Sunday, May 29, 2005

Stop EGO [edging God out]
1. Storyboard (First off, a storyboard is when you lay out the events in order as they occurred. Right now I am storyboarding the Old Testament because I did the New. You could also do Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, or anything really. Just showing the events as they occured. Its cool because sometimes it takes a while to figure out what to draw/paint/photograph/whatever for the events and it makes you ponder it for awhile. )

2. Study the proof (Its just a study of the proof behind the bible. Ive heard pastor Bud is very knowledgeable on this topic. But I have started by reading "Case for the Creator" )

3. Photograph Gods creation (You can also just observe Gods creation. It basically just means to take notice to everything around us. Maybe for a whole day, take pictures of everything, from something as large as the sky to something as small as a mustard seed.)

4. Highlight a book (This is something Ive been doing on and off for about a year. Tony Caffey talked about it in the last Deeper study. Its just where you choose a book and use different highlighter colors to show ongoing themes throughout the book. I.E. Yellow for love, pink for joy, blue for interesting verses, green for things you dont understand, etc)

5. Layout a book (This idea was also from the Deeper study. It is where you choose a book and break it down in a journal verse by verse or chapter by chapter. Just writing down what you feel or think after reading the verse. Also, its cool to read the verse and write the immediate thought, then to go back and add addititional thoughts later)

6. Create an experience (Take the book of Revelation, for example. You could write a short story about what it would be like to be left behind. Or you could take pictures/draw/paint things that represent things from the book of Revelation. I layed out clothes in different places and took pictures; it symbolized that people had been lifted up and all their belongings left behind with the unbelievers. I got the idea from the series, Left Behind. You could also go to a forest or in your backyard or in your room and act out something from the bible. It sounds weird, but it could be pretty awesome. Maybe a group or friends could develop a short play - to gain a better grasp of what the book/chapter/verse is saying and to give themselves an experience to always think of when that verse/book/chapter comes up again. Things are always easier to remember when you've experienced it. --This is also something Julia sort of had us try out in Girls study --)

7. Observe people (This is something to do when you feel like your judging too much or when you want to gain a stronger love for people. A situation that I always find myself reverting back to is when something is driving and does something stupid, like cuts us off. I have to make a story about why theyre in such a rush but the story has to be giving the person a good reason. Also, just observing people and keeping in mind that they have a life, they have a soul, they have a mind, a heart, and struggles. )

8. Lights out (Turn off all electronics. No clocks, no tv, no computer, no lights, no microwave, nothing. No sense of time, no mirrors for vanity sake. The concept is really intriguing to me because Ive never lived without all of the things were given so easily)

9. End Times (Signs of the Times A study of the signs of the end times. First you would study what the bible says will happen, earthquakes, nation will rise against nation, people will be greedy for money.. etc. Then you pray attention to news stories. It will not be long before you see how the prophesy is being fulfilled before our eyes)

10. Go blind (I think it would be cool to blindfold yourself for a day. Then at the end of the day, having someone read to you the verses in the bible where Jesus healed the blind. After youve heard it, remove the blindfold - having kept it on for a good amount of time- and -Im thinking- it will be really awesome because then we can at least can a little better grasp of what a huge thing that would be for someone. )

11. Panorama (Take a shoebox and pick a scene from the bible, then display it. I think -if you were to make a couple of them - it would be an awesome way to turn your room into a prayer hideout. You could make a line of them around your room, possibly on a table or even on the floor, and have little display boxes of biblical events, so when you pray, they can be fresh in your mind.)

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Wizard of OZ Posted by Hello
WHAT IS GOD TELLING ME?!!!

No one injured after shots fired in Bartlett
Daily Herald Staff WriterPosted
Tuesday, May 17, 2005
ADVERTISEMENT


Five bullets landed in the facade of a townhouse late Sunday night on the 100 block of Daniel Court in Bartlett. No one was injured.

“Some of them were in the awning, and two were by a window near the north side (of the unit),” said Sgt. Michael McGuigan.

Police received eight calls from neighbors around 11:30 p.m.

McGuigan said police have not determined whether there was an intended victim. None of the bullets entered the home.

The shots could have come from a car at the intersection of North and Hale avenues, McGuigan said. Witnesses told police they saw a car speeding away from the scene south on Hale Avenue.
Anyone with information is asked to call the Bartlett police at (630) 837-0846.

That is my moms house.. She was gone at work when it happened. And also, there was a bullet that entered the home. It went through the window, through the wall, hit the ceiling lamp and grazed the ceiling.

Okay, something really cool, yet freaky, has been happening lately in my life and I wanted to share it. So here goes: Saturday night I had a dream that a murderer was trying to kill me but he was not able to and gave up (To me this was God protecting me) In the dream, after failing in my killing, I called the police but by the time they got there they found Mary (the girl who leaves downstairs in our building) dead. It was a weird dream and I thought about it quite a bit but to me, it was only a dream. Sunday night I couldnt sleep and 11:30 rolled around and I got out of bed to get a drink. My Dad told me that Mary was missing. I woke up Monday and Mary was fine, thank God! I was so scared they would find her dead or something. Well, Monday after school I found out that someone shot 5 bullets at my moms house! She wasnt home, THANK GOD!, when it happened because she works overnight and it happened about 11:30-12:00on Sunday night. Monday after school I went out with my mom to help do her laundry and just get her out of her house and after we went to the bank there was a car accident right in front of us!! Now, Im not the kind of person to write things off as coincidence so now I am trying to figure out what God is trying to tell me.

Not to mention the Froot Loops verse this time around is 2 Corinthians 10:3-5 "3For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. 4The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. 5We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ."

SO IS THAT NOT AWESOME?! concering my moms house and everything.. well yeah. Its been a real ride the past few days.

Sunday, May 15, 2005

Jackies Graudation Posted by Hello
May 10, 2005 Posted by Hello

Thursday, May 12, 2005

Escaping Reality Posted by Hello

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Ground Zero

“Three-hundred and forty-three killed; ninety-one vehicles destroyed; two hundred and thirteen members of the senior command lost to retirement; $104 million paid out in death benefits; as many as 500 firefighters at risk of leaving the force because of lung damage suffered at ground zero,” this was reported at a site dedicated to the firefighters of 9/11. Mission NYC, a Christian organization, has been sending groups of people to the firehouses in New York since the attacks on 9/11 to talk with the guys and to try and help them cope with the aftermath of the events that day. I, along with thirteen other people from my church, went to New York City in the summer of 2004 to do just that; to talk with firefighters, homeless people, poverty stricken people, and others in NYC to try and help them cope with their situations and - if at all possible- give them a little hope.

We arrived in New York on June 27th and were staying until July 2nd. The group consisted of me, Crystal Joseph, Jackie Rodriguez, Jillian Rodriguez, Julia Rodriguez, Jackie Eaton, Claudia Eaton, Erik Hajek, Eric Silva, Christen Deane, Charisse Deane, Jason Judy, Brian Blomer, and Tony Caffey. In New York, we teamed up with a guy named Kumar and two teens named Jonathan and Martin. The nine original teens each received a nickname from Lord of the Rings for the trip because we wanted to establish a fellowship of our own that would bind us together in unity, similar to the firefighters in NYC – how they give each other nicknames. I was Samwise Gamgie, Crystal is my sister and her nickname was Frodo Baggins, Jill is my cousin and she was Pippin, Jackie – another cousin – was Merry, Julia – yet another cousin- was Aragorn, Erik H. was Gandalf, Eric S. was Gimli, Charisse was Legolas, and Christen was Borimir. Each leader also had a nickname. Claudia Eaton asked us to call her Chap, we called Jason ‘Judes’, Brian we called ‘Bloomier’, Tony we wrote “Toe Knee” and Jacqueline E. we called ‘Jax.’

A few days into our trip we finally found time to make our way to the Ground Zero site to pay our respects and see how huge the actual place was. When we arrived, a lot of us were in a very social mood and not ready to contemplate the events of that day. The site was surrounded by a fence. Inside the fenced area was the spot that the towers fell; the spot that thousands of innocent lives were taken. A cross stood somewhere near the fence and was displayed as a memorial. The cross was found in the debris and on the cross there was a white cloth that hung and blew in the wind. On the fence there was something written in black marker that read “God bless the US.” Across the fenced area there were a few buildings and the top few floors of those buildings were boarded up or covered with black tarp because they were blown out and still had not been replaced. The street near the memorial site also had boarded up windows and graffiti was written over some of the boards.

Stricken with guilt for not feeling anything but calm, I stood in front of the memorial for ten minutes - waiting for emotion to come. I turned to my cousin, Jillian – also known as Pippin – and whispered to her: “Yo, are you getting into this much?” She turned to me, also with a guilty look on her face and responded “A little bit, but not too much.” I nodded at this, feeling a little less guilty; partly because I knew I wasn’t the only one and partly because I had given up on feeling anything. I then turned and looked at Charisse and Jackie who had their arms around one another’s shoulders. They were leaning against the fence staring longingly between the holes, tears running down their faces. To the side of them I could see Eric Silva standing against the fence, his fingers gripping the wire as if he could picture the situation happening right before his eyes. Just as I was about to give up on feeling anything though, I remembered news broadcasts telling about the day that the twin towers were hit.

Images from the TV became fresh in my mind and I could almost see the events taking place right in front of me, four years after they occurred. The noise around me was plain chaos; everyone was screaming and crying, expecting the worst but hoping for the best. The sound of thousands of feet was pounding on the ground, glass was shattering in all directions, and the sound of fires erupting was all that anyone could hear. A gigantic cloud of black smoke was racing toward everyone and there didn’t appear to be anywhere safe to run to. For that reason, many just ran aimlessly. People referred to it as: “8:46 A.M., mayhem in Manhattan.” Soon though, the sounds and images began to fade and all I could hear was my own heart beating and my breathing getting a bit faster.

A song popped into my head: it’s a song by Kutless and it’s called “Sea of Faces.” The chorus raced through my head as fast as a thoroughbred racing horse: “I am not just a man, vastly lost in this world, Lost in a Sea of Faces, Your body's the bread, Your blood is the wine, Because you traded Your life for mine” After this appreciated, but unpredicted thought, my mind was placed in the right spot to fully realize what I was looking at. Another song soon took its place: New York by ‘The Kry.’ A potion of the song says, “And now the nights, they’re getting darker and it seems, that hope is gone, but hope is not gone.” My heart grew heavier and heavier as the seconds passed and I lost almost complete consciousness of my surroundings. Russel Brown and Ed Navetta were the two firefighters that I got to talk to most. They said they love the Yankees, police are the enemies, and that the pay stinks but they love their job Conversations that I had heard with firefighters earlier in the day rang clear in my mind and those lyrics evolved from just words in a song to reality.

When I was standing in front of the memorial, only a fence between me and the place where thousands were killed - for a reason that I can only describe as hatred – I began to understand, more than ever before, to the full extent, what the effects of 9/11 were. Not only were people killed, pride was lost, and buildings were destroyed, but also people lost family members, friends, and kids. Finally, I was fully focusing on Ground Zero and I could picture blazing fires in my head as I stood before the site.

A warm breeze was blowing as the sun began to go down but it was still almost 90 degrees outside. All day, many of us had commented on the heat, but standing there, remembering the firefighters, I couldn’t help but think about the heat they felt that day. In The Lord of the Rings, Gimli said “Certainty of death, small chance of success, what are we waiting for?” To me, this was a lot like the mind set that the firefighters had to have going into the two towers. The firefighters had to run up unimaginable amounts of stairs wearing clothes that weighed them down to protect them from the fire as everyone else ran out. Something I learned at the firehouses that day was that the men in each station were extremely close. They spent about half of their time with the men they worked with; they joked, cried, laughed, fought, and even prayed together, they were a family. After the attacks many were killed, and many who weren’t killed are currently suffering from traumatic memories. I learned that even though the attacks are passed and many have forgotten that they even happened, the pain left from them are still very much alive. I learned that after the September 11th attacks, firefighters became celebrities to America. People traveled to New York on vacation and visited the firehouses like a tourist attraction. MissioinNYC.org recently reported that “The members of the 10 house are adjusting to being back in their original location and the crowds are becoming manageable.” They also reported that several firefighters are currently struggling with post trauma; unable to sleep and sometimes not even able to go back to work. Chap, the leader of our group in going to NYC, told me a few weeks ago that people are no longer allowed to visit the firehouses because two visitors claimed sexual misconduct in a NYC firehouse.

“Three-hundred and forty-three killed; ninety-one vehicles destroyed; two hundred and thirteen members of the senior command lost to retirement; $104 million paid out in death benefits; as many as 500 firefighters at risk of leaving the force because of lung damage suffered at ground zero.” Many people do not realize that the firefighters of 9/11 are still dealing with the grief of the attacks, but for me, going to Ground Zero and talking to the firefighters was enough for me to not only realize it and understand it, but feel compassion for them. I learned that even though it is so easy for us to forget the September 11, 2001 attacks because we don’t see ground zero every day, – and even for people who do see it everyday but grow accustomed to its new appearance – it is not over for the firefighters --specifically because they are dealing with lung problems, memories of people screaming for help yet they were not able to save them, and being looked upon by society as heroes when to them it is only their job. The pain and grief is not over for the firefighters of 9/11.

Saturday, May 07, 2005

When will my reflection show Posted by Hello
Any condition to smoke? Posted by Hello
Keep us in prayer
Well, as you all know my Dad came home a bit less than two weeks ago. Things started out fine. But we started to smell cigarette smoke.. He said his oxygen machine smelled like coal so I took his word for it but Crystal kept yelling at him (because we found ashes in his bathroom garbage but he said his friend put them in there.. >_> ) Anyway, I took his wrod for it because he swore to us that he wasnt smoking. Then we found a cigarette pack in his room and Alyssa told Crystal that he went to the gas station to buy cigarettes that day. So he finally admitted and said sorry and that he wouldnt do it anymore. Day later Crystal went into my Dads room and caught him smoking. He rushed to put it in some jar behind his bed and in there she found a packs worth of cigarettes! Not only is he killing himself -mind you he still has a trach in - but he could have blown the entire house up!! He lied about it to top it off, even as I told Crystal to leave him alone and give him a chance. So yes, life here is not going that great. My mom keeps telling me to live with her but then Id have no ride to school and who would take care of my dog? Also, Crystal plans to move in with her friends when she turns 18 so then who will take care of my Dad? Then my Mom was saying I could always all DCFS.. Lol, kinda pathetic but oh well. As is life. Yall, just pray for my Dad for courage, strenth, willingness and salvation (i do not think he is saved). For my Mom, for understanding and finances and housing ( She might loose her place in June) For my sisters attitude, stress, and enemys attacks on her. And me, that I would be patient with the situation, seeking God through it, for strength and protection.
Mr. bear Posted by Hello
Heavens Crying Out  Posted by Hello
Wordly Beauty Kills Posted by Hello

Tuesday, May 03, 2005

Battleground

Hold your ground, until they say
“Onward march!” Were on our way
Prepare for battle, lets go home
Help us get you on your throne

Commander
Were calling for Your help
Father please, heal my welt
This is the fight were here for
We will fight, despite our fears
Just please wipe away our tears
You are, what we die for

The weak survive the strong don’t last
In contrast to the past
Fighting for Your Kingdom come
Hoping to see Your face…
With the rising sun

Commander
Were calling for Your help
Father please, heal my welt
This is the fight were here for
We will fight, despite our fears
Just please wipe away our tears
You are, what we die for

All for one and one for all
Were waiting for our Captains call
“Battles over, war is won!”
Lieutenant, sound that gun!

Commander
Were calling for Your help
Father please, heal my welt
This is the fight were here for
We will fight, despite our fears
Just please wipe away our tears
You are, what we die for

The battles over, rain is falling
Earths restored to your calling
Battles over, rain is falling
Earths restored to your calling
To your calling
Your Calling
Were CALLING YOU!


Commander
Were calling for Your help
Father please, heal my welt
This is the fight were here for
We will fight, despite our fears
Just please wipe away our tears
You are, what we die for

Monday, May 02, 2005

The House
There is a youth ministry in Lawndale called "The House" and its aimed at teens, obviously. They use hip hop and poetry and other cool ways to reach out to the teens and make learning about Christ a fun thing instead of a burden or chore. I was watching the cover story on WGN news and they were saying how they will have christian rappers and dancing and poetry readings and all that jazz at their meetings on saturdays.

I really encourage any of you to check out their site.
Seriously though, Praise God that there are ministries out there reaching that many people! I heard it was about 500 teens each week because so many people come off the streets and just hang out!! AMEN!

ALSO, check this out!
On another note, how about we all take a moment and praise God for the two boys who were lost at sea for 6 days and managed to survive to tell the story! I keep hearing how they were just praying out there for a miracle and confident about where they would go if they were to die. Thank the Lord that they know God and that they are pointing up at Him and giving Him the credit for this!

Its a big big house, with lots and lots of room
Its a big big table, with lots and lots of food
Its a big big yard, where we can play football
Its a big big house, Its my Fathers house!
Enter: Deep Thought Posted by Hello

Sunday, May 01, 2005

TBW's
The TBW are attacking! THEY WANT REVENGE! Be aware! Be on the look out for men in black suits and woman in slick clothing!
P.S.
They tend to dress down to hide their true selves!!