Wednesday, June 29, 2011

booksbooksbooksbooksbooks[and more]books

Current location : Barnes and Noble.

Known to some as one of the best places on earth.

The view? No, it isn't an African (or even Floridan for that matter) sunset, but the view makes me giddy. Because there are books every which way I look. I have Shakespeare sitting to the left, yelling at me with extremely {large} print on the cover. I, however do think that it seems inviting, that is, reading Shakespeare. The language is quite pretty if you can stand it long enough to appreciate it. It is not as eloquent as French, but has a charm about it that I enjoy. Farther down to the left are books about 'Role Playing' and Dragons. Something I don't think I could ever come to appreciate. To the right are books about Astrology and the 'New Age'. And above the ceiling, raining down throughout the store, are the words," Let your soul be your pilot."

Greaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaat.

World where have we gone? Where are we headed? We all need us some Jesus.

Jesus' words are even here--however many altered translations stand next to the ole' King J and my personal favorite, Mr. English Standard Version, all varieties are present, along with 'inspirational' books.

The newest things are items named : The Kindle, or The Nook. Quite honestly, I find these 'things' to be saddening. I love books. Isn't it fun to cuddle up with a blanket, pry open your marked page and, re-enter the mysterious world only you and the book have? It's thrilling to open a book and find words splattered on pages and feel the pages. Experience the book. I have a hard time understanding how you can do that with a Kindle or a Nook. The technology is being placed in Children's hands, younger and younger each year. No wonder kids don't want to read books. Cell phones, ipads, Kindles and Nooks are better. I beg to differ.

It makes me sad.

I have some summer goals which include a lot of reading. What have you been reading? Any suggestions?

Friday, June 24, 2011

Volcanoes

It's weird how hard circumstances seem distant when they aren't happening to you or someone you know. Death and Divorce/Separation, on my end of things are very heartbreaking, burdensome,(burdensome and heartbreaking kind of mesh together here. burdensome in that I'm often thinking of certain situations etc) and confusing. Especially when I sit off in the distance merely observing the grief. And there is nothing humanly possible for me to do to help solve the problem, or ease the pain.

I know that God is sovereign, but it's mind boggling to me, to think that I can't help in some way or meet some need. I want to help those in the midst of trial, my heart aches for them. I awake with constant headaches, from banging my head against the wall in prayer. It appears that all I can do is pray. Yes, I believe in prayer, and oh, do I pray my heart out.

"Lord," I cry, "isn't there *anything* I can do?"

"Of course you can Lacey. You are only praying but not letting me handle it." ^--[profound right?]

Maybe there is not an opportunity to help--at this time.
Maybe I have to let go of wanting control.
Even though I have convinced myself of my good intentions.

I must say, it is hard to watch volcanoes erupting, watching the lava destroy, and only holding out a cup of water in response to the catastrophe.

Lord teach me to *trust* you. Help me to realize that though, being small in appearance, prayers do help. Glorify yourself through me.

Psalm 130


1Out of  the depths I cry to you, O LORD!
 2O Lord, hear my voice!
 Let your ears be attentive
   to the voice of my pleas for mercy!

 3If you, O LORD, should mark iniquities,
   O Lord, who could stand?
4But with you there is forgiveness,
    that you may be feared.

 5I wait for the LORD, my soul waits,
   and in his word I hope;
6my soul waits for the Lord
   more than watchmen for the morning,
   more than watchmen for the morning.

 7O Israel, hope in the LORD!
   For with the LORD there is steadfast love,
   and with him is plentiful redemption.
8And he will redeem Israel
   from all his iniquities.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

