And you can bury the workmen, but the work will go on.

“They thought it was over, that His name would fade away.”

Lettttttttt me tell how many times I put that song on repeat yesterday. Your. Name. Will. Not. Fade. Away.

The work will go on. This is not about me. Every single bit of this is about Your plan and Your glory. I am just one part of it. My world crumbled, not the world. I get so caught up in what’s going on in my life that I get selfish sometimes.

Maybe sometimes my world needs to crumble so I remember who is in control. On Wednesday night at Bible study, we studied Matthew 20:1-16. It’s a story about these workers in the vineyard. These people are hired and given their pay and they work all day long. Then these other people are hired and given the same pay and they only work for an hour.

At first everyone thinks this is unfair and they get jealous. We all immediately jumped to the defense of the people working all day, immediately relating to them. Like it was an instantaneous feeling. We didn’t even blink an eye.

The truth is, we are most definitely the ones showing up late to the party and getting the same reward. Jesus, You, put in the work. For me. On the cross. Jesus, You, put in the work. In me. On the regular. (every hour I need thee.)

I am chosen. Yet I question Your grace, alllll the time. I’m trying to read the Word, cover to cover. And usually when I study it that way, I don’t make it out of Genesis. But I am determined this time so I’ve made it, ya know, all the way to Exodus so far. So I’m reading Exodus and it’s going on and on about the exact size that the curtains need to be for tabernacle and what kind of yarn needs to be used. It is literally so specific and detailed. I’m not gonna lie, I literally read part and was thinking why do I need to know they used a half yard here and half yard on the other side, like for real? Then I heard that still small voice say: because if You care so much about fabric choice for a meeting place for worship, doesn’t He care soo much more for me? That’s a building and You are intentional with it, so imagine how much more You are with me, Your child.

In both lessons, I learned how You are deliberate and unrushed. Your love astounds me daily. It’s hard for me to believe in all of my sin and my shame and my mess, You choose me again and again. You rescue me again and again. You give me grace again and again. You seek me out again and again. You pursue a relationship with me again and again.

So this is my prayer. Thank you for loving me. Thank you for your generosity. Thank you for your love. Thank you for the cross. Thank you for wanting me. Thank you for never leaving me. Thank you for patience. Thank you for being deliberate and unrushed. Thank you that it’s not about me. I would make a terrible god. Thank you for not being persuaded by my arrogance. Thank you that your spirit moves in and your will be done. Thank you that the message is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow. Thank you for choosing me. Thank you for working so hard to save me. And as always I pray for my family and sorority sisters. I pray for my university. I pray for guidance for our government, church, and school leaders. I pray for protection for our troops. I pray for all of those that need you now and for those that haven’t met you yet. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Your love will be my anthem.

My mama has alwayssss taught us that there are not varying degrees of sin, that sin is sin is sin. A week ago she came home from church and said maybe she taught us wrong. Someone brought up that very discussion at her church and said that they didn’t think that You saw all sin the same. It made the whole family start thinking. I woke up this morning scrolling through Facebook and read an article that had been posted several times on my newsfeed. In the article, she said: “Sin is sin is sin. If it’s wrong, it’s wrong. Consequences are a different ballgame. For example, the consequences for lying are quite different than those for murder.” I couldn’t agree more! I still think my mama was right, but I also think the other person was right. I think You show us consequences and mercy and grace is so many different forms and ways. I don’t think You work in someone the same as someone else. No two stories are the same.

Forgiveness is a heavy word, but You gave it to me. To be honest, I’ve had a really hard time forgiving people practically my whole life. Partly because when people throw around the word forgiveness they still throw the mistake back at the person and hold it over their head for like ever. That is not forgiveness. Forgiveness is letting go. It’s healing. It’s not easy and sometimes it takes time to heal. I just want to thank You that it’s not that way with You. You forgive us the moment we ask for it. I’ve done a lot of forgiving in the past year or so. Not just of other people, but myself too. Sometimes I think forgiving myself is even harder than forgiving others. I have a tendency to dwell on every single little thing I do. From the stupid comment I made without thinking all the way to the big stuff. I keep a running record in my head of every single thing I’ve ever done. I let it consume me when I should be consumed by You.

