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Sporadic Activity...

Published by Twyla E. Brooks under on 11:56 PM
Hey everyone!


I feel terrible about not keeping a more consistent blog here. I do plan on blogging more in the future, but right now it will be sporadic. ;/


Why? Unfortunately, I need money to support myself, so I picked up a second part-time job. Besides working two part-times, I've been helping out at 2 different American Heritage Girls troops in town and attending Bible studies when I can. I miss my freedom sorely, but at least I'll be able to pay rent! Yay! :)


I'm also participating in NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) so I'm plodding along in my story. I only have about 250 out of 50,000 words so far. I doubt I'll finish, but it gives me incentive to write. ^^


I keep my Tumblr updated more since it's nice for brief entries and fun pictures so you can find me there by following this linkie ---> http://twylascorner.tumblr.com/


God bless you all!


~Twyla

Day Two

Published by Twyla E. Brooks under on 11:08 PM
I owe you guys an apology for being way late on this. I'm hoping to be a bit more regular. The book only has 9 chapters, so hopefully I can get through it and post my thoughts here for you. :)


Chapter One - Part Two 09/19/11


Reading: Why Believe? Exploring the Honest Questions of Seekers by Greg Laurie


(Thought:) As I am reading further in the chapter Mr. Laurie talks about happiness. He quotes, "Philosopher Eric Hoffer wrote, 'The search for happiness is one of the chief sources of unhappiness.'" Mr. Laurie also mentions that we always hear of people who are trying to "find themselves." I'll be the first to admit I've said that of myself. It was something I strove to do when I was sixteen & especially when I was seventeen. I felt like I was neither a teenager nor an adult. It was really discouraging because the more I tried to figure out who I was supposed to be, I felt lonelier and lonelier.


Mr. Laurie mentions that kind of mindset is contrary to what the Bible instructs us to do. He brings to light, "Jesus said, 'You need to lose yourself.'" Mr. Laurie then quotes Matthew 16:24-25, "If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it."


I believe this is figurative and literal especially when you think of how many martyrs have defended their faith and died rather than denying the Lord.


Thinking back on my personal search I wasn't happy and felt like I was on a treadmill--walking but never moving forward. Sometime during the year I finally gave up trying to "find myself". I went about my school, focused on God, worked on a mural project, and focused on graduating.


It wasn't until this summer that I realized I had changed, and I was happy. It wasn't a dramatic change, but it was noticeable to me and family at least. I had matured some and pushed the walls of my comfort zone out farther. I feel comfortable with who I've become now. I realize I will continue to change and grow without my interference, and I'm okay with that. 


By giving my search, and myself, I found contentment.


Here's a picture I made on Picnik for my Tumblr account. It pretty much sums up my last bit there. :)


Isaiah 64:8, "Yet, O Lord, you are our Father. We are the clay, you are the potter, we are the work of your hand."


~Twyla

Craziness

Published by Twyla E. Brooks under on 10:58 PM
I'm so sorry I haven't posted more on my "Faith Jouney". I have it written on paper, but not typed up. :P


I've been quite busy with my job and some Community Ed classes. 


Not to worry! I will be back soon. Most of my classes are finished for now. :)


Thanks for following!


~Twyla

Day One

Published by Twyla E. Brooks under on 7:33 PM
Chapter One - Part One 09/17/11

Reading: Why Believe? Exploring the Honest Questions of Seekers by Greg Laurie

(?)Question: "What am I living for?" 

(!)Answer: Naturally, I thought, "God. I am living for God." Then I asked myself how? How am I living for Him? What am I doing that I have concluded I am living for the Lord? I actually had to think about my answer for a moment. "By living to be who God wants me to be." And who is that? "I am a sinner, and always will be one, but God has a set of Commandments He instructs that I follow. He also tells me to learn to trust,

Isaiah 26:4, "Trust in the Lord forever, for the Lord, the Lord, is the Rock eternal."

to be patient,

1 Timothy 6:11, "But you man of God, flee from all this, and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, endurance and gentleness."

to forgive,

Ephesians 4:32, "Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you."

and to love,

Matthew 5:44, "But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you."

Throughout my life I have a responsibility to my Heavenly Father to grow in these attributes. It makes me happy to see the positive changes in my life.

What are you living for?

~Twyla

A Journey

Published by Twyla E. Brooks under on 10:37 PM
There comes a time in our lives when we suddenly seem to have doubts and questions about our faith and what we believe in.


I realized I'm there, and it's not a good feeling. :/ This summer I had been asked some questions by a close friend who has different beliefs than I do. It was then that I realized how unprepared and how poorly worded my answers were. I was floundering, and I hated it.


Also, my younger brother has some friends whom he's extremely close to, but they also don't believe the same way we do. He's been asking them some questions that they've never had to evaluate because they've grown up in the specific religion they believe in and have never had an excuse or even the occasion to look deeper into their church's doctrine.


As I observed this, I was struck by the question: What if I was in that position? I have never really questioned why I believe in the Lord because I grew up being taught He was the One true God and didn't question it. 


