Project Writeup

Overview

For my project, I read passages from the Bible and explained them. This project took place on my current WordPress weblog. I didn’t want people to be able to change my work, just read it. With this project, I created a blog to help me and other to understand Bible verses. I read Bible verses from many different chapters of the Bible including Matthew, 1 Corinthians, Ephesians, John, Love, and Trust. I initially had more topics right away but then realized I only needed five.

Through this project, I hoped to learn more about the Bible and my faith. I wrote about what the verses meant and then later in my Weekly Reflections, I wrote about what they meant to my life.

                                                   Linking Strategy

I wanted to do a different style to my links than most people. I waited to link to things I was talking about until the end because I wanted people’s full attention on my article. I figured this would be a good idea because I know I get lost in the links that I see in articles I read. I find myself reading an article, seeing a link, then being ten articles away from the original article I was reading. As you can see, I linked to many articles and a couple videos to help my readers understand things better than what I could explain. Many times, I did research before I would even start writing so I could understand fully what I wanted to get across to the reader in less than 1000 words. When it would start to get to that point, I had to start cutting because even I was getting bored.

Here are a few examples of the links I would show to my readers.

Here is a link to a video by Todd White, a speaker I have watched for the last couple years: Todd White

Here is a link to what love is in the Bible: What is love?

Here is a link to help understand what it means to remain in Christ: Abide in Him

Here is a link to more great John verses: John Verses

I want to link this to give better context to this verse. It can be hard to understand what is happening in a verse without looking back at the previous events: John the Baptist Book

This link will help to understand who Nicodemus was and the situation that was happening: Who is Nicodemus?

These are just some helpful links that I thought would benefit readers in the context of the writing I was doing. As you can see, there are a variety of reasons why I linked including to show readers who people were, to show them the rest of the chapter or book, to explain a topic, or to further explain something I had touched on.

                                                          Process

For the process, I picked three verses or passages to read through from a chapter. Each week had a different chapter or topic from which I took three posts from three verses. Each post had it’s own verse. I wrote my initial thoughts on the verse for each post. Then, after researching and linking to different ideas, I explained what the verse meant. At the end of the post, I gave a summary. Three posts a week from the chosen chapter were posted to the blog.

All of the topics for each week are shown on the blogroll on the right side of my weblog. Each blogroll link has the topic name and what post number it is. Example: Love Post 1. Then the second post will be: Love Post 2. This organizes the posts so the readers know what they are about to read.

As said above, these were the topics and books/chapters that I discussed in my blog. I realized I didn’t need more than five, so I did decide to cut two out which worked out perfectly. Here are the topics:

  • Matthew
  • 1 Corinthians
  • Ephesians
  • John
  • Love
  • Trust
  • Pink Candy Floss

Progress

Initially, I was shaky starting off. I did not know how to write about the Bible or what I believed very well. I started by writing sort of blindly but learned quickly that notes and research were important. I figured out a great process that I have stuck with throughout the rest of the project. First, I would pick the verse that I wanted to talk about. I researched the topic or chapter until I fully understood it. Then, I wrote down and decided on the topics and major points I wanted to make about the verse. Even though it is only one verse, I can write a lot about it. After the research, I started to write about what I wanted. Then I would just review it to make sure it sounded correct. This whole process would usually take me a couple hours after I got the hang of it.

Findings

I found out that when I have a process and habitual way of going about writing, it works out better. I get into a flow where ideas flow out of me and onto the page. Since the topics were on things I loved, I could really put my heart into the work. That is one of the reasons why I chose this project type, even though it is uncommon. I definitely struggled with how to write what I wanted to say right away, but as I said, I learned how to create my own process where my mind could flow freely without getting stuck as much. I want to share what my favorite topic was. It was actually one of the last postings that I loved. It was on the topic of trust. Here is the link to the reflection of it: Trust. I think I loved it so much because it was so relevant to me. I knew how to explain what I was thinking in a clear way that actually affected me more than most of the other posts I wrote.

Comments

I loved when people commented on my posts. Most of the time, I didn’t get very much engagement, however Bonnie and Will did comment a bit more than others. Bonnie gave very encouraging feedback to me, and I am grateful for that. Sometimes it seems like you are writing to empty space, but then someone fills it with a good comment. She definitely helped me to look at my work in a new way. The Studio Tours were also great for reviewing other posts and writing styles. I actually liked how I could review other writers rather than them reviewing mine because I wanted to learn how they were handling the project. It was a great exercise.

