Doing God’s Will Behind the Scenes

I’m trying to figure out what the next step is for me in my life. God isn’t really giving me any clear answers yet. He’s shutting doors and opening others. I thought that I wanted to be a youth minister then I thought I wanted to be a worship leader.

But today I’ve thought about changing the world and making an impact behind the scenes. God doesn’t always call us to be front and center. I’m outgoing and he’s given me spiritual gifts, but maybe performance isn’t what I’m supposed to do. Maybe I’m meant to do His will in the media industry. I would love to read other people’s stories, use my words to encourage, hear stories about how God has changed lives. I’m much more confident in a studio or behind the camera than I am in front of it.

God will reveal His plan in his timing. Lately, I’ve been really encouraged by a passage in Ecclesiastes 3 when it talks about God putting eternity in a man’s heart. He doesn’t want us to know his plan from beginning to end. That’s the mystery of His will. He also wants us to be joyful and grow where we’re planted. Having a firm foundation rooted in Him and keeping Jesus in the center in all areas of your life can completely change your outlook on life.

Yes, I’m still worried and anxious about what’s next due to some of the circumstances that have gone on, but God says that we should not worry. Do not fear the unknown because He has it figured out. Just wait for Him to reveal it. Don’t rush anything. Be content with what you have right now because he’s working all things together for the good of His kingdom.

Advertisements

My Wife Has Tattoos: Marriage, New Birth, and the Gospel

Loved this blog! 😀

Unspoken

Image Photo credit: Todd Balsley

by Spencer Harmon

Today is the day of my wedding.  And I am not marrying the girl of my dreams.

If you would have told me when I was a teenager that my wife would have seven tattoo’s, a history in drugs, alcohol, and attending heavy metal concerts I would have laughed at you, given you one of my courtship books, and told you to take a hike.  My plans were much different, much more nuanced with careful planning, much more clean-cut, and much more, well, about me.

You see, it wasn’t my dream to marry a girl that was complicated.  I never dreamed that I would sit on a couch with my future wife in pre-marital counseling listening to her cry and tell stories of drunken nights, listing the drugs she used, confessing mistakes made in past relationships.

This isn’t my dream – it’s better.

View original post 529 more words

Josie’s Story – Preface

The Lord has really inspired me to write a novel. This novel is going to be somewhat fictional and somewhat true. It’s going to be about my struggles and how the Lord has helped me overcome them, but it won’t be from my perspective. It’ll be from my character Josie’s perspective. 

The Lord is going to stretch me and grow me as I confront parts of my past and write about them, but I know that this novel will minister to many people. All the glory goes to God. Here’s a little introduction. I would love some feedback! 🙂

 

Preface – Josie’s StoryJosie seemed like your typical teenager. She grew up in a small, country town where everybody knew everybody. She had a good group of friends, so no signs of loneliness were there. She had everything she needed right at her fingertips.

She was very active in her churches youth group. She was doing great things for her community. She was one of the most outgoing, energetic people you have ever met. She touched the lives of everyone she met. She seemed like she had it all together.

She made her parents proud with her grades in school and she was looking into colleges. She wanted to make a difference in the world. How she did that didn’t really matter, but she had no idea what the Lord had planned for her. They were far better than her own plans.

But what no one saw, was that Josie was really struggling with something so much deeper than anyone around her could understand. She was struggling to find her identity. She didn’t know who she was. She didn’t feel loved. She didn’t feel satisfied. She didn’t feel good enough.

But what she didn’t know is there was a Father who would understand her struggles if she would just let him know. There was a Father that would forgive her. There was a father who would love her right where she was. There was a Father who was enough. There was a Father whom would satisfy.

But would she open up her heart for Him? Would she say goodbye to the things of this world that she found comfort in? Was she ready to let the Lord help her these addictions? These insecurities? These issues of identity? Was she ready to rest fully in Him and let Him take over?

Come along for the ride and you will find that it wasn’t easy, but when Josie finally did make that decision, it changed her life. It changed her eternity. Forever, the Father would be lifted high. He would be glorified. He gives hope to the hopeless. Josie is now a daughter of the King, but you get to be a part of the journey of finding Jesus for Josie. It isn’t your typical story of finding salvation. Sit back and make some tea. The Lord will guide us on.

