Thursday, June 30, 2011

So much goodness!

Tonight at youth group and the last week at camp have reminded me of why I wanted to work with high school youth. The kids shared about their experiences this past week and what God has been doing in their lives. I can't explain the joy and excitement I feel when I hear of a student seeking after God with everything they have. A couple things we heard tonight...

"I opened my heart up to God a week from last Tuesday and now I'm like totally obsessed with my Bible."

"I didn't think I'd leave camp accepting Christ, but that last night, Rich said everything I had prayed for. I knew it was from God."

"I realized I had been letting other people fill up my cup... but now I can let God fill me up."

My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever. – Psalm 73:26

God's word is full of so much goodness!!! Have you read this book?? It's amazing! I have definitely found a new love of God's word lately and I'm holding onto it as much as I can! The more I read, the better it gets! Oh yes.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Apart from you I have no good thing...

One of the first days we were at Hume, I asked my girls "Why did you come to Hume?"

I got a couple different answers, but for many they shared that they always felt close to God at Hume. We went further and they said that they wanted to feel the closeness to God at home as well, but could never quite figure out how to accomplish it once they got down the mountain.

I've definitely felt that way before... you go off to a retreat, a camp, a missions trip and feel God close the entire trip. Then you get home and things change. So I started trying to figure out, what makes being away so different? Why do we feel God's presence in a place like Hume and then struggle to spend time with him at home?

It's pretty simple once you think about it. When we go on these trips, we are taken away from the distractions of everyday life. We're not worried about texting, checking our emails/facebook. We are there to meet with God and for the purpose of worshiping him. But why aren't things always like that at home?

The fact is, those things don't have to be a distraction. We make them a distraction. We fill our lives with stuff, with junk that fills up our days and value things that don't matter in the end. This last week, I purchased a sweatshirt that says "Where you invest your love, you invest your life." I love that phrase. It's a great reminder to examine how we invest our time and our hearts.

When I'm away on a trip, I feel close to God because I invest time into my relationship with him, I want to worship him and experience who he is. When I'm at home, I can do the exact same thing. I just have to work harder to not be distracted by all the other junk. I can't live my days wishing I wasn't at work so that I could go spend time with God. I can spend my entire day with him, praising him and glorifying him through the work that I do and the conversations I have. I want to be intentional. I want to seek after God every single day and invest my heart in him and nothing else.

"I said to the Lord, 'You are my Lord; apart from you I have no good thing.'" - Psalm 16:2

"Whom have I in heaven but you? And earth has nothing I desire besides you. My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever. Those who are far from you will perish; you destroy all who are unfaithful to you. But as for me, it is good to be near God. I have made the Sovereign Lord my refuge; I will tell of all your deeds." - Psalm 73:25-28

Monday, June 27, 2011

Hume Lake Summer 2011

This last week I had the amazing opportunity to be a camp counselor for our high school youth group. We were at Hume Lake Christian Camp. It was an incredibly encouraging week. God moved in our students lives and answered our prayers in more ways than one.

The theme for the week was ALL IN. We studied David and Saul and what it means to be a person "after God's own heart," no matter the circumstances. We learned that even though David had many failings, he was still a man seeking God's heart. We also saw how Saul lost God's blessing when he succumbed to his jealousy and pride. Our speaker, Danny Strange, talked about what it means to seek after God with everything we have, no matter our situation.

We had a great time of fellowship, recreation, etc. but the most important thing was that the students experienced God this week. I know that many of them walked away with life-altering experiences and stories to share with their friends and family about how God has changed their lives forever. One of the greatest joys in being a counselor is hearing the students share their stories of how God has changed their hearts and to hear that they are seeking after him with everything they have.
Are YOU seeking God's heart today? Do you not only know ABOUT what he's done, but actually EXPERIENCED him? Do you KNOW God or do you know ABOUT God? We might know the facts, but what difference does it make if we don't live our lives accordingly? It's not about us. Are you ALL IN?

"I desire to do your will, O my God; your law is within my heart." - Psalm 40:8

Friday, June 17, 2011

Daddy's Day

Thank you so much for all that you do. You are truly a great example as to what a Godly man should be. I have not only grown in love but respect for you over the years. Seeing how you handle leadership positions in work and church have made me proud to call you my father. You have selflessly cared for our family and I always know you want what's best for me. I appreciate it more than you know. I love you very much.

:) Tamara

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Ballerina Inspiration

I just discovered these photos from Ballerina Project on their facebook page. A part of me has always wanted to be a photographer, and another part wanted to be a ballerina :) So these photos are making the artistic side of my brain go crazy! I am now dying to do a ballerina photo shoot...

Check out their facebook page to see more photos!

Monday, June 13, 2011

Quick update!

So I have been incredibly busy with Albania prep, getting read for the CDMA Music Recital, Hume Lake is this next week and not to mention working my 2 jobs... I'm kind of tired haha. But just wanted to let you all know I'm still here!

I was able to attend my beautiful friend, Joanna's first bridal shower over Memorial Day weekend. I took pictures and made cake pops :) I think she summed the shower up really well in her blog, so check it out here!
The Coastal Dance and Music Academy Music Recital is this coming Saturday. Call for tickets or just come! (There will be plenty of seats). The show is at 6pm on Saturday at Grace Bible Church in AG! View the studio website here.

Albania prep is coming along! We had our first meeting with our whole Albania team last night and it was awesome. The countdown has begun...

We leave in 33 days!! Start praying now!

"Love the Lord your God, walk in all his ways, obey his commands, hold fast to him, and serve Him with all your heart & all your soul." - Joshua 22:5