Tuesday, January 10, 2017

WHAT'S YOUR STORY?

They say behind every smile is a story.

The more life I live, the more pain I see and the more stories I step into.

I've found that I have this strange ability.

It's actually a blessing and a curse.

It's called empathy.

When someone is hurting, I feel it.

I see it on their face and I sense it.

I've always been this way, ever since I was a little girl.

I take the pain of others upon myself.

Even if I only sense the smallest glimpse of hurt, I still want to try and help.

That's just who I am and I can't make it stop.

Still, even through the pain, I love to hear people's stories.

I love it when I can go deep with someone and understand them more.

I never want to stop learning about them. I want to know everything. Every detail.

I don't care if it hurts me to enter into the dark places of their life, as long as they allow me to come alongside them and help in any way I can.

Sometimes all we need is someone to listen and feel what we are going through.

Today, I was on Facebook and I looked to the left of my screen.

There was a list of randomly chosen friends displayed, with a preview of their profile pictures.

I stopped for second to look at each of their faces, and suddenly their individual stories rushed into my memory.

One was a young girl struggling with constant chronic pain every single day, who has to go to school and try to be normal when she can barely stand to move without feeling her whole body ache.

Another was a woman who was recently divorced and covering up the pain.

Next to her was an older couple who lost their newborn baby many years ago in a tragic accident.

Beside them was my friend from high school who just recently came out and told everyone that she had been sexually abused for years by one of our former teachers.

Above her was another girl my age who lost her father about a year ago to cancer.

Those were just a few of the faces I saw, chosen at random.

I am grateful these friends shared their stories with me at some point in our lives together.

Clearly, each of them have lived through some very hard times, yet somehow they still manage to smile and encourage others through it.

That is true courage and it inspires me to do the same.

We all have stories that need to be shared.

If you are reading this, I want to make sure I know your story, if I don't already.

When I saw those faces on Facebook, I felt their pain but I also felt their strength.

I want to feel your pain with you too.

Please share your story with me.

I would love to be someone who listens and goes deeper with you.

This post is an open invitation for everyone to share their stories and testimonies with me.

Even if I already know some parts of your story, there's always more to learn.

I would love for you to contact me and share.

And with your permission, I would be so honored to make a page on this blog dedicated to all of your stories.

If you'd like to participate in spreading hope in this way, email me and I'll send you a questionnaire.

God has unique plans for us all and every story is woven together.

Someday it will all make sense, but for now we can encourage one another through the journey.

This community is filled with different people, from all walks of life, who represent unique experiences.

The best way for us to find hope is through sharing with one another.

Let's discover more about our identity in Christ together and spread the hope that we've found.

What's your story?




Always love,

Darcy



Monday, December 26, 2016

AN OPEN LETTER TO THE PEOPLE WHO INSPIRE ME

About a week ago, someone told me I was their inspiration.

Her name is Elisabeth and she is a high school student.

She said that my writing inspired her to start her own blog.

When she told me this, I got that warm, fuzzy feeling inside.

I knew that I helped her get one step closer to her dreams and influenced her to follow her passion.

Then, I began to think of the people who did the same for me.

As a matter of fact, I am writing this post in order to continue passing on the appreciation to those who helped me along the way.

That is because I know I wouldn't be where I am now without the people who influenced me.

Before I begin, I want you to do this.

I want you to look back over your life and remember the people who made the greatest positive impact on you.

You know, the teachers, the coaches, the friends, that came into your life and changed it for the better.

The ones who believed in you and helped you become the best version of yourself. 

The people who saw your potential and pushed you out of your comfort zone.

Ok, now that you have a few on your mind, think of how they each influenced you to be the person you are today.

How did their direction lead you to where you are in life at this moment?

I bet you are feeling pretty thankful for those influential people right about now, aren't you?

Well, I know when I looked back and remembered the ones who helped me most, I felt very blessed.

So, I decided to say thanks.

This post is an open letter to the people who inspired my life up to this point.

I have only been on this earth for 21 years, but I can confidently say that I've had many great influencers along the way.

Hopefully those people are reading this right now.

Anyway, if you are one of them then you are either a professor, pastor, counselor, or leader that truly molded me into who I am today.

You challenged me to go beyond what I thought I was capable of.

As you know, I am not the most 'take charge' type of person.

Usually, you had to give me a little push that I wouldn't have volunteered for.

If you were a professor you may have encouraged my participation in class or critiqued my work, only to expand my knowledge further.

Maybe you told stories of your life that inspired me to work hard and never stop learning.

If you were a worship leader influencing me, you may have pushed me to step out and lead songs alone, even if I didn't feel "ready".

You saw that I could do it and you gave me a chance to lead, even though you were perfectly capable of leading it yourself.

These experiences shaped me and challenged me to believe in my gifts, simply because you believed in them.

Some of of you even asked me to play piano AND sing at the same time...shortly after you realized that I wasn't kidding when I said I wasn't very good at that.

