Thursday, August 28, 2014

Missions- where my heart is

I'm reading about philosophy about arguments: premises, validity, and soundness to reach a conclusion of logic but somewhere my heart sees between the words: Missions, love, orphans. Is it logical for me to be studying philosophy and drugs and society and health when I want to spend my life in missions? My mind just can't seem to concentrate or to focus. These classes are really challenging me- they are only interesting for so long. I can't help dream and day dream about Peru, and Africa, and India, and every other country with NEEDS so very BIG.

I really want to give my life to missions. My heart misses it so much. I want to work at an orphanage. I want to advocate for human rights and maybe work at World Vision. I know I need to graduate with an education- but wow this is so hard. Studying is so foreign to me now =( My room seems such a lonely depressing place. All I want to be is OUTSIDE and with God and serving others and playing with kids and doing mission work and having friends.. and not studying.

My goal for this year is to FOCUS. So often in the past, I have ruined relationships: with God and with others by being too busy. This year I want to focus on three things: 1. God, 2. School work, and 3. Relationships. It's so much easier than it sounds though. Honestly, I'm really struggling with the transition back to college from mission work and summer camp.

I know that God has plans for me where He wants me thus I'm trying not to live in the past nor in the future. I must do my best with my classes so that I can graduate with a health science degree. Southern is a training place for God's workman and woman ;) I am so grateful to God for the opportunity to go to such an amazing and spiritual school. I am so blessed. May God give me a grateful heart =)

Friday, August 22, 2014

Rich

It kinda puts me in shock realizing that I attend a beautiful college that costs $26,000 and with $32 a child in Ethiopia or Africa could learn how to read and receive an education. 26,000 could provide educations for 812 children.
It kinda makes me think- watching my video of myself and almost everyone else and their mom- pouring buckets of CLEAN water on their heads without thinking twice, to advocate and publicize- when 3.4 million people die annually due to a lack of clean water.
Maybe we aren't just lucky people; maybe we are richly blessed by a God who loves us and who has provided for us. Maybe we should think about how God is asking us to give and to bless others today. Happy Sabbath!

If I am richly blessed.. the question is How does God want me to use His blessings?
How can I be more generous?
Jesus said the road to heaven is narrow and that it is more difficult for a camel to go through an eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter heaven.
God, what can I give to you right now?
What can I give to you this school year?

My money??
My time??
My thoughts??

May you show me God how I can give back to you and bless others.

Happy Sabbath from Southern!

I am at Southern Adventist University. God is so good and He has blessed my family and let them come up here with me for about a week to camp and just hang out. I've finally gotten my class and work schedules figured out and I've unpacked alot. Today my family got to just hang out around Chattanooga and explore. It was so fun! We went to my favorite restaurants in Chattanooga and we rode the Incline and explored Lookout Mountain. It is so beautiful here!

A year ago, I was flying to Peru and getting adjusted at this time. Last year was a year I don't think I will ever forget. The friends, the travel, the orphans, the doctor, the diseases, the children- there was so much love, so much joy, and so many deep challenges that I had to fight my way to overcome. Now that I"m back at Southern when people ask me how Peru was, all I seem to remember is the good and my quick reply is "awesome". Honestly though- it was more than awesome- it was God blessed- incredible and miraculous. I hope and pray that if you have the opportunity to go on a mission trip or volunteer as a missionary, you will say yes because it will be an unforgettable journey with God.

Anyways, that was last year, and while I honestly wish I was traveling to Zimbabwe's children's orphanage this year or next year, I know God has called me to a beautiful campus in Tennessee to study and make friends and just glorify Him. College can often be a selfish time for college students- but it doesn't have to be. My desire is that this year I fall in love with Jesus even more and really become God-focused and disciplined. I want to take my walk with God to the next level. I believe that Jesus is coming soon and that we must be focused and perseverant and studious in reading our Bible and prayer. That's what I want- I want to get that focused. That being said a huge weekness for me is busyness. This year I want to strive to make my God time something that happens every single day- no excuses. We can say 'but that's so hard" or "I need to study" but in the end, our time with Christ and the things we do for Him are the only things that will matter.

