Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Speak Out and Speak Now!

I was reading in Proverbs, and I ran across a verse that started a domino effect of thoughts and ideas that became this blog. This is the verse:

"Speak for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute. Speak up and judge fairly; defend the rights of the poor and the needy." ~Proverbs 31:8-9

When I first read this passage, it really struck a chord. In my bible, this is under the heading "The Sayings of King Lemuel," so naturally it would seem Lemuel is giving advice to future kings. But, should we not also, as citizens in the 21st century, speak up for those who are not heard or acknowledged, and make their cause known when governments, wicked leaders, society, and others in general try to keep them in silence? Sometimes they are silenced intentionally, but other times, people are just so unaware of the poverty and need in the world. I couldn't even begin to name them all...AIDS, famine, natural disasters, poor treatment of women... Although these thoughts came to mind, I also began thinking about issues in the U.S. around where I live that this verse could apply to. How could I speak up for others? As a writer, one could expose the injustice around the world, which is noble and an exciting prospect. But also, what about the poor man on the street, or children with handicaps? There are many categories of people in our society that are overlooked or just can physically not plead their cause. Abortion is also a major issue, perhaps THE major issue. Clearly, that would be speaking up for those who cannot speak for themselves. As I continued to think on this a quote bounced around in my head, which I retreaved with the help of Google:

"First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out --
Because I was not a Socialist.
Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out --
Because I was not a Trade Unionist.
Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out --
Because I was not a Jew.
Then they came for me -- and there was no one left to speak for me."
~Martin Niemöller

All I remembered of this quote, was the haunting last line, that "they came for me -- and there was no one left to speak for me." According to the source I found, Niemoller was a German Protestant pastor who spoke out against Adolph Hitler and his evils, and ended up in a concentration camp for seven years. He believed that the German people as a whole, and their Protestant leaders, had remained far too silent as hundreds of people were slaughtered, and he was right. It made me think. Who could (or should) I be speaking out for? It is frighteningly true, that if we, as humans, simply rely on our survival instincts of self-protection, we may remain "safe" for awhile, but in the end have no advocate. So I'm challenging you and myself, to speak out and speak out now, before it's too late for them, or for us.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

HOME! Random thoughts, and please, no "Happy Holidays"

YES! I'm finally home for Christmas break, a good month to sit around and read books of my OWN choice, write 'til my pens run out of ink, be unproductive for days straight, and dabble in my artsy hobbies. Hallelujah! Unfortunately, my creative energy feels sapped after half a dozen tests and multiple papers in a week, so I will have to get back to this blog when I actually have an enlightening thought to share. The only thing that's been on my mind lately, is that I want to find ways to reach out to others around me: my neighbors, those in need, strangers. This life is about relationships, and when we face the end, that's all that counts. God summed it up: Love God and love others. Love. Live it out. So, I'm thinking about ways I can brighten someone's day this holiday season, and I'm going to make every effort to say MERRY CHRISTMAS to all of those people determined to say Happy Holidays. No, Merry Christmas. Be thankful that Christ came as a child for you. Indeed, that's a merry and joyous thing, and I will not wish you Happy Holidays in light of the all-surpassing birthday of Christ.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

The Deception of Division

In class the other day, we were discussing important leaders like Booker T. Washington and W.E.B. Du Bois and their approaches to racial equality. I'd like to say that any form of racism is over, and it may appear so, but it's far from true. Racism isn't just an American issue; it occurs around the world. In the U.S., it seems less active, and what may appear as segregation may be simply separation based on preference and commonalities. This is just one division: the amount of melatonin in your skin placing you in one group or another. What about division based on gender, intelligence, income, or hereditry? All an illusion... "So in Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith, for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. If you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise." (Galatians 3:26-29)

I began to think farther, about this concept of a divide among us. It happens between groups, sub-groups, etc... But also on an individual, more devastating level. It begins like this: "I must be different, no one feels this way; She has everything together; I must be weak if I struggle with this; People will not accept me if they know the real me." These are dangerous, devisive lies from no where else but the Father of Lies. In the same way that we isolate ourselves from "other" groups, we isolate ourselves from other individuals, living in fear instead of faith. We live behind invisible walls to protect ourselves, preserve our identity, and remain "happy." But, guess what, God created us for relationships! At the core, we are all broken, hurting souls placed within an outer-shell of a body. If Satan can convince of we are weird, strange, un-Christian to think such thoughts, hypocritical, he will prevent our growth and freedom in choosing emotional intimacy. I would have to say, that not until college did I discover that all my struggles, were common struggles. I was not so different. The girls on my hall dreamed the same dreams, felt the same pains, and also experienced the same emotions.

I cannot say how freeing it is to sit down with a sister in Christ and feel acceptance and a lightening of the soul in sharing my heart. To have someone say, yes, I've been there too, or yes, I struggle with that, is liberating. So next time you try to isolate yourself in your own little group or in your own little self (whichever it may be), remember the unity in Christ and commonality in mankind, and risk relationships and friendships, even accountability, with another soul made in God's image.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

A Beautiful Child

I was waiting in line at Walmart the other day, a fairly normal experience. Also, as usual, I was ever so slightly impatient and aware of the time (when am I not?) and thinking a bajillion thoughts most likely at once. Then the people-watcher in me kicked in, and I started to scrutinize the customers around me. I glanced around, and a young, beautiful face halo-ed by wispy pale curls met my gaze. Two innocent, precious, light-colored eyes met mine, followed by a shy smile. The child couldn't have been much older than a year or so. I smiled back. What an invaluable thing a young life is. I watched the child in awe, thinking of my once untouched face, with blue eyes and curly golden hair, much like this child. I was further struck with the realization that that child, would someday be my own. In the not so distant future, I could be that mom at Walmart, with the great responsibility and immense blessing of caring for a life that God Himself formed. Amazing. It definitely makes you feel old. Thinking of one's future kids is always overwhelming, but what an opportunity of a lifetime to love on young lives that have been, in a way, loaned to you from God, and to realize that although you are teaching them, they are teaching you more about yourself and their heavenly Father each day. How precious life is, and how sad it is that society insists on de-valueing (is that a word?) it.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Thought #1: Be Here Now (aka- Take Out the Ear-buds)

I've had two thoughts lately, and this is thought #1: Be Here Now. It's much more difficult than it seems, and many things distract from the present (such as incessant texting, facebook, and television). But I mainly want to focus on the peril of living life attached to your i-pod. Although I haven't seen too much of it, people walk and move and breathe without unplugging from their musical world. Now, I would be the first to say I love music, and life should be a musical. :) This though, is not the problem here. The issue is not only a physical safety hazard (how can that kid crossing the street hear the approaching bus over Metallica?) but also a social, mental, and perhaps spiritual set-back.

Think of it this way: if you're plugged in, will you be as aware of your surroundings? No... so therefore, you won't be engaged in the people around you or their conversations. Further, not only does that potentially weaken your relational ties, but also weakens your mental IQ if you are not participating in stimulating conversation or soaking up new ideas. This does not just effect you, the extreme hip-hop fan, but also the person in your class, on the bus, driving the bus, walking beside you, or whatever. What if you missed out on an opportunity to meet a kindred spirit or minister to someone who just needed a kind word? Would you know, if you were not "here now"?

I feel that Jesus, as He walked on Earth, was constantly aware of the people and needs around Him. If He wasn't in touch with the present reality, He was in touch, off alone, with a greater reality, God the Father. So, all this is to say, please, for the love of your life, your friends, your future friends, your intellect, and your spiritual health, pull those ear-buds out of your head and exist in the moment God's blessed you with.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

The Lesser-known Handicaps of Height (now you know)

I love over-hearing conversations (not that I am a busy-body, but, if you're talking loudly around me, I may have no choice but to listen). The other day as I was waiting in line at the cafeteria, two guys behind me were having a serious discussion about the draw-backs of being tall. (this is my rendition, paraphrased) "Yeah, man," the one guy said, "there's like less oxygen up here." "Yeah, people don't think about these things," responded the other. "And you know, we're like, closer to the sun, so we get more sun exposure and sun burns..." "Yeah...," said the other, "it's probably the short people that don't think about these things..." I smiled to myself, and did everything I could to not turn around and poke my nose in their conversation. :) I succeeded.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Be Careful What You Pray; You Might Get What You Asked For

Lately, I think God's been trying to teach me patience. I say "trying," because so far, I've been fairly resistant to the whole thing. I remember months ago praying that God would be my all and my everything, my true desire. Word of caution: God will use any means necessary to get you to the point of relying on Him. For me, this meant multiple trials and continued instances where I must practice patience and trust. It's so difficult and frustrating at times, because I cannot see the big picture nor understand the benefit in the struggle.

My Sunday school class is studying Ecclesiastes, and we read through chapter 3 today. This familiar passage reminds us that there is a time for everything under the sun. And we have this assurance: "He has made everything beautiful in its time..." (Eccl. 3:11). In His time, not our time. We were encouraged to think of God as the Beauty-Maker, the ultimate source of control and restoration. So when I prayed "Lord, make me wholly yours, fully dependent on you," I got what I asked for: a closer walk with Him. Of course this is all still in progress, but I'm working on trusting my Beauty-Maker.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

A Love that Demands My All yet Provides Everything and More...

I stumbled across the familiar passage in Mark, where the teacher of the law asks Jesus which of the commandments is the greatest. Of course, we know that all commandments boil down to two things: Love the Lord, and love your neighbor. That simple. Then I looked back on the passage. It states: "Love the Lord your God with all your heart and will all your soul and will all your mind and will all your strength" (Mark 12:30, NIV). Upon examining this, I realized that this is a pretty taxing command. All my heart, soul, mind and strength? Wow. I must confess, my heart, though completely His, beats for my desires and my will more often than His. And my mind...definitely focused on most everything there is every second of the day, and into the night as well.

I've always known this passage, but lately I saw it in a new light. Instead of seeing how demanding God is, I saw how protective and caring He is toward us. I didn't come to this realization on my own, but through one of the recent speakers here on campus (I can't recall who; there are terribly too many). God asks us to love Him with our all because He will meet our needs and then some. Because He can truly satisfy us, and fill us to the point of overflowing into the lives of others. By loving Him (not ourselves, not a guy or girl, not our possessions) with all of our heart, we are protected from disappointment and rejection. As is the case with all of God's commands, they are for our own good. I guess it just took me awhile to recognize the compassionate provision found in this well-known passage.

Working on giving Him my all,

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

A Life Full of Blessings= A Green Field Filled with Gorgeous Flowers and the Occasional Rock or Hole

Phew, what a long title. I was attempting to be creative, and that's the best I could come up with. I was struck with the rememberence that I am truly blessed, and that I have more reasons to be thankful than unthankful, even after tripping over figurative rocks and falling in occasional holes, and sometimes deep holes at that. It may seem ridiculous, but trials can often cause one to be more grateful. You begin to realize that all that you feel you own, that you believe you control, can be gone in a second, and it is only the Lord of Lords that holds it all together. Paul states in Colossians 1:17 that "He is before all things, and in him all things hold together." Similarly, "Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows" (James 1:17).

Our Father is good, and knows how to give good things to His children. Yet, how often we overlook these blessings of everyday life. Right now, as I type this, my heart is beating, I'm breathing, and I'm sitting in an air-conditioned room with two of the dearest girls I know. Relationships are blessings, and familiarity should never breed contempt. I am blessed to be here period, being unsure if I could return this semester. But I felt like God would meet me on the other side, if I took a step of faith like Peter and proceeded with confidence. I've come a long ways over the past year, and although it was a rough journey, I am ever so grateful to be where I am today, and for the hard lessons I learned that could not have been learnd without trials. I hope and pray that God will use my experiences to encourage and relate to others, for deep down we all have the same fears and doubts.

So back to the field analogy...take time to notice the flowers, to appreciate their beauty. There will be rocks and holes, but Jesus is the ultimate Shepherd that cares for his flock so that they are "not in want."

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Greetings from "Home"!

Hello, all! (whoever may be reading this, any one of my seven trusty followers) I am now back at my second home, my dear school that I have been away from for far too many months. I am halfway through the first week, and things are good. Classes are good, friends are good, all is good...except for God and the cafeteria. The first is great, the second is... so-so. But all in all, I'm very happy to be back, and am so blessed to be here. It's been a long journey, and I'm still on a life-long expedition, but God has been good to me to get me to where I am now, and I am grateful. I know He's not finished with me yet, because, I'm still here aren't I? ;)

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Both a Fond Farewell and Long-Awaited Hello

This may be perhaps the final blog I write here from home, until I finally am back "home" (school) after oh so long. I'm eagerly, nervously, anxiously, happily, confusedly excited, if that's possible. But I do believe I am capable of feeling every emotion under the sun all at once; it would not be a surprise. Summer has been good to me, but most importantly, God has been good to me. He provided me an awesome job this summer, and remained true to me even when I felt distant from Him. I love my God. Who can compare? So many times, I wonder what the future holds, and try to fix it before it even gets here. But this verse really tackles that problem: "[God] will lead the blind by ways they have not known, along unfamiliar paths I will guide them; I will turn the darkness into light before them and make the rough places smooth..." Isaiah 42:16. This is my other favorite: "Since ancient times no one has heard, no ear has perceived, no eye has seen any God besides you, who acts on behalf of those who wait for him" Isaiah 64:4. Clearly, God is God, and I am not, and He doesn't need any help or fretting from me to make things happen. In His strength, I will bravely say goodbye for now, and shout a hello of hope to the future.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

It's time for a Blog! (thoughts about pain and growth)

So I haven't written anything here for awhile, and thought it would do my mind some good thinking through something worthwhile to say. Recently, I have been so encouraged by friends and family who know where I come from in my daily struggles. It's so easy to feel like you're the only one, that you're the odd one out. But I've found that whatever your situation may be, someone else is experiencing it too. I've also found that through pain and discomforts (which I initially would never have chosen) I have developed closer communion with God and my fellow man. It's as if suffering and pain makes us human, and until we experience it, we are not fully connected to other people because we cannot relate. The Bible says to consider suffering "pure joy," and although I can't say I'm ecstatic, I can say pain has definitely molded me more into the person I wanted to be.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Prayer, More than Just a Bunch of Words

Over these past few years, I've leard a lot about what prayer is, and also what it is not. So many times I've prayed for specific things, specific issues to be solved and such, and the requests seem to go unanswered. Now, Our Father never wants to see His children suffer, but I'm beginning to truly believe that He has our best interest in mind, and when he says "wait" or "no my child, you don't need that," He's not punishing us, but growing us. Prayer to me has become more of a way to reflect and align my heart with God's. I've discovered that He is always there to hear my rantings or sorrows. But I've also realized I've fallen quite short in thanking and praising Him.

I'm not big on cheesy acronyms, but my pastor used the acronym ACTS to express how our prayer life should look like: Adoration, Confession, Thanksgiving, and Supplication. Note, that the first two and last two go hand in hand. The first two express who He is, and who we are not (our need for Him); and the last two express gratefulness over what He has done and faith in what He will do. In praying this way, we maintain a proper focus on who God is in relation to us, and trust in His constant Providence.

What a blessing it is that we can prayer directly to the Father, because of the sacrifice of His Son and interceding of the Holy Spirit!

Monday, July 12, 2010

Are We Really Connected?!

Technology is a funny thing. We are always "connected," always "available" and generally easy to "get hold of," but what does that all mean? We have free time to chat for hours on facebook with our neighbor down the street, instead of getting off the couch and seeing them in person? And texting... is an awesome way to keep people in the loop with short messages, but is it really necessary to text people all day long to feel like you are "in the know"? It's sad. Technology is slowly and surely taking the personal touch out of communication. Things are said much easier virtually, than in reality. It seems to me that we're approaching the point where we will no longer know how to read or use body language (or correct English grammar for that matter). It's no wonder people cannot spell since "u," "cya," "brb," and "rly" have taken over. Daniel Webster would truly be rolling over in his grave. So please, people, use technology as a catalyst to make events happen, stay in touch with long distance people, and share your pictures with others if you must, but PLEASE don't forget the art of one-on-one conversation and correct English spelling. Ok, I think I'm done venting now...

Monday, July 5, 2010

I'm not of this world...slightly extraterrestial (you are too, admit it)

I was musing, as I tend to do, about our life here on Earth. I find myself expecting so much: for things to be easy, friends to always be there, and basically have my cake and eat it too. But that's not the way things tend to be. Good efforts fall through, living for God is hard, and pain and trials are frequent. But why should we be surprised? As followers and friends of Jesus Christ, we should identify with Him more than this present culture and our state on earth. In John 17:14, Jesus prays to the Father on behalf of His followers and states that "they are not of the world, any more than I am of the world."

Wow. So how comfortable are we on earth? Probably too comfortable. We should see ourselves more as aliens in a foreign land, passing through, but spreading His love and making it our goal to take as many people with us when He returns. Check this passage, Colossians 2:8: "See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the basic principles of this world rather than on Christ." We must stand out, remembering that we are strangers in a foreign land passing through, not letting the customs and norms of this world influence who we are, what we do, and what we live for. So, my fellow aliens, keep pressing on until our Savior returns!

Friday, July 2, 2010

Early (really early) Morning Musings about Candles

I have a thing for candles. So last night when I couldn't sleep, I lit my nearby candle and just watched its steady glow. Watching it, I began to think about how something as simple as a candle could relate to our spiritual lives. Christ says our lives should shine bright for others to see, and not be hidden (think of the kid's song..."Hide it under a bushel...NO! I'm gonna let it shine!") and that we are the salt and light. I began to see the candle though as a representation of our lives. God breathes His breath into us as Christians and new creations, and life begins. We continue glowing and shining for Him, releasing a sweet aroma of obedience, faithfulness, and sacrifice that is pleasing to our Savior (without faith, it is impossible to please God). Our light should illuminate our daily surroundings and give off the warmth of our Savior's love. So, in a metaphorical way, I charge you (and myself) to think of yourself as a candle this week. Shine for Him!

Sunday, June 20, 2010

BE the CANVAS! (yes, that's right)

I've been too busy thinking and doing and such to feel motivated to post anything. But, I think this is worth posting. I've been attending a different, more contemporary church during the week lately, and the latest sermon really hit home. The message was about being like Christ, specifically that we have the power to be MORE like Christ than we consider since His very spirit (the Holy Ghost) indwells us. How could He ask us to be holy, do good works, and seflessly preach the Gospel without empowering us to do so? Without being "possessed," in a way, we are totally powerless. The pastor made a great analogy. He explained it like this: Suppose you have this man who is a great artist, and has painted amazing murals. God, though, turns to you and asks you to then paint a mural, with the same quality. "No way!" you may say. "I don't have that kind of talent..." But suppose God allowed the spirit of that artist to indwell you. Then, you would have a much greater chance of actually succeeding, and creating a masterpiece that resembled the creativity and beauty of the original artist. In the same way, God, the Master Artist, asks us to do His work. He knows, though, that we are human and frail, so He therefore gives us His very own Spirit to indwell us and empower us. Because of this, people should begin to see more of His Son and less of us, as the canvas of our lives is ultimately yielded to the Creator. So yield to the Artist, and let Him make a masterpiece out of your life!

Thursday, June 3, 2010

The Secret of Being Content

Now, as I write this, I realize I am an EXTREME work in progress and have a long way to go. As I pour over Paul's letters in Philippians, I dwell over these particular passages: "I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation..." and "Do not be anxious for anything, but in everything, with prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God." I feel like I have finally reached an "ahha" moment. So many times when I have troubles and concerns, I focus on them incessantly, over-analyzing them into the ground. But God says "Be still and KNOW that I am God." I prefer the NASB version that says "cease striving" in place of "be still." I am gradually learning that when matters are out of my hands, and I have done the best I can, the best thing to do is run to God. But when running to God, seek His face first. I am beginning to see that when I immerse myself in His Word and surround myself with His people, by mini-trials don't seem so overwhelming in light of His Truth. God seldom answers the Why questions, but being filled with Him is often better than the answer.

Friday, May 28, 2010

The Mutual Misery of Married Men in Malls

This blog came about from witnessing precisely what the above title states (although these men were doing a good job of circumnavigating the misery part). One man sat down in the comfy chair to wait on his wife, and another man proceeded to do the same in the nearby chair. Comments about wives and shopping were mutually exchanged back and forth. And of course places of origin, current living location etc. followed. I have no idea how long those men waited patiently in those plush chairs until their wives made some sort of merchandise resolution, but I think it's safe to say that it was long enough to make these two men, once strangers, kindred spirits.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

My New Musical Outlet :)

So, I've decided to try my hand at guitar. Seems like a peaceful and useful instrument to know how to play. Haha, but... I was unaware of the PAIN that accompanies playing guitar, particularly the pain that comes before you build up the callouses on your fingers. As I type this, my fingers feel kind of numb on the keyboard. But, no pain, no gain, right? Looking forward to learning how to play! :) Wish me luck!

Sunday, May 23, 2010


I was thinking, about this thing of conformity... It's like a contagious disease. Someone starts a movement, and before you know it, everyone acts and looks the same. Same hair cuts, same jeans, same brands, same words, same music, sameness... It's so stifling. I don't think I realized how much I had given into conformity during my school years until I went to college. Conformity completely limits creativity, growth, and new thoughts. It also blocks opposing opinions, upholding one viewpoint (which is not necessarily the correct one). Life is much more interesting as a non-conformist. Dare to dig deeper and seek answers. Dare to wear crazy shoes. And dare to care about those around you who have not been freed by the Truth, and therefore, have not discovered their real identity. As Christians, we should not conform to the standards of this world. Our words should be edifying, our actions God-glorifying, and our appearance showing respect of self and respect for others. People think religion is stifling and based too much on tradition, and it is! Christianity is not a religion, thankfully. And Jesus Christ was the ultimate non-conformist. So, if you're sitting around thinking "man, I want to be part of a counter-culture movement" then really live your Christian life! As a result, you will be kind to those who are never acknowledged, you will embrace purity, you will hold your tongue, you will serve when you'd rather be served, and you will love even when you are not being loved in return. Very counter-cultural indeed. So, go be a non-conformist, not just in your hobbies and attire, but in your actions!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Tuesday thoughts...

Not much to say this morning. I am liking my new job, and working later tonight. It is definitely a challenge and much different than fast food, but such a great blessing. To be surrounded by prayer and Christian music, and being PAID to share Christ through our merchandise is AMAZING. I hope this job will enbolden me to be more passionate and open about my faith outside of the comforts of the store, my school, and church.

