Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Christian Living

    I asked the Lord to come into my heart at a young age; four or five, I think. I grew up in a family that loved God and taught His word. I was happy and content with my life. I could challenge the status quo by continuing life as it was. I was home educated, being raised in a large family, and I loved it! Why would I want things different? 

   The world, through my young eyes, was foreign. How could anyone want something different than what I had? ... What did I have? I'm not even sure I knew. I wanted to tell others about Jesus. Whether that meant asking them point blank if they were a Christian, or singing gospel songs on the top of my lungs, it didn't matter. I was young and had no fear of what someone might say or think. If they didn't know God, they needed to know, simple as that.

    As I was entering my "young teen" years, things were not very different. Telling others about the gospel was still very important to me. Now I wouldn't talk about salvation to a complete stranger, but as I got to know someone, I would jump at the first opportunity presented. 
  I was shy though. In a crowd, I mostly stuck with my parents or a sibling. I didn't really talk to anyone, unless they came over to me. 
     Then, as I got older, something interesting happened; people wanted to know MY opinion! Now, this wasn't necessarily new, but I began to realize something: Almost everything I believed  was true because my parents said so. They had always encouraged us to seek the scriptures and know what we believed and why, however, I was only just beginning to find out what they meant. 

     Had I failed to read the Bible? Not at all. What I had failed to do was read and seek to understand. This mistake of mine made the Bible something I did because I had to, not because I wanted to. 
     As you may guess, I slowly lost interest in reading God's word. Christianity was a religion not a lifestyle, though I certainly didn't realize it at the time. Oh, I still prayed, and read my Bible, and even witnessed to a person or two, this, however, were acts of the mind, not acts to God from my heart. 

 Then, roughly four years ago, God got my attention. Circumstances and events  disrupted the "safety bubble" I had created for myself. I needed answers, and I needed to know what was happening and why. I needed to know for myself, because it was directly affecting me in a way that caught me off guard. It was one of the hardest times of my life, but I can see now, it was a time of major growing in Christ and His word. I was reading the Bible again because I wanted to. I was seeking to know "the reason for the hope that was in me." with fervor. 
     As the struggles continued, I prayed that things would be different. I begged God to answer my prayer, and He did. This answer, however, was not what I had asked, but the very opposite. 

   Looking back, I can only thank Him, and praise God for his awesome providence and mercy.  I rededicated my life to Christ and tried to live more for Him. I wanted to live in such a way that brought glory to His name. The verse in Romans 8 meant more to me than ever before: "And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose." 
     At one time I had claimed to believe it, now I can personally attest to its truth. 

     Christianity should be a joy; something we live out daily, not reading the Bible and going to church on Sundays. It's so easy to fake it, especially if you've been raised in a Christian family. It's so easy to think you're doing okay by comparing yourself to the world and their low standard. I should know. I did. 

     Now, as a young lady of twenty, I still have a long way to go. However, I can now confidently say that my faith is something I am living out with joy. It is something I do because I want to, not because I have to. 

     Do you ever wonder what you should be doing as a Christian, or if you are doing enough? Friend, if you are saved, you will read your Bible because you want to. You will strive to know Christ because you want to. We are not saved by our works, but by our works, others may know we are saved. 
   I know I will stumble. I know I won't always want to read my Bible or pray. I know I will have more trials, but I also know I serve a God who is bigger than all that: a God with an infinite, providential power. He sees the bigger picture, and knows what will bring me closer to Him. Praise God!

      Through the years, this is a passage that I had to bring to mind many times: "Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and he shall make your paths straight."  We will never come to a place in Christianity where we have "arrived", or when we suddenly figure out all the mysteries in scripture. We will constantly have more to learn and more room to grow, but thank the Lord! For this truth we can rely completely on Him and constantly seek to know Him more. We serve such an awesome God!

"Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new." 2 Corinthians 5:17

Sunday, December 1, 2013


Thanksgivingless                                                               Written by: Kelsey Hoppman
                                                                                                             November 27, 2013
Penniless stands the young businessman. Now
Facing the world without any clue how.
Greedy and sharp was the game that they played.
Leaving this gent with a debt never paid.

Crippled for life she has none in this world.
Desperate for glory that's lost and unfurled.
Innocence longs for one step in her mind.
Struck with great terror. Tell death, left behind.

Rough, wrinkled hands grasp the bare, little sign.
Homeless and numb in this raw wintertime.
Salty, wet tears flood his glum, darkened face;
Hopeful for love, or a friend, or embrace.

Tears from the grieving, young parent fall fast.
How could she know her child's breath was her last?
Crumb'ling into a dark, anguished abyss,
Wishing for just one last word, smile, or kiss.

Angered and wounded, agony cries.
Hopeless in suff'ring and lost in the lies.
Only through One will they truly find grace:
Saved through Christ's death and forever embrace.

