Tuesday, May 31, 2016

There Is an Exit

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 Vanessa, presented by a ministry called Living Waters which is one of my most favorite ministries. Headed by CEO and founder Ray Comfort, Living Waters provides evangelism resources and training that helps Christians share their faith (evangelism) effectively and biblically--the way Jesus did. In the video clip below of Vanessa's testimony, there are slight undertones of advertising one of the Living Water's best selling DVD's called '180'. May that not distract you from the powerful testimony she shares of how Jesus delivers her out of the pit of loneliness, confusion, and depression; that He becomes her escape, her exit out of the domains of darkness and into his marvelous light. Hallelujah!




“For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the  Son he loves, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.”

~ Colossians 1:13 - 14


To watch the '180 Movie' for free click HERE.


Be Blessed.

Happy Tuesday!
comment, follow, subscribe, and don't be shy! 

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Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Standing on the Rock



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 or use the contact me form over in the sidebar to shoot 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!


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My Dear blog readers, 

How has life been treating you lately? I hope you are doing well! 

Today I would like to talk to you about life, specifically mine! Being in the age of my youth, I have only just begun to discover, understand, and come to terms with all the many facets of life that there are that we can be confronted with. Life has its good times, hard times, happy times, sad times, and all the while we personally deal with whatever life presents us with, all around us the world is seemingly going crazy! It can all seem so overwhelming, but no matter what life throws at us let us remember that we can find consolation, rest, and peace in one thing, in our one Lord and Savior and in all the many enduring promises that He has established for us.

"His oath, His covenant, His blood,
Support me in the whelming flood.
When all around my soul gives way,
He then is all my Hope and Stay."


So far, it has been a great year for me, characterized by growth and new birthed motivation. This year marks my fourth year being a member of the touring ballet company and ministry Ballet MagnificatAs I commit to another season with them, I would like to share with you that after much seeking of the Lord over the past couple months, He has very clearly confirmed to me my calling, which remains in ministry and has been so sweetly encouraging me in it. He has affirmed me in continuing with Ballet Magnificat, but has also recently been highlighting to me the other giftings, talents, and desires I have, that I never before perceived could be used for His glory. Through an arduous process of sanctification this year, my eyes and heart have been opened up to the fact that aside from only just my dancing, God would like to be using me in ministry in so many more/other ways than I have previously, narrow-mindedly comprehended.

Transparently I will explain to you that this year has been a battle for me in fighting off distractions of the world, false idols, vain hopes, and complacency. You see, I have been doing this dancing thing for several years now and I have found myself in a very stable, secure and smug place. Sometimes I believe that is when the Lord likes to shake things up the most.

-Destractions of the World: With the constant adverse change and discontentment that our society seems to sow more and more of these days, it is hard to not buy into all the worry, and fret, and complaining that goes on, and is easy to get distracted, carried away, and sucked into the fear and drama of it all. But I know what God's word says:

John 14:27 "Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid."


-False IdolsSurely I am not the only one who struggles with the temptation of idolizing my career, my possessions, my accomplishments, my achievements, myself ? But I know what God's word says:

Mark 8:36 "What good is it for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul?"

Jonah 2:8 "Those who pay regard to vain idols forsake their hope of steadfast love."

-Vain Hopes: Similar as of that above, I'd simply get caught up in putting my hope in finite, fleeting, worthless things. Perhaps you can relate. But we know what God's word says:

1Peter 1:3-4 "Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade."

-Complacency: It is a sneaky monster. Remember how I mentioned earlier that I've found myself in a very stable, secure and smug place? Well that is the place where complacency breeds. Prohibiting me from going deeper in with the Lord, I can now see how pride and complacency has the power to compromise the value of my ministry. I touched on in further detail my experience with complacency in the blog entry HERE
But I know what God's word says: 

Revelations 3:15-20 "I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! So, because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to spit you out of my mouth. You say, ‘I am rich; I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing.’ But you do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked. I counsel you to buy from me gold refined in the fire, so you can become rich; and white clothes to wear, so you can cover your shameful nakedness; and salve to put on your eyes, so you can see. Those whom I love I rebuke and discipline. So be earnest and repent. Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with that person, and they with me."

