Posted in Memoirs of a Christian College Student

The Question of Proof: Theory of Evolution

Have you ever been afraid of asking questions about what you believe because you were afraid of finding your belief misplaced, or false in some way, and you would be required to change?

I know, its a big question, right? The reality is that I find a lot of christians, myself included, can be very intimidated by the questions the world asks, and the reality that we don’t have all the answers. If we don’t go to Jesus and ask Him those questions searching for the Truth, then we can find ourselves beginning to doubt our very faith which we profess. It is healthy, and very necessary, to consider the questions that the world has regarding life, and to see what the Truth is. I will further encourage you, that you can ask questions about your faith that perhaps you were/are afraid to ask, and still hold on to your faith at the same time. Put God to test in the right ways, and you will actually benefit from the experience, and others will benefit from you.

I was faced with such a challenge spring semester of college, which was my first time back in about 4 years, as I was taking Principles of Biology. While going through the course material I kept hearing about Evolution, over and over again. In some ways it seemed to be correct, but in other ways it seemed to be wrong, and I found myself quite confused and bothered by the whole concept. I found myself asking, “What bothers me about the Theory of Evolution?” (And by the way, they don’t even teach Evolution as a theory anymore, and you are looked to as crazy or stupid if you don’t believe its true–whether you are a Believer or not.)

This question wouldn’t be answered until we have the Evolution Lab during…I believe it was the 12th week of class, maybe the 13th (out of 16 weeks.) I won’t lie to you when I say I was bored out of my mind during the lab, and was seriously contemplating leaving the class not even half way through, something I never do. The lab made no sense to me, and I could tell by the questions of my class mates that I was not the only one. I wondered then if I was the only Christian in the class, and if so, then I wondered what the problem was with Evolution that both Believers and nonBelivers were stumbling over the concepts.

Luckily, I was able to get our of class early that day, and I didn’t have to abandon the class to do it. I thought about it on the walk home, and determined that what bothered me most about Evolution was the idea that it excludes the possibility of a Creator, and instead looks to creation as an explanation as to why it exists. That night I determined to research it and get some answers to my questions. If that is what Evolution is about, I reasoned, then how should I respond as a Christian? So, I decided to check out a website that my friend told me about perhaps two years prior, and have found that place to be absolutely amazing and helpful.

Its called Stand to Reason, and the articles I read are here, here, and here.

What I learned really helped reveal and resolve the questions I had within me, and I will do my best to simplify them here.

First.The main confusing thing, is that the word “evolution” actually is attached to three different definitions and is used in three different ways. The first two are simplified as microevolution and the last one is called macroevolution.

The definitions are, in my best paraphrase, 1. Evolution is a change over a period of time.
I hate to say it, but it would be quite foolish to argue with that. People change over a period of time, weather changes over a period of time, ideas change, lifestyles change, the color of tree leaves change, time changes, years change….things change! A baby grows into a toddler over a period of time, then into an adolescent, then an adult. Our very cells change, and the way we eat can effect the way our body functions which in the long term can make us healthier, or more susceptible to diseases, etc. I believe you get the picture…

2. Evolution is the change within the characteristics of a species over a period of time.

Ok, now we’re starting to get a bit uncomfortable, and I’ll explain why that is in a moment. First let me briefly clarify this definition. The changes within the characteristic of a species, is simply that. This is NOT the same as the change from one species to the next, but is confined to simply the characteristics of a species. The Gallapagos finches are famous….two different finches within the same species living in two different climates learn to eat and function in different ways. At the end of the day, they are still finches, they never stop being birds, but one finch, I believe in Africa, dies off when the weather and vegetation is no longer harsh and desert like, while the South American finch will die when the vegetation and fruitful trees are gone. A good way to summarize this definition is “adaptation,” changing to survive.

The first two definitions are microevolution, so what is macroevolution?

Macroevolution, the final definition, is the idea that over a certain period of time, in certain circumstances, a species could go through a series of changes that enable it to become a different species.

There are many things wrong with this, but the main reason is actually my second and third points. I will simply name them and briefly describe, allowing you to do the research on your own.

Insufficient proof. Every  idea, theory, and concept has to answer the question of proof; evolution is no exception. “Humans evolved from monkeys.” Okay, prove it!

