We are all Josephs

We all know the story of Joseph and his famous coat of many colours. It’s a classic in any Children’s Story Bible. If you don’t know the story of Joseph, it’s found in the first Old Testament book of Bible: Genesis, chapter 35 (birth) to chapter 50 (death). To give you a Spark Notes version: (spoiler alert) At a young age, Joseph is treated unfairly by his brothers and wrongly sold into slavery. As Joseph works as a slave in Egypt, he excels due to his trust in God. We are told in Genesis 39: 2, “The Lord was with Joseph, so he became a successful man.” As Joseph moves up the status ladder, once again he is wrongly accused (verses 19-21), “Now when his [Joseph’s] master heard the words of his wife… ‘This is what your slave did to me,’ his anger burned. So Joseph’s master took him and put him in jail…” Joseph stayed in prison for 2 years for something he didn’t do.

Genesis 39: 2, “The Lord was with Joseph, so he became a successful man.

I want to hone in on how Joseph seemed to get the butt end over and over when he didn’t deserve it. Joseph’s brothers hated him so much they planned a way to get rid of him. PLANNED A WAY TO GET RID OF HIM. After being a slave, he is wrongly accused by his master’s wife and he is thrown into prison for years. IN PRISON FOR YEARS. Now, I know that not all of us have it has bad as Joseph had it. In fact most of us probably don’t have it anywhere close to as bad as he did, but we all have our own challenges. “But the Lord was with Joseph and extended kindness to him…” Genesis 39:21. As we read the story of Joseph, we see that he acted with integrity no matter what situation he was in: as a young boy tending his father’s flock, as a young man a slave in a foreign country and even as an innocent prisoner. That is what God has been laying on my heart. Am I acting with integrity no matter what situation I am in? Joseph knew that the Lord was with always him, and he clung to that. Even when his situation improved later in chapter 41, “Joseph then answered Pharaoh, “It is not me; God will give Pharaoh a favourable answer…

Genesis 39:21, “But the Lord was with Joseph and extended kindness to him…

As Joseph’s life went on, the Lord continued to bless him. In the end Joseph became the second most important person in Egypt just under Pharaoh himself! God wants us to live with integrity, every situation in our life – Not just when things are good. How do I live my life when I’m content with where I am? How do I live my life when I want what I do not have? Being satisfied with where God has you at every stage of your life should be the goal for all of us. If we have trusted Jesus Christ as our Saviour, God is with us just like he was with Joseph. At the very end of the book of Genesis, before Joseph died he said to the same brothers who sold him into slavery, “God will surely take care of you.” After all that is said and done I want to live my life the way Joseph lived his – Trusting in God at every point in his life knowing that his story was not yet finished. Knowing, “What was meant for evil, God used for good.” Genesis 50:20. My story is not yet done and neither is yours! We are all “Joseph’s” in the sense that we are treated unfairly at times. However, we need to strive to have the same attitude and focus on God like Joseph did despite everything that happened.

 

 

– Stay Satisfied

Actions beat Words.

I have always been a person that pays more attention to someone’s actions more than their words. A couple weeks ago, I got to attend the Christian Youth Workers Conference (CYWC) in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan with a couple other youth volunteer workers along with our church Youth Pastor. It was an eye opening weekend to say the least.

This year I made several New Years Resolutions as I’m sure you’ve heard me tell you over and over. One of the many was that I would be more intentional with my time with Jesus and cultivate growth in my Faith. I want to be used by God. I want to trust God in every aspect of my life. One of the speakers at CYWC said, “You have to take steps of faith in the real world to allow your faith to grow! You have to trust that He has a plan for you, your future, and His mission for you in His Kingdom!” It is SO flipping easy to stay where we are comfortable. But we were challenged by this speaker to ask ourselves often:

AM I BECOMING MORE LIKE JESUS?

He [Jesus] is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. For by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things have been created through Him and for Him. He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together. He is also head of the body, the church; and He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, so that He Himself will come to have first place in everything. For it was the Father’s good pleasure for all the fullness to dwell in Him, and through Him to reconcile all things to Himself, having made peace through the blood of His cross; through Him, I say, whether things on earth or things in heaven. And although you were formerly alienated and hostile in mind, engaged in evil deeds, yet He has now reconciled you in His fleshly body through death, in order to present you before Him holy and blameless and beyond reproach— if indeed you continue in the faith firmly established and steadfast, and not moved away from the hope of the gospel that you have heard, which was proclaimed in all creation under heaven, and of which I, Paul, was made a minister.” – Colossians 1:15-23 (NASB)

Focus on that last part: “… He has now reconciled you in His fleshly body through death, in order to present you before Him holy and blameless and beyond reproach— if indeed you continue in the faith firmly established and steadfast, and not moved away from the hope of the gospel that you have heard, which was proclaimed in all creation…” I know this can be such a “feel good passage” but I truly believe this is God showing us with both His actions and His words how seriously He wants us to take our faith. Yes, we can TALK the “good Christian” talk, but it means nothing if you aren’t representing Jesus with your ACTIONS. If you can’t prove what you profess, your words are empty.

