Being honest about politics.

Trust me, this is not what I want to talk about either. If you’ve come to find an outpouring of Scripture on this post, you’re not going to find it. Go and check out something else I’ve written. Hey friend, before I begin let me say it does not matter where you stand politically. Come as you are and hear about my walk with Jesus. I’m a college student covered in flaws but fully forgiven by the abounding love of God. Hey, I’m Kira. Let me cut to the chase; the toxicity of our country deeply wounds my soul. We unfriend people for their difference in political views, we are quick to assume where people stand politically depending on what is or is not posted on social media, we take the bible way out of context as if we know for certain how Jesus would have voted, and we thrive off of defending our political party instead of genuinely listening to the other side. You know this though. This is not anything new. We are so divided.

Now listen, to my friends who are passionate about politics. Praise God, we need people like you to remind us to listen, to care, and to love all of our neighbors even if we vote differently. Praise God for you because we need people that will force us to challenge our beliefs. We need people that will stand up for what’s right. We need you. You are loved. As for me, the level of anxiety I face every time social media blows up over something political is unhealthy. Even with recent events, I remained level-headed while reading the news, but as soon as I went on Instagram, I was instantly filled with stress-created tears.

I tell you this while fully knowing that this is my problem. As I said, praise God for your passion for politics, I pray that you speak wisely and share lovingly without making politics your god, Christians, you especially. I pray as you extend grace to others as you advocate. The passion you have for justice can be beautiful in the right context.

To my friends who are not, I’m raising my hand there with you. For us, I pray that we are at least aware of what is going on. Not having a passion for politics should not be our excuse to reside comfortably in ignorance and privilege. I pray that we act accordingly to our convictions. I pray over wisdom for us as we also vote and take charge. If you’ve been overwhelmed with politics, I get it and I’m right there with you. I am exhausted. I pray that we find rest in God.

Here’s the thing, at one point I was a strong democrat. At another point, I was also a strong republican. Both sides have left me feeling empty, hopeless, and angry. From my humble twenty-one years of experience, you cannot put your hope in something temporary but something eternal and everlasting. Where is your hope?

My involvement in politics has fluctuated throughout the years and the truth is politics is not my forte; Jesus is. I’ve been thinking more critically about what it means to be involved in politics and all I care about is being a Christian and loving people in the way the bible describes it. I know that sounds like I’m just dodging politics completely, but let me explain.

Maybe it’s just me, but I realized upon reflection that no matter what party I identified with, it made me less willing to listen to the other side. If I said I was a republican, suddenly anyone who isn’t is automatically the bad guy and is probably following fake news. If I said I was a democrat, suddenly anyone who isn’t is automatically racist, misogynistic, and loves Trump more than kids love candy. And sure, you do have your Facebook friends and family members that fit that description perfectly, but I realized the more I put a label onto things, the more it became about defending my party rather than listening to my “enemies” or better put, listening to the other viewpoints, perspectives, and news sources.

Even if I read “neutral” news sources, because I already had an agenda, defend Biden or defend Trump at all costs, that hidden motivation would later resurface in my conclusion every single time. I was more worried about defending my party rather than being fair. “Let’s have a conversation” was true, but what I kept hidden was in the fact that I already had my conclusion even if it was unintentional.

I know it’s cheesy but what if I just dropped the affiliation to either party and just went with “Christian”…but not as the off-putting “Jesus is my president” dad-joke type of mode. It’s not about stepping back to lay low and remain uncontroversial, I think being a Christian in Seattle already makes me controversial enough, but it’s about stepping back so I can take a more objective view of these issues. Instead of looking at these political issues as if one side is seeking truth and one side is reading fake news, it may be wiser of me to see these issues in the view of a Christian living in a broken world filled with God’s creations. Not limiting myself to a particular party at least for me is helpful in seeing both the beauty and the flaws within each party, policy, and person.

There is no hiding it, I do tend to lean more conservatively when it comes to the different policies. That’s just me. That is not necessarily my family, my friends, or every Christian you meet. I share that with you while also fully believing that Trump’s character is broken and unsuitable as a president. Now before you assume my stance on every single policy, one thing that I am reminded of is no policy is perfect and benefits all. I seek truth and fairness above most things in life. My foundation is in the bible and my convictions lead me to vote a certain way, but again, that’s just me and my thoughts and opinions. As “just me”, I must also address the flaws within these policies. It is not just about how you vote. You know this.

I believe all human life is sacred, all and every. The easy assumption to make is that I am pro-life and I am, but again for me, that does not mean I simply vote and never think about it again. I see the flaws in those policies. I see suffering mothers, I recognize that there are pregnancies that occur out of crummy situations, I see why it is not easy to tell the wounded mother to just give the baby up for adoption. I see that. For me, yeah more often than not I will vote for policies that recognize the sanctity of life. But also, if I believe all life is sacred I need to step it up when it comes to donating and helping these mothers and families in need. I am called to love God and love people. It is not just about voting. How are you voting, how are you supporting and what are you doing to address the flaws within these policies? No policy is perfect.

There is peace in not looking at things in this black or white, republican or democrat, mindset. This is all very new and definitely a work in progress but I have found it to be eye-opening and I’ve found more freedom to breathe. I have found it easier to be present in these conversations and to hear people out without having an agenda. I have found it more relaxing to talk about the different sides between every policy and every story. I have found peace in knowing how to help and yeah, it is much more than simply posting something on Twitter or educating yourself.

Again, these are simply my open and honest thoughts. After all, I am just an engineering student who reads the Bible so take all that I say with a grain of salt. If anything I said was beautifully crafted, well, give all that glory to God. He gets the credit for it all. Anything unwise, silly. or flat-out ridiculous, that was definitely me. I take full responsibility for that portion. I know anything related to politics is a big turn-off right now so I want to thank you for reading this and your support. It means a lot, truly.

The beautiful thing is that salvation in Jesus is truly by faith alone in Christ alone (take a peek at Romans 10:9!) God does not care where you stand politically. It does not matter how you vote, who you donate to, how much you donate, or how “woke” you are. It is not about being a good person or having all the right answers; it is faith alone in Christ alone. Salvation is a free gift. As I invite you to look at politics objectively and without having an agenda, I ask that you look at truth objectively. Take this as an invitation to seek truth.

From looking at the formation of the universe, the existence of life itself, the complexity and specificity of the bible, the similarities and differences of several other religions, my research has led me to believe in Jesus. Take this as an invitation to consider who the Jesus guy is really about.

Thank you for giving me a chance to speak. Thank you for reading. Thank you for your engagement. I appreciate you all and I invite you to join the journey, regardless of your political views. Come as you are and hear about the honest truth of what it means for me to live a life that honors God. You are loved fully, created intentionally, and made worthy through Christ alone.

2020 might’ve been the best year so far.

I strongly hesitate as I type this. The awkward and uncalled for guilt and shame tells me not to share this. Here’s the thing, 2020 was shockingly an amazing year for me. Now I write knowing that 2020 was horrendous, discouraging, excruciating, and unbearable to most. I write this acknowledging the pain, heartbreak, and despair that 2020 brought. I write knowing that my guilt and shame formed because I am comparing my year to everyone else. Before I continue, I am not the victim here. It is known that numerous people have lost their jobs, millions of people have died because of COVID-19, injustice is apparent, and that is barely touching the surface. Before I continue, if you have the heart and the means to give, go donate somewhere. At this point, you do not even need to continue reading if you’re on a time crunch, just go donate. Help those in need.

San Luis Obispo, California | vsco.com/kiramurillo

Truth is something I deeply value and it would be dishonest of me to tell you that my life has been filled with the utmost happiness right now. Go ask my bible study group. It was only yesterday I shared with them that I am feeling so lonely from the lack of community. I miss seeing my friends and my family. And though I believe we need to feel and process these emotions that describe our pain and misery, it is equally important to feel and process the emotions that describe our joy. I am reminded by Ecclesiastes Chapter 3 that there is a season for everything.

