Saturday, November 19, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone! :D

For Thanksgiving this year, I thought I’d try to sit down and count my blessings. I soon realized that putting a number on them was going to be completely impossible. So I just decided to list them instead. So here is a list of some of the things for which I'm thankful.

I suppose I should start at the beginning…

I’m thankful that I know truth and that I have a desire to pursue truth. Even if you know truth, if you don’t have a desire to pursue it and obey it, it does nothing for you. I’m thankful that God allowed me to know it and gave me a love for it as well. If I didn’t have the rest of the things and people on this wonderful list, but I just had truth and a passion for it, I would still be blessed beyond anything I could ever deserve.

I’m thankful for my parents. My dad works harder than anyone I know to provide for us financially, emotionally and spiritually. My mom is a prayer warrior and also a hard worker. I’m thankful that they didn’t leave it up to others to teach their children, but they sat down with us and taught us Bible studies. They worked with us on our Bible quizzing scriptures. They prayed with us and for us. They lead by example and that’s the reason my brothers and I are in church today.

I’m thankful for my crazy brothers. They keep me laughing constantly. I’m thankful that they’re all living for God. One day when I have children of my own, they’re going to have godly uncles and aunts that will provide stability and love and support for them. I’m thankful that Jay has found Jenny, that Caleb has found Brittany and that Josh will one day find a godly young lady who will be perfect for him as well. I’m thankful for all the midnight viewings of Robin Hood with Jay. I’m thankful for the randomness that Caleb brings to my life. I’m thankful for every Totino’s Crisp Crust Pizza that I’ve shared with Josh. I’m thankful that they taught me how to shoot a basketball, swing a bat and throw a football. I’m thankful that they let me play with them and didn’t exclude me because I’m a girl.

I have wonderful childhood memories. I have the best family anyone could ask for. I don’t know why God allowed me all of these wonderful things, but He did and I’m so thankful.

I’m thankful that I grew up attending First United Pentecostal Church of Raleigh (now the Temple of Pentecost). I’m thankful for the leadership of wonderful men of God like Wayne Huntley and Bryan Ballestero. I’m thankful for the wonderful godly examples of their wives, Patsy Huntley and Christy Ballestero. I’m thankful that they instilled in me a love for truth and holiness and led me by their example.

I’m thankful that God called me to IBC. It was my dream since I was a child and God miraculously provided a way for me to go. Now that I’m here, it’s more than I ever dreamed it would be. I’m thankful for the call of God on my life and honored that he would choose me. 

I'm thankful for every staff member at IBC who gives of themselves unselfishly. They pour their passion, their knowledge and their burden into us daily. I've never known a group of harder working people for the Kingdom of God. 

And of course I’m thankful for all of my wonderful friends:

Heather and Korey: My sisters. I don’t just have one best friend, I have two. They’re beautiful inside and out. They love God and they love me. They’ve provided endless hours worth of listening ears, sound advice, supportive hugs, prayers and just plain old good times.
My Raleigh folks: My childhood best friends Courtney and Amber who are still my good friends today, Timothy, Zack, Caleb, Stephanie, Brittany, Kendrik and so many more.
My IBC “family”: Abby Thompson, my first IBC friend who was my Starbucks buddy, my Christmas music buddy, my grocery shopping buddy and my lifeline my freshman year.
Greta Shraufnagel, for the countless hours I spent in her room just hanging out and talking, for all the wonderful hugs, the prayers and the laughs.
Michael Mast for being my first Christmas banquet date, for all the MSAs, the Starbucks runs, the good times.
Toby Elsey for being someone I can count on, someone who encourages me and someone who can pretty much always make me laugh.
Andrew Herbst, my “little brother” for being a trustworthy and understanding friend. 
Candra Poitras for being a beautiful person with a caring heart and an encouraging word, and also for being hilarious. ;)
Melinda Poitras for being the most passion-filled person I know, and for painting pretty pictures with her words that can make me nostalgic for times in which I have not lived, places to which I have never been and people whom I have never met.
Erin Yancy for being talented, yet humble, for being a living, breathing testimony of the grace of God and for allowing God to use her to be blessing to so many people.
Ashton Pace, my sweet roommate who is basically my own personal cheerleader and who puts up with my occasional messiness.
Gideon Assefa for giving of himself and being the most unselfish person I know. And for being a theology major who is also an amazing Praise musician. ;)
Dustin Moore for being quite possibly the most compassionate, encouraging and sweet friend I have and for every IBC dinner at the table by the window which have come to mean so much to me.
Kari Martin, my friend, my suitemate, my mentor, my prayer partner, my MSA boss of sorts and soon to be my co-worker.
Hannah Troxal, for being unafraid to answer the call of God on her life and for being wonderful example of holiness.

