Sunday, August 26, 2012

The Necessity of Obstacles:
Derived From Luke chapter 19

God is in the middle of your mess (both outside (people and circumstances outside of our control) and inside (of our own making-generally have more control) obstacles)

The Story of Zacheus:

19  He entered Jericho and was passing through. And behold, there was a man named Zacchaeus. He was a chief tax collector and was rich. And he was seeking to see who Jesus was, but on account of the crowd he could not, because he was small in stature. So he ran on ahead and climbed up into a sycamore tree to see him, for he was about to pass that way.And when Jesus came to the place, he looked up and said to him, “Zacchaeus, hurry and come down, for I must stay at your house today.” So he hurried and came down andreceived him joyfully. And when they saw it, they all grumbled, “He has gone in to be the guest of a man who is a sinner.” And Zacchaeus stood and said to the Lord, “Behold, Lord, the half of my goods I give to the poor. And if I have defrauded anyone of anything, I restore it fourfold.” And Jesus said to him, “Today salvation has come to this house, since he also is a son of Abraham. 10 For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.”

1. Everyone is short in some area- no one is perfect
    Luke 19:4-> If Zacheus was not short he would never have been able to see Jesus
   2nd Corinthians 4: 17-18- 17 For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, 18  as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.
2. Those standing in your way are there to help you climb. Resistances is not meant to stop you but rather make you stronger and to challenge. It us up to us to decide how we choose to react in such situations. These obstacles force us to make a new choice...and it is in this choice that we are ready to meet Jesus.
  Luke 19:5-- God already knows his name....he is also saying...Hey it is okay for my name to be associated with your name. Isn't that great. Regardless of whether we are considered the outcast of the town Jesus has decided that we are worth being associated with.
 Romans 5:3-5 
3 Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance,and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God's love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.

3. Your obstacle is actually a divine appointment to meet Jesus
   a. brings you to a point of decision making- one that you would not have have made before. Which allows you to climb and see Jesus
  b. It gets you frustrated-- gets you out of your comfort zone- gets you to a place that you want to do something about it

Extraneous Thoughts:
Life can be bad but God is always Good
You have to take a new action to get a new result.
Inference to child getting shots--although a child is often not told by his parents when he is going to get shots the parent is usually aware of what is going on....although shots are painful for the children they are necessary and essential. Often our obstacles may be painful but remember that God knows and allows them in our lives.
Luke 19:7 Jesus refers to Zaccheus as son of Abraham- he's one of the family.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Emily Maynard first appeared on the bachelor (she won) Brad womack's season (we all know how I feel about shows like the bachelor.....) but...I watched the show simply for her fashion. She did the show again last season as the bachelorette and we were able to see more of her lovely-chic fashion.

Here is how you can achieve Emily's flawless style:

1. Colorful scarves- Emily is not shy to dawn the scarves- a scarf adds a little something extra to any outfit  (this one is only 15$ at oldnavy  buy a similar one here

2. You can never go wrong with a good pair of boots- especially for the fall- I got mine last year at target (they look like Frye boots)
3. Jeggings- Being a short girl finding a pair of skinny jeans that fit right lengthwise is very difficult over the summer my mom got me a pair of jeggings (jean leggings) on sale from Tommy Hilfigure (they were like 20$). I love them.
4. Trench Coat- This is a wardrobe staple--it can fit so many different styles- if you go to stores like papaya or forever 21 you can get a fairly cheap option
5. Essie Fiji- I feel as though this nail polish was made famous by Emily. It is a very light shade of pink--one that I would not normally be caught dead in...but it works.
6. I love stripes...they work with anything. The first shirt is on sale at Target for like 5$ ...the second one is from jcrew and it is 30% off. 
7. Another wardrobe staple- A black blazer with pin stripe lining- I recently found a suuper cheap option at Rue21 for 25$ (it doesn't look too shabby quality wise either)
8. wedge platforms were a staple for emily during the bachelorette- I showed two options, the more colorful ones--she actually wore on the show and they run around ~600$ and the coral ones are around 13$ at Target ( I think these work great and they don't hurt the wallet either)
9. Plaid is so in this fall. This shirt would go great over a pair jeggings or tucked into a skirt. 

View Emily's interview with the possessionista here:

Monday, August 20, 2012

My trip to India this summer was amazing, it wasn't quite like I remembered the last time but there was soo much to do and so many different things to see. I am very glad I had the opportunity to go and I want to list out the trip (my day to day diary).

Day 1 (may 30th):
Arrived-took about a 3 hour trip from the airport to the village (small city) where my dad lives. I visited my uncle and aunt who live in a house in the same city. Fell asleep-Jet lag caught up.

Day 2 (May 31st):
Stayed at home and unpacked.

Day 3 (June 1):
Attended a Friday Morning meeting ( kerala....and let me just tell you it is not quite the all!). We visited my uncle's house again at night.

