Only One Name

Where two or more
Are gathered in His name
He is there
For all who come
Who run to Him in faith
He is there, He is there

There is power
In the name of Jesus
There is power
Power in His name
One name, one name can save
One name breaks every chain
One name, always
One name: Jesus
  Excerpt from "There is Power" by Lincoln Brewster

Oh, how much I love this song. Chills run through my veins at the sound of these words...that there is power in the name of Jesus. 

Sometimes, in the messiness of life, we forget about the source behind all of life. We forget that there is a God who is so much greater than ourselves, that even when life starts going downhill and things start to look hopeless, there is still hope, because there is a God that can bring possibility to the most impossible of situations.

Recently, this song has really been running through my mind. I've heard about the most awful of situations, particularly stories of children with cancer. How sad it has been to hear about such stories, but I couldn't even imagine being in their place! So I've been coming to Jesus in prayer, with full trust and faith that He can bring healing and peace to the situation. God has spoken to me about starting a prayer notebook, where I can keep track of my prayers and how God has faithfully answered them. 

Because one thing I've learned, throughout all the years of my life, is the power of prayer. I remember, as a little girl, knowing that God is real because He would answer my prayers. 

But as we get older, doubt starts to creep in. We start to doubt His faithfulness and maybe even His presence. We may even begin to think that we'd be better off living life on our own.

Friends, let me tell you, if you are thinking such thoughts, stop. Look around. The sun still rises every morning at the same time. The moon still shines every night. The trees still grow, the animals still find food, and most importantly, the word of God still remains. In a world of disorder and chaos, there is still consistency. God, who is full of never-ending, constant love for you, still brings consistency to life. He is real. It is as evident as can be. 

So I've learned to come to Him in prayer, and to trust that there is power in His Name. 

Who can open the eyes of the blind and heal those who cannot hear?

Who can cast out demons out of the possessed and bring new beginnings to those far gone?

Who can lead the drug addicts, the alcoholics, and those who are set to persecute Christians, to a new life: a life of redemption, and of grace, and of following our Creator?

His Name is Jesus. There is only One Name who can save, One Name always. There is so much power in His Name. 

So whatever has been consuming your thoughts, give it to God. The word 'impossible' is not included in the dictionary of Heaven. God's love will never change and He has all of the power to bring healing, redemption, and new beginnings to any situation. Know that He hears your prayers and that He is moving in your life and in the lives of those around you, working for the 'good of those who love Him'.

If He can defeat death and come back from the dead, then the same power, who is living inside of those who have believed in Him, is moving in your life too. He can lead the 'too far gone' to Him. He can heal those who are sick or hurting. 

The power of prayer is huge. Most of all, the power of God surpasses all. Present your requests to Him, and have faith. He's been around for all eternity. Just trust Him.

His power is working in your life.
And that's a reason to celebrate. That's a reason to have hope.
Such a hope is only found in One Name: Jesus.

“Have faith in God,” Jesus answered. “Truly I tell you, if anyone says to this mountain, ‘Go, throw yourself into the sea,’ and does not doubt in their heart but believes that what they say will happen, it will be done for them. Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours." Mark 11:22-24


Straight From the Heart

Jesus, help me.

Help me to live the way that You have called me to live.

Raise me out of this pit and set me on my feet again.

Give me the confidence to do all things, because I know I can do all things through You who gives me strength (Phil 4:13).

Help me to be so kind towards others, to grow in maturity and outspokenness, so I can lead people to You and not stay stuck in this state of timidity and fear.

Help me to move past the shameful times and into Your arms, where new beginnings have their place and all shame is washed away--by the power of Your grace. Where perfect love drives out fear (1 John 4:18). Where Your precious blood wipes away my sins.

I surrender all of this sadness, all of this shame, all of these feelings of incapability and timidity, and I place them at Your feet, where You will raise me up again and fill me with joy, peace, and Your precious love. Help me to live the way that You have called me to live, and I know that amazing things will happen!

I gave my life to Christ several years ago, but life is not perfect. I still need a shower of His grace every day. I still need His hand to pull me out of my struggles, His presence in every moment, and His love to drive out my fears. I am a mess, but I've been made righteous in His sight. And that's beautiful.

For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline. 
2 Timothy 1:7

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Living In Truth

Our society is built on the ideas of humanity. Such ideas are founded on the lies of the enemy, rather than the truth of God's Word.

