Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Glimpses of Grace Project 2010

Hello, everyone! I'm back! I've been pretty lax with my posting lately. Just really busy ... really distracted ... really unmotivated - in what seems like everything. And being on Christmas break doesn't help. ;) But I'm looking forward to this Spring semester. I am finally a college grad!!! I am working as the youth director at my church!!! I am working at after school again!!! The writing center!!! And I'm exercising!!! So once I get my butt in gear as far as seeking Christ with all I am, my life will be complete!!! I'm working on it. Being inconsistent for a long time makes it rough to get back into the habit. Jesus is the biggest part of me - my L I F E ! So what's my problem? .... Again, I'm working on it. :)

So ... to say all of that ... I am gonna start a project for 2010 that I pray will help me refocus on the big picture - Jesus as the center of my life! Or rather Jesus AS MY LIFE! :D

For those who love to follow my blog, get ready! 2010 is gonna be an amazing ride! I'm pretty excited about it! The project is called "Glimpses of Grace." And here's what I'm thinkin' ....

A couple weeks ago, a pretty great lady from my church was handing out books to our small group. She had a plastic bag full of books, and we could all take one. My initial reaction was "A book? Are you kidding me? I don't like to read." But I looked through the bag and stumbled across a book called "Glimpses." I opened it up to find some of the coolest pictures ever with corresponding Bible verses. The photographer took pictures that "revealed God's glory in the ordinary." Glimpses: Seeing God's Glory Revealed in the Ordinary. That's the name of this short, little book full of pictures and verses.

Well ... I was completely intrigued. I really like photography (even though my hands are shaky, and I'm not all that great at taking pictures ... haha!). And I really like putting God's word into the aspects of my life. So I thought (think) this book was (is) amazing!

Now ... something totally unrelated ... have y'all seen the movie Julie and Julia? It came out recently ... a movie about Julie (a modern woman who loves to cook) and Julia Child (the first television cook). Anyway ... in this movie, Julie decides to start a blog(!) and set out on a mission to cook every recipe in Julia Child's cookbook in one year. 524 recipes in 365 days ... something like that. And then she blogged about her cooking adventures every single day. .... Overall, I wasn't oober (uber ... don't ya like the two o's better?) ;) impressed with the movie. But I really liked her idea to set a goal and blog about it.

So that's what I plan to do.

I'm gonna integrate these two ideas and set out on a 365-day journey through God's grace .... and then blog about it! .... I will set out - each day - LOOKING FOR glimpses of God's grace in my everyday life, and then I'll blog about it. My goal is to blog every single day, but on the days that I (may) miss a posting, I'll catch up the next day. I WILL blog 365 posts this year! It be my greatest goal ... or rather, project ... for 2010.

And that be it. :)

Glimpses of Grace Project 2010 ... coming January 1, 2010!!!!!!! :D

Friday, December 4, 2009

Simple Joys: Part 2 :)

Joy is such an amazing gift from the Lord!

I wanna bask in it again tonight!

So here are some "simple joys" I've experienced this week ....

We'll call this Simple Joys: Part 2.

Sunday:
~ The humbling experience at the ice skating rink with friends ... not only can I not skate, but I fell down within the first 10 minutes! Josh and Alec were the only ones who got to see it too. Ha ha!
~ Little Barrett grabbing my hand and holding it during our entire walk to Monument Circle.
Tuesday:
~ Getting the best haircut of my life! And getting a hug from Kayla afterwards :)
~ Seeing that most of the shirts I bought at Old Navy said "Small" on the size tag.
~ Meeting with the Common Ground youth pastors and getting a hug from Jeremy Wright.
Wednesday:
~ Having Mathanael as my buddy at after school - piggy back rides, sitting on my lap while I helped him with his homework, him asking me to sit next to him during Bible time ... ah! Life is good :)
~ Getting hugs from Diazaun and KeAndre as I left after school.
~ Getting a "bye, Mical" from Mr. James as I headed out the door at after school.
Thursday:
~ Having a really good tutoring session in which I helped an English Composition student expand his ideas and narrow his thesis.
~ Helping Mathanael with his math homework.
~ Racing Diazuan with his math problems - he won.
Friday:
~ Lunch with Maggie and Hannah.
~ Getting an uplifting e-mail from Alex.


I wanna pay closer attention to the simple joys in my life!!!! God is so good! :)

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Communing with God

So it's been awhile, eh?

I think it's been awhile since my last post because I haven't been consistent in my relationship with Jesus lately. A lot, if not most, of my thoughts on this blog have to do with my walk with the Lord ... and well, I haven't really been growing lately. And I haven't been growing because I haven't been consistent in my walk. Therefore, no thoughts to blog about.

So here are a few thoughts I'd like to post ... and I'm hoping that writing 'em down will help motivate me to work on them a little harder.

I spoke at the Danville Middle School FCA (Fellowship of Christian Athletes/Anybodies) a couple weeks ago, and the following thoughts are what I shared with them. I admitted the same lack of motivation to them. I admitted that I am just not motivated to spend time with the Lord these days. And I don't know why. It is starting to weigh on me though ... or rather, Jesus is really starting to convict me about it.

So here's what I'm thinking ....

In light of my lack of motivation, I decided to think about why it's important to spend time with God ... and not just spend time with Him but spend quality time with Him - communing with Him.

Communing with God
Communion - "fellowship; interchange of thoughts or interests;
a state of giving and receiving."

Now that we know what communion is .... why is communing with God so important?
I'm gonna share 5 reasons with you.
In no way is this an exhaustive list, but it's a good start. :)

#1 - RELATIONSHIP
Communing with God means having a meaningful relationship with Him. When we become Christians, we develop a relationship with God. .... Think of your best friend. Think of any friend that you have. Can you be in relationship with them if you don't spend time with them?

#2 - THE GLORY OF GOD
Glory - "the highest degree of pleasure; satisfaction; pride."
As Christians, we should want to bring joy (or pleasure) to God. We should want Him to be proud of us. Don't you want God to be proud of you? I know I do! Being in relationship with God makes Him proud of us because we are living out the calling He placed on our lives. And that calling is, simply put, to live in relationship with Him. Communing with God satisfies His desire for us to be in relationship with Him.

#3 - ATTITUDE
I don't know about you, but when I don't spend time with God, the first sin that I fall into is having a bad attitude ... more specifically, being impatient ... with everything! I also don't live in joy because when I don't spend time with God, I lose my sense of purpose. My purpose in life is to be in relationship with Jesus Christ. When I do not spend time with Jesus, I lose my joy.

#4 - LACK PURPOSE
I've said it .... at least twice now.
Being in a relationship with Jesus is our purpose in life.
God created us to glorify Him. God created us so that we could be in relationship with Him and so that He could be in relationship with us. So when we don't spend time with Jesus, we have no reason to live - we have nothing to live for.

#5 - FIND GOD'S COMMANDS/PROMISES
When we spend time with God (read God's word and talk with Him), we know how He wants us to live. We know how to honor God with our lives. And when we know how to honor God, we know how to live out our purpose because honoring God is our purpose. We can also find God's promises and learn to hold on to them in good and bad times.

So what does all of this mean? Or rather ... how do we do this? How do we commune with God?

The first step???

Denying ourselves.

Then Jesus said to the disciples, "If any of you wants to be my follower, you must put aside your selfish ambition, shoulder your cross, and follow me. If you try to keep your life for yourself, you will lose it. But if you give up your life for me, you will find true life."
Matthew 16:24-25

Whew! Now that's a load of conviction!!! "You must put aside your selfish ambition." Wow. 'Cause that's what it really boils down to ... and Jesus knows it. When I choose to be inconsistent in my walk with the Lord ... when I choose to watch a movie instead of reading my Bible or turn on my iPod instead of talking to God ... I am putting ON my selfish ambition rather than putting it ASIDE! Man. That's rough.

But that's what Jesus asks ... what He demands of us. What He demands of ME. That's what it takes to be His follower.

So it looks like I've got some work to do, huh?
Let's start over today ... right now.

Lord, help me put aside my selfish ambition and follow You with all my heart and mind and life! Be the center of me. Give me an undying passion for You. Be glorified in me!

