Last Day of Being 30 Something ~

~ Almost 40 ~.pngToday has been a good day.  I got a good sleep.  Hung out with my great family.  Took a long nap (I’ve been very tired lately) and dyed my baby girl’s hair (she is 13).  I wanted to sit here and document something on my last day before turning the BIG 40!  What has happened to me these last 30 years?  Well, I grew up in a loving, worship pastor’s home, traveled a lot and lived in 8 homes, in Canada, California, Washington, and Detroit, graduated high school, studied vocal performance privately and in college, traveled the world as a singer and speaker for World Vision and Mission of Mercy, got married to a worship pastor-in-training, had two beautiful kids, was called by the Lord to write, started writing songs, moved to three churches, produced my first debut album, continued writing and performing, homeschooled our kids for 3 years, was gently nudged to lead worship more often, became the women’s director for our church, moved again as an act of faith, put our kids in public school, became a leader for a moms group, had much needed rest from ministry, got confused about songwriting, my purpose, and my calling, so after every resource was gone and every idea was spent, I prayed and God opened the door for me to be a worship pastor and a private music instructor.  Because our church was in dire need of specific worship songs, my songwriting bug returned and I began writing again.

That is a lot of living in 30 years.  What’s next?  Hmm… Well, I’m getting more tired as I age, I have to dye my hair to cover grey.  I can pass as a 30 something still, but definitely not a 20 something.   My thinking has changed a bit.  I’m definitely more seasoned which has been the byproduct of years of patience, humility, disappointment, knowledge, experience, and perseverance.  I’m still someone who has too many ideas swimming in my head.  I like moving forward.  I don’t like being content with the same ol’.  I am more excited as a worship leader, more patient and sanguine as a music teacher, more social with my children, more grown up as a wife, more focused as a songwriter, more prayerful as a child of God.  What’s wrong with that?  Nothing.

Yes, it’s hard to think I will be 40 stinkin’ years old tomorrow, but I like who I am now way better than who I was at 19.

My hope is that in the years to come, Lord willing, I will be closer to the Lord, moving in the Holy Spirit, more thankful for what God has blessed me with instead of always wanting more.  I love my husband dearly, even though it doesn’t show too well when we are talking about finances, sorry babe.  I want to play more and do life together.  I love my kids deeply, even though they drive me up the wall with all of the questions and emotional outbursts, sorry kids.  I want to play more and be present in their lives.  I love my family members, even though most of them live far away.  I want to write them letters more and find ways to spend time with them.  I love to write songs, even though in the industry standards they are still not cutting it.  I want to continue having songs flow out of me and write for my church because it brings me so much joy and deepens my understanding of God.  I love being able to be a worship pastor, even though I don’t know how long this season will last.  I want to follow God’s lead and grow this church up to be in love with Him and transformed by His glory.  I love passing down what I know about singing, songwriting, and playing the piano, to the next generations coming up, even though it requires a lot of work and patience lol.  I want to invest all of my experience into them so that they can become great at their musical abilities.

I won’t be able to eat the amazing food I use to.  I won’t be able to shed the extra pounds that I use to.  I will probably still need to take naps and drink coffee.  But, that’s okay.  Here’s to the next 40 years.  I pray God will help me make each day count and never wasted.

Photo on 7-1-17 at 3.54 PM

Lara~

Praise the Lord for All He Has Done – Psalm 111

111 Shout praises to the Lord!
    With all my heart
I will thank the Lord
    when his people meet.
The Lord has done
    many wonderful things!
Everyone who is pleased
with God’s marvelous deeds
    will keep them in mind.
Everything the Lord does
    is glorious and majestic,
    and his power to bring justice
    will never end.

The Lord God is famous
for his wonderful deeds,
    and he is kind and merciful.
He gives food to his worshipers
    and always keeps his agreement
    with them.
He has shown his mighty power
    to his people
    and has given them the lands
    of other nations.

God is always honest and fair,
    and his laws can be trusted.
    They are true and right
    and will stand forever.
God rescued his people,
    and he will never break
his agreement with them.
    He is fearsome and holy.

10 Respect and obey the Lord!
This is the first step
    to wisdom and good sense.[a]
    God will always be respected.

Back To Periscope!

Happy 2017!  Can you believe we are in the year 2017?  I am really having a hard time coming to terms with this.  =)  Well 2016 was a good year, full of learning experiences and rest.  God was faithful and a good, good Father and I know He will continue to be this year!

