Hillsong is Good for the Soul

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

I Will Give Them the Heart

Last week ended perfectly. 

The first week of school was rough. Getting back into the swing of things after such a life changing summer just seemed meaningless to me. I was pretty bummed out, to say the least, and I'm usually a person who enjoys school, so it was a very different start to my year.

So why did this week end perfectly? One word.


I can't sum up Friday's concert into words, but it's just very revitalizing to be in a place with thousands of people worshipping God, the only One who truly matters. After a week that felt full of negativity, complaints, and things that just didn't seem to matter, it did my heart and soul good to take time to be still and worship.

Being still is underrated. Our lives are filled with hustle and bustle, moving from this thing to the next. So much so, that we start to ignore the things that really matter and only pay attention to the earthly details. Details that probably won't even matter by the next week. I have spent so much time thinking about college and homework and papers, and haven't taken any time to sit without distractions, talk to my Lord and listen to what He has to say. I do so much moving and talking and working and not enough sitting and listening. But when I really take the time to let go of all the worldly mish mosh, and focus on Him, something new is awakened in me.

Oh, it's so good for the soul.

All of that to say, I am so grateful for Hillsong, because I was able to really let go during their concert.

And just in case, you're ready for a few new songs... Here's the third installment of What I'm Listening to Tuesdays!

Worship Music

This I Believe by Hillsong Worship
Wake by Hillsong Young & Free
Bonhoeffer's Prayer by Bifrost Arts
Psalm 126 by Bifrost Arts
Breathe by The Brilliance

Not Worship Music

Ocean Floor Kisses by Galimatias
Can't Do Without You by Caribou
Mother & Father by Broods
Heart Beats Slow by Angus and Julia Stone
OctaHate by Ryn Weaver (Jane Doze Remix)

Love you all!

What I'm Listening to Tuesdays vol. 2

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Welcome to the second installment of What I'm Listening to Tuesdays! You can view last week's post here.

I know everyone won't have time to listen to these songs, but hopefully one or two may stick out to a few of you. And if you're ever looking for a new boost to your playlists, maybe these playlists could help!

While we're on the subject of playlists, last week, I put Where Feet May Fail (HXLY KXSS remix) on my list of Worship songs. The song is a remix of Hillsong's hit song, Oceans. Oceans is already gosh dang amazing, but the remix is just refreshing to listen to. So imagine my excitement when I found out that the guy behind HXLY KXSS (Holy Kiss is how you say it) read last week's blog post and tweeted me and told me I have good music taste. I just about died, people. Seriously.

But all fangirling aside, HXLY KXSS is working on an EP and I am beyond excited for the release. But for now, I'm listening to all his music on Soundcloud. If you're into remixes and dance/chillwave music, you can give HXLY KXSS a follow here.

Now for some songs.

Worship Music

Made Alive by Citizens (HXLY KXSS Remix)
Nothing but the Blood by Citizens
Brothers by The Ember Days
Darkness Falls by The Assemblie
Benediction by The City Harmonic
Holy (Wedding Day) by The City Harmonic
Called Me Higher by All Sons & Daughters
Great Are You Lord by All Sons & Daughters
All I Need is You by Lecrae

Not Worship Music

Stay Low by Ryn Weaver
Hey Mami by Sylvan Esso
Break My Fall by Golden Coast (Rainer and Grimm Remix)
Middle of Things by Sango ft. SPZRKT (Stwo Remix)
Gold by Bondax (Snakehips Bootleg)
Call You Out by Rizzle Kicks (JUCE Cover)
Help Our Souls by Nihils (Urban Contact Remix)
Shake It Off by Taylor Swift

The Post About Feminism

Friday, August 15, 2014

It's been on my heart to talk about feminism, misogyny, sexism, and the like. In my life, the word feminism has been everywhere, and I feel in my heart that now is the time to talk about it. This post is different in that it is more for my learning than for others, but hopefully it will bring more clarity to my head and yours.

I am by no means an expert of the Bible. Rather, I am a girl who is on search to be more in tune with God's heart and focus on His Truth. None of what I write is meant to be offensive or divisive, and if you disagree with me, I would actually love it if you could let me know. I'm eager to learn more about this topic and hear different viewpoints.

Sexism is defined as any prejudice or discrimination against a certain sex. Sexism is generally discrimination against women and is what leads to the dehumanization, devaluing, and unfair treatment of women.

Regardless of how conservative or liberal your viewpoint is, sexism should be regarded negatively, and even ignite a righteous anger as well. No matter if you are a man or woman, sexism should be something that we are fully standing against. If there is one thing that I have learned this summer, I have learned that our God is one of justice and love. God does not show partiality, nor does he raise up anyone to be better than another person. We are all sinners in need of the cross, and so we are all equal in His sight. In fact, I believe the Lord is more egalitarian than we like to think. Over and over in the Bible, it says that our Lord loves justice (Psalm 33:5), and that He is a God of justice (Isaiah 30:18). And as much as I do believe there are gender roles, I also believe the Lord never condones and will never condone discrimination nor inequality against women or any other group targeted by prejudice.

There are different roles for men and women, especially those united in marriage (Ephesians 5:22-33). But what is sometimes misread in that passage is making the word submission synonymous to weakness. Or we think that because a wife is to submit to her husband, a woman is now of less worth and value than her husband, which is untrue. In the same passage, husbands are commanded to love their wives just as they love themselves, and be willing to give themselves up for her. If women were of less worth, husbands would not be commanded to love their wives in the same, equal way that they love themselves.

Feminism is the belief that men and women should have equal rights and opportunities, whether that be socially, economically, or politically. I'm not a huge fan of labels, but I would without a doubt call myself a feminist. A Christian feminist, in fact. The thing is, I don't think it's as much of an oxymoron as it sounds. Really, I think the label is very silly, because the two go hand in hand. I am a Christian feminist, and therefore believe in Jesus and love God and His people, and also believe that women and men should be treated equally. I don't think those are two dichotomous things and I don't think that should be seen as a radical statement.

In Christ Jesus, we are all one. I fully believe that men and women were created differently and that there are separate gender roles we should live out. But I also believe that statement isn't contradictory to my belief that women are not of less value than men. We have put too much emphasis on the differences of males and females and not on the fact that through our faith in Jesus, there is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, no male and female, but oneness in Christ. (Galatians 3:28) There is one body with many members (1 Corinthians 12:12-13), and we can't make it seem as though the only part of the body that matters is the male portion.

But what I know for sure out of all of this is that God loves every single one of us. He is for us and not against us, whether male or female. He wants the best for us, does not put anyone on a pedestal, and does not see men as more valuable than women. In His eyes, we are all equal.

And as I remember that, I also have to remind myself that when I am offended by the Bible, it is irrelevant to the undebatable truth of the Word. All Scripture is God-breathed (2 Timothy 3:16). There are many things I don't understand or may be offended by, but that doesn't make His Word less true or less right. All Scripture is the Word of God, and at the end of the day, that is what I stand by.

If you have any thoughts, please leave a comment below. I would love to hear what you have to say!

What I'm Listening To Tuesdays

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Spirit, Lead Me

One of my favorite things to do is find new music, and since from time to time I share my music choices here, I thought I'd make it a weekly series!

I'm really excited to do this because I know music is such a big influence on the way (I believe) everyone thinks, speaks, and acts. Whatever goes in must come out, you know? I also think finding music is just a fun activity and keeps playlists from getting boring.

And Jesus music always keeps me feeling refreshed, but because I love music in general, I can't listen to the same ol' sound all the time. This series will show the songs that I think bring something different to the Christian music scene, as well as some secular songs I'm in love with as well.

So I'm eager to share with you all my most recent music choices!

Worship Music
All songs below link to a YouTube video.

Where Feet May Fail by Hillsong United (HXLY KXSS Remix)
How Deep the Father's Love by Dispatch
God on High by Classic City Collective
You Brought Me Back to Life by Citizens
Amazing Grace by Citizens
Dust We Are and Shall Return by The Brilliance
A Mind at Perfect Peace by Classic City Collective
Oh God by Citizens

Secular Music
All songs below link to a HypeMachine audio.

