Sunday, November 17, 2013

Thoughts on the Last Supper...

The sun was setting on His life,
The end was coming fast.
He felt the shadow of the cross;
This supper was his last.
With loving hands He acted out,
An illustration clear:
How God had served and given all
To draw the sinner near.

As Peter, John, and Judas fought,
And sought the highest place,
Their Master knelt and washed their feet:
What they had thought disgrace.
His condescension broke their hearts;
They saw their pride and sin.
He washed more than their filthy feet,
He cleansed the heart within.

All twelve disciples were with Christ
For more than three whole years,
And yet they still were subject to
Pride, doubt, and human fears.
We too have seen Christ through His Word,
By faith His name we bear,
But do our hearts reveal His love?
Or is self cherished there?

Let each of us draw near to Christ;
Walk humbly with our God.
He’ll cleanse the temple of our heart;
We’ll walk where He has trod.
Then only are we all prepared
To take the bread and wine,
Christ’s broken body and His blood,
Portrayed in sacred sign.

Christ gave His body for our sins,
His blood was spilled in love;
And by His perfect sacrifice
He’ll carry us above.
Before the Father on His throne
We now stand washed from sin;
Communion then will be restored
As we remember Him.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

GCHEM Devotional 3

My breath seemed to add more clouds to the foggy darkness as I went on my early-morning run. Coming out of the dorm, it had not seemed too dark, and I had left my flashlight behind, but as I emerged from the circles of light that glowed around lampposts and buildings, the darkness and fog closed in thicker than I had anticipated. The paved path blended with the wet ground; only the firmness of the cement assured me of the correct course. I was just starting to pull out my phone to use as a flashlight, when the thumping of my steps turned to crunching. Without even realizing it, I had gone off the path. Quickly, I tapped on my flashlight app, and a bright beam of light showed me my surroundings. Now I easily found my way back to my running rout.
            Without the light, I could not see the way, and I stepped off the path. Without Christ, “the light of the world,”1 I can not see spiritually, and I will step off His path. Throughout the Bible, Christ is referred to as the “light of the world.”2 He brings spiritual sight and understanding to His followers, just as light brings physical sight. He is the One who shows the way to heaven.
            Still, the parallels between Christ and light go deeper. Christ has a dual nature. He is fully human and fully divine. Visible light also has a dual nature: particle and wave. Young’s double-slit experiment is an example of this. Young showed that light has a wave-like nature by shining a single beam of light through a screen containing two slits and on to another screen. When the light passed through the slits it shone a pattern on the last screen. There were alternating bands of light and dark on the screen; called an interference pattern. This can be explained by the wave-like nature of light: where light waves meet trough-to-trough and crest-to-crest when they hit the screen, they amplify each other, but where troughs and crests meet, they cancel each other, causing the dark bands on the screen.3 Yet, on closer examination, Young’s experiment showed the particle nature of light as well.
            Even when only one photon of light at a time is shone at the double-slit screen, over a period of time, the interference pattern still shows up, exemplifying that light behaves as a wave. The only exception to this is when the slits are closely observed to find out which slit each photon passes through. If each photon is watched closely, light stops traveling like a wave and starts traveling like single particles.4 The interference pattern disappears, and only two bands of light show up on the final screen. Simply by close observation, light’s particle properties can be observed, but at the same time, its wave-like properties disappear. Somehow, light is both a wave and a particle, but scientists still do not fully understand how this can be. The whole picture can not be observed or understood all at once.
            Christ’s dual nature is something that we can not fully grasp now either. We can see from His Word that He is fully God and fully man, but how He can be both at the same time is beyond our understanding. As Ellen White says:
“Canst thou by searching find out God? canst thou find out the Almighty unto perfection? It is as high as heaven; what canst thou do? Deeper than hell; what canst thou know?” “My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways My ways, saith the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts.” “I am God, and there is none like Me, declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done.” It is impossible for the finite minds of men to fully comprehend the character or the works of the Infinite One. To the keenest intellect, to the most powerful and highly educated mind, that holy Being must ever remain clothed in mystery.”5
            “Now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.”6 Right now, looking through finite eyes of faith, we can not fully know God, but one day, when we see Him face to face, we will know Him with the same depth that He knows us. Yet, even though we can not fully know Him now, just as we do not fully understand light, He is still the only Light that can illuminate our path in this dark world. He is, “the light of the world.”7

