Archive for the ‘Leaving a Legacy’ Category

Hey guys! It’s been awhile. I’ve missed ya! :)

My friend Morgan Landskron had a revelation the other day, and it honestly made me cry, because I can relate so well that it’s scary. Hopefully this will be an encouragement to you as it was to me; thanks for letting me share your beautiful and honest words Mo! <3

April 2, 2014.
I cried tonight. Real, authentic tears, for the first time in what seems like forever. Over the past two years, I’ve been building up an emotional wall. I kept building it higher and higher, hoping that I could block out all my pain, my sins, all my regrets, my shame, and my failures. But most of all, I’ve been trying to block out my problems. I guess, I was hoping that, if I blocked out all my problems, I wouldn’t have to deal with them, and I could go on living a happy life. Little did I know, that all the while I was building this wall to block everything out, everything kept getting in somehow. And little by little, my problems kept piling up, until I became emotionally numb. I didn’t feel anything. I’ve felt apathetic. I didn’t care about anyone, or anything. I didn’t care if I succeeded, or failed. I didn’t even care if I tried, so I just didn’t. After a while, I got so used to my apathy that I tricked myself into thinking it had gone away, when really it was still there the whole time. These past two years, I’ve just felt dead. And this whole time, I’ve been trying to figure out why. I wanted to blame all my problems on everyone else. They were the reason for my pain. It wasn’t my fault. It couldn’t be, could it? But it was. In my efforts to push out my feelings, I managed to also push out my family and friends, and the one person that I cared most about. This whole time I was trying to avoid heartache, and all I did was create more and more of it.
I searched for the answer to why I was in so much pain. I searched for a long time. And I finally figured out that it wasn’t because of others, but because of the fact that I had blocked out God. My Savior, my Redeemer, the only person that I could TRULY rely on in my life, and all I did was push him away. I think I blamed him partially for my pain. I asked questions like, “Why? Why am I going through what I’m going through? Why won’t you fix me?”
I wanted easy answers, and an easy way out. I didn’t want to work at it. I wanted God to do it all for me. I wanted my life to suddenly become perfect without me lifting a finger. And when that didn’t happen, I became angry and bitter. So I pushed God out. I stopped going to church, I stopped praying, I stopped singing, I even stopped playing my guitar, the one thing I love to do most.
Now, you’re probably wondering what brought on the tears and revelation tonight. Honestly, it has been God working on me all this time, and I’m only seeing it now. Lately, I’ve been thinking a lot about my future. I just recently made the decision to attend Calvary Chapel Bible College in Murrieta, CA. At first, the reason I wanted to go was because I thought being at a Christian school would fix my majorly messed up life. I thought I’d just wait till bible college to change, and then everything would be “just peachy”. But I’ve been realizing just in the past few days that I can’t wait till then to change. I have to change now. The past few weeks, I’ve been trying to reconnect with God and find it in me to soften my heart. I was reading my bible some, and reading devotionals that I receive daily through e-mail(I know, I must still be in the dark ages or something if I still use e-mail). Each day, these devotionals give me a prayer to pray, and then have a message from a scripture. And every single day, and every single prayer, has been just what I needed. They have said perfectly what God has been trying to teach me. One of the prayers from a few days ago said just what I have been searching for. It reads, “God, please, please give me an insatiable desire and thirst for Jesus, for Your Word, my Savior. Open my eyes that I may see myself as You see me, that I may see and love others from Your viewpoint, that You would be the absolute center and guiding light of my life. Refresh my daily walk that I may walk with You in quiet places, in heavenly places, and throughout all of life into eternity. Thank You, God, my source of life and comfort and being. Bless You, Lord. In Jesus’ name, amen.” This is what I have been looking for, and as I’m reading this right now, I realize that tonight is an answer to that prayer! I used to have such a passion for scripture, and for apologetics, and had such a desire to grow closer to God daily. That is what I have been missing, and that is what I have received tonight. I’ve been so caught up in my sins and failures, and I finally just broke my wall down tonight. My walls came a-tumblin’ down.
One of the verses that has stuck with me the past few years is James 1:2-3, which says, “Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. (James 1:2-4 NIV)” this verse has been such an encouragement to me! I used it in a speech I wrote a few years ago titled, “Why Does God Allow Suffering”. *yes, I give you permission to laugh here*
The speech was very therapeutic to me at the time, but I obviously didn’t get it through my thick skull. But what is so cool is that I can still look back at that speech and this verse, and still learn so much from it. I love the song by Tenth Avenue North, The Struggle. They played it at a Winter Jam I attended a few weeks ago, and the chorus spoke to me in a way it hasn’t before. It says, “Hallelujah, we are free to struggle. We’re not struggling to be free! Your blood bought and makes us children, so children drop your chains and sing!!” We are FREE to struggle! We’re not struggling to be free? We’ve already been freed by Jesus’ dying for our sins! I haven’t been chained all this time. I have been holding on to my chains. All I have to do is drop them! t is truly amazing, the ways of God. As I sit here typing out all of this, I am so thankful for all the pain that I went through, because I know God is using it for my benefit. Jeremiah 29:11 says, “For I know the plans I have for you, declares The Lord. Plans to prosper you, and not to harm you. Plans to give you a hope and a future.” Another passage that has been a blessing to me is this, ““Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life…which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life? And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. “Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble. (Matthew 6:25-34 ESV)”. I love that part at the end. I love how the NIV puts it; “Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. (Matthew 6:34 NIV)” I remember the first time I read that verse, I literally said, “Woah. Mind. Blown.” Tomorrow will worry about itself, and each day has enough trouble of its own, so why put more trouble there by worrying about everything?? And that’s exactly what I was doing, worrying, adding more trouble. But God reassures me that I don’t have to worry. What a BEAUTIFUL promise from our Father in Heaven!
Now, I know a lot of you won’t read this, but for those of you who do, I pray that if you are struggling with worry, or fear, or depression, or apathy, or any of the things that I went through, that this will touch you in some way. And I ask that you help keep me accountable. Ask how I’m doing with The Lord. Challenge me to do new things, not ignore the hard things, and to continually put my trust in God.

