Weekly Favorite Links (April 17-22, 2015)

bedouin campfire

(Photo Via)

On my way back during an early evening run, I was surprised to see dark orange-pink clouds rising from what seemed like the back of my neighborhood. It only took me a few seconds to realize that it wasn’t clouds that I saw, but actually smoke, and that there was a fire burning from beyond my point of view. At the time, I didn’t know where the fire originated, but it seemed really close to my home.

Thankfully the fire was farther away than my observations, and my family and I were safe. We weren’t close enough to the fire for any necessary evacuation (praise God), but our entire house did smell like a barbecue pit for two days afterwards.

In unexpected, unforeseeable situations like these, how would you respond? What if the fire was really close? Would you try to run back into your house and save your most prized possessions? Would you run back to warn your loved ones?  It’s hard to say how I’d respond. I’d probably only have seconds to make some important decisions in that situation.

There were still some lessons to be learned. That fire was a good reminder for me that this life is short. In seconds, everything that our family worked for up to that point could have gone up in flames; our house could have turned into ashes. The reality is, something like being caught in a fire or an earthquake or a shooting could happen to me at anytime, anywhere. It’s totally out of my control.

On the other hand, I do have greater control over my responses. Yes, in that scenario, I would’ve probably had an immediate, natural human reaction. If we did have to evacuate from our home and if the fire did end up burning everything that we had, I would be upset. But I pray that if something like that did happen to me, I would still have joy and peace. I pray that I would still have faith in God’s sovereignty and choose to dwell on his grace. What are houses and other material possessions in this life when we have something better and eternal in store for us?

I hope that I’d respond with joy because of a greater truth that I believe in, which is this: my salvation can’t be taken away from me and my citizenship is in heaven. This life is temporary, this life isn’t my home. I’m a foreigner here on this earth until the day that I’m reunited with Christ. How comforting is that truth. If I’m ever tested one day, I pray that I wouldn’t just know it but believe it with all my heart.

Christianity:

8 Lies Christians Believe – Guilty of believing some of these lies. #8 is a lie that I struggle with. Need to look to those that walked before me and pray that I’d be more like Jesus and have that kind of faith in God.

God Is Like Dessert – This article caught my attention with two words: “God” and “Dessert.” A great illustration of God’s glory for a dessert lover like me.

Let’s Talk About Sex – This was a raw and vulnerable post, but I’m thankful for such transparency from a fellow sister in Christ. Sex should be openly discussed in our church and in our homes.  And sex is meant for good, but only in the context of marriage between one man and one woman.

The Messy Matter of Motives – Tricky, tricky. I know that there are oftentimes when I have to question my motives for doing ministry. It’s such a battle within my own heart — God’s glory or my own.

When Ministry Success Becomes An Idol – “When we get to heaven, the true measure of every ministry will be evaluated, and faithfulness to Christ will be fully seen and rewarded. In light of that future, our highest aim should be to finish well, and hear in the end, “Well done, good and faithful servant.” No matter our age, relative fame, or anonymity, may we all be able to say with Paul, “[We] have fought the good fight, [we] have finished the race, [we] have kept the faith.””

Food:

I don’t know why, but I do get hungry during long car rides. Maybe because they’re really boring. Here are 11 make-ahead snacks that you can take on your next road trip or airplane ride!

11 Substitutions For Common Baking Ingredients – So informative and interesting! Love learning about things like this. I only found out a couple months ago that brown sugar was granulated sugar plus molasses. I also hate to buy buttermilk because recipes tend to call for very little buttermilk, but the store only has a big carton. I never tried the yogurt substitute, but I have tried milk + lemon juice as a substitute instead.

Avocado Fries with Homemade Ranch – Another avocado fries recipe!

Blueberry Banana Bread – I love bananas and blueberries.

Crispy Chicken Fried Steak Bites – Can’t go wrong with fried chicken. My stomach might hate me afterwards but my palate will love me.

Oat and Nut Chewy Granola Bars – Yummy and nutritional.

Strawberry Cheesecake Muffins – I’m planning on making this!

Misc:

Down Syndrome Wil Can Fly – What a cool dad and I hope that Wil grows up to be an awesome, fun-lovin’ guy.

Music: 

Can’t Help Falling In Love Cover – This is such a lovely cover of a OST song from the classic Taiwanese drama, Meteor Garden.

Owl City is coming back later this year! Yayyayayayayyay! In the meantime, I’m gonna catch up on his blog. He writes so well.

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6 Comments

  1. Arwen says:

    Whaat fire?? That’s scary. There was also a brush fire near my neighborhood last week or something. Fortunately we’ve had rain the past two days, finally. =) Glad you’re safe and sound!

    Like

    • endorap says:

      What?! There was a brush fire near your neighborhood? Oh noes! 😦

      Yeah, I’m thankful that we got rain last week. We need more of it. I also prefer gloomy weather in general. Comeee baaccckkk, raindrops & cloudy skies!

      Like

  2. Aaron says:

    Thanks for sharing about our citizenship being in heaven. I think this will continue to be a struggle for us as we grow older and potentially accumulate more “things” on this earth. I’ll be praying for you, please pray for me too in this matter.
    It’s funny that you like Owl City. Definitely different style than your KPOP leanings haha.
    Thanks for linking to Inheritance Magazine. I haven’t checked out their site for a while, and it’s definitely an improvement from their previous site!

    Like

    • endorap says:

      I will definitely be praying for you, Aaron! Thanks for sharing your thoughts. We will be struggling, but at least we can struggle together. 🙂

      LOL I don’t even listen to Kpop much anymore. All their stuff sounds the same! Yeah, Inheritance Mags has been stepping up their game lately! Pretty cool!

      Like

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