Game time? Check. Worship time with awesome dance moves? Check. Hillsong Young & Free blasting throughout the room? Check. Welcome to Children's Church!!
I've only been serving in children's church for a little over 3 months now, but I am having a blast each and every Sunday morning! I knew I wanted to serve in church, but I wasn't exactly sure in what aspect. Maybe prayer team? How about as a Greeter? Could I handle parking crew?
After taking my spiritual skills assessment during Growth Track, I ended up scoring higher in the areas geared towards serving with children & students. I probably should've guessed that would be the best area for me since I've worked with kids before in the past as a summer camp counselor and volunteered with small children throughout college. After taking some time to check it out and have a sit down with the coordinator, I knew it was the perfect place for me!
During children's church each week I get to confess greatness over them and pour life into them! It's so awesome seeing them each week growing in their faith and truly worshipping Jesus through games, small groups and worship time! It's crazy beautiful to see kids from Kindergarten to fifth grade lift their hands and voices in praise - not worried about who's around them or who's watching. They are so in the moment that it doesn't even dawn on them. Oh, how to have faith and worship like a child!!
Playing games like "Slapwich" and checkers, along with building light sabers with legos and using sparkle crayons on the color sheets is tons of fun, but there's something much more important than those color sheets or Uno cards.
My absolute favorite thing about serving in children's church is when I have to chance to pray for and over them during Encounter each First Wednesday service. Kids' face trials just like adults do, so it's an honor to pray for peace in their homes, new friendships at school, and even improved health for their pets! They bring everything they have to me and the rest of the team without a second thought. They're so open about it and having the chance to whole-heartedly pray to The Lord about their requests. So beautiful!
Of course craft time on Wednesdays and jumping around during worship time is just as much fun, but nothing compares to the opportunity I have as a servant of The Lord to work with these children each week! Such an honor!
Happy Saturday, loves! I hope you all are enjoying an amazing spring weekend. I know I owe you all six more weeks worth of the Hosea small group review and I plan on having that up over these next few weeks. Although my small group met for the last time last week, luckily I've found some new books to fill the void!
I've always heard the phrase, "Don't leave this world having let everyone use you but God". That really resonated with me, especially during the end of my Hosea study. There's just this craving growing in me to do more with my life. Sometimes, I think my generation can get caught up with the superficial aspects of life and ignore the more charitable/humane areas. I expressed this one night at small group and my sweet group leader gave me Kisses from Katie to read. Without spoiling it for you, it's about a young woman who decides to not only listen to, but be obedient to God's word. She moves half way around the globe to care for, teach, and love on sweet little children! It's really got me thinking about going on a mission trip in the near future!
To continue with my small group talk, one of our group members was kind enough to gift us Invisible: How You Feel is Not Who You Are by Jennifer Rothschild (she wrote our Hosea small group material). I've just started it, but I already know it'll be a great compliment to what I studied in the book of Hosea. Plus, it's pretty applicable to life right now. As a young female in America, society expects me to look, dress, and act a certain way. That "way" isn't always correct or moral. Just within these past few months, I've learned to focus on more about what The Lord confirms about me than what society says I should be. I am loved, accepted, and am complete in His eyes!
More than being inspired by Katie's new life mission or really understanding how wonderful I am, I'm really excited to read Unreasonable Hope by Pastor Chad Veach.I usually listen to his church's podcasts during my Monday morning runs and really enjoy his enthusiasm and his intense faith & belief in The Lord. If you don't about Pastors Chad & Julia's precious daughter Georgia and her diagnosis, you should definitely read about it! This book isn't just about the struggles they have to endure with Georgia's sickness, rather it's focused on The One who is in control and provides us with the necessary strength to take on life's many struggles.
If you're in a space right now where you need a boost or to strengthen your faith, pick up one of these books! I'm reading right along with you!
[image via shereadstruth.com]
Week 1 of Jennifer Rothschild's Hosea: Unchanging Love Changes Everything was a great introduction to the book of Hosea. I'd never read Hosea before and had hardly even known the name other than seeing it when flipping through my Bible.
After reading the book of Hosea earlier in the week, I was sooooo confused. At one moment, God was telling Hosea to marry a promiscuous woman in Gomer (Hosea 1:2), then He was suuuuuuper upset with His chosen people(Hosea 5:2). But throughout the story, God shows some serious love and compassion for them, even after all their lewd acts and blatant disrespect (Hosea 2:14-15).
