Wednesday, September 23, 2009


My personal opinion about music is that it is very powerful and usually has quite an effect on your thoughts and feelings.

23 And so it was, whenever the spirit from God was upon Saul, that David would take a harp and play it with his hand. Then Saul would become refreshed and well, and the distressing spirit would depart from him. 1 Samuel 16:23

Therefore, for me, my guidelines are:

First and foremost, the lyrics must be words I’d feel comfortable having Jesus listen to with me. I don’t believe in the “I just like the music… I’m not listening to the words” thing. :P Often, when we subconsciously listen to something, it has a way of going deeper into our minds.

Secondly, I listen to music that has a positive effect on my moods and thoughts. If I listen to music and feel uplifted, joyful, thankful to God, ready to clean up :), etc… then I will listen to it again.

That’s pretty much it. I used to think that “loud music” was bad or something, but now, after reading the Psalms, I don’t think their music was very quiet.

3 Praise Him with the sound of the trumpet; Praise Him with the lute and harp! 4 Praise Him with the timbrel and dance; Praise Him with stringed instruments and flutes! 5 Praise Him with loud cymbals; Praise Him with clashing cymbals! Psalm 150:3-5

Friday, September 18, 2009

Some Things God has Done for Me

Lately, He was showing me several areas that I need to work on, and helping me to change them.

He is teaching me to rely on Him and trust Him for my future.

He is the One Who keeps me kind and helpful and who gives me hope and joy.

When I am afraid or confused, I look to Him and He gives me peace.

He has brought me onto the straight and narrow path and has given me grace to stay on it.

He has brought many good friends and good books into my life.

He has blessed me with an amazing family and church family.

He led me to begin the bright lights group, as well as to join the rebelution forums.

He has helped me to appreciate nature and His power and how big He is.

He has given me life through my parents and new life in Him.

He has blessed me with a healthy body and mind.

He has shown great mercy and patience to me in spite of my many and repeated sins.

And so many, many other things.

He is my comforter, my strength, my all.

This was written in response to a question by another younger accountability parter (of sorts). What a great question! So, what has God done for you?

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Having Purpose in Your Higher Education

So, why are you going to college? Uh, I don't know... because that's what everyone else does, I guess...

Well, what are course are you taking? Um, well, I don't know exactly yet... I think my mom is picking them... I don't really care.

Okay, well, what do you want to do after college? After college? I haven't even thought about that... it's, like, too far into the future. I mean, who knows? I don't really care what I do... as long as I'm making good money.

That's money... but what about like actually doing something worthwhile, for the kingdom of God? Wow, I really have no clue. I mean, I go to church and stuff, but other than that... uh, I don't know.

Yes, that conversation was from my imagination. But doesn't it sound familiar? That is the sort of response you are likely to get if you ask any young person out there today.

I don't know about you, but that is a pathetic excuse of a plan. Where is a life that is started like that going to lead? Nowhere. And fast, too.

As Christians, we must have purpose in these years of preparation for our future lives. We must know what we are learning, why we are learning it, Who we are doing this for, how we are learning, to what end we are learning.

It grieves me greatly to see countless young people going to college for no better reason than that it is the cultural norm. What a shame to see them spending thousands upon thousands of dollars, virtually wasting 2-6 of the most crucial years of their lives... all because that is what is expected of them. If you are going to just drift along aimlessly, why not drift along aimlessly without spending so much money? Or, much better yet, look to the word of God and wise counselors and figure out what you should do with your life.

College can be wonderfully useful. I don't deny that. And God can use even our foolish mistakes for our good and His glory.

But please, please, think long and hard about it before you just jump in because that is what is expected.

Some will be led to go to college to pursue a specific calling. Some will be lead to stay at home, and further their education there. Some will do online courses.

But whatever it is that you do, it is so important that you make that choice consciously, after much prayer and wise counsel, and with a definite purpose.

(This is from a post I did on:

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Philippians Study

This is part of a study I am doing with a younger accountability partner on the Rebelution. Hope you all enjoy! Please feel free to answer my questions to her, add to my thoughts, or tell me that I have something wrong... I am interested to hear what others think.

Here are my thoughts on five of the verses in Philippians 1.

Verse 6

being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ;

This is a wonderful promise, isn't it? He will complete that good work in us. Even when things aren't' going so well, we can know that He will finish what He's begun. Have you felt that in your own life?

