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Tuesday, February 28, 2006

He's Right There

I found a verse yesterday that I love. The verse is Jeremiah 23:23, " Am I a God at hand, saith the LORD, and not a God afar off?"
The book of Jeremiah consists of God telling Jeremiah what he is going to do to the people of Israel and the people of Judah for their disobedience. In this verse He was reminding Jeremiah that He saw exactly what was going on. He wasn't a God who was millions of miles away. Even when Israel was at their worst, God was right there, and He saw everything that went on.
Many times in my Christian life, I've been quick to judge the children of Israel. I'll wonder how they could possibly turn from God. I mean He was right there with them.
But I do the same thing at times. I'll do things that I know aren't pleasing to God, and He's right here with me as well.
The psalmist tells us in Psalm 139 that there is no place that we can go to escape from God's presence. He is everywhere.
The question is, if we view that as a good thing or a bad thing?
I see it as good. Knowing that God is there comforts me and reminds me to live the life that pleases Him. However, some people see it as a bad thing. They want to live their own life, do their own thing. When God is there, they can't escape a guilty conscience.
Which side are you on today? Are you running into God's arms, or are you trying to find a place to hide?

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Monday, February 27, 2006

Arise, My Love

This weekend I was blessed to see Newsong in concert (along with a lot of my other favorites.) I have to say though, that Newsong was my favorite group this time. The reason being that they sang one of my all-time favorite songs, "Arise, My Love."
Check out the words to the chorus:

Arise, my Love
Arise, my Love,
The grave no longer has a hold on you.
No more death sting,
No more suffering,
Arise, arise, my love.

When they finished this song, everyone was on their feet going crazy. The crowd 16,000 was praising God as one. It was awesome.
See, the words of the song are simple, but their meaning is more powerful than any message that has ever been told. The Gospel is shared in just this short chorus. Jesus arose. He's not dead.
That's the whole reason that we have something to sing about. That's the whole reason that we are free. We serve a risen Savior.
This is the message we are to share with the world. If we don't share Christ's Gospel, then we are ignoring a lost world as Paul tells us in II Corinthians 4:3, "But if our Gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost:"
Don't hide the Gospel. Share it.
And remember, salvation isn't about bad people becoming good people. It's about dead people becoming alive!

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Friday, February 24, 2006

All Things Work Together

A few posts ago I gave a bit of my testimony about how I had to have major surgery last January. I also talked about how I didn't understand why I had to face it, but that through it all, God had drawn me closer to him.
Well, now I understand the why. See, I found out yesterday that my daddy has to face the same surgery. Now, I'm not going to say I'm excited about this, but I'm not worried. See, I've been there. I've faced the same storm, and God brought me through it, and I know he'll bring my dad through as well.
As I've said before, I'm a huge daddy's girl. When something happens to my daddy (or my mom for that matter), I lose it. That's my hardest area of trust. Its hard to hand over my parents to God. I know you parents out there probably think that sounds weird. After all, the parents are usually the ones that hold onto the kids, right? Well, let me tell you something, we children have a hard time handing you over to God as well.
It's hard to say, "Thy will be done." I mean, I don't know God's will, and sometimes God's will is hard to understand. But God wants all aspects of our lives. And regardless of the outcome of any situation, He will make all things work together for good to those He has called, as He tells us in Romans 8:28.
Last January, I had no understanding of why I was put on that table. Now that my dad is about to be put in the same place, I have full understanding. God was showing me that the same God who kept me will keep my dad. He had to teach me to trust in Him.
So, if you're going through something that you don't understand, remember God does have a purpose, and He is there to hold your hand and guide you through even the hardest trial.
And, if you think of it, offer a prayer up for my dad! Thanks!
I'm going to leave you today with a song I wrote a few years back:

I've come to a turn in life's road,
And everything is hard to understand.
I know that I can not bear this load,
Without Jesus to hold to my hand.

I've got to get alone with Jesus.
I've got to get alone to pray.
I've got to get alone to listen to what He wants to say to me today.
I don't know what direction He will send me,
But I know that He will help me to the end.
I've just got to get alone with Him.

He's standing in the shadows, just waiting for me to say,
I need to hear from You, Lord.
Please show me the way.
Show me the way.

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Thursday, February 23, 2006

Thursday Thirteen

Thirteen Things about Heather
Thirteen Things God Has Done In My Life

I decided to give this Thursday Thirteen thing a go! Here are thirteen things that God has done specifically in my life! Maybe you could take some time today to think about what He's done for you!

