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Posted in Devotional Nuggets

Devotional Nugget #6: Choose wisely which master to serve.

No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.

Matthew 6:24

Last Thursday, my BFF Tammy and I met to have a day to ourselves and it was one of the best days I’ve had in a long time! We bought some fun stuff before sitting down to have a nice chat. We found ourselves reminiscing, talking about our writing, and the Industry from a Biblical perspective which led us to discuss serving two masters.

Sign Direction Kids - Free image on Pixabay

The Bible makes it clear: WE CANNOT SERVE TWO MASTERS! There is a reason why the world is filled with hatred, greed, and jealousy. Why there are so many robberies and frauds taking place. Why our entertainment (magazines, TV shows, books, commercials, etc.) are filled with blaspheming products that are not of God (gambling, drug overdose, nudity, etc.). Why professing Christian actors play ungodly roles in movies. Why professing Christian musicians neglect to drop God’s Name from their lips. Why preachers thirst after riches. For the mammon (money, wealth, and material things) makes them compromise their relationship with God. And when you serve mammon, you do not serve God, but Satan, thus you’ll do ANYTHING for it.

So you go to church
Read the holy word
In the scheme of life
It’s all absurd

Want your pot of gold
Need the Midas touch
Bet you sell your soul
‘Cause your God is such
You don’t care
You kill for the money

You do anything for money

Money, Michael Jackson

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Don’t get caught up in all that glitters for what does it profit a man to gain the world, but lose his soul (Mark 8:36)? The world may look good dangling before our eyes, but the lust of this world cannot satisfy us like Christ can. God is our Sustainer and He doesn’t want us to worry (Philippians 4:6-7). Rather, we should learn to be content in whatever state we’re in (Philippians 4:11). When we’re content, we do not lust after mammon in any form, for we’ll be putting our trust in God for our provisions (Proverbs 3:5-8; Matthew 6:31-34).

We’re to be set apart from the world (1 John 2:15-16) and not conform to it (Romans 12:2) for the enticing, sparkly, glittery, shiny things of this world is deceitful (Mark 4:19). 

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Reflection

Are you storing up treasures on earth or in heaven (Matthew 6:19-21)? Be honest with yourself during your self-evaluation for God doesn’t do compromises. 

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Posted in Slice of Life 🍕

TGI Fridays: The Joshua Experience!

I don’t know why I take long to write these posts!

Friday 19, April 2019

Birthday lunch

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I’ve always wanted to go to TGI Fridays on a Friday, so it’ll be more authentic and God made it happen this year… on a Friday as you can tell from the entry date. It was a blessed experience in the company of loved ones. The atmosphere was great, the menu terrific and if something wasn’t to our fancy on the menu, our host Joshua assured us that it’ll be made.

Joshua was part of our wonderful experience! He was warm, friendly, and everything a host should be in the hospitality industry. Although the food was super delicious, Joshua is the main reason we’ll be returning to the establishment.

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Here are some of the delicious food we enjoyed:

My sister Denisia kicked things off with this refreshing triple berry (strawberry, raspberry, & blackberry) smoothie.

Leiya & Denisia had the signature burger. 

My other sister Denise had this yummy pasta!

Tams & I had this deliciously loaded buffalo chicken fries topped with green onions and shaved celery. The bleu cheese was a yummy touch!

Denisia had the pineapple rum cheesecake for dessert. 

From another angle. 

Tams had a brownie covered in chocolate fudge sauce, caramel sauce, vanilla ice cream (yum!) and chopped nuts.

***All of these photos were taken by Leiya, our beautiful sister in Christ. She was adamant that she took as many photos as she could. I asked her permission to upload these photos and to also put the logo on them. There was also birthday ice cream, but that photo didn’t make the final cut. 

Posted in Bible Study

Genesis part XXIII: Pharaoh promotes Joseph

In case you missed it:

Bible Study Guide

God never forgets us, but yet, we tend to forget all about Him until that minute of need arises and we remember Him. Never start your day without God. The first thing you must do when you first open your eyes on mornings is to thank Him and engage in prayer with Him, for He must be the first Person we communicate with each day.

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Joseph interprets Pharaoh’s dreams and is promoted

Scripture in focus: Genesis 41 

41:1-7 > Two years after the chief butler is taken out of prison, the Pharaoh has two disturbing dreams startling him out of sleep both times. The river, he is standing by in the dream is the Nile. The Egyptians’ life revolved around this river and they worshipped it (of course!). Cows (kine) were also worshipped, so it’s no wonder the Pharaoh dreamt of cows. As for ‘corn’, the term is a generic term for any grain and the Egyptians used the cows to trample the ‘ears’ of the grain which would’ve looked something like this barley here:

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The Nile is the longest river in the world and it flows through 11 countries. Without this river, Egyptian civilization wouldn’t have existed due to the arid climate.

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41:8 > The next morning, Pharaoh sends for all the impressive magicians and wise men, but they, too, were astounded and couldn’t interpret Pharaoh’s dreams. Oh, the sorcery of those so-called dream experts! They’ve just set the stage for Joseph to enter into Egyptian history.

41:9-13 > The chief butler suddenly remembers Joseph and relates his dream account and experience to Pharoah.

41:14 > The timing of God is perfect. A few years passed, and Joseph must’ve been feeling neglected, for he was an innocent man imprisoned in a strange land. See, during the times that we may feel isolated from God or we’re continuously praying and seeing no results, these are the times God is working in/through us to develop our character, to transforming it into that of the image of Jesus Christ. During the time Joseph was in prison, God was doing just that for him and that’s why when it was time for Joseph to get out of prison, it was done quickly, for it was done in God’s timing (also see Psalm 81:5-7).

When we look back at a younger Joseph, he shared his dreams with his brothers in a self-glorifying way and standing before Pharaoh in the following chapters, we see how humbled he has become, and even wiser. 

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41:15-16 > Now, 30 years of age, Joseph stands before Pharaoh. He is given an opportunity to glorify himself, but he’ll have none of it, instead choosing to glorify God. A sharp contrast to the so-call Christian actors and singers we have lately who, when given the opportunity, shine the light on ‘self’. 

41:17-24 > Pharaoh tells Joseph his dream and we’re given additional details. In 41:4, we see the ill-favored and lean-fleshed cows eat up the fat and healthy cows and in 41:21, we see that despite eating the fat cows, the skinny cows remained the same instead of becoming fat.

41:25-32 > Joseph interprets the dreams telling the Pharaoh that the dreams are one and was repeated twice (in one night) for God was going to bring it to pass (v. 32). He reveals that the dream is a warning of severe famine, after seven years of good harvests.

41:33-36 > Joseph offers advice to the Pharaoh.

41:37-38 > Pharaoh approves the proposed advice and his servants were also in agreement. The Egyptians might not have understood the “Spirit of God” (the first mention of the Holy Spirit coming upon a man in the Bible) fully, but they knew that God had assisted Joseph.

41:39-44 > Joseph is promoted to a position of great authority. He is now the number two man in Egypt; the Vizier (Prime Minister) to the Pharaoh.

41:45 > “And Pharaoh called Joseph’s name Zaphnath-paaneah” Various proposals have been given for the meaning of Joseph’s Egyptian name, the top two being “The Salvation of the World” and “God Speaks and He Lives”. Joseph is also given Asenath as wife; she was the daughter of the priest of On.

The Egyptians were sun worshippers and in Joseph’s time, the centre of sun worship in Lower Egypt was the temple of Atum (see notes below about this deity) at On (later called Heliopolis by the Greeks). Two obelisks were originally erected at On by Pharaoh Tuthmosis III (c.1504 – 1450BC); they were called Cleopatra’s Needle and had nothing to do with Cleopatra. Today, those obelisks can be seen in Central Park, New York and on the Embankment in London.

