Random Ramblings

Just a few of my thoughts on the world around me

New Posts Coming Soon!!

Hello there!

I know it’s been forever, but I’ve had a lot of posts in process (about 5) I just haven’t finished them or they got too long. I hope to post one later tonight or possibly tomorrow called What’s in a Name? See you then!!

~jojo

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New Devotions

Do you ever just have  a bad day? Maybe you try to brush it off, and try again the next day. But what if that’s just as bad, even worse? and the day after that? Well, that’s been me this week. Only after missing my alarm this morning, struggling through the delivery of a speech, and trying to take a test while fighting physical pain did I remember what I had been skipping all week. My devotions.

Now I’m not saying that I was having trials because I missed my devotions and if I do my devotions I won’t have trials anymore. No, God allows trials in our lives so that we will grow. He guides us along the way with His Word. Because I had been neglecting reading my Bible, I had no ammo to combat the trials I faced, and instead allowed them to bog me down. I could see my attitude towards little things getting out of hand. As the semester finished, my classes are getting rough and just plain frustrating at times as teachers attempt to cram the last of the content before giving the final exam.

Today I started a new devotional booklet I received as a graduation present last year. It’s called Gospel Meditations for Prayer and the first reading is from Psalm 127. When I opened my Bible to read the verses, I instantly remembered highlighting them last year when I was facing a struggle of tiredness and the feeling of trying to do everything myself. This is basically the situation I’ve thrown myself into lately with allowing myself to be consumed with worry for deadlines approaching and my future.

” Except the LORD builds a house, they labor in vain who build it; except the LORD keeps the city, the watchman wakes but in vain.

It is vain for you to rise up early, to take rest late, to eat the bread of [anxious] toil – for He gives [blessings] to His beloved in sleep.”

Psalm 127:1-2

I have nothing and can’t do it myself! It is God who gives me the ability to face each day for His glory. Obviously not all of my problems are magically fixed, but I can stop worrying so much about them and trust God cos He’s got everything under control.

I’m gonna sneak a page from Christy’s blog today and list some blessings God has shown me today 🙂

1. God has everything under control.

2. A call from my dad that the company he works for wants me working for them again this summer, and at a possibly higher rate.

3. Technology that allows me to connect with other believers to glorify our God and share His blessings with each other!

~jojo

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Liebster Award?

So Wednesday my friend Christy was nominated for a Liebster Award on her blog, Blessings in Waiting and in turn, she nominated some other small blogs, including yours truly. Here’s the deal:

The Liebster Award is awarded to bloggers with under 200 followers to try to promote their blog a little and also bring together a community of bloggers. The rules of the competition are as follows:

  • The nominated user must provide a link bank to the person who nominated them.
  • Provide 11 facts about yourself.
  • Answer 11 questions set by the person who nominated you.
  • Choose 11 more people and ask them 11 questions.

Now I don’t care either way if my blog is promoted and this isn’t something I’d normally do, but I thought it might be fun. I don’t know of 11 more people with small blogs so I’m afraid I’ll have to skip that one (sorry!)

11 facts about me!

  1. I adore reading! The library is awesome, smells like books, is quiet, and free!
  2. I love coffee, but mostly drink tea since neither of my parents like coffee and never had it in the house.
  3. I have always loved STAR WARS and used to use whiffle bats as lightsabers and play with my neighbors. I was pretty good too!
  4. I hat listening to flute music – even though that’s my main instrument!!
  5. I am the oldest of four.
  6. I taught myself piano and am currently teaching myself guitar with some clarinet and violin on the side. I want to learn cello or oboe.
  7. I read Ben Hur in 5th grade. For fun. (side note, I hate romance novels)
  8. I want to start a scholarship.
  9. I love British television and could possibly adore anyone with a Scottish or British accent.
  10. I wore a dead corsage to my senior banquet since I didn’t have a date. Yep… classy…
  11. Finally, I want to travel the world with Operation Renewed Hope as a Pharmacist!

11 questions to answer

1. If you could go anywhere in the world where would you go?

Definitely New Zealand!

2. If there was one thing that you wish you could change about your personality what would it be?

I wish I could have a more subdued or at least more consistent personality. I hate it when I’m quiet and suddenly burst out with something ludicrous.

