Happy National Prayer Day!

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God calls us to pray everyday.

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.

Of course, we all know that life can get in the way and prayer is tough. Praying means we are excepting reliance on God to handle things for us. It means submitting to Jim and admitting we don’t have the power to fix everything ourselves.

I dig national prayer day!

I like the idea of mass amounts of people setting aside a day to really focus on the things in our world and our lives that really need God’s grace and mercy. In honor of National Prayer Day, I am posting cute and uplifting pictures — because I am corny like that — to remind you that you can never be too small or too fuzzy to pray.

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But We Are Not of Those…

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It’s not easy to be joyful in all circumstances, especially when we are trying to accomplish something that takes more time then we want it to.  The other day, I was having a conversation with one of my girlfriends. She said that she never can feel happy because she is always waiting for her life to start. I know the feeling! She said that she never feels as though she is where she wants to be and so she can never feel truly secure and happy. Her words were not unfamiliar to me. God knows how many times I have said, “if I could just accomplish this, then I could be happy. If I could just make more money, just lose more weight, just have more friends, blah, blah, blah.”

When I look back at my achievements, I can see I have accomplished many goals that were once on my , If I could just accomplish this list. Yet, regardless of the fact that I did indeed reach those goals,  I still felt unsatisfied once the high of accomplishment wore off.

As humans, we need to keep shooting for something. We need to keep setting the bar a little higher or we get bored and complacent. I think this desire to keep wanting to improve reflects God’s spirit working within us. As believers, we are constantly being refined by the Holy Spirit. Our entire journey through life is geared around God teaching and perfecting us —  to make us bear fruit and prepare us for our heavenly place in Heaven.

Psalm 66:10 For you, O God, tested us; you refined us like silver.

The tricky part comes in being patient while God works in us. It is so easy to get bitter and resentful when we don’t see ourselves as being where we think we should be. It gets even harder when others seem to be coasting straight on to glory, while we sit stagnant, wondering when our big break will come through. We all have friends who have bigger homes than us, loved ones who never seem to struggle with money, people in our lives that always seem on the up and up.
When our minds focus on the negative and see only what is right in front of us, it destroys our joy and robs us of the peace Christ intends for us. We end up ungrateful and negative. We complain and groan. In other words, our negative reaction says to God and to those around us, “I don’t trust in my Lord and savior. He is just not working fast enough.”
I have been in this mindset many times. Even recently, I am struggling to stay focused on what God has promised me and not on what my current circumstances are saying to me.
Last night, as I was sleeping, I suddenly woke up with Hebrews 10 at the forefront of my mind. Now, I have no clue what is even in Hebrews 10. I mean, I know the gist of it, but I don’t know it word for word and I certainly don’t wake up from a deep sleep with entire books of scripture coming to mind. I was so excited to find out about this obvious message God was sending me. I crawled out of bed, poured myself a cup of coffee, sat down with my Bible and turned straight to Hebrews 10. After reading nearly the entire book with still no clear grasp of what God was trying to say to me, I arrived at the very last scripture in the book:

Hebrews 10:39 But we are not of those who shrink back and are destroyed, but of those who believe and are saved.

BOOM! Don’t you just love it when a verse explodes off the page and enlightens you!

All that  worry and fear that I won’t accomplish my dreams just disintegrates in the light of this verse. The weight of doubt, anger, bitterness and insecurity is immediately lifted and carried off by the strength of truth found in this message. God does not intend for his children to be weak and worried little victims of fear and doubt. He calls us to be courageous and full of faith. He demands us to keep our eyes focused on his loving promises and not on what the world tells us. It comes down to just two little words: Believe & Saved. It means believing in God to lead you towards accomplishing your dreams. It means believing in God to guide you to making something truly magnificent out of your life. It means believing that God has plans to prosper and not to harm you. It is so easy to live by sight and not by faith. Yet, as followers of Jesus we must:

2 Corinthians 5:7 Live by faith, not by sight.

Jesus even said:

 John 20:29 Then Jesus told him, ” Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”

God knows what our hearts desire. He also knows how hard it is to stay focused on Him.  God gives credit where credit is due and He will not miss out on sending a reward to those who live by faith and not by sight. Whatever roadblock you’re up against, even the smallest bit of faith will eventually remove it. The purpose is the journey, not the destination. We are meant to be fulfilled in all circumstances — the good, the bad and the ugly — because that is how we show the world that the light of God living in us is enough. The Lord is our portion and our cup — not what is in our bank account or on our resume of accomplishments.
Focus on God’s love and the good He is working in you and around you. Wait on the Lord with joy and comfort. For you are not of one who shrinks back and is destroyed, but of who believes and are saved!