Conclusion

Overall, this project has helped me with writing immensely. I learned my process to write effectively and in a strong way. I loved how I could be open with my style and not try to form my writing to any standard. I could be myself. I hope that my writing also effected others, not to believe what I do exactly, but to just look at the Bible in a different way. That is why I really liked writing about how I felt about the verse, because I wanted people to know how it affected me personally. That’s what I really wanted to show in this blog. I wanted to get personal with the verse because that’s what will truly change other’s ways of thinking, not just history or stories. I want to use this blog in the future to help people and myself as well. It’s not just about me finding more faith in the words that I write, but it’s about preparing me for the future so I can write better and change the way people think even more.

Everything in this project worked out basically how I planned it. I just had to figure out how to write in the beginning and understand what I wanted to get across to my audience. After that, it was mostly smooth sailing.

If I could do this project over again, I would just work harder at researching and taking good notes. It would have saved me time, but it’s alright because I still learned from it. I might have linked to more videos or even added more pictures, but I didn’t really think about it. I found a great way to write and stuck with it. I actually loved this project more than I thought; it was something I looked forward to more than my others classes. It definitely helped to grow me in literacy, thinking, and knowledge.

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Weekly Reflection 5

This week was all about the topic of trust. I used the New Living Translation to discuss the verses. I will give a little overview of the verse and then talk about what it meant to me.

Trust Post 1: Psalm 20:7 says, “Some nations boast of their chariots and horses, but we boast in the name of the Lord our God” (NLT).

This verse talks about how we should trust in God and boast only in Him because he is the giver of all the good things we have. Another verse actually says to look and give thanks to the potter, not the pot. Obviously, when someone creates something, you don’t say thanks to the thing that was created, but the creator. Same with boasting, you don’t boast in yourself but in God because you know he is the giver and the one who created everything in the first place.

I love this because it reminds me to humble myself and boast only in God. Because I boast in God, I trust in him. Why would someone be proud of something that you don’t have your trust in? I can give thanks to him for everything I have because I know he was the one who gave it to me.

Trust Post 2: Daniel 6:23 states, “The king was overjoyed and ordered that Daniel be lifted from the den. Not a scratch was found on him, for he had trusted in his God” (NLT).

This verse goes into the story of Daniel when he was thrown into the den of the lions. He was caught praying when it was against the law, but He had so much faith in God and was blameless before him so God saved him. He was found without a scratch. The king who put him in the den was happy to find him unscathed and put the real culprit in with the lions.

This verse reminds me to trust God even when I am faced with a hungry lion. When adversity faces me, I know that I have all my trust in God’s plan and he has something way better for me than failing and death. It is my purpose to live for Him, so I will.

Trust Post 3Isaiah 43:2 says, “When you go through deep waters, I will be with you. When you go through rivers of difficulty, you will not drown. When you walk through the fire of oppression, you will not be burned up; the flames will not consume you” (NLT). 

This verse talks about a few examples of adversity such as being in deep waters when it is hard to swim, going against a difficult river, and even walking through fire. When we face things like this, God is walking through it with us and has a plan to get us out and show us his glory. He wants us to trust him fully so when we find ourselves in hard places, he uses that to draw us close to him. He shows us that he will protect us if we trust him to. He can’t if we don’t give him control.

This verse is cool because I want to be so helpless that God is my only way out. Then, I can fully trust in him enough that whatever He wants, I will do. I want to go through deep waters, rivers, and fire and not be afraid of getting hurt.

Summary: This week’s posts were all about trust. Trust is huge when being a Christian. If you don’t trust God, then he can’t work in your life. He wants us to understand that we will never be let down by him. We just have to give him that chance.\

 

Thanks,

Andrew

Trust Post 3

This week’s post 3 is about trust. I will be using New Living Translation to discuss the verse Isaiah 43:2, “When you go through deep waters, I will be with you. When you go through rivers of difficulty, you will not drown. When you walk through the fire of oppression, you will not be burned up; the flames will not consume you” (NLT). 

