Saturday, August 6, 2011

...that it's time to get down to business.

Well, well. Here we all are, at the beginning of August. And no matter where you live, this time of year is known for one thing.

Yes, people. It's time that kids like me go back to school.

It's impossible to avoid. The signs of it are everywhere- the commercials on TV, the supplies in stores everywhere, the schedules and letters arriving in the mail, the doomed looks on the faces of ninety percent of the kids you encounter, and the overjoyed looks on the parents faces that their kids have a safe place to go from eight to three.

Well, this blog is for all involved in school at all- the students, the teachers, the parents, and anyone else.

Now that we're going back to school, we have the perfect place to spread the love of Jesus!

Ha, ha. Big stereotype- I'm aware.

My youth pastor has said repeatedly that every summer, youth pastors just like him all over America dread the school year, because that's when they have students sit down and say, "I did something very bad this summer. I fell in with some bad people, and we were bored, and so we decided to..." You get the picture.

Well, these are the very people who need us the most- the ones who feel trapped by the bad choice they made. Even if they were Christian before their great mistake, we still need to support them and show them the love that we all need.

I know it gets hard. It's so easy to judge the people who make these choices, and it's even easier to write them off as bad people. It's second nature to us, because we feel like we would never do anything like that. But let's not forget that's our human nature- to mess up. So we can't treat them badly. We have to love them like Jesus loved us, in spite of our sins.

I know this is probably all stuff that you've heard before, but that just means it's important. And it IS. It's so important to love them. Because don't forget- one day, that could be us.

So get out there and get your love on, people.

(And please don't judge ME for that last line. I know it was cheesy. Sorry.)

Saturday, July 2, 2011

...that God is SO great.

Please, no comments on the fact that it's been a really, REALLY long time since I've blogged. I've been a little...well, less than responsible on the topic of keeping up with this blog. I'm hoping to turn that around.

Anyway, I just got back from camp, and I had the most AMAZING time! I made several new friends-some of whom (whose names will not be mentioned- BEN) seem to enjoy causing me pain- who I'm really glad I got the chance to get to know, made some awesome memories, and really grew in my walk with Christ. One of my favorite places to be (and most of my friends can testify to this) was the lake. Whether going on a waterslide into it, swimming in it, splashing in it, or just sitting by it and thinking, this lake is by far my favorite place on Earth. And while sitting by Crystal Springs Lake and spending some time with my Savior, I really got a glimpse of His great, awesome glory.

I have a friend (whose name really will go unmentioned) who accepted Jesus as his Lord and Savior this week. It was so wonderful to see this friend after he came to know Christ. On one instance this week, he and another friend were down by the lake before our night activity, and as I walked by, I was asked to take a picture of them. After I had, he proceeded to show me an amazing picture of him looking out over the lake while the sun set. It was quite possibly the most beautiful picture I had ever seen. It really gave me a glimpse of the side of God that I think I love most- His majestic side.

I can't speak for anyone but myself, but I spend WAY too much time caught up in technology, friends, and other distractions, and I forget to just take in the awesome power of our God. And it's not exactly easy, in a world full of crime, sickness, death, and sin, to always see the true glory of Jesus. But whenever I get the chance, I always try to sneak away from the world and just admire God.

I'm just so overwhelmed, I can't even begin to tell you how five days of God and I one-on-one have changed me. It's amazing to see even a glimpse. I won't even try to describe it, because there aren't any words. I really encourage you to try and get alone every day and just praise God for His exquisite love and beauty. It really gives you an appreciation for Him and everything He made. And it makes you feel so at peace! I haven't been this calm for a long, long time.

Trust me- praying for and about things is good, but it's always good to praise God for how awesome He is.

You'll love it if you try it!

Please? Just once. It's good for you (and not like eating your vegetables is good for you- good for your soul.)


Friday, June 3, 2011

...that we need to slow down and take things a little more seriously.

I have a problem.

My dad, being the smart person he is (no sarcasm there- he's really smart), gave my sister and I the responsibility of some chores around the house. Now, this is in preparation for the day when we have our own houses and will have to do these chores ourselves, and I am grateful to know how to do these important things.

That is not the problem.

The problem is that almost every week, I go too fast when vacuuming and don't do a good enough job. It's quite disappointing for both my dad and me.

Now, in real life, this doesn't really make too big of an impact. You just go a little slower, and everything get's picked up, right?

When you're officially in high school, it makes a difference.

My friends and I were celebrating the arrival of summer vacation earlier today, when it hit me: I AM A FRESHMEN IN HIGH SCHOOL! (Yes, I am still attending classes at a middle school, but it all counts towards high school, so it counts.)

It's getting pretty serious right now.

I can't just slack off anymore. It's not just between me, my parents, and my teachers anymore. Anyone who wants to employ me, or have me attend their school, or just know about me in general, can and will see these grades. It's scary.

In this fast paced, high-maintenence world that we live in, it's easy to get caught up in the world's fun and games. It's easy to lose sight of the prize while still in the running for it. We need to start paying more attention to ourselves and what we're doing. It is so incredibly simple to forget whose we are and the way we need to live in order to show the world the same love God showed us.

Like my vacuuming skills, we can all develop the practice of slowing down, taking our time, and doing it right.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

...that I'm not ready.

Well, well, well. Here I am, with one week of 8th grade left. I have finals this week, my team Olympics, I have to fly an airplane that I built, and there are a ton of open houses to attend for all of the graduates my family knows. Busy, busy times. So it was quite enlightening to hit Dairy Queen last night.

While inside of the fabulous establishment, we ordered. My mother, not knowing the event that was about to unfold, started to pay. While in the middle of a bite of my delicious Rasberry Truffle blizzard, we recieved our total:


Creepy, huh?

With all of the madness about the world ending, this was not very refreshing. Combined with this and the fact that the river that runs through my city is at a terrifying height, my blizzard was much less enjoyable.

But all of this gets me thinking...

...yes, folks, it's time for another one of Julie's apocalyptic blogs!

Hey- don't blame me for being obsessed with Revalation. Not my fault it's fascinating.

But seriously. It's time for more of my thoughts on Doomsday.

I'm seriously peeved about that guy who keeps telling the world that we're all going to die. He's basically just saying, "Hey, I'm smarter than God, because I figured Him out! I know when He's coming back for His true believers. Hey, let's go freak out humanity and spread news of their death!"

I feel quite strongly about this, in case you haven't figured out. It really pushes my buttons. Let me tell you why.

“However, no one knows the day or hour when these things will happen, not even the angels in heaven or the Son himself. Only the Father knows." -Mark 13:32

TAKE THAT!!!! HA!!!!

God won't let us know exactly when He's going to come back, because we don't have him figured out. We don't know His ways or the infinite purposes that He'll come for when He does. And to be honest, we are tiny little specks compared to the glory of God. We shouldn't know when He's coming back. I don't want to be expecting it, because that ruins some of the divine reason that He came back in the first place. I will not be ready for Him to take me hime until it's in His plan for me to go home. And I will not be satisfied with some human prediction of my Lord's intentions. I want the real deal. Maybe that's selfish, but I just want to see Him face to face on His terms, not someone else's. And I have a lot left to do in this life that He still wants me to accomplish. I can't be done now- I'm not even out of middle school yet. (Well, one more week, technically. I'll still be at a middle school, but it all counts towars high school, so...)

God's still got plans for us here on Earth, and He's not done with us yet.

So get out there, and don't worry about when He's coming back. You'll be ready.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

...that camoflauge is a sign of weakness.

Well, I haven't blogged in a while, have I?

Sorry. It's been a busy couple of weeks. My godfather got baptized last week, so we went out to see him. I apologize.

Anyways, lately I have had a game on my mind. The game is not a game you should play around valuable objects, with small children, or in small, compressed areas.

I have been thinking about paintball.

Ever since our youth group played, I have been quite into the game. It may have been the most interesting experience I have ever been a part of. I was the only female playing, and I actually did get a couple of guys out. By the end of the game, I had built myself a shelter and was waiting excitedly for my next chance to shoot. That's when my mom came. But the only problem I encountered was this: While the experienced guys were all wearing camoflauge, I was dressed in a bright green sweatshirt. Not my finest moment. But as I discovered, if you want to be very actively...involved with the game, it's not such a bad thing to be wearing a neon color.

Now, you ask, how does this relate to the Christian values I blog about?

I answer.......

Well, before anyone comtinues, I will say this: I DO NOT THINK YOU ARE WEAK FOR WEARING CANOFLAUGE!!!!!! THAT'S NOT WHAT I AM TRYING TO SAY!!! IT'S A METAPHOR!!!!


In a spiritual game of paintball, the teams are us (the Christians) against them (the ones who will try to bring us down. In other words, the world.) The teams are VERY uneven. And right now, it might look like we're losing. But raise you hand if you want to be wearing neon green, fighting on the front lines, ready to risk your ability to fight for Jesus here on Earth because you love Him so much.

I know I want to be.

Trust me, the game will leave scars; bruises; pain. But in the end, it's all worth it.

Until next time....