Monday, September 30, 2013

Faith to carry you through

2 Corinthians 4: 6 For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of God’s glory displayed in the face of Christ. 7 But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. 8 We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; 9 persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. 10 We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body. [NIV]

I have to keep this post short. As I write this, I am in the middle of one of the most difficult situations of my life. My child must return to the hospital for further medical testing. I will probably discuss this further at another time when we receive more information. For now, my biggest fears come from the fact that all of this is out of my control. Of course, like most parents, I wish I could go through this for him, but all I can do is go through this with him and wait and wait and wait. I know I am not the only one facing hardship, so I hope this message speaks to you.

A life in Christ does not mean we will never face hardship; rather, we have the knowledge of knowing that no matter what this world throws at us God has our back. He will never abandon us or forsake us. Although we may feel at times that we are at the end of our rope, God reminds us that we are not at the end of our hope. It is often during the times we feel most broken that God does the most work in our lives. When we feel we are weak, He shows us how we are actually strong because He is our strength. Do not lose hope before God has a chance to do His work in your life. Draw in closer to God instead and trust that He will. God loves you my friends, and nothing can ever change that. Be blessed.

Monday, September 23, 2013

My Top 5 Favorite "Castle" Episodes


I realize I could be blogging about any number of things. There's so much going on in my life, I could write on a number of topics. However, tomorrow is the beginning of a new season of "Castle." I don't watch much television, but I really like this show. So, since a new season is getting ready to begin, I thought it would be fun to post my 5 favorite episodes - honestly, I could list way more than 5, but that would be way too long.

Starting with Number 5:

5. The Lives of Others - This was a great 100th episode. Castle witnesses a murder across the street from his place, but no one believes him. I really enjoyed the "Rear Window" feel of the episode. The surprise at the end was epic. There isn't much about this episode I didn't like.

4. Knockdown - C'mon, who wasn't dying to see Castle and Beckett kiss? Sure, it was a distraction, but what a distraction it was. Plus, Castle jumps on the bad guy and knocks him silly. Ryan and Esposito show how tough they are. This was a good episode for all the characters.

3. Tick, Tick, Tick/Boom! - I know what you're thinking. I am cheating by putting in a two-parter, but you really can't talk about one without the other. I suppose you could, but then you would be left to wonder what happens after Beckett's apartment explodes. I also thought the entire plot was interesting. I like the idea of them chasing down a killer with a "Nikki Heat" obsession.

2. Still - Beckett steps on a pressure-plate bomb. Castle refuses to leave her side. There's a joke about all of Beckett's hair style changes over the years. This episode had a little of everything, literally. All the flashbacks from the past seasons were fun to watch.

1. Kill Shot - Honestly, this episode is the reason I watch this show. I had seen quite a few episodes before, but I was never really into this show. Seeing Beckett deal with PTSD, watching her breakdown, then seeing her get through it changed my entire perception of the show. I was hooked after this episode. Therefore, this episode has to be my number one. Without it, I might not be writing this post at all.

Well, these are my 5. To be quite honest with you, my favorites change from time to time, but these are my 5 for now. Honorable mention goes to: The Blue Butterfly, Knockout, Rise, Cuffed, Slice of Death, A Rose for Everafter, and pretty much every episode from any season. There's just so many to choose from!

Now you know my 5 favorites. I'd love to hear which ones are yours. Please feel free to comment. Tell me which episodes you love and why. Above all else, don't forget to watch the premiere of Season 6 tonight.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

My mix-tape memories

The cassette tape turned 50 this past week. I don't listen to tapes anymore, but I still have quite a few of them. I keep them because they all have a story, especially the mix-tapes. Those mix-tapes bring up so many memories, I don't even have to play them to remember. So, in honor of the 50th anniversary of the cassette tape, here are a few of the tracks that could easily be on the mix-tape of my life.

One of the first cassette tapes I ever bought with my own money was a mix of movie tracks. I know what you're thinking, and yes, I had very bad taste. In my defense, the tape was cheap and had a song on it I really liked: "Ghostbusters" by Ray Parker Jr. C'mon, I was a kid; everybody liked this song! Man, I played that thing until the spool ran wild and I had to get a pencil to twist the tape back into the cassette.

  

One of my most favorite tapes of all time was my Bob Marley "Legend" album. I'm from Hawaii; it's hard to find anyone here who does not like reggae music. At the time, my favorite song on that album was "Could You Be Loved."



My very first girlfriend was a New Kids On The Block fan. Needless to say, I heard a lot of their songs. The one that stands out the most is "Right Stuff."

   

One of my all time favorite tracks that was on the first mix-tape I made myself was "It takes two," by Rob Base and DJ EZ Rock. I loved going to dances and hearing this song. This one always got the party started.

   

Alright, one last one, before I go crazy with this post. As a young adult, I got into a horrific car accident. I fell asleep behind the wheel and hit a dump truck. Surviving the accident was miraculous. It shaped my life in ways that are still evident today. However, for the purpose of this post, here is the song I was listening to on a mix-tape: "Anytime," by Brian McKnight.



Okay, that's it for now. These are a few of the songs that I have on cassette tape. They mean a lot to me, so I will probably keep them forever, even though I don't even own a cassette tape player anymore. Please feel free to comment on songs that stir your memory. What songs would go on the mix-tape of your life? Which cassette tapes mean the most to you? Do your tapes tell a story? I'd love to hear about it!
 

Sunday, September 8, 2013

The end is unavoidable, live fearlessly

Luke 21: 8 Jesus replied: “Watch out that you are not deceived. For many will come in my name, claiming, ‘I am he,’ and, ‘The time is near.’ Do not follow them. 9 When you hear of wars and uprisings, do not be frightened. These things must happen first, but the end will not come right away.”

1 Thessalonians 5: 1 Now, brothers and sisters, about times and dates we do not need to write to you, 2 for you know very well that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night.

Recently, someone asked me if I have done any preparation for the end of the world. The person was watching one of those shows on t.v. about people that spend all of their time preparing for the world to collapse. Naturally, when people asked me these things it is out of fear, so I try my best to give a fair response. My simple reply is usually, "No, I have not." However, this response does little to ease this type of fear. The fact is if you trust that God is in control, you have no need to worry about such things, or as Tim Tebow says, "I may not know what my future holds, but I know who holds it."

Don't live your lives in fear. One of the things I have noticed about all those folks who spend all their time preparing for the worst is that they spend ALL of their time preparing for the worst. They have no life outside of their preparations. That is no way to live. You cannot live your life to the fullest, if you live in complete fear of the future. Do not worry about the end when there is so much of life to live now. Jesus told his disciples to 'not be frightened.' Jesus promises that He will return in glory, and His people will be redeemed.

My prayer is that each and every one of you is able to walk in the fullness of God's glory. I pray you all feel and know God's joy, now and always. Jesus never fails, and He always comes through on His promises. Trust in God and the plans He has for your life. Live your life with purpose, and enjoy life completely in the here and now. There is no need to live in fear. God is in control. Have a blessed week, my friends.