There are so many more wonderful people in my life and if I have left you out, it’s not because I’m not thankful for your friendship. God has placed us all in each other’s lives and I’m truly thankful for everyone who has touched mine.

I’m also thankful that I was born and raised in the United States of America, specifically in the beautiful state of North Carolina. I’m thankful for the freedoms I enjoy everyday. I’m thankful for the city of Indianapolis and the fun times I’ve had here. I’m thankful for every sunrise and every sunset I’ve been privileged to see. I’m thankful for my health, for a sound mind, for the ability to learn. I’m thankful for the gift of music and all it adds to my life. I’m thankful for technology and the ability to keep in touch with all of my favorite people no matter where I am on this globe. I’m thankful that I have an education. I’m thankful for books and the endless amount of information and entertainment they provide. I’m thankful that I never have to go to bed with an empty stomach. I’m thankful for coffee. I’m thankful for Christmas and times of celebration with my family and friends. I’m thankful for Nutella. I’m thankful for nature and it’s beauty. I’m thankful for every season, for the beauty of snow, the phenomenon of rain, the peacefulness of a blue sky and a sunny day. I’m thankful for every nap I’ve taken on the beach and for the constant crashing of the waves. I’m thankful for every hike I’ve taken through the woods, every pile of fall leaves I have ever jumped into, every bonfire I’ve roasted a marshmallow in on a chilly night. I’m thankful for every time that my favorite song has come on the radio unexpectedly. I’m thankful for every birthday I’ve ever had and for every present from a loved one. I’m thankful for a warm bed, hot water and a full closet. I’m thankful for every roadtrip I have ever taken (there have been several). I’m thankful that I have never been pulled over and that I’ve never been in a wreck (it’s only by the grace of God!) I’m thankful for every sermon that has convicted me and challenged me to change. I’m thankful for every sermon that has encouraged and uplifted me. I’m thankful for every worship service, altar call and prayer meeting where I have felt the presence of God. I’m thankful for every youth camp, youth rally and youth Bible study that have helped me to grow spiritually.

I’m sure you get the picture. I could go on and on for hours just listing things. Little things, big things…it never ends. What right do I have to complain? What right do I have to feel sorry for myself. I’m literally living my dream and I could never express my gratitude to my God for His blessings on my life.

I challenge everyone who reads this blog: find a quiet place this Thanksgiving, sit down with a pen and paper, or your laptop, and start listing. You'll be overwhelmed. I certainly am.

James 1:17 Every good and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.


Wednesday, September 7, 2011

More Book Reviews

Here are a few titles I've read recently or am currently working on:


Order My Steps: The life of missionary Paul A. Dennis

I think I devoured this book in about 2 days. It's the story of Paul Dennis who was a missionary to Japan and who happens to be the grandfather of one of my friends and classmates here at IBC. It's an amazing story about how God brought this man out of a sinful lifestyle and gave him a ministry that changed thousands of lives. It goes to show how anyone can be saved and used of God-no matter their past-if they're willing to surrender their life to Him.


The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe

I know that this is not a new find but the series is new to me. I've never read them before and I found the entire set at Goodwill for $5.00. I figured I had to buy them and read them all. I've completed the first one (this one) and am currently in the middle of Prince Caspian. They are a fun and easy read as well as being interesting in a spiritual aspect. C.S. Lewis is a genius. Just sayin'. 


Creation vs. Evolution

This was one of my textbooks last year for my Science in the Bible class and I found it fascinating. It's a book that scientifically refutes the evolutionary theory (annihilates it, actually) and gives overwhelming evidence for the creation story and the flood of Noah's day as described in the book of Genesis. I recommend this book to students who want to be able to defend their faith and be grounded in truth in the face of the lies being taught to them everyday in public schools and universities. I would also recommend this book to any scientifically minded person who maybe wants to understand why Christians believe the way we do about the Creation of the world. It's interesting, insightful and faith affirming. And it's a pretty easy read. :)


My Utmost for His Highest

This is a little devotional book that I try to read from everyday. Oswald Chambers is one of my favorite devotional writers. He deals a lot with subjects in a much deeper way than most modern Christian writers. He addresses things such as suffering, total surrender to God, complete trust in God. I would recommend adding this into your daily devotional routine for a little extra insight on becoming a more effective Christian.



Benjamin Franklin: the autobiography and other writings

Okay, I know what you're thinking. I picked this book up at Goodwill for 99 cents and surprisingly enough it is very interesting. To me at least. It's a detailed word portrait of this important figure in our nation's history. He tells about his life in great detail, reviewing decisions he made as good or bad and giving practical advice to the reader on how to avoid the bad decisions and make good ones. He speaks in depth about the importance of frugality, temperance and many other virtues and how to practically apply them to your own life. It's also interesting to me because he deals with a variety of subjects such as personal relationships, business endeavors and his religious inquiries. Maybe it wouldn't be interesting to most people but I am thoroughly enjoying it. :)

Reading is awesome. I've been trying to read more and I've quite enjoyed rediscovering my love affair with the written word. Challenge yourself to read something new. Whether it be educational or a novel, it's beneficial to your brain. :)

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Not All Consequences Are Bad

I took a three hour nap today. Normally, I would feel guilty about that but I'm pretty sure I earned it. :)


Consequently, I cannot sleep. Consequently, I am blogging. 


So, here's the lowdown: Life at IBC continues to be amazing. The first two and a half weeks have flown by as if someone somewhere has pushed a cosmic fast-forward button on my life. So far, every chapel service has been amazing, every class has been inspirational, every prayer meeting powerful and every social event epic. This coming Thursday and Friday, Calvary Tabernacle will be hosting the annual MARC (mid-America renewal conference) at which my amazing Senior Pastor Brother Wayne Huntley will be preaching as well as five other amazing speakers. It's sure to be legendary!


I'm so blessed to be here at IBC at this particular time. There's a unity here that is, I feel, unprecedented. There are young people stepping into their callings and their ministries like never before. It's a wonderful feeling and an amazing opportunity of which I hope and pray that I can take full advantage. 


Twitter is being stupid, but if it weren't, this is what I would post: 


"No weapon formed against me shall prosper. NO. WEAPON." 


In all that I face, I must never forget this. I have been bought with a price. I have obeyed the Word of God. I have done my part. Now it is His turn to fulfill His promises in my life. And, of course, He is coming through for me. Like He has always done for me. Like He will always do for me and you and everyone else who has obeyed His Word.


So there's that. Have a blessed day. XOXO

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Back in Indy!

I realize that I have been THE BIGGEST SLACKER when it comes to updating my friends and family on what's happening in my life and for this I am sorry. This is me attempting to make it up to you all.


So...picking up where I left off...


My last blog was posted from DeKalb, IL where I spent the summer interning. It was a great experience for me. I was able to participate in various facets of ministry including things that I normally would not have participated in. I was able to sing, play piano, speak, preach (yes, there's a difference), put together some outreach concerts, take a home missions trip, teach the youth and lots of other small things here and there. I would highly recommend to any young minister, no matter what you're called to do, to complete some type of internship like that if you are ever given the chance. Experience is the best teacher.


Right before leaving DeKalb, I got to attend North American Youth Congress 2011, which, I'm sure you heard, was life-changing! Every service was apostolic. That's the best way I can describe the entire congress. It was completely and totally apostolic. And also, I learned that I'm a Giant. :)


Melinda, me, Candra and Kari at NAYC 2011

Greta, Toby and me. Partial "family" reunion. :)

My new friend Adrian and myself at Canes in Columbus

Me and the little bro being silly

Anointed worship services led by Kristin Keller

An anointed and timely message preached by Brother Jimmy Toney.
 WE ARE GIANTS!




After a 15 hour drive home (which I broke up over 2 days. Thank you Candra and Melinda for letting me crash at your place at 2 am.) I turned right around the next day, picked up one bestie from the airport, hit up Bojangles and we drove to Virginia Beach to see the other bestie. I'm so thankful that I got to see them for a few days. They are a great strength to me and I miss them both dearly.
Heather, me and Korey. Love them!


I then returned home only for a night and then packed up with the family and we headed to the coast. We spent three nights on Ocracoke Island. We all returned home looking like lobsters. But we had a blast and I'm thankful that I got to spend four days with my wonderful family. 


Josh and I attempting to amuse ourselves during the 5 hour car ride

Getting ready to get on NC 12!

Mom and Dad. :)

Daddy and me on the ferry

Traditional feet picture

Ocracoke lighthouse. Taken from the South side of the island.




The next day was spend doing laundry and packing. So much laundry. So much packing. Then, I got up bright and early the next morning and set out for Indy. And I've been here ever since. It's been a week and a half since I got here and already I have gotten back into the IBC groove. I've reconnected with my friends from last year and made some new freshman friends. :) I have some added responsibility this year as I am now the new Music Director for MSA (Ministerial Student Association). Candra, who did this job last year, is now serving as our Student Body Secretary and so for the next few weeks she will be training me to take over her job. I'm excited and nervous about it, but mostly excited. I can feel that this year is going to be awesome. More awesome than last year, which was pretty awesome. :) 


Part of the group that went to the IMA the first Saturday of school.

My new friend Grace.


The lovely Jana. I'm so glad she came back this year!

My hilarious, beautiful, sweet Poitras girls.

Bottom line: God is good. 
Love to you all. Goodnight. <3

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Salt and Light

With NAYC 2011 on the horizon, I feel that there are some things that need to be revisited, and that is why I am writing this blog.

We are called to be "Salt" and "Light" to this world.

Salt does two important things. 1. It gives flavor. In a bland generation of sameness, we are called to stand out. 2. Salt makes people thirsty. With our words, our actions, our appearance, our lives, we are called to create in this apathetic world a thirst for Jesus Christ who is the living water that they need.

Light is self-explanatory. This world is in darkness. Jesus Christ is the light. We are to reflect His light, to be like Him, in effect pointing them toward Him.

That being said, a week from today, thousands of us will gather together in one city for 3 days of worship, learning and a unified renewal of our purpose on this earth. But, perhaps the most important things we do will take place outside of the arena.

We will be invading their restaurants, hotels, malls and food courts. They will see us walking down the street, driving in our cars, shopping, eating, etc., and they will know who we are. We will have an impact on the city of Columbus, OH and I hope and pray that it will be a positive one. In order for that to happen, there are some things that we need to work together to do.

1. Behave civilly in restaurants. I know we like food and fellowship and we love to combine the two. But we have to remember that there are lots of other people in those restaurants and we don't want them to view us as loud and obnoxious. If a waiter or manager asks you to be quiet, be respectful. Apologize and obey.

2. Don't get angry at a waiter or waitress when your food is wrong, late, or cold when you get it. They are dealing with bigger crowds than they're used to and they're probably in panic mode. Be kind and polite. If there's a problem with your food that you can't just deal with, kindly explain the problem with a smile on your face. They'll appreciate your kindness and be more willing to work with you, and you've just treated them like a human being (which they're not used to) and that will impact them positively. Win-win situation.

3. TIP!!! I don't care if you have 20 different problems with your meal. They still had to serve you, put up with your large, boisterous group as well as all of the other large boisterous groups in the restaurant. They will be working hard and they deserve to be tipped and tipped well. I'm talking at least 15 % if not 18 or 20. And, please, if all you order is a $1 cup of coffee, still leave them a couple dollars. Remember, we are supposed to be different!

4. Do not be loud and obnoxious when returning to your hotel at midnight. There are other guests there besides you need to respect that. They need to think that we are the most respectful and well behaved group of young people they have ever seen.

5. Please take a long, detailed look in the mirror before you leave the hotel. Do you look like a Christian trying to be like the world? Girls, just because you're wearing a skirt doesn't mean you're dressed modestly. Ask yourself "Is this too tight? Too short? Too low?" Sadly enough, this goes not only for the girls but also the guys. Ask yourself what image you are trying to project to the outside world. I know that we all want to be caught up to the current fashions at these meetings, and that's ok, as long as we're not compromising the Biblical principles of holiness and modesty.

NAYC is a wonderful life-changing event. Just make sure that while you're getting your blessing, you're not hindering the salvation of someone else by turning them off to Apostolic Pentecostalism. Be different. And let's all be a blessing while recieving all that God has for us in Columbus, OH at NAYC 2011! Can't wait to see you all there! :D

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Travelink

The title is an inside joke. If you don't get it, it wasn't meant for you. ;)

Can I just say...I LOVE THIS WEBSITE! I'm a huge fan of traveling and learning about different cultures. This website allows you to track where you've been in the world, keep track of all of the places you want to go and gives you the ability to share it with friends. It's also a facebook application but I prefer going directly to the site. Here's my map from whereivebeen.com.

<iframe src="http://www.whereivebeen.com/map/cities?id=9220086&token=fd6280dd0f96e2f5ace8ab6000a0c185&mode=view" width="640" height="400" scrolling="no" frameborder="0"></iframe>

Pretty sweet deal. Make your own map. It's fun! :)

Friday, July 15, 2011

A Living Book

Can I just say...I LOVE THE BIBLE! It is the infallible Word of God. It's a living book! You can read the same thing over and over again and suddenly you gain a fresh perspective and see something you've never seen before. If you're not reading the Bible everyday, you're cheating yourself. 


That being said, I believe it's important not only to read the Bible but also to:


Study it. 
2 Timothy 2:15 Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.


Memorize it. 
Psalm 119:11 Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee.


Meditate on it. 
Psalm 1:1-3 Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful. But his delight is in the law of the Lord; and in His law doth he meditate day and night. And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water that bringeth forth fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither, and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper.


Obey it. 
John 14:15 If ye love me, keep my commandments.
James 1:22 But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.


Preach it.
2 Timothy 4:2 Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine.


All of it.
2 Timothy 3:16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness.


It will enrich your life. It will speak to you. And if you allow it, it will change you. It's more than a book of ancient wisdom. It's the history of the world, instruction for today and hope for tomorrow. It's a living book. Make it a part of your everyday life. I dare you. :)

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Insomnia

I've been in bed for 2.5 hours and still sleep evades me. 

Story of my life.

Since I can't sleep I figured I'd do a short little blurb about some of the books I've been reading recently. Reading has always been an escape for me ever since I was very young. Ask my parents. From the time I was barely old enough to read, I constantly had my nose stuck in a book. In the car, at the dinner table, at night when I was supposed to be sleeping...I couldn't get enough. There's something about losing yourself in a book. It's more magical than watching a movie where all of the imagination is already done for you. One of my dreams is to one day have my own awesome library with all kinds of books about all kinds of subjects. Maybe like the one in Beauty and the Beast with two stories of floor to ceiling bookshelves. Ahhh I'd be in Heaven.

Anyway, here are a few titles I've been working on in the past couple of weeks:

Never Eat Alone by Keith Ferrazzi

This book is an insightful look into how relationships fuel success. Though it's directed toward the business world, anyone from any walk of life can benefit from reading this book. I would recommend this book to anyone.

Lunch in Paris by Elizabeth Bard
This book ended up being more interesting than I thought it would be. It's a memoir of a journalist who fell in love with a Frenchman and moved to Paris, France. She talks in detail of the hardships she faces assimilating into French society and about how she and her French husband overcome their cultural differences. At the end of each chapter there are 3-5 delicious looking recipes. Bon Appetit. 
Caution: contains a little non-christian content (a few words, some innuendo)  

Everything is Gonna Be Alright by Nona Freeman
This book is downright fascinating. Every Apostolic Christian should read it. This is just a brief overview of how Sister Nona Freeman and her husband "Bug" turned the continent of Africa upside down for Jesus Christ. The sacrifices they made, the miracles they saw and the faith they had is inspiring and challenging. Of all the books I've read this summer, this one is my favorite so far. 

And They Continued by John Anthony Guidry
This is yet another book of stories from an Apostolic missionary who happens to be the father of one of my fellow classmates at IBC. It, too is full of interesting anecdotes and beautiful stories of the goodness of God. I'm only about halfway finished with it and I'm enjoying it thoroughly.

Well...that's all I have for you tonight. Much love to all of you out there who are bored enough to read this. ;) God bless!






Tuesday, July 12, 2011

The Truth About Introverts

I stole this from my new favorite blog - owlcityblog.com which is Adam Young's (of Owl City and Sky Sailing) blog. I have to agree with him on this, as an extreme introvert who finds it exhausting "playing extrovert" in public, reading this gives me hope that there are people out there who understand how I think and feel and process information. This blog describes me perfectly. I've been asked so many times in my life in large groups of people "Why are you being so quiet?" My normal response is to just shrug my shoulders and half smile when really what I want to do is bluntly say "Because I have nothing to say." But that would be considered rude, so I just shrug my shoulders and half smile, hoping that they'll get the point. I've also been asked "why are you sitting over here by yourself?" Maybe I find hours of social interaction with large groups and making small talk exhausting. Once again, that would be rude to say, so instead I smile and say "I like sitting by the window." They usually just look at me like I'm weird and run over to join the loud and boisterous group of extroverts across the room. We introverts are often seen as shy, scared or downright rude when often, the opposite is true. Thus is the plight of the introvert in a predominantly extrovert world.


The boldface writing comes from the original blog by Carl King, who extrapolated his information from the book The Introvert Advantage (How to Survive in an Extrovert World) by Marti Laney Psy.D. The regular writing is my own personal commentary. 




A section of Laney’s book maps out the human brain and explains how neuro-transmitters follow different dominant paths in the nervous systems of Introverts and Extroverts. If the science behind the book is correct, it turns out that Introverts are people who are over-sensitive to Dopamine, so too much external stimulation overdoses and exhausts them. Conversely, Extroverts can’t get enough Dopamine, and they require Adrenaline for their brains to create it. Extroverts also have a shorter pathway and less blood-flow to the brain. The messages of an Extrovert’s nervous system mostly bypass the Broca’s area in the frontal lobe, which is where a large portion of contemplation takes place.

Unfortunately, according to the book, only about 25% of people are Introverts. There are even fewer that are as extreme as I am. This leads to a lot of misunderstandings, since society doesn’t have very much experience with my people. (I love being able to say that.)

So here are a few common misconceptions about Introverts (I put this list together myself, some of them are things I actually believed):

Myth #1 – Introverts don’t like to talk.
This is not true. Introverts just don’t talk unless they have something to say. They hate small talk. Get an introvert talking about something they are interested in, and they won’t shut up for days.

This is so true. Ask any of my family members or closest friends. If I get started talking about something, I won't shut up about it. It's not the quantity of conversation, it's the quality. I often feel that small talk is a waste of time. Unfortunately, in our society, small talk is a necessary skill to be polite. 

If you want to start a conversation with someone who is an introvert, the best way to do it is to launch right into a topic you know they care about. Instead of bringing up the weather, start a conversation by saying "I found a new band that I think you'd like," or "have you finished that paper for English class yet?" We won't think you're rude or abrupt. We'll be thankful that you skipped the small talk and pour our often hidden enthusiasm in passion into the conversation.

Myth #2 – Introverts are shy.
Shyness has nothing to do with being an Introvert. Introverts are not necessarily afraid of people. What they need is a reason to interact. They don’t interact for the sake of interacting. If you want to talk to an Introvert, just start talking. Don’t worry about being polite.


This ties back to #1. Wanna talk to me? Just jump into a conversation about music, church, theology, my family, ANYTHING that I care about, and I will talk to you. DO NOT put me into a group of 20 people when I only know a couple or no one at all and expect me to be the center of attention or the life of the party. Especially if they are a noisy group, I will shut down immediately. Put me in a group of 20 people that I know really well and I will be perfectly comfortable being loud and boisterous. It all depends on the people I'm with.


Myth #3 – Introverts are rude.
Introverts often don’t see a reason for beating around the bush with social pleasantries. They want everyone to just be real and honest. Unfortunately, this is not acceptable in most settings, so Introverts can feel a lot of pressure to fit in, which they find exhausting.


As I said before, I detest small talk. I feel like I'm working hard to put a smile on my face and talk about absolutely nothing. Some people have even told me that sometimes I seem like I'm aloof or ignoring them when they first approached me and that they feel like I was being rude. This leaves me feeling helpless. I try my hardest to be polite but it's really hard to talk about silly things that mean nothing. I value my time and if I feel that it is being wasted, I have a hard time concealing the way I feel. I feel like I'm acting, like I'm wearing a mask and it's downright exhausting. 


Myth #4 – Introverts don’t like people.
On the contrary, Introverts intensely value the few friends they have. They can count their close friends on one hand. If you are lucky enough for an introvert to consider you a friend, you probably have a loyal ally for life. Once you have earned their respect as being a person of substance, you’re in.


Don't get me wrong, I have lots of friends. I enjoy forging new friendships and building relationships. But I can count on one hand my closest friends. I have a handful of people that I  feel I can trust with anything. I would do anything in the world for these people. It takes me a while to open up to someone with that degree of trust. If I feel the other person retreating even slightly, I'll back off completely. And believe me, that has happened more than once in my life. 


I've had a couple of retail jobs and I hated them. You have to make small talk with customers and you're only seeing them for a short amount of time. My concept of a good job is one where I can see the same people everyday and build long lasting relationships with them. For example, I worked at the YMCA for 3 years. I build friendships with the staff and with the kids I tutored and still keep in touch with several of them today. This is also why I enjoy working in the ministry. My closest friends are people that I go to church with and minister with. We have the same passions and interests and we have the most time to bond with each other. These are the people I'm most comfortable to be myself around.


Myth #5 – Introverts don’t like to go out in public.
Nonsense. Introverts just don’t like to go out in public FOR AS LONG. They also like to avoid the complications that are involved in public activities. They take in data and experiences very quickly, and as a result, don’t need to be there for long to “get it.” They’re ready to go home, recharge, and process it all. In fact, recharging is absolutely crucial for Introverts.


Honestly, I can party for hours as long as it's with people I'm comfortable with. However, if I'm out with people I don't know or barely know, it quickly gets exhausting. 


Myth #6 – Introverts always want to be alone.
Introverts are perfectly comfortable with their own thoughts. They think a lot. They daydream. They like to have problems to work on, puzzles to solve. But they can also get incredibly lonely if they don’t have anyone to share their discoveries with. They crave an authentic and sincere connection with ONE PERSON at a time.


I value my alone time. I really do. But I still get lonely. I enjoy spending quality time with my closest friends in small groups. The smaller, the better. Even if it's just knowing that someone is just in another room, that they're reachable, is better than being alone all the time. I am a huge daydreamer and thinker and I like to play one-person games like solitaire or mahjong, or read or listen to music, but I will gladly give up my alone time to go for coffee with a close friend or dinner with my family.


Myth #7 – Introverts are weird.
Introverts are often individualists. They don’t follow the crowd. They’d prefer to be valued for their novel ways of living. They think for themselves and because of that, they often challenge the norm. They don’t make most decisions based on what is popular or trendy.


Well...sometimes we are weird. But so are extroverts. ;) 


Individuality is a big deal for us. We don't like to do things the same way every one else does things. Our worst fear is being told that we're "just like everyone else." That's one more reason that I thoroughly enjoy being Apostolic. ;)


Myth #8 – Introverts are aloof nerds.
Introverts are people who primarily look inward, paying close attention to their thoughts and emotions. It’s not that they are incapable of paying attention to what is going on around them, it’s just that their inner world is much more stimulating and rewarding to them.


Kind of reiterating some earlier points, but very true. I can sit in a crowded, noisy room and read a book or write a blog because early on in life, I learned that what's going on in my brain is often way more interesting than what's going on around me. 


That being said, it can also be a bad thing. I find myself daydreaming in class or at work when I'm feeling a little bored. That doesn't happen a lot at IBC though. Because theology and music are two things that I'm very interested in and passionate about, I can pay attention and listen for longer periods of time.


Myth #9 – Introverts don’t know how to relax and have fun.
Introverts typically relax at home or in nature, not in busy public places. Introverts are not thrill seekers and adrenaline junkies. If there is too much talking and noise going on, they shut down. Their brains are too sensitive to the neurotransmitter called Dopamine. Introverts and Extroverts have different dominant neuro-pathways. Just look it up.


Once again, a resounding AMEN! I love nature walks, hikes, bike rides, walks on the beach or chilling on the couch with a friend watching a movie. These are the things that energize me and refresh me.


Myth #10 – Introverts can fix themselves and become Extroverts.
A world without Introverts would be a world with few scientists, musicians, artists, poets, filmmakers, doctors, mathematicians, writers, and philosophers. That being said, there are still plenty of techniques an Extrovert can learn in order to interact with Introverts. (Yes, I reversed these two terms on purpose to show you how biased our society is.) Introverts cannot “fix themselves” and deserve respect for their natural temperament and contributions to the human race. In fact, one study (Silverman, 1986) showed that the percentage of Introverts increases with IQ.


It can be terribly destructive for an Introvert to deny themselves in order to get along in an Extrovert-Dominant World. Like other minorities, Introverts can end up hating themselves and others because of the differences. If you think you are an Introvert, I recommend you research the topic and seek out other Introverts to compare notes. The burden is not entirely on Introverts to try and become “normal.” Extroverts need to recognize and respect us, and we also need to respect ourselves.


You can't force an introvert into a busy social environment and expect them to change with time. Yes, they might seem to become more comfortable with it after a while, but it's probably just that they got better at acting. I can say from my own experiences that expecting an introvert to become more of an extrovert is like putting a dog in a houseful of cats and expecting it to become a cat. It might adopt some of the behaviors of the cats but at the end of the day, it's still a dog, just acting like a cat. And if there's anything that introverts hate, it's fakeness.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Let Go and Let God




Joshua 7:11-13~

" Israel hath sinned, and they have also transgressed my covenant which I commanded them: for they have even taken of the accursed thing, and have also stolen, and dissembled also, and they have put it even among their own stuff. Therefore the children of Israel could not stand before their enemies, but turned their backs before their enemies, because they were accursed: neither will I be with you any more, except ye destroy the accursed from among you. Up, sanctify the people, and say, Sanctify yourselves against to morrow: for thus saith the LORD God of Israel, There is an accursed thing in the midst of thee, O Israel: thou canst not stand before thine enemies, until ye take away the accursed thing from among you."

      When you willingly invite sin into your life, whether publicly or privately, you cripple yourself and affect those around you. You can't expect the Lord to fight your battles for you when you are knowingly going against what pleases Him. His holiness and justice demands that you be blameless. His mercy and love enables Him to forgive you. But you have to ask for it. You have to repent. This means being sorry for your sins and sincerely making a change.

     What secret sin is holding you back? What recurring sin is keeping you from your victory?

     When the children of Israel got rid of the accursed thing, they were able to go forward and fight and win their battle.

     Joshua 8:1~

"And the LORD said unto Joshua, Fear not, neither be thou dismayed: take all the people of war with thee, and arise, go up to Ai: see, I have given into thy hand the king of Ai, and his people, and his city, and his land:"

     Let go of the thing that is hindering you. Repent, change, and turn your battles over to the Lord and He will fight for you. And when God fights for you, He always wins.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

The lists of a list maker

I just spent about 20 minutes catching up on my good friend Madison's fashion blog (which is awesome and can be followed at http://fashiontenn.blogspot.com/) and of course it made me feel like the biggest slacker ever. And also it made me miss her and all my friends from IBC.


If you know me at all, you know that I like to make lists. So for the past 2 weeks (or however long it's been since I've updated) this is what I've done:


1. Played piano for the past two Sundays in church. (That was interesting)
2. Tried to take a walk or bike ride everyday
3. Gotten into a horrible sleep cycle which consists of me staying up until the sky begins to lighten and then sleeping until 12:30 or 1.
4. Shopped. Quite a bit. There are some good deals out there. :)

5. Dishes, dishes and more dishes. The only thing about being experimental in the kitchen is that you often make a horrible mess that you have to clean up later.
6. Experimented in the kitchen. I'm currently trying to perfect my smoothie making skills.
7. Read. I've read 2 great books, plus I'm in the middle of the book of Psalms right now.
8. Gone to "lunch" at 1 am with Melissa who works nights at a nursing home a couple streets over. 
9. Went to the church cookout and watched the fireworks for July 4th. 

