Saturday, April 20, 2013

3rd Annual Southern Oregon Impact Awards

Wow, I can't believe it! Tonight I won Techie Extraordinaire for the 3rd Annual Southern Oregon Impact Awards. For those of you who may not know, I have been involved in the local community theatre for the past five years, and it has been an amazing experience for me. It started out in 2006 on a Sunday night. For some strange reason, the water in my church was shut off, and so we had to cancel church that day. It so happened, Rogue Music Theatre was having a performance of their production "Oliver!" that night. So, we decided since we didn't have church, we would go see the show. I was a little hesistant at first thinking that musicals were "for sissies", but I was encouraged to go. So, I went, and I REALLY enjoyed it! As I sat there watching the singing, dancing, acting, and the story unfold on stage in front of me, I especially noticed the boy playing Oliver. He was about the same age as me, and I realized if he could do it, I could do it too. Little did I know what it would turn into. Being the young child I was, I ended up looking his last name in the phone book, and writing a letter to each one of the addresses with his last name in it, luckily there was only three. I wanted to find out how to get involved like he did. So I asked him to give me a call. Sadly, when I got the phone call back from him I was at a camp for my church, so I was never able to talk to him. A few years went by, and in 2008, we saw an advertisement in the newspaper for an acting camp at Barnstormers Theatre. I finally thought this was my chance to get involved. I ended up going, and nobody could pull me away from it since. I can now say I have been to Wales, England, Bedford Falls, Monumental Pictures, Grover's Corners, Neverland, another dimension, and so much more. I have been able to be a Cowboy, Postman, Policeman, Hippie, Greek god, Long Lost Cousin, Tarzan, Grandpa, Dog, Tap Dancer, Assistant Stage Manager, Stage Manager, Propsmaster, Costumer, Usher, Set Builder, Set Painter, Writer, Director, and more. I've been able to see sickness, health, life, and yes, even death. There's been blood, sweat, and of course, lots of tears. Am I perfect?..... Far from it! Have I made mistakes?..... Absolutely!

But there are so many people I wouldn't have had this great experience without. If I miss anybody, there are countless people to mention, so please forgive me.

Thank you to Southern Oregon Impact for putting on such a wonderful event once again. As I sat back a few years ago, inspired by the many people winning awards, I wanted to be the kind of person that would be worthy of an award like that. You have made that vision come true.

To my theatre family, Thank you to all of you who nominated and voted for me. I am sooooo greatful, and so honored. Thank you to Sig Dekany, Heidi Whitehead, and Janine Contreras for teaching me everything I know about backstage work, I'd say I learned from the best! Thank you to Tricia Drevets, Elise Epstein, Ronda Bagley, Susan Russell, Anne Turner, The Kruse's, and The Strom Family for the countless hours you have put in mentoring, teaching, inspiring, and blessing me. Thank you to all the people who have given me rides to and from the theatre. Thank you to the many wonderful "families" I have gotten to work with. Thank you to those of you whose shoulders I have cried on (I won't go into details, but you know who you are),Thank you to those of you who have prayed with me,  and Thank you to everyone in the theatre community, you have been such a huge part of my life.

I'd like to also thank my church family. They have been there for me through thick and thin. They're always asking what show I am working on next, and they're one of the first people to buy tickets for my show, no matter what show it may be, and even if it means they have to sit in the rain. They've prayed for me, they've given me countless rides, to and from the theatre, and they have been such a huge part of my life.

Thirdly, I'd like to thank my family. Without them, theatre would not be a part of my life either. Mom and Dad, thanks for all of your encouragement, love, and inspiration. Thank you for the time, energy, and effort you have put into this for me. From the countless rides to and from rehearsals, to coming to see all of my shows, whether you could see me on stage or not, no matter what the show may have been, and even if it meant sitting in the rain as well, you were always there for me, and I love you both!

Tim and Elisabeth, even with all of my comments about the theatre, and all of my naggings to come see my show, thank you for putting up with me. Thank you for coming to see allllllmost all of my shows, and thank you for being a part of my life.

Lastly, and most importantly, in the Bible, 1 Corinthians 10:31 says whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God. I am sad to say, I have not always abided by that. Sometimes it's easy to get caught up in standing ovations, your name in the program, and being in the spotlight, but without God, none of this would have been possible. He has given me the strength, energy, and ability to do it all. He has blessed me with so many wonderful people, and so many amazing experiences. He is so good to me, and I give all the glory to Him.

