The Death of Today

How would you like to die today?…

Oh, I’m sorry… You weren’t planning on dying today, were you?

Let me rephrase: How are you planning on living during the death of today?

I’m sure you’ve heard that we are never promised tomorrow– or even our next breath.

14 Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes.
– Jas 4:14

Sure, we may do what we can to prevent a physical death, but have you ever thought about how constantly our days die?

We may try to “make up for it” the next day, what we didn’t do that day, but really… It doesn’t take away the fact that our yesterday is gone & we did not spend our 12,088th day of being alive (for example) to its fullest advantage.

15 Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, 16 making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil.
– Ep 5:15-16

Maybe, instead of counting our lives in years, we should count them in days. It may help us to cherish our individual days/ moments more.

I’ll never get back that 12,087th day of being alive…

But, the question we have to ask ourselves is: “Did I die well today?” And, “How do I want to spend my 12,088th day of dying?”

(I feel like if we ask, “Did I live well,” it causes us to think moreso that we will be alive for a personal, predetermined amount of time. However, we never know when what day/moment will be our last, whether it be in 8 minutes, 8 months, 8 years or 80 years.)

A certain martial arts class I was in taught me to think: “Today is a good day to die.” But I want to think of it in a different way: Not as some final time/ date when our spirits leave our physical bodies, but as right now– everyday– since our todays are always passing away.

So… Did we die well?

We are either growing or dying (in all areas of life). Once we reach a certain age (in our twenties), we are no longer officially “growing.” The remainder of our lives is trying to hang on to what we currently have and sustaining it as best as possible. But we are still physically dying. (Mental & spiritual growth are different & still possible, however.)

I’m no expert in telling you how the best way to live/die is. I am still learning too. But I do know that it involves doing our best in the current moments we are given, and to always keep the eternal in the forefront of our minds. Appreciate each day… “Don’t Procrastinate”, is so cliche, so here’s a geeky anime quote instead. 😉

“Don’t put off until tomorrow what you should do today.” (“Follow Your Dream” song, from “Project A-Ko”)

Store up treasures in Heaven than on Earth.

19 “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. 20 But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. 21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

– Mt 6:19-21

Don’t put all of your energy/ trust in worldly wealth. It’s all temporary anyway.

20 “But God said to him, ‘You fool! This very night your life will be demanded from you. Then who will get what you have prepared for yourself?’

– Lk 12:20

We may not be perfect in doing this, but thank goodness that there is grace. But let’s not take grace for granted too. Let’s not take anything for granted. Even time, itself, is temporary.

Instead, let’s just do our best!

がんばってね! (Ganbatte ne!) ✌️

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What if Judas never killed himself? + Pic updates

Gallery updates and such from my Instagram posts! I still have more to do though, lol.

______

“What if Judas never killed himself?”

I wonder: would he have repented– let his godly sorrow take over– and attempted to join their other apostles again? Would they have forgiven and accept him back?

If they (eventually) trusted someone like Paul/Saul, Judas would have stood a chance too… Right?

I wonder what kind of an apostle he’d be. He’d be known as the man who actually put Jesus to death on the cross, by betraying him– his friend. He’d be reminded day after day, and even probably be labeled a hypocrite, as to why he’s preaching about Jesus when he was up close and personal with him, and yet, still didn’t follow him. What else would it really take for someone to love Jesus? Unless he completely repented, he would still feel wordly guilt every day, while reaching out…

However… We all actually put Jesus on the cross. Jesus died for the people like Judas too… He didn’t come/die to help the “good people” (of which there are none). He came to save the halpless sinners, just like you and I– the people who can’t help but to sin even when we want to do good.

Satan entered Judas that night. But he also allowed Satan to control him. Things just had to happen that way, or we wouldn’t be who we are today. We would not have stood a chance at heaven on our own. It was still God’s plan. Judas did still have a chance to repent, however. Unfortunately, he chose the wordly sorrow route and hung himself. But I’m sure God would still had compassion on him, even after he did it (if he truly repented). Jesus even called Judas his friend during all of this.

Jesus would have forgiven Judas… If only he would have forgiven himself.

Jesus died for everyone.

15 Here is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners—of whom I am the worst. 16 But for that very reason I was shown mercy so that in me, the worst of sinners, Christ Jesus might display his immense patience as an example for those who would believe in him and receive eternal life.

– 1Ti 1:15-16

Yo! New Landing Page!

