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Trust In Jesus

Are you carrying a heavy burden? Are you worried about something? Do you think you can’t get through a battle you’re facing? Well, let me give you three simple words that will help you. Trust in Jesus. It’s as simple as that. Why would we not want to trust in the One who already knows our future? The One who created us and knew our name before we were born. Some of you may have trust issues, and someone in the past made you believe the lie to trust no one. Well my friend, you can trust in Jesus. You may say, how can I trust in someone when I don’t even know if He is listening and I can’t feel His presence? Let me be the first to tell you that Jesus is listening to you always! He knows what’s bothering you and He deeply cares for you! “This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us.” 1 John 5:14

Last year in the fall, I was learning to trust Jesus. My dad works at FSCJ , his first job is the facilities manager at North Campus and his second job is teaching a night class. For my dad to be able to get his second job each semester, he has to get a certain amount of students in his class. Now, I didn’t have a car yet at this time and my dad said if his classes make, I can get a car because we’ll have some extra money (we have been looking all year for a car, so I was really wanting one soon). He needed this second job because money was pretty tight for us. We prayed and prayed for him to get enough students in his class so he can have this other job. Well…his classes didn’t make, he didn’t have enough students to sign up. Through that time I was wondering why? Why would this happen? We needed this money. God was really teaching me to trust in Him. Even though money was tight for us, he taught me to be thankful. He taught me to be patient for a car even though I have been waiting for a while. He taught me not to doubt when I prayed and said I will trust in Him. The time came where people had to sign up for classes for the spring term. We were nervous, thinking the same thing would happen again, that my dad wouldn’t get his job. But we needed to get those doubts and fear out of our head and think positive! This time I really put my trust in God and gave Him all my worries. Every night I would go in my parents room and pray over my dad when He was asleep. When I trusted in God I felt so much peace and knew God was telling me, I can hear you, I am with you, do not worry, this is my plan, and I know what I am doing . Well guess what…my dad got his second job! At that moment all I could do was smile because I knew God cared and He knew what He was doing. He just wanted us to trust Him and to wait and see. Not much longer after that, I got my car! The day when I got my car I sat in my room and just flooded with tears. I was looking back at everything that God has done in my life, and all the prayers He has answered. Knowing that He cares so much about me and hears my cry is so awesome. “Cast all your anxiety on Him because He cares for you.” 1 Peter 5:7

So ask yourself, what do I need to trust God with? Is it money? relationships? friendships? health? your job? school? family? Whatever it is, trust in Jesus. He is listening. He cares. He is the author of your life. He has your life in His hands.

Love, Capri

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Fearlessly Uncommon…

This weekend I went to a youth leadership conference, and something that really spoke to me that one of the speakers (Chris Estrada)  was talking about is that we as Christians CAN NOT live normal. A perfect story that he brought up relating to this was Daniel in the lions den (Read Daniel 6:1-28). Daniel courageously prayed to God when he knew that it was illegal and life-threatening to in his land at the time. Sure enough he got caught and was thrown into a Lions Den, but because of his faithfulness and trust in God, He shut the mouth of the lions and not a scratch was left on Daniel’s body. We are meant to stand out like Daniel, and be the brightest light possible no matter the cost. We are called to live fearlessly uncommon.

By living fearlessly uncommon I mean, not being afraid of being not being normal. So many times as Christians we just take a back seat, and don’t truly stand up for what we believe in, because we are too afraid that we might be looked at weirdly. We think, “Oh gosh, if I tell this person what I really think about this, then they won’t look at me the same”. Of course I have been guilty of this myself… But what I have learned and what I am here to tell ya is  who cares what other people think… We so often forget that we are here on this earth to please God, not humans… Of course I am not saying to yell at someone your opinion, but simply tell it in a Jesus-loving way. God will bless you for standing up for what is right, just like He blessed Daniel.  Our lives should be constantly reflecting Jesus in everything we do, but to do that we have to be fearlessly uncommon in any and every situation. We have to live out of the everyday status quo, and live for the one who died for our souls.

My prayer is that people see Jesus through my life and actions, and to be fearlessly uncommon for God no matter what the cost. I am praying the same for you.

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Is Jesus on my mind?