This world needs a revolution of truth, and the only way we, as Christians, can deflect the lies of the enemy that are hidden in the ways of the world, is to read, study, and live out the truths of the Bible.

   But so often, we make reading the living Word, our life-giving, spirit-refreshing, TRUTH-holding book lovingly given to us by the Creator God, an item on our daily checklist. Way too often do I  procrastinate my daily Quiet Time in the Word, when I should be making time with Him the first thing I run to.

It's a shame. But it doesn't have to be this way.

   There are distractions, obstacles, IDOLS that are in our lives and which Satan excitedly uses to push our time in the Word out of our lives. Such idols are deadly and replace the priority that God should have in our lives. These obstacles can look like: television, movies, phones, Internet, social media, time with friends, relationship with boyfriend/girlfriend or even spouse, and even time with the family. None of these things are inherently bad; in fact, much of it is often positive and even good. The problem is, when we place such things before our Creator, these obstacles aren't just blocks in our paths...they become an idol and take the place of GOD.

   I struggle so often with getting on the Internet, especially social media, in the morning and throughout the day, and waste so much precious time mindlessly scrolling through my news feed, when I could be spending my valuable time in the Word of God, soaking in His beautiful truths and enabling me to live out the life that He has called us all to live.

   What would happen if, instead of having my cell phone besides my bed, I replaced it with my Bible instead? What would my life look like if, instead of checking Facebook the minute I wake up in the morning, I check out the living Word of God and soak in His deep, spiritual truths?

For you, it might be something completely different. Whatever it is, will you join me in gaining discipline and learning how to shatter the idols consuming our lives?

   This world is filled with ideas that aren't founded on the truths of God's Word. We need to set out to read His Word, study His Word, and make our lives about Him and what He says in His Word! It's a matter of priority, but ultimately, it's an issue that starts with our hearts. It's time to set our hearts on God and fix our eyes on Him. We can't live the way God has called us to live if we haven't read His manual. Will you join me?


In The Light

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It was like a nightmare.

It was like a horrifying and crippling nightmare, yet it was reality.

  I was twelve years old. I had begun my first year of middle school, and it was getting stressful. It wasn't just a little stress, but it was over-the-top. It was December, and I had project after project due, tests to study for, and homework to complete. Honestly, it was way too much for a twelve year old to have to handle, but nonetheless, I wasn't giving up. I persevered through it, and I was determined to be successful.

  I don't know if it was because of all of this stress, or if something else, something seriously wrong, was taking place. Whatever the case, it was scary.

   All I remember is waking up to the slamming of my body against the wall. With all the strength I could muster, I couldn't get up. I just kept diving forward. Into the wall ahead of me, I came. I fell. Then I tried to turn the corner and, when that was finally accomplished, I ran into the wall again. I fell to the ground again and again, crawled, and then, as I tried to walk, I would thrust my body and my head against the wall endlessly. It was like I lost all strength. It was like, as much as I tried to walk on my own, I couldn't do it. I used all of the strength I could gather, yet I would constantly fall. I was half asleep through it all, yet at the same time, my eyes were wide open.

  Finally, I reached my parent's bedroom. They heard the loud bangs of me running endlessly into the walls, and had begun to believe that someone had broken into the house from all of the noise. But I reached the light. My appearance was very distraught, with arms waving and my body ready to collapse. But eventually, I fell face forward onto their bed, and my eyes were completely opened.

  That was probably one of the scariest moments of my life, something I hope to never have to go through again. It's a scary feeling when you use all of your strength and can't stand up. When all you have left is a feeling of weakness, when all strength is gone and you're standing alone in the darkness, running endlessly into the obstacles in front of you, and never getting to where you want to be, feelings of fear and endless fatigue overtake you.

  Isn't it the same way in life? We reach a point where we are completely in the dark. We can't see. We're blinded by the darkness. We've come to where we just can't keep on anymore. Crippled with anxiety and stress, all strength is gone. The obstacles are in front of us, yet as much as we try to get up and keep going, we just keep running into the walls and falling back to the ground again.

  But then, we finally reach the light, where we can finally see again. It's in the light that we regain our strength, and are able to fully wake up and recover. It's in the light where we meet Jesus, the One who can lift us up in our times of weakness and carry us through whatever we are facing.