Through prayer, I am starting back up on Periscope again in a more focused and structured manner.  I really feel led to broadcast about things that I am passionate about.  So I am including my schedule on this post for those of you who would like to join me in the broadcasts that matter to you! periscope-broadcast-sheet

We will begin our study in the Book of Matthew today at 9am p/t.  Then, I will teach a vocal class at 11am p/t.  Lastly, we will have some casual worship time at 6:30pm p/t where I will lead you in worshipping the Lord through song, with prayer time at the end.  It is going to be a good day!

Hope you will be able to join me on Periscope.  Here is the link to my Periscope page: https://www.periscope.tv/LaraMarriott/1yNxadnkyBXJj

Blessings to you as you go into this year.  It is my prayer that God’s Holy Spirit will draw you closer to Him.

Lara~

 

By The Streams Of Grace

Here is another song I wrote years back.  It is based out of Psalm 23, my absolute life verse.

By The Streams Of Grace

©2007 Lara Marriott

By the streams of grace I find You

Down the paths of righteousness

In the stillness of Your mercy

Is where I long to rest

By the streams of grace I find You

You supply what I need

A place where Your abundance flows

You renew me

 

By the streams of grace You restore my soul

By the streams of grace is where Your love is shown

You’re my shepherd, my father

I serve and adore

I long for nothing, but to be

By Your streams of grace

 

Your rod and staff protect me

Through the valley of dark despair

You are walking right beside me

Taking me away from all my fear

Your rod and staff; they guide me

Your blessings are awaiting me

It is only in You I trust for

You are saving me, Oh

 

By the streams of grace You restore my soul

By the streams of grace is where Your love is shown

You’re my shepherd, my father

I serve and adore

I long for nothing, but to be

By Your streams of grace

By Your streams of grace

I will forever rest

By Your streams of grace

By the streams of grace I find You

Celebrate The Seasons

I’m sharing three of my songs today that I’ve written.  I hope they will bless you.

 

Celebrate The Seasons

©2007 Lara Marriott

I found myself reflecting back to memories

I thought about every numbered year

In all the things I’ve gone through, in all the years I’ve found

Times of joy, love, hope, and the tears that I’ve battled

What do I do with all these painted pictures

There are too many to count

 

I celebrate the seasons of life

Capturing each one of them in my mind

I celebrate the seasons of life

Too precious to let go

Unique to me alone

I am blessed by my journeyed road

 

Each year of mine in worn upon my face; in my eyes

I wear them as proud badges of honor

The portraits of my life are completely designed

My experiences come in every kind of color

What is told in all of these painted memories

They are what I’ve been blessed to leave behind

 

I celebrate the seasons of life

Capturing each one of them in my mind

I celebrate the seasons of life

Too precious to let go

Unique to me alone

I am blessed by my journeyed road

 

What a gift from God I’ve been given

To say this is where I’ve been

To tell the stories of my past glories

And the hard times I’ve come out of

Oh and still I will say

 

I celebrate the seasons of life

Capturing each one of them in my mind

I celebrate the seasons of life

Too precious to let go

Unique to me alone

I am blessed by my journeyed road

I am blessed by my journeyed road

I am thankful…

It’s All About You

 

It’s All About You

©2009 Lara Marriott

When I am sick, You make me well

When I am tired, You provide my rest

When I am cast down, You lift me up again

When I am poor, You offer Your wealth

When I am lost, You see that I’m found

When I’m in doubt, You reveal Your promise

For it is You who’s life

You are truth

You are the way

 

It’s all about You

You have my heart

It is You my bright light

When I am weary from the dark

Oh, it’s all about You

You’re in the lows and in the highs

You’re the giver of my life

It’s all about You

 

When I am joyful, You make me dance

When I’m at peace, I see all Your goodness

When I have faith, with you nothing can stop me

For You are life

You are truth

You are the way

 

It’s all about You

You have my heart

It is You my bright light

When I am weary from the dark

Oh, it’s all about You

You’re in the lows and in the highs

You’re the giver of my life

It’s all about You

 

You have restored me

You’ve forgiven me

You have made all things right (2x)

 

It’s all about You

You have my heart

It is You my bright light

When I am weary from the dark

Oh, it’s all about You

You’re in the lows and in the highs

You’re the giver of my life

It’s all about You

What Legacy Are You Leaving?

This question really hits home when you attend funerals.  You look around at how many people came to pay tribute.  You listen to the stories of how lives were forever changed.  As a worship leader, do you ever ask yourself what kind of legacy you’re leaving?  How are you investing in the people you serve?  Does your family see one person on stage and another at home?  How’s your integrity; your loyalty; your leadership?

