“it will not be you speaking” {Maggie}

It’s summertime. The sun is shining, the birds are chirping, and I am sitting out on my back porch writing this blog. When I think of the idea of “summer”, it is filled with sunscreen, relaxation by the pool, and reunions with friends from home. But since coming off a year of being surrounded by such a strong Christian community at CNU, I realize that it’s different here…my community of believers has gone down to my family and me, and that two-mile radius of friends who love the Lord aren’t here. At first I felt homesick (home being Newport News with all of my friends), but then I realized most of them had gone home for the summer too. God has you and I at home for a reason. My two-mile radius of people up here in Northern VA, is full of broken people who don’t know the Lord. I realized while being here, God wants to use me to reach out to those people.
            A few nights ago, I was showing my parents small group the Cru Perspective cards. After everyone had left, I forgot to put the cards away, and left them sitting on the kitchen counter. Later that night my brother’s friend came over to hang out. It was around midnight when I decided to call it a night and we all were standing around the counter talking while I was trying to sneak away and go get in my comfy bed…when he asked, “what are those?”- referring the perspective cards. In my head I was like gosh I’m tired and I need to sleep…But God was tugging on my heart saying that this was literally an opportunity to share the gospel that was handed to me on a platter since he brought it up. So thankfully that got me super excited, and I proceeded to explain to him that this was a survey that I use to start spiritual convos on campus. After about a minute of just trying to explain what it was, I asked if I could just do the survey with him, and he agreed. This led to a really great conversation with him, my brother and me. If I was talking, Graham was praying, and if he and his friend were talking, I was praying. IT WAS SO COOL.
16 “I am sending you out like sheep among wolves. Therefore be as shrewd as snakes and as innocent as doves. 17 Be on your guard; you will be handed over to the local councils and be flogged in the synagogues. 18 On my account you will be brought before governors and kings as witnesses to them and to the Gentiles. 19 But when they arrest you, do not worry about what to say or how to say it. At that time you will be given what to say, 20 for it will not be you speaking, but the Spirit of your Father speaking through you.
           

            Matthew 10: 16-20 speaks about persecution as Christians. Now, we won’t be handed over for flogging here, but the point I wanted to draw out is that as Christians, we have the Holy Spirit in us. God uses the spirit to speak through us. So don’t be afraid to reach out to a friend who doesn’t know the Lord, a neighbor who has never been to church, or your grandma who you get to spend time with this summer. No matter where you are, or what you are doing this summer, you are on a mission to share Jesus with others. I challenge you to think of a couple people in that two-mile radius that you could start a spiritual conversation with. God wants to use you, and He will. The Holy Spirit will guide your speech, so you don’t need to worry about what to say. Don’t let fear keep you from sharing the gospel! We don’t have to be afraid because God is with us. Always.

You are not alone. {Maggie}

You are not alone.

This concept is what has been running around in my heart the past few weeks. I’ve heard this one song over and over on the radio called “Never Once”. It has definitely been reminding me of God’s constant presence in my life. Through every long and lonely day, He is always there, and He. Desires. You. Two verses from the song…
“Scars and struggles on the way
But with joy our hearts can say
Yes, our hearts can say
Never once did we ever walk alone
Never once did You leave us on our own
    You are faithful, God, You are faithful”
Love it. God is faithful, and He will never leave us to fend for ourselves. Summertime is always weird for me. The environment I have comfortably adjusted to for the past 9 months is dramatically changed within just a few days. The people I’m usually surrounded by have gone home for summer to work or travel, classes have stopped, and I’m not near any of the community I’m used to having. Each summer after college I’ve had to make that transition, and this summer it’s hit me even harder that I yearn for other people’s company and thrive when I am surrounded by people who love me. Some of you might be feeling the same loneliness while you are home. Being an amniovert (both introvert and extrovert, it’s a new concept…) There will be times when I feel like I am going to go crazy because of how alone I feel, yet feeling exhausted when I would find a big group to  hang out with. Know that you aren’t ever actually alone, Jesus is with you, and wants  you to spend time with Him! He is jealous for you. He loves you and LOVES when you give Him your time.

While raising support this summer, I’ve noticed I have more time on my hands now that all my students (you guys!) have gone home. For the first week of the summer I followed my roommate around and begged her to let me help with anything that had to do with being around people. I was a volunteer for most senior week events, and loved it. But I also realized that I actually needed time alone to rejuvenate with Jesus, and just be quiet. I’m bad at that whole being still and listening thing. I’m all about go, go, go what can I do next? When is the next thing happening? Who wants to hang out with me? Other more negative questions run through my head when I am alone such as: Why hasn’t someone asked me to hang out? Do I actually have any friends? Am I not good enough to hang out with that one group? These are LIES. Satan will pick and prod at every insecurity you have and use it against you to speak lies to your heart that you aren’t good enough, wanted or loved by others. Run to Jesus when this happens. Do things that bring you joy!

