His Banner Over Us

His Banner Over Us
Hey all!  I know it’s been a little while since I’ve written anything on here.  Well, I’m back, and don’t worry I had a reason why I haven’t been able to post much.  I finally got the dreaded Covid virus and let me just say, it is quite the virus.  I was sick and tired and basically not able to do anything but rest.  It took about a full two weeks for the virus to run its course and I’m still not yet back to 100%.  I’m definitely on the mend now, but wow, it’s been crazy.
Anyway, since I’ve finally been feeling better I am ready to get back into writing on here.  Today I wanted to simply share with you a verse that I read about a few weeks ago during my morning devotions (before Covid hit).  I’ll try to keep this simple and short 😉
“You have set up a banner for those who fear you,
that they may flee to it from the bow. 
That your beloved ones may be delivered,
give salvation by your right hand and answer us!”
Psalm 60:4-5
After reading this verse one of my favorite songs from my childhood came to my mind.  Maybe you know what song I’m thinking of.  It’s the song that says: “His banner over me is love”.  I used to love singing that song when I was a little girl.  This verse is such a beautiful reminder that if we are God’s children he has a banner over us.  What is this banner though?

The Banner is the Jesus Christ

I did a little research of my own to try and understand this verse a little bit better.  This research simply means finding a commentary online to read that offers some insight into the verses meaning.  Well, the commentary brought out the fact that this banner God has set up over us is pointing to Jesus Christ.  This banner is supposed to be a safe place for us to run to, a place where we can find refuge.  Jesus Christ came to be that for us!  Oh, what a wonderful truth and comfort this is.  The banner God has set up for us is Jesus Christ his son and it is forever out safe place!

The Banner is also the Gospel and the Cross

But this banner over us is not just Jesus Christ, it’s also the gospel.  It’s the fact that Jesus came to earth to die in our place.  Because of Jesus’ work on the cross we have victory over sin and evil.  This banner over us to show the world of our victory through Jesus. God has given us His Word and the gospel to be a banner we can wave in this world.  When temptations and trials come we can take this banner (the gospel) and let it speak truth into our lives.
Isn’t it such a comforting thought knowing we have victory because we know The Victorious One.  We have a banner that we can wave over our life that points to the beautiful truth of the gospel.  I don’t know about you all, but I just want to embrace this truth.  I want to fly God’s banner over my life and let my life be defined by the truths of the gospel.  I want to run and take cover in the shelter of this banner when the trials of this world seem to be too much.  This banner God has given us is a beautiful thing!
I hope you can find encouragement from this verse as well.

Serving at a Joni and Friends Family Camp

Serving at a Joni and Friends Family Camp

Hey all!  You may have noticed that last week there was no new blog post. Well, it was because I was up in Oregon serving at Joni and Friends family camp.  If you don’t know what Joni and Friends is, it’s an organization for families that are affected by disabilities.  Today I thought I’d share with you all a bit about this amazing ministry opportunity I had and share some pictures.
Way back at the beginning of summer God began to put on my heart the desire to serve Hin during the summer and go on some sort of mission trip.  But I had no idea where to start in terms of where to go and serve.  Literally, the next day after God put this desire in my heart God brought this camp to my attention.  A couple of girls from my church serve at this camp every year and I knew that this was the place God where asking me to serve.  It’s hard to believe that my week of serving at this camp is already come and gone.  I was praying for my time at this camp all summer and now it is over and in the past.
I can’t begin to even describe how much I was blessed by this amazing experience. I made many new and dear friends and was filled with God’s strength to serve all the families that came to the camp.  As I reflect on my time I want to share a few things that really stood out time as I served.

Bathed in prayer

The first thing I want to share is that I was overwhelmed with how much this camp was saturated in prayer.  Before the families come to camp the volunteers go through a day (and a half) of training to learn how to serve people with disabilities.  Working with disabilities was a new experience for me and I’m so thankful for the way this organization took time to educate us all on how to be God’s hands of service to all the families that would come.  Right before the families came to the camp all of the volunteers gathered for an extended time of prayer.  The leaders all stood in the back and one by one they laid hands on and prayed for each volunteer individually.  My heart was just so overwhelmed with how many prayers went into preparing for this camp.  I felt all my fears melt away as we prayed and I was filled with a calmness and readiness to serve. Each morning and evening as the camp was going we would gather in prayer.  It was truly beautiful to see how much this place and all the families were being bathed in prayer.

