Archive for 2011

God is Love and Love Never Fails

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Today is the last day of November Blog Fest. I'm sure all you devoted readers will miss me. But don't you worry...I wont be gone for long!

On this last day, I'm feeling the need to just sit back and soak up the fact that God is always faithful. I've seen it so many times in my life but even more so these past few weeks.

I was reading in 2 Kings and came across this passage: "This shall be the sign to you from the LORD, that the LORD will do the thing that He has promised" (vs. 9). There's such a comfort in knowing that God will hold to His word and that He will fulfill all He has promised. He who began a good work in you will be faithful to complete it (Philippians 1:6). Don't you forget it.

Clearly, I am learning a lesson of trust—trusting that God's ways are higher than my ways, and that His timing is more perfect than my time. God is Love and Love never fails. His promises are forever and His word is steadfast.

Just let that simmer. :)

Remember

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Sometimes, all it takes is remembering—remembering what the Lord has done for us in spite of ourselves.

I can't get over how blessed I am. I am such a failure at life, but God doesn't cease showering me with His blessings. Whenever you find yourself in a complaining or mopey mood, just sit back and remember and recognize that He remembered you first.

"The LORD has remembered us; He will bless us." Psalm 115:12


"My Father! What am I, 
that all Thy mercies sweet like sunlight fall 
so constant o'er my way? 
That Thy great love should shelter me, 
and guide my steps so tenderly 
through every changing day?" 
-Anonymous

Source: Tileston, Mary W. (2005-07-01). Daily Strength for Daily Needs (Kindle Locations 2474-2476). Public Domain Books. Kindle Edition. 

Help Wanted!

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I'm a nerd. I can't help it.

I spent half my free time today trying to figure out how to send (and receive) picture messages on my new factory unlocked iphone 4s with t-mobile. I'm pretty much writing this blog so that it shows up on search engines and someone can help me. I DON'T want to jailbreak my phone. I got the settings down to send pictures messages but I still can't receive them. I get this error message every time someone sends me a picture: "The media content was not included due to a picture resolution or message size restriction."

These are the settings I have so far! Someone, anyone, please help! I need a genius!

Cellular Data:
APN: wap.voicestream.com

MMS:
APN: wap.voicestream.com
MMSC: http://mms.msg.eng.t-mobile.com/wapenc
MMS Proxy: 216.155.165.50.8080
MMS Max Message Size: 1048576
MMS UA Prof URL: http://www.apple.com/mms/uaprof.rdf

:)

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Today was such a good day!

If I never sleep, does it ever have to end?

iPhone Dilemma!

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Let's see if Apple can redeem themselves.

Yesterday's situation was a major fail. Today, right when I woke up, I called Apple. They issued a return and I sent back my iPhone. I had a couple options for ordering my replacement. I could either order over the phone, order online again, or reserve one at a store. I didn't want to do either of the first two options because how would I be able to guarantee that the phone was actually unlocked? I wouldn't put it past Apple to make the same mistake again. And I just didn't wanna wait that long—it takes forever for a phone to get to America from China.

The customer service guy told me that the unlocked iPhones weren't releasing in stores til tomorrow and even then, it wasn't guaranteed that they would be there. I would have to check back at 9 pm because that is when the store reservations begin. No joke, I checked at 8:59 and it showed that it was at the Apple Store I wanted to go to, but it wouldn't let me click "select" cuz it wasn't 9:00 yet. THAT'S how precise they are.

At 9:02, it worked. It WORKED. I reserved my black 16gb iPhone 4S.

I hope I get to take it home with me tomorrow with NO problems. Fingers crossed!

Apple Major Fail

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Today, my iphone came in the mail. I was excited...until I realized that they accidentally sent me one that wasn't unlocked. Major fail. :( Nowwww I have to wait even longer.

Patience may be a virtue, but I definitely don't have it.

Familia.

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Can I just say, I LOVE my family and I am extremely thankful for them. Seriously. I love holidays because the best days are always family get-togethers. Short blog. Done deal. Only 6 more days of daily blogging! Think I'll come up with something? Haha.

A Hint of Jealousy

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Sometimes in life, you can't help but be a little jealous.

Usually at work, I take care of the time cards for us hourly "employees."

Today, when I was asking everyone for their time cards, one of the girls sent me an instant message and told me that she doesn't need them anymore. Not gonna lie, there was definitely that hint of jealousy. Or maybe it was more than a hint. I've been at this job for almost 8 months and I'm still a temp. I LOVE my job, but I can't be a temp forever.

It's funny because when I got this job, part of me thought I was set forever. Now I feel like I am entering another phase of confusion. I know God has a purpose and a plan. One day at a time, that's what I gotta keep telling myself :)

Thanks: Part 2

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Today is my parents' 31st anniversary. And can I just say, I am SO thankful to have parents that love each other and love me and love the Lord above all. Christian parents are so awesome and I am definitely blessed with 2 of the best!

Short blog! Happy Anniversary Mom and Dad! :)

Thanks :)

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I've been in a bubble my whole life. It's one of those things that hit me like a train when I got a "real job." I mean, I knew that I had been in a bubble to some extent. I went to private schools from pre-school all the way through college. But I didn't realize how I had enclosed myself in this Christian sphere.

I'm not saying having Christian friends is bad, but I had virtually no experience when it came to having non-Christian friends. I had very few opportunities to share my faith with others because everyone I hung out with me already shared my faith!

It's so strange meeting all kinds of different people now. The world's opinions on just the normal situations of life are SO different than the opinions of my brothers and sisters in Christ. But being around all these different types of people only makes me more appreciative and thankful of the Christian friends I have. God has been so good and has blessed me with many godly people in my life that have been there for me through thick and thin.

In light of Thanksgiving coming up in a few days, I felt the need to express my thanks to all my friends who have been there for me in all my different circumstances, encouraging me constantly in my walk with the Lord, and encouraging me to stay on the path that Christ has paved.

Thanks friends. You know who you are :)

Mountains.

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January of this year, I was reading Deuteronomy and God spoke to me right in chapter one.

"You have stayed long enough at this mountain. Turn and take your journey....See, I have set the land before you. Go in and take possession of the land..."

I journaled this on January 23rd. Everyone has their own mountains. I believe I might have just gotten off of mine. Almost 10 months later.

"Seek first the kingdom of God and the rest will be set before you." Matthew 6:33 (paraphrase)

God, am I ready to get off my mountain and go in and take possession of the land set before me? Your will, Your timing, Your way. I trust You.

The Civil Wars

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I just got home from an amaaaazing concert. The Civil Wars were awesome as always. And Milo Greene were awesome as well! I love The Wiltern! Such an awesome venue.

It was pretty funny how many Calvary people we kept meeting and running into. It's a small, small world. That whole 6 degrees of separation thing, I definitely believe it!

Scatterbrain blog post! Sorry! Ha!

P.S. They sang Billie Jean! Listen!


No Words

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Sometimes words are not enough to capture raw emotion. Hot chills and shakiness. What do those things say?

I have no words. But for the sake of November Blog Fest (Ah, why did I ever commit to this?), I am writing about my lack of words.

I wonder if I will one day look back on this blog and remember specifically the situation that left me speechless. Only God knows.

Prayer

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I'm cheating a little. I'm changing the time of this post so it shows that it's posted on the right day. I mean, technically, that's not even cheating because I just got home. So even though it's after midnight, it's still my Thursday.

Aaaand, I just wrote a paragraph and deleted it. I'm getting better with this whole prudence thing.

God's teaching me a lot about prayer and about trust these days. I'm learning that a big part of prayer is just sitting there in silence and listening to God speak. I talk too much, and often I think I am a hindrance in my own life, because even when I pray about something, I focus too much on what I am telling God rather than what He is telling me.

Just a little something. Don't mind my overuse of commas in this post. It is almost 1 a.m.

Bless The Lord, O My Soul

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This may be cheating, but I don't care. This song is so powerful! Read the lyrics and then listen to it.


"10,000 Reasons (Bless The Lord)"
Bless the Lord, O my soul
O my soul
Worship His holy name
Sing like never before
O my soul
I'll worship Your holy name

The sun comes up, it's a new day dawning
It's time to sing Your song again
Whatever may pass, and whatever lies before me
Let me be singing when the evening comes

Bless the Lord, O my soul
O my soul
Worship His holy name
Sing like never before
O my soul
I'll worship Your holy name

You're rich in love, and You're slow to anger
Your name is great, and Your heart is kind
For all Your goodness I will keep on singing
Ten thousand reasons for my heart to find

Bless the Lord, O my soul
O my soul
Worship His holy name
Sing like never before
O my soul
I'll worship Your holy name

And on that day when my strength is failing
The end draws near and my time has come
Still my soul will sing Your praise unending
Ten thousand years and then forevermore

Bless the Lord, O my soul
O my soul
Worship His holy name
Sing like never before
O my soul
I'll worship Your holy name

Jesus, I'll worship Your holy name
Lord, I'll worship Your holy name

Sing like never before
O my soul
I'll worship Your holy name
Jesus, I'll worship Your holy name

I'll worship Your holy name


Blackberry vs. iPhone

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Ok, I'm drawing a blank. If you would have asked me when I was still in the process of deciding if I was going to spend a nice chunk of money to buy and iphone, I would have been able to come up with a much better list. But this list is sufficient for my purposes, I guess. Here you have it folks: Blackberry vs. iPhone. Feel free to harp in!

Blackberry iPhone
Pros:
• super long battery life
• small size so it fits in a pocket
• buttons make it easier to text while doing other things

Cons:
• not many good apps
• software updates are few and far between
• no Words with Friends!!!
Pros:
• nice interface
• good functionality
• awesome apps
• easier to sync with computer
• calendar is more functional
• Instagram!!

Cons:
• large size
• poor battery life

A Perpendicular Operation

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"Be alert. Keep your thoughts always on Me. Give Me your trouble, WHATEVER it may be. There is no disturbance big enough to warrant your distress, because ANYTHING committed to Me will be taken care of. 
Be steadfast, and be one about whom it can be said that you truly live and walk by FAITH. I will be with you and help you, and I will be your strength. 
No barrier shall stand in your way, because faith is a perpendicular operation. Your faith reaches straight up to Me, and My power comes straight dow upon the place of action.  
Be obedient to the gentlest promptings of My Spirit, for in a time of crisis, you are subject to more than the normal amount of distraction. "
-from Frances Robert's Progress of Another Pilgrim

Starstruck.

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hipstermermaid is my FAVORITE account on twitter. I nearly pee my pants from laughter every time I read any of his tweets.

Today, he made a blog. SOOO exciting. I decided to share my excitement with my friend Josh (who actually knows him). And the mastermind behind hipstermermaid himself commented on my wall post. STARSTRUCK, I tell you.


High Places

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I feel like I've written about this before. But it's so crazy to me that I see so much of myself in the stubbornness of the Israelites in the Old Testament.

I'm reading through 2nd Kings right now. It's the same story over and over. So and so did right in the sight of the Lord, but the high places were not removed. Over and over. King after king. I find myself getting frustrated as I read. When will these people ever learn?! I think to myself. But isn't it strange that I do the same thing? Here I am, walking with the Lord, but have I removed the high places? Not really. It's always the same thing over and over with me and I seem to never learn.

God, here I am once again, trying to entrust this area of my life completely over to You. Please break down my high places. 

iPhone Rant

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Read the comments. They are pretty darn hilarious!

http://www.macrumors.com/2011/11/11/apple-begins-offering-unlocked-iphone-4s-in-u-s-online-store/

I ordered my unlocked iPhone 4S today. I am SUPER EXCITED! The purpose of the blog is the justification of my spending a ridiculous amount of money on a phone. You see, I agree with the majority of the comments on the link above.

Yes, the phone is expensive. I am well aware of that. But in the long run (actually, 11 months which isn't even that long), the phone will practically pay for itself. I am a proud T-Mobile customer. I am on a family plan, and we pay about $120/month for 3 phones with more than enough minutes, more than enough data, and unlimited texting. That means my phone is $40/month. Most people with iPhones pay about $100/month for 1 phone. That is $60 more per month than what I pay. In 11 months, the average person would have spend more money on their plan than I did on my phone. Believe me folks, I thought long and hard about this. So there we have it. All you haters out there can stop hating. Just be thankful I spent my own money and not yours.

End rant.

Ha!

Eating Out

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Today was weird. I felt like it was Friday all day...and then I was disappointed when I realized it was only Thursday. Also, I am majorly sleepy so I can't think straight. Therefore, this is another blah blog. It's mainly just a post to inform everyone that I have eaten out every single day this week. I am going to get fat and die. The end.

Oh, but tomorrow is 11/11/11...and Friday! Yay! :)

Elevator Adventures

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What's November Blog Fest without a creeper story?!

You had to have known you were bound to get one. My life appears to be incomplete without them. It wasn't thaaaat bad today, but it is still definitely blog-worthy.

-------------------

There are three elevators in the office building where I work. My work is on the fourth floor, along with some other companies, one of those companies being Wells Fargo. This morning when I got to work, I noticed that there was caution tape over one of the elevator doors. A man came in the same time I did but from the opposite entrance. Left with only two elevator choices, we both ended up on the same one. When I pushed the button for the fourth floor, he immediately asked, "Wells Fargo?" to which I replied, "No, sorry."

"Oh, cuz I have this package and I was going to give it to you."
"Uhh sorry."

Pause.

"How about I give you this package and you give me your number?"
"No thanks."

Awkward Silence.

The rest of the elevator ride seemed to last an eternity. When the doors opened, I practically flew out of there!

The Slum of Christian Cliché

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Last night, I went to an INCREDIBLE Gungor concert. They are truly a group of talented musicians.

Their set list was arranged differently than they typically would do it. They went along with the flow of their new album, keeping it as a narrative.

When they got to their song "Ezekiel," I noticed something strange. Now, if you're familiar with their new album and particularly this song, you will understand exactly what I am talking about. There were many many hands raised. Why?! I thought to myself. This isn't a worship song. I kept looking around the auditorium. Hundreds of people had their hands raised. I was completely confused. During a song like this, hands being raised couldn't possibly mean praise and they couldn't really mean surrender either.

This song was written based on an extremely graphic chapter of the Bible (Ezekiel 16). In this chapter, the prophet Ezekiel went on rant because God's people were whoring themselves to the world. The song actually tones down the intensity of the chapter a bit. This is not a song where you would typically lift your hands.

I feel like people often fall in the slum of Christian cliché. It's what you do. You're at church and music is playing so you habitually lift up your hands. You don't even realize what words are being sung. In fact, your mind isn't even there. You're thinking about dinner later that night or what you're doing the next day.

Have you ever found yourself in the slum of Christian cliché?

Stubborn

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"'Ah, stubborn children,' declares the LORD, 'who carry out a plan, but not mine...'" Isaiah 30:1

This verse keeps popping up in my life. Out of nowhere too.

God's telling me something. He's stopping me dead in my tracks. Yet, I am being emotionally stubborn. Why am I fighting for what I want when it's clearly something God doesn't want? I even go as far as trying to convince myself that it actually isn't that clear and maybe I am misinterpreting what God is telling me.

God, please make Your will for me clear in this situation. Help me not to be stubborn and help me to want what You want above what I want.

Church Hopping

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Today, I did something I usually am not a fan of. I went Church hopping. Mind you, I haven't completely ditched my church. It was only one day. And it really isn't hopping if you're committed. But still.

I went to Mars Hill OC this morning and I really want to go again. I love my church, but I feel like my ministry is sucking me dry. I love being involved and I love serving, but it gets harder and harder when you don't have time to go and be fed. I feel like I need to plug in more, more for myself, so I can balance out my serving and my being fed. But how do I do that when there aren't enough days in the week and not enough hours in the day?! Whyyy is life so busy?! Satan's using my busyness to distract me. I blogged about this very thing not too long ago.

I need more spiritual nutrition. I need more Jesus time. I need to get away from my distractions. But how??

Anger

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I forgive but I don't forget. Actually, I stay angry for a long time even after forgiving. And yes, that makes sense in my mind.

God's showing me a lot about that.

Then the LORD said, "Is it right for you to be angry?" -Jonah 4:4

"Injuries hurt not more in the receiving than in the remembrance. A small injury shall go as it comes; a great injury may dine or sup with me; but none at all shall lodge with me. Why should I vex myself because another hath vexed me? Grief for things past that cannot be remedied, and care for things to come that cannot be prevented, may easily hurt, can never benefit me. I will therefore commit myself to God in both, and enjoy the present." -Joseph Hall
Why dwell on things that only caused me pain? No one is bothered in my anger, except for me. Let go, and let God. That's one of the cliche Christian phrases that I have to keep telling myself. God is in control of every situation in my life, including the dramatic ones. He'll take care of them. All I have to do is entrust them completely over to Him. No anger, no hard feelings, no bad memories. Just trust.

Prudence

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I wrote three blog drafts late last night and realized today that I shouldn't post any of them. Note to self: your blog is not your journal. There's a lot going on in my life these days, a lot that's keeping my brain and heart occupied.

I have been praying a lot about prudence, something I don't have that I wish I did. It's often hard for me to know when to keep my mouth shut. I open up so quickly. I tell everyone everything and almost always regret it. It seems like this is the lesson I have been learning lately. It's almost as if God is allowing the drama in my life in order for me to learn when to be prudent and when to share it with others.

One of my friends said it well: "Life is like a box of chocolates, don't let everyone have a piece of it." SO true. It's hard to get things back once you've given them away. Especially emotions. I'm working on it. God is teaching me.

Proverbs 8:12
"I, wisdom, dwell with prudence, and I find knowledge and discretion."

Pros and Cons Lists

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I'm a big fan of lists. I always have been. My favorite kind of lists are pros and cons lists. They just seem to shed light on a lot that I wouldn't otherwise see. I'm currently in the process of making 2 pros and cons lists. One will be posted on this blog: the pros and cons of the iphone versus the blackberry. The other, well, I can't really talk about that one. I'm trying to practice prudence. Ha! But now I'm just making all of you curious so I'll just shut up now. Okay, this blog was a waste of your time. Sorry for making you read that. You were bound to get a blah blog during November Blogfest. Happy blogging! :P

Jesus Time

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Today, I woke up with a goal of having some Jesus time when I got off of work. My Jesus time has been lacking lately, and I wanted to make up for it. I purposely didn't plan anything. I usually go out with friends before church on Wednesdays, but today, I just wanted to sit in my car—me and Jesus.

Of course, Satan didn't like my plan. I got to church an hour and a half early. I did nothing more than open my Bible before a friend walked up to my car and invited herself in. Within a minute, another friend had jumped in. We were en route to Starbucks. Sorry Jesus, you'll have to wait, I thought. I was bummed. My me and Jesus time had turned into a typical Starbucks date. Or so I thought. Jesus didn't allow Himself to be thrown on the back burner though. My intentions were good. And so Jesus joined us for our Starbucks date. The conversation was definitely one that I can look back on, knowing that it was glorifying to God.

Thank you, Jesus, for blessing me with Godly friends, ones that can have Jesus time with me.

November Blogfest

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Life has gotten extremely busy. I am tired of being an adult, but there is no turning back. Working full-time has gotten the best of me. I am trying to maintain my social life, but that requires a sacrifice of sleep. This probably is detrimental to my health. But I deserve to have friend time, right?

Even in the midst of my busyness, I am taking on the challenge of blogging every day for November Blogfest. Why, might you ask? To get back into a routine. Somehow, routine maintains responsibility and helps keeps me focused.

I felt convicted as I read a friend's blog. He said,

"In the midst of stress I try to cope by shutting down parts of my life; I unplug, and drop the ball. My walk falters. My relationships become more distant as I become reclusive. My work suffers. My ministry suffers. I suffer. And yet I march proudly down this road imagining that I’m on another. Well convincing—lying to—myself and others that I am hard at work accomplishing all that God has set before me."
My walk has definitely been suffering lately, as has my ministry. And here I am, taking on another task. For the next month, I am going to use my blog as a place to unwind, a place to make sense of all the things God is showing me. There will be the random post here and there (how can I do away with those? ha!), but for the most part, I'm going to be as uncensored as I can be in a public forum. Stay tuned, folks! Hopefully you'll be able to gain some insight from what God is teaching me!

Cellphone Timeline

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I have cellphone ADD. I can't seem to keep the same phone for a long time. It's pretty amusing actually. So much so, that I felt the need to make a timeline blog! Enjoy!

This was my first phone...good ol' Nokia 3390! This phone had the first version of Snake! Best game everrrr! :)
























My next phone was just toooooo cute. Samsung x475.























Then, I got a green phone. I love all things green! Motorola W490.

























Buuut of course, that didn't have enough good features. So I moved onto the Samsung T619. That's right, 1.9 mp camera and all! :P
















Buuuuut I wanted an iPhone SO badly. SO SO badly. Sooooo I got an unlocked one :) First generation. Vintage status now!




















Tell me why anyone in their right mind would switch to something else after having an iPhone...I told you I have cellphone ADD! Next up: Samsung Gravity T669!




















Buuuut after having an iPhone, this just didn't satisfy. Back to smartphone I go! Blackberry Curve 8520! (Yep, I went from iPhone to Blackberry!)






















I tried to convert it into a green phone (bad idea!), thrashed it, and then got a new Blackberry instead. Blackberry Curve 9300!



























So there you have it, folks! My entire cellphone history! I'm craving a new phone. A new iPhone 4S. I'm probably gonna get one, don't you worry! :P

Should I Splurge?!

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Oh. My. Gosh.

Can it be?!??!

$650 for a phone??? Is it worth it?! It's legal now!


It Is Well With My Soul

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Horatio Spafford.

I bet you've never even heard of the man.

But this man wrote one of the most popular hymns in history, "It Is Well With My Soul."

From the words of the hymn, you would never know how many miserable trials the man was going through. First, his only son died at the age of 4. Then, the great Chicago fire destroyed him financially. He planned to travel to Europe with his family, but financial issues caused by the fire delayed him. He sent his family ahead, but the ship sank while it was crossing the Atlantic. Miraculously, his wife survived, but all four of his daughters were lost to the sea. As Spafford rode on the next ship to catch up with his grieving wife, he wrote the famous words to this hymn. Interestingly, he was able to praise the Lord and say "it is well with my soul" even in the midst of his extreme trials.

My trials pale in comparison to his, but I don't know that I have ever praised the Lord in the midst of them. Lord, please give me faith enough to see You in the midst of the storm. Help me to lift up my hands and my heart in praise even when I am humbled and down on my face. 




"It Is Well With My Soul"


When peace like a river, attendeth my way, 
When sorrows like sea billows roll; 
Whatever my lot, Thou hast taught me to know, 
It is well, it is well, with my soul. 

It is well, with my soul, 
It is well, with my soul, 
It is well, it is well, with my soul. 

Though Satan should buffet, though trials should come, 
Let this blest assurance control, 
That Christ has regarded my helpless estate, 
And hath shed His own blood for my soul. 

My sin, oh, the bliss of this glorious thought! 
My sin, not in part but the whole, 
Is nailed to the cross, and I bear it no more, 
Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, O my soul! 

For me, be it Christ, be it Christ hence to live: 
If Jordan above me shall roll, 
No pang shall be mine, for in death as in life, 
Thou wilt whisper Thy peace to my soul. 

But Lord, 'tis for Thee, for Thy coming we wait, 
The sky, not the grave, is our goal; 
Oh, trump of the angel! Oh, voice of the Lord! 
Blessed hope, blessed rest of my soul. 

And Lord, haste the day when my faith shall be sight, 
The clouds be rolled back as a scroll; 
The trump shall resound, and the Lord shall descend, 
Even so, it is well with my soul.

Striving Is Not Waiting

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We got into a huge fight today and I feel like crap.

I am tired of all this striving. I'm putting so much emotion and energy in a person who depletes my supply. Why is it so hard for guys to say a simple "I'm sorry"? That is all it takes. Really.

Ironically enough, Pastor Brian's message two Sundays ago at church really hit me. (What's new? Pastor Brian always does that.) His message was about waiting on the Lord. He basically said the following: panicking is not waiting, striving is not waiting, fighting is not waiting, and scheming is not waiting.

Lord, help me to wait on You. Clearly, I am having difficulties. 

Twang

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I used to hate country music. With a passion. Now, I can handle it, but I still don't like it.

Strangely though, I loooooove bluegrass music. It makes my heart happy.

Several people over the years have asked me how that is possible. Some have even stooped so low as to say that bluegrass and country are the same thing. But I beg to differ. They may use the same instruments, but they definitely sing about different things. And bluegrass has no twang. So there we have it. The source of my hatred: twang.

#Passion2012

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I love the Passion Conferences. I love Louie Giglio. I love that technology is so advanced that I can watch it live even across the country :)

Notice, my tweet showed up on the right!


Just pay attention and respond appropriately.

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I love when God uses novels to speak to me. Ahh the beauty of Christian novels.

Right now, I am on the last book of a Christian romance novel series. The first two books were amazing. Buuuut, the last one isn't going as expected. I guess I was expecting it to be a fairy tale ending, but it's looking a lot more realistic than fairy tale at this point.

I got frustrated. I even flipped to the back of the book to get a sneak peak at what would happen. I got even more frustrated and put the book down for a couple days. Today, I picked it up again. (I never quit midway through a book.)

Of course, God met me right where I'm at. Always. The last couple of lines of the chapter I was reading hit me like a brick. I couldn't even read any further.

"Just pay attention to what God is doing, Katie. That's all I'm saying. Just pay attention and respond appropriately."

Ways of Wisdom

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"Only He knows your true desire, 
and only He is able to purify your desire 
and deepen your commitment. 
Go your way in peace, 
knowing He has promised to perfect 
that which concerneth you, 
and His ways are ways of wisdom."

Author

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Ahh, the blog, the perfect place to vent.

Basically, I feel like my love life is on repeat. Same story with every single guy. I'm not gonna go into details, but I feel angry and I feel hurt. I think this time is the worst. I want to puke and I also want to cry.

But in the midst of my frustration over the repetition of sucky circumstances, my friends have been such encouragements. There were a few that I texted in my initial moment of hurt, and they each gave me more encouragement than I knew what to do with. And still, I felt the need to vent on facebook. (I'm just whiny today...) I posted this as my facebook status: If my life were a book, it would be a misprint. Chapter 1, chapter 1, chapter 1, chapter 1. I'm sick of all this repetition.

And then came the biggest encouragement of all in one short yet powerful comment:

Just gotta remember who's writing it...

I am SO thankful that God is writing my story. My life story AND my love story. He's a much greater author than I could ever dream of being.

Selah

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Selah's an oldie but goodie when it comes to the Christian music scene.

Their new album "Hope of the Broken World" is full of musical goodness. In addition to their own newly written songs, they snuck in a beautiful classic "Tis So Sweet To Trust In Jesus."

I'm gonna leave you hanging so you can feel intrigued to check them out yourselves.


Seek Me When The Sun Is Shining

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Give Me every care. 
Give Me every burden.
Give Me every fear.
I stand ready to help you.
You have only BEGUN to taste of My goodness.
I am loving you all the time, but you come to Me mostly in periods of stress.
I want to teach you to live continually in My presence.
I can give you more constructive help when you are well than when you are sick,
but when you are well, you are too busy to give Me the opportunity to minister.

So I help you now in the hour of discouragement,
and I ask you to seek Me when the sun is shining and all is well again.
Now I can comfort; then I can teach. 
Now I can bless you, but then I can help you even more.

Be obedient.
I have a beautiful work for you to do for Me.

Psalm 55:22
"Cast your burden on the LORD, and He will sustain you;
He will never permit the righteous to be moved."

-from Progress of Another Pilgrim: The Original Devotional Classic, Powerful and Enduring (Complete and Unabridged) by Frances Roberts

It's been a long time...

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I'm back in America now...but I miss England already. 

But alas, absence makes the heart grow fonder. 


Divine Appointment

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Well, it's that time of year again.

I'm sitting in a quaint English cottage in Cornwall, England at the moment. It's pouring rain outside and I can hear it through the windows. It is perfection here. I could live here for the rest of my life.

Creationfest starts on Saturday. I am sooooo excited to see all the awesome things God is going to do this year! God has already showed His hand. Today, we went out to a small town called Padstow. This was the same town where Briana and I had met a woman last year who tugged at our hearts. She was supposed to move away in January to marry a man she really shouldn't have married. Randomly throughout the year, I would remember her and pray for her. But strangely, I never once thought to pray that God would have intervened and stopped the wedding plans. Briana made a mention of that today, and immediately I started praying that it would have been the case.

When we got to Padstow, we booked it to the insurance place where she worked. After about a minute (only!) we saw her! Talk about a divine appointment! She didn't have time to stand and chat at that moment, but she told us when she would be off of work. We went back and exchanged facebook info and phone numbers later. So cool to see how God worked that out.

Lord, please use me as an encouragement to this woman. It was Your divine appointment, now please work Your divine work in Your divine timing.

God's Faithfulness

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I just re-read a bit of my journal and was SO blown away at God's faithfulness. So many of the prayers I have prayed in the recent past have already been answered! I love seeing the outcome of God doing His work and directing me on the path He chooses!

"A man's heart plans his ways, but the LORD directs his steps." Proverbs 16:9

Old Man

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Me: I hate that I sneeze like an old man.
Dad: Maybe you were an old man in your past life.

Hahahaha, I love my dad.

Divine Love

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"Be not disturbed by what you feel, 
but set your thoughts on what you know
and what I have revealed to you, 
and new faith shall spring forth.

Never doubt My love when things are dark.
Situations never change Me.
The deeper your need, 
the more I will respond if you call on Me.
In this way you can turn the darkness into blessing.

Hold to My hand.
No other support is necessary.
Human love is comforting, but divine love,
the love of God the Father, is greater."

New Car!

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Yesterday, I bought my dream car. Actually, it is above and beyond my dream car, for it is a model I never would have even tried for. But God is good!


It is the color I want, I have a moonroof (yes, moon not sun), I have rims opposed to hub caps, and the dealership gave me a full tank of gas. It's the little things :)

:)

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Built in Christ

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"Grant me grace to bear Thy will without repining, and delight to be not only chiseled, squared, or fashioned, but separated from the old rock where I have been embedded so long, and lifted from the quarry to the upper air, where I may be built in Christ forever."

-Anonymous

Lonely at Weddings

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Dear God,

It's not that I'm desperate for a boyfriend or desperate for a husband. I just really wish I had someone to go to weddings with so I don't have to go by myself.

Sincerely,
Lonely at Weddings

Firstfruits

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I haven't blogged for over a month. What's happening to me?

I'm turning into an old lady, that's what. Working full-time does strange things to the body. I get tired around 8 pm every night. Granted, I do not sleep right when I get tired, but still. I feel like I have no time for anything anymore (yet I somehow manage to squeeze in Disneyland trips since I just got a pass).

The worst part of all this is that I feel like I am putting God on the back burner. Yeah, I haven't completely pushed Him out of my life, but I am definitely not giving Him the firstfruits of my time. Lord, forgive me.


