[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 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

[psalm 34:15-19]

‘The eyes of the Lord are on the righteous, and His ears are attentive to their cry;
but the face of the Lord is against those who do evil, to blot out their name from the earth.’
[Psalm 34:15-16]

I love the second part of verse 15 there: ‘His ears are attentive to their cry’. Not only does He hear us when we cry out to Him, but He’s awaiting our cries to Him. He keeps an eye and an ear out for you to ensure that you are safe and not in trouble. This is an incredible privilege, and much more enticing than the second part of that passage. I can’t imagine having the Lord ‘against’ me. He is an all-powerful God and that is somewhat terrifying. However, it is incredible to have such a loyal, loving God on our side. He wants to stand up to those who do evil, those who may be bullying you. He wants to keep the righteous safe.

‘The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears them; He delivers them from all their troubles.
The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.
The righteous person may have many troubles, but the Lord delivers him from them all.’
[Psalm 34:17-19]

He delivers the righteous from ALL their troubles. That’s pretty amazing. I love the second verse, that He is close to the brokenhearted. The Message version says ‘If your heart is broken, you’ll find God right there…’ I love that phrasing too. When we’re brokenhearted and down & out, we tend to feel all alone, but that’s exactly where we’ll find God. He is strong in our weakness.

And that last verse…people may think that once you’re a Christian/a Christ follower, you’re with God and nothing can harm or hurt or trouble you. But that is 100% wrong. Sometimes, being a Christ follower causes more problems than not–at least in the way that you will be persecuted more for your beliefs, etc. It’s definitely worth it, but it’s important to know that Christians are not just immune from difficulties and trials. However, it’s also very important to note that last part of the verse/that last word: ‘the Lord rescues him from them ALL.’ He saves, rescues, and delivers us from ALL of our troubles. As the Message puts it: ‘God is there EVERY time.’ He won’t abandon you. The Christian lifestyle may get difficult, but the important thing is that we can survive it all because we have God by our side. He’ll deliver us from the trouble every single time.

Look to Him when you’re in trouble. He’s waiting for your call. He wants you to ask Him for help. Never feel alone, because He pulls close to you when you’re hurting, and He is always there for you.

Have a lovely day, all! I won’t be posting for about a week and half as I will be on spring break–so have a lovely week, as well!

love,

erinn victoria

[tim tebow–press conference]

‘[Sports are] not why I’m here. It’s not my biggest calling…
I want my life to be so much more than that.
I want to be someone that was known for bringing faith, hope, and love to those needing a brighter day in their darkest hour of need…
I am grateful to sports because it has given me a platform…’

I encourage you first to click here and watch the short clip of a recent press conference with Tim Tebow–I didn’t want to quote it all, but I definitely could have; so please watch the above first.

I think that Tebow is an excellent picture of what the Christian ‘celebrity’ should look like. As previously discussed, we should all use the gifts that God has blessed us with; however, if from those talents, we achieve success (or even fame), the credit needs to be given to Him. In addition to giving the credit to Him though, we also need to use our platforms for the ultimate good–use it to further is Kingdom.

I think we all desire to be successful in whatever fields we pursue, but if we do desire this, it should be mainly so that way we can influence more people as we go along. If you have a platform, no matter what work you do, you should use it simply to bring faith, hope, and love, and most importantly GOD’S LOVE to those influenced by you.

It’s so important to also recognize that whatever field of work we go into–whatever material success we obtain–is not necessarily our ultimate calling, that our true ULTIMATE calling is to bring people to Him. To bring His Light into people’s lives.

pursue His Kingdom & do His Kingdom work above all else.

thanks for reading!

-erinn victoria

‘resurrecting’ [elevation worship]

‘By Your spirit, I will rise
from the ashes of defeat.
The resurrected King is resurrecting me.

In Your name, I come alive
to declare Your victory.
The resurrected King is resurrecting me.’

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So, while this whole song truly is GREAT. I am pretty much posting it for this bridge. Just read those lyrics a couple of times over. Or listen to the song–because it’s repeated a LOT. hah. But really–every time I reflect on these lyrics or hear them, I get chills. Those are some impacting, powerful statements. (And if you follow me on any social media, you already saw me geek out about these powerful lyrics this week, so oops! heh.)

We may feel knocked down, defeated–but by HIS SPIRIT, we can rise from those ashes. [The only imagery I’m getting here is Fawkes the Phoenix, just a side note.] And only in and through HIS name can we fully come alive, and when we do–declare His victory!!! Whenever you or any loved one wins something or performs well, etc. we want to shout it from the rooftops, right? This is no different–except for the fact that this is SO MUCH MORE INCREDIBLE. He has DEFEATED the grave. Not only that, but He DIED on a cross to save us from our sins. So, He succeeded in wiping our slates clean of any sin and then still ROSE FROM THE DEAD. That is a victory if I’ve ever heard one. We are alive and living our wonderful, blessed lives because of Him–DECLARE that.

