Showing posts from 2013

Happy Thanksgiving...?

"Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light." --Matthew 11:28-30.

"Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also." --Matthew 6:19-21.

"Thanks be to God for his indescribable gift!" --2 Corinthians 9:15.

It's a privilege to circle around a table filled with hours of work, ready to be consumed with the aroma of it all filling the room. There are countless people that are not given the opportunity to do this every year simply because they cannot afford it. There are other people who would rather have teet…

Who do we resemble most in the Word?

Who do I resemble in the Bible? This is a question I have never been asked before, and when I was asked it last night in small group, I was at loss for words because I had no idea. What was wrong with me? Why couldn't I just point at a passage and say, "Yep! This is the person I connect with the most because I know exactly what they're going through." Everyone else said a name right off the bat--Abraham, Jonah, Lot, etc.--they obviously have put more thought into it than I ever have. Have I been reading the Bible wrong all these years? Was there a memo I missed? Am I supposed to think of these sorts of questions when I read? It occurred to me that it's not only the "popular" saints that are major players in this Story. There are so many behind-the-scenes faces that we don't get to know too often but have an impacting role to play.

Who am I?

I am Gomer: the prostitute wed to Hosea. Reading Gods at War opened my eyes to see the real card players that …

Internet isn't all bad.

I am well aware that it has been too long since I have written. It really stinks when you have thirteen credit hours, but it feels so much like nineteen. #BioMajorProblems Anyway, through all the running around like a chicken with my head cut off, God has definitely been at work.

Last year, I applied for a mentor: a person that could help me through the transition from high school to college, giving me advice and encouragement along the way. She definitely helped me through the bumps I encountered in the road of freshman year, and that relationship made me want to be that person for another freshman: help them through their problems, share the experiences that I have gone through so maybe a freshman girl wouldn't have to go through the pain that I experienced. Well, with my class schedule running up the wazoo, I don't know if having a mentee would be the best idea since I am going all hours of the night studying. I digress.
Over the summer, I was going through a lot of things…

Let's start seeing doubles.

"You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness." --Ephesians 4:22-24.

"And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord's glory, are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit." --2 Corinthians 3:18.

Alrighty: it's been a while, and I'm a wee bit rusty, but blogging is like riding a bicycle, right? :)

Today seems to have been a big eye-opener for me in regards to who I am in Christ and how I am important in this big picture known as the Great Commission.

During Sunday school today, one of the adults told us a story where she and her husband moved next door to an older man, and after he knew that his new neighbors were Christians, this was his response: "I know …

I am NOT Jesus.

The title of the post must be the most obvious statement to say, "Well, of course!" However, one of the many problems with people today, including me, is that we constantly try to take control of the situations that we face, doing our best with what we have to get what we want with the least amount of pain to us as possible. Society has the mindset that we must think of ourselves in order to survive in this dog-eat-dog world we have created over the generations, but that is not what we are called by Christ to do!
"'A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another'" (John 13:34, emphasis added). For my devotionals today, I read Matthew 26-28. For those of you who are familiar with the crucifixion story, you're probably thinking, I've gone through this every Easter Sunday for as long as I remember. I know the story. Yes, you know the story, but like every good book, it doesn't hurt to re-read it becau…

Oh, what's in a name!?

Casting Crowns poses an important question: "Who am I that the LORD of all the Earth would care to know my name--would care to feel my hurt? Who am I . . . ?"

We have fingerprints to tell the government who we aren't. We have tabloids to tell us who we aren't. We have people around us, telling us who we aren't. Who are we? What defines us?

Scenario A: You look to me, look at her, then look back at me in disgust. Why can't I seem to make you happy? I feel like a failure in your eyes. I always disappoint you. I'm a square peg trying to be pushed through a circle hole. It's common sense that it won't work no matter how hard you try. I understand. I'm not pretty or smart enough for you. I can never meet the standards that you set. I don't do things the way you want me to. I don't like the things you like. I'm an apple in a crate of citrus fruits: I just don't belong.

Scenario B: You look to me and smile. It seems like I'm the …

Look at those ugly clouds roll in.

I'm going to be honest: life hasn't been the greatest for me recently. Pain is inevitable because life is imperfect. Words will be spoken that cannot be taken back, actions will ruin a relationship, situations will not go the way they were planned...

Although this may be the way that life is, there are always "good notes" at the end of the day that we can hold close to our hearts on our "down days": God gave us another day of life. He gave us the breath to breathe, the blood to pump through our hearts, the energy to do what we did throughout the day... These are things that I know I certainly take for granted because I've never lived without them! I just finished the book Her Mother's Hope by Francine Rivers a couple days ago, and a quote I really like from it is something along the lines of "Get a chronic disease when you're young. That way, as you get older, you realize how delicate life is."

I stumbled upon Psalm 121 tonight, and …

Let's take a deeper look, shall we?

You know the song "When Love Sees You (Jesus)" by Mac Powell that I referred to earlier? Remember how I said that each verse referred to a story in the New Testament? Well, I was curious about what specific stories Powell touched base on, so I found them, and I'm going to share them with you because they are very inspiring stories. Take note, too, when you read these stories: God loves you unconditionally regardless of your sin. Our Heavenly Father doesn't call the qualified; He qualifies the called.


Blessed are you as you weep on your knees
With perfume and tears washing over My feet
Luke 7:36-50
And blessed are you, beggar, hopeless and blind
Calling for mercy when I'm passing by
Mark 10:46-52

Blessed are you, shaking your head
At two tiny fish and some bread
Matthew 14:13-21
And blessed are you as you tremble and wait
For the first stone thrown at your sinful disgrace...
Acts 7:54-60

Blessed are you, walking on waves
To fi…

Beauty in the broken.

"We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation. And this hope will not lead to disappointment. For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love." --Romans 5:3-5.

"But he said to me, 'My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.' Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me." --2 Corinthians 12:9.

"Come, let us return to the Lord. He has torn us to pieces but he will heal us; he has injured us but he will bind up our wounds." --Hosea 6:1.

"The LORD is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit." --Psalm 34:18.

"There is not one square inch in the whole domain of our human existence over which Ch…

No questions asked.

There's another blog posted for today on Living Proof. Check us out! God bless!

He has a plan!!!! Look to His Word! He says it Himself!

"Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest." --Matthew 11:28.

"For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him." --John 3:17.

The poor man could barely afford a bus ticket. He was covered in dirt with nowhere to call home. God gave him hope through His Word. We can look to the Bible for the promises that Christ spell out for us. We can find rest in Him!
"Be strong in the LORD and never give up hope... God's got His hand on you, so don't live life in fear" (Sidewalk Prophets). "Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power" (Ephesians 6:10).
God bless!

P.S. Jeremiah 29:11.

What's this grace stuff?

"For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith--and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God--not by works, so that no one can boast." --Ephesians 2:8-9; emphasis added.

"'For through the law I died to the law so that I might live for God. I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. I do not set aside the grace of God, for if righteousness could be gained through the law, Christ died for nothing!'" --Galatians 2:19-21; emphasis added.

The topic of grace has been buzzing in my head ever since my pastor began the mini series on "Gracious Christian Living."

Paul liked to begin his letters to the many churches he wrote to with "grace and peace to you from God our Father." What is grace? Google doesn't tell me much. I mean, don't get me wrong: I'm sure God has simple elega…

Be careful, little eyes.

"Oh, the joys of those who do not follow the advice of the wicked, or stand around with sinners, or join in with mockers." --Psalm 1:1.

"Walk with the wise and become wise; associate with fools and get in trouble." --Proverbs 13:20.

I want the best for my sisters when it comes to their lives, and that includes who they surround themselves with. God certainly warns us in His Word that we are easily able to be turned into the wrong direction by the people we call friends, so we should surround ourselves with believers so they can encourage us in our walks with Christ and help lift us up when we fall. I want all of these things for my sisters, but when it comes to "taking a village to raise a child," I am one of those people in the village that raises up these girls. Am I being the role model that I want my sisters to be influenced by? Am I portraying Christ the way He wants me to?

It troubled me when I left my dirty clothes in the bathroom. I know how much…

Let us pray...

"Let everything that has breath praise the LORD. Praise the LORD." --Psalm 150:6.

Recently, I was told by someone to not pray for them because everything was fine and "there are greater causes to pray for." I was taken aback by the response. I thought about it for a while and came to the realization that they couldn't have been more mistaken.

When it comes to there being greater causes to pray for, God looks down to every individual person and sees a crowned jewel--a beautiful creation made in His image. To God, nothing in the world is greater. They are the only person standing on this earth, and God calls us to love His children like He loves us, right? So, the right thing would be to keep them in our prayers, showing them the love that God shows to us. Right?

When it comes to everything being fine, that in and of itself is something to pray for! Prayer isn't only for mooching to God, crying, "HELP ME! I'm being oppressed!!" I learned in Ol…


"Be careful not to practice your righteousness in front of others to be seen by them. If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven." --Matthew 6:1.

This verse causes alarm for me because of my tendencies to seek affirmation for the things I do and, therefore, feed my ego. If Jesus is telling me to NOT practice righteousness in front of others, is posting blogs about what I do to glorify God a bad thing to do?

This verse was the daily verse on YouVersion a couple days ago, and the next morning, I had the thought that maybe not practicing righteousness in front of others was not because God wanted us to do our "adhering to moral principles" (righteousness) in hiding but because people had a tendency to lean toward the wrong audience. We want to hear the praise from society rather than humbly do what God commands of us, not seeking the affirmation.

I don't know... Something to think about, I guess. Ephesians 2:8-10 is good to keep in mind, too.

"You ain't flyin' solo, crazy child!"

"Stay awake and pray that you will not fall into temptation. The Spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak." --Matthew 26:41.

"Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened." --Matthew 7:7-8.

I woke in the morning of day two with Matthew 6:34 in my head. Monday night, I asked God, "What am I going to do to occupy myself? I don't want to run back to Facebook, but I don't want to pace back and forth across the house either!" God definitely provides when you ask Him.

"Therefore, do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own" (Matthew 6:34). This couldn't be any more dead on. There were plenty of times during this week when I felt the urge to "quick check" my Facebook or hop on the laptop simply out of habit,…

I'm childish for five seconds. Bear with me. :)

Nederlandisaltijdzo mooi? Het is almijn droomsinds ikherinner me nietom hier te bezoeken. Gods scheppingis werkelijk adembenemend, endemolenszijn zo cool, ook!

Yes, I used Google Translate. Yes, I am ashamed considering the fact that I'm 50% Dutch, but I don't think any of my 100% Dutch relatives know any Dutch either, so I guess I'm off the hook for now. Yes, I am aware that Google doesn't 100% successfully translate because of different dialects and the fact that the English language has words that other languages don't even have words for, but I love how cool the language looks!

I hope to someday visit this beautiful country. Yes, I just chose sunset pictures, but God's creation is so magnificent, and it's seen on every corner of the globe (yes, that is an oxymoron because, technically, globes don't have corners because they're spherical, but you get what I mean)!

God bless! // God zegene!

Brace yourself: GET KLEENEX!

"Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart...." --Jeremiah 1:5a.

I love WOW Hits CDs. There's a new one every year, and when you go back to the early 2000s, it's like a flashback in time to see what the top hit songs were in those days. Listening to 2008, my heart was jerked by "Walking Her Home" by Mark Schultz. I will always see the connection between the story sung and the movie Up!

Am I the only one that sees the connection? If not, that's okay.

I think we can make a connection between the song and the story that God is writing for us. With every step in our lives, God goes back to the day that we accepted Him (the day when Heaven rejoiced!). We, too, ought to remember that God started loving us thousands of years before we were born. He knew us before we took our first breath on Earth. Ladies and gents, if you are struggling with the idea of relationships, remember that your first Love is God, and He will ne…

Can I see some white flags, please?

"The opposite of theism is not atheism; it's idolatry." --Peter Kreeft (qtd. by Kyle Idleman; Gods at War).

"No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it." --1 Corinthians 10:13.

Gods at War by Kyle Idleman is such a good book. Before I begin, I want to recommend this book to you. It is definitely an eye opener and will change your life. As Idleman says, "idolatry isn't an issue-- it is the issue."

You may have noticed that I haven't been on Facebook for the past few days. Because of Idleman's book and what we have recently been going through in Sunday school, I felt challenged by God to avoid Facebook and any other social networking site that I'm associated with for a week (Twitter and Google+, but Facebook was the biggest challenge). I was aware that I w…

CORCC Blog: God's love with Open Arms

Here's a blog that I found while looking for a picture for today's Living Proof blog. I thought I would try the BlogIt! option and share it with you all. Aloha, CORCC of Hawaii! :)

CORCC Blog: God's love with Open Arms: Since you have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the spirit in sincere love of the brethen, love one another fervently ...

God Bless!

Find confidence in HIM.

Here's another Living Proof devotional! It's a little late, but I got it! :)

God bless!

Sing praises!

As I read the Bible from cover to cover this year, my mind is constantly finding connections to either movies (see picture) or song lyrics. It amazes me that artists are singing straight from the Word of God, and it makes me giggle because I'm so used to hearing the song, so when I read the verses in the Bible, I can't help but read it to the tune of the song in my head.

Here are some examples:

"My God's Enough (Psalm 73)" by BarlowGirl: "Who have I in heaven but you? Earth has nothing I desire but you. My heart may fail, but not you. You are mine forever." That's pretty much Psalm 73:25-26 (that one is kinda obvious because the Scripture is in the title of the song).

"By His Wounds" by Mac Powell, Steven Curtis Chapman, Brian Littrell, and Mark Hall: "He was pierced for our transgressions. He was crushed for all our sins. The punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds--by his wounds, we are healed." That&#…

He calls us friend!

"I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master's business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you." --John 15:15.

#1: She thought she could trust her best friend. They walked through elementary school together like sisters, so why would this happen to her? Herbest friend told the guy she liked that she liked him! That's a sister code no-no right there. Why would she stab her in the back like that? Now their friendship will never be the same because trust was broken.

#2: He felt honored to make this connection across the sea, especially with the way that he encouraged him through everything that he was going through: it's very tough to live life after a city-wide arrest. He's running for his life. With his wife and child dead, he's alone. His heart breaks for him and feels the need to help him in some way. After emptying his bank account to assist him financially,…

Thinking out loud.

On Google+, I found a community called "Trusting God 4 Everything." I love finding communities of believers on social networking sites. It's such an encouragement for me, being able to look to other Christians, reading their posts and looking at their pictures. Along with those posts, though, are their blogs--they're bloggers like me! :)

The problem with that, though, is that I might be ADD or something because I can't just sit there and read someone's blog post! I mean no disrespect, but some blog posts are so long! After thinking of this, I looked to my blog posts for the past two or three days, and I realized how lengthy my posts can be. Are readers struggling to concentrate when reading my posts? Or are they browsing through the endless words and calling it quits because it isn't worth their time? Does length have to do with the success of a blog post when it comes to giving a message? I mean, there are some times where you can't cut things out b…

Just a little tidbit.

As you may notice, I added a little bit to the site. The renovations are so cool! I'm excited to see how they help with the blog. There is now a Google Translate option in the top, right-hand corner if you need it (I think it's really cool trying to translate from French because I only know French 1 class worth of French, but it's still fun). :)

Along with the translation, there is an option where you can send me a message. It can be completely anonymous. That is where you can send me prayer requests or comments that you wouldn't like to have posted on the site.

God bless!

Steal my show, Audience!

"If You want to steal my show, I'll sit back and watch You go. If You've got something to say, go on and take it away. Need You to steal my show; Can't wait to watch you go, so take it away." --TobyMac.

I probably have two totally different topics going on in my head right now, but I'll find some way to connect them.

When my friend posted on the Living Proof blog, the thought of having God first (see picture at link) reminded me that with everything we do in life, we have an audience, but the audience isn't the people around us or even ourselves: we have an Audience of One.

Like the song by TobyMac, we need to step out of the way and give God center stage with every decision that we make. We can't do things to lift our names up but God's name. I know with me, I need to constantly check myself to make sure that I am writing these blogs every day for the right reason. I don't want to write just to see the post views and get that giddy feeling …

Details galore!

When I saw my Bible reading plan for today, I was a tad overwhelmed because of all I had to read, especially because five of the six chapters were from Ezekiel (one of the books of the Bible that I've heard is pretty cut-and-dry). Diving into chapter 40, Ezekiel goes up to a temple where he meets with a man. This man, who apparently looks to be made of bronze, takes the next ninety verses to measure out every part of the temple with his rod, explaining to Ezekiel every little engraving in the walls, the dimensions of the inner and outer courts, the distances between the jambs in the walls, how thick the ceiling is, etc., etc., etc. The question that pops into my head as I'm reading this is Why on Earth is this so thoroughly described? Is there such thing as too much detail, and if so, is this one of those moments? Why would anyone care about how many square cubits this temple is taking up?

After the man describes every part of the temple, Ezekiel is led to the gate facing eas…

Gravity wins: Not now. Not ever.

Here's another Living Proof devotional blog post. God bless!

Here's a little allusion.

"For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does." --2 Corinthians 10:3.

At its first breath, the newborn is suited in armor, ready for battle. What on Earth would a harmless infant be fighting for? The better question is: What on Earth would it be fighting against? It has to nestle with its mother to keep safe. The sad truth is that the child has no idea what it has been born into: a spiritual battle for its soul.

We all have to face the fact that we are going to be persecuted for our beliefs. When we accept Christ as Savior, He warns us that persecution is something that we are definitely going to face: in, for example, Matthew 10:22, Luke 21:12, and John 15:20, there is no doubt when He says that we will be persecuted on account of His name. We are constantly told that whenever something negative happens to us, we need to "rejoice in our sufferings" because God always "gives us an out" when we're at our low points in life an…

Wait... what did he say?