Friday, October 30, 2009

Simple Joys :)

Yesterday, on my way to school, I saw a boy dancing while he was waiting for his bus to pick him up for school. It was the best thing I'd seen all week! And it got me thinking about simple things that bring me so much joy. So I decided to watch for simple joys throughout the day all day yesterday ... and here's what I observed. :)

On my way to school:
~ The boy dancing at the bus stop.
~ The way the sun and the clouds worked together to create another one of God's paintings in the sky! .... A piercing orange-colored sun beneath pink and purple clouds! Oh, it was gorgeous! A great way to start off the day! :)
~ Watching the leaves fall as I walked to class.

At after school:
~ Whishae grabbing my hand and holding it.
~ Whishae giving me a big smile.
~ Mathanael saying his Bible verse.
~ Helping little George with his math homework. He connected the dots to create his numbers, and after he finished, we raised our arms and shouted, "yeahhh!!!!"
~ Getting a huge hug from George.
~ Hearing the other leaders at after school say I was doing great things to help out with the crazy, little guy - George. He's a hyper, little 5-year-old who was new to after school this week.

At Kroger:
~ Standing and waiting for a hug from Emily when we met to pick up dinner and a movie.
~ Laughing with Emily.


None of these things are super extravagant or amazingly exciting to the everyday person, perhaps .... but they are most certainly simple joys that brought tremendous joy to my life yesterday!

Look for the simple joys in life! You will never go wrong!!!! Praise the Lord for His tremendous yet simple blessings! :)

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Addin' to the Bucket!

MICAL'S BUCKET LIST (Not necessarily in this order) J

#1 - Hike through New Zealand!!!

#2 - Run a mini marathon.

#3 - Read through the Bible at least 3 times .... once in my NIV, once in a ESV, and once in my wide-margin NASB.

#4 - Learn to play bar chords on my guitar.

#5 - Take swing dancing lessons!

#6 - Marry an oober godly guy!

#7 – Have at least 4 kids and homeschool them.

#8 - Take a 3-day trip of silence and solitude!

#9 - Visit my sponsored child.

#10 - Read all of Mere Christianity.

#11 – Take a BBF trip to the Bosom Buddies Cottages in Canada with Emily!!!

#12 – Be a waitress.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Wanted: Jones Soda Bottles

Jones Soda! I am in need of Jones Soda bottles!

If you drink Jones Soda, keep your bottles ... and please let me have 'em!

If you're willing to give 'em up ... give me a call or shoot me an e-mail, and I'll pick 'em up from you! They are muchly needed and muchly appreciated!

Thanks, fellow blogger friends! :)

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Braggin' about My Brother :)

My brother came home today. He goes to school in Evansville. And while he was home, he told my dad and me a story.

He went to a party on Friday night .... there was drinking. My brother doesn't drink. But his roommate drank a bit too much. Wes only stopped by for a few minutes ... to say hi to a friend. .... Shortly after they got back to their apartment, his roommate starts sobbing and telling Wes how awful his life has been, how bad things have happened, how hurt and lonely he had been. My brother didn't really know what to do or what to say .... but when his roommate talked about how lonely and unhappy he was, my brother started telling this guy about Jesus!!! Wes told me and my dad ... "As soon as he started talking about how lonely he was, I knew I had to talk to him about Christ." ... Wes got to share his testimony with his roommate on Friday night. When I asked him for the details ... "So what did you say?" ... he said ... "I just told him about my freedom in Christ. I always say things like, 'don't sweat it' to him, and I was able to tell him why I say that all the time. I told him I don't get worked up about things 'cause I have Christ in my life. I'm a happy, confident guy because I have Him." (Okay ... so that's not word-for-word ... but it's a pretty good paraphrase.) :) .... Wes also said that his roommate told him that he really appreciates Wes' friendship. And his roommate told him, nearly word-for-word .... "You're not only my friend, you're my role-model. I watch the way you live your life, Wes, and I try to live that way." .... Wow! What a compliment!!!!

Gosh. I was so proud of him! I AM so proud of him!!!! He's told more than one story about this kind of thing since he got into college a couple years ago. He's really grown in the Lord, and I am just so excited to get little glimpses of it here and there. :)

Really, the more I hear about all that he's accomplishing by his godly example ... the more I watch his consistency in character and dedication to the things he's passionate about and the discipline he has ... I want to be just like him. He has really grown up over the past few years, and I am incredibly proud of him. The more I think about it ... I'm with his roommate on this one!!!! Wes is more than my brother, he is one of my role-models too. :)

Friday, October 2, 2009

Precious Moments in My Heart's Desire


After school today at Eastside Church of the Nazarene.

I help out at after school every Wednesday and Thursday afternoon ... it's a program through Shepherd Community Center on the Eastside of Indianapolis.
These amazing kids from the inner city, along with my SoZo kids, are some of the greatest blessings of my life! I am so in love with them that I don't know what to do with myself!!!! ..... I live for after school! I live for SoZo time! God has given me such a passion for these kids and youth! He's given me such a passion for kids and teens in general! And I just can't contain myself anymore!!! :) I'm soooooo excited!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Alright ... all of that said .... I'm calming down ... but only a little. I want to share some moments at after school today because they are so precious to me. :)

I love when the kids yell my name .... "Miss Mical!!!!" .... when they come through the doors. I love when the kids say "Bye, Miss Mical!" as they leave after school each day. I love hugs from the kids.

But today, I got some extra precious blessings. :)

KeAndre is 8.
He has corn rows and the cutest little face in the world ... oh, and a smile to die for!
Today, as we sat down for Bible study, he saw me sit at a separate table, and immediately, he got up and said, "I'm gonna sit with Miss Mical." He grabbed his folder and his book bag and plopped down in the seat next to me.
I think my heart melted a little.
A little later, he said, "high five!" ... so I gave him a high five, and he smiled at me. Again ... this little guy has a smile that is priceless! He asked for a couple high fives this afternoon. Made me smile really big. :D And I think my heart melted even more. :)

I met a little girl named Whishae today. Yes ... her name is spelled just like that. I had to ask her a couple different times throughout the afternoon to make sure I got it right. I asked her how to spell it; I said it over and over to myself (and her). She is a gorgeous little girl and KeAndre's cousin. They bantered all afternoon. It was too funny to watch.
At the end of the day when she was leaving, I yelled after her and KeAndre ... "Bye, KeAndre! Bye, Whishae!" And she said, "you remembered!!" She was excited that I remembered her name and that I said it right. And for a little girl whom you just met about 2 hours earlier to get excited that you (Mical Masterson) know her name?? Oh! I was so excited!

Lastly, there is a little boy named Mathanael; he is 7. He has a mohawk and a broken arm from football. And yes, his name is Mathanael with an "M" instead of a "N." He goes by Mat. And today, he invited me to draw with him. We ended up tracing our hands and making a Thanksgiving turkey. (It's a bit early for that, but that's what he wanted to draw ... how could I say no?) He traced my hand, and I traced his. And he walked me through how to draw a face and the feathers, and then we colored our turkeys together. This simple invite was such a joy. I've got the picture hanging up on my bedroom wall.


Gosh. These kids are just too amazing! And our God is just beyond amazing for allowing me to love on them every week. Life is not life until you can work in your passion on a regular basis!!! And I'm praying that one day I can work in my passion day in and day out. Oh, what a blessing! I don't deserve these kids. I don't deserve my SoZo kids. But God's grace is just that amazing! Oh! My life is complete! :)

Thursday, October 1, 2009

"Does he even grow facial hair?!"

I was on campus again yesterday, and I walked by this guy who was on his phone ... and I heard him say, "That was pretty much the most disgusting thing I've ever seen in my entire life." It made me laugh a little on the inside.

I passed him wondering what he could be talking about.

It made me think of a funny "overhearing a comment" story that Jesse Smith shared with me and Jared Wade and a group of us friends a while back. He said he was standing next to someone ... at a bank or the store or some place ... and all of a sudden he hears the guy in front of him say, "Well, that's what you get for having 9 kids!" .... I guess the guy said it fairly loud. And Jesse got the biggest kick out of it. Jesse is just hilarious anyway, and he's good at telling stories ... so the story was pretty funny. .... It's one of those "you had to be there" moments, but if you have a good sense of humor or you just laugh a lot, I'm sure you can find the humor in that ... and in my chuckling about the "disgusting thing ever" comment from the guy on the phone.

It just tickled my funny bone a bit ...

But the second comment I heard later in the day was better.

I was sitting in the campus center ... lots of people were passing by. I was reading a book when all of a sudden, I hear someone nearly yell, "Does he even grow facial hair?!" ... Again, I wondered what this girl could've been talking about. Ha! And I think I laughed out loud for that one.

So I wrote these two quotes down in my agenda and thought to myself, "I'm gonna blog about this." I just got a laugh out of 'em. Hope you do too.

Good times! :)

Monday, September 28, 2009

What Be Happenin' Wit Mical, Yo :)

I've posted this before ... but it's a new time and a new place of life ... so the answers will be different. And this time I stole it from EmilyWem. :)

Outside my window: is the best weather ever! Cool breeze, probably around 55 or 60 degrees. A street light and cars zooming by.

I am thinking about: how much I love my SoZo kids, how I am so excited Em is comin' home in 2 days, how I'm longing for someone I can't ever have, how tired I am of school and all its details, how much I am enjoying the weather and can't wait for 50 degrees everyday, and how excited I am that Jesus is Lord of my life and is carrying out Philippians 1:6 in my life. :)

I am thankful for: Emily Nicole Karas, Benjamin David Nilsen, Hannah Joy Baker, Tiffany Lorraine Coon, my mom and dad and Wes, the breeze I felt on my skin all day, the fact that I only have 12 weeks left of college, the gift of serving, teaching, loving, and encouraging my SoZo kids, the after school program at Shepherd, God's word, friendship, the kind of love that fulfills you (God's love), peace that only comes from the Lord, grace that is greater than all my sin, hope in Christ, security in Christ, sweet tea (it's my comfort drink) .... wow. I should really stop. I could go on forever. :)

From the kitchen: we've got dirty dishes and a fridge full of leftovers.

I am wearing: my favorite outfit in the world ... my huge scrub pants with comfy socks and my big Taylor sweatshirt. Fall has officially arrived! :D

I am creating: a 20th birthday/I love you/goodbye gift for my bosom buddy Emily, a three-week lesson for SoZo about what it means to have a teachable spirit, half-hearted writing assignments for school, opportunities to serve and encourage and love, and sweet tea just about every day.

I am going to: grow in Jesus, encourage people, and laugh loudly and often ... forever.

I am reading: my Bible, Wrestling Prayer, and a book called Spiritual Growth in Youth Ministry ... books for school should be in this list but oh wait .... ;) he he he. Okay, okay ... I'm working on actually reading for my classes. ;)

I am hoping: for motivation, a deeper passion for God and His heart, to work with kids/youth full time when I graduate, for a friendship to be completely restored, that I will let go of some bitterness I am harboring and of a longing that will never be mine, continued growth in Christ.

I am hearing: my dad watching Monday Night Football downstairs, crickets chirping outside my window, the wind rustling the leaves in the trees, the hum of my fan, the typing of my keyboard ..... oh, but the sound of the leaves rustling is by far my favorite.

Around the house: my mom is sleeping, my dad is watching football but most likely asleep on the couch, my brother is not here, I am camping out in my brother's room .... perhaps 'cause I miss him, perhaps 'cause the internet is hooked up in his room. :)

Some of my favorite things: sweet tea, friendship, laughing, smiling, singing, dancing, growing in Jesus, crocs, 50 degree weather, rain, sunsets, mountains, photos, sleeping in .... and I could go on forever and a day!

A few plans for the rest of the week: school, the after school program at Eastside, SoZo!!!!, hang out with friends, drink more sweet tea, encourage people, pray for the folks on my prayer list this week, finally get to see Emily, seek Jesus, Bible study, church at Calvary!, live, laugh, and love. :)

Sunday, September 27, 2009

A Status that Wouldn't Fit in her Facebook Status Box

is not ready for Monday ... but she's pretty excited about a few things, so the week will be great!
#1 - Jesus is her Lord.
#2 - She's gonna be studying what it means to have a teachable spirit for the next month!
#3 - Her bosom buddy Emily is coming home on Wednesday (finally!).
#4 - SoZo is amazing, and she is in love with her youth!
#5 - She's got after school with some amazing inner city kids on Wednesday and Thursday afternoon.
#6 - She only has 12 weeks left of college!
#7 - She better stop now 'cause life is so good that she could go on forever.
.... Praise God for His faithfulness, grace, and joy!!! Have a great week, everyone! Live fully. Love deeply. Laugh loudly. 'Cause Jesus came so that we might have LIFE and have it ABUNDANTLY!!!! :D

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Motivation, here I come!

I'm standing at a computer in the new campus center on IUPUI's campus. Today has been a real struggle. I am so tired of school. But not just tired of being in school ... almost to the point of totally dismissing all of my classes and doing just barely enough to get by.
Giving up is not an option.
Quitting when you're 12 weeks from graduation would be the lamest thing you could ever do.
The "you" being me.
So I will not give up.
But I do want to just slide by. I'm tired of trying. I'm tired of going to class. I'm tired of being a college student.

Some questions on my mind today ....
Why must I continue in a degree that I do not want?
Why couldn't I pass that silly test and be a college graduate who now teaches at a public middle school or high school ... loving on kids and helping them enjoy English?
Why do I lack so much motivation? And it's not just this semester ... it's been lacking for so long!

I've been thinking about this a lot lately ... my lack of motivation. And I'm tired. Ha! I'm tired of school, yes. But I'm tired of being tired of school!
So today ... starting right now ... I'm gonna work harder at finishing strong.
I don't want to do the bare minimum ... and I don't want to dread every second of class and every second of homework.
Today!
Today begins a new day!
I'm moving towards motivation!!!!

Ha! So why do you all care about my lack of motivation?
Oh wait! You don't. Or, well ... maybe you do. But why blog about it? Ha ha!
This post is simply for me!!!!
Maybe writing down my commitment to be motivated will help me do so!
Let's finish it up with a prayer, shall we?

Lord Jesus,
I need your help! I am so done! I am so over this thing called school. Yes, I want to be challenged. Yes, I want to work hard. But not towards a major that I don't want. Not toward classes like The History of Television that are completely pointless and boring. I'm just being honest here, Lord. :) Please give me the strength to persevere through these last 12 weeks of classes and tutoring and homework and commuting. 12 weeks, Lord! I'm almost done! Please help me live out Colossians 3:23 when it says, "Whatever you do work at it with all your heart as for the Lord and not men." Help this be true in my life. When I'm lacking motivation, help me remember this verse. It's been coming to mind lately, and although I don't like the conviction, I need it! So please keep bringing it! Help me, Jesus! Surround me. Motivate me. Give me joy in this season of my life. Thank you, Lord, for all that you do and all that you will do. I am so excited for the future even though I have no idea what you're gonna do. Thank you, Lord. Be glorified in me. Oh, please be glorified in me. I love you, Lord!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Hit On

So my bosom buddy, Emily, and I get together on a regular basis ... and while we're together, we get "checked out," as we like to call it, by guys ... everywhere. we. go. We're gorgeous babes. Who can blame the guys, right? ;) Ha ha! .... Occasionally, it's pretty creepy, but most of the time, it's just amusing.

Well, I bring you this short story because today ... not 20 minutes ago ... I was sitting in the grass on IUPUI's campus eating my lunch, and within 5 minutes time not one but two guys hit on me. I'm not joking!

But there's a catch .... does it count if they wanted me to pay them money??? Ha ha!

They were being "voted for" ... or so they said. The first guy was pretty charming ... and eventually pulled out a list of magazines ... I told him I had no money to give him ... and yet he persisted to ask me questions about my hobbies and my major, acting interested in my life. Ha ha! He even went so far to say that the money he made would take him to Australia ... where he "needed a dance partner" ... namely - me. Hilarious. .... I finally started laughing, and he said "what's so funny?" I (hopefully) said politely, "You're funny. I told you I don't have any money, and you're still here." He just smiled, picked up his stuff, and said thanks for letting him chat with me. .... The next guy didn't even pull out his list of magazines 'cause I told him straight up "Some guy already hit me up, and I have no money." He smiled, asked my major and my name, and then told me I was the "cutest Mical he'd ever seen." Then he gave me a high five and told me he wouldn't bug me.

Pretty stinkin' hilarious.
Now, tons of girls all over this campus today will be experiencing these two guys ... and most likely more. I say girls ... 'cause I watched these guys ... and they only picked on the girls ... probably feeding them the same "dance" and "cutest" lines. Nice guys. I'll give 'em credit for that. ...... But I bet I'm the only girl who blogs about 'em! :D

Saturday, August 29, 2009

The Status

So ... in light of my last post .... Hannah told me it was fairly depressing.
I'm gonna post another short thought.