Those these struggles seemed to be crippling for a time, I can see how it was all a part of God's process of sanctification for me. As metal get's refined and purified under fire, so my faith was also refined and strengthened by the adversity.

"My hope is built on nothing less
Than Jesus’ blood and righteousness.
I dare not trust the sweetest frame,
But wholly trust in Jesus’ Name."

I can not give you a summary of my year without failing to mention the brief but intense bout of doubting my faith that I underwent. Yes, you could have called me 'Doubting Thomas'. I am sure there were several things that instigated my storm of confusion, like the weariness produced from the battles I was fighting mention above, but also nearly abandoning prayer, and not spending enough time in the word of God. It was as Mark 4:13 says: 'the worries of this life, the deceitfulness of wealth and the desires for other things came in and choked the word, making it unfruitful.' I think visiting a number of 'diverse' churches while being on tour this year also sparked some questioning in me, which actually was really GOOD though! Basically, I was challenged to rediscover the reasons why I believe what I choose to believe, but let me tell you with excitement and confidence that it was the Word of God that carried me through that storm and helped me to see clearly. I now have a new found appreciation and passion for the Bible like I've never had before...as maybe you have already begun to gather. ^_^ 

"When darkness seems to hide His face,
I rest on His unchanging grace.
In every high and stormy gale,
My anchor holds within the veil."

I don't think I have ever experienced anything more faith-building, then doubting! I do feel a little like a new baby believer all over again, but I am encouraged reading 1 Peter 2:2-3 which says 'Like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation, now that you have tasted that the Lord is good.' I am currently, humbly and carefully rebuilding my faith in accordant with what the word of God teaches me, block by block, truth by truth. I can't put into words just how marvelously Jesus has revealed himself to me through His word. He is the Word! He is eternal, ruling, reigning, and coming back! And now that I have snapped out of my daze, I know more confidently than ever that I am ready for his coming, and I am ready to make sure other people are made aware and ready too!

"When He shall come with trumpet sound,
Oh may I then in Him be found.
Dressed in His righteousness alone,
Faultless to stand before the throne."

I Do not have an immense amount of evidence to report to you of the Lord working through myself over this past year, as I have largely been occupied with all the teaching, rebuking, correcting and training he has been doing within me! Not to say that God hasn't been using myself, and the Ballet Magnificat ministry as a whole because He has! We set out to 'plant seeds', and if/when the Lord allows, it is always a major blessing to see the fruit of it. We have toured to a number of states this year including Alabama, Tennessee, Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, Florida, South Carolina, Kentucky, Kansas...and have witnessed a number of miracles and salvations! God has been ever so faithful to us this year! Praise his Holy Name with me!

Our nation wavers, truth is compromised as the scriptures predict, and things become more and more corrupt with the passing of days, but let us NOT! Let us stand firm and remain faithful to our Savor and as Romans 12:12 says "Let us be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer."


"On Christ the solid Rock I stand,
all other ground is sinking sand;
all other ground is sinking sand."

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Thanks for reading!
Do you have a topic idea or suggestion of something I should write about? 

Do you have a question you’d like to ask me?
Leave a comment below!


*Excepts from the Hymn “My Hope is Built” (The Solid Rock) by Edward Mote


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Saturday, May 21, 2016

Apple Cookie Energy Bites

-   Fast .   Quick .   Easy .   Convenient .   Fun .   Cheap .   Delicious .  -

   
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These little guys, are wholesome and absolutely delicious! This recipe is super easy and calls for common ingredients, all which I conveniently already had on hand. These apple cookie energy bites served as a great snack for me to take to ballet. They have a shelf life of up to four days, if you can make them last that long before eating them all up!
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Ingredients

  • 2 cups old-fashioned oats
  • ¼ cup ground flaxseed (I just used whole flax seed which simply created a different texture, but worked just as well)
  • ¾ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ½ cup almond butter OR peanut butter which is what I used! (gravitating away from healthiness, I've also used cookie butter to make this recipe, yum! Or a combination them.)
  • ¼ cup plus 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 cup (not packed) grated apple (about 1 medium); Granny Smith Apples are suggested but I used Red Delicious since that is what I had on hand. Also, I would love to know how one could successful grate an apple, if someone can tell me?! I ended up "peeling" my apple to the core using a potato peel which sufficed. 