It is so important for us worship leaders to keep this front and center in our minds; not as a prideful thing, but as a God honoring thing.  Too many times we allow the fruit of the spirit to take a backseat to our own agendas as well as compare ourselves to others.

There is something so beautiful to experience when going to a funeral for someone who lived out a life for Jesus.  Their legacy doesn’t stop when they pass away, it outlives them many times forward.  It can even cross the generational divide.  We need to be “legacy- minded” worship leaders.  It keeps us from focusing inward and drives us out-word towards others.

Being a “lime-light” worship leader can only bring superficial satisfaction, but being a “legacy-minded” worship leader will bring long-lasting fulfillment and love.

How do you want your eulogy to read?  Who would you like to see at your memorial service?  What would people say about your character? Do you want everything to point to your achievements and accolades?  Or, would you rather the stories told about you and the memories shared end up pointing other to Jesus?

What legacy are you leaving?

Embrace Me

This is the second song I wrote.  You see, I was a singer, not a songwriter in 2005, however through a sequence of events, God specifically asked me to write.  Because I was a singer and I never, ever ran out of things to say, I thought being a songwriter was exactly what I needed to do!  One thing I love about this song is that I was child-like and expressive with my lyrics and delivery.  You can listen/buy it on iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/beginnings/id438824578

 

Embrace Me

© 2005 Lara Marriott

Walking up the stairs, casting all the world’s cares

Upon my shoulders

Searching for a place to find a peaceful state of mind

to get away

I shut the darkest door to hide for awhile

I need You Lord to comfort me

I close my eyes and try to think about You

Oh Lord, what should I do?

Embrace me, taking

all of my fears, my worries, and my tears

I’m feeling inside

Embrace me, flowing down

the warmest of Your love

reflecting from above

Embrace me

Gazing at the sky nature’s calm I find

that You’re all around me

The sun glistening the trees, clouds are changing what I see

a place of wonder I’ll never leave

I find a shady place to stay for awhile

I know You Lord are here with me, yeah

I close my eyes and start to dream about You

Is this what heaven’s gonna be?

Embrace me, giving

all of Your joys, Your wonders, and Your glory

I need inside

Embrace me, shining down

the warmest of Your love

reflecting from above

Embrace me

Day or night, by Your side

You have revealed

You are real and I feel you inside

Day or night, by Your side

that’s where I’ll always be

You are real and I feel alive

Embrace me, shining all of Your love, Your love

Embrace me, fill me up with Your love, Your love, Oh how I love You

I Love You Jesus

Here is one of the first songs I had ever written.  I wanted to write a song that didn’t need accompaniment; just voices.  I was envisioning christian martyrs, prisoners, or slaves needing to sing a song that was easy to learn, that could remind them of Jesus’ love for them.  You can listen/buy it on iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/beginnings/id438824578

I Love You Jesus

© 2007 Lara Marriott

I love You Jesus

I love You Jesus

I love You Jesus

and I’m so thankful

thankful

I love You Jesus

I love You Jesus

I love You Jesus

and I’m so thankful

thankful

thankful

You chose to love me, undeserving

and to forgive upon a tree

Your grace is never, never-ending

and forever I will sing

 

Hate & Love Come In All Forms ~

My husband came home last night and asked if I had heard of the riots that were going on in different states around the country.  I had intentionally decided to stay away from the news to focus on the tasks that were in front of me.  When he shared the synopsis, I turned on the tv to find an active shooter who had targeted, killed and wounded police officers, with a bomb in a parking garage in Dallas, TX.  My heart became heavy with a deep sadness. As I watched live as well as recorded video footage, I saw a multi-colored, peaceful protest frantically disbanded into a multi-colored police force protecting their city.  This situation was not about color or culture.  This was about good in a standoff with evil.

This morning I woke up to find out the latest reports through the news outlets, Periscope, and Facebook.  I was intrigued by all of the opinions and prayers I scrolled through on my IPhone.  One stood out to me among the rest.  It talked about the fear for the safety of a black family.  As I read the post, I related on a different level.  There was a fear for my family’s safety, but we are white.  I realized at that moment, that this wasn’t a battle against color.  Our country is fighting a battle against the dark forces of this fallen world.