I was thinking today about what would it be like if we treated God like a crush we couldn’t stop thinking about or talking about? I was thinking that me personally, when I’m crushing on someone they’re always on my mind or I always talk about them to my friends. This can go for music, movies, sports, books, and bands too. If we really like these things we want to tell everyone about it. If we hear this really awesome song we want to show everyone and let them listen to it. This is how we should be with Jesus. We need to tell everyone about Him and how awesome He is. How He died on the cross, rose from the grave, how much He loves us, and what He is doing in our lives. We should be so excited about that. When that crush pops up in my head, I’m going to fill my mind with Jesus instead. I want to talk about Jesus when I speak. Be excited about Jesus to where you can’t help but tell everyone!

Love, Capri

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Called to love…

As I looked out into the world today, I noticed that we as humans are lacking something very crucial in life… LOVE. In my last post I talked about how perfect God’s love is for us, because I think it is imperative to try to understand His love, before we can try to love others to the fullest. In John 13:34-35  Jesus says, “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”  If we don’t know Jesus’ love first and foremost though, then how do you expect to love the person that lied to you, made fun of you, or used you in some way. It is so hard sometimes to love someone who has terribly wronged you, but if you just look at what Jesus did on calvary, and try to understand HIS love, then who are we not to love someone when He has commanded us to. It is our duty to forgive and love even the people that have mistreated us.

In today’s society there is so much hate and negativity everywhere we turn, but just imagine with me for a second… what if that hate turned into love?! I believe that the answer to a lot of today’s problems is not protesting or riots, but just simply LOVE. We as Christians are supposed to rise against all of the world’s hate and show and reflect Jesus’ love in everything we do. Mother Teresa said, “Every act of love is a work of peace, no matter how small.”  To show love you don’t have to go out and buy a new Range Rover for someone (although it would be okay with me if you wanted to buy me one) LOL… It could be just as simple as buying a dollar hamburger from McDonalds and giving it to someone who is hungry. It could also be something totally FREE, by showing a smile, giving a compliment, or just being there for someone during a difficult time. In any way that you decide to show love, let it be genuine, real, and nonjudgmental. Let your love mirror Jesus’ love. If all of us Christians would rise up to do this, then I believe we would start to see a true change in our society.

When I say all of this, know that I am preaching to myself too, because Lord knows I could sure use a lot more love especially when it comes to slow drivers.  A couple of days ago God reminded me of this LOL…I was in a bit of a hurry for one of my classes, but I needed my coffee so I decided to make a “quick” Starbucks run. As I was pulling up to order in the drive thru, there was this car in front of me that was literally crawling up to order. I am not a very patient person with people’s slow driving habits, especially when I am in a hurry! So I start yelling GOOO and I might have thrown my hands up (but my windows were rolled up of course, I’m not that crazy…). When I FINALLY got up to the window to receive my drink, I was told that the person in front of me (the slow fart, jk jk jk) had bought my drink. At this moment, I was quite embarrassed at the way I had just acted… It’s like God put my foot in my mouth, and said HEY! LINDSEY! Love is also PATIENT! Lord also knows, I need to learn to be more patient, because it is one of the key points in showing Jesus’ love. I have prayed that next time that I am faced with a slow driver, I will keep my mouth shut, hands on the wheel, and be PATIENT! As Christians, we have to love as much like Jesus’ as we possibly can, even in the little things! So for whomever may be reading this, I challenge you today and every other day to love like Jesus’.

P.S. 1 Corinthians 13:4-8 says, “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in the evil but rejoices in truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away”.

 

 

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God’s Love

Since Valentine’s Day was this week, I thought I would talk about the greatest love of all. “This is love: not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.” (1 John 4:10) Jesus loves us so much! I know you probably hear that all the time, but we need to be reminded of that everyday. God sent His only Son, Jesus, to come to this earth knowing that He would die for us. Jesus was beaten, spat on, people mocked Him, He carried the cross to Calvary, they placed a crown of thorns on His head, they nailed His hands and feet to the cross, and He hung there for you and for me. He did this because He loves us! This is amazing love! He died knowing that people would reject Him and not love Him back. That is true love. Jesus died for your sins from the past, present, and future so that you could live with Him for eternity.

My friend, if you feel unworthy of love or if you struggle to believe that God created you in the most loving way possible. That ends now. Jesus loves you so much that He faced death to be with you. He wants you to know that you are so worthy of His love. “For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 8:38-39) Nothing can separate you from His never ending love. You are loved my friend! Jesus wants you and wants you to spend time with Him.

