Hope Works!

400 Miles of Perspective!

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Cheesecake Pound Cake

Who likes doing new things?!

This week Alex and I made cheesecake for the first time! It was crazy intense. We had no clue what we were doing, but thanks to a great friend from Illinois, MIETT, we made it through flawlessly! Well, almost.

She was so patient with me as I had her on speaker phone getting step by step instructions on how to make this weird cheesy cake. She also helped us come up with a plan to construct the cheesecake pound cake.

(By the way, I had never had cheesecake up until this point.)

We stayed up well into the night making sure that our co worker would have the best birthday cake ever, and we succeeded. It felt awesome.

A couple of days went by and we thought we were the stuff. We had some extra ingredients and some bananas that were about to go bad, so we thought we would make banana pound cake bread. We were so excited. We popped it in the oven and went on with our business. An hour later we thought we had done a great thing, come to find out just the opposite. IT WAS HORRIBLE!! How on earth? I still have no idea what happened. It was cake on the outside and it appeared as though the banana sank into the middle of the cake and stayed there. There was no bread/cake consistency at all! It was the weirdest thing ever.

NEVER AGAIN…

But here are some pictures from our wonderful creation!

I am not 12 and I am not going to mug you.

So, I could go into detail about the events that took place today but I’ll just give you a handy dandy little list:

˚First time riding the bus to and from work- A normal round trip would be 6 buses. I took 5 today. Hopefully that will happen next time.

˚My first bus driver mistook me as a kid, asked me if my mom was with me, pointing to the lady behind me, and gave me a youth transfer. No big deal.

˚Second day on the job at La Pita…FRESH on campus! Praise Him!

˚ Missed one of the buses home and met a new friend. He rode up next to me, skid his tires in the gravel and asked me if I wanted a ride on the back of his pegs. I asked him his age and he said 10, but he is turning 11 soon. I wanted to say yes, but I decided against it even though it was blazing hot outside.
Do I look 12 or something?

˚Scared an old lady today. It went like this….

On my 45 minute stroll through Dearborn, I noticed an older lady.  She looked like she was struggling a little bit. It was  probably a mixture of age and because it was pretty close to a million degrees outside.

Me-Mam, is there anything I can help you with?
Lady-WHAT?!
Me-I was just wondering if you needed any help getting to the door. Do you?
Lady-You want me to come with you? Where!? Why?
Me-NO! no, no! I was just asking if you needed any help.
Lady-Why would I need help?!
Me-Well, umm….uhh…. (CRAP! She set me up to tell her she was old!)
Me-Have a good day mam.

And I walked off. Wow. I think she thought I was going to mug her.

And the list goes on….and on…

˚Went on a run!

˚A bug flew into my mouth on the run.

˚I spit the bug out.

˚Giant branch finally fell in the back yard.

˚Took photos of the fallen branch. What else would I have done?

˚Got attacked by more bugs that flew into the house due to the fallen branch.

Black Ops isn’t Real Life!

You can always count on summer to keep you busy. Whether or not it’s doing xmin through the summer like myself, or employment, or even volunteering at a kids camp-There’s ALWAYS something going on that will keep you busy. And there is always someone to serve.

It’s common knowledge that summer is the time when a lot of people get LAZY, or ‘hit a wall’.  I’ve heard that term a few times today actually.

“I just feel like I’m hitting a wall.”

What does it mean? It means that you’re casting all the blame on said wall instead of sucking it up and moving forward. This is where laziness comes in. It’s way easier to say that something is hard and allow that to be the end of it with no possible solution in the near future. If we’re lazy when it comes to serving, then we’re probably lazy with our time with Jesus.

((Think about that for a second. Is there an ounce of laziness in you?))

“Work hard and become a leader; be lazy and become a slave.”
Proverbs 12:24

Man. We miss out on so much when we let laziness come in! (I know this from experience!) And the thing is-We’re not the only ones who miss out.  Others miss out on US! I can think of plenty of times when I was hoping to spend time with someone and they couldn’t pull themselves away from _________ (TV, work, video games, etc. ) so that I could spend time with them. Learn from them. And laugh with them.

Laziness in itself is a wall that we have to demolish. We have to get rid of it completely. How? By serving people and getting off our butts. Then it will be hard to even be lazy!

I’ve realized that I can’t just spend my life with my nose in a book and forget about people.

((NOTE: Boys, there’s more to life than your Marvel Comic books. And you might not know it but even your Xbox deserves a summer break. Plus, Black Ops isn’t even real life!! Come on! ))

Kids Camp

 


Don’t Go Blind

If you haven’t read, The Practice of the Presence of God by Brother Lawrence, you need to…It’s pretty good. And if you’ve read it, be prepared to take notes.

It’s been a few days since I finished it, and I can’t get it out of my head.

Here are some of the questions that I am still asking myself-

Am I living to stay as close to God as possible or am I getting lazy?

Do these thoughts or activities please God?

Am I content with just Jesus? Or am I giving in to the world?

What am I filled with? Is it faith? Or something else?

“When God finds a soul filled with faith-God fills that person with grace that bursts at the seams.” -Brother Lawrence

“Allow God to reexamine your heart. If you don’t, you will go blind.”

Those are just some of the things that I have been asking myself. I had to answer yes to some, as well as no. These are hard questions, but I have to ask them. I have to remain teachable, even when I want to pretend like everything is okay. I cannot allow myself to become a person that is satisfied with where I am, unless I am overflowing with joy that comes from Jesus.

