4 Girls 1 Purpose

We are girls who love Jesus and have a passion for encouraging & equipping others to be all they can be for Him!

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Don't Be Stinky, Use Your Spiritual Soap!

When I was a kid I sort of went through a season of having a bad mouth. When I would curse, I can vividly—VIVIVDLY, remember kicking, screaming, and begging for forgiveness whilst my mom pulled me into the bathroom and scrubbed my tongue with a bar of soap. It was absolutely the worst punishment ever. But now, what do ya know—I never curse (never = rarely). Now that I look back at that traumatising experience, I am so thankful for my mom because she didn't just say she'd deal with it later and leave me cursing like a sailor, she decided to prepare me for the future and help me to mature!

Just like my mom used to have to wash my mouth out with soap in order to teach me a lesson, I have to hide God's word in my heart and speak it out of my mouth to teach my mind a lesson.

In order to renew our minds and become more mature, it's vital that we guard our hearts and take every thought, emotion, and impulse captive to the structure of life shaped by Christ!

For me, the easiest way to do this is to speak God's word over whatever I'm facing (even if I can't speak it audibly, you get the point—speak it in your mind if you have to). It's so so easy to do, for example: if you're angry, use your iPhone to google what God's word says about anger! Hello! Start killing off those terrible thoughts and strongholds bit by bit. Start putting what God says about your situation into your situation. Don't let your emotions, thoughts, and impulses rule you. Let God help to mature and bring the best out of you, you'll be so much better for it! "Emotions are a great servant, but a terrible master." —Christine Caine

Scripture to Note:
The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ. (‭2 Corinthians‬ ‭10‬:‭4-5‬ NIV)

My son, pay attention to what I say; turn your ear to my words. Do not let them out of your sight, keep them within your heart; for they are life to those who find them and health to one’s whole body. Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it. Keep your mouth free of perversity; keep corrupt talk far from your lips. (‭Proverbs‬ ‭4‬:‭20-24‬ NIV)

Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will. (‭Romans‬ ‭12‬:‭2 NIV)

-Cole NeSmith

{Meet Cole}

Cole Nesmith is one of the greatest guys in the world! He is a champion of excellence. He desires to bring God his best in everything that he does! He is a great friend and leader. He is part of Barefoot Church in North Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, but has been attending Hillsong College in Sydney, Australia since January. We are so excited to have him as a guest writer!

Monday, June 22, 2015

A Good Father

We once heard a story of a father-son duo that rocked our world. TheWeek.com tells us about this special duo.. “After Rick Hoyt sustained severe brain damage during birth and was diagnosed with cerebral palsy, doctors recommended the family give up any hope of him living a normal life; institutionalization was the only way. But the Hoyts paid no mind, and raised Rick like any other normal kid. Though he was restricted to a wheelchair, couldn't speak, or use his arms and legs, the boy camped, swam, skied, and attended public school — eventually going on to graduate from Boston University. Fifty-one years after that grim diagnosis, Rick not only lives in his own apartment but is also a celebrated athlete. How you might ask? With the help of his father, Dick. When Rick was in middle school, he wanted to enter a charity race to raise funds for a recently paralyzed fellow student. His father, who had never run before, offered to push him in a clunky chair. That arduous race led to a lifetime of team racing (not to mention better chairs). Using a specially engineered chair, Dick and Rick have finished more than 1,090 races, including 252 triathlons, 70 marathons, and 94 half marathons.” What an incredible father Dick was to his son!
This got us thinking.. Earthly fathers can be the greatest blessing. We love our dads! They are the greatest in the world and they love us so much. As great as earthly fathers are, our heavenly father is even better. For those of us that have a personal relationship with God, He is our heavenly father! We think Dick Hoyt is an awesome picture of how God is with us. When we were born, we all received a terrible diagnosis. We were all born sinners. But God, in His great love for us, sent Jesus to die for our sins. For those of us that have surrendered our lives to Jesus, He has come alongside to push and guide us in this race called life. God is a good, good father. He loves and cares for His children far more than we can even comprehend.

Today, won’t you be mindful to sit with your heavenly Father and praise Him for being so good. Even when life isn’t good, He is good. What a cause for praise!

All the love,
Kendall, Baylee, & Brelin xxx

Monday, June 8, 2015

Even When I Don't

I often have so many thoughts going through my mind at the end of the day. Then sometimes, I lay down to go to bed and try to process the day but I can't even form my thoughts. I don't always understand my feelings and it can get pretty discouraging after a while. But, I've learned one thing over the years, God always knows my heart. No matter how chaotic my mind gets, He knows. In fact, He knows and understands me when I don't even know and understand me. That brings me peace and comfort.

I had a friend say to me something like, “I know myself well enough to understand that I don’t really get me.” Think about that for a minute. Humans are very complex. We are woven so intricately that even we don't completely know ourselves. But rest assured, love, because God knows us. He knows our deepest desire and every emotion.

When we are feeling discouraged because we can't figure out what we want or even what we are feeling, surrender it to God. Lay it at His feet. Know that it’s okay not to know. Be encouraged by this verse: Psalm 139:2 says, “You know when I sit down or stand up. You know my thoughts even when I'm far away.” We don't always have to have it together. In our weakness, we see God's strength. One of our favorite pastors said, "Our greatest weaknesses are often the canvas upon which God displays His greatest strength." {Steven Furtick}. How cool is that?! God turns our weaknesses into something great for His kingdom.

All the love,

Kendall Grayson

Monday, May 25, 2015

Feel the Rhythm

"Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you'll recover your life. I'll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won't lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you'll learn to live freely and lightly."
{Matthew 11:28-30, MSG}

As our good friend Sanka Coffie once said, “Feel the rhythm! Feel the rhyme! Get on up, its bobsled time! Cool Runnings!” If you’re thinking, “What does this verse have to do with bobsledding?” The answer is… absolutely nothing. This verse has nothing to do with bobsledding but everything to do with the “rhythms” of grace. We have to feel the rhythm, learn the rhythm. What does rhythm mean anyway? “A strong, regular, repeated pattern of movement or sound.” What does grace mean? “The free and unmerited favor of God.” Here we have something VERY powerful! As Jesus is telling us to learn the unforced rhythms of grace, He’s telling us to learn the strong, constant, free, unmerited favor of God… and it’s unforced. It is given to us but not forced upon us.

How do we get into the rhythms of grace? (The rhythms of receiving and extending the grace God offers us and experiencing the fullness of a relationship with Jesus.) Think about for a minute the best dancer you know. Now think about the worst dancer you know. What makes them different? What makes one so great and the other; well, not great? There is a good chance that rhythm is what separates the two. Rhythm, groove, and insync-ness to the music is vital. A person can learn all the moves, do all the motions, but that person will not flourish as a dancer unless he gets into the groove. He has to get into the rhythm. He has to be in sync with the music… What’s the rhythm in your walk with Jesus? Are you in sync with Him or are you just doing the “moves”?

Our relationship with God is not meant to be based on a check list. “Okay. I prayed this morning… check! Read my Bible… Check. Went to church on Wednesday AND Sunday… Check! #SuperSpiritual” That’s just not how it’s supposed to be. Even though all of the things mentioned are great and so important to our spiritual journey, we must get in tune with the rhythm, not just do the motions if we are to truly grow in the rythms of grace.

How do we move from just doing the motions to feeling the rhythm?

  1. We have to stop treating our time with Jesus like something we have to do. It is something we GET to do! We have the unbelievable opportunity to have fellowship with the same God that created the moon, stars, ocean, mountains, etc. He made it all, knows it all, and still desires to know and love us. In James 1:18 it even says “And we, out of all creation, became His prized possession.” It is the biggest honor in the world to be able to spend time with Him!!! It’s not a “have to”, it’s a “get to”.
  2. When we feel ourselves starting to just do the motions, we need to stop what we’re doing and talk to God about it. Ask Him to help us experience the unforced rhythms of grace.
  3. We have to give God all we’ve got. We can’t only go to Him when things are bad, or when things are good. We have to have an everyday, all the time relationship with Him. A relationship where we talk to Him, listen to Him, and lean on Him every second of everyday. That is when we will truly experience the beautiful, unforced rhythms of grace.

