Rainy Days

This is a post for the random.

I woke up this morning to rain; its soft pitter-patter on the roof simply made me want to grab a book and listen to a story all day. Of course, this is not reality. What is reality? It is random and ever-changing, it is fun and sad, it is lessons and mistakes. Rainy days make everything “dreary”, unless you’re like me…

Rainy days are reflective ones; gentle reminders of how sweet it is to enjoy the little things. The individuality of each drop causes me to recall just how beautiful each human is and this leads to the intense thought that God cares for each one of us. How wonderful it is that we all have different backgrounds, races, and families; not one of us has the same thoughts and no one of us is identical in every way – even if it seems as though we may be sometimes. Every situation, every moment is unique and will never be again. If I set 3 siblings in a room and asked them to recall how they felt when their grandfather passed away or how they knew when they were in love, each response would be different though they would all be describing the same exact thing. Is it not magnificent that the God of the rainy days and individual rain drops created you and I?

Random thought: I wonder if the rain ever gets jealous of the snow because the snow gets to stay on the ground and be admired, but the rain must go away and most don’t like it…

Ever-changing… what a thought. Is it not incredible fun that each day is a new experience? I may be facing many of the same things that I faced yesterday, but today may have a new outcome. It could be the day that I learn how to fly a plane, or write a book, or maybe the day that I meet my best friend. Ever-changing – always different. I could be walking through the same dark tunnel, but somehow there’s a bit more hope than before. Or maybe yesterday was sunny and today rainy – different. One never knows what tomorrow holds, but it’s much nicer travelling with the One who holds tomorrow. [That went kinda deep fast.]

Well, to end this hopefully somewhat interesting monologue I will use a quote from a fantastic source – Dr. Seuss.

“Today was good, Today was fun, Tomorrow is another one.”

– Dr. Seuss

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It Unsettled Me

Hello. Welcome to another post; the following poem will be more serious than my usual posts, but I pray that you may find it just as interesting and challenging.

 

It Unsettled Me

She turned her head and I saw her eyes shimmer with tears,

My thoughts raced as I wondered why no one had already spoken to her,

Was she untouchable that One of Us could not reach out,

I smiled at her and told her that I loved her like He did and she broke,

As I walked away, I wondered what would have happened if I did not stop,

It unsettled me.

 

That night I watched as the children played while parents prayed,

Had they forgotten that prayer and God had no age limit,

That death could come at any moment,

Did they fail to recognise that This Moment could be the one to alter their babies life?

My heart broke as I pondered how I could help and the children still seemed to go unnoticed,

It unsettled me.

 

I saw him in the grocery and he offered me a smile,

I thought “how many times has he seen me, yet I failed to notice him?”

He spoke his “Merry Christmas” as I went on my way,

But something made me turn around and that’s when it began again,

His mom had left when he was small – leaving him alone,

He had no place to go – no one to call his own,

Tears filled my eyes as he continued on,

And then he said, “But what I really want is hope… And I don’t think I can.”

It unsettled me.

 

My light had failed so often as I’d walked through the door,

I’d smiled, waved, maybe said a few words,

But he’d never heard me say,

You are loved, He knows you, Never lose your hope,

I hadn’t been the friend he’d needed when he’d needed me the most,

It unsettled me.

 

Now here’s that moral of it all,

No matter how great or small,

We pass so many people each day,

But they need always hear us say,

His love and grace is big enough,

Strong enough for you,

The Best Friend you will ever find,

Is in this Friend of mine – Jesus.

Thinking Backwards

Happy Tuesday to all!

 

“Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards.”

