How Refreshing

“For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.”
-‭‭Romans‬ ‭3:23-24‬ ‭NIV‬‬

How refreshing... Seriously, it is refreshing to know that no matter what we do we will always fall short... 
Refreshing because I sin and do not deserve a single thing but as you know "God so loved the world..." He loved us so much, us sinners so much He gave his one and only son to take our place. 

There is nothing we can do on our own to cover our sins or to receive forgiveness from those sins. We cannot justify our actions, only CHRIST can. He stepped in and took our place on the cross. 

How refreshing. We do not deserve anything but God loves us so much He gives us EVERYTHING!

Raise your hand if you are thankful for God's unending Grace.

Stop Talking Start Praying

"And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord's people."

-Ephesians 6:18

What in your life are you trying to control?
Probably a lot, just about everything I would guess. Take a second to just think about everything you feel you need to control or need closure from or are stressed out about.
Instead of reaching for a social media outlet or a friend of yours to vent to, simply open a conversation with God. 

At Days of Difference we talk a lot, and to just about everyone we meet about everything we can think of. Not that that is a bad thing but somethings are better left unsaid: like complaining, venting, gossiping etc... Sometimes we need a good venting sesh but before we go and do anything, give it to God. 

If something is stressing you out: Give it to God. 
If you feel something is controlling you: Give it to God. 
If you think you should do one thing but others are telling you to do something else: Give it to God. 

If you need God's intervention... Don't talk about it, Pray about it.
How are you supposed to hear anything when you're talking all the time.

Slow down, stop gabbing, and pray.

What do you need to pray for?


“Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances;
for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus”

-1 Thessalonians 5:16-18


A graduation weekend filled with family and friends has just passed and my time at Azusa Pacific University is up. But before I even think about what is next to come, I want to recognize all God has done through this graduation weekend.

What God has done in our individual lives’ as students, what God has done in our relationships, and what God has done in many of our families.

Family, family, family…what a concept. I just cannot seem to get rid of them! (Just Kidding) My family is unique because no matter how deep the past pains and hurts of our fighting and dysfunction goes, we couldn’t stop loving each other if we tried to. I can pretend I’m mad or annoyed all I want, but I am not fooling anyone, my love for my family is as deep as the blue sea, times infinity.

On the other hand, my love for the annoying person sitting next to me on the plane, twisting their gum in their hand, smacking their food, and filing their nails… is not so deep. It is actually quite surface…because I don’t know them the way I know and love my family!

Azusa Pacific University’s graduation weekend brought my family closer together and also a close friend of mine’s family closer together, and I can imagine the work God was doing in all of the families at that ceremony.

My friend’s sister hadn’t spoken to her dad in 15 years until this weekend… FIFTEEN years. And there she was at dinner with her whole family, instigating the conversation. The way God moved in that relationship was jaw dropping, truly astonishing. When she told me this story, we both had tears of joy in our eyes; a joy that we can’t even describe. Her younger brother, who she has been praying would come back to his faith for years now, looked at her this weekend and told her he wants this God thing again, and wants to transfer to APU. Another answer to prayer!

When God is present and so alive in the hearts of a crowd as big as our graduation, oh how He moves the MOUNTAINS.

I know God is always working in my family, but the crazy thing- we cannot see the bigger picture, but how beautiful is that? I have no idea of the things God will do in my family, but one thing I do know is that these things are WONDERFUL.

Today, choose to rejoice when things get messy.
Choose to pray fervently for those you hope would know Christ.

And give thanks, no matter what. Thanks for the places and the people God has brought you now and the places and the people God will bring you.

My “Rejoice” on my graduation cap may have accidentally been put on upside down, but hey, life is full of ups and downs and even when the word itself is upside down, we all know it says “Rejoice”.

Even when our world feels like its crashing down or life is just upside down, we still know what it means to Rejoice. So, go rejoice in this wonderful day that the Lord has made! 




“For everyone who enters God’s rest, ALSO rests from their work, just as God did fromHis. Let us therefore, make every effort to enter that rest.”
-Hebrews 4:10

Rest… what a concept. Does our world even know what that means anymore? I know my grandma and grandpa know how to “rest”, but hey, they’re retired so obviously they can rest.
Me? Nahh…there can’t be time within my day for rest. That is just foolishness.

Wait a minute Rachel, let’s think about this for a second. Freshman year of college, you were hit by a car while biking, had to leave school, and suffered through the worst time of your life…. But was it the worst? Or was it the best? Sure, it may have appeared sucky from the outside, a traumatic brain injury is not ideal, but the lessons God taught me in that time couldn’t have been found in my chaotic, busy days prior to the accident. I spent so much of my timing talking with anyone and everyone that I never truly sat down, in God’s presence, to let him fill me with his peace.