If you have facebook, you know that writing in some kind of status is "the thing to do" in the facebook world. And it's tons of fun!
I change my status all the time ... what's up with that, by the way?
Why is telling the world what you're doing so much fun?
Am I prideful? Obsessed with myself? Lacking a life? Ha ha ha!
Anyway ... getting off again. :)
So here's a status for today .....

Mical Lynn Masterson is excited about life because even though love is often hard ... it is so worth it in the end. She would not trade the people she's loved and been hurt over for the world. And she would not trade the lessons she's learned. :) She's gonna stick to one of her favorite quotes when it says: "Love deeply. Live fully. Laugh loudly."

Life is good 'cause God's so faithful. :)
Have a fantastic week, everyone!

Thursday, August 27, 2009

On My Heart These Days ...

Two questions for the day ....

#1 - Why does love sometimes feel as though your heart is being painfully ripped out of your chest?

#2 - Why is it so hard to let go of lost dreams?

Feel free to answer!
But mostly ... these are just the cries of my heart today.

Can I be reminded? .... God knows what He's doing. Period.
*Big Sigh*

Flesh-Driven or Spirit-Led?

So ... like I often do ... I didn't mean to post that last post.
When I started it ... "So I finished reading Having a Mary Spirit ...." I meant to type out a powerful passage of the book and leave it at that.
Ha! I forgot .... I'm Mical Masterson.
When do I ever stay on topic ... even with myself?
Too funny!
Well, this post is all about a passage from Having a Mary Spirit.
It is amazing and speaks for itself, so get ready!
I must warn you though .... if you don't want any conviction at the moment, don't read this.
But then again ... if you don't want any conviction at the moment, then you need to read this!
So just do it! :)

"Remember the church building program I told you about in the first chapter of this book? Now, three years later, our new facility is almost complete. But even more exciting to me is the fact that we get to keep our existing church building for a youth and ministry outreach center. That means we will be able to fulfill the dreams and visions we had in the beginning, the very dreams and visions that had to be scaled back because of finances. In His mysterious and marvelous way, God has opened a door to more ministry opportunities for less money - and right in the middle of town rather than on our new, less accessible campus.
I had a dream, you see, but God had a better idea. Which is usually the case. So often we feel frustrated in our walk with God because of what seem like roadblocks and detours. We feel as though God has forsaken us - or, worse, that we somehow misinterpreted His will. One way or another, our joy is depleted, our passion runs dry, and we settle for motions rather than movements in our walk with God.
However, we have a choice. We always have a choice. Either we can trust the Spirit's leading, or we can insist on going our own way. But let me tell you - only one choice leads to life. The other marks a gradual descent toward spiritual death, for no one can refuse God's will and prosper.
When I finally - and grudgingly - surrendered my dreams for our church building to God, I was giving them up for good. I had no idea He would resurrect them - and in a way that would be better for everyone. God really did have a better idea, but I couldn't see it until I chose to obey and follow.
We miss so much when we insist on being flesh-driven rather than Spirit-led. When we power walk in a Martha spirit - pushing, striving, and conniving - rather than adopting a Mary spirit that says, 'Wherever You lead me, Lord. I just want to be close to You,' we miss out on so many of God's good ideas ... and our chance to be a part of them.
That is why I keep on praying, 'Lord, change me.'
I want to have a heart that ponders rather than fears.
A heart that believes that God will do what He says He will do, though everything around me shouts to the contrary.
I want a Mary spirit. Oh, I'm glad God understands my Martha-ness and that He is not put out with me when I dream big dreams and go full tilt. But I'm also glad He doesn't allow me to continually operate in Martha overdrive.
In His mercy, God confounds me. He reins me in and prunes me back. And He leads me on, often along paths I don't understand. For He has much more in mind for me and for His kingdom than I can see or even know.
So I'm learning not to get uptight when things don't go my way. For if I can, like the Marys we've studied, keep in step with the Spirit, He will show me which path to take. And, better yet, I'll receive what my spirit longs for.
A gentle, beautiful life, inside and out. A soul at rest and a body in motion. A life lived in the presence of my precious Lord.
And always, as I follow His footsteps, the promise of something astonishing and new."

Galatians 5:16
Walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh.

The God of the Heart

Alright. So I finally finished reading Having a Mary Spirit.
Amazing book!
I've decided it's the best non-Bible book I've ever read.
I think it's because it really began to help me deal with some matters of the heart that I've been leaving alone for far too long.
Ladies, if you've been struggling with some sins - deep down - you should read this book.

The more I grow to know and love Jesus, the more I realize that He is the God of the heart.
He really, really, really cares about what our hearts look like.
He does not care about our outward appearance, how much we've accomplished, how we'd like to be seen and treated ... any of those meaningless things.
God cares about the condition of our hearts.

There's a verse God brought to my attention recently that has really stuck with me ... and it sums up my previous statement perfectly.
"You shall remember all the way which the Lord your God has led you in the wilderness these forty years, that He might humble you, testing you, to know what was in your heart, whether you would keep His commandments or not." Deuteronomy 8:2

This verse is powerful! Powerful because it, in one sentence, reveals to us why God allows trials into our lives. Trials are a huge part of all our lives. Whether they be big or small, they come to us, in some shape or form, every single day. God knew that when He put us on this earth ... so He also gave us direction.

I know that I often ask God "why?" ... Even though He's given me direction and I know the answer to my question, I ask Him. "Why, Lord?" "Why did you allow these friendships to crumble?" "Why did you allow me to give my heart away at the wrong time?" "Why couldn't I have passed that test?" "Why couldn't you have stopped these things from happening?"

God knows what He's doing. Period. No ifs, ands, or buts. No exceptions. No questions or comments or complaints. Just deal with it. ..... But wait!!! We don't have to "just deal with it." God gives us direction in the midst of our "whys?"

He tells us ... right there in Deuteronomy 8:2.
"I led you through these trials for all this time so that I could find out what's really in your heart."
"I want to know ... are you really gonna trust Me and love Me and obey Me no matter what I allow into your life?"
"I allow these trials 'cause I want to watch the way you handle them ... and not just on the outside but deep down, where it really counts."
"I am the God of the heart, and I want to know if your heart really and truly desires to honor Me."

God is the God of the heart, and He really wants my heart and life to honor Him.
And so ... God's been sifting through my heart a lot lately.
It's been a painful process.
I don't want to know that I've been harboring sin.
I don't want to know that I'm not only harboring sin but holding on to sin.
I don't want to know that I'm dishonoring my Lord.
But I do want to know how I can change.
And how can I change, if I don't know I need to change?

God knows what He's doing. Period.
Aren't you glad?

Friday, August 14, 2009

Boga-isms!

So I stumbled across these "Boga-isms" while I was cleaning out my desk today, and I laughed out loud through most of them.
Sadly, most of you won't understand these 'cause you had to be in Bogalusa (and in the situation) to get most of 'em ... but they are still fun.
I could resist ... they are a great blog post. :)
Enjoy!

"He's more creepy up close."
- Josie Knapp to me about a guy we helped while we were there.

"My forgetter is what works best."
- Mr. Denver

"I didn't know you were so that way."
- Pastor Marcus to me

"You're the female version of Billy Mays."
- Frank Bennett to me

"A stick just fell from the sky!"
- Tyler Bennett (I love that kid!)

"Come back, Subway cup!"
- Tyler

"I think we all look like we've been ran over by a truck."
- Madison Johnson

"Gas station bathrooms are filth incarnate."
- Christopher Fales (he also called them "nuclear waste disposals ... couldn't forget that one!)

"Umm, can you make me pregnant?"
- Tori (from the Poplar Bluff group) to me ... and she was referring to a skit, by the way ... she was a pregnant lady. ;)

"Umm, I don't know what to do. You just got a text message."
- Charlie (from the PB group)

"Get it, girl!"
- Leah Baker

"You're not cute!"
- Pastor Mike

"I like this book because people get shot in the face by arrows."
- Tyler Bennett (the quote that started it all!)

"I'm glad i'm not an adult right now because of the economic downturn."
- Again ... Tyler Bennett ... he is a hoot!

"You're so cautious."
- Tyler to me

"Mical is a nice girl, but she's so cautious."
- Tyler to his dad ... "being careful" is an inside joke between the three of us. Ha ha! Yes!

