Thursday, December 18, 2008

My Birthday in Mexico-- the complete story

Hey everyone!! I know that I said that I wasn't going to write, but I couldn't help it when I realized that I hadn't written anything about how I celebrated my birthday.

On Sunday morning I got up (still with a cough and stuffed-up nose) and got ready for church. My family sang me the birthday song (in English and Spanish-- though the Spanish one is much longer), wished me a good day and sent me off to church with my two youngest siblings. Wait. There is something wrong with that picture, isn't there?
Well, it turned out that everyone else was sick. Okay, so I go to church by myself.

Now, according to the tradition of our church, you get wet on your birthday. I don't know who started that particular tradition, but there it is. Luckily they had compassion on me because I was still dealing with a cold. Whew!

After church I was invited to a party for the co-pastor's daughter (her birthday is the same day as mine, she turned two) at four. So, I stayed and helped Pily (her Mom) prepare stuff for the party. By the time four came around we headed down to the place where they were going to have the party. Only one problem, no one was there. Honestly, you have to know Mexican culture to truly understand how everything works here. If you say 2 o'clock, expect everyone to arrive at three. That's just how it is!

Anyway, after the party Karen-- pronounced; CAR-en, she's one of my best friends-- and I went back to my house. When we walked in the door I was pleasantly surprised to see that my Dad and siblings had decorated the house with ribbons. Awww, isn't that sweet!

Of course, I opened the presents first (apparently my brothers had been staring at them all day long =) ).
In case you wanted to know-- my Mom and Dad got me a new matress, YES! my brothers all got together and bought me a cellphone (my last on took a bath in the river =( ), Evie bought me a notebook and finally my Dad bought me a new CD by David Crowder Band called Remedy! I was vastly content!

For dinner-- It was much the same as anything that I ever did in the States; we had kiesh-- a French dish made up of eggs, meat (any kind) and veggies all mixed together and baked in a pie-crust-- and cheesecake. Yummmm!!!! I love cheesecake!!!

After dinner we all sat down and put in Sense and Sensibilty-- much to the dismay of my brothers. Karen and I both share a facination with anything by Jane Austen. I love all of her books and the movies aren't too bad either!

When everyone had gone to bad Karen and I stayed up to an ungodly hour talking and talking and talking and talking. You should hear us when we get going-- actually, you might not understand because we both talk in Spanish, lol!!

And so passsed my sweet 16!! I like small parties! Besides, last year we did the huge thing for my Quince AƱos.
Wow, I can't believe that I am 16!! When did that happen!

Now I am really not going to write anymore (unless I decide to :P )!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008


I wanted to let everyone know that until after the holiday season I shall not be writing as much on my blog. If you comment and I do not respond it is because didn't have time and I promise to try and get back to you asap!
Blessings to you all and I hope that your holiday season is blessed!
Remember that JESUS CHRIST is the reason for the season and don't get too caught up in being busy to stop and realize how great a gift JESUS IS!!

God and Science

(this is a forward that I received. I hope that you enjoy!!)

Let me explain the problem science has with Jesus Christ.' The atheist Professor of Philosophy pauses before his class and then asks one of his new students to stand.

You're a Christian, aren't you, son?'

'Yes sir,' the student says.

'So you believe in God?'


'Is God good?'

'Sure! God's good.'

'Is God all-powerful? Can God do anything?'


'Are you good or evil?'

'The Bible says I'm evil.'

The professor grins knowingly. 'Aha! The Bible!' He considers for a moment. 'Here's one for you. Let's say there's a sick person over here and you can cure him. You can do it. Would you help him? Would you try?'

'Yes sir, I would.'

'So you're good...!'

'I wouldn't say that.'

'But why not say that? You'd help a sick and maimed person if you could. Most of us would if we could. But God doesn't.'

The student does not answer, so the professor continues. 'He doesn't, does he? My brother was a Christian who died of cancer, even though he prayed to Jesus to heal him How is this Jesus good? Hmmm? Can you answer that one?'

The student remains silent.

'No, you can't, can you?' the professor says. He takes a sip of water from a glass on his desk to give the student time to relax.

'Let's start again, young fella Is God good?'

'Er...yes,' the student says.

'Is Satan good?'

The student doesn't hesitate on this one. 'No.'

'Then where does Satan come from?'

The student : 'From...God...'

'That's right. God made Satan, didn't he? Tell me, son. Is there evil in this world?'

'Yes, sir.'

'Evil's everywhere, isn't it? And God did make everything, correct?'


'So who created evil?' The professor continued, 'If God created everything, then God created evil, since evil exists, and according to the principle that our works define who we are, then God is evil.'

Without allowing the student to answer, the professor continues: 'Is there sickness? Immorality? Hatred? Ugliness? All these terrible things, do they exist in this world?'

The student: 'Yes.'

'So who created them?'

The student does not answer again, so the professor repeats his question. 'Who created them? There is still no answer. Suddenly the lecturer breaks away to pace in front of the classroom. The class is mesmerized. 'Tell me,' he continues onto another student. 'Do you believe in Jesus Christ, son?'

The student's voice is confident: 'Yes, professor, I do.'

The old man stops pacing. 'Science says you have five senses you use to identify and observe the world around you. Have you ever seen Jesus?'

'No sir. I've never seen Him'

'Then tell us if you've ever heard your Jesus?'

'No, sir, I have not.'

'Have you ever actually felt your Jesus, tasted your Jesus or smelt your Jesus? Have you ever had any sensory perception of Jesus Christ, or God for that matter?'

'No, sir, I'm afraid I haven't.'

'Yet you still believe in him?'


'According to the rules of empirical, testable, demonstrable protocol, science says your God doesn't exist. What do you say to that, son?'

'Nothing,' the student replies. 'I have my faith.'

'Yes, faith,' the professor repeats. 'And that is the problem science has with God. There is no evidence, only faith.'

The student stands quietly for a moment, before asking a question of his own. Professor, is there such thing as heat?'

'Yes,' the professor replies. 'There's heat.'

'And is there such a thing as cold?'

'Yes, son, there's cold too.'

'No sir, there isn't.'

The professor turns to face the student, obviously interested. The room suddenly becomes very quiet. The student begins to explain.

'You can have lots of heat, even more heat, super-heat, mega-heat, unlimited heat, white heat, a little heat or no heat, but we don't have anything called 'cold'. We can hit up to 458 degrees below zero, which is no heat, but we can't go any further after that. There is no such thing as cold; otherwise we would be able to go colder than the lowest -458 degrees. Everybody or object is susceptible to study when it has or transmits energy, and heat is what makes a body or matter have or transmit energy. Absolute zero (-458 F) is the total absence of heat. You see, sir, cold is only a word we use to describe the absence of heat. We cannot measure cold. Heat we can measure in thermal units because heat is energy. Cold is not the opposite of heat, sir, just the absence of it.'

Silence across the room. A pen drops somewhere in the classroom, sounding like a hammer.

'What about darkness, professor. Is there such a thing as darkness?'

'Yes,' the professor replies without hesitation. 'What is night if it isn't darkness ?'

'You're wrong again, sir. Darkness is not something; it is the absence of something. You can have low light, normal light, bright light, flashing light, but if you have no light constantly you have nothing and it's called darkness, isn't it? That's the meaning we use to define the word. In reality, darkness isn't. If it were, you would be able to make darkness darker, wouldn't you?'

The professor begins to smile at the student in front of him. This will be a good semester. 'So what point are you making, young man?'

'Yes, professor. My point is, your philosophical premise is flawed to start with, and so your conclusion must also be flawed.'

The professor's face cannot hide his surprise this time. 'Flawed? Can you explain how?'

'You are working on the premise of duality,' the student explains. 'You argue that there is life and then there's death; a good God and a bad God. You are viewing the concept of God as something finite, something we can measure. Sir, science can't even explain a thought. It uses electricity and magnetism, but has never seen, much less fully understood either one. To view death as the opposite of life is to be ignorant of the fact that death cannot exist as a substantive thing. Death is not the opposite of life, just the absence of it.' 'Now tell me, professor. Do you teach your students that they evolved from a monkey?'

'If you are referring to the natural evolutionary process, young man, yes, of course I do'

'Have you ever observed evolution with your own eyes, sir?'

The professor begins to shake his head, still smiling, as he realizes where the argument is going. A very good semester, indeed.

'Since no one has ever observed the process of evolution at work and cannot even prove that this process is an on-going endeavor, are you not teaching your opinion, sir? Are you now not a scientist, but a preacher?'

The class is in uproar. The student remains silent until the commotion has subsided.

'To continue the point you were making earlier to the other student, let me give you an example of what I mean.' The student looks around the room. 'Is there anyone in the class who has ever seen the professor's brain?' The class breaks out into laughter.

' Is there anyone here who has ever heard the professor's brain, felt the professor's brain, touched or smelled the professor's brain? No one appears to have done so. So, according to the established rules of empirical, stable, demonstrable protocol, science says that you have no brain, with all due respect, sir. So if science says you have no brain, how can we trust your lectures, sir?' Now the room is silent. The professor just stares at the student, his face unreadable.

Finally, after what seems an eternity, the old man answers. 'I guess you'll have to take them on faith.'

'Now, you accept that there is faith, and, in fact, faith exists with life,' the student continues. 'Now, sir, is there such a thing as evil?'

Now uncertain, the professor responds, 'Of course, there is. We see it every day. It is in the daily example of man's in humanity to man. It is in the multitude of crime and violence everywhere in the world. These manifestations are nothing else but evil.'

To this the student replied, 'Evil does not exist sir , or at least it does not exist unto itself. Evil is simply the absence of God. It is just like darkness and cold, a word that man has created to describe the absence of God. God did not create evil. Evil is the result of what happens when man does not have God's love present in his heart. It's like the cold that comes when there is no heat or the darkness that comes when there is no light.'

The professor sat down.

I've be tagged, now you're it!

I was tagged by Felecia at "Flower in the rain" so here goes!

~ The Rules ~

*Post the six to ten things that you do on a daily basis
*Link to the person who tagged you.
*Tag five other people
*Leave a comment on the blog of the person that tagged you letting them know that have posted this to your blog.
~*~ A rule I'm adding; you must tag at least one person who's blog you have either just found within the last week or some one who's blog that you don't know very well! (added by Miss Sydney)

  • I make my bed
  • practice my guitar
  • brush my hair
  • make something (anything: aka, crochet, bake, etc. I can't live without creativity :P)
  • Read my Bible
  • Spend time alone with God (I try very hard to do that every day)
  • I drink water
  • read the comments on my blog
  • I bug my brothers (HeeHee)
  • Study French
Okay, now five people...

Lady Jess
Rebecca (aka: Mom)

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Pictures and other fun stuff...

Hello, everyone!! I am sorry that I have been out of contact for a bit, duty called!! I can't always live on my blog, I have to fulfill my responsibilities in everyday life as well. I tell my Mom that with all the things I have to get done on the computer every day I could spend all day typing and still not finish!!
To all of my Blogger buddies, I will try and get back to your comments. I do still love you guys!!

Life has been busy this past week. Final exams are coming up on French and I am in a frenzy to be as prepared as I can. I can't believe that it's already the 11th. Where did this year go??!!

I have been horrid sick all week. I suppose it was good to get it out of the way now so as not to get it later, but NO FUN!! It's like one of those colds that gets you and just gets worse and worse. For me this is the worst kind because I can't sing with a sore throat and I basically live by singing all the time!! That might sound like an over-exaggeration, but it is true.

This past week we have also been working on our house. I know, I know, Christmas-time is not usually when you tear your house apart, but someone sent us a gift and we wanted to put it to use. I can't wait for the project to be finished, it will look so nice!! When I can get the pictures uploaded onto the computer I will publish a few in a post.

So, for now I have decided to just post some pictures. I know it has been awhile since I've done so. Sorry, flakiness on my part, but this wrong can be righted. Here ya go!!


These are some wonderful cows that I made for a friend. She is going to put them on her front gates. Now, I personally don't like cows very much, but I think that these are cute-- that doesn't mean that I would put them on my gates!!!



This is called "Sarah didn't realize the paint was oil-based so she tried to scrub out the paint pan with her hands". You think that this is bad? You should have seen my hands half an hour before the picture was taken. Yikes!!
Have you ever had one of those kind of days?


Pizza time!! This is Mom's and my specialty. Yummm!!!! If you come down and visit us I'll even make some special for you, deal?


Boys will do as boys will do, no? I don't know if they ever actually made something out of the pieces. I don't think so, I think the fun for them was all in the disassembly of the motors!


This is Caleb's old robot. I don't know if it works or not (I should say worked, it is in pieces upstairs now)


Puppies and kittens!! I love animals! We have gotten rid of all bu three of them now. Can't say I was extremely sorry to see them go, they are a lot of work and I can't stand chewed-up things strew all over the yard.


Caleb and I on one of the rare occasions that I got him to play with me ( :P )!


This was an Agape dinner (potluck) that we had a few weeks ago at our church. To find out more about the potluck turned water fight Click HERE and read about it on our Family blog.

Thanks for reading about what's going on my side of the world! I would love to hear back from you!

Blessings to all of you!
In Christ~

Friday, December 5, 2008

So, what about prayer?

Hey everyone! I have felt led to post about prayer.
Prayer is one of the hardest and most necessary things in the Christian life. Setting up a daily and hourly prayer schedule is difficult and takes a lot of work. It is my belief that it is so hard because we have an enemy whose object in life is to see us fall and fail in all that we do for God. Prayer is what makes the Christian tick. If the Devil succeeds in causing us to fail at it, then he has succeeded in making us live a stunted life. We can't grow if we don't pray and receive from God.

I've found that something that helps me immensely when I pray is to pray aloud. I know, it sounds weird to say that you should talk aloud when there is "no one" in the room. I, however, find that this makes it much easier to concentrate. When I try and pray in my mind I find myself wandering off in my thoughts and I have to constantly be pulling my mind back into focus.
I try to, every time before I begin to pray, ask God to take control. I pray against anything that the Devil is trying to throw against me and I pray protection over my family. This tends to help me gain victory.

Also, we need to realize that just because our minds wander doesn't mean that we are a bad people. Everyone is tempted. BEING tempted is not what we need to fight against, FALLING to the temptation is. We have to make sure that we see any obstacle between us and God as from the enemy, not from us.
Corinthians 5:17
Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come.

This verse says that you are a new creature in Christ. That means that in Christ you are no longer considered a sinner. Sure, you still fail at times, but now you are essentially good. That means that ANY temptation that comes your way is from your FLESH (your old sin nature, to which you are now dead) or THE DEVIL, not you. You are a new creature in Christ!!

For, how can we say that when we do something good it's from Christ yet when we do something bad it's us. NO! In Christ we are new, different, changed.
Romans 5:18-20
So then as through one transgression there resulted condemnation to all men, even so through one act of righteousness there resulted justification of life to all men. For as through the one man's disobedience the many were made sinners, even so through the obedience of the One the many will be made righteous.
[my emphasis added]
Christ has given you the victory!! He died so that you might have life and have it in abundance!!
John 10:10
"The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly."
Live that life. Claim it in the name of Jesus. The One who is on our side is greater than the one who is in the world (1 John 4:4). Proclaim it in the name of Jesus and the enemy will flee!!!!!

