Thursday, July 29, 2010

dark. [210]

Why blame the dark for being dark? It is far more helpful to ask why the light isn’t as bright as it could be.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

the one thing. [209]

why do we let the one thing we don't have affect how we feel about all the things we do have?

beautiful. [208]

remember, you're beautiful but keep in mind that not everyone's going to be able to see that.

wasted. [207]

no act of kindness, however small, is ever wasted.

my heart, Your hands. [206]

please, etch Your words in my heart and keep me ever closer to You.

i am for you. [205]

since you are precious and honored in My right and because I love you, I will give men in exchange for your life. do not be afraid for I am with you. - psalm 40:4-5

count me in. [204]

"I'll turn things around for you. I'll turn you back from the countries into which I drove you," God's decree, "bring you home to the place from which I sent you off into exile. you can count on it." - jeremiah 29:14

Monday, July 26, 2010

idiot box. [203]

i want to hold your hand. [202]

i want to have enough faith that when i take the leap, i'm confident, without a doubt, that God is holding my hand. like when the guys held my hand as i jumped off the cliff for the first time.

do you want to know? [201]

people are constantly trying to comprehend God and how He works but He's incomprehensible. there's hardly a time when i understand God and what He's doing. all i know is that He's good. He's not safe but He's good. i can trust Him. i can love Him. but i can't understand Him. but the question is, do i want to? what would happen if the human mind could understand God?
i think our god isn't God if He fits in inside our head.

a filthy addiction. [201]

the truth is that Jesus loves you no matter what you could have done. or what you do. He loves you through your negativity. through your addictions. but He wants to see change after you fall in love with Him because His love changes people. when you legitimately fall in love with Christ, your world changes. your life changes. but Christ's love for you is a constant wave, washing us clean. His heart breaks for us when we struggle with substance abuse. addictions. His grace surrounds us. wraps is in His arms and loves us. Jesus loves you. this, i know. because He loves me too and there's no difference between me and you.

Friday, July 23, 2010

call me back when i'm honest. [200]

aaron gillespie is another musician who inspires me. he was in underoath for a very long time and then started the almost. i love both bands. he also does a worship side project. either way, the lyrics he writes, whether it be with someone else or alone, often speak to me. especially lyrics from underoath albums. the newest the almost has a couple songs that seem like he was inside my heart, going through life with me. it's encouraging to know that you're not alone.
oh yeah, hey you, you're not alone. you're never alone. there's someone who loves you very much. with His whole being, His name is Jesus. He died for you because His love is so great. and His love is so great that He rose again. He's alive to love you. and He will love you no matter what you do. His love is that great.

this is war. [199]

dustin kensrue is a big inspiration of mine. he's the vocalist for thrice and does his own thing as well.
thrice's song come all you weary really got me through walkabout last year and a lot of other things as well. it's a blessing. really. to have a song writer that i can go to and listen and know exactly what they're talking about and connect to it.

beautiful. [198]

you are beautiful. always. a beloved child of God. fearfully and wonderfully made.

shout unto God. [197]

by: erika opalecky

Whatever I tell you in the dark, speak in the light; and what you hear in the ear, preach on the housetops. - Matthew 10:27

In the past few weeks I have been apart of and witnessed some conversations/debates concerning God, religion, scripture, etc. and after seeing some of the words that were said, I find it necessary to post this little tid bit that I found while studying today during my devotion time. It seems to me that we Christians could all stand to learn a little about grace, self control, and obedience, myself included for sure.

I have found that many times, in my past, when I come to a level of understanding on a certain subject, I feel the need to blab it out whenever I get the chance. Or even worse, I have somehow considered myself a scholar on the subject and proceeded to advise my peers on how much they don't understand about the topic in which I had recently been "enlightened." The above scripture has often times took the blame for my immaturity, as I quoted it to justify myself and my lack of self control and consideration of others. "God says we're supposed to preach it from the roof tops!" But after some more in depth studying of this verse I found out a few things: i had taken this scripture totally out of context and manipulated it to serve my own purposes


2. how much this scripture speaks self control and obedience (which is the opposite of how i was applying it :/ )

here it goes :)

This scripture starts off with the phrase, "Whatever I tell you in the dark, speak in the light."