"We're all gonna suffocate and die!"
- Madison

"The world's most awesome flea market"
- Katherine Peterson
"More like the world's lamest flea market."
- Me

"Freakin' ridonkalous!"
- Madison

"Stupid monkey."
- Jeremy Wright talking to the door we put in at Miss Sadie's. You wouldn't believe the time we had with that silly door!!!

"Bye, human."
- Brian Reagan ... and me and Frank and Tyler all week long.

"Strike 22, Johnson."
- Jeremy gave Madison strikes throughout the week for silly things. Good times!

"I'm going down with the guys and Mariah."
- Leah
"Have a nice life!"
- Madison to Leah

"It should be called the 'I hate my life' bone."
- Me after someone hit their funny bone.

"Hungry elbows?"
- Shelley Chambers after she misheard someone say 'angry hobos.'" ... Don't ask me why they said it; I have no idea! ;)

I KNOW there were other great lines ... but these were some really great quotes I wrote down as I heard 'em throughout the week in Bogalusa. ..... Good times! :)

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Thorns FOR Grace

Wahoo!
This is good! Get ready! :)

2 Corinthians 12:7-10
"Because of the surpassing greatness of the revelations, for this reason, to keep me from exalting myself, there was given me a thorn in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to torment me - to keep me from exalting myself! Concerning this I implored the Lord three times that it might leave me. And He has said to me, 'My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.' Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me. Therefore, I am well content with weaknesses, with insults, with distresses, with persecutions, with difficulties, for Christ's sake; for when I am weak, then I am strong."

I'd never really thought about this passage like this before.
And by "this" I mean .....

*God GIVES us thorns in the flesh SO THAT He can GIVE us His grace.
And ...
*God not only allows but GIVES us tough times so that, in those rough circumstances, His grace can CHANGE OUR LIVES.

It's kind of funny how .... I've read these verses for years, especially verse 9, and it's throwin' a new perspective at me today. :) That's one of the coolest things about God's word. You can read it a million times and never grasp everything He wants you to take away from it.

"My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness."

That seems pretty straight forward to me, but when we put it with verses 7, 8, and 10, we see that God doesn't let our thorns "leave" us ... He wants us to understand and experience the power of His grace THROUGH those thorns ... He wants us to understand and experience the power of His grace that not only can, but WILL, overcome our every weakness .......

And ultimately ... CHANGE OUR LIVES.

Condemnation vs. Conviction

So I meant to post this a while back ... I think on the same day as my talk about Colossians 3:3? ....... No .... but anyway ... a few weeks ago, I meant to post these thoughts and didn't .... so here they are now. :)

They are concerning Condemnation and Conviction.

God's been convicting me in mighty ways over the past year ... pushing me to change and let go and ultimately, become more like Him. ... Which is no easy task, as we all know very well. But anyway, from time to time, I feel condemned because I just can't get some things in this Christian walk right. Or I'm not consistent ... whatever the case may be. But recently, I was reminded that I was being selfish in this talking and feeling of condemnation because it was pointing my thoughts back to myself instead of Christ.

And I came to realize ... that's the HUGE difference between conviction and condemnation.

Conviction points us to CHRIST.
Condemnation makes us only think about ourselves.

So yeah! Good stuff!
I hope none of you are battling condemnation. It is AWFUL! I recently came out of the worst condemnation session of my life. It wasn't easy, but once I realized that my false humility (aka - condemnation) was sin in and of itself, my pity parties started to turn around. .... I was so bummed out because I wasn't living the way Jesus wanted me to live ... I was living in sin ... so when I figured out that wallowing in my sin IS A SIN, wow ... I started to change my act. I'm still working on it.

But God's grace is sufficient, and that's what my next post is about! :)

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

9th Time's a Charm!

So ... the only thing I've ever remembered wanting to do with my life is be a teacher.

I love kids ... teens ... young people.
I love hanging out with them, interacting with them, engaging in conversation with them.
It's my favorite thing to do - ever!

To say that ... if you haven't heard ... I'm taking the Praxis ... again.
And in case you don't remember what that is ...
It's a test (much like the SAT) that you have to pass in order to get into your teaching "blocks," as they're called.
3 sections - math, writing, and reading comprehension.
I passed the math and the writing the first time I took 'em ... but the reading? Whew!
8 times.
Yes ... WHOA!

But maybe the 9th time's a charm, eh?
We shall see. ;)

I'm writing this post more for myself, I guess.
To remind myself that I can't give up.
And I've come to realize that I (obviously) don't know how. :)

So .... it's on to the Praxis once again.
Saturday, January 9, 2010 ....
(Prayers appreciated!) ;)

Onward, Mical! :)

Something Amazing!

This speaks for itself.

Or rather ... our amazing God speaks for Himself. :)


"Everyone longs to give themselves to someone, to have a deep soul relationship with another, to be loved thoroughly and exclusively!

But God to the Christian says, No, not until you are satisfied, fulfilled, and content with me alone. Not until you give yourself totally and unreservedly to me and experience an intensely personal and unique relationship with me alone. I love you, My child, and until you discover that only in Me can your complete satisfaction be found, you will not be capable of the perfect human love that I have planned for you. You will never be totally happily united with another until you are united with me, exclusive of anyone or anything else, exclusive of any desires or longings.

I want you to stop planning, stop wishing, and allow me to give you the most thrilling plan existing - one you cannot begin to imagine. I want you to have the best. Please allow me to bring this to you. You just keep watching me, expecting the greatest things. Keep experiencing the satisfaction that I am. Keep listening and learning the things I tell you. Just wait, that’s all! Don’t be anxious. Don’t worry. Don’t look around at the love others have gotten or the things I have given them. Don’t even look at the things you think you want. Just keep looking off and away, up to me, or you will miss what I want to show you!

And then, when you are ready, I will surprise you with a love far more wonderful than any you would dream of! You see, until you are ready, and until the one I have for you is ready (and I am working even at this moment to have both of you ready at the same time), until you are both satisfied exclusively with me and the life I have prepared for you, you won't be able to experience the pure beautiful love that exemplifies your relationship with me - this is Perfect Love!

And dear one, I want you to have this most wonderful love. I want you to see in the flesh a picture of your relationship with me. I want you to be able to enjoy materially and concretely the everlasting union of beauty, perfection and pure love that I offer you in myself. (It is possible!) Know that I love you utterly. I am God, believe me, trust me, wait on me...and be satisfied."

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

"Your Life is Hidden with Christ in God"

I've been really stuck on this idea of "setting our minds on things above."
I really, really think God wants me to grab hold of this powerful concept and make it my own.
So ... by way of doing that, I've been trying to memorize Colossians 3:1-17.
If you haven't read this recently, go back and read it again - right now, if you can!
It's amazing stuff!
I've been taking one verse a week ... I'm on verse four this week.
And as I dedicate more time to memorizing and meditating on these words, I am renewed.
I've been struggling ... and ...
I am pushing.
I am pressing in.
I am striving.
I am fighting ... it's an internal battle that's been raging for what seems like forever.
But I can't give up.
And in not giving up but pressing in to Jesus, I find renewal in the promises of His word.
As I dwell on these verses more and more, I learn to come to conclusions about who God wants me to be and how He wants me to live ... for Him.
And that's where the promises come from.
And it's been so rewarding searching out these promises.

One of my heart's greatest desires is to live wholly for Jesus, to not be distracted by my pain, my trials, my worries, my sin ... I just want to live for Jesus and focus on him .... instead of worrying all the time.

Colossians 3:3 has a promise that I get excited about!
The context is needed to find the promise .... 
The previous verse says ... "Set your mind on things above, not on earthly things."
There's the command.
And when we "set our mind on things above," we get the promise that comes in verse 3.
"For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God."
When we set our mind on things above, we are hidden in Christ.

Here are some thoughts I wrote down a few days ago ....
Colossians 3:3 - "For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God."
~ "You have died" - meaning, the old self has died ... been kicked out! ... so that the new self can move in and take over!  Yes!
~ "Your life is hidden with Christ in God" - meaning, you are so consumed with Jesus that you are not distracted by what happens in the world ... or in your life.
~ When we truly put on the new self, we are focused on Christ - it's like we're hidden from our worries, our problems, and our sin .... so much so that we don't get distracted by anything else.

