Filling Your Void

A couple of years ago, a friend and I were chatting about how far some fans were in their obsession with certain celebrities. We had just a short chat on the subject, and I gleaned a few bits of information concerning what I thought about the subject.

Fast forward a few years, up to sometime last week, and a couple other friends and I were discussing the newest “rage”; Pokemon Go. One of them mentioned how, at times, she just couldn’t believe how infatuated most of the fans of the game were showing themselves to be. It didn’t compute how some people could be so obsessed by different people, ideas, or things. This reminded me of the previous conversation, and the thoughts I came away with. They are listed below. Enjoy  ❤

  • People in this life can get obsessive towards people/objects

The term “fan girl” or “fanboy” is given to those who have an obsession with a person, place, or thing. People who basically live, breathe, and eat for this object. But one doesn’t have to go this far to be controlled by this object. If this object keeps grabbing your attention, if you spend your free time predominantly gathering information about, playing, or talking about this object, I would say it’s gone too far. Your life is being controlled by something it shouldn’t be.

  •  Most Christians I know don’t cross over into “fangirlism”

I’m not saying they don’t have strong interests, or that they aren’t controlled at times by something other than their relationship with Christ. Or even that Christians aren’t susceptible to becoming obsessed with something. But I am saying, from my personal experience, that the likelihood of a Christian succumbing to letting their life being controlled at all times by something other than Christ seems to be happening less and less as their relationship with Christ grows.

  • I believe God created us with a void that leads us to want it to be filled.

It’s not a coincidence that all of us want to latch onto something and are apt to let it control our lives. I believe that’s because we were all created with that empty space already in place. When you have an empty space, it doesn’t last too long before being filled. The choice is yours, to fill it how you want. With the world, focusing on a person, place or thing, or with God, and a relationship with Him.

  • I believe that space was created to be filled by God, and a relationship with him.

There’s a reason God gifted us that space- He wants us to fill it with a relationship with Him. He wants to be at the center of our lives, weaving throughout our daily life, forming us into a representation of Him and for us to give Him glory. God doesn’t force us to fill that space with Him. But we need to recognize that we need Him. We also need to follow through with asking Him to fully enter our lives. We can do this by reading His word and hiding it in our hearts.

David is a good example of a believer who recognized his yearning was for Christ.

 Psalm 63:1

“O God, You are my God; I shall seek You earnestly;

My soul thirsts for You, my flesh yearns for You,”

Psalm 143:6

“I stretch out my hands to You;

My soul longs for You, as a parched land.”

Psalm 42:1-2a

“As the deer pants for the water brooks,

So my soul pants for You, O God.

2 My soul thirsts for God, for the living God;”

Psalm 119:81

My soul languishes for Your salvation;

I wait for Your word.

God offers to make us full in Him. He tells us that He can end our yearning to fill our empty space. This offer never ends; It is offered to everybody, and Jesus promises we will never thirst again.

John 4:13-14  Jesus answered and said to her, “Everyone who drinks of this water will thirst again; 14 but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him shall never thirst; but the water that I will give him will become in him a well of water springing up to eternal life.”

  • In conclusion…

What does this all lead to? Well, basically, the conclusion that all humans are created with a void in their life that yearns to be filled. Believers fill it with Christ and a growing relationship with Him, and non-believers fill it with something else- games, books, movies, celebrities, etc.

What should you with this information? I would suggest examining your heart/life.

What leads you everyday?

What do you lean to to fill that void, satisfy that craving?

What’s the common theme in your thoughts?

Does any of your interests take precedence over your relationship with Christ?

Temporary Home

temporary home

This is our temporary home, it’s not where we belong

Windows and rooms that we’re passing through

This is just a stop on the way to where we’re going

I’m not afraid because I know

This is our temporary home~ Carrie Underwood, Temporary Home

While I lived up in Auburn for my job at camp, I never thought I would spend the rest of my life up there. No matter what plans I made up there, they were never permanent. Whether or not it would be for schooling, life, or family, I knew that I would eventually move and not be living there anymore.

While I sometimes remember with fondness my memories of the place and people I met and worked with up there, I don’t have any real longing for my residence.

I moved down from Auburn back to my hometown of Woodland WA, and ended up finding a place at my friend’s house, moving in a little over a year ago. Now I knew that it would not be a permanent residence, but I did not know when I move from my temporary lodging. I actually ended up moving again a couple of weeks ago, about a week and a year after moving in. I had a better idea this time of when I would need to leave, but again, did not know for sure what date and time it would be.

Just as I knew that those were my temporary home, that those would not be my forever home, so we as Christians are called to consider earth our temporary home and not our forever home. We are entreated to consider ourselves foreigners and aliens on earth.

If you were of the world, the world would love its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, because of this the world hates you.~ John 15:19

They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. ~ John 17:16

Beloved, I urge you as aliens and strangers to abstain from fleshly lusts which wage war against the soul. ~ 1st Peter 2:11

The three verses above mention how we are not supposed to consider ourselves part of the world. We are supposed to live apart from the world, to be alien to the world.

Full Definition of alien

1 a :  belonging or relating to another person, place, or thing :

b :  relating, belonging, or owing allegiance to another country or government :  

2 :  differing in nature or character typically to the point of incompatibility

Alien seems like a good definition for believers. We belong to Christ. We owe allegiance, if you will, to God, following His commands He gives us. And when we follow His commands and live our lives His way, we will show ourselves to differ in nature from those in the world. Our fruits will give witness to the difference.

Because this is not our forever home, we know that means that we will eventually be transported to our eternal residence. There’s a small thing we need to know first~ no one other than God the Father knows when that will happen.

42 “Therefore be on the alert, for you do not know which day your Lord is coming. 43 But be sure of this, that if the head of the house had known at what time of the night the thief was coming, he would have been on the alert and would not have allowed his house to be broken into. 44 For this reason you also must be ready; for the Son of Man is coming at an hour when you do not think He will.” ~ Matt. 24:42-44

Mark echoes this sentiment in chapter 13;

31 Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will not pass away. 32 But of that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but the Father alone. 33 “Take heed, keep on the alert; for you do not know when the appointed time will come.~ Mark 13:31-33

And then a little further down;

37 What I say to you I say to all, ‘Be on the alert!’”~ Mark 13:37

These scriptures tell us that this earth will pass away, be no more. But not to worry, as we will be in our forever, eternal home. We will not know when we will ascend, however, as “no one knows”, not even the angels or God the Son. We need to be on the alert for we do not know when we will be called to heaven and no longer live on this earth, our temporary home.

Why Sending Thank You Notes is Important

After I graduated from high school, my dad’s mother, Grandma L, informed me that my graduation present was in the process of being made, and that it would contain memories and info of our family.

It took a few years, full of twists and turns, but eventually, soon after my recent birthday, it was finished and mailed to me. Gr>L2

One of the most exciting presents I’ve opened. This album contained precious glances into my grandma’s history, my family’s ancestry, and a grandma’s love for her kids and grandkids. Pictures were shared from my dad’s early years, my grandma’s parents and grandparents, my parents as a young couple, and pictures of me through the years.

Gr>L3

Doesn’t my daddy look cute as a baby?

One of the last pages had a few memories of letters and drawings I sent my Grandma, and I could see how much she treasured the efforts I made to reach out to her.

Gr>L

I felt like all those times Mom kept on me to send thank you notes, and drawings to my grandparents and aunts and uncles paid off, and I understand now why she has us do those things.

I feel embarrassed every time I remember groaning over the “chore” of writing thank you notes for gifts given by family members.

Keeping in touch with your family, specially with grandparents and those who live farther away, is so important, especially with thank you notes for when you receive gifts from them. You might never know for sure how much your grandparents treasure them (and you!), but it shows them how much you appreciate and love them, and there’s nothing wrong with that! 🙂 ❤

How often do you reach out to your grandparents/family members? What do you do to show them you love and appreciate them? 

Spirit vs. Letter

While at my aunt and uncle’s house for a holiday with the relatives when I was like, 9 or so, most of my cousins and I were down in the basement watching the newest Veggietales movie my cousin Rel had brought with her.

I don’t remember when I was told, but I do remember was being told to go take a shower after the intermission silly song. I was reluctant, but rushed upstairs and took the shower. However I thought to save time so I could go down and finish watching the movie. So all I did was take my hair out of the braid after the shower.

When I got down to the basement again, the movie was almost done anyway, to my disappointment. My cousin took one look at my hair and said “Did you even wash your hair? Go back up and wash your hair.” So I again went upstairs and this time washed my hair as well.

 

As I look back on that occasion, I can clearly see it was an example of obeying the letter of the law, but not the spirit of the law. When one obeys the literal interpretation of the words, but not the intent of the command, one is only obeying the letter of the law (or command), but fully disregarding why the law or command was given.

The Pharisees showed themselves to be examples of following the letter of the Law rather that the Spirit of the Law, when they put the actual laws above the intent of the Law.

19 Why the Law then? It was added because of transgressions, having been ordained through angels by the agency of a mediator, until the seed would come to whom the promise had been made….21 Is the Law then contrary to the promises of God? May it never be! For if a law had been given which was able to impart life, then righteousness would indeed have been based on law….23 But before faith came, we were kept in custody under the law, being shut up to the faith which was later to be revealed. 24 Therefore the Law has become our tutor to lead us to Christ, so that we may be justified by faith.25 But now that faith has come, we are no longer under a tutor.

The law was given to show us how much we needed a Savior, that we couldn’t be perfect on our own. To lead us to the fact that we needed Jesus Christ, who fills us and helps us become more like Him. Once Jesus was crucified, once he died and took all of our sins, we no longer needed the Law to get to eternity with Him. 

Yet the Pharisees held on to the written law, keeping it close to their minds and closing their hearts to the knowledge that Jesus was foretold in the Old Testament, as the spotless Lamb who would open a gateway towards a lifetime (and more!) with Him.

When we obey a command, whether spiritual or from an earthly authority, we need to make sure we are obeying the full spirit of the law, not just the letter of the law.