Face Value: What God tells you personally (in your devo time, through worship, through his Word) shouldn't be kept in the dark. Don't keep it all to yourself.

buuttt, I was curious and looked up the word "dark" in Greek which was skotia. It actually means darkness due to the want of light and the word "light" comes from a word that literally means to shine or make manifest.

So when we consider the literal meaning of these words, we see that God will speak to us when we seek after and want his light, and in return we are supposed to make it manifest in our lives. We do this by living it, more than saying it.

I was read a quote in a book once that said, "I'm sorry, your actions are so loud I can barely hear you talking."

think about that for a second.

but wait, there's more ;)

The next part of his instruction is to preach on the housetops what we hear. (paraphrasing of course.)

I think this is the part where we may get a little carried away. We all want to be heard, especially when we have something we feel is really important to say, but when Jesus says the word "preach" he doesn't mean screamin', spittin', soap box preaching.

When He says preach, the greek says that He means "proclaim as a herald." Well, to be honest, I didn't know what a herald really was :) haha so I looked it up on

Herald- n. royal messenger, esp. one representing a monarch.

wooww, don't you think that we would be a little slower to speak if we understood that we were representing a monarch? Moreover, THE monarch. The king of kings and lord of lords?

In this scripture God is saying a few things, (probably more, but this is all I can understand now)
1. You are royalty. Act like it.
2. You are representing Him.
and here is my question, are you an accurate representation of a loving, graceful, merciful, self-sacrificing god?

Finallyyy :)

- It is always helpful when studying the Bible to consider the setting of the verse that you are studying. When did it happen? How was it influenced by culture? Who was the audience and why?
- While studying this scripture I found myself wondering, Why a housetop? aka roof top There are many other possibilities if it is only used because of its height - why not preach it from a mountain top?
Here's why.

Housetops in the this culture, even now are what is considered oriental.
Unlike our housetops which are most commonly angular and sloped, this type of roof is flat and frequently used to do several things including:
a) walking
b) praying
c) meditating

Is it a coincidence that God tells us to go to a place of walking, prayer, and meditation to preach?

Let me see if I can wrap this up and make some sense out of all this.

Does God want me to tell others about the Word and what He speaks to me personally?
- Absolutely! But God is a God of order and not of confusion. It's crucial to be attentive to his Spirit so you know WHEN you should say it.

I think this verse provides a nice little checklist for us to consult when we feel the need to speak up.

1. Are YOU personally seeking after his light? Will what you say be a light to others?
2. Is what you are saying accurately representing His majesty or are you merely proof-texting scripture?
3. Are you behaving like royalty?
4. Have you applied this in your personal walk?
5. Have you prayed about it?
6. Have you meditated on it?

* Remember, when Mary the mother of Christ received the Word that she was to birth the Messiah, the Bible says she hid it in her heart. (Luke 2:19)

Proverbs says that where words are many, sin is not absent.

and finally.. i'll leave you with one of my favorite quotes.

"Preach the Gospel, use words if necessary."


starvation is gluttony. [196]

is gluttony destroying our world? if we are truly living a godly life, wouldn't we be treating our body like a temple and avoiding the burden of body fat? gluttony is the excessive consumption that deprives another being of a life giving necessity. gluttony transcends eating and relates to material goods and other physical pleasures.
someone can eat healthy food in a gluttonous way.
gluttony is about excess. and in the united states, we know excess. we've become a society that rejoices in overconsumption. yet denounces those who put on weight and get a DUI.
gluttony, related to food, is rarely mentioned in the Bible. still, the New Testament encourages us to be sensible with intake and observe the body as a temple. the concept of willpower actually came from teaching about temptation. in Deuteronomy 21:20, it states that a "glutton and drunkard" is to be stoned to death by the elders of the city.
though the Bible doesn't say a lot, it still says something. we waste so much and eat way more than we need while 80% of the world suffers from hunger.

