Draw Near to God, He is already Near to You

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Recently I thought I had too much on my plate. I exercised my ability to say “no”, and took my day off seriously. Looking to the future: I tossed the idea of cutting down my hours at work. I wanted to work on future details of our family, make our house a home, and visit my family back home more.

None of that was the plan, for now.

In a recent turn of events I was asked to take on more of a leadership role at the Church, with more responsibility, with pay cuts and budget cuts all across the board for our church.

So. I dropped my plans and fell on my face before Jesus. He has been my Rock. I have peace. I have joy. I am brave.

I know God will make it possible for me to plan our future as a family, cook, clean, plan visits, have people over, take care of our pets, enjoy life… all while taking on this important calling. I just need to listen to His voice.

I’m ashamed to say in these times of turmoil… they are the sweetest times of worship for me.

Why can’t I seem to be this close to my Lord during the good times?

I realized today that I find the most peace and joy in the trials– not because God has changed, but because I have. Tweet this.

Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you {HE IS already close by}. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. James 4:8


“Challenge accepted!” What a fantastic idea!


Thanks, Suzanne from http://tattooedmissionary.wordpress.com and my good friend from college. She’s starting a chain-writing. nomination-based writing competition. I loved my time studying and being hall-mates with Suzanne. She always challenged me in my faith and has pretty awesome tattoos too. That’s what I love about her. Always blowing up the boxes we as Christians try to put around God. She just loves God and loves people. She encouraged me to apply for an internship I never thought I could do, with extroverts running all over the place. It ended up being the best two summers of my life! Maybe soon I’ll finally get my “soli deo gloria” inscibed on my forearm to tell all WHOSE I am because of her influence.
I have some pretty awesome friends who blog, + then some bloggers who’ve turned friends. Other leaders, people who used to mentor me, do still mentor me, or people I’ve come to know because they write about things we have in common.
It doesn’t matter how often we write or keep up with our blogs. Because each person I’m nominating has a statement of faith bigger than the internet. Maybe this will encourage some of us with smaller blogs (like mee!) to continue shouting Jesus’ name from the rooftops!

The rules to play:

  • Thank the blogger who gave it to you.
  • Answer the 11 questions they ask you.
  • Nominate 11 bloggers with less than 500 followers.
  • Ask those 11 bloggers 11 questions.
  • Let those bloggers know they’ve been nominated so they can continue the chain!

Suzanne the TattooedMissionary’s questions (& my answers):

  • What three words would you NOT use to describe yourself?
    Complacent, Shy, Adrenaline-junkie (sorry if that’s not one word.)
  • What would thirteen-year-old you find surprising about your life right now?
    Um everything. The fact that I actually talk now, that I lead people several times a week to worship God… and on a guitar to boot. Also that I have pink hair.
  • If you could go back to school (for free!!), would you? What would you study?
    Oh gosh. Pre-seminary with a counseling or outreach focus.
  • In a movie of your life, who would portray you?
    Sandra Bullock. Hands down, didn’t have to think about it. Next!!
  • If you had to eat one meal every day for the rest of your life, what would it include?
    Chipotle veggie burrito bowl with extra sour cream and gauc.
  • If you had to play Never Have I Ever (a game where each player says something they’ve never done and everyone else who has done that thing loses a point) with three celebrities, who would they be?
    Definitely Jimmy Fallon, Jim Gaffigan, and Anthony Mackie from Captain America. “Yall gon’ make me unleash the falcon!” I want to BUST a gut laughing.
  • What are your three favorite things about yourself?
    My strange humor (I think I’m hilarious). The musical skills God gave me. The tender heart God instilled in me.
  • What is your movie version of comfort food?
    A tie between The Proposal and Pitch Perfect.
  • What’s the last thing you did that really scared you?
    Confronted a friend about something. I may or may not have worn an adult diaper during.
  • What’s the next thing you’ll do that really scares you?
    I can’t say yet– but I think it’s a job– coming to the theaters of my life this July! *Soon to be updated post*
  • What’s your dream job?
    Serving the local church with a huge emphasis in feeding the hungry + sending-out young, eager-folk like me on missions. 😉 ————————————————————————————————Okay bloggers-extraordinaire- These are my:
    Questions for YOU!
  • If you could do or be a cause and money was no issue- what would it be?
  • What do you wish people would say about you after they spent any length of time with you?
  • Try to place your very first memory from childhood. What was it?
  • What are 10 questions/advice you’d write to your 16-year old self?
  • If tomorrow you woke up with no-to-do list, what would you do?
  • What Bible verse are you clinging to right now?
  • If you were a superhero what would your superpower be?
  • What are the 3 top books you’ve read?
  • ^ … and why?
  • When was the last time you were nervous?
  • John 16:33 says, “In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.”
    Name at least one thing you’ve overcome in your life thanks to Christ.