My final Nature vs. Nurture Essay

DNA vs. Environment
When posed with the question, “Which do you think affects you more, Nature, one's DNA, or Nurture, the environment?”, I quickly made a firm headstrong opinion. I made a case wrote the 2 page essay that was due, and No, I didn't expect to have my mind changed, nor did I want my mind to change—at the time. That decision however, was closed minded, and I was lacking skills of a critical thinker. Now, after 6 weeks of quizzes, a midterm, and countless hilarious, yet informational lectures, I have a new approach to the Nature vs. Nurture debate widely discussed in Psychology. A new approach that is backed by research. Let us begin.
Researchers in the field of Behavioral Psychology, use heritability to trace characteristics and determine if the characteristics are caused by heredity. In a twin study relating to IQ scores, the results showed that,“the more closely related two individuals are, the more similar their IQ scores tend to be.”(230) Identical Twins raised apart from each other scored approximately.75 on the test, and Identical Twins raised together scored .90. “Clearly, the high degree of similarity in the intelligence scores of identical twins who have been reared apart makes a strong case for the powerful influence of genes.”(230) Twin studies prove a lot regarding genes and behavior, if you are an identical twin, you have the exact same DNA set-up. Therefore, whether or not you are raised together with your twin, this study shows that nature mostly influences a person.
In my first opinion paper, I suggested that even though one's parents may be addicted to drugs or alcohol, that doesn't mean the child will be addicted. In one way, that is true, but mostly because the child will see what his/her parents are doing and how it affects their lives and choose not to participate in those life threatening activities. In some cases, it may be rebellion to do the opposite of what their parents are doing, yet a lot of the time the child will realize that heredity plays a huge role in this. My Mom chooses not to drink alcohol because she has family members, who have, in the past abused alcohol, and she does not want any part of that. A factor influencing a person's decision regarding alcohol is usually because they have seen what addiction does, and they don't want part in it because the are prone to addiction.
Another point I tried to make in my previous paper, was that a proper home environment would aid, and influence an individual, causing them to not get into a lot of trouble. “Even altruism and aggressiveness, traits we might expect to be strongly influenced by parental upbringing, are actually more heavily influenced by heredity.”(368) This seems to prove especially true in the cases of adoption at an older age. An individual is brought into an unfamiliar home and has to conform to the new laws of the land. Anger and aggression may come out of the situation appearing to be rebellion to this new way of life, or this person is naturally angry. Naturally being the key word here, nature is naturally, DNA. We all have genetic 'make-up' coded in us, that tells us what are likes and dislikes are. It also tells us whether we are prone to different situations because of one's physical appearance. Wait—What? How so, you may be wondering? “If a person is sensitive to light, doesn't that influence where they go, and who they hang out with”(B.Shore), and what they do with who they hang out with? Who would have thought that light sensitivity would lead to all that hairy stuff?
With a more knowledgeable understanding of what influences people, I do firmly believe that Nature, our DNA does influence us most as people. First of all I believe that we are born into sin and therefore have a sin nature. What we do is a result of sin, because of two people who rebelled against God. So now, we have our genetic code plus sin equals a crazy equation, unless of course you get psychological help, or Jesus. We have proof from Twin studies that show, whether separate or raised together, the twins have similar IQ test scores. We also have proof that even ugly traits, such as anger are not merely made manifest in home life, but are directly caused by heredity. I have been convinced that Nature is primarily the influencing factor in a person, digest this information and think for yourself.

*source : Mastering the World of Psychology by Wood, Wood, and Boyd*

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Nature vs. Nature

Without doing any personal research, do you think that Nature, your DNA, or Nurture, your environment affects you as a person the most? [Pure opinion, nope-- don't go do it-- don't open that tab and google *anything* :P]

When I first started my General Psychology class, I thought it would be the environment. I'm interested to see what you think. :) We had to write a 2 page essay at the beginning of class and another 2 page essay now, at the end of class :( I'm so sad (and happy at the same time) that class is over. Glad that I have a college credit but sad because Mr.Shore is the coolest teacher in the wide world. :)

So what do you think? Is it Nature or Nurture?

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Malawi Support/Thank you letter

