Friday, September 30, 2011



Thursday, September 29, 2011

Rise Up Warrior!

A wonderful new movie called Courageous is coming out tomorrow in theatres.  This is another movie done by the church in Georgia that produced Facing the Giants, Fireproof, and Flywheel--ALL of which are highly recommended by me (See movies page!)

I don't know much about this new movie, but I do know that it has something to do with men stepping up to the plate.  This is such a big concern for me.

Women, children, and even other men of our society need men to step up.  There is a desperate longing inside children that cause them to want their Daddy's approval.  They want him to be proud of them and spend time with them and pat them on the back.  Women crave the attention of males, whether it be their Dad's, their husbands, or just male figures in their life.

The Bible says over and over that men are the head of the household and the church--they were born to be leaders.  We need them to lead us.  Women will stop controlling when men start leading, and men will start leading when women step back and stop controlling.  It's a crazy cycle, but who's gonna take the first step?
As I read in Ezra yesterday I stumbled upon this verse:

"Rise up; this matter is in your hands.  
We will support you, so take courage and do it."
Ezra 10:4

In this passage Ezra has just found out the people he has been leading back to God's temple have been disobeying God greatly.  Ezra mourns and confesses their sins to God, he is utterly heartbroken.  Then Shecaniah gives Ezra advice on what needs to be done, and tells him to rise up.

This is such a strong calling for a man.  Rising up means taking courage, preparing for battle, and sacrificing self.  No such call should be taken lightly, but it shouldn't be ignored either.

Here's the kicker, Ezra had a choice.  It was up to him weather he would actually stand up on and fight or continue to mourn in self pity.  It is always a choice with God.  He may ask you to save the nations by sharing the gospel to the highest suicidal rated city on the globe, a task that would bring God so much glory it would be mind blowing, a task that would humbly honor anyone even considered by the great God Almighty, but nevertheless, a task that is still left as a choice to be done or not.

Thankfully, the very next verse assures us that Ezra took that bold step of faith without a second thought.  He immediately put the plan into action and became a huge part of helping the Israelites get reconciled to God.  And God got more glory because of it!

So this is to the young man out there who has been called by God to lead his wife, his family, his church, or his friends.  You have a decision to make, are you going to stay seated and mourning, or are you going to stand up and lead these special people closer to God and God's glory.  On behalf of the godly women I know, we beg you to lead us righteously.

And for the young woman reading this, my prayer is that you would encourage that man today, weather it be your father, your fiance, your husband, or your pastor.  Encourage the men in your life to make that bold step.  Let him know that you will support him 110%, and that you are honored to have a God-chosen warrior in your life.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

To the Girl Who Struggles With Being Single

To the Girl Who Struggles With Being Single,

     I know that you may look around and see couples from coast to coast.  Everyone has someone right?  The media, your sorority, your church, your parents, and Facebook, EVERYONE pressures you to hurry and find the right someone so your life can be complete.
    Young girl, I cannot tell you how many lies the devil has fed you through this.  You were made beautifully and wonderfully.  (Psalm 139) You are a complete, whole person, and you stand just as courageous singly as you do being 1/2 of a couple.  God has great big plans for you! (Jeremiah 29:11, Ephesians 2:10)  Some of these plans are to be completed while you are where you are!  This time in your life has the more freedom than any other!  Go and serve.  (Mark 10:45)  Let people see the hands and feet of Christ through your actions today!
     And that lonely feeling--the one that comes when PDA-official couples come around--it's a tactic of Satan. (1 Peter 5:8) Let God fill you with love, patience, goodness, kindness, and everything wonderful.  (James 1:17, Galatians 5:22-25)  God is bigger, greater, stronger, and more fulfilling than all of that.
     Some of us are in fact called to be single, therefore you should pray about having this calling on your life.  Others of us are indeed destined to be married, in which you should be strong and wait for the Lord to fulfill his promise to you! (Psalm 27:14, Psalm 138:8)  Your life is full and abundant not from having a man, but from having THE man. (Romans 5:8, John 3:16, 1 John 4:19, 1 John 4:8, John 10:10)

     God loves you and wants you to seek him like you do boys.  I promise you won't be let down. ;)

    Right there with ya

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

I Can't Help You Find Yourself

I wish you well, I wish you well
On this trip to find yourself
I wish you well, wish I could help
But I can't help you find yourself

These are beautiful lyrics from Thousand Foot Krutch's song Wish You Well. I share them with you today because the truth in them is unending. I think the source of almost all our problems as females and as young people is not knowing our identity. You have probably heard me blog about this a time or too before, but it is just such a huge thing and yet so under recognized.

You see, as humans God designed us to be worshipers. We will ALWAYS be worshiping something. It could be that you worship your boyfriend, your role model, food, television, Facebook, yourself, or any number of things--we ALL worship something. The problem is nothing we worship will give us lasting fulfillment and secured identity except Christ. All other things will come to pass and then our identity will be shattered.

