Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas from me to all of you! I'm thankful for those of you who take the time to read the silly posts that I write, and those of you that follow me and encourage me in this adventure with NR. Remember the reason for the season!
Sometimes, mere words can't explain what Peanuts can.
Again, Merry Christmas everyone!


Monday, December 20, 2010


(This is an apology!)
Well, hi strangers. Fancy seeing you here. Rather, fancy seeing me here.
I know that I haven't been posting recently, and now that I'm on break I'll be doing what I can to fix that. Goodness knows I have ideas! I have a list of like 6 ideas that I'm itching to write about, I just haven't had the time to do all the research and actually sit down to write it all out. It's coming though, so be patient!
No challenge for this post but to stay tuned!
Are you in?


Friday, December 10, 2010

Let's Say Thanks!

Just a Quickie Post for right now, since I posted a long one earlier. I saw this as a link on my friend's Facebook and I couldn't pass up the opportunity to share! is a website where you can send a card to a soldier fighting for our freedom. It's simple! Select one of the cute cards provided, and write your name and hometown in the specified areas. Choose a message that reflects how you feel towards the unknown soldier, and hit send! Xerox will then print and send this as a postcard to a soldier serving overseas. They sacrifice their lives for us daily, so shouldn't we at least thank them for this amazing duty?
Also, remember that we are nearly the holiday season, and these soliders are away from their families and homes - two crucial parts of the holiday spirit! Why don't you send a quick note to them reminding them that we are all praying and caring for them this season, and all the time?
Jesus tells us in John 13:34 -
"A new command I give you: love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another."
Your NR challenge for this Quickie Post? Take the 3 minutes out of your Facebooking, surfing the web, or whatever you may be doing, and send a postcard to those overseas reminding them we care and thanking them for what they're doing for us. Jesus loved us so much He died for us; shouldn't we share this amazing love to those who are willing to do the same?
Are you in?


Giant Mistake.

Things are looking rough.
 So, I'm sitting here trying to get a final project finished before Sunday night. It's a HUGE portion of my grade for my Special Education Technology class, and I have to get it done or else I'll be in major trouble. I have Pandora radio on, trying something new for a change. Normally I have Grooveshark or, lately, Christmas music playing. I found a good station for Contemporary Christian songs, because I needed a lift - lately life has been pretty wild, and sometimes it's just obvious that Satan is using every advantage and chance he has to kick me where it counts.
I started thinking about this, and different aspects that Satan has been pushing in my life started coming to light. I've been tempted with thoughts lately, and my attitude has been less than ideal, and I'm losing my temper fairly quickly now. I've been blaming it on the hectic schedule that I've had lately, with trying to get time to study in, finishing projects, and getting ready for finals next week for school, and all of the other pressures from the outside, like trying to get hours at work which isn't happening, making it to church even though I have class Wednesday nights, and making time for my friends that I've been neglecting because of school. However, it really isn't any of those things, I think. I've been opening myself up to Satan's blows, because, first and foremost, I've been so "busy" that I haven't read my Bible. While this may not seem like a big thing, this is actually a HUGE deal. I normally read it every day, but I haven't because I've been "busy" like I said - with Facebook, trying to catch some sleep, studying, and all of that other stuff.
Because of this, I've started a "chain" of holes that Satan has definitely grabbed a hold on. I haven't read my Bible, like I said, and this led to me not giving everything I have to make time to pray. Sure, I say some short ones through the day and I say one at night, but like Francis Chan said at IYC (see my post on that here), if you aren't giving doesn't mean anything. We aren't talking to some random person when we pray. We're talking to the creator of the universe, that gave us life and controls everything.
When Satan finds one opening, you can sure bet that he's going to try everything to find another and use it. It's like a domino game - one falls, and shortly all of the others follow. So whenever this happens, it can seem like there's a huge cloud following you that you can't get rid of - like a giant mistake that will never, ever go away, no matter what.
As I said earlier, I had Pandora on when I was thinking this. Remembering everything that was going on - and how I wasn't handling it - automatically killed my spirit and mood. I felt horrible, and it was like I couldn't do anything about it. Just then, Voice of Truth by Casting Crowns came on Pandora. This song is probably known by everyone - it's one of the Sunday morning staples at my home church - and so sometimes it's just another song in the background. This time, however, the lyrics couldn't have helped more.
"Oh, what I would do to have the kind of strength it takes to stand before a giant with just a sling and a stone, surrounded by the sound of a thousand warriors shaking in their armor wishing they'd had the strength to stand. But the giant's calling out my name and he laughs at me, reminding me of all the times I've tried before and failed. The giant keeps on telling me, time and time again, 'Boy, you'll never win. You'll never win.'"
Hello, irony.
This was the absolute perfect song that could have come on at this moment. Why? Because not only does this verse capture everything that was going through my head at that time, but it also has a killer chorus that nails exactly the response that I needed - and the truth.
"But the Voice of Truth tells me a different story. The Voice of Truth says, 'Do not be afraid!', and the Voice of Truth says, 'This is for My glory!' Out of all the voices calling out to me, I will choose to listen and believe the Voice of Truth."
This reminds me of the verse that I repeatedly tell my girls that I counseled at camp this summer. When things get rough, and it seems like everything is too hard, I remind them of Philippians 4:13.
"I can do all this through Him who gives me strength."
This verse is one of my favorites, because it reminds me that, no matter how big the challenge - or the giant - God will give me the strength to overcome it. It's pretty amazing.
Your NR challenge for this post is this - take a lesson from this story - and don't get me wrong! This isn't a "made-up post" that sometimes come on here or other people's blogs, where they use a story someone has told them. This is real. It's my personal deal. - and remember that, no matter how big your giant is, he's nothing compared to God.
There's the saying that I think is appropriate for this post. "Don't tell your God how big your storm is, tell your storm how big your God is."
I'll choose to listen to that, instead of making a giant mistake. What about you?
Are you in?


Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!

Give thanks today!
I woke up at 6:00 this morning to hear my mother laughing as she and my father tried to put all of the biggest turkey I've ever seen inside the oven. Ever since then, I've been tortured with the amazing smell of everything that is cooking. We have two turkeys - 30 pounds, I think! Maybe more - potatoes, gravy, pies, and all of that good stuff - not to mention all that will be coming with my family.
Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday, hands down. While Christmas probably comes second, Thanksgiving just wins. Not only is it a holiday where you actually have an excuse to drop everything you're doing (goodbye, Psychology), eat until you feel ready to explode, and watch football all day, but Thanksgiving is a holiday where you don't have to worry about the stress of buying gifts or hoping that the person likes what you got them. (That comes the next day, but that's a different matter entirely.) To me, it's a holiday where family and friends can gather and just enjoy each other's company, relax, and give thanks for all the many blessings that they have.
Times are tough now -unemployment rates are high, the economy seems to stay at rock bottom, and jobs are hard to come by. For many people, life is tough. However, Thanksgiving is a time to celebrate not the hard things, but everything that you have been blessed with - no matter how small. Did you take a shower today? There's a blessing. Are you going to go to a family member's home and spend time with them? There's another. You have clothes to wear, food to eat, water to drink, and a house to live in - all blessings that, unfortunately, we sometimes overlook.
When we look through the Bible for an example of people giving thanks in times of trouble, there are plenty of examples! King David loved to praise God in both the good times and the bad. Daniel was in a den of lions, but still he praised God and gave thanks. When I searched for a verse with the key word being "Thanksgiving" on, I had 10 results in a matter of seconds, with several more to find and choose. In Psalm 107:1, it says this:
"Give thanks to the LORD, for He is good, His love endures forever."
In Psalm 69:30, we read:
"I will praise God's name in song and glorify Him with thanksgiving."
And, lastly, in Psalm 95:2 it says:
"Let us come before Him with thanksgiving and extol him with music and song."
See? All through the Bible there are references saying that we, as God's children, need to give thanks for all of the amazing blessings that He has given us. So this is your NR challenge for today: I challenge you to thank God for everything you can think of, and everything that you can't. From a house, to a computer to read this on, to the eyes that He gave you so you CAN read this. Give thanks.
Have a great Thanksgiving, everyone.

Are you in?


Friday, November 12, 2010

Think Again.

This is just a quickie post, because I found this link earlier and I wanted to put it on here.Take a few minutes and watch this video - it isn't long, and while it's not a funny skit like Tommy and Eddie (The Skit Guys) normally do, it's still definitely worth watching.
Watch it!
Are you in?


Wednesday, November 3, 2010


Thank you, Mam! :)
Wow, what a crazy past few days!
I just wanted to say a big thank you to Mama
Ang, who highlighted my blog in the church newsletter this month. How awesome is that? This crazy blog - filled with the random Gaga and weather posts - highlighted so people are told to visit it. Thanks a ton! :)
This is just a quickie post (you can tell by the label!) but I just appreciated Mama Ang doing that for me! It makes me excited to see that other people can stumble across my little corner of cyberspace now and hopefully get interested in something that they read which could lead them a little closer to Jesus!
I'll stop before my head gets too big, but thanks again to Mama, and to those that are here reading for the first time, I encourage you to explore around a bit. Check out my archive on the right sidebar and look for something that catches your eye. Hopefully a title, photo, or idea will jump out at you, and that you like what you see.
No specific challenge for this post, just a small one to challenge you to explore the blog and let God speak to you. Who knows, maybe all you need is a little post about Lady Gaga to reignite your faith!
Are you in?


Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Party Time!

2012 - The End?
We gonna party like, party like it's the end of the world.
We gonna party like, like it's 2012.
You know that it doesn't matter as long as we got each other.
Turn it up, turn it up, mash it up, it ain't the end of the world.
- Jay Sean, 2010

I don't really listen to popular radio stations, and so I'd never heard this song before I found it on the popular Grooveshark list. I've listened to it a couple of times, and never had really paid attention to the lyrics - I think I was typing a paper for my psych class at the time, until I switched to classical (yes I'm lame but it helps me think!) - but when I finally listened to them, it gave me an idea for a blog post. Ta da!
In this song, Jay Sean sings of partying like it's the end of the world. According to popular belief, the world is supposed to end in 2012 - December 21st, according to some reports from this website: - and so Jay sings of partying then and forgetting that it's all going to end soon.
Are the Mayans right? Is the world really going to end in 2012, and leave us all...where, exactly? What's going to happen to us? Will we die? Or just kinda float around and chill, waiting for something to happen? No one knows.
Except one person, of course.
“But concerning that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father only. For as were the days of Noah, so will be the coming of the Son of Man. For as in those days before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day when Noah entered the ark, and they were unaware until the flood came and swept them all away, so will be the coming of the Son of Man. Then two men will be in the field; one will be taken and one left. Two women will be grinding at the mill; one will be taken and one left. Therefore, stay awake, for you do not know on what day your Lord is coming. But know this, that if the master of the house had known in what part of the night the thief was coming, he would have stayed awake and would not have let his house be broken into. Therefore you also must be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect." - Matthew 24:36-44
Now, after that ridiculously long passage - sorry about all the reading, but it's worth it! - we learn that no one will know the hour of Christ's return or know the "end of the world" as the Mayans seemed to know. Jesus gives us examples in this passage that let us better understand what He means. He gives the example of Noah, where Noah and his family knew the great flood was coming, and tried to warn the people of it. Those people didn't believe him, and went on living their sinful lives. Then, suddenly and without warning, the flood that they insisted wasn't happening...happened. They all drowned because they didn't listen to Noah and heed his warnings about the flood. Jesus also tells us that His coming will be swift, and people will disappear suddenly and without warning. When there may be two men working outside, one could be gone in an instant. This also goes with two women working - one could disappear suddenly, the other staying there.
Jesus goes on to tell us to stay awake and be ready at any time for the end of the world. He gives the second example of a man who would stay awake if he knew that a thief would try to enter his house that night. He tells us that we should be like this man, ever ready for His return.
So what does all this mean? It means, basically, that the Mayans couldn't know that the world is going to end in 2012 - because only God knows when Jesus will return and what will happen. Does this mean that Jay Sean's song is wrote? Partly. Obviously the 2012 part could be wrong - who knows, it could happen! I'm not one to say it will or won't! - but the rest is right, in a sense. We should be making the most of every day and living like it's our last day! Of course, we should be living these days out in a godly way that He would approve of, but nonetheless, we should be partying like it's our last day!
So here's your NR challenge for this post. I challenge you to forgo the hype and belief that the world is going to end in 2 years. Read the Bible, and listen to what it says - only God knows the hour of His return, and so we constantly need to be on our guard, as well as living a life that would be pleasing to Him!
Are you in?


It's war.

It's go time.
All over the news you can hear reporters saying how various countries are constantly at war with each other. Every time one seems to come to a conclusion, the other changes its mind or goes to war with another country. Even the United States is still involved in the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan - almost a decade after the 9/11 attacks. Almost every country has been involved in a war or struggle of some sort, whether political, religious, ect. - people can find a reason almost anywhere to fight.
Before I continue with this post, I want to make it clear that I'm not arguing or blaming anyone for being at war. I support our troops 100% and thank God that they are sacrificing every day to protect us. I much admire them and am proud that they stand up for our freedom.
But, anyways. Everywhere you turn there is someone starting a conflict. All around are people arguing and trying to overcome each other for...what? In the end, after the issue is resolved, someone is going to be unhappy and eventually it'll start over!
We spend so much time debating wars and conflicts worldwide. While some of this is ohk, I think that, sometimes, we spend too much time arguing about arguing! Instead of debating over things like that and spending time on that which could be used elsewhere, there's something else that should really capture our attention. It's the biggest war that has ever happened in the history of, well, ever. While it should be something that all of us think of and try to impact, in reality we tend to put it farther down than it should be in our list of priorities.
For those that know what war I'm talking about, do you agree? And those that don't, let me enlighten you:
It's the war over us.
Since the beginning, God and Satan have been in a fierce battle over something extremely important - us. As humans, it doesn't really seem like something that we realize - after all, it isn't a war that's covered by the media so we can see the Tweets, updates, or photos that relate to it. It isn't a war that "affects" us everyday - God and Satan don't "show up" every day visibly, trying to tug at our arms and pull us onto their "side."
Or is it?
See, there's this pretty awesome - especially awesome, since it came from the most awesome being that ever was - media source that covers this never-ending war. It's called the Bible, and while it may seem old, it actually is way before it's time - as in, it chronicles what is supposed to happen at the end of the world as we know it, and tells of Christ's second coming.
In this world of constantly being updated about the progress of any given war, conflict, or battle, this is war that sometimes can leave people in the dark. Who is winning? Who is losing? What's the deal and where is it taking place?
As for answers, I'm not saying that I know either. Nobody really knows except those involved - God and Satan. However, Satan's a little off. As the days go on, he becomes more and more convinced of his victory. Think of all that is in the world - all the pornographic images, the fighting, and hate and lies and all of that nonsense. That's Satan gaining ground. Sure, he unfortunately has a lot on his side. But what he doesn't know is this. At the end of time, when Jesus comes back after taking all of the Christians on earth (see the book of Revelation to get the whole story; it's a great promise!) Satan's in a big heaping amount of trouble. God is going to defeat him, and Satan will be thrown into a lake of fire for all of eternity - making him the loser. Revelation 20:10 tells it clearly:
"And the devil, who deceived them, was thrown into the lake of burning sulfur, where the beast and the false prophet had been thrown. They will be tormented day and night for ever and ever."
You may be thinking that there isn't any way that we can help - and guess what! You're wrong. It's recruiting time boys. You can help with this. How you ask? Simple.
Lead someone to Christ.
An act that may take 5, 10, 15 minutes could mean an eternity for that person to spend in Heaven with Christ, instead of an eternity away from Him, which is simply the worst punishment that ever was or ever will be. We're called to do this anyway, from Jesus Himself, in Matthew.
"Therefore, go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit." - Matthew 28:19.
So, here's your NR challenge for this post. Get involved in this war that's invading in our personal lives day and night, no matter where or who you are. Take a stand for Christ and lead someone over to the winning side. And don't give up hope - while it may seem like things are going rough, and that your efforts aren't food enough, think again. Satan's probably cringing right now as you read this, hopefully mentally toughening up and realizing your call in this fight. Remember in Ephesians 6 it tells us to put on the full armor of God - the belt of truth, breastplate of righteousness, shield of faith, helmet of salvation, and sword of the Spirit. Put these on, and we become unstoppable.Together, we can make a difference. Strap on your helmets, ladies and gentlemen. As one of my favorite quotes says, God promises a safe landing, not a calm passage.
Are you in?


Wednesday, October 13, 2010

How Great is Our God!

Hey everyone,
just a quick post today because I'm studying for my midterm for my ECED class tonight. I just wanted to tell you all once again how great our God is.
I can't go into details just yet, but those closest to me know what's going on in this hectic life of mine. All I can say is that boy, does God answer prayer or what! While "no" is always an answer, "yes" is still one of the greatest answers ever!
I can't challenge you to do this - that would be wrong! - but I ask you instead to pray for me and what's going to be happening in my life in the next few months. Big changes are possible, and I'm leaving it to God to get me through it.
Are you in?


Wednesday, October 6, 2010


This won't be a long post, just something short that I thought of as I sit in the library waiting for my friend to take this computer.
Well, it's raining. Again. For like the 7381963786478th day in a row. Don't you love it? I loved rain when I was in high school, because looking out the window and seeing it made me happy. It gave the day a certain feel, and even the teachers seemed to feel it too - rainy days normally turned into movie days pretty quickly. But now that I'm in college, rain isn't so high on my favorite list since now, when it rains, I have to walk through it. Honestly, I can't wait for snow only because it's not as wet and miserable - and that's a lot coming from me, since I can't stand winter! But as I write this from the second floor of the library, next to the windows looking out on the grove, I see how pretty it kind of is.
I'm reminded of God's promise to Noah after the flood, in Genesis 9. He gave the rainbow as a sign of His love and His promise that He would never flood the earth again. (Genesis 9:12-17.) So everytime a rainbow appears in the sky, we're reminded to this day that he will never flood the earth again.
But what about days like today, where it seems like there isn't anything special - it's just raining, and raining, and raining, thanks to the aftermath of the hurricane? It doesn't mean that there isn't a promise! Just beacuse there isn't a rainbow out in the sky doesn't mean that we should forget everything that God has promised us.
So here's your NR challenge for this very short and sporadic post. (Sorry about that.) Remember God's promise today, wherever you are - whether it's raining and pouring there, or the sun is shining and everything is beautiful. God is amazing - let's always remember that!
Are you in?


Monday, October 4, 2010

Grow up! (Not.)

For once, I don't have anything pressing for my time tonight. I finished most of my work yesterday since we were home all day. This feeling is incredible - for the first time since the start of classes, I don't have psychology to read, take notes on, or journal about in the weekly journal we have to keep. I don't have theater to read, even though I have a script to read which shouldn't take long. I don't have anything for my ECED class or my EDEX, which is great. This feeling is amazing!
The feeling may be in part to how my day has been. While it's been raining (and raining...and raining...and raining...) it's still been a good day. You see, this is why: this past weekend I got together with 2 of my old friends who I haven't seen in a while, thanks to college. It was great to hang out with them and just relax, not worrying about grades or studying or any of the other stresses that have been so dominant lately. We went to a church rummage sale, and while walking around, my friend and I found this hat:

Why, yes, I love it too. This hat automatically made me laugh and think of how when I was younger, my brother and I got Pokemon posters for Christmas one year. They were the ridiculous ones, with all of the Pokemon on them, complete with stickers you could color and put on each space on the poster. It was the best gift I'd ever been given. He and I sat there in the living room for like 3 hours that day and just colored all of the stickers and put them on the poster. It was sweet.
I was one of the world's happiest kids then because of that poster. And this weekend, when I found that hat and bought it, it was like I was returning to my childhood and I was the happy pathetic nerdy kid all over again. I wore it all day today, and let me tell you - it kept the rain and the cold wind out for my poor head, that's for sure. Yeah, I got some stares and some smiles, but I just kept this ridiculous grin on my face and kept walking.
You know, as kids, we got excited about a whole bunch of stuff. Christmas. Pokemon. The toy in the cereal box. Going places in the car. Winning races and getting prizes. Simple stuff that today, as adults, we don't really even think about, much less get excited for. Here's an example: As a child, I LOVED going places (excluding the doctor, dentist, and orthodontist, of course.) The car was fun to ride in, and I remember always grabbing my CD player (since this was before the days of the iPod, imagine!) with my Britney Spears CD in it and my huge headphones and rushing to the car. I got so excited to go anywhere - every trip was an adventure. Now consider today. While I still like going places and getting out of the house, I hate driving. Hate, hate, hate it. I always was the one on the games in the arcade where you drove cars, and yet today, I hate driving. Period. I just don't get excited for it at all. Funny how that works, huh?
Why can't we keep the excitement that we have as children and make it last throughout our lives? This is something that could be so useful - think about getting excited for work or school, instead of dreading it and having our attitudes make it worse than it really is? And what about our faith? In Matthew 18:3 Jesus said:
"I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven."
Jesus also said, in Matthew 19:14,
"Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these."
Jesus is saying that unless we have the faith and excitement of a child when it comes to a relationship with Him, we won't be giving it our all and being sincere. Kids are so excited about everything, like I've said - so we should use that excitement and dive into our relationship with God!
Say you just gave a little kid a present. Girl or boy, it makes no difference, let's just say that you gave them one of the coolest presents they've ever had in their life. How do they respond? After screaming and shouting because they're so excited over it, they thank you a million times and more often than not rush over to give you a hug. Now think about it: God gave us the greatest present of all - everything we have. Our lives. The world around us. The company of other people. And, most importantly, the gift of eternal life through the death of His son. How are we thanking Him? By ignoring it and taking it for granted? Not even accepting it? A kid wouldn't do that. Why are we, as God's kids, doing that?
Here's your NR challenge for this post. I challenge you to have the faith and excitement of a child when it comes to everything in your life the next few days. Smile more and be happy. Take nothing for granted. Thank those in your life that deserve it - parents, friends, family members, anyone. And more importantly, get on your knees and thank the one that gave it all just for you and me. He's waiting to return the huge hug that we should be giving Him. So what do you say?
William Strafford once said, "Kids: they dance before they learn there is anything that isn't music." Let's do just that. Dance without music, knowing that you're a child of the amazing creator who loves you and would give anything for you. It'll brighten your day, and maybe someone else's as well.
Are you in?


Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Women of Faith - Rebekah.

Rebekah - Who are you when no one's looking?
Boy, have I missed writing or what! Well, writing something that isn't papers or essays or quiz answers, that is.
In Genesis 24 we read of Abraham sending a servant out to find a bride for his son, Isaac. If I were this guy, I'd be a little afraid. Hello, pressure? Instead of freaking out, like I may have done, the servant pulls the smart move and prays to God for a sign.
"Then he prayed, "O LORD, God of my master Abraham, give me success today, and show kindness to my master Abraham.  See, I am standing beside this spring, and the daughters of the townspeople are coming out to draw water. May it be that when I say to a girl, 'Please let down your jar that I may have a drink,' and she says, 'Drink, and I'll water your camels too'-let her be the one you have chosen for your servant Isaac. By this I will know that you have shown kindness to my master."" - Genesis 24:12-14.
That's one devoted servant! He wanted to be as sure as possible that he had found the right girl for Isaac, the perfect one that God wanted for Isaac.
No sooner does the servant do this then a girl named Rebekah comes to the well to draw some water. Scriptures tell us that she is the relative of Abraham, which is the first thing that Abraham required in his son's future wife. Check. The second thing we learn is that Rebekah is beautiful - a major plus, obviously, but not required. The third thing we read is that Rebekah is a virgin. Check. Just like that, three things that were important were settled - and Rebekah hadn't even talked to Abraham's servant yet.
Rebekah goes over to the well and draws water, when the servant rushes over. Seeing his chance to have his prayers answered, he asks for a drink of water. Rebekah gladly gives it to him, and - the servant's prayers becoming answered - waters his camels as well. She doesn't even know it, but Rebekah just passed the unwritten test. Check, and mate.
The servant had prayed for a sign - just a hint that this was "the one." Rebekah caught his eye by going the extra mile in common courtesy and offering him and his camels a drink. She was exactly what he was hoping to see - a selfless, caring woman. Rebekah had the inner beauty that radiated from her selfless nature and her purity as a virgin. She was a complete beauty, inside and out - lucky Isaac! They were introduced and immediately married. Rebekah's admirable, kind nature took her from watering camels at the well to becoming a part of a family chosen by God to bless the world (see Genesis 17:16.)
But the story doesn't end here. Later in life, Rebekah was put to the test again - and this time, she didn't do so well. She and her younger (and favorite) son, Jacob, double-teamed Isaac in his old age and conned him into giving him Isaac's blessing instead of the eldest son, Esau.
Our reputation lies in who people think we are when they watch us from afar. However, character is who we really are - especially when no one is looking. When I taught this lesson to my girls at camp this summer, I used the Pixar movie The Incredibles as an example. In the movie, the characters are superheroes that have to hide their true selves and act as if they were normal people, because the real "normal" people don't like the superheroes. Their reputation lies not on what people think of them as "normal" people, but rather the superhero identity that they have when no one knows who they really are. In the same way, character is who we really are - especially when no one is looking. Rebekah knew what it was like to win and lose in both arenas. She lived up to her selfless reputation one moment, unaware that anyone was even looking at her. But then she showed her entire family a completely different side of her character.
Like Rebekah, we live in a watching world. Everywhere we go, people are ready to take one look and judge us by what they see - or what they thing they see. People always look to see if we're real, and for signs of our true nature. Are you one way at church and another at school or work? Are you sweet to your friends' parents while mistreating your own? If others catch you in the right moment, at the right time, what are they most likely to see?
The NR challenge for this post is obvious - be a Rebekah in the early part of her life, not the end! Let your inner beauty shine and your reputation show who you really are, nothing fake. Don't be like Rebekah was at the end - completely fake and unreal.
Are you in?


Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Put a smile on!

Young at Heart.
Hey everyone!
College is crazy, and due to recent weird/moronic happenings - I say nothing - I can't write as much as I wanted to. I have so many ideas, but the time and now, the ability to write it all, isn't there - at least for the time being. So, I've decided to make a "Put a Smile On" day, where you can just come and read/see something that will hopefully brighten your day a bit.
This is a photo I took on top of the ferris wheel when my family went to Idlewild on Sunday. I love it!
Hope it makes you smile!

Are you in?

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Women of Faith - Hagar.

Hagar - Headed Nowhere Fast.
You know how someone will tell you a story, and it seems like that's all there is to it? Then another person who was there will come and give their side of the story, and it seems completely different. Sometimes we forget that there are two sides to a story - even something as famous and well-known as a Bible story. When I saw the highlight for Hagar in my Bible, I wasn't too thrilled. I considered skipping over this as a topic - I mean, it's just Hagar. There isn't anything too special about her - Sarah messed up and made her get pregnant with Abraham so that "Sarah" would have a son, and it turned out to be a big, bad idea, and Hagar was, in all sense, completely screwed over. Why would I want to write a post about her?
Then I read the highlight. I was blown away; I had never put myself into Hagar's shoes before. She deserved to be highlighted in my blog, I decided.
Here's why.
In Genesis 16, we first learn of Hagar. She's Sarah's - then Sarai - servant, and that's about all we know of her. God promised Abram/Abraham and Sarai/Sarah a son (read my Women of Faith highlight on Sarah to get the full story: Women of Faith - Sarah. ) and both of them were old, old, old. Sarah thought, there's not a chance that I'll have a son in my old age! So what does she do? She tells her husband to sleep with her servant, Hagar, so that they may have the son that God promised.
Now, think about it. You're working for an older couple, and God tells them that they're going to have a son. Time passes, and it gets more and more improbable. Then, all of a sudden, your mistress comes and says, "Hey girl, go make me a sandwich. By the way, you're off tonight because you have to sleep with my husband. I want a son, and I'll get one - through you."
Say what?
Poor Hagar didn't have a say AT ALL in this! She just did what she was ordered to do, and pretty soon she was pregnant with her son, who was named Ishmael.
God obviously didn't have a part in this, and He was ticked. That's not how He planned it, and not at all what he told them to do. Pretty soon, Abraham and Sarah realized this, and then Hagar was stuck in an already bad situation - about to be made a lot worse. She could have done many things - stayed there and dealt with it, for example. But what does she do? She runs off.
She encounters an angel in the desert, who she talks to for a while until being convinced to go back home. That angel had two very imporant questions for her: What was she running away from? Being mistreated. A pretty uncomfortable living situation. An inferiority complex - knowing she would always be second best to the "real" wife, and she was essentially a mistake. However, besides all the awful things that Hagar was running away from, God called her to also examine where she was going.
Like Hagar, we're never really "standing still" in life. We may try and avoid our problems by running away...but where are we going? To better choices? A promising future? Or are we like Hagar, sitting in the desert - going nowhere fast? She began to realize that maybe she didn't know how to take care of business on her own.
When we hit a crisis on our road, what's our first instinct? Run away and hide, if we can? Sometimes it seems like we're completely positive that we know exactly what we're doing - until God comes along and asks us to consider our ways.
Here's your NR challenge for this post. I challenge you to see what you're running from. School or college? Work? Family problems or arguements with friends? Realize that whatever it is, it won't work. Turn everything over to God, and see that only He can fix things. Wait too long, and you'll be stranded and things will look even worse. Always remember, though, that no matter what, God will be there. Life isn't fair sometimes - take the lesson from Hagar! Even so, though, God can take something rough and make it something absolutely amazing.
Are you in?


Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Drink Up.

Would Jesus be the gold flavor, do you think?
Another day on campus, and yet another blog idea. At least there's something to be said about higher education. Well, that and the insane amount of studying you have to do. I just studied for 2 hours as I read and highlighted my first chapter in Psychology, and then I remembered I have 2 chapters to read for Intro to Theater, the book to look over for Chem and Chem Lab, and I still have yet to connect to the campus drive to get the reading and powerpoints for my Geography class. All this, and they haven't even started teaching yet!
So, once again, I'm adventuring around campus, this time walking with my friend when we pass one of the dining halls at the far end of campus. Parked outside was a Vitamin Water truck, and two people in front of it were passing out bottles of - what else - Vitamin Water. I was handed one - Black Cherry Lime? Gross? - all of a sudden, and popped it in my backpack as we continued walking (after taking a sip, and declaring it to be too disgusting to consume.)
As I ended the day, I saw a slogan from Vitamin Water - "Healthy Hydration for Every Occasion." It got me thinking - every occasion? Ohk, so you could drink it after a soccer game. Smart. After a speech. Ohk, that works too.
But what if you're really, really thirsty? There's only one thing that will satisfy that - and it's not Vitamin Water.
In John 4, we read of Jesus going to a well in Samaria, in a town called Sychar. He's been walking all day, and by this point is really tired, and understandably thirsty. A Samaritan woman comes to draw water from the well, and Jesus asks her to get him a drink.
Now, let's clear something up. Jesus was a Jew. In his time, Jews didn't talk to Samaritan people, and so Jesus asking her for a drink was shocking to her. She replies, "But you're a Jew, and I'm a Samaritan - that's a no-no!"
Jesus answered her, "If you knew the gift of God and who it is that asks you for a drink, you would have asked him and he would have given you living water." (John 4:10)
The woman is now probably more confused than before. Instead of a simple, "Oh, my bad." Jesus replies with this? She says, "Dude. You don't have anything to draw water with, and that sucker is deep. Where can you get this 'living water?' Are you greater than our father Jacob, who made the well?" He replies, "Everyone who drinks from this well will get thirsty again, sooner or later. But whoever drinks the water I have will never thirst again. The water I give him will become a spring, welling inside of them a spring of eternal life."
That sounds awesome, doesn't it? The Samaritan woman thought so too, and jumped at the chance to recieve it. "Give me some!" she asks. He tells her to go get her husband. Easy enough, right?
Wrong. This woman doesn't have one, and she tells Jesus this. He says, "You're right in the fact that you don't have a husband. In reality, you've had 5 husbands and the man you're with now isn't your husband."
Well, dang.
Here's the rest of the story, from John 4:19-26:
 "Sir," the woman said, "I can see that you are a prophet. Our fathers worshiped on this mountain, but you Jews claim that the place where we must worship is in Jerusalem." Jesus declared, "Believe me, woman, a time is coming when you will worship the Father neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem. You Samaritans worship what you do not know; we worship what we do know, for salvation is from the Jews. Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks. God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in spirit and in truth."
The woman said, "I know that Messiah" (called Christ) "is coming. When he comes, he will explain everything to us." Then Jesus declared, "I who speak to you am he."
Jesus can provide water that can quench any thirst you've ever had, and ever will have. Vitamin Water can't say that.
So here's your NR challenge for this post. I challenge you to dive into the "water" that God has given us. Study the Bible and what He has to say about it, and then make the leap into faith. It'll be more refreshing than any Black Cherry Lime you've ever had.
Are you in?


(P.S. - I apologize for all of the horrible "water" references and jokes. It comes with the job.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Christianity = College.

Christianity 101?
College started today, and boy oh boy, talk about a change. I was sitting in the park when 3 people - an older man, younger man, and student-age girl - came over to me and started asking me if I knew Jesus. As a Christian, I told them, yes, of course. They quizzed me until they really saw that when I said I was a Christian, I meant it.

As they walked away, it got me thinking. College is already so much more different than anything I've experienced so far. Instead of setting your watch by A-R time when you get to school, you glance at your phone and see how long until class. No annoying bells telling you to move - I don't even remember what they sound like - instead you have to watch the time and figure it out yourself, because classes are insanely spread out. Instead of suffering through lunches like pizzaburgers and rib BBQ sandwiches, I can choose what I want to eat and when I want to eat it. It's going to be as lot of work, but I can say - I like college.
The thing with college is, though, is that you have to discipline yourself to do what needs done, when it needs to be done. Professors won't care at all that you don't come to class, unlike high school, where you HAD to go. You know what you need to do - homework, projects, and other assignments - but noone is going to guide you along. You have a "rule book" - the class syllabus, the college handbook or guide - and normally it sets an expectation, like an academic standard for integrity. You decide what "road" you go on - the right one, where you do your own work and follow the expectations, or the wrong one, where you copy, cheat, and barely do what needs to be done to get by. It's your choice, and it's entirely up to you.
Your Christian walk is like that, too.
Once you put your faith in Christ - like leaving high school for college - your life changes, even though it may not seem like it. You're still going to school, you're still leading the same life. However, like college, once you turn your life over to Christ, you're playing by a different set of rules. The Bible is now your guide, and there are things in there - like the 10 Commandments, for example (Exodus 20: 2 - 17ish) - that tell you how to live.
The same thing applies to your decision, however. Like Christianity, you can choose to follow God's word and his plans for you. It's your own choice, and noone can make that decision for you. Likewise, you can choose to avoid it and not accept God's grace and forgiveness and His way of living. You can live your own life doing what you want, and it seems perfect, in a sense. Complete free will - God's gift to man. Watch out though, because at the end of everything comes the result - in college, living how you want will earn you a flunking grade, or worse. Same thing with your Christian walk. Except here, there aren't any do-overs and make-ups that you can take once life is over. You can't try again like you can on an assignment. It's simple - Heaven, or Hell. Your choice.
So here's your NR challenge for this post - I challenge you to make the choice between the "fun" life - going down the wrong road, and straying from what God's will is - and the "difficult" life. Life with God isn't going to be easy, and by no means is Christianity a walk in the park. You're going to get persecuted. You're going to get made fun of. You may lose friends, respect, anything. But in the end, isn't it worth it - when you walk into Heaven and hear God saying, "Well done my good and faithful servant?" Of course it is!
So make the choice. It's up to you.
Are you in?


Friday, August 27, 2010

Women of Faith - Lot's Wife.

Lot's Wife - Leaving the Past Behind.
Sodom is in some serious trouble. People are sinning everywhere, and it's like God's rules don't apply anymore. Case in point: in Genesis 19, we learn 2 angels come to Lot's house, and prepare to spend the night. Before the men go to bed, however, all the men from the part of the city of Sodom, from young men to older men, surround Lot's house. They start shouting at Lot inside, telling him to make the 2 "men" - i.e., the angels - come outside so they can have sex with them. (Genesis 19: 1-5)
Whoa, back up here? Men are screaming at Lot, demanding that he make these 2 strangers come outside and do...what? It's clear that Sodom had turned from God in a most extreme way.
Lot knows that the men are sinning, and so he tried to at least make it right by offering his daughters to the men. The two men inside pull Lot back inside, and tell Lot to take his family and all his things and leave, because God is going to destroy Sodom. They all grab their things and run, while the two men tell them not to look back under any circumstances. That wouldn't be hard, right?
Apparentally not. As they run through the plains outside of Sodom, God begins raining down burning sulfur, covering the city. One person looks back though - Lot's wife. Immediately she's covered by the sulfur, turning her into what the scriptures say "a pillar of salt."
After reading this, you may ask yourself, "Um, Mrs. Lot? Why in the WORLD would you turn around???" It's easy to think that she did something rather dumb. But honestly, think about it - she's leaving everything she ever knew behind her while she's running towards a completely unknown future. She's leaving everything behind - her home. All her things except what she could carry. Her friends. Her whole life was going up in flames behind her! You can't honestly say that you wouldn't turn around and look.
What's God telling you to run from in your life? When God tells you to move on from a friendship that isn't helping you out, do you cut it off immediately? Or do you find yourself still hanging around them, telling yourself it won't be for too much longer? Or even this - a break-up. You're devastated...and hoping that you'll get back together even though they're not good for you. When you get hung up on "what might have been," it keeps you from seeing "what might be." God has new and way better possibilities in the future, if you'll only trust him.
So here's your NR challenge for this post. I challenge you to let go of your past, without looking back for a second thought or another glance. Take it from Lot's wife. When it comes to letting go of your past, one look back can be your last.
Are you in?


Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Women of Faith - Sarah.

Sarah - God Must be Joking, Right?
"The Lord had said to Abram, 'Leave your country, your people, and your father's household and go to the land I will show you. I will make you into a great nation and I will bless you; I will make your name great and you will be a blessing. I will bless those who will bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse; and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you.'" - Genesis 12:1-3.
Talk about an opening statement. In this passage, God tells Abram to leave his country and go where God tells him - somewhere basically unknown to him. But, who is he to question the Big Man? So, he takes all his stuff, his wife, Sarai, nephew Lot, and all his slaves, and heads out. Abram wasn't a spring chicken here, though. He was 75.
A few verses later, we learn of a famine in the land. (Genesis 12:10) Abram and Sarai go to Egypt to live, because the famine is severe and there's no way they could last where they were. Now, Sarai is a babe. She may be quickly approaching old age (maybe?) but she's still beautiful. Abram realizes this, and decides to save his own hind end. He tells his wife to pretend that she is his sister, because is the Egyptians take a liking to her, they may kill him to get to her if he is her husband. To save himself, he's her "brother." Of course, exactly what he didn't want to happen, happens. Pharaoh sees her, and dang if he doesn't want her. He takes her as a wife, and Abram's treated well, since after all, he is her "brother." Soon though, God starts the smackdown. He inflicts Abram's house with plagues until he confesses that Sarai is actually his wife.
Skipping to Genesis 15, we read of God making a covenant with Abram, telling him that his offspring will be like the number of stars - countless. (Genesis 15:5) This is comical to him, because as of now, he and Sarai have no children, and they're both pretty old.
In Genesis 16, though, Sarai makes a mistake. She doesn't believe that she'll have a son, and so she thinks that the son God promised is one born through her servant, Hagar. She has Abram sleep with her, and she becomes pregnant. Things get messy fast, with Hagar despising Sarai and Sarai in turn mistreating Hagar because she hates her. Hagar fights back by running away to the desert, but eventually comes back and has her son, Ishmael. Abram is 76 at this point.
God makes another covenant with Abram, and changes his name to Abraham, and Sarai's name to Sarah. Sarah hears she'll have a son in her old age, and she laughs, doubting God. However, it's God who has the last laugh, after Sarah becomes pregnant and Isaac is born when Abraham is 100. Sarah eventually came to believe God before Isaac was born, and was even the first woman in the list of the faithful located in Hebews 11 (see Hebrews 11:11.)
Sarah's story seems like a Jerry Springer show, with the headline being "Senior Citizen Gives Birth to Miracle Baby!" Sometimes, doesn't that feel like our own lives though? The world can make us feel like God's call on our life could interest talk show producers. Other headlines that could relate to us could be ones like, "Local Sophomore is Last Virgin in the World!" "He Said No to Steroids!" and other things like that. Sometimes we just don't feel like we can pull off what God wants us to do. There's no way we could start a ministry in church. There isn't a chance that I could sing a special in front of the whole congregation. It's almost comical. But, like Sarah found out, God's promises ring true. They're solid, and come true every time.
Sarah evidently turned her doubts into faith, and look what happened - she not only had a child at an old age, but because an ancestor of Jesus Christ himself! Do you believe that God will come through for you, too?
Here's your NR challenge for this post. I challenge you to be like Sarah after she believed God. Once you put your faith in God, you'll see things like never before. Do you have doubts and worries? Throw them out, and dive wholeheartedly into what God's telling you. He's trying to make you see something, all you have to do is take the time and have the faith to find out.
Are you in?


Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Women of Faith - Eve.

Eve - The Girl Who Wants It All.
So shoot me, I couldn't stay away from writing too long. I ran upstairs almost seconds after hitting "post" and grabbed my Bible and my notes from camp, ready to start with at least one of 2 Women of Faith posts today. And of course, when you start, you have to start at the beginning. Thus, I bring you Eve.

"So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them." - Genesis 1:27.
In the beginning, as we know, God created the heavens and the earth. Pretty soon he realized that earth needed something, after all the animals and waters and plants and whatnot were made. So, like Genesis 1:27 says, he created man. Adam was supposed to be in charge of the whole joint - naming the animals and keeping watch over them, work the garden, and to just watch over Eden. Pretty soon though, God realized that it wasn't good for him to be alone - he needed a helper, and none of the animals he had created were a good fit. So, as Genesis 2:21 says, God caused Adam to fall into a deep sleep. He took a rib from Adam's side, and with it formed a helper for him - a woman. Adam said in Genesis 2:23 that she was flesh of his flesh and bone of his bones, and would be called a woman for she was taken out of man.
Life after this seemed pretty good. Eve had it made - a perfect husband for her (technically, as we discussed in church one Sunday, one of the few "matches made in heaven" - literally!), no shame at all because they walked the garden naked - why would they need clothes? - and the perfect place to live, in the middle of a gorgeous garden, where she and Adam took walks with God all the time. She had it all. The only restriction that they had was that they weren't allowed to eat from the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil, located in the middle of the garden. No big though, right?
Then, along comes this slimy fella. The serpent, we learn in Genesis 3:1, was more crafty than any of the other animals that God had made. He starts pestering Eve with questions, asking, "Did God really tell you that you can't eat from that tree?" He told her that if she ate from it, she would be like God, knowing good and evil, and not die like God had said.
Eve could have stopped right there and said, listen. I have a perfect life. I don't need to be like God, because noone can be like him. I have everything I want. But she didn't. Instead, she snuck on over to the tree and looked at the fruit, seeing that it looked good. She took some, and ate it, and instead of sticking to her own self, gave some to Adam and he ate it too. Then the eyes of both were opened, and they realized - hello! - that they were buck naked, and so they started covering themselves with fig leaves.
Soon, God starts walking around in the garden. He's happy, because he made it and it's amazing, and everything is perfect. He starts looking around for Adam, and for some reason can't find him. So he calls to him, "Where are you?"
Oh snap.
Adam answers, "I heard you, and I was afraid because I was naked, so I ran and hid."
God's like, "...what?"
Here comes the boom.
"How did you know you were naked?" God says, "Did you eat from the tree I commanded you not to eat from?" I imagine at this point Adam and Eve look at each other and we would hear an audible "gulp" coming from both of them. Adam's response to God's question? She made me do it. So God turns to Eve. "What is this you have done?" He asks. Eve's response? The snake made me do it. So, God turns to the snake, and curses him with crawling on his belly and having Eve's children forever smash him in the face and hate him - giving us today's gross snakes and reptiles.
He turns to Eve, and lovingly gives us women pains in childbirth and having our husbands have the power over us. Thanks, dude.
And lastly, he turns to Adam, saying how Adam and his offspring will forever have to work for what they want, and then condemns him to the saying, "dust to dust" meaning he's going to die, instead of having a great life with God in the garden. Then God made garmets of skin for Adam and Eve, casting them out of the Garden of Eden forever to work the fields.
Isn't that crazy? Eve had EVERYTHING! The perfect guy, body, and life, but she wanted more, and by eating from the tree, she got more than she had EVER bargained for.
Do you know a real-life Eve? She's always trying new things like smoking or drinking because it may make her seem "cooler" - and she gets everyone else to try it too, just like Eve had Adam eat the fruit too. Eve's decision had major consequences.
Whether we want to or not, sometimes we may do the wrong thing to be "happy" or "popular." We need to look at Eve's story to realize that we should be content with what we have! Everything that we do have is from God, and he can easily take it away or give us more - all depending on our actions. Satan knows exactly the right ways to tempt us, but face it - when it comes to doing the wrong thing, we have only ourselves to blame.
Here's your NR challenge for this post - I challenge you to curb your inner Eve-complex. We're always wanting more and never satisfied with what we have, but I ask you to try to beat this mindset. Realize that what you have is from God and it's absolutely perfect. Don't ask for more, because Satan knows how to reach you in the places you're weakest, and the consequences could be dire.
Are you in?


