Saturday, October 31, 2015

The BOLD>REVOLUTION


It is crazy and amazing to see dreams come to fruition!!! I am a dreamer and visionary and constantly have ideas running through my head....however when those dreams are inspired by God they are even crazier:) Nonetheless, those dreams are actually becoming more of a reality as of late and I am soooo excited to share with you all a new an exciting journey for a God Sized Dream!!!
Check out the BOLD>REVOLUTION at www.theboldrevolution.weebly.com for all of the details!


-Madison

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Take The Survey!!



I an conducting a survey for my Sociology class and will likewise use the data collected for a book that I am currently working on. I would love for your to take part in the survey and add to my results!!

Create your own user feedback survey

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Treading Water


Has life ever become so consuming, busy and overwhelming that it seems as if you are barely treading water? My life is crazy right now! Granted I am in college as I have been for the past couple of years, but it seems as if this semester is just so much more consuming than others have been. One week might be great, not to much homework or projects and I have plenty of time to study and get things done and then the next week I have tests in nearly every class, projects due, and papers to write!!! 
If I stop to think about all the things I have to do I am most likely to start freaking out a little inside and start feeling tense in my chest. I honestly begin to feel so overwhelmed and even begin to doubt myself! However, even in the midst of my crazy life it never ceases to amaze me at all the lessons that I learn and that God sends my way about his faithfulness in any and every circumstance. 
I have learned that as overwhelming as life can become and the tasks consuming all I can logically do is take it hour by hour, day by day, task by task, and week by week......taking a fare share of deep calming breaths along the way! While I could easily freeze in fear and stress (and at times might even unconciously respond this way) I know that getting worked up does nothing for me! Taking everything as it comes with faith in my abilities and confidence in God's guidance I know I can overcome any task that looms above me. 
Furthermore, I now what it is to feel like you are drowning in stress, work, tasks, and consuming things of life....barely treading water!!! Most often it seems like I am using all of my strength just to keep my head above the water while I battle the current, but in the midst of weakening strength I look up to see that I am not alone! The only way I manage to keep my head above the water without sinking is because God gives me the strength to keep on......to keep treading the water.......and when all is said and done and life has calmed down the current will subside and I will be able to breath on my own. 
God is continuoulsy working in my life!!! I know that now more than ever!!! Being in college and around people who I know don't always follow God I have realized how important my job is......of standing strong, being bold in my faith, and standing out as a follower of God.....as someone different and weird! Often, I wonder if just living my life in Christ is enough? Does God want me to stop and talk to someone, does he want me to go somewhere, I often have trouble discerning what his plan in this season is for me? Then of course he says "you want me to use you, okay, then I will" and he gives me something hard to do!!! Of course then I start questioning "why" but in the midst of my curiousity and wondering I realize that is the reason for me being in that particular class, the reason for me being given that topic to do a presentation on, the reason for just being here!! 
Take courage in the fact that when the consuming and overwhelming tasks of life loom above, as you barely tread water, that your savior will never abandon you in the midst of it! He will give you the strength to persevere! Take it day by day, moment by moment, and rest in his never ending faithfulness! He has you where you are for a reason, just as I am where I am for a reason (though at times I wonder what that might be). All we need is found in our Heavenly Father....the courage to take on a hard task, the confidence with which to enter a battle, the strength with which to talk to someone, and the faith with which to live for Christ!

-Madison

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Spoken

Picture from Google
Read Genesis 1:26-31 (Creation of Man)
Read Genesis 2:18-23 (Creation of Adam)

        Have you ever stopped to think how you came to be here today? How you are on earth as YOU?!!! How God miraculously created you and every other person and thing around you???
        We all know the story of creation, how Adam and Eve were created, and we know how God created each of us. However, there is a wonder about it all that we don’t always understand or perceive! Life is such a precious gift, and sometimes because of the life we lives and see around us we take advantage of its MIRACULOUS nature!
        When you think of creation, what comes to your mind? Do you automatically visualize God calling things into “being”, making animals, trees, plants, fish, birds, dinosaurs, and most of all, molding man from the dust of the ground?
Creation- n. the act of bringing something into existence.
(Refer to Notes from the Tilt-A-Whirl on pg. 43, paragraph 2)

