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Jacquelyn
31 July 2014 @ 11:24 am
My younger sister, Jessica, and my brother-in-law, Sam, of Cyiza Music Ministry put together the most beautiful cover of Jaci Velasquez's Look What Love Has Done and dedicated this beautiful video to my husband, Bradley, and I. What an honor! I could not wait to share this video with all of you. May you be blessed by the song.



For more inspirational videos and music, visit CyizaMusic.com or follow them on Facebook. You can also buy my sister's beautiful debut album New Life from iTunes or Amazon.
 
 
Jacquelyn
10 June 2014 @ 10:07 am
Over the last few months, I have started getting back into reading. Until a few years ago, you would rarely find me without some book or other in my hand, and every spare moment I could find, my nose would be in its pages. Then I went back to school for my bachelor's degree, and I had no time for leisure reading. It was tragic! A part of me — my creative side — slowly starved, which may explain why I have not written or drawn in quite a while as well. This year I resolved to read more, and I have made a start!

SuspectSuspect by Robert Crais

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


This fast-paced, hard-to-put-down murder mystery was well written and the characterization was especially fantastic. I particularly enjoyed how the author delved into the mind of two characters experiencing PTSD: a police officer who lost his partner in a shoot-out and nearly died himself and a former USMC working dog who lost her handler in Afghanistan and was herself shot twice by a sniper. Granted, the healing/therapy for both characters were sped up for the story's timeline, but it was interesting getting inside their minds and how their traumatic experiences influenced their everyday behaviors and routines. If you like murder mysteries, police detective novels, or just to settle in with a page-turner one evening, I highly recommend "Suspect" by Robert Crais.

The Eleventh CommandmentThe Eleventh Commandment by Jeffrey Archer

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


Though the plot is a classic secret agent spurned and framed by the agency, this story was fast-paced and kept me on my toes with assassinations, Russian mafia, murder, kidnappings, and more. If you enjoy action/suspense and want a quick read that doesn't require much thought, this is a book for you.

Patriarchs And ProphetsPatriarchs And Prophets by Ellen G. White

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


Our weekly Bible study group is doing an in-depth, chapter-by-chapter study of the books of Genesis and Exodus, and "Patriarchs and Prophets" is a nice (optional) compliment to the study. The theme of the book is the great controversy of good verses evil, the Lord/God/Creator verses the fallen angel/Satan/Lucifer. It pays careful attention to the character of God, His love for fallen humanity in spite of their constant failings, and the ultimate plan to redeem them from sin.

View all my reviews
 
 
Jacquelyn
20 May 2014 @ 09:17 pm

Today marks the end of an era in my online activities and personal ministries. Seven years ago today – that is, May 20, 2007 – I registered the domain name www.realtimebelievers.com, bought a hosting plan, and set up a relatively simple phpBB forum as a temporary home for the displaced users of the Real Time Faith message board.


Real Time Faith (RTF) was the lively and global online community for Adventist teenagers; it was connected with the Real Time Faith Sabbath School lessons and promoted in the Guide magazine. I had joined RTF in December 2002 mere months after being baptized (at age eighteen) into the Seventh-day Adventist faith, and I was asked to become a moderator for the community a month later. For six and a half years, I worked with Adventist youth from all over the global, answering their questions, studying the Bible with them, always pointing them back to Christ, and doing my best to be a godly role model.


In May 2007, suddenly and without much forewarning, the owners of Real Time Faith decided to close down the message board. There was no place for the hundred youth to turn to online, so I created Real Time Believers (RTB). My intention for the new forum was to be simply a temporary home until a new official online community for Adventist youth was created, as there were rumors that the North American Division was planning such a thing. Eventually, they did unveil Adventist Youth Space, an interactive community built on the Ning platform; however, I noticed today that it, too, was gone. The youth of RTB did not transition over to the new site. They preferred the more cozy and friendly environment of RTB. As the years passed, fewer and fewer new members signed up and the site went quiet as the older members went off to college, graduated from college, married, and continued living their lives.


Meanwhile, I used the RTB hosting plan to create a Christian blog called UNashamed. I kept the RTB forum accessible for awhile, just in case any of the old users wanted to pop in to say hello or reminisce by browsing old posts. Though the forum unofficially closed back in 2012 due to diminishing activity, today is the day that Real Time Believers officially retires. The domain name has expired and the purpose of the site has changed significantly. A bittersweet moment indeed!


All of us RTBers will take with us many fond memories, and I will keep the forum, as is, available for existing members only at http://unashamedblog.com/forum for a little while longer. It was an honor and a privilege to mentor Adventist youth from December 2002 until 2012 using the medium of an online community. It was a beautiful, powerful ministry that touched many lives and enriched my own walk with Christ; however, it is time to look to the future and new endeavors that Lord has in store.