Thankfulness rests not on our weakened frame.
Following Christ we can trust in His name.
Absence of One to give thanks to, confess,
Leaves us to wander and Thanksgivingless.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

The Attack on Thanksgiving

        Thanksgiving is a special holiday for many. A time to get together with friends and family, eat a big meal, and fellowship with one-another. 
  We've watched as Christmas gradually became commercialized; replacing the birth of Christ with Santa, presents, and a superficial "Happy Holidays!". Now, I fear Thanksgiving is under similar attack. It's been happening for a while. More and more, I see the commercializing of this holiday. (A very happy "Turkey Day" to you!) Then, black Friday rolls around and everyone scrambles for a good deal and great prices; forgetting the "Thankfulness thing", it seems. 

  Thanksgiving, a holiday meant to bring glory and honor to our Lord, will bring many scrambling to cover up. Those who are not for Christ will be against Him. This attack, however, is not as simple as it may seem. 

  "For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places."

Our battle is not simply "Remembering to thank God", it is a battle against Christianity and the Bible. Is is a direct attack against God. 

  So as you celebrate this time in fellowship with one another over creamy mashed potatoes, steaming corn and beans, rich stuffing, and a golden turkey, do remember what God has done. However, you must also realize that everything you do, every action you take, and every word you speak, means something to the world that watches. 

  Giving thanks to God makes a bold declaration. It declares God to be true. It declares our unrighteousness and downright sin against God, being unable to do any good, were it not for his incomprehensible love and grace. It declares the unmarred gospel as perfect truth. Are you ready to make this declaration? 

   May we, as Paul in Ephesians 6, declare: "And for me, that utterance may be given unto me, that I may open my mouth boldly, to make known the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in bonds: that therein I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak.

  May we thank God for his grace, for which I certainly am unworthy, and pray we all make him more than a memory, but our life. 

 Happy Thanksgiving! Pax in Christo. 

Wednesday, October 23, 2013


"Now know I that the LORD saveth his anointed; he will hear him from his holy heaven with the saving strength of his right hand.
 Some trust in chariots, and some in horses: but we will remember the name of the LORD our God."

 What a glorious truth that we can put our complete trust in the Lord. It is not by our strength nor by the strength of the things in this world, but by Christ and Christ's alone. Our tendency is to rely on material things to protect and save us. As Christians, we claim to trust God but then rely on a fall-back, "just in case".  I think it's often subconscious, yet we do it nonetheless. So often we stumble through life trying to work things out on our own. Only after failing miserably do we realize we could only make it through, by the strength of our Savior.  We must trust Him more. We must be willing to go to the ends of the earth and die for the sake of the gospel. Christ is not plan B or even plan A. He is everything; the Alpha and Omega, beginning and End. Praise God for his faithfulness! 

 I think William Bradbury spoke well when he wrote  the words for the song "The Solid Rock":

 "My hope is built on nothing less
Than Jesus’ blood and righteousness;
I dare not trust the sweetest frame,
But wholly lean on Jesus’ name."

What are some areas in your life you should trust God more?

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Harvey Newcomb on Reading the Scriptures

     "Whenever we open this blessed book, this should be the sincere inquiry of our heart: 'Lord, what wilt thou have me to do?' Let us come to it with this childlike spirit of obedience, and we shall not fail to learn the will of God. But when we have learned our duty in God's word, the next thing is, to do it without delay. First, there must be an earnest desire to know the present duty, and then a steadfast and settled determination to do it as soon as it is known. The pressure of obligation rests upon the present moment; and, when the present duty is ascertained, the delay of a single moment is sin."
                  -Young Lady's Guide

Friday, August 23, 2013

Favorite Films

I was tagged by  Alicia Willis (Click to visit her blog) to give a list of my all-time favorite films! I'll warn you now, it's a hefty list, but here it goes...

Disclaimer: The films are not listed in a certain order. I also do not necessarily condone or agree with all aspects of each film.

So without further ado, my top 15 favorite films! 

Amazing Grace: This film is so inspiring. It follows William Wilberforce  as he strives to bring complete freedom to the slaves. A family favorite!

Sound of Music: I just love this story. :-)

The Ultimate Gift and Saving Sarah Cain: Two films that are not "Christian", however I think there is some great storytelling that goes on with these films. Great for discussion.

The Adventures of Tin Tin: This film is amazingly well done. The animation is especially impressive. A very playful, action-packed story, based off of the comic strip of Tin Tin.  A bit cliché in places but all other aspects override this small quibble, I think. :-) Classic "Good guy vs. Bad guy" film. 

Time Changer: A funny, engaging, thought-provoking film by Rick Christiano.