What Beauty is to Our Creator

This morning as I’m sipping my coffee, God has put something on my heart. I want Him to speak through me to the people in this generation and one’s before mine who never felt good enough. I was in that same spot but as soon as I asked Jesus to come into my heart, everything changed. I’m realizing more and more that what we consider our flaws are beautiful in the eyes of the Lord! I have to look in the mirror and remind myself daily that I AM BEAUTIFUL. I AM MADE FOR A PURPOSE. If you’re reading this, chances are you don’t see the beauty inside of you that God sees. 

Psalm 139:14-16 says this: “I praise you, for I AM FEARFULLY AND WONDERFULLY MADE. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well. My frame is not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret, intricately woven from the depths of the earth. Your eye saw my unformed substance and the days that were formed for me when as yet there was none of them.” 

God made you with a purpose before you were even thought of. Doesn’t that blow your mind? He had a plan and a purpose before you were even able to walk the earth. If God made it, He made it for the GOOD of his kingdom. He made it for a purpose. That goes for anything and anyone here on this earth. HE IS GOING TO USE YOU FOR THE KINGDOM. Like a popular worship song says: “He makes all things work together for my good.” 

So next time someone tells you that you aren’t pretty, smile. Don’t put your head down and walk away. The Lord taught us to be strong and stand in His integrity. For the JOY of the Lord is our strength. Be that JOY for everyone that you encounter, even those who stand against you. The scriptures also remind us that if God is for us, who can really stand against us? (Romans 8:31) If a person goes out of the way to ridicule someone, are they really walking in the humility that allows them to stand for JESUS? Are their eyes set on the father? 

When you read this, also remember that I am not perfect in any way, shape or form. I have been judged, and I have judged others, but I am praying every day that God makes me more like Jesus. I want to be his hands and feet. 

Next time you look in the mirror and think, “Oh, I’m too fat. I need to lose weight.”, remember that God made you beautiful. In all shapes and sizes! Next time you say, “Oh, I’ll never get asked out, I’m not pretty enough.” or “Oh, I could never walk across a runway. I’m not a super model.”, remember that GOD IS USING YOU FOR HIS KINGDOM! Whether it be modeling or going overseas to speak the Gospel to lost people. God is constantly growing us and using us for his Kingdom. 

God made us in His image, so let Him be what you long to see in the mirror. I am praying for each and every person who ever felt discouraged, not good enough, not pretty enough. I, too, was one of those people and I still struggle with this daily. But constantly remind yourself of the truth that’s in Psalm 139 because if you repeat something over and over again you start to believe that it’s really what you are. Don’t believe the lies of this world. Believe the truth. Believe what YOUR CREATOR says, not what people say. Beauty is in the eyes of the beholder, so why not let it be God’s eyes? 

Rejoicing in the Lord Defeats Worry

I found myself really overwhelmed with all the things that I have to do this week with school and outside of school. I know I’m not alone in saying that I worry way more than I rejoice in my circumstances. But I just came to the revelation that it takes way more energy for us to worry than for us to rejoice. Rejoicing in the Lord should be an effortless command because He has given us all that we need to conquer what comes in our paths. He straightens the crooked, mends the broken, sets the lost free, so why worry when He has it all figured out in the end?

I know it’s not as easy as it sounds, but didn’t God remind us in the scriptures that we can cast our cares upon Him? He sustains us and gets us through. (Psalm 55:22) Rejoicing in Him constantly gives us strength. He gives us eternal peace. My pastor reminded me of this in the sermon sunday. If we’ve lost hope, our eyes aren’t set on Jesus. If we don’t have peace, our eyes aren’t set on Jesus. But if we rejoice constantly in Him, we have all we need. He reminded us that joy isn’t simply just an emotion. It’s a command from the Lord. So shouldn’t we remain faithful to Him? 

Here’s a few thoughts and questions that our pastor gave us to consider:

“It’s not worthy to compare the present circumstance to the Joy that’s coming.” – Chris Armfield

“I think we all sin by needlessly disobeying the apostolic injunction to “rejoice” as much as anything else.” – C.S. Lewis

“Choosing to rejoice when you don’t feel like it isn’t being fake; it’s stepping into faith.” – Chris Armfield 

Have you found a reason to rejoice that is greater than life, crucifixion, resurrection, and imminent return of Jesus?

