Jesus Our Bridge

I’m sure you looked at the title of this post and thought, “Oh man, now she has really lost it.” While I do consider myself a bit crazy, hang with me just for a second!

So, this week is the first of many “hell weeks”. That’s right, it’s test week. All of my professors seem to have gotten together and decided to make our lives miserable by putting all of their tests in the same week, and in some cases even on the same day. With that being said, being the flawed human that I am, I have put God on the back-burner. Ouch, that’s hard to admit, but it’s true. The 5:50 am Bible readings and things of that nature have been put in second place in my life during this stressful week. Admitting this hurts my heart. It reminds me that I am human, and that I sin. But it also makes me feel 100% grateful. It reminds me that without Jesus I would have never had the chance to get into Heaven.

Let me repeat that. Without Jesus, I would have never had the chance to get into Heaven.

And therefore, I consider Jesus the Bridges of All Bridges. Again, hang with me for a second.

God saw the world, and it was good. But after a while, we began loving sin more than our Heavenly Father. Our sins made entering Heaven unattainable. If Heaven is perfect, why would God want to let people in who are less than perfect?

So get this. God could have turned His head and forgotten about us. Yep, that’s right. God could have said, “Let them get what they deserve.” God could have let us rot in Hell. Yes, actual Hell, not hell week here on earth. We should be burning and suffering for all of eternity.

But that’s not the God Who made me; that’s not the God Who made you. Instead, God loved/loves us so much that He sent His Son to bridge the gap between the perfect Heaven, and the imperfect Earth.

Jesus Christ, the Son of God, the most perfect being to ever walk this earth, died the death that was meant for us. Let that sink in. We are so stinkin’ loved.

So what does that mean for us, exactly? Are we suddenly going to live a perfect life free of sin? No way! We aren’t God; we aren’t Jesus Christ. You see, God saw how incapable we were of living a sin-free life, but He loved us so much that He sent His Son to die the death that we deserved so that we didn’t have to. He knows we are still going to sin. That’s the whole point. He still loves us, regardless. So do we get to sin and not care? Do we get to do whatever we want and not worry because we will get into Heaven anyways? Again, no way! We are reminded constantly that the road to Heaven is a narrow one, and while God knows we are imperfect, He still expects all who believe in Him to actually follow Him.

So friends, take a second to sit back and focus on God (myself included). Whether it is a single minute or a whole hour, or whether it’s in between classes or right before tests, just praise God for loving us so much. Because, how lucky are we!? How is it that we go any second of the day without being grateful that our sins have been washed away by the blood of Jesus!?

So, during this test week and every hard week/day/second of my life, I will praise God, for He is Good.

 

Lots of love,

Sarah

dsc02828

Here’s a picture of my little nugget of gold who reminds me of God’s unfailing love for me. 🙂

 

Psalm 18

1 I will love thee, O Lord, my strength.

The Lord is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer; my God, my strength, in whom I will trust; my buckler, and the horn of my salvation, and my high tower.

I will call upon the Lord, who is worthy to be praised: so shall I be saved from mine enemies.

Advertisements

Trump v. Clinton

Before I begin, I would like to say that before writing this article, I researched both sides of every argument. I tried to find the good and the bad in each candidate, but there’s only so much “good” in some people. Also, everyone is entitled to their own thoughts and opinions, and these are mine. 

 

 

I’ve held my tongue long enough on this topic, worried that I would “step on people’s toes”, but who cares? Not me. The truth hurts sometimes, and I’m over being “politically correct” just to make someone feel good about themselves.

Since when do we live in a world where the difference between wrong and right is no long black and white, but instead all shades of gray? Our world is hurting, bleeding, and it seems as though it is simply falling apart. That’s what makes the election in November so important. We have so much on the line when it comes to choosing our next president. It disturbs me that so many people don’t know the actual facts, and instead only know what the left/right media tells them. So this article is going to break down the actual facts, because ignorance is not bliss.

 

 

First, I’ll go through the top reasons why people don’t want to vote for Hillary Clinton and list the actual facts agreeing or disagreeing with each reason.

1.

OPINION: “She is responsible for Benghazi.”

FACT: I really can’t help her out here. While she isn’t solely responsible for the death of the American soldiers involved in Benghazi, she is a key part of it. The FBI even said so. Can’t really back her up there.

  • She lied about the Irish peace process.
  • She voted in favor for the Iraq war, despite her denying of it now.
  • She lied about using a personal email server, and then deleted all of the emails.
  • She ignored our soldiers’ call for help in Benghazi, ultimately leading to their death, and lied about it all after the fact.
  • She lied about being under “sniper fire” in Bosnia, and was actually greeted by children with flowers.

2.

OPINION: “She hasn’t accomplished anything.”

