Monday, January 31, 2011

This is my life

My life between the hours of 10am-2pm, Monday-Saturday.

It includes:
CLEP book
Reminder to eat lunch
and...ya that's about it. :)

Philippians 2:14-16, "Do everything without grumbling or arguing, 15 so that you may become blameless and pure, “children of God without fault in a warped and crooked generation.”[a] Then you will shine among them like stars in the sky 16 as you hold firmly to the word of life. And then I will be able to boast on the day of Christ that I did not run or labor in vain."

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Just Do It

By Clari Noel and Char Char

Today while hanging out with my wonderful buddy Charity C. we were
elected to cook dessert for church lunch tomorrow. First mistake of the day. heh heh heh
We hired two minions to help out, Little-Man and Mini-Man. They gladly excepted and loved stirring the....stuff.
We flipped through the old and worn cook book hoping to stumble upon something of interest and deliciousness. It came like a light from above.
Fluffy white cake with broiled coconut topping.
We began to make the fluffy white cake with the needed ingredients-until we reached flour. The 4th ingredient.
::Gasp:: We were heavily dismayed to discover we had no flour.
After much violent debate with Charity insisting upon using tapioca(raw) and Clareesa really wanting to use white flour to make is unhealthy, an agreement was made. We would use the 'mystery flour' found back in the shadows of the pantry. We say mystery flour because it was an odd blackish color and didn't really look like flour at all. And Charity almost died when smelling it.
Clareesa really wanted this to be a coconut cake. Coconut goes in everything right? Soooo she threw in about half a cup (we just kinda dumped. Charity insists it was at least a cup) of coconut milk powder...which later exploded in Charity's face.
Then to make it even more coconutty we decided to use canned coconut milk (it was Charity's idea). It worked wonderfully. Until we opened the the can. Is coconut milk supposed to stay conformed to the can after you dump it out?
It smelled weird too. Mini-Man said it smelled like mustard.
We needed more flavor.
Lemon extract? Sounds good.
We dumped some in. Not really knowing how much to use. The whole kitchen held an odor which was strangely similar to lemon.
The batter began to form. And smell.
Charity proclaimed it to took like pureed dog food. It tasted pretty close. Clareesa refused to get near it.
We thought maybe food coloring would make it look more delectable.
All we could find was orange.
It looked like puked pureed dog food now. And tasted about the same.
Clareesa dumped in some sugar, which then caused Charity to gasp in horror and cry out "It was ALREADY too sweet!"
Charity finally got (pretty much forced) Clareesa to try some.
She insisted it needed more coconut to cover the flavor. So we added some shredded coconut.
After that it was....edible. But still looked like puked pureed dog with odd chunks.
Then we talked about cooking it. Charity mentioned it would be "Solidated puked pureed dog food".
We found blue food coloring. We put it in. We looked at it. We thought it looked gross.
Clareesa's mom walked in the room and said, "Oh green cake batter? Interesting."
Our hearts were bruised. But not deflated.
We put it in the oven and gave Mini-Man and Little-Man the batter bowl to lick out. 5 minutes later they could be found running around the house with a trail of batter falling off their faces and hands.
Next. The topping. The broiled coconut topping.
Sugar, evaporated milk (which Charity discovered tastes absolutely revolting straight out of the can after guzzling it.) and butter boiling over the stove. And odd smell wafted through the doors of our house. Something like....well something unknown. Something like "Clareesa and Charity are cooking again" smell. (Later to be an odd burnt smell).
Charity had her back turned toward Clareesa who was stirring the boiling mixture on the stove and soon heard, "Oh! oh! OHHH!!!" She turned around and saw in horror the mixture was spilling over the sides of the pan and down into the stove. Clareesa was jumping around frantically trying to calm it down. Finally it was under control. (With much mess!)
Then crushed almonds and more coconut shavings. Smelled alright. Tasted alright.
We mixed it all together.
Did not look anything like frosting. More Charity put it...oatmeal. Tasted rather (*very*) sweet.

And now we wait for it to finish cooking.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Honoring God through Conflict

I've been lacking in posting. I found out I'm actually starting college in March! So I've been crazy busy getting ready for college and studying for cleps, etc. (Not the most amazing thing ever) ;)

It's a little crazy how much life has changed for me...even over the past few days. Each day seems to bring something new.
On Friday and Saturday I volunteered at a Missions Conference. One of the workshops I went to was "Honoring God Through Conflict." It was a super awesome workshop and really convicting.
(There website here)
They talked about something called the "4 Gs"
I copy and pasted this from their website. I encourage you to read it and visit the website. :)

1st G: Glorify God

"How can I please and honor the Lord in this situation?"
When the Apostle Paul urged the Corinthians to live "to the glory of God," he was not talking about one hour on Sunday morning. He wanted them to show God honor and bring him praise in day-to-day life, especially by the way that they resolved personal conflicts (see 1 Cor. 10:31).
As mentioned above, you can glorify God in the midst of conflict by trusting him, obeying him, and imitating him (see Prov. 3:4-6; John 14:15; Eph. 5:1). One of the best ways to keep these concerns uppermost in your mind is to regularly ask yourself this focusing question: "How can I please and honor the Lord in this situation?"

2nd G: Get the log out of your own eye

One of the most challenging principles of peacemaking is set forth in Matthew 7:5, where Jesus says, "You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother's eye."
There are generally two kinds of "logs" you need to look for when dealing with conflict. First, you need to ask whether you have had a critical, negative, or overly sensitive attitude that has led to unnecessary conflict. One of the best ways to do this is to spend some time meditating on Philippians 4:2-9, which describes the kind of attitude Christians should have even when they are involved in a conflict.

The second kind of log you must deal with is actual sinful words and actions. Because you are often blind to your own sins, you may need an honest friend or adviser who will help you to take an objective look at yourself and face up to your contribution to a conflict. When you identify ways that you have wronged another person, it is important to admit your wrongs honestly and thoroughly.
The most important aspect of getting the log out of your own eye is to go beyond the confession of wrong behavior and face up to the root cause of that behavior. The Bible teaches that conflict comes from the desires that battle in your heart (James 4:1-3; Matt. 15:18-19). Some of these desires are obviously sinful, such as wanting to conceal the truth, bend others to your will, or have revenge. In many situations, however, conflict is fueled by good desires that you have elevated to sinful demands, such as a craving to be understood, loved, respected, or vindicated.
Any time you become excessively preoccupied with something, even a good thing, and seek to find happiness, security or fulfillment in it rather than in God, you are guilty of idolatry. Idolatry inevitably leads to conflict with God ("You shall have no other gods before me"). It also causes conflict with other people. As James writes, when we want something but don't get it, we kill and covet, quarrel and fight (James 4:1-4).
There are three basic steps you can take to overcome the idolatry that fuels conflict. First, you should ask God to help you see where your have been guilty of wrong worship, that is, where you are focusing your love, attention, and energy on something other than God. Second, you should specifically identify and renounce each of the desires contributing to the conflict. Third, you should deliberately pursue right worship, that is, to fix your heart and mind on God and to seek joy, fulfillment, and satisfaction in him alone.
As God guides and empowers these efforts, you can find freedom from the idols that fuel conflict and be motivated to make choices that will please and honor Christ. This change in heart will usually speed a resolution to a present problem, and at the same time improve your ability to avoid similar conflicts in the future.

3rd G: Gently Restore

Another key principle of peacemaking involves an effort to help others understand how they have contributed to a conflict. When Christians think about talking to someone else about a conflict, one of the first verses that comes to mind is Matthew 18:15: "If your brother sins against you, go and show him his fault, just between the two of you." If this verse is read in isolation, it seems to teach that we must always use direct confrontation to force others to admit they have sinned. If the verse is read in context, however, we see that Jesus had something much more flexible and beneficial in mind than simply standing toe to toe with others and describing their sins.
Just before this passage, we find Jesus' wonderful metaphor of a loving shepherd who goes to look for a wandering sheep and then rejoices when it is found (Matt. 18:12–14). Thus, Matthew 18:15 is introduced with a theme of restoration, not condemnation. Jesus repeats this theme just after telling us to "go and show him his fault" by adding, "If he listens to you, you have won your brother over." And then he hits the restoration theme a third time in verses 21–35, where he uses the parable of the unmerciful servant to remind us to be as merciful and forgiving to others as God is to us (Matt. 18:21–35).
Jesus is clearly calling for something much more loving and redemptive than simply confronting others with a list of their wrongs. Similarly, Galatians 6:1 gives us solid counsel on our what our attitude and purpose ought to be when we go to our brother. "Brothers, if someone is caught in a sin, you who are spiritual should restore him gently." Our attitude should be one of gentleness rather than anger, and our purpose should be to restore rather than condemn.
Yet even before you go to talk with someone, remember that it is appropriate to overlook minor offenses (see Prov. 19:11). As a general rule, an offense should be overlooked if you can answer "no" to all of the following questions:
  • Is the offense seriously dishonoring God?
  • Has it permanently damaged a relationship?
  • Is it seriously hurting other people? and
  • Is it seriously hurting the offender himself?

If you answer "yes" to any of these questions, an offense is too serious to overlook, in which case God commands you to go and talk with the offender privately and lovingly about the situation. As you do so, remember to:
  • Pray for humility and wisdom
  • Plan your words carefully (think of how you would want to be confronted)
  • Anticipate likely reactions and plan appropriate responses (rehearsals can be very helpful)
  • Choose the right time and place (talk in person whenever possible)
  • Assume the best about the other person until you have facts to prove otherwise (Prov. 11:27)
  • Listen carefully (Prov. 18:13)
  • Speak only to build others up (Eph. 4:29)
  • Ask for feedback from the other person
  • Recognize your limits (only God can change people; see Rom. 12:18; 2 Tim. 2:24-26)
If an initial conversation does not resolve a conflict, do not give up. Review what was said and done, and look for ways to make a better approach during a follow up conversation. It may also be wise to ask a spiritually mature friend for advice on how to approach the other person more effectively. Then try again with even stronger prayer support.
If repeated, careful attempts at a private discussion are not fruitful, and if the matter is still too serious to overlook, you should ask one or two other people to meet with you and your opponent and help you to resolve your differences through mediation, arbitration, or accountability (see Matt. 18:16-20; 1 Cor. 6:1-8; for more guidance on getting such help, click Get Help With Conflict.)

4th G: Go and be reconciled

Even though Christians have experienced the greatest forgiveness in the world, we often fail to show that forgiveness to others.
One of the most unique features of biblical peacemaking is the pursuit of genuine forgiveness and reconciliation. Even though Christians have experienced the greatest forgiveness in the world, we often fail to show that forgiveness to others. To cover up our disobedience we often use the shallow statement, "I forgive her—I just don't want to have anything to do with her again." Just think, however, how you would feel if God said to you, "I forgive you; I just don't want to have anything to do with you again"? Praise God that he never says this! Instead, he forgives you totally and opens the way for genuine reconciliation. He calls you to forgive others in exactly the same way: "Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you" (Col. 3:12-14; see also 1 Cor. 13:5; Psalm 103:12; Isa. 43:25). One way to imitate God's forgiveness is to make the Four Promises of Forgiveness when you forgive someone.
Remember that forgiveness is a spiritual process that you cannot fully accomplish on your own. Therefore, as you seek to forgive others, continually ask God for grace to enable you to imitate his wonderful forgiveness toward you.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Hello college life it's...well not tech. official, but it's decided. :)
I start online college classes next September through Liberty University! :)
I will spend the remainder of this year doing cleps..

So just thought I'd throw that out there! :)

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Tis So Sweet To Trust In Jesus

Lately there's one huge thing God has been showing me. I have learned SO much about Him lately, but the biggest thing that has stuck out is that God alone is our hope and our shelter. He alone is the one we should turn to in time of need.
There's a song called Jesus You Alone, (Listen to it here) and it is just beautiful. It speaks of how God alone is our first love. He alone should our praises go to.
More and more as I grow older, I am deeply saddened to see people, adults and teens alike, who I thought were strong in their walk with the Lord, people who I looked up to and admired...but only to find out so much in their life that they are not following God at all. That it's just an act on the outside, and inside they are lukewarm.  Seeking things of this world rather the God. Taking pleasure in things that displease God. Not letting Christ alone but their hope and shield.
Each day I seem to learn something about someone, and it's shocking and saddening.
I was talking to a friend, and she mentioned something that really stuck with me and goes right along with what God has been showing me.
So often we think we want something. We think once we have it we will be happy. We think it will 'fill' up an empty spot in our heart.
But when it happens, when we finally get things thing we've so been desiring, we find ourselves just as empty as before.
When we seek God, then shall we truly be joyful. He is the one who fills us up. His love is a love greater then any love. HE is the one we need to desire and trust.
God, alone, should we seek. God alone should we desire. God along should we continually seek to honor day and night.
His loves is the loves that fills us up.
Not the love of this world.
His strength is the strength we lean upon.
Not the strength of this world.
His joy is the joy that truly makes us rise each morning and say, "truly this is the day the Lord has made, I shall REJOICE and be GLAD in it."
Not the "happiness" of this world.

Oh how wonderful it is to trust in Jesus.
Oh how wonderful it is to feel his sweet love.
Oh how wonderful it is to be filled with His joy

Tis so sweet to trust in Jesus.
Just to trust Him at his word
Just to rest upon His promise
Just to know "thus saith the Lord!"

I am incredibly blessed to have a God who gives me so much more then I deserve!
I just can't get over his great love. It is truly amazing.

There are many many verses in the Bible which speak about Trusting I'm God alone...and I have many favorites...but the one that sticks out to me right now is Psalm 62:5-6. A verse that has truly changed my life. :)
"Find rest O my soul, in God alone; my hope comes from Him. He alone is my rock and my salvation. He is my fortress, I shall never be shaken."

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Awesome Verses

The other night I was reading the Bible and came across Ephesians 5:15-20 ...and woah. These are some powerful verses!
I felt very convicted.
You could pretty much live off these verses! They speak for someselves, and I challenge you to live them out!

Ephesians 5:15-20, ""Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, 16 making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. 17 Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is. 18 Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit, 19 speaking to one another with psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit. Sing and make music from your heart to the Lord, 20 always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ"