Thursday, November 21, 2013

My Experience in NaNoWriMo

I haven't written on my blog in a while, but I'd like to share with you something that I did this past month that changed me as a writer. For the very first time, I participated in NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month). For those that don't know what it is, it is a month where writers try and write 50,000 words in a month (50,000 words is the minimum amount of words for a book to qualify as a novel). When I began, I was honestly uncertain if I could even write a full novel in that time.

My novel is a story that I've wanted to write for a while called Credence. The story is YA futuristic dystopian about a girl named Brielle who is growing up in a time where religion and faith is seen as a mental disorder. In the beginning of the story, we read that the world has just rebuilt itself and the whole world is under one centralized government (save for just a handful of places that signed a treaty to not bother in the affairs of the rest of the globe). Since the government has decided that since faith is a mental disorder those affected by it must be taken care of (either by elimination or 'services' that try to get rid of it for you). After some terrible global conflict that led to nuclear weapons being used, they decided that faith was the main reason for why they couldn't have peace in the world. In response to this, a group of people rebelled and created an organization that protects Christians from detection. Brielle is one of the ones under their protection.

So, in just a couple of weeks, I had the first draft written. It's terrible-as all first drafts are-but there are a few things that I noticed as I was writing:

  1. My narration got better as I continued to write. In times past, whenever I would write a short story or even attempt at writing a novel, one of my main problems was the narration of the story. I always ended up having a ton of dialogue and very little narrative. As I progressed through the chapters, I forced myself to try and write more narration. Towards the end, I got a better balance (not perfect) of narrative and dialogue.
  2. The more I wrote, the more ideas I got and the more the story grew. I always thought that you had to completely plan out a story before you sit down to write. It's true that it can help to do that, yet I found that just simply down and writing can really force your mind to think and allow the story to go where it wants to.
  3. Writing down the first draft really wasn't as difficult as I'd thought it'd be. Writing down a first draft can actually be fairly simple if you pace yourself. You can write 50,000 words in a month, or even less if you just sit down and do it. Hey, I heard that Ray Bradbury wrote Fahrenheit 451 in about nine days.
  4. Writers Block is just a small obstacle. Don't stop even if you get writer's block. Write something-even if it may not make sense. A lot of my best ideas for the story came out of my writers block when I forced myself to write. One idea changes to another. You just have to see where your brain takes you, even if you aren't going to necessarily keep some of the things you rambled on about.
  5. I found that everyday I wanted to do nothing but write. The more I wrote, the more I wanted to write, even at the times I was feeling mentally exhausted. I was just getting so excited to see my story progress, grow, and get closer and closer to the end.
  6. It helped me see the next books in the series more clearly. I have the intention to make this a trilogy (maybe even more, depends on what happens). The more I wrote, the more I could see what would happen in the continuing series. I noticed little things that came up that foreshadowed things to come later on. It's amazing how it just blooms!

The website for NaNoWriMo was extremely helpful in this process. They have message boards to talk with other people who are also doing this and kind of sharing in the burden some of the issues they've encountered. They also have authors that come in and write an encouraging note and give advice in letters to all who are participating.

I definitely plan on doing this again next year. For anyone who is a writer and wants to write novels, I HIGHLY suggest looking into doing this next year. You can do this even if you have limited time to do so. It really is all about pacing yourself. Sit down and write about 1500 words a day-that's roughly about a page and a half, two pages tops. If you do this, you will reach that 50,000 word mark by the last day of the month. Or, if you choose not to to NaNoWriMo, pick out a time period that works for you and figure out how many words a day you need to write in order to get to the end. The overall idea here is pacing and breaking the project down.

I know within the next year it will be a challenge to edit and go though the re-writing process, but it will be so worth it to eventually hold the published copy in my hands. This experience showed me that it IS possible and that this dream can become a reality-I just have to sit down and actually do it! I am just so thrilled and thankful that I was able to get something down. This gives me a starting point, and I just pray that God can use me and the story I'm writing to reach out to others and inspire them.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Finding Motivation in Self-Acceptance

Okay, okay; I know that blogs on self image and self worth have been done so many times, but I thought up a side to it that I hadn't thought of to write down before.

Just recently, I've been undertaking the process of losing weight. I'm very proud to say that I've lost over 50 lbs. I'm eating better in terms of the types of foods I eat and the portions I am eating.