FACT: I wouldn’t go that far. She has accomplished many things, but her track record is anything but squeaky-clean. While it’s true she does support “Global Health, Climate Change, Economic Development, Health and Wellness, and improving opportunities for Girls and Women,”, there have been many scandals over her own organization. (This was taken straight from the Clinton Foundation website.) However, scandal has followed the Clintons in this area as well.

  • It was found that in 2014, half of Clinton’s Charitable giving went to her own foundation. The Americans for Tax Reform group was outraged, saying, “Clinton has consistently voted for the Death Tax throughout her time in public office and forcefully condemned attempts to lower it,” ATF said in a statement. “But when it comes to her own finances, it is a different story.”

3.

OPINION: “She is a liar.”

FACT: There is really not much that I can say to help her out in this area, either. Her stances have changed dramatically over the years depending on what the public wants to hear. She has been followed by scandal her entire life, and that is not a coincidence. Here is a list of her lies:

  • Lied about flunking the D.C. Bar Exam
  • Was removed from her House judiciary Committee staffer job because of “incompetence and lying”
  • Whitewater scandal
  • Lied about “sniper fire” when she was actually greeted by children with flowers
  • Stole furniture and artwork from the White House, and later had to return and/or pay for them
  • Said “what difference does it make” when exposed about lying about Benghazi
  • Lied about emails and was called “reckless” by the FBI

This list goes on.

.4.

OPINION: “She belongs in jail.”

FACT: Again, I really can’t help her out here. Even the FBI director said that if it were someone else who had committed the crimes that she has, they would be put in jail.

5.

OPINION: “She is corrupt.”

FACT: Again, her actions speak for themselves, and I can’t help her out.

 

Below is list of Hillary Clinton’s stances on the issues:

  • She is against deporting illegal immigrants
  • She is against reforming the process to gain entrance into the United States
  • She supports increased gun control laws
  • She is against spending money on the military
  • She supports abortion
  • She supports same-sex marriage
  • She wants offshore drilling to be banned
  • She supports taxing wealthier Americans more than all other Americans
  • She does not want to get rid of Obamacare
  • She wants to allow ex-felons the right to vote

 

 

 

Now, I’ll go through the top reasons why people don’t want to vote for Donald Trump and list the actual facts agreeing or disagreeing with each reason.

1.

OPINION: “He is a failed businessman.”

FACT: Democrats have desperately tried to call Trump a “corrupt businessman,” and untrustworthy. Here is a list of things Democrats say:

  • “He inherited his wealth from his father, and didn’t accomplish anything on his own.” Trump went into business with his father after he graduated from college. After his father’s death, Trump built the company from a net worth of $200 million to $4.5 billion. So, while he did inherit his dad’s company, the astounding growth of the company cannot be denied.
  • “He has filed bankruptcy, which means he is a terrible businessman.” Really? A guy who raised his company up to a net worth of $4.5 billion is a terrible businessman? The ignorance in that statement really speaks for itself. Trump knows how the game of business works, and going bankrupt a few times is just a part of the success of the overall game. In fact, he has only gone bankrupt 4 times out of his 500 businesses.

2.

OPINION: “He isn’t smart enough.”

FACT: Yes, people actually say that this billionaire businessman isn’t smart enough. He is not only a businessman but also an author, chairman of The Trump Organization, politician, and real estate expert. In fact, he graduated from college with a Bachelor of Science in Economics.

3.

OPINION: “He hates Mexicans, Muslims, and the LGBTQ community.”

FACT: This is actually untrue, although it will come as a surprise to many people.

  • Trump wants to export illegal immigrants, NOT all Mexicans.
  • Trump is actually in favor of allowing transgenders to use the bathroom that corresponds to their gender identity. He is has even said that the LGBTQ community is full of, “tremendous people.”
  • Trump wants to change background checks and entrance exams to be more challenging for people to enter America.

4.

OPINION: “He hates women.”

FACT: He actually wants to leave abortion laws into the hands of each individual state, therefore he is neither for or against it.

  • He AND Hillary support abortion even if the life of the woman is at risk.
  • He AND Hillary support abortion in the case of rape or incest.
  • He AND Hillary support some restrictions on late-term abortions.

5.

OPINION: “He is too cocky, therefore I don’t like him.”

FACT: Is this really even a reason to not vote for someone? This actually came up as a reason people don’t want to vote for Trump. Theodore Roosevelt was cocky. Thomas Jefferson was cocky. Ulysses S. Grant was cocky. Barack Obama is cocky. Need I say more?

 

Below is list of Donald Trump’s stances on the issues:

  • He supports expanding concealed-carry permits
  • He supports increased military spending
  • He supports greater domestic surveillance to identify extremists
  • He supports keeping abortion legal, and supports leaving the matter in the hands of the individual states
  • He does not support same-sex marriage
  • He supports offshore drilling
  • He does not support unequal taxation on the wealthiest Americans, but does support revising the way taxes are carried out
  • Does not support Obamacare
  • Does not support ex-felons right to vote

 

 

Before you vote, look up the facts. Don’t just research one side of the argument, instead research both sides. Don’t let ignorance control your mind. The future of our country is at risk.

