Category: Invitation Inside My Head

There is a manila envelope on my bookshelf, tucked between my Dragonology calendar and an almanac from the year I was born. Inside is a folded up newspaper, something I have saved for nearly ten years. The image on the front is still striking and recognizable, even now, ten years down the road.

For my generation, September 11th is our Pearl Harbor. It is a day that we will never truly leave behind, no matter how old we get. For us, it is the day that, for one brief moment in time, the whole world stopped. Not just my world. The whole world. And God wept.

“We will not forget.” That’s what we said.

I have the decency to say that in most ways I have forgotten. The half-page, newsprint flag that the St. Pete Times printed was taken down just months after the event. I go about my day-to-day and it rarely crosses my mind. I cannot claim that it affects me, because it doesn’t. I didn’t lose anyone. I didn’t live through the horror of 110-stories of steel and concrete and glass raining down on me. So yes, in a way I have forgotten–just as many have.

But that’s the funny thing with words. The phrase, “We will not forget” will have one meaning to the group of people who lost someone in the attacks. It will have another meaning for those who lived through the attacks. And for the group that includes me?

I am about as south of New York as you can get without having to swim (there’s not much below me, mostly just swamp…and Miami). For me all the events of Sept. 11th were relayed over the television and radio and through the newspaper.

But I still remember watching the towers fall.

I remember lying on the tile floor in our kitchen/living room (why I was lying on the floor instead of sitting at the table, I cannot tell you). The was a yellow No. 2 pencil in my hand and I was working on my schoolwork. I can’t remember the subject. What I do remember is my brother bursting in the front door shouting, “Turn on the TV!” I, of course, being the older sibling, took offense at being bossed around by baby bro and demanded why. The response came, “Someone crashed a plane into one of the Twin Towers.” At that point, we still thought it might be an accident.

My family spent two days in front of the television. Watching. Waiting. Mom didn’t even make us do our school work.

Of course, then day three rolled around and she decided that that was enough and we needed to get on with life.

But, even though she tried to avoid the channels with footage of them, I still remember the videos of people jumping out the windows.

And I still can’t believe that there are people that could think it was okay to take that many innocent lives. Especially not lives like the little girl on Flight 175. Her picture shows a chubby-cheeked, happy little baby–maybe a year old–with baby’s breath in her hair. How anyone could walk right past that little girl and condemn her to death is probably beyond most of us.

September 11, 2001 was the day we saw some of the worst that humanity has to offer.

But we also got to see something else. Something that most of us will be truly lucky to ever witness. Because, in our everyday life, we may get to see good things, but we don’t really get to see humanity truly shine. It is only when we are faced with the worst that we get to see the best humanity has to offer.

In the days following the attacks on the Twin Towers, we got to see heroes. An entire generation was impacted by the stories of firefighters. Of people that carried a quadriplegic man down flights of stairs. Heroism that we so rarely get to see was shown in abundance across newspapers and television channels everywhere.

I will always remember that day. Always be able to close my eyes and see the towers fall when I stop to think about it. For we that’s the meaning of “We will not forget.”

And that’s what it says on my newspaper clipping: “9-11-01. We will not forget.”

Today I remember. Today I will thank God for the best that humanity has to offer. For the men and women that protect us at home and overseas. Today, I will look at that newspaper and be proud of them.  Today I thank all of those who stepped up on that day and every day since and confronted the worst with the best they had to offer. To all the victims, firefighters, police, and soldiers that have carried the burden of 9/11, I thank you.

Today, at least, I will not forget.

On that newspaper, under the caption is a familiar picture. A picture that impacted all of us as we contemplated horror. In the midst of tragedy and ruin, three firemen took the time to get the stars and stripes flying again. In that moment, our flag was hope.

In the midst of horror, hope is the one thing that keeps coming back.

“This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you: God is light; in him there is no darkness at all. If we claim to have fellowship with him yet walk in darkness, we lie and do not live by truth.” -1 John 1:5-6

“Anyone who claims to be in the light but hates his brother is still in darkness.” 1 John 2:9

P1030210 by Dan Hatton

Disclaimer: I am not preaching and this is in no way meant to speak to anyone specific–with the exception of myself. As Beth Moore says, I can only teach you what God is teaching me. If it resonates with you, then I praise God, that He would use me to work in your life. But it is Him and not me that must do the true teaching.

We’re going to start with the obvious.

God is light.

Even though it the verse above states it, this fact bears repeating. God is light. He makes the sun look like a 60 watt lightbulb. The moon doesn’t even stand a chance. And the stars? Forget about the stars. You can’t see them, He’s that bright. He washes everything out. In the Greek the word used here is Phos, meaning light…the light. There is no other light like this light. Just like there is no other God like our God. He is light is it’s purest essence. He defines what light is.

And what darkness is.

There are two words used in these verses to refer to darkness. Skotia and skotos. Obviously these are conjugates of each other, so the meanings are simlar. But it’s the subtle differences that God loves to use. Skotia, which is used in verse 5 and 9, refers to wickedness or “the darkness due to want of light”. Basically, a life without God. Skotos is darkness. Used in verse 6, it can also mean “persons [or a person] in whom darkness becomes visible and holds sway”. Here it isn’t talking about just wickedness. It’s talking about people who claim to be of the light and of God, but for some reason or another have strayed, leaving God’s presence wanting in their life. People who are held by darkness, not light.

Now I’ve read 1 John before. And I’ve read over those first two verses many times in the last couple weeks (my Bible study plan has me focus on one segment of scripture for the duration of a month). Each time my thoughts have been, “Praise God, I’m in the light and not the darkness”. Because I have been born again. I am a new creation in Christ. My thought is that most Christians think like I did. I mean, yes, I sin. Yes, I make mistakes, but God is faithful and just to forgive me when I come to him in repentance. In my mind, darkness…let’s just name him for what he is, Satan had no stronghold in my mind. He could try and cause me to doubt, but my faith is strong because my strength is not my own. I couldn’t see where he was sinking his little hooks in and truly trying to separate me from my Lord.

This morning, 1 John 2:9 hit me like a slap in the face. “Anyone who claims to be in the light but hates his brother is still in darkness.”

I’m sorry, what!

Now, brother in this verse can be taken to mean fellow man. So, God’s not talking (specifically) about your brother–the one that stole your Barbies and spent most of his childhood making airplane noises (though this does apply to him too). He’s talking about that guy that cuts you off in traffic. The lady in the next cubicle that talks a little too loud. The boss/co-worker/customer/acquaintance that just rubs you that wrong way. That’s who he is talking about.

I would say that I don’t outright hate anyone (not anyone real at least, with fictional characters it’s a different story). I get along with most people…and I tolerate those few who I don’t particularly like. I smile. I nod. I hold my tongue. But in my head, I’m thinking “I can’t believe, grumble grumble grumble grumble and they are a complete creative-dergatory-non-cuss-word-type-phrase”. My thoughts are not always nice and pleasant. And I knew, that it wasn’t exactly godly. That thinking mean and ugly things about others is not nice, because God loves them anyways. So I should to.

But today, it was like there was this glowing line linking these two verses together. The Holy Spirit showed me a connection, not only between the two verses, but between the verses and my own life.

These nasty thoughts, or as a pastor friend of mine, this stinkin’ thinkin’ was/is a stronghold of the devil in my life. It is something that he is using to drive me away from the person God wants me to be. God has called me to love as He loves. He has called me to be His light unto the world. And I can’t be that, can’t be a part of Him, if there is any darkness in my life. (Am I scaring you yet?)

And stinkin’ thinkin’ is skotos.

And it’s scary. Because it is in me. I can flee from sinful people and sinful situations. I can get the heck outta dodge and escape the temptation. But my thoughts are in my head. And as many days as I wish, I could remove my brain from my head and just not have to think period, I’m pretty sure it’s not good for my health. No, escaping stinkin’ thinkin’ is hard. It requires real work. It require repentance and changing the way I think.

Changing the way I think.

I’m sorry, but sometimes, it takes me a little bit of time to realize that I’m thinking the way I’m thinking. Sometimes I catch it a little faster than others. Sometimes, I still dwell on the nasty thought and let it build into something really ugly.

And that means that it is also going to require discipline.

I have to die to myself in my thought life. It requires putting my pride and feelings away. Because they get in the way. Nobody wants to admit that they are wrong, or that their feelings have been hurt. But I cannot let these things drive me if I want to love the way God loves.

Because that is the only way to love as God loves is to see through His eyes. And I can’t see through His eyes if I’m too busy massaging my bruised pride with angry, ugly, skotos thoughts. It don’t work. It’s like trying to use a hammer to clean a window. You end up with a painful mess. You lose friends and coworkers and employees and customers.

I end up bitter and holding a grudge that I didn’t mean to hold.

So it’s time for me to repent. To ask God to give the strength and discipline (which means that He will try me so that they develop within me) to stop the nasty thoughts the moment they enter my head. I can’t always help the thoughts that come into my head. But I can keep from dwelling on them and letting them become sin. And with God’s help and this thing called Grace, I can change the way that I do think and become that much more like him.


Morning Study by Garrett Crawford

Let’s face it. As fascinating and exciting as the Bible can be sometimes, we don’t always get all that much out of it. I’ll admit that some days I feel like all I’m doing is reading words on a page. But I found that with a few suggestions, I have made those times fewer. So now I am passing that on to you.

First, I know this is going to seem really, really obvious, but make sure you begin your Bible study time in prayer. I know, DUH! But I didn’t used to and sometimes I get so focused on what I’m supposed to be doing that I still forget to. Prayer is more than just saying “Hey God, please fill my head with knowledge so that I can scrape through this day”, it also stills your mind and helps you focus on what your time with God. Maybe a few calming breaths at the end too,  just for good measure. Let all that stress and everything that has to get done fall away until it’s just you and God.

Secondly, always have a notebook and pencil nearby. This is absolutely necessary for me, because how I study the Bible requires underlining, making notes and then putting all of that together into a daily entry (more on that in a minute). But even if you don’t have a specific method, the notebook serves two purposes. One: It gives you a place to write down anything that is revealed to you as you read. My old Bible journals have all kinds of little references to verses and what God was telling me through them. I also used it to jot down questions. Two: it provides a place to write your prayers down. Not only does this help me to truly get my burdens off of my chest, it also it kind of fun. I can look back and see a difference between how and what I prayed about then and now. The pencil, besides being a writing tool, well, it just makes me feel smarter.

Have your planner or something to write down anything that tries to distract you. The devil will do anything he can to keep us from connecting with God–even use legitimate reasons. Need to do the laundry? Write it down. Did you forget to turn in a paper on Blackboard? Write it down. Trust me, the dirty clothes will still be there and the paper will not disappear from your computer if you don’t turn it in (Although, if it’s due in a few minutes, I’m sure God will understand).

Speaking of distractions: If you can, attempt to remove yourself from them. It’s not always easy to remove the distractions from the room, but it is possible to move yourself. Make sure the dog is taken out (yes, Mom, I put that one in there just for you), that the children are fed or sleeping, and maybe let the others in your house know to please not disturb you unless someone is dying/bleeding. This isn’t always possible…I’ve carried out many early morning Bible studies during my break at work, but the less I have to block out, the easier it is to focus.

You don’t have to have fancy books and dictionaries with the original Greek and Hebrew. I love using these resources when I can get my hands on them, but quality Bible study time is dependent more on how much effort you put into it than how many books you have to reference. That’s not saying that you shouldn’t learn what you can, try to figure out a method of your own. It might take a while or you might have to come up with a hybrid version of several.

My daily devotions have developed over the last three years, from simply reading through my Bible plan to focusing on one idea from my daily text and writing about it. Some of you may already be familiar with Wayne Cordeiro’s S.O.A.P. method (or at least, he’s more or less the one I got is from), but for those who aren’t I will briefly go over it. I’ve found that it’s has helped me get more and apply more of what I read. The acronym S.O.A.P. stands for Scripture, Observation, Application, Prayer and it’s a method to help focus a great deal of text into one daily application to take away from your time with the Lord. This is only a brief description. I highly suggest reading Wayne Cordeiro’s book, The Divine Mentor, for more—this is only one part of the book, he has a lot of wisdom to pass on.

Scripture: Highlight or mark any scriptures that jump out at you, anything that feels like God is speaking to you.

Observation: Of those scriptures that stood out, pick one. What exactly is it telling you? What can you take away  from it?

Application: How does what you’ve focused on today apply to you specifically? Write down what you it is you think you need to do or learn. And here’s the hard part, you actually need to do/apply it.

Prayer: Pretty self-explanatory I think. I try to thank God for his instruction that day and for other blessings in my life. As someone once told me, “Thankful people are rarely bitter people.”

There is no hard, fast rule about Bible study. It is specific to each person. I’ve discovered what works for me…now it’s time for you to find out what works for you.

Old Books by Dan Klimke

It’s there. On your shelf. Or on your bedside table. It might be a little dusty. It might get taken down once a week. If you’re really smart, you open it up much more often than that. If you’re really smart, you study your Bible daily. Some days I’m really smart. Other days…not so much.

I started trying to learn more about Bible study probably two years ago. It started with Tim LaHaye’s How to Study Your Bible and lead me to enrolling in a Bible study course being taught by the pastor of my church in Gainesville. That’s where I stumbled upon my current method of Bible study. The SOAP method. If you want to know more about it, I suggest reading Wayne Cordeiro’s The Divine Mentor where he talks about it in great detail. It is a book that I would recommend to anyone looking to improve or change up their Bible study routine. But that’s a whole other post.

This post is for those who don’t think that daily Bible study is important or who are like I was: I knew how important it was, but I just didn’t know how to get anything out of it.

In Proverbs 1:7, Solomon states: “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge…” (HCSB). My translation is this, “Getting saved is just the first step.” A very important first step, because you can read your Bible religiously and not be saved (though I imagine that it would be difficult), but still only a first step. It’s enough to get you into heaven, but it doesn’t really allow you to know God in the ways that specific study of God’s word does. David points out how important daily Bible study is in the Psalms.

“I will praise You everyday; I will honor Your Name forever and ever.” Psalm 145:2 (HCSB)

He didn’t praise God when he felt like it. Or when everything was going his way. If you read the Psalms, he praises God even in the middle of tragedy. Even when he could be blaming God for taking his son, David praises the Lord as he repents. I don’t know about you, but that’s the kind of person I want to be. And David was that way because he spent daily time with God. Like the Psalm says: “I will praise You every day.”

This little Bible sitting next to me is 1,551 pages of God talking to me. Or promptings for the Holy Spirit to speak to me.

And if David taking out daily time to be with God wasn’t enough for you. Think about this, Jesus did the same thing. In Luke 15:16 it said that Jesus took time out of his day to talk with his Father.

I understand, life is busy. We have SO much pulling at our attention. Which makes it even more important to take some time out, sit down and get our head on straight. Before we have to deal with all of the crud that the world throws at us. On the days that I study my Bible, I find that I am more joyful, more patient, more loving and just a much nicer person to be around in general. Life may not actually BE any easier, but it sure feels it. But it first required me to make time for my Bible study. I have a busy day, I spend probably two-and-a-half to three hours of each day driving to and from Lakeland. Things don’t always get done, but I try hard to make sure that my daily devotions is one of them.

I’m not of the camp that says, you must get up at 6 a.m. and do your Bible study first thing. It kind of helps for you to actually be awake for you to get anything out of that day’s devotions. So maybe you get up and go jogging, exercise a little, take your shower and then sit down with your Bible and a notebook over breakfast (that’s my thing). I do encourage you to put your devotions as early in your day as you can, but I know that first thing isn’t always feasible. Nor does everyone operate at their best in the morning.