Dear God,
I pray you take my selfish heart and redesign it.
Take my silly dreams and redefine them.
Take away my stress.
Help me realize I am blessed.
May I walk in all your ways.
That I can serve you every day.
Help me really truly know you.
And teach me how to show you
Every day- this be my prayer Lord Jesus.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Human Sex Trafficking

"There is no human rights subject
on which governments have said so much
but done so little” M. Cherif Bassiouni
I didn't learn about human sex trafficking for a long time. Too long of a time I believe. I had heard the rumors ya- I guess I heard them beginning in high school. But it wasn't until college that I truly began to understand, this is real. These are a few facts about sex trafficking that I found from NVader http://www.nvader.org/sex-trafficking/ as site working to stop the sex trade. There is a problem if people don't even know. There is a bigger problem if people don't even care. This is slavery- like the black and white a while back- yes this is like that, maybe worse who knows- but this is real too. And we can be abolitionists or we can not care- we only have two options.

  • There are more people in slavery now than at any other time in history.
  • More then 2 million woman and children are trafficked into the commercial sex industry each year.
  • Human trafficking is the fastest growing means by which people are enslaved and the fastest growing international crime, second only to illegal drug trafficking
  • Human trafficking earns criminal networks more than US$32 billion annually and within the next ten years many estimate that sex trafficking will become the number one source of income for organised crime
  • 80% of those trafficked are female and 50% of those trafficked are children
  • The majority of trafficked victims come from the poorest and most vulnerable people groups on earth
  • The profits from just one trafficked woman or child average around US$250,000 US per year.  This is money she will never see.

Now I know what your thinking Great but too bad I can't do anything about it right? But that's so wrong. Because advocacy and knowledge are so valuable in helping to stop human trafficking. To start out with, to really help someone, you have to know what they are really like. In order to be a good advocate, you have to know the ins and outs of your cause and what organizations are the best at helping. Thus the first step is research.
-Research - Advocacy -Prayer - Starting Movements  - Starting petitions  - Stopping Porn

Things to research to begin:

1. The relationship between porn and the sex trade. You need to know so that you can fight against porn
(Pornography comes from the Greek words porne, meaning “prostituted woman” or “prostitution”, and the word graphos, meaning “writings.” If we can begin to comprehend that what is depicted in pornography is not simply sex or sexuality, but commercial sexual exploitation, we can begin to rightly appreciate the negative and corrosive effects of this content. (Covenant Eyes). http://www.covenanteyes.com/2011/09/07/the-connections-between-pornography-and-sex-trafficking/

"if prostitution is the main act, porn is the dress rehearsal" (the Johns)

"On other occasions victims are trafficked for the sole purpose of porn production. In today’s era of webcams and chatrooms, the lines between interactive pornography and virtual prostitution websites have been blurred.  (Covenant Eyes)"


2. Read these amazing stories. The first is  about a wife who is a missionary with her family in Asia and has to let her husband go into the brothels every day to help stop the sex trade. http://deeperstory.com/on-sending-my-husband-into-brothels-a-guest-post/
The second is about what it really takes to rescue a sex slave. http://www.relevantmagazine.com/reject-apathy/what-it-takes-free-sex-slave

3. This is a really great video about why we should do something. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7c42QmLnaec

So yes this is just a start. But now you know- so now it's your choice. To care or not to care.

Transitions

I feel like the word "transitioning" could describe my life right now pretty well.

Transitioning from Peru back to America, from my family to summer camp, from camp counselor to spiritual director, from summer camp to my house in Bixby, from my house to college.

There are so many variables involved in these transitions: poverty to the American dream; best friends who I've spent the last eight months with to college students I haven't seen in a year; dragging my feet to being a leader; and traveling all the way from Peru, Argentina, and Oklahoma to Southern Tennessee.

I feel a little lost in between all the pieces. Like hey I'm just trying to catch up- give me a break ok ;)

I believe that spending time in missions is the BEST investment I have ever made and will ever make. Because it's an investment in Christ and in service and in evangelism. It's not like "let me go save the world" it's like "let me let Jesus show me what the real world is like and what my naked heart is like." Sooooooo yes my heart is still so focused on travel and human rights and sex trafficking, and Africa, and my orphanage in Peru when I know I must transition yet again to college. And I know that won't be easy. At least at summer camp, you are still serving others, taking care of kids, continuing God's ministry...

