Modern Day Idolatry


Whenever someone says idolatry, I picture little golden statues that got the Israelites into so much trouble in the Old Testament and congratulate myself for being able to say I’ve never done that. Poor, dumb Israelites. We won’t even mention the early Christians in Rome who decided to give up Jesus for Diana and the like.

Something that’s easy to forget is that Christians are frequently guilty of idolatry on a daily basis. I’m not talking about the deed of actually bowing before some stone god.

I’m referring to whatever is placed above God in our lives. It can be Netflix, Facebook, sports, or even a person. I had to purge my life of a few idols recently. It wasn’t pretty. I didn’t go all Moses and smash a giant golden calf, but it was pretty close.

I love music. I’m a horrible singer, but that doesn’t stop me from belting out songs, anyway. My taste in music is probably the most varied of anyone you’ll ever meet. I’ll listen to and appreciate pretty much any music genre (although rap isn’t my favorite.)

I had a lot of different types of music on my phone, and I listened to them frequently. Let me be clear in saying that I by no means had anything explicit on my iPhone, but I was listening to a lot of different artists, mostly secular.

It wasn’t until I was scrolling through my library one day that I realized just how much I had. My secular music heavily outweighed my Christian and worship songs. It slowly dawned on me that it was distracting me from Jesus. It was trying to pull me away from Him, and I discovered with some disappointment that it was being successful. I was stuck in a place where I could choose one or the other.

It was no contest. I deleted them all and listen to strictly Christian music now.

The point of this post is not to get you all to go wipe every artist other than Hillsong on your iPod, so don’t write me off as a crazy blogger yet!

I’m merely suggesting that we all take a hard look at our lives to see what we’ve placed on our pedestal above God, and then pull an Elijah and destroy it. (There’s a reason so many different people destroyed idols. It was a big problem!)

It continues to be so today. What may be an “idol” for some may not be for others; mine just happens to be music. It may not be the same for other people, but we all have something that distracts us. The world in general will do whatever it can to pull us away from Jesus, and it will do so with whatever means necessary.

It’s up to us to realize what those idols are and say “No” to them. Smash them completely and give up this trend of modern day idolatry. We need to choose this day whom we will serve.


Dominican Republic Adventures


I’m spoiled.

If you aren’t constantly smiling around the children, something’s wrong.

Let your hair down (literally) and you’ll instantly have three little girls braiding it.

There’s no such thing as giving too much love.

We’ve been blessed with more than we can comprehend, and we’re still not grateful. It’s sad.

People are incredibly kind and tolerant of your Spanish mistakes.


They will always answer when you ask for the 117th time, “Como se dice….?”

However, if it has been seven attempts and you still cannot pronounce “bracelet,” correctly, the little girl on your lap will throw her hands up in exasperation.

The joy is incredible.

The love for Jesus is incredible.

The contentment is incredible.

You’ll pick up Spanish far faster than you ever thought possible, but you’ll also soon discover the language barrier you feared is broken down with hugs, smiles, and the love of Christ.

The Caribbean Sea is gorgeous.


The poverty is heartbreaking.

There isn’t enough nail polish in the world to spread on little girl’s fingers and toes.

People here are unbelievably generous. You leave with gifts. They give whatever they have.

It’s one thing to read Jesus say, “Sell what you have and give to the poor”; it’s another thing entirely to experience firsthand why He said it.

A small loaf of bread is $3.

Your arms are full. Another child comes running, arms outstretched so you try to set the two down so the three can sit on your lap, and they instantly panic, afraid you’re setting them down for good. And your heart will break.

There’s basically no speed limit in the Dominican Republic.

Traffic lights and one way streets are basically suggestions.

You’ll never be loved by another human being as much as you are loved by DR orphans.


Gas is nearly $7 American a gallon.

The friendly bus driver who speaks little English will still have his fun by pointing near your foot and saying, “Ay! Tarantula!” and then laugh his head off when you jump up in a panic.

I need to pray more.