Once again, thank you all so much for being such a great part of my life. To all of you who won awards, many congratulations! To all of you who were nominated, many congratulations as well! Some of you may not have won, but I feel you all deserved it, and if I could personally hand you all an award, I would. To those who weren't nominated, there's no need to feel down. As a family we can create magic, an art, and a wonderful experience, so award, or no award it is a huge blessing to me. To be honest, in the end, I don't feel like I have done much to deserve an award, there are so many people who do deserve it just as much as me, but I appreciate the great honor you have given me tonight.

P.S. Sorry I haven't written more lately, I have been super busy recently, but I have post in my drafts folder now, and will hopefully be posting again soon. Thanks for reading, Have a blessed day!

~Daniel~ :)

Thursday, February 21, 2013

A note from the heart

     Hello! I realize most of you are used to reading my blogs. They have a
lot of the same format, with the way we should live, the way we should be,
the greatness of God, the difficulties of life, etc. Then of course, I
normally try and find some scripture to put along with my point. Whether
it's Proverbs 3:5-6, Romans 8:28, or 1 Corinthians 10:31. But I've decided
to write this one a little differently. This time, I wanted to write
something from the heart. I would like to talk to you as fellow bloggers,
readers, friends, and brothers/sisters in Christ. At this point in my life,
I am facing some difficulties. I am facing many questions, big decisions,
and a lot of responsibility. Sometimes I feel alone in a big world. So, from
my heart to yours, I would appreciate some prayer.

    The first thing I would could use prayer on, is that I would trust in
God, and His perfect timing, all the time. As I mentioned before, I am
facing many decisions, responsibility, and questions. There are so many
things that I want in my life. I have been looking for a job for the past
few months. I have filled out applications, dropped off resume's, checked
back on them every day, and I still haven't heard any word. I've been hoping
to go away to college the past few years. I've applied for colleges, applied
for financial aid, done research, called and asked questions, and the
opportunity still has not been available to me. I would like to have a young
lady in my life. Of course as most young people, they look forward to the
day they can meet their special someone, and marry the love of their life, I
know people left and right who are getting in relationships, or getting
married, and sometimes I ask "Why not me?". But I know, for all of those things, it's just not God's perfect timing yet. I struggle with waiting, and being patient, so I would appreciate your prayer for patience, and that I would trust in God's perfec timing for my life.
    Secondly, I could use prayer concerning my relationship with the Lord. Since I am here at home, waiting for His perfect timing, I have had a lot of time on my hands. I haven't had a job, I'm not in school, so I need something to do with that time. It's so easy for me to get on the computer I am now, watch TV, eat, or do just about anything, but then God reminds me to spend some time with Him. Sometimes I don't feel like it, but when I buckle down, and either study His word, or pray, I'm more refreshed, more encouraged, and
more blessed than I could be doing anything else. I've been working on studying, and absorbing God's word more and more each day. I haven't worried about how much, or how little I've read, as long as I can get something out of it, that's what's important to me. The more I read and study, the more I want to read and study. I recently read through the book of Hebrews (an AMAZING book to study), and I got so much more out of it than I ever have before. I then read through the Sermon on the mount in Matthew 5-7, 1 Corinthians 13, and I've been working on Psalm 18 the past two days. So I would appreciate your prayer that I would continue to grow in my relationship with God. I know the devil wants to get me side tracked, and get my mind focused on other things, which can be easy for me to do sometimes, but I know I need to continually be growing in my relationship with God.
    Thirdly, that I would focus on God instead of the things of this world. As I am here at home, I have many luxeries. I have a home, a family, a church, friends, money, and so much more that I am blessed with. But I know those things won't always be there. It seems that some of those things are slowly dwindling away. I have grown up in a small-ish church without many younger people in it, so I've grown up with a few select people my age. As I've grown older, they as well have too, and they've moved on. They've all gone on to college, gone in the Navy, or moved on with their lives. Then there are people outside of church. Of course there are many wonderful people I have met ouside of church, but sometimes it makes it difficult when I don't get to see them very often. They go to a different church, they are very busy with their jobs, or I only get to see them in the theatre (which I haven't been able to be involved with recently). While all of these people are great, I have easily relied on them, for advice, encouragement, and love. I turn so often to friends, and
family, and church for advice, which isn't a bad thing at all, but it
becomes bad, when I rely on them, and stop relying on God. It's also easy
for me to rely on myself, and my own strength, and it's also easy for me to
focus on money. In the world we live in, money is a necessity, we need money
for anything, and everything, and for me, since I haven't had a job, it gets
easy for me to focus on it, and what I need. But God once again brings me
back to Him. I know, someday, when I go out on my own, I won't always have
friends, or famiily, or church, or even money, but I WILL always have God,
and He should be more than enough for me. I realize that whether it's friends, money, or even a family, the things of this world are temporary, but God's love will last forever, so I would appreciate your prayer, that instead of relying on what I do have here at home, I would rely on God.
    Fourthly, and lastly, I would appreciate prayer for wisdom. As I have grown older now, I am having to make many decisions, and take on many responsibilites. Of course, I know I'm not in this alone, but I do have some choices to make. This coming fall is a big decision for me. I really want to do something, go somewhere, and be used wherever God has me. I feel God is preparing me for something great someday, so I am considering colleges, jobs, or some other alternatives. I believe at this point, I would like to pursue going to either Crown College, in Knoxville, TN, or Maranatha Baptist Bible College in Watertown, WI. Going to college however can be an expensive endevour, and time is quickly ticking away. I still have a lot of money to make, and a lot to figure and work out before that will happen, so there is a chance God shuts that door for this year. I am also considering going to community college. I can't say I am too keen on the idea, and I'm not sure I have a great peace about that decision, but I know if that's where God wants me to be, then that's the best choice for me to make. The fourth option that has been in the back of my mind for a little while is possibly attending the International ALERT Academy in Big Sandy, TX. I know it would be a lot of work, and I still have to do some research to see if it would even be possible for me to attend, seeing as I'm not able to go into the Emergency field of occupation, not to mention, the finances could be an issue, but I believe if God opens that door, it would be a big life changing experience for me, mentally, physically, and spiritually. So whatever I do, I would appreciate prayer that I would use wisdom to make the right decision. I know wherever God leads me I'll go.
    So, I would say I have a lot of thinking, and praying to do in the next few months. I know whatever God has planned for my life, He will work it out perfectly, and I look forward to the day that I can sit back and see how it all unfolded. Until then, I can't say how much I would appreciate your prayers.
    Anyways, thanks for taking some time to read. If there's anything I can pray for you about too, I would be more than happy to! Have a blessed day!


