Category Archives: Video

On Education

I am so blessed to be able to list all the homework I have to do this weekend. I am so blessed to be anxious over my next AP Calculus test. I am so blessed to feel like the school day will drag on forever. I am so blessed to not be able to sleep because my mind won’t stop taking derivatives. I am so blessed to have to finish a whole book for AP Composition in a weekend.

My mentor once told me a story of how he was in Nepal hiking to the top of a mountain and saw a little boy running the other way. He stopped the boy and asked why he was running. The boy said that from his house up on the mountain it was a two hours run to the school at the bottom of the mountain. The boy said that he didn’t care that he spent four hours going to and from school because he was learning to read.

How could I ever be grumpy or unappreciative that I have homework when children around the world are crying out for education? I am so blessed to have a socioeconomic status where college is almost expected as the next step after high school.

Syrian refugees have said that the thing that they want most for their children is to get an education. The schools in their refugee camps are underfunded and over-packed; yet, the smiles on the children’s faces look as if they were in Harvard.

I believe that education — along with any opportunity in life — can only be used to the full if it is appreciated. And I wanted to say to Education and all the Opportunities you’ve given me, thank you.

And yet there are others in my school who do not appreciate the gift we have been given, which saddens me because then they aren’t fulfilling their potential. Part of their education is wasted on them because they do not appreciate and thus don’t use it to the full.

Other children around the world plead for the chance that seemed to be my birthright. I was born in the United States of America to two white parents both of whom have professional careers. I was born into a life better than most of the rest of the world could only fantasize about. Frankly, most of history could only fantasize about.

And so I thank you Johannes Gutenberg and Horace Mann and John Dewey for making my education possible. I am grateful that from my education I know your names and how much you have done for me and the world.

The education system isn’t perfect; I’ve experienced that first hand. However, if we expect perfection and nothing less, there will be nothing. We should always be trying to enhance what we have, but attaining perfect is like chasing the horizon. We should not settle but we should know when ‘good enough’ is good enough.

I know teachers aren’t perfect; I’ve also experienced this first hand. However, they are the real heroes of this story. They are the one who taught me my letters so that I could write this short essay. And teachers don’t have to be paid educators in schools. My teachers are my parents, my minister, my family, my friends, a stranger on the street.

But I do have to say that my teachers in school have taught me some of my best lessons. The reason why teachers are the real heroes of this story is not because of what they teach out of the textbook, rather what they teach out of their heart. I have learned joy and perseverance and individuality and courage and wonder and faith and community and kindness and laughter and empathy.

Education is not an act of charity but rather an investment in the future. By paying your taxes for public schools, you are investing in the child who will cure cancer one day. You are investing in future firefighters and entrepreneurs and computer programmers and rocket scientists and social workers and nurses and engineers. You are invested in a future. You are investing in hope.

So I just wanted to say, thank you to all of you who have invested in me and didn’t even know me. Thank you for giving me opportunities and hope. I can’t wait to go out into the world and fulfill your investment. I appreciate my education and I will use my education to the full. Please know it will be my joy to one day invest in other children’s dreams and hopes just like you did in mine.

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Love Extravagantly

I created a Christian mix tape this past summer and my mom, sister and her best friend and I were driving to an amusement park listening to the CD. On the mix was Proof of Your Love by for King and Country (which has the best music video I have ever seen in a Christian song). In the middle of the song are these beautiful words about love. We all stopped and just listened. Not until months later did I find where the words came from. I get a Bible verse on my phone everyday and I like the Message translation better than NIV in most cases. When I first read these words, I was dumbstruck. I could easily recite 1 Corinthians 13 – which is known as the love chapter – in the New International Version, but when I read it in the Message it felt so new and alive. So below I am sharing with you the Message version of 1 Corinthians 13.


If I speak with human eloquence and angelic ecstasy but don’t love, I’m nothing but the creaking of a rusty gate.

If I speak God’s Word with power, revealing all his mysteries and making everything plain as day, and if I have faith that says to a mountain, “Jump,” and it jumps, but I don’t love, I’m nothing.

If I give everything I own to the poor and even go to the stake to be burned as a martyr, but I don’t love, I’ve gotten nowhere. So, no matter what I say, what I believe, and what I do, I’m bankrupt without love.

Love never gives up.
Love cares more for others than for self.
Love doesn’t want what it doesn’t have.
Love doesn’t strut,
Doesn’t have a swelled head,
Doesn’t force itself on others,
Isn’t always “me first,”
Doesn’t fly off the handle,
Doesn’t keep score of the sins of others,
Doesn’t revel when others grovel,
Takes pleasure in the flowering of truth,
Puts up with anything,
Trusts God always,
Always looks for the best,
Never looks back,
But keeps going to the end.

Love never dies. Inspired speech will be over some day; praying in tongues will end; understanding will reach its limit. We know only a portion of the truth, and what we say about God is always incomplete. But when the Complete arrives, our incompletes will be canceled.

When I was an infant at my mother’s breast, I gurgled and cooed like any infant. When I grew up, I left those infant ways for good.

We don’t yet see things clearly. We’re squinting in a fog, peering through a mist. But it won’t be long before the weather clears and the sun shines bright! We’ll see it all then, see it all as clearly as God sees us, knowing him directly just as he knows us!

But for right now, until that completeness, we have three things to do to lead us toward that consummation: Trust steadily in God, hope unswervingly, love extravagantly. And the best of the three is love.

Know. Act. Live.

It was an absolute joy to hear Nicole Nelson preach again. Proclaiming Christ’s Word certainly is her future. I’m glad to know that Good News is still being told. Her sermon is called Know. Act. Live. She talks about growing in our relationship with Christ and following His Word in our daily lives. I think she has a really good message about hypocrisy and evangelism. Enjoy! 🙂

Click here to see her sermon on Know. Act. Live.

Took My Place ~ A Cento Poem

Below is a Cento poem of five contemporary Christian songs about Christ dying on the cross. Each line is from one of the five songs with links to their music videos. So I wrote a poem using different song lyrics. Have a blessed Easter. Enjoy! 🙂


Strength in Vulnerability

Another lovely and needed sermon by Nicole F. Nelson at Tri-Country Christian Church! We all have struggles and hardships in one way or another, but what should we do with them? The world and the culture tells us to hide it, that not to be okay is bad, that to struggle is bad. But is that the way it should be? Is that the best way? We can choose what we want to do with our trials. The sermon is on overcoming struggles and moving forward with Christ’s mission.  The link is below for your enjoyment! 🙂

Strength in Vulnerability

Tempted by the Tempter

She is known as the Mother of the Living

but yet through her was Death’s coming

She was part of the great construction

She brought great destruction

She was Eve

Eve was so naive

Because she had no concept of sin

She was tempted by the worst, who gave her a big grin

Babies before they can talk know of temptation

She was fooled by the Utmost Depraved’s lie that was artfully spun

Sometimes we forget that and just blame

It was Eve who was tempted, shame, shame, shame

But it was Eve who came face to face with the Serpent

Sin did not exist before that instant

Satan was so sly

He preyed on her weaknesses, so cunning was his lie

She was tempted by the Tempter

Yes, she did make the bluster

that changed everything and made the world we knew

But how would you do?

Everyday we are challenged

Choices we have to make that world plunged

us into. We have to decide what is right

and what is wrong. Be the light

Or turn to our own selfish desires

Digging deeper into the fires

We say, ‘No one is watching’

Objects become mysteriously missing

We say, ‘Life is not fair, I should get what I deserve’

The wife at home believes you are on a business trip and believes that your love for her is preserve(d)

We say, ‘It won’t hurt anyone’

A little money a carefully swept under the rug, how did that happen?

These are the lies the Serpent tactfully spins

No one ever truly thinks that they are sins

And all the while, we keep the blame on Eve

‘Oh she was so naive’

Do you not see what is right before you?

I’ll give you a clue

It’s called giving in to temptation.

But always remember, God is here for your salvation.


Below is my favorite of all time poem. It is called Free Fall. I memorized it four years ago and if I practiced I think I can do it better than the girl who did it on the video. Enjoy! Also I wanted to remind everyone that October 8th is bring your Bible to school day.