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Enjoy the silly song from the movie my cousins and I were watching.

When Life gives you Lemons…

Sometimes when life gives you lemons, you throw ‘em back.
Other times you hold on to them for dear life, and stain your clothes.
Or you squeeze them and make lemonade.


You ask for some sugar.


You go around to other people and give them free fresh lemonade.


You help those around you who are standing there with their lemons wondering what to do.


You become friends with the person you helped.


The two of you start helping other people.


And then all four of you help others.


Soon everyone is giving advice to others and helping them with their problems.


Soon nobody has lemons for long because they have friends helping them make lemonade.


Soon you live in a country where everyone is sick and tired of lemonade.

So Life starts throwing grapes.

~Ellie T.

Circa 2013

Guarantees and Promises

During my time at college, I took several art classes. One of these classes, 2D Design, was easy enough that several times we just ended up conversing with each other over our projects. Two of the guys, Daniel and Sam, apparently worked at competing sandwich stores. Daniel worked at Subway, and Sam worked as a delivery boy for Jimmy John’s. Daniel was a pretty laid back guy, but Sam showed he could get irritated if pushed too far.

One of the phrases Sam stubbornly used over and over to show the superiority of Jimmy Johns over Subway was “Guaranteed delivery in 5 minutes in a 5 minute radius.” Daniel and I couldn’t stop laughing at the last part. We hoped they would be able to make it in 5 minutes in a 5 minute radius.

What Jimmy Johns was doing was making sure they could fulfill their guarantee, so they didn’t promise more than they knew they could for sure deliver on.

Jimmy johns

Guarantee: 

an assurance for the fulfillment of a condition: as

a :  an agreement by which one person undertakes to secure another in the possession or enjoyment of something

b :  an assurance of the quality of or of the length of use to be expected from a product offered for sale often with a promise of reimbursement

God gives us several promises in His word. In Deuteronomy 31:8, God promises that He will never fail us. He will never leave us. We may try to leave His presence, but He is omnipresent. There is no place on earth (or in space!) that we cannot go to truly get away from Him.

The Lord is the one who goes ahead of you; He will be with you. He will not fail you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed.” NASB

In 1st John, God promises to forgive us our sins. If we confess, He is faithful to forgive and cleanse us from our unrighteousness. We don’t need to worry about being rejected when we humble ourselves and confess what we did and ask for forgiveness, He will follow through to “forgive and forget”.

If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.  NASB

Now for my favorite promise: John 3:16.

16 “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.” NASB

If we believe. If we only believe in God, recognize His all-powerful, omnipresent, righteous majesty, and admit that we are sinners, that we deserve the punishment that His Son took on for us, we will have eternal life in heaven, with Him. That’s the best promise of all. We know where we’re going after we die. We know who we will be with. We know for certain, because God gave us this promise.

And God keeps His promises.

Promise: 

  • a statement telling someone that you will definitely do something or that something will definitely happen in the future

  • a reason to expect that something will happen in the future. 

What’s your favorite promise from God? 

Treasures in Heaven

One of my weekly chores to accomplish is laundry. This week I managed to get most of it done on my day off, but I ended up finishing this morning. As I was folding my clothes, I came across a huge orange t-shirt. I’ve had this orange t-shirt for awhile. I received it my first summer working at Royal Ridges Retreat. I was a size small at the time, but the only sizes they had left for staff shirts at the time was a large. It was like a tunic on me at the time, and only slightly less so now.

At the end of my time working there, the girls who were camping that week decided that it would be fun to leave messages on each other’s shirts, and soon got some of the staff involved as well. I thought it was a nice souvenir of my time there that summer, so I joined in. The girls and almost each of the staff ended up writing something on the back of my huge orange t-shirt, and I returned the favor to many of them.

Almost all of the message were fun “I’ll miss you!”s and “We had fun!”s. Several of them referenced an inside joke that had gone around that week. Each of them made me smile. Fun little phrases with no real deep meaning. Except for two different messages from two of the older staff members.

After I went home, I had to wash all the clothes I had brought from camp. The first wash did nothing to the messages, and I wore a few times in the days to come. It went through the wash several times. I don’t know when exactly it happened, but eventually, all those meaningless messages faded away and only those two remained.

Message One:

20160126_115209

Message Two: 20160126_115214

Every time I do laundry, this shirt makes me chuckle at what I conceive to be the irony of the meaningful messages lasting for now over 3 years while the others have long since faded away.

Matthew 6:19-21; NASB

19 “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. 20 But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves do not break in or steal; 21 for where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

I memorized this passage of scripture during one of my years participating in AWANA. Putting too much stock in those things like clothes, jewelry, cars, even money, won’t last in the long run. These things don’t travel with you to the other side.

Following God’s Word, doing good deeds for others, taking care of widows and orphans, reading scripture daily and learning truth from His Word, these are the things that will last forever. These are things that will strengthen your relationship with God, that will bring you closer to Him. These are things that will help you lay up treasures in heaven.

Where do you store up your treasures? In heaven? Or on earth?