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religion

Summer Goal #6: Change My Ways Of Thinking

By life, spirituality

Life is what you make of it. The old saying that life is 10% what happens and 90% what you do about it is spot on. I’ve always thought of myself as a glass-half-full kind of person, but I need to do better. In order to implement all of the self-improvement plans I’ve blogged about this week, I need to change my ways of thinking. I’ve got to set my sights high and reach for what now looks impossible. A little confidence and positive attitude goes a long way, and combined with prayer, God will reveal in my life exactly what I’m supposed to do and what path I’m supposed to take. Everything that’s meant to be will work out in the end.

Recent Questions, Ponderings, Discoveries, & Thoughts

By life

I’ve been doing a whole lot of deep thinking lately, especially yesterday. I could write a full-fledged post on each topic, and I might do that with some of these at a later date, but I just wanted to share what’s been running through my head over the past week or so. These are all randomly-ordered questions, ponderings, discoveries, and thoughts I’ve had.

– You can’t change other people. You can only change yourself and be a positive example for others to follow.

– When you put God at the center of your life, everything else just falls into place exactly the way it’s supposed to.

– If you try to do too many things at once you won’t get anything done at all. Focusing on one thing will get you a lot farther.

– Why is it that practically everyone I know is in a relationship now, and all over the course of the past month?

– I’ll be getting to that point in a few years when everyone I know is starting to get married, and man, that seems unreal. When did I get to this age?

– I’ll be twenty in July? Twenty? Two decades down. Wow.

– I finally know exactly what I want and that I am once again ready to be in a relationship.

– Am I only good enough to talk to or does she (come on you didn’t think you were actually gonna get a name, did you?) actually want something more with me?

– Why am I always second best, and how do I change that?

– Sushi from the VCU Commons is great at the beginning of the week, but practically a biohazard by Friday.

– I need to nail down what I’m doing this Summer job-wise, and really soon.

– I need to decide on my major for sure by next Fall. Graphic Design, Mass Communications, Film, or Business?

– The old saying is absolutely right: If it seems too good to be true, it probably is.

– Running is a great stress reliever.

– Change is constant and life is fluid.

– There are two options: Get in the game or be left behind.

– I need to spend less money on eating out, and that would also help me with my goal of getting in shape.

– I’ve got an incredible group of friends who are more supportive, caring, and genuine than anyone else I’ve ever been around in my life.

– I need to stop making this list and go get ready to head to VCU for my second-to-the-last day of classes.

Glad I got all that out. I feel a lot better now! Comment and share your thoughts.

Powerful Lifehouse Drama About Life’s Temptations

By music, spirituality, videos

A friend of mine showed me this video clip yesterday and it was so incredibly powerful it brought me to tears. It literally sends chills down my spine. It’s amazingly impacting. Watch for yourself and see if it doesn’t do the same thing to you. It’s all about a girl’s struggle with so many things that took her away from the unwavering love of Jesus. She’s pushed down by so many negative influences, but in the end she realizes He is always there with open arms to take her back and make her new again. We’ve all done this and I have certainly done this myself, and it’s the most incredible feeling in the world to know that God is always there to catch you when you fall or go astray.

You can check out the video below. It’s done to the music of the Lifehouse song “Everything.” Please give it a watch. I promise it will be well worth your time.

 

 

What’s Bothering Me So Much That I’m Awake At 4:45 AM?

By life, spirituality

It’s 4:45 AM and I’m up writing because I just can’t sleep. Something’s bothering me and I can’t figure out what exactly. I know bits and pieces of it, but not the entire thing, hence my writing it out to try and get a handle on what it is. Part of it is the fact that I just feel like a hamster spinning on a wheel lately. Why? Because I have so many different projects running (web projects, personal projects, etc.) that I just can’t seem to get finished. I can start fifty of them but can’t ever finish one. Two examples I can think of at the moment are my Downtown Short Pump website and the Deep Run Marathon Dance DVD I need to have completed soon (that one will get done because I have a deadline, but I’m having a hard time getting around to it for various reasons).

The other reason I can’t sleep is I keep having these dreams lately that my life is completely stagnant and not going anywhere. I just woke up from one. Well, I suppose they aren’t exactly dreams, but rather subconscious feelings I have as I sleep because I still feel them for a while when they wake me up during the night. It’s hard to describe, but it’s this feeling that my life is two-dimensional and I’m just going through the motions, doing insignificant, meaningless things just because they’re part of a routine or something. It’s driving me insane at the moment trying to figure out the root of these feelings because they’re not an isolated chain of thoughts. I know the fact that I’m going absolutely nowhere isn’t completely true because I have some things going for me right now, but I have this nagging discontent that I just can’t seem to shake. I really need to figure it out.

One more thing is that everything in my life feels so fluid right now. Sometimes it feels like I’m on one of those moving sidewalks, like at the airport. I’m moving on down the line while everyone and everything else goes on by, or vice versa. Either way I feel out of place in my own life and the worst part is I can’t figure out what I need to do to change it.

It’s not like I’m necessarily searching for something of greater meaning in my life beyond the temporary thrills, because I have really focused on putting God at the center of my life more than ever in recent days. It really is true that by doing that, many of life’s problems seem to be less complex. At the same time, however, I don’t think I’m where I need to be.

There are also moments when I have these very satisfying feelings of thinking I’m just a few steps away from being where I need to be and being totally content in my life, but once again I don’t know what it is I need to do or change to get to that point. It goes much deeper in some ways, but as open and transparent as I am about my personal life, that’s as far as I think I can take it on my very public blog. There’s just only so much you can say without unintentionally offending certain people (and that could happen because sometimes you can’t judge someone’s tone by reading words on a screen as opposed to having a face-to-face conversation).

These are all things I’m going to pray about and ask God for guidance with in my life, as well as talk to other people about. I just thought that if I was awake and couldn’t sleep, it might help to write it all out. At the same time, though, if you’d like to offer up any suggestions via a comment, please do so as it would be much appreciated.

Celebrating Easter

By Uncategorized

It’s today that we celebrate that Christ, who died for all of our sins, rose again. Take the time today to remember and celebrate all He has done for all of us and in your own life personally. But it really is something to be joyful about. I know it’ll be a party at RCC this morning at the services (and when I say party, I mean that they really get into it, even more so today than usual, and it’s very impacting and powerful)! Happy Easter, everyone!

The Value Of Time

By Uncategorized

Pastor Rick started a new message series entitled Time a few weeks ago, and I’ve got to say it’s probably the most impacting series he’s done to date (and he’s done a lot). The first week he talked about just how quickly life goes by. He made several analogies comparing your age with the time of day. I don’t remember exactly the ages and times he referenced, but if you take the waking hours (8:00 AM – 11:00 PM), if you’re 15 years old it’s about 10:30 AM. If you’re 30 it’s 12:00 noon. If you’re 50 it’s around 7:00 PM. Scary, huh? Time passes by more quickly than most of us realize. Today, Pastor Rick talked about how you should invest your time in things that have an eternal value and in things that will have a long-lasting impact.

All this got me thinking about just how funny time is. Sometimes I’ll do something and a few days later think that it feels like it’s been a week or two since I did it. Then, some event that comes around only once a year, take Christmas for example, and I feel like it just happened and the year flew by. It’s funny how different people perceive time in different ways.

One of the most interesting things Pastor Rick said is that people get along (or don’t) and associate with one another based on their time style. Some people prioritize their schedule. Others schedule their priorities. I’m definitely the first style (and sometimes I don’t have them in the right order at that) and I’m trying to become the second. It’s difficult, but I know I can do it if I keep at it.

To find out more about the Time series, visit www.highimpactliving.com.

What I’m Thankful For

By Uncategorized

Well it’s Turkey Day. I’m off to Home Team Grill in a couple hours to help serve Thanksgiving meals to the elderly and less fortunate with church, then to the family dinner at my cousins’ house. I just wanted to take a few moments to say what I’m thankful for.

First and foremost, I give the utmost thanks to God for all he’s done in my life in the past year. He has blessed me with so much, taken care of all my needs, and helped me change myself for the better in many ways. He has also provided a way for me to use my talents and skills to help others reach Him through my church with the Impact Arts multimedia ministry. Through the church, I’ve also made some great friends such as Anthony and Tori.

I’m also really thankful for my family. People may come and go, but they’re the one constant that’s always there no matter what. I love them very much.

I’m very thankful for my best friend, Jen. She’s always there to talk to about anything, always keeps me entertained with her crazy stories, and is just an overall wonderful person to be around. Sometimes when nothing’s gone right all day I’ll hang out with her, if only for a few minutes, and my whole day is turned around. She has a way of doing that, and I love her a lot.

There are also so many other things I’m thankful for, but these are the top ones. I hope you’ll take some time today to really reflect and thank God for his blessings in your life. Enjoy your time with family and friends, and eat lots of good food!

P.S. – I’m thankful for all my faithful blog readers, too! 

The End Times

By Uncategorized

The subject of Revelation has always been something that’s interested me. From the time I was just six or seven years old, my late grandfather, who studied the Bible very intensely over the course of his life, told me all about what the scripture had to say about it. He told me time and again that he believed the time was near when Jesus would return, because of all of the “signs of the times.” So from a very early age, I became intrigued by this. Now, nearly a decade and a half later, it doesn’t take much analyzation to see prophecies being fulfilled. Just turn on the news. Now at the same time, I know people have been saying for years, maybe even centuries, that the end times were near, but I honestly don’t know how things could get much worse in the world. I believe that it’s only by the grace of God that, even though things are bad, especially in certain parts of the world, that things aren’t much worse. By this I mean there is still relative peace in many countries and in the United States. With all the nuclear weapons worldwide, I think there would be widespread destruction by now if it weren’t for God watching over us.

I’ve looked into many different current events going on in the world today and see and hear so many people saying there are parallels in the book of Revelations. For example, I’ve read a couple of scholarly articles on there being a relation between the new experimental identification chips being implanted into test participants, which would serve to identify any given individual and even allow them to make purchases by swiping their arm across a reader at retail stores, and the Mark of the Devil. Obviously, it’s not the “666″ you hear about, but it’s very interesting. Think about it- you can’t make a major purchase such as a car or house, apply for credit, or a job, without having a Social Security number, a system coined only in the past fifty years.Occult religions, as mentioned in the Bible as a sign, are popping up everywhere. There’s the Church of Satan, founded in the 1970’s, Scientology, and even (this is rediculous) the Church of Google. I kid you not. There’s actually a group of people who claim Google is all-knowing and god-like because it has all the world’s information indexed on it. If you want a good chuckle, Google their “church” website.Global warming is another thing. I don’t know if there is a direct correlation with the Bible on this one, but I wouldn’t be surprised if there was. Look at what we’re doing to our earth. We’re destroying it. Steps are being taken to slow it, but I don’t think we’re in a situation where we can stop the process. God did not intend for Earth to be around forever, so it definitely makes you think if nothing else.

Anyway, there is compelling evidence for the return of Christ sometime soon. The thing to keep in mind, however is that centuries and centuries are but a blink of the eye to God. So it could be in the lifetime of my great, great, great grandchildren for all I know. There’s no way of telling for sure, but the signs are coming together any way you look at it.

What are your thoughts and perspectives on all of this? Leave your comments.