Women of Faith.

Women of Faith series, coming soon!
Hey everyone! This is just a short quickie post because 1, my notes are upstairs and 2, I have a ton of things to do before school starts on Monday. I figured I'd throw an idea at you though and see what you thought.
When I counseled this summer at my church camp, I led devotions every night with my 5th and 6th graders. The camp gave us a book of devotionals that we could use for every day that went along with the theme ("Ready, Set Go") but I decided to take a different route. Since I obviously only had girls, I decided to use certain devotionals and character highlights that were in my Bible. I chose the most common ones, but used a 1 or 2 lesser-known names so the girls could get a wide variety. They seemed to love it, and I was thinking earlier that maybe I could try to broaden that character study on here.
So, shortly (as in once my laptop comes and I have unlimited use of a computer and the Internet), I'll be beginning a study of various Women of Faith. I'll use what my Bible has, and I'll also, like always, use my own takes and opinions of everything to try to make the point come across easier and clearer.
While guys may not like this idea, I can say, too bad. Always in church and Sunday School and junior church the focus would be on guys - Moses, Noah, Joshua, ect. I don't recall ever hearing about girls, and so when reading my Bible when I was younger I came across all the different types of girl stories - Ruth, Esther (my favorite!), Deborah, ect. They're amazing stories, but for some reason, the church seemed to cater to just the male stories of bravery and valor - even though the girls had just as much guts!
That's what my series will be about. A study of women and girls who were just like us, but put into incredible circumstances thanks to God.
Here's your NR challenge for this post. I challenge you to stay tuned for this series and like me, I hope you'll be excited to read what's in store!
Are you in?


Monday, August 23, 2010

Snooki, meet Jesus.

I recently got this idea from the Dare2Share emails that I get, so as much as I wish I could take credit for this idea, I can't. I can elaborate on it though.
I can say honestly that I've never seen Jersey Shore, and I can also say that I know I'm not missing anything. To me, it seems like a bunch of immature people have been somehow thrust on television and told to "live their lives" so that America can watch them every night on MTV, or whatever. It's ridiculous. Somehow this shows already been on the air for a long time, and I've never even heard on it until a few months ago when everyone was crazy about it. I first became aware of it at school, when people started saying the quotes from the show and wearing t-shirts with sayings and the words "Jersey Shore" on them. I was confused. Then, for the spring musical, a girl did my hair in a really cute style. Somehow, though, I was called Snooki. I had no idea who she was until I looked her up and realized that I definitely did NOT want to look like her - even though the hair was pretty cool, and I actually really did resemble her. At least in the hair.
To me, the show seems ridiculous, and I can't believe that people would waste money putting it on the air. These people get enormous salaries, just for being idiots. Take for example The Situation's comment:
" I mean this situation is gonna be indescribable, you can't even describe the situation that you're about to get into the situation."
Incredible, thanks for your amazing intellectual ability.
However, according to Dare2Share (and myself, after I scanned the email), Jesus would probably be hanging out with the cast of Jersey Shore. While this sounds insane, think about it. Jesus hung out with those the "church-going" crowd deemed not worthy. Tax collectors and other notorious sinners often came to listen to Jesus teach. This made the Pharisees and teachers of religious law complain that he was associating with such sinful people-even eating with them!

So Jesus told them this story: "If a man has a hundred sheep and one of them gets lost, what will he do? Won't he leave the ninety-nine others in the wilderness and go to search for the one that is lost until he finds it? And when he has found it, he will joyfully carry it home on his shoulders. When he arrives, he will call together his friends and neighbors, saying, 'Rejoice with me because I have found my lost sheep.' In the same way, there is more joy in heaven over one lost sinner who repents and returns to God than over ninety-nine others who are righteous and haven't strayed away!
(Luke 15:1-7).
Jesus was a friend to everyone; the hurting, lost, and ill came to him by the dozens because they knew that they could go and be helped. But Jesus' main "focus" was on sinners, who had something deep down inside them that kept them from crying out for the hope that they do desperately wanted. They're "lost sheep" and Jesus is the shepherd, leading His children back to Him.
If we're really Christ's followers and want to live like Him, we need to reach out to people, even those like in Jersey Shore. They need Jesus, and whatever we can do to help them needs to be done. They're broken inside, and the only fix is the Gospel message. No, it's not more cowbell. It's Jesus.
So here's your NR challenge for this post. I challenge you to go out and love the Snooki's of the world. Embrace the challenge that The Situation brings. You'll find it may be hard, but it's rewarding in the end, no matter what.
Are you in?


P.S. Sorry for the confusing layout of this post, Blogger switched posting things on me and I'm learning everything all over again!