Read this blog!

This is my amazing cousin, Ashley’s blog. She is an inspiration to me and everyone who has had the chance to meet her. I cannot wait to see her continue to fulfill God’s plan for her in whatever lies ahead! Go read her blog!



So I thought that since this is my first OFFICIAL blog post (yay!) I would explain some things about myself, why this blog exists, and how I came to name it what I did..all the important stuff! So here we go…

Hello! My name is Ashley, and I am very pleased to meet you! I am a junior in high school, and life is busy.  I have two amazing parents, an older brother, younger sister, well kind of…here let me explain!  I am currently working as an in-home nanny, and I LOVE IT! I have known the family since I was two years old and I have become very very close with them since their little girl was born in 2005. For the family’s sake, I won’t share much details, but I will tell you that the 7 years since 2005 have not exactly been a walk in the…

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God’s Hand in Marriage

I found a page of notes I had written down a couple of months ago and realized how much they rang true for me today as I am preparing to marry my fiance. Although we have over a year to go until the wedding, I know that I need to focus on my relationship with God, as well as my relationship with my fiance.


As we can see in Genesis, God creates Adam but realizes that Adam needs something more.

“Then the Lord God said, ‘It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper who is just right for him.'” Genesis 2:18

God is already becoming a matchmaker in a way, combining the two’s best and worst qualities to complete one another.

God works in mysterious ways to bring you to the one for whom you are destined. Do you think this statement is applicable to your relationship with your significant other? I know that it does for me. There are so many events that have transpired over the years that don’t seem possible without God’s hand directing them.

I know that God chose my fiance and I because we compliment each other in the best possible ways. He is incredibly selfless and has been as steady as a rock in our relationship, ensuring me that things will turn out fine. He is very smart and has a way with words. He can make me see the good in others that I never thought possible.

God has definitely chosen the right man for me.

It is important for those who have not yet found the one they will marry to not sit idly by. Although God calls for faith, he calls for active faith. We must be careful as we take actions toward finding the one God has called you to marry. Our goal is to understand and go God’s will for us.

Not only will continuing to grow in Christ prepare me to be a better partner for my fiance, but it will also give the Lord the freedom to work out his best in my life, whatever that may be.

“I always thank my God for you and for the gracious gifts he has given you, now that you belong to Christ Jesus. Now you have every spiritual gift you need as you eagerly wait for the return of our Lord Jesus Christ. He will keep you strong to the end so that you will be free from all blame on the day when our Lord Jesus Christ returns. God will do this, for he is faithful to do what he says, and he has invited you into partnership with his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.” 1 Corinthians 1:4;7-9

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“Without faith it is impossible to please God.” Hebrews 11:6

God wants us to have faith in his plan and purpose of our lives. He requires us to have faith in his ability to be all-knowing, all-loving, and all-powerful. Some people deny that God is all of these things that in a world so evil and torn like this that he cannot be. For those that do question these things, I do not have all of the answers but I do have verses for you to read that state God’s power, kindness, and wisdom.

“Have you never heard? Have you never understood? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of all the earth. He never grows weak or weary. No one can measure the depths of his understanding.” Isaiah 40: 28

“‘I am the Alpha and the Omega- the beginning and the end,’ says the Lord God. ‘I am the one who is, who always was, and who is still to come- the Almighty One.'” Revelation 1:8

“‘My thoughts are nothing like your thoughts,’ says the Lord. ‘And my ways are far beyond anything you could imagine. For just as the heavens are higher than the earth, so my ways are higher than your ways and my thoughts higher than your thoughts.'” Isaiah 55:8

“Dear friends, let us continue to love one another, for love comes from God. Anyone who loves is a child of God and knows God. But anyone who does not love does not know God, for God is love.” 1 John 4:7-8

So, now you can see that scripture tells us these things. God is all-loving, all-knowing, and all-powerful. If you continue to struggle with this piece then I ask you to please consult your own Bible and a local pastor or priest who may help lead you in the right direction. I am merely a creation of God, sent here to relay his good news that one day he will come again to judge the living and the dead. Those who have faith in their God and what he says is true will be saved.

“God saved you by his grace when you believed. And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God. Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it. For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.” Ephesians 2:8-10

That may be one of my most favorite verses. It speaks the truth so plainly. We have been saved by God’s gift of salvation because we believe. This does not mean that we can say “Hey! Look at me! I’m saved because I have given x amount of money to the church and I have given x amount of volunteer work at the local shelter.” No no no no no. Have FAITH and trust God that you will be saved because he is the ONLY one who can give you salvation. You cannot do anything. However, because God has created us so perfectly and has planned out our lives, he has also made plans for us to do good things that will lead others to him.

“Therefore, since we have been made right in God’s sight by faith, we have peace with God because of what Jesus Christ our Lord has done for us. Because of our faith, Christ has brought us into this place of undeserved privilege where we now stand, and we confidently and joyfully look forward to sharing God’s glory.” Romans 5:1-2

Faith is a profound statement of God’s worth by those who cannot prove that he even exists. Faith honors God’s faithfulness, his power, his love, and his wisdom in a world that has forsaken him. Faith gives him glory.

Pause for a second and think about the faith you have in God. Maybe you are struggling with believing a few characteristics of God. Maybe you feel firm in your faith in God. Maybe you don’t believe in God at all. Regardless, think about the faith that you have. Is it in God? Is it in other religious gods? Is it in people of this world? Is it in things of this world?

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I have been feeling more and more convicted with what I am doing with my time, money, resources, and skills. I’m frustrated with the complacency that has seemed to fog my mind. I know that I am keeping my money and my time tightly in my closed-fist and I know that this needs to stop.

Thank God for people like Francis Chan who wrote Crazy Love.

Is this what I want to be doing when Christ comes back?

Wow. What a strong and convicting question. I know that if today was judgment day and God asked me what I did with my life I wouldn’t know what to say. Not only would my jaw drop and words would no longer seem important when God came to earth, but I would also be embarrassed by my actions.

We have been given so much grace by God. He doesn’t deserve to see us sitting on our butts in front of our TVs or computers (ironic, I know). He deserves people who love each other, give their money and time to others, and who trust him.

I like giving money away at church but I always tell myself to give only so much because… well, I don’t know. There’s no reason for me not to give more. Why don’t I? It doesn’t necessarily have to be at church. Why don’t I give it to his people directly?

I like volunteering. I like helping people but I always tell myself I don’t have the time. I’m a busy college student. While that is true, sadly, none of my grades, projects, or works will matter come judgment day. I don’t want God to look at me and say “you’re the girl who focused too intently on her grades and her standing than on the suffering of my people.”

Ouch. But, it’s true. Not only is this convicting for me, it should be for you as well. Look at your bank statements. Think back on the past weekend’s events. Where did your money go to? What did you do last weekend? Did you spend it sitting on the couch with family or friends watching a movie? Or did you go out to dinner and spend more than you had planned?

Meditate on the following statistics and imagine yourself as one of these people…

  • 37% of the members of households served by Harvesters are children under 18 years old
  • 9% of the members of households served by Harvesters are children age 0 to 5 years
  • 8% are elderly
  • Approximately 36% of clients are white; 51% are African American, 9% are Hispanic and the remainder are from other racial or ethnic groups.
  • 40% of households include at least one employed adult
  • 73% have incomes at or below the official federal poverty level
  • 12% are receiving general assistance, welfare or Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF)*
  • 5% are homeless
  • 25% of Harvesters households report having at least one household member in poor health

For those of you who are parents, can you imagine getting by on what little you have, if what you earned never exceeded above the poverty line? How would you provide for your family? How would you provide for yourself?

I met a boy in the high school I am doing my teaching at who has had quite a rough time thus far in his life. His biological father left his mother and her three children. Their stepdad beat his mother, so, they ran away. They lived out of their car and had little money for food, so, his mother gave it all to her kids. Now, this boy has dreams of becoming a chef and has been nominated for his works in the career center. What an amazing story. God does amazing things.

I know you have the money and resources. I know you have the time. Think of all the things you could do with that time and money. You could:

  • Volunteer at a local food bank
  • Donate food or money to various charities
  • Spend time with the elderly at nursing homes
  • Mentor a child who comes from a difficult home life

There are so many other things that I can think of but these are just a few that take limited time and resources. I’m not saying you need to do this today. I’m not telling you to give all of your money away. God has given you this money to live by, but he has also given it to you to give away. 

“After all, we brought nothing with us when we came into the world, and we can’t take anything with us when we leave it.” 1 Timothy 6:7 (NLT)

Lastly, I will leave you with some Bible verses for you to think about…

“For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may receive what is due for what he has done in the body, whether good or evil.” 2 Corinthians 5:10 (ESV)

“For we will all stand before the judgment seat of God; for it is written, ‘As I live, says the Lord, every knee shall boy to me, and every tongue shall confess to God.’ So then each of us will give an account of himself to God.” Romans 14:10-12 (ESV)

I’m planning on doing as much volunteer work as I can this summer along with finding a job in my career of interest. If anyone in the area would like to join me they are more than welcome to!

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Jeremiah 1:5

“I chose you before I formed you in the womb; I set you apart before you were born. I appointed you a prophet to the nations.” Jeremiah 1:5

Sometimes I feel a lack of self-worth. *Screeching* Yes, it’s true. For those that are reading this and know me well, understand what I mean by this. Sometimes I compare myself to others so much that I am disgusted with who I am. It’s sad. The worst part is that I’m not alone.

Researchers questioned 2,000 girls from the UK and the US aged between 10 and 14 and found out that as much as 77 percent of them described themselves in negative terms.

There are many campaigns fighting this thinking but more specifically is the Dove campaign, a better known one.

I’m reading a book called The Resolution for Women by Priscilla Shirer and the chapter “Supernatural Selection” talks about this point of view.

Again, read Jeremiah 1:5.

The first important point is that God chose you. His choice of you was based on deep, intimate knowledge of who you are. He has selected you, and everything about you. He thought deliberately about you and was very specific about you. God chose you to be in this specific point in time for a reason. That’s why you’re here, right now.

“You did not choose Me, but I chose you.” (John 15:16)

The second important point is that God set you apart. You are dedicated for a specific use at a specific time. We were created by God to do our part. And if we wail to do it because we don’t think it’s valuable enough, great loss will be suffered.

Rather than seeking to impress and outperform others, and rather than feeling ashamed by what you don’t have and can’t do, relish the opportunity to stand as a living, walking, eating, breathing example of what God’s grace can do with a man or woman He has set apart, weaknesses and all, to be a sacred vessel in His service.

“A special instrument, set apart, useful to the Master.” (2 Timothy 2:21)

The last point is that God has appointed you. You can be sure that God has planted you here with design and intention. Your seeds are designed to produce a crop that’s uniquely yours. So there’s no point in trying to produce a fruit that is someone else’s to grow.

He has loved you enough to make you like no other, and He’s given you a task that is yours alone to complete with His abundant help  and empowerment.

“You did not choose Me, but I chose you. I appointed you that you should go out and produce fruit.” (John 15:16)

God says no to things that you ask for because he knows you don’t need them. It’s hard to think you won’t be a certain person, have a certain profession, have a certain amount of money, or have a certain group of friends but God knows that what He has given you is exactly what you need.

Don’t forget that you are specially designed by God for a specific purpose right here, right now. Make it a goal to memorize this verse:

“I chose you before I formed you in the womb; I set you apart before you were born. I appointed you a prophet to the nations.” Jeremiah 1:5

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Crazy Love

Last semester in a class of 50 people, two I knew fairly well, I met someone who allowed me to borrow a book of theirs. I still have it now and am going to do my best to finish it before the end of February. It’s called Crazy Love and is written by Francis Chan, a pastor of a church in California.

