Tag Archives: Bible

More Than a Quote

I have a blue notebook in my office that I received for Christmas in 2014, in which I write down in colorful pen whatever words touch me. I call it my Quote Book and I’m up to page 49 now. Not all the quotes are from famous people though, some are from my best friend, my teachers, myself, textbooks, or just random people who I hear talking in the halls.

Yes, this is what nerds do on perfect Sunday afternoons or on late Friday nights. I scour Goodreads looking for quotes and then I get lost in the ocean of humanity’s mind just like I get lost in the encyclopedia. Ralph Waldo Emerson once penned “Words are finite organs of the infinite mind” and I want to douse myself in other’s lively minds. I want to pour wisdom into my mind from wherever I can find it, so that I can have that wisdom while I live my life.

And so if I get lost on Goodreads then that just means that I am getting lost in wisdom that will prepare me for living. I am being found.

I am in a constant state of losing and finding myself. I am designing and developing myself by adding to my schema the thoughts of others who have already lost and found themselves hundreds of times over.

This is why I like learning because in learning about the world and how it works or doesn’t work, I am really learning about and forming myself so that I can change the world. Muriel Rukeyser once said, “The universe is made of stories, not of atoms” and so I learn about the universe by learning about stories and the people who tell them.

If you can’t tell already this blog post is gonna be loaded with quotes 🙂 If you are asking yourself why a teenage girl is writing a blog post about quotes when most girls her age are either taking duck-face selfies on snapchat, let John Green answer your question, “Nerd life is just so much better than regular life.” And let me remind you, you are reading this nerdy blog post so you might be included in that “nerd life”. Plus, you have hope for humanity.

Anyway, back to the Quote Book, on the inside front cover I have written a quote by John Green “Maybe our favorite quotations say more about us than about the stories and people we’re quoting.” So what does my Quote Book say about me?

Well, on surface level, I at first only wrote down quotes from Superhero movies and comicbooks then branched out to other types of quotes. I was on a Mark Twain kick for a while (thanks, Goodreads!) and now my quote-obsession is John Green.

On a deeper level, just from that information of who I quote (comicbooks, Mark Twain, John Green), a statement is made about me. I do not care about who said the words; I care about what the words say to me.

I like to play a game where I read a quote from my book and a friend has to guess who said it: a professional writer, a normal person, or a comicbook. Generally they are surprised by who said it, and so the speaker of the words holds little power over the words themselves. Just because comicbooks has fist fights and aliens, doesn’t mean that they also have heart and poetry. “No acknowledgement or any amount of money can return integrity once it is spent” is a quote from One Month to Live #5, which was a comicbook  produced by Marvel Comics in 2010.

But what is my favorite quote? My favorite quote is my mantra, my motto, my manifesto that was written two thousand years ago; it is my rallying cry when I do not want to move forward; it is what is written on my heart and what I want to be written on my every action. My favorite quote says everything I want it to say about me and what I want to say. “But anyone who is not aware that he is doing wrong will be punished only lightly. Much is required from those to whom much is given, for their responsibility is greater” Luke 12:48.  I have a great purpose to accomplish and I will fulfill my potential with every breath I take because that is why I breathe. My favorite quote tells me the meaning of my own life and what I should do with it.

Plus, my favorite Bible verse is oddly similar to my favorite comicbook quote, “With great power there must also come great responsibility” from Amazing Fantasy #15. But this is a case where authorship is everything because I want the words I live by to mean more than words. Although I love Stan Lee, I have so much more assurance in the truth of words spoken by Jesus Christ, Creator and Savior of the Universe.

Ossie Davis said, “Any form of art is a form of power; it has impact, it can affect change — it can not only move us, it makes us move”; I think that quotes are similar to art. Quotes necessitate action. They inspire us to move forward and encourage us to keep moving forward. Quotes tell us to live. And yet quotes are just words of other people to whom we entrust power of our belief upon. A quote — if I choose to give it power — could literally be as plain as “I walked my dog”.  A quote has power if we accept it as truth.