You see, hate is able to come in all forms; within a police uniform, an american citizen, a teacher, a doctor, a mom with her child, a dad, a cleric, a government official, a neighbor, a family member, an employee, an employer, an organization, you get the picture.  I read about the black man being shot in front of his girlfriend and four year old by a white police officer.  What a horrific situation.  That poor mother and poor child.  The damage that was done to their eyes will forever be etched into their memories.  But I also read about the white officers who were trying to protect the innocent people who were protesting down the Dallas streets, doing what was right and good, being unrightfully targeted because of their color and killed.  The sniper didn’t know who they were, what their stories were, he just chose to be racist back.  I thought about their loved ones and how devastating and frightening that must have been for them to learn that the people they held so dear, who went to work everyday to protect their multi-cultural city, were killed in a senseless act of violence.  Both stories were unbelievable and unjust.

The focus of reconciliation and healing should be directed towards evil being brought to justice, instead of the color of our skin.  Hate is hate.  Love is love.  The bible says, “Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil, cling to what is good.” Romans 12:9.  It also says, “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world, and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.” Ephesians 6:12

multi colored hands

Let us not judge people for what they look like on the outside.  Let us not judge people period.  Love comes in all forms too! What we need to do is love our enemies, love the unloveable, pray for justice and peace.  What would happen if we fought back with kindness.  What would happen if we replaced our fears with faith.  What would happen if we looked past our differences and embraced our similarities? Would these horrific stories fade away?  Would the news be filled with stories of hope, love, joy, peace, patience, faithfulness, goodness, and self-control?

I wonder…

Lara~

The Victim

mystery morningby Lara Marriott

My mind is playing tricks on me

even though I’m okay

I can’t be fooled; I’ve got this

Yet a dejavu takes me away

down the wrong path

To a place I wished I didn’t visit again

It is dark and deceptive

cold as sin

 

A spiral staircase leading to black

How did I get here?

I can’t walk back

It is drawing me in

I can’t get out

There is nothing I can do

I am the victim now…

 

No I am not.  I’ve been told a lie

I will take back my life

one step at a time

I can get back out if I climb

I am not the victim

 

I can see the light coming into view

It is getting bigger and strengthening my will

I don’t need to swallow the world

I can’t handle more

There are so many things to be thankful for

 

Just take one day to the next

God says to my mind

I need to trust that He sees;

There is purpose to find

I will not be the victim

I am climbing back up

My resolve is to reflect

my Creator’s love

I am not the victim…anymore!

(this has been revised) 😉

 

Have you ever dealt with mind games?  I have.  I do.  Some days are worse than others.  Today for some strange reason I allowed myself to be down and full of fear.  I felt paralyzed  and unmotivated.  Thankfully, a dear person in my life suggested I did something redemptive and purposeful to take my mind off of myself.  So this poem was what I came up with.  I don’t know if it will encourage anyone else, but it felt great to be creative and get my thoughts out.  If you ever need prayer, please let me know.  It is never good to go through these kinds of things alone.

Blessings,

Lara~

 

Planning & Strategizing as an ENFP ~

This blog title is cracking me up right now because if you know anything about ENFPs, we are not planners or strategizers by nature.  However, we do need to step back from life at times and recenter ourselves to make sure we are moving in the right direction.  What does this look like for me?  Well, I am in casual clothes, surrounded by mess, with my planner open. I have resolved not to move from this spot until I have come up with a plan and a focus!

I love being an ENFP.  I wouldn’t have it any other way.  The only down side is that as an ENFP I have many different interests and ping-pong from one to next; often.  This is unfortunate because I never really feel like I am an achiever.  Remember that phrase, “Jack of all trades, master of none?”  That’s how I feel right now.  For some of you making goals and plans comes effortlessly.  You actually thrive making lists and check boxes, but for me, that gives me a headache which makes me want to lie down and go to sleep.

If you saw me right now you would probably think I was being extremely unproductive and lazy. There are so many things to get done around the house, how could I be so selfish with my time.  At least this is what I think you would perceive.  I am feeling the guilt, but this is the only way for me to make any headway when it comes to thriving as an ENFP.

You see, I am a homeschool mom who is with my kids almost 24/7.  I spend a lot of my time with them doing our own thing that I forget to change it up and get out, meeting new people, experiencing new things. My kids are the exact opposite than me.  So they would rather stick with a routine, maybe even stay home.  There are many projects around our house that are on my mental “to do” list that seem to keep me to myself and are endless weekly tasks.   It’s like a rat race in my own home.  I am also a songwriter.  This has the tendency to become an introverted profession since it requires a lot of quiet, focused time to develop and refine a song.

So I have many things in my life where I am not thriving as an ENFP.  I need to balance those things with activities that bring me a lot of fulfillment and joy.   Hence, I will stay here, picketing my cause, until I can come up with a plan that will help me continue to be the person God has created me to be.  I don’t want to apologize for being who I am.  I want to use everything I have to bless others and to feel God’s pleasure.

