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I'm going to focus on what I was meant to do.
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Ouch...my gums hurt. This may sound disgusting, but I haven't done a proper flossing in ages. Tonight I did and well, my gums are hurting really badly LOL.
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Today I was tested. When it felt my anger was going to get the better of me I prayed and read James 1:19. Doing both helped to calm myself down.
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I saw a JD Farag post on [livejournal.com profile] jesusfreaks. Before reading the post, I've briefly watched some of JD Farag end-time sermons. He's a little cooky (in a good way), but his end-time knowledge is very good. Anyways so I watched his prophecy update. I don't think I'm going to be worried/anticipating anything happening in September, but hey like he said the rapture can happen at anytime.

While watching, I couldn't help but wonder if the enemy is using my ex's death and other issues to occupy my time and thoughts while all these things are going down? I'm devoting too much time worrying and obsessing about things that hold no eternal value. Is this the plan of the enemy to kill my enthusiasm for the Lord, steal my time and destroy my soul? To make me waste precious time about non-important things that I leave this earth not fulfilling my calling? It sure feels like it. I need to pray and ask for our Lord's direction.
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Today is exactly one week since my ex passed away. It was a shock and to be honest--unexpected. I always thought he would get his transplants and go on to have a meaningful and happy, albeit abbreviated life. It's now apparent that it was never meant to be.

We broke up about four years ago and did not remain friends. I was filled with too much hurt and anger to continue to have him and his family (namely his mother) in my life. Slowly that hurt and anger turned into an all consuming hatred. Silently in my heart I would wish nothing but evil toward them.

I didn't realize this at the time, but all the unforgiveness I carried for so long started to negatively affect other areas of my life. Up until a few weeks ago my heart was growing alarmingly cold, evil, hardened and distant toward God. I blamed him for a lot of things including the debacle that was my relationship with my ex. I knew my heart was in a very dark angry place, I just didn't care enough to truly seek help.

The days following the news of his passing my heart began to soften to feel remorse, grief, sadness and guilt. Eventually all the hurt, anger, bitterness and hatred began to be replaced with overwhelming sadness, guilt and crippling condemnation. It wasn't until I asked Jesus to forgive me of all the awful and evil thoughts I felt toward my ex, that my heart began to change. The feelings of guilt and condemnation has almost completely faded away. Every now and then I still get sad and teary-eyed when I allow myself to wallow in the past. But when I do find myself slipping I remember this key verse:

"...Forgetting the things that are behind and reaching out for the things that are ahead..." --Philippines 3:13-14

Spiritually, I was suffering from heart disease so severe, Jesus needed to shock my heart back into health. While I never wanted my ex to die, Jesus used what could have potentially destroyed me, into something good. This shock to my heart not only saved my life, but it allowed a spiritual renewal in my life. I'm still waging a war with rogue thoughts of anger and unforgiveness, but since I've let Jesus in my heart I have faith it can be overcome.

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A Murderer at Heart

Get rid of all bitterness, rage, anger, harsh words, and slander, as well as all types of evil behavior. - (Ephesians 4:31)

Many of us would never murder a person, but we may wish someone were dead. Have you ever hated anyone? Let me rephrase the question: Have you ever driven on a freeway anywhere in Southern California?

In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus said, “You have heard that our ancestors were told, ‘You must not murder. If you commit murder, you are subject to judgment.’ But I say, if you are even angry with someone, you are subject to judgment! If you call someone an idiot, you are in danger of being brought before the court. And if you curse someone, you are in danger of the fires of hell.” (Matthew 5:21–22).

We also read in 1 John 3:15, “Anyone who hates another brother or sister is really a murderer at heart. And you know that murderers don’t have eternal life within them.” The word used here for hate means “to habitually despise.” It is not just a transient emotion of the affections but a deep-rooted loathing.

We all lose our temper at times. I don’t think the Bible is saying that if you get angry and honk at someone, then you are a murderer. No, you are just a honker, and maybe you shouldn’t have lost your temper. The hatred the Bible is speaking of here is a deep-rooted loathing. It’s an attitude that says, “I hate your guts. When you walk into a room, I just seethe. I boil. I would like to see you destroyed. I sit around and think of ways that I could hurt you.”

Guess what? That is like murdering a person, and that is a sin before God.

So even if we have never committed the physical act of murder, the reality is that we still can be murderers in our hearts.

**Original Devotion Found Here

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israel-flag-dec08

No sane person with a conscience wants to see innocent people getting killed, but unfortunately that is the reality of war. Especially when Hamas uses their own people as human shields. The more who are killed the better it works out for them. Think about it. The more bloodier the more the merrier, how else would they play on international sympathies for their cause. They assumed right, because it's working like a charm.

