From Glory to Glory

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Year one at Hillsong College has been completed. Or has it? In these next few months, I will be trying to digest what I have learned, and what all has happened. I mean, I don’t know if anything is ever fully a hundred percent completed. At least not till Jesus comes back. So much carries on even still. And with a school like Hillsong College, things that I have learned will carry on in and through my life forever.

So what now? Haha. You tell me. We are taking this next season step by step, day by day and I will keep following where His Spirit leads. And for now He has led me back to Texas.

Of course I am excited and happy to be back, but you and I know this will not be easy. And that is ok. :)

The challenge for me is to be present in every moment, to enjoy where I am right here right now, and to not think I am missing out over there in Sydney. Truth is I want to go back one day. Is that just my selfish heart or a strong desire God has put in my heart? Not sure yet. And then if I were to go back, could it be soon or in a couple years? Too many questions already.

Here is the main truth: God is with me wherever I go (Joshua 1.) And that is what I am holding on to.


I think when we go from glory to glory, becoming more like Jesus, maybe sometimes we think one season is the “glory” season and another season is the “to” season, leading us to the next “glory.” What if we’re always in glory?..

When we have surrendered our lives to Jesus Christ, when we are walking with Him daily, we cannot help but become more like Him.

“But when one turns to the Lord, the veil is removed. Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. And we all with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit.” – 2 Corinthians 3:16-18

So much gold in this verse.


This past year at Hillsong, I thought it was my “glory” season and I thought the season leading up to Hillsong was my “to” season. But as I look back, it was all glory… just different degrees. And now that I am back in the states, I know this ain’t a “to” season. No. This is another degree of glory. I am constantly changing and transforming into His image. There is no escaping that and I never want to escape it.

There is no pause.

There is no slowing down.

Yes there may be “wilderness” or “desert” times or bumps along the way, but even still, if not even more, God can make you more and more like Him.

From glory to glory.

All for His glory.

Is This Real Life?

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It’s been a while since I simply shared about what’s going on in life. Sorry mom.

But honestly, it’s so hard to put into words everything I’ve been experiencing, everything I’ve been blessed with… so much so that I’ve been left speechless when I try and talk about it.

But it’s a new day.

And I’ve been learning how to use words again.


So life in Australia. 8 months and counting…

Yes it’s beautiful, yes the beaches are phenomenal, yes the people are gorgeous and tan, yes the accents are lovely, yes the food is amazing, yes the coffee is beyond good, and yes the spiders are big and make me jump and accidentally hit people.

I could talk about each of those in more depth, or I could talk about more things like kangaroos and didgeridoos but the reality is that you just have to come here (and visit.) ;)

The other reality is, I am so content. I’m loving this whole journey, from when it all started several years ago, even through all the junk. I am thankful every day that I get to be here in Australia, in Sydney, in Hillsong Church, in Hillsong College, in the July 2015 Intake (holla!), in the Songwriting family, in the teams where I serve… in my flat.

I am beyond blessed, more than I could ever hope for.

But more than anything, I’m just so happy to be right where I am because of the people I get to journey with.

This journey wouldn’t be so great if it wasn’t for the people. Ultimately it wouldn’t be so great if God wasn’t in it.

Yes, I see God in all the beauty that surrounds me. I see Him in the city lights, the hustling streets, the sunsets, sunrises, ocean waves, gardens, parks…

But I also see Him in the eyes of my brothers and sisters. I see Him in their surrendered hearts serving His people, I see Him in the late hours of hard work they put in so that ministries happen, I see Him in their friendly conversations with strangers, their genuine conversations with me, I see Him in their love for everyone…

And my heart is simply overwhelmed. It is softened to the core. I see their hearts transforming to become more and more like Him… and my heart begins to do the same.


When I sit beside the Sydney skyline or the Sydney sunshine, my breath indeed is taken away… And I think to myself, “Is this real life?”

But when I sit beside my brothers and sisters, world changers whom I am honored to call family, my heart is forever changed, and I don’t even have to ask. I know deep inside…

This is real life.

Too Wonderful

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Wide eyes of wonder

As the sun comes up

You know these colors will stick in the records you keep

You can’t forget what you’ve seen

It’s too beautiful

If there are even 3 syllables to describe this

You can’t prescribe this feeling you get

Oh the wonder of it all

Of the water as it falls, inside every nook

In every crevasse, it streams

And suddenly your heart begins to experience the same thing

How did this water reach a sanctuary you didn’t even know about?

How is this peace overwhelming every doubt?

Oh life is a mystery

You can see what’s before you but not always what’s within you

Not what you have unless you choose to believe

Oh life is a beauty

Cherish it with everything, with every ounce of your existence

I don’t want you to miss this

Life is too wonderful

Yea, I don’t want you to miss this.