Thursday, February 14, 2013

What is True Love?

    Love..... I have to say, it's an interesting thing. Today of course is Valentine's Day. It's the day every year that people run to the local retail store to purchase roses, chocolate, a teddy bear, or a pretty card. There are "I Love You" 's, kisses, hugs, dates, engagements, and marriages. People everywhere think about their spouse, boyfriend, girlfriend, love in the past, love in the future, love that could've been in the past, or love that could be in the future. It's the day that everyone celebrates Love. But let's put aside the flowers, put aside candles and kisses, chocolate and hearts. What is the real meaning of Love?

1 John 3:16 says,

"This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters."

    When you think about what the Bible has to say about Love, 1 Corinthians 13 says,

"Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal. And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing. And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing. Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil; Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth; Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things. Charity never faileth: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away. For we know in part, and we prophesy in part. But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away. When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things. For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known. And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity."
    I think there is no greater example of this Love than God, and His Son Jesus.

I am reminded of my favorite song:

"And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth."
~Genesis 1:26

    God showed His love for us by creating us. He didn't need us, He didn't have to create us, but He made us because He loves us. He then put us in authority over all the things of the earth. The animals, the plants, and every living thing.

"For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life." ~John 3:16

    God showed His love to us by sending His one and only son to the world. How many of us would be willing to give up the person closest to us, for the lives of everyone in the world? I'm not sure I could make that choice! But God loved us enough, it wasn't even a choice for Him.

"In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also"
~John 14:2-3

    God shows His love for us by preparing a place for us someday. Once again, we don't deserve it. We are all sinners (Romans 3:23) but if we know Him as our personal saviour, God has prepared a special place for us, and He's coming to take us home someday.

"If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness."
~1 John 1:9

    God shows His love for us by forgiving our sins. It's nothing that we deserve, we have all done bad things, but He forgives us without excuse, without questions, without conditions, He is faithful and just to forgive us and cleanses us from all sin.

"But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honour; that he by the grace of God should taste death for every man."
~Hebrews 2:9

    Jesus showed His love for us by coming down from Heaven. He made Himself in a lower state, that way we could someday be higher. He came down from the right hand of God, and was born in a manger. He was born into this evil, sinful world so we could be saved.

"Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends."
~John 15:3

    Jesus showed His love for me by giving his life for me. He who had everything, gave it all, so I, who had nothing, could have everything. He made the biggest sacrifice anyone could ever give.
    In return, God has given us two commands.

"Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment."
~Matthew 22:37-38

    God doesn't ask much of us. He doesn't ask money, He doesn't ask for everything we own. He doesn't ask for all of our time, or attention, He asks for our Love. He wants us to love Him with all of our heart, soul, mind, and strength too. He wants us to love Him with everything we have, and in every aspect of our life.

"And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself." ~Matthew 22:39

"This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you." ~John 15:12

God also wants us to love others around us. Whether it is our family, our friends, our acquaintances, or someone we may not even know, He wants us to show love to others wherever we go.

    The Bible refers to Love many times. Depending on which version of the Bible you use, it can be used anywhere between 310 and 508 times. As we think today on Love, it's not about dating, marriage, candy, or roses. I am just so thankful to God for the great example He has left for me, and for the true love that he gives me unconditionally, sacrificially, and selflessly. I hope and pray that my life will display the same kind of love He has shown to me every day. 

Monday, February 4, 2013

My life as a Disney Movie

    Many of us, who have lived in the past 50 or so years, have grown up on the American family classics. Mary Poppins, Dumbo, Peter Pan, Jungle Book, Lion King, The Little Mermaid, and so many more. These are the Disney movies we all remember as little kids singing along to "The Bear Necessities", "Under the Sea", "The Circle of Life", "Beauty and the Beast", "Supercalifragilistic......."Uhhhhh, okay, I admit, I don't know how to spell that one, but you get the point. We all remember them, love them, and cherish the memories we had watching them with our families. If you're lucky, you can still pop the VHS into the VCR, and enjoy them at an older age too. However, that is not the point of my post today.

    As we think back on these classic movies, and we think back on each of the story lines, they are all very similar. No, of course not the plot, and no, not the characters either, but think about it. They all, like many other movies, tv shows, or books, have an introduction, a dilemma, and a happy ending. There are many people who have come together to put together those movies. There are actors, directors, producers, editors, storyboard makers, managers, designers, stylists, supervisors, artists, assistants, compositors, checkers, painters, scanners, and animators...... just to name a few. They all come together, and work as a team to make not only a great movie, but a masterpiece. It all starts with a little planning. They put together meetings, they talk about it, and they plan every detail, to make sure it all comes together perfectly.

    It's a little like our life, except instead of many people coming together to plan all the details, there is one person. No, He doesn't have to draw out the characters, He molds them. No, He doesn't have to edit videos, He teaches lessons. No, He doesn't have to come up with ideas, He already knows it all. He's just that great of a God! As we sit on the edge of our seats, waiting to see what will happen next, we know there are no surprises for Him.

Our lives are similar to each of these movies:

    We have an introduction. It's not Tinkerbell flying over Cinderella's castle. We are given the gift of life. Every one of us is born into the world, and we are given a chance to live the life God wants us to live.

    Of course, we will face dilemmas too. God is taking us on a great adventure. There may be bumps and bruises along the way, and we will most definitely face a villian. It's not always easy, but in the end, it will be worth it.

It reminds me of a scene from one of the Disney classics.......

So often we push God away. No, we may not call Him a "stuffed shirt, swaggering peacock". No, we may not tell him to "jump off a balcony" either, But we tell Him to leave us alone. We tell Him we don't need Him. We rely on money, other people, even ourselves, instead of the one who has it all planned out perfectly. Yet, He doesn't give up on us. He loves us! He reaches out His hand to us and asks "Do you trust me?". He wants to be our guide on the adventure. He wants to lead us through all the bumps, bruises, and dilemmas, but He allows us to be "free to make our own choice". We just have to take Him by the hand, and trust in Him.

"The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters.He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name's sake.Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me."   ~Psalm 23:1-4

    And thirdly, after the adventure is over, we have something great to look forward to. As I mentioned before, all of the movies end the same way. Someone's dream comes true. Someone becomes the prince or princess they wanted to be. Someone get's to be a part of the whole new world. And of course, you can't forget "They lived happily ever after". If we know Jesus as our personal saviour, that will be us someday too. This world is not our home, so we will get to be a part of a whole new world. We will be proud to say we are the child of a king. We will get more than our wildest dreams can imagine, and we will get to live happily ever after with God. I'd say, in the end, it will be worth it all!

"Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever."  ~Psalm 23:5-6

    I understand, this may be a little bit of a strange way to look at the Christian life. I don't mean to make light of it at all; But I hope in my life, as my story unfolds, as I sit on the edge of my seat waiting to see what is coming next, I will take God by the hand, and until He brings me home, fully trust in Him, because He has it all perfectly planned out. 


