Category Archives: Faith

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! ūüôā
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Anyway, you can read my previous Not a Fan posts here. ūüôā

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!) ūüôā

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! РMoni<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! ūüėČ

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:

Not A Fan Part 1 – #2014bloggerchallenge Topic 3

The 3rd topic for the 2014 Blogger Challenge is to review a book. I’m excited to say that I’m going to be doing this post a little differently than a normal book review. For the next 5 days I’m going to post a video as it pertains to the book I read.

The book I am blogging about is Not a Fan by Kyle Idleman. Please keep in mind that I read this book a couple of months ago…these are the thoughts I remember getting when I read the book. I reread it for this project and it was just as impacting.

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Everyday for the next 4 days I will be discussing sections of the book. I will start out with the video and end with my thoughts. Please feel free to get a copy of the book and follow along with me! :).

Things I realized in the first section:

1. I have always been afraid to DTR – I realized this right when I started the book. I had always LIKED Jesus but I liked him without the commitment of living for Him…not good. In other words, I had a convenient relationship with Jesus. I only talked to him when it was convenient for me.

2. I was part of the, “I have a Jesus fish on the back of my car group.” – I don’t know why this one was hard to swallow for me…but it was. It kind of gave me an idea of how the people around me see me. I had the worship song ringtone, I said grace, I knew important scriptures…but was I really protecting my testimony the way I should have been? No.

3. I was not ok with letting my life get turned upside down – I was scared to really trust God with my life. I was scared about what my non Christian friends would think and scared of the sacrifices I was going to have to make. I will say this…any sacrifices I HAVE made seemed huge at the time but don’t even compare to the way Jesus fills my life now.

As you can tell, within the first section of the book my wheels started to turn and I began to really analyze my relationship with Jesus! Tomorrow I will be posting the 2nd video from the Not a Fan series. I hope you get a copy of this life changing book and follow along.

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God bless y’all- Moni<3

Inspiration for 2014 – Topic 1 of Blogger Challenge

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I can’t believe it is already 2014. My life changed so much in 2013. I gave my life to Christ, I started an amazing new¬†job, I started singing again,¬†I started a BLOG!!!!¬† There is just so much to be thankful for praise God!¬†¬†God has really planted so many new seeds in my heart. I felt that 2013 was a year of preparation for me. I felt the whole year that¬†God was telling me, “In order to do this….you have to do that..”¬† It was a year of really feeling God’s direction in my life.

When the subject for the first 2014 Blogger Challenge went live, I knew exactly the verse that would serve as my inspiration for 2014.

16¬†You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit‚ÄĒfruit that will last‚ÄĒand so that whatever you ask in my name the Father will give you.¬†

John 15:16

I declare that 2014 will be a year of implementing everything that God¬†has¬†showed me in 2013. That every struggle, trial, and triumph I went through be used to bear fruit in His name and to bring others to fruition.¬† That I might be a person of light for someone who is in darkness. I hope that I can be a person like the people I had encouraging me in 2013. I want to help people break chains. I¬† want to be so filled¬†with the Holy Spirit that when people are around me they feel it too and are completely consumed. It’s my desire to help people¬†know Jesus the way I came to know Him, to trust Him the way I came to trust Him, and to fall in love with Jesus the way I fell in love with Him.

I have always been¬†indecisive when it comes to my life goals….I want to be a teacher, I want to do makeup, I want to move up in my office,¬†I want to go back to school and then some days I just want to be a stay at home mom.¬† (See….INDECISIVE!)¬†There is just so much that I want to do in my life. I used to feel like I never had enough time. It used to make me crazy. However, God really showed me last year that he has something so much better for me. Something that I don’t even realize I can do. Something that will not only fill me but fill others.¬† He has a Bluprint for my life.

11¬†For I know the plans I have for you,‚ÄĚ declares the Lord, ‚Äúplans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”¬†

Jeremiah 29:11

I started reading Undaunted by Christine Caine and it really has been speaking to me. For once in my life I feel like I truly have a purpose.

2013 became the year of preparation and 2014 will be the year I live UNDAUNTED! 

Join me and live radically for Jesus!¬† He is the only one who can fill us up. He is the only one who will love even our imperfections. He is the one in which we find our salvation. He is where we find rest. He is the one…the only one!

This is my first post for the 2014 Blogger Challenge. I hope you were not disappointed! Let yourself be blessed this year! ūüėČ Love ya’ll and God bless! – Moni<3

here am i

Hillsong Live – Anchor (Acoustic)

I just felt like I needed to share this song today.  Ask yourself this…without hope who would we be?

-Moni ‚̧

“Anchor”

I have this hope
As an anchor for my soul
Through every storm
I will hold to You

With endless love
All my fear is swept away
In everything
I will trust in You

There is hope in the promise of the cross
You gave everything to save the world You love
And this hope is an anchor for my soul
Our God will stand
Unshakeable

Unchanging One
You who was and is to come
Your promise sure
You will not let go

Your Name is higher
Your Name is greater
All my hope is in You

Your word unfailing
Your promise unshaken
All my hope is in You

The Season of Giving

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It has been an amazing week so far and it’s only Wednesday! It was the idea of some of my co-workers to partner up with a local Spanish radio station¬†here in Amarillo and host a toy drive to benefit the families we work with.¬†¬†This took place this past Saturday, Sunday and Monday and¬†I am absolutely floored by the response of Amarillo’s Hispanic community.

I was so blessed to see some of these families come and donate bags upon bags of brand new toys.¬†I wasn’t sure I wanted to blog about it but I just had too.¬† I wanted to share some the special stories I heard while on location.

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We had one mom bring all of her son’s birthday gifts. Harsh right? Lol that was my first thought but then she said that she told him if she could donate the 10 toys she knew he wouldn’t play with, she would buy him a toy he really wanted.¬†¬†Of course he agreed and she brought us a huge bag full of brand new toys.¬† Not only is she helping our agency and the families out but she is showing her son the importance of giving things we really don’t need.¬† Although there was a definite reward for her son, maybe when he is a dad he will do the same thing with his kids and bless 10 more people!

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We also had a¬†the Army donate 32 pairs of pajamas for our families! What a blessing! Who wouldn’t love One Direction and Spiderman PJs!

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A local horse track, Carril San Carlos, came and donated a couple of large remote control toys and some precious life-like baby dolls.
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We had plenty of women go in and take their kids; however, I was amazed of the response of the men taking their families and explaining to them that these toys were going to bless someone.

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Through these strangers acts of kindness God really spoke to me.¬† I realized that even something as small as donating a toy can bless so many more people than just those who receive¬†the toy.¬†I was absolutely blessed. I went home so emotional and amazed.¬† We always say we live in a horrible, cold world….but the fact is….there are still so many good people out there.¬†People want to give…sometimes they just don’t know where their donations or time could be used. A big thanks to Viva Media and La Super Economica for helping us so much and giving their time!

I challenge you to look in your community to see if there are any shelters, non-profits or even just families that could use some help.¬† Some of the kids your child goes to school with may or may not have food to eat when they get home….they may or may not have heat….they may or may not have the warmth of love…ALL YEAR AROUND.¬†You don’t have to do it by yourself! You can serve as a light for your community and just like fire that light will spread.¬†You¬†could get your place of¬†employment to put together a small toy¬†drive¬†or maybe get¬†food together.

My desire to be a light in my community has grown so much this year. It has filled me up so much more than any paycheck or materialistic thing could ever fill me.¬†It’s a high! Who would like to get high with me!¬† Be¬†blessed!¬† – Moni ‚̧

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