Monthly Archives: December 2011

YOUCAT Series 3 – What We Believe: Man Is Receptive to God

Questions 3 to 6
This chapter of the YOUCAT: Man Is Receptive to God, draws heavily on an understanding of the metaphysical, which in layman’s terms is; what is not physical, what is invisible or the spiritual element of existence.

Q. 3
Joel Hodge writes about our yearning for God in an article called The value of theology and the mystery of life;

What Christian faith involves is completely natural to human living: we place our faith in an Other who shows us what it means to be human by his living. We all do this in some form. Christianity is explicit about it, so much so that we devote an academic discipline – theology – to the rational study and explication of our faith. This is, in part, why theology is ‘queen of the sciences’ as it is concerned with the most important and fundamental human questions and experiences. It is the love of God in Jesus that has also allowed Christians to know their lives better, and so flourish in terms of art, music, knowledge, and so on. In this regard, the works of Rodney Stark and René Girard, amongst others, have shown how Christianity has revolutionised human thought and culture.

Q. 4
Moving on to human reason;

The most regarded document on the link between faith and reason is Fides et Ratio by Bl. Pope John Paul II:

Faith and reason are like two wings on which the human spirit rises to the contemplation of truth; and God has placed in the human heart a desire to know the truth—in a word, to know himself—so that, by knowing and loving God, men and women may also come to the fullness of truth about themselves (cf. Ex 33:18; Ps 27:8-9; 63:2-3; Jn 14:8; 1 Jn 3:2).

In reading this text we begin to see just how important a solid grounding in the field of philosophy is to fully appreciate our faith and to be able to have meaningful dialogue with others about what we believe and, moreover, to understand the principles of theology.

Q. 5
Indeed, if you have ever had dialect with a non-believer, you would have an insight into this question and just how important a knowledge of philosophy, and consequentially, the appeal to human reason is.

If for instance, every day we struggle with wanting to do our own thing and especially if in the past you have had a lapse of faith or weren’t a religious person, you will know how easily we can convince ourselves that because it is hard to live a life close to God, such a life would limit our freedom and therefore must be wrong. In reality though, only a life in Christ guarantees our freedom.

The Pope’s Message for 2011 World Youth Day does a lot to explain this;

Dear friends, the Cross often frightens us because it seems to be a denial of life. In fact, the opposite is true! It is God’s “yes” to mankind, the supreme expression of his love and the source from which eternal life flows. Indeed, it is from Jesus’ heart, pierced on the Cross, that this divine life streamed forth, ever accessible to those who raise their eyes towards the Crucified One. I can only urge you, then, to embrace the Cross of Jesus, the sign of God’s love, as the source of new life. Apart from Jesus Christ risen from the dead, there can be no salvation! He alone can free the world from evil and bring about the growth of the Kingdom of justice, peace and love to which we all aspire.

However, as he points out in this article, we must remember that ‘[i]t is better to be a searching agnostic than a false believer.’

Q. 6
Yes, we must tell others about our faith!

It is our responsibility to engage with non-believers firstly by appealing to their faculty of reason, vouching for the existence of God and the truth of His Church.

How do we do this seemingly impossible task? Firstly we must remember that when a person outrightly denies or is ambivalent about the existence of God, as the question says, they hope deep down that beyond this life they cannot have come from nothing and go back to nothing. This gives us the confidence to undertake this task, but also, we must remember the value of prayer and the gifts of the Holy Spirit that we have been given, especially in the Sacraments of Baptism and Confirmation – These inspire us to do what is right.

Here is a website on evangelization called Ask a Catholic a Question which has some helpful advice.

Lastly, as Archbishop Chaput said, ‘teaching the truth should always be done with patience and compassion, as well as firmness.’

Reflection Questions
• What is the meaning of the word ‘theology’?

• With the notion of freedom, what are we free from?

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One Day My Prince Will Come

I don’t care how unsentimental you may claim to be, almost every teenager catches themselves yearning for their “soulmate”.  We dream up this perfect man or woman that will encompass all of our likes and dislikes, all of our hobbies and all of our physical preferences.  I blame this phenomenon on the Disneyfication of our mentality that begins in early childhood.  Don’t get me wrong, I am almost 20 years old and I make yearly trips to Disney World and I still think Beauty and the Beast is one of the most beautiful movies I’ve ever seen.  However, I do realize that my obsession with fairy tale love stories has hindered a much more important relationship.

