‘king of glory (you restored my soul)’

‘I know a place where I can find You:
here in the valley of shadows.
Give me eyes to see where You’re leading me.

I know a place where I can feel You:
Here in the freedom of forgiveness.
Give me strength to hold fast to what I know.’

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Well, this song truly speaks to me at this point in time and maybe it will for you too. While it’s okay to ask for Him to reveal to you where He’s leading, we also need to trust that He will not steer us wrong no matter what. So, trust Him. I love that second stanza too. We can feel Him in the freedom of forgiveness. He forgives us. Always. No matter what. That’s an incredible, insane thought, and it’s wonderful. We also need to pray that He would give us the strength to stand by what we know through Him–no matter what opposition we face. Easier said than done, I know.

‘You restore my soul.
I’m Yours alone…
When dark gives way to light,
Your hope will rise, oh King of Glory.’

He restores our souls. He desires to give us peace and rest and He wants what’s the absolute best for us. I love that. We don’t know what’s best for us. We stumble through life tending to seek what we want, because- well, because we’re human. But we should to align our hearts, will, and desires with His. Because He knows what’s best for us and desires it as well. Trust Him with all your being. I know it’s insanely difficult, but I can only believe that it will reap the best benefits.

‘Give me faith to stand strong in this rushing wind…

Surely goodness and mercy follow me every moment I dwell with You.’

We face opposition ALL the time. We need to increase our faith and stand strong no matter what, as stated above.

When we spend time in His presence, nothing but goodness comes from that. Dwell in His presence. Spend quality time with the Creator of the Universe–because we’re able to do that and why would we not, then??? Time with Him is time well spent.

I know that was basically just some thoughts on lyrics from a song, but that’s about all I’ve got right now. This will most likely be my last post, but I want to thank any of you who have been reading along and following my journey through this blog. Thanks for allowing me to share my random thoughts and what God’s been teaching me. My prayers are with you, and I hope you’ll be praying for me as well. We could all stand for a little extra prayer and support in our corner. Thanks guys.

love,

erinn victoria

[selena gomez]

‘No oxygen–could barely breathe.
My darkest sin, You’ve raised release,
And it’s all because of You, all because of You.
I don’t know what it is, but You’ve pulled me in.
No one compares, could ever begin
to love me like you do…
Nobody’s gonna love me like You.’

Selena Gomez is one of the greatest examples of an outright Christian who is VERY much in the public eye–despite what she may want. She has been very open about her faith, whether in social media posts or in interviews, and it’s quite refreshing. This isn’t necessarily a ‘current event’, per se, but it’s someone in the public eye who is constantly living for Christ and sharing His word.

The song quoted above is titled ‘Nobody’, and it’s on her latest album, Revival. What some may not recognize though, is that it’s not about some boy. It’s about God and His love for her. Videos have come out quite regularly of her singing worship songs at her own concerts…

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The above video is her singing ‘Transfiguration’ (a Hillsong Worship song) and then ‘Nobody’  at a concert of hers last year. She is visibly upset as the concert was shortly after Christina Grimmie (a strong Christian, Youtube sensation, and Voice contestant) was shot after one of her concerts in Florida. She explains her connection to Grimmie and has a hard time holding it together throughout the performance, understandably. However, ‘Transfiguration’ is a regular song on her setlists, so while the dedication was specific to this performance, she generally does worship songs at her regular concerts too.

In addition to these additions to her setlist, Gomez has also sang her song (‘Nobody’) at a Hillsong Young & Free concert. Before singing she stated, “Tonight is more than a concert. It’s more than Hillsong. It’s more than me coming onstage and singing a song for you. It’s about a relationship that is greater than anything.”