Thanks for reading my post. I'm not sure whether or not it came out the way I had hoped it would, but feel free to let me know what you think! If you have any critiques, or comments, I would love to know that too. I hope you have a wonderful day, God Bless!

~Daniel~ :)

P.S. Welcome to my blog, to those of you who have recently joined. Thanks for following me! I hope you enjoy!

Sunday, January 20, 2013

40 Years of life

"And they brought young children to him, that he should touch them: and his disciples rebuked those that brought them.
But when Jesus saw it, he was much displeased, and said unto them, Suffer the little children to come unto me, and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God."    ~Mark 10:13-14~

We were all babies once, we were born to our Mothers and Fathers, whoever they may be, but even more importantly, we were a special miracle, and a special gift from God. Just think about it, one cell from your mother, and one cell from your father came together, and grew into you! It's an amazing thought isn't it? From the very beginning of time, God knew the kind of person we would become. He knew who we would be born to, where we would be born, the purpose we would be born for, and so much more, But what if we never had that chance?

Today marks the 40th Anniversary of Roe Vs. Wade. A court case, held on January 22, 1973, between Jane Roe and Henry Wade. This court case was held to determine whether or not it would be legal to abort babies without legal restrictions. Needless to say, it was a decision that would change the lives of millions of precious children. They never had a chance. They never got to see who they would be born to, where they would be born, or the purpose they would be born for. God has given us the special gift of life, and so many times, it has been thrown away. So today, in memory of those special little children, let's remember the lives that have been lost, the chances that have been missed, and the gifts that have been given away. Let's stand up for what is right!

If children were special to Jesus, they should be special to us too!

Saturday, January 5, 2013

The Blueprint of My Life

    Recently for my church, I have been teaching the Hudson Taylor story for some of the kids in their classes. It has been an amazing story. I knew the name, but I didn't really know the story until I took some time to read and study it. Hudson Taylor lead an amazing life. He opened the China Inland Mission (now the Overseas Missionary Fellowship), He helped lead Hundreds of Thousands of Chinese people to the Lord, and he not only changed those people's lives, but he influenced hundreds of people's lives as well. People such as: The cricket player - Charles Studd, Missionary to India - Amy Carmichael, Olympic Gold Medalist - Eric Lidell, Twentieth-Century Missionary and Martyr - Jim Elliot, Founder of Bible Study Fellowship - Audrey Wetherell Johnson, as well as International Evangelists - Billy Graham, and Luis Palau.  At the age of 5, sitting at the dinner table, Hudson said "When I grow up, I want to be a missionary to China" But did he know what God was going to do in his life? Of course not! He didn't know that someday, a teenager in a small town of Grants Pass, OR would be teaching about him! He didn't know that when he passed away, people would still be accepting Christ as their personal saviour. He didn't know that because of his testimony, many people would give their lives over to God. No, he didn't know, but God did.

    He was able to make an impact in many people's lives, but he couldn't do it on his own. God had it all planned out. God knew that he would change many people's lives, God knew that he would be using him in a special way. God knew every detail of his life, and He knows every detail of mine too. All Hudson had to do, was say as Isaiah said in Isaiah 6:8

" Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, Whom shall I send, and who will go for us? Then said I, Here am I; send me."

    I don't know what will happen in the future, I don't know whether I will impact many lives, or none, I don't know whether God will use me in a special way, or if I will die in my sleep tonight. But God knows. He has a perfect plan.....a blueprint for my life, and he has it all planned out. All I have to do is say "Here am I; send me" He wants me to trust in Him, serve Him, and follow Him. So often in my life, I lose that trust. I know what I want in my life, and I reach for the stars, I shoot for the goals, I do things my own way. We live in a society that believes "Just do it" or "Have it your way everyday" or "Carpe Diem" (Seize the Day). Of course, I am all for making the most of the time we have, while we have it, but doing it for our own glory? I'm not sure about that!

    There are so many things I would like in my life. I wish I could drive, it can be a big discouragement sometimes not to be able to. I wish I could serve my country in the military, I have a great respect for the men and women who fight our country, and if I could, I would seriously consider it. I wish I could go to college, I graduated out of high school last year, but the timing hasn't been right yet. I wish I could get a job, in order to go to college, I need the money to do so, but the opportunity hasn't quite come up yet. I wish I could have a young lady in my life. I know that's every young man's desire, to have a companion, someone to love, and to cherish, but God hasn't provided the right opportunity yet.

    The list could go on, and on, and I know as humans, we each could make a list of our own wants and desires. For me, some of those things will never happen, some of those things may happen someday, and possibly, some of those things will never happen. But God has a plan for it all. Sometimes we have to put aside all of our wants and desires and say "Here am I; send me" as Isaiah said. Sometimes we have to put aside our wants and desires and say as Jesus said in the Garden "Not my will but thine be done"

    What if Jesus had've changed His mind? What if he would've never come down to the earth? What if he was never born in a manger? What if he had've never died on the cross? I don't know where we would be today! He was willing to give up everything, EVERYTHING to do what God wanted Him to do! He was willing to go wherever God wanted him to go, do whatever God wanted to do, and be the kind of person he wanted Him to be.

    I as well think of a wood maker. What if he wanted to make a wooden chest. He plans it out, gets the wood, cuts the wood, nails the wood, stains the wood, carves the wood, and creates a masterpiece. But what if the wood would've said, No, I want to be a chair, or No, I want to be a bed, or No, I want to be a desk. The creator's plans would not have turned out the way he would have intended it. God says in Isaiah 55:8:

"For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD. "

    Our ways are not always going to be God's ways, but Proverbs 3:5-6 says:

" Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In ALL THY WAYS acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths."

    If we acknowledge God, he will guide us every step of the way, and because He has a perfect plan for our lives, He will show us what He wants in our lives. If we follow Him, serve Him, and long to be the kind of person He wants us to be, We could end up like Hudson Taylor did, and impact thousands of lives. God may allow us to follow our dreams, reach for the stars, and shoot for the goals. And in the end, He will bless us. All we have to do is give our life over to Him.


Thanks again for reading, I hope it made sense! For me, when I think of it in my head, it comes out differently in words. Let me know what you think too! Have a great evening!

~Daniel~ :)

The Ramblings of the New Year

    Well, It's been an interesting couple of days! With snow, car rides, back aches, snow chains, and so much more. It's only been a few days into the New Year, and I can say I've already learned a lot! Firstly, I'm happy to say that I've kept up with my jar of blessings. No, I haven't been able to get a jar yet, I'm waiting for all our Animal Crackers to be eaten so I can use that, but nonetheless, I'm keeping a notebook from day to day of special blessings. Once the Animal Crackers are gone, I'll tear them out, cut them up by day, and stick them in there ;) It has been a special blessing to me, thinking about those blessings at the end of the day. I can recall the great things God has provided, and God has done. It'll be really nice to read them all at the end of the year.

    I've also learned that my prayer needs work. Of course I don't think it will ever be perfect, but I am always reminded of how powerful prayer can really be! I think back to the past year, and of course, I prayed whenever I could, but my prayer was always focusing around me. Things I was thankful for, things I needed help with, things that I wanted, etc. etc. Now of course, those things aren't bad to pray for, I think God wants to hear about me too, but I often neglected praying for someone else because I was too busy thinking about myself. So I'm learning to work on that as well.

    Thirdly, I have been reminded once again that spending time with God can be such a wonderful thing! This morning, I woke up in a terrible attitude, or in other words, I woke up on the wrong side of the bed. I decided I would keep my mouth shut so I wouldn't take it out on anyone else, but in my head, and my heart, I couldn't help but complain, get upset, and just flat out have a bad attitude. I woke up later than I wanted to, I didn't get a chance to read or pray like I normally would like to, I was preparing for being stuck in the car for a few hours, and due to my parents hurting their backs, I was preparing for my brother and myself packing up the cars, by ourselves, to head home from a few days in the snow. Anyways, I woke up, got changed and washed up, packed up, had breakfast, and got in the car, but to my dismay, I still had a bad attitude! I don't know exactly what it was from, or why I had it, but it was there. I think the devil was using it to his advantage. As I was in the car, I had a few hours to kill. I could listen to some music, listen to a sermon, take a nap, or read. Of course I normally get queasy when I read in the car, but I thought I would give it a try again. I knew I wasn't able to read before, due to waking up late, so I decided I would use the time I had to spend a little time with God. I think it was a good choice! I have been working on reading through different books at a time, and while I am in Deuteronomy, I took a little hiatus from that to work on reading through Hebrews. Today I was in Hebrews 12. Because I had so much time to read, I used the time I had. I read through each verse, slowly, contemplating it, thinking about what it meant, reading the study portion of my Bible to see what they thought, and reading it over, and over, and over. After I read through Hebrews 12, I remembered a chapter, a friend recommended to me. I had read it before, but I can always get something new from the Bible, so I read it again. I then read in Romans 9. I did the same thing, I read each verse, over, and over, and over. I contemplated it, thought about it, and studied it. I ended up reading for almost an hour!!!! Now, I don't say all that to toot my own horn, That's the only time I've ever read that long, but I say all that to say, it was such a refreshing experience! I read things I had never noticed before, I thought about things I had never thought of before, God had given me peace, and my bad attitude was gone! It seemed all bad thoughts went away, all complaining went away, and after thinking for so long, I now have a new idea for another blog post :) We are so priveleged to own a copy of God's word. It's taken some work to put together, but after some effort, time, and inspiration from God, 40 men put together a great letter from Him! There are so many people in the world who have never even seen a page, never heard the name of God, and many will die without doing so, but in this great country we live in, we have the freedom, and privelege of owning several copies of that Bible in our own home. Today was special for me because I could take that great letter, and spend some time with God. I hope to continue to spend time with Him every day.

    Not only can we hear from Him, but He allows us to talk to Him as well. We can come to Him anytime, about anything, anywhere, and we can tell him our needs, wants, cares, worries, and the prayers of others too. I own a very special purity ring. It was a Christmas present a few years ago from my parents. I've made a promise to myself, my future wife (whoever it may be), and most importantly to God, that I will stay pure until the night of my marriage. For me, it's a symbol of that promise to myself, and others around me who see it. Anyways, I hardly ever take it off for the fear of losing it. As we were playing in the snow the other night, I took off my gloves, and was brushing some snow off my jacket sleeve. Sadly, my ring went flying! Due to my eyesight, I wasn't able to see exactly where it landed, not to mention, it was dark, and the sun had gone down. I got down to look in the little light that I had, but I couldn't find it. There was nobody nearby either because they were walking the dog down the street, or they were inside, so I called to somebody, but nobody answered. I would've run to get someone to help me, but I didn't want to move because I knew the generic area it was in. That's when I decided to pray. I knew if anyone could help me find it, it would be God. He cares about every little sparrow, every little hair, and every little grain of sand, (Matthew 10:29-31; Luke 12:6-7) so why not my special ring too! I prayed, and asked if it was His will, He would help me find it. As I finished praying, I pulled out my cellphone for a little extra light, I squatted down to try and find it once again, and the very first place I looked, right in between my feet, there it was, lying in the snow.

    As I said before, I say none of this to boast about myself, I would be the first to tell you, I am far from perfect. Of course, I try and spend as much time with God as I can, but that doesn't make me any better than anyone else either! I as well know that there wasn't really a main point behind today's blog post, and for all I know, it may not make sense to anybody, but for me, I have learned a lot already in the New Year, and I'm here to say, with the many blessings of life, with reading the Bible, with praying, and with so much more, God has been good! We serve a great God, and while I may have been rambling on a little bit, I look forward to what's in store for the rest of this year!

    I still have that good idea for a blog post, but I will save that for another day. I will hopefully write again very soon! Have a great evening!

~Daniel~ :)

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Time Flies By

    Another year has come and gone. 2012 has come to an end, and I look forward to another year ahead. As we have counted down to midnight, honked our horn through the neighborhood, lighted fireworks, and wished many Happy New Years, there are family's all over spending time together, there are millions of people in Time Square, dancing and waiting for a crystal ball to fall, there are many couples waiting until midnight to give each other a kiss, there are bottles of champagne and sparkling cider being opened, and people are excited for the journey ahead. There are so many things that can be said about the past year, and so many things I can say about the coming year as well. As I think about the New Year, I read last year's eulogy to 2011, and the title was "Time Goes By", I was then thinking about the title for this one, and I felt "Time Flies By" was appropriate.

    I think about the past year. God has been so good! This year has brough along engagements, marriages, babies, deaths, trials, temptations, friends made, friends lost, good times, and bad times. I have had the honor of watching, at least, four kids accept Christ as their person Saviour.  I have been able to be a part of another full scale musical (Cinderella) and I have been able to go back to my theatre home, Barnstormers,  for another beautiful show (Our Town). I have had the pleasure of being a counselor once again at our church's Jr. Camp, where we had a broken arm, a broken canopy, thunder, rain, memories, friendships, and many decisions made. I have made several friends. I have grorwn in my relationship with several friends. I have had the privelege of becoming a Sunday School teacher, and a bus worker, and I have had the privelege of being a part of those kids lives. I've been to my first Masquerade Ball, I've learned to Waltz, I've had a double birthday party for the first time (Special thanks to Devin Kruse) and God has blessed in more ways than explainable.

