Tuesday, April 21, 2009

A List

Recent or Re-Emphasized Events/Thoughts/Realizations

  • A couple weeks ago I fell while out for a jog. No reported witnesses. Praise God.
  • I burned my finger the other day. I have a new scar. :)
  • On Sunday night, at church, during a serious moment, I fell. And everyone either saw or heard. (We're talking 100+ people here. I know, right?)
  • I got yelled at by my parents on the phone for "not communicating".Bulleted List
  • I found out I probably can't go to New York this summer because I have to take my grandparents to Texas to visit their home and family.
  • I found out I still don't know how to say no; or at least communicate what's best for me.
  • I still don't have a "real" job; but the trip to Texas means I'll be gone during "hiring season". (I know God will provide though.)
  • I don't know whether to stay in the girls' intern house (even though I'm not going to be an intern and I don't have a job), move back in with my parents (I think I'd go crazy), or move into an apartment with a friend of mine (I don't have a job and I'm supposed to somehow save up for school anyway).
  • I'm not much of a game player and I don't do dishonesty very well. Especially when it comes to the things that matter.
  • I would prefer that a person honestly tell me what they think about me, how they feel about me, or their opinion of me/what I say/what I do, so that I can address it/them appropriately-possibly with an apology, possibly with clarification, definitely with complete honesty and unconditional love.
  • I miss theatre. Like, I cried myself to sleep one night last week because I missed it so much.
  • I'm not in control of my life anymore, but I'm okay with that.
  • I need God more than a balloon needs air.
  • I love God more than anyone/anything. Period.
  • I am truly, deeply, ridiculously content with God and me.
  • It's not about me, my job is to be like the moon-a Son reflector-both in word and action. No excuses or exceptions.
  • Everything good flows out of God's love. Nothing good comes without it.

Oh! And I'm preaching tomorrow night!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! So excited/humbled! Pray for me?

much love.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Emotions Devotion

Pastor Jeremy
Sermon on 3/16/09
Discussion on 3/22/09


The Stadium Unplugged

Acts 2:1-4

1 When the Day of Pentecost had fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. 2 And suddenly there came a sound from heaven, as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. 3 Then there appeared to them divided tongues, as of fire, and one sat upon each of them. 4 And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.


We must stop doubting for the sake of fear, and start doubting to find an answer. We need to start allowing the Head to control the body by becoming Spirit led and operating in love so that "super" God can once again unite with the "natural" us.

is not a sign of mental weakness, denial is.
There are two types of doubters:
1. honest doubters- those who doubt and question to find an answer.
2. willful doubters- those who question and doubt to prove people wrong and validate their oponion.
In what ways and areas do you find yourself doubting? Why? What will it take to convince you?

There are more churches in this city than burger joints and Starbucks; yet we still haven't seen this city saved because instead of being the bride of Christ, we have become the bride of Frankenstein.
What will it take for the body of Christ to "come together?"

Rather than swords or spears God used "tongues" of fire to symbolize unity and edification.
"God operates through love; through love there is power."
God's motive is not to show off His power, but to meet the need. He wants us to worship Him because we love Him, not because we fear Him.
Was there ever a time where you wanted to be used by God's power, but had the wrong motive? What happened? What can we learn from this experience?

Most churches have transitioned from being a movement to being a monument or museum, it's time to start moving again.
We have become a people who care more about people's opinion than God's dominion.
We have stopped encountering God's supernatural power because we have taken the driver's seat away from God.
What are ways in your life in which you have "taken the driver's seat"? What have been the results?

I am a SPIRIT...I live in a BODY, and I have a SOUL; and inside of my soul, I have my MIND, WILL, and EMOTIONS.
Our soul needs to be subject to our spirit, while our spirit needs to be subject to the Holy Spirit and the Word.
Referring to the story Pastor told about training his dogs, what are the "dogs" in your life? What areas of your life need to become subject by the Spirit rather than your soul (mind, will, emotions)? How can we train these areas?

Personal Reflections

(Please take home and answer these questions privately)

1. What are ways that you can be used in "love" this week?

2. How are you being controlled by your soul (mind, will, emotions)?

3. How do you react when you don't know what to do? How should you react?

4. What was the "Suddenly" of your life? How have you been changed by it?

You can listen to the podcast by going to http://www.myspace.com/warindustries

Choose Life

Proverbs 18:21 says, "Death and life are in the power of the tongue; and those who love it will eat of its fruit."

Recently, God's been teaching me to truly tame my tongue. To live like I actually believe that truth. I actually used that verse as a challenge for myself and the children and youth that are in the class I teach at my dad's church (as well as a couple of the girls I mentor), after breaking down exactly what it means.
See, I've known that verse for a very long time; but I've learned that there are many different levels of understanding when it comes to God and His Word. I've reached a new one as far as that verse is concerned; and now God's helping me live it out. Let's take a closer look at it...maybe you (whoever reads this) can work on it with me as well.
Death and life are in the power of the tongue...

Tongue obviously means the words we speak. But what if a person is mute? Well, in all reality, it's not just about the words we use; it's about any form of communication-from speech to sign language. So, the words we use have enough power to either create life or destroy it. (Really, one could go so far as to say that body language is a form of communication; and that it too has the power to create or destroy. Have you ever been hurt by a person's actions or body language? I have.) Let's move on...
...and those who love it...

Who loves what? Well, "it" refers to language, or speaking; and anyone who uses "it" loves "it". So I'm pretty sure that's all of us. Unless of course you've taken a vow of silence recently, and are not using anything at all to communicate with others; in which case you may be exempt. Haha, but the rest of us definitely fall into the "love it" category.
...will eat of its fruit.

Once again "it" is referring to the things we say. The picture I painted for my class was this:
Imagine you're a farmer, and you're planting seeds. You choose which seeds to sow, and the seeds you sow grow into plants that bear fruit. The fruit your plants will bear depends entirely on what was sown by you. Your words are seeds, and there are only two types of seed available: death and life. If you sow seeds of life, when the time comes for your plants to bear fruit, you will eat life. If you sow seeds of death, when the time comes for your plants to bear fruit, you will eat death. These seeds can be planted in your life, a situation, or the life of someone you know; but regardless of where it's sown, the sower will eat it. Maybe your "plant" will grow quickly (like tomatoes), or maybe it will take some time (like a pumpkin or watermelon); but it will grow. And you will eat it. Here's something else God showed me and my class: we may plant a seed, but God is the One Who decides how quickly it grows and how big it gets. If that's the case, even the smallest seed of life can grow into a very large fruit! And if we add body language to this, even the smallest thing (maybe a simple, but sincere smile) can change a life forever.
Jesus said that the enemy comes to kill, steal, and destroy; but that He came so that we can have life, and have it more abundantly (John 10:9-11). God said that He knows the plans He has for us, plans to prosper us and not to harm us-to give us hope and a future (Jeremiah 29:11). In a different version, it says: He knows the thoughts He thinks toward us, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give us hope and a future. God wants life for us; in fact, as I mentioned before, He wants us to have life more abundantly. According to dictionary.com, the word abundant means:
1. present in great quantity; more than adequate; oversufficient: an abundant supply of water.
2. well supplied; abounding: a river abundant in salmon.
3. richly supplied: an abundant land.
Synonyms include: copious, profuse, overflowing, plentiful, teeming, and rich.
It gets even better, the antonyms are sparse and scarce.
Crazy! Many people have this picture of a judgmental, condemning God; but 1 John 4:8b says it best
God is love.

Plain and simple. In fact, looking at this verse in context really puts it into perspective.
Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. He who does not love does not know God, for God is love. In this the love of God was manifested toward us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through Him. In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.
1 John 4:7-11

Basically, God really loves you. He sent His Son to die for you. Now, God wants abundant life for you. I challenge you to not only accept His gift of love; but to walk it out in the words you speak.
Choose Life, speak life, and live abundantly.

much love.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Enraptured by glory.
Captured by Love.
Embraced by peace.
Covered by blood.
Enticed by nothing.
Confused by none.
Never alone.
I stand.

I've come to a place with God right now where I am honestly pretty happy. I'm growing and totally on fire. I'm spending time with Him in worship, in prayer, and I'm studying the Word consistently. I can hear His voice again and I love it. The girls that I'm mentoring are growing, I'm pretty settled in my new home, and I'm looking for a job.
Actually, I am working for ACN and you should check out my website!!! http://vip123.acnrep.com However, I'm still looking for a 9-5 type job so I can save some extra money for school.
Back to the relationship with God thing: When it comes to guys and romantic relationships, I have reached this place where I would be happy if it ends up just being me and God and my calling for forever; it would certainly be easier than managing a household in addition to my pursuing my calling. But then if God does have someone for me, I have always been a romantic (I'd say "hopeless romantic", but nothing's really hopeless, right? :]). And I do love kids. If that's what God has in store for me, I think I want like 3 or 4. Haha, actually, not having kids would be kind of weird; but then I know I'll always have my younger siblings and whatever other little kids come into my life. I know this is an area where God gives us choices, but I also know that God has two wills: perfect and permissive. That being the case, I want to follow His perfect will as much as possible. Anyway the point is, I'm seriously ecstatic with whatever God has for me. I like a guy, I don't know if he knows it or not, but I'm happy just being really good friends. And if that's all we ever are, great! Or if something happens there at some point, great! It's in God's hands. I'm in God's hands. And I finally trust Him completely. I've learned some stuff about love in the last year though; I think the biggest lesson-the one that stuck out to me the most-was that love is a choice, not an emotion. We can choose who we love, and w e should. We can't be ruled by our emotions. My pastor preached an amazing sermon about that last week. I'll put the devotion from it up here sometime this week...but it was seriously so powerful. And convicting. I don't know about you, but I know I used to have this habit of letting my emotions lead and control me, rather than me controlling them. Now I control my emotions. I'll admit it's not always easy, and I'm not perfect, but wow. The difference it's made, that it's making. It's extraordinary.


Tuesday, January 13, 2009

This one's preachy...preachy keen. :)

I'm going to attempt to do this blog in 1 minute.
It's following a writing prompt from The One Minute Writer. (http://oneminutewriter.blogspot.com/2009/01/todays-writing-prompt-teach.html)

"Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things."
-Philippians 4:8

2 Cor 10:5 talks about taking every thought captive to the authority of Jesus Christ. I think that if we were all able to learn that principle-and not just learn it, but really capture it-this world would be a far better place. And we have the authority to do it too. In Jesus' mighty and holy name. I think it boils down to will power, choices, and truly grasping how much God loves us.

Bah! My time ran out. Anyway, if I could teach others one thing, that'd be it. (About God's love, the importance of taking every thought captive...and maybe even how to do it.) I challenged the kids in my children's church class to pray every morning this week that God would help them to take every thought captive and help them live the way He wants them to. lol, I used a rock to represent the thought (it's the only thing I had) and explained to them how, kinda like the cartoons, the enemy sometimes whispers things to us. And how we need to take our thoughts captive, because if we don't, pretty soon our thoughts take us captive. And in reality, just like there are two paths to choose in life (God's or Satan's), there are two categories of thought: God's or Satan's. So much time and energy is spent in/by the world to convince us that things aren't black and white. That some areas are gray. That things don't always have to be either/or...they can be both/and. Oh man...I might get a lot of flack for this...but here's an example: The Bible is clear on God's view of homosexuality. It's unholy, unrighteous, and sinful. People who live in that lifestyle will find themselves in Hell unless they repent and change; because, according to the Bible, you can't be both homosexual and Christian. You're either homosexual or Christian.* According to Revelation, we must be either hot or cold; because if we're both hot and cold, we're lukewarm...and God will vomit those who are lukewarm out of His mouth. (Revelation 3:15-16) While I'm on the subject of both/and vs either/or: One concept floating around out there that really gets me is: "Both God (Yah-weh) and (insert name of false god/prophet here. i.e. Buddha, Allah, Satan, etc.) are right. There is more than one way to obtain eternal bliss. Everyone can have their own truth. Both your truth is right and my truth is right. The truth is what you make it." While that may be true for some politicians and various others in this world, the Truth for eternity was, is, and always will be the same.
"For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God."
-Romans 3:23
"For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord."
-Romans 6:23
"Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me."
-John 14:16
"But God commendeth [demonstrated] his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us."
-Romans 5:8
"For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life."
-John 3:16
In Revelation 3:20, Jesus says, "Behold, I stand at the door and knock", He's knocking on your heart-loving you with all of His...are you going to answer that?

If you want more information, reading all of Romans 3 is a good idea. Actually, read all of Romans. And while you're reading that letter of Paul's...read all of Paul's writings. His relationship with Jesus was like ours should be, and quite different from the relationship the disciples-who knew Him in the physical world-had. Jesus was able to reveal himself to Paul in a way that the disciples never knew...because when Paul met Him on the road to Damascus, Jesus had been returned to His full glory. Read and you'll understand.

much love.
P.S. I also highly recommend you read Frank Peretti's novel Nightmare Academy (The Veritas Project). The reading is rather easy, but the concept and message is very potent at any age.
*Note: I don't hate people who practice homosexuality. I don't treat them differently IRL or on the internet. But most, if not all, of the people I know who are homosexual know what I believe about that issue. I believe what the Bible says. And that's all I'm trying to say in that section of this blog. Both/and can't exist. It's impossible. There are certainties. Things are real. The Truth is real. Right and wrong exist; just as much as any tangible-or at least commonly accepted-opposite (i.e. hot and cold, up and down, left and right, in and out, over and under, night and day, light and dark, etc.).

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

[Early December]
Well, I haven't been as faithful in updating this as I'd hoped to be...but I think I'm excused as life has been a bit crazy lately. I have yet to get up the courage to talk to a counselor at my school about my academic downfall that has been this semester...I keep putting it off and now the semester is almost over. Eek.
In other news, my abuelito has been out of the hospital for...a couple weeks? I think it's been a couple weeks now...I'm honestly not sure. My days kind of overlap and run into each other. Anyway, he has good days and bad days. He has days when he's willing to move here with us and days when he's not. Same goes for my abuelita. She has days when she handles things well and remembers what she should (regarding things like my abuelito's medicines) and days when she gets forgetful and confused. I just talked to my mom on the phone today, and she said they've both digressed back to Spanish. Not that speaking Spanish is something one generally digresses to-I actually aspire to learn it-but they both used to be bilingual. And now they're not. Their English is apparently very broken and often incorrect. So there's actually a minor language barrier between them and my mom. See, when my mom was growing up, they insisted on her speaking only English and refused to teach her Spanish. She ended up surprising them by picking it up anyway; but she hasn't had very much practice speaking it for years. So her Spanish isn't what it was and their English is almost non-existant. However, all-in-all they're doing well. If you've been praying for them, please continue to do so as it is still just as necessary as ever.
As I type I'm actually sitting in McKinney, TX (just outside of Dallas) in the living room of my parents' old pastor. A man I have heard about constantly growing up. He and his wife are even better than the stories. Southern, Holy Spirit filled, Bible quoting at every turn people. I love it! Pastor John is incredible! He's an artist, a musician, a poet, and an incredibly wise man of God. His wife Ann is equally amazing in her wisdom and spirit. We're staing with them through Monday, but we've been in TX since the 22nd. We were staying at my great Tia Frances' house, several blocks away from my grandparents. My abuelito has lost a lot of weight and my abuelita has gained some. His doctors advise him to try to gain some and hers just the opposite. She jokes that it would all be just fine if she could give him some of hers. They seem to be doing alright, but they can't live alone. So either we move here or they move out to CA. We'll probably move them out with us, but there's a lot of stress and pressure with all of that and the details concerning that right now. Our house isn't big enough for them to live with us, they have lot of things, and some of their siblings and friends are still alive out here. The thing is: for years, my abuelito was the one who took care of everything and everyone out here, but noone will help him now. His doctor wants to move him into some kind of hospice proram, but that would essentially be a death watch. We have a doctor out in CA (a nutritionist) who would likely be able to help him far more than a death watch; and with everything he's always done for everyone-including our family-we need to try it. They've enjoyed having all the kids out here, but it can be kind of stressful for them with all of the noise. It's been nice though. Not a "vacation" per se, and when we get back there it'll be even less "vacation-y"; however, seeing my grandparents and helping them out...just spending time with them...well, it's been worth it. :) God is so faithful. I'll update later with more information and whatnot when I have time, but I have to be getting to bed now.
Hope you all had a marvelous Christmas!!!

much love.

Monday, December 8, 2008


Sleep escapes me.
Though I chase it
It eludes me at every turn.
Sleep is to me as
Roxy was to the cop in New York Minute:
Somehow just a step ahead
In the direction I don't seem to be heading.
Sleep is to me as
Water is to a beached whale:
If I don't get some soon
I'm in trouble.

Sleep escapes me.
Though I chase it
It eludes me at every turn.
Sleep is to me
As Jerry is to Tom:
A wild game of cat and mouse
In a world where the mouse always wins.

Sleep escapes me.
Though I chase it
It eludes me at every turn.

God, help me to sleep!