Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Jason Castro- Going Deeper

Wowzers! It has been a busy week for me full of unpacking from my brazil trip (which I am still intending on telling you about), doing laundry, working, rehearsing, and repacking for our next tour; returning from one trip, only to be heading out for another, but at least this coming tour will be domestic. More is to be shared about all that very very soon! Stand by! Today is Tuesday and it is about time for another inspiring blog post, wouldn't you say?

TESTIMONY TUESDAY!

“Return home and tell how much God has done for you.”

~ Luke 8:39


Presenting with excitement, I introduce to you Testimony Tuesdays!!! A testimony by definition is: a formal written or spoken statement, a public recounting of a religious conversion or experience. The Bible commands us in numerous places to bring praise, glory, and honor to our God by proclaiming, declaring, and telling about His marvelous works to others. That is the purpose and heart behind this installment for my Tuesday posts. Each Tuesday (more or less), a testimony will be shared here involving the recounting of salvation, redemption, overcoming, and/or healing just to name a few; A story that brings glory to our God and in which we might be encouraged, spurred on, and challenged with at the same time.The stories that will be shared will either be of my own personal experiences, excerpts from books, testimonies I find via youtube or other media sources, as well as YOURS! I would love to know and give you the opportunity to share here with us a testimony of your own, of whatever fashion that involves the Lord doing a transforming work in your life. Just email me your testimony and I will see what I can do about posting it on a future Tuesday! You may choose to have your name be known or anonymous. I look forward to hearing from you!

 I tend to think the salvation testimonies displaying the transformation of a nonbeliever into a new believer by the divine, sovereign power of God are the most exciting, God-glorifying kind; but now I am starting to understand how it is wrong of me to think that way. Sure, it is most definitely a powerful thing to witness a heart of stone softened and miraculously turned into a heart of fleshto see a sinner repent, surrender and be set free! And sure, I can't think of anything more beautiful than seeing a new believer's eyes opened up for the first time to the majesty and glory of our Lord God and Savior, BUT God's word reminds us that He is working his loving kindness, grace, mercy and redemption in longtime committed believers too, which is just as exciting and beautiful! Each day we have an opportunity to be made new by His forgiveness; every moment even. It is as the scripture found in Philippians says:  be confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus. 

If you are any bit familiar with the Fox television hit series American Idol, then you've probably heard the name Jason Castro. Jason Castro was the fourth-place finalist on season seven of American Idol and has established himself today as an acoustic/folk-pop/contemporary Christian singer and songwriter. He uses his platform of his stardom to bring glory to Jesus Christ which reminds me of my awesome boss Keith Thibodaux, who does similarly. Today's video clip featured below (that my mom actually helped me find ^_^ ) illuminates a bit of Castro's story and how he, as a believer has arrived at the point in which he is today. He has also had a couple of great media clips produced with one of my favorite ministries I AM SECONDHERE and HERE that you should be sure to check out additionally!

 Be blessed and encouraged!




Happy Tuesday!
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Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Enslaved to Saved


TESTIMONY TUESDAY!

“Return home and tell how much God has done for you.”

~ Luke 8:39

Presenting with excitement, I introduce to you Testimony Tuesdays!!! A testimony by definition is: a formal written or spoken statement, a public recounting of a religious conversion or experience. The Bible commands us in numerous places to bring praise, glory, and honor to our God by proclaiming, declaring, and telling about His marvelous works to others. That is the purpose and heart behind this installment for my Tuesday posts. Each Tuesday (more or less), a testimony will be shared here involving the recounting of salvation, redemption, overcoming, and/or healing just to name a few; A story that brings glory to our God and in which we might be encouraged, spurred on, and challenged with at the same time.The stories that will be shared will either be of my own personal experiences, excerpts from books, testimonies I find via youtube or other media sources, as well as YOURS! I would love to know and give you the opportunity to share here with us a testimony of your own, of whatever fashion that involves the Lord doing a transforming work in your life. Just email me your testimony and I will see what I can do about posting it on a future Tuesday! You may choose to have your name be known or anonymous. I look forward to hearing from you!


Being shared with you today is the testimony of the beautiful Kirsten Haglund, presented by a ministry called I AM SECOND. These people are fantabulous! They have been around since 2008 and are just really good at doing what they do! Multimedia and the World Wide Web are their platform. They produce high quality, artsy, emotion evoking short films featuring different people from all sorts of walks of life, sharing their life stories climaxing at the point of them deciding to put Jesus first in their lives. I love how raw the testimonies are and how approachable God seems to be after hearing them. These films bring some of the greatest celebrities down to our level, making them relatable; reminding us that they are human just like us. It is real people sharing real stories about a real God who offers real forgiveness, redemption, healing, mercy and love.

Honestly, I had never heard of Kirsten Haglund before I ran into this video. I guess I've never really been so big into Pageants and stuff. According to her website  http://www.kirstenhaglund.com/bio/  and some research I conducted on her, she is most known for serving as Miss America in 2008. 


