Thursday, December 31, 2009

The End of a Decade.

Today is the last day of 2009, the end of a decade. 

Throughout the day, I've reflected back on this year and realized that it really has been a good year, all considering.  I went to Africa for the first time.  I grew closer to God.  I learned a little bit more about who I'm supposed to be.

However you're celebrating the end of 2009, I hope you have a blast.  2010 is going to be a new beginning in many ways, and yet it will also be a continuation of what Christ has done in our lives. 

As we start a new decade, a new year, and a new day tomorrow, I hope we remember to shine the Lord's light wherever we go.  Be a beacon of light in a dark world.  Shine for Him. 

Happy New Year.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Who Does God Hate?

I found something today that I'd forgotten about until now, but it amused me enough to put it on here for today's post.

A few years back, when I was in the ninth grade, I had to write an opinion article about a controversial issue for my creative writing class. My teacher ended up sending it into the newspaper, and they published it within the next week. Here is the link: the amazingness. And here is a copy of what I wrote:

Letter: Hate not part of God's plan

"God hates faggots."

This slogan has spread through America during the past few years, spoken by people who claim to be Christian, spreading hatred toward homosexuals with Web sites, speeches, banners and that motto.
I am a Christian and I believe homosexuality is wrong, but there is no reason to hate someone simply because of a lifestyle with which you disagree. 

God is a God of love and mercy, not hate. 

John 3:16 does not say, "For God so loved the world - unless they are gay." 

God loves the world, homosexual or not, and he would not want so-called Christians going around spreading hatred in his name.

If we really want to change a lifestyle we disagree with, and teach anyone what being Christian means, we need to express our views through love, or we will convert more people to atheism than Christianity.

Now, my dad is a doctor, and he knows a lot of people, and so all day after this was published, random people kept coming up to him and saying things like, "Your daughter's article in the newspaper was a riot!" Now my dad had no clue I had even written this article, and so when he finally got his hands on a newspaper, upon reading the first sentence, he later told me that he had to set the paper down for a moment because he was so afraid that I had written something terrible about gay people.

I tend to say what I feel about certain issues, and so I'm sure that that was a legitimate fear in the back of my dad's mind. But anyways, when I saw this article for the first time in a couple of years, it brought back some amusing memories, and I hope this made you smile too.

I still agree with myself, by the way.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

The Dollar

Here is a poem that I wrote when I was ten years old.  I think that it shows that I have had a calling to help the needy since I was quite young.  It's poorly written, but I think it has a sweet message.

The Dollar 

A little girl got a dollar for her birthday.
She went out with her mother to spend it.
It was very dark and cold outside,
And the streetlights were brightly lit.

A rabbi at the temple called to her,
"I need that money! Do you know why?
Because my temple must be made bigger!"
But the little girl just passed on by.

A storekeeper selling dresses called to her,
"I need that money! Do you know why?
I have my family to feed, so please buy a dress!"
But the little girl just passed on by.

A homeless child sat on the street, hungry and alone.
"Girl, you need that money.  Do you know why?
So that you can spend it on things to make you happy."
But the little girl didn't pass on by.

What the little girl saw was a humble child,
Who had never had anything new,
So she reached out and gave the money to him.
I would! Wouldn't you?


Friday, December 25, 2009

Alone, Yet Not Alone

The other day, I went caroling at a nursing home along with some others that go to my church.  We wandered the halls, singing loudly and wishing the elderly a merry Christmas. 

At one point, we arrived at a room that belonged to a married couple.  They said that they had been married for seventy-eight years!  Can you imagine?  I've got to say, if I ever get married and live to be that old, I would like to share a room in my nursing home with my husband instead of with some crazy old person I don't even know... 

As everyone left their room, ready to find another set of seniors to serenade, I stayed behind to wish this couple (that I greatly admired) a merry Christmas. 