    Amidst the many wonderful experiences, 2012 has also provided many opportunities to think. The past few years God has provided a central theme for the year, whether it's Romans 8:28, and God working all things together for good, Proverbs 3:5-6, and trusting in God no matter what, or 1 Corinthians 10:31, and glorifying God in every aspect of my life. This year has been quite an interesting year. As you may have seen in some of my past posts, "To Live for the Glory of God", and To Die for the Glory of God this year has brought up a lot about death and life. Whether in sermons I've heard, Questions that have been asked me, Discussions I have had with friends, Working on a play that deals with that subject, and Experiencing other peoples life and death experiences as well. This year has been a great opportunity to think. I have realized, this year, more than ever before, that life is a vapour that appeareth for a little time, and vanishes away (James 4:14). I have realized that whether in life, or in death, I can't take the time I have for granted. God has blessed me with the time I have here on this earth, and if I'm living, I should do it for the glory of God, if I'm dying, I should do it for the glory of God, I should treat every day, every hour, every minute, and every second as if it could be my last. Year after year, as we count down until midnight, I think back to the past New Year, and it seems like it was just yesterday. Time is a vapour! The time we have flies by, and we should take advantage of the time we have, while we still do! Of course plans will change, I know mine did this year! Of course things won't turn out quite like we had planned, I know I speak from experience on that part as well. But the thing that remains constant is this: God is always good! In good times, and bad, He's always blessing, always guiding, and always providing. He knows how long I'll live, He knows when I'll die. He has a perfect plan for my life, and as long as I continue to trust in Him, and follow what He has for me, I can, and will, never go wrong!

    I can say this year, I am a different person than I was last year! Mistakes have been made, experiences have been had, things have been thought, lessons have been learned, and God is continuing to teach me, mature me, guide me, and helping me grow. I know I am not perfect, but I pray, that every day, my relationship with Him will continually grow closer, and I pray that every day I will grow to to be the young man He wants me to be.

    For the New Year, I'm not sure how I feel about resolutions, as those are meant to be broken, but as for a goals, I do have a few:

This year, I would like to spend a little time with God every day. Whether it's studying the Bible, listening to a sermon, or spending some time in earnest prayer, I want to put all other things aside, even if it's for a few minutes, and spend some quality time with Him. I know it won't be easy, I know it will take some motivation, and determination, but it's something I, sadly, can't say I did this past year.

Next, I would like to focus on the blessings of life. I found this picture on facebook, and I think it's a wonderful idea.

I would like to find a big jar, and start it myself. It won't take but a few minutes every night to sit down and write a little something every day. That as well may take a little motivation and determination, but I'm hoping the outcome will be great!

Thirdly, I would like to write in my blog a little bit more. I know 2012 only had 9 posts in it, so this year, I will try not to worry so much about what people will think, or what I have to say, and I will try and write a little more often.

Fourthly, I would really like to be able to go away to college. I know I have planned on this for a few years now, ever since I have graduated, but my ways are not God's ways, so if it's God's will, I would like to go to college somewhere. Until then, I will pray about it, do some research for it, and
prepare right away.

Fifthly, I would like to find a good job. 2012 brought a few job experiences for me. I worked at Wal-Mart and a contact lense place (OOGP) for about three months, through Express Employment Services, a temp agency. I also had the opportunity to work at Evergreen Federal Bank's Bear Hotel for a week. While those things were great, it seemed very short. So this year, I hope to find something a little better.

Then of course I have my life goals. In my life, I have two of them. Firstly, I want to glorify God in everything. I know God has placed us here on the earth for a reason, so I think we should glorify God through it all. Secondly, I want to make an impact in someone else's life for God. I want God to use me in a special way. My life would be more than worth while if He did that through me.

    Now that 2012 is over, I look forward to what God has in store for this coming year! As we were reminiscing a little earlier today of what happened in 2012, I realized that most of those things, good and bad, were never planned out, we didn't expect them, we didn't know they would happen, they just..... happened; We didn't know, But God knew! This year will be full of many of those same things too! This year I could find my favorite song, I could eat my favorite food, I could find the girl of my dreams, I could find a solid job, I could go away to college, I could lose someone very close to me, I could pass away this year, or this could even be the year God comes back to take us all home! With God, anything is possible. Let's just keep trusting Him, Love Him more every day, and grow to be the kind of person He wants us to be, no matter what He has planned for our life.

I hope you all have a very Happy and Blessed New Year! I will hopefully write again very soon!

~Daniel~ :)