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Showing posts from June, 2013

One is the loneliest number.

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“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…

Disconnected segments.

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We are not perfect people. We never will be. People will disappoint us because of that fact. Things will happen that we cannot control, and we are hurt by those people.

I wrote a couple posts ago about how hope could be a sort of bad thing. It isn't! 1 Corinthians 13:13 says that at the end of the day, we can trust that there is faith, hope, and love for us by God. That's it though! Maybe we have that seed of doubt whenever we hope that something will happen because we are setting our hope in the wrong person. We should have our hope in God rather than anyone on this Earth because we never know whether we can trust the word of someone in our lives, but we can always be assured that God will fulfill what He says He will do, even if it seems the most impossible! Look at Abraham and Sarah. At non-child-bearing age, Sarah had a child because God promised Abraham that he would be the father of many nations.

We need to keep our hope in the One who knows no boundaries. He is the o…

They often repeat repeat themselves.

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"Why are you downcast, O my soul? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God." --Psalm 42:5.

"Why are you downcast, O my soul? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God." --Psalm 42:11.

"Why are you downcast, O my soul? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God." --Psalm 43:5.

No, you're not seeing triples. The same verse, word for word, shows up three times within the span of two chapters in Psalm. Usually, when I see something repeated, it means that it's something that the teacher, speaker, etc. wants me to take away from this lesson, speech, etc. When I first looked at this verse, I became frustrated with my constantly flowing questions I had: "Why is David's soul downcast? How could a soul be downcast? What is a soul, technically?" Later, I realized that the impor…

Remember to breathe.

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I will never forget the day when I was sitting in church and the pastor said that worry is a form of atheism. It definitely brought me back from wherever I was in my zone. I worry all the time about the dumbest things. Does that make me an atheist? How is worrying a form of atheism? As the pastor continued on, it made sense: when we worry, we are in the mindset that our problem is bigger than what God can handle when the truth is that nothing is too big that God can't handle. When we worry, we doubt the almighty power of God.

Rather than belittling the role of God in our lives, let's trust in Him.

I speak from experience when I say that it is most definitely easier said than done, but why is it that way? I have a list as long as I am tall (5'8") of things that I worry about. Why can't I just give it all to Him and LEAVE IT THERE? I don't know about you, but I have the bad habit of casting my anxieties and cares to God (Psalm 55:22; 1 Peter 5:7) only to take…

You're not alone!

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Here's my second devotional post on Living Proof. Check us out!

God bless! :)

Living upside down?

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As Told by the Ginger is teaming up with Letter to the Shepherd's Field! Here's this month's newsletter. God bless!!
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If you ever have come across a turtle upside down, what is your first thought?This is not the way a turtle should be, and although it struggles and works and flips its legs, it gains nothing. All this effort is to no avail, and the results end in death.

The turtle needs help, for something it can’t do on its own. Yes, I could stop and look at the turtle and keep going. However, if I come along and pick it up and turn it right side up, would that be great for the turtle?
This is what grace is: something done with assistance because it can’t be accomplished by oneself. I use the turtle for illustration purpose. We, too, are turned upside down, “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). When things are reversed like the case of the turtle, they don’t work very well—if at all.
Let me gi…

And the frog adventure comes to a close...

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I know it's been a while since I've posted about my little environmental biology project (raising six tadpoles into their adult forms). It's because it came to a rough halt this past Sunday (6-23) when three of the frogs passed away, and the last tadpole (ending up being a toad, or so we assumed because of its large size) also passed away. On Sunday, however, I got to let two little frogs into the wild to (hopefully) grow into full grown frogs! :) It was so cool because they were both the same size, but they were different color morphs. They may have been different species of frogs, but I'm not sure: one of them was really bright green with brown-ish spots while the other one was a bit of a murky charcoal kind of color all throughout. It was so cool to see the difference right next to each other... as they were sitting in my hand! Aaah! I'm going to miss those buggers. Of course I got pictures the day before I let them go. It was certainly a sad day. :(



Buoyancy is a blessing.

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"I called on your name, LORD, from the depths of the pit. You heard my plea: 'Do not close your ears to my cry for relief.' You came near when I called you, and you said, 'Do not fear.' " --Lamentations 3:55-57.


You know that song that you only know one part to, and it drives you crazy that you only know that one stanza!? Well, if you don't, pretend that you can imagine what irritation I'm experiencing in these circumstances. This'll be an imagination exercise for you! :)

The only part I knew of this song was "I'm begging You to hold on tight: begging You to take my life from me," so I Googled it and found that it was "My Only Hope" by Bebo Norman. Listening to those lyrics reminded me of something that I wrote on April 22 of this year, so I'm going to share it with you:
The currents are getting faster by the minute. God, Your children are getting caught in the undertow. The sea of raw emotion is screaming in need of mo…

What am I here for?

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When viewing this question, I know that if I was to look at it, I would think, Well, I'm here for a purpose that God knows, and He has a great plan for me in glorifying Him. I'm not talking about that here.

Why am I on the Internet posting my ideas for the world to see? Why am I on Blogger?

To be honest, I thought that I could get further into the Word and, God willing, encourage others that look at my blog. I also like the idea of strengthening my writing abilities, too. That'd be nice. What if money came into the picture? What if I was paid to do my blogging? Would my intentions change for being here? Would my topics suddenly be swayed in order to please the general public and, essentially, give me more Presidents for my pocket?
"No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money" (Luke 16:13). Just because I have ads on my blog doesn'…

Something for someone.

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Here's a little encouragement: the kind that you get from a redhead who should be sleeping, but her mind won't stop working (doesn't it just bug you when that happens?).

No matter how bad your day is, God is there holding you in His arms. How great is our God!

Jeremiah 16:19 says,
"Lord, my strength and my fortress, my refuge in time of distress, to you the nations will come from the ends of the earth and say, 'Our ancestors possessed nothing but false gods, worthless idols that did them no good' " (NIV). What strikes me is the difference in power of context amongst versions of Scripture. Watch:
"Then I said, 'LORD, you give me strength and protect me. You are the one I can run to for safety when I am in trouble..." (Jer. 16:19, NET, emphasis added). 
The LORD is our refuge and strength, and we can RUN to Him whenever we are in trouble. No questions asked, God is there to provide for us. Funny thing is... He doesn't have to ask anythin…

#sickofit

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"So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them." --Genesis 1:27.

"[F]or all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God." --Romans 3:23.

Before Skillet came out with their new CD Rise, they had a time where they encouraged the trend on Instagram which is the title of their song from their CD that is soaring on the charts. The picture at the left was the one that I posted. There is a lot that can be told in a picture:

Growing up, as I think I've mentioned before, I think I grew the habit of needing to be over the top with whatever I did so people would compliment my performance. Along with that, there also was a building up of perfectionism tendencies: I need to spell everything right; when someone quotes a movie, it has to be precise --otherwise, I quote it myself word-for-word--; the list goes on. I guess I can be considered one of those people that thrives off of technicalities. A downside of…

Why, hello there, shoulder!

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The craziest things in my day spark inspiration for this little URL:

As I was walking the vanity mirror from my room, down the hallway, and into the bathroom, I looked into the mirror rather than where I was actually going and I felt my balance go a little off: as if my feet were confused as to where they were actually stepping. Then it hit me: this is what we do when we constantly look in the past rather than what is right in front of us right now. Before we know it, we could be swept off our feet, falling on our butts because we don't know where we're walking.

Rather than looking around in the present, we look over our shoulders and try to relive what has already happened: a part of us that we can no longer control because it's permanently written in the history books. While we're doing that, there are many things --God-given opportunities-- that we look past because of our sight being skewed by experiences that cause us to make a standstill.

We can't be deer …

Gifts: Way better than any that Santa's given.

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"We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us. If your gift is prophesying, then prophesy in accordance with your faith; if it is serving, then serve; if it is teaching, then teach; if it is to encourage, then give encouragement; if it is giving, then give generously; if it is to lead, do it diligently; if it is to show mercy, do it cheerfully." --Romans 12:6-8.

There have definitely been times in my life where I wished I had a talent or attribute that someone else had and I obviously lacked: intelligence, family, appearance, musical abilities, etc. but if I had any of those things that I wished I had, would I be the person that God wants me to be? Most likely not. The way He's made me is just the way He likes it. In fact, when we all were created, He not only said we were good, but He said we were VERY good on the day He created us (Genesis 1:31). When we were being knitted in our wombs, God knew us --who we would become-- and what we would accom…

Whatcha think?

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I know with me, I survive off the opinions of others. It's a sad truth, but it's truth regardless. My love language test calls it "words of affirmation." The problem with that, though, is that what people say is exactly that: something that a person said. Every person has their flaws, and that includes their judgment as well. You can't solely depend on what people say in order to live your life.

Rather than depending on others to know how you should live or what you should do in your life, look to God and what He wants for you in your life. You can see what He wants from you in your life all throughout His Word.

Don't worry what others may say or think about you. You ought to know right now that you cannot please every person in your life, no matter how hard you try (trust me, if you try, it's very exhausting). God has a tendency to call us out of the crowd to do great things. Some of those times, you will indeed be left alone because the people around…

The mind plays tricks, but I'm not laughing.

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In one of my favorite TV shows, the main character says something along these lines: "There are three things that people fear the most: fear of the dark, fear of being alone, and fear of the unknown."

In my house, at night, the quiet was ceased by the sound of wrestling on the porch. Why did my heart start racing? It was probably because I am the only person awake in the house, the only one who is able to do anything if it is necessary, and I have no idea what on Earth is making that noise!

Like my house, the peace in our lives can also be met with wrestles that cause problems in the plans that we have for our lives. Why are we worried? We fear of what we do not see --the future-- and fear that we're facing our problems alone and don't know what will happen.

Fear the dark? "When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, 'I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life' " (John 8:12).

Fear…

Since when does VeggieTales make me cry!?

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I don't know what it is about the parables in Luke that seem to catch my interest right now, but I'm finding so many connections!!

We live... we make mistakes... we disappoint people, but who will love us no matter what? God and our family, especially our parents; however, even our parents aren't perfect. What's so great about God is that His love is everlasting, indescribable, and unconditional. Whatever we do, He will never love us more or less than He already does.

Even when we have done the unforgivable in the eyes of the world, God will embrace us! The parable that I'm referring to is the parable of the Lost Son. Rather than being wise with what he was given by his father, the younger son threw all he had away recklessly. He went home with his shoulders lowered in shame, but what did the father do? He called for a celebration, "for this son of [his] was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found" (Luke 15:24)! The last thing that he could t…

How do we love? Why do we love?

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Here's my first devotional post on Living Proof! Check out the other posts while you're there. :)

God bless!

All about music in this head of mine.

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Okay, I don't know if you've noticed yet or not, but I am pretty certain that my brain is composed of 48% music lyrics, 50% school work, and 2% air. The way that I worship is by reading my Bible and listening to His Word as it inspires many artists to sing the truth of how great God is.

I'm going to cut to the chase: Last year, I had the opportunity to go to Worship on the Waterfront with my grandparents, and one of the artists that we saw was Bebo Norman. It had been a few years since I'd heard his music (I rarely ever actually buy CDs; I usually just listen to the radio--nothing wrong about that!), so I didn't really know what to expect seeing him live. Most of the music that he was performing was coming from his newly released CD (at the time), Ocean.

It was kinda tough to sing along with him as he was performing (compared to Phil Stacey, who sang old songs that everyone knew, so it was a huge chorus in the middle of the town of Grand Haven), but one of the so…

Revelation.

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For the past couple weeks, I have been praying for God to break my heart for what breaks His. Like always, He hasn't failed to answer my prayers. The heartbreak was certainly felt: sometimes more apparent than others, but the pain in my soul is there. The Holy Spirit inside of me is screaming for change. Why am I feeling this way? Why is God's heart breaking in this area? Well, I know why I feel the pain. So what? What do I do now?

And THAT is when I had the light bulb moment. As I was praying before I went to sleep a couple days ago, my mind began to simply wander. I was just gabbing to God (you know those moments? Just speaking what comes to your mind and begin to lose track of what you're saying until something that you didn't expect to say comes out of your mouth.. or in this case, your mind... Anyways!), and the phrase, "My heart is breaking so my hands and feet can move," came out. I literally had a mental whiplash. Did I hear it during a song at some …

Oh, how beautiful is God's promise to us.

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It's breath-taking. No matter how bad the storm is, the sun comes back. Like the storm outside, storms in our lives, too, always have an end. "You gotta face the clouds to find the silver lining" (Kutless).
"I have set my rainbow in the clouds, and it will be the sign of the covenant between me and the earth. Whenever I bring clouds over the earth and the rainbow appears in the clouds, I will remember my covenant between me and you and all living creatures of every kind. Never again will the waters become a flood to destroy all life" (Genesis 9:13-15). THANK YOU, GOD!

Dig deeper!

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God constantly provides;God is always there for us;God will never let us fall;We can't run from Christ because He is wherever we go;God has a plan for our lives;Whatever happens, God has a purpose;The Lord loves us, no matter what we do;Etc. etc. etc. Anybody can say this insincerely. I know, for me, I have countless moments where I say these truths to myself, but I don't actually feel that I trust them in my heart; however, when I see Scripture that affirms these truths, it blows my mind! Yes, I know I'm not making any sense, but stick with me here for a second:

I know that I can't go where God already is. It's impossible to run from Him. We know this because of the story of Jonah, but when I read Jeremiah 23, I found verses 23-24 absolutely powerful:
" 'Am I only a God nearby,' declares the LORD, 'and not a God far away? Can anyone hide in secret places so that I cannot see him?' declares the LORD. 'Do not I fill heaven and earth?' d…

RUN, FORREST!

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At church yesterday, the service was dedicated to the reflection of what had happened in the past week with the missions team that went to Ohio. The teens and adults shared their testimonies and snipbits of how moving the trip was for all of them and how they made better relationships with each other and God. What I really liked was when the leader elaborated on what the group emphasized in devotional time throughout the week: they looked through 2 Timothy 4, and during the service, he looked at the verses when Paul writes to Timothy that he "fought the good fight" and "finished the race" (v. 7). His question to us was, "What does Paul mean when he says that he fought the "good" fight? What is he really trying to tell Timothy here? How can we fight the good fight in the twenty-first century?

I absolutely love how my brain works, and God must've had a fun time making it so my brain could make random connections to the strangest of things. Let me …

Another dork moment.. sorry guys! XD

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Here's a check-up on our little frogs (I'm thinking three of them are Spring Peepers. I'm not sure yet, though...):

Three of them are already looking like little baby frogs with their tails off and their legs are helping them hop around on dry land now! :D Two others are still in their tadpole bodies with their little legs still trying to sprout. Then there's the little slowpoke that still hasn't grown legs yet! No worries though. :) It's just a late bloomer. Here are some pictures I took this afternoon.





You don't know you're beautiful!

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"Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as elaborate hairstyles and the wearing of gold jewelry or fine clothes. Rather, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God's sight." --1 Peter 3:3-4.

No... I'm not quoting the song by One Direction, but it's true! More often than we think, we underestimate our true beauty because of what media throws before us, screaming their definition of beauty whenever we go to check out at the grocery store or buy a newspaper: biggest hair, slimmest body --whatever sells tabloids wins! The world's definition is completely opposite of God's way that He sees beauty, so why are so many women and girls self-conscious, believing that they are ugly and unworthy of anyone? Because these images that top-name magazines are using for their covers and inserts are degrading them! Writers advertise ways that women can change because they want the…

It's easy for our minds to wander...

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Whenever we're given a task, it's not only the task that we're dealing with. There is also the fact that we have our lives going on as well with our struggles, weaknesses, relationships, etc. An example of this would be mission work. A group of teens and adults from my church went out to Ohio for a mission trip, and we were given a list of the personal prayer requests that each of the members had. One thing that stuck out to me was the common request of praying for ridding distractions. That's very important, though! If we aren't in the right mindset --if we're just doing the work to get the job done-- as servants, we aren't doing our jobs right. As followers of Christ, with everything we do, "whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus" (Colossians 3:17). If we're doing all things for Christ, we ought to do them wholeheartedly, right?

It's easy to be caught up in the world with everything we need to deal with in dai…

EVERYONE DISAPPOINTS ME!!

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"For I am the LORD your God who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you." --Isaiah 41:13.

Maybe not all people in your life do at the same time, but it's true. It's inevitable. No matter how perfect or invinsible a person is, they will disappoint you. Why? Because they are humans. They are imperfect beings. They are NOT God. They are sinners. WE are sinners.

As an ISFJ, I have the mindset that "the only person who can get it done right is myself." It really stinks when it comes to group projects because I am that one person that is stuck doing everything because, without knowing, I purposely made it that way: there's no room for disappointment --when someone else's work doesn't reach par with my standards and my evaluations are jeopardized because of the poor presentation-- if I do all the work. Everything must be perfect.

This isn't healthy, though. We need to love and trust our family and friends, kno…

Branching from the Sci-Fi post...

Thinking about the power of words, it brought me to a song that is VERY popular as of right now. I didn't know how I would like Hawk Nelson now that Jason Dunn (the old lead singer) left the band and did his own thing, but I like the new guy! Anyway... the idea of the power of our words brought me to the song "Words" by Hawk Nelson.

My favorite part of this song is the beginning:
"They make me feel like a criminal; they make me feel set free. They make me feel like a prisoner: make me feel like a king." It's true. The words that we say kind of define who we are in an interesting way. Yeah, that makes sense because the things being spoken are coming from our brain, which is the root of our being...kind of. Our soul has that role, but you get what I mean, right?

"I don't want to say a word unless it points the world back to You."

God bless!

There's a Dr. Jeckyl and Mr. Hyde in all of us.

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"All kinds of animals, birds, reptiles and sea creatures are being tamed and have been tamed by mankind, but no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison. With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse human beings, who have been made in God’s likeness.Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers and sisters, this should not be." --James 3:7-10.


Thinking about the old classic of Dr. Jeckyl and Mr. Hyde, how do we see it? A normal doctor living an ordinary life, making sure that society's morals are met; but when the sun goes down, a monster arises with no morality whatsoever and brings havoc along with its illogical behavior. How can the blog title be relevant then? I most certainly, I don't know about the rest of you, don't turn into a monster at the break of dusk (some people might think otherwise when I'm not in the best of moods, but that's besides the point)! Oh, the contrary! We…

Living Proof is on the WWW!

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I am aware that when you type a URL in the bar, you completely skip the "www." part. Am I the only one? Maybe. Maybe not. I digress. What I'm really excited about is that I got the opportunity to be a devotional writer for my Bible study group at school that my friend started up this past year. We call ourselves Living Proof (check it out on the Community page). What a blessing! I've been told by a friend that I've been gifted by God with writing abilities after they read a couple of my posts, and I guess this is an opportunity to strengthen those abilities all for the glory of God! I'm so excited! I pray that God will inspire me and that He'll give me the words to say. My friend told me that I'm developing my own style of writing. My response: "I've always had a style. I guess I just needed a reason to use it." It's true! We're all given gifts and talents that are unlike any others' gifts that God has given us. We are respo…