 I find it interesting, naive and idealistic idiots from the western world condemn Israel for what? For defending themselves against the terrorist organization known as Hamas? What would the United States or any other country for that matter do if a volley of missiles were being lobbied into your country daily? Just sit idly by and wait for your destruction? I would hope not...but considering this sickening trend of appeasing the granola eating pacifists of the world, I wouldn't be surprised if that did happen. Good for Netanyahu for not cowering to international pressure. His first priority is the protection of his people everything else is secondary.
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"Easter Survey...
I went to brunch with my Mom today (she's Irish Catholic, my Dad's a NY Jew - I'm a cashew) and she scolded me for making you attend a lecture on Easter Sunday.  I recognize that, although I am nonreligious, it may be disrespectful to ask some of you to work on an important religious holiday.  I have to admit that I was a bit "aggressive" in the reschedule because, well, because this section has pretty much won the award for apathetic procrastination.  I was perturbed that SO, SO FEW of you could read the Sondheim and post over Spring Break.  You had so much time.  Having said that, I do have so very strong personal (and sometimes even critical) opinions about organized religion.  I try to avoid any hint of prejudice in my classes but I recognize the potential.  At a bare minimum, I owe you all the respect that you deserve as "consumers" of our "educational product".  I meant no disrespect and I am happy to offer the following options:

1.  "Move On" We continue tonight as planned and let the cards fall where they may.  Art ins't easy.
2.  "The Day Off" We finish the hat tomorrow - I will postpone until Monday at 9 PM.
3.   "Finishing the Hat": I will record tonight at 9:30 (when a few of you said you'd be free) and the majority can watch the recorded Collaborate archive.

Please take the survey, linked below in red, ASAP.  I'll go with the first 20-50 responses, depending on the speed at which they are returned.  I do have a few midterm essays and 2 or 3 hundred discussions boards still to grade.  If you already got your full aggregate grade - yes, you will have midterm rewrite opportunities but, no, I cannot in fairness release the rewrites until everyone's work has been returned.  EVERYTHING will ABSOLUTELY be done by tomorrow night. I swear on the bunny!!!"

Could it be the reason why we have embraced "apathetic procrastination" is because you teach the class so poorly? Or perhaps  you are so disorganized that we have lost all sense of enthusiasm for learning when we don't know what the heck is going on? OR the fact you are an anti-religious Nazi???  At this point I have tuned your stupid self the heck OUT. So whatever you post a new lecture or whatever neurotic BS you write about you better believe I won't respond, or at the very least I'll tune your stupid self the f*** out. In conclusion go kick rocks in traffic :)
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"Do not be bound together with unbelievers; for what partnership have righteousness and lawlessness, or what fellowship has light with darkness? 15 Or what harmony has Christ with Belial, or what has a believer in common with an unbeliever? " -- 2 Corinthians 6:14-15

"A woman is bound to her husband as long as he lives. But if her husband dies, she is free to marry anyone she wishes, but he must belong to the Lord." -- 1 Corinthians 7:39


Yup. That is why if you are a born-again Christian you should NOT get into a relationship, let alone marry an unbeliever. Someone who is not a Christian will never truly understand the dedication and faith it takes to live as a Christian. And the born-again Christian will never truly accept living as the world does, nor would we ever truly accept humanistic doctrines that are prevalent in our society. In the short term it may work, but in the long term it's not sustainable, ESPECIALLY if children are involved.

For the record I don't want children, but if I did, I would raise them as Christians. There would be absolutely no comprise on this. Only another born-again believer would understand the reasons behind this and lovingly embrace this.

I feel many fellow Christians are in the dark about marrying outside the faith. I should know, considering I almost did. Looking back I can't believe I was so ignorant about this. If I had read the bible in the first place I would have avoided an ill-fated relationship. But everything happens for a reason, and I feel God allowed me to enter that relationship to show me why the bible warns against interfaith marriage. LESSON LEARNED!!!

It's going to be very interesting to see how the writers handle the situation between April and Jackson. I won't hold my breath that they write April realistically. They'll probably just have her either "see the light" and dump Christianity or have her compromise her faith in the name of tolerance. After all it's a secular TV show with very secular philosophies. I'll just leave it at that.  
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Pastor Chuck Smith died today due to complications to lung cancer. I'm happy for him that he is in our Lord's presence and no longer suffering, but I'm still sad. I did tear up (at the most inconvenient time mind you) when I heard the news about his passing. I...we all knew it was quickly approaching, but a part of me didn't want to face--admit that a day was coming in where we would be without him. I used to hear him everyday or just about everyday around 3pm on KWAVE discussing prophetic biblical events and bible related questions. I will definitely miss hearing him on the air, he has left a huge mark on the Christian community. He definitely left an impact on my life. Over the past 40 years, he has been responsible for so many coming to Christ and influenced countless others such as Greg Laurie from Harvest Fellowship in Riverside. I'm sure Pastor Smith heard these words upon entering heaven, "‘Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master.'" --Matthew 25:21 ESV

As uncomfortable or morbid as this may be, his death is a reminder to the living that there will come a day when we too will pass away, some sooner rather than later. The question that is presented to us while we are alive is, have we accepted Jesus Christ as our personal Lord and Savior? God has given us every second while we are alive to come to this decision by our own free will. We all sin and come short of the glory of God, Jesus Christ died for our sins, if you place your faith in Jesus Christ your sins will be forgiven and you will be saved. Please, don't let anyone deceive you by claiming being a "good" person will save you. It won't. No matter how "good" you think you are, you still sin and it's that very sin that separates you from God. If you die in your sins (not accepting Christ) you will have a permanent separation (hell) from God (Romans 3:10-18). Once we have passed into eternity it will be too late to accept Jesus Christ (Romans 6:23). No matter how hard the world tries to convince you of alternative spiritual paths, remember we only have ONE life to get things right. Do it now, don't delay because life is not guaranteed--anyone--healthy, sick, young or old can die at any given moment.

If you happened to stumble across this post, it's no accident, God is speaking to you. Do it now!
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Semester is done and I'm free to rest a bit. Well at least until August when the fall semester starts up again. I'm so relived that this semester is over. So many times I didn't think I would make it due to all the personal issues I was going through. I hope by next semester my personal issues that has plagued me this whole year will be resolved. Looking back I know God did help me through it all, but I must say my relationship with him is being tested to the extreme. I know I'm going on a tangent a bit here about talking my relationship with God, but I feel I can't talk about my semester struggles without addressing what I felt impacted many of my challenging situations. There are times where I'm confused, frustrated  annoyed and even angry with God for allowing certain situations to continue as they are. Sometimes I long for the days of being a new Christian, where my faith was strong and carefree. I just wish I knew what God wants from me, because he certainly hasn't equipped me with the goods to do it (what I think he wants from me).  Whoever said being a Christian is easy, doesn't know squat about Christianity. No matter how hard things get, or how many times I feel God let me down, I can never go back to my pre-Christian beliefs or a lack of. How can I go back to a lie when I know the truth?
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I'm mostly indifferent towards Piers Morgan. I particularity don't care for his opinions, especially this little gem:

"But you and I know the Bible is, in many places, a flawed document, my point to you about gay rights for example - it's time for an amendment to the Bible. You should compile a new Bible."

Riiiiight...let's just edit-out all the stuff we don't like about the Bible and replace it with stuff that makes us feel good about society's immoral and humanistic philosophies. Eh. Typical non-believer who lives for the world and everything in it. His unfortunate opinion is not what this post is about, but rather the people calling for Morgan's deportation due to some comments he made regarding gun control and the U.S. Constitution.

Deportation because he said something some people didn't like?

Really?!

In that case, I would like a whole bunch of people to be deported A.S.A.P! LOL.

That whole petition is beyond silly and borderlines crazed absurdity. There are so many legitimate reasons to deport someone, but being a loud, opinionated buffoon isn't one of them.

It's time for some people to grow up and develop thicker skin.
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Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as elaborate hairstyles and the wearing of gold jewelry or fine clothes. Rather, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God's sight.

Sad

Dec. 15th, 2012 07:32 pm
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I'm getting to the point where I don't want to read the news anymore. It's either someone raping, killing or shooting people, and it's usually the kids who are the victims. Was it really necessary to pump more than 1 bullet into those poor kids at close range? Murdering innocent adults is bad enough, but to violently murder little 6 and 7 year-olds is beyond tragic. Things will continue to get worse as we approach the Tribulation and the Great Tribulation period. Matthew 24:12 sums up what is going on in this world pretty well: "And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall grow cold."


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God's Plans

Dec. 2nd, 2012 09:59 pm
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So I went to the afternoon/evening night service instead of the morning one. I liked it :) It was different and the whole atmosphere was different: I felt a more welcoming and uplifting attitude. To be honest it shouldn't really matter if a few more people gave "hi's" or smiled more, it's not about them or about how I feel--but worshiping the one and true living God. That being said, either service is adequate for worship and study.

Tonight's message was related to Christmas and how the circumstances surrounding this holiday was orchestrated by God. Good or bad, basically in a nutshell nothing that happens to us is an accident. Even when things look hopeless, he will use the things that were meant for our harm (from the enemy) and turn-it-around for good. Jeremiah 29:11 said it best:

"For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, said the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end." --KJV
"For I know the plans I have for you," says the LORD. "They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope." --NLT

Many times, when my plans go astray and all hope is lost, I forget that God has a plan for my life, and he is in control. I also tend to forget this body, life and all that it brings is temporal and not meant to be forever. Our real lives begin in eternity.