“A disciple validates commitment to Jesus by persevering, continuing and nurturing a growing and sustainable faith.”

I want to encourage you to step up in your faith. Do not allow sin to fester in your life. Lay it at the feet of Jesus and establish yourself in Him. TALK to the Lord about it, and then ASK for His help to ACT on it. We need to focus on becoming more like Jesus everyday and that will not happen if we hold onto sin in our life or chose to not deal with sin. If we are entertaining wrong and thinking that Christ will take you deeper in your relationship with Him – You are tricking yourself. God WANTS to help us ACT. We just read in Colossians that God has already done the work and reconciled us to Him. Jesus has given us the power to overcome any sin in our lives and be free from it. Take hold of that promise from Christ that He is with you and wants to help you. Those thoughts have given me so much peace and hope right now, and I’m clinging to it.

 

 

– Stay Satidfied

 

 

My Never Ending Bucket List

My Bucket List is like a bottomless cup of coffee. I’m always checking things off my list and I’m always adding things to my list. I don’t have any specific requirements that decide whether or not something makes the cut. I have a lot of things on my Bucket List that I’ll only complete by total chance! Like witnessing a wedding proposal in public, watching a flash mob or winning a trophy!

As part of “Expanding My Skills” in my New Year’s Resolution, I wanted to accomplish at least one task on my Bucket List every month. Obviously I can’t plan in advance to check those random, in-the-moment things off my list, but I can be conscious of other goals and work towards checking those tasks off my list. Like learning the constellations, going cliff jumping or starting a slow clap in public. I have a lot of long term goals that will take a long time to check off also! Like celebrating my 100th birthday (I’m always working towards that one 😉 ) running a marathon or traveling to Egypt to see the pyramids! I would say that my list is balanced with tasks ranging from places I want to travel to, activities I want to try, life events I want to experience, foods I want to make and eat, as well as fluke chance tasks.

There’s no time to be bored in a world as wonderful and beautiful as this.

Right now, I save my Bucket List on Pinterest. I also have a “Crushed It” list where I’ll move all of the tasks I’ve completed off my Bucket List. My current count is 227 tasks completed from my Bucket List and I have 263 tasks yet to complete. Also, fun fact – One of the tasks on my Bucket List is to convince others to start a bucket list…. soooo you could help me with that one 😉 As this year goes on and I work towards my goal of checking things off my list, I’m looking forward to sharing my stories of completed tasks and sharing about new ones I think of!

Sometimes I think people believe that if they make a goal, it has to be dramatic and hard to achieve, but that’s not true! That, or they set the bar way to high right off the get-go and make it impossible to achieve. Which is so unfortunate. Start small guys. You will feel so much better about yourself if you can start with realistic and 100% achievable goals! As you start and slowly build strength and abilities you can move the bar a little higher and make the goals a little tougher. Maybe a long term goal of yours is to travel the world. Well, if that’s what you make your goal from the start, you’ll be disappointed in yourself when you only managed to get to one new place in a year instead of multiple continents!! Plan to travel your city first, then maybe your province! Learn about yourself: how do you like to travel and what do you like to do? You’ll build your travel skills and travel plans as you grow, and you’ll experience farther and father places one step at a time!

– Stay Satisfied

I’m flying to Rio tomorrow!

Tomorrow morning I fly to Rio de Janario for the 2016 Summer Olympics with my church. Four years ago I remember sitting and listening to the stories from the group that went to the London 2012 Games; it was then that God put it on my heart that I would be going to Rio. To think that after four years of praying into this trip is finally here, leaves my speechless. I don’t know what to say. I’m beyond excited. I’m incredibly nervous. I’ve surpassed “roller coaster” emotions at this point. Even though I knew I’d be going to Rio to share my faith in August 2012, God spoke to me more a couple years after that and I posted about it back in March, 2015 [ https://hersatisfiedsoul.com/2015/03/15/beyond-what-we-see-looks-awesome/ ] If you wanted to read that post to get a better idea of my call and desire for this mission, it might bring clarity to this post more. This post is a prayer request:

Payton + AndraMy sister and I will be flying with a group from Faith Baptist Church to Rio de Janario. We are there to do street ministry during the 2016 Summer Olympic Games! All of our funds have been raised and our flights have been booked – but we need your prayers. Please pray. Our team from our church will be meeting up with roughly 100 others in Rio. Together, we are working with the Rio 2016 Outreach to evangelize and distribute specially prepared Gospel literature. The booklets have been translated into English, Portuguese, Italian, Korean, Spanish, Arabic, French, Japanese, German, Chinese, Russian, and other languages for us to hand out while we are on the streets of Rio. At each Olympics this ministry [ http://rio16outreach.com/ ] has taken a very diverse group of people from the USA, Canada, Peru, Brazil, Chile, Australia, New Zealand, and others to share God’s Word and be a light for Jesus on the streets. Missionaries, pastors, lawyers, medical people, professors, students, retired folks and others will work together towards one goal. We have been praying for Christ’s strength and becoming united as a team that will be a force for God on the streets of Rio.

Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit” -Matthew 28:19.

You see, people from roughly 207 countries will be gathering in Rio to celebrate the 2016 Summer Olympic Games, so it’s the perfect opportunity to share the gospel of Jesus Christ with people from all the nations! And that is why my sister and I have joined the team. While Christians are out on the streets talking with people who are there, we will have backpacks full of these booklets in many different languages. The Olympics is the only time a country is completely open for people to come and share their faith freely. As we share the gospel and hand out the booklets to the people we encounter, there is a special follow-up program that has been set up to help new believers to find Churches, contact other Christians from where they live and receive Bibles, etc. I am excited that this ministry does not leave new believers hanging – but continues to help them grow in their new faith. When someone comes to know Christ at the Olympics, their contact information can be sent forward to a missionary that lives from what ever country they are originally from. Those missionaries will contact these new Christians and help them grow to know Jesus more.

We are asking you to pray with us and for us as our team prepares and goes to Rio. Pray specifically that God will prepare hearts from people all over the world to receive the message of Christ and salvation. Our world has been preparing for these games for 4 years but God has been planning for these hearts for so much longer! Pray with us that God would go ahead to soften hearts and open ears. Please pray for our team that our hearts would be ready and willing to be bold for Christ and that we would be willing to do whatever Christ may ask us to do while we are there for Him. Cover the Olympic Games in your prayers for safety. Specifically,

Prayer for Payton:

  • To be relaxed and not stressed out by lack of schedule(s) + trusting that God will work out the days perfectly
  • To be bold about approaching strangers + to be transparent about my faith and all that Jesus has done for me
  • Remember that I am the vessel Christ is using; it isn’t my words or works – whatever happens will be God’s plan
  • Praise the Lord with me for this amazing opportunity to share the gospel with others, and to grow in my own faith!

Prayer for Andra:

  • To be bold about approaching strangers + to not be afraid of knowing what to say or do
  • For good health: I often feel sick when I am in new places + I don’t want that to hold me back from sharing my faith
  • To be calm in mind and spirit + not overthink and make situations more complicated than they actually are

“God wants to use us when we are not ready, that way we are forced to trust Him and for God to empower us to do what we need to do to tell the world about Him. Trust that God knows what He is able and will do through us” – Pastor Bryce

Thank you for praying with me for Rio. For the people. For our missions team. For travels. For the Holy Spirit to move swiftly through the nations and that people would see Jesus in the next couple weeks.

 

 

– Stay Satisfied

Some people told me not to go to college… look at me now…

If you would have told me two years ago that I’d move to a tiny little town, to live with a family I had never met before to jump into a program I wasn’t even sure I was good at – I probably would have looked at you, said nothing and turned on my heel to walk away. There would have been a whole lotta “nopes” from me. I’ll be the first one to admit that change and I are not BFF’s – I literally buy the identical toothbrush from Walmart every time I need a new one. However, God made it clear that I was supposed to take Him up on His offer and move to Alberta for school. At one point I had already been accepted into a design school in Vancouver; I was going to be moving back out to the coast where my girl friends are and we’d have so much fun *Happy Dance* But God was the one who had a whole lotta nopes for that plan. He made Alberta so clear – until I had people telling me that I shouldn’t be attending a “secular” college. It was weird to have this feedback from people I talked to a lot. I heard almost all of the excuses, “You’re not strong enough in your faith to attend a secular school…” “You’re going to get caught up in the drugs and party life out there.” “You don’t even know anyone going with you!” “You’re not going to have any Christian friends to keep you accountable at a secular college.”

“I am the LORD, the God of all mankind. Is anything too hard for me?”

– Jeremiah 32:27

Trust me, the list goes on. But I knew that God had already made it clear that I was to go. I remember when I first moved out to this town; it was not easy. I had to learn a new place, meet new people, understand a new program and try to make friends. But God showed me that He was with me right from the beginning: I literally had hiking trails in the backyard, I moved in with a phenomenal, God fearing family, my class was hilarious and my teachers were fabulous. Despite all of these awesome things, my heart was still longing for something familiar’ I was running through the trails and talking to God about all of these mixed emotions, “God I don’t know how I am going to get through two years of this.” Immediately He gave me a verse.

“Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness.” – James 1:2-3

When God put that verse on my heart, I knew it was His way of confirming that I had not started an easy path – it would be difficult and I would get hurt. But it will be great and I will walk out stronger after! Sometimes the Lord does not guide us down paths that are lined with daisies and full of sunshine. Quite often He’ll ask us to walk places that scare us and stress us out – but those are the paths that force us to seek Him. Those are the paths that strengthen you. I want to thank the people that discouraged me to take the path I did; the people that said I wouldn’t survive a college life. I knew the road would not be easy but what was meant to discourage me; God meant it for good. {Genesis 50:20}

Guys – as Children of God, we CANNOT stay in a Christian bubble. I don’t care how comfortable you are or how scary you may think it is to be out in the “big bad world”. The Lord did NOT give you grace so that you could keep it to yourself. As people that have been born again into God’s forgiveness, He commanded us in Mark 16:15, “”Go into all the world and preach the Good News to everyone.” When God reveals something to you, it is meant to be shared and passed on! Not kept to yourself where it won’t continue to encourage others! We cannot hide in a Christian bubble and expect to make an impact on the world for the Lord’s kingdom.While at a “secular”, “non-Christian” school, God has given me countless opportunities to be a witness for Him. There were times where God was able to use me and there were other times where God had to teach me. I did not hit the mark every time. But I do not want to meet God one day and be like the servant that did nothing with their talents. Matthew 25:15-27, “To one servant, the Master gave five talents, to another servant, two talents, to another servant a single talent; each according to his ability. Then the Master went away. The servant who had received the five talents went at once and traded with them, and he made five talents more. The servant who had the two talents made two talents more. But the servant who had received the one talent, went and dug in the ground and hid his master’s money. Now after a long time the master of those servants came and settled accounts with them. The servant who had received the five talents came forward, bringing five talents more, saying, ‘Master, you delivered to me five talents; here I have made five talents more.’ His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master.’ And the servant who had the two talents came forward, saying, ‘Master, you delivered to me two talents; here I have made two talents more.’ His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master.’ The servant who had received the one talent came forward, saying, ‘Master, I knew you to be a hard man, reaping where you did not sow, and gathering where you scattered no seed, so I was afraid, and I went and hid your talent in the ground. Here you have what is yours.’ But his master answered him, “Then you ought to have invested my money with the bankers, and at my coming I should have received what was my own with interest.” Guys, I don’t want to be that last servant – and neither do you!

Melting Forest

I believe that God will finish what He calls you to. I know this because me graduating from a “secular” college is proof of that. A lot of people told me that my faith was not strong enough to make it through college. I’ve got news for you: God’s strength is our measuring stick – not our own strength. If anything, having a “weak faith” and STILL coming out hand in hand with my savior Jesus, gives Him even more glory. Psalm 46:1, “God is our refuge and strength”. I believe that we don’t need to survive on our own strength. A lot of people questioned whether or not I’d have accountability. I believe that my accountability comes from everyone around me – not just from Christians. Matthew 5:16, “Let your light shine before others, so that they may see Jesus in you and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.” In fact, by being with people that don’t know about Jesus, I was kept more accountable because no one was correcting me. We have to keep our hearts in tune with Jesus to decipher between more than 50 shades of grey; to know what’s black and what’s white. Allow the Bible – God’s Word to be your accountability partner! Listen, Spring is a season of change (obviously my least favorite). I wanna ask you, is God giving you an opportunity to be a light for Him? Is there a crew of friends that don’t know the Lord that you could be spending time with and sharing Christ’s love? Are you praying for those around you? Are you diving into a new job or spring/ summer classes that you’ll be surrounded by people that might not know Jesus? I’m not suggesting that you run into these opportunities with New Testaments to shove down people’s throats – I’m saying be a light; be a witness. Let those people see by your actions who Christ is! And if they can’t see Jesus in you… then you’ve got bigger questions you need to ask yourself… Are you running away from opportunities to share God with others? Are you too scared to “stain” your “oh-so-pure-self”? A friend gave me a quote the other day, he said, “Light can only pass through what is transparent and what is cracked. God is the Light in us. We are to live our lives transparently and when we mess up and crack, people should be able to see Jesus shining through it.” Guys, we are not perfect. As Children of God, we are going to mess up because we are 100% human. But I want to encourage you to go. To go out and be a light for Christ. Don’t bury your talents and be like the third servant. I want Jesus to be able to say, “Well done – Good and FAITHFUL Servant” when we all get there. Last weekend I was praying with a friend; I was telling her some of my struggles and concerns about finishing school and she gave me a verse.

“Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness.” – James 1:2-3

God finished this journey exactly how He started it two years ago. That struck a chord with me. I think God was reminding me about how far He has brought me. Reminding me to remember the past because He has brought me where I currently am; but to look forward to the future knowing that He will meet me there and take me further.

