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Thursday, June 22, 2017

Are you a Chameleon Christian?

 
Psalm 31:19-20 Oh how great is thy goodness, which thou hast laid up for them that fear thee; which thou hast wrought for them that trust in thee before the sons of men! Thou shalt hide them in the secret of thy presence from the pride of man: thou shalt keep them secretly in a pavilion from the strife of tongues.
 
Last night, I read this passage and stopped short. I've read it a million times but never really broke it down and thought carefully on it! (I know I'm not the only one here. ;) 
 
How great is God's goodness, which he has laid up for them that fear him, and trust in him before the sons of men. How many of us truly fear God and trust in Him, so much so that it's evident to the lost that we come in contact with? In other words, are you a Christian at home and at church, but once you enter the workplace suddenly all traces of your faith melt into the background? A "Chameleon Christian" as some have so aptly put it? Food for thought. 
 
A few days ago I stood near two of my coworkers who were having a discussion, and since we were in the Staff only area, the filters came off their mouths. The language that they used saddened me so deeply, because out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh--what they were saying was evidence of the depravity of their hearts. (Note: I am not passing judgement on them, God's Word has already done that. I am simply stating the fact that the lost cannot do the things of God, because they are not His children.) 
 
This verse made me think, though--should I have stood by passively, or should I perhaps have stood up and said something? I don't know exactly what the best course of action would have been in this situation--after all, the conversation did not include me. But I'm trying to think here...is it enough for me to merely NOT join in the ungodly conversations and actions that go on around me? I have had people tell me before, "Oh, you are doing great, the lost will notice and realize there is something different about you." Hmm...this sounds an awful lot like so-called "Lifestyle evangelism" to me. Something I wholeheartedly disagree with. Proverbs 29:24 says, "Whoso is partner with a thief hateth his own soul: he heareth cursing, and bewrayeth it not." The person who hears cursing, and doesn't protest it is described as hating his own soul. Who could hate their own soul?? 
 
In the verses at the top, it says, "Thou shalt hide them in the secret of thy presence from the pride of man: thou shalt keep them secretly in a pavilion from the strife of tongues." In the secret of God's presence. In a pavilion. Those sound like peaceful and truly pleasant places to be! What is the biggest fear that stops us from stepping out more boldly in living out our faith? My guess would be fear of man. For me, that's what it is. I think things like, "They are going to think I'm a nutcase if I mention the goodness of God in this difficult situation!" or "I don't want them to think I'm being super annoying by asking them to please watch their language AGAIN." (Even though I don't think any one of my lost friends would mind if I did ask them this). Wow. How much am I fearing and trusting God before the sons of men? Not nearly as much as I should be, I fear. :( And yet why do I fear this when I have God's promise that He is enough, that I can hide in Him, and that He will protect me when I obey Him?
 
God promises great blessings and goodness to those who apply this. It says He has wrought great goodness...that means He specifically planned out these rewards. How much of His special gifts am I missing out on?? I heard a quote somewhere (I think it was from Mark Cahill), that says, "Never let your fear of man trump your love for God." I liked it so much I lettered it out and hung it in my room. But is that all it is--a hanging on the wall? Am I letting my fear of man overrule my love for God and my desire to follow His commands? I would encourage you to think on this with me as we go throughout this weekend--are we living boldly and passionately for Christ all through our lives? Or just in the parts where we won't face any ridicule or weird looks?
Mykaela 

Monday, June 12, 2017

Fun Post: Summer Special Tag!


My goodness, guys! I can't believe it's been almost two weeks since I've posted anything...time has gone so fast and there has been so much going on! Today I have a super fun tag that I compiled from several different sources. I thought it would be fun to start a tag that some of my blogger friends might want to do during the summer months. ;) These are just kind of random get-to-know-me questions. :) Hope you all enjoy! 