Baby Steps to “Realness”

I’ve always seen depression as a hole, a looming, unshakable darkness that consumes all light. For two years now, I’ve been stuck in this hole, this “dark place” of depression, and quite frankly, I’m sick of it. I hate being tired, grumpy, lonely, a-motivational, (it’s ridiculously difficult JUST to get myself to shower!) unsociable, and pessimistic. Basically, I feel like Eeyore from Winnie the Pooh. If you’ve ever struggled with depression I’m sure you know what I’m talking about.

 

But today, for the first time in a LONG time, my perspective has changed. While talking to a friend, I realized that I was being honest and authentic naturally. This may not seem like a big deal, but for me it’s huge. All my life I’ve struggled with being myself. I often “hold back” because I’m overly concerned about the reaction I’ll receive from people when I’m “me”. And I try to be real and honest, believe me I try, but it’s a huge and life-long struggle. The fact that I was “myself” with this person without giving it a second thought is kind of a miracle.

 

It made me wonder what had changed in me that helped me not to second-guess myself. And the answer shook me, body and soul. Depression changed me. Depression! The realization forced me to ask myself, “How could something so dark and miserable help me to be more real?”

 

Probably, I’ve been more real because of the tiredness I’ve experienced during this season of depression. And I’m not just talking about physical exhaustion, depression has made me tired of pretending; pretending that everything’s fine, pretending to be normal, pretending I’m something I’m not. Constantly keeping up with these pointless facades has proved to be utterly exhausting.

 

And not only has depression made me tired of pretending, it’s helping me to accept myself. Lately, I haven’t been as concerned about other’s opinions of me, or the things I say and do. I’ve just been me, and I’ve realized: a lot of people are ok with that, they like it even! And I’m learning to like it—to like me—too.

 

I think this realization of how depression has had a positive effect on me is the first step in a journey toward self-acceptance and “real-ness,” if that’s even a word. I can’t wait to see where this journey takes me! And I hope you’ll be along for the ride. ;)

 

Love,

LE>xi

Worth Your While: Worship Part 2

Romans 12:1

“Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship.” (NIV)

Several things stick out to me from this verse.

1) Worship is purity.

This is a very different kind of worship than music and dancing, but that doesn’t make it any less important. Actually, this is more of what I was talking about in Worship: Part 1, because purity is something you can practice every day. It’s not just a Sunday thing. In fact, we are obligated as followers of Christ to remain pure if we want to please GOD.

2) Our bodies are living sacrifices.

As Christians, we not only offer GOD our souls and spirits, but also our bodies; HE is lord over the living and the dead (Romans 14:7-9). That means that whatever HE wants us to do with our bodies, we do it. If HE calls you to use your mouth and witness, you do it. If HE tells you to use your hands and become a janitor, you do it. And if HE says to stay pure, you do it.

3) GOD is merciful and deserves our worship.

