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Archive for November, 2010

My computer is drowning in rice…

So I’m a bit of a clutz… as in, I accidentally spilled water on my computer.

The keys have a really cool sheild thing that protects from water, so I just mopped that up and it was all fine, but a drop or so of water managed to get into the screen. So there was a huge part of my screen which had water in it… so it just shone brighter than the rest of the computer did.

So I put it in rice.

(Yeah, I wear a lot of bracelets. Usually around 8)

But that’s about as far into the rice as my computer would go. :/ Luckily, it covered the area where the corner was covered in water.

bottom corner of my screen to cover the chat box on the bottom.. (Btw, that’s my science class :) ) Gotta love online school.

So yeah. That’s what I’ve been up to lately. :)

Oh, and for this month of December, our family is doing a Christmas tree survivor thing. We have so many hideous decorations that we’re going to be voting one off every week, and then the week leading up to Christmas we are going to vote off one a day. :) I’ll keep you posted–it should be interesting. ;)

Becca

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So I’m going through a major U2 phase right now, and I’ve been listening to them all the time. One song I really like called “A Man and a Woman” has a really interesting line in it.

“I could never take a chance of losing love to find romance.”

I love how much U2 distinguishes between the two. People tend to forget that romance and love are two different things. When teenagers think of love, they’re really thinking of romance most of the time.

Let me explain.

When a girl thinks about love, half the time she thinks about walking through fields of daisies hand-in-hand with her beloved prince charming. Then, out of nowhere, spontaneous waltzing with said prince, and then spending the rest of the day just you and him, safe and madly in love with each other. This is romance, not love.

Romance comes with love. Love doesn’t always come with romance.

Love is hard work. Love is being patient when the other person is really ticking you off. Love is making hard decisions together without blowing up. Or, if you do blow up at him, you make it up and admit you were wrong. Love is being able to spend every day with each other–through the good and the bad–putting not the other person first, but God.

Love is tough.

I dont’ say this to make everyone all depressed or anything–I say it to warn people. Now listen to me: teenage Christian girls often swear that they will never date anyone if they can’t picture marrying them. Now, when you get asked out by a guy who you think you could marry, are you picturing a marriage or romance, or a marriage of love? You can picture a marriage of romance with anyone. But a marriage of love is much harder to picture with some people.

We so often are led astray by the lie that romance and love are the same thing. They are so different! Romance is a natural outcome of love–but love is the hard part.

When I picture love, I picture my mom and dad. I think about how Daddy is (usually) extremely patient with mommy when she’s in a bad mood. I think about how Mommy works extra hard to make a nice meal for daddy when he comes home from a hard day at work. This may sound weird, but I picture them fighting, too. Because it’s inevitable, but they always make up after it. I picture how daddy looks at my mom when he thinks I’m not looking.

Not all of us have parents like mine–I mean, mine run marriage conferences. But all I’m trying to say is that when you are thinking about the kind of guy you want to marry or date, I want to warn you not to base your relationship on romance. Base it on love–on 1 Corinthians 13. Go read it if you don’t know what I’m talking about.

So what about you? What do you think? Let me know in a comment or an e-mail.

Becca

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Abraham Lincoln once said that “most folks are about as happy as they make up their minds to be.” I completely agree.

I’m an extremely happy person. It can actually be pretty annoying at times, I admit. Last week I got told at a youth group I go to by one of the newer leaders that he didn’t know what I looked like when I wasn’t smiling or laughing.

I’ve had an easy life, though, too. I haven’t had to face sudden death of a friend, divorce, times where money is short, or any of that kind of stuff. So to many people it seems that it’s easy to be happy if you’re in my situation.

But the funny thing is that I don’t see a lot of my friends who come from extremely bad situations moping about their lives. I see people whose biggest problem is that their parents don’t let them go to parties with their sketchy boyfriend depressed about their lives.

I still don’t really understand why teenagers are so dramatic. Although I have to admit that I can be. Yes, I cry over stupid things. Yes, I have to control my whirlwind emotions at times. But I’ve always been able to control them. Unless they’re about grades. But I see people living their lives hating their parents (who are very nice people—most of them I absolutely love) and making up their minds to be as miserable as possible all the time.

