Midweek Music XVI: My Worth is Not In What I Own

And you are complete in Him, who is the head of all principality and power.
(Colossians 2:10) 

“My faith rests not upon what I am…or shall be…or feel…or know… but in what Christ is, what He has done, and what He is now doing for me.” — Charles Spurgeon

For today’s’ music I have a soothing, lovely song that reminds us of what we are in Christ. The lyrics are beautiful, you can read them below as you listen to the song. 

I have to add that I don’t listen to the Gettys music except for a few of their songs. They have changed over the years from unique, reverent music to a more worldly style of music. However this song, like a few others, reflects how they used to be in the past. 

My worth is not in what I own
Not in the strength of flesh and bone
But in the costly wounds of love
At the cross

My worth is not in skill or name
In win or lose, in pride or shame
But in the blood of Christ that flowed
At the cross

I rejoice in my Redeemer
Greatest Treasure,
Wellspring of my soul
I will trust in Him, no other.
My soul is satisfied in Him alone.

As summer flowers we fade and die
Fame, youth and beauty hurry by
But life eternal calls to us
At the cross

I will not boast in wealth or might
Or human wisdom’s fleeting light
But I will boast in knowing Christ
At the cross


Two wonders here that I confess
My worth and my unworthiness
My value fixed – my ransom paid
At the cross

Safeguards in a Perilous World – Part I



You just have to glance at the news to confirm that the world is increasingly worse in all aspects. 

It becomes challenging to live a Christian life in a hostile world on a day-to-day basis.

  • You may be aware of the negative changes in the world, and have godly concern


  • You may choose to ignore all that has been happening in Europe for example, or all that is going on even in the United States recently, because maybe you live a sheltered life.

Maybe you live in a bubble, with friends who all agree with you, or plans going (for the most part) without a hitch. But no matter how safe you may feel now, the reality is you cannot remain neutral to the major things going on in the world around you. You will have to make choices. 

You may think it’s better to ignore all this because it’s just not productive for your spiritual life. But it is more dangerous to live in denial, rather than be informed and prayerful.  

There are spiritual, political, technological,  and economical changes all around you. Then there’s the constant information overload with social media, movies, music, pop culture. 

  • How do you stay anchored? 
  • Which side is the right side? 
  • How do you protect yourself? 

Don’t follow instinct. Follow Scripture.  

The apostle Paul has one word. Rejoice! Our first instinct in hard or scary times may be worry, unease, denial. But the safest thing for a Christian is to rejoice in the Lord. 

Finally, my brethren, rejoice in the Lord. For me to write the same things to you is not tedious, but for you it is safe. (Phil 3:1)

The word for rejoice in Greek is chairō (χαίρω)It means: 1. to rejoice 2. to rejoice exceedingly 3. to be well, thrive!
The Blue Letter Bible it defines rejoice as: to be “cheer” ful, i.e. calmly happy or well-off.

Isn’t that interesting? No matter what bad things happen in the world, we are called as Christians to be calmly happy, and even to thrive! In hard times, the Lord often protects His believers who live righteously, just like Psalm 90 says. Letting ourselves be eaten by worry will lead to either emotional breakdowns or anger problems, and it does not honor God. 

Sure and Safe

When the verse ends with “but for you it is safe”, do you know what the word safe means?  It means “secure”.

In Greek the word “sure” is asphalēs (ἀσφαλής) meaning 1. firm, 2. reliable, trustworthy 3. certain, true.  So rejoicing will help us to stand firm, be secure, and safe in our Christian walk. 

Rejoicing, but on Guard!

Many people stop at verse 1. Rejoice. But in the context of Philippians, it does not stop there. We have to look at the big picture, the context. Look at what verse 2 says: 

1 Finally, my brethren, rejoice in the Lord. For me to write the same things to you is not tedious, but for you it is safe.
Beware of dogs, beware of evil workers, beware of the mutilation! (Phil 3:1-2) 

So our joy should not be a silly, superficial, distracted type of joy where we forget about the dangers around us. We still have to be on the lookout all the time for false teaching in the church, and misleading wolves in sheep’s clothing in Christian ministry. Be on guard against worldliness, heresy and sin. 


To be Continued…

Top 10 Favorite Cheeses

I’m going against the flow. 

While everyone on the web and social media is posting about pumpkin spice lattes, autumn colors, and pumpkin everything, I’m going to share my love of cheese.

Because cheese is good any time of the year. And because cheese is a good companion to any meal. It even works in dessert.  

There are quite a few health benefits of cheese, did you know? Like: 

  • A feeling of satisfaction after you eat cheese
  • Makes you happy when you are feeling down
  • A feeling of satisfaction after you eat…oh wait, did I say that before?

You get the point- it’s good for you! And it has calcium, and protein, and vitamin A , and vitamin B12. Of course it has cholesterol, calories and such, but we’ll ignore the not-so-good part for now. Moderation will balance things out. 

My Top 10 Favorite Cheeses

1. Goat cheese


Super tasty with french bread. For breakfast. With honey. With jam. And as a spread for anything else. It’s tangy and light and creamy.  

2. Feta

The cheese that should be a staple for every meal, ha! Well, at least some meals. It adds a nice flavor to anything. It’s especially delicious with tomatoes. I add it in soup, salad and sandwiches too.

3. Fresh mozarella


Ah, fresh mozzarella. The sister of feta. I eat these two cheeses together sometimes. Mozzarella is lovely with tomatoes, salads, sandwiches, pizza…and did you ever try melted fresh mozzarella??? I can’t even describe to you the goodness.


4. The Laughing Cow cheese


Another tangy creamy cheese. It’s kinda similar to cream cheese, but different- it has a punch. It works with crackers, on bread, nearly anything. 

5. Cream Cheese


Of course cream cheese can’t be missing in this list! I don’t even have to tell you how I eat it. Anything imaginable- from desserts, to spreads…just ask the food bloggers. 

6. Kashkaval


If you’re European you probably know this cheese. If you eat international food you may know this cheese too. Kashkaval can be found in most international food stores in the United States. Makes a fabulous omelette! Also pairs well with bread and butter, or in melted cheese sandwiches, with other cheeses, and veggies. 

7. Provolone



One of the best sandwich cheeses. Superb. And if you melt it, provolone is….ahhh! No need to explain the goodness if you’ve tasted this before. 

8. Marble Jack (colby jack) 


Mmm, mmm! Marble Jack is tasty in omelette, crackers, melted in chili, and in sandwiches. I’m not sure if it’s found outside of the United States. It has a sharp flavor because it’s sharp cheddar cheese mixed with white cheese. Whoever invented this had a great mind. Or loved cheese. 

9. Gouda


A refined and snobby cheese, with a smoked and earthy flavor. Nicely compliments salami and other fancy meals. A real treat! 

10. Parmesan


Last but not least- the famous Parmesan! Spaghetti is the first thing that comes to mind. A versatile cheese, the iconic cheese of Italy if I may say so. 

Are you hungry now? What kind of cheese do you like? 

“How Realistic Was Jurassic World’s Science?”


For any of you who watched the Jurassic World movie… You might be interested in the article of the September Acts & Facts issue from the Institute for Creation ResearchThey have some pretty fascinating information written there, which may even make for great conversations when people ask if you watched it. 

Speaking of which, are you subscribed to the free Acts & Facts magazine from ICR? Oh, don’t rush to subscribe, it’s not like you’ll be missing out on the top scientific articles in Creation Science from experts in the field, ya know?  ;) 

To read the article:

Click here

Let me hear your opinion! 

Dig Deep

dig deep


Can you identify yourself in any of the examples below?

  • Knowing every detail about your favorite band, musician, or sports team because you spent time learning everything there is to know about them
  • Keeping on top of every FB, IG or G+ post your friends put on social media
  • Informed on every new movie
  • Always up to date on every fashion or technology trend
  • Browsing the web on a topic that really interests you (like nutella ;) ) and going from link to link, website to website, not getting bored as you sift through all that information
  • When looking for the best college, the best house, top of the line smartphone or laptop, you make sure you’re informed on all the options

In other words, all of the above descriptions are areas where people like to dig deep. It means investing time, discovering details, doing a thorough job, preparation, or investigation. And we all do that when it’s our interest don’t we?

But, how often do we do that with God’s Word? How deep do you dig in Scripture?

Are you as passionate about growing spiritually as you are about your other interests?


How does digging deep translate into practical terms? 

  • Reading the Bible consistently, every day, every morning
  • Don’t substitute your daily Bible reading with short devotionals, thinking that is enough
  • It’s important to read the Old and New Testament in parallel daily, going book by book in order, like you read any normal book. It is not spiritually healthy to skip and read haphazardly, just like you shouldn’t have dessert before your meal :)
  • Pray that God will reveal His Word to you each time you read it, and will help you understand the meaning (and He will!)
  • Ponder on what you read from the Bible throughout the day
  • Read and analyze the text of Scripture in the context of the chapter, in the context of the book, and in the historical context (yes, context is very important)
  • Look up different words in the original language
  • Do a study on the book of Romans
  • Supplement your Bible reading with reliable and sound commentaries
  • Don’t wait for your pastor or church to open the Scripture for you- access it yourself regularly and rely on the Holy Spirit to reveal His Word

Digging deep and “building on the rock” means acquiring a good grasp of the fundamental doctrines of the Bible and the doctrines of grace. It means being rooted in the Word. This will keep you from being shaken when the floods of trials, temptations, false teachings and false prophets come your way!


