Monday, November 30, 2009

Proverbs 17:9

Disregarding another person's faults preserves love;
telling about them separates close friends.
Proverbs 17:9

Wow. That is a challenging verse. I'm sure we all can think of situations where we didn't follow this one... How would you implement this with your significant other? Family? Best friend? Etc?



I am currently on my way home from Japan today! This post is in a series on verses that have impacted me lately. To read the explanation, read 11/21's post, "The Plan")


(P.S. I DID NABLOPOMO!!!!! Congrats to everyone else to stuck it through! It was so fun and worth it. Also, I'm coming home from Japan today, so pray for safe flights and I will be updating you all soon!)

Sunday, November 29, 2009

2 Corinthians 3:17-18

Now the Lord is the Spirit,
and wherever the the Spirit of the Lord is, he gives freedom.
And all of us have had that veil removed
so that we can be mirrors that brightly reflect the glory of the Lord.
And as the Spirit of the Lord works within us,
we become more and more like him
and reflect his glory even more.
2 Corinthians 3:17-18

This verse is so impacting when you break it down. What part challenges or encourages you most today?



I am currently in Japan on a missions trip! This post is in a series on verses that have impacted me lately. To read the explanation, read 11/21's post, "The Plan")

Saturday, November 28, 2009

James 1:19

Be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to get angry.
James 1:19b


How would your day be different if you applied this principle before you speak at any time throughout the day? When you do apply it, what changes? Do you say things differently?



I am currently in Japan on a missions trip! This post is in a series on verses that have impacted me lately. To read the explanation, read 11/21's post, "The Plan")

Friday, November 27, 2009

Psalm 37:5

Commit everything you do to the LORD.
Trust him, and he will help you.
Psalm 37:5

It is such a challenge to do everything "as unto the Lord" but the reward is so great. I encourage you to take a little step today--dedicate one more thing you do to God, and know that He is trustworthy. Can you think of something new you can commit to God today?



I am currently in Japan on a missions trip! This post is in a series on verses that have impacted me lately. To read the explanation, read 11/21's post, "The Plan")


(P.S. Happy Monthaversary, Honey! 2 years and 2 months of being "official" and I love you more than ever!)

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Psalm 37:4

Take delight in the LORD,
and he will give you your heart's desires.
Psalm 37:4

I hope this verse encourages you this Thanksgiving Day! How do you take delight in your Lord?



I am currently in Japan on a missions trip! This post is in a series on verses that have impacted me lately. To read the explanation, read 11/21's post, "The Plan")

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Psalm 37:23

The steps of the godly are directed by the LORD.
He delights in every detail of their lives.
Psalm 37:23

How does this change your perspective on today?



I am currently in Japan on a missions trip! This post is in a series on verses that have impacted me lately. To read the explanation, read 11/21's post, "The Plan")

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

John 15:7-8

If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you. My true disciples produce much fruit. This brings great glory to my Father.
John 15:7-8
(7 from NKJV, 8 from NLT)

So, what are your thoughts?



I am currently in Japan on a missions trip! This post is in a series on verses that have impacted me lately. To read the explanation, read 11/21's post, "The Plan")

Monday, November 23, 2009

Galatians 5:25

If we are living now by the Holy Spirit,
let us follow the Holy Spirit's leading in every part of our lives.
Galatians 5:25

What are your thoughts?



I am currently in Japan on a missions trip! This post is in a series on verses that have impacted me lately. To read the explanation, read 11/21's post, "The Plan")

In Japan!

The flight was long, but we arrived in Japan yesterday evening and have spent the whole day exploring Tokyo!

We prayer walked at a BuddhistTemple today, asking Jesus to come and open the eyes of the people to His Truth. Then we split up and got to explore the city ourselves. Emily, Papa and I stuck with the Sagers, the pastors family of the Chruch we will spend most of our time at. We went to a place they had never been--this huge shinto shrine! It was in the middle of the great big park--it was similar to central park in NY. They had Torii's (sp)--those big arch things you see on tv. They were MASSIVE! Pictures to come on my return. (Sorry for the bad typing, its tricky on Dad's little computer and I don't have much time.) 

We kept seeing little girls all dressed in the traditional japanese dress, and we found out that they celebrate when girls reach thea ges of...5 and 7? The idea is traditionally many children died young, so when they reached these ages it was a big celebration. They were ADORABLE. I wish we did something like that in our culture.

Then we went to this really busy street where all the young people go, and saw a handful of people dressed crazy, like you see in photos about Japan. it was SO packed.

Tonight we will be going to the heart of tokyo, where there are TV screens all over the buildings and lights and HUGE intersections, etc. I can't wait to see what my family has told me so much about!

Please pray that when we are in temple and their spiritual palces that the oppression doesn't affect me. In both temples I felt the weight spiritually, and though I want to stay aware, I noticed I was getting cranky and even dreppressed feeling. Before we came we felt like God wanted JOY to be all over this trip, so pray that we can convey and feel that instead! Thank you for your prayers, they make all the difference!

Also, I'm 14 hours ahead of most of you--the future is pretty good, guys. :)

Hope to update you all again soon!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Galatians 5:1



For freedom Christ has set us free: stand firm therefore,
and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery.
Galatians 5:1

Are you standing firm in your freedom? I like that this makes freedom something worth attaining and standing strong for. Our culture takes our "freedoms" so lightly and as if any and all things are ok--implying freedom is laid back, even lazy. But that is actually submission--to a yoke of slavery. How are you fighting for your freedom? What are you resisting so you can stand strong?





I am currently in Japan on a missions trip! This post is in a series on verses that have impacted me lately. To read the explination, read 11/21's post, "The Plan")

Saturday, November 21, 2009

The Plan

My original plan was to write a short little post about what we plan on doing each day in Japan, but because I already posted the itinerary and because plans are pretty flexible, I had another idea for the posts you will get while I'm overseas. (FYI, as of this post's time, I will be in Minneapolis, MN on a layover before our flight leaves for Japan at 1pm MN time. [Shout out to Peter's NCU friends!])

Lately I've been writing about getting into God's word. The Bible has really been influencing me and bringing me further in my relationship with God. (Shocker huh? Not like it was designed to work like that or something!) So what I have done is this: I have nine verses I am reading every day, that I have posted on my wall and carry around with me. Soon I'm going to put them in my car and on my textbooks too. However, I had this great idea--9 verses, and 9 days after this post that I'll be gone. Brilliant! I'm going to be sharing with you all a verse a day! Hopefully I'll have a little bit of my thoughts and reflections as well, but if not, I encourage you to comment on your thoughts relating to the verse!

Also, please be praying for our team in Japan! (Safety, unity, our eyes open to opportunity to bless people and share Jesus, quick recovery from jetlag, HEALTH, etc.)

Hope you have a fabulous day!

Friday, November 20, 2009

Japan Itinerary

So I hope to set up a series of posts to let you know whats going on with me in Japan! Today though, as I am frantically packing and tying up last minute things with homework, I thought I would just share the overall Itinerary, just so you can see at a glance what we will be doing when!

Japan Schedule 2009

Saturday, Nov 21st
Everyone is flying from Kalamazoo. Please be at the Kalamazoo airport at the following times:
Group 1 – meet at 6am
Graham and Jill                            Herman                                          Brian & Lacey
Cameron                                     Carrie                                             William
Tori                                             Teresa                                            Heather
Emily                                           Heath

Group 2 – meet at 7am
Adam                                                        Elaine                                                 Josh
Sarah                                                        Jim & Sandy                                      Al            
Bill                                                            Chris

We will all meet in Minneapolis and fly together on the main flight to Tokyo.

FYI, the dates are in Japan time. Meaning when it says Sunday the 22, it actually means Saturday the 21st for you. Crazy eh? I'm going to the future!

Sunday Nov 22nd – Tokyo

 -----------------flying-------------
-------------still flying-------------
Meet at ryokan (thats a hotel) in Ikebukuro

Monday Nov 23rd - Tokyo

Visit Asakusa temple
Undecided (possibly prayer walking or recoup from jetlag)
Free time/ Shibyua

Tuesday Nov 24th – Tokyo & Ohito

Visit EN churches and other ministries
Free time and travel
Travel to Ohito

Wednesday Nov 25th - Ohito

Visit HIF (our sister church) & other local churches
Nursing home possibly and prayer walking
Meeting @ HIF

Thursday Nov 26th - Ohito

Prayer walking in Ohito
Worship team practice while others prayer walk
Thanksgiving meal (Dennis hasn't had one since he moved out there, so we are going to do it right and bless them all!

Friday Nov 27th - Ohito

Fuji (Yes, the MOUNTAIN!)
Fuji (We are praying and bringing God's presence to a place where the PLACE is worshiped, not our God, if that makes sense)
Onsen possibly--a cultural experience

Saturday Nov 28th - Ohito

Shuzenji & prayer walking
Free time &/or prep time for night service
Concert @HIF

Sunday Nov 29th - Ohito

Church (& kids ministry)
BBQ ( & youth meeting???)
Free time/ VB/ Onsen???

Monday Nov 30th – Ohito & Narita
Leave for Narita
Fly to Detroit---------------------
----------just keep flying----------

 Please keep us in your prayers!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

For Old Times Sake

So I made this past last year, but with the New Moon movie coming out, I thought it would be appropriate to repost it! :) (Sappy warning, fyi!)

Edward Cullen wishes he was as amazing as my boyfriend. Okay, so I'll admit straight off that bat that I haven't read the books. (Still true, lol!) For all that my friends talk about them though, I might as well have. I'm fairly sure they've told me every twist. And some of them are really weird.

But, for all means and purposes of this post, I've seen the movie and heard way too many people sigh and wish they had Edward Cullen as their boyfriend. Minus the bloodsucking part. (Some of the sighs actually want that. I'm thinking they forgot about the pain and agony aspect?) And every time they talk about this fictional man's wonderfulness, I can't help but go...wow, deja vu. That man is mine already.

So, to prove my point, I googled "perks of edward cullen." One of the first results was a list titled, "Edward Cullen of Twilight vs. Normal Guys."

A normal guy would say: “I love you Baby!”
Edward Cullen would say: “You are my life now.”

He's said it better. My man's said that we're going to build a life together, and its going to be better than anything we can imagine. (Which it will, cuz our goal is to follow God.)

Normal Guy would say: “I think I am falling for you.”
Edward Cullen would say: “The Lion fell in Love with the Lamb”

Peter makes the best analogies and he doesn't even know it. Considering he doesn't want to eat me, the EC example doesn't really apply. But Peter does give the best compliments, and he's never said "I think I'm falling for you." Instead, he tells me he loves me multiple times every day, and just for the record, he's loved me for 7 1/2 years. And yes, he's almost 18. (8 1/2! And he's almost 19 now, obviously!)

Normal Guy would say: “You hair looks like a haystack; go brush it!”
Edward Cullen would say: "Your hair looks like a haystack but I like it.”

I kid you not--one of us called the other on skype RIGHT after I woke up, and he saw my bed head in all its glory, and said I was straight out beautiful. And he meant it, too.

A normal guy would pick a random song from a random artist and dedicate it to you.
Edward Cullen would sing you a song he wrote for you while playing the piano.

Check. He's done that. On guitar, but he's also composed stuff for me spur of the moment on the piano.

If you died, a normal guy would find another.
If you died, Edward would kill himself cause life without you isn’t worth living.

Because we have faith, thats not something I consider admirable. Right now, we're ultimately living for God, and then for each other and those we love. We've talked about this though, and he said he would keep living, but it would be without the love of another and life would be gray and not the colorful dream we see in our future.

As you leave the house, a normal guy would say: “Bye, see ya!”
As you leave the house Edward Cullen would say: “Come back to me, love.”

Check. Word for word. On the phone though, or when ever he leaves for MN, we say that. (SO glad he doesn't have to go to MN without me now!!)

As you come back to the house, a normal guy would be watching TV and wouldn’t even notice.
As you come back to the house, Edward Cullen would be welcoming you by playing the piano with a song just for you.

I have no doubt when we're married (God willing) our house will be full of Peter's music.

A normal guy would wait for you to make him breakfast.
Edward Cullen would make you breakfast everyday.

Hahaha...well, I know he would. But I like cooking, so we'll work that out.

While you are both out for dinner, a normal guy wouldn’t keep his eyes off the sexy waitress.
Edward Cullen wouldn’t even notice the waitress was a female.

Check. Peter's basically amazing.

A normal guy, while driving, would keep one hand on the wheel and one hand on the radio.
Edward Cullen, while driving, would keep one hand on the wheel and the other attached to yours.

*laughs again* Check!

While far apart in different places, a normal guy would say: “I miss you.”
While far apart in different places, Edward Cullen would say: “It’s like you've taken half myself with you.”