 

 

– Stay Satisfied

 

 

Hey, I haven’t died yet…

I haven’t blogged in almost exactly a month. There is SO much weight in that. Not a day goes by when I’m not thinking about what’s going on in my life and how much I want to tell everyone about it. That actually sounds extremely cheesy but it’s SO true. I’ve literally been taking photos of things to remember to share them with you and my phone photo library is pretty much exploding. Not gunna lie, I’ve felt guilty about not blogging and sharing what God’s been putting on my heart but things kept coming up; whether I had to go home on the weekend, there was an exam at school I needed to study for or assignments that I was working late on – you name it. But it got me thinking, why on earth, was all of this stuff coming up so suddenly? So the other night I had a couple minutes to flip back to my last blog and it hit me. The last thing I shared with you was how I felt that God was calling me to missions. I totally believe that made the devil mad and he was obviously doing everything he could to stop me from continuing to share about Christ and all that He’s doing in me. SO. on that note. Pushing everything else aside. This is what God’s done this past month. I hope you have a hot coffee….pot… that is full because I do *wink*

Coffee

Recently I’ve felt a lot of guilt – not conviction – guilt. Like, I kept thinking to myself about how I felt the Lord putting missions on my heart – don’t get me wrong, I TOTALLY believe that is where God is calling me but I just felt like, why am I going to school for design? Why do I live in the prairies? Why…….etc….etc *yawn* I think we’ve all heard that super critical Christian sob story. Q the terrible violin screeching… But despite all that, I still felt like I wasn’t fulfilling what God was putting on my heart. I dunno, maybe it was because I wasn’t shoving the Bible down people’s throats. Maybe it’s cause I haven’t sold literally every possession I own under the sun and high tailed it to some foreign country. Or Maybe it’s cause I’m sitting in a class room learning how to construct a house instead of teaching others about the Lord. You know? But today in church, God came along side me and said, “It’s Ok”. Do you know how amazing those words feel when you literally, just don’t know? They felt incredible coming from God this morning. I kid you not. Right away, Pastor Bryce dove into his message talking about putting our trust in God in three major areas of our life. In our head, in our heart and our hands. He went on to explain that to truly live something out we have to first of all believe it, have a reason or need to believe it and then to act on it. Hence the head, heart, hand motion. But specifically speaking putting our full belief and trust in Jesus Christ. Sometimes, the shortest distances are the hardest journeys. Pastor Bryce focused on how God is great, so why should we worry. Worry = doubt of what God is fully capable of doing. “Because God is great – You don’t have to be in control. You don’t have to know what is coming down the pipe. Because God is in control, all you have to do is be willing.” Willing. That word smacked me right between the eyes.

“Nor do we know what to do, but our eyes are on you.” – 2 Chronicles 20:12

The second point was trusting God in our heart and the third point was putting our trust and belief into action with our hands. Not only do we have to put our trust completely in God but we also have to be willing to follow through. For example, in Matthew 14: 22-36 we read about Jesus walking on water. Peter’s heart was willing to trust Jesus by asking him, “Lord, if it is You, command me to come to You on the water!” (Verse 28) Jesus then answers Peter, “Take courage, it is I; do not be afraid.” but Peter still had the choice to act on his belief. Or, put the trust to his “hands”. Peter believed in his heart and knew in his head and still got out of the boat, in faith, to put his belief and trust to action. You see what I’m getting at here? Personally, with this whole missions thing, I feel like I know this is trust in my mind and I believe in my heart but the big opportunity to apply my faith and trust just hasn’t come yet. And that’s what I’m waiting for. After the service ended, our youth pastor announced that he was resigning. He is an amazing youth pastor, I know I haven’t gotten to know him very well but from what I do know of the man and what everyone has said about him he sounds like a quality man of God who is truly seeking to know the Lord. Anyways, him resigning wasn’t what made me nearly fall outta the pew. It’s what he said as he was telling the congregation, “I believe that the Lord is calling me to something else. Something new and something that will be exciting in my walk with Him. I have no idea what that is. But I know that God is leading me and and all I can simply do is make myself available and follow.” Excuse me while I pick myself up off the floor. I felt, that although he was explaining why he was resigning, God was completely speaking through him; to me. I have no idea what to do with this calling to missions. I know that I need to go to Rio in summer 2016 to share Christ with all the nations that will be there celebrating the Olympics but A) that’s only three weeks long and B) that’s still two years away! Other than that… I feel like I’m walking around with a blank look on my face wondering where the cross walk is… you know? Despite all that… God gave me an insane amount of peace after the service, I felt Him speaking to my heart softly, God knows the inner frustration I’m battling right now. “Payton, you don’t know and that’s ok. You aren’t supposed to know right now. Right now, you have heard my calling I have for you and you are excited for it! That’s exactly what I need of you. Continue with where I currently have you. Be My Light.

