Short but Sweet! haha =P
israel sunrise
seli_07

Hey Friends and Family all the way back in Oregon!

I just wanted to let you know a little bit about what we are learning.  On Tuesday's we have a bible study and it is teaching us how to observe and read the bible in a way that you can really digest and understand what the author's are trying to say.  Right now we are studying Philemon.  I don't think I had ever read this book before haha.  It was always one that I would just kind of skip over, sad to say, on my way to Hebrews.  Philemon, however, is actually full of information that I never would have realized before.  It is a letter that Paul has written to Philemon, the church in his house, to Apphia, and to Archippus.  Paul is writing concerning a runaway slave, Onesimus, and asking Philemon to accept Onesimus back as a brother instead of a slave, for he has been saved in and through Christ.  It really is a good book! 
You should read!  It is an interesting little, 25 verse book, that deserves more time than just a quick skim through. 
A part of our assignment that we had to do is write a poem.  It had to be a poem about slavery in the 1st century Roman empire.  I wrote mine from the perspective of a christian slave.  

As A Slave Cries Out

A story of life-of death in the same.
Bought at a price, a bondage in claim.
I call to my God, a lonely lament~
My tears escape, broken and bent.
My suffocating chains, how I long to break free.
Oh sufforing box, corners so sharp; imprisoning me.
My mind they do bind,
Confined! to my masters will.
As sweat streams down-Oh beating sun~
Labors of life; a freedom undone.
Though is freedom really so free, for a slave as me?
My life is a coin, but controlled and determined by he.
Lead me my God, Oh deliver my heart~
My body of obedience, to the master, i am but a part!
My God is my hope, as I will live I will strive.
One day I will buy this life of mine.
Not for wealth, but for this life in itself~
That I will live free and entirely for Thee.

Okay well I'm off to get some work done, or maybe just take a nap =P haha.  Until next time!!

~Stephanie 


Breaking Free
israel sunrise
seli_07

 

Hey,
Wow.. this last week, particularly Friday, has been an emotional rollercoaster.  I don't even know where to begin, but I just feel completely drained, relieved, revived, redeemed, expectant, excited and loved all at the same time; it's amazing.  Some major things that stuck out this last week were:
1.  Just having faith and growing and gaining such a close relationship with God that you can begin to truely hear his voice in everything you do; in every day life, in every decision you make.
2.  There is a choice in life and you have to choose to lay down your life and everything in it in order to follow God.  That nothing is more important or takes priority to following God and doing that which He is calling you to do.
3.  Sin and consequence.  Confession, forgiveness, redemption and freedom.  This was huge!!!  It was really hard, but also very freeing.  Now I continue to pray that I will walk in light and flee at any sin that tries to even come close to me or my life.

Thoughout the years I have always had this picture of what it would be like to have a relationship with God, as if he were a real, living person.  Someone to talk to and listen to,that I could literally hear; someone who would always be there for me. The reality, however, is that this picture that I have had in my mind, the one that always seemed so far away, is actually so close and more than possible.  This is the reality and a relationship with God can be so solid, so reachable, so real; you can stretch out your hand and grasp it, embracing his love and gaining such an unimaginable happiness.  It's all in the choices you make and how, and who you want to live your life for.  My heart has been opened so much and I am reaching and reaching continually so that I may become as close to God as I possibly can.  I am actually excited to read my bible and don't look at it as a task, or something I have to do; rather something I want to do. 
In the past laziness, inconvenience, selfishness and sin always kept me from persuing what God wanted so much for my life.  He kept knocking and seeking a relationship with me and I either kept ignoring him, running or putting it off because of the trivial things that I thought were so important to me and my life.  You know, the things that I thought I had to do before I could give myself entirely to God.  I always wanted a relationship with God but I was never able to fully committ, or put %100 into it.  What comes to mind is a couple verses from Song of Songs. 
"I slept but my heart was awake.  Listen!  My lover is knocking: 'Open to me, my sister, my darling, my dove, my flawless one.  My head is drenched with dew, my hair with the dampness of the night.'  I have taken off my robe-must I put it on again?  I have washed my feet-must I soil them again?  My lover thrust his hand through the latch-opening; my heart began to pound for him.  I arose to open for my lover, and my hands dripped with myrrh, my fingers with flowing myrrh, on the handles of the lock.  I opened for my lover, but my lover had left; he was gone.  My heart sand at this departure.  I looked for him but did not find him.  I called him but he did not answer."
Song of Songs 5:2-6

I now give my life to God entirely because he is the only way to life.  He is the only happiness that will ever be completely satisfying and the only pure joy that you can have.  With him and through him all things are possible and he is the only way, truth and life.  I will lay down my life for God and walk in his light because through him I am saved and so my life is truly his.

Lastly, I want to acknowledge how hard, but also how freeing Friday was.  It was one of the hardest things I have ever had to do, but I am so glad that I did it.  We had opportunity to confess our sins, things from our past, things that still haunt us and also the deep rooted sins that can weave themselves through generation after generation.  We just spoke out everything and then everyone prayed over it and rebuked it and asked for forgiveness; for Jesus to take the pain away and renew our strength.  To redeem our lives and make us pure; let the weight of all the junk in our lives be lifted off so they we may be free. 
That day I became free.  Satan has no bonds against me and can hold nothing over my head anymore.  He can no longer whisper lies and deceit because I know that I am forgiven and made new.  That he has no power and no hold over my life.  My life is God's and God's alone.  He is my father, my savior, my Lord.  He is my everything.
   
"The Lord is my light and my salvation-whom shall I fear?  The Lord is the stronghold of my life-of whom shall I be afraid?  When evil men advance against me to devour my flesh, when my enemies and my foes attack me, they will stumble and fall.  Though an army besiege me, my heart will not fear; though war break out against me, even then will I be confident.  One thing I ask of the Lord, this is what I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the Lord and to seek him in his temple......."
~Psalm 27

A caged bird that has been set free.  The door has opened and I will spread my wings.  Flying to Jesus, the world left behind; satan has no hold over me.  Light of life showering love, a brilliant white light shining from above. 
Leaving a world of darkness to its own destruction I will follow Jesus, for I have been set free.   

Goodnight :):) 

~Stephanie Maryjo



Hearing His Voice
israel sunrise
seli_07

Hola,

Today was a good day.  A very busy and tiring day, but a good day nonetheless.  We had our first small group meeting this morning and I am really excited about it.  I have never been consistently part of a small group before because I always felt super uncomfortable every time I went to one.  This, however, was totally different.  I felt completly at ease and was able to say what normally I would never dream of saying out loud.  Sounds kinda silly I know, but it's true!  It was a great way to connect and learn, and just be a part of something that can create a bond and help me to grow and process some of the things in life as well.  I'm glad I get this opportunity to be in a small group here and I really do like it so far, so I know i'm going to be able to gain a lot from it and that's really exciting for me.
Anyways...the rest of my day was jam packed full of things.  Breakfast..class..lunch..work..dinner..ohana court..one on one..and then finally, right now, I'm back in my room ready for bed.  I'm glad tomorrow is Friday though because I definitely need to recharge ha. 
So I'm not gonna say much more tonight because I am totally and completely exhausted, but I will leave with one thing.
Today I heard the voice of God.  Like a reconformation of where I am suppose to be.  I have been hearing God whisper to me over the past few years and I know that he has placed me here in Kona now for a reason.  I've had this feeling of something big happening, and I'm not exactly sure what it is yet or exactly how it's gonna happen, but I know it will be revealed to me in the right time.
However, I do know that God is preparing me for something and that I need to keep an open mind and an open heart, and really listen to what he has to say; where he is directing me and what path he wants me to take. 
I ran across a passage a couple years ago, and since then I keep coming across it.  Over and over and over again it keeps popping up and I believe that it is a key point for my life and God's voice telling me where he may be leading me and what he is preparing me for and slowly guiding me to. 
All I know is that I'm going to keep praying about it, and I know that in the right time God will reveal all the pieces of the puzzle that he has for my life.
Okay I'm going to bed now before I fall alseep.  So hopefully I made sense tonight and I know there are probly tons of spelling errors and a few sentences that don't quite flow.  But hey what can I say, at least I wrote, write? haha.  Alright.
Adios,

~Stephanie


Turning the Soil
israel sunrise
seli_07

Hello!!

