Thursday, November 11, 2010

Invasion by Narnia

I've decided that I'm going to start updating my Narnia stuff on this blog. Yay!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Learning the books of the Bible

     Here's an potentially embarrassing question: have YOU memorized the names of all the books in the Bible? I can hear your reply: "Oh noes, iz too hard! I cants memwize dat, dere's waaay too much! I'm like an iPad, I don't have expandable memory." Well, your days of paltry and frivolous excuses are over. Today, you will memorize the names of the 66 books of the Bible. Right now, immediately, at this exact moment in the flow of time, go to and use one or more of these videos to help you learn the books. If you already have some sort of book or something that is supposed to teach you the same thing but you've left it up on some dirty shelf because you were too lazy to learn it...take it down and learn it. I command you to do this in the name of Julius Seizure himself. 
     Why are you still reading this? You disobeyed orders from Julius Seizure himself! Go forth and study those books or videos or sources of educational information. "Why should I learn the books of the Bible?" you ask. It's not like you're going to go to Hell if you don't learn them. It's just that honestly, a lot, if not most, of the Christians I know don't know their Bible. If you tell them to open their Bibles to a certain verse, they're like, "Huh? What book is that? I've never heard of it. Esther? Who's Esther? And why does she need a Job??" Then of course, once they figure out that it's a book, they go to the content page of their Bible and have to search for page's just kinda frustrating. The least a Christian could do is to know their Bible, the Word of God! Obviously, I'm not going to condemn you for not knowing them. But think about what non-Christians will think when they see a Christian unable to find a book of the Bible. They'll be like, "Hey, I thought Christians say the Bible is their, like, Holy Book or something? Then why do they act as if they've never even read it? Maybe it's not so important after all...." See what I mean? So do me a favor, learn the books of the Bible, if you haven't already, and try, just try, to read them all.

After you've done all that, take a look at this guy:

Monday, September 27, 2010

Bye-bye, Youtube

     Yesterday, I realized just how addicted to Youtube I'm becoming. So today, I've decided to fast from Youtube. It's a Monday, and my parents and most of my siblings are out, meaning that I should have a perfect setting to do school. But no, what do I normally do on Mondays? I spend my whole day on the computer. Not any longer. While it's hard to completely drop the use of the computer, I've decided that the most time-consuming thing I do on it is watching Youtube videos. At least the other stuff I do relating to social networking have an effect on other people too. Me watching Youtube really helps only ... me. So yeah. It's going to be hard. Haha I've already caught myself about to hit a youtube link for Julian Smith's newest video which came out early this morning. But I will not, I shall not, and I cannot click it. Pray for me to get through the day through God's grace!

Oh and by the way, I have a lot of problems sleeping. Kinda like insomnia. So I was looking up ways to make yourself sleep, and one of the things I found was to not use any sort of electrical device with artificial light for an hour before bed. "It’s best to stop using computers or watching TV (anything that directly stimulates you with artificial light sources) for about an hour before going to sleep. This will help with seratonin production so you fall asleep faster and more naturally. If you have a TV or computer in your room, strongly consider putting it in another room permanently so that you’re not tempted to use it late at night."  So last night, at 11, I put away my laptop and read my Bible instead. I was reading some of the books we need to read for AWANA (and I recommend you do that now instead of cramming at the end of the year), and I read 1 & 2 Timothy, Titus, 1,2&3 John, Nahum, Habakkuk, and Malachi. And to speak the truth, it really felt good! I need to catch up on reading my Bible daily. AND praying.
     I challenge you to try the same thing. Stop using electronics at least an hour before you go to bed, and use that time to read your Bible instead.

P.S. Another really useful tip for helping you fall asleep faster is to wear socks to bed. I think it works. But don't take my word for it!

P.P.S.  The ending of the Return of the King gets me emotional every single time. but as Gandalf himself said, "...not all tears are evil."

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Thoughts on Sunday, Sept. 26

So here are some of my thoughts from today.
A whole new point: What we, as Christians, should allow to come out of our mouths. I've started really noticing just how much dirty talk there is around. Not just from non-Christians; I've heard a lot of obscene jokes from Christians themselves, such as TWSS jokes and just various potty and human-body related jokes. I know I myself am guilty of sometimes thinking those thoughts, even if I didn't say them out loud. So I looked in the Bible to see what kind of stuff we, as Christians, should be saying. First, here are some verses from the Bible about what you should not allow to come out from your mouth.
  • Eph 4:29a. 29Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths,
  • Eph. 5:3-4a 3But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity, or of greed, because these are improper for God's holy people. 4Nor should there be obscenity, foolish talk or coarse joking, which are out of place,
  • Eph. 4:18-19. 18They are darkened in their understanding and separated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them due to the hardening of their hearts. 19Having lost all sensitivity, they have given themselves over to sensuality so as to indulge in every kind of impurity, with a continual lust for more.
Now here are some verses about what should come out of our mouths.
  • Eph 4:29b. "but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen."
  • Eph 5:19-20. 19Speak to one another with psalms, hymns and spiritual songs. Sing and make music in your heart to the Lord, 20always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Note, the stuff that comes out of our mouths is simply an overflow of what's in our hearts. For instance, Matthew 12:34-"You brood of vipers, how can you who are evil say anything good? For out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks." And Luke 6:45-"The good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and the evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For out of the overflow of his heart his mouth speaks." What does this tell you about your heart? If you heart is full of impure thoughts, impure things will come out. If it's filled with God's Spirit, then good will come out. Therefore, "Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life." -Prov 4:23.
It's so easy to just sit there when we hear people saying stuff that you know is wrong. But Psalm 1:1 says "Blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked or stand in the way of sinners or sit in the seat of mockers." This verse tells me that we should flee if we are in the presence of people speaking evil. Sitting there and justifying yourself by saying that you aren't actually contributing to the conversation just won't cut it before God. He wants us to be pure, conformed to the image of his Son (Romans 8:29).
 Here's a mental picture: Imagine sin as licking a toilet. Can you think of sin the same way ever again? The next time you begin to say something, stop and think: "Is this beneficial to anyone, simply permissible, or downright degrading? Would I be an ambassador for Christ while I say this?" If the answer is no, don't say it. If the answer is yes, then God bless you, say it. I know no one, especially not me, is perfect, so please, the next time you hear me say something that you think is not beneficial to God or anyone, please tell me. I will not be mad at you; I will be thanking God for giving me such wonderful friends who are willing to show me my problems so that I can, through His Grace, try to fix them.

Jesus Never Pleased Himself.

This is an article a pastor my family has been quite close to for like 16 years wrote. It's a once a week email sent out. I dare you to read it.

> Jesus Never Pleased Himself
> Zac Poonen
> In Romans 15:3 - it is written about Jesus that "He did not please Himself". He always denied Himself. Thus He pleased the Father at all times.
> Pleasing oneself can be done in many areas of one's life - for example, in the area of eating. Consider a situation where, even when you are not hungry, you decide to spend some money to buy some tasty snacks to eat. There is certainly nothing sinful or wrong in that. But it speaks of a certain way of life. Because you have money, you buy what you like, whether you need it or not. You do what pleases yourself. If you feel like buying something, you buy it. If you feel like going somewhere, you go. If you feel like sleeping late, you just sleep late. What is the end result of living like that, even if you go regularly to the meetings and read your Bible every day? You may not lose your salvation, but you will certainly waste the one life that God gave you to live for Him.
> Another brother however acts differently. He decides to discipline his body. When he is not hungry, he decides not to eat anything unnecessarily. He decides never to buy any unnecessary things for himself. He decides to get up 15 minutes earlier each day to spend time with God. When someone speaks to him angrily, he decides to reply gently. He decides to remain in love and goodness always. He decides not to read certain news items in the newspapers that will stimulate his lusts. In every situation, he decides to humble himself and not to justify himself. He decides to give up certain friendships that are influencing him towards the world. Through constantly deciding to deny his own will (what pleased him), he becomes strong in his will to please God alone.
> What did he lose by not buying that unnecessary thing, or by getting out of bed 15 minutes earlier, or by giving up his human sense of dignity and asking for forgiveness? Nothing. But think of what he has gained!
> A man like that, who is consistently faithful in the little things, will in a few years' time become a trustworthy man of God - not because of the Bible-knowledge that he possesses, but because of his faithfulness in the little decisions he takes in life not to please Himself but to please God.
> Don't be weak-willed then. Exercise your will to please God at all times. Mature Christians are those who "because of practice (in exercising their will in the right direction through many years), have their senses trained to discern good and evil" (Heb. 5:14).
> Consider an illustration: Two fat men go to a doctor to remove their flabbiness. The doctor gives them a course of exercises for the next twelve months. One man goes through the discipline of those exercises consistently every day, and slims down and becomes strong. The other man does the exercises for the first few days and then slackens off and finally gives up altogether. His pot-belly gets fatter and fatter with his indisciplined ways, until he finally dies prematurely. This is an illustration of how we can either make our wills strong to do God's will, or leave them flabby and weak for the devil to exploit.
> I remember reading once of a young servant of the Lord who felt that he had been watching too much television (even though he had been watching only clean programs), and who decided one day not only to sell his TV set, but also to use the time that he had spent watching TV, in prayer every day. As a direct result of that little decision that he took - and maintained - God gave him a ministry that blessed thousands. Those who see nothing wrong in watching clean programs over TV, find that God does not entrust them with much - for He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him and there is no partiality with Him.
> Yes, you are what you are today because of those many, many little decisions that you have taken in relation to either denying yourself or pleasing yourself in the areas of food, money, sleep, reading, etc.,
> So forget the blunders that you have made in life. Repent radically of your sins and be wholehearted in the days to come. God forgives you and blots out your past. Don't mope over your failures now, or you will be a drifter in the future too. The memory of your failures will help you to recognise that you are what you are only by the grace of God. It will also enable you to keep your face in the dust at all times before God.
> Determine that you will become a true man/woman of God.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

It's Not Thanksgiving??!!

This is an essay I had to write about my Thanksgiving this do you like it? Just like the Gingerbread House one, it ended up turning into a speech...haha.

It's Not Thanksgiving!

For me, it's not officially Thanksgiving until I have taken my first bite of Thanksgiving Dinner. Because of this fact, I was struck aghast when I found out we weren't going to have Thanksgiving Dinner this year! Here's how the story went.

Sitting at my desk, I was doing my school, or in any case, pretending to do my school. I was eagerly anticipating the call that would create a major rush hour downstairs toward the kitchen. I felt drops of sweat running down my face as my excitement grew. Just as I figuratively arrived at the breaking point of my excitement, my ears picked up a faint sound. Cocking my head to the side, I listened intently. I heard a patter of feet going down the stairs. Instantly, I was on my feet. With a strangled yell that could never be written down or typed, I was plunging down the stairs in a headlong rush, knocking aside and trampling all the little kids in my way. The aromatic fragrance of the turkey coursed through my veins, egging me on. To anyone standing at the foot of the stairs, I would have appeared as a grim reaper, waving my scythe with deadly aim. As I leaped down the stairs, it felt like I was trying to go down an up escalator. No matter how fast I went, I still wasn't making progress. I was a mere vapor in the wind; everthing I did was meaningless, meaningless, meaningless...wait where was I? Oh yeah. Anyway...

About halfway down the stairs, I stopped abruptly. My teeth were still churning from chomping on imaginary turkeys, but my mouth was filled with nothing but the bitter taste of plain, foul, old air. It was as if I had just bitten into a tender, juicy, slice of turkey, only to have it vanish from the grip of my teeth before I could swallow it. The unnatural phenomenon that had stopped me in my tracks was the sight of, or lack of sight of, people in the kitchen. There was absolutely NO ONE, no, not even one, in the kitchen. My mouth fell down to my knees (again, figuratively. Cause if that had literally happened, I probably wouldn't be telling you this tale...go figure). I turned around and saw everyone (minus the kids I had trampled) gathering in the family room to sing some songs and have fellowship. I knew that worshipping and thanking God for his wonderful blessings was more important than stuffing my mouth full of food, yet I couldn't resist silently weeping in my heart of hearts. After all, it was hours past my usual dinner time, and I had been waiting for Thanksgiving all year.

But anyway, I went to sing and pray, and actually had a good time. Afterwards, I finally got to go eat, and my wonderful Thanksgiving started. And everyone lived happily ever after (except the turkey). And those kids I'd trampled...they're all fine. Well now they're all fine. Little Bobby got out of the ICU just yesterday. "But all's well that ends well" is my motto.

The Gingerbread House

This is an essay I wrote for my Language Class two years ago. It kinda ended up turning into a speech...but it's funny. Try reading it!