10. Listened to Christmas music. (I take the whole "Christmas in July" thing very seriously)

I think that about sums it up.


On to future endeavors:

1. On Saturday, I will be heading out with the youth group to go to Six Flags Great America. I haven't ridden a roller coaster in a long time so I'm very excited. :)
2. On Sunday I'm speaking for the 2nd time at a local nursing home service. (Pray, saints!)
3. I'm currently working on pulling together a "summer concert series" to fulfill my requirements as an intern here at DeKalb UPC. We will have three "performances," one at an assisted living facility, one at Culver's and  one on our youth trip to Minnesota, which brings us to #4...
4. July 29-31, we will be taking a group to Winona Minnesota for some outreach and a service at the local church there.
5. Maria comes back tomorrow and I'm going to try to talk her into taking a day trip to Iowa sometime in the next couple weeks. :)

This month is going to be extremely busy! But I think that August is going to be my favorite month so far this year. This is why:

August 3-5: North American Youth Congress. On top of amazing worship and preaching, I will get to take a roadtrip (which, of course, I love to do!), catch up with my IBC people as well as my Raleigh people and I get to show off all my new outfits. :)


August 8: I'll be heading back to my beautiful Raleigh.


August 9-11: I'm picking Korey up at the airport and we're heading to Virginia Beach to see Heather and have some padre time! :D :D :D


August 12-15: Family vacation to Ocracoke Island! Ocracoke is one of my favorite places in the world. 4 days of family time, sunny beaches, quaint restaurants and hotels, quiet solitary bike rides and no cell phone. :)



August 17: I'll be heading back to Indy early so that I can get started helping Kari and Candra out with MSA stuff for the coming school year.


August 22: School starts back!!! If you haven't guessed, I LOVE IBC!!! I get to see all of my beautiful friends and plunge back into an environment of learning about the Word of God, music, weekend MSA trips and all the awesome fun that goes with it all. 


So there you have it. I have a lot to work on. I should probably get to it. Au revoir, mes amies! xoxo

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Happy Father's Day!

My week has been fairly busy. I've had things to do almost everyday but there has still been lots of time for bike rides and walks and book reading. And dance parties in my room. :)


Maria and I had a great "day of rest" on Monday. Tuesday nights, we have a Bible study called Focus which takes place at the home of a couple in the church. It's a nice little get-together. Wednesday of course we had church and I had the opportunity to introduce myself to the youth class downstairs. Hopefully sometime next month I'll be teaching the class on a Wednesday night. It will be fun. :) They're a crazy bunch of youngsters.


Thursday night I had my first leadership meeting here. They take place once a month and are basically just a touch-base with the Davis's and a chance to go over the calendar and bounce some ideas around. July is looking like a very busy month! But that's the way I like it. 


Friday evening I had the opportunity to experience Illinois Youth Camp. Brother Luke Levine was the evening speaker. He was great at connecting with the kids and his testimony was amazing! The kids prayed great in the altar. Also, to my surprise, Brother Gallion was there. He had a booth set up with info about IBC. Since I didn't know anyone from Illinois, I helped him out in the booth a little while the people I came with socialized and caught up with friends. I had a chance to talk to some girls about coming to IBC and told them my testimony about how God had worked it out for me. It was a lot of fun.


Today I slept until about 1. Before you judge me, you should know that I didn't get home til almost 3, and then I had to do some stuff before I went to bed. :) Anyway, I went with Sister Davis and a couple from the church to a nursing home/assisted living place and we did a hymn sing and a little devotional. It was a different place from where we were last Sunday, but as usual, we had a warm reception. We had music practice tonight for Wednesday night. Maria is deserting me for 2 weeks so another girl from the church and I are sharing piano-playing responsibilities. :o Afterward, Sis. Saponari and I went to a brand new grocery store that just opened up here that I completely fell in love with. It's called HyVee and it's like Harris Teeter and Trader Joes together on steroids and with a food court. Yeah...that's the best way I can describe it. Oh. And it has a Caribou Coffee. :)


Tomorrow we are having a Father's Day cookout following church. We're all supposed to bring a dish so I made my favorite summer salad. Spring greens and baby spinach with chicken, chopped almonds, crumbled  feta cheese, blueberries and strawberries. Served with Strawberry poppyseed dressing. Yes, I know you're drooling right now.


I wish I could be home for Father's Day tomorrow. I have an awesome daddy and I miss him. I miss my family and my church family. I miss my "padre" family and my IBC family. I have so many families all over the place. It makes me sad. But also thankful. So Happy Father's Day to all you dads out there. If you're with your dad this Father's Day, make sure you hug him! Not all of us have that luxury. Until next time...


p.s. My parents mailed my camera cord so pictures should be coming soon! :)