be kind and rewind

When I was younger, we had VHS tapes. In my family, any type of Disney movie was watched over and over again. When you want to watch  a movie you have to put the VHS tape into the player and push play. Very simple and a lot like a DVD. Except when it isn’t. Because sometimes when you put a VHS tape in, the movie is playing from the credits. And you realized someone forgot to rewind it. So you have to press stop, then rewind and wait for the click. Then it is ready to play from the beginning. So growing up, we would always say, be kind and rewind. It was catchy and clever and it rhymed. It was perfect. I am not saying we should go back to VHS tapes.  I think that a DVD is a wonderful update.  🙂  Yet, the action doesn’t need to be forgotten. You can still be kind. Kindness requires no level of intelligence or ability of athletics. It isn’t based on your personality.

Anyone can be kind. It doesn’t matter your age, my grandma is one of the first names on my board.  She thinks of others before herself.  Yet on the flip side, I know two little girls, whose kindness isn’t small,  it stretches farther than their little arms do.  They always take care of the grown-ups.  Whether it is giving us blankets or making sure we aren’t hurt.  They are just 2 1/2 and their kind actions surprise even me sometimes. My cousin, Emelia’s actions are always done in kindness. She does for others, what others don’t always want to do. And she does it with love. I have met a lot of people in college, but my friend Amy always comes to mind.  There is only sweetness, that flows from her heart. A heart of goodness. 🙂 My other friend Alicia, who I actually knew when I was little and is now at the same collage is also incredibly kind. She is thoughtful and things of others, including me before herself.

This week my board was full of names, and I think it speaks to the fact that kindness doesn’t require much work.  My own name was put on the board. To me, kindness is something I am good at because I love to do things for others. If it is filling my brother’s water bottle before school, or turning back the bed for my parents, I do those things because I care for them. Kindness is what Christ showed to the thief on the cross.  (Luke 23:39-43) Jesus loves everyone and no matter who you are, you are still his. Jesus’ kindness is unconditional and I strive to do the same.

Peace

Peace…

I could use some peace today, tomorrow, and the rest of the days of my life. I am not just saying that because I am a junior in college…almost a senior. That in a year and a half I need to have a job, and probably a place to live. That I really wanted to have a boyfriend, a partner in life to start dreaming about a new step in my life. Those things do complicate life…and it does raise my stress level. I suppose it is one reason I would really like some peace. I also would love some peace, so I am not second guessing….

Peace, in that who I am is alright. That is is okay I am not as determined as my sister, Molly. Who is so likable and just attracts people like magnets. . Peace, that is is alright I don’t have a sense to thrive in everything I do, like my brother, Terry.  He has this incredible servitude  for God, and he like my sister, is just a magnet for people.  Peace that isn’t horrible that I don’t have a drive to want to better my life, and job, and future like my youngest brother, Erich.  I am not doing this as a pity- part. Because without them, who would I  be? I look at my family and see that things are changing and that I might not be ready or up to the task of going along with it all. Where was I going with this all?

Peace…right?

Maybe it is too ambitious to think I could live a peaceful life. Does anyone really? I mean I am so behind with life that I am struggling to write on Peace, and I need to write on patience! I am chaining subjects here, so let’s focus on P.E.A.C.E. I think it is very interesting that when I wrote Peace on the wall, only one person’s name came to mind. That surprised me, is it that difficult to be at peace? It sort of made me feel better, I wasn’t the only one out there not at peace. From my own experience; expectations are the root of so much emotional distress. We either expect something to go one way, or a different way.  When something or someone disappoints us, we react in anger or sadness.

You can see where it is difficult to have peace…or a peaceful mind. The one person, whose name was written was a friend of my dad’s from college. We just went down to see him, and the minute I saw him, I was at peace. He really has a calming presence, and I didn’t stress over anything. True, it was a vacation, but I missed school, and so did my brothers. My sister and Dad had to take off for work. There were a lot of challenges, including driving down with was roughly a 14-hour drive. We were tired and squeezed yet when we got there, everything was alright. Pete has an incredible faith, and love for God. I think it is very interesting that he does have such a strong love for God, and a relationship with God. I can’t speak for him, but I think it does factor in how peaceful he is. From spending time with him, it is his unique loving, so a natural relationship with God.

My prayer for you and me is that you won’t let life get you down. I know this is easy to say, like so many things in this world. So I added a few bible verse to help. John 16:33 says, “I have told you these things so that in me you may have peace. In this word you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” Awesome! No worries. God has got EVERYTHING under control. However, even I struggle with this. I am human and imperfect so yeah, there are times, I don’t think God has everything  under control. Silly…foolish probably to doubt the creator of the universe. But many times, I think my way is better. I can’t tell you to just forget about your worries because that is like telling a person who is on a diet just don’t eat sugar. It isn’t helpful. So I want to leave you with a few bible verses. Some that help me when the world just gets me down.

Psalm 50:15~ “Call upon me ( God)  in the day of trouble and I will deliver you and you will honor me.”

John 14:27~ “ Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.”

JOY

     There are a lot of joyful people in my life. My sister is the first that comes to mind…and always will.  There is a fire in her that  light to so many people and she truly is joyful to all those around her. Another person in my life that is very joyful is Shannon O’Brien. Everyone should meet her, because she is truly special. She is one of those people no matter what is happening always makes you smile. Another person in my life and my family’s  is Bonnie Etzold.  A women who took courageous steps to open a beautiful Bed and Breakfast in a Victorian House. She is someone who when around, makes you feel like you are one of the most amazing people in the world. This world, it is very hard to be joyful..and they make you see the happy spots.

     I think there are also those in my life that are joyful in their faith. The first is not a single person but a body of people. I attend Room 211 in Lincoln, and every Sunday it is a joyful celebration. Hebrews 12:28-29 says, “Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe, 29 for our “God is a consuming fire.” There is a fire in me when I leave church, because the Lord is good and He shall be praised. I deeply encourage you to all visit, it will not disappoint.  There are also two special people in my ow faith journey that I really admire and look up to. The first is my Grandpa Terry. His heart is filled with Jesus’ love. When I was younger I remember being memorized by his prayers. They were so pure and clear and it really seemed like he was talking to God. My grandpa’s life is completely and totally committed to God, and it is truly inspiring.  Thank you Grandpa for being so joyful in your faith, so open that it deepens my relationship with you, and with God. The last person is my Mom. This isn’t a default response,or something to say to look good. I really believe from experiences and opportunities that my mom lives out her faith daily, and she does it joyfully!!! It is a rare gift, God’s salvation, and she doesn’t take it for granted. My Mom and I have had so many great conversations about our faith and I just can’t get enough of it.

     Thank you Lord for those you have placed in my life that live life joyfully! They are true blessings. I ask that you continue to look after them and continue to shower them with blessings. Thank you Lord, for Grandpa Terry and my Mom two people who don’t hide you from others and share generously their faith so naturally. I pray that all who reads this, are filled with the JOY that YOU give. Amen 

Two ways to live this JOY.

(1)       One way I get excited with my faith is through music, take time to listen to Chris Tomlin’s Psalm 100. If you enjoy that, listen to his whole album Love Ran Red.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wGKlpB_5ADg

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(2)     My Great-Grandma Reppert always had this saying in her house, J.O.Y

Jesus. Others. You. You can remember that, when you want to be joyful!

L.O.V.E

I don’t always like my family. I didn’t really have a say in the life I was given. I even told my mama that my younger brother needed to be a girl, Sophia. But he came screaming into this world, a big loud baby boy. I didn’t have any say over it. I didn’t have any talk with God in the womb asking if I would be older or younger than my siblings. I don’t even remember what it was like in the womb, but I do find it very special that God knew me, as I grew…and he knew me even before I was ever made. Not only did he know me, but he loved me, unconditionally. How does someone love someone they’ve never meet? Love like that…I think it means more than when I say I love coffee…and I really love coffee.

Well for me, the only explanation is that…. “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” He loves me. I realize a phrase like this is said a lot in this world, but when the Lord says it to me, it is a little harder for me to breath, and there is a little moister in the corner of my eye. Love, in this form is only seen by God. He is the only one who can purely, unselfishly give this love to anyone. But there are other forms of love that I have seen, and I have been blessed by.

Last Sunday night, around nine o’clock pm. the stomach flu hit my family. Hard. First my sister, then my younger brother, then me…then my mom and lastly my other brother. I won’t go into details because we have all been there and we all know it. Sometime the next day I woke up, with no appetite and still a stomach ache, the long walk up the stairs just about wore me out. But once I trudged up the stairs, my dad is standing there in the kitchen shooing me back downstairs telling me if I need anything I can just text him. All day, he was everyone’s “doctor”. Brining us little glasses of gatorade, and ice chips. It was the little things he did for each of us, that reminded me of Galatians 5:22-23. “The Fruit of the Spirit is love….”

I might not always like my family…..I mean sometimes I don’t like my friends….or random people. It is just the sinful nature that I live in. Not an excuse, just a sad reality in this life.  Sometimes I have days I am not the best company to be in, and I bet you have those days to. Love can be an abused concept. How do you trust love, when it is flawed. I don’t think you can trust your own love, it can’t be how you acted. Instead it has to be how God loved and how we can replicate that. Sometimes it is difficult to love everyone, so start small. By this simple verse in Luke 6:31

“Do unto others as you would have them do to you.” Start to love other’s like this, like the Lord did.

But the Fruit of the Spirit is…

      H    A    P    P   Y         N    E    W         Y    E    A    R    !

     I know I am a few days late, but hopefully you have still stuck to your new years resolutions (NYR). You are on track  with your new diet and you probably have hit the gym a few times this week. That is what happens when a New Year comes. We have this revelation or insight to eat better, work out, be a better person. To help us continue this goal we make, NYR.  I have got back on track…eating right and exercises again.  I ate my fair share of Gingerbread Men cookies this year…and homemade chocolate fudge. So I have been walking with my mom and I have not been snacking on Chex Mix every five minutes. But to me it isn’t just a physical cleanse, I want a cleanse for my mind, specifically  Spiritually.  What am I doing as a Christian that is encouraging my soul? I am not always  dedicated person, it is hard for me to stay on something. I am talking about devotions specifically. I get really excited on something and then I just forget to. I guess it means I am human but it isn’t enough. Especially when I think of all that I have been given. Sometimes I like to just sit down and be truly humbled by how God loves me. That I have everything I need in that moment. I love that time between God and yourself right after communion. When you are sitting in your seat and you have that time to close your eyes and be complete immersed in his love and sacrifice. Sometimes I don’t want to open my eyes, because in that moment I feel so safe and loved and whole. So I am praying that God will help me through this little journal/devotional  time.

__     So I goggled Bible verses on living like the Lord. I often get caught up on one bible verse in a chapter, so sometimes what I read doesn’t actually help me.  Romans 12:2  is a pretty well known verse, but if we go back on verse and read it together, it sounds like this: “Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. 2 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.”

___     When I first read this, the first word that hit me was sacrifice. If you know the story of Jesus Christ you know he did the ultimate sacrifice. Jesus Christ came as a baby to a virgin, taught God’s Word, and then died. He died not just for the people of the time but he died for EVERYONE. In the past and in the future, all of them saved. So since he sacrificed his life, when I read this I thought is God asking us to do the same thing? In a way…..yes. It does scare me at times, for two reason one curled in the other. 1) to sacrifice means to give of yourself…do I need to die for God? That is terrifying, which brings me to 2) Fear.  It tells me that I can’t do something that it would be more work to try something that what I am just doing now.  But if you go back to the verse it says a living sacrifice. To be alive, walking this earth as a human but more immortally as a Christian. I want to live like Christ, even if that means to sacrifice my life.  Christ sacrificed himself for all of us, I want to live that way to. Giving of myself, I just don’t always know how.

___On the radio that other day, they quoted Matthew 7:7 which is “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.”  When you really think about it, it seems almost selfish to ask God for something. Sometimes I think it sounds selfish..maybe not to you. But to ask for something that might just benefit me, I seem to pause, and hide myself for God…but that is impossible.  I am not trying to should self-righteous or anything, it is just something I sometimes struggle with. So when I wanted to do a study on The Fruit of the Spirit, from Galatians 5:22-23.  I just sat there and I asked God to show me what to do next.

__     Going back to Romans 12,  I wanted to hi-light verse six, even though I like to focus on verse seven. Romans 12:6 says, “We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us. If your gift is prophesying, then prophesy in accordance with your[a] faith;” I think it is so beautiful that even though God gave us salvation and that in itself is wonderful; he gave us all our own spiritual gift. 1 Corinthians 12:4-6  helps me understand these gifts, “There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit distributes them. 5 There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord. 6 There are different kinds of working, but in all of them and in everyone it is the same God at work.” Then..because I goggle verses I looked up 1 Peter 4:10-11 which says something similar to 1 Corinthians.  says, “Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve other, faithfully administer God’s grace in it various forms. 11 If anyone speaks, they should do so as one who speaks the very words of God. If anyone serves, they should do so with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ. To him be the glory and the power for ever and ever. Amen.” These gifts that the Lord gives us, whether it is to preach, teach, serve or whatever it is, we should do it through God, for God. I know that looking at that you think, I am not going to be a pastor or teacher, I understand because I am in that same predicament. I was going to be a teacher, and now I am not. But I know that I can still serve others, and I think that is what God was always getting to. We all need to be reminded that we can live like God just like 1 Peter talked about.

___    Maybe at this point you are thinking…where is she going with this? Please have patience..was that a foreshadowing?

___     One man in the bible Paul..who use to be Saul didn’t always have the easiest life. I would encourage you if you don’t know that story to read about it.(Acts 9).  Paul doesn’t always have the easiest job, but he continues to speak of the Lord. Galatians, chapter five,  Paul starts to speak of the fruit of the Spirit which are… “Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Faithfulness, Gentleness and Self-control. Against such things there is no law.” Galatians 5:22-23.  We can live a life for God, a life as a living sacrifice, a life living like God. We can do all this because, Galatians 5:1 says,  “It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.” The sacrifice that I talked about in the beginning is coming full circle. God, gave us the freedom in Christ to spread the good news of Jesus Christ. Any and all things we do, we can do them because of God’s sacrifice.

Christmas Eve

I am feeling rather nostalgic..and it might have something to do with the fact that it is snowing outside, and it is Christmas Eve and I didn’t think we were going to have snow. But no mater the reason,my heart is overflowing with love and happiness. I wrote a poem for one of my classes, but I remember while in the draft process I really wanted it to turn out nice, and different. I accomplished this, in a small way. But I had a “If you give a mouse a cookie” moment. I couldn’t just post my poem, because my poem isn’t just lines, of specific stanza’s and a rhyme to it.

So because it is #throwbackthrusday  I had to add a few pictures 🙂 Merry Christmas 🙂

 

So is this Christmas?

Is this Christmas?

Wet, mudded ground from days of snow’s before.

Warm winds that blew across my face, once more.

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Is Christmas, the feet of snow that falls?

Is Christmas the jingle bells and twinkling lights?

Is Christmas the tree, and the ornament balls?

Is Christmas the sugar cookies, and chocolate fudge?

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Is this Christmas?

Not a snowflake insight, no snow dusting the ground.

No frost to sting my nose, no ice on the pond.

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Is Christmas, the cards and letters that need to be sent?

Is Christmas, the hectic drivers and the busy shoppers?

Is Christmas, Santa, the reindeer and a big present?

Is Christmas, that songs we belt on Christmas day? 

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Maybe this Christmas will feel like the past.

Maybe this Christmas won’t look like the others.

Maybe a Christmas, the birth for the outcast.

Maybe a Christmas, on that very first night.

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A Stable, because there was no room. 

A manger, that sheep and cows ate food.

A baby to foreshadow death and a tomb.

A Christmas night, not so long ago.

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Christmas might not have snow this year.

but Christmas has love, agape love.

Christmas might not always have holiday cheer.

but Christmas always came, from above.

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~ i am blessed ~

I have been doing my thankful facebook friends, and I am not going to lie. It has been hard. Devoting almost a hour of my day to write truly thoughtful post, is difficult at times. I don’t want to sound selfish, I am just thankful of all those who have been so encouraging through this process. I am so thankful that God has walked through this, with me every step of the way. I am truly blessed by His love. He loves me, and that in itself is amazing, and I am speechless.

There have been times, I think why am I doing this? Is there are reason, or a purpose. No there isn’t a purpose or reason for my own desires. I truly wanted to do this to show others that they are good, and beautiful and loved. At times Satan likes to play with my head, tell me that they don’t deserve my words. But then I stop and think, I don’t deserve God’s love, and each day I wake up, saved from sin and death. So no Satan, they do deserve to know that they are loved. Not just by me, but though me I can show a small light of love that God has for each and everyone of them.

I got a little behind in my schedule. So with only a day left until thanksgiving I would loved your prayers that I can finish my little thankful facebook friend challenge. Thanksgiving  could be a cliche time, but to be it is one of the great times  to remember how blessed we are. Your family tradition might not include going around he table and saying one thing you are thankful for, and that is okay. I just hope that in this last day leading up to thanksgiving, the people that matter most in your life, know that you love them. I liked what my pastor said last week. He said that think of that one thing you are most thankful for and ask yourself, how are you showing that you are thankful?

This facebook challenge as been very nurturing from me as well. I just hope that through this all, through the thanksgiving feast, and the family and friends that YOU know that GOD LOVES YOU! No matter what you have done in the past, or what you are doing now, God sees you as his own child. That is what I am MOST thankful for. I have a faith in a God who LOVES me.

dear friend

I cherish these days with you

for soon, you will be gone.

A winter’s wind will cut through my heart

freeze my face, especially my little nose.

the days with you, have brought joy and new insights

filling my soul with love, and goodness.

The longing I have for you

will be kept close to me.

Long after you leave me.

I do not detest, that you leave,

not even that you leave me

Everything has a time and place.

And though yours is especially quick,

these days,

________ minutes,

_______         moments so close with you

I can’t help but fall in love.

_E

So as we watch the branches bare

and rake up the leaves in big piles.

Those leave once so vibrant in color,

curling up, become crushed and faded.

_

Dear Autumn, don’t forget me,

For I will wait for you,

As I do each and every year.

I am thankful for my friends….

I have around 250 Friends on Facebook. As we are in the month of thanksgiving, we tend to live more grateful lives. Not that this is a bad thing or a put  down. It is just an observation that I have noticed on social media. So I decided after searching on pintrest, that I could make my own Thankful/November/ gratitude challenge.

I like all my friends on facebook, so I just hope that I will appreciate my friends more, and the friendships I share. It will not be an easy challenge as I hope to cover all my friends. However, if I spend time on pintrest, scrolling through delicious pumpkin bread, and lattes and trying to find new clothes for my christmas lists; I hope I can invest time into the friends I have. I think it will test me, to ask myself the question…why am I friends with this person. Did I send a friend request or accept one because I truly like the person, or was I just doing it for  some facebook creeping? Though this challenge I hope that you look at you own Facebook Friend list, and really appreciate who they are. 🙂 

So with only 20 days till Thanksgiving, I have to write on roughly 13 people’s facebook wall. But I am up for the challenge. Once I start I am on a roll. 🙂 Then at night, before I go to bed I will say a prayer for each of them. Last night was a little difficult, because remembering all those names is hard. So today I made a list on my phone to remember. This way the names will be on my phone, as a constant reminder as the day goes on. I only ask my fellow followers that you pray for me. That I have the diligence to stick with it. That I can write meaningful messages, and that what I say can be a small fraction the love Christ has for all of them!

” Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” ~  1 Thessalonians 5:18