Thursday, November 24, 2011

Leadership lessons from my sister

Today I was blessed with the opportunity to serve the homeless and those without the funds for food at the Community Kitchen in downtown Paducah. I've done this before but this time was different. Maybe it was all the Youth and Nonprofit Leadership (YNL) classes I've taken at Murray State or how God has grown me, but something caused me to look at the entire experience through different lenses.

I primarily noticed my sister. She is the manager of the kitchen and was the head honcho today, directing everyone and making sure all the preparations were in order before opening the doors and she was the one who prayed over the workers, the people coming for what might be their only meal today, and the entire kitchen. 

When she's at the kitchen my sister is in her element. It combines her love for cooking, organization and most importantly her love for God which overflows into a love for people, perfectly. I love watching God use her in her role there and today was no exception. I noticed a lot about her today and her leadership capabilities and it taught me quite a few things. Going back to my YNL classes, I believe I'm learning more about leadership at this point in my life than ever before and today it was not professors at a university who taught me about leading, but my very own sister.

Here are some things I noticed today:

  • A leader doesn't do what's easiest, but what's best. 
    • After working tirelessly for five hours preparing and serving, my sister and the other volunteers closed up the kitchen and had packed all the traditional Thanksgiving dinner leftovers up and into the refrigerator when a man, a regular attender of the kitchen, drove up on his bicycle. My sister immediately dropped all the cleaning projects she was directing to fix this elderly man a plate of food so he could have a hot meal on Thanksgiving. She and a few other people got the big pans of food out and began placing heaping spoonfuls of food on a plate too small to hold everything. Even though it would have been easier to turn him away than go to all the trouble of getting everything out of the refrigerator and dirtying up spoons, that was never an option for my sister.
  • A leader doesn't lead only on special occasions.
    • My sister doesn’t just serve at the kitchen Thanksgiving and Christmas, when lots of people “get their service on,” she serves and leads at the kitchen all year round. Leaders don’t just lead when others are doing so or when it’s convenient for them, leaders lead.
  • A leader sees a need and fills it.
    • Leaders are continually looking for ways to meet the needs of people around them. My sister recognizes there is always something to do and she has a mindset of filling the needs of others to the best of her ability.
  • A leader leaves room for compassion.
    • An effective leader does not always go 100 percent by the book because rules are not the most important thing to them – the person they are serving is the real focus of their energy. My sister sets the example at the kitchen of serving the person and caring more about them than following the rules to the letter (she does nothing immoral or illegal, we’re talking about giving seconds to people when they technically aren’t supposed to or giving them an extra roll when they are only supposed to give them one).
  • A leader remembers.
    • They are not only able to stay on task and help others to do so, leaders -effective leaders- are also able to remember the kinds of details that make others around them feel valued and loved. My sister serves hundreds of people at the kitchen each week yet remembers almost each of their names and can engage them in conversations about their past. Her ability to recall such important information regarding the people who come to eat as well as her staff of volunteers proves her genuine love and care for each of them.

My sister taught me so much today and I’m so thankful for her (appropriate since it’s Thanksgiving) and her directional leadership, a contrast to my relational personality. However, she teaches me that it’s OK, and sometimes more helpful, to blend the two.

Happy Thanksgiving. Here's to you and your family and your personal quest for leadership- "We constantly change the world, even by our inaction. Therefore, let us change it responsibly." - Benjamin Franklin 

Friday, August 5, 2011

Fight...or else

"This charge I entrust to you, Timothy, my child, in accordance with the prophesies previously made about you, that you wage the good warfare, holding faith and a good conscience. By rejecting this, some have made shipwreck of their faith, among whom are Hymenaeus and Alexander, whom I have handed over to Satan that they may learn not to blaspheme." -1 Timothy 1:18-20
 "But as for you, O man of God, flee these things. Pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, steadfastness, gentleness. Fight the good fight of faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called and about which you made the good confession in the presence of God and many witnesses." -1 Timothy 6"11-12

Make War - Tedashii ft. Flame 

[Intro: John Piper]
I hear so many Christians, murmuring about their imperfections,
And their failures, and their addiction, and their shortcomings.
And I see so little war! Murmur, murmur, murmur.
Why am I this way? Make war!