To be honest, during high school about 90 percent of my thoughts revolved around imagining myself in a perfect relationship. The other 10 percent covered family, friends, homework, God, food, theater, music, etc.  These statistics are pretty bleak.  I spent a whole lot of brain power thinking completely futile thoughts.  And the worst part is, I still have the same problem.  Once I realized that I was spending too much time thinking about and/or lightly stalking boys and not enough time on Prayer and the man that already loves me unconditionally, I still wasn’t able to break the habit.  But I try.

It’s not a bad thing to have a crush on a boy or girl, especially if they emanate Christ, but you have to give up those fantasies if they are interfering with your all important relationship with the God that made both of you.

I was reminded of another truth bomb that I constantly choose to forget well I was watching the TV show, “How I met Your Mother”.  One of the characters said to a hasty ex-boyfriend searching for his soulmate, “she’s on her way, and she’s getting here as fast as she can”.  If we are called to be in a relationship, then we have to trust that God is getting our soulmate here as fast as He can.  We have to remember that He is preparing the both of us, constantly, for each other.

It’s often our tendency to look around.  To look towards the future or the things we want that we think we need.  But those anxieties are pointless.  So put them aside.  And for all the women out there who are obsessing about being in a relationship with a perfect man, well, you already are.  Every time you take Communion you are one with the greatest of all great men.  Because Jesus makes every professional athlete, handsome millionaire, and dare devil actor look like a pansy.  And he always will.

I learned most of this lesson from incredibly insightful prayer by St. Anthony of Padua, he basically said everything I needed to hear.  I hope it can serve you as it did me.  So here it is:

Be Satisfied with Me
by St. Anthony of Padua
Everyone longs to give themselves completely to someone,
To have a deep soul relationship with another,
To be loved thoroughly and exclusively.But to a Christian, God says, “No, not until you are satisfied,
Fulfilled and content with being loved by Me alone,
With giving yourself totally and unreservedly to Me.
With having an intensely personal and unique relationship with Me alone.Discovering that only in Me is your satisfaction to be found,
Will you be capable of the perfect human relationship,
That I have planned for you.
You will never be united to another
Until you are united with Me.
Exclusive of anyone or anything else.
Exclusive of any other desires or longings.
I want you to stop planning, to stop wishing, and allow Me to give you
The most thrilling plan existing . . . one you cannot imagine.
I want you to have the best. Please allow Me to bring it to you.

You just keep watching Me, expecting the greatest things.
Keep experiencing the satisfaction that I am.
Keep listening and learning the things that I tell you.
Just wait, that’s all. Don’t be anxious, don’t worry
Don’t look around at things others have gotten
Or that I have given them
Don’t look around at the things you think you want,
Just keep looking off and away up to Me,
Or you’ll miss what I want to show you.
And then, when you’re ready, I’ll surprise you with a love
Far more wonderful than you could dream of.

You see, until you are ready, and until the one I have for you is ready,
I am working even at this moment
To have both of you ready at the same time.
Until you are both satisfied exclusively with Me
And the life I prepared for you,
You won’t be able to experience the love that exemplified your relationship with Me.
And this is perfect love.

And dear one, I want you to have this most wonderful love,
I want you to see in the flesh a picture of your relationship with Me.
And to enjoy materially and concretely the everlasting union of beauty, perfection and love that I offer you with Myself.
Know that I love you utterly. I AM God.
Believe it and be satisfied

[PURE: The 90-Week Devotional Series] Week 1 – Are You In Tune With God’s Purpose?

Day One in the book Pure is about being in tune with God’s purpose. It speaks about how everything the Lord creates has its place and purpose in this world, and an important part to being pure is finding your purpose and sticking to it.

Rebecca says:

One definition for pure, when being used in the sense of a musical tone, means “free from harshness or roughness and being in tune.” God has a purpose for every one of our lives, and He invites us to get in tune with His plan. … If we want our lives to have an impact, that begins and ends with discovering and living our our God-given purpose. Without purpose we have no clear direction, and we may not know which decision to make when we’re at a crossroads. (Pure, pages 2-4)

It really does make a lot of sense that to live a pure life you need to know what you’re made of and see what you’re doing, in order to discern what you’re supposed to choose for yourself and the life you live. I’ve read this chapter over several times and I’m still not sure if I’ve discerned my purpose.

As Catholics, after all, our ultimate purpose is achieving sainthood; however, God has different paths planned out for us to get there, and we need to know what we’re doing in order to make the correct decisions so we’ll arrive at that destination.

