Sunday, January 27, 2013

Sundays at Home

I love Sunday afternoons on the rare occasion that I am home with my family.  School work and life still lurk on the outside, but here I am. Who would have thought I would find retreat and shelter right at home? I guess that's what college does.

Every Sunday morning my family gets up, goes to Sunday school, church, and then to lunch. Afterwards, we go home and relax. Take a nap. Play some games on our electronics. Blog. Soak in the message we just heard from the preacher.

What a wonderful time of peace. It's good to be home.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

From "Hooked on Phonics" to Editor in Chief

I was almost held back from Kindergarten because I couldn't read. However, my teachers and parents took a leap of faith and put me in first grade. To solidify and aid this decision my mother began me on the bane of my 6 year old existence: Hooked on Phonics.

I did the work under protest but slowly learned to read. I'm sure my mother can tell you more stories than I can, but it was a struggle. I did in fact survived the torture and became a good little student. However, my hatred for reading and writing stayed elevated.

Slowly, though, things began to change. I was first introduced to the wonderful world of Harry Potter in middle school and fell in love with the series. Then, I began to read my Bible.  I would tell people the only things I will read are Harry Potter, the Bible, and whatever I have to read for school.

Once J. K. Rowling finished the series I was completely inspired. I began to write a magical book of my own. Now, don't ask me to see it. It was horrible, but it was a start. However, my grades in writing at high school were still average or below average compared to my peers so I decided that I clearly was not a good writer.

Eventually college rolled around and I cringed a little inside as I walked into class. If I was a bad writer in high school, college is going to kill me. I was pleasantly surprised.  Writing in college still requires proper grammar and organization, but it has so much more freedom.  In addition, I had found a teacher who told me I was a good writer.  This blew my mind and I did not believe him.

Soon I became involved with the newspaper, but not really by my will.  My friend and the Editor in Chief of the paper at the time convinced me to write an article about science and faith. Then, he kept asking me to write more! And then to become and editor! And become Editor in Chief. My reaction? No way. I just learned a few months ago that I can write well and now you want me to edit and be in charge? No.

However, through prayer and contemplation I have accepted the position of Editor in Chief of the Hilltop News. I know I have a lot more to learn, and I am so excited to begin this yearlong journey tomorrow. I can't wait to see what happens.

This is what I want you to understand: there is also more to you than you think. Don't underestimated yourself.  Have faith in yourself.  Listen to those smarter than you. You may not know what you are capable of. I sure didn't.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

New Apologetics blog

Hello blog readers!

I have a new blog for my studies in apologetics. I will keep this one as my personal blog, but I noticed my blog named for "Simple things" has become a little cluttered.

Click here to see my new blog!

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Dependently Independent

I hate being dependent. I hate needing help.  You can ask my family and friends how many times I turn down help because, "No, really. I got this. I'm fine."  So when God says, "You can't do this alone. You will fail on your own. Rely on me." my first reaction is "I got a plan. Thanks, though."

Why would I willingly give up my freedom. I am an American! I can make my own choices! Yes, that's true. However, in depending on God I experience a new kind of freedom.  You see, I still make my own choices, but when I relying on God I prayerfully consider circumstances before choices.  I am choosing to give up what I want in order to do what He wants.

I don't always do this, though. Sometimes I do what I want instead.  Yeah... that never works out real well.  However, He is always there with forgiveness and love to take me back and put me back on the right path.  Going back is painful, but it's freeing.

So here's to being Dependently Independent!  With my independence and free will I choose to be dependent on God.  Then, in Him, I experience true freedom.  Sometimes it doesn't feel like it, no.  But I am free in Him.  I am free to be who he created me to be.

In Christ I am a new creation. The old is has gone; behold, the new has come!
2 Corinthians 5:17

I hope you'll join me.

Friday, January 4, 2013

Gadgets and girlfriends

I love gadgets.

I got a nice little QWERTY keyboard phone, iPod touch, and some others.  Gadgets are fun and useful little things. However, how many times have you heard your parents say, or if you are a parent how many times have you said this, "No cell phones at the dinner table!".

I sure have. A lot. Like I said, I like my gadgets.

Today, though, I encountered for the first time just what these little things do to relationships.

I was out to lunch today enjoying a bottomless soup, salad, and bread stick meal when a young, high school couple sat at the booth next to me. That, however, was not the strange part of my observations.

They sat down, ordered their food, and pulled out their cell phones. Once the boy put down his and looked around, almost as if wondering if they would talk at all.  Soon after, though, he pulled his back out again.  Occasionally one would share a picture they found with the other, but that was the extent of their conversation.

When the main course arrived, the conversation picked up a bit, but only, it seemed, to fill space. And believe it or not, the conversation starter was the guy.  The girl did not seem very interested in talking to him.

How strange!  They seem to be on a date, but would much rather spend their time with the virtual world than with each other.

I don't get it at all. As much as I love my little gadgets, when I'm out with people I make an effort to keep the phone to a minimum, or at least multitask. (Though I'm sure my friends and family can provide you with instances where I have failed at that.)

So, be conscious of your phone usage. I'm not here to say that you should quit using them all together. No way.  Just remember, when you're spending time with someone you care about, whether boyfriend, family member, or just a friend, show them you care! Give them your attention.  It'll be better for both of you.   Who knows, you may even learn something.

Thursday, January 3, 2013


Warning: a little graphic.

Scubula: a greek word often translated as "loss". For example, Paul said, "But whatever gain I had, I counted as loss for the sake of Christ" in Philippians 3:7.

More accurately, this word is translated rubbish.

Even more accurately, this word means the liquid flowing inside your intestines. Poop. Crap. I'll let you fill in the other synonyms from there. 
Paul is saying whatever he considered important before Christ, he now considers as crap. Literally. That's in the Bible, ladies and gentlemen.

Paul is saying this is true of his former life as a Pharisee. It was a life perceived to be holy, but any life apart from Christ is a sinful life. All lives prior to Christ are defined by sin. Even now as Christians, we fall prey to sin daily. Even though we know this, it's still easy to fall into a self-righteous mindset. "Well, sure, I yell at people in traffic, but I'm not the only one. And besides it could be worse. At least I don't drink and drive."

However, all sin is a remnant of that former life of scubula. All my sin is scubula. Get a picture of that in your head.  You're covered in crap. You're nasty. You've been rolling in it. Picture Jean Veljean from Les Miserables when he is rescuing Marius.

Suddenly someone completely clean comes and takes that on Himself leaving you clean.  All you have to do is be willing for Him to take it. Wow.

I am dirty. My sin coats me.  However, Jesus is pure.  He is holy.  He is clean. Therefore, in Him I am clean. My faith He has counted as righteousness. Good Lord, how undeserving am I.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013


In 2013 I'm going to lose weight and save more!!

Yeah, right.
It's probably going to be like every other year where I'm gonna save weight and lose more.

I think that communicates my feelings towards new years resolutions.

However, at the beginning of this new year I have been thinking on the goals I have for myself everyday and taking this day of all to reflect on them and share some with you.  I repeat these are daily goals, not resolutions.

In 2013 and every day, I want to love those around me. I want God to continue to teach me his ways.  When I find love hurts, I want to remember that there is one who loved me so much it hurt and he bled and died.  I want to remember that when all else fails, He is always here.  He is always with me.  I want to praise Him for that and his undying love.

Happy New Years, my friends.