Sunday, February 14, 2010

Happy Singles' Awareness Day!

Hey you all! You probably haven't hear of Singles' Awareness Day, have you? Well, actually, I think you have. It's my fancy name for Valentines Day. Why? Because if you're single, you're aware of it. =D

Okay, just kidding! One of my friends told me about that name for Valentines, and I thought it was too funny not to share! =) Anyway, I hope you all have a lovely Valentines Day! Here's a couple of my favorite Valentine videos (just for laughs)....

EDIT: Whoa! I just realized this is my 50th post! How cool is that? And I didn't even plan for it to be on Valentines Day!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Purity Challenge - Week 2

When people talk about purity, they usually talk about saving yourself for your future mate, or not doing certain things, keeping your body pure because it's the temple of God, making your thoughts pure, etc. All those things are wonderful things that God commands us to do; but as I was thinking about what I'd write for this week's purity post, God showed me something that had never occurred to me before.

Last night at church, we had a night specifically of worship. After our worship through songs, we broke off into small groups and discussed what worship was, what it meant to worship. We concluded that any way that we honor, serve, magnify, and bring glory to God is an act of worship. Then I thought, my purity can be an act of worship too!

"I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect." (Romans 12:1-2, ESV)

When we present our bodies as holy, living sacrifices to God, that is worship! The world tries to get us to conform to its ways and deceive us by saying that purity is not a big deal--in fact, it's un-cool. But when God renews our minds, we then see the corrupt thinking of this world. Even though it's often difficult and many times awkward, God wants us to live pure lives in a filthy world, full of impurity. But God's will is good and acceptable and perfect, and by His strength, we can keep ourselves pure and offer our lives as living sacrifices to Him.

Worship is not just singing and praise. I can worship God through the purity of my mind, body, and heart. I can't do it on my own, though. I must daily sacrifice myself, my desires, my thoughts, so that He can renew me and my mind. I want to save myself for my future husband, if marriage is the plan God has for me. But most of all, I want to remain pure for God, and spend these years learning to serve Him, glorify Him, and worship Him.

So I would encourage you all, keep your minds pure as worship to God. Keep your temple pure as an offering of worship to your Savior. May HE be glorified in our purity!


If any of you are interested in participating in Lexi's "Purity Challenge" this month, visit her blog Choosing to Wait to find out more. If you do a post about purity, make sure you link up on her site by Thursday (11th) night to be eligible for an awesome giveaway!

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Idol Worship

The Super Bowl party at our church showed this video. I thought it was very fitting (not to mention funny)!

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Book Review - And the Word Came with Power

"God, show yourself stronger than the spirits!"

This is what Joanne Shetler, a missionary to the Balangao tribe in the Philippines, had prayed for years. She was translating the Bible into the Balangao language, but the people just weren't getting it! The spirits had too much control on the people's lives. They always knew when they had angered a spirit because someone in their family would get sick. The only way to keep them from dying was to sacrifice one of their animals to the spirits. The people wanted to believe in God, but what would happen if they stopped sacrificing?

What I Learned
And the Word Came with Power is the touching story of how God changed a people forever. I have really gained a lot from this book. Because we don't usually deal with confrontations of evil spirits, I often forget how real they are and that there's a constant spiritual battle going on. This book shows that spirits really do have power--but it's nothing compared to God's!

Each chapter of this book is filled with miracles of God! When someone mentions "miracles," I usually think of the New Testament miracles of Jesus and the apostles. But this book was an awesome reminder that miracles still happen today--and the BIG, supernatural miracles too!

The Word of God is POWERFUL. That's something I too often forget. Joanne Shetler has an amazing testimony of how the Bible works wonders and changes lives.

What I Love
I love the way that Joanne describes the great work God did in the Balangaos lives. Many people might relay it as God working through them. But in her book, Joanne gives the idea that she's just obeying and following God, but HE'S doing all the work!

The summary on the back of the book has this sentence, "Be careful when you read her book, you might catch the vision, too." And it's true! This is an exciting and inspiring story! I would encourage you all to read it! I loved it all!

In Conclusion
This book is a quick, easy read, but packed-full with lessons and spiritual truths. It's a great story for all ages, to be read aloud, or alone! I would recommend this book to all of you! You'll be inspired and encouraged through this true story of God's mighty power!

Friday, February 5, 2010

Humbled on the Telephone

Have you ever got one of those recorded phone calls? You know, the kind where you say "Hello" and then the message starts playing. Well, we are always getting those phone calls from our library, letting us know that we have books ready to be picked up. The caller-ID always just has the name of our city on it, not the name of the library.

So today, when we received a call with our city as the ID, we just assumed it was the library. Mom asked me just to answer it so we wouldn't have the message to delete later from our answering machine. I thought it would be kind of funny to be real silly when I answered (with it being a recording and all), so I picked the phone up and said, "HeeeeLOOO!" in the craziest voice. What I didn't expect was the voice on the other end laughing a little, then asking to talk to my dad. What?! Someone actually heard me say that?! I barely heard the guy as I tried to compose myself.

"Oh, um, he's not here right now."

"Okay. Can you take a message?"

"A . . . Sure."

I still could hardly focus on what he was saying because I was so embarrassed at what had just happened. Maybe he thinks I'm like 8 years old or something, I hoped. I clumsily got his name and number written down and hung up the phone to find my mom and siblings laughing at me, and telling me I was blushing. I was just relieved the whole thing was over!!!

Needless to say, I don't think I'll ever answer the phone like that again! =D

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Purity Challenge - Week 1

Hey everybody! Lexi at Choosing to Wait has a neat-o challenge for the month of February: a purity challenge! All her posts for this month will be focused on purity - but she doesn't want it to be just her! She challenges all of us to post about why waiting for our future spouse is important to us. I encourage you guys to check out her blog and even join the challenge! (If you're interested, check out the challenge rules first.) Anyway, here's my first post....

Getting married. Isn't that what every girl dreams about? That handsome prince who will gallantly ride up and sweep you off your feet =), someone who will love and cherish you--and even risk their life for you! Dreaming about our future husbands can be exciting, but it's important that these are not the thoughts that consume our minds. Marriage is a special gift that God blesses some people with, but to others He gives the gift of singleness. Whichever situation you find yourself in, God wants us to keep focused Him.

1 Corinthians 7:25-28 (ESV)
So, brothers, in whatever condition each was called, there let him remain with God.

Now concerning the betrothed, I have no command from the Lord, but I give my judgment as one who by the Lord’s mercy is trustworthy. I think that in view of the present distress it is good for a person to remain as he is. Are you bound to a wife? Do not seek to be free. Are you free from a wife? Do not seek a wife. But if you do marry, you have not sinned, and if a betrothed woman marries, she has not sinned. Yet those who marry will have worldly troubles, and I would spare you that.

Paul is saying here that marriage is not a sin, but his personal opinion is that a person can better be focused on the things of God as single person, than a married one. When reading this passage, though, we must keep in mind the Corinthian culture. Corinth was a city where the Christians were persecuted for their faith. It was hard enough just being a Christian, but having a marriage partner would be even harder! You'd have another person to care for, provide for, and worry about. Your attention is divided.

Now, of course, things are different than the Corinthian society, but we can still apply Paul's main point to our lives: we should be devoted to the Lord right now. "Each one should remain in the condition in which he was called," is Paul's instruction is 1 Corinthian 7:20.

Looking forward to marriage is not bad! But we (as young singles) shouldn't be looking for or seeking out attention from the opposite sex. Boyfriends/girlfriends and "crushes" aren't things we should be thinking about. God wants us to be content with where we are right now. One of my small group leaders gave an awesome illustration of this, and so I drew a couple simple pictures to help illustrate it.

In our life, we should be solely focused on Christ, running with all our might toward the cross. We let go of every distraction and burden and let Jesus become our only passion. Our eyes are fixed on Him.

But as we're running, out of our peripheral vision, we see someone else running straight for the cross too...

God designed marriage and blesses many people with this gift. If this is the plan God has for me, then I want Him to be the initiator of it. Instead of constantly dreaming about when I'll get married and who it might be, I want to stay focused on God. I will be waiting. I won't be chasing other guys. I won't be giving my heart away. I am choosing to wait because I want to honor the Lord and a future husband God might bring me. My mind and body is not my own, and I my Savior to be honored with it. And someday He might bring me someone else who is focused on God too, and we can run the race together. Until then, I'll be focused on the cross, running toward Christ.