Needless to say, I am still working on it but I'll just stick with the singing for now.

Point is, you let me try it on stage even though it was a risk.

Even if I messed up, I learned from it and I improved because of it.

You gave me a chance, despite my lack of qualifications and you allowed me to give it a shot.

That is true leadership.

Or maybe you are a counselor that listened to me and helped me through some of the hardest times of my life, or a pastor that spoke into my situation.

You may have opened up your home to let me stay with you, expecting nothing in return.

Or you allowed me to interact with your family and enter into your story, before even knowing me personally.

Whatever the case may be, your sacrifice meant everything to me and I will never forget how much you blessed me during the seasons our paths crossed.

But you know what? There is one thing that makes each of you similar, and that is you all have a heart for Jesus and strive to be more like Him everyday.

This is what I look up to the most.

It is your faith that compels you to do these selfless acts for others, even when it doesn't make sense to the world.

In all reality, your time, money, effort, and space are at stake when you do these things.

No one is forcing you to go above and beyond, so why do you do it?

No one made you give me piano lessons, or told you to let me sing a song at church, or spend an extra 20 minutes to talk to me about how I'm doing.

That wasn't in the job description or even the volunteer description for that matter.

But you did it anyway because a force inside of you lead your life, despite outside influences.

And that force is the love of Jesus.

It pours out of you and you do things that involve dying to yourself, in order to lift up others.

That is the most incredible type of leadership and you have no idea how much it has inspired me.

Thank you for letting Jesus lead your life, so that you could lead me and others like me with wisdom, passion, and humility.

God sees your sacrifice and your reward is waiting in heaven.

As I said before, I've only lived for 21 years but I hope that I can be like you when I grow up.

I guess now that I've entered the "real world", I've grown in appreciation for you and the more struggles I face, the more I see how much you gave up for the people around you.

Currently, I am packing up boxes to move to North Carolina.

In a couple of weeks, I will be interning with Elevation Church for copywriting/project management, in addition to leading worship on the weekends.

These opportunities were definitely God ordained and it is a long story to explain how I reached this point.

I'll save you from the long details and just say that after all of the auditioning, job interviews, and rejection, I was able to reflect on my life and remember what you taught me.

When I was on the stage auditioning, I remembered to focus on worshipping, so that everything else would fade away, like you said.

When I was interviewing, I thought of your business class and remembered to value myself.

The lessons are endless.

Without you, I don't know where I'd be.

All I know is that each of you helped me along in separate stages and now, here I am.

The best word I can use to describe how I feel at this point is, blessed.

And I pray that God will continue to bless you as well for the way you blessed me.

I'm not sure how many times I've said thanks in this letter, but I'll say it again, thanks.

Truly, I can't say it enough.

Ultimately, I know I have a lot more to learn but I will never forget what I learned from you.

"Let the one who is taught the word share all good things with the one who teaches. Do not be deceived: God is not mocked, for whatever one sows, that will he also reap. For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life. And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up. So then, as we have opportunity, let us do good to everyone, and especially to those who are of the household of faith." (Galatians 6:6-10 ESV)

Where there is no guidance, a people falls, but in an abundance of counselors there is safety.(Proverbs 11:4 ESV)

"And he gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds and teachers, to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ, so that we may no longer be children..." (Ephesians 4:11-14 ESV)



























So now it's your turn. It's time for you to reach out to the people who changed your life for the better and give them some appreciation. Let's spread the encouragement and remember the leaders who helped us get to where we are today and just say thanks. They deserve it. Challenge accepted?


Always love,

D A R C Y 








Thursday, December 15, 2016

REIDENTIFIED

I am not good enough.

I am a failure.

I am trapped.

I am not reaching my goals.

I am below the standard.

I am never going to achieve my dreams.

I am not producing enough content.

I am not performing well enough.

I am slacking.

I am less than what I should be.

I am falling behind.

I am letting people down.

I am a disappointment.

I am not great at anything.

I am incapable.

I am indecisive.

I am stuck here forever.

I am wasting my time.

I am embarrassing myself.

I am not talented enough.

I am needy.

I am weak

I am too emotional.

I am a bad friend.

I am too much to handle.

I am destined for mediocrity.

I am aiming too high.

I am not living up to God's standard for me.



These are the lies that the enemy tries to make me believe everyday.

They are the thoughts that creep into my mind when I'm doubting.

Some days I believe them.

Other days I block them out.

I've found that the best way to block them is to proclaim the opposite.

In my mind, I consistently have to picture every lie being slashed through and deleted when they appear.

Most of all, I remember that my true identity isn't who the enemy tells me I am.

It is who Jesus tells me I am.

In fact, my identity is found in Christ alone.

Everyday I can choose who I want to believe.

I have the power, because of Christ, to walk in the freedom of knowing who I really belong to.

This world will shout out lies, left and right.

