Tag Archives: Muffins

Weekly Favorite Links (April 17-22, 2015)

bedouin campfire

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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.

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Weekly Favorite Links (March 26-April 1, 2015)

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I’ve been feeling a bit behind on life lately. In reality, I’m probably not lagging too far behind, but I just feel that I have a lot going on. Maybe it’s the combination of an ever-growing to-do list and not getting enough sleep and not eating healthy foods. Whatever it was, I decided that I needed to make some changes, which I’ll talk about in a separate blog post. 🙂

By the way, don’t you think that photo of a DIY chalkboard measuring cabinet that I found on the internet is freaking AWESOME?! I love it. And now I want to make one! Add that to the list of things to-do!

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Weekly Favorite Links (March 19-25, 2015)

I miss fall.

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I recently took an assessment test for work. Ever since I discovered the Myers-Briggs test several years ago, I’ve been intrigued with taking personality assessments and learning more about myself. It’s interesting that there’s still so much to unravel about my personality as I get older, including all my strengths and weaknesses. It surprises me that there are parts about myself that remain a mystery, and will only be revealed over time. After all, we’re constantly maturing and changing, too.

Before taking the test, there were certain traits that I sort of knew I had, but it wasn’t until after the report came out that there was greater awareness and clarity in terms of pinpointing exactly what some of those traits were. One of the newfound realizations from that assessment, though, was that I’m very adaptable in social situations and am always eager to assist others. This could be an asset and a weakness. It’s a strength in situations where it involves caring and serving people, and making sure that all their needs are taken care of. I have a pretty assertive and proactive nature; I’m unafraid of taking initiatives in any environment. On the flip side, it can be a potential weakness when it comes to conflicts and confrontations, depending on the circumstances.

I tend to anticipate possible issues and will want to do my best to deter them. In situations where conflicts do arise, my first instinct tells me to run and avoid all possible conflicts, even if I know in my head that it’d be better for me to take care of things as soon as possible. Or I’ll withhold speaking my mind and sharing my personal thoughts in order to avoid conflicts, thereby preventing any sort of negative impact on others. I guess another way of looking at it, perhaps from a more scriptural standpoint, is that I fear man and want to please man. I am afraid of ruffling feathers, afraid of failing to meet the expectations of people — even random strangers. My pride gets the best of me and I seek to preserve my image. I will adapt to cater to people because I want them to affirm and praise me, and I get anxious when it’s a challenge to do so.

Taking this assessment was a blessing because it helped me recognize areas that I needed further growth in. Thankfully, the realizations also came at the perfect time, since I was being thrust into situations where I just. couldn’t. please. everyone. But through this learning experience, I’ve come to appreciate the help of wiser, older family and friends on how to confront and deal with conflicts, even if it’s hard. Now that it’s all passed, I can look back and praise God for how blessed I am for having gone through that entire difficult, complicated ordeal. God is so good. Why do I ever doubt that truth in the first place?

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Weekly Favorite Links (March 5-11, 2015)

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This post is specially dedicated to my friend Janna, who listened, rebuked, and pointed me to Truth this past week. Thanks for helping me exercise discipline in my thoughts and emotions. You’re a true friend.

I don’t know what’s been going on with your life, but a lot of interesting, unexpected events have been happening in mine. Some good, some bad, but all of them have occurred totally beyond my realm of control. It’s like one day I was casually strolling in the park and the next thing I know, I am trying not to get crushed by flying boulders and rainbows. If I were to be totally honest with myself, I hate it when I am not the one in control — I completely freak out. Trusting in God is hard, and I tend to seek answers within myself or turn to my friends, who could then provide me with immediate gratification, before humbly communicating my anxieties before God.

I want to hear from God, but only on my own terms. I want God to tell me what I should do with my life, what decisions to make, what paths I should avoid, and I just want to know my future now. In the depths of my heart, I kind of want it to be picture-perfect, too. But what if God is more concerned with my holiness and sanctification, rather than my future security in this transient life? (Answer: He is.) What if He is using all these uncertainties and challenges to show me my sinful tendencies and calling me to repentance? (Answer: He is.) What if God is trying to teach me to surrender all my emotions to Him, to open my eyes to His wonderful faithfulness, and to mold me to have a more a dependent-like faith? (Answer: He is.) What if God is breaking me so that I come before Him in desperation? (Answer: YES, HE IS.)

See, I know I should choose to believe in God despite whatever doubts and that I should choose to have joy despite my circumstances. Hence, the blog title. But my faith is weak. I am fearful of my future. I am fearful of making poor choices and mistakes. I am worried about failure and not looking my best (according to my own standards), and also disappointing others. My emotions can, and often do, overwhelm me. It’s only when I begin to lose my mind that I confess that I cannot manage things by myself.

Time and time again, God’s Word empowers me to focus on what is true and what is not true. His Word speaks life into mine, calms my fears, and brings me great hope. Let me share with you one such passage, which has strengthened and comforted me during all that has happened to me in one week. God is good. Always.

Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice. Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me—practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you. (Philippians 4:4-9).

Just from what I shared today, I hope that you, dear invisible reader, will also be able to evaluate yourself, your life, and where you stand with God. I am praying for you all, Christian or not.

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I didn’t really read or find anything on the internet that I wanted to share beyond the Christianity and Food categories this week. However, there’s a lot of links that I really enjoyed in just those two categories alone, so check ’em out!

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