For everything there is a season, a time for every activity under heaven. A time to be born and a time to die. A time to plant and a time to harvest. A time to kill and a time to heal. A time to tear down and a time to build up. A time to cry and a time to laugh. A time to grieve and a time to dance. A time to scatter stones and a time to gather stones. A time to embrace and a time to turn away. A time to search and a time to quit searching. A time to keep and a time to throw away. A time to tear and a time to mend. A time to be quiet and a time to speak.A time to love and a time to hate. A time for war and a time for peace. Ecc. 3:1-8

The highlight of my year happened between the months of March and May. To paint a picture for you, it was around mid-March when I moved back home due to the pandemic. I celebrated my 21st birthday with my family during the lockdown. I ironically sipped on a Corona Extra but found it to be completely disgusting. When this first had happened–the pandemic, of course, I think we were all on the same page, shocked, scared, and confused.

Jesus does love you, you know. Go read John 3:16

For me, a Christian, during the start of COVID-19, I remember thinking, “God, uhhh…can we not do this? I fully believe you are sovereign, mighty, powerful, and loving beyond measurable, but this pandemic thing is going to make it a little tricky to lead people to Christ.” And much like I have shared, it’s not that hard to prove the existence of the Christian God with science and history, but it is emotionally difficult to understand the attributes of God. We live in a broken and fallen world where suffering exists. I am not here to explain your suffering but I am here to acknowledge it and to empathize with you. It is a valid argument and I get where you are coming from. I know 2020 has been a difficult year to most.

I looked at this pandemic and was humbly reminded of the lack of control I have over my life. My life was completely planned out prior to the madness. This fear that I have over getting a job would be nonexistent if the virus did not make its way into the states. Raise your hand if you accurately predicted how 2020 would pan out. Okay, you in the back? Go get saved and check out the gift of prophecy as you may have been given it by God. All glory goes to Jesus.

Jokes and coping mechanisms aside, the beginning of the blow-up of the pandemic in mid-March brought a lot of fear and uncertainty. Initially, I was covered in loneliness and despair, because I missed everyone. Though people are a “video-chat away”, I have been struggling with keeping up with my friendships and being a good friend. The pandemic took a stab at my worth and where I placed my value. I found my value in having a perfect future planned out. I found my value in my friendships. I found my value in weightlifting. I found my value in these photoshoots that I would go on. Everything was stripped away. Did you feel it too? That realization forced me to re-evaluate who I am in Jesus. Truthfully we were in lockdown and I was bored. With nothing else to do, I turned to Jesus.

Romans 3:23, Romans 6:23, John 14:6

“Okay, God. So…there’s this pandemic going on, as you know. Everything I placed my value in has changed and now I am left without a hope. You are the only thing that does not change. You remain the same. You created me fearfully and wonderfully. Jesus, I need to re-fall in love with You. I need to re-find my worth in You. You’re the only thing I can truly place my hope in.” That’s essentially what I prayed and I saw God completely transform my heart.

Pain, suffering, and trials did not leave me but I was reminded of who I am and who gives me value. It felt like all I did was pray, read the Bible, and watch sermon after sermon for all of March through May. I had a heart that was reignited to remember who I am and what I am created for. Being filled by Jesus helped me reprioritize the other things in my life. For once in my life or at least a very long time, I felt free in the way I walked and lived in this world. I walked knowing that I loved God more than anything and He loved me more than I can ever imagine. I walked knowing that I was created intentionally and made worthy through Christ alone. That was huge and a much-needed transformation in my life, especially as the rest of 2020 has played out. Truly finding my worth in God was absolutely essential to everything else and everything to come.

Knowing how Jesus sees me helps me with seeing others in the way He sees them. I’ve always been terrible at giving but I see the need to donate and to help God’s beautiful creations. Instead of trying to change people, I’ve been more accepting of who people are. Don’t twist that, loving people involves calling them out for wrongful and harmful actions, but my point is there is not a “universal normal”. I’ve been able to see people as nine or sixteen “normals”, depending on which personality tests you view. But I am overwhelmed with the diversity and complexity of every person on this planet, you are created in God’s image (Genesis 1:27). Being able to see myself as God’s intentionally designed being has allowed me to rest. I don’t need to prove myself. I don’t need the world to love me. I am called to love God and love people. 2020 has simply been a season of growing and though there will always be so much more work to do, I am so appreciative of how Jesus has used this year.

Now, I don’t want this to come off as an “if you pray hard enough and read your bible every day, God will give you everything you want.” That is completely false. You can pray every single day and God’s answer to your prayer might still be “no”. I also want to be real with you and say this is anecdotal evidence. I could have shared that being addicted to drugs changed my life in a positive way but that does not mean that addiction is the way to salvation. Consider the truth and evidence of Christianity by looking at the facts. If you want to, start here.

Romans 10:9

At the end of the day, I am still a sinful woman saved by God’s grace. I struggle with pride. I struggle with self-control. I struggle with arrogance. I struggle with patience. Because life has been full of highs this entire year, every day I struggle with remembering that I genuinely need God. I am always prone to wander. As I write this I wish every day my heart was set on fire for God like it was during March through May. That’s just me being real with you. Still deeply flawed but loved fully by Jesus and given salvation freely through His grace alone.

This is simply a life update and I pray that this moves you in a way that honors God. He gets all the glory anyway. I am not trying to guilt-trip you into Christianity but I am here to share the good news of the gospel and the evidence I have found thus far. I know for me (again take my anecdotal evidence lightly) that though I have no idea what is going on or what is to come my hope is in Jesus, the one who loves me fully. I know that regardless of what 2021 looks like, I can fully put my trust and faith in God who does not change. That’s the one thing I’ve been able to hold onto despite everything going on. I appreciate all your support and I am excited to see what God does this year. Join me in my journey through grace and faith.

Forever, O Lord, Your word is settled in heaven [standing firm and unchangeable]. 90Your faithfulness continues from generation to generation; You have established the earth, and it stands [securely]. Psalm 119:89-90

An invitation to seek truth.

I have yet to share much of what I want to do when I, well, how should I put it? I have yet to share what I want to do when I get a “big-girl job” with my future bachelor’s degree. I would love to jump into the realm of researching, designing, and testing prostheses. That would be amazing and as I’ve been in conversation with professionals in the field they all provide the same answer when it comes to the most challenging part of prosthetic development:

“Prosthetic limbs are meant to match the biological system, but they don’t…no matter how hard we try.”

And my foolish, arrogant, and gut response would be, “Well, duh. You possibly think we can design something better than God?” But due to the adjectives I just listed, that’s why I’ve never said it, but I think it. In all honesty, though, that’s one of the reasons I believe there is a God, the intentional design in everything. I’ve had a snippet of biology concepts presented to me compared to the depth and detail that scientists and doctors study, but even in my snippet of a class, I see intentional design everywhere. In plants, animals, earth, the galaxy, and the universe all point to such beautifully intricate intentionality. Take the “simplest” concept and try to understand it. I cannot describe how DNA works without pointing to a designer. I cannot describe how our earth is at just the right tilt for life to exist without pointing to a creator.

Snoqualmie Falls, WA | vsco.com/kiramurillo

Yes, we’ve advanced, and people are brilliant. I mean you saw how quickly the coronavirus vaccine was discovered compared to previous pandemics. You see all that we can do with a smartphone in our hands. You have seen the complexity of cars these days. We’re intelligent beings, God gets all the glory, but my point is people are smart. The snarky part of me wants to say, “Come on, people. We have cars that drive themselves but we still have problems via creating artificial limbs”, yet the part of me that is baffled by creation just humbly smiles and I think to myself, “God, you are intentional in all your ways, of course, you are.” I cannot see this world without a designer. Listen, I know this is an extremely sensitive topic and I am not necessarily here to change your mind, but I am here to share with you why I believe the gospel to be true and Christianity is not some blind faith for me. Hebrews 11 paints it beautifully.

The heavens declare the glory of God, and the expanse proclaims the work of his hands. Day after day they pour out speech; night after night they communicate knowledge. There is no speech; there are no words; their voice is not heard. Their message has gone out to the whole earth, and their words to the ends of the world. In the heavens he has pitched a tent for the sun. It is like a bridegroom coming from his home; it rejoices like an athlete running a course. It rises from one end of the heavens and circles to their other end; nothing is hidden from its heat.” Psalm 19:1-6

I personally do not see the conflict between science and religion. I can think of many times where they actually agree with one another. Read the book of Job and the Psalms to start. Back when the Bible was written, people disagreed with the way it described innumerable stars, spherical earth, the weight of air to name three examples. Science today and the Bible agree more now than they used to. But when we do think about science and the Bible going head to head, or using solely science to prove the existence of God, specifically the Christian God, we run into one major problem that is overlooked by nearly every skeptic.