It’s a given that our purpose is sainthood. God’s plan for us is sainthood. This is the big picture, the destination, if you will. But we also have missions to carry out on this earth that we have to pursue while in tune with His desires, so that we won’t mess up. We need to be in tune with Him to get it right and become saints.

That being said, what’s your mission?

When I got the idea from God to start Universal Faith and I tried to get people in my parish to help me out, they just kept asking me, “What do you want me to do for it?” And all I could reply with was, “Do whatever you’re good at!” Most of them just looked at me with puzzlement, pretended to be interested, and walked away; they wouldn’t bring it up again. I think they didn’t believe that it was as easy as pursuing what you’re passionate about—there has to be something more to serving the Lord and “starting a movement,” as I called it. But believe me, finding your purpose—it’s all about what you’re good at; it’s all about the gifts God gave you.

Finding your purpose is easier, perhaps, than carrying it out properly.

For example, me. I spent almost all my 18 years of life writing (I went overboard because of it, but that’s another story.) The things I spent my earliest teens writing were fiction and fantasy. I created my own world and lived there. I was good at writing, but I wasn’t using it to help God at all. I became so absorbed in my writing that I stopped praying at night and my hobby became my false idol. I was so out of tune.

I’m not saying that I should have been writing religious commentary or devotionals (as much as I’m going to give them a try now.) But I got so out of tune with my purpose, I let the writing get in the way and I distanced myself from Jesus. He’d given me a gift, I took it selfishly, and wouldn’t give anything back—not even a few minutes before bed in prayer.

A year of misery followed when I got Carpal Tunnel Syndrome and I couldn’t write at all! I’d reached the point where I’d become so out of tune, I was now a total wreck with no purpose left at all. At least, that’s how it felt. I’d abused my purpose and messed it up.

I had no choice then but to stop and face the Lord and apologize. And He forgave me. I sank into a depression for the majority of the past year, and I know there are times when I was crying and miserable where He sent the Holy Spirit to comfort me. Though I didn’t quite think of it this way when it happened, I believe He was helping me get back in tune; now I write to serve Him and my fiction works have become an aside. When I do get to working on my fiction again, I feel like my writing style has matured like I have.

I spent a year looking for that balance so I could get in-tune with His plan for me, using the gift He gave me, and I’m starting to find it. I think I get more and more in-tune every day.

So, look at yourself. Look at what you enjoy doing. What are you good at? Your passion comes from God. Whatever you enjoy doing is a gift God gave you. How can you use that gift to serve Him? I believe that’s the first question you should ask yourself when trying to discover your purpose, and a huge priority to getting in-tune with the Lord. Do your hobbies with passion, or don’t do them at all—but if you haven’t yet, find a way to take that gift God gave you and give back with it a little. He never gives you anything for selfish enjoyment: Everything has a purpose.

Take this week to think about what you’re good at, and what you can do to give back to God with it. To be in-tune with His plan for you, it’s very important that you remember: This gift isn’t for idle enjoyment. Everything He gives you has a purpose. Use that gift to change the world.

Find your purpose, and later we’ll work on purifying it and how it affects the way you live.

If you are what you should be, you will set the whole world ablaze! -St. Catherine of Siena

mariella_siggy

[PURE: The 90-Week Devotional Series] Introduction

Hi. If I haven’t already introduced myself three times, well, I’m about to do it again. My name’s Mariella Cecilia Hunt. I get my ideas from God and am excited to get us started on a series (especially a long one like this is going to be: I love meditating on things and being able to take time on the subject!)

I’m going to host a 90-week devotional on the book Pure by Rebecca St. James. It’s meant to be a 90-day devotional but I expanded it for the sake of the blog and post quality.

Some of you might have the question on the tip of your tongue: Is Rebecca St. James Catholic? The answer is, no, as far as I’ve read, she’s not a Catholic. But this just makes it even better. We are not going to restrict ourselves to purely Catholic books on this blog because there’s loads of books written by people from other branches of Christianity that have absolute gold to offer us. This book is one of them. I chose this book, not just because I’m genuinely impressed by it (not many devotionals actually impress me) but because I really want this devotional series to be a milestone towards interdenominational understanding. Purity is an issue that every Christian can relate to and that we need to work towards together, in a world where it’s become so lacking; together, with this series, maybe we can clean up the world we live in by purifying ourselves with Rebecca’s amazing advice.

