Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Peace! Be Still

Matthew 8:23-27

23 And when he got into the boat, his disciples followed him. 24And behold, there arose a great storm on the sea, so that the boat was being swamped by the waves; but he was asleep. 25And they went and woke him, saying, "Save us, Lord; we are perishing." 26And he said to them, "Why are you afraid, O you of little faith?" Then he rose and rebuked the winds and the sea, and there was a great calm. 27And the men marveled, saying, "What sort of man is this, that even winds and sea obey him?"

Mark 4:35-41

35 On that day, when evening had come, he said to them, "Let us go across to the other side." 36And leaving the crowd, they took him with them in the boat, just as he was. And other boats were with him. 37And a great windstorm arose, and the waves were breaking into the boat, so that the boat was already filling. 38But he was in the stern, asleep on the cushion. And they woke him and said to him, "Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?" 39And he awoke and rebuked the wind and said to the sea, "Peace! Be still!" And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm. 40He said to them, "Why are you so afraid? Have you still no faith?" 41And they were filled with great fear and said to one another, "Who then is this, that even the wind and the sea obey him?"

Luke 8:22-25

22 One day he got into a boat with his disciples, and he said to them, "Let us go across to the other side of the lake." So they set out, 23and as they sailed he fell asleep. And a windstorm came down on the lake, and they were filling with water and were in danger. 24And they went and woke him, saying, "Master, Master, we are perishing!" And he awoke and rebuked the wind and the raging waves, and they ceased, and there was a calm. 25He said to them, "Where is your faith?" And they were afraid, and they marveled, saying to one another, "Who then is this, that he commands even winds and water, and they obey him?"


To start this post off I'll explain a couple things that have been going on so that you will better comprehend my complete LOVE of these passages.

Softball has been going pretty well, actually it has been going REALLY well. The attitude has been great (over all) and the girls have really been putting in the effort (over all). It has been quite an enjoyable season so far.

That is until....well until one of the girls that has been sitting on the bench decided to post some things on FB about her frustration with the coach and whatnot... just completely uncalled for. So, being Leah, I stuck my neck out a bit and told her that I thought she was wrong for posting it and that if she had a problem that she should go talk to the coach about it instead of posting it on FB. Ahem. Needless to say it went over about as well as if I had shot her in the foot. Not good. Not good at all. It didn't stop there with her being angry with me one of her friends from softball decided that she didn't like what I had to say either so she commented... and commented...quite a bit actually about how wrong I was to tell her that, etc. BUT what I found encouraging is that different girls from the softball team commented and supported me in it and said that I was right and others that didn't comment on FB told me at the game that day. So I thought that was a good step forward!! Anywhos. So they were mad at me, and if you know me at all you know that I don't do well when people are mad at me. I just don't like making people mad at me. But, this was an exception. I knew that what I did was right so it made it a little easier, but my personality was still there making me queasy.

Yesterday we had to ride a bus to get to our game, now don't get me wrong...I LOVE THE BUS. I don't know what it is but I just LOVE riding the bus. Yesterday, not so much, because I knew that I was going to have to sit right next to the two girls that were mad at me. So yes, my stomach did all kinds of acrobats and such...very annoying if you ask me... and I started to lose heart. I started to doubt what God was doing. But praise the Lord I had brought my Bible with me so I was able to read while we rode the bus. And ya know what?! It really wasn't bad at all! One of the two girls actually talked to me and the other girls on the bus seemed all right with me as well. That was a blessing from God!!

Okay, to get to my point of this post. I was reading my Bible on the way to the game and the Matthew passage is what I read, and it jumped out of the page and hit me. Thankfully not literally, but you get what I'm talking about. I read it and I was just like WOW! That's just like me. I doubted just like the disciples. I doubted God's complete control of things. I said in my heart "Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?" Don't you care that I am uncomfortable here on the bus? Don't you care that these girls are mad at me? I lost my perspective. Completely lost it. Out the window. I read down a little farther and read Jesus response. It was so blunt. So amazing! First He calms the storm "Peace! Be still!" and then He asks the disciples a question "Why are you so afraid? Have you still no faith?" I gasped as I read this. He was speaking to me! "Leah, be still. Why are you afraid? Have you no faith? Don't you know that if I can control the storm that I can control your lack of comfort on this bus?" I seriously think my jaw dropped. Right to the floor with a loud thud. I was like the disciples "And the men marveled, saying, "What sort of man is this, that even winds and sea obey him?"

I had gotten so wrapped up with my life and my circumstances that I had failed to look up to Christ. I had failed to have faith that God knows exactly what He's doing. But it doesn't just pertain to softball. It's everything. something that I had planned that didn't work out. God has control, be still my soul! If I get mad at a family member, be still my soul!! No matter WHAT it is! Things as small as a recipe not turning out the way that I want it to, BE STILL MY SOUL God is in control.

To continue with the story, we lost our game in the last inning after we were ahead 8-5. It was due to some things that I did. I missed a grounder, threw to a base that my coach didn't want me to. I tried to tag a runner while she stole to second and she ran into ball and it popped out of my glove, etc. Just a normal day for Leah. Needless to say I was completely CRUSHED. I started crying while we were still on the field after they tied it 8-8. I think I am emotionally challenged. I cried through shaking their hands. I cried taking my spikes off. I cried getting onto the bus and a good deal of the way home. See, I told you, I have problems. And I must admit that the whole time my heart was just screaming for Jesus. "Where are you?! Why couldn't we win? I prayed while I played and I tried to glorify you. I wanted it SO bad!" And also being Leah, I turned on my MP3 player and started listening to music that really didn't help my mood any. Beautiful songs, but being me I couldn't control my tears. This is what I heard:

-Brooke Fraser-

There's distance in the air and I cannot make it leave
I wave my arms' round about me and blow with all my might
I cannot sense you close, though I know you're always here
But the comfort of you near is what I long for

When I can't feel you, I have learned to reach out just the same
When I can't hear you, I know you still hear every word I pray
And I want you more than I want to live another day
And as I wait for you maybe I'm made more faithful

All the folly of the past, though I know it is undone
I still feel the guilty one, still trying to make it right
So I whisper soft your name, let it roll around my tongue,
knowing you're the only one who knows me
You know me


Show me how I should live this
Show me where I should walk
I count this world as loss to me
You are all I want
You are all I want

and then:

Untitled Hymn
-Chris Rice-

And like a newborn baby
Don't be afraid to crawl
And remember when you walk
Sometimes we
Fall on Jesus
Fall on Jesus
Fall on Jesus and live!

Sometimes the way is lonely
And steep and filled with pain
So if your sky is dark and pours the rain, then
Cry to Jesus
Cry to Jesus
Cry to Jesus and live!

I continued to wipe my tears off all the way home. After I got home I was still overwhelmed by the loss. Like I said before, I lost my perspective and I still really hadn't gotten it back. Perspectives are flighty things aren't they? I then checked on FB before I went to bed and the drama had continued with the same girls commenting and "chewing me out". I tried not to let it bother me. I had done the right thing. Right? That's when I started to doubt myself. Again, emotionally challenged. Was I right to comment and confront her. Was I right to defend my coach. Of course I was!! I continued to read on FB and it just looked like a battlefield. About half of my team is frustrated with the same girls that I am and the other half is frustrated with the first group.

I went and talked to dad for a little while before going to bed. Then I went upstairs and plugged my phone in only to find a... well... lets see...quite a.. harsh text from the girl that I confronted. Two of them actually. I plugged my phone in and went to bed. The days events whirling around in my mind. Thoughts of what I should say to the girls, how I should respond. All of them wrong. I was thinking of a way to defend myself. I didn't need to do that. I had done what was right in the Eyes of the Lord and He would defend me in due time.

So this morning my mom talked to me. She said she heard about the texts that I got and she said that I should be glad that I was suffering. *Blank stare* *blink, blink*
"You should count it a pleasure to suffer for Christ. A joy that He finds you worthy to suffer for Him." I hadn't thought of it that way. Again, the lack of perspective is showing here peeps. I have always wanted to have Jesus find me worthy to suffer for Him, but this... how could this be suffering for Jesus? Mom said that if you are doing what is right and with the motive of wanting to glorify God, then you are suffering for Christ.

My heart started to fill with joy. Really? I was suffering for Christ? This is when the rest of the Untitled Hymn Lyrics come in :

O, and when the love spills over
And music fills the night
And when you can't contain your joy inside, then
Dance for Jesus
Dance for Jesus
Dance for Jesus and live!

