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Thursday, September 30, 2010

Travels

      Kentucky. 

 That's where I happen to be right now. I'm relaxing on a bed writing out this blog from the town of Florence (right next to Cincinnati) Kentucky.

Just yesterday a good friend and I left out for a road trip from good old NY down here to Kentucky. We planned a while ago to go to West Virginia to visit a college I'm planning on going to, but a few plans were changed so we decided to come down and go to the Creation Museum.                                            Check them out!
    
 ... so earlier today after going to Chic-fil-a for breakfast (which by the way, is probably one of my favorite restaurants), and getting lost from the GPS, we finally arrived at the Creation Museum. It was very neat! Lots of detail and thought provoking displays. Had very real-looking animals, humans, and most importantly, dinosaurs!



                                          Obviously, I couldn't help touching..,.


             I felt quite small. Even more small than I already am.




They had a petting zoo...





.... obviously.







They had this really neat bridge in the botanical gardens section of the museum. It was quite unstable, but pretty neat. So here is a neat snap shot that we got.






So there are some pictures from Kentucky and the Creation Museum!
      
             .... ya gotta love traveling :)

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Dreams do come true..

           Oh my word... you'll never guess what happened. 


    I met the music group... SELAH!


     Yep... that's me, my sister, mother, and friend Moriah with the group SELAH! 

                      We were so blessed that we had the opportunity to meet them personally. And I don't know if you know too much about Selah, but they are some of the most "real" people you'll ever meet. They have the Joy of the Lord, and it definitely shows. 


                                    (me and Todd Smith) !! :)


                                  (also with the amazing Allan Hall...) :D
        So you may be somewhat wondering how, or why.
Well here's why:  ---   1. Me and my family (especially me and my mother) LOVE the group Selah.
                                  2. My mother's birthday (40th actually) was (and is soon) coming up and I really wanted her to be able to meet them. She follows Todd Smiths wife's blog --http://audreycaroline.blogspot.com/-- and has grown to love her and their family through their testimony, and of course, music. You should check out my moms blog here at ---> http://septembermccarthy.blogspot.com/
                                  3. I've also always wanted to personally wanted to sing with them. They have such amazing musical talent, and I absolutely love playing piano and singing, and of course love their music. I have sang their music for many events and concerts, so I know a lot of them as well. So I thought it would be so cool to actually be able to sing with the group. Of course I have that inner want of maybe... possibly, being able to go into some sort of ministry similar to that by possibly getting hooked up with the group. HA! Well, you can wish at least.

            So you know how I mentioned how I wanted to sing with them...
well... it happened! Not lying! The original part of the deal was to just meet with them for five minutes, and that was it. Well we were blessed with so much more. We ended up chatting with them for about 15 minutes, and praying with them! That was an enormous blessing there.
              ... well part way through the concert, they randomly said out of the blue "could I have Ben come on up..." I was so confused when he said that. Threw me off. Thought he maybe meant some staff guy. But then he said "... and also his mom, and sister, and his friend... all come on up."
                              I was in shock.
                     So we didn't just sit there... we went up! Long story short, we ended up singing this African song along with them and it was so much fun. So awesome :)
                              There we are on stage :)

       So there. I had to share an experience that was a dream come true.
 Thank you Lord!

Monday, September 13, 2010

Uncool

   What has happened to the weather here in NY?
It just seems like it has gone completely crazy here with the weather we have been receiving lately. Of course, I know... it's NY. We should always expect weird weather... and I have, but this is un-cool (in a sort of oxy-moron-ish way).
   Okay, so as you may know, our family went on vacation about a week and a half ago. Beautiful weather was present the entire time of being away. Gorgeous sun, low nineties, cool breeze... yeah. Well we leave for home on a Friday, and get home very late on Friday night. Well... okay, Saturday morning about one in the morning. Well we all wake up the next day, and at least to me personally, it was freezing! I open the front door no shirt and shorts, and both me and my new beach tan just tear up. Trees were caught in a fight with the wind. Rain was falling... rather hard I might add. And it was just simply,, cold. At least thirty degrees cooler than I was used to the day before in Maryland at the beach.
   So, as I usually try to do (although not very successful), I optimistically open up my weather application on my phone. I open up the ten day forecast.    silence       Then a tear runs down my cheek. As I look through each day for the next too long of a time, my heart breaks with sheer disappointment. 68 and rain. 64 and wind. 70 maybe if we were lucky. I was devastated! How can this be?! I mean, it was just nineties and sunny not one day ago! Now it's like a blizzard outside (or so it seems)!

                      Well, it's been the same since that terrible morning, and I am sad to say that there isn't much hope in the future. I think I'm going to move south :)

             That's all

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Grapes

We went grape picking tonight, and I took this picture with my cell. Yes, my cell phone. :) So I tweeked it a tiny & thought I'd share!

Friday, September 10, 2010

Worship

   Worship. 
What is it?
Does is it involve us?
Does it require something?
What does it relate to? What's it mean?
     I'll let ya chew on those questions for a little bit while I go on now and say a few words. I recently... well, actually just one minute ago looked up the word worship in the dictionary. The Microsoft Word dictionary actually. That's the dictionary I usually turn to because it's easily accessible and it works... plus I like Microsoft Word. :) Just thought I'd throw that out there. Well anyway, it gave me meanings for two different types of the word as in a verb and noun. Three meanings for each. As a noun, the first two given meanings were what I expected somewhat, but not what I was looking for (and no I'm not trying to give words different meanings). But then I scrolled down a little bit more and found what I was looking for. The third meaning. :-O  This is what the third meaning said.
3. great devotion
    great or excessive love, admiration, and respect felt for somebody or something
I literally was like "hah!" I found you (as if the meaning of a word was a living, breathing.. who knows what). But either way, this is how I've recently come to understand as worship. I like it how it doesn't say anything about singing or music. I think unfortunately we characterize worship as only limited to singing and/or a special time devoted to worshiping God through whatever means may be accepted. But nope, it simply says "great devotion." So in specific, it's could be a pretty broad meaning. Worship then isn't necessarily limited to singing, or a ritual, or even, God. Nope. In a realistic sense, you can worship most anything. Now to some, this is probably not new to hear or know, but I just to some, I just wanted to kind of explain because there was a point in my life personally where I honestly thought that all worship was, was singing in church on a Sunday, or a worship team leading music. So, in my walk with the Lord and growing in the knowledge of Him, I thought I would write a post that helps explain something I was once not totally knowledgeable (and I'm still growing) in, but also in a challenging way because I find all too often, especially in my own life where worship (for God) is put on the back burner.
Anything...
   Yes, you can worship anything. And yes, whether you realize it or not, you worship many different things in your life. What do you enjoy doing? What do you spend most of your time doing? What do you not really care about too much? If you were to take a time log or everything you did during the day, what would you find yourself doing the most? Would there be a common motive behind all of those things? Who is your time and effort focused around? Yourself? Others? Jesus possibly? How much time is spent on the computer? How much effort is put into daily devotions? I know so often I find myself putting daily devotions in the back of my mind or on the bottom of my priority list. I know in my head that it's so important though. Probably one of the most important things I can do in the day. But, do I really know?? I think if we really KNEW, then we would certainly DO. Faith without actions is dead, as James says.
     Now, as a verb, one of the meanings (again, the third meaning) is:
3. love somebody deeply
to love, admire, or respect somebody or something greatly and perhaps excessively or unquestioningly

