Monthly Archives: February 2014

Not a Fan – Part 4

I’m back! So this series should have been done yesterday but I got super sick on Tuesday and didn’t even want to get out of bed. Then, on top of that, we had a minor snow storm come through our area…so I REALLY didn’t want to get out of bed. I am, however, feeling so much better! 🙂
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Anyway, you can read my previous Not a Fan posts here. 🙂

Not a Fan is a book written about Kyle Idleman in which he talks about the difference between a fan of Jesus and a follower of Jesus. A lot of us THINK we are followers of Jesus but when it’s laid out in text the reality is that we are only devote fans.  Not a Fan challenges us to re-evaluate our relationship with Jesus. Are we living for Him for ourselves or are we living for Him for HIm? (Say it slowly…it makes sense…I promise!) 🙂

Here is video #4 :

Have I sacrificed to follow Jesus?  I took a look at my life and I up until recently I had not.  It hadn’t “hurt” me to “follow” Jesus. It had always been EASY for me to “follow” Jesus. This was because I was merely a FAN of Jesus. I want to share with you all the first time I realized FOLLOWING Jesus was not easy.

The story begins about a year and a half ago.  After about 4 years of not singing I started to get my feet wet again. Long story short, I ended up singing with a really cool band. I sang with some of the best musicians in Amarillo. We played at a lot of bars around town and did a lot of private parties.  I loved it. I was meeting new people and making a little extra cash at the same time.  It was something that I had wanted for a long time…to be backed up by an awesome band.

Well, when I started letting God back into my life His conviction slowly started growing inside of me.  I knew what God was trying to tell me.  I knew that He wanted me to quit the band.  One Wednesday morning I remember waking up knowing that I had to do it that day.  I kept putting it off. Why? Because I didn’t want to quit. I loved singing…that was all I ever wanted.  I remember on that day one of the guys from the band called and asked me if I wanted to sing that night at a restaurant…it was Wednesday…church Wednesday. Talk about God really putting it out there in front of me.  I had to choose…the band or God.  I felt that God was really testing me. That He really wanted to know if my heart was completely in it…and at that point it was so I quit.

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It was really hard for me. I’m ashamed to say I even cried a little.  You see…that band was all I ever wanted for the longest time.  Music is my passion and always has been. It was my escape. It was a way for me to release my creativity. It was a way to express myself.  I knew my parents were going to be a little disappointed because they knew how much I loved singing with the band.  It was really hard.

…but God is so GOOD.  He doesn’t ask you to do these things for him if he didn’t have a BIGGER and BETTER plan. That is the part that we sometimes don’t trust him with as much as we should. That same Wednesday, just a couple of hours after I had quit, my friend asked me if I would sing for her ministry’s service that night.  We had talked about it before but had never really made a decision. Right at that moment I felt God telling me that He had my back. That He knew it was a hard decision for me but that I could still SING. Since then I’ve sang multiple times at church and I’ve absolutely loved it!  Nothing…NOTHING has ever filled me more that singing for God and to be able to help people connect with the Holy Spirit, the way the praise and worship team at church did for me, gives me that much more gratification.

My point is…yes, following Jesus is hard…but He will make it so worth it for you. When you come to Jesus he will give you the desires of your heart.   {Psalm 37:4}

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Trust Him friends. His faithfulness is beautiful.  Have a super blessed day! – Moni<3

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Not a Fan Part 3

I hope you are all having a blessed day.  Hopefully you guys have been keeping up with the Not a Fan series…you can read them here and here.

I want to remind you that this isn’t really considered a book review. These are just some of the thoughts that the book influenced.  Also, keep in mind that these videos only include a portion of the book.  So read it! 😉

Here is video #3:

So what did I get from this section of the book?  The part that I could really relate to was the story of the girl getting baptized.  I grew up Catholic all my life. I was involved the youth group and even in the worship. When I met my husband, who was Christian, I really enjoyed his church but I couldn’t let go of my Catholic background.  No one was asking me too but I felt like I had to protect my relationship {with my church}. I always felt like I would disappoint my family if I left my Catholic background. As I got closer and closer to God I realized that while I was growing up I had a {relationship} to my church…not to Him.  I’m not saying this is the case for every Catholic but this was my situation and I know that God was calling me to something more.

