This is one of posts that went in an entirely different direction. I went to a comedy club last night for the first time. I was in tears at some points of the night. There is nothing like solid laughter. The headliner was Godfrey.
One thing I couldn’t stop thinking about was how different I am from the rest of the audience. I was in a weird state of mind the whole time, thinking about how I really don’t belong in places like that, where the worldly way of doing, thinking and speaking is the norm and I’m the outcast. “And over there is Bree with her extremely spiritual outlook on everything.”
Basically, I didn’t laugh at everything. I was more caught up in trying to understand the actions and behavior of everyone in the room. Do I feel like moments are often spoiled because I over think and analyze things to be more than what they seem? Yes. Gosh, golly. I can’t even laugh at some jokes anymore. I simply cannot. I think too much about the process of laughter and why I’m doing what I’m doing. Am I alone here?
I am a spiritual thinker.
I’m not ashamed of people talking and thinking I am a certain way. A ton of people wish to be spiritual. I hear it all the time, kids always asking what I’m doing that drives to live differently, what causes me to actually do so wholeheartedly. I don’t think many young people even know what that means - to be awakened and aware of the spirit within them. It’s literally like their spirit is dead within them but they are still searching for that fulfillment. I delight in other young people that seek enlightenment. It’s wild! You are anything but normal and that clearly attracts me to you.
I’m seeking knowledge, mostly wisdom.
Ever heard the Bible verse, “Do not conform any longer to the patterns of this world but be transformed by the renewing of your mind?” This verse makes a different type of sense to me after last night, truly. Did it really take me 20 years to comprehend this concept? Yeah.
I just don’t belong in that world where there is limited love, limited hope, limited peace. I don’t belong in a world where nothing satisfies completely, where the fight for confidence is incessant and the nights are cold and mornings raw. Like, everything’s a fight for attention. That’s just not who I am. My outward strength is found by looking at my inner strength. There is no testing, no lying, no masking, no faking in my world.
I don’t laugh at stupidity. I don’t think it’s funny. I laugh at funny sounds people make. I laugh for talent’s sake. I don’t laugh because I agree with what you say. I laugh for intention. I laugh at the desire for approval within the words your lips form. I laugh because I know joy.
I am going to see Jesus Culture next Sunday in Redding.
I can’t put it into words how excited I am… I’ve always wanted to see them live and I finally get to! Since forever ago, I have had this vision of reaching the doors of Bethel church and undergoing a huge life-altering experience. I come with high expectations. I know the God of Jesus Culture. He speaks through their music at a more profound level than I have ever been able to understand and fully comprehend. His presence is THERE. HERE. NOW. whenever I turn on their songs. Every single time. This is all beyond words. I’m sure someone out there understands what I’m talking about.
Sometimes I instill positively impacting words into people because I’d want to hear them said to me.
That isn’t always the reason behind me saying nice things, but I try to treat others as I wish to be treated. Powerful, sensitive, firm, kind. Whatever words come out I pray they are never intended to harm but to help. I often feel accomplished after I make a positive statement regarding my belief in who that person is: It’s like, I know they want to hear words like that, but more importantly they need it. I can be such a jokester yet at my core I am such a softy who wants to change the world.
story then bed
This Summer, at one of Jesse’s shows for his band, these “outreach” Christians came in (This was on Stockton Blvd. in Sac at The Cave venue in a sketchy neighborhood. This group often goes there to speak to prostitutes and such) to share that Jesus loves everyone in there regardless of if they believe in Him or not. Now, these people knew Jesse and his brother who were there. They made their rounds and this chick came up to me and was like, “God loves you. Do you understand that?”
And I was like, “Yes, of course! I’m with Jesse.”
She proceeded, “Oh! Then, why are you here?”
I was like, “Um, I’m called to be out here in the world,” a little confused at why she would question the reason behind me being at a secular local show or something.
Isn’t the purpose of outreach to reach out? I don’t think it is to accuse or impose the notion on people that they are living wrong? You don’t fight fire with fire. You don’t argue with your brothers about the “good work” you’re doing and which is greater, that’s for sure.
I guess she may have been judging us or something. She totally misunderstood where we were coming from. Christians, step it up. When I see Christians amongst people who aren’t Christian I smile. Whoever believes we shouldn’t spend time with nonchristians and people who don’t live the same is ignorant. I was really surprised that the girl believed it was completely reasonable to even ask me that. Jesus was legit- He didn’t hide in churches and stay away from people who didn’t believe in Him. He was accused of being a drunk because He hung out with “the least of these.” That’s just a story for tonight, and a thought that has been recurring in my mind since it happened. Thanks for readin’.