Directions:


  1. In a large bowl stir together the oats, flaxseed, and cinnamon.
  2.  In another bowl stir together the almond butter, honey, vanilla, and pinch of salt until well combined, then pour over the oat mixture and stir until everything is evenly coated.
  3.  Add and stir in grated/apple peelings.
  4.  Next, take tablespoon-sized portions of your mixture and create little balls use your hands to squeeze and shape the mixture tightly together; Slightly wet hands will help to keep the mixture from sticking to your hands.


And Tada! Your Done! Store the apple cookie energy bites in an airtight container in the refrigerator. I think they taste better after being refrigerated for a few hours before consuming. Enjoy!






Buen Porvecho!




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Friday, May 20, 2016

10 Things to do this Summer

With a two-week vacation before me and the whole month of June before the Ballet Magnificat summer camp gets rolling, there is a lot of things I would like to do, get done, and accomplish!

Places to go, people to see, fun to be had!




#1 Explore Lancaster. Being that I am from Lancaster, PA, I have never really done the touristy things and have not taken advantage of all the sights that there are to see. I want to explore all that Lancaster has to offer so that when people ask me what all is cool in Lancaster, I will actually be prepared to provide a good answer, backed up with real personal experience!


#2 Visit old friends. while back in my hometown for two weeks, I want to make an effort to catch up with some good ole' friends from high school. 




#3 Swimming. I don't care when or where, but I need to set aside time to soak up some sun and go swimming! I don't see myself making a trip to the coast anytime soon so, anybody got a pool?




#4 Knockout my summer reading list. With all the time I have on this two-week break, I should be able to at least finish the one book I've started in January. Check out my summer reading list HERE.




#5 Continue in my studies of Spanish.  Many of you may or may not know that I am really enthusiastic about learning the language of Spanish. It is a life long goal to be able to speak Espanol fluently. I have been using an awesome program online provided by SpanishDictonary.com called 'Fluencia'. Sometime I would like to make a blog post featuring all the different online tools I like to use for learning Spanish. I had to slow down with my studies because life got pretty busy, but now that Summer is here, I should be able to pick it back up again! 




#6 Make smores. Before things get too muggy and buggy in Mississippi, I would love to roast marshmallows in the backyard and make smores! 






#7 Visit Le Fleur's Bluff State Park. This is a park in Mississippi that I would like to visit that is not far from where I live. Mississippistateparks.reserveamerica.com describes LeFleur's Bluff State Park as a lush green spot in the heart of urban Jackson, stating that in addition to camping, fishing, picnic spots and nature trails, the 305-acre park features a nine-hole golf course and a driving range. There is a 50 cent entry fee, but the group of friends I have who have been there before and recommended me going, said that it was beautiful and worth paying for!




#8 Sewing. There are a few sewing projects I have pinned on Pinterest that I would really love to try this summer. Not to mention that I have a few skirts laying around that I have been dying to transform into ballet skirts when I've got the time! 



#9 Design new earrings. I've been planning some new designs for my signature soda tab earrings. I have ordered some new charms and have some fun new colors in for summer. Now I just need to sit down and take time to paint, assemble, and create them! Keep your eyes peeled for some new arrivals in my Shop. I will most likely also be selling them at Belhaven again this summer; from the Gillespie Dorms during the first session, and Caldwell the second session.




#10 Coloring. Now you know you have some time on your hands when you can sit down and pause for some coloring! I love coloring! It is as mindlessly creative as one can get. Relaxing and therapeutic, I am not talking about coloring in those new-aged, intricate, adult coloring books, but what I love coloring in are the good ole' fashioned books with the bold lines; the Disney princess coloring books, Hello Kitty, or Barbie; using the fat crayons! You have to use the fat crayons! There is one new coloring book I am interested purchasing. It is called Color Me Cluttered. This book contains pictures of objects and scenes from the home that I think I would enjoy coloring. The pictures seem rather stimulating, considering that there are many hidden objects to be found lost in the details of each scene, almost serving as 'I Spy'!