The woman, whose name was Elda Dean, smiled sadly.  "This is going to be a difficult year for us, but at least we're together, and the good Lord is going to see us through this hard time.  We know He will."  Her husband was listening and nodding with agreement.  It was obvious that the couple was unhappy about something, but I didn't know what.

"Well, would you like me to pray for you?" I offered hesitantly. 

Elda Dean's face lit up when I asked her this.  "If you could, I would like that very much," she replied eagerly. 

So I prayed.  It was a short prayer, but with every phrase I spoke, Elda Dean and her husband echoed my words with "Yes, Lord,"s, and "Amen, Hallelujah,"s. 

After the prayer, I stood up and wished them a merry Christmas once again.  Elda Dean looked at me with tears in her blue eyes, and she said, "This is the first Christmas we won't be able to spend with our family, and it's very hard.  We've got each other now, and that's all, but you've encouraged us both." 

Elda Dean's husband reached out from his bed to touch my hand, and he said, "We are Christians, and we believe in the Lord.  We believe that He will take care of us.  And miss, when you celebrate Christmas this year, please think about us and remember to pray." 

"I will," I promised, and left the room.  A bittersweet feeling flooded my chest.  It felt good to pray for someone and to know that I had encouraged a heavy heart or two, but it was also sad to know that even though I may have been encouraging, Elda Dean and her husband were still going to have a difficult Christmas without their family.

Today is Christmas Day, and I would like to remind you to be thankful for whatever family you're spending your Christmas with, for the nice home that you're staying at, for the wonderful Christmas food that you've been eating.  There are many people who are going without these things this year.  Always remember them.  They need your prayers.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

I was wrong.

Here is proof that I can be wrong sometimes.  Just thought I'd let you know.

Snow Day.JPGSo yeah, it did snow.  And it's still snowing.  And considering that it doesn't show any signs of stopping (I'm making Christmas lyrics relevant, haha), I figure we're probably going to get our five inches after all.

Aw, man. 

Foggy, Foggy, Muggy, Muggy, COLD

The weather today is just lovely.  The sun is shining.  The sky is a clear blue, without a cloud in sight.  The grass is green.  There's a light breeze, but not enough to keep away the heat of the day.  Do you want to see?  I'll show you a picture that I took from my porch this morning.  Here it is:


Okay, the truth is that the weather outside is nice... somewhere in the world.  And wherever that nice weather is right now, I would sure like to be there!  I think the sun may have disappeared from my town for a while.  Instead of pretty sunshine, all that's left is mug and fog and cold.  Perfect December weather. 

Actually, I'm a bit relieved.  It was supposed to snow at least five inches this morning, and since the morning time is nearly gone, I have this lovely feeling that the snow will not fall today.  I prefer fog much more than snow.

I figure I won't be getting out much today, so I may end up writing another post later on about what I intended to write on earlier. 

Either way, the countdown clock has begun... two days till Christmas.  Hope you've finished shopping.  

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Christmas Poems

Today is one of those days where I do not have enough time to write a full entry, so here is a promised poem from my childhood.  I do believe that I wrote it when I was in the fifth grade.  Enjoy.


Let's take a look at Christmas,
So merry and happy indeed.
Bouncy balls and little dolls
And a storybook to read

Let's save time for Christmas,
Stockings over the fire,
Candy canes for you and me,
Ev'ry year the tree is higher.

Let's not wait for Christmas,
Blanketed in happy snow.
Carolers singing, jingle bells ringing,
And then there's the mistletoe.


Saturday, December 19, 2009

He Will Be Missed

I would like to dedicate today's post to Pastor Don Lane, who passed away this morning from leukemia.  He was an amazing example of what a strong, Christian man should be, and he proudly shined Christ's love for all of Amarillo to see.  He has influenced so many people during his life, and his dreams will continue to move forward.  We know where he is right now, and that is with his Lord in heaven.  Please pray for the family and for all those he touched with his life.

