Thursday, December 20, 2012

God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen....

...Let nothing you dismay;
Remember Christ our Savior
was born on Christmas day
To save us all from Satan's power
When we were gone astray!
Oh, tidings of comfort and joy
Comfort and joy,
Oh, tidings of comfort and joy!

Joy. That is the word that can be seen every which place during the holiday season. It's everywhere, on posters, ornaments, wrapping paper, we even sing of this thing called joy.

And why? I cannot help but think that this is often the question that enters the minds of believers and non-believers alike. For you look around this world and is indeed feelings of everything but this thing called joy.

Each day there are murders, and tragedies like what happened in Connecticut, in all four corners of this earth.

Looking to the east, one finds war and violence, and starving peoples. Look to the west, and one sees yet more violence fueled by struggles with a failing political system and mindset. To the north, one sees politicians, jumping at the chance to try to take away yet more of our freedoms. And to the south, one sees, again, more violence prompted by drugs and the cartels that are trafficking and smuggling them. Indeed, looking over the entirety of the earth, of joy you will find but little. 

And again, why?  Why is there such unrest? Why is there no peace to be seen? Where are the angels singing, "Peace on earth, goodwill to men?" Why is there no peace and, to some it may seem, no goodwill of God to men? The answer lies in the end of the verse to the carol quoted at the beginning of this post, the very reason Christ came:

"To save us all from Satan's power,
When we were gone astray."

And so, my dear friends, in the midst of this unrest, this perpetual cacophony that this world seems to be in, have peace in remembering that this world is not for us. We are not here to stay. And for the time that we are here, let us remember the lyrics to a song from Handel's Messiah that is often sung at this time of year:

"Hallelujah! For the Lord God omnipotent reigns,
King of kings, and Lord of lords,
And He shall reign,
And He shall reign forever and ever."

"'Though the mountains be shaken and the hills be removed, yet my unfailing love for you will not be shaken nor my covenant of peace be removed,' says the LORD, who has compassion on you." Isaiah 54:10

And so, through all, this is how we may yet have joy, and a truer joy than any human could imagine, this Christmastide and for all time.

For tis at Christmas that Joy came down to earth.

"Oh, now sing praises to the Lord,
All you within this place!
And with true love and brotherhood
Each other now embrace!
For this so Holy tide of Christmas,
All other doth deface, 
Oh, tidings of comfort and joy,
Comfort and joy,
Oh, tidings of comfort and joy!"

God bless and rest you, my dear friends and readers.

Your Writer,


Sunday, December 16, 2012

Moment of Silence

A moment of silence. Thought, tears, weeping. This is how we acknowledge and remember the losses that we have suffered. Countless tragedies, attacks, and deaths have been honored in this way, as we take a moment to reflect and perhaps to piece things together in our minds as such that we can relate to what these people have gone through. We take a moment to be still and take a voice that is, in a way, like unto the one that those who have been lost now take ownership of: that of silence.

But, as I think of those families who lost precious little ones, I know that while they, and many others, may be silent on the outside, their hearts are screaming. Screaming, weeping, shrieking, "Why? Why?" In pictures that you see, some parents and surviving children are merely crying quietly, others weeping openly, but the emotion of all of them is the same: that of anguish. Emotions are raw, whether internalized or not.

The searing pain, the empty desks that are going to be there come the end of Christmas break. The presents under the tree that are never going to be opened, the little empty beds, the toys that will never be played with again.
The loss is the same to any parent that losses a child, whether through an illness or a tragedy like what occurred on Friday. The pain is equal, the hearts just as broken, but the shock, while perhaps the same as with an illness such as cancer, may not seem quite so with a tragedy; There are no good-byes.

I know that this blog is where I'm supposed to voice my opinion and speak my thoughts, but Proverbs 10:19 says that "In the multitude of words there wanteth not sin: but he that refraineth his lips is wise." (A verse that brings to mind many situations in which that advice would have proven helpful.) Thus the only thing further that I will post on this matter is a prayer.