The definition of science reads: “the intellectual and practical activity encompassing the systematic study of the structure and behavior of the physical and natural world through observation and experiment.” As I read that, I think of pursuing knowledge through observation, measurement, experiment, and repetition. We’ve all learned this in school. Maybe this sounds like a cop-out answer to you, but I do not think we can prove that God exists given that definition. We have no authority to tell God to just “repeat” creation in the name of science. If you took the Bible for what it is and considered the context before bashing Christianity, what more does God need to truly reveal to you?

For ever since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through His workmanship [all His creation, the wonderful things that He has made], so that they [who fail to believe and trust in Him] are without excuse. Romans 1:20

But this is not necessarily about convincing you to become a Christian, this is about inviting you to seek truth. I believe that to at least attempt to understand an all-knowledgeable, infinite, and unimaginably powerful God, we cannot look at it through one lens.

Rather we must look at truth through theology, biology, philosophy, cosmology, astronomy, etc. “Alright everybody, put your best foot (theory) forward and fight to the death muahaha!,” and of course it would not exactly be like that, but my point is I think disproving God’s existence is much more complicated than an outdated dated evolutionary diagram. Similarly, I think proving God’s existence is much more complicated than saying read the gospel of John. Let me be clear, you can absolutely solely read the Bible and nothing else and my hope is you would conclude that Jesus is Lord and through grace and by faith, you can join me in heaven. That is my hope. The Bible shares all it needs to share.

He [Jesus] is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. 16 For everything was created by him, in heaven and on earth, the visible and the invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things have been created through him and for him. 17 He is before all things, and by him all things hold together. 18 He is also the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, so that he might come to have first place in everything. 19 For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him,20 and through him to reconcile everything to himself, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross. Colossians 1:15-19

The Bible shares all that it needs to share, but people are brilliant. In this day and age, look at all of the different theories and fields of studies. Take advantage of the research! Rather than having an agenda based on what you want to be true, and seeking evidence that way, I invite you to seek truth, without an agenda and do so in a way that puts all of these theories head-to-head. Consider the cosmological, teleological, and moral law arguments and objections for and against God. You want to be marveled, start by looking at the anthropic principles of the universe?

I know it sounds like a lot of work, but I think what you decide to place your faith in will ultimately be the most important decision you will need to make. C.S. Lewis said it best, “Christianity, if false, is of no importance, and if true, of infinite importance, the only thing it cannot be is moderately important.” I believe people should proceed with caution with their conclusions. I don’t think you should completely dive in headfirst without considering the logical inconsistencies and flaws of concluded beliefs. On the other hand, do not get stuck in this cycle of never landing on a belief system because you’re afraid of believing without seeing. Here is the spoiler alert, every belief system and every theory must include a leap of faith, but the question is, how far are you going to allow yourself to leap?

If someone could provide reasonable answers to the most significant questions and objections you have about Christianity, reasonable to the point that Christianity seems true beyond a reasonable doubt, would you then become a Christian?

You see, my research has pushed me into thinking that Christianity is a reasonable faith. From studying evolution, the origin of the universe, the different possibilities of why we are even here, I have found that it only makes sense for there to be a God. Researching further, I see the Bible to be inspired by God, Himself, and I believe that salvation is through faith in Christ alone. I don’t have all the answers to this, but I have enough to the point where I can make that leap comfortably. Check out my Evangelism 101 series.

At the end of the day, all I am is an imperfect college student that loves Jesus. That alone tells you that I am biased towards Christianity. Though my greatest desire is for all of you to fall in love with the God who created you to be, that’s not the reality of it. So when it comes to my “agenda”, I just ask that you humbly consider the research that exists. I humbly ask that you give this Jesus guy a chance.

In the beginning God (Elohim) created [by forming from nothing] the heavens and the earth. The earth was formless and void or a waste and emptiness, and darkness was upon the face of the deep [primeval ocean that covered the unformed earth]. The Spirit of God was moving (hovering, brooding) over the face of the waters. And God said, “Let there be light”; and there was light. God saw that the light was good (pleasing, useful) and He affirmed and sustained it; and God separated the light [distinguishing it] from the darkness. And God called the light day, and the darkness He called night. And there was evening and there was morning, one day. Genesis 1:1-5

USEFUL LINKS: Evidence for God, Science of God

To love because you’re loved.

When you think of a Christian, what instinctively comes to mind? Initially, I am overwhelmed with two embarrassing pictures of Christianity. The first is of the judgmental Christian, filled with only the knowledge of the commandments and lacking in the grace and love that comes from God. The other is the Christian who goes about taking the Bible out of context and using it for all the wrong reasons. I have shamefully been both of these depictions at times.

I’ve been reading the book of 1 John over and over and over these few weeks. During the time it was written, there were a handful of Christians who were experiencing a crisis of faith with the rise of persecutions and false teachings. That reminds me of today, with the numerous religions and especially with this rise in atheistic values and concepts, I can see why Christianity turns you off. Well, even the intentional or unintentional harm the church has done, I can see why Christianity turns you off.

Franklin Falls located in Snoqualmie, Washington | http://vsco.com/kiramurillo

The book of 1 John tackles this idea of what love looks like, especially chapter 4:

Dear friends, let us love one another, because love is from God, and everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. The one who does not love does not know God, because God is love. God’s love was revealed among us in this way: God sent his one and only Son into the world so that we might live through him. 10 Love consists in this: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the atoning sacrifice for our sins. 11 Dear friends, if God loved us in this way, we also must love one another. 12 No one has ever seen God. If we love one another, God remains in us and his love is made complete in us. 13 This is how we know that we remain in him and he in us: He has given us of his Spirit. 14 And we have seen and we testify that the Father has sent his Son as the world’s Savior. 15 Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God—God remains in him and he in God. 16 And we have come to know and to believe the love that God has for us. God is love, and the one who remains in love remains in God, and God remains in him. 17 In this, love is made complete with us so that we may have confidence in the day of judgment, because as he is, so also are we in this world. 18 There is no fear in love; instead, perfect love drives out fear, because fear involves punishment. So the one who fears is not complete in love. 19 We love because he first loved us. 20 If anyone says, “I love God,” and yet hates his brother or sister, he is a liar. For the person who does not love his brother or sister whom he has seen cannot love God whom he has not seen. 21 And we have this command from him: The one who loves God must also love his brother and sister. 1 John 4:7-21

Now, I will never preach to you. All I am is an imperfect college student that loves Jesus and loves reading the Bible. Read this for yourself and let the Bible speak for itself. Pray and deeply think about these verses. Consider the boldness of Christianity, my non-Christian friends.

Here is all that I took away from reading these verses with the context of the original passage in mind:

  • God is love (v. 7,16)
  • Christians love because we are loved by Christ (v. 9-11, 19)
  • Knowing that Jesus is love, we do not walk around in fear but in confidence (v. 18)
  • Us Christians are called to love Jesus and love people (v. 21)

GOD IS THE DEFINITION OF LOVE.

More often than not we look at primarily the “bad things” that happen in our lives and the biggest conclusion we make is “Well, God cannot exist because if He is a loving God, this would not have happened.” And all of my readers, despite your religion, I am deeply sorry for whatever you’re going through. Regardless of your beliefs, your pain and hurt are just as valid, and knowing that there is a God or not, does not lessen your pain. I understand that.

Would you humbly consider the fallacies in that line of thinking? Would you let the bible speak for itself? To even proclaim that Jesus is not loving is to assume that our finite idea and definition of love is the exact same definition used by God. You can prove that both suffering and unconditional love exist and they do not contradict one another, for example, A: the bible.

But I got off track again, this is not about suffering, this is about how Jesus is love. From worldly ideas and secular entertainment, we have this idea of what we think love is. But when I study Jesus and in which the way He loved, there are discrepancies.

We have this misconception currently that love looks like letting people do whatever makes them happy or what makes them feel like their most authentic self. That’s not what I see when I look at the gospels. But what I do see is Jesus loving and valuing women even when it was culturally inappropriate (Luke 7:11-15), liberating those bound by social injustice (Luke 5:12-15), feeding those who were hungry (Matthew 15:32), sharing the word of God because of His deep love for others and His desire for them to be saved (Matthew 9:36) and there’s so much more I can say, but I refuse because I want you to pick up your bible and observe the steadfast love of Jesus when He walked this earth.

Knowing that God is love is completely overlooked, regardless of the religion we follow, and I encourage us to understand what it means for God to be love and what that love looks like. Before we share the gospel with someone, before we have a difficult conversation with someone and before we attack other Christians, can we look at where the motivation and love coming from? Is it this 1 Corinthians 13 love that is driving everything that we do? Is it this overwhelming love from Christ that encourages us to deeply and wholeheartedly love one another, even those with who we completely disagree?

My Christian audience is much better than I am at this, but if I genuinely considered that, I’d probably shut up much more often.

“We love because he first loved us.” 1 John 4:19 

131976054_402344721003391_2784118241639453289_n

WE ARE KNOWN AS CHRISTIANS BY THE WAY WE LOVE.

This passage echoes a particular set of verses in John 13 in which Jesus states a new command which reads:

34 I am giving you a new commandment, that you love one another. Just as I have loved you, so you too are to love one another. 35 By this everyone will know that you are My disciples, if you have love and unselfish concern for one another.” John 13:34-35

And that last verse resonates with me, maybe more so now because Jesus is the definition of love. With the truth from the Bible and because we know that we are saved, Christians/disciples are called to live differently. When I evaluate my life and I ask, “How do people know that I am a Christian?”, immediately I think about this blog. People may know that I am a Christian by my colorful Instagram posts, lack of swearing, the way I vote, and obedience regarding the written commandments, and though that may all be true, that is not what Jesus is saying.

I am reminded that it is less about what I stand against and more about what I stand for and how I represent Jesus’ character to the world. By this everyone will know that you are My disciples, if you have love and unselfish concern for one another. Now, that’s convicting. Do others know that I love Jesus based on my love for people?

“I don’t know” is the anticlimactic answer to that. I don’t know. And listen to me, Christians, I am not saying this out of judgment towards you. The only person I am truly “attacking” is myself. Naturally, I am a rule-follower and I cringe as I write this because I love following rules, it bothers me when I see others not following them. Slipping into a Pharisee-like mentality is too easy and it hurts my relationships with others. What is the biggest complaint of Christianity? It’s filled with hypocrites. It’s filled with people knowledgeable in the commandments but lacking in the love and grace that Jesus showed others. I am convicted by this. It’s easy to share a Bible verse. It’s easy to point to a passage and say “hey this is sin, don’t do this! I love you. Don’t do this!” It can be excruciating trying to continually choose to love someone who does not treat you the way you believe you should be treated. The biggest test to knowing if your love is unconditional is to see if you are still capable of loving even when you feel completely unloved. Buckle up, Christians. I am always humbled when I deeply think about the love of Jesus.

He loved us all, even those who hated Him. He loved His Twelve Disciples so much that even they were unable to figure out which one would betray Jesus. Don’t even believe someone who thinks that the Christian life promises no more suffering, Jesus suffered severely. He was mistreated. Yet, still out of this deep unexplainable, and indescribable love for us ALL, He died for our sins so we could be saved. And here I am, I can hardly be nice to someone who makes a snarky comment towards me on my “off-day”.

I hate to break it to you, my non-Christian friends, but if you’re looking for the day that all Christians graduate from being called “judgmental” or “hypocritical”, you’re going to be waiting for eternity. Christian friends, this does not lower the standard for you. Buckle up and do a better job living like Jesus. May I encourage you, my non-Christian friends, to learn about Christianity from the Bible itself and not from my imperfect brothers and sisters in Christ? May I encourage you to deeply consider the differences in what the Bible says about love versus our ever-changing worldly definition of love?

I am a broken and flawed college student who happened to study Christianity to the point where I have complete confidence in the Bible. Broken, yet saved by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone. I will never be able to show you what it means to have true unconditional love for everyone, but I will try my best. If you look to my life and the way I love, I will let you down completely, but may I encourage you to look at the perfect unconditional love of Jesus. He laid down His life for all of us, even those who despise Him so that we could be saved. Our salvation is not based on our works but solely based on our beliefs. Would you, at the very least, consider the joy and relief in knowing exactly what happens after you die?

16 For God loved the world in this way: He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.  John 3:16-17

I love you all. Let’s make Heaven real crowded.

Where my heart, soul, and mind lie: who I am and what I am trying to do.

Or in other words, here is a portion of my testimony and my mission. I created my blog in 2017 and I do not know why it has taken so long to write something like this. The more I contemplate the timing of this post, the more grateful I am that I waited this long. Praise God as He gets all the glory anyway. You’re here though and whether you’ve been here since 2017 or this is your first time, hey, I’m Kira. Let me tell you who I am and what I am trying to do with this blog.

Taken by Jami Murillo | Check out my VSCO

I am beyond lucky to have grown up in a Christian family and I am beyond grateful to have known God from such a young age. Now my friends who do not know Jesus, please hear me out and see what I have to say, I think you will find it admirable even if you disagree with me at the end of the day. Growing up in the church was lovely, well…until life became kind of hard.

Now my church has always been wise with letting the bible speak for itself. Following Jesus has never promoted an easier way of living. The simple evidence can be discovered by studying the deaths of the disciples. Regardless though, I began to question my faith. Why am I following something that radically disagrees with what society preaches? If I grew up in a family that was of a different religion would I give this Jesus guy a chance? This downright created the biggest shift in my blog posts.

Why do I believe what I believe and how do I know it’s true? Can I confidently cross out every other religion, including atheism? I was not sure if I could prove that Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life as John 14:6 puts it. Did I believe that Jesus is Lord because I believe it or did I believe out of ignorance? I boldly put Jesus and the Christian faith on trial knowing that this moment could potentially lead me to leave the church as a whole.

Spoiler alert: Jesus wins in the end. After spending the summer of 2019 putting my faith on trial, after hours researching the proofs and rebuttals of the Christian faith, I have found Jesus to be who He claimed to be. As I continue to research Christianity, even today, I found it to be the most reasonable faith. Check out my Evangelism 101 series.

Putting my faith on trial ignited a passion and love for my friends that have never given Jesus a fair chance. I know the church has been hurtful and unfair and I apologize on their behalf. I know imperfect Christians have painted a God that is the absolute opposite of who Jesus is and there are no excuses for the lasting pain this has caused for some of you. I am sorry. To my friends who do not know Jesus, I ask you to let the Bible speak for itself. Give God a fair chance.

Tacoma, WA | 2020

Knowing who Jesus is, it changes everything. Jesus changes everything and in the best way possible. I have a heart set on fire for God, and I want everyone to fall in love with the Creator who first loved them. That’s it. That’s my mission. Let me show you who God is and what He has done through this imperfect Christ-follower. Let me share what it actually means to follow God, all the flaws, trials and sufferings included.

“But whatever gain I had, I counted as loss for the sake of Christ. Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ” Philippians 3:7-8

Aside from a heart and mind that deeply cares for all of my non-Christian friends, I have a soft spot for young adults. My high school and college-age friends, if you have not already, the biggest decision you are going to have to face is what you decide to do with your faith. Nobody tells you this but as you adult and as you grow apart from your parents, you must also decide what you are going to do about your faith. Who do you follow, Jesus or the world? What do you want to worship?

You want truth and vulnerability? It is not worth your time to give into the world’s views. From the perspective that I gave into worldly pleasures at times, trust me when I tell you it is not worth it. You cannot satisfy your soul with the flawed promises of this world. You crave for something more, something eternal, something above the sun. The world’s views are tempting and promising but at the end of the day, I am still hurting from the repercussions of unwise decisions. Loving Jesus and loving people is hard and I want to encourage you to fight the good fight and follow Jesus knowing that you may be disliked, unfollowed and maybe even “cancelled” for following Christ. Yet it is worth it, Jesus changes everything about you and the way you want to do life.

And so, here I am: vulnerable, honest, truthfully lacking in several of the characteristics of Christ. Here I am, imperfect and will painfully disappoint you at times, but created by God. Let me show you what it means in my life to love God and love people. Jesus gets all the glory and anything “good” from me, well, thank my Creator. It’s Him, not me. All I am is someone that wants to love you and, more importantly, wants to show you the love your Intentional Designer has for you.

That’s my mission. Join my journey even if you completely disagree with my beliefs. I humbly ask for prayers for this blog and prayers that I can seek God’s will above anything else. Please pray for this journey.