This verse is written by Isaiah. Here’s a quick description of Isaiah I found. The Prophet Isaiah was primarily called to prophesy to the Kingdom of Judah. Judah was going through times of revival and times of rebellion. Judah was threatened with destruction by Assyria and Egypt, but was spared because of God’s mercy. Isaiah proclaimed a message of repentance from sin and hopeful expectation of God’s deliverance in the future. 

Isaiah is telling us that even when we go through deep waters (or when the water is going over our head), God will be with us. Many songs talk about God leading us out to the deep water. This means that God is bringing us to a place where we need to trust him. If we go underwater, we cannot breathe but if we have God, he will make a way. If he leads you somewhere, you can be sure he will make a way for you to follow. The next part of the verse talks about rivers of difficulty. Have you ever tried walking up a river when it’s current is going against you? That’s what this is saying. When you go through a difficult river (or trial), God will not let you drown or die. He protects us through it and we persevere because we know he is working in us. The last part of the verse is amazing. He says when we walk through fire of oppression, we won’t be burned up or consumed by the flames. This means that when people persecute us because of our faith, God will not let the fire they use to burn us actually harm us. It happened many times where people were actually burned to death for their faith, but God tells us that he won’t let that fire actually hurt us. The only true way we can be hurt is if we stop believing in God. If we give that up, we have nothing.

Here is a link to Isaiah: Book of Isaiah

Here is a link to a story of people who were supposed to be burned by fire but God saved them: Fire Furnace

Summary: We should trust God with everything in our lives. When we do this, God can use our life to show his glory to other people and ultimately change their life to be what they were created to be. Isaiah gives us examples of what this means. When we go through deep waters, difficult rivers, or even fire, God will be with us. No matter where we go, God sees us, and when God leads us to places that seem dark, we know He has a plan and is the light within us.

 

Thanks,

Andrew

Trust Post 2

This week’s post 2 will be on trust. Just as the last post, trust is similar to love but is usually a product of loving someone. God constantly shows us throughout the Bible that in order to truly love him, we must trust him with our lives. I am using the New Living Translation to discuss the verse Daniel 6:23 which states, “The king was overjoyed and ordered that Daniel be lifted from the den. Not a scratch was found on him, for he had trusted in his God” (NLT). I will explain the context of this as it is sort of just pulled out of a story.

Just like when David trusted God and killed the Goliath, the giant, Daniel had to trust God when he was faced with adversity. The story behind this verse starts when Daniel, a man of God is raised to a high status by his royal master Darius. Daniel had jealous people around him who tricked Darius into making prayer illegal for thirty days, and anyone who would break this would be fed to lions. Well, Daniel was such a man of God that he could not go without praying to God. Back then, it was easy to see if someone was about to pray to God or was praying to God because they would set up a devotional type altar for God. So, Daniel go caught praying to God and was reported to Darius who threw him into a lion’s pit. Now, because Daniel had such faith to continue to follow God and pray to him even when persecuted, God was with him. So, even in the lion’s pit, Daniel had God. Daniel trusted that God would protect him. When the guards checked to see whether Daniel was dead or not yet, they found that the lions had not attacked or eaten Daniel. Daniel was safe from harm even in lion’s pit with nowhere to go. In the story, the reason the lions did not eat him was because he was “blameless before God.” After the king saw this, he threw the jealous rivals of Daniel into the hole with the lions. This story shows us again that even when we feel we have nowhere to go, we can trust that God has a plan and he will protect us. We just have to trust him.

Now, this verse is from the story and says that the King was overjoyed when Daniel came out of the den alive. King Darius was actually good friends with Daniel and didn’t want to throw him into the pit but the jealous rivals of Daniel convinced him to do it. Daniel had trusted God, so why would there even be a scratch on him? God protects us no matter what when we trust in Him. He loves to reward us for our faith in him.

Here is a link to who Daniel was: Daniel

Here is a link to the story of Daniel: Lion’s Den Story

Summary: Daniel trusts God so much that even when caught from praying to God and thrown into a lions den, he comes out unharmed. He knew God would save him because of how good He is. He was a friend of the King, but had to be thrown in to the pit with the lions due to the jealous rivals going against him. Daniel proved he was faithful and God proved he was, too.