But the hard part is...How do we find our identity in Christ?
This is the tricky part.
I can't give you some verses and a magical formula to make this happen. It's a lifelong journey of choosing God and God's word. Some of my closest Christian friends struggle with knowing their identity. They are tossed to and fro with the problems of life because they have no solid foundation to worship. They worship clothes, money, sex. This is fun and fine for a while, but when life throws a curve ball it leaves you stranded and strung out.

The more you study the word the more God reveals to you about your relationship with him, your role in the world, and the characteristics of God you have received. The more you continuously refocus your thoughts, mind, and heart on God, the more he shows you exactly what your heart beats for and why you are placed in your exact circumstances.

It all goes back to Matthew 6:33. Seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness and then all of these things will be given to you as well. I have had discussions with friends about people who still have not yet come into their identity as a person. Sometimes people can recognize this in others and sometimes they can't. It's usually the people who are constantly craving attention. They have a need to "showcase" their actions and words so that other people will recognize them. Other times it's people who fake their identity by always saying, "Well you know me, I..." or "I think this.." "I always do this..." but once you really get to know them you understand that they really have no clue what they actually think, believe, or feel.

For girls I like to relate it to Julia Robert's character in the movie Runaway Bride. The director used the illustration of eggs for Julia's identity. The poor girl runs from man to man, getting engaged, planning a wedding, and then it never fails, at the last minute she backs out. One scene tells of how she had been engaged to all different sorts of guys, not just one type, and when she is asked how she likes her eggs it changes depending on what guy she is with.

 Maybe you are like that.  Are you struggling to find your true self?  Look up and stop looking around.  PEOPLE change.  People are inconsistent and sinful by nature, we all are (Romans 3:23.)  But GOD on the other hand is clear, consistent, and true.  He never changes (Numbers 23:19, Malachi 3:6) and he is the truth for those who seek him (John 14:6.)  So look to Him for your purpose, identity, and egg preference.  Seek GOD first, and all these things will be added unto you. Matthew 6:33

Monday, September 26, 2011

How to Achieve Southern Swagg

       When I first moved to the big city, I thought the sorority girls dressed funny here, and then I quickly realized it wasn’t just the sorority girls.  It was everybody!  After a month in Norman I realized the style I was born into was not the popular thing here, yet many of my city slicker friends adored my style.  So, in this article I’m going to teach ya’ll how to achieve that classic “southern swag” that has been captured in Southwestern Oklahoma.
     Step 1. “The higher the hair, the closer to Jesus!”
Where I’m from, one of the signs of a girl becoming a woman is when she starts to “rat” or “tease” her hair.  Through cheerleading and summer camps every girl comes to that stage in life when she realizes she must lift her roots to stay loyal to her roots.  If you have trouble the first time, don’t worry, it just takes lots and lots of practice, and once you’ve got it down, you never leave home with flat hair…ever.
     Step 2. Big hair must be complimented with big jewelry!
Who wants huge hair and small wimpy jewelry? No one!  Therefore, the second step to achieving Southern Swagg is to find the biggest, chunkiest jewelry you can, and wear as much of it at one time as you are able.  Almost everyone you run into will have at least two main pieces of chunky jewelry on at all times, usually a necklace and a bracelet or a bracelet and a ring. 
Then of course you have the real hardcore southern bells that wear three or more huge bracelets on each arm, a chunky ring on each finger, and a massive cross, stone necklace to match!  These women are the goddesses of the south. We all admire their boldness of bling.  So for the first two rules, just remember bigger really is better.  

     Step 3. “If the boot fits…”
The most important staple of any southern-swagged outfit is of course--the cowboy boots.  In the south boots are more than just a shoe, they are a cultural icon.  People who wear boots belong in the south.  They are the essence of southern hospitality.  Of course, there are different types of boots for different types of people, like the following examples:
  • ·         The Work Boot-this is for the farmers and ranchers of the south who work hard to bring home the beef every night.  These are usually dirty, brown, no design on the tops, and steel-toed.
  • ·         The Roach Killer-This is quite commonly a woman’s boot.  It’s usually a big fancier at the top, not too dirty, and known for being quite sassy.
  • ·         The Good Sunday Boots-These boots are really pretty at the top, coming in all colors, and they are always shiny at the bottom.  Southerners only wear these boots to special occasions like Sunday mornings or weddings.
  • ·         Last but not least is the Square-Toe-This boot is basically a combination of the previous three.  It can be used as a work boot if needed, but suffices as a nice or sassy boot too.  Women and men both are commonly seen in the classic square-toe, showing off all designs and colors one can imagine!