And to any RTBers who may somehow find this post:


To my dear RTBers,


Whether we ever have the opportunity to meet in this life or if we will have to wait until Christ’s coming, I pray we can spare a moment of eternity to gather underneath the branches of the Tree of Life, perhaps dangling our feet in the River of Life, and reminisce on the time we shared first on RTF and then on RTB. If I have in even the smallest way touched your life for the better, than I am truly and deeply honored, but I want you to know that you have influenced my life greatly and left a mark on my heart that will never be removed nor forgotten. Thank you! May you always find peace, comfort, and strength in the Lord, no matter the challenges you face, and please remember that, no matter how lonely or alone you may find yourself in this world, you always have a friend in me. And remember, “I can do all things through Christ which strengthens me.” (Philippians 4:13)


Your sister in Christ,

~Jacquelyn




 
 
Current Mood: nostalgicnostalgic
 
 
Jacquelyn
20 May 2014 @ 09:17 pm

Today marks the end of an era in my online activities and personal ministries. Seven years ago today – that is, May 20, 2007 – I registered the domain name www.realtimebelievers.com, bought a hosting plan, and set up a relatively simple phpBB forum as a temporary home for the displaced users of the Real Time Faith message board.


Real Time Faith (RTF) was the lively and global online community for Adventist teenagers connected with the Real Time Faith Sabbath School lessons and promoted in the Guide magazine. I had joined RTF in December 2002 and was asked to be a moderator the next month. For six and a half years, I worked with Adventist youth from all over the global, answering their questions, studying the Bible with them, always pointing them back to Christ, and doing my best to be a godly role model.


In May 2007, suddenly and without much forewarning, the owners of Real Time Faith decided to close down the message board. There was no place for the hundred youth to turn to online, so I created Real Time Believers</a> (RTB). My intention for the new forum was to be simply a temporary home until a new online community for Adventist youth was created, as there were rumors that the North American Division was planning such a thing. Eventually, they did reveal Adventist Youth Space, an interactive community built on the Ning platform and currently gone. The youth of RTB, however, did not transition over to the new site. They preferred the environment of RTB. As the years passed, fewer and fewer new members signed up and the site went quiet as the older members went off to college, graduated from college, married, and continued living their lives.


Meanwhile, I used the RTB hosting plan to create a Christian blog called UNashamed. I kept the RTB forum accessible for awhile, just in case any of the old users wanted to pop in to say hello or reminisce by browsing old posts. Though the forum unofficially closed back in 2012 due to diminishing activity, today is the day that Real Time Believers officially retires. The domain name has expired and the purpose of the site has changed significantly. A bittersweet moment indeed!


All of us RTBers will take with us many fond memories, and I will keep the forum, as if, available for existing members at http://unashamedblog.com/forum. It was an honor and a privilege to mentor Adventist youth from December 2002 until 2012 using the medium of an online community. It was a beautiful, powerful ministry that touched many lives and enriched my own walk with Christ; however, it is time to look to the future and new endeavors that Lord has in store.


And to any RTBers who may somehow find this post:


To my dear RTBers,


Whether we ever have the opportunity to meet in this life or if we will have to wait until Christ’s coming, I pray we can spare a moment of eternity to gather underneath the branches of the Tree of Life, perhaps dangling our feet in the River of Life, and reminisce on the time we shared first on RTF and then on RTB. If I have in even the smallest way touched your life for the better, than I am truly and deeply honored, but I want you to know that you have influenced my life greatly and left a mark on my heart that will never be removed nor forgotten. Thank you! May you always find peace, comfort, and strength in the Lord, no matter the challenges you face, and please remember that, no matter how lonely or alone you may find yourself in this world, you always have a friend in me. And remember, “I can do all things through Christ which strengthens me.” (Philippians 4:13)


Your sister in Christ,

~Jacquelyn




 
 
Current Mood: nostalgicnostalgic
 
 
Jacquelyn
20 May 2014 @ 09:17 pm

Today marks the end of an era in my online activities. Seven years ago today – that is, May 20, 2007 – I registered the domain name www.realtimebelievers.com, bought a hosting plan, and set up a relatively simple phpBB forum as a temporary home for the displaced users of the Real Time Faith message board.


Real Time Faith (RTF) was the lively and global online community for Adventist teenagers connected with the Real Time Faith Sabbath School lessons and promoted in the Guide magazine. I had joined RTF in December 2002 and was asked to be a moderator the next month. For six and a half years, I worked with Adventist youth from all over the global, answering their questions, studying the Bible with them, always pointing them back to Christ, and doing my best to be a godly role model.


