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Love.

9 Sep

As Christians, aren’t we supposed to be a city on a hill? A light in the darkness?

Then why do people view the church as Hateful? Judgmental? Unaccepting?

Shouldn’t church be the place that anyone should feel welcome? The place where anyone can go without being judged? So WHY do so many people hate going to church?

The truth remains: Christians aren’t perfect. No one is but our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. We do judge.

You’ve probably heard the saying, “Love the sinner, hate the sin.” I, for the most part, agree with this. But what does the Bible have to say on this?

Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? ~Matthew 7:3

Who are we to judge others’ sins, when truth is, we all have struggles, temptations, sins that we have to deal with. It’s between us and God.

Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins. ~1 Peter 4:8

That verse is pretty self-explanatory. No matter what someone else’s personal struggle is, we are supposed to love them despite it.

In order to deal with any struggle, you first have to acknowledge that it exists. And you have to acknowledge that the struggle does not define the person in question.

We’re not perfect. It can be hard to accept people who, in our eyes, are doing something horribly wrong. But you’ve got to remember that God does not see any one sin as worse than another.  Why are we, as humans, so inclined to rank everything?

“I may have lied to my mom, but at least I didn’t commit adultery like so-and-so.”

“Sure, I’ve cheated on tests, but I haven’t shoplifted like some other people that I know.”

The truth is, God doesn’t care. A sin is a sin, no matter how “big” or “small” in our imperfect human eyes. And you know what?

Everyone sins.

This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. ~1 John 4:10

The entire reason God sent His Son to earth was because He loves us. Sins, flaws, imperfections, and all. In fact, He loves us so much that he was willing to sacrifice His only Son so that we can live forever. God has already dealt with those sins. It is between each individual and God.

Back to John 3:16 🙂

For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son that whosoever believes in Him shall not perish but have everlasting life.

Think about that for a while. I know, I know. It’s that simple verse that every little Christian kid knows. But it is one of the most profound verses in the Bible.

If God loves us that much, and he died for each and every one of us, then who are we to hate one another? To judge or criticize?

Take the example of Rahab.

Joshua son of Nun secretly sent out from Shittim two men as spies: “Go. Look over the land. Check out Jericho.” They left and arrived at the house of a harlot named Rahab and stayed there.

 The king of Jericho was told, “We’ve just learned that men arrived tonight to spy out the land. They’re from the People of Israel.”

The king of Jericho sent word to Rahab: “Bring out the men who came to you to stay the night in your house. They’re spies; they’ve come to spy out the whole country.”

The woman had taken the two men and hidden them. She said, “Yes, two men did come to me, but I didn’t know where they’d come from. At dark, when the gate was about to be shut, the men left. But I have no idea where they went. Hurry up! Chase them—you can still catch them!” (She had actually taken them up on the roof and hidden them under the stalks of flax that were spread out for her on the roof.) So the men set chase down the Jordan road toward the fords. As soon as they were gone, the gate was shut.

 Before the spies were down for the night, the woman came up to them on the roof and said, “I know that God has given you the land. We’re all afraid. Everyone in the country feels hopeless. We heard how God dried up the waters of the Red Sea before you when you left Egypt, and what he did to the two Amorite kings east of the Jordan, Sihon and Og, whom you put under a holy curse and destroyed. We heard it and our hearts sank. We all had the wind knocked out of us. And all because of you, you and God, your God, God of the heavens above and God of the earth below.

“Now promise me by God. I showed you mercy; now show my family mercy. And give me some tangible proof, a guarantee of life for my father and mother, my brothers and sisters—everyone connected with my family. Save our souls from death!”

“Our lives for yours!” said the men. “But don’t tell anyone our business. When God turns this land over to us, we’ll do right by you in loyal mercy.”

She lowered them down out a window with a rope because her house was on the city wall to the outside. She told them, “Run for the hills so your pursuers won’t find you. Hide out for three days and give your pursuers time to return. Then get on your way.”

The men told her, “In order to keep this oath you made us swear, here is what you must do: Hang this red rope out the window through which you let us down and gather your entire family with you in your house—father, mother, brothers, and sisters. Anyone who goes out the doors of your house into the street and is killed, it’s his own fault—we aren’t responsible. But for everyone within the house we take full responsibility. If anyone lays a hand on one of them, it’s our fault. But if you tell anyone of our business here, the oath you made us swear is canceled—we’re no longer responsible.”

She said, “If that’s what you say, that’s the way it is,” and sent them off. They left and she hung the red rope out the window.

~Joshua 2:1-21 (The Message)

Rahab, a prostitute, the lowest of the low, was spared because of her faith in God. Jesus died for everyone. Thieves. Adulterers. Prostitutes. Homosexuals. Murderers. The porn addicts. Meth addicts. Alcoholics. Rapists. Those who are self-destructive. Suicidal. Broken. Afraid. Alone. Anyone who has ever, ever sinned. And he died for YOU.

Why? Why would He lay down His Son’s life for US? Because he knit us together in our mothers’ wombs. Everyone is unique. Created in God’s own image. He looks past the sin. Sees the wonderful creation that we are.

Who are we not to love those on Earth?

One of the religion scholars came up. Hearing the lively exchanges of question and answer and seeing how sharp Jesus was in his answers, he put in his question: “Which is most important of all the commandments?”

Jesus said, “The first in importance is, ‘Listen, Israel: The Lord your God is one; so love the Lord God with all your passion and prayer and intelligence and energy.’ And here is the second: ‘Love others as well as you love yourself.’ There is no other commandment that ranks with these.”

~Mark 12:28-31 (The Message)

The most important commandments: Love the Lord your God. And love others.

Does that say anything about love at all? I think yes.

1 John 4:19 says,

We love because he first loved us.

Are you getting this? Love is pretty important. We’ve got to love each other. Just as God loves all of us. Each and every one.

I don’t care who you are, or what you’ve been through. The point is, God loves you. And so I.

Just a thought, Church. Let’s show the Love of God.

And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is Love. ~1 Corinthians 13:13

 Peace,

Faith and Facebook Messages…

19 Mar

Hey everyone, sorry it’s felt like I’ve abandoned you lately… I haven’t! I promise!

Life’s just been busy, and stressful–more so than usual–and I haven’t had the time nor motivation to blog. But, here I am!

Yesterday, one of my friends Facebook messaged me. Three simple words: Hold to eternity. I’ve been really stressed, and generally just kind of “eh” lately…not going into details. But let me tell you, those three simple words brought a smile to my face. Hold to eternity. Even when it feels like I’m completely alone, or the world is, as another put it, just “grey,” I know in my heart that God will never leave me, or stop caring about me. When I feel out of place in this world, I think it is a longing for a better one–heaven, and the life that is yet to come. Take your best memory. Now times it by infinity, and then infinity again, and again, and again… that’s heaven. We can’t even comprehend how amazing it’s going to be.

Three words. Three words that gave me hope. You know who you are, and I want to say thank you for letting God use you to help me through this.

Readers, even when life is at its bleakest, remember your savior, Jesus Christ, and what he did for you. Think of the happiness that awaits us in heaven.

He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away. ~Revelation 21:4

Think about that for a minute. A time with no more pain, no more death, no more mourning. We can hold out until then.

Hold to eternity.

<3 Paperclip101

Ooh! Awards!!! xD

29 Feb

Hello, my wonderful blog readers!

I’m going to cheat on my blog post today, because my amazing friend Birdi gave me two awards! Since these are my first ever, bear with me as I’m a bit excited 😉

First up, we have “Mr. Sparkly’s Ten Commandments.” I kid you not. That is what it’s called. Anyway, it has 10 questions I have to answer, etc. So. Let’s go for this!!!

Mr. Sparkly's Ten Commandments

1. Describe yourself in seven words: Random, crazy, Jesus-Freak (we’ll just pretend that’s one word), disorganized, sporadic, writer, romantic (as in I’m a romantic, not that I am romantic, if that makes any sense.) […I have a feeling my bracket use broke the rules :P]

2. What keeps you up at night: Lots. Everything from what I’m going to do with my life, to what college I’m going to and when, to little things that happened throughout the day.

3. Whom you’d like to be:  A lot of things that I currently am not 😉

4. What are you wearing right now: Um… blue socks, pink pajama bottoms (At 4:20 in the afternoon!), a pink Connections Academy shirt, and a pink Lincoln City sweatshirt. And my (pink) purity ring. Hmm. I don’t usually wear this much pink…

5. What scares you: Spiders. The future. Certain movies. Books. Human nature. Other people’s blood. But most of all, carnival rides. Water Slides. Anything of that sort. *shudder*

6. What are the best and the worst things about blogging: Well, the best: Having a place to post my random thoughts, and know that people actually read them. All my wonderful followers, and seeing my stats go up ^.^

Worst: When I have a day with depressingly low views, or when I can’t think what to blog or just don’t have time to and feel like I’m abandoning all you wonderful readers…

7. What was the last website you looked at: Birdi’s wonderful blog so that I could copy the award info, but before that my school website.

8. If you could change one thing about yourself what would you change: …Hmm. I would be taller, and… less pessimistic?

9. Slankets, yes or no: I have NO idea what a slanket is… it sounds… bad, somehow…

10. Tell us something about the person that nominated you: Birdi is an amazing teenage girl, whose blog I discovered I-don’t-remember-how, and who recently underwent scoliosis surgery. She’s random, funny, smart, and brave. Oh, and she lives in New Zealand, and thus has the coolest accent ever. Seriously. And also, for the record, her blog is amazing, and she writes in third person on it.

Next up, we have the Sunshine Award 2011 (which sounds nice and cheerful, does it not?)

Sunshine Award...

Favorite color: Blues, greens, and turquoises. And some shades of purple ^.^

Favorite animal: Cats, and horses. Definitely.

Favorite number: 3, 17, and 13. Yes, I do like the number 13, even though it is so-called unlucky. (And as for 3 and 17, I have no idea why I like them. I just do.)

Favorite drink: Coffee, or tea. And either of those can be iced or hot. Depends on my mood ^.^

Facebook or twitter: Facebook, most definitely. I’m addicted to that site. And, correct me if I’m wrong, but Twitter just seems so… pointless somehow…

My passion: Theatre, writing, and singing. Yup 🙂

Getting or giving presents: Hmm… that’s a really good question. Depends on who the present’s from, and what it is 😛

Favorite pattern: I’m going to have to say, patterns like the one on the side of this post somewhere, although I also really like plaids, and polka dots, and stripes, and random swirls. But probably that one, and cool random swirly designs. Aren’t you glad you asked?

Favorite day of the week: Um… I… don’t… know? Now that I’m a homeschooler, all the days kind of blend together and I can’t tell one day from the next, except for weekends (which I can’t really say I like, either…) Probably Sundays or Fridays. But NOT Mondays.

Favorite flower: That question is like, impossible. I like daisies, roses, lilacs, bleeding hearts… I don’t know. Flowers are so unique, and no matter which kind it is, there’s something pretty about any flower.

Technically, I’m supposed to present these two awards to wonderful bloggers…

BUT…

I’m going to be totally different and create my OWN award to present! (I know, you’re thinking “What?! Is she allowed to do that?!” Well, I don’t know. But all awards have to get started somehow, don’t they?)

Remember that pretty blue pattern? Well check this out…

Now then, this lovely image (edited by me on Picnik) is the official Paperclip Award!

See how I combined the butterfly from Mr. Sparkly and the daisy from the Sunshine Award? *nodnod*

Anyway, this award shall be presented to wonderful and amazing bloggers who inspire… well, whoever awards it to them.

[I can’t help but wonder if this award will actually start something…]

RULES: If you are awarded the Paperclip Award, you must answer the 13 prompts given, and then you must give the award to 13 bloggers (although, as the creator of the award, I’m giving you permission to give it to less, or more, and bend the rules a little) and give a link to their blogs. Also, no awarding the blogger who awarded you! Got that? 😉

1. When you were little, what did you want to be when you grew up?

2. What is your ultimate favorite place to be?

3. Name one famous person who inspires you. (Just one!!!)

4. Tea or Coffee?

5. If you could be any other person for 48 hours, who would you be?

6. What is your earliest memory?

7. If you could ask anyone in the world, living or dead, anything, who would you ask, and what would you ask them?

8. What is the scariest thing you have ever done?

9. What is your favorite book?

10. Briefly explain one of the weirdest dreams you have ever had.

11. What one song best describes you? (Feel free to post a link to a Youtube vid)

12. Pen or pencil?

13. Is 13 an  unlucky number or not?

Now then, I would like to award Birdi, even though she was the one who gave me the original awards. Birdi, you’re amazing, and so brave, and on top of that your blog is just plain fun to read.

I’d also like to award my wonderful friend Miss.Adriana because I love being able to go to her blog and just read what’s in her heart. She’s an awesome blogger, and she should know how much I appreciate her 🙂

Now then, I’d also like to give this award to Hope. Hope, your are just plain amazing, and I love to read your blog ^.^

For my last person, I’d like to present the Paperclip Award to Cassandra Bloom. Although relatively new to the blogosphere, her blog is so much fun to read, and definitely entertaining. You keep at it, girl!

Award away, you four! I love you all so much 🙂

Also, thank you sooooo much Birdi for these two awards! You have no idea how much it means to me 🙂 (If I ever get another one, I’ll be sure to actually follow the rules :P)

Sorry I haven’t been posting anything super interesting… I promise I’ll get around to it eventually! Until then, bear with me!

Until later, my friends,

Paperclip101EDIT (3/1/12): I was also going to give the Paperclip Award to my friend Dizziizzi, for a couple reasons: 1) She is always there for me (because yes, this blogger is one of the few that I actually know in person) and 2) her blog is so much fun to read, and even makes you think from time to time 🙂 But yes, Izzi, you were originally going to get this award, and I somehow forgot to mention your name, even though I had this weird nagging feeling that I was missing someone…

30 Jan

Good morning, all! Okay, it’s afternoon. But yeah.

Posted below is my awesome 3D Art Final, based off of the drawing which is in the last post, but I’ll put it here too.

Now for my very short but wonderful animation:

It took my computer like 2 hours to render -_-

But it was worth it!!!

Okay, I’m going to go now, but I’ll be back with a brilliant post some other time… when I find my brain again.

Over and out,

I’m Still Alive

26 Jan

…Barely.

I’ve just been bogged down by finals, and I’ve been super busy with play practices when I’m not doing something school related.

Thank goodness it’s the last day of the semester! And all that I have left is my 3D Art Final.

Which, if you were wondering, is based off of the following drawing that I did last year.

Yep. Isn’t it beautiful? 🙂 You  can kind of see how I orignially had the ears too big, and then erased them… that’s the annoying thing about scans. But yeah.

I’ll post the little animated video on here, should I ever finish it -_-

Okay, that was pessimistic. I will finish this, I will, I will!

In other news, I can now see how difficult it is for Birdi to always write in third person, since I typed in third person for 24 hours the other day. (Not a full, non-stop 24 hours. But every email/webmail I sent [except to teachers] was in third person.) So now I appreciate her efforts even more! Weirdly enough, I discovered that going back to first person after so long of third person was extremely challenging.

What else has been going on in my life? The current play I’m in. Other than that, nothing… but trust me, school and a musical at the same time are proving difficult right now. (I will post more on the musical later, don’t worry.)

Well, I guess I’m just posting to let you all know that I haven’t abandoned you all.

Oh! More news!

I now have 27 wonderful followers (remember that one post where I was excited because I had 6?!)

It’s strange how exhilarating it is to know that people are actually reading these ramblings. Thanks to you all!

I also have had 83 views on my busiest day, January 5, 2012.

I didn’t even post anything that day. Strange, isn’t it? But seeing that number literally made my heart skip a beat.

I have had 1,657 views total!

Whoa. Just… whoa! This makes me extremely happy, and it makes me feel like I’m beginning to get a name for myself in the blogosphere. So thanks again, all 🙂

Okay, other than that… I have nothing more to say. Bear with me!

Over and Out,

Sisters In Christ, Check This Out!

6 Jan

Hey there!

I’m blogging to tell you all about something I’m super duper excited about:

The Dear Sister In Christ Project (DSICP)!

This is a project that a friend of mine thought up, and I volunteered to help with. So our project fell into place 🙂

Here’s a little bit about the project, taken from its website:

To put it simply, the main goal of the Dear Sister In Christ Project (DSICP) is to provide an opportunity for Christian women of all ages to encourage and support today’s tween and teen girls by sharing their faith through letters. … We wish to encourage our readers to look to God for help during hardships as well as the trying teenage years. DSICP letters are not advice letters, but rather testimonial letters. We do not wish to offer the solutions to specific issues, but point the way towards the one and only, ultimate solution—Jesus.

This reminds me a little bit of Project Inspired, an awesome Christian website for teen and tween girls (that you should check out!) started by a model, only instead of articles written by the staff, The DSIC Project uses letters written by the readers.

The DSICP also has a blog on which there will be monthly Faith Challenges, portions of scripture, and who knows what else we’ll wind up posting! The letters on the site are written by readers for the purpose of encouraging today’s teens and tweens and will cover anything from self-image to relationships to peer pressure to anything in between.

All you female readers, you should take some time to check it out! I am super excited about this project and have been since my friend and I started plotting 🙂

In case that hyperlink didn’t work, our (possibly temporary, meaning that we may get a URL that people can actually remember eventually) site is http://home.comcast.net/~webso/site/?/home/

God bless,

10k at Long Last!!!

13 Nov

Well, this is pretty self-explanatory based off of the title. Ah, well.

I finally have 10,000 words!!!

I am quite proud of myself 🙂

That means I have 40,000 more words to do in the next 17 days or so.

That’s about (according to the NaNoWriMo website stats) 2,353 words a day.

Think I can do it?

I think I just might be able to pull this off!

(Yes, this is short. I want to get back to writing. But I had to update my blog about this momentous occasion!!!)

Over and out,

<3 Paperclip101