Friday, June 23, 2017

Out of the dark....

So this year has been pretty wild so far. I million things times a hundred have been going on simultaneously it seems! I have experienced so many hills and valleys in my spiritual walk recently, it is more than I know what to do with! But it has also been such a wonderful maturing process.

When we're young. it's very hard to believe the older people when they say that they do know more than you ;) they WERE your age once, they do understand and they do relate to a  lot of your feelings. I know it was EXTREMELY hard for me to believe this. I was so wise, so smart, and my relationship with God was flourishing, therefore I would get all my answers from him, and I didn't need any outside opinions....are so I thought. But that's not true. We all need godly advice. It's biblical! Just check out Proverbs! Anyhow, that was definitely a detour from the main point, but a good point none the less :)

Very recently I went through a pretty emotionally dark time of my life. I've been there before, and it's not a pretty place. Thankfully, my relationship with God is a lot stronger than it was last time I visited this valley, and so I felt pretty well anchored through most of it. However, I cannot lie, and I have to admit that my faith was shake in ways it never has been before, and it terrified me honestly. I've just felt very close to the power of Satan as I observed and lived through things in my friends lives. Satan is indeed a MASTER of deception. A lot of my Christian friends seem to be slipping away from their faith, and it makes me doubt whether or not they were ever saved in the first place. I have seen the pull of the world and the convincing show it puts on in new ways that I never understood before. I suppose it comes from being out in the work force and also from getting more intimately involved with my friends in a desire to help them discover the truth! Everyone has their own opinion on truth, the purpose of life, etc. I just never thought I would have to experience such a level of darkness. Suicide, depression, anxiety, doubt, confusion, numbness, and so much more pervade the hearts of countless people, young and old alike. It's scary. And I knew of these things, of course, but when I got so close to them I could taste it, I understood it in a whole new way. God has allowed me to see the power of the darkness, and indeed do not underestimate it's strength and treat it carelessly. But in the end I realized that this ought to take me back to when I was little and I learned that God is bigger and more powerful than Satan. I needed to be reminded of that simplistic truth, because it escaped me when I was staring into the bold face of wickedness, evil and darkness. But when I realized that my God is stronger, bigger and greater than all of this still!! renewed my confidence and made even stronger than I was before! Truly, if God be for us, WHO CAN BE AGAINST US?!?!

I read a book around this time that really benefited me, I believe. It's called "This Present Darkness" by Frank E. Peretti. I enjoyed it very much, and it opened my eyes a lot to the reality of spiritual warfare. It was inspiring. There is a sequel that I haven't read yet called "Piercing the Darkness", but I'm working through my stack of books to hopefully finish before college this Fall, and this one is definitely among them!

Sorry for any typos or disjointedness, but to bed I must go! Just wanted to make another valiant attempt to get back at my blogging!! haha. Goodnight, and remember, don't stay stuck in the darkness. We can learn from being there, but it is only a visit, never a move-in situation. God wants you back in the light!! :)

~Hollyberry ;)

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

The Sixth-Sensed Christian

I recently started a new job where I work with a particular lady who is known by all of the employees for being grouchy. She has a prickly personality, and is not exactly what you would call likeable. But I like her :) As a Christian, it is my responsibility to love her, no matter how she treats me. I find it increasingly easier to follow God's way of life, as I draw nearer to Him in obedience, and thus begin to understand and experience the richness of living his way!

