Sunday, August 21, 2011

Just thinking...

"Godly sorrow is not defined by tears or outward displays of contrition. Rather, it's a change of heart resulting in complete agreement with God over the matter." -Beth Moore

I'm not exactly sure why this quote struck a chord in me, but it did. I believe sometimes it can be easy to cry over an issue, convince yourself that you are over it and finally sweep it under the rug as if it never happened.
Sometimes a change of heart can take longer than a night of crying,  a week of sorrow or a month of fighting to become stronger.

My prayer is that you will be able to trust the Lord when you are having a hard time letting go of something. I pray that you will take time to deal with the issue instead of having an emotional block by convincing yourself that the problem is gone. It's important that not only the issue be resolved, but that the root of the issue is identified and dealt with between you (and the other party, if needed) and Jesus.

"Search me, O God, and know my heart! Try me and know my thoughts!" -Psalm 139:23

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Harvest Institute

Last week I was able to attend a week long student leadership school. It was meant to equip student leaders to go out on the college campus and spread the Gospel, and to make a plan on how to make your campus ministry thrive. I was happy to be there with 10 fellow student leaders from ECU. I, personally, was not ready to go when I first arrived. Like I've said in previous posts, I've really been struggling with hearing from the Lord. I figured that going to this may help... and it did. I went almost all week, pressing into what God may have to say, and I started to get discouraged because I was getting nothing. Then Thursday came along and it hit me like a ton of bricks. The Lord spoke to me clearly for the first time in what seems like weeks. "I have not forgotten about you, I've been here the whole time, I'm simply preparing something new and better for you." Okay, cool. Sounds good to me! That's all I heard that day, but I will take it! The next day I was prayed over by 4 different people and they all spoke powerful prophetic words over me. I almost had them stop because I couldn't stop crying due to being overwhelmed from all that they were saying. It was a powerful day and I have heard the Lord speaking to me everyday since. Sometimes we do not understand why we go through the things we go through until we've walked through them completely. I look back on these last few years, especially my college years, and now I completely and fully understand why I walked through every single thing that I did. Some things were intended for evil, but God made them for good. Isn't great how He does that?

I also had the honor of going out and doing prayer evangelism on Duke University's campus. I had never been there before. The campus is beautiful! They have a lot of international students there, so it's really neat to talk to them and listen to their different experiences and perspectives. One thing I did notice about Duke is that many people there are lost. Prayer evangelism simply involves you going up and asking someone if you can pray for them. It eventually leads to hopefully being able to share the Gospel with them. Our group went on two different days. My friend Lauren and I partnered up and set out to pray for people. We got the opportunity to pray and talk to many different kinds of people, but I was believing for someone to not only hear the Gospel, but to accept it. Finally, on the last day of outreach, we ran into a lady named Sashlee. At first she didn't want us to pray for her, but then Reggie (Duke's campus minister) stopped her and she eventually started talking to us. I would say that we stood there talking to her for about 10-15 minutes. She was pregnant and is going to have a little girl on October 4. We presented the Gospel to her and she prayed to accept Jesus as her Savior! Talk about a glorious day of Duke's campus! It was amazing to watch a girl I had never met before to accept Jesus. All it took was stepping out on faith and caring enough about a stranger to share the Gospel with her. I'm so grateful that Reggie stopped her and encouraged us to talk with her. I'm also extremely happy that he was there to help us walk her through it!

A verse, well a chapter really, that was prayed over me last week was Romans 12. It talks about many different things, but it starts off by talking about presenting yourself as a living sacrifice, Holy and pleasing to the Lord. I've been dwelling on this chapter all week. I can't even guess how many times I have read this chapter throughout my life, but it has new meaning to me. I feel as though my purpose has been renewed. It's funny how I can go back, read verses that I've known my entire life and get something completely new out of them! I encourage you to do that, don't push a verse or a book of the Bible aside just because you've "simply read it." Go read it again and see if there's any new meaning to you.
A lot of the time, the Lord likes to teach us through the things that we know best. :)

Another great thing that happened was I grew much closer to a dear friend of mine. I now consider her a sister. Merrin and I went to the same high school, but she was a year younger. We weren't friends then, but she ended up coming to the same college as me and we started hanging out. She embarked on the Harvest Institute journey with me and I honestly feel like God sent her to ECU for a reason. He does all things for a reason. She loves the Lord and has radically encountered God over this last year. I am so proud to call her my sister in Christ and one of my best friends! I love how God can bring things from our past that we did not think were significant (like Merrin being my acquaintance in high school) and turns it around for His glory. This is a God centered, heart to heart friendship. Many people go a lifetime without them. I am so grateful for Him putting a wonderful friend like her in my life! This year is going to be great!

