Monday, August 29, 2011

If I Only Had a Brain

"It is better to keep your mouth closed and let people think you are a fool, than to open it and remove all doubt."
- Mark Twain

     You find yourself in a conversation about your Christian faith, your beliefs upon various subjects, etc. When all of a sudden the person you are with asks, "Why do you believe that?" Caught off guard you might timidly say, "Because the Bible says so." "Where?" He/ she counters.  And you freeze. Where does the Bible say that?

"Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have."
- 1 Peter 3:15 (NIV)

     The Bible tells us to always be prepared to give an answer for the reason we believe what we believe. God gave us a brain to think and reason with; we can't effectively be His ambassadors, if we don't take the time to learn about what and Who we are representing. Now obviously we are not going to have the answer to everything; sometimes we'll just have to say, "You know what, I don't know" (and that can be really hard to say). However, we need to study God's word and seek answers.

     Below are several suggestions to help you "renew your mind" and find answers.
               - As you are reading your Bible, and doing your devotions, keep a notebook by you. List the categories that you want to find verses on. Each time you find a verse, write it down.
              - Listen to theology podcasts (ask your parents or someone at church what they recommend).
               - Read theologically sound books

     By studying God's word and learning more about Him, the next time we encounter a conversation about our beliefs, we will be able to discuss our views intelligently and in a way that is glorifying to God. And who knows, maybe the answers we give can help bring someone to Christ. God gave us brains, it is time we used them for His glory.

"The mind of the wise instructs his mouth, and adds learning and persuasiveness to his lips."
- Proverbs 16:23 (AMP)

Monday, August 22, 2011

You Don't Define Me

"Put on the new self, which is being renewed in the image of its creator."
-  Colossians 3:10

     What are we reflecting? What/who do we turn to for our definition? Our culture has set up an image of what we are supposed to be like. We are told we have to act, think and dress a certain way. This is what we call expressing our individuality (although we're being like everyone else). But we aren't called to conform to the world's image; we are called to conform to God's image.


     This is a pretty hard task for all of us to tackle, especially when we are constantly told the exact opposite (e.g. you must watch this movie, everyone else is; you must look this way, everyone else does; you must do this, everyone else has). Plus, we are only human, reflecting God doesn't come easily to us. However, instead of being a reflection of the world, we should pray that God will help us to reflect Him. Our definition should be found in God.


     We can try to look for meaning elsewhere, but it will never satisfy us. One fad leads to another, and we are just left wanting more. So we may not watch what everyone else is; we may not look like super models; and we may not be cool. But God doesn't call us to be cool; He calls us to be faithful. It is time that we stood up, and looked at the image the world wants us to model and say, "You don't define me." We are created for so much more, than just to fit in. And we will never fulfill our calling, until we let God define us, and we put on the image of our Creator.


"Every one of us... is deeply longing for something on the inside... Every one of us is unhappy, and nothing can make us happy until we find God... God has made us so that we're not complete until He has His place in us."
- The Iron Lady (Gilbert Morris)

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

NOW AVAILABLE!!! The Adventures of Warp: The Dark Knight

     The Adventures of Warp: The Dark Knight is now available on Amazon.com and the CreateSpace eStore. For 20% off at the CreateSpace eStore use the code: LTYV6MA4 . You can also preview an excerpt from the book if you click here.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

The Adventures of Warp: The Dark Knight

The amazing book cover that my sister illustrated 
and my brother designed.

     I have always LOVED to write; it has been a dream of mine to publish a book. And now God has provided me with an awesome opportunity. I am so excited to announce that I have a book coming out on August 16 (it will be available on Amazon.com). The book is called The Dark Knight, and it is the first in The Adventures of Warp trilogy. I wrote The Dark Knight five years ago, when I was fourteen, so this has been a long work in process.

     Here is the link to an excerpt from my book: Click Here for the Book Preview. Also, below is a promotional video that my brother created; he really did a terrific job on it (as did my sister, who drew the characters and the background they are on, in the video).

video

     I am so excited about this book, and I hope you guys will enjoy it.

"...Giving thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ."
- Ephesians 5:20

Monday, August 1, 2011

I Will Praise You


Whatever the storm,
Whatever is lost,
Whatever it takes,
Whatever the cost,
I will praise You!
I will praise You!
- Rebecca St. James (I Will Praise You)

     Praise and worship has always been one of my favorite things in church; it makes you feel so connected with God. But praise does not end when the music does. We should praise God when we are happy and when we are sad; when everything is going right and when everything is going wrong. In all our accomplishments and all our gifts that God has given us, we should give the glory to Him. Praise and worship should be a continual thing.


"If any man speak, let him speak as the oracles of God; if any man minister, let him do it as of the ability which God giveth: that God in all things may be glorified through Jesus Christ to whom be praise and dominion for ever and ever. Amen."
- 1 Peter 4:11 (KJV)


   This can be a very hard thing to do; when I accomplish something I typically would prefer to sit back and say, "What a good job I have done." However, the Bible tells us to use our abilities for God and to give Him the glory. We are to praise Him, even when we don't feel like it, because without Him we couldn't have accomplished it.


"I will praise you, O Lord my God, with all my heart, I will glorify your name forever."
- Psalms 86: 12 (NIV)


    Below is a video of Rebecca St. James talking about her song "I Will Praise You." I think she makes several good points about worship in it. I would love to hear your thoughts.


Sunday, July 3, 2011

Independence Day



"You will never know how much it cost the present generation to preserve your freedom. I hope you will make good use of it!" 
- John Adams

     Tomorrow is the fourth of July, Independence Day for America. Many of us will be watching fireworks, eating hotdogs and hanging out with our friends and family. In the midst of the celebration, we should all remember the people who fought for our freedom in this life. The brave heroes of our country wanted to build a "city on a hill," where every man, woman and child could worship Christ, without the threat of persecution. They were willing to die, so that the future generations could have freedom.

     We should also remember the One who fought for our eternal freedom.  Christ died for us, to free us from our sins, so that we may have eternal life. 

For freedom Christ has set you free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery. 
- Galatians 5:1 (ESV)

     We should remember our temporary freedoms in this life, and never forget the eternal freedom that Christ has given us. But we shouldn't use it for our own selfish gain; we should use it wisely and for the glory of God. In the words of Francis Schaeffer, "Freedom is not having the right to choose to do whatever you want; freedom is having the ability to do what is right." We should pray that we use our freedom wisely, and use it with a loving heart.

For you were called to freedom... Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another. 
-Gal. 5:13 (ESV)

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Modesty is Out the Door



"Clothes aren't what they used to be, 
They don't seem to fit you and me anymore.
Modesty is out the door,
Flaunting what we got and more is in...
But let's ask why, don't wear what they say.
Don't want to be a model, they can't eat anyway.
That kind of attention will fade with the day,
So I'll stand up and say, 
Clothes that fit are fine."
- BarlowGirl, Clothes

  
     I went shopping, recently, for summertime clothes, and like usual I had to sort through a lot of immodest clothing. Every year shorts are getting shorter, shirt necks are dropping lower and I'm afraid that swim wear will soon remove what little clothing it has. However, we are supposed to respect our bodies, and present them in a godly manner. We are not respecting it, by wearing skimpy clothing - and sadly most of us are guilty of doing this.

    When we dress inappropriately, we can make our brothers in Christ stumble, but we don't need to make life any harder for them. We can dress in pretty clothes; however, it needs to cover us. When it comes to fashion, our generation uses as little clothing as it can. It reveals everything! Now it is practically impossible to walk into a store, without seeing a scantily clad woman. This has to stop!

     Sometimes we don't even realize that we are dressing in a way that demeans ourselves, and makes those around us struggle, because it is the way we have always been told to dress. It is the way that EVERYONE dresses! But we aren't called to look and act like everyone else, we are called to look and act in a way that will glorify God. 

"Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised."
- Proverbs 31:30


Sunday, May 8, 2011

Mother's Day

"A mother is the truest friend we have, when trials heavy and sudden, fall upon us; when adversity takes the place of prosperity; when friends who rejoice with us in our sunshine desert us; when trouble thickens around us, still will she cling to us, and endeavor by her kind precepts and counsels to dissipate the clouds of darkness, and cause peace to return to our hearts." 
- Washington Irving


Happy Mother's Day to my mother (a wonderful blessing from God), and to all the other mothers out there.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Happy Easter!!!

"And he said to them, 'Do not be alarmed. You seek Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified. He has risen; he is not here. See the place where they laid him.' "
- Mark 16:6 (ESV)

     Today we celebrate our King, Jesus Christ, who conquered the grave so that we could be saved. So come all who are weary and find rest at the cross (Matthew 11:28).


"Above all powers above all kings
Above all nature and all created things
Above all wisdom and all the ways of man
You were here before the world began

Above all kingdoms above all thrones
Above all wonders the world has ever known
Above all wealth and treasures of the earth
There's no way to measure what You're worth

Crucified laid behind the stone
You lived to die rejected and alone
Like a Rose trampled on the ground
You took the fall and thought of me
Above all"
-  Above All (written by Leonard Le Blanc & Paul Joseph Baloche)

Thursday, April 21, 2011

And the Walls Came Tumbling Down!


"By faith the walls of Jericho fell..."
- Hebrews 11:30 (ESV)


     The thought of being hurt often causes us to throw up walls, and push others away. Sometimes it can be so hard to get close to someone, because we already have it set in our mind that they will mess-up. People will mess-up - we are HUMAN, we all do it. But God helps us to fix wrongs; he helps us work out problems. We just have to let Him tear down our walls and help us to fully trust in Him.

     It is so hard to let go of the things we hold so tightly to, and that's a reason why we do build up walls. We are afraid that if we trust someone they will hurt us. We are afraid that if we take a chance we will fail. We are afraid that if we follow the path that God is calling us to, it will mean losing all our hopes and dreams. However, when we build up these walls, we often shut out those who are closest to us.

     In the Bible, God sends Joshua to tear down the walls of Jericho, and maybe that is what we need - for God to send someone to tear down our walls. Someone who will help us let go of the worries and the fears that we keep bottled up inside of us. And you know what? God did send someone, who can do just that. Jesus can tear down our barriers and help us let go of our burdens. He will take it from us...all we have to do is ask, and believe in Him.

     We will never truly be happy, until we let God tear down our walls and take away our worries. Once we do we can fully enjoy our relationship with Him and our relationships with others.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Flowers Cover the Earth

"If we had no Winter, the spring would not be so pleasant; If we did not sometimes taste adversity, prosperity would not be so welcome."
- Anne Bradstreet

     Spring is here and it is so wonderful after such a cold winter. But would spring be so welcomed, if we did not first endure the chill of winter? And the same goes with peace; we cannot truly see the benefits, unless we know the feeling of war.

     When we face conflict it is hard to see any point to it, all we know is that we want out of it now. But when it is over we are strengthened through the adversity, and we are delighted by the peace we have as a result. We often do not learn how to truly treasure something, until we have felt the pangs of loss. 


“Perseverance must finish its work so that you may mature and complete, not lacking anything.”
 - James 1:4 (NIV)

     Perseverance through our trials molds us into the men and women God has called us to be. Even when the going gets tough, we should keep our eyes on the greatest goal. For all that we do - all that happens to us - is part of a bigger picture. Even though it is so hard to remember this during our hard times, we should pray that God will help us keep our eyes on our true Happily Ever After. And enjoy the spring that comes after the winter.

"Winter is past, 
the rain has stopped;
flowers cover the earth,
it's time to sing."
- Song of Solomon 2:11 (CEV)

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Guarding Your Mind

"Whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think of these things."
- Philippians 4:8 (KJV)  


     Today, we have fallen into the habit of thinking that we can allow anything into our minds and it is "okay." When watching a movie with a "bad" scene, we often hear, "I am an adult, so I can watch it," or "my parents don't care, so I can watch it." But some things just shouldn't be in anyone's mind. Period! 


     We need to guard our minds from those things that are corrupt, and focus on pure and virtuous things. But today, in every store that we walk into we are bombarded with trash. Magazines, movie titles, CD covers: they all are filled with profane, pornographic, unwholesome content. And we don't bat an eye! Why? Maybe, it is because we are taught that it is alright, and that there are no moral absolutes. But just because everyone else thinks it is acceptable, it doesn't mean that it is right.


"To have a right to do a thing is not at all the same as to be right in doing it."
- G. K. Chesterton

     I am not trying to be judgmental or condemning of others, but I think that we should not be afraid to speak the truth. How is it alright to allow these things in our mind, when they cause women to sell themselves, men to struggle with pornography, and young children to hear and see things that no one should? Instead of accepting these things, it should break our hearts. 

 "God is trying to raise up a generation dedicated to purity.  It's time we stop trying to get as close to the line as we can. We need to challenge ourselves and not just get by doing what everyone else is doing. God's standards should be our standards. Not stupid Hollywood standards. You were created for so much more than to just fit in."
- Lauren Barlow

     We aren't called to follow the crowd! We aren't called to mimic the world! We are called to stand firmly upon God's word, even if the rest of the world thinks we're nuts. We are called to "be transformed" by God's standards. No one has ever changed the world, by looking and acting like everyone else.


"Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect."

 - Romans 12:2 (ESV)

Friday, March 25, 2011

You'll Never Walk Alone

“We are saved by faith alone, but the faith that saves is never alone."
- Martin Luther 


     Often in our walk with God, we can feel like He has abandoned us. We pray and pray and pray, but we seem to have no answer. We begin to wonder if God really cares, or if He is just going to leave us to fend for ourselves. But God is everywhere, all the time.




"The Lord doesna forsake any o' His creation. Remember that, child, when ye're older and ye think God's left ye alone. He's alway there." 
- Digory (Michael Phillips and Judith Pella, The Heather Hills of Stonewyke)


     Just because it doesn't seem like God is answering us, it doesn't mean that He is not there. He is always there, helping us along with each step. But many of us think of God as a genie, waiting to grant our every wish. And unless we see God coming out of a bottle in a puff of smoke, we think that we're all alone. But God is not a genie; He is a kind, just and loving Father. And like a good Father, God gives us what we need, which is not always what we want.

     At times it can be hard to remember that God is with us, especially when we are having a hard time. But He hears our prayers; He is helping us in all that we do, even when we don't seem to notice it. When we enter into a relationship with God, He doesn't just stop by at convenient hours; He stays with us through everything. We are not abandoned, but have a Helping Hand in every step. And with God by our side, we'll never walk alone.


"I will never leave you nor forsake you."
- Hebrews 13:5



Saturday, March 19, 2011

Waiting for Prince Charming

"Give God the pen and let Him write your love story."
- Dannah Gresh

     Dating is very "relevant" today; many teens and young adults feel the necessity to go from one relationship to another, thinking that it will prepare them for marriage and somehow feel any voids they have. But going from one romantic relationship to the other creates instability in our lives. How will this prepare you for marriage - a vow that lasts "till death do you part?" All it does is promote divorce! That is not what we are called to do with our single years.

“The unmarried man is anxious about the things of the Lord, how to please the Lord. But the married man is anxious about worldly things, how to please his wife, and his interests are divided. And the unmarried…woman is anxious about the things of the Lord, how to be holy in body and spirit. But the married woman is anxious about worldly things, how to please her husband.” 
- 1 Corinthians 7:32-34 (ESV)  

     Our single years are a time for us to grow and mature in our relationship with God, as He prepares us for our future spouse. However, many of us have the idea that our single years should be spent "trying out" different boyfriends/girlfriends to see how we like them. But with each person you enter into that sort of relationship with, part of your heart follows. I love the illustration that Sarah Mally uses in her book, "Before You Meet Prince Charming." She says to imagine that you baked a cake (let's say in the shape of a heart) for someone really special. As you are waiting to give it to him/her someone comes up and asks for a piece. You think to yourself, "It's just one piece, what can it hurt?" So you decide to share some of the cake. Well, a little later another person comes by, asking if he/she could also have a slice of cake. You are a little more reluctant this time, but after some prodding you consent. Again someone else walks up and asks for a piece, and as you can imagine he/she ends up getting it. As piece after piece is taken, you haven't really looked at the cake - until that special person you made it for comes along. When you do look at it, you're horrified: all that is left is a small crumbled and mutated piece. Our hearts will end up like that cake if we aren't careful.

