Monday, April 26, 2010

So...

I hate exercising.
Blah.
Actually, I love getting outside and enjoying the outdoors and being
healthy and when I'm done I feel SO good!
But... it's work. It's hard. I get hot and sweaty and tired.
And I put it off as long as I can.
(i.e. it's 7:29 and I have my tennis shoes on but haven't forced myself out the door yet)
Sitting here, dreading the next 30 minutes, :D I suddenly wondered,
What else do I do that with?
Hmm.
Bible Reading?
Prayer?
Memorization?
Fasting?
All these things are things I love to do
(regarding spending time with God, the hate does not apply here!) :)
yet they are things that I put off because sometimes they are work, or they're uncomfortable, or there is something else I want to do.
What are my priorities?
Do I want to be healthy?
Do I want to be healthy spiritually?
Of course!
Bodily exercise profiteth little
(every bit helps, though, and I'll take all the help I can get!) :)
but these others... I know once I start they are wonderful!
So why don't I just up and do them asap?
Ahem.
I'm heading outside for the nordic track...
and I think I'll take my Bible along.
Isaiah 51:11-16, I should have you memorized by the time I'm hot and sweaty!
Here we go!
:D
*edit*
Therefore, the redeemed of the Lord shall return, and come with singing unto Zion, and everlasting joy shall be upon their heads; they shall obtain gladness and joy, and sorrow and mourning shall flee away. I, even I am He that comforteth you; who are thou, that thou shouldst be afraid of a man that shall die, and of the son of man, that shall be made as grass, and forgettest the Lord thy maker, that hath stretched forth the heavens, and laid the foundations of the earth, and hast fear continually every day because of the fury of the oppressor, as though he were ready to destroy? And where is the fury of the oppressor? The captive exile hasteth that he may be loosed, and that he should not die in the the pit, nor that his bread should perish. But I am the Lord thy God, that divided the sea, whose waves roared, the Lord of hosts is His name. And I have put my words in thy mouth, and I have covered thee in the shadow of my hand, that I may plant the heavens, and lay the foundations of the earth, and say unto Zion, thou art my people.
Now whatever was so hard about that?! I memorized the first 2 1/2 verses earlier, and then bogged down... those last 3 1/2 were fun!
Let's see, I'll go back and italicize what I got wrong.... which, feared, if, hasteneth, fail, mine. It's almost memorized. :)
That half hour went really fast, too!
So, just a reminder, go do what you know you should!
You'll love it when you're doing it! :D
Keep Seeking Him!

Sunday, April 25, 2010

On friends...




Do you think God plays a role in friendship? Most definitely! Those friendships that are based upon God, that have Him as center, and where we pray for each other are the friendships that last, that grow, and that have changed my life.
What is your definition of a true friend? Um... let's see. :) A true friend is one who knows you, cares about you... likes you! :) Someone who is not afraid to tell you if you're doing something wrong, but someone who is not judgemental or shocked by your personal conviction differences.
Someone whose friendship leads you closer to the Lord.
Do you think friendship is important? Why or why not? Yes. Because it is. :) Ok, because... we were made to have a relationship, one that Jesus Christ described as friendship, with God. When God made Adam, He said it was not good for man to be alone - even though He Himself was there and walked with Adam (and Eve) in the garden. A three-fold cord is not quickly broken, we "sharpen" our friends like iron, etc. etc! Being friends with those in your family is also very important - family lasts your life, unlike most friendships. A person alone is probably the most unhappy and terrible thing on earth, if you think about it. Without friendship, what is there, really? A relationship with God is most importatn, obviously, but even with that, we do need others in our lives.
Do you think there is a difference between a friend and a best friend? There are certainly levels of friendship. I say things to some friends that I would not dare to say to other friends, because one would understand and the other would be shocked - because they don't know who I am as well. I never really liked the idea of having a "best friend" when I was little, probably because of a co-op assignment where we had to draw a picture of our best friend, and the girl I picked drew a picture of someone else, and no one drew a picture of me. :D (Such are the things that shape our lives... Off topic and kidding, here.) :) I think perhaps the idea of best friends that one gets from things like Betsey~Tacy or Anne of Green Gables may be a little misleading. I have since discovered, though, that there is such a thing as sisters seperated at birth... :D
What is your definition of a true best friend? What I said about a true friend. :) Only, I think to be true best friends, you need common interests, common goals... you need to be at similar places in your life. And spending a lot of time together - how can you be friends with someone you're not in contact with? (haha, e-mail counts, btw!)
What kind of friend do you want to be? A good one! :) I guess trying to live up to my definitions would be a place to start...
Do you have a favorite saying, quote, or verse concerning friendship? Not one that immediately came to mind, but I had to go look for one. :) Here's a pretty good one:
“You can trust us to stick to you, through thick and thin – to the bitter end. And you can trust us to keep any secret of yours – closer than you keep it yourself. But you cannot trust us to let you face trouble alone, and go off without a word. We are your friends...” - Tolkien
If you could describe your best friend, a friend, or a few friends, as a flower/as flowers, what flowers would they be? Using this link, I thought of my little brother immediately for Azaleas - he lives dangerously... (He almost broke his finger shutting it in a door last week - the doctor called again after he'd been wearing a splint for 2 days, and said after going over the x-rays again, he was ok.) :D
Hmmmm.... and I shall be delighted if someone gives me a camellia. (Seriously. Wouldn't you love that?) :D
The others didn't really click, though... let's see.







