The Faulty Microbiologists

They considered themselves experts in their field and meticulous in all their measurements. They liked to place things in boxes, closely examining everything, classifying the microorganisms beneath their glass gave them a sense of place and purpose.

The problem?

They were using high magnification right away and they looked at the samples forgetting the coverslip.

The Faulty Microbiologists

Do you ever run across a faulty microbiologist?

Maybe there’s a person in your life who you feel is always examining you and only focusing on your mistakes and weaknesses.

If I asked you to think of a person you know who always has the “news” when it comes to others or something negative to say about everyone else 24/7, you probably could think of someone.

The scary thing is: we might be one of the persons that someone else could think of when asked about knowing a faulty microbiologist.

1 Corinthians 13:4 says:

“Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evildoes not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.”

This doesn’t mean we are supposed to be naive, simply that love isn’t looking for a reason to stop loving.  

I know that I often forget to encourage people and look for the good in them instead of the negative.

1 Thessalonians 5:11 tells us to encourage one another and build each other up, but how can we build each other up if we are constantly beating down on each other?

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Sometimes we become faulty when we examine people too closely too fast. We don’t work on loving them or remembering that the Lord died for them before getting onto them in a harsh way instead of in a loving one.

Sometimes we forget to look at people through the lens of the Bible, yes, we are told to preach the word and rebuke and reprove, but the words “exhort” and “long-suffering” or “patience” are also included in 2 Timothy 4:2.

“And above all things have fervent love for one another, for “love will cover a multitude of sins.” -1 Peter 4:8

 

“With all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love; endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.” -Ephesians 4:2-3

let's chatThis post is shorter than normal, so as always, feel free to add your own thoughts on this topic below. :))

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Faithful February

Being faithful can be hard, but I continued to fight the good fight this month.

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Highlights

 

  • I have a new sister in Christ!

Remember the girl I mentioned in my last month’s wrap up? The one I was studying with?
Well, another friend of mine joined the bible study and we were studying on valentines day, after an hour or so of studying and talking, Faith (our study), looked up and said, “I need to be baptized now.” 

We had been talking about salvation and reading stories of how people were saved and how they were baptized immediately after.

The thing that really caught me off guard was when she called her mom (her whole family was attending some sort of seventh-day Adventist’s worship service) and when her mom finally picked up she said, “Mom, I’m getting baptized, are you guys going to be here for it?” 

We could hear her mom’s muffled voice, “When?” 

“Now. As soon as possible.” 

Her whole family left in the middle of their service and made it in time to see her put on Christ in baptism.

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Claire, Faith, and me.

I am so happy for our new sister in Christ! Faith has learned so quickly and truly loves the Lord. Her devotion to Him and desire to learn more about the Bible is so encouraging and inspiring.

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  • The teen girls in our congregation wanted to do something fun with the younger girls.

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Honestly, they wanted to play basketball more than make crafts. 😛

 

  • I started going to more college events since I am a senior, everyone has been super nice and it’s been good talking to people who have been where I am not too long ago. :))

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  • I’m currently at the Transformed workshop (I believe that’s what it’s called) at the Brown Trail church of Christ, I have never been to that congregation before at the time of writing this, and I am excited for the lessons and the people.

Anyways, I’ll tell y’all about it in the next wrap-up. 😉

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Lessons Learned 

I feel like I should change the name of the section to “Lessons Currently in the Process of Being Learned” because I can have such a thick skull and mastering things is tough but anyways…

  • I am not the only one. What I mean by this rather cryptic statement is: no matter what emotion or physical thing I am going through/experiencing, I am not the only one who has gone through it, going through it, or will go through it. I am not the first person to be insecure and I need to remember that, not only to help myself but to help others.
    It’s like in 1 Kings 19,  when Elijah believed he was the only one left who loved and obeyed God and God told him that there were actually seven thousand people, not just him.

 

  • Always try to reach out. It takes around 60 seconds to ask or text someone in order to ask to get together to know them and usually they want to make friends as well.

 

  • Always work on being a listener. I miss so many important things when I am rambling instead of just listening. The Bible tells us to encourage one another (1 Thessalonians 5:11), but that’s harder when I don’t listen long enough for my brothers and sisters to tell me what they’re struggling with.

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Your turn!

How was your month?

What did you learn this month?

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Dear Christian Girl, You Need to Love Yourself

This is a response to an article I read on the blog GirlDefined, I do not agree with their beliefs behind their blog but I occasionally read it to keep up with what is often being taught in the denominational world. I never imagined responding to one of their posts because they are usually correct in their gists if not biblically backed up because of the lack of verses.

