Life Breaking Through

I haven’t written in a long time (well at least not on WordPress). I have began a few new projects and got sort of wrapped up in how busy life has seemed to be. Well before I dive in to what I came to talk about I will give you a brief update on the mayhem!

 

baptism

I was water baptized for the second time. It was wonderful! I got a second job and have been doing Christmas photo shoots for families and couples I know. It’s been fun and a great learning experience. I’ve of course done plenty of photo shoots with friends and what not, but not in a formal posed setting. I have also been doing plenty of shooting for the church and editing. I believe I’m getting a lot better; I’m even venturing into video editing for our youth group! My family and I are leaving for Disney World on Christmas Day! And yes, there will definitely be a blog post. I have been writing through all the chaos, not blogging, but working on a novel (or novel idea). Other than this I haven’t done much more except I have been spending a lot more time with friends and my family which is absolutely wonderful. Last but not least, our church began a Welcome Team which I was approached to participate in and I am so glad for it. I don’t even complain about waking up thirty minutes early to stand outside and meet new people. It’s one of the most fun ministries I have served in and  it is most certainly one of the best things for our church in  my eyes. I cannot wait to see where we go with it!

In all of my busy schedule in the last 2 months I’ve been forced to remember one very important thing: God makes all things new. He brings everything and everyone to life. We have life through him and that’s the thing to be most thankful for: Our everlasting life with God!

Sometimes I get in such a rush in life that I forget to slow down and enjoy each moment. I get anxious and stressed out when there is such a simple solution, prayer. I am learning to trust Him and let Him guide my decisions instead of trying so hard to figure out the best choice on my own.

2 Corinthians 5:17-21 says, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation; that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation. Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.”

The bible says repeatedly that when we are saved, we are made new in Him. No matter what you have done or where you have been there is one thing that will always be guaranteed, our God is a forgiving, loving, merciful God. He created us and knows the mistakes we make. Yes it’s constantly repeated but it’s because it’s the greatest miracle the world has seen: He sent his one and only son to die for our sins. Jesus wore our cross on his back.

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I wrote back in September, maybe, about Picking up our cross no matter how heavy and pursue Jesus with every might that we have! Matthew 16:24 states, “Then Jesus said to his disciples, ‘If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.'” I know as well as anyone that it is not easy to just turn your back on your life, habits, and even friends. Some things aren’t as good for us as we want them to be and that’s a very hard lesson to learn. But with every want you lay down for the God you need there comes a sense of freedom and peace in your heart and life.

Just remember throughout your week that you have a God who doesn’t strike down, but a God who gives life to every person seeking him and brings joy to every moment.

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Children of the World

I was so honored to see the Children of the World Choir minister at my church last night; it was a true blessing. It is an organization through World Help. Though they’ve been to my church before this was my first time seeing them and photographing them as well. It was an honor. Check on their website to see if they are coming to your church soon!

xoxo,

Beki

Thrilled About God

I’m constantly hearing my pastor, worship leader, and just people in my church saying “lift up a shout of praise to the Lord!” During worship I see people jumping, dancing, and truly making some pretty awesome noise for the Lord. I’ve learned that as a follower of Christ, the best thing you can be is thrilled about God.

I have seen it happen many times; kids come home from church camp or a conference and they’re on fire for God. It lasts for a couple weeks or months for some and then that flame is blown out like a lantern without oil. I’ll let you in on a little secret: the oil is being thrilled for Him. Being excited about God, about your friendship with our Savior, about your relationship with our Father. We get so wrapped up and focused on all the “rules” and “requirements” that being a Christian calls for that we become a religious group rather than a body of Christ.

Don’t get me wrong, turning your life to God calls for a special will strength to leave behind the worldly things that consume your thoughts and replacing them with positive, Godly thoughts. It is just much more easier when you remember how wonderful and glorious He truly is. It’s exciting news. It’s the good news!

So today, rejoice and praise Him. & Tell someone how Thrilled about God you are!

Taking Up Our Cross

I do not remember where I got this book, but I got it four years ago. It is called “A Call to Die” by David Nasser. It is a forty day fast to rid your life of selfish habits and focus on God. I began it when I was fifteen in the tenth grade. Of course since I am the disorganized, lazy, mess I am I never finished it. I do not even believe I got half way through.

Today, I re-dedicated myself to it to see where it could take me and what it could teach me! I will also compare my reflections on each day to my fifteen year old self’s answer. Day one is called “Take Up Your Cross” (hence the title of this post). It was a simple, yet powerful lesson on Jesus truly meant when he asked us to take up our cross and follow him [Matthew 16:24] and all I can say is WOW!

Since the sole purpose of the book is to teach people why it is so important for us to give up our selfish desires and serve, it only seemed like the perfect fit to describe how extremely intense Jesus was. David Nasser explains that a cross is not just a necklace or something hanging on your living room wall. The cross was one of the most excruciating, painful punishments, saved for the lowest of lows during this time. So we can only imagine what Christ’s disciples thought when Jesus said to pick up their crosses. They thought he was nuts!! But Jesus knew that whatever God had called him to do had to be done. He had to give up comfort and acceptance. Something we are faced with every day; we choose whether or not we decide to say yes or no to the selfish desire to be comfortable and accepted in our life.

David lets us in a little secret about our walk with God: Our obedience is worth it.

It was very interesting to see how drastically different my reflections were on just day one. My favorite one was the question asking you to describe the benefits of denying yourself and taking up your cross to follow Jesus! Let me tell you; fifteen year old me was very wise compared to nineteen year old me.

My answer then: “The number one benefit is eternity with our Savior Christ Jesus! By following him, others will follow you, and by following you they will be led to him!” 

My answer now is definitely along the same lines, but not quite as simple I believe. I find that the many benefits of denying yourself and taking up your cross to follow Jesus all boils now to one thing everyone is searching for: happiness.

I’ve struggled for so long wondering why I wasn’t good enough, why I didn’t fit in, or why I was always at home crying, depressed, and all alone every night. With God in my life, mind and heart I feel an all consuming joy washed over me. It doesn’t last twenty minutes and fade away like smoking does. It constantly refreshes itself and I am always reminded of the many reasons I have to be blissful and happy. God brings joy to my life like nothing I’ve ever experienced. He reminds me that living a life for him is the only way to live a life for myself!

“Then Jesus said to his disciples, ‘If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.” [Matthew 16:24]

A Letter of Gratitude

Sometimes I don’t feel like I’m as positive as I should be. I have been working so much lately, I’ve been forgetting to remember what I am working towards. Since I have recently converted from working two jobs and seventy hours a week to working one full time job at the coffee shop, I am excited to begin focusing on myself, my family, and my friends.

A year ago today I moved out of my parents house. It was scary but exciting. I don’t ever regret it. I am constantly lectured about how much time I had to “milk.” I didn’t want to milk my time at my moms house and I don’t want to milk my youth. I want to experience life and I believe an important part of that is supporting myself and starting from the ground up. Yes it would have been easier to stay there and just help pay for groceries, but I don’t find it quite as rewarding.

There is so much in my life that I say I would like to do, and I never reach for it. I just talk myself out of the ideas. Some simple, some not at all: I am tired of milking this time. I just want to thank everyone who has helped me throughout each and every long day. The few, the awesome!

xoxo, Beki