Tuesday, December 6, 2011

The Perfect Daydream

Suppose I told you that you can have one situation go exactly according to plan, you just have to think about it, perfect it, and it'll happen. Most people, including myself, would spend countless hours fantasizing about the perfect scenario playing out before them and changing their lives forever. They would imagine meeting their true love in an elevator, landing the perfect job interview, meeting their favorite celebrity or moving into the perfect home. What most people won't think about will be refusing my offer. Everyone wants to live out their dreams but do we really know what our dreams are?

I've been mulling over this in my brain for a couple of weeks now and I've come down to a conclusion. I don't know what my dreams are. I have ideas about things I would love to do and I've fantasized about walking down the isle, working in orphanages, and sitting on the beach in Greece. I daydream at work, in school or just sitting in my room about life and it's adventures but I don't know me like He knows me.

I think about all of the things I had hoped for and thought out up to this point. I had a picture perfect idea of what my life would be like by the time I was 22. It sounds silly but I planned on being graduated early with my Art Education degree, engaged to a guy who looks nice in a pea coat, and planning to move into a little house. Those of you who know me know that this is not my life and those of you who really know me know that this is not what I want. God took me along a different path and I'm so thankful that He didn't agree to my petty previous dreams. He had something better for me, I just didn't know it until He handed it over.

Turns out I'll be graduating late with a Special Education degree but I'm so thankful for the time I've been given and my new passion. I'm not engaged to a man in a pea coat (but I still like pea coats) and I can't imagine being engaged right now. I still live with my parents, praise God. I love being there and I'm not in a hurry to move out anytime soon. God knew, I didn't.

I'll sometimes think about certain situations and how I will handle them when they arrive. What I will say and what I will do? Will I be clever and rise to the occasion or will I simply stand there like a deer in the headlights? I know that it's easy to get carried away whenever we think we know how we want our lives to go but it's even easier whenever we realize that we don't know and we no longer want to know.

God's ways are not our ways and his thoughts are not our thoughts. His ways are above our ways and His thoughts are above our thoughts. He has the perfect blueprint for our lives. Sometimes we question His plan and we start to think it's a little crazy, but that's when we realize that He knew what would make us happy before we even had a clue.

All the sudden my minuscule ideas and fairytale notes look puny and unfulfilling next to God's grandiose script. I never want to plan again, but I will because it's a good place to deviate from. I just want to live my life following after Him, learning, creating and being a disciple of Christ. He's blessed me so much and I wouldn't change a thing in my life. It's been developing beyond any of my dreams or plans. I've experienced things with people that I never dreamed I would. And I can't imagine my life having been any different. I still daydream but I do it for fun and I know that I have dreams that will come true just never the way I expect them to.

Thank you Lord for knowing me better than I know myself. Thank you Lord for whatever the future holds for me. Whatever's meant to be will work out perfectly because of you.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Heart Lyrics- Challenge your songs

Today I was scrolling through my recent playlist and found that most of the lyrics have something in them that stands out to me. Something that can sum up a thousand thoughts and feelings into a few sentences and stanzas. It made me think...what is it about these songs that 'gets me every time'? Then I started piecing it all together. Each word that imprints itself in my mind is part of my personal heart cry. Something in my heart that cries out but it couldn't manifest itself because I didn't know it was there.

Ok so if I haven't totally lost you let me give you a few examples. I won't list what songs they are because that's not important. Just the lyrics that make me play them over and over again:

You are the only thing in life that I got right
My body tells me no, but I won't quit cause I want more
The more I see, the less I know. But I know one thing, that I love you
We'll stay young, go dancing
Every heart in the room will melt. This is a feeling I've never felt
Just like the ocean needs the waves

Anyway, you get the point. So where am I going with this? We learn a lot about ourselves through the types of music we listen to. Sure there are songs out there that just have a good beat so we like them anyway, but there are other songs (like the ones above) that really get to us.

Have you ever read psalms? Like the lyrics of a song, David wrote out his heart cries to God. He formulated his feelings into words and then left them for us to read. Like an open book, his heart was exposed. As we read the psalms, some of those lyrics stick out to us just as much as lyrics to any one of the songs we have shuffling on itunes.

So here's the challenge: read through a few of the psalms, see what sticks out to you, and then ask yourself why that is?

Our hearts cry out for God, but sometimes we tune out our spiritual heart songs.

Psalm 71
22 I will praise you with the harp
for your faithfulness, my God;
I will sing praise to you with the lyre,
Holy One of Israel.
23 My lips will shout for joy
when I sing praise to you—
I whom you have delivered.

Friday, October 7, 2011

We Should Get Mood Rings

It always baffles me how moods can change so quickly. One minute you're on top of the world, riding the sun on a chariot of fire and glowing in the radiant light. The next minute you're covered in mud. Dirt cracks and peals from your skin and you find yourself in the most disgusting room in the darkest city on Earth.

Pretty drastic I know, but we all fall victims to this sudden shift in atmosphere everyday. It effects our lives, our relationships and our decisions. The chemicals in our brains love to toy with us making us doubt or giving us false feelings. So what do we do?

When this happens to me, I imagine arms stretched out between my dark room and the sun. I start to pull myself out of the muck and across the arms into the safety of what I know to be true. I crawl to the promises I've held onto for years. There are things in my life I will never doubt. They are the home that I long to return to whenever my atmosphere changes. Although my mind makes them feel like a distant memory, I know in my heart they have never left me.

I have a God who has promised me the world. When I feel the shadows taking over, I pray that God will stretch out His arms and bring me back.

I do not want the mood changes to stop me from moving forward and reaching what God has for me. It's a hard thing to deal with. We are our own worst enemy. So maybe we should get mood rings? Or we should start to notice when our mood is starting to change and try and stop it in it's tracks.

It's a crazy idea, but I think we are capable of doing just that. For you it might not be imagining a set of arms reaching out to you. It could be anything. But what is it in your life that you will never have to doubt? Sometimes it is the things in our lives that we know we should never doubt that we doubt the most. It's our minds and our enemies way of trying to destroy our promises. But we have a God who has overcome the enemy.

So really think about it. Make a list, fold it up and keep it with you.

When your mood shifts and you feel the world crashing down and pulling you from the light you know is truth I beg you to HANG ON! Grab the hand of the arm that stretches across your mind and pull yourself back into His promises.

Monday, September 26, 2011

My Favorite Jacket

I have this jacket that I wear all the time and take with me everywhere I go. It's been on the swivel chairs of lecture halls, the padded seating of amphitheaters. . . It's been in more cars then I can count and in more stores then a local mall. It's navy blue, one of my favorite shades, and the inside is gray. But the best thing about this jacket is that it isn't mine.

Nope, this jacket isn't mine, nor was it given to me. I more or less took it from someone when it was left at my house and never gave it back. It smelled like them for the first week. It was a wonderful mixture of redwood musk and sea salt breeze that made me feel warm and protected. And now this jacket smells like me. It's been away from it's owner long enough that it's lost their scent.