What happens if you are superficial with God’s Word?

“Therefore consider carefully how you listen. Whoever has will be given more; whoever does not have, even what they think they have will be taken from them.” (Luke 8:18)

But the one who hears my words and does not put them into practice is like a man who built a house on the ground without a foundation. The moment the torrent struck that house, it collapsed and its destruction was complete.” (Luke 6:46-49)

Those who are superficial with God’s Word will lose even what they think they have. The devil will erase the Word from their minds (Matthew 13:3-7), and they will be led astray by false doctrines and teachers because their foundation is not on the rock. 

You have to dig deep in God’s Word to get rewarded with “gold nuggets”. And you will, because:

…He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him. (Hebrews 11:6)


Some resources for digging deeper

Consider these like your spiritual digging tools for digging in Scripture: the shovels, pick axes etc. Or your workout equipment, or your vitamin supplements  :)

Blue Letter Bible  (great place to look up words in the interlinear, cross reference, use the dictionary)
Bible Hub (another great site for looking up root words and cross referencing)
The John MacArthur Old and New Testament Commentaries 
The Ungers Bible Handbook (look up historical background for each book of the Bible, with pictures)
Compact Bible Handbook (great for overview, key chapters, verses and timeline of each book of the Bible)
The Open Bible (best introductory outline for each book of the Bible)

How to Successfully Keep a Journal


I’m a dedicated journal keeper. In the picture above are all the journals that I’ve kept since I started seriously journaling eight years ago. Several years before I started keeping a journal, I kept two travel diaries.

Speaking of journaling, I opened an instagram account recently! I have been on a roadtrip/ministry trip/vacation last week with my family, and now we’re on our way home. It was a wonderful experience. Please follow me here to see glimpses of the trip: http://instagram.com/miss_pencilette

Now back to our topic!

I love keeping a journal. There’s something special about putting ink on paper, about keeping a record, about writing down a piece of history.

Lots of people start journals, write for awhile, and then find themselves losing interest, dropping it, feeling like it becomes a chore, feeling intimidated or overwhelmed, or not finding the time to maintain one.

But anyone can keep a journal, whether you have talent in writing or not. You just have to understand the mechanics behind the art of keeping a journal.

So is the recipe to successful journal keeping!

There are no rules

Now allow me to qualify that claim. What that means is, a journal the place you can express yourself freely! Nobody sets the rules. You get to make them. You can write about any subject in the world. Use any style of writing you want. Write as short as one sentence, or as long as a volume of novels. You can journal in the sequence/order of how things occurred, or be random and freestyle.
You can write as often or as sporadically as you want-  be it several times a week or once every six months. You can journal about only positive and rosy topics, or mix it with your tears and disappointments, or rant your heart out. Imagine the possibilities of that blank page! Transform it into whatever you desire. My point is, there is no set rule to how much you have to write in your journal. For example, sometimes I only wrote one page length about an event (like a birthday for example), or one short paragraph about something unusual/exciting that happened that day (like a thunderstorm!). It adds dynamics and spontaneity to your journal. The important thing is to have a record of what happened in your own wordsfrom your own perspectiveIt’s unique.

Write about what interests you

In order to keep yourself motivated to keep writing, you have to write about the matters/issues your heart beats for. What is your passion? What is important to you? You can keep a journal just for your thoughts or discoveries on a topic (art, logic, science, philosophy etc.). But if you want to keep a journal about your life, write about events/days/thoughts that you consider special. Don’t feel pressured to write about new activity, unless you felt it was really worth remembering or writing down. I don’t write about each anniversary, holiday, or occasion I experienced. Sometimes I write about an ordinary day, just because something special happened (in my opinion).

Do it now!

The key ingredient to starting and finishing a journal is to write as soon as the event happened, or you had the idea pass through your head. Write that day. Or at the most, write the next day. You can even write while the event taking place! The point is, the more you put it off, the higher the likelihood you will never write it down. I think this is one of the main issues that causes people to drop journal keeping. They fall behind and get discouraged. Other things come up. But you have to make time for your journal. And this is where the “no rules” aspect comes in. We’re all busy, life is hectic (hey, I would know, I’m a college student ;) ). When would you have time to write so much?!? So if you’re short on time, keep your journal entries short and sweet. My journal doesn’t get filled as much during school as it does during my breaks. The second thing is, make some time. Before you go to bed, jot down some stuff quickly. In your lunch break. Whenever.

Be flexible/improvise

This tip is not my own. It’s actually one implemented by my sisters who also keep their own journals. Let’s say you fell behind in all the stuff you wanted to write in your journal, or you want a fast way to write down your ideas. Here’s a tip that can be convenient. Type out your journal entry on your computer. It’s fast, it’s easy, and you stay on track. The less-convenient/time consuming part is to later write it down by hand in your journal. But it works for them. This option is if you are short on time, have a lot to write, and want to keep events in sequence in your journal. Or you can simply keep an electronic journal- all on the computer. Blogging is also a type of journaling. Then you can even print it out in a nice book format via Blurb or Lulu.

Jot down ideas

If you find it harder to express your thoughts in writing, but you still want to keep a journal, then try to formulate your paragraphs in your mind first before writing them down, jot down some titles, subtitles, ideas, and notes on a piece of paper as you go throughout your day, and later sit down and bring it all together. And since were on the topic of ideas, maybe you don’t know what to write about in your journal because you think your life is boring. Wrong! God is working many things in your life whether you know it or not. His plan for your life is unfolding as you go through the years. You can write about milestones (graduation, marriage, jobs, etc.), about “firsts” (first marathon, first trip cross-country etc.), about answered prayers, your hopes, dreams, goals, accomplishments. See? Plenty of things to write about.

Write with a purpose

You may be journaling just for yourself. You may be writing for posterity. You may be journaling just because. It’s a good idea to have a purpose for your journal. That will keep you motivated.

Some of the reasons I journal is because I love keeping a record of my life and looking back to see the amazing things God worked, the answered prayers. I write as a way of remembrance of His grace in my life. As a thanksgiving for His blessings. I love looking back over the years and rejoicing over the Lord’s mercy, or laughing at my silly immaturity sometimes.

If you function best under stress, then set a deadline/goal. You can set a goal of completing a journal in one year. Or write 1,000 pages in one year. That way it will force you to keep writing.

Add keepsakes

Ways to add more meaning to your journal is to add keepsakes along with your writing. For example, I added an “I voted” sticker, or a birthday card. Stuff like that. Tickets from concerts or trips, a pressed flower, stickers, a napkin from a special restaurant- you know what I mean. You don’t have to make it complicated or start transforming your journal in to a scrapbook. Just a few touches here and there. Adding those tangible little things makes a journal even more special and adds dimension to your writing.

Benefits of Journal keeping

I’ll conclude by mentioning the many benefits of keeping a journal.

– Sharpens your writing skills

– Sharpens your thinking and creativity skills

– Provides a tangible record of the past (you’re writing down history!) if you are writing about your life

– It’s a way to remember God’s blessings in your life

– It’s a way to keep track of answered prayers, thoughts, ideas

– It’s a great medium for expressing your feelings and debriefing

– It can be a great hobby


In conclusion I hope that this post provided you with useful tips for keeping a journal and motivated you to continue at it (if you’ve done it before) or start journaling soon (if you’ve never done it before). Feel free to share you tips and ideas, what’s worked for you and what hasn’t!

Midweek Music XV: A Day Late


I have an exquisite piece of music to share today, though this posting is a day late. I’ve been working more than 12 hours today and though I’m tired…here I am writing this post.

Interestingly enough, I realize most of the orchestra music that I shared here is by Vivaldi! I promise he’s not the only classical composer I like, it just happens that I’ve found a lot of beautiful pieces of his on youtube. After this, I’ll share more worship and other genres I enjoy, to keep things fresh. The thing is, I get excited about a new video I find and can’t wait to share it with you, so then I put the rest of the songs on the backburner.

Speaking of music, I have to start burning some songs on CD’s to take on an upcoming roadtrip! Yikes, I know I’ll end up with a little stack of CD’s to carry around.

This Vivaldi piece is a Mandolin Concerto. The players are so passionate, so skilled, they live the music! It’s a beauty to watch, and nearly makes you want to be among them playing along. It’s also a perfect example of God’s workmanship, how He endowed man with the ability and talent to compose such complex music, and use hands, fingers, mouth, mind, everything, moving in perfect coordination to make melody that feeds the soul and praises God!

I do hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

Do you enjoy classical music? 

If so, who is your favorite composer?

If not, why not?