[Verse 1: Tedashii]
Bang with me, ba-bang bang, ba-bang with me
No more playing games mane
Cause this thang can get risky
So mane if you into Christ,
Take up!! your cross quickly
Stand fearless on the front-line
Time to come with it, do the right thing
Wake up!! And let's get it
I ain't even in the ring
They throwing bows like Riddick
Persistently attacking me
They're even in the back of me
It's either fight or loose my life
And I can't take this passively
So what you think I'm 'bout to do
I'm bout to do what I can do
Trust the one who got me through
And fight like it was after school
Never giving up, steady, standing on the battle field
Feet firm to the ground like I stepped on Chapel Hill
Flesh feeling frisky, sin persuades and tempts me
Satan cheers me on, guilt followed by conviction
It's the same ol' trap and we fall like we defenseless
Work your senses, grow in wisdom
Stand firm and be relentless

I make war!
Cause sin never sleeps
It's got me in a trance
You can see it in my dreams
I make war!
Man I beat my flesh
To the death, every breath
Like I beat my chest
I make war
Sun up
I make war
Sun down
I make war
Time in
I make war
Time out
I make war
Against lust
Against pride
Against me
Until I die

[Verse 2: Flame]
Do you even have a clue
What happened to you when He died
When that tomb got rolled when He rose in the sky
I think we emphasis sin so much
That it makes us paralyzed
And glorify struggle so much
That it makes us terrified
And de-emphasize the fact
That we have been sterilized from our own lives and thus
We gotta snap out of it
We ain't in no straight-jacket, we free
When Jesus died in our lives something strange happened
He gave us power
Yeah I know that we sinners
But since He rose He's renewing the image of God in us
Now, we gotta start making war
Now we can start saying no
To them fleshy impulses that Jesus Christ is paying for
Now we can start taking the lead
Just like the Dalai Lama and start going all out like a suicide bomber
Whatever the sin is we gotta go go go harder
By His grace no time to waste and just just just like there's no tomorrow

I make war!
Cause sin never sleeps
It's got me in a trance
You can see it in my dreams
I make war!
Man I beat my flesh
To the death, every breath
Like I beat my chest
I make war
Sun up
I make war
Sun down
I make war
Time in
I make war
Time out
I make war
Against lust
Against pride
Against me
Until I die

[Verse 3: Tedashii]
I'm a Christ representer, fin' to stand and deliver
Cause a lot of my believers struggle with their agenda
So I dropped this on an adat
Just so you could come play back
A hit to be encouraged that rocks you with truth from, way back
So listen up to it asap, like you do a Lecrae track
I'm spittin' written visions to put on heads like a wave cap
Sinning, naw we don't play that
Cause that's the way that a slave acts
I'm filled with the spirit so tell them dog this is payback
As you begin to copy the carbon copies of Christ
And conform to his written image you should be shinning a light
If you not, why is that?
Is it fear that's been grippin' you
Cause you scared they'll be dissin' you
Flipping birds while that spit at you
If you not, why is that?
It don't matter so bump it
Perfect love cast out fear and He ain't save us for nothing
This is a privilege (privilege)
Your life to give to Him (give to Him)
So stand firm for Him dawg and let's get it in

I make war!
Cause sin never sleeps
It's got me in a trance
You can see it in my dreams
I make war!
Man I beat my flesh
To the death, every breath
Like I beat my chest
I make war
Sun up
I make war
Sun down
I make war
Time in
I make war
Time out
I make war
Against lust
Against pride
Against me
Until I die 

Monday, July 11, 2011


Convicting [v, kun-vikt-ing]: evidence that impresses upon someone the feeling of guilt, defeat, or unreached standards.

