Thursday, December 31, 2009

I love this!

Monday, December 21, 2009

The Grinch's dog.....


And Mine. (Actually my brother's. I will not claim her!)


Yikes. She got shaved in the middle of winter. She looks just a little bit like a freak.

Poor Little Bit!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Not without design does God write the music of our lives. Be it ours to learn the tune, and not be dismayed at the "rests." They are not to be slurred over, not to be omitted, not to destroy the melody, not to change the keynote. If we look up, God Himself will beat the time for us. With the eye on Him, we shall strike the next note full and clear.
If we sadly say to ourselves, "There is no music in a 'rest,'" let us not forget "there is the making of music in it." The making of music is often a slow and painful process in this life. How patiently God works to teach us! How long He waits for us to learn the lesson! ~Ruskin

And, might I say, ditto for trills? I am not very good at playing piano slowly, giving each rest its full measure, but neither am I able to fly through the trills. Although, unlike the rests, they are clearly meant to be beautiful, they are much more difficult to make so. I tend to stumble through them instead of clearly playing each note for the instant it should be heard. But it is still true that God patiently works to teach us through them, and no matter how difficult it seems to us, He is there to make all things easy. Whether your life is pausing for a whole rest (1-e-&-a, 2-e-&-a, 3-e-&-a, 4--e--&--a... they take forever!) or attempting to whirl through a trill full of sharps or flats (afraid of missing the right note and hitting a wrong one, fingers tangling, counting off - it sounds terrible to us and we feel we shall never get it right), or even if right now you are easily playing a part you know and love, "He hath made every thing beautiful in his time". Whether you can hear the melody in it or not, as long as HE is writing the music in your life, it will be beautiful. Keep your eyes on Him!

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Having somewhat to do with the last post...

Have mercy upon me, O God, according to thy lovingkindness: according unto the multitude of thy tender mercies blot out my transgressions. Wash me throughly from mine iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin. For I acknowledge my transgressions: and my sin is ever before me. Behold, thou desirest truth in the inward parts: and in the hidden part thou shalt make me to know wisdom. Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean: wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow. Make me to hear joy and gladness; that the bones which thou hast broken may rejoice. Hide thy face from my sins, and blot out all mine iniquities. Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me. Cast me not away from thy presence; and take not thy holy spirit from me. Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation; and uphold me with thy free spirit. Then will I teach transgressors thy ways; and sinners shall be converted unto thee. Deliver me from bloodguiltiness, O God, thou God of my salvation: and my tongue shall sing aloud of thy righteousness. O Lord, open thou my lips; and my mouth shall shew forth thy praise. For thou desirest not sacrifice; else would I give it: thou delightest not in burnt offering. The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise.

Something to think about...

1 John 4:15, 18, 20
Whosoever shall confess (to accent, consent, promise, consent to the desire of another, speak agreeable to fact and truth, celebrate with public praise, profess, confess or publicly acknowledge: tell people) that Jesus is the Son of God, God dwelleth in Him and he is in God. There is no fear (fearfulness, timidity, shrinking away from, fear, fleeing, running away from: shirking that confession) in love; but perfect love casteth out fear... he that feareth is not made perfect in love. He that loveth not his brother (and what is more unloving that letting him go on in ignorance of salvation?) whom he hath seen, how can he love God, whom he hath not seen?

Saturday, December 5, 2009

His Thoughts Said... His Father Said... - Amy Carmichael

His thoughts said, "If only things continued in a regular order I would find it much easier to maintain a restful spirit, but as it is, there is no continuance in anything, ever."
His Father said, "Think it not strange if it be so. Thou hast here no continuing city; thou art seeking one to come. Thees changes are merely the changeful landscape of thy life as thou travelest to the City which hath foundations. But thy journey may be restful; if thou art inwardly at rest nothing outward can disturb thee. Peace always under all conditions - that is my word for thee. Do not let it slip. Do not drift away from it. Hold it fast; for it is not a vain thing for thee, because it is thy life."

The son wondered how it could be possible to sit in heavenly places in Christ Jesus when life was so full of interruptions. Hardly an hour was without something that broke its ordered flow.
One day as he sat by a mountain stream he noticed the lovely way of water when interrupted by the boulders that broke its ordered flow. The river turned each into an occasion for beauty. And he understood that it was possible to live the river's way if only he took the interrupting things, not as interruptions, but as opportunities, and indeed as very part of life.
And while he sat there by the water, his dear Lord said to him, "As the ripples of the river glance up to the light, let they heart glance up to Me in little looks of love very often through the day."

His thoughts said, "I am ashamed because of my poverty of love and my interrupted obedience."
His Father said, "I know it all. I know thee as thou art and yet I love thee."
His thoughts said, "I often pray to be delivered from slothfulness that all the spaces of my time may be fruitfully filled by Thee; and yet the spaces seem to me quite empty, and the little that is done is so imperfectly done that I am ashamed."
His Father said, "Commit thine empty spaces to Me, and let thy trust be in the tender mercy of thy God forever and ever. I will perfect thine imperfections."

Monday, November 30, 2009

Since we all love reading...

Here's a fun tag!

You pick 3 characters from 3 different books that you love, pick 1 picture of each character to post and add three interesting facts about each character. Then tag 3 people. Easy. :)









Ok, I wanted at least one heroine, and for some reason Kit Tyler stuck out to me. And this was the only picture I found that actually had some resemblance to how I imagined the characters! (Guess which is Kit? Nat is perfect!) My mom read this story out loud when I was very little, and the only part I remembered was:

~ Kit thinking, "He risked the whipping post to come back and help me. But he took the same risk to rescue a yellow cat!" Which for some reason made me want to re-read it when I got older. (?) :) She is funny. Deciding her cousin invented the pinch-by-pinch-method of making corn meal just to annoy her - and dumping it all in immediately, turning it to concrete... Shirking her jobs, which are harder than those her slaves used to do... Annoying everyone she talks to, although she doesn't mean to... Daring the anger of the town to help a destitute old woman... Throwing herself in the ocean to rescue a little girl's doll...

~She can swim! Which leads to the accusation of witch-craft...

~She is impatient, stubborn, and unthinking - but also loving, caring, and courageous. Which is why I like her. :)



William Wallace. (Don't you love this picture, by the way?) :) I first read Scottish Chiefs when I was 10 years old, sick in bed and looking for something interesting. I pulled it off of my brother's bookshelf, figuring it was a boring history book, but I could always glance through it - and I fell headlong into Scottish adventure. It was probably the first book that ever made me cry, and because I loved it so much, I only let myself read it once because I was afraid it wouldn't have the same impact on me the next time. Finally I read it again - and bawled once more. I have not read it in years, but these are the three interesting things I remember:


~He was pulled into a war he did not want to fight because of the horrors being done around him. Although merciful and forgiving, some things (I won't spoil it by saying what...) he could not take. I hated the English for years. (Unfortunately, as far as I know, I have no Scottish blood in me and plenty of English. Augh.) He was an amazing leader.

~He was betrayed by his friends. I remember almost word-perfectly the part where, "He blushed for her who knew no shame," as she lies through her teeth, wanting him to die. It is awful.

~He did NOT get hung or any of the other barbaric (Oooh, those English make me mad!) things history says. Read the book. He died as he lived, honorably and with amazing courage. (Not that historically he didn't actually have more courage... "He responded to the treason charge, 'I could not be a traitor to Edward, for I was never his subject.'" Imagine saying that when you punishment is to be dragged through the streets by horses, hung until nearly dead, and ripped slowly to pieces. Ok, I can't even think about that, let alone imagine it.)