And then I see some of my friends who have faced more than enough trouble for anyone, and they’re smiling and they’re praising God for what he’s done in their lives. They’re making friends, they’re talking about how much they appreciate their friends and family, and they focus on all the good in their lives.

I’m naturally bubbly, as I’ve mentioned, but I have had purpose for being sour towards life. My brother died when I was about 1 ½ years old when he was only 29 days old. I’ve had a close friend be diagnosed with AIDs. I’ve been told by people that I’m ugly (long time ago, almost over it don’t worry) and for a long time I believed them. I’ve seen a beautiful 6-year-old girl die of a brain tumour. But you know what? No matter how terrible these things are, God is sovereign. There is reason to be joyful, because we know that God has it under control.

I don’t mean that you have to always be smiling. I don’t mean that you have to always feel like laughing–and I definitely don’t mean that you need to forget the bad things in your life. How could I ever forget about Christopher (my brother) or the little girl I knew before she died? It’s impossible. But God calls us to be joyful–and we can be with his healing power. 

You have the ability to love your life or hate it. It’s up to you, and no one else can make that decision for you. But let me tell you—if your problem is with your parents, you’re likely in the wrong. They know what they’re doing—they’re older than you, they have experience, and they’re wiser. Yes, they can be annoying. Yes, they can make mistakes. Yes, they are embarrassing. But no, they do not hate you, and no, they are not trying to ruin your life. I’m not trying to belittle anyone’s suffering, anyone’s problems, anything. But the truth is, we as teenagers can blow situations out of proportion so easily.

“Most folks are about as happy as they make up their minds to be.” How happy are you deciding to be? Are you deciding to focus on the good, and on God? Or are you going to focus on the parts of your life that you hate?

Becca

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Whenever I go to retreats or speakers or even worship with a whole bunch of Christian kids I usually see a ton of people crying because of how much they feel God.

It’s absolutely amazing how much God can be a presence in a room. But whenever I go to those conferences, whenever I see those people crying, I’m not one of them. I hardly ever am that person who’s weeping because of what God’s been showing them—I’m the one who will go home and write to God about it in her prayer journal.

For a while because of this, to be honest, I felt like I was a lesser Christian. Why didn’t I feel God in the way that other people did? Why wasn’t I so amazed by his presence?

I struggled with this for a while, but then, after reading an author’s blog post, I realized that God is not an emotion.

That being said, that does not mean that God isn’t an emotional God. He displays himself through emotions, he causes emotions, and he has emotions—but he is not an emotion.

Just because I don’t always cry because I loved a speaker or a song or a message doesn’t mean I didn’t experience God. The problem I find with a lot of teens is that they get so caught up in the rush that you get when you feel God’s presence that they forget about being his servant even when you can’t feel him. When you can’t feel God, when you can’t be sure that he’s there by relying on your feelings or senses, it’s a lot harder to believe him.

I know a lot of teenagers who are extremely emotional when they hear speakers or songs, but do not follow God during the rest of the week. I think everyone does.

Let me say this: just because you are extremely convicted after a message enough that you begin to cry because of God’s presence, or just because you get extremely emotional whenever you are in a church setting does not mean that you are a better Christian than someone else. It does not mean that you understand God better. It doesn’t even mean that you are a Christian.

Christians are not meant to follow God only when we can feel him—we are told to follow God even when he is silent. Even when it feels like he’s abandoned you—because he never has. You are a Christian when you do something about those emotions that God has given you—when you follow where he wants you to go. When you refuse to live your life in sin, but surrender everything to Him. You can’t do that when you rely on God as an emotion.

Feeling God’s presence is an amazing experience—don’t get me wrong.

But unless we can follow him when we can’t feel him, we’re not worthy for God’s kingdom.

I believe in the sun

Even when it`s not shining

I believe in love

Even when I can`t feel it

And I believe in God

Even when he is silent

(Barlowgirl–I believe in love)

Becca

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Friends are amazing, aren’t they?

I just got back from a Bible Quizzing meet, where a whole bunch of teens (around 140 in our district) get together and quiz on a certain book of the Bible. We did John 1-5 this meet. We’ll be learning the rest of the book by the end of the year. (to understand what I mean, visit this website: http://ecd.bq.net)

I love the quiz meets, and not only because of the competition. Yes, that’s fun, but really, I go for the people. :) I’ve made friends with as many people as I possibly can during these meets. Usually I hang out with some of the younger guys from one of the churches from my district, because they are quite possibly the most awesome kids ever, but I ventured out of my comfort zone this quiz meet.

Usually I don’t make friends very well with girls. To be honest, I find it 10x easier to make friends with guys than I do girls. It’s just how I’m made. But this quiz meet, I am SO glad I went out of my comfort zone. I hung out with Talitha, Darian, Katie, Samantha, the other Samantha, Liz, the other Liz, the other the other Liz, Myriam, Kiersten, the other Kiersten, (there are a lot of repeated names) and a TON more girls. And you know what? I adore every single one of them. :)

They are some of the nicest girls I’ve ever met, and I know I’ll be hanging out with them next meet, too. :) I never expected I’d be friends with so many of the girls in our district, to be honest, but I am SO glad I got to really get to know them this meet. They are all encouraging, friendly, funny, sweet, and really strong Christians.

So if any of you are reading this, you are all deeply loved, and I can’t wait to see you in two months! I miss you all already!

What I’m trying to say, though, is go outside your comfort zone. Talk to people you normally wouldn’t talk to, and get to know the personality that God loves in that person. And don’t worry about venturing out of your age category! Some of my best friends from the quiz meets are a bunch younger than me, and I think they’re awesome. :)

God has created so many unique people out there, and I personally think that this world would be a much better place if we would all step out of our little bubbles and befriend someone we usually wouldn’t.

I love you all,

Becca

I’m sorry I haven’t been writing very often… I’ve been insanely busy! But I just wrote a bunch of posts, so we’ll be back on track soon! :)

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First off, thanks so much for all the comments and encouragement from my last post! It means more than you could ever imagine. Thanks to all the people who linked back to my blog, and for all the people who subscribed. :) It means a ton to me, and really gave me a new desire to keep writing!

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Have you ever thought that if there were no trials in life, there would be no reason to believe in God?

Emily just wrote that in a comment for my blog after my post “Life in Freefall” which was my last journal entry.

She’s absolutely right, though. If there were no trials, then why would we need God? If there were no hard times, why would we turn to God for comfort?

It reminds me of a verse in 2nd Corinthians, which goes like this:

Indeed, in our hearts we felt the sentence of death. But this happened that we might not rely on ourselves, but on God, who raises the dead. (2nd Cor 1:9)

That’s my favourite verse. It gives me hope—extreme hope. Not the hope that my life will be perfect, not the hope that I’ll never have to face the death of a friend, not the hope that I’ll have the perfect job—none of that. But hope that even if I have to live through the worst heartache imaginable, even if I have to see people turn away from me over and over again, even if nothing goes right and I feel like a failure that I have a God to rely on. Even if my life reaches the lowest point imaginable I have a God who raises the dead. I have a God who will raise me up to be all that he wants me to be. I have a God who will use that heartache, will use that failure, will use that rejection to further His kingdom and to bring Him glory.

Don’t you see? Being a Christian doesn’t mean that we have a pain-free life, it just means that the pain is for a reason. The pain is not meaningless—but is a tool that God will use to bring him glory.

And you know what? When God is glorified, his subjects are glorified.

Not many people in North America have gone through as much as Paul did. But still he was able to say that all the pain was worth it in the end. He doesn’t call us to be happy all through the pain—he says himself that in his heart he felt the sentence of death.

But we are called to have faith. And we are called to believe. And the reason we believe is because God is sovereign. God is not passive—he is active. God is able to use your heartbreak, your pain, your rejection, your failures—and he is able to use them in a way that you could never even imagine.

God is sovereign. Are you willing to hand your pain over to him?

Becca

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