Now if you were to smell this jacket you'd say this obviously belongs to JoAnna. I've had it for so long people no longer ask me if that is my jacket or someone else's. But why am I telling you this?

As Christians, we are to treat salvation like this jacket. When we first become Christians, we put on a new coat of salvation that covers our sin and makes us something new. At first it takes some getting used to. The 'salvation jacket' might seem odd for awhile, and people around us will notice that there is something different about us. Old friends may give you a hard time for not continuing to 'hang out' with them. And you might have a hard time getting used to your new scent. But here's the best part...

When we ask God to come into our hearts and forgive us of our sin the Bible says:
2 Cor. 5:17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.

That means that once you put on the jacket of salvation, you are a new person! You are a saved person who will live in eternity when you die with Christ. The world will notice.

The difference between my jacket and salvation is:
-It was given to you as a free gift
-It's permanent, you can't take it on and off
-You become a new person now that you have it on
-Your scent becomes the smell of the jacket and your old scent goes away

As you wear this jacket, instead of it starting to smell like you, you start to smell like Christ (which believe smells really really good). Then people start to notice and you get the opportunity to share Christ's love and transform other peoples lives! Don't be afraid to wear this jacket with pride! You get to spend forever in heaven with a God who loves and cares about you. Echo Christ's love, so that the whole world may hear!

Friday, September 16, 2011

My Emo Writing Prompt short story

So I felt like I needed a creative outlet tonight so I did this prompt.
This is Super EMO of me. But I was feeling like I needed to do some creative writing and I like this Prompt :) I will be blogging about my usual things this weekend.

Prompt: Take the lyrics of your favorite song and combine them to make a story. Every word must be used in either the body or the title. No extra words either.

Lonely Lullaby (Look up the lyrics if you want to understand my short story)

The ring in my ears pours in a scream as the nightmares take me. These gloomy nights wear on and on and I can’t sleep. I’ll never forget the howling wind and rain holding me the nights I turned bitter. I remember the flushed pink fairytale that sparkled above my tired eyes when I loved you. But the scream of my nightmares was fast to dissolve you. And now the lonely lullabies in my ears turn me icy blue and cold.

Remember when the rain froze when I was holding you? You were my treasured dream and I was the symphony of a silver star. Though she was my lily, my dream come true, she can’t hold me when the nightmares take me. Though she was my Princess, my someone to hold, she can’t dream me in before the dawn. Though she was my love, she can’t sooth me these nights.

I remember these nights when I dampen the eyes I love. I'd rather forget, but I can't. I’d rather scream at you the nights you hold me in my darkest dream. I’d rather take my bitter lullabies and dissolve you when I blink. But I can’t. Because I can’t forget you. I’ll never forget you.

I loved you. I love you.

Forget when I scream, when I’d rather be bitter. Forget when I’m holding fast to the gloomy nights and howling in the wind. Forget my overcast, icy blue world. Forget when I dampen our tired lids.

Remember when I was holding you in the rain. Remember when I sang you fast asleep. Remember when you flushed pink and I froze dizzy in love. Remember me because I loved you. Remember me because I love you. Take me, Annmarie.

Emo I know. :) But that's my favorite song at the moment.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

The Key to Love

Thousands of people gathered around the girl standing in the midst of Times Square. With eager faces, they searched her eyes and counted her every breath, waiting for her to speak.

“I’ve found the key to love,” she has said during an interview on Good Morning America last week. She would not disclose this knowledge to the millions of viewers glued to their television sets as she spoke softly into hush of the crowds. “If you want to know,” she had said, “meet me at Times Square on September 13th at 7 o’clock. I will release the key at that time.”

For the next week following the interview, people booked flights and hotel rooms, they drove distances and crossed oceans. No one, not even the greatest of scientist, had been able to decipher the key. To think that this small girl could know what has baffled others years and years. All had failed to find it until this day. This day would change everything.

September 13th had finally arrived. The girl stood in the midst of the masses of hungry eyes, black with anticipation. Her palms sweated, her knees shook from under her. She felt the sun beating down on the part of our hair, tanning her scalp and pealing her skin. She had been standing there all day, anxious to tell the world what it was that she had discovered. The clock struck 7 and she brought the microphone to her lips. A whisper that would change the world.

“I’ve found the key to love,” she said, sliding her fingers into the pocket of her jeans. She pulled out a photograph. It was small, delicate and held the most powerful image the world would ever see. She held it up to the sky and every eye on Earth went moist with tears. Some in the crowd cried out and some cheered. Everyone felt relief, joy and peace. At this moment, everything made sense. The tiny photograph that brought the world to its’ knees. . . was a photograph of you.

Happy Birthday Mom! I love you!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Goodbye my Love, Farewell.

The books laid flatly in awkward angles amongst the fingerprinted shelves. Cd's lay strewn across the countertops, packaging hidden between the cases. The walls began to shed their skin as ten years of wooden arms were ripped from their proper placement. The area was a disaster zone and a few brave men and woman were all that was left to tell the tale.

It's a very sad occurrence to lose a bookstore. Especially one that has made such a powerful impact on the community. Patrons from all over would come to peruse the shelves for new releases and settle in the coffee shop with old classics. The smells of pages being turned and drinks being served gave the room a glow much like a home away from home. Everyone was always welcome through its doors. No matter who you were or who you wished you were, you were always welcome here.

The sounds of laughter filled the stock room as pallet after pallet of books came pouring through the gate. Opening each box was like opening Christmas morning, finding new stock to share with favorite customers and friends. Employees would gather in its doors and continue to enjoy each others company long after they had left their shift for the day. Not one person didn't have the other in their phone or connected to them online. Everyone loved each other. If their own families were not accepting or they needed someone in the worst of times, they knew that they would always have a family to go to here.

Now as the countdown began to its final day, the family would have to face the most difficult challenge of their lives. They would be forced to watch their beloved store be mangled, beaten, and tossed aside like a wave in the sea. Together they would endure tongue lashings that made lips curl and pick up the masses of litter left by the vultures who came to pick on the dead body's remains. They would cry many tears and serve as a shoulder too many to cry on.

No one would quite understand how these people felt. In fact, they only had each other in which to relate such a travesty. But to each other they would always remain faithful. To the feel of a hardback book, turning pages with your fingertips and sealing spots with a paper mark, they would remain faithful. To the smiles they shared, the joy of working in such a magical place, and the people they have encountered along the way that shaped their lives, they would remain faithful.