Prayer can only be established by practice. The more you practice prayer, the easier and more natural it will become. The apostle Paul tells us in his letters to the Ephesians that we should pray without ceasing. That means that we should not only set aside a time for private prayer but that we should pray throughout the day.

While you're doing the dishes if you think of someone who needs prayer, pray!! There is nothing stopping you. God invites us to pray to Him at all times. That's what Paul meant when he said pray without ceasing. Not that you should always lock yourself away in your room, but that you should constantly be in communication with God. It's funny, but the word communication has the same root as the word communion. Just a thought!

Thanks guys for listening to my ramblings!

My name!

This is a fun little thing that I found over at Jocelyn's blog. I just thought that it was a neat idea. I think that I prefer my second name in Hebrew to my first name in English (as it so happens, my first name is the same in Hebrew as in English. I haven't found a language yet in which my name is different. Oh, shucks!).
Perhaps I shall change my name legally, what d'ya think?!? I suppose now you want to know what my name actually is. So, without further ado, my Hebrew name is:

Yochana... I love the sound of it! Yochana. LOL!

To find your Hebrew name click HERE.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Getting My Priorities Straight

Recently I have been thinking about priorities and where God should fit in. I mean, I knew that the Bible taught that God should come first in all that we do and that most churches teach that you should "tithe your time" but what does that mean?

I always saw it as meaning that I needed to give God a percentage of all of my time. I don't know about you, but I found that difficult. To always be worried that I wasn't giving God enough? And what is "enough" anyway? I had no idea.

One person would tell me, "All you have to do is dedicate some time to prayer and read your Bible every day," another would say, "No, no, you have to share the gospel with someone to have truly tithed your time," and still another, "Just follow the rules the best you can and you'll be fine."
Okay, now I was really confused! What's the truth? Where should God be on my priority list?

From all the advice that I had been given my list ended up looking something like this:

  • God
  • Prayer
  • Reading the Bible
  • Sharing the Gospel
  • Family
  • Friends
  • Quiet Time for myself
  • Chores at Home
  • Work
  • Going to Church
  • School
  • Having Fun
  • ...
Now, I'm not saying that there is anything wrong with the things on the list. They are all good things and most of them things that I do every day. The problem with the list is that it's set up as a list of expectations. That means that for me this list was something that I lived by. A standard that I had set. When I went to the Bible, however, I found very different results.
1 Corinthians 10:31

Whether, then, you eat or drink or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.
So, the Bible says that in ALL things and ALL the time we must give Him the glory. I found myself thinking, "But that's not what everyone else says!" It turns out that the Bible had something to say to that argument too.

Colossians 2:6-8

Therefore as you have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him, having been firmly rooted and now being built up in Him and established in your faith, just as you were instructed, and overflowing with gratitude. See to it that no one takes you captive through philosophy and empty deception, according to the tradition of men, according to the elementary principles of the world, rather than according to Christ.

Now I was really stumped. Not only was I wrong in my assumptions, but I couldn't use what people had told me as a basis anymore. I had to go to the Bible and come up with a whole new kind of priority list. This is something like what I came up with:

We need to give God everything and more! We can't give Him a portion or even a percentage. If He isn't being glorified in everything that we do then we are falling short of God's command.
Matthew 5:14-16

"You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden; nor does anyone light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on the lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven."

We must be lights to the world and we do that by showing God in our actions. As it says in James 1, "...Faith without works is dead..." You can't be a Christian and NOT show Christ in all your actions!

You need to realize that I'm not perfect or even close. Just because I finally figured out what my priority list should look like doesn't mean I have as easy a time living it out. I still fight against my flesh and the Devil-- whose object in life is to see me fail. Only by the grace of God do I even have a chance. But, thanks to Jesus, I do have the grace of God, and I can do it!!!

In His service~