Jesus gave everything to save us. When we were all destined for an eternity in Hell, Christ came at just the right time to redeem us (Romans 5:6). We cursed HIM, we spat on HIM, and we betray HIM every day when we sin. Yet, HE still loves us, and still longs to spend eternity with us! HE has the power to destroy us, but instead HE traded HIS life for ours. What an amazing gift! Since HE has done all that for us, we can at least worship HIM with our purity.

Honor and please GOD by staying pure every day. Offer your body to HIM as a living sacrifice; HE is totally worth it!

 

Love,

Lexi

 

Worship: Part 1

Worship is not a show, though we often treat it like one.

Do you ever wonder what the church would look like, if we didn’t have programs and schedules, but if we all just got together and worshiped? And I’m not just talking about music, I’m talking about what GOD moves each individual to do.

Well, I have.

Honestly, I believe that the church has such a distorted view of worship; it has become synonymous with music. But I also believe that GOD called it to be so much more!

But what is it, really?

The Bible says that worship is a proclamation of thanksgiving. It’s saying, “GOD, I trust YOU even though I’m depressed and sometimes suicidal. GOD, I love you even though my little girl was taken from me in a car accident. GOD, I know that YOU are in control even though there is slavery and poverty in this world. And GOD, I thank YOU for being who YOU are, no matter what’s going in my life or in the lives of others.”

With the way we do things now, that kind of worship is impossible. For us to worship like that, we would have to ignore everyone around us.

A friend of mine named Sharla Eaten posted this on Facebook, and I thought I’d share it here:

“Whatever has your focus becomes your reality. As believers we must use intentional focus and seek the Lord above all the negative. Its posturing ourselves in the seat of Thanksgiving and worship no matter the circumstance. When we do this we close the door to every foothold the enemy may be trying to take and align our hearts with the Father’s. In this we make room for growth, advancement in spirit, and blessings. There’s a reason for the phrase, praise your way thru. 
Praise is best in every test. 
Worship is the key to the door. Thanksgiving is the path where we find the Lord
And learn to live out of peace and rest.”

If you are focused on what your friends are going to think of you, you’re not worshipping. If you are concentrating on all the bad stuff in this world, you can’t worship. It’s not about you, it’s about GOD.

So why have worship and church become a show, starring us? When did church become more about socializing and less about praising? Why do we look around and see what our friends are doing? Why can’t we simply look up to Heaven, and thank GOD for being GOD?

Next time you are called to worship, I challenge you to ask the LORD how HE wants you to do it. If you have to close your eyes to block out everything else, then close your eyes. Just focus on HIS presence and bask in HIS glory!

For further study, check out these verses on worship and thankfulness:

Psalm 100:4, Psalm 16:11, Nehemiah 8:10, 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

http://www.whatchristianswanttoknow.com/20-encouraging-bible-verses-about-worship/

Have a great day, you guys! Don’t let Satan steal your joy!

<3 Lexi

When I Was Young…

As I am looking through a journal that I’ve had since 2008, I’m instantly humbly at the simple honesty, innocence, and submission in it’s pages. The foolish really will shame the wise, and 12-14 year-old Lexi just taught me a lot. She was sure a fearless kid, and very obedient to GOD. Yeah, she cared about what other people thought, but she loved GOD even more. And she obeyed HIM. And she was happy. What things could you learn from your younger days? Comment if you wanna share! ;}

 

 

Now That’s Love!

CHRIST’s love is greater than any person can ever know. But I pray that you will be able to know that love. Then you can be filled with the fullness of GOD.

Ephesians 3:19

Think of the strongest love you can: Romeo and Juliet? Tony and Maria? Jack and Rose? Can you imagine how strong GOD’s love is in comparison? No, you can’t. HIS love for us is so strong that our minds cannot even fathom it! HIS love is so strong that HE would give the life of HIS son to be with us forever. Now that’s strong!

What Will You See…

Hey guys! It feels like I haven’t been here in forever! Oh, how I miss it! Sorry, I haven’t made any time to post in a while. :(  LORD forgive me please!

So, I wrote a speech this year for an event called musicality, where you get to perform a song and speak about it. GOD told me to put it on here, and when GOD tells you to do something, you do it! So, here it is!

Enjoy!