Be reminded today of what Jesus did for you on the cross. He could’ve easily showed everyone how powerful He is by getting off of the cross or sent His angels down. But did He? No, because He chose to die to show us that He loves us and that we’re worth dying for. Smile today knowing that the God of this universe, the creator of the world, the one who created you and me, loves you! Share His love to everyone and tell others about His love!

Love, Capri

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The greatest love…

In my devotion the other day I was reminded of how deep God’s love truly is for us. When none of us deserved it, He selflessly died so that we could live. Romans 5:6-8(MSG) says “Christ arrives right on time to make this happen. He didn’t, and doesn’t, wait for us to get ready. He presented himself for this sacrificial death when we were far too weak and rebellious to do anything to get ourselves ready. And even if we hadn’t been so weak, we wouldn’t have known what to do anyway. We can understand someone dying for a person worth dying for, and we can understand how someone good and noble could inspire us to selfless sacrifice. But God put his love on the line for us by offering his Son in sacrificial death while we were of no use whatever to him.” May I just say, WOW! God’s love for humanity is so beyond my comprehension. The fact that God gave His only son to die on the cross when we were completely undeserving of it is truly remarkable, and if that’s not the greatest definition of love then I don’t know what is. Nothing could ever compare to His love, and it is neither measured nor limited. By limited I mean that Jesus didn’t just die for the goodie tissues, but for the people with the issues. None of us are perfect, and no matter where you are at spiritually Jesus wants to meet you where you are at and show you how much He loves you. You don’t have to be a Biblical genius to experience Jesus’ love and freedom. All you have to do is trust and believe in His name, and he will show you the rest.

If you have experienced Jesus’ love, but you feel like you’re in a “dry season” and you think that His love has almost “abandoned” you, DON’T GIVE UP! Even when you don’t feel God, you have to keep seeking him! Even when times are rough, you have to keep trusting in him! Even when you don’t feel like praying, you have to keep praying! So many times in life when something doesn’t go the way we want it to, we just give up and say “see ya later, I’m done with this”.This can also be true when we go through a “dry season” with Jesus. We say “I haven’t been feeling Jesus lately, so I’m just going to stop caring about having a relationship with Him for right now”. A reason why you may not be feeling Him is, because you haven’t really been giving Him much attention in the first place. You say “Oh man, I think I might have to skip out on spending time with Jesus today because I am just too tired, but I’ll talk with Him tomorrow” and then it just repeats… Believe me I have been there too… It is not until I fully surrendered to Him, put away all distractions, and started spending personal time with Him (even when I didn’t feel Him), that I was able to come out of my “dry season”. A “dry season” is something all Christians can experience, but it’s what you decide to do during that time… Are you going to give up, or keep moving forward? I was recently introduced to a WONDERFUL song by Elevation Worship called “There Is A Cloud”, I literally have had this song on repeat these past few days… One of their members said the reason they wrote this song is because, “It reminds us that whatever season were in, God is still over us- pouring out His presence, His love. Even if we can’t see what He’s doing, we can trust that He’s there… delivering on every promise he made to us in his word”- Mack Brock. No matter what season you are in this is a must listen to! The lyrics of this song are so simple, but yet so powerful and can bring you to tears just thinking about how great God’s presence is.

To whomever may be reading this wether you’re saved, unsaved, in a dry season, have issues, or perfectly fine, I would just like to tell you that God’s love for YOU is beyond what you could ever imagine. His love is unfailing, unconditional, and unlimited. His death on calvary for our sins when we did not deserve it, is the greatest love story ever to exist. Hope everyone has a great Valentine’s Day (Galentine’s Day for me lol), Jesus loves YOU!

-Lindsey

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Don’t Live Your Life In Fear

This is a topic that I have always struggled with…fear. I have always been the type of person to fear and worry about almost everything, but it wasn’t until one year in my life where fear really took control of my life. There were nights when I could not go to sleep or I would just cry myself to sleep. Every thought I had was fear, it took control of my thoughts. I felt like I couldn’t tell anyone because they wouldn’t understand, not even my parents. My fear was, fear of the future. I was scared about losing my family and friends and what my future would hold. This lasted for months and I got so tired of it. I finally told my parents and it felt good to tell someone. They reminded me that God is in control of my  future, and I’m just wasting time fearing it because God holds my future in His hands and will be with me in those times. At night when fear would creep in, I just started talking to God. I told Him everything that was on my mind, and in that moment I felt peace. From then on, every night when fear crept in, I talked to God and fear went away.