     God has already planned who you are going to be married to (if it is His plan for you to marry). Whether you date or not, in the end you're going to end up with the same person. But will he/she be the first one to have you?


"We believe that God has one perfect man already chosen for us; therefore we have no need to worry ourselves in searching for him. When the time is right, we know God will bring us together. In the meantime, we are not hiding in a closet avoiding all males; we are still living our lives, just without the pressure of having to have a boyfriend."
- BarlowGirl

     So if you do wait for God to lead you to the right one, how will you know? And how will you know when to go beyond friendship- to date/court? Here is what Joshua Harris says in "I Kissed Dating Goodbye:"



"The Bible doesn’t provide a one-size-fits-all program for moving from friendship to marriage. Our lives are too different, our circumstances too unique, and our God too creative to have only one formula for romance. The various ways in which God brings men and women together, like the unique designs of snowflakes, are never quite the same. But just as a one-of-a-kind snowflake can only form at a specific temperature and precipitation, a God-honoring romance can only form when we follow godly patterns and principles."


     God will lead us where we need to be; He will help us grow into a relationship with the person he has chosen for us. But we need to make sure that we are honoring and seeking after Him. Whether you get married or not, God always needs to be the key factor in your life.

"A girl should get so lost in God that a guy has to seek Him to find her!"
- Dannah Gresh


     Marriage is a sacred vow before God, and we are called to treat that vow with love and honor: before and after marriage. So whether you are waiting for Prince Charming or searching for Sleeping Beauty, remember that God has called us to do it in a manner that is honoring to Him.



"No more dating, I'm just waiting.
Like sleeping beauty, my prince will come for me.
No more dating, I'm just waiting.
'Cause God is writing my love story."
- Barlowgirl, Average Girl

Thursday, March 17, 2011

St. Patrick


"So, success attend St. Patrick's fist,
For he's a saint so clever;
Oh! he gave the snakes and toads a twist,
And bothered them forever!"
- Henry Bennett

     When we hear that it is St. Patrick's Day many things come to mind: the color green, pots of gold, leprechauns, corn beef and cabbage, etc. But who was this St. Patrick? Sadly many do not know his story, but St. Patrick was a vessel of God: he was the first Christian missionary to go to Ireland.

     St. Patrick was born in Britain, and at the age of sixteen he was captured by Irish raiders. He was a slave in Ireland for the next six years. But God used Patrick's captivity as a part of a bigger plan; for while he was bound in Ireland, Patrick came to know Christ. When he was twenty-two, Patrick escaped from Ireland and returned to his home land. But Patrick felt God pulling him back to Ireland; he was called to show the love of Christ to the Irish tribes. 

     When preaching to the people of Ireland, it is said that Patrick used a three-leaf clover to represent the unity of the Trinity. It's no wonder that the clover is now seen everywhere on St. Patrick's Day! But now it symbolizes "good luck," instead of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit (not that you need an image to do that).

     St. Patrick spent the rest of his life ministering to the Irish, but it wasn't easy for many of the tribes wanted him dead. However, he persevered and God used him to spread the Gospel among the land. So this St. Patrick's Day, instead of thinking of good luck, pots of gold and leprechauns, remember the young slave who was captured and brought to Ireland. Remember how God can use the most unlikely circumstances for His glory.

"And we know that for those who love God all things work together for his good, for those who are called according to his purpose."
- Romans 8:28 (ESV)

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Ambassadors for Christ

The Commission
"I asked the Lord to help my neighbor,
And carry the gospel to distant lands,
And to comfort the sick but He said to me,
If you love Me, be My hands.

"I asked the Lord to go to the dying,
And the orphan on the street,
And visit the prisoner, but He said to me,
If you love Me, be My feet.

"I asked the Lord to look to the poor,
And watch over the babe that cries,
And see each man's need, but He said to me,
If you love Me, be My eyes.

"I said to the Lord, I want to serve You,
But I don't know where to start.
To love is the answer, He said to me.
If you love Me, be My heart."
- G. Shirie Westfall

     We typically think of a missionary as someone who lives five thousand miles away from home, in a grass hut. But being a missionary starts HERE: right where God has placed us.

     In John Piper's book, "Desiring God," he makes the point that we should be so full of love and joy for God, that everyone we come in contact with will see it. Are we showing God's love to those around us? Or are we mirroring this world?

     As Christians, we are called to represent Christ on this earth.

"Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We implore you on the behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God."
- 2 Corinthians 5:20

     That doesn't mean that only Christians who are living five thousand miles away from home are called to be an "ambassador" for our Lord. It means that whether you are married or live with your parents; whether you are a pastor or work at McDonald's; whether you are a missionary in a foreign country or a kid at school: you are called to show the love of Christ to everyone, right where you are.

Friday, March 4, 2011

A Mouth for the Speechless (Part 2)

"The greatest destroyer of love and peace is abortion, which is war against the child. The mother doesn't learn to love, but kills to solve her own problems. Any country that accepts abortion is not teaching its people to love, but to use any violence to get what they want."
- Mother Teresa

     Abortion: a branch of what started as something called eugenics. Its primary purpose: to make a super human race - a Utopia. But until Roe v. Wade abortion was illegal. 
     
      "Besides being immersed in eugenics, Roe v. Wade was founded on lies. 'Jane Roe' was really Norma McCorvey. This single, pregnant woman was used by two lawyers to legalize abortion. She never knew anything about the case or its proceedings except that she could get an abortion when the case was over. She never went through with the abortion. The first thing she heard about the case was on the news when Roe v. Wade was decided and abortion was made legal.
     "Roe v. Wade’s companion case, Doe v. Bolton, which made abortion legal in all three trimesters of pregnancy for virtually any reason, had a similar situation. 'Mary Doe’s' real name was Sandra Cano. Her husband was in jail, her kids had been placed to foster care, and she was pregnant at the time the lawyers approached her. When she agreed to be Doe, she thought it was to get a divorce and to get her children back.
     "They tried to convince her to have an abortion, but she wouldn’t agree to one because she believed abortion was wrong. She had no idea that her case would become the infamous Doe v. Bolton. Now both women are followers of Christ and are trying to reverse their cases (Cavanaugh-O’Keefe, The Roots Chapter Thirteen)." But until the abolition of abortion, many innocent children are dying.






     Abortion was legalized in the U.S. in 1973, so for the last thirty-eight years women have had the choice to get rid of their "little problems." But exactly how many have made that choice? Below are the statistics (taken from  http://bound4life.com/statistics which based their statistics upon "the most-cited sources regarding abortion").


Abortions worldwide: 46 million babies are aborted ever year (approximately one baby is aborted every two seconds).


Abortions in the United States: since the legalization of abortion in 1973, approximately 50 million children have been aborted (one third of all pregnancies end in abortion).


Causes for abortion: 
98% personal choice (AKA: it was inconvenient).
1.7% the health of the mother or child was at stake.
0.3% (3 out of every one thousand) rape/incest.


     Only 2% of abortions are actually due to a difficult situation. But just because there was a difficult situation, does it make abortion any better? 


"Repay no evil for evil, but give thought to do what is honorable." - Romans 12:17 (ESV)

     480 physicians signed a public statement that abortion is never necessary to save a woman's life. They stated: "I agree that there is never a situation in the law or in the ethical practice of medicine where a preborn child's life need be intentionally destroyed by procured abortion for the purpose of saving the life of the mother" (http://all.org/article.php?id=10682). 

     Furthermore, "a child conceived through rape or incest does not deserve the death penalty for his or her father's crime...research shows that the victim of either crime is likely to suffer more if she resorts to abortion." (Pro-Life Action League, Sharing the Pro-Life Message, p. 34).

     The founders of our nation said that we are all created equal, and that we should all have equal rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Abortion takes away these rights. Abortion is the depravity of life from a baby, but no innocent human should be killed. It does not matter what title you give it; murder is murder. And it is our duty to stand for the innocent, to help those in need and to be a "mouth for the speechless."

"When my bones were being formed, 
carefully put together in my mother's womb, 
when I was growing there in secret, you knew that I was there- 
You saw me before I was born."
- Psalm 139:15-16 (GNT)

"Before I formed you in the womb I knew you."
- Jeremiah 1:5 (ESV)