OnlyGrace

Silent Heroes, Screaming Lives October 25, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — beyondtheoutside @ 6:08 PM

It’s a paper I wrote for English, but grew to love… The title still needs some work, as “screaming” is a negative word. Anyway, here it is…

                                         Silent Heroes, Screaming Lives

                                   

 

My description of a hero is being someone who thinks before they speak, is courageous, does not give into what everyone else is doing, and thinks of others above themselves.  A hero also does not seek recognition for the good deeds that they do; they are silent heroes.   My personal hero is actually not one person, but a big group of people from all over the world; though I do have the privilege of having a personal relationship with many people I call my heroes.  My heroes are all those who daily sacrifice their wants and needs to serve a bigger purpose: proclaiming the God deserves the glory for everything in their lives. These are everyday people; they are the ones in the school, the workplace and the grocery store. These are the people that do not give into the status quo-they fight the normal and do not give into peer pressure. While I do not get to meet everyone of my heroes, I do get to see some of them weekly. Some of my heroes are Julie and Christina Dubell and Jessica Preisinger. These young women that I admire are courageous and stand up strong convictions they hold, and they persevere under pressure.

            Julie Dubell is 15, my best friend and has always been there for me. I admire her desire to see growth in the personal relationship that she has with the Lord. She is never content with where she is spiritually. Julie wants to be continually conquering sin, and accordingly she is always looking for ways she can improve and grow more like Jesus. For example, when her family recently moved, she was not initially thrilled about the idea. Because she had lived in the home for 7 years, it was sad to leave.When they finally moved, she realized that her attitude about the move was not acceptable and she should trust that God has had her family move to the new neighborhood for a reason. She soon started looking for opportunities to show Christ’s love to people, through actions and words. When Kacey, a 13 year old neighborhood girl without many friends, started coming over to their house, Julie saw the opportunity to build a relationship with her and speak truth into her life. Kacey now comes to Julie with her problems, seeking advice. I admire Julie so much for stepping out, taking the time to talk to Kacey. Julie chose the hard thing, as she typically does, to do the hard thing and give up her time to be someone’s friend.

            Another hero of mine is Jessica Preisinger, or JP, one of the college aged girls in my church. Recently I have been getting to know her better and I am thankful for that. JP is such a role model in my life. When we have our girls’ nights and she is sharing about her life, I am always encouraged. JP is outstandingly humble and honest. She sees her sin and she is welcoming correction. I also wish to be more like JP because she is always seeking God’s desires over her own.  It is worthy of admiration how JP is quick to admit her faults, admit her downfalls but then praise the Lord for bringing her in and out of trials. I strive to be more like JP because I also want to become more humble, honest, welcoming of correction, and seeking the Lord’s will for my life over my own desires.

            Christina Dubell also plays a colossal role in my life. She is like a big sister to me, a good friend, and my spiritual mentor. I look up to Christina for numerous reasons. Christina is a passionate person and seeing that passion translate into her Christianity is encouraging. She is passionate about doing what the Lord would have for her life and listening for him. Because Christina is passionate, she also has incredibly strong convictions. I respect her boldness a lot. She is unwavering in her beliefs; if there is something that Christina believes is right or wrong, no one can convince her otherwise. She is also constantly in prayer and seeking the Lord for what she should do in seemingly every circumstance. Her care and compassion for people like me is also evident in her life. In today’s society, we are fast paced and Christina is willing to go against that and stop to care for others. Christina refuses to conform to the typical, rushing- through-life American way, and she will always stop whatever she is doing so that we can talk. It means a lot to me that she gives up her time to listen to what I have to say. When Christina and I finish talking, I always feel encouraged and uplifted. She constantly brings me back to the good news of Christ’s death and the redemption of my sin, tells me the things I don’t always want to hear, and looks at the positive side almost every situation. Christina has been my role model for a long time because of her passion, strong convictions, compassion and care, willingness to take time out of her busy schedule to listen, and her optimism.

            I look up to and attempt to emulate each of their lives in different ways. They are living the life that I wish I was living, and they are always encouraging and helping me to become more like Christ. One thing that all of these young women have in common is that none of them would look for people to applaud them or give them a pat on the back for the things that they do. They all are living their lives this way solely because it is what God has called them to do. They are my silent heroes, but –oh– their lives make a statement that is anything but quiet. I am thankful to the Lord that he has place each one of them into my life, and I hope and pray that they remain as active parts in my life for years to come.

 

All because of an Owl jacket. . .

Filed under: Uncategorized — beyondtheoutside @ 3:45 PM

So this happened a few weeks ago, but I was reminded about this Thursday.

I was at co-op, waiting for my ride to leave… I sat on the floor, watching all the moms scrambling to keep their kids by their sides. I saw the little kids playing freeze dance, sweating from running around. I head the babies crying. I’m an observant person, so I love watching the people every Thursday as I sit, waiting to leave.

About 2-3 weeks ago, I saw the Smiths getting ready to leave. Abbey had the cutest little owl jacket on. I commented on it, telling her how cute it was…I told her I was wondering if they had it in my size! We talked about it for a minute and she showed me the tag; it was from Target. I said I’d have to go see if they had it sometime. After a minute of two of small talk, Mrs T was ready to go. We said our goodbyes.

Since the time I saw the jacket and talked about it with her, I truthfully did not give it much thought. I mean, yeah, it was cute…She’s like 7 though, I’m not sure if it’d look too young on my since I’m 16…Anyway, I pretty much forgot about it.

This week I was sitting in my usual spot by the door, once again watching all the homeschooled families. Again, the Smiths walked by. Abbey was walking out the door, but then stopped, stuck her head back in, looked at me and smiled, then asked if I had gotten the jacket yet. I replied, telling her I had not, unfortunately. She smiled and left.

I was just thinking about that today…And I was thinking how, though I had pretty much forgotten about the comment I had made, Abbey had done everything but forgotten. I was just thinking about how a small conversation like that can have an impact on someone. I’m more than twice her age-I wonder if she was flattered that I had complimented her jacket-I would be if someone significantly complimented my outfit.

Anyway, it mostly made me think about how people younger than me watch me-everything I do and say. I was convicted about this…a year ago-give or take. I had just been freshly reminded that the choices that I make are not just my own. When I saw one of the younger girls copying the way I spoke, I was utterly surprised. It woke me up. It made me re-evaluate my life. It was good for me. And when Abbey reminded me of our little, seemingly unimportant, conversation, I woke up again. She remembered. It just made me think about how I have started to slip a little bit with how conscious I am in what I wear, how I speak, the way that I respond to my authorities, ect and how that impacts younger girls.

Okay, I feel that my thoughts have spiraled out of control and now they are not at all organized…The point of this was just that I am reminded that I have to think about how the choices I make affect people around me. That does not mean just younger people, but that is primarily where my focus has been. So I am just going to try to stay more aware of the way that I live and how the girls that are younger than me are watching me. Scary. In a way, it’s an honor, but it is most definitely a big responsibility. I feel that it is important to set a good example since the girls younger than me not only watch-but follow.

Okay, that’s all… Hopefully I made a little sense…

 

Matthew 10:8B, 11:29-30 October 21, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — beyondtheoutside @ 9:15 PM

“You received without paying; give without pay”

-God gave to me freely. In return, I should give freely to others. God give me blessings, gifts, and grace. I NEED to give my heart to God so I can then receive His grace to give to others. 

Matthew 11:29-30

29Take my yoke upon you, and(A) learn from me, for I am(B)gentle and lowly in heart, and(C) you will find rest for your souls.30For(D) my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”

What does that mean for me? How do I give him my burdens and heavy yoke? How do I take up his light yoke? Well, I could go to God, through prayer. I can ask God to take my burdens and troubles from me. I can leave them @ Jesus’ cross. He will take them and in turn give me his light weight yoke.

 

Matthew 9:37-38

Filed under: Uncategorized — beyondtheoutside @ 8:57 PM

Matthew 9:37-38 (English Standard Version)

37(A) Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; 38therefore(B) pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to(C) send out laborers into his harvest.”

There are so many lost people we neeed more people preaching the gospel and living that out. 

—>PRAY_For laborers. That God would send people into the world to be that light. 

—>PRAY_That if God calls ME to be that person, that I’d be willing to give all up to God and follow His will, whatever the cost. 

This was also from May, but yeah. Just some thoughts. I’ve been reading over my old journal entries from earlier this year, and this is something I am still thinking about. 

 

Matthew 8:1-13

Filed under: Uncategorized — beyondtheoutside @ 8:51 PM

 

Jesus Cleanses a Leper

 1When he came down from the mountain,(A) great crowds followed him. 2(B) And behold, a leper[a] came to him and(C) knelt before him, saying, “Lord, if you will, you can make me clean.”3And Jesus[b] stretched out his hand and touched him, saying, “I will; be clean.” And immediately his leprosy was cleansed. 4And Jesus said to him, (D) “See that you say nothing to anyone, but go,(E) show yourself to the priest and(F) offer the gift that Moses commanded,(G) for a proof to them.” 5(H) When he entered Capernaum, a centurion came forward to him, appealing to him, 6“Lord, my servant is lying paralyzed at home, suffering terribly.” 7And he said to him, “I will come and heal him.” 8But the centurion replied, “Lord, I am not worthy to have you come under my roof, but(I) only say the word, and my servant will be healed. 9For I too am a man under authority, with soldiers under me. And I say to one, ‘Go,’ and he goes, and to another, ‘Come,’ and he comes, and to my servant,[c] ‘Do this,’ and he does it.” 10When Jesus heard this,(J) he marveled and said to those who followed him, “Truly, I tell you, with(K) no one in Israel[d] have I found such faith. 11I tell you,(L) many will come from east and west and recline at table with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven, 12(M) while the sons of the kingdom(N) will be thrown into the outer darkness. In that place(O) there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.” 13And to the centurion Jesus said, “Go; let it be done for you(P) as you have believed.”(Q) And the servant was healed at that very moment.

-The centurion and the lepor both came to Jesus by faith.

     *”Lord if you will, you can make me clean.”-Leper

He believes that Jesus is all-powerful and He can heal him. I need to speak to God with such boldness. I need to come to Him in faith that He can do it and that if He doesn’t, it’s God’s goodness to me for that.

 

Ask, Seek, and Knock

Filed under: Uncategorized — beyondtheoutside @ 8:43 PM

Matthew 7:7-11

7(H) “Ask,(I) and it will be given to you;(J) seek, and you will find;(K) knock, and it will be opened to you. 8For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened. 9Or which one of you, if his son asks him for(L) bread, will give him a stone? 10Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a serpent? 11If you then,(M) who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will(N) your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him!” 

Sometimes, I don’t ask. If it isnt just given to me, I dont ask. I dont always seek things. If it is lost, I don’t seek it. Or, if it isn’t seen plainly, I don’t ask. And, I definitely don’t knock. I either barge in or I see a closed door, I walk away from the door. I wand/need to ask for things, I need to seek things and I need to knock as well. 

-Those were just some of my thoughts.

 

Something Greater. . .

Filed under: Uncategorized — beyondtheoutside @ 8:23 PM

Matthew 12:40-42 (English Standard Version)

“40For(A) just as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the great fish,(B) so will the Son of Man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth. 41(C) The men of Nineveh will rise up at the judgment with this generation and(D) condemn it, for(E) they repented at the preaching of Jonah, and behold,(F)something greater than Jonah is here. 42(G) The queen of the South will rise up at the judgment with this generation and condemn it, for she came from the ends of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon, and behold,(H) something greater than Solomon is here.”

 

Okay, so I was reading this a few months ago. Actually, I was thinking about this back on may 5th of this year. I was just thinking, about the parts that are in bold. I guess to me it was an encouragement, I thought about these people, Solomon and Jonah. These men were called by God to do great things with their lives. Sometimes when I think about them, I get intimidated. I think that I could never do the things they did. But after reading that I was thinking about how, you know, they didn’t do the great things themselves.  It wasn’t them there, something greater was there. And my prayer that morning was that God would remind me that it isn’t by my strength that He calls me to do hard things, something greater will be there. Something greater will be helping me, strengthening me and loving me. Anyway, those were my short thoughts. =)