And that's all I need to remember. :)


Monday, July 27, 2009

P.S. To: Stop Beating Yourself Up

P.S.
Whoa! Almost missed an important thought! And we don't want to miss this!

Just because we are not supposed to beat ourselves up about our sin doesn't mean that we have an excuse to go on sinning. Noooo sirrreey!

Now! Instead, we want to HONOR GOD ... and instead of condemning ourselves, we can bask in this FREEDOM:

"There is now NO CONDEMNATION for those who are in Christ Jesus."
Romans 8:1

So we don't have an excuse to sin ... we have an excuse to LIVE IN FREEDOM!
FREEDOM IN JESUS!
Wow! That is better preachin' than you think!
I know I need it today!
Thank you, Lord!

So Stop Beating Yourself Up Already!

So here's a wake-up call for ya'll ... mostly for ME!

I've been really upset with myself lately because I just can't seem to get this trusting God thing down. He is perfect ... never-failing ... He never fails ME! ... He's constant, faithful ...

So why the heck do I fail to trust?
Well, I've been reading that Having a Mary Spirit book a lot lately, and it talked about a guy named Brother Lawrence ... and this guy's thoughts got me thinking about this concept of beating myself up over my sinfulness.

I realized that I need to stop beating myself over my sin because beating myself up over sin IS A SIN! Sheesh maneesh. I really can't get it right, huh? ;) Ha ha! And I can laugh about it now because of these thoughts ....
I shouldn't give so much energy to beating myself up over my sin because that way of thinking is self-centered. When I put myself down because I sin, I often fall into self-pity and selfish thoughts.

"Why do I keep messing up?"
"Why can't I get this right?"
"What do I need to do to fix my sinfulness?"

Brother Lawrence took an attitude of "I can't forsake sin without You, Lord!" When we realize that GOD is the only one who can give us the ability to overcome our sin, then we will learn to say, "Lord Jesus, I will continue sinning in these ways unless YOU step in and save me. Help me, Mighty God. I can't do this without YOU."

It's that simple. We can do NOTHING without Christ, and when we try to win the victory over sin without Him, we always fail.

So no wonder I keep failing. How 'boutcha try letting Jesus win the battle, crazy woman?

"I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in Me and I in him, he will bear much fruit. Apart from Me you can do nothing."
John 15:5

Sunday, July 26, 2009

One Step at a Time

I've been reading a book called Having a Mary Spirit. It's a book Joanna Weaver wrote after Having a Mary Spirit in a Martha World. Remember me talking about that one several months ago? Well, Having a Mary Spirit is an excellent book. Lots of great insight and Biblical truths. It's been both a conviction and an encouragement.

Here's a quote that really is amazing ... it comes from chapter 4 of this book. :)

"God intends this life to be a walk of faith. so, as we obey one step at a time, the next step will come into view. As we practice obedience, the voice of the Spirit becomes clearer, His instructions more definite."

Dwell on that today. It's really good stuff! Keep trusting. Keep obeying. Just one step at a time.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Things Above Part 2

Again …
Colossians 3:2
Set your mind on things above, not on earthly things.

Christ’s Standards for Our Lives Part 2: 2 Corinthians

1:4 – Comfort others with the comfort God gives you.
1:12 – Live in holiness and Godly sincerity, not in the flesh.

2:15 – Live your life so that when people see you, talk to you, or even think about you, they are reminded of Jesus.
2:16 – Live your life for Christ, which brings life. Don’t live for yourself, which brings death.
2:17 – Do not corrupt the word of God.

3:5 – You are adequate in Christ alone. You are nothing by yourself.
3:17 – Jesus – His work in your life through the Holy Spirit – is what frees you from sin!
3:18 – God is making you more like Jesus everyday.

4:1 – We have a ministry (a life!) to live well!
4:7 – The greatness of power is from God, not us.
4:10-12 – We must live our lives to honor Jesus’ sacrifice so that His life will give life to our mortal bodies.
4:16-17 – Do not get down because these trials and heartaches – if you overcome them – will help you receive eternal life.
4:18 – Don’t get too caught up in what you can see and feel – pleasures, pains – ‘cause they are only temporary. Do put all your attention on things that you can’t see or feel – Jesus, His purposes – ‘cause they will last forever.

5:1 – Tent vs. Kingdom of Heaven … where is your real home?
5:2-4 – We must live for eternal things, not temporal things.
5:7 – Walk by faith.
5:9 – Make it your greatest aim to please the Lord.
5:11 – Fear the Lord.
5:14 – Live in such a way that the love of Christ controls you … how must you live? What must you do (let go of) to allow Christ’s love to control you?
5:15 – Do not live for yourself … live for Christ … and honor the sacrifice He made for you.
5:18-20 – What must you do to be reconciled to God?
5:21 – We are the righteousness of God through Christ Jesus. Honor Him!

6:1 – Do not dismiss or dishonor the greatness of the power of God’s grace.
6:14 – Do not marry or get attached to people who don’t love Jesus.
6:17 – Be separate, different, set apart from the world.

7:1 – Get rid of fleshly desires, and work on becoming more and more holy.
7:9-10 – God allows sorrow to bring us to repentance, repentance that genuinely changes our hearts. So embrace trials!

8:3 – Give freely and joyfully to everyone around you.
8:4 – Support fellow Christ-followers.
8:5&7 – Continually give yourself to God and to others.
8:21 – Value honorable things.
8:24 – Prove your love. Be genuine.

9 – Ministry --- Readiness --- Zeal --- Boasting --- Prepared --- Unprepared --- Shame
--- Sow well – reap well
--- Give cheerfully
--- Obedience --- Confession --- Contribution --- Grace

10:5 – Take every thought captive for the honor and glory of Jesus.
10:17-18 – Only boast in the Lord.

11:3 – Live a simple and pure Christian life … simply and purely devoted to Christ.

12:7 – Allow your trials to humble you.
12:9-10 – Bask in God’s grace, and wait on His power to be made known to you.

13:5 – Examine your walk. Are you taking your faith seriously?


Amazing! ..... So let's soak 'em all up! And then? What should we study next? :D

Thursday, July 23, 2009

I Wanna Wait Like This!

My Surrender Sister over at Rant, Repose, and Ruminate posted some amazing thoughts on her blog not too long ago ... and I really got hit with this little snipet.

Let's really learn to wait ... to really savor God's work in our lives as we wait on Him!
Wanna keep trying with me?

"There is a kind of waiting that is good for the soul, it builds it stronger, purges it of all trifling thoughts, purifies the expectations, makes one more like Jesus Christ, and builds a mighty faith within."

Reprogrammed ... Oh Lord, let this be our prayer!

As we reprogram our hearts and our minds to operate according to God's truth .....
our lives are CHANGED.

Things Above Part 1

Colossians 3:2
Set your mind on things above, not on earthly things.

Christ’s Standards for Our Lives
Things Above Part 1: 1 Corinthians

1:8 – Be blameless … without sin.
1:10 – Do not be divided but of the same mind.
1:20 – Consider the wisdom of the world to be foolishness.
1:31 – Boast only in Christ.

2:1 – Be humble. Focus on Jesus.
2:5 – Put your faith in God, not men.
2:1-5 – Set an example of humility and a focus on God so that others will see you and put their faith in God rather than men.
2:7 – Speak God’s wisdom.
2:15 – Examine everything.
2:16 – Have a mind like Jesus.

3:1-4 – Do not walk as mere men – be mature in your relationship with Jesus.
3:10 – Lay a foundation … make that foundation Christ Jesus … build on that foundation of Christ … and be careful how you build.
3:16-17 – Live as God’s temple, and do not destroy His temple.
3:21-23 – Do not boast in men on account of what you have because everything you have belongs to you, but you belong to Christ … and Christ belongs to God. …. So since you belong to Christ, act like it!

4:1 – Be a servant of Christ. Be a good steward of the things of God.
4:2 – Be trustworthy.
4:5 – Do not pass judgment.
4:16 – Imitate people who live for Jesus.

5:11 – Get away from any man who proclaims Christ but doesn’t live for Him.

6:1-7 – Don’t freak out when someone wrongs you.
6:8 – Don’t sue someone or make their faults known if your faults are just as bad or worse.
6:12 – Don’t do something just to do it – be sure you have the right motives, and be sure it does not control you.

7:23 – Do not become slaves of men.
7:32-34 – Unmarried: focus on the things of God while you are undistracted.
7:35 – Secure undistracted devotion to the Lord.

