The Cattle on a Thousand Hills

IMG_9238I was reading a few days ago in Psalms and I came across a verse that I had read a number of times before, just mostly just glanced over it. Chapter 50, verse 10 states,

For every beast of the forest is mine, the cattle on a thousand hills.

Now, what made me stop and actually pay attention to this verse? I was reading a book called Circle Maker by Mark Batterson. The theme of this book is “Dream Big. Pray Hard. Think Long” This verse is one he highlights in particular. So often we don’t pray big prayers because we either think they are too big or that they could never happen or when we do pray big prayers, we get discouraged because it doesn’t happen as quickly as we would like and so we stop.

This verse blows the idea that anything is too big for God right out of the water. It states right here that every beast is God’s and He owns the cattle on a thousand hills. Do you know how much cattle that is? So unbelievably much. This verse has challenged me to pray big prayers and to dream big dreams. One prayer it has specifically challenged me to pray is for our county. From the outside looking in, our county is a regular ol’ fried chicken lovin’, sweet tea drinkin’, Jesus-lovin’, Southern town. But spend any time here, and you’ll see just how broken it is. The divorce rate is one of the highest in the state, Our families are broken, our community is broken, our relationships are broken. This county is so broken and in desperate need of a savior.

I fully believe that God can and will do an amazing thing in our county. That is what God has challenged me to pray for, revival in our county. And for someone like me, who hates to ask for even the smallest bit of help, we cannot do it by ourselves, God is the one who will do it and I can only pray that He will use me in it.

LC

#forthecounty

So, so many things to update about. So many things have changed in my life as of late. I’ve taken a semester off of school, started dating Cameron, started working for Wakulla UMC, and moved out of my parents’ house, just to name a few.

This last year has been a crazy one to say the least. I had some great times and I had some really bad times too. I am very excited for this year though, I cannot wait to see what God has in store for me.

Already, just nine days into this year, I know it’s going to be a good one. God has already shown me so much just in these past couple of days.

One of the things I am most excited about for this year is something that has been the passion of our leadership team at WUMC for quite some time now, and we have finally been launching it with our students. #forthecounty has been something that has been on the hearts of our leaders for a while.

What #forthecounty means to us is that we are doing everything through the mindset of getting the name of Jesus and His incredible message out to every single person in our county. Everything we think, say, and do is through the lens of will this help us to be more for the county. We recently launched this idea to our students, we went through a series entitled “#forthecounty” where we broke down what for the county means, what it means for us as a youth group, what it means for them individually, and we gave them an opportunity to make a commitment to be for the county in their schools, homes, and lives.

We are so excited about this plan for our county. It is our passion and our desire to have every single person in our county come to know Jesus as their Lord and Savior. It is our hope that this spark for Jesus spreads throughout our county, our state, our country, and ultimately the world. We know God can do amazing things and we fully believe that He can use our little youth group to do big things in our county.

#forthecounty

LC

The Weight of Sin

I was reading in Numbers a few days ago and something struck me. The sheer weight of our sin. I was reading in chapter 28 and 29 where it talks about the daily sacrifices, sabbath sacrifices, monthly sacrifices, and the different festival sacrifices that the Jews  had to do. I was simply blown away by the utter magnitude of our sin. In chapter 29 it says,

“Present as an aroma pleasing to the Lord a food offering consisting of a burnt offering of thirteen young bulls, two rams and fourteen male lambs a year old, all without defect. 14 With each of the thirteen bulls offer a grain offering of three-tenths of an ephah of the finest flour mixed with oil; with each of the two rams, two-tenths; 15 and with each of the fourteen lambs, one-tenth. 16 Include one male goat as a sin offering, in addition to the regular burnt offering with its grain offering and drink offering.”

It proceeds throughout the rest of this section to count down in the bulls, until it adds up 71 young bulls, 15 rams, and 99 male lambs. The worth of all of those, for one festival would be unimaginable, and that was on top of the other usual daily sacrifices they had to do. All of this and they still were not able to truly be clean from their sin and be acceptable. That absolutely blows my mind. All of that sacrifice and they still are not good enough. If that is true, then the enormity of our sin must be momentous.