In May 2007, suddenly and without much forewarning, the owners of Real Time Faith decided to close down the message board. There was no place for the hundred youth to turn to online, so I created Real Time Believers</a> (RTB). My intention for the new forum was to be simply a temporary home until a new online community for Adventist youth was created, as there were rumors that the North American Division was planning such a thing. Eventually, they did reveal Adventist Youth Space, an interactive community built on the Ning platform and currently gone. The youth of RTB, however, did not transition over to the new site. They preferred the environment of RTB. As the years passed, fewer and fewer new members signed up and the site went quiet as the older members went off to college, graduated from college, married, and continued living their lives.


Meanwhile, I used the RTB hosting plan to create a Christian blog called UNashamed. I kept the RTB forum accessible for awhile, just in case any of the old users wanted to pop in to say hello or reminisce by browsing old posts. However, today is the day that Real Time Believers officially retires. The domain name has expired and the purpose of the site has changed. All of us RTBers will take with us many fond memories, and I am honored that I was able to help guide so many youth in their walk with Christ. It was a beautiful, powerful ministry, but it is time to look to the future and new endeavors that Lord has in store.




 
 
Current Mood: nostalgicnostalgic
 
 
 
Jacquelyn
07 May 2014 @ 04:34 pm

Bradley and I spent yestereve out on the town — Well, an evening at Tempe Marketplace anywaves. Chipotle was offering a buy one meal, get the other meal free deal for teachers and school employees, and since Bradley works for one of the local school districts, we enjoyed our dinner for an unbelievable $10. We ate at one of the tables outside and was kept entertained by the birds vying for scraps and an extremely well-behaved doberman pincher across the way doing a few tricks.


Then we walked over to Charming Charlie, an accessory store that sells hats, scarves, purses, jewelry, and some shoes and clothes. This was only my second time visiting the store; the first was when my good friends Mary and Vanessa were here for our wedding. At that time I had picked up a wonderful wallet that converts to a sleek purse with a gorgeous floral fabric. It is quite fancy and I do not want to use it out with everyday use. So last night we went looking for similar wallet/purse. I ended up getting one of the same style but instead of floral fabric, it is an orange faux leather. I also purchased a new, navy blue hat that matched my outfit last night.


Then we then crossed over to Mojo Yogurt and, using the top secret Word of the Day for Tuesdays, our dairy-free watermelon sorbet topped with strawberries and kiwi was half off. We hastily ate our dessert as we walked back towards the Harkin theater to catch the 8pm showing of The Amazing Spiderman 2. I had not seen the reboot of Spiderman first, but the second film was decent. It felt closer to the cartoon series that I remember, and this actor was a better Peter Parker, but I severely disliked how they — spoiler alert — killed Gwen’s character. This is one thing about Marvel and superhero stories that bother me: the female leads tend to be either air-headed damsels-in-distress or buxom babes with unnatural bodies clothed in little or skin-tight clothing. Hmm… enough about that.


Once home, I read the third chapter of The Little Shepherd of Kingdom Come by John Fox, Jr., aloud from our 1913 edition. Bradley was so exhausted that he fell asleep halfway through. Overall, it was a beautiful, wonderful evening.




 
 
Jacquelyn
01 May 2014 @ 06:14 am

Bradley and I have survived the craziness of the wedding weekend, and we are now in our second week of marriage. At our wedding shower, there was a little mason jar filled with colorful sticks on which our guests wrote suggestions for date nights. The intention was to have one randomly selected “date night” for each week of our first year of marriage; however, we did go through the date suggestions and pulled a few that were either so ridiculous or pointless that we would never, ever do. Most of the suggestions are fantastic and we will have fun randomly choosing from the jar.


So without further ado, I give you our dates for weeks one and two:


Week 1: Go on a walk

We actually completed this date the day after the wedding with the nice walk in Papago Park, or you could say that we did plenty of walking during our mini-honeymoon in Sedona and the Grand Canyon this passed weekend. Either way, Bradley and I love walks so we will mostly likely being doing this date suggestion once a walk! (^_~)


Week 2: A weekend in Sedona

Though it wasn’t a full weekend, we did spend one night of last weekend in Sedona as part of our mini-honeymoon. We enjoyed a nice stay at the Matterhorn Inn in the heart of downtown Sedona, visited the Seventh-day Adventist Church in town, had a picnic lunch indoors while it rained and hailed outside, and then, on our way up to the Grand Canyon via Flagstaff and Williams, drove up through Oak Creek Canyon, watching it go from blossoming springtime to snow-blanketed pine forests. It really felt like we drove into a winter postcard and that we should sing Christmas carols!


We captured on camera many amazing vistas and unusual wildlife on our trip, and we will be sharing some of these photos soon on Facebook. I cannot wait until we pick next week’s date night.




 
 
Jacquelyn
21 April 2014 @ 08:14 pm


Originally published at Read full post...