The Gingerbread House

About 8:00 on Christmas night in my house,there were people were stirring, but hopefully no mice. After a nice, peaceful, Christmas day, everyone in my family was quite happy and tired. To be honest, we were all kind of bored. After spending most of my day reading, I was walking around trying to find some excitement. Of course, being in Texas, there was no snow outside to play in. In fact, it was rather hot, and I could feel sweat dampening my clothes. As I wandered around, my eyes lit upon a rather interesting object on the dining room table. It was our gingerbread house. My family and I had made it a couple of days ago, but my mother had not allowed any of us to eat it; she had said that it was destined to be a decoration until after Christmas. Seeing that Christmas was now more or less over, I determined that I would to eat that gingerbread immediately. Being the gentleman I am (no, I don't need to hear you all pretend to cough. ;-) ), I went and got all my siblings together to partake of the house, rather than selfishly devouring it myself. We then went to ask my mother for permission to eat the gingerbread house. Of course, she said, "No," and that we’d have to wait until after Christmas was completely and truly over. Expecting her to reply this way, I had braced myself for a drawn out fight. After a little bit of excellent debating on my part, I finally convinced her to allow us to eat the gingerbread house right then, instead of having to wait until the next day. (If you asked her why she allowed us to do that, she would reply that she had gotten tired of arguing and had given in so that we would stop nagging, could you possibly believe that? [that's a rhetorical question, don't answer it])

After securing my mother's reluctantly given permission, we attacked the house. Within moments, it was as if turkey buzzards had started circling around a bloody carcass, except that instead of a carcass, there was a beautiful, deliciously scrumptious-looking house. I swear, looking at that house made me drool (figuratively speaking, not literally, cause that would have been disgusting, and you would condemn me as being a disgusting, immature little child)! Reaching over, I grabbed one section of the roof and gently yanked it off the rest of the house. My younger siblings sat patiently, waiting to see whether I’d get sick and die if I ate it. That's just how we roll, by the way. They had realized after living with me for years that if I got sick from eating something, they had all the reason to stay away from it. Quickly, I chomped down, feeling the various dental features of my mouth close on the gingerbread. Then, I heard a sound. It was as if two hammers had hit each other in my mouth. Except that they were teeth, not hammers, cause two hammers wouldn't be able to fit in my mouth (even though my mouth is pretty big [in the physical sense, not in the sense that I talk too much, I hope, although I get the feeling that you think I am doing that right now, but...back to the story]). I felt my jaw tighten as my teeth wobbled with excruciating pain. The gingerbread, after sitting out for a couple of days, had now become Gingerstone©. Oh, how my teeth ached from the impact of trying to bite through it! Eventually, after a couple of tentative tries, I was able to gingerly (ha, no pun intended) chomp off a little piece. I tasted it as the aromas of the gingerbread and candy drifted lazily up my nasal passage. Honestly, the gingerbread, or should I say Gingerstone© , tasted rather stale. But you eat what you get (you're supposed to think about poor, starving kids in Africa at this point). When life hands you stale gingerbread, don’t throw it back; it might break something.

Anyway, after a few bites, I decided to call it quits. My siblings took little bites too, but as I had expected, none of them enjoyed it. So we decided to simply eat the frosting and candy decorations instead. Soon, the once beautiful gingerbread house with its candy trees, bushes, and walkway, was stripped bare of everything but gingerbread. Arg, I meant Gingerstone©. There we sat, with bulging bellies (Does that phrase sound weird to anyone else, or is it just me?), staring at what little remained of the house. We sat there for quite a while. Soon, we all developed stomachaches, almost certainly from eating that gingerbread.

Over the next couple of days, we tried numerous times to eat the remaining gingerbread, so as not to waste it. We tried softening it with milk and other liquids, but it still tasted rather foul. Plus, my teeth still ached from that first impatient bite. My mom eventually decided to call it quits and so she put it outside for the birds to eat. Through the window, I watched the birds come and attempt to eat the gingerbread. I also saw them flying away immediately with bent and broken beaks. Fancy that.

We finally threw the crumbly remains in the trash. You don’t know how good I felt doing that. Stop pretending to; it insults me and my woeful experiences.

The moral of the story is: well I guess it doesn't really have a moral, other than that gingerbread something. I forget what. Oh wait...nevermind. NO wait, actually, I got it: if you have a problem with birds, feed them gingerbread! There. Now I feel like this story is actually useful for something.