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Monday, November 27, 2017

Adjusting Sails: A Letter To My 16-year-old Self (Guest Post!)



Hello, Everyone!
By the time you are reading this, I will be in Fiji fellowshipping with the churches there, Lord willing! 

Today I am thrilled to present a guest post by my dear friend, Janan! Her and I have never met in person, but we have a mutual friend whom all of you know from many previous posts--Kimberly! :) Over the past year or so, I have come to value her friendship so much, especially as Kimberly has been living in Taiwan and there's just a little bit of a time difference between us that makes communication difficult. ;P Anyway, I hope Janan's post is a blessing and an encouragement to you!
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Adjusting Sails: A Letter to My Sixteen-Year-Old Self
 

It’d be nice if we always got to stay in our comfort zone, wouldn’t it? No changes other than the ones we want, gliding effortlessly across smooth water without a care in the world. Naturally, I’m not one to adapt well to change. I fight it, I tell myself it’s a bump in the road. That it’ll smooth itself out. It won’t stay like this because it’s not supposed to, right?


Life can’t always stay the same, and neither should it. At twenty-one years old, life is so much more different than I could have ever imagined at sixteen. Today’s me would have told that girl five years ago a lot of things. And she probably would have shrugged them off because she knew better, obviously.


The one thing I hope she would have listened to though, is this:


It feels good to be sixteen, doesn’t it? I know you’re excited for all the plans you’ve made. You’ll be graduating next year, going to music school after that. You’re full of hope and optimism. Full of anticipation of what the next few years will bring because they ARE the most pivotal years of your life. You’re transitioning from teenager to adult. More responsibility. More work. But you like it. You’re wanting to learn everything you possibly can because you know things are only going to get busier from here on out.


If I asked you what your life was going to be like five years from now, you’d probably say something along the lines of being graduated with a Bacherlor’s degree in voice and hopefully singing for a living, maybe a little bit of happily ever after thrown in, too, right?


What if I told you that it was all going to change? What if I told you you’d travel to the other side of the world with your best friend? What if I said you’d be studying business instead of music? What if I told you there were wonderful things ahead, but they come with a price? And what if I said that price was change? Change in leaving your comfort zone. Change in being vulnerable, but finding yourself. Change to let God make you who He wants you to be.


I guess it’s pretty scary. You don’t want change. You have everything planned out just right. The years ahead aren’t going to be easy. Sometimes it’ll be downright difficult. You’ll have days where you sink to the floor, crying because life doesn’t make sense. There isn’t a way to get around any of that, but I can promise you this: as good as things seem now, your best days are ahead. Sure, maybe some of your worst ones, too, but how can you appreciate smooth sailing without some storms?


Let God take you where he needs you to be, and don’t be afraid to adjust your sails.



I’d like to say I’ve come a long way from those days, but I’m still me and that letter will always be applicable, really. What I’ve come to realize is that God doesn’t want me in my comfort zone all the time. Hardly ever, actually. Because that’s the only way I’ll grow. It’s the only way I’ll learn to trust in Him and not my perfect plans.


I’ve learned to embrace change and the ups and downs it brings. They’re exciting to me now. I’m not saying I enjoy it all, because I definitely don’t. But I do love when I’m able to look back on a trying time and see how much I had to rely on God and how He was able to grow me through whatever life brought.


So next time the winds change, adjust your sails and see where God takes you.


**


A huge thank you to Mykaela for asking me to guest post! She’s the best. :)


Janan

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Guest Post: The God of ALL Flesh


Hey there, all you awesome people! :)
Back in February of this year, my dear friend Katie wrote a guest post that has been one of the most popular posts on this blog to date. You should absolutely go check it out at this link if you missed it! Today, Katie is back again, with another thought provoking and convicting post. I am so thankful to have good friends that edify and encourage me to draw closer to The Lord! Welcome back, Katie! :) 

**(Just a side note here, there are going to be a couple of guest posts in the next few weeks due to my trip. But that's ok, because like I said...I've got some pretty amazing friends with fantastic writing abilities. ;)

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“Behold, I am the LORD, the God of all flesh: is there any thing too hard for me?”
Jeremiah 32:27


The God of all flesh. That means He’s the God of the atheists, the Mormons, and the Buddhists, whether they know it or not. Their life is in His hands… Job 12:10 says “In whose hand is the soul of every living thing, and the breath of all mankind.” They will all stand before Him someday (Rom. 14:10). Everyone will worship the true God of the Bible eventually, whether they will be spending eternity with Him, or in Hell.

Isaiah 45:22-23 says, “Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth: For I am God, and there is none else. I have sworn by myself, the word is gone out of my mouth in righteousness, and shall not return, That unto me every knee shall bow, every tongue swear.” In Romans 14:12, Paul adds after quoting Isaiah, “So then every one of us shall give account of himself to God.” Philippians 2:11 clarifies it further: “And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”

In the last year, I’ve had the opportunity to talk to Mormons, Jehovah’s Witnesses, and an atheist. It was difficult to talk to the atheist because since he didn’t believe in God at all, we had totally different worldviews. But it was somehow even more difficult to talk to the Mormons and JW’s because though we agreed on many things, we couldn’t agree on who God is. But they will each bow before Him one day. God makes Himself known in Creation; He does not cause anyone to be ignorant. They are allowed to be ignorant if they choose (II Pet. 3:5), but they have no excuse for it (Rom. 1:20).

