New Favorite Song: “Beautiful Things” by Gungor

I love how God speaks through others. {Thank you Genevieve!} As a result of my {Bare} post a couple of weeks ago, I was hipped to this great song by Gungor! It’s my new favorite. I can’t stop listening to it. Oh the words… they’re just so beautiful, blessed, and encouraging.

“He has made everything beautiful in its time.” Ecclesiastes 3:11 ESV

What a blessing it is to our Lord who makes all things new!

with peace and grace,

Hope

{Five Minute Friday} Beloved

Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; his love endures forever. 1 Chronicles 16:34

{Today I’m joining the wonderful LisaJo of thegypsymama and a beautiful community of bloggers for the 5 minute Friday writing prompt. Today the word is BELOVED.}

Honestly, this word is hard for me because I instantly want to write about a boyfriend or my puppy. And then I heard a soft voice nudging me to write about how I am so very loved by our Lord.

I think it really hasn’t sunk in that I am loved, unconditionally by God. I am his Beloved, and God is mine. It’s like a love that far supersedes any humanly love – although you have a little glimpse of Godly love when you are loved well by others.

Yet Godly love is beautiful and perplexing. How can God love us in spite of our faults, errors, and just not being perfect like Him?

How can God love us in spite of our errors or sins? How can God love us enough to send His Son to perish for our sins?

“For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life. John 3:16

Honestly, this kind of love is so overwhelming to really fathom.

But as I continue my walk with God, I lean on that love. I need that love. And I’m truly comforted by that love when the pains and hurts are so deep that nothing else can soothe me.

I’m developing a level of forgiveness towards others that wasn’t possible if I didn’t know that I was loved and therefore forgiven {constantly forgiven} by God.

God is love, amazing love. And I’m not sure how others can truly love if they don’t know God. {Is it even possible?}

But in all these things we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 8:37-39.

I’m just thankful that I can wake up each morning knowing that God loves me – even when I’m not sure if anyone or any other thing in this world does.

I’m God’s beloved. And that’s all I really need to know.

wishing you peace and comfort in God’s love,

Hope
Five Minute Friday

{Five Minute Friday} Afraid

{Today I’m joining the wonderful LisaJo of thegypsymama and a beautiful community of bloggers for the 5 minute Friday writing prompt. Today the word is AFRAID.}

Honestly, I am afraid that I will not live God’s plan for my life. His plan is guaranteed to be so much bigger, better, and awesome… and just plain holy! (Can plain and holy even go together?) Yet, there are times when I know that I am doing my plan or just muddling around in the dark.

Lately, I’ve been sincerely praying to God to show me His plan for my life. My mission. My ministry. How I can help build His Kingdom. I am asking God to reveal to me how I can be used by him each day, every moment to his Highest Good, which I know is mine too.

“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.” Jeremiah 29:11

My prayer:

Dear God,

Please give my life a sense of purpose. I surrender my life to you.

“Where would you have me go? What would you have me do? What would you have me say, and to whom?” (I heard Marianne Williamson share this prayer on Oprah and I thought this was so fantastic.)

I know that if I am following God’s purpose for my life that I will never feel afraid.

wishing you hope, joy, peace and purpose,

Hope

Five Minute Friday

revelation song

“Revelation Song” – Holy, Holy, Holy is the Lord God Almighty!

Do you ever have songs that get stuck in your mind and spirit? I know I do. I heard this song, Revelation Song, last Sunday at Reality SF (whose music is always amazing) and it has been in my soul all week. I had to share it with you {along with the spirit-filled lyrics}. Revelation Song, written by Jennie Lee Riddle, was first recorded at Christ For The Nations at the live worship recording, and released on their Glorious album. Kari Jobe is the amazing singer. Have a blessed weekend!

Worthy is the, Lamb who was slain
Holy, Holy, is He
Sing a new song, to him who sits on
Heaven’s mercy seat
[2X]

Holy, Holy, Holy
Is the Lord God Almighty
Who was, and is, and is to come
With all creation I sing
Praise to the King of Kings
You are my everything
And I will adore You

Clothed in rainbows, of living color
Flashes of lightning, rolls of thunder
Blessing and honor, strength and glory and power be
to You the only wise King

Holy, Holy, Holy
Is the Lord God Almighty
Who was, and is, and is to come
With all creation I sing
Praise to the King of Kings
You are my everything
And I will adore You

Filled with wonder, awestruck wonder
At the mention of your name
Jesus your name is power
Breath, and living water
Such a marvelous mystery
Yeah…

Holy, Holy, Holy
Is the Lord God Almighty
Who was, and is, and is to come, yeah
With all creation I sing
Praise to the King of Kings
You are my everything
And I will adore You
[3X]

Fill Me Up

“Fill Me Up” – Oh Yes You Do Lord!

Ok, I promise that all of my posts will not be videos. However, this song is just blessing me so much right now. I was introduced to it on a beautiful woman’s blog called Living My Someday. I heard the song once and I couldn’t get it out of my head. Amazing! With a spirit so moving, and words that are truly my prayer, this song, “Fill Me Up” by Jesus Culture must be shared!

Fill Me Up

You provide the fire
I’ll provide the sacrifice
You provide the Spirit
And I will open up inside

Fill me up God
Fill me up God
Fill me up God
Fill me up

Love of God
Overflow
Permeate
All my soul

Blessings to you,

-Hope

The Journey Church

[Church Home Challenge] Week 1 – The Journey Church

The Journey Church

The Journey Church

“God’s family is the church of the living God, the pillar and foundation of the truth.” 1 Timothy 3:15b (GWT)

As many of you now know, I’m new to San Francisco. Not surprisingly, moving has meant uprooting my whole life – physically, mentally, and also spiritually. My entire rhythm has changed – from where I go to eat, where I can drive, exercise, find community, and most importantly, worship.

In Los Angeles, I’d gotten used to worshipping usually remotely (due to the demands of law school) with Oasis Church Los Angeles and in their connect groups. My experiences were WONDERFUL. I am missing Oasis LA and my group BIG time. I was introduced to bible study books by Holley Gerth (amazing)!

I was also attending a women’s bible study that one of my closest friends in LA had felt chosen to lead. It really helped me get into the Word.

And I would also listen to sermons online from my favorite pastor, Rick Warren (the author of The Purpose Driven Life), from Saddleback Church. In addition to being one of the reasons I became a Christian (for more, click here), I honestly credit Pastor Warren with helping to get me back and forth to my bar prep course sanely which consisted of a crazy hour or so drive in heavy LA traffic.

These varied components were my spiritual community. They were my spiritual foundation. And some of the key parts – the offline parts are now missing.

So, I’m searching. I’m on a mission to find a new church home. [And as you can probably tell from a couple of posts, I take things pretty seriously!] There are so many reasons to join a church (a post on this topic coming soon).

So, my plan is to attend at least 1 new church service every Sunday until I find one that feels right.

During Week 1 (July 29, 2012), I attended The Journey Church of San Francisco. I had checked out their web site when I was in Los Angeles and saw they gave away my favorite book, The Purpose Driven Life to San Francisco residents. I knew I had to check them out when I got to the city.

Upon entering the church, I immediately got a good vibe because I was actually greeted and welcomed by someone. She could probably tell that I looked a little lost. The church also has a great reception area complete with snacks and java!

The lead pastor, Chris Brady, had a series called “God on Film,” which was a theme to help discover the meaning behind the biggest movies of the summer. I attended the final sermon in the series based on the movie “Total Recall,” “Making Peace with My Past.” The sermon even included clips from the movie and another movie with The Rock (Dwayne Johnson – bonus!). The service had a great “hip” factor and as a former L.A. resident, I could definitely relate to the movie-Hollywood theme!

The sermon was about Forgiveness and achieving peace of mind (and peace with the past) by seeking God.

“I am leaving you with a gift – peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give isn’t like the peace the world gives. So don’t be troubled or afraid.” John 14:27

Pastor Brady laid out Four Steps to Making Peace with My Past:

Step #1: Receive Forgiveness. [God offers forgiveness for all that we’ve done.]

“God is faithful and reliable. If we confess our sins, he forgives them and cleanses us from everything we’ve done wrong.” 1 John 1:9.

We were asked to write down what we’re receiving forgiveness for.

Step #2: Offer Forgiveness (to others, those who have hurt us)

“Make allowance for each other’s faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others.” Colossians 3:13

Honestly, this was a bit more difficult to do but I did pray to offer forgiveness to a couple of people that I have not approached with a forgiving heart.

Step #3: Learn from My Past

Pastor Brady told us that we need to figure out what lesson do we need to learn. And if we don’t learn, we are destined to repeat the same mistakes.

“Get wisdom; develop good judgment. Don’t forget my words or turn away from them.” Proverbs 4:5

Step #4: Trust God with my Future

And to me, it usually always comes back to trusting God and having faith in God. And Pastor Brady closed with two of the best bible verses. In fact, I’ve been meditating on Jeremiah 29:11 for the past couple of weeks.

“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.” Jeremiah 29:11

And we were given the following Memory Verse:

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take.” Proverbs 3:5-6.

All in all, I was spiritually nourished that Sunday. And I would highly recommend The Journey church to others. I encourage you to check out their web site and listen to this sermon.

Stay tuned for a post on church visit #2….

Wishing you hope, joy, and peace,

-Hope