 When I first heard her story I was shocked because it was uncannily similar to my own. The battle with body image and food is not a fun one. After all, you can't escape yourself or stop eating. During my season of struggle with these things I just felt so hopeless and trapped. Satan loved having me in that place and the worst was when he had me thinking I was the only one. It is always so comforting to hear from people who've struggled similarly. We are reminded that we are not alone, and that there is hope. After I watched the video clip below, I was so encouraged. Kirsten's testimony presents a clear picture of deliverance from slavery and into freedom, by the power of God and I know that He (God) desires to do that work of redemption in all of us. Let's put ourselves second.



To view a more casual interview about Kirsten Haglund and here life, check out this video listed on Youtube HERE.


“For you are a slave to whatever controls you.”

~ 2 Peter 2:19



“But where the  Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.

~ 2 Corinthians 3:17



Choose Righteousness! 
(Read Romans 6:15-23)
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Saturday, September 3, 2016

Brazil Here I Come!

A photo I snapped of a mural I found on the side of a building in Rio de Janiero, Brazil last time I was there!
Tour season is FINALLY beginning again! Wahoo! The Ballet Magnificat Alpha Company has not toured since mid-April but while that is the case, we have still managed to stay extremely busy all this time. Though some seasons are lighter than others, sometimes it seems like "busy" is the only pace we know. The busyness while being on tour is different from the kind of busyness we experience at home. And the busyness leading up to a tour is probably the worst because you have to juggle all the travel preparations and organizing on top of all the normal busyness which is what I have been dealing with this past week. My Pre-travel preparations included:
  • ensuring that my airfare and tickets were paid for and covered (A BIG thanks to those of you that assisted me in accomplishing that!!)
  • ensuring that my passport and visa were up to date.
  • making  photocopies of my important life documents, passport, and contents in my wallet to bring with me...just in case.
  • Alerting my bank that I will be leaving the country for a time.
  • purchasing the proper converters and adapters for the corresponding power outlets so I'll have no problem charging my electronic devices.
  • downloaded helpful apps that allow me to communicate amongst my friends internationally free of charge like Whatsapp and Skype.
  • purchasing the perfect sized, lightweight, paperback journal to keep record of all the exciting adventures I will be going on.
  • ensuring that I get a good dose of vitamins and minerals into my system to boost my immune system to handle the rigorous schedule ahead of me, and for combating against the increased amount of germs I will be exposed to on the planes and elsewhere.
  • Making sure the bills are all paid and that my house is in good hands.
  • & PACKING!
For this 2-week trip, I've managed to pack most of my things in a 20-pound carry-on backpack! I must say, I am rather impressed with myself. ^_^ I've mastered the art of packing! I have been desiring to share with you all, for quite some time, all of my tips and tricks for packing. Unfortunately, today is not that day, but check back soon for that one! Today I would like to reveal to you my very precise WAY for packing clothes. I have a very particular procedure and order in which I do things.
  1. Firstly I figure out what the time frame for my trip is and look up the weather for each day. I like to calculate an average temperature. I love using Accuweather.com because they provide an excellent extended forecast.  
  2. I consider what activities I will be doing each day, keeping tallies under categories, and then I begin to pack; throwing the appropriate style of clothes into according piles.
  3. I usually pick out my shoes first. Shoes can easily determine the outfits I throw together.
  4. From there, I pick for the piles a few pair of pants and my favorite mix and matchable tops. I try to make sure that the articles of clothing I choose can be "multi-purpose"; suitable for more than one planned activity.
  5. lastly, I coordinate accessories; the finishing touch to any outfit! I choose earrings and necklaces that can be "multi-purpose"; suitable for more than just one outfit. You can't go wrong with diamonds and pearls!
  6. If a weight limit is required, and paring down your items is necessary, I just use the painful process of elimination. I always make an "honorable mention" pile just in case things change.
*Side note: When packing toiletries in a carry-on make sure your liquids are TSA approved, weighing a mere 3.4 oz.


The reality of packing IS messy! ^_^

I ended up being able to fit all of the following items into my 20-pound carry-on backpack:
  • two books and a kindle
  • underwears
  • a couple of camisoles
  • 5 pair of socks
  • a light scarf (a must!)
  • 1 swimsuit
  • vitamins, Vicks vapor rub,  and thieves essential oil ^_^

  • 1 maxi shirt
  • 2 dresses
  • 1 pair of yoga pants
  • 2 pairs of skinny jeans
  • 1 pair of gaucho pants

  • 2 long sleeve shirts
  • 1 crocheted tunic
  • 1 plaid button up
  • 3 tanks
  • 1 t-shirts
  • 2 V-necks
  • 4 blouses

  • 4 tights
  • 4 leotards
  • 1 pair of workout shorts

My dresses, skirt, and tops folded into one compact pile!


*I am carrying onto the plane 1 cardigan and a light-weight jacket.


So alas, it is time to travel again, and international at that! Bills are paid, and bags are packed. I'm ready to leave this town! It is unfortunate that the Ballet Magnificat School of the Arts and Trainee Program start up this Monday and that we won't be in town to meet and greet them, but some years it just goes that way. I suppose when we return, they will be meeting and greeting us! We will have lots of exciting stories to share with them, and hopefully, you will hear all about them here, so stay tuned! 

Brazil here I come!

" Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit "

Matthew 28:19
 



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