    All the love,
    Kendall, Baylee, & Brelin xxx

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Watch & Learn

"Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you'll recover your life. I'll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and
work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won't lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you'll learn to live freely and lightly."
{Matthew 11:28-30, MSG}

There was a time when my dad was going to teach me (Baylee) how to fish. But before I continue with this story, you have to understand, my dad grew up out in the country. Going fishing was a regular outing for him. He would basically call himself a pro. As you can imagine, my expectations for this lesson were high. So, now back to the day when he was going to teach me this skill. It started a little something like this. "Here honey, let me show you how to do it." In his demonstration he put his hands on the fishing rod, casted it out & caught a big, fat, truly MASSIVE... tree. That's right, he caught a tree. In case you're wondering, neither my dad nor I are master fisherman these days. Practically speaking, it's obvious that my dad was out of practice. However, the principal remains true, we learn best from watching. And it just so happens that on that day, I learned how not to catch a fish!

We don't have to walk through life blindly. Jesus is literally inviting us to watch & learn from Him. It's just like in school. A good teacher is not going to give his students an algebraic equation & expect them to be able to solve it without first breaking down the formula. God, desiring for us to learn, has given us a guide book that breaks down what is means to be a follower of Christ - the Bible! Not only that, but He's made the Holy Spirit available to live as a guide for whoever would accept Jesus. Here's a simple formula to lay it out: God's grace + our surrender = abundant life. We are called to follow His example. We are called to love Him & love others. This is the only way we will be able to learn the unforced rhythms of grace (which we will talk more about in blog #3).

How can we watch and learn today?
Read God’s word & listen for God's voice. We can’t learn how to do what He wants us to do if we’re not constantly and consistently reading the Bible. We not only need to watch, but we need to listen. Proverbs 3:5 in the Message version says, “Trust God from the bottom of your heart; don’t try to figure out everything on your own. Listen for God’s voice in everything you do, everywhere you go; He’s the one who will keep you on track.” How can we separate God's voice from the other voices in our lives? NOTHING that comes from God will contradict His Word! If what you're hearing lines up with the Bible, you can trust it. If what you're hearing does not line up with the Bible, you can be sure it is not coming from God!

All the love,
Kendall, Baylee, & Brelin xxx

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Walk With Me

"Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you'll recover your life. I'll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won't lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you'll learn to live freely and lightly."
{Matthew 11:28-30, MSG}

We absolutely love these verses. There is so much power and freedom found in them! Today starts our first ever “blog series”. This blog that you are reading right now is part one of a three part blog series. In each blog we will touch on different parts of these verses. Today we want to look at…

“Walk with Me…”

First thing’s first… Who is “me”? In this statement, Jesus is “me”! He is inviting us to walk with Him. How amazing is that?! Let’s talk about a walk. There can be something so intimate about taking a walk with someone. Picture for a moment a movie, a movie you’ve seen where two people (likely love interests) are going for a walk together. We’re imagining one of our favorite movies, While You Were Sleeping. One of the turning points in the movie is when Jack is walking Lucy back to her apartment. On that walk, they talk. They get to know each other. It’s just the two of them… walking together and talking together. They are falling in love with each other on that walk!

Do you realize that God wants us to walk with Him? But the crazy thing is, He’s not just talking about a quick stroll around the park, or a walk back to our house. He is talking about an every second of every day kind of walk.

"Don’t grieve God. Don’t break his heart. His Holy Spirit, moving and breathing in you, is the most intimate part of your life, making you fit for himself. Don’t take such a gift for granted." {Ephesians‬ ‭4‬:‭30‬ MSG}

It's crazy cool that God loves us so much, that when we don't recognize His love for us, He grieves. He doesn't need us and we've given Him absolutely no reason to love us, but He cares for us SO deeply that He wants a genuine, intimate relationship with us anyway. Our relationship with Jesus is the most intimate thing we could ever experience. He invites us to walk with Him, and on this walk we can fall deeper and deeper in love with Him as we get to know Him better.

So how can we better walk with God?

W - Wake up to God daily. Start everyday out by having time with Jesus. Everyday. But remember that looks different for everyone! Maybe you start with prayer time, maybe you read your Bible, or a devotion, or all of the above! Find what works best for you & Jesus.

A - Ask the Holy Spirit to lead you. Ask Him to give you open eyes to see where He is leading you and an open heart to be willing to follow.

L - Love & be loved. Well, we probably should switch these two around. How about, be loved and love! Allow Jesus to pour out His unconditional love upon you and then love others with all you’ve got! The way we love and serve others is a beautiful testimony of how great God is.

K - Keep a running record of how God works in your life. When you’re walking intimately with Jesus, He is going to do amazing things in your life! Make sure you write them down. Life happens and sometimes it’s easy to forget how faithful God has been… but when we write down what He has done and is doing in our lives, it is such a blessing to be able to re-read and reflect on that.