Christ-like service and humility

Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” (John 15:13)
Another unique aspect about serving at this camp that stood out to me was the way in which we were serving.  Each volunteer was paired up with a person who had a disability or with a sibling of a person with a disability.  Our role was to be a buddy with that person each day and assist/join them in all the activities at camp.  This allowed the parents to have time to rest and relax.  As I served my camper (Mackenzie, a twenty-three-year-old girl affected by autism) it struck me that the way I was serving was unique to other ways I’ve served.  In order to serve, I had to lay aside any thoughts or plans I had for how I wanted my day to go.  Instead, it was simply my job to be with my camper and join her in whatever she desired to do.  And for my camper that meant sitting with her and listening to Micheal Jackson songs over and over again or listening to how she is obsessed with a certain cat that is famous on Facebook.
It took a lot of patience on my part, but I have never served in such a humble way and it made me think of Christ when he willingly laid down his life to save us.  This last week at camp I felt like I met God in a new way as I laid aside my desires in such a self-sacrificing way to serve.

A little slice of heaven

The last thing I want to share is how I was also blessed by serving all the families that were affected by disabilities.  Each time we worshiped the Lord together everyone was encouraged to worship God in whatever way they desired.  A bin of instruments and streamers was at the front for everyone to use.  It melted my heart to see all the children and even adults affected by disabilities up there praising God and worshiping in their unique way.  One young man who was affected by severe seizures would go up on stage to sing praises to Jesus with the worship band.  I even had to privilege to speak with his mother and she shared how when he was born the doctors said he would never speak.  But here he was standing on stage unable to stop singing praises to the Lord.
I was filled with awe to see how the disabilities these people struggled with, which are usually looked down upon in the world, was a beautiful addition to worshiping the Lord.  The way everyone worshiped was so raw and pure and I’m am quite certain that God was smiling down on all of his beautiful children praising Him.  During the training for this camp, the leaders talked about how this camp allows us to experience what is called “a little slice of heaven”.  Each day when we gathered together and worshiped God together was my “little slice of heaven”.  My heart has never been so full of love and joy for the Lord and his people as it was in those moments.  Serving the families affected by disabilities at this camp has been one of the most fulfilling and joy-filled weeks of my life.

If you have never heard of Joni and Freinds I would encourage you to visit their site and learn more about how you can help this organization (Joni and Freinds Website).  I was so blessed by my time as a volunteer and I pray that God will allow me to return again next year to serve in this way again.  Each family retreat is limited to how many families can come because they need to have enough volunteers for each camper.  The need for serving is great and I hope that if you read this blog post you might consider how you could help this ministry or even serve as a volunteer if the Lord moves you in that direction.
“Let each of you look not only to his own interests but also to the interests of others. Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant,being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.” Philippians 2:4-8

Meet Autumn!

Meet Autumn!
Hello everyone!  I’m so excited because today I get to introduce you to someone!
A few months ago when I began creating this blog I was struggling with trying to balance a part-time job and be consistent in creating content.  I was really starting to get overwhelmed but I felt a huge pull from the Lord to keep working on this blog and not give up on it.  The lord kept putting this idea in my head about reaching out and finding someone to help me write on the blog.  Then the Lord kept putting a certain person on my heart.  So I took the chance, I reached out to her and asked her to join me in this journey.  Well, long story short, she said yes and I’m so happy to have her here as a part of this blog. So today I’m introducing you to my friend and writing partner, Autumn!
For today’s post and wanted to create a fun little way for you all to meet her! So I decided to write out a few “get-to-know-you” questions and had Autumn answer them. I hope you all enjoy getting know Autumn a little better through this interview style.

Briefly introduce yourself?

Hello! I’m Autumn and I’m just a California girl who has found herself living in the midwest. I grew up in a Christian household but didn’t accept Christ as my personal Savior until I was thirteen. I’ve been writing since I was nine years old in the form of novels, blog posts, and short stories.

How did you hear about this blog and become a contributor?