Day 4 (June 2nd):
Went to Thiruvalla  to pick up my cousin from the train station-drank 10 ruppee coffee at a local restaurant (gotta love that bru). Went to my grandmother's (mom's mom) sister's house for lunch...reminded me that I miss my grandma.... =(

Day 5 (June 3):
First Sunday In Kannampally (Dad's hometown) church. Meeting was extremely boring. Service ended early for a C.M. (equivalent of youth meeting....). Interesting.

Day 6 (June 4th):
Attended a wedding in Rani. It was extremely hot...and the Overall a very tiring experience.

Day 7 (June 5th):
Attended a ladies meeting at my uncles house.....again..... so yeah its not like home church. Convinced cousins to go to sabrimalla (okay so sabrimalla is like the jungle....its dangerous to drive...and apparently there are these elephants roaming free who can sit on your car and since you are driving up a winding hill/mountain type was dangerous....and I WAS A BIT ON THE CAUTIOUS I tried to convince them to turn back early.....). Also I found the song that I am going to cut my wedding cake too.....

Day 8 (June 6th):
Visited more of Chinnimami's (Mom's mom) sisters and hung out with the cousins for the rest of the day.

Day 9 (June 7th):
Hung out with cousins all day.

Day 10 (June 8th):
Ate porotta from ranni (there was some reallly good beaf curry). Watched Veer Zara with the cousins and hung out in the evening with them.

Day 11 (June 9th):
Went shopping in thiruvalla Mahalakshmi. Saw a prophetess in kotayam--> fail (I won't go into details... you can ask me about it in person). Dropped cousin back off at the train station--> Interesting experience. Reminded me of scenes from Jab We Met (GREAT MOVIE) for those who have not seen it. I am glad I got to see my cousin and spent time with her. It has been over 8 years and I am glad to have reconnected.

Day 12 (June 10th):
Went to church and afterwards watched a sad malayalam movie with my other cousins (last day with them =( )

Day 13 (June 11th):
Trip to Delhi begins:
Land in Delhi and receive marigold flower necklaces--> arrive at the hotel and eat at a nice restaurant (OMG MOST DELICIOUS FOOD EVER!!!!) Proceed to tour delhi with guide. Took a rickshaw (cycle) through chandini Chok (Im pretty sure that is the place they are referring too in Khabi Khushi Khabi Gham) The day ends with shopping at a local street market (bargaining is extensive...).

Day 14 (June 12th):
Trip to agra via tour bus. Saw Sikandar...on the way--note that if you are not an actual Indian citizen the price of tickets skyrockets (well not literally...but I mean seriously, seriously?). Recieved bindi upon arrival at hotel. Saw the agra fort (Red Fort)

Day 15 (June 13th):
5:00 am-saw the Taj Mahal.
8:00 am- came back to hotel and ate breakfast.
Proceeded to Jaipoor--upon arrival rested then took rikshaw to local stores for shopping. Experienced Jaipoor night life (driving through crowded city via rikshaw--; crazy driving)

Day 16 (June 14th):
Elephant Ride on Amber Fort in Jaipoor
Saw local sites- bought traditional shoes and puppets
Dinner- went to Choki Dhani-->traditional rajastani food --> it was a great experience. It was a small village with huts and there were camel rides and other fun occurrences. The food was simple yet one does Gelabi like the Rajastanis.

Day 17 (June 15th):
Returned to Delhi for flight back to Kerala. Sampled airport food-wasn't bad. Ate Baskin Robins. There was however a rat..(we caught it on tape) in the airport....

Day 18 (June 16th):
Visited uncle's house, went to Ranni to pick up clothes (which we gave to stitch). Went to an uncle in our Dallas church's house. He has an orphanage. LOVED spending time with the kids who stayed there. They were all so happy to see me and spend time. It was just really great to spend (even though very short) time with them.

Day 19 (June 17th):
Sunday-went to church-->watched T.V (there was this movie that I never got to finish starring Mohanlal...I want to finish it....). Family friends visited house.

Day 20 (June 19th):
Packed to go to Banglore

Days 21-23 (June 20th-22nd):
Headed out on tuesday--> Stopped by brindavan gardens (very beautiful and quite modern with the light shoes and stuff).
Wednesday Morning--> Saw mysoor palace which was very beautifully decorated (we also almost got conned...well sorta.....basically we get there at 10:30 and ask for directions just to make sure...guy who helps says the palace doesn't open till 11pm but if we give him 50 rupees he will give us a tour of the town specifically taking us to three locations we are not interested...we figure we will wait it out....guy is persistent and we cave saying we don't want to see anything just need to go to a shopping complex ...guy takes us to shopping complex we spend money and I am sure he makes some sort of profit...but doesn't ask us for the 50 ...just tells us how to get to the palace. Again, so as not to get lost we as roll down the window to ask where the palace guy says the palace doesn't open till least we didn't lose money.) After viewing the mysoor palace we make a quick stop at the chamoondy hills which is on the way to bangalore. Wednesday night we reach bangalore....which let me just tell you traffic is CRAZY...we were stuck in traffic for like 2 hours....and we couldn't find the road we were looking for..... Finally we end up at my cousins house and are able to rest and relax. Thursday we head out for shopping--> my cousin is stylish she definitely showed me what is in for India fashion and of course we had lots of fun with our girl chats at night. For lunch--we ate at this EXCELLENT RESTAURANT--> great food. We ended the day by visiting some family friends. Also the sweets ARE SO GOOD. If you visit bangalore find a store called ANAND's.

Day 24 (June 23rd):
We head back to Kerala. We stop by Coimbatore, which is in Madras. We do some shopping there......basically we stay there for a loong time. Finally arrive home at night.

Day 25 (June 24th):
We go to adoor Kerala to visit a pastor who is somewhat a mentor to my dad. So I got to see his old college and eat dinner at the pastors house. We then visit a few more houses and family friends before heading home to visit my uncle and his wife.

Day 26 (June 25th):
Last Sunday--so it is customary that you sing a song and say testimony at churchs in Kerala. Like the local members will ask you multiple times about when you are planning on saying I had to testify --> In all honesty there was a need for a testimony to thank God for his mercies in allowing us to travel and be safe on our journey and be able to see my grandmother (Dad's mom) after such a long time. We then visited all of my dad's extended family...I am talking about we spent 3-5 sometimes 10 minutes in each relatives house. I am glad we were able to do that as well.

Day 27 (June 26th):
We head to kotayam to spend time with my aunt (mom's sister from america) and my cousin CRYSTAL --who was on vacation from med school. We go on a boat ride (Kumaragam) and eat local food (great fish and shrimp). We then shop till we literally drop at SEEMATI.

Day 28 (June 27th):
Me, Crystal, Priscilla --> go for pedicures. Very cheap in India. But it was fun cousin time. We head back home to kannampally. We have to stop by ranni and beg a tailor to do some blouses for us (next day ....since we are leaving....).

Day 29 (June 28th):
Let the packing commence. We had to do some strategic packing in order to get everything fit and for us to finally be able to leave. Our trip had come to an END. It was really sad to say bye to my grandmother....I cried. I don't think I ever felt that close to her growing up because we were never able to spend time together but this trip we were able to and I was very sad to leave her.


These are the chronicles of my trip to india- Overall it was a pleasant experience which I thoroughly enjoyed. There were things such as...THE BATHROOMS....(taking a shower was so difficult...I felt as though i was getting dirtier not cleaner....EW). The fear that spiders would eat me at night (they didn't ...I didn't even see too many big ones ...JUST ONE). The food (sometimes wasn't all that great). I did realize that people don't give Kerala enough truly is God's own country...North India is a dry and very poor place ....But Kerala is flush with greens and has a jungle beauty that can't be found elsewhere.

Grandmother (ammachi) and I-I even taught her my name ;)

Mysoor Palace

Brindavan Gardens

So tired.

The Taj Mahal

Mom and I

Oh yeah...I took one of these.

The Family

Notice how in each of the following three pictures the expendable members of the family are exchanged ;)

Elephant Ride: on a side note ...they chew you out for better be weary and pay up.


Sunday, August 19, 2012

*It's been a while since I have done one of these post but I had a good service today and wanted to share.

GET OVER YOURSELVES (this is what I would title it)- A call to serve others

1) In light of eternity-service is your legacy
     -People may forget other aspects of your life but they will not forget how you serve
     -when you try and change the lives of others (by serving them) your life will get changed in the             process

2) Put away your excuse for not serving
   -Jesus served (washing of the disciples feet) right before going on the cross- you would think that he would want to sit back and relax and be catered too...seeing as he is about to die on the cross for man-kind but he didn't ...he used this as an opportunity to teach his disciples of one of the most important aspects of christianity-being a SERVANT

-Jesus does not look at ability but rather availability

3) Christian Maturity is shown through Servant leadership
  -Ephesians 3- nothing will grow your faith faster then serving others
  - Ephesians 4:11-13 Equip God's people to build up the church

Thoughts: Serving is a calling. We are called to serve others as christians. We can't just understand or comprehend that the bible says about serving but we must do. When we put others above ourselves, our own problems become less in comparison. Christianity is not one time- accept Jesus, Joined a club and have tenured membership deal---it is a constant growing process in which we are denying ourselves, lifting others above us, and trying to be more Christ like as each day passes

Thursday, August 9, 2012

I started the re-design project mid-spring and was semi-finished before I left for India on May 28th. I spent 5 weeks in India and had a blast--well aside from a few things (will give a detailed post later). I came back on June 28th and was ready to get back into the swing of things. July 3rd- a terrible tragedy happened to a family in our church and again summer took a turn (will give detailed post later). Needless to say my blogging and re-design took a HUUUGE backseat. I have now moved back to kingsville for school and should be studying for upcoming benchmarks (say tomorrow?). This is a brief update of all that has happened. Stay tuned for more details ;)

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

I HAVE FINALLY FINISHED THE RE-DESIGN PROJECT! Thanks Anish for your help! I can start posting again =) I will be filling you guys in on all that has been going on. Please leave your thoughts! Thanks.