All the love,
Kendall, Baylee, & Brelin xxx

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Steak & Potatoes

Isn't it crazy that when we were kids many of us attempted to plan our whole lives out? Remember, we decided what we wanted to do with our lives when we grew up. We decided how old we would be when we got married. We planned out how many children we would have by a certain age. However, reality sets in at a certain age. Some of us reach young adulthood and we are not married and we have no kids. Others are still in college working on a degree different from the degree they were working on when they started school. If any of this sounds familiar to you and you have not reached certain goals yet, don't worry. God is not through with your story yet. He is not through with ours either. Thankfully, there are many unwritten pages in our future. Stay faithful! His plan will be revealed in the proper time. The other day, God gave us an analogy. When we are at restaurant with a plate of steak and potatoes in front of us, what are the thoughts going through our minds? Probably something along the lines of, “Wow, this looks really good!” “I can’t wait to eat this!” “I’m so hungry and this is exactly what I need!” Most likely we are not thinking about the fact that they didn’t serve us dessert first. We aren't pitching a fit or crying in our seat because we want dessert. No, that would be silly! We know that dessert is eventually coming, so we excitedly eat what we have and patiently wait for what's to come. Now, you might be wondering where we are going with this... we are actually going to take a few different directions, so buckle up.

1. We need to be content with what we have. God promises to take care of us (see Jeremiah 29:11). When we have steak in front of us, we shouldn’t complain or worry about the dessert that we have already preordered. We know it's coming, so we should just wait and enjoy what we have. In this case, the dessert might be that future mate that you’ve been praying for. Maybe God has promised that He is going to bless you with someone, so you need to wait and just eat the food that God has provided until that time comes.

2. You can’t live off of sugar alone. Have you ever eaten dessert first and felt really sick after because of the sugar overload? It seems like a good idea at first, but after you realize it isn’t worth it. We have to fill up on the steak and potatoes that God has given us. He isn’t withholding the dessert, He just wants to make sure we are properly nourished before the dessert comes.

3. God’s plan is perfect. He knew us before we were born and had a divine plan for our lives. We need to trust that He is going to provide for us daily. He will bring certain people in our lives when the time is right. Just remember, He sees the big picture. If we saw what God saw, we would be a lot more apt to do what He says. May we all have the faith to believe that God will do what He says He will do! (Because He will!)

All the love,
Kendall, Baylee, & Brelin xxx

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Don't Despise Small Beginnings

There is a really good chance that you’re frustrated with where you are in your life. You know you want to do amazing things for Jesus. Maybe you want to be a worship leader and lead thousands in worship, but right now you’re leading 20 (on a good night). Maybe you’re passionate about finding a cure for cancer, but right now your biology class is beating you up AND taking your lunch money. Or maybe you dream of being a wife & stay at home mom, but you’re single… and see no husband material anywhere. 

Let us encourage you with something:
Don’t despise small beginnings.

So. Many. Good. Things. Begin small! Often times the greatest things come from beginnings that seem useless and mundane. But when we are faithful with the small beginnings- with the daily grind of being committed to what God has called us to do right now- God can and will do incredible things. Easter is coming up this weekend… Did you know that Jesus’ powerful resurrection (you know, the one that changed the world forever!) started with a small beginning?

“At that time the Roman emperor, Augustus, decreed that a census should be taken throughout the Roman Empire. (This was the first census taken when Quirinius was governor of Syria.) All returned to their own ancestral towns to register for this census. And because Joseph was a descendant of King David, he had to go to Bethlehem in Judea, David’s ancient home. He traveled there from the village of Nazareth in Galilee. He took with him Mary, his fiancĂ©e, who was now obviously pregnant. And while they were there, the time came for her baby to be born. She gave birth to her first child, a son. She wrapped him snugly in strips of cloth and laid him in a manger, because there was no lodging available for them.”
{Luke 2:1-6}

Out of all the ways the savior of the world could have entered the world, God chose to send Him as a baby. He was birthed in a stable and laid in a manger. Beginnings don’t get any smaller or any more un-glamorous than that! God’s purpose was to save the world through Jesus’ death & resurrection. His small beginning was necessary to see the full plan unfold. YOUR small beginning is necessary to see God’s full plan in your life unfold! Here’s another example: David. The shepherd boy who slayed the giant Goliath. David was small, weak, young, but faithful. God used his small, ordinary beginning to defeat the giant and eventually become king of Israel. And these are just two examples from the Bible, there are countless other small beginning stories!

