Monday, February 28, 2011

an obsessed love

Just because you are nice to someone does not mean that you'll stand out. Just because you do a good deed, does not mean that people will know that you are a Christian.

Jesus teaches that:
32 "If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners love those who love them. 33 And if you do good to those who are good to you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners do that. 34 And if you lend to those from whom you expect repayment, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners, expecting to be repaid in full. 35 But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be children of the Most High, because he is kind to the ungrateful and wicked. 36 Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful."
Luke 6:32-36

We are His. We are called to stand out--to show the World who He is. If all we do is the minimum or the norm, how is that showing Jesus' love? Simply, it isn't. Jesus asks us to do a hard thing: to love our enemies. To LOVE those who hate us and who do us wrong. To forgive those who hate us--hurt us. Do you realize how hard that is?

(I can't remember where this image is from...)
Once, there was a woman driving in rush hour traffic. She was in a hurry and did not want to wait for the cars, so she decided to take a short cut--despite a feeling in her gut telling her to be patient. She turned down a side street and saved herself five minutes of driving. That five minutes, though, put her at an intersection where a man was crossing on his bike. Before she had time to react, she had hit him. His head hit pavement and he died.

This woman was in shock. 911 was dialed and the legalities were taken care of. She didn't go to prison. A few weeks later, she paid visit to the man's family.

Do you know what they did? Can you guess?

They had every right to be angry--to hate her. She killed a father, a husband, an uncle, a friend. They had every right to shun her. But, they didn't. They opened their arms to accept her and forgave her. You see, God had spoken to this family and they understood they needed to love this woman who made a mistake. They needed to share Jesus with this soul who was hurting.

Can we also do that? Can we love those who hurt us? Hate us? Even when our loving seems to have no effect on them whatsoever?

"People who are obsessed with Jesus give freely and openly, without censure.  Obsessed people love those who hate them and who can never love them back."  ~Francis Chan, Crazy Love


Wednesday, February 23, 2011

The God Hater [Pt 3]

I write to explore and learn. And to be honest, what could be more interesting than exploring some aspect of an infinite Creator. That's got car chases, steamy romances, and alien spaceships beat hands down. I think of those angels in Revelation around the throne crying, "Holy, Holy, Holy!" Originally, I used to think they had the most boring job in the world. Can you imagine saying that over and over again, 24/7? And it would be boring... if you were only preaching it or reciting doctrine. But what if every time they cried, "Holy!" it's because they've discovered some new and incredible attribute of God? That's entirely different. And that's what I try to do in my writing. Folks who dismiss me as a "religious writer" probably figure I'm just pontification. Maybe I am, but I don't think so. I may cry, "Holy!" but I cry it out of the thrill of discovering another attribute of an infinite God.
What did I like most about The God Hater?
I really loved how the story pulled me in with the relationships between the characters. I really liked how despite the different view points between Annie and Nicholas, the two were able to be friends. I also really liked the entire plot line of the artificial intelligence. [Which was what the book was about, but still]. It was so interesting to travel "into" the artificial world and to see the people acting--well, like people. And to see that world slowly evolve and change... it blew my mind at times. I got so excited at different parts that I had to share with my friends.

What did I not like?
As I was blog hopping yesterday to some of the other blogs in this tour, one blogger mentioned something that had been at the back of my mind: the plot line for the corporations was a little weak. It wasn't weak enough, in my opinion, to detract from the story as a whole, but I think it could have been fleshed out a little more. The corporations were the bad guys in this, but they weren't all together present. At the same time, by not having them as "present" the focus wasn't drawn on them but on the actual program and the stuff going on between Nicholas, Travis, Annie and Alpha... so, it all kind of balances out.

I'd like to add...
That I loved this book. As I mentioned, I got really excited while reading it. This book is the kind of book that I would go out and buy on my own--and I don't say often. I love books, it's true, but on my book shelf, I prefer to only keep the ones I'd reread later on. This is one of those books.

I most definitely recommend checking it out if you have a spare moment!
In conjunction with the CSFF Blog Tour, I received a free copy of this book from the publisher.

Read More About it Here:
Noah Arsenault
Red Bissell
Thomas Clayton Booher
Keanan Brand
Kathy Brasby
Rachel Briard
Beckie Burnham
Morgan L. Busse
Carol Bruce Collett
Valerie Comer
Karri Compton
CSFF Blog Tour
April Erwin
Amber French
Andrea Graham
Tori Greene
Katie Hart
Ryan Heart
Joleen Howell
Bruce Hennigan
Becky Jesse
Cris Jesse
Becca Johnson
Jason Joyner
Carol Keen
Emily LaVigne
Shannon McDermott
Matt Mikalatos
Rebecca LuElla Miller
Mirtika
MollyBuuklvr81
John W. Otte
Sarah Sawyer
Chawna Schroeder
Andrea Schultz
Tammy Shelnut
Kathleen Smith
James Somers
Donna Swanson
Jessica Thomas
Steve Trower
Fred Warren
Dona Watson
Nicole White
Dave Wilson

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Free Will? - The God Hater Pt2

‎"All of your lives you have demanded to be free, to live life your own way. By following the virus you've told Programmer to stay out of your affairs, refusing to be enslaved by his Law. And when he honours your wishes, when he steps back and allows you the freedom you demand, you complain he's not controlling and enslaving others." - The God Hater

It's funny how so many people complain about the situation of the world and then blame it on someone else. They take the poverty, the hunger, the disease, the war and blame it on governments, organizations, religions--God.

I've met so many people who blame the poverty and hunger in Africa on God. They look at me and ask, "How can you believe in God when all this bad stuff is happening?" I must admit, I don't have all the answers--I never pretend to. That quote from The God Hater captures my answer completely. We ask for freedom then get angry and upset at God when other people exercise their own freedom. We can't have it both ways.

Bill Myers book is interesting--even fascinating because of the fact that it's looking at the beginnings: how does "Christianity" come to be? As Nicholas delves deeper into this artificial world, he begins to see a glimmer of God's logic. He starts to realize that Christianity has a system after all.

Has his eyes are slowly opened by this great Truth, mine are as well.  Myers compels the reader to continue, stringing together details that will blow your mind!
In conjunction with the CSFF Blog Tour, I received a free copy of this book from the publisher.

Read More Here:
Noah Arsenault
Red Bissell
Thomas Clayton Booher
Keanan Brand
Kathy Brasby
Rachel Briard
Beckie Burnham
Morgan L. Busse
Carol Bruce Collett
Valerie Comer
Karri Compton
CSFF Blog Tour
April Erwin
Amber French
Andrea Graham
Tori Greene
Katie Hart
Ryan Heart
Joleen Howell
Bruce Hennigan
Becky Jesse
Cris Jesse
Becca Johnson
Jason Joyner
Carol Keen
Emily LaVigne
Shannon McDermott
Matt Mikalatos
Rebecca LuElla Miller
Mirtika
MollyBuuklvr81
John W. Otte
Sarah Sawyer
Chawna Schroeder
Andrea Schultz
Tammy Shelnut
Kathleen Smith
James Somers
Donna Swanson
Jessica Thomas
Steve Trower
Fred Warren
Dona Watson
Nicole White
Dave Wilson

Monday, February 21, 2011

Artificial Intelligence Anyone? - The God Hater Pt1

You are a genius. Really and truly.

You are so intelligent, in fact, that you've created artificial intelligence. A crazy reality, I know, but ignoring the technical jargon of how, your genius brain has been able to recreate the consciousness of humans. Not only that, but with the help of your team, you've created a computer program that allows you to start a civilization, from scratch, and watch as it develops. With the help of this program, solutions to global problems can be implemented and the results tested--verified. This program is that ultimate trial phase.

You genius you, I've only one question: How do you make it so that this civilization that you've created--that you've given free will to--how do you make it so that they don't kill each other off? In other words: how do you make it so that they survive?

In Bill Myers book, The God Hater, atheist and philosophy professor, Dr. Nicholas Mackenzie, finds himself in an interesting predicament. His brother has concocted such a program and hopes to use this program to predict a multitude of current events. This program would be able to predict sales of different products, how to solve world hunger and poverty, how to predict wars and so much more. This program is wanted by so many.

This program keeps failing. No matter how many times Travis Mackenzie and his team run it, the people end up killing each other off. That's why Nicholas has been called. Travis depends on his brother, the logical man to come up with a solution to their survival. Just what is it that stops humans from resorting to survival of the fittest?

Think about it.

In conjunction with the CSFF Blog Tour, I received a free copy of this book from the publisher.

Read More Here:
Noah Arsenault
Red Bissell
Thomas Clayton Booher
Keanan Brand
Kathy Brasby
Rachel Briard
Beckie Burnham
Morgan L. Busse
Carol Bruce Collett
Valerie Comer
Karri Compton
CSFF Blog Tour
April Erwin
Amber French
Andrea Graham
Tori Greene
Katie Hart
Ryan Heart
Joleen Howell
Bruce Hennigan
Becky Jesse
Cris Jesse
Becca Johnson
Jason Joyner
Carol Keen
Emily LaVigne
Shannon McDermott
Matt Mikalatos
Rebecca LuElla Miller
Mirtika
MollyBuuklvr81
John W. Otte
Sarah Sawyer
Chawna Schroeder
Andrea Schultz
Tammy Shelnut
Kathleen Smith
James Somers
Donna Swanson
Jessica Thomas
Steve Trower
Fred Warren
Dona Watson
Nicole White
Dave Wilson

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

my life is sweet

You know, after having a few disappointments this week, it truly is refreshing to stop and think why my life is sweet. Today, I really need this.


Life Is Sweet



My life is sweet because...
- my friend gave me a super sweet letter this morning
- I got a letter in the mail yesterday from another awesome friend [I LOVE MAIL]
- I painted 3D glasses yesterday and they look sweet
- it's almost lunchtime and that means sandwich! YUM!
- I'm listening to Phineas and Ferb right now. I'm cool.
- I've met a lot of cool people on YourPants.org this week.
- I have 49 subscribers on youtube and it blows my mind every time someone messages me saying they like my videos
- gitchee gitchee goo means that I love you
- my imagination is crazy sometimes and I love it
- I'm having a dance party while cleaning... sorta :P

And yeah. My life is sweet and I am blessed by one crazy-awesome God!

Friday, February 11, 2011

my life is sweet because....

Life Is Sweet

- I get to paint and do arts and crafts!
- My friends and I play badminton together and it's awesome.
- Creative people have made great movies!
- I get the opportunity to make my own weird/silly videos.
- Books have opened my mind to crazy-rockin possibilities!
- I am lucky enough to have an education and to be at University.
- I'm currently drinking a snazzy fruit punch.
- Jesus loves me.
- My God paints masterpieces.
- I know that I'm not alone.

Sunday, February 06, 2011

Intimidating University - Q&A

 [Query and Advice]

I am going to University.   
1) intimidated by such a large uni 
2) cold weather
3) roommates
4) just people, who won't know 2 get along

University can be scary--if you let it.

Flashback five months ago and you'd find me: scared out of my mind at the idea of going to university.  And what does everyone tell me?  "You'll be great at Uni, Rachel!"  "You'll pwn school!"  "We'll never see you because you'll be so busy!"  "You'll be so caught up in everything, Rachel, you won't ever want to come home."  [That last one was my mum and it kind of hurt me a bit that she didn't think I'd ever come home really].

With everyone telling me I'd be fine, I didn't know how to express the fact that I was so scared.  I didn't want University to come--and a part of me still wishes I could turn back time.  But you know what, it's true that it's not as scary as I thought it'd be.  Sure, it's a lot bigger, but it's a lot like high school in the sense that there are so many faces that you will never know everyone.  I walk across campus and it's like walking through my high school hallway [except for the fact that it's outside].  Also, the profs and TAs are there to help you.  My psych prof is so awesome.  She loves it when students come to see her and wishes that more did.  Not only that, but she lets us call her by her first name which is pretty cool.  My TAs are all nice, too.  They want you to succeed and will respond to your emails and questions, so don't be afraid to ask.

A small bit of advice I'll offer is DO NOT be afraid to ask dumb questions because, if that question makes a difference in your grade or in your success, it was NOT dumb in the first place.  University is a learning experience!  Also, that first week, go out to EVERYTHING.  Make friends from all sorts of places.  In your classes, talk to the people sitting beside you and get to know some people.  You won't become close with everyone, but you'll find some good friends.  I did.  And I met a lot of other cool people too!

As for the weather, it's something you'll get used to.  Though, I advise you get boots and a good coat before hand.  It would be a pain if the weather caught you unprepared!  I live in Canada--true, I'm in the southern-most section, but it still gets pretty cold and some of the international students are unprepared for the snow and cold.  Try to anticipate and get the necessities!

I know this is getting long, but we're almost there!

Roommates.  You know those movies where the roommates are enemies and can't stand each other?  They are not all true.  Sometimes, but not all the time.  One of the big things to take into consideration when you are living with other people is that: you are living with other people.  Seems simple enough, but most people don't realize it.  I lucked out with roommates this year.  I live with two people.  My one roommate, Becky has been here with me since September.  She is awesome.  We have very different personalities and completely different fields of study, but we learn to live around and with each other.  How that came to be is that I learn her habits and she learns mine.  She knows that if she comes in at 2 in the morning, I'm sleeping so she should be quiet.  I know that if I wake up early, to likewise be quiet.

My other roommate is new.  She's from Bangladesh and Becky and I are still trying to get used to living with her.  We've even had a few spats over the last month and it's not fun.  It's getting better, though, and she is a really nice person so I don't want anyone to get any ideas.  There were just small conflicting issues.

My advice though to the whole roommate sitch is to remember to be respectful--even when it might seem hard.  Try and see a problem from the other person's perspective.  It's important that if you have a problem, try and talk it out in a non-attacking way.  You don't need enmity with your roommates if you can help it.  If you do run into problems with your roommates and you can't seem to solve them, get a third party involved--like a Don or Floor Captain or whoever you can trust to judge a situation fairly.  But remember, communication is key!

I hope this helps!

Saturday, February 05, 2011

life is sweet

Life Is Sweet


1 - because my roommate Becky never ceases to make me laugh. She's pretty cool.
2 - because there are days when I can sleep forever and I love it
3 - because I can youtube nostalgic things... like old favourite cartoon shows
4 - because chewing gum to blow bubbles is fun
5 - because listening to music makes the air shimmer and my heart dance
6 - because in two months tomorrow, I'll be 19
7 - because though I miss my friends, I know they love me and I love them
8 - because homework is only a minor blip on the grand scale of things
9 - because writing unlocks the creative juices and makes me happy
10 - because "shoot for the moon. even if you miss, you'll land among the stars."

Friday, February 04, 2011

Pooping Genes

[I am talking about children with a friend for some reason]
"My children are going to be made of awesome--if I have any, because I am awesome."
"Well, what if you're husband is not awesome?"
"He chose me so he's already awesome."
"Well, what if his parents aren't? Then he'll have unawesome genes."
"Let me tell you something. Awesome genes eat unawesome genes, so they can poop more awesome."

Yep, that's what happens.

Thursday, February 03, 2011

"Do not arouse or awaken love until it so desires."

- Song of Solomon 2:7

Do you see that? Did you read it? Read it again:

Daughters of Jerusalem, I charge you
by the gazelles and by the does of the field:
Do not arouse or awaken love
until it so desires. 
Song of Solomon 2:7

I know so many girls who simply want to be in a relationship. They want a guy to tell them they are beautiful, to dote on them, to hold on to--to be [pardon the expression] "arm candy." I'm not saying all girls are like this and I'm not saying there are not boys who do the same thing, but in my experience, I've talked to more girls who simply want to be in a relationship here and now.

They are impatient.

They want their "prince charming" to be the next guy they see and so they throw their selves upon him and hope he fits the criteria. Then, when he doesn't, they mope about until the next sorry sap comes along AND they usually get hurt in the process.

I've never been any romantic relationship--and sure, there have been days when I feel like I'm missing out, but I've learned [He's taught me! What up, Jesus!] that I don't need a guy to define who I am. I don't need to rush into love. If I did--If I focused all my attention on relationships, then I would most definitely miss out on the great things that I have in my life. So caught up would I be, that I would miss His amazing blessings! And I know, that because I am waiting [some days more patiently than others], that when I do find that special someone, we'll rock the world together.

"Do not arouse or awaken love until it so desires."

If you're truly meant to be with that special someone, everything will work it in it's own time, so why rush?

I'm waiting.  Just waiting.  And you?

Wednesday, February 02, 2011

"How beautiful you are, my darling! Oh, how beautiful!"

- Song of Songs 1:15

What is it that you find attractive in that special someone? What is it that draws you in?

A team of people in England did a research study on the Science of Attraction through a series of videos. They are all very interesting and about 10 minutes each. If you want to check them out, click HERE.

When I asked you guys last week what you guys found attractive, I got a multitude of answers, as expected, but there were also some similarities.

Many of you agreed that eyes are very important--those windows of the soul.  The eyes of a person can make you feel respected and special while you talk to them.  They convey such deep emotion and such beauty.  How can you not be drawn in?

As for the other attractive physical qualities, there was no agreement really.  Sometimes it amazes me how different we humans are.  Even though we may grow up in the same environments or experience similar events throughout life, we grow up to have such vast and different likes and dislikes--and that rubs off on people.  What attracts me to a guy will not be what attracts my best friend Ana to a guy [this has been proven since she's in a relationship to my other friend K and I'm not attracted to him.  He's a cool dude though!  Hi K!].

But can you imagine for a moment if we were all attracted to the same people?  The world would be an utter chaos of relationships!  Oi vey!  Simply crazy ideas right there...

Fortunately, we are all different and when we meet that special someone, they will be the most beautiful to you and you will be the most beautiful to them.  Will be?  Should be.  I will choose for my man to be.

 "How beautiful you are, my darling! Oh, how beautiful!" Song of Songs 1:15

In closing, I'm adding a quote from a sermon I listened to over a year ago by pastor Mark Driscoll.  He's a really cool pastor and I really enjoy listening to him preach.  The quote is from his Peasant Princess sermon series and if your interested in checking them out, you should.  They are good.


"God’s plan is that your spouse would be your standard of beauty. For Adam, he didn’t have a standard of beauty. He had a wife. For Eve, she didn’t have a standard of beauty. She had a husband. God doesn’t bring in 27 men for Eve. Say, “All right, you guys all compete. Let’s see which one looks the best. Let’s see which one is able to serve my needs.” No, no, no. The issue is this. Everyone should have — must their spouse as their standard of beauty. One of the qualifications of an elder is that they are to be one-woman men, and the — everyone is supposed to follow the example of the elders. So, here’s what that means.

"And this is true for men and women. If you’re married to someone tall, you like tall. If you’re married to someone short, you really like short. If you married to someone skinny, you’re into skinny. If you’re married to someone who’s... not skinny, you’re into not skinny. You say, “Well they were skinny. Now they’re not skinny.” Your standard changed, but that’s still yours — true story, and that means if you get married at 25 and you grow old together at 75, your standard of beauty is not what your spouse looked like at 25, but what they look like at 75. Lust is comparing your spouse to others, desiring others, desiring your spouse to be like others. Job 31:1 he says, “I made a covenant with my eyes. I’m not looking at other women lustfully.” That’s the issue. God shows that in creation: one man; one woman. They’re one another’s standard. That’s it."

Tuesday, February 01, 2011

"I am a rose of Sharon, a lily of the valleys."

- Song of Songs 2:1

I know so many girls who are caught up with relationships.

Wait! I don't know if that sentence is right. Let me start again:

I know so many girls who are caught up with the idea of a relationship. They long for a guy--a prince, like the ones seen in the movies--to enter stage left, sweep them off their feet, and make their life a million times better. How? By being an ear to talk to, a friend to play with, a cushion to cuddle with, etc... Basically, to fill a hole in their heart.

Some of the girls that I've met crave this so ferociously that it eats away at them. These girls, whom I love to bits, don't know how to live without a guy by their side.

The problem?
In trying to find a GUY to fill the HOLE, they've LOST THEMSELVES. They forget that they are precious on their own.

"I am a rose of Sharon, a lily of the valleys." Song of Songs 2:1

A rose is a precious flower. A precious AND beautiful flower. It does not need anything else to be beautiful--it just is.

Girls, you are a Rose. Each and everyone of you. You don't need a guy to dictate your life. You don't need a guy to define you. You need to be yourself and you need to trust in Jesus.

He's got a plan for you that would simply blow your mind. He's got someone special for you and they are waiting. They are waiting to see your blossom and to relish its splendor. BUT! If you're too busy chasing after that hole in your heart, who will tend your rose? Who will keep your garden--your body and soul--fruitful? Who will be the gardener?

You are a rose of Sharon, a Lily of the Valleys. You are Beautiful just the way You Are.