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Lazy Day

Nov. 12th, 2012 02:58 pm
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No school today :D But for some reason CSULB wants those with Monday classes to come Tuesday. How dumb. So we have to attend class Tuesday and Wednesday. Speaking of CSULB, I'm thinking of minoring in Industrial Design, but I don't know. I really REALLY don't want to extend my time at CSULB. I just want to be done. It's something I need to carefully think about.
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Family is getting ready for Thanksgiving :) I can't wait to stuff my face!
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I FINALLY was able to finish my first bible study post. It's basically about the first chapter of Genesis and goes into depth about certain verses (1:14; 1:26-27; 2:2-3) that intrigued me. I offered counter arguments against astrology and polytheism since some have pointed to those verses as evidence the bible endorses those ideas. The last one dealt with my confusion regarding the Sabbath. I think I'll revisit that one when I have time.
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I better get going: I need to get started with my color comp, finish laundry and go food shopping.
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Ok it wasn't that dramatic, considering my faith and relationship with my LORD has developed over a period of three years. And the fact I got baptized earlier this year. But yes I have finally found my way back to church. It was a shock to everyone I know. To be honest I've wanted some kind of fellowship with my sisters and brothers for a while now, I just didn't act upon it until now. I haven't committed myself fully to some of the available ministries, but that will come in time (if we have the time).
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I think I failed my second midterm :\ for Art history. Oh well :) Doing great in Typography though.
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A family member got sick and needed to visit the ER...uninsured. Dealing with the hospital, county healthcare programs and bills sucks. But I know God is with us, and it will get resolved.
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Windows Phone 8 and Surface finally came out. Not really excited about that anymore, but the phones look nice :) I'll probably just keep my Win 7 phone and wait for the 7.8 update.
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Keep a close eye on the Middle East. The prophecy of Ezekiel 38 and 39 is starting to take form. The entire Christian community is on red alert. Most Christians, including me believe in the pre-tribulation rapture and the war of Gog/Magog (Ezekiel 38-39) will either take place shortly before or after the rapture. I don't have the time to completely go into it, but I'll say we are pretty close.
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Obama was re-elected. Due to my Christian worldview, I didn't vote for him or that other guy. Republican does not equate to Christian. I don't understand why many Christians seem to automatically associate that evil party with anything regarding Jesus. I don't have the time to go into depth about my thoughts (another day) so I just say I'm glad this election season is finally over.
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Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth GodHe that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love."

I needed to read that, especially in light of all the violence and anger going on right now in the world. 
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That is the title of a low-budget (and I do mean low) film that angered so many muslims around the world. I have two words in defense of this film: FREE SPEECH. No matter how unsavory or offensive this film is, the people who were responsible are protected under the 1st Amendment of the United States Constitution. No amount of flag burnings, rioting and ultimatums will ever change this fact. 

You may not agree with this film, and that is ok, but that doesn't give anyone the right to kill and basically act like crazied lunatics in the name of their prophet or deity. We have free will to practice any religion we want, but don't be surprised when there is dissenting opinions or point-of-views that are not in favor of your religion or philosophy. We have a right to be angry, offended or disgusted when someone purposely mocks our religion, but not to the point of violence. If you demand/expect no one ever poke fun or offend your beliefs, then I suggest moving to the moon or nearby Mars or somewhere not inhabited by human beings, because I guarantee, someone somewhere will eventually end up offending you. 

I Did It!!!

Jan. 8th, 2012 10:48 pm
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I was baptized today at Harvest Fellowship Church in Riverside. Initially I was reluctant to go through with it, but I'm glad God drove me to do it. I feel great!
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Isaiah 43:2-3
When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; And through the rivers, they will not overflow you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be scorched, Nor will the flame burn you. "For I am the LORD your God, The Holy One of Israel, your Savior ; I have given Egypt as your ransom, Cush and Seba in your place.

Mark 9:23
Jesus said unto him, If you can believe, all things are possible to him that believes.

Isaiah 41:10-13
Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. For I, the LORD your God, hold your right hand; it is I who say to you, “Fear not, I am the one who helps you.”

Romans 8:31
What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?

Exodus 14:13
And Moses said to the people, “Fear not, stand firm, and see the salvation of the LORD, which he will work for you today. For the Egyptians whom you see today, you shall never see again.

Jeremiah 33:3
Fear not, God will show the way:“Call unto me, and I will answer thee, and show thee great and mighty things, which thou know not.”

I'll continue to add more...

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