-Soren Kierkegaard

Friday, 26 October,  I was asked to teach our preteen-teen (5th-11th grade) Sunday School class on 28 October; not thinking too hard about it, I quickly accepted. Note: I love to teach, but I can be MAJORLY tough on myself when I don’t think it turns out like it should, so I often panic prior to the lesson. Since I only had about a day and a half to prepare and had evening plans already, I knew I wouldn’t have much time and that I would be forced to trust God with and through the lesson. Saturday began with prayer and Bible reading and, to be completely honest, I had no clue what I would teach. I had planned to meet with friends about an hour away from where I was and prayed that somehow on my drive God would give me the direction that I needed desperately for the following morning. About an hour before I left the house, I began to feel unsettled – like I hadn’t felt in a while. It grew throughout the day and by the time I made it back to the house that night, I was in a somber mood. And that’s when the verse came to me, “Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done…” (Isa. 46:10), but unfortunately, that was it. “Thanks God.”

As the night progressed and I played card games, listened to audio dramas, and laughed with my friends, I pondered the verse. Much to my chagrin, I still had NOTHING by the time I laid down at 11:30 that night. However, God had something up His sleeve. I was up until after 1 in the morning Sunday, tossing and turning. All I could think of was the lesson and I kept asking God what he wanted. Bible character’s and stories whizzed through my mind – Joseph, the Apostle Paul, Ananias and Sapphira, and on and on the list went.

“What are you telling me God? What are you saying to me?”

6:30 prayer came quickly and the uneasiness of yesterday was still there. Then, it was time to get ready for church. We packed up in the vehicles and drove to church; all the while I begged that something would come together for me to teach because I simply couldn’t “wing it”. Yes, I’ll admit that I was more than a little scared that I’d look a fool in front of my class. The thirty minute drive flew by and when I pulled up, I had….you guessed it, Nothing – with a capital ‘N’.

Walking into the church, I quickly placed it in His hands and went upstairs to the classroom to “write my notes on the board” – right. What notes? That’s when it hit!

“Thinking Backwards” – the title that would sum everything up.

If God knew the end from the beginning, what did that mean? He saw the finished work. Could we? Did we? Should we? Joseph somehow did, the Apostle Paul did, yet Ananias and Sapphira hadn’t? The difference was life and death. Wow! The questions and answer made me reel. I had to get these kids to realise how important “thinking backwards” truly was. They had to understand what their personal “big picture” and goals were to achieve them in school and college. Was this not “thinking backwards”? Yes, God had done it again. Given me all the supplies in advance, except the glue.

Class went well. We began with sword drills and I shared with the kids how they already were being taught and forced to think backwards. It connected! The room was abuzz with conversations of what the goals were, how to get there, why it mattered that we kept the goal in mind, and how that related to “…the end from the beginning…”. By the time class was over, I was excited, relieved, and so happy at how it had all turned out. When everyone had gone down stairs, I sat – head in hands – allowing the feeling, what I then recognised was a burden, to lift. Thankful that I was able to be used.

The end of the story aka what caused me to write this?

I received texts on Tuesday saying how great the lesson was. One of our other youth class teachers told me that from where she was sitting, she heard two of the young ladies answering every question. Both girls had their heads down as if sleeping, but she said that didn’t make a difference. They had heard and it seemed to hit home with everyone in the room, teachers included.

Now, what about you? Do you think backward? What’s your main goal? How often do you keep it in the forefront of your thoughts and center your life around it?

Hope you enjoyed this!

 

-Cassandra J.

Content Without Conquering

Con·tent (n) – a state of satisfaction

Con·quer (v) – overcome and take control of (a place or people) by use of military force; successfully overcome (a problem or weakness)

These two words are rarely used in a sentence together. Why? Generally because to conquer one must become discontented with life as it is or has been. Sadly, we often get so “satisfied” where God has placed that our fight becomes more unnecessary because “we got this”. Mixing up when to use “Godliness with contentment” and “Shout for God hath given you the city” is sometimes easy to do, especially when you’ve just entered the Promised Land. The children of Israel had some of the same issues, though a bit more serious and if we’re not careful, we can end up mirroring their demise.

Our first story begins in Judges 1, Joshua had died and the Israelite’s suddenly wondered, “Who shall go up for us against the Canaanites first, to fight against them?” (Judges 1:1) The Lord simply wanted Praise, Judah, to go up. Judah went forth killing and conquering all through chapter 1… but the story doesn’t end in victory after victory.