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The Obelisk of On (Heliopolis) via Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco

41:46-49 > The seven years of plenty came to pass. It’s important to note, that, like Jesus, Joseph begins the Lord’s work at 30 years old, both on orders from God.

41:50-52 > Sons are born to Joseph, before the first year of the famine. The firstborn, he called Manasseh meaning “One Who Causes Me to Forget” for God made Joseph forget all his previous pain and trial. Ephraim means “Fruitful” for God made him fruitful in Egypt. His sons were given Hebrew names for although Joseph forgot his pain, he did not forget the faith of his fathers.

41:53-56 > The 7 years of the famine begins and it not only affected Egypt, but also in surrounding countries such as Arabia, Syria, Palestine, etc.

41:57 > All the neighboring nations came to Egypt to buy corn.

Fun Fact: Egypt was once known as the breadbasket of the world because of the Nile.

Up next: Joseph’s family comes to Egypt and his dreams of teenage years come to pass.

Additional Notes/Recap

^ The probable kings during Joseph’s period in Egypt – enslavement and rise to power – were said to be Khakheperre Senusret II/Sesostris II (ca. 1897-1878 BC) and Khakheperre Senusret III/Sesostris III (1878-1843 BC) which would’ve been the 12 Dynasty. I’ll love to do further research into this Dynasty! I’ll publish my findings at a later time.

^ Atum or Atem or Tem was also known as the great he-she was a creator god. He was the first and most important god to be worshipped in Iunu (Heliopolis, Lower Egypt) for the ancient Egyptians believed that Atum (the setting sun) rose from the waters of chaos (Nun) and created all the gods. Later, Ra (the rising sun) would become the main god. 

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REFERENCES/AIDS

* The Holy Bible 

* bible-studys.org

* blueletterbible.org

* prayer

*** Images and GIFs via Google Search

Posted in Blogging 101

Thank you, Yvette! 💙

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Yvette over on priorhouse.blog took the time to remind me of a recurring problem with my blog: the link was not showing up for a while now – since last month or so – and I paid no real attention to it. Silly me! Yesterday, she reminded me yet again that although my comment was showing up, the link back to my blog was still not working which resulted in the blog not showing up in her Reader.

So, it was time to get down to fix the persisting problem.

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At first, I Googled the possible reason behind the problem and I was told it was Gravatar and perhaps the image was poorly rated or something like that. Anyway, to make a long story short, after going around in circles, I eventually consulted the Director of this blog (God) and the Holy Spirit guided me, showing me that the problem was STARING me in the eye all along.

And just like that, the problem was fixed and the link back to the blog was working; thank You, God! I should have consulted God first. Despite yesterday being hectic, I have no excuse as to why I didn’t speak to God first. Had I done so, I wouldn’t have run around in circles for two hours or so!

And thank you, Yvette, for reminding me of the problem for you encouraged me to resolve this issue once and for all.

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***GIFs via Google Search

Posted in Slice of Life 🍕

Midnight thoughts: vacation 🌙

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I’m actually on vacation – have been since last week and I’m unplugged from everything work, that when I return, this is going to be my default expression…

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It’s been pretty restful and eye-opening thus far, as God has been revealing new things to me. I couldn’t have asked for a better vacay! Thank You, God!

Please note that most of these midnight posts are meaningless. My train of thought can be pretty random or distracting, and I just thought that it’ll be fun to share some.

Now, it’s time to catch some z’s! Night, world.

Ohhhh is adorable ♥○♥

Posted in Books & Reviews

Books #148 – #151: predictable cheesy YAs and spies

I found this post while sorting through drafts! Apparently, I had written it a few months ago and forgot all about it! I’m just thankful I have something to post today! 🙂

Book #148: You’re Welcome, Universe by Whitney Gardner

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This book won the Schneider Award for teens and I want to know how and why. This book was nowhere near excellent or mind-blowing. What drew me to this book was the Deaf Culture aspect. I’ve been working on a story in which the male protagonist is deaf – I may have mentioned this already – and I wanted to read similar stories along the line like it, but this book was so terrible, I did not get very far.

