Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Love the World.

I can tell you right now, this post won't be that long. The last day's session was sad enough on it's own, since it was the last day. (Which, by the way, I'm trying to figure out how it's already been 2 weeks since we left for Florida. Wow.) But the speaker, Marilyn Lazslo, was really good.
Her story was about going to another country with her partner in ministry, where the people hadn't even seen another outsider, let alone 2 white women. They actually spent the first half hour they were there figuring out if they were men or women, and finally decided that they were neither. Lazslo and her partner tried to record the native's language, and eventually, after 20-something years, translated the Bible into their language.
Talk about loving the world, huh?
Marilyn Lazslo was amazing. She struck me as a wicked awesome Alice-from-the-Brady-Bunch type (since she looked just like her and sounded like her.) with a go-get-'em attitude and a fierce passion for God's work.
Isn't that how we all should be?
Told you this was going to be short.
Here's your NR challenge for this insanely short post. I challenge you to embrace God's calling like Marilyn did. Whether it's going to another country for years to do the impossible, or going to class to befriend a new kid - embrace it. Isn't that the least we can do anyway?
Are you in?


Friday, July 23, 2010

Love Others.

What a crazy past few days! Sorry for the lack of posting, it's hard to get back on my feet after being on "vacation" for a week, and this first week home has been insane with Vacation Bible School and waiting for Scott and the rest of the OCOG group to get home safe. Alright, onward to the next session recap.
The Saturday night session was focused on loving others. My notes are kind of scare for tonight's session, so my post will basically be what I remember and pull out of a hat. Sorry about that.
The speaker, Chip Taylor, told of being a student ministries paster at his church and loving his job. However, God put upon his heart to love people more - something that he wasn't doing so well at. He started with his crazy neighbor from across the street. Anytime Chip saw him outside, he would walk over and start a conversation - even when taking the garbage out at 3AM, he talked to the neighbor. Eventually he invited Chip to his birthday party at a less than ideal place - somewhere where noone, especially Christians, should be. He fought going, until he eventually decided to go. Chip walked inside, and saw his neighbor in the back, screaming his name. He became embarrassed, thinking that he was already drunk - until he realized that the neighbor was telling his friends how Chip was a Christian, and asked Chip to tell his story. His neighbor hadn't even had a drink, when normally he would have been completely drunk at that time.
Pretty crazy, considering all he did was talk to the guy.
Chip told of another time in his life where God told him to love others. He had just been diagnosed with cancer and was already being treated with chemotherapy. There was a nurse there at the hospital that he felt God was calling him to tell about Christ, and so he did every time he was there, without fail. Nothing ever happened, and so Chip was kind of upset. There was another pastor at Chip's church who had been diagnosed with cancer the same time as Chip, and they had chemo treatments at the same place. She ended up having that same nurse Chip was trying to lead to Christ, and started herself. Guess what? That pastor led the nurse to Christ.
These crazy examples from Chip's story show that we are called to love others, no matter what the situation. Chip walked across the road and talked to his drunken neighbor when he had the chance. He used his cancer as another opportunity to love others. Just because we don't have a drunken neighbor or cancer doesn't mean we can't love others though. So you don't have a crazy story like Chip's, filled with these things. So what? You still have people that you interact with everyday that need to be loved. God's calling us to love others.
Here's your NR challenge for this post. Chip had us fill out a 360 Revolution card, something that I'm familiar with because we do it in my youth ministry at church. The way to use it is simple - just follow the numbers. 360 =
  • Pick 3 different people.
  • Pray for those people at least 6 times a week.
  • And lastly, miss 0 opportunities to tell them about Christ.
It's as simple as that. That's your challenge for this week. Make up your own 360 Revolution card and choose 3 people you know that are unbelievers. Pray for them at least 6 times a week. And, most importantly, miss 0 opportunities to share Christ.
Are you in?

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Love Yourself.

The second night's session was focused on loving yourself. The speaker, Reggie Dabbs, did a great job of covering this topic and to me, it was the most beneficial and the one that hit home the most. I know I'm not the only one who struggles with this, though. Being a teenager - in particular, a teenage girl, in these days isn't that great for your self-esteem.
In today's society, we aren't very good at this. Everywhere you look, there are perfect images of men and women, subtly airbrushed and photoshopped to absolute, beautiful perfection. You look at these, and then you look at the mirror. Not impressive by society's standards. This is where this session comes in. God created you as a perfect masterpiece, a unique work of art thought of by Him as exactly what He wanted you to be. The Skit Guys did a bit on this, called The Chisel. If you haven't seen it, I highly recommend it. Go to YouTube and search it. You won't be disappointed.
Another part of this concept of loving yourself is accepting your past. I know that I've messed up, as I'm sure everyone else has too. Reggie said himself that he had a crazy past, starting with a teenage unwed mother who needed money to pay for her 3 kids and so slept with a man for some money. She became pregnant and tried to abort, but then had the baby and gave him away - and this was Reggie. He had a hard time coming to terms with this, but eventually did with God's help. We all have something in our past we don't want and may hate. Reggie said 2 quotes that I absolutely loved. He said, "You can't change your past, but you can change your future." and "You can't change your past, but you can change what you think about your past." That's so true.
It's late, and so this is my stopping point for this post. There's so much more I'd like to write about, but simply not enough time, energy, or words.
This is my NR challenge for this post. Stop believing what the world wants you to think about yourself. Stop thinking that you can never be smart, pretty, or good enough. Stop thinking that your past will ruin your life and it'll never get any better. Go with what God wants you to think. You're perfect as you are; after all, God doesn't create junk. Your past will always be there, but your future is there for the taking with God to change it in magnificant ways.
I'll leave you with this quote, that I'll probably do a post on sometime.
"The same God that was there for you then is the same God that is there for you now."
It's true. He's here, waiting for you to embrace Him so He can let you know how amazing you are.
Are you in?


Love God.

The first session was on Thursday night, and led by Francis Chan. If you've ever heard of him, you know what I'm talking about when I say what he's simply amazing. His teaching just blew my mind, and I agreed with what he said. On the flight to Atlanta, where our layover was, I read his book Crazy Love, borrowed from Taylor, a girl in my group. It took all I had not to start highlighting things, and underlining points that Francis made that stuck out. I have to buy it myself and do that, so I didn't mutilate Tay's book. :)
But anyway, Francis Chan was great. The theme for the night was "Love God," hence the title of this post. Francis spoke of being raised in a Christian home, but not living how he should - full out for God. He went through the motions, and prayed at night as he laid in bed, more than often falling asleep.
That's not how we should treat God, though, he said. He's right.
In Revelation 4, John gets to see God. He sees Him on the throne, blindingly bright and surrounded by different beings - including some with different faces like an ox, and covered completely in eyes. Pretty crazy. Day and night these beings cry out without stop, "Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord God Almighty, who was and is and is to come!" Day and night, without fail. Always saying that.
In Jewish culture then, I learned somewhere, something said 3 times meant it was absolutely perfect. In this example, saying that God is holy 3 times meant that He is so completely perfect we can't even wrap our human minds around it.
God is like this, and yet we give Him the scraps of our day? The half-spoken prayers at night as we fall asleep, sometimes not even finishing because we pass out? The half-hearted offering every week, throwing in a dollar or two? How is God, the creator of everything, only worthy of this?
Francis said all this, and then said a quote that stuck with me: Don't have a casual relationship with God. Yes, He's our friend and we can turn to Him anytime we need Him. But at the same time, God is holy, holy, holy. We're not worthy of Him! He wants us, but He wants us to treat Him with the respect He deserves.
It's like your school principal. They always say that they're our "princiPAL!" and we can turn to them for help. That may be so, but at the same time we have to treat them with respect and deference that they deserve. This is a poor example, but you can kind of understand what I'm aiming at: Give God what He deserves.
So this is your NR challenge for this post. Treat God with respect. Don't have a casual relationship with Him, but show Him everything that He wants from us - a full blown loving relationship where we WANT to pray seriously, getting on our knees at a time that we focus intently on only Him. Where we WANT to give what we have for offering with a cheerful and giving heart. That's your challenge.
Are you in?


(This is the second time I've wrote this, because my Internet crashed earlier. This post isn't nearly as good as the last was. Sorry.)

All week in Florida, I kept repeating that word to myself - incredible. When I asked some people what they thought of the week, the word came up frequently. And why wouldn't it? Consider the week I just had:

  • Thousands of teens, along with youth leaders and parents, gathering together in Orlando, Florida in the name of Christ.
  • These same people raising over $50,000 for STW - Spread the Word, an organization that gives money to missionaries and others in need to help spread the word of Christ - in a mere 2 days.
  • Worshipping with some of the biggest names in Christian circles - Lincoln Brewster, for one.
  • Laughing to good and clean Christian comedy from The Skit Guys, two of the funniest people I've ever seen.
  • And, spending a week together in the Happiest Place on Earth, as well as Orlando for the convention, with the greatest youth group in history.
Now, tell me how that isn't incredible.
The 4 sessions that we had dealt with different topics relating to the theme, which was Love. Love God, yourself, others, and the world. My next few posts here will relate to these topics, and I'll go in-depth a bit and recap everything that I learned and heard. I'll be using my own notes that I took, as well as other views from people and myself, and things that I learned from our nightly devotions in our youth group.
So, this is the NR challenge for this post. I challenge you to follow the next few posts that I put up. The lessons that I write have certainly made an impact on me, and you never know if they will for you. In short, stay tuned for what's to come.
Are you in?


Monday, July 12, 2010

What a Week!

Hey everyone!
So, for those of you who are my Facebook friends (and if you're not, you should be) you know that I'm headed to Orlando later today for Disneyworld and IYC! (For those of you who don't know, IYC = International Youth Convention.) Check my Facebook regularly for pictures, status updates, and whatever else I can find!
However, since I'm going to be gone from today - flight leaving at 6 or so - until next Sunday night/Monday morning, that means no blogging until I return home (with some awesome! stories and ideas, I'm sure!). Yes, you can go ahead and cry now. (Kidding.)
Don't fear! I've thought of a solution!
No, the solution isn't Mighty Mouse. Although I do love him.
I'm leaving a verse for you to read every day that I'm away in Florida. They aren't in a specific order, but are some of my favorites and are great for thinking about. Read them, think about them, and if you have a question or comment on one or even more of them, don't be afraid to post it. Let me know what you think!
Tuesday: Proverbs 31:30.
Wednesday: Matthew 6:34.
Thursday: John 14:6.
Friday: Romans 3:23.
Saturday: 2 Timothy 3:16.
Sunday: Romans 10: 9.
There's your No Restraints challenge for the week. Read the verses everyday, and think about them. One youth leader in my church said to go through verses word by word, phrase by phrase, until you really understood what the message was. Comment on them. Read more. And have fun with it! It's not boring unless you make it that way.
Are you in?

Saturday, July 10, 2010

NR Free Challenge Days!

Hey everyone, running a bit short on time today. I've thought of an idea though, because I know that Saturday's won't be a big writing day for me. I'm normally way too busy on the weekends to write, and it's hard to slip down and sit here for 20 minutes thinking, writing, and researching. (Because yes, I actually do have to do a bit of researching before I post everything.)
I'm now naming every Saturday to be a No Restraint's free challenge day. If anyone reading has a question about anything, or if you have a topic idea you'd like to try, or a challenge that you'd like to pose for any and everyone, Saturdays are the days to put it into action.
So do you have anything in mind? Let me know!
Are you in?


Friday, July 9, 2010

Washed Away.

I promise you, I really was cleaning my house. Until I looked outside, that is, and saw the rain coming down hard. I had an idea then, and ran over to the computer, ditching my rag and spray on the coffee table. I'll get back to it Mum, I swear. I want to go to Orlando.
Every time it rains, there's always a part of me that wants to sprint outside and dance with the dog or myself. Playing and dancing in the rain is basically a requirement of childhood, like getting at least one pet or 2 trips to the hospital. (Trust me, I've far exceeded both of those.) When it rains now, though, the adult part of me says, "Why would you want to go out in the rain? You'll just get soaking wet, and you could even get sick. You're leaving for Orlando on Monday, you ninny, why would you possibly risk getting even sicker than you are now?"
Touche, self. Touche.
But there's always the little kid part of me screaming at the top of their lungs, "GET OUTSIDE!" So it just depends what happens. It's always fun and refreshing and makes me feel like a kid again, when I do go outside.
That's the cool thing with the rain though. It makes you feel like a different person. When you're running around outside, it's rather hard to focus on college looming in the fall, taxes, the economy, or something else dark and depressing. It makes you feel new. Plus, when it's finally time to go inside, you're completely washed free of whatever you had on you before - whether it was mud, paint, makeup - whatever. You're clean.
God's like that too.
"Cleanse me with hissop, and I will be clean; wash me, and I will be whiter than snow." Psalm 51:7.
Like I said a few posts ago, we normally don't know what we're running around with: all the sin, hurt, anger, and other feelings that we carry with us. When we go to God with all of these and ask for His forgiveness, He does just what this verse says: He cleans us, and makes us whiter than snow. It's pretty incredible.
Sometimes, though, we don't believe it. I have too much to forgive, you say. It's impossible. There's no way.
"Jesus looked at them and said, 'With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.'" Matthew 19:26.
It's not impossible. You just have to realize that it can be done.
So here's your No Restraints challenge for this post. Whatever is dragging you down today, on this rainy, dreary day (actually, my bad. It's stopped. Welcome to another humid Pennsylvania day.) give it over to God. Run out in the rain and let yourself be washed clean. It isn't hard. And it can be done. So go on. Take that step and do the challenge. It's worth it, and your inner child will love to run out in the rain and be let free.
Are you in?

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Is Revenge Sweet?

It has to be illegal, how much I'm writing on here. I don't think I've written this much since my AP English test.
Now, for the topic.
In today's culture, revenge movies are pretty common. Everywhere you look, you can practially see an advertisement or trailer for a new movie where the protagonist was wronged, and now they're ready to kick some tail to get even. It's normal, and everyone loves a good ending where the hero gets everything back and more, and the bad guy either turns good or is capped by the hero. Of course, as a Christian, a lot of these movies aren't that great to watch. Other than the obvious profanities that seem to come with every movie, there are the sexual innuendos, the blood and guts, and the people dying in seemingly every scene. Not really that great for someone to take in.
So, when I thought of this blog post's idea, I began searching for a movie I had seen with a revenge plot that wasn't too graphic. Unfortunately, I'm not a big movie-goer. I'd rather read. Originally, this post was going to be on a short story I'd read that dealt with revenge, but seeing as how basically noone would know who or what I was talking about, and I couldn't find a link to it, I thought I'd give movies a try. But anyway. I found a few good movie lists with "The Top 20 Revenge Movies EVER!!!" and things like that, but going down the lists, I found that I'd only seen about 2. I thought about doing Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, but realized that it was basically the most graphic film ever made, next to maybe the Saw movies or whatever. Like I said, I don't watch that many. Another one that I could have used was G.I. Joe, one of the 2 ultra-romantic (...) movies that Scott and I watched for our anniversary yesterday. Seeing as how that movie was ridiculously stupid, I figured not. Same with I Am Legend. That one wasn't bad, but still didn't make the cut.
In the end, after much searching, I stumbled across the one I wanted. It's not one that anyone would think of, and so bear with me.

Yes, your eyes are correct. I picked The Princess Bride.
The funniest part about all of this is, I can't STAND this movie. After a life-scarring weekend where I was made to watch this movie 3 times, I can't watch it. Once in a while I let myself see it if it's on television, but other than that, I can't do it.
Hilariously though, it's a revenge story. How? Easy. Princess Buttercup and Westley love each other. He goes off to earn money so they can live happily ever after, but his ship is destroyed and she thinks he's dead. She goes and becomes engaged to a real jerk of a prince, and yadda yadda yadda, somehow Butter and Westley are reunited and blah blah blah, they fight everyone and end up a-okay.
The one part of the movie I like is Inigo Montoya, but who couldn't love that guy.
"Hello, my name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die."
Seriously, how could you not like that.
But anyway, through the movie the couple (as well as our Spanish hombre) get revenge on everyone that tore apart their pretty lives and kick the crap out of anyone in their way. We love the story. Bad things happen, they kill and/or hurt everyone badly, the bad guys get it, yay happy ending.
Why do we enjoy that so much? Because sometimes, it's what we want for our own lives. When something bad happens, it's easy to want to get revenge on whoever made it happen. It's how we think, and the way the media is: i.e. all the revenge movies previously listed, they support it.
God doesn't.
He didn't create us so that we could constantly be hackin' each other up because they jumped ahead of us in line for our Big Mac at McDonald's. He made us so that, when that happens, we smile and don't mind it. We still get the Big Mac, so what's the big deal?
"You have heard that it was said, 'Eye for eye and tooth for tooth.' But I tell you, do not resist an evil person. If someone strikes you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also. And if someone wants to sue you and take your tunic, let him have your cloak as well." Matthew 5:38-40.
A speaker at Whitehall camp said it best. Pastor Donnie said, "If you come up to me and slap me across the face, what do you think I'm going to do?" We answered, turn the other cheek. "What do you take me for," he cried, "a doughnut? I'm slappin' you back!"
That's how the world raised us to think. But God has us thinking a different way.
"A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another." John 13:34.
We gotta' love everyone. That's what God wants us to do. It's not hard, but we make it out to be. We make it seem that, instead of finding it okay to be accepting and loving everyone, we have to be crude, rude, and mean all the time. Racial slurs are okay. Shooting everyone? That's cool. I don't know about you, but I hate when I turn the news on and for a solid 20 minutes, all I hear are stories of murders, rapes, drug busts, and suicides. Does anyone else feel this way?
So here's your No Restraints challenge for this post. Let's make a difference. No Inigo Montoya mindsets. No holding grudges. I challenge you to try to make an honest effort to love everyone you come into contact with in the next 24 hours. Can't do that? Start small. Give it 12 hours. Even 1.
But how? Smile. Say hello. Give a compliment. Laugh at a joke. Give someone a hug or a high-five. You never know what result your action, however small, will make. Maybe you'll cheer someone up. Maybe you'll stop someone from cutting for a day or two. Maybe, you'll save a life.
That's your challenge. Make a difference. Help yourself. Help others. Help the world.
Praise God.
Are you in?


Loaded Down.

"Breathe, just breathe,
take the world off your shoulders
and put it on me.
Breathe, just breathe,
let the life that you live
be all that you need."
- Ryan Star, Breathe

Ryan Star's hit song "Breathe" has been blowing up the airwaves on nearly every radio station that I listen to. I'm not complaining though, I love this song. It's definitely in my Top 5 favorite things at the moment, which also include air conditioning, Sheetz's chicken sandwiches, my boyfriend, and Man vs. Food on Travel Channel. The lyrics aren't about anyone specifically, but are written so that they can be geared toward anyone. I'd been planning on posting about this song ever since God told me weeks ago to write, and so I've just been waiting for the words to come as I memorized the lyrics. And yes, I'm listening to it now. :)
In the song, Star sings of letting a girl place all her problems onto him and taking a break. Not a bad idea.
You know, there's someone else who offers the same.
"Come to me, all you who are weary and burdoned, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble of heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light." (Matthew 11:28-30.)
In this verse, God offers His protection and comfort for all who ask it. Just like it says in the song, God tells us to let everything go and place it all on Him and it'll be completely fine.
The world we live in today is a stressful place. Everywhere you turn there's something demanding time and effort, and once you have a few of these, things start getting rough. It feels like someone has something in for you, and everything is crashing down. So what's hitting at you these days? Fights with friends? College? Children? Spouses? Graduation parties? Vacation? Work schedules? Maybe not even spending enough time with God? Whatever we're facing, it can feel 5000 times worse if we let it. And that's where God comes in.
So here's your No Restraints challenge for this post. If something is bothering you and weighing you down, and more than likely there is, I challenge you to give it to God. Spend some time with Him and give Him everything that's bothering you and soon you'll be better. You'll be able to relax, and breathe deeply again. Only then can we really 'let the lives that we live be all that we need.'
Are you in?


Do You Have an Abyss?

For anyone that knows me, they know that I normally have a huge purse slung over one arm, normally lovingly referred to as "The Abyss." It's a legend in it's own right. As the years have went on, they grow bigger and deeper, seeming to eat everything I put inside them - calculators, pencils, novels for English, my precalc book, even Tupperware containers full of snacks to get me past 11:00 B lunch. The thing just takes everything.
Last night, I couldn't find my phone on the way home from Scott's house. It took 20 minutes of the 30 minute drive home, so I figured I'd better clean it out. When I got home, I dumped the sucker out on my bed and just stared.
I had a lot of junk in there that I hadn't known about.
A whole bag of cough drops (which are actually Scott's and I'm still trying to find out how he got them in there.), his senior pictures, my camera, my iPod, 3 things of lotion, 2 deodorants, Warm Vanilla Sugar spray (as well as lotion and anti-bacterial hand cream, so I basically had half the line in there), my rainbow polka dot/striped bikini, 4 graduation party announcements (for June), 3 lanyards made from campers in 5th and 6th grade camp at Whitehall from a few weeks ago, and so much other stuff. It was ridiculous that I hadn't even felt that much weight as I lugged it around.
As I sorted through it, I realized how true this was for our own lives. As people, we lug a lot of stuff around, and I don't mean our purses and murses. (It's not a murse! It's a satchel! Indiana Jones has one! Sorry.) I mean the emotional things that we have and feel, as well as the mistakes we remember and carry with us. We don't really understand the amount that we have, until we just can't take it anymore.
Break-ups. Rejections. Fights. Bad grades. Losing a job. Accidents. Deaths. Injuries. Divorces. Depression. Anxiety. Suicide. Murder. Abandonment. It all adds up, whether we realize it or not. The pain just keeps coming, and if we don't do anything to get rid of it, it just adds up more and more. Soon, we can't handle it. We start "going through" everything that we're feeling and it just makes it all worse. It seems like we can't do anything to get rid of it.
But we can.
When you accept Jesus Christ for everything He is, you can finally see one of the biggest and most amazing truths known to man: He LOVES us. Every part of us, no matter what. So when we're cluttered up with all our junk? He can make it go away. When we ask Him to forgive us of all our sins, He forgets them. Poof. Gone. He doesn't know what you're talking about. It's easy.
That part, at least. You have to make a committment to follow through. Don't do those things anymore. When Jesus erases them from His memory, you have to erase them from your life. Messed up? No problem, just don't do it again. It gets easier the longer you stick with it. And just like that, your mess is cleaned up. Jesus turned into a Merry Maid and got the job done, and you're walking just fine, with nothing holding you down.
Your abyss is now clean.
So here's the next No Restraints challenge. Are you hurting and loaded down with your own abyss full of garbage? There's help, and hope. Turn your hurts over to Jesus, and ask Him for the forgiveness only He can provide. It'll be amazing once He steps in and the feeling that you'll get is unlike any other. He's there, waiting for you to ask. It's up to you.
Are you in?

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

What a Transformation.

I'm not going to lie, the Transformers movies are seriously 2 of my favorites. (Admit it, you knew where this was going as soon as you saw the title.) I don't feel bad though, considering I'm one among hundreds of thousands that think the same. Seriously, think about it: you have your giant freakish alien robots bursting onto Earth's scene with their mega-ultra-fire cannons, their slick paintjobs, and the ridiculous ability to transform into what my brother refers to as "some of the sexiest cars ever." Add in some of these robots with a mean streak, a (gorgeous) helpless human stuck with the robots because of his great great (...) great grandfather, and a beautiful (...) girl, and you've got yourself one of the greatest action movies of all time. I wouldn't argue with that at all.
(Just re-read this. My Advanced Placement English teacher would probably attempt to kick me in the teeth with the Macbeth sword if she had read that. I apologize, Fer-Bear.)
You know, some people are weird. Normally, if you go into the movies and watch this, you talk about it for a while and then move on to something else. It is, after all, just a movie. But for some people, Transformers is more than a movie. I've talked to people - names withheld of course - who believe to a certain extent that a form of Transformers exist.
Now that's weird. I don't care who you are.
But if you think about it, all over the world people believe in, what seems to me, some crazy stuff. Different religions seems completely out there to me, as a Christian and as a normal teenager. So if you look at it, believing in Transformers isn't all that weird.
What's weird to me though, is that people can't believe in God. Alien robots transforming into hot rods? No problem. I saw that last week in the parking garage on campus, I swear. Only getting into "heaven" because Allah said I could by killing people? Of course it makes sense.
What? Are you kidding me? No it doesn't!
The only thing that makes that much sense to me is what I read in the Bible - the one book where you can find all the answers and truth you need. It lays everything out clearly and what isn't so clear, you could easily research or ask someone. It's not hard. Easy to understand. 100% believable. So why don't people buy it?
It's bogus, apparentally. Not easy to believe, when you could have cars switching on you like that.
So this is my next No Restraints challenge for you all. Really look at what you believe. You buy the Transformers bit? Cool. Lemme know when you stare long enough at your car and it switches into an Autobot. (If you're lucky.) Want to let me know about Allah or any of your other gods? Bring it on! Let me know, I'm curious and anxious to hear it. Then let me have my turn and tell you what I believe - the truth.
So, are you in?


