Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas!!

It's been so long since I've posted! Life has been really busy, especially since I work at the mall. (By the way, YES, I DID survive both Black Friday and the late holiday hours at the mall!)

I could not pass up this opportunity to express my JOY at having a personal relationship with the Creator of the universe, a love affair with the very One who is to be celebrated on this special day! God is so gracious in giving us lowly human beings who, not only on this day, but on every day of our existence, deserve hell itself, yet He offers of heaven in the form of His Son, sacrificially offered to give us life to the fullest in HIM! I am truly humbled that God in His sovereignty saw fit to have all that Old Testament prophecy come to fruition, not only in the sending of His Son, but also in Jesus' life, death on the cross, burial, and resurrection! If everything stopped at Jesus' birth, we would have no salvation! But praise be to God it did not end there!! Salvation is FREE and it is HERE and it is available to ALL who are willing to accept Christ's GIFT! :) Okay, I won't continue on this forever (though I must say, this is a worthy rant). But a huge MERRY CHRISTMAS to everyone, and I hope to get a few more blog posts in before the year ends!
Photo courtesy of Google Images

ALSO, a huge HAPPY BIRTHDAY to my little sister who turns 18 today, yay!! :)

How will you all be celebrating Christmas, and most importantly, celebrating Jesus this year?

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Clearly I'm Losing It

Written earlier today! Happy Thanksgiving everyone! :) 

Someone pinch me. Please. Actually, scratch that. Whenever I actually tell someone to pinch me and they make a motion to do so, that's usually a good enough dose of reality for me, ha.


There. I got it out. See, I knew Thanksgiving was tomorrow, in my head. (I mean, where else would you know it?) But then it hit me. WHAM!!!! Yeah, it was THAT big, all caps with extra exclamation points.


Okay so by this point you're probably wondering if there's a point to this post, and I'm beginning to question that myself as a matter of fact. Hmm...

*insert Jeopardy music*

Well guys, after some pondering I've figured out why the fact that THANKSGIVING IS TOMORROW!!! is so startling to me. It really goes to show how quickly time flies! This time last year, I was not in the best state. I had a broken relationship, both with God and the Favorite, which was extra emotional but a huge period of growth for me (which, looking back, I can say I'm extremely grateful for!). This time last year I was finishing out a semester in school, and I haven't been back since! This time last year, I was 20 (ha!) and I was living with a close friend in DC. So many changes! I've had so many ups and downs and arounds since last Thanksgiving, and now I look back and I'm just struck with the reality that all those months have passed between then and now, never to be returned to! (...not that I want to return lol...and sorry for my serious run-on sentence!)

In the midst of all these things, both past and present, I can always find way more things to be thankful for than anything else. I just have an incredible amount of GRATEFULNESS and THANKFULNESS to God for His sovereignty in every situation I've faced! In my life, EVERY day is Thanksgiving. :)

Photo courtesy of Google Images

....well, except for the giant meal.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

24 Years and Counting!

Happy 24th Anniversary to my amazing parents!! 24 years, 7+ houses, 6 kids, 2 (soon to be 4!) high school graduations, 1 college graduation, and 1 son-in-law later, they are still so in love with each other and still serving the Lord!! I'm really thankful for their godly example of love. I'm not married yet, but when I am, I know that there are so many positive aspects of their union that I'd like to model! Not everyone can say that, so I know it's a blessing. :-)

Once again, Happy Anniversary, with many, many, many more to come!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Revisiting Sunday

So Sunday's post in a nutshell: I talked about how I don't celebrate Halloween, but I don't knock those who do! I think that for believers, both those who celebrate and those who don't, we should take advantage of the fact that the world is coming to our doors and share Christ with them! Now it'd be pretty bad if I did all that talking writing and didn't actually act on my own words, huh? But I did! Well, my whole family did! Here are some pics showing how we spent our Halloween. It was fun!

My mommy orchestrated the whole thing! :) She got the candy and goody bags, and she also wrote a little poem to put into the bags! She really enjoyed talking to the kids who came to the door, and their parents too!