He is the true resurrected King. He is the only one who has truly been resurrected and He is the only One who can resurrect us. When you feel beaten down and defeated–look to Him. Because that revival and new life that you so long to feel, will only come from Him and His Spirit.

thanks for reading, all! It means so much.

love,

erinn victoria.

p.s. If you’d like to see me post more pictures of His gorgeous creation and my thoughts/lyrics I like, follow my insta: erinn_victoria

[psalm 31:9-10a, 14-15a]

‘Be merciful to me, Lord, for I am in distress;
my eyes grow weak with sorrow,
my soul and body with grief.
My life is consumed by anguishpsalm 31 14 and 15
and my years by groaning…

BUT I trust in You, Lord;
I say, ‘You are my God.’
My times are in Your hands…’
[Psalm 31:9-10a, 14-15]

[Side note: Sorry that it’s such a broken up selection today, but I don’t want it to be too long, and these were the main points that needed to be discussed. hah.]

So, wow. Those first two verses. They really hit you, right? And the Message translation is a whole other story–‘I’ve cried my eyes out; I feel hollow inside. My life leaks away, groan by groan; my years fade out in sighs.’ Doesn’t David do an incredible job of showing that pain and depression and anguish here?

To be completely honest, the first thing that came to my head, sadly, was how I felt after a break-up. I’m seeing all my tweets in timehop, etc. and it hurts to even think about myself hurting so badly back then. I mean, we’ve all felt that though. That soul-crushing sadness that David’s referring to here. Obviously, his was for a much different, much more dignified reason, but still. However, I have always stood by the fact that a break-up should hurt. You should feel that pain, or did it really mean that much to you, you know?

ANYWAY though. I’m not turning this into a relationship blog, I promise. I am incredibly happy now, and I believe I am SO much stronger having gone through the pain for past relationships. I couldn’t be more grateful for all my past experiences. And I think that the stories I have to tell–the pain I’ve felt, the tears, the anguish, and then the new-ness, the refreshed feeling, the happiness that comes after–are a perfect testimony to these verses. I know I struggled a lot in that time, but I did try HARD to trust God. And I think that that is the absolute best solution we can come up with for times like that. Use those last two verses as your guide. TRUST in God. And commit all your days to Him.

It’s so important to know that lots of people have felt that pain–the pain you may be feeling right now. Know that you’re not alone. But also, know that the best thing you can do is TRUST GOD. He has a plan, I promise you. And though it may suck at the moment, there’s a reason for it. He’s making you stronger, preparing you for the next battle/struggle. He knows what’s best for you. And just like your parents and friends hate to see you struggle, He dislikes it so much more. You’re His kid, His creation. He will help you through this–now and any time in the future. Unfortunately, pain and suffering tend to just be a part of life. Make it easier on yourself and just trust that He’s holding your life in His hands. And He knows what He’s doing.

thanks for reading, guys!

love,

erinn victoria

p.s. If you are struggling, and need someone to talk to–reach out; I would love to help in any way I can.

‘beloved’ [jordan feliz]

‘You are essential, not accidental.
And you should realize: you are beloved…
Let it soak into your soul.
Forget the lies you heard ; rise above the hurt,
and listen to these words:
You are beloved.’

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Okay, so…these lyrics kinda say it all. So…I think I’m done here.

Just kidding.
I mean, they do though. YOU ARE BELOVED. Normally, we just hear ‘loved’, so a brief refresher: the definition of ‘beloved’ is ‘dearly loved’. I know we all know that we’re loved by our family, friends, etc. but that love can fail and fade–as sad as that might be. However, we have a love in our lives that is never failing or fading, no matter what. I love that first lyric/line though…You are ESSENTIAL. I think most of us just live our day-to-day lives and don’t think much of it, but we are ESSENTIAL to God and to His plan. He has had a plan for us since they day we were conceived in the womb. That’s insane. I know. But it’s true. So, a God who has had a plan and a purpose for you for that long dearly, dearly loves you. And He doesn’t want you to forget that.