1. What's a nickname only your family calls you?

I have had sooo many nicknames. :P Currently it would probably be "Markala", a spinoff of a previous nickname, "Kala". ;)

2. What's a weird habit of yours?
I obsessively cross the fourth and fifth fingers on my left hand when I play, or even think of playing, racquetball. Please don't ask me why, because that is a question I have ZERO answer to. It's like my brain has associated that hand position with racquetball, and I have no way of disassociating it! ;P Also, I sometimes mouth the last few words of my sentences after I finish saying them? Not sure why on that either. XD

3. Do you have any strange phobias?

Yes. I am terrified of things in the water that are a tiny bit above and a lot below the surface. E.g., icebergs and those nets with the orange floaters on top and a huge net below the water. SO SCARY. (This is most likely totally irrational, something carried over from a childhood terror of some kind. ;P) Also, I'm a bit paranoid around fire. I've gotten better in recent years, but it still really freaks me out when my siblings are around a fireplace or a campfire. :(

4. What's a song you secretly love to blast and belt out when you're alone?

Haha, oh dear. ;P There are a lot of these ones. "Misty" by Errol Garner is one of them, as well as lots of Disney songs. ;)

5. What's one of your biggest pet peeves?

Being patronized. Like when people assume I am super ignorant about something or whatever. Maybe I am, but don't just assume it and treat me like I'm dumb!!!! ;P

6. What's one of your nervous habits?

I bounce my leg a LOT. :D Sometimes I won't realize I'm doing it until I suddenly notice that my leg is sore/shaky from bouncing it so long, and I wonder how many people I have unconsciously driven to the brink of insanity. ;P

7. What's a YouTuber that almost always makes you laugh?

Brian Hull. He does impressions, and he is so utterly happy and sweet, he always brings a smile to my face. :) Also, Studio C is a massive favorite of mine! ;)

8. What was your first stuffed animal, and what was it's name?

I had WAY too many stuffed animals to know what my first one was. There was Ewe (pronounced "You-ee" ;) the lamb, Aslan the lion, Chocolate the bear, and Pat the Bunny. I had an extremely large circle of animal friends, and we had a lot of fun together. :D

9. What's the drink you always order at Starbucks?

I don't go to Starbucks that often because of how expensive it is, but my universal coffee shop order is typically a 16 oz. hot breve, usually with an extra shot. (3 shots total)

10. Do you have any weird body skills?

I have flexible fingers...and I can curl my tongue.... yeah, I don't really have anything. ;D

11. What's your favorite comfort food that's bad but you eat it anyways?

Probably ice cream.

12. What's a phrase or exclamation you always say?

"Brother George Washington!!!" I get weird looks every time. Which is annoying, because when I say this I'm usually already frustrated. :'D

13. What did you used to wear that you would never wear now?

 I've always been pretty concious of my style, so there isn't actually that much that's changed! There were a few denim skirts I probably wouldn't wear now due to the frumpiness factor, but for the most part my style is the same as when I was younger.

14. What did you want to be when you were young?

A dolphin trainer. Yup. (Hence the picture at the top of this post. ;)

15. How tall are you?

I am 5'8". I feel kind of tall compared to most of my friends, but I like this height. I do wish my arms were a bit shorter though, because I cannot wear long sleeves. They are never, ever long enough!

16. Fun bonus: What are 5 ways to win your heart/become a great friend?

  • Go on spontaneous adventures with me.
  • Give my favorite music a chance...it means a lot to me. :)
  • Make me coffee.
  • Understand how passionate I am and let me talk sometimes without belittling my (most likely crazy) ideas or thoughts. Put up with my emotional side. :)
  • Play games with me. 
 