Again, everyone is entitled to their own opinions, and these are mine.

What Does It Mean to Be a Christian?

What does it mean to be a Christian?

I feel as though our world has forgotten exactly what it means to call oneself a “Christian”. The other day, I saw an article about how a woman proclaimed to be a “good Christian” because she was nice to a transgendered teen. This article, in all honesty, disgusted me.

“How dare she,” you may think.

“She is against [insert group here]’s rights,” you may even say.

The fact that the woman was nice to the teen didn’t disgust me.The fact that the woman thought that being a Christian meant that all you had to do was “be nice” to people disgusted me.

You see, I am a Christian, and sin disgusts me, as it should any true Christian. Sin physically makes me ill, wrenches my heart, and hurts my soul. So, yes, I sometimes disgust myself, because I too am a sinner. But I am a saved sinner. The difference between a saved sinner and an unsaved sinner is this; saved sinners never settle for a life of sin. This, I believe is what it means to be a Christian.

This week, I have been studying the book of Acts. Acts is interesting because it documents the early days of the Christian church, beginning with Pentecost. The disciples were told by Jesus to go, spread the Good News, and make more disciples. These were true Christians. So when did “being nice” become a defining factor of being a Christian? When did spreading the Gospel become a thing of the past? When did turning your head the other way because it “didn’t affect you personally” become an excuse to be a cowardly Christian, if you can call yourself a Christian after that at all?

If you read through Acts, you’ll see that the disciples weren’t afraid of stepping on any toes. In fact, they prayed to God for boldness. Because of that boldness, thousands were saved. Truly saved. Stephen was even killed by a mob of high priests for proclaiming the Good News, because the high priests didn’t want to lose their status. Now that is bold!

“But those were just disciples,” you may think.

“We are called to be like Jesus, not like the disciples,” you may even say.

What better example of how to be a Christian (other than Jesus himself) than the people who were actually witnesses to Jesus’ life and death, and who started the Christian church!? Even Jesus was sure to condemn sinners before converting them to Christianity. Jesus didn’t gain followers by saying, “Hey, you are loved. Rock on.” He gained followers by saying, “What you are doing is wrong, but that’s okay because by repenting and following me, you will be saved from eternal death.”

Let me repeat that… JESUS DID NOT GAIN FOLLOWERS BY “BEING NICE”.

Being a Christian means that you recognize that Jesus is the Judge and Savior and accept the Holy Spirit into your heart, AND that you continue to spread the news of Jesus Christ.

Many of todays “Christians” stop at “Point A”. They celebrate Jesus and claim to love Him, but never spread God’s Word because they don’t want to offend anyone. Let me tell you right now, you are not a true Christian if you don’t also follow through with “Part B”. Harsh? Maybe, but it is the truth.

You see, you can either choose a life full of everlasting joy and eternal life (the saved sinner life), or you can choose a life of pleasure and happiness and eternal death (the unsaved sinner life).

So friends, get out of your comfort zone. Be a true Christian and care for the eternal life of your neighbors, because that is what we are called to do. Pray for boldness as the disciples did, and get out there and show others the Holy Spirit. I encourage everyone to read Acts, it is definitely an eye opener!

DSC07153

To the Teachers Who Care

I hated high school. Period. “The glory days” were not so glorious. The mountains of homework, the lack of sleep (4-6 hours per night to be exact), the over-exaggeration on sports and the under-appreciation for academics, must I go on? But out of all of those things, one thing got under my skin the most: the teachers who just didn’t care. I have discovered that just about everyone I am close to in college can fill their hands with a list of teachers at their school who were just there to be there. This made me think, what would I be like if all of my teachers would have cared?

As most of you know, this week is Teacher Appreciation Week. When I was younger, I always felt like this week was silly. Our parents made us buy gifts (most of the time candles) for all of our teachers, even the ones we didn’t like. And I always thought, “Why am I giving [insert teacher’s name who doesn’t care] a gift? I only want to give [teacher’s name who does care] a gift!” Giving both teachers the same gift made me feel like I was robbing the teacher who cared. It wasn’t until I met my favorite teacher that I realized the truth. The good teachers know about the bad teachers, and they still stick with their profession anyways.

To me, that is the ultimate act of selfless service. The good teachers get up every day, put up with their government-regulated courses, deal with disrespectful kids, and keep giving their job 100% even though they have to watch the bad teachers not care at all. Where would I be without those 100% teachers?

My sophomore year, I had four history teachers. Yes, four. My school made the choice to hire a teacher who didn’t care the first time around, and then struggled to replace her throughout the year afterwards (shout out to the substitute teachers who tried to step in and help!!!). But mistakes happen, right? That was just one bad seed, and life happens, right? Wrong. The same thing happened in the same subject my junior year. Here’s my point: I love history, but I hardly know the subject at all. Would my future ambitions be different if I would have been given the quality education that I, and all of my classmates, deserved?

However, in the crazy “darkness” that is the United States school system, there comes a small light; that “light” is all of the teachers who care. Where would I be without my stellar science teachers? From my drill-sergeant chemistry teacher, to my hilarious biology/anatomy teacher, Jesus seemed to overflow my cup with blessings when it came to my high school’s science department. They were there when you needed them, getting there earlier than any other teacher and staying later for the kids involved in extracurricular activities. They didn’t make us feel small and unintelligent when we asked questions. They made class interesting, and taught us using several different methods so that we could all understand. If it weren’t for them, I wouldn’t be able to take delight in the hours upon hours of chemistry homework. I wouldn’t be able to sit and think on the same equilibrium problem for 30 minutes and have the patience to figure it out. I wouldn’t be excited to dissect a dog my junior year, or learn about microbiology, or study viruses of the world. If it weren’t for them, I wouldn’t want to be a doctor and save lives.

During my senior year, I stopped by my favorite teacher’s classroom to see what I had made on a test, and we got to talking. We talked about some infamous teachers that were currently working at the school and how I felt about them. She told me to just do my best and leave the rest to God. And that’s when it hit me: she felt the same way about them that I did, but couldn’t do anything about it either, yet here she was being her awesome self and continuing to push on. She was receiving the same paycheck as the teachers who didn’t care, but she loved her students SO MUCH that she put up with it and kept on teaching. How unselfish is that!?

Who knows what life for me, and for so many other students, may have been like if all of our teachers gave 100%. So, thank you to all of the teachers who care. We understand the struggles you face as teachers, and we appreciate you all the more because of it. You guys make the world go round, literally.

 

Sarah

DSC09537

 

The Good Father

We have labeled God with many names: The Healer, The Giver, The King of Kings, The Father, etc. And though we have given Him all of these titles, none can fully grasp His great power, His intense love, or His glorious mercy. I’ve thought a lot about what term would most accurately describe God, but of course I always fall short because God is not one who can be fully understood. The best that I can come up with that sort of sums up every other name given to Him is “The Good Father”.

I know that my earthly dad loves me unconditionally, wants what’s best for me, and would do anything for me. Multiply that by an infinite amount and add all of the things that our Heavenly Father is capable of, and you have a close description of God. All in all, He is good.

We have all heard the phrase, “And if not, He is still good.” But most of us don’t even know that it isn’t even in the Bible. Well, not verbatim, that is. It is derived from the story of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego.

Shadrach, Meshach, Abednego and Daniel’s town (Jerusalem) is captured by King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon. Nebuchadnezzar appoints Daniel to a high position because he is the only one who can interpret the king’s dreams, and by the request of Daniel, the king also appoints Daniel’s friends to high positions. Nebuchadnezzar builds a huge golden statue of his false god and forces everyone to bow to it, and if they do not, they will burn in a furnace. Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego refuse to bow down to the false god (because they only worshiped the One True God), are thrown into the fire, and afterwwards walk out of the furnace unharmed. Nebuchadnezzar sees a fourth man in the furnace, and says that the fourth man “has the appearance like a son of the gods” (take that, Nebuchadnezzar!

This story has always amazed me and left me in awe of God’s power. Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego put everything on the line and relied on God to rescue them. But they also knew that might not be God’s plan for them. They knew that, if God willed it, they would burn in the furnace. But they were sure to tell Nebuchadnezzar, “and if [He doesn’t rescue us from the fire], He is still good”. So really, they had a 50% chance of burning and a 50% chance of living, and they still trusted the Lord. (Man, oh man. Try to wrap your head around their intense faith! I strive daily to have faith as strong and as unchanging as theirs!)

furnace

Take that, Nebby! 

Our earthy minds cannot begin to understand God. We get angry at Him when His plans don’t meet our expectations. We want things done our way, because that is the only way we can understand. I remember distinctly one time when I was furious with God. I was sitting in my car after the death of my friend, and I just couldn’t stop the tears from flowing. I threw my hands up and yelled, “Why weren’t You there? Why would You let this happen?”

But God was sitting in Heaven shaking His head at me.

We all need faith like Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. They trusted in God’s plan fully. They probably didn’t want to burn in the furnace, but they were completely OK with it if they did, because they knew that God would be with them in every situation. Sure enough, God was with them (and God’s plan happened to include the three man living instead of burning). He was literally in the furnace with them. 

Through it all, God is with us. Through it all, He is still good.

 

 “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9

Sincerely,

Sarah

 

 

 

Praying for Brother Jed

For those who do not know, Brother Jed Smock is an evangelist who goes around to colleges all over the fifty states. His open preaching is more often than not met with angry students who argue back at him. He is the kind of preacher who shouts, “Do this, or go to Hell!!”