Jesus changes everything. You are loved fully, created intentionally, and made worthy through Jesus alone. Come as you are and be saved.

“If you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.” Romans 10:9

“You will never be satisfied.”

I firmly believe the nerdiest nerdy thing a Jesus-loving nerd could say is I love seeing the biblical narrative play out in everything. Movies, TV shows, books, and anything you think is far from the bible is not nearly as far as you think. Doctor Strange, Frankenstein, Les Misérables, Harry Potter are a few forms of entertainment I consumed lately, and in one way or another all point to Jesus without saying it. I feel like it is constantly a race between my dad and I to spot and blurt out these biblical themes as they arise. It’s quite annoying admittedly, but we watch in awe and cannot help but share in our amazement. I especially love seeing biblical themes appear in my own life, especially as I adult. This post is an example of one.

Here is a story about chasing a moving target. Let me preface this story with two things, one, I must be completely honest with you and tell you that my boss does not know he’s crummy. I failed at communicating that and so if anything understand his perspective, he doesn’t know he’s doing wrong. Hold onto that fact. Secondly, if you are reading this, no, this is not about you nor will you be able to guess who this is about.

Do you remember that line in Hamilton, “You will never be satisfied”? That is precisely the one sentence I felt at my job and with this boss. Let’s call him Alexander, hmm fitting enough. Let me emphasize one more time, Alexander is a great man and I admire his dedication and determination to his work. But with the ongoing task after task and assignment overload I faced, I felt as if there was no way to satisfy Alexander.

It was never a “good job” but rather a “well, what’s next?” or “Ok…but did you do this other thing yet?” I genuinely enjoyed the work I was doing, but chasing a moving target is exhausting. You know this. No matter what I did it felt like it was never enough. I put in all these hours and all this work to then see that my target had moved. I remember one time specifically leaving work and from built-up frustration and felt incompetence, I was in tears.

Why am I not enough? Why is my work and my effort not enough? Why can’t I “win”? Stupidly, I began to smile.

Stupidly, I begin to smile again as I sit here writing this. Do you see the biblical narrative naturally unfold in this story? The nerd that I am began to smile because I recognized how spoiled I am through the grace of God. To my friends that do not know Jesus, I applaud you for having the tenacity to muscle through the constant chase of earthly pleasures. I never realized how spoiled I am by the unending love and grace from Jesus.

One way to summarize the bible is this: you are perfectly imperfect created by God. Salvation through good works inevitably fails because of our humanness and sin-like nature yet because you are loved first and fully by Jesus, He paid for those sins. No more moving targets, by grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone you are saved. Go and read C.S. Lewis or Tim Keller’s summary of the gospel as they are much more well-written than me.

I understand that idea is radical and absurd and that’s why you have people throughout the bible not fully understanding this. You have people taking what God says and twisting it because their finite minds cannot understand an infinite God. As a result, people do what’s right in their own eyes. Even today’s Christians do not understand grace all too well, it’s why you run into the hypocritical, judgmental, Pharisee-like followers. That includes me at times too, unfortunately. We cannot logically nor emotionally wrap our minds around a Creator who loved us before we were even born. We cannot understand how salvation is possible without having to earn it or work for it. We are so used to chasing moving targets that the idea of Jesus being enough seems impossible. My advice is to let the Bible speak for itself.

For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 6:23

Salvation through Jesus alone is the most comforting thing. To me, it feels like Jesus is saying, “Kira, you are loved fully. You are made worthy. You are created intentionally all through me. There is nothing you can do to make me love you any more or any less.” My skeptical friend, put your name in that quote and read it one more time.

Though the mountains move and the hills shake, my love will not be removed from you and my covenant of peace will not be shaken,”
says your compassionate Lord. Isaiah 54:10

I know that verse nor any of these verses are written specifically to you, Christian and non-Christian friends, but it’s the same God who loves you today, look at Hebrews 13:8. It is the same God who fully loves you and the same God who died for your sins so you can have eternal life, see John 3:16. It’s the same God.

Take other religions, take no religion, do you know exactly what happens when you die and are you comfortable with that reality? Instilling fear or guilt in you is the worst way to show you who Jesus is, in my opinion, so that is not my goal. I’m pressing you because I care about you and I want you to question your own beliefs. I research mine fairly frequently and it always has led me back to Christianity. Why?

America preaches doing what makes you happy, which is a convenient way to disguise “selfish living”. We are constantly pushing to succeed in our professional life. We believe that if there is a heaven as long as we’re a good enough person, we’re in. We’ve made it, but who is the judge of that? Do you see how chasing worldly pleasures will never satisfy your deeper soul cravings? Moving targets exist because we cannot be satisfied by something temporary when we thirst for something that’s so much deeper than that. What are you craving and what worldly idea can possibly eternally fulfill it?

We crave sex but even after sleeping around and having multiple partners, we are still left hungry. We crave money but even after buying that second Tesla, we are still left hungry. We crave fitness and healthy living, but even after we achieve the ideal body, we are still left hungry. There is nothing under the sun that is going to fulfill your deepest longings. Your desires cannot be fulfilled. The world’s desires cannot be fulfilled. They are all moving targets. Consider why those who are wealthy and have “everything” are ones that are the most susceptible to dying by suicide.

For everything in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—comes not from the Father but from the world. 17 The world and its desires pass away, but whoever does the will of God lives forever. 1 John 2:16-17

God “uno-reverses” that idea and states that He is enough for our humanly cravings and our deep longings, for everything.

Jesus said to her, “Everyone who drinks of this water will be thirsty again, 14 but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty again. The water that I will give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” John 4:13-14

Through Jesus you can find the fullness of truth and grace (John 1:14), through Jesus you can find unconditional love (John 3:16), through Jesus you find acceptance (Romans 5:8), though Jesus you find true redemption (Col 1:14), through Jesus you find righteousness in the one who is righteous (2 Cor 5:21). I could go on and on about every single craving you have, but this post is long enough. Come as you are and be saved. There are no more moving targets. Your salvation is secured. His love for you is secured. Jesus is enough.

“I am the bread of life,” Jesus told them. “No one who comes to me will ever be hungry, and no one who believes in me will ever be thirsty again. 36 But as I told you, you’ve seen me, and yet you do not believe. 37 Everyone the Father gives me will come to me, and the one who comes to me I will never cast out. John 6:35-37

Now, I know you are all much wiser than me. Good-feeling words are nothing compared to truth so consider everything I say as food for thought. Let the Bible speak for itself. Look into the prophecies, profound statements and this Jesus dude and see if this can possibly, just possibly be more than a book of fables. You are loved fully, created intentionally, and made worthy. Thank you for reading.

I once thought these things were valuable, but now I consider them worthless because of what Christ has done. Yes, everything else is worthless when compared with the infinite value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have discarded everything else, counting it all as garbage, so that I could gain Christ. Philippians 3:7-8

16 Hours Without Food

That’s my Sunday. That’s been my Sunday for the last three to four weeks now, but that all depends on when I decide to actually make this post public. It has not always landed on a Sunday but I try to fast for sixteen hours, one of the days of the week. I usually stop snacking after 8, Saturday evening, to then eat my first meal of the day at noon on Sunday.

Fasting is brutal. Not the most wonderful selling point, I’m well aware, and the emotional side of me is awkwardly torn between recommending it to you while telling you to stay far away from it. That makes me laugh, logically, I would recommend everyone to at least try to fast because I have learned a lot from it – even if it’s not necessarily a “food fast”.

I obnoxiously do not ever miss the opportunity to tell people about the importance of learning how to delay gratification. I firmly believe in actively practicing self-control. A lot of the brokenness I have seen in myself and in others partly stem from a lack of self-control. Key word: myself.

“A man without self-control is like a city broken into and left without walls.” Proverbs 25:28

My non-Christian friends, do not leave this post because I put up a Bible verse, if I took out the reference, you’d agree with that sentence too. At least, that’s my guess. In a world where we long for efficiency and immediate gratification, I think more so now than ever do we need to practice self-control. We want it. We buy it. We feel a desire. We fulfill it. We don’t like it. We get rid of it. I cannot be the only person that sees the flaws in a “instant fulfillment” mindset. You can hate God and hate Christianity but still see the errors in living in a world that preaches doing what makes you happy. We are not wise, especially when we have such strong God-given emotions. Praise God for emotions, but also I am the dumbest person I have ever met. Do you see the catastrophe that will inevitably occur from selfish living?