Psalm139

Lara~

RESET

For the past couple of weeks I have been in a funk.  There are so many things in my life to be thankful for; however, I am finding myself melancholy most of the time.  It amazes me how our emotions can really take control of our minds and paralyze us.  Have you ever felt this way?  Instead of being proactive about my life’s situations, I have wanted to crawl back in bed and sleep.

I know this is not a healthy behavior and so I am wanting to get to the bottom of it!  Here are a few things I have been pondering lately that I wanted to share with you.

  1. I’ve allowed myself to get into unhealthy daily routines.  Instead of working out in the morning and taking a shower, I have instead scratched the working out part completely and waited until the middle of the day to get ready.  I have told myself and my husband that I am too tired in the mornings to work out and that our kids need me in the morning, hence I take care of their needs before my own.  This routined behavior has not been for my benefit or the benefit of my family.
  2. I’ve forgotten how I used to have fun before having kids.  This sounds awful I know, but it’s true.  I am 38 and my life has been consumed with meeting the needs of those around me instead of figuring out what I enjoy doing as well.  There was a day recently when I took my daughter out to have our nails manicured.  I NEVER do this!  It’s too much money. I could be using this money to buy clothes for the kids, etc.  But I have to tell you, it was a really nice experience.  We also took my husband out to go zip-lining for his birthday.  He asked me to go on it with him and the kids, but I chickened out and became the picture taking, items holding momma that watched from the sidelines, wishing I would have said yes.  I need to be more intentional about scheduling fun into my life.
  3. Water & Vitamins!  I didn’t realize how amazing water was until I found myself in the backseat of my car dizzy and dehydrated because I drank a huge cup of coffee and barely any water that day.  That one “little” episode cost my husband to come back to the church to drive me home, which put me in bed lethargic for three days!  That behavior cost me and my family a lot! I also had forgotten the importance of taking vitamins everyday.  Hey, I’m a busy homeschool mom, I don’t have time to remember everything on my “To Do” list!  Not a good enough answer!  When I was younger I didn’t need to think about taking vitamins.  The bouncing back rate was extremely high.  Now, I need to have a reality check. I am getting older.  My body is changing and it needs to be replenished with water and vitamins daily in order to function properly.
  4. Sleep.  Oh sleep, how I’ve longed to be in your arms all night long!  This has been a great struggle for me this past year.  Our sleeping environment is not the greatest right now.  Plus, again I’m not who I once was when I was in my 20s.  The biggest culprit for my sleep deprivation has been my cell phone.  If I can’t sleep, it’s like my phone is whispering into my ear, “Come check me out.  You can listen to podcasts, you can read the Bible, you can go on Facebook. I don’t care what you do as long as you look into my screen and wake up your brain!”  This bad habit has got to stop immediately!
  5. Spending more quality and quiet time with the Lord.  I do have times throughout the day when I am worshipping Him, reading His word, and praying, but I can do more.  I need to schedule alone times with God daily that are not on Periscope 😉  He is my Rock!  He is the manna I need in order to be nourished and refreshed.
  6. Lastly, trusting God COMPLETELY with EVERY detail of my life.  Ever time I do this, I feel His peace that surpasses all understanding.  Fear is a daily struggle for me that loves to come and torment my emotions, but trusting in God dispels ALL fear!

I knew I needed to write a new blog post, but I was stuck until I decided to be completely honest and transparent with where I am finding myself right now.  Today is a new day!  I made myself workout (I hated every minute of it), take a shower, had lots of water, and took my vitamins.  I do have a bag of caramel popcorn right beside me that I have been chomping on (baby steps), but I feel better moving a few steps forward in the right direction.

No matter where we are in life, there are times when we will somehow get into a rut like I have, not knowing how we got there or how to get out.  Thankfully, our lives are made up of seasons and marathons, not snow storms and sprints.  God is so gracious to give us do-overs every 24 hours to start again.  I am committed to moving myself in the right direction. Please hold me accountable.  If you are going through the same thing right now, you are not alone.  Please let me know and I will be praying for you, encouraging you to keep moving forward towards joy, peace, hope and love.

God Bless,

Lara

 

 

Kids Bible Journal Scripture Verses ~

I had a mom ask me what scripture verses I used for our homeschool Bible journals I put together this year.  So here is a list of them for this quarter.  I mistakenly said we had 40, but now that I am looking at the journal, we’ve written down 20 so far.    Hope this list will be encouraging and helpful.