When I began this job, one of the first things on my mind was "how am I going to be a witness to my co-workers?" There is nothing I desire more in life than to know God and to make him known, and there was no way I was going to avoid this issue while I was at work. How cruel it would be of me, as a Christian, to ignore the fact that my unsaved co-workers are on their way to Hell, but I have the answer of salvation and won't tell them about it!! I knew that I would have to do something. I knew that this was a mission field God was giving specifically to me. So I often would pray that God would give me opportunities to witness and the wisdom to know just what I needed to say, when, where, how and to whom. Just before I began work, God began pressing on my heart to "shine," "be a bright light," "radiate." He brought me to this passage of Scripture multiple times" Philippians 2:14-16a "Do all things without murmurings and disputings: That ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world; holding forth the word of life" Then I began my new job. I realized very quickly that people aren't always all they're cracked up to be. They have attitudes, moods and what I noticed the most: serious language issues!! It was clear to me that this would be an easy place to shine :) Meaning, the darkness was so present, that even a spark would be noticed by all. Still, I didn't want to JUST have my co-workers notice me because I was different. I wanted them to know WHY I was different! So I prayed some more. Time and time again God encouraged me through His Word, through music and as He spoke to my spirit to shine, to be a light, to "glow in dark," and He would let me know if there was a time for me to speak. Trusting God's plan, I made it my goal to look different, to be set apart in my attitude, my mood, my language, my response to authority and my over-all demeanor and behavior. This was my plan of action.

I have now been working at this job for over two months. Just last week, I was in the back of the store washing dishes, and my co-worker that I mentioned as being known for her crabbiness was working at something else in the same room with me. I was there for about 5 minutes or so, when she asked me "Do you have a dishwasher at home?"
"No," I replied. "We do our dishes by hand."
"Oh, okay." She paused, and then said, "I could tell."
I smiled, and she then went on to say,
"I just want you to know that whatever you do in life...I can're going to be successful. You'll do well." I paused to consider this compliment and how to respond, but she went on.
"You know, there's just something about you. It's like a... a sixth sense or something. Like you don't whine or complain about doing things."
And I thought, "....all things without murmurings.....that ye may be the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights...."
I breathed a breath of delight. FINALLY!!!! Finally I knew for sure that my light really was visible! I prayed right away that God would please help me know what to say! I thanked her, but before I knew what else to say, our conversation was interrupted. The rest of the day I waited to see if there would be an opportunity for me to say something, but finally I went home, not having spoken to her.

Up to this point I have not yet followed up on that conversation, but I do pray that God would give me an opportunity if it is His will, and in the meantime I have been greatly encouraged and motivated by the fact that my light is visible, I really am shining and radiating something that my co-workers can see: Christ in me!! :)

Two of the songs that God used to encourage me to be a light! :
"We Are" by Kari Jobe
and "Rise" by Danny Gokey

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

All This Time

Like it is for everyone, my life has been full of joys and pains, mountains and valleys, dreams come true and dreams that die. I have dealt with agonies in my heart that were more painful than I knew what to do with. Likewise, I have experienced inexplicable joy, greater than this flesh and bone has the capacity to contain!! Through it all, I have found one constant, faithful, unwavering, sovereign, underlying theme.....God. I could tell you that this underlying theme is "trusting God," "dependence on God," "surrender to God," "loving God," but no. Every new thing that I learn about God , constantly, without fail, points me back, just to Him. To His character. To who He is.

I have a life know God and to make Him known. This blog is just one more area through which I can spread the knowledge of My Love, My God and My Savior to the world! "I want you to know The God I Know!"

I, personally, LOVE music!! When I was younger, music was not such a big deal to me, but that has changed :) So...expect to hear a lot about it from me ;) There have been so, so many songs that God has used to impact me, to touch my heart, to challenge my existence, and overall strengthen my relationship with Him!

So....I was trying to decide what song to write about first, but it was hard to chose. I was praying about my blog yesterday, and the radio was on in the background. All of a sudden, this song came on, called "All This Time." I got SO excited, and at  first I wanted to make it the name of my blog! I opted out of that, but decided to make my first post about this song. Why? Because it is my testimony. I didn't write the song, but when I listen to the words, I can sing along with all my heart, relating to it so very well!

As I get to know God more and more, He constantly teaches me new things, not only about Himself, but also about me. It is crazy and overwhelming when I start realizing how little I know about my own self in comparison to how much GOD knows about me!! He did make me after all ;) When God brought this song into my life, it was evidence to me, that although it has taken years and years and years for me to really start getting to know God, He has always been this close, this real, this amazing, this loving, this faithful and this powerful. He has been walking with me "All This Time."

here is a link to the song "All This Time" by Britt Nicole