Don’t try to fix everything (American mindset.) Love them.

You can’t comprehend how huge a problem sex trafficking is until you see with your own two eyes.

The deep faith young orphan girls possess will put your own to shame.

Don’t take antibiotics for granted. You’ll realize how spoiled we are with American medicine when you suddenly spike a fever and are delirious. Thankfully, you have a healing God and amazing team who will cover you in prayer.

Also, don’t take electricity for granted. And clean water…Basically, everything we DO take for granted.

Americans are rude! (First observation back in the States).
You’ll still think in Spanish for the first few hours after you’ve landed in the States.

They need so much more support than we give (emotionally, financially, physically, AND spiritually.)

You won’t leave unchanged.

The faces of all of those babies will never leave you.


Purim: God’s Faithfulness Then and Now


God is a huge part of my life. I like my writing to reflect that. Even though my capstone project isn’t necessarily a “Christian” or “religious” one (Ugh. I hate both of those terms), the idea of God heavily influences it. I love writing about the faithfulness of God. I’m so blessed to have a Savior who will never let me down.

Purim is a Jewish holiday that falls between the months of February and March and commemorates the story of the book of Esther. This year, it begins March 14 and ends March 15. We throw big, loud crazy parties where everyone dresses up in a variety costumes and eats fruit filled cookies called Hamentaschen that are supposedly shaped after the hat Haman wore. (They’re triangle shaped, so apparently Haman was part pirate.) Last year, my congregation held a contest for the best costume and we had everything from Willy Wonka to a gypsy to a bunch of grapes. True story.

Somewhere in the midst of all the laughter and celebrating, someone reads the whole book of Esther out loud while all of the little kids cheer and boo respectively when Mordecai and Haman’s names are mentioned. It’s considered a mitzvah (good deed) to give time and money to different homeless shelters and charities, helping out those less fortunate than us. It’s a loud, boisterous and busy holiday, and it’s frequently easy to get caught up in the fun and noise and exciting chaos, while losing sight of the true meaning of the holiday. (And you guys thought I wouldn’t have that problem by not celebrating Christmas!) The truth is that just because I’m Messianic doesn’t mean I get to avoid commercialism.

There’s a story behind Purim (as is frequently the case with holidays.) Esther was stuck in a pretty tough situation. When the Persian King Xerxes decided to kick out his first wife after she wouldn’t parade herself through his court for his drunken friends to admire, he decided he needed a new woman to replace her as queen. He chose Esther, whose uncle Mordecai had raised her from birth and advised her not to tell anyone at the palace that she was Jewish. This turned out to be a wise choice, as Haman began to slowly work his way into power and create a plot to completely destroy the entire Jewish race. Thanks to Persian politics, Esther couldn’t visit the King unless he had invited her first. It was an act punishable by death. With all of her people facing annihilation, Esther stepped out in faith and went before him, anyway. He decided not to lop off her head (spoiler alert), and she revealed Haman’s plot. The King had him killed for his treachery and the people were saved, hence the big day of celebration, even thousands of years later.

Cool story, bro, you’re probably thinking. What in the world does this obscure Jewish holiday have to do with me?

My point is that we’ve all been Esther. We’ve all been in situations where it was terrifying to even consider taking one more step forward, because the way was dark and we didn’t know what was around the corner. We could fall. We could get hurt. It’s hard to step out in faith when it would be much easier (and safer!) to stay within our comfort zones. We can boldly move forward, confident, because our God is not uninvolved or apathetic. He cared about Esther’s life-threatening situation, and He cares about our struggles, no matter how small or enormous they may seem to us. Whether the situation is a problem emotionally, financially, physically, or spiritually, He’s involved….even when it doesn’t feel like it. He’s never failed before, and I don’t expect Him to now. He’ll come through. It may be right at the moment that I’m facing the king, bracing myself for that final, fatal blow, but He’ll step in. He’s never late.

He was faithful for Esther. He’ll be faithful for you. Trust in Him.