Just trying a new look out on the site (mostly just the initial landing page). 🙂 www.rejenasmiley.com

How do you like it? I mean, I hadn’t changed it much since 2011, lol, so I felt like it needed a change. Plus, the old one was inspired by someone else, so I wanted this front page format to be more attuned to what works for me, individually. I felt silly to keep updating here, as well as on the site AND FB, Instragram, etc, sooo…

Hopefully, it works out. I am also hoping that this helps me want to update more. We’ll see, haha! But I DO need to get back into drawing more; and moreso, perhaps more short stories too?~

Some good news! I have some perspective local comic book shops which are interested in selling my work! So there’s that. 😀 We’ll see what happens!

Sooo many inspiring artists I’ve seen, lately. I think I’d just been in an art funk because I didn’t know how to integrate my spiritual life into my comics. I kept feeling like me, doing art, was always for selfish ambition purposes. I am working more on how to find the right balance in my mind, because… I still do want to do comics for a living. Perhaps I’m just afraid of the unknown?… It’s very possible, indeed. Balance is the key to everything.

I’ll leave you with some Ecclesiastes verses:

Ecclesiastes 7:16-18 (NIV)

16 Do not be overrighteous, neither be overwise— why destroy yourself?

17 Do not be overwicked, and do not be a fool— why die before your time?

18 It is good to grasp the one and not let go of the other. Whoever fears God will avoid all extremes.

Ecclesiastes 3 (NIV)

A Time for Everything

There is a time for everything,
    and a season for every activity under the heavens:

    a time to be born and a time to die,
    a time to plant and a time to uproot,
    a time to kill and a time to heal,
    a time to tear down and a time to build,
    a time to weep and a time to laugh,
    a time to mourn and a time to dance,
    a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
    a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing,
    a time to search and a time to give up,
    a time to keep and a time to throw away,
    a time to tear and a time to mend,
    a time to be silent and a time to speak,
    a time to love and a time to hate,
    a time for war and a time for peace.

The Desire to Scratch

~The Spiritual (Video) Game of Life~

~The Spiritual (Video) Game of Life~
 
Level 1: On Sunday, I hit something on my way home and got a flat tire.
Level 2: When I went to go get it fixed this morn (at the closest dealership), there was extra paperwork that needed to be re-done bc my VIN number was inputted wrong in their system. So, I would have to go to the original dealership where I initially got my car, so that they could fix it. It would take 2 hrs. to fix the paperwork.
Level 3: I was unsure of the cost at this point (also, I needed gas). I didn’t have time to go to the other dealership (which is further away) this morn, so I had to wait until after work… then it rained… and there was traffic…
Level 4: What normally would’ve taken a half an hour took an hour and a half. (Plus, I’m still driving on a doughnut, mind you… praying that I don’t die or get into an accident, lol.)
Then, I had to wait like 3 hours after that in order to get everything done. (I was hungry/falling asleep, yo. lol)
 
~But life has a way of evening itself out~
 
Here are the positives of this situation:
 
1. When I initially hit the ‘something’ in the street, it was as I was turning on my street (like, literally, a few houses down), so I didn’t need a tow truck, and didn’t get stranded. (Woot!) 💁
2. I had some nice father-daughter time with my otousan, who helped me to change it, and even taught me how to change it myself… just in case, for a next time! (I finished changing it halfway through, and it wasn’t so hard as I thought it would be.)
3. I had to get my tire replaced (they couldn’t repair it), but it was at no extra cost to me since I already had tire coverage with my lease (so yay)!
4. All of that extra time waiting was well spent in reflection, and doing creative/fun things. (It’s times like this when I’m glad that I bring my laptop/3DSxl with me, lol.) Also, that hour and a half of driving to the dealership was spent listening to an audiobook, and coming to some realizations (which I will share below). Btw, the audiobook was “Facing your Giants” by Max Lucado.
 
~What I learned~
 
I’m starting to look at trials/setbacks as like ‘levels’ (in a video game) to overcome and to beat. And if I’m having difficulty beating the level, then I need to see what God is trying to teach me through them, in order to win and move onto the next challenge. (And maybe there is a calming FMV to watch in between~)
Remember, I’m talking spiritually here. There are some things we can’t control in our earthly lives, in the physical world. But we have (much more, if not all) control over what *we* do and how we learn/think with our minds/spirits.
 
Anyhow…
 
~When it is difficult to beat a level~
 
Maybe we need a ‘power up’ (a boost in energy), or a new weapon to beat the level/boss (some thing or some strategy you haven’t tried yet, or a spiritual weapon/defense you are not using, or didn’t think you had); maybe we just need to gain more experience and ‘level up’ (and learning through repetition… after you keep dying on the same level/part, eventually, you gotta try to figure out what you are doing wrong! lol); or maybe we just need to be humble and read the manual… (the Basic Instructions Before Leaving Earth, y’know.)
 
There’s always a way to beat/overcome what you are facing…
 
Do you seem to have troubles controlling your “character” (both types (the physical body and mental/moral character))? Learn the controls… learn how YOU function. There may be a certain set of buttons you didn’t know how to use properly… Or sometimes, it just takes experience ‘playing’ in order to get it (to be second-nature)…
 
Is the game becoming boring to you? Perhaps it is TOO repetitive, and you just need a change… Perhaps your close friend likes it, and you feel a bit weird for not liking it.
Don’t just give up on video games, altogether! You just have to find which genre/game best suits you! 😉 (This is finding what you are good at, passionate about, and what your likes/dislikes are, in life.) What inspires you? You gotta find it! But sometimes the gift may find you too. 🙂
 
All in all, try to find the hope in all situations. Even if the physical reality is very slim to change, you can at least change your mental state for the better. Without hope, how is there even a CHANCE to change anything?…
 
Look for the lesson in how to overcome every setback. And when you DO beat the level/enemy, don’t get too cocky… there is always another challenge ahead! 😉
 
We WILL have troubles in this world (John 16:23), but luckily, we have access to the best game designer who has overcome the world. 🙂
 
~If you *think* you are facing an unbeatable level, remember…~
 
1. As long as you are alive, there is hope in beating it.
2. Look for the lesson– if it is too hard for you, don’t berate yourself for not ‘being good enough’ to overcome the situation. Start small(er), and work/practice from there.
3. Maybe some difficulties aren’t meant to be ‘beaten’ or ‘defeated’. Maybe they are just a ‘thorn’ which God allows us to have (2 Corinthians 12:6-10) in order that we would not become conceited, but lean on Him for our strength.
(1 Cor 12:9 But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.”)
4. If you are able to get into the mind of the game designer, you are more likely to beat the level. (And maybe all of this car stuff happened just so I would be inspired enough to tell you all of this.)
Be transformed by the renewing of your mind (Romans 12:2) (like a Spiritual Super Saiyan!), and become a master at that game, yo! Then, if others have trouble beating it, you will know how to help them… 🙂
 
~LOVE IS AN ACTION VERB!~ ;*

Thar she blows…!

Hey again! (There goes another ‘hiatus’/long break in between posts!)

During this almost-past year, I’ve discovered that God allows certain thing to happen for a reason. I am still discovering the reason ‘why’ on so many things, but in the meantime, I get constantly reassured to just keep on pressing on, and to see the light in every seemingly dark situation.

So… it’s interesting, yes.

Anyhow, I wanted to say how I finally updated my site a bit ago, organized some things… but… now my website isn’t working! lol -___- (Off go to fix that. Maybe it’ll be fixed by the time you read this xD (maybe not, lol)) Actually, it looks like it’s just the hosting site, itself, which is down… xD Might have to just wait it out, lol.

I updated the “Comics” page with some new-ish art… My publisher for “Mystery of the Black Water” is working on getting online orders for my (and others’) comics, so I can at least make that available for you too. 🙂 Currently working on pt. 2 of that…

Still excited to see TJM (Hey Arnold: The Jungle Movie)!!! 😀 😀 (Next year, 2017!!)

I may go back to work on MSI (My Sweet Indulgence)… tbh, it was supposed to be a one-time thing, long ago… but it seems that people like it, so that’s cool!

I also want to work on/rewrite NKTR (Nekoturr’s Realm– I’ve already rewritten some of it); I feel like I’ve been saying that for the longest though… actions speak louder than words tho, yess? So, I just have to build up the courage and just do it! lol. But how to make it not so cliff-hangery all of the time, and give it some resolution in between…? Still working on that… xD

Spiritually-speaking, I have a lot to work on. Me and God need some serious one-on-one time to figure my heart out. But never stop believing! He has given me so many little gifts and encouragements… it’s super cool, actually! (To see God answer prayers on even the little things; even things I haven’t really overtly prayed about, but I needed it anyway.)

God is so cool 🙂 Give Him a chance!