The enemy will whisper doubts in my ear.

Still, I can choose.

When I wake up in the morning, I can reidentify myself with Christ.

That is why I gave this blog a new name.

This humble little corner of the internet is now called "reidentified".

My hope is that this website will be an open community.

A place where we can all be reminded of who we really are.

Everything you read or see here will be centered around doing just that.

It will be a documented journey of each of us finding ourselves in Christ.

Not just once, but every single day we must remember who we are.

It is the key to handling anxiety, fear, insecurity, doubt...and so on.

Anxiety is something I struggle with daily but I can only control when I hold my thoughts captive.

Honestly, the negative thoughts are simply untrue and irrational, especially in the light of Jesus.

He tells me the opposite.

He says I am enough because He is with me.

He says I can do all things through Him.

He says I am exactly where He wants me.

He says I can lean on Him and not worry about the future.

The list goes on and on.

The only difference is that I must identify myself with Him, rather than myself.

This life isn't about me, it's about Him.

If I truly stand on that, then I have nothing to be anxious about.

In my weakness, He is strong.

So what do you say?

Would you like to join me in daily reidentifying yourself with Christ?

I know I personally need to be reminded everyday because it is so easy to get distracted with the things that don't really matter in this life.

What really matters is that we know who we really are, and live in our calling.

Knowing our identity is not just a single destination.

It requires daily awareness and acknowledgment.

Let's put the lies behind us and start walking forward in truth.

Anxiety is taking over our world because we are all worried about being the best we can be or feeling like we are failing.

But guess what??

We are already exactly who and where we are supposed to be.

Now, we just have to choose to live in it and embrace it.

Jesus.

He has finished it already, we are just living in the fullness of what He did for us on the cross.

Now we can walk in peace and love.

The world has already been overcome.

Our identity has been found.

Let's discover it together.

Let's deny ourselves, pick up our cross, and follow Jesus.

Let's be reidentified in Christ, everyday.

"Then Jesus told his disciples, 'If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it." (Matthew 16: 24-25)

"The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly." (John 10:10 ESV)  -Jesus

"I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33 ESV) -Jesus

For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. (Jeremiah 29:11 ESV)

But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong." (2 Corinthians 12:9-10 ESV)

“Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever believes in me will also do the works that I do; and greater works than these will he do, because I am going to the Father." (John 14:12 ESV) - Jesus







Plus, you have to admit the name is pretty awesome.

reidentified

reidentified

reidentified

See, it looks cool, right?!

Now, try saying it out loud in different accents!

Ok I'm taking this a little too far.

See ya next time...

r e i d e n t i f i e d

reidentified

Ok.

Done, for real.



Always love,

D A R C Y   






Wednesday, November 30, 2016

GOING OUT OF BUSINESS

Last night I had a panic attack.

I looked around at everything in sight and suddenly felt completely overwhelmed.

All I saw were unfinished projects,

Things to be done,

And work that was never accomplished.

I felt like a failure.

I thought:

My business isn't growing much.

My social life is basically nonexistent.

I am good at some things, but never great at anything.

I get excited to start projects, but I don't finish them.

For example, this blog started off with a lot more consistent posts than it has now.

My business social media is now losing followers because I am slacking on the marketing.

Etc. etc.

At least these were all the things I was telling myself last night.

I was telling myself that I could never succeed.

I was believing my critics and ignoring my supporters,

With myself being the greatest critic of all.

I wondered if my writing style was too "all over the place".

I questioned if I should even write at all.

"Maybe if I wrote in paragraphs it would be better", I thought.

Or maybe I shouldn't be so straightforward about my beliefs.

Recently, I had someone tell me that I repeated myself too much in my writing.

I also went back to read a few blogs and found several typos.

"Why does anyone even want to read this if I mess up so much?", I thought.

Not to mention, I recently applied for a copywriting job and was rejected after interviewing.

...Just icing on the cake.

So with that being said, the thoughts eventually evolved into a full-blown panic attack.

Of course, here I am writing a blog about it.

You may be wondering why I would do such a thing.

Well, after I freaked out, I started to realize something.

I realized that I stink at writing, and I stink at business, and I fail at life.

The End.

Just kidding..well kinda.

Here's the catch.

I do stink at everything I do UNLESS I am passionate about it and using it to encourage others.

I stink unless I am doing it to show the love of Jesus to a hurting world.

I stink if I am sitting around telling myself I stink and not being who I am called to be.

Yes, I just used the word "stink" a bunch of times in a row!

And no, I'm not using paragraphs because structure isn't natural for me!

But guess what?! That is my style and it is the best way I can get the words out of my head.

This is how I feel comfortable sharing my thoughts.

What counts is if my writing is an encouragement to those who read it.

I could be a horrible writer and I could get rejected by the whole world but as long as I am trying to help people, then I know that I am not a failure.

I know because God told me what I need to do to succeed in this life already in His Word.