1 John 8:12 (King James Version).
2 ibid
3 “Thomas Young’s Double Slit Experiment,” Molecular Expressions, accessed November 3, 2013,
4 “Young Two-Slit Experiment,” University of Oregon online database, accessed November 3, 2013,
5 Ellen G. White, Testimonies to the Church vol. 5, p. 698.2, accessed November 3, 2013,
6 1 Corinthians 13:12 (King James Version).
7 John 8:12 (King James Version).

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

God of Love

God above, full of love,
Sent His Son to save us.
Matchless grace took our place;
ransom for the human race.
Prince of peace, King of kings;
He made earth and heaven.
Still He came as a child;
lowly, meek, and undefiled.

Humble life, carpenter,
He knows all our trials.
Tempted hard, suffered long,
showed us how to turn from wrong.
Love of God, rich and free,
Love I can’t repay.
How can I do my part?
I can only give my heart.

Once was lost, now I’m found,
Jesus, You have saved me.
Bought me back, rescued me,
gave me all eternity.
Spotless lamb, sacrifice,
He laid down His life.
Bore our sins, died our death,
loved us ‘til His final breath. 


Sunday, November 3, 2013

GCHEM Devotional 2

A lot of the ideas in this devotional came from my ENGL 101 class...I hope it makes sense even to those who were not in the class. :) Blessings!

          Since childhood, I’ve loved playing with magnets. When I was six, my mom bought me a magnet set, and soon I was deep into my own childlike experiments. How close could the negative end of a magnet get to a positive end without them colliding? Why did a magnet run away when I pointed the positive end of my magnet wand toward its positive end? Attraction and repulsion were my playmates, and any magnetic metal was my toy. I would try to wrestle two positive magnets together for hours, but I could never overcome the force that drove them apart.
            Similar attraction and repulsion powers go on in everything around us. Atoms, the building blocks of our world, are made up of three main particles: positive protons, neutral neutrons, and negative electrons. Knowing this, one would assume that the positive protons and negative electrons would be attracted to each other and balance each other out. J. J. Thomson even made a model in which he pictured “small electrons to be embedded in the atom much like raisins in a pudding or seeds in a watermelon.”1 However, a scientist named Rutherford made a surprising discovery: “The results from Rutherford’s experiment were astounding…The only model of the atom consistent with this Rutherford experiment is that a small central core (the nucleus) houses the positive charge and most of the mass of the atom, while the majority of the atom’s volume contains discrete electrons orbiting about the central nucleus.”2
            Although science still has much to learn about the atom, the mystery of the nucleus was greatly unveiled by Rutherford’s work. Since then, scientists have discovered the “strong force,” which holds the nucleus together. Nuclear particles interact “through the strong, short range nuclear force, which is responsible for the binding of these particles in atomic nuclei.”3
            This holding together of opposing forces by a single strong force can also be seen in the spiritual realm. The protons are truth, and Christ is the strong force that holds it together. Just as two true protons repel each other, opposing truths repel each other while both remaining true. “Truth is by nature paradoxical; that is, it always contains balancing principles.”4 Examples of these dipolar truths are: the invisible vs. the visible, abstract vs. concrete, and subjective vs. objective.  Specific dipolarities are God’s hatred of sin and love of sinners, His unending grace and immutable law, and Christ’s simultaneous complete divinity and complete humanity.
            Yet, in Christ’s embodiment of humanity and divinity, we see truth lived out. He says, “I am the way, the truth, and the life…”5 Satan has tried to twist the truth and place God’s character traits of grace and justice against each other, but Christ came to rejoin those truths: “Satan represents God’s law of love as a law of selfishness. He declares that it is impossible for us to obey its precepts. The fall of our first parents, with all the woe that has resulted, he charges upon the Creator, leading men to look upon God as the author of sin, and suffering, and death. Jesus was to unveil this deception. As one of us He was to give an example of obedience…As He went about doing good, and healing all who were afflicted by Satan, He made plain to men the character of God’s law and the nature of His service. His life testifies that it is possible for us also to obey the law of God.6
            Through a loving life of perfect obedience to God’s law, Christ holds together the “protons” of God’s grace and law. Not only that, but “by His humanity, Christ touched humanity; by His divinity, He lays hold upon the throne of God. As the Son of man, He gave us an example of obedience; as the Son of God, He gives us power to obey.”7 Through Christ, truth is unified, and through Truth, I am set free. 8