Wow, I really enjoyed that! I would like to tag my dear friend Kimberly, over at Peculiar on Purpose, as well as Halee from Writer Ramblings and Things. Also, Sarah from Dreams in Alaska, and Grace from Grace Notes blog. This is just an open tag, so if I didn't link to you, but you want to do it, go right ahead! Just link back to me and leave a comment if you do, because I'd love to see your answers to some of these fun questions. :) Feel free to answer some in the comments too! If you aren't able or don't wish to participate, NO worries! Thanks so much guys, and have a great week. :) Love,
Mykaela

Friday, June 2, 2017

The Meditation of The Heart


"Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O LORD, my strength, and my redeemer." ~Psalm 19:14

The words we speak begin in the heart,
whether pure, or full of hate.
The heart is deceitful, prideful and vain,
and difficult to change.
Without the power of The Holy Ghost,
It's vain to hope for good,
For from the heart the mouth will speak,
'Tis written in God's Word.
Who can know the ways of the heart?
No wisdom of earth can reveal them--
The scars a bitter heart can cause,
Only God above can heal them.
Oh, be careful what you allow in your heart,
Believer, pray for wisdom!
Meditate and speak on things that are pure--
Seek ye first the kingdom.
Only God looks on the heart,
He sees the hidden thoughts.
He knows the secret motives,
Whether intentions are good, or not.
May those hidden thoughts be clean,
before the words are spoken.
For by words that come from a heart that's wrong,
A spirit can be broken.
~Anonymous

Thursday, May 25, 2017

A Few Survival Tips (From the only perfect Guidebook)



1 Thessalonians 5:16-24 Rejoice evermore. Pray without ceasing. In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you. Quench not the Spirit. Despise not prophesyings. Prove all things; hold fast that which is good. Abstain from all appearance of evil. And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. Faithful is he that calleth you, who also will do it.
  
I was reading this passage in my morning devotions the other day, and was overwhelmed once again with the sheer richness of it. It's like a mini survival manual, tucked into the end of this short book of the Bible. I could write a separate blog post for each of these commands. For sake of brevity, I'll just break each of them down a little bit in one post. ;) This is such a practical section of Scripture that easy to work on applying on an hourly and daily basis. Notice I said "work on" applying. None of these things are innate; it takes effort to walk in God's ways. However, these are super straightforward and simple to understand. Let's look a little closer at the instructions...

1. Rejoice evermore.
Ok, wow. Right off the bat, we are getting into convicting mode. Does rejoicing mix well with complaining, gossip, bickering, or griping? No. No, it does not. So when I do ANY of those things, I am not rejoicing in The Lord. Which means I am sinning. Wow.


2. Pray without ceasing.
The issue of prayer has really been heavy on my heart for the past couple of months. I know my prayer life is one of the things I tend to let slip the most, and yet it is so utterly vital to my walk with God! Satan knows this, and he is quick to jump on opportunities to lure me into thoughts like, "Oh, I'll pray later when I have more time", or "I prayed some earlier, I don't need to spend more time in prayer now, do I?" Hello?! What better way to spend time than in the presence of my Saviour? And what other things do I hold as being more important? How dare I spend more time talking with my earthly friends or even my family, than I do talking with Almighty God who saved my soul?! I recently asked a dear friend to keep me accountable about my prayer time, because I want to strive more than ever to make prayer a daily and constant habit. Not just praying now and then throughout the day, but dedicating time to talking with God. Praying through the day is great though, don't get me wrong! It is so important to incorporate talking to and praising God into our routine tasks. <3


3. In every thing give thanks.
When my paycheck comes in early? Yeah, I give Him thanks. When I get to do something fun or special with a friend? Yep. When I am having a really, really good day? Sure. But what about when nothing is going right? When my body is hurting? When my friends are far away and I can't talk with or be with them like I want to? When I lose something or someone I loved? Do I still thank God? Do I still sing a song of praise to Him when my heart is breaking? In EVERY THING give thanks. Why? Because this is the will of God in Christ Jesus. And I need no more reason than that.


4. Quench not the Spirit.
When I see things from God's Word that contradict what I'm actually doing in my life, so often I have pushed it away with a feeble excuse. So often I am guilty of quenching the Spirit's whisperings of truth in my heart. The very One who was given to guide me, I turn away from. God forgive me.


5. Despise not prophesyings.
When I sit under the preaching of the Scripture, I should have an attitude of humility, searching my own heart. Not ever a spirit of criticism or annoyance at having to listen. So often, even as I walk in the doors of church, Satan is actively attacking. Whether it's me getting my hackles up about some silly offense, or a younger one straining my patience...it's a fight every time to have my heart prepared to be still and listen. And I don't always win that fight, but I'm going to keep trying.


6. Prove all things; hold fast that which is good.
One of the most popular Bible verses that the lost, (and many saved actually, too) like to twist is "Judge not, that ye be not judged." They usually just conveniently ignore the rest of the chapter, and even the second half of the verse, and chop it down to a simple and blanket statement: "Judge not." However, we as children of God SHOULD be judging certain things! Not looking down on others and beating them over the head for their sin; of course not! But we DO need to judge things that we come in contact with, be it as "small" as a movie or book, or as large as a new doctrine or idea being introduced. We have to look on these things with discernment, and judge whether they are right or wrong, using God's Word as the standard. We don't judge things or people out of our own hearts, because our hearts are corrupt, and trusting the heart is foolish. (Jer. 17:9, Prov. 28:26) But we do hold things up to the standard of the Bible, and if they pass the test, we should hold them fast. If not, we should run far away from them.


7. Abstain from all appearance of evil.
What if someone were to look through your life today? As in, everything from your Instagram and Facebook accounts, to the clothing you wear, to the books you read, to the movies you watch, to the friends you hang out with, to where you spend your weekends...everything. Would there be any evidence that you are a Christian? Or would there be so much appearance of evil that they would have a really hard time figuring it out? Man. That is really thought provoking.


8. And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. Faithful is he that calleth you, who also will do it.
This last section is so important, because we cannot even do one of the above mentioned things without the help of God. He is the One who sanctifies us, and gives us peace. He preserves us when we are following Him wholeheartedly. He is faithful to grow and lead us in His way, for He has called us by name. How precious to be guided and strengthened by God's hand! How earnestly we ought to strive to follow His commandments, for they are not grievous!
Mykaela

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Fun Post: April Favorites



Hello there!

*fervently hopes no one thinks I'm super annoying for posting April favorites halfway through the month of May*

Ahem.

Life happens, and I apologize for this post's lateness. ;P Some of the things I've been loving this past month...

Reading...
Harvest of Rubies by Tessa Afshar. This is my second time through this two book series, and I love it so so soooo much. <3 It's a fiction about an unusual young woman's adventures and spiritual growth in the Persian empire. I love the heroine because she is so... real. Her life doesn't go as planned, and unlike many "perfect heroines" she doesn't immediately grow and learn and become even more perfect. It takes her a lot of time and frustration before she begins to see God's Hand in her life. (He has been working all along, she just hasn't recognized it...sounds familiar somehow? ;) Anyway, awesome read that I would highly recommend, along with the one that comes after it, Harvest of Gold. :)

Wearing...
A new skirt I got at Goodwill; it's floor length, black lace ruffles. Guys. It's so me!! :O Also, a super soft and comfortable Curious George shirt that I got in Leavenworth. ;P

Learning...
Grieg's Wedding Day at Troldhaugen. As some of you already know, a church member has graciously provided me with a set of piano lessons, (my first ever!!). It has been so awesome, and I'm really going to miss my amazing teacher. Anyway, last month and this month I am learning this song, and it is pretty hard, but I love it! It's so fun to push myself to new heights and try something I probably wouldn't have previously gone for. :) When my teacher first played it for me though, I was thinking, "There is no way I can learn this song, what are you even doing assigning me this?!" ;P

Vacationing...
With the whole family, in Sunriver Oregon. How much more perfect can a vacation get?! It was amazing. We thought that Micah, (my next brother down), wouldn't be able to come due to work, but he was able to after all! We rode bikes, went in the hot tub that came with our house, got lost on the bike trails, picnicked next to the river, drank coffee floats from Brewed Awakenings (love that name ;P), and played games. It was so special. <3


Reaching out...
To over 4,000 people during Wenatchee's Apple Blossom Festival. It's a two week long celebration that people come from two and three states away to attend. It's like the Olympic games, traffic is insane, and my workplace becomes not much more than a bathroom and a place to come and be rude (thank you, Seattlites. ;P) Kidding, not all people from Seattle are rude. Just a lot of them. ;) Anyway, in the midst of all the craziness of parades, shows, etc., we had the youth group from Stanwood, Washington come over to help with outreach. And did they ever!! They worked sooo hard, walking miles and miles every day passing out tracts and witnessing. With thousands of people in town just for the festival, we had a very easy time finding people to talk to!! ;) So thankful for the many Gospel tracts that got into people's hands, as well as the personal evangelism that was done. Praise God!