I will miss everything about you.
I will miss the little chime the time card machine made every time I clocked in and even more so when I clocked out for lunch.
I will miss the phones ringing off the hook and customers wanting 20 copies of Heaven is For Real.
I will miss the way the register pops open when a customer actually pays with cash.
I will miss the multiple Borders rewards cards and the really old ones that no longer scan.
I will miss listening to whatever we felt like on the overhead, even if not everyone loves Glee.
I will miss helping customers realize they need to read Harry Potter and then being there with them as they journey through each book.
I will miss running back to the stock room every time I hear the doorbell ring.
I will miss the rotating microwave and the comfy yellow couch I laid on when I was sick, tired or had a dislocated hip.
I will miss my locker right under someone else's locker which was never ever locked.
I will miss my work family. My work mom, my amazing friends, and listening to random people being serenaded by someone tall with shaggy hair.

And I will miss you Independent Reader...Oh how I loved you so. The way your shelves incased me. Like my own little world full of every book I'd ever read. I lined your walls with my favorite things and lured people into your pages so that they too can cry at the end of Where the Red Fern Grows. I babied you, kept you clean and raised you like a child. When they took you from me, I lost a part of my heart.

I love you all so much. I wrote this because I needed to let it all out. And I knew no one would understand but you.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

When The Old Man Sees The Sun

The old man sitting on my usual park bench hunched his shoulders downward and lifted his wrinkled eyelids toward the sky. Children laughed and chased each other along the pathway. Joggers bounced weightlessly to the rhythm of the wind swaying through the trees. A vendor under the oak tree let out a bellowing cry as he tuned into the game and prayed effortlessly for God to strike the opposing team dead. Everything was as it should be, except that old man.

Everyday for the past year and a half I've come to this park bench at precisely 4 o'clock to read books by long dead poets and drink terrible coffee from the Whistle Stop. I usually sprawl out my belongings and sit in the middle, as to ward off stragglers searching for a spot to rest their weary legs. But today there he sat.

I walked over to him with a cross look on my face, folding my arms and not attempting to hide my annoyance. He did not look at me, nor did he acknowledge my presence in anyway. He just sat their, saggy eyelids closed tightly, staring at the sky.
I decided to not let this slight distraction completely destroy my daily routine. I sat down next to him on the far left side of the bench and opened my latest copy of Hemingway.

"Isn't it lovely?" said a voice sounding like old age and slow tides. I looked over at the man who sat, eyes closed, face still tilted toward the sky.

"Is what lovely?" I asked, trying my best to not sound rude, but I'm sure it came out as anything but.

"The sun of course," he stated mater-o-factly and carefully lifted his hand towards the sky reaching as far as his arm would allow. At this point I knew this man was more than likely delusional. Old age must have battered his mind making me feel a tad more sympathetic. I decided to give him a few moments attention.

"Everyone knows there is no such thing as the 'sun'," I replied, gently touching his forearm and bringing his hand back down to his hip.

"Young man, can you not feel its warmth?" he asked, starting to truly worry me. I contemplated making a run for it.

"I do feel warm but there is no such thing as the sun. People made up that lie a long time ago, sir," I said, trying to break the news to him gently as I too stared up into the blank white sky.

"My son, do you see its light?" he asked. Looking around I saw light, but that was because it was no longer night. But I began to realize I didn't know where the light came from. Nor did I know why I could feel warmth prickle against the hairs on my skin, sending heat through my blood.

"I do see the light that comes with the day, but sir there is no such thing as a sun," I replied feeling awful for crushing this mans hopes. . . if that is what he was searching for. . .

"My boy, you feel its warmth and you see its light. Its right there in front of you, blazing in the sky. It tans your skin in summer and gives you nutrients you need. But yet you tell me it does not exist."

The old man grunted deep in his chest and slowly began to push himself up off of the park bench. He grabbed a cane, I had not seen previously, and began to stalk away with shuffling feet. Poor old man. Living in a world where he believes in imaginary suns and who knows what else. . . He doesn't know what he's talking about. . . Right?

I stared intently into my palms as they glistened in the light of, what? I looked toward the sky and closed my eyes. I began to focus on the light I could see pouring through my tightly shut eyelids and the warmth that kissed my face and brought life to my skin and bones. Maybe what I've always written off as crazy wasn't so crazy after all. Maybe it all makes sense.

I opened my eyes and for the first time. . . I saw the sun.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

I looked down at the cement covering my feet...

I looked down at the cement covering my feet and crawling it's way up my calves. My eyes followed the rocky basin across the ocean that howled loudly against the sound of a thousand seagulls. I could see it in the distance. As it had always been. The island of my dreams just above the horizon, fuzzy edges rippling across the skyline. I lifted my knee to find that my foot was unable to follow. Trapped, I contemplated how on Earth I had gotten myself into this situation, and more importantly, what if everyone else was right...

The cement dug deeply into the cracks of my dry skin and itched along it's broken edges touching my bare legs. I lifted my eyes to the sandy shore that was only feet away from my cement prison. There, bobbing slightly in the harbor, was a red paddle boat. Now I knew what I must do. The only way to get to the island of my dreams would be to rid myself of the cement and paddle out to sea. But cement does not melt in the intense sun light or break off in the frozen nights. I would need help. I began to scream.

Screaming for help, to only be echoed by silence, is a very depressing predicament. The buildings and houses several feet behind me were buzzing with people, but no one could hear me or acknowledged my existence. Maybe it's because people who venture out into the sand are considered crazy. Maybe I was being shunned. I was told this would happen... but I had also seen people make it across the sands that stick as cement, brave the tossing waves in the paddle boats, and arrive at the island of their dreams. I had seen it and I knew in my heart I could and would make it.

I sat in the sand and buried my face in my legs. The tears and sobs came quickly and I choked back the insistent cries of agony boiling in the back of my throat. I began to do what I knew would get me through. Something everyone else I had left on the mainland had told me was a myth. I believed.

And I believed. The harder I fought, the harder I believed. I believed in a life outside of the world I lived in. I believed in myself and my ability to make it to the island of my dreams. And I believed that even though I would have to fight my way there, I would find paradise waiting for me. As I changed my heart and my mind, the sand began to slowly crumble off of my toes and fall like silk. I picked myself up and raced for the paddle boat, kicking sand about as I finally dug my fingers into it's wooden body. The paint chips flaked off into the underbellies of my nails as I pushed the boat into the water. I threw myself into the hollow shell and onto the plank that served as a seat. Grabbing the much too large oars, I began pushing and pulling my way to paradise.

I had made it this far, realizing that all I needed to do was believe that the island of my dreams was real and worth fighting to get too. And I needed to believe that even though the world turned away from me, my belief in myself and the power of God to get me there melted away my circumstances and freed me. The journey across the ocean will be choppy and smooth, dangerous and relaxing...but no matter what the storms of this life...pushing and pulling our way to God is worth it.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Never Drink Dr.Pepper Before Bed...

11:11 make a wish...I wish that my taste buds would start to like fish. Why? Because fish is supposedly really good for you and I HATE IT.