Daniel has to be one of my all-time favorite people. I would love to make a movie about him! (If I knew how to make movies.) :) I go back and forth between him and Joseph as to who is my favorite OT hero, usually ending up with Joseph. But then I come back to Daniel and his amazing life... He did get his own book. I looked at a lot of pictures of him in the lion's den, and this one is the way I picture him: calm, cool, and collected. I love the way he's gesturing - it's like he is explaining to the lions why he is there and why they can't eat him. OK, 3 interesting facts about Daniel.

~He was just really cool. After graduating from college with honors and getting a job, his entire profession gets a death sentence. (Bad career choice!) The executioner shows up, and Daniel (basically!) says, "Wow, what made the king decide that so fast?" Not, "Please don't kill me," "It wasn't my fault," or anything of the sort. (Was he expecting it eventually, just not so soon? He had already figured out the guys he worked with were pretty annoying, I guess... Kind of like 99% of lawyers give the other 1% a bad name - 99% of magicians and wise men actually knew nothing?)

~One night he became the 3rd ruler in this foreign country - while insulting its king. Morning came the next day to find a completely new government, with new people, laws, and officials. Daniel promptly gets picked to be 2nd ruler in the new kingdom, instead of killed as you might expect. (Maybe somebody told about what he said the night before...) He always seems to be right up at the top.

~He went to a completely secular university for 3 years in a foreign country, away from home, church, and parents, even staying in the dorms through holidays and vacation - and became a mighty man of God while there. People knew he was good at everything he did, but most of all people knew he knew God. He gave God the glory for everything, and served Him with every bit of strength, wisdom, and grace that God gave him. He's an incredible inspiration to me and I love the book he wrote.


And I tag:

Jessica

Emily Anne

Charity Anne

Saturday, November 7, 2009

"Always after a defeat and a respite, the Shadow takes another shape and grows again."
"I wish it need not have happened in my time," said Frodo.
"So do I," said Gandalf, "and so do all who live to see such times. But that is not for them to decide. All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us. ”

"I know. It's all wrong. By rights we shouldn't even be here. But we are. It's like in the great stories, Mr. Frodo. The ones that really mattered. Full of darkness and danger, they were. And sometimes you didn't want to know the end. Because how could the end be happy? How could the world go back to the way it was when so much bad had happened? But in the end, it's only a passing thing, this shadow. Even darkness must pass. A new day will come. And when the sun shines it will shine out the clearer. Those were the stories that stayed with you. That meant something, even if you were too small to understand why. But I think, Mr. Frodo, I do understand. I know now. Folk in those stories had lots of chances of turning back, only they didn't. They kept going. Because they were holding on to something."
"What are we holding onto, Sam?"
"That there's some good in this world, Mr. Frodo... and it's worth fighting for."

~Tolkien

I love stories that lift you out of yourself, that show you a bigger picture of the Light shining around us, that remind you what life is truly about, and that Good will conquer in the end, because evil, no matter how strong it may appear, has already been defeated. Stories that draw you closer to God and encourage you to fight in the way that He has called you to. What have you been reading lately?

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Hebrews 2:11 "For both He that sanctifieth and they who are sanctified are all of One: for which cause He is not ashamed to call them brethren,"
Jesus Christ is not ashamed to claim relationship with me. Knowing my every action, my every word, my every thought and feeling, He unashamedly claims me as His own. Wow.
James 1:24 Now unto Him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless [RSV: without blemish; YLT: unblemished] before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy... He makes me faultless! He is amazing. Words cannot describe that love or that power... There is nothing else I can say...


http://www.flickr.com/photos/tabithahawk/238947479/

Saturday, October 31, 2009

“God put me on this earth to accomplish a certain number of things. Right now I am so far behind that I will never die.” ~Bill Watterson

Friday, October 30, 2009

“I know that you believe you understand what you think I said, but I'm not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant.” ~ Robert McCloskey

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

"It seems to me clear beyond question that in the lives of God's beloved there are sometimes periods when the adversary is "given power to overcome." This power need never overwhelm the inner court of the spirit, but it may press hard on the outworks of being. And so I have been asking that our dearest Lord may have the joy (surely it must be a joy to Him) of saying about each one of us, and about us all as a little company of His children: "I can count on him, on her, on them for anything. I can count on them for peace under any disappointment or series of disappointments, under any strain. I can trust them never to set limits, saying, 'Thus far, and no farther.' I can trust them not to offer the reluctant obedience of a doubtful faith, but to be as glad and as merry as it is possible." ~Amy Carmichael
This is an amazing statement. Amy Carmichael wrote this after being sick in bed for months after a fall - Rose from Brier is an incredible book, written when there was no end of pain in sight, but she looked only at her Savior's love. What an example of what is possible when we seek only Him!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Psych Again...

"Across various tasks, people overestimate what their performance was, is, or will be... Despite our painful underestimates, we remain overly confident of our next prediction. Moreover, anticipating how much we will accomplish, we then overestimate our future free time... Failing to appreciate our potential for error can have serious consequences, but overconfidence does have adaptive value. People who err on the side of overconfidence live more happily, find it easier to make tough decisions, and see more credible than those who lack self-confidence"~David Myers

Totally true. I tend to go along with someone when they really sound like they know what they're doing - only to realize later that I actually did know more about it than they did! So, if I just always act like I know what I'm doing... no more "I think"s or "Pretty sure"s or "What if we try"s... The thing is, almost nothing annoys me more than people who say something like it's the gospel truth, and which I find out later has absolutely no basis in reality. Oh, well. If you sound unsure, people don't believe you. It's really nicer to them to act sure and be helpful most of the time, than to act unsure and be helpful none of the time.

Now that that is taken care of, here's another random thing from psychology class! :) This joke was rated the 2nd funniest joke in a survey ("among 2 million ratings of 40,000 submitted jokes").

Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson are going camping. They pitch their tent under the stars and go to sleep. Sometime in the middle of the night Holmes wakes Watson up.
Holmes: "Watson, look up at all the stars, and tell me what you deduce."
Watson: "I see millions of stars and even if a few of those have planets, it's quite likely there are some planets like Earth, and if there are a few planets like Earth out there, there might also be life. What does it tell you, Holmes?"
Holmes: "Watson, you idiot, somebody has stolen our tent!"

Monday, October 19, 2009

"A wise person truly said, "It ought to be as impossible to forget that there is a Christian in the house as it is to forget that there is a ten-year-old boy in it". ~Roger J. Squire http://dailychristianquote.com/dcqwitness.html

"Someone asked, "Will the heathen who have never heard the Gospel be saved? It is more a question with me whether we -- who have the Gospel and fail to give it to those who have not -- can be saved." ~ Charles Spurgeon

"Some wish to live within the sound of a chapel bell; I wish to run a rescue mission within a yard of hell." ~ C.T. Studd http://www.tentmaker.org/Quotes/evangelismquotes.html

"Being an extrovert isn’t essential to EVANGELISM–obedience and love are."
~Rebecca M. Pippert http://www.evangelismcoach.org/2008/evangelism-quotes-and-quotations

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Taerith Book Review


Taerith ~By Rachel Star Thompson

First of all, I generally don’t like fantasy. And Taerith is fantasy. Except that, it doesn’t seem like it. Geographically and historically, yes, it is fantasy. The fact the God is shown as Deus, the Only-Wise, makes it fantasy. And of course, the unicorn… even though I’ve never been totally convinced that unicorns weren’t real anyway. :) So, it is fantasy. But it is real. And beautiful. I love the imagery surrounding Deus. Psalm 91 is my favorite psalm, and the feathers and wings that fill the pages which speak of Deus are perfect. The story itself draws you in, as you get to know each person in it.