                        1 Brown L. Theodore, H. Eugene LeMay Jr, Bruce E. Bursten Catherine J. Murphy, and Patrick Woodward, Chemistry: The Central Science, 11th ed. (Upper Saddle River: Pearson Education Inc, 2009), 11
                        2 “The Atomic Nucleus,” Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. accessed September 9, 2013,
                        3 Chew, Geoffrey F, Murray Gell-Mann, and Arthur H. Rosenfeld, “Strongly Interacting Particles,” Santa Fe Institute, accessed September 9, 2013,
                        4 A. Leroy Moore, Adventist Cultures in Conflict (Michigan: Moore Publishing, 2009), 11.
                        5 John 14:6 (King James Version).
                        6 Ellen G. White, The Desire of Ages (Nampa: Pacific Press, 2005), 24.2.
                        7 Ellen G. White, The Desire of Ages (Nampa: Pacific Press, 2005), 24.3. 

            8 John 8:32 (King James Version).

GCHEM Devotional 1

One of the classes that I am taking at Weimar College this semester is general chemistry. As a part of this class I get to write three devotionals with object lessons that are drawn from chemistry. I've decided I should share them on here, especially since my posts have been so few and far between lately. May God bless you all!

           Generally, by the end of the day, I am tired, have worked hard, and my to-do list is still has at least a couple stubborn items left that were not accomplished. No matter how much I do, there is always more.  With the busyness of the modern age, and especially since the rise of technology, most people in this world have experienced a never ending to-do list. Nature, however, seems to show us a different example; an example of being able to accomplish more than expected.
            One place we see this example is in aqueous solutions. Many reactions will only take place when dissolved in water, when they are aqueous. Three types of these aqueous reactions are redox reactions, acid-base neutralization, and precipitation reactions.1 Not long ago, I discovered an interesting phenomenon with one of these reactions. While writing out and comparing the theoretical and actual data of an experiment I had just run, I found that the actual percent yield of my product was greater than the theoretical percent yield. Perplexed, I started to wonder if there was an error in my math. Finding none, I began to discuss with several of my classmates who had also discovered this problem. It turns out, what we experienced is to be expected when working with aqueous solutions.
            Extra calculations must be made to account for the presence of water when using aqueous solutions. For accurate measurements, products from the reaction must be dried before weighing. Otherwise, the mass of the water in the product will be added to the mass of the product itself, skewing the data. In our reaction, one product was a liquid, and the other was the solid that had supposedly been produced in larger quantities than chemically possible. To measure the mass of the solid product, we had to physically remove it from the liquid and weigh it. When we did this, we let the product dry off before being weighed, but it did not dry long enough. The extra mass in our data was showing up because there was still water in our product. We discovered that, with water present in a reaction, it’s quite possible to achieve a percent yield greater than 100% because of the presence of hard-to-remove water in the products.
            Chemistry is not the only place where this phenomenon takes place. In our daily work, it is possible to do more than we think. When, like chemicals that dissociate in water2, we let go of self and are surrounded by the Holy Spirit, the work done in us will bring forth a spirit-filled product that is much greater than we ever could have accomplished. Just as the reactants will do nothing until both are placed in an aqueous environment, humanity can do nothing of its own power. It is not until we are brought in contact with the water, the Holy Spirit, that change takes place in us. The sinful, human heart can only be changed when saturated and dissolved by the Holy Spirit. Then, when we work with the Holy Spirit, our labours will be more fruitful than they ever could have been had we worked on our own, just like the reaction that yields more than 100% in the presence of water.
            We do not need to become discouraged when the work we have to do is more than we can humanly bear. God has given us a precious promise: “Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us.”3 When we are surrendered to the Holy Spirit, His “power that works in us” will do “exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think.” “There is no limit to the usefulness of one who, by putting self aside, makes room for the working of the Holy Spirit upon his heart and lives a life wholly consecrated to God.”4