(My definition)

Last night we had a really intense church service where videos were shown from the original Experiencing God series by Henry Blackaby. Maybe I was the only one who experienced some heavy duty convicting in the throw-back-to-the-eighties videos, but God was active in stomping down Sophie. I wanted to share some of the quotes I jotted down from Dr. Blackaby. (The ones that really convicted me are in blue)
  • God doesn't give me a program of activity, He gives me Himself.
  • God always asks us to do things we cannot do so that He comes and does it through us so both you and the people around you experience Him.
  • Once you have a word from God, what you do next indicates what you believe about God.
  • Let God make you the person He has on His mind. He does this through the Word.
  • If I can figure it out, it's probably not God's will. His ways aren't my ways.
  • No where in Scripture does God give a servant the right to dream dreams for God to do.
  • I don't set long range plans or goals for fear I will reach them and never know what God really wanted. (This hit me like a thousand daggers aimed at my soul and hands tightly clutching my planner.)
  • I put my heart before the One who has the long range plans.
  • God is our equipment. He gave us the equipment to complete the task.
  • The call is not to do something, the call is to a relationship.
  • How you love God will determine your actions.
  • We are impatient and say, "Don't just stand there, do something." God says, "Don't do something, just stand there."
  • Waiting on God is not inactivity, it is the most active thing you can do.
  • If we are in God's hands we can do anything God can do.
These are from my pastor:
  • Wherever your focus is, there you will be. If you focus on your sins you will never get over them.
  • As faith in God produces joy and peace, faith in self will always produce anxiousness and fear because you're putting your trust in someone who is not capable to solve the problems.
It's convicting me all over again just writing these out. 

Praying for desperate dependence on the Author of life and not myself,

Friday, July 8, 2011


Last weekend I sold light-up toys at fireworks displays around the area, one of which toys was a blinking pacifier that I had to wear around my neck (sometimes in my mouth) accompanied by a leather fanny pack around the waist.

So classy.

Despite the redneck-ish effect the flashing toys had, I am still grateful for the job and the privilege of working with one of my best friends.

While watching the fireworks and hearing the oohs and ahhs of the audience, I started thinking about deep and theological matters:

A. What do people on airplanes experience when fireworks are going off?

That seriously is a concern of mine.

B. I think God speaking the stars into existence were much like fireworks. At least in my imagination.

"By the word of the Lord the heavens were made, and all the host of them by the breath of His mouth." -Psalm 33:6

Picture it, God breathed out the stars. It was like a firework only infinitely better and they didn't disappear after a few glimmering seconds- they stuck. Forever.

That. is. awesome.

The Milky Way Galaxy. We live in there. Looks kind of like a firework, huh? 

Awestruck of God's hugeness and hoping for a movie of creation in heaven,

I am not, but I know I AM.

Up until today, this week has had a discouraging twinge to it. Nothing "bad" happened, it just wasn't one of my favorite weeks. I couldn't really put my finger on it until last night after True Beauty when I once again came face-to-face with an earth-shattering revelation.

I'm not called to be the Holy Spirit 2.


The girls in True Beauty (I would abbreviate but I don't want to be misunderstood as talking about Tuberculosis) have so much of my heart and I want them to come to know Christ so badly with a burden that intensifies with each passing week. They are at the age I was when God in His mercy began opening my eyes to the fact that morality does not equal salvation, and my only hope was through His heart-transforming handiwork.

I want these girls to experience that same thing. I want them to see God as more than a supreme being with wrath and justice and I want them to see Jesus as more than a storybook figure. They are the very source of life, acceptance and love they so desperately crave.

As I was praying for them last night and confessing to God my discouragement at their lack of conversion, He gently and lovingly reminded me of my place. It's not on any sort of throne or really large thing above people- it's on my knees. It's on campus at Murray. It's at press conferences, in the newsroom, and in my column. It's in the classroom, kitchen, and craft room, teaching these precious girls about Him. It's not my place or duty to save, it's my place to speak the truth I've received and leave the details to God.