I have a lot on my mind tonight and I can't sleep so we are in for quite an adventure together. I have been assigned with the task of bringing 6 objects to my sculpture class tomorrow and one of those objects I must make an unbreakable vow with. For you see, the one selected I will be expanding into a 3-4 foot tall paper mache project. So far I have..
-A Hippo
-A Giraffe
-A T-Rex
-A Teddy Bear
-A Luck Joy Cat
-A mini fabric ninja
-An assortment of rubber sea creatures (shark, fish, and dolphin)
-A Stuffed Totoro

As you can see I have quite a few things to chose from but I am unhappy with all of them. I would choose my Totoro hands down but his fluffy exterior would be rather difficult to shape. I want to create something that no other student has done before as well. Decisions, Decisions.

I don't know why I'm telling you this....

Tonight at youth group we talked about identifying lies that we are bombarded with everyday and seeking God who is truth and the only truth. I created a dragon fetus out of clay and put him in a jar filled with diluted Dr.Pepper for an illustration to use tonight during my lesson and I unfortunately left him at home :( I was so upset because I wanted to take a poll to see how many of the teens fell for my trick. Oh well, maybe next time.

Is it weird that I made a Dragon fetus and put it in a jar for the sake of teaching God's word? It probably is but whatever.

We talked about Orson Wells 1938 War of the Worlds radio broadcast that sent millions of people into a panic. I played a clip from the broadcast in which wells described the Martians getting out of their spaceship and melting people with heat rays. If so many people were gullible enough to believe in something as outlandish as this, how many more people are gullible enough to believe in the everyday lies Satan tells us? He tells us that we aren't good enough or that we only have limited choices (all of them being wrong) and so on. Taking the blinders off and seeking truth is the first step towards opening our eyes and breaking free from his chains. Be mindful of what you hear and see. Seek truth first.

    • John 14:6- I am the way, the truth, and the life. No man comes to the Father but through me.
I hope you all have a good week seeing as this is the first week of school. Whether you're in high school, junior high, or college, it doesn't matter, we face lies everyday. God is the way the truth and the life. When all others seem to be lying, we can find comfort in knowing that God is truth no matter what.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Take the Weather with You...

When I was younger all I wanted to do was live in California with my awesome Aunt on the coast of San Diego. I'll never forget the first time I realized that I need to be there.

We were walking along the beach dodging bike riders and dancing with children weaving in and out of the swing sets. The sun was beating down but it wasn't hot...it was warm and bright like a perfect scene from a movie. My Uncle put me on his surf board and I tried...and failed at surfing for the first time. I didn't care when the under-toe caught me and scrapped by bare legs with the grainy sand below the surface. I was in my paradise.

Everyone was happy and time seemed to stop out there. People took long breaks at work and got off early to catch the last bit of surf before the tide slowed and the evening brought out the romantic night walkers and glow of bonfires.

I decided that I wouldn't be happy unless I was chasing the sun. I had my life planned out from that point on. Move somewhere sunny for college and stay there. At 15 I started listening to Jimmy Buffett and Bob Marley to give me a mind escape to the ocean and I became a water baby with swim team and lake days. I changed my entire life to bring the sunshine with me everywhere I go and I still carry it around with me to this day.

Obviously I didn't move to California, Florida, or Jamaica, and those of you who know me very well know that I still sparkle with a California beam even though I live in Missouri. When you long for something so much, you begin to make up for not having it with your lifestyle. Then before you know it, you've taken the weather with you.

How many times do we leave our perfect situation and become miserable with our circumstance instead of harnessing what we can to keep the sunshine in our lives? Just because I don't live in Hermosa Beach, doesn't mean I have to live a miserable life of wishing I was there! Why can't I bring a little Hermosa to my life in Kansas City and to the people around me? I love my life in KC and I love my family and friends. I wouldn't want to leave them because they are part of my all encompassing sunshine as well. So what do you do?

I guess what this rambling is about is taking the weather, taking the moment, taking the purpose with you no matter where you end up. If you love something enough, make it a part of you.
I hope whatever your sunshine is, you take it with you :)

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Sinking Ships and Sinking Feelings

I can't exactly describe how it is I am feeling right now. I'm not sure how my fingers are moving around the keyboard effortlessly whilst the rest of my body feels like jello or pudding. I took the big orange pill my doctor gave me this morning and let my muscles melt off of me so that all that is left is a puddle of JoAnna. I had no idea back pain could be this bad. I also had no idea that I could lose almost total control of my body from something so incredibly small. I'm supposed to be at work right now.... and I have VBS tonight.... where I'm supposed to be jumping up and down and shouting at children... but right now I can't even will myself to get off the couch to go get some gold fish. And I am really really am craving gold fish...

So I thought to my self....Self, you forgot to blog this Monday do it now. I had this crazy thought that went spinning out of control and manifested itself into a post. And now I am sharing that brain-juice with you.

If I were in a pool right now, I would sink. How come? Because of the power of a tiny insignificant looking pill. It's a horrible feeling to be helpless. It's a scary feeling to know something so small can affect me in such a large way.

But how many times in life do we over look even the smallest things? We don't realize that even the small things affect us in major ways leading to our lives down to the deepest parts of our life ocean. And other times it's the small things that rise us out of the darkness and keep us afloat. It can go both ways.

You may feel like the Captain of a sinking ship at times. Like everything you do is poking holes into your underbelly. But maybe it's time to stop taking drastic measures and start taking small but meaningful steps in the right direction?

Everything happens for a reason and every step you take has a purpose. Whether you think it is significant or not is not the issue. The first step on a dance floor can become a waltz or the first step, if done incorrectly, can become utter humiliation.

What small things are you overlooking? Just a thought.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Work, Play and Big Words

It's Monday and I'm posting this blog. I'm going to warn you...this blog has nothing to do with anything. I'm going to start typing and see what happens. I hope you embark on this journey with me because my soul is overflowing and I'm not sure what's going to take place. So...here we go.

I remember a time when I would read big words and feel very small. Like the word itself contained more letters in it then I had years in my life. I would surely be overtaken by its vastness. There would be no surviving against such curvatures of sound and I would be lost in the eloquence of language. Then I learned that most people do not understand the words that are bigger then the years of my life and things got easier. Fear turned into being intrigued and I started to pursue a love of words, letters and sounds.

Then such a pursuit became a chore when I entered my first real English class. It was as if though someone took a needle to my ever inflating hot air balloon of ink. Words melted off pages like butter on a hot summers day and I stopped loving them. I stopped caring about their curves and the way their sounds formed melodies of meaning. My fascination with words ceased to exist. But why?

The world had told me that my love of words was no longer something to pursue out of passion, but something to pursue out of scholarly advancement. Without a complex vocabulary, my steps in life would be altered in a way that would hold me back from 'opportunity'. But how many times do we do this to the things we once loved? Where will I end up if my love of learning such words has disappeared with the ashes labor and scrutiny? I am no longer free to fail at pronunciations and entanglements. I am judged for my passion and persecuted for my adventure. This is where I realized,
Our fascinations become our obligations.
Our passions become our duties.
Our love becomes our life.

So how do we gain back that spark of romance we once had with the ink blots that twisted into sentences and sent images into our minds? We remember why we once loved them. How must we change our perspective?
Our obligations become our fascinations.
Our duties become our passions.
Our life becomes our love.

Work and play. A saying that has captured the idealistic American life for decades has never before been so mangled in a society and I say...for the better. People strive to hold a job in something they love. And then there are times that we lose that love because it has become our job. But wouldn't the opposite be true if we truly wanted it? To love words again even though I was forced to learn them? If we change our minds, we can then change our hearts. And if we once loved words we can love words again.

I'm not sure where any of this came from or how you might apply it to your life. I just feel that someone out there needed to read this and it's probably you. I guess the moral of the story is to do everything in your power to not lose something you love because it becomes work. It's one of the hardest things to accomplish in life, but frankly we were meant to accomplish it.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Where do you go at the fork in the road?

There comes a moment in everyones life that they realize that they can't possibly go on without God intervening. A moment when we absolutely have no idea where to go from here...
This is the part where we feel like we've finally gotten to a spot in our lives where we have made every right turn and every good choice. But now there's a fork in the road and a catch.

Some of the roads to the left look familiar. You've been part way down that road before but never past a certain point. The road on the right is completely new. So what do you do? Both have unknown destinations and both seem to be where God would lead.

I've learned that God aligns paths perfectly to cross and intersect. He's intricate in the way He winds our lives together to a perfect T. But I've also learned that sometimes going down a completely new road is the only way. So what to do? Go with what you know now and let it lead you or go with what you don't know and pray for the best?

There is no right answer unfortunately. It's all God and His plan. If you don't know what to do don't do anything. My Grandpa used to say that. He was right. Riding the winds of God's glory isn't a bad thing. It means that the puzzle pieces fall into place without you so much as lifting a finger. But the trick is living a life that seeks God first and foremost. Besides He's all we need.

Jeremiah 29:11

New International Version (NIV)

11 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."

It's scary sometimes, hanging on the edge of reason and faith. But God doesn't always call us to be 'reasonable' ...sometimes He called us to just be faithful. Patient and with eyes looking up. The answers in His hands. Last minute decisions maybe in order but He will make it perfectly clear believe me.

God won't let you sleep at night laying on a bed of a bad decision. On the other hand when you've made the right decision it will be the best sleep you've ever had.

So I'm not saying to go with your gut, but I am saying that God makes things pretty darn clear. And when He gives you an answer, be faithful, don't second guess. Stay in Truth and be in God's love.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

It's 11:21, do hard things in life.

So it's 11:21 at night and I should be sleeping but God decided to tell me to write this blog post. I haven't updated in almost two weeks and I'm sorry if you've missed my brain juice :(

I've had a lot going on these past two weeks that have caused me to doubt, become discouraged, and scream like a maniac at my ceiling. I found myself over-thinking, over-working, and wishing every time that clock hit 11:11. Your probably wondering why, well I'll tell you.

So these past two weeks I had: A nervous breakdown about camp, youth group and relationships, upsetting then not upsetting health news, boy issues, and stress leaking out of my ears. To top it all off I started getting nostalgic which is never, ever a good thing.

But God didn't call us to a life of ease. He called us to a life of purpose. I realized this week that if I'm going to chose to live a life different from the norm., I'm going to have to do hard things.

Ask yourself: When I look back on my life in 10 years, will I be satisfied with the view from the hill.?

The view from the hill is the view that everyone sees. Most peoples lives only consist of making it to the top of the hill and then enjoying the view until they pass on. These are the people who watch the others climb their way up the mountain next to the hill.
Those of us to chose to climb the mountain chose a very hard road. A road of persecution for not being 'normal' and for obeying Gods plan no matter how difficult. We stand on the top of the mountain and see everything. We see the view from the hill and beyond. We experience God's power.

So if we chose to take the hard road, what are some things we can do to balance out our lives and make sure we are climbing to the best of our abilities? Once you've even been half way up the mountain, it's hard to go back to the hill. Try explaining a breathtaking view to some people who doesn't understand you at all.

Don't leave the mountain. Press on through the hard things. The reward is far greater and God won't let you fail. And learn to manage your stress and difficulties by letting God take the reigns. Sometimes letting go of something is the hardest thing. Sometimes it's hanging on to something. Ask God, He knows.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Six Degrees from Knowing You

We've all heard the phrase 6 degrees from Kevin Bacon. It means that we are separated from each other by 6 people a piece. You can get to anyone in the world through 6 people you know. For example:

Marge has a cousin Fitzgerald whose best friend Lyle is friends with Jared who happens to know Britney in Las Vegas who works with Samwise whose brother is Kevin Beacon. So technically Marge knows Kevin Bacon.

When I was out on a run yesterday I started thinking about all the people I know and all of the people I don't know and would like to meet. There's plenty of people in this world I would love to talk to and shake their hand. I started thinking of random famous people I'd like to talk to and what I would say to them. I had it all planned out for certain Christian celebrities, making up false realities in my head and laughing out loud. Then I thought to myself, I will get to meet them in heaven.

Woooah. So that's when it hit me. Christians are connected by God on the first degree. So if we go back to our example that would mean that Marge knows Kevin Bacon first hand. All Christians are connected by God and will spend forever together in eternity. That is so cool! We are connected and God is the glue that binds us.

As Christians were all here for one common purpose and that is to glorify and serve God, drawing people to him. Whether everyone knows your name or only the people in your house, you have a greater purpose that units us all.

Just something to think about. I have lots of people I will probably never meet here on Earth that I will love to thank in heaven for their examples they lead while we were here. I'm connected to them by their faith and they are connected to me. Same goes for you. That just shows the vastness and the power of Gods family. Pretty sweet.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Brain Works.

Whenever we are faced with a challenge some of us think about the following things:

What is the probability of the situation working out?
How many different scenarios can arise from this problem?
What is the probable outcome for each of those scenarios?
Which are the best scenario courses of action?

It gets worse...

Of those best courses of action, which will be most likely to succeed?
If one or more of those choices has a desired, probable outcome, which will you chose?

Congratulations- you just took a step into the way my brain works. I hope I didn't confuse you too much along the way. Some people claim I think too much and the truth is I do. I tend to over analyze my situations and dissect them into the simplest forms of matter for processing. But it's not always a good thing (and if you know me, you would never have guessed I think like that because I am generally laid back and easy going). Seeing as we serve a God whose ways are above our ways and thoughts above our thoughts, why do we try so hard to understand?

God always tends to chose the course of action for me that I never would've chosen because the end result, after countless hours of thinking, are always inconclusive. These are the paths I can not see the light at the end of the tunnel in. This requires blind and selfless faith to jump right in and let God light up the path a little at a time along the way.