                        1“Reactions in Aqueous Solutions,” ChemPaths, accessed September 27, 2013,
            2Eric J. Mechalke, Ph.D, Chapter 4 Files, last modified February 1, 2012,
            3Ephesians 3:20 (New King James Version).

            4Ellen G. White, The Desire of Ages (Nampa: Pacific Press, 2005), 250.4

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Unseen Sin

It's been a long time since I posted on here. Sorry about that. Here's a lesson that the Lord taught me today. I just had to share it. :)

Five days ago I was at the beach. It was a warm day for the beginning of October, and I had just come from body surfing in the frothy waves. Nearly all the students from my college were relaxing on the beach, and I joined a group who were playing hacky-sack on the sticky, wet sand near the water.

As we tossed the hacky-sack around, I started to think that playing this game in the sand might not be such a good idea. Several times I almost kicked sand into my eyes, but thanks to quick reflexes, my eyelids blinked shut just before the sand hit my face. I decided to play just a little longer before hitting the waves again, but the next time I kicked the ball, my left eyelid was not fast enough. A chunk of sand, about the size of half a teaspoon, flew straight into my eye.

For the rest of the afternoon several of my friends (including staff members who were doctors) tried all they could to clean out my eye. By the end of the day, they had poured three full water bottles and about half a bottle of saline solution through my eye. After all that, we were sure we must have gotten all the sand out. I had stopped crying sandy tears, but my eye still didn’t feel good. It burned, and every time I moved it or closed it or blinked, it hurt.

As the days went by, my eye appeared less red and irritated. I started to think that maybe I was imagining the pain, or that I was a wimp or a hypochondriac. Back at college, when I passed people in the hall, they would say things like, “Glad to see your eye’s looking better!” or “The eye looks healed up!” but I didn’t feel as good as I looked.

Still, I felt no need to go to the doctor. I had friends on the beach who were doctors, and they said my eye looked fine. I had scratched my cornea before, and it had healed on its own after a while, so I figured that’s what had happened this time too. I didn’t think there was anything the doctor could tell me that I didn’t already know. I didn’t think he could help.

But even though I ignored it, my eye tortured me. Unexpectedly, I would blink or look at something quickly, and my eye would start to itch and water with pain. I couldn’t sleep at night because it was too painful to close my eyes. I was exhausted. Finally, while talking to my mom on the phone, I admitted that after four days, my eye hadn’t gotten any better. Immediately she insisted that I go see the doctor. I laughed and said I would go, just to please her, but I doubted the doctor would find anything wrong.

This morning I went to the doctor, and he took a single grain of clear sand out of my eye. He saw what no one else could see and did what no one else could do. He believed me when I said it hurt, and he healed me. He helped me free of charge.

The grain of sand had been tucked under my upper eyelid, hidden away, just like sin is hidden in my heart. No one can see the small sins in my heart, and no one could see the small piece of sand in my eye. I may think I’m a good person, and other people may think I am a true Christian, but sin can hide in places that only Jesus, the Great Physician, can see. I may not feel my need of Christ, just as I didn’t feel the need of a doctor, but only Christ can remove the sharp grain of sin from my heart. Only He can know how I feel deep inside; only He can offer relief. He offers it free of charge.  

“And He spoke a parable to them: ‘Can the blind lead the blind? Will they not both fall into the ditch? A disciple is not above his teacher, but everyone who is perfectly trained will be like his teacher. And why do you look at the speck in your brother’s eye, but do not perceive the plank in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Brother, let me remove the speck that is in your eye,’ when you yourself do not see the plank that is in your own eye? Hypocrite! First remove the plank from your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck that is in your brother’s eye,’” (Luke 6: 39-42).

I didn’t see the problem with my eye, and it took me five days to come to the doctor for help. How often do I not see the plank of sin in my own life, and how long does it take me to admit my need of Jesus? Only He can heal me from sin. May I always be quick to come to Him for help, even for freedom from the smallest unseen sins. 

Thursday, June 6, 2013

A Quick Note

My dear friends,

Due to the sale of my laptop as well as the busyness of life, I will not be posting as much over the next week or so. Once I have returned home and settled in, I'll be sure to update you all again. Please keep me in your prayers as I travel.


Katie :)


I'm so excited about today! All we have left in school is a final math test and a final social studies test. Praise God! This school year looked humanly impossible so many times. Thankfully, my Savior specializes in the impossible, and He has brought us through with flying colors. He is amazing!

Now comes the flurry of packing and cleaning and flying home, and I'm so excited. Yet, in my time here, I've gained another set of grandparents, a little brother, an uncle, an entire church family, and many many friends. I don't think I can yet fully realize how much I will miss this place.

However, I am eager to see what God has in store for the future. I know it will include more learning and growing because school always includes those things, and this earth is a school. Jesus is the best teacher, and He knows just what it takes to pass the final test, so I trust Him to prepare me in His way. Still, I can't wait for the day when the last heart will understand, the last mind will see clearly, the final choice of multiple choices will be made, and all who pass the final test will go home forever.

With Christ as my teacher and study partner and friend, I don't have to worry about the final test test (He's also the one who grades the tests). I know that He will prepare me well, and in the end, I'll pass by His sweat and blood.

Praise the Lord! We're already in the end of the year crunch time! Can you feel it? This training school is almost finished, and soon we will go home!

Study carefully! Listen closely to the Teacher's voice! Diligently do your assignments. The final exam is coming soon. Let's all be ready for that last day of school.

Praise the Lord!

"Greater Works Than These..."

Today, as I was cleaning up the sticky notes on my desktop, I came across this little paragraph, and it was exactly what I needed today. I had been thinking about righteousness by faith earlier, and these thoughts tied things together in my mind. I think I've likely posted it on here or shared it somewhere before or got it from someone else since it was on a sticky on my desktop, but it did me so much good that I just had to share it once more. Praise the Lord that He is so merciful. He even sends me His messages multiple times when I have forgotten them or need to hear them again. God is so good!

John 14:10,12
Believest thou not that I am in the Father, and the Father in me? the words that I speak unto you I speak not of myself: but the Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works...Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father.
    Christ lived a life of victory over sin, but even Christ didn't do it by Himself. Here He reveals the secret to His perfect life: "the Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works." To me this is incredible. That Jesus, who, though fully human, was yet fully God, would rely on His Father for every word and every work. How much more should I depend  on my heavenly Father for every word and action!

No one has lived a life like Jesus did, but look at the promise in verse 12: "He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father."  "The Saviour's promise to His disciples is a promise to His church to the end of time. God did not design that His wonderful plan to redeem men should achieve only insignificant results. All who will go to work, trusting not in what they themselves can do, but in what God can do for and through them, will certainly realize the fulfillment of His promise. "Greater works than these shall he do," He declares; "because I go unto my Father."  {LHU 190.3}"

Father, I choose to believe on Your Son. Dwell in me, and do "greater works" in me for Jesus sake. May You be glorified by what You accomplish in me. Amen.

Monday, June 3, 2013

Birthday Party II

The prep for Miguel's afternoon birthday party actually started long before the party I mentioned in my last post, Birthday Party I.

Here is part of the cake that I started baking at seven in the morning (that's not so bad actually...but, it was Sunday morning...).

And here are some goodies for the treasure hunt that Paulo started laying out before I was even up.