Any way you wear it, a boot is a boot.  And if the boot fits, wear it! 
     So there you have it, three easy steps to achieve Southern-licious Swagg!  Anyone can pull this style off with practice and confidence.  To learn more about this style come visit Frederick, Oklahoma, or check out

To the Young Couple Thinking About Marriage:

To the Young Couple Thinking About Marriage,

     I love that you care for each other so much.  I think that's great!  But are you really ready for marriage?  Do you really understand how big of a commitment it is?  Perhaps you could take a moment to consider.
     In Ephesians 5:22-24, Paul tells us that the wife is to submit to the husband just as the Church submits to Christ.  This word "submit" means to obey.  Obeying someone is a very humbling task, even as naive children we struggle with this command which is given to us for our own protection.  As a human being in the flesh, we don't naturally give up our pride and willingness to control, it is a learned characteristic.
     As a woman who has been called by God to submit and obey to your husband, I ask you--can you willingly follow this man?  Do you trust his discernment and guidance.  Is he walking with the Lord and digging so deep into the Word that you know without a shadow of a doubt that he has what it takes to fearlessly lead you?  It takes a lot for a woman to give up her right to power and control, but fully trusting God shows us peace, contentment, and freedom in letting go.  In the same way, you must promise to let go of the reigns as your husband fearlessly and courageously leads you closer to Christ.
     Speaking of you Mr. Husband, verses 25-30 explain that  the husband is to love his wife as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her.  This is huge!  I pray that you have grounded yourself so deeply in the Word of God that you know without any doubt, that your God will lead you as you lead her through this life.  I also pray that you can honestly say you love her to the point that you would give up your life for her as Christ did the church.  Yes, the Bible undoubtedly gives you the right to command and lead, but it also calls you to deny yourself in honor to please her and love her.
    Finally, Philippians 2:3-4 tells both of you to serve one another out of love, considering the other better than yourself.  This is a call to selfless love and respect, another unnatural action.  Only through Christ can these instructions be kept.
     Just as rules were given to us as children, they are not here for our torture, but for our protection and advantage.  Christ gives us this model of love because he knows within the Creator's design love can flourish and multiply, but without Him nothing grows but death and destruction.

John 13:34
"A new commandment I give you: Love one another.  
As I have loved you, so you must love one another."

Love you and praying for you,
       Your Sister in Christ.

Friday, September 23, 2011

God Wants to be Pursued Too

I'm running to your arms
The riches of your love
Will always be enough
Nothing compares to Your embrace
Light of the world forever reign
Forever Reign

And now I'm chasing after You 
Cuz You first chased after me

 And You purchased me with blood 
I am free I am complete
 Now a child of my King
 Leaving old I am made new
 Cuz You first chased after me
 And I am chasing after You

God wants to be pursued just like you.
Women naturally have a heart that wants to be pursued.  Some fight it, some deny it, and some will tell you otherwise, but deep down every woman wants to be sought after and fought for.  Look at any top-selling romance film, the woman feels most beautiful when she is being pursued by a man--sometimes even if she is not interested in that man to begin with.  It's the thrill of being told you're worthy enough for a chase, a hunt, an adventure.  This is one of the main reasons girls shouldn't chase guys.  Ultimately they may wake up and feel unloved because their man never had a chance to pursue them and show them their worth.

When a girl is pursued, you'd think it was the forth of July!  Her face lights up, she giggles, she asks all her friends about him, she watches her phone, always dresses up more, her whole reason for living is more valuable because she knows someone cares for her enough to pursue her.

Who knew, but God is the exact same way.  He wants us to ask him for things, he wants us to seek him, and he wants us to love him.  Scripture is filled with verses of God pleading with us to pursue him.  He already loves us, he already wants us, and chose us, but he is such a gentleman in that he won't force himself on us.  He wants us to chase after him.  He's dieing to be shown a little interest by you.  Why?  because he has so many wonderful things to show you!  If only you'll ask. 

Jeremiah 33:3
"Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know."

Jeremiah 29:12-13
"Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and i will listen to you.  You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart."

Revelation 3:20
"Here I am! i stand at the door and knock.  If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he will eat with me."

Matthew 7:7
"Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.  For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened."

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Let's Expand Your View of the Blogworld!!

Well today has already been a spontaneous morning!  I had planned to go running, but got turned down by the large amounts of rain.  I had planned to write a lengthy blog, but got distracted by reading other blogs, then by stopping to take my roommate to school.  Anyhow, because of all this extemporaneousness, I thought I'd just post a fun and unusual post for you all!

In this post I would like to recommend to you all other blogging sites similar to this one!  Why would I do that? Because I am a natural promoter and cheerleader.  I love helping people promote and accelerate things they are passionate about (hence the PR major.)  Also, I think it is just good to have as many good blogs on your favorites bar as you can!

Now, I know from direct conversation that many of you who read my blog are very unfamiliar with the whole world of blogging, and that's okay!  I will just take this opportunity to explain a few things to you.

  1. A GREAT way to find other blogs I recommend is by looking at my BlogRoll.  This is on the left side of the screen, underneath my Blog Archive.  A BlogRoll is a list of blogs I have personally selected as my favorites.  I have compiled this list for two reasons.  One-it helps these wonderful blogs get their name out there more, and two, it gives you as a reader, more resources.
  2. If you scroll down just a bit further (you might need to open another window so you can read and see what I'm talking about,) you will see several icons, or what look like "ads" on the sides of the page.  These are links to other sites as well.  On the left is one called "Girls, God, and the Good Life."  This is an excellent blog written by several women who are passionate about helping women glorify God!  I love reading about their day-to-day experiences.  Next, if you'll look to the right you will see "Blog Oklahoma."  this is a blog community I have joined that features only blogs from Oklahomans.  Because I am a big OK advocate, I love reading other people's blogs from around our great state!
  3. Finally, if you scroll all the way down to the very bottom, you will see a list of my favorite books and a list of other people's favorite posts from Divine Dating.

Enough about my site, here are the top 3 blog posts I am recommending to you today in place of my God-centered post. :) Hope you all enjoy as much as I do!
Love you all and Happy Reading! :)

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Focusing on God's Long-term Glory

I've been reading a fascinating book lately called, Instruments in the Redeemer's Hands by Paul David Tripp.  This is by far the deepest and most biblical book I have ever read, I highly recommend it and will be posting a review on it as soon as I finish the last two chapters!  

     In this book, Tripp talks about the fact that our downfall as humans is that we focus too much on the small things happening now.  We go through a struggle and so we huff and puff and throw up our hands in agony, complaining that God doesn't love us and that we don't deserve such treatment.  We run into a problem and so we give up because "God is punishing us."

The contrast to this is the great gospel of Christ!  You see, when we understand the gospel in its entirety we no longer think this life is about us.  We realize that from Genesis to Revelation and beyond, the story was, has been, and will always be about God and his glory, sovereignty, and grace.  

God made us without sin, we were clean and holy, just like Him (Genesis 2:25.)  As sinful humans though, we chose out of our own free will to go and deliberately do what God told us not too (Genesis 3:6-7.)  Yes, Satan encouraged us, but  the ultimate decision was up to us.  Rather than reacting like a human, God did the opposite.  He punished us to a less extreme than what we deserved (Genesis 3:16-19,) then forgave us and extended his love and grace to us--even though we in no way deserved it (Genesis 3:20-21.)  Through this we see just how desperately we need an almighty God to protect and deliver us from the sins of our human nature.

Fast forward throughout the entire Bible and you see the same story unfold, just with different details.  The Israelites cursed God and turned to worship other things, God is hurt and angry, so he punishes them, but not nearly to the degree they deserve, and then he forgives them with open arms.  If you've ever read the Old Testament you know that this happens thousands of times with God's people.

Next you have the New Testament, where God really shows off his love for us.  He comes to earth in human form, is tempted and tried like the rest of us, and then chooses to die a terrible death for us, so that we might ultimately be able to get back to him (John 3:16.)  Why? Because he chose us, he loves us, and he desires to live with us. (Romans 5:8, 1 John 4:19)

Jump forward another 2000 years to your own life.  You're mad and crying because you just found out you lost your job, or that your spouse is cheating on you.  No doubt these are hard times, and no doubt you have the right to be sad, angry, or confused.  That's part of our human emotions.  But light years down the road you will see that this was all part of God's glory (Romans 8:28, James 1, .  He uses every situation as an opportunity to bring us closer to Him, to show off His love for us, and to remind us that he has everything in control.

Although you don't see it now, He really does have a plan in all this (Romans 10:17, Hebrews 11:1.)  He wants to bring you closer to him if you will just let him.  Look at yesterday's post for more on letting God comfort you.

As for now, hold tightly to the scripture God gives you, pray unceasingly (1 Thessalonians 5:17,) and trust that God knows what he's doing (Proverbs 3:5-6.)

Further Reading: Galatians 1:10, The book of Job, Matthew 6:44, 1 Corinthians 2:5, Philippians 1, Numbers 14

Where is your focus this week? Having you been putting too much emphasis on the current problems and not enough power in God's hands?  What do you need to lay down in order for God to glorify Himself through your current situation?

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

I Will Wait for You: A Poem

A friend of mine shared this with me yesterday, I thought it was very powerful and full of the truth of the Word of God.  Hope this encourages you today. :) God Bless

Monday, September 19, 2011

My soul will rest in you.

Troubles surround me, chaos abounding
My soul will rest in You.
I will not fear the war, I will not fear the storm
My help is on the way, my help is on the way

Oh, my God, He will not delay
My refuge and strength always
I will not fear, His promise is true
My God will come through always, always
                          --Kristian Stanfill: Always

This is a beautiful song of the comfort, hope, and peace God gives us when life gets a little crazy.  I think the hardest part about receiving this comfort is letting God give it to you.  I talk to people all the time who really want help and comfort from God, but yet they are too stubborn to lay down their troubles.  We think if we just keep trying things we will ultimately fix the problem themselves.

 It's a control thing we all have as humans.  We feel like it is our right to be in control of our own life, and we don't want no help from no body!  This is fine for those who don't mind misery--but God has something so much bigger and better in store for his children if we will let him show us!!