8:2 – Be humble.
8:9-10 – Be careful in the way that you live. God may not convict you about certain things, but you are an example. Be careful not to make someone else stumble.

9:19-23 – See things from other people’s perspectives so that you can see where they’re coming from, which gives you the opportunity to be more effective in winning them to Christ.
9:24 – Run this race of life to win! In order to win, you must work at it, train hard, and not be a slacker!
9:25 – Exercise self-control … and work toward that imperishable prize – eternity with Jesus!
9:26 – Run this race of life intentionally!

10:12 – Be careful how and what you boast about. Depending on what you’re boasting in, you will fall.
10:14 – Run away from idolatry.
10:23 – Don’t assume that just because the law says something is okay, it really is.
10:24 – Consider other’s interests before your own.
10:27-29 – Set and example. Don’t cause other people to sin.
10:31 – Do everything for Jesus!

11:1 – Imitate those who imitate Christ.
11:28 – Examine your heart before you take communion … and this is such a great rule for every area of our lives.

12:8-10 – Find out what your spiritual gifts are and grow in them.
12:15-25 – Don’t think you are more or less important than other people because God has gifts for everyone, and everyone is needed for His plans.
12:18 – God’s in charge, and He knows what He’s doing.
12:28 – Gifts again.
12:31 – Desire the gifts of the Spirit … use the gifts you have … and grow in the gifts you don’t have.

13:2 – Possess the right motives.
13:4-8 – Be patient and kind. Don’t be jealous of others. Don’t brag about yourself or about the things you have. Don’t be full of yourself. Don’t act like a fool. Don’t be selfish. Don’t hold a grudge against someone or lash out at them when you’re wronged. Don’t get excited about or tolerate sin. Get excited about the things of God. Bear with others, and bear all situations. Believe the truth, and believe that God is who He says He is. Hope in Christ. Endure through hardships. Don’t fail to live for and love Jesus first and foremost.

14:1 – Pursue a greater love for God and a greater love for His people. Desire spiritual gifts.
14:12 – Encourage others with your gifts.
14:20 – Be mature in your thinking. Do not know evil well.
14:40 – Spiritual gifts must be done for the right reasons – for the encouragement of the Body.

15:2 – Believe in the word of God – cherish it, and do what it says.
15:33 – Don’t act like or take part in the lives of those who believe the resurrection is untrue because bad company corrupts good character.


16:13 – Be alert. Stand firm in the faith. Be mature in your walk with Jesus. Be strong in your faith and character.
16:14 – Do everything in love. Love Jesus first and foremost, and then everything you do will come from the love you have for Him.
16:20 – Say hello to everyone with the love of Christ.

Stay tuned for Part 2! :D Coming soon!

Introduction to Things Above

Set your mind on things above, not on earthly things.
Colossians 3:2

I’ve been thinking about this verse and really dwelling on it lately …. Firstly, ‘cause God’s been layin’ it on my heart … but secondly, because so many things in my life are changing. And change is rough. Change is inevitable. And change is, like I already said, difficult. I have close friends who are getting married, moving away, taking on new ventures in their lives …. and then there’s me! I’m graduating from college in 5 months … I’m taking a dreaded test that will determine whether or not I get to live out my heart’s greatest desire a few weeks after I graduate …. I’ve recently been asked to take over my youth group, but I’m wondering if that’s really where God wants me. So many doubts have been flooding my spirit. And with all the change … and hurts over the past couple of years, I’m just worn out. God is faithful, so I’m overcoming … but it’s been a rough ride.

Alright, so there’s the back story. Back to my initial thought. I’ve been dwelling on Colossians 3:2 in the midst of all this change. And it really helps put my focus in the right place. When we set our minds on things above, that means we are dwelling on Jesus and the things He cares about. In thinking about these things (the things God cares about), I’ve come to a conclusion. Sure, there are several conclusions we can draw from this idea of setting our minds on things above …. But this is what I’ve got.

In setting our minds on things above, we are focusing on God, yes … but also His standards for our lives. When we decide to pay close attention to His commands and desires for our lives, we begin to see things from His perspective … and begin to really and truly set our minds on things above.

So … in the next couple of posts, I’d like to share with you some standards that God has set before us. After pondering Colossians 3:2 for some time, I decided to re-read 1 and 2 Corinthians and pick it apart … find all those standards God’s got in store for us. I finished reading and, in some ways, dissecting these two books 3 or 4 months ago now … but God is still pressing them upon my heart. My youth group and I are also going through these books chapter by chapter every week as well. So check these out with me, will you? Stay tuned for a look into God’s word!

Saturday, July 18, 2009

This is Mical at Heart :)

Ha Ha! I have another youtube clip for you.
I was watching Monster House last night as I was going to sleep, and the opening scene reminded me of how much I like the first 10 or so minutes of this movie. If you've ever seen Monster House, you know it's kind of weird ... and not too impressive. But I bought this movie several months ago because the first several minutes of the movie are hilarious! But anyway!

The very first scene is of a little girl on a tricycle. Go to this website (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PG-shXRUXXI) or go to youtube and type in "Monster House Girl on Tricycle" to see this clip.

I love this clip so much because this little girl is ..... ME! The first time I watched this movie, my mom was in the room .... and as soon as the little girl started singing "la la la la la la!" I started laughing pretty hard .... my mom just looked at me and asked, "Are you laughing because this little girl is YOU?" And I laughed all the harder. 'Cause I didn't just think so .... my mom thought this little girl was me! Ha ha!

Once you watch the clip, maybe you'll see a little Mical Masterson is this fun little girl. :) If not ... well, this post was a waste of time. But I think it is GREAT! .... And at the end of the clip you'll hear some girls in the background laughing ... someone else thought this clip was great and recorded! Amazin'! :D .... Enjoy! It's a fun little clip. :)

Monday, July 13, 2009

'Cause I'm just that S & C :D

So ... I've mentioned before that I'm fairly sappy ... and ya'll know that I'm cheesy. :) So you should watch this clip.
The movie, Enchanted, is one of my new favorites.
Besides the main character singing and dancing through half the movie, she's also a ridiculous romantic. ... I think I would describe myself as that to some degree too. ;) ... So ya'll should check out this clip to see what I'm talking about.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CB_Qh5TBGoc

If that doesn't work, go to youtube, and type in "Enchanted Dance Scene."
Good stuff .... if you're sappy and cheesy like me. :)

Monday, July 6, 2009

Colossians 3:2 Prayer

Overcoming .................

by the strength and grace of my Lord, Jesus Christ.

Gotta keep settin' my eyes on things above.

Things above.

THINGS ABOVE.

Lord Jesus, help me.

Help me overcome.

Help me keep my eyes and mind and heart and life focused ONLY on YOU.

Friday, July 3, 2009

"This may seem juevenile, but ....."

So ... can you tell that someone is unmotivated and has too much time on her hands? .... 3 posts in one day? After not posting much at all for months?! Wow! .... I'm making up for lost posts, right? ;)

Anyway ...
This'll be short and sweet ...
I was watching a movie today while I was pricing books for my mom ... Return to Me.
Very sappy.
Very girly.
Very sad.
Very happily ever after.
Therefore?
Very Mical.

I never used to be this way ... honest. But the older I get ... yes, I know I'm only 22 ... the more ridiculous I get.
But anyway ....
There was a line in the movie that made the girly .... and untouchy part of me .... come out.

Robert (Bob) and Grace were standing on a balcony, overlooking the lights of the city ... they were silent. Then ... Bob talked about how he and his late wife grew up together, got married young ... and then he said, "This may seem juevenile, but .... can I hold your hand?"

Oh! My heart melted. My butterflies were doing backflips in my stomach. My eyes teared up.
(Yes ... I warned you! I'm getting bad!)
But in all seriousness ... I'm not the most touchy girl around. If I ever find the right guy, I'm gonna have to be eased into the whole touching part of the relationship. I'm just that way. .... So I really appreciated what Bob did in this movie. He simply asked, "can I hold your hand?" ... He didn't put the move on her. He didn't assume. ..... He was just amazing.

Ahh. Yeah. :) .... Welp! That's really it. I'm done.

Except .... if you didn't think Mical Masterson was a total girl .... by now, you have no doubt! What a girly post! Ha ha ha! :D
Have a great weekend, everybody! :)

There's so much more!

