look UP

It had rained the night before, leaving the morning air misty and dark. I was driving in the outskirts of town, enjoying the mystery of the familiar road. Then, in an instant, I glanced up. The tips of the trees, mist still swirling around them, were bathed in the warm, golden light of the sun.

Without looking up, I could only see the darkness. The simple action of looking up added so much joy to the scene around me.

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It’s often easy to get stuck on the darkness and mistiness of our day to day lives. The stresses, the conflicts, the doubts; whatever it may be, it’s all too easy to focus on the difficulties.

Maybe we need to glance UP a little more. Look for the warmth, the light, the sun peaking through those clouds. Maybe even in the midst of the darkest times, there’s a Light we can look UP to.

Who and what is that Light?

Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.
Psalm 119:105
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
John 1:1
I challenge you – whatever storms, whatever darkness, whatever you’re dealing with right now, look UP. Christ has is our Light. He’s got a solution. Promise.


Did you ever stop and think?

Who are you? Or rather, what are you?

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Some people like to say that we are a random chance, a mistake, just a bunch of cells all lined up the right way.

We aren’t a mistake though. God created us in His image, to love and to be loved by Him.

Every single human being is a special work of art.

Ever single human being is created for a very special purpose.


You were born for a specific reason. God has a plan for you, and he loves you more than you could possibly imagine.

He can, and will, use everything about you for His glory if you just allow Him.

Isn’t that amazing?

God loves everyone so much that he gave His only Son to die for us, and if we believe in Him, he uses us in amazing ways.

You + God = Unstoppable

So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.

Genesis 1:27


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.

For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.

He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.

John 3:16-18

and then it snowed

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It reminds me of Isaiah 1:18 “Come now, and let us reason together, saith the Lord: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.”

I see the fresh white covering over the earth, and I think of the righteousness of Christ, and the gift He gave. Let me reason with Him. Let me surrender to Him. And then shall all my sins be forgiven and like the white of that fresh, glittering snow.

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Shall we have a little insight into Eden’s brain thinks sometimes? Why not.

As I wrote that previous sentence, I thought of how beautiful the snow is on it’s own. But then when the sun shines on it, it glitters and sparkles a thousand times more.

Jesus gives us his righteousness, then Jesus the Son – the Light of the World – shines on us and illumines us even more.

That’s why I love nature. If looked at and studied, or even just casually observed, it offers us so many little lessons about the character of Christ.

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moments // 2018

When thinking of a word to describe 2018, “whirlwind,” comes to mind. Good, bad, amazing, sad, confusing, disastrous, depressing, uplifting, it had it all. I spent time at home and I flew thousands of miles. I climbed mountains and I went to the ocean.

But most importantly, I grew. I became closer to God. I had more opportunities for outreach and evangelism. I came to know more about myself and those around me.

So here are some pictures. Well, not just some. A lot. I may or may not have put a lot of my favorite pictures in my post. (and currently it looks like WordPress is going to mess up the quality – oh well)

So don’t scroll too fast. (I mean you can if you want, but you’ll miss what I have to say about individual pictures and experiences.)

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In May I went backpacking with my family, saw my first bear in the wild, and graduated from high school!

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In July I had the privilege of being a summer camp counselor. This is how I described it on Instagram:

Two weeks serving. Some would say you’re just there to watch kids and make sure they stay out of trouble. But that isn’t it at all. It’s watching miracles. Seeing hearts touched. Becoming more and more a friend of my Father in heaven and seeing others do the same. It’s incredible. It’s an experience I wouldn’t trade for anything else.

(it feels really awkward quoting myself)

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The summer camp I work at is actually very different from many others. It focuses on Biblical teaching, mission work, and practical skills. But that doesn’t mean we don’t have fun!

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In between {vegan!} banana splits, swimming, singing, camp mail, and all the things we learn, it’s hard not to have fun!

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I’m just gonna encourage you to check out that picture right below this. Between hiking, swimming, canoeing, and backpacking, I managed to get myself a some pretty rad Chaco tan lines, if I do say so myself. K, I’m proud of the weirdest things…


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Speaking of backpacking, I went on three backpacking trips in 2018. Two with the fam, and one with friends.