Honestly this is just what has been on my mind lately. If I can see a probable outcome and a simple solution, it is most likely not what God has for me. On the other hand lately, If the situation seems impossible and no probable outcome can be established, God says to go that way.

So that's what I do. And that's when God makes His plan crystal clear. He is not the author of confusion, but He wants to be the one to show us the clarity. So if we try to figure Gods ways out on our own, we get confused. Everything happens for a reason. God will show you what that reason is. Sometimes you just need to stop searching for it. Sometimes you need to stop questioning it. Let God be God.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Love without limits and bounds.

If I tell you that love knows no limits and knows no bounds what is the first thing that comes to mind?
We often hear stories about the love people have for each other that allows them to over come every obstacle and even defeat evil. At the end of every disney movie it is usually love that breaks the spell and the loveless villain that gets destroyed. We have an understanding that love is a powerful force but we never fully understand it until we see it in action.

There have been countless stories about a parents love for their child, saving them. Or stories about a couple that falls in love and must change the hearts of their families and their entire world in order to be accepted and be together. There are also stories of best friends sticking together and helping each other in their most desperate hour. If love is such a powerful force that it causes people to change their entire lives to pursue it, how can we say that it doesn't exist?

If people loved more they would accomplish more. If they loved even their enemies there would be no reason for fighting. This world destroys love on a daily basis because it realizes how powerful it is.

"For God so loved the world"- a verse we hear all the time but do we really know what that sentence entails? Think about the craziest thing you or someone you know has ever done for love... People risk everything they have for the power of love because they know that love will always triumph over hate. It is a powerful weapon. Once you have it, you don't want to ever let it go. God LOVES us. And if we think the human version of powerful love has had some impressive stories, nothing compares to Gods.

He sent His son to die for us. Love washed away our sins, love raised His son from the grave. Love is what connects us to God. The God of the universe used love as his most powerful weapon to free us from sin. If God's most powerful attribute is His love, why shouldn't our most power attribute be our love?

Love knows no limits, love knows no bounds. We live in a world that restricts and taints love. But the world does this because it knows how powerful love can be, that it can change peoples lives and cause people to climb mountains they never thought possible so they try and keep it at bay. What if we loved like God loves? Even our enemies. Even the people we just don't like. What would happen to this world if we all had the power of love, limitless and boundless?

Monday, May 30, 2011

My weird Dream last night

For the past two nights I've been having the weirdest dreams. It might be because I watched Inception on saturday night with my mom. After I first saw it in theaters I had crazy dreams for a week. Maybe watching it again is just restarting the trend.

I was at this museum that you had to swim through. Yes the museum was half way filled with water and then the art was in protective glass cases on the walls. The water was probably 6 feet deep so if your like me (5'5) you had to swim the whole time! I was with a lot of my friends going from room to room but I kept bugging them because I wanted to go see a particular piece of art. I have no idea what piece of art it was but I wanted to go.

So anyway, a much taller friend of mine with dark hair (although I never saw his face and I don't think I even know him in real life) helped me swim to a staircase and then up to the top floor to see some masterpiece. When we finally go there it turned out the art piece I wanted to see had been replaced with one of those claw machines where you try to get the stuffed animals. So naturally we put our coins in and while still swimming in water, we try to win a stuffed sea otter. We finally won it and when we did the wall and the machine slide to the side to reveal the piece of art I'd been waiting to see.

The art piece was a picture of people sitting in a crowded concert hall watching a UFC fight. I could care less for ultimate fighting so no I have no idea why I dreamed that. Anyway I turned to my friend and told him thank you for bringing me up there because without his help I never would've made it up the stairs and I never would've won that sea otter.

Moral of the story. Everyone needs someone they can rely on. Everyone needs a helping person. Someone who has their back at all times. You can get worn out easily and there's no one there to share in the triumphs of victory. So God gives us people in our lives to work with us and help us carry the load. Sometimes it's hard because we want to accomplish things on our own and sometimes we do that because we think it's easier. But that's not how God designed us.

"Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their work: If one falls down, his friend can help him up. But pity the man who fall and has no one to help him up!"- Ecc. 4:9-10

Monday, May 23, 2011

The Straw That Broke The Camels Back.

I'm sure many of you have heard the phrase, 'the straw that broke the camels back.' What it means is, a camel was carrying a bundle of straw way to heavy for itself and so one more piece of straw being added to the bundle caused the camels back to break. That's all she wrote.

So what does this have to do with anything? Nothing really. Just kidding.

Sometimes we have to be broken in order to let go of something in our lives. Sometimes the tea kettle has to whistle before we realize the waters hot. And sometimes we have to be smacked in the face with a tree branch and get a splinter in our eye before we realize we are probably heading down the wrong path.

Please enjoy the following metaphorical story:

Once upon a time there was a girl named Leia who loved to swim with seals. The seals would splash her, give her piggyback rides, and bring her fish to eat everyday. She loved her seals but one of them was particularly angsty. Seabert didn't like Leia. He would splash her so hard it hurt her skin, he would bring her poisonous fish, and forget piggyback rides, he would take her down into the ocean so far she wasn't sure she'd ever reach the top and be able to breathe! But Leia put up with Seaberts behavior because she loved being with the other seals.

Inside, every time Seabert did something mean it made her mad. And the madness kept building up. Finally, Seabert did something that broke the camels back. Leia was playing with the other seals and Seabert came up to her and punched her in the face with a blowfish. Leia was so hurt and angry she told Seabert to leave now and never come back. So he swam off into the ocean. He came back several days later with an apology fish and asked Leia to forgive him. She did and Seabert was able to stay with the other seals and he and Leia had a mutual understanding to be nice to one another.

The moral of the story is: Sometimes we let things build up instead of letting them go or taking care of them early on. Leia could have avoided being hit in the face with a blowfish if she had confronted Seabert about his behavior early on. Sometimes we hang on to things for dear life because we are so sure we are on the right path or doing the right thing even though along the way the warning signs are blinking in our eyes and we keep getting hurt or jostled about.

After that its like we've been given plenty of warnings and now the only way to get our attention is to be slapped in the face with it. The straw that broke the camels back. The final confirmation that we need to turn around. Or the final confirmation is that we need to get something right.

I'm one of those people who will hang onto something until I know 100% if it's right or wrong usually ending in me being slapped in the face and redirected by God. It's not a terrible thing but it's definitely not the best way to go about things. When God's in it, you don't have to guess whether it's right or wrong. The doors are wide open and there's a peace there.

1 Cor. 14:33 For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches and saints.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Have a Decision to make?

So our decisions are a lot like diving. Sometimes our dives are from a cliff and other times they are from the sidelines of the pool. We walk straight up to certain decision in our lives, we look down at the water below, assess the situation, and decide how and if we will jump.

We do this everyday though. With every choice we make. Even in the slightest of situations we have to make a choice then jump right into our choices and deal with whatever consequences we meet.

Lets say your decision brings you to a cliff because its a big choice. You look down and see the crystal clear waves but there is a sign next to the edge that says piranhas. So hold your breath, look over the edge and fall like an idiot face first into the icy abyss. Way to go. You know that the decision will most likely end in injury or your ultimate doom but you go anyway because lets face it the drop down was really fun. Sure once you hit the lake it'll be horrible but thats all apart of growing up and experiencing life right?

WRONG. So now that you've waisted time getting bitten up and hurt you can climb out of the lake and up to the next cliff and try again. But this time you might actually look before you jump. (This goes with choosing which relationships we get in, obedience with your parents, and where/how you go/perform in school, etc.)

There are big decisions like cliffs that shape who we are and leave us with some nice scares, but there are also little decisions like jumping into a pool from the side that affect how we get to the bigger decisions. And then when we jump and make the right decision we get to focus on how fancy our jump is and try to make the biggest splash!

So think about where God wants you using your faith and jumping in and where God is telling you to steer clear. You won't regret your choices and have your butt bitten by sharks if you look to him for every choice you make.

"If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him." -James 1:5

Monday, May 9, 2011

Who you are

Today I went on an RWJ (Run with Jesus) and we talked about some stuff.

You know, God uses us to our fullest. He uses every single thing about us to show the world something about Himself if we let Him. There are things about us that we don't like. There are things we try to hide and do hide for fear of how the world would respond. I'm not talking about what the world would think. I mean literally how they would respond to everything about us. What would peoples reactions be if

They found out I like this...
They found out I still do this...
They found out my life isn't this...
They found out my secret this...
They found out that I think I'm this or that or whatever the possibilities are endless. And I'm not talking about sin here either. I'm talking about what makes us us.

Do we not realize that God planned out everything we are for His purpose? Everything that we think is not right or stupid, He plans to use.

God made you the way you are so you can reach specific people or a certain person in your lifetime. Looks can be intimidating and He planned every curvature of your face so that you could fulfill His purpose. God has who you will affect with your life planned so intricately He modeled it into our bones and skin. This means there's a reason your nose looks that way and there's a reason your hair is that color and there's a reason your skin is that color and a reason your that height and a reason your that age...

And you might think some of the stuff you like to do is dumb and what you look like and who you are is wrong or awkward and that others won't respond well to it. But think about all the people you can reach because of those attributes. Think of all the people you can reach if you embrace who God has made you and start asking Him how He can use you instead of asking Him how He can change you so that you fit the model of who you think your supposed to be. Let me tell you right now, God doesn't make mistakes so stop asking why did you do this Lord and start asking how can You use this Lord.

If you play sports be the only person not harassing other teams.
If you play video games, be the only person not cussing on vent.
If you model for some random clothing company, be the only person not practically naked.
If you rock at science be the only person advocating for creationism.
Be the only person who looks in the mirror and sees what God sees.
Be the only person who can reach a specific person because of who you are.

Monday, May 2, 2011

USA Victory- Good always Triumphs over Evil

A lot has been going on starting last night and leaking into this morning. The evil Osama Bin Laden has been vanquished bringing about a sweet vengeance that Americans have waited 10 years to experience. Last night I was busy getting my Glee on whenever my Grandmama called me with the news. Immediately we paused Rachel Berry in the midst of epic solo-dom and turned on Fox. Everyone was a buzz about Bin Laden's death and the President told the world that he's been busy working on this operation for a while now. My family celebrated by making a cherry crisp pie and my bestie at the Naval Academy partied with the Seals in a campus wide celebration. Everyone was happy about the glorious defeat of the boss.

With all that being said, I leave you with this to ponder. It took us 10 years to finally initiate a fresh helping of payback, but we did. I've talked about this before in the form of diligence and persistence. A lot can be illustrated from the events of the past week and put into the conforms of our own lives. Let me explain, you see:

Good will always triumph over evil.

No dark force is unbeatable and no wrong can trump right. In the end, the purity of good will expose the darkness of evil. Even if the rest of the world has given up on the fight, there will always be those people who plan on keeping their post until the end. It is through them that we find success. Many people can say that is what happened during our time fighting Bin Laden. Although many of us gave up on the drawn out fight overseas, many brave men and women decided they simply wouldn't let evil win.

LOTR Reference:
If an elf, a dwarf, a human and a wizard had given up on fighting against the power of the ring in the midst of the eye of Mordor, would they ever have gotten a couple of hobbits to Mount Doom?

So who are you going to be? Will you be the kind of person who simply stops fighting whenever you grow tired or wil you keep the post? We will be fighting a spiritual battle against sin and satan for our entire lives. We do not have to sin. We have a choice every time we are tempted to choose darkness or light, good or evil. And you may be battling a specific sin or challenge and yes it may feel like a 10 year tour searching for Bin Laden overseas, but look what happens whenever you don't back down! Victory is sweet, there's light at the end of this tunnel and God's not going anywhere. So if you already know good triumphs over evil, why give up?

Monday, April 25, 2011

Getting Punched in the Face

Sometimes I just want to punch someone in the face. Not literally, but I like to bring my fist as close as I can to their cheek and then stop. Do you know why I like to do this? Because I love peoples reactions. In a normal, everyday setting, most people do not have to worry about getting punched in the face. That's why everyones reactions are always so priceless. I do this a lot specially to my youth kids. We will be at church playing a game and I will turn to one of them and pretend I'm going to upper cut them in the stomach. They usually flinch using their arms and legs to shield themselves and then laugh at me because I'm such a goober. Pretend fighting like this is a lot of fun :D Please don't think I'm a weirdo.

So why do I tell you this?
Sometimes we do things just to see peoples reactions. In fact we do that all the time don't we? We trick people all in good fun. We start arguments or say things to get under peoples skin (I have someone in my life in particular who can just really get under my skin and they know it so they do). Sometimes its positive when we do things like plan surprises to get shocked reactions or profess our love to get stunned reactions. Every thing we do is a constant chain of cause and effect relationship. We act one way and it causes someone else to react a different way. A chain reaction!

And yet other times we react one way and everyone else reacts in that same way. Like at youth wednesday night when everyone was getting loud, socializing before the game. I clapped my hands in an uncomplicated pattern like teachers do in Elementary school and everyone started coping my pattern of clapping. I could hardly believe it. Here were 20 teenagers talking and laughing with their friends and as soon as I started clapping they all joined in like an intense family unit of clappers!

So what are we doing in our lives to get reactions out of people? Are they positive or negative? If we live a life that leads and loves, chances are people will react differently around us then they do everyone else. Ever notice how a friend will stop cussing whenever certain people come around or even when you come around because you don't cuss? Or how people immediately become threatened and put their guard up whenever a mean face is in the room. I think we have more power to persuade then what we realize. So what kind of reactions are you causing?

Just something to think about.
That is all.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Unforgiving Trees

So Today I had to work out in the yard pulling weeds from our ugly rock garden in the back. The rock garden is an evil abyss of unforgiving pain. I was stabbed by the thorn in the picture (yes that is my hand in a glove and the evil thing which has caused me to lose feeling in my palm). I should've wore my suit of armor whenever I was asked to trudge through the forbidden forest. But I underestimated the power of the dark side.

Let me tell you a story about how my trees in my yard turned into unforgiving forces of evil. In the year 2002, Kansas City was struck by an ice storm of epic proportions. Half of the city was covered in darkness and people were struggling to survive off of canned meats. My backyard could've been likened to Narnia in the times of the White Witch. I could almost see animal slaves running about the streets preparing the way for her highness. The Trees of the rock garden before the ice storm were gorgeous. They sprouted beautiful purple flowers making onlookers feel like they were getting a glimpse into the gardens of Naboo. But once the ice storm struck, my trees were never the same.

My trees used their branches to form and ice canopy much like a tent, shielding the rocky bottom and helpless animals seeking refugee from the elements. I broke a hole into the side of the icy fortress of branches and stood in the middle of the garden. All 5 trees combined created a world of their own. It was the most beautiful sight I can honestly say I have ever seen. Standing in the midst of their haunting elegance, surrounded by an icy cave, I understood how an eskimo can make a home in an igloo. Glossy, clear and brilliant.
After the ice had melted and spring began it's ever anticipated return, the trees that once bloomed purple buds now sprouted a new type of leaf and eventually formed thorns. The thorns developed a type of poison that makes the skin burn and swell keeping my family as far away as possible. Every year, one of us braves the rock garden to pull weeds and make it look presentable. But anyone looking inward can see that these trees are threatening and could start thrashing their branches at any second like a whomping willow.

Today at church Pastor Shawn talked about forgiveness and just how serious it is. Sometimes in life we get hurt so badly that as we start to heal we develop thorns. It's a sort of defense mechanism that shields our body, heart, and mind from further attack. But the downside is, our new defenses make it hard to let anyone in and even harder to forgive. Sometimes we are hurt so badly we can't help but develop a few thorns or even at times become an entirely different tree.

The Best thing about God is that He forgives us no matter what. All we have to do is ask. He doesn't develop thorns whenever we hurt Him and He is the same yesterday, today and forever. So if we need help forgiving, we should ask God to help us get rid of our thorns. God is more powerful then we give Him credit for. I think we forget that we have the best defense in the universe which is why we tend to make our own defenses. Forgive with a heart like Gods. Shed your thorns. God wants to give you a heart of forgiveness and only you can let him.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Diligence! Diligence! Here's a Quotes Quiz for ya

Here's a quiz for you. See if you can tell me who said what quotes:
-"Diligence! Diligence!"
-"Do or do not, there is no try"
-"I'm Pressing on, pressing on"
-"Never give up, Never surrender!"
-"We must try not to sink beneath our anguish, but battle on."
-"All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given to us. There are other forces at work in this world, besides the will of evil."

Before I tell you who said these quotes I want to point out what they all have in common. Each quote is talking about perseverance. What does that mean you ask? It means to keep on keeping on when the going gets tough. Because when the going gets tough, the tough get going (Yes I'm full of all sorts of amazing quotes today!).

When I was on my run today, my shinsplints were screaming at me and my side was aching like a polar bear in the desert, but running is like life. Sometimes it hurts so badly to do what you know is right and preserve. But if you do, the accomplishment you feel at the end of that third mile is out of this world! And your so happy that you made it you could start dancing in the middle of the street (in fact that's what I did).
God has some inspirational quotes of his own.

I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus. Philippians 3:14

Galatians 6:9 Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.

So don't feel defeated in this life for doing good. For lack of better phrasing God is the light at the end of the tunnel. Good will always triumph over evil. Your circumstances may seem challenging (or even painful) but we have a big God! Like a really really big God! Go to Him and He will help you be diligent and press toward the mark.

So here's the answers
-Mermaid man and Barnacle Boy
-Relient K
-Tim Allen in Galaxy Quest

Monday, April 4, 2011

Do you want a taco?

Sometimes I literally feel like a taco. Now stay with me on this because I will explain why that is so.

Today I was driving home from doing an observation at an Elementary school and I spotted across the street the glorious 8O% beef establishment from heaven known as TBell.

My stomach told me it was ready for a chalupa so naturally I cut 5 people off and crossed 8 lanes of traffic so that I could reach my destination in a timely manner (exaggeration).

After receiving my indulgence I returned to my normal route on the hwy and began to munch on happiness. It was only then that I realized what a bad idea it is to Taco and Drive.
Needless to say the tomatoes, cheese, 8O% beef and other began falling out of the ridiculously crunchy shell and all over my car/seat/self.

I yelled "Cruse you TBELL!" and began to brew up a fresh pot of angst toward my favorite fast food kingdom. That's when I realized that it wasn't TBell's fault that I was now wearing my chalupa as a sundress, it was my fault.

You see, I took a precious gift from TBell and I ate it wrong resulting in a catastrophic event.
How many times do we take what God has given us, use it incorrectly, and create a mess?
God gives us our talents and our livelihood and sometimes we don't use them the way He intended.

If God gave us the gifts of music and we aren't playing for Him, what good does our talent do? Everyone has an ear for sloppy music (taco music). But that was just one example.
So next time your thinking about all God has done for you, imagine this. What does my gift/life from God look like? Is it being used in a way that it was supposed to or is it in pieces all over JoAnna's car?

Monday, January 24, 2011

Lego Lives

Last night I kept having dreams that I was a computer trying to find solutions to problems. The "problems" were lego characters of my friends and family each inside their own individual boxes. I was required to sort them into certain life situations that consisted of file folders on my desktop. I dragged and dropped my friends and family into certain situations trying to make sure they all fell into situations they could handle with equipment to do so.
At one point a Darth Vader lego showed up and sent Stormtroopers into all the files, lasers firing. It was a virus of the sorts and I could do nothing but hope that my friends and family members could defend themselves with the gear and loot I had given them.
As a super computer I had the ability to send in antivirus software (in my dream they were miniature Zeldas) into the files to destroy the clones. After the battle was won and the clones defeated, I became a lego myself and had to defeat the boss (Lord Vader) twice. Eventually I won and my friends and family came to celebrate with me in the screensaver of the Shire.
I immediately summoned a mage to come in and restore their health. Victory was ours!

When I woke up this morning I thought to myself...wow self... that's kind of like what God does for us. He never puts us in situations that we can not handle with His help and He gives us the tools we need to defeat all of our enemies. Our job is to make sure we are leveling up. We need to be constantly seeking Him and trying to build up our defenses with His tools (the Bible, prayer, etc.) In the end He will defeat the boss.