Be the Difference.

Once upon a time, there was a man who used to go to the ocean to do his writing where he tended to walk on the beach before he began his work.

One day, as he was walking along the shore he looked down the beach and saw a human figure standing by the water.

As he got closer, he noticed that the figure was that of a child. As he watched the child, he noticed the child reaching down to the shore, picking up small objects and throwing them into the ocean.

He came close and called out to the child, “May I ask what it is that you are doing?”

The child paused, looked up and replied, “Throwing starfish into the ocean.”

The man was somewhat startled by this response and asked, “Why are you throwing starfish into the ocean?”

Before answering, the child bent down, picked up a starfish and threw it into the ocean. He picked up another before turning to the man, “The sun is up and the tide is going out. If I don’t throw them in, they will die in the sun.” And he threw the starfish into the ocean.

Upon hearing this, the man commented, “But, young man, do you not realize that there are miles of beach and thousands of starfish? You can’t really believe that what you are doing is making a difference!”

To this, the child bent down, picked up another starfish and threw it into the ocean.

“It made a difference for that one.”

And he bent up to pick up another.

~~~

Each of us, no matter how young, can make a difference in the world around us. If a young child can save the act of a starfish, imagine what you are capable of doing.

Make a difference.

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Good Friday…an account

The following is another video produced by the Skit Guys and depicts several accounts of Good Friday.

Good Friday is one of the most significant days in human history. In fact, I would say it is the second most important day in history (with Easter being the first and Christmas the third). This is the day that Christ gave Himself, His life, for us. He surrendered Himself to death on the Cross. By the end of the day, He was dead…dead for the sins of the world…for you and for me. The good news is that the story does not end there, not by far, but today it is important to sit in the power and meaning of the day, the implications this day has for all of us.

 

As you go forward into this Easter weekend, think about today…think about the sacrifice that was made for you.

Chapters in Life

Think about a book for a moment. Nearly every book of any length is divided into chapters. These chapters work together to bring about the full story. If taken individually, a single chapter would not make sense…the reader would be confused as to who the characters are and what is happening. This is why a book is not read by only reading a single chapter; no, it is read by reading all the chapters, in order. Just because a chapter ends, does not mean that everything starts a new with the new chapter, rather, it builds. In this way, the story is understood by the end and all the pieces have fallen into place.

I like to think of our lives as being broken into chapters. These chapters often reflect significant events that shape us and provide structure to our lives. Chapters may include things such as: college, time at a particular job, a relationship, and living in a particular area…I think you get the idea.

Just like a book, there are themes, people and ideals that run constant throughout our chapters. While some of these things remain constant throughout our lives, or at least through multiple chapters, but some of these do disappear between chapters, and do not play a part in subsequent chapters. It is important to recognize when these chapters end and try to determine what will happen in the next chapter, what will remain the same and what will be set aside.

As I have moved through the story that is my life, there have been people, places, material possessions, ideas and more that have stayed through the chapters, been written out and been added in. It just keeps showing me that my life is like a book, and I do not even know everything that is happening. Is it easy to move through the chapters of life? Not always, no. But I try not to be too worried.

You see, one of the reasons I am not too worried about what is next in my story, is because I believe the words of Hebrews 12:2, which state: Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Jesus is the author of my life. For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and future (Jeremiah 29:11).

So as I move into new chapters in my life, I know there are things and people that will not have a significant role in the new chapter. This is not necessarily an easy pill to swallow, but life does go on. For everything that is taken out of my life, I know that God will replace it with something even more amazing and in line with what He has in store for my life.

To those who are also starting new chapters, to those who are working on figuring out their own story and what may or may not be in it- I wish you all the best. We all go through periods of life in which we try to figure out more of who we are and what God wants for us, and I hope each and every one of you gets to that point. Know you are in my thoughts, but more importantly in my prayers.

So live life, enjoy the chapter you may be in, and know that something new is around the corner…in a chapter still waiting to be written. But also know that some times, goodbyes happen…

Every memory of looking out the back door
I had the photo album spread out on my bedroom floor
It’s hard to say it, time to say it
Goodbye, goodbye.
Every memory of walking out the front door
I found the photo of the friend that I was looking for
It’s hard to say it, time to say it
Goodbye, goodbye
.

When It’s Story Time

Take a moment and flash forward to your life in the future…you pick how far out…maybe 20 years, or 10, or even just a couple years down the road. Now, do not try to picture what you will be doing, where you will be working or who you will be with (while those types of exercises can be helpful, that is not the point of this poist)…instead, I want you to picture sitting down with someone and beginning to tell your story…all of it. Imagine you are telling your story to your spouse or children (yes, this is going off the basic premise of the tv show How I Met Your Mother). Now think about your life, things you have done in the past, the things you are involved in right now and what you have planned for the future. Now ask youself this question:

Am I proud of my life, will I be ashamed telling my story?

 So how do you answer this question? Are you living your life in a way that at some point down the road you will enjoy telling your story? Will your future kids be proud of you, or at least enjoy the story, or will it make them wonder who you really are? Will the way you are living cause you to become the type of parent that will have to tell their children:do as I say, not as I do/did?

I know there are things in all of our pasts that we are not proud of… decisions we have made or things we have done that perhaps were not the best, but let us put an end to that right now. When I look back on my life, I do not want to see a life of regrets or poor choices (I know there are some of these, I’m not being naivie), I want to see a life well-lived with the people I love the most. More than anything, I want to look back on my life and see Christ. He has a plan for my life and some day I’ll fully know how it all fit together.

I am, right now, recommitting my promise to live a life that is in accordance to God’s will for my life. He’s brought about some pretty amazing things in my life before, when I put my trust fully in Him, and I know there are more great things in store. I have learned that when I try to do it fully on my own, or fall into the traps of the world, I am led astray from the path He has set before me. I want to live out Romans 12:2..check it out. 

I want my story to be God’s story for my life…He is the author.

A good reminder when looking at the story that is your life.

 

2011…*Over and Out*

Seems fitting that I’m posting this a year to the day of starting this blog….What. A. Year…Want to know a little more? Take a little read below….

Well, no matter what happened over the course of the past year, I’m at my current place in life because of all of it. One year ago, if you were to tell me everything that was going to happen this year, chances are I would have laughed at you. There’s no way I could have predicted or guessed any of what was going to happen during 2011. I started this blog as a means by which to record parts of my life over the past year, and I hope this has been accomplished-at least in some manner.

What a year it has been indeed. The first half of it, until June 12th, was spent by me finishing my time as an undergraduate student at SPU. It was an awesome two quarters to be sure! I learned a ton, had so much fun, and developed friendships that will last me a life-time. I was able to finish my BA in Business Administration and also concentrate in marketing. I’ve had a couple academic/financial set backs over the past four years and I am so incrediably happy and blessed to have graduated on time. There’s so much more I could say about my time at SPU, and maybe sometime I’ll write all about, and put down on paper most of what happened during my time there. From classes to clubs to internships & jobs, I seemed to always have something going on…and it was great!  

The day (more like 12 hours) after graduation I moved back to Island Lake Camp where I spent the next three months working once again as the Recreation Coordinator. It can be hard to adaquately summarize the summer, but I can say that I am overall so thankful for my time there. I was able to further relationships with returning staff from Summer 2010 as well as meet new and amazing people. Some of my closest friends have come from camp and I consider their friendships such a blessing in my life. The summer tried and pushed me in new ways, and as difficult as it was at times, I made it through and would like to think that I am better now because of it. My original plan was to stay at Camp for a year, but I made the decision to leave and take on the next challenge that life was sure to present itself. This was not an easy decision, and came about as the result of many conversations and countless hours of prayer. I love Camp so much, but I felt as though it was time to move on…never know, I could end up going back someday!

So that brings us to the end of the summer and start of a new chapter in my life. I was called by Children’s Hospital and contracted to work for two months in the HR department of the Research Institute. I spent my time processing employee evalutations, on-boarding new non-employees and other similar tasks. It was a good feeling to be working and making money, but I knew it would come to an end and that I would need to find something else. Overall, September and October were wonderful. There were so many new and exciting things happening in my life, I felt truly blessed. It was also during this time I grew tremendously in my faith. I spent time everyday reading and praying , and seeking God’s will for my life. It was difficult to make the move back home, but I worked to find the good in it and use it as a good opportunity. I also started serving with my church and became one of the junior high leaders and small group leader for 8th grade guys.

Then came November. For some of you, you know just how difficult the month was for. It seemed as though so many parts of my life were falling apart and ending in some manner of speaking. I began questioning God hardcore as to why things were happening and spend some days in what was essentially depression. It’s all well and good to say that you are going to trust in God, but doing it gets so much more difficult when nothing seems to be working out. I relied so much on my close group of friends as well as the knowledge and understanding that there was a plan and if I kept at it everyday, I would end up where God wanted me to be. I truly had to humble myself before Him and set aside any feelings of entitlement I had, especially in regards to finding a job. Not to say that the entire month was bad, there were some fun times thrown in, but overall it was difficult…a new experience. But, as I’m sure you know, I pulled through and life went on.

However, God truly does provide just what we need and just when we need it. December began with me starting a new career-oriented job at Silver Cloud. It came about so quickly and out of nowhere that I fully believe the Hand of God was at work in the situation and that this is exactly where I am supposed to be right now. See my blog post for more information about it and what I’m doing…just know that I’m really liking it so far. I’ve also been working part time for a while as a member of the Promotions Team with SPIRIT 105.3. I work with such amazing people and always enjoy it. December has really been a fun month overall. I celebrated my 23rd birthday with some of my best friends, hung out with friends in Seattle and at home, and spent time with my fellow youth group leaders. I’ve definately had some fun times over the past few weeks, it’s just been great.

Well, that’s my year in a very concise nutshell. So much has happened, so many memories along the way. There are times that I wonder what it would be like to go back and change something, but I don’t know that I would. I’m where I am right now because of everything that has happened. Sure, somethings were better and something were worse, but it’s all now woven together in some regards into my personal history and is now part of my life’s story.

So how would I summarize the past year into a few words or phrase? I’m not really sure how I would, or if I would want to try. The year brought about so many different experiences and opportunities, and whether they were good or bad, they happened. I’ve worked to learn from everything, and to be thankful for where I am in life. Is everything exactly where I want it…do I have everything figured out or planned? Of course not! But then, do I really want to ever be at that point…I don’t think so. I look forward to the future and what it may hold, cause I have no idea! God has a plan and it’s up to me to seek it out. Each day is an adventure and I want to live it all to the fullest.

2011, we had our run…thanks for everything, you’ll always be remembered! Let me leave you behind with no regrets over anything that has happened, only the lessons I learned along the way and hope for a future still unknown.

2012, it’s going to be a crazy year and I have no idea what may be in store but I’m ready! Let’s get to it and make the most of the year to come! “I think I’m quite ready for another adventure.”

Thanks for reading…Be sure to constantly be checking back here for more! I’ve really enjoyed the creative freedom and outlet this blog as provided and will continue to use it more, and in a variety of ways. I’d really appreciate it if you click to follow my blog, it would mean alot!  Thank you, friends, you rock!