Hosea, intially, is a hard pill to swallow. When I was reading through, it kind of hit me how much the people of Israel are just like us nowadays. We're out here roaming and wandering around life when the one thing that can forever hold our attention and settle us is right in front of us...but we continuously choose to look past it. We will literally find practically everything else in this world to comfort us, to believe in, to shield & protect us, to encourage us, etc.
Just during week 1 of this study, I'm beginning to see all my flaws + some more. We're all guilty of looking past God's grace and goodness, hoping something more tangible and earthly will satisfy. It's slightly understandable because we're mortal beings-- that is, we can not comprehend something as palatial, unwavering, unconditional and constant as God's love for us. Even in the first few chapters you see that God can't contain His love for His Chosen People. One moment, He is literally telling Hosea to name his daughter "No Mercy" because He will have no mercy on the house of Israel (Hosea 1:6). But come chapter 2 verses 14 & 15, God is talking about how He plans to return His people to Him! How wild is that!?
Without giving too much away from the study, Jennifer gave some great context into who exactly the book of Hosea is about. No, it's not about Hosea and his prostitute of a wife, Gomer. Nor is it about His chosen people who have lost their way. It's about God and his unfailing, unconditional love for us. It's kind of hard to see that fully when you're reading it, but it's in there.
I'm headed to small group today to press in deeper in The Lord's word and learn more about His unfailing love for me. Stop by next Friday for a week 2 recap!
Happy Friday! Decided to do something new with the blog for the next few months and include you all in on what's happening in my small group at church. I'm a member of a church with soon-to-be 14 campuses, so you can only imagine how large it is and how many people I see each week during service and while serving! Hence, the idea for small groups. Small groups take a common topic, interest, sport, book, etc. and pretty much invites people to come join in. It's a safe place where everyone can give prayer requests and praise reports. Small groups are ultimately an environment for us to grow in ourselves, with others, and closer to Jesus.
This semester I decided to join a small group focusing on the book of Hosea. I hadn't even read Hosea until earlier this week [it blew my mind!] and tonight I'll be joining with a few more ladies to dive deeper into this book as well as working through our study book, written by Jennifer Rothschild. Over the next 7 or so weeks, I'll be sharing with you all what we learned and how it affects us and leads us closer to our Heavenly Father. I hope you all decide to stick around each week to check it out!
// John 6:63-69 //
This is what my journaling Bible looks like. It's not covered in oil pastels, water colors, scrapbooking letters or anything else overly crafty. Just pen, pencil and marker.
I can't really remember how I ended up at this scripture but I know it was during a recent fast. I'd never read this before but it stuck with me after reading it.
Quick rundown: So, after all of the other disciples had turned away from Jesus and went about their business twelve decided to stay. Jesus turns and looks at those 12 and says, "Do you want to go away as well?".
I honestly can't even imagine what it would be like to have the living Savior ask if I wanted to leave too. I' wouldn't even be able to move. AT. ALL. I can just seem myself, mouth wide open, staring in awe. Well, luckily the disciples weren't in awe like I would have been! Instead, [Simon] Peter turns to him and answers with something that just clicked when I read it. He said, "Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life and we have believed, and have come to know that you are the Holy One of God."
Can we just look at the first half of his answer? John 6:68 says, "Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life." That right there is enough for me. Because let's think about it for a second-- besides the obviousness of salvation, there truly is no one else for us to go to and through to get to our Heavenly Father. So before we go running to everyone but Jesus, let's step back and really ask ourselves who we can rely on. There's no other first responder, national leader, humanitarian, or any other person who can get us to the Father other than Christ Jesus. He's the only one.
So let's not get so caught up in this world, relying on everyone else to protect us, cure us, or care for us. Let's be be like Peter and realize that there is only one to whom we can go to. Only one who has the words of eternal life. The Holy One of God.
I'm not sure how it happens, but I end up getting a "second wind" around 1:00 am every once in a while. I think it's because currently my Tuesdays-Thursdays are occupied for a few hours in the middle of the day? Or maybe it's the venti hot chocolate I had at Starbucks? And to think I had just started to get into the flow of my new "schedule".
I'm up at 1:00 in the morning because I kind of have something stirring in my soul that I felt the need to share. Do you ever get those feelings? Like in the movie Mean Girls when Lindsay Lohan's character, Cady, thinks she has word vomit but it's actually real vomit? Too much? Sorry. But I've got this stirring inside of me to talk to you all about The Lord. Not in a scary or creepy way. But more like a confetti push pop way. Like, I'm almost about to explode. And I think it's because I finally understand a little bit more about my walk with Christ. So here it goes.