Palibay Wofana Ndi Yesu
(There's no one, there's no one like Jesus)
Typically, after one returns from a mission trip, a thank you and “this-is-how-God-moved” letter is sent out. I, however, failed to do such a thing right after my trip because when I came home, I had Upper-Respiratory issues that did not leave me until two weeks after arriving in the States. Also, our family joined a co-op that started one week after coming home, this took just a bit of adjustment :) These may seem like reasonable 'excuses' to put off the letter, but really Lacey, a whole year? Yes, it really has been just about one year. I'm actually very thankful that I've taken my time and seen the long term fruit that God has produced in my life. When coming directly from the mission field, missionaries get a high, a high called the Holy Spirit. A literal fire burns within your chest for a people group, nation, or continent, it is unquenchable. You cannot refrain from telling all about your adventures and you are constantly talking about wherever you went. Unless you have experienced this first hand, let me tell you, you have know idea what it is like. Because of that fact, if you are the one patiently listening to Lacey ramble on and on and on about Africa- again - quite frankly, you may feel inclined to slap her or tell her to shut up. The sad reality is that not everyone will continually have a passion for the lost like you have until, they too, have been affected. Even though not everyone has missions near and dear to their heart like I now have, you, in faith sent me to Malawi Africa. My petty human words cannot communicate the depth of my gratitude towards you. As a result of your prayers and financial support, God has used you to grow me tremendously, thank you. You may not be called directly to the mission field ever, but as John Piper says you are either a “go-er or a sender.” After persistence, the gospel on tape and, a final presentation of the gospel (while we were in Malawi), an influential chief came to the Lord. His willingness caused many others to come to saving faith. Oh, the side note? He was a Muslim. Thank you for sending me to spread the gospel. Thank you for allowing me the opportunity to have my faith challenged. Thank you for encouraging my desire to go to Africa at age 16. You have had a direct impact on the world by supporting me, thank you.
The pre-story to how I chose Teen Missions International and why I chose a foot-washing team goes like this. On missions Sunday at our church, there were videos shown about the work that God was doing in our “denomination”, Sovereign Grace Ministries, in 3 different countries. I sat in the back of the church, my eyes tearing, I knew I had to be a part of sharing the gospel. At this point all things were emotional, I 'felt' called to go to the Bahamas Sovereign Grace Church. I began to pray and even called a ministry to get the process rolling. As time began to tick, I sensed that this was not the trip for me. “Okay God, I know I'm supposed to be going on a trip this summer, but now where am I going to go?”, I wondered. My dad has gone on two trips with Teen Missions International, and I had gone to the peanut camp (7-9 year old version of TMI), so TMI was always in the back of my mind. I, with the encouragement of my parents (it seemed like prodding at the time because I was stubborn not to go to TMI) checked out the TMI website. Previous to this, I had a dream about washing people's feet. “God this is just a little bit strange, is this a sign from you? What am I to do? Do I begin a conversation, 'Oh, hey, can I wash your feet?'”, I let the dream slide and moved on. I was scrolling down the website page looking at the different trips and saw “Malawi Foot Washing.” I was struck. This was the one. I believed with all my heart that I was to go on the trip, I mean really, what was there to question? I had a dream about washing peoples feet for Pete's sake, this had to be it. I told my parents that this was the trip I wanted to go on, and they (wisely) suggested that I pray that if this was His will, that God would continue to open doors. God worked amazingly though my supportive family and friends, he never stopped providing for me while I was at boot-camp preparing for Africa. All the while in Africa I never lost his nearness. Yes, I did struggle with home-sickness especially when I was physically sick, but oh how sweet is the Lord's tender care for his beloved children, when they humbly lay their burdens before him. My first assignment in World History, after coming home, was to write about “My Connection to the World”, this assignment helped me organize my thoughts and experiences from my trip.
Many people are curious to know the 'key idea', main 'lesson', or the favorite part of my trip. I learned about a lot about God, and our relationship strengthened tremendously through this trip. I have gained life lessons and made unforgettable memories. Honestly, my favorite part of my trip was the whole African experience. Yet, the biggest thing that I gained from my trip was perspective. My perspective about the world pre-Africa was selfish, sheltered, and ignorant. I had heard about world hunger, terrible natural disasters, and about a world in need of Jesus, but what could a teenager in America do to help the world? It's amusing when we question how God can use us, he does not hesitate to show us how he will use us. So easily I assumed that America was the center of the round globe and all other life on the planet revolved around America. I now see the world through eyes that have a view of life outside America. Spirituality aside, Malawians do not get the concept of life beyond Africa, let alone their own country. My teammates and I would tell the natives who asked, that we were from America, they would smile and nod, as if they understood. Odds were, they did not even comprehend the life of the Western world. They knew the word America, and that is about all. The lifestyle comparison between Malawi and the Western Civilization is quite a drastic one. In America, everything is at your finger tips and if you want something now, now, now, you get it when you want it. 'Life on demand'. It's sickening. In Malawi, everyone is very laid back and most everyone meanders around from place to place, in no hurry. Malawi is in no way perfect, but their lifestyle allowed my team and I to spend a lot of time with the Women and children during our presentation times and foot-washings. I also learned that to show Christ's love, you do not have to speak the same language. I washed a young boy's feet, he looked to be about 8 years old. I washed his feet, put his socks on, found him a pair of shoes, I smiled and he went on his way. Over the next several days, we had 4 or 5 foot-washings. I gathered that this little guy lived around the area we were because he would hang around us while we were in that particular village. When he found me, he would come up to me, stop, point at his feet, socks pulled up to his calves, shoes on, smile and give me a thumbs up. We would smile, make silly faces at each other and, laugh, laugh, laugh. I will always have Malawi on my mind and the memories in my heart. This experience has opened my eyes to the world of missions, and who knows where God will lead! God has used this trip to grow me closer to Him, closer to His heart, and ultimately, closer to His ordained purpose in all of believers' lives, to spread His gospel.
Holy God, in love, became
Perfect Man to bear my blame
On the cross He took my sin
By His death I live again”

Soli deo Gloria

Romans 10:13-15 “For 'everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.'How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard?And how are they to hear without someone preaching?And how are they to preach unless they are sent? As it is written,'How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news!'”

Monday, June 20, 2011

"I'm just a little bit caught in the middle, life is a rhyme and love is a riddle"

It's the summer before my Senior year in highschool. Wow. What happened to learning how to ride a bike? Or 4th grade?
I'm so excited to see what God will do next year, but I'm a little anxious too. I think that's okay for now, though. I really miss Malawi, I'd like to go back for a year after school, we'll see if I can wait that long ;)


I was drawn to these verses during Worship on Sunday. I'm not exactly sure why but after reading over them several times, I realized that Christ coming to die, for worthless, undeserving, sinners is the best Father's Day Present ever! Our earthly Father's are true blessings, don't get me wrong there, but all earthly things and people aside, we have eternal life. I was really moved by that. I hope these verses are encouraging to you as well.

 "Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. 2Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and  we rejoice in hope of the glory of God. 3More than that, we  rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, 4and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, 5and 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.
 6For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. 7For one will *scarcely die for a righteous person*—though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die— 8but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us."- Romans 5:1-8


Mom has been out of town helping with her Dad, who is recovering from heart surgery, continued prayers for all helping would be a blessing. The house hasn't burned down--yet. ;) Everything has been going great, Dad runs a tight ship :) 


Besides smashing my hand between grocery carts and a door tonight, life, summer and everything in between has been going swell.

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