Kiss a Frog, Miss the Prince

http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=qdOwW-qmwJs

Natasha discusses four types of “frogs” women get into relationships with before introducing them to the Perfect Prince and the Rescued Frog. With funny anecdotes and great advice, women discover how to discern frogs from true princes, and are encouraged to wait on God to write their real-life fairy tale.

You can get it from Amazon for .99 cents. Here’s the link if you’re interested:

http://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B00FDWY2G8/ref=mp_s_a_1_1?qid=1379978121&sr=8-1&pi=AC_SX110_SY165

Writer, is your hero worth my time?

I recently wrote a guest post entitled Is Your Hero Worthy of Readers? World- building and all that cool stuff is important, but if you don’t have a lovable hero, your readers will put the book down.

Check out the post here.

What are your thoughts on the subject? Have any pointers to share on making a hero worth reading? Feel free to share them in a comment.

I came alive this morning on God’s great dance floor

This song is so amazing.

Here I am, upstairs in my sister’s room, bulky headphones on with volume cranked up, dancing, jumping, and spinning around in sheer joy. The words in this song embodied a simple truth for me:

I feel alive on God’s great dance floor.

It was just me and Jesus this morning; me dancing around like a child on too many pixie-sticks, and Him possibly smiling and chuckling at the display. Whatever His reaction, there was a moment while spinning where something just gripped my heart, and tears spilled from eyes–joyful tears.

One day, I will be in an amazing place with streets of gold, gates of pearl, and walls of precious stones. There will be living waters that look like crystal mingled with fire, and a Tree of Life containing healing fruits. But most incredible, God will be at its center, shining in such brilliance the entire city is illuminated by His glory.

His love will fill the hearts of everyone in the city, and we will all dance and rejoice, consumed with joy for all eternity.

I came alive this morning on God’s great dance floor. I pray when you listen to this song, you do as well.

Ever have a moment where you just felt so alive in God’s presence? Please do share it with me in a comment.

God Is The King Of Stalkers (In A Good Way)

Ok, so like, the depth of God’s love is seriously mind-blowing. Just consider this, truly contemplate this:

1.) God thinks about us … all the time.

How precious also are Your thoughts to me, O God! How great is the sum of them! If I should count them, they would be more in number than the sand; When I awake, I am still with You.-Psalms 139:17, 18

The God of the universe, the universe that contains billions of galaxies and stars, you know, galaxies like the Milky Way which in light years (the length travelled by light in one year which is equal to 9,460,000,000,000 km) it’s 100,000 of those across!!!

So yeah, the God who makes billions of galaxies of that magnitude thinks of us constantly.

2.) God watches us all the time.

You know my sitting down and my rising up; You understand my thought afar off. You comprehend my path and my lying down, And are acquainted with all my ways.-Psalms 139:2, 3

He sees everything we do. He cares about our every breath and our every step. And we’re microscopic compared to Him! I mean, even our earth is a million times smaller than our sun so how ridiculously tiny are we to the immeasurable God who made all this stuff? Yet, He watches us.

3.) God listens to us.

God hears us out. Say what! Here’s how this one works: when Christ, the perfect Son of God, died on that Roman cross at Golgotha 2,000 years ago and then rose from the dead three days later (witnessed by over five hundred people alive during that time), He became the Mediator, the High Priest by which we humans can enter the presence of Almighty God and make request of Him.

So then, since we have a great High Priest who has entered heaven, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to what we believe. This High Priest of ours understands our weaknesses, for he faced all of the same testings we do, yet he did not sin. So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive his mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it most.-Hebrews 4:14-16 NLT

Not only does God listen to us, but check this out:

And when he took the scroll, the four living beings and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb. Each one had a harp, and they held gold bowls filled with incense, which are the prayers of God’s people.-Revelation 5:8 NLT

Then another angel with a gold incense burner came and stood at the altar. And a great amount of incense was given to him to mix with the prayers of God’s people as an offering on the gold altar before the throne. The smoke of the incense, mixed with the prayers of God’s holy people, ascended up to God from the altar where the angel had poured them out.-Revelation 8:3, 4 NLT

Say what! God has our prayers presented to Him in golden bowls by angels, and our prayers are mixed with amazing smelling incense? What in the blazes! Astounding. Utterly astounding.

4.) God knows us.

You know how people say: “no one knows me better than my spouse”? Yeah, they’re wrong.

There is no greater, no deeper kind of intimate knowledge than the knowledge God has of us.

He knows every centimeter of our outer frame:

But the very hairs of your head are all numbered.-Luke 12:7

He knows every centimeter of our inner frame:

For You formed my inward parts; You covered me in my mother’s womb.-Psalms 139:13

He knows our every thought:

You understand my thought afar off.-Psalms 139:2

For there is not a word on my tongue, But behold, O Lord, You know it altogether.-Psalms 139:4

But Jesus knew their thoughts …”-Matthew 12:25, 9:4, Luke 5:22, 9:37 (and several more!)