It is in times like these that I can really say that I am thankful for His never-ending grace. No matter how sucky I am, He never gives up on me.

2 Timothy 2:13
"If we are faithless, He remains faithful..."
<3

Offering

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"So here's what I want you to do, God helping you:
Take your everyday, ordinary life—
your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—
and place it before God as an offering.
Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for Him."

Romans 12:1 MSG

Monopoly

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This is AMAZING! In honor of the monopoly game celebrating its anniversary, a maps has been created showing the true locations of the monopoly properties!

Truth Be Told

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Endearing.

That is the perfect word to describe the movie "Truth Be Told." As a member of Team Buzzplant, I was given the opportunity to pre-screen this movie which airs Saturday, April 16th on FOX at 8/7c. Watch it! You wont regret it!

This movie keeps you on the edge of your seat as you witness the domino effect that takes place when Mark and Annie come up with a lie to benefit both their careers. What starts out as a seemingly innocent lie winds into a crazy web (as lies often do!) This is definitely an excellent family film and one that'll hold your interest the whole way through. Not to mention, it takes place is the midwest, which only makes life all the more exciting! (It may or may not be my fantasy to fall in love with a guy from the midwest who grew up on a ranch.)

Candace Cameron Bure is adorable and David James Elliot is a charmer, so grab the family and hang out on the couch in front of the tv this Saturday night and experience a movie that you'll likely want to watch over and over again!



Also, you have the opportunity to enter a contest to win a $100 Walmart gift card! Imagine all you can buy for that!  

Remember, this Saturday, at 8/7c on FOX!

Love

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Love is based on God's command to love, not the recipient's worthiness. 
This very thing is a picture of the gospel. 

"We love because He first loved us."
1 John 4:19

(via David Platt)

Undercover Christian?

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Dear Self,

What are you, an undercover Christian now? You've been working at this company for two weeks now and do people even know you are a Christian?! You need to do something about that. Let your light so shine before men that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven (Matt. 5:16). Be a trader.

Movie Moment

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On Wednesday, I had a movie moment with a hott man.

The elevator door opened. He got on. We went down to the first floor and walked out of the elevator in the same direction. He held the door open for me. We ended up walking out of the building in the same direction. We kept walking just to find out we were parked right next to each other. He must have noticed the humor in the situation also because he started laughing and said, "Have a good night!"

Hahahahaha! :P

Did I mention he was wearing a suit and Ray Bans? :)

Safety in God's Arms

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"We sleep in peace in the arms of God, when we yield ourselves up to His providence, in a delightful consciousness of His tender mercies; no more restless uncertainties, no more anxious desires, no more impatience at the place we are in; for it is God who has put us there, and who holds us in His arms. Can we be unsafe where He has placed us?"

-FRANÇOIS DE LA MOTHE FÉNELON

Four-in-Two

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I am extremely blessed.

God has been answering prayer after prayer after prayer. I posted a blog entitled "Questions" not too long ago. It is always amusing to me to see how quickly those questions turn into answers.

This string of answers all built upon each other. It all began with a job.

I got a full-time job!!!!!!!!!!! Praise the Lord!!!


Having a full-time job only makes getting a new car a possibility. My car is nearing retirement so I am relieved that I will be able to replace it by the end of the year. Answer #2.

When I got offered this job, one of the thoughts that immediately worried me was that they might not be okay with my England trip. God opened the doors for this trip once again so I knew He wanted me to go. I came to the conclusion that if this new job wasn't okay with the trip, I would reject the job offer. I began praying. I knew that God had also opened the door for this job, so I had faith that He wouldn't make me pick one thing over the other. After playing intense phone tag with my new boss, I finally was able to reach her. I told her about the trip and not only was she okay with it, she was 100% understanding! She even made it clear to me that she has been in the same situation and that an employer can't expect the employee to put their life on hold for the sake of the job! So amazing. Answer #3.

One of the hardest things for me was telling my current job. I hate goodbyes. And in all honesty, I didn't want to leave! Working at a small church as a graphic designer was absolutely perfect for me. I loved every moment. The only problem was that working only ten hours a week just wasn't paying the bills. I needed more. I prayed so hard asking God to help me tell my boss. I also asked God to make it possible to work something out with the church. God not only helped me tell my boss, but He made everything about the situation work out smoothly. I not only received the most loving congratulations from him, but he also worked out a deal with me so I can still work for them and do the work from home! Amazing! I don't have to leave the place I love. Answer #4.

God answered four prayers in two days. And not only were they answers, they were far greater than I could have ever imagined! That only goes to show that God's ways are indeed higher than our ways.

Thank you, Lord, for being so faithful. Thank you for always providing for me even more abundantly than what I ask. Thank you for coming through in the perfect timing.

I'm not normal...

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Luther.

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Too good to not be reposted! Hahahahaha!



All Sunshine in the Gladness of Belonging to Him

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"The circumstances of her life she could not alter, but she took them to the Lord, 
and handed them over into His management; and then she believed that He took it, 
and she left all the responsibility and the worry and anxiety with Him. 
As often as the anxieties returned she took them back; 
and the result was that, although the circumstances remained unchanged, 
her soul was kept in perfect peace in the midst of them. 
And the secret she found so effectual in her outward affairs, 
she found to be still more effectual in her inward ones, 
which were in truth even more utterly unmanageable. 
She abandoned her whole self to the Lord, with all that she was and all that she had; 
and, believing that He took that which she had committed to Him, 
she ceased to fret and worry, 
and her life became all sunshine in the gladness of belonging to Him."

-H. W. Smith

Dream.

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Seven Year War @ The House of Blues

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Thursday was pretty epic. My friends Josh and Johannes are in a band that is making it pretty big! Sooo proud of you guys! Their band, Seven Year War, was headlining a show at the House of Blues. Such a fun time!

These are a few of my favorite shots from the night! Enjoy!





The rest are on facebook if you're interested!

Questions

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"Questions imply answers. He has put the questions in my heart; He holds the answers in His. I will seek them from Him. I will wait, but not till I have knocked. I will be patient, but not till I have asked. I will seek until I find. He has something for me. My prayer shall go up unto the God of my life." -George MacDonald (from Unspoken Sermons: Series I, II, and III)

Every day that passes only leaves me with more questions. Will I ever find a full-time job? Will I live with my parents until I'm 30? Will I meet my husband anytime soon? Will I have money for a new car before my old car dies? Will I ever be able to live out my dream of moving to England? What does God want me to do with my life as far as a career goes? The questions never end. But George MacDonald couldn't have said it any better. "He has put the questions in my heart; He holds the answers in His." I know that God knows what He is doing. He has a plan for my future. As far as the questions go, they will not remain unanswered. All I need to do is seek him and be patient. I have presented my questions before the Lord. He knows my wants and my desires, and He has something for me.

"But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing." James 1:4 NKJV

Ohhh this generation we live in.

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Brushing Curly Hair

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Brushing curly hair is one of those things—you either struggle through it or you just don't bother. I'm one of those people who falls into the second category. My hair, in addition to being curly, can frizz like none other. It's not the type of hair that you should even attempt to brush.

I came to this realization earlier today...I haven't straightened my hair for two month. That means I haven't brushed my hair for two months. That's kinda weird to admit...especially publicly on the internet.

Chocolate.

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Amen and amen!



















(via Jenna)

Worship Jesus.

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I love Louie Giglio.

I'm currently reading his book, The Air I Breathe: Worship as a Way of Life, and that book is packed tight with good quotes! Stay tuned on Project Quotations cuz my next two quotes are from this book.

In the meantime, here's a little nugget.

"If you don't like who you're becoming, take a quick inventory of the things on the throne of your heart. If you want to become more and more like Jesus, keep your worship focused squarely on Him."

Free in Christ

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Because a sinless Savior died,
My sinful soul is counted free;
For God, the Just, is satisfied
To look on Him and pardon me
To look on Him and pardon me.

Jonah.

1 Comment »

I'm doing it again. Reposting a video because it's just that good.

Watch all 8 minutes....You wont regret it.

A Girl Who Reads

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Blogspot has yet to incorporate the repost feature that sites like tumblr have. But in the meantime, I will repost the good old fashioned way because some posts are just good enough. This one is definitely one of them. :)

____________________________


“Date a girl who reads. Date a girl who spends her money on books instead of clothes. She has problems with closet space because she has too many books. Date a girl who has a list of books she wants to read, who has had a library card since she was twelve.

Find a girl who reads. You’ll know that she does because she will always have an unread book in her bag.She’s the one lovingly looking over the shelves in the bookstore, the one who quietly cries out when she finds the book she wants. You see the weird chick sniffing the pages of an old book in a second hand book shop? That’s the reader. They can never resist smelling the pages, especially when they are yellow.

She’s the girl reading while waiting in that coffee shop down the street. If you take a peek at her mug, the non-dairy creamer is floating on top because she’s kind of engrossed already. Lost in a world of the author’s making. Sit down. She might give you a glare, as most girls who read do not like to be interrupted. Ask her if she likes the book.

Buy her another cup of coffee.

Let her know what you really think of Murakami. See if she got through the first chapter of Fellowship. Understand that if she says she understood James Joyce’s Ulysses she’s just saying that to sound intelligent. Ask her if she loves Alice or she would like to be Alice.

It’s easy to date a girl who reads. Give her books for her birthday, for Christmas and for anniversaries. Give her the gift of words, in poetry, in song. Give her Neruda, Pound, Sexton, Cummings. Let her know that you understand that words are love. Understand that she knows the difference between books and reality but by god, she’s going to try to make her life a little like her favorite book. It will never be your fault if she does.

She has to give it a shot somehow.

Lie to her. If she understands syntax, she will understand your need to lie. Behind words are other things: motivation, value, nuance, dialogue. It will not be the end of the world.

Fail her. Because a girl who reads knows that failure always leads up to the climax. Because girls who understand that all things will come to end. That you can always write a sequel. That you can begin again and again and still be the hero. That life is meant to have a villain or two.

Why be frightened of everything that you are not? Girls who read understand that people, like characters, develop. Except in the Twilightseries.

If you find a girl who reads, keep her close. When you find her up at 2 AM clutching a book to her chest and weeping, make her a cup of tea and hold her. You may lose her for a couple of hours but she will always come back to you. She’ll talk as if the characters in the book are real, because for a while, they always are.

You will propose on a hot air balloon. Or during a rock concert. Or very casually next time she’s sick. Over Skype.

You will smile so hard you will wonder why your heart hasn’t burst and bled out all over your chest yet. You will write the story of your lives, have kids with strange names and even stranger tastes. She will introduce your children to the Cat in the Hat and Aslan, maybe in the same day. You will walk the winters of your old age together and she will recite Keats under her breath while you shake the snow off your boots.

Date a girl who reads because you deserve it. You deserve a girl who can give you the most colorful life imaginable. If you can only give her monotony, and stale hours and half-baked proposals, then you’re better off alone. If you want the world and the worlds beyond it, date a girl who reads.

Or better yet, date a girl who writes.”

- Rosemary Urquico

New MacBook Pro—finally!

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My new MacBook Pro came in the mail today! It was sooooo exciting! I was tempted to give the UPS man a hug for delivering my prized possession, but I chose to remain uncreepy.


 

Color Names

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There's a part in the movie "Sydney White" where the sorority girls are being quizzed. Sydney gets asked the sorority colors and when she answers "green and white," the sorority president answers, "Wrong. Emerald and pearl." Her immediate response is, "I'm sorry, I don't know how to speak priss."

This was almost how I felt at Urban Outfitters last week. I wanted a pair of their red mary janes, but they seemed to have every color but red at the store. My option was to order online—but at the store, so I could get the shipping fee waived. They were priced 2 for $20 so I also chose the navy blue one. Simple enough, right? Red and navy blue. But when I heard the guy on the phone ordering them, he ordered "berry and sapphire." Seriously?! As if that isn't bad enough, when they came in the mail later that week, the order slip said "bright red and cobalt."

Now this brings up a question that I've had for some time....What is the job title for color namers? I'd like to be one. I'll learn how to speak priss, get that job, and live a nice, comfortable life.

Contentment

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‎"Our contentment was never intended 
to be found in our external circumstances; 
our contentment was always intended 
to be found in the internal relationship 
we have with Jesus Christ."

-David Platt

New MacBook Pro

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I woke up this morning to the best news in a loooong time. Apple finally released the new MacBook Pro. I am beyond ecstatic! So much so, that I can't even write a proper blog to capture my excitement. So this screen shot will have to suffice.


I can't wait to get one!

A typical conversation about Urban Outfitters employees...

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Me: Don't you just love how I was totally checking them out?

Jen: Well, they're part of the merchandise since they're wearing the merchandise...so they're meant to be checked out.

:P

Peter + Clara | Engagement Shoot

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My dearest cousin Clara is engaged and I had the privilege of doing her engagement shoot. She and her fiance, Peter, were so much fun to photograph! You could completely see their personalities in all of the pictures! 

Here are just a few for you to savor.





How To Bypass Facebook's New Photo Viewer

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It's Valentine's Day. I should be writing some mushy blog about love and romance, but instead I'm writing a tutorial blog. You'll thank me later, I know it.

How to bypass facebook's new photo viewer: this method is simple and it works every time.

When you're in the album view, instead of just clicking on a picture, open it in a new window and wah-lah! On a mac, control-click and click "open in new tab" or "open in new window." On a PC, just right-click and do the same.

You're welcome.

Sympathy.

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Do you ever find yourself in those situations where you don't want help and all you want is sympathy? People are always trying to help me.

Yesterday was an overwhelming day at work. Don't get me wrong, I love love love my job. But I hate Joomla. Hate it. HATE.

Sooo, since I was talking to Greg already, I chose to vent to him.

Me: I'm losing my mind! I can't solve the same problem I've been dealing with for the past couple weeks at work!
Greg: What is this problem?
Me: It's a Joomla problem! I don't know why they chose to design their site with something so flakey!
Greg: Ahhh I see. That seems an issue.
Me: Lol you sound like you have no idea what I'm talking about :P
Greg: And you are right. Lol. Smile and nod :)
Me: Hahahahaha.

Basically, his sympathy made my day. So even though I know Greg never reads my blog, I felt the need to inform my blogosphere that sometimes a little act of sympathy can go a far way.

Locked In.

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Have you ever had one of those days where you just want to laugh and cry at the same time because of how pathetic you are? Today was one of those days.

It was due to one specific thing that happened. I was at work, in the tech booth and people kept walking in and out. I didn't seem to notice, but the last guy that walked in and out apparently locked the door after he left. A few minutes later, I decided to get up because I desperately had to pee. I walked up to the door, pushed it, and then realized dilemma I was faced with—I was locked in. I tried to reach over the edge of the door, but I was feet away from the keyhole. It would be impossible to get out on my own.

I email Joy. Five minutes later, still no reply. So then I email Kay. Thankfully she came within a couple minutes of my email and rescued me. My bladder was very grateful.

Now tell me one thing. Why do things like this always happen to me when I desperately need to pee?!?!

Failures and Goals.

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Soooo, I'm a little behind on my reading goal for 2011. I have completed 5 books so far, but my goal of 120 books in the year would require me to read 1 book every 3 days. Currently, I'm at about 1 every 7 days. No good. I have already failed at my photo a day goal, so this year's looking like a failure right about now. But I still have 11 more months to go. I will not fail. I will prevail!

Lazy Saturday

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I'm sitting here in my room on this lazy Saturday, reading my kindle,
and bidding on used Leicas. :)

1 Corinthians 15:58

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I found this blog as a draft. I wonder why I never posted it...probably because it wasn't as complete as it could be. But I figured, it'd do no one any good just sitting there as a draft...so I'm posting it now. Enjoy!
--------------------

I wanted so desperately to do a word study on this verse because it is SO meaty.

Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain. (ESV)

So, my dear brothers and sisters, be strong and steady, always enthusiastic about the Lord's work, for you know that nothing you do for the Lord is ever useless. (NLT)

Therefore, my dear brothers, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain. (NIV)

Steadfast - from the Greek word meaning "settled."
Immovable - from the Greek word meaning "firmly persistent."
Abounding - from the Greek word meaning "to overflow or be in abundance of."
Labor - work, sorrow, trouble; literal Greek meaning "a beating."
Vain - empty or devoid of truth, containing nothing, purposeless

Practical little commentary from Pastor Chuck Smith:
"You can never say that about anything you do for the Lord. Your labor for the Lord is never in vain. Never in vain. You say, 'But, they didn't believe, or they didn't receive.' That's all right. God doesn't pay commissions, only salaries. He pays you for that labor that you did, not for the results of the labor. Just for the fact that you labored for Him. Therefore, abound in the work of the Lord, because it's never in vain."

Dead End.

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Blogging is the method I use to process my thoughts.

Unfortunately for me, this specific thought process hit a dead end.

I have made my decision; I would like a man who is involved in the same ministries as me. It just makes things easier because it means both our hearts are in the same place.

Currently, I'm involved in the Jr. High ministry. How is that problematic, might you ask? Well, let me tell you. My church makes it a little complicated to get involved in this ministry. They prefer to have people they know, people that go to school there. Are you following me? People that go to school there, aka, people in high school. On average, high school seniors graduate at 18. I am currently 22. So as of this very moment, the oldest guy I could possibly meet would be 4 years younger than me. And I'm only getting older. And this is where I hit a dead end.

It's not my job to finish what God started...

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"It’s not my job to finish what God started.
It’s not my job to complete the work He began in His way, with my ways.
It’s not my job to wrestle control back from Him, even if the adventure feels out of control."
-Jonathan Acuff

Bermuda Triangle of Productivity

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Hahahahaha! SO true.























[source]

Police Pursuit

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Several hours ago, I witnessed the worst ending to a police pursuit that I had ever seen. After the police hesitated to perform a pit maneuver on the suspect because they didn't have a "safe opportunity," the suspect t-boned an innocent driver at quite a high speed. Immediately, I burst into tears.

It was about 11:38 pm when it happened. I had just gotten home at 11:15 pm and when I walked into my house, my dad already had the television on. He informed me that moments earlier, the suspect had driven right through my neighborhood. Casually I said, "Wow, good thing I missed it."

When the violent crash took place, it was as if a sudden reality check crashed into my heart. I missed it. By about 20 minutes. That could have very easily been me. God definitely holds the keys to life and holds each one of our breaths in His hands. At any moment, it could be taken away.

It is 2:19 am right now and I am unable to sleep. I am anxiously awaiting the state of this innocent victim.

Just a few moments ago, KNX 1070 said that the woman is in the UCS Medical Center with only minor injuries. I couldn't believe it at first. Minor injuries? After a t-bone crash of that impact? It could only be God.

I'm continuing to pray for this innocent woman. God can do miracles. There's no doubt about that.