On March 23, 2013  was when I really let it all go.  I had just started going back to my husband’s church about 3 months before.  On this day they had their monthly EPIC Worship Encounter. Up to this point, I was never able to raise my hands during worship or show any emotion at all because I didn’t grow up doing that in mass.  Well at one point during the worship I just couldn’t take it anymore. I got a big lump in my throat and I started to feel pressure in my chest and I felt like I was going to explode.  I just couldn’t do it anymore…I truly felt God telling me to just let go.  So I did.

Why am I telling you all of this?  This was the moment that I stopped associating myself with a religion but associating myself as a follower of Christ…it wasn’t an easy decision to make. Why? Because my entire family was still Catholic. I didn’t want them to reject me and my decision.  I didn’t want my friends, who knew of my bad habits, to think I was a hypocrite either.  However, on that day in March I decided that I wanted to love Jesus more that anything. I wanted Him to be my one and only. I needed him.  He had been there with arms wide open waiting for me to make the decision to choose him…that day was when I finally chose him.

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So what happens when you choose Jesus over everyone and everything else? Not much really. My family supports me and my friends do too. It was kind of ridiculous for me to think otherwise. I’ve never been given a negative reaction to my decision to serve Jesus.  Now, I know that this is not the case for everyone. I know there are families who break up over decisions like this…and in these cases all I can say is that if you are choosing to follow Jesus He will have your back and shed his grace over you so that you may be a light to those around you.

Choosing Jesus is not easy…but it is well worth it.  Reading this story in the Not a Fan gave me comfort in knowing that I am not the only one who struggled with making the decision to follow Jesus and facing possible rejection.

Make sure and check back tomorrow for part 4!

Be blessed – Moni ❤

 

Not a Fan – Part 2

So I’m a horrible blogger. I meant to have this post done earlier in the day but we got a surprise visit today and then went over to a friends to watch the Super Bowl. I am not a fan of either team so I wasn’t too excited. I am; however, kind of sad for the Broncos.

Anyway, in case you don’t know, yesterday I posted part one of the Not a Fan series I am doing for the 2014 Blogger Challenge. You can read a little more there about it here. I talked about how the first section of the book made me realize I was a fan of Jesus most of my life and never really committed myself. This next section will focus on my pursuit of Jesus. So let’s jump right in to video two (please remember you can download the actual book here):

Pursuit [ per-soot ] :
1. the act of pursuing.
2. an effort to secure or attain; quest.
3. any occupation, pastime, or the like, in which a person is engaged regularly or customarily.

Pursuit. Where did that word fit when it came to my relationship with Jesus? Reality was that it didn’t. You really don’t think about these things until they are put flat out in front of you. When the author told us the experience about riding a bike 80 miles to see his girlfriend and comparing it to how we seek Jesus, it made me a little sad.

You see Jesus craves for us to want him. He wants us to choose him…every time. He loves us so much that he lets us choose Him. This is why that word pursuit is so important.

We have to choose to pursue him. Our momma can’t make us do it, our spouse can’t make us do it and our pastors can’t make us do it. It’s a personal decision that comes at a different time in everyone’s life. I remember talking with my Mother-in-law one day and she told me that when she was 8 years old she knew she wanted to pursue Jesus. I am 25 years old and last year was when I decided that I wanted to pursue Jesus. See…different times in everyone’s lives.

Before that decision, I was always in pursuit of the wrong things…money, materialistic things and at one point even “fame”. I don’t know how many times God reveled himself to me and yet I chose a different path that usually ended in heartache and disappointment. That’s what life without Jesus is…heartache and disappointment. Thinking about it now, I don’t know why it took so long for me to let Jesus in.

Anyway, after reading that part of the book, I realized I still had a long way to go…and still do. I can tell you this much…there is nothing like seeking Jesus. Since I’ve really focused on reading the Bible more my life has changed so much. There is a good sense of accountability.

Is all of that making sense? I feel a little bit that this is kind of all over the place. I’m sorry if it seems as if it is.

I want to end this with a Kim Walker video…one of my favorites. Also please remember that this really isn’t a book review but just thoughts that the book influenced. It’s meant to be short and sweet. :). I hope you become interested enough to read the book yourself. It truly is amazing.

God bless y’all – Moni ❤

Enjoy the video: