Monthly Archives: May 2009

A Lesson From Prejean

*Raises Hand* Excuse me, I have a confession to make.  Sit back and relax while I have a little rant about another sin I see in the western church, maybe even get some tea or coffee while reading! Just allow me to speak my mind on an issue that has bugged me for awhile. Now what is this issue you ask? Ahh, allow me to tell you with a story. 

 Carrie Prejean. Miss California. You all know her. For the past weeks she has filled the TV screens and the news headlines. She has also crept into the hearts of Christians across America and most conservatives for her strong views on same-sex marriage. She boldly proclaimed that she believed in traditional marriage and then later stated that she was a Christian and was soon after jumped on by the conservative/Christian world faster then a brownie in the midst of teenage girls. They loved her and praised her and though her answer might of made her lose the title of Miss America she won the approval of Evangelicals. 

 Then it happened. For me it wasn’t much of a surprise. Somehow some horribly racy pictures of her got out on the Internet. The liberal world jumped on that like teenage girls with brownies as well. And I don’t blame them. It’s sickening the hypocrisy that comes from many Christians in America that “homosexuals are the worst sinners in the world but I can be proud, immodest, and hateful and it doesn’t matter”. Now I am not saying that homosexuality is right, it’s obviously against what the Bible says. But so is pride and immodesty and judgemental attitudes. Yes, certain sins have worse consequences but they are all high treason against a holy God and all are deserving death. 

 What really frustrates me about the Miss California situation is how Christians dealt with it. It’s nothing new though. When someone who is popular, beautiful, successful in the world’s eyes, and has a huge hunk of change to their name and can still manage to tack on the name Christian and some good morals the church pounces. I’ve seen this in so many realms of the church. We often do not pick the poor, unattractive, and unpopular person who has a fire for God and the gospel to emulate and admire but the person who has it all in the worlds eyes. 

 In Nancy Leigh DeMoss’s article on Miss California she states it this way:

“Sadly, Carrie is the product of a Christian sub-culture that has lost a sense of what it means to be citizens of the kingdom of God and has embraced the values and thinking of this world.

By and large, young adults who have grown up in our evangelical homes, churches, and schools, are buying into a message that they have seen modeled by those around them who call themselves Christians—namely, that Christianity can be divorced from Christ-likeness, and that practical holiness in everyday life is out-dated, irrelevant, or optional.”

 Simply put, we like being comfortable with the world, to sit down and have some lemonade with it, but little do we know that the lemonade is seriously sour and wont quench our thirst. We look at those that are living a life abandoned to Christ as being a little over the top and freaky. We think that being Christians in name while still having our lemonade with the world wont hurt us. What many don’t know is that the sweetest lemonade, the one that can quench our thirst, is found in a relationship with Christ and laying down all that we are, picking up our crosses, and following Him. It might mean being hated and despised by this world, but it will satisfy. 

 While I don’t think that Prejean should be a role model, we can still learn from her. I know that she has taught me that I need to seek sweeter lemonade and to emulate those that are doing so themselves. 

 {Recommended reading: Nancy Leigh DeMoss on Prejean“Miss California, Meet Miss Beautiful Morals” by Hannah Farver, and “Women Who Fear the Lord” by Your’s truly. }

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Filed under Entertainment, Everyday Life, Faith, Passion

Goodbye Sam!

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Sam and I when we were little...

  For those of you who don’t know, Sam is my older brother. Five years older than me, he has still become one of my dearest friends. This year he is graduating and moving a few hundred miles away from his poor, carless, sister. :) Over the last two years or so we’ve had so many great memories blasting music in the car, late night chats, hanging out with friends, watching random old movies (ahh… Duck Soup… classic randomness… :D), and many other things. 

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We've always been crazy!!

  In our lifetime together we have had some… umm… interesting moments… Hugging Barney, creating an imaginary world, walking around Walmart wearing Sombreros, arguing about if my dolls were real or not, all that sort of fun stuff. It’s been a fun and crazy ride. He’s always been around to make me smile and laugh. 

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Our one eyed dog Rusty... poor Rusty...

  Though this is a post about Sam I must mention our dog Rusty that we had many years ago. This was no ordinary dog. Not in the least bit. He had only one eyes, that in it’s self makes him unique. But he also was a bit of a… hmm… how should I put this? A pack rat? A collector of random things? Crazy? Those things all describe dear Rusty. He would bring home bags of bread, lawn gnomes, umbrellas with pictures of dogs on them, toilet paper, and other things. But Sam and I still loved that dog and had fun with him.

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Sam, Corina, and I shortly after Corina joined our family

  Eight years ago this May, Corina came into our lives and family. It took us from a twosome to a threesome and we’ve had a blast together. We are so thankful to have Nina with us. 

Sam had to get into the picture that was being taken by a friend last winter in AL.

   Sam is one of the best brothers in the world and one of the nicest too! Despite what this picture might tell you about Sam, he’s very nice and picks on me only in limited amounts. :) Compared to many other guys I know Sam is an angel! He is a fantastic guy with a passion for the truth, manly gentleness, compassionate, and he loves the gospel. I’m so blessed to have him as my brother and friend. 

 Sam and I have shared almost fourteen years together and for the first time in my life, starting this fall I’ll be facing life without my big brother right by my side. While our childhood is coming to a close and we are growing up, I’m excited to see what the future seasons of life will hold for us. To everything there is a season and this one is coming to a new end, but a new one is starting. I trust that our relationship will only grow as we go off into the world. 

 Sam, I love you and I’m going to miss you! You are the best and the only good thing that’s coming from this is me getting your room! :D

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Filed under Everyday Life, Family, Uncategorized

The Simple Pleasures of Life

 

My pearl necklace and fluffy blanket, two other simple pleasures I enjoy.

My pearl necklace and fluffy blanket, two other simple pleasures I enjoy.

  • The smile and giggle of a little child.
  • Seeing a little one year old alternate between his real bottle and a toy baby doll bottle. 
  • Hugs and kisses from a two year old. 
  • Morning coffee. 
  • Photography.
  • Finding a new spiritual truth during your devotions.
  • Discovering treasures from thrift stores and garage sales. 
  • Finishing writing a song and being pleased with the results. 
  • Having a toddler run into your arms while excitedly calling your name.
  • Chamomile or mint tea in my mug in one hand and a good book in the other.
  • Deep theological conversations. 
  • Free stuff
  • Just enjoying the company of friends and family. 
  • Knowing that you have been forgiven of all you’ve ever done wrong. 
  • Long talks with my parents and older brother. 
  • Family dance time. 
  • Hearing a two year old pray when he gets hurt. 
  • Watching people grow up and learn new things. 
  • A good song that touches my heart and turns my eyes to heaven. 
  • Any kind of chocolate. 
  • Being in a bookstore and searching out all the books that I want to read.
  • Hearing your little sister share her heart with you and try to copy what you do. 
  • Talking on bananas like they are phones with your two year old brother. 
  • Driving with the music loud with my older brother and just hanging out together. 
  • Meeting someone who shares my passions in life. 
  • Praying with family and/or friends. 
  • Seeing miracles happen in the lives around you. 
  • Seeing how God works all our for good both in our lives and in the lives of those we know.
  • Finding cute and modest clothing. 
  • Seeing flowers blossom in the spring and the grass become bright green
  • Hearing modern arrangements of age old hymns. 
  • Talking to my cousin Elyssa. 
  • Going to conferences with hundreds of like minded believers. 
  • The feeling of being productive. 
  • Getting comments on my blog(s). 
  • Worshiping with thousands of other believers because it’s like a little glimpse of what heaven will be like.
  • Brainstorming about ministry opprotunities and ways to help others. 
  • Writing poetry. 
  • Sitting on the edge of a dock with my Bible and just looking out across the lake while doing my devos and dangling my feet in the water.
  • Getting emails or letters in the mail.
  • Watching the leaves fall in autumn. 
  • Being able to play a song on the violin, piano, or guitar well. 
  • Hearing stories of redemption.
  • Going to camp. 
  • Finding heroes of the faith and great role models. 
  • Rejoicing in the wonder of God and all that He’s done. 

 I know that was a long list but there are so many things that make up my life that make it so refreshing. Those simple daily things that make you smile may be not much to anybody else, but to you they are like a breath of fresh air. They are the things that can transform a dull and sad day to something joyous and exciting. What are those things for you? What makes life strangely fun and brings a smile to your face? Leave a comment or even post on your own blog about these simple things (link back in a comment or such to tell me that you posted). I can’t wait to hear from you!

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Filed under Everyday Life

Death is Not Dying

Our life is fragile and easily blown away. But death is not dying.