      Step 1:  Recognize that your life is not your own, you were bought with a price.

1 Corinthians 6:19-20
"Do  you know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God?  You are not your own; you were bought with a price.  Therefore honor God with your body.

Galatians 2:20
"I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me.  The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me."

When you become a Christian you accept that you are a sinner, and that you need help and forgiveness from God Almighty himself.  You also confess him as Lord.  This means you give him control over your thoughts (2 Corinthians 10:5,)  your desires (Psalm 37:4,) and your plans (Proverbs 16:3.)  

This is not a natural occurrence, it is the result of an overflowing heart for God that says, "I love God so incredibly much, because I realize I deserve nothing he has given me, and because of that I choose to lay down my life for him and let his glory be made known through me, and this way others will come to know the hope and peace that I have found in Him."

     Step 2: Realize that God has everything under control.

Jeremiah 29:11
"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 hope and a future."

Isaiah 41:13 (MSG)
"That's right.  Because I, your God, have a firm grip on you and I'm not letting go."

If God can create an entire intricate universe that includes insects, the molecular biology of plants, every internal and external organ of the human being, all the millions of different animals in the world, and magnificent nature, in just 6 days, what makes us thing he can't handle our momentary problems?  Yes, it might be cancer, a divorce, or rumors--but we're talking about the GOD OF THE UNIVERSE here!!  He has this whole thing planned out already!  One way or another he is going to get glory from this and you are either going to go closer or farther away from him depending on what you chose (Joshua 24:15.)

     Step 3: Lay it down.

1 Peter 5:7
"Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you."

Philippians 4:6
"Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God."

As a human, one of the hardest things you'll do is admit that you can't do it by yourself, and that you need help.  However, if we come to this realization that God can handle it, and he does know what's best for us, we can start to receive his help.  We just have to humble ourselves and lay down our controlling hearts first (2 Chronicles 7:14.)

    Step 4: Let him comfort you.

Psalms 34:18 (MSG)
"If your heart is broken, you'll find God right there."

Psalm 73:26
"My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever."

After we initially lay down our plans, troubles, or whatever, it is often instinct to pick it right back up when God starts to do work.  This just takes us right back where we started though.  It is important to remember to keep your pile of stuff at God's feet.  Stop trying to take back the reigns and control it yourself.  YOU WILL MESS UP if you keep trying to fix it in your strength alone.  Let Go and Let God.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Completely to You

So what can I say? 
What can I do? 
But offer this heart O God 
Completely to You
This is a beautiful song by Hillsong United entitled The Stand.  As I was getting ready for church yesterday morning I was listening to Air1 when this song came on.  The snippet above is what hit me.  It captured my life at that very moment and God spoke through it.
After an intense weekend full of God-thoughts, worship services, and the emotions of life shared with friends, I realize just how easy it is to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of everyday life and forget about the one thing that really matters.
As humans, we worship by design.  What we worship is specific to each individual.  The receiver of our worship can range anywhere from sports to boyfriends, music to backpacks, and Star Wars to baking.  None of these things are bad in and of themselves, however the Bible says anything we worship more than God is an idol, and idolatry is a sin.  (Luckily we already knew we were sinners and God has already taken care of that for those who ask!)
For biblical reference:
  • Exodus 20:3-4 “You shall have no other gods before me.  You shall not make for yourself an idol in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneat or in the waters below.”
  • Matthew 4:10 “Worship the Lord your God and serve him only.”
  • Matthew 22:37-38 “Jesus replied, Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.  This is the first and the greatest commandment.”

Something I hadn’t thought much about until recently, is that even ministry can be an idol if our motives are wrong.  An example of this would be a youth pastor obsessing over how many kids are coming, what they are going to eat, how to get them to listen to the gospel, etc. rather than focusing on God, what he wants for the children, and asking Him to use the event to glorify himself. 

This isn’t cold hard fact, just an opinion, but I think girls are more vulnerable to making people our idols, whereas men are more vulnerable to making things their idols. 
For most women, idolatry easily creeps in to our relationships because of the Genesis 3:16 curse.  Our desire is for relationships, and more specifically our husband.  How many girls do you know that check their phone every 5 seconds waiting for that guy to text them?  Or what about the women who are so starved for love (like many of us) that they reach out for whatever male figure they can cling to.

We all have idols in our hearts.  This week I was convicted about chasing God’s plan more than God himself.  In high school one of my big idols was popularity and acceptance from other people.  But what’s your idol?  What are you not letting God control in your life?  Is there something you deem as more important than the creator of the universe?  Something coming in between you and your walk with God?  Take some time to examine your heart today and lay down any idols you might have.  Let God be God. J he does have it figured out ya know!