And He knows your heart:

But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not look at his appearance or at his physical stature, because I have refused him. For the Lord does not see as man sees; for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”-1 Samuel 16:7

And Jesus said to them, “You are those who justify yourselves before men, but God knows your hearts.-Luke 16:15

And there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are naked and open to the eyes of Him to whom we must give account.-Hebrews 4:13

5.) God loves us

Now this is the clincher. This is just a brain overload. God sees our every move, hears our every word, knows our every thought and motive yet still He loves us.

Can you imagine if you had a projector strapped to your head that was able to expose your every thought and motive 24/7 and you had to walk around with it and could never take it off? How many people would still love you? Maybe a few people would last a while, but what if they had to live with you 24/7 and go everywhere you go, in public and behind every closed door? Would they still love you then? Would they die for you?

For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.-John 3:16

When we were utterly helpless, Christ came at just the right time and died for us sinners. Now, most people would not be willing to die for an upright person, though someone might perhaps be willing to die for a person who is especially good. But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners. And since we have been made right in God’s sight by the blood of Christ, he will certainly save us from God’s condemnation. For since our friendship with God was restored by the death of his Son while we were still his enemies, we will certainly be saved through the life of his Son. So now we can rejoice in our wonderful new relationship with God because our Lord Jesus Christ has made us friends of God.-Romans 5:6-11 NLT

I’m mind-blown by all this. Are you?

Please feel free to share your thoughts in a comment. I love hearing from you guys.

If God Says You’re Beautiful, Who’s To Say You Aren’t?

Yesterday I attended Friday night Bible study and during worship (when we sing to the Lord), the singer, who is a good friend, began sharing.

“Let’s not try to impress God. He has angels with perfect pitches who literally have instruments built into them that worship Him. Let us just get to that intimate place with Him.”

This really, really resonated with me because everyday I worship at home in the morning, and I seriously try to impress God with my singing and how much effort I’m trying to put into it. And last night, in that moment, I just imagined God chuckling at my attempts, like how a Father chuckles at his little son who is trying desperately to beat him at a wrestling match, and I realized that is where my disconnect stemmed from: when I began worshipping to impress God rather than just to share a time of loving intimacy with Him.

As the layers behind my worship began to peel away, I cried and bowed my head. I told God I didn’t deserve to look up at Him.

Then I heard God speak.

He said, “I have made you holy, I have made you righteous. You are beautiful. Look up at Me.”

Now my tears flowed from joy. “God, you think I’m beautiful?” And I looked up.

The rest of my time in worship consisted of a joy I had missed out on for a while now. I have had this joy before, this deep sense of the weight of God’s love, but when my worship turned into approval-seeking, the joy got a little dry.

Jesus promised complete joy, but He desires intimacy. He wants us to come to Him with no motives, but simply to love and be loved by Him. He calls Himself the Bridegroom, and we His people, the Bride.

The joy and intimacy I experienced last night, I want to experience every single day.

I woke up today with that resolve. And when I came into worship, O did God reveal just a little more of the depth of His immeasurable love to me.

I realized that we can’t even measure this universe, with its billions of stars and galaxies, let alone God’s love. And again, I was moved to tears at the grandness of that, the vastness, the infinite capacity of love this God pours out over the entire universe. Even in the midst of all its darkness caused by evil and all our sin, God’s love reaches out to us; it surrounds us in creation and beckons us by His Spirit. The reality of what He sent His Son to this earth to do, to shed His perfect blood, to be pierced and wounded and broken, that we might be reconciled to the Father and have access to an eternal love-relationship with Him. God’s love is everywhere. No matter how dark this world is, it can never, and will never, extinguish the light of God’s love that encompasses every fiber of this universe. The Author of love, Love itself, has His fingerprints upon us all, He has His markings in our DNA, in our hearts. He wrote His law on us, He gave us a conscience, He gave us a book saturated with divine inspiration, a hundred percent prophetically accurate and transforming.

His love is everywhere. And I can’t get enough of it.

Jesus is a Man I will never get over.

He has no beginning, no middle and no end so His love has no beginning, no middle and no end. It is boundless. It is eternal. And it is waiting … for you.

Who’d a thunk I’d write what I’m currently writing

Growing up I had been a reader. I not only enjoyed reading, but storytelling. I was the little girl who won certificates for her FCAT reading and writing scores and drew pretty pictures to accompany my stories.

As I reached middle school, I continued to read, but writing became less of a hobby, and by the time I hit high school, forget about it. I took my honors writing assignments seriously and read a few books, but my obsession with guys had overshadowed many of my previous hobbies.