Ya know .... when we let go, we can really get a glimpse of God's peace, plan, purpose, and provision for our lives.  (Like my alliteration?) :)

I was listening to a song by Lincoln Brewster yesterday, and it prompted a burst of joy in my heart because I can really sing it now.
I've let go of some things .... after long months of holding on, I finally let go.
And I am filled with all those P's I just mentioned ... all by God's grace. :)

Check out the words to this song: Today is the Day :)
And I hope you can let go of some things you've been holding on to ... and believe that there's so much more.  'Cause all that God has for us IS good!  Keep trusting!!! :D

I'm casting my cares aside

I'm leaving my fears behind

I'm setting my heart and mind on you, Jesus.

I`m reaching my hand to Yours

Believing there`s so much more

Knowing that all You have in store for me is good
Is good

Chorus:
Today is the day You have made
I will rejoice and be glad in it
Today is the day You have made
I will rejoice and be glad in it
And I won`t worry about tomorrow
I`m trusting in what You say
Today is the day
Oh, oh, oh
Oh, oh, oh
Today is the day
Oh, oh, oh
Oh, oh, oh

I putting my fears aside

I`m leaving my doubts behind

I`m giving my hopes and dreams to You
Jesus

I`m reaching my hands to Yours

Believing there`s so much more

Knowing that all You have in store for me is good
Is good

Chorus:
Today is the day You have made
I will rejoice and be glad in it
Today is the day You have made
I will rejoice and be glad in it
And I won`t worry about tomorrow
I`m trusting in what You say


Today is the day
Oh, oh, oh
Oh, oh, oh
Today is the day
Oh, oh, oh
Oh, oh, oh

I will stand upon Your truth.
And all my days I`ll live for You

Chorus:
Today is the day You have made
I will rejoice and be glad in it
Today is the day You have made
I will rejoice and be glad in it
And I won`t worry about tomorrow
I`m giving you my fears and sorrows
Where you lead me I will follow
I'm trusting in what you say

Today is the day
Oh, oh, oh
Oh, oh, oh
Today is the day
Oh, oh, oh
Oh, oh, oh

Being confident of this ... that HE who began a GOOD work in you, will carry it on to COMPLETION until the day of CHRIST JESUS.

Philippians 1:6

This is a MIGHTY promise!  Hold on to it! :D

Names for Guys AND Ladies :)

So I went to visit my bosom buddy at camp yesterday.
She's been working at a diabetes/autism camp for the past 5 weeks (she comes home today!!!!).
And I just wanted to share an amazing little tid bit from the day .....

This may be the best camp ever because I met 2 female counselors who have boy names.
Yes, it was amazing!

I met a girl named Austin.

I met a girl named Logan.


Oh my word ... it was amazing!

I was amazed all day long ... and I still am - obviously. :)
It just made my day.
Austin, Logan, and Mical.
Good names for guys. Amazing names for girls!!!

And that's the end of my story! :D

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Bogalusa 2009, yo!

Wahoo!
Time to tell ya'll about my adventures in Bogalusa!
Bogalusa, Louisiana ... ya know the toe of the boot?  Yep, that's where we were!

Last week was my third trip to that tiny, smelly, sweaty, amazing little town. :)  We've been going down to help out with the hurricane relief.  You wouldn't believe the damage that is still left from Hurricane Katrina unless you saw it for yourself.
A group from Indiana.
A group from Poplar Bluff, Missouri.
We met at a church in Bogalusa called Westside Emmanuel Baptist Church.
One of the coolest guys in the world - Pastor Marcus Rosa.
I wanted to bottle him up and bring him back to Danville!!!!
Amazing guy!  So full of life and love and Jesus!
I'm excited to spend eternity with that guy!  Yes!!!!

Well, I was put in three different places throughout the week.
Four, if you count Sunday's activities.

Sunday ... we lead worship for Westside.
Sunday night ... we put on skits/puppet shows/the Gospel message ... good times.

Monday ... we started work.
We had groups fixing roofs in the sunny, 105 degree, high humidity weather.
And my group went to Miss Sadie's house ... where we helped her dry wall some holes in her walls and bedroom closet, mud and sand walls, paint her bedroom a nice blue color, help her organize her things, tear off her ceiling and build her a new one, and lay insulation in her attic.

Tuesday ... I helped Shelley cook in the kitchen, and we had a Southern Fish Fry!  Yeah!

Wednesday ... back to work at Miss Sadie's.

Thursday ... a new location.  I went with a group to a run down schoolhouse where we finished sanding walls and coating the walls with primer.
Thursday night ... a block party!  We had balloon animals, food, snow cones (or snowballs, as Pastor Marcus called them!), face painting, carnival games, prize giveaways ... all kinds of great stuff! .... And Dave and I got to share the Gospel message with everyone there!

Friday ... was our fun day.  We went to New Orleans ... or Nawlins.  Or!  As I said one night ... Narlins.  Yeah ... no one let go of that one until I got back to Indiana!

Saturday mornin' ... we left at 5am Louisiana time ... 6am our time ... and didn't get home until 10:30pm.  Long time in the car!

That's the short version of the trip ....
Some other highlights for me were .......
*Devotions .... everyone on the trip picked a verse/passage that God had been using in their life and shared about it.
- Frank Bennett shared about Ephesians 2:1-10 ... talked about how we are God's paintbrushes ... He uses us to do His work ... and it is amazing work!
- Sallie Smith shared about trials and how we need to have God's perspective.  Hebrews 11:10 and 2 Corinthians 4:16-18.  Good stuff!
- I'll share my devo in another post.
- And it was great to hear all the young folks share ... the 7th-12th graders!  Yeah!
*Mr. Barry.
We went to Mr. Barry's "house" late in the week ... where we found no house at all.  He lived on a concrete slab.  He had a chair for sleeping in and a chair for holding his possessions.  He had a collection of Starbucks bottles and a light saber.  He had nothing.  He slept outside in the crazy hot and humid weather.  He had no food.  No shelter.  And he wasn't lucid half the time because, Pastor Marcus told us, his brain had been fried from drugs. ..... God taught me so much about thankfulness after seeing that.
*The guys singing in the shower.
The showers at the church are in a room between the guys' and girls' rooms.  Everyday, the guys sang.  And not just any songs .... hilarious songs like, Play that Funky Music White Boy ... and A Whole New World ... from Aladdin.  It was great!  I woke up from a nap, smiling, 'cause they were singing so loudly!
*Missouri teens.
Pastor Mike and Shelley brought 9 of their youth, and I got to know all of them a lot better.  I'd met them back in April when I went to visit PM and Shelley.  It was great to laugh with them, ride to Nawlins listenin' to Family Force Five, be accepted by their girls, and be black with Tori, Sarah, Rachel, Jennifer, and Sallie. .... Yes.  We were black.  Sarah brought "black woman make-up" with her to Bogalusa, and so we painted our faces black and had a ball!  Lots of strange looks from the rest of the team.  Awesome, yo!
*Seeing Pastor Mike and Shelley.
PM and Shelley brought 9 of their youth from Missouri, and it was amazing to see them!
- Pastor Mike came up to me on taco night and asked, "Do you know how I know Wes isn't here?" .... "'Cause there's still sour cream left."  (My brother loves sour cream ... eats the whole tub by himself. .... Pastor Mike walked away saying ... "Sweet memories."
- Pastor Mike called me "Junior" here and there throughout the week.  That's my nickname that he and Shelley call me .... 'cause, in case you haven't heard the story, we did a service project at the Danville rehab center several years ago, and all the old ladies thought that Pastor Mike and Shelley were my parents.  Too much fun! .... I miss hearing Pastor Mike call me Junior.
- Sunday night of the trip, I balled my eyes out during my devotional ... yes, in front of everyone.  And Shelley and I were already emotional because Pastor Mike and Jeremy were leading worship together just like they used to before PM and Shelley had to move.  So Shelley and I hugged and cried most of the night.  Shelley said, "I'm so proud of you." ... and ... "I missed you." ... in my ear while we were hugging.  Something I'll never forget.
- And Pastor Mike gave me a side hug at 5am as we were leaving and said, "I'm proud of you."
I just really miss those guys!  So it was great to see them for a whole week!

The whole trip was really great!  God was at work!  He taught me about being thankful, being faithful, and seeing things from His perspective ....

Bogalusa ... I miss that place already!!!