A few weeks ago, I literally wrote out a list of activities that bring joy and life to my soul, then I proceeded to do some of them!  I was amazed at the end of the day that even though I was by myself the whole time, I had such a great day. God has given you passions and desires for a reason. It is a way to connect with Him! I love thinking of simple pleasures that make me smile too. Like Brooke wrote about a few weeks ago…you have to fight for joy. It’s not just something that comes to you. The next time you feel sad because you are home alone on a Friday night…like me the other day woops…I challenge you to do something that gives you joy and life. For me it was playing guitar and being outside.  You don’t have to sit and wallow- dance!  Dance for Jesus, play volleyball for Jesus, paint, run, sing, laugh for Him! Joy comes from the Lord.
“For in the day of trouble he will keep me safe in his dwelling; he will hide me in the shelter of his sacred tent and set me high upon a rock. Then my head will be exalted above the enemies who surround me; at his sacred tent I will sacrifice with shouts of joy; I will sing and make music to the Lord. Hear my voice when I call, Lord; be merciful to me and answer me.”
– Psalm 27:5-7 (NIV).

“Never Once”- Matt Redman

You are not alone. {Maggie}

You are not alone.

This concept is what has been running around in my heart the past few weeks. I’ve heard this one song over and over on the radio called “Never Once”. It has definitely been reminding me of God’s constant presence in my life. Through every long and lonely day, He is always there, and He. Desires. You. Two verses from the song…
“Scars and struggles on the way
But with joy our hearts can say
Yes, our hearts can say
Never once did we ever walk alone
Never once did You leave us on our own
    You are faithful, God, You are faithful”
Love it. God is faithful, and He will never leave us to fend for ourselves. Summertime is always weird for me. The environment I have comfortably adjusted to for the past 9 months is dramatically changed within just a few days. The people I’m usually surrounded by have gone home for summer to work or travel, classes have stopped, and I’m not near any of the community I’m used to having. Each summer after college I’ve had to make that transition, and this summer it’s hit me even harder that I yearn for other people’s company and thrive when I am surrounded by people who love me. Some of you might be feeling the same loneliness while you are home. Being an amniovert (both introvert and extrovert, it’s a new concept…) There will be times when I feel like I am going to go crazy because of how alone I feel, yet feeling exhausted when I would find a big group to  hang out with. Know that you aren’t ever actually alone, Jesus is with you, and wants  you to spend time with Him! He is jealous for you. He loves you and LOVES when you give Him your time.

While raising support this summer, I’ve noticed I have more time on my hands now that all my students (you guys!) have gone home. For the first week of the summer I followed my roommate around and begged her to let me help with anything that had to do with being around people. I was a volunteer for most senior week events, and loved it. But I also realized that I actually needed time alone to rejuvenate with Jesus, and just be quiet. I’m bad at that whole being still and listening thing. I’m all about go, go, go what can I do next? When is the next thing happening? Who wants to hang out with me? Other more negative questions run through my head when I am alone such as: Why hasn’t someone asked me to hang out? Do I actually have any friends? Am I not good enough to hang out with that one group? These are LIES. Satan will pick and prod at every insecurity you have and use it against you to speak lies to your heart that you aren’t good enough, wanted or loved by others. Run to Jesus when this happens. Do things that bring you joy!

A few weeks ago, I literally wrote out a list of activities that bring joy and life to my soul, then I proceeded to do some of them!  I was amazed at the end of the day that even though I was by myself the whole time, I had such a great day. God has given you passions and desires for a reason. It is a way to connect with Him! I love thinking of simple pleasures that make me smile too. Like Brooke wrote about a few weeks ago…you have to fight for joy. It’s not just something that comes to you. The next time you feel sad because you are home alone on a Friday night…like me the other day woops…I challenge you to do something that gives you joy and life. For me it was playing guitar and being outside.  You don’t have to sit and wallow- dance!  Dance for Jesus, play volleyball for Jesus, paint, run, sing, laugh for Him! Joy comes from the Lord.
“For in the day of trouble he will keep me safe in his dwelling; he will hide me in the shelter of his sacred tent and set me high upon a rock. Then my head will be exalted above the enemies who surround me; at his sacred tent I will sacrifice with shouts of joy; I will sing and make music to the Lord. Hear my voice when I call, Lord; be merciful to me and answer me.”
– Psalm 27:5-7 (NIV).

“Never Once”- Matt Redman