Archive for January 2011
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.
Excerpt from Jon Acuff's "The Trouble With Fruit":
Here is what Proverbs 3:9 says:
“Honor the Lord with your wealth, with the firstfruits of all your crops”
That word, “firstfruits” is a powerful one. We’re not called to give God the last scraps of our fruit, the remainder, but rather the “firstfruits.” Now clearly, there are financial ramifications to that verse, but what if it’s bigger than that? What if we’re called to give:
The firstfruits of our time.
The firstfruits of our creativity.
The firstfruits of our focus.
The firstfruits of our energy.
The firstfruits of our love.
Can you imagine what church would be like if members gave the firstfruits of their creativity to the Lord? We complain that the church is cheesy sometimes. Of course it is, we’ve been feeding it rotten fruit.
Can you imagine what church would be like if we gave the firstfruits of our love? We like to take shots at the church for being unloving and judgmental. Of course it is, we’ve been feeding it rotten fruit.
Can you imagine what it would be like for your life if you gave God the firstfruits of your time? I can’t because all too often I’ve given him rotten fruit. But I’m trying to change that and I’ve already learned something new in the process.
When I give God my firstfruits in the morning, when I start the day with him, it’s like putting on 3D glasses. The rest of the day looks different. I can see his hand more clearly, hear his voice louder, and feel his touch closer.
I’m not perfect at the firstfruits concept. At heart, this is an “I’m failing, but don’t want to” post. But with grace and hope, I’m working on being more deliberate with my firstfruits.
Let’s stop giving God our last fruits.
I've been convicted a lot recently from books I have read and am reading. Once again, conviction comes from John Bunyan's Grace Abounding to the Chief of Sinners: Or Brief Faithful Relation Exceeding Mercy God Christ his Poor Servant John (Penguin Classics).
John Bunyan was imprisoned for 12 years merely for "gathering people together" and preaching the gospel to them. His crime wasn't the preaching, but the gathering of the people, for he gathered them outside of the structured Church of England.
The officers gave him many chances for release—even telling him that they would release him if he simply said that he wouldn't gather the people anymore. They didn't even care if he preached to them. Yet Bunyan was so completely sold out to Christ that this wasn't even an option for him. He would rather stay in prison that comply with their small wish.
I wonder what I would have done if I were in Bunyan's situation. I've been raised in a culture that promotes self-comfort so I feel as though I would have probably told the officers what they wanted to hear, and then gone back to doing what I was doing. A little white lie is all that it would have taken. But even that was too much for Bunyan to do. I wish I had this boldness with my relationship with Christ. I wish I was able to hold back from telling even a little white lie even if it meant losing my comfort for the sake of the gospel.
Lord, please make me bold. I want each action of each day of my life to be ordained by You and done for You. Help me to die to comfort and die to self for the sake of the gospel and for the sake of Your glory.
I always try to break out of my comfort zone when it comes to clothing styles. I hate being classified under a category. I dress the way I like as long as it looks okay on me regardless of the fact that it may or may not be "my style."
So I bought these vintage boots :)
They would have been peeeeerfect for our vintage arboretum shoot, but they didn't match the rest of my outfit. Oh well. Next time.
Jen and I are VERY fond of going on photoshoots at the LA Arboretum. This was definitely one of my favorite shoots! And here are two of my favorite photos! :)
P.S. If you're my friend on facebook, I suggest you watch the video there. That one is MUCH better quality!
I know there are still 73 days until my birthday, but I really really want a pretty, girly camera bag.
I'm giving you some options, so be appreciative.
Excerpt from Grace Abounding to the Chief of Sinners: Or Brief Faithful Relation Exceeding Mercy God Christ his Poor Servant John (Penguin Classics):
I will now (God willing), before I proceed any farther, give you in a word or two, what, as I conceive, was the cause of this temptation; and also after that, what advantage, at the last, it became unto my soul. 237. For the causes, I conceived they were principally two: of which two also I was deeply convinced all the time this trouble lay upon me. The first was, for that I did not, when I was delivered from the temptation that went before, still pray to God to to keep me from the temptations that were to come; for though, as I can say in truth, my soul was much in prayer before this trial seized me, yet then I prayed only, or at the most principally, for the removal of present troubles, and for fresh discoveries of His love in Christ, which I saw afterwards was not enough to do; I also should have prayed that the great God would keep me from the evil that was to come. 238. Of this I was made deeply sensible by the prayer of holy David, who when he was under present mercy, yet prayed that God would hold him back from sin and temptation to come; Then, saith he, shall I be upright, and I shall be innocent from the great transgression. Psalm xix. 13. By this very word was I galled and condemned quite through this long temptation. 239. That was also another word that did much condemn me for my folly, in the neglect of this duty. Heb. iv. 16: Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need. This I had not done, and therefore was thus suffered to sin and fall, according to what is written, Pray that ye enter not into temptation. And truly this very thing is to this day of such weight and awe upon me, that I dare not, when I come before the Lord, go of my knees, until I intreat Him for help and mercy against the temptations that are to come; and I do beseech thee, reader, that thou learn to beware of my negligence, by the afflictions, that for this thing I did for days, and months, and years, with sorrow undergo.
I was deeply convicted by this passage, for I know I do not pray as often as I should. Many times, I pray "when I need to" or when I face times of desperation. But I know I need to go to God continually, not just when I am making a request.
Lord, please make me a prayer warrior.
I've heard it said, if ever you feel sad or discouraged, just start meditating on all the things you are thankful for. An attitude of gratitude or thankfulness can reverse any sorry mood.
Reading through 2 Samuel, I couldn't help but become overwhelmed with King David's attitude of gratitude. And it got me thinking, God has blessed me abundantly more than I could ever need. And as overwhelming as these blessings may be, they are a mere portion of what God does and who He is. I can only imagine what heaven will be like.
Excerpt from Radical: Taking Back Your Faith from the American Dream by David Platt:
One of my good friends spent time recently among unreached and unengaged peoples in Southeast Asia. As he talked with villagers in one remote area, he tried to uncover their core beliefs. He asked them, "How were we created?"
They responded, "We don't know."
He asked, "Who sends the rain for the crops?"
They said, "We don't know that either."
Then he asked, "What happens when we die?"
They looked back at him and said, "No one has come to tell us about that yet."
Soon thereafter he found himself in another remote village with people who had never heard the gospel. They were warm and hospitable, and they invited him to share a drink with them. One man went into his small shop and reappeared moments later with a classic red Coke can. Immediately, it hit home with my friend. A soft-drink company in Atlanta has done a better job getting brown sugar water to these people than the church of Jesus Christ has done in getting the gospel to them.
Christ says, "Stay alert. This is hazardous work I'm assigning you. You're going to be like sheep running through a wolf pack, so don't call attention to yourselves" (Matthew 10:16 MSG).
Are we willing to risk everything for sake of the gospel?
"The danger in our lives will always increase in proportion to the depth of our relationship with Christ." -David Platt
Maaaan, I just previewed "Change of Plans" and I bawled like a baby! I think I cried more in this movie than any other movie I've seen this whole year. It completely touched my heart!
Watching this movie caused me to really appreciate family. When Jason and Sally Danville, a career-focused couple, "inherit" four kids (that have four entirely different personalities), their lives take a drastic change. Experience their struggles as they try to balance their family life, their jobs, and their sudden task of parenthood. Laugh when they laugh and cry when they cry. This movie is definitely a tear jerker, and one that you should put on your calendar.
It airs on airs on FOX on January 8th at 8/7c and is part of "Family Movie Night." If you're busy, set your DVRs! This is a movie you won't want to miss!
Click the image above to view the trailer or check out http://changeofplansthemovie.com/ for more info! Watching the trailer will give you a chance to win an HDTV, a portable DVD player, or copies of the DVD/soundtrack!