Today, I picked it up again and was shocked by how true his words spoke about my relationship with God right now. I have been so selfish with the time God has given me, spending it only on my own ambitions. It got me thinking… Time for a new blog post!

I began this blog for a reason- to share God’s good news. However, it has become more of a way to deal with every day life and focus more on what God is telling me in scripture. I’m not a cookie-cutter Christian, I forget to read the Bible, I miss church on Sundays, I forget God is in control and put the pressure all on myself. It’s time for me to take a step back and reevaluate my relationship with Christ. Maybe it’s your turn to do this as well.

“Do not assume you are good soil.”

If you were good soil, God’s goodness would be reaping from your every move, every thought, every word, but it’s not. We are sinful people.

When we want God and a bunch of other things, then that means we have thorns in our soil. A relationship with God simply can’t grow when money, sins, activities, favorite sports teams, or commitments are piled on top of it.

“Too much of the good life ends up being toxic, deforming us spiritually.” -David Goetz

We need to compare every aspect of our life to scripture to find some of the tiniest thorns. What are your thorns?

Lukewarm Believers

I believe most of us are lukewarm believers. We put God in a box and shove him under our bed and only pull him out when it is convenient for us. If you are in agreement that any of the below statements are true for you, then you too are a lukewarm believer:

  • Attend church regularly because it’s what is expected
  • Give money to charity and church as long as it doesn’t hinder your standard of living
  • Choose what is popular over what is right when in a conflict
  • Don’t really want to be saved from your sin
  • Moved by stories about people who do radical things for Christ, yet don’t act
  • Rarely share your faith with neighbors, coworkers, or friend because it may seem uncool or uncomfortable to talk about
  • Gauge your “goodness” by comparing yourself to the secular world
  • Say you love Jesus but say he is only a part of your life
  • Love God, but not with all of your heart, soul, and strength
  • Love others but don’t seek to love them as much as you love yourself
  • Will serve God and others within limits
  • Think about life on earth more often than eternity in heaven
  • Thankful for your luxuries and comforts, and rarely consider trying to give as much as possible to the poor
  • Do whatever is necessary to keep yourself from feeling too guilty
  • Continually concerned with playing it safe
  • Don’t live by faith; your life is structured so you don’t have to
  • Drink and swear less than average, but aren’t very different from the typical believer

Are you a lukewarm believer?

I won’t lie to you, I’m a lukewarm believer, my family and friends are lukewarm believers. It’s hard to find scalding-hot-for-God believers. Don’t fret. You can become one too.

Jesus didn’t say that if you wanted to follow Him you could do it in a lukewarm manner. He said, “Take up your cross and follow me.”

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What I found in my Women’s Health magazine

“How to Get to Heaven From Kansas” in a nutshell…

The Bible says, “Narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.” Matthew 7:14
Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” John 14:6

1. Realize you are a sinner. No matter where you are physically, everyone starts at the same place spiritually. All are sinners. “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.” Romans 3:23

2. Realize there is a penalty for your sin. Not only does sin keep you out of Heaven, but it also condemns you to Hell. “For the wages of sin is death…” Romans 6:23 “And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.” Revelation 20:14

3. Realize Jesus paid the penalty. Jesus Christ’s death, burial, and resurrection provided a way for you to go to Heaven. “But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” Romans 5:8

4. Repent of your sin and receive Jesus as your saviour. The final part of Jesus’ directions is to repent and receive Him. “Repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ.” Acts 20:21

In order to go to Heaven from Kansas, you must accept Christ by calling on Him in prayer. “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall never be saved.” Romans 10:13

Dear Lord Jesus, I know that I am a sinner, please forgive me for my sin, and take me to Heaven when I die. I believe that You died and rose again for me. I am trusting You completely and nothing I can do. Thank You Jesus! Amen.

This is from Stony Baptist Church in KC, K. Pretty cool, right?

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