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She has had problems in the past with health issues and has checked into rehab to focus on her mental health in the past, discussing issues with being in the spotlight constantly, among other things that come with being a celebrity.  Overall, I think that she is an excellent role model for young girls–which are few and far between these days. And she is a great example of living out your faith publicly. As she’s in the spotlight more and more for music or for helping to create the new Netflix sensation 13 Reasons Why, one can only hope she’ll reach even more people with her love of God and her relationship with Him.

thanks for reading, folks!

love,

erinn victoria

[chris pratt–star on hollywood walk of fame]

Chris Pratt

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Psalm 126:3 “The LORD has done great things for us, and we are filled with joy.” Thank you to the many, many people who empowered me to follow my dreams. #surreal #gotgvol2 #WHATSMYSNACK

For those who don’t know, Chris Pratt is not one to shy away from, well, just about anything, or so it seems. And this includes sharing his faith. There have been multiple interviews out over the years that discuss Pratt’s faith in God and his Christian beliefs. As said in previous posts about celebrities, I have no idea what their real life looks like or how/if they live out their faith, but I can definitely appreciate when someone is at least open about what they believe in. Pratt is a big enough star that it doesn’t seem to matter if he’ll lose a couple (or even a couple hundred) fans over something as important as his faith. He’ll semi-regularly post pictures or tweets with verses, or talk about how much his faith means to him and how much it has meant to him in the past.

The above post is from April 19 when Pratt was preparing to receive his star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. The verse acknowledges that GOD is the one who has done this for him–not by his own efforts, but through the help and provision of the Lord. And in his speech when receiving said star, he also referenced God and the many blessings he has received–including his lovely wife, Anna Faris, and their son, Jack.

Overall, I’m just greatly appreciative of stars like Pratt that are outspoken and proud of their faith and belief in Jesus Christ. It takes courage to post things that might be polarizing, but I believe it can help to reach those who might need outreach or something to believe in. Not that he’ll ever see this, but I encourage Pratt, among other celebrities, to continue to post posts about their faith in God and the practical ways it has shown up in their lives. Chances are, it’ll only make them seem more relatable and grounded.

thanks for reading!

-erinn victoria

 

[john 20:24-29]

‘But he said to them, ‘Unless I see the nail marks in His hands and put my finger where the nails were, and put my hand into His side, I will not believe.’ [John 20:25]

HE IS RISEN. Happy late Easter, everyone. I’m just gonna discuss a couple verses relating to something that happened shortly after Jesus’s resurrection from the grave. The verse above is essentially the start to the story I’m gonna talk briefly about today: Doubting Thomas. Essentially, Thomas was not with the other disciples when Jesus appeared (newly risen from the dead, no big deal), so they all came back and told him. This was his response. As much as we kind of scorn Thomas for this response, I can’t help but wonder: would I have that response? Would you? This is just one of those things that just seems too good (or crazy) to be true. I totally understand where Thomas is coming from. However, the next verse goes on to say ‘a week later’. Like, what?! He’s surely heard more about this (and how has He not seen Jesus by this point?!), and He is still not believing?

‘Though the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, ‘Peace be with you!’ Then He said to Thomas, ‘Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into My side. Stop doubting and believe.” [John 20:26b-27]

I can’t even imagine being Thomas here. Being called or by Jesus. And I’m sure at this point, Thomas believes- since Jesus is right in front of him. But I can’t even fathom touching Jesus where they witnessed Him being pierced with nails. It’s just crazy, but so amazing. And I’m sure Thomas definitely stopped doubting and started believing right then and there. And I love the small detail at the beginning: the doors were locked, but Jesus still just came and appeared. What. That also probably helped Thomas believe…and scared him.

‘Then Jesus told him, ‘Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.” [John 20:29]

Obviously, only a select few got to see when Jesus rose from the dead, the rest of us just have to go on faith and belief. And He blesses those of us who do- those who hear these words in the Bible and believe that He did what they say He did. And it’s a beautiful thing. I understand being a doubting Thomas. It is HARD to trust God sometimes, but I urge you to try. Because the rewards and blessings are unfathomable. I’m just thankful for a God who didn’t just leave us–He came back. To show us that He is GREATER THAN DEATH. And that is GREAT. He is great. Happy Easter, everyone.

love,

erinn victoria

[luke 23:44-46]

‘It was now about noon, and darkness came over the whole land until three in the afternoon, for the sun stopped shining. And the curtain of the temple was torn in two. Jesus called out with a loud voice, ‘Father, into Your hands I commit My Spirit.’ When He had said this, He breathed His last.’

