Thursday, December 23, 2010

Role Models

You know, I've been thinking... A dangerous past time I know... :P
We truly never know the impact we have on other people's lives sometimes.
Off-hand I can think of lots of people who I have looked up to or still do; including teachers, pastors, friends, family, etc...
Everyone is looked up to in some matter, whether it's a younger person or anyone really, people notice things about you.
As a college student I see it happen even more. I see high-schoolers and children look at me like I'm some sort of "god" something so far in the distance but longed for. (Not to be vain...haha) I have talked with older folks and they envy me for getting to be young.
I did the same when I was young. I would look at those older to me and try to be just like them. I wanted to pattern my life after theirs (in a non-creepy way).
What I'm trying to say is, whether we like it or not people are watching us and looking to us as a model. As Christians this is even more so.
Our lives are to be a witness of what Jesus Christ has done. Jesus was truly the greatest role model and we are to pattern ourselves to become more and more like Him.
1 John 2:6 
Whoever claims to live in Him must walk as Jesus did
What we see in others can make or break things. The reason why Christians get such a bad rap is because of the hypocrites. They say one thing and do the next. I will be the first to admit I do that way more that I like (which is not at all). I hate when I find myself in sin and walking away from what I believe. It's not how I want to live but it happens all the time and I know it will continue to happen while I'm on this earth. However, just because you're going to fail does not mean you shouldn't try. God is there to pick you up and help you when you fall. He can keep you from falling as well.

Siblings, friends, onlookers, everyone is watching to see how we live. We should live like Jesus and set a good example for others. Be a good example! Think about how you're living and how that affects others!
1 Corinthians 10:31 - Whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

He sees you when you're sleeping...He knows when you're awake...

I've been thinking a lot this week. What I say in this post may make you angry I don't know. I'll say it anyway though. I really hate Santa.
There are quite a number of reasons why I do not like the figure of Santa Claus. I understand that the original Santa or "Saint Nick" was a good person trying to do good. However, I have several problems with the Santa that is now portrayed basically in every holiday decoration, wrapping paper, toys etc..

1. First and foremost...Santa is a replacement for Jesus Christ.  Don't tell me no. He is, Santa has caused children and parents to forget the real meaning of Christmas.
I'd have to say this is disturbing to me ^ It shows what I feel though. Did Santa Claus ever give his life for mankind? Was Santa perfect?
Santa has taken the place of the Christ child in Christmas. Nowadays with everyone being politcally correct and no religion allowed to be spoken of, we have forgotten the reason why we celebrate!
What a sad state our country is in, where instead of calling it Christmas break it is Winter break.

2. Telling your kids that Santa is real is lying. Sugar coat it if you want, it's lying, plain and simple. It is not a great trust builder lying to your kids. You may think it's just innocent but I know if I were lied to from birth to about 9 or 10, I would wonder if my parents had lied or were lying about other things as well.

3. Santa Claus is all about greed and wanting more. This mentality of always wanting the best and more is not good. It is raising a generation that always wants more stuff and feels like it should be handed to them on a silver platter. Seriously, all you have to do to get whatever you want is just write a list and send to some guy in the middle of no where? Too easy!

Well, I could write more but I won't. I feel that Santa is not a good model of Christmas and that as Christians we should not allow him to take the place of Jesus Christ.
Truly only Jesus could live a sinless life, die on a cross and yet raise again 3 days later, take away the sins of the world, and yet want to have a relationship with us.
I thought of that one song about Santa Claus where it says "He sees you when you're sleeping...He knows when you're awake..He knows if you've been bad or be good for goodness sake!"
Only God knows that, not some fictional man with a list.
As Psalm 139:1-3 says: "1 You have searched me, LORD, and you know me.
2 You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar.
3 You discern my going out and my lying down; you are familiar with all my ways."
Remember the true meaning of Christmas. Not the gifts, Santa, or shopping. Jesus Christ.

Luke 2:6-20:
6 While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, 7 and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no guest room available for them.

8 And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. 9 An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. 10 But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. 11 Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. 12 This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”

13 Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,

14 “Glory to God in the highest heaven,

and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.”

15 When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.”

16 So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. 17 When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, 18 and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. 19 But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart. 20 The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Keep my eyes turned upward- dealing with cancer

This past weekend I have had a lot on my mind. In earlier posts I mentioned that my grandfather has stage four cancer. My family and I went through exactly the same situation last year with him. However miraculously last year he went into remission for a couple months. I truly believe God performed a miracle when he blessed my grandfather with another year.
This time it seems to be different though. I don't really know all the details but my mom said he's fading.

If you would have asked me about my grandfather before he went through cancer, I would have said something like: "Well, I don't really see him that much. I don't think he really cares about me..I mean I can't even remember the last time I got a birthday card from him..."
I would have been selfish and not really cared. In my mind he didn't want to know us so I didn't want to know him.
When someone in your immediate family gets cancer it is probably one of the worst feelings. Even if they caught the cancer early no one ever wants to hear they have cancer.
When my mom first told me my grandfather's cancer was back, I cried. I literally sobbed at my desk. There were a multitude of feelings within me. I thought: "Why God? Why have you taken back our answer to prayer? How could You do this to us again and so soon?!"
I was angry, hurt, confused, among many other things...I just wanted to lie on my bed and have a pity party because my life wasn't the fairy tale everyone else got to have.
Through these past few months I really have to deal with not letting myself focus on the situations I've been through. I have had to realize that God is control. As John 10:28 says "No one shall snatch them out of My hand." It is so encouraging to know that but hard to live that way. As humans we always want to be independent. Even more so as Americans, we are told to handle things ourselves and we don't need  anyone. (A very prideful attitude indeed.)
I have had to every day remind myself to give up my troubles to God, remember that all things are in His plan.
The other day I was just reminded of the thought that maybe this is my grandfather's last Christmas with us. I was so upset and worried. I was just filled with this feeling of helplessness. I have no way of curing cancer. I decided to just go down to the pond and pray. I wrote down a prayer to God and just sat there in the cold on a bench, weeping my heart out for my grandfather and the sad situation. I read Isaiah 40:31 But those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint."
Then I realized, the reason why I was so tired and felt helpless was because I was not relying on God! DUH! I mean so many times I do that. I think "I can't do this anymore, it's too hard." But I have never gone to the One who is limitless in strength and power.
Let my story remind you that you need to go to God daily for strength. You can't do this on your own.
2 Corinthians 12:9 and 10 say:  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 about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. 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."

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Give the kid a chance...

"The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched - they must be felt with the heart."

-Helen Keller

I don't know about you, but, I think we hold beauty in too high of a standard. We think less of those who we feel are not beautiful and don't want to be seen with them. Or maybe we want to be seen with them so that we look better next to them. Either way, it's a totally wrong attitude! Whether or not someone is beautiful does not change who they are inside. A beautiful person can be a mean ugly person inside just as an ugly person can have a beautiful heart, not just vice versa! I say DON'T JUDGE!

I feel people judging me all the time. Even my friends do it sometimes. I will be honest, I am certainly not skinny and I am certainly not very attractive, but looks are not a good reason not to get to know someone!!!!! It makes me so angry when guys only go for the pretty skinny girls. I'm not saying that girls that are pretty are less human but give both sides a chance! It's not fair to be so mean to those that WE FEEL are not as good looking. Who can help how they are born? Tell me, WHO CHOSE THEIR FACE?!? WHY IS ONE THING BEAUTIFUL AND ONE THING UGLY?!? WHO DECIDES WHAT IS BEAUTIFUL?!?

Well, I have said my piece. But, take my advice. Give the guy/girl a chance, get to know them before you cross them off the list of potential mates.

Let go..Let GOD

"Give your burden to the Lord, and He will take care of you." ~ Psalm 55:22

Well, if you know me, I worry ALOT. Way too much in fact. I hate that I worry because it means I am not relying on God. Worrying is what I struggle with the most out of anything. So, starting today I want to try my hardest to give my burdens, my worries to Him. You try it too! Maybe you think you have it all together... Examine yourself and you will find that there is always something bugging you. Maybe it's money or the future... Give it up to God. Who better to hold your future than the One who created you?!

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Beauty from Pain

"If God can bring blessing from the broken body of Jesus and glory from something that's as obscene as the cross, He can bring blessing from my problems and my pain and my unanswered prayer. I just have to trust Him."
~Anne Graham Lotz

"God is the only one who can make the valley of trouble a door of hope."
~Catherine Marshall

"God does not always heal us instantly the way we think. He is not a jack-in-the-box God. But God is walking with me through this."
~Thelma Wells

Today I found out my grandfather's cancer is back. My grandfather had stage four cancer almost a year ago and just recently went into remission only to have it back again. I am so upset and discouraged. I know God has done this for a reason but why this again? When I finally am able to catch my breath again and have a normal life? It's really hard to have to constantly be going through trials.

Then again, I think of the apostle Paul and the incredible amount of horrible things he went through. If God used him and loved him then He will certainly be with me during mine. I pray that He uses this bad situation to His glory. I pray that He turns my tears to joy. 2 Corinthians 12:9-10

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Wear it...Declare it...

The other day I looked at a pair of pants I had from that "Kohl's" brand "So!". On the label it said: "Wear it, Declare it!" I started thinking... Our clothes say something about us. When we look at someone in a short skirt or a tight shirt we think: "That girl is bad! She is definitely a sinner and a floosy!" Or how about when we see someone wearing black. We think: "They must be in mourning or they're goth!" But what about the so called "normal" people? What do their clothes say about them? Do they say: "Here's a mom with two kids. She's married, her husband has a good job. They are middle class citizens who always pay their bills on time." I don't think so...They do, however, say something!
I think as Christians we should wear something that shows who we are on the inside. We should dress modest and wear clothes that draws our attention to our faces not the rest of our body.
I know, I know, you've heard it all before: "Don't make the guys stumble!" "Don't show off what God gave you!"
I'm not saying they're wrong but we should tell others the reason behind it. As Christians we are to be different. We aren't supposed to look exactly like the world. When someone is wearing a low cut top...are you thinking.."Hey, I BET that girl's a Christian! She looks so godly right there, with her chest all hanging out."
NO WAY! especially if you're a guy. (Though I do not have firsthand knowledge of this...)

Our clothes, like our life, should reflect a love and dedication to God.

Monday, August 23, 2010

The day of my birth...

Well, I am now officially 18 years old. Weird! I feel so old, so "grown up". I hate it! Just kidding, though, actually I just don't like it. (Hate is too strong a word) I have now spent my first birthday at college and my first day of classes here. A weird combo no? Needless to say, I was not very happy about having to do school on MY birthday. It has been a strange day actually, it does not feel like a birthday AT ALL. My family isn't here, my friends from home aren't here, and I didn't get to eat birthday cake! ;D Bummer, I know.
It's weird, I actually forgot today was my birthday! You see, at lunch, I saw some pretty tempting brownies as dessert. I did not allow myself one, thinking only of the numerous calories they contained. If I had realized TODAY was my birthday I would definitely taken one! (and consequently gained 10lbs for the sake of Murphy's Law)
It hasn't been too bad of a day though. My RA gave me some flowers! They're very pretty and are on my desk. My Mom, Danielle, and Skylar left me cards and a present, which was thoughtful of them. I also got many "Happy Birthday"s.
I'm just INCREDIBLY homesick and wish I were home having a true birthday party. :(
So, anyone wanna bake me a cake? :P

Monday, August 16, 2010

Give me Lord a servant's heart

"For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many."

-Mark 10:45

Jesus came to be a servant. Think about that, the Lord, God in human flesh, came to serve the lowliest of low. It blows my mind.

We don't expect a king to be doing a servant's job. We would never tell a king he should be washing floors or putting away dishes. But Christ, the King of all Kings, came to be a servant to all. He didn't come to be treated as royalty but came to save those that could not save themselves.

Remember John 13? Where Jesus washes His disciples feet? That is the example we should follow. We should be like Christ and present ourselves as a servant and helper.

John 13:1-17

Jesus Washes the Disciples’ Feet

1Now before the Feast of the Passover, when Jesus knew that his hour had come to depart out of this world to the Father, having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end. 2During supper, when the devil had already put it into the heart of Judas Iscariot, Simon’s son, to betray him, 3Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into his hands, and that he had come from God and was going back to God, 4rose from supper. He laid aside his outer garments, and taking a towel, tied it around his waist. 5Then he poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples’ feet and to wipe them with the towel that was wrapped around him. 6He came to Simon Peter, who said to him, "Lord, do you wash my feet?" 7 Jesus answered him, "What I am doing you do not understand now, but afterward you will understand." 8 Peter said to him, "You shall never wash my feet." Jesus answered him, "If I do not wash you, you have no share with me." 9Simon Peter said to him, "Lord, not my feet only but also my hands and my head!" 10Jesus said to him, "The one who has bathed does not need to wash, except for his feet, but is completely clean. And you are clean, but not every one of you." 11 For he knew who was to betray him; that was why he said, "Not all of you are clean."

12When he had washed their feet and put on his outer garments and resumed his place, he said to them, "Do you understand what I have done to you? 13 You call me Teacher and Lord, and you are right, for so I am. 14If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. 15For I have given you an example, that you also should do just as I have done to you. 16Truly, truly, I say to you, a servant is not greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him. 17If you know these things, blessed are you if you do them.  - Servant's Heart- Ron Hamilton

Saturday, June 19, 2010

La, la, la, la, la......

Recently I sang a solo at my church. I did "Feel the Nails" by Ray Boltz. It's a gorgeous song and the words are profound. Afterwards people came up and told me what a good job I had done etc... It's always weird for me when this happens. I don't know exactly how to say this, but, I don't feel like I did anything. Yes, I sang technically, but singing is different than other talents because a lot of it is what you're born with. I never asked God for a good voice. For some reason He saw fit to bless me with one. I have tried to use it best I can. This is why I don't know what to say when people praise me. I want to tell them that it's not's God.

I'm Just Passing Through

I'm having one of those days where I wish I could already be in heaven. Don't get me wrong or anything. I just feel like saying: "God, can't you come back now?" I don't know about you, but, I must say I hate living in this world. As the old song goes"This world is not my home". I yearn for heaven, a place with no more sin and pain. I yearn for family and friends who are already there. But most of all, I yearn to be with God. He is so powerful and all-knowing, it boggles my mind.
The one good thing is...
I CAN have a relationship with Him here and now. In fact God wants to have a personal relationship with me. It's why He sent Christ to die. Everytime I feel down, I remind myself of this:
God loved me so much that He gave His only SON to die a horrible death so that I could go to heaven.
It's so incredible and awesome!
Think about it for a minute...
Imagine you have a son...
You love your son very much
He is special because he is your ONLY son
Then imagine giving him up to be born a man, knowing that to do so he would die on a cross like a common thief
He would die that way after doing nothing wrong...EVER
Not only that but he would die for the ones who killed him and all those who had done wrong
Can you imagine wanting to die to save the lives of those who were killing and inflicting pain upon you?
I can't even comprehend it.
The verse below, you most likely know. It's simple and to the point but so PROFOUND.
John 3:16-
"For God so loved the world that He gave his only begotten son that whosoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life."

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

If only...

I wanted to continue writing about contentment. So many times we look back and think "If only I had done this...or If only I had said that..." It all goes back to being content. When we think about the if onlys we wish we could do over a situation and aren't happy with our past. Hind sight is 20/20 as they say. It's so easy to be angry and frustrated over the past. Maybe someone wronged you or you were hurt. You have a different "if only". "You think: "If only I had stood up for myself or been stronger then it wouldn't have happened". Part of being content is realizing you need to let go of the past. You can't let the past control you instead you need to give it up to God. God is the controller of time and He knows all that has happened and all that ever will happen. If you have done something you regret I urge you to confess it to God. He's always there for you. The Bible says:
"If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness." (1 John 1:9)
"He will again have compassion on us, and will subdue our iniquities. You will cast all our sins into the depths of the sea." (Micah 7:19)

Matthew West; a contemporary Christian artist has a song called History. The words are profound.

