Called by Name: Miriam

Called by Name: Miriam

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I have called you by name, and you are mine.

– Isaiah 43:1

For the new school year, I am starting a new Bible study series with the girls on my hall. Last semester, I enjoyed studying women of the Bible and how the Lord transformed their lives. This year, however, I am making things a little more personal.

As we look through Scripture, we see that God often renamed people that He wanted to use.  Abram became Abraham.  Jacob was later known as Israel.  God changed Saul’s name to Paul.  Even those who maintained the same name throughout their life had a name with a significant meaning.  Moses, for example, received his name because he was literally “drawn out of water.”  Furthermore, Hannah named her son “Samuel” because the Lord heard her prayers.

But what about now?  Most people choose names for their children based on the sound of the name, not its meaning.  Does the meaning of our name even matter anymore?

Yes, I believe it does, and I intend to prove that point this semester, one girl from floor 2A at a time.

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Let’s start with the sweet new freshman, Miriam, whose name means “wished for.”

If you could wish on a lucky star, what would you wish for?  Fame? Health? Prestige? Money? An easy life?

As newborn babies want milk, you should wish for pure and simple teaching. This is how you will mature in your salvation

– I Peter 2:2

A baby does not wish for the same things as an adult.  Their only desires are milk and sleep. In the same way, God’s Word should be our ultimate longing.  Psalm 119:97, Psalm 1:2, and Joshua 1:8 all say to meditate on God’s Word.

Read. Ruminate. Reflect. Respond. Repeat.

It is written in the Scriptures, “A person lives not on bread alone, but by everything God says.”

– Matthew 4:4

Kaleidoscope Lives: Deborah {Abrupt Azure} and Jael {Wily White}

Kaleidoscope Lives: Deborah {Abrupt Azure} and Jael {Wily White}

KaleidoscopeTransacting the Proselytes

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Rolling her eyes, Deborah called to Barak. Like a coward, he was hiding in his house rather than leading the nation. “Didn’t God tell you to gather the army at Mt. Tabor to defeat Sisera? God promised that he would give you victory, but you are sitting idly!”

Barak sheepishly twisted his hands together. “I-if you come with me, I will go,” he stammered.

Deborah sighed. Why would this man not stand up and obey God? “Okay,” she said. “I will go, but you will not receive glory; the Lord will lead Sisera into the hand of a woman.”

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Days later, Sisera ran. He knew that the Hebrew army, which had just killed all of his soldiers, was on his heels, and he did not want to meet the same fate as his army. If he could make it as far as Heber’s tent, he would be safe. Heber had pledged loyalty to King Jabin. Surely he would be friendly to Sisera as well.

Heber’s wife, Jael, greeted Sisera at the front of the tent. As she hid him under a rug, Sisera requested a drink of water. Within moments, Jael brought him a skin of milk, which Sisera eagerly drank.

“Keep watch at the tent door,” requested Sisera. “If anyone asks, there is no one in the tent.” With that command, Sisera fell asleep, finally safe, full, and content.

His security was short-lived, however. Jael had cunningly given him milk to lull him to sleep, and she took advantage of his slumber. With hopes of assisting Israel, Jael quietly drove a tent peg through Sisera’s temple.

When Sisera’s pursuer, Barak, passed by, Jael relayed the story to the Jewish commander. Israel’s enemy had been defeated by a Gentile housewife. Once again, God used an unexpected source to protect His people.

Top Ten Tuesday: Best Cookie Flavors

Top Ten Tuesday: Best Cookie Flavors

cookiesLet’s face it.  Some days are unpleasant.  Spending 3 hours critiquing elementary textbooks is unpleasant.  Messing up orders at the coffee shop is unpleasant.  Losing your favorite earrings is unpleasant.  Thankfully, cookies exist to save us all from these unpleasant moments of life.

Ten Best Cookie Flavors

1. Oatmeal Raisin

2. Snickerdoodle

3. Lemon

4. Peanut Butter

5. Pecan

6. Cranberry Walnut

7. Yellow Cakemix

8. Coconut

9. Pumpkin

10. Sugar

What is your favorite cookie?

What do you do when life is unpleasant?

Closing Comrades: August {Joshi Daniel Photography}

Closing Comrades: August {Joshi Daniel Photography}

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It is the 31st day of August, and you know what that means.  Today you will meet my twelfth and final Closing Comrade.  This month, I am featuring Joshi Daniel, a photographer from India who takes amazing shots of the people he sees.  I hope you enjoy looking through his photos and visiting his site.

“Soar”

Black and white silhouette of Abilash Thankan leaping with an umbrella in his hand in Trivandrum, Kerala

“Twinkling Eyes”

Portrait of a little boy during the festival of Holi in Sowcarpet, Chennai

“Somasa Seller on the Street”

A samosa seller crossing the road in T. Nagar in Chennai

“Paniya tribe woman from Wayanad”

Black and white portrait of a Paniya woman with a large ear plug from Wayanad, Kerala

Refashioned Denim Dress

Refashioned Denim Dress

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I love being busy.  On top of classes, I am an RA, student body president, peer tutor, choir member, “Brewin’ Den” barista, and admissions aid. I am not quite sure when I breathe or sleep, but I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Sadly, all these responsibilities mean that I do not complete many “just for fun” projects during the school year. With foreknowledge of the coming busyness, I spent the entire week before school sewing, crafting, and cooking.  One of the last refashions I completed that week began with a denim frock that I snagged for $1 at a local outlet sale (the same monthly sale where I grabbed this last year and this the year before).  With a few snips and stitches, I had a cute new dress for fall.

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First, I laid a well-fitting dress over the bulky denim frock and used chalk to outline the smaller dress.

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I pinned and sewed along the chalk marks, and cut off the extra material with pinking shears.

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I then repeated this process with a favorite oxford shirt so that the arms would fit.

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With the addition of a belt and accessories, my dress was ready to wear!

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There Are Just 3 College Students

There Are Just 3 College Students

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As students have returned to campus and arrived for the first time, I have realized that there are really just three types of college students: the positive planners, aimless aliens, and directed drifters. I have been in each of these categories since starting college two years ago, and I want to encourage all students with what the Lord has taught me.

When I started college in 2013, I was a positive planner.  I had no doubt about my bright future which was neatly scheduled into a five-year plan.  I was determined to get my bachelors degree in elementary education and then earn my masters before teaching fourth grade a local Christian school.  If I met a nice guy along the way, I would get married. I had my perfect life imagined, and I was even a bit condescending to those who had not chosen a major yet. Life was set.

A month later, I became an aimless alien–lost, misplaced, and directionless.  Suddenly, I began questioning my decision to become an elementary teacher, and I started throwing around other options.  I could be a high school English teacher.  Or I could be a librarian.  Or a photojournalist.  A nutritionist.  A…anything.  One night, I sat in the dorm stairwell and finally told God that I was willing to leave my comfort zone and the path I had always thought I would take.

By August of my Sophomore year, I was completely purposeless.  I had survived a hard summer, and I did not want to come back to school.  In fact, I did not want to do anything that was not easy and fun.  Because of my selfish thinking, any ideas I had for the future were unwise, and impractical.  I never would have said this, but I felt like God had failed to direct me. I was empty and lost. This feeling stuck with me for almost nine months.

A few weeks after Sophomore year ended, a man stood on a platform in front of me and 1500 other college students.  He asked the question, “Who are you?”  I honestly did not know how to answer that question.  He then said, “You cannot know what you are supposed to do with your life until you know who you are.”

I had no idea who I was.  I knew that I was a Christian, but that was it.  As a Pine Cove employee over the summer, I accepted the truths that I have always been taught:

  • I am a daughter of the King of Kings (John 1:12) in the painful process of sanctification (I Thes. 4:3a).
  • I am God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works which He has before ordained (Ephesians 2:10).

I am a directed drifter–I do not have a set plan for the future, but I know that the Lord does have a set plan, and I can rest contentedly in that state.

If you are a…

  • Positive planner,
    • Be sure that God is the one directing your paths (John 3:30, Prov. 3:5)
    • If He is, embrace God’s plan for your life (Philippians 1:6)
  • Aimless alien,
    • Realize that you cannot have control of your life (Luke 17:33)
    • Realign your life to fit God’s plan (Rom. 12:1-2)
  • Directed drifter,
    • Enjoy the view as you wander and quit worrying about the destination! (Ecc. 7:14)
    • Continually seek Jesus and He will give wisdom for the next step (Prov. 3:6)
  • For any stage of life—
    • Seek Jesus
    • Look to grow
    • Live pure and unspotted
    • Lean on him

Proverbs 16:9

People may make plans in their minds, but the Lord decides what they will do.

What would you consider yourself?  A planner, alien, or drifter?

Microwavable, Portable Breakfast Muffins

Microwavable, Portable Breakfast Muffins

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School starts back this month, meaning that mornings are about to become hectic for families across the country.  When mornings are crazy, it is easy to reach for a microwaveable, portable meal.  Let me give you some options:

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Each option can be reheated in seconds and will keep you energized through the morning.  Yes, the first option is easy, but the second option is cheaper, homemade, and all-natural.  What makes the second option even better is that there are only two necessary ingredients, but you can add your own spices to customize the taste.

So how can you make these grab-and-go breakfast muffins?  Check out this recipe right here:

 Grab and Go Egg Muffins

Ingredients:

The base for one muffin:

  • 1 egg
  • 1 slice cooked bacon

Customizing ideas:

  • Salsa
  • Shredded cheese
  • Onion
  • Garlic powder
  • Sausage
  • Chopped vegetables

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and spray muffin tins with nonstick spray.
  • Whisk eggs.
  • Stir in bacon and any mix-ins.
  • Pour into prepared muffin tins.
  • Bake for approximately 20 minutes.
  • Let cool completely.  Then freeze in an airtight container.
  • Before eating, microwave muffins for about 1 minute.

**I recommend making a large batch of these and keeping them on hand for hasty mornings

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