What about those of us who have accepted Jesus Christ as our Lord and Saviour? Do we act like it? I sometimes forget that I can’t dwell on only the enjoyable aspects of God’s character; I’ve got to take seriously His more terrifying characteristics too. God is good. God is merciful. But He’s not anyone to mess around with! God is my Father. But because He is, He is going to discipline me when I sin (Prov. 3:12, Rev. 3:19). If God sent His chosen people, Israel, into captivity because of their idolatry, it is foolish of me to think that God will always show me mercy and favor when I am putting anything else above my relationship with Him.

God actually desires us to know Him, talk to Him, and have an intimate relationship with Him. He wants to answer our prayers and cause us to live victoriously. We are no more deserving of it than those who reject Him. And yet we forget to thank Him, try to do everything our own way, fall asleep reading His Word, and use prayer as a last resort rather than continually being in a spirit of dependence on the One who gives us all things. How sad. He is giving us each breath we breathe. Let’s act like He’s our God!
Katie

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Father, Thank You!


Psalm 30:11-12 Thou hast turned for me my mourning into dancing: thou hast put off my sackcloth, and girded me with gladness; To the end that my glory may sing praise to thee, and not be silent. O LORD my God, I will give thanks unto thee for ever.

Hello, friends!
I promise I am still alive, contrary to all appearances. :) The last few weeks have been a crazy whirlwind of activity, most all of it good, but still...not too much free time to blog lately. ;)

November is a month of thanksgiving. A month of praising God for His grace, mercy, and bountiful goodness to us. Today, I would like to give thanks to Him for the many things he has done for me just in the past couple of weeks, and the opportunities to come in the next few.

In October, some friends from Alaska came to Wenatchee for several days for a family conference. The services were so good, and the fellowship was sweet. I was able to go to Leavenworth with some of the lovely Humphrey ladies (missed you, Aimee and Krista!! :'(. The fall colors were in full swing as we walked the gorgeous trails in the area, drank some awesome coffee, and ate Bavarian pastries. ;) No matter how many times I've been to Leavenworth, it never gets old. :)

After that, Bro. Doug Hammet and his wife came for a visit. Bro. Doug has been a good friend and mentor to our family and church for a long time, but I didn't remember meeting him in person. (Although apparently I met him at 4 or 5 years old? ;) Anyway, it was a blessing having them stay in our home and being able to talk with them about their amazing ministry to southern Africa. 

This past week, we went over to Oak Harbor for our annual missions conference. As always, it was an absolute highlight of the year! Convicting messages each night, and special missions forums every afternoon were a great challenge to me, especially in the area of personal evangelism. This is one area I very much tend to fail in unless I am actively seeking ways to build good habits. I want to be so much more faithful and bold in this area! I also got to practice tons of music with the group that is going to Fiji. There are 11 of us total, 10 who are singing, so it was really special to sing with them and get ready to minister to the brethren we will meet on the trip. 

One area of this year's conference was difficult, in that my great grandma went home to be with The Lord. She was 97, and had been a faithful Christian for many years. My mom was not able to make it to most of the conference due to being there with her, but I am so glad she was able to! I think it was truly important that she be there. I am deeply thankful to The Lord for making a way through His blood for me to see her again! Even though it hurts and there are tears now, I know that this is not a final separation. In a week and a half, we will be heading up to Canada for her memorial service, and I'll be heading straight from there to Oak Harbor in preparation for the Fiji trip!!

That means I have 11 days from right now to get ready for three weeks overseas. 10, if you are reading this on email. I can NOT believe it's so close!! I'm so excited for this incredible opportunity to return to the South Pacific and be a blessing in every way I am able! We will be attending a 4 day conference, as well as going to a couple of different churches for the guys to preach in different areas. We will be singing a lot as a group and in smaller duets and trios. It will be interesting seeing how everything works out, as many details can't be planned out until we are there. If then. ;) I think a lot of more minor things will just be done on the fly. Which is cool with me! International travel is unpredictable and just a bit scary anyway, a few more little unknowns aren't going to make a difference. ;P I will be away for 3 full weeks, (Thanksgiving Day through December 14th), so the blog may be neglected unless I can get some good Samaritans to send me a guest post. Ahem. Any volunteers? ;) 

A few more things I am super thankful for this month...

Hot soup on cold days. Huge sweaters and steaming coffee. My new job at a Sew and Vac store!! Long late night phone calls. Snail mail letters that make me laugh. My new tangerine clove candle that smells like Christmas. My Peaceful Guitar playlist on Spotify (so nice to fall asleep to!). Autumn colors blazing on the trees. Driving through the Cascades and being blown away by the majesty of them for the thousandth time. Cozy socks. Folding fat quarters at work. :) Christmas coming up. Siblings' birthdays. 

What are you grateful for? <3 Have a blessed Thanksgiving if I'm unable to post again before then!! Love,
Mykaela