[Side note: I know that Good Friday was yesterday, but I didn’t post then, so I’ll cover Good Friday now and Easter (His resurrection) next post!]17974772_10209400767196353_262418547_n

There are quite a few recounts of Jesus’s time on earth, but I’m currently studying Luke, so I figured I’d go with Luke. Let’s start with that first sentence:

‘It was now about noon, and darkness came over the whole land until three in the afternoon, for the sun stopped shining.’

This sentence is quickly stated, and possibly overlooked, but it’s a pretty astounding statement. Can you imagine people who weren’t there witnessing the crucifixion? They were probably quite confused…nonetheless, this would be pretty astounding even if you were witnessing it. It’s 12 in the afternoon, and all of a sudden, the sun just stops shining. This alone should alert the people that something was going down, something dark and, well, scary. While it was God’s plan all along for Jesus to die on the cross, it’s still a dark time, thinking that we put Him on that cross for no real reason/crime.

‘And the curtain of the temple was torn in two.’

Another statement that seems kind of insignificant. This version is Luke doesn’t go into much detail at all, but other recounts of this tell us more about this curtain. This curtain, as explained in Exodus, was to separate the Holy Place from the Most Holy Place. The tearing/removal of this curtain showed that Christ had entered heaven for us, so that we can now enter God’s presence as well. (As explained in the foot notes of my NIV & The Message Parallel Study Bible.) One of my favourite details of this event, though it’s not mentioned here, is that the curtain was torn from top to bottom. This was a HUGE curtain, and this particular detail just proves that it was God’s doing. Pretty cool proof, right?

‘Jesus called out with a loud voice, ‘Father, into Your hands I commit My Spirit.’ When He had said this, He breathed His last.’

This is such an extraordinary declaration. And it’s something we should declare as well. We need to commit our Spirits into His hands. Allow Him to do with us what He wants–even if that means death, like in Jesus’s case. And that last sentence…it just hits ya. Like, all of a sudden, He spoke that and then breathed His last. Just like that, His mission on earth (for that time anyway) was complete. Little did the people watching realize, He had other plans…even though He had definitely given them a spoiler alert earlier, they wouldn’t even realize what hit them.

Stay tuned for a post on the resurrection later. As for now, be thankful for this incredible sacrifice He made. He made it to forgive us from OUR SINS. Thank Him for this incredible act. And commit your spirit to Him.

Hope you all had a great Good Friday and have a lovely Easter!

-erinn victoria

‘o praise the name (anástasis)’ [hillsong worship]

‘Then on the third at break of dawn,
The Son of Heaven rose again.
O trampled death, where is your sting?
The angels roar for Christ the King.

O praise the name of the Lord our God.
O praise His name forever more.
For endless days, we will sing Your praise:
Oh Lord, oh Lord our God.’

Oh, wow. This song gets me. I love this song for worship in general, but it’s truly such a perfect Easter song in my opinion. I definitely could have posted all the lyrics because each verse tells the story of His death and resurrection and it’s beautiful. SO, please listen below:

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As Easter is coming, I think I’ll be posting some Bible verses for Easter on Saturday, but there’s an endless amount of perfect Easter songs that describe His incredible sacrifice for us and His amazing resurrection as well. I just love this song though. His resurrection takes away the STING of death. What else can do that? I just imagine the angels roaring like a crazed stadium of fans when He rolled back that stone and rose from the dead. Such an insane but wonderful concept and thing to imagine. We do need to praise His name FOREVER. He deserves it. The One who tramples and conquers death deserves endless praise.

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‘He shall return in robes of white,
The blazing Son shall pierce the night.
And I will rise among the saints,
My gaze transfixed on Jesus’ face.’

I love this part too. First, I love that wordplay in the second line–sun, Son. He does pierce the night though. His brilliant light pierces through the darkness all around us–the darkness of this world. And when we return to our eternal home, among the saints, we won’t be able to look away from His glorious face.

This Easter, remember His sacrifice. Transfix your gaze on His face. Praise His name forevermore.

thanks for reading, guys!

erinn victoria

[mr. t & his battle with cancer]

Now, first–I know next to nothing about Mr. T. Pretty much the most I know about him is from what I’ve seen of him on Dancing with the Stars this season. That being said, I came across an article that discussed his faith in God and how it got him through his battle with lymphoma in 1995. So, that’s what I’m going to briefly discuss here today. I encourage you to read the article, but I’ll sum up bits and pieces as well.

I cannot even imagine being diagnosed with any type of long-term illness, cancer, etc., but I do know that the only way I’d make it through would be if I had faith in and trusted God. So, I always appreciate when I hear of others who do the same. He relates his time to the book of Job, saying that no matter how strong our faith is, all the good we do, etc., we can still go through really crappy times. The key is to have faith. This is such a hard response to have when we encounter major trials, but it is certainly the best one to have. Just trust that God is going to get you through it–no matter what it is.

Another part of this story that I love is that, now that he’s come out on the other side of all this, he gives back. He goes to hospitals to encourage and see the sick kids there, he sees it as serving God. And it is. When we help the sick, poor, needy, downtrodden, we’re ‘helping’/serving God. He loves ‘the least of these’ & we’re called to as well. Mr. T has also pledged to give any money he makes from Dancing with the Stars to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital and Shriners Hospitals for Children.

Mr. T can be an inspiration to any of us. His story helps us to remember that just because we’re Christians does NOT mean we get an easy, care-free life. We will have struggles. The key is to have faith and trust in God that He will deliver you from these troubles. He will lift you up out of that pit of depression. Have faith in Him.

thanks for reading, guys!

-erinn victoria

UPDATE: Since posting this, Mr. T danced his final dance on Dancing with the Stars and talked about his battle with cancer. It brought most people in that audience to tears the other night, and I encourage you to watch and be inspired.
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[luke 10:42]

”One thing only is essential, and Mary has chosen it…” [msg]

”…but few things are needed–or indeed only one.” [niv]

The context of this verse, as some of you may know, is these two sisters who invited Jesus over to their home. One sister is definitely that Type A person (I can say that because it’s me…), who is bustling about, trying to make preparations and make everything perfect–this is Martha. Mary, her sister, is sitting at Jesus’s feet–‘hanging on every word He said’ (Luke 10:39 MSG). Eventually, Martha complains to Jesus about her sister (always a great idea, right?), and the above verse is His response. He tells her to not worry about so many things, and that Mary has chosen to focus on the ‘right’ thing…really, the ONLY important thing.

This story happens only over a couple of verses and doesn’t seem to be too life-changing, but it can be. We are ALL like Martha so much of the time. We’re constantly moving from one activity to the next–this current generation is known as the one without an attention span, we’re ALWAYS DOING SOMETHING. However, this response from Jesus reminds us to just sit and BE. He reminds us that there is truly ONE important thing and it’s spending time with Him. Obviously, the things He calls us to do (share His word, love others, etc.) are important as well, BUT–none of those are important if we don’t first align ourselves with Him. If we don’t start our day off with a couple moments of silence with just you and Him, our days will suffer. We can try to do all that He calls us to, but I think it will be in vain. We’re supposed to do those things in His name, but how can we do that if WE NEVER SPEND TIME WITH HIM??? It’s ludicrous, right?

I am extremely guilty of this. I tend to talk to God throughout my day, but I get right out of bed in the morning and start DOING. He will give us the time, strength, peace, and energy to get through the day–but first, maybe give Him the time of day, yeah? One thing is important today. And tomorrow when you wake up. And the next day. Remember it. Spend those few precious moments with your Lord and Saviour (and hopefully more throughout the day!) and it will NOT be taken away from you. He promises that. And He is a God who does not break His promises.

thanks for reading, guys! share with your friends! or acquaintances–I’m not picky!

love,

erinn victoria

‘hosanna’ [hillsong united]

‘Heal my heart and make it clean.
Open up my eyes to the things unseen.
Show me how to love like You have loved me.