My little sister is a violet, sweet and little and shy and beautiful.







My little brother is actually a dandilion, sunny and bright and everywhere at once and incredibly annoying and awesome.





My other brother (he's not big and he's not little - he's the other brother. :D) is a cactus flower, prickly but strangely understanding and sweet, harder to see, but wonderful once you catch a glimpse:





And my big brother is... Hmm. Hard to describe. :) Let's just go with this:(blue bell tunicate??)


:D I don't know why that reminds me of him, but it suddenly does. Different every moment but always my big brother... :)
Haha, go look at my sidebar, and see if there is any resemblance between these flowers and their baby pics. :D That's all I have time for, otherwise I'm finding this flower-friend idea kind of fun... :) Thanks for doing this, Katherine!

Sunday, April 18, 2010

My last piano teacher, a very talented teacher, once said something to me that I hope I'll never forget.
We were talking about recitals, and I said I didn't mind playing piano for people who didn't know anything about piano, but I was nervous about playing in front of really good pianists.
She was like, snob. Why?
Because... they know when I make mistakes. They can tell.
She said why do you think they're listening for you to make a mistake?
Ummm... Hm.
Maybe they're sitting in the audience completely distracted and not listening to you at all. Maybe they're thinking through their grocery list. Maybe they're sitting there sleeping. Maybe they're sitting there, awed and touched by what you just played. Maybe they're excited, hoping you do really well. Anything at all could be going through their minds. Why would you automatically assume that they are waiting for you to make a mistake and listening carefully for a wrong note?
That really hit me. Why would I think that? Since then, however, I've tried not to think that; instead, I've tried to remember - and play like - my audience is listening for me to play well.
This week I was reminded of that while driving down the road. I was kinda late, hurrying along, and a car turned in front of me. They took like 10 miles to accelerate from 20mph to 60mph. So I'm inching along behind him, getting annoyed... when I remember that. Why would I assume this is a bad thing? I also remembered a recent discussion with my brother about "random" deaths - where a person had to be in a certain spot in a certain time in a certain way... and think how many of them happen. We both wondered how many of them don't happen. How many times we are saved from something really bad happening to us because of a slight delay in our schedule, because something broke, because...
I thought it was an interesting idea, and in the car I realized I had a choice. Either I could be annoyed that I was having to drive slower than I wanted to, assuming it was a bad thing - or I could assume that it was a blessing in disguise, saving me from a car accident a few miles down the road. Of course, nothing happened (or was going to happen) that I know of. But that's the point. We don't know when God saves us from disaster or what He uses to protect us, simply because when we're protected, nothing bad happens. So we don't know how close we came.
So next time your schedule is rudely interrupted, thank God. Who knows what you were just saved from! Even if all that happened was that you got behind and were late - hey, at least you'll have felt better about it! :) Always assume something God is doing something good.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

If we undertake work for God and get out of touch with Him, the sense of responsibility will be overwhelmingly crushing; but if we roll back on Him that which He has put upon us, He takes away the sense of responsibility by bringing in the realization of Himself. Many workers have gone out with high courage and fine impulses, but with no intimate fellowship with Jesus Christ, and before long they are crushed. They do not know what to do with the burden, it produces weariness, and people say - "What an embittered end to such a beginning!" "Roll thy burden upon the Lord"
-Oswald Chambers

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

On Interviews...

So, with all this interviewing...
I was really getting into it (haha, OBVIOUSLY), and having a lot of fun really "getting to know" this person I'd met. (Unlike most authors, I did meet Jim Boltaire, not imagine him - he was in a book my brother began but never finished, and when I met him... I just had to find out what else he did in his life!) :D
But I was on my computer, typing away all excitedly, and I began to wonder:
How well do I know God?
How many of these questions could I answer about HIM?
Of course, some of them would be not work out at all, but the idea...
How real is HE in my life?
I'm toying with the idea of trying to fill it out... but it's so real. I mean, this is serious, not something to play around with, you know? So I'm not sure about that yet.
Although, think of trying to fill it out for a good friend or family member - and then showing it to them. How well do you know them? How much would you get right?
It would really show you how close you are.
And I would really enjoy finding verses to answer the questions...
But back to the point: Jesus Christ is Truth Unveiled. There is nothing more real than Him and nothing more important than knowing Him.
Today in my Bible reading (I'm typing this Monday, btw) :) I tried to see how much God told about Himself. I'm reading the end of the OT, with lots about Israel and Edom and punishments and blessings... but every chapter told something else about God's character and who He is! That's what the Bible is for - so that we can know Him!
And that is such an awesome privilege.
There is nothing more amazing than that.
Except the reason we can - the everlasting and marvelous love that He has for us.
He is so good!
Seeking Him!