3. Favorite animal?

That would have to be the tardigrade. If you don’t know what it is, you’re missing out.

4. If you could have lunch with anyone living or dead, real or fictional who would it be and why?

Ooh, tough one. Probably Elisabeth Bennet and/or Mr. Darcy for a fictional choice and Julie Andrews for real.

5. Why did you decide to start blogging?

I needed to get into the habit of writing consistently since I am a terrible writer and journaling just wasn’t doing it for me.

6. Cat person or Dog person?

Neither.

7. How did you come up the name for your blog?

Original title was “Don’t Mind Me” because I was afraid of all the scary people on the internet then it changed to “Random Ramblings” cos that’s pretty much what it is here 🙂

8. Tea or Coffee? Hot or Iced?

I love black coffee, but I regularly drink iced green tea throughout the year and hot Oolong tea in the winter.

 9. What do you aspire to do or be in your life? Your biggest dream?

As a Christian my ultimate goal is to glorify Christ of course. But my biggest dream is really giving back.

10. What is your favorite book/author?

I really enjoyed the Inheritance series by Christopher Paolini but also love not a fan.  by Kyle Idleman.

11. What is your favorite thing to do to waste/pass the time?

Pinterest or read a good book!

11 questions to ask

Now since I’m not able to tag anyone, this is open to all y’alls!! comment below please and thank-you!

  1. If you had a superpower, what would it be?
  2. Who has influenced you the most?
  3. What’s your favorite colour?
  4. How would others describe you?
  5. What are some of your aspirations?
  6. What makes you unique?
  7. Can you speak another language?
  8. What music do you like to listen to?
  9. What are you talented at?
  10. If you could give back to someone regardless of the constraints of time or money, who, what and why?
  11. What verse do you claim for your life right now?

 

Well that’s everything I guess. Have a great Friday!

~jojo

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Encouraging Words

Hey guys!

Sorry I haven’t been one for posting lately. I feel like all I’ve done the past few weeks is reblog or post videos! Well I’m in the writing mood now!

Something I do a lot is post my thoughts on facebook or twitter from my devotions of the day, whether a song that comes to mind or a set of verses that have been encouraging or even a rebuke to me. If it’s a blessing or challenge in another persons life, awesome! However, I feel like most of it is me just wanting to share whats going on in my spiritual life since I’m not real great about actually bringing it up in conversations. I’ve never had a accountability partner or someone like that who you share what you’ve learned everyday with either, so maybe this is my way of doing that too. Some days my posts go unnoticed and other days they get a few likes or even some comments. And you know what? I’m okay with that! I’ve long come to terms with my reasons for sharing God’s Word with others. It should never be for my own glory, but rather to lift up and edify the saints (my fellow believers) and to further Christ’s kingdom by sharing the Gospel with the lost.

Unfortunately it is very easy for believers to do the right thing for the wrong reason. It’s so tempting to only do something for other’s to see us and praise us instead of being content with only God seeing what we do. Jesus addresses this in Matthew 6 just before he gives the Lord’s Prayer.

“Beware of practicing your righteousness before other people in order to be seen by them, for then you will have no reward from your Father who is in heaven.

Thus, when you give to the needy, sound no trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may be praised by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward. But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving may be in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you.

And when you pray, you must not be like the hypocrites. For they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and at the street corners, that they may be seen by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward.  But when you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you.”

Matthew 6:1-6

This topic was also addressed in a blog post on She Worships, and it really made me think about it. One of my favorite youtube channels is Blimey Cow and a lot of the times they use sarcasm and humor to point out the faults of the church. One video I remember dealt with feeling “good” and had one of the characters feeling bad so he posted something spiritual to make himself look good and also get compliments to boost his self-esteem. After watching this video I was scared to ever post anything again. If you have seen it, you may come away thinking the same thing too. But please, don’t be afraid to share the Bible with others!! God can use you to be a real blessing to someone! Just last week a friend posted to lyrics to a song and I read that and was blessed at the time but it was much later that this song had its impact on me. Yesterday was rough but I still had those words floating around in my head, “Bow the knee; Trust the heart of your Father when the answer goes beyond what you can see. Bow the knee; Lift your eyes toward heaven and believe the One who holds eternity. And when you don’t understand the purpose of His plan, In the presence of the King, bow the knee.” And to be honest, those words running through my head over and over really helped me get through my rotten day because they helped me focus on God instead of worrying or having a pity party. I guess I say all this to say, don’t be afraid to share what the Lord has laid on your heart with others, but be sure to examine your heart to see if your motive for sharing is right!

~jojo

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God’s Not Dead

Okay, so I saw this movie was out and I said to myself “Oh, that’s cool, I hope it’s a good movie” and moved on. I never really got excited about seeing it or even intended to go see it. Thursday night as I was headed up to my room, a friend passed me and invited me to go with her and some friends to go see a movie. I hesitated but when she said they were seeing God’s Not Dead I decided to go.

Now I went with 5 girls who live in a kind of prosperity gospel environment, one where sin isn’t a big deal it’s all about feelings. This and their actions have caused me to wonder about their salvation status. As we drove to the theater, I prayed that this movie would open a door that would allow me to share the true Gospel of Christ with them.

On a side note, I heard an interesting conversation between two of the girls and an atheist student in the dorm lobby. They invited him to join us and he gave his reasons for not going, namely it was a cheesy movie that ended with a stupid Christian rock concert. I was watching for our ride to pull up and didn’t join the conversation but noted how weakly the girls defended their reasons for going. They tried to win him over on feelings, which of course didn’t work. Once they got in the van they started talking about how they couldn’t believe he wouldn’t go with us. I gave my opinion, which involved several verses (John 14:16; 1 Corinthians 1:18; 2:14 are some), which I hope God can use in some way in their lives. Anyways, back to my review of the movie.

The movie started off okay. Being a Christian movie, there was of course no sex or cussing, which may have contributed to it’s cheesiness. That probably sounds really shallow, but in my experience, atheists and other unbelievers usually don’t argue with Christians or even converse normally without some colorful language in between. This is not to say I didn’t appreciate that it was a clean movie, in fact, that’s one of the highlights.

Okay, now obviously there were some Christians, and some non-Christians in this movie. Basically all the Christians were great people (except the girlfriend, but I’ll get back to her later) and all the non-Christians were very not nice people! This is my first issue with it, though I’m not sure that there was really a way to fix it. The fact is, there are a lot of nice people who are on their way to hell, not all of them are hateful, violent people like we so often think them to be. Plugged In Movie Reviews put it this way: “Pretty much everyone who’s not a Christian in this story is villainized for being mean, abusive, grouchy or narrow-minded. Several such sinners are condemned to either death or terminal illness, as if they’re being punished for their attitudes.” If life were this way, it would make things a whole lot easier when it comes to evangelism. Unfortunately, it’s not and personally I think it’s one of the challenges the devil throws at believers.

I also thought the movie was a little doctrinely unsound. People who are not saved are coming to see this movie because the title is interesting to them. You’d think the producers would have this in mind and have a stronger Gospel message or plan of salvation. There are two individuals who (I assume) become saved during the course of this movie. One is literally on the brink of death and the other has received word that she has cancer, been dumped by her boyfriend, and, not surprisingly, an emotional train wreck. Now admittedly, my memory isn’t the best, but I didn’t really remember hearing anything about acknowledgement or repentance of sins or that Christ and Christ alone could bring forgiveness of those sins and salvation. I can’t help but wonder if I, a Christian very familiar with the topic of salvation, can’t remember hearing that, how many unbelievers will? Salvation is not “fire insurance” against hell either! It is coming to the realization that you are a sinner, deserving only of death. The only way out is through Christ Jesus, who took on the consequence of sin by dying on the cross and obtaining for us life everlasting with God. This didn’t really seem to be addressed in the movie. Instead, the arguments for salvation was that it makes live better and that if you are unsaved you need to be saved (okay yes, that is technically a reason, but really?). Overall I was really uncomfortable with how much the feel-good and prosperity gospel tone seemed to be present throughout the movie.

Two more short deals and then I’m done, promise 🙂 . The main character, Josh has been dating his girlfriend for 6 years (meaning they started when they were 12?!). She gave up going to a better school to be with him. They are a little too touchy for my taste, but I don’t think they’ve done anything. As soon as he decides to go up against his philosophy teacher and prove God exists, she tells him not too and basically threatens him with ending their relationship. Uhm, she’s supposedly a Christian, yet she doesn’t want him defending God? and she’s willing to sacrifice a better education but not her boyfriend debating God in a classroom? Not the best picture of a Godly young woman, that’s for sure, though I can understand the need to present some adversity for him.

The finale to the entire movie is this giant rock concert by the Newsboys which nearly all the characters attend. Now, I don’t want to make a blanket statement here, but a lot of Christian rock music has very little doctrine in it (not all, mind you, just most). I do on occasion listen to this music, but only as entertainment, not as a main part of my worship. A comment is made about this concert where people “are worshiping the Lord”. I’m not entirely sure that’s what was going on there, but the movements of the audience members and the lead singer were very similar to the movements of secular rock music, which are very often full of vulgarity and anti-God sentiments. At a glance, which do you think an unbeliever would assume the concert to be? (Romans 12:2)

Lots more I could say, but won’t since I guarantee I’ve definitely  stirred up the pot already here. Final thought is what was the whole purpose of the movie? Consider this passage of Scripture:

1 Corinthians 2

English Standard Version

Proclaiming Christ Crucified

And I, when I came to you, brothers, did not come proclaiming to you the testimony of God with lofty speech or wisdom. For I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and him crucified. And I was with you in weakness and in fear and much trembling, and my speech and my message were not in plausible words of wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, so that your faith might not rest in the wisdom of men but in the power of God.

Wisdom from the Spirit

Yet among the mature we do impart wisdom, although it is not a wisdom of this age or of the rulers of this age, who are doomed to pass away. But we impart a secret and hidden wisdom of God, which God decreed before the ages for our glory. None of the rulers of this age understood this, for if they had, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory. But, as it is written,

“What no eye has seen, nor ear heard,
    nor the heart of man imagined,
what God has prepared for those who love him”—

10 these things God has revealed to us through the Spirit. For the Spirit searches everything, even the depths of God. 11 For who knows a person’s thoughts except the spirit of that person, which is in him? So also no one comprehends the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God. 12 Now we have received not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might understand the things freely given us by God. 13 And we impart this in words not taught by human wisdom but taught by the Spirit,interpreting spiritual truths to those who are spiritual.

14 The natural person does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are folly to him, and he is not able to understand them because they are spiritually discerned. 15 The spiritual person judges all things, but is himself to be judged by no one. 16 “For who has understood the mind of the Lord so as to instruct him?” But we have the mind of Christ.

~jojo

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An Apology

Last night I had an idea for a new post. As I was planning it out, I started thinking about how I started my blog and what my original intent was. To be honest, I just wanted to give myself a challenge to see if I could stick with it. Anyways, I wanted the blog to have kind of a fun theme and started the Friday Fun! and Tuesday Tunes posts. Then I started throwing in some random posts about my opinions on things as well as dorky posts that were my inner DIYer trying to get out.

In the last few months, it’s gotten to where I haven’t done TT or FF and I just randomly blurb this huge thing about my thoughts on some issue that has arisen in my life. So let me just say, Sorry.

I’m sorry I haven’t been consistent.

I’m sorry for my random thoughts (to be fair, the blog is titled Random Ramblings).

I’m sorry for my poorly-written  posts.

There’s probably more of my shortcomings I should address, but I’ll just leave it there for now.

I know that I am not likely to change the way I run this anytime in the future, I’m not that kind of person, but I do want to let you guys know that I do intend to have more random blurbs on stuff. I still want to do fun stuff every once in a while, but I want to focus on making my serious posts a better quality than they currently are. As I told you all in my first post, I am a Christian, and therefore everything I do is to bring glory to God. That’s why so many of my posts have that “Christian” tone to them. Every time I analyze a situation, I do it through a Biblical worldview.

Hope to get a good post out by the end of this week!!

~jojo

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New Legalism?

Growing up in church I’ve heard the term legalism thrown around a bit. It is an excessive adherence to a law, that is, dependence on morals and laws rather than personal faith. In the Bible we see this in the lives of the Pharisees (and scribes and Sadducees and so on) pretty much whenever they encountered Jesus. Even though they were face to face with the Messiah, they refused to believe and instead spent their time making sure everyone knew they were following all the laws and loved to point out those who weren’t.

Though many can look and see this example and easily point out the problem of legalism, there are still loads of people in the church who struggle with this, myself included. And not just the ones who are extremely religious with no relationship but the ones at the other extreme as well. This is why I feel it’s one of those difficult subjects. I’ve heard and read people who condemn others who take the legalistic route and emphasize relationship over religion. This is good and all, but I have also see these same people live their lives in obvious sin, using the excuse that it’s their relationship that counts, not how religious they are. This attitude is addressed by Paul in Romans 6:1-3.

“What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein? Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death?”

Yes it is our relationship with Christ, our faith, that is the deciding factor in our Salvation, but that faith causes a change in us so that we no longer want to continue living in sin!

“Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone.” James 2:17

Okay, so there’s my views (sort of, I could go a lot longer) on legalism. Now I can talk about what brought me to writing this post. I recently read an article that got me thinking even more about something I’d been ruminating (love that word!) on the past year or so. The article is titled The ‘New Legalsim’  and it talks about how the push to be radical Christians by becoming missionaries and such has actually driven away many people who are meant to be ordinary Christians, living ordinary lives for the extraordinary glory of God. Here are some of my favorite insights from the article:

“Being a ‘radical,’ ‘missional’ Christian is slowly becoming the ‘new legalism.’ We need more ordinary God and people lovers (Matt 22:36-40).”

“I continue to be amazed by the number of youth and young adults who are stressed and burnt out from the regular shaming and feelings of inadequacy if they happen to not be doing something unique and special.”

“What if youth and young adults were simply encouraged live in pursuit of wisdom, knowledge, understanding, education, wonder, beauty, glory, creativity, and worship in a world marred by sin, as Abraham Kuyper encourages in the book Wisdom and Wonder. No shame, no pressure to be awesome, no expectations of fame but simply following the call to be men and women of virtue and inviting their friends and neighbors to do the same in every area of life.”

So, it seems that everywhere we turn, we see churches preaching that you must have a ministry and that ministry is to be a part of the ministry of the church. Again, not that this is bad, but in extreme cases, it can be. All through high school, there were always several chapels during the year that encouraged us to commit our lives to the Lord again for the ministry. Almost every time, about half of the students made some commitment, whether to become a pastor or a missionary or a pastor’s wife… you get the point. And pretty much every time, these verses were used:

“How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher? And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!” Romans 10:14-15

I used to think how cool it would be to marry a pastor or become a missionary in a foreign country. Yet, somehow, I didn’t think that that was God was calling me. But how could God not want me to do all those things? I forgot the other passages that said that some people are not called to the ministry of ministry.

“And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers;” Ephesians 4:11

“Not many of you should become teachers, my fellow believers, because you know that we who teach will be judged more strictly.” James 3:1

“And that ye study to be quiet, and to do your own business, and to work with your own hands, as we commanded you;” 1 Thessalonians 4:11

This next passage is my favorite in particular. It talks about the body of Christ and how each member has his or her own part to play. Not everyone can do the same thing, otherwise, the body cannot function. Here’s a practical example: If all believers were either pastors or missionaries, where would their support come from? Surely unbelievers would have no reason to give to a church or missionary they have never met. No, this is why not all are called to teach. Yet, we do not teach children and young people to grow up and find good jobs and give to support the church. Instead, we seem to focus more and more on raising more pastors and missionaries and pastors wives. We need to realize there should be a balance in the church. I encourage you to read this passage, though it is a long and familiar one, as well as the article I mentioned earlier. Comment below to let me know your opinions on the subject and if I can improve this post.

“Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit. And there are differences of administrations, but the same Lord. And there are diversities of operations, but it is the same God which worketh all in all. But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal. For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom; to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit; To another faith by the same Spirit; to another the gifts of healing by the same Spirit; To another the working of miracles; to another prophecy; to another discerning of spirits; to another divers kinds of tongues; to another the interpretation of tongues: But all these worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as he will. For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is Christ. For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit. For the body is not one member, but many. If the foot shall say, Because I am not the hand, I am not of the body; is it therefore not of the body? And if the ear shall say, Because I am not the eye, I am not of the body; is it therefore not of the body? If the whole body were an eye, where were the hearing? If the whole were hearing, where were the smelling? But now hath God set the members every one of them in the body, as it hath pleased him. And if they were all one member, where were the body? But now are they many members, yet but one body. And the eye cannot say unto the hand, I have no need of thee: nor again the head to the feet, I have no need of you. Nay, much more those members of the body, which seem to be more feeble, are necessary:  And those members of the body, which we think to be less honourable, upon these we bestow more abundant honour; and our uncomely parts have more abundant comeliness. For our comely parts have no need: but God hath tempered the body together, having given more abundant honour to that part which lacked. That there should be no schism in the body; but that the members should have the same care one for another. And whether one member suffer, all the members suffer with it; or one member be honoured, all the members rejoice with it. Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular. And God hath set some in the church, first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, governments, diversities of tongues. Are all apostles? are all prophets? are all teachers? are all workers of miracles? Have all the gifts of healing? do all speak with tongues? do all interpret? But covet earnestly the best gifts: and yet shew I unto you a more excellent way.” 1 Corinthians 12:4-31

~jojo

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The End is Near!

Okay, maybe not that end, but 2013 is pretty much over!

I’ve never really been the one to go all sentimental over stuff at the end of the year, but that’s mainly because I can’t remember what happened. This year, however, I’ve got loads on my mind as I reflect back.

I started off the year pretty interestingly. I began this blog and had no idea what I was doing, but I’ve continued and look how far I got! Okay, well maybe I had a hiatus or two, but at least I didn’t give up.

In May I went to Washington, D.C. with my senior class and had a blast. I really got to know several of them better as well as got to go to tons of museums (my favorite thing to do) and historic places. Then we came back for graduation and my high school days were officially over. I had no idea what changes lay ahead of me.

By this time I still had no idea where I was going to college, though I knew I should. I started working in the sales department of where my dad works and that really broadened my horizons. I had worked there before, but in a closet-like office where I never saw anyone. This time I was in a cubicle near lots of others and heard some interesting stuff. I also worked front desk during lunch break and had to handle loads of situations that I had known nothing about. In all, I think it was a good experience as I learned people skills and responsibility.

July had loads of stuff going on. I was preparing to leave as were many of my friends. It was kind of rough over all but probably the best thing to happen to me this year also happened during this time. The older of my two younger brothers went on a missions trip to Michigan to help a small church put on a big VBS program. While he was up there, our youth pastor had the opportunity to lead him to the Lord one night. Even though, we weren’t there, my entire family was pretty excited when he texted us the news. It definitely made up for everything else that was going on during that time.

Around June I had started looking for colleges in the area that would take a late applicant such as myself. I found two Catholic colleges in the area and visited the on my days off. One was very small and only had one dorm, which was coed. The other, was a fairly large campus with both coed dorms and a dorm reserved for Freshman girls only. Both had the program I was looking for, so the only thing I had to decide was whether I would live on campus or not. I didn’t have my license and wasn’t sure I’d have it in time so I made the rather difficult decision of living on campus. Now, this wasn’t difficult because I would miss my family, but I wasn’t sure I wanted to be that close to all the partying that frequently goes on in colleges. I definitely didn’t want to be in a coed dorm, as my understanding was your roommate or the room across the hall could be a guy. Yikes! (It isn’t that way. Coed dorms have locked doors and usually have separate halls for each gender) With this in mind, I chose the larger campus with the girls  only dorm. They accepted my late application and even gave me some scholarships. Things were looking good until I got my room assignment. They had filled up the girl’s dorm and had put me in the upperclassman, coed dorm. I panicked. We went for another tour to see that dorm and find out if there was any way I could change it. Nope, I was stuck.Moving day came and my roommate never showed. Yay! God had given me a semester to figure out what on earth I was doing. Classes were always early and I made a few friends. The semester flew by and I finished with good grades and more importantly, my sanity.

Tons of stuff happened to both my and many of my friends. Not all of it was good, but I still witnessed many blessings in my life and the lives of others. I could share many more stories but I don’t want to take up too much of you time. Have a Happy New Year, everyone!

~jojo

“Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.” John 14:1-3

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Thoughts on Love

I am constantly amazed by how often something I’ve read in devotions one day and been convicted by turns up in other places. The video I put in here later on is one I came across today and the subject it’s under was one that I’ve been thinking about for the last few days

In my Sunday School class we are going through the book Biblical Leadership by Matt Williams and Ken Collier. The chapter we went over this week dealt with the love we must have as Christians so naturally, the main passage was 1 Corinthians 13. I like to read ahead for the coming Sunday so I was reading this chapter last week. I don’t know about you, but this is one of those passages that I usually approach with the attitude of “Oh, I’ve read this before.” You’d think I’d learn by now! I was really hit by a few of the verses as well as the commentary Ken Collier had on them.

“Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil; Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth; Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things. Charity never faileth: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away.” 1 Corinthians 13:4-8

Love envieth not.

“I cannot be envious of someone, because his success cannot work against my success in God’s plan.” If someone else is living a successful life in God’s will, why should that make me upset?

Love vaunteth not itself; is not puffed up.

“A person who loves God will not be impressed with himself.” This can be a big one for me. I tend to look at all the “good” I’ve done and think that I’m a good person or at least a better Christian than someone else. The truth is, I can’t do anything without God, and all that I can even attempt is filthy compared to God (John 15:5; Isaiah 64:6)

Love thinketh no evil.

“I am not allowed to attempt to read someone’s motive’s. To do so is unloving. I cannot know for a certainty why he says what he says, nor why he does what he does.”  Only God knows what is going on in a person’s heart (1 Samuel 16:7). This was the biggest one for me. I tend to judge people’s actions and manners without anyone knowing. I just sit there and think of all the bad things they’re probably doing and that is very wrong of me. If I judge others, I am in more danger to be judged myself and that can bring about many more problems (Matthew 7: 1-5).

Love rejoices in truth.

“True love loves what God loves as well as hates what God hates.” I don’t think I have much to add to this one. Showing love to someone involves caring about them as a person. Therefore, because the things that God hates are sinful and will lead to painful consequences (Romans 6:23), we cannot allow those we love to follow that path. We must in love pray for them and perhaps even approach them when we fear they are sinning.

Love bears all things.

“Love covers all it can rigteously cover. It doesn’t ignore sin; it simply refers it back to the ones who can solve the problem . . . While a sin problem is being handled, I must love the person by covering hime, protecting him from ridicule, exposure, and harm as much as I possibly can.” Often we like to spread bad news by gossiping about it. Christians like to hide this by using “prayer requests” that have all the juicy details of the scandel. While I think it is okay to ask others to be praying for a fellow believer, others do not have to know all the details in order for them to pray for the situation. Telling people who are not part of the problem or solution to the problem is useless and often blows a small offense way out of proportion.

Love believeth all things.

“Love does not rush to judgement of others without evidence.” This applies to several of the previous statements as well. Another danger here is that a person who has done no wrong may have their testimony ruined by someone who began spreading rumors about them. This is damaging because the person may lose credibility when sharing the Gospel with an unbeliever. Even if the rumor has no basis to be founded on, it can be very difficult to convince people otherwise (Job 27:4).

Love hopeth all things.

“I must persevere in my love for someone, always hoping, never giving up!” No matter how difficult it may be, we must love others. It is a command and though we may fail at times, we know that Christ can give us the strength to succeed (Matthew 22:35-40; Philipians 4:13; Hebrews 6:19)

I hope this was an encouraging post for you, as it has been for me. Have a lovely day!

~jojo

By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another. John 13:35

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You Are What You Think!

Last Sunday the pastor of my church had a really great point in his message on Philippians 4:8-9. He said, “You are what you think.”

It’s such a simple phrase, but it is so true!

You can think negative or sinful things and soon they will overcome you.

You can dwell on positive, God-honoring things, and I guarantee your mood will improve no matter the circumstances surrounding you!

This message prompted me to look up some Bible verses about what we think. Here are some:

“Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.” Philippians 4:8

“Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth.” Colossians 3:2

“For as [a man] thinketh in his heart, so is he:” Proverbs 23:7a

“Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ; ” 2 Corinthians 10:5

 

I started this post a week ago and it’s just now getting posted. And it’s really short, but it’s easier to meditate on that way I guess. Oh well. Anyways, good thing I waited, cos now I can add a link to Christy’s blog post on the same subject from yesterday. Ha!

~jojo

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