Taerith is the second book of nine in a collection, The Romany Epistles. I love the idea behind The Romany Epistles: nine siblings, banished from home and from each other, fighting to survive in a world that does not want them. Each story is written by a different author, and each sibling finds an adventure all their own, although each one is similar enough to the others that you can tell they are siblings! The prologue to each sibling’s story is very cool, because you see each one’s response to the shock the begins the book. They all start the same:

It was evening. The sun was beginning to sink behind the trees of Braedoch Forest, throwing its leafy depths into shadow. It was early spring and the forest was still newborn; winter’s chill could yet be felt in the air at night.
On the eastern edge of the forest, the nine children of Isaak Romany were gathering together.
Their home was a small house of stone, composed of three circular chambers. In the central chamber a fire burned slowly, varying light dancing on the face of a tall man in a dark cloak. He waited for the nine to gather. His face seemed set in granite, as always; no hint of emotion, no whisper of affection for the children he had raised. He, Maeron Duard, was their guardian, nothing more. They did not care for him either. Though they had grown up in the house, they often chose to stay apart from it: they wandered the forest, worked in the woodshop, climbed the small mountains that overlooked their home in the north. They were not like others. Their life had been one of isolation. They knew weaponry and woodcraft, but little of humanity. They cared for each other and yet spent much of their time in solitude.
Their guardian was afraid of them. Once the clan of Romany had been strong and numerous. Duard’s ancestors, druids and powerful, vengeful men, had cursed the clan nearly a century ago. In the succeeding generations, hardship, famine, and war had plagued them–helped along by the druids. At last only Isaak Romany and his wife were left. They took their children to Braedoch and tried to live with them there. But Isaak was a powerful man of great personal force, and the few remaining druids feared that he would father a new beginning for the clan. They sent Duard to kill him. And he did. He killed Isaak and his wife, but could see nothing to fear in the children… behind his face of stone there was perhaps a heart, for he kept them alive, and raised them.
But he feared them now. Alone, he thought, they could be no threat. But as long as they stayed together, the clan Romany might again arise.

Then each story takes off, showing who these siblings, who love both solitude and each other, truly are. I picked Taerith to review because it was the first one I read and one of my favorites. Although only the first draft is available to read, it is so well-written that I have actually read it more than once. (Which is pretty good for a rough draft on a website and me!)
Taerith Romany’s story begins six months after banishment, when he falls in with a band of traveling showmen. They are on their way to perform for a king’s wedding, and along the way, they rescue a girl from robbers. Who she really is, and who she becomes to Taerith, drives the rest of the book. Longing to return home with his siblings, yet feeling he must stay in this new country, Taerith grows as he learns to listen to Dues’s voice and obey, no matter how hard the task before him.

Some things that struck me about the story: The characters (I hate using that word about books I like - these people are much too real to be characters!) seemed alive and made you care about them. At first I was surprised to find Taerith unwilling to kill men in war, since that idea generally does not even enter tales of warriors, even if they are also poets. But once I was used to the idea, the value he placed on human life only made me like Taerith more. The care he shows for his siblings and to all those weaker than himself was perfect. I loved Mirian, a young slave girl whose past is never fully revealed. As she learns to use her strength for good, and to love people again, her barely concealed fire as she is forced to serve those who have killed her parents and stolen her throne makes her intriguing and inspiring. The imagery in the book (I usually skip all descriptions) was so strong you could see exactly what was happening. The earth beneath Taerith's feet sank as he crept over it, the boggy reek of the mud rising to meet the close darkness of branches that hung down from old, spindle-rooted, thick-trunked trees; dripping long strands of black leaves. He had gone with Kardas and the others north from the castle, plunging into thick forest over ground that sank lower and lower until it became an alien world of water and wood, haunt of creatures that rooted and wallowed and showed themselves but rarely; the haunt, too, of stranger, more dangerous things: of unicorns, and nightmares. Even when skimming it, I could get the impression of where people were and what they looked like. Dues’s involvement in the story was reminiscent of the Old Testament, including a prophet like Elijah, who appears and disappears throughout the story.

The first time I read it, the prophets and visions bothered me a little, maybe because I was expecting it to be less of a fantasy than it was. Reading it as a fantasy, and seeing parallels with the Old Testament caused it to make more sense, and then I enjoyed it more. Taerith’s dislike of hunting seemed a little strange for someone raised as a hunter, but it did fit in with his personality well. I think maybe I just found it odd because it did not seem like most guys I know! :) Some things, like Borden’s fight with ?himself? seemed a little confusing. Of course, since it is a rough draft, it is not as polished as it hopefully will be someday.

I enjoyed it, and if you like fantasy a little bit, I think you will enjoy it as well. If you have a few hours to spend on the computer, you can begin at:
http://taerith-romany.blogspot.com/2006_08_01_archive.html

Friday, October 9, 2009


“Father, make of me a crisis man. Bring those I contact to decision. Let me not be a milepost on a single road; make me a fork, that men must turn one way or another on facing Christ in me.”
~Jim Elliot

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Shadow of the Bear Book Review...

“You don’t have many bullets left, do you?” Bear said coolly. “I’ve been counting.”
“I have one more,” Freet’s voice said. “And I’d like to use it.”
“It’s over, Freet. You’d be better off quitting while you’re ahead,” Bear went on. He looked up at Blanche, and he seemed suddenly very far away from her. The gap of eternity had opened up between them. Her throat contracted.
“You don’t understand. It would be very satisfying to shoot you.”
“A costly satisfaction,” Bear said.

“Or I could shoot myself,” Freet added.
“I wouldn’t advise it,” Bear said.
“Of course not. You’re such a moralist. But it would solve a lot of problems for me. I’ve broken some bones, and I can’t possibly get away before the police come. Wouldn’t you rather I shot myself than you?”
“Honestly, I wouldn’t. I’m not fond of you, Freet, but I won’t wish hell upon you.”
“You would if you knew everything I’ve done,” Freet’s voice giggled.
“I know enough,” Bear said evenly, although Blanche saw he was struggling to hold his composure. “I can guess the rest.”
"And none of that makes you want to send me to hell?” Freet said derisively.
“What I want doesn’t matter. Hell is far worse than anything,” Bear said with the same calm voice.
“So you’d prefer I shot you?” Freet asked.
Bear shrugged.

