Saturday, September 26, 2009

USC Bible study

As i mentioned in the last post, UConn Students for Christ holds small "Connection Groups," or Bible studies, at various dorms around campus. I had the opportunity to attend one of these meetings on Wednesday night. It was a girls-only meeting, which I thought was good, because I think it encouraged us to open up more. I have known several of the girls there for awhile now, so it was very comfortable.
Our topic for today was forgiveness, and it was based out of Luke 7:36-50. This passage is the story of the prostitute who washes Jesus's feet with her tears and dries them with her hair. After she does this, she takes a bottle of expensive perfume and pours it out on His feet. There were pharisees there who scorned the woman and didn't understand why Jesus was letting her near Him. When they asked, Jesus told them a parable of two men who owed money to a moneylender. One man owed much more than the other, but neither had the money to pay the moneylender back. The moneylender canceled both of their debts, and at this point Jesus asked the Pharisees which of the men would love the moneylender more. They correctly answered "The one who had the bigger debt canceled" and Jesus compared this situation to that of the prostitute at His feet. She loves much because she was forgiven of many sins.
We discussed how this prostitute, in using her hair and expensive perfume, was actually laying down the instruments of her evil before Jesus. It was a very interesting conversation. Our memory verse for this week is "If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness." 1 John 1:9. I will try to keep posting Bible study/sermon topics and references for y'all. Bye for now! God bless!


Friday, September 25, 2009

Hi, I'm back!

Hey everyone! I know I havent blogged in a really reeeeeally long time. I was really busy with getting into/ready for college, but i'm now happily settled into UConn, and though my life is academically crazier than ever, I am going to try to get out a regular post.
College is...a very interesting experience, to say the least. College is, well, alot, in basically every way. Alot of people, food, walking, thinking, learning, well as liquor and all other manner of messing with one's body. Frankly the only two things i've found that is in shortage here among the general population are common sense and self-control. That pretty much sums up my college for you...granted, I love it here and am enjoying every minute of it. =)
So, since we're on the topic of college, and this is a faith blog, I suppose I will talk about facing life here as a Christian. Especially as a grade-school homeschooler who never set foot in a highschool classroom, jumping straight to college was a bit of a stretch. Despite a bit of nervousness, I was up for the challenge and excited for what lay ahead. Considering the stories I'd heard about UConn, I was concerned about consciously maintaining my faith and a godly lifestyle. It has been interesting, so I will tell you about what I've discovered thus far.
Living 24/7 among people who do not share my beliefs or even basic moral standards is stressful. No tiptoeing around it, it can be very stressful at times. Peer pressure is oddly powerful, even to someone like me who has very little interest in being just like everyone else. No getting around that one either, it is something that makes you have to constantly check yourself to make sure the people around you aren't rubbing off on you in a negative way. Many people in this world live so much differently than we do as Christians. This seems obvious, but it has never stuck out to me as much as it does now. To a remarkable number of people, I find that running high risks with potentially horrible outcomes is thought to be cool(as long as you don't lose), and that status is gained by losing the innocence that I fight to's often saddening just to watch these people live, especially as I've grown to love many of them, which makes it even harder to leave that R-rated movie party, or keep my vocabulary so distinctly different than theirs.
So, I knew needed to establish some regular fellowship with believers, or else I think I would have become mildly depressed within a couple of weeks. So I started by hunting for a church on campus. No such luck. Though there are many to choose from here, there doesn't seem to be one here I feel led to attend. There is one just off campus called Storrs Community Church, which seems to have potential. I am currently working on a carpooling system to get there. (By the way, I am not trying to appear snooty about choosing a church. I have had some experience with dysfunctional churches, and I am just...careful. I hope I do not offend anyone who attends a church here on campus) After not having much success with a church, I looked for a Christian student organization to join. I didn't really know where to look, until my absently wandering gaze snagged on a flyer in the dining hall about "UConn Students For Christ." I was curious, so I attended a meeting to see what they were all about. It turns out that USC is actually Campus Crusade for Christ, they just decided to change the name here. I was ecstatic to be there. It was as though all the Christians on campus had come out of hiding to join together in that room. It was a very blessed night. After a grossly long day of classes, I walked into the servive so exhausted I felt like I was going to slip into unconsciousness and faceplant at any second. I walked out later feeling revived, refreshed, and encouraged. I had prayed for the opportunity to join a powerfully connected body of believers, and God answered my prayer that night in an incredible way. I met many people very quickly, and was soon invited to their leadership committee, called Servant Team, as well as my dorm's "Connection Group" Bible study. I get to see these amazing fellow believers three times a week. Along with them, I have found some Christian "allies" in various places, who are also a tremendous blessing to me. God is always sure to give me a boost whenever i'm feeling spiritually alone. Praise be to our wonderful, caring, all-knowing Lord!
I should probably be getting to sleep soon, so I will leave you with what I've learned since being here: Don't be afraid of being different, so long as your difference is a notch above. And never pass up time with other Christians...fellowship truly is important. Goodnight all! God Bless!


Friday, March 13, 2009


Hello again everybody! I just want to let y'all know that I have a Youtube channel as well. It is also under the screen-name "1Sheprd4God," and though as of yet there are no videos posted by me, I used it to make a great Jesus music playlist. It is a constantly ongoing project. Whenever I hear a good Christian song, be it pleasant, life-changing, a modern worship song or a remake of an old hymn, I add it to the list. Here is the URL for my "JESUS MUSIC!!!" playlist:

These are mostly songs i've heard at LEAP(youth service), church, mission trip, or Rock the Sound concerts. I also have a list below of the songs on it so far:

1. You Never Let Go - Matt Redman
2. O Praise Him - David Crowder Band
3. Forever - Chris Tomlin
4. God of Wonders - Third Day
5. You Are - Mark Roach
6. Trading My Sorrows - Darrell Evans
7. Here is Our King - David Crowder Band
8. Amazing Grace (My Chains Are Gone) - Chris Tomlin
9. Here I am to Worship - Tim Hughes
10. Give Us Clean Hands - Chris Tomlin
11. Hungry (Falling on my Knees) - Kathryn Scott
12. Glory of it All - David Crowder Band
13. Mighty to Save - Hillsong United
14. Better is One Day - Kutless
15. Enough - Chris Tomlin
16. Undignified - David Crowder Band
17. The Wonderful Cross - Matt Redman and Chris Tomlin
18. Only You - David Crowder Band
19. Remedy - David Crowder Band
20. Nothing But the Blood - Matt Redman
21. Never Let Go - David Crowder Band
22. Jesus Loves You - Stellar Kart
23. Hold On - Stellar Kart
24. Letters - Stellar Kart
25. A Love Song - Stellar Kart
26. Pray - Stellar Kart
27. Me and Jesus - Stellar Kart
28. Shine Like the Stars - Stellar Kart
29. Innocent - Stellar Kart
30. Wonderful Maker - Chris Tomlin
31. What If His People Prayed? - Casting Crowns
32. East to West - Casting Crowns
33. Voice of Truth - Casting Crowns
34. Lifesong - Casting Crowns
35. Who am I - Casting Crowns
36. Set Me Free - Casting Crowns
37. Prayer For a Friend - Casting Crowns
38. Here I go Again - Casting Crowns
39. Praise You in the Storm - Casting Crowns
40. Stained Glass Masquerade - Casting Crowns
41. Awesome God - Hillsong United
42. Falling to My Knees - Starfield
43. How Deep the Father's Love for Us - Stuart Townsend
44. Does Anybody Hear Her? - Casting Crowns
45. Draw Me Close - Kutless
46. Hands and Feet - Audio Adrenaline
47. Pierced - Audio Adrenaline
48. Tremble - Audio Adrenaline
49. In You Presence - Jeremy Camp
50. In Me - Casting Crowns
51. Life of Praise - Casting Crowns
52. Your Love is Extravagant - Casting Crowns
53. Here With Me - MercyMe
54. Bring the Rain - MercyMe
55. In Wonder - Newsboys
56. I am Free - Newsboys
57. In Christ Alone - Newsboys
58. It is You - Newsboys
59. I Could Sing of Your Love Forever
60. Unchanging - Chris Tomlin
61. Friend of God
62. Run - Kutless
63. Vow - Kutless
64. Complete - Kutless
65. I do not Belong - Kutless
66. The Altar and the Door - Casting Crowns

Yeah, it's pretty long lol. I love listening to these songs and singing them for His glory. It is a pretty awesome experience to just lift your hands to Him (yes, it can be done outside of church lol). I frequently take a few minutes of quiet time to worship Him on my own, and I believe it's a good practice. If you have any recommendations for additions to the list, you can email me at

Come, let us exalt the Lord together. -Psalm 34:3

God bless!


Praise the Lord!!!

Hi peoples! I am really happy to be writing today, because I have an awesome praise story for y'all. God is so faithful, it is just incredible. I go to a youth service/Bible study called LEAP at my church, and we have been doing a thing where we focused on learning about prevailing prayer and tried to improve our prayer lives. We had a whiteboard where we wrote things we wanted to pray about as a group. The first thing to go on the board when we started a couple months ago was my best friend, Logan. I had found out just before that that Logan had started smoking. I was very distressed about that, because I know smoking damages people, not only physically, but mentally and spiritually as well. I knew people who had lost some part of themselves when they took up smoking, and I wasnt willing to lose that in Logan. I had tried talking to him, but it was kind of talking to a wall, because he wasnt in a position where he was willing to listen too seriously to anyone. I know him well, and know that he has a tendency to be stubborn, so after expressing my concern and letting him know that I still loved him just as much, I left it more or less alone. But I prayed. I prayed as often as I thought of it, and now the whole youthgroup has been praying for him. Last time we met, and we had a prayer session, I really felt like the Lord was there with us. It was a pretty amazing, powerful time, and I also felt like the Lord had been telling me it was going to be ok. I went home feeling a lot better, and later that night, I got a text from Logan saying that he was done with smoking. Now, I am no fool to addiction, and I know it's easy for him to say he's done until he wants another cigarette (that's just human nature). I asked him if he was just kinda-done, or totally-and-completely, for-the-glory-of-the-Lord DONE. He responded to tell me that he was, in fact, completely and utterly fed-up and DONE with smoking, and that he hadnt had a cigarette in two weeks. I started crying for joy right then and there. It wasnt the first time the Lord has worked a miracle in Logan's life(that's a story for another time), but I never stop being amazed. Praise the Lord, O my soul, and all that is within me, praise His holy name! -Psalm 103:1 Never doubt the power of prayer, or you will be missing out on one of God's greatest gifts to us. So go out and move mountains! I love you all, God bless!


Therefore I say to you, whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you will have them. -Mark 11:24

Monday, March 9, 2009

Some more about me...

Hello again, so, in my first post, I didnt say much about who I am, so I suppose I should elaborate a bit more. I'm 17, I live up in here in CT, which is freezing at this time of the year, except when you want to snowboard, when it get all warm and mushy. lol. Oh well, we always want what we can't have. I attend First Baptist Church, but I'm not hung up on the "Baptist" label. I am a Christian first and foremost, and I believe that if you have put your faith in Jesus Christ as your personal Savior, you are a Christian, and my brother or sister. =) I was saved at the age of 3. Young, I know, and although I didnt know everything about God, I had learned that Jesus died to forgive me for everything I did wrong, and I knew it was serious business, because I saw my mother read the Bible and a devotional book(that I now read!) every morning, and she was very serious about it. Every day since then has been a growing experience, and an awesome one! I've been homeschooled by my mother for my whole life. Yes that means i've never gone to school(but it doesnt mean i have no friends, i have lots of friends). I love homeschooling and can't wait to homeschool my own kids someday. I am a shepherd, I lease three sheep and take care of the rest of the herd some too. That's is the reason for my bloggername "1Sheprd4God," in case you were wondering lol. The most significant thing to happen to my faith was my first mission trip, which was last July. 20ish youth and adults from FBC went to New Orleans with World Changers to work on rebuilding houses that were damaged or destroyed by Hurricane Katrina. We got to work our butts off, sleep way too little on hard classroom floors in a cockroach-infested high school, eat so-so food in a smelly caf, and basically get be-like-Jesus-bootcamp(worship, talks, prayer meets, group devos, crew devos, etc) when we weren't at our worksites. It was absolutely the best week of my life so far. My life had been in a serious spiritual slump before then. In New England, it was unfortunately easy to find friends who didnt care. God could not have found a better way to get my attention than this trip. He threw me in a building for a week with a bunch of amazing teens who were strong in their faith and not afraid of what anyone else thought of it. Most of them live and go to church down in the Bible belt, and they were used to, and happy to, share their testimony with whoever would listen. Their forwardness confronted me with my lack of faith without them even knowing it. It was downright incredible, and it totally changed the way I look at the world, my own faith, other people, and my ability to make a difference. I plan to go on my church's mission trip again this summer and every summer in the future if possible. I will be going to UConn in the fall, and I'm looking forward to going to such a large campus. I'm sure I will be able to find some good Christian friends there. I'm really excited about the opportunities I will have there. Well, that's some more about me for now, I gotta get some sleep. Goodnight and God Bless!


First post, don't really know what i'm doing

Hey Peoples, my name is Johni, but i'm not a boy, i'm a gal lol. This is my first post and my first time ever blogging. I decided today to make this blog because i've been feeling like Noah, from Genesis, when he was building the ark for the Lord. I have been having a tough time spiritually recently because I struggle with feeling like I am the only one who cares about my faith, the Lord, and living a life of faith that pleases the Lord, in a world of people who love to wallow in their sins. I'm not saying i'm the only person I know who is a Christian, I have a great church with a great youth group, and lots of friends everywhere who bears His name. What bothers me is the way Christianity these days is taken so passively; many people who claim to be Christians settle into a passive luke-warm satisfaction that they fulfilled the bare requirements to be saved, and now that they're forgiven despite themselves, much less energy goes into disciplining themselves to create and maintain a lifestyle pleasing to the Lord, that constantly serves Him in some way, even if just being so...good, that people take notice. Anyway, I had been feeling rather alone in my quest to serve him in every way, and it was beginning to wear me down, so I have been praying for the Lord to give me an olive branch of sorts, like He gave Noah, to let me know it would be OK, and that I wasnt alone. I've been praying for about a week, should anyone be wondering, and today I got it in the form of a song, which I stumbled across on Youtube. It is called "I do not Belong," by Kutless. I heard it and cried my eyes out. It was like God was telling me He knew exactly what I was going through, and that times like this come and go in every Christian's life. He was telling me to remember that I dont belong here on this earth, it's not my home, and I just have to hold what specks of innocence I have left, and to Him for strength, protection, and constant forgiveness for all the times I mess up. That song has given me great encouragement and strength to keep seeking Him. I made this blog to be encouraged by all you fellow Christians who are willing to take time to read this, and hopefully to allow God to use this blog to encourage some of you. I will write posts on my thoughts and innermost feelings about my life, my faith, and my Lord. I hope this blesses you in some way, I love you all, my brothers and sisters in Christ.