So today I woke up a little late and missed breakfast, but they give us coffee every morning before class, so it's okay :P haha.
I did my devotional this morning, I'm a day behind so i'll have to do another tonight. 
The one this morning was about wisdom and the source from which it comes.  The difference between being book smart, and then becoming wise through observation and by using your own resources.  It really got me thinking of the importance of listening and not only reading and trying to soak up as much information as you can, but rather really experiencing life and growing and learning from within yourself. 
This also tied up, in a way, with what they were talking about in class yesterday and sank right into what they were saying today.  About having a personal relationship with God, and experiencing life and what he has to offer through the intimacy and communication that we all have with him personally.
We can all read the bible and learn the stories and become great scholars, but it really is more than that.  And the wonderful thing is, is that it isn't complicated at all.  It isn't this intense, drawn out formula in which you can then touch the shadow of knowing who God is.  It's realizing and really being able to grasp that God is real and he does want to know you and me and have a personal relationship with each one of us.  All we have to do is share with him and love him and be open with him. 
Share your heart with God and let him fill your life with things you could never have imagined without him.  All you have to do is be honest and speak out.  Whether through prayer or worship or writing, meditating on him or just crying out to him.  Anything and everything; just share with God and then watching how he transforms your life.  How your relationship with him becomes solid before your eyes.  Not just a mist or a thought that you think you may experience someday.  But as something real, something concrete and something that can happen right at this moment.  God loves you and cares about you and he will fill your life with wonder, amazement and a love so fulfilling and so complete that you will never be thirsty for the things of the world, but only for him.  Where you will reach out and desire only to touch and to know him.

John 15:15
"I no longer call you servants... Instead, I have called you friends."

I gotta run.  First day of work duty (farming) lol.  Don't wanna be late. God Bless :)

~Stephanie


ALOHA!
Dolphins
seli_07


Aloha (hello) :)

It is a warm, very relaxed, wonderful Tuesday night in Hawaii.  I got here last Thursday and it has been absolutely amazing so far!!  I am so excited to be here and see what God has planned for my life and where he is going to place me and in what area he his going to have me serve; that his kingdom may be furthered and where I can give all the glory to him. 
For those who may ask..'what in the world is she talking about?'  I say..welcome to my life as learn and change and grow throughout my DTS(discipleship training school) at the YWAM(youth with a mission) base in Kona, Hawaii. 
That is all I'm going to say now because it's getting late at I need to be up early for lecture in the morning, but this is the start of an amazing adventure.  An increadible experience that I am so excited to share with whoever is out there.  So sweet dreams, goodnight and I will write again tomorrow on another beautiful day in Kona!
~Aloha (goodbye) :) 



Lap Harps and Sunshine
Me
seli_07


Bonjour!!!
I woke up today at 7--good right--and I had my breakfast, still have to make my tea...but...it was sunny. Finally. It's been so off and on, but that's the way of May around here I suppose.  Anyways with a smile spread across my face and with an added spring to my step, saying "yippee" inside my head, my day was looking to be off to a wonderful start.  Unfortunately my key word is was, because now when I look out my window it seems to be getting darker. The day decided to change its mind and become a gloomy mess like the last two days.  I'm not complaining, but if it stays like this I hope in storms, because just rain and clouds are too much like going into winter...and we already had that.  So as long as it doesn't get too close, bring on the thunder and lightning.  Or sun.  It's still early and I'm sure the sun will give a fair fight to keep into exposure in the sky today! 
Anyways....off the weather haha.  Wow it wasn't intentional to write so much on so little.  But at least now I have gotten the thought of it off my mind.
Okay new with me.  Now this is exciting!!! Well. For my B-day, which is coming up in June, I have purchased and ordered--on its way-- a Sharpsicle.  What's a Sharpsicle you may ask?  It is a lap Harp.  Much smaller, much cheaper and much lighter than a Harp.  It's only the first grade up with very few levers, but it's a start and will be great to practice on until I get better.  Then I can save up for a Celtic Lever Harp.  Yay!!!  At least I am very excited about it.  Does anyone play the harp???  It doesn't seem--necessarily--like a popular choice to play...at least where I live I don't know anybody who plays.  My first experience of hearing a harp was from Skydancers...the animated show I used to watch when I was little haha.  Other than that I've only occasionally heard them in a movie or TV show or read about them in a book.  So I can't wait to actually get my hands on it and learn to play!!!  
Here's a picture of my beautiful new lap Harp :)

   

 
33" tall 26 strings and only 4lbs.  Perfect for me, for now.  Alright well I better go so I can start my day.  I don't wanna stay in bed forever...not that I could if I wanted because I am off to Jacksonville.  So until next time--Which will be sooner rather than later--I bid you adieu and say good day.  For the sun is shining once again!
~Seli
Song- Bloodstream by: Stateless
Book- Fallen by Lauren Kate



Linger Trailer by Maggie Stiefvater..Check it out!!!
israel sunrise
seli_07
Here's the Linger Trailer by Maggie Stiefvater.  If you haven't seen it yet you should check it out.  Shiver was amazing and after watching this new trailer I can't wait for Linger to come out in July.  It's going to be absolutely amazing as well.  So check it out!!! 