Check....but we say I miss you, as well.

A normal guy wouldn’t care or notice if you had nightmares.
Edward Cullen would sing until your nightmares went away.
"Do you want me to sing to you? I'll sing all night if it will keep the bad dreams away."

Wow. He does pray over me. And I have a CD of his Worship music. I haven't talked about this one with him, but I know he would if I asked. (I did ask him, and he said he would!)

A normal guy does it with everyone.
Edward Cullen only does it with one.

Heck yeah. (And EC's goal was to save it till marriage, if I remember correctly; Exactly what Peter and I are doing!)


So, too bad for you, girls, that guy Ms. Meyers based Edward on is taken. And he's mine.

I love you, Peter Webb.  ♥ ♥


P.S. (And at the risk of losing all creditability with the EC fanactics out there, Peter is a heck of a lot better looking than EC too.)

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Filler

It's been a long, but good day.

God always shows up.

Are you ready for Him? Are you aware?


Goodness I'm tired. Sorry for the lame post--I'm allowed a few with NaBloPoMo, right?

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

A Living House

My parents' birthdays, homework, preparing for my wedding, and getting ready to go to Japan have all eaten my time up quite nicely. So tonight I will share the writings of someone quite amazing--C.S. Lewis.

"Imagine yourself as a living house. God comes in to rebuild that house. At first, perhaps, you can understand what He is doing. He is getting the drains right and stopping the leaks in the roof and so on; you knew that those jobs needed doing and so you are not surprised. But presently He starts knocking the house about in a way that hurts abominably and does not seem to make any sense. What on earth is He up to? The explanation is that He is building quite a different house from the one you thought of - throwing out a new wing here, putting on an extra floor there, running up towers, making courtyards. You thought you were being made into a decent little cottage: but He is building a palace. He intends to come and live in it Himself."
— C.S. Lewis (Mere Christianity)

Chew on that one for a while. Where do you think you are? Are you limiting Him by continuing to let your house get in disrepair and so every time you let Him back in He has to start over with getting "the drains right and stopping the leaks in the roof" etc.? Or are you in the remodeling stage--is He tearing down walls to make your capacity greater? Is there an uncomfortable exposure as He is adding an expansion? Let God work on you--especially when it is uncomfortable and you REALLY don't want the change.

 He will turn your life from average to astounding.

Monday, November 16, 2009

My Personality Type

One of my friends recently took a personality test on facebook, so I decided to take a couple minutes and go to www.personalitytype.com to find out what I am. Some of these questions were tricky to decide on, but this was my first result:


You Are an INFJ (Introvert, Intuitive, Feeler, Judger)


INFJs represent between 1 and 3% of the U.S. Population

INFJs inhabit a world of ideas. They are independent, original thinkers driven by their strong feelings, and personal integrity. Sensitive, committed, hardworking, and perceptive, INFJs are often excellent listeners, skilled at generating enlightened and creative solutions to people’s problems. Thoughtful and careful decision makers, INFJs prefer to have plenty of time to let ideas “percolate” before taking action. Because they value harmony and agreement, INFJs like to persuade others of the validity of their viewpoint. They win the cooperation of others by using approval and praise, rather than argument or intimidation.

INFJs go to great lengths to promote fellowship and avoid conflict. They are also often perfectionists highly focused, and driven to accomplish their goals. Rather formal and reserved, INFJs can be difficult to read, but it is critically important to them that their values, needs and concerns be understood and respected.

It is actually remarkably accurate! And get this--one of my suggested careers is a Business Manager, which needs a Business Administration degree. How awesome is it that I will be graduating with one next semester, God willing!?

 Anyways, I thought it was interesting! The test only took about 5 minutes--You should try it! click here!

So, what is your personality type?

Sunday, November 15, 2009

My Top Stops

I spend a lot of time online, so I just decided to share with you my top 5 visited websites:

1. www.gmail.com
        This is the site I have open the most. I always have at least two tabs open on my browser, and this one the first one. Being connected to my email is superduper important. Plus I think its a habit formed during my excessive gmail chat days (which ended due to a combination of many people staying on AIM and not moving to google, and also when I realized about 75% of the drama in my life was from late night chats. People are much more sane online in the day time, and late night talks are better in person, IMHO.)