Guys, even though I haven’t been keeping you up to date on all that’s happened this month, today was a mile stone for me in the journey that God is calling me. Right now, the distance isn’t long. It’s the waiting game that’s difficult and Satan is desperately trying to make sure that I die out and that my flame is reduced. It was interesting, the other week a friend shot me a text asking to pray for him because he was feeling really burdened by the devil. I responded immediately with words that were not my own. But I’m realizing right now that as much as God was able to encourage my friend through what He said through me, I’m able to be encouraged by them and I hope they can encourage you!

Quote

I don’t know what’s going on in your mind or your heart or what you’re doing with your hands, but I want to challenge you to accept the adventure that God is inviting you to. The other day in my devotional book, it challenged me, “Give yourself FULLY to the adventure of today. Walk boldly along the path of life, relying on your ever present Companion {God} You have every reason to be confident because My presence accompanies you all the days of your life – and onward to eternity. Do not give into fear, or worry or doubt. They will only rob you from abundant living. Trust me enough to face problems as the come, rather than trying to anticipate them.”

“For I am the Lord, your God, who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear, I will help you.” – Isaiah 41:13

It is ok for us to not know the next step in life. I was skyping a girlfriend of mine and she described her future like a fog. “I know that the fog is ahead of me, I can see the clearance. But I don’t know if beyond the fog leads to a death drop or a paradise peak.” It made me think a lot after I finished skying her. We don’t know what the future could hold. Yeah, my whole calling for missions could go completely down hill and I hit rock bottom wondering why I ever thought I had the calling to go. Orrrrrrr it could be amazing and God could completely open the doors and provide opportunities to share Christ with others and what He has done in my life. We. Don’t. Know. Today, I went gopher hunting for the first time with a couple friends and of the the guys teaching me how to shoot told me a quote he had heard, “You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.” That can be applied to anything – not just hunting. I’ll miss 100% of the adventures that I’m to afraid to leave the house for. You’ll lose 100% of the battles you don’t fight for. Honestly, the list could go on and on.

One last note. I know, I know, “You haven’t written for a month and now you’re clobbering us with one big long one…” Weeeeeell, if it’s really that bad, read to a certain paragraph, refill you’re coffee and come back and finish it, grab something that’ll go straight to your thighs too…. that always help me *wink* Anyways,I’ve been pulling my hair out about not knowing exactly what God’s got up His sleeve for my life. I mean, not actually, I know that I have to finish school which will take me till June 2016 and then I have the Summer Olympic games in 2016 but what happens in between those events or even after that? God laughed at me. No actually. Listen, “Don’t take yourself so seriously. Lighten up and laugh with Me. You have Me on your side, so what are you worried about? I can equip you to do absolutely anything, as long as it is in My will. Anxiety wraps you up in yourself, trapping you in your own thoughts. When you look to Me, and whisper My name, you break free and receive My help. Focus on Me Payton. and you will find peace in My presence.” I have to trust Him and so you do you. I don’t know what you’re battling right now, just finished battling or maybe preparing for a battle but know that if you have trusted Jesus Christ as your Saviour – He will never abandon you.

“Now He who prepared us for this very purpose is God, who gave us the Spirit as a deposit guaranteeing what is to come. ” – 2 Corinthians 5:5

 

 

– Stay Satisfied

Beyond What We See Looks Awesome…

So to start of, I’m gunna let you know that SO much happened since last week. God opened my eyes to a couple new and exciting things this week and we had an adventure in design school. I honestly can’t believe it’s only been a week!

First off; last Sunday was incredible. I feel that Lord is calling me into missions work. This is something that I’ve never really put a lot of thought into nor felt extremely called to. You know? I mean, I’m excited for people that feel called to go over seas and spread the good news of Jesus Christ but I’ve never had a tug on my heart that way until about three years ago when my friends went to the London Olympic Games in 2012. I missed the boat by literally a day – but obviously I wasn’t meant to go. Anyways, my friends went to the Olympics to share Christ with all of the people that would be there because the Olympics is one of the very few times when people from all over the world travel to one place at the same time. When they got back and shared all of the incredible miracles God did, the conversations they had with complete strangers and the new drive to share about their faith with everyone they came in to contact with. Everything opened a desire in my heart to do the same! Obviously, I have not traveled the world to share my faith; but since then, God has given me smaller, random opportunities to share the gospel with people and to pray with them. When my friends all came back from London, we all immediately began thinking about the Summer Olympic Games that would take place in Rio de Janeiro. Almost three years later, and I have never forgotten about going to Rio to share my faith with hundreds of different people from all over the world. But, my desire has grown since then. Like, I want to be able to share Christ with people from all over the world that are right in my neighbourhood, my school, my work, everywhere!Space

This sermon is what got the ball rolling; Pastor Bryce is an amazing speaker and God totally spoke through him the past Sunday! I’d totally encourage you guys to listen to it, because it totally moved my heart!