The problem is this, there are two roots in their proof and both are insufficient. The first is the idea that because the first and second definitions of evolution are true, that is, microevolution, then the third is, by extension true. Why is this a problem? Because there are immeasurable amounts of proof on all levels for microevolution, but absolutely none that sustains the idea that one species can “evolve” into another.

But the fossil records are proof right? Well…no. In one of the articles on Stand to Reason (which I linked above), the author addresses this question, and I will paraphrase his answer as I understood it.

In order for the fossil records to be counted as proof of macroevolution, there would need to be records of fossils that show the original creature, the transformed creature, and (this part is key) the transitional stages from one organism to another…and we would need them in the thousands. That is something we don’t have, proof in the fossil records of macroevolution, and certainly not on a grand scale. What we do have: infinite proof of microevolution….infinite.

So why can’t the reality that microevolution is true be proof of macroevolution?
Mostly because the jump between microevolution and macroevolution are huge, and that’s a pretty big gap to gloss over. This is like saying Captain Kirk and the Enterprise are real because there was a show about it in the 60s. (I’m sorry, its the best example I could think of at the time…) The reason we believe that each aspect of microevolution is true is because each aspect has proof, endless proof, that sustains it. Once again, we don’t have this proof for macroevolution.

Unfortunately. Most of the time, evolution on all three definitions is used so interchangeably, you’ll have to listen to the context in which its being used in order to decide whether or not you should be concerned. If its microevolution, then you can rest a bit easier and examine the claims, but if its macroevolution in the guise of microevolution, be on alert, and as always, ASK questions.

I hope this has been helpful in some way, and I apologize if I offended any Trekkies out there. I have a soft spot in my heart for the enterprise…don’t tell my mother!

My hope, however, is that you all will really read the resources I have provided, and, if you’re an over achiever, or have other questions, research on your own. I also encourage you to ask questions here. I may not have the answers, but I am willing to do a bit of research on the topic. My goal for this post, and others within this category (and really the blog as a whole) is not to change your mind, but to challenge it in a productive way. I want to be a good thinker, and a good skeptic–one that is searching actively for truth, but rests when its found. I am posting this to help aid your thought process, question asking, and because, mostly, I found the answer to my question, or if not, then a good resource that gave me a clear direction.

I hope this makes sense.

Have a good one, and if you’re a college student…hang in there. Honestly, it’s worth the hard work and sacrifice.

See you all next post,

~Angelique

Posted in A Walk to Remember, Memoirs of a Christian College Student

Memoirs of a Christian College Student: Introduction

Hello,

I have come to a place in my life where I find I am transitioning into what many of my friends are transitioning out of, namely college. I have attended college before but never got a degree for various reasons I shall avoid detailing due to the bitter remnants and the reality that such information is irrelevant to my purpose for writing. This aside, I have begun my journey to attain first an AA at my local college here in Jacksonville, and then on to ultimately my masters, which I hope to pursue at UNF.

What I noticed almost immediately is that I am completely ill-prepared for school. College was happening right after coming out of a difficult time, upon difficult time, upon completing a missions opportunity, and deeply nestled amidst a sea of unknowns. I learned that I could not be my guide through school, and that I needed God’s leadership, and I learned it the hard way.

I first learned that although I understood that I needed His help, I was still very self-assured that I could handle these things and make it through school. “You just attend class, learn something, do your work, and turn it in!” Right? Simple enough….unless you’re a student who worships Jesus at the foot of the cross, and desire to surrender your full life into his service…even your college experience. What I learned is that God has a purpose for me during my school years, and it won’t be as simple as just showing up, learning something, doing work, getting a grade and calling it a day. It won’t be as simple as getting a degree and then going my own way.

My first semester was in the Spring of 2015, so January through early May. My first courses were Public Speaking, Principles of Biology, Intermediate Algebra, and Cultural Geography (which I failed, not that it matters much.) I was very much overwhelmed by my first semester. The first college I went to and was seriously pursuing a degree, knowing what I wanted to do, was an art college on Baypine, which was very nicely structured. All of the classes there began and ended pretty much the same time–a full semester was 11 weeks long, and a half course was about 5-6 weeks long. I was very much used to having a structured schedule where the classes all began and ended at the same time, but this was not so in the spring at my current school.