Visiting with...
My friend Jenny. During the time that the youth group was here, Jenny "happened to be" house sitting for the pastor of a nearby church. That house was only 2 minutes away from my place--just down the road!! I was able to spend the nights over there to free up some bed space here, and it worked out so well. It was super fun and special to spend some time with her! :) There was one night when we had a discussion on how we would go about embezzling money without getting caught (which sounds dreadful until you realize that we are writers and were trying to help a friend with writing a fiction paper... :'D). Then there was the night that we watched Facing the Giants, and as usual, something got in my eyes and they ended up watering a lot. :') Heh heh. And of course there was lots of snacks and ice cream. I mean what would a visit from a friend be without junk food?! (Right Kimberly?? ;D Haha!) Anyway, I had a great time.

Drinking...
HOMEMADE KOMBUCHA. Ok guys, I have always had a chip on my shoulder about Kombucha. I thought it was weird and sounded gross and icky and I would never drink it. Ahem. Then a church member gave me a bottle of her homemade stuff, sweetened with fresh grape juice, and WOW. I'm hooked. ;P It's so good!!!!! I've never tried the store bought stuff yet though...

Watching...
The hills around Wenatchee slowly turn green. It looks like Ireland around here, and until the summer gets insanely hot, I'm going to continue to marvel at how beautiful the surrounding mountains are. Thank you, Lord!

Well, that's it for this month, folks! Hopefully I can get my next favorites post out in a more timely fashion. ;) Have a lovely week, everyone! 
Mykaela

Monday, May 8, 2017

Making Music is having a Centennial!!!


Psalm 126:3 The Lord hath done great things for us; whereof we are glad.


Today's is a big post!! The blog is not a hundred years old, so this is not technically a centennial. ;) However, this IS my one hundredth post on Making Music for The Master! 100 posts! I never really thought I would be able to be consistent with putting content out there, and am so thankful for The Lord allowing me to continue doing this for over a year now. In celebration, I have compiled a list of 100 of my favorite things in the whole world. They are NOT in any particular order. I sat down and started wildly typing, just putting numbers on things so I'd know how many I had... thus, it is most definitely not in order of importance. ;) Just wanted to make that quite clear. These are a bunch of somewhat random, but lovely things that are special to me. Hope you enjoy!


