Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Miracles and Angels


Exactly two weeks ago, we were spring cleaning my aunts house. We were working really hard, and decided to take a 15 minute break. It was a nice day so, my younger sister, younger cousin, older cousin, and I went out for a four wheeler ride. The younger two were on Auntie and Uncles four wheeler, and us older two were on our four wheeler (pictured above with Rosie!)

Sometimes we play this game, basically hide and seek on the four wheelers, where two of us hide anywhere on our property and the other two try to find them using the four wheeler tracks. The younger two, we call them the “babies” even though they aren’t babies anymore, had already gone. So it was me and my older cousin, Julia's turn (she is not that much older than be though!) 

We figured our hiding spot would be up in the woods, so I head that way. I was driving. We crossed our bridge and Julia suggested we drive down in the creek bed. We thought the babies would just drive by if we were hidden down in the creek. We saw a spot that we thought we could get down into the creek, it was about a foot drop, then a small sand landing lowering into the water. 

“Are you sure this is a good idea?” I asked as I was driving closer towards the creek.

There was a small tree in the way, so I couldn’t hit it strait. I had to hit it at an angle. *RED FLAG* Never, I repeat, NEVER do this! I totally knew better and should have listened to my gut. 

The right front tire went down the foot drop off first. I was going super slow. I heard Julia say, “We might tip it.” Then it was too late. By this time, we were both thinking this wasn’t a great idea, but we couldn’t do anything to stop it from happening. We were helpless as it rolled. We couldn't bale to the left, because it was up hill and gravity was against us. We ended up falling/ jumping to our right, down hill and landing face down in the creek. The water was about a foot high. The four wheeler rolled down and landed on top of us, upright.

My face was under the water, and I couldn't breathe!

It was the scariest, most awful feeling to be trapped and not able to breathe. I immediately tilted my head up sideways and out of the water. My thoughts scrambled and I realized that I was, in fact, still alive and finally able to breathe! I saw that I was under the four wheeler, right behind the two front tires. I quickly backed my way our from under it, and my thoughts went right to Julia. She had been right beside me when I was underneath. I couldn’t hear her, she wasn’t making a sound. I thought she was drowning or pinned under the back tire. Had I just killed my cousin? 

I spun into action! I tried, LIKE REALLY TRIED, to lift the four wheeler off of her, breaking part of the plastic side. Note: this four wheeler is 700+ pounds! Other than braking the plastic, I wasn’t budging it. I remembered hearing stories of grandmas lifting lawnmowers off of their grandchildren. I had adrenaline, why couldn't I lift it?? 

“I can breathe!” Julia had army crawled up far enough so that she could bring her head above the water. So thankful she was alive, I hurried around to the other side where her head was and she told me to turn off the four wheeler. Believe it of not, it actually was still running. Her leg was twisted back and pressing against the hot part. I quickly shut it of, despite my violently shaking hands. I then run around to where her leg was and pulled up the broken plastic to untwist her leg. Now she was able to crawl out the rest of the way. This all took place in about 2 or 3 minutes, but to us it felt like hours.

Oh my goodness! We couldn't believe what had just happened! We were shaking so bad we could barely stand so we stood there hugging. Thing was, we were in shock and couldn't stop laughing. Not a funny laugh, but a I-can’t-believe-this-happened laugh. We found my phone buried in the sand, under the water. I figured it probably wouldn't work after being in the water for 5 minutes or so. I pick it up and wipe it off on my soaked shirt, and called the babies. The call actually went through but they sounded far away. We told them to pick us up at the creek. They took us, all sopping wet and sandy, back to the house where we told the moms what had happened. 

Both of our elbows were skinned up from landing in the sandy creek bed. Julia's elbows were worse because she had army crawled. Her head also got bumped pretty good. Both of our legs had bruises but I think mine was definitely more impressive.

I’m just so thankful that we didn't get hurt worse. The “what ifs” and “could haves” and “should haves” are endless. The raw and scary truth is that we could have easily been killed. It was a miracle that we made it out with only minor cuts and bruises. 

Our guardian angels were working overtime. God definitely was looking out for us. He saved us! Julia told me that, while it was happening, she was praying. Talk about the power of prayer. 

The way the four wheeler landed on top of us was a miracle. We were both side by side in between the tires. How did the tires not land on us? Because of God. 
The way the four wheeler landed upright on top of us. How did it not just roll over and not make a complete turn like it did? Because of God.
The way we both fit underneath. Inches either way and it would have been bad. How did that happen? Because of God.
The way it ended up that us two older girls got the four wheeler with the most clearance underneath. If we would have been riding the other four wheeler, we wouldn't have fit underneath. Was it by chance? No, but because of God.
The way this whole accident happened, with both of us making it out alive, was because of God!

He loves us so much and watches out for us. He is the One who kept us safe, because He cares. 

The rest of the day, I was in a daze and looked at life differently. I was so thankful for the big AND the little things. My family, my animals, even chores. I realized that things I thought were a big deal, weren't so bad, I was just thankful to be alive. Sometimes seemingly small things, no matter how essential, get taken for granted. Like breathing. I didn’t normally think of breathing, it is just something I do. But now, after having it taken away from me for about two seconds, I’m like, “I CAN BREATHE!” God is good.

I am so thankful to be given life. Life is a gift. A cherished gift that we shouldn’t take for granted. This is real, this is serious. I want to live this gift fully. I want to have true joy, because I get to live this life. I want to remember everyday that I am blessed. I want to be thankful for the little things. 

Everyday is a gift, take a deep breath and thank Him. 

Dear Heavenly Father,
Thank you so much for watching out for us. You promise to never leave us or forsake us. Thank you for keeping Your promise. Thank you for giving us this gift of life. Help us live fully and follow Jesus’ example. Please lead us and guide us. In Jesus’ name, Amen. 

Psalms 91:11,12 
“For He shall give His angels charge over you, To keep you in all your ways. In their hands they shall bear you up, Lest you dash your foot against a stone.” 
                                                                      ~~~

Have you ever been in a situation where things could have ended badly, but didn’t?  Is there a time in your life where you knew that God saved you? What are some ways that we can live more fully? Lets talk in the comments! 

Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Amidst the Storm


Amidst the Storm 
Written by Brooklyne

You are here amidst the storm
Wind, thunder, and sky a blazing
You make, mold, and transform 
Your mighty power amazing 

You are here amidst the storm
"Peace, be still" and the waves obey
Your presence comforts and warm
Those who are weary and astray 

You are here amidst the storm 
Lift and keep your eyes on Jesus
To the world, do not conform 
In perfect peace He will keep us

You are here amidst the storm
Asking us to walk on water
You save us from sinking harm
You are our Heavenly Father

Matthew 14:27-31
"But immediately Jesus spoke to them, saying, 'Be of good cheer! It is I; do not be afraid.' And Perer answered Him and said, 'Lord, if it is You, command me to come to You on water.' So He said, 'Come.' 
And when Peter had come down out of the boat, he walked on water to go to Jesus. But when he saw that the wind was boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink he cried out, saying, 'Lord, save me!' 
And immediately, Jesus stretched out His hand and caught him, and said to him, 'O you of little faith, why did you doubt?' 
And when they got into the boat, the wind ceased."

We all go through storms in our lives, and sometimes we doubt. We become afraid of the boisterous wind. As soon as we take our eyes off of Jesus, we start to sink. But we cry out to Him, and He stretches out His hand and saves us! 
Jesus was walking on water with Peter. Jesus was amidst the storm with Peter. And He is amidst the storm with us as well. He will never leave us to overcome our storms by ourselves, but instead, He will be right along side us! When Jesus is in the same boat as us, the wind will cease.

