Fine Arts: Day One :D

Happy Monday, guys! How are you today? I’m here to blog about my first day at National Fine Arts Festival, which was FANTASTIC!! I loved every minute.

we woke up at 8ish I believe, got everything situated, then left where we were staying for Louisville. It takes us an hour and a half to get from point A to point B. My boyfriend has now become obsessed with Temple Run to keep him busy on the ride. And when ever he is done playing that (or IF he ever is), I get possession of his kindle to read the Left Behind series.

But I love it when we reach Louisville; we will be riding down the highway and we will see the giant, amazing buildings before us, and as they get closer we can see the KFC YUM! center right on the side of the highway, which is so cool because that’s where Youth Convention takes place.

When we finally left the highway and found a place to park in the city, it took us awhile to find the building where we needed to be. But we got there soon enough and it wasn’t too bad.

We walked a few blocks before we found the Kentucky International Convention Center, where Fine Arts is. We were directed to where we were to check in, ballroom 2.

My jaw dropped as I walked into the room. When I think check-in, I think desks, paperwork, and tables. But nope! There were booths and tables everywhere! Things to buy, colleges to check out, organizations to look at, it was great!

My mom and my aunt went to where check in was and told us we could go look around. I loved looking at all the booths! I checked out colleges I am considering, and bought a ton of tee shirts and a few books. Then my mom came and told me I am performing Tuesday at 11:48!

The funny thing is I’m not nervous at all. And praise God for that!! I’m not worried, scared, or stressed at all! I might be later, but I know that God’s Will be done, and if He wants me to continue, then I will, and if not then I won’t. And whatever happens, I’ll be fine with it! Because I know that God’s plan is GOOD! 🙂
After all the booths and the shopping, we went out for a late lunch, and then headed back to the YUM! center for Youth Convention.

Which, by the way, was AMAZING!! We arrived and sat in the courtyard until the building opened up. All the teens started gathering around the doors, clapping and singing for the doors to open. When they did, we all raced to the stadium-like room where all the action happened.
My boyfriend and I found the closest seats possible! They wouldn’t let up sit in on the floor (it was reserved), but we got the next best thing: if the floor was a basketball court, we were court side. If the stage was the end zone of a football field, we were the 5 yard line, off the field, probably the guy with the orange arrow thingy. It was great!

I also got a Worth Dying For tee shirt and a CD which I am so excited about! I wanted these sooo bad! Did I mention that Worth Dying For is my all time favorite band?! Because they are! I love love love love looove them! I love Worshiping God with their music! And when I found out they would be there, I actually prayed that I could go to Nationals just to worship with them! And praise the Lord for granting me that wish!

While we waited for pre-servise to start, the group behind us started getting the crowd to do the wave. One round, my boyfriend took the liberty of taking the American flag and running around the stadium, marking where the wave starts. He had so much fun, and I got a video of it for his mom! We both had fun doing the wave together for round two.
Pre-servise started and Abandon came out. I like them and I love their song Hero. But my boyfriend wouldn’t let me sing along because I had a performance the next day. Then a few people spoke, like the general superintendent of the AG and the leaders of the Youth Ministries.
And then one of the best parts started. Worship. Worth Dying For came out, and I wanted to scream and sing and yell with them, but of course, my boyfriend wouldn’t let me. (URG!) Do you know how hard it is not to sing and shout with your most all-time favorite band!? Do you know how hard it was to hold back for me?!  However, even though I couldn’t sing, it was one of the best worship experiences of my life! I think I know what it was too, I let go! I moved, I shoke, I jumped, I threw my hands up, all of it; not caring a single once of who was watching or what anyone thought of me.

I think that is a major problem in the modern church. People are to reserved, keeping it all inside. People don’t shout, dance or sing loudly. Now, I know they are quiet worshipers, who naturally are quiet and worship God fully that way, but there are ways even a quiet ones can find a way to let loose so that they forget about those around them. I think people have forgotten what a deep worship is like, “lost” in God when we don’t have any guard, any walls, any care of what’s around us while we worship.

And that’s the kid of worship I am loving so much at the Youth Convention. The worship was revolutionary for me 🙂 And so was the sermon.

After worship the man who would be preaching was introduced. The first thing he said was: “I just want to get one thing clear before I start… I am a Pentecostal Preacher.” The arena erupted in cheers and applause. He then went through things he called “The Levels of Pentecostal Response”.

  • Level one is if you like the message, you yell “Amen!” That’s basic, simple. We do that at my home church.
  • Level two is something we do at youth group from time to time, as a joke. It is to stand up, yell “Preach!” or “Preach it!” and sit back down and act like nothing ever happened.
  • I’m going to skip to level 5, my favorite, and it was brand new to me. He said, “If you really like the message, like really really like it… you throw something at me!” I was shocked by this! “You can throw like, a piece a paper, or a LIGHT shoe, but nothing fatal like… a brick, you know?”

And don’t you worry, things were thrown. And appropriately too. Things were thrown when the message was very, very good. Shows, Frisbee, coins, etc. One point, someone threw a Frisbee, and it hit the preacher, on the arm, and he yelled, “Hundred points!” It was great!

The message was very moving too! It spoke volumes to me and I loved it! I believe they recorded them and you can watch then on the Fine Arts website.

I had so much fun, when we came out of there, we said “Everything we paid, all the work to get here, was worth it, a hundred times over, by the first day.” 😀

Thanks for reading!

God bless!

~Lillian ❤

PS the picture I added was during worship, there were three teenaged boys praying together and I saw it as inspiring, I love how many teens became on fire for Jesus that week!! On the stage is worth dying for song their song “Your Name.”



The Ride

Hello, everyone! It’s Lillian and I am blogging from the back of my van under a blanket… in Pennsylvania! (I think… last time I checked anyway).  Here I am typing away as I’m finally on my way to Nationals!  I promised my Pastor I would be blogging on my journey, and I will also be blowing everyone’s news feed up on facebook!

So this morning we all woke up at 2 AM, put all of the bags in the mini van and hit the road! (I fell asleep again in the car). I then found myself in Connecticut then we stopped in New York, where we had an awkward moment in a Dunkin’ Doughnuts. The place was clean, had a wide selection of doughnuts, and fully stocked. It felt so weird, but then it occurred to us… What if that’s what it’s suppose to be like? (They are not like that at all at home; they are all small, a bit dirty, and never have the doughnuts you are craving at the moment).

It was right before the Pennsylvania border I started thinking… and thinking… and like I have blogged earlier, thinking is not good! I started worrying about my performance, wondering if I’ll remember everything… I had a great last rehearsal and I just really hope I don’t completely blank out and forget all my improvements.

Sadly, I opened my laptop to find the file of my last blog, and it turns out I accidentally deleted it! I started really freaking out when I say a picture I had saved: It’s a picture of different “numbers” (Bible verses) you “call” (look up) when you are feeling a certain way or something happened (when you need peace and rest, if your pocketbook is empty, etc). I looked up what to go when I need encouragement for a task and it told me to “call” Joshua 1. It helped a lot and this is what I read:

“I will be with you; I will never leave you nor forsake you. Be strong and courageous, because you will lead these people to inherit the land I swore to their forefathers to give them. Be strong and courageous… Do not let this Book of the Law depart from your mouth;meditate on it day and night…Then you will be prosperous and successful. Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:5b-7a;8a9 (what an awkward way to cite it!)

First of all, God makes it clear that he is always with the ones who love Him. Then He adds that He will never ever leave us or betray us. It’s amazing to think that God loves all of us so much He is always watching after us, and He will never leave us alone to our own struggles. He’s always right there- seeing what we see, hearing what we hear, experiencing what we experience and even go through the pain we feel. You are never alone. It may feel like no one understands, but He does. He is right there with you, going through it with you, choosing to do so.  He also protects you, guides you, helps you, blesses you, the list goes on and on for what He is doing for us!

And because of this God makes a clear and inspiring command: Be strong and courageous. He even says it three times! (Remember how God repeats things to drill them into our heads like I said in my last blog?) When God first tells Joshua to be strong and courageous, He gives him a reason to by reminding him that He has a plan for him. And therefore, God is promising him that He will make it work out for him, according to His plan. God has great plans for each of us; a promise that God is up to something in each of our lives, for the better, even when everything seems to go wrong. He is there, and He is going to bring you to a better place, His good plan will work out, in the way we least expect it.

God says to Joshua again to be strong and courageous, and then telling him to follow all of His laws. Why would He say that, exactly? Why do the two depend on each other? Well, if you think about it, wouldn’t God’s plan and will correspond with His Rules? If His plan was carried out by Him promoting sin, wouldn’t that make him a hypocritical God? (Which, by the way, can’t happen because God is perfect, pure, holy and blameless) I know God can still pull good out of the bad when us silly humans mess up, but God can not just tell Joshua to do whatever the heck he wants, that’s not how it works. God has a plan for us, and we have to work with that plan, and a part of that plan is His Law.

God also points out that the Word will lead us to prosperity and success (But please make sure you know with true prosperity and success is). When I was little, my Missionette’s teachers, every year, would call the Bible the “cookbook for life”. Which it is! It has all the ingredients we need, it tells us how to put it together and apply it into our lives; the Bible gives us advise for all the steps and seasons of our lives, answers big and tough questions, if we read, study and meditate on it regularly.
Then the Lord reminds Joshua for the third time to be strong and courageous. He says to not be afraid and encourages him; for He is with him no matter where he goes, and no matter what happens!

Reading and meditating on this, I get comfort from God, because He also says I need to be strong and courageous! He is also always with me! And He has a great plan for me at this competition and trip! And He will bless my trip!

Hallelujah! Thank you, Jesus!

Be updating soon!

Thanks for reading!
~Lillian ❤

Reinventing the We'll

What follows is a brief excerpt from Pastor Wrinkle’s latest sermon…

Reader, I have got good news for you! We can stop worrying about our problem. God has arranged it so we can give them to Jesus by prayer. Once we have done that our problems are no longer our problems. They become Jesus’ problems. By this we are given the grace to move on!

Even as our problems become Jesus’ problems though  there are still  two things we must do to find freedom. We must get up and we must glow!

The Scripture in Isaiah says “Arise, Jerusalem! Let your light shine for all to see. For the glory of the LORD rises to shine on you. Darkness as black as night covers all the nations of the earth, but the glory of the LORD rises and appears over you.” Isaiah 60:1,2 NLT

I love the Hebrew word for…

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Reinventing the We'll

“The LORD looked and was displeased to find there was no justice. He was amazed to see that no one intervened to help the oppressed. So he himself stepped in to save them with his strong arm, and his justice sustained him…. In the west, people will respect the name of the LORD; in the east, they will glorify him. For he will come like a raging flood tide driven by the breath of the LORD. “The Redeemer will come to Jerusalem to buy back those in Israel who have turned from their sins,” Isa. 59:15,16,19,20 NLT

I have good news for you today!  Your redeemer has come and He is with you today! His name is Jesus. He can help you through your situation. I’ve got good news for you! You can’t fix your problem. But if you will stop trying and start daily turning to Jesus He will fix…

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Reinventing the We'll

Sometimes in the midst of very great trials we are tempted to take the stance of Rabbi Kushner in His book , When Bad Things Happen To Good People.   We want to say “God is good but there are some things He just can’t fix because He isn’t all-powerful.”

While that may seem to be an easy answer it is not Scriptural so it is not one we can accept. In fact it is heresy. It is one of the reasons that the church today is losing its power and influence in the world. Loved these two quotes I found at

Episcopal priest Robert Capon said: “We are in a war between dullness and astonishment.” The most critical issue facing Christians is not abortion, pornography, the disintegration of the family, moral absolutes, MTV, drugs, racism, sexuality or school prayer. The critical issue today is dullness. We have lost our…

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Reinventing the We'll

Almost 70 years ago Elie Wiesel was a fifteen-year old prisoner in the Nazi death camp at Buna. A cache of arms belonging to a Dutchman had been discovered at the camp. The man was promptly shipped to Auschwitz. But he had a young servant boy, a pipel as they were called, a child with a refined and beautiful face, unheard of in the camps. He had the face of a sad angel. The little servant, like his Dutch master, was cruelly tortured, but would not reveal any information. So the SS sentenced the child to death, along with two other prisoners who had been discovered with arms. Wiesel tells the story:

One day when we came back from work, we saw three gallows rearing up in the assembly place, three black crows. Roll call. SS all around us; machine guns trained: the traditional ceremony. Three victims in chains–and one…

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Fine Arts Is Coming Up! (And I’m Scared!)

So today, I was sitting in the laundry mat (our washer is temporarily down) on the computer. I stared at my purple dress, my newest and most favorite one, the one I will be wearing on stage next week. Oh, goodness I’m leaving Sunday. I thought. I’ll be performing in less than a week!

And as if each thought was a little spark, fire began to spread as I thought deeper into my worries (However, when I say them out loud, they sound ridiculous, for they indeed are very ridiculous, preposterous and down right irrational).

This happens repetitively recently. As the days get nearer and nearer, I keep finding my self lost in my imagination, scared to the bone of what-could-happen (all things that could never happen) or things-that-could-go-wrong (which are all things that couldn’t possibly go wrong). But whenever I say these  fears aloud, I realize …well that sound stupid… or do I really think that’s possible?

So, back to the laundry mat. With machines spinning and buzzing and old couples watching me from their cars as I am in my sea of worries and fears, I hear a whisper. Okay, let’s talk this out.

I sigh. Again. Sorry. I replied.

You see, I’m actually not new to God stepping in and proving my fears wrong about this. This happens almost every other day for the past month. I get nervous and scared, and then the Comforter steps in and holds me in His arms and tells me He is with me. I end the prayer time saying “I’m not nervous any more!” Until the next day rolls around, and although I still remember that God is with Me, I end up in the same nervous state as before.

But something made this one different, I could feel this would have more impact, or at least, I knew that I was about to let it impact me more.

I know, God. I have nothing to worry about, and you say in Jeremiah…

No, that’s not what we are talking about today. Now, listen. He said. Something I now recall, when God comes to speak to you, don’t assume what He is going to say, and then tell Him that you know. No, when God comes to speak, just sit down, shut up, and listen. He knows what you know, and He knows what you will say. God doesn’t come to tell you useless facts that you already know. No, He comes in and says what is actually needed to be said! For He is Jehovah-Jireh, the God who provides, but he does’t provide what isn’t needed! He provides exactly what we need desperatly. He won’t repeat what He already knows you know. Sure, He will say the same message or correction over and over and over and over again until the message is engraved into your stubborn brain (boy, doesn’t that get an ‘Amen’?), but He doesn’t waste time saying what has already been listened to (And we have all been guilty of hearing and not listening).

Okay, I’m listening, God. Sorry. I thought then silenced myself. What shall the King of Kings proclaim this time? What mind-blowing knowledge shall He reveal to me? What new ideas shall I hear from Him today? Will I…

What are the lyrics to the song you are singing?

Wait… what? God’s asking about the lyrics? Does He think I don’t know them? Does He not know I’ve sang that song more times then klove has played it (which is probably a lot, seeing it’s a love favorite)? Has He forgotten or something? (I know, all stupid questions.)

But one thing I have learned from experience, sermons, and the ending of the book of Job; when God asks a question, He already knows the answer (Duh, what doesn’t He know?). He’s just trying to make a point to us.

Answering this question led to reflection and annotations of the lyrics to Hope Now by Addison Road. I’ve done this multiple times; however, just like before, it was different this time.

Here is what I came up with, along with God’s guidance:

If everything comes down to Love, then just what am I afraid of?
Why do I keep forgetting that no matter how you think about it, if you get down to the nitty-gritty of everything, it does come down to Love, it comes down to God. No matter how you look at it, it eventually leads to God in His creation, in His purpose, in His timing, there is a million things of God’s ownership and control of every situation, place, and time of life. God created it all, so why shouldn’t it? So if it all depends on God, and I know that Romans says God makes all things work for the good of those who love Him, why in the world and I so nervous about? And if our God is for us, who could ever stop us? (Okay, let’s not get the songs confused haha)

When I call out Your Name, something inside awakes in my soul.

This is very true. When I call to Him, I feel the Spirit inside me and His anointing wish over me, and His presence around me. I know that God can and will provide the Spirit’s unexplainable peace.  Jehovah-Jireh will provide it, Jehovah-Shalom will give me peace.

How quickly I forget that I’m Your’s.
I’m not my own, I’ve been carried by You, all my life.

I seem to always forget that no matter what I do, no matter what I say, no matter how hard I try or struggle, God’s got it all planned out and in the palm of His Hand. This performance has very little to do with me or anything I stress out about. It’s about the gift God gave me in my voice, the opportunity God gave me to go to not only Fine Arts Festival, but National Youth Convention, the chance to see and worship my favorite band Worth Dying For, to visit some much missed family, and to have fun in a new place of the USA! My trip is not only for a competition, it’s mostly for growth, worship, and adventure! Again, it always eventually comes down to Love. And Love is going to carry me through this, like it has all my life (and for my good, just like earlier!)

And everything rides on Hope Now
And everything rides on Faith somehow
For when the world has broken me down,
Your Love sets me free!

As I reach this competition, and many other circumstances in my life, it’s all gonna ride on the Hope I have in God to one, guide me (carry me) two, provide (make it work out for me) and three, give me peace (unexplainable, Spirit peace). This is just another way God is re-drilling these three things into my mind and saying “HEEEELLOOOO? I’M RIGHT HERE! I GOT YOUR BACK! YOU CAN TRUST ME!”

I need to realize it’s time to stop all this anxiety and have Faith in Him, because I know that He will do all three of these things listen above! The just keep popping up back into my life. And will that ever stop? Probably not. (Being a human is a pain!) God’s gonna keep sending this message my way, and keep sending it and keep sending it. And I am going to do this over and over and over again. I guarantee all of you, I will be reading this exact file on my computer in the car on my way down to Kentucky as I shake in nervousness.

But the most important thing will be when I finally realize this all again, hand it all over to the God who takes my burden, and His Love will set me free!! 😀

That is all the song I’m going to get into here. But I do want to mention one other things God said:

But hey, remember that CIT program you were going to do?

I paused at such an unrelated topic. Umm, yeah, of course!

I was going to finally become a CIT at the camp I have been going to since I was a little girl. It has always been a dream of mine to be a counselor at my third earthly home (number one is my church and number two is my actual house). But I came to a night of tears when the paper came in saying it was scheduled over VBS. I was mad at God for a moment when I found this out, when I thought He was behind this idea. Why would He take that away from me?

But then I realized, the CIT was also scheduled over Fine Arts! God was getting my scheduled clear for this trip!

And, God said as I thought this, would I take that away for this trip if I did not have a great plan for you on this trip?

I smiled and realized that it was true- God must have great plans for me!

Also, remember what your boyfriend told you right before you got on stage for Sectionals?

I thought back and remember that moment back in April when my boyfriend (he wasn’t my boyfriend then, but he was my best friend and doing a short sermon in the competition) and he gave me a quick run down of how God prepared me for this moment, everything in my life. He used Joshua and how God prepared him his whole life to bring Israel, God’s chosen people, to the promised land. And this is true for me as well. A year ago, I refused to believe I could sing, being told in my childhood that I had an awful voice, no matter what people told me today. It wasn’t until my mom and two of my pastors shoved me onstage and I slowly fell back in love with performing. And look where I am now! Heading off to nationals!

So, all I have to say for a conclusion right now is that… I’m not nervous any more 🙂

God help me keep that up!
Thank you all for reading!
God bless and amen!
~Lillian ❤

Loved this! Speak so much, something all women should remember! 😀 ❤

Samantha Cabrera

Just take the world aside. Sit down quietly. Look out your window or your view of anything else but your day-to-day activities. Bring your Bible, your hot tea and carry Proverbs 31 in your hand. 

The more I read Proverbs 31, the more I feel a great hope, but also a great distress. I feel like this woman is standing on a boat somewhere in the vast sea, and no one can reach her.

Well, I’ve come to realize, this kind of woman never existed. She is more of a lovely personified character of nobility and wisdom found in Proverbs, even from the very beginning of this book chapter. After all, this epilogue is basically the icing on the cake for Proverbs.

Yet, when I come to the end and read things like many women do noble things, but you surpass them all…I almost feel cheated, and ask myself, can this…

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Hitting Obstacles

“Now there was a famine in the land, and Abram went down to Egypt to live there for awhile because the famine was severe.” Gen 12:10

What happened to Abram reminds us that in life, we will hit obstacles. But these are God’s ways of teaching us what we need to know.

We are going to hit obstacles, like problems and dramas, just like everyone else, no matter how much faith we have. The Bible promises us that life is going to be very hard; However, through these hard times, as you can read in Abram’s story, God teaches us valuable lessons through these times and He is always there with us. I’ve learned this, and you have probably learned this yourself too, but in the form of “my past makes me who I am today” or “I’ve learned from my scars”.

But what shall we do in these hard times? One verse I once found on this topic was Philippians 4:6

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.”

When I first read this verse, I was blown away. Do not be anxious about anything? How can someone do that!

The thing is, no one can. That’s why we pray. Then, the passage goes on to say, we will be given the Spirit’s peace that is beyond all understanding. That’s how we won’t be anxious, with God’s help. 🙂
All of this will happen many times, just like it already has. But they are worth it in the end. You will be rewarded by God Himself. Both on earth and in heaven. And one day you will look back and say, “God you were right. I’m so glad I trusted you.” 🙂

Sorry it is so short, but thanks for reading!

Happy Sunday and God bless!

~Lillian ❤

Trusting and Depending on God

“The LORD had said to Abram, ‘Leave your country, your people, and your father’s household and go to the land I will show you.'” Gen 12:1

“So Abram left, as the LORD had told him’ and Lot went with him. Abram was seventy-five years old when he set out from Haran.” Gen 12:4

Here, Abram demonstrates that you can trust God, no matter what. Abram (later Abraham) left his home when God told him too, leaving everyone in his family and his old life in Ur behind . That must of been hard! And if you think about it, Abram must of had a pretty good life too. I learned in social studies in 7th grade that Ur was a thriving city in Mesopotamia (modern day Iraq I believe). Mesopotamia is one of the earliest civilizations every found, and it is believed that they invented the well and so on. These cities had the luxury of the day. It is possible that Abram was part of the wealthy population of the city, although not many men where poor or at least not without a job. And the people of the city never stepped foot outside those walls.

Imagine Abram was doing! Just to put it in perspective- Imagine you and your family was living in a Hollywood mansion, you’ve never had a financial crisis or have never been hungry in your life, and you have never stepped off of your villa or boulevard. Then God tells you to move to the Sahara desert. You have to leave your family behind, go with little or no money, and wander in a foreign and strange land.

Plus, at this point, according to the scripture, God didn’t tell him where he was going! Imagine when God tells you to move to an African Desert, you ask why and He won’t tell you! He doesn’t say “to preach the good news” or to “help those in need there”. No, he just says “Hey, go! Never mind why, just go! You’ll find out!”

This is an example of total dependence on God and trusting Him completely, something we all need to have! When God asks us to move- to get out of our comfort zone- we need to trust Him. We need to remember God can see the future (Isaiah 41 is one good example). And He also has a game plan for all of your lives. “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. ” Jeremiah 29:11. We can trust God because He has got a plan, a plan to make us grow and not to hurt us, but to bring us home and a future.

I will be teaching in two weeks at VBS that no matter what happens in life we can always trust God! And it’s true! Because God has so much love and so much power that anything is possible with God!
So if you feel like there is something you haven’t been trusting God in, remember “that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” Romans 8:28 God’s got your back! Take the leap, hand your worries over to him, and depend on Him for everything you need, for He is Jehovah-Jireh, the God who provides.

God gets us out of our comfort zones to get us to be more dependent on him. If you are in an unfamiliar place, if you don’t know what to do or what is going to happen, you are going to cling to Him. And that’s what He wants. Not only that, we should always cling to him because He does know what to do, He does know what is going to happen, and He knows exactly where you are.

I see it like sky diving! When you jump out of that comfortable plane, as you fall you are going to cling to the parachute on your back, and it has your back! God is just like that parachute! So take a step back, pray, and when God deems right, jump and cling. Because God knows that you will love where you are heading.

Thanks for reading! Comment with thoughts or questions!

Happy Sunday and God bless!

~Lillian ❤