Bible Journal Scripture Verses

1. Proverbs 22:6

2. 2 Corinthians 13:14

3. 1 John 4:19

4. 1 John 3:18

5. 1 John 3:3

6.  Proverbs 3:5

7.  Psalm 138:1

8. Isaiah 29:13

9. John 3:16

10. Psalm 146:6

11. 2 Peter 1:5-8

12. Ephesians 6:10-11

13. Psalm 46:10

14. Psalm 27:8

15. 1 Thessalonians 5:15

16. John 1:1

17. John 3:30

18. Psalm 23:1 (actually the whole chapter ; ) )

19. Galatians 5:22-23

20. Psalm 27:1

If you are excited about these scripture promises to give to your kids or to just hold dear to your own heart, then join my blog or send me your email address so I can put you on my email list.  I’m going to be working on something to offer you that I think you’ll really enjoy!!

Blessings,

Lara ~

http://www.laramarriott.com & Itunes

Finding Time In The Mess To Worship~

I Periscoped some worship time with some news about my husband’s and my Facebook page called, “Not Just Sunday.”  You will be able to find encouragement, ideas, and ways of growing deeper in worship not just for Sunday’s but for everyday, developing a lifestyle of worship!  I hope you’ll join us!

https://www.periscope.tv/w/aOc_7jExOTQ0NzZ8MVlxS0RXbHFtRG94VlHRHf-sp8JHH1obuNLgdaP6vM57JeQBdaJ5Jj2dwjry

 

Lara ~

www.laramarriott.com & itunes

Don’t Forget to Be Thankful

FOREST CREATURES & WOODLANDS  This was what I needed to be reminded of today as my thoughts slowly began to drift towards the depressive expanse of uncertainty.  I made a phone call to my dad and after he allowed me to spill out what was bound up in my heart, listening with an attentive ear, he gently reminded me to rekindle the practice of being thankful.  He said difficult things just happen and there is nothing we can do to stop them, but what we can do is practice the discipline of being thankful.

So after our encouraging conversation, I dusted off my prayer journal (figuratively speaking) and began listing the top 10 things I was thankful for.  By the time I reached number 10 I realized I had a bunch more I could list.  My eyes were finally looking up and out from under my frustrations and anxieties which made me discover there was an abundance of hope, peace, and joy surrounding me.  So much to be thankful for.

Now as I wait patiently I can rest in the faithfulness and loving kindness of the Lord.

Are you being thankful today?  I want to encourage you to start writing down all of the things in your life that you can be thankful for.  Let’s develop our thankful muscles together!

Lara ~

www.laramarriott.com & itunes

Holy Spirit Summit

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Today is the 1st Official Periscope Summit in New York City.  It is being broadcast right now as I write this.  All of the famous periscopers are giving their keynote talks as the heightened excitement continues to drive the historic event.  As this was going on this morning, I was simultaneously leading my Jesus Calling DevoScope and we got on the topic of the Holy Spirit.

It is my hope and great passion to see Christ-Followers get excited again about their relationship with the Holy Spirit.  I want to see His power and authority take over our lives in such a way that there will be an epic Holy Spirit Summit of awakening that will happen around the world, illuminating the darkness, leading a great revival in God’s people as well as bring many people to salvation.  I want to see this movement periscoped by thousands!!  This would be the greatest summit I could ever be apart of!!

Here is the link to the “Jesus Calling Devotional” from this morning.

http://katch.me/embed/v/cf2d70d3-e329-3a7a-99a6-c3012ff2a7aa?sync=1

Holy Spirit come and make Your home in our hearts.  Change us from the inside-out.  Show Your Glory and Light!!  It is time!!

Lara~

www.laramarriott.com & itunes

It’s Time

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Have you ever heard someone say this?  It seems like there is a whole lot more going on behind the scenes that leads someone up to the point of saying, “It’s time.”  Well, for me, I’ve been on a long journey as a singer/songwriter/worship leader; a life journey to be exact.  My life’s experiences have trained me, humbled me, strengthened me, propelled me right up to the place where I can now say, “It’s time.”  I am taking the huge step of faith, with the belief that God will be right there with me as I embark on full time worship ministry.  This is a scary step because I’m independent; kinda like a “musicianary” of sorts.  However, I believe God has designed me for such a time as this and I want to give Him everything He has given me to pour over others and to point to His heart.

I’ve updated this blog to look more like a website.  First, reason is because I need to get the word out about who I am and what God has called me to do.  Secondly, because it is the cheapest and easiest way for this non-techie gal to achieve this goal. HA! Lastly, I want to share all that God has either taught me or is currently teaching me here on this blog in the hopes that something I say or sing will encourage and help someone else grow in their faith and relationship with the Lord.