        For those of you who are familiar with the creation story in Genesis, or just now read it, you notice that when it describes God creating everything on earth that it is His words that bring all things into existence. For example, “God said let there be light, and there was light.” God’s “Words” were the very things themselves. When God said “tree”, he spoke it into being (Tilt-A-Whirl, pg. 43). His very words are the TREE and if he were to stop speaking, it would cease to be!
        It was through God’s great power that he brought the world and everything in it into its marvelous existence! However, do we all really fathom in our minds what he actually did?? I don’t think we even realize how amazing and how EXRAordinary our world is!!!
        Creations masterpiece has an incredible story and the way in which everything came into existence is the most unique part of the account. God didn’t spend months on a committee of engineers and scientist strategically planning out the makeup of earth and all that would reside there. He didn’t have a scientific lab creating every animal he wanted or plant he wished to grow. NO! HE SPOKE THE WORLD INTO EXISTENCE, HIS “WORD” WAS ITS CREATIN AND ITS START!!!!
·         “God created the Heavens and the Earth” (Gen. 1:1).
·         “God said, ‘let there be light and there was light’” (Gen. 1:3).
·         “God said, ‘let there be an expanse between the waters to separate water from water’” (Gen. 1:6).
·         “God said, ‘let water under the sky be gathered to one place, and let dry ground appear’” (Gen. 1:9).
·         “God said, ‘let the land produce vegetation: seed-bearing plants and trees on the land…’” (Gen. 1:11).
·         “God said, ‘let there be light in the expanses of the sky to separate day from night…’” (Gen. 1:14).
·         “God said, ‘let the water team with living creatures, and let birds fly above the earth…’” (Gen. 1:20).
“In the beginning was the WORD, and the WORD was with God, and the WORD was God.” 
 -John 1:1-
        This verse is probably familiar to you, and is very important and applicable to many ways of looking at God. The term “word” has many different meanings in the Hebrew scripture, but there is only one meaning I want to look at right now. This view is that in Hebrew scripture, “the word is an agent of creation”. Psalm 33:6 states it this way:
“By the WORD of the Lord the heavens were made, their starry host by the BREATH of his mouth.”
        Isn’t this utterly incredible!!!!! Through simply “the breath of His mouth,” His WORD, God creates! Simply and wholly by what comes out of His mouth everything is given life. This is the incredible phenomena of the creation story.
        The incredible phenomena of creation, is the fact that God created everything through his words and not through engineers, scientists, and master builders; not that he would have needed them anyway. A single WORD that God says is the creation of that very object itself. It is the “magic word” if you want to call it such. God simply speaking one word can bring and does bring into existence a new life. His words are the very things themselves! When he says tree, a tree emerges from the hard ground, sturdy and tall. He spoke it into being!! When he said “tree” he didn’t just say the word, he spoke the “tree” itself, and if he were to stop the words from coming, all would cease to exist (Tilt-A-Whirl).
         Everything in creation was brought forth through the creators spoken word. When he said streams, he spoke the trickling crystal water into its flowing state of existence. When God said “Let there be light” at the beginning of the world, his very words issued in the moon to cast glittering gleams upon the moonlit paths and the golden sun to shine down its warm piercing rays. 
        When we come to realize that practically everything is created simply through God speaking it, we notice, as we look around us in creation, that God is never quiet! He is constantly speaking everything around us into existence. He is begging it to awaken and come alive. He commands your garden to sprout through the wet soil. He beckons the rose to open up its bud and face the day. It is his WORD which gives the bird on the fence the song to sing. Look around and see everything that was spoken and is speaking around you!!! Marvel in its creators words!!!
1 John 1:1-4
The Word of Life
“1What was from the beginning, what we have heard, what we have seen with our eyes, what we looked upon and touched with our hands concerns the Word of life—2 for the life was made visible; we have seen it and testify to it and proclaim to you the eternal life that was with the Father and was made visible to us—3 what we have seen and heard we proclaim now to you, so that you too may have fellowship with us; for our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son, Jesus Christ. 4 We are writing this so that our joy may be complete.