Monday, July 19, 2010

sunshine summertime. [195]

the one summer when i want everything to stay in the same place. i must go. the one summer where i finally found my place in this town. i must go. the one summer where i finally had the guts to tell you that i love you but maybe we need to talk things through and maybe we're not meant to be in this moment. i must go. the one summer when perfection could almost describe it. i must go. the one summer i get to see you for more than one night. and one drive. i must go. i must go. i must go. but maybe, i'll return. not wanting to return. only to find that my place is here. by you. by them. by him. by all of this nonsense called life. to find that seizing each day as it's last will always be worth it.
carpe diem.

dear future. [194]

dear adults in my life,
i'm sure i'll be more conservative when i get a family.
but only about certain things.
i'll still be very centered around saving this world for my God.
dear future, come get me.
yours truly, britney.

amazing grace. [193]

too much grace.
in the Prodigal Son story, the essential argument of the older brother is that his father is giving his younger brother too much grace. when he realizes his failure of a brother received a party instead of punishment, he berates his fathers, lists his younger brother's faults an refuses to attend a party. who does that? i mean, it's a party.
but there's one thing about this approach to life.
you can never out grace a God who sent His Son to the cross for you. you will never have a reaction towards anything more loving than God.
but don't get me wrong, God's not soft on sin.
in fact, His wrath for sin is demonstrated best in the severity of His grace. we don't get casual, easy, soft, cheap grace. we get severe, unyielding, Jesus on the cross, bleeding, dying grace.
the reason we get this grace is because God is hard, wrathful, all-knowing, all-powerful on sin. His wrath is undeniable on sin. which is why it took such tremendous grace to quench it.
show grace without end.
give comfort even when it makes no sense.

anorexia. [192]

unfortunately, there are a lot of taboo subjects in the Church. it's a human flaw. to be in a place of supposed perfection and not feel able to share your flaws so that they may be perfected.
one in particular is eating disorders.
everyone always thought i had an eating disorder. for obvious reasons. i never did. and i never remember anyone in my Church talking to me about it.
the struggle with food and body image is widespread. one out of three American adults is obese. one in five women struggle with an eating disorder. these numbers shouldn't be ignored. but the silence from the Church is deafening. Church is not always grace-filled. it can focus solely on actions and perfectionism.
even though eating disorders are prevalent today and gluttony is mentioned in the Bible, the Church hasn't focused on them in a transforming way. not many Churches address gluttony. the Church has various reasons for neglecting eating disorders. weight and body issues are at the bottom of outreach lists.
people need to learn how God sees them and how He loves them. it's a freeing step.
recovery from eating disorders must be experienced on two levels. freedom from the behavior and freedom from the lies. it means turning to God. believing the truth of their value as God's child, how He loves them and cherishes them for who they are.
Churches often times focus on symptoms and not the disease. Jesus wants to go to those places and heal them. His abundant life means complete freedom and healing.

money. [191]

money in the bank.
our money moves our world.
how we spend our money shows what's important to us. there is a Spiritual side of money. our financial choices can be moral choices and they can trap us.
you can never be independent of money. money is active. you have to manage it. move it. no matter how much you have. our strengths and weaknesses in our lives affect our finances. we all need disciple when it comes to money. some, more than others. i need a lot of discipline. everyone needs to think before they swipe the card. we all must recognize that we need to bring our finances under complete control.
personal growth requires that you give money away. *penny pinchers cringe* start by giving small or your time. you can always give something. there are very few well balanced, happy, healthy, wealthy people, who don't give money.
we must, however, beware of who we give our money to and what they are doing with our money. be responsible with our giving.

make all you can.
save all you can.
give all you can.

throw away the trash. [190]

this summer, i have cleaned a lot. my basement. my room. my garage. my yard. not your normal cleaning. but the organizing, disinfect, spotless kind. it reminds me of how we need to do this in our souls. and lives. more times than we do. if ever.
it seems we forget about our trash, our mistakes, after we throw the wrapper away. we tend to think more highly if ourselves than we ought to.
according to recent studies, americans think they consume less than they really do. 40-60% less. that's a ton of trash. i can only assume that Christians think they sin less than we really do.
maybe it's time to dumpster (heart) dive and go through our trash (sin) and see what we're hiding.