He tells me that I am good enough.

He doesn't say I have to be the best at everything or have a growing business, or even make money for that matter.

He just says to do what He has called me to do.

That's it.

Now what is it He has called me to do exactly?

Oh yes, He says to love people and to spread the gospel to the ends of the earth.

Ok, so now I just need to focus on that?

Yep.

I decided last night that I am making a transition.

I'm done being overwhelmed with trying to "make a living".

I am finished trying to prove my identity through what I do, rather than through who I am.

It has come to a point where my business and my goals aren't helping me reach my calling.

I have been so focused on trying to make sales, that I have forgotten my business is supposed to primarily exist to encourage others and point to Jesus.

It may look like it is still centered around that, but my own heart isn't there anymore.

I have been caught up in the orders, the products, and the marketing.

I haven't been passionate about it for a long time and I've finally realized that it isn't helping me love people, but rather it is keeping me so overwhelmed that I can't focus on others at all.

Moreover, I am not taking care of my own needs and my health is being affected.

So I am going to make a change.

I have decided to go back to what I know God has called me to.

I know He wants me to lead others in worship, participate in international missions and use my words to inspire.

Anything that takes my focus off of those three areas is just going to have to end.

Yes, even my business.

I am shutting it down.

All in all, I feel relieved.

Of course I will be sad to lose my business, Modest Gold, after all I have done to build it up for the past couple of years.

It feels like so much work will just disappear,

But at the same time, it feels right.

I learned a lot along the way.

Honestly, just trusting God to provide could be the key to all of this.

For years I have worried that I could possibly get stuck in a mediocre job doing something I hate forever.

I have feared being tied down, but now I see that He just wants me to be content at all times.

Ironically, I lose my contentment when I try to do everything on my own.

If what I do is keeping me from building others up, or if it is causing me to feel torn apart then it isn't worth doing at all.

This is going to be a big change for me.

I think I might finally regain my social life, rather than being busy all the time.

I think this blog will be much more fulfilling because I really do enjoy encouraging you all.

Maybe I won't be the best writer in the world but that doesn't mean I'm not good enough to do exactly what God has placed me here to do.

In fact, I am the very best me and no one else will ever be my rival because my purpose is unique.

Yours is too.

So let's stop worrying about how many followers we have online or how much money we are making.

Let's just do what we are called to do and build each other up.

Let's love like it's all the matters in the world.

Any thoughts coming from the enemy are lies.

All of those thoughts I was having last night and honestly for quite some time now, have been lies.

I am not saying that I will never think another negative thought again, but I do believe that filtering out the distractions in my life will help me focus on being still more often.

Stillness is the solution to a renewed mind.

I am surrendering the fear of living a mundane life to God.

I am done trying to make my lofty dreams happen, if it keeps me from presently acknowledging Jesus.

I am believing that He will give me the desires of my heart as long as I delight in Him, and not in my own talents or work ethic.

He is able to do exceedingly more than I could ever imagine.

My dreams are in His hands, and I am choosing contentment over chaos.

Yes, I may have uncompleted projects and to-do lists lying around but I love God more than I love that stuff and I love people more, too.

The best part of all is even if I feel like things are unfinished in my life, God is not finished with me yet and He has a much better plan for me.

Not only that, but He will complete every single thing He has ever started and it will all work together for good.

He will do the same for you.

So I encourage you to come with me on this new journey and give up anything that is occupying your mind to the point where you can't fulfill your calling to encourage others and be a light.

It could even just be negative thoughts about yourself that you need to get rid of.

Trust me, I have struggled with anxiety and depression for a very long time so I know how thoughts can be hard to control.

The key is to get rid of the root of the anxiety that is causing you to think poorly of yourself.

Maybe you are setting the standards too high and never feeling capable, like I have been lately.

Whatever it is, give it to God.

So far, I already feel a weight lifted off of my shoulders after last night and I hope you will too.

You know, maybe I did repeat myself too many times in this post,

And maybe I went off subject a few times.

Sorry, I'm not perfect and you know what?

For once I am beginning to believe that possibly my imperfections are perfectly ok.


"Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect, but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own. Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. Let those of us who are mature think this way, and if in anything you think otherwise, God will reveal that also to you. Only let us hold true to what we have attained." Philippians 3:12-16
"Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen." Ephesians 3:20-21
"And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose." Romans 8:28 

























Always love,

D A R C Y 

Thursday, November 10, 2016

3 WAYS WE CAN ALL MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN

Alright, I'm going to try and keep this as short as possible.

They say it's better to be silent than to say too much.

I've remained silent through this presidential election for the most part.

To be honest, I just don't like to get in the middle of everyone's debating.

We are all different.

In fact, I took this personality test once at a missionary conference I attended in the Netherlands.

It was a test to see which role each person would play in a team setting.

My role was "the harmonizer".

I like harmony.

Harmony is good.

I like it when people are able to come to a consensus and a compromise.