So often college seems so egotistical- so self-centered. But I know that God can use us wherever we are and that we can serve God in college and that He can use our classes and a wonderful Christian education to prepare us to better serve Him. Ya ya I know. It's just such a huge change from teaching at schools, and being "doctors" and instructors, and doing literature evangelism.

And then there's the whole fact that I don't even know what exactly I'm studying/ doing. Please don't judge me yet. I know you're writing me off right now (that dumb girl is wasting her money going to college because she doesn't know what she wants to do with her life.. lalalalala missions won't make money. I know) I've heard it all. I need to choose something practical and sustainable.

But what if God isn't calling me to a typical career in America with a great pay check and financial stability? What if God calls me to travel to different countries and take care of children and not have much money? What if I don't have an income? What if I do have to literally rely on God for each and every thing and rely on donors money? Or what if God wants me to work for a nonprofit like World Vision or Compassion International? Or maybe God wants me to be a child life specialist and help children who have terminable diseases in the United States. Or maybe God wants me to do all that haha who knows. I'm waiting on God just like you are waiting on me to respond to your question of "What are you doing with your life? Why are you wasting your money on precious, expensive Adventist education?" And just like you, I don't know what I'm doing. But I do know who I'm following and where He leads me, I will follow. (No vuelve atras. No vuelven atras).

I'm leaving for Chattanooga tomorrow. Soon I will be a college student again at Southern Adventist University.





Sunday, August 17, 2014

Sin stings and shame

Today I was trying to work out- trying to do something good for myself- I was trying to do the right thing and then all of us a sudden, out of nowhere this mean and huge wasp flies in and attacks my neck. I try to pull the thing off of me and it's a real struggle and then I run. I run into my house screaming and grab ice and it hurts and stings and hurts. But I don't go to that shed any more, and continue my life like normal inside, trying to ignore the stinging.

For me, sin sometimes does the same thing. It's often totally out of nowhere, unsuspected, out of the blue- me trying to do right- and then all of a sudden, something creeps in. And I sin, and I mess up, and I fall on my face and make myself a disgrace, and yell, and scream.. and then I RUN. I run away from it and I run inside and change directions and and try to continue my life like normal, trying to avoid the pain and shame.
But shame doesn't just go away on it's own.

I've always been a runner. I remember when I was 16 and was frustrated with this guy about something dumb. Annoyed at myself and the conflict, I avoided him for an entire week. We had used to be best friends, but I just stopped talking to him. It wasn't fair at all- but for me, I just couldn't deal with the problem, so I ran. I hate conflicts. I hate problems and confrontation. I'll run millions of miles in order to avoid someone who I've had issues with.

I mean sometimes it seems so much easier to run then to face the truth. Sometimes we have this shame that we could hide for so long and just thinking about laying it out exposed and vulnerable makes us wanna scream.

But is God ok with running? What do we do with our shames and sins? What do we do when we mess up and it affects other people? And what do we do when we are leaders and people have better expectations of us and then we just ruin everything (or so it may seem to us at the time). Sin hurts and it stinks and it stings, but we can't just run forever.

Where does sin, shame, fear, insecurity, doubt, and anger all come from? They come from the Devil? Thus where must we run when we feel any of these things? We must run to the arms of our Heavenly Father. No it doesn't mean that our mistakes won't have consequences and that immediately we will have all the answers. We can't change the way we think in a few days or our sinful patters quickly. But our Heavenly Father offers us forgiveness, grace, love. He wants to take our shame. He died on the cross for us so that he could say "I love you even more than this."

In 1 John 2:1 Christ says that of course He doesn't want us to sin. But if we do sin, we have an advocate waiting to defend us. This advocate is here to cover us up and to say "No do not be ashamed because the grace of God has covered you." Jesus Christ, our advocate, says "Don't hide from me. Nothing you do can ever make me love you less."

May God forgive us for our sins as likewise we forgive those who have hurt us and may God give us the courage to be honest with ourselves, with God, and even with one another to expose our mistakes and sins so that we can begin to overcome.

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Generosity- just one of God's aromas

Christians should carry with them wherever they go, the sweet fragrance of God's righteousness.” I believe that these fragrances should include: Love, Faith, Patience, Hope, Joy, Peace, Kindness, Care, Hospitality, and Grace.