I've never lost this much before. Normally, I'll make it to about 30, and then I'm unable to lose anymore. Then, I get discouraged, eat more, and gain the weight back. Meh.

I kind of realize now what the main problem was.

Back then at the previous times I tried losing weight, my self esteem was terrible. I really had almost no confidence in myself. I looked in the mirror and hated myself inside and out for the person I'd become.

Over the years, I had been told in so many ways (subtly and unsubtly) that the only way for you to get the motivation to lose weight was to hate and despise the way you looked.

I knew it was probably silly to think that way. Yet, because I didn't have any other reason to take care of myself, I kind of thought at the time that it was the only way.

My journey has been a long one. First, was realizing that I have a God who created and loves me. Second, fully realizing deep down to your heart, (not just knowing it-but understanding it) that you are beautiful on the inside. Third, my self-worth needs to come from the Lord. All of these things I have written about before.

You see, at this point I've realized something: when you love something, really love something, you're more likely to go out of your way to take care of it. We go out of our way to help loved ones; our siblings, husbands, boyfriends, mothers, fathers, grandparents, our relationship with God, etc.

Why? Because we love them. What about ourselves?

We MUST stop hating on our bodies. When we learn to love and accept them, only then do I believe we can really get the desire to take better care of it and maintain a lifetime of health. Because, seriously-why would we take care of something we don't really love and care about that much anyway?

Also, when you don't have a healthy dose of self-love, other areas of your life suffer. Your relationships suffer. You cause your loved ones to worry about you and your health. You begin comparing yourself and hating other women because they have something you don't. Your relationship with God suffers because you're focused too much on self to worry about it.

My weight loss is now mostly because I want to be a healthier me-not necessarily because I want to look better. I want to treat myself well so God can use me better for His purposes, and so I can do more for my loved ones. It'll be nice to fit into some smaller sizes (I'm not going to lie about that) but my mindset has changed dramatically in what my priorities are health wise.

So, what I am basically saying is that we must learn to love ourselves and when we do, you find that it's easier to find the motivation to take better care of yourself.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Are Your Words EVERYONE?

I think you can probably guess why I put a picture of Thumper here... :)

It's amazing the petty little things people will decide to complain about in terms of things politicians or celebrities do.

Especially politicians. Honestly, it drives me crazy to see so many people choose ridiculous, unimportant things to nit pick them about. It also drives me crazy to see the Christian people sit around and insult our President. No, not simply say they disagree with his policies, and why-but literally result to insulting him.

Let me state this, I do not agree with mostly everything he stands for. I honestly don't. But, the truth is, it sickens me to see the way even Christians are acting towards him.

Insulting, making fun of, and gossiping about our president or the opposing side will not make things better. That NEVER makes anything better in any situation we find ourselves in life. It makes things worse. In terms of politics, it makes people on the more conservative side look mean and hateful. Do you honestly think God is happy with us when we choose to act in such a way toward anyone?

Instead of using our mouths to cut others down, we should be using them down on our knees in prayer for him, for others. When we are about in the world, or on Facebook, sharing our beliefs with others, we should do so in a way that doesn't involve trying to cut others down.

Consider what the bible says:

“Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.”-Ephesians 4:29

“But now you must put them all away: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and obscene talk from your mouth.”-Colossians 3:8

“Words of the mouth of the wise are gracious, but fools are consumed by their own lips.”-Ecclesiastes 10:12

Also, please consider if there is even an inkling of hate in your heart. Hate towards others is a sin, and it can make people do and say horrible things to others (Matthew 5:43-48). Before you say something, or post something, consider in your heart WHY you are about to say what you are. Are you doing it to be uplifting, to build up, to teach? Or, are you doing it simply to insult or get one over on some person, or party?

I think we often forget that people are souls. I think we often forget that we have sin in our lives just like everyone else. We need to make sure that our hearts aren't transforming into those like the pharisees who thanked God that they weren't like “that tax collector”. (Luke 18:9-14)

God and His love is what should drive us. Not the desire to be right all the time.

Friday, May 17, 2013

Seeing the World Clearly through Jesus

There is a saying that goes, "She sees the world through rose-colored glasses."

This simply means that someone sees the world in a positive and optimistic way.

Our mindset, experience, and influences around us determine how we are going to view certain things and situations. As Christians, have we allowed God to put his "glasses" on us to view things more like the way He does?

Through study, prayer, and implementing His teaching in our lives, our take on things and actions should change to that of God's.

I believe that many of us as Christians are allowing the influence of the world to affect our thinking. Are we as Christian women allowing the mentality of "I am woman, hear me roar" affect the way we view people and situations? Or, are we allowing the mindset of Christ to bestow love, humbleness, kindness, self-control and gentleness to take over our hearts? (Galatians 5:22-23, James 4:10, 1st Peter 5:6)

When you enter a situation of someone angrily lashing out at you, what is your first thought of what to do? It's usually to lash back. However, for someone with the love of Christ in their hearts, we train ourselves to make the decision that we aren't going to do that. We will give a gentle answer, an honest answer, and a loving answer (Proverbs 15:1, Ephesians 4:15, Ephesians 4:25). Our eyes should see that person as a soul who needs the love of God in them.

When something bad happens in our world, such as a war, natural disaster, or mass murder, we shouldn't have to question God why it happens. It happens because of sin and/or because of Satan trying to destroy people's faith and lives (1st Peter 5:8). We should just see it as an opportunity to do even more good for the cause of Christ or to grow. Bad things are going to happen in this life and there's really not a whole lot we can do about it.

 1st Peter 4:12 says, "Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery trial when it comes upon you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you."

Our eyes and our hearts will only open to Jesus' sight if we allow them to be opened. With Him and His words in our hearts we can see the world differently. To fully allow God to change us, we must let go of a worldly mindset and let God's word change us from the inside out. (James 4:8, Hebrews 4:12)

Pride too often shadows our judgment when we choose to hold onto something so tightly that we know we shouldn't be hanging onto. Until we can overcome that pride, and learn what it really means to love God, only then can we see how God wants us to be and how we must view this world. We can begin to see this world for what it is, see it for what it could be, and we can see the joy that will come after our work on this earth is done.

(P.S.: I highly encourage you to look up the verses referenced here on your own. Don't take my word for it!)

Monday, May 6, 2013

Pray for Everyone...Not just the people we like.

Today while browsing on Pinterest, I came across something that took me by surprise. It shouldn't have, but I guess gruesome things just have a way of doing that.

One board that I follow posts things about God, and Christianity. Well, someone pinned a picture of a person's hand that looked as if someone took a knife and put multiple, deep cuts up each finger. Why was this done? Because this person was punished for reading the bible in a Muslim country.

I have seen multiple images of the bodily damage done by some those people in the middle east. It's really disturbing and heartbreaking to see how Christians can be treated over there.

The pin was saying to be sure we pray for the Christians being persecuted over there. We should pray for them; we should be praying that they can stay strong and not back down, even to the point of giving their lives for God.

Yet, there's some other people that need prayer: the persecutors themselves. It's hard sometimes to find it in ourselves to pray for these people-but the truth is, no matter how vile, evil, or horrible a person may seem, they absolutely NEED our prayers. God came to die for everyone-never, ever, should we let our human ideas and feelings get in the way of God's longing for everyone to come to  him (2nd Peter 3:9).

Some of what we would consider some of the worst of people have come to God. Paul, is a prime example. He originally caused Christians to be put to death and thrown into prisons. Yet, God still saw fit to use Him. When we read the bible, we see some horrible things that some of them have done, yet God loved them and saw so much potential in them.

Now, as I type this, or as you're reading this, efforts are being made to take prayer and God out of certain parts of our country (such as our military). We're being called hateful, foolish, and stupid for our stances on certain issues. And, honestly, it will probably only get worse from here (unless something is done, that is).

Jesus told us what to do about those people. He tells us to pray for these people, and to treat them kindly (6:27-28). He also tells us to give respect and pray for our government officials (Romans 13:4-7, Matthew 22:16-21, 1st Peter 2:17). No matter how much we may dislike someone, or some government, God still commands us to treat them with love and respect.

Remember that Jesus says, "If the world hates you, know that they hated me before they hated you." (John 15:18)

We must still keep working, no matter the circumstance. Be kind to everyone, respect everyone, and obey God. This world needs your love, and your prayers. Don't let pride fill you up so much to the point that it fills your heart with hatred for those that don't believe.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Be Kind to Our Earth

As all of you know, yesterday was Earth Day. It is a day that we are encouraged to have awareness for how we treat and take care of our home planet.

However, sometimes I feel like as Christians we tend to ignore the subject of taking care of the earth because it's more of a “Liberal Thing”. I will admit there were quite a few things that have given caring for the earth a bad name. Yet, I think it is something that we must also do.

Everything in our natural world was created by God for us. Genesis 1:26 says, “Then God said, 'Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps upon the earth.”

And so says verse 28: “And God blessed them. And God said to them, 'Be fruitful and fill the earth and subdue it and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth.”

So, we see that God told us that we are in charge of the earth. So, that would mean we could do whatever we wanted, right? I mean, can we just kill as many animals as we want and waste what we want?


Proverbs 12:10 says, "Whoever is righteous has regard for his beast. But the mercy of the wicked is cruel."

And, "Know well the condition of your flocks, and give attention to your herds." (Proverbs 27:23)

We see here that it is very wrong to treat animals cruelly. Animals were given to us from God for food, and companionship; yet, we see that we don't need to torture or prolong suffering.

There are other verses that discuss treating animals with respect (Leviticus 22:27-28, Deuteronomy 22:6-7).

We also see how God reprimanded Balaam in Numbers 22:32-33 for not only disobeying God, but God also got onto him for abusing his donkey-when the donkey saved his life.

The bible also implies many places not to be wasteful with the blessings God has given us. When we become wasteful with the blessings of God, we are, in way, taking it for granted and not showing thankfulness for it (Luke 16:1-9, Luke 15:11-16). This could also go for how some people in the world over hunt animals, or cut down so many trees without replanting.

When you study ecology and how everything is set up in the natural world, it's easy to see how one extinction of a plant or animal can cause such a negative affect on everything else.  For instance, if a species of frog died out somewhere, there could be a huge increase of mosquitoes and other biting insects, raising the potential for even more disease. Or, if a plant died out that was a huge source of food for a particular animal, that animal too could die out. It causes a ripple effect.

Extinction has been occurring for thousands of years. However, that doesn't mean we should encourage it or just do nothing. God loves all of his creation, and deemed it "good" in Genesis. While we have been given charge over the natural world in which we live, that doesn't mean we can just go and kill everything and expect God to be pleased with wasting it all away. With great power comes great responsibility.

Recently, a woman was arrested in our county for the mistreatment of animals. The shocking thing was that she was running a place that was supposed to be a safe haven for animals without a home. There were dead animal carcasses apparently in her home and all over the place, as well as sick and dying ones.

Based on some of the verses above, do you think God was pleased with how this woman was treating the animals supposed to be under her care? No!

While I admit taking care of our natural world has been given a bad name by certain people and movements, it's still something that we should care about. If someone is doing something disrespectful to the creation that God has bestowed upon us, we SHOULD be upset about it! We as Christians can't  ignore issues that must be discussed and taken care of. Teach your children to take care of and be gentle to animals. Teach them not to be wasteful. God gave this world to us to take care of, and take care of it we must!

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Behold, the Bridegroom COMETH!

The image to the left is wonderful. It speaks of something wonderful that we all must be reminded of.

There are many ways I can go with this, but I'd like to start out with an all too familiar parable:

"Then the kingdom of heaven will be like ten virgins who took their lamps and went to meet the bridegroom. Five of them were foolish, and five were wise. For when the foolish took their lamps, they took no oil with them, but the wise took flasks of oil with their lamps. As the bridegroom was delayed, they all be came drowsy and slept. But at midnight there was a cry, 'Here is the bridegroom! Come out to meet Him!' Then all those virgins rose and trimmed their lamps. And the foolish said to the wise, 'Give us some of your oil, for our lamps are going out.' But the wise answered saying, 'Since there will not be enough for us and for you, go rather to the dealers and buy for yourselves. And while they were going to buy, the bridegroom came, and those who were ready went in with Him to the marriage feast, and the door was shut. Afterward the other virgins came also saying, 'Lord, Lord, open to us!' But He answered, "Truly I say to you, I do not know you.' Watch therefore, for you know neither the day or the hour." (Matthew 25:1-12)

On their wedding days, most brides want it to go as smoothly and perfect as possible. They wear a beautiful white dress and veil, and make sure their hair is perfect. They want to look beautiful for the moment they meet their groom for the first time and enter into wedded bliss. Much preparation is usually put into this special occasion with everything-not even just the look of the bride. It includes decor, food, music, flowers...every last detail perfect, showcasing the love the two have for one another.

How often do we stop to think about the other marriage we as Christian women must attend to? As members of the Lord's body, we are the bride of Christ! (2nd Corinthians 11:2, Ephesians 5:25-27) How much preparation and thought do we put into making sure we are ready when our Lord returns? As the parable above describes, we must be prepared! We must have every detail taken care of, and our hearts cleansed and beautified to meet our Lord.

The wise virgins obviously loved and cared very much for the man about to become their Groom. They spent so much time preparing and making themselves ready for His arrival. The foolish however, it's obvious they didn't care as much as they should have, or they would have been prepared.

The truth is, we don't know when Christ will come back and claim His bride. Jesus doesn't even know when Himself (Mark 13:32, Matthew 24:36, 2nd Peter 3:10). Shouldn't we strive to be ready at all times? We mustn't be like the foolish virgins who were ill prepared.

Consider often what you are doing. What if Jesus were to come back at that very moment? What would He find you doing? Will you be doing some sinful act that God would not have you do? Where would that put you if He came back at that moment? Scary to think about, isn't it?

No body is perfect, but the key is to always be doing the best we can to do right in the eyes of the Lord. Draw near to Him, and always ask for forgiveness. Ask Him to help you be better where you are weakest. Do your best to be as beautiful in heart that you can be when He finally returns.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

REJOICE in the Lord always, and AGAIN I say REJOICE!

Right now, from a spiritual perspective, our world isn't doing so well. I scroll down on Facebook and see so many talking about everything going on lately in this sin-sick world.

Yet, with everything going on, how often do we pause to just praise God? How often do we stand outside for a moment and take in with awe the wide, blue sky above, or even the power of a storm (or anything in nature for that matter)? How often do we just randomly break out in song with exultation? How often to we stop just to say 'thank you' for everything He's given us and blessed us with? How often do we pause to thank God for the good that comes out of something bad? 

It is so easy to fall into the trap of getting depressed and down about the bad things-so much so to the point that we simply forget how big, great, awesome and WONDERFUL our Savior is!

Consider these verses:

"Rejoice in the Lord always; again I say, rejoice!"-Philippians 4:4

"Shout for joy in the LORD, O you righteous! Praise befits the righteous!"-Psalm 33:1

"Not that I am speaking of being in need, for I have learned in whatever situation I am in to be content."-Philippians 4:11

"Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds."-James 1:2

It can be hard to be joyful in the hard times. Yet, with God we have salvation, worth, and everlasting love. Isn't that reason enough to be joyful? Only God can give that peace and joy that is continuous no matter the situation (Philippians 4:7).

When you read some of the most faithful people in the bible like Job, Joshua, Jeremiah, David, Daniel, Peter, and Paul, what is something that all of them have in common? Even in harder times, they still praised God with everything in them! Even when things got difficult, they still found it in them to praise God and find joy. 

We must take more time to fall even more in love with God and to praise Him. The more time we spend with Him, the more we understand and develop the joy that comes from Him-no matter the circumstance.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Swimwear Dress Code at Camp...Why?

The issue I'm about to bring up may cause some divided reactions. Yet, I feel the need to bring it up.

I think a lot of us know the issue dealing with swimwear, and how most of it really isn't modest at all. However, I want to put forth an issue you may have not thought about before.

At bible camps every summer, I know that most of them have separated swim times-which is great, and definitely helps the opposite genders out a lot with lust issues.

However, have many of us ever paused to think about those who may be struggling with same sex attraction?

I'm sure it's hard to even fathom this even happening in the church.  I'm very sure that even in the church, there are those-especially our young people-that are struggling with this, yet many are too ashamed to ask for help and prayers. This is a HUGE issue nowadays and can't be ignored.

Don't believe it? I've actually heard and know of kids who've gone to different camps (unbeknownst to the counselors) that have admitted to having issues with this. Very few seem to realize this though (or maybe don't really want to).

I believe when it comes to swim time, especially for the girls, there needs to be a dress code for swimwear. At the very least, they shouldn't be allowed to wear the itsy-bitsy bikinis leaving very little to the imagination, or the so-called “mono-kinis” (one piece swimsuits that cover as much as a bikini does).

It may seem silly, but really think about it-everyone has sins they struggle with. Christian camps should be a spiritual safe-haven for those who come. The week should be uplifting for them and encouraging so that when they leave, they feel strengthened to stand against temptation-not feeling discouraged and wondering why they can't get a break.

We don't want to push these kids away. So why put them in an environment that will make it all the more difficult for them? I know of a few young people that have left the church because of same sex attraction issues. Because they weren't getting any help or encouragement, or fear of being shunned, they eventually gave up and left, acting on their temptations.

Sure, it was their decision to leave, but we as Christians MUST be a light of kindness, love, and encouragement to other people-especially our fellow brothers and sisters in Christ (Galatians 6:10). I don't think we will want to stand before God one day knowing that we were hateful or uncaring towards those that needed our help. We must allow God to use us to help other people-even if it's as simple as what do for our kids at camp.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Judging and Lack of Self-Control: The Precursors to Gossip

I've written about gossip before, and how it can destroy lives. We know that it's not a pastime that brings about anything good.

Yet, I think to really nip it in the bud is to figure out how it starts.

First of all, I think one of the main things that starts it is being overly judgmental.

There are so many women who judge a situation and/or before they know the full story, and then open their mouths to elaborate what they ABSOLUTELY know is the complete, undeniable truth.

For instance, Lady A sees Lady B having lunch in public with a guy who isn't her husband. Lady A then freaks out and decides to call everyone she knows that Lady B is having an affair with someone.

The truth? The guy is actually a friend of Lady B's and they're on a lunch break and decided to have lunch together. Nothing romantic is going on at all.  Yet, now, because Lady A decided to open  her mouth, Lady B's reputation is ruined and her friends will never look at her the same way.

What would have been the correct way to handle it? Lady A should have kept quiet and approached Lady B and actually asked her what was going on.

I believe jumping the gun and judging others is how so many vicious rumors get started.

Jesus says, "Judge not, that you not be judged. For with the judgment you pronounce, you will be judged and with the measure you use, it will be measured back to you. Why do you see the speck that is in your [sister's] eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? Or, how can you say to your [sister] 'Let me take the speck out of your eye,' when there is a log in your own eye? You hypocrite, first, take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck out of your [sister's] eye." (Matthew 7:1-5)

We need to be extra careful when we decide to judge others. Jesus says to remember that the judgment you make "will be measured back to you." Nobody is perfect. In some ways, especially if they're a sister or brother in Christ, sometimes, we may have to do some judging in terms of helping them to become a better Christian. Yet, Jesus also says to make sure that you're not doing the same thing, and/or to make sure that your heart is in the right place and you are approaching it in the correct way.

Yet, here's the thing: if you don't feel as if you can approach it in the correct way, or have no idea how to, just let it go and don't do anything yet. Just pray that God will help you find the way or bring things to light in His own way.

Also, leading from being judgmental, it also stems from issues of lacking self-control.

Most of the time, gossip begins with judging, and then turns into this insatiable desire to share the drama with everyone. And until that lust for sharing the drama is quenched for a short time, they run their mouths to everyone.

We as Christians are commanded to develop self-control. (2nd Timothy 2:17, 2nd Peter 1:6, Galatians 5:22-23, 2nd Timothy 3:2-3, Proverbs 25:28)

A lack of self-control is a sin. It is a problem that leads to so many other sins: greed, fornication, wrath, and so many more. How can we possibly live for God the way we should if we can't develop self-control?

We as Christians must train ourselves to stop and think before we do or say anything! It is so imperative that we develop this in ourselves.

This is what it boils down to:

Gossip can be stopped in these ways:
A. Stop jumping to extreme conclusions to every situation we encounter.
B. Ask God to help you figure out how to handle a situation that actually does need dire help-don't run to or text everyone you know and spread everything. Just ask for His guidance.
C. Exercise self-control, and insert foot in mouth. If you're unsure about something, just don't say it.

Saturday, March 30, 2013

5 Deadly things Christian Women Should NOT Say.

While browsing on Pinterest, I came across a picture that I've seen before. The picture is the one shown below.

It's meant to be funny, but the truth is, I see so many women act this way. In fact, most women act this way so much they fail to realize it.

All of these terms are dishonest, hateful, vindictive, and overly proud-everything a Christian woman should not be. (Col. 3:9, 1st John 4:7-8,11, Romans 12:9, James 4:6)

If you are upset or frustrated with your husband or boyfriend (or anyone for that matter) tell him that you are and why! Tell him in a way that is firm yet loving, and discuss it like civilized, mature individuals.
Ask yourself, "How would Jesus approach this situation?"

Be honest. Don't leave others guessing while you plot their demise. A Christian woman gives love and honesty to all and strives to remain humble. (James 4:10)

God will bless you for it.

Friday, March 29, 2013

Lessons to be Learned from Cartoons

Pinkie Pie: I do not own, (belongs to Hasbro) I just think she's adorable. :)

When I mention what some of my favorite shows are, I'm not going to lie, I get some very strange looks sometimes. Cartoons are among some of my favorite things to watch. I do watch other things, of course, but there's something about them that I love.

I love to laugh and smile. There's something about cartoons that is just so quirky and silly, and you can't always see those things on regular “adult” programming. I mean, come on ...who doesn't like watching people get blown up only to get singed and live to tell the tale? There is something seriously amusing about that.

Also, a lot of people think they cause your mind to rot...I couldn't disagree more. I can't tell you the number of philosophical discussions that have started with either my friends or sisters because of cartoons. My sister Sarah and I will notice something that happens, and start discussing it.

Also, think about many adults need to go back and relearn lessons they were SUPPOSED to learn in elementary school?

The truth is, some  Adults may need to re-learn certain things found in cartoons (and guess what, they're even in the bible!)

-Forgive, apologize, move on with your life and/or be friends again. (Matthew 6:13)

-If you realize you're in over your head, swallow your pride and ask for help. (Or at least read the directions...) (James 1:5, Matthew 7:7)

-Telling lies will just make your life more complicated and stressful, and make you lose people closest to you. (Ephesians 4:25)

-Being a grump ruins your day, and can affect the day of others around you. SMILE ALREADY!!!!! (Titus 3:2, Proverbs 15:1, Philippians 4:4)

-Don't give up. It's simple, really. How easily do we give up on things that are important to us as Adults? Giving up is what causes so many problems in our lives. We end up becoming so impatient that we just give up on things being better altogether. (Hebrews 12:1, 1st Corinthians 9:24, Philippians 3:13-14)

-Stand up for what you believe in. Don't be a coward. (2nd Timothy 1:7)

-Be grateful for what you have and be content. (Philippians 4:12, Philippians 4:11)

-Don't be selfish. Help, encourage, and share with others. (1st Thessalonians 5:11, 1st Timothy 6:18)

And lastly...

-Sometimes all you need is a good friend and a good laugh. (Proverbs 17:22, Proverbs 18:24)

Aren't these all things we need to be reminded of sometimes? Often, it's the simple lessons in life that we have a hard time with. We all need to strive for these things, especially if you're a Christian.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Stand With God

My life is what it is because of God. He has been there for me, helped me grow, healed me, and has shown me what kind of life I am supposed to be living. Even more so, He sent His son to die for me.

This, more so than all the other reasons are the reasons I love and follow Him. 

This nation has been through a lot of pushing and shoving the past few years in terms of morality. People were uncertain of how to handle some really big issues popping up; namely homosexuality and abortion. And, now, it seems the homosexuality issue is coming to a head-especially with convincing the government to make marriage equal among all orientations in all states.

I've studied my bible, and I know what it says about homosexuality. I hear many saying that God surely accepts it. Yet, when I read my bible, I can't figure out where on earth it possibly says it.

Because it doesn't accept it (1st Corinthians 6:9, Romans 1:26-27, 1st Timothy 1:8-11).

I see so many religious people right now saying that God does accept it. It's almost as if they're ignoring everything He says about it. Honestly, I wonder how they can claim to be Christians if they don't believe what the bible says. How can we trust the bible if we disregard only that one issue (and maybe some others) and say we believe in God when the bible comes from God himself? God told all these men what to write when they wrote the bible (2nd Timothy 3:16, 2nd Peter 1:21). If you pick and choose only a few things from it to believe, why even believe it at all?

I do not hate the homosexual people. I've actually met a lot of them who are really nice and genuinely good people. However, when it comes to picking between mankind and the God I serve, I will ALWAYS stand with God.
Because of everything He has done for me, I will stand by Him and His word. Whatever the Government decides, that is what they decide. Whatever people choose to do, that is what they choose to do. I will be kind to others no matter their choices and decisions, but make no mistake about where I stand-It's with God.