 

Sunday morning God dumped a gallon of gasoline on my spark for short term missions and sharing the gospel with others. Recently I’ve been a little discouraged. Ok, a lot discouraged – I’ve been feeling like I’m not good enough. Not good enough at being a witness for God to others in my life. Not good enough of a friend to the people around me and to many of my close friends. Not being good enough at school. Not being a good enough leader in the things that I have committed to. Etc. Like, I could honestly go on, and on….. buuuuuuut we don’t have time for that. ANYWAYS. I was journaling and doing my devotions before church (normally I don’t like sharing my journal because it is strictly between me and God but I know that God wants me to be sharing this in order to give Him credit for what went down at church…) this is what I wrote, “God, I pray for my future and whatever your Will may be for it. Maybe you will bring a man into my life, maybe you will provide an amazing career or maybe you’ll have me move and travel over seas for whatever reason! Whatever it may be Lord, I ask that you would help me to submit my own will and be willing to follow yours! Prepare my heart NOW for what you have planned. I love you Lord and I know that you love me and only want what’s best for me.” So then I closed my journal, walked to church and my Pastor, Bryce started to speak on Acts chapter 1 and 2; which is when Jesus’ disciples receive the Holy Spirit. Acts 1:8 hit me like a frying pan in the face, here, Jesus is speaking, “You will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you shall be my witness…”

Beyond What We See

So Pastor Bryce dove right in and began talking about the Pentecost; which is a time where people from all over the world; speaking different languages all gathered together in Jerusalem to celebrate what God has done. It was a celebration that had continued for years and years. Immediately I clued in to God’s tap on my shoulder. Pentecost = Olympics. Also a time where thousands of people from all over the world belonging to different cultures and backgrounds gather together at the same time to celebrate one thing. Bryce continued speaking and I was all ears. “Something miraculous would happen on the day of Pentecost,” he said, “In Acts 2:1-13,  we read that the disciples began declaring the wonders of God in different languages! It was so crazy and unbelievable that the people who heard them began to say that they had too much wine and must’ve been drunk!” My mind was racing, I felt that Bryce was speaking directly to me; there was no one else in the congregation except for me. He continued to speak, “The Spirit dwells in everyone that has chosen to follow Christ.” Speaking for myself here; I know that the Spirit is active and working in my life; meaning that God will empower me to accomplish His will no matter how qualified I am. You see, God never calls the qualified – He qualifies the called. “What is the first thing the church does?” My pastor asked, “they tell the world – in their own language about all that God has done!” I started to question and doubt myself – I feel called but I don’t think I can learn Portuguese! God, is this really from you? “PAYTON! You have felt this calling for Rio for nearly three years now and what have you done with it?” I froze in my seat. I’ve done nothing. As of now, I’ve told almost no one about this desire in my heart to share Christ to different nations and cultures. “Payton, I have given you my Spirit and that is all you need to accomplish the mission that I have for you! Acts 1:8, “You will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you shall be my witness…” There it was again. As Bryce continued to speak, the same message was banging like a gong inside my body. “GO. JUMP IN. TRUST IN ME ALONE.”

“God wants to use us when we are not ready, that way we are forced to trust Him and for God to empower us to do what we need to do to tell the world about Him. Trust that God knows what He is able and will do through us” Everything Bryce said seemed to blow over any doubts that I had in my mind. God was completely speaking through him. It was as obvious as a chocolate stain on a white shirt. As we read through the first two chapters of Acts, he stressed the fact that the disciples did not teach the language – they learned the language, but more importantly – God empowers His people to speak another language! God brings His Word to those who are lost because when you think about it, God came into our culture. He sent Jesus to us – so we must go into other cultures and give the gospel in their own language. The other thing that Bryce really stressed was that this whole happening was completely supernatural. God empowers His followers to do this, there is no way they could ever have done this on their own. I started thinking about me learning Portuguese. For those of you who know me… you know how absolutely ridiculous this is. After three years of struggling and trying to take French classes growing up in school, my teacher actually asked me to drop the class. Through the three, excruciatingly long years of French class for both myself and my poor teacher; I learned one, truly valuable sentence. “Puis-je se il vous plaît aller aux toilettes” and as Google so faithfully translates, “May I please go to the toilet?” I confess, this was how I got out of class when I simply couldn’t take any it more. I’m not even kidding you. But it got me thinking even more! Jesus’ disciples were no wise men – no offense. Yet they were speaking in SEVERAL different languages. Honestly, if it is God’s will, He will usually make it happen in the craziest way, shape or form. We don’t have all the answers, we won’t be ready – we just need to be willing and GO! And quite often, it won’t make any sense to those around us, but we need to obey God’s calling on our hearts. People will be amazed and think we are out of our minds! Why have you spent time to do this? You have no money, how do you think you will make it work? You have no talent or skill in an area. Etc. God only asks if we are willing. Willing to get up and follow Him. We need to step out and trust Jesus. Be Willing to trust, and be surprised. God has this HUGE adventure that He wants to take us on, but if we’re not willing to get up off the couch, it’ll never happen. We’ll become fat, lazy and unhealthy followers of Jesus Christ! As the sermon came to a close, Pastor Bryce said, “If you are feeling this call for missions and serving the Lord with your time, I want you to come up to the front pew here after I close so that I, and a few others can pray for you! Immediately God said to me, “Payton, you need to go up.” I was stiff. See, I NEVER go up on calls like that. I’ve never had the tug on my heart and personally, I just don’t like bringing attention to myself like that. Cause everyone sees you when you’re up there and after, they ask you questions and it’s…. just….. no. But God persisted, “Payton, you NEED TO GO.”

