Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, just as he chose us in Christ before the foundation of the world to be holy and blameless before him in love. He destined us for adoption as his children through Jesus Christ, according to the good pleasure of his will, to the praise of his glorious grace that he freely bestowed on us in the Beloved. In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace that he lavished on us. With all wisdom and insight he has made known to us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure that he set forth in Christ, as a plan for the fullness of time, to gather up all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth. In Christ we have also obtained an inheritance, having been destined according to the purpose of him who accomplishes all things according to his counsel and will, so that we, who were the first to set our hope on Christ, might live for the praise of his glory. In him you also, when you had heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and had believed in him, were marked with the seal of the promised Holy Spirit; this is the pledge of our inheritance toward redemption as God’s own people, to the praise of his glory
– Ephesians 1:3-14
This passage talks a lot about what Christ has done for us. We are children of God because we are made in his image. He leads us to redemption through his crucifixion and resurrection. Christ wanted to die for us in order to save us from our sins. Through baptism, we are sealed by the Holy Spirit. To live a meaningful life, keep a strong faith and live according to his word. He has a plan for each of us and if we follow his plan, we were live life to fullest. We are led to salvation and redemption through his love and sacrifice for us. It can be difficult to live in God’s word, but trust in him and than life will become more meaningful and will seem easier. Find ways to live in God’s word every day. There are many ways to feel God’s presence. Those ways are difficult to attain every day, but usually there is a way. One quick way to feel God’s presence is to look at nature because it is God’s creation. Looking at the sunsets at my school tells me I am where I am meant to me. You can feel God’s presence during a beautiful day where you can feel the wind. To me that wind is like God’s energy passing through us. It can be hard to know if we are following God’s plan or not because some things we do are not part of God’s plan. We will sin every so often because that is part of human nature. But do not forget that God will always love us and has the capacity to forgive.
We know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body of sin might be destroyed, and we might no longer be enslaved to sin. For whoever has died is freed from sin. But if we had died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him. We know that Christ, being raised from the dead, will never die again; death no longer has dominion over him. The death he died, he died to sin, once for all; but the life he lives, he lives in God. So you also must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus
– Romans 6:6-11
This is a passage that is difficult to interpret. A lot of it does not make sense at all. It is taking about death a lot and that we were crucified with Christ, which sounds crazy because we were not literally crucified. That saying is based on the fact that Jesus died to save us from our sins. It basically says that if we live in Christ, sin will not be as much a burden. Having a relationship with Christ is difficult, but it makes us feel alive and allows us to live each and every day. I do find ways to feel connected to Christ every week, but sometimes not everyday. Nature is one of the best place to feel Christ’s presence because God created it. I also find Christ in contemporary Christian music and whenever I listen to it, I am filled with the Holy Spirit, which is why I always feel uplifted and inspired. The connection is the strongest when I am singing Christian music and I feel lucky to make it to the Gathering each and every week.
This has been my third semester at Gardner Webb University and I still loving it. This semester I got to see “Wicked” a fourth time with my school and that was meaningful because I got to see the show in my tenth year loving the show. That performance was spectacular and better than ever. It is just one of those musicals that gets better as time goes on.
Another huge highlight of this semester was going to Disney World with my school. I got the opportunity to go to all four parks. We were allowed the visit the parks without chaperones, which helped me grow. I also got to learn leadership skills through the eyes of Disney and their most important leadership skill is storytelling. Disney is most famous for the storytelling and the parks are made to look like the stories that kids and adults will recognize. They do that in the rides, restaurants, and on the streets. Seeing the characters is a huge highlight of being at Disney. One example of storytelling in the rides is the Snow White Mine train. During the ride, they incorporate the story of Snow White. You get to hear the Dwarves theme song and actually see them and you also see Snow White dancing in her cottage with the dwarves and you get a glimpse of the evil witch. I become a bigger fan of Disney all because of the leadership classes. It is hard to know how big of a Disney fan you are until you arrive at Disney.
Life of a college student is not easy, but is worth it in the end. It is where you discover what you want to do with your life. College showed me that I eventually need to open up a nonprofit for the poverty and homeless population. I decided to combine my two biggest passions of service and theatre into one. I also am able to grow spiritually and emotionally every day.Gardner Webb is home to some of the most gorgeous sunsets and whenever I look at them, I know I am in the right place. My spirit is filled up each time I attend the Gathering through the different uplifting songs, which fill up my soul.