I heard a song on the radio, "I Made It," and it made me want to cry for them. Check these lyrics: "I look up to the sky/ And now the world is mine/ I've known it all my life/ I made it, I made it!/ I used to dream about, the life I'm living now/ I know that there's no doubt/ I made it, I made it!" He goes on to talk about fame and money falling from the sky, climbing to the top like it's just part of the game. It's so terribly sad. What a horrible, pitiable way of life! And to think, all the kids listening to these songs and looking up to these artists, thinking "man, that's the good life." Tears me apart. If you ever think you've made it, check your prescription. That is such a sign of pride and ignorance. We will never "arrive" in this world, and the only way we can "make it" is through the cleansing blood of Jesus Christ who declares us whole.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

The Blessing of True Friends

The older I get (and after being away at college), I have discovered that true, real friends are like rare gems. How amazing it is to sit down and un-burden your soul with a kindred spirit, someone who is also in this journey of life with you. How even more amazing and encouraging it is when this friendship exists between two brothers or sisters in Christ. I love my closest girlfriends, and I consider them to almost be family. We share heart-to-heart conversations about our walk with Christ, frustration with relationships, and individual passions. To build each other up in prayer, encouraging one another is the heart of a friendship. Friendship is scattered all throughout the Bible: Ruth and Naomi, Jonathan and David... The writer of Hebrews states "encourage one another daily, as long as it is called Today..." (Hebrews 3:13). And Proverbs 27:17 declares "as iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another." If you look throughout the Bible, God does not approve of solitude. In the words of John Donne, no man is an island. Solomon gets this idea in Ecclesiastes: "If one falls down, his friend can help him up. But pity the man who falls and has no one to help him up!" (Eccl. 4:10) I was really struck this weekend over how grateful I am for Christian friends. What a blessing! But remember, sometimes we have to be that blessing too.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Faith like a Child

I love working with kids, especially the younger ones who are so innocent and full of life. They trust you full-heartedly and always say the greatest things, things that make you want to laugh but that you know its serious business to them. This one girl I work with, loves to stand on chairs and jump into my arms. She'll catch me off guard too; out of the blue blurting out "catch me!" She trusts that I will alway be there for her; that I will not let her fall. The more I thought of this, the more it made sense in my spiritual walk. Christ asks us to come to Him as a child, full of faith and trust. So many times I'm just like, "but God..." or "If I do that then..." But He says jump! As in Peter on the water, he called him out of his boat to come to him. Peter had to take a step of faith, and everything went well until he took his eyes off of Christ. The same principle applies in our daily lives. Focus on Christ and trust in His sufficiency and protection. In the works of the old Hymn, Trust and Obey. That is key to peaceful living, something I am just beginning to learn...

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Singlehood: A Curse or a Blessing?

So here goes my mini rant... Facebook knows I am single (it knows all) and is constantly showing me ads to "Date Mature Men" and such and such. Now, I am not against dating and relationships, but do you really think I want to go about it through an online program? It seems our society is so lonely and desperate that they think a special someone will fill their God-sized hole. Well, it won't. I've come to realize that singlehood is a time of self-discovery, closeness with God, and ministry. I am not less than Larkin because I choose to be single. A significant other can never complete you, but only complement you. Ok, I'm done ranting for now. :)

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

The Gym: Have a Healthy Perspective

Ok, so going to the gym is great. I go; most everyone goes. It's good to stay in shape and work your muscles. But for all you gym-obsessed people, with arms the size of my waist (no, I haven't seen anyone like this)and all the name-brand athletic gear, please just chill. Why should one go to the gym? To improve their body, get in shape, and stay healthy. But keep it balanced! 1 Timonthy 4:8: For physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come. Yes, have a healthy perspective, people. Gym is good; God and his people living outside the gym are better.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Haven't written in awhile...

Life is good, even when it's dreary. Seems like a dichotomy, but it is true. The sun is shining always (even if it's not in your neck of the woods) and the rain can't last forever. Thorns are painful, but they often come with the most beautiful and delicate rose. Pain is real, but with the right perspective, pain can always be channeled into growth and beauty. As Jesus said, "every branch that does bear fruit [the Father] prunes so that it will be even more fruitful" (John 15:2). What does pruning entail? Cutting away, cleaning up... discomforts. But what is our reward in the end? Character, fruits of the spirit, and eventually, eternal life. Yes, life is good, because He is good.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Post numero uno

Lalalala! Ok, so this is my first post, did it work? :)