However, when I went to their site and saw the phrase that was once pounded into my head even when I was contemplating suicide,

“You Don’t Need to Love Yourself More”

I had to respond.

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The problem here is that there is a common misconception about sin and sin nature. Growing up I was told that I had sin in me, I heard many people call children as young as infants who couldn’t even reason enough to do something sinful “sinners”.

Sin separates us from God, most people can agree with that. Isaiah 59:1-2 says:

“Behold, the Lord‘s hand is not shortened, that it cannot save; neither his ear heavy, that it cannot hear: But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear.”

God does not hear sinners (see also John 9:31) and everyone who dies in sin will go to hell (Matthew 9:43-48).

The problem with believing that we are born sinners besides it being biblically incorrect (I will expand on that in a second) is that, with that logic, every infant and child that wasn’t in Christ and thus redeemed is now in hell because God cannot be around sin.

Now, to explain why we aren’t born sinners but become sinners:

  1. Sin entered the world, not us

Many people believe that because of Adam and Eve’s sin that we inherited their sin, while the fall did happen (Genesis 3), sin entered the world not us.
Ezekiel 18:20 says:

“The soul that sinneth, it shall die. The son shall not bear the iniquity of the father, neither shall the father bear the iniquity of the son: the righteousness of the righteous shall be upon him, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon him.”

We cannot inherit sin. We might suffer from it and from the choices of our parents, but it isn’t our sin.

If I was born in an abusive household, am I an abuser or alcoholic because my parents are? No. But growing up in that environment might steer me towards becoming like them because I would be growing up surrounded by sin, and this is how it is in the world.

The world is full of sin, but we aren’t born sinners, we become sinners.

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       2. We are fearfully and wonderfully made

“I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Marvelous are Your works, And that my soul knows very well.”-Psalm 139:14

God made you! The one who made the stars, the sea, the sunlight that filters through library windows, and so many more beautiful things made you as well.

Not only that, but He loved us so much that He sent His Son to die for us so when we become sinners after growing up in a sinful world that we have a way to get out of sin and make it to heaven.

“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.”-2 Corinthians 5:17

 

           3. You have a choice 

“I call heaven and earth as witnesses today against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing; therefore choose life, that both you and your descendants may live; that you may love the Lord your God, that you may obey His voice, and that you may cling to Him, for He is your life and the length of your days…”-Deuteronomy 30:19-20 

Since the beginning, God has given us freewill, sadly, many choose to sin and that sin can often affect others (think of all the car wrecks because of drunk drivers), but we can choose to follow Him instead of the world and we can find life in Him once again.

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This all being said, should we love ourselves?

Yes!

I’m not talking about being prideful or selfish by putting yourself over others, but just knowing your worth.

I am not a sinner anymore, I am a Christian who sins (1 John 1:7).

I am in Christ. I am His child once again.

I wouldn’t be here without God, I don’t even know if I would still be here if I hadn’t become a Christian in 2018, but I am strong. I made the choice to follow Him and I make it daily. I stand up for what I believe in and I am strong and that is beautiful, and I love the person who I am becoming in Christ. Sometimes I slip, but I’m learning to always get back up and get back to work.

I am strong.

I am beautiful.

I am worthy.

I am capable. 

I am so, so much more than I grew up being taught. 

And if you are in Christ, dear sister, you are as well. If you’re not in Christ, God loves you and wants you to return to Him.

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I know people who have such low self-esteem that they are constantly tearing themselves down, and that’s not humility, that’s not knowing what the Bible says about our worth.

The Bible tells us to look at ourselves with sober judgment (Romans 12:3), we are not supposed to be prideful, we need to have the introspection to always look at our heart and make sure it’s in the right place.

We are also told that we are God’s creation created in Christ Jesus for good works (Ephesian’s 2:10).

I love others because God told me to (John 15:12), because He created them, He died for them, and He died for me too.

At the end of the day, it’s important to know your value and identity in Christ, if you have obeyed the gospel, and are walking faithfully, you are a child of God. Don’t let anyone, including yourself, tell you that you are anything less because that is the greatest thing you can be. 

Is Attending Sunday and Wednesday Services Important?

Do you ever feel like a dented car that was almost totaled in a crash but not quite?

You’re driving down the road one day and then boom! Someone didn’t wait before zooming out of that gas station to your right and smacked right into the side of your car.

Your car isn’t totaled, but now it squeaks. It’s dented. It looks like it’s going to fall apart into metal scraps on the freeway.

Luckily, this has never happened to me while driving, but sometimes it happens to me on a personal level.

I’m living my life and trying my best when boom! Someone accuses me of being a terrible legalistic person for my beliefs or crash! My insecurities resurface with a vengeance.

I’m not broken, but I’m bruised. I’m battered and discouraged. I’m on the verge of a full-blown breakdown.

Sometimes I roll up to Sunday or Wednesday services that way, but I always leave repaired and ready to fight the battles of living in this world once again.

Sometimes I think that Wednesday’s nights are what helps me get through the week.

The fellowship, the praising of our Lord, and the sermons all edify and lift each member of the congregation up, including me.

Is Attendance Important

Church. 

A word often misused and abused by others.

What does the bible say about the church? 

  • We know that the church is us, the body of believers. (Romans 12:5)
  • We know that Jesus Christ is the head of the body (the church). (Colossians 1:17-18)
  • We know that those who were baptized into Christ are in the church. (Galatians 3:17, Romans 6:3-4, 1 Corinthians 12:12-27).
  • We know that we meet on the first day of the week because that is when we remember Christ’s death and resurrection. (Mark 16:2, John 20:19) And it is also shown to us in explicit example in the New Testament. (Acts 20:7, 1 Corinthians 16:1-2
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(all pictures in this post are my own)

 

 

I could easily fill a whole blog with posts solely on what the church is for, however, I hope you get the point:

In the Bible, there is a clear command/indication of why Christians need to worship together. 

Hebrews 10:25 says:

Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.

Unfortunately, the world doesn’t understand the need for church services and that misunderstanding often starts to confuse the members of Christ.

When I was denominational, my friends and I would jokingly call them Chreastians, because they only come to services on Christmas eve and easter.

The real word is unfaithful, and that is the sad reality.

But why is attending services so important? How is one being unfaithful by not going?

  1. When we go to worship we are following the example in the Bible

“On the first day of the week, when we were gathered together to break bread, Paul began talking to them, intending to leave the next day, and he prolonged his message until midnight.” -Acts 20:7

We constantly read about the believers meeting together on the first day of the week as well as other days (which is often why Wednesday night service exists).

 

     2. We are supposed to encourage one another

 “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.”-Colossians 3:16

How can you encourage someone if you never see them?

I find singing hymns with my brothers and sisters in Christ one of the most encouraging and comforting things ever. When I went to Panama on a mission trip and sang hymns in English during services while my brothers and sisters from Panama sang in Spanish, it was a surreal experience, but it was amazing to hear not only others praising God but also to realize how many Christians there are around the world.

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       3. We remember Christ’s death and resurrection by taking communion together every Sunday as seen in the Bible

See Acts 20:7 again.

“Now I would remind you, brothers, of the gospel I preached to you, which you received, in which you stand, and by which you are being saved, if you hold fast to the word I preached to you—unless you believed in vain. For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures,”-1 Corinthians 15:1-4

       4. We must hear the Word to have faith 

“So then faith cometh by hearing and hearing by the word of God.”-Romans 10:17

Verse 14 in that context talks about the need for preachers.

Hearing is the first step towards being saved. I actually met the girl I’m currently studying with when she came to worship one Sunday, we went out for coffee the next day to get to know each other and she brought up the sermon the other day and said that she believed in God but wanted to know how to follow Him.

She was baptized for the remission of her sins and became a Christian last Friday, and this all started with her hearing the Word of God and then studying more of it.

 

         5. We need to be in unity

“And he gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds and teachers, to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ,” -Ephesians 4:11-13

It is hard to have unity with a group of people that you don’t gather with.

 

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        6. If gathering together wasn’t important, why was so much time spent on determining the roles of the elders? 

Read Titus and you’ll learn that the leadership roles for the elders and deacons is a very serious matter, but why would it matter if God was okay with us staying home and looking at our bible apps and podcasts instead of attending?

 

          7. We often see letters and mentions of congregations in the New Testament 

“The churches of Asia send you greetings. Aquila and Prisca, together with the church in their house, send you hearty greetings in the Lord.” -1 Corinthians 16:19

1 Corinthians 11:17-34 is Paul rebuking a congregation for how they are handling themselves.

 

My main point of this post is this:

We see way too many examples, indications, and outright verses telling us about the importance of the assembly to forsake it.  

 

James 1:22 tells to be doers of the Word and not just hearers only. If we know that God wants us to grow together, worship together, learn about the Bible together, and remember His death and resurrection together, why would we stay home?

1 Corinthians 12:12-27 is a very good passage for this, but it is too long to put here, so I’d encourage you to read it in full, but here is verses 12-14:

“For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is Christ.

For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit.

For the body is not one member, but many.”

 

With Love,

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3 Things I Have Learned In My Marriage

Hello friends! In honor of valentine’s day, I thought a post on the reflection of God’s relationship with the church (marriage) would be appropriate.

Obviously, I am not the girl for this post (although I hope to be one day), so my mom graciously agreed to write it.

Without farther ado, I’m handing this post over to one of the godliest women I know, my mother.

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In January, my husband and I celebrated 18 years of marriage.

In those years of marriage, I’ve learned marriage is hard work. The three areas I want to discuss are submitting to your husband, reverencing him, and letting things go. If you’re single, this is the best time for you to be preparing to be a Godly wife to your future husband. If you’re already married, this is a great time to make sure your actions and beliefs as a wife are lining up with scripture.

 

1. My submission is important  

The word submission often has women frustrated and even angry because they want to be their own boss, however, the Christian women know God’s plan is best. God has an order.

Ephesians 5:22 (KJV) states,

“Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord.”

This is for our good.

The word submit is from the Greek word hypotasso. This word was a Greek military term meaning “to arrange [troop divisions] in a military fashion under the command of a leader.” In non-military use, it was “a voluntary attitude of giving in, cooperating, assuming responsibility, and carrying a burden.”

I have learned if I have an attitude of cooperation with my husband, he responds with the same attitude to me. When my heart is hard and resistant to his leadership, he too responds with the same attitude. As a wife, I’m the thermostat in my home. When I have a happy, submissive heart, my home is happy. When my attitude needs an adjustment, the whole comfort of my home is affected.

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2. I need to respect my husband 

Ephesians 5:33 (KJV) gives wives another instruction:

“…And the wife [see] that she reverence [her] husband.” 

Reverence is the Greek word phobeo, meaning to reverence, venerate, to treat with deference or reverential obedience.

One practical way I do this is to speak highly of my husband instead of tearing him down. We live in a society where the husbands and fathers are constantly being made fun of. In movies, TV shows, commercials, etc., men are being degraded and portrayed as dumb, ignorant buffoons. I have to fight against this mindset in my own head and heart and make sure what I say to my husband and about my husband are encouraging. Just because we’re married, doesn’t give me the right to tear him down with my words or actions.

 

3. I need to let things go

Another important truth from God’s word I’ve learned that’s instrumental in a marriage is learning to let things go. When I was first married, an older woman instructed me to live out Ephesians 4:26 (KJV), “…Let not the sun go down upon your wrath.”

At that time, I didn’t know how truly difficult that command would be, but I’m thankful for her wise words. We are not guaranteed tomorrow. Our husbands are not guaranteed tomorrow. When I’m angry with my husband, I try to imagine how I’d feel if he didn’t wake in the morning or come home from work in the afternoon. Would my words or my actions to him be something I would regret? Another question I ask myself when I’m having a hard time forgiving or letting something go is, “Will this matter in 5 years?” If my answer is “No,” then it truly doesn’t matter now, and I need to let it go.

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Marriage is definitely hard. Preparing your heart to be the Godly wife to your future husband is important. Knowing what God’s word instructs to wives is paramount to having a Godly marriage.

 

5 Ways To Build Stronger Friendships

If you’re like me, you yearn for close connections with others.

These connections are hard to come by or make, especially when surrounded by people who believe in quantity over quality when it comes to friendships.

However, the Bible makes it known how important friendship is:

 Two are better than one; because they have a good reward for their labour. For if they fall, the one will lift up his fellow: but woe to him that is alone when he falleth; for he hath not another to help him up.“-Ecclesiastes 4:9-10

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The word friend in the bible is often from the Greek word phileo which means a close brotherly love. This type of love is for our brothers and sisters in Christ, but we are commanded to have agape love (to welcome, to hold dear, to love in a social or moral sense) towards everyone (Matthew 5:44).

So how can we become better friends and build better friendships? 

 

1. Be trustworthy 

Psalm 41:9 describes the pain of the betrayal of trust between friends, and Proverbs 17:9 says:

“He that covereth a transgression seeketh love; but he that repeateth a matter separateth very friends.”

We all want friends we can trust, so we must also be the person we want to be friends with.

2. Become a listener

The other day a few friends and I were talking about the importance of listening and how people who were listeners built stronger and more meaningful friendships faster than someone who just nervously rambles.

How can you encourage others if you never are silent long enough to listen to their problems?

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3. Be forgiving 

“Then came Peter to him, and said, Lord, how oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? till seven times? Jesus saith unto him, I say not unto thee, Until seven times: but, Until seventy times seven.” -Matthew 18:21-35

It is impossible to be friends with someone if they keep bringing up every single mistake you’ve made.

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4. Always be truthful with them 

“Open rebuke is better than secret love.” –Proverbs 27:5

I am so thankful for my friends who aren’t afraid to call me to be my best and are honest with me.

The fact that I have friends who would take me aside and talk with me in love if I started dressing immodestly or doing something unbiblical makes me very thankful.

“Where is then the blessedness ye spake of? for I bear you record, that, if it had been possible, ye would have plucked out your own eyes, and have given them to me. Am I therefore become your enemy, because I tell you the truth?” -Gal 4:15-16

5. Fellowship with them 

We are told to encourage one another (Proverbs 27:17), but in order to do that we must be around each other. This is a big reason we shouldn’t forsake gathering together for worship (Hebrews 10:24-15), but we also should be making time for each other in our daily lives.

So if you’re reading this, here’s your sign to invite that person you’d like to get to know better for lunch or coffee!

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What are your thoughts?
How are you building friendships with others?

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So This Is Love: The Bachelor’s Lies

If you’re a girl, you probably know of the TV show The Bachelor, an American dating and relationship reality television series that debuted on March 25, 2002, on ABC. The show is hosted by Chris Harrison.

The series revolves around a single bachelor who begins with a pool of romantic interests from whom he is expected to select a wife. (Source of information: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Bachelor_(American_TV_series)

I had heard many other girls around my age talking about this show, so when I came across it while searching for a crime channel, I decided to watch in for a second to see what all the hype was about.

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It started out innocently enough, the bachelor and one of the constants were sitting in a field talking.

The first thing I noticed was how empty and unintelligent the conversation was and how shallow both of them seemed.

It was when they started making out that I changed channels, but not before a narration of the bachelor came in claiming that him and this girl had “chemistry” and that it was “different”. I’ll admit, I got a giggle out of the audacity of it.

Well, I switched through channels and eventually landed back on The Bachelor. 

This time a group of the contestants were being filmed, one, in particular, was sobbing, saying that she was worried that the bachelor would fall in love with his date when he was the one for her.

Do any of these people actually believe they’re going to find love here?  I thought, staring at the screen, at a loss for words. I felt bad for them, the whole thing was so surface level and stupid.

I turned off the TV. 

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That was a few days ago, but I’ve been thinking about how ridiculous that show is ever since.

The show is gross, but the fact that so many girls are calling it “romantic” is even worse because it shows how much we have been lied to about romance.

So here are a few lies shows like The Bachelor tells us about love as women and here are the truths we must remember:

  • Sex equals love

“Marriage is honorable in all, and the bed undefiled: but whoremongers and adulterers God will judge.” -Hebrews 13:4

Sex is an expression of love, but only in marriage. Outside of marriage, it is sin, it is not love.

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  • Beauty is immodesty

 Favor is deceitful, and beauty is vain: but a woman that feareth the Lord, she shall be praised.”-Proverbs 31:30

I wouldn’t recommend looking at pictures of this show, but if you did, you would notice that almost every dress worn leaves little to the imagination. I think I saw more cleavage while watching five minutes of that show than I would if I went to a public pool, and that alone is kind of terrible.

I strongly dislike the standard and example this sets for girls.

 “Whose adorning let it not be that outward adorning of plaiting the hair, and of wearing of gold, or of putting on of apparel;

 But let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price.”-1Peter 3:3-4

God looks at our hearts.

“for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the LORD looketh on the heart.”
-1 Samuel 16:7

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  • Love is just a feeling

Love is more than infatuation, it’s a noun and verb, it calls for action.

God loved us so much that He sent His Son to die for us (Romans 5:8, John 3:16), if that tells us anything about love, it tells us that love is a sacrifice.

 “Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil;  does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

 Love never fails.”-1 Corinthians 13:4-8

 I don’t know about you, but I didn’t see any of this while watching The Bachelor

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