Hope everyone's having a Wonderful Day!!! :)
~Seli


Vampire Diaries Season Finale Is Almost Here!!
israel sunrise
seli_07

Last night was great!! I made cookie dough and Tae, Brooke and I watched the new Vampire Diaries.  What could be better then that right? lol.  Next Thursday is the season finale of The Vampire Diaries.  Isobel was really good and full of new surprises, but next weeks episode looks INTENSE! The preview for it is amazing and makes me long with anticipation for Thursday to come.
In other news...I just read "The Dark Divine" by Bree Despain.  It was wonderful of course.  If you haven't read it, you should definitely check it out.  I love how it's written and the characters are amazing...especially Daniel!! :) Now I'm starting "Fallen" by Lauren Kate.  It looks good and I haven't even started it yet haha.  But of course I'm excited about it cause its a YA fiction/fantasy book..duh. I love it!!
Well I'm out.  So au revoir until next time.  And whoever hasn't seen the promo for next week TVD..check it out!!! You'll love it!
 http://www.vampire-diaries.net/tv-series/extra-extended-promo-for-founders-day-ep22-finale 

~Seli
Song- All The Same To Me by: Anya Marina


My Chemical Romance and Vampire Diaries
Me
seli_07


I had a very intense midterm assignment I had to do for my motion pictures class.  One section of it was to pick a music video from one of your favorite artists and basically describe how it's like a "mini musical."  If it has a lift, why they put it together the way they did, how they used the video to enhance the song and the lyrics and the meaning behind them etc. 
Anyways, this is the one I picked.  It's called The Ghost of You by My Chemical Romance.  I thought I'd share it on here cause well, I thought it was amazing.  It was made so well, especially for just being a 3 1/2 min. long music video.  It really told a story and pulled you in--tugged at you emotionally--as if it were part of a full length movie.  I absolutely love MCR so I just thought I'd let it be known I guess haha. 
I went to their concert April of '08...best concert I've ever been to by the way.  I want them to tour again around here so bad so I can go again.  It was amazing!!!!

Well I am exhausted so I’m off to bed.  Praying for sun tomorrow and a bright, cheerful day.  Gerard Way has amazing facial expressions. Vampire Diaries was soooo good tonight...I’m dying with anticipation for the last two to come.  Damon is--well I love Damon what more can I say--but the episode tonight was wonderfully satisfying!!!  I can't wait for my coffee in the morning.  My Hot Tamales are calling out to me. Okay I'm going to sleep. Goodnight World!!

~Seli

 
Music- Ugly Side by: Blue October

Willow Review Plus Some
Willow
seli_07

 

What do you do when you have way! way! way! too much work to get done--in only three days--and you have no idea how you're going to finish it all in time??  Yep, that's pretty much the question that's been on a continuous loop, going through my head--over and over again.  And, what am I doing about it?  Definitely not studiously working through it like I should be, hence the time I'm taking for this journal entry.  It's more like I'm just letting it pile up, and come Friday, I'm pretty much screwed.  No! Such a bad attitude.  I need to be more optimistic...and less of a procrastinator haha.  I will live through the week and I will get everything done!! 
On a brighter note...I finished another book.  A wonderful book may I add.  It's called Willow by Julia Hoban.  It was very...intense.  Yeah that's a good word.  It was also sad, romantic, full of compassion and love, emotion retching, tortured, compelling, satisfying, tearing and full of brokenness but splashed throughout with hope of redemption.  Reading the inside where a "glimpse of the book" is written before it actually starts, I wasn't sure I would be able to even handle reading the book.  But once I got started I just couldn't put it down, and soon enough I was already racing toward the ending pages.  Now that I have read it, I'm glad that I did.  It really gives you an inside look into a world that--at least that I personally--can never fully understand.  Having not been there myself.  It really makes you think about what you have and about how important your family is.  How at any time, something tragic could change your entire life, in the blink of an eye, could be ripped apart.  It really makes you appreciate what you have and the people in your life who love and care about you.  They mean so much!
Well, now that I was able to write my little review on Willow, I'm out.  It's been a nice break, but now I unfortunately need to get back to my school work.  So I'm off to the world of textbooks and research papers.  Wish me luck...I'll need all the luck I can get.

~Seli
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