There are many girls at war with themselves. Many women also. There are females in this world that are not just struggling but viciously fighting with themselves and the world to embrace their beauty. They are fiercely fighting to cling to their identity, to find purpose, to accept contentment with who they are, and to grow based on all of that.Read More
Life. . .a heartbeat, a breath, a cry. A baby, alive in its mother’s womb, born of its mother; the seed of two people coming together. Life begins before we enter this earth.
Death. . .no more heartbeat, no more breathing, no more sound. A person’s life ends on earth in a moment.
The space in between. . .we call the process of minutes passed “life”, but I think we should call it living instead.Read More
If you keep up with me at all, I am sure you have noticed that I struggle with being satisfied with what is less than excellent. I like things to be perfect, in fact. Language learning is not the friend of perfectionists, let me tell you. Not to mention, language acquisition can truly make you feel like a child all over again. Sometimes, not even that esteemed, because let’s be honest, children in the country are speaking with more fluency and ease than I as I learn this new language.Read More
I realize it’s been quite some time since my last post. In fact, I just looked at the date and it has been nearly 6 months since I’ve posted anything new. One reason it has been so long is this: I was under a conviction that I needed to be sure I could share what I felt God wanted me to share without seeking any of the glory for myself.Read More
Ok, my title is slightly misleading. . .and this post is going to read more like a rant, because it is a rant.
I do not hate the verse but I do hate when people use it like duct tape. Philippians 4:13 is not a fix all verse! It has a specific context and a deliberate meaning. Dr. Lytle, a professor of mine in college, once said, "[a verse] cannot mean what it never meant". He was saying that we do not get to choose what an author meant when he wrote the words he did (valid point to remember in today's society too, I think).
I went to bed last night and woke up this morning in a significant amount of pain. My knees are very sore. The weird part (for me): it is from running. If you know me, you know I do not like to run. The only incentive I had for running in high school was during rugby and that incentive was tackling the person with the ball. However, a little over a year ago, a friend of mine was inspired by someone we both know to be brave and daring. She prayed a bold prayer and cast a broad vision. Several months later she saw the benefits of her obedience to what could now be seen as God's call for her in a specific ministry; running a marathon to help people in India.Read More
Journeying through the New Testament has quickly become the adventure I never expected. Unlike the lesser known road of the Old Testament books, each step in the New reveals something in these old well trodden paths that I never took notice of before. Like a blind man made seeing - fascinated by colors and details - I find myself enamored by simple word placement and choice. The mystery of Jesus' life is mesmerizing and what I am coming to understand more deeply as I study is that the Jesus I am seeing is not the same Jesus I came to know and understand as a child.Read More
Several weeks ago my metaphorical light bulb came on regarding love. It sounds kinda funny and even silly to say, but for the first time in 26 years my brain really connected the phrase with its deeper meaning; unconditional love. I honestly do not remember what triggered it and the more I think back on it, the fuzzier it is. It might have been a book I was reading, or it may have been in my Dave Ramsey class - maybe it was in my Dave Ramsey book, I do not remember! - but it hit me. Somehow I am thinking it was actually a Bible lesson though that was talking about John and Peter in John 20. Regardless, the start of it was along the lines God not loving anyone more or less based on their action or inaction. Again, it sounds elementary but something in my brain seriously clicked. "Unconditional love" was the pat phrase that came to mind but I instantly connected to something deeper that helped me to realize what that means; a love with no degrees!
This past Sunday Pastor Ronnie spoke on being grateful and learning to have an "attitude of gratitude" in life. Here is the summary of the main points of the sermon:
- Repent of feeling sorry for myself
- Recognize that my salvation is the source of all gratitude
- Pray to be especially in His presence*
- Read God's Word
- Learn the discipline of thanking God for little things because little things become big things*
- Rejoicing brings peace
- Praise God with other people
- Always be thankful for Jesus*
Ezekiel, Jeremiah, Daniel - all three prophets of the Old Testament faithfully served God through obedient submission. While each prophet's book is loaded with information concerning God, man, the Israel of old, and much more, there is one thing my mind has constantly been drawn to as i have studied them these last months and that one thing is the mystery of God's glory.Read More
One night a group of men decided to go fishing. They jumped into their trawler and pushed out of the shallows. When they were just far enough from shore to do their best fishing, they began to lower and draw their nets back in over and over again. The low hiss of the night breeze, the waves lapping the sides of the trawler, and their hungry stomachs were the only sounds heard besides their sighs of growing frustration. After working tirelessly for several hours, the men began to feel both hopeless and tired. Still they continued to work.Read More
When we lose sight of things, particularly when we lose sight of things that our parents or grandparents held onto securely, we look back on them and often say, "we have lost the art of _______". Why do we say that? How have we come to understand things of the past as art forms? It seems to be a matter of perspective. We have not lost the art, we have simply lost the discipline in seeing it as art.Read More
"We are not being destroyed by the election of our president, we are being destroyed by the schisms of our flesh," was my first thought.Read More
When I was younger, I remember learning this little quip. You may know it as well.