Happy First Day Of Spring!

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On this first day of Spring, recall how God has made you new. Delight in the fact that He loves and cherishes you above all else. Bloom in your love for Him and be a ray of light to all His creatures, both great and small.

Genesis 9:16 Whenever the rainbow appears in the clouds, I will see it and remember the everlasting covenant between God and all living creatures of every kind on the earth.”

‘For behold, the winter is past,

The rain is over and gone.

‘The flowers have already appeared in the land;

The time has arrived for pruning the vines,

And the voice of the turtledove has been heard in our land.

‘The fig tree has ripened its figs,

And the vines in blossom have given forth their fragrance.

Arise, my darling, my beautiful one,

And come along!’ “

Song 2:11-13

“The day the Lord created hope was probably the same day He created Spring.”

– Bern Williams

Look at the lilies and how they grow. They don’t work or make their clothing, yet Solomon in all his glory was not dressed as beautifully as they are.  And if God cares so wonderfully for flowers that are here today and gone tomorrow, won’t he more surely care for you? Matthew 6:28-30

Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing!

Now it Springs up; do you not perceive it?

I am making a way in the desert and streams in the wasteland. Isaiah 43:18-19

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Kelly Clarkson’s, “You Found Me” Rings True to Anyone Who was Lost but Now is Found

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The first time I really fell in love with Kelly Clarkson was when her song Since You’ve Been Gone aired back in 2005. Her rock and roll style interlaced with a sweet, feminine flair and of course, powerhouse vocals has been like a breath of fresh air from the cookie cutter vocalists the industry pumps out these days.

I usually find myself jamming out to Miss Clarkson when I need to get in touch with my girlie, teenage angst side again. I recall the days of pimples and broken hearts like they were yesterday and Clarkson’s no-nonsense lyrics remind me how much being a girl hurts, but kicks butt at the same time.

Along with awesome feminine empowered music, I’m always on the hunt for a great praise song. Most of the time I hit “play” on the “Contemporary Christian” station on Pandora and wait for the magic to begin, but every once in a while I get lucky and stumble upon a song by a non-Christian focused artist that sounds like it’s totally for praising God. Miss Clarkson’s song, “You Found Me,” which appears on her Breakaway album, is just that sort of song!

When I first heard this little number, I was just struck by it. The lyrics come across as a ballad I have sung to Jesus in my head several times before (imagining of course that I can sing and write lyrics with matching music to boot!) Though I’m sure this song is really about a woman exclaiming her joy over having been found and loved by the man whom she loves most,  my mind just interprets it as a song about my joy for Jesus having found me!

Take a look at this sample of lyrics from the song and you will see what I mean.

You Found Me:
You found me when no one else was lookin’
How did you know just where I would be?
Yeah, you broke through all of my confusion
The ups and the downs and you still didn’t leave
I guess that you saw what nobody could see
You found me, you found me

I almost find these discoveries more endearing than when I relate to a song performed by a Christian singer. I think it’s God’s way of speaking to me in an unexpected way —  reminding me that I can hear his voice and feel his love in the most unexpected places. Of course, obviously if I had listened to Wu Tang Clan and heard this message it would carry a bit more weight than having heard it in a Kelly Clarkson song, but still. I will take the small whispers of Christ where ever I can find them. Who knows, maybe next week he will speak to me through an N.W.A song. Now wouldn’t that be something!

I could not find a video for “You Found Me,” which stinks. However, I did find a version on YouTube that has the song playing with the lyrics running across the screen. It’s better than nothing. I hope you will take the time to watch the video and let God speak to you!