After I had baked the cakes, I went to Birthday Party I, and when we got back, I set to work decorating my masterpiece. 

With a camping themed party, we figured a campfire would make a good cake. 

I attempted to make flames out of white chocolate (the only non-vegan component of the cake...but the cake wasn't for me to eat anyway, it was for the birthday boy. So, I did what made him happy).
Once the white chocolate was melted and dyed, I spread it out on wax paper and stuck it in the freezer to harden. I think there's still some left, but Miguel doesn't need to know that... ;)

By the way, melting white chocolate is not the easiest thing to do - especially on a funky gas stove like the one we have. Also, um, steam is really hot... :-/ 

Next, the outdoors-man wanted a manly beverage for his party, so I set out to get the apple bug juice. ;)
If any of you would like the recipe, it's pretty simple: cockroach legs, fly wings, dragonfly eyeballs and caterpillar guts. If you don't have fresh cockroaches in your area, you may replace them with dried ones and some extra water. You may also try substituting with another insect, but I can't guarantee that the flavor will be quite right.

Finally my cakes had cooled and it was time to assemble! 

Thanks, Mom, for the wonderful vegan carob icing! I could spread that stuff on gf toast...mmmm I'm sure it's better than Nutella!

The extreme heat and humidity were melting the icing as I spread it on, so I had to stick it in the fridge as fast as I could.

Here's a glimpse of our campfire in the fridge. lol

Just as I put the cake in the fridge, our happy campers arrived and set out on their treasure hunt.
At least to me, they're walking right past all the treasure. Just look at those flowers!

Water-bottles and maps in hand they set out on the trial.

Avo brought up the rear. 

We started to see some incredible views of Dili by the time we got partway up the first hill.

When the explorers reached they're first base camp, they found some puzzles awaiting them.

Some took longer than others to finish, but that just meant I got to take more pictures of them.

 This is Lake Tacitolu. 

Can you see the clouds? There were storms going on over the hills around us, but we had our own little patch of sunshine. Praise the Lord! The storms around us even sent us cool breeze that was so relieving as we trekked along. hmmm Even storms can bring good things to those who are following the map and are on the right path... There are so many spiritual lessons to be learned on treasure hunts...


 I'm pressing on the upward way, new hights I'm gaining every day...

I especially found this treasure hunt thought provoking because our path followed a Catholic pilgrimage trail that is marked with crosses along the way.

While we went, we came across several locals. These ladies wanted their pictures taken. 

They were up on the hills gathering wood with their machetes. They didn't really seem to like it when I took pictures of them working, but this lady let me take one.

One thing I found inspiring about our hike was Avo. He is so determined! So old, and yet so strong and fit! He just kept hiking and hiking!

 While the kids worked on their puzzles, he sat and read his book. Avo is such an amazing man. He's really become like a grandfather to me.

We finally reached our last base camp!

Under three crosses, the scouts finished their last challenge. Their final challenge turned out to be building several mini lego sets and bringing them back to the main camp in one piece, however, we adjusted the rules a bit and ended up giving at least half of the lego sets away to some local children who were also hiking. That's the way to do a treasure hunt. :)

 Some more views from the end of our hunt.

A bunch of tired, sweaty kids...of all ages!

Thankfully there was a cool pool and some refreshments waiting for our little hikers.



(potato chips) 


These last ones are left over logs from the "campfire."

 Last but not least, the campfire!

Here are a couple pics of the inside of the cake later in the evening.

 So, what about all those puzzles that got solved on the treasure hunt? Every correct answer got to be cashed in for "Miguel Money" and could be used at the convenience store.

The lines at the cash register were quite long...

especially because people kept coming back and deciding to buy more...

Overall, I think it was a great party. The birthday boy had fun, the guests had fun, the food turned out, and we all slept really well afterwards! :)

Praise the Lord for another year of life for my dear Miguel!

ParabĂ©ns a vocĂȘ,
nesta data querida,
muitas felicidades,
muitos anos de vida.

Hoje dia de festa,
cantam as nossas almas,
para o menino Miguel.
uma salva de palmas!