Saturday, June 18, 2016

LET'S BE THE CHURCH

Over the past few days, I've been visiting various parts of the Orlando area, walking around the streets and seeing how the community has come together to support each other through this difficult time. It has been truly beautiful to see how even in the midst of their own pain, people are doing everything they can to help. Businesses are giving proceeds and doing fundraisers. The streets are decorated with flowers, flags, lights, and posters. People are showing they care in all kinds of creative ways and the city is being covered with compassion.

I've also seen how the church has stepped up to play their part. There have been prayer services and vigils all over the place. People are praying together and loving each other. The peace and comfort of Jesus is being poured out and hearts are being restored. 

I couldn't help but feel like this is the way it's supposed to be. This should be the urgency of the church at all times. We should always be there for people in pain because it is constantly happening. People are always hurting and continually in need of prayer support. I think a lot of times we feel like we should let the church leaders take the main role, and we back away. Then, when tragedy strikes, we are compelled to do something, so we step up.

In our hearts, we know what we need to do but many times we are just scared to act. This week, I saw the church truly in action and something sparked in me, so I wrote a simple poem just as a reminder for us all to think on. We are the body of Christ! Let's be His hands and feet, everyday through the joy and the hardships. 

The Body
Let's be the hands
For them to hold
The helpers
Fit to serve
Let's be the feet
That are so bold 
Bringing hope
With every word
Let's be the body
Like we're told
Marked by love
Filled with grace 
Let's be the church
Our task foretold
Sharing Jesus
Bringing peace

"For by the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think with sober judgment, each according to the measure of faith that God has assigned. For as in one body we have many members,and the members do not all have the same function, so we, though many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another." (Romans 12:3-5 ESV)

A beautiful historic church I saw last night walking through Winter Park. 






























Always love,

Darcy

Monday, June 13, 2016

WHEN THE WEIGHT OF THE WORLD IS TOO HEAVY TO HOLD

Where do I begin.

The past few days have been hard.

They have been full of tragedy and suffering.

First, our hearts broke for the loss of Christina Grimmie.

I cried so much that day as I wrote about her beautiful soul.

Just her death alone reminded me of all the evil in the world.

I wrote about terrorism.

I said not to fear.

Little did I know that I would wake up the next morning to more horrific news.

The world shook with the news of the Orlando mass shooting.

Orlando, the city I've called home.

The city I worked in.

The city I attended school in.

The city I love.

Attacked.

The weight of my pain became heavier.

I took on the grief.

I mourned with those who mourned.

I went to a church service in Orlando last night and prayed collectively.

I felt the weight of the world on my shoulders.

This morning I woke up still feeling a heaviness.

I didn't want to eat breakfast.

I couldn't focus on the tasks of the day.

Then, I got into my car and when I turned it on I heard this:

When fear feels bigger than my faith
And struggles steals my breath away
When my back pressed up against the wall
With the weight of my worries stacked up tall
You're strong enough to hold it all

I will cast my cares on you
You're the anchor of my hope
The only one who's in control
I will cast my cares on you
I'll trade the troubles of this world
For your peace inside my soul

This war's not what I would have chosen
But you see the future no one knows yet
And you're still good when I can't 
See the working of your hands
You're holding it all

I'm finding there's freedom,
When I lay it all on your shoulders

-Cast My Cares by Finding Favour 

So this post goes out to all of us feeling burdened today.

Those of us whose hearts are aching continually.

When we turn on the news,

When we go on social media,

When we read the articles,

We can cast our cares on The Lord.

He is strong enough to hold it when we feel weak.

There can still be joy in midst of suffering.

None of us can change what happened but we can get stronger because of it.

We can still smile.

We can be grateful for love and community.

We can trust God's plan and have faith that He is good.

Let's give Him our fears, our sadness, and our worries.

He can carry that weight.

His shoulders are much stronger than ours.

Let's let go and say "It is well with my soul".

That is where our freedom is found.