Happy  Summer!  



Thanks for reading friends,
What summer ideas do you have in mind? Please Share!
comment, follow, subscribe, and don't be shy! 




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Thursday, May 19, 2016

7 Books to Read This Summer



Listed here are the top seven books on my "To Read" list. These books made it onto this list either because 1) They are new releases I've been dying to get my hands on, 2) They've been recommended to me, and/or 3) They were once coveted, then purchased, then put onto my shelve, then never read, over time collecting dust, and just NOW are being rediscovered.

My goal is to get through all seven by the end of Summer. We'll see how that goes...


 Rediscovered 



#1 The Pilgrim's Progress by John Bunyan. (Fiction)
This famous story of man's progress through life in search of salvation remains one of the most entertaining allegories of faith ever written. It is a powerful drama of a pilgrim's trials and temptations following him along his harrowing journey to the Celestial City. Christian [The name of the Pilgram] is confronted by monsters and spiritual terrors, such emblematic characters as Worldly Wiseman, Giant Despair, Talkative, Ignorance, and the demons of the Valley of the Shadow of Death. But he is also joined by Hopeful and Faithful. An enormously influential 17th-century classic, universally known for its simplicity, vigor, and beauty of language, The Pilgrim's Progress remains one of the most widely read books in the English language.




 #2 The Heavenly Man by Brother Yun. (Non-Fiction)
This is a dramatic autobiography of one of China's dedicated, courageous, and intensely persecuted house church leaders. This is the gripping story of how God took a young, half-starved boy from a poor village in Henan province and placed him on the front line for Jesus, in the face of impossible odds. Instead of focusing on the many miracles or experiences of suffering, however, Yun prefers to focus on the character and beauty of Jesus. Interspersed with his personal account are contributions from his wife, Deling, made mostly during her husband's frequent periods of imprisonment. You will remember where you were the first time you read this life story. It's a watershed book that will turn the reader to prayer and praise.





#3 Heaven by Randy Alcorn. (Non-Fiction)
Alcorn answers questions about heaven by sharing from his extensive research on the topic—all from a biblical perspective. Heaven will help readers strive for eternity while they're living on earth.





 Newly  Released 



#4 Judge Not by Todd Friel. (Non-Fiction)
In Judge Not, Todd Friel dares to violate Evangelicalism’s first commandment: thou shall not judge. Friel satirically and painfully exposes some of the rot in the underbelly of the contemporary church and points to a solution to help rescue the church, save souls, and glorify God.
Prepare to potentially be shocked, offended, and inspired to do more than just complain about the state of Evangelicalism. This book will enable you to actually do something to put an end to the chicanery that pervades far too many churches.



#5 The Artist In Me by Tim Dryden. (Non-Fiction)
On the lighter side of things: Behind the leaping, spinning, lifting, hard work, and discipline of ballet dancers is an untold story of what happens between ballet performances. In this behind-the-scenes look at America’s first, professional Christian ballet company, Tim Dryden reveals some of his most memorable experiences while working as the first Tour Director for Ballet Magnificat. In this quasi-autobiographical account, he relates how God is actively working in his world, orchestrating the events in our lives for his glory. Tim reveres and honors God as the Author of life and the one who saves those who trust in him; he is also the God of humor and creativity. This shines through when you read about all the hilarious and extraordinary things that God does for his children. With his trademark insights, energy, and love for telling a funny story, Tim offers biblical truths about the all-powerful Artist of the universe through the retelling of stories that will be sure to amaze, inspire, and make you laugh.





#6 The Ballet Garden by Theresa Crawford.
A small forsythia bush in a garden develops as the ballet school in the barn near it grows into a well-respected school. After many joyous years of play, a wind shear destroys eight trees in the gorgeous garden. What will all the children do to help their favorite place remain a lovely fairyland for future generations? An enchanting true story for flower lovers of all ages.






Recommended



 #7 They Shall Expel Demons by Derek Prince. (Non-Fiction)
This practical guide to deliverance from demons discusses seven commonly asked questions and how to receive and minister deliverance.