One Sunday at church we sang ‘In Christ Alone’ and one of the verses really got me. “No guilt in life, No fear in death, this is the power of Christ in me. From life’s first cry to final breath, Jesus commands my destiny. No power of hell no scheme of man can ever pluck me from His hand, ’til He returns or calls me home, here in the power of Christ I stand.” When I heard this it reminded me that Jesus commands my destiny, He holds my future, I shouldn’t fear. I should live every day for Jesus until He calls me home instead of living my life in fear.

If you struggle with fear like I did, I want to help you. I know how it feels and it’s not a good feeling. I can’t say I don’t struggle with fear anymore, but it’s definitely not at all like how it was in the past. It’s not in control of my life anymore. There are times where I still fear about somethings, but now I know how to control it, and I go straight to God about whatever I’m in fear of. First of all, when fear starts creeping into your life, go to God immediately! He is always there to listen and is our comforter. When I went to God I felt a weight lifted off my shoulders. I knew He was listening and I knew He cared. I had so much joy after talking to Him. I want you to feel this joy and comfort like I did! Also, here are some verses that helped me that can help you!

2 Timothy 1:7 “For God has not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.”

Psalm 56:3 “When I am afraid, I put my trust in you.”

1 Peter 5:7 “Casting all your care upon Him; for He cares for you.”

Psalm 23:4 “Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.”

Matthew 6:34 “Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”

Deuteronomy 31:6 “Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; He will never leave you nor forsake you.”

Wherever you are, find a quiet place to be alone with God. Tell Him your fears and worries. You will see all your fears go away. As humans, we always start thinking of the next day, week, month, year, decade; and we see ourselves doing badly in those times and we start to fear. What we are seeing is a false picture, because we are not including God. God is with us at ALL times and knows what our future holds. I read this in my ‘Jesus Calling’ one day and it said when you see a future-oriented worry or fear assails you, say “Jesus will be with me then and there. With His help, I can cope!” Remind yourself that you are no longer a slave to fear, you are a child of God! God is not the author of fear. He is the author of peace! He does not want us to fear! So whatever you are fearing today, run to Gods open arms and tell Him what’s on your mind, give Him your fear. He will lift that weight off of your shoulders just like He did for me. And remember, you’re not alone in this world.

Love, Capri

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For a restless soul…

After  praying and seeking God on what I should write about, a verse came to mind that I had recently read. It is Matthew 11:28-29, “Come to me, all you are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.” I don’t know about you, but when I read that verse I just feel so comforted and loved. The fact that we don’t have to worry about our burdens, and He is there to lift us up when we feel restless or weak, is so powerful. I have been reading an amazing book by Judah Smith called, “How’s Your Soul?” (which I highly recommend!). One thing that Judah Smith wrote has really stuck with me…”A restless soul is a soul that thinks it is in control and needs to take care of everything”. When I read that, I was like WOAH! It really made me start thinking about how so many times I worry and have tried to take control my own life, and God was like, wait! hold up! I got you, I am in control! I will give you the rest and strength you need to get though life and have a healthy soul!

I recently have tried to be in control of my own life, and let me tell you it got me nowhere except almost headed down wrong path. I tried taking care of my own burdens instead of giving them to God, which left me feeling depressed and exhausted on the inside. It is not until I decided to let Jesus have control, that I was able to overcome it! I felt so refreshed and like I could take on the world! Today, I am so happy and blessed to say that with whatever hardship or battle that comes my way, God will be the one fighting for me and I will have the victory and find the rest I need that can only come through Him!

God is standing with his arms wide open ready for you to come to Him with your burdens and restless soul, so that He can be YOUR victory and rest! All you have to do is just pray and allow Him, too! Trying to carry your own burdens and control you own life is just a disaster waiting to happen, but letting Jesus take the wheel will allow you to prosper in ways you never thought possible. Which reminds me of my life verse Jeremiah 29:11, “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future”. That verse gets me so pumped every time I read it. To know that I don’t have to worry about my future and that God has it all under control is an absolutely AMAZING thing!