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(backpacking food – gourmet style)

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Look at this little friend we found! This little snake was a beauty slithering in the middle of the trail. I can’t resist these things. Of course I had to hold him!

(Note – because I don’t want to get in trouble: Don’t go around picking up snakes. Or be aware of the danger if you do. Basically, if you get hurt, I’m not to blame. Your common sense is.)


Little Brother (who is now taller than me) carried some popcorn over about 4 miles of trail, and once he popped it, the whole camp came begging for some.

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In November, our community was the center of a devastating natural disaster. We were gone for two weeks, and turned hard times into good times by visiting the ocean!

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To finish off the year, I flew to Houston, TX to attend the annual GYC conference.

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First off, I don’t like big cities at all. But…

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The conference was amazing! I spent time with friends I hadn’t seen since July, learned how to form an effective public talk, and even got to see Pastor Ted Wilson speak live. That was an unexpected treat!

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And that is my year. SO many miracles. SO many lessons learned. (Oh and I became an adult, like what…?!)

I like public speaking more and more. I love my campers. And Chaco tans. And canoeing. And I prefer trees and lakes over skyscrapers and cement any day.

But wherever God needs me is where I’ll be. And that is my goal this year. To listen to His voice and see what He has in store for me next!

the importance of water

A few weeks ago I prepared a presentation for a youth meeting at church about the importance of staying hydrated. I thought it could be informational, so I’m sharing a [slightly] revised version here.

I hope and pray it will be inspirational for you.

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Our bodies are made up of approximately 50% – 70% water. Even in our breath, we are continually losing water, and if it is not replaced, we become dehydrated. This process is often sped up by sickness, exercise, or heat.

When we start feeling thirsty, we are already dehydrated, and it is our body’s way of telling us that it needs water now! If we continue to ignore it, we will become fatigued, possibly develop a headache, and our mental and physical health quickly declines.

Drinking water has many benefits in our daily life. If you’re feeling tired, water can help wake you up, instead of a caffeinated beverage. Enough water helps to prevent muscle cramps and strains that can occur if you are dehydrated. Water helps decongest your system when you have a cold or flu, helping your body bounce back quicker.

There are certain toxins in our bodies that cause inflammation leading to acne, and by drinking enough water, we can help our skin by flushing these toxins out, which unclogs our pores and can help reduce acne.

H20 can help us think better! By drinking water in school or at work, you can excel in all you do!

So how much water should we be drinking? I’m sure we’ve all heard about the “8×8” rule: drinking 8, 8oz glasses of water a day. However, a better idea is to take your body weight in pounds, divide it in half, and the number you end up with is the number of ounces to drink in a day. Of course, if you are out in the hot sun, or if you’re exercising, you’ll want to drink more, but it’s a good rule of thumb to keep in mind.

Water can be very boring. Who wants to drink it when there are so many fruity, sugary, carbonated beverages around? If plain old water is too bland for you, there are ways to make it a bit more appealing. Some people squeeze citrus juice into their water, which is good. Another thing you can do is make “infused water.” This is easier to do in the summer, because more fruit is available. Basically though, you place chopped fruit or berries in your water and allow it to sit for several hours before drinking it. The flavors will seep in, leaving a pleasant flavor.

However you choose to do it, drink your water!

1 Corinthians 10:31 says, “Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all for the glory of God.” By choosing to drink water and take care of our bodies, we are showing God that we love Him, and giving Him glory.

why the friendzone isn’t a bad thing

For many people, being placed in the ‘friendzone’ is pretty discouraging. Popular culture and media has conditioned us that we need a relationship to be happy, but is this true? Since when do we need a significant other just to provide us with “happiness?”

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In our world today, we see many important steps being skipped in relationships. Kids in elementary and middle school think that having a boyfriend or a girlfriend makes them cool, then as they grow older, often times teens and young adults become immersed in the hookup culture that society presents as normal. Relationships are based around selfish motives, seeking pleasure and fulfilment without commitment. Ultimately, this leads to broken hearts and broken homes.

What if, instead of being upset when someone told us they didn’t want to have a “special relationship,” we welcomed the opportunity to get to know people in a low pressure situation? Why couldn’t we be thankful that instead of trying to put work into something we aren’t ready for, we now may have an opportunity to get to know someone casually, to see if he or she would be a suitable person to someday have a purposeful relationship with.