God's infinite and gloriously sweet grace never fails to humble and leave me amazed and awestruck at His love- He loves me! Me. Why, I don't know, but His Word says He does and I believe His Word. It was His relentless love that sent Jesus to the cross and it is that same love that sends the Holy Spirit to convict us. What mercy! He could let us continue on swimming in our sins, selfishness, and seclusion from Him, but He brings us back and continues shaping us into the image of His Son.


Today in True Beauty a few things went "wrong." The hot water handle broke off while the water was going which resulted in a phone call to my dad and buckets of water on the counter before a pair of pliers finally shut the water off.

So exciting.

The girls were working on making invitations to their final project in the craft room when I walked in and was immediately shewed away. "Don't come in, don't come in!" They squealed.

The next thing I know they tell me to go look at my door. This is what I find...

I may or may not have teared up a little.

Okay, fine. I cried.

Then as I was going through the pictures from the day I found these...

Before I knew it little rivers were running down my cheeks again. It was just so sweet and completely unexpected. I love these girls so much.

Please pray for their hearts. Pray that they will not have temporary behavior modifications to please me, their parents, or anyone else, but that they will have soul transformations. Pray that God protects them and saves them while they are young. He did it for me, He can do it for them.

Depending on His Spirit,

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Christ's Call to Follow in His Footsteps

This is real. Please take 4.5 minutes to watch this video by K.P. Yohannan

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Oreo Cupcakes

Two posts in one day? Told you I was in a weird mood. The weirdness led me to make a batch of Oreo cupcakes and to take photos of the journey. 

Start out with cupcake liners and put half of a Double-Stuf Oreo in the bottom.
 Then mix a box of cake mix (I used dark chocolate fudge) according to directions and spoon into liners.
 Bake for 17 minutes at 350 degrees.
 Frost with Oreo icing (recipe to follow), place half an Oreo on top and enjoy!

Oreo Icing:
1 3/4 cups plus 2 tablespoons whipping cream
3 tablespoons powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
6 tablespoons Oreo cookies, finely crushed

Side note- This made 41 cupcakes. I should have made more icing, they would have looked and tasted better had I done so. However, they are still tasty and hopefully will be a hit at the church fellowship meal tomorrow. 

7/3/11 side note- Don't put the Oreo on top until you serve the cupcakes, otherwise they will get soggy and fall over. Not the prettiest or appetizing thing to look at, learn from my mistakes.

Weird mood = blog post

I'm in a baking-writing-swimming-movie-watching sort of mood. So, I'm taking a break from editing a sermon transcript to write a few random things.

First off, I just love summer. How awesome are these long days filled with sunshine and warm smells? I adore the smell of freshly cut grass, sunshine-baked dirt, and chlorine and sunscreen. It's no secret I'm quite fond of flip flops too. In fact, I don't remember the last time I wore socks due to the miles I'm putting on my beloved flops. Yes, summer is the season for me. 

Secondly, I love what I get to do this summer. I'm interning with my church (Oak Grove Baptist), which involves leading True Beauty, a summer discipleship program for girls ages 6-14 on how to be a godly woman, and transcribing and editing sermons. I get to listen to sermons all day, then read them over and over and call it a job. Ha! Best job ever. 

Thirdly, baking has become an obsession. I'm teaching the older True Beauty girls how to cook, clean, and sew this summer and through that process I'm falling in love with cooking all over again. The mixers, flour dust, fresh fruit, spatulas, pots and pans, and brand new recipes blend together (no pun intended) to create a masterpiece that so many people can enjoy. What a gift cooking can be, and I forgot all about it's little sugar-crusted self. 

Fourthly, I'm becoming more and more content with where God has me. Well, besides the constant yearning to be in Africa. I love teaching the girls and I love transcribing sermons. I love spending hours at night chatting with Elisabeth Elliot through her stories (she chats, I mostly try to read into what she's saying. Pun completely intended), and I love being with my family. I love being discipled by my Pastor and his wife. I love being single and getting to spend so much time with God, just Him and me. He is showing me so much right now, and I know me- I know if I had a boyfriend/husband I would be severely tempted to depend more on them than on the Lord. God is so gracious in giving us exactly what we need- if I needed a husband, I would have one. But I don't, because I need more of God first. 

Here are a few other random things I've fallen in love with this summer:
  • James (the book of)
  • Hebrews (especially chapter 11 which is packed with encouragement in every line)
  • Zumba
  • Blue ink pens
  • Sewing
  • Making headbands
  • Blogging (it's a return to that love)
  • Spending time with God outside (reading the Word, journaling, etc)

"Take my life and let it be all for You and for Your glory. Take my life and let it be Yours."

Friday, June 24, 2011

Excellence vs. Perfection

This morning I had discussion with my pastor (Michael Durham) about the differences between excellence and perfection. Afterward, I wrote down what I could remember of what he said, and now I want to share it with you.

  • Perfectionists aren't always perfectionists in every area of their life. They can actually be lazy in some areas because, if they don't think they can do that one thing (he gave the example of cleaning their room or office) perfectly, they won't even try so they don't have to face failure.
  • They spend an inordinate amount of time on a few select things or tasks trying to do them perfectly. Their other tasks and obligations suffer as a result, because either A. They do enough to get them done because they ran out of time, or, B. they don't do them at all.
  • Perfectionists often live under tremendous self-imposed pressures in trying to reach perfection.
  • That pressure and those self-imposed expectations often result in being critical of others.
  • People need to learn the balance between excellence and perfection. If you did excellent, well, satisfactory, in every area rather than spent all that time striving to make one thing perfect, you'd be more productive, less stressed, and less critical.

What I learned:
  • Perfectionism hinders productivity.
  • I don't want to do anything unless I'm sure to succeed. I don't want to face failure in anything.
  • Sports/shooting made me like that to an extent, at the least it shaped me and my thinking. Perfection is attainable in shooting, you can shoot a perfect score. I was always happy with how I did (for the most part) but never satisfied because the score may have been perfect but the performance wasn't. There was always room for improvement.
  • Life isn't a shooting match.
  • I put a ton of pressure on myself to be perfect, creating stress and miserable effects.
  • I place very high standards of expectation upon myself which transcends onto expecting the same of other people which results in being critical of them asking myself why they don't have those same expectations.
  • It's all pride.

It was really convicting and showed me a lot of myself, my sin, and my desperate need for God. 

Let's hear it for God's grace.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

My Pursuit...

Copyright 2011 Sophie McDonald

Tuesday, June 14, 2011


One of the most helpful ways of studying the Bible is breaking down individual verses, also known as unpacking. When unpacking suitcases we have to hang up the clothes individually upon return home. Likewise we want to see each verse in a Scripture passage individually before we can see how it fits in the bigger picture, the bigger passage.

This summer I'm teaching a discipleship program for girls ages 6-14, I'm calling it True Beauty. The purpose is to show these little ladies what God intended womanhood to be, how to be a lady, and to pour another layer of Gospel foundation in their lives. I pray one day each of them surrenders their hearts to God's magnificent plan for their lives, and sees that a new heart given only by the Lord at salvation is the way to true beauty.

The last two weeks we have covered Modesty in Appearance, Modesty in Speech, and this week we are talking about Modesty in Behavior. While studying today, the Lord helped me unpack a few verses in Philippians to go over with the girls tomorrow night and I wanted to share it with you as well. I hope God encourages you through it and that you see this could be a valuable tool for your own study time.

(Keep in mind as you read that I was writing this for little ladies age 6-14, but this, obviously, applies to all ages and genders)

Our foundation for the summer is:

1 Peter 3:3-4- “Do not let your adorning be external—the braiding of hair and the putting on of gold jewelry, or the clothing you wear—but let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God’s sight is very precious.”

Philippians 2:3-11- “Do nothing from rivalry or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. Have this mind in you, which was also in Christ Jesus, who, though He was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but made Himself nothing, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. Therefore God has highly exalted Him and bestowed upon Him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”

  • Do nothing from rivalry or conceit
    • Do not compete with others simply because you want to get back at them or because you think you can do it better than them.
  • In humility count others more significant than yourselves
    • Think for other people, how would you like to be treated in the situation they are in? Treat them that way. Be the friend you want to have.
  • Look not only to His own interests, but also to the interests of others
    • Again, do not be self-absorbed; be aware of the people around you. How can you encourage them? What are they concerned about? Be concerned about it too.
  • Have this mind in you, which was also in Christ Jesus
    • What kind of mind did Jesus have? What was Jesus’ goals in coming to earth? When God gives you a new heart, those goals become your goals. You want to live, act, talk, and be like Jesus.
  • Though He was in the form (exact essence) of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped
    • Though Christ had all the rights, privileges, and honors of being God, His attitude was not to cling to those things or His position but to be willing to give them up for a season.
    • Do not use your status in school, home, sports, anywhere, as a means of getting things for yourself. Do not abuse the rights and privileges you have, be grateful for them, but do not abuse them.
  • He made Himself nothing
    • Remember we are nothing. We are not God’s gift to creation, we are only alive because of His grace, and if Jesus made Himself nothing then we are to follow His example and remember we are nothing apart from Him.
  • Taking the form of a servant
    • We are to be a servant. Just like Jesus served others, we are to serve. Just like He gives people grace, we are to give people grace. Just like He loves people, we are to love people. Just like He gives mercy, we are to give mercy. Just like He respected the authority of His Father, we are to respect our authority.
  • Being born in the likeness of men, and being found in human form
    • When we get overwhelmed with how many responsibilities we have as ladies, this should bring us a lot of comfort; Jesus was a human. He was born the same way we were, He went through the exact same things we do, and He did it all perfectly. It can be done, but not apart from Him.
  • He humbled Himself
    • He didn’t have to have someone else humble Him, He did it Himself. Humility means you don’t hold yourself in high regard and you realize you are nothing apart from Christ.
  • By becoming obedient
    • How did Jesus humble Himself? By becoming obedient. How are we to humble ourselves? By becoming obedient. Complete submission to the Father’s will, just like Jesus, is the recipe for humility.
  • To the point of death, even death on a cross
    • Jesus wasn’t just obedient in His everyday life, but He was obedient to His Father’s wishes all the way to the cross. His Father wanted Him to be the sacrifice for sins so He did it willingly. We are to follow God the Father the same way, all the way to death if He asks us to. Why? Because it would be the best thing for us, the Father’s will is always for our good and His glory.
  • Therefore God has highly exalted Him
    • When Jesus humbled Himself, brought Himself low, made Himself nothing, God exalted Him, brought Him up, and made Him the most spectacular, beautiful person the world will ever know. Likewise, when we humble ourselves, the Lord exalts us in His own time and in His own way. Don’t you think that His exaltation is much better than our own or that of others?
  • And bestowed upon Him the name that is above every name
    • Not only did God the Father exalt His Son after His willful obedience, but He also exalted His name- He gave Him the name that is above every name! When complete and willing obedience to the Father is given, His plans for our lives turn out so much better than we could ever imagine for ourselves.
  • So that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord
    • The Father’s plan in sending Jesus was for Him to die for our sins and redeem the fallen world, but also to show His excellency. This is our mission too. We want to behave and act in a way that follows Jesus because we want the world to see Jesus! We want every knee to bow in heaven and on earth and under the earth and we want every tongue to confess that Jesus Christ is Lord! That is the heart of a Christian, and that is the heart that has a gentle and quiet spirit.
  • To the glory of God the Father
    • This is the reason Jesus did everything: for His Father’s glory. That is the reason we are to do everything. Everything we do should bring our heavenly Father glory. If it doesn’t, we shouldn’t do it. Modest behavior will always exude a gentle and quiet spirit, and a gentle and quiet spirit will always bring God glory. 
Cultivating a gentle and quiet spirit,

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Elisabeth Elliot = My Favorite

Over the past six months I've read two of Elisabeth Elliot's books, Passion and Purity and Let Me be a Woman (I'm still reading that one). I want to be just like her when I grow up. Here is an excerpt from Let Me be a Woman:

Elisabeth Elliot is 85 and still writing books 

"If you pour yourself out for the hungry and satisfy the desire of the afflicted, then shall your light rise in the darkness and your gloom be as the noonday. And the LORD will guide you continually and satisfy your desire in scorched places and make your bones strong; and you shall be like a watered garden, like a spring of water, whose waters do not fail. And your ancient ruins shall be rebuilt; you shall raise up the foundations of many generations; you shall be called the repairer of the breach, the restorer of paths leading home." -Isaiah 58:10-12

"Here, I think, lies the answer to the barrenness of a single life, or of a life that might otherwise be selfish or lonely. It is the answer, I have found, to depression as well. You yourself will be given light in exchange for pouring yourself out for the hungry; you yourself will get guidance, the satisfaction of your longings, and strength, when you "pour yourself out." When you make the satisfaction of somebody else's desire your own concern, you yourself will be a source of refreshment, a builder, a leader into healing and rest at a time when things around you seem to have crumbled."
Elliot loving on a Waodoni baby.
Here's another one...

"Single life may be only a stage of life's journey, but even a stage is a gift. God may replace it with another gift, but the receiver accepts His gifts with thanksgiving. This gift for this day. The life of faith is lived one day at a time, and it has to be lived-not always looked forward to as though the "real" living were around the next corner. It is for today we are responsible. God still owns tomorrow." 

So good. Whether you're single or not, ponder that last quote. Are you receiving the gift God is currently giving you with thanksgiving? Whew. Conviction is abundant in my heart right now.

Seek Him right now, you may not get another chance...

 "It is for today we are responsible. God still owns tomorrow."

Coming up to Bat

The following is my first column as Sports Editor for the Murray State News:

In the big leagues, stepping up to bat for the first time has to be scary. You’re anxious, excited, intimidated and maybe a little queasy. 
That’s how I feel about becoming sports editor; it’s as if I’m coming up to bat for the first time and am trying to remember everything I learned in training. 
As I pick up my bat, which is more like a pencil, and head to the plate, which is more like a desk, my mind
reflects on all the people who have helped me reach this position.
Images of my general managers, my mom and dad, float through my mind. If it hadn’t been for them and their
encouragement I never would have made it this far. They are the best coaches I could have ever asked for and I am so thankful for their counsel, wisdom and example.
The photographs in my mind keep cycling as the pre-game jitters continue to work their way through my system. The role of trainer has been filled by Greg Waddell, whose encouragement, patience and guidance has set the foundation for my time on this team. I’m so grateful for his leadership and friendship which has been influential and instrumental in my development and growth.
As I approach the batter’s box, I remember all the time spent in preparation and visions flood my mind of teachers, mentors and friends who make up the coaching staff that has propelled me to this moment.
The walk to the plate seems unusually long as I remember the reason I fell in love with the game of sportswriting in the first place. With words one can capture so fully the raw emotions of a moment in life, the triumph and thrill of victory and the bitter taste of defeat. It has become a passion and a source of adrenaline; I love every part of it. 
Before reaching home plate I look back to the dugout and see the team, comprised of my classmates, peers and fellow staff members from The News. The team offers support, accountability and motivation to persevere even under the most difficult of circumstances. The team pushes you to find a way to win when it seems impossible, to pursue excellence with diligence and to exemplify the characteristics of a champion
at all times. For them I am exceedingly grateful. 
My mind drifts back a few moments when I was in the dugout, waiting to be called to play. Despite the lulls in the game, I enjoyed viewing the game from that perspective. There was a level of safety and ease found in being surrounded by teammates and endless cups of Gatorade.
This new perspective, however, forces me out of my comfort zone and into the exciting world of responsibility
and pressure. Accompanied with that, is the overwhelming fear of letting the team down. Despite the fear, excitement is creeping in my system as my long-held dream of being a sports journalist becomes reality.
Suddenly aware of the crowd, I glance at the faces filling the stadium. Countless people who have impacted my life smile their encouragement and I draw confidence just from their presence. I see my sister and her husband, as well as Kaitlin, Loree and so many others whose footprints on my heart will never be replaced or forgotten. I am so thankful each of you are a part of my life.
However, it is my owner, God, who has my biggest thanks, for it is He who bought me with a price and added me to His eternal team. It is an honor to play for Him.
The journey to the plate is almost complete. As I take the last few steps one goal resonates within me: to  represent my owner and team of Racers well. I may foul and strike out a few times along the way, but I vow to myself and the team to always give the very best effort possible and to share my passion of sports,  particularly Murray State sports, the Olympics and the St. Louis Cardinals, to the best of my ability. 
The slideshow in my head is finished and the nerves have started to subside. Excitement is taking over and a calm spirit has settled within me. My cleats are firmly planted in the dirt and I raise the bat and look to the
pitcher. He takes a sign and throws. I see the ball well and swing hard.
This is going to be a great season.