Thursday, April 8, 2010

The things I learn doing school...

Yes, doin' school again today, and, following rabbit trails as usual, learned something new! Isn't that amazing?
Anyway.
I learned about
Ondine's Curse!
Sounds weird, doesn't it?
It is.
Ondine's Curse is a medical condition, a respiratory disorder where you quit breathing when you fall asleep. Seriously. About 1 in 200,000 babies are born with it, and they will not reach adulthood unless put on a ventilator to sleep. (!) It can also, very rarely, occur because of extreme spinal or brain trauma. (I am dieing to put this in a story... how could I work it in?) The name's history I found fascinating as well.
It comes from the myth of Ondine - one I never heard of before today. Apparently, Ondine "was" a water nymph. A man fell in love with her and swore that his "every waking breath would be a testimony of [his] love" for her. Apparently, he lied. So she cursed him - he would not remember to breathe if he ever fell asleep. And, apparently, he finally fell asleep, and died. I'd advise not falling in love with water nymphs, especially if you plan on falling out of love with them.
The things I learn doing school.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Last week I read something by Oswald Chambers (I'm reading My Utmost for His Highest, so if it seems like I quote him a lot... well, I never read it before) :D) and it was talking about looking for Jesus in everything we do - seeing Him everywhere in our life.



And, I thought it was kind of cool, but the things I mentioned HERE somehow seemed to all tie together. All week long I kept on noticing the same thing...



Like I said, I was an extra in a movie. And each scene was done over and over and over and over and over until it was right. The director was super nice and kept everybody going, giving suggestions and ways to do better to them all - and we spent 7 1/2 hours doing 3 scenes. :)


I went flying. And I landed and landed and landed and landed until I could land that thing nicely. (Ahem. After like 15 months of not flying!) The instructor was very good at explaining what to work on and how to improve my flying the whole time - I won't say how long it took me to get my 3 good landings. :D


And I watched a professional horse trainer ride my horse. And circle her and circle her and circle her until she was listening and responsive and doing what he wanted - which IMO actually didn't take that long. (She learns faster than I do. Is this a good thing? hmmmm. Anyway.)



And I was thinking about all these things...

God is in charge of my life.

And as my director/instructor/trainer, He wants my life to turn out well.

I might mess up a lot, but because He loves me so much, He patiently shows me how to improve and works with me, teaching me how to be more like Him. He will never give up on me, or get mad that I'm not "doing it right" yet.

Instead,
"Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ" (Philippians 1:6),

I can keep going, knowing that
"A just man falleth seven times, and riseth up again" (Proverbs 24: 16)

Not that I can just shrug it off - we're trying to get the movie/landing/horse's response perfect, that's the whole reason we keep doing it.

But
"Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect: but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus. Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. Let us therefore, as many as be perfect, be thus minded: and if in any thing ye be otherwise minded, God shall reveal even this unto you." (Philippians 3:12-15)


It is so awesome to know He is always there, Risen and Alive, so loving and so ready to direct me, help me, and teach me as I follow Him.




Keep seeking Him!


Friday, April 2, 2010

Good Friday

This week I have been realizing again the absolutely incredible, amazing, incomprehensible, everlasting, perfect, beautiful, unimaginable, awesome, saving
love of God.

Jesus Christ died for me.

Who else has done that?

He gave up Heaven for over 30 years - to become a man, to live among men, to be hated, scorned, to feel pain, anguish, and death, although He did nothing to deserve any of it - for me.


It was not so much these things that struck me this week though.

It was Ezekiel 6:9 -

And they that escape of you shall remember me among the nations whither they shall be carried captives, because I am broken with their whorish heart, which hath departed from me, and with their eyes, which go a whoring after their idols: and they shall lothe themselves for the evils which they have committed in all their abominations.

It was the fact that God Himself, Perfection, Holiness, Awesome Power, Glory, and Majesty, Creator of Light and Beauty, The LORD, The LORD God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abundant in goodness and truth, Keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, and that will by no means clear the guilty; visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children, and upon the children's children, unto the third and to the fourth generation...


HE is broken by my lack of relationship with Him. By my distractedness, my love for other things, my forgetfulness of fellowship with Him - these things break His heart!

That's how much He loves me. Loves us.

He is willing to be heartbroken over us.

I am not worthy of His love at all, let alone this great love as I stumble and fail Him.

He will never forsake me, though. No matter how I fall, His love endures.

He cares enough about me, about knowing me, about my faithfulness to Him, that it actually breaks His heart when I cut myself off from Him. He longs to bring me back, to turn me... and when I ask Him, He will do this.

He will restore me to Himself, prepare me to see Him face to face, enable me to live vibrantly in Him right now. What do I have to offer Him? Nothing but what He has given me. Yet He wants me to know Him, as friends! You know, friendships that are one-sided generally don't last very long. Yet He wants our friendship to last for eternity! Can you imagine loving someone comepletely different from your perfection (someone sinful, wicked, utterly unworthy) - to the point of heartbreak when they treat your gift as something of little worth?

He is so absolutely good and wonderful! How can He love us so much?

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