I will be featuring excerpts from her book, but also putting in relevant stories and quotes from Saints to make sure that we go deep, deep into the issue of purity–and make it a little more Catholic. There will be questions at the end (some I will compose to go with the ones Rebecca already came up with, which really make you think!) If you have the book, that’s amazing, but I’ll try to make the series as accessible as possible to people who can’t get a copy of their own.

Together, let’s take a look at our lives and work towards three forms of purity: Mind, Body, and Spirit. What I enjoyed about this book was that she really, really digs into the issue of purity, covering everything to help us get as clean as we possibly can. It’s not a light read. You have to read it several times to get all the challenges done; it’s actually a book you should have with you all your life on your bedside table, so you can go through it again and again. It’ll help you every time, and each day you’ll find yourself more and more on the path to purity.

The book is directed mostly to girls, but in this series I will try and make it accessible to guys as well. I might ask advice from some co-workers for that part, when it gets too girly. I hope there’s volunteers!

This is only the introduction. Coming right up will be the first week’s post; look for it either today or tomorrow. God Bless!

WE ARE…

MARKED!

My story…the conclusion

I ended my last post pretty abruptly with a description on my former perception of the Mass. Now  I will fast forward to college.  I am currently a sophomore at a university somewhere in the Deep South.  My plan to return to the north immediately after high school was foiled by what I formerly thought was my crappy standardized test taking skills but what I know realize was God’s will.  At orientation I signed up to be apart of the Catholic organization’s listserv, once again thinking that I would get involved in Church merely to meet new people and to find a group on campus that would have to tolerate me no matter how annoying and/or boring I would become.

Long story short, through getting involved with the Catholic organization on campus, I went on a retreat that changed my life.  It sounds dumb.  But that doesn’t make it any less of a reality.  Because when you think about it, a retreat is a group of people, sent by God, to do God’s work.  And God’s work almost always involves the conversion of souls, a conversion towards faith, hope, or charity.  I realized on that trip, amidst the serenity of and perfection of nature, the subtle but powerful sense of peace that arises from having a personal relationship with God. And during adoration, I suddenly saw all the puzzle pieces of my life laid out and it all made sense.

What I’ve learned from my “Coming to Jesus” experience is that our personal plans are flawed, unlike God’s.  I’ve learned that no matter how I try to logic myself out of my faith or whenever I stumble and fall into mediocrity, God is there to grab me by the tail of my shirt to pull me back.  I know I’m on a Mission now.  We are all on the same Mission.  And we won’t be perfect.  We’re people and we sin.  But we must persevere.  I once heard a speaker say that a true soldier is the old man who clutches his Rosary for dear life.  He knows what’s at stake, and he’s fighting for it in the best way he can.  So I challenge you all to do the same.  Be the soldier you were meant to be.

Learning to Love the Mass

“A man who fails to love the Mass fails to love Christ.” – St. Josemarìa Escrivà

A few days ago, I remember talking to two of my friends on the topic of going to Mass. One of them was Protestant. The other, Catholic. It was 2 vs. 1, so to speak. But not in the way you’d expect.

Both of them agreed that going to Mass is way too boring.. And good ol’ Catholic me was left with a whole bunch of questions to answer.

My Protestant friend argued that Mass was boring because all we Catholics ever do is “read the thing, say the same things, pray the same things, and eat the thing.” While it broke my heart to think that someone would ever go so far as to refer to the holy presence of Jesus Christ in the Eucharist as a mere “thing” – even from a Protestant – it gave me reason to question why many people today don’t realize just how amazing and beautiful the celebration of the Mass is.

Now, on the other hand, my Catholic friend told me that he went to a Protestant service last Sunday, and said that it was so different. He said it was the most fun he’s ever had going to church.

Fun?

FUN?!

C’mon bro.

What’s more fun than taking part in a celebration that’s 2,000 years old and receiving the body and blood, soul and divinity of our Lord Jesus Christ?

Obviously, I could only speak for myself at that time. However, what he said really made me think.

You see, the more I reflect on it, the more I’m convinced that our generation today struggles to understand what the true value of the Mass is. And I’m not saying this out of pride – I was there once. There was a time when I thought that going to Mass was extremely boring. I didn’t see the point of it. I didn’t feel anything. Even though I was taught all about the true presence of Christ in the Holy Eucharist and believed it, I still said to myself, “Well, so what? What am I supposed to get out of it?”

And that’s what my  problem was. That’s what was blinding me to see the beauty of celebrating the Mass – expecting something out going to Mass. It sort of reminds me of the joke about “give-away” Catholics – Catholics who only show up at Mass on Palm Sunday and Ash Wednesday for the “give-away’s,” like palms and ashes.

I’ve since come to realize that the value of the Mass shouldn’t lie in what we are supposed to get out of it (although being able to receive Jesus in the Eucharist should be reason enough to go), but in what we are able to give of ourselves. I’ve since come to realize that the value of the Mass is that it is a special kind of opportunity to show God that we truly appreciate all that He has done for us through celebrating the sacrifice that gives us life, meaning, and purpose.

My brothers and sisters, Jesus longs to come into our hearts! Not only does he long for our love and affection, but like a good shepherd, he seeks to rescue the lost and the broken-hearted, the lowly and the restless – and invite them to come trust in His infinite love and mercy.

What better way to show Jesus our willingness to welcome Him into our lives than to receive Him in the Eucharist as often as possible?

He’s waiting for you. (:

YOUCAT Series 2 – What We Believe: Why We Are Able to Believe

Forward
What more could one say about the YOUCAT? I agree, it is really well written, it covers a lot, it is based on the Catechism and even references it.

I don’t want to change any of that in this series. What I intend to do here is what Pope Benedict XVI has asked of us – share on the Internet. This way it will become interactive, intelligible, alive!

So what a book can not do, we can do here; share, discuss, reflect, and learn to love our faith more and more.

I want to provide you with some great links that people have written on the topics as we go through them; some are blog posts, some web pages, others official Church documents. I want to leave you with lots to think about and I hope you will find out more about the topics and share this knowledge back with us.

So let’s begin with Section One: Why We Are Able to Believe.

Questions 1 to 2
Here we look at why we are here and what our purpose is.

Right from the get-go in the YOUCAT we get into some pretty in-depth topics: What does it mean to be human? Why are we here? How does God show His love for us?

Seriously, if you have been looking for more in your life, then a study of Catholicism is definitely for you!

Now you may have guessed that sometimes the answers to these tough questions are not so easy to hear, it means that to agree with Catholic doctrine and live your life accordingly can be hard work. Anything worthwhile though requires hard work, does it not?

As this post from VirtuousPla.net says,

The problem with the way we think about our human nature and the Church’s teaching is that we somehow see the sacramental, dogmatic, and devotional life of the Church as being separate from the fulness of human reality. We think we can be sufficiently human without these things–in a secular world, independent of all the so-called “shackles” of Church dogma, “oppression,” “patriarchy,” and all the other bogey-man buzzwords that so get us moderns shaking in our boots. But the truth of the matter is that secular modern culture is a front-running candidate for the most inhuman of all structures, the most idiotically oppressive, patriarchal, and barbaric of all cultures to have ever existed! If cultures of the past forced man to think only about the hereafter and the things above, then our culture forces man to think only about the present and the things below. If ancient cultures robbed the masses of their livelihoods, then our present culture robs the masses of that one so-very-human quality we all seek: their very reason for living.

This reminds me too, of an article that I read a while back: ‘Pope to young people: Don’t be afraid to ask the big questions in life’;

“Man cannot live without this search for the truth about himself; truth that spurs us towards new horizons and to go beyond what that is merely material, not to escape from reality but to live a more authentic life, richer in meaning and hope,” he said.

So to take away from that, let’s not be afraid to ask the big questions, let’s face them head on together. Some questions I will leave you with to think about are below, and I’ve also added a few links to some great blog posts as well.

Reflection Questions
• What does the term ‘metaphysical’ mean?

• When Jesus said, ‘I am the way, and the truth, and the life’ (Jn 14:6), What did He mean?

Further Reading
Meaning of life – Why did God create us?

Welcome to Universal Faith!

Merry Christmas to all my brothers and sisters in Christ!

Today we celebrate the birth of Jesus, and we also kick off our project, Universal Faith: Catholicism for Teens. What is Universal Faith? Why, it’s a movement–in a world where faith is dying, and people are leaving the Church more and more because they’re misinformed, we want to change that. We want to provide young Catholics and curious Christians with strong answers about the Faith, promote religious unity through dialogue, and help everyone realize that they can become saints–that it is the goal for everyone–and it’s worth the struggle.

Already planned are courses where we will be discussing the Youcat. What is Youcat? It’s the Catechism for young people, a fantastic book that every teen Catholic should have–and the Pope asked us to form study groups around it. He asked us to use the Internet as a form of evangelization, and that’s part of our mission.

Among other things, we have a series on contemporary music and the meanings behind lyrics that we hear on the radio every day. We’re going to explain the Mass. We’re going to have series on marriage and the true meaning behind the holy Sacrament. We’re going to have a series (hosted by myself) based on the 90-day devotional Pure by Rebecca St. James, who–though not a Catholic–has helped me greatly with the issue, and I feel her message is something all teenagers need to hear. If you don’t have copies of the books we’ll be reviewing, you’re okay–we’ll try to make the series as accessible as possible.

It’s endearing to see so many fellow Catholic teenagers stepping up to explain the Faith we know and love with their own words. We’re not theologians and we’re certainly going to learn a lot more in our lives as we continue living them, however, if everyone had the attitude of not explaining because we’re not experts, then nobody would ever learn about the Church at all.

Our mission is consecrated to the Twin Hearts of Jesus and Mary, so under their protection we hope to guide people to the Truth and into the safety of Jesus’ redeeming love.

Non-Catholics are by no means excluded from the mission. I mentioned above that we’re interested in inter-religious dialogue; I rather prefer to call it inter-religious friendship. The things we’ll be teaching are above all Christian, and especially the messages on purity have to get out to the whole world. Once a month, we’ll be hosting a guest blog post by a non-Catholic, based on our belief that every branch of Christianity has value before the Lord, and silencing them won’t help the world at all. If you have a tough question about Catholicism, ask it and we’ll tackle it as friends. We don’t debate here; we discuss. If a comment thread appears to be turning hostile, it will be stopped. We are friends in Christ, brothers and sisters, and we are called to love one another.

As I tour through history and introduce people to important figures in the progression of Christianity, we’ll find that we agree on as many things as we disagree on. With friends who aren’t Catholic, we hope to find a point of friendship and understanding, and be the generation that finally tears down the wall between Catholicism and Protestantism, so that instead of tense acknowledgement of one another we may become friends as we wait joyfully for the coming of Christ.

There will also be book reviews and, hopefully, we will start a book club!

Finally, I pray that everyone reading this will have a blessed Christmas with their friends and family this year, no matter where you live or what you believe. Together, we will discover the treasure of what Jesus left us to care for–and take up the responsibility of caring for her in this time of growing atheism and unrest. Let’s be the generation of hope. Let’s be the generation of love. Let’s be the generation of Universal Faith.

God Bless,
-Mariella Hunt
Visit my personal blog here. 

Hey ya’ll!

“This is my command- be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the lord your God is with you wherever you go.”~ Joshua 1:9

My name is Clarissa Mae. I am currently a student at the College of Idaho and am studying Biology. I am aspiring to become a doctor. My goal is to go to medical school after I finish off at CofI after that I dream of joining Doctors Without Borders (http://www.doctorswithoutborders.org/index.cfm). I have always admired Mother Teresa and all that she did for the sick of Calcutta, she is what inspired my dreams of becoming a doctor and helping the less fortunate. I have always been called to be a servant of God. I enjoy helping those in need whether it is donating clothes or just listening.

For the past two summers I have been able to go on mission trips with a friend and her church. Both years we went to Native American Reservations, one in Wyoming and another in Arizona. It was so cool to learn about these communities. The Native American people are beautiful! I loved talking to them and hearing their stories and seeing them dance. I was drawn closer to God on one of these trips. We were painting a ladies house as part of our trip. It was a lot of fun! The lady came out one day and told us how excited she was to have her house painted yellow (it was previously grey) that she needed light in her life. She told us stories of one of her family members being beaten to death and another dying in a drunk driving accident. This lady had incredible faith she was strong and confident that God would help her through her tough time. Her daughter was in a horrible accident and the doctors told her there was no way she would ever be the same and that the daughter should just be put in a home so she wouldn’t burden the family. But this lady told the doctors no. She brought her daughter home retaught her to read and write. It was an amazing story! The daughter even came out and talked with us for a long time! This old lady taught me to never give up, especially on the ones you love. I realized that I may be going through a tough time but if i turned to God he would get me through it.

Aside from mission trips I enjoying playing the Viola and Guitar, reading, and I LOVE to watch movies. I can’t even begin to list my favorite movies or books. I also enjoy camping and hiking, I find that I am closest to God when I do these things. I love to admire God’s canvas, looking at his creations make me so happy!

There isn’t much I don’t like. However there are a few foods I don’t like, for example fish, mushrooms, and cottage cheese are all icky to me. It really bothers me when people don’t text/email/call me back even if it isn’t that important it’s nice to know that you got my message!

I look forward to writing more blogs and learning so much more about our faith!