Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Reflections on 2014

 
So at the end of the year, I'm sure everyone is thinking about their year, and reflecting on the things that happened. And I'm sure that every single blog out there has a "Reflections on 2014" post, and so I thought, "Why not write one myself?"
So what makes this post different than the others? Okay...so nothing at all. Just a reflection on the things that God taught me this year, and the things He did in my life this year.

This year was a pretty significant year in my life. Such an event filled year for me. Probably the most significant year in my life to date. So what happened in my year to make it so significant?

This year, I finished my college education. Now to me...that is a pretty big deal. After 3 years of hard work, $12,000, lots of tears, prayer, frustration, and stress, I finished my last test for college on August 19th, and then officially graduated on December 12th. I now officially posses my Bachelor of Arts in Music!

God taught me some very important lessons this year. The biggest thing I learned was...

Weakness

Yes, you read that right, weakness. Learning to be weak was the most important lesson that I learned this year. I learned that whenever I try to do something in my own strength, I completely and utterly fail. So God taught me this year that I need to empty myself of any of my own strength, and be completely weak in my flesh. I need to become completely weak in my flesh, and I need to ask Him for His strength to fill me.
The verse I have been meditating upon lately is 2 Corinthians 12:9, "And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me."

God's grace has been beyond sufficient for me this last year. His strength has been made perfect in me so many times this year. Through the many hours of studying, working on research papers, agonizing over my Form & Analysis homework, and testing out of 42 hours of college credit in 10 weeks, God has made His grace sufficient throughout it all!

There is so much more I could write about this year, about how much God has taught me, but that would fill a whole book. In fact, I did fill a large journal worth of prayers, thoughts, and lessons learned this year. Just a few of this year's events included a lot of time spent on school, attending Creation training conferences, turning 21, attending my very first night at Medieval Times, receiving the best gift of a piano from my parents, and running a studio of 25 students.

Just even listing those few things, I'm sure you can tell it's been a great year for me. So as I count out the last few minutes of 2014, I'm counting my blessings, and looking forward with great anticipation to what 2015 has to offer! I'm not going to try and plan out my year, because if there is anything I've learned, it's that I can't make a plan for myself, because things never happen the way I think they might happen.

I'm looking forward to 2015, because I know that it will be a year full of many surprises, as I travel a new road. Blessings be upon you this next year! Go with God in the new year!

Happy 2015!!!

Because of Jesus' Blood,
Faith Christine
Galatians 2:20; 1 Corinthians 15:10

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Study....Study....STUDY!!

It's been quite a while since I updated the few folks who read my blog on what has been happening in my life lately. SO much has happened this year, it's overwhelming sometimes to look back at it and see how much time has already flown by! Here we are in the middle of July already! Can someone please tell me where the time went?

So quick update: What has this year held so far? Hmm...studying, oh and more studying, and a little more studying! I faced some of my most challenging courses this year with taking Form & Analysis 1-3 in the early semester (Really, who needs to analyze Debussy's quartet? Why?). Then I had my HUGE Liberal Arts Capstone project. What does this involve? Glad you asked. It involved a LOT of researching, LOTS of writing, late nights (stayed up until 4 a couple times...:-/). Yes, and even some tears. But I finally finished, and received an "A" in the class (made up for all the late nights and tears!).

I officially finished all 33 hours of my music courses at the end of May, and had all those hours accredited and on my transcript. Whew! Then came the "easy" part. Finishing the testing out of the rest of my basics and free electives.

Fast forward to the first week in June, and I took a trip to North Carolina for a week to take some of the most AMAZING and life changing training I've ever experienced! I took a week of Creation Apologetics teaching, and learned how to teach it to others. If you want to find out more about my week, clink this link, which will take you to their website. I strongly believe that this training is essential for every Christian who wants to be ready to defend their faith! While there, I met some of the most amazing people! And an extra blessing was meeting a dentist who gave me some unbiased opinions about my TMJ disorder, and also meeting an amazing biochem teacher who gave me some terrific help on my Natural Science CLEP test. I plan on writing more in depth about my experience in this training, but for now, check out that link!

July 3rd, I had my 21st birthday! And no...I did not go out and "party" as some may describe it. Instead, I spent the morning with my family, going swimming with my sister and a friend and their combined five kiddos, as well as my "at home" family and cousin. Then I spent the afternoon helping with little kids (everyone wants to do that on their birthday, right?), had great friends over in the evening, spent some "just girl" time with my sisters and friends, and my day ended with a dear friend spending the night and us staying up late watching one of those "girly" movies.

So, it's July 16th, and where do I find myself now? Studying away! Withing the last 7 days, I have taken three exams for college credit. Yes, you read that right. THREE college exams, giving me a total of 12 hours of additional credit. I took one last Thursday, giving me an additional 6 hours, and took two tests today after only 5 days of studying. I'm looking ahead at the next five weeks (my projected FINISHING date), and I'm realizing that the crazy schedule I gave myself of finishing SEVEN more tests in the next FIVE weeks is actually completely feasible!

So, what has the first (almost) seven months of this year taught me? One main thing.

God's grace is ALWAYS enough!!

I cannot stress that enough. In fact it's so important that I will say it again. God's grace is ALWAYS sufficient for my needs! Folks, I have literally seen Him work miracles this last seven months! How, you might ask? Because I have made it this far in school! It is only by His grace that I am where I am today, and have made it this far! I could NOT have finished those classes on my own. Believe me. I was in TEARS over Debussy (Debussy and I don't get along very well). I was in tears over my massive thesis-type paper. I have no idea how I managed to keep such late hours for such a long period of time, except that I know that God gave me all the strength that I needed! And God definitely gave me all the inspiration I needed for such a challenging subject (why did I pick to do a BA thesis on the aesthetics of music again?).