2. www.facebook.com
       Need I explain? This window I tend to have open constantly too. I've always loved known what is going on, and this is basically THE way to be a stalker do it without bugging people. I did try farmville and resturantcity, but they take too much time and don't really connect you with people...if I play games its more arcade style, like bejeweled blitz (but thats just for the competition factor, really). Facebook is my way to stay connected with WAY more people than I could otherwise.

3. www.blogger.com
       I follow a few blogs that I actually read consistently, and many I read sporadically, and I'm writing a post every day (plus I keep hoping I get comments...) so, needless to say, this is often open on my browser, too.

4. www.google.com
      The answer to everything. (Well, that and the number 42.) I'll admit, sometimes I get annoyed when people ask questions if a laptop is handy--"Just google it!" I think. Okay, I'm not that harsh, but I do it multiple times every day. I love google.

5. www.blueletterbible.com
     Also my fave. I love the compare verses feature--I can see one verse in a bunch of translations right next to each other. Very very cool. This is my source for finding all things Bible verse related. Love. It.

What are yours?


Saturday, November 14, 2009

Word

Over the past few days I've been noticing a theme of verses I keep re-reading. When I told Peter, my fiancé, about it, and how I kept reading the same two chapters in the Bible over and over again, he said, "Thats meditating on the Word." It challanged me when he said it that way. It is true that I think about God and His word a lot, but to take it the next step and read the same things over and over again? Yes, that is meditating.

There are a few verses that touch on this:

I will meditate on your precepts and fix my eyes on your ways.  
Psalm 119:15

My eyes are awake through the night watches, That I may meditate on Your word.
Psalm 119:148 

Your word I have hidden in my heart, That I might not sin against You. 
Psalm 119:11 


This Book...shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate in it day and night,
that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success.
Joshua 1:8


And one that has truly been on my mind the most:

If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you. 
John 15:7

Check out the promises tied in with keeping His words in us! " For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success " and "you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you. "

Wow. So if I want prosperity, success, and the things I ask of God to be granted, I must be in His word. I must meditate on His word and abide in it.

Why?

Because God takes care of those who are in relationship with Him. The only way to be in relationship with God is to know Him. And the only way to know God is to spend time with Him--to listen to what He says, to read His words.


Friday, November 13, 2009

Brief but Better

So I'm in a rush, but this thought has been on my mind all day:

If you just spend time with God, it truly changes your life. Every day something changes, grows, and gets better. Even if something else in life is rotten, spending time with Him makes something else get better.

If you don't already spend real time with God daily, and you consider yourself His follower, please please please make the baby steps needed to get to the place where you do. It has changed me in the past 3 weeks of doing so more than I knew.

It is worth it.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Whew!

Just barely made it! I had a pretty good day. Sorry this is a lame post, but I'll make up for it with some khuul stuff on the way!

--EDIT--

Thank God for Fiances and their ability to save your skin with posts like that. Today was great, but I'm so tired I need to go to bed, which means you don't get to hear my theological ramblings or my opinions on other aspects of life. Instead, I'd like to leave you with a verse that has been on my mind lately:

"For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery." Galatians 5:1

I might make another post out of this idea, but in essence, you must stand firm in your freedom, because it is easy to slip back into submission to sin. Freedom is rarely easy. But that God, His yoke is light.




Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Temperature

So after spending MUCH of my time this week in deep thoughts, the conclusion I've come to is this:

You've just got to spend more time with Jesus.

Anytime there is a problem, that should be the first thing I think of. Its like when you get the symptoms of a cold or the flu. "Uho, I've got chills, a headache, and I'm freezing--probably should check my temperature." The same applies to life. "Oh man, I don't feel comfortable with this, this is challenging me and making me want to hide, this is making me angry or want to not think about something--maybe I should check my Jesus-time temperature."

And really, if all I'm doing is going to God and praying about one circumstance, that doesn't even count. (Which stinks a LOT because I do this all the time...) If all I do is go to God after I've figured something out on my own and I feel like I'm ready to run with Him, then He really isn't my Lord. (...ouch...) He needs to be first. He needs to be my source. He even needs to lead my prayer time...even if that means I don't get to discuss my thoughts on this circumstance, and He just wants me to read an un-relating (...usually it ends up relating...) chapter of the Bible over and over so I get it. Or something else other than what I had planned.

