When I was little, I was absolutely, positively terrified of thunderstorms. I'd get so nervous at that first sound of thunder, and I'd constantly ask my parents "Are we gonna have a tornado, are we gonna be ok??" I wouldn't leave my parent's side, and if it stormed during the night I'd either go to their room, or fall back asleep holding onto one of my stuffed animals for dear life. Now, all these years later, you want to know what one of my favorite things in the world is? Thunderstorms. :) And today, we're having one. I love the smell in the air as the thunder is rumbling in the distance, and tiny drops of rain make their way down from the darkened clouds. I love getting cozied up either inside with the windows open, or on the porch, and listening to the birds singing along with the thunder. I love, I love, I love. With a warm, fuzzy feeling. Because winter is over and done, and a new aspect of God's beauty is springing up, as the world comes back to life.
Hey everyone, lol I haven't fallen off the face of the earth I have just been busy and what not. :) This blog is like a home, in that while I grow and change, it remains the same. I remember a time when my life revolved around all your lives, you dear fellow bloggers. I have not written on here as frequently as I used to do, but you are all still here. You're still loving God, writing beautiful words, and taking swoon-worthy pictures. Some of you have started college, some of you have traveled, some of you have gotten married and become pregnant... but you are still you. Slightly older, slightly wiser, but still your beautiful selves. Thanks for never changing at your cores.
It's my last year as a homeschooler, as a high school student. I am a senior in high school now. :D
There is a battle raging around us in this day and age that is literally affecting millions of people- the battle of the unborn. Not only is it taking the precious lives of countless babies, but it is damaging the lives of many young women, as well as all those closest to them. Abortion is such a difficult and intense topic, and it can be tempting to want to stay on "neutral ground." Yet, as Christians, we must stand firmly for those things the Lord has made clear in His Word, and in this case, His design for life.
There are many of us who have the desire to enter into this great battle, but are not sure how. And if we came in contact with a young woman in a crisis pregnancy situation, we do not know what we would say, or how we would even begin to help or comfort her. This is the journey the Lord has begun walking me through.
God has been gently tugging on my heart for a couple of years on the subject of abortion, and after several instances of being confronted with the issue, I knew I must take action. I knew the Lord wanted me to enter into the fight for life, and more specifically, the fight for the women whose souls who were being deceived into thinking that abortion would solve their "problem."
I have had the privilege of possibly volunteering at a pregnancy resource center this year. When I started thinking about doing that, my hearts desire was to have face-to-face interaction with young women in crisis pregnancy situations, but that didn't happen for a while.
Before I thought about going through training to become a "client advocate" or counsler, I had a period of waiting and serving behind the scenes- putting together bags of baby clothes, helping with events, and praying for all those who came seeking help. It was a wonderful time of preparation and trusting the Lord, realizing that if this was how I spent the rest of my time as a volunteer and never stepped foot in a counseling room, it was more than worth it.
Once the first self-training came around, I was incredibly excited. I wanted to soak up every bit of knowledge I can handle.
Throughout the self-training, the Lord began to open my eyes to how He views these women, and His pattern for how we are to minister to them. I realized there were so many misconceptions I had, had about how to help them, and I was beginning to understand that the issue was much deeper than "If only she knew it was a baby..."
What the Lord was awakening me to was that when He brings a young woman into our life, He wants us to show love specifically to her. If our goal is to only save the baby, and we don't show the love of Christ to the one carrying that baby, what good have we done? So often in the fight for the child, the woman carrying this little life gets trampled and hurt by the comments that are meant to try and help her see the Truth. We turn to our own means of trying to reason rather than looking to Jesus to see how He desires us to minister to her.
How did Jesus approach the Samaritan woman at the well (John 4:1-30), or the woman caught in adultery about to be stoned (John 8:1-11)? Though He confronted them about their sin, He was gentle, loving, and compassionate. People who saw their need were drawn to Him, not pushed away by Him. He didn't try to reason with them or make them feel guilty-He simply spoke the Truth in love. And this is what we are called to as those bearing His name. Jesus said in John 13:34, "A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another." First Corinthians 13:1 says, "Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I have become sounding brass or a clanging cymbal." We can speak Truth to someone all day, but if we do not display the love of Christ to them, it will do no good.