Again, still looking for the good in my dark situations, but as long as I don’t give up (and the temptation is really there), I know that He’ll guide me through.
I know some people have different beliefs, and that’s okay. That’s just where you are. But I believe in my God, not just because my parents believed it, or I read it out of a book, but He’s also something that I’ve experienced, first hand. I didn’t have strong faith for a while– and even now, it wavers from time to time (depending on my situation, but I need to work on that)– but once I finally ALLOWED God to change my heart, and trust in Him, I finally was ABLE to experience Him and some of his direct blessings. But without the trust, there was no way I would be feeling or knowing anything too soon. As stated before, I still have a lot to work on, but I’m hoping that God will work with me through my weaknesses. (And boy, do I have a lot of those!) Lol

Hope you guys are doing fine!! Live your life with no regrets!!

p.s. Oh!! I’m also trying to finish up, at least, the written version of Trunks’ Date. You can view it here!
p.p.s. Dragonball Super is super awesome!! lol (It’s gotten my inner, old-school-anime-fanatic self coming to life again, lol.)

Hey Arnold! returns! + personal goal stuff!

Yo, peoples! It’s been a while. (My blog/journal seems to always have these large gaps in the middle of posting, lol.) Sry. Real life, ya know. Anyways.

Life lately has been strange. A strange mix of events.

For the good news (if you haven’t already heard): Hey Arnold! is returning to Nickelodeon!!
http://variety.com/2015/tv/news/hey-arnold-tv-movie-nickelodeon-reviving-shows-1201646666
Whooohoooo!!! (<–Honestly, this doesn’t fully express my excitement, because I’ve known about this for a while now, and have expressed it more fully in other places, lol.)
But what great news!! This was a group effort though. All of the fans, Craig, Nick, etc. After all of our hard work campaigning, and getting Nick’s attention… buying all of the merch that we could… finally… (It’s coming back as a T.V. movie for now (TJM!!), but maybe we’ll get another season or series if we’re patient and nice. 🙂 (And if the movie does well in ratings/sales…)
Just goes to show you that you shouldn’t give up on something, if it’s something that you really want! Anything can happen! :)…

Which comes to my next problem. My personal art goals are all over the place, man. The TJM news is very inspiring, sure. It’s helped to bring me back into my writing/drawing mood. I’ve felt– for a long while– that I’ve just been doing stuff “for work” and not for me… bu that’s not how my art began as, you know? It later turned into just pleasing others via commissions or with companies. Sure, in order to have a job in art (or anything), you have to serve. But shouldn’t there be a balance if it’s your personal way of expression too? I’ve felt like I’ve given up multiple times on myself…
Although I used to blatantly tell myself that I would rather commit suicide than to give up on my dreams… well, after realizing that killing yourself would be sending you straight to hell, I opted out of that, but… I had already been dead, and been “killed”/ given up on the inside. That’s… just as bad, imo. Having no motivation, just living until you die. What kind of a life is that?

Secondly, I also want to honor God with my art/comics/stories. But just having a heck of a time in figuring out how. The way things are currently going… well… it just seems that things are going veryyyy slow. I have many stories in my head, but there’s no way that I’ll be able to finish them all if things continue like the way they are now. I just need to do something… different… I don’t know what that looks like yet. But I’ll figure it out, hopefully.

Thirdly, I just feel a sense of overwhelming guilt in not finishing my fancomic, Trunks’ Date. I really don’t feel the motivation to finish it (right now, at least). But I just feel guilty about it. Is that a good, bad or neutral thing? Other comic/art professionals I’ve talked to have told me that I shouldn’t do it anymore. I do understand their position. I feel guilty for giving it up, since it’s gone on for so long, and I want to move on to my personal, original art/stories more, but… maybe there’s an off-chance that I could go back to finish it once I get my original art-life in order more?

I am just out of balance, in general.

But such is life in figuring out how to live. Also, just trying to be more grateful for my friends and family– because you never know what might happen tomorrow. I want to prepare my soul for death, even if that does seem a bit morbid. but really, that’s just reality. You never know…
I’ve seen too many deaths happen this year– either to people I’ve worked with, knew offhandedly, or knew of friends’ relatives who have passed away. Sometimes suddenly, sometimes they knew it beforehand. But, the result is still the same: it just made me realize how short our lives can be, and how much we (I) take it for granted, sometimes. I want to live with no regrets. I also want to die with no regrets. I just have to continually ask myself (and really see this as my reality)– what would I like to accomplish if today/tomorrow/a week from now was my last day? What would be more important for me?

It’s not even having money, or being ‘successful’ which would be most important; but the depth in how much you loved others, your relationships, is what I think will be all that matters in the end. (My relationship with God is number one, and then my relationships with others, afterward.) How much did I love others, and honor/love God in doing so? So, instead of being in a defaultly selfish mode (as per the usual), I have these things to figure out. Because– as stated before– you just never know.
On my death bed, I would like to think that I “did my best.” But I have a long way to go.