"I don't need to stare at a stained glass and a steeple;
I don't need to dress to impress all the people;
Don't need no priest, don't need no pew;
You are my religion, my religion is you;
I don't need no other purpose, you give me reason;
Ain't their business what I want to believe in;
You are my priest, you are my truth;
You are my religion, my religion is you."

My uncle gave me a copy of the new Rise CD by Skillet, so I thought that since the CD is going to be living in the family van, I should at least listen to it on Spotify. The lyrics above are from their song "My Religion," and red flags came popping up in my head just from the title of the song. Is John Cooper actually singing that God is our RELIGION? Please tell me I'm reading this wrong. I'm taught that God isn't my religion but my SAVIOR.

There are legitimate points in the chorus, though:

I don't need to stare at a stained glass and a steeple: We shouldn't ha…

Roll with the gunshots.

"There are 'friends' who destroy each other, but a real friend sticks closer than a brother." --Proverbs 18:24 (NLT).

Recently, I had a conversation with a friend that I thought was a friend. You know one of those people that plays the part but when a bump comes up in the road, they decide to bail because you're not worth their time? Yeah, that's what I'm talking about here. Well, shortly after this conversation happened, I saw this picture posted by one of my favorite big-time, public television pastors Joel Osteen, and it pretty much summed up what I was going through.

We will have people in our lives that one of my friends calls "seasonal" friends. It was such a pain to see that one of my closest college friends was in that category of people in my life. I felt so lost, wondering if everything that happened was an act all along. How could I be so blind? There is hope in the sadness, though! We need to remember in our down times such as this …


Rather than having the additional page, "Some Laughs and Other Things," I am simply going to add pictures on the blog feed. It seems much more efficient and stufffff. :)

So, without further a-do, here's the addition to my meme collection:

There is definitely a lot that is going on with this picture. First things first: If you are unfamiliar with the "Footprints" poem, familiarize yourself right now! Next, there is also a song by Mark Schultz that has the lyrics "He will carry me." That's---actually what the title is called, so that makes sense. Anyways... then there is the fact that the verse, 2 Corinthians 12:10, goes like this:
"That is why, for Christ's sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong" (NIV). Yep. That's that about that. :)

God bless!

The stand.

Here's another blog from Living Proof! Check us out! God bless! :)

Blow out the candles and make a wish, America!

"Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD, the people he chose for his inheritance." --Psalm 33:12.

No matter what politicians try to tell us, we are one nation under God.

Today, as we celebrate with our family and friends, let us not only think about what our forefathers have done and what our fellow Americans are doing today to keep our country safe, but let's also stop to think about what Jesus Christ did on Calvary over two-thousand years ago to free us from the bondage that left us no choice but to burn in the fires of Hell for eternity because of our sin.

Now, because of God's sacrifice, we are able to live: we are able to look up to the sky at the flashing colors and be reminded of the country that God has provided for us and the day He has blessed us with.

God bless you! God bless America! God bless our troops!

Things may be questionable now...

"Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight." --Proverbs 3:5-6.

Looking at the picture, what do you think it's of? No, I didn't just throw some paint on a canvas and call it good. There is a reason for those lines to be there. That little blot in the bottom, right-hand corner isn't just there to say it's there.

Ever played Scene It? One of the team activities is to guess the movie based on an extremely zoomed in picture: blurry and chopped out of context. Every individual situation we experience in our lives can be seen as one of those clips. We don't know the overall purpose for it, but the big picture is there, and that's what God sees! I just listened to a song, and it summed this up perfectly:
"I see a star, You see the Milky Way; I see one man, counting sand, But You see generations" (Mark Hall). Did you guess right as to what the…

One is the loneliest number.

“Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.” --1 Thessalonians 5:11. In life, we have plans, hopes, dreams, and goals, but we want them to get much farther than the “talking” stage. We want to get to the point of acting, but how? Many times, our goals seem so outrageous at the time that we can’t see how to begin. One of the big goals that we ought to have as believers is to have a stronger relationship with Christ every day. Like any other goal that we set, we need resources, and one great way to receive help is through people such as mentors, role models, etc.
Here’s an example: if one of my goals was to become an author and publish a book, I would need to surround myself with other writers to enable myself to learn from the more experienced writers, learning their habits and techniques; therefore, my writing abilities would be strengthened.

Our relationships with God are the same way: we are in no way perfect, and we never will be, but God…