For a great bible study on idols I recommend: No Other Gods by Kelly Minter

Friday, September 9, 2011

Restaurant Review: Louie's Bar and Grill

On Campus Corner in Norman, Oklahoma, there are hundreds of people going in and out of dozens and dozens of the cutest little shops you’ve ever seen.  Starbucks, Pita Pit, Chipotle, Subway, Tea CafĂ©: there are tons of restaurants to pick from, but how in the world do you pick which one?  How about a good ol’ American sports bar and grill?   Louie’s Grill and Bar at 301 West Boyd is always a classic choice for locals, college students, and sports fans.
            Most people love the atmosphere Louie’s brings to their local neighborhood.  The mood is very leisurely, it says, “come in and have a bite while you relax with your friends and family.”  Flat screen TVs are strategically placed around the restaurant, always tuned to the best sports games of course.  And for the adults over 21, the restaurant has a wonderful list of wines, beers, and mixed drinks, all for a great price.  Louie’s prides itself in having an all-American menu.  Burgers, pizza, salads, soups, sandwiches, and chicken strips. Whatever you’re in the mood for, Louie’s got it! 
Some Louie’s restaurants even feature concerts by local artists on the weekends.  Louie’s of Oklahoma City has won many awards for its great food and atmosphere.  Originally started in Oklahoma, the chain has restaurants all over the Oklahoma City metro area, and a few scattered around other parts of the state.  Recently the chain has also expanded into two Border States.  Wichita, Kansas, and two major cities in Arkansas now hold their very own Louie’s Bar and Grill. 
Most people find their meal at Louie’s to be satisfying for both their appetite and their wallet.  Everything on the menu at Louie’s is under ten dollars, and the portion sizes are enough to fill even the hungriest of customers.  For instance, a starving college student could get a great-sized meal (possibly two-days worth) for less than ten bucks.  This gives Louie’s a major lead on competitors in the area.  Normally you can either find a cheap meal or a great-tasting meal, not both.  Louie’s fortunately breaks that stereotype and provides everyone with a great experience.
Although the official Louie’s website shows an appetizing picture of a burger and fries, the original location in Norman on Campus Corner does not offer fries.  When asked about the hold out on the French fries an employee replied, “Because of the older building, our kitchen is very small and does not have enough room to make fries.”  This is a major upset, especially for customers expecting a complete American meal at the door.  All great Americans know that a burger isn’t complete without French fries.  The service is very nice and friendly, but a tad slow for the fast-paced college student or businessman.  Perhaps a friendly suggestion to the waitresses would fix this small mishap.
Overall Louie’s Bar and Grill is an excellent choice for that greasy burger you crave at the end of a long work day, or that splendid salad you oh-so desire at lunch time with the gals.  With a wide variety of both food and drinks, Louie’s caters to anyone’s dining needs. 

Article first published as <a href=''>Restaurant Review (Norman, Oklahoma): <i>Louie's Bar and Grill</i></a> on Blogcritics.

Alisson's Story-4

(Continuing from Alisson's Story-3)

 ...Later that night Julie dragged me to the BCM on campus. She said fellowship would be good for me. Surprisingly, the message turned out to be about relationships, and how without God they are like a flat tire- going nowhere. During worship the band sang “Open Hands,” by Matt Papa. As soon as I heard it tears started streaming down my face.  How could God’s grace be so good but so painful?  Julie just wrapped her arm around me tight and we sang together. After the song was over she turned to me and said, “Wasn’t that awesome?” I looked at her and said, “It feels so much better when it’s not conviction but grace.” 

 Later that night I was talking to Mandy about how broken I felt. She told me to let God comfort me! “How do you do that?” I asked.  She told me to start reading in Isaiah 40 which is about God comforting His people. I told her I didn’t understand and that I would talk to her more about it in the morning.
          The next morning I was up and reading some of Mandy’s blogs and came across the last of a series she was finishing about Samson being mad at God. All of a sudden a light bulb came on in my head. I was mad at God for answering my prayer! I’m sure God was just shaking his head at me thinking, “Women… they never know what they want.”  

After I realized I was mad at God I began to feel bad and immediately made it right with Him.   After I did this I went to do my quiet time and figured I’d give Isaiah 40 and on another try. It finally made sense! Isaiah 41:10 told me to fear not for God was with me! But the big one that caught my eye was in Isaiah 14-18. Through this verse God showed me that there was more pain in the break up because I wasn’t obeying Him before.  Then He said when you get tired of making your own plans and you get too overwhelmed, I’m here and I won’t leave you!  He also told me that He will open doors and rivers where you never imagined!  God was there to take care of me.
Sometimes I think we forget that God created the universe and everything in it. Mathew 11:28 says, “Come to me, all of you who are tired and have heavy loads, and I will give you rest,” and that is exactly what I am doing. 

Maybe you too, like Alisson are running from God.  Maybe you aren't seeking his will in a certain area of your life, therefore you feel like he is far from you.  Whatever your situation,  you can find the same freedom Alisson did if you just let God be God.  Lay down your heavy loads, your burdens, your fears, your idols--everything.  Lay it down and pick up God's will.  Freedom comes in letting go and letting God.

