Friday, October 30, 2009


I know, two blogs within an hour? Really, Jessica?

Yes. This one's reaaaal good, and couldn't wait 'til tomorrow to share.

I'm doing a little study/devotional over the next few weeks over the spirit of Thanksgiving, and giving thanks to God. Mostly because I feel as of late that I am not thankful/content enough or as often as I should be with what God has provided and blessed me with.

Psalm 92:1 -- "It is good to give thanks to the Lord, to sing praises to the Most High."
(footnote) -- During the Thanksgiving holiday, we focus on the blessings and express our gratitude to God for them. But thanks should be on our lips every day. We can never say thank you enough to parents, friends, leaders, and especially to God. When thanksgiving becomes an integral part of your life, you will find that your attitude toward life will change. You will become more positive, gracious, loving and humble.

Too Much or Not Enough?

So, I love Vanilla Chai Tea Latte's. a lot.

Tonight, I got one. And drank it rather fast...
Shouldn't of done that.
Big no-no.

20 minutes later, there was no more chai in my stomach.

Being in the weird deep-thought mood I've been in lately, it made me think of how too much of a good thing can be bad. Or, the opposite... how too much of a bad thing is bad -- well, any amount of a bad thing is bad.

But there's one thing good thing you can't get too much of... God. His love, His strength, His peace, His Word... any part of Him. :)

So, why don't we over-indulge in that?

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Not the Biggest Loser.

I'm not much of a TV person, I have about two or three shows I keep up with.... that's about it. And I really do not enjoy reality shows - they give off such a fake vibe, and have too much drama.

But, there is an exception. I love Biggest Loser.

Tonight was a really good episode.
Jillian had some in-depth talks with a few of her group members about their past and their journey while on the show.

First, was Abby. Abby lost her two kids and husband in a car accident two and a half years ago. As any normal human... she had a long grieving process. Until she came on the show, and began finding herself again. During her talk with Jillian, she said, "I'm going to live again, I'm not going to just exist." I've been thinking a lot lately about last year compared to this year, and just about the past in general. I look back at certain points in my life and see times when I stumbled in my faith, when I was strong in my faith, and times I was so far from my faith that I wasn't even seeking Him. It made me realize how often I let things/people/situations get under my skin and affect me. I look back at last year and realize how much I missed (even though I grew a lot from the situation) because I dwelled. I don't want to do that again.

Second, was Shay. Shay had a troubled childhood, with a drug-addict mother who didn't love her. Shay felt that it was her fault, and she always had to fight for her love. Jillian said, "until you forgive yourself, you're just going to keep killing yourself... until you stop blaming yourself!" Which again, made me realize that even though I don't dwell on some things, I really do need to forgive myself of things from my past.

Amanda had a meltdown tonight, because Jillian was pushing her... and she couldn't take it. She couldn't take the pressure, she thought she was going to fail. I instantly thought of the verse that says God gives us a spirit not of timidity, but of power, love and discipline. Amanda said she felt extra pressure since she was one of the more fit girls, but she had never been a leader of the pack... she had always been the fat girl in the back. (Rhymes, I know... her words - not mine!) But that phrase made me really think about my first year of college and into this semester... I always was the girl in the back, but I think now (at least some of the time) I'm in the front. If not in a group, at least in myself... I'm more confident than I was.

This is getting a little more in-depth than I expected.... so I'll leave you with my favorite Jillian quote from tonight: "You have to fall down a few times, you have to make a few mistakes... it's how you learn, it's how you grow."

Monday, October 26, 2009

Talk is Cheap.

Hosea 6:
“Come, let us return to the Lord. He has torn us to pieces; now he will heal us. He has injured us; now he will bandage our wounds. In just a short time he will restore us, so that we may live in his presence. Oh, that we might know the Lord! Let us press on to know him. He will respond to us as surely as the arrival of dawn or the coming of rains in early spring.”

"The Lord says, “Then I will heal you of your faithlessness; my love will know no bounds, for my anger will be gone forever." -- Hosea 14:4
- When our will is weak, when our thinking is confused, and when our conscience is burdened with a load of guilt, we must remember that God cares for us continually; His love knows no bounds.When friends and family desert us, when coworkers don't understand us, and when we are tired of being good, God's love knows no bounds. When we can't see the way, or seem to hear God's voice, and when we lack courage to go on, God's love knows no bounds. When our shortcomings and our awareness of our sins overcome us, God's love knows no bounds.

"Seek the Lord, all who are humble, and follow his commands. Seek to do what is right and to live humbly." -- Zeph. 2:1-3

“O Israel and Judah, what should I do with you?” asks the Lord. "For your love vanishes like the morning mist and disappears like dew in the sunlight."

Many find it easy and comfortable to maintain the appearance of being committed without deep and sincere loyalty. If you profess loyalty to God, back it up with your actions.

"Then they remembered that God was their rock, that God Most High was their redeemer. But all they gave him was lip service; they lied to him with their tongues. Their hearts were not loyal to him. They did not keep his covenant." -- Psalm 78:35-37
- Talk is cheap. God wants our conduct to back up our spiritual claims and promises.

God doesn't want us some of the time, He wants our complete devotion.

"I take joy in doing your will, my God, for your instructions are written on my heart.” -- Psalm 40:8

"I sent my prophets to cut you to pieces— to slaughter you with my words, with judgments as inescapable as light. I want you to show love, not offer sacrifices. I want you to know me more than I want burnt offerings. But like Adam, you broke my covenant and betrayed my trust."

- Why do you worship? What is the motive behind your sacrifices and offerings?

"Obedience is better than sacrifice, and submission is better than offering the fat of rams." -- 1 Samuel 15:22
- Religious ceremonies or rituals are empty unless they are performed with an attitude of love and obedience. Being "religious" is not enough if we do not act out of devotion and obedience to God.

"You do not desire a sacrifice, or I would offer one. You do not want a burnt offering.The sacrifice you desire is a broken spirit. You will not reject a broken and repentant heart, O God." -- Psalm 51:16-17
- You can never please God by outward actions, no matter how good, if your heart attitude is not right.

"No, O people, the Lord has told you what is good, and this is what he requires of you: to do what is right, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God." -- Micah 6:6-8
- In your efforts to please God, examine these areas on a regular basis. Are you fair in your dealings with people? Do you show mercy to those who wrong you? are you learning humility?

“Gilead is a city of sinners, tracked with footprints of blood. Priests form bands of robbers, waiting in ambush for their victims. They murder travelers along the road to Shechem and practice every kind of sin. Yes, I have seen something horrible in Ephraim and Israel: My people are defiled by prostituting themselves with other go" restore the fortunes of my people."

"Do you really think you can steal, murder, commit adultery, lie, and burn incense to Baal and all those other new gods of yours, and then come here and stand before me in my Temple and chant, “We are safe!”—only to go right back to all those evils again?" -- Jeremiah 7:9-10

All of that, was our Bible study tonight. Bolded is what our study was over, italicized is the other verses we read, or the footnotes in my Bible. I heard a new song yesterday, called New Again: "Whatever happens, whatever you see...Whatever your eyes tell you has become of me, This is not not the end, I am making all things new again." which I found to be so fitting for this study.

We are made in Him, and we should live for Him. I am nowhere near perfect, just like everyone else. I've been on that path, when you stop following Him... and I never want to go back, and don't plan on it. But, we are human, and even when we follow His path, we make mistakes. But that's why it's called a walk, it takes steps... every day, to grow closer to Him. Just because we are followers doesn't mean we are automatically "safe" and will get into Heaven, we have to ask for forgiveness too. Though, that doesn't mean act however you want and then ask for forgiveness.

"Decide instead to live in such a way that you will not cause another believer to stumble and fall."
- Romans 14:13

Just a Thought.

"Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus. But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, "Lord, save me!" Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. "You of little faith," he said, "why did you doubt?""

I was reading Matthew 14, which the last part talks about when Jesus walked on water. The verses above are when Peter decided to walk across water (obviously...) but began to sink when he starting losing faith.

It got me thinking about how often we, or... I, sometimes doubt what God is doing. Sometimes I get caught up in everything, and catch myself asking God why? or why not? I have to remind myself, literally, almost daily that it's all in His timing. He has a reason. I just wanted to post those verses as a little reminder :)

This passage also goes well with something I was told yesterday:

"God has a plan for you, and though right now you're thinking, "What are you doing, God?!" He knows what He's doing. He wants you to accomplish things and be the person you can be. There's always a reason, though sucky, crazy, and at times psycho, God doesn't want you to miss out on anything. He wants things to work out exactly as He planned."


Friday, October 23, 2009

100 Things.

that make me happy :)