The only books I read my high school years were class-assigned ones, the Twilight series, and the first and second books of James Paterson’s Maximum Ride series. Yeah, I’d written several unassigned works; poems for and about my ex-boyfriend.

So why am I telling you all this? So God receives the glory for what He’s done and is currently doing.

After I surrendered my whole heart to Him on February 22nd, 2009, He not only healed me of the broken-heart my ex left me with, but He restored in me a new passion for writing.

See, although I enjoyed reading and writing, I really loved acting. After two years of relationship distractions, I finally auditioned and got accepted into the drama magnet program. I believed I’d someday become a famous actress, and that is all I desired to pursue. But after that midnight-surrendering in February, I suddenly got struck with an idea for a film, and no more than two months later, my sister and I had written a full-length screenplay, and it dawned on me: I’m not only an actress, but God is also calling me to be a writer.

Soon after, in March, I met my dream prince, the man who is now my husband. I thought our divinely-constructed meeting and relationship was so awesome I decided to write a book on it. Within a year of being married, I completed over 100,000 words.

I was in awe. Here I had believed I was solely an actress, but God had transformed me into a full-fledged writer (mind you, the book was terribly written, being that it wasn’t until after that I read five books on the craft and attended two conferences, but either way, I was now a legit writer).

Two-and-a-half years ago I was sitting in a prophetic church and while the pastor was teaching, God birthed a story in my heart: The Seven, a fantasy trilogy with seven main characters each representing one of the seven Spirits of God written of in the book of Isaiah.
I was flabbergasted. Me, write a fantasy trilogy? I kinda liked the James Paterson sci-fi, but not enough to finish the series, and the only fantasy books I’d read were from the Harry Potter series. I was not a Lord of the Rings fan (but now after re-watching them last year I totally am), I just didn’t desire reading fantasy novels, yet here was God, giving me a fantasy trilogy to write.

Knowing I was out of my league, it took me over a month to work up the courage to start writing it. But I did, and here I am two-and-a-half years later, working on book two and loving it.
I’m twenty-three-years-old, writing a young adult, high-fantasy trilogy with only the Harry Potter books tucked in my brain from when I was in middle school. Isn’t that cool? Doesn’t God get the credit for concocting such a preposterous notion?

How about you? What are you currently working on? Have any funny or ironic writing-tales you’d like to bless me with? Please feel free to share them in a comment.
Until next time, write on!

Marriage keeps gettin’ sweeter

Today is me and Sir Jonathan’s three-year anniversary. And each year, I reflect and see that our marriage has simply gotten better and better. How is this possible?

Though one may be overpowered by another, two can withstand him. And a threefold cord is not quickly broken. (Ecclesiastes 4:12)

There is a corruption-proof, erosion-proof, divorce-proof cord strapping me and hubby together that is not easily broken. This cord is Christ Himself.
Many take marriage on without this cord being the center of their lives and their marriage, and suffer greatly for it. They fight and fight and fight some more, getting more and more annoyed and even sick of each other until one or both of them finally throws their hands up and quits.
See, two sinners pledging their lives to one another till death do them part is unhealthy–unless God rules your heart and you give Him the reins in your marriage. He’s the One who came up with the whole two becoming one idea and sharing life together so I think it’s safe to conclude He knows the best way to go about doing it.

Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. For the husband is head of the wife, as also Christ is head of the church; and He is the Savior of the body. Therefore, just as the church is subject to Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in everything. Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her, that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word, that He might present her to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish. So husbands ought to love their own wives as their own bodies; he who loves his wife loves himself. For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as the Lord does the church. For we are members of His body, of His flesh and of His bones. “For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.” This is a great mystery, but I speak concerning Christ and the church. Nevertheless let each one of you in particular so love his own wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband. (Ephesians 5:22-33)

The Bible has a lot to say about marriage, but this passage pretty much sums it up. Now I’m not saying me and hubby have never argued, but when we did, or do, it’s because we’re simply not obeying God’s marriage-commands and/or we’re sinning in another area of our lives and its affecting our marriage. That’s why I said it’s unhealthy to go about marriage without God ruling your heart and marriage.
God knows how desperately we stink at morality, so in His amazing grace and kindness, He offered His Perfect Son to hang on a cross and die to make the way for forgiveness and heaven, and then sends those who accept His Son, the Holy Spirit.
This Holy Spirit comes into our hearts and helps us obey God’s commands and teaches us more and more who Christ is.
The love of Christ transforms us, and we become more like Him daily.
That is why me and hubby’s marriage has only gotten better: he’s allowed Christ to rule his heart, and I have too, and when we mess up, we keep going back to God for help.
We pray together, go to Bible study together, encourage one another, support each other’s callings, Jonathan loves me, and I respect him.
And as long as we keep Jesus at the center of our lives and marriage, every anniversary will be sweeter.

Are you married? Have any thoughts or questions? Feel free to share them in a comment. I’d love to hear from you.