Wednesday, April 28, 2010

What Concerns Me the Most: On the Road

Before I begin, I want to establish something. I am not perfect. Never have, and will not be until I reach Heaven. I have areas I need to work on, there are things I don't do right. I am as much a sinner as anyone else reading this. One of the worst excuses I have heard when expressing my concern to someone (and I've heard it from many) is, "Well, you did such and such, so I don't have to listen to you." NO. If everyone worked that way, improvements would never be made, and nothing would get done. The issues I will be addressing in this entry and the next few following it are things that have been popping up quite a bit in many areas of my life. They are things of great concern to me. Please keep in mind that I will be "preaching" to myself as well. When I speak about these issues, I mean it in no malice to anyone. I am approaching my fellow Christians, those redeemed by the blood of Jesus Christ as I have been, as a concerned sister in Christ. If you are not saved, I am approaching you as a concerned friend. To avoid any accusations of "finger-pointing", I will not mention any names.

The age group most of my friends fall into is from 15-17 years old. For those in this age group, we have reached an exciting time. You get your permit, learn to drive, and by sixteen, sixteen and a half, most of us have our licenses. This is a time of achieving new independence with the ability to drive. The first time I held my brand-new driver's license in my hands, I felt a new sense of power and independence. No longer would I have to ask my parents to take me places. I could just hop into the car and go! I could take my friends places and we could hang out . . . wait. My mind stopped right there. In the state of Washington, one must wait six months after achieving one's license before driving alone with anyone under 21 who is not family. My excitement went down a couple notches. Then, my mind began to plan. I had heard many of my peers say that the six month law was dumb. What was the point to it? They just don't want us to have any fun! Many of my peers boasted that they weren't going to be waiting! As long as you don't get caught, it doesn't matter . . . right? Wrong. A law is a law is a law is a law. Sin is sin is sin is sin. Something I came to realize those agonizing six months was that even if I didn't get pulled over, even if my parents forgot about the law (which did happen occasionally), no matter what, God would know. Even though those six months (especially the last couple of weeks) were grueling, the wait was worth it. I can get into my car with a couple of friends and know that I am legal from all sides. I don't have to worry about being caught doing something I'm not supposed to be doing. I am doing something that is now perfectly legal for me. The last thing I want to see is one of my friends getting smacked with a fine because they chose to disobey a law they thought dumb or unnecessary. There are reasons for these restrictive laws. All the lawmakers and police officers want for teenagers is what's best, and what's best is our safety. They want you to enjoy your new-found freedom, but they also want you to be safe.

Another concern I have in the area of driving is speeding. Many drivers-and not just teens-find the speed limits signs simply suggestions. They are not. Rather, they are the law. Most police officers give a plus 5 mph cushion from the speeds written on the signs. This is because all speedometers are different and it ensures that (for the most part) a drive will not be ticketed unfairly. Note I said most; not all. But a driver should not take advantage of this cushion. Did you really get to where you were going faster just because you were going 55 or 60 instead of 50 mph? Nope. Actually, you were putting yourself and other drivers at more risk for no reason at all. The reason for the speed limits is, once again, safety. If speeds were not regulated on all roads, can you imagine the chaos that would ensue? The amount of accidents would shoot through the roof! It would be nearly impossible to drive down the road without being road-raged. The victims of most car accidents are in my age group. This is because teens are more easily distracted and are more prone to dangerous behavior because they are showing off or running late. When you follow the speed limits and other rules of the road, you show respect for fellow drivers, police officers, and our lawmakers. You show that you are concerned for your own safety and the safety of others. Most importantly, you show respect and obedience to God, who has placed authorities over us to keep us safe and to help learn right from wrong.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Sinners in the Hands of and Angry God (and other updates)

Last week for my American Literature class I read Jonathan Edwards' "Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God". WOW. It is an awesome sermon. I recommend it to everyone--Christian or not. Something I really drew from it was the surprise of God's love for us. I always knew that His love was unusual, and loaded with grace and mercy, but I guess I never really thought about the full extent of His love. Every single one of us is wicked and sinful, and truthfully, we've all disappointed Him greatly. God has no obligation or anything that binds Him to loving us. He just. . .does. For no reason other than because He cares for us. He didn't have to send Jesus to die for us. He didn't even have to let us continue living after the Fall. He could have just snuffed us out and started over. But HE DIDN'T. He offers us everything we don't deserve: grace, mercy, redemption, salvation. And He doesn't even have to. He could throw any one of us into Hell whenever He pleases. But He's given us a chance at new life. Just reading that sermon made me so thankful that I have taken this free, wonderful, undeserved gift.

In other happenings, life's been going good. I've been sick this week, but am almost completely recovered! I'm really pumped for TeenPact National Convention in late May, partially because I'm running for Representative!!!!! This summer is going to be filled with work, friends, trips, job shadows, 4-H, etc, etc, etc. Can't wait! There's not too much new besides all that stuff.

I think I'll be using this blog mostly for my random philosophical thoughts and opinions on stuff. I guess that's mostly why I started it, because Facebook statuses don't allow that much character-wise, and posting a new note everyday gets dry. Anywho, stay tuned for more!

Wore my glasses today. . .just thought I'd share lol.

Sunday, April 4, 2010


For those of you who live where I live, you'll remember that it snowed on Friday, and even a little bit yesterday (well, it did in my neck of the woods). When I woke up on Friday morning to snow, it really put me down. I was thinking, "Come on!! SNOW? In APRIL??" Later in the day though, a thought crossed my mind. This was Good Friday. The day (by tradition) that Jesus was crucified. The snow began to make sense to me. The day Jesus was crucified, many people thought all hope was lost. Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of Jesus, the disciples, and many others were deeply broken by His death. The days following were days of darkness for these people. The snow seemed to reflect the sorrow that was felt by these men and women so many years ago.

But what we know and what they forgot was that Jesus wasn't going to stay dead forever. Three days later, when Mary Magdalene came to dress Jesus' body with spices, she found the door to the tomb empty, with nothing inside but the grave clothes he had been wrapped in. Sure that the Roman soldiers had taken Jesus' body away, Mary began to weep. But she soon discovered that Jesus was not dead--but alive!!! Can you imagine the joy she must've felt when she looked once again upon the face of her Savior? Just three days ago, she thought she would never see Him again, yet there He was, alive and standing before her. He had conquered death, hell, and the grave so that she could be free. So that all people could be free. He suffered and died to pay for our sins, and then arose again three days later; all for us! We are all horrible sinners and deserve nothing more than an eternity in hell. But Jesus loved us so much that He has given us an opportunity to spend eternity with Him in Heaven!!!

So when this Easter morning dawned bright and beautiful, I felt in my heart the same hope Mary Magdalene must've felt when she saw her Savior was alive. Memories came flooding back from 4 and a half years ago when I finally chose to believe and accept Christ's eternal gift. That was by far the best day of my life. If you have not accepted Christ's perfect gift, I encourage and compel you to do so! It will be the best choice you ever made!!!!