JESUS CAKES: One Sweet Savior!

Who knew there were so many Jesus cakes out there!

This morning, a light bulb went off in my head — a rare occurrence, I know 😉 and I thought it would be such a cool idea to make a red velvet “Jesus on the Cross” cake for easter! A slightly bleaker visual than the typical pastel colored, egg themed cakes most prefer on this momentous holiday, but I like to be edgy and slightly daring when ever possible. Plus, I love red velvet cake almost as much as Jesus. The line up goes something like this: Jesus, red velvet cake, my husband, our dog “cornbread.”  I even had a red velvet armadillo grooms cake made for our wedding last year. If you ever saw the movie Steel Magnolias, you know where this idea came from. LOVE STEEL MAGNOLIAS!

The Armadillo Grooms Cake with gray icing and a red velvet center!

With this genius idea of mine now throbbing at the forefront of my mind, I decided to execute my googley images routine to search and see if I could dig up any visual ideas for my creative christian cake.

Holy Cow — I had no inclination so many people expressed their love for Christ by way of buttercream frosting and cake! This made me both very excited and totally bummed. I guess my Christ on the Cross ” light bulb” idea was not as cutting-edge as I had thought. Oh well.

I’m guessing (more like praying) most of you don’t have enough spare time to flip through hours upon hours of Jesus cake images, so I have done the dirty work for you and placed the ones I consider to be the coolest cakes for Christ on the web. Enjoy!

Pretty in Pink! 

Love this! I wonder which animal that is with the sunglasses on -- The Ray Banasaurus?

These last two cakes are on the resurrection of Christ. I never thought of even doing such a cake, but thumbs up to the moms who did!

I love the use of a giant white chocolate chip cookie as the stone. Yummy!

I kind of love this one. Look at the look on Mary's face -- she is so in love with Jesus 🙂 I also love how the Roman soldier is face down in cake. Is that "donkey" from Shrek?

If you have any pictures of your own Jesus cakes that you want to share, send them my way and I will happily include them, but don’t expect to see my own versions anytime soon. After seeing these talented works, I think I will stick to my armadillo red velvet cakes instead.

Kirk Cameron’s “MONUMENTAL” Film

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Kirk Cameron has a lot to say these days and I am thanking him for it! I am a huge fan of his even though he is totally cheesy — but it’s an endearing cheese, is it not! 😉

The “Growing Pains” actor, who is most recognized as an Evangelical speaker, has made a documentary film exploring the problems that exist in America today while searching for ways we can return to ” America’s national treasure” — the roots that once made this nation so great.

“As I look around I get this sinking feeling that we’re off track, that there’s something sick in the soul of our country,” Cameron states in the film. “I examine the fruit that’s hanging on the tree of America and I can see that it’s rotting. And that concerns me deeply.”

Cameron has six kids of his own ( that is a”monumental” undertaking on its own!) He regards in the film his fears of handing this “rotting fruit” over to his children.

“Time is flying by too quickly and our children‘s futures won’t wait. We’ve got to do something now,” Cameron proclaims in the film.

Cameron states in a video on his facebook page, ” I decided to travel across the U.S. and Europe to discover the true national treasure of America. I wanted to find out who the people were who built this country — the heroic men and women who sacrificed everything to be free…This is my project, but it’s about all of us. It’s about our kids and securing a monumental future for them. How do we teach them the truths, both internally and externally for the world that they live in and secure their future.

I really hope this movie takes off. I hope it does exactly what Cameron desires it to do, which is motivate and inspire us to take our country back to the start. On March 27th, theaters across the country will be showing a special premiere of the film, so go to the website http://www.monumentalmovie.com/ for information on tix and invite everyone you know to come watch it with you!

Click on the trailer below to watch a preview of Monumental and be sure to pass the word on about this exciting new film!

If Jesus Were A Snowboarder

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I came across this photo the other day when I was boot shopping by way of “Google Images.”  The first thing that came to my mind when my eyes laid sight of this flashy little gem was, “These are the boots Jesus would totally rock if he were a snowboarder!”

Designed by Osamu Koyama, these Nike ZF-1 snowboard boots are called, “The American Eagle.” They are gold-plated! How sick!!!!!

If the day of Christ’s return happens to fall on a snow day, I have no doubt that our Lord will be McTwisting, Misty Flipping, Ollie, Nollie-ing and straight up Lando-Rolling his way through the end times.

While these boots are pretty amazing, only Jesus would be able to really rock them. Anyone else sporting gold-plated snowboard boots comes off as a total turd-face in my book.

Jesus is My Homeboy: Artist David LaChapelle takes historic christian images and adds his surreal, modern twist

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I LOVE David LaChapelle.  His work is full of imagination, beauty and energy. I stumbled upon these amazing pictures when I was “google imaging” Jesus (one of my favorite past times 😉 ) I discovered that he now has a show entitled , “Thus spoke LaChapelle.” It includes several surreal photographs depicting various christian themed scenes.

Sadly, the show is in Prague, so I won’t be visiting it any time soon. His work is being displayed at the Galerie Rudolfinum. If you live near by, check it out and let me know how awesome it is, so that I can feel even more bummed about not being able to view it.

For the rest of us who have to miss out, here are a few samples of the images in the exhibit.

Jesus truly is every believers Homeboy!

I love this shot! I can just imagine all the crazy questions everyone sitting around the table is asking Jesus, like why a homie had to get capped or if a particular loco cholo made it into heaven.

Jesus is the Light and the Way

This is such a great example of LaChapelle being able to take the historical image of Christ and place him in a modern-day scene. The blonde chick is super fashionable in her skinny tie-dyed jeans — J. Brand no doubt! The hoodlums extending their hands towards the Savior powerfully reflects a switch in submission. The typical lifestyle of street thugs is not that of playing the servant. This picture reminds me of 2 main scriptures in the Bible. The first is of the woman who bled for twelve years. She saw Jesus and said to herself

“If only I may touch the hem of his garment, I shall be made well.” Matthew 9:21

The second is in Isaiah 45:14

“They will come over to you and will be yours; they will trudge behind you, coming over to you in chains. They will bow down before you and plead with you, saying ‘Surely God is with you and there is no other; there is no other god.”

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Courtney Love is a far cry from holy and Kurt Cobain was certainly no Jesus, which makes this picture all the more moving. It presents the idea that Christ can redeem all of us, no matter how far from righteousness living we are. Look how much Kurt resembles the crucified Christ! I wonder what was going on in the minds of these two during the process of shooting this.

The Archangel Gabriel

Awakened Jesse

To read more about David LaChapelle and this show, click HERE!

Balloon Jesus, Anyone?

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I am fascinated by the Google Image search engine. I find it beguiling that I can type in something like ” ice cream cone” and get a picture of Mariah Carey’s cellulite . It’s a wonder how these two things correlate and yet, Google Images tells me so. In my quest for amazing photos to post on my blog, I come across some really weird stuff associated with Christianity. It would be a sin to keep some of these to myself and so it’s a must that I share them with you. Enjoy!

All I have to say about today’s image is AMAZING!

“Oh ya, well at my kid’s birthday party, we had a Balloon Jesus!”

Love to hear any captions you can come up with for this. Share them!

I Wanna Hold Your Hand

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When I was little, I recall my mother constantly taking my hand to guide me. When we crossed the street, walked through a store, or waited in line for ice cream — my mother held a tight grip on me. She did this to protect me and keep me close by her. She used my hand to reassure her presence and to navigate me through the world safely.

Mothers are made after God’s own heart. He was the first to invent the beautiful art of hand-holding. God is a real fan of it and I love this about him! It’s such divine proof of his tenderness and nurturing desire for us. When the Lord has his hand wrapped around ours, there is nothing to fear. He is right beside us, leading us to walk in his ways, allowing us to snuggle up close beside him whether we’re on the move or just waiting in line for ice cream.

Psalm73:23-26

Yet, I am always with you; you hold me by my right hand. You guide me with your counsel, and afterword you will take me into glory. Whom have I in Heaven but you? And earth has nothing I desire besides you. My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.