And so, John Green’s quote about quotes has power because I accept it as truth and will transform its words into actions. With this in mind, I think that my Quote Book is not as its name implies; rather it is a collection of words that I have granted power and have promised to take action upon. It is a compendium of thoughts I have deemed worthy to hold prestige in the ranks of my identity. The words that others declared and whispered and hoped are the ones that tell my story because they are the ones that I have chosen to tell it.


“Keep my commands and you will live; guard my teachings as the apple of your eye. Bind them on your fingers; write them on the tablet of your heart.”

-Proverbs 7:2-3

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The 4 Choices of the Heart

The world,

even the adrenaline in you body,

will tell you that you have two choices:

fight or flight.

And this might be true for physical crisis

but for matters of the heart?

Not so much.

We put that emotion

that heartache

that conflict

that wronged feeling

that abuse

that anxiety

that tangled thread of life

on a shelf

under a bed

in a closet

in a drawer

We ignore it

and hope that a magician comes along and makes it disappear.

Except there are no magicians for heartache

there is no remedy from memory

there is no elixir for the heart.

When told there is only fight or flight,

we rebel by doing nothing.

We choose the third option: let it fester.

We let that emotion fester and grow

into a thing without edges or boundaries,

something uncontrollable and unknowable

because we don’t even want to recognize its existence.

The world tells us that emotions are for the weak

and so we let the brain drive

and the heart barely survive.

The heart is like an overgrown, abandoned mansion

covered in poison ivy of festering emotion,

it once was great

but now it is just ignored.

Oh, poor, poor heart

will you ever beat again?

***

Then along came a gardener

He looked at this overgrown, abandoned mansion

and said that He could make it better

He came armed with three nails, an old wooden cross, and a dump truck of grace

He cleaned up this slow beating heart of mine

and is glad to do it night after night

because He’s a gardener that is what He does.

He prunes and cuts and nurtures and waters

and watches the flowers of my restored life grow.

The world might tell you that there are two options: fight or flight,

others might choose a third option of festering,

but the gardener has told me the best option:

forgiveness.

He showed me by His example

He showed me His scarred palms and back

He showed me grace.

And now I will go and tell the world about the gardner

about His best option

about His grace

I will shout from the mountain tops about my salvation

I  receive grace to show grace.

***

Oh, poor, poor heart

will you ever beat again?

Yes, yes you will

because my Redeemer’s heart still beats.

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I Thanked God for You Today

I thanked God for you today

I thanked Him for your smile

I thanked Him for your silliness

I thanked Him for your patience

I thanked Him for your understanding

I thanked Him for your spunk

I thanked Him for your optimism

I thanked Him for your funniness

I thanked Him for your excitement about life

I thanked Him for you being a Christian

I thanked Him for your support

I thanked Him for your wittiness

I thanked Him for you

I would want to say that I thank Him for you everyday

but gratitude is such a fickle emotion

And so now, in one of those surpluses of appreciation

I want to tell you that I care about you

and that I am so glad that you are in my life

You truly are sunshine to my rainy days

and stars in my night.

I thanked God for you today, my dearest and best friend.

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Pixabay/user:Mary_L

God’s Infinite Love

The rambling of a Christian AP Calculus AB student about God’s love and math:

God’s love is ∞ (infinite) and always continuous

God’s love doesn’t have holes or sharp turns or cusps in it

God’s love has no limits

Makes your sins DNE (Does Not Exist)

God and us were parallel lines,

we were never going to intersect

but then Jesus died on a cross  (perpendicular lines)

so that we could meet.

God’s love is irrational (π), it doesn’t make sense why He would love us like He does

but it is real (7) and radical (√) anyway

When we share God’s love it does not subtract (-) from our own;

rather, it multiplies (*) and adds (+) meaning to other’s lives

He knows eXactly where to find us

and He knows “Y” (why) we are there

He knows you from you minima to your maxima

His love circles you X² + Y² = r²

from your center to your tangent line

To love God back has the absolute greatest value

We have all sinned and fallen short of the glory of God

It is a simple opposite over hypotenuse equation

the opposite side is always shorter than the hypotenuse

our sinned filled lives are always shorter than God’s perfection

God’s love to our love is not ∝ (proportional)

it is always > (greater than)

***

Of course I’ve saved the best for last: God’s math

1 cross + 3 nails = 4given

math-love

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.

Something Amazing

When I was younger, my sister and I would pick dandelion bouquets for our mother. Even though it wasn’t a dozen roses, it was just a handful of weeds, my mother still loved it. The dandelion bouquet was a double bonus: a sign of our love for her and she got her garden weeded. The same way it is for God, we do good works because we love Him and want to please Him. It is also a double bonus: a sign of our love for God and we help His other children.

No matter how big our dandelion-picking-love is for God, His will always be bigger, deeper, fuller, all consuming love. His grace in saving us wasn’t just what we did not deserve but He also chases after us. He pursues us with His love and His grace. He sacrificed His son and He won’t let that go to waste.

God didn’t just save us willy-nilly, He didn’t just say, “Sure, I’ll take that one”; He didn’t choose you by accident. God didn’t create you by mistake and He sure didn’t save you by mistake. God created you and loved you for a divine reason. God gave you a second chance and a third chance and a twentieth chance and fifty-seventh chance for a reason! He did it more than just because He loves you, more than because He wants you to be happy, He did it because He has a divine purpose for you. God sent His son to die a horrific death on the cross to save you so that you could do something amazing. Something amazing like sitting and listening to a coworker after a hard day. Something amazing like baby-sitting for a single mom. Something amazing like visiting someone in a nursing home. Something amazing like building a house. Something amazing like being known as the Christian in the family. Something amazing like fixing cars. You have been saved for a purpose and that is to do good works, to help others. When we love others, we are loving our Lord and we are fulfilling the first and the second greatest commandments.

We are to live saved every day, we are to live knowing that there is a God up there and that He is large and in charge. We are to use our talents to fulfill our God-given, divine purpose every day. If you think your background, age, or  education are reasons why God can’t use you, think again. Look at who the Lord Almighty, Creator of the heavens and the Earth, chose to be His son’s earthly foster parents: an unwed teenage peasant girl and a carpenter from a town in the middle of nowhere. Look at who Jesus, our Savior and Redeemer, spent His time with: under-educated fishermen, crooked tax collectors, reformed prostitutes. If you believe that God created the universe, then God using you to fulfill a divine purpose is like a cakewalk to Him.

Now go out and do something amazing, go out and fulfill your purpose knowing that God has your back and your future.


“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”

Jeremiah 29:13

grace

Flicker/Art4TheGlryOfGod by Sharon

This Changes Everything ~ A Cento Poem

 

Empty manger perfect stranger, about to be born, into darkness sadness
Des’prate madness, creation is so torn, we were so lost on earth
Warm hay cold sweat, a mother not yet, praying God-speed the dawn
She looks to her man, holding her hand, they wonder how long
They did not find a palace, just a humble village home and searching for a King
Lowly and small, the weakest of all, unlikeliest hero wrapped in His mother’s shawl
But finding a Child, no crown, no throne, still they bowed down
Expectation turned to mystery
For nothing was like anything they’d dreamed
It’s still a mystery to me
That the Hands of God could be so small
How tiny fingers reachin’ in the night
Were the very hands that measure the sky
Still a mystery to me
How His infant eyes had seen the dawn of time
How His ears had heard an angel symphony
Just a Child, is this who we’ve waited for
‘Cause how many kings stepped down from their thrones
How many lords have abandoned their homes
How many greats have become the least for me
And how many gods have poured out their hearts
To romance a world that has torn all apart
How many fathers gave up their sons for me
That the King would come for us, this changes everything
A Baby born to save, to save the souls of man
Born that we may have life
You were born that we may have life
A throne in a manger, a cross in a cradle
The hidden revealing this glorious plan
Of the child who would suffer, the child who would conquer
The sin of every woman, the sin of every man
And the world didn’t know, mercy was meek and so mild
And the world didn’t know, that truth was as pure as a child
And the world didn’t know, redemption was sweet and so strong
And the world didn’t know, salvation was writing a song
That the King would come for us, this changes everything

Nativity