[Heart Fuel] Only A Fool

Forgiveness isn’t a sign of weakness. Kindness doesn’t make you a door mat. Extending grace is bold. Thanks for the reminder, Mo.

OnlyAFool

[Heart Fuel] Jesus Is Better

Jesus

The Austin Stone has an incredible worship team that released a single titled “Jesus Is Better” this Fall. Those three simple words carry a lot of weight. I’ve asked myself if, at the core of my being, I believe Jesus is better than anything this world offers, good or bad. My conclusion? He is.

“In all my sorrows, Jesus is better.

Make my heart believe.

In every victory, Jesus is better.

Make my heart believe.

Than any comfort, Jesus is better.

Make my heart believe.

More than all riches, Jesus is better.

Make my heart believe.

Our souls declaring, Jesus is better.

Make my heart believe.

Our song eternal, Jesus is better.

Make my heart believe.”

Written by Aaron Ivey and Bret Land

2013 Austin Stone Music

It’s simple: Jesus is better. Lord, make our hearts believe.

To download a FREE copy of “Jesus Is Better,” visit this link: http://www.austinstoneworship.com/freedownload

For the story behind the song, watch the video below:

[Heart Fuel] Hope

HaitiHeartFuelBiblical hope does not disappoint. Did you catch that? Biblical hope does not disappoint. Let that Truth soak in for a moment. The hope we have in Christ continues rising no matter the circumstances we’re walking through. That should overwhelm us with peace. Valleys lead to mountaintops. Tears are wiped away. Joy is eternal. Hope is rising.

We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure. -Hebrews. 6:29

[Heart Fuel] Creativity

A brief update on my current adventures: I moved to the DFW area three weeks ago because God closed a lot of doors and opened one. He obviously knows I’m indecisive, so He made my next steps easy to decipher (He’s so good, y’all!). I love Austin and the incredible people I’m blessed to call friends that live there, but I’m confident that it’s not where the The Lord wants me right now. When I left ATX, I bawled. I didn’t want to leave, but I knew that if I intended to walk in obedience, I needed to trust and go. Since that move, The Lord has repeatedly affirmed that DFW is where He wants to use me. I’ve found community, made friends, and am loving every surprise – even Siri’s inability to guide me where I want to go. It seems like “proceed to the highlighted route” and “rerouting” are some of the most common phrases in my vocabulary lately. In Philippians, Paul talks about a peace that surpasses all understanding, and I can honestly say that’s what I’m experiencing (Phil. 4:7). Complete peace that doesn’t make sense.

Now for some heart fuel!

One of the many blessings The Lord has given me in “The Plex” is The Porch at Watermark Community Church. It’s quickly becoming a “Tuesday Tradition” to attend the young adult service and hang out with my incredible friends afterwards. Last night’s message was POWERFUL! We’re walking through Ecclesiastes, and JP, empowered by the Holy Spirit, brought it. One of the main things I took away from the message is that Christians are creative, not boring. So often, we are categorized as rule followers. I know that is especially true of me because my heart is prone to legalism and self-righteousness (Gross, I know. PTL for JESUS!!!). I’ve struggled with cycles of religion rather than relationship, and God’s used some extreme measures (sending me to France) to transform my heart. Like I said earlier, He’s so good.

Creativity

This simple thought is so true. Think about it. God is creative, so it’s natural that His creation is creative. Every single person you cross paths with is uniquely designed. No one looks exactly the same (including identical twins), which means BILLIONS of people have walked the earth, and not one person is an exact replica of another. That’s creativity. If the God of the Universe is creative, it makes sense that the aspect of creation He made in His image is creative too (Gen. 1:27). When I reflect on events in my life that have been the most fun, I’ve realized they were spent with other Christians doing some of the most random things. After last night’s message, I now realize these moments were incredibly joy-filled because we were fully exercising the creative nature God gives His people. Sometimes I feel like a 12-year-old walking around in a 22-year-old body, but the reality is the imagination The Lord’s given me and my friends leads to some pretty random and ridiculous adventures. And, I wouldn’t change that for the world.

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Exhibit A: Fancy Pants Valentine’s Dance. Photo booth included.

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Exhibit B: You’re never too old for a game of kickball.

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Exhibit C: Staying up until 4 a.m. for no reason. Apparently we thought it was a good idea to take pictures in ski clothes and bicycle helmets. YOLO

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Exhibit D: Camping in hurricane-force winds with a Honda Civic. Always an adventure.

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Exhibit E: Water guns + no sleep = brilliance!

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Exhibit F: Fire pit dancing completely sober on New Years. Party time!

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Exhibit G: There’s no shame in dancing in the bed of a truck at a coffee shop.

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Exhibit H: Spontaneous trip to the ballpark. Why not?

As I reminisce on these memories and many more, it’s evident that this life isn’t meant to be boring! It’s meant to be creative beyond measure. Yes, fun looks different from the world when you’re following Jesus. That’s not a bad thing. Sin isn’t creative. It’s repetitive and harmful. Get creative. Now! Do something absolutely ridiculous and completely righteous. Hit me up if you need ideas. I would love to help you out!

There is so much freedom and creativity that comes from knowing Jesus as your Lord and Savior. When the podcast is posted online, I’ll share a link to it ASAP!

[Heart Fuel] Paths

Web

Here’s what I’m learning lately:

  • Closed doors aren’t rejections, they’re redirections.
  • The path to a greener pasture requires crossing a shaky bridge.
  • Obstacles, in retrospect, are actually paths. (Thanks, Bob Goff!)
  • Maybe we create our own obstacles because our desires don’t align with God’s desires. (Proverbs 16:9)
  • With Jesus, obstacles are joy-filled.

[Heart Fuel] Live A Great Story

Austin’s Town Lake holds a special place in my heart. The combination of nature and athleticism is something that always puts me in tune with the Spirit and I never leave the trail with a lack of inspiration. At the completion of my latest run, I stumbled on this reminder to live a great story and, as usual, it spurred my thoughts.

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Living a great story starts and ends with Jesus Christ. Your great life story begins when Jesus becomes the reason why you live it, and it ends when you join the heavenly voices in Hallelujah praises. The in-between is an opportunity to live out the purposes God has appointed in your life by walking in obedience.

For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God,  not a result of works, so that no one may boast… – Ephesians 2:8-9

This is the start of your great story.

…For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them. – Ephesians 2:10

This is the journey of your great story.

“Hallelujah!
For the Lord our God
the Almighty reigns.
Let us rejoice and exult
and give him the glory,
for the marriage of the Lamb has come,
and his Bride has made herself ready;
it was granted her to clothe herself
with fine linen, bright and pure” -Revelation 19:6-8

This is the final destination of your great story.

Live it.