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


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

<iframe src="" 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


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 - 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 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