When I was a kid, forgiveness was explained to me like: If everyone lines up on this line and the more they sin the further from You they get, the more they go in the darkness, and the more they chase You and ask for forgiveness the closer to You and the light they get. As Christians, we don’t fully get to the light until Heaven. Just because we are forgiven doesn’t mean we are perfect. It just means we chose to live chasing the light rather than the dark. I don’t think that all non-believers are bad people chasing the dark either. I think there are some people out there fighting that darkness just as much as any Christian, but I don’t think they can cross that line to fully see the beauty in the light until they believe in You. I think it’s much harder for them because they don’t see the reason for the light at the end. I saw the 12:01am premiere of Tomorrowland on the Disney Dream cruise Thursday night. The big takeaway lesson throughout the movie was: “You have two wolves, one representing darkness and despair, the other light and hope. Which one lives? The one you feed.” I think every single one of us is battling something and sometimes we lose that battle and sometimes with You we’re strong enough to fight.

The darkness is pretty tempting and I’ve lost the battle a few times, but I am so glad that You are gonna win the war.

Psalm 91:4 says: He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart.

So, here is my prayer today. Thank you for forgiveness. Thank you for your grace. Thank you for your mercy. Thank you for consequences and lessons that teach me. Thank you for holding my tomorrow. I pray that I keep fighting the dark. I pray that I run as fast as I can to the light. I pray that I fight as hard as I can for you. Thank you for covering me. Thank you for giving me refuge. Thank you for your faithfulness. Thank you for your unconditional, unyielding love. And as always I pray for my family and sorority sisters. I pray for my university. I pray for guidance for our government, church, and school leaders. I pray for protection for our troops. I pray for all of those that need you now and for those that haven’t met you yet. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

You only need a spark to start a whole blaze.

This week’s topic is virality which means “the tendency of an image, video, or piece of information to be circulated rapidly and widely from one Internet user to another; the quality or fact of being viral.” We watched a video on the ALS ice bucket challenge and how it went viral. The challenge helped raise awareness for ALS and weekly donations went from $14,000 to $168,000. They talked about how exposure was what they needed and using this challenge was exactly how they got it.

Then I read an article which gave the scientific take on viral marketing. The article gave three reasons that things go viral: “1. It was positive, dwelling on positive issues or topics. 2. It evoked a strong emotional reaction (joy, fear, anger). 3. It was practically useful.” I think the ALS challenge was extremely good at all three of these things. The challenge started with one person and then it grew from there. It grabbed the hearts of celebrities, organizations, and everyone in between. Since July 29, 2014, The ALS Association has received $115 million in donations! One of my favorite quotes is from Margaret Mead which says: “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.” 

A few weeks ago at church, they had a revival. What got me thinking a lot is how in order to spark a change, it starts with one person. It just takes one person to change their heart and start a fire. In order for revival to happen, we have to first change us. We have to work on our heart and that will change our actions. All it takes is a spark.

“You only need a spark to start a whole blaze
It only takes a little faith
Let it start right here in this city
So these old walls will never be the same”

So, that is my prayer today. I pray that you start a fire in me. I pray that you change my heart. I pray that you move me. I pray that you use me. I pray that I take Unspoken’s song with me this week. Lord, let your light shine, let your light shine for all to see. I pray you start a fire in my soul. I pray that you fan the flame and make it grow so, there’s no doubt or denying. I pray that you let it burn so brightly that everyone around can see that it’s you that we need. Lord, you are the fire. You are the flame. You are the light on the darkest day. We have the hope we bear Your name. We carry the news that you have come to save. Only you can save. Lord, help me to share that news. I pray that I share your love with everyone I meet. I pray that your love shine through me so, all they can see is you. And as always I pray for my family and sorority sisters. I pray for my university. I pray for guidance for our government, church, and school leaders. I pray for protection for our troops. I pray for all of those that need you now and for those that haven’t met you yet. In Jesus’ name, Amen.