Today I want to talk about generosity. Why is it important we develop generous hearts? What difference can a generous person make? And how can we start being more generous.

I don't know why but I really struggle with generosity. I am blessed. I go to an Adventist college, have always had plenty of good food to eat, and have even spent an entire eight months as a missionary in an impoverished country-- and still I'm not very generous.

And I didn't realize quite how selfish I am with my money and possessions until I saw someone truly generous and compared myself to them. Normally, I don't believe it's good to compare ourselves with others. But there's some people (probably a rare 3%) who are so awe- inspiring and just motivating- they push you to do better in your own life and be a better steward of God.

Now the question I have to ask myself is why am so stingy? Why am I not generous? What is the factor holding me back? As I thought about possibilities to this question, I have only come up with 4 solutions.

1. I don't believe that God has richly blessed.
2. I do not trust God to bless me when I give to others.
3. I am selfish and want to hoard all my money for myself. Afterall, I will need it at some point right.
4. I don't want God to bless me with more.

Now when I read these solutions over to myself, it's easy to think "no, none of those are me." But if you truly think about them, you might realize you do believe one of these things just a little bit. Like do you really believe that you are blessed? My parents have been saying this whole "richly blessed" thing alot lately and it's starting to rub off. At first it kinda annoyed me, because I was like "No mom and dad, we don't have that much money. We can't be sending other people this much money in gift cards or taking our friends out to eat." But then I started to think about Peru and service and just God's blessings. I am richly blessed and so are you. We are the wealthy in the world and the saddest part about it is we live our whole lives worrying about money and if we have enough. We are the wealthy. We are the 5%- who do have money for insurance, tv, and iphones. We are rich and richly blessed, so we might as well stop being selfish hoards of God's blessings. Thus there is no excuse why you can't be generous.

Excuse number three kinda goes along with this. "I am selfish and want to hoard all my money for myself because I will need it someday." I just think that this is a terribly sad way to live because I know a few rich people who are totally friendless. Well that's a lie, they buy off their friends. But what kind of friends are those? I will tell you the kind they are- the kind that will leave you and talk behind your back every single day. They are not true friends that love you. Being selfish won't help you be happy. It won't even help you live a long life. America and the media tries to sell you out on the latest gadgets but things and materials can never take the place of God or God-blessed relationships.

Speaking of God, let's look at excuse number two and four. If we are Christians, we are not simply encouraged to give. We are commanded to give. If we are selfish hoards- we are following the Devil. In Matthew 25, Jesus says Whatever you did for the least of these you did for me, whatever you didn't do for them, you didn't do for me. And He says in the last days, for those of us who never gave to the needy, the orphaned, or the hungry- He would say "I never knew you". Thus God says I gave to you. I blessed you because I love you. But I don't love you any more than anyone else thus I blessed you and I expect you to use that blessing to bless others. And not just that, but God loves a cheerful giver. And He says that when we give, we can even test Him out on this, but when we give He will multiply our blessings and bless us even more. So do you not want to be more blessed? It's kinda like this..

For Christmas when Tommy was eight Hid dad gave Him a colored yo-yo- it was pretty cool, the latest gadget at the time, and costs an entire $40. Tommy's dad told him to share with his brothers and sisters but Tommy was too worried his siblings would break the yo-yo. He didn't want to break it either. Instead of play with his yo-yo and share it with his friends and family, he hid it under his pillow. Once in a while, he would get it out to look at it and admire it, clutching it as if it was his greatest pearl in between his two little hands.

Next Christmas, Tommy's father wanted to get Tommy a collectors train that was worth $250 but he knew that Tommy's little brother Blake wanted the train as well. Blake had gotten a baseball last Christmas and his whole family had played with it all year. It had black spots and was so well worn- but the family had had so much fun. Tommy's dad thought about who he should give the new train set too: Blake or Tommy. Tommy still hadn't learned how to share. The father decided to give the brand new collectors train to Blake this Christmas, so the whole family could enjoy the fun.

God is like Tommy's father in a few ways: 1. He is rich. 2. He is not worried about our money or our financial situation. 3. He has presents and blessings just waiting for us. 4. He knows our hearts and if we are sharing and caring or if we are greedy. 5. He doesn't want to waste our blessings and will bless the person whom He trusts will share His blessing and bless others.

Thus why are we so stingy? Why do we hold onto our little yo-yo's as if they are all that life is about? May we let go of our greed, selfishness, and hoarding and keep our hands palms up- ready to give to share others and ready to recieve more blessings from God.

Do you want a practical image of what God's generosity looks like? My mom- Holly Bernhardt is checking out at the store. She sees a small box of chocolates that she really wants and decides to go ahead and purchase them. She hardly ever purchases these special, expensive chocolates. While checking out she notices two little girls to the right who are waiting for their mom to check out. She doesn't' know them but she guesses the little girls would like a piece of chocolate. She talks to the small girls- quickly becoming friends- and shares with them her precious chocolates- for no reason, just because she's kind. The little girls are SO EXCITED. Then up comes child number three and four to the cash register. My mom- without a concern- reaches in her small box of chocolates and takes out two more expensive chocolates. These kids' days are made! This is an example of generosity. Would you give up your favorite, expensive chocolate? Ya I didn't think so ;)

Saturday, August 9, 2014

10,000 Blessings


These are all huge blessings! I am awestruck by the God of the Universe and how much He loves and cares for me. He has helped me achieve some of my biggest dreams and given me people who love me so much.

Once I asked God why He created me so blessed with such amazing friends and family, health, a nice house, a bed, food. He answered me, ya know. He told me He blessed me so that I can bless others. And I believe He gives that call to each of us.

 Today I want to talk specifically about the blessings of beautiful relationships.. I believe that My God is a God of relationships- a passionate lover of friendship, family, and intimacy- and that He created us to love others and to become intimate with Himself and with other Christ-followers.

I once heard a friend tell me that I should look and evaluate critically the closest 5 people to me in life because I am a combination of them. For me, it would be really hard to choose just 5 people because I have so many wonderful friends and true role models in Christ. And I know if it weren't for their encouragement and love, I would be such a different person than I am today. I thank God for those people. I don't know how to express how grateful I am to God for giving me so many inspirational people and role models.

There's so many people who have encouraged me in my faith and majorly changed the way I think about God. I just want to reflect right now on some of the people who changed my spiritual life the most (You don't have to read but I encourage you to reflect to yourself and think about who has really brought you closer to God and helped change your life.)

I also encourage you to find spiritual role models or pray for one if you don't feel like you have one in your life. I prayed to God and He answered my prayer multiple times with friends or adults with wisdom. You can even choose an accountability partner who can help you keep accountable to God with prayer and Bible study. My accountability partner is Bernice and she helps me so much to remember to pray and have faith and just wait on God.

I also pray that God would help me to be one of those people that could bless and encourage others.

Proverbs 18: 24 A man of many companions may come to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.

Just a few of MY PEOPLE
Mom- Love, compassion, acceptance, hospitality
Dad- Love, Bravery, Initiative, wisdom
Jenniffer- Generosity
Glenda- Guidance
Angie- Love
Michelle- Grace, beauty, feminity
Stephen- Biblical Counsel, Advice
Priscilla- fervent Bible study
Arelli- Grace, Gentleness
Tobias- fervent Bible study, faith
Matthew H- Advice, prayer, faith
Coach Walker- Love, acceptance, kindness
Emily- guidance, role model
Aimee- counsel, inspiration, faith
Katie Kat- Love, kindness, acceptance, grace, beauty
Arianna- joy, acceptance
Megan- ambition
Allie- acceptance, grace, love, gentleness
Bernice- Bible study, encouragement, faith, prayer
Sneja- faith, joy
Shawna- wisdom
Joe- Bible study, prayer, guidance
Geraldo- wisdom, encouragement





Thursday, August 7, 2014

Fall gently

What if I fall?
Oh my darling, you're going to fall. When you climb up high, your going to fall. You’ll never touch the sky.
You can keep going. You can keep reaching. But you’ll never get too high.

But when you fall. I hope you see that life isn’t just a simple dream. I hope you fall hard enough but not too hard.
I hope you fall hard enough to look at the floor.
I hope you fall hard enough to realize you are not invincible.
I hope you fall hard enough to look around you and see that everyone else has fallen too.
And I hope that you don’t lay down there too long.
I hope you get up and climb-
but never climb too high.
But I hope the way you fell…
taught you to climb differently.
And I hope that when you climb again
It’s with the grace of a child
And the gentleness of a tree."

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Crazy Busy

"If God can't make you bad He will make you busy" -it's funny how this quote written on my laptop home page along with 8 other "sticky notes" never changed anything in my life. I wonder why.

I've always been a busy person - non committed- but big on trying things, doing things, checking them off the list- and once I get them, never going back. I used to be proud of this- that I'm so great at multitasking- "juggling"- but unfortunately it's not always the blessing you may think.

You see my dad and brother like to tell me this distraction and multitasking is why I'm not extremely great at anything (not exactly their words) but you get the gist. I can juggle pretty good (working on 5 balls, knives, and fire) but not good enough to compete or make money, I am pretty smart but not smart enough to get a full right, pretty athletic but not athletic enough.. The list goes on. They like to tell me that you can be amazing at one thing- and devote your life too it- or be good at alot of things.

I like to call myself well rounded.

Until recently, I had never realized how much Business is of the Devil. It's not productivity. Too much business is a sin. And why is it a sin? Productivity becomes your idol.

This summer at camp, I tried to have three jobs- counselor, lake lifeguard, and spiritual director. I loved being a counselor but unfortunately my time and energy with my campers and co-counselor was always stolen. I used to love lifeguarding and driving the boat- but it often became a time to brainstorm about the many things I would need to do that day. And I was so pumped about being spiritual director- but it was a hot mess of too many to- do lists.

And honestly it was probably my worst summer ever at Wewoka Woods. Not because of one job, nor the staff, nor anything else- simply because I was too busy. I was too busy to have friends. Too busy to hang out with my best friends. Too busy to laugh and be crazy. And too busy to find God.
This I do regret- but with every mistake and hardship- there is a lesson that can be learned or missed. Right now I am trying to learn this lesson because I know that being busy is a HARD thing for me.

Why is busy so terrible? (I'm going to use the book "Crazy Busy" by Kevin Deyoung to help me)
1. It steals your joy.
2. Busyness and cares of this world can consume our lives and make it difficult to find God.
3. Busyness can cover up the sins in your life and rot in your souls.
4. Busyness can hide your need of God and keep you from spending time with Him.

"Busyness does not mean that you are a faithful or fruitful Christian . It only means you are busy, like everyone else."- Kevin Deyoung

Now here are some trends of why we may be so busy. If we can admit that these are the reasons Why we are so busy- and realize they are often fallacies- we can overcome them. (Deyoung)

1. People Pleasing- We do whatever makes other people happy. Jesus was not a people pleaser. He was a God- pleaser. The only person we need to please is the Lord.
2. Performance Evaluation- You are not indispensable. You do not make life work and you are not the life-line nor supergirl/ superman. You do not have to do everything.
3. Possessioins. Working hard to save to get more possessions. Christ asks us not to invest in worldly things that will soon fade away.
4. Proving myself. If someone does not respect you after you have done a good job, let them go. We cannot prove ourselves to everyone.
5. Poor Planning. We put too many things into our schedule.
6. Pride- We post on facebook to please others, we want to do a good job because we feel pride in our work, we worry about our own reputation.

I think business is one of the worst feelings in the world- because you give up your peace and joy for restlessness and anxiousness. Not just that, but when you choose to be busy, you choose to be lonely. Often you hurt the people in your life that truly matter the most to you.

For my life, one of the greatest contrasts is how I lived in Peru when I had all the time in the world compared to how I lived this past summer as Spiritual director when I was soooo busy. Now I understand why I want to go out in missions. Missions normally helps alot with business because it takes away daily distractions, many jobs, media, and makes you focus on one thing.

But I don't want to live my life BUSY anymore, even if I am living here in America.
I need to Stop and refocus my life on God and the things that matter. If you want too as well, here are some simple ideas.
First evaluate your priorities and what you want to do the most in life. Then evaluate where you spend your time. Next circle the places where you are spending time that are not in your priorities. For me this would be pinterest, internet browsing, shopping, movie watching, eating junk food, ect.
Next decide how you will stop wasting time doing things you do not care about.
Since I often do things radically, too radically, here are my ideas on how to free up my life. These are goals, not rules. And I will be trying this out and seeing how much I like it, not setting a time limit.
Oh my here goes. Alright I will not be blogging for a little while- sorry friends.

Some radical solutions for my distracted, busy life:
  1. Social Media and Internet Fast- this means no blogging, no reading, no researching- only checking email once a day. No facebook and definitely no pinterest.
  2. No reading books just for fun. No reading useless reading material. No reading Christian fix-its until I have been “full” of the world of God.
  3. No movies unless my friends beg me to watch them- and it is a “friendship investment” not a filler or fad thing to do.







Saturday, August 2, 2014

What WE (are supposed too) believe

I would like to write about what a SEVENTH DAY ADVENTIST believes  because shamefully I believe many of us are not properly taught and neither do we understand. Thus to defend and participate in something without research, knowledge, and understanding is shameful and stupid. We must know what we believe in order to defend it, teach it, and participate fully in our church.

Let's start with the meaning of a Seventh Day Adventist:  a Sabbath day (Saturday) keeper AND believing that Jesus will come soon.

Thus if you don't keep the Sabbath day holy from work why are you an SDA?
If you are not preparing for Jesus's coming then what are you doing? Why has the focus lately shifted from "Jesus is coming soon" to other things?

We are also unique from every other religion because of three things:
            "1.We are the only people who find our prophetic roots, or history, predicted in Revelation 
* cleansing of the sanctuary-1844- birth of Adventism- predicted as "little book" or chapter of Daniel finally revealed. It was sealed until the proper time. (2300 day prophecy)

            2.         We are the only people who find our prophetic identity defined in Revelation 12.
* The Bible talks about a remnant people or church who have two specific characteristics which we claim to have as Adventists: 1. keeping all 10 commandments (we keep the Sabbath day God commanded holy)2. Spirit of Prophecy (Ellen G. White).

Ellen G White and the Spirit of Prophecy is a central part of Adventistm.
Do you believe that we are the remnant and what should this mean to us?

            3.         And we are the only people who find our prophetic message and mission given in Revelation 14. "

* 3 Angel's Message: final message of warning to the world
The First Angel's Message calls us to worship our Creator God and recognize the hour of judgment.
The Second Angel's message shares what will happen to Babylon.
The Third Angel's message calls us to keep God's commandments and not obtain the mark of the beast.

http://www.whiteestate.org/resources/nix/unique_movement.html

Friday, August 1, 2014

How to stay Christian in college

"How to stay Christian in college" is a book I found on Amazon, recommended for Godly teens to read. The title really bothers me. All I need to do is just stay where I'm at, stay Christian, bribe me to return to the back row- left pew week after week so that I will survive? What about growth?

I believe that college is like a ladder for the rest of your life. In college, we teens are finally let go of and given the choice of how we would like to work the ladder/ how we are going to live. We can ascend the ladder or descend the ladder with our thoughts, words, and actions. We make the biggest choices of our life during college which will either motivate us to keep climbing up or drag us to the very bottom rungs of the ladder of life. We choose who we are going to spend the rest of our lives with, what we are going to spend the rest of our lives doing, and what type of person we are going to invest in becoming.

We often point fingers at the church benchwarmers. You know, the folks that come to church for pot luck, say Happy Sabbath, and you never hear from then again- until someone in their family gets in an accident or they need extra help. Often it's mediocricity, Christianity on the fence, or One Day a Week Jesus- lovers. Whatever you want to call them.

But here is my question: If you don't get serious about Jesus in college, then when are you going too? When are you going to put on your big girl panties and realize you are now living in the REAL WORLD. You are not a naieve child anymore, your life will not last invincible, and your choices will start leading you to consequences whether good or bad.

Now is the time. Now is the time for Christian youth to not just stand firm, but to equip, to become theologically informed and well-invested in prayer and the Bible. Now is the time for us to begin our place as leaders in the church. We must start taking responsibility and learning.

We must learn what we stand for and study so that we are firmly rooted in Christ. Afterall, soon we will be leading families and having children. Do we want to teach them what we have been told? Or what we have read, prayed about, researched, and believe with all our hearts?

Now is the time to not just stay Christian, but truly surrender our lives to God and the study of His Word. Will you get serious about God today and commit to doing so through your college years?