 

Thanks,

Andrew

Trust Post 1

This week’s post will be on trust. It is not a chapter in the bible, but rather a topic. It is like love, but usually stems off of it. If you love someone, you usually trust them as well. I will be using the New Living Translation to discuss this topic. The verse I will talk about is Psalm 20:7. It says, “Some nations boast of their chariots and horses, but we boast in the name of the Lord our God” (NLT).

Psalms is a chapter I have not gotten into much. It is actually in the Old Testament which was written before Jesus was born. It is longer than the New Testament, and covers more history and time. King David wrote the book of Psalms. He became King of Israel after Saul. David is usually known for his trust and bravery for God when he killed Goliath with a slingshot and stone.

To dive into this verse, David says that some nations boast (or trust) in their chariots and horses, but we (Christians) boast in the name of the Lord our God. This verse is amazing. It is so simple but holds many truths. Many times, we think our accomplishments and abilities are enough to take us the farthest we can go. David says that other nations boast in their things that they have such as chariots and horses, however David knows that boasting in God is the only true thing we can boast in. When people trusted in God to protect them, they won wars. The other side could have the best warriors, swords, or even numbers, and God would help his people defeat them. A prime example that I mentioned earlier was when David killed Goliath. Goliath was a huge warrior from the Philistine army (they were against God and didn’t believe in Him). He challenged Israel’s army but no one wanted to fight him because of how dangerous he was. At the time, David was just a shepherd boy, but he trusted that God would help him. So, he picked up a stone and his slingshot which he usually used to fight off wolves from his sheep, and flung a rock at Goliath, knocking him to the ground. Then, David finished him off by cutting off his head. The Philistines all ran then because they knew God was with David and his army. This story shows that even when faced with extremely stressful situations, we can still trust that God will come through for us if we trust in him.

Now, boasting in the name of the Lord means that you are proud to be a Christian. It doesn’t mean that you throw that in people’s face or taunt them because of it, but it means you don’t let anyone take it away from you, and you won’t sway away from it. We boast in God because he is the One that gave us everything we have, so without him we would have nothing. Boasting or trusting in him means we praise him, not ourselves. He is the only one who truly deserves to be praised and boasted in. Others who boast in the things they think they have accomplished or made themselves do not understand that God was the One who gave them life in the first place. David writes this in Psalms.

Here is a link to Psalms: Psalms

Here is a link to the David and Goliath story: David and Goliath

Summary: Basically, David is just saying that we cannot boast or be prideful in anything we do ourselves because we don’t deserve to. God gave us everything, so we only have the right to boast in what he did and does. Others may boast in their accomplishments, but Christians give the glory to the Lord.

 

Thanks,

Andrew

Weekly Reflection 4

This week I talked about the theme of love in the Bible. I used the New Living Translation (NLT) to go through the verses. I will give a summary of each post and talk about what it meant to me.

Love Post 1: 1 Corinthians 13:2: “If I had the gift of prophecy, and if I understood all of God’s secret plans and possessed all knowledge, and if I had such faith that I could move mountains, but didn’t love others, I would be nothing.”

This verse is basically talking about how we should strive to love people all the time rather than using our gifts to see cool things. We should focus on the Giver, who is love, rather than the gifts we get from him. Paul says here that even if he had enough faith to move a mountain, but didn’t love, he would be nothing. Love is that important.

This means a lot to me because I used to focus on the gifts way more than love. I would pray for people and just look for a healing rather than what the gift was doing for that person. I would look for a miracle rather than that person to be changed. I would also try to hold on to this verse to remember that I live to love God and others, and the gifts are just a natural outpouring of that.

Love Post 2: 1 John 4:18-19: “Such love has no fear, because perfect love expels all fear. If we are afraid, it is for fear of punishment, and this shows that we have not fully experienced his perfect love. We love each other because he loved us first.”

This verse says that love from God, which is perfect, does not have fear. God is in us, and He is love, so how can fear be in the same place? If we do fear, it just means we have not experienced God’s love to the fullest, and we just have to keep seeking him. We do all this because he loved us first, which means it is an unselfish love because we might not love him back. He just loves because it is who he is.

I love this verse because it reminds me that love conquers over everything else including fear. God is love, and he is in me, so there is no reason to fear. He holds my future and I trust in Him for that. I want to full experience his love because sometimes I do fear for the future. But every time, I get pulled back to him because I remember that he loved me first, and that is perfect love.