Today I finally sat down to watch the video of Rachel Barkey speaking to a group of women about the terminal cancer that fills her body and the faith in God that fills her soul. It’s a beautiful address that everyone should hear. It’s just under an hour long but it’s well worth the time out of your day. She is a beautiful inspiration and I believe that through her upcoming death God will work wonders and be glorified. I can not wait to meet her in heaven some day and while it is so sad that she is only 37 and leaving behind a husband, two young children, and other family and friends, she will be in heaven and God will use her life and death for His good and glorious purposes. Now go and watch the video and let her words speak for themselves!

(Picture courtesy Keara Jaelyn.)

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Filed under Christianity, Everyday Life, Faith, heroes, Passion, The Gospel

Changes and Twitter

 Hey Y’all! 

 Lately I’ve been really busy with school and my little bros and all that sort of stuff. My older brother is graduating high school this month and we have major work to do in order to host a few hundred people at his open house. It’s also that time of year where you are scrambling to finish your work in time for summer, there are concerts and graduations, and general business. Instead of feeling pressured to have to get a post up several times a week I’m going to work more on writing better posts. Many of my posts haven’t been very good lately and I haven’t been satisfied with the quality. 

 I do have some treats coming up for you though! I’ve been starting work on a series entitled “Hope for the Prostitute”. (I’m not saying any more about it.) You guys are in for a big treat with a guest blog series by my good friend Joshua on the topic on Biblical manhood.  (He is also very busy right now with finishing up school for the year so there might be a little wait on this.) I’m also planning on getting some book reviews up here since I plan to do a lot of reading this summer. Last but not least, I’m adding a new page entitled “My Favorite Things” and will try to update that often with some good picks of books, music, quotes, and whatever else happens to come. So check back there often. (Note, as of now I have very little actually on it. Be patient please!)

 One very last thing, you guys can still keep in contact with me, especially through Twitter. I caved to the fad last night and am testing it out right now. (If I find it too addicting or too pointless I’ll delete my account.) So all of you on Twitter be sure to check me out! 

www.twitter.com/nobody416

 

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Filed under blog, Uncategorized

Hope in A Stranger’s Eyes

 

She smiles as she dances to and fro 
Around her do her dresses flow
Her Amma and Pitaa surrounded her with love
Yet in her future was pain undreamed of
In one instance it was all gone
Her parents from this world were withdrawn 
Alone and afraid 
There soon came a promise to be paid
Her grandfather consented
But little did he know the girl’s body would be rented
A promise of work 
Turned into years of hurt
More alone then before
Hope was left at the door
As she was abused time and time again 
She was bound in her mind by chains
Soon all her innocence was taken 
All of what she knew as right was shaken
The light left her once alive eyes
She was now a zombie with no left life inside
The years past in silence and abuse
There was nothing more to lose
No reason to go on 
No sign of a dawn 
Then one day she saw a glimpse of hope
In the eyes of a stranger she found strength to cope
There was something different and something magnificent
About the joy that was seen in the strangers’ existence 
Something about this stranger gave her hope to go on
A hope for a dawn
Soon was coming a way of escape 
In the long day that the brothel was raid 
In the midst of chaos she knew there was hope
Finally released from the surrounding darkness
Finally released from her chains
Yet something deep inside still remained. 
The hurt and guilt and pain
She thought they would never go away
The scars that she had on her young heart
She feared deeply would never part
She was soon brought away
To a place she knew would be safe
Again she saw the stranger and was surprise
And this time she had a chance to ask about that joy inside
In passionate tones the woman explained
About freedom in Christ and the sacrifice He made
About the blood He shed so she could have life
And how for her soul He paid the costliest price 
Wonder struck the girl as she realized the truth in those words
Eagerly she embraced
This God full of mercy
This God full of grace
She let go on her hate and her guilt that clung
To her soul and let it fall 
Unto the shoulders of her risen God 
She became a follower of her Savior body and soul
She finally found a way to be whole
Now many years later she’s back on the street
Sharing her Jesus will all that she meets
Because of one stranger that showed her God’s love
Now she’s become that stranger and is a servant of the Lord above
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She smiles as she dances to and fro 
Around her do her dresses flow
Her Amma and Pitaa surrounded her with love
Yet in her future was pain undreamed of
In one instance it was all gone
Her parents from this world were withdrawn 
Alone and afraid 
There soon came a promise to be paid
Her grandfather consented
But little did he know the girl’s body would be rented
A promise of work 
Turned into years of hurt
More alone then before
Hope was left at the door
As she was abused time and time again 
She was bound in her mind by chains
Soon all her innocence was taken 
All of what she knew as right was shaken
The light left her once alive eyes
She was now a zombie with no left life inside
The years past in silence and abuse
There was nothing more to lose
No reason to go on 
No sign of a dawn 
Then one day she saw a glimpse of hope
In the eyes of a stranger she found strength to cope
There was something different and something magnificent
About the joy that was seen in the strangers’ existence 
Something about this stranger gave her hope to go on
A hope for a dawn
Soon was coming a way of escape 
In the long day that the brothel was raid 
In the midst of chaos she knew there was hope
Finally released from the surrounding darkness
Finally released from her chains
Yet something deep inside still remained. 
The hurt and guilt and pain
She thought they would never go away
The scars that she had on her young heart
She feared deeply would never part
She was soon brought away
To a place she knew would be safe
Again she saw the stranger and was surprise
And this time she had a chance to ask about that joy inside
In passionate tones the woman explained
About freedom in Christ and the sacrifice He made
About the blood He shed so she could have life
And how for her soul He paid the costliest price 
Wonder struck the girl as she realized the truth in those words
Eagerly she embraced
This God full of mercy
This God full of grace
She let go on her hate and her guilt that clung
To her soul and let it fall 
Unto the shoulders of her risen God 
She became a follower of her Savior body and soul
She finally found a way to be whole
Now many years later she’s back on the street
Sharing her Jesus will all that she meets
Because of one stranger that showed her God’s love
Now she’s become that stranger and is a servant of the Lord above
(Note: there has been quite of WordPress buginess while writing this post so if something is screwed up I appologize. Currently I can not get the paragraphs to work right so again I appologize and I will try to get it working as soon as I can.) 