Quick Update

Six months later I'm writing another blog. 

God has done some huge things since December, here are a few random things that have happened over the last few months...

  • Finished a full year of studies at Murray State.
  • Hired as Sports Editor for the Murray State News.
  • Went to Ecuador, South America for missions.
  • God brought Himself glory through the most embarrassing moment of my life.
  • The Lord has stretched my comfort zone too many ways to list.
  • Adopted a Compassion Child! (Suleiman Ali, he's seven and from Kenya, Africa)
  • Being a sports writer for the newspaper I was able to build relationships with athletes, coaches and sports information people that I never would have been able to, which has led to opportunities to share the Gospel as well as receive more encouragement than I have space to write about from people I would have never expected, including a Green Bay Packer. 
  • God surrounded me with so many amazing friends at Murray and has given me the amazing honor, privilege and responsibility of leading some of the brightest and beautiful girls in the Word and in their walks. So humbling.
  • Did a 'Works of the Flesh' and 'Fruits of the Spirit' study. So powerful.
  • Read 1 & 2 Peter, Deuteronomy, Psalms, Proverbs, Romans, Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, 1 & 2 Corinthians, Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, 1 John, Philemon, James and Isaiah. (Isaiah is my new favorite book of the Bible. SO GOOD!)
  • Went to Passion 2011 with my sister. Too many memories to name... God is so huge! 
  • He redirected my summer plans and placed me in a situation that forced me to seek His advice and approval more than others.
  • Discovered Elisabeth Elliot is my hero (more on this to come). 

I can think of so many others but they all have long stories attached to them and I don't have the time to write all of those out.

Murray State Campus Outreach crew at New Years Conference
This summer I'm staying home and interning at my church, transcribing sermons and organizing a summer discipleship project for the 10-14 year old girls called True Beauty, where we will learn and discuss what a godly woman looks like. From cooking, cleaning and sewing, to etiquette, purity and modesty, we will explore Gospel-centered topics that reveal glimpses of God's heart and desire in designing the complex infrastructure known as the female.

I'm really excited about staying home and being with my family, but I do miss all my Murray friends who are in Orlando for the Campus Outreach Summer Project. So many prayers being lifted up for them! God is going to do huge things for them and I cannot wait to hear about it!

There are so many things that I want to say. So many things God has done that I want to share, but time escapes me and so does the proper amount of space for a blog that will keep people's attention. 

Here is my favorite verse of the moment, dive into this little nugget and swim around in the God's love for awhile:

"Therefore the Lord waits to be gracious to you and therefore He exalts Himself to show mercy to you. For the Lord is a God of justice; blessed are all those who wait for Him." -Isaiah 30:18


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