All book synopsises are as seen at Goodreads.com. For an extended listing of my desired books "To-Read" check out my profile at Goodreads.com and add me as your friend! ^_^





Happy reading my friends!
Do you have any books to recommend reading this summer? Please Share!
comment, follow, subscribe, and don't be shy! 





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Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Gangster Redemption

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!


It may be to your surprise, but I have a small place in my heart for "gangsters". To define gangster I turn to Urbandictionary.com which points out that there are two types of "gangster":

  1. A wannabe thug, often illiterate and an inhabitant of a downtrodden ghetto that hangs around in "gangs"; largely associated with the African-American subculture. These try-hard wanna be "gangstas" attempt to make themselves appear like real criminals by graffitiing buildings, smoking/selling drugs and trying to appear all "[bad] and macho". An utter degradation of what true gangsters represent (see below), and street wannabe "gangsta"-types don't hold a candle to what real gangsters are. 

  2. The real gangsters are those behind organized crime; most notably the Mafia. Responsible for blackmarket trade, espionage, organized beatings/assassinations, etc. "The Godfather" portrays the archetype of true gangsters, showing the brutality of mob beatings, shootings, running rackets and abusing woman, alcohol and everything in between. The real gangsters are not to be confused with the aforementioned definition, commonly used as it might be


 I love them all! I don't know why I care for them, but I do know that they are people too, just like you and I; people in need of a Savior! And now, I ask who wouldn't love a good, real-life, true testimony of one being redeemed? That is what I would like to share with you today! The testimony of Lecrae who according to Wikipedia:
is an American Christian hip hop artist, songwriter, record producer and actor. Lecrae, in reference to his label as a Christian rapper, has stated that his music is just hip hop, though it reflects his Christian faith. Born and raised by his single mother in Southern Houston, Texas, Lecrae moved often early in life, living in San Diego, Denver, and Dallas. He has stated that he would go to church with his Christian grandmother, but considered it for "older people" and said it "wasn't for me." Lecrae never met his father, who ended up becoming a drug addict. 
Experiencing abuse and neglect during his childhood, Lecrae used his ability to rap as a source of significance. According to Lecrae, his grandmother would not allow him to watch rap music videos on television, but he would sneak in late at night. It was in these videos that Lecrae found individuals to look up to. Lecrae states that "there were no Martin Luther Kings or Malcolm Xs, they had all passed away so I had Tupac." After being shown a gun by his uncle, Lecrae began looking up to gangsters and turned to a life of crime. Lecrae remembers taking a BB gun and standing in the street pointing it to a car, frightening the female driver, simply for fun. 
At the age of 16, he started taking drugs, fighting, was arrested in high school for stealing, and eventually ended up on a gang list. According to CNN, he became a drug dealer and used the Bible that his grandmother gave him as a good luck charm. After being arrested for drug possession, the officer saw the Bible and let Lecrae go on a promise that he would agree to live by it. He eventually turned from drugs to alcohol consumption and a party lifestyle and became a "misfit of a person." He has described himself during this period as a thrill-seeker, he would pull stunts such as jumping from a third-story building, and gained the nickname "Crazy 'Crae". Encouraged by his concerned mother to read his Bible, Lecrae said that "I remember ripping the pages out of the Bible and throwing it on the floor. I don't want this Bible. I couldn't wrap my hands around this being true or real." He began to drink and smoke more and look for more women "as the emptiness became more profound." 
At age 17, his personal, financial, and relationship troubles convinced him that he was at a "dead end." Wanting to do what he considered the mature thing, through the influence of his grandmother, he desired to start attending church. A girl Lecrae attended high school with was there, and she invited him to a Bible study, where he met Darragh, his future wife. Lecrae was surprised to find that the members of the Bible study "were just people like me. They read the same books and listened to the same music. Their character was just different. They were loving and that's really what drew me in." Lecrae says that it was at age 19 that he finally decided to live for God, though "it wasn't overnight" and he "spent a lot of time making bad decisions."
Lecrae attended a conference after being invited by a friend, though Lecrae admits that his interest was to meet girls and experience the big city. When he arrived at the conference, Lecrae was awed by the performance of the Christian hip-hop group The Cross Movement. Lecrae says that he saw "guys who had been shot from being in gangs, girls who were extremely promiscuous in the past, I see rappers, dancers, and singers; I see people who came from the same background I came from, and they still embodied who they were culturally, but they were all in love with Jesus and I had never seen that before." After hearing Pastor James White of Christ Our King Community Church speak on how Christians are bought with a price and the suffering that Jesus underwent in the Crucifixion, Lecrae says that he remembers articulating "God get me out of this, don't kill me; do whatever you have to do to get me out of this, just don't kill me." 
Later, Lecrae was driving on a highway when he turned too quickly and his car went into a roll. He had no seatbelt and the roof and windshield of the car caved in, his glasses were molded into the frame of the car, but he survived completely uninjured. Lecrae cites this incident as the one which convinced him to commit his life to Christ. Lecrae went back to his college, the University of North Texas, with a printed version of his testimony to pass out on campus. He started volunteering and performing at a juvenile detention center, and the reception he received convinced him that offering "hope and encouragement" through music was what he wanted to do.