Let us encourage you with something else:
God does have an incredible plan for your future, but He also has an incredible plan for your “right now”.

Often times we are so focused with what His plan will be for us in the future that we miss His plan for us right now. If you’re leading 20 people right now, be ALL IN. Give God & those 20 people all you’ve got. Don’t focus all your efforts on complaining about your small beginning that you miss the amazing things God is doing in & through your “right now”. Stay the course. Be faithful to His leading. And be thankful for your small beginning!

All the love,

Kendall, Baylee, & Brelin xxx

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Balak, Balaam, & God's Crazy Faithfulness

Numbers 22 starts out with a man named Balak, the king of Moab, being quite afraid of the people of Israel. And truthfully, he had every right to be. The Israelites were making their way to the promised land and “taking care of” anyone who stood in their way. (And by “taking care of” we actually mean destroying). The Israelites have traveled through the plains of Moab and are camping east of the Jordan River, across from Jericho. Verses 4-6 in chapter 22 say,

“The king of Moab (Balak) said to the elders of Midian, ‘This mob will devour everything in sight, like an ox devours grass in the field!’ So Balak, king of Moab, sent messengers to call Balaam son of Beor, who was living in his native land of Pethor near the Euphrates River. His message said: ‘Look, a vast horde of people has arrived from Egypt. They cover the face of the earth and are threatening me. Please come and curse these people for me because they are too powerful for me. Then perhaps I will be able to conquer them and drive them from the land. I know that blessings fall on any people you bless, and curses fall on people you curse.”

Balak’s messengers set out to deliver this message to Balaam and pay him to place a curse on the people of Israel. Once the messengers arrived, Balaam told them to stay overnight, for in the morning he would tell them whatever the Lord directed him to say. That night Balaam and God had a conversation… Balaam gives God the low-down on what’s going on. Then verse 12 happens. “But God told Balaam, ‘Do not go with them. You are not to curse these people, for they have been blessed!” The next morning, Balaam tells the messengers that God has instructed him not to go with them, so they return to Balak. Balak is not okay with this! This time he sent “a larger number of even more distinguished officials than those he had sent the first time.” (Verse 15) These guys deliver to Balaam another message from Balak, in which Balak is literally begging Balaam to curse the Israelites. Balaam replies with the most awesome response probably in the history of ever. Verse 18 says, “But Balaam responded to Balak’s messengers, ‘Even if Balak were to give me his palace filled with silver and gold, I would be powerless to do anything against the will of the Lord my God.” That night, Balaam has another conversation with God. This time God tells him that he may go with them, but he is only to do that God tells him. On Balaam’s journey some craziness happens as he has a conversation with his donkey. Yes, you read that right! You can read that account in verses 21-30.

Balaam and Balak are now face to face. They build seven altars there and Balaam has another conversation with God. After he talks with God, he shares with Balak, “How can I curse those whom God has not cursed? How can I condemn those whom the Lord has not condemned? I see them from the cliff tops; I watch them from the hills. I see a people who live by themselves, set apart from other nations.” King Balak gets a little upset with this message. In verse 11 he replies, “What have you done to me? I brought you here to curse my enemies. Instead, you have blessed them!”

Balak is a pretty persistent guy. He reckons that if Balaam can’t curse all of the Israelites, maybe he could just curse some of them. Logical, right? (Wrong. So, so very wrong). Balaam tells him to hold his horses (paraphrase :) ) and he goes and meets with God again. Balaam then delivers another message to Balak from God. “Rise up, Balak, and listen! Hear me, son of Zippor. God is not man, so He does not lie. He is not human, so He does not change His mind. Has He ever spoken and failed to act? Has he ever promised and not carried it through? Listen, I received a command to bless; God has blessed, and I cannot reverse it! No misfortune is in His plan for Jacob; no trouble is in store for Israel. For the Lord their God is with them; He has been proclaimed their king. God brought them out of Egypt; for them He is as strong as a wild ox. No curse can touch Jacob; no magic has any power against Israel. For now it will be said of Jacob, ‘What wonders God has done for Israel!’ These people rise up like a lioness, like a majestic lion rousing itself. They refuse to rest until they have feasted on prey, drinking the blood of the slaughtered!” (Numbers 23: 18-24) HELLO! That’s a lot to take in, isn’t it?! Can you imagine Balak’s response? Take a second. Soak it in. What do you think he says?

Balak’s response is almost comical. We can imagine him saying this in a valley-girl accent. (He probably didn’t, but it’s still fun to imagine.) In verse 25 he says, “Fine, but if you won’t curse them, at least don’t bless them!” Balaam is then like look bro, I’m just doing what God has told me to do! So Balak, being the persistent fellow he is, decides to take Balaam to one more spot saying, “Come, I will take you to one more place. Perhaps it will please God to let you curse them from here.”

Chapter 24 is awesome! Verses 1-9 say, “By now Balaam realized that the Lord was determined to bless Israel, so he did not resort to divination as before. Instead, he turned and looked out toward the wilderness, where he saw the people of Israel camped, tribe by tribe. Then the Spirit of God came upon him, and this is the message he delivered: ‘This is the message of Balaam son of Beor, the message of the man whose eyes see clearly, the message of one who hears the words of God, who sees a vision from the Almighty, who bows down with eyes wide open: How beautiful are your tents, O Jacob; how lovely are your homes, O Israel! They spread before me like palm groves, like gardens by the riverside. They are like tall trees planted by the Lord, like cedars beside the waters. Water will flow from their buckets; their offspring have all they need. Their king will be greater than Agag; their kingdom will be exalted. God brought them out of Egypt; for them He is as strong as a wild ox. He devours all the nations that oppose Him, breaking their bones in pieces, shooting them with arrows. Like a lion, Israel crouches and lies down; like a lioness, who dares to arouse her? Blessed is everyone who blesses you, O Israel, and cursed is everyone who curses you.”

Verse 10 says that Balak flew into rage against Balaam! He was furious that not only did Balaam not curse the people of Israel, he blessed them not once, not twice, but three times. So Balaam is like dude, don’t you remember what I told you before? Even if you gave me your palace, I would be POWERLESS to do anything against the will of the Lord! He closes their time together by telling Balak what the Israelites will do to his people in the future. As you can imagine, they’re not going to be baking cakes together.

Here are a few things that stood out to us as we were studying these chapters:

1. We are reminded that God’s plan will not be thwarted. God made a covenant with Abraham in Genesis 12:1-3, and that was not going to be broken. That is such an amazing testament to God’s faithfulness to all of His people- past, present and future. God doesn’t change, so if He was that faithful to His people back then, He will be just as faithful to His people now. His faithfulness extends from generation to generation! How incredible!

2. We get a taste of God and His character. In Balaam’s second message to Balak, he says, “God is not man, so He does not lie. He is not human, so He does not change His mind. Has He ever spoken and failed to act? Has He ever promised and not carried it through? Listen, I received a command to bless; God has blessed, and I cannot reverse it!” (Numbers 23:19-20). God’s faithfulness in this account between Balaam and Balak is nothing short of the most incredible encouragement ever. He is higher than we are, wiser than we are, and more powerful than we are. 

3. The entire time these events were taking place, the Israelites were camped out in their tents. They had NO IDEA this was taking place. How insane is that!! This made us think, how many times in our lifetime… scratch that… how many times in our DAY is God fighting for us? Probably more times than we could even count! In light of this, we are reminded of Romans 8:31b that says, “If God is for us, who can ever be against us?” Seriously. Think about that. He is SO worthy to be praised!

We want to encourage you, wherever you are, whatever you are doing right now, to pause and pray. Thank the Lord for being faithful. Thank Him for His protection and provision. Thank Him for being all-knowing. Thank Him for making all things work together for the good of those who love Him and have been called according to His purpose. Thank Him for being for us!!! How great is God!

All the love,

Kendall, Baylee, & Brelin xxx

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Now Not Yet

Recently, I heard something from a study group I'm in weekly, the phrase "Now not yet". When this was said, it was being used in the context on Jesus bringing heaven to earth right then during the cross sacrifice and then defeating death 3 days later. The idea that Jesus has brought glimpses, I guess you could say, of heaven to earth, but will one day come back and rule His people (that's gonna be freakin' great). After hearing the explanation and quotation of the phrase, my mind immediately went to where I feel my struggle is right now. My calling. 