"Cast all your anxiety on Him because He cares for you." (1 Peter 5:7 NIV)


Saturday, June 11, 2016

CHRISTINA GRIMMIE: "IN CHRIST ALONE"

I have many thoughts going through my mind right now.

Thoughts of all of the evil in the world.

Thoughts of why God continues to let us go on like this.

Thoughts of the abundant grace that we have been given as a human race and questions as to why Jesus hasn't returned yet when it is this bad.

I am actually in tears while writing this, as I listen to the incredible voice of Christina Grimmie, who was shot yesterday and killed at her own concert.

I think about the victim in the Brock Turner Stanford rape case.

I think of the terrorist attacks all over the world.

I think of the thousands of babies being aborted daily.

This world is a very scary place. It is evil and cruel.

Why? Because there is an enemy in it who is very active.

An enemy of God, with a goal to convince minds to act on every evil thought.

Sometimes I let the fear of this enemy come into my own mind.

I fear following my dreams of singing and touring the world, like Christina.

I fear allowing myself to be present on the internet and build a personal community.

I fear traveling to far off places and putting myself in harm's way.

Today, I saw a picture of Paris and I thought, wow I would love to visit there.

Then, the recent tragedies of terrorism interfered with my idea and I questioned it.

Thing is, these 'fears' only stop me if I let them keep me from acting.

The thoughts themselves can be acknowledged.

But I must not let the enemy win and keep me from living my dreams.

This applies to us all.

In this life, we will see evil.

We can choose to live in fear because of it or choose to embrace the power of Christ.

No power of hell can stop us if we surrender our destiny to Jesus.

We must understand that there is no fear in love.

God is love.

He wants the best for our lives.

We may not easily comprehend why he allows evil to continue.

We may not think it's fair.

But ultimately His plan is being played out.

One day He will return and bring judgement upon the evil.

And one day, those of us who love and abide in Him will be taken home.

"By this we know that we abide in him and he in us, because he has given us of his Spirit. And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent his Son to be the Savior of the world. Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him, and he in God. So we have come to know and to believe the love that God has for us. God is love, and whoever abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him. By this is love perfected with us, so that we may have confidence for the day of judgment, because as he is so also are we in this world. There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love. We love because he first loved us." (1 John 4:13-19 ESV)

Paris (@thefashionmedley)

In Christina Grimmie's cover of "In Christ Alone". She introduces her video by saying it is one her favorite songs ever. Her description:


"JESUS CHRIST IS MY LORD AND SAVIOR and i'm not at all ashamed of it.

As I watched the video I could sense her passion for the words.


Once she reached the last verse of the song, chills took over my whole body and my tears came pouring down. As she sung:


No guilt in life, no fear in death,
This is the power of Christ in me;
From life's first cry to final breath.
Jesus commands my destiny.
No power of hell, no scheme of man,
Can ever pluck me from His hand;
Till He returns or calls me home,
Here in the power of Christ I'll stand.

I sat in silence when the video ended.

I felt feelings of sadness that such a beautiful soul was taken from the Earth.

Yet, I also felt a peace that through this tragedy, she may be used to inspire others to devote their soul and destiny to Jesus.

For this is the only way any of us can live without fear, defeat evil, and spend eternity with our Savior.

As Christina's publicist stated, "Christina has passed and went home to be with the Lord,"




Christina has inspired me to live without fear and live my dreams. Whether that means pursuing music or just being vulnerable and personal with the world. Please share this so that more can be inspired and continue to pray for Christina's family.


Always love,


Darcy

Saturday, June 4, 2016

3 WAYS TO LEAVE A LEGACY

Do you ever wonder what people will remember you by?

Sometimes I daydream about the legacy I will leave. I wonder what I would be remembered by if I died tomorrow versus if I was a hundred years old.

What do I want my life to look like? What do I want to accomplish? Who do I want to be known as? Or will I even be remembered at all?

Well the other day these thoughts came to me after a funny incident occurred.

As the story goes, my mom was walking on the beach and began talking to a woman. They started to share about their lives and become acquainted with one another. My mom spoke of me, then about ten minutes later the woman said, "...wait a second..Darcy..that's familiar...I think I remember her from church camp...she was the one who did 'The Worm' dance!!" My mom replied, "Yes, yes that was my Darcy alright!" 

When my mom told me this story, I just laughed because a complete stranger remembered me as the girl who did The Worm...I wonder how many other people remember me for that! I must have really left a lasting impression. 

Then I realized something.

I realized that I wouldn't have been remembered if I didn't do something so crazy. I would have just been another eleven year old at church camp. 

I realized that it took guts to be a kid that danced in front of everyone with no shame. I was proud of my "Worm" abilities and I wasn't scared to show it! It was actually very brave, especially for a naturally conservative introvert like myself. 

So now that I'm older, how can I translate that bravery to my daily life? I know it's still in me, I just need the courage to show it.

We can all have that bravery actually. 

In fact, we can do far more with God's help.

In the Bible, God makes it clear that He is totally wild. He does some really crazy things. He speaks through a donkey, He causes a bush to set on fire without burning, He makes a big fish swallow a man in order to get his attention, He sends plagues of frogs/locusts, He sends demons into a herd of pigs, and He uses the most unlikely, strange people to be the characters throughout. 

And guess what? Those are the stories we remember most. Those are the people we still talk about to this day.

I see how God did that.

Point is, we humans have trouble remembering things unless they are unordinary. God knows that. So I'd say God is pretty weird. He's pretty crazy and doesn't care what anybody thinks about it. He just wants to be remembered and glorified.

Basically, we just need to face every day asking ourselves what we could do to stand out for God's kingdom, to make a lasting impact. It could be stepping out and looking like the "weird" one who stands up for your beliefs in your college class. It could be just having a contagious joy and smile that people can't forget. It could be taking a risk to go to a dangerous place to spread the gospel. It could be chasing your dreams when they go against the status quo. Whatever it is, make sure you stand out and have the courage to be original.

Moreover, when I look back on my life I can also pinpoint the people who showed me acts of kindness.

I remember when I was stranded at a gas station an hour and a half away from home, late at night, without my wallet and no way to pay for gas, when a woman overheard my conversation on the phone and handed me $20 to make it back.

I remember last week when my boyfriend bought flowers without me noticing and surprised me when we got back in the car, for no reason at all.

I remember just yesterday when I ran into an old friend in line getting coffee and while my back was turned, she paid for my drink. I insisted that she didn't need to do that but she just wanted to bless me. And you know the best part? She was wearing a shirt that said driew (weird spelled backwards). I was inspired. That's what I'm talking about!! Here's a girl who is proud to be weird, taking a risk by giving away her money, and being kind, all at once! (shoutout to Katie)

Hence, I developed my new catch phrase: Stay weird. Take risks. Be kind.

I have concluded that doing those three things will leave a lasting mark.

Most of all, we need our legacy to be for God's glory and we must remember to always give Him the credit. This is His story and He wants us to play a significant role. He wants us to be remembered, not for ourselves, but so that people will look back and say "that person devoted their life completely to Christ, without hesitation". I don't know about you, but that's how I want to be remembered.

So here is a breakdown of my 3 ways to leave an impression on the world:

Stay weird- Stand up and stand out without worrying about what people think. Laugh often, be the person with contagious joy, and feel free to dance ;)

Take risks- Chase after your calling, despite the opinions of others. If you seem crazy, that's probably a good thing because God has a way of using crazy situations to do big things.

Be kind- Leave a legacy of Jesus' love through everyday acts of kindness. Change the world by intentionally caring for people.

Now, that is worth remembering. 

People thought Jesus was crazy. People thought Mother Teresa was crazy. Both took risks because of their love for people. Jesus, even to the point of death on the cross. We can all carry the love of Jesus and that is what will never be forgotten. 

"I am a little pencil in the hand of a writing God who is sending a love letter to the world." 
- Mother Teresa

Always love, 

Darcy