I like it when we can all get along and agree on a solution.

Unfortunately, I concluded that I was unable to convince Team America to come to a unified decision.

I have seen many people who are still trying to though.

Here's a quick reminder, the election is over.

That means you can't change the results.

Just throwing that out there.

Anyway, I decided to remain silent.

I did, until now.

I wasn't going to post any type of political response whatsoever but then I figured my blog is my family.

Hopefully, I can speak from my heart here and harmony will still exist.

Did I mention I like Harmony?

It is very good.

Alright, back to keeping it short and simple. Here it goes.

Ok let's be real, the "United" States is completely divided right now.

Miraculously, it is almost perfectly divided in half.

I am blown away by what I have been reading and watching the past couple of days.

People are angry, furious, terrified.

I don't think there has ever been such hatred toward political candidates before in history.

Not to mention, the hatred toward each other in general.

Everyone is calling everyone else ignorant.

It reminds of the movie The Incredibles when the evil villain wanted to take over the world with his masterplan to get rid of superheroes by making all of the humans super and shouted, "If everyone is super, no one will be!! Muahaha...ha..ha".

Except in this case if everyone is ignorant, no one will be.....muah...ha..right?

Or maybe everyone really is ignorant,

Or maybe there are just levels of ignorance,

But who's to say what ignorance even is?

So why do we all feel entitled to call each other ignorant anyway?

Maybe no one is actually ignorant, but rather just uninformed on every single concept...

Ahhhh ok that's enough, my brain hurts.

Moreover, I believe that this is the new evil plan.

The plan to make us all hate each other and make us all ignorant in each other's eyes.

"Whose plan?", you ask.

"Oh, the evil villain."

"What villain? Trump? Hillary?", you ask.

"No. Satan."

"I don't remember seeing a 'Satan' running for president", you reply.

"Well actually Satan is the prince of evil, but he is trying to be king over all*."

"Who else is in the running for king?" you ask.

"No one. God will always be King but Satan still believes he can overrule Him".

You see, Satan wants us to be against each other. He loves division and hatred.

He wants us all to call each other ignorant and blame each other.

He wants us to feel scared and vulnerable.

So, Donald Trump is President.

He is also human.

He is the leader of America and he needs prayer.**

Not only does he need prayer for guidance, but also for the evil that will be coming against him.

It doesn't matter who you are, evil will always come against you, especially in a position of leadership.

My point here is, let's try to come together and understand that people aren't who we should have our hope in.

People are people.

They can only do so much and they will never live up to our expectations.

Yes it is good to be informed and educated on the issues,

But we can talk and talk about issues, forgetting that our hope needs to be in God.

We shouldn't try to figure out every single problem and assume one person will fix it all.

We should be handing the issues over to our King and letting Him lead us.

America is great when we put our hope in the right place.

If not, we are lost, confused, and living in constant anxiety.

"In God We Trust", that is the key to our peace.

Satan will try to make us trust him.

He will tell us lies and make us believe that horrible, unspeakable crimes like murdering babies are not sins.

He will deceive and demoralize.

He will destroy and convince us that we do not have to be responsible for our actions.

He is the opposite of justice.

He wants us all to fight and be at war with one another over all of this.

I urge you, don't let him win.

America can have harmony and we can individually make the change happen.

The future of this country doesn't depend on one man.

It depends on the people as a whole.

We can be unified if we love one another.

Each person has to act on the future they want to see every single day.

So what can we do daily to be great again?

Let's go to the main source for the answers.

The source that was given to us way before America was founded.

The source that provided direction to those before us and continues to provide for us all.

As always, let's go to the Bible.


Love your neighbor

The best way to have harmony is to love one another. Love changes things. It can change a city, a country and even the world. Calling each other ignorant and constantly tearing each other down is not loving. Satan wants hatred and evil. He wants to stir up anger but the way we can stop it is through loving and recognizing that people are not the problem. God loves people and wants everyone to be saved. We need to see the world through His eyes and know that Satan is the source of any evil, not people. People are for loving, evil is for hating. Loving each other is God's greatest commandment to us all, not condemning each other.

"And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.” Mark 12:30-31
* "And you were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience—" Ephesians 2:1-2 
"For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm." Ephesians 6:12-13

Pray

The President needs our prayers. The United States needs our prayers. The world needs our prayers. We cannot be successful, safe, or smart without the wise guidance of The Lord. The verse below is a command. It is telling us to be "thankful" for authority, no matter who it may be. This is how we can live in peace among each other and among the rest of the world. I am thankful for President Trump and I will be praying for him, will you?

** "First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people, for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way. This is good, and it is pleasing in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth." 1 Timothy 2:2-4

Trust in God

If we want God to bless the United States, as He has done for many many years, then we need to trust in Him. It's really that simple. We need to put our hope in Him, rather than people, and He will be faithful to us. God already overcame the world through His Son, Jesus. That means there is no need to worry because it is already finished and if God is for us, then no one else can be against us!

