Wednesday, January 27, 2010

i am overwhelmed

something about God lately just seems so overwhelming. but not the bad overwhelming like all of the school work that is waiting for me to stop procrastinating and start doing… no, not like that. it’s this amazing, in awe, fearfully made sort of overwhelming.

growing up in the church is something that is invaluable… it is also something that makes me laugh, because there are so many times i took verses from the bible and thought of them literally rather than figuratively. God is an amazing figurative writer… if you don’t believe me look for yourself! i remember specifically struggling with the idea of being fearfully made.

“I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.” –Psalm 139:14

in my little elementary school head i thought that i was made to live in fear. i walked around worrying about anything that i could possibly wrap my head around. just imagine what the story of chicken little did to my poor mind. as much as i wish i could say i grew out of it... i still struggle with worry and anxiety. however, my childhood obsession with fear held so tightly onto my heart and mind, that i never even remembered the wonderfully part! as i have grown and matured in both my thinking and my faith, i realize that God did not make me to wonder or be anxious; rather, He made me specifically to spend my time being “in fear” –or in a more hip phrase, in reverence- of His creation. who am I to worry when God truly has all the little details worked out? if i am busy being wondered by His amazing creation, then i have little time to fear.

how many of the details has God worked out? well, His attention to detail is so fine-tuned, so meticulous that the tiny particles that glue the body together look like this:

yes, laminin, the protein present millions of times throughout every single body is shaped like the cross. who would have known that God has the tiniest parts of our being praising Him? wikipedia (not a reliable source in college, but definitely reliable here!) describes laminin perfectly, “Laminins are a family of proteins that are an intergral part of the structural scaffolding of basement membranes in almost every animal tissue.” literally, laminin holds us together. literally, a bunch of little crosses hold us together. wow, don’t you feel wonderful? I do… and that’s just the beginning of it.

just like promised in Colossians 1:15-17:

“He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For by him all things were created; things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by him and for him. He is before all things and in him
all things hold together.”

next time you begin to live fearfully and not in reverence, hold it together… why? because He is holding every little piece of you together. …isn’t that a fabulous thought? live in wonder of His creation around you, but also within you!

song of the day:
"i have to believe" – Rita Springer.

oh, who doesn't love this entire song... when i listen to this i can't help but think of all of the amazing things that she talks about. this is a love song about God. goodness, i love Him. if little crosses make up my entire body, i have to believe.

Friday, January 22, 2010

songs of my heart

lately i have come to the realization that i find true joy in great worship. there are songs that i cannot resist singing along with, and singing is definitely NOT a talent or gift that God blessed me with. however, He did bless me with ears that hear and an appreciation for people whose gift is to put my thoughts into song.

worshiping as a body of Christ and knowing that the songs that i love so much are just as cherished by others amplifies the joy i find through song.

"I want men everywhere to lift up holy hands in prayer, without anger or disputing."
-1 Timothy 2:8

throughout the bible God's people make Him aware of their awe by singing the songs that He has placed upon their hearts. because God's glory is greater than any one of us can express on our own, it is important to work as a body to bring to His name the honor and fame that it deserves.

"The whole earth falls to its knees— it worships you, sings to you, can't stop enjoying your name and fame." -Psalm 66:3 (MSG)

falling to our knees in worship may not always be socially acceptable, however, the surrendering of the heart involved in such honest worship is an attitude, we, as believers, must work on attaining. i find the best way to bring myself to His knees is to listen to the songs that find a way to express the words that God is trying to speak to me through my Bible studies and devotionals. sometimes the best way to learn something is to hear it multiple times, right?

so, the song of the day is a much longer explanation.

"How He Loves Us" - David Crowder Band

"He is jealous for me, Loves like a hurricane, I am a tree,
Bending beneath the weight of his wind and mercy.
When all of a sudden, I am unaware of these afflictions eclipsed by glory,
And I realize just how beautiful You are,
And how great Your affections are for me. "

he is jealous for me. how wonderful is the thought of God -the almighty perfect Lord- being jealous, experiencing the epitome of a fleshly emotion, for us, an unworthy object to desire. the weather in southern california right now brings a greater emphasis to His love " a hurricane, I am like a tree, bending beneath..." watching trees that have stood for decades crash to the ground beneath the strength of the wind, while small saplings stand motionless as though they are composed of steel. it is through this song that i realize the greatness of His promises and emotions that are expressed within the many verses of the bible. i often equate God's emotions to mine. however, as the creator of the universe He has the capacity to experience our human emotions to an infinite degree.

then he continues on to sing:

"And we are His portion and He is our prize,
Drawn to redemption by the grace in His eyes,
If his grace is an ocean, we’re all sinking.
And heaven meets earth like an unforeseen kiss,
And my heart turns violently inside of my chest"

we are His portion? how in the world did we manage to become His portion, being a tiny piece of the beautiful, glorious creation that is His masterpiece. and finding Him as the prize at the end of our race. what could be more wonderful? but, the hopeless romantic in me enjoys the final lines, "and heaven meets earth like an unforeseen kiss, and my heart turns violently inside of my chest." everyone understands the feeling that comes with an unexpected first kiss. this is a moment that is never forgotten despite when it occurs in someone's life. the emotions that overflow the brim of one's heart as the heart "turns violently" after being granted such a moment. God's plan, God's grace, the moments when God touches us are far greater than our first kiss. and by the sounds of it in God's written word, heaven, His dwelling place, is far greater than the earth with which we have been granted.

i am all over the place today. but spark notes:
1. worship. corporately and individually, either way bring glory to God in the highest.
2. He is far greater than we could ever imagine. enjoy this fact and celebrate His greatness.
3. expect God to grant you your "first kiss" and bask in that moment of unforeseen awe.

Saturday, January 16, 2010


something that i have realized lately is how great it makes me feel when i receive a heartfelt compliment from someone that i truly care about. i come from a very supportive home with two amazing parents who love me more than anything and for many years i have taken compliments for granted. but there has been a change in my heart, and suddenly small remarks mean the world to me.

i had decided when i started this blog that i was not going to be talking about my personal life extensively, but i realize that transparency is something that is very present in the bible. so, with that said, there are two compliments that i have received recently that just mean so much to me.

1. i was playing soccer with a bunch of friends on saturday afternoon. one of the guys in particular is very, very good and can seem to do something magical ever single time the ball comes to his feet. after running six miles my legs were very tired and i felt timid getting back onto the field, but didn't want to be the wimp. i decided to make a couple runs during the course of the game, but one in particular the "magician" noticed and said, "hey amber, that was an amazing run". to have such a great player tell me that i had done well just warmed my little heart and reenergized me for the remainder of the game. he doesn't know how much it meant for him to be impressed by my move nor will i ever admit it to him. but it did.

2. my dad came down about a week ago to have the tires on my car changed while i was at work. while the mechanic worked quickly on the car i invited my dad in for a tour of the office that i work in. as a college student i do all of the things that no one else really wants to do, but i am also given many challenging opportunities that have taught me much about my abilities and myself. after riding up in the elevator and showing him around the maze of hallways that make up our office, i brought my dad over to my office. the glass sliding doors that make up and entire wall have led to it's nickname, the "fishbowl". my office is small and can only fit me with any sort of comfort, and i as a student am one of the only inhabitants of a fishbowl office. you would have thought he saw me in a corner office on the top floor. he looked around at every nook and cranny then turned to me and told me that he could not be more proud of me. my father, the owner of several companies and the brain behind many business ventures, is proud of me, the student assistant in an office at my university.

compliments from someone that is an expert, or just great in your opinion, means the world. my mother who is my oldest and most favorite friend (you will hear much more about her in later blogs) always has kind things to say to me and when they are coming from her my heart just smiles to know she thinks highly of me.

in hebrews paul says,
"But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called Today, so that none of you may be hardened by sin's deceitfulness." -Hebrews 3:13

paul could have written this yesterday and i wouldn't be surprised. encourage on another today so that none of you may be hardened by sin's deceitfulness. eating disorders, body image issues, low self esteem, and the likes show how easy it is to be hardened, deceived by satan himself. encouragement, compliments, combats such problems and strengthens other believers from being snagged by self defeating thoughts.

he then says later in Hebrews 10:25,
"Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another - and all the more as you see the Day approaching."
once again, paul reminds us to encourage one another and its importance in our lives as the Day approaches. as we journey on and grow every bit closer to meeting Him in heaven on His throne we must work as a team to encourage and compliment one another in order to keep the entire team in high spirits.

song of the day:
singing over me - building 429.

this song reminds me of the compliment that we are paid knowing that God sings over us and takes care of us despite the fact that we do not deserve such treatment. this is something that we must cherish, but more than that, we must cherish, and be complimented by, the death of His son, Jesus Christ, who died for our sins though he was blameless and pure. through the death of Jesus we have been blessed with the opportunity to live in synchronicitie with Him from now until eternity. and though it is a struggle now, we will receive the ultimate reward when we reach the gates of heaven and God says "welcome home my good and faithful servant".