Verse 20

according to my earnest expectation and hope that in nothing I shall be ashamed, but with all boldness, as always, so now also Christ will be magnified in my body, whether by life or by death.

This relates to not wasting your life. That's how we should use our lives-- by magnifying Christ--isn't it? We need to pray for this kind of boldness so that Christ will be magnified in our lives. We have nothing to be ashamed of in Jesus Christ. We can live with boldness and confidence.

Verse 21

For to me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain.

So either way, it is good if you are in Christ! That's pretty amazing! If we live-- we have Christ and we can do His work and grow closer to Him. Ad if we die-- we'll be with Him! How awesome is that?

Verse 27

Only let your conduct be worthy of the gospel of Christ, so that whether I come and see you or am absent, I may hear of your affairs, that you stand fast in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel,

"Let your conduct be worthy of the gospel of Christ". What do you think that means? What kind of conduct is worthy of the gospel?

Verse 29

For to you it has been granted on behalf of Christ, not only to believe in Him, but also to suffer for His sake,

"It has been granted to you... also to suffer for His sake." Granted? That sounds like it is a privilege to suffer for Him-- as though He is allowing us to suffer for Him. That's an interesting thought. We are allowed to suffer for Him. Just like we're granted to believe in Him. What do you think? Am I thinking about this right?

Tuesday, September 15, 2009


My family has a weird habit. We "adopt" people. As a few of you already know, having been adopted into our family. :)

I almost feel like I am lying now when I tell people I have 6 siblings. Because the number is actually somewhere around 20 or so if you include actual and adopted siblings.

Not only do we adopt siblings, but we also have some other weird relations. For example, I have a Mummy (an Australian mom) that is only months older than me. And Josiah is the grandpa of his friend-- who is also Josiah's grandpa. So yeah. Our family is very confusing!

It is a fun habit. Also one that makes people think we are really strange.


There is Someone Else Who has this habit-- only on a much larger and more incredible scale.

"Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called children of God! Therefore the world does not know us, because it did not know Him. 2 Beloved, now we are children of God; and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is." 1 John 3:1-2

I am so very, very grateful that He has adopted me as His daughter. What an amazing privilege it is to be called a child of God! And how incredible it is that we are told to address the God of the Universe as Father. It is only through Jesus' work on the cross that we can have these amazing privileges. Before His death and Resurrection, we could not come to Him in such a familiar way. Even the High Priest could only come into the Most Holy place at certain times-- lest he die. So this is not something to be taken lightly!

(I had a bunch of great verses about this, but unfortunately google and this browser worked together in some devious way to get rid of them. I hope to get at least some of them up later on.)

Monday, September 14, 2009

Flashes of Brilliance

When I was younger, I had several flashes of brilliance, as a friend of mine says.

I realized that I had some bad habits, and that I needed to change those into good habits.

One of those things was finishing things. My grandma has a habit of learning a craft, buying tons of craft stuff, and doing a bunch of projects half-way. And I did not like what I saw of that.

And then I realized that I was beginning to form that same habit! So I slowed down, stuck with the crafts I had, and became a finisher of projects. I am so glad I realized that when I did! It has been a tremendous blessing now, and I am sure it will serve me well in the future.

Another thing I realized was that I had untidy habits. So, I began making my bed every single morning, picking up my clothes, and keeping my desk orderly. I still have these habits today! (Though I need to clean off my desk today... I have so much going on that it gets piled up quickly. :)

I also realized that I needed to be more consistent with my Bible reading-- so I made a commitment to read through the Bible in a year. And I did.

And I am still recognizing and replacing bad habits to this day. (as if I am now super old :D)

Habits are so important! They are what make or break a person. Also, the habits we form as young people will be the habits we carry into our adult lives. So we need to be very careful what habits we form.

Wow, I am on a roll today! :) Three posts in one day. I have had a lot of ideas for this blog lately, so I am going to be posting more this week. Most likely. I think. :)

My List of 10 Things I am Really Grateful For

1. My wonderful, funny, crazy family and their friendship

2. My small, fun, peaceful home

3. All the opportunities I have to learn: homeschool coops, online, church, books, Papa, others, etc...

4. All of the people in my life who help me in so many ways

5. The opportunities I have to minister through Bright Lights, blogging, friends, and so on.

6. My fearfully and wonderfully made body, especially my eyes.

7. Books that teach me, stretch me, inspire me, make me laugh and make me cry

8. That I get to live trusting God for my future-- I don't need to worry because God is in control.

9. The computer and Internet-- I have made many good friends, learned many things, done many projects, all through these two things.