   Here's where I really had to do a self evaluation check. I read the last part of that meaning a few times, and asked myself, "Do I love God greatly and perhaps excessively or unquestioningly?" Who do I truly worship? If we love someone or something excessively, we are going to spend so much time with it. Quality time. We are going to engulf and surround ourselves with it. If we unquestioningly love, admire, and respect something or someone, it will consume our life! No question about it. Obviously. Do I love God deeply? Well you may say sure, of course. Okay, take it to the next step. Do I love God greatly? Well, yeah sure of course, you may say. I mean I go to church every Sunday morning, and night sometimes. Maybe on a Wednesday if I don't have homework. So yeah, I'd say so. Okay... next step. Do I love Jesus, the God of the universe, who is the I AM, excessively?! Or even unquestioningly? Well... sure. I must. I'm a Christian, and Christians do that, right?
   The answer is yes. Christians SHOULD do that and should BE that! But we fall so short. I personally will be the first to admit that I fall so short of that. I mean really. If you were to stand before Christ in the very next moment, and He asked for a time log of everything you did in the last 24 hours. What were you doing? Were you unquestioningly living as a Christian, loving God? Worshiping God?! I would be dreadfully ashamed of what my time log would read. I don't know if I could stand before Christ and say that He was my All in All. My EVERYTHING. I could say, "Lord, I love you and I tried... but God I loved so many other things in this world, and You unfortunately weren't exactly my most popular thing." That's all I could honestly say.
Do we really worship GOD, or do we worship everything else that draws our attention? I mean, if worship is really loving something deeply, and it's unquestionable, then what would others say that you worship? What are your passions?
     Now thank the Lord that He does give us the ability to truly worship Him above anything else!

"Little children, you are from God and have overcome them, for he who is in you is greater than he who is in the world." -1 John 4:4


" For truly, I say to you, if you have faith like a grain of mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move, and nothing will be impossible for you.” -Matthew 17:20


"For I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me" -Phil. 4:13


     It's not an impossible feat. We are truly capable or true worship. But we are only capable through Christ Jesus and Him alone. On our own, we're definitely still capable of worship, but only worship of petty things this world has to offer that will fade away. 
 "Store your treasures in heaven, where moths and rust cannot destroy, and thieves do not break in and steal. Wherever your treasure is, there the desires of your heart will also be." -Matthew 6:20, 21
   
     So there is what has been on my heart all day, and I thought i would share. It's really burdened me how many stupid things I find myself worshiping, regretfully, and how little I worship the One above all else who deserves it the most. 
   Thanks for reading. God bless


~Ben
  
                      (Let me know if there are any typos or anything so I can change them. I'm not going back and reading this whole thing to check it) :)

Monday, September 6, 2010



Check this out. Great video. Very convicting.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Red Balloon



Check out this video! Great skit with a good message from the skit group called Onetimeblind. Check them out on Youtube. Let me know what you think of the video. Enjoy!

Friday, September 3, 2010

Vacation cell phone pictures...

         So I'm kinda sad. I don't have a really nice camera, and I really want one. Actually, *sniff* I don't even have a digital camera. I have my cell phone (that shouldn't count) and that's about all I have for a camera. I'm not going to complain because it's still decent, buuuuuut I still really want a nice one badly.
           Well anyway, after that little rant, the reason I brought that up is because we were at the beach today, and I just got in this mood to take pictures. So what do I do as I see other people along the beach with their fancy shmancy camera's?? You got it.... I pull out my cell phone. It's a pretty handy one indeed. I believe it's called "The Rock," and it's put out by Verizon. I just call it the Indestructible phone, or sometimes the Batman phone... just 'cause it looks like a phone Batman would have, and that makes me feel good. I'll have to write another post sometime on my phone experiences and my current phone. That will be interesting. Ha. Well anyway, as I was saying, I pulled out my phone, and of course, took pictures. I was pretty surprised at how decent they turned out for a cell phone! So I thought I would share a few of them on here! Enjoy :)


                                                                 A glorious sunset. Seemed to be one every night!

                          Not bad for a cell phone eh? This is probably my favorite out of the majority.

           .......and last, but not least... (I had to post this one)
                            
                                     ---- So while we were on the boardwalk tonight (which btw, is a really nice boardwalk) I decided I wanted to get a henna tattoo. For those of you who don't know what a henna tattoo is, and are probably freaking out to some extent, it's just a fake, liquid type tattoo. It comes off after about a week and a half to two weeks. But anyway, I like it and think it's pretty cool Ha So I had to post this picture to share it with everyone :)
          -   Let me know what you think of the photos! (even though they're from a cell phone and un-edited.)

Wednesday, September 1, 2010



Check out this message from Crossroads church (Crossroadschurch.com) in California. Great message, and you should definitely check it out...