I love this scene. It is one of those chapters where, in the words of one of the characters, “It’s as though the curtain that covered the machinery of the universe was pulled aside for a moment, and you saw how things work.” I have read several of Regina Doman’s books, but The Shadow of the Bear is my favorite. First drawn to it because it is based on one of my absolute favorite fairy tales, Snow White and Rose Red, it is one of those books I have read over and over.
Set in New York City, The Shadow of the Bear is the story of Blanche and Rose, two home schooled sisters who befriend Bear, a young man who got his nickname while in juvenile detention for drug possession. Why the only like-minded person they have found since moving to the city and starting Catholic school would have to be a juvenile delinquent is a total mystery to them, since he refuses to talk much about himself. The book is thrilling and funny, and, amazingly, both true to the fairytale and realistic!
Although I don’t agree with everything in the book, I appreciate the fact that it makes me think about what I believe and where I stand on certain issues. Even though the main characters are Catholic, their faith is so much more real than that of the people in most “Christian books” I’ve seen, that I found it refreshing. It seems natural and real, instead of a prayer thrown in or a verse randomly quoted. The girls live what they believe and it’s part of them, not an added-on story-crutch. Although the girls did certain things I would not do, the book ended up reinforcing why I would not do certain things. (Like go to an after-prom party!)
I identified a lot with Blanche, the older sister, the shy introvert, piano player, etc. Rose was more… how I would sometimes like to be, I guess. :) They were perfect together! I could relate to the girls’ home school background, the fun they have thrift shopping, their relationship with each other and their mom… The book has several very quotable lines and many unforgettable scenes. It’s kind of funny, but I’ve thought of Rose’s declaration that, “The boys at school are so degenerate that it makes one feel pessimistic about the future of the male gender in general,” many times when out and about, and I know exactly why she said it!
If this sounds interesting, the first chapter of the latest edition is posted on http://www.fairytalenovels.com/. Sometimes new editions of books bother me, but in this case, I like what I've seen of the 4th edition even better than the 1st! Someday I'd like to get the latest "version", but I'm still thrilled to have a 1st edition. (I got the book for $1 several years ago; looking on Amazon I just realized it was worth between $50 and $150.) Another thing I like about this book is that it is written by a woman with 7 children, who still takes time, not only to write, but also to answer millions of questions about her books!
I read the book aloud to my younger siblings and they loved it. Despite the number of times I’ve read it, I still find myself laughing at Fish and Rose and my heart pounding with Blanche. Once you read the book, you’ll understand why I wanted to name one of our puppies Bear, and then died laughing when I saw him a few months later, his fluffy baby fur turned in long, furry dreadlocks.


Which Fairy Tale Novel Character are you? (SPOILERS)
Blanche

The elder of the Briar sisters, Blanche is quiet, introvertive, sweet, loving, a deep thinker and possesses a heightened awareness of danger. She loves books (Chesterson!), piano, and Bear! Her choices of vocation is the medical field, although family comes first.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

"We are apt to forget that a man is not only committed to Jesus
Christ for salvation; he is committed to Jesus Christ's view of God, of the
world, of sin and of the devil, and this will mean that he must recognize
the responsibility of being transformed by the renewing of his
mind." ~Oswald Chambers

I think it is because this was forgotten that America changed so quickly from being a Christian nation. Too many people simply said a prayer, and never renewed their mind. It doesn't work that way. Our goal is not to get people to "ask Jesus into your heart", but to show them the new life in becoming a child of God, a new creature.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do...

"Ask your neighbors for an off-the-cuff reaction to the words “Christian literature” and you’re likely to hear them stumble through a list of belittling adjectives.
Despite the swelling ranks of able Christian writers, the reaction demonstrates that we’re viewed as an inconsequential presence in the world of literature. This image belies reality—in fact, Christians are heirs to the tradition of Chaucer, Dante, and Donne; successors to Tolstoy, Dostoyevsky, and Chekov; the literary descendants of G.K. Chesterton and Dorothy Sayers, and of J.R.R. Tolkien and C.S. Lewis, and of Flannery O’Connor and Walker Percy….
All the names just mentioned were, of course, great writers because of their Christian faith, not in spite of it. They appreciated the inherent goodness of God’s creation; they knew the pervasive consequences of mankind’s Fall; they relished the hope of Christ’s resurrection; and they anticipated the day of His cosmic-wide redemption.
They combined talent with an irresistible urge to tell stories, and then—armed with this gripping worldview—they made sense of a seemingly pointless world. Their books and poems provided eternal significance to the mundane; they held out hope while never flinching from the cold, hard truth of life in a sin-afflicted world. As a result, their works are appreciated today across the entire breadth of our literary culture."

- http://www.breakpoint.org/features-columns/articles/12051-a-lost-art
I've had people give me books because: "This seems like the kind of story you would read". (Because it was Christian Lit, I'm guessing.) One I am thinking of ended up being one of the most boring, pointless books I've flipped through. The spiritual aspect seemed to consist of a girl who was furious with God and refused to pray, while meandering through some sort of aimless adventure. I think at some point she became sorry, but I'm not sure I ever got that far. I have seen SO MANY trashy Christian books...
I like the way Regina Doman puts it on her website (http://www.fairytalenovels.com/).
"As I mentioned, I read tons of them growing up, and pretty soon I discovered that there were two different kinds of Christian romance emerging - one kind was simply clean romance that had nothing, nothing at all that made the books specifically Christian. There was one series of pseudo-Harlequin Christian romances that exemplified this. In each book, it was mentioned in passing that at least the heroine was Christian, and no one ever had sex, but lots of times that's all there was to the Christianity. It bothered my friends and I that sometimes Christian girls ended up marrying guys who were either the most nominal of Christians or were "baby Christians," having converted on page 199, right before the book ended. It started to strike us as at least completely unrealistic, to say the least...
Then, there were the other kind of Protestant romance, the kind that had stuff about Christ and Christianity on every other page, whether it applied to the plot or not. There were historical novels... fantasy novels, and just plain romance novels. These somehow felt more 'valid' but they weren't always written very well...
Part of my problem growing up was that, because I read so many of these books,I found myself having to rework a lot of ideas I had about Christianity. It was pretty difficult at times to uproot my underlying assumptions about things like womanhood, romance, contraception (present in the contraceptive mentality of many of the books), and the purpose of marriage, because I had been powerfully shaped by the heroines of these books and their authors."

Aren't we supposed to be doing our best for God? A Lost Art is a great reminder of what our vision in writing should be. Or in whatever we do - Newton and Kepler and Dale Evans were all Christians too! :) Proverbs says that a man diligent in his business will stand before kings: if God gives you a vision, go for it with all that you are, for His glory! We cannot continue to hand over science, media, and everything else to those who are lost. If the blind lead the blind, both will fall into a ditch... Those who know God's word need to use every available avenue to show the world what life is about. And do it well!

Monday, August 31, 2009

Oswald Chambers said...

"Be rightly related to God, find your joy there, and out of you will flow rivers of living water. Be a center for Jesus Christ to pour living water through. Stop being self-conscious, stop being a sanctified prig, and live the life hid with Christ. The life that is rightly related to God is as natural as breathing wherever it goes. The lives that have been of most blessing to you are those who were unconscious of it."

Sunday, August 30, 2009

And let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years...


http://www.southernskies.com.au/astronomy/cross.htm
I recently read The Stars Speak, by Stewart Custer. I'm generally not into astronomy and telescopes, but I learned some interesting things. One thing I never really thought about was the word signs in Genesis 1:14.

Genesis 1:14-19 And God said, Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years: And let them be for lights in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth: and it was so. And God made two great lights; the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night: he made the stars also. And God set them in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth, And to rule over the day and over the night, and to divide the light from the darkness: and God saw that it was good. And the evening and the morning were the fourth day.

I was looking for some star pictures, and came across this extremely interesting website:
Basically, this author goes through and tells the ancient names and meanings for Leo the Lion, Hercules, the Twins, etc, drawing parallels with Biblical prophecies. He has a lot of very amazing ideas. I didn't read the entire book (I wish I had it in paper format - I don't really like reading entire books on-line), but what I did read was really cool. The thought of God putting the entire story of Salvation in the sky for people to see each night is incredible.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Amy Carmichael is one of my favorite authors, and I was excited to read this article about her: http://www.boundless.org/2005/articles/a0002102.cfm#share
I also want to "make Scripture an integral part of my writing and even of my thoughts; to read it, to memorize it, and ever thereafter to breathe it." And I too have noticed that "Amy's writing quotes Scripture seemingly without knowing it. Everything in life is illustrated, illuminated, touched by the Word of God." I wish to be able to speak to people as she did, with God's Word a part of me.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Random Pictures



Seeing the beauty of the Lord...



Knowing He has made everything beautiful...



In its time...



Recognizing His perfection...



His love...



His amazingness...



In all I see.



Thirsting for Him with all that I am.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

The Acquittal - God's Infinite Mercy By Karen Sullivan Ables

In a far away place and a different time

I Killed my first child, a most heinous crime.


The state didn't come, and I didn't stand trial.

Judge Blackmun was calm when he said with a smile,

"Killing is legal, say we the High Court.

But don't call it murder. Just call it 'abort'"


The judge in my heart would not let the case rest.

I had no defense when once put to the test.

Found guilty I was by my heart's Supreme Court.

"You murdered your baby!" they screamed in retort.


With tears on my cheeks it was too late, I knew

to bring back the life of the child I once slew.

The gavel slammed sown, and it rang in my head,

"You are guilty as charged, and deserve to be dead."


"We now give you torment to pay for your sin,"

was the sentence passed down from my own court within.

"You will never escape. You're branded. Don't hide.

Your just due is death. You should try suicide."


I was beaten in prison by daily attack.

I was paying a debt, so I never fought back.

No hope of escaping, and this I knew well.

I cried out to God from my own self-made hell.


That day I met Jesus; He smiled in my face.

He said, "I forgive you. Come walk in my grace."

"Lord, I believe you forgive me and yet,

Blameless you are. Can you pay for my debt?"


"And, Lord, please don't touch me for: I am unclean.

I'm filthy with murder, a most wretched being."

I poured out my story. He showed no surprise.

I gazed up with awe at the love in His eyes.


He said, "I paid for your crime, yes, was nailed to a tree.

There's no condemnation if you'll trust in Me.

I took on your blame, and your curse on My soul

So you may be free without judgement and whole."


I sputtered, "Dear Lord, where's the justice in this?

I killed my first son, and you offer me bliss?

"Tears blurred my vision, yet there in His face

were eyes of compassion, blue oceans of grace.


I thought to myself, "Now the past has been buried?

I'm free of the guilt that for years I have carried?"

He said to accept. It's a gift that is free.

This is atonement, not justice for me!


My judge was dismissed, my accusers, and jury.

The truth of His love made them leave in a fury.

He smiled, "Walk with Me and come learn of My way,"

and grasping His hand I began a new day.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Mainly...

I wrote this for Mother's Day, and now that my mom is back from SC, I'm done with AP Chem, and it's Sunday, I decided to post it!

They told her she would never be a mother. Married at 17, that had been her greatest dream. She was passionate about babies, adored children, and wanted her own with all that she was. Like Hannah, she longed for them prayed for them, waited for them. Finally, at 23, she had a baby. Yes, he was born premature. Yes, he was on a ventilator, no, his lungs didn’t work, and yes, he was airlifted from the hospital. But he lived. Through asthma, diabetes, and, eventually, seminary. But she wanted more. Six years and a miscarriage later, she was pregnant again. This time she was on bed rest for 5 months, was medicated until she couldn‘t even read in bed, and had a C-section. But 4 years later she had another C-section. And 3 years later another. Three years after that she had another. As the doctor cut through her scars, he told her this had better be the last time, if she wanted to live. She began researching adoption. When it became apparent that that would not happen, and her baby was 6, she couldn‘t believe it. But she was a mother. Five times over, and she was crazy for her children. Having taken the oldest out of school, because he was bullied, unable to read, and she missed him, she started home schooling. As a teaching mother, she flourished. At first it was in major schoolwork; reading, writing papers, history timelines, science fieldtrips, math… As they all got older it got harder, but she persevered. Co-op classes for speech, video supplements for algebra, geometry, and trigonometry, even a class of AP chemistry at the local high school for the labs, college credit, and “to see what we’ve been missing”. (Answer: not much!) She taught them what she knew and got someone else to teach what she didn’t. She followed their passions, pushing them to go for what they only dared dream of.
She just drove over 1,500 miles in 2 days to be with her son as he graduates from seminary. Grand Champion artist at the fair many times, a gifted musician, and an amazing preacher, he got to where he is only because she wouldn’t let him quit. She has always been there for him, willing him to breathe, teaching him to read, and talking to him for hours to keep him in school when nothing was going right.
Her second born bought a horse when she was 13, became a ski instructor when she was 14, and an airplane pilot at the age of 17. Heading for (maybe?) medical school, she knows it’s ok to dream big, step out, and go for whatever God has place on your heart- things happen that way. She could have been content to sit and let things happen however they would, but she was pushed and pulled to take hold of the amazing and do what she dreamed of, even if it was something her mother would never have thought of doing.
The third is on his way to South Dakota for a hunting trip with his grandfather. He finished his math-book, a section and a box of shells at a time. His butterfly collection, pet chickens, and banjo-playing addiction were all made possible by her. He wants to start a band and record a cd in the near future, all because she insisted he learn an instrument and bought him the nicest Deering banjo there was. Others said it was foolish, but it inspired him, and now he is teaching himself guitar and mandolin.
Numbers four and five went on the 1,500 mile trip (which says things about her stamina!) and if they know anything, they know she thinks they’re special. The youngest boy plays the mandolin, rides his dirt bike, and recently decided that math was do-able, just a terrible waste of time. His latest accomplishment was figuring out how to ride a unicycle and shoot baskets at the same time. They were just talking about it together and realized he hadn’t even wanted the unicycle, but she said someday he’d like it. The baby takes her job seriously and is taking as long as she can to grow up. She loves snuggle time with mom and is already crazy for chocolate, coffee, - and babies!
This is my mother. She’s kept our family together ever since she started it with her prayers. We’ve spent hours upon hours reading, studying, and memorizing the Bible together. We know she’s real; we’ve seen her fall. But then we’ve seen her turn to God, asking for forgiveness, help, and the strength to do right. We know what she struggles with, fights against, and deals with daily. We know what she believes, even when she doesn’t live up to it. She tells us what God has shown her, as we learn to listen to His leading. We trust her common sense and her advice because we know she’s basing it on God’s Word.
She’s a daughter, a sister, an aunt, a niece, a wife, a friend, a woman. But mainly, she’s a mother. Mine.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Horse Highlights of the day...



~Calling the former owner of my Quarter horse filly, Rio, and finding out that one of the vaccines I ordered (the $20 one) was probably the wrong one and giving it would be more complicated than originally anticipated (as in boosters and length of time and different directions on when and how).


~Sticking a needle as long as my finger into my horse's neck, filling her full of West Nile (hopefully enough of it went into her, not any into me as I tried to get the bubbles out. If I die soon, everybody will know why.) :) While waiting for me to alcohol swab her neck, she turned and gently shut her mouth on my arm (actually she only got my sleeve). I think she wanted to find out what would happen, since she hasn't done that in a long while. She found out. And of course was perfect when the needle went in. Go figure.



~Googling where to vaccinate a horse and deciding I did it wrong (what would cause me to check it out afterwards? Like if I did inject it into a blood vessel it's not coming out now! And good thing she didn't go into anaphylactic shock - I'm not sure if human epinephrine pens work on horses...)




~Throwing hay out for my horse's supper, turning around and realizing she's decided to head out through the open barn door, straight for our German Shepherd, spring grass, and freedom. Which looked so good she actually ignored the grain bucket frantically rattling behind her. Thankfully, while pictures of her running away, getting hit by a car, running into something, etc. are flying before me, God had my dad walk out the front door. Not a horse person, he sometime finds himself in the middle of my problems more than he probably enjoys! :) (My dad, I mean.) So he put the dog away (not sure how long my "Gunnar!" in a you-better-not-move-or-else hiss would have held our German Shepherd on the porch), and got me the halter and lead, which I had left in the barn. Finally she realized I had grain and got close enough for me to grab her mane. Which I held onto for dear life until my dad came around with her halter.




~Making a temporary fence for Rio (so she can eat some of that new grass), complete with rusty old wire stretching across the yard to connect it to her regular electric fence, and shocking myself like crazy trying to adjust it after it was turned on.




~Going out in the rain after my bedtime to bring in a wet horse who hates the sound of rain on the barn roof. (Try finding a black horse in a pasture in the woods when there is no moon or stars. Good thing she was expecting her bedtime snack.) But first I had to clean the stall, which I hadn't done since last time it rained. After giving her water and food, I tried drying her off a little with an extremely dirty, pink, horse-drying towel. She doesn't enjoy that much, so she's still pretty wet.


~If she doesn't die from the vaccination, colic from the green grass, get a cold from the rain, cast herself in her stall, or go crazy from the rain on the roof, and if I don't die from giving the vaccination, get tetanus from the rusty wire I've been messing with, go into convulsions from my electro-shock therapy, or from fright at her escaping, I can go do it all again tomorrow!


Do you want to buy a horse?

Saturday, April 11, 2009

My discipleship group topic this month was getting a vision for your life. What is the specific plan God has for my life, the main way He wants me to work for Him? So I go home, thinking about all of that, and find this quote...
" 'But none of these things move me, neither count I my life dear unto myself.'
It is easier to serve God without a vision, easier to work for God without a call, because then you are not bothered by what God requires; common sense is your guide, veneered over with Christian sentiment. You will be more prosperous and successful, more leisure-hearted, if you never realize the call of God. But if once you receive a commission from Jesus Christ, the memory of what God wants will always come like a goad; you will no longer be able to work for Him on the common-sense basis.What do I really count dear? If I have not been gripped by Jesus Christ, I will count service dear, time given to God dear, my life dear unto myself. Paul says he counted his life dear only in order that he might fulfil the ministry he had received; he refused to use his energy for any other thing. Acts 20:24 states Paul's almost sublime annoyance at being asked to consider himself; he was absolutely indifferent to any consideration other than that of fulfilling the ministry he had received. Practical work may be a competitor against abandonment to God, because practical work is based on this argument - Remember how 'useful you are here, or - Think how much value you would be in that particular type of work." That attitude does not put Jesus Christ as the Guide as to where we should go, but our judgment as to where we are of most use. Never consider whether you are of use; but ever consider that you are not your own but His. (Acts 20:24)" ~Oswald Chambers
Wow!

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

One of my favorite Psalms...


Psalm 63 O God, thou art my God; early will I seek thee: my soul thirsteth for thee, my flesh longeth for thee in a dry and thirsty land, where no water is; To see thy power and thy glory, as I have seen thee in the sanctuary. Because thy lovingkindness is better than life, my lips shall praise thee. Thus will I bless thee while I live: I will lift up my hands in thy name. My soul shall be satisfied as with marrow and fatness; and my mouth shall praise thee with joyful lips: When I remember thee upon my bed, and meditate on thee in the night watches. Because thou hast been my help, therefore in the shadow of thy wings will I rejoice. My soul followeth hard after thee: thy right hand upholdeth me. But those that seek my soul, to destroy it, shall go into the lower parts of the earth. They shall fall by the sword: they shall be a portion for foxes. But the king shall rejoice in God; every one that sweareth by him shall glory: but the mouth of them that speak lies shall be stopped.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Witnessing... This totally fits everything else I'm learning!

People are crying,
Losing their minds.
People are dying,
Taking their lives.
Will anyone save them?
Will anyone help?
Will somebody listen,
Or am I all by myself?

Please reach out your hand,
Grab a hold of their life.
Open their eyes,
To His Wonderful light.
Let them know,
Of His undying love.
That this comes only,
From Heaven Above.

Please reach out your hand,
Grab a hold of their life.
Don’t let go,
Without a good fight.
Witness to them,
Show them the way.
Give them God’s love,
And give it today.

I sit here and tell you,
To go save a life. But what am I doing
To give that good fight?
I judge other souls,
Never checking my own.
Oh my Lord, I should have known.

~ Rachel Joy Scott
Glorious~ Hebrews 1:3- Jesus is the “brightness of His glory”. (Brightness= appearance, reputation, glory, recognition, renown, honor, splendor, brilliance, glory, attracting the gaze) Jesus is the shining forth of God’s glory, the radiance of the eternal Light. 2 Corinthians 4:2-7- His gospel is glorious, it gives the light of the knowledge of the the glory of God. I need to reflect His light so others can see! “By manifestation of the truth commending ourselves to every man’s conscience in the sight of God.” If I hide it, I’m hiding it from the lost, those stumbling blindly in the dark. The excellency of the power is of God, not of me. I don’t need to worry about it. Do His work and He’ll give what I need. He gives WHEN I need, not before, so get going! Remember, “Ye are the light of the world… Let your light so shine before men that they may see your good works and glorify your Father which is in heaven”. If I just do good works, people won’t understand why, but if I’m also reflecting God’s light, then they will glorify God. Psalm 66:2- Make His praise glorious! (Glorious= weight, honor, esteem, glory, majesty, abundance, wealth. Poetically, refers to a soul or a person.) !!!
He Who Giveth Strength~ He gives richly all things to enjoy, grace, the increase, eternal life, grace and glory, the desires of your heart, a reviving … Psalm 29:11- “The Lord will give strength unto His people.” Psalm 28:8 – “The Lord is their strength, and He is the saving strength of His annointed.” (Saving= help, deliverance, salvation, victory, welfare…) Isaiah 40:29-“To them that have no might, He increaseth strength.” (Might=ability, power, wealth, force, goods, might, strength, substance) To those who have none of these He gives strength. I am nothing without Him, but I can rest in that His strength is perfected in my weakness. Ask for His strength and receive it and go in His power. No matter how bad I am at witnessing, He can make it turn out well.
He Who Giveth Rain Upon The Earth~ Job 5:16 “I would seek unto God, and unto God would I commit my cause: Which doeth Great things and unsearchable; marvelous things without number: Who giveth rain upon the earth, and sendeth waters upon the fields: … to set up on high those that are low.” After reading this, I thought, “How does rain raise up the low? Ohhhh. Acts 14:7 says, “He left not Himself without witness; in that He did good, and gave us rain from heaven.” Deuteronomy 32:1-4 “My doctine shall drop as the rain, my speech shall distill as the dew… Because I will publish the name of the Lord.”
He sent rain to be a witness of His greatness—my speech should “distill as the dew”, and my doctrine should “drop as the rain” as I publish the name of the Lord. Hosea 6:3 “Sow to yourselves in righteousness, reap in mercy; break up your fallow ground: for it is time to seek the Lord til He come and rain righteousness upon you.” Sow righteousness and reap mercy. Seek Him; He’ll give you righteousness. He’ll give you what you need to sow. The closer you get to Him the more you will sow righteousness, and the more that you sow righteousness, the closer you will get to Him. And the more the low will be lifted up.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Going over the Names of God...