I heard about it from Sydney, the creator of the blog! Ten years ago, we went to the same church together and became friends. We stayed at the same church together for many years but I moved out of state about two years ago. We stayed connected via Instagram but reconnected through video calls and now here we are, writing on her blog together!

What did you study in School?

Theatre arts! I grew up studying ballet but when I went to college I wanted to take a different route with my ‘stage career’. I was a performer and in a handful of musicals. I also took a year to study the behind the scene aspect of theatre and actually was hired as a technical assistant at my college’s performing arts center. I worked there for about a year designing lights, building sets, and working sound for events. In my final semester, I was in the school musical as well as building the set!

What would be your dream job?

A mother! I’ve wanted to be a mother since I was a young girl.  To someday be a mother would be a dream come true!

What are your favorite Summer activities?

Hiking, swimming, and I love exploring new parks in the area.

What’s you’re favorite Bible verse?

“I am with you always, to the end of the age.” Matthew 28:20

What is something that God has been teaching you about this past year?

He has taught me so much about TRUSTING Him. I have always had such a hard time trying to trust Him and always fell into unbiblical thinking surrounding trusting Him. This year, He has truly challenged me and after a lot of fighting, I realized I would not feel peace unless I trusted Him. It’s hard laying my dreams at Christ’s feet and trusting He will do what is best for me, but I trust Him, and hopefully, He will continue this lesson in trust.

Future Plans

Future Plans
Hey all!
I realize that it’s been a while since I’ve done anything on here.  Don’t worry, I am not abandoning this blog, in fact, I have a lot of great plans for this site.  So I figured a little update is due for you all about this blog.
I currently work part-time as a preschool teacher and summer break has officially started.  Which means I now have a lot more time on my hands.  A lot more time to focus on my plans for this new website.  So I thought I’d make a little post to give you a little peek into some of the exciting future plans I have!

So let’s go!  Here’s a shortlist of what you can expect to see soon!

  • Consistent blog posts!  I really struggle with being consistent with blog posts. But my goal for this blog will be to have at least one blog post a week.  The content on this blog will include fun life updates, product reviews and recommendations, encouragement, and exciting announcements.  I’m also really excited about a new partner who has just joined me on this blogging journey.  She will be popping in to help write posts on the blog.  I can’t wait to introduce her to you all on here!
  • Faith-based products! I am so excited about this one!  The past few days I have been spending a lot of my free time trying to figure out how to create a shop page on this website.  Exciting news!  My shop page is active now!  As of right now I only have a few super cute bible verse stickers available in my shop.  I have plans for more faith-based products to hit the shop soon!
  • New product launch coming soon!  Okay, this one is gonna remain a secret.  All that I’m willing to say is that I have been working on something very exciting and it’s going to be an amazing tool to help you in your daily walk with God!  I don’t know when I’ll announce it to you all because it’s still in the process of being created, but stay tuned!

  • Encouragement and Christian content posted daily on Instagram.  I may not be as active on this blog, but I’ve been pretty active on Instagram.  I try to post something encouraging and faith-based every day.  Whether it’s an actual post, a funny/relatable video, or a little life update on my story.  If you want to have daily encouragement in your feed, give me a follow! @more.of.thee.co
  • Repping a pretty epic faith-based clothing brand! A Christian clothing brand called Hazel Threads reached out to me on Instagram and I decided to join their ambassador program.  I looked at their shop and my jaw literally dropped at how cute and gospel-centered their t-shirts are. I ordered a few shirts from them and can’t wait to share them with you all!  Also, if you use my code: SYDNEYROSE you will get 20% off your order!  Go check them out – Hazel Threads Store
  • Possible a podcast?  Okay, this one is still just an idea, and may never turn into anything.  But I had this idea about starting a podcast and I can’t get the idea out of my head.  I may play around with this idea a bit and see where it goes.  But for now, it’s just an idea.  Maybe someday in the future, If time allows, I will create a podcast to go along with this blog.

And that’s all I have for now

I’m so excited to see where God is going to take this new blogging adventure.  My biggest hope and desire is simply that this blog and website can be a place for you to find encouragement and helpful resources to encourage you in the faith.

Look to the Lord and his strength;
seek his face always.  Psalme105:4

This whole endeavor of mine is still a work in progress and I’m learning as I go.  Please let me know in the comments if there is anything that I didn’t mention that you’d love to see on this site?