love today. [189]

alright, i'll say it.
love is not just about romance.
but love, in all forms is something we search for. crave for. for someone to tell us, "it's okay."
the heart is a delicate thing; and the wounds that seem to heal, leave scars that run deep.
we are all equal. sharing in this pain, looking for love.
there comes a time when no one can run from Love. He catches you. no one can fathom His ways. we try to. and fail. miserably. Love is the greatest mystery, the most unstoppable force. God is Love. we cannot understand Him.
He is the love for which the world looks. the love it desires. we must pursue Him because He has pursued us, He chases us. madly in love, He chases us.
His love, it does not change. it does not stop.
unworthy, we break His heart.
but always, He accepts. loves us.

the mark of the faithful. [188]

how do you tell people about your faith?
a lot of people are dismissing the Bible at literal and reading at a story. don't get me wrong, there's a lot of things in the Bible that should be taken as symbolism. but most of them are fairly obvious.
i think it affects how we share our relationship with Christ.
i can be pretty radical when it comes to modern, political Christianity. but i'm pretty old school when it comes to the Bible and sharing my faith. i believe the Bible is true and when it says something is wrong, then it's wrong. and that these convictions should be brought to the forefront with love. after all, they'll know we're Christians by our love not our t-shirts, facebook statuses or bumper stickers.

gasoline. [187]

i love how God reveals Himself to us through stories similar to those in His word.

2 kings 4:1-7
the wife of a man from the company of the prophets cried out to elisha, "your servant my husband is dead, and you know that he revered the LORD. but now his creditor is coming to take my two boys as his slaves."
elisha replied to her, "how can I help you? tell me, what do you have in your house?"
"your servant has nothing there at all," she said, "except a little oil."
elisha said, "go around and ask all your neighbors for empty jars. don't ask for just a few. then go inside and shut the door behind you and your sons. pour oil into all the jars, and as each is filled, put it to one side."
she left him and afterward shut the door behind her and her sons. they brought the jars to her and she kept pouring. when all the jars were full, she said to her son, "bring me another one."
but he replied, "there is not a jar left." then the oil stopped flowing.
she went and told the man of God, and he said, "go, sell the oil and pay your debts. you and your sons can live on what is left."

my mom and i dropped my nephews off to my older sister. she lived in the boonies of missouri at the time. my mom didn't know that. she needed gas to get back to town. i told my mom about that story and surely if God can fill the woman's jars with oil, He can fill her tank with gas. sure enough, the needle rose and we had enough gas to get back to town.
i rarely tell this story. the first time i did, people didn't believe me. i was discouraged but i now i know it was our faith that allowed God to do His work.

Friday, July 16, 2010

dear 365 followers,

i have the entries in my journal but i'm behind.
i'm working a photo shoot all weekend so i'll get caught up and posted as soon as i can.
thanks so much for your patience. :)

Saturday, July 10, 2010

as your voice fades. [186]

somebody, please, tell me
what am i suppose to do?
you've died and i'm here
thinking that i hear your voice
but it's somebody else
it's always somebody else

why did you die?
don't leave me, please
i beg You, God, tonight bring me peace
i'll never sleep without
the dreams of you alive here with me
alive here with me

the brightness left your eyes
as i held your face
don't tell me, "it's the right time."
and your last words will sustain me
until my end
until I see you again

while words (your life) evade me (but a moment)
i'll wait to (i'll cling to) remember you (forever)
and what you had (your words) meant to me (on my blood)
could never be forgotten

the chains (why) of death (don't take)
are falling (away), but my heart still bleeds
it longs for (why) the day (did you die)
when we will be as one, one, one

as your voice fades by emery.

plain and simple, this song reminds me of my dad. every inch of it.

the widow. [185]

dead man, were you ever alive or was i just a seed
buried deep inside some woman you wed?
right before you crawled out of her bed
and crept down the hall.
did you think of me?
did you even for a second hesitate in the doorway?
it's just something that i’d like to know
though i’d still love you if you told me, that you just walked away

my God, what a world You love.
men bury their sons
and without thought
just walk away

and my mother’s heart breaks like the water inside of her
and my mother’s heart breaks like the water inside of her

dead man, is it being high that makes you alive?
it makes you leave behind three boys and a wife in ‘89
and as the track marks inched their way up your arms
ay mother taught my brothers and i not to call you daddy,
but to call you father.

and i believe there is something here to be learned of grace
'cause i can't help but love you,
no, i can't help but love you,
even with a heart that breaks
like the promises that you made

‘cause i can't help but love you

my God, what a world You love.