To those of you who have supported and encouraged me over the years; thank you! I’m looking forward to what God has planned.  I am excited to continually join Him in His work.

Lara~

www.laramarriott.com & itunes

Periscope Bible Q&A (part 2) –

I don’t know if you have heard of the new live streaming app called, “Periscope” yet, but I have been leading daily bible studies on it at 6:30am P/T, going through the “Jesus Calling” devotional. Well, because it broadcasts globally to anyone who wants to join in, I have had a few people ask some amazing questions about God, Jesus, and why I(we) believe in Jesus. During our study time, others can tweet responses, questions, and prayer requests that we all can read and reply too. I don’t usually have time to try and answer some of the questions, so I am using my blog as a tool to do so. Usually, my husband (who is a worship pastor and who is currently taking Theology in University) helps me answer the questions, but he hasn’t been able to, so I am going to try my best to answer them. Please, feel free to comment or add to these answers if you think I missed anything. =)

Questions: (for Amin)

What is the meaning of worship?
– The meaning of worship is to give honor, reverence, and adoration to God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit. It is a way to thank Him for all that He has done and has yet to do. It aligns our hearts with His.

What has God done for you?
– God has given me the assurance of knowing that He is with me by showing Himself to me in very specific and personal ways. He has helped me be more peaceful, than angry; more bold, than fearful; more faith-full, than uncertain. He has blessed me abundantly.

What is the reason when a kid is born with flaws?
– It is because of sin that we are flawed. In the beginning when God made creation He rested and looked at what He had made and called it “good.” All of creation was once perfect in His sight. However, humans were given the freedom to choose. Unfortunately, through the first man and woman, we chose our way, instead of following God’s way. Because of their choice, everything was cursed by sin. That is why there is suffering, heartache, unfairness, flaws, etc. But, there is hope! Jesus, is coming back again to make things right and to bring justice to the world. Through Him, we will be saved from the curse of sin. In heaven, everything will be restored and we will be able to walk with the Lord just like Adam and Eve did in the garden in the beginning. All we have to do is give our lives over to Him and believe Jesus is the Son of God.

Why do we have to live with flaws?
– A good read would be the book of Job. There are probably many different reasons why. Only God knows the specific reasons. Sometimes, they are used to teach us something. Sometimes, God can use them to draw us closer to Him. Sometimes, there is no logical reason. It says in the bible, it rains on the good and the bad. We live in an imperfect world. Jesus said, “In this world you will have trouble, but take heart I have overcome the world.” Thankfully, through Jesus, there is hope.

So you believe in heaven and hell?
– Yes. Why? Because, the God who loves me and whom I love talks about heaven and hell in the bible. I know beyond a shadow of a doubt there is good and there is evil. They are always at war with each other all around us. That is obvious. So to think there is a heaven and a hell isn’t that difficult for me to believe.

Who will go to heaven?
– Jesus said in John 14:6 “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” John 3:16 says, “For God loved the world so much, that He gave His one and only Son. That whoever believes in Him will not perish, but have everlasting life.” So, those who believe in Jesus and ask Him into their hearts will go to heaven to be with Him forever.

So if I believe in Jesus I will go to heaven? Even when I do something wrong? So I will do whatever I want like killing and raping and believing in Jesus and so then I will go to heaven.
– Yes, If you believe in Jesus with a humbled, reverent heart, asking Him to come inside you and help you through your life, you will go to heaven and be saved. You will be covered with His grace. You will still mess up and make mistakes, but His Holy Spirit will guide you into all truth and will help to transform you so that you won’t have any desire to do something that is not aligned with His heart, like killing or raping.

Who defines the good thing and the bad thing?
– God is the standard. He is Love. He is all good. “There is no one (man or woman) who is good, not even one.” Psalm 14:2-3

So how can I contact God?
– By just talking with Him as if He was one of your friends. Even though we cannot see Him we can see the effects of what He is doing. He is Spirit. So when we call out to Him, He will be there. Psalm 139

The Bible is for 2015?
– Yes! The Bible is the inspired word of God. It has been applicable and relevant all throughout history for the Jews and now including the gentiles (all those who are not Jewish). God can and has used the bible to guide and direct our steps in many different ways. I was reading in Colossians the other day and the Apostle Paul told the church he was writing to, to share his letter with the other churches. The Bible was intended to be shared all over the world.

Other people with other beliefs will go to hell?
– There are many people who strive to be good people. God is Sovereign and knows each of our hearts. Jesus said He was the way, the truth, and the life. He was the only way to get to the Father. He became the atoning sacrifice for our sins. Remember, because of the choice we made back in the beginning to do our own thing, we were cursed to die as a result of our sinful choice. Well, Jesus took that punishment that we deserved upon himself when He came to this earth. He was the only one who could have done it because he was without sin. He was fully God and fully man. He died a criminal’s death to break the curse over us and give us the gift of freedom from that bondage and to allow us to freely live life to the fullest; the way God intended. We no longer have to strive to be good and to do good in order to be with God. Through the grace of Jesus, we get immediate access with the God of the Universe. No more striving in our own effort, just the acceptance of His abundant grace. This is good news! He is the only one who deserves all the glory, honor and praise.

How do you know that the Bible is not modified?
– Great question! (I wish my husband was available to help me out on this one) One of the ways we know that the bible was not modified is to look at the archeological evidence that is out there, for example, the Dead Sea Scrolls were written thousands of years ago and when those books in the bible that were preserved, were lined up with our current bible it showed the accuracy to be in the 90th percentile. That is very impressive!! We can also see how the bible has stood the test of time throughout the centuries. Now, there are translations that are known to have modified the text somewhat to make it more current in tone, such as, the Message Bible. I believe they call that one a Paraphrase Bible. But for the most part, the bible is the most unchanged sacred text in all of history.

What will happen in heaven?
– Philippians 3:20-21 says, “But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ, who, by the power that enables him to bring everything under his control, will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like his glorious body. (NIV)”

Revelation 21:1-4 “Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away … I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God … And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Now the dwelling of God is with men, and he will live with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.” (NIV)

So when there is no crying how can we define happiness?
– Happiness is defined as being in God’s Presence. There was no crying in the garden of Eden when the first man and woman walked the earth. Why? Because they got to be in fellowship with God daily.

Without war, what is the meaning of peace?
– The meaning of peace is what God intended for His creation in the beginning. He is a God of Peace. Jesus was called the “Prince of Peace.” War doesn’t bring about peace, it reminds us that we have a longing for peace and we can find that peace through Jesus.

Questions 5/19

Do you believe in the supernatural?
– Yes

What are your thoughts on the new revival and the great awakening?
– I have had a passion for years of another great revival happening where God’s people will wake up and get excited for His coming again and that many, many more people will come to know Jesus as their Savior.

Can signs and wonders happen for everyday, regular people
– Yes, I was healed as a child. I have family testimonies of amazing supernatural signs happening for them in their time of need. I have personally been rocked by God’s supernatural power. I am totally an everyday, regular person too! =)

Do you think anyone is really the “chosen ones”
– This is just my opinion. No matter what your take is on this, most of us will probably see each other in heaven. But, for me personally, I believe God saw all who were going to chose Him, yet He still gave us the choice to choose. Jesus died for all.

Muslims, Jews, etc all believe they are the chosen ones. Once you have that many who believe that it is not as special anymore
– The one thing that believing in Jesus has that none of the other religions believe is “grace.” You can’t earn your way to God. Because of the unconditional love that Jesus showed and because I have personally been transformed by His loving grace, my faith and relationship with Him is the most special possession I have.

Great, great questions!! I hope these answers helped. Hopefully, I will be able to find some of my pastor friends to help me out. =) These questions are helping me grow in my faith too! Looking forward to hearing more and learning from you all too.

Blessings,

Lara ~

www.laramarriott.com & itunes

My Mom’s Pentecost Sunday

I love this story! I too, have had a similar, yet very personal experience with the Holy Spirit. I wanted to share this example of what being “filled’ with the Holy Spirit can be like. Blessings ~

 

Lara ~

http://www.laramarriott.com & itunes

Keeping It Real: The Leilani Life

My mom Aloha got married to my stepfather, Celes, in a Hawaiian-style ceremony. My mom Aloha got married to my stepfather, Celes, in a Hawaiian-style ceremony. My mom was filled with the Holy Spirit while reading the Bible in her living room. That experience changed the destiny of our family.

“Lani, I got filled with the Holy Spirit,” my mom said over the phone.

“What? How did it happen?” I was skeptical but wanted to experiencing this myself. I had just started attending Hawaii Kai Baptist Church and wanted to know more about the Holy
Spirit.

“I was reading the second chapter of Acts where the Holy Spirit was poured out in the upper room and I wanted that to happen to me. It’s called Pentecost,” she explained.

“Then what happend?” I had read that same passage myself but it was a mystery to me. I had asked about the Holy Spirit at the Bible studies that I attended but no one could…

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