This is the last post on the series of Alisson's story.  I really recommend you sit down and read all 4 parts in one setting some time.  It brought tears to my eyes and reaffirmed God's amazing love and grace for us.  If you have a similar story to share, comment below or email it to  God bless.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Dip In to Something New: A Review About The Melting Pot

ehhem..Attention Please.  I have just been officially published as a writer.  Yes this is the first of many.  Thank you. :)

            Do you ever just get tired of going to the same American restaurants?  You walk in to a sports themed bar and grill-like atmosphere and see dozens of flat screen TVs, lots of loud casually dressed people, and a small bar in the middle.  Your party sits down in that old familiar booth and everyone orders burgers, fries, and a slice of chocolate cake for dessert.  What if you went somewhere extraordinary and different, somewhere where both the food and the atmosphere were above and beyond your average day-to-day dining experience?
            That’s exactly what The Melting Pot strives to give you!  The Melting Pot excels at giving customers an amazingly unique experience with each and every visit.  Dim lights, upscale dining, and supreme service give this restaurant a mood of fun sophistication.  The Melting Pot was established in Maitland, Florida, in 1975, and the restaurant became an instant hit with the locals.  In 1979 a college-boy waiter envisioned the restaurant doing big things, so with the help of his two brothers the Johnson brothers bought all rights to the company.  By 1981 the Johnson brothers opened The Melting Pot in a second location in Tampa, Florida.  The Tampa location became yet another success, and the franchise quickly took flight, building a chain across the United States.  In 2010 the company celebrated its thirty-fifth anniversary by opening two additional restaurants internationally: one in Mexico, and one in Canada. 
            Of course the fondue-style cuisine is what captures customer’s attention at first, but it is the whole package that keeps them coming back.  A complete course at The Melting Pot features a full four-course meal which includes: a cheese fondue appetizer complete with your own sauce pan of cheese, a salad, your choice of entre, and a sauce-pan full of chocolate-fondue for desert.  Each course is prepared with the finest ingredients, each picked with the utmost care.  Many of the courses are themed, such as “Big Night Out,” or “Alpine.”  The service is also a big plus at The Melting Pot.  Waiters and staff members are excellently trained to give the consumer a night to remember. 
            The Melting Pot however has had many critics for its expensive prices.  For instance, one pot of chocolate fondue is twenty-six dollars.  Critics fail to recognize that twenty-six dollars covers four plates of rice crispies, brownie bites, a cheesecake sliver, marshmallows, bananas, strawberries, graham crackers, and a sauce pan full of hot, melted chocolate (taken from “S’mores” plate.)  Furthermore, if dessert is split four ways between friends, each customer ends up paying about $6.50, not too bad of a price for a nice dessert. 
            Overall, the service, culinary expertise, and atmosphere of The Melting Pot make for an unforgettable night and a unique dining experience.  Cheese and chocolate fondue, salad, and an entree are a nice break from the norm of most American restaurants.  The nearest Melting Pot in the Oklahoma City metro area is located on 4 East Sheridan Avenue in downtown Oklahoma City.  Reservations can be made by calling 405-235-1000.

Article first published as <a href=''>Dip In to Something New: A Review About The Melting Pot</a> on Blogcritics.

Alisson's Story-3

 (Continuing from Alisson's Story-2)

The next day I was having lunch with some friends from church. I told them what was on my heart and how God was moving. Sadly, they told me I was crazy and that Tate was perfect for me.
Yes, Tate would have been perfect for me, if he had been God’s perfect choice.  But I was beginning to realize he wasn’t much of a spiritual leader at all...

Now, the reason my “church friends” didn’t understand was because they weren’t currently digging into the Word themselves. (I urge you guys when seeking Godly counsel, be wise who you go to and make sure they have scripture backing up their thoughts on that subject.)  

After hearing this from my friends I became sick to my stomach! I was deeply hurt by what they were saying! As soon as I came home I started digging deep into Gods word! I read verses like Psalm 20:6-7, Mathew 6:33, and Proverbs 3:5-6 all which told me to TRUST and SEEK God!

 A few hours later I started having trouble with my heart. I’ve had problems with me heart for about two years now, but no cardiologist knows what’s wrong with me. Normally this is when Tate would comfort me. He would tell me everything was going to be ok and he would hold me in his arms. This made me very uneasy about everything, all I knew was I wanted Tate and our old relationship back. I didn’t care anymore.
So I called Tate and we talked. He knew something was wrong and I had told him about my heart and what I was going through with him not leading me spiritually! 