Romans 5:1-5 is a good illustration of what this looks like: “Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Christ Jesus. Through him we have obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God. Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.” 

So any time that you find yourself worrying this week, remember that God is greater. My uncle said this daily when I was little and now I’m finally understanding the meaning.

“Today is the day that the Lord has made, so let us REJOICE and be GLAD in it.” 

 

Time in the Word and in Prayer

You probably saw the title to this post and debated on whether or not to keep scrolling through your news feed. Reading God’s word is something that all of us struggle with. Yes, we all go to church on Sundays and participate in small group studies, but what’s most precious to our God is our alone time with Him. Our devotion to His Word is equivalent to our devotion to Him. 

Romans 10:16-17(ESV) reminds of this: But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Isaiah says, “Lord, who has believed what he has heard from us?” So faith comes from hearing the word through the word of Jesus Christ.”

We tend to just go through the motions and expect that everything will be alright if we just keep going to church and going on missions trips will get us to heaven, but truly, it’s our one on one time with the Father that means the most. A friend of mine told me that there’s a time and a place for devotionals, but just spending time reading and soaking up God’s word is what’s really most precious to God.

Every time that I spend time in God’s word, I pray beforehand asking God to reveal something new to me even if it’s a verse or a passage that I have read before, I pray that I can apply it to my life. This makes everything seem new as I turn from page to page. My heart is open to His promises more and more each time that I open His Word. Since I am only about a month old in my faith, one of my dear friends is going to start discipling me. We are going to go through the ten commands of Christ. She has gone through this study about 2 or 3 times with others and she has learned something new each time.

Time in prayer is also very important to the Lord. In the passage, 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 we are reminded of this: “Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus to you.” 

Prayer isn’t just something that we do when times are hard because we want God to improve our circumstances. In the good times and bad, we should give praise to God. He is with us through everything, so we should be thankful and give Him praise through everything.

There’s so much power in prayer. One circumstance from a personal experience was when my grandpa was really sick and looking for a place to stay. It was really hard for me because I couldn’t physically be there for him, but I could pray. A group of girls in my prayer circle at the time all laid their hands on me and prayed over me simultaneously and I was in tears by the end because I could feel the Holy Spirit moving inside of me. The next day, Lord willing, I got a phone call from my dad. They found a place for my grandpa to stay the day after I had prayed about it. Like it says in a song that we hear on our local christian radio stations, “The Lord our God is ever faithful. Never changing through the ages.” 

But if Our God is faithful, we need to continually seek Him. So I leave you with this question, How faithful are YOU? 

Cassie+Anthony // Engagement Session

Follow my friend Mary Catherine’s blog! She’s got mad photography skills!

TheVotiveNative

January 9th I had the privilege to photograph Cassie and Willard’s engagement pictures. These two met when Anthony was working at Garden City Chapel (which will explain the last few pictures) and have been together ever since. Seeing that I have known Cassie since I can remember and Anthony is a good friend, this particular session was really special to me.  Now, if you know anything about these two, you know they are absolutely hilarious people to be around. I was excited to be able to capture some of the goofiness, a bit of laughter, and a lot of the love between these two. Enjoy! (And once again, I love you Cassita!!! I couldn’t be happier for you two!)

Let love be genuine. Abhor what is evil; hold fast to what is good.” -Romans 12:9

marycatherineramey@gmail.com

IMG_2079-EditIMG_2156-Edit-EditIMG_2171IMG_2228-EditIMG_2201-EditIMG_2356-EditIMG_2315-EditIMG_2375-EditIMG_2416-EditIMG_2427-Edit

View original post

Ministry is Everything

I’ve been thinking a lot about this lately and God has been sowing me that whatever you do to glorify Him is your ministry. You don’t have to become a pastor or a worship leader to serve the Lord. If He’s given you a calling, that is your ministry that is unique to you. 

For the longest time, I thought that I wanted to be a youth pastor and pour into young people, but after I gave my life to Christ, everything changed. He started unfolding all of these passions that were in my heart all along. I may not know what his plan is for me yet, but I do know that  I want to be his hands and feet. 

