Wednesday, February 23, 2011

because... can't possibly be tired of my NEEDTOBREATHE videos, right? I didn't think so. Haha. This time around, Bo is the one goofing off. I'm telling you, this new album is gonna be off the hook!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

daniel fast pt. 2

This morning as I was driving to work, I realized something. I was shopping last night for the food I needed to get through the rest of the fast, and I found myself drawn to stare down foods like mac n' cheese, donuts, and all things chocolate. I did not do anything but maybe slightly drool...haha. But the truth is that I wouldn't be drawn to those things if I had never tasted them before. Because I had, I knew what I was missing out on. And they sat there on the shelves of the store, taunting me. "Eat me," they laughed and said...but I refused to give in.

It's just like sin. Paul talks about how the law brought us awareness of our sin, and how that very awareness entices us all the more. Plus, most sin is fun or comforting...or we wouldn't desire to do it.

"But sin, taking opportunity through the commandment, produced in me coveting of every kind; for apart from the Law sin is dead. I was once alive apart from the Law; but when the commandment came, sin became alive and I died; and this commandment, which was to result in life, proved to result in death for me; for sin, taking an opportunity through the commandment, deceived me and through it killed me." Romans 7:8-11

The good news is that while we have this internal struggle over sin, we also have the Lord Jesus Christ living within us to help us fight that battle. He is transforming our very nature. While we may still have a desire for sin, we also have something within us that wants it as far away from us as possible. And through Christ, we have victory. Just like I was able to walk away from the trance that the mac n' cheese threatened to keep me in, we can begin to walk away from our sin. There is hope for your struggle. Whatever it may be, bring it to Jesus. He can and will give you the strength you need to walk away.

Monday, February 14, 2011

a little love...

Maybe this won't make you smile as much as it makes me smile, but this is my way of sending a little love your way. How is this so? Because a little NEEDTOBREATHE in anyone's life will make it better. :)

Saturday, February 12, 2011

daniel fast

Right now I am just past the halfway mark of a three week Daniel fast. If you don't know what that is, basically, I am going without meat, dairy, sugar, breads that rise, caffeine, and most other junky foods that might not quite fit in the previous categories. The first week, I pretty much hated life. The food sucked, my attitude sucked, and I had headaches every day. I was hungry alllllll of the time and I had thoughts of quitting. But then I got to the second week. It was like a light turned on and I knew I could do it. Here's hoping for a strong finish, and I am seriously considering maintaining some of this after I am done. I feel better. It's hard to explain, but I guess it's true. If you eat well, you feel well.

God has especially been speaking to me during this time of sacrificial eating. Trust me, going to baby showers and not eating the cake, taquitos, and all other things amazing is not the easiest thing to do. I realize that I usually eat whatever I want. And I don't always make horrible choices. However, sometimes even decent or good choices aren't the best. In choosing to do this fast, I am refusing to give into my desires. My desires in the last week or so have been for fried chicken, donuts, red velvet cake, cheeseburgers....yeah. But instead, I've had salads, and couscous and rice and oatmeal. I also find it really easy to cheat. I don't know about you, but I have yet to find very many "Daniel fast friendly" restaurants to eat at. Salads are usually sub-par, and then you are left with few to little options beyond that! So, I've let myself cheat and have salad dressing so it's not horrible, or a little sugar in the oatmeal so I don't gag.

Just like this fast and my choices with food, we can live our lives in a similar way. We can do whatever we want. It's our choice. Sometimes we are even doing good things...and yet, they might not fit the best that God has for us. How many times can you remember denying yourself something you wanted recently? Most of us don't even think twice. We just go for it. Eat that cookie, buy that dress, go see that it's an automated response. Like a spoiled child. The truth is, I have been a spoiled child.

God is trying to show me His dreams, and I have been reluctant in some areas. I have chosen MY way, ending up with less than the best. And when I haven't gotten my way, I throw a fit as though doing so will bring about what I desire. Instead of making choices based on my desires or trying to follow God's plans but finding it easier to cheat a little, I know I need to seek out His best. While eating healthy and learning self-discipline has been beneficial in this season, I see that the realization of the need to desire God's best has been the purpose behind this fast. I do look forward to eating certain foods again, but I also can't wait to receive the dreams God has for my life. He's already showing me things, and I am getting giddy about diving in!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

nathan angelo

I don't even remember how I stumbled upon this musician, Nathan Angelo...I imagine it was probably while I was hopping around iTunes. There is a place that says something to the tune of "people who bought this also bought" and it might have been because of Dave Barnes. Or a good friend recommended him. Either way, stumbled I did, and I am so so glad. Nathan is one of the musicians out there who in my opinion doesn't make music for the sake of pleasing the crowd, but rather he writes from the heart. His style and sound is refreshing in a world that mass produces pop, chews it up and spits it out, only to move on to the 'next big thing'. He's got soul and the boy can saaaang. He's worth a listen to....over and over.

I don't usually write about musicians here (except NEEDTOBREATHE...haha), but I am realizing more and more how much music is a part of who I am. Lyrics quite often feel like someone's taken a sneak peek into the innermost thoughts of my own heart and have exposed them through song. That's why I've begun to share songs here. That and I'd love to give a little attention to worthy musicians out there. Like Nathan Angelo. He also happens to be my first concert on my trip across the country in March. His new CD releases March 4 and he's having a CD release party the next day in the very same city I am flying into. As he told me via Twitter, "It's meant to be"...yes, indeed. He happens to be in my top 3 artists I want to see but have yet to. Happy. You bet I'll take pictures, and share all about it when I return. In the meantime, check out these two songs I've posted. They are previews from his upcoming album.

Align Center
(I would love for my future husband to sing this song to me one day....melt!)

Deo fidelis

Deo fidelis.

The other day I was driving after dropping off the rent check, and I noticed this phrase written on one of our local government buildings. At first glance, I assumed that this phrase would be interpreted as "Faithful God". It was an encouraging word to me, as it was a sweet reminder of God's faithfulness. That to me can never be questioned.

But I went online to see what it meant and was surprised to find that its English interpretation actually means "Faithful to God". What a beautiful and powerful statement to be written on a governmental building.

I keep thinking about that phrase since the day I casually passed it.
Faithful to God.
It is what we are called to be.
No matter what.
It doesn't matter what the circumstances look like,
whether we are "getting our way",
whether we have been disappointed or discouraged.
We are called to be faithful.
We have a choice.
God will never stop being faithful to us.
Where do we stand?

Faithfulness and being a woman of faith is something God has spoken over my life.
I can't say that I've always lived up to that word.
But I want to.
I pray that I can be like Abraham in Romans 4.

“in the presence of Him whom he believed, even God, who gives life to the dead and calls into being that which does not exist. In hope against hope he believed, so that he might become a father of many nations according to that which had been spoken, "SO SHALL YOUR DESCENDANTS BE." Without becoming weak in faith he contemplated his own body, now as good as dead since he was about a hundred years old, and the deadness of Sarah's womb; yet, with respect to the promise of God, he did not waver in unbelief but grew strong in faith, giving glory to God, and being fully assured that what God had promised, He was able also to perform.”

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

this makes me smile...

If only I knew how many days there were left till this album is released,
I'd be counting them down!

song of the week

You can probably guess why I like this song so much...
This album came out officially today, but being on the West Coast has its advantages.
I was able to download it last night.
It has been on repeat all day (not just this song...ha)