I'm not saying that I doubt my faith in the Lord, but I do have some questions and "holes" you could say, that I don't understand about my own belief in Christianity. 


I am incredibly thankful I am taking the year off before going to college because this gives me time to begin my "journey" in establishing my faith in God and religion. If you're following this blog or just viewing it, I invite you to see me explore more thoroughly in the questions I have throughout the year. I hope to update and keep track of what I'm going through.


Until next time!


~Twyla

Tumblr

Published by Twyla E. Brooks under on 12:05 AM
Psst! I also wanted to mention I recently created a Tumblr account too. Feel free to browse and/or leave comments. (Comments are good because then I get see your guys' thoughts on things.) ;) Here's a linkie for you: http://www.twylascorner.tumblr.com

Friendship

Published by Twyla E. Brooks under on 11:45 PM
Tonight, after a summer youth group I attended we closed in prayer like usual. Someone led the prayer and then left it open for other to jump in. At some point I took the opportunity to pray aloud as well.

I used friendship as the body of my prayer. As I prayed, I realized how incredibly blessed I am to be supported not only by God and my family, but by my friends both in real life and on the forums I am a member of. I'm multi-supported! :D

I was realizing how much my friends meant to me this past weekend because I was having a terrible past four days. >_< I felt so incredibly loved and cared for when my friends came to my rescue. For me, I feel that friends are God's physical form of love. Or at least one of His many forms of love. :)

If you have friends, realize just how important they are to you. Don't take them for grant. (Many of us do and have done it.) If you don't have many/any friends, don't be depressed. Go out there and reach out to people! Friendship is one of the most beautiful things God created and it all starts with a conversation. 

I'm learning that myself. It's out of my comfort zone to reach out to people I barely know, but I'm not getting anywhere waiting for them to come to me. I just made a new friend yesterday, because I took initiative and reached out to her and she was thankful.

So get out there tell your friends how much you love 'um!

God bless you all and all your friends!

~Twyla

Stress, Stress, Stress!

Published by Twyla E. Brooks under on 7:43 PM
Ever feel stressed? I do! Although my personality is rather uptight, it's the fact that I let stress get to me is what my problem is.


Sometimes, (like now), I let stress overwhelm me. In reality, it isn't as big a deal as I make it out to be, but that's just me for ya. *rolls eyes* It's all the little things that pile up on my mental list that really dig deep into my brain system and make me think, "There's not enough time in the day to finish everything! Now I'm going to freeze up and distract myself so I don't stress so much! But, oh no! Now I'm procrastinating which stresses me out, and now I'll never get anything done! Ahhhh!!!" Then I sit there pulling my hair, snapping at my family, and feeling overall terrible. 


Stress is not only mentally, but physically bad for you! Here's a link to how bad stress can be for you: http://www.webmd.com/balance/stress-management/stress-management-effects-of-stress


Bad, bad, bad! Psalm 55:22 says, "Cast your cares on the Lord and He will sustain you; He will never let the righteous fall." That's something I'm still learning, obviously, and will continue to learn for the rest of my life, but hey, baby steps. That verse was really encouraging to me, and I hope it is for you as well. :)


Take a few minutes to pray to God and cast your burdens onto Him and let the Lord carry them for you. You shouldn't need to carry them yourself. Then, create a list off all the things you want to accomplish in your day and write them down in order of priority. As you work through each item on your list put a nice thick cross mark through it. You'll visually see your progress which motivates you to move onto the next thing with a better mood.


(My mom was the one who taught me that. Love her!) ^^


So don't be stressed, (like me), and enjoy your day!


~Twyla

God Time

Published by Twyla E. Brooks under on 11:27 PM
There are times in your life where you're going to feel God pulling at your spirit to speak to Him, and you won't be able to help but oblige that call.


I had one of those times earlier this week. Don't cringe, but it had to do with a guy. ;)


This summer I became very close to a guy I've known for the past 5 years but never had more than a summer friendship with him because of our job. It wasn't until the end of the summer that we realized we liked each other more than just a friend. There were some issues were didn't agree upon, so we were hesitant to consider a relationship. Yet over a few days, I had become overwhelmingly infatuated that I almost felt sick. I had so many butterflies in my stomach! I became very heavily distracted and felt like I had been thrown into a sea without a PFD (because lifejackets don't always save your life.) ;)


At some point in my emotion overload, I felt compelled to spill out my heart God, whom I hadn't sat down and spoken to personally since the beginning of the summer. I sat on the back porch of my grandparents cabin and prayed softly aloud about what my heart was struggling with, the questions I had, whether I was making good or bad decisions, and what I should do.


Psalm 46:10 "Be still, and know that I am God." And that's just what I did. After my prayer I sat at the picnic table and stilled my mind so I could feel Him around me. I took in the nature around me and marveled at how much energy was put into His creation. How often I take it all for granted! I was renewed with wonder and curiosity for what He had created and surrounded me with. It was a refreshing feeling.


