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Saturday, November 21, 2015

Join Me in a Challenge gross
The other day in creative writing class, we discussed a student's non-fiction piece on the benefits and issues with social media, how addicting it is, and how it can be comparable to a drug addiction. Did you see that? A drug addiction. How many times do you go anywhere without your phone? How many times a day do you check your notifications or even your phone to see if you have any? Everyone in class had a love-hate relationship with social media, as I can testify too as well. You love it because you can "stay connected" with others, but you hate it because you spend too much time on it. And I've seen this become an issue within my life as well. I'm too addicted to my phone. It's the first thing I reach for in the morning. How horrific! Maybe this describes you too. Maybe you hate it as well. There's something wrong when it consumes us like that. So, I decided to try a 30-day challenge, in the hopes that it will become a regular habit, to curb my social media use. Here's the challenge, that I encourage you to join in with me:

1.) I will not look at my phone until I have spent time with God- read my Bible and prayed (for however long a commitment you have made to do for the morning)
2.) I will limit my social media usage so as to make the most of the time, as the Bible says the days are evil and I need to spend it wisely. (You may insert a time-limit here or a daily amount of times you will allow yourself to check notifications, such as checking it only three times a day instead of every 10 minutes).

Please join me in this and let me know what you think about it,
and how you're doing with it during these 30 days. Let's make an effort to put God first!

Monday, November 9, 2015


I teach the story "David Swan," by Nathaniel Hawthorne to my high school kids to promote the fact that it's only through Providence that certain things don't come to pass, good or bad. It's not a coincidence. And I remind them that although they're still alive, how many bad things has God prevented from happening to them in order to preserve their life? But how could anyone know this unless they had foresight? And most of the time we don't know that if we had arrived a split second sooner or not called in sick, we might not be here today. God is the one who has preserved us until now, and yet, do we ever give thanks about it when we can't see His hand of protection?

I thought about this as I driving to work, as usual, merging onto the freeway, something I despise doing. I don't like freeways. And today, even though I was paying attention to the cars coming out of the freeway, to ensure I wouldn't collide into one as I merged into their lane to get on the freeway, I was unaware that the coast wasn't clear. The ramp seemed to be a great place to hide cars from my view, so as I was merging, looking at my mirrors first and then looking over my shoulder, I couldn't see any vehicles, so I continued to merge, when all of a sudden I realize I was merging into a vehicle. Instinct took over and I quickly jerked back to avoid a collision. It was a poor initial reaction, as anyone knows that jerking a vehicle back too quickly can cause even more issues. I knew that but in the heat of things, sometimes you just think irrationally. And as I jerked back I felt my car pulling hard to the right, not able to drive straight ahead of me as I tried to correct, and then quickly pulling to the left, almost, and quite possibly, as if it were teetering and about to flip over. Though I didn't flip, I could feel the pull of the vehicle wanting to spiral out of control, and I can only say that God was the one who enabled my vehicle to stop pulling to the left or right and continue on the straight path. I had no clue what I was doing as the car kept pulling me. I knew it wasn't my "amazing" skills that had prevented an accident. It happened so fast I didn't really know what I was doing. It was all God. Needless to say, I was shook up about the whole thing. And I couldn't help but thinking about God's hand of mercy in it all. I don't think it would've been a deadly accident, just an accident, but who's to say what I was spared from? Only God would know. And He spared me from it. Shouldn't I be eternally grateful? I thought about what people do when they are eternally grateful to someone who has spared their life. They do anything for that person. They owe that person their life, and as I sat there driving to work still, I realized that's just what I said I owed God when I got saved years ago. I devoted my life to Him, and yet was my life really a testimony to that? I should've been eternally grateful from then until now. How quickly I had forgotten how God had spared me from eternal damnation. It took this even to wake me up and realize how poorly I have used my time, how much I have wasted it. It's disheartening, yet at the same time encouraging, because I have a chance to amend things. As long as I'm alive, I have a chance to serve God. And so do you. You are given this chance right now. What will you do with this chance?