One by Autograf (Cover)
Stay With Me by Sam Smith (Nelsaan Remix)
Coffee by Sylvan Esso
You & Me by Disclosure (Flume Remix)
The Wilder Mile by Freedom Fry
Sleepless by Flume (Palace One Remix)
Don't You Mind by Thrupence
KANYE by The Chainsmokers feat. Siren

A Trip Around the Internet

Monday, August 11, 2014

Kiki from In Its Time does a weekly blog post called Bits and Pieces that features some of her favorite links on the Internet. This is my version of her awesome idea! You can read Kiki's most recent Bits and Pieces here!
Design by Dallas Clayton
If you're a Tumblr type of person, Lauren and Madisen are two of my favorite Tumblr bloggers eva.

If you're a girl struggling with purity, or just want to hear more about the topic, this video is perfect.

And since I'm talking about purity, this article is also equally perfect.

This eight second video is terrifying, awesome, and stupid all at the same time.

Hillsong Worship is touring the U.S. right now, and I will probably definitely be buying a ticket.

One of my favorite couples (besides Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone) played the Newlywed Game and it was absolutely adorable.

This precious father-daughter rap is still stuck in my head.

If you've been keeping up with the most recent season of the Bachelorette, this article is interesting to read.

One of my favorite bloggers wrote this recently, and IT'S AWESOME AND SO WELL WRITTEN that I had to use capital letters.

Oh, also this one.

When I'm sad, I watch these hilarious videos. (If you are offended by profanity, there is mild language in a few of these videos.)

I am so so eager to make my own tapioca tea.

This video of the Lion King cast singing on a New York subway is everything.

I think this is a well written article and should be thought about in relation to mission trips as well.

Jesus is awesome.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Jesus is awesome.

Jesus has been growing me like crazy in my walk with Him this summer and it's amazing. It has been a long time since I have felt so fulfilled, loved, worthy, and so happy to not be in control. I am full of joy. It is a relief not just knowing, but believing that God's love conquers. It removes fear, covers sin, and is unchanging1. It is a comfort to believe that I am worthy not because of anything I have done, but simply because I am here on this earth. There is nothing I can do to measure, increase, or reduce my worth and value. Because God has made me, I am of immense worth and value in His eyes2. If He sees me as worthy and will call me his own daughter, the least I can do is remind myself of those truths.

Sometimes, when we get caught up in the distractions of life, we put to the side the basic truths Jesus has given us. If you're a Christian, you may know or have at least heard that Jesus loves you. All my life, I have heard that time and time again, and I would say that I believed it.

But I guess a part of growing up is coming to new realizations. The basic truth that Jesus loves me was magnified when He revealed even more of that truth to me. He gave me just a peek into the mighty depths of His unconditional love, and I was renewed.

Jesus makes us new when we accept Him into our hearts, but His renewing isn't only a one time thing. It's a continual process of Him molding and growing us so that we can make our relationship with Him even deeper and more intimate.

Jesus is awesome. 

When I am sad, I still have hope. When I am mad, I can see past the right then and the right now. When I am happy, I just want to dance and smile. Slowly but surely, I have stopped caring (as much) about what people think of me. I am weird when I want to be weird, and I could care less. I don't form opinions based on what I believe people will think of me. I form my opinions around what would please God the most, and because of that, I am so much more fulfilled and confident.

The last time I had this much joy in my life was in the second semester of my sophomore year. However, at the time, I was so focused on works, without realizing it. During that year, I started this blog. It was also during that time that I learned about human trafficking and was taking a lot of action in the fight to end it. None of that is bad, but I began basing my worth on what I was achieving and what people thought of me (which is bad). I was not as concerned as I should have been about letting the glory go to Jesus. I was invested in works because I felt fulfilled from achievement instead of receiving fulfillment from being a daughter in Christ3.