Not only does He not want you to forget it, but He doesn’t want you to doubt it either. When we buy into those lies that society tells us or other people tell us who’s beautiful and who’s not, who’s smart and who’s not, who’s important and who’s not…I believe that that hurts God. Think of someone who means the world to you–could be a sibling, a child, a parent, a friend, a significant other, etc.–when they get down, thinking they aren’t all that you KNOW they are, doesn’t that just break your heart? And our love for others is a FRACTION of God’s love for us. So, just as we desire to pound the truth about someone’s importance, beauty, intelligence, kindness…, into their heads, keep this in mind when you hear those lies that others speak. ‘Forget the lies you heard; rise above the heart.’ Remember HIS words and HIS truth. Because that is the ultimate truth.beloved

The song later says that in heartbreak and in mistakes, nothing can separate us from His love. And that’s so true. When you feel unlovable by everyone on earth, know that He dearly loves you–NO MATTER WHAT. Nothing can remove you from His love.

YOU ARE BELOVED.

thanks for hearing my thoughts–remember HIS words.

love,

erinn victoria

[mark 10:51-52]

”What do you want me to do for you?’ Jesus asked him [a blind man named Bartimaeus].
The blind man said, ‘Rabbi, I want to see.’
‘Go,’ said Jesus, ‘your faith has healed you.’ Immediately he received his sight and followed Jesus along the road.’
[Mark 10:51-52]

This passage is just one ‘tiny’ miracle that Jesus performs throughout His time on earth in the New Testament. However, this short little story [Mark 10:46-52] gives us such an awesome example of the life we should be leading. Many people say that we’re blind until we know Jesus & have Him leading our lives. If this is the case, we are and should be EXACTLY like this man. Have faith. Trust that God can and will save/heal us. He expressed His desire to see to Jesus because He knew that He could heal him. In response, Jesus heals the man, but says that it was his faith that saved him. This alone is great, because if we do have faith, He will save us. I mean, He really already has.

mark 10 51-52Secondly, we should use this man’s response to being healed as a model for our lives. As soon as we recognize God’s healing and saving in our lives, we need to immediately drop everything and follow Him. It’s insane how quickly this man was healed from BLINDNESS. But the passage says ‘immediately he received his sight’, or the Message version says ‘in that very instant he recovered his sight’. The man was literally blind, and Jesus healed him just like that. God has already saved us, and each day, He heals & forgives us. When He does that, we need to follow Him and share that amazing news as quickly as He has healed us (immediately).

Don’t hesitate. When we get good news in our every day lives, we want to share it. Share the miracles He does in your life, and FOLLOW Him and the path He has laid out for you.

thanks for reading, guys!

-erinn victoria

‘i am not alone’ [kari jobe]

‘In the midst of deep sorrow, I see Your light is breaking through.i am not alone
The dark of night will not overtake me:
I am pressing into You.
Lord, You fight my every battle, and I will not fear.

I am not alone.
I am not alone.
You will go before me;
You will never leave me.’

This song is essentially just reiterating over and over that we are not alone–that God is ALWAYS with us. I find this very reassuring. So many times through our lives, it is so very easy to feel like we are all alone. We think that no one else understands exactly what we’re going through. But I just want you to know and be assured that God does. He is right by your side always. I think that He appreciates when we willingly include Him in our lives and thoughts, but we don’t even have to do this simply because He knows us better than we know ourselves. He knows exactly what we’re going through. And we really need to keep in mind that we aren’t alone.

When I’m up late at night, overwhelmed with homework and studying and many other thoughts, it can be crippling. But I always try and take a moment to just pray. He knows where we’re at. He knows what we’re going through. And He hates to see His dear children suffer. The Bible tells us that He is made stronger in our weakness–He desires to help us through every step of our lives. So, don’t forget that. Look to Him. Turn your troubles over to Him. He wants to lighten your load.

As a college student, I KNOW that it can all be overwhelming. Not just school, but work, our plans for the future, break-ups, changing/ending friendships, family struggles, lack of money, the list goes ON. We all know that. So when you are overcome with never-ending thoughts and worries, turn them over to God. Look and you’ll see His Light peeking through the darkness. You are NOT alone. He goes before us, and He knows what’s coming and exactly how to help us.

Look to Him.

thanks for reading!

-erinn victoria

[exodus 31:3, 6b]

”…and I have filled him with the Spirit of God,  with wisdom, with understanding, with knowledge and with all kinds of skills…Also, I have given ability to all the skilled workers to make everything I have commanded you.”
[Exodus 31:3, 6b]

For some context, God is talking to Moses here. The last couple chapters have been God giving Moses TONS of specific instructions about sacraments to build, and plenty of other instructions, as well. And in this passage, He tells Moses that there are already people He set aside to accomplish these tasks/build all that He instructed them to build. I think this is such a great passage for multiple reasons.