The academics are tough, but they still have meaning. Sometimes you take a class that you do not like. One of the best ways to handle the classes is trusting in the Lord and keep a positive attitude. Try to find ways to manage stress and not let it control your study habits. Whenever I am stressed out, I usually take a break and end up coloring or just listening to music. Even going to the Gathering helps because it is a place to reach out to the Lord to ask for guidance. Another way I manage stress is writing another blog post. I try to stay ahead of the game and start papers early enough in order to take advantage of the writing center. I am a highly spiritual person and I try to keep a close relationship with God even if that is not easy to do. Once in a while, I do pray and the best way for me to do that is writing.
I am becoming more a leader at Gardner Webb. I am a leader of a group right now and going to Disney has helped. Sometimes, people are being leaders even without realizing it. I am able to analyze things at a deep level and see different perspectives of the same topic. Everyone is always impressed with how happy I always am despite all of the stress. The classes become worth it at the end of each semester.
Therefore, since we are justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have obtained access to this grace in which we stand; and we boast in our hope of sharing the glory of God. And not only that, but we also boast in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not disappoint us, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit that has been given to us
It is amazing how many times the Holy Sprit is used in the bible. Each time it shows up, it makes me think of the Spirit differently. This is another view of the survival of the Human Spirit. I never fully thought about the concept of this particular passage. It seems that the Human Spirit is still able to endure through hardships. It is crazy how suffering eventually leads to hope, even if it seems far away. It is God’s love that helps us get through tough times. I am aware that suffering can build character and can make you stronger, but it is not easy to do. This passage shows that despite suffering, there is still hope at the end of the tunnel. God gave us the Holy Spirit, which is the most inner thing that makes us who we are. We are feeding our spirit everyday through the things that we do. I know that when I see a beautiful sunset or attend the Gathering, I know my Holy Spirit it thriving. God likes to work in our weaknesses in order to allow us to become better people. We are vulnerable to hurt and pain, but we are showing endurance when we climb out of it, which is where the hope comes. If you have faith that you will get through rough times, you are building character. Sometimes in suffering, it is hard to build character and can bring you down, which can easily kill the Spirit. I try to not look at life in a negative way because that can make us appear that we do not really care about who we are. I always view life positively because it is the best way to live.
Last night on television, I got to watch the movie musical, Easter Parade. It takes place in New York. At times the plot can be confusing, but the plot is still quite simple. It was a wonderful way to end my Easter day since it focuses on Easter. The main character is a dancer who trains someone to be a better dancer and eventually the two fall in love. I loved the musical. The songs were incredible and so was the acting. One of the things that amazed me was the dancing.
Last night, I got to watch the movie, “Kiss Me Kate”. “Kiss Me Kate” is a musical comedy based on Shakespeare’s “Taming of Shrew”. When I found out what “Kiss Me Kate” was based off of, I knew I had to eventually see it.
“Kiss Me Kate” is basically a show in a show. That means that actors have to play characters that play characters. The leads basically put together a musical based off of “Taming of the Shrew”. There are some confusing parts of this show, which make sense later on. At the beginning, I was trying to figure out who was going to play Katherine, which was a little confusing. The main women wanted to play Katherine and it was hard to tell who would eventually get the role
This movie made me laugh multiple times. I kept on waiting for the song, “Brush Up Your Shakespeare” because it was the only song I knew coming in. It happened later in the show than I thought it would. I do not know the other song names, but I still enjoyed listening to them. More than one number was funny such as the one song where Katherine sings about hating men. There was one that was not part of the actual musical, which is basically about why it is hard to behave.
I about how light this musical was. Those musicals provide a nice balance between the other musicals in existence. This is one of the old classics and it is quite confusing when characters have to play characters, but makes sense later on especially if the leads are putting together a musical.
What does it mean to be made in the image of God? I thought about this during this week’s Gathering. To be being made in the image of God means that we have a piece of God with us. That is why the holy spirit lives inside of us and tells us what it means to be humans. We are supposed to be vulnerable and emotional during our lives. God filled us with compassion, grace, along with his sufferings. Why would God want to make us struggle our whole life? That makes no sense, but than again God suffered through the hands of his Son.
Humans are supposed to show kindness and compassion towards others. But instead some humans have gotten out of control and turned to violence and hate, which is not how a human is supposed to act. All because of one act of sin, the world became a broken world, which lead to why humans have to suffer all the time. Because humans are frail and vulnerable, they are prone to attack and strong negative emotions. However through our weaknesses we are made strong. A lot of our strengths comes from our weaknesses even if we do not realize it. There is a reason why humans come together during tragedies and that is because they are doing their part by showing that they care about the world. Whenever tragedy strikes, humans go out and try to provide comfort to those affected by the tragedy.