My heart goes out to the families of the children and of the gunman. May God comfort you in your grief. I know that your loss is a void that can never be filled, but know that we are grieving with you and always will be. Your precious children will be forever in our hearts, and, I know that I can speak for the entirety of this nation, that we shall always be there for you. May God use you and us and use this, somehow, to bring glory and honor to His Name.

Please pray this prayer. It is dedicated to all who were lost on Friday.

"Dear Father,
'Why?' That is the question that everyone has been asking.
Lord, you know what these families are going throw, losing precious little children, because, Lord, You Yourself lost a child, Your Only Son.
You know what it was like for those children, their fear, their pain, because you, too, died a violent death.
You know what it is like for the family of the gunman, because You, too, know what it is like to have some one who was once close to you turn into someone you could hardly recognize, like King Saul. You know what it is like to have someone that you loved, and you thought loved you, take their life, but not before doing horrors.
You know what it is like for those of us who are essentially bystanders witnessing this horror, because You were there when Herod committed his massacre.
Lord, I pray for the families of these little ones, as well as the teachers, that were lost. I pray that You would bring them comfort in their grief, yet let them know that it is okay to grieve.
Lord, work in the hearts of those parents, because both You and I know that in each of those hearts there is a Jack, or a Grace, or a Madeline, or Emilie sized hole that can never be filled. Lord, I pray that You would somehow bring them peace, God.
I pray that those that don't know You and have been impacted by this horrible tragedy would come to know You through it. I pray for the salvation of each of the little boys and girls, and women, who died on Friday knew You, Father. I pray that I would meet each and every one of them at Your Throne, that I might hold those little hands and look in those little eyes and see them filled with pure joy, just as their parents had the blessing of seeing everyday of their children's lives.
Lord, I pray over those empty desks and empty beds, and those presents under the Christmas tree, that Lord you would use those empty spaces, some how, some way, to help those of us who did not lose children to be more thankful for the spaces in our lives that are not empty, and Lord, that those who lost children, would know that those empty spaces in their home are only there, because their little one is at home with their Heavenly Father. I pray that each and every family would have reassurance of this.
Father, I pray for the family if the gunman, that they, too would be comforted in their grief and confusion, and just plain shock at what their own flesh and blood did. Father, be with them. Work in their hearts, that they may some how see You through this.
And lastly, Father, I pray that you would help those of us who are bystanders, that, though we may never understand what these families are going through, that we would be able to grieve with them, and show them Your Love this week, Lord, even if only by crying with them and praying for them.
I just noticed that the main term that I have used in this prayer is "Some how." That, indeed, is my prayer. Use this, Lord.
Some how.

It's in Your Name I pray,


Your friend,


Saturday, November 24, 2012

Black is the Day

But white is the light that "shineth in the darkness," though "the darkness comprehendeth it not." (John 1:5)

Well, I finally got to cross off one of the things on my bucket list: I got to go shopping on Black Friday. (!!!)

Firstly, let it be stated that my Black Friday experience was doubtless a little bit different than the majority of Black Friday shoppers, in that I went shopping in the afternoon rather than early in the morning (a smart move; we didn't have to brave any lines hardly at all), and that I only got to go to the fabric store of all places. But if shopping is involved, count me in. Spending money is one of my favorite pass times. Doubtless why I have none. : ) I'm joking, of course. (not)
(Probably something that will have to change if I'm going to be a journalist; money is not often a thing of abundance)

It's no secret that many of the bargain hunters that were out this Friday were doing early Christmas shopping (you know who you are).
But it does seem that we live a culture where the gifts and the shopping is made out as more important than the people that are giving or receiving them. Just take a look at the self-gifters
(I mean, an awesome concept, but come on). 

We take great pains to find just the perfect thing for that special someone, and spend a boat load on it, and then the next moment we are on Facebook while they sit there ignored.
Parents spend hundreds of dollars on presents every year for their children, yet they don't take the time to teach their children why they are receiving them. Perhaps they were never taught themselves.