Tuesday, July 6, 2010

A Bad Romance.

I want your love and I want your revenge,
You and me could write a bad romance.
I want your love, and all your love is revenge
You and me could write a bad romance.

-"Bad Romance", Lady Gaga

Okay, surely if you've lived almost anywhere in the last few months, you've heard this song and probably have started humming it in your head. If not, I just made you hum it. I'm sorry. Stop. Really.
In her song, Lady Gaga sings about entering a "bad romance" with a guy that seems to be bad news. It doesn't matter that he has leather-studded kisses (which, honestly? If my boyfriend had those? Sorry love. I'm out for a while.), or has a disease - Gaga sure wants him. Maybe he's gorgeous? That would be an okay reason to date him, right?
If you answered right, it's time to reevaluate some things.
Of course it's not right! If some guy or girl came up to you with some of those symptoms (because I'm pretty sure leather-studded kisses aren't common), what would you do? Would you run with it and date, creating your own "bad romance?" Or would you hold your ground and tell the creep to back off? Personally, I'd tell them to back off. I'm not sure about you guys.
As humans though, we're all like this.
There's always something that we want. Sex. Drugs. Popularity. Alcohol. A boyfriend or girlfriend. Status. There's always that something that bothers us inside, because we can't have it and someone else does. She has the new laptop - I want that. Man, did you see that girl he's with? I'd tap that. (Of course, if it's Jesse's girl...kidding.) Did you see her clothes? I'm getting that shirt. Look at the muscles on that kid! He does 'roids, and I'm going to start them too. He can look like that, so why can't I?
There's always something.
We're never satisfied with what we have. God tells us that when we come to Him and ask Him into our hearts, that the Living Water allows us to never thirst again - what more could we ask for? (John4:10) And yet we still do, when we look around.
All of our wanting, pleading, and plain green-faced jealousy leads us to exactly what Gaga was talking about - a Bad Romance with sin.
If this was a person, we'd back away and tell them to leave! So why, when that "person" is masked as the hottest girl or guy in school, the new iTouch, or the Gucci purse, we want to run towards it and have it for ourselves?
The title of this blog is No Restraints. I'm not holding back. And so, for all those reading, I have a challenge for you. Don't be a Gaga. Don't entangle yourself in a Bad Romance with sin - that's exactly what Satan wants! So let's all make a stand. Don't restrain yourself to what Satan wants you in and settle for the romance with sin. Run towards God and away from it, and settle yourself in for a relationship with Jesus Christ. It's not going to be easy. It'll be tough. But in the long run, you'll like it all the more - especially when you don't have to heal from those leather-studded kisses.
Are you in?


Anything and everything.

A few weeks ago, something came to my mind as I sat at my church camp. I wanted to write, and I wanted to write NOW. Obviously, I couldn't, since I was at camp and away (mostly...) from all technology. I said that I would write when I got home, and for some reason, I didn't. Putting it off even further was easy too, because I said I didn't want to write anything on my home family computer and have someone read it. I'd wait for a bit until I got my laptop for college in the fall.
Still, though, something was telling me - you have to write.
So, I finally relented, and here I am. Writing. Can you believe it?
Sometimes I get a good idea that pops into my head. I toy with it a bit, and more than likely nothing comes out of it, seeing as how I'm normally known for being somewhat scatterbrained and, okay, I'll admit, extremely ADD. I'm not letting that stop me now.
I get youth lessons in my head - nothing major that the adult world would dive into with interest, but things that teenagers and pre-teens would maybe take an interest in and pay attention to - at least, as much attention that a teenager can give. I have song ideas - one in particular that's driving me insane, and has been throwing itself around in my mind the last few weeks. I wish I could actually write it, because then I would feel better. Something's holding me back though.
So that's what this blog is for. I'm not letting anything hold me back anymore. No limits. No rules. No restraints. Just me and whatever God decides to throw into my head, or whisper in my ear. If you're interested, awesome. Let me know. I'm in for an interesting ride, and it'll be great to have someone along.
Are you in?