P.S. I added a link to Christina’s version if you’ve never heard the song. (the speech is in italics) ;)

A very wise man named Theodore Geisel, more commonly known as Dr. Seuss, is quoted as saying: “Be who you are, and say what you feel, because those who mind don’t matter, and those who matter, don’t mind.”
Today, I would like to share a piece of my heart with you in the best way I know how: through the language of music. A little later, I will be performing a song you may already know, called Reflection. But first, I’ll explore the song’s history, some of its key themes, and present a crucial question that we all must answer at some point in our lives: “What do you see when you look at your reflection?” So, let’s get started!
 
Point 1) Information on “Reflection”        
     Reflection was written and produced by award winning lyricist David Zippel and composer Matthew Wilder, for the 1998 Disney film, Mulan. It was originally performed by actress and singer Lea Salonga, who provided the singing voice for the title character. Having also supplied the vocals for Princess Jasmine in Disney’s animated film, Aladdin, Salonga was given the prestigious Disney Legends Award in 2011. But she is not the only one to benefit immensely from the popular tune. For the movie’s soundtrack, the song was re-imagined by Matthew Wilder for up-and-coming recording artist Christina Aguilera. (This is the version I will be performing later.) Reflection was Aguilera’s “ticket to fame.” It became a hit for both her Latin and American debut albums, one of which earned a Grammy Award for Best Album. The song also did well for Zippel and Wilder, as both received Annie Awards for the film score, and Academy Award nominations for the music and lyrics.
 
Point 2) Understanding & Acceptance
     But let’s put the hype aside, and dive into the themes of Reflection by looking at some of the lyrics.
 
I am now
In a world where I
Have to hide my heart
And what I believe in
 
To me, these words are the cries of a misunderstood soul. I say this because my heart has cried these same things before. Often, I hide my thoughts and feelings for fear that, in revealing them, I will be misunderstood. In my experience, misunderstanding has lead to my deepest fear – rejection.
 
In an ideal world, understanding wouldn’t be a necessary step towards acceptance – therefore hiding would be irrelevant. Unfortunately, given the nature of man, it is difficult for us to love that which we do not understand.
Thankfully, GOD is not like man. Deuteronomy 31:6 holds a heartening promise. It reads, “Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.”
 
Even though man may reject us, we have nothing to fear, for our GOD is always with us! And who can better understand us than our Maker? With GOD, there is no reason to hide.
 
Point 3): Self-Estrangement
Not only is hiding pointless, it can actually be harmful.
Let’s continue with the lyrics:
 
Who is that girl I see
Staring straight back at me
Why is my reflection someone I don’t know
 
If you have ever worn a mask, you may have noticed that the longer you kept it on, the harder it was to remember what you looked like without it. That is one of the dangers of a masquerade; you begin to forget who you are underneath the disguise. Yes, the charade has its short-term benefits–acceptance, attention, attractiveness–but do those things last? Are they real, and worth losing yourself over? These questions you must answer for yourself.
 
Point 4) Self-Confidence
In addition to its previous messages–acceptance, understanding, and self-estrangement–Reflection also touches on the topic of self-confidence. My favorite part of the song is possibly the following phrase:
 
And be loved for who I am
 
Would you believe me if I looked you in the eyes, and told you, that you are the most beautiful, incredible, wonderful person in the world? I didn’t think so. Why? Because I don’t know you! Even if you and I were the best of friends, there would be no way for me to know everything about you. In light of that fact, do I have the ability to appraise your worth?  
 
Bottom line: if the basis of your confidence is others’ opinion of you, eventually, you’ll be disappointed with yourself. And if you change to meet others’ expectations, you will still be unsatisfied. Either way, you will fall short in your own eyes. So, what are you supposed to do?
 
If you are like me, you don’t need to change who you are, you just need to let GOD define who you are. I’d like for you to try something: every negative thing anyone has ever said about you, throw it out the window right now. Give it to the LORD. And in its place, I want you to put the words of Ephesians 2:10 and Colossians 2:10: “I am GOD’s masterpiece. I am perfect and complete.”
 
With so many things vying for your attention, self-affirming words like these aren’t easy to remember. So shut out those other voices! Listen to GOD’s truth. HE does not ask you to be anyone but who you are. HE didn’t make a mistake when HE made you. HE loves you in the good, the bad, and everything in between. Let HIS unwavering love be the defining factor of your worth.
 
Maybe you feel misunderstood and rejected. Maybe you you’ve lost who you are. Maybe you don’t even like yourself. But the next time you look in the mirror, I challenge you to look past all of that. Let go of what others have said about you, and remember who GOD says you are: HIS accepted, understood, and beloved child! No power in all of creation can take that away from you. But the decision to believe it is yours. So, what will you see when you look at your reflection? 
http://http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VOX4E9jRxFI