Brother_Jed_on_Speakers_Circle_(Oct_2014)

Bro. Jed

Yesterday, as I was walking to my car from the chemistry building, I noticed a large crowd gathered around the psychology building. I heard loud sarcastic shouts from young men, followed by laughing from the entire crowd. My first thought was, “Some organization must be handing out free candy again,” but something was odd with this particular crowd. There was something hateful in the voices I heard, almost cynical. But I decided to ignore it and continue to my car, because I was already running late for tutoring.

That night, while I watched the campus snapchat story, I saw ten second videos about a man preaching on campus. These were not pleasant videos to watch. They showed my fellow Ags leading other Ags in our sacred yells, but with twisted words, to make fun of this man who so bravely came to the middle of campus to preach what he believed. One in which a group of kids (Yes, kids. Not adults, because they were acting like children.) yelled, “Beat the hell outta crazy people!!” It broke my heart. So, I grabbed my laptop and googled Bro. Jed. I watched testimony videos, read their belief statements, and watched snippets of his sermons, all to see what the big deal was about this one guy. What I learned, what I watched, didn’t outrage me. In fact, most his beliefs almost perfectly matched up with mine (MOST not ALL).

When I finally got into bed, I couldn’t sleep. God was tugging at me. Recently I have been praying, “Here I am, Father. Send me. Use my talents for Your glory.” And here it was. I could hear Him saying, “Go, Sarah. Talk to them.” So what talent you may ask qualified me for this task? My Southern accent, of course. Everywhere I go here in College Station, people hold conversations with me, or start them, because they just can’t get over my thick East Texas drawl. You think I’m joking, I wish!

This morning I woke up determined. “I WILL speak to them today.” I prayed feverishly for wisdom, courage, and for His light to shine through me and not my own. (For those who don’t know me well, I usually burst into tears after confrontation.) So, I also prayed not to cry and show weakness. As I walked up to the group surrounding Bro. Jed, I realized that it would be too rude to butt-into his sermon and ask him to politely step to the side so I could have a private word with him. The devil was trying to discourage me. So, I looked around trying to think of excuses not to talk to him alone; that’s when I saw, sitting alone in a chair, his wife. Turns out she preaches right along side him, but out of God’s grace, she was sitting down and taking a quick water break. Beat that, devil!

Using my manners that my mama drilled into my head, I walked up to her with a smile on my face and a firm, “Hi, ma’am! I’m Sarah Huffman, and God told me to speak to y’all last night.” This polite gesture made her uncomfortable, because she was used to students heckling her, not being kind to her. As I stuck out my hand to shake hers, she awkwardly to my hand in hers then quickly released it (Mrs. Greig would not approve of that unprofessional handshake, haha!). I asked, “May I sit and talk with you awhile?” And so there I was. Speaking to someone who was infamous. But isn’t that what Jesus did?

I spoke of how I saw the crowd the day before, how my heart broke when I saw my fellow Ags being rude, and how God had tugged on my heart to speak to them. I told her that I agreed with some of what they were saying, but not all of it. She had her walls up and did not want to listen to me. But one thing I said did get through to her.

“Does Brother Jed’s faith change when people shout back at him?”

“No.”

“Then what makes you think that his shouting will change the students’ faiths?”

She was silent.

She stuttered, searching for words.

I interjected (because the silence was getting a little awkward). I told her of howour generation doesn’t like to be shouted at. Being told, “You will go to Hell if you don’t believe this!” But God prepared us for this situation. He gave us a WHOLE BOOK with examples on how to bring people to believe in the King of Kings and the Savior who bridged the gap between death and eternal life. Most of these examples did not include standing in the middle of a crowd, screaming vulgar information. The examples in the Bible are exampled of leading by ACTION.

Jesus healed the blind.

Jesus turned water into wine.

Jesus raised the widow’s son from the dead.

Jesus made a mute man speak.

Jesus drove away demons.

We are called to strive to be like Jesus. And although we will never live up to Our Saviors beautiful standards, God loves us all the same. Flaws and all.

So, if we are called to be like Jesus, shouldn’t we lead by action and not by screaming vulgarities? Because, when has that ever worked? That’s just like posting an opinion on Facebook and believing that because you believe that, everyone will magically agree with you. WRONG. (Sorry to burst the “Facebook politicians'” bubbles.)

I suggested instead of shouting, offering to pray for people. I suggested instead of arguing with 20 year olds, handing them a Bible when they say something that contradicts the Bible, I suggested instead of forcing a sermon onto them, offer a hug and invite them to a local church so they can hear the Word in a more delicate, inviting form.

She had nothing to say, and it was obvious that God had struck a cord in her. I stood up from where I was sitting, and told her that I had to go to class, but that I would be praying for her and her husband. She asked my name again so she could pray for me in return, and thanked me for speaking with her.

You see, I learned that the Smocks aren’t completely wrong in their beliefs. They are just out of touch with the current generation, and who could blame them? We are so complex, so easily offended, so ready to argue. I learned that even devout Christians are wrong in their beliefs sometimes, because we are human. I learned that compassion goes further than harsh words. I learned that we all need prayer, all the time. I learned that even Christians need re-saving, because we fall short daily.

The Smocks say we serve a fair God. Untrue. He gives us more than we deserve, therefore He is unfair in His ways (and aren’t we blessed that He is!). The Smocks say that once we are saved, we will never sin again. Untrue. We need saving daily, and if we never sinned we would be on the same level as Jesus, which is impossible. The Smocks say the best way to bring people to Christ is through statements of harsh reality. Untrue. While this MAY work in some cases, people come to Christ through love. For while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. God KNEW we would fail. God KNEW we would sin. God STILL loves us.

I learned that you can rarely bring people to have a new faith through making them feel guilty.

Today, I feel as though I have grown as a follower of Christ. So, to all of my readers who have stuck out my super lengthy post and are still reading, be like Jesus. Talk to those in need, to those who are lost, to those who think they are saved but are not. Because that’s what Jesus would do.

 

 

 

 

 

This post was not to praise myself, but to praise God for giving me strength and tugging on my heart.

Thanks and Gig’em,

Sarah

 

 

living safe

Recently I have done a lot of thinking about my actions… are they really what God wants for me, or are they what I want for me? Am I living on my terms or on God’s terms? Am I playing it by my rules, or by God’s rules? And most importantly, am I limiting my ability to spread the Gospel by living safe?

Insane things tend to happen to the Huffmans when we go on vacations. And it got me to thinking, if it was my time to go, wouldn’t Jesus have already taken me home?

Example 1) My family (excluding Maggie and Carson) went on a quick trip to Colorado this summer. We were supposed to go during the winter, but life happened, thus not allowing Maggie to go (because of school) and I honestly can’t remember why Carson couldn’t go (Part A of God’s Plan). When we got there, we decided to go on a river rafting trip while the Arkansas river was, yes, FLOODING. During the rafting trip, a stranger was placed in the boat with my family of six, because we were the only family with an extra seat (Part B of God’s Plan). Halfway down the river, our boat turned on its side and dumped out tour guide and the stranger out of the boat, while the Huffmans-plus-one remained safely in the boat (Part C of God’s Plan). As my sister, Andy, and I struggled to make sure my mom and dad were “okay” we noticed the stranger was taking control of the boat. My first thought was, “Who the heck are you telling us how to steer this out-of-control boat!?” while my mom’s first thought was, “Oh my gosh, this guy is a murderer and he is stealing our boat and kidnapping us” (too many episodes of Criminal Minds). It turns out this “stranger” was the owner of the company and was testing out his new employee on OUR RAFT. Aka, we had TWO guides on our boat that day (Part D of God’s Plan). We laughingly joked all day about the event, not realizing how dangerous our situation actually was…                               The next day, as were were watching the news we saw that an 8-year-old boy had gone missing when his boat had overturned at the same drop (known as “Big Drop”) that our boat almost overturned at. It took almost 5 whole days until his helmet was discovered by poking a metal rod into the river and in-between the rocks. The boy had drowned because he stood up. Standing up is a human’s first instinct when one is dumped into a freezing cold river that’s current is at a running-pace.                                                                      The whole ordeal made me think, what if it had been Maggie or Carson would have gone on the trip? Would we have tipped over completely? Would one of us have fallen out? Would one of us have tried to stand…

So I have a reason to be terrified right? NOPE.

I noticed that when I pray, I always ask for safety: safety for my family, safety for myself, safety for travels, safety on runs, etc. And then it hit me…

I’m not trusting God to control my life. 

I was allowing Him into my life only if it was the safe road, only if it was the road I wanted, only if that road didn’t conflict with my schedule. I wasn’t living as Isaiah was when he told God, “Here I am. Send me”

God’s literally tells us that if we want to be born new in Christ, that we must lose ourselves. That’s pretty scary! But we can’t judge life from a human point of view, because God rules the Universe and He thinks in Godly terms (although it is simply impossible to think like God completely). Therefore, we have to have a mindset that death is just a part of life. It’s a stepping stone. Another piece of the puzzle that ultimately leads to Heaven. Corinthians 5 says we are God’s Ambassadors. “If it seems we are crazy, it is to bring Glory to God. And if we are in our right minds, it is for your benefit. Either way, Christ’s love controls us. Since we believe that Christ died for all, we also believe that we have all died to our old life. He died for everyones so that those who receive His new life will no longer live for themselves. Instead, they will live for Christ, who died and was raised for them. That means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone, a new life has begun!”

