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I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances.

Phillipians 4:11

This has been my favorite verse for years.  I know a lot of people focus on Phillipians 4:13, but I have always drawn a lot of encouragement from this one because I don’t think we focus enough on how important it is to be content in Christ.  Being contentment is not to be confused with being complacent.  To me contentment means to know that I am where God wants me to be and he is doing what he wants to do in and through me at that time.  It keeps me from getting anxious, and it helps me enjoy life “in the moment” so as not to miss many of the little ways God reveals himself to me.  My sense of being content comes from him and not from exterior forces or circumstances.  It really helps me face whateveer comes my way with that peace that passes all understanding, but that is another verse for another time.


Live more.

Tonight I went to a worship service held in our amphitheater here at school. It was pretty small, about 10-15 people. To be honest at first I didn’t see anyone and thought that maybe I’d misheard.  I went because it wasn’t put on by any specific organization, just students and I’ve been really praying for some Christian campus unity. And also because my favorite style of worship is just voices and guitar(s) without much hoopla. We began singing some songs and it was a little uncomfortable at first. I didn’t know most of the people there or some of the songs. But eventually I got over that. Since this was the type of worship and unity I’ve been craving, I expected something emotional to happen or at least some chill bumps. After all, I was sitting there praising God along with other people passionately singing on a beautiful night with occasional heat lightning showcasing God’s majesty just in case we couldn’t already realize it. But I didn’t feel anything. I was tired. After class, work, physical therapy, homework, working out, and two meetings I didn’t have the energy to hardly focus. But I’ve learned over the years that my faith is not justified at all through feelings. That’s not really my point, but I had to say that to get to the really cool part of the night. I kept singing, knowing that even if I wasn’t super emotionally involved, I still truly meant the words that I was singing. And God more than deserves all my praise, even in the tired moments. I don’t remember what song it was during or if I even immediately recognized what was happening, but somewhere in there God whispered to me. I don’t mean audibly, but two words just consumed my thoughts all of the sudden and I knew that I didn’t have the brain-power to really form them. “Live more.” I kept repeating those two words in my mind. “Live more.” So many times we are asked what God is telling us to do. However, God was not telling me to “do” more, but to live more. God knows that I do a whole lot, and one more thing would probably just distract me. I started thinking about what it really means to live more. And even just what it means to live. I started thinking about the phrase “to live a life for Christ.” I’ve used that phrase several times but I started thinking about how funny it was, as if there were any other way to live. Honestly, if you’ve ever experienced the life that Christ gives and then thought about your life beforehand it really seems like you were just dead. It was if God was telling me not to settle with how much Christ and how much life I wanted to live. He wasn’t commanding me to make all these sacrifices and give up the things that make me who I am but just to live more. I’m not saying that makes things easy or simple but I have the choice to be more alive. There’s really no point in hitting a plateau. So I guess I’m writing this in case you need a whisper (or a kick in the pants). Live more.


Dress Us Up

A couple days ago I was listening to John Mark Mcmillan’s new album The Medicine, and I heard this song called “Dress Us Up”. It’s a perfect depiction of God’s power and love. To listen to this song click here.

“Dress us up in Your righteousness

Bring us in with a ring and a kiss

When You walk into the room you know I can’t resist

Every bottle of perfume always endup on the floor in a mess

You make us sparkle and you make us shine

Like the stars You sing on Your chorus lines

Their space and time will harmonize

Where deep meets deep like the ocean meets the skies

The sun and the moon are coming out of their grave just for You

The dead man and the cynical too are coming out of their grave and it’s just for You

Cause the love of God is stronger

The love of God is stronger

The love of God is stronger

Than the power of death

Dress us up in the blood of His son

Who opened up His veins so that we could overcome

Hell and the grave and the power of His love

After three dark days He showed us how it’s done

And He still does

His love is stronger”


College Pick’Em: Week Four

Sorry that this one is so late! (Click through to keep reading)