So let’s do this! (in no particular order because you’re all that awesome!!)

1. http://courtneyraerobinson.blogspot.com – friend + coworker from Fourth Pres. She is a beautiful, Jesus-loving talented artist.

2. http://thehesaidshesaidexperience.com/ – my fun-loving soon-to-be-parents friends, Kari & RJ blog together on all the arts, food, and entertainment you could want!

3. http://passionfortheordinary.wordpress.com – an awesome cousin of Jonathan’s and sister in Christ writes about the ordinary and how she feels the heartbeat of God through it all.

4. http://williamattaway.com – Um so my first official church job’s pastor, William taught me a lot of what I know and turned me into an avid reader. He also just wrote a book called Lead- Leadership Lessons From The (Not so) Minor Prophets! Miss that place every day.

5. http://baldworshipguy.com/about/ – Darren Brown, one of the most Jesus-like people I have met in my life. Mentored my husband at Burke Community Church and was his direct supervisor. He and his family have been so good to us in the past and secretly wish they’d move back to Texas so we can hang out.

6. http://makeusnew.wordpress.com/about/ – My good friends and supervisor from Southview– Andy and Krissy. Lead worship with them and learned a lot from them. Loved their little babies (not so little now :(..) to death! Can’t wait to see more of what God does in and through them.

7. http://theycallherblessed.com – My good friend from Southview Jenn is a superhero. Superhuman. She works full time, is married with one precious son and another on the way… all the while finding time to blog about what God’s teaching her. Her awesome hubbs Alex drummed for us in band- and was also superhuman. So naturally their sons will be superhuman too.

8. http://denningham.com/wp/ – Mi padre Chuck. He loves passing on thought from God’s word, good sermons, Bible passages, and LOTS of music. He was never afraid to talk about his faith with me as a kiddo. Every morning when I rose to get breakfast he was already gone, but the pages of his old Ryrie study Bible were still warm on the table and the music still going. A faithful worker, provider, and lover of God. I love him a whole bunch and can’t talk about how I live 2,000 miles away.

9. http://christmycovenant.com/?page_id=2 – My parents’ awesome Pastor friend Moe Bergeron. He thought the internet was cool way before it was. And he used it to promote Jesus Christ & share the gospel- be the gospel should be free, and easily accessible! I looked up Sovereign Grace Fellowship in 2008 with the help of my mentor, Dr. Taylor Ferranti and promptly referred my parents to go check it out. They have been attending there and hugging granmas and kissing babies ever since. Moe is a dear friend of their’s. he’s also at http://www.moebergeron.com

10. http://becominghismrsblog.wordpress.com/about-2/ – Laura Gabbert was a colleague of Jonathan’s in college and when he + I started dating, I got to know her. She’s really awesome, and talented. She is on the road to learning more and more about the Proverbs 31 woman and shares it with all through her adorable, well-designed blog. Check it out! She’ll bless you!

11. http://isingbecauseimfree.wordpress.com – Julie Harris from Charlottesville, VA is a mom, wife, and worship Pastor! Which I think is pretty darned awesome. We’ve never met, although I used to live in Reston, VA. We found each other’s blogs as fellow female worship pastors and leaders. We’ve shared comments and encouragement. Her music is a blessing in a way mine could never be, because she writes all her own music! Beautiful. Check her out.

Happy blogging!

Thoughts on being fearless leaders

Giving grace + giving tolerance are two different things.

Endure all things, hope all things, believe all things (good things!) 1 Corinthians 13

Stop feeling guilty for just doing your job or calling. Make no apologies for doing the work the Father set you out to do, ministers! {Tweet this!}

Spend more, more, MORE time hearing the voice of the Good Shepherd. Nothing can deceive your heart if it’s His!

Proverbs 3:21-26 (NKJV)
My son, let them not depart from your eyes—
Keep sound wisdom and discretion;
So they will be life to your soul
And grace to your neck.
Then you will walk safely in your way,
And your foot will not stumble.
When you lie down, you will not be afraid;
Yes, you will lie down and your sleep will be sweet.
Do not be afraid of sudden terror,
Nor of trouble from the wicked when it comes;
For the Lord will be your confidence,
And will keep your foot from being caught.


Matthew 5: 12-16 (NKJV), “Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake. Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.

“You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt loses its flavor, how shall it be seasoned? It is then good for nothing but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot by men.

“You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.”