"Blessed is the man who makes the Lord his trust, who does not turn to the proud, to those who go astray after a lie!" Psalm 40:4 
"I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.” John 16:33 
"What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things? Who shall bring any charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies. Who is to condemn? Christ Jesus is the one who died—more than that, who was raised—who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us." Romans 8:31-34


Oh, and just a tip....

Remember not to spend all of your time talking about your political opinions.

Ok? Because that can be embarrassing,

But you didn't hear it from me (look below).

"A fool takes no pleasure in understanding,
    but only in expressing his opinion." Proverbs 18:2

"Even a fool who keeps silent is considered wise;
    when he closes his lips, he is deemed intelligent." Proverbs 17:28


Always love,

Darcy







Monday, October 24, 2016

WARNING: THIS IS THE ONLY EVACUATION ROUTE

I know this is a sensitive subject right now.

I know many people are still suffering from the effects of hurricane Matthew.

I know over 850 people have died because of it.

I know homes and cities have been destroyed.

This is very serious.

It is very sad.

It is something we will never forget.

My heart aches and I can't imagine what people are going through.

I feel helpless and unworthy of the blessings I have received.

Over the course of the storm, I had a lot of time to think.

Most of us were stuck in our houses for several days.

Personally, I evacuated further inland, away from my home near the beach.

My family stayed behind in a hurricane shelter.

It was scary.

It was a time that tested our faith.

We prayed that trees wouldn't fall and waves wouldn't flood.

We prayed for safety and protection.

There's something very unsettling about knowing something destructive is coming that you can't control.

Before the storm came, people were anxious.

They rushed to the gas stations and the grocery stores.

They urgently gathered what they needed to survive in the worst case scenario.

Water and bread disappeared from the shelves.

Gasoline ran out.

I almost wrecked multiple times on my drive home from the store.

People were running straight through red lights.

They were cutting each other off.

Their minds were solely fixed on what they needed for their families.

Nothing would stand in their way.

The air felt thin.

Everyone was on edge.

I had never seen such urgency in my entire life.

I couldn't help but think about something it reminded me of.

It's something I hesitated to share with you all.

I've been waiting for the right time.

Again, I know this is a sensitive subject right now.

Nevertheless, I am going to share the analogy that came to my mind throughout this disaster.

What if,

What if, we were all told that something much worse than hurricane was coming.

What if, we were told that there was only one way to evacuate and if we didn't, then we would surely die.

Of course, we would take it right?

Not only that, but we would want to tell everyone to get out...now!

We would be urgent.

Nothing would stand in our way.

Yet, we would also have a sense of peace and safety because we knew we had a place to go.

We would have hope and assurance.

We would want everyone to have it too.

It would be our responsibility to tell everyone how to get out, or else they would be left in the rubble.

I share this scenario now because it has never been more real for me.

When I close my eyes and think about it, I can feel a similar feeling to the one I just had previously during the hurricane.

Do you feel it?

Ok, now that you feel it, I have some news.

That scenario is true.

It is happening right at this moment.

That urgency we feel should be felt everyday.

Why?

Well, the honest truth is that we are all facing destruction.

The earth will be completely destroyed soon.

When?

I do not know.

In fact, God says in His Word that no one knows the date.

Still, it is coming.

So now what?

Now, we can do one of two things.

We can choose the evacuation route or the route to destruction.

We can choose to accept the saving grace of Jesus or reject it.

The only way out is through Jesus.

If we don't follow Him, then we will die.

It sounds extreme, I know, but it's the cold hard truth.

I know because I've read it right in the Bible.

Here are just a couple of examples:

 "He will punish those who do not know God and do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus. They will be punished with everlasting destruction and shut out from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of his might on the day he comes to be glorified in his holy people and to be marveled at among all those who have believed. This includes you, because you believed our testimony to you." 2 Thessalonians 1:8-10 NIV
"This is how it will be at the end of the age. The angels will come and separate the wicked from the righteous and throw them into the blazing furnace, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. “Have you understood all these things?” Jesus asked." Matthew 13:49-51 NIV

Clearly, we must believe in Jesus and obey Him or else we will face punishment.

Yes, that means hell.

For those of us who already believe in Christ, we will be able to enter the presence of The Lord one day.

Now the question is, why aren't those of us who know the way to heaven urgently telling people how to be able to come with us?

Why aren't we letting everyone know that destruction is coming?

Why aren't we giving them the evacuation route?

Why are we scared to talk about this subject and why do we keep it to ourselves?

It should be like a hurricane warning.

We should be helping people evacuate, fast.

We shouldn't be solely focused on ourselves and what it takes for only us and our families to survive.

We might not be able to see the coming destruction with our own eyes, but we do know that it's on its way.

I absolutely love this quote spoken by a popular atheist.

"I’ve always said that I don’t respect people who don’t proselytize. I don’t respect that at all. If you believe that there’s a heaven and a hell, and people could be going to hell or not getting eternal life, and you think that it’s not really worth telling them this because it would make it socially awkward—and atheists who think people shouldn’t proselytize and who say just leave me along and keep your religion to yourself—how much do you have to hate somebody to not proselytize? How much do you have to hate somebody to believe everlasting life is possible and not tell them that. I mean, if I believed, beyond the shadow of a doubt, that a truck was coming at you, and you didn’t believe that truck was bearing down on you, there is a certain point where I tackle you. And this is more important than that." - Penn Jillette

He is saying that he respects Christians who at least try to save people from hell.

He respects people who talk about it because if they didn't, then that would mean they don't even care that the people around them are facing eternal destruction.

So even if you are reading this and you don't believe in Jesus, then know that I only want to help you.

It's kind of like I am a weather woman on the news.

I am just a messenger, telling you the facts I have learned from the doppler radar.

If you don't believe what I say, then go to the main source.

Go to the Bible.

Go learn about Jesus as a person.

Go research the historical proof that He lived and was crucified 2000 years ago.

Sometimes, even if someone claims there's a storm coming, we still want to see it for ourselves.

We aren't satisfied with just seeing a person talk about the weather on the news.

We like to see the visual evidence.

We like to watch the radar for ourselves before we really believe it and that's totally understandable.

Moreover, if we already know Jesus and want others to know the facts too, then we need to be urgent.

We need to do whatever it takes and not let anything stand in our way.

This is the most important thing and it's time we take it seriously.

Passion is in the doing, not just the feeling.

We may feel passionate about our faith, but if we don't do anything with it, then we've lost our purpose.

This is our purpose for living.

We are here to follow Jesus and share the gospel to the ends of the earth.

We are here to experience the saving grace of Jesus and share it with others.

Our time here is short and we must use it to let people know the only evacuation route.

The hurricane is coming.

Let's be urgent.

Yes, those of us who know Jesus already have hope and assurance of our safety but we can't rest in that.

We must act...now!

pic: disaster.salvationarmy.usa


Always love,

Darcy





Sunday, October 2, 2016

HAVE COURAGE AND BE KIND

Everyone paused in awe as she ascended down the palace staircase.

"Who is she?" they whispered.

"Is she a princess?" they asked.

The prince stood at the far end of the ballroom, astonished, almost star-struck.

The crowd split in two as she reached the bottom step.

Slowly, the prince walked toward her.

Her eyes met his gaze.

They looked closer at each other, as if no one else existed.

Gracefully they began to dance across the open floor.

The guests stood in a circle around them and marveled.

Something was different about the girl.

Though she looked undeniably beautiful outwardly, something shown from within her as well.

She smiled humbly and carried herself with a gentle grace.

It was not as though she wished to impress, but rather she was content as she was.

"She must be a princess. Yes, she must." they mumbled amongst each other.  



Most of you can guess what movie I just finished watching a few minutes ago.

Yes, Cinderella.

Not the cartoon, though that one is always a gem.

No, this time I watched the real-life version.

Ok...ok maybe it's my fourth or fifth time seeing it...not counting in theaters..

If you've seen it, you should agree with me that it is quite enchanting and even inspiring.

If you haven't seen it, hopefully some inspiration will carry over into this post.

Oh, and you really should see it,

But before I begin I would like you to know, I am not paid or sponsored by Disney.

Although with all the promoting I do for them, I really should be. Just saying.

Anyway, not only am I inspired by their lovely, royal-sounding accents in this film, but also their characters.

By this, I mean the actual self-character of both Cinderella and her Prince.

Believe it or not, we can all learn a lot from these two,

Whether we are ladies or gentleman.

Deep down, most of us want to be like them.

We want to have good character.

We want have integrity and the strength to do what is right.

We want to find true love and happiness.

We want to have courage and be kind.

We want to leave a legacy and be remembered as someone who loved unconditionally.

These are the qualities of princes and princesses.

In fact, I've noticed a pattern with every princess movie I've watched.

I've realized that each princess goes through a time of very difficult circumstances.

Perhaps, her whole life has been a struggle.

She may have a broken family or a situation at hand that she can't control.

Still, she finds a way to control one thing.

That is, the way she reacts to her life.

Instead of being miserable, she is the opposite.

She is happy and content.

She takes what she has, and does the best she can with it.

She comes up with creative ways to use her time and works hard everyday.

Of course, she dreams of better days to come, but she doesn't waste away her thoughts wishing constantly.

She hopes, but she still lives in the present.

She smiles and sings.

This is what makes her so beautiful.

This is why we admire her and secretly want to be like her in real life.

Not to mention, the greatest part of all is, even though she is happy where she is, she ends up much happier in the end.

She ends up with more than she ever dreamed of.

