Thursday, May 23, 2013

The Great Gatsby

 Recently, I went to see The Great Gatsby with some friends. Throughout the movie my heart ached for Gatsby. He had almost everything in the world, yet was still so lost and unhappy. He had enough money to do whatever he wanted. He threw huge wild parties and spent so much money each and every weekend just for love. 

The movie made it seem like the only way for Gatsby to fill his void of emptiness, loneliness, and unhappiness was if he and Daisy could finally be together forever, true love till death do us part. The movie got part of it right, that only true love can bring fulfillment, but that love can not be filled by any human. 

Only by Jesus dying on the cross for our broken and sinful selfs can that love be fulfilled. His death is what allowed us to experience communion with God. That communion is the only thing that can bring us never-ending complete joy. 

Gatsby's story is not an original one, it also parallels a story from the book of the bible Ecclesiastes. 

 "I undertook great projects: I built houses for myself and planted vineyards. I made gardens and parks and planted all kinds of fruit trees in them. I made reservoirs to water groves of flourishing trees. I bought male and female slaves and had other slaves who were born in my house. I also owned more herds and flocks than anyone in Jerusalem before me. I amassed silver and gold for myself, and the treasure of kings and provinces. I acquired male and female singers, and a harem[a] as well—the delights of a man’s heart. I became greater by far than anyone in Jerusalem before me. In all this my wisdom stayed with me.
10 I denied myself nothing my eyes desired;
    I refused my heart no pleasure.
My heart took delight in all my labor,
    and this was the reward for all my toil.
11 Yet when I surveyed all that my hands had done
    and what I had toiled to achieve,
everything was meaningless, a chasing after the wind;
    nothing was gained under the sun."  - Ecclesiastes 2:5-11

The man denied himself nothing, yet in the end he realizes he has gained nothing, just like Gatsby. Oh how this is our world today. If only I had this, then I would be happy. I can also think of things to fill the blank. If only I had ___, then I would be happier. But unlike Gatsby, I've experienced the only thing that will ever fill that void: communication and love with my creator. 

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Jesus is knocking: Will you let Him in?

At church today I heard a metaphor that I really loved, so I thought I would share.
Picture your life to be a house.
You are a house. And to have a relationship with Jesus, Jesus has to be living in the house. He doesn't just keep his stuff in one room, no he has it spread out all over the house.

But some of our houses don't contain Jesus.

Some people think there houses (lives) are too messy to invite Jesus in. They say they can't invite him in until they clean up there house. Little do they know that Jesus is the only one capable of cleaning the house. He is standing outside knocking on the door holding a bucket and a broom ready to clean. If this is you,  open the door and invite him in.

Other people might have let Jesus into the house, but have kept him only in one room of the house. This means they have only let Jesus clean up one part of there life. If this is you, let him have free reign to your whole house.

Surrender your life to Jesus. let him into every single room, every single part of your life. I know this is challenging. In fact I'm preaching to myself as I type this, but I know it is worth it. When you let Jesus have control over every aspect of your life you will feel freedom.

Monday, November 19, 2012

A Love Story

Every girl dreams about the day she will find her Prince Charming. The guy who will love her for who she is, call her beautiful, and put the twinkle in her eyes. She dreams about the day he will sweep her off her feet, and the day they will fall madly in love, get married and ride off into the sunset.

Media is constantly telling us that our lives should be a love story. Countless movies, TV shows, and songs try to tell us that we need a man to save us from the misery of a single life. That we need a man to complete us. But what the media fails to mention, is each and every one of us are already part of a love story. An even bigger love story than any thing media could show us. Media tells us we need a savior, but they fail to mention correctly who he is.

Our Prince already came for us.

Romans 5:8 "But God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us."

He loved us so much that he didn't just give us roses and a horse to ride off into the sunset, but he gave us eternal life.
Our prince loved us so much that he died for us.
He loved us so much that he moved Heaven and earth to prove it.
Jesus Christ is our Prince.
Jesus Christ is our savior.

Proverbs 8:17 "I love those who love me, and those who seek me diligently find me."

He is always there for us.
He will never give up on us.
He loves us for who we are.

Zephaniah 3:17 "The Lord your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; he will rejoice over you with gladness; he will quiet you by his love; he will exult over you with loud singing." 

He puts that sparkle in our eyes and a smile on our face.

We spend so much time dreaming about the day our Prince will come, that we never realize our Prince is already here. Our lives are already love stories!

Jesus Christ is our love story!

Friday, June 22, 2012

Rich People Can't Get Into Heaven




Matthew 19:23-24

"Then Jesus said to his disciples, “Truly I tell you, it is hard for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of heaven.  Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of God.”

Before April 26, 2012,  I always took this verse literally, and thought that it was only talking about rich people. Then God gave me a spark of wisdom.  

In this verse, Jesus was saying it is hard for people to get into Heaven if they are satisfied with things of this world more than they are satisfied with Him. One example can be if someone loves money more than Jesus, but that is not the only example. If a person loves popularity, food, sex, alcohol, shopping, their iPhone, friends, family, or anything else more than they love Jesus, they are less likely to go to Heaven than it is for a large Camel to get through the tiny tiny eye of the needle. 

Wow, my chances are not looking good.  I had to ask myself, is there anything I love more than Jesus? There are some things I really love. I love my family, I love being with my friends and having heart to hearts all night, I love that feeling when you're wearing a new outfit, I love singing music in my car, I love apple pie, I love swimming on a hot Summer day,  I love playing flag football, I love making Pinterest crafts, I love that feeling accomplished, I love a lot of things. And I do love Jesus, but sometimes he somehow gets lowered on my priority list. 

Other things seem more important than my relationship with Jesus during certain times, like trying to get good grades or trying to lose weight. Those things need to be important because if I fail out of college I can't go to seminary and if I don't stay healthy, I would have less time on the Earth doing God's work. They are important things in my life, but I can not let them become more important than my love for Jesus. 

Sometimes I wonder if it is possible for me to always put Jesus first. I wonder how it is possible for me to be saved. If you continue reading verses 25-26, it tells you that the disciples asked the same thing.

"When the disciples heard this, they were greatly astonished and asked, “Who then can be saved?”
Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”

ALONE it is not possible for us to be saved, 
We can't do it on our own, but if we pray for help, we can put Jesus at the top of our priority list. I think we all need to spend sometime in pray figuring out what things we love more than Jesus, and what things we desire more than a relationship with Him. Don't get discouraged if the change doesn't happen over night. Our relationships with Jesus are life long journeys!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Praying for a Sign

Why do people always pray and ask God to show them a sign or a miracle to help them believe in Him or trust Him?

I find myself doing this all the time without even realizing it.
"God just show me that this decision I made was the right one"
"God just give me a sign that you are there listening to my prayers"
"God show me a sign that you care and love me"
"Please God, just one little sign just so I can know and believe"

This past semester I prayed to God asking Him for a sign that everything would be okay. He gave me a sign back, actually gave me 21 signs back in only two weeks. He placed the verse Jeremiah 29:11 into my life 21 times in some of the craziest ways. Here are just some:
1. I googled verses about trusting in God and picked it as my favorite
2. I wrote it down in my journal
3. My friend Amanda's cousin adopted a baby named Jeremiah
4. I opened the book God Girl and the first sentence I read was Jeremiah 29:11
5. A man named Dr. Finch said to a small group of people and I that he loved the verse Jeremiah 29:11
6. I went on a Women's Retreat with CRU and the speaker Kerri quoted it
7. My roommate was talking on the phone and quoted it to her boyfriend
8. I called my friend Evan to tell her this story and she texts me a couple hours later saying she just met a guy named Jeremiah
9. My friend Chandler texts me to tell me she keeps seeing Jeremiah 29:11 everywhere!
10. I called my mom to tell her the story and that day a guy named Jeremiah came to measure our kitchen for new counter top

So while this was happening to me I said to myself I need to trust God. It is time to listen to Him. It took a sign like that for me to believe that God was listening to my prayers and to show that He did care about me. But shouldn't I have trusted Him and known he listened already? Why did it take a sign for me to believe?

Jesus said that humans need signs to believe. 

John 4: 48 “Unless you people see signs and wonders,” Jesus told him, “you will never believe.”

It is not just the humans of our generation who demand signs, I Corinthians 1:22 says, "Jews demand signs and Greeks look for wisdom", so people have always wanted a sign to believe. 

But why do we think this way? Why do we need proof to believe? Isn't the bible enough proof? Why can't we just have faith? 

I wish I knew the answers to these questions. All I know is that God listened to my prayers and showed me that he cares and that I need to trust Him and His plans for my life. So that is what I will do.  

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Jesus wept.

Have you ever felt so upset, alone, or believed that no one cared or listened to your cries?

Do you ever wonder if Jesus cares? Do you wonder if he gets sad when something sad happens to you, or angry when something bad happens to you?

Chapter 11 in John describes the death of Lazarus, Mary and Martha's brother. After he had died both women were very upset and spent many hours crying outside of his tomb. When Jesus came to visit them Mary even fell at his feet and cried out (verse 32) "Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died." 

