So, a little about myself. I am currently attending the University of California, Riverside (UCR), after being home-schooled up to the 8th grade and then attending Acaciawood Preparatory Academy, a Christian private school. Though I was raised in a Christian family, I didn’t truly let God into my life until I was 11 years old (to read my testimony, scroll down to “My Testimony”). My church is Evangelical Protestant, but that is only a denomination. I believe that as long as you believe Christ is your Savior, invite Him into your life with faith followed by true repentance of your sins, and pursue a life dedicated to becoming more and more like Him, we share the same faith regardless of the denominations. =)
I believe my primary spiritual gift is being a Prophet. I have pretty strong convictions about a number of things, and they’re usually undeniably strong and biblical. However, I also feel a need to help people however I can, and try to meet their needs according to my capacity. Also, because of my life experiences, I can identify with a variety of people and therefore understand what they were/are going through. No, I have none of that ‘predicting the future’ stuff associated with the word ‘prophet’, but the hatred of sin and evil is certainly there. As this blog (hopefully) shows, I love instructing others in the right path by pointing out flaws in my own life and what the Bible has to say about them, in hopes that people will be pointed to God.
I am the oldest of 7 kids, and am privileged to have each one of them in my life. I love writing and theology, and my favorite — and best — subject in school is English. I have taken piano, violin, recorder, and guitar classes, and am musical by nature. I journal every day as a way to find out more about myself and to put my thoughts down on paper. I see it as a way to relieve stress or to think things through.
I currently use the English Standard Version (ESV) as my primary Bible translation, though I also use the New International Version (NIV) from time to time because it is the version used in my church. When I integrate Bible verses in my articles, however, I will use and cite a variety of translations.
Some programs I have attended are Awana Clubs International, Bible Study Fellowship International, Quest, Journey to the Heart, IHOP’s OneThing Conferences, FRCC’s Youth Conferences, and the Advanced Training Institute’s (ATI’s) Regional Conferences. Each has played a huge role in the way that I relate to God and how I seek Him out. I highly recommend these programs to any believer who desires a closer relationship with the Lord.
My (short and somewhat unedited) Testimony
“Even though I was raised in a Christian household and grew up learning about God, I didn’t actually know God until my first Journey to the Heart in November 2007.
God was guiding my path even before I embarked on my Journey. In August/September of 2007, a group from California prepared to attend a Journey together. I signed up for this event, but was soon told that there wasn’t enough room; I will have to attend the next Journey in November. I was pretty upset, but little did I know God was working to place in the team that will help me grow the most.
One of the biggest issues in my life was dealing with other guys. Because my interests differed so much from others and I enjoyed activities like writing compared to athletics, I was often excluded from their activities. Most of the time I was picked on or made fun of, and sadly sometimes the fathers of these boys would insult me without intentionally trying to hurt me—such as commenting negatively in my inability to play sports well. As a result, I refrained from associating with other guys as much as I could and resorted to solo activities.
When I first arrived at the Institute in Basic Life Principles’ Headquarters, I was given a “perfect greeting” by all the staff that talked to me. I instantly felt welcome. But it was my group that caught my attention. I was the youngest, so I didn’t feel like I fit in with these older guys. But they did something I did not expect. They accepted me for who I was. They respected my interests, and told me a quiet spirit is something to be appreciated. I was never insulted or rejected, which surprised me especially during recreation. I’m pretty bad at athletics, but they let me play with them and even helped me learn. I didn’t need to put on a facade or act like someone else; I could be myself and they will respect me as I am.
This act of love did not pass me by unnoticed. In fact, I now believe it is what turned my heart towards God. I not only learned about Him, but I came to knowHim. The love that my teammates showed me caused me to turn to God, the source of true love that fills our deepest void. I began to see Him as the faithful shepherd seeking His lost sheep, reaching out His arms, ready to take me into His arms and nurture me.
One special event occurred on the plane back home. As I sat in my chair on the airplane, God broke through the defenses around my heart. It was weakened by the love shown by people during my Journey, but this time He tore it all down. He reached deep into the raw core of my heart and began pouring His love into me. There was so much love, it overflowed my heart and poured into the rest of my body. It truly felt like “my cup runneth over.” Not only did I experience God’s love, but I was given a taste of His joy. I was so overcome by His presence that I began to cry. It was all I could do to hide my sobs from the people sitting around me. I opened my Bible to the Psalms and began to read, every now and then singing a song to the Lord in praise of His glory. God was meeting me there in my chair, in a small airplane where everyone was oblivious to God’s encounter with me.
For a week afterward, all I could do was stay in my room and cry and cry. God had broken through my rebellious heart and changed me from the inside out. From that day on, I have a passion for the Lord like never before. Even though I still go through hard times and times of being lukewarm and stale, my desire to seek God breaks through those times and makes me seek after the love and joy He had shown me. He has also given me the desire to use my passion for writing to bring about a web ministry that reveals God’s word to fellow believers and show them how to be renewed day by day.
Love is a powerful thing. When God shows you His love, reflect it to others because His abundance will never run out. Even though the guys on my team were as broken as I was, God used them as His vessels to channel His love into a wandering sheep. His love is what brings me to repentance. The love of Christ is undeniable. Once you have experienced the love and joy God gives His children, you will want no other pleasure on earth. You will know that your craving for affection; the void inside of you; can only be filled with the love of Christ, and that alone is worth living for.
Of course, I am still growing, and God is still writing my life story. But I am determined to use what experiences I’ve been through to minister to those caught where I was. The Lord has allowed events to occur in my life for a reason, and I believe it is to use them as a door to sharing the love of Christ.”
So yeah, that’s a bit about me. Hopefully through my writing you can see more into my thoughts and how I want to discover God and follow Him every day of my life. Feel free to drop me an email if you want to know a bit more or have questions about my goals and website content. Just visit my Contact page. ^_^