1.The Lord Jesus Christ
2. My salvation
3. God's Word
4. My precious family, who puts up with me. ;)
5. All of my dear friends, who also put up with me.
6. A large house, perfect for housing guests
7. Technology, and the ability to do this blog.
8. My blog readers :)
9. Books
10. A good job
11.  Food of all descriptions
12. God's provision
13. Cozy blankets
14. Espresso
15. Half and half
16. Whipped cream ;P
17. Jumping into a pool
18. Travelling
19. Airports
20. 50's style clothes
21. Sunglasses that actually look good
22. Laughing so hard I can hardly breathe
23.  Imperfectly beautiful things
24. Small flowers
25. Freshly cut grass
26. The smell of home made bread
27. A comfortable bed to sleep in
28. Long naps
29. Fuzzy socks
30. Playing racquetball
31. Driving with the windows down on a warm night
32. Listening to music with earbuds
33. Beating my own record at something
34. Coffee shops
35. Huge comfy chairs
36. Candlelight
37. Giving gifts
38. Getting gifts ;)
39. Writing
40. New pens
41. New journals
42. Vintage things
43. Picnics
44. Hiking
45. Seesaws
46. Playing piano
47. Winning a prize
48. Playing board games
49. Thrift stores
50. Yard sales
51. Close harmony
52. Singing at the top of my voice (alone. ;P)
53. Huge picture windows
54. Blossoms in spring
55. The smell of rain
56. Thunderstorms
57. Fireplaces
58. Leather boots
59. Catching something at the last second and feeling like a ninja
60. Staying up late talking
61. Free stuff
62. My birthday
63. Good hair days
64. Comfy AND cute shoes
65. Sharing my faith with someone
66. Bacon
67. Dresses
68. Super lightweight shoes
69. Breakfast dates
70. Self serve Froyo
71. Phones (love 'em, hate 'em, you know?! ;)
72. Window seats
73. Beautiful photography
74. Snail mail, package or letter
75. A good workout
76. Cold milk
77. Cereal (especially Life cereal! And Honey Bunches....and granola...and...I'll stop)
78. Summer nights
79. Purses and skirts with pockets. ;)
80. Family vacations
81. Music stores. All those new unexplored instruments!!! :O
82. Discovering a really good book or T.V. series that already has several released items.
83. Rereading a book from your childhood
84. Sleeping in
85. Long hot showers after being chilled or working hard
86. Hot chocolate (with the aforementioned whipped cream, of course. ;)
87. Baby animals
88. Ranch Dressing!!!
89. Bluetooth speakers
90. Eric Whiteacre, The Pettits, The Galkins, and Dan Forrest. <3
91. Taking little siblings on outings
92. Roasting marshmallows
93. Roller coasters, zip lines, bumper cars
94. Swimming
95. Slippers
96. Retreats
97. Conferences
98. Family road trips
99. Good dreams
100. The feeling of completing something, like a 100 item list, for example. ;)

I really could go on and on though...as I wrote I kept thinking of more and more things I could add. This could easily be a 10 or 20 part post if you want! (Totally joking, I would never do that to you guys! ;D) Anyway, I am so, so thankful to The Lord for all that he has done in my life, and all He has taught me through this blog so far. I am hoping that my words will make an impact in at least one person's life...if that happens, it's worth it. :) I say this a lot, but I would like to thank you, my readers, again for continuing to stick with me! :) You are so wonderful to subscribe or check the blog, read my posts, leave comments...I appreciate all of it so, so much!! You guys are awesome! :) I hope all of you have a great week to come. Keep your heart focused on The Lord! Lots of love,
Mykaela

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

The Day The Earth Cried Out


The middle of a sunny afternoon, and the sky suddenly darkened to a thick, menacing black. Day turned to night in a moment's time. 

Then came a low rumble, deep in the heart of the earth's foundations. It grew and built until the world seemed to be shaking itself out of orbit. 

Great cracks ripped across the ground like a garment being torn apart at the seams. The sky itself roared with a cacophony of thunderous sound. The planet cried out---its Maker had just laid down His life. 

The Creator. His breath had spoken the universe into existence. And His breath had just left His body.

The Lamb. Slain from the foundation of the world, yes. And now that prophecy had been fulfilled.

Jesus. His hands held the fate of mankind. And they were nailed to a wooden cross. His heart was so perfectly compassionate, so eternally and deeply loving. And it had just stopped beating. 

Is it any wonder that the creation itself was moved? The day His life ended, every prophecy concerning the coming Messiah was completed. The atonement for man's sin was fulfilled. God's law was satisfied, his wrath appeased. When He cried, "It is finished!", it was. Nothing was left to do for the salvation of man. Nothing. 

The day Christ faced death was the day He made sure we wouldn't have to. 

If the creation trembled on this day, imagine how it must have rejoiced three days later. For on the first day of the week, Jesus took up his life again. He has the power and authority to lay it down, and to take it up again. The day that borrowed tomb opened was the day he proved once and for all that He was the perfect Son of God, the One who holds the keys of death and hell!

The day Christ rose to life eternal was the day He granted it freely to you and me!

Will you take it?