To end, I would just like to encourage and challenge to whomever may be reading this. No matter what you may be going through or battle you may be facing, Jesus is right beside you waiting for you to allow Him to give you the strength and rest you need for your soul to overcome it! Through Jesus, I believe anybody can be an overcomer no matter what you may be going through or what sin you may be dealing with! My prayer is that each of you will find time everyday to pray and seek God, even if it is just ten minutes. If you think you are to busy, maybe you should think again! Do you drive to school or work or take showers? Lol I would hope so…Anyway, those are perfect opportunities to spend time with God in prayer! Spending personal time with Jesus is what helped me to be an overcomer, and I am believing the same for you!

-Lindsey

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Walk in Righteousness

I have been thinking and praying about what the first blog post should be. I’ve been asking God to lay something on my heart to share with you guys. I started reading through Psalms, and that is when I knew what to write about. I’ve read through Psalms before, but recently I have had this desire to read through it again. I read chapter one and it spoke to me. It says, “Blessed is the one who does not walk in step with the wicked or stand in the way that sinners take or sit in the company of mockers. But whose delight is in the law of the Lord and who meditates on His law day and night. That person is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither – whatever they do prospers. Not so the wicked! They are like chaff that the wind blows away. Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment. Nor sinners in the assembly of the righteous. For the Lord watches over the way of the righteous, but the way of the wicked leads to destruction.” (Psalm 1) 

Recently, God has blessed me with great friends. I have friends that want to see me grow more in Christ, they ask me what they can pray for in my life, and everything that they want to talk about points to Jesus. Now these are friends that we all need! I am very blessed to have these friends. The first couple of verses in Psalms talks about not walking in the way of sinners, but be with people and be the person whose delight is in the Lord and who meditates in His word day and night. I can’t say that I have had “wicked” or terrible people in my life, but I have been surrounded by people in the past that didn’t lift up the name of Jesus. From being around these people, I noticed I was starting to become like them. In high school it can be easy to be in groups that you shouldn’t be in because you just want to fit in. Throughout my middle school and high school years, I had seasons of life where I would either be on fire for God or wanting to fit in the crowd. The end of my senior year I noticed I started to not care. I started saying things I shouldn’t have said, my attitude started changing, and I didn’t spend any time with God. I just wanted to fit in and feel accepted. I was hanging around with the wrong crowd.

One day I realized I needed to get out of that immediately. I didn’t want to end my senior year that way. That is not the person God created me to be. I was not lifting up the name of Jesus with my words or actions. What’s awesome is, God loves you no matter what you’ve done. He wants you back. Nothing will EVER separate you from His love (Romans 8:38-39). Now I can say God has put such Godly people in my life and we have the same mindset, to live a life worth living and to share the love of Jesus. If you have people in your life that you know you shouldn’t be around, get out! Those are not friendships you should have! God wants us to walk in righteousness! He says blessed is the one who meditates in the word, that person is like a tree planted by the streams of water. Are you in Gods word? Do you have friends that encourage you to spend time with God? If you don’t, you need to fix that and check yourself. God wants us to grow deeper in His word so we won’t be swayed by the things of this world. He wants us to be so grounded in the word so that we know what to do when this world will tempt us or distract us. Don’t follow the ways of the wicked! Don’t be around people who mocks Christians or do things that they shouldn’t. Surround yourself with people who will help you grow more in Christ. Psalm 3:1-4 says, “Lord, how many are my foes! How many rise up against me! Many are saying of me “God will not deliver him” But you, Lord, are my shield around me, my glory, the One who lifts my head high. I call out to the Lord, and He answers me from His holy mountain.”                                                        

There will be people who will make fun of you, tear you down, and question you because you are a Christian. Keep your head high. Be so soaked in the word of God that you won’t let them bother you or you won’t fall in their sinful ways. Walk in righteousness! Don’t walk in the way of the wicked!

Are you in Gods word everyday? Are you surrounding yourself with Godly people? Start today by spending time with the one who created you and died for you. He’s waiting for you to talk to Him and for you to open His word so you can hear back from Him. So why not? Meditate in Gods word and you will have no room for wickedness!

Happy Friday everyone,

Capri Gandy