrigued that someone could make ground turkey relevant that i went out and bought some. and it, btw, is delicious!)

but Jonathan often posts "Life Lessons from (insert fancy iPhone app name here)".
i've been following JP's tweets for a while now and i'll often respond to his posts.
and a couple nights ago, shortly after i read "Life Lessons From Fruit Ninja", i tweeted that i was going to work on a blog about "Life Lessons From Zuma Blitz".

so here it is.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

pigs in lipstick.

inspiration: jonny sharp brought it at theWell tonight.

there is some saying that goes something like, you can put lipstick on a pig but it's still a pig. i, honestly, am too tired and lazy to look it up, but bear with me...

the point is Jonny Sharp brought it tonight in his message.
he dealt with Romans 1:26-31:

Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural relations for unnatural ones. In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed indecent acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their perversion.

Furthermore, since they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, he gave them over to a depraved mind, to do what ought not to be done. They have become filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, greed and depravity. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit and malice. They are gossips, slanderers, God-haters, insolent, arrogant and boastful; they invent ways of doing evil; they disobey their parents; they are senseless, faithless, heartless, ruthless.

--Romans 1:26-31

powerful, powerful stuff there.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

sittin' waitin' wishin'

inspiration: writer's block.

i've had the worst case of writer's block lately, at least when it comes to Faith Overflow.

i seem to have an abundance of content for Crazy Asian of Charleston and i'm even a couple articles ahead for my Examiner page, but i feel like i've become quite stagnant here.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

lessons from father.

inspiration: Father's Day.

My dad and I many moons ago on vacation at the beach

My dad and I at graduation

Me and Pappy - my grandfather (and a doll that appears to literally be as big as me)

Happy Father's Day!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

brought to you by the letter P

inspiration: practical advice from a practical letter.

so i am possibly quite biased in this, but i really think my alma mater has the best cheer ever:

"Let's Go Peay!"

i mean, really, who doesn't love shouting that at sporting events...or in public...or in the bathroom...but i digress...

but there are some important "faith" words that begin with the glorious letter "P".
these words have been on my mind a lot lately and i just wanted to encourage you to keep them in mind in our daily lives.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

we are family.

inspiration: thinking about the future...

the further i am from my parents, it becomes clearer and clearer to me how much of a "daddy's girl" i really am. i catch myself doing things after which all i can say is "i'm turning into my father". it's very true.

saturday night, my dad texted me that he was watching the Braves game. so i turned on the tv and spent the latter part of my evening sitting in front of the tv watching the final innings of the Braves vs. Astros game. i caught it at the beginning of the 8th. it was tied 2-2. it really took me back to my childhood. watching the braves night after night (although, back then, i had the luxury of knowing all the players. the only players i recognized when i watched last night were Chipper Jones (of course) and Brian McCann) ... oh, the memories ...

...but before i go off onto a nerdy baseball tangent, i'll draw my thoughts back in. i've often thought about this before, but i don't think i've blogged about it. i'm sure there have been scientific studies to back me up, but i'm writing on sheer experiential knowledge about this: families shape us and mold us into who we are. as a daughter, i feel like i can link my personality with how my parents raised me and treated me and honored me.

Monday, June 13, 2011

lessons from plants.

inspiration: i love my plants. but they love me more!
this is a tongue-in-cheek view of the relationship between my plants and me.

so i'm kind of a big deal in my apartment.
i kind of have a posse.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

fight the good fight.

inspiration: my "Daily Encouragement..." devotional.

lately, i've been feeling a bit distanced from God. not because of anything that's happened, but i was convicted a bit about the things i've been focusing my heart and attention on. i've had my heart and mind set on earthly things rather than heavenly things (see Colossians 3:2).

this was yesterday's devotional.
it reminded me of the life i am called to live:

Saturday, June 11, 2011

take time to rest.

inspiration: Matthew 11:28

"Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest." --Matthew 11:28

when it comes to "relaxing", i'm not all that good at it.
i get energy from doing things.
my days are driven by to-do lists.
relaxing is equated with knowing that i am doing something that gets me one step closer to having everything on my list crossed off.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

life lessons from UP

inspiration: life lessons from my favorite movie ever.