My whole life up until this point I’ve been told I can be anything, to dream big, to set major goals and high standards for achievement. Now it seems as though everyone either wants what I have (which is what, btw?), they’re trying to steal my spot (even though I feel as though I haven’t found it yet), or they want to see me crash and burn. Weird. Humans. Ha! Thankfully, I know better not to rest on the words of others and my understanding alone. Thank God for Jesus.
What have you? A compilation of years of training for a specialized skill or do you follow your hearts desires and develop the gifts you were born with?
I encourage you all to follow your hearts.
Don’t allow the words of others to mute your dreams or put them on hold for later.
Stop worrying about paper, whether it be a degree or money or bills or an assignment or divorce letters or a ransom note. Lean not on your own understanding and hab a happy Thanksgibben ok this post didn’t go as planned k bye
October 16th: Identity over Destiny
“I cannot minister from my destiny, I can only minister from my identity”, my friend Katy said to me today.
I might have anywhere from a rough idea to a very clear picture of what God has called me to do in life - a picture of a “final destination.” It’s funny because I live in a culture where we are encouraged all the time to dream past the heavens, to pray for the crazy, to live on the edge and walk in the supernatural. We are a whole bunch of world changers who are discovering and embracing our destinies today. And doing this has changed my life. I am honestly so excited for my destiny and the future God has planned for me.
But today it became so clear to me that it’s identity over destiny.
If I try to minister and live from a destiny driven perspective - the girl who does this and the girl who says that - maybe I’ll get a whole bunch of things “done” but my identity will be false to some extent. I will slip into pressure and performance by trying to live and minister from “this is who God has called me to be,” rather than “this is who I am because of Jesus.”
I am not what I do.
My true identity is wrapped in my union and intimacy with the Father.
I am His child, creation, fearfully and wonderfully made. I am the Beloved. And as the Beloved, my job first and foremost is to be loved. And as simple as it sounds being loved by the Father is perfectly enough.
Refresh my mind and soul;
Come closer, make me whole.
I believe in love; True and pure,
Constant and ever-flowing,
You fulfill every dream I have ever had.
You will not forget about me,
You are always here.
Draw near to the deep, innermost of me
That nobody else sees.
Pull out the strength
I know it’s there! The confidence
I have always lacked that you have
For me, hand it to me relentlessly.
In the upcoming season,
Lift my eyes
All You want for me.
I’m not kidding anybody, especially not myself anymore. I am nowhere near ready to have a boyfriend. Wow, Jay is a keeper. He is a star. He is my hero. I will date him one day soon, just not right now. We were in too deep. I can actually breathe, finally. These past couple days have been fantastic and clearer than lately.
Let’s face it- My relationship with God comes first. I value myself as more than just meat, and I truthfully have been struggling to find rest in the thought that God is watching over me and that He has my back, that He’s even there. It has been that bad. I will openly admit that my ability to pray has gone out the window. When a guy goes, “I’m not man enough to date you yet. I need to grow in my relationship with God first because I am not the man I want and need to be for you,” he’s not only a keeper, but I am completely convicted and encouraged to grow as well. How can I not fall in love with that? For him to stand alone, before me, and admit that he isn’t man enough to give me the time and attention and support I need…. I am just blown away. I am blessed. I am also a guilty, struggling, hurting young lady right now…. So… This is a love letter.
Lord, have your way in this. I am all yours. Thank you for your mercy. Thank you for your grace, compassion, and UNCONDITIONAL LOVE. Thank you for Jesse, thank you for placing him in my life when you did. I know you have huge plans for both of us and I pray you have your way with it all. Keep Jay strong and bless him with opportunities to grow in You. I admit I have not been the young woman I need to be. I am desperate. I long for Your presence. Without You, I am a wreck. I obviously don’t deserve anything You have ever given me, be it simply your hand in a small situation or a giant opportunity. Thank you that You died for my continual mess ups. Thank you for your forgiveness. I am sorry, God. I have not tried my best. You are worthy to be praised. You are mighty, my strong fortress. You are king. JESUS. Glory and power be to Your name. You are love. You are great. Thank you for the passions you have instilled in me. Use me, God. Use these passions. Use the desires I have for Your good. God be with me when I am tempted. Be with me in my trials. Be with me in my daily struggles. Wake me up in the morning joyous to be alive, happy to serve You.
