Monday, October 28, 2013


I had an epiphany last week...
Dave and I were driving back to my house and I turned down a certain street.
Dave said, "Where are you going?"
"I'm going the shortcut", I said.
"This is a shortcut?" he said, "you have to go through all these stop signs."
I then declared, "Well, what about all those street lights and traffic on your 'shortcut'? This is the fastest way!"
A few days later we were riding with my parents on the way back home and my dad turned down a different street.
Mom said, "I just don't understand why you go this way...the speed limit is lower and there are all these speed bumps!"
Dad replied, "Well, I don't understand why you go the other way, this is definitely faster...there's no traffic."
"I go through the lights on the main road and I think it's the fastest," Dave said.
I joined in and said, "Yeah, our (mom & I) way is definitely the fastest, but go the way you wanna go...we'll just be home faster!" ;)
It reminds me of picking a route on a gps.
Because of these discussions about who's way is better, I realized that it can be likened to our faith journeys, as well as life in general. We can't expect for everyone to go the same way as we do. Some people may need to sit at a stop light for a little while, while a slower speed may be better for others. It's okay for that one person to wrestle with the many questions about God and it's okay that another person may put their faith in Christ quickly. It's okay that one person may have read the whole Bible in one year and it's okay that another person may need ten years to read the Bible. It's okay that one person may have experienced their first mission trip at the age of 15 and it's okay that another person went on their first mission trip at the age of 70.
Everyone is different. We all have different ways to learn, different experiences, and different personalities. So of course, our walk with Christ may be different than others. We can't expect for everyone to follow in your footsteps of 24 years of Sunday School, 5 mission trips, and 3 times of reading the whole Bible all the way through. If we all had the same faith journey, I think that would be boring. We should focus on our similarities, learn from our differences and respect our unique experiences.
We should never look at another person's journey and feel inferior or superior. Reminding ourselves that our journey is just as good as everyone else's. Just like my route works for me, but my dad's route works for him.
Maybe I should have ended the conversation with my family by saying...
"It's okay that we all go different routes, at least we all end up at the same place."
That's all that matters, right? 
Bible Reading Plan
Today: Isaiah 59-63
Tuesday: Isaiah 64-66
Wednesday: Jeremiah 1-3
Thursday: Jeremiah 4-6
Friday: Jeremiah 7-9
Saturday: Jeremiah 10-13
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Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Following in Your Footsteps: And the answer is...

I've been wanting to write this post for awhile, but for some reason, it seemed to continually be put on the backburner. You know what? I'm glad it did!

 Raise your hand if you know the answers for...
How do we gain world peace?
How do I love my sibling who annoys me?
How do I forgive?
How do I see eye to eye with someone who I disagree with?
I just started a new book and as I read the intro  I realized that it could be a huge tool in opening my eyes even wider to what the answer is in terms of being a better Christian.
 Each page turned in Red Letter Revolution, my eyes watered and my heart stretched.
It dawned on me that my attempt of being a Christian hasn't earned me a gold star or an A+. I have failed to really follow what Jesus has taught me. My eyes have skimmed over the red letters in the New Testament (the red letters being Jesus' words). Yes, I may have read His teachings but my reaction most likely resembled, "Wow, I wouldn't be able to do/say that" or "Aw, how nice...Jesus sure is an amazing guy!" Instead, I should have reacted in a way of, "That's the answer...that's how I reach my hurting sisters and brothers...thank you Jesus for showing me the way to their hearts...I can't wait to go out and serve them, just like You have served us."
The Gospel is all about love, service, and redemption. I believe that Jesus didn't serve those people just so we could read about it and adore Him. [Yes, we should definitely adore Him for who He is because He is amazing!] Instead, we should take one step farther and not only adore Him, but follow in His footsteps. He has shown us how to reach people. He wants to use us to represent the kingdom of God. Jeremiah 29:11 says that He has great plans for us and I believe that the number one plan He has is that we embody the kingdom of God.

You know those questions I asked in the beginning of the post?
Jesus has given us the answer.
Jesus is the answer.
When deciding what to do for the homeless & poor...Jesus is the answer.
When talking about war...Jesus is the answer.
When fighting with a friend...Jesus is the answer.
When in contact with someone different than us (whether it be color, orientation, religion)...Jesus is the answer.
Love, service & grace is who I see Jesus as. That's what He was and is about. So many times I have chosen the wrong answer. I have answered in a way that religion and legalism (not Gospel based) would have me answer or I have acted out of own self-interest, but guess what? Jesus would have never answered in that way. More times than not, I think we answer to situations based on our comfort level, pocket book, and traditions that have been passed down. We fail when we do that.
We aren't representing the kingdom of God when we find our answer apart from Jesus.
Now, the last thing I want to do is to make us feel like failures in our attempt to be Christ-like. I'm writing this as motivation, as a reminder of what our motives should be. We talk so much about what we should do and search for the answers, when all along the answer has been standing right in front of us...Jesus.
Thank God for His loving-kindness and forgiveness towards us. Now we can step forward and follow in Jesus' footsteps, rather than walking in the opposite direction.

1 John 4:7-12 says, "Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. The one who does not love does not know God, for God is love. By this the love of God was manifested in us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world so that we might live through Him. 10 In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins. 11 Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. 12 No one has seen God at any time; if we love one another, God abides in us, and His love is perfected in us."
 Friends, if we know that God is love and that when we love one another, God abides in us, that should give us the motivation and confidence to live our lives in the shadow of who Jesus is. He loved the down and out. He even loved the people who nailed Him to the cross.

Do we have enough faith to turn the other cheek?
Do we have enough faith to give the coat off our backs?
Do we have enough faith to love our enemies?
 Tony Campolo has asked himself and I think we can ask the same question...
"Do we have enough faith to live this radical lifestyle?"

I challenge you to read the red letters of the Bible (Jesus' words) not as a story, but as a an answer to change the world.
 Will you join me in following in Jesus' footsteps?

Check out or read the book Red Letter Revolution by Shane Claiborne & Tony Campolo about the many controversial issues that the church faces today.
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Monday, October 7, 2013

Randomness: Weddings of 2013, treatment & finale!

Long time, no write :(
I'm so sorry I've been absent for awhile, but I'm back!
I've been busy, busy!
One of my best friends got married this past Saturday and I was her maid of honor.
We've been friends since 3rd grade. Crazy, huh?!
I'm so happy for her & feel honored to be a part of her beautiful day!
She was gorgeous AND although it was very hot (outdoor wedding), it didn't rain!!
It was a beautiful ceremony focused on Christ being the foundation of a marriage.
Now the happy couple are on their "mini-moon" and I can recoup from the festivities.
I would never let Lyme Disease get in the way of a beautiful union like 2 of my best friends' weddings the past couple months!
Here are a few pictures from this weekend...
 Getting my hair done!
 Viola! Isn't that a cool hairstyle?!
 The Bride & I :)
 The Brides of 2013
 The Bride & her maids
Not only have I been busy with Mindy's wedding, I have continued my IV treatments.
It has continued to be rough because of the dying of bacteria (Herxhiemer reaction), but luckily, I have seen the fruits of this not-so fun treatment protocol.
I went to the doctor a few weeks ago and for the first time in a long time...drum roll please... we can see some improvement! It wasn't a huge improvement, but it's a few rays of light coming through the end of the tunnel. I've only been on IV for a month & a half so that's pretty good...I'll take it!
Hopefully, I'll be able to make even more progress so I won't have to have this lovely (not) PICC line for 6 months, but I guess if that's what it takes, I'll have to tough it out.
Also, our gofundme fundraiser to help pay for this treatment (not covered by insurance) is going really well! Although we have not met our goal, we can feel God providing! If you don't mind, please keep me in your prayers for both healing & finances...thank you so much!
Last but not least, I started reading a new book titled, Red Letter Revolution. Woa-it's really good! So good that I've had to put off my finale post of Following in Your Footsteps series. There is too much good stuff that has opened my eyes even more to following in Christ's footsteps. So get ready, the next post will be the last post of the series (hopefully tomorrow)!

Bible Reading Plan:
Today: Isaiah 31-35
Tuesday: Isaiah 36-41
Wednesday: Isaiah 42-44
Thursday: Isaiah 45-48
Friday: Isaiah 49-53
Saturday: Isaiah 54-58
 PS- KindleNook have a special sale price on A Year of Biblical Womanhood by Rachel Held Evans for only $2.99 until the 31st! I'm not paid to advertise this either, I just love the book so much, I figured I'd share this awesome deal with you!
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