I want to do something creative, but also something that ministers to the lost. If I can lead one person to Christ, then I have achieved my goal. I am always trying to remind myself that the words out of my mouth need to be purely His and not my own. This is my prayer for all of you. The Lord will have his way in you and use you for His kingdom. He never lets down his children, but he will reveal His plan for us in His timing. So we need not rush Him. 

In everything that you do, be His hands and feet. Just saying a simple hello to a stranger or asking how you can pray for someone is a good start because you never know the doors that the Lord opened for you in that moment. You may be the only Jesus that they ever meet. Let Him speak through you. Go out, minister. Reach the lost. Stay humble and don’t lose hope. His plan is a masterpiece that he takes years to paint in your heart and mind. Breast stroke after breast stroke in your life is just another small portion of what He is creating within you. 

A New Chapter: My Walk With Jesus

Some people think of bloggers as these scholarly people who write as they sip their morning coffee at their local shop down the street. Some think of bloggers as creative photographers who are known for their works in the area that they live. I am just your average college student who felt inspired while reading a post on wordpress. I guess I should’ve started with my name. Ha! I’m Mallory.

I wasn’t only inspired by the post on WordPress, but I have just started a new chapter in my life. As of January 22nd, 2014. I have given my life to Christ. I am a new creation. I want the words that I write to solely be His.

I want you to know that I am not perfect by any shape or form, but I am a daughter of the King and he made me in His image. His word alone is where I find comfort. I go to a small, Christian university. It’s so funny because it is not at all where I wanted to be, but God was telling me, hey, you, this is where you NEED to be. Without His guidance, I would have never allowed Him to come into my heart. If I had not come here, I would have turned out as a completely different and totally rebellious college student who was falling into all sorts of sin.

Yes, my past was rocky. Yes, I have made mistakes. I was dirty, worn, broken, and felt unworthy of anything good that happened to me. But now I know that God has a plan for my life. I go to a nondenominational church called City Lights. The lord has bestowed it on my heart that this is the place where I will be His hands and feet.

Jeremiah 29:11 says: “For I know the plans that I have for you declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil. to give you a future and a hope.” 

The Lord is the only one who can give us that hope! He knows every detail of our lives. He knows our darkest secrets, but He still LOVES us. Who else on this earth can do that rather than it’s creator? He created us and molded us into His image, so why not be His hands and feet?

Genesis 1:27 reminds us of this truth that we should all live by: “So  God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him.”

Jeremiah 12:2-3 reminds us of this truth: “But you, O Lord, know me; and you see me, and test my heart toward you.”

So I’m going to eave you with this question and a thought. What captivates your heart? Is it your past? Is it your addiction? Is it your relationship? Is it how you look? Is it other people’s opinions?

And to that I say this. None of this matters. Let Jesus captivate your heart. Be His hands and feet. The ways of the world will not lead you to paths of righteousness. Jesus will. The relationship that you’re in won’t make you happy forever, but JESUS will. Your boss can tell you your obligation, but he can’t tell you what the plan for your life is, but JESUS can. He never fails.

I leave you with two truths from our Heavenly father that I remind myself of every day when I get out of bed. God’s word can beat out the negativity in our hearts in a second.

Those who feel worthless know this:

Matthew 5:10: “Blessed are hose who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven!” 

Those who long to seek Wisdom know this:

Ecclesiastes 8:15-17: “And I command joy, for man has nothing better under the sun than to eat and drink and be joyful, for this will go with him in his toil through the days of his life that God has given him under the sun. When I applied my heart to know wisdom, and to see the business that is done on earth, how neither day nor night do one’s eyes see sleep, then I see the work of God, that man cannot find out the work that is done under the sun. However much man may toil in seeking, he will not find out. Even though a wise man claims to know but cannot find out.”

So all of you who do not know Jesus, this blog is for you. Those of you who do have him in your hearts, this is also for you. It is going to glorify Him. Know that these are not my words. They are solely His. I am alive because He set me free! He saved me by grace and grace alone! On HIS solid rock I stand! His will for me is what I will spend my life pursuing and I am so glad that you all get to be a part of the journey. This new chapter. This new beginning! I sing for my King Jesus! Him alone, I praise.