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Vaca'

Vacation. Long drives (or rides depending on whether you're the passengers or driver... which in my case, I'm the driver ;) :D), bright and hot sun, generally expensive but good food, dirty clothes you have no idea what do with, sleeping in, down time (lots of it), salt water up the nose, sand EVERYWHERE, amazing food (did I already mention that?), no shirt and no shoes being no problem, etc. I could go on and on.
                                  In case you can't tell somehow, we're on vacation. Well, atleast I would sure hope so, otherwise that would be weird writing a post on vacationing from the comfort of your own home. We're actually (me and mi familia) and in Ocean City, Maryland. Never been here before, but oh man it's so nice here. The ocean is of course, the ocean. You can't go wrong with a beach and the ocean :) If you don't like the beach and ocean, then in my mind, you're crazy. ;) Seriously, what could be better than sipping sweet tea, in a beach chair, sand between your toes, sun bronzing your skin, smell of salt water lingering in the air, reading a good book, listening to music, or just sitting with absolutely nothing to do but think... or in my case generally, sleep...? Not to mention even going INTO the water! Ah, the feeling of powerful, yet beautiful waves crashing around you is so awesome. Not to mention just floating out on your back where it's deeper just soaking up the sun... so relaxing. Plus of course, the fun things to do like diving beneath the waves, or boogie boarding the "big ones" in all the way to the beach... well, at least trying to ;) Or maybe even just playing frisbee or football in and among the waves. Fun stuff. Then another fun aspect to the it are sunrises and sunsets. God's glory is so evident in those! (... not that God' isn't seen in everything on this earth, but you know what I mean.. I hope) Absolutely breath-taking are the two words I would use for those, especially the sunsets. When you have the sun just exiting off the horizon on one side of you with all of it's glory and splendor (because something is just special about watching the sun set over the horizon just over the ocean..), and on the other side you still have somewhat blue sky with complete set of colors of the rainbow spread apart ever so slightly that it creates this painting of colors across the sky... it's just. awesome. :)      So there's my somewhat brief explanation of the ocean and beach and why I love it.
                              Another really neat thing about this specific trip is where we're staying. It is definitely extraordinary! And the Lord really blessed with it too, that's for sure. We ended up getting a 22nd floor (only 22 floors in the hotel (so basically top floor)) pent-house. If you don't know what a pent-house, don't worry, because I don't either (and I'm staying in one!). Ha All I know though is that it's awesome. It's a 3 bedroom, 3 full bathroom, full kitchen, washer and dryer, leather furniture, 4 plasma tv's, two huge (and I mean huge) balconies over-looking the ocean, and on the other side the city and other part of the ocean, oh and did I mention 3 full bathrooms? Ha Either way, it is pretty spankin' awesome. Last night (Monday) I went out on the balcony over-looking the city lights and ocean inlet, and just propped up a chair and footstool (Gotta have the footstool) and just read for about an hour and a half and do some devo's. That was so relaxing, and very nice because I've been meaning to finish this particular book for a long time. Also neat to spend some personal, and actual "quiet" time with the Lord.
                              Well I could go on for quite a long time describing every tiny detail, but I won't. I'll save that for myself to chew on and enjoy :)
              So here's a few pics from the trip so far. Not too many, but a couple taken from the trusty cell phone (no I don't have a digital camera :( )

This is a not-as glamorous view of the ocean from one of the balconies. Pretty awesome! ...and high










 Here's the other balcony :) Now, envision this at night with all the lights lit up in the city :D

And this is a tradition for me at every beach I go to... to catch seagulls :) This guy here though was different than any other seagull I've run into... he walked directly, right up to my hand (I have a piece of bread in it) with no hesitation! Usually it takes quite a bit of work to catch one, but this guy took barely one minute! I was shocked, but after thinking about it, he was the biggest one on the beach (my area at least) and he was probably used to it. Ha So I was happy I was able to fulfill that tradition this time around!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010


This is my dorm from TLC. Great times! :) 
And yes, it was late, and for some reason I was the only one without a shirt on... so I just did a slight edit. I laugh every time I see this picture just because of remembering everything that happened that night. But I won't get into any graphic of details. Ha Wanted to share the pic though

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Endings and beginnings...

   Wow. It sure has been a while since I've done a blog. I hadn't realized how long it had been until just the other day when I signed on... especially when I noticed that my last blog was in March! Well, I'm still alive and a lot has happened in between then and now... that's for sure! Well lets see... I'll do a short recap...
   I turned 18 years old on the 28th day of March. That was a crazy weekend for sure! Had a blast of a party (13+ guys+pizza/pop+movies+raving(dancing in the dark to loud music and strobe light hehe)+sting pong+ridiculous other games that I won't get into=amazing party)! :) It was definitely great, and very memorable. And after that came along silly April... but it was a good April because of the phenomenal weather we got. And also came many many practices for our school's musical "The Adventures of Tom Sawyer." They were quite tiresome, but in the end, it turned out pretty great. The showings were just last weekend.. we had three showings. I was the lead role of Tom Sawyer :) and my sister Sarah had the role of Becky Thatcher. Ha It was definitely so much fun being able to perform that. I pray that all the glory received from it went to the Lord, because He's the one who really deserves it. But between the three nights, we had around 550-600 people show up to watch.. so that was definitely a blessing. And now this week came along... just today actually we had a National Honor Society (NHS) ceremony at our school which was pretty cool... it is definitely an honor to be inducted into the society. I feel blessed by the Lord, and so undeserving, but I will give thanks to Him and not my own efforts. And for another thing, on Friday our school has a celebration day to finish off a big school fund-raiser that has been taking place. That day is always lots of fun as when the whole school goes to a local park and plays games and cooks out to celebate God's goodness and provisions. :) Aaaand then, technically, next week is officially my last week of school!!! Ha It's a very bittersweet thought... more sweet than bitter ;) ha but it is definitely weird to think about. So of course, yes.. that means I will be graduating soon. =O This is sooo weird to think about for sure. So a lot of work is going into graduation plans and party stuff. For anyone who is possibly interested, Grad Party - June 26th. :D ha Just thought I'd throw that out there. Addresses is probably the hardest thing to get though I must say... definitely a challenge. And another thing going on in life is what's being learned. The Lord is definitely showing me and molding me to trust in Him more. A lot of decisions are still needed to be made, and it's difficult to try and figure it out, so after lots of wasted time trying to figure things out on my own, I finally retreat to the Word of God. He shows me that it's Him I need to trust and Him I can run to when I'm lost.
   So yeah... a lot of things have been happening! Summer is almost here (*fist pump*)! So I'm really excited about that. Going to be working, and staying busy. So I thought I would get on and blog a little before things get too crazy ;)

Monday, March 15, 2010

Random ramble jamble

   From what I've noticed, nearly everyone has a "comeback" or random quirky saying. For instance, my bible teacher at school has his own random quirk. Whenever he sends me a text, it usually consists of the words "arp" or "arf." lol This isn't kept solely to the texts though. It'll be the middle of class and we'll all be taking a quiz or something, and just out of the blue he'll give a quiet little "arp!" Haha we're all so used to it now that hardly any of us will even respond or look up.
   Or another example I have my own little thing that I'll do. It's insanely lame cool, but without letdown gets a laugh nearly every time. It's the "comeback" or saying of "your mom." Yes, I'm sure we've all heard of the "your mom" jokes at some point in our lives. They always seemed stupid to me, but when I started saying the short little two pointless words I couldn't help but realize how random it was! I mean what is more random that saying "your mom!" after someone tells you you're short? haha Unfortunately I'm usually the only one laughing, it has to be on the top of the most random "comebacks."
   My dad has the classic though. You can say nearly anything, and he'll respond with saying "11." Yes... random... probably on the top of the list for me. Ha I'll ask how much of something I need and receive the three syllables of "11." I have absolutely no idea of where this originated from, but I consistently find this pretty hil.
   So what about you?
Do you have your own little quirky "comeback" or random saying? Or perhaps you know somebody or somebodies that has their defining saying. I'm curious to hear all the different types of random ramble jamble there is out there!

Friday, March 12, 2010

Monotony rules the day

Monotony rules the day. Week by week life carries on as a vaporous whisper emitting the same fabrication you have come to recognize as normal. It leaves as soon as it arrives, but its falsehood lingers in the bowels of your inner essence. Your character portrays expected standards and exterior motives even though seeming futile at times. Results just don’t seem to surface even though you’ve been tirelessly digging. Deeper and deeper you go, and it seems you get farther away from the ever nearing goal. Perception is close to absent, and your grip on it is continually slipping away. If you could only grasp the reality of how close you are to your goal. It’s right in front of you, and has been for so very long. Unable to move or unable to see, discouragement and ennui take over. Monotony rules the day.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Marchin along in the blog parade...


Today I'm joining in on a blog parade hosted by Abigail Kraft. You should stop by and visit and check out her blog sometime. She is an excellent violinst and artist, and her blog is just fun to visit. Check her out!

1. What's your favorite time of the day, and why?
I would definitely have to say late evening. You know, that time right after dinner when you have had a good dinner, and the tiredness is kicking in, and of course waiting until the last minute to do any school homework that you may have. It's also a time to just unwind by either watching a tv show or having a conversation with the parents.

2. If health wasn't an issue, what food could you live off of?
This might be a little bit of a stretch, but I would have to say chinese food. I enjoy all foods, so asking such a specific question is a toughy. Now if you really wanted to be a legalist, then I could probably say chicken... seeing that most chinese food is chicken (at least that's what they want us to think).

3. If you could have one wish granted (besides wishing for more wishes), what would it be?




To be the best piano player in the world!! Haha okay, maybe a little vain, but I think that would be pretty sick nasty.





4. What's one thing that you get teased about a lot?
   For being... short. :( I've never really thought that 5'6" was all that short, but then I compare myself to everyone I know, and yeah... I come "short" of the average height. I've pretty much made a joke of the whole thing now though. :) Everything ends up turning into a "short" joke. Good times.

5. If you could choose one movie, book, or TV show to spend your life in, which would you pick? What type of character would you be?

Ohh such a good question. Well for all of those who really know me, this won't be much of a surprise, buuuut I would probably spend my life in the movie Avatar. (yeah... the one that has grossed over $2, 550, 500, 000 and is still going) And for those of you who haven't seen the movie yet, well... you'll just have to watch it. And of course, I would obviously be a Na' vi (I think that's how you spell it).

6. If you could have one talent that you don't already have, what would it be?

              I would probably have to say movie directing. I don't know why, but I think that would be pretty sweet to have a talent of doing. And if that never happened, I always was interested in having a sick talent on a guitar.
7.If money were no object, where would you go on vacation?
Paris!!! I don't know why, but I've alays had a yearn to go to Paris and visit the Eiffel Tower. :) Many of my best dreams have taken place in Paris and on the Eiffel Tower. Kinda weird, but pretty sweet.




8. If you were an awesome singer, which genre would you sing?
          hmmmm  I would have to say Selah/Avalon type stuff. And if I wanted to go solo I would like singing like a David Phelps type genre. But wait... aren't I already an awesome singer??!! Ha jk

9. If you could have a $10,000 shopping spree to one store, what would it be?
   Hm that's a good question. If websites didn't count, I would probably have to say Best Buy! Oh I would indulge myself there with all of my needs and wants :)

10. If you could live in any point in time, when would it be?
 I think I would love to go to the time of Jesus'
  life. That would be super sweet to be able to meet Him. :)

11. If every outfit in your wardrobe had to be one color, what would it be?
   Oooh a toughy. It's a toss between blue and white. I'm a big fan of white, blue, purple and of course the standard gray. But in the end, I would probably end up giong with a blue.
One of the random reasons I would probably choose the blue is becuse of my eyes are blue. Kind of a random thing, but I have noticed wearing blue enhances the blue of the eye. (ok, you can laugh) lol Kind of random, but I think it's kinda cool.


12. If you were one of the seven dwarves, which one would you be?
Kind of ironic this is asked. Just recently my senior class did a fundraiser that was a talent show, and at the end our class advisor threw upon us an impromptu skit, and the skit was Snow White and the Seven Dwarves. I happened to be sneezy (which I totally hyperbolized :D) so I would definitely have to say sneezy :)

13. What's the last album you listened to?
   Innocence and Instinct by "RED"   good cd :)

14. What's something we'd be surprised to know about you?
   I hate dogs. Yes it's true. Sorry to all dog lovers out there. But I also must say I did used to be a dog lover. I loved dogs a lot. But over the years I have have quite a few bad experiences with some of my "best friends." In my life I have had 6 dogs. I've seen 2 of them get hit by a car, helped bury 4, and had one die in my arms on a late rainy night driving to the vet. Unfortunately it has led to a slight bitterness torward dogs and the idea that I don't want to be let down and heart-broken again. Since then they have unfortunatel seemed to become annoying and I just don't like them. :(
       Sooo wow! Ending on a good note! haha

Well I definitely had a great time filling out this questionere. You should try it out and check out Abigail's blog (where I got this). 
   I hope you enjoyed this and got to know me a little bit better. Now you should link up to my blog and try out this questionere! You'll definitely enjoy it!

Thursday, February 25, 2010

My God is bigger than a snow shovel...

A snow shovel. Yes, you may have had to think about it for a minute, but it's true... God is bigger than a snow shovel. I say this because lately we have had quite a lot of snow land on us in the good 'ol NY, and it just keeps coming. In fact it's still coming down hard as I look out the window now. Now for us (my dad, brother, sister and me), whenever it snows hard, we get to go out in the middle of the night or day (mostly in the night though) and shovel sidewalks all over the county. This is our job every winter and it's okay, but when it comes to those all nighters because of so much snow, it certainly gets tiresome. Before you know it, every thought that flows through your mind is a complaint. Little things become annoyances, and you make yourself miserable contemplating on everything that "annoys" you. I mean seriously, who wants to get up at 3 in the morning to go out in the cold, wet snow to shovel and tire yourself out?
   Well unfortunately, this is where I find my mindset all too often, and it's not good. I completely throw away the fact that God is sovereign and in control of everything. I know God won't give me anything that I'm not able to handle. But then I think in terms of my own power, and know that I can do it, it's just annoying and I just don't like it. But then the Holy Spirit puts that little thought in the back of my head reminding me that I'm putting my own selfish desires and wants before anything else. I am making myself an idol and just become miserable. If I were to see myself through another pair of eyes, I would say that I didn't really care about honoring God too much. Now that's a scary place to be! I don't want people to think that at all, especially someone who is unsaved. People should be seeing the light of Jesus shine through me, even when little annoyances come my way.
  
 1 Corinthians 10:31 "Therefore, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God."

   You see, even when little things annoy us like having to go shovel a sidewalk, try and remember that God is bigger than the snow shovel that seems to be getting on your nerves. Let God consume your mind and thoughts, instead of a plastic shovel that will just make you miserable and your testimony not stand out among this world. Be a shining light, not a black hole of selfishness.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Toesicles

   Have you ever...
-Had your feet get so cold/frozen that you can't feel them at all?? And I mean so cold that when you put them in hot or warm water, it feels like they are burning off. Ever had that happen to you? Well unfortunately yes, it happened to me today.
   We had a really big snow storm come through the area starting last night, and it dumped a pretty big load of snow on us. Now when we get a snow storm, we have the lucky job of going out in the middle of the night (or whenever it's needed (which is most often in the middle of the night)) and snowblowing/shoveling and salting sidewalks. Lots of sidewalks. So last night we got a ton just within an hour, so we (being my dad, brother Matthew, sister Sarah and I) planned on going out in the morning... approx. 3:30 AM and we would get up at 3. Bleh. Well I went to bed and slept quite soundly which was nice. I woke up at 3:39 and was nearly somewhat overjoyed because I thought we weren't needing to go out because Dad didn't come get us up (btw... Dad coming to get us up is the que that we need to go). So with that thought, I got in my mind that we weren't needing to go so I set my mind to go fastly asleep. Well wouldn't you know, not even 4 minutes later, the light outside my room flicks on and Dad walks in saying it's time to get up. UGH! So much for going back to sleep! Well it took me a whole 5 minutes to mentally wake up, then probably another 2 minutes to physically sit up. Ha Finally, we got all ready and left. I was happy because I got to drive the big truck :) (Me and my bro took it while my dad took my sister) So that gave me a little inspiration. Well we were out until about 7:30ish then we came back to the house waiting for the next wav of snw to hit us. I hit the bed immediately. I don't even remember falling asleep. All I remember is waking up at 11:30ish. Eggs and toast were waiting for me to come make them, so I took up the offer. By now though, the second wave of snow had hit us and was in full affect. Soo, of course, we got dressed in our wet clothes and left for the second time around. Thankfully this time it was light out and we could see. But the downside was that it was windy and warmer. Now normally being warmer would be a great thing, but the snow was somewhat turning to slushy or just wet... hence, I got wet feet. Well, we were out until 4:30 this time and it didn't stay wam. It got colder, and the snow because not so wet.The feet stayed wet, and soon became a super cold wet. Well we got home and it wasn't like super terrible, but I decided to go plow our church parking lot. I useed an ATV with a plow on it and I plowed til dark. Well let's just say, the later it got, the colder it got. And my feet weren't exactly moving much, so they quickly became ice cubes. After a while though, I didn't really notice it too much. But, once I was done, it was like it all instantly hit me that I was an ice cube. What a feeling. I somwhow drove home feeling like a robot, and instantly peeled the clothing off and crawled in the nice and hot shower. :) Thank the Lord for hot water!! Well I was expecting an instant great feeling of warmth, but it was almost worse! I felt like the skin on my feet were literally burning off of my feet! Oh what a terrible feeling! It was bad. I ended up using lukewarm (almost cold) water, which was really weird and it somehow felt better! I don't understand, but it did. It ended up being a really long shower, but one of the best showers I've had in a long time. :) (weird to say... ha!) Gotta love hot showers! :D
   (So I have to say that felt like a really weird post to write. Ha)

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Saturdays

   So I'm curious... what do people do on their Saturdays? I know my Saturdays usually consist of only a few things. That usually is sleep in as long as younger siblings allow, bring in fire wood via wheelburrow, go to sister's basketball games, go to movies, rent a movie, eat food, Drive around younger siblings who want to go spend the money that's burning a hole in their pocket, or of course the biggest thing... cleaning!!! To summarize it up though, it usually means cleaning a lot, and if lucky, go to the movies to see that movie that you've been talking about the whole week. Ha But I must say, the cleaning doesn't mean the minimum, or even the middle road. No way! Cleaning for Saturday means a complete, top to bottom, intensive, every detail, cleaning until it looks better than perfect (and that's not even possible!). Does this not sound like a lot of fun?! I must say that after it's all done it looks pretty good, but everything it takes to get to that point... ugh. Ha Just say outloud "craziness" and would have described our Saturdays in one word. :) Sooo, that's why I was curious what everyone else does on their Saturdays! I almost asked about Sunday, but I know that of course Sunday is Church and napping day. :)
   So now I'm really curious how everyone else's Saturdays usually play out. What do you do? What do you usually wish to do, buuut tend to not work out? I'm excited to hear all of your exciting (or not so exciting) stories or Saturday schedules. :)

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Really??

   HOW can people that are terrible singers and try out for American Idol, really truly think they are a good singer?! Wow. This is something that really bugs, but homors me at the same time. People get on that show and walk in with big bird costumes on, or sing about their pants being on the floor, or men that sound like a really bad girl (or in some cases, the complete oppposite)!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yl_HvEHSlxQ

I must say, the producers of the American Idol show definitely know how to catch people's attention (as observed) and they do a good job! But when it comes to the actual people on the show, how they SINCERELY believe they are good and be completely upset when they don't get through (even though there wasn't any chance at all for them)?! It's one of those things that will probably always confuse me is other people's mindset and how someone can be soo terrible, but they still think they are good. Even if I had a terrible voice, I would be saying the same thing. I don't wanna sound like I'm coming from a judgemental point of view because "I'm so great," but "really?"
            For all of you terrible singers who try out for American Idol....
                                                                                                       "Really?"

Monday, January 25, 2010

I can read your license plate all too easily

I'm tellin' ya. The Lord must really love me when it comes to me and driving! I love driving, but when it comes to vehicles and other drivers, they don't tend to like me as much. Now we all have pet peeves right? Well I would sure hope you say yes, because if you say no... you're lying. Well, unfortunately I have a plethora of those pet peeves. It's kind of something I need to work on... a lot, but I am quite the opinionated person. Yeah it helps with some things, but it also proves my lack of patience sometime. Ha Well one of the places that my patience is tested the most is driving. Why would you intentionally drive 5+ (mostly more) mph UNDER the speed limit?! "Wow. You think you would be able to tell that you're going slow when there is a line of thirty cars behind you. Like who taught you to drive anyway? Your dog? My Great Grandma drives better than you are right now! *Flash of highbeams* C'mon man... you just made me spill my hot tea all over my lap because you drive like a child!" Haha these are a lot of the typical rants I carry on while someone is being ridiculous driving. I must say though that probably the most common thing I say is "really? Seriously?" Seriously... why would you "really" be going this extremely slow? Does this not bother you at all, or am I the only one? (Please don't tell me I'm the only one) Just ask my siblings... I get bothered easily while I'm driving. Now, I am trying to work on this... I really am. Music helps set off the mood. I've also noticed that one of the biggest things that helps is leaving early! Who would've thought?! Yep. I've noticed that almost every time I leave early, I don't that problem of tailgating following people closely.
   So just kind of a random thought... but while I was driving today, I really picked up on all of the little things I say to other drivers who can't even hear me. lol It's almost comical when you think about it. My sister laughs at me all the time because we'll be driving, and all of sudden, just randomly I start talking to another driver, and she's like "Whaaat?!" Ha Then we both laugh. Good times.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Some random pictures

Gahhh! Older pictures... gotta love 'em. Here are a few pictures of our yg that surfaced just recently on the good 'ol facebook. So I though I would share some :)

                                








                                                           Singing at Church :)







                                        Here's the YG doing some specials for singing. Good times.





Ha Good 'ol Q & A time. I'm obviously smarter than everyone 'cause I don't have my hand up.
I'm just joshin'





Me and Jesse bein' weirdo's. :-]p





Haha... oh this picture. So the only reason I'm posting this is because there was a funny story behind this. I had just gotten a new coat and scarf (as observed) and my friend brandon was looking at a friend's phone. Well, out of the immaturity of some people, they were saying that we looked really weird standing together like that with my preppy coat and scarf, and him oddly wearing his sweater like that, aaand looking at a pink phone. lol which I do have to agree.. it does look pretty funny. So I laugh every time I see this pic.





Aaaaand last, but not least, my personal favorite. We were playing a game where people has chocolate covered marshmellows and they had to try and toss them in our mouths. That was insanely gross, but pretty fun :D lol


So there they are! I wish I could post pictures more often, but unfortunately I can't as much. :p so there are some I was able to finally post :)

Friday, January 15, 2010

Keep on jogging!!!

  What is hard? What do you find difficult? What just tires you out, but you stick through it because you know the outcome will be enjoyable or worth it? Even when you don't see the outcome, or can't see past the next few minutes, do you keep going? Now obviously, you can say it depends on the situation. So here's one situation. You could be going on a jog and you have a really bad blister on your ankle, and you know that it is just going to get worse. After a while of jogging through a little pain, it just gets worse, and worse. You realize after it grows to tremendous pain that the negatives are going to totally out-weigh the positives, and "you know what?.. It’s just not worth it." Now obviously, that's probably the smart, logical choice. Why would you keep on doing something if the negatives are going to supersede the positives? Well, quite frankly, most likely you wouldn't.


Now let’s say that blister doesn't get worse, and it only hurts just a little bit, buuuut it still hurts. You keep jogging for a bit, and start to get a little annoyed. But you think twice and remember how much you love jogging. "Besides, after a while of doing this, I can get in such great shape!" It seems though that right after you think that thought, that blister just seems to slide back into our mind and remind us that it is still there and it hurts. After a while, it seems like it is getting worse and it is definitely getting more annoying. You know in the back of your mind that the blister really can't get worse and do much more damage, but it just getting harder and harder. Finally after a while of dwelling on it, you stop your pace and just start walking thinking you can just "walk it off." After a short while a walking, you start back up your pace of jogging. Feeling good, you jog even a little faster and you "feel" like you're making great progress. But once again, that stupid little blister just starts eating at the back of your mind! A short while later, you start walking again. This cycle just keeping happening over and over again. Discouragement just creeps its ways over you. You don't know what to do.

This sound familiar? Obviously you may not be able to relate to the whole jogging thing, but maybe the analogy? This is so often the description of the Christian life. I know I often find myself in this position. The idea of walking with God, doing His work, and all of a sudden a few trials come along the way. You seem to "get over" them after a while, and it just feels like you're walking great with God again. But that cycle keeps coming around, and you just get discouraged. So, why does this happen? It happens because we don't REALLY realize the benefits of the Christian life.

Matthew 16:24-26 - "Then Jesus said to His disciples, "If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. For whoever desires to save his life will lost it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it. For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul?"

If anyone REALLY wants God, let him DENY himself and TAKE UP his cross AND follow Him. Trials will come, and those who persevere and don't "start walking" will experience the Lord more than anything. The fact is, we should desire God more than we desire ourselves.

Deut. 6:5 - "Thou shall love the Lord your God with ALL your heart, soul, mind and strength."

There won't be any room left for you if you are loving God more than anything. God will consume the contents of your heart that you won't want to stop when you're out jogging. Little annoyances will be a piece of cake to overcome.

Ephesians 6:17b - "And take the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God."

This is our only offensive weapon listed in the Armor of God. The Bible, God's Word IS what we need and can use every single day to fight off those little "blisters" in our life. Reading God's Word is a huge way to get to know and love God more.

John 1:1 - "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word WAS God.

...Reading God's Word and staying in It or Him is imperative to grow in our walk with Christ and keep up the good pace. Another aspect of loving God with all of your heart is prayer. Jesus Christ is our heavenly Father. I heard someone say once, "When you get up every day, why would you just not talk to your dad? And that is just your earthly dad! WHY would you get up every day and just not talk or communicate with Him?" He should be everything! People don't realize the sovereignty of our Lord and Savior, and it's sad.

John 1:2 - "All things were made through Him, and without Him, nothing was made that was made"

... basically saying, without God, we would and basically are, nothing. BUT, Christ came to this earth to die to save us "nothing people" because He loved us with a love that is Indescribable. That right there is the biggest reason in the world to love and serve God! Why wouldn't you is what I ask?

So ultimately, if we actually realize who God is and what He has done, is doing and will do for eternity!... that little "blister" won't be a problem anymore.

Philippians 1:21 - "For me to live is Christ, and to die is gain."

Amen! How reassuring is it that if we are living in Christ and He has Justified us from eternal damnation, and sanctifies us every? All the more reason to keep loving Christ and showing it! When those little annoyances or even huge trials come along, we can know that we have the victory in Jesus. Stephen in the New Testament got it. He was stoned to death because of his Faith in Christ, but you know what? He gained EVERYTHING when he died that day. He is now living in heaven with his Father and Lord because he stood up for Christ. Either dead or alive, we have won the ultimate battle. How awesome is that?!


So, sorry about the super long post here, but this is something that is very dear to my heart and I kinda just wanted to share some of it. :) It's great to know that we can look forward and know that anything we may go through is totally worth it for Christ. Keep on jogging!

1 Corinthians 9:24-27 -”Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may obtain it. And everyone who competes for the prize is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a perishable crown, but we for an imperishable crown. Therefore I run thus: not as one who beats the air. But I discipline my body and bring it into subjection, lest, when I have preached to others, I myself should become disqualified."

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Call me sicky...

   Wow... so it's nearly the middle of January. Very weird to think about. It seems like just yesterday I was celebrating New Year's Eve. But nope,, more than two weeks are now done and through. I try not to think about it too much because it scares me when I think about how fast time goes. Another thing I'm slightly disappointed about is how little I've been blogging. Before I started this blogging thing, I had soo many ideas and things that I would've loved to write on, but the inspiration for topics and posts has just come and gone when it pleases. More going then coming unfortunately. So when I was out driving today, I had my laptop sitting next to me calling out my name. He was telling me that I needed to write a blog, and I HAD to agree. So, without further thinking, I stopped at our local Panera Bread (which is one of my favorite food places) because I was craving a good latte, and of course, they had Wi-Fi. Hehe Well I got in the store, got my gingerbread latte (mmmm), sat down and got all cozy then opened my laptop getting ready to write a blog. I get to that spot we all go to write out blogs, aaaand nothing. Nothing came to me. The inspiration for writing a blog just left me. I was kind of upset a little. I sat there for a good three minutes just staring at the blinking insertion point before I decided I wasn't able to think of anything. So here I am, sitting here on the couch, watching American Idol... sort of. I've come to the conclusion that I really don't need a "topic" to write on. So, without further a due, I will now "blog."


   Well, the last few days I have been sick. Not exactly something I enjoy. I would say that I don't enjoy it, but that wouldn't be a sufficient explanation. Quite frankly, I HATE getting sick. I always feel so unproductive and lazy, and not to mention you feel terrible. The aches and pains, the tastes or not very desirable tastes you get, the smells, no sleep, etc. etc. You know how it is. Terrible. So pretty much, my last two days, in its ways have been very blah. But then I stopped and thought again. I realized that I could've been at school sitting learning behind a desk wasting utilizing every moment of the day to excel in my academics. So when I wasn't feeling too terrible, I tried to make the most of my "not at school" days here at home. So I did a few things I wouldn't have normally done and did some stuff I needed to do.

   So it started with with Monday morning, or Sunday night if you would say. I could not sleep for anything because my stomach was twisting and turning. Felt like someone stabbed my stomach and was twisting the knife (not that I would know what that feels like). I didn't think too terribly much of it until I got up to go to school and went to get a shower. Well as soon as I walked in that stupid 'ol bathroom, I found out how sick I really was. : p I don't need to go into any more details. So, I did what I want to do every morning I wake up for school... go back to bed. Ha. But I didn't end up waking up until noon! I really felt like a bum then. So I went upstairs, almost embarrassed to enter everyone else's day when they were most likely already into lunch. Well, lucky for me, no one was in lunch. My mom was actually preparing for a ladies thing she was hosting that night at our church, and she was cooking cooking cooking. So she got me right to work... and ya know what I ended up doing?! Nope... didn't end up cooking anything. Worse... I got to cut small pieces of paper for over an hour! Yup... cut paper for over an hour. I won't go into details because I don't want you to feel any worse for me. So, after that torture, I got to run errands for about two hours. Now, for me, I enjoy running errands. Yep, another random fact about me,, I enjoy running errands. Ha So I came home and felt terrible still, so I plopped on the couch, and watchya know, I fell asleep. For two hours in fact. I was all excited that my family was leaving the house to go somewhere, and I would be home by myself where it's quiet, and I could play the piano. :) It's always great to play the piano in a super quiet house, all by yourself. Well, that didn't happen because I fell asleep. HA! And I didn't wake up until my family walked BACK into the house! Oh man I was so disappointed! Lol But oh well. I ended the day peacefully and quietly. Now today, I woke up at eleven, which I was a little more satisfied with, and I felt a lot better. Thankfully, I didn't start out the day cutting little pieces of paper. :D Instead it was a pretty uneventful morning, which was pretty nice. But later I went out running more errands :) I went out looking for a job. :-/ I worked at Aeropostale (the clothing store) as a temp worker over the holidays. I enjoyed it a lot, and planned on staying longer, but unfortunately there weren't any positions available. Oh well though,, it was a great experience. So here I am now,, jobless.. again. The job pursuit turned out okay today. Unfortunately, I am picky. Probably not a good thing. But either way, I ended up applying at JCPenney's, and while I was sitting in Panera Bread sipping my latte, sulking over the fact that I couldn't think of a something to blog on, I decided to apply at Panera for a job! So I got something accomplished while I was there! Now I'm just trying to think of one more place to apply for a job. I'm thinking Dicks Sporting Goods, but not totally sure. Any suggestions? Oh! And also, while I was out, I picked up a special piano book I ordered a week ago. It finally came in which I was pretty excited about. So I picked it up, brought it home, and played it for over an hour. :D The book is Hope by Jim Brickman, and the music is so beautiful. I love it already. So, that is pretty much what happened my last two days when I was sick. Probably doesn't sound like the normal activities of someone who is sick, but I didn't want to dwell on the whole sick stuff, but more on the stuff that kept my mind off of it.

   So, there it is. I gave in and just "blogged." The last two days have been "sick days," but they've been "good" days. :) Tomorrow I will return to the "normal" schedule of school and busyness. It's good though, and I enjoy it. Going back to school will be refreshing. I most certainly hope my school won't impeach me from being president because I missed school for two days! Ha! I would sure have something to blog on then! Lol

Friday, January 8, 2010

What lengths we will go to for cravings...

So... on the last day of my Christmas break (which is sadly wayyy over) I woke up super late... like really late. *Hangs head in shame* Either way, about 50% of the mornings I wake get up, I will be really craving some OJ. (For those of you who don't use abbreviations all that much, OJ is short for Orange Juice... OJ just sounds so much cooler) Well that particular morning, the craving was really gettin' to me. I just HAD to have it. Ya know how that feeling is? Terrible... So, after a very short mental battle, and returning to the fridge repeatedly hoping some OJ would just materliaze out of thin air, I gave in. I took my lazy person and threw it to the wayside for a bit, and I decided to make some OJ. Yup... I said MAKE. Heaven forbid! Well at first, I thought it would be this huge ordeal that would take forever, and it wouldn't be worth it, etc. etc... whatever excuse my mind could think of to not do it. But I ended up doing it anyway.


Well... first step is complete. Find some oranges and slice 'em in half. This took about an amazing two minutes.

Second step: Find the orange, de-juicing, twisty, white thing... This took roughly another 2 to 3 minutes. Found it hiding in a cupboard...

De-juicing those yummy looking oranges took 5 minutes tops... and I only did two of them. My craving was reeaaally getting to me at this point... it's almost here though!

Yay!! The amazing product of my work resulted in this amazing 7 oz. of some really good OJ. Oh it was so good! Definitely the best 7 oz. of liquid I have had in quite some time!! :) My silly craving was satisfied almost instantly after drinking that good 'ol OJ :)

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Redemption

   Just today, I was going through my journal and happened to stumble upon an older "post" (on paper) that I had written. I remember writing this sort of wanting to have a creative feel to it, but have a purposeful meaning. It was somewhat based on a song called "Feels Like Redemption" by Michael English (I believe) which I loveee. The theme of redemption through Christ really motivated me at the time (and still does continually) so for some reason, one night, I felt like writing this short little "story type thing." This was written back in March of 2009 (weird to think that 2009 is in the past) and when I read through it, I felt like I wanted to share this on my blog for others to read. It may not be that great,, especially for those of you who are english majors and have degrees in story writing, lol but this was just out of fun and I think it has an important message,, and that was my main focus. :) So... here it is!
                      "Redemption"

   Despised and rejected, feeling out of place, treated like a stranger, even though you know my face. It's the way you have learned, to hide yourself, and everything you've earned. To not face the day, or the people within it. To hide your face in dismal despair, as if you never existed. You sit in the darkness, simply waiting to die. They evil one encourages you, and tells you that you amount to nothing. You've become so blind with hate, that you don't see The One's hand reaching for you. You're emotions are filled with so much self pity, that you've deafened yourself to The One who is calling your name. He tries to reach out to your heart, but one time after another, you reject Him and harden your heart even more. You don't even realize it, but you are starting to fade away. Others around you feel painfully hurt and are sorrowful for you. They try to help you, but you've blinded yourself so much that you don't even recognize or notice their efforts. Day by day, minute by minute, thought by thought, you slowly fade into the darkness. You begin to look like and become more like darkness himself. He encourages your despair and weariness. He delights in all of you. You have occasionally have second thoughts, but he just reminds you of how pathetic and miniscule you really are, and you immediately are reminded why you are as low as you are. It is because you are really, nothing.


   Just as you feel that you will fade into the darkness completely, give up on everything you have ever known or heard of, and disappear into darkness, letting eternity take it's rightful place, The One appears and calls out to you one last time. You faintly hear a name which you haven't heard in such a long time.. your's. You listen closely in anticipation, as if hearing your name called out would save you from such despair you have grown to recognize as normal. Your name is called out again, and your heart skips a beat. You try and call out, but you realize you can't because your fear is keeping you silent. In desperation, you throw the chain of fear off of your shoulders that has been for so long weighing you down. You call out once again, projecting a voice that you haven't heard in such a long time. The One's voice echoes through the darkness again, then, nothing. You try and peer through the shadows, but you see nothing. All of a sudden, you see a small beacon of light shining from what you believe to be upwards. You stare persistently, transfixed upon the light. Amazed, it looks like a beacon of hope after not seeing light for what seems to have been an eternity. You hope and pray that it could be a source to pull you out from your pit of despair. You hear your name called again, followed by the words "Come unto Me." You see a single hand descend from the light that is now growing much more intense and brighter. Your eyes squint as you try to reajust to the light. The hand slowly descends and lowers to eye level as the words "Come unto Me" continue to echo thorough your head. You try to reach this hand, but it seems to be way out of reach. You attempt to walk toward the hand, with the hope of a rescue from darkness you know you can't live with for the rest of time, but you are unable to move. You glance at yourself with the now visible light, and remember why you were here in the first place. You see chains covering your body, weighing you to the floor, holding you down from any easy escape. You read the chains, for each boldly pronounces itself. "Chain of PRIDE" you read off the biggest of them all. You read the other chains bearing the names "Chain of DESPAIR," Chain of DISCONTENTMENT, and "Chain of SELFISHNESS and GREED." You try and move again, and again, trying harder each time, but you proceed not one inch, for your chains are surely weighing you down. Frustrated, you get mad at yourself as you feel the evil one himself add another chain to the collection you already posses, "Chain of FAILURE." Depressed instantly, you begin to completely give up, but the voice calls out one more time, Come unto ME." With the last bit of hope you have left, you call out at the top of your lungs, "I can't on my own! You must help me." And with that, you drop your head in sorrow thinking of all the things that you had done to get yourself in this position. You open your eyes catching a glance at the largest chain of the all, and read the words, "Chain of PRIDE." You tell yourself that you are the only reason you are here and lost so deep in this darkness. You call out one last time, looking to the hand that is still set before you, " You are the only One who can help me! For I am weak and am nothing without You!" And as soon as the last words leave your mouth, you hear the sounds of metal hitting the floor, You open your eyes and are nearly blinded from the intense light that surrounds you. After catching your senses, you look at the ground and see the chains that were at once bound upon your neck, now lying in pieces on the ground. You look up and see a man in white robes standing right in front of you with His arms open wide. His hands have holes in them, but you barely notice because of how awestruck you are. You stare at His face trying to recognize Him, but He breaks the staring by saying three words. He simply says, "Come unto Me." And without any hesitation, you run up to Him and give Him a big hug knowing that this man is The One who saved you from your darkness. He hugs you back and once again says three words. Through your tears of joy He simply says, "Welcome home, son."

Praise God for His redemption for us through Calvary!

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