1. He saved me - the most important thing that ever happened

2. He loved me though I was undeserving

3. He's shown me His will for my life - to use my writing for His glory

4. He's allowing me to grow closer to Him by giving me a desire to study His Word, and He's given me a verse to claim (Psalm 46:10)

5. He's given me peace during the hardest times

6. He gave me wonderful Christian parents who have taught me about Him.

7. He gave me a great brother and sister, that are my best friends.

8. He gave me a great Bible study group - They have helped me so much!

9. He's given me a great church family.

10. He's given me a good job - I'm thankful despite the stressfulness!

11. He's given me great encouragers to help me stick to the call of writing (Penwrights, fellow bloggers)

12. He's given me joy even in the hardest trials.

13. He's given me a song to sing!
Links to other Thursday Thirteens!
1. (leave your link in comments, I’ll add you here!)

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Be sure to update your Thirteen with links that are left for you, as well! I will link to everyone who participates and leaves a link to their 13 things. Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!

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Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Good Things Are Worth Waiting For

I've spoken before on here about my parents and grandparents. They are my heroes. They've always been the best Christian example one could want.
Just this past Friday my Grandma and Grandpa Smith celebrated their 55th wedding anniversary. 55 years. I can't imagine. Grandma always tells me to make sure I find the right one before I get married. She constantly reminds me that the "right one" is worth waiting for.
Sometimes in life its hard to wait for things. But when I look at my grandparents and see how happy they are after 55 years or my parents who are more in love today then they were when they got married almost 34 years ago, I know she's right.
I want that type of marriage. I want the kind of marriage where God is the center, and we love each other for what God made each of us to be.
Now this doesn't only pertain to marriage, but to every aspect of life. The best things are worth waiting for.
We are reminded of this truth in Isaiah 40:31, "But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint."
I want to wait on God's timing and soar like the eagles. I don't want to run on my own and fall. How about you?

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Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Put Your Heart Into It

Did you ever have fights when you were a little kid? With your brother or sister, a cousin or a friend. Maybe they took your toy, or maybe they got the last cookie. Maybe you just thought they looked particularly ugly that day.
I've had fights like that. After all I do have a brother and sister. The bad part of those fights was when mom and dad walked into the room. They'd break up the fight I was bound and determined to have. Then they'd do something even worse. They'd make us apologize to each other.
I've said quite a few grudging, "I'm sorry's" in my life. As I grew older I learned to say them on my own. I even wanted to say them. But when I was a little girl, I was stubborn. I hated saying I was sorry. I hated admitting I was wrong. I would've given all the toys in the world to avoid it.
Many times in Christian life we are the same way. We know we shouldn't be doing something, but we don't want to give up our sin. We don't want to admit we're wrong. Our pride gets in the way.
So we let our guilty conscience take over. We give a little extra in the offering plate. Or we volunteer to help out in the church. We pour ourselves into sacrafice trying to avoid the real problem.
Isaiah spoke about this in Isaiah 1. Check out these verses:
13 Bring no more vain oblations; incense is an abomination unto me; the new moons and sabbaths, the calling of assemblies, I cannot away with; it is iniquity, even the solemn meeting. 14 Your new moons and your appointed feasts my soul hateth: they are a trouble unto me; I am weary to bear them. 15 And when ye spread forth your hands, I will hide mine eyes from you: yea, when ye make many prayers, I will not hear: your hands are full of blood. 16 Wash you, make you clean; put away the evil of your doings from before mine eyes; cease to do evil; 17 Learn to do well; seek judgment, relieve the oppressed, judge the fatherless, plead for the widow. 18 Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool. 19 If ye be willing and obedient, ye shall eat the good of the land:
God was talking to Israel in these verses. They had started sacraficing merely out of duty. They weren't truly repenting for their sin. They just did what was expected of them.
Their lack of concern for their sin made God sick. God wanted their obedience not their rituals. He wanted their hearts not their sacrafices.
God wants the same from us today. He wants our heartfelt repentance.
Just like mom used to tell us to "Apologize like you mean it." God is up there saying, "Turn from your sin and mean it."
Check out your life today. Is there anything you're trying to cover with extra sacrafice? Remember, God wants your heart!

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Monday, February 20, 2006

It Takes Two

When I was a little girl I loved to watch movies with twins. I always thought it was hilarious when they switched places on their parents. Movies like, "The Parent Trap" and "It Takes Two" would keep me mesmerized. I still think they're funny.
I got to thinking about that yesterday when I was reading in Ecclesiastes 4. Check out these verses from that chapter:
9 Two are better than one; because they have a good reward for their labour. 10 For if they fall, the one will lift up his fellow: but woe to him that is alone when he falleth; for he hath not another to help him up.
In those movies that I mentioned above, the twins were always working together towards a common goal. They stuck together to see their mission accomplished.
Christians should do that. We are to back each other up. We shouldn't send our fellow brothers and sisters out alone.
When Jesus sent out the disciples in Mark 6:7, He sent them out two by two. And He didn't send out one to be the master and one to be the slave. He gave them both power to do His work. He just wanted them to help each other along.
It's the same today. The pastor should not bear the entire weight of the church. We are to back him up and work alongside him. Missionaries can't go without our support. Any Christian has a hard time facing life's trials without the prayers of other Christians backing them up.
So walk alongside your brothers and sisters today. If they fall, pick them up. Don't just pass on by and crush them farther into the ground!

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Friday, February 17, 2006

His Mercy Endureth Forever

I just finished the Psalms in my 90 Days through the Bible. There is such comfort in that book, but one Psalm that really hit me this time was Psalm 136.
If you read through the book it shows how God was always there for Israel. It shows victories that He gave them.
The thing that hit me about the chapter is that every verse ends in these words, "For His mercy endureth forever."
Mercy is an awesome thing. We don't get what we deserve because God loves us. If you look at Israel's history there were many times that they turned their backs on God. He could've destroyed them and found a new people, but He showed mercy. He gave them chance after chance.
He's done the same for me. I could write my a Psalm of my own. It'd go something like this:

God sent Jesus to die for Heather's sins, for His mercy endureth forever.
He gave her wonderful Christian parents, for His mercy endureth forever.
He gave her a supportive church family, for His mercy endureth forever.
He allowed her to use her talents for Him, for His mercy endureth forever.

And it could go on and on. I deserve none of God's mercy, but He gives it to me over and over. I don't understand why.
Think about your life today. What would your Psalm consist of?

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Thursday, February 16, 2006

Angels Among Us

I spent Tuesday night waiting in the emergency room. I'm not going to lie. I was worried, very worried. See, my dad was having trouble. He couldn't remember things clearly, and his blood pressure was up. I guess you could say I'm a daddy's girl.
God reminded me while I was sitting in that waiting room that He was with my dad. He brought me to these verses in Psalm 91:
11 For he shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee in all thy ways.
12 They shall bear thee up in their hands, lest thou dash thy foot against a stone.
I completely believe that angels surrounded my dad that night. I believe that they surround me everyday. Sometimes in the hard times, it can be tough to remember that God is watching out for us, but He is. He loves us, and He takes care of our every need.
So, I can turn everything over to Him, including my daddy. You can turn everything over to Him as well!

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Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Its Easy to Get Mixed Up

I was thinking a lot yesterday about how easy it is to get mixed up. For example, my mom was talking to my niece, Raegan, yesterday. They were reading a book about a pig, a duck, a horse, and a cow.
Mom said, "What goes moo?"
Raegan replied, "A cow."
Mom asked, "What goes neigh?"
Raegan, "A horsey."
Mom again, "What goes oink-oink?"
Raegan, "A pig."
The last question, "What goes quack-quack?"
Raegan answered, "Captain Feathsword."
Now I don't know how many of you are familiar with The Wiggles, but Captain Feathersword does say quack-quack in one of Raegan's favorite songs. So that answer was right to her.
How many of us as adults do that? How many make things right for our situation. How many of us say, "Well, I know the Bible says this, but...."
The problem is that God doesn't make exceptions to His Word. Matthew 24:35 tells us, "Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away."
God's Word will never change. It will never pass away. It doesn't adjust for the times that we are living in. It doesn't adjust for my situation, and it doesn't adjust for yours.
So take a look at His Word today. Are you living by what He says?

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Monday, February 13, 2006

Father, Forgive Them


The word is so easy to say, but so hard to comprehend. Yesterday, my grandpa preached about Jesus' words of forgiveness from the cross. The words in His simple prayer to the Father hold such importance.

Think about it. "Father, forgive them. FOR THEY KNOW NOT WHAT THEY DO."

We were lost in the ignorance of our sin. He was dying for us, and we didn't even understand why. Yet, He asked God to forgive us.

I can't grasp it. I can't understand it, but I'm so thankful for it. Forgiveness like that is something I want.

A few weeks back I went to see "The End of the Spear." I've read the book "Through Gates of Splendor" but something about seeing the story acted out on the screen hit me even harder. Imagine it, witnessing to the person who killed your husband or your brother or your father. I don't know if I could have forgiveness like that. I pray that I would. I want to have such love for souls that I will truly understand the meaning of "turn the other cheek." I want to love souls more than my own life.

If you have a chance today, turn to Luke 23:34. Look at the words of Jesus. Think about just what His forgiveness means to you. Then try to live your life just like Jesus!