When we come in contact with a woman considering abortion, we must be able to understand how they are viewing their situation. One of the things that I learned was that the mind-set of most women considering abortion is not, "I don't really believe this is a baby." Actually, many will tell you that they know it is a baby. Rather, they are viewing the pregnancy as death to themselves in a number of different ways, including their education, career, dreams, etc. So, their mind-set is more along the lines of, "Either my life is over, or this baby's life is over."
When a study was done among a group of pro-choice women, all of them agreed that abortion was killing,, knew it was ultimately wrong, and (if they believed in God) believed that God would punish those who did make that decision. However, they also believed that He would simply forgive them because they didn't mean to get pregnant, and (in their minds) had no other choice. This mind-set is a lot harder to deal with than just trying to convince a woman that there is actually a baby inside her womb; it is a distortion of the Truth. Yes, it is true that if you are truly repentant of your sin, God will forgive you. But there are still major consequences that come from this decision that so many women donʼt understand. In crisis situations, it is difficult to think rationally, and so often they canʼt see anything but how to immediately take care of the “problem,” not thinking of what their actions will mean for the future. The absolute best way to combat this is by approaching them in the way Jesus has established – sharing the Truth in love.
In one state, the majority of the crisis pregnancy centers decided to change their focus from trying to save the baby to intentionally directing love and care toward the women. Not surprisingly, it became the state with the fastest dropping abortion rates! When they started showing love to the woman, she, in turn, chose life for her baby. When the Lord establishes a pattern, we can be sure it will work.
What are some practical ways we can be prepared to minister and show love to a young woman going through a crisis pregnancy?
First of all, we must be praying for the Lord to prepare us, and give us His wisdom and insight. We cannot rush into it in our own strength, or nothing good will ultimately be accomplished.
We must never be judgemental in our attitude toward them, but always humble. We have to remember that the Lord has shown incredible mercy and grace to us, and we are to show that same mercy and grace towards them by our words and attitudes.
We must be ready to listen, allowing them to share their story, asking them questions, and only offering advice when we know it is the right time. Often, once they have had the opportunity to share their situation in a safe environment, they are able to see more clearly that abortion does not have to be their only option.
Finally, we must always be ready to share the Gospel: "For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit..." (Heb. 4:12). Don't force it upon them if they are not open, but if you see they are ripe, never be afraid to give them the Truth.
Our greatest desire for this woman should be that she comes to the saving knowledge of Jesus. God desires her to be saved just as much as the baby she is carrying within her. And may we, as we begin this journey, bring Him much glory by directing the eyes of those He brings into our lives to the Giver of all life, that they, too, might glorify Him.
(Much of the information in this article came from an article "Profile of a Woman with an Unplanned Pregnancy," the Life Choices Level 1 Volunteer Training Manual, 1st Edition 2012.)
(If you want to hear more on this topic, please let me know and I will be more than glad to post more about this.)
Alrightey, I know my posting has been really awful lately. And I assure you, I have plenty of excuses reasons I couldn't post...
It feels like forever, even though my most recent post was two days ago, and before that it was maybe two or three weeks. BUT I have a lot of cool new reviews in store for you all even though my summer is going to be insane. Florida, tae-kwon-do, touring my state for a youth program, and volunteering at a Christian camp are all on my agenda. There will probably be some surprises thrown in, who knows...Oh, wait...God does! :)
God is so good to us, isn't He? We so don't deserve it...By the GOG, baby! (to quote the Katie Parker series by Jenny B. Jones) By the grace of God.
Anyone heard of AP torture tests? They are the main reason I've been out for a long time. Fun stuff...Lots of studying and brain frying, but as of today, I am finished with them! (Not for forever, though...There are ACTs and SATs in my future...Probably some AP tests next year, we'll see...Probably CLEPs and MCATs too, if I'm lucky... :) ) I actually do love school, you probably can't tell. I've been in school several days this year for TWELVE hours straight. It was an interesting experience.
What are your summer plans? Just chilling around the house? Climbing Mount Everest? Catching up on your "to-read" list? Competitions? Trying not to die of boredom?
Whatever the summer may hold, I'm looking forward to it!