Fireworks

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I wonder if you saw the same fireworks I did
I wonder if you remember them as a kid…

Side by side, beneath the neon sky
Eyes so wide, every head tilted high
Summer air smooths past your skin
Traces of bar-b-q every time you breathe in

Hours of waiting for some minutes and seconds

But with you, I’d gladly do it all again

…Because this time around, you weren’t with me
This time around… your voice was missing
A different time. A different place. A different kind of change.
But even still, as I write this ballad

I wonder if you saw the same fireworks I did

New Year Revelations

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Alright. So here’s the deal.

These past few months, I have been immensely blessed beyond what I could hope for or imagine. And I haven’t really shared the blessings. God has turned my world upside down and has shaken it up a little. I have been exposed to so much of His goodness, His grace, His mercy… and I’ve kept it to myself.

I’m sorry.

And through this season of abundance, I’ve also had one of the toughest times mentally, battling doubts and lies within my mind. There’s so much I just don’t know, so much, that I have no choice but to trust God. I have no choice but to rely on His faithfulness. I’ve let all this “unknown” hinder me from receiving all of God’s blessings and from sharing His love to others.

Well, it’s a new season, a new year, a new day… filled with revelations that I have yet to fully understand, but I can tell you this; I am inspired more than ever to keep going, to keep loving, to keep smiling, to keep laughing, to keep dancing, to keep singing, to keep writing, to keep praying… to keep living life to the fullest. My prayer is that you are too, someway somehow.

This world is a beautiful place that needs your light, your joy, your love. Don’t hold it in anymore. And don’t live mediocre. That’s boring. I’m speaking to myself mostly, but to you too. See what God wants to show you. See what He wants to reveal. I guarantee it will change your life for the better. It will change the lives of others as well.

And so I welcome this year with no resolutions, just revelations that I know will go beyond 2016.

 

Passion Is The Key

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I’m lost.

Oops. I think I’ve already said too much.

It’s been a couple months here in Australia… and I’m lost. Not something you’d expect to hear. Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely LOVE this place and everything about it, the sights, the sounds, the people… I just thought that everything would all be figured out, things would just fall into place. I thought I would understand why I am here… all within the first day of being here. Hahah! How could I have been so naive?

Ya know how people say, the more you go further into this life, the more you don’t know? Well the more I walk and talk with God, the more I realize what I don’t know. The more I realize ANYTHING can happen. The more I realize I don’t exactly know what I’m doing. I know the WHY but the what changes. A lot. And the more I walk with God, the more I realize how much I need Him. The more I realize how much I love Him. The more I realize how much He loves me.

But don’t you hate not knowing everything? Don’t you hate not having the whole course set out clearly for you? Every time I think I’ve got it figured out, there’s a certain twist that just has to come along. Now what do I do with this? It just doesn’t add up.

It’s good to have a plan or goals. In fact, it’s wise, especially if God gave you the vision years ago. Don’t forget about that. Just remember how God directs your steps (Prv 16, the whole chapter…) Remember how we have to go out in complete faith, trusting that where He calls us to is indeed His will, and it will fulfill His dream in our lives.

But again, the more I’m walking with Him, the more that things don’t make sense. When will things begin to make sense? When will things come together? And when will dreams be fulfilled?

Haha! Why am I so worried about my future?.. I’m only 22!

Is it because I don’t have “enough time” to live my dream while I’m young?

Is it because I can’t serve God when I’m old and not cool?

Is it because people around me seem to have it all figured out? (while young and cool)

…Is it because I don’t have the patience…

Well, there it is. I just don’t have the patience.

I don’t have the patience to let God rebuild my foundation, the patience to relearn basic truths, the patience to learn how to defend my faith, the patience to start from the “bottom” and just serve, the patience to really get to know people, the patience for God to transform my heart, mind, and soul into the person He has called me to be.

Though my patience is lacking, my passion however, is stronger than ever, it seems… I’m ready to go out into the world!.. Am I really?.. What can I do with the passion if I don’t have the patience? If I don’t have the patience to read scripture and study it, pray without ceasing, build deep relationships with people, serve in and outside church… then my passion is useless. My passion is misguided, because hey, shouldn’t my passion drive my patience?.. Wait a minute. Patience shouldn’t even be the focus. I can’t blame this on me not having patience

Could it be my passion after all? What is passion?…

There’s some food for thought.


I didn’t realize… but maybe my passion is lacking… Maybe I don’t have the passion to read scripture and study it, the passion to pray without ceasing, the passion to build deep relationships with people, the passion to serve in and outside church. Oh snap… How can I let God rebuild my foundation? How can I relearn basic truths? How can I learn how to defend my faith? How can I start from the “bottom” and just serve? How can I get to really know people? How can God transform my heart, mind, and soul into the person He has called me to be?… ALL WITHOUT PASSION? I don’t think that’s possible.

Passion is the key. The kind of passion that genuinely desires God and wants to see lives changed by His love.

For God saved us and called us to live a holy life. He did this, not because we deserved it, but because that was his plan from before the beginning of time—to show us his grace through Christ Jesus. And now he has made all of this plain to us by the appearing of Christ Jesus, our Savior. He broke the power of death and illuminated the way to life and immortality through the Good News.” (2 Timothy 1:9-10 NLT)

BOOM.

I have to remind myself of the Good News, of what Jesus has done for me. His passion and love for me should drive my passion and love for Him.

May I open my eyes to see His love again. May I realign all my passions to the one and only passion.


Now, though I still may be “lost,” I remind myself that I am found in Christ. I know who I am. I know who He is. And I know who I am in relation to Him. I am still learning who He is every day, who I am as well, and though I don’t have all the answers, I still trust Him. “Not knowing” shouldn’t affect how I live for Him. It should not hold me back from giving my all. It should not take away my passion. And it won’t.

Not anymore.

Letter From Home

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There’s something about Australia… There’s something about this city… There’s something about Hillsong… There’s something about this school… There’s something about these teachers…

Why am I here? Why did I specifically have to come to the other side of the world, to Hillsong College, to grow in my relationship with God?… to make forward progress in His plan for my life?

I will be finding out very soon.

There are things to be learned, knowledge to be gained, wisdom to be given, courage to be implanted, blessings to be received, prayers to be answered, gifts to be used… like never before. There are also people I’m supposed to meet, places I’m supposed to see, ministries I’m supposed to be involved in, songs I’m supposed to master… that can only be done here… for this season at least. And I don’t know how long this season will be. But there are adventures ahead that will come with excitement, struggles, joy, fear, pain, healing, questions, revelations, hope, TRUST… clarity. There is more to what God has for me, and I pray that I can see it clearly.

I’m on my own… with Jesus. I can do nothing but trust Him. I rely on His strength and no one else’s. I have comfort only and solely from Him. I am somewhere I have never been before, physically and spiritually… and let’s be honest it’s a little terrifying… a lot terrifying. Of course, His joy outweighs it all, but it will still be a bumpy ride. Am I ready? Not by myself I’m not. Good thing I got Jesus. :)

God has prepared me, my whole life, for this… through the littlest things… through memories from years ago that give revelations, through old songs that make sense now, through two words with BIG meaning, through my mom’s car, through my dad’s favorite TV show, through home videos that show God’s desire for me all along…

It’s the little things that get to me. Sure, big things, like this move, are exciting… and everyone wants to do something BIG to feel like they’ve accomplished something… but for me it’s the simple everyday things that add up and make a HUGE difference.

Before I left, I thought I had to make a bucket list of things I wanted to do. I quickly realized I didn’t have to… Why do I need to do big things before I leave to go somewhere? Why does it matter? Cause it’ll be a while before I get another chance? Oh well. Why not live life like I had been living?… I just wanted to do life and enjoy each moment. So I did… I tried. It was hard to be honest, between the packing and preparing for the move, because my mind was already in Australia it seemed, but ya know what? God brought me back through the little things… through eating dinner with friends and watching soccer… through feeding the ducks… through skipping rocks… through ultimate frisbee… through a surprise party… through playing on the playground… through bar-b-q… through talking with friends… through prayer from friends… It’s the “little” things that get to me. God knows how to reach my tender heart. Man, He cares so much.

So what now? I’m here in Australia, safe and sound, ready to begin… or ready to continue His plan for me. It’s been a bit of a rough start, but through it all I feel at home, not just because the entrance of Hillsong Church says, “Welcome Home” (which has HUGE meaning for me), but because my God is with me.

He is all I will ever need.

I pray that through this BIG change, I won’t lose sight of the “little” things… I won’t lose sight of life… I pray that I keep my eyes open and my heart wide open too… ready for God to transform me little by little. When it’s all said and done, I hope I will have changed drastically in the best way possible. I hope I will be more like Him, loving people even more with all of me.

I also hope everyone back home will be changed too… to be more like Him. Just because I’m here in Australia doesn’t mean I have more of an opportunity to grow in Christ. Nope. You have plenty of opportunities as well; they’ll just look different than mine. Keep your heart and eyes wide open. Be ready for God to transform you. He likes to do that. And look out for the “little” things. You’ll be surprised with what God has put in front of your face all along. Love every moment of life and see God through it all. Don’t fight Him. He has the best plans ever for you, trust me.

This season has just started for me, but I look forward to coming back and seeing the changes. I pray that they’ll be good ones.

Until then…