        If you ever doubt His presence, just look out your window into the face of creation and you can see his hand upon everything, and if you are quiet enough you might just be able to hear his words, though even if you can’t hear him, you see the words he is spoke and is speaking.

       Therefore dear sister, marvel at creations wonders and recognize your Heavenly Fathers voice in every corner of his masterpiece. But most importantly, realize that you were a spoken piece of creation and God speaks through you wherever you go!!! You and I are both a part of creations wonders and molded into God’s image. 

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Divine Burden


Some may call it a Burden, others a calling, and still some may choose to label it a weird blessing, but no matter the name associated with it we each face it. Every day we wake up, step out into the world and witness destruction. Destruction of homes, lives, and lifestyles........we might stand there motionless uncertain of how to handle what is going on......or we might be silent with fear......but no mater our reactions each time we look upon the world our hearts break! 

I don't know if it is the same for you but ever since I was young this has been my life story! There are times when I am frozen...motionless in uncertainty and times where I have been silent, not uttering a word in rebutle all because fear gripped my spirit. However, each and every time I come face to face with the world, its lies, hurt, brokeness, and evil my heart breaks. My spirit becomes mournful....sometimes I want to cry, sometime I want to grab the person and say "Do you not know how much you are loved and treasured?" and other times I just don't know what to do because I am in such despair. My heart breaks over multiple things....it breaks when I see girls compromise their standards for a guy or because the world tells them too. My heart breaks when I see the evil that captivates off guard subjects. My heart breaks when I hear of hunger and sickness in other countries and even in my own country. My heart breaks when I hear of young girls being trafficked and trapped withing a dangerous and evil society. My heart breaks when I hear of young women who sell themselves because they don't see their worth in their Heavenly Father's eyes. My heart breaks when I heart the lies the world screams at all who live here. My Heart Breaks. 

I am always captivated by the words in Hillsongs Hosanna which say:

Heal my heart and make it clean
Open up my eyes to the things unseen
Show me how to love like You have loved me
Break my heart for what breaks yours
Everything I am for Your Kingdom's cause
As I walk from earth into eternity.

 When our heart break Jesus heart breaks!!! In order to fully understand the heart of God we must ask Him to show us what breaks His heart and as us to break ours also!!! We must be willing to have our eyes opened by the one who sees everything and who mourns for his lost children. 

We....each of us.....me......each one of you reading these words has been given a "Divine Burden."
What is this "Divine Burden?"
"A moment when God blesses you with a divine burden [is a moment that] something bothers you so deeply, you're moved from complacency to action."
 (Groeschel, 207).

Has something ever bothered you so deeply that your spirit was moved? If not ask God to show you something that makes your heart break on behalf of Him. He will truly bless and does bless you with a burden. 
God DID NOT put us here simply because he needed stick people to move around on his dioroma...NO! He placed us here for a reason....to do good work....to carry our the great commission.....to be the hands and feet of Jesus! 
To be Lights (John 8:12)
City on a Hill (Matthew 5:14)
Children of the Light (1Thessalonians 5:5)

However, when we discover the divine burden that God has given us, we might want to ignore it.....for recognizing it means that we must step out of our comfort zone and be willing to follow Him! I know that for me, stepping outside of my comfort zone is the SCARIEST thing I can do and have done!! God has countless times pushed me beyond my limit and those times were only in small things (though they seemed like giants in my eyes)....I cannot even begin to fathom what it will be like when he pushes me beyond my limit in bigger things. However, we are not meant to hide or live small....we are meant to live BIG for we have a BIG GOD and he has given us a BIG calling!! 

I want to be like Nehemiah who saw a problem and was so affected by it that he was greatly grieved and moved to tears by it. However, he didn't stop there.....he realized the burden God had placed on his heart and he acted upon it! He saw the crumbling walls of Jerusalem and the crumbling lives of all who lived there. He didn't stay home and watch Netflix and eat ice cream. NO SIR!!!! He got up out of his bed went to Jerusalem and started rebuilding the walls and the broken lives of the people!!!  Man, if that isn't motivating I don't know what is!!!
He might have been threatened, accused, made fun of, mocked, and told that the task was to big.....but that didn't stop Nehemiah.....his response was God is BIGGER and with God ALL THINGS are possible!!! This is who I want to be....I want to be a modern Nehemiah.....I want to get up, go out, and act upon my divine calling!!! I want to rebuild the crumbling walls of the world and I want to move beyond my self and self-focused all to normal life and live out the weird blessing that God has called me to!! 