I definitely noticed a difference in the students I was now surrounded with. There were many more students with a broad range of interests and goals from many different countries, beliefs, and cultural backgrounds. I was not in a small, narrow school anymore, where my degree pursuits may be different from another’s, but we were all art students. Now I was quite literally in a melting pot of ideas, and I could not tell which direction I needed to swim in.

The second thing I noticed as a full-time student, nearly full-time employee at a small business, are the many traps that are truly set-up for those who believe. I have also seen how those who do not believe (that is, In who Jesus is and what he lived and died for, let’s not forget overcame death for) fall into these traps, or by some miracle, avoid the traps, but fall into other ones.

There is a temptation I face daily that suggests that perhaps I am being overly religious, or taking things too seriously, and I need to slow down with the Jesus thing. Surely God expects me to learn something here, so what’s wrong with drinking the kool-aid to make the grade?

There is a temptation I face often of accepting everything someone says (a teacher that is) and the things written in books for what they are. The trouble is, not everything is right, and there are teachers who will scoff at students for disagreeing with what they teach, or with what the textbook says. There are students who do it too.

There seems to be a sort of cruel twist of a knife when someone dares to ask the question “why is that so?” to the point where you feel stupid for even have asked. This is not simply for christians, this is the college system here in America. You can truly feel the weight of the culture of the times in the universities, and other college campuses.

My apologies if this sounds heavy, but I want to point out that this is a big deal, and it is something we should be talking about more often. Too many times I find myself asking, especially as a science major, “Lord, what am I supposed to be learning here? What is alright to hold on to, what can I let go of? Why is this information wrong? Why is it right?”

I find that your faith will grow when tested, well college life is a test. You don’t have to go to seminary to be an apologist, the training is here in secular schools as well. The only difference is that God must be your constant teacher, there can be no middle man.

Although college life can be like a whirlwind where it seems you are not allowed to be human, and have a life outside school work because of the intense deadlines, the massive work loads, and the constant intake of information that prevents you from thinking straight, the most important thing is to continuously ask questions, and to know where to look for answers. If you’re a Christ-follower, then you know where to go and who to ask…are you ready to hear His responses?

If you’re a non-believer, and a skeptic, then you’re in the right place, I’m hoping you learn how to be a good skeptic. That is, one who is skeptical because they are pursuing truth, but knows when to rest when they find it.

I want to say now, before I close my intro, what my goals are for writing.

I am not here to give the perfect answer to your heart’s questions. I am afraid I am too finite and limited in understanding to undertake the task. Instead I will be sharing my college experiences, the questions I have asked, and the resources I have found that helped me navigate through the treacherous waters.

My goal is to be an encouragement to you; you are not swimming alone through waters that no one has faced before, many of God’s people have endured through similar circumstances and have overcome, we can too! I am a firm believer of the reality that we all struggle with the same things, we just struggle in different ways. We all have a common enemy, and we all have an opportunity to receive a hope that endures even beyond death to this world.

I hope you will find the posts as encouraging and edifying as I find them therapeutic and freeing. Also, because I want you all to live, and to not be afraid to ask questions (also because I have no intentions of being your Guru) I will go ahead and include one of the most prominent resources that was shared with me, and I have found it helpful, especially when you’re in college. Stand to Reason

Always ask questions; Never grow weary of walking the path of Truth.

See you next post.

~Angelique

p.s Here’s a post that you might find encouraging from Stand to Reason Do Not Fear Them

Posted in A Walk to Remember, Haiti 2014, On Mission with Christ

To Haiti and Back

I have been wanting to write this for some time, however words eluded me. Even now I don’t quite have the words to say (I journaled most of them already and will be sharing the contents with you. Why? Because our stories were meant to be shared, and God’s words, and evidence of His presence cannot be contained. Broken jars were meant to pour out, and that’s what I will do.)

 

I’ll start by simply stated what you didn’t know, I went on a mission trip to Haiti for one week; a whole seven days, and have been back for about…three weeks now. In all honesty, this is the first day I truly feel alive and functional enough to share these words, and a part of me believes (and knows?) that God purposed this particular day, for this particular moment.

Things They Don’t Tell You About Mission Trips

When you are prepping for a mission trip, there are so many things that your trip adviser and coordinator/whatever role they play talks to you about. They prep you for the people, they prep you for the work, and your mind you have an imperfect image of what things may be like, and also an expectation of what may be happening that’s more elusive than not knowing anything at all.

You discuss costs, you discuss culture and how to pack, you discuss a lot of things, but they don’t tell you even more. It’s not that they don’t want you to know….it’s more like, If I spent my entire life preparing for the trip of my life, would I ever truly be prepared? I learned many things on this trip, but one of the first things I learned was that, I can never truly fully prepare myself for anything God has purposed and planned.

So, I held all of my expectations at arms length, maybe even farther. I pretty much let them drift off and get lost somewhere never to return. I have written a few things (while prepping for the trip) as to what “they” don’t tell you.

“What they don’t tell you about mission trips is that its not about you. Its not about what you have to offer, its about who God is and how He has planned to use you.

They also don’t tell you that planning and prepping for a mission trip is a long battle. You battle your fears, anxieties, hopes, expectations,etc. You fight against selfishness and bad attitudes. You fight against your culture which tells you what you’re doing is wrong, stupid, crazy; or worse, they elevate you to a godly status and give you a “good person” badge.

The difficulty for us, is to constantly remain in Christ and hear his gentle, loving voice amidst loud condemning voices. You hear all the loud noise so much, you begin to agree with them just to get them to shut up, but they don’t and that is not how we should respond.

The enemy knocks against you harder as you step out in faithful obedience to the Lord, and staying deeply rooted in Him becomes all the more important.

They don’t tell you, as they should, that how you spend your days before the trip are just as important as how you will your days on the trip. Asking important relationship maintenance questions about your relationship with Christ and others in Crucial: We are human. We have a weak flesh that is tempted to do wrong, and we are powerless and useless on our own. We are not Jesus Christ. We belong to him, but are not him.Therefore, we need to stay deeply connected, and open and honest with him.”

Let it be known that your life will be changed, I knew this before going on the trip, but they never tell you that the change in you and your life begins the moment you say “Yes, I will go!”

Haiti

I was very frustrated the morning we left, not because I was irritated, I just believe that traveling anywhere (especially when it takes forever) creates this sense of frustration. Going on an international missions trip is a million times more frustrating, especially when you don’t know what to expect. However, I’ll spare you the boring details of travel.

To be quite honest, the first thing I noticed about Haiti was not the poverty (to be quite honest, that was such a minor detail to me. But…it’s an important one that should not be ignored. It was simply not the most important thing.) The first thing I noticed wasn’t even the people, nor their daily doings. It was the scenery, and in that scenery I felt comforted. The people are beautiful, they have cars and a lot of them have motorcycles and mopeds. (Which by the way, they take great care of. I have yet to see an ugly busted up looking bike of any sort. Even the dingiest one is shiny, clean, and well maintained. Wow!)

The reason why the scenery stood out the most, and why it was comforting, was because it was something I understood. Everything else just kind of came out at me all at once, and all of my emotions just sort of could not be truly expressed. It was like they were stored in a bin somewhere in my heart for when I needed them. However, the trees, the mountains (which I have never seen. We certainly don’t have mountains in Florida.), and even the ocean was gorgeous, beautiful, breathtaking, and I could not get enough of it. How different this place was, yet how similar. It was a land God created, filled with people God created. I didn’t see a difference between myself and those people ; at the core we were the same.

They were differences of course. For one, they speak french and creole, something I could never boast about. However, this did not overwhelm and baffle me until  Sunday; my first Haitian church experience.

Mark 10:45-52

Haitian churches are about 2 hours long (which was not as bad as I thought. In all honesty, I expected 4 hours.) Most of that time is singing, indeed about 20-30 minutes is actual teaching. But you have no idea how I longed, how I burned to just….understand what they were saying!!

I was so frustrated, and I could not comprehend how I could possibly worship with them. So, as they sang, I prayed and prayed, I listened and understood nothing…then I marveled at the reality that God could understand us both; me and them, the American who spoke English, and the Haitian who spoke French/Creole.

And after I marveled….the process started over again; frustration to prayer, prayer to awe, awe to frustration. Until, at last, the Word of God was opened and they turned to Mark 10:45 in their french bibles; and I turned to Mark 10:45 in my English one and I read, and they read, and then nothing else mattered.

“Even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve others.”

Please do not ask me how God used this verse to click everything into place and remind me of why I came. That I came to serve alongside the God who came to serve me. I do not know. But I heard God, and He heard me, and I listened, and I saw that we truly are united by one God, and though there will be language differences, we are truly one people in Him.

People I Met

There are many people I met, but I want to simplify it here, and share very briefly how they impacted me, or just little things I remember or liked about them.

Lenken Rose- I am not sure I spelled his name correctly, but I met him Sunday shortly after church.

I was actually headed into the town with Charity and Christa (missionaries who lived at the orphanage|Cabaret Baptist Children’s Home (CBCH)| we were staying at also) with my team mate and friend ms.Sandy. We stopped by the church first, and he just came up and spoke to me. My first conversation with one of the locals, and it was encouraging and cool. He is going to school to be an accountant, and he likes Kirk Franklin. I enjoyed learning how to converse again with this young man, and he was very patient with me.

RuthfaelleA young girl at the orphanage who loves to draw flowers. She kind of reminds me of my youngest sister. She’s quiet and fun, and loves babies. I see her with a baby in her arms quite a lot. She has a beautiful smile.

Marie JoeI met her on the third night (maybe the fourth.) We had been busy outside the orphanage and I had been very weary, struggling with dehydration. My time with the children, diminished by a lot. I hardly spoke to anyone in those two days.

One night I was heading upstairs and I passed some of the girls, they were all talking  in a circle. As I passed by, Maryjo (I knew her because one of my team mates sponsors her and I heard about her a lot back home) calls out to me and asks me “Why don’t you speak to us?” I was so taken aback I wasn’t sure how I responded, so I told the truth. Even back home I don’t speak very much, and I was not ignoring them nor neglecting to speak to them on purpose. But then, we had small talk, and I could not shake that feeling that I messed up somehow. I kept asking myself…Did I offend them? Did I say something wrong?

That night (about 2 hours later) I heard another teammate mention the same thing, so I shared what happened to me as well and we just vowed, and purposed to talk to those children until they wanted us to leave them alone! (Ha ha)

After that day though, I made it a priority to branch out and speak to every child, small talk, hugs, give them some attention (good and encouraging attention) so that they would know they weren’t overlooked.

Maryjo is very sweet and kind. I’m older than her by 1 year, and yet, there are a lot of ways in which she is older than me.

NadegeI only really had one conversation with her, in which we learned we both share a love for the piano. She plays they keyboard, and so do I. (Her keyboard is better, though. Lol) She is a worship leader, and I believe she truly loves the Lord. I suppose, Naturally I must also mention

Islanda- She’s a beautiful and shy girl who sings, loves to sing, and sings beautifully; worship songs. I overheard her singing one evening as I was about to retire, and I stopped and listened a minute. Then, with courage I didn’t have, I told her she has a beautiful voice. Then I slowly left, but stayed on the otherside of the wall a moment and sang with her.

Something about it seemed private and personal;intimate, so I didn’t want to interrupt again.

GesalineShe is shy, loud, and cute. All smiles, all the time. She also had a crush on one of my team mates. It was so cute. :3

Daphene  Silly, giggly and cute. Lots of fun. A sweet little goofball.

The Siblings There are not by any means the only siblings in the orphanage, but there were a lot of them…really it was the four amigos. I shall start with

Miroludes   (pronounced Meer-oh-lude) Beautiful and laid back. I cannot quite explain how we met. She was one of ms.Sandy’s favourites and I saw her a lot. Then I just began teasing her and TJ (one of my team  mates and young friend). They were such flirts. xD

JunelHe was Coray’s first friend in Haiti. I noticed him around taking pictures of things (with Coray’s camera I might add.) He’s the oldest sibling out of the four. He’s quiet, funny, ridiculous in a good way, and kind. He loves Uno, and I believe a part of him is a bit upset that I hold the winning title. 12 to 6 (1 game friday ended with 6 to 3; another game the day we left Haiti we ended the game with 6 to 3) He asked me Friday night after I won my fifth game “Do you like to win?” I thought about it for about half a second, studied him and responded, “Well, I don’t have to.” After I won for the sixth time (when the score was 6 to 2) he says “I want to beat you.”