When I went back inside the cabin, I felt much more at peace. The over-boiling emotions went down to a manageable simmer, and I found I enjoyed my day-no, my week, more. :)
Don't hesitate or push aside the feeling of God tugging at your heart. He wants a relationship with you. In order to do that, you can't ignore Him and go to Him when it's convenient for you because you might miss what He has to say back to you.


It's a rewarding experience and it doesn't take much time out of your day. For me, that meant half and hour with Him to improve my entire week.


May God bless you and your conversations with Him!


~Twyla



God Moments

Published by Twyla E. Brooks under on 1:09 PM
Have you ever had one of those moments where God suddenly seems so apparently in your life that you can only stand there in shock and joy? I have. They are precious moments to me, but many times I have let them slip past me where I don't even recognize them. Other times it's like a bucket of water is dumped on my unsuspecting head. Here's one I'll share that I experienced a couple weeks ago.
~
I walked into the grocery store with a mission: to gather cheesecake ingredients. I picked my way down the isle loading things into my arms, having forgotten to bring my own bag. I assumed my tower of supplies was stable enough when I loaded some chips for a potluck atop of the cheesecake supplies. Much to my dismay, the bag of chips was too much and a small tub of sour cream fell to the unforgiving linoleum floor. The pressure inside the tub couldn't take the fall and the plastic seal beneath the top popped open and released a dollop of sour cream into the isle. Unfortunately, I had nothing in my purse to clean it up with.


Just as this dairy episode occurred, a Mexican woman and her two young sons came through the sliding doors where I was at. The woman said something in Spanish to her children who then walked up to me as asked, "Is there anything we can help you with?" I felt elated at the assistance that was being offered to me.


I replied, "Yeah, if you guys could stand here and make sure no one steps in that blob of sour cream, I'm going to let someone know it needs to be cleaned up."


"Okay!" The older boy stood beside it warning people it was there while his younger brother hugged the over-sized stuffed animal.


I let the cashier know it was there, and she assured me it would be taken care of when she had time. At the moment she was checking out items for a customer. I wandered back the the two boys and set my purse down. I began rifling through it to see if maybe I had a scrap of paper I could scoop the blob up with. The boys' mother turned and asked, "You need wipes? I carry wipes, here I give one to you."


I gratefully took the wipe and cleaned up the floor. I let the cashier know I took care of it and threw away the wipe. When I came back to grab my groceries I had left on the floor, the boys asked, "Is there anything else we can help you with?"


"No, I'm fine now, thank you very much! You guys have been a great help." I smiled at them.


"Okay, see you later then!" responded the older boy as he walked after his mom.


The younger boy began to follow his older brother when he turned, arms wrapped aorund his stuffed animal and said, "Have a good day!" Then he turned and chased after his brother.


I was so touched I could only praise God. The random act of kindness I received that day filled me joy and brightened my mood.
~
So the next time you debate whether to the help the girl carrying too many books or smile at the dour-looking old man, just do something! It can mean a whole lot to that person even if they don't acknowledge it! Let your love for God show through your actions. :)


Blessings,


~Twyla



I Feel Nothing

Published by Twyla E. Brooks under on 5:54 PM
Lately I've felt that my faith is stale. Why? Because I feel nothing. Which makes me feel guilty for not feeling anything at all. Then I feel even worse because I've been working two jobs, seven days a week and haven't had time to feed my faith. But recently I realized, "Our relationship with God isn't supposed to be about 'feeling Him' or His presence, but just knowing and believing in the Lord."

There are going to be times in our lives where we don't "feel" the Spirit in our heart, and that's okay. If you do feel Him, enjoy it, but don't base your relationship on emotions. An example:

Say you have to move to another state away from all the friends you've grown close to for the past several years. Suddenly, you are caught up in all the whirlwind of moving, the torrent of emotions you experience with change, acclimating to a new house and neighborhood, and making new friends, but does that mean you don't love your old friends? No! Does that mean they no longer care for you either? Of course not! 

Even though distance separates you from your old friends, you still have that mutual bond of love and friendship that time and space cannot sever. I got to thinking, there are certain friends of mine who only live 40-60 minutes away from me, but I see them maybe a few times a year because life happens. When I do see them, we can slip back into our old shoe like time had not passed since our last meeting, and we loved each other the same. 

It's the same with our relationship with God. 

One of the ways I try to feed my faith when I feel it is stale, is by reading a Bible study. Sometimes reading the Bible can be too in depth for me at times, so a Bible study can be refreshing to take in. Then I can take bigger bites and head back into the Word.

Right now, I found peace in realizing what I mentioned above, and know that just because I'm not feeding my faith doesn't mean I'm altogether ignoring the Lord. I still claim Him as my Lord and Savior and talk to Him with my brief quiet moments and I know He's listening.

So be encouraged and stay faithful!

Blessings,

~Twyla 
 

Proverbs 16:9

"In his heart man plans his course, but the Lord determines his steps."

Followers