However, I must admit I don't entirely know what that "Divine Blessing" is!!! However, I have realized over the last 6 months that God is calling me to something greater, something bigger, something better, something weird....."For such a Time as This!" (Ester 4:14). 
Maybe that is why I started this blog? Actually that is one reason :) I wanted to share the things that God places on my heart and leads me towards, but I also want to encourage you who read these posts that you are not alone! You are not alone in your struggles and you are not alone in your Divine Callings. We are all called to something and each of us is finding out more each day about what God is calling us to do! I may have ideas about what my Weird Blessing and Divine Burden is from God....for I know the things that break my heart, but I an at a loss for how to act upon them. However, I know that when I ask God to show me what breaks his heart and allow my heart to do the same he will lead me to the path and be the one who is GREATER than I!! 

This Burden is SCARY.....I will not lye!!!! It takes courage.......courage like I have never had before......I have to take risks!!! 
You have to have COURAGE......you have to RISK!!!

What does that courage look like. One word or name.....DAVID! David was a young boy, the youngest out of a line of brothers. He was just a young lad looking after the sheep while everyone else (his brothers included) were out doing battle with the Philistines. Well, lo and behold that God would ever use anyone who was already great to carry out His work....he always used the least likely of candidates but that is what makes him so so AMAZING!!! David was simply minding his own business when suddenly the Philistines brought out their biggest warrior....a giant of a man named Goliath......well, you know what happens next, all the men in the army ran away in fear and wouldn't face him. However, David, this young shepherd boy armed with only a sling shot and stones stood up and said "Who is this uncircumcised Philistine that he should defy the armies of the living God (1 Sam. 17:26)?" While the other soldiers who ran away saw a scary giant, David saw an opportunity and large target that there was no way he could miss with his sling shot (and God's help of course). It was through the courage of a small shepherd boy that a giant was killed......and it is through that same courage that God gives us the power to face our own GIANTS every DAY!!!!!

However, even with a burden like Nehemiah and courage like David we may still find it hard to face our Divine Callings and step outside of ourselves to make a change. Sometimes we need to get a little angry! Not mad fuming fire out of the nostralls angry but a mad righteous anger!!! Where do we see this in the Bible? Remember that little Israelite baby that was put in a basket and sent down the Nile river to escape being killed by the Pharoah? Yeah....that baby....Moses. When Moses was older and living in the Pharoah's house he witnessed an Egyptian beating an Israelite, well Moses was so angered that he killed the Egyptian (Ex. 12:12)! Now, I am not saying that we should go out and kill the people who make us angry, but Moses had an excuse for this righteous anger. It was this act, somewhat cruel as it may seem, that showed the passion Moses had for the Israelite's and his anger at how they were being treated which started the ball rolling for God's plan to have Moses lead the Israelite's out of their captivity. 

Now....do you see how God works in the unlikely situations of life to bring about a Diving Calling for the ones he has called? He moves us through what we see and experience around us. Have you ever realized that there are some things that effect us more than others? What could be the reason for this? Have you ever considered that what moves you more...what brings tears to your eyes and breaks your heart into a million pieces are things that God is specifically aiming directly at you? I know right now I can think of a number of things that break my heart more than others for whatever reason.....and when I think about it more I do realize that it is as if God specifically aims them at me! As crazy as it may sound it is true!!

Thus here is the thing......if God is the God of all creation, the one who created you and me, the one who sent the world into motion, and the one who knows the future.....don't you think he knows what he has called us to? He knew since the day we entered this world what he wanted us to do and he knows the exact moment in our history that he will choose for us to act upon our divine calling and glorify his magnificent name!! God has given each and every one of us gifts, talents and passions. Do not think that those are meant to go to waste....he gave them to us to carry out what he has called us to!!! He has equipped us with all we need to find what breaks out hearts and call upon him to guide us on the path of our Divine Burdens. 

So ask yourself this and answer in the blank:

"My weird blessing is to have a burden for ________________."

You may feel overwhelmed with thinking that you need to do everything, but take heart that God has many children and each of them has a Divine Burden. You cannot to everything, but every little thing you do is something. You may not be able to save every starfish (Story Here)but your vigilance can make a difference to one! 

As I was reading the chapter in the book that inspired me to write this post, the author started throwing out suggestions for allowing yourself the freedom to take action. As I was reading through the sentence I was struck by one suggestion he wrote: "Start a Blog". I went "Wow, what are the odds!!

Maybe (like I mentioned) this is the reason for this blog? Maybe this blog is only my jumping off point? Maybe this blog is to connect me to others who have a similar calling so that we can come together and bring Glory to our Heavenly Father through our Divine Burdens? Whatever the reason, I know that this blog is no accident. I started it for a reason. I know full well that God is allowing my heart to break for the things he is calling me towards! I know one day soon He will show me how to take action and I hope when that day comes I have the courage to step out of myself and RISK!!

I want to be a modern Nehemiah and rebuild walls, I want to be a modern David and face my Giants, and I want to be a modern Moses...filled with righteous anger for the things that break my heart!!

In closing I leave you with this prayer from the book WEIRD:

"May God bless you with discomfort at easy answers, half truths, and superficial relationships, so that you may live deep within your heart. May God bless you with anger at injustice, oppression, and exploitation of people, so that you may work for justice, freedom, and peace. May God bless you with tears to shed for those who suffer from pain, rejection and starvation, so that you may reach out your hand to comfort them and to turn their pain into joy. And may God bless you with enough foolishness to believe that you can make a difference in this world, so that you can do what others claim cannot be done. May God bless you with the weirdest blessing possible---his divine burden."

If that blessing doesn't inspire you to the depths of your soul I don't know what will! 
Blessings to you who seek to live as Nehemiah's, David's, and Moses's in a world that tells us it cannot be done!!!

What is something that breaks your heart or something that God lead you to when reading this post?

Do you feel there is a Divine Burden God is leading you towards?

What are your thoughts on this post?

-Madison


Monday, July 13, 2015

"Let's Be Honest....We Are WEIRD"


"WEIRD......Because Normal Isn't Working."
Did you read the title? Well, that about sums up today's post. WHAT? You are WEIRD??? 
Yes I am and proud of it!!
Okay, so maybe you are a little confused by my definition of "Weird" or how I use it in defining and describing me? If that is the case than all I have to say is that if you are reading this post right now you are weird too! Yup, you heard me....YOU ARE WEIRD!!! 
Okay, okay, I get that you might be freaking out right now and creaming: "Noooooooo......I can't be weird I have tried my whole entire life and live each day trying to avoid being just that....weird......weird isn't cool!" What might I have to say to that declaration? You are right, to the world weird isn't cool and each day you try to avoid just that...being weird. However, to God weird is what he is ALL about!!!  
Now are you confused? :) I see how you might be so lets clarify some things. 

1) WEIRD means odd, different, and unusual (does that describe you?).

2) "Do not Conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is--His good, pleasing, and perfect will." -Romans 12:2

3) Jesus calls us to be "not of this world" which means what it says...do not be like the world = be different, unusual, odd....BE LIKE JESUS!!

4) What Jesus teaches is WEIRD..... he teaches us "Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. If someone strikes you on one cheek, turn to him the other." - Luke 6:27-29

5) Jesus tells us to take the hard road, the narrow path...."Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it." - Matthew 7:13-14

6) Jesus call us to "BE ONE OF THE FEW!"

Don't be part of the majority in the crowd that travels the wrong path that leads to destruction even though the gate is wide...but with a dead end. Be "one of the few" who takes the path less traveled, the rocky path which leads to the narrow gate that gives LIFE!!!

So what are you? Are you weird? Maybe you are weird but you hide behind a mask seeking to disguise yourself to fit in and be unnoticed. You probably don't want to be thought of as weird right? You might think:" If they knew I was a Christian they would think I was a 'Jesus Freak'". Am I right? While the weird I am talking about isn't necessarily the "freak" type of weird though it is close to it:) And I know that might sound scary but just think about how Jesus calls us to live? He specifically calls us to be set apart.....he is calling us to be weird, be different, be unusual, and be proud of it. If we lived our lives being weird, the "God kind of weird (p.17)" just think about how much people would notice us. However, if they notice us as weird it is crazy awesome to realize that the weird they are noticing is Jesus living in and through us!!! CRAZY!!!! MIND BLOWN!!!!

In the world of today that constant flow of humans seeks to live a life that is "normal" by their standards and the worlds. However, by trying to live normal we forsake the life that Jesus specifically calls us to live adn through that choice we then run into so many barriars, battles, and heartbreaks in life. 
In his book WEIRD, Craig Groeschel states a profound realization: "What if being the Christian kind of weird did not mean the same thing as the bad-weird, freak-show, annoying, carnival-barking, somewhat uncomfortable, weird-for-no-reason weird? What if the Bible is talking about a different-than-what-everyone-else-does, good type of Jesus weird?(p.17)" 

Just think, maybe there is a completely different world of weird out there? A world a weird that God specifically designed us to embrace as our destiny and confidently live out each day! It all goes back to what STANDOUTgirlTM is all about....Stand Up...Stand Out....Be Different! This is our DESTINY dear sisters!! This is what we were born for! Lets embrace the "God kind of Weird" and go live like Jesus!!

Maybe you know you are weird, you have accepted that fact, maybe you even already embrace your destiny as a "God kind of weird" and live it out each day. Maybe you are one of those girls who tried to be normal for a day but failed? I tried being normal for a day, let just say I gave up and the next day I didn't even try to be normal:) 
Maybe you are a girl who still struggles with the looming fear of being labeled as "weird"? Maybe that scares you so much, or maybe you just don't want to let go of being like everyone else, being accepted, cool, part of the popular crowd? Is this you? Do you worry that people will call you a freak, laugh at you, make fun of you? Let be honest, that might happen, but here is the promise we have, that in whatever situation, in whatever we are going through, no matter what people are saying about us we have God on our side (Romans 8:31). He gives us the strength to conquer all (Philippians 4:13). He doesn't give us more than we can handle (1 Cor. 10:13), so if life get tough just know he has faith in your abilities and will be with you every step of the way (Psalm 46). He is our shield (Psalm 28:7), our Fortress (Psalm 18:2), and "With God ALL things are POSSIBLE (Matthew 19:26)."

Take heart that you are never alone! We are all called by the same God with the same destiny. Let us not go with the flow on the wide path but be "one of the few" on the narrow path which lead to life and not destruction. Lets together embrace who we are called to be and be weird together!

What do you think about "God kind of weird"?

Are you weird or do you hide it?



Monday, July 6, 2015

Theme Songs...That I Seem To Live By

Another week has gone by and I find myself in front of the computer screen late in the day on Monday...way past the scheduled time that I normally post here on STANDOUTgirl. However, life gets in the way with packing and moving back to college and well, things just get pushed aside until later in the day. 
While I really would love to write a post deep from the heart I thought I would take today's post and share something a little different and fun! So the thing is, I LOVE music....like music inspires me, keeps me going, and makes me feel like I am in a different year (retro music). Thus, when I find those songs that speak to me or seem to encompass EVERYTHING I love by and base my life around I fall head over heals in love with the song, learn every word, buy the song, add it to my playlist, and listen to it over and over. 

While I would easily go on and on about all of these songs I will let them speak for themselves....so sit back grab a pair of ear buds and let the music movie you:)

#1- Wait for Me by Rebecca St. James


#2- Hide Your Love Away by Anthem Lights


About The Song:


#3- I'll Wait for You by Moriah Peters


#4- Haven't Even Kissed by Moriah Peters


#5- Looking For a Girl by OBB
Couldn't Find a good video so you can check out their song on iTunes.
TOTALLY worth listening to:)

The more you hear me talk about my life and the standards that I live by the more you would realize that I kinda live out these songs every day or rather than my guidelines for life line up with these songs. Nothings wrong with that though, because now I have life Theme Songs:)
I hope you enjoyed listening to these songs and maybe even found a few new favorite tunes!!