Then, we all watch and smile at the screen because we see that out of all people, that girl deserved to be a princess because she went through such a hard time, yet remained true to her character.

She didn't react harshly when people treated her poorly.

She was kind to every person and even every animal.

She stayed true to her promises and never ever gave up.

Of course her Prince did the same.

He was determined and strong.

He was patient and genuine.

He was sensitive and caring,

...oh and charming, might I add.

The point is, these are the qualities we all wish to have.

This is the story we all want.

Sometimes, though, we only see the end result and we don't look at the struggle it took to get there.

Let's say, somebody out there didn't know Cinderella's full story.

They may assume, "Oh, that's just all fake, nobody gets their lives handed to them like that. All princess movies are just tricking people into thinking they can get whatever they want without working for it".

In reply I'd say, "Cinderella had a very difficult life and she worked very hard. Ultimately, her love and kindness brought her what she gained in the end and that is more deserving than anything else".

Just so, your life might look like Cinderella's did in the beginning.

You might be working very hard everyday, and remain unnoticed.

You might be scrubbing the floors and cleaning up messes or working at job where people mistreat you.

You may have a broken family or you may have to carry the burden of loss.

This is real-life.

We all have stories of hardship.

Cinderella offers us her secret though, and that is,

"Have courage, and be kind".

Through all of it, we must be able to find joy in our circumstances.

We must remain kind, and that takes true courage.

Here's the problem, though.

We don't live in a fairytale world.

We live in a fallen world.

None of us can live up to a perfect character.

None of us can truly love, without some form of self-seeking.

There was only one Prince who lived, and did this perfectly.

He had all of the qualities we strive for.

He kept every single promise and He never stopped pursuing us.

He waited patiently for us.

He was kind to every person He met and He had the courage to even sacrifice His own life for love.

His love for us.

His name was Jesus.

His name is Jesus, and He rose victorious.

He now stands at the right hand of the Father, The King.

One day He will return for us on a white horse and rescue us from our brokenness.

Until then, we must be able to build His kingdom here on Earth.

We must do the best with what we have and find joy through it all.

Life definitely isn't a fairytale but heaven is even better than a fairytale.

It may seem hard to believe, but it is true. Heaven is real and it is where we will go if we decide to follow Jesus in this life.

We can have hope in the days to come and the only way we can find true, real love and power to remain courageous is by knowing Jesus while we are here on Earth.

The more we know Him, the more we know of His qualities.

We may look at the movies and be inspired by characters,

But Jesus is real, not fiction.

He has all of those qualities, perfected in reality.

With Him, we can have them too.

We can love others, even when it's hard.

We can be kind, despite cruelty toward us.

We can have the courage to press on,

And we can only do this fully with Jesus, not on our own.

Then in the end, after our toil is done, Jesus will take home those of us who believed in Him, and we will end up in a kingdom far greater than any we could have imagined.

The King will look at us and say "Well done, my good and faithful servant".

He will see Jesus and consider us deserving.

He will smile at us and be pleased.

Not because of our work, but because of Jesus.

We will enter His gates and it will be like a fairytale beyond what our human mind could have ever comprehended.

Until then, we must keep going and have hope in what is to come.

We must let Jesus shine through us, so that people see His kindness,

So that the world can see Him and also receive the courage we've found.

Of course, God's blessings on Earth will come to us,

But we don't have to wait around expecting a "better" life,

Rather we can be content as we are, and where we are.

We can sing and have joy, praising Jesus for saving us.

We can be princes and princesses, because that is exactly what we are.

We are daughters and sons of God, the one true King.

So let's live like we are.

Let's possess the qualities of Jesus.

Let's bring heaven to earth, as we allow the Holy Spirit to work through us.

Let's smile and have joy that seems like something out of a Disney movie.

Let's have courage and be kind,

Because we know Jesus would.

He is who we should really want to be like.

His character is what we should really want to have,

And as we walk down the staircase of life, people will look at us and see something different shining out from within us.

They'll say to us, "There's something different about you".

Then we'll say, "Well it's definitely not anything we've done because without Jesus we all would have tripped and fallen down every single one of those steps, literally and metaphorically".

"Oh..so you're not royal?" they'll ask.

"Well technically we are but that grace you see isn't from ourselves, that grace is from Jesus."



Jesus said to him, “You have said so. But I tell you, from now on you will see the Son of Man seated at the right hand of Power and coming on the clouds of heaven.” Matthew 25:21 ESV 

His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant.You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master.’ Matthew 25:23 ESV

You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore. Psalm 16:11 ESV

If anyone serves me, he must follow me; and where I am, there will my servant be also. If anyone serves me, the Father will honor him. John 12:26 ESV

Beloved, we are God's children now, and what we will be has not yet appeared; but we know that when he appears we shall be like him, because we shall see him as he is. 1 John 3:2 ESV


Always Love,

Darcy






A photo from my visit to the beautiful (very royal-like) city of Lima, Peru! :)