Here's the words:
Its been a bad day, you've been looking back
And all you can see is everything you wish you could take back
All your mistakes, a world of regrets
All of those moments you would rather forget
I know it's hard to believe
Let me refresh your memory

Yesterday is history
And history is miles away
So leave it all behind you
Let it always remind you of the day
The day that love made history

You know you can't stay right where you fell
The hardest part is forgiving yourself
But let's take a walk into today
And don't let your past get in the way

Would you believe that you are history
In the making, in the making
Every choice that you are making
Every step that you are taking
Every chain that you are breaking
History is in the making
Every word that you are saying
Every prayer that you are praying
Every chain that you are breaking
History is in the making
History is in the making
History is in the making

Here's another song by Audio Adrenaline:

The mistakes I've made
That caused pain
I could have done without
All my selfish thought
All my pride
The things I hide
You have forgot about
They're all behind you
They'll never find you
They're on the ocean floor
Your sins are forgotten
They're on the bottom
Of the ocean floor
My misdeeds
All my greed
All the things that haunt me now
They're not a pretty sight to see
But they're wiped away
By a mighty, mighty wave
A mighty, mighty wave
Your sins are erased
And they are no more
They're out on the ocean floor
Take them away
To return no more
Take them away
To the ocean floor

Give your past up to God.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Have you hugged your Mom today?

Mother's Day; a time for memories to come up and new ones to be made. A day we take aside and thank mothers, grandmothers, and aunts for all that they do. I have been extremely blessed with a big family with wonderful women in it. I love Mother's Day in that I can show my Mom how much I appreciate her as well as my Grandmothers. This year it's a little bittersweet though as it always is for those who have lost those they love. All of my great grandmothers have passed, one just last year. I loved them all dearly but I really only knew two well. My Gram and my Nana were women who have helped make me the person I am today.
My Gram was one of the sweetest person I knew. She was always gentle and never spoke harshly. She showed me how to love unconditionally and to hold each day precious.
My Nana was a cultured woman. She had lived in New York City and worked at the United Nations. She was the fun one and always made me laugh. She showed me to never take myself too seriously and that laughing is good for the soul.
I don't know what I'd do without my Mother. She is someone who works very hard even though she is sick. I am so grateful for her as I am my grandmothers.
I want to remind you to show YOUR appreciation for your mothers, grandmothers, and aunts not just on Mother's Day but everyday. Don't wait, you never know what will happen. A life can be gone in just a moment but encouragement lasts a lifetime.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Be content

Philippians 4:11b: For I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.

For a long time I had a problem with the verse. I felt maybe it wasn't applicable to me; no one else was going through the very hard stuff I was. I thought maybe when I have more money or nicer things, THEN I'll be content. But I realize now that I was so wrong. Paul says"in whatever state I am" that means rich or poor, sick or healthy, we are to be content. God never promised us life would be easy once were saved but He DID promise He will ALWAYS be with us.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

When I survey the wondrous cross...

Last night as I was practicing my song for church (When I survey) all of a sudden I felt the need to sing another song, "The Via Dolorosa". As I was singing this song I started paying more attention to the words and then it hit me. Jesus Christ knew before He even came down upon this earth exactly what was going to happen. He KNEW he would be betrayed, beaten, and killed but yet He STILL came to save wretched sinners like you and I. So as I sat there and sang, tears streamed down my face not only for what Christ had done but how. If you have not heard the song before the song is about Jesus walking down the "road of suffering" to be put death upon the cross. I wanted to write down some of the lyrics:
Down the Via Dolorosa in Jerusalem that day
The soldiers tried to clear the narrow street
But the crowd pressed in to see
The Man condemned to die on Calvary

He was bleeding from a beating, there were stripes upon His back
And He wore a crown of thorns upon His head
And He bore with every step
The scorn of those who cried out for His death

Down the Via Dolorosa called the way of suffering
Like a lamb came the Messiah, Christ the King,
But He chose to walk that road out of
His love for you and me.
Down the Via Dolorosa, all the way to Calvary.

Can you even imagine doing something like that? But it didn't end there did it?