“You say, “I am allowed to do anything”—but not everything is good for you. And even though “I am allowed to do anything,” I must not become a slave to anything. ” 1 Corinthians 6:12

And maybe the iceberg is yet to cause damage right now, what about in the next five or ten years? Breaking habits is a tedious and strenuous process especially the longer you have it and breaking addictions is even harder. I am not judging you, friends. I can relate to it all. Do you know how badly I want to fulfill any good or wrong desire? Yeah, I have a strong moral compass but I also have strong emotions and desires. Out of all the fruits of the Spirit, I will be completely honest with you and tell you that I struggle most with patience and self-control. It’s a daily struggle.

22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, and self-control. The law is not against such things.24 Now those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. 25 If we live by the Spirit, let us also keep in step with the Spirit. 26 Let us not become conceited, provoking one another, envying one another.” Galatians 5:22-26

The reason I fast is not to brag about the amount of self-control I have. It’s not an excuse to “glorify” myself for being able to say “no” to a Boston cream donut. I fast because improving self-control in one area often extends to self-control in other areas. I fast out of humility. I fast because I lack self-control and I see how destructive that type of lifestyle can become. I have experienced how destructive that type of lifestyle can become. Can you consider how dangerous it can be to live a life where we preach fulfilling our desires without considering wisdom? Can you consider how problematic it can be to live a life that chases happiness without considering wisdom?

Let me humbly reiterate, I am not judging you. It’s extremely difficult to wait. It is extremely difficult to not give in when all you can hear is your emotional side telling you to do something. I get it, friends. I do. I would be also be lying to you if I told you that mastering self-control fixes all your problems. I tell you this because the Bible talks a lot about fasting and self-control and personally, much of the pains I still feel are from the repercussions of not practicing self-control, and not taking what the Bible has said about it seriously. I say this out of humility.

I say this out of genuine love and care for you, friends. More often than I’d like to admit, I have gone throughout my life doing what I think makes sense and giving into the world’s mottos yet to realize, after some sort of suffering or trial, that maybe I should have considered the Bible’s perspective on things and taken wisdom from that. I am not trying to guilt-trip you into fasting, but rather I am sharing the benefits from my personal fasting “journey”. You are loved fully, created intentionally, and made worthy regardless of what you think or what you do. It is faith alone through Christ alone, by the way. Consider Romans 10:9.

Consider the benefits of fasting. Consider how powerful it can be to want something yet to say “no” to it. Take everything I say with a grain of salt. I am an imperfect person that has been saved by grace alone and solely wants to share my thoughts, feelings and experiences as a Christian with you all. Oh, and by the way, Jesus actually explains how to fast in Matthew 6; consider it.

Don’t Proclaim “Jesus is King”

Now, now that we have a president and it was the one you voted for. Now that elections are over-ish. Now that we wait for the recounts, lawsuits, etc., now can I say “Jesus is King” or is that still considered insensitive, friends? I’m asking out of humility and genuine curiosity.

I ask because I recently got in trouble and if you think I am “subtweeting” you, I am not. I got in trouble for declaring truths about God. Now, that’s nothing too new. I am a lover of Jesus and people in a highly secularly city. I constantly get “in-trouble” as a Christian; that’s part of the full-time job. But recently, specifically on election day I got in trouble for sharing Scripture that points to the sovereignty of God. Before you speculate, that’s not why I have been off social media for a few days and counting now:

and from Jesus Christ, the faithful witness, the firstborn from the dead and the ruler of the kings of the earth. To him who loves us and has set us free from our sins by his blood, and made us a kingdom, priests to his God and Father—to him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.Look, he is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see him, even those who pierced him. And all the tribes of the earth So it is to be. Amen. “I am the Alpha and the Omega,” says the Lord God, “the one who is, who was, and who is to come, the Almighty.” Revelation 1:5-8

I debated whether or not it was worth my time and yours to actually try to speak on the behalves of your Christian friends, well, attempt to. How do I come off as genuinely sorry for offending, yet also bring perspective while avoiding coming off as defensive? I do not know but let me do my best. I ask that you all stay with me until the end of this post. Give my blog a chance.

I fully acknowledge that Christians can come off as insensitive people and I can fully acknowledge that we are not the best at empathizing and sympathizing. If you find a Christian who is great at that, keep them close. First, thank God as all glory goes to the Intentional Designer, but keep them close. I wish I was better at empathizing and though it may not look like it, I truly work harder every day to get better at that. This of course is all to say that I fully acknowledge why saying “Jesus is King” can be inconsiderate during a time like this. I fully apologize if I came across this way and take full responsibility for my lack of perspective.

“Jesus is King” is insensitive, doesn’t consider the perspective of those who are terrified of our potential president, offensive to anyone who does not like this Jesus guy in the slightest, etc. Ironically, I said “Jesus is King” out of utter compassion and love for our world. I said it to bring perspective to those who are terrified of who wins the election. I said it specifically so those who do not like the Jesus guy in the slightest can at least hear what the Bible has to say. I would hope that my brothers and sisters in Christ had the same underlying motivations. Please do not let yourself paint an unbiblical and incorrect version of who Jesus really is solely because you have had imperfect people try to explain a perfect God. My friends, I know the people in the church are imperfect and have messed up in showing you who Jesus is. I am sorry for any wrong or negative encounter you have had with God’s people. Please give Jesus a chance, not His imperfect people. I encourage you to let the Bible speak for itself.

That being said, I find it peaceful to know that there is something greater out there. I find it peaceful to know that regardless of who wins, and yes I am writing this before knowing results, that my salvation, worth and love is secured in something greater than myself or anything this imperfect world has to offer.

Listen, I get it. I get if you see suffering as clear evidence that God does not exist. I get that if there even is a possibility of a God, that your personal sufferings and lack of happiness is enough to hate a so-called Creator. I get it and there is too much to unpack about all the logical fallacies in those arguments, but let’s do Zoom & coffee and talk about it. Much more importantly, I hear you and I am sorry for whatever it is that you’re going through. I am sorry that you’re struggling. I am sorry that every day feels like a new battle. Oh, friend, how I understand and can relate to this more than you realize. “How can a good God allow suffering?” is one of the most asked questions and I cannot unpack all of that in this specific post. But I hear you, I feel you and more importantly so does Jesus whether you believe it or not. Whether you believe it, let the Bible speak for itself. You are loved fully.

37 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. 38 For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, 39 nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 8:37-39

Friends, I get your fear in some regard. I know for some of my readers I will never come close to understanding what you face on a daily basis and why this world needs to change, and I acknowledge that, so do my run-on sentences. But my friends, I will proclaim “Jesus is King” until I am with Him in Heaven. I share this with you because regardless of any pain or sufferings or trials we go through, this is not the end. Regardless of our president, Jesus still wins in the end. Do not underestimate the power of God and what He can do through imperfect people. Regardless of what is to come and all of the uncertainty wrapped within it, the way to salvation has always been certain. Will you consider Jesus is Lord?

“Lord,” Thomas said, “we don’t know where you’re going. How can we know the way?” Jesus told him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. John 14:5-6

Now my Christian friends, let me be purposefully harsh with you as I remind you and myself that though we see eternity and though we see a heaven, do not ignore the heartache, injustice, and pain of this earth. Do not let yourself fall into the “well, it’s whatever because I’ll be in heaven anyway” mindset as I easily tend to do. Though we see this earth as temporary, we better care about how God’s creations get treated on it. Christians, consider who Jesus is and consider how He lived. Consider how He acted on this earth. You fight for justice, you help those in need, you continually extend grace and forgiveness, you pray for our government, and above all you love as Christ calls us to. You love God AND You love people. Do you understand that? Consider what it truly means to love from the Bible and not from our worldly view of love. WWJD, It’s absolutely cheesy and I think that’s why my Christian friends and I overlook it, but honestly, what would Jesus do? How would He love and act?

Jesus still wins in the end. We will continue to fight for justice. We will continue to help those in need. We are one nation under God whether you like it or not. Regardless of what is to come, Jesus still wins in the end. Will you at least consider it? Will you at least consider all of the evidence that supports Christianity? I am not saying you should not be anxious. Your feels are completely valid and should be felt in a healthy way. What I am saying is there is freedom in certainty. There is freedom in knowing that this world is incomparable to Heaven. There is freedom in knowing that God loves us unconditionally. There is freedom in knowing that salvation is by faith alone in Christ alone, not in our own works. I have considered your worldview, can you try to consider mine? You are loved fully, designed uniquely, and made worthy through Jesus. Consider it, friends.

Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more. I also saw the holy city, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared like a bride adorned for her husband.Then I heard a loud voice from the throne: Look, God’s dwelling is with humanity, and he will live with them. They will be his peoples, and God himself will be with them and will be their God. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes. Death will be no more; grief, crying, and pain will be no more, because the previous things have passed away. Then the one seated on the throne said, “Look, I am making everything new.” He also said, “Write, because these words are faithful and true.” Then he said to me, “It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. I will freely give to the thirsty from the spring of the water of life. The one who conquers will inherit these things, and I will be his God, and he will be my son. But the cowards, faithless, detestable, murderers, sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars—their share will be in the lake that burns with fire and sulfur, which is the second death.” Revelation 21:1-8

Big congratulations to President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris. I pray over you both as you lead this country with justice, grace, peace, wisdom and love for all of God’s creations.

Following Commandments Have Never Been Easy.

13 When all has been heard, the conclusion of the matter is this: fear God and keep his commands, because this is for all humanity. 14 For God will bring every act to judgment, including every hidden thing, whether good or evil.” Ecclesiastes 12:13-14

Now, I know I started with a Bible verse, but my friend who does not love Jesus, please stay with me. I kindly ask that you hear what I have to say and if you absolutely hate it, never visit my blog again if that is what you choose, but I humbly ask that you give me a chance. As I try to understand your worldview, I ask that you at least try to understand mine. 

Poo Poo Point | Issaquah, WA

Poo Poo Point | Issaquah, WA

I finished reading Ecclesiastes recently and my non-Christian friends, I genuinely believe you would find it as radical as your Christian friends do. Take out the “God parts” and I think we would both high-five each other while wincing in pain as we still see the depressing realizations of Ecclesiastes pour out in our society. It describes every single problem we see in our US culture. The book itself can be wrapped up in one sentence, “We’re all just going to die anyway so what is the point to all this vanity?” I humbly ask you to read all twelve chapters; you would get a kick out of it. 

Truthfully, the book is kind of a kill-joy and I think in the least cynical way that is why it’s my favorite book of the Bible. It compares the things to this world as futile and chasing pleasure or success or knowledge as to chasing the wind. 

11 When I considered all that I had accomplished and what I had labored to achieve, I found everything to be futile and a pursuit of the wind. There was nothing to be gained under the sun.” Ecc. 2:11

Consider that phrasing: under the sun. I can relate to chasing wind and being so entangled in the temporary desires and pleasures of this world. Can I be the first to admit that there is way too much on my plate, in terms of responsibilities and extracurriculars? I am not sleeping well and yet can I also be the first to admit that I love talking about it? There’s this twisted built-in pride that comes with being busy. We love the admiration and applaud we receive from being busy to the point that our health suffers. Why are we like this? What are we trying to prove and why?

After Solomon, who I believe was the author of Ecclesiastes, goes about and shares how nothing matters and chasing wealth, pleasure, success, etc. is worthless, he ends by sharing that Scripture I provided in the beginning. Granted he does touch on how important it is to invest and enjoy life. Do not be mistaken. Yet, that’s the meaning of life? Just fear God and obey all His commandments? That’s it? I know my, non-Christian friends. There is nothing appealing about that sentence but stay with me. Let me explain.

Fear God; I often think it means to acknowledge who He is. It reminds me of His sovereignty, love, grace, wisdom, omnipresence, etc. It’s not a fear-filled fear. It’s not like a “Oh-no, dad is going to be furious…I should hide…”, but more of a respectful acknowledgement you would have for your parents or for your boss. It’s a healthy fear. Please do not get the wrong impression of Jesus just because you have had imperfect people try to explain a perfect God. Fear God to me means to understand that there is something greater than yourself. There is something meaningful above the sun. 

18 There is no fear in love; instead, perfect love drives out fear, because fear involves punishment. So the one who fears is not complete in love. 19 We love because he first loved us.” 1 John 18-19

But still, that’s the conclusion? We are to fear God and obey all His commandments. Before I talk about commandments, the only thing I want you, my non-Christian friends to understand is salvation is by faith alone through Christ alone. It is about your faith in Christ and acknowledging Jesus is Lord. Go read Romans 10:9. Go and be saved. 

Yet even knowing that, “obey all His commandments” still rubs you the wrong way and I can understand that. Here’s my thoughts, solely as in how Kira Murillo thinks about commandments. If you can truly get behind the idea of fearing The Lord, everything else about Christianity makes enough sense. If you can believe God is truly loving and all-knowing, it makes sense that these commandments are written out of love and written out of infinite wisdom. I think the “problems” we have with God is due to our lack of understanding. Everything I have heard against Christianity starts with the misinterpretation of God’s character.

123295119_692833578324063_195718893230066080_n

Honestly, it’s not that difficult to prove that the Christian God exists, more often than not people choose to not follow God because we have a problem with the morals or “laws” that we misunderstand. I get it; it’s not natural to follow a lot of them, especially in a world that preaches “do what makes you happy.” In fact, it’s not enjoyable to always follow them.

For me, I try to out of this intense desire to do so and to live a life that glorifies God. That desire is not natural but one that I continually work on because I love Jesus and I love people. Part of the reasons for these commandments remind me of an incredibly healthy relationship between children and parents. “I love you so much, so much to tell you to not touch the stove even though your finite mind might never understand it.” Your parents love you because they choose to, like God. As kids, we do not benefit them in any way. We do nothing for them except cry, yet we are loved fully, regardless if we touch the stove. Similarly but to a greater understanding, Jesus loves us even though we’re all bad people. Friends, I am an utterly sin-filled person saved by grace. His unconditional love reminds me to not stress out about following commandments or pretending to be a “perfect Christian”. Sure, I try hard and I truly want to follow them, but I do not question His love or my worth when I fall short. My salvation is locked. His unconditional love for me is secured. Do you have any idea how freeing that feels?

In the New Testament, when asked about the greatest commandment, Jesus says this: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.38 This is the greatest and most important command. 39 The second is like it: Love your neighbor as yourself. 40 All the Law and the Prophets depend on these two commands.” Matthew 22:37-40

Because Christ loved me first and because He died for my sins even though I did not deserve it whatsoever, I lovingly want to follow God and His commandments. I am not worried about losing my salvation. I follow Jesus and His commandments out of respect and admiration for all who He is and all that He has done. It’s in the same way you obey your parents but on a much higher level because your parents are imperfect people. After learning about God and developing this deep love for Him and people, I want to live a life that glorifies His name. You don’t have to be a certain “type” of person to love and follow God. I promise you that, faith alone, Christ alone. 

I ponder on Ecclesiastes and its relevancy. The things we chase today move constantly, and my friends, you know how frustrating it is to chase a moving target. At what point are you truly satisfied? Do you honestly think that doing what makes us happy is the meaning to life? Listen, I understand if you hate God and you hate His commandments, it reminds me of times where I did not like the rules my parents implemented for me. Over time, I see that it was out of this love and wisdom that I could not understand at the time. But I get it, culture and God disagree with each other at times, but who is to say we, those with finite minds, can even begin to understand what might be best for us? We do what’s right in our own eyes but who is to say we could potentially be wrong about our assumptions.

“Just as you don’t know the path of the wind, or how bones develop in the womb of a pregnant woman, so also you don’t know the work of God who makes everything.” Ecc. 11:5

123046386_1403686486689106_6265101400972641563_n

Spoiler alert, Jesus does not tell you to do what makes you happy. But the profound thing about following God is there are not any moving targets with Christianity. Following Jesus does not guarantee an easy life, in fact, it’s quite the opposite. How’s that for a selling point? But in the 21 years that I’ve lived with times where I have been devoted to God and other times I have nearly walked away from my faith, I understand the need for a Savior. I better understand Jesus. From my personal experience, I have found more satisfaction in understanding God’s character and anything above the sun than anything the world has to offer. I have found more contentment and freedom in following Jesus rather than doing what makes me happy. Consider it. Question everything I say, as you should. Do your own research. Read the book of Ecclesiastes. 

11 He has made everything appropriate in its time. He has also put eternity in their hearts, but no one can discover the work God has done from beginning to end” Ecclesiastes 3:11

“Do What Makes You hAPpY”

Maybe this is mostly because I am enamored with logic, truth and reason. Maybe this is because I have been accused of being emotionless. Maybe it’s the combination but I thoroughly dislike the “you do you” or “do what makes you happy” movement. Movement…is that what you would call it? Lifestyle, maybe? Regardless, I absolutely dislike it, but don’t go yet, give me a chance. I kindly ask that you read this whole post and if you hate it, never look at my blog again, but please give me a chance.

It’s well-meaning but every time I hear it, I experience this full-body cringe and it’s not pleasant. I don’t know if it’s just a me thing, but it genuinely rubs me the wrong way.

Tolmie Park Trail | Mt. Rainier

Tolmie Park Trail | Mt. Rainier

My main premise is I truly believe people are born naturally “evil”. Now I put “evil” in quotation marks because though I do not believe most people have this deep-rooted desire to kill their next-door neighbor, I think we naturally find it somewhat easy to lie, become envious, develop way too much arrogance and pride, etc. These are all labeled as sinful acts and we are tempted toward them. We know they are wrong, but we cannot help but be tempted. So with all that being said I think about what I would do if I did what made me happy.

I have a strong moral compass built into me and I thank God, the Intentional Designer, for that. It’s great because things are put into clear categories for me: right & wrong, but what’s not so great is I try to put everything into either bin. Grey does not exist in my world, it’s black and white. Anyway, my point being is though I know what’s right and wrong most of the time, if I did what made me happy, more often than not, I’d willingly choose the wrong actions.

Feeding into my emotional cravings, if I did what made me happy, I’d be completely selfish. I would take advantage of others. I would give into every single temptation because I’d think it would make me happy, and maybe it would for a single moment. I would hoard all my money. I would stop looking at the needs of others. I could never develop the selfless love that’s talked about in the Bible, no way. My hope is you’re a much better person than me so maybe that’s not how you would respond, but honestly if I did what made me happy I would be the most selfish person in the world. Doing everything that makes me happy yet still craving something more…I’ll be honest.

“So I say, let the Holy Spirit guide your lives. Then you won’t be doing what your sinful nature craves. 17 The sinful nature wants to do evil, which is just the opposite of what the Spirit wants. And the Spirit gives us desires that are the opposite of what the sinful nature desires. These two forces are constantly fighting each other, so you are not free to carry out your good intentions. 18 But when you are directed by the Spirit, you are not under obligation to the law of Moses.” Galatians 5:16-18

This is one of those Christian things and thoughts that I have. My non-Christian friends, just hear me out and follow the logic, but I would much rather follow the advise of “do what’s wise.” than “do what makes you happy”. I see how that would greatly improve my self-development and self-awareness. Maybe it’s because I’ve been re-reading the book of Proverbs every month since July, which I also think non-Christians would benefit from as it is filled with practical advice and wisdom. Maybe it’s solely my hunger for logic and my tendency to follow reason over my emotions, but I think “do what’s wise” is a better mantra. We should consider wisdom and happiness but maybe sometimes wisdom over happiness.

“But the wisdom from above is first of all pure. It is also peace loving, gentle at all times, and willing to yield to others. It is full of mercy and the fruit of good deeds. It shows no favoritism and is always sincere.” James 3:17

Now maybe you’re thinking, I’m taking this way too seriously. Maybe the last time you told me “do what makes you happy” it was over choosing whether to eat a chicken burger or chicken nuggets. And to my memory, I did not have a problem with that, but it’s when I’ve asked for advice. Should I date him? Should I act this way toward my coworkers? Should I treat my family in this way? Should I be looking more at her needs and less of my own?

“Do what makes you happy” can be great advice for inconsequential things like choosing what color to wear, but I think we need to be more careful with how we say it and when we say it. Maybe doing what makes us happy is not the best advice as perfectly imperfect flawed beings. Maybe I’m just in the percentage of jerks that would be utterly selfish all the time, but I think it’s at least something to consider. Yes there’s a balance and maybe the goal is to do what’s wise AND what makes you happy, but more often than not I see wisdom completely ignored. That genuinely worries me.

As finite people with finite minds, we do what seems right in our own eyes. The book of Judges is a great example of what we do when left to our own devices and desires.  In those days there was no king in Israel. Everyone did what was right in his own eyes.Judges 17:6 followed by chaos, murder, and tragedy to say the least. I don’t know if that ever worries you, but that worries me. We think we’re doing what’s right but how much knowledge can we really gain with a finite mind? How do we know that we should walk around preaching “do what makes you happy”? I am brought to comfort when I read the book of Proverbs:

“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.” Proverbs 9:10

Genesis 1:1

And I get it, it’s a “cop-out answer” to point to God to explain the unexplainable. It’s a “cop-out answer” when society says we have these “needs” and the Bible says something else. It’s a “cop-out answer” when there are certain passages and commandments that our society rages against. I get it. But I think there is some truth to all of that, who is to say we have nearly the amount of or even the capacity for knowledge as an infinite God has? I think our minds are like children compared to God’s, at least mine is. It’s like the four-year old that tries to reason with his parents that he should be able to go to the store by himself. I genuinely think we have childlike minds when comparing our minds to God. Regardless of your thoughts on the Christian God, there is validity in not fully understanding something so infinite, indescribable and, intelligent.

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding.Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take.” Proverbs 3:5-6

Even the parts of the Bible that the secular world likes to tear apart, most of the time it’s because we do not have the full context and this leads to people who claim to hate the God that doesn’t exist. I am speaking from experience. This is not me judging you. Some passages I wanted to avoid because I didn’t like them, but turns out I just didn’t completely understand them. They are great if you accept the context. That’s also not to say that there are still spots that I have a really hard time with, but it brings a lot of perspective. God can be sovereign, unconditionally loving, faithful, gracious, etc. even if I cannot always understand it. I can accept God as eternally loving and infinitely knowledgeable and I can also disagree with God; that doesn’t make Him less loving or less knowledgeable.

But those are the thoughts I have when I see the Bible preach one thing and I see society preach another. Maybe we are not nearly as wise as we think we are. Maybe we’ll change our mind about a lot of things in 20 years. We see that now. We see that all the time. I’d like to hope we are becoming more knowledgeable, but also who is to say we could ever be remotely close to having the same capacity for wisdom as God? Who is to say that doing what makes us happy is necessarily the wisest thing to do? Personally, that’s why I seek wisdom from the Bible and not from the world. I don’t trust my finite and fickle mind enough, but I do trust an unchanging God (Hebrews 13:8).

Genesis 1:6-8

As much as I am overly concerned with making the wise choice with anything, the beautiful thing is Jesus and how salvation is through faith alone. It’s not our works. It’s not about being perfect. It’s not about making the right decision all the time. Jesus is so much greater than this imperfect world. Jesus changes absolutely everything. You are made worthy, loved fully and created intentionally. Just consider it. And while you’re at it, I’d suggest reading the book of Proverbs. Give it a chance. Ponder it as we may not be nearly as wise as I’d like to think we are.

Also, may I suggest that doing what’s wise could potentially be more beneficial than doing what makes you happy? But it’s not all black and white, apparently, but just consider it. Could you do me a favor and read the passage from Ecclesiastes too? Thank you for reading. I appreciate all the support, wholeheartedly.

Wisdom for Life – Ecclesiastes 7:1-14

“A good reputation is more valuable than costly perfume. And the day you die is better than the day you are born. Better to spend your time at funerals than at parties. After all, everyone dies—so the living should take this to heart.Sorrow is better than laughter, for sadness has a refining influence on us. A wise person thinks a lot about death, while a fool thinks only about having a good time.Better to be criticized by a wise person than to be praised by a fool. A fool’s laughter is quickly gone, like thorns crackling in a fire. This also is meaningless. Extortion turns wise people into fools, and bribes corrupt the heart. Finishing is better than starting. Patience is better than pride. Control your temper, for anger labels you a fool. 10 Don’t long for “the good old days.” This is not wise. 11 Wisdom is even better when you have money. Both are a benefit as you go through life. 12 Wisdom and money can get you almost anything, but only wisdom can save your life. 13 Accept the way God does things, for who can straighten what he has made crooked? 14 Enjoy prosperity while you can, but when hard times strike, realize that both come from God. Remember that nothing is certain in this life.”