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Filed under Christianity, Justice, Missions, Monthly Monday Poetry, Passion, Slavery

The Battle Against Blog Views

 This summer will mark a year of blogging for me. May was the month that I first started writing blogpost like articles and started thinking about starting a blog. I’ve gone from having no clue what server to even use to giving opinions to my family members on the pros and cons of Blogger vs WordPress, blogging on both, and starting a blog for my own mother. I even learned how to make a picture link button widget thing! (Though don’t ask me to repeat that…) 

 Blogging, meanwhile, can be both good or bad for our pride (or good or bad for our humility). When you get a comment that says you did an excellent job or that there should be more people like you in the world, your ego rises a few hundred points. When someone shows you catosrophic errors in your reasoning, philosophy, or general writing, (or even no comments at all) it’s easy to get discouraged. It’s the same way with blog stats… oh those condemning or glorifying numbers! 

 Since I’ve started blogging, stats have been one of those things that it’s hard to get past. All along I’ve known in my head that I’m writing for an audience of one, that the number of people it reaches doesn’t mean the amount of impact, and that getting views is no reason to have a blog, but those opposing thoughts keep returning. I keep finding my mind wandering to how I can get more stats and trying to comment on blogs or find ways to get links to my site from other sites just for purposes of views. When I hear of those that have many more hits than I do, I must admit to a pang of jealousy that occurs in my heart. 

 So what is the point of telling you all this? Why should I admit to this struggle with my pride and coveting? Part of it is showing the fact that I am so very human! I know that a close friend of mine who I met through my blog reflected that it wasn’t until we met in person that he realized I was human. I like to show people my good sides, especially on my blog, and I don’t like to express my struggles in life. In reality, pride is my biggest battle everyday. I think that my lack of views may be only helping that battle. 

 When I have a day that the views are high, my pride is soaring as free as an eagle! On the other hand… when I have a day that my views are pathetically low, it’s a reminder that I need to focus on Jesus instead of the people that I’m writing to. It’s easy to think of ways that you can get more blog posts with interesting titles or topics, but that’s not what God has called me to do in my writing. God has called me to write from my heart, sharing my meditations, thoughts, and life in a way that will glorify Him and encourage and inform others. The issue is not popularity, the issue is faithfulness.

  So all you bloggers out there on blogosphere, can you relate? Has blogging become about stats and views rather than the message that you are trying to convey? Has the focused changed from being about glorifying our heavenly Father to getting a good rating from others? Is blogging a way to puff up your pride? I know that my answers to those questions are not what they should be so it’s time to search my heart and let God once again remove my pride and people pleasing.

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Filed under blog, Christianity, Everyday Life, Faith