1. Running in the rain.
2. Black and white photographs.
3. Finding good quotes.
4. A new shirt.
5. Seeing my pictures from Europe.
6. My prayer moccasin joke.
7. Sitting in church beside my friends.
8. Being complimented.
9. Finding a good sale.
10. Fun, late nights with friends.
11. Talking to my Grandma Shogren.
12. Seeing God work through other people.
13. Laughing at nothing.
14. Inside jokes.
15. Good days in the cafeteria.
16. Talking to an old friend.
17. Being able to sleep in.
18. Getting my paycheck.
19. Seeing God's beauty in a sunset.
20. The way the WT clock tower looks at night.
21. The sound of rain on windows.
22. Cloudy-but-not-too-cold days.
23. Hearing my favorite song on the radio.
24. Making pointless Facebook videos.
25. Getting snail mail.
26. Good critiques on my art.
27. Doodling with Sharpie's.
28. The smell of laundry right out of the dryer.
29. Movie nights.
30. The feeling after working out.
31. Seeing pictures of newborn babies.
32. Coffee.
33. Giving or receiving hugs.
34. Walking around campus at night, talking with a good friend.
35. Surprises.
36. Wearing a summer dress.
37. Passing a test I thought I failed.
38. Watching snow fall.
39. Family time during the holidays.
40. The smell of Febreeze.
41. Good hair days.
42. Blogging.
43. Long road-trips.
44. Getting a massage.
45. Painting my toenails.
46. Enjoying my job.
47. A good fountain Diet Dr. Pepper.
48. Hearing live, amazing music.
49. The smell of Mexican food.
50. Acoustic guitars.
51. Having friends who love God.
52. Seeing my sister.
53. Going to Camp Discovery.
54. The feeling when I see a guy I like :)
55. Knowing I did something right.
56. Walking through art galleries.
57. Playing volleyball.
58. My grandma's sugar-free apple pie.
59. Finding other diabetic friends.
60. Short lines in Wal-Mart.
61. Having a class canceled.
62. Afternoon naps.
63. A new pair of sweatpants.
64. Seeing leaves rustle along the sidewalk.
65. Getting a new haircut.
66. Knowing I have a God that loves me.
67. Looking through my scrapbooks.
68. Having my art complimented.
69. Taking a really good picture.
70. Reading my favorite Scripture.
71. Shopping in Hobby Lobby.
72. Cleaning my room.
73. Coupons for free food.
74. Tanning by the pool.
75. Reading a good book.
76. Taking a bike ride at night.
77. Driving with the windows down.
78. Singing loudly to Taylor Swift songs.
79. Two-stepping.
80. College.
81. My Macbook.
82. Seeing my friends happy.
83. Painting.
84. Hearing fire cackle.
85. Going home for home-cooked food.
86. Underlining something in my Bible.
87. A good blood sugar.
88. Scrapbooking.
89. Remembering how I felt my first day of college.
90. Rearranging furniture.
91. Smell of freshly baked cookies.
92. Getting packages in the mail.
93. Watching live sports.
94. Long weekends.
95. Hearing thunder.
96. Going to the Soda Shoppe.
97. Yearbooks.
98. Long talks with friends.
99. Hot showers.
100. Teddy Bears from Dollar General.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Love is Here.

"I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do everything through him who gives me strength."

Something I've had to remind myself of so many times already this semester is that it is GOD's timing, not mine - in every aspect.

I have friend's (or know people) who are married, or engaged, or have a serious boyfriend, or have their third boyfriend of the semester. And then there's me.... who has nobody. No boyfriend, no "possibilities."

A close friend of mine is trying to balance friends/boyfriend time... but at the same time, trying to spend more time with friends. "I have a lifetime to spend with him."

Then it hit me. (well... a few hours later.)

The friends I have right now are amazing. They are the friends I always dreamed of having when I was in high school. I had very few friends - as true as some of my current friends - before I came to college. I should be taking full advantage of these friendships now.

With that in mind.. I think God hasn't brought me to the right guy (or any), because I have a lifetime with him.

I'm content.
I have time.

"Love is here.
Love is now.
Love is pouring from
His hands, from his brows.
Love is near, it
Streams of mercy flowing from his side.
'Cause love is here."

Monday, October 12, 2009


I need sleep. I need to blog. Sleep... blog.. sleep... blog.
Well, here I am.

I have not blogged in so long, which is very surprising because I have so much going on - in my head, and in life. Which is also... why I haven't blogged, haha. Crazy busy.

God is doing so much in my friends and in me... and so often in the last month I've thought, oh.. I should blog that! because it's been great (and, at times, rough) and I just want to remember those times. (Note to self: blog more.)

Tonight our Bible study took a "study break" since it's midterms... to eat pizza and watch the "Fruitcake and ice cream" video. In short, it's a story about a two girls who room together. One is a believer, one is not. The believer (fruitcake) prays for and pours into the non-believer, and after two weeks - TWO weeks - she accepts Christ into her life. Unfortunately, only three months later, she dies in a car accident.

This story started so many thoughts in my head, I can't think straight.

First, the verse "Since God chose you to be the holy people he loves, you must clothe yourselves with tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience." came to mind. As Christians, we should pour into others and let His light shine thru us -- which comes thru those things. But, I feel as though I've fallen short in some of those.

The story was really ...inspiring. I mean, only two weeks! And she was so far on the other end from believing. No one is too far for God, and we have to remember that and that we can only lead people to Christ, not save them.

But, at the same time... this story made me feel a bit discouraged. Why can't that two-week transformation happen here? (And of course, I answer myself - it's God's timing, not our own.)

I am so torn.... Love and let go, or serve fruitcake?