He Who Giveth Food to All Flesh~ Give us this day our daily bread… Psalm 136:25- “Who Giveth food to all flesh, for His mercy endureth forever.” Psalm 145:15-He gives us the provision we need, the earth, seasons, plants… Psalm 104:25-He gives meat in due season. 2 Corinthians 9:6-15-He gives the seeds, multiplies the growth, and increases the harvest. He gives food to all flesh-He is the Bread of Life! He is able to make grace abound to me, so that I, being sufficient in Him, may abound in good works, may bear everleasting fruit, and may cause people to give thanksgiving to God. They’ll glorify Him when I sow bountifully what God has given me. People are hungry for truth, and how much glory will go to God from me dropping a few seeds? A little, but how much more when I scatter it recklessly, knowing my God can supply all my needs? I don’t know the kind of ground the seed will fall on; my job is only to sow. God gives me the seed, multiplies my sowing, and increases the fruit I’m bearing! He’s the One who fed me, and He’s the One who will feed others.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Witnessing

A few years ago, I owned a red dun gelding named Star, which I boarded at our neighbor’s horse stable. They had beautiful trails out behind their barn, through the woods and out into some fields, lots of hills and deep ditches. After a few rides on them by myself, which turned out rather better for Star than for me, I began only riding him out when others were also riding. That also had some problems, because he LOVED to go fast (when he wanted to, of course), and if we started a race, he wanted to be ahead before we quit. Finally, I sold him. However, the day before I sold him, I had a dream…
I was over at the neighbor’s, going on a trail ride. A group of other people I didn’t know were all there, too. Star was being a little disobedient, but I guess I figured it would be fine. Then everything gets a little cloudy, and I somehow lose the other riders. After some going back and forth, I find them and we ride together for a while. The area is very hilly, and kind of a different landscape than what it is really like at our neighbor’s house. I keep trying to hold Star back, because he wants to chase the other horses and run, and I’m a little nervous. He gets out of hand a little, but it’s ok. He hasn’t done anything really bad yet. Then somehow, another girl and I are out front. She asks me to race.
Suddenly my dream is very clear and feels like it is really happening. We are on a sort of bluff, with a dirt road on it. The scenery kind of blends and it is hard to tell distinct things apart. Bur we are on a wide road; nobody else is around. They are all still behind us in the woods, while we are in an open spot. Anyway, I figure Star can beat her. Even though now we are really behind the girl and her horse, I tell Star he can do it, and I get ready to fly. I can feel him galloping under me as we get closer and closer.
Suddenly, right when we are getting ready to win, I realize the road we are on drops off and isn’t there anymore. I pull back on the reins, and am amazed at how well Star listens, even though the other horse is still ahead. He must see the danger, too. I don’t know why I don’t call out to the other girl to slow down. Maybe I think she sees it; maybe I think she knows what she is doing; maybe I think she knows more than I do. But I slow down and she doesn’t. Then she just disappears.
All worried, I guide Star slowly down the steep cliff, only to find the other horse at the bottom, crumpled and still. The girl, pretty much unhurt, but devastated, looks at me, shocked and asks me how come I’m o k. “I…I... I slowed down when I saw the cliff,” I answer. That’s when it hits me. Why didn’t I call out to her to slow down? I can’t believe it. It’s like my fault this happened. As I put my saddle and bridle away, I talk a little with some of the other girls, telling them it’s my fault. “Oh, no it’s not. She could have seen it,” they say, and stuff like that. But it doesn’t help. I feel terrible.

Suddenly I wake up with a paraphrase of Ezekiel 33:1-20, mainly verse 8, running through my head over and over. That chapter has always stuck out to me, but right then it really hit me, and in that state of sleep/wakefulness, I recognized the reasons I don’t warn people. They must see it; they probably know more than me; etc.
I’ve heard that often people’s biggest struggles are with what their name means ~their mission~ and how their life is being lived. One of the hardest things for me to do is to go out and be a light set apart for God by witnessing to people. It is something He has been working on me about for a long time. Sometimes everything I would read in the Bible would be about telling people about the Lord. Then it would be guarding my tongue or something else I needed to work on. I actually had this dream a few years ago and forgot all about it in time. Looking for something else this month (when the topic of DTP was witnessing), I found I had written it out in my journal. It had really made an impression on me at the time, but life went on, and I forgot.
When DTP started, I felt like, Ok, I just need to just focus on knowing God- I can’t keep trying to be bolder; I need to focus on God, and then He will make it easier for me to witness. I changed my focus and my blog from Open Thy Mouth to Seek Him First. As the months went by, however, I began to feel more and more like I should be witnessing. Reading Mark Cahill’s One Thing You Can’t Do In Heaven was very good for me. But then I didn’t quite understand- if the only thing we are on this earth to do is to show God to others, what about all this stuff about spending time with God and getting to know Him better? Won’t we know Him better in Heaven? Would there ever be a time when we shouldn’t be witnessing because we’re reading the Bible or something? Why did Jesus send his disciples out to preach and teach during that short time that He was on earth? Wouldn’t it have been better to have them concentrate on learning everything they could from Jesus and THEN go out and preach after He was gone?
Jesus said, “Follow me and I will make you fishers of men.” It wasn’t, “follow me and I will eventually make you able to fish for people, after you’ve learned as much as you possibly can and spent years follow Me,” but something His disciples were doing when they’d only spent a short time with Him! Suddenly, it all began to make sense. “Abide in Me, and I in you… He that abideth in Me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without Me ye can do nothing… Herein is My Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples… If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love… Love one another, as I have loved you.” It’s not ‘either or’ but ‘neither nor’. Neither one can happen without the other. Unless I am abiding in Jesus, there is NO way I can bear any fruit at all. But if I am, I can’t help but bear fruit!
Sometimes it seems like there are too many things to focus on: I need to watch my tongue, I need to be merciful, I need to love my family, I need to be patient, I need to learn more about God, I need to get wisdom… Actually, the only reason for being on earth is to bring glory to God and enjoy Him forever. The only reason for being on earth after you get saved is to glorify Him. Other people getting saved glorifies Him the most! Look at the 1st and 2nd Commandment! If you love God, you will obey Him. He said, “Go ye into all the world and preach ########## to every creature.” If you love your neighbor, what will you be telling them about? Over and over again, the Bible says this, and I’ve missed it so many times. Psalm 1 says, “Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful. But his delight is in the law of the Lord; and in His law doth he mediate day and night. And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper.” I always thought of it as, since he was delighting in God, whatever he did would be blessed, and basically, stuff would work out for him. No. He’ll be planted by the Living Water, bearing fruit for God’s glory. Not just being nice, but people will be drawn to God by him!
James 3 says, “Who is a wise man and endued with knowledge among you?” I always used to think about Proverbs telling us to get wisdom and understanding “with all our getting”. I thought of it as being… smart. Then I realized it also tells what wisdom is: The fear of the Lord. Deuteronomy 4:6 talks about keeping God’s commandments: “This is your wisdom and your understanding.” Seriously, if we fear God, what will we be doing? Obeying Him by telling others about Him! James goes on to say, “Let him show out of a good conversation his works with meekness of wisdom.” If we are wise, our conversation will be telling people about God’s works. How many of our works are worth mentioning? “The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life; and he that winneth souls is wise”! ~ Proverbs 11:30. The Proverbs 31 Woman opens her mouth with wisdom. James 3:17 says, “The wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be entreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality and with hypocrisy.” Christ Jesus is “made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption,” ~1 Corinthians 1:30. Any wisdom that does not fit in with righteousness, sanctification, and redemption is “not from above, but is earthly, sensual, devilish.” (James 3:15) That kind of wisdom is vanity and a great evil. (Ecclesiastes 2:21) Any thing that does not fit in with righteousness, sanctification and redemption is a great evil. Everything we are supposed to do fits into drawing people closer to God, ourselves and every single person our lives touch. The very word ‘wise’ in James 3 is derived from the Hebrew word ‘watchman’, like in Ezekiel! I am amazed at how clearly this all fits together and how it has been coming at me and my family from all sides: sermons, Bible reading, music, movies, books, memorizing, radio… everything! The names of God that I have been going over, no matter how far removed they seem from this subject (Who Giveth Food to All Flesh- ok, He gives us our daily bread) keep coming back and showing the main thing God is doing. (He is the Bread of Life; whoever eats of Him will live forever, and “He that ministereth seed to the sower both minister bread for your food, and multiply your seed sown, and increase the fruits of your righteousness; 2 Corinthian 9.) I am comforted by the fact that even the disciples had to pray for boldness over and over - and God gave it to them.
My siblings and I split the cost of a packet of tracts, and yesterday my 7-year-old sister gave out her first tract. I’m starting small, but I want to press on, for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus my Lord.
Proverbs 11:18 “To him that soweth righteousness shall be a sure reward.” Genesis 15:1 “The word of the Lord came… saying, Fear not, I am thy shield, and thy exceeding great reward.”
Know Him and make Him know. You cannot do one without the other.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