Continue reading ‘College Pick’Em: Week Four’


storm surge

“Even when the rain falls
Even when the flood starts rising
Even when the storm comes
I am washed by the water”
Washed by the Water by NEEDTOBREATHE

As a resident of New Orleans, there are a number of words that I am all too familiar with, yet I would rather they not be in my vocabulary at all.  Such words include projected path, tracking cone, northeast quadrant, storm surge, Gustav, Ike, evacuation, and contraflow.  The past few weeks saw an increased use of these words and yet another evacuation to the Carolinas.  I’ll admit that while I felt much more prepared for this evacuation (and I certainly packed more this time around), it was still the cause of much anxiety.  As I pulled out of campus and away from New Orleans on the day after the three year anniversary of Katrina, I couldn’t help but wonder when I would be back.  I told some people during my evacuation, that the emotional drain was much worse this time around.  We all knew what the worst-case scenario could be, we knew exactly what could go wrong, and we knew just how bad the destruction and damage could be.  I claim Matt. 6:27 as my life verse, “Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?” but I was definitely worrying as I drove away from the city I’ve come to love called NOLA.

For those of you who know me, you are probably not surprised by the lyrics that I’ve posted above.  NEEDTOBREATHE is my favorite band, and their song “Washed by the Water” has been ministering to me since I first heard it back in 2006.  I had coincidently downloaded it as my ringtone about a week before I evacuated for Gustav, so every time someone called me during my 10 hour trek, I was reminded of the chorus.  God also brought to my mind the verses that brought me strength and comfort following Katrina, Phil. 4:6-7, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.  And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”  So, as I sat there and compulsively watched CNN, Fox News, and The Weather Channel, I had a sense of peace.  No matter what happened, (fortunately the damage was nowhere near as bad as expected) God was going to be with me.

Even as the rain fell, even as the water in the canals started rising, even as the storm came, God reminded me that because my identity is found in Him through Christ, that He would give me the strength to sustain me.  I still struggle with applying the peace of God in all areas of my life.  I still haven’t fully unpacked from my evacuation, partly because I’ve been scared that I would just have to pack all over again.  But I’m beginning to recognize that I can’t live my life in a state of constant fear and worry.  Instead, I need to trust that God will bring me through the tough situations I encounter.  That is what He has promised in His word and His promises are always true.  With that in mind, I’ve got a few things to unload from my car this weekend, and an apartment to rearrange back to normal and out of “evacuation mode.”  Evacuation is never meant to be permanent, and none of us can survive if we are constantly in that mode.


Hebrews 1:3&4

The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word.  After he had provided purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty in heaven.  So he became as much superior to the angels as the name he has inherited is superior to theirs.

The morning of September 3 I wrote this response to the above passage in my journal:

I want to be in your will and to have an intimate relationship with you.  I am so in the habit of doing things on my own thinking everything will turn out okay.  I obviously suck at commanding my own life.  I pray, begging, that you would shove me out of the way and show me who’s boss.  I desire deeply for you to reign completely in my life…everyday.  Please mold my heart and my will.  I love you.


The Sun will come out tomorrow

“Let the morning bring me word of your unfailing love, for I have put my trust in you.  Show me the way I should go, for to you I lift up my soul.”  Psalm 143:8

This verse is so encouraging and comforting to me.  My husband and I memorized it on his last deployment to Afghanistan.  It was at night when I would usually get worked up and stressed out about his safety, our future, and everything else that could possibly be a stresser.  Meditating over and praying this verse helped me calm down and trust in the Lord enough to go to sleep.  It reminded me that in Christ, we can have hope for good tomorrows.  Even when we can’t see a step in front of us, and nothing seems clear, we can trust God and put our hope in Him that He will lead us where we need to go and that his love is always surrounding us.  Such hope is worth praising!

The Amalgam is a collective of various writers, photographers, artists, and random people in general. This weblog is a collection of their thoughts on faith, life, the arts, sports, and basically anything else. The views of the writers in the Amalgam do not necessarily represent the views of Concoxions Creative Ministries. But where we disagree with them, we still love them.