as cities burn - the widow.

for some reason, this reminds me of my life but it has nothing to do with my life. but when i hear this song. sing this song. feel this song. it's as if my life, my soul, my heart, my pain is exuding from the cracks. that this is somehow my story. somehow, he finds grace for his estranged father and somehow, i find grace for those who hurt me. for some reason grace comes easy for me. for some reason, i see the hurt in this world and still believe it can be healed.

the hardest part. [184]

my heart is hard.
i don't feel like writing.
i don't feel like people reading.
but i don't want to be alone.
being alone is a funny thing. the moments when we need someone, we're alone. the moments we need silence, solitude, we're surrounded by people and noise.
or that feeling of being alone in a crowded room. or being alone when surrounded by loved ones.
my heart, it's alone. it's been neglected. despite the fact i want companionship. i'm too lazy to do the right thing.
oh God, where is justice in letting me live?

Sunday, July 4, 2010

conviction. [183]

i have so many convictions. so many thoughts.
they come out better in conversation.
i feel distant from everything in life. it's making me physically sick.

dear God, bring me closer to You. closer to everything. closer to the heart of this world. bring any sort of pure passion. make me whole again. fill the gaping hole in my soul. only You can. bring tears to my eyes. God, let me lay everything out before You. my life. my love. my heart. my soul. my everything. help me make it Yours. i can't do it on my own. everything's falling apart. i have no where to turn. i've left the only one who's truly loved me for every inch of my being. Lord, i'm coming home. coming back. slowly but surely, i'm coming back to You. let me find my love in You. heal this black heart and make it new.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

i miss you. [182]

"if you miss someone then you love them." - my 5 year old nephew. profound.
children have almost a clear view to this world. it's surprising.
no wonder Jesus says we need to have hearts and faith like children.

Luke 18:15-17
People were also bringing babies to Jesus to have him touch them. When the disciples saw this, they rebuked them. But Jesus called the children to him and said, "Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. I tell you the truth, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it."

wormholes. [181]

also known as "the scarlet worm"

“Come now, and let us reason together,”
Says the LORD,

“ Though your sins are like scarlet,
They shall be as white as snow;
Though they are red like crimson,
They shall be as wool. "
-Isaiah 1:18

So, I read this scripture yesterday during my devotion time and God showed me a few reeaallly cool things. So cool that I kinda felt the need to tell every person I came in contact with :) I would also like to share what I found with you all, so please bare with me haha.

The face value of this verse in and of itself is enough to make me want to dance!

- God begins his statement by inviting us to come and reason with him. He doesn't demand or mandate, rather pleads with us to come into conversation and relationship with him.
- God wants to (and will) take away the sin that has plagued and stained our lives and transform us into his pure and spotless bride!

But as I began to study this scripture a little more in depth, I found out that there is so much more to this statement then I ever knew.

When God says that our sin are as "scarlet" he means to communicate more than the idea of color.
-The word scarlet in Hebrew is actually shaniy. Literally, this word refers not only to the crimson color associated with blood, but a small insect commonly known as the "scarlet worm"

its a worm, big deal. right?

let me teach you a little something about this little worm.

- When the female scarlet worm was ready to give birth to her young, she would find a tree and attach herself so firmly and permanently that she would never again be able to leave.
- Here, she would lay her eggs and they were protected until the larvae grew and were ready to enter their own life cycle.
- As her young grew, she died. And as she died, her body would secrete a scarlet fluid, covering her body, the tree, and her children.

In Psalm 22:6 Jesus says this:
"But I am a worm, and no man; a reproach of man and despised of the people"

- Jesus entered this world in a human body, knowing that he would not be able to leave. He limited himself to our restrictions, stepping from the heavens into time.
- Jesus loved, taught, healed and saved as he trained up his disciples, all the while on his path to the cross.
- Jesus was nailed to a tree and gave his life so that his children would live. His blood flowed, covering the cross, covering his body, covering his children, and covering our sin.

I am in awe of the love of God.
How it streches and reaches and fights for its children.
How it is evident in every scripture, in every move of God, and even in nature.
How it acted first.
How it never fails.
How it casts out all my fear.
How it laid its perfect life down so that a worm like me could make the transformation into his beautiful child.

Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

By: Erika Opalecky