Give me new desires. New passions. New fire. Ignite within me a new hunger for your Word. A new hunger for your presence. A refreshed, eager heart to worship. Show me your love so that I may be given a fresh start again. I want to be where You are. I want to be willing. I want to hunger. I want to desire You in my life more. Help Jay and I remain Godly and pure. We can’t do it without you. Give us new inspirations musically. Spark new ideas and give us the words to sing and the notes to play. More of you, God. Less of us….amen.
Wow, I typed that out. I really did. There you go. A glimpse at what I pray for. A typed out prayer of mine. Just like that I am a new person tonight..
How to be a Christian and apply the Bible to your life:
- First off, buy a modern translation of the book. The King James is great, indeed. It is poetic and educational sounding. However, reading a newer translation, i.e., “The Message” (it’s bizarre sometimes, but great), “New Living”, “New International”, “American Standard”, etc. will help you get the jist of how one would speak it today. The internet is great because you can look up verses in any and every version. I usually read 4 or 5 different translations before understanding and analyzing verses to get their fullest potential.
- Always have a hard copy. (A real book with real pages.) Technology is amazing- I have a Bible APP that I can use all day long in conversation. However, there is nothing that replaces the original, tangible, heavily-loaded, powerful piece of matter that is a real Bible. Books can never be replaced in my opinion. Put your phone away for one second. You can do it. Digital highlighting doesn’t help knowledge reach your brain as much as your pen to the paper does.
- Replace names you read with your own. You won’t understand how empowering this is until you do it. This makes it much easier to tie the lessons into your own life. Some of us ended up with Biblical names and it’s humoring when you hear your name come up in the Bible, but it’s all the more thrilling and applicable when you directly quote a verse with your name in it.
- Read verses aloud that touch you. There is power in the tongue. (Ecclesiastes 8:4, Proverbs 18:21, etc.) Declare things you read over your life!
- Reading and studying the Word alone is crucial, but sometimes we need help dissecting and understanding it. Two heads are better than one- Read the Bible with someone else. It’s amazing how much you two will thrive, both in your own relationship with God and in your friendship with this other person. I’m not talking about attending church, I’m talking about joining a small Bible study or starting one with some bold friends of yours.
- Quiz your memorization skills. Believe it or not, I used to hate memorizing Bible verses for classes and for Sunday school as a kid. Now, I look back on it and all those hard times of pushing and stressing over remembering lots of words has brought me to a place in my life where I can literally pull any verse out of my butt when I need it. There is always some reflection of Biblical teaching within your mind if you read it and memorize it enough.
- Read a Proverb a day. It is the book of Wisdom, after all. An onion a day keeps the doctor away. Obviously don’t read one and stick to it if you can’t specifically focus on it throughout your day- Keep searching for one that speaks to you and your current situation and let it echo through the following hours of your day at work, school, whatever you do in your routine.
- Draw during/after your study. You may see me or people who think like me during services at church drawing pictures as I listen to the speakers give their message. It’s amazing- Some pictures I still have from years ago I can actually pinpoint exactly what the message was about without having written any actual words down. It’ll be stuff like patterns, designs, maybe scenery, flowers, highlighted and fancy looking words in small bunches to get the general idea of the message, etc. Less is more, honestly. I’m not really a note taker.
- Find a Biblically accurate church with a great pastor. This is TOUGH. I have been to MANY “Christian” churches in my teen years, all types of denominations. I am mostly looking for that little dose of wisdom, a phrase that really speaks to me and gets me pumped to seek God and grow in my relationship with Him more. I don’t need to sit in a pew for three hours with a Pastor who quotes 20 different verses in the Bible to make his impact. I need that intense 30-40 minute, get-in-get-out message with humor, wit, passion, tears, and truth. I am looking for honesty, not a bunch of bologna. I don’t always want to hear about how God will bless ME. I am more concerned about other people. My pastor at the church I currently attend has been speaking on helping those in need, literally showing pictures of the crap going on with homeless people and the sick. Obviously I believe that there is nothing I can do to EARN God’s grace and forgiveness, but my pastor also preaches on the brutal reality of life and that our work isn’t done here…
Don’t forget about making sure there is good music. Worship is my favorite part of church and it is also my ‘ministry’ or ‘calling’. I honestly want the speaking to be over so I can get back into worshiping. That’s just me. It’s all important, though.