I had just thought of it as doing what was right and people were just mad at me. I thought that if I was going to suffer for Christ that it would be because I was a Christian and that the persecutors would just come right out and say it that way, then I would have seen it as suffering for Christ. But here I was, doing what was right BECAUSE I am a Christian and I was being persecuted for doing it. Oh the joys of all joys!!!!!!!!!! I AM WORTHY TO SUFFER FOR CHRIST! No award in the world could compare to this. No amount of softball games that we have won could compare to this. No state tournament could compare to this. No national games could compare to this. Hey not even an Olympic medal could compare to this!!! Jesus found me worthy.

You might think that I am proud now and that I am boasting. On the contrary. I am so surprised and in awe of His power like the disciples "27And the men marveled, saying, "What sort of man is this, that even winds and sea obey him?" I am speechless... well... not exactly speechless I guess if you have read this far. :) I am just.... yea. I can't describe it.

So, be still my soul. Be still... God is in control of EVERYTHING! =)

Here are some songs that I was thinking of when I wrote this.

Be Still- Kari Jobe

Be Still My Soul

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Captivate Us

Your face is beautiful
And Your eyes are like the stars
Your gentle hands have healing
There inside the scars
Your loving arms they draw me near
And Your smile it brings me peace
Draw me closer oh my Lord
Draw me closer Lord to Thee

Captivate us, Lord Jesus
Set our eyes on You
Devastate us with Your presence
Falling down
And rushing river, draw us nearer
Holy fountain consume us with You
Captivate us Lord Jesus, with You

Your voice is powerful
And Your words are radiant bright
In Your breath and shadow
I will come close and abide
You whisper love and life divine
And Your fellowship is free
Draw me closer O my Lord
Draw me closer Lord to Thee


Let everything be lost in the shadows
Of the light of Your face
Let every chain be broken from me
As I’m bound in Your grace
For Your yoke is easy, Your burden is light
You’re full of wisdom, power and might
And every eye will see You


(Click on the photo to be taken to Amazon to hear a sample of the song.)

Thursday, April 15, 2010

How Sweet...

How Sweet the Name of Jesus Sounds

based on Song of Solomon 1:3

“Because of the savour of thy good ointments thy name is as ointment poured forth.”

Words by John Newton

1. How sweet the Name of Jesus sounds
In a believer's ear!
It soothes his sorrow, heals his wounds,
And drives away his fear.

::~ 2. It makes the wounded spirit whole,
And calms the troubled breast;
'Tis manna to the hungry soul,
And to the weary, rest.

3. Dear Name, the rock on which I build,
My shield and hiding place,
My never failing treasury, filled
With boundless stores of grace!

4. By Thee, my prayers acceptance gain,
Although with sin defiled;
Satan accuses me in vain,
And I am owned a child.

5. Jesus, my Shepherd, Brother, Friend,
My Prophet, Priest, and King,
My Lord, my life, my way, my end,
Accept the praise I bring.

::~ 6. Weak is the effort of my heart,
And cold my warmest thought;
But when I see Thee as Thou art,
I'll praise Thee as I ought.

7. 'Til then I would Thy love proclaim
With every fleeting breath,
And may the music of Thy name
Refresh my soul in death.

::~ My favorite verses...

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Lord, make me

Lord, make me an instrument of thy peace.
Where there is hatred, let me sow love;
Where there is injury, pardon;
Where there is doubt, faith;
Where there is despair, hope;
Where there is darkness, light;
Where there is sadness, joy.

O Divine Master, grant that I may not so
Much seek to be consoled, as to console;
To be understood, as to understand;
To be loved, as to love.

For it is in giving that we receive.
It is in pardoning that we are pardoned.
It is in dying that we are born to eternal life.

-St. Francis of Assisi-

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

My weekend + Monday in pictures

Friday= Twins game with Dad

Resurrection SundayAmazing food...
Amazing people...

Tiny toes...

Great basketball game...

Swinging with the bro-man

Monday= Softball game
Even though we lost 5-4 in 8 innings, it was still a GOOD game! :D

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Piano Competition

Bernice Jones 2010 -Senior Year-

The piano I got to play on... :D

My parents, my teacher and myself posing with my 6 year award.

My teacher and myself.

At the Honors Recital the next day.

In the end I got 1st place in my group of 5 seniors and also other various prizes for being in it.

God was so gracious to me! :D Ethan played well but did not place but he still has quite a few years to improve. :D

Now I just have my Senior Recital in June...