Understanding this key point is vital to the gospel. If we can actually understand the immense expanse of our sin, then the idea of the sacrifice of Jesus is that much more amazing. He had the weight of ALL of our sin on His shoulders. Not just all of mine and all of yours, but all of every human being that has ever lived, is living, and will ever live. The weight of that must has been enormous. Reading this makes me so much more grateful for the sacrifice of Jesus, what He did for us on the cross. What He endured so that we might live. It makes me so thankful!

I hope this makes you as grateful as it does me!

LC

Hosea – The Prophet Who Married A Prostitute.

Hey! 

It’s been a while.

I was watching a sermon by Judah Smith, one of my favorite pastors, and I was prompted to write a post on here about what he spoke about. 

 

He was speaking about the story of Hosea. 

 

Hosea was a prophet of God, he was to deliver the word of the Lord to the people. One day, God spoke to Hosea and told him to do something unbelievable. God told him to marry a prostitute. Yes, to go find a prostitute named Gomer and marry her and love her and have children with her. That is what he was called to do in his life. I want to stop right there and point out something. This right here and a picture of God’s love for us. God, who is our Hosea, chose to love us, a prostitute of sorts. He has chosen us, a people who sell themselves to every sort of other god imaginable. We sell ourselves to our jobs, school, boyfriends, girlfriends, husbands, wives, technology, the internet, friends, money, and countless other things. We sell our souls to these things, putting them far above God on our list of things that are important. And in doing that, we turn our backs on God, but God, being far greater than any of those things, still chose to love us. 

 

The story continues… Hosea marries Gomer and they have a life together, they have three kids and things seem to be going reasonably well. Then one day Hosea wakes up to find Gomer gone. She has returned to her old ways and left Hosea with the three kids. And you know what God tells Hosea to do? In Hosea 3:1, “And the Lord said to me, ‘Go again, love a woman who is loved by another man and is an adulteress, even as the Lord loves the children of Israel, though they turn to other gods and love of cakes of raisins.” God tell Hosea to go get his wife…and he does it. He goes and finds his wife. AND HE BUYS HER BACK. In Hosea 3:2 it says, “So I bought her for fifteen sheckels of silver and a homer and a lethech of barley.” Hosea goes and buys his wife back. She is being sold for sex and he pays the ransom for her. Not only does he do that, but he redeems her, he renews their vows right there. Hosea 3:3 says, “And I said to her, ‘ You must dwell as mine for many days. You shall not play the whore, or belong to another man; so will I also be to you.” Hosea redeems Gomer. 

This is such a beautiful picture of God’s love for Israel and by extension, us. He made man in the Garden of Eden, he loved man and for love to be true there must be choice, so God gave man the free will to decide to love him back, but man chose not to. Humankind chose to go after the things of the world, the fruit of knowledge of good and evil. Man ran after the things of the world, choosing them over God. God, in His infinite grace and love, redeemed us. He sent His Son to pay the ransom. Jesus was our fifteen shekels of silver and a homer and a lethech of barley. And He continues His promise to love us. He redeemed us when we were naked and broken and ugly and gross. 

And then, because of His great love for us, we are to go out and be  Hoseas. God took us, when we were Gomers, and made us into Hoseas so that we could go out and pull others out of their prostitution. We are Hosea for other people, we show them God and God redeems them. This is so beautiful! 

I hope this spurs you to want to be Hosea for someone as much as it does for me. 

LC

At Your name, mountains shake and crumble. At Your name, the oceans roll and tumble. At Your name, angels will bow. The earth will rejoice, Your people cry out.

Hi hey hello,

God answers prayers in the most mysterious ways. For those of you who don’t know, my best friend, Cassidy, has been off at worship college. Many of my other high school friends also went off to college this year. And for the past few months I haven’t really had any close friends. I haven’t had anyone that I can just rant to, or go see that silly movie with, or have real talk with. And to be honest, it has really bummed me out.