So if you are seeing fruit in your life that you don't like or that doesn't line up with Godly principles, I challenge you to step back and redose on Jesus. It'll be painful at first, but in the end its SO GOOD.

If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you. By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; so you will be My disciples.
-John 15:7-8

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

A Great Reminder

Do you ever get the feeling that God works on a scale that is so much bigger than you think?

I've been experiencing this a lot lately, namely through seeing God do something that relates to me and my situation, and the person didn't even know about the connection I saw. He shows one person something that totally applies to their life, and they share it, and then five other people are impacted because of it--sometimes in ways that would not apply or not even make sense to the original receiver! Other times, different messages are given but a common thread is so evident it's crazy.

There have been numerous examples of things like this lately. For example, at my college group, God was using the tool of people's imaginations and giving them pictures to help them understand truths about His character and how he works. Someone got a picture of plants and flowers growing on driftwood (God's life coming in places where you don't expect it), another saw a wooden block being thrust deep in water, but it kept rising to the surface (God wants you to know no matter whats happening or even if you feel like you're sinking, He will never let you settle at rock bottom--He will keep lifting you up from the depths), and another got a picture of wooden beads that had the letters to spell JOY on a bracelet (a reminder to keep Joy right in front of you, to remind you to stay in God's joy and let it be by your hands, which help you do just about everything). Though all these pictures and ideas were different, the common thread was wood, and the common principle is God is our source--of life, hope and joy.

Then I call my friend in Indiana and she too told me what she has been thinking about God's joy and how important it is to have that perspective no matter what circumstance arises. But it doesn't even end there--a friend in South Carolina writes this blog post that totally relates to some drama I've seen in the lives of people I love up here in Michigan...and it helps me remember where I need to keep my focus. No matter the circumstance, if you don't go to God, it won't end the best way it could.

The biggest thing that I have taken away from this however, is even more exciting.

Our God is the same God no matter where you meet Him.

I suppose that sounds really simple...but think about it--He is moving in similar ways here in Michigan, in Indiana, and in South Carolina! What is to stop the other amazing things I hear of Him doing in California or Canada or China from happening here too?

Our God is the same God no matter where He is found...He works the same ways everywhere.

I encourage you to spend some time and meet with Him. Ask him to show you the Big Picture of what He is doing...search deep into His word, and learn His character. Remember:

"If you stay joined to me and my words remain in you, you may ask any request you like, and it will be granted! My true disciples produce much fruit. This brings great glory to my Father."
John 15:7-8

Monday, November 9, 2009

Google Analytics

Ok, so some of you may think this is sorta boring, but I just found out some interesting facts about people (well, technically, computers) who have visited my blog, and I wanted to share them.

In the past month, I had 82 visits to my blog that came from 11 countries. (WHOA!)

Shout outs to Poland, Lithuania, Italy, the UK, the Philippines, New Zealand (come let me visit you...if you had only kept the LOTR sets!! Ahhh...) and Qatar (I'm sorry I didn't know you existed. Thanks for educating me!). Because you are cool countries, and computers/people from you visited my blog. Awesome.

One person who has visited my blog has dial-up Internet. I'm sorry. That really is no fun.

Only one visit to my blog has been from Safari, vs. 31 from Internet Explorer and 23 from firefox and google Chrome. Sorry Peter, Safari isn't as cool as you claim. ;-)

Hope you found that at least a little interesting :-)

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Slow Down

Sometimes, you just need to slow down.

I was thinking over my day, trying to come up with something to write about, and I remembered how flustered I get when I get ahead of myself.

When I leave work, I have to go through a series of things to shut down and lock up. Yet so often, I'll get one step ahead of myself, and have to back track and it ends up taking so much longer than if I had just gone slower at the beginning and thought things through.

I have been improving--I remember my first few weeks of work were frustratingly full of reminders to slow down and think; now, I do really well for the most part everywhere except for when its time to leave. (I think there is something about the idea of getting out of work that just makes me rush--and I bet I'm not the only one that feels that way!)

But the principle remains--slow down. So much more can be seen, remembered, and done right the first time if we just take a deep breath and turn the tempo down a few notches.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

80/20

As most of you know, I'm in college. And supposedly, that means I'm learning a lot of new information. However I often feel like I am just "learning" so I can pass a test, and the real knowledge I'm going to receive on the job.

One teacher this semester has actually been a bit different. Amongst the content that is good to know but we all know I won't really remember in 5 years, this teacher has taught his own "Corny Wisdom Principles" that he has learned through his own experience. I have actually found these to be really applicable, but not only that, they seriously stick in your head.

Here's one: the 80/20 Rule or the 80/10/10 Rule. In any situation, but specifically leadership roles, 10% of the people really like you and 10% of the people really don't like you. What you need to do is focus on keeping the other 80% content with you. For example, if you focus your attention on the 10% that hate you, trying to please them or get them to think better of you, you'll tick off at least the other 80%, if not the 90%. If you suck up to the 10% that like you, the 10% that hate you will think even less of you, and you'll frustrate the 80% that were content with you. If you focus on keeping the 80% that are content with you happy, then the 10% that like you will still like you, and the 10% that don't like you won't change either.

Doesn't that just make sense to you? It does to me. Maybe I'll use these for other blog topics, since I can't get them out of my head and wisdom is always good to pass on.

"Tune your ears to wisdom, and concentrate on understanding." Proverbs 2:2

Friday, November 6, 2009

Expectations, Disappointment, and Love (Part Two)



God said, “I love you without expectation, which means I am never disappointed in you.”

Wow. That floored me. God doesn't expect things of me. God is not disappointed in me. At first that seemed really hard to swallow, because doesn't God have all these standards for my life? Doesn't He want me to live a way that is different from the world? Yes He does, but He cleared that up for me. Rather than expectation, God has hopes, dreams, and plans for my life (“'For I know the plans I have for you,' says the LORD. 'They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope'” [Jer. 29:11]). And when I mess up, He is saddened; when bad things happen in my life, His heart breaks for me because He wants the best in my life. But He is not disappointed. This brought so much freedom into my life!

And it also challenged me. If the Creator of the universe does not have ridiculously high expectations for my life, and if He is not disappointed in me, then what right do I have to set myself up for failure with expectations I can't meet? I have no reason to be disappointed in myself if God isn't disappointed in me.

Instead of being focused on me and my faults, I need to continually look to God and the hope I have with Him. I challenge you to do the same today, and the start again tomorrow, and the next day. Take it one day at a time, and know He loves you and loves relationship with you.

“Let heaven fill your thoughts. Do not think only about things down here on earth” (Col. 3:2).

“So don't worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries. Today's trouble is enough for today” (Mat. 6:24).

Isaiah 43:4b:
“You are honored, and I love you.”

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Expectations, Disappointment, and Love (Part One)

I truly want to serve God and live my life well. I want to take hold of this promise Jesus gave--"I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly" (John 10:10b). I am also quite aware of this: “Be sure to do what you should, for then you will enjoy the personal satisfaction of having done your work well, and you won't need to compare yourself to anyone else” (Gal. 6:4).

Yet so often I feel that I waste my time and make poor time choices. I am one of those people that beats myself up over mistakes to the extent that my natural response is to hide—be it on Facebook, a computer game, a book, or anything other than what I need to get done. Classic procrastination, I know. I hate being disappointed in myself, and I hate that I never meet my own expectations.

Well, one day I was praying about this. I was apologizing and agonizing over my faults (basically beating myself up in a prayer). And God's response blew me away with love and literally reversed some of my ideas.

He said, “I love you without expectation, which means I am never disappointed in you.”

To Be Continued

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Choices and God's Heartbeat

I have been thinking about choices and consequences lately. These thoughts may be a little scattered, but bear with me, because this is all dear to my heart.

How do we live out our lives here on earth? I know that, ultimately, when we die, we will be held accountable by this standard--Did we accept Christ as our Savior and Lord of our life? Did He lead what we did? In the day to day, we choose or loose blessings by the choices we make regarding following God and his standards. When we cross His lines, even if we were doing it with the intention that we were going after what He wanted, a blessing from Him can be lost. He is more concerned with getting us to know Him more, having relationship with us and growing our character, than making us happy.

I need to be focused on hearing God and his direction for my life. But how does that play out in everyday life?