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Friday, February 10, 2006

Love Beyond Measure

This week in my Bible study group we talked about God's request for Abram to sacrafice Isaac in Genesis 22. There were lots of things that Beth Moore pointed out that I'd really never thought about before. But through my study of the lesson I couldn't get one thing off of my mind. I wondered how Isaac must have felt.
I mean think about it. He had been with his father to sacrafice before. He knew the routine. He even asked Abram where the lamb was. He had to sense that something was happening.
Surely Abram's shoulders were heavy when he was climbing that mountain. I'm sure he wiped a tear or two from his eyes thinking of what he was about to do. Isaac must have seen this.
Then they reached the top of the mountain. Abram probably turned to Isaac in dread. I can see Isaac begin to shake as he listened to his father's words.
I mean, just imagine it. What would you do? If your father turned to you and said, "You must be the sacrafice. God has requested you."
Personally, I probably would have run as fast as I could. I would have reached the bottom of that mountain in record time.
Isaac didn't do that. He laid down on the alter. He trusted God. He loved his father enough to believe that his death was God's will.
What a beautiful picture of what Christ did for us.
Of course we all know that God provided a ram and saved Isaac's life that day. Abram didn't have to kill his son. But God did. God just wanted Abram to know just what God would one day do for the world.
So take some time today to think of just what Jesus did. Think of how He laid down His life. And remember that He not only died for you but instead of you.

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Thursday, February 09, 2006

There Are Some Things Worth Fighting For

You've all seen the movies and tv shows where the kids start screaming, "Fight, fight, fight." At this statement everyone within hearing distance runs towards the scene of the fight. They want to see whats going on.
Now I'm not one to promote fighting, but usually one of the parties involved has a sincere reason to fight. They believe so much in something that they refuse to back down. Even if that means getting beat up.
That's just how God wants us to be. He tells us in I Timothy 6:12, "Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, whereunto thou art also called, and hast professed a good profession before many witnesses."
Being a Christian is like being in a war. There are battles everyday. We are to fight. There are enemies on every side, and at times we will feel beaten down, but never lose hope because Christ has already won the war.
That's why He tells us to "lay hold on eternal life." We can claim it. It's already ours. No matter how fierce this earthly battle may become, victory is already ours. Our job is simply to recruit more soldiers for the Lord.
So check your life today. Are you fighting for the Lord? Are you drawing a crowd with your witness? That should be the goal for each and every one of us!

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Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Could You Take It?

The journey of 90 Days has brought me to the book of Job. Now most of you know about what Job suffered. He lost everything in one day. All of his riches were taken away. All ten of his children were killed.
He went from being a man with it all to being a man who lost it all. Yet, he was still able to keep his faith in God. No, he didn't understand what was happening to him. He wasn't present when God granted Satan permission to test him.
But Job didn't curse God. He never lost sight of the fact that God was God. He still trusted in the Almighty. As a matter of fact he even said, "I know my Redeemer liveth."
Job had what I want. He didn't just have patience or longsuffering or meekness. He had faith. A faith that kept him strong even during the hardest battles.
So what about you? Where does your faith stand? Do you trust in God during your hard times? In spite of life's battles do you maintain that God is God?
Few have suffered like Job, though I won't say that none have. But how you handle suffering is what will be remembered. Your strength shines in the hardest parts of life.

BTW, I've started a more light-hearted blog just recounting the funny happenings of daily life! Check it out by clicking the My Funny Site link on the sidebar!

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Tuesday, February 07, 2006

The Heart of Worship

I heard the song "The Heart of Worship" today on my way to work. This song always hits home with me because it reminds me that its not about me. Its all about Jesus. Our lives, each and every part, are to be used for the glory of God.
We shouldn't go to church on Sundays simply to clear our conscience. We should go because it is something that pleases Christ. We shouldn't sing songs for our own glory, but for Christ's glory.
I Corinthians 10:31 says, "Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God."
Every single thing that we do should bring glory to God. The TV you watch. The music you listen to. The people you associate with.
This is one of the hardest parts of the Christian life. Its easy to say, "I want my life to bring glory to God." But it takes a lot of action to actually have a life that brings glory to God.
I once went to a Bible Study where the leader started to ask himself, "Does this bring glory to God?" before he did anything. The result was awesome. He had a great testimony. Now I'm not saying that he never messed up, but because he was so focused on what God wanted, he didn't stumble nearly as much.
So maybe there's a lesson there for each of us. Whatever you do today, ask yourself if it brings glory to God. If it does, good. If it doesn't, maybe you should seek an alternative activity!