I’m looking forward to going back just to play Uno with him again.

Ronald (pronounced roe-nald) I saw this young man many times (he’s the third oldest out of the four. Miroludes is the youngest) but I never really spoke to him. Mostly because I hardly saw him, to be truthful. However on Friday, I had a very strong desire to play the piano after VBS. Nadege was not around, but even if she was I was going to ask if it was okay. Ronald was on the key board, and Coray was on the guitar and they were jamming. Then a local man who had come to sell his wares (and the wares of other artists) came over and took the piano and played with Ronald on the guitar. That was honestly a sight and sound to behold. Very cool.

I listened for a while, but really wanted to play myself. So, as the man was getting ready to pack up his wares, he passed me the keyboard and asked if I played. I replied honestly, a little bit.)

I grab the keyboard, set it down on my lap and felt so at peace. I began doing hand warm ups, because it had been months since I last played (maybe exactly one, maybe two) and then I played the first song that came to mind, the song I had been itching to play, and had practiced so often I remembered the chords. (I still made mistakes, mind you)

Mighty to Save. I just began playing and singing, very softly just to get the timing right. I heard Ronald for a time either warming up his hands, trying to match his key to mine, or wondering what I was playing. I’m not sure which one. But I told him, this is Mighty to Save. And then I just practiced a little, then played, and sang, and I’m not sure if I heard him in that moment, but a little into it and I realized he was playing the same song. He knew it. The way he played it was a bit delayed in parts (which I believe is solely due to the Creole language) so I tried to readjust my playing speed for him. It was so cool, and so fun!

Right after that we played Here I am to Worship. He asked me if I knew the song, and I said…I don’t think so. Then I found myself playing it, and remembered that I learned that one too, although not as well with the first. It’s like my hands remembered what my brain couldn’t figure out. It was so much fun. I want to worship with him again.

Juna– I didn’t spend too much time with her. She was apart of the small group we took to the beach. And other than that, I’ve seen her playing dominoes (with bitter leaves in her mouth given to the loser) and often teasing her twin brother Junel. That’s right, twins! I was amazed and then thought, how cool!! Needless to say, she shares the title of Oldest of Four with Junel.

There are so many other people and places I’ve met and seen, but I will not post them all here.

Check out cbhaiti.org to see the rest of the children I met. Next Blogpost I might add some more.

A special Thanks to everyone who prayed and supported me before, during, and after the trip. I appreciate all of you, and of course, you readers who support this blog.

Posted in A Walk to Remember

No Words Can Describe

Last year, I never would have believed I’d go through what I endured, or even realized that I needed to learn what I discovered, not just about Christ, nor even about myself, but about life and what it truly means to live.

Towards the end of last year I endured, and survived, and learned to overcome much grief and hardship. I couldn’t imagine how it could get either worse or better. What was in front of me was so overwhelming, and I had to learn to see both God and myself in a new way.

Last year, or at least towards the end of last year, Jesus guided me through a desert. The journey was long, and at times I was bitter, learning to trust God, and experiencing His love for me in ways I didn’t know I needed it. The posts “The Tenderheartedness of God,”  “The heart of God” and “Anticipating the Harvest” were the posts marking where I was in my relationship with God, and in my circumstance with God in the “beginning,” “middle,” and what I thought should be the “end” of the situation, respectively.

After getting out of the desert, I poured out my heart in the writing of the last mentioned post. Only, I didn’t realize that the journey wasn’t over, and that we have new terrain to cover.

Amazing things have happened and are in progress this year, but it seems like I’m drinking the living water only to pour it out through my eyes again. I’m finding that the joy I had in the Lord two years ago with such ease,I have to fight for, hard. I’m finding that I really don’t know what I thought I knew, but that also doesn’t mean that I don’t know anything: I’m learning to truly learn from the Lord and to allow Him to teach me in his timing, and not to fill in the gaps with my limited understanding.

I’m beginning to see that…I don’t really understand what it truly means to walk with Christ down calvary’s road: the way he walked for us.

I have discovered that as I look at these amazing people of faith, and how closely they walked with Christ, and as I pray to know the Lord in the way that they knew him, and to experience more of him…I’m getting exactly what I’m praying for I just don’t realize I’m asking him to teach me how to have Joy in the midst of suffering.

But I am.

The path that we are on is a road marked with abundant joy in the midst of many trials and sorrows. This is not something we can opt-out of, but is a necessary path which forces us to depend on the Lord more fully. To say it another way, it’s a necessary path for us as Christ followers, because we are quite literally following Christ down the path He has forged for us, entering into his glory by means of the Cross.

A Christ follower cannot opt-out of following Christ, that is to say, we cannot make deals with him, we cannot forge our own way and say we’re following him, in fact the only way to follow him is by trusting in his leading and submitting to his Father’s will, as he himself has done.

I have begun to read the book of Job, at the counsel of a great friend and encourager, and I will be posting my first “series” so-to-speak which will be named after this post “No Words Can Describe: A Closer look at life’s storms.”

It’s going to contain everything I’ve been learning through studying the book of Job and spending time with the Lord. (I’m as shocked by this news as you are, perhaps more so.) Including learning to look at life and our trials as God’s children, and how to encourage ourselves and others.

I want you to know that you and I are learning this together, I’m no expert, but God is and it’s upon Him we should lean on and in Him we should always place our trust in.

Looking forward to walking with you all through the storms of life.

~ Angelique

Posted in A Change In Perspective

We Are Free!

I thought of this last Sunday as I was singing praises to the Lord my God. And the thought never left me. Indeed even though it was simple, it was profound and caused me to think. Perhaps it will do the same for you as well.

The thought was this:

I am a free woman singing among free people to our Lord and Savior.

We are free! We are no longer slaves!

Is this not the very reason why we sing? Is this not, even, the very reason we are able to sing?

Posted in On Mission with Christ

Anticipating the Harvest

I have planted seeds in the ground, seeds of life, love and grace. I have watered these seeds with my tears, with endless prayers, and much sacrifice. I have battled against many enemies who desired to see that the harvest never come to fruition. I have battled and I have suffered, and I have bled, and I have  crumbled to pieces many times over to protect those seeds I have worked so hard to plant and water. I have done so in the hopes, that what I have planted, you would be able to enjoy in place of the darkness and evil and sorrow you sow for yourself.

What I have failed to realize, what I have failed to see was that you did not care.

No words can describe my sorrow. No words can describe my pain.

I knew, though perhaps you didn’t know I could see, that you didn’t want life and love and grace. I knew because you are lost and blind, and blind people  cannot make themselves see.

So I thought to myself, “If I try, if I can just find, creative ways to show you how wonderful this fruit is, you would turn from your ways, you would stop eating death and decay, you would stop drinking poison.”

So I began the good work that the Lord has planned in advance for me to do. I planted seeds of life and love and grace, enduring many hardships and sorrows. Even you rose against me and tried to stop me from my work. But I know that I should not take advice from blind men, so I resisted you and kept working.

The Lord was with me always, and He blessed the work of my hands. There was a harvest, a greater one rhan I anticipated, and I found myself amazed, overwhelmed, humbled, unnerved and afraid of what the Lord has done.
I, personally, began seeing God differently, my own perspective has changed. I was like the disciples in the boat who could never imagine that the same Jesus who fed 5,000 people with five loaves of bread and two fish, could rebuke the wind and the waves and calm a storm. I found myself mimicking their cry of “who is this man!?”
Who is this God I serve?

I have given myself and sacrificed all of me until I was dry, and even then I gave. But the Lord gave even more than I, he gave more than everything.

He gave me living water to drink when I was thirsty, His word when I was hungry, his love when I was empty, his life when I was dying. He did these things so that I could share them all with you even when you didn’t want it, when you swore you didn’t need them, and you thought of them as worthless.

He gave me his strength when I was weak, his patience when I had none, compassion when it did not exist. He gave me encouragement when I was discouraged, hope when I despaired. He was my refuge when I was in trouble, my sanctuary when I needed a place to hide from my enemies. He was my light in even the deepest darkness, my oasis in the desert. He gave me grace though I didn’t deserve it; the forgiveness of sins when I chose to rebel.

He gave me more than everthing even though He knows I’ll never completely understand and appreciate it all. And He gave me these things so that I could extend them to you, even though you feel entitled to receive them.

Even though the harvest has come, and is still coming, you have not received a portion of this harvest, though it was offerred. I thought that, perhaps, I did something wrong. I thought perhaps I didn’t water the seeds corectly, or I planted them the wrong way. I thought perhaps I messed up, so I sought to fix it, but no matter what I did, the result was the same.

Now I see that it isn’t me or anything I have or haven’t done. It is not even because you are blind and think you can see. Its neither of those things.

The problem is that not only are you blind and  can’t see, you know you are blind and you don’t want to see. You are hungry and dont want to eat, thirsty and dont want to drink.

I am powerless and can do nothing, so I leave you to enjoy the fruit from the seeds you have planted and watered.

If the fruit is bitter, remember that you can harvest only what you plant and you planted and watered seeds of bitterness.
If the fruit does not come, and nothing grows, then remember that you can harvest only what you plant and you planted and watered nothing.

But, if you happen to receive sweet and delicious fruit, rejoice!
For though you planted bitterness and watered nothing, the Lord has shown you great mercy and extended his love and grace and has blessed you with a plentiful harvest that you did not work for and do not deserve.

You have harvested what you did not plant.

As for me, I will continue to serve the Lord faithfully. I will flourish under His loving care, and I will not resist either his gift of affliction nor his gift of peace. I will not resist his direction nor his correction. I will not resist His will nor his Joy nor His presence, for they are one and the same. I have surrendered all I am and all I have for his glory and his namesake, because my life is His, and his Life is mine.

Posted in Announcements

When’s Your Re-birthday?

I bet you’ve never, or hardly ever, thought about this question have you? Do you know what it means?

A birthday, as you well know, is the day you were born here on earth by human passion and planning, but a RE-birthday is a spiritual birth by the Holy Spirit and is done only by God’s perfect timing and planning skills. It’s what most Christians refer to as being born again, and also known as the day you were made alive in Christ.

So my question to you all is When was the day that you were made alive in Christ? The day that you became a brand new creature? The day where you met Jesus on your path to death and destruction (whether you were aware or not) and suddenly you realized that there was a God out there who made you, loved you (and still does), and desired to save you and in that moment you realized that you needed this savior! You realized that the very One you were running from and pushing aside was the very One you have been looking for, and you have not been the same person since.

When did that happen for you? Do you remember it? Has it ever happened?

 

I want you all to think about this because I have a small missions opportunity for you: I would like to offer you all a chance to share your testimony with others.

Where? On this blog, and online. If you lived closer to me, I would like to meet you very much and hear about your Re-birthday experience for myself.

How? Simply message me back that you’re interested (by email, Facebook, or a face-to-face if you know me) and I’ll set you up a guest account on my blog and you can post away! (Please add pictures. D: I’m too scatterbrained and pressed for time to make the blog look awesome. lol)

Is there another way? Yes. If you are brave, you are free to also make a video, or if you live near me I could get a video of you and post it on YouTube. I have made a special account specifically for this blog, so you also have that option. Warning: I have not yet worked out the kinks with YouTube because they keep updating and I haven’t messed with them in a while, but we’ll figure it out. :3

When do I need to do this? On your re-birthday. 😀
Is there a better way to spend your re-birthday than by recalling the moment Jesus became real and personal to you, transformed you from the inside out and personally disciples you, than by sharing that experience with others?

Are there any guidelines? Yes, be authentic, be genuine, be yourself! This is you and the Lord (or actually, the Lord and you), so pray over it thoroughly and reflect over your relationship often. :3 This is not to be posted to be judged, but to share the love of Christ with others. I also personally believe that we don’t celebrate and reflect on where God has saved us from enough; we’re always so focused on what we’re doing next.

Word of advice: Don’t let fear stop you from sharing what God has placed on your heart to share. Also, don’t believe the lie that Satan, yourself, and the world will tell you: this is not that big of a deal. That is a lie! Satan and all the other enemies of God want nothing more than for you to feel insignificant, purposeless, and they want you to believe that sharing your testimony (yes, even online) is useless. It’s not!

I have been encouraged plenty by many amazing children of God who share on Facebook, WordPress, and other blogsites. You can be that encouragement for someone else: believers and nonbelievers everywhere, now begin believing that you can. ^^

 

I look forward to hearing back from you. As for me, my Re-birthday is not for another couple of months or so, and there will be a posting about it on that day. :3

Take care!

~Angelique