Lets say God's will is for me to receive money for my missions trip to Japan through a fund raising dinner at my church. I am presented with a choice--do I do the prep to work toward the dinner happen, or do I say "God said its going to happen, so I'm going to wait here and let it unfold." Do I take action, or don't I? I think a lot of God's will depends on us first knowing how to hear Him accurately, and then by following through, like that example.
Then there are times when I really think God wants something to happen, I think He told me something, and so I do take action, but it doesn't work. There are so many variables that could make this happen--the most common being I either didn't hear God right or I heard Him but misunderstood what He said. Usually the more specific the thing I heard is, the greater the chance it is wrong, so I take it with a grain of salt and really compare it to scripture and other Christians in authority over me (either like a pastor or someone who I see as a more mature Christian than I). Also, I could have taken the wrong action--say I thought God said Joe was going to give me $100 for my missions trip, so I went up to him and started really encouraging him to give money, but I actually end up bugging him or weirding him out, so it doesn't happen. The wrong action can lead to a loss of blessing.

My life is trying to learn to hear God correctly, and the only way I can do that is through spending time in prayer and His word. Once, a good friend of mine, Stephanie Jones, said the Bible is God's heartbeat, and that as we learn it more and more, we learn to recognize His heartbeat (or lack thereof) in situations around us.

I want to be a woman who knows God intimately and knows His heartbeat.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

From The Father, to His child.

This was inspired by tidbits of many people's stories, and I might try to turn it into a song, but for now, I hope you enjoy this little sketch I wrote. It is very rough and unpolished, but I still wanted to share.

From The Father, to His child.

You've been though so much. You've learned so many lessons in a years time. Joy, despair, apathy, emotion overload, fear, hatred, worry, worthlessness. Each has run through your mind in ways so much more than the world will ever know. You've made a lot of choices, and for a time you couldn't hear hope clearly. Confusion tried to rule your mind, and for a time he was winning the battles. You felt lost. But it didn't end there.

Thank you for reaching out and letting others help bring light back into your life. Thank you for trusting again and opening up your life, even when you felt so ugly. I remember when you started to push the curtains aside and let the light come in. From your perspective you felt like you were revealing the dusty attic that you really didn't want to deal with, didn't want to clean, and especially didn't want to let light expose. Your eyes were crying out—I am ugly. Stop wanting to look at me!!

But you let me in anyways. I'm so glad, because all I have for you is love. From my perspective, you were showing me the rocks that had jewels inside. I couldn't wait to get our my tools and start to work away the exterior. For inside every rock this world threw at you, every bruise your heart has received from them, I am going to chip away the pain and reveal the diamonds, rubies, emeralds and gold of your heart.

My dear, beauty has overcome everything in your life. Hold fast to me, for I will never leave. Thank you for loving me again, and I promise I will never stop loving you.

Monday, November 2, 2009

A Music Blessing

For many months I haven't been "into" listening to music. Actually, I haven't really listened to music since my junior year in highschool, for the most part. I know this is totally abnormal and not like our culture--but honestly I was just too busy and I don't work well when I have extra noise around, so it just didn't happen often.

However, I felt like this past month was a window where I could get back into music again, and thankfully for me, my fiance decided to help me capture this moment and decide to do something totally amazing and not normal--he is lending me his iTouch "until further notice" meaning....I basically have an iTouch!! Which is so stinkin' unbelievably awesome!

Last night I spent the evening getting used to it and now I am happily enjoying listening to Owl City and a mixture of other songs I forgot existed or didn't even know of!

I've learned something through this experience--it rarely hurts to be a little vocal about your desires. Peter would never have thought of lending me the iTouch if he didn't know I had a need for it. God even talks about this whole ask and recieve idea: "If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer." (Mat. 21:22)

So, though my example is a bit frivilous, I want you to remember that God provides for us, even to the extent of little things, like music.

Remember what you are believing for today, and know there is hope.



Sunday, November 1, 2009

NaBloPoMo Decision And Whats Up

So I'm going to try it. I am going to try to write a little something every day, and to line up a series of posts for the future. I don't know how it'll work while I'm in Japan, but if I don't succeed I won't be heartbroken--at least I will have been blogging, right?

So, whats up with me?

I'm sick. There is a chance its the flu, but I'm praying hard its not and that I get better asap. Yesterday I had a 102 temp. and was feeling pretty awful. I'm going to stay home from church, which I hate doing, but I can't risk exposing all those people I love so much to yuckiness.

I've got a few good post ideas brewing, so I hope you stick around and let me know what you think when I get around to writing and publishing them!

And to end, here's a little teaser.

"The wrong decision can lead to a loss of blessing."
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