Sunday, November 25, 2012

At Last

So school is coming back tomorrow.... BOOOOOO! Although that's a bummer, I am one step closer to this semester being over. I've only got like, two and a half weeks until I'm free! Woohoo! 

I also have to be at a ceremony for my Honors society. I'm going to be in business attire and everything, and going up on stage, and voting for the new officers, and wearing my golden pin, and parking in the faculty parking lot.... What an honor!! :) 

But all this can give me pressure, and I can get overwhelmed and stressed very easily at these sorts of things. I guess that's mostly why I'm glad this semester is almost over, and that the homework won't be pouring in, and next semester I'll be a Sophomore (they say Freshman year is the hardest).

It's not that I can't handle it, but it can still be rough. I think I'm ready for Christmas or something. Or some more heart exercises. All this stuff has stretched my heart's abilities to be patient, calm, enduring, and dedicated. And to trust God and praise Him even when I'm crying over a bad grade or too much work. I can confidently say that I will walk out of this a different person, and then laze around for a few weeks emptying my brain of everything I just learned XD


Saturday, November 24, 2012

Questioning my Courage

I'm a good person.

No really I am.

Despite the fact that I've stolen, blasphemed, and lied so many times that I can't count....

But I'm good. I haven't killed anybody or anything...

So I just finished watching "180", a 33 minute long documentary that compared the holocaust and Hitler to abortion, and besides the major issues that were brought up I noticed some more subtle things that really tugged at my heart. One question that the interviewer asked several people was (not word for word), "If a Nazi had you at gunpoint and said he'd spare you if you took a bulldozer and buried a bunch of Jews alive, would you do it? Or would you take the bullet?" Immediately in my head I answered, "Pfffft. Bullet, obviously,"  and was shocked at how many people responded that they would do it to protect themselves. But then that got me on my usual bunny-trail of thought...

"You know, Bethany, dying to save a group of people who are going to die anyway isn't nearly as easy as you think... Wouldn't dying in that situation be completely pointless when those Jews are going to be buried alive anyway? OK it's not likely that you're ever going to be in a situation like that, but I would never kill others even if it would mean taking my own life..."

Then something hit me: "Hmmm, this is kind of like what Jesus did on the cross for us! He died knowing that a lot of us were going to Hell nevertheless..."

He did it because He couldn't bear the possibility that none of us would end up living with Him in the afterlife. He loves us and wants us that much. That's nothing like our typical immature definition of love:

The world has been trembling, especially now. Courage is put on the back burner and forgotten about. We do this because we want to be safe, we don't want to risk our lives. Perhaps we are not meant to be heroes, besides, that job is probably for someone else, right?

Now while it is probably unlikely any of us will endure torture or life threatening situations, it is guaranteed that us true believers will be persecuted. We are to expect this, and be prepared with how we are going to respond. If you are in America you have probably noticed just how much subtle pressure there is for us to keep our beliefs to ourselves or otherwise look like and idiot and screw everything up. Chances are you're heart races a bit out of nervousness when God has entered into a conversation in secular realms, especially at  school. Sometimes God and Jesus are mocked right in front of our faces and we're either oblivious, don't care, or are too afraid to defend ourselves.

Here's the thing, if you are a believer, as in, you know that you know that you know that you know that you know that you know that you know that you know that you know that you know that you know that you know that you know  that you know that you know that you know that you know that you know that you know that you know that you know that you know that you know  that you know that you know that you know that you know that you know that you know that you know that you know that you know that you know  that you know that you know that you know that you know that you know that you know that you know that you know that you know that you know  that you know that you know that you know that you know that you know that you know that you know that you know that you know that you know  that you know that you know that you know that you know that you know that you know that you know that you know THAT YOU FOR SURE WITHOUT A SHADOW OF DOUBT OR SHRED OF REGRET AND GUILT, ABSOLUTELY POSITIVELY 100 % CONFIDENTLY IN-THIS-FOR-REAL AND GIVING-IT-ALL-THAT-I-GOT-AND-NOT-JUST-PART-OF-ME-BUT-I-MEAN-EVERYTHING that you will endure anything AND everything for true love.

It's like what Mason Jar Music man Josh Garrels says in his song "Resistance":

"...Overcome every fear of regret and confusion, 
It’s all an illusion...
Every mortal breath, is meant to bring forth fire 
But only when the fear of death, gets consumed"

And then he closes with:  

"It’s gonna cost us everything 
To follow one Lord and King 
True love endures everything 
To be free
Hold fast like an anchor in the storm 
We will not be moved"

If you haven't heard that song, you really should, like, you must. Who knows, you're whole life may depend on it!!! It's my power song, like kick Satan in the butt kinda power. 

Yet again I am talking to me. I get scared when defending or even admitting my faith needs to happen. If I'm not in this for real, then I will only be lukewarm. And lukewarm people are who God spits out... Phew, God help me out!! 

Friday, November 16, 2012

Amidst the Chaos: An Alternative to Complaining


Man, complaining is so popular, isn't it? Everyone's been doing it. Even I have been keeping up with my daily whininess lately, and you know me, gotta be up with trends. It's so easy to do, you know? When stress and life happens all you have to do is pout, grumble, cry, think about how much your life sucks (when it probably really doesn't), and throw a big pity party! What fun! :D

I hate it, though. Complaining is bad for you. I need to stop. You do, too. After all, I don't wanna be like everyone else, and shouldn't want that either.

So I am so chaotically busy right now (just before the holidays, too. At least all this work will make the holidays sweeter) with what seems to be an endless amount of work (who DOESN'T have this?). And here I am blogging!!! Well, I kinda need to right now because I need a better way to vent my frustrations and struggles. No I am not going to be making this a journal post and talk about everything that's been going on, I mean, who wants to read that anyway? We've all got our own problems to deal with!

I know that praying always helps. God is always like, "Well sure I'll help you! Why didn't you say so sooner?" 

Music helps, especially worship music. KPop is fun to listen to though, it's like having a party in my ears while my eyes and hands are working! 

Two words: Hot tea. 

Taking things one at a time!

Getting away from your work helps also. Go outside and get fresh air!!!!

And guess what else???


I am talking to me here, but I know everyone has moments where they need to relax, too.

Now I need to get back to work. I have several assignments due next week, plans to work out, places to go, things to do, and everything else in between! Thanks God for not letting my head (or mouth) explode!!! 

Monday, November 5, 2012

When the Cause Effects You

Election day is coming up (as everyone in the US knows) and Republicans, Democrats, whatever-parties and anarchists everywhere are in high tension right now over the whole thing. What's easy to notice is that the overall fight (amongst non-political people) over the presidents isn't necessarily a big argument over which person is the best guy to run our country. It's leaning more towards morality and/or whose views we like better, in fact, it's somewhat a "what's in it for me" deal.

Specific issues regarding what's right or wrong are always tied to where our leaders stand, and generally we choose the side with whom we agree with most. Issues like gay marriage, abortion, religious freedom, animal treatment, and money are hotly debated right now. Some people don't give a crud about morals and are just like, "whatevs", some choose a side and stay silent, while others grab their guns and battle with a full-on, hostile resistance against the opposing side.

This is not an article about politics, thank goodness (you can relax and stop the eye-rolling now)! Rather this about when fighting for what we think are "good causes" can become a horrific error. If you are like me and want to see good morals becoming common again, read on and please pay attention.

Let's start with 2 current, different, real-life scenarios:

A 21 year old man named Nelson Menard was caught abusing his dog, Kindle. A huge Internet petition was issued to give Nelson the maximum possible jail sentence, a $25,000 fine, and a LIFETIME ban from owning or being around animals. The damage done to Kindle was nothing short of horrific, but that request is quite unforgiving and very extreme. Many Animal Rights Activists think that that's not nearly enough punishment, however. In response to the petition, they were constantly lashing out hateful urges for justice to be done with torture and then death. It was utterly terrifying to see what others pleaded for in defense of Kindle.

During an Obama rally in Cincinnati last Sunday, two protesters against abortion were screaming at the president during his speech. Obama stopped, and the crowd of 13,500 drowned him out with a chant of “Four more years!” The man was then escorted out by five police officers. Another man then stood up and began yelling as well, but almost immediately he too was taken away. Stevie Wonder shows up to perform and gives a little "response" about how men should never say what a woman is to do with her body.

Now I am pro-life all the way, but one person looking like an idiot in front of thousands for a cause is going to paint the whole group that way, too. Those 13,500 others now see us more as reckless jerks, thank you very much.


 The saddest thing for me to see is when believers and "good" people go "bad" for a cause. When you defend something, you must make sure that it is out of love. Any actions that are not loving for a cause guarantee more opposition. The cheesy phrase, What Would Jesus Do? would seriously really help.  Just don't turn over any tables, ok?

The point is Jesus wouldn't wish for revenge, show disrespect, or be hateful to anyone or anything. Judgment on others is meant completely for God, because only He knows the full story and the root of all actions. Patience, hope, and prayer are the tools we need to fight for good in this world. Anything not of the Lord doesn't deserve to be present. Sometimes we think that this method is ineffective, but we have to trust God's instructions and timing and let Him work out what we can't.

Also, believers should never put a cause before the Father. God comes first before our desires. Build your life around him first, then worry about everything.

Teal Moustache