- Christianity to me isn’t about having fun, but rather being fun. Let me clarify: Fun is carefree, relentlessly childlike, excited, adventurous, bold, frivolous. Jesus calls us to be those very things. Christianity isn’t a walk in the park, but rather a jump off an airplane into boat on a river that has a huge waterfall and there’s cake at the bottom that we must get to. Ha. Ha.
This has been a post. Be blessed, stay positive. You are braver than you think.
Promotion & Raise, I Come In The Name Of Love
Honestly, I’ve been a real mess lately. I’ve been all over the place. Both emotionally and spiritually, I have struggled to maintain my composure and I feel as though every single one of my thoughts has been written on my face, clear as triply-filtered water for all to see. Haha. I apologize to those who saw me mess up recently, who witnessed me in my times of low self-esteem and worth. I am such a hypocrite that I don’t deserve to live and call myself a Christian. I don’t deserve these blessings, this raise, this higher position, this esteem boost, this confidence in myself. It’s like, God knows just when to show up whenever I am at my lowest point. I can’t sit here and not shout it out. Just listen for once.
Yeah, I may have slipped several times in the past couple months, but the world is yet to see me fall. I won’t give up. God’s grace is greater still. His love for me is everlasting. My cup runneth over even when I’m selfish enough to say I am not thirsty. I wish others lived this life with me. I sometimes wish God wasn’t the only one observing my every waking moment with me. I swear to you that if you were me, you would understand why I believe so strongly in what I do and live by. You could see God the way I see Him, the ways He has worked in my wimpy life alone. He’s the only good thing within me. Whenever He’s not there, which has been often, it’s obvious. Non-Christians can tell when He isn’t there. That’s what is so weird about all of this- I yearn to be genuine and wholehearted about sharing my faith and triumphs and love because they can all tell when you fake it. Life is such a struggle. No matter what happens to me, no matter who sees me at any given point in my life, let it be that I give all of the honor and glory to my King. He’s the king of kings. Not me. I am but a grain of sand with an ounce of knowledge of love.
“If I speak with human eloquence and angelic ecstasy but don’t love, I’m nothing but the creaking of a rusty gate. If I speak God’s Word with power, revealing all his mysteries and making everything plain as day, and if I have faith that says to a mountain, “Jump,” and it jumps, but I don’t love, I’m nothing. If I give everything I own to the poor and even go to the stake to be burned as a martyr, but I don’t love, I’ve gotten nowhere. So, no matter what I say, what I believe, and what I do, I’m bankrupt without love.”
Bring me a husband.
Listen. Since I was about fourteen I thought people getting married young was foolish, unwise, on the verge of desperate, etc. A few weeks ago I was praying. Hardcore, face in pillow, crying my eyes out mid-afternoon kind of prayer. In that moment, I was seeking more of His presence and for clarity in my current life situation. I was praying for strength, for God to show me where I am headed, to open doors and to reveal where life will take me next. I began praying not only for the near future, but I began asking for God to show me a huge shift that I need to make in order to grow in general and especially with my music. I prayed for His hand upon my songwriting, my voice and fingers, for inspiration. For clarity. Almost 2 hours go by and I hear this voice saying, “You need to get married first.” I kid you not.
I began crying harder, weeping now. Okay, God, I prayed, if that is you saying that, let your will be done. Seriously, just take over. I am nothing without you. Bring me my husband, then. I am trusting you. Everything I have asked for you have provided me with and more. I give it up to you and my hope rests on your timing.
Wow. Mind you, I am only nineteen years old. I will be twenty in a few short months. I know I am young. I have mocked myself and others for being so young. I’ve written so many songs about being young that it has almost turned into a joke at this point. So, yes, I am nineteen years *young* and the thing I believe I must do is get married. It all makes complete sense- I’ll get eaten alive by dirty men no matter where I go. I will surely be tempted. Can you imagine me being single and extraordinarily known for my music? Seems odd. 1 Corinthians 7 talks about marriage and how it is better to stay single. Well, it also says it is better to get married than to burn with lust. TROOOOTH.
Something that has always stuck in my mind to watch for at concerts is the ring on the musicians finger(s), mostly at Christian shows. It seems as though before all the big names in music ventured off into the world of music, they got married first. Many rings on many fingers. Not that I compare myself to others on that level necessarily, but it make sense that I get married before I run off and do big things and fulfill my giant dreams. It is actually the wiser of the two, rather than to run around the music industry without a ring on my finger and someone to come home to.