Today is April 13th, 2016. It has been 4 years and 5 months since I was hit by that car. 4 years and 5 months since God began to teach me the most valuable life lesson I have learned thus far: TO SLOW DOWN. Yeah, I’ve heard it before.. way too many times, but I never understood it until this accident. It is kind of comical how the only way I can learn how to rest is if my hyperactive body is physically injured.

However, now I know. I know I need to take breaks. I know it is important to find silence in the business of life. I know God is just waiting for us to sit down and take a big fat chill pill. I know that if I do not rest, my brain will force me into it by slowly shutting down my word configurations, my energy, my ability to be around people, and my ability to read words without pain. I know the importance of being still, the importance of reflection, and the importance of rest.

It is no coincidence that when I take the time to stop and listen to God, to find His peace, all the pain in my head is relieved. No, God isn’t forcing me into pain, nor is He punishing me. However, I recognize the valuable lesson He is teaching me.

Take a step back, choose a smile instead of sorrow, help a friend instead of sulking, and do not let the difficulties of the present moment, overshadow the reality of God’s promise.

“To enter His rest, you must believe that God has this relationship in mind for you; you must stop trying to create it; you must trust in Christ for it; and you must determine to obey Him. Today, is the best time to find peace with God. Tomorrow may be too late.”
-Hebrews 4:6,7 notes in NIV application bible.

Take some rest!

I Promise










"For no matter how many promises God has made, they are yes;
therefore also through him is our amen to the glory of God through us."
2 Corinthians 1:20

April 22 I don't want to forget you.
A day when I questioned, I questioned, I asked and I asked.
Are your promises real for me?
Are they coming? 
Where are you?
As I got ready for work, I saw it was raining, (a sun shower)
I grabbed my navy blue umbrella and headed to the bus stop.
On my way there, without thinking, I suddenly looked up at the sky.

And what I saw, absolutely took my breath away. It stopped me dead in my tracks.
There it was A beautiful bright rainbow!
Against the misty air, and the grey and white back splash of a sky. I was speechless.

I stood there in amazement.
Just an hour ago, I was pondering and asking God. Where are you, are your promises real for me?
Are you real?
Standing there, I heard the Holy Spirit whisper, "I promise".
A sigh of hope and release left my lungs, as I lifted my umbrella even higher above my head to gaze at this wonderment.

I picked up my feet again, continuing my little journey to the bus stop.
I kept looking up, and as I peered into the sky, I noticed that there wasn't just one big bright rainbow. There was a second one.

It was a DOUBLE rainbow!

"I Promise Promise!" I heard him say.
Tears started forming at this point, I was filled with awe and amazement.
Look at what he made for me, a display of his promise!
He hasn't forgotten all those precious promises, he hasn't turned away from me in my questioning, in my doubt.
Yes, this sounds cheesy. Sounds a bit Alice in wonderland meets wizard of Oz. But my life is my own movie, so I'll make it shine for all its worth!



He Did Not Open His Mouth

"He was oppressed and afflicted, yet he did not open his mouth"

Isaiah 53:7


Oppressed: subject to harsh treatment

Affliction: something that causes pain or suffering

What if we too, did this?
Can you imagine how this world would change, if we learned to hold our tongues, when we experience affliction and oppression.
When we experience pain from harsh words someone spoke to us or about us.
When we experience pain from a dysfunctional relationship, where it seems all you do is fight.

We will all face it; it is seemingly inevitable. How can we go through this life without facing affliction, really? Such is life.

But just take a minute. Take a deep breath, and imagine a world where people did not open their mouth, when they were afflicted.

Imagine your life like this.
There is no way this is easy. We are human, our mouths open REAL wide, and we let quite a bit out; oftentimes, far more than we should.

But today, meditate on these words, and when affliction comes your way, try not opening your mouth, and watch how God works in and through you, and those around you.

Reverent Submission

“During the days of Jesus’ life on earth, he offered up prayers and petitions with fervent cries and tears to the one who could save him from death, and he was heard because of his reverent submission.” –Hebrews 5:7

How do you pray? Why do you pray? To satisfy your own desires or God’s? Do you pray expecting God to simply give you everything you ask or do you pray offering everything you have to receive everything God has for you?

When we pray with submission we offer all we are for all God has. Praying with submission is living in full obedience of God’s plan on our lives. Having obedience in good times and also in times of suffering. We will undergo trials, it’s inevitable, but we survive and make it out of these trials not because we want to suffer, but because we want to obey God. Let Jesus encourage you in times of trial and when you pray, pray with, here it is again,reverent submission, willing to live out God’s purpose for you.

What does reverent submission mean to you and how can you live it out today?