We all go through different seasons in our lives. Plentiful seasons, calm seasons, dark seasons, dry seasons, etc. But these seasons that we go through ultimately help shape us. For example, I would initially have categorized my season as a dry season. I'm out of work, I have no love/social life, and I have absolutely no definitive idea as to what my next move in life will be. That's how I initially looked at it. But now, I look at it completely different. It's a growing season for me. The Lord has me in the right place at the right time for the right reason! He's given me the opportunity to grow more independent, self-sufficient (to an extent), more self aware and most importantly-- more aware of Him.
And each day, my heart and soul swell at the thought of knowing that He placed me in my growing season right now (although I do have those days where I say, "why am I still here?"). In my walk with Christ, I'm learning that it's all about making [the right ] choices and choosing to be obedient in His word. Instead of falling into the whiny baby pit, asking why I'm not off in a big city living it up, I have to remind myself that the Lord has plans for me.... to prosper! (Jeremiah 29:11). I have to remind myself that I am a daughter of The Most High (John 1:12)! At times it can definitely be a struggle, but I'm learning that it takes time, prayer, and understanding to make the right choice. It takes true grit and self-discipline to be obedient. But to know that because I choose to love and serve my Savior in obedience, I know that in His perfect timing I will be right where He's planned for me to be.
So continue to work through your seasons my loves! You'll move into your next one before you know it!
I don't know why we do it. I'm sure it's mostly because we're flawed human beings. I'm talking about questioning our answered prayers + newly received blessings. We're all guilty of doing it at some point or another. But when you step back and think about it, we are sooo in the wrong for questioning/complaining about what we've been provided with by our Heavenly Father.
Just think about it for a second. Throughout life, we end up facing so many challenges and because of our love and faith in Christ, we resort to prayer for help. Whether it's through small groups at church, prayer groups amongst our friends, prayer request cards or even on bended knee alone, we know that we can give all our worries and troubles to The Lord to take care of. Yet whenever our prayers are answered, we somehow find a way to question it instead of thanking The Lord for it! We're quick to say, "Thank you Lord for this, but..." or "I'm so glad The Lord got me out of that situation, I just wish...". No. We have to stop doing that. We have to stop trying so hard to understand every single detail of the journey The Lord has us on. We have to stop analyzing every little thing that happens. We've got to start thanking Him 1000x more!
I'll be the first to tell you how god it feels to be thanking The Lord instead of questioning Him. If you've been reading my blog from the start, you all know how honest I am, and I'll be the first to tell about what I'm dealing with. I love this whole blogging thing, because it's like a small little community of positive people and experiences. With that said, I just want to tell you all how wonderful and happy you'll be once you stop questioning The Lord's blessings and start receiving them and thanking Him instead.
On September 30 of this year, I lost my job. Last day of the month, last pay check I'll ever receive from that company. I had a feeling in my gut about two months ago that I'd be let go, and it came to pass no too long afterwards. Don't get me wrong, I was extremely upset about it when it happened. I knew there was so much other stuff behind it and there was no way I could fix it. But here's the thing--you ready for it? I had been praying for several months for new job opportunities. My blessing came! It may not have been wrapped up in a new job offer or in a new city, but The Lord gave me exactly what I prayed for! So after my four day meltdown, I perked up. I was actually happy again! No longer did I have to spend 40 hours a week in an emotionally and spiritually toxic environment. No longer did I have to stroke egos to get help. No longer did I have to play nice with people I didn't care for. The Lord slammed the door shut on what I had been praying for for months!! So instead of questioning why or how it happened, I just said "thank you, Lord". That's it. And because of that, I am probably the happiest I have been all year!
So the next time you pray for something, make sure you truly believe in what you're asking for. Make sure you're prepared to receive what The Lord has for you--because no matter what, it's exactly what He has planned for you all along. And lastly, above all else, be sure the thank Him. We're so blessed to be children of The Most High and to have such immediate access to Him is more than we could ever ask for.
Praying you all have a blessed and happy week!
"Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing."
As I continue to grow in my faith, I find that this walk with Christ isn't always butterflies and roses. There have been tough times and I've had to deal with situations I never thought I'd have to deal with. But in those moments of uncertainty, I find it to be the perfect time to look at my blessings. I've had to deal with a lot in the past three years and even more within the last week than I've ever had to deal with in my life.
