Friday, September 21, 2012

Death By iPod

So my iPod touch died just a couple days ago. It was pretty sad, but it was expected. I got it in the summer before my trip to Rome three years ago... I guess three years is a pretty long life for an iPod. My ancient white iPod video however still RUNS ok, even though that thing is seven years old. It has a couple quirks that I am probably going to pay to get fixed before I dive into buying a new itouch.

Lead us not into temptation.
Must........ resist...... the wondrous... beauty!!!

But my ancient iPod isn't the only reason why I am not getting myself a new sleek iDevice. No, the main reason is because, well, I think God does not WANT me too....

Lately I've been hearing the message about waking up spiritually, specifically becoming more aware of God's voice and when He's speaking to you. I feel like I desperately need to grasp and understand the meaning of that message! Really though, all of us do, but sometimes the messages that are meant for everyone are the ones we ignore the most. 

With our ears constantly clogged with music from earphones, our eyes on instant streaming movies from our mobile devices, and there being so many inescapable words and images flashed at us from virtually everywhere, it's no wonder so many of us are having a hard time hearing God. I may sound like someone from the 1800's right now, but if you really look at how digital we are, you have to be a little freaked out. It's not the technology in it of itself that's scary necessarily, but rather how involved and consumed humans are with it.  

OK, back to me and the whole iPod thing... 

Here is an interesting pattern that I was partially unaware of until after the death of my iPod. One day a couple months ago I felt like God was telling me to "unplug" myself from my iPod for a whole week in order to focus more on Him. I obeyed, and found that I was closer to Him than before! Even though it was wonderful, after that week was up, I felt like God wanted me to give up iPod time for longer. Being the human being that I am, I ignored Him and reattached myself to that thing immediately. 

I always knew I was a music fanatic, even when I was very small I knew music. But plugging my iPod into my laptop and viewing how many times I had played songs off it was quite alarming. For example, I had listened to my favorite song nearly 2000 times, when I had purchased it just a few months ago... listening to that song ALONE was 5 and a half full days long... and that was only 1 song out of the other 600.

Simply put, and I confess publicly on the internet, I loved that square of plastic, metal, and wires more than my own Father and creator. Sure I didn't pray to it and I didn't have an intimate relationship with it, but I was with it more than I was with Him. I would use that thing for my own desires and pleasure rather than for His glory, which is possible, believe me, with the awesome free Bible apps and all... But I relied on it too much. I began to want it, to need it. I was addicted, and I had no clue what harm it was doing to me.

Wasting time is probably the most dangerous thing you can do yourself or anybody else because, literally, it is the easiest way to steal LIFE out of yourself. Our lives are determined by how much time is given to us. No one can ever know how many years they are going to spend here on earth, and when you die, THAT'S IT. No more time will be granted to you. Your life is gone when your time is up. 

It's amazing how limited a human's knowledge is. We can know everything there is to know about the universe but know nothing of our souls, our time, and our hearts. Here is something for YOU to consider: what do you place higher than God? C'mon, we all do it. It could be technology, people, food, money, even habits; anything that is earthly. Think about that one thing and try a week long fast like I did and see if your relationship with God has improved at all. If it has, perhaps God has been calling you to give a little more, and all this time you didn't even notice. 

For the sake of His sorrowful passion, have mercy on us and on the whole world.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

How Far is Too Far?

If you are like me (and everyone else in America for that matter), I can be a bit of a media junky. I am especially geeky over American superheroes, clever TV shows, cult classics, and comic books. One thing I, and some others, have noticed is that our standards on what is safe as far as content goes in the media has shot waaaaay down over time. So here are two important questions:

How far can we go without getting hurt? How close can we get to fire without being burned?

Here's an easier question to answer:

Have you ever seen a film that felt so intense the first time, but the more you watched it the less intense it became?

Just last week I got to re-watch the movie The Dark Knight and the first thing I noticed is that it strangely seemed less disturbing than the first time I saw it. Sure this movie isn't "Saw", but it doesn't take a genius or "spiritual" person to recognize just how evil the Joker is. But scarily enough, people actually admire the Joker and think he's the coolest thing ever... even though he's more than just sinister, he's demonic. So how does this dude and others seem less "bad" the more we see them?

Repetition is key. Doesn't matter how gradual the process, eventually you will become used to it. The more you allow one thing into your minds, the more involved you become with it, even if it's involuntary. The more involved you are in something the more your mind shapes around it. If we are diligent about praying and speaking with our Lord on a very regular basis, wouldn't our hearts and minds gradually become more inviting for God's love to shape and change our hearts? In this same way we can also allow other things in and easily become "used to" something dreadful.

Desensitization affects all of the senses and your spirit. It's that serious.

As long as we cannot understand or even realize why something is "wrong", then we can no longer sense when something is "right".
So all this begs these questions: "WHAT is the reason behind the enforcement of desensitization? HOW is it so easily being done and WHY?"

Well, the obvious reason is money. Human beings like money, and media can be an easy way to rake in the dough. If you want your show to grab viewers, you sometimes need to do a bit more than just try to entertain them. You want to hit at something that will keep them coming for more, for men that can mean alluring them with sex, and with females; false, impossible, and oh-so-mooshy relationships. There are several other ways, but you get the idea. Money talks. Sin sells. Simple.

And for the big, fiery, evil red guy that reeks of sulfur with the horns? Yeah, he loves desensitization because he'd do anything to keep us from "joining sides" with his arch-enemy. If we lose our abilities to tell the difference between right and wrong, then we won't be able to tell who's talking to us, God or Satan, or if anyone is talking at all. Because media is so so so so SO SO SO SO SO huge in this age, it only makes sense that Satan would try out for the big leagues.

Many people right now are fully aware of the subtle yet dark effects of modern media (especially with the whole crazy Illuminati theory breaking out), but sadly many Christians either don't agree that media has that sort of power, or they simply don't think it's such a big deal and ignore it. And sometimes using the excuse that because God is in their hearts thus they will be automatically forgiven, as if God is the official forgiveness vending machine.

And even if the problem media is posing really is mild, it doesn't really matter, does it? If it has something that does not reflect God's love, then what is the point? This doesn't mean you should drop every single show or automatically hate every movie you used to think were cool. This just means to be more careful, aware, and able to say no.

On that note, God Himself can be evident in media too! Sometimes you just gotta look out for Him.

Isaiah 55:6

New International Version (NIV)
Seek the Lord while he may be found;
    call on him while he is near.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

The most exciting thing ever

Ok so I'm going to talk about stuff that happened earlier this very day.

Uh oh, it's another "a day in the life" post! Quick, everybody leave this page and watch Gangnam Style instead!!!!!!!!

Actually please don't. I mean, mostly what I have to say isn't that interesting and it won't add to your life but hey, I wanna blog just to blog every once in a while.

So in case you guys didn't know I was invited a few weeks back to go to an orientation about joining the PHI THETA KAPPA International Honors Society, which is an organization that recognizes academic excellence in students at small colleges. That was exciting! The staff were fun and the meeting actually wasn't boring. Moving on.

Before that my dad and two of my little bros were just killing time, and one of the places we stopped at was Sam's where I stared at the amazing new Apple products and Hobby Lobby (which is like my candy store, I could stay there for hours). I got a robot charm and a chain and made this!
And I got some canvases and paint and stickers etc. I would've purchased metal wall art too but I didn't have enough time to look at them and choose.
 Yeah, I already got a lot of stuff of course, but one thing I didn't get which I strongly regret is this epic duct tape. UNOME. I guess I shouldn't feel too bad about my foolish mistake, perhaps because it is not something that I need. But it wouldn't have been completely pointless, I could've made a wallet or a rose or a pen or a necktie for a cat !!!!!!!!!!!!

Well after all that I studied and hung out and ate a s'more.

The end.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

I don't even

There are many things that everyone doesn't have to agree on. 

Take Christian music for example, I grew up listening to the Christian music station and I oftentimes find it encouraging and the lightweight beats are catchy and fun. I have a friend who strongly dislikes music from this genre, even though she is a Christian herself. She thinks the music is cheesy and that the encouragement is fake. I disagree with her, yet I can see why she might think that. 

Or, as another example, social networking. I personally like using Twitter and Facebook even though almost all my closest friends do not have either one of them. I think having a Facebook increases your connectivity with important people like your boss, your classmates, or your parents (call them for once, you fool). Plus for all my long distance friends, it's a convenient way to stay in touch since I never get to see them. There are my many friends who wish to stay old-fashioned and not join with the new forms of communication out of fear or dislike. Others find it pointless and a waste of time when you could be communicating in real life. Again, I see where there are coming from, and though I disagree, I still understand. 
Morally speaking, however, people will try to influence, sway, or impose things on you that you simply shouldn't believe in. 

Take the coexist groupies, they are a not-for-profit organization that wants to "promote, encourage and support engagement between JewsChristians and Muslims both individually and through their respective communities through dialogueeducation and research." Getting along would be nice now, wouldn't it? And sure, improving the relationships between different religions in this way seems like a good idea, but the problem is that most of these dudes think that there could be more than one right answer in life, or rather, multiples paths, to finding truth. Another way of saying this is that no one can really know what is true, thus the possibility that we could all somehow be right may indeed be a fact! 

Um, the deal with that logic is that that would mean, well, a lot of things that don't make any sense. 

For example; the atheists are right about God being inside our heads and that the church is just a system set up to trap as many people as possible, yet Christians are right because there really is a God and we aren't "trapped", we are set free. Wait, how can we BOTH be right...? 

But the vast majority of coexisters have the thought that we can believe what we wanna believe and we should leave each other alone and not fight over it. A lot of Christians lately have been saying that, too. Well, as a Christian myself, here's my scoop on that opinion:

The Bible says that God has granted us free will. That means He will not force us to make the decision to follow Him, we are fully free and able to make that choice for ourselves. Why does God do this? Because He doesn't want the people of the world acting like robots - pre-programmed bags of bolts with no mind of their own. Yet we are His children (that He loves so dearly), so why would a loving God not make us love Him? How could He allow His children to go astray? 

Because that wouldn't be the loving God we're always talking about; that would be a selfish god!!!

When it comes to things we are free enough to decide what we think is hot or not. But when it comes to truth, we really can't decide that. No matter what we say, teach, do, think, or believe, we cannot change what is true. 

So if Jesus really does offer eternal salvation (Luke 13:3) that rescues us from the tortures of a fiery Hell, then believers should have the duty to tell others about Christ! If this is true, we should be actively and urgently telling others that our God isn't dead, He's alive, and He doesn't want them to suffer for an eternity!! 

We are not here to pick fights with others who believe things differently than we do. We are also not here to sit back, do nothing, and be ignorant. There will be persecution! There will be people who are upset with the good news! There will be people who want to fight! But we are here to love, and if we want to be like Christ we are to love others, spread truth, and not force it upon them.   

So to all o' my coexist peeps, I do want to get along with Jews, Muslims, and other Christians. But that's not going to stop me from accepting Jesus' mission: to help lead all souls to heaven, especially those in most need of thy mercy. 

Thursday, September 6, 2012

What Makes You Beautiful

I'm sexy and I know it.... Uh huh uh huh...

Oh my gosh that is probably the stupidest song ever written. Look, shhh, shush, no stop it just, NO, SHHHHH stop right there!! I KNOW it's catchy! I KNOW everyone knows that song! But in case you didn't notice it's a bit dated. Yes I know, it was made like, what, a few months ago? SO last summer.

Anyway I want to talk about what it is that makes girls beautiful. I was hoping a quick search on Google would give me some appropriate pictures for the topic, but no, it doesn't. Let me show you just a few that I found:

Some artsy shots
Some slightly odd ones

Some digital
birdies (this image showed up
about a thousand times)

And this thing creeped up.

Some "inspirational" posters.
Um, yeah, that is true but um, you ARE wearing makeup....

(I hate this)





Here's the problem, everyone thinks that the definition of "true" beauty is linked with our physical appearances. I know, every girl wants to be told they are beautiful. That means, of course, is as follows: *cuing typical teenage daydream sequence*

There she was, sitting on the hard tile floor, with head tilted downward on her knees. She was crying, her tears and mascara running down her cheeks like waterfalls. These very thoughts were flooding her mind: "I feel so ugly.... No one will ever love me...." Just then, she feels a tap on her shoulder. 

"Hey, (Insert your name here), what's wrong? Why are you crying?" Startled, she glances up quickly at who it was. It was Jake (hey, I had to use a typical heartthrob fictional name, this one, I thought was perfectly appropriate), only the hottest boy in school. His deep (insert your favorite color of eyes) eyes were staring into hers. She quickly turned away. 

"How embarrassing, I am such a mess! I'm ok, really..." 

Taking her hand, he said gently, "No you're not. Tell me what's wrong, I'm listening." 

Her heart was pounding right out of her chest, her cheeks felt very hot, and she felt like she couldn't breathe. 

"I just, I just feel like no one cares about me. Oh Jake, I've never felt so ugly in all my life, but when you hold my hand, I feel so, so, wonderful. I can't explain it! Do you feel that way, too?" 

He turned her head gently to face his then, leaning in closer, he kissed her. Everything around her went blurry. It was totally crazy. Now, more than ever before, she felt truly beautiful.

*The end!!!*  TA DAAAAAAA!

Wasn't that so original and not-typical? I think I pretty much nailed it here, don't you agree? Would not all your innermost desires, needs, and wishes be satisfied if such a deep and indescribable love as described above were suddenly placed into your life by surprise?

Well, isn't THAT what would make you feel beautiful?

That is nothing but a bowl of cheez wiz left out to rot and collect dust. Hey, sorry, but it is (to all my preteen and teen girls reading this, welcome to reality). 

Fact is, every girl actually wants people to acknowledge who they are, and because so many females invest themselves into their own looks, that's when outward appearances become what it's all about. But what we chicks really want is for someone to know what we're worth. It doesn't even matter how "girly" or "down-dressed" the girl actually is, she wants to know SHE is beautiful.  

Here's the truth: ladies, you ARE beautiful because you were fearfully AND wonderfully made. But this isn't about your face or your body, no, it's about the very thing that makes us human, the deepest corner of our entire design; our souls. Let's flip the original question.

Original question: "Am I beautiful?"

Correct question: "Is my soul beautiful?"

These dudes actually know NOTHING about beautiful chicks. At least
I don't think.... please don't kill me....

Here's the truth: all souls were made to be beautiful. But all souls are tainted with original sin, meaning we are born with a sinful nature. Indeed, the soul is guaranteed to feel moments of intense pain, to gain experiences from the "real world", to learn many things it really shouldn't, and the that at least once it will injure other souls. Nevertheless, the soul is beautiful.

A perfect example of a beautiful soul is the one and only Esther; the ancient queen of Persia. This girl was drop-dead gorgeous, I mean, she had "a beautiful figure and was lovely to look at". Xerxes was probably all,

 But she would not have gone done in history, influenced generations, or even shown great bravery before the king if it weren't for her choice to follow God's instructions. That is what made her famous, not her curvy body or pretty face.

This fellow right here actually knows NOTHING about souls.
I mean, look at his face! He needs a hug or something. And some serious dental work.

If there's one thing that Soul Eater actually got right is that "all that matters is the soul." Think about it. Whatever happens in this world is temporary and what we do here and the choices we make will ultimately result in where we'll go when we die. Besides, you can't take your possessions, dreams, or even your body with you when you die. Those things stay on earth and eventually crumble, what does matter is that your soul ends up in "a good place", because that's all that's left of you when you bite the dust.

There is no legitimate reason to sin. Yes that guy is a big jerk and was awful to you, and yes, sometimes that one girl just really deserves to be banished to the Island of Perpetual Tickling, because sometimes life happens not-your-way. But you know what? Nothing that happens here will compare to the afterlife, no matter which of the two you will end up. Nothing. No evil done to you here will measure up to hellfire and no pleasure that you will feel here will measure up to the grace of Heaven. And each of us in gonna live here for like what, only 80 or so years? The afterlife is forever. 

Life itself is beautiful. I look at a human being who is living and think, "THAT is beautiful!" But just because someone is alive doesn't mean that they are living. God is the one healer, restorer, comforter, and lover any human will EVER need, thus He is worth living for. A life spent with the father is a life lived, and a beautiful soul created.

Stating the obvious here once again: Ladies, in the end, it really isn't about your makeup, clothing, or swag. Duh. Don't get me wrong, I do enjoy makeup and being "fashionable", and when I'm going to a wedding or something formal it does sort of "matter" to look my best, because it is appropriate for the occasion. But if those things and the things I do are based off something not from God, then it is nothing but fool's gold. So do yourself a big favor and ask for rest in God. Allow me to leave you with some verses meant to describe a soulful woman's heart:

Proverbs 31:20-21 She opens her hand to the poor and reaches out her hands to the needy. She is not afraid of snow for her household, for all her household are clothed in scarlet. 

Proverbs 31:26 She opens her mouth with wisdom, and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue. 

Song of Solomon 4:1 Behold, you are beautiful, my love, behold, you are beautiful! Your eyes are doves behind your veil. Your hair is like a flock of goats leaping down the slopes of Gilead

And (of course) a song relating to the above musings (copy and paste the URL):

Thanks for making it through to the end!!!!


Teal Moustache