Friday, December 18, 2009

As He Holds You

A couple of nights ago, when I was reading the Bible before bed, I came across a verse in the book of Job that caught my eye. 

Job 14:16, TNIV
Surely then You will count my steps but not keep track of my sin.

In the Message version,
You'll watch over every step I take, but You won't keep track of my missteps. 

I have read Job before, but this verse has never stuck out to me until now.  I think it is a huge example of God's love for us.  He is there with us through every step of our lives, through every decision that we make.  He knows each hair on our heads, and He guides our every step, but He doesn't keep track of each time we stumble, each time we take a misstep. 

Just like everyone, I am a sinful person.  And just like everyone, I have days where I feel completely alone in the world, like nobody could love me for the terrible person that I am.  It is nice to have yet another reassurance from the Lord that when I feel alone, someone is there, and He isn't counting anything against me, no matter how horrible I am inside.  He forgives me each time I mess up. 

I don't know if there are any problems in your life right now.  I don't even know who is reading this.  Whoever you are, and whatever you're going through, I just wanted to remind you that God is still there.  He still cares. 

And as He holds you tonight, He holds nothing against you.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Following the Crowd

Today my brother, Luke, and I went Christmas shopping.  Upon arrival at my house, when we were walking up the hill to my house from my barn, we heard a deafening noise, and then realized several hundred geese were flying overhead. 

"Take a picture, take a picture!" Luke shouted, and so I grabbed my camera and managed to take a picture. 
I don't know if this even gives you an idea of how many geese there actually were, as they were in this great long line, and the camera wouldn't fit them all into the screen.  The noise that they were making was incredible, and so Luke and I sat out and watched them for a while before going inside. 
After a few moments, Luke says in a kind of awed voice, "Emily, where are they going?"

"They're flying south for the winter because it's warmer there," I explained in a sisterly way, and he shook his head, pointing as the birds flew into the direction of the setting sun.

"I know all that, Emily.  What I want to know is, why are they flying west?"

I didn't have an answer for him.

As a matter of fact, I'm still a little confused.

All I have left to say is, when you follow the crowd, there's a good chance you're going to get lost.

Exodus 23:2"Do not follow the crowd in doing wrong. ..."

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Rockin' Up There

 I Miss You
Pencil, paper, acoustic guitar...
I write in silence, beneath a sky of stars,
This simple letter in the form of a song.
Just had to tell you before it's been too long.

I still miss you, and I still think about you.
When I close my eyes at night, I still sometimes see your face,
And I still wish you were here right now,
Playing your guitar in this place.
At least I know you're rockin' up there.

December 15th, it seems so long ago.
I'm feeling stronger, but healing's always slow.
Sometimes your memory hurts until I cry.
Sometimes in summer, I lay down and watch the sky,

Cause I still miss you, and I still think about you.
When I close my eyes at night, I still sometimes see your face,
And I still wish you were here right now,
Playing your guitar in this place.
At least I know you're rockin' up there.

And it's true what they say,
Time does heal the pain,
But I'll say this again,
Just in case you didn't know.
I still think about you,
And I bet I always will.
Love you, brother, still,
But I'll keep moving.

I still miss you, and I still think about you.
When I close my eyes at night, I still sometimes see your face,
And I still wish you were here right now,
Playing your guitar in this place.
At least I know you're rockin' up there.
You're rockin' up there.

December 15, 2009
2 years later.
Rock In Peace, Gatlin

Monday, December 14, 2009

The Hungry, The Thirsty

The other day, I was looking at a website that hosted all sorts of "dumb laws," such as how it is illegal to go whaling while in Oklahoma and how you cannot lasso a fish while in Tennessee.  Some of these laws were indeed quite dumb, but I came across one law that I did not find dumb at all.  In fact, I think it should be enforced nationwide, instead of in one state.  Here is the law.

In the state of Arizona, it is unlawful to refuse a person a glass of water.

And here is the listed reason for this law:

In the summer-time, with temperatures reaching a topping 120 degrees, often people will need water, but may not have the money to pay for it (mainly applies to homeless). Hence, the law. It is very much in effect today, with businesses being reported (and heavily fined) who refuse to supply water to those who ask for it. Convenience stores are the primary businesses who uphold this law. -Dumb Laws 

Today I read that there are more than 3.5 million homeless people in the United States today.  With the economy being like it has been, it is becoming more and more difficult for America's poor to sustain themselves through this difficult time.  Did you know that homelessness rates have not decreased since 2007?  How is that for the American dream?  These people are living on the streets, when there is the wealthy all around them, either openly refusing to do anything to help or not even realizing what is right under their noses.

I was volunteering at a local soup kitchen a few weeks ago when one of the staff members spoke about how the average age of a homeless person in my city is nine years old.  This past school year, I have been teaching a weekly Bible study for homeless children living in a shelter, and the fact that the average age of homelessness in my town is that young still blew my mind away.  My little brother is ten years old, and I can't imagine him having already been living on the streets for a year. 

When we see a homeless person, it is easy to feel scorn.  Why can't they get a job?  Why do they have to fritter their money away on drugs and alcohol?  This is their fault.  The truth is, it often is the fault of the homeless person, but what about his children?  What about the abused wife who flees to the streets simply to avoid being beaten one more time?  What about the elderly who cannot afford to stay at a home?  What about the veteran who fought for our freedom and is now too emotionally scarred to live a normal life?  What about the man who is disabled and cannot keep a job? 

And you know, even the people who do fritter their money away on worthless things deserve to be able to eat.  They deserve a glass of water when they're thirsty, don't they?  This reminds me of Matthew 25 in the Bible, where Jesus talks about the sheep and the goats.

Then the King will say to those on His right, "Come, you who are blessed by My Father; take your inheritance the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world.  For I was hungry and you gave Me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave Me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited Me in, I needed clothes and you clothed Me, I was sick and you looked after Me, I was in prison and you came to visit Me."

Then the righteous will answer Him, "Lord, when did we see You hungry and feed You, or thirsty and give You something to drink?  When did we see You a stranger and invite You in, or needing clothes and clothe You?  When did we see You sick or in prison and go to visit You?"

The King will reply, "I tell you the truth, whatever you did for the least of these brothers of Mine, you did for Me." 

Then He will say to those on His left, "Depart from Me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels.  For I was hungry and you gave Me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave Me nothing to drink, I was a stranger and you did not invite Me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe Me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after Me."

They also will answer, "Lord, when did we see You hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help You?"

He will reply, "I tell you the truth, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for Me." 

Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life. 

There are so many people around the world who are hungry, who are thirsty, who have nothing to their names, and when we do not serve them, Jesus counts that against us. 

Jesus does not specify, "Well, you fed the little children but ignored the lazy homeless men, so that's okay... so long as you fed the innocent ones."  No, He said to help the least of these, which is the poor.  All of the poor.  And that includes the smelly, bearded men who live on the street corner with a cigarette in their hands and a bottle of booze at their feet.  If they are hungry, it is still our job as Christians to feed them. 

The next time you see someone who is hungry, no matter what they look like, no matter what they smell like, no matter how lazy or 'sinful' they are, why don't you buy them a burger from McDonalds?  Why don't you give them a water bottle so they can have something to drink?

There are so many hungry, so many thirsty, so many needy people wherever you look, and this poverty epidemic will not end unless people like you and I work to stop it.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Excerpt of "Because"

I remember getting dressed, putting on my black and pink school hoodie and a pair of raggedy blue jeans that I cared nothing about.  Sneakers.  I pulled my dark hair back into a ponytail.  The rubber band didn't match.  Like I cared.

I remember climbing into my car, grasping the steering wheel with a zombie-like determination.  My mom charging out of the house.  "Oh no you don't, Ava.  You are not driving.  Not like this."

"I'm going to the school, Mom, whether you want me to or not."

"Then let me drive.  I'll take you."

I shuffled over to the passenger seat of my car, recalling that I hadn't been on this side since I was first learning how to drive, freshman year.  Cade's seat was the back seat in those days.  I always called shotgun and he always let me.

A lone tear trailed down my cheek, but I rubbed at it until it went away.  I was not going to cry. 

We pulled into the high school parking lot.  It was about one in the morning, technically a Wednesday, six hours after Cade's body was found. 

It took us ten minutes to find a parking spot. 

The football field was filled with a glowing iridescence.  Half our high school had to be out there, and anyone else in town who had heard about what happened.  I stumbled through the moist grass, wading through the thick silence with an expression on my face that showed nothing.  I could feel all eyes pointed in my direction.  I could almost hear the whispers.

That's his best friend, Ava Simone. 

How could she not have known?

Maybe she did.

And then I was swept into the crowd.  A waxy white candle was pressed into my hand, and its flame flickered eerily in the night's gentle breeze.  The entire field was filled with the glowing lights, a sky of stars, bringing purple spots to my eyes.

"I'm so sorry.  We loved him too.  Here, get up to the front.  Do you have anything to say?  He was such a good friend."

We've had six student deaths in the last twenty-three years of our high school, not including Cade's.  Two were car accidents, one for medical reasons, one accidental overdose on crack or something, one was killed in a gang shooting, and one was a complete fluke... he fell out of a tree and hit his head on a rock.

This was the first suicide.

I'm not exactly sure why we all know to come to the football field.  It's not like it's a planned thing.  But when somebody is gone forever, you can't help but feel a longing to find them again.  Like they simply got lost in the woods and you have to search them out.  You gravitate to the place where you best remember them, where they last spoke to you.  When you lose someone like... him, you can't just sit at home, curled up on the couch with a blanket over your head, smothering away reality.  You have to keep moving, keep living, keep searching.  You just keep searching and searching and searching. 

But sometimes, no matter how long or how hard you search, there will never be any answers. 

Friday, December 11, 2009

The Sunrise

One of the biggest problems for me is sleep.  I have had insomnia since I was eight years old, and when sleep is required in order to function and make good grades at school, it can be especially frustrating to lie awake at night, wishing I could fall asleep. 

Sometimes there is an issue that is bothering me, and that is the real cause I cannot sleep one night.  Maybe I am worried about a test.  Maybe I am concerned for a friend.  Maybe I am simply worrying because I am a worrier, which can be a problem.  Sometimes I can't sleep at night because I'm worrying that I can't sleep. 

I feel almost a sense of despair when I see the gentle iridescence of the sun slowly peeking over the horizon at about six in the morning, and I first begin to realize that I truly have not slept all night.  But if it is a day where I do not have anything going on, and I am free to sleep all day if need be, then the glow of the sunrise can be a comfort.  It causes a sense of peace and serenity to wash over the room, and it can bring warmth to my heart.

I found a verse today that gives me the same sense of tranquility as a gentle sunrise, and I would like to share it with you.  I don't know who is reading this, but maybe you too have a problem with worrying, with sleeping.  If you do, maybe this verse will give you the same level of comfort as it does me. 

Soak in the Lord's presence.  Let Him rain down peace in your life. 

Psalm 4:8In peace, I will lie down and sleep,
for you alone, Lord,
make me dwell in safety.

Monday, December 7, 2009

The Monster

On days like today when I have absolutely no time to write, I will post a random poem from my childhood.  Here is a poem written by my father when I was in the fifth grade.

The monster was scary.
It had big, bloody claws.
It reached out toward Mary,
So I yelled, "Help us, Pa!"

Pa came in running
With shotgun in tow.
He pointed it at the beast,
And boy, did it blow!

There were monster guts everywhere,
From ceiling to floor.
It took days just to clean up
The stuff off the door.

If I recall correctly, I began the first line of the poem and left to go to the bathroom or something, and when I returned, there was this in its stead.  I think I was traumatized for months after this.

I will write something tomorrow.  I will.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

The stairs that lead to nowhere.

For my seventeenth birthday, I did not have a big celebration.  Instead, I invited a few girl friends over to spend the night.  Towards the beginning of the party, before everyone showed up, a couple of friends and I decided to go out and explore the old abandoned house that rests on top of a steep hill about a quarter mile away from my own house.
The house has existed exactly the way it is now since before I moved into my home six years ago.  It is only half-finished, but it is filled with all sorts of interesting objects: faded paintings, shower hooks, working toilets, formerly nice chairs, and an expensive Kubota tractor.  All of these things are inside of a house that has no roof, and only partially-finished walls.

My friends, Lauryn and Brently and I, found a gap about a foot and a half wide between the building and the cliff face.  It leads around the entire house, and we spent a while exploring behind the building, looking around and wondering why on earth anyone would build a nice, two story home facing a breathtaking sunset each night, and then never bother to finish the structure.

We soon came across something about five or six yards away from the house that brought us to a sudden stop.  We were stunned into silence as we stared upon the oddity that rested before us.  It blew away everything about the house that we thought was a mystery before.
There was an aging, wooden staircase that led to nowhere.  Literally, nowhere.

It is not uncommon for people out where I live to have ranch-style staircases outdoors that help them better move around their property, but the stairs always end up leading somewhere.  This set of stairs led about half way down the hill, and then stopped abruptly.  It wasn't like they were half built.  They looked finished.  It was baffling.

Yuccas and weeds blanketed the earth right below the bottom stair step, not that you would want to go down any further, as the ground was far too steep. 

Even after my party ended, the lonely staircase continued to linger in the back of my mind.  This may sound strange, but the stairs remind me of something that Jesus talks about in the Bible.  No, He doesn't say anything about a staircase that leads to nowhere, but He does mention something that reminds me of this place in Mark 4:1-20, the Parable of the Sower. 

Mark 4:18-19
Still others, like seed sown among thorns, hear the Word; but the worries of this life, the deceitfulness of wealth and the desires for other things come in and choke the Word, making it unfruitful.

I am only creating a possible scenario here, but maybe the original builders of this property started this house with exciting dreams of a life in the country.  Maybe they wanted a home overlooking the sunset.  Maybe they wanted to be able to see the stars every night, and smell the grass when they walked out their front door. 

But then, maybe their dreams began to fade when the harsh reality of life set in.  Finances, job loss, other shiny things that begged for them to purchase instead.  Maybe they found a fancy condo in New York and decided that city life would be better suited for their lifestyles. 

Whatever happened, this family must have begun the home with excitement, and then the excitement somehow faded away, until the home was nothing but an aging, unfinished structure, something that will sit on the face of a cliff until it crumbles away into nothing.  The stairs, the house, all of it has become worthless, unfruitful.

Sometimes our walk with Christ may become just like the staircase.  We start out excited, following His every command with pure joy.  We build our relationship with God a little more each day and we're happy about it.  But then other things come along- finances, a hectic life, a tragedy- and Christianity doesn't seem to suit our life the way we want it to... it seems much easier to focus on something else.  We don't have enough time for Him.  We find ourselves taking a break from a lifestyle that used to be lived out with eagerness and excitement.  We keep moving farther away until our relationship with Him is nothing but a crumbling structure on the face of a hill, fading a little bit more each day. 

I encourage you, don't let your relationship with Christ become like these stairs.  Don't let it be unfruitful.  Don't let it lead to nothing in the end.  Even when the excitement wears away, stay strong.  Continue the plan God has for you.  Don't let your life end up completely pointless, like useless stairs that will never help anyone.

Thursday, December 3, 2009


When I see the world, its vast sorrows and shame,
And I look up to heaven and see Your pure gace,
I wonder at why our focus is off.
Why, if heaven is great and the world is so tough,
Why we do not desire the plans of Your heart.
Why we go off on our own and think we're so smart.
I know you are God, and I know I am small,
Yet I blow off Your plans like they're nothing at all.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

The Room Full of Zombies

Starting on Tuesday (today) of this week, my school has begun something called Spirit Week.  On Spirit Week, there are various days leading up to Homecoming in which you dress up with the special theme of the day to gain school spirit.  Today was International/Tourist Day.  I dressed up like I was a European exchange student. 

Spirit Week is usually a time where everyone is feeling silly and loud and excited about absolutely nothing at all.  Everyone enjoys dressing up and competing with each other for the weirdest costumes.  This excitement usually bleeds through to all of our activities for the rest of the day.  I mean, it's hard to be serious when you're wearing a giant sombrero.

Each Tuesday, my Christian high school gathers together and has chapel.  There is a small, student-led worship service, and a speaker (that is usually our Bible teacher.) 

Today, however, when it came time to sing worship songs, few people did.  As I looked around me, I saw blank faces and tired eyes.  Nobody was moving around or singing.  Nobody seemed to be enjoying themselves.  It usually takes a moment for the speaker to calm everyone down after an especially invigorating worship service.  This week, the large auditorium was dead silent.  Everyone stared straight ahead.  It was like the room was full of empty-brained zombies.  Myself, included!

I could tell that my Bible teacher noticed, and it bothered him.  He said, "This should be an exciting day, but nobody seems excited at all.  Nobody seems excited about anything... maybe not even God."  No one disagreed with him.  In a way, I think it was true.

This year for me, and I don't know why, seems to be more exhausting than exhilarating.  I am finding myself wearied about things that used to thrill me.  Even getting up and going to church is starting to turn into a monotonous, repetitive task- something that I do every single week without fail.  When my alarm clock rings for the morning, I can barely open my eyes.  I read a chapter or two of the Bible every night.  I used to feel eager about it.  Now I just feel... blah.  You may feel the same way.

And why is that, I wonder?

Is this holiday season stocked so full with commercialization and the hustle and bustle of everyday life to the point that it is wearying us beyond excitement?  Are we forgetting the real reason behind why we should be excited about life?  About God? 

The apostles in the Bible were absolutely stoked about Christ.  They wanted everybody to know that they were happy. They sang and rejoiced while they were being flogged with whips.  They weren't satisfied with their lives, but not in the same way that we might be now.  They weren't feeling bored... no, they weren't satisfied because they wanted to do more for Christ, to tell more people about Him, to share until the whole world heard. 

Who have you told about Jesus lately?  Seriously, when was the last time you witnessed to someone?

Over the summer, I have a lot of free time, and because of that, I enjoy going on mission trips and going to the park to witness to kids and volunteering at mission-based organizations.  I get to see the work of Christ unfolding before my very eyes.  It's so easy to become excited about something that is so tangible, something that you are experiencing every single day.

Now, life is so busy.  Many of us may not see God in the same way as we did four or five months ago.  We might not be as focused on serving solely Him anymore.  And that needs to change.

I'm not quite sure yet what it's going to take.  Maybe we need to make ourselves be over exuberant during worship time at church until we start to feel true excitement about praising Him.  Maybe we need to volunteer our spare time more.  Maybe we need to be out there, witnessing to the world, even during the school year, because there are still too many people who do not know Him.

I am going to try and write more about this in a few days, but until then, I want to strongly encourage you to fight against the December blah-ness.  Don't let yourself become apathetic and world-weary.  Find excitement and joy in simple things.  And most of all, shine like a spotlight until Jesus can be openly seen wherever you are.  Shine through the apathy, shine through the commercialism, shine through the lazy contentment, shine through everything until everyone can see Him inside of you.