Break my heart for what breaks Yours.
Everything I am for Your Kingdom’s cause.
As I walk from earth into eternity.’

So, today was a shuffle-a-worship-playlist-and-find-a-song kind of day. But I do have a soft spot for this particular song. I haven’t listened to it in awhile, but there was a period of time where it was always playing–whether it was on the radio or at church. This song has become very commonplace though, so I encourage you to, this time, really listen to it. Particularly the bridge–as I say with many worship songs.

I love this passionate prayer that the song poses. We should be asking God to do these things in us each and every day. They are hard, intense challenges, but very important. Ask Him to cleanse your heart–He desires to already, but you should have a desire to ask Him to heal you and your heart. Pray that He would open up your eyes, and that you would see through His eyes. When you see through His eyes, you’ll see people in a new, loving, forgiving, graceful light–and hopefully refrain from judging others. We need to see people and LOVE them. And I love that last line in the first part. One of my daily goals is to love others as He has loved us. I fail so often, but it’s something to truly strive for. He has loved us in such an incredible way, and we should certainly try and love others that same way.

Finally, we need to be broken by what breaks Him. The things that break His heart need to break ours as well. We can’t just see all these horrible things happening around us and around the world each day and let them go by. We need to really look at those things and REACT. We need to be broken for His kingdom and for Him. He can repair us and truly use us when we’re broken for Him. Last, but certainly not least, give EVERYTHING you have and are for His kingdom. We need to devote ourselves to living for Him and His kingdom.

Sorry that this was just a break-down of the bridge, but it’s so good. And can be such a good thing to just pray each and every day. Thank you for reading this and I’ll be praying this prayer over all of you and praying it myself.

love you all,

erinn victoria

[demi lovato–5 years sober]

‘So grateful. It’s been quite the journey. So many ups and downs. So many times I wanted to relapse but sat on my hands and begged God to relieve the obsession. I’m so proud of myself but I couldn’t have done it without my higher power (God), my family, friends, and everyone else who supported me. Feeling humbled and joyful today. Thank you guys for sticking by my side and believing in me.’

[this is not the picture from her instagram post, but I love it because it's so natural--and she's stunning here.  It's actually from another time she was busy inspiring people--talking about her battle with mental illness.]
[this is not the picture from her instagram post, but I love it because it’s so natural–and she’s stunning here. It’s actually from another time she was busy inspiring people–talking about her battle with mental illness.]
This was the caption to a recent Instagram post by Demi Lovato. As you can see in the picture (linked above), she was referring to being 5 years sober. This is obviously an INCREDIBLE feat and she is such a great role model for it (and many other reasons). However, I truly love that she credits her success to God, first and foremost. It’s definitely easy to get caught up in ourselves sometimes and think we’re so great for accomplishing this or that, but it truly is Him who helps us out of those tough situations and temptations.

Two verses come to mind whenever I think about temptations, and they’re such important ones to remember. First, is 1 Corinthians 10:13, which says: ‘No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; He will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, He will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.’ I love this verse because so often we feel so alone when it comes to temptations. We feel ashamed for being tempted in the first place and like we can’t tell anyone, and we feel sinful because we know we shouldn’t be partaking in that activity, so it’s important to remember that He is with us. He will provide a way out. Sometimes, it may not be super obvious, but it’s there. Look to Him in those times. As Demi said, she would ‘sit on [her] hands and begged God to relieve the obsession’. It takes an incredibly strong person to do that.

The other verse I think of is 2 Corinthians 12:9, which says: ‘But He said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.’ He is strong when we are consumed by weakness. This is one of my favourite verses. We all need support when we’re feeling weak, so it’s great to know that when we are at our worst, He will and can be at His ‘best’, so to speak. He is our strength. You’re never in this alone. No matter what it is.

thanks for reading!

love,

erinn victoria