I have been praying for a while for God to give me a friend. And no, I am not saying that any of you are not my friends. I have been praying for a solid friend who will be blunt about things I need to do, who will snap me back into shape, who will give me real talk when I need it, who will tell me to shut up when I am being an idiot (which is quite common.) God has been showing me through this time that I have been literally depending upon my friends for my relationship with Him. My friends have been above Him. He has been showing me that I don’t necessarily need friends all the time. I am learning to depend on Him. I am learning to not turn to that friend, but to Him, when I am upset or worried about something. He is the ultimate real talker. He will snap me back into shape. He will be blunt. God is the ultimate friend, because not only will He love me unconditionally when I am being stupid (which is also quite common), but He will show me real quick if I am not doing what I am supposed to be doing. He knows exactly what it takes to get me to listen.

And slowly God has been providing me friends, from places I never expected.

Title Lyrics: At Your Name – Tim Hughes

-LC

And when before the throne I stand in Him complete, “Jesus died my soul to save” my lips shall still repeat. O Praise the one who paid my debt and raised this life up from the dead.

Hi hey hello,

Sorry it’s been so quiet around here for the past few weeks, but I really do want to get back into blogging.

Alright guys, I know I have said it about 4.3 million times, but I love being an intern at WUMC so much it just blows my mind. Yesterday I got to hang out with one of my youth girlies. First off, love spending time with them. Each and every one of them are a joy to spend time with and I love getting to pour into them, and many times I learn so much about my life from them, it is amazing! I love hearing what is going on in their lives and it really helps me see where I can pray for them and where I can invest more of my time and energy. Gosh I love these kids.

After we hung out, we went to youth and it was beyond amazing. I know this is also something I saw frequently, but it is still true. Josh Hawkins is a fantastic leader for these kids, I learn so much about mentoring these kids simply by watching his interactions with them. Anyway, he is also a pretty great teacher. Last night was so beautiful I cannot even put it into words. All I can say is that God showed up, in a powerful way. The main idea was that we need to not just make Jesus our Savior, but that He needs to be our KING. A king can do whatever he wants and that what Jesus needs to be in our lives. The night ended with the kids kneeling before the cross and lifting up the name of Jesus in a way that literally brought tears to my eyes. Seeing these kids, these crazy, silly, ridiculous middle and high school students worshipping God and kneeling at the foot of the cross making Jesus the King of their lives was  one of those moments that makes literally everything you do as a youth leader worth it. All those long drives, late nights, silly conversations and worries, all the crazy talks. It is ALL worth it when you get to see those same kids on their faces before God.

Title Lyrics: Jesus Paid It All – Kristian Stanfill

-LC

 

I keep on falling I keep on falling short. This world keeps bringing me down. You keep on calling.

Hi hey hello,

So, as you may have noticed, I have released myself from the need to post everyday. I am officially stopping that, and I will only be posting a few times a week, maybe like every other day. Really it is going to be whenever I have something I want to write about!

Anyway, as I write this, I am watching the playback of session 1, and man is it amazing. GOD IS DOING SUCH AMAZING THINGS IN MY GENERATION AND IT IS SO EXCITING! It is so cool.

Last night, I was reading in my Bible and I began reading Revelation 2. Verse 4 says, “Yet I hold this against you: You have forsaken your first love.”  It struck me hard. I have been in a real dry spell recently, not reading my Bible regularly, not praying without ceasing, generally going in the opposite direction of God. I was wholly dependent upon myself for everything, my own willpower to stop doing something, my own strength to deal with problems. I had forgotten my first love. Jesus is my first love… and I FORGOT HIM. I not only forgot Him, I forsook Him. To forsake means: to renounce or turn away from entirely. I had turned away from God.