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Monday, February 06, 2006

A Little Space of Grace

I heard a message not long ago from the book of Ezra. This weekend my Bible in 90 Days reading brought me once more to this book, and the message came back to mind.
The message was called "A Little Space of Grace."
Now of course Ezra was referring to the Jewish people when he referred to God's grace being shown to them. You see, the people of Israel had done wickedly. They had served other gods and turned their backs completely on the the one true God of heaven. Though He had saved them so many times, they rejected Him. So He gave them up to their wickedness and allowed them to be carried off into captivity.
But in the book of Ezra we see the rebuilding of the temple. We see the Jewish people humbling themselves before God and following all of His commandments. They wept and were truly remorseful for all that they had done, and God granted them a little space of grace.
The message that I heard said that we too are living in a space of grace. There are many in this world who have rejected God and His Son. They don't care what He did to save them. But there are some who have humbled themselves. There are some who have turned from their sins.
I'm thankful for God's grace. If you don't know what it feels like to live in His grace, come to Him today. He's waiting with arms wide open.
Read through the book of Ezra. Just as God was willing to give His people grace, He offers it to you as well. I'll leave you today with the words to this song:

Grace, grace, God's grace
Grace that can pardon and cleanse within
Grace, grace, God's grace
Grace that is greater than all my sin

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Friday, February 03, 2006


I work in the ticketing area of a major jeans company. Right now everyone is in the process of changing their ticketing, and its pretty hectic (who knew that those tickets you throw away when you get your clothes home could be such a headache?)
Anyway, the major issue right now is that the marketing department will ask for one thing (a specific color/design), but when they receive the actual ticket, they decide they don't really like it. So they go back to the drawing board and tweak the color or change the graphic. Sometimes they just don't know what they want, which can be somewhat frustrating.
But the same thing I get frustrated with others for at my job, I do all the time. I want something, and I work to get it, but when I get it, it's not as satisfying as I thought it would be. The problem is that temporal things don't satisfy. A new shiny car will eventually be a rust heap in the junk yard. A brand new house eventually gets infested with mice.
I'm not saying this to make you think of doom and gloom. I'm just trying to remind you that the things of this world aren't permanent. Christians are to be striving for the eternal, not the temporary.
Jesus spoke about this in Matthew 6: 19 Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: 20 But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: 21 For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.
The heart of a Christian should not be on the things that can be gained in this world. They will pass away. The heart of a Christian should be on gaining heavenly treasures that will never pass away.
Take a look at your life today. Where is your treasure?

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Thursday, February 02, 2006


Every one of us has a weakness. Even Superman had the whole issue with kryptonite. Now, I've never watched Superman much, but I know enough about it to know that his enemies didn't go around wearing signs that said, "I have Kryptonite, watch out Superman." His enemies wanted to trick him. They wanted to catch him and spring the kryptonite on him when he was least expecting it.
Satan is like that with us. He doesn't show us the bad that will happen to us. He lures us into a false security. He shows us the good side of sin. He shows us the pleasure. But he doesn't show us the end result of our sin. He doesn't show us the consequences.
I Peter 5:8 tells us, "Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour: "
That means we should always be on the lookout. Satan wants to destroy us. He knows our weaknesses, and he will try to use them against us. It can start with the simplest things, like funny TV shows or movies. Some of these things put sin in front of us constantly. They show sin as the norm. Eventually, we become immune to it.
Thats just what Satan wants. When Christians stop seeing sin as sin, they won't try to win the world for Christ. So search your heart today. Ask God if there are any weaknesses in you. If there are, give them over to God. Ask Him to help you become stronger.
That way when the Devil comes against you, you'll be immune to his life-threatening kryptonite!

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Wednesday, February 01, 2006

What Will You Be Remembered For?

Right now in my Bible in 90 Days reading I'm in Chronicles. Chronicles is basically made up of geneologies. The book started with Adam and goes on and on down through the generations. Most of it is just a list of names, but here and there, comments are made on certain people.
Some of the comments reference someone's evil deeds, while others reference someone's good. Somewhere in the midst of all those names, I started to think. What will I be remembered for? Will people remember the good I did? Will they remember the bad? Or will I just be another name on the list?
Yesterday, I talked about how my life belongs to Christ. I don't want to do anything to bring shame to Him. I want my life to be a shining light in this world, just like He told us to be in Matthew 5:14. I don't want to hide that light. I want to hold it up for all to see.
I don't want to be remembered for evil things I may have done. So I'm striving to keep my life pure before the Lord. I also don't want to be just another name on the list. I don't want to be someone who sits on the sidelines my whole life. I want to be remembered for the stand I took for the Lord.
So, take a look at your life today. What will you be remembered for?