No Time For Sergeants: Hilarious story. Great acting. Andy Griffith. Nuff said. 
The Last Sin Eater: "The Last Sin Eater" is very well done. The cinematography, acting, and story is outstanding. A very well-crafted film.

Mr. Smith Goes to Washington: Although I've only seen this once, I really liked it and would mark it as one of my top favorite films. Filibustering at it's best! :-)

The Island on Bird Street: "The Island on Bird Street" is a very clever film. Really enjoyed it.

War Horse: This movie is hard to watch in parts. Why? It's a horse movie, people; Horse and boy are separated, things happen to the horse... You know how it goes.
The lighting was very unique and the storytelling and acting was great. Really enjoyed seeing this. 

Courageous: If you haven't seen Courageous yet, watch it. Great film. Solid teaching. Once again, the Kendrick's bring out another masterpiece.
The Runner From Ravenshead: This film is adorable. The cast consists of the movie makers five children, all under the age of ten. Impressive. A great story for the whole family, especially your younger ones. This is one we've watched over and over.

National Treasure 1 and 2: Guilty pleasure time... An action-packed thriller that will get your heart racing and your mind working. However, these two secular films messed up our history, so don't watch it for historical accuracies. As you can see though, I enjoyed these so much I had to stick em' in with my top favorites. *Sheepish Grin*
The Great Escape: Yes, yes, yes. I love this film. Very clever and engaging. Certainly kept me on the edge of my seat and one I need to see again. 

Something to consider when watching films: We must be so careful not to just "take in" just anything that is fed to us through the movie screen. First of all, be careful what you watch. Second, when you do watch a movie, be sure to filter everything through God's word. Movie nights shouldn't be a "Sit down and shut off" time. They should be an engaging time as you challenge your thoughts, ideas, and  worldview through the Bible, as well as the worldview of the filmmakers.
So what do you think? Any favorite films? 

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

The Lie of Self Esteem


"But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousness is as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away. And there is none that calleth upon thy name that stirreth himself to take hold of thee for thou has hid thy face from us, and hast consumed us, because of our iniquities." Isaiah 64:6-7

   Self esteem is pushed by many in our society today. It is especially strong in regards to children. Scholars encourage parents to push their child's self-esteem, let them know just how special they are, and that they must believe in themselves. If you think about it, however, this really goes against what it says in scripture. The Bible teaches that, without God, we are nothing and He is everything; but there is a great joy and rest in this.

"Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new." (Corinthians 5:17)

   We can attempt to produce a confidence in ourselves, but we will constantly be disappointed. Man will fail us. Sin is rooted deep and no matter how hard we may try to be good, evil will creep up in our lives. So what is our only hope for redemption from ourselves and our flesh? Christ! He, being the only perfect man to walk this earth, has brought us redemption and conquered death. This we can rest in, without fear, no matter what comes our way. We will stumble, but the repentant sinner will always find forgiveness in Christ, and will use these errors to change their lives for the better.

"But now, O Lord, thou art our Father ; we are the clay, and thou our potter; and we all are the work of thine hand. be not wroth very sore, O Lord neither remember iniquity forever: behold, see, we beseech thee, we are all thy people" (Isaiah 64:8-9)

We are nothing, and can do nothing, but with God all things are possible and we can place all our confidence in Him. We will fail. Man will fail. But God will never fail us and his Word shall stand forever.

"Praise the lord, the God of Israel, because he has visited and redeemed his people." Luke 1:68

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Ye Shall Know Them By Their Fruit

     "Therefore thus saith the Lord God; Now will I bring again the captivity of Jacob, and have mercy upon the whole house of Israel, and will be jealous for my holy name;"

   Our God is a mighty and jealous God. He is so full of love and compassion but He commands our obedience, lest danger and curses of the unrepentant sinner fall upon us.

"When I have brought them again from the people, and gathered them out of their enemies' lands, and am sanctified in them in the sight of many nations; Then shall they know that I am the Lord their God, which caused them to be led into captivity among the heathen: but I have gathered them unto their own land, and have left none of them any more there. Neither will I hide my face any more from them: for I have poured out my spirit upon the house of Israel, saith the Lord God."

   He longs to bring his people to Himself, and as He is perfect and holy, He will, in due time. He only requires we follow; trusting Him and loving Him with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength.

 "Thy testimonies are wonderful: therefore doth my soul keep them. The entrance of thy words giveth light; it giveth understanding unto the simple.  I opened my mouth, and panted: for I longed for thy commandments. Look thou upon me, and be merciful unto me, as thou usest to do unto those that love thy name. Order my steps in thy word: and let not any iniquity have dominion over me. Deliver me from the oppression of man: so will I keep thy precepts. Make thy face to shine upon thy servant; and teach me thy statutes. Rivers of waters run down mine eyes, because they keep not thy law.
Righteous art thou, O Lord, and upright are thy judgments."


