Sunday, October 24, 2010

Lost


Destiny calls indeed... but I'm not talking about the TV show. 


I'm not talking about this kind of lost either:



No, more like destiny-ically speaking,  I should have a license plate like this:


Since, after all, 9 times out of 10, it would be true.

Having had the severe misfortune to be born into a family that could individually be dropped into the Chippewa National Forest blindfolded and get home before dark (without GPS), I'm doubly handicapped. 

Yet, I'm not exactly lost. It's more like... being temporarily disoriented. Actually, that's pretty much a constant state of mind when I'm driving. 
But despite that, I always manage to get where I'm going, though sometimes plus a few extra turns. 

Seriously.
 I will get in the car, knowing where I want to go and the general direction I should head. And sooner or later, I'll end up at my destination, having prayed my way there. 
It's never failed to get me where I'm going, pretty much by the time I need to be there. 


Until last week. 


My mom asked me to go pick up my brother. I'd gone with her once before when she picked him up, so I knew what the place looked like... and she made me a quick sketch of the roads, so I was good. With that, I wouldn't even have to do my usual I-have-no-idea-where-I-am-God-please-get-me-where-I'm-going thing. So I ran out to the car and headed off

But when I got to the first intersection and glanced at the little sketch, I couldn't quite read the first street name. Oh, well, I'd been there before. It couldn't be that difficult. So I dropped the sketch on the center counsel and went straight. 

I went straight for quite a ways. And then made a turn. And another. And another. Until eventually... I couldn't even have retraced my way back home. By then I was praying my usual please-get-me-where-I'm-going thing for sure - and I had probably less idea of where I was than ever before in my driving life. 

But at last, many turns and detours later, I saw a road that was on the sketch. Ufda. So I got myself oriented (ha, at least I could make it home now if I had to), and determined to actually follow the map now. I wouldn't make that mistake again.

Only the next road on the map was Arrowwood. 

I can now tell you quite assuredly that there is no Arrowwood road in that part of town. 

But, eventually I decided it must mean the completely unfamiliar-looking Arrowhead road - and to make a loooooooong story slightly shorter, got where I was going, picked up my brother, and got home, taking just under an hour for a ten minute trip. 
:P
Yeah... I apologize for making women drivers look bad. Bother. 
(In my defense, I had a big test the next day and had been studying like crazy... not a good excuse, but my brain was temporarily MIA.) :)




It was annoying, but it made me think of how many people go through life like that. It can't be that difficult to get to heaven. Who needs directions? Just head out and you'll be fine. 

So people do... and get hopelessly lost. We can't find our way on our own, even when we have a slight idea of the direction to head.

At some point many will pick up instructions - but how many will pick up instructions that are wrong? In recent years there has been a huge surge in Mormonism, Islam, Wiccan, etc. People are realizing they don't know what is truly going on, or where true meaning lies, and they want to find out. 

But looking at directions that are wrong will get you just as lost as using no directions. 

It is only by looking at the infallible Word of God that our desired destination can be reached. We can endlessly drive in circles... or we can start following the directions immediately and accomplish great things for God by simply following His instructions. 

And you know, it is only by sharing the directions we have received that others can come with us. We must be careful how we live our lives, so that others do not get more lost trying to follow what we have told them. We must follow God's Word carefully, and give it to others faithfully, that they may do the same. 



Seeking after Him, because He found me when I was lost,

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

"In these dark days, we desperately need Christian artists who will love God with all their hearts, minds, souls, and strength, and who will pour that love into unique creative expressions of truth that have the power to bridge into the souls of others.
This is my charge to them, to you, to myself more than anyone.
Go and meet with God. Seek Him in your relationships, your circumstances, the creation around you. Immerse yourself in scripture. Pray with your whole heart. Let His Spirit fill you with light. And then do what God has asked you to do — be a candle, a burning light, a city on a hill blazing with truth and shelter for those who are lost in the darkness. Use your art to do it.
It is such a dark, dark world. Is there light in you? Then hear my call to you, and to all in whom truth is burning.
Oh Christian, please paint the light!"

Need some inspiration? Read more here.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Trip-Trap



I love fairy tales.


I grew up reading anthology after anthology...
book set after book set.


One that I never really like a whole lot was The Three Billy Goats Gruff. But it was read aloud to me quite a few times when I was really little (although my mom always tried to skip the pages with the troll - he was too ugly) :) and I think I have trip trap, trip trap, trip trap embedded in my brain.

The other day we were out for a walk and crossed a small wooden bridge... which of course brought up that story. And then I started talking about why I love fairy tales... and realized that even this one was a beautiful illustration.


There is a bridge we all have to cross someday - we cannot live here forever, and that bridge leads to a land more beautiful than you can imagine. 


But under that bridge lives a troll. And there is no way we can hope to escape him, for he is big and mean and ugly and loves nothing more than eat those little goats attempting to cross the bridge. 


Yet there is still away we can cross over! Our Older Brother is in every way able to conquer that troll and make the way safe for us. Unlike in the tale, however, He goes before us, and we need only follow.


For whom He did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn of many brethren.
And He is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things He might have the preeminence.  
For surely it is not angels he helps, but Abraham's descendants. For this reason he had to be made like his brothers in every way, in order that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in service to God, and that he might make atonement for the sins of the people.
For whosoever shall do the will of God, the same is my brother, and my sister, and mother.

Isn't that incredible? That we could be called His brother, His sister? And walking across a wooden bridge by a waterfall was such a perfect place to be reminded of my Savior and what He has done for me!


Amazed by Him,

Tuesday, October 12, 2010



I had a quarter sitting on the center console.

Really, I did.

Placed there for the express purpose of the parking meter.

But by the time I had driven two blocks, listening to All I Ask of You and trying to not think about a paper I had due that I had not yet written,
I had completely forgotten about it.

Jumped out of the car, ran inside to the bank, found out I couldn't pay my tuition because the place was already closed, came out...

and had a ticket.

I was not happy...

but do you know what?

I didn't ignore the ticket.
I'm not disputing it.
I have to pay it, and I'm going to.


Which is why I am always confused when people act like somehow sin is different.
How?

So what if I didn't mean to do it?

So what if I completely forgot I was supposed to put a quarter in the parking meter?

So what if I planned on doing it, was ready and everything - did my best?

So what if what I did wasn't that bad? (I wasn't speeding or anything! Or even parked there very long!)

So what if I think it was a stupid place for a parking meter and didn't think it could possibly have been meant for me?


I still was on someone else's property, using their parking place, and should have abode by their rules. (and yes, abode can be used that way. