Moving On

I have one more month before I graduate.

One month before I turn 18.

My friends are graduating and leaving.

All sorts of things are changing.

Change isn’t always bad.Sometimes it seems like a little much. But things have to change eventually. So let’s embrace it.

One of the hardest parts of graduating is everyone else graduating. And leaving. Don’t get me wrong, I’m glad I’m staying in Alaska. Golden Boy is here. It’s hard watching your friends go though.

My best friend of 13 years is moving 5,000 miles away to go to school. I try to be excited for her. It must be nerve-wracking to think about. Somewhere new, new people, school. Crazy. I don’t want her to leave. But at the same time I’m excited that she gets to do something entirely new.

Another of my friends graduated early and is moving away at the beginning of May. And if ever I had a girlfriend to do girly things with, it’s her. She’s the one I go shopping with, watch chick flicks and horror movies, dare her to go talk to the cute guy, dress up just to go to Blockbuster, all that stuff. After she leaves, I won’t have that around anymore.

But she’s excited to leave. It’s a real adventure. She can’t wait. So even though I’m sad about this too, I’m happy for her and her excitement.

And then there’s me. I’m working this summer again. The Hoopla- Chiatto is returning. (If you have no clue what a Hoopla-Chiatto is, you obviously need to be educated here. ) I’m really excited about it, and excited to find a full or part time job this fall  to work while Princess is out of season. I’m looking forward to putting away money.

Lots of change is coming up. But I’m oddly peaceful about it. I know that God is directing things where they ought to go. Everything is going to turn out alright. Here’s to a new chapter, guys. Cheers.

Confessions of a Ninja Ballerina: Organization

Planning is good.

I have, today, decided to actually do some planning for my dance classes. My mom had the fantastic idea to put my combinations on notecards in a little notecard box, separated into the different types of steps by the little dividers.

What’s awesome about this is that I can write down all the combinations, every week, and eventually and I can just pull out notecards to plan my class.

If you teach anything like dance or martial arts or anything, this is a great idea. If it’s dance, you can even write the song you used on the notecard, which is what I’m going to do.

Looking forward to today’s well-planned class. 🙂

Any dancers following me? Comment if you’d like me to make a post with some of my favorite combinations.

Back to the Rosin

Dance starts back up today!

After an insanely long break it’s back to the hardwood, metal bars, and oh-so-glorious rosin.

Tonight I get to teach the first class of the semester and I’m looking forward to it.

I bought 95 new songs, I have some new experience under my belt and I am feeling prepared. New leotards don’t hurt either 😉

I honestly don’t know if I’m looking forward to teaching or actually dancing more. I love both so much. I love working and seeing improvement in myself, but seeing improvement in the girls I teach is very rewarding too.

I have mixed feelings about the upcoming show, but hopefully it’ll be great. It’ll at least be cute.

I thank God so much for my dance family and the opportunities I get with it. I am so blessed by ballet.

For my lovely dancers reading this, can’t wait to see you this week! Love you all!

I Tell You the Truth

Jesus really liked that phrase. I mean it’s fair, He was telling the truth. I don’t quite know what to make of his persistent use of “I tell you the truth” so I’m just going to leave it at that.

Today we read John 3:1-21.

PAUSE

Break out your Bible.

Read it.

It’s worth it.

The first thing about this passage is Nicodemus. He didn’t go to Jesus to question Him. He went to Him to state that he believed that Jesus was God. To support Him (Ah, that must feel nice. 😛 I kid, I kid.)

Jesus still used this as an opportunity to teach. He told Nicodemus that the only way to see or enter the Kingdom of God was to be born again.

Now, this was a pretty radical idea to Nicodemus and everyone else. They didn’t understand the phrase, I don’t think. Jesus explained the difference between the Flesh and the Spirit quite well.

He put a lot of emphasis on being born again and how it is the ONLY way to enter Heaven. Just take a moment and ask yourself if you have been born again.

In the second part of the passage, Jesus references the Old Testament (If it was relevant to Him and His teaching, it’s relevant to us.) He talked about Moses lifting up the snake in the desert, and how the Son of Man must also be lifted up.

We need to keep our focus on Jesus. As Christians, we need to lift Jesus up for others to see Him. Are we doing that in todays society? Not the vast majority of us. It’s a Sunday thing. We go, we sing, we pray, then we forget about it on Monday. That’s not how it should be. We are a broken church. The only way to be the church Jesus intended us to be is to lift Him up above petty politics and what humans want.

God did not send Jesus to judge the world, but to save it.

NO, this is not a verse that can be used to say we should not judge others. Another word for judge as used in this verse is ‘condemn’. So calm down there. As I’ve mentioned before, the Bible still tells us to judge our fellow Christian and warn against sin.

The last bit of the passage talks about Judgment from God, righteous judgment, and how He has already judged those who choose to follow darkness.

I think it’s powerful how Jesus said that God sent Light into the world (Jesus) but men loved the darkness (sin) too much to go to the light.

You know how, as a kid, almost everyone is afraid of the dark. But then we grow up and we realize that it’s silly and childish and that the dark is nothing to fear. I think we’re wrong. Darkness is terrifying, on a spiritual level. It’s what separates us from God. Why aren’t we as afraid of THAT darkness as we were afraid of the actual darkness as a five-year-old? We need to claim child-like faith again. We should still be afraid of the dark.

In conclusion, you should read 1 John 1:6.

One thing I want to say about me blogging mostly to believers; It’s very important to share the Word with non-believers, to try to get them to come to faith in Jesus. But if we have huge problems in our theology, how can we do that efficiently? If we are not examples of Christ, not exclusively His loving nature but all aspects of Him, how can we paint an accurate picture of what the church is? That is why I blog to a believing audience for the most part. I’m trying to share how I think we all need to act more like Christ before we tell others how they ought to. Look at yourself first. Do you look like Christ? I don’t as much as I would like to, but that’s why I’m doing this Bible study. I’m figuring out what Jesus looked like.

Flipping Tables

One of my favorite parts of the Bible: when Jesus got angry.

I’m actually going to start with  John 2:1-11, which is  Jesus turning water into wine. That was his first miracle. Also look at John 7:6.

An important point is that Jesus knew when He was supposed to do things. He said it wasn’t His time to perform his first miracle. That being said, I don’t really know why he did it if it wasn’t His time, but He must’ve had a reason.

Yay, now it’s time for flipping tables! Read John 2:12-25. It’s awesome. It makes me happy.

Jesus went and cleansed the Temple because a bunch of idiots were turning it into a business. Jesus walked in, saw all this happening, and made a whip.

He made a whip.

He didn’t walk through calmly saying “You really shouldn’t be doing this, friends, but if you feel like it’s the way you were born, or if you just love everyone, it’s ok.”

No. He went through driving people out with a whip and flipping their money changing tables over. He yelled at them to get out because His father’s temple was not a place of business. He had some really awesome righteous anger.

Jesus was not meek. He was not always gentle and kind. I do not know why people paint him that way. He took action, he was aggressive, he was physical..

One of the verses says something about zeal for his Father’s house consuming Him. The Greek word for zeal translates into jealousy. He was jealous for His father’s house because it was not what it was meant to be. It had become taken over by the world. It was no longer a place of reverence. People were changing money and selling doves.

This brings me to a concern about today’s mega churches. A lot of the times they have coffee shops, stores, something. They are selling things in their church, and I don’t know how they justify that.

I think it’s ok if it’s a fundraiser, but if people are getting paid to work it or it pays for a pastor’s salary or something, it’s a business and it’s wrong. It’s just plain disrespectful.

One more point to draw from His actions was that he spoke out against what they were doing wrong, not against them as people. He didn’t attack anyone personally. I strive to do that in my blog and I think I do a decent job of it. I speak out against sin without involving a certain people group as best I can.

If you look from Jesus CONVERTING water to wine and then CLEANSING the Temple right after, you see what He does in us. After we convert, we are cleansed, we are renewed. Jesus has wonderful power, let Him work it in you.

Beatitudes (Bee-Attitudes)

At least I’m pretty sure that’s how you say it. Not an expert.