If we are called to be unsafe, then let it be. Because we are controlled by “God’s love”, and there is simply no power greater than that. If we are called to do the unpopular thing, do it, because “if it seems we are crazy, it is to bring Glory to God.” If we are called to let go of our pasts, presents and futures, and our minds, bodies and souls, then let go. It’s time to let go and pick up your new life. God doesn’t give us safe. God gives us life.

IMG_4132

Yes, that is our raft… under water…

IMG_4303

But I still got to celebrate GOD THE CREATOR OF ALL THINGS BEAUTIFUL that week.

 

Living Enthusiastically

Being a Christian in college is hard. Being a Christian in life is hard. But, the Bible warned us of that, right?

Being a Christian is holding yourself to a higher standard. A standard that means we are disgusted by sin, even though we succumb to sin daily anyways. Because of this, I was beginning to not only be disgusted with sin, but also with myself. After all, I am a sinner.

I have always struggled with self-disipline when it comes to day-to-day tasks (“middle child syndrome” as my family calls it). First semester-freshman year is basically a “I’m going to throw as many life lessons at you as possible and see how you can handle it” kind of deal. Needless to say, my inner “middle child syndrome” got the best of me. I didn’t do things enthusiastically, and because of it I was a big ball of disappointment and self-pity (I am my hardest critic). As I was reading Colossians this morning at 4:30 am (registration day stinks, LOL), a verse struck a cord with my heart…

“And whatever you do, do it enthusiastically, as something done for the Lord and not for men…”

It could have slapped me in the face. I wasn’t living for God like I should have been; I was living for me. I was being selfish. I was relying on my own strength, and quite honestly, failing at the tasks that I thought I could achieve without God (go figure). When I rejoiced in my successes, I wasn’t giving credit to God, and when I failed I blamed it on Him. Hence the self-hatred.

Satan was taking things that I used to enjoy and using them against me. I was constantly thinking “you aren’t good enough”. In Colossians 3, Paul gives us specific things we need to leave behind in order to walk with Christ, including greed, anger, and malice. He also gives us a list of things we need to pick up in order to follow Christ such as humility, patience, forgiveness, and heartfelt-compassion. So while I have been sitting here, insulting myself for not meeting my own standards, I have been insulting God. I was telling myself that the talents and characteristics that He gave me weren’t good enough. I needed to let go of the anger I had against myself and pick up patience. I needed to let go of the greed and selfishness I kept in my heart and pick up humility. Most of all, I needed to forgive myself for trying to handle college on my own when God was standing right there with arms wide open.

So, through the ups and downs, live life ENTHUSIASTICALLY, because to live it any other way is insulting to The One who gave it to you. And “whatever you do , in word or in deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.”

DSC01840

How Band Prepared Me for College

“We are preparing you for college.” If only I had a dollar for every time this statement was thrown at me. But, now that I am in college I know the truth. My professor jokingly stated in class today, “I wish high schools would quit telling you guys that lie! It leaves you blindsided!” However, there is one thing from high school that I take with me every where, and can apply to almost anything: band.

Yes, that group of kids that are labeled “nerds” or “weirdos”. The long hours of arguing with my teachers didn’t prepare me for college. Staying in dress code didn’t prepare me for college. Playing my favorite sport didn’t prepare me for college. Band prepared me for college.

  1. In high school, I would be at school at 7:20am to 9pm just for band. We had full band practices, sectionals, and special practices for those who needed a little extra help. It taught me how to stay focused for long periods of time. I cannot tell you the number of times during Monday night practices when I just wanted to give up and sit down like the weak ones. But I didn’t. And now I am trained to stay focused on my goals.
  2. Band also taught me how to set my goals, and arrange my schedule to achieve them. Every year, my band director would ask the band, “What are our goals for this year?” We would then all state what we wanted to achieve as a whole band, and then state what we wanted to achieve as individual musicians. He then pointed out to us that saying what we want is a lot easier than earning what we want. So, we would list things that would help us achieve our goals such as practicing, meeting a little earlier to go over problem spots, getting a head-start on our all-region music, etc. This has helped me so much in college. It is so easy to get overwhelmed looking at the big picture, but band taught me to keep my eyes on the goals that I have set for myself.
  3. Time management. This, I have learned, is the key to surviving college. And let me just say, the most organized extracurricular activity that I have ever been in was my high school band program. We had deadlines for anything and everything you could think of. We also learned that if you didn’t meet these deadlines, you would receive major consequences. In high school, a lot of people just get their parents to save their booties when times get rough. Not in band. If you weren’t toting your load, you were kicked out; That’s how it is in college. Don’t want to go to class? Fine, you will fail the tests. Want to disrupt the class and goof off? Fine, the professor will ask you to leave and not come back.
  4. Band is also where I learned about teamwork. This is so cliché, I know. But it’s true. In college, making friends is crucial. Study buddies, people who will go to tutoring with you,and  people who you can laugh and cry with are all important to surviving college. We used to say band was like one big, weird family. And that family was always there to help. Making that family in college helps when you are four-and-a-half hours away from your tiny hometown.
  5. Lastly, and maybe most importantly, band taught me humility. My band director was always sure to say, “Now kids, this doesn’t just apply to band, it also applies to life.” When other bands were down, we would send them cards. When someone in the town had a major accident, we would raise money. If the weather was nice, we would thank The One responsible for it. Before performances, we would say The Lord’s Prayer and thank Him for the opportunity to perform. When a major rival was in town for a football game, he would tell us to stay off social media. I even remember one time when my band director told us to “go home and hug your mommas” after someone in the town had lost theirs. Life isn’t about winning, but when you do when, stay humble.