Have you ever felt like you were sinking in life's storms? Have you ever doubted that He could save you? How can we build our faith? 
How is everyones May going? What are some things you are looking forward to this month? Lets talk! 
P.S. Stay tuned for next weeks post titled, Miracles and Angels, where I share with you a story of how God actually saved my life.

Wednesday, May 2, 2018

A Special Mission



Some see a weed. Some see a wish. Some see a mission. 

Ok, maybe I am the only one who can see a mission in a dandelion! This new perspective came one day as I was trying to capture, with my phone camera, dandelion seeds as they were in mid flight. You know, the perfect picture of the fuzzy parachute like seeds gently floating by? I thought It would by pretty easy, right? After all, others have obviously mastered this art.

Lets just say, I tried for thirty to forty minutes and never quite got a “Pinterest worthy” picture. I tried all sorts of methods. I tried blowing the dandelion, my little sister tried blowing it, we tried waving it, even lying on the ground and looking up as my sister blew the seeds down didn't work. We tried taking lots of pictures in a row and even then nothing seemed focus on the seeds, or we would just miss them all together! I did get lots of good pictures, but none of them were what I thought I could capture. Seriously, has anyone ever tried to take a picture of a dandelion blowing away? If you have any tips, I’d love to know how it is done! 

My creative brain kicked in with one of the pictures (top picture.) I was able to angle my camera to make the seeds look like a small heart which was really cool! In this same picture, one seed’s fuzz was stuck to the dandelion and hung there. It was holding on and wasn't letting go to be carried away into the unknown. As soon as it let go, it could be planted to grow more dandelions. 

Wait a minute! Now my writers brain was spinning way out of control. The dandelion seed was holding on. It wasn’t letting the wind carry it away. It was waiting and doubting, scared of the unknown. It was given a job to spread the seed, planting it. It’s only mission was to plant the seed. It didn’t need to water it or give it light, that was natures job to grow it. All it had to do was let go and be carried. 

Do we ever try and find excuses for not letting go? Are we letting our fears and doubts hold us into place, keeping us from being carried? Are we scared of the unknown? Are we uncertain of where we are going? Of what our mission is? 

Each and every one of us is given a special mission. One that God has perfectly planned for us. Some might know what their mission is, but if you are anything like me, then you don’t know quite what God has in store for you yet. I do know that God wants all of us to spread the Word, to be a witness to others, and to be a example by living like Him. 

Whether it be speaking in front or hundreds of people, or talking to a friend. Whether it be participating at church, or a simple act of kindness to your neighbor. Whether it be traveling to other countries as a missionary, or finding your own mission field close to home. Each of us has our own special mission. Our own calling that God has put on our hearts.
We are all given talents that God wants us to use for His glory.

So, like the dandelion seed, sometimes we hold on too long. Sometimes we won't let God carry us away into the unknown. We are unsure, waiting and doubting. We were given a job to spread the love of Jesus, to share the truth. All we have to do is plant the seed. God does the rest, making that seed grow. All we have to do is let go and be carried. What is holding us back? 

I want to share with you all, some of the pictures I took of dandelions…







Have you ever tried to photograph dandelion seeds blowing away? What is your favorite picture that I took? Do you know what your special mission is? Or is God wanting you to trust Him and let Him carry you? What are some ways that we can step out of our comfort zones and let go of our fears, so we can witness for Him? 

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Always


Always
Written by Brooklyne

Same hope that will anchor 
Steadfast and sure 
Ready to conquer 
Still the same, always

Same love that never fails
Patient and kind
Its presence prevails 
Still the same, always

Same care that will comfort
Never leaving 
Helping our efforts 
Still the same, always

Same peace that surpasses 
Quiet, calm, still
While the storm passes
Still the same, always 

Same glory that is shown 
Its bright beauty 
We have all known
Still the same, always

Same grace that is given
To all who ask 
They are forgiven 
Still the same, always

Same faith that moves mountains 
Trusting and bold
Come to His fountain 
Still the same, always 

Same strength that is able
To lift us up
He's reliable 
Still the same, always 

Same truth that it's telling
In the Bible 
Stories compelling 
Still the same, always

Hebrews 13:8
"Jesus Christ is the same yesterday,
today, and forever." 

James 1:17
"Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above,
and comes down from the Father of lights,
with whom there is no variation 
or shadow of turning."

Jesus never changes and His love for us never changes, it is still the same, always. 
Thank you for reading my poem, Always! Believe it or not, the inspiration for this poem came when I was listening to a country song. What inspires you to write poetry? 
What are your thoughts on this poem? What is one of your favorite things about our loving Heavenly Father that never changes? Lets talk in the comments below!


Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Promises from Heaven


Have you ever made a promise? Promises should not be taken lightly. Big or small, a promise is a promise. Whenever I promise to my sisters, we “sister promise” and lock pinkies. Sister promises are never, EVER to be broken!

In my Thesaurus, it says a promise is a person’s solemn declaration that he or she will do or not do something. Other words for a promise is oath, pledge, troth, vow, word, appointment, arrangement, commitment, engagement, agreement, exc. Whenever I promise, I try my hardest to keep it, and feel trusted when I do. 

Lets talk about three different kinds of promises. (1) I will never promise, 
(2) I will always promise, and (3) I promise the truth promise. 

The Bible is packed full of God’s promises to His children. I chose four promises in bible to write about. At first glance, I probably would not have thought that some of them were promises, but there are. 

The first is in Genesis 9:12-16. 
“And God said: “This is the sign of the covenant which I make between Me and you, and every living creature that is with you, for perpetual generations:
I set My rainbow in the cloud, and it shall be for the sign of the covenant between Me and the earth.
It shall be, when I bring a cloud over the earth, that the rainbow shall be seen in the cloud;
and I will remember My covenant which is between Me and you and every living creature of all flesh; the waters shall never again become a flood to destroy all flesh.
The rainbow shall be in the cloud, and I will look on it to remember the everlasting covenant between God and every living creature of all flesh that is on the earth.”

God gave us the rainbow as a sign. Kind of like the locked pinkies for a sister promise. God promised Noah and his family that He will NEVERagain destroy all flesh with a flood. This is a example of the first, I will never promise.

Skipping over to the next book in the bible, Exodus 13:21-22, we read in this story about a promise that is declared in a different way.

        “And the Lord went before them by day in a pillar of cloud to lead the way, and by night in a pillar of fire to give them light, so as to go by day and night.
He did not take away the pillar of cloud by day or the pillar of fire by night from before the people.”

Using a pillar of cloud and a pillar of fire, God leads Moses and the children of Israel on there journey. Day and night, He is promising to to be with them and show them the way. Today, God promises us in the same way, maybe not a literal, but the promise is the same. To lead us and guide us both day and night. He is promising to ALWAYS be with us! This is a I will always promise. 

1 Kings 18:26-38 tells a remarkable story proving that God is real.

“And it came to pass, at the time of the offering of the evening sacrifice, that Elijah the prophet came near and said, “LORD God of Abram,  Issac, and Israel, let it be known this day that You are God in Israel and I am Your servant, and that I have done all these things at Your word.
Hear me, O LORD, hear me, that this people may know that You are the LORD God, and that You have turned their hearts back to you again.
Then the fire of the LORD fell and consumed the burnt sacrifice, and the wood and the stones and the dust, and it licked up the water that was in the trench.”

Wow! God sent His fire for Elijah as proof that He is the LORD God of the entire universe! What a powerful God we serve! So, where is the promise in this story? Well, God is promising everyone there that day, and to everyone who reads this story in the bible, that He is powerful and almighty. He is the one TRUE God. Making this the I promise the truth promise.

The last promise from the bible I will write about is in Matthew 2:9-10.

“When they heard the king, they departed; and behold, the star which they had seen from the East went before them, till it came and stood over where the young Child was.
When they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceeding great joy.” 

This promise is a mixture of all three promise types. It is similar to the first rainbow promise in that it has a sign of the covenant, the star. It is also similar to the second pillar of cloud and fire promise because the wisemen followed the star like the children of Israel followed the pillar of cloud and pillar of fire. Last but not least, it is similar to Elijah’s offering promise because it is a I promise the truth promise. You might think that it doesn't sound like that type of promise, but this is they way I see it. God is promising the wiseman that by following the star, they will find baby Jesus, the TRUE King. The One that would die for our sins so that we can have everlasting life with Him. That is TRUE love!

As we study these four promises in the Bible, do you notice a pattern?

Yes, all of the promises came from the sky, the heavens. The rainbow in the sky, the pillars in the sky, the fire from the sky, and the star in the sky. Each one is a promise that God keeps and will never break. 

You might be thinking to yourself that this was in the olden days, things like cloud pillars and fire coming down from heaven just don't happen nowadays. Or you might be thinking that nothing big or magnificent ever happens in the sky that shows us a promise from God.

But promises from heaven still do happen today! Everyday there is something magnificent in the sky! It’s called a sunrise and sunset. Blue, orange, yellow, red, purple, and pink colors light up the sky. Fluffy clouds of all shapes and sizes add to it’s beauty. It IS magnificent! It IS a promise! 

Sunrises are a promise because each morning, when the sun comes up, God is promising to be with us today, and he is reminding us that he sent His only Sun to save sinners like you and I. God made the sun to give us sunlight each day just like Jesus gives us light spirituality. Jesus is the light of the world!

And sunsets are a promise because every night, when the sun goes down, God is promising that the Sun will come again quickly and He will take us to heaven to live forever with our Heavenly Father.

So, next time you see a sunrise or sunset, don’t just think of it as a start or finish of a long day. Think of it as your magnificent promise from heaven!

2 Peter 1:4  
“… by which have been given to us exceedingly great and precious promises…”

Revelation 22:12-13
“And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward [is] with me, to give every man according as his work shall be.
I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last.”

Have you ever witnessed a beautiful sunrise and sunset? How about a rainbow? What's one of your favorite promises in the Bible? I'd love to here what you thought of Promises from Heaven!

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Lead Me and Guide Me


Lead Me and Guide Me 
Written by Brooklyne 

Lead me and guide me
Show me the way
Help me and find me 
When I go astray 

Lead me and guide me
Show me Your light
Teach me and try me
Your ways are right

Lead me and guide me
Show me mercy 
Bless me and love me 
Lord of glory 

Lead me and guide me 
Show me Your word
Cleanse me and mold me 
My Lord of Lords

You are my God 
You are my King
My Rock, my Shield
Everlasting 

Prince of Peace 
Forever with me
My Hope, my Strength 
God Almighty 

Psalm 31:3
"For You are my rock and my fortress;
Therefore, for Your name's sake,
Lead me and guide me."

This is a prayer. This is a song. This is a poem. 
Are we letting God lead us and guide us? Because He is the greatest Guide for this journey we are on. He knows the paths we will take and the obstacles we will face.
All we have to do is ask Him to lead us and He will. 
God will never leave us or forsake us. 

Thank you for reading this poem! Let me know what you think of it in the comments!

Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Be a Artist


“A artist is someone who sees a potential masterpiece in their mistakes.” 

One day I came up with this saying/quote, and I believe there is more to it than just one meaning. You don't have to be a literal artist to be a artist at heart. You don’t have to be skilled with a paint brush, pen, or pencil. You don’t have to paint a masterpiece on canvas, or sculpt a detailed sculpture. You don’t have to be born with the gift of being creative and artsy. To me, being a artist starts in the mind, how you think and how you react. It is our perspective and how we look at things. 