Early on in life after my salvation, God revealed to me that He wanted me to be serving in ministry as my job one day. Right now, I lead worship and even feel called to do that on a grander scale. So that's enough base on where my calling is to move on with this, I believe.

Alright, so... This has been probably the biggest burden and hardest thing to deal with for me. I'm an expectant person, and also just very impatient at times. It's something I work on, but hardly succeed in, my patience. I like things to move quick. God called me at the age of 13 to ministry and I began leading worship at the age of 14. It's been about a 4 year journey or so of learning to lead worship effectively and having the pure heart in it all. I feel called to do it. In fact, I know I'm called to do it. But this year something changed, going into my senior year. I had a sense of restlessness as I hadn't seen much progress of my surroundings, when I felt that I was doing all I could. Frankly, it sucks to hear your calling, but then everything after that just seems quiet and still.

My favourite person from scripture (aside from Jesus) is Joshua. Joshua is a dope dude. The guy's got faith bigger than the oceans, is warrior in prayer, and literally a warrior. I love looking and seeing my boy Josh pray for God to do impossible things, like hold the sun in the sky instead of setting it into night. God was faithful to His promises with Joshua! That's what I've always wanted to model in my calling with Christ, is the boldness of Joshua, his huge faith... But when I look in Joshua chapter 6, it shows the struggle,  the perseverance. Am I willing to march like Joshua? 

Now the gates of Jericho were securely barred because of the Israelites. No one went out and no one came in. Then the Lord said to Joshua, “See, I have delivered Jericho into your hands, along with its king and its fighting men. March around the city once with all the armed men. Do this for six days. Have seven priests carry trumpets of rams’ horns in front of the ark. On the seventh day, march around the city seven times, with the priests blowing the trumpets. When you hear them sound a long blast on the trumpets, have the whole army give a loud shout; then the wall of the city will collapse and the army will go up, everyone straight in.” So Joshua son of Nun called the priests and said to them, “Take up the ark of the covenant of the Lord and have seven priests carry trumpets in front of it.” And he ordered the army, “Advance! March around the city, with an armed guard going ahead of the ark of the Lord.” (‭Joshua‬ ‭6‬:‭1-7‬ NIV)

God promised Joshua the land, the promised land that his people had been delivered from slavery for... This was a huge deal. The waiting already required, the wandering in the desert. Ready to take the city, a wall stood between the victory. As did words. God's words had Joshua wait. Actively wait in faith. In position to attack, Joshua marched. He freaking marched. The warrior. He didn't march because it made sense or because it would show him progress... He did it cause that's where God placed him for 7 days. To see through the season, to obey in days 1,2,3,4,5,6 and then see his provision and promise on the 7th day. God is a God of course completion. He isn't giving up when the calling is quiet, in fact I believe God quiets our calling so that we can hear Him speak personally and intimately. Calling is such a crazy and great thing, that often it can sit on the throne of our lives over The One who has called us to the work. God sometimes hushes the noise to remind us of Himself, The One thing that will remain beyond any work or age or day! 

For this reason, rejoice in the silence! It was 7 days of silence for Joshua and the Israelites. The message paraphrase even says it like this in regards to what God ordered Joshua to conduct in those days   
Joshua had given orders to the people, “Don’t shout. In fact, don’t even speak—not so much as a whisper until you hear me say, ‘Shout!’—then shout away!” (‭Joshua‬ ‭6‬:‭10‬ MSG)

When the silence comes, God is getting ready to unleash His glory! The quiet before the promise. God might have bestowed the calling now, but I'm convinced that the full promise hasn't happened yet. God isn't done. God didn't stop at Jericho with Joshua, so why would He be limited to one victory and provision in my life? God doesn't change and is still working today! Silence is a step in the promise, take heart! God isn't done yet. I keep having to remind myself of this in situations I face.

Now not yet. Let that be something we always believe. Never becoming complacent, but asking God to keep moving forward through us. God has called us now... Not yet have we seen the full glory of His promise and calling!

Much love guys, hope it's the best day of your lives, and thanks for reading. 


{Meet Zac}

Zac Crook is one of our very best friends. We could talk forever about how awesome he is... but a few things you absolutely need to know about him is that he is out of this world passionate about Jesus. Zac is one of the greatest encouragers on the planet! He is also an extremely talented worship leader. We are so honored that he would be a guest writer for 4G1P!

Check out this video of Zac singing "Sinking Deep" by Hillsong Young & Free: