Wednesday, August 31, 2011

The Washington Project

Hey everyone!

Today's post is a little bit different. I'm here to promote a different blog! :) I've started up a grassroots movement called "The Washington Project". It's essentially devoted to removing the influence of pop-culture in the lives of 21st century teen leaders. Now I know, it's impossible to remove the influence completely. I mean, we live in the midst of it. But at the very least, we should be able to sort through it and throw out the junk.

I see so many lovely young Christian ladies who are led astray by the lustful things they see on Hollywood's big screen, or the latest gossip in celebrity magazines. While it's sometimes unavoidable to be exposed to the sin of this world, it's important that we have a lens to view it all through.

I've opened up several internship positions for The Washington Project, and already have several competent young writers and marketers from all over the WORLD working with us. If you're interested, just go to "Contact" on the site, and shoot us a note. We'd be happy to have you on staff (might I add - it's a fantastic resume builder).

Together we can actually, truly do something to encourage teens like ourselves to change their mindsets. I hope you join me and get involved!

Make sure to check it out/follow it! Go here:

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Sunday, August 28, 2011

How to Eat an Elephant

Believe it or not, dear readers . . . I am an old person. My college application process begins, well, now. It's hard to believe that this is my last year as a home-schooler. As I fondly look through all the years of utter devotion on the part of my Mother, I remember countless laughs, science experiments gone wrong, "field trips" to Riley's Farms, the time I wrapped up my sister in toilet paper because I was learning about the Egyptian Mummies . . .
It's sad to think it's almost over.

Before me stands a new challenge. College.

I know that many of my sisters-in-Christ have chosen not to take that path, they prefer to nurture their home-skills and learn through online classes through their college years. There are numerous reasons I chose to physically attend a 4-year-university, and one of these days I will devote a post specifically to the purpose of explaining why. But for now: It's my conviction that the Lord is growing and moving me from the mission field of "home", though I will always, always feel a place here to be His servant.

Please be praying for me during this time! It is intimidating and quite frankly, overwhelming. I'm applying to over 20 colleges, and thus find myself buried in essays and SAT prep. But I am so grateful for the opportunity, and am devoted to putting my all into it. While it may seem like an impossible feat, I'll get it done.

How do you eat an elephant?
One bite at a time. ;)

(He doesn't look very happy about that.)

Everything, if we let it, can seem overwhelming. But if we take consistent steps, even if they're just baby steps, we can reach our goals. It's not in the things we choose to do - it's our persistence in doing it. It's running the race.

With that, I put on my running shoes, and will be extremely busy for the next three months. However, I hope to still find plenty of time to find refuge and rest in this blog, in the company of my dear sisters who keep me strong and motivated, and of course in Him who is the source of all strength.

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Saturday, August 27, 2011

Girls Can Be Mean

I always like reading goofy stories from the satire magazine, "The Onion." They have the wackiest posts! My all time favorite was one about Al Gore sending his son to mars because of global warming. But this one is pretty good, too:

GLENDALE, CA—Expressing a desire to "slow things down and keep it casual," Troy Lanier, 28, said Monday that his friendship with Scott Perotta, 27, is moving way too fast. "[Scott]'s a nice enough guy, but I've only known him for, like, five weeks, and he already acts like we're best friends," said Lanier, a Glendale-area insurance adjuster. "I wish I had stronger feelings for him, but I don't. I just don't know where I want this friendship to go, and I need the space to figure it all out."
Seen as a potentially good match based on their shared love of martial-arts films, Lanier and Perotta were introduced by a mutual friend in early January.

Lanier said he has been reluctant to give Perotta his e-mail address, fearing it will only accelerate the friendship."I just know he'd be e-mailing me every day," Lanier said. "He's always talking about these funny things he sees on the Internet. I've been thinking about setting up a special Yahoo! account and giving him that address with the caveat that I only check it once in a while, but that seems like an awful lot of effort to deal with someone I barely know."

Lanier has also taken exception to Perotta's habit of referring to him by nicknames. "He's always calling me things like 'Laney' or 'Troy-Boy,'" Lanier said. "My old high-school friends and I have nicknames for each other, but that's different. Until we've known each other a while, I'd prefer to be called Troy—or, at worst, Lanier."

Dr. Karen Franks, a Cornell University sociologist, said Lanier's predicament is not unusual. "People make friends at different speeds," Franks said. "The key is to be honest and firm with people who try to take things too fast. Troy and Scott may end up being best friends someday, but until then, they should proceed at a rate comfortable for them both. If they don't, things will burn out, leaving one of them spending months awkwardly trying to get back his Jet Li DVDs."

What's so hilarious about this post is that . . . it's true. Sometimes, we're way too quick to label someone as our "Best Friend." The result is depressing . . . Hurt feelings and burn-out. To quote my Mom, "you really can't know someone, truly, until you've known them for a long time." It's completely true.

A lot of "friends" are quick to reveal their true selves at the first appearance of hardship or change. Wait - but he/she was my best friend! How could they do this to me? ....You probably didn't know them. The problem is that we naturally have high expectations for people. We expect them to stick around, we expect them to have our back. And then . . . They don't??

I've made this mistake so many times! My Mom is so wise, and we had the best conversation just the other day. She told me to consider it seriously before investing emotionally in a friendship, or calling someone my "best friend." Diving in headfirst can lead to a lot of hurt. The fact has always been that girls can be mean . . . It really stinks, especially when you think they were there for you.

Lesson of the day:
Save yourself the pain of let-down expectations. Don't just go around calling friends you're still getting to know your "best friends." Get to know them, first! :)

~Lauren Lee Fischer

Friday, August 19, 2011

Nothing of My Own

Today's post is a little different. There is not so much a desire in my heart to preach to my blog readers but to express my desire to live Christ through my life, on display for a hurting world to see. It is for His glory that I write, so I take this opportunity to simply pray. I hand off the baton to Leslie Ludy to do the teaching . . . her books have so inspired me over the past several years, and I deeply encourage my sisters in Christ to read for themselves and discover the beautiful ministry she and her husband have developed in His name.

I kneel at the foot of your throne feeling completely inadequate to do the things YOU want me to do... I don't have the discipline, I don't have the courage, I want the passion but I can't seem to muster it. I hit roadblock after roadblock but yet it makes me ever more resolute - that You are my Father. You have the discipline, You have the courage, You have the passion. You sustain all things. Where I lack, You gladly fill.
Give me the tools I need to accomplish what it is You would have me do. Dwell in me so that I am continually being molded and shaped by You, so that I am not just Your "creation" in the sense of past-tense, but a work not yet finished. Do with me as you please and I will gladly be formed according to Your will and not my own.
Not in my strength, but yours - take me and make me not a "Lauren" who displays Christ, but Christ displayed through Lauren. Let me live out your power, your resurrection power, in my life. For you have already conquered sin, conquered death, and I have nothing to fear. The battle is won, so why am I still thinking "I'll do better tomorrow God, I promise"? An insult to your name, doubting your very ability to indwell me and overcome -- why? Why do I doubt? I surrender all to you, nothing I have, nothing I am is mine but Yours.
I am freed from the bondage sin has kept me in, you have wiped my slate clean, Satan you can no longer hold guilt over my head or tell me I am not enough. Christ is in me -- a part of me -- my very soul, ingrained in my being, forever residing in my heart. Lord you live in me waiting to shine out, why do I block your light with pride and a lack of faith? Radiate through me... Change me in whatever ways, regardless of how painful, or how much I kick and scream ... My desire is to surrender completely.
Live in me, Lord . . . I want nothing of my own. Amen.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Just Another Enigma

Complex things absolutely fascinate me. Though I stink at math, I've read countless books about the physics of the universe. On a rainy day, you'll most likely find me at the library -- my nose buried in some scientific explanation of the possibilities of parallel universes. I think it's safe to say that about 90% of the stuff I read goes right over my head. Yet, I'm enthralled by it. My imagination becomes completely transfixed, and before you know it, I have a few theories of my own to validate.

I love trying my hand at a good puzzle, figuratively and literally. To me, the most fascinating people are those who are uniquely mysterious - I'm drawn to what I do not understand.

I'm somewhat of enigma. Slightly withdrawn - though you would never know it. And different. I embrace diversity. I like meeting and understanding people who don't hold the same beliefs/hail from the same circumstances.

Dark Christianity (my term for the modern church who's emphasis is on judgement rather than love) does not. Dark Christianity says that anything different must be shut down, for fear that the church body might become "contaminated." Anything different is automatically bad.
Complexity is suddenly scary, instead of fascinating.

Those terms seem to have become nothing more than catchy phrases for their church websites and Sunday worship pamphlets.

I've come across a lot of Dark Christianity in the past two years. Divorce is considered a "contamination", and people run from it like a disease.
They forget that Jesus cleansed the leper. He embraced the hurting.
Christ wasn't scared of the things we're scared of.
He loved.
But so many of His followers don't. The modern church runs from pain - literally shunning the hurting because of fear. If any of you listened to the sermon I posted as a "P.S." on my last post, you'll remember that:
"fear is nothing but the FAITH in SATAN to triumph over Christ in our lives"!
In trying to oust sin through judgement, the modern church is literally opening wide the doors to the Devil, instead of embracing truth - and love.

Lets examine the typical Christian homeschool family:
Mom, Dad, three kids. Dad is in leadership at the church, Mom is a full time stay-at-home Mom. She raises the kids with a love of cooking, pottery, little-league, sign language, long skirts, and babies. Life is happy - the parents love each other - the kids go to Sunday school - everything is cheery. When this otherwise beautiful family is part of Dark Christianity, they'll turn their backs on a family with a single-mom, who can't afford the extra-cirriculars. Or the teenager who doesn't believe you have to wear extra long skirts, to be modest. Or the son who goes to public school.

When will the Church put "Christ" back into Christian?
Do they realize what their judgement is costing?


I have friends who have turned away from Christ because of Christ's "followers." Dark Christianity is slandering the very name of God. Reevaluate yourselves, before you judge. There's a reason for the parable Jesus gave about taking the log out of your own eye before scrutinizing the speck in your neighbors.

Judgement is a sin. Satan is tricky - he tells you to parade your holiness "so that the world will see it and turn to Jesus!" No. Instead of parading ourselves, we must put Christ first, and follow HIS example. We are CHRISTians.

If you do all the exterior "Christian-ly" things, but don't love, you are a fake. Instead of running from what is different, let's learn to embrace it. Lets learn to be fascinated once again with what we can't understand. Lets extend ourselves to the mysteries of a hurting world, instead of recoiling into our perfectly quaffed dining rooms to do our Bible studies in our own little space, where we feel the most comfortable.

1 Corinthians 13:1-3
If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames, but have not love, I gain nothing.

~His Daughter

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Are You Oblivious to the Obvious?

I came across these the other day and thought they were pretty hilarious!

On package of peanuts: "Warning, contains nuts." 

On a chain saw: "Do not attempt to stop chain with your hands."
On a household iron: "Never iron clothes while they are on your body.”
On a fireplace log: "Caution, risk of fire." 

On a laser print cartridge: "Do not eat." 

On a baby stroller: "Remove child before folding." 

These things seem pretty obvious to the average Joe Schmo. I’d never think to iron my clothes while they’re on my body, or stop a chain saw with my hands! Yet, some major corporations see fit to put these very distinct, very clear warnings on their products. They make sure that they TELL you what not to do!

Sometimes, I wish God were like that. As New Covenant Christians, we don’t have a set of rules to follow. At least, true Christianity doesn’t. Sure, there are things that are blatently condemned, such as heresy and blasphemy - but those aren’t things a Christian would desire anyways.

I’m talking about every day living.
I’m talking about decisions that plague us about our futures, our relationships, our activities, and our work.

It would be way easier if God would just spell it out. I know I can’t always seem to hear his voice amid the chaos I know to be life. As I look at the silly product warnings above, I can stop laughing because I wish God made things just as obvious in my life as the fact that I shouldn’t eat a laser print cartridge. Why can’t decisions just be . . . crystal clear?

At some point in your life, you’ll be faced with a time where you don’t know which path He wants you to take. His voice might sound muddled, and trust me . . . It will be frustrating. There have been so many times where I’ve just begged God to TELL ME WHAT I SHOULD DO!


And then I realize. He has been telling me. It has been obvious.

I just haven’t been listening.

As my Father, God deserves my special attention. I often come across the blogs of so many lovely young Christian women who focus their attention on "honoring their fathers" and becoming the best homemakers they can. That is a goal I have often wished to pursue, yet, cannot in the physical sense. At least that first part about honoring fathers. :) It's something that pains me . . . I WISH I had that priviledge! Young ladies listen up: If you do have a Dad, don't take it for granted (sorry - rant).

Something I've realized however, is that even though I don't have a Dad, I still have the responsibility to honor my Father. Just as young ladies must listen to and heed their biological father's instruction, so I must do with my heavenly Father. He is that presence in my life! Am I to ignore his voice?

It wasn't an easy thing to realize. Staying "in tune" with God as much as I would stay in tune with an earthly father was a pretty big transition. After all, I couldn't hear my Dad - or see Him. Suddenly, my entire understanding of human communication rendered itself useless. I had to completely reorient myself, so I could not only communicate with -- but honor, and obey a spiritual Father, who had real things to say about every aspect of my life! Once I began to feel the presence of God as tangibly in my life as I did my Mom or my sister who sat next to me at the breakfast table each morning, could I truly understand, even if in a small sense, what it meant to be a "child" of God.

Romans 8:14 says, "For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God."

Isn't that beautiful?

It is a blessed and joyful path to know what God wishes for your life, and for your decisions. The way can in fact be clear, if you take the time to listen!

1. Meditation.
Take time to talk with God. I know that I so enjoy the time I spend in deep conversation with my Mom - she always has such amazing words of insight! Shouldn't I do the same with my Father? The almighty God of the universe, who "cares to know my name"? Furthermore - who cares about every decision I make?

2. Listen to Your Conscience
Isaiah 31:21 describes the voice of God via our conscience:
"Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, This is the way; walk in." There it is - plain and simple! The voice of God will be heard through that still small voice.

3. Write Down Your Prayers
I've done this for a while now... And every time I look back through prayers that I've written in the margins of my Bible, I'm reminded how God answered those prayers. My father has answered so, so, so many of my prayers.

All this to say... Don't be oblivious to the obvious. Take a little more time to realize the voice of God - the most IMPORTANT voice in your life! :)

~His Daughter

P.S. -- Here's a great sermon about learning how to hear God. Take an evening sometime and listen to the whole thing. It is fantastic.

Four Keys to Hearing God's Voice

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Happy Girl

"The WEATHER? You two talked about ... the weather??"
My friend stared at me in disbelief.

"Well ... what else were we supposed to talk about?? We were both uncomfortable. and It was obvious. It was like we wanted to talk about something but didn't know what to talk about."

"But ... the WEATHER, Lo?"

"Yeah. He asked how the weather was and I said it was 'pretty' out."

"Humph. You should've said something like, 'it's raining IN MY HEART, FOO!"

And then we both collapsed laughing.
She was right ... It WAS raining in my heart when I was talking to this person. And small talk definitely wasn't doing anything to help it!

For a long time, I had been at conflict with someone in my life, and every time we started to "resolve" things, I seemed to get hurt again. Every time the sun started coming out, and the clouds started disappearing, an UN-natural disaster would happen and the cycle of precipitation would start all over again. The rain would come with a fresh burst over my already depressed self. It's like I couldn't get out of it ... Couldn't pick myself up and dust myself off. I couldn't ...

get over it, already!

It wasn't that simple. At least, for me.
It's not that I wasn't trying to. I did try to "get over things". But I was doing so in my own strength - I was trying to overcome the hurt by telling myself "Hey, I'm a strong person, I can feel OK if I want to!"
Eh. Not really. I'd collapse again in a day or two.

There's a song that I really like ... and it's been stuck in my head for the past couple days. It's a country song, so all you anti-hick people, you're... losers. :P The lyrics say,

I used to live in a darkened room Had a face of stone And a heart of gloom
Lost my hope, I was so far gone
Cryin all my tears With the curtains drawn

Now everytime i start to feel like that... I roll my heart out like a welcome mat.
Oh watch me go, I'm a happy girl Everybody knows
That the sweetest thing that you'll ever see In the whole wide world Is a happy girl.

I'm writing this post for a friend of mine. She's been through Hell and back these past few days... So, I hope that whatever craziness I write herein, it might be of some help to her. But in all honesty - this is for anyone who just can't see OUT. You feel trapped. Talking about the weather. Talking about absolutely inconsequential things, wondering if anyone will ever care enough to ask the hard questions. I get it, totally. =)

I really encourage you to radically run away from the darkness that tempts you to close up and hide. Realize that there is so much more to life than the drama you're dealing with. Easier said than done, right? ;) Yep. But I finally put my foot down, and I'm so glad I did.

A few days ago I was watching soul surfer with one of my closest friends. There's this SUPER DUPER corny part in it with Carrie Underwood acting as the youth group leader. My friend and I kinda poked fun at her when this part in the movie came up, I admit. But she made a really good point. Go ahead and watch the clip, now:

Pretty corny, right? ;) Told you.
Regardless of the acting, I love her illustration. When we're up close to something, we can't always tell what it is in the big picture. But when we take a step back, WOAH, it suddenly makes sense.

I challenge my readers to apply this to whatever they may be dealing with, today. When I take a step back, I am so relieved. I feel a huge burden lifted from my shoulders, and suddenly, its about the FUTURE, not the past. "My chains are gone, I've been set free." I was able to step out of a painful friendship, and move on with life.

From this realization springs joy everlasting. I can relish in the goodness of Christ, my savior, and the blessed life that I've been given. I can see the pain as a blessing, the tears as medicine, the trials as a welcome test. Everything falls into place.

See the big picture, and become a happy girl. (Unless your a guy. Then you should really consider finding another theme song.)

~His Daughter

Monday, August 8, 2011

Walking the Tightrope

Have you ever felt like you're walking a thin line? Like if you look down, you might tumble to your death? I have. Not in the physical sense where my very life hangs in the balance, but an emotional despair that seems to threaten at every moment to pull me down. If I don't keep looking up -- every minute, every moment -- the prospects of a sudden fall seem to multiply out of control. Just keep looking forward, Lauren . . .

In a way, having to keep this level of focus is kind of annoying, even if it is necessary. I see friends who live their insouciant lives enjoying a sort of loosey-goosey existence that I often envy. You know, it's true when "they" say that life isn't fair. It isn't. Some people have beautifully unruffled vivacity. They can dabble in all sorts of play, while keeping their lives in perfect order.

I am not one of those people.

I have to stay focused at every moment, because life is a constant storm. It's as if I'm walking a tightrope . . . doing all I can to stay balanced. This past week, I had to do just that. Once again, walking on a thin line, every little thing was about to push me off. I kept my eyes up -- remembered Peter, prayed for strength, and got through it.

Peter is one of my heros. He was a sinful, selfish person. He was often so self-consumed, that he missed the big picture.
I like him a lot.
We're very much alike.
We both doubt. We both struggle. We both fall.
But here's something that gives me hope: Peter was Christ's best friend, even though he lived on a constant tightrope -- in a constant state of emotional variance and mistrust. One story in particular, has ministered to me ever so much these past few days . . . So I thought I'd share it. :)

Matthew 14:25-31

Shortly before dawn Jesus went out to them, walking on the lake. When the disciples saw him walking on the lake, they were terrified. “It’s a ghost,” they said, and cried out in fear.

But Jesus immediately said to them: “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.”

“Lord, if it’s you,” Peter replied, “tell me to come to you on the water.”

“Come,” he said.

Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus. But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, “Lord, save me!”

Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. “You of little faith,” he said, “why did you doubt?”

Peter had focus problems. He had to keep his eye on the goal, at all times. His goal was Christ - yet the winds distracted him, and he quickly begin to slip. Whatever your goal is in life, stick with it. When you feel yourself falling, look up. Countless times, I had to do that this week. I know it's not easy! But you will reach a place of faith! You will feel Christ's blessings.

Last week I was at a debate camp (go ahead, point and call me a nerd). Wow, it was hard. Not the debating, but something that had just been weighing me down the whole week. During one of the practice debates, I literally was on the verge of tears, thinking about something that had been on my mind for a while. Let me tell you... the presence of the Lord is so strongly felt, when you keep your eyes up. As I sat there, thinking to myself, "crap! I can't cry in the middle of a debate round!" I remembered Peter. I felt peace, as if the very arms of Christ were lifting me from the waves and setting me on safe ground. At that moment, I never felt quite so loved.

Be encouraged, brothers and sisters. Christ offers to rescue you every time you feel yourself falling. Keep your head up. :)

~His Daughter

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