First, this passage shows that God gives each and every one of us specific gifts. They may seem like odd, disjointed, non-Kingdom related gifts, but He has a reason for giving you those gifts. He says, in verses 4 and 5, that He gave these men the specific skills so they could ‘make artistic designs…to cut and set stones, to work in wood, and to engage in all kinds of crafts.’ These gifts/abilities all had purposes in God’s Kingdom. But you can only imagine that maybe some of the guys with those gifts were kind of confused by their talents earlier in life. This is why I think it’s important to utilize the talents God has given us. He’s given them to us for a reason and we should not take that lightly or ignore them. He wants to use those gifts to further His Kingdom.

This is definitely an area where I struggle. I struggle with knowing what exactly I’m talented in. [This is not me fishing for compliments, by the way.] I think I’m decent at several things, but to this day, there still isn’t one specific thing that I feel CALLED TO DO. And that’s a really difficult thing to feel when all we hear about is the ‘gifts’ that God has given us and how we need to use them. So, I know that sounds hypocritical when you pair it with what I said in the previous paragraph. But, all that being said, if you DO have a passion, run towards it. Point the glory back to Him because He wants to use it for something, but definitely pursue it. And if you don’t feel a particular calling? Trust that He will reveal it to you in due time. In the mean time, keep trying to live for Him and do what you feel you’re good at–but, also step out of your comfort zone every once in awhile.

WOW. That was a lot of rambling I did not expect to do.

ANYWAY. The other reason I really loved this passage is that it shows us that God has really got it all planned out. He won’t ask too much of you. He will prepare you for what’s down the road. I’m certain that hearing all of the detailed, specific instructions that God was giving him, Moses felt quite overwhelmed. I would–I did just reading it! But then, it seems that God gives him reassurance, and immediately lets him know that He already has men who can perform each one of those tedious, particular tasks. All that being said, TRUST HIM. He will prepare you for what’s down the road. But that’s also why it’s important to not look too far down that road. That will just overwhelm you, like Moses could have been if he started thinking about the logistics of it all. So, take it one day at a time, trusting that God has a plan, and He’s got perfect timing.

thanks for reading!

-erinn victoria

‘tremble’ [mosaic msc]

‘Jesus, Jesus, You make the darkness tremble.
Jesus, Jesus.
Your name is a Light that the shadows can’t deny.
Your name cannot be overcome.’

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When searching for a new worship song–one to quote or for whatever–I tend to just shuffle a worship playlist and see what starts playing. (Actually, I hit shuffle a certain number of times, because I’m weird and kinda OCD, but anyway…) So, this was the song that started playing tonight…when I realized I needed to write a blog post. heh. However, I am so happy that it did. And I tend to allow this way of finding songs to be a way for God to bring me a new lesson–and it rarely ever fails.

If you haven’t heard this song before, I encourage you to listen to the video above, because it is POWERFUL. I chose this set of lyrics because how INCREDIBLE is that first phrase? He makes the darkness tremble. You k16831407_10208959733730792_87683852_nnow, that thing we’re terrified of when we’re little? (And even still from time to time now when you’re all alone in a dark house, or after watching a frightening flick–admit it.) He makes it TREMBLE. He gives darkness reason to fear–causes it to shake involuntarily with anxiety. We take song lyrics (and, similarly, Psalms) for granted, just accepting the pretty picture they paint and leaving it be–but I challenge you to really delve into these words. ‘Cause they’re pretty incredible.

His name is ALL powerful. The shadows cannot even deny the Light of His name. If just HIS NAME is so powerful that it causes all of these things and cannot be overcome, what does that say about the person behind that name?! It speaks volumes. Normally, when you hear someone’s name, it causes you to think of them, think of their qualities, character, etc. but I think, rarely does it cause you to have a visceral reaction. There are numerous songs reflecting on the power of His name, and that’s amazing to me.

The LORD’s name has POWER.  I urge you–don’t misuse that power. As Exodus 20:7 says: ”You shall not misuse the name of the LORD your God, for the LORD will not hold anyone guiltless who misuses His name.” Just whispering His name can bring Him to your mind and to your side. If you find yourself lonely and scared and can’t seem to focus yourself on Him–just utter His name, and it will take you right back. Fear can be instilled in people simply at the mention of His name. The song mentions storms stopping and the waves becoming still at His name. I don’t know anyone else’s name with that kind of power. I pray that His name would give you peace, and that it would cause your enemies’ to tremble because they’ll know that the LORD is at your side. Know that He is all powerful and wants to bring you peace–allow Him and His incredible name to do that for you!

thank you all for reading,

erinn victoria.