Break Check

Do you ever get tired? Do you ever get so exhausted that when you sit down at night to sleep, you can’t rest because you’re so tired? When you think about your sleep later on during a day, do you not see the light (or rather the dark) end of the tunnel because crazy schedules?

If you don’t want to read all of this and want to know the main point: Let’s all slow down and rest. Let’s all look around and see if God is trying to show us something in our lives.

If you’re super awesome and want to continue reading, I’d like to quote Mario and say “here we go!” (Apologizing right now for this) *shakes head at self*

mario

As a freshman in college, I’ve already noticed something during my short experience on campus. Whenever you walk around and ask someone how their day was, one of the many typical responses runs along the lines of, “Good. Really tired, but good”. As a fellow student, I can completely understand and relate to how they are feeling.

Even though I’ve noticed this with college students, I feel like this post can apply to just about anyone who feels like they can’t seem to slow down. In our family I always heard the phrase, “We drive our cars until the wheels fall off, then we just put them right back on and keep on driving”. I always thought it was a hilarious saying, and fully understood it myself about a year ago.

One day as I was driving on the interstate, I was picking up my mom (I can’t remember if I was running late, but I probably was) to go pick up her vehicle. As I moved into the passing lane to move around a car, I sped up to then realize that my car would no longer do that. It didn’t matter how many times I could press down on that pedal, because my awesome car wouldn’t go. I coasted down the interstate onto the medium and proceeded to try cranking the engine. Nope. Nada. Nothing. Thankfully my mom’s co-worker picked me up and drove us to my mom’s car, but I ended up having to get my super fast 1996 Camry towed to a shop.

Story time over.

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I felt like the story needed to be told so that I can share this next part with you. Do you ever feel like your world is moving so fast sometimes that you can’t even catch up? I realized that my story could be an analogy to what might be going on! So here is a list to write it out a little more:

 

Way to tell that we might need a brake (break) check:

 

  1. We are moving so quickly that we don’t even pay attention to our surroundings.

I was moving around with my busy schedule that I failed to stop for a few moments during the time to see how I was emotionally, spiritually, and physically holding up (My car was okay, by the way). I realized that sometimes we have to evaluate how everything is holding up under the hood, or if it is at all. I’m still talking about cars, but I really mean our relationship with God.

My car shut down because I didn’t see the part that was incorrectly working. Doesn’t the same thing happen to us sometimes? We are going and going. Whether it’s a job or school, we keep moving and we aren’t slowing down to check in on ourselves. You begin to think about all the things you have to do, and then eventually get to the point where you are just drained in every area. Do you ever work at night and try to plan out when you are going to fall asleep? For example, if you are up at 11:00 pm working on a paper, you say to yourself that if you can finish by 1 then you will fall asleep around 1:30 and get about 6 hours of sleep.

Yes, it is so important to wake yourself up and cut so you can have more time, but not at the expense of rest.

“There’s no workman, whatsoever he be, that may both work well and hastily.”

-Geoffry Chaucer

I love that quote because it really does remind me to be give myself the time I need to work hard, but to take my time. It tells me to rest and remember to grab tight on to Jesus’ love.

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”

I love that. “Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.”

“and you will find rest for your souls.”

“rest for your souls.”

Wow. When I broke it down, I found myself realizing something.

I would go along at a fast-pace throughout the whole day and at the end of it pray that Jesus would help. Nowadays I am talking to God first and it’s always much more helpful. He teaches us how to deal with our problems of the day, and then we find rest in knowing that we can handle it without any collateral damage.

To wrap it all up: Instead of planning rest around our schedule, why don’t we rest first and spend time in the Word to know how to handle our schedule? 

It was something that became heavy on my heart and is still to this day.

If you’ve made it to the end, thank you so much for reading and I hope it wasn’t a waste for you.

In this, I’m just a creation trying to live for the Creator.

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It’s Out of the Blue.

“Could you imagine life without color?”

When I first saw this question I had to read it twice and after that I had to think. Really hard. It does seem hard to imagine life without these wonderful colors we have in our lives. Recently, with some friends, I watched a video made by the paint company Valspar about the concept of #ColorforAll.

colorforall

The video started with the same question and the first time I watched it I didn’t even take a second thought imagining life without colors. Towards the beginning, Valspar mentions that over 300 million people in the world are colorblind and cannot see a lot of the same things that we see on a day-to-day basis. Think about that! Could you imagine not being able to see what a sunrise/set looks like? Could you imagine not being able admire a nice blue or green shade of something?

But before I go into more:

What is colorblindness?

“A defect in perception of colors, caused by a deficiency of certain specialized cells in the retina that are sensitive to different colors. The condition may be partial (as in “red-green colorblindness,” in which person cannot distinguish red from green), or complete (in which the person sees all colors as gray).” – Dictionary.com. 

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“There is nothing wrong with the wiring. The problem exists in the eye with the pigments.” -Donald McPherson Ph. D.

Before all this, I knew that colorblindness involved not being able to see certain colors! I did know that it was possible to not be able to see any color, but was uninformed that it was more likely than you think.

Anyways, with the help of another company called EnCroma, the two companies in a partnership were able to create these glasses where people with colorblindness can see for the first time in their whole entire life (gosh, imagine that pressure on those companies). They began to see all these beautiful colors and started talking about how they never really questioned why everything was grey. Finishing off the video, a woman who experienced color for the first time said this: “Color is an amazing experience that I think people probably take for granted.”

(You can go ahead and leave this page to watch the video but I also put a link at the end of this blog post- this is almost over.)

“My ears had heard of You but now my eyes have seen You.”

-Job 42:5

So I thought to myself about how cool that video was. It really was such a good idea and I think that Valspar did a great job helping the normal sight-seer step into the shoes of someone with colorblindness. Wouldn’t you say so? Well, just tell me after you watch it. After seeing that and moving on through out the next few days, I didn’t think much of it until the previous night before writing this. In the past few months, I have been enjoying learning about taking photos (blogs, videos, messing around on the camera, blah blah blah). But when I went through my photos I, out of the blue (color pun intended), ran into this picture I took of this beautiful sunset that still is hard to describe.

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So then I began to think some more! Why is this beginning to pop up?  I just felt like I needed to go to Scripture. I eventually came across this:

“The true light that gives light to everyone was coming into the world. He was in the world, and though the world was made through Him, the world did not recognize Him. He came to that which was His own, but His own did not receive Him.”

After reading that, I went back to what the person said in the video– “people probably take color for granted”. In other words, it’s almost like we don’t receive it. We admire the beautiful thing He created, but yet we sometimes get used to this idea that we forget what those colors truly represent- which is that God has created for us to absorb it in.

My final thought

We remember and love that God created this beautiful world….BUT what about the people who can’t see this color? The Word is an example of Christ’s plan, but don’t we also want them to see these beautiful an example of His plans-the colors?

People were able to create glasses for people to see colors. Isn’t that awesome? It’s such a cool concept:

People reaching out to people to be able to see what God has created for all our people. 

Isn’t it like that with Christ? Christ for all, right? It’s not just to the ones who can see it but to everyone. God has created us to have the free will to choose to do whatever we want and the different types of people to experience an incredible way to learn about Christ.

Hopefully I haven’t bored you to death and hope that this wasn’t a complete waste of time for you! I just felt like it was something that was shared with me and something I wanted to share with you.

In this, I’m just a creation trying to live for the Creator.

Stepping Up

Lauren Haigler

Before you read this, you should know that this is not a message I just thought up myself, rather, it’s the very thing God has been teaching me lately. I was waiting to have more time to edit before I posted this, but today I went to visit a church I had never been to before and the pastor spoke on this exact message, so I decided it was time to share:

In case you haven’t noticed, our world is in dire need of Jesus.

Yes, that statement is ALWAYS true, but now in particular, hopelessness is on the rise.

Entire families are being slaughtered in Iraq. Disease is rampant in Africa. Poverty is booming worldwide.

Just turn on the news. Or really, just talk to the people around you. The enemy is having a field day with our generation, and everyday we are losing our peers as prisoners of war–everyday our generation is trading their…

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Through the Times of the Dorky and Chunky to Beyond.

2 Corinthians 12:10 says “That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” This verse really stands out to me because of a recent situation that has truly reminded me of my middle school days. As a kid in junior high, I was bullied here and there throughout sixth, seventh, and a little bit of eighth grade. I was usually picked on because I was a little heavy and dorky (Those are both still true). It wasn’t a constant occurrence but would happen frequently to where I started to question if I needed to change myself. I didn’t question myself that much whenever I got bullied, but I struggled more whenever I liked a girl.  It wasn’t a constant struggle of mine, but here and there I would put into perspective that if I became more similar to those guys that would pick on me, then a girl would like me. Even though I didn’t have that struggle with myself for too long, I am still glad to this day that the Lord protected me to stay confident in who I am. Now, I stay more patient and confident that God will introduce me to a woman along in the future. That story of mine was not the main point in this post, but was just an example. Going back to the recent situation that occurred this week, it reminded me of my middle school days because the type of person that messed with me back junior high school was the same as this time. Realizing that it didn’t bother me, I looked back on how much God has helped me grow with confidence in who I am. But it also allowed me to realize that no matter how old you get, the world will always try to beat you down. We all deal with new struggles with the world every day but we overcome them with Jesus, and by the experience we have had in the past. This is true because with the struggle I went through in my middle school days, it helped me realize how much it doesn’t affect me now. So going back to 2 Corinthians, be delighted in weaknesses, in insults, and in hardships because God takes those things and turns them into something that you no longer struggle with.  I think God placed that on my heart this week because as I start to handle new challenges, I need to remind myself more that if God has helped me become stronger through one thing, then he will surely be there for the next.  In this, I’m just a creation trying to grow with The Creator. Image

Adolescent Mind Renewal

Hello friends! It has been awhile since my last post and I’ve been praying about a specific topic for quite some time now. So, I am starting off by saying how much I have loved my last few summers. Growing up, my time off from school would be filled with endless days of watching television and trying to fill the day with something different. I would have fun swimming, hanging out with friends, and staying up late playing video games. During these last two summers, the situation has been completely different because of an amazing opportunity given to me by one of my youth pastors/great friend. It was something that I had been wanting since 7th grade and it excited me so much to get the chance to see God work in so many ways. I started at the beginning of summer after my freshman year and it was incredible. At this time I was at a place where I didn’t know what I wanted to be when I got older. It was obviously ridiculous  I would worry about something so far away because of students that already decided where they wanted to go to medical school. But It was at the end of this first interning summer when I felt God call me to something big. It was brought to my attention after I had gone as a leader with The Msm.tv to Camp Fuego. During this week at the camp, I felt called to comfort hurting people at a traditional night event called “Campfire.” This event is a time to worship in silence and to pray to God about whatever has been happening in your life. I went in the room with God telling me that I wouldn’t regret the chance of serving for Christ. I sat down and a few minutes later I saw one of the middle schoolers with his head down. I got a strange feeling to put my hand on his shoulder and to listen to what God said. After that, I went on with my night without even thinking about it. Later on, a leader came up and told me something that gives me goosebumps to this day. He began talking about the student God had told me to comfort, and said that the student was praying for a sign from God that he had needed. Well, at that time of his prayer was when my hand touched his shoulder. It blew my mind when I found this out and was the beginning of when I really felt called to ministry. This previous summer was a time of when I started getting aches for the middle schoolers and how much I wanted them to experience Christ. I heard all of these incredible testimonies of how Jesus changed their life. I remember breaking down to my parents about the large aching I had to lead and the large lump in my throat that went along with it. It was great to see how much God had done for these students at Camp Fuego. But it wasn’t until the internship when I REALLY realized that old habits can come back to us when we get in the environment of the world. One verse that talks about this is one of my favorite verses. Romans 12:2 says: “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.” In these last few weeks, I have been seeing a lot of people going back to their old ways, and I’ve even been noticing some of mine trying to come back. My main point in this is that I have been seeing so many old habits come back of the ones that had the amazing testimonies/eye openers. It hurts to see the stuff they are letting back into their head and the things they are posting/saying/listening to. I realized how much music, media, and movies can change your ways of thinking. Now, I’m not saying to that the right answer is to turn off everything and stay in your house for the rest of your life but I am saying on how much better we can respond to a lot of the stupid things in the world. It is hurting me right at this moment as I write this and I felt like it was the right thing to share with you all. Because I realized as I was going into high school on how much reading the Word helps you be “In the world, but not of it” and how it is the best support for everything. It is so crazy to think about how we let small, pointless, desires have the chance to control our whole life when we can let Christ lead us instead. So with all of this written I just want to pray that we rely on the only constant thing in this world.  In this, I’m just a creation trying to live for The Creator. 

Life Besides the "No Filter Sunset"

Instagram has been used in the last few years as a way to share photos with your friends and the public by using a thing called “hashtag”. This allows you to see other photos that have used that as well. You can imagine the typical images that are uploaded each day of a “No-Filter Sunset”. I personally love the idea of how far you can go to push the limits while trying to find a great photo. With a drive and the right material, you can find it! Isn’t it like that with a relationship with Christ? We love this typical image of God but we miss out on so much! In my own relationship with Christ, I starting having to deal with a lot of change with people that were going away. After they left and went on with a new/different life, it was hard for me to understand why it had happened. I got comfortable relying on my church and didn’t realize that things were going to change. During my sophomore year I truly discovered the beauty of quiet time. It has changed my life drastically and has allowed me to get to know who My Father is. Talking with Him has allowed me to see a different view on relationships with Christ, and see how much we don’t need to get comfortable with just one thing. Because even though that change is completely irritating at the time, I realize how much I rely on Jesus more now and how much easier that process is. We put a filter on an typical image we have to make it appear different even though it’s not. Just like that, we put an image of what it is to be like in a relationship with Christ and how different it can appear. Which, don’t get me wrong, is great but we have to realize that God did not make us to be comfortable with ourselves. Or that he made a finish line for every person who got saved. Instead, it is a starting line to Him.

“Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed—not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence—continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling,  for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose.” -Philippians 2:12

I just love this idea of God testing you and how you respond to things. He does not abandon us, but tests us on how we respond to a certain situation. 

So friends, I pray that as Christ followers, we continue to step out of our comfort zones and explore more on what God has to show us! I love getting to blog out my experiences, questions, and concerns out and share with you how much God truly does love. In this, I’m just a creation trying to live for The Creator.

                                                                                               -Ryne

 

The Idea of Change

Change, it is something that can be viewed as good or bad but it is definitely something I can see all of us struggling with. As my first post I want to talk about this because it is something that has been a huge deal in my life right now. People have been coming, people have been going, and more things have been testing me and how I respond to it. In life, I feel like we go through certain changes that are more external but as we get older we start to get tests by God that shape us on the inside depending on how we respond. Right now I feel like that is where I am placed. I have been trying in these last years as a follower of Christ to lead, grow, and to reach out to others. As the time has been going by, that feeling has become stronger and eventually into something that is now an aching passion that has been shown by Christ. At the end of my freshmen year and at the beginning of my sophomore year I started to feel lead to Ministry. And just like gasoline is put on a fire to make it much larger, I have felt God put gasoline into my fiery passion for serving him.  

 “Their hearts are like an oven; they approach him with intrigue. Their passion smolders all night; in the morning it blazes like a flaming fire.” -Hosea 7:6 

This stood out to me as what The Lord wants for me, and it all depends on how I respond to it. I feel God changing how I see things, and how I handle situations. As this has been happening, I feel God preparing me for something big. So guys, my motto in this is to be a creation made to live for The Creator no matter where God takes me and what change is to come. We need to be glad for change because God’s plan is much better than our own. I hope you all know how much he loves you and how change to him is a growing opportunity. 

                                                       -Ryne