(Summeritis is a disease...It just has to be...Like Senioritis right...Right? Haha)
Okay, I've had this song in my head for several days now...So catchy! "My Brain Says Stop, But My Heart Says Go" by FM Static! By the way, you may recognize the lead singer. He's the lead singer of Thousand Foot Krutch, Trevor McNevan.
The world is ending tomorrow. This buzz all over media is somewhat... Oh, let's just say it's interesting. I like to stay out of the mainstream stuff, but this demanded my attention. It's just weird because the Bible says it in plain language:
But about that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.
Be on guard! Be alert! You do not know when that time will come. It's like a man going away: He leaves his house and puts his servants in charge, each with their assigned task, and tells the one at the door to keep watch.
Therefore keep watch because you do not know when the owner of the house will come back-whether in the evening, or at midnight, or when the rooster crows, or at dawn. If he comes suddenly, do not let him find you sleeping.
What I say to you, I say to everyone: "Watch!"
Mark 13:32-37 NIV
Over the years, many people have set dates about when God is coming back. Hey, even Christopher Columbus tried his hand at it. But no one knows! It saddens me when such a claim turns on a mob of mockers and scorners of the validity of the judgment and grace that will come from God.
Can the world end tomorrow? Yes, if God wills it! But does anyone know for certain? No way!!!
And if Jesus said, "nor the Son, but only the Father," who is man to claim that he knows? All of the calculations in the world and trying to find some kind of pattern in the Bible will never work.
I have nothing against the people who believe this idea-even the person who came up with it. I'm sure they are nice people, but this is totally wrong! The people who do not believe there is a God now find a point to scorn! Atheists are quoting the verses! Yet some people still claim to believe this theory and ignore (Oh, the irony...) the Bible! When we could be turning people to God, we are now causing them to perceive us as hypocrites, ignoring our own moral guide!
How terrible is that?
As for me, I'll keep trusting that God will come get us when the time is right. He knows the date, and I'll just have faith and watch.
Note: this is not my image
Now, for some Randomness Friday fun!
I'm a big fan of Mercy; you know that, right? So, when their new CD came out, I was ecstatic. My favorite? I could not pick a favorite song! But I recently found this video of "Move".
I probably say this every week, but I thank God that it's Friday!
I hung my head, for the last time In surrender and despair Before I’m dead, I’ll take the last climb Up the mountain, face my fears The time has come, to make a choice Use my voice for the love of every man My mind's made up, never again Never again, will I turn round
Though they may surround me like lions And crush me on all sides I may fall, but I will rise Not by my might, or my power, or by the strength of swords Only through, your love, my Lord All we’ve lost, will be, restored
Take courage sons, for we must go under The heart of darkness, and set them free But don’t lose heart when you see the numbers There’s no measure for, the faith we bring It’s given us, to overcome If we run, where the spirit calls us on The greatest things, have yet to come With the dawn, we will rise
Though they may surround us like lions And crush us on all sides we may fall, but we will rise Not by my might, or my power, or by the strength of swords Only through, your love, my Lord All we’ve lost, will be, restored
It never ceases to amaze me how Christianity has stood the tests of time. From the Roman's persecution of Christians to the countries today who kill Christians, still the faith keeps strong. From the apostles of Christ to His followers today, God has been faithful to His own, even in the midst of intense persecution in hostile countries.
Today, my church hosted a pastor and his family from such a country. They're faced everyday with the possibility of jail time by the government or harsh treatment of the citizens. Yet their faith astounded me at how clear it was. Their focus was on Him, when I'm usually focused on trivial matters, like food, movies, popularity, ect. In the end, it doesn't matter. I know that. But it's amazing how often we forget and do what we like to do. All that matters is God. After all, what's the point of living? We were put in this earth to glorify God and lead others to His love and forgiveness. Who cares about the things that won't last?
One of the other things that struck me is my own inability to really share what I believe with the people I love. The people I'm around don't really talk about what they believe, and the topic of God almost never comes up. Sadly, when it does, it's in vain. Even in the church, I haven't been able to find a true friend who puts God first. Why can't I open my mouth and start talking? We often put too much stock in what other people will think. What if they think I'm crazy? What if they never talk to me again? What if? What if? What if? These questions have always been subconsciously haunting me. But people around the world do talk about it when they know they are risking their lives.