10. Having the Bible readily available and being able to come to the Almighty God --Who has adopted me as His daughter!-- in prayer whenever and wherever I want to.

So, what are you thankful for today?

Contentment and Blogging

The lovely thing about blogging or giving advice is that once you write something, you feel an obligation to try to do something about it. :) The sad thing about it is that you can write some great things, but not apply them to your life.

For example, someone I know is struggling with being discontent. And this is what I said:

Think about it. If you are discontent with where you are right now, what makes you think you would be more content with a different life? Contentment is not about what is going on in your life so much as it is about what is going on in your heart.

Sounds good, right?

Well, the hard part is when after you write something like that, you start feeling discontent.

Yes, that is what happened to me. :)

It does seem like God makes you a guinea pig for your own ideas, doesn't it?

What did I do about it? I wrote down 10 things that I am really thankful for, and also spent some time in prayer about this. And then I felt much, much better.

On a side note, have you ever noticed how much worse your attitude is when you miss praying for a day? I missed praying on Saturday, and on Sunday afternoon is when I was having a hard time with my attitude. That daily time in prayer is so essential!!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

What Do You Want to be Known For?

First and foremost, I want to be remembered as someone whose primary aim in life was to glorify God. I want it to be said that I was supremely happy in God and that I made Him look incredibly valuable--like He is. I want to be remembered as someone who loved and feared God over everyone and everything else, who was completely sold out for Christ. I want Christ to be the focus-- because He was the main focus of my life.

I also want to be known for the things I've done for God's kingdom-- helping people in need, educating, encouraging, raising godly children, working alongside my husband. I want it to be said that I was a fully devoted to to whatever it was that I was doing, rather than just kind of floating along-- actually making a difference. I want many people to say, "Because of Carissa (really Christ working through me) such and such is better in my life" I want to be someone that when you meet me, you come away changed for the better in some way.

I want to be known as someone who was kind, loving, humble, lived with integrity, dressed modestly, was diligent, patient, self-controlled, fun, and so on.

And there's more. But that's all for now. I wrote this while reading the book, "The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People." And posted it for Felicity. :D

So... what about you? What do you want to be known for?

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Attitudes... and Stuff Like That

I have found that us good Christian people will usually not do the outward bad things as much... but we struggle more with our attitudes and thoughts.

Lately, I have been coming up with ways to change a wrong attitude into a good one. And I thought I'd share them with you all. (I really don't know how many of you there are... it's a mystery to me whether anyone reads it or not. Unless, of course, you comment. Hint, hint. ;)

Anyhow, an attitude that comes up frequently in a... well, a largeish family (I do not consider 7 children to be a large family) is impatience. *gasp* Carissa gets impatient?!? Um, yes. But lately, when I feel that impatience beginning to rise, I have been saying to myself, "Carissa, God has been so very patient and merciful to you. Surely you can be patient with Matthew while he doesn't listen to you right away." (or something like that) And it really does help.

Another thing is that I am not always particularly thrilled with what I have just been asked to do. Like putting away laundry when I wanted to go do something else. (I know, shocking. :) But then I thought, What can I be thankful for about this job? Well, firstly, I am thankful that we have clothes for me to put away. I am also thankful that I have such a nice papa to tell me to put them away. And I am thankful that I have siblings to put clothes away for. And so on. It helps!

Well, now you know a few of the things I sometimes do to change my attitude. Do you all have any things similar things that you do? Maybe you could comment and share them with the rest of us. Just an idea... :)

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Benefits of this Time of Waiting in My Life

We are studying the book "Before You Meet Prince Charming" by Sarah Mally. This was one of the assignments: To come up with 10 benefits of this time of "waiting". Here is my list. I may add to it later on... these are just some things that I thought of right away. :)

  1. It is helping me to grow closer to God
  2. It is building my patience
  3. It is a great time to prepare for the future
  4. I have more opportunities for ministry
  5. It is strengthening my faith
  6. It is building character
  7. It is a great opportunity to work on developing great habits and attitudes
  8. It is a time to learn many useful skills
  9. I have been able to minister to other girls in many different ways
  10. I have been able to be an example for other young ladies who are in a similar time

Psalm 27:14

Wait on the Lord: Be of good courage, and He shall strengthen thine heart: Wait, I say, on the Lord