Then verse 33 states: "When Jesus saw her weeping, and the Jews who had come along with her also weeping, he was deeply moved in spirit and troubled."

When Jesus saw Mary crying, he became upset! He was deeply moved in spirit and troubled, those words show that Jesus, beyond just being there for Mary, took Mary's sadness and brokenness as his own.

Then verse 35 states, "Jesus wept."

Jesus wept. Jesus cried because Mary's sadness became his own sadness.

So wouldn't you think that Jesus would also be sad when we are sad? Our burdens are his burdens. I was walking back to my dorm one night and I was thinking if it was possible for God to have a "bad day". I was wondering if anyone ever asked God how is was doing or how his day was. I know I never do. I wonder if it is because we think God can't have a bad day. But then the verse "Jesus wept" popped into my brain. And if we fully believe that Jesus is God like it says in Matthew 1:23, "Behold, the virgin shall be with child, and bear a Son, and they shall call Him name Immanuel.", and we realized that Immanuel is translated to "God with us", then we have to believe that our perfect God is not always happy. Our perfect God wept. Our perfect God feels our brokenness.

So why do we expect our lives to be only filled with happy days if our perfect God has days filled with tears?

There is a reason for the pain, the hurt, and the hard times. They make us stronger, our relationship with God stronger, they make us rely on God more, and trust God more.

So next time you are going through a tough time, know that God cares so much that he is taking on our burdens and feeling our pain. You are never alone. God has a plan for your life, and he has a purpose for your life.

"For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong." - 2 Corinthians 12:10

 "Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight." -Proverbs 3:5-6

Updated Blog

I first started the JOY Full Circle blog project in 2008 with the goal to inspire others by posting different quotes, pictures, stories, or anything else I could find that would inspire someone. I was on a constant search to not only inspire others, but to find things to make me feel completely happy inside. My plan was when I found things that made me feel that deep eternal happiness inside I would post them and share them with the world to help others also feel that happiness.

Now four years later as I look back on the blog I realize why I ran out of things to post about. I hadn't found the only thing that can bring me that feeling of completeness, and that is a relationship with Jesus. I thought that I understood everything about Jesus Christ just from growing up in a church and going to church camp. I thought I had it all figured out, but during my freshman year of college I soon discovered that not to be true at all. After some rough times, I went on a search for how to find a life of purpose. I stepped down from the throne of my life and I let God step up. I turned to the Bible for the answers instead of turning to Gilmore Girls for life's answers. This is God's life I am living, and I want to spend it praising and living for Him. I am on a journey of faith to continually grow closer to Christ as I learn about how incredibly amazing He is. Now as I find out more and more about my Lord and Savior, I want to share it all with you.

Hope these words touch your heart like they have touched mine. Also know that if the entries are before 2012, they are inspirational posts from the old JOY Full Circle blog. Also know that I am not a seminary graduate, so do your own research before you quote my thoughts as correct.


Saturday, May 15, 2010

God's Love

My message on God's Love. Hope you watch it =]

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Believe in Your Dreams

You can dream it, you can do it. - Walt Disney

Make a wish, and place it in your heart.
Now believe it with all your heart, and
your wish will come true.

"Let go of the past and go for the future. Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you imagined."-Henry David Thoreau

The future belongs to those who believe in there dreams.

I believe that dreams can come true... -Anonymous


The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams. Eleanor Roosevelt

So if you want something to happen, just believe.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

One act of surrender, one change of heart, one leap of faith, can change your life forever. Robert Holden

Thousands of candles can be lit from a single candle, and the life of the candle will not be shortened. Happiness never decreases by being shared. Buddha


To accomplish great things, we must not only act, but also dream; not only plan, but also believe.
Anatole France

In your life you will come to a fork in the road with two different decisions to make. You make one and hope that it is the right one. When this happens to you take some time and pray to God asking him which road to take. He will help to guide your decision.

Be content with what you have; rejoice in the way things are. When you realize there is nothing lacking, the whole world belongs to you. Lao Tzu

Kind words can be short and easy to speak, but their echoes are truly endless. Mother Theresa

A positive attitude may not solve all your problems, but

it will annoy enough people to make it worth the effort

-- Herm Albright

Thing Get Hard - By Gypsy


Make a gift of your life and lift all mankind by being kind, considerate, forgiving, and compassionate at all times, in all places, and under all conditions, with everyone as well as yourself. This is the greatest gift anyone can give.David R. Hawkins