Sunday, April 20, 2014

Uncluttering Clutter

I have this Ribbon Board.  Ribbons criss-cross each other so you can place pictures or notes on the board by slipping them under the ribbons.  For me, I placed bible verses that have encouraged me in different moments of my life, but over time I've also placed invitations, business cards, pictures, and ID cards on this as well.  Today, I started taking down invitations that's passed, cards I no longer need, and noticed the verses I had there before.  I forgot about them because of the cluttered papers I put on top of them.  Reading them again, they've encouraged me again.  It's like drinking a pitcher of water, and still thirsty for more.

Isn't that what happens to us in life?  We read the Word, or hear Godly wisdom from friends and family, but we forget them because of our busy lives.  Everything that's whirling in our minds start to clutter our thoughts, and we forget the Word that motivated and encouraged us earlier.  We might even set the bible aside because we're too busy to read it, but we piled our clutter on that too.

When I cleaned up my board, I also found a picture of an iceberg.  I put that picture up the day I put that board up as a reminder of how my relational time SHOULD be spent.  The visible peak represents the time I spend with friends, ministry, and the mission field, but the larger, deeper portion of the iceberg represents my time spent with God. I am guilty of flipping that iceberg upside down.  No wonder I felt like I was drowning...Now that my board is uncluttered, time to start unclutter my life.  Time to flip that iceberg upright again.


Thursday, April 17, 2014

Goodbye 2013, Hello 2014

**yes, this is a late post***
Wow, looking back on my blog posts, I haven't been here all last year.  2013 has not been kind...

2013 has been a tough year…Beginning of the year was difficult, and ended just as painful.  In the beginning of the year I almost lost my father.  He had heart surgery, and I returned home to help my mom get him back on his feet.  At the end of the year, I lost my mom to cancer…parents are precious, but we take them for granted until we lose them, or almost lose them.  It makes you wonder how you can protect them like they protected us when we were kids.  My dad has shown me that no matter how old he gets, he's still looking after his kids, and making sure we make the right choices.  After those 2 events, I don't know if anything else in 2013 was as important…I returned to school for a Masters Degree, but that doesn't seem as important as our loss and near loss.

I pray that 2014 will be filled with blessings, so abundant that 2013 is just a speed bump in life.  2 years ago, I started my blessing list, but I didn't continue it.  I stopped at #87.  Let's see if I can reach to 1000 by the end of this year.  Remind me if you don't see that list growing.




Sunday, July 15, 2012

Praise in Suffering

About a year ago, I was heading to Haiti for a week.  I worked along side an amazing crew, Team Haiti, and met some people that devoted their time to the Haitians that they love.  One group we worked with was Real Hope for Haiti.  The men in our team and I worked in their Cholera House, while the other half of our group worked in their Rescue Center.  I got to watch the Haitian Nurses work hard to care for their fellow Haitians, and I was glad to help out the nurses, even if it was just separating their paper towels into small sheets.  They're amazing ladies.

Recently, I read their blog, and came across a story they shared about a little girl that was brought in by her father.  It breaks my heart to see some of her pictures, but she knows what it means to praise God even in pain and suffering.  No one can take that away from her.  Read about Nerline, but have a box of tissues just in case.



Here's an update on Nerline!


Monday, June 18, 2012

Lavender Heaven


What I love about Texas is the many Festivals to experience during the Summers.  This past weekend I went back to Blanco's Lavender Festival.  They had the little Lavender Farmers Market set up around the town's Courthouse to sample different products made with Lavender.  By the end of the day, it can leave any visitor in a state of Lavender Euphoria.


A couple years back, I went to Blanco, TX with my friend Faye for the Blanco Lavender Festival.  We sampled all the homemade product made out of Lavender, drank Lavender Lemonade, ate Lavender Ice Cream, had Lavender Pedicures, and went to one of the lavender Farms and picked a handful of Lavender.  We saturated our senses with Lavender, and had a silent, RELAXED road trip back to Austin.

This year, I went with my roommate and her mom as a recovery Therapy for her (roommate) after her surgery a couple days before.  We only stayed for a couple hours, but that was still enough to enjoy Lavender with all our senses.  They weren't completely saturated as before, but still enough to relax and enjoy the scenery on our way back home.

If you're ever in Texas in the first week of June, stop by Blanco, TX.  Beautiful drive, and relaxing day.

Monday, May 07, 2012

Random thought...

I wonder if you can measure a group's morals by their littlest actions.  For example, I live in an apartment complex that's resurfacing their parking areas.  They've requested we do not drive through these areas for 2 days while the resurfacing areas are drying.  They even placed pylons with a red tape surrounding the area.  This evening a strong wind blew down most of the pylons, but the red tape is still intact and visibly surrounding the areas.

So far, I've watched a few cars driving over the pylons and red tape, instead of driving around them like the other drivers, as the Apartment Office requested.  We were notified a week beforehand, and where these resurfacing areas are located, yet it appears to be easier do drive through these wet areas and damage the newly resurfaced areas than avoiding them by driving around them.

(It frustrates me to see this because I know they will have to resurface that area again, and cause a longer inconvenience for us just because some residence decided to go against authority's requests.)

Can you measure society's moral character by picking a group, oh say an apartment complex, as a percentage of the population, and count how many follow a simple rule or not?  If so, our moral character is dwindling with each car that drives over the pylons.....

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Study habits

I remember in college, my friends and I would go to a coffee shop and study with lots of coffee and pastries. Or, I'd be in my apartment with some brownies and Pepsi. It kept me wired and awake to study until late night or early morning (depending on how you looked at the time).

I'm now 41, and not much has changed except that I can't last past 10pm. I'm sitting in a coffee shop studying again with lots of coffee and baked goods, but I'm not sure if it'll keep me awake, or if my brain will comprehend anything at this time of the day.

Getting old sucks....







                             My studying sustenance.

Monday, March 12, 2012

G.O.S.P.E.L

Can you explain it any better?



LYRICS

It’s the full story of life crushed into 4 minutes. The entirety of humanity in the palm of your hand crushed into one sentence. Listen its intense right. God. Our. Sins. Paying. Everyone. Life. The greatest story ever told that’s hardly ever told. God. Yes. God. The maker and giver of life. And by life I mean any and all manner and substance. Seen and unseen. What can and can't be touched. Thoughts, image, emotions, love, atoms and oceans. God.  All of it his handy work. One of which is masterpiece. Made so uniquely that angels looked curiously. The one thing in creation that was made with his imagery. The concept so cold. It’s the reason I stay bold, how God breathed in the man  and he became a living soul.  Formed with the intent of being infinitely intimately fond. Creator and creation held in eternal bold. And it was placed in perfect paradise til something went wrong.  A species got deceived and started lusting for his job. An odd list of complaints as if the system ain’t working and used that same breath he graciously gave us to curse him.


 And that sin seed spread though our soul’s genome. And by nature of your nature, your species, you participated in the mutiny. Our. Yes. Our sins. Its nature inherited, lack in the human heart, it was over before it started. Deceived from day one and lead away by our own lusts. There’s not a religion in the word that doesn’t agree that something’s wrong with us. The question is what is it? And how do we fix it? Are we eternally  separated from a God that may or not have existed? But that’s another subject. Let’s keep grinding. Besides trying to prove God is like defending a lion homie, it don’t need your help, just unlock the cage. Let’s move on how our debt can be paid.  Short and sweet. 


The problem is Sin. Yes. Sin. It’s a cancer. An asthma. Choking out our life force. Forcing separation from a perfect and holy God and the only way to get back is to get back to perfection but silly us, trying to pass the course of life without referring to a syllabus. This is us. Heap up your good deeds. Chant, pray, meditate but all of that of course is spraying cologne on a corpse.  Or you could choose to ignore it as if something don’t stink.  It’s like stepping it dog poop and refusing to wipe your shoe and all of that ends with how good is good enough. Take your silly list of good deeds and line them up against perfection, good luck. That’s life past your pay grade. The cost of your soul you ain’t gotta big enough piggy bank. But you can give it a shot. But I suggest you throw away the list cause even your good acts are an extension of your selfishness. But here’s where it gets interesting. I hope your closely listening. Please don’t get it twisted. It’s what makes our faith unique. Here’s what God says is Part A of the gospel. You can’t fix yourself. Quit trying it’s impossible.  Sin brings death. Give God his breath back. You owe him. Eternally separated and the only way to fix it is someone die in your place and that someone gotta be perfect. Or the payment ain’t permanent. 


So if and when you find the perfect person, get him or her to willing trade their perfection for your sin and death in. Clearly since the only one that can meet God’s criteria is God. God sent himself as Jesus to pay the cost for us. His righteousness, his death, functions as payment. Yes. Payment. Wrote a check with his life but at the resurrection we all cheered cause that means the check cleared. Pierced feet, pierced hands, blood stained son of man. Fullness forgiveness free passage into the promise land, that same breath God breathed into us God gave it up to redeem us. And anyone and everyone. And by everyone I mean everyone who puts their faith in trust in him and him alone can stand in full confidence of God’s forgiveness. And here’s what the promise is, that you are guaranteed full access to return the perfect unity. By simply believing in Christ in Christ alone. You are receiving life. Yes. Life. This is the Gospel. God. Our. Sins. Paying. Everyone. Life.

#30

Have you ever experienced those moments that once you take a step towards God's plan for you, that you get swept up in this divine whirlwind, and watch everything fall into place?   It was as if God had everything set, but he was PATIENTLY waiting on you.

I remember experiencing that more than once, but it never stops me from being in awe of God every time it happens.  I have been debating, hemming and hawing about going back to school for my Masters.  A lot of reasons came to mind to NOT go back (more like excuses), but I finally I decided.  I want to be a Nursing Instructor.  I love teaching Nursing Students and newly graduated Nurses on our Unit and Hospital.  I love seeing them grow and become awesome nurses in our Hospital family.  But, I need to have my Masters Degree first.  1st step, to prepare for the GRE exam, and then the school.  Then, the whirlwind hit.  A few of my friends came up to me discussing the same thing about studying for the GRE and going back for their Masters.  So, we decided we'd study together.  Thank you, Jesus, for the accountability.  Then, I was just offered a position as a Medication Assistant at a Nursing School.  A Medication Assistant helps the Nursing Clinical Instructor supervise the Nursing Student in passing their meds out to the patients, and assisting them in procedures.  I accepted the position, and the paperwork went through quickly.  I now have a 2nd job to help teach nursing students in the Hospital environment.  Lord, what else are you going to drop in my lap?

This blessing has been a loud confirmation to go for my Masters Degree.  I don't know how long it will take, but so far I definitely love the jobs I'm doing.