Friday, August 30, 2013

Fun Facts Friday

1. God is full of little blessings. He is full of huge blessings too, but I have just been realizing how many little things He has been preparing me or my family for or has put in my life that are so random but amazing at the same time. For one, the Bible professor for my online class is married to the woman who designed Northwestern's technical writing degree. Now, I don't really want to do technical writing, but I do prefer non-fiction. So this woman e-mailed me today and explained the professional writing major to me. How awesome is that! Maybe this is just something that happens, I mean it is a small college, but it has really encouraged me.

2. Carrie Hope Fletcher and I are kindred spirits. I have been watching her videos every now and then for the past couple weeks, but it wasn't until a few days ago that I stumbled upon this one.
I got pretty excited because I did this exact. same. thing! Before I even knew she made this! We had pretty much the same reasons to. It is a helpful reminder for when I am tempted to say I have a horrible life. I look at my door, read the words, and remember how truly blessed I actually am and how lovely life is simply because God loves me.

3. Miley Cyrus. Yeah, I know, all this attention is exactly what she wanted. I didn't actually watch her VMA performance, but I've seen her music video (I don't recommend watching either, it isn't exactly "whatever is pure") and I have read a few things about how shocked and saddened people were while witnessing Miley's downfall. But I think this post describes the problem best. It isn't that we live in a culture that loves to be shocked, or sells sex, or values freedom to the extent that unbridled perversion is tolerated (although these things are true)-- the problem is sin. Sin that enslaves and is only defeated through the cross. Miley's performance was a sin fest that gives us a clear representation of what life is like without Christ.

4. Have I introduced you to the Vamps yet?

5. DANCE ACADEMY SEASON 3! Sorry for the all caps.... But I'm so excited!

6. Tears. This is an old video, maybe you saw it already, I didn't know it even existed much less went viral. But it almost made me cry, sooooo...
I came across it as I was discovering Carrie Hope Fletcher (his sister) and his band McFly, which I knew existed because the Vamps covered their song.

So really, the moral of the story is that half of my fun facts are interconnected through all these British people who know each other. Exciting! and... pick it up America! Dance Academy comes from Australia, so all you've provided is Miley Cyrus. Nice.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Responsibility in Writing

Up until a week ago, only one person read my blog. I sort of liked it that way. I could write and share pictures and recipes and I was the only person who saw it. I could express myself freely, without being afraid of saying anything embarrassing. But this private expression slowly became insufficient. The more I invested in my little corner of the internet, the more I wanted people to see my contribution. So I took a terrifying step and shared the link on my facebook.

To be honest, I probably have about the same amount of readers as before, but the idea that now people have access to my thoughts adds a lot of pressure.

 I have lost freedom because I have this goal for my writing. Writing is what I want to do for the rest of my life but, unlike most aspiring writers, I do not want to write novels or short stories, I want to compose non-fiction. But, unlike most non-fiction writers, I don't really want to write for businesses... Writing for the back of coffee cans is very unappealing to me. I desire to write life-shaping truth. Not that fiction can't contain truth or business writing isn't important-- I couldn't disagree more! I love a good book with a thought provoking theme and recognize the importance of good writers in every field of work. Yet I feel God has given me a desire to spread the message of the gospel in writing. He has called us all to share the gospel and live entirely for Him, I think for me, this calling is specifically and primarily in writing. Not to say this won't change. I don't think seventeen years is enough time to determine the specific calling for the next seventy years. However, despite college advisers advertising the masses of money that can be made by technical writers and the benefit of such people on society, I have remained stubborn on this point. I keep coming back to my one goal of declaring truth. So, until I feel God is pulling me in another direction, I will try to actively communicate truth in an attractive, effective way without being manipulative.

Before I shared my blog, I was trying to communicate truth, but no one would know if I messed up somewhere. Today, someone would know. This adds a lot of pressure. Even though I know no one will probably take me as much of an authority, I am terrified one of my "big discoveries" will not be in line with the Word of God or will be misunderstood due to sloppy writing. Ever since I let people know I write, I have been hesitant to do so. Yet I have this goal... This desire to glorify God by using my passion to share the love I have for my Savior. So how will I do these things in my insufficiency?

Scripture and Prayer.

To speak truth, I must read truth. If I want to properly share the gospel, I must be saturated in scripture. I must read it and strive to understand it and my every thought must be put to the test with God's Word. I must also pray for God to work in my heart and reveal truth to me. Only God can makes my thoughts and my words worth while. To fulfill my purpose, I must depend entirely on God and come before Him as a vessel dedicated to His use.

After these things, I must simply trust the Holy Spirit living in me to be enough. I cannot guarantee I will always say things perfectly, I will make many mistakes and continue to fear hitting the "publish" button. Yet I think this hesitance is good to an extent. I never ever want to take lightly the things that God has designed, and I think understanding and sharing them is a task that should be taken with seriousness. However, the Bible is full of stories of God investing His awesome message into men who are nowhere near qualified to share it. No human has ever been is worthy of the gospel or eloquent enough to do it justice. Yet God delights in using His weak children to show the strength of the gospel, and I hope He will delight in using me in all my insufficiency.

Finally, I wish to keep my writing pure by encouraging those who read it to be consistently critiquing it. Whether it be the point I am presenting or the way I am presenting it, if I misrepresent what God has said in His Word, I want you to tell me. There is a comment section for a reason! Or, if you are more comfortable, e-mail me or talk to me about it in person. I think I have adequately expressed my desire to properly represent God's Word and I hope you all keep me accountable to that, because that is my goal-- in my writing and my life.

"Teach me your way, O Lord, that I may walk in your truth; unite my heart to fear your name." - Psalm 86:11

Friday, August 2, 2013

A Child

I  am seventeen years old and at an age where there are a lot of decisions to be made and a lot of changes to occur. To begin, in less than 6 months I will turn 18 and legally be an adult. Yes, I know in actuality there will not be much difference between the day before my birthday and the day after, but the fact that I am growing up is inescapable. Between the college visits and work, it is hard to feel like a child anymore.

With this growing comes changes and choices. I am discovering a fear that I think most kids my age are dealing with: the fear of making the wrong decision. In my mind, I know there is no such thing. Long before I was old enough to know God's specific will for my life, I was told that there is no way to leave it. The design God has for me doesn't depend on a string of right choices. It is wise to listen to God's call, but the Bible isn't extremely specific about what Megan Reece should do with her life. So, as long as it is in line with what God does say in His word, I can make decisions freely and God will bless my ventures. I was taught that, if my desire was to glorify God, I could do that anywhere with anyone.

"I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice  holy and acceptable to God, which is spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect." Romans 12:1-2

As I've gotten older, this has deepened into other areas of life. My mom has been pounding it into my sisters and me that God doesn't have a soul mate lined up for us. We could marry any number of Christian young men and have a long, God-glorifying marriage. In short, as long as God's glory is my goal, He doesn't care what I choose to do.

"But seek first the kingdom of God and all these things shall be added unto you." Matthew 6:33

Knowing this, how could I possibly be afraid of making a wrong choice? I was still missing something. My thinking was, "Well, God might be okay if I made this decision, but what if, in doing so, I miss out on something terrific?" I knew I couldn't leave God's will, but I feared it wasn't the best. This lie is based on ignorance of His love. Please don't believe this means I am believing that God's will for me is to give me every desire of my heart and make me happy. I know that isn't true. I will get hurt, broken, and painfully molded and my happiness is not God's goal. But He does love me and His plan is perfect.