We live in a very materialistic culture, where often among the younger generations the clothes you're wearing can matter more than who you are, and your cell phone more than what you stand for.

Thus I pray that this year (though it is already past) and the next that the Lord's light would shine through Black Friday and show the people of this nation who their true master should be, "for you cannot serve both God and money." (Matt. 6:24)

I'll try to post a story or a poem sometime soon. I have some ideas for some advent serial stories, so we shall have to see.
I have a draft due for my writing class, so I'll be scrambling til Wednesday. Time management is NOT one of my fortes (another thing I'll have to work on).

You guys are always in my prayers.

A servant of His,


Thursday, November 22, 2012

A Day of Thanks

"Happy Thanksgiving!!" That is the greeting that can be heard everywhere one goes on this day. Families gather together from far and wide for fun, fellowship, and to devour vast amounts of bird. There are endless quantities of food, from pies to cakes to side-dishes, the aforementioned star of the dinner table, and then of course the football game afterwards.

Indeed, whether it is the bird or the black Friday shopping that piques your interest, it is a day that is dedicated completely and utterly to thing that matter most in the world, second only to the Lord: to family.

And not just to family, it is a day of rest to be dedicated to a certain thing that many of us (and yes, that does include me, too) often forget: Thankfulness.

It seems that often we tend to become focused on the things that maybe aren't as perfect in our lives as we would like them to be. Perhaps there are times that maybe we weren't as appreciated as perhaps we think we should have been, or maybe our team didn't win in that one football game (WAR EAGLE!!), or maybe we just don't have as many things as we want.

Sometimes we tend to forget what charmed lives we have in this nation. Even if we don't have things we have the opportunity to work for them.

And, more often than not, sometimes we (I know I do) forget the very reason that we are here, that the world was ever put into being, and man ever given the breath of life: The Lord God Almighty.

I want to challenge you and your family this day and in this coming week to look over all of the things that you have, get out a piece of paper even, and write down all of the things in your life, whether good things or bad things, on that piece of paper. And then take it out every night before bed (it will probably be a pretty big list I know, but humor me), and look it over. As you do so, thank the Lord for all of the people and things that He has blessed you with, the roof over your head, your parents, your spouse (if you have one), your friends. And pray also over the things that maybe it is hard to see as a blessing, like that pink slip you got six months ago, that friend of yours that lost his house, or that college opportunity that went caput. Pray over these things, and ask that the Lord would take them use them to be a blessing for you or that person. Maybe there is a person at work that is giving you fits. Perhaps that person is a blessing in the rough.

And when you are praying over those things, and on this day, always remember to thank the Father for the reason we are here: His son.   

God bless you!!

A servant of His,


Monday, November 5, 2012

Lights, Camera,........

Well, this is it. The day before the election: The day before the day it all happens.

The media is scrambling, preparing for the all day coverage that will be provided during the day and on election night, when the winner will be announced.

The campaign workers are still hard at work making calls, mailing out flyers, and putting up signs. In fact, it seems like they're working even faster and harder than they were before. I've gotten at least nine calls today alone, and about six different political flyers and pamphlets in the mail.

The last sprint to the finish, I suppose.

I've always been a lover of politics; there is nothing better in my mind than a breaking story or a new controversy or scandal. Thus I've always loved the excitement of election day.  The voting, the waiting, and finally the big reveal on election night.

If your candidate wins, well, there's an excuse for a party. And if your candidate loses, well there's an excuse for another of my favorite things: a debate.

This particular election, however, has more excitement tied to it than any of the others before it; the stakes are higher.

I won't endorse either of the candidates (on here, at least), since I know that my view would doubtless be rather different than some of you, my readers, but I think that, regardless of their politics, most people here in this nation know that something has got to change. Things aren't going to be getting cheaper anytime soon, and jobs don't come out of thin air.

I think that, where ever your politics lie, people are realizing that things are not always as they seem. In fact, they are often not. It is no secret that rhetoric has grown deceitful, among politicians and media alike. I could cite at least a dozen examples.

I know that people always say that "More rides on this election than ever." But this time they're right. There is a lot of legislation that has been signed in the past that is beginning to trickle through the system, and it sure isn't going to be making anything better. Not to mention the things that very well may be passed.

I think that I feel how many Americans are beginning to feel: I don't care whether you have an (R) or a (D) next to your name, what I care about is whether or not you will defend the constitution and have my best interest at heart. Because the two go hand in hand.

So, however you choose to vote tomorrow, vote for the person you feel is best equipped to deal with these things, and pray that you made the right decision. For my generations sake. 

See you tomorrow,


Sunday, October 28, 2012

Paper Memories

Hello, all!!!

Welcome back! Thanks for continuing to read. I hope and pray that all of you are enjoying it. I'm thinking of posting a story series in a little while, but we'll have to see; Life is moving at the speed of lightening right now, and it doesn't seem to show signs of stopping anytime soon. But then, as far as writing goes, to quote Marion Dane Bauer, "You can't wait for the mythical day when you will have nothing to do." I'll be working on it.

I spent the majority of this afternoon going through my room and packing away my old dolls so that I could put my outflow of books on them.

It's always amazing how many memories can come up from old books; even that old book smell can have an effect on you. Looking through my old books, many of them favorites from years ago, and some more recent, it conjures up memories of years past, and of the journeys that they have taken me on; the time spent with the characters, learning from them and about them, whether loving or hating them, and about the world around me and the character of the human heart, if only subconsciously.

It is precious the recollections of many a sunny afternoon spent with a stack of books, like "Harry the Dirty Dog" or Golden Books, mingling halted reading with such mischief making as only the regular seven year old could conceive of. It is afternoons like these that teach a young heart to start to think, to consider the more serious issues in life (which is how I got saved, by the way).

That time spent with a book in hand is a time of preparation, preparation for the days later in their youth, when they will also have books in hand, but books quite different than "Angelina Ballerina" or "Eloise." It is teaching them to know the power of words, that one day they may learn to use them wisely. (Who knew that the girl who used to kick and scream at having to learn her phonics would one day aspire to be a writer?)

It is teaching a little heart to love the gift of words, to love the simple beauty that I spoke of in my first post, the beauty and magic that a single word can have, the knowledge, the wisdom, that a book can contain. And it is preparing them for the day that they will one day be lead to look into the greatest and most powerful book of all time: God's Word.

And isn't it a testimony to the blessing of the book, for all ages, that it is the very form into which the good Lord chose to put His holy Word?

I hope to one day share this blessing with my own family the way God has blessed me with a family that did.

I'll probably be spouting off on various things throughout this next week and a half, especially with the election around the corner. God bless you! You guys are always in my prayers.

Buried in books,


Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Be Still.....

Hello, all!!!

Welcome back!!! I hope you enjoyed my last post, and that you'll continue to enjoy the rest of my blog as time goes on. When one's first starting at something, it always takes a little while to get into the swing of things. I hope, after a while, to be able to start posting things like stories, poems, and various others things, and to, once I have more readers, have a contest or so every once in a while. That's a little ways off, though. I'm an interesting character, I know, but I hope that my eccentricities will be more of a help than a hindrance. : )

It's always amazing how busy the school year can be, especially after the serenity of the summer. Or at least, the relative serenity of the summer. It's hard to tell sometimes. It seems, often, that the summer can be busier than the school year, yet each new school year is busier than the preceding one. It seems to be an epidemic that effects every one these days.
It never ceases to amaze me how we live our lives sometimes, running like chickens with our heads cut off, going from place to place, activity to activity, barely even stopping to catch our breath.