"Pete and Repeat were in a boat. Pete fell off, who was left?"
"Pete and Repeat were in a boat. Pete fell off, who was left?"
Yes, it was annoying and I am sure you get the gist.
I actually have memories of saying this over and over again in the hair salon my mom used to work in. Whether I would say it to my mom, my brother, or my mom's customers, I just wanted to keep doing it, even though I had no idea why I had to keep repeating it at the time. Do you think anyone has ever wondered what happened to Pete? Maybe not, but I do know a story about a different Pete in a different boat.Read More
Man was promised something in the beginning of creation.
15 The Lord God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to work it and keep it. 16 And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, “You may surely eat of every tree of the garden, 17 but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.”Read More
~Genesis 2:15-16 (ESV)
Your mind is racing, heart pounding, hands shaking slightly as you reach for the door. You climb in and buckle up. As you turn the key the engine thunders to life beneath the hood. The racing in your heart suddenly reaches a whole new level. You turn your eyes to your parent in the front seat trying to listen to the instructions on adjusting the mirrors but barely hearing. You are 16, you have a permit, you are driving today! Finally, you have the car ready, you put it in gear and pull out. As soon as our tires hit the open road, you morph into Mario Andretti. You struggle with the brakes to slow her down and when you finally do, you look down to realize you were only doing 25 in the first place and 15 - while it feels more controlled - is a bit slower than the posted speed limit of 45. Oops.Read More
This blog won't be full of my own words but I woke up this morning with a heavy heart. My friend Kacey happened to state my exact thoughts in her Facebook status:
"I'm so sad. I can barely stand the hate that election years brings to our country. This year has been unequaled. Why can't we all respect that we all have our own opinions and we vote based on our own VALID beliefs? I completely understand where every single person was coming from with their vote. But to tell ANYONE they are wrong for feeling the way they do, is messed up. Do you realize that no matter who you are, the way you feel in the pit of your stomach right now, is exactly how the other half of the nation would have felt if Hillary had won. Have compassion on your neighbor right now and remember that WE ARE ALL PEOPLE!!!! And Donald Trump... he needs more prayer than anyone I know."Read More
"I’m sick, and I have been for about two years now. I have a really rare blood disorder called Hypereosinophilia, and while it isn’t technically cancer, it affects your white blood cells, similar to the way leukemia does. While doctors now know the name for what I have, there is very little known about this blood disorder, and that has caused some complications along the way."Read More
Fear. A common emotion initiated by a vast number of stimuli. As humans, we fear many things. A simple google search can produce many of those fears easily.
Perfection. Ever since I was young, I have been meticulous. When working on projects, I would describe myself as a perfectionist. While I would not go as far as to say that perfectionism is an obsessive behavior, it can and sometimes does alter how I operate. As a perfectionist, I fear imperfection - that is to say, I fear to fail. Quick analyses show all the potential obstacles that I could run into during the process. In an attempt to work them out before I start (so as to avoid said problems), the task may take much longer than anticipated or in extreme cases it may never even start.Read More
He stood only about 5'5" and was of an average build. His face, while I could tell he was older still looked youthful and full of life.
"I am Salim, pleased to meet you."
Returning his greeting I awaited his initiative for salutatory actions. Without offering his hand, he led me down the hallway and into a small library where he told me to look at any literature I pleased until he returned. After leafing through several Qur'ans of different translations, Salim returned and showed me into the prayer room of the mosque. He turned a chair to face mine and sat when I was seated. Our question and answer session was about to begin.