so if you know anything about me, you probably know that i love adventure. and the movie UP!
i quote it all the time: "Adventure is out there!"

it combines two of my favorite things in life:
adventure and Pixar.

and while it's a wildly entertaining movie, there are a few life lessons that i've taken away from this movie after watching it 4 billion times (actually, i guess a more accurate number would be like 8 times...i'm not THATTTT obsessed...although i do own it now, so that may change ;))

Monday, June 6, 2011

capturing my thoughts.

inspiration: i'm taking the "Take Every Thought Captive" challenge from Titus2atTheWell.

lately, i've been waging war with my thought life. it seems like something so small (especially if we never really act on our impulses or thoughts), but it's something i've been convicted of.

negative thoughts weigh us down.
when we begin to settle in unhappiness, it tends to allow us to drift from Christ and all the wonderful and beautiful things He has blessed us with.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

finally being honest.

inspiration: i was finally truly honest with myself.

i took a few minutes to be truly vulnerable in prayer today.
as i was driving to church, i was thinking about a question that was asked on the way to SHE Retreat. mel, courtney, danyelle, and i were asking each other questions to get to know each other and someone asked me what my "dream job" was.
at the time, i think i responded "i don't know." and i probably made a comment about my current job.

but if i'm really honest.
i know what my dream job is now.
and my current position isn't it.
what i'm doing now is something i like.
but it's certainly not "the dream".

Friday, June 3, 2011

my caveat for Christianity.

inspiration: experiencing the true POWER of God.

I'm a pretty organized, control-freak of a person.
I like order.
I like knowing what to expect.
I like predictability.
I like comfort.

So here's my caveat about true Christianity and being a Christ-follower:

You're not in control.
You don't get to call the shots.
You're not gonna know what to expect.
It's certainly not predictable.
And it's definitely not comfortable.

But when you truly surrender everything to God.
And I mean everything (see above where I said it wouldn't be comfortable), there is nothing God can't do in and through you.

So why would you want to believe the words of a simple, independent, nerd-to-the-core 22 year old?

Because earlier tonight, I found myself looking up mission trips I could take between Christmas and New Years. Because I began wondering how I could alter my finances in order to make a trip to Washington and a trip to Alaska happen this year all in an effort to step out of my comfort zone and to step up in order to share the Gospel.

Why does this matter?

Because for a long time, I feared giving up control of my life to God. I was afraid that I would be entrenched in this realm of legalism and rules. I was afraid that truly surrendering meant wrapping myself in a straightjacket of "thou shalt nots". And in holding back, I was missing out on everything God had to offer me. I tried to surround myself in a bubble of comfort. It wasn't Christ that was holding me back. It was me.

After all, it's called CHRISTianity.
Not Nikkianity.

It's not about me.
I am nothing without Him.
It's not about how good I am.
There is nothing good in me apart from Christ.

Christ transforms.
Christ changes.
He changes hearts and lives.
He is in the process of transforming my former predictable life into something unpredictable and radically abandoned to Him.
I'm not sure what he has planned for me.
And whether Washington and Alaska are in my future this year or not, I will follow the words of Luke and deny myself, take up my cross and follow Him daily.

"In his heart, a man plans his course,
But the Lord determines His steps." (Proverbs 16:9)

When we try to do things our way, we miss out on the freedom found only in Christ and abandoning our lives to Him.

guest posting it up!

inspiration: Life & Theology

Thank you to Ben Reed who allowed me to be a guest blogger over at Life & Theology.

check out my post on the significance of community :)
The Significance of Community

Thursday, June 2, 2011

beautiful the blood.

inspiration: one of the best sermons i've heard in a while

as the line above mentions, i heard one of the best sermons i've heard in a while tonight.
the more i'm stretched in my faith and understanding about the amazing power of God, i slowly gain a deeper appreciation for the book of Romans.

granted, the first like 3 chapters are hard to swallow and it's hard to make it through, Romans is filled with true, to-the-core Gospel. Paul does an amazing job at pointing that out.

Jack Hoey spoke tonight at theWell and focused in on Romans 1:18-20 (yeah, we've been going at this Romans series for a month now. we're still in Chapter 1. Rock. On! :P)