At that moment I stopped and prayed that I would fall back in love with God, fall so desperately in love with Him that I could never again forsake Him. God, the creator of the universe, who has the power to stop my breath without uttering a word, and I stop caring about Him. WHAT???? That does not even make sense. Me and my puny self thought that I could make it without Him. It is impossible. In that moment I prayed that God would take over my life and I gave everything over to Him, and you know what, instantaneously, everything seemed to slow down. Those silly, frivolous things that I had been so worried about seemed distant and small. God works in such amazing ways.

Praise Jesus that He doesn’t have mood-swings and isn’t forgetful like I am!

Title Lyrics: Call Me Out – Gungor 

I’m just the same as I was. Now don’t you understand that I’m never changing who I am?

Hi hey hello,

I’m back! After that nice long break, I am finally back. I meant for that to be one week, then it turned to two, then it turned to after finals, then it turned to after Christmas, then it turned to New Years! So here I am. Before I started writing this post, I thought of all kinds of ways to apologize for not being on here… but as I thought about it, I am not sorry. For real, #sorrynotsorry . I desperately needed that break from the demands of writing everyday. Now, don’t get me wrong, I am glad to be back, but it is nice every now and then to take a nice break, especially while I can do things like that.

Now that that awkwardness is out of the way, onto summarizing what has happened in the last month or so.

 

1. Thanksgiving.

2. Pre-Christmas December

3. WUMC Christmas Party

4. Christmas

Not as many pictures for that one. We woke up early, opened gifts, then had family over, then chilled, then I went to Cassidy’s!

5. Day after Christmas… saw Les Mis!!! and went to work…!

Title Lyrics: It’s Time – Imagine Dragons 

-LC

PS. Happy New Year!

Friday Favorites!

Hi hey hello,

I hope you all have had a great week! Mine has been good, it’s been long.. once again, but it’s been a good week. I am pretty pumped because I get to help out with the middle school retreat out at Crawfordville UMC, and I am super pumped.

Also, starting Monday, I am taking a break from all forms of social media, facebook, email, fashion blogs, twitter, and the blog. So, the blog is going to be a little quiet for about a week. I will be back the week after that, but I just want some time to disconnect and focus on my studies, life, friends, and myself. Anyway…

This Week I’m Loving: 

This Scripture: 

Understand this, my dear brothers and sisters: You must all be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to get angry. Human anger does not produce the righteousness God desires. So get rid of all the filth and evil in your lives, and humbly accept the word God has planted in your hearts, for it has the power to save your souls.  — James 1: 19-21

This Quote: 

This Album: 

Taylor Swift – Red (every one is entitled to their guilty pleasure!)

Oh! And This Too: 

Source: google.com via Katie on Pinterest

 

Have a great weekend! See you in a week!

-LC

If you’re wondering if I want you to, I want you to. So make a move, ‘cos I ain’t got all night. The rest of the summer was the best we ever had. We watched Titanic, and it didn’t make us sad.

Hi hey hello,

I hope you all have had a good week so far!

Last night we had Bible Study out at Wakulla and we talked about something interesting. Instead of having a regular lesson and discussion type deal like normal, Josh just opened up the floor for questions… and when none came in, he began asking questions. One he asked was, “What is a spiritual life?” It is a valid question, especially for these middle schoolers. The general answer had things to do with what WE do. Read your Bible, don’t cuss, go to church. It was all around ME, what I do to get to God. Josh corrected them and really drove home the point that it isn’t US, it’s God. It’s a relationship with God. It’s an intimate relationship with our Father and out of that flows those other things.

I love that. It’s so simple. I feel like I need to be brought back to the simple way too often. I get so focused on the crazy problems and little minuscule things that really aren’t that important and forget that I am talking to my Father, not some genie or problem solver. It’s a relationship, and though it’s give and take, God does most of the giving. If I focus on my relationship with my Father over what my issues are, those issues will work themselves out. Ah wonderful simplicity, how I love thee.

What little things do you get caught up on?

Title Lyrics: (If You’re Wondering If I Want You To) I Want You To – Weezer

-LC