Love Post 3: 1 John 2:9-10: “If anyone claims, “I am living in the light,” but hates a fellow believer, that person is still living in darkness. Anyone who loves a fellow believer is living in the light and does not cause others to stumble” (NLT).

This verse says that if there is anyone who says they are living in the light, or righteously, but hates other people, then they are actually lying and do no understand what it means to live in the light; they live in darkness. But if you do live in the light, then you won’t cause others to stumble.

This is cool for me because I see myself as a leader for Jesus. I know that other people look at my life and how I live, so I know I should be even more motivated to live for God every single day. I also don’t want to make my friends stumble either, so I always try to tell them when I see them sin or do something wrong, but it is in a loving way, and they know that. My friends correct me all the time, and I love them for that. A true person living in the light will correct their friends in a loving way because they know it is the best thing for them.

Summary: Loving others is so important, and the Bible stresses it a ton. Jesus gave the disciples one last commandment before he was leaving to be crucified. He said to love God and others as yourself. This was what he left them with to live by. Love is the greatest of all things we can do, and I want to strive to do it as well.

 

Thanks,

Andrew

Love Post 3

This week I am discussing the topic of love as it is in the Bible. I am using the New Living Translation. I will be talking about the verse 1 John 2:9-10 which says, “If anyone claims, “I am living in the light,” but hates a fellow believer, that person is still living in darkness. Anyone who loves a fellow believer is living in the light and does not cause others to stumble” (NLT).

John is an apostle of Jesus and one of the original disciples. He writes 1 John, 2 John, and 3 John. These two verses talk about how you know if you are living a righteous life. John starts by saying that if anyone says they are living in the light, or are living according to God’s will, but hates others, then they aren’t living in the light. They are hypocrites because they say one thing but do another. he goes on to say that anyone who loves a another person or believer is living in the light.

To know if you are living in the light, and being loving, look at your actions. If your actions represent hate and darkness, then you know something needs to change. He finishes by saying that you will not cause others to stumble. This is my favorite part of this verse because this is what keeps us accountable for our actions. From a leader’s point of view, if you are acting a certain way, and many people are following you, then you could either lead them in the right way or the wrong way. By causing someone to stumble (or sin), you are leading them into darkness. If you are living in the light, then you will lead others to live in the light automatically, just because they follow what you do. This is why it can be dangerous to live in sin and darkness, not just as a leader, but in general because you can cause others to see your life and follow you.

To stumble can mean many things. If you are getting drunk every night and your friends see this, and they start getting drunk and become alcoholics, then you have just caused your friends to stumble. However, if you stay away from alcohol, then your friends might look at you and follow that. By living in the light, others will follow in your example. Causing others to stumble can be as easy as bringing up some sort of sexual joke or statement that makes them think about sex or lust after someone. This is why living in the light constantly is so important. You might not know that they struggled with an addiction in the past, then when you bring it up, it makes them think about it again. This is why our hearts should always be focused on loving others and raising them up, so that they don’t stumble. If no one around you is stumbling, and you correct those who are, then that’s a good sign you are living in the light as well. Your friends will keep you accountable, too by telling you if they see you stumbling with sin.

Here is bit of a paragraph from a website I feel will help understand what it means to stumble:

The example of alcohol is relevant here. Alcohol is not inherently evil, and the biblical prohibitions are not against drinking but against drunkenness. But someone who tends toward alcoholism very often knows he must not drink at all and believes others shouldn’t drink, either, even in moderation. If a Christian has a friend who is convinced drinking is wrong, then drinking around that person may cause him/her to “stumble” or trip up. The Greek word for “stumble” gives the sense of stubbing one’s toe. As Christians, we are forbidden to do anything that may cause our brothers and sisters in Christ to stub their toe, spiritually speaking. Stubbing the toe can cause a person to fall in the spiritual sense, or to damage or weaken his faith.

Summary: We are called to live in the light, or to live righteously and sin-free. We are called to do this and can tell if we are if we are loving others around us. By doing this, we can be sure we are not causing our brothers and sisters to stumble, and they do the same for us to make sure no one falls away from God.

 

Thanks,

Andrew