Everyone can be a artist.

A artist of paint and ink, when they make mistakes (because we know they do), do they throw their hands in the air and give up? No. They either try again, or change their train of thought and turn their mistake in to something entirely different, and most of the time it turns out way grander than the original plan. 

Is it tempting to throw your hands up in the air and quit when your art isn’t turning out right, or when you can’t erase your mistake?  I know it is, because I’ve been there. I make mistakes all the time in my hand lettering and doodles. Sometimes I will give up, thinking that I am not good enough of a artist, or that it didn’t turn out like the picture I was going off of. Then other times, I will persevere through my mistake and sure, it might not turn out like I had wanted it to, but now I have created something that is one of a kind. Something different and unique. 

A real artist doesn’t give up on their creative gift, they try and try if they can’t get it the first time around. But what if this artist is working on a project and gets frustrated, who do they turn to for help? They ask someone who knows how to do what they are working on. They find a teacher who can show them how. Someone who has already done what they are trying to doing. 

I remember when I was really little, I liked to color, but I had the hardest time staying in the lines! I would scribble and scribble until the page was filled with crayon marks, then I would get frustrated when my picture did not look like the outlined horse (most of the time I colored horses) in the background. So you know what I did? I took my coloring page, full of mistakes, to my big sister.  I really don’t know what she did, but she would fix it! She turned my mistakes into a masterpiece. Big sister to the rescue!

What about someone who has no artsy skills at all, how can I say that everyone can be a artist? 

Because you can be a artist at heart, and in your mind. Being a artist at heart is a choice. You have to choose to think of things a certain way. Not everyone has the gift of creating art, but everyone does have a choice to make in how they handle their mistakes. A artist at heart would say, “Yes, I made a mistake, BUT I see a potential masterpiece in my mistake.” We are all sinners and are prone to mistakes, but how we deal with them is what really matters. 

Is it tempting to throw your hands up in the air and quit when you make a mistake and things are not going as planned? Yes, oh YES it is! And sometimes we will fall into that trap and give up, thinking that we are not good enough, or that it was not supposed to turn out like it did. But what if “it didn’t turn out like the picture” on purpose? What if there is a reason your mistake happened the way it did? Only God knows, because His’s plan is to turn your mistakes into a masterpiece.

A real artist at heart doesn't give up when they make a mistake, they try and try again to make it right. Even if it takes 70x7 times of forgiving, of asking forgiveness. It will take perseverance, never giving up. It takes time, don’t expect your mistakes to vanish into thin air. It takes having a new perspective. We might not be able to erase our mistakes, but we can choose to see the potential masterpiece in them.
We can’t do this on our own, we need help. Lets ask Someone who knows how to forgive. Our Teacher is Jesus Christ, because He has been through what we are going through. He knows. Jesus came to this earth to die for our sins. He is spotless, clean from sin, but He burdened our sin and died for us so that we can have life. So that we can choose this avenue He has opened up for us. What amazing love! We are not worthy, but we are chosen. 

So, lets strive to learn from our mistakes, and take them to the Teacher who can show us how to see a potential masterpiece in them. Lets turn to God and ask Him to help us forgive and repent. Whether a artist of paint and ink or a artist at heart, a artist is someone who sees a potential masterpiece in their mistakes. 

Matthew 18:21,22
“Then Peter came to Him and said, ‘Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? Up to seven times?’
Jesus said to him, ‘I do not say to you, up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven.’ ”

Ephesians 4:32
“And be kind to one another tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you.”

Ephesians 1:7
“In Him we have redemption though His blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace.”

Romans 3:23
“For we all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.”

1 Peter 2:9
“But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light;”

God will turn our mistakes into masterpieces if we let Him. Has God ever changed one of your mistakes into something way grander than the original plan? What kinds of masterpieces is God painting in your life? Lets talk in the comments!