Today we read Matthew 5:1-12, which lists the blessings. It’s counterpart, starting at Luke 6:20, also lists the warnings, the “woe to you”s. I won’t be talking about those today though.

The first one talks about the poor in spirit. What on earth does that mean? As far as I can tell it’s talking about being humble in your faith, not being spiritually arrogant.

The next says how those who mourn will be comforted, the kind of comforting that can only be found in God.

These verse are really pretty self-explanatory, I hope you take the time to read them.

Blessed are the meek for they shall inherit the earth. Meek does not mean quiet. It’s more like humble and gentle. But NOT silent. This is important. We still need to speak up, but remain humble before the Lord.

If you hunger and thirst for righteousness, you will be filled. We must seek God first, and if we really do that, we will be rewarded.

If we are merciful, we will get mercy back. This is a difficult one. We have to forgive to be forgiven.

Those with a pure heart will see God. Before you get too panicked about how pure you’re heart is, remember that we are, or can be, purified through Jesus Christ.

This next one is a tad bit confusing. It says that the peacemakers will be called the Sons of God. However, peacemakers does not mean ‘appeasing everybody’. In 1 Corinthians 14:33 it uses peace as an antonym for confusion, so my understanding is that peacemakers create clarity more than appeasement.

A point to make about that is that Christians who misuse scripture create confusion. I try my best not to do this and hopefully I don’t, but we all need to be careful.

The last is that those who are persecuted for righteousness will be rewarded. Read 1 Peter 3:14. You don’t get persecuted if you never speak up.

The last two verse are about that subject as well and are pretty self-explanatory. A couple good verses to go with those are 1 Peter 4:14-16.

I hope you enjoyed my installment on the Beatitudes.

Fishers of Men and Warning Against Sin

Today we studied Matthew 4: 18-22

In summary, it’s Jesus calling on His first disciples, Simon Peter and his brother Andrew.

These two dudes were minding their own business, fishing with their dad, and Jesus comes along the shore and is like, “Hey guys, want to be fishers of men? Come with me. It’s gonna be epic.”

(I enjoy paraphrasing Jesus’ words. Don’t worry. I’m still respectful.)

Then they just got up and left. Their dad must’ve been so confused.

There must have been something about Jesus that made people want to stick with Him. Think about it. If you just walked to someone already doing something and said, “Hey, you should come follow me.” They would be so weirded out. And they wouldn’t move.

Jesus had to have had this feeling about Him that people knew they could trust, or at least the right people.

Which brings up another question. Why did Jesus need disciples? He could’ve done everything Himself.

Well, Jesus was human. Have you ever gone through a period of your life where you really don’t have any friends? Isn’t it lonely and depressing? Jesus felt sadness and loneliness too. I think part of the reason he had the disciples around Him was for companionship.

However, the biggest reason was probably so that they could continue His work after he died. They were His legacy. They were taught by Him personally so they could carry on after Jesus was gone.

We decided to finish up chapter 4 of Matthew which is about Jesus going through towns and healing people.

What I like about this is that Jesus didn’t keep the power He had to Himself. He helped those that came to Him. I think that’s important. Jesus went to the towns, but he specifically helped and healed those who went to Him. We have to seek His help if we want to get it. You can’t just sit back and wait for God to do all the work.

Also, he raised awareness for Himself and others by doing this. He started building a reputation for Himself.

Which brings up the last portion of Scripture I want to talk about. This isn’t part of my Bible study, but I came across it and it fit my situation perfectly.

Hebrews 3:12-13 AMP
12 [Therefore beware] brethren, take care, lest there be in any one of you a wicked, unbelieving heart [which refuses to cleave to, trust in, and rely on Him], leading you to turn away and desert or stand aloof from the living God.
13 But instead warn (admonish, urge, and encourage) one another every day, as long as it is called Today, that none of you may be hardened [into settled rebellion] by the deceitfulness of sin [by the fraudulence, the stratagem, the trickery which the delusive glamour of his sin may play on him].

And reading this makes me confused as to how fellow Christians can tell me I’m the wrong by speaking out against sin. Where is your Biblical proof that I am in the wrong? Because here is my Biblical proof that I am doing something right.