On the way home from a dear friend's house the other night, I stopped at the red light and just looked around. I was sitting in a working car, with a smartphone, a MacBook Pro in the passenger seat, shoes on my feet and clothes on my back, and a large McDonald's fry in my lap. In that moment, I realized just how blessed I am. There are people all around the world who have so, so little and are still happy and enjoying their everyday lives. I'm blessed that The Lord has removed me from intense and toxic situations, even if it was hurtful. I'm blessed to be able to talk with my heavenly Father when and wherever I want. I'm blessed to have such a great support group of friends to encourage me and remind me of The Lord and His works He has planned for my life. So the next time you're feeling in a funk, stop where you are and just look around. Remind yourself of all the blessings The Lord has blessed you with. Because sometimes, we have to remember that The Lord removes us from situations to set us up for something better.
Have a great week and count your blessings!
Last weekend at church, the pastor's sermon focused on how we can continue to seek God (even after our annual 21 days of prayer) and how we can use John Maxwell's Rule of 5 to help us. Pastor challenged us to make a list of five things that we can do every single day, and in doing our chosen five, we have to be intentional, be practical, be consistent, and expect results. I've noticed that over the past few months, my fervor for life and ambition have wained. It's like I'm just existing but not really living-- and I can't stand feeling like that. When I created my list of 5, I wanted the things I chose to help bring joy, happiness, and light back into my life. My five things include:
1) Thank/Talk to God
2) Read + Journal in my Bible
3) Spend 30 minutes with my dog, Steeler
4) Write down three positive/good things that happened that day
5) Listen to 1 new sermon/ Christ focused podcast
It's only Wednesday, but I can already see a change. Granted, I haven't successfully completed 5 out of 5 just yet, but I can usually get 3 out of 5. The biggest change I've experienced thus far is how I deal with my current job. I'm blessed to have a job and benefits that many others do not have. But I struggle to handle the tense and chaotic environment at work. Instead of harping on what's wrong each day, I've focused more on taking care of what I can. I'm not superwoman, so I can't do everything, but I can do some things; specifically what my duties and tasks are. So, that's what I've decided to do! And when I tell you, I am so much more relaxed and positive this week. (Last week was seriously atrocious! I slept all weekend to recover!!!) Here are a few verses to help you conquer the rest of your week!
2 Timothy 1:7 says, "for God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.
John 16:33 says, "I have spoken these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world."
*verses are from the ESV version of The Holy Bible
//pic of my journaling bible//
It's amazing what spending time with others Christian believers can do for you! Through Church of the Highlands, I've given my life to The Lord, been water baptized, and now joined a small group to further grow my relationship with Christ. Even after a long week, there's something about going to small group each Wednesday evening. Last Wednesday, Pastor Brain Houston of Hillsong Church (Australia) was the night's speaker and man, did he bring a good message.
Speaking on Romans 8:28, Pastor Houston really poured out a message that I believe most all of us need to hear.
"And we know that for those who love God ALL THINGS work together for good, for those who are called according to His purpose".
Pastor Houston mentioned how the good+bad, ups+downs, love+heartache, and every else in life work together for good. This message didn't click in my mind until returning home from small group Wednesday night. The past few days were just some of those days when everything that could go wrong, did. Three near possible car wrecks, constant tension between myself and others, not to mention shutting the door on past relationships, and built up anger and frustration consumed the first three days of my week. All of this had happened by Tuesday. You're probably wondering how I handled it...if you want to know whether or not I broke down and cried, OF COURSE I DID! But after journaling in my Bible, praying about it, spilling my issues to those who would listen/console, and gathering with my small group, this message of All Things hit me like a brick.
No matter what I have to go through in life, there are a few certain things I have to remember:
1) God already knew this was going to happen
2) The storm always runs out of rain
3) Ultimately, whatever it is that I am going through, God is using it all for good
It seems like a pretty simple concept, but it's hard to grasp when you think you're suffering through a bad day, week, month, year, etc. But the take away is this: God has plans to HELP you and not harm you. He has unimaginably amazing things that we could never even think of planned for our lives. All we have to do is trust in His plan and continue to believe in Him and keep focused on His purpose.
Hello, I'm Margo
25 year old laid-back lady currently pursuing my MBA in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. Just using my blog to share my growing faith, evolving style, favorite recipes, and exciting travels with you!
Constantly remembering to
Thanks for reading.
Follow Me on Instagram!
Shop love...Kenedie on Etsy!