Mountain Road

As Pastor Bryce said “Amen” my heart started to race. My friends came around me, and started talking about where we wanted to go for lunch. My mind totally tuned out and I just stared at the front. No one else was going up. But Bryce was waiting. He knew. I scanned the people standing around and talking and no else was making a move to go forward. So I waited another moment. “Payton, what are you waiting for, I have told you to GO.” After that last nudge from the Lord, I finally walked to the front and Bryce turned toward me and lit up. I started to tell him how much God spoke to me through his message when I started to cry. Hard. I don’t think I’ve cried that hard since my Grandma’s funeral roughly a month ago. As I tried to tell him what was going on in my heart, what I had literally just journaled about that morning and how I feel called to missions work and about Rio all he could do was smile. It felt SO refreshingly good to share this big thing that God had placed on my heart years ago. Two other ladies came up and joined Bryce; Marion and Nita, and we all prayed together. They encouraged me to continue writing all the God was placing on my heart because Nita promised me, that when I am out on the Mission field and I am having a harsh day – I am going to need that encouragement. Marion also encouraged me to begin learning Portuguese right away, because a little is better than nothing. “It seems like God keeps testing you to see if you are truly willing to trust and follow Him, by giving you the choice to make the first step.” Marion said, “He waited until you asked Him to prepare your heart now, for later. He waited until you got up and came to ask for prayer and encouragement this morning. He is going to keep testing you and you have to continue taking the first step to where He leads.”

Jesus focused. Christ centered. I will GO.

God continued to burn His encouragement and strength on my heart. “Jump in and I will empower you. Jump in because I will give you everything you need. Jump in and move forward with Me because the battle has already been won. Let us do this together.” A few days later, I had an incredible and vivid dream that I believe is from the Lord. I posted about it a couple days ago but it was about Jesus coming back and I believe that God was testing me once again whether I was willing to step out into the unknown and follow Him. There are so many reasons why that dream is so important to me, but the #1 reason is because I haven’t had a dream about the rapture since I was 10 and back then, I woke up terrified and screaming but now I wake up energized and peaceful; excited about the Lord’s return. That alone is an encouragement to me because God showed me just how far He has taken me. Through Christ he has helped me to eliminate fears and has helped me to over come them! The other thing that God totally opened my eyes to, is that He has been writing on my blank page. God has been writing this whole time, I just never realized it – and He is gunna continue writing on my “blank list” (which is technically not blank) and that, is flipping exciting.

Guys I am totally pushing you to step out and take a leap of faith. I know, I know. That is probably one of thee most over used, cliche, typical statements a person can say. But it’s true. Only when you are willing to move forward – past your fears, beyond your worries and farther than your discouragements, that’s where God meets you. I know this because that’s EXACTLY what He did for me this past week. And I think the craziest part, is that God is literally revealing more and more pieces to the puzzle everyday. It’s actually mind blowing. I want you to think about what is holding you back from doing the Lord’s will. I think we all know deep down what this is. Obviously it’s our own will but WHAT is that specifically? Is it a job? Schooling, schooling and more schooling? Is it a person in your life or maybe even a group of people? Are you where God needs you to be or are you refusing to move? What ever it is… Ditch it. Drop it like it’s hot. Cause it’s not worth it. God has something incredible for you but He’s only going to give it to you when you stop refusing to do it His way. Look at it like this: lets say you are a donkey. A hard working, strong and fully capable donkey that is continually striving for that carrot that is being dangled just out of reach in front of you. No matter how hard you push and pull and work for that carrot that is always JUST in front of you – you never get it. Ever. BUT, if you were to simply let someone guide you – allow the bit to be put in your mouth and to trust that whoever is steering you knows where they are going. God could guide you to a pile of carrots. Truth is, He wants to do this for you, but if we are not willing to simply trust and obey, we will forever be striving towards something that we will never achieve. Think about it… like actually… what’s worth more to you?

 

– Stay Satisfied