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Imagine my surprise when I found out today that Lent had started this past Wednesday.

To be honest, I’ve tried participating in Lent in the past few years, but it never really worked out. I either broke my commitment to give something up, or neglected my daily devotions, Bible study, and/or prayer and meditation. Most of the time, I’d forget I was even doing Lent… until the last few days before Easter Sunday.

I hope to make things different this year, however. I still do plan on giving something up – not for the sake of doing Lent, but because what I want to give up (movies/TV shows/secular videos/entertainment) are honestly things I can live without. In addition, they usually provide a means of subtle temptation, and I don’t want to have to deal with distracting and sinful thoughts when I should be focusing on the Lord.

However, this time I want to spend a lot more time on my relationship with God. Hopefully by freeing up more time, I can spend my leisure time blogging and fulfilling my goals:

  • Know, revere, and respect God in His holiness and majesty Too often I forget that God is a King. He is the Judge of my soul, and the Creator who placed me on earth. His offer of a relationship with Him should not be taken lightly; He is holy; I am sinful, and I should acknowledge that it is only in His great mercy that I even have a chance of praying to Him and spend eternity with Him.
  • Hunger and thirst for the Word I want to develop a craving for the Word of God. I want it to be an essential part of my day. In fact, I want the Lord to go as far as to wreck my day until I finally pick up my Bible to spend time with Him. If force is what I need to become disciplined enough to develop a ravenous appetite for the Word, then let it be so. I need the Word, and I want to do everything possible to be filled with it.
  • Passionate in prayer Prayer is powerful. There is no doubt that God works mightily when His people pray. I notice that too often I pray to God for help. God is not a call-in service, and prayer is not a telephone call. If I have the audacity to speak to the King of the Heavens and the Earth, I should be on my knees in prayer, asking for His mercy first, then intercession, and only after that ask for His help. I want to develop a righteous, faithful prayer life. Not because I want to be a better Christian, but because I want to draw near to the heart of God, and only through speaking to Him and meditating on His word can I succeed in this endeavor.

I’m going to need a lot of God’s grace and a good deal of accountability in order to keep it up this lent season. As to my devotions, I’ll be continuing what I’m reading now: through 1 Peter, then 2 Peter, and then perhaps Hebrews or Colossians.

Are you doing Lent this year? I’d love to know what you’re doing and perhaps help keep you accountable as well! 🙂

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I’ve had the awesome opportunity to read some peoples’ blogs and posts, and have been greatly encouraged by what they wrote.

One hard thing about blogging is that to be truly effective in delivering whatever you learned from God to your audience, you must be sensitive to who your audience is. You must be wary of how you convey who you are. If I have trouble with  certain area of my life, say profanity, I should acknowledge that fact whilst condemning it in whatever article I wrote.
This is really important, because it makes the blogger seem more real and trustworthy. It shows the reader that someone out there struggles with the same things they do, and gives some credibility to the blogger’s words. The reader knows that they’re not alone. Books and conferences do this just fine as well, but they are usually all trained professionals that have overcome (with God’s help) the sins which they try to help other people get out of. Bloggers… are more “normal” people. They could be that kid down the street, the grocery man, the old lady you met on the plane. The only difference is that they’ve taken to sharing their lives online with other people.
Christian blogs touch me like no books can. I visualize the writer, still broken with his struggles and his quest to be right with God, and I know that what he says is out of pure desire to know God more every step of the way. Somehow that just clicks in my mind better than listening to a trained pastor/writer/theologian.
And one of the great things about knowing these people is that since I blog as well, I can relate to them on a certain level. I can comment on their posts, share similar ideas, encourage them, contact them, etc. It’s actually a virtual Christian community where the Christian writers can gather and spur each other on.
This is why I strongly endorse blogging, as do many of my blogging friends. It holds you accountable to some level to regularly study God’s word and pursue a daily walk with Him. And it works =D

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Trees Aren’t the Only Things Worth Saving | Abort73.com

** Disclaimer: This image was taken from the Abort73 Website and I play no part in its creation/drawing **

 

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Let’s face it: taking Christ to school isn’t very easy sometimes. Even though I attend a Christian private school, the atmosphere isn’t all that different from public schools. There is still the persecution (at a very water-downed level) and the inappropriate speech. I’ve asked myself more than once a week: How do I take Christ to school with me? How can I maintain a close relationship with Him in the midst of all my homework, basketball, schoolwork, etc.?

Thankfully, I am still able to keep up with my Bible reading every day. It helps somewhat, but soon I lose memory of my time with God and began engaging in actions that displease Him. It saddens me sometimes when I remember that what I’m doing isn’t right, when, of course, I desire to be what God wants me to be.

To counteract all this forgetfulness, I’ve developed my own method of “keeping Jesus in my backpack”. Here are some tips:

  • Get some inspirational school materials. This includes but is not limited to folders, binders, key chains, pencils, notebooks, journals, water bottles, backpacks, book covers… you can buy these at almost any retail store like Target or Wal-Mart… or you can get them at Christian stores.
  • Keep a small notebook nearby. Jot down one thing about God or your faith every period. Or if you did your Bible study in the morning, think about something you learned from it. If applicable, try to live out the verse/command/truth throughout the day.
  • Talk with God. Mutter a small thanks or cry out to Him for help. Remember, you have 24/7 access to your personal bodygaurd and counselor. Make use of the excellent service!

Anyway, these are just a few things to get you started. I’ve found the inspirational materials I use to be of great help in refreshing my connection with the Lord throughout the day. Quiet time with Him in the morning really puts me in a good mood for the rest of the day. You can usually tell if I did my Bible study or not based on my reactions to events throughout the day. x)

Keep the faith!

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Collage Bookmarks

I make my own collage bookmarks, and often people will ask me how I make them. Therefore, I am making a guide to show you, and them, how. 🙂 I usually make my bookmarks with some sort of verse, picture, or any inspiring piece so that I am reminded of it while reading a book.

#1 Gather supplies

You will need: Scissors, clear packaging tape, and an assortment of different magazines, newspapers, letters, etc.

#2 Cut out the letters/ pictures

#3 Cut and lay out a strip of clear packaging tape twice the desired length of the bookmark.

#4 Lay out the cutouts in desired order, or if you want scatter them randomly across the tape.

Make sure everything lays flat though. Fold one end slowly on top of the other, creasing as you fold to prevent air pockets.

#5 Trim edges.

I recommend using a paper cutter to cut straight edges, then using scissors to curve out the tips. Feel free to cut in designs though. ^_^

There you have it! Your own collage bookmark! Read away. 😛

**DISCLAIMER** Yes, I know the one made in the pictures isn’t very good. x) I kinda made it faster than I usually do. Make sure yours looks better than mine!

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