Before I called him, I was so upset I wrote him a letter and read it to him over the phone to him. It said:
Tate, where do I begin, you make me so frustrated! I have so much anger inside of me I feel like I’m about to burst from the inside. Why can’t you change? Why is it so hard to talk to you about God? Why can’t you lead me spiritually? I feel miserable; I just could never admit it to myself! I told you once already how important it is to me to be lead spiritually. I need to be lead spiritually and you need to be in the Word. I love you so much …..You have my heart…..But God doesn’t agree! I miss you all the time…I miss your hugs, your kisses, and your arms wrapped around me for security. But I don’t need security from you, I need it from my Lord. Tate, I am falling to pieces…
Then I asked him to pray for me and for us, he answered with words I will never forget.  He said, “If you want a man like that then you are going to have find someone else!”   Rapidly my thoughts began to run wild, this is the same man who just told me he was deploying to Libya in 6 months and begged me not to leave him. This is the same man who I had asked to lead me spiritually and he said he would work on it and rededicated his life 2 months later. This was the man I was thinking about marrying! How could he say that?  Did he know how badly he just hurt me? I was crushed.
He told me how stupid I was and said things I’d never even heard my worst enemy say.  He told me I was worthless and that I would never have a bright future. When I got off the phone I went to see Julie. I walked in her room and she immediately knew what had happened. She met me, gave me hug and then we sat down and talked...

(More to follow...)

I don't know about you, but I too have had a similar experience to this.  In high school I called my serious boyfriend to tell him I was going to follow hard after God.  He laughed in my face and told me he was sleeping with my best friend at that moment.  Sometimes we trust people just because they are conveniently there.  At the time I felt like it was the end of the world.  I felt like I was completely alone, but that's when God stepped in. :) 
Is there something that's been cutting in to your time with God?  Has he laid it on your heart to give up something or someone in order to better follow him?  Have you experienced the freedom in letting go?  Or the pain of disobedience?

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Meeting my 700 new Best Friends!

Well, if I’m going to do this country girl blog I figured I ought to start it off right; by sharing my first experience in the BIG city.  Before transferring to the University of Oklahoma, I attended a small junior college with a total of about 2,000 students.  In junior-college I was highly involved with the Baptist Student Ministry; in fact I was one of ten on the leadership team.   We would plan events and maintain the happiness of the entire group (which consisted of 30 at the very, very most.)
            So the first week at OU I had planned to go to the first BSU meeting, which was the week before school started.  After googling the address and typing it in my GPS, I was on my way.  As I drove the full three miles it took to get there, I began calculating in my head how many people I was soon to meet.  I figured if my ju-co had 30 on the best of days, OU surely had more than twice that many.  So I figured there would be about 70 people at this “Pizza Bash” of theirs, and my goal was to know almost all of their names and most of their background stories by the end of the night.
            This seemed very rational to me because, coming from a small town—everyone I knew was my best friend.  I knew the entire life-story of all 200 kids in my high school, and I didn’t see how this would be any different. 
            Oblivious, I pulled up to the BSU building, and my jaw dropped a whole twelve inches.  There were over 700 kids piled into one parking lot, a live band, and hundreds of pizza boxes!  Being the extreme extrovert I am, I felt overwhelmed for the first time in my life.  Up until this point in my life, my goal had been to know the life story of as many people as possible (a small town mentality.)  As I got out of my car, I took a deep breath and assured myself I could meet at least half of all the students tonight.  (I’d tackle the other half tomorrow night.)
            Instantly I started talking to a group of girls, the first thing I heard them say when I walked up was, “Norman is just so small!”  I think I nearly fainted.  The look on my face had to be a mix between dumbfounded and amazement.  What in the world was this girl thinking?  This was the biggest city I had ever been in!  My family and I took trips here to go shopping for crying out loud.  The interstate is a mere 5 minutes away, and you think this city is small?!  Oh boy, more feelings of overwhelment.  I don’t like this feeling.
            Luckily an older girl named Lindsay took me under her wing pretty quick and allowed me to follow her to and fro as she mingled with my 700 new closest friends.  And after the night was over I had about 3 people I knew fairly well.  This was just the first of my many experiences in the big city of Norman, but oh how I will never forget!

Alisson's Story-2

(Continuing from Alisson's Story)

...The next morning I woke up in a major state of confusion. What was  God’s will? Tate wasn’t a bad guy and he had actually rededicated his life this past year. Why wasn’t he the one for me?  Can I still date him? How do you know what God’s will is??
I went to Julie and we discussed it some more and she suggested I talk to her discipler, Mandy. So Julie gave her my number and within a few hours I was talking to Mandy! We talked and I told her about Tate and I asked her what a spiritual leader looked like for a guy? She started thinking and came to the conclusion that there wasn’t a specific answer to this question, but she said, “First and foremost, you want a guy who loves God with all his heart.”  Then she gave me some great words of wisdom and told me to boldly pray to God, asking him to show me if Tate was the guy God picked out for me or not.  I prayed that if he was the right guy things would continue to be good between us, and if he wasn’t, I asked that the door would slam shut on our relationship!
                               (read more tomorrow!)

Maybe you have been unsure/uneasy about your own relationship lately.  Perhaps you should take that bold step by praying that God would slam the door shut if it is not his will.  After all, if God's not in it, it won't last anyways right?

Proverbs 16:9
"In his heart a man plans his course, but the Lord determines his steps."

Proverbs 20:24
"A man's steps are directed by the Lord.  How then can anyone understand his own way?"

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