Abundant Life {Worship Wednesday}

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Recently, I have spent a great deal of time trying to answer the daunting question of why a good God allows bad things to happen to people.  I have read stories, watched videos and reflected on my own hardships that life has dealt me  This has been in an effort to explain it to other people and with the hope of them coming to know my sweet Lord.  Personally, I get it.  I don’t really question God’s goodness, because I experience it constantly.  God’s spirit is in me and I love this gift of life.  But the research has been good for me.  It has strengthened my faith, and allowed me to fall in love with God all over again.  But to be completely honest with you, I’m kinda over it.

I wanna talk about good and happy stuff.   There is so much incredible beauty and goodness on this world and we often don’t even notice it, or we turn a blind eye.  Why is it so much easier to talk about our problems?  Why would I sometimes rather complain to others than thank God for my blessings?  Ugh.

I mean God wants us to focus on the good stuff, right?

“Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.”

(Philippians 4:8)

Yes, yes yes.  This is what I need.  This is what I want.  This is what God wants.  Win, win, win.

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God is good.  He doesn’t want us to just merely live life {even though it would still be a gift we don’t deserve} . He wants us to live it to the  full.  He wants us to have ABUNDANCE.  The stuff that makes life happy and amazing.  More than we need.  The good stuff.  Let’s talk about some of that for a  minute.

Here are 5 things that made my life a little sweeter this week.

1.) Snickers Apple Salad.  I made it for Easter.  I am no Betty Crocker, but I must say, it was pretty good.

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2) This gal.

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3) The gun show.

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4) Spring flowers during our Easter egg hunt.

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5) Easter day with my family.  Amazing music, a powerful message at church, steak and scallops on the grill.

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I could go on and on.  Let’s be honest; this list is just the tip of the iceberg.

Thank you God for this life.

It is just so good.

Love,

Courtney signature

More than Words {Worship Wednesday}

It’s time to link up with my amazing Christian teacher friends for the Worship Wednesday linky party.  Yeah, I realize it’s Sunday night, but I like to be fashionably late to all “parties.”  😉

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The pastor at my church is doing this compelling series right now called Stand: Does It Really Matter What You Believe?  It is preparing us to answer the tough questions so that we can be the best witness for Jesus Christ that we can be. I am Facebook friends with a couple atheists that I went to high school with and when they post these tough questions, I just cannot NOT respond.  I just want to do it the right way.  I don’t have all the answers.  And I definitely need to spend more time in the Word.  But I just love the Lord so much and want everyone to know God and feel the beautiful amazingness I feel every time I think about who He is and all that He’s done for me.  I wanted to share a couple points that really resonated with me from the last couple sermons.

“If there is no God, then this life on this Earth is a cruel cosmic joke.”

It is ludicrous to me to look around at this life and believe that there is no God.

What would be the point?

Also, this.

“The idea that everything we are going through is pure luck is horrifying for people who are really suffering.  It makes our existence an inescapable nightmare.”

My mind won’t even let me go there.

He also made the point that I have illustrated with the photo below.

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And that is just the intersection by my house and look how Amazingly Beautiful it is.

And what REALLY drives this message home for me, is looking at the faces of my beautiful babies.

Looking in their eyes, the window to their soul, at their beauty, their innocence, their smiles, hearing their sweet giggles, and feeling like my heart is going to explode, I Cannot for the Life of me, understand how anyone can look at the face of a child and believe that there is no God.

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I mean if ^that^ isn’t proof that there is a God, I don’t know what is.  😉

And then my pastor said this with love.

“if you’re never persecuted for your faith, you’re not making enough spiritual noise.”

So I decided to write this post.

If you have any questions, I’d love to talk to you more about this,  Just leave a comment.

❤ ❤ ❤

“Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.”

(Matthew 5:10-12)

“If the world hates you, know that it has hated me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love you as its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you. Remember the word that I said to you: ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted me, they will also persecute you. If they kept my word, they will also keep yours.”

(John 15: 18-20)

You can listen to this message (or the entire series) here.

Love,

Courtney signature

Here Is My Heart {Worship Wednesday}

Christian Teacher Bloggers unite for a Worship Wednesday Linky Party hosted by Adventures of a School Marm.

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Isn’t that a beautiful picture?

Ok, here is my story and what moved me this week.

I was driving my husband’s car and not too happy about it. My car is always warm in the garage.  My husband happened to have a old Christian mix CD playing.  I had made it in the summer of 2013.  It was a mix of old and new Christian songs, all of which were special to me.  I was clicking through the songs when I came upon one that made me stop.  It was the song that was playing the moment that I decided to accept Jesus Christ as my Savior and change my life.

The year was 2000.  I was sixteen years old and was the victim of a broken heart.  My college boyfriend (should’ve known better) had cheated on me with numerous other girls and everyone and their moms already knew about it.  I was the last to find out and I was devastated, humiliated and felt completely alone.

Through a teary blur, I sped over to my BFF’s house, a Christian and the only person in my life who had never let me down.  I let myself in, walked about 10 steps into her bedroom, and fell to my knees.  I cried as the music played, and my BFF and her sister (whom I also love) laid their hands on me and encouraged me to give it to God.

And that is what I did.

That was moment I decided to live for God.  I knew that God loved me so much more than any boy ever could.  And I could feel it all around me.  I decided to follow God.  To read his Word.  To make Him proud.  To not care what anyone thought, except Him.

And my life was saved.

The song that was playing?

Here Is My Heart

By: Out of Eden

“Dear Lord, are You there, listening to my little prayer?
I don’t know exactly what to say
I’ve been told that You love me, hear me when I call would help me when
If I fall, I should let You have Your way

What I guess I’m trying to say, is I need You in my life
‘Cause I know I’m tired of living in the past
I would like to take a chance on a change down deep inside
I believe that this is one that’s gonna last, so, here is

Here’s my heart, it’s been broken, it’s been wounded
But I’ll give it all to You if You would love me, love me
Here’s my life, if You want it, You can have it
I will give it all to You because You love me
Your love is everything I need

Dear child, I’m right here, through your worries, through your fears
I’ve been waiting, for you to call my name
Oh, you know, that I hear you, if you turn to me and trust, my word is true
You will never be the same

Well, I’m standing here to say, that you need me in your life
‘Cause I know that you can’t make it on your own, on your own
If you would take a chance, let me change you deep inside
I promise you will never be alone, so, here is

Here’s my heart, it’s been broken, it’s been wounded
But I’ll give it all to You if You would love me, love me
Here’s my life, if You want it, You can have it
I will give it all to You because You love me
Your love is everything I need

You can turn to me and know that I am always standing by
I gave it all for you, so you could have this gentle peace inside
I will follow you ’cause I believe in everything You are
I am your Father, You are my Savior and in the matters of the heart
I am taking Yours and You are taking mine

Here’s my heart, it’s been broken, it’s been wounded
But I’ll give it all to You if You would love me, love me
Here’s my life, if You want it, You can have it
I will give it all to You because You love me
Your love is everything I need

Here’s my heart, it’s been broken, it’s been wounded
But I’ll give it all to You if You would love me, love me
Here’s my life, if You want it, You can have it
I will give it all to You because You love me
Your love is everything I need”

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Isn’t that amazing that that was the song that God used to change and save my life?

And when I heard it in my husband’s car this week, I was moved to tears again.

Thank you God for that song.  For my BFF.  For my ex-boyfriend who broke my heart.

For the opportunity to take my husband’s car.

For who You are.

For loving me.

If you want to hear the song, here is the link.

Here Is My Heart: Out of Eden

Love,

Courtney signature