Imagine with me, you are an Israelite, you have been told of this “land flowing with milk and honey” all your life, you’ve heard about the Canaanites, but they’re our enemies so we don’t really need to be afraid. So it is that when you enter the land of your inheritance, you are happy – finally home! The Amorite’s are alright, they’re not that bad, they even ask you over for dinner and give your kids Christmas presents. You forget God’s commandment to kill them. I mean come on, what could God have against the expensive camels and linens they give you year after year; are these not His blessings? You see your children bring home other god’s and foreign sayings and begin to adopt them into your own life. Assimilated. Then, unexpectedly, they are discontented living with your family next door. You and all your kinsfolk are forced to the mountain, resigned to the fact that you are unwelcome. This is a story of being “Content without Conquering”.

Now, years go by and we are given yet another glimpse of “Content without Conquering” and a staggering prophetic outcome – staggering in the sense that the ramifications become a ripple effect for future generations. The Corinthians once felt as though they had “arrived” in contentment and mercy, yet the great Apostle Paul had a different idea of their coexistence with sin. Come with me as we travel to Corinth and the early church. As a youth, you admired the mercy of God, but as an adult, you strive to honour it. So it is when you discover that one of your close friend’s is living in fornication – with his father’s wife no less. You are content though, no need to cause dissension or raise heat over such an issue. You have grown comfortable knowing that your youth do not spend time at the fornicator’s house. The Apostle Paul, being the founder of your church, writes one day saying, “Know ye not that a little leaven leaveneth the whole lump?” (I Cor. 5:6) This act of one or two people will become an epidemic within the body. This is the ripple effect of being “Content without Conquering”.

Now my friends, I encourage you to be content, but not to the point of being accustomed to living with the enemy and sin, while not trying to reach out. Conquer you; your flesh – daily. For it should be as Paul said, “…I die daily.” (I Cor. 15:31)

I hope this helped you. God bless!

Cassandra J. Savala

Another Year, Another Challenge

Happy New Year!

Wow. 2018 already? Yes, so let’s take a quick trip over the last year before we launch ourselves into dreams for the future.

2017- a year lost in a blur. This time last year, I was in Missouri, cold, snowy, nice Missouri. There I met kind friends and had great times with fond memories. Then it was on to Illinois in March, with more snow and cold, and rain…..BRRRR! But also, I got to see museums and fun places with the family. Indiana came next with warm days, cool days, rainy days, and sunny days through the months of April and May. From the third week of May, to the first week of August there were very little chill times. Between three graduations, moving from California to Texas, and going to conferences those months were a BLUUUUURRRRR. Job hunting, making new friends and saying goodbye to old friends capped off the year of 2017 as one of the BEST years yet.

2018- a year not yet touched. “A year not yet touched? What? You’ve touched it, we’re three days into it already.” Yeah, yeah, I hear you, however 3 from 365 leaves 362 days yet. We haven’t even scratched the surface, to borrow the colloquialism. So, what will this year be? Better than the last? How much of the time will you redeem? (Eph. 5:16) Will you make your days count? I will. God uses us, but only if we WILL. It depends on us, remember, Jesus had to surrender His Will as a man to His Will as The Lord. Churchgoing doesn’t make one any more of a Christian than going to the library makes you a book.

Remember: Who You Are Is What You Are Behind Closed Doors…But If You Always Keep The Doors Open, You’ll Never Meet That Person.

 

Prayers

Cassandra J

Being Thankful in the Red, White, and Blue

Hi.

In today’s world, there are many pressures and cares to tend to and, in turn, many impatient folks. Believe me, working in the fast-food industry, I know. We live in a “want it now, gotta have it” age, so it’s super hard to be, first off, patient, and second, thankful.

America is such a blessed country; from our freedoms, to our heritage, to our technological advances, we’re “lucky”. The microwave, invented in 1946, is a widespread and popular gadget and it’s expected that everyone have one. Our cellular devices no longer make it impossible to reach someone now, and have the ability at your fingertips. So these gizmos make it hard for us to be patient, and so much more difficult to be thankful. Our Constitution and its surrounding Articles grant us freedom of speech, right to bear arms, and allow us the liberty to choose how we worship, where we worship, and what we worship. It’s great right?! But all these things are “my rights”, so what’s the big deal about thankfulness?

How many of us think of what we have on a daily basis? Weekly? Monthly? Yeah, it’s easy to “forget”, but what about those who have given and continue to give their lives for our “freedom”. You’ve heard it time and again, “Freedom isn’t free”; it’s not. End. Of. Discussion. So how often are we thankful? These men and women, whether fighting in war or staying home and watching a loved one join the Armed Forces and law enforcement, sacrifice time, talent, and treasures for us. Let that sink in.

Time, which no one EVER gets back. Talent, which can be directly related to dreams, yet because of callings, drafts, or pressures, the talent is left for service to our country. And treasures, family, friends, popularity. We say that our military and law enforcement is popular, but when’s the last time you saw one of our own military men or women in uniform and nodded, yet failed to thank them. Or, and I’m guilty, saw a police officer and just said “good day”, and let them walk away without a “thank you”. Yep, there’s that “thank” word again. So, next time you pray or see someone in uniform, think about what they do...for you and yours. And on this November 11th, let’s be thankful for our men and women braving bearing the colours of our nation.

God Bless America.

Cassandra J.

“What Do We Want..?”

Welcome back!

What do you do when the day seems to turn upside down? Get mad? Shut down? Laugh? Roll your eyes? In life there are innumerable responses to rough days, painful events, and looong nights. Each one effects your affect on those around you.

So, the title of this little piece is called, “What Do We Want?” If you’re like me, you thought of the song from Muhlan, “A Girl Worth Fighting For”, but what if we change that to… “A Joy Worth Fighting For”? Really, joy is worth fighting for. The apostle Paul said in Philippians 4:4, “ Rejoice in the Lord always: and again I say, Rejoice.” Side note: Joyfulness and laughter go hand-in-hand (Psalms 126:2-3, Job 8:21, Proverbs 17:22). Rejoicing does NOT mean that you are always smiling or laughing, “To every thing there is a seasonA time to weep, and a time to laugh…”; however, what would life be like if instead of getting distraught when everything seems to go wrong, we bear it with an attitude of joy.

How do we have an attitude of joy? It can be purchased at altars of repentance and in moments of dedication; I say purchased because joy—true joy, comes at a cost (Galatians 2:20). And believe me, throughout ones life, they will build many altars and participate in multiple moments if they are to maintain their joy. That is the “fighting” part. Every day we must reevaluate our joy and how we please God (Romans 12:1).

The next question is: How is joy expressed in a way that may be seen or felt by others? There are a couple of ways it may be shown—laughter or a smile, which often accompany each other, are two very common ways joy is notable. “So that’s what the side note was for….”, you say as realisation hits home. English comic actor Charlie Chaplin said it well when he stated, “A day without laughter is a day wasted.” Laughter is the key to being happy at the end of the day when it seemed to go horribly and is affects those around us. What a better thing to do than to affect the day that effects us!

So now, let’s end this exciting infomercial with good ole Dr. Suess, “Today was good, today was fun, tomorrow is another one!”

Goodnight everyone. I pray your tomorrow is better than today was and that your life is more laughter and joy-filled than it has been!

 

Cassandra J.

Have I Ever Told You…?

Over the last few days, I’ve been thinking much about the “last days”, but not so much how bad it is or how those that are ready, will soon be lifted higher to be with Jesus, but rather what am I doing with the time?

This being said, these thoughts have led me to think, “What have I NOT said?” Most folks would say, “What if it was my last time to say I love you to her/him/them?”…. My mind has been troubled… What if I have wasted my last minutes on Earth NOT thinking of Jesus, NOT praying daily, NOT living what I preach? What if my life has NOT said how I love Him or if it does NOT show not only the world, but my brothers and sisters that I CARE and love them? Perhaps I have gotten so world-minded that my church family is missing out on what I could offer. Perhaps, just maybe, I have skipped over my friends and gone to the world. Have I by chance NOT cared to take the PROPER time for my sister and, in turn, ignored her? It’s more than an “I love you” when we say goodnight, or an “I’m praying for you” when they’re sick or going through a tough time. Maybe it’s just an ear to hear about the day that was long, but good..or maybe it was terrible.

So what have you not said or done? Are you like me, realising that now more than ever you are needed to think and Care, with a capital ‘C’, about more than you, your family, and our World. We are a body, let us not miss out on sister time or brother time.

Taking it further… When did God last hear an “I love you” that was more than a passing statement? More than a five minute prayer? In Luke 10:38-42, we are reminded how important our time with Him really is, serving Jesus is beautiful, yes… Yet, without being connected to Him 100% we have no ability to reach the world as they NEED it.

Well, that is all my friends… I hope somehow, perhaps I can help my readers to stop and think about how short our time truly is.

Prayers,

Cassandra J.

Ready, Set, Wait..!

Hey fellow blog reader peoples.

So, I was really trying to find something super intriguing or enlightening to write, but….of course that doesn’t happen much to me. As a result, I decided to simply publish some thoughts that have been repeating in my mind over the last few weeks.

It’s amazing how fast time goes, the days grow shorter (seemingly) and it is more and more vital that one remembers to prioritse their time and keep the first things first. But really.. What are the first things that should be kept first?

What comes first in your life? Family? Church? God? Friends? Your boyfriend or girlfriend? Your hobby? Job? Man, there are so many things that can take #1. From reality and people to fantasy and mobile devices. Yet, in the midst of all the busy-ness, we make time for those things and people which we find important. And guys, y’all realise that every hobby, interest, and hanging buddy is a representation of us; it all influences us. This is why it is imperative that we value the proper things. Of course, I mean really, who has time to weed out all the bad things and focus on the good, true, and honest things of the day. You should–or at least have the time to decipher what are weights or things that we can dive 100% into. Simply put, the #1 should be God. His Word, His Life, His Death, His Resurrection… Everything is related to Him, whether you realise it or not.

Ok. Wow. So now you’re thinking, “I seriously just lost three minutes of my life reading a dumb post and you’re telling me about priorities?” Yeah, pretty much. The goal of that “wasted three minutes” was to hopefully get you thinking. We don’t have forever to live, whether you think you do or not. The youngest teen could die tomorrow in an accident, while the oldest geriatric patient in the hospital may last for another five years. No one knows when their last breath will be. Are you ready to face eternity? Dun Dun Dun.

Well, that’s all for the time. Love ya guys.

Cheers.

Cassandra J.

Welcome

Hi there! How are you? I’m ever so glad you stopped by.

Well, this is a new endeavour for me and I can’t wait to see how it turns out. First, a little bit about me. My name is Cassandra Savala and I just recently moved to East Texas from Southern California. My dad is an evangelist (traveling minister) of the Pentecostal Apostolic faith and for the last two years I have traveled to several interesting places with he and my mother. Over those last two years, I’ve discovered desires, callings, and grown in Jesus. I also graduated High School, went on an In-The-State’s Missions Trip (best ever!), and watched as God moves all across the United States of America.

So my hobbies? Writing poetry and short stories, reading, photography (with my Canon Powershot SX50 HS or my iPhone), and I love to spend time with friends and family. On a relax day, I will probably be found listening to Christmas music, reading a Dee Henderson or Terri Blackstock book, and alone in my bedroom.

How can I like time with friends and so enjoy alone time? I am an extroverted introvert. I can tend to get easily overwhelmed when I spend too much time around people. After a while, I love to be alone spending time with me. “Seriously?!” Yes, really. Even after spending time 24/7 with some of my closest friends, I come home and can finally breathe and literally feel stress and tightness lift. Weird, huh? Yeah, that’s me.

So, have any questions for me? Go ahead and comment. And welcome to my blog, may you enjoy every moment of laughter, tears, and joy brought by my humble posts.

 

Cassandra J.