Monday, December 2, 2013

Welcome Maria Webb

It's my great pleasure to introduce my third child, Maria to you. She is a wonderful seventeen year old high school senior who loves music, reading, political discussions, bible study and her family. Her talents are many: below she discusses her interest in graphics and photography which she has explored during this last year of home schooling. Her photos introduce each month in the devotional: Selah: Daily Quotes for Daily Meditation. -Tina

Truthfully, photography is one of the hardest hobbies I have ever started. I began pursuing photography when I was around thirteen years old. I started off photographing basketball games, parties, and family outings. At the time photography was just a necessity. However, as time when on, I realized my greatest challenge: taking a single shot that captured the essence of an object or or a visual concept in my imagination. When I loaded pictures onto my computer one day, all of my frustration vanished and was replaced by nervous anticipation; all because of the edit button. “I can make these photos look any way I want!” It is the art of transforming a bland 2D picture into a digital moment that conjures a feeling or mood that excites me. God’s creation is so beautiful and unique. With every picture I attempt to amplify that beauty and capture the spirit of every object.  Even more so, I desire to reflect a little bit of the glory and awesomeness of God.

Like any Christian, my relationship with God has not been a walk in the park. However, it could have been a lot easier for one reason: if I had known how much He loves me.

I was home-schooled and grew up in the church. My dad was an associate pastor and my mom was a worship leader: the perfect beginning for a perfect Christian life. Unfortunately, I did not use the resources at my disposal and I subconsciously created my own idea of Christianity. As an eight year old this was my idea of Christianity: “God loves me and saved me. BUT, if I do one thing wrong I have to start all over again”. As a result, every night for about three years I re-accepted Christ as my Savior. However, I think the key problem was simply that I had never accepted God as my Father versus as my Master. I had the incorrect perception that God the Father was constantly trying to kick me out and Jesus His Son was the mediator constantly having to accept me over and over again. 

What finally helped me understand how salvation works was the reality that I could do nothing to earn it. Salvation is a gift and I accept it; that’s it! The next things I learned were 1) God is the One who sent Jesus to die on the cross to save me, and 2) that His love is unconditional. 

Ever since I realized those truths, my life has changed immensely. I used to suffer from feelings of depression, however, once I knew that the GOD of the universe LOVED ME unconditionally, that killed any feeling of depression that I had. I used to believe that God was pretty much in control of who lived, who died, who He accepted, and who rejected Him. However, finally using the resources I had, my parents showed me that everything wrong with this world came from Satan, and although he is defeated, humans are still able to give power over to him; unfortunately, giving him the right to hurt whoever he wants emotionally or physically. Ultimately, it is the Christian’s responsibility to take back what Satan has stolen, give life to what he has killed, and restore what he has destroyed. God gives us the power to do all of this through the Holy Spirit  who lives in us.

Next time something bad or negative happens to you or someone else, know that God has the BEST in mind for you and the world.

I am in constant of awe of His grace and love. Not only that, but in His unwavering love for ME! He calls me His daughter and rejoices over Me! No matter how many times I roll this over in my mind, I never really get over the thrill that comes to me. Every moment that I lost in past believing that His love is conditional and limited, is a moment compared to the rest of eternity I get to spend with getting to know Him more and more. I could probably go on for all eternity, but I digress and leave you to discover or rediscover the immense love that God has for YOU!