So all this to say, even in the smallest minute things, God cares, He is faithful, and He will be your strength, if you only ask! I'm not stupid, but I know that I could not have come this far in my schooling without God's continued grace and strength pouring through me. I have learned to ask God on a daily basis to empty me completely of myself, and to pour Himself completely into me. One of the verses I am claiming for this next year of my life is from Ephesians 3, where Paul prays that God will fill the Ephesians with "all the fullness of God." My dad explained that in his sermon this is like throwing a coke bottle into the ocean and watching the bottle become completely filled with the fullness of the ocean, yet there is still so much ocean. But in order for that coke bottle to be filled, it has to empty itself of its contents. 

So my prayer for each of you that reads this article is that you would humble yourself and empty yourself completely of anything inside, and ask God to fill you with all His fullness! His grace and strength are ALL we could ever need, and way more than we could ever hope for! I hope that this has been at least a little encouragement to you. 

Until next time....

May the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all, and may you be filled with ALL the fullness of God! Blessings!

Because of Jesus' Blood,
Faith Christine
Galatians 2:20; 1 Corinthians 15:10

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

He Asked if I Would be His Forever ---- I said YES!!!

Today is such a special day for me. Why? Because I said yes to the Love of my life. After pursuing me for several years, and asking me if I would be His forever...I finally said yes. I could not be happier with my decision to commit myself to such an amazing man!

He is the most perfect man I could ever ask for. And I know people tell me that no man can ever be completely perfect, but believe me, this man is!! He has no flaw whatsoever! He has rescued me from distress so many times. He comforted me when I was discouraged. He was there for me to lean upon when I was so weak.

He is my true "Knight in Shining Armor," my "Prince."

He is patient, joyful, kind, gentle, gracious, faithful. He has the most amazing self-control, goodness, and meekness. He is slow to anger, and quick to hear. He is the most loving man you will ever meet. I know I can count on him to be there for me for anything. He is sacrificial, always putting others' needs before His own. He has experienced many trials in his own life, yet become better through them all.

Sound to good to be true? Well all this is absolutely true!!

And his name? His name is Jesus.

Jesus....such a wonderful and magnificent name above all names! At his name, every knee shall bow, of things in heaven and things on earth. Every tongue shall confess that He is Lord, to the glory of God the Father!!

Fifteen years ago today, after being pursued by the Lover of my soul, I said yes to Jesus, and invited Him to live in my heart, and be the Lord of my life. I have learned so much the last fifteen years, and have grown to love Jesus more day by day.

As a single young lady, not knowing what my future holds, it is comforting to know Who holds my future. The Bible in many places describes Jesus as the Husband, and the church as the Bride of Christ. I know that Jesus is my true lover, and that He is everything I could ever dream of having in a husband, yet He is the absolute perfect version.

The Lord has taught me that I can only find my complete satisfaction in Him, and will never be completely satisfied if I am looking for it in a man. It is so wonderful to think that Jesus is the perfect Husband, and that I can find my complete fulfillment in Him right now. I can enjoy a great intimacy with Him, right now!

The last fifteen years have been full of trials, battles, lessons, mistakes, and regrets. But I would not trade a single thing for the lessons I have learned, and the intimacy I have experienced with my Savior through all the trials over the last fifteen years.

Jesus is my true lover, and He has asked me if I will be His forever. And when I say forever, I mean for eternity. I am a part of the Bride of Christ! He loved me with an everlasting love. He left His throne and His majesty, and took on the lowly form of a human and died for me. That is true love. To die for those who hated you and persecuted you.

Here I was in sin, living with a dirty heart. Jesus came along and told me that He could make me clean: white as snow. He promises me a place with Him in glory after this life is over. Because I said "Yes" to the Lover of my soul, I have many blessings in this life, much joy, and an assurance of where I will be spending eternity.

Do you know Jesus? Have you said "Yes" to your pursuer? Jesus is at the door of every heart, just asking to come in. Will you open the door? Will you say yes? Jesus died for you! He paid the price for your sins. He loves you with an everlasting love. He wants you to be His forever more. All you have to do is say a simple "Yes." "Yes Jesus, I want to be yours forever."

After you say "Yes" to the Lover who has pursued you since the day you were born, then seek to please your Lover! Any newly engaged/married couple seeks to do whatever is possible to please their partner. Should we not strive for the same with the Lover of our soul, who gave His own life for us, so that we could be His? There is this great book that tells exactly how we can please Jesus. It's called "The Bible." We were created to please Him (Rev. 4), so should we not seek to please Him in every area of our life?

I am praising Jesus for an amazing fifteen years! I am looking forward to seeing what the next fifteen years hold as He continues to draw me nearer to Himself. Would you pray for me? Pray that I will become infatuated with Jesus? That my love for Him will exponentially multiply within this next year? Would you pray that I would come to know Jesus in a new and real way this next year?

And I am praying for each person that reads this, that if you don't know Jesus as your Savior, that you will not hesitate a moment to accept His love and forgiveness into your life. For each of you who have taken the step of saying "Yes" to your true Lover, I am praying that you will make every effort to learn more about Jesus and to seek to please Him in every area of your life.

May the Lord Jesus bless you and keep you, and cause His face to shine upon you!!

Because of Jesus' Blood,
Faith Christine
Galatians 2:20; 1 Corinthians 15:10
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