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!

Monday, August 16, 2010

Bye Bye Birdie.

I really hope that's not what I'm going to be saying soon. :(
I was outside weeding when I went into the garage to get a pair of my Mum's gloves to grab some bigger weeds with. Bailey, our lab, followed me out and I didn't think anything of it when she ran ahead - she's only 3 and still acts like a puppy, running everywhere, and plus she's been in heat so we've been keeping her in the garage and the fenced in back pporch - and took off in the backyard. I walked through the patio and saw that she had something in her mouth (common for her.) and thought it was the Max puppy that she stole from me when we first got her. (I had the Ariel Barbie, the Eric doll, and the Max dog. I was serious about my Little Mermaid.) I looked closer when she dropped it though, and saw that it was moving. Here she had gotten a bird and was playing with it! I ran over to her and called her off, and picked up the poor little guy. He's a little shaken up and stunned and his one wing looks to be a little out of place, but that may just be because I put him down in the flower basket in the one tree here. I'm hoping he'll be ohk, but I'm going to do what I can to take care of him.
It's funny how something like this makes you thing about things differently, or at least, with a bit more interest.
"Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? Yet not one of them is forgotten in God's sight." - Luke 12:6.
In this verse, it tells us that God takes care of the little guys. To us, a bird is just a bird. You see them everyday, and in fall when they fly south, it seems like there are millions and millions of them in front of us. They're everywhere, so they're not that big of a deal. But to God, they're a precious creation of His.
This chapter in Luke goes on to say that God doesn't just stop there.
"Indeed, the very hairs on your head are numbered. Don't be afraid, you're worth more than many sparrows." - Luke 12:7.
There isn't anything I can really say about this verse that isn't already clear - you're worth more than hundreds and hundreds of sparrows! Don't let anyone tell you different. You're God's original masterpiece, and He thinks you're amazing.
So here's your NR challenge for this post. Every time you think that you're not worth it, that you're not good enough, and that noone cares - think of this verse. Don't look down on yourself! You're a great work of art, created by the most awesome and holy artist ever.
Are you in?



You know, Timmy's just an average kid, but noone understands. I mean, his mom, dad, and Vicky are always giving him commands! Doom and gloom describes his room, but hey! it's broken pretty fast. That's because a magical pair of fish grant his every wish - because in reality they're his fairly oddparents!
Come on. You know that was cool.
The Fairly Oddparents is a show that was featured on Nick every day, a thousand times a day, until your parents would walk through the house singing the songs and saying the words to every line, no matter the episode. I haven't watched this show in a long time (I've mainly given up on Nick; Travel Channel and Man vs. Food is my choice nowadays) but I remember watching it almost every single time it came on. I remember sitting before school eating breakfast and watching SportsCenter with my brother and knowing it was time to rush when we flipped the channel and this show was starting to come on at 7.
The awesome thing about this show was how Timmy had the ability to wish for ANYTHING - obtuse? rubber goose? green moose? guava juice? giant snake? birthday cake? large fry? chocolate shake? (wow, I only had to look up the first one...this show sticks with you.) - any of those he wanted, he got, then and there. That was the draw, the pull, that this show had with kids - the ability to change anything and get anything you wanted, then, there, no questions asked.
After watching this, life seemed pretty bleak. I mean, I wasn't going to go to my room and ask MY fairy godparents to give me stuff. It wouldn't happen, because it's not real.
People are like this everywhere, nowadays. You want something? You get it. Then. Boom. You see it, and next thing you know, it's in your hands. We live in a microwave society - we don't have to wait.
Another thing that I see from this show is how Timmy was able to get what he wanted all the time, whether it was good or bad for him. Remember the Christmas episode, where he wished everyday was Christmas? Or when he wished his parents didn't care? Or...well, really any other episode? Every wish almost always had a problem.
That's the way that life is. We want things NOW! and don't really care about the results. It's funny, because everyone always preaches "patience." And yet, we live the opposite of that!
Another thing about Timmy's wishes was the fact that there was a set of rules that he had to follow in order to get the most out of everything. When he didn't follow them, boy did things get messy fast! Life is like this too. We have a set of rules - the Bible - that we need to follow in order for everything to go smoothly. But when we don't read them, everything goes wrong!
I know this is a sporadic post, and I'm kind of upset with how I wrote it - I had so many things to say about this and it didn't quite work how I wanted it to! - but I'm hoping there's some point made.
So here's your NR challenge for this (crazy) post. First, make sense of what I said! :) Second, try living with patience for what God has in store for you! Jeremiah 29 says that He knows the plans He has for us, so why should we interfere with them? And third, remember the "rules" and follow them! This will ensure a safer, smoother, and more fun ride through this life!
Are you in?

Friday, August 13, 2010

Carbon Copy.

Hey everyone, sorry for the lack of posting recently. College prep and everything here at home has kept my insanely busy, but know that I have tons of ideas for posts - just no time! If I EVER get that laptop I need for college (which starts in just over a week, wow...) I'll be posting all the time. You won't have time to read them all. Bam.
Ohk, on to the topic of this post.
Recently, this idea has been hitting me hard. It goes along with the post I put up in my IYC recaps (see the second night's recap, titled "Love Yourself.") in the aspect that, yes, you need to love yourself. I've been struggling with this lately - not so much me having to grow used to myself, because I don't have to. IYC made it plain and clear that I'm a perfect work of God, so I have nothing to fret over anymore. I'm perfectly content with who and what I am - God's princess.
No, the thing that's been bugging me lately isn't that. It's that people don't seem to realize who and what God made me too. This is a lesson for everyone, so listen up.
So, you're happy with yourself. Sure, you're not perfect - who is? But you're content with what God made and who you are. Awesome, you've overcome a great challenge that not everyone has, and so you deserve to give yourself a pat on the back. But what about the people who just keep picking - the haters who keep criticizing your every move, your every look, idea, thought, action, you name it. They call you names. Worthless. Stupid. Ugly. Pathetic.
Noone would ever love you, they say. You're a piece of junk.
Who's to tell you otherwise? You may be content with who you are and what God made, but after a while...it gets to you. The lies they say start hitting home. Maybe you make a mistake - even in secret, while you're alone - and then what they say comes flooding into your mind. Maybe they're right, you say. Maybe I am everything they think I am.
Psalm 139:14 - "I praise you because I am fearfully and WONDERFULLY made; your works are WONDERFUL, I know that full well."
There you have it, right from the scriptures. Everything God makes is fearfully and wonderfully made. Everything He makes is perfect, amazing, and just what He wants it to be.
There's the old saying, that goes "God don't make no junk." The Skit Guys did a bit about this - see the link that goes to YouTube.com, the skit is called God's Chisel. http://www.youtube.com/user/theskitguys?blend=1&ob=4
God doesn't make junk. And He definitely doesn't make carbon copies - the paper dolls you used to cut when you were little don't apply in real life! You aren't SUPPOSED to be like everyone else - be yourself!
So here's your NR challenge for this post. I challenge you to be yourself. Not who everyone else wants you to be, or what they're telling you to be. Be YOURSELF - WHO GOD MADE YOU. And if you're reading this and seeing that you're the kind of person who's belittling others? I challenge YOU to see if what you're doing and saying is up to par with what God wants. Think you're "helping?" Think again.
Are you in?


Monday, August 2, 2010

Fear Not!

Hello cyberworld, sorry to be avoiding you. I'm not doing it purposely, I promise. My life has been crazy lately, with cleaning for events at the house and day trips and things with the youth - it's been insane. I'm back up at Whitehall again for the third week this summer, attending Camp Meeting 2010! This is my favorite place in the entire world, and not just because it's beautiful and my friends are here. God really speaks to me here more than any other place, and it's impacted me more than any other place. I mean, I met my boyfriend here over a year ago and we've been together for almost 13 months, I became close friends with my now best friends here last year at camp, and once again God has been flooding my tiny mind with lesson ideas. It's amazing.
The theme of this week is Fear Not, and while I don't have time to go into that now (Mum has chicken parm baking down at the camper, and I'm talking to friends in a friend's cabin) rest assured that I will - along with all my ideas - write everything when I get home later this week. If I get a chance, I'll come back up here to my friend's cabin and steal his Mac (which, by the way parents, college starts in 28 days and I have yet to receive a laptop...haha.) and write whatever I can.
So this is your NR challenge for this quickie post. Stay tuned, and use the gift of patience that God has given you. Just a few more days!
Are you in?