My Friend ~ D. J. Higgins

My friend, I stand in judgment now,
And feel that you're to blame somehow.
While on this earth I walked with you day by day-
And never did you point the way.
You knew the Lord in truth and glory
But never did you tell the story.
My knowledge then was very dim;
You could have led me safe to Him.
Though we lived together here on earth,
You never told me of your second birth
And now I stand this day condemned
Because you failed to mention Him.
You taught me many things, that's true;
I called you friend and trusted you.
But now I learned, now it's too late-
You could have kept me from this fate.
We walked by day and talked by night
And yet you showed me not the light.
You let me live, love, and die
And all the while you knew I'd never live on high.
Yes, I called you friend in life
And trusted you in joy and strife,
Yet in coming to this end
I see you really weren't my friend.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Psalm 103

Bless the Lord, O my soul: and all that is within me, bless his holy name. Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits: Who forgiveth all thine iniquities; who healeth all thy diseases; Who redeemeth thy life from destruction; who crowneth thee with lovingkindness and tender mercies; Who satisfieth thy mouth with good things; so that thy youth is renewed like the eagle’s. The Lord executeth righteousness and judgment for all that are oppressed. He made known his ways unto Moses, his acts unto the children of Israel. The Lord is merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and plenteous in mercy. He will not always chide: neither will he keep his anger forever. He hath not dealt with us after our sins; nor rewarded us according to our iniquities. For as the heaven is high above the earth, so great is his mercy toward them that fear him. As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us. Like as a father pitieth his children, so the Lord pitieth them that fear him. For he knoweth our frame; he remembereth that we are dust. As for man, hhis days are as grass: as a flower of the field, so he flourisheth. For the wind passeth over it, and it is gone; and the place thereof shall know it no more. But the mercy of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting upon them that fear him, and his righteousness unto children’s children: To such as keep his covenant, and to those that remember his commandments to do them. The Lord hath prepared his throne in the heaves; and his kingdom ruleth over all. Bless the Lord, ye his angels, that excel in strength, that do his commandments hearkening unto the voice of his word. Bless ye the Lord, all ye his hosts; ye ministers of his, that do his pleasure. Bless the Lord all his works in all places of his dominion: bless the Lord, O my soul.
“The bulk of mankind is as well equipped for flying as thinking.”
— Jonathon Swift

Speaking of flying...

P = The problem logged by the pilot. S = The solution logged by the mechanic.

P: Left inside main tire almost needs replacement.
S: Almost replaced left inside main tire.

P: Test flight OK, except auto-land very rough.
S: Auto-land not installed on this aircraft.

P: No. 2 propeller seeping prop fluid.
S: No. 2 propeller seepage normal. Nos. 1, 3 and 4 propellers lack normal seepage.

P: Something loose in cockpit.
S: Something tightened in cockpit.

P: Dead bugs on windshield.
S: Live bugs on backorder.

P: Autopilot in "altitude-hold" mode produces a 200-fpm descent.
S: Cannot reproduce problem on ground.

P: Evidence of leak on right main landing gear.
S: Evidence removed.

P: DME volume unbelievably loud.
S: DME volume set to more believable level.

P: Friction locks cause throttle levers to stick.
S: That's what they're there for!

P: Transponder inoperative.
S: Transponder always inoperative in OFF mode.

P: The T/C ball seemed stuck in the middle during my last turn.
S: Congratulations! You've just made your first coordinated turn.

P: Suspected crack in windscreen.
S: Suspect you're right.

P: Number 3 engine missing.
S: Engine found on right wing after brief search.

P: Aircraft handles funny.
S: Aircraft warned to straighten up, fly right, and be serious.

P: Radar hums.
S: Reprogrammed radar with words.

P: Mouse in cockpit.
S: Cat installed.

P: Radio switches stick.
S: Peanut butter no longer served to flight crew

P: Screaming sound in cabin at start-up.
S: Company accountant deplaned.

P: Funny smell in cockpit.
S: Pilot told to change cologne.

P: Aircraft 2,400 lbs over max weight.
S: Aircraft put on diet of 92 octane.

P: Brakes howl on application.
S: Don't step on 'em so hard!

P: First class cabin floor has a squeak.
S: Co-pilot told not to play with toddler toys in cabin anymore.

Quotes from www.skygod.com/quotes/highflight.html

Isaiah 41:10 & 13

Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness. For I the LORD thy God will hold thy right hand, saying unto thee, Fear not; I will help thee.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

1 Timothy 2:1-6 I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men; For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty. For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior; Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth. For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus; Who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Someday.... may be too late!

I kind of skipped over Christmas, being unable to think of anything brilliant to say that had not already been said one million times! Now that it is over, and school starts tomorrow :( …
This Christmas was a little different for me, in that our stay with our Grandparent’s was interrupted by a funeral. One of my relative’s good friends died of a brain aneurysm on Christmas Day. It was a complete shock to everyone, and obviously dampened down Christmas. Although I did not really know him very well, I saw how hard it hit my family, and it made me think of several things.
It reminded me that I don’t know how long those around me will be there and I can’t assume I will always have tomorrow to witness to them.
Besides witnessing, I saw how important it is to make sure things are right between you and others. Matthew 5:25 tells us to agree with our adversaries quickly. How much more should we hurry to agree with our friends? We are not supposed to let the sun go down on our wrath or to offer a gift to God without first reconciling with our brother. I have a tendency to want to ‘wait until I feel sorry’. That might be too late someday!
I don’t want to have everything up in the air when I die. Leaving things hanging, being really in debt, making a mess for everyone else in my family- I want to be ready to go. Actually, if I died today, I would leave a lot of stuff half-done. Obviously, some of that will always be there if you die suddenly, but I want to aim to get things finished and to not be in debt, etc.
Since I am always inclined to put things off, that last one is really hard. Early is important to God- it is found 86 times in the Bible, while late is found only three. I can’t put off things that need done now. Even if it feels early to me, I don’t know how long I have, and so I should take care of things right away. God will help me, early, as He shows me what I have to work on in order to be “on time” in witnessing, making things right, school, work, and everything else.
Psalm 46:5 God is in the midst of her; she shall not be moved: ######### help her, and that right early.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

The Dayspring

Jesus Christ is the Dayspring from on high. (Luke 1:78) Dayspring: sunrising. He is the new beginning in our life. He is the Light of the world, the light that is supposed to shine in and through us. He makes all things new. The sunrise, the morning, the beginning. Have you ever heard, "It will be better in the morning,"? So often I wait for tomorrow to start over, or next week. I want to do better next month. I decide that this year will be different and I will do what I'm supposed to do. But I don't have to wait for a new day, a new month, or a new year to be "older", wiser, or able to start over. Jesus is the Dayspring, ready every moment to forgive me and give me a fresh start. I can repent instantly of my failures (sins). He is waiting to renew me and give me a "new day" in which to start over again.

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