The sis participated in the writing process too!
I'm writing out my church's information as well as the poem that my mom created on pieces of cardstock!

Hehe, Daddy would turn his head every time I wanted to get a picture! He helped stuff and write on the bags!

There are so many ways to be a light for Christ! This was a pretty creative way of being one, if I don't say so myself :-)

How did you guys spend your Halloween? Trick-or-treating? Church? Or just a day indoors?

Sunday, October 31, 2010

When the World Knocks at Your Door

I don't celebrate Halloween. Just thought I'd get that out there from the beginning.

My parents never had my siblings and I celebrate it at all growing up, and now that I'm older and making my own decisions and developing my own convictions based on the Word, I also choose to not celebrate Halloween. Wait, wait, I know what you're thinking! That I'm one of those judgmental Christians who seeks to impose my beliefs on everyone around me, whether or not they have the same convictions. Nope! That's not me. I definitely believe that it is every believer's responsibility to make decisions on everything they do based upon what God says in His Word and the convictions He has placed on them, not do stuff because everyone else does (or doesn't do it, for that matter!). I know several Christians who are strong in their walk and feel complete freedom to celebrate this day. I know others who literally start preaching against it the moment October 1st hits. Either way, each person has their stance, and it just so happens that this is how God has led me personally.

When the siblings and I were younger, my parents would put a sign on our door every Halloween asking people not to knock....I mean, that's way easier then getting up and down to answer the door only to disappoint people when you don't have candy to offer! We would pop popcorn and watch movies, or sometimes go to a church event, you know, one of those Fall Festivals that get put on with games and snacks and whatnot. There was always an alternative to celebrating Halloween, and looking back I appreciate that.

Recently my thinking was challenged about the celebration of this holiday. Sadly, I don't remember the pastor who said it, or his exact words, but this was the basic idea. As Christians, we are constantly seeking out people, going out of our way to share the gospel and to reach out to people. Many times we'll get more rejections than people accepting Christ! But on this one day out of the year, we actually have people coming TO us, of their own accord! What better opportunity to reach out to both kids and adults (oh, and teens too!) with the hope we have in Christ?

Granted, this isn't to create an open door policy that allows us to put ourselves into situations that would compromise our testimony for the sake of "sharing Christ." Obviously we are to use wisdom and only operate under the Spirit's leading! But I think, especially now that I'm older (yeah I know, all 21 years of my life haha), and now that I've actually developed a conviction about this, I can move in the direction of not shutting people out who think/believe differently than me, but instead I can be looking for ways to reach out and show Christ's love to the very people who are reaching out to me! And who knows, maybe it wouldn't hurt to share Christ with some candy! Disclaimer:  I'm sure it would be harder for a family with small children who doesn't celebrate Halloween to constantly have their door opening and closing with the intention of sharing Christ with the people asking for candy, but the kids not fully grasping the gravity of what's happening (i.e., all they know is that other kids are getting to dress up in cool costumes and go door to door for candy, but they can't.). So again, use discernment, and stand firm in whatever conviction the Lord leads you to from His Word!

I certaintly don't condemn those who disagree with me. That's not the point of this post! I simply know that I want to take advantage of every opportunity provided to me to share the love of Christ with the people around me. Every day. Including October 31st.

Be wise in the way you act towards outsiders; make the most of every opportunity. Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone. Colossians 4:5-6

Photos courtesy of Google Images

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Ten Years and Counting!

Time flies so quickly, and it can be so hard to realize it until it's passed. This past weekend I had the privilege of celebrating my church's 10th anniversary, woohoo! God has done some awesome things through the ministry at Trinity Baptist Church. For one, this is the church where I accepted Christ as my Lord and personal Savior! (PRAISE HIIIM!!) Pastor Eddie (who also happens to be my best friend's dad-pretty cool, eh?) preached a sermon about heaven and hell, and I realized that even though I had a complete head knowledge of salvation, I had never truly accepted Jesus Christ into my heart, making me unsure of my eternal destination. So on February 18th, 2001, I entered into the family of God, and it was the best decision I ever made. Ever. :) So yeah, it's been awesome growing up in one place, from junior high, to the teen class, to the A-Z Discipleship class, until I left for college! And even then whenever I'd come home I knew I could find a home at Trinity. There's definitely an awesome body of believers there.

Unfortunately I wasn't able to capture all of the photos I wanted of the church's anniversary service, but at least I took some! The day before the Sunday service there was a really nice dinner for all the members and some guests, so this is where the pictures are from.

The tables were so nicely decorated!

I was pretty much in love with the drink fountains. :) 

These were the centerpieces for the tables. The glass containers were filled with mustard seeds, representative of the faith we've had in God to make it this far as a church to further God's kingdom! Very creative and symbolic.

I pretty much loves the rose balloons.

A few of the teens.

The parents! :) 

Blurry, but the praise team is singing.

My pastor is on the left, Pastor Reynolds is in the center. (He's the pastor of Trinity's sending church!) Pastor Davis is on the end. He preached on anniversary Sunday.

Me and Pastor Eddie!

Whether I'm at Trinity or somewhere else in the future, I know that the more Trinity grows together in the Lord, the more it will be able to do for God's kingdom! She may not be a huge church, but she's impacting the community with the gospel of Christ in a great way, and because of that God is glorified. Looking forward to seeing all that happens in the next ten years! ;-)

Thursday, September 30, 2010

It's Over!!! ...Or Is It? Day 30

My, how time has flown! Today is Thursday, September 30, meaning it's the last day of September, meaning it's the official last day of my fast food and Facebook fast. Let's recap on how it went.


Some days it was easy.
Some days it was hard.
I don't really miss Facebook.
I miss fast food like crazy (especially Checkers).
I've saved money by planning to eat food in advance instead of stopping by BK in my rush.
I've saved time/used time better by not having Facebook as a distraction/time-waster. 


There you have it, folks! I'm not sure whether or not I'll be back on Facebook yet or not. There are people on my university campus I could probably reach better through Facebook, but we shall see. As far as fast food is concerned, this month has been a good exercise in discipline for me, as well as watching my funds. (Which is why it's pretty cool that the Walking Worthy young women's class at Calvary Chapel is going through the book Money and Possessions: The Quest for Contentment by Kay Arthur! Very timely. I have only been to one class so far, but I look forward to continuing to grow with these young women in the area of biblical financial stewardship.) I don't doubt that I'll be eating fast food again, I just hope to continue watching my budget and intentionally make better food choices.
Some of the ladies at the Walking Worthy young adult women's class.
Two of the ladies! And the cutie who kept getting passed around. :) 
It was her birthday the same day! 

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Weekdays, Weeknights, Weekends

My dad, two of my brothers, one of my sisters and I went on a boat ride with my dad's coworkers! We got to see several sites in DC  from a water perspective! :) 

Joshua chillin out, maxin, relaxin all cool... :) (catch the reference? hehe)
Washington Monument

The Memorial Bridge. I've driven over it before, but it was only while riding under it in a boat that I realized that the bridge is literally a memorial!

The Kennedy Center. Lots of good times here with the Favorite.

Hanging out, enjoying the ride. Little Mister got to drive the boat for a little while. He was really enjoying that :) 

Daddy caught the "boat fever" :) 

We were over by the airport so we saw and heard lots of planes overhead.

Erin's just enjoying the ride. :)

The former Presidential yacht, the Sequoia. Pretty snazzy, eh?

Little Mister (#33) is playing freshman football at his high school! He's on offense, taking a break at his first scrimmage.

His school was the visiting team, and they definitely won, woohoo!

Helping a fellow teammate off the field.

Kinda dark, but I went to Africa Day at a friend's church. There were South African's there too, which made me happy :) It was nice to see everyone all dressed up in their country's cultural garb and hear the music and eat the food... :)

Went out to eat at an Ethiopian restaurant with a friend and fellow student from Howard U! We've been friends since freshman year. It's crazy how much time has flown by!

Yeah, we pretty much destroyed every last bite....except for what I put in my take out box, lol.

Mango juice, yummm.

I love nights out, especially when they involve friends and/or family, and food :)