in His love,

Thursday, January 14, 2010

every good and perfect gift

my favorite christmas present, probably of all time, is the bible my mom (or santa if in the presence of my 7 year old brother) gave to me this year. i could spend all day reading it... why? it has the new international version side by side with the message translation. absolutely amazing.

i am basically a bible scholar so the message just affirms how wonderfully i can translate the niv into terms more applicable to today... so, maybe not. actually i appreciate being in church and getting to read along with the niv, but also getting the personal touch that is found in the message.

presents are always so fun to get, but as i've gotten older i realize it is much more fun to give, and to give a gift that is used and loved. i receive devotionals in my email daily, i read a devotional book every morning, and my new gifted bible at night before bed and you know who loves to give gifts more than any one of us? Him. and somehow His gifts are much greater than anything i have to give my loved ones.

we know we are made in His image as we desire for someone to love and to use our gift to them.
"Do not neglect your gift..." 1 Timothy 4:14 a

God loves to give so much that He spends several chapters discussing the gifts that He is blessing His people with. does he bless all of His people in the same way? no, of course not.
"Now you are the body of Christ, and each and everyone of you is a part of it. ... Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Do all work miracles? Do all have gifts of healing? Do all speak in tongues? Do all interpret? But eagerly desire the greater gifts" 1 Corinthians 12:27-31

we all function differently, but it is this difference that keeps things working. if everyone was good at math, who would write the books that taught us those numbers and theorems in an interesting way. if all painted and no one calculated, how would our houses and buildings stand? your gift makes you different, yes, but that difference allows for function. but looking back to 1 Timothy 4:14, are you neglecting the beautiful, perfect gift that God tailored just for your life, your circumstance?

as i spend time writing i realize this is my gift. my desire to put my thought into words. my wish to bless others through my thoughts and my meditation upon His words. never before have i looked at such a motivation as a gift, but as the word says in James 1:17, "Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly light, who does not change like shifting shadows."

cherish your good and perfect gift today and always.

song of the day:
"made for you" - chris taylor

something about his lyrics are so raw. it's like a child wrote them and he sings.

"everything about me was made for you
everything inside me is all for you
it's deeper than we know right now
but we've got the time to figure out
just how, everything about me was made for you."

everything about us is for Him. and as much as we don't know it now, we do have time to figure it out. once we find that calling, it's time to put it to use, and see God's great and perfect plan unfold. by recognizing His gift to us, we, as a body of Christ, can work in synchronicitie with one another according to His will to bring glory to Him.

with love, am

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

day one

so, after spending hours upon hours looking at blogs of family friends i ventured out to read a few that were created by women with amazing testimonials. that said, i am trying my hand at putting all that's in my heart into words. i have never been one who has been dedicated to writing out my thoughts in words... so here it goes again! but this time it's public so other people can see how successful (or unsuccessful!) i am.

lately, well more like this past year, my short life of twenty years has been flipped completely upside-down. from a mistaken, yet terrifying, Alzheimer's diagnosis to the loss of my dear gramcracker (grandma), i realize that life is a fragile thing. but for the first time in my decade of faith i am now in sync, experiencing synchronicitie with Him. as i enter the new year with lots of excitement and an undeniable thankfulness for the closing of 2009, i realize that though i am young i have learned lots and God has lots to say to others through me. just like he said to Jeremiah in chapter 1 verse 5, "before i formed you in the womb i knew you, before you were born i set you apart." i am not just a child. i am not just a girl. i am who God created me to be.

a few things you will notice as you read through my blog.
1. i hate caps. nothing will be capital but His name who deserves it.
2. i will not post every day. i'm just not that on top of it. as much as i wish i could be.
3. there will be a song of the day every time i post. lots of times i will talk about it. sometimes i won't.

so, in closing, song of the day.
You'll Come - NorthStar Worship.

i could sing this song all day and all night. it catches the song in my heart and brings it to life. but my favorite part is the chorus:

Chains be broken
Lives be healed
Eyes be opened
Christ is revealed.

through all of the trials and tribulations of the past year, the chains of death, of fear, of my control over life have been broken. life as i know it has been shattered and then healed in His perfection only to be more than i could ever imagine. my eyes have been opened to the enormity and power of God. His perfect plan and timing has suddenly become evident and though there will be troubles in the future, i am in His hands. finally, Christ is revealed. that is why i am here. to reveal the Christ the i have had the opportunity to know, to love.