This week was powerful! No, I didn't get any exercise and I didn't eat very good, but you know what... I had an encounter with the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords. Nothing is greater than that!

Saturday, August 6, 2011

So much has happened!

Okay, I haven't updated in what seems like forever.
Gosh, if I had a quarter for every time I said that...

This summer has been jammed packed! I will never complain about my work load during the fall and spring semesters again...EVER! God was gracious to me, though, giving me the strength to get all of the work done on time! The last week of the last summer session was extremely intense. I had 1 exam, 1 exercise prescription project, 1 practicum final and 2 final exams. If it were not for the Lord giving me a supernatural way to focus, I honestly do not think that I could have made it through. The good thing is, I did make it and am satisfied with all of my grades this summer! I officially began summer break this past Saturday! I've been going non-stop this week, but that's okay because I am home with my family!

Tomorrow I head off to Harvest Institute, which is an ministry intensive training school. It's a week long and I am looking forward to all that God has in store for me and all of the other students going! I am believing for God to move powerfully and mightily in my life! I am in much need of it! "Ask and it will be given to you..." I am asking for God to radically rock my world this week, filling my heart with a burning passion for Him and to spread His love in the way I was made to spread it.

Speaking of being made to spread His love...
     I am pretty much convinced that God is beginning to open doors for what He has for me. At least in the near future. You know, things change, and I'm cool with that! Here's why:
1. I passed the AFAA National Personal Trainer's Practicum and Exam!! WAHOO!!! I am officially a nationally certified personal trainer and am grateful for this opportunity to help people change their lives!
2. I have discovered that I am very good at explaining exercise terms, techniques and prescriptions to people. This is a blessing, because it is WAY harder than you would think! I have had a blast learning different ways to help people and test people's fitness levels based on their needs!
3. I have always thought about getting another degree in business, or at least minoring in it. I just have not felt like it is something that I have needed or wanted to do. A few weeks ago, I was presented with an opportunity to try a newly released nutritional cleanse program. To my surprise (seriously, I was surprised! I am so skeptical about these things), I got amazing results and so have other people that I know! So I can say that I am proudly building my own nutritional cleansing business along with this major company. If you want details, email me!

This summer, amongst all of my busy-ness, I have once again caught up on some much needed reading! Karen Kingsbury is my all-time favorite author! The first book I ever read by her was "Take 1" from the Above the Line Series. I immediately fell in love with her writing! Since then, I have read that entire series, Unlocked, The Redemption Series, am currently working on The First Born Series and am waiting on the next book in the Bailey Flanigan Series. I wish I had more time to read! Hopefully I'll have time to finish at least two more before heading back to school for the fall!!
Now for an extremely important topic! It could possibly be the most exciting part of this post...

Okay, it is the most exciting part of this post.

That's right! The wedding of the century!! 
My cousin, Emily, who is one of the most precious people I know, said "I do," to her sweet man, Tim! 

(There were a lot of commas in that sentence, most of them were probably not placed correctly... act like you don't notice)! 

I was honored to be chosen as a bridesmaid for this unforgettable event! It was by far the most precious wedding I have ever been too (no offense to you, if I attended your wedding and you're reading this blog, I just love weddings)!

Here are some photos from their big day:
Emily and Tim chose to do a first look. The wedding party accidentally showed up a bit too early, so we watched from the car. There was a bunch of "awww, that's so sweet," from the Bridesmaid's vehicle!

speakin' of Bridesmaids...

What a good lookin' group! Seriously, Emily picked the perfect bridesmaids. Each lady has her own individual personality that made Emily and Tim's big day so much fun!

Pranee takes great photos! Check her out on facebook! Beauty for Ashes Photography
There's no party without the infamous "great aunts!" 
One thing I especially loved about this wedding was during communion, the parents of the bride and groom came up and prayed over them. I had never seen it done in a wedding before, but it was special!
What's a wedding with the THE kiss?!
The beautiful bride and handsome groom! What an elegant picture :)
Then it was time to dance! Btw, Tim had some amazing moves to his specially requested song, "Party Like a Rock Star!"
Tim is obsessed with "The Simpsons," so this was the perfect grooms cake!
They left the reception through a line of sparklers! It was quite smokey... but the good news is, it turned out great AND no one caught on fire! :)
This is definitely one of my favorites!!

Congratulations to Mr. and Mrs. Timothy Bullock :)