Because God is real, and the only way a person can get to Him and eternal life is through accepting Jesus Christ as his or her personal Savior. Without Him is eternal separation from God and the other horrors of a terrible punishment that we truly deserve for the things we have done. The love we have should be for others, even enemies, to show them the truth.
This is what I believe. We all face some sort of persecution. After all, Jesus himself told us that we'd be hated for what we believe. People will even think we're crazy. The question is, how will you respond?
How will I respond? I'll be thinking on this for a long time... It's easier said than done, but if they have the courage to stand up and face such terrible horrors, can I not share what I know is true?
This song is so my life right now! Love, love, love!
"God I know that you exist I've been told a thousand times But my friends they all insist That the truth is just a lie You see the lives that they all live Seems like a party all the time The temptations I resist Because it's You I glorify!"
Hawk Nelson's "Your Love Is a Mystery" Enjoy!
Okay so I learned a song this past summer, and I can't believe I never shared it with you!
It is called (drum roll please)
The Kool-Aid Song!
Yes, Kool-Aid! As in, the interesting pitcher guy.
Note: this is not my image.
It's kind of hard to understand at first because the song is more a play on words. You know "Do-Re-Mi" from The Sound Of Music, right? This song uses the same kind of play on words, and it is actually to the same tune. So, sing the Kool-Aid song to the same tune of "Do-Re-Mi".
I have no idea why I like this song so much, but I have since I first heard it about four years ago. Christian band, but it's a love song. I just found the music video today. The video itself is okay, but I just like to shut my eyes, listen, and smile.
Beautiful Love - "The Afters"
Far away, I feel your beating heart All alone, beneath the crystal stars Staring into space, what a lonely face I'll try to find my place with you
[chorus] What a beautiful smile Can I stay for awhile? On this beautiful night We'll make everything right My beautiful love, my beautiful love
Larger than the moon, my love for you Worlds collide as heaven pulls us through The secret of the world is written in the stars I'm carrying your heart in mine
[chorus] What a beautiful smile Can I stay for awhile? On this beautiful night We'll make everything right My beautiful love
Maybe a greater thing will happen Maybe all will see Maybe our love will catch like fire As it burns through me [3x]
What a beautiful smile Can I stay for awhile? On this beautiful night We'll make everything right [2x]
My beautiful love La la la la love La la la la love
My beautiful La la la la love La la la la love
My beautiful love
P.S. Sorry for the lack of posts, I've been super busy.
It's not Valentines Day, but hey we can still love each other and be happy! I hope you truly enjoy today.Whether it be with your significant other, friends, family, pets, or even by yourself (even though that never happens, right? You've got Him!!!)
Love's a beautiful thing, celebrate it!
That ever happen to you? You get a song in your head and just can't get it out? But it's not a bad thing because you actually really like the song! Well, that's been the case for me and Coldplay's "Paradise". Absolutely love it although, yes, I lost some respect after seeing the music video... Really? Elephants?
Tyndale Publishers has started a great new program where you can earn free books and Bibles! How cool is that? All you have to do is some little easy tasks, and earn points. You can then use those points towards certain Tyndale products. I signed up for Tyndale Rewards, have you?
Hey everyone!! I'm sorry I haven't posted here in a little while. I had a lot going on at the time. But I'm back, and I'm going to try to blog more frequently now. :) I'm hoping to start reviewing books, and that would help me, alot to actually blog more. :) So Lord willing, I will get to do that. :) So I will be back with a better post soon, I am working on more posts. So just bear with me. :)
I'm a dreamer, a reader, and an avid picture taker, I love the sound of rain on windows and the gorgeous blue of the sky. I love my Creator who has blessed me beyond all reason and whom I will hold onto for all my days. This blog is an expression of who I am and what I love. I hope you guys like it :)
"Every time you smile at someone, it is an action of love, a gift to that person, a beautiful thing." -Mother Teresa
"For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to seperate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord." - Romans 8:38-39
"If God had a refrigerator, your picture would be on it. If He had a wallet, your photo would be in it. He sends you flowers every spring and a sunrise every morning...Face it, friend. He is crazy about you!" -Max Lucado