Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Blemished Sacrifices

Have you ever read the book of Malachi? It is a message from God to His people to change their ways. He wanted them to serve Him wholly. He wanted them to stop offering blemished sacrifices. He wanted them to worship Him faithfully and do what He asked. It is interesting because so often we read Malachi and think, Wow, how could the Israelites do that? Why did they offer imperfect animals as sacrifice? Why didn't they give God everything? Why didn't they serve Him faithfully?
Yet these words don't have meaning unless we take them into our own lives. We don't have a record of the book of Malachi so we can point the finger at long-dead generations. We have it because it applies to us, today.       

So how does it apply? God no longer requires us to make animal sacrifices so how could we possibly give blemished sacrifices? I think the answer is fairly simple-- anytime we give God only part of ourselves, we are in essence giving a blemished sacrifice. 

I find myself giving God up parts of myself. I want Him to have control over some areas of my life, but I try to still control certain areas myself. That doesn't seem so bad, does it? But maybe that is very similar to offering God an imperfect lamb. 

Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. Romans 12:1

God tells us that he wants us to be living sacrifices. What exactly does that mean? Well I think it means that we offer up ALL of ourselves. So when I read Malachi's words, I can no longer think what foolish people they were to give God blemished sacrifices. Instead, I think of how Malachi might be speaking to ME and the book of Malachi becomes much more relevant than I realized.

Friday, December 26, 2014

Questions Never Answered

The book of Ecclesiastes is one that is often pushed by the wayside. I've even heard Christians state that it is a depressing book or that they don't spend time studying it. That it a bit of downer is certainly true if you look at it from a worldly perspective. However, when we look closer there are some very precious and uplifting messages to be gleaned for the believer. 

In the book, Solomon seeks the answers to questions that are still being asked today. Three thousand years later, we are still asking the same questions that Solomon asked: What is the meaning of life? What brings joy? What happens when we are gone? What is wisdom?

These are questions that scholars and philosophers still ask today. Mankind still seeks these answers that we could know if only we turned to God's word. 

Solomon, one of the wisest and richest men to have ever lived, indulged every desire of his heart. He built the fanciest buildings, married the most women, had the best of everything. Yet, at the end of his life, even he tells us that it didn't bring joy. It didn't bring meaning.  At the end of his life, after pursuing every possible means of pleasure, Solomon concludes that it meant nothing. So what brings meaning to life? 

Now all has been heard; here is the conclusion of the matter:
Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the duty of all mankind. Ecclesiastes 12:13

If only we could hear the words of Solomon and listen. Too often we have to find out things by doing them ourselves. Instead, let us listen to one of the wisest men who ever lived, who experienced more than we ever could, and hear his warning: remember your Creator in the days of your youth (Ecclesiastes 12:1)! 

Let us not wait until we are old like Solomon to realize that is the only thing that can bring meaning to our lives.  

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Winter break

Ho, ho, ho! 

It's winter break time and I have never been so thankful for one! My first semester of grad school really knocked me down. But I passed all my classes and I've heard that the first semester is always the worst (boy, do I hope that is true!) 

Since then, I have been busy doing a few last minute gifts and getting ready for the marriage celebration Daniel and I are having on January 3rd. Planning weddings sure is tiring! I'm so thankful for all the help I have from my mom, best friend, and people in our church. I was a bit worried because I ordered my wedding dress on Etsy, from a seller who lives in China. But I'm glad to report after some alterations, I love the dress! 

Our cute first ornament from by aunt & uncle!
It's my first Christmas being married to Daniel and I'm hoping that we can start some of our own Christmas traditions for our little family. Any suggestions? 

I've done several hand-made gifts this year. I think they turned out really nicely and I'm excited to share them on here once they have been gifted. Hope you all are enjoying the holiday season!

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Through the Years

This time last year...

I was in Canada, visiting Daniel and meeting his family for the first time. I had such a wonderful time with him, going to the Butchart Gardens and celebrating Thanksgiving with his family. I was at the end of the last semester of my undergraduate degree, taking microbiology. I didn't think any class could be harder or more stressful... turns out I was wrong! Oh, and I also caught my first fish!

This time 5 years ago...

I was finishing up my first semester of college. I was loving all my classes and enjoying making new friendships. I enjoyed taking a literature class because I love to write (hence, the blog). I was also getting into working out and running at this point in my life. I was still working at my first nanny job, for three girls.  

For Christmas that year, we had pictures taken for my parents

This time 10 years ago...

I don't remember specifically what I was doing, but I had just recently turned 13. Thirteen was a big year for me, because in my church it is the year when we can start participating in the teen activities and retreats. I was in 9th grade and homeschooled by my mom. I was also in the top performing company at the dance studio. Dance was a huge part of my life. It was a big commitment because we had to be at the dance studio several hours every day, except Sundays.  

That's me in the red stripes! Hopefully my posture has improved since then 
I look back with fondness at all these memories. I have enjoyed almost every season of my life, just as I am enjoying it right now. I am so thankful for where I am at, and where I have been. There have been hard times and sad times, but through it all I have had support from family and friends, and most of all, from God.  

Monday, December 1, 2014


So THANKFUL for him.

I feel very BLESSED to have a husband who always loves me, cares for me, helps me, and makes me feel special. That I'm HAPPY to be married to him doesn't even begin to describe it. Every day is a GOOD day because I can come home to see him. I TREASURE every moment we get to spend together.