     Salvation is not of works but the grace of God. However, as an outpouring of our love and devotion to our Lord, Christians should be known by their works.

 "For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also."

   Do we follow Him? Do we daily pick up our cross and follow Christ, dying to our flesh that we may live with our King forever?

 "For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit. For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace."

(Ezekiel 39:25, 27-29, Psalm 119:129-137, James 2:26, Romans 8:5-6 KJV)


Thursday, August 1, 2013


But this thing commanded I them, saying, Obey my voice, and I will be your God, and ye shall be my people: and walk ye in all the ways that I have commanded you, that it may be well unto you.

     I stood in the entry-way of the Edgewood assisted living as I listened to the beautiful music performed by my sister, cousin, and a few friends Glancing over at the residence, I noticed one woman, who I later learned was named Mary, seemed to be crying. As I watched her carefully, I felt a nudge from the Lord. "You should go over to her." "Wait" I thought, "I need to make sure she really is crying first..." As she sat in her chair listening to the girls, her shoulders quivered as she delicately dabbed her eyes with a tissue. No doubt now, she was crying.  Even so, I hesitated. "I've never done something like that before-Walk up to a stranger just because they looked upset-and in the middle of the girls performance?" The nudge came again. "Just slip next to her, give her a hug and quietly ask if she's alright."

     I knew it was so ridiculous to be nervous, yet I questioned myself, considering all the awkward situations that could occur... Still, I knew it was the Lord tugging at my heart to approach this woman. I had been given this nudge before and only been blessed when I followed. "This shouldn't be a big deal." I thought.

 The girls continued to play their violins and I stood there-trying to decide if I would go over to Mary. I looked over at my Aunt, standing beside me. She too, had her eyes on Mary.

    "These folks are some of the sweetest, most approachable people. If I'm too scared to bring the light of Christ to them, then I would never tell anyone." I told myself. "Plus, I can't just ignore something God is telling me to do." I noticed my Aunt. She was about to go over there. "I should go." I thought. "I need to do this." I was ready. I would simply crouch down by her side, put my arm around her, and whisper, 'Are you okay?' " I looked around then back at Mary.  I sensed movement beside me. My Aunt was leaving her place and approaching Mary, who was still wiping the tears from her eyes. 

   I watched my Aunt get down on her knees, put her arm around Mary, and whisper in her ear. "That should have been me." I knew I shouldn't have hesitated.

  I felt the Lord was speaking to my heart.  If I don't follow His still, small voice, He will use another vessel for His glory. However, I will not be blessed for not following Him, nor receive the joy that come through obeying his voice. It is an honor to serve my King, but disregarding what He asks of me  because I'm "scared" is inexcusable and will only lead me further from Him. It's a mistake I pray I won't make again.

   Last night during family Bible study we talked about sanctification. The scripture we read went along with what I felt the Lord telling me.

"But in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and of silver, but also of wood and of earth; and some to honor, and some to dishonor.21 If a man therefore purge himself from these, he shall be a vessel unto honor, sanctified, and meet for the master's use, and prepared unto every good work."

On a side note:
 After the performance, I went over to Mary and spoke with her for a while. She said it was her birthday and she cried because it touched her that everyone came to bless her on her special day. I asked her if she knew the Lord personally; if she had ever asked Him to forgive her sins and come into her heart. She told me in her soft, feeble voice, "I pray to Him every night... Life is beautiful and I want to live a long time." Please pray for Mary, that the Lord does a work in her heart, and that she would come to the knowledge of her need for Christ to save her.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

A Blustery Day!

I love the springtime. It's so exciting to watch the budding plants and blooming flowers. New life in both plant and animal is a beautiful thing. 

Springtime is also one of the best times for taking pictures. I love it!

 However, there is a  reality that every true New Mexican must face...

...And it's the wind. 

It can be very destructive and difficult to do things in...

...But we try to have some fun anyways. I'll give it this much, it certainly creates some great memories!  :-)

  So what are some "special" weather-related quirks where you live? 

Saturday, March 30, 2013

He Is Alive!

Hello All! Here is a link to a video of my favorite songs, particularly around this time.
   We remember Christ taking on our sins, punishment, and shame upon himself. The ultimate sacrifice which we did not deserve and never will. Yet, our infinite Father in heaven saw fit to grant us His incomprehensible grace and mercy. Conquering death once and for all, behold: the Lamb of God! Wishing you all an amazing Resurrection Sunday! Rejoice, for He is alive!

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Pets and Christians

Pets are so much fun. If you keep your eyes open, sometimes they can teach you something about the Christian walk. One example comes from a post a wrote in 2009 called: Judgement by the Cone.

So what kind of things do your pets teach you?