Be thankful for your band program. Be thankful for you band directors. Be thankful for every opportunity you get to perform.

So, you may still think band is weird, but it will always hold a special place in my heart.

Thanks and gig’em,

IMG_7578

My band family

Sarah
IMG_2790IMG_2789IMG_7577IMG_2788

Why Some Christians Need Re-Saving

Recently, I visited a popular church with a friend, one of which is a different denomination than my home church. I usually keep my bulletins from my home church’s services in my Bible to mark the places that we studied that Sunday. When I visited the other church with my friend (one known for doing extraordinary things throughout the country) one of my home church bulletins fell out of my Bible and onto the ground during the service. The people in the surrounding aisles GLARED at me for interrupting their precious service. As soon as the service was over (literally THE SECOND it was over), an old man snapped up the bulletin and rudely handed it to me without saying a word. Needless to say, I have yet to return to that church even upon invitation.

I tell you this story to say that EVEN SOME CHRISTIANS NEED RE-SAVING.

A lot of Christians have lost sight of what matters: spreading the love and Word of Jesus Christ so that ALL may be saved.

Not the “elite”.

Not the “clean”.

Not the “ones who have done the most service”.

Not the “well known town figures”.

ALL

  1. “I  like Jesus, it’s His followers I can’t stand.”

I have heard and seen this statement a countless number of times. Isn’t it sad? We are called to be fishers of men. Shouldn’t we be living accordingly? So you say you are living for Christ, yet you go out and get drunk every weekend? So you say you are living for Christ, yet you throw hate at people who are struggling instead of love? So you say you are living for Christ, yet you tease people on social media to gain followers? So you say you are living for Christ, yet you glare at people from other denominations who visit your church? Need I say more?

These days are CRITICAL for Christians. The world seems to be spiraling downwards, and everyone seems to be watching Christians’ every move. When we slip up, the world jumps on us. First, there is a difference in loving and supporting sinners. Take the recent passing of gay marriage for example. If I do say so myself, Christians really stuck their feet in their mouths. Is shunning the gays and screaming scripture in their faces going to save them? NO. Is loving them and showing them the way by example going to save them? MAYBE. At the same time, we should NOT support their decision to sin. Just like I don’t support my own decisions when I sin occasionally. But we can still love sinners (like YOU, and ME). Just because you are well known in the community doesn’t mean your name is on that list to enter Heaven.

“Beware of practicing your righteousness before other people in order to be seen by them, for then you will have no reward from your Father who is in heaven. “Thus, when you give to the needy, sound no trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may be praised by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward. But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving may be in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you. “And when you pray, you must not be like the hypocrites. For they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and at the street corners, that they may be seen by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward. …” Matthew 6:1-6

“For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.” Ephesians 2:8-9

2. “She never goes to church; she is a bad Christian.”

This one hits home personally. I rarely go to church in the summer. My family goes out of town all the time in summer to go to our favorite lake on the weekends. A lot of people in my town live with this mentality; if you don’t go to church all of the time and participate in mission trips and service then you are not being a good Christian. A lot of people in my high school went on mission trips of every kind, but a lot of  those  kids were the ones who were getting high and drunk on weekends and having sex with people every day.

Living with the “you must go to church 24/7” mentality SCARES AWAY PEOPLE FROM CHRISTIANITY.

God defines “church” as a community of believers. God has a list of His believers, and I can assure you, not everyone who attends church is on that list.

Which also brings me to my third, and last, point.

3. “I am saved so my mistakes don’t count.”

A LOT of people use this saying to go out and have fun. Then they go to church the next day and say, “I am saved!!” Being a Christian means changing your ways to live for God. Jesus even TELLS us this SEVERAL times in the Bible. 

“Jesus answered him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.” John 3:3

Praising Jesus with my fellow Aggies

Praising Jesus with my fellow Aggies

So, in the wise words of my mama, “Do your best, love everyone, and live for God and everything will be okay.”

Sincerely,

Sarah

“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’ Matthew 7:21-23