Thursday, February 23, 2017

You three are far more precious than jewels


Reading vs. Studying

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

"Now the Berean Jews were of more noble character than those in Thessalonica, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true." Acts 17:11

Sometimes, when I’m feeling especially lazy, reading one Scripture from the Bible qualifies as my quiet time. But, I learn nothing from reading it over once and I would hardly even remember what the Scripture said as I would go on with my day.

It becomes extremely easy to get into that rhythm of reading something from the Bible quickly and passing it as your time with God. But the problem with that is that: the Bible isn’t meant to just be read.  

They examined the Scriptures

Let’s define the word examine:

Inspect (someone or something) in detail to determine their nature or condition; investigate thoroughly. (thanks Google)

If you were to spend time studying for a biology exam, you wouldn’t glance at the words “DNA Replication for Mitosis” and think: “I think the author of this textbook is trying to tell me that DNA replicates for Mitosis” and decide for yourself that you’ve finished studying and are ready for the final exam.

No, imagine how silly that would be. You would have failed the exam! Instead, you would have taken time to fully understand that “DNA Replication for Mitosis” occurs within the nucleus of a cell during the Synthesis phase, and that the importance for replicating genetic information is to make sure that, before dividing, the cells get all of the right instructions for creating essential proteins. Right? Now, you understand what your textbook is saying and you’re ready for the exam!

So why should the Bible be read differently? It may not be an exam we're studying for, but I think the goal of eternal life is a good enough reason to be studying out the Bible. The Bible is amazingly complex, and just reading won't help us understand the Bible.

They examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true

Your pastors/preachers/leaders of your churches have probably said that “God’s Word is the truth.” How easily did you nod and agree with your pastor/preacher without even questioning it?  Is the Bible really the truth? How exactly are you putting your Faith in something that you don’t even understand fully?

“Jesus then said to the Jews who had believed in him, ‘If you continue in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.’” (John 8:31-32)

The Bereans were adamant that everything they heard and read that was about the Bible or God was to be thoroughly examined by themselves, in case there was some false doctrine happening. The Bereans didn’t want to put their Faith in something blindly, they wanted to understand it all for themselves, and by doing this, they came to believe (Acts 17:12) in God and Jesus; not because they were told to, but because they knew why they should.

I remember listening to a lesson on the importance of studying one’s Bible during a sermon in Montreal, and one of my favourite points from the preacher that day was: “if we’re just reading what’s on the [Bible’s] surface, I don’t think we’ll make it.”

I was blown away, because his words were both scary to hear, and essential to be said. It’s true. If we are reading the surface of the Scriptures, how exactly will we grow in our Faith? Understanding God, understanding Jesus, understanding sin, and Grace, and Love, and so much more are what build Faith, and conviction, and help us grow closer and deeper with God. If we aren’t building an understanding, our Faith will only weaken and weaken and soon diminish, because we never bothered to learn.

There is one final point I wanted to talk about. The words “every day” are used in the Acts 17 Scripture as well.

Another one of my favourite lines that the preacher from Montreal had said was: “Each time you study the Bible, it is an act of war against evil.” Every day is a fresh new day for Satan to prowl around, looking for someone to devour (1 Peter 5:8), so every day we should be spending time in the Bible. With an understanding of the Word, and in turn, an unshakable Faith (Proverbs 10:25), we will make it. 

My encouragement? Stop just reading the Bible. Stop reading what’s on the surface and qualifying that as a productive time with God. Study the Scriptures, and come to new understandings, and grow in your Faith! If you want to finish the race strong, then start by studying the Bible. (Luke 21:19)

Fools have no interest in understanding (Proverbs 18:2)

(shout out to Lauryn K. for helping me understand DNA Replication for Mitosis)



Thursday, February 16, 2017

So my birthday was four days ago (Yeah I know, I'm a little late in writing this...), and I turned nineteen. Can you believe it? Nineteen? 

Can't say I'm super excited to nineteen, because all I can think about is almsot being twenty ... and I'm not ready to be twenty. That means I actually have to be mature and all grown up now (boo).

I thought, to really kick off my adulthood, I would create a bucket list of things to do before turning twenty years old. I want this year to be of a lot of growth, and lots of fun too, and really just my best year yet because after this year, everything changes!!

1. Write 500 words a day (or more!). Honestly, I don't do this enough. I most definitely need to be sure I'm constantly writing, whether it my novel, or really anything in order to continue to improve my writing!
2. Get a job. Since I'm moving out this year and hoping to go on mission trips to volunteer, I definitely need to start woring to save up money. (Already feeling this adulthood thing :( )
3. Get a pixie cut. I've always wanted one, so I plan on getting one!
4. Buy a lottery ticket. I didn't do this when I turned 18, and obviously I have been able to, but, yeah, I gotta do it now. Would be bless to win something!
5. Meet fitness goal. I've already been right on track with meeting my fitness goal. All that's left to do is to keep it up!
6. Nail the note in “I am Moana”. I'm soooo close to accomplishing this, but so far away!
7. Buy less fast food. That means meal preps every week to avoid the temptation to buy something quick and unhealthy!
8. Finish novel 100%. I've put this off long enough. I've been writing this novel for over five years, and there's not doubt in my mind that this year is going to be the year that I finally finish it!
9. Publish novel. This might be a little far-fetched... but I'm staying hopeful!
10. Go vegan for a month. I tried veganism once before, and man it was hard, but I felt good knowing that it's possible and that I can actually do it.
11. Go on a trip. Hopefully more than just a road trip, and more of a plane ride!
12. Help the poor and needy every month (or more!). I don't serve enough, and I need to serve more.
13. Update songs on IPod. I've had the same 60 songs (isn't that sad?) on my IPod for way too long. I'm definitely sick of hearing them and need and upgrade!
14. Sing on stage for an audience. High key, I love to perform, and getting the chance to sing on stage for something would be a dream come true!
15. Get my license. Isn't this sad? I'm nineteen and am still without my license?
16. Share in front of the church. Definitely a dream of mine to share my testimony or something in front of the church. One day...
17. Destroy this years’ exams! A's gotta be everywhere!
18. Share your faith every day. Everyone needs to be saved, and I got to do my part to give people the opportunity to hear the Gospel! I have no excuse!
19. Baptize a friend. Dreaaammmm!

Humans Of The Kingdom


Wednesday, February 08, 2017

"When I was three years old, I fell and hurt myself. I was running around, I was very rambunctious, and my mom said that I fell and I wasn’t moving. She picked me up and her and my dad rushed me to the hospital. They gave me an injection to alleviate the pain, but I think it damaged a nerve. Then they tried to repair that by doing physiotherapy by putting braces on both my legs, but that dislocated both my hips. So I couldn’t walk anymore.

"I don’t blame God though, because I don’t know any different. People who blame God for what happened to them, most of those people have a memory of what life was like before. I don’t know what it’s like to walk properly, I don’t know what it’s like to not be in a wheelchair, I don’t know what it’s like to not feel pain on a daily basis. To me, I get up every day and I’m in pain and to me, that’s just normal.

"I don’t ask God why these things happen. If you look at Paul, he had to accept the fact that it is what it is. He had to do what he needed to do for God. The scriptures tell me that you should not be asking why. That’s not an appropriate question because you aren’t going to get answer from it anyway. My disability, the reason why I am disabled, is so that I could bring glory to God with my body, and bring glory to God with my actions. I don’t see my disability as a hindrance, as a problem, I don’t see it as a problem. To me, being in a wheelchair is just like if someone were wearing glasses or a hearing aid. To me, I don’t see it as a huge issue."

Simone // Mississauga