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Kinda how I feel about this book although I haven’t picked up ASL in a while!

Julie is Indian American and a graffiti artist who attends the Kingston School for the Deaf. Someone writes a slur about her best friend and she covers it up with a graffiti mural. This is illegal. And what do you know? The so-call best friend snitches and Julie is expelled. I DNF’ed this book before the halfway point, so I can’t really say much about the story, but the writing style was a turn-off and the art accompanying the story was pretty boring!

This story is recommended for 12 years old and up. I wouldn’t even recommend this to anyone and the usage of foul language was a dead turn off. No, universe, you’re not welcome. 

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Book #149: Love, Life and the List by Kasie West

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Let’s get right into it. Things that bothered/annoyed me:

^ This sentence: He was the best friend in the world. (Page 3)

^ The texting: Most teenagers (and most adults for that matter) do not text in full sentences completed with full stops!!

^ When the story is written in the first person, the protagonist tends to overshare and in doing so, they become little narcissists. Hence why the author ends up overwriting most of the time.

^ Pages 85-86: Why is this girl on the phone… IN THE LIBRARY?! This irks me. And on top of it, she was talking rather loud.

^ Page 90: Throwing books? You don’t throw library property at each other! What hooligans! I’m sure the author wouldn’t want me to throw THIS book at someone!

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We have Abby. She’s an artist and is in love with her best friend Cooper who doesn’t “like her like her” that way. However, there’s a nice boy named Elliot who does and he is also into art. He sculpts. 

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I thought this book was going to be about Abby getting over unrequited love and falling for someone else who was not Cooper who took her for granted and even missed her big art show! Some best friend. Cooper and Abby as endgame were forced. I came away from this story not caring for Abby as she was irritating and I didn’t care for Cooper either. I mean, was I supposed to swoon over him? There was no chemistry between them at all. What in the world was West thinking?

Abby’s grandfather Dave and Elliot were the most exciting thing about this book. Like, where can I read their stories? love coffee

Book #150: The Gordian Knot by Bernhard Schlink

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The Gordian Knot is a term used to describe a complex (sometimes unsolvable) problem and is often associated with Alexander the Great.

What we have here is a strange spy novel which starts in the dashing French countryside, but ends up in New York. The writing was terrible, the plot weak, the characters pathetic and nothing really made sense. It was supposed to have been a Cold War spy thriller, but I ended up with a story that was not memorable. love coffee

Book #151: Femme Fatale: Love, Lies, and the Unknown Life of Mata Hari by Pat Shipman

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Margaretha Geertruida MacLeod better known by her fascinating stage name Mata Hari hailed from the Netherlands and was an exotic dancer and courtesan. She was convicted of being a spy for Germany during World War 1 by the French and was executed by a French firing squad in 1917.

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Ever since I came across Mata Hari’s story in the newspaper when I was really young, I’ve been intrigued by her background. Reading her story many years later, I’ve come to understand the dancing spy’s persona better. She was intelligent and an excellent linguist. A spotlight seeker who drew the admiration of many men wherever in the world she went.

She loved turning heads.

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The author did a good job in explaining Mata Hari’s story from her early life to exotic dancer and mistress, as an alleged spy for France to her death. A lot of research went into this book, but pages devoted to what life was in the Dutch East Indies and the Dutch presence in Indonesia was extraneous. Mata came across as a spoiled egotistical opportunistic sugar baby to military men. 

In short, it was a well-written story, but I was left wanting to shake some sense into her for being so dumb and trusting all for the sake of wanting to live as a material girl. The author was very sympathetic towards Mata, but I was not. Her life and death were controversial, yes, but she was naive to a fault.

Fun Fact: In Indonesian, matahari means “sun” or “eye of the day”. love coffeelove coffeelove coffee

***GIFs and images via Google Search