If you don’t read your Bible at all, I strongly recommend doing a Google search for free Bible reading plans to get yourself started and in the habit. There are ways to get the most out of your Bible study time, like keeping a notebook nearby to jot down observations/questions or having a method for studying your Bible, but I will address those in another post. The important thing is to start making reading your Bible a part of your daily life. God never asks more of us than we can handle, and He’s been more than willing to encourage me in baby steps–so I think the same goes for you.

Because you will see a change in your walk with God. The Bible is the main way God speaks to us (not to say that we can’t hear his voice audibly, it’s just a little less likely nowadays). And the more time you spend one-on-one with God, learning lessons from the people who have gone before us, the easier it will be when the devil comes with his little voice and tries to whisper in your ear.

So go. Blow the dust off of your Bible. Flip through it’s pages, inhale the musty scent. Stop making it into the center piece of your coffee table and turn it into the centerpiece of your life.

And I Return

Hey Hey Hey! by Amarand Agasi

Well, it’s been a while hasn’t it? Yes, I know I’ve been bad girl, ignoring all my lovely readers.

Yes, I admit it, I’ve been ignoring you…well, forgetting about you is more like it. Because I’ve been reading! And researching (still a ways to go though)! And doing …schoolwork.  This new semester has me determined to keep up on my school work, because, after all, my memory is not what it was in high school (or the first time through college) and I actually have to work at those “A”s now. But I also have this desire to share my lovely journey as a writer (or frustrating, maddening, obsessive journey–depending on the day and who you talk to). So I while I probably won’t be blogging with much regularity (like on a weekly basis or every few days), I do plan to work on developing some sort of something that you can count on. Here are some things that I am looking forward to starting up:

-Books reviews: For those who are searching for a good book to read, I’m planning to start uploading reviews as I read new books. A good way for me to figure out what I am looking to use from them and a nice way for me to share my love of reading with others.

-Help with writing: As I learn things, I want to pass them on. So I’m going to.

-Research journals: These will be decidedly less frequent, but have you ever known that you need to find information on…medieval siege tactics and just not known which book to choose from the plethora of books available (hint, look in the table of contents). I find that turning what others have read to research that can be helpful (I also find it maddening when I know an author has found glorious details and I don’t know where they found them), so occasionally I’ll put something up summarizing what I’ve been reading for research so you can use it as a starting point.

-A Recommended Reading List: Yes, I’m in the process of getting together a list of some of my favorite books. Which I plan to update frequently (aka, as soon as I finish a book that must be on the list). It will be slightly separated by ages, so that parents looking for books for their ravenous teen reader will have some peace of mind. I make no apologies for the content of the list, just because I adored it does not mean that it is necessarily the pinnacle of talented writing or popular fiction. But if it’s on there, there is a reason for it and it’s not just because everyone teeny bopper and their mother is buying up copies like they’re made of gold.

-More about me as I write: This is kind of an accountability thing. Because if people other than my mother are asking me if I’ve been working on my book (I’m hoping to have enough research done to start before the end of this month *grins*) and tsking when I can’t provide a suitable answer, well, it’ll just be one more reason to keep myself disciplined.

-Occasional updates as to what I’m reading: This’ll be at the bottom of each post, just because I find it interesting to keep track of what I’m reading

In short, I’m trying to develop a blog written by a writer, for writers and readers. And if you have any suggestions as to content that you would like to see…let me know, I am always open to suggestions.

This is going to be fun =D

Reading: Fire Study by Maria V. Snyder and Incarceron by Catherine Fisher

Recearch: War Through the Ages by Lynn Montross

November 30th. It’s here. It is finally here. As of tomorrow I can officially read again. Not that I really will have time to until Thursday. This month has been harder than I thought it would be. Mostly because the The Lost Hero came out recently…Yes, I’m a nerd. Yes, I’m a little obsessive. Yes, it’s why you love me. Anyways, I’ve got it all laid out. TLH and then research for my lovely book and writing my lovely book. I’m putting together the playlist for it now. ;D Exciting.

So, things I have learned in this past month:

  • I can say no. My ability to say, “No, I have to do school, you have to wait until I finish. Sorry.” It’s amazing how much my ability to say “No” has improved, especially since that whole week of nothing.
  • Be careful when you fast. If you want to read the entire Bible in a month, don’t pick the last month of school. Because as good as spending all your time reading His word, I think God frowns upon using Him as an excuse not to do your schoolwork. I found myself doing this for the first few days and had to put a stop to that. So my new goal is to finish by the end of the year. Note to self: When planning serious, beyond the norm bible reading–choose a break time. God will understand.
  • Dream big. You never know what exactly you can accomplish unless you try.

Note: I honestly thought I’d already posted this, so now I am posting it…belatedly.

I Get In the Way…

Who Killed Time? by Brandon Warren

I was going to title this “Life Gets In the Way”, but I realized that life gets in my way because I let it.

Let’s be honest here. I am not where I wanted to be in my whole Bible-In-A-Month plan. In fact I haven’t picked up my Bible in, um, three days. Forget just reading through it, I haven’t even been doing my daily devotionals. Why? Because I’ve been busy. There’s this big project that’s due for school, tonight (it’s finished now) and I have to work on it so I’ll get a good grade and keep my scholarships.

But why do I get good grades? Why do I get scholarships? None of it is from my own effort really. It’s because God has hand in my path. He is the one that made me as smart as I am. He is the one who formed my brain and He is the one opening the doors.

God’s never too busy for us…so why do we let ourselves get too busy for him? I mean, what if God had decided that he was too busy to create the world? What would have happened if Jesus had decided that he was too busy to die on the cross? Nothing would be the same. I would be one of the outsiders, the gentiles…I wouldn’t even know God. Probably be bowing down to Artemis or Hera, but thankfully God made time. Literally and figuratively.

So life is only getting in my way because I’m letting it. I had to spend all my time on a project not because it was all that hard…but because I didn’t do the little assignments in a timely manner. I procrastinated (I should really have several medals by now). I got distracted. And I have  this issue with only spending a few minutes doing the things I enjoy–I don’t. So I let it pile up. So this comes down to me…me and my flesh. And there’s not much I can do about that flesh, but thankfully, God can do something with my spirit.

With Thanksgiving break coming up, I’m hoping to catch up on more than just school work. I’ve got eleven days left to read almost the entire Bible. If I can just get to the New Testament I should be good, that always goes fast. Time to go spend some quality time with my God.

Have you ever just sat down and thought about what you have to be grateful for? I mean seriously thought, not come up with something because it’s Thanksgiving and your family expects you to have something to say when you sit down for dinner.

There are a lot of things that I am grateful for. I’m grateful for parents who’ve always trusted (Lucky them, I’ve always deserved it). Friends who’ve put up with every stage of crazy that I can produce from American Girl dolls to Lord of the Rings to WICKED, they just go with the flow or sometimes get swept into it (Which is the case with Wicked). I’m grateful that I have a roof to sleep under…even if it’ll be January 1 before we’re allowed to run the heat. And most importantly, I’m grateful for my car. Yes, that is the gas cover over to the left…with a pink flower on it. My attempt to take a car that is not necessarily my kinda color and liven it up a bit. I have a bright little green Ford Escort. But Elphie finally died on me in May, transmission problems, so sad. For the last half year I’ve been driving my parent’s cars and let me tell you, I’d forgotten how much of a hassle juggle cars among four different schedules can be (And that was before my brother and I were driving). But finally, after months of looking and a disappointing miss (I recommend steering clear of Brandon Honda, they’ll say you’re “approved” and then call for a cosigner a week after handing you the keys). Anyways, my lovely little Galinda is below in technicolor. basically, this is my way of circumventing my no Facebook for a week rule so I can show my friend my car. Don’t worry dear, I’m sure you’ll get very acquainted with the inside…Can anyone say, possible late December roadtrip? Yeah, we’ll see…

So I’ve made it through the first week of my fast. And oh boy, do I miss my books. I keep finding myself picking things up going, oh, I want to rad this and then having to put it back down. But I’m surviving…more easily than I thought I would. Now comes the hard part…a week of only the Bible, school and work. If it’s not God-inspired I’m not reading or listening to it. Sounds like Tenth Avenue North is going to get a lot of plays as I commute to school.

As far as reading my Bible goes, I’m a little behind on the 50 pages I need to read every day, but I’m catching up. Just about through Exodus and I find myself wondering, “What did these OT dudes do with their brains?” I mean, what were Abraham and Jacob thinking? Apparently they weren’t. Granted they got a whole lot right…but who thinks “Hey, that’s a good idea?” when their wife suggests they sleep with another woman. Guys, if your wife ever suggests that, suggest back that she get her head examined because something is wrong. At least Leah and Rachel had the backbone not to let the “other” women become a problem. Sarah and Hagar never made sense to me. Why did she let Hagar abuse her? Why didn’t Abraham put the slave woman in her place? Leah took her slave’s children and made them her own, why didn’t Sarah? She was the one with the power, but she just gave it away. Nope, never will make sense to me.

Anyways, I should go read some more if I’m going to catch up. Need to be in 2 Kings by tomorrow…Oh, and the cute little dog that needs a bath? That’s my Suzie, just figured it was time for her to make an appearance.

Putting Down the Books

Jeremiah_29_v.11 by Kodi Tanner

Earlier this month (October) I came to the conclusion that I wanted to do a fast. A really serious fast. (For anyone who is not familiar with the term fasting, basically it means giving up something important to you for a period of time.) I’ve done the week long fast, where I give up TV or only listen to Christian music for a week, but I decided that I really want to test myself this time, so here it goes.

For the entire month of November I am giving up reading books, unless it is required for school or work. If you know me, you know that’s basically like cutting off my left hand (and I’m left handed). However, for this month I am going to spend all the time I would have spent reading other things focusing on reading my Bible instead. This is of course in addition to a daily Bible study. And that’s not all…during the second week of November I’m giving up everything. That means TV shows, music, Facebook, if it distracts me from God it is going for a week. I hope that, being the quick reader that I am, I will be able to finish the whole Bible that way–reading some from the Old and some from the New Testament each day.

I feel that this is something I need to do in order to allow God to fill my life the way he wants to. By saying no for a month, I hope it will make it easier to say no later when things are trying to distract me. At the end of this I hope to have one more read through of the Bible under my belt. And even if that doesn’t happen I will at least be well-rested and ahead in my schoolwork. I think it’s a good bargain–which is why I’m writing this.

This is not me trying to boast, I could just easily fail as succeed. But I wanted to challenge others to join me. It doesn’t have to be the same as mine, I know not everyone is the prolific reader that I tend to be. Just choose something that you know competes for your time with God and give it up from November 1-30, replace that time with Bible time. If you want you can try like me to read the Bible in one month–or you could make it a little narrower. Make it something you feel you have a shot at achieving and believe you can do it! If you want you can drop me a note to let me know that you’re joining me. I’d appreciate it. Good luck!

Sometimes I impress myself with flashes of brilliance. Now, keep in mind, I do not have these flashes often (unless dealing with the written word, those come on a semi-regular basis).

Here’s the story:

I’m heading to school on Tuesday. I’m almost at the end of my hour long commute and the check engine light comes on five minutes from the school. No use worrying about it now, not much I can do till after I ace my music theory test. So, after getting my mom to work, Dad comes up to Lakeland to trade cars. In the confusion, he somehow got the impression that I was talking about the check oil light (I would have know what to do about that. There’s a reason it’s also know as the “idiot light”). Long story short, we want to put oil in the car and are without a funnel. That’s when I get the genius idea: “Hey, let’s just cut the bottom out a water bottle.” Yes, I said genius because it turns out that our impromptu funnel works better than a real one. Talk about lol.

What about you? Have you ever surprised yourself with idea that could be considered genius?

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