It's very hard to wrap our minds around the fact that Jesus loves us just because that's who He is. In a world where we are supposed to earn and work for what we want, it's weird to be told that we don't have to work for Jesus to love us. We don't have to earn our worth and value either. Jesus soaks us in His grace, mercy, and love, and there's nothing can we do about that4. We can't change Jesus. He is who He is and He is perfect.

All He asks is that we accept Him into our hearts, and once we do that, He will give us a life that is so much better than we could ever imagine5.

And I just I want to sing and tell of how beautiful He is. He is worthy of our praise.

Oh I could just go on and on, but for now I'll stop here.

Thank you Jesus for who you are. We are more than undeserving, but you bless us so.

1 John 4:16-18, 1 Peter 4:8, Psalm 100:5
Matthew 10:29-31, Psalm 139:13-15
Galatians 3:25-26, 2 Corinthians 6:18
Romans 8:38-39, Ephesians 2:4-10
Psalm 63:3, Ephesians 3:20-21Jeremiah 29:11John 6:35,

Life Lately

Saturday, July 19, 2014

this is an airport. doesn't it look like some cool, hipsta art museum??
my friend got me a prayer box that comes with little slips of paper and a tiny pen to write prayers on and store them. I think it's just the sweetest and cutest thing ever.


obsessed with. the new kim kardashian game that I didn't think I was going to spend as much time on as I do. it's actually a little embarrassing how quickly I'll play it whenever I get bored.

working. at my internship. I talked a little about my experience so far here. I'm an intern at a center that focuses on prayer, intervention, and spreading awareness about the reality and prevalence of sex trafficking. it's intense and just heartbreaking most of the time but Jesus's presence is SO in that place. I've never experienced anything like it. and working there, overall, just brings me so much joy.

making me happy. my internship. the new friends I've made there. my tumblr. learning code at codeacademy. if you're in houston, this coffee shop. fuzzy blankets.

listening to. coffee by sylvan esso. white teeth teens by lorde. you & me (flume remix) by disclosure. where feet may fail (HXLY KXSS remix) by hillsong united. runaway by ed sheeran. let me hear (ravish your heart) by great awakening. gooey by glass animals.

reading. I just finished the perks of being a wallflower by stephen chbosky. I loved it because I thought it was so beautifully and uniquely written but I wouldn't recommend it to anyone younger than me because of the subject matter. I'll think I'll be starting paper towns by john green pretty soon. and also, psalm 63 has been on my heart for a while.

appreciating. simpler things in life. recently at my internship, we spent time at a convent for a day-long silent retreat, and it made me appreciate time being still, slowing down, and not having my mind roll 100 miles per minute all the time.

watching. the bachelorette. it's not even a guilty pleasure for me. I just really like watching it. it's entertaining, funny, and hopeful. I don't know... I'm weird.

loving. honesty and open hearts.

strangely obsessed with. vegan recipes. it doesn't really make any sense because I don't think I'd be able to live without meat, but I've been really into vegan food as of a couple weeks ago. I'm seriously thinking about doing a 10-day juice cleanse and incorporating vegan recipes into it. and I might be starting it very soon. if I do, I will let y'all know. if you want to see some of my favorite recipes and such, you can view them here.

excited about. all my social media handles carry the same username! now, I think it will be a bit easier to find me without all seventeen different usernames. on instagram, twitter, and pinterest, you can find me @hannahdotalexis. it's a little odd, but I think it's sort of easy to remember, right? also, my facebook page is probably the easiest way to keep yourself updated about wonderfully sewn! click here for fun updates!

also... this shop, walk in love, is one of my favorites. they have the comfiest shirts, the staff is so cool, and they're probably one of the only instagram accounts headed by a store that I don't mind following. anddddd... they reposted one of my pictures! oh man I was so excited, and *whispers* I got a lot more likes than usual after they reposted my picture. it was supa dupa cool. you can check it out here.

praying for. my dad and family friends. they just set off on a mission trip to haiti and things have been sort of rough so far. they're really pushing through and staying encouraged though, and I know the Lord will really be working mighty things through them.