   I went to the doctor the next day, and to this day, we still aren't sure what was wrong with me that night. It was decided that it was most likely a form of sleepwalking due to all of the stress I had been experiencing, but the thought of a possible case of epilepsy still remains as well.

  It was a scary night. When our eyes are shielded and the darkness overwhelms us, fear can take over. When we have lost every bit of our strength, it's hard to continue going.

  Friends, don't live in the darkness anymore. Reach towards the light, and Jesus will grab your hand and carry you through. He will be your strength when you have nothing left. He will be your peace in the stressful times, your hope when all hope is gone.

He's reaching out to grab your hand. Just trust Him.

 So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. Isaiah 41:10



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Therefore, since we have such a hope, we are very bold. We are not like Moses, who would put a veil over his face to prevent the Israelites from seeing the end of what was passing away. But their minds were made dull, for to this day the same veil remains when the old covenant is read. It has not been removed, because only in Christ is it taken away. Even to this day when Moses is read, a veil covers their hearts. But whenever anyone turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away. Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into His image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit. 2 Corinthians 3:12-18

It is through Jesus that the veil is taken away, that we are no longer separated from God.
It is through Jesus that we are no longer bound to the law. We no longer have to try to obey every commandment, because God knows we are imperfect. He knows we are sinful and are bound to make mistakes. Rather than a veil covering our hearts, separating us from God because of our failure to completely obey the law, our hearts are now covered by His mercy and grace. Our hearts are now covered by the righteousness of Christ, because He is truly the Only One who is righteous. That's why Jesus sacrificed His life for our sins, so that we can obtain righteousness in the sight of God.
It is through Jesus that we now have the opportunity to spend the rest of eternity in Heaven, if we only have faith and allow His unchanging grace to save us.

It is because of Jesus that we now are filled with the Holy Spirit, that once we give our lives to Him, we are transformed daily into a new creation, a creation that resembles the Spirit of Christ, who is living inside of us. It is through the Holy Spirit that we now can experience freedom--true freedom. Freedom from a life bound to the law, from a life of sin and of a hopeless future, is the truest form of freedom. God is all about freedom, and if His Spirit is now living inside of us, we are no longer a slave to sin any longer. 

We have been set free by the Son. We have been set free because of His love!

What a wonderful day to celebrate not only the blessings of living in America, but also of the truest form of freedom possible--the freedom we have in Christ, because of God's great love for us!

Jesus replied, “Very truly I tell you, everyone who sins is a slave to sin. Now a slave has no permanent place in the family, but a son belongs to it forever. So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed. John 8:34-36


A Beautiful Bond

   There is a beautiful bond between a dog and a human. Such a bond is strung together by drops of a dog's loyalty, and of a dog's friendship, and, most important of all, of a dog's love. There is no greater thing than love. What a beautiful representation of the Creator's love for us, that He would display such a wonderful kind of love in His creation! Maybe I'm just crazy passionate about dogs...but wow.

   I met Smokie several months ago at Clay County Animal Care & Control​. Since meeting him, I have discovered more and more of how amazing of a dog he is. So well-mannered and affectionate, with a gentle disposition, Smokie is a boy that I would take home in a heartbeat. He has the cutest mannerisms, from holding his food bowls in his mouth once finished eating (which, from being in the shelter for such a long period of time, he doesn’t do this so much anymore), to his absolute love for tennis balls, to the most gentle hugs he gives, this boy is in need of a family to give him all of the love he deserves.

   Smokie, as well as his other friends at the shelter, are examples of the beauty of the bond between a dog and a human, the reason why dogs truly are man’s best friend. Smokie’s loyalty and love for people is undying. It's a reminder of the beautiful bond between a dog and a human. Spending so much time with this sweet boy has definitely built an amazing bond that I will never forget. He becomes attached (which, quite honestly, I’ve become attached to him in return), which is a great symbol of his loyalty and of the love that he will have for his future family, whoever that may be.  Due to his previous experiences in a home, he needs to be with a family where he would be the only dog.

   The love of a dog, despite the flaws of humanity and the so many horrible acts committed towards such innocent creatures, is the reason why I have decided to be the voice for those who cannot speak for themselves. The homeless animals lack a voice yet unconditionally love. It’s a beautiful, beautiful thing. It’s time to stand up for them and be their voice.