Let's look at the Parable of the Lost Sheep:

 Luke 15:1-7

 Now the tax collectors and sinners were all gathering around to hear Jesus. But the Pharisees and the teachers of the law muttered, “This man welcomes sinners and eats with them.” Then Jesus told them this parable: “Suppose one of you has a hundred sheep and loses one of them. Doesn’t he leave the ninety-nine in the open country and go after the lost sheep until he finds it? And when he finds it, he joyfully puts it on his shoulders and goes home. Then he calls his friends and neighbors together and says, ‘Rejoice with me; I have found my lost sheep.’ I tell you that in the same way there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent. 

It is pretty AMAZING that God can reach down/that He wants to reach out and meet us where we are at, know matter who we are or what we have done! And most amazingly, the free gift of redemption, free from works, has already been made accessible for us by God having sent his only begotten Son to die on the cross in our place, that He would receive the punishment we deserved for our sins; If we just acknowledge our depravity and sin and the fact that we need a Savior, if we choose to believe in Him and everything in His Word, and if we confess and repent of our sins to him, He is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness (1 John 1:9).

"When you were dead in your sins and in the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made you alive with Christ. He forgave us all our sins, having canceled the charge of our legal indebtedness, which stood against us and condemned us; he has taken it away, nailing it to the cross. And having disarmed the powers and authorities, he made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross." 
Colossians 2:13-15

"For the grace of God has appeared that offers salvation to all people. It teaches us to say 'No' to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age, while we wait for the blessed hope—the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for himself a people that are his very own, eager to do what is good."
 Titus 2:11-14

"He Himself bore our sins in His body on the cross, so that we might die to sin and live to righteousness; for by His wounds you were healed. For you were continually straying like sheep, but now you have returned to the Shepherd and Guardian of your souls"

1 Peter :24-25


*Being justified and made right in the eye's of our God is an instantaneous occurrence as a result of being saved by Christ,  with no work required of man. Sanctification is the process of being set apart for God's work and being conformed to the image of Christ. This conforming to Christ involves the work of the person, but it is still God working in the believer to produce more of a godly character and life in the person who has already been justified.

As believers still in the flesh, we still make the wrong choices sometimes. It takes time to learn, grow and mature in our faith and in our pursuit of holiness, but God promises us that He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion (Philippians 1:6). God often uses our mistakes to teach us lessons. In 2002, Lecrae impregnated a then-girlfriend and rather than risk scandal, he and his girlfriend had the baby aborted, a decision he says he now deeply regrets. But Lecrae has handled the situation with such transparency, humility, and grace. I encourage you to look into his furthered testimony here: http://www.desiringgod.org/articles/lecrae-confesses-abortion-invites-others-into-the-light


" Public confession of sin is such a liberating thing for others to come forward,” says John Piper of Lecrae’s story. “And if they don’t come out of the darkness, then they can’t have the sweetness of forgiveness . The gospel teaches us how to live, but it also rescues us when we fail to live the way we are supposed to live. And that is what makes it sweet ."








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*explanation on justification and sanctification as seen at: https://carm.org/justification-and-sanctification

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