 
 
Jacquelyn
08 April 2014 @ 08:57 pm

Wow! I can hardly believe that the big day is only ten days away! Every time I think about it, I find myself growing more and more excited. Our family and friends from out-of-town will begin arriving Sunday and Monday, which reminds me that I need to finish getting the spare bedroom at my place ready for company. Two of my bridesmaids are bunking with me until the wedding and then they will be staying with my sister.


Yesterday our wedding rings arrived in the mail. We eagerly opened the package to find two small white boxes with the Tungsten rings inside. We tried on the rings to make certain that they were the proper size, and they both fit perfectly!


In other wedding related news, my mom has been quite busy so far this week doing the last minute ordering of cakes and flowers. Mom will be making the gluten-free, corn-free, nut-free vegan cake we will be using for the cake cutting and offering to our vegan guests. We got to taste-test that cake on Sunday and it was absolutely delicious! The best cake I have been able to enjoy for many years, and even the non-vegan among us were scarfing it down. For the non-vegans and non-allergy-sensitive guests, we will have two large cakes: one chocolate and one white, both with a layer of strawberry cream in the middle and beautifully decorated.


Mom also ordered the flowers, and though I have not seen them yet, I am certain they will be absolutely lovely!


We all have our little To Do lists of things we would like to accomplish this week. Mine includes designing and printing the programs and cards with an iSpy game for the reception. B. and I are also still looking for the right table for the unity ceremony. (Since we are holding the ceremony at a public park, we cannot have an open flame so we are replacing the traditional candles of the unity ceremony with sand.) I will also need to go shopping for make-up, hair things, and other odds and ends for the big day. So much is done and still more to do!




 
 
Jacquelyn
02 April 2014 @ 10:47 pm

Two weekends ago I felt absolutely terrible. My body was fatigued, my mind was exhausted, and I was finally beginning to connect the dots between the odd symptoms that I had been experiencing off and on since last Fall. That Monday after an online search everything fell into place: I was anemic. I suspect that for all of my adult life, my iron levels have been a tad low, but over the last six months, the levels began to gradually drop. My body was a trooper and tried to continue performing at the high level I needed it to (I bike to and from work, which means 8.2 miles a day, five days a week). Finally, my body said: “Enough is enough!”


Praise the Lord, I caught this just in the nick of time. Monday evening while my fiance and I were shopping for new multi-vitamins and slow-release iron supplements for an immediate iron boost, I came very close to fainting in the store. It was a very surreal experience, and not one I plan to repeat. I was fortunate enough to be able to work from home that Tuesday and Wednesday, resting and taking it easy while my body recovered. I diligently took the multi-vitamin with its 18mg of iron every morning with breakfast and for five days took the slow-release iron supplement at lunch. I also snacked on dried apricots, and I absolutely detest dried fruits but it was apricots or prunes, and I hate prunes more. I drank lots of water; made sure to keep up on my B vitamins, especially B12; slept longer; and took a hiatus from all unnecessary exercise, including biking to/from work. By the end of the week, I was feeling much better, though I was still tiring quicker than I should.


I did stopped the iron supplements after five days to avoid the complications that come with iron supplements (namely, constipation). What I needed was an immediate boost in my iron levels, which the supplements provided, but once back up, I would rather maintain those levels through my daily multi-vitamin and well-balanced diet. I drove into work Monday and Tuesday of this week as well; I needed to make certain that my strength and energy has recovered before starting with the grueling 8.2 mile daily ride. I biked 4.1 miles into work this morning to test my strength, but pre-arranged my fiance to pick me up after work so I would not over-do-it.


Anyway, after a scary and not fun week of weakness, dizzy spells, and everything that comes with low iron, I am back to normal. Or closer to being back to normal. I will have to be diligent about this and make sure I am getting the proper nutrients in my diet and supplementing when needed. Even though I eat foods rich in iron, vegetables are only as nutritious as the soil it grows in so it can be difficult to maintain by food selection alone. Anyway, I haven’t felt this good since the beginning of October 2013, which tells me that my health’s decline was quite gradual and unassuming. I will have to pay closer attention from now on… and take my multi-vitamins on a regular basis.


That is my downfall. Since childhood, I have had a difficult time swallowing pills. It took years to be able to swallow at will, and even now sometimes the larger multi-vitamins prove challenging. But then, I am a person who frequently chokes on water/beverages because my throat opens on its own right when I am swallowing. I let my dislike for swallowing pills get in the way of taking a multi-vitamin on a regular basis, and the vegetables/fruits I was buying over the winter months must not have had enough nutrients in them to sustain my active lifestyle. Praise the Lord, I was able to catch this before I ended up in a clinic or hospital and had time to reverse it before the wedding.


Speaking of Which, the big day is only sixteen days away!