Being “just friends” isn’t a bad thing! While it’s easy to be tempted to think that no one wants to be with you, instead, it may ultimately be a blessing. God creates friendships so people can spend time together in a healthy environment, instead of compromising their values.

And ultimately, we must remember that no human being can truly bring us joy and satisfaction. Christ fills up the emptiness in our hearts, and without Him, no friendship – no matter if it is casual or serious – can fulfil our heart’s desire for companionship.

lessons from nature

Recently I had the opportunity to climb a mountain. Being [somewhat] out of shape, it was hard. My legs got tired, I got altitude sick, my feet hurt, I was thirsty, and sometimes I just wanted to turn back. However, I was determined to reach the top, and finally, I did!

As I was able to look down on all the world beneath me, all the pain of the climb faded away. Seeing the majesty of the view surrounding, I knew that I would climb those miles again, experience everything – all just to have the reward of that view, and having the satisfaction of reaching my goal.

That night as I lay in my sleeping bag trying to sleep, I was struck with the thought that my climb that day was very similar to what our walk with God is. It’s hard. People will make fun of us, things will be painful, and sometimes we might wonder why we’re doing it…maybe it would be easier to just quit. When we finally reach heaven to spend eternity with Jesus though, we will realize that it was all worth it. The pain, the struggles, the heartache – everything – will fade away, and we would repeat it all again to reach heaven.

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It made me even more thankful for the outdoors, how God reveals Himself and His character to us in subtle, yet beautiful ways.

Thoughts on Matthew 19:24-26

And again I say unto you, It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God.

When his disciples heard it, they were exceedingly amazed, saying, Who then can be saved?

But Jesus beheld them, and said unto them, With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible.

I’ve heard and read verse 24 for a very long time, and I’ve always just been slightly perplexed by it. I knew that it was impossible for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, but I also knew that it isn’t possible for a loving God to keep someone out of heaven just because they have a certain amount of something. There are examples of wealthy people in the Bible that God calls His people. Take David for example: In Acts 13:22 God calls him, “a man after mine own heart,” and we know that David was wealthy.

 My understanding was with that of the disciples when they said, “Who then can be saved?” If it was easier for a camel to get through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to get into heaven, yet it is impossible for that to happen and I knew that God loves everyone because 2 Peter 3:9 says that the Lord, “is not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance,” how did this all work together?

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Recently, it all finally came together. Every morning my Bible app gives me a verse for the day, and I either study that select passage or read the entire chapter the verse is found in. One morning, Matthew 19:26 was my verse to study. I quickly realized that the camel through the eye of a needle verse was there in direct correlation with verse 26, and that’s when it all hit me with crystal clear clarity. Just like it is impossible for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, it’s impossible for a rich man, or anyone in fact, to get into the Kingdom of God.

BUT, you have to read the entire verse! “With man this is impossible,” and here we see that it is impossible, “But with God all things are possible.” All things! Just as we see that fitting a camel through the eye of a needle is impossible, so is getting into heaven of ourselves, by our own works. When you add God to the equation, nothing is impossible anymore. By His grace, and through our faith, we can enter into heaven.

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As I sat there, my mind was blown. God had come through again. His Word is perfect, as we see in Psalm 19:7-8. Everything is in perfect harmony, because God can make no mistakes. Not only did I discover more Bible truth that morning, but I saw more evidence that God and His Word are true and to be trusted.

Wow, I’m blogging again! If you want to get a little update, feel free to check out my new About Me page. Also, I played around with my design and managed to get things looking all fresh and clean, so mosey around and take a look. Just so you know, this blog’s material will be changing a bit, but I’m happy with what I’m doing so I hope y’all will stick around with me for a little while!

(Oh, and if anything design-wise seems a bit off…I’m still working on ironing out glitches. Thanks for the understanding!)

an evening outside

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there is something peaceful about a quiet evening outside

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the lighting is soft and golden

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it cooled off a bit

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i found some ripe raspberries

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and a kitty

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then i watched the sunset as a thunderstorm rolled in