GROWING

To pop? Or Not to Pop?

 

 

Yesterday, when I got off the clock for work, everyone was out of the house.  I started taking my backpack and duffel bag into the living room because a friend was coming to pick me up. I put my stuff by the door, turned around and saw a giant roll of amazing bubble wrap. My first thought was to wrap my feet in the entire roll and make moon boots. My second thought was to simply pop every single, glorious bubble. My third thought was to do both.

Wow, those ideas were stupid. Fun, but horribly unproductive and pretty dumb.

Some of you are probably thinking- It’s not a big deal, it’s harmless bubble wrap! Pop away!!

But, I couldn’t get over thinking that the giant roll of bubble wrap was similar to sin. Sin always, ALWAYS-starts small, and then before you know it, POP! You’re on the last row, and the whole roll is gone! Even if you only intended on popping just one.

“The temptations in your life are no different from what others experience. And God is faithful. He will not allow the temptation to be more than you can stand. When you are tempted, he will show you a way out so that you can endure.”

-1 Corinthians 10:13

I was tempted by the bubble wrap, and walked away.

Could you do the same?

 

Bicycle Bicycle Bicycle!!

(Does the title remind you of any certain song? Alex Chowdhury, any guesses?)

Few know this but my bike has a name. His name is Miles. Miles and I have been reunited this week. We have spent close to 8 months without each other and it’s been a little rough.

Why am I talking about my bike?

It’s awesome, and that’s pretty much it.

Just kidding. There’s more to it than that.

I have been riding it a lot this week, and it’s been awesome. It’s great exercise and it gets me from point A to B lightning fast, and it reminds me of Jesus! Do any of you have things in your life that make you think of Jesus? Not just people, but things, like your bike?

When we follow Jesus, we’re not just on a leisurely walk, but we’re racing on our bikes with Him. He has this awesome perfect plan for us, like Ephesians 2:10 says. Why are we racing with Jesus? I think it’s because there are people in our world who lack God’s purpose in their life. They are living aimlessly, and it’s our calling to let others know about the possibilities that Jesus gives us!

For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.” -Ephesians 2:10

Jesus keeps us in shape, just like my bike.

We always have a choice- We can either stay on the bike by exploring the word, serving and loving others, seeking God’s will, or we can slack off. Those who slack off have told themselves that it’s okay because their walking next to the bike, barely holding on. What a compromise! You wont get anywhere lightning fast like that!

We have a bike in our hands, get on it and ride!

How awesome!?

 

I love da word!

Today as I was reading I came across 1st Peter 2:1-4, and 9 which says, “v1. So get rid of all evil behavior. Be done with all deceit, hypocrisy, jealousy, and all unkind speech. v2. Like newborn babies, you must crave pure spiritual milk so that you will grow into a full experience of salvation. Cry out for nourishment, v3. now that you have had a taste of the Lord’s kindness. v4. You are coming to Christ, who is the living cornerstone of God’s temple. He was rejected by people, but he was chosen by God for great honor.” v9. “But you are not like that, or you are a chosen people. You are royal priests, a holy nation. God’s very own possession. As a result, you can show others the goodness of God, for he called you out of the darkness into his wonderful light.”

These few verses were what I needed this morning.

v1. Rid: (foll by of) to relieve or deliver from something disagreeable or undesirable; make free.

-We are called to get rid and to be done with…To me, “getting rid” is going to be constant. I have to let God constantly search my heart so that I know what to get rid of in my life!

-It also says to be done with all deceit, hypocrisy, jealousy, and all unkind speech. There is a choice to be made. You are done with something or your not, and that something is active in your life. These “somethings” are deceit, hypocrisy, jealousy, and all unkind speech, but they branch off of one main problem-Sin.

v2. When a baby is born all they can digest is milk. We are to crave and cry out for nourishment that comes from Christ like it is the only thing that we can digest.

v4. I had no idea what the term cornerstone meant. So, I asked Riley and she explained it to be the stone that is placed in the middle of an arch that holds all the other stones in place and without it they would all fall. When I read this verse it had new meaning to me. Christ is the piece that holds us all together. It makes sense that when people reject him they fall apart.

v5. We are chosen to be holy, set apart for him. To show his glory in every area of our life because he has brought us out of our darkness into his wonderful, awesome light.

This passage has totally changed my day, and I hope it changes yours.

Get the door! It’s dominos!

Yesterday I worked at Good Girls from 5pm to 8:30pm, so it’s right during the dinner hour. Usually I bring something small to eat there at work and then have a meal at home when I get off, but yesterday was different.

Larita and I decided to order a Pizza for delivery from the Dominos a block away! We called, and got a peperoni, mushroom and green pepper pizza, and waited. We had no customers, so we were trying to find things to do and had really great conversation about the purpose for following Jesus, and the importance of showing love towards people.

A half hour later our pizza had arrived! It was a glorious moment! I could smell the awesomeness, and so could the pizza lady as she said, “Dude, that pizza smells so good!” I laughed, and then offered her a slice..At first she said no, which is understandable, but then she gave in to the sweet aroma. She took a napkin, a slice of pizza and a drink from the fridge and ate with us at the front counter. It was pretty sweet because we got to talk to her not just about her awesome job, but her life.

It was pretty neat to see Larita, my co worker, so interested in the conversation. I think she was starting to see a different perspective when it comes to ‘people’.

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