As I said, I will be tempted. I am so passionate it is not a joke. 1 Corinthians 7 talks about not being able to control passion. I do not believe I will ever give in before I marry, but I am tempted everyday. I don’t think it is fair for me to meet a man (I think I know who it is, by the way) and bring along my inability to control my lustful desires and crap. It seems so unprepared and childish of me to bring any baggage into a relationship and I need to work on a few things within myself before I believe this will really happen. Full on, though, I am ready. I no longer think or talk about how I am in NO way getting married anytime soon. Well, I know it needs to happen. I also know I am stubborn and impatient. Pray for me, guys. Ha.
It’s an amazing thing to be surrounded by other young adults that hunger and thirst for wisdom.
I am BLESSED to know the kids I know. It is true, we are a chosen generation, and the people I have surrounded myself with are together only build each other up. This is where I belong. I am a part of something many don’t and will never give their time to witness, which is unfortunate. There is a revolution in young people happening and we are rebels to this world. I truly wish more people would join our group of friends. We like to goof around a lot, but when it comes to morals and being wise and searching for true knowledge, we also chase afta dat. I have many “cool” friends, but there is nothing like the friendship between me and my brothas and sistas in Christ. We have something we have experienced not only alone before we met each other, but we have seen it together. He ain’t finish. Trooffessssss
To those who speak with intent to hurt me by mocking what I believe in, you’re nothing new! :)
I’ve been experiencing rejection and mockery since day one. I’ve seen it all. Some won’t hang out with me after they learn that I am a Christian. Some stop hitting me up after a while because they don’t want me to be involved in something “sinful” or “shameful”. “Hmm… Perhaps they started feeling bad about their decisions or were intimidated that I was able to say no for so long and that I never gave up on what I believe in.” Probably not. I know I surely didn’t feel any guilt for my actions before I started really delving into being a Christian. Avoiding me, giving me false hope of a friendship, using me, seeing if I’ll give in.. I’ve experienced a ton of all that garbage. The thing is, if I wanted to be like you I could be. I can become anything I want. I do not doubt that fact. It is too easy to be like you. It is too easy to give in. It is too easy to be tempted and to make way for trouble. Doesn’t anyone like a challenge around here? So, thank you, earnestly, to those who shun and make fun of my way of life to my face and indirectly. I appreciate you showing your true colors. You’ll be who you are and I’ll be who I am, right? I promise you one thing - I will NOT tell you what I think you’re doing wrong in your life. I understand that I do not know you on an intimate level and refuse to push my beliefs on you. You can block me out of your life- another easy thing to do - if what I am is really not your taste. I would just appreciate the reciprocal: You holding your tongue and respecting others’ lifestyles.
It’s so easy to be a Christian on the internet.
It’s also very easy to be a Christian when you’re alone. It’s easy to welcome God’s presence in the quiet times of your day. What is difficult is being a Christian in public- breaking free of the fear and the silly embarrassment that comes with openly sharing your faith. It’s difficult being a Christian right in the midst of a busy day when you are surrounded by many different types of people. It’s really, really hard. Why?! Why is it that when we have accepted Jesus Christ as our Savior we stay silent about it?! Why do we only share it once in a while when we are in a comfortable place? Why do we convince ourselves it’s okay to back off and avoid dangerous situations that challenge us and our beliefs? How can we expect God to help us grow when we can’t even speak of His name, let alone attest to the amazing things He’s doing in our lives once in a while?
Yes, I have been silent in public when there has been a revolutionary change going on in my heart. I have also met people that want to say I’m “doing too much” when something epic happens inside me and I can’t help but shout it out everywhere I go. Sure, it might look like I’m doing too much. Maybe nobody else is doing enough… At every stage of your life, if you are a Christian, stop being ashamed of what you hear at church. Stop being ashamed of how you have chosen to live. You made a verbal choice, now live by it.
We sit and listen to everyone else in the world talk about their sex, drugs, alcohol, and selfish behavior yet we shut right up when it’s our turn. People will listen to a whole bunch of crap before even questioning if it’s wrong. Most go on living like none of what they do is a big deal. Well, here I am. I am a Christian that will no longer sit in the background in grimy conversations. Everyone can have their turn to speak, but when it’s my turn, I will be asking the questions. There’s no question about it- If there is room for useless chatter about all of the illegal and sickly things we as humans do, there must be a place somewhere for questioning whether or not it’s wrong. Where there is right, there is wrong. Where there is night, there is day. Where there is light, there is dark. The end. I am completely convicted and encouraged today.