This one of the reasons that America has risen to the point that it has, all of the people who have put in all of those endless nights of sweat and labouring, working to be the best that they could possibly be. We are over achievers. But often, as we try to be our best, and get as high on the totem pole as possible, we in the American church forget the one thing that is absolutely necessary to our being truly successful. Time with Our Lord.

It says in Joshua 1:8 that if we meditate in the Word 'day and night,' that 'then we shall prosper, and then we shall have great success.'

Why then do we not? The simple answer is that  "the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would." (Galatians 5:17)

It says in Proverbs 3:5-6, that if we "Trust in the Lord with all of our hearts and lean not on our own understandings" and "in all our ways acknowledge Him," that "He shall make our paths straight." It also says in the book of Proverbs that "The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom." If we don't know Him we have no wisdom, and it is partially by the wisdom that He gives that He imparts to us prosperity.

"For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the Scriptures might have hope."

For what is, indeed, true prosperity? There are many people in the world, who live in the largest mansions, and have large amounts of wealth, yet are the poorest of the poor, for they lack one thing that some of those in Asia that are deemed "untouchable," those that are in the very slums: Hope.

The Lord said in the book of Matthew not to "lay up treasures for ourselves on earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal." These things are temporary. And indeed, what hope can one find in the idea that life merely lasts til death, and then there is nothing after? It is hope that feeds our life, and hope that is true prosperity, for it is that hope that causes us to push to be at the top of the totem pole, that God might be glorified.

And it is this Hope that we work for and towards.

So, in during the next couple of days, why not stop, and focus on the Hope that we are working towards, and make sure that that indeed is what you are doing? For if that is what you are working for, "Then thou shalt prosper, and then thou shalt have good success."

Thank you for reading!!!!!!!!! I'll try to post again in the next day or so.
God bless you!!!!!!!! You guys are in my prayers.

A Servant of that Hope,


Wednesday, October 17, 2012

The End of One Journey Marks the Beginning of another: The First Book End

Hello, My dear friends, my readers!

Welcome to my new blog, With Pen and Ink. This the second blog I have ever had. Thusly I pray that you would have mercy on me. : )

I have always loved reading, as well as writing. With each you take a journey: one takes a journey with the characters. You can travel to anywhere, whether to the farest breaches of the earth and the edges of the universe, or merely a trip down the street. Or anywhere inbetween. It's magic the beauty that can be procured by even but a few short moments with a book in hand or infront of a keyboard. I hope to be able to share a little bit of that magical beauty with you, friend.

It's most appropriate that I'm beginning this blog, this new journey of words, just as I have finished a journey of my own. My mom, brother, Michael, and I got home from Boston on Sunday night. My family and I have good friends that live in a suburb just outside the city, and it is such a blessing to be able to visit them every year.

This past trip was quite different than the past two times that we've been. We had always gone in the summer before, and decided to go in the fall this time so that my brother and I could see seasons.

It was the first time I'd ever seen fall leaves. Not all of the trees had turned yet, but we got to experience fall weather and the leaves that had turned were absolutely beautiful.

I've always loved cities. All of the hustle and bustle and excitement. There's always something happening, something going on. I can't help but think of all of the souls that are gathered there, all in one place; A jungle of pavement, a garden of cement, an endless plain of opportunity. I can't help but think of all of the people that are all gathered there in that one place that have yet to meet Jesus. It is indeed a garden, the city simply the soil that is housing the seeds, which merely needs the Living Water in order to sprout and grow into a faith that can move mountains. When I look at high rises, I see potential. I see a garden freshly planted, and the sweet rain is about to come. Anyhow...

Thank you for reading this first post of mine! I shall try to post as much as I can. I'm taking a writing class at the Landry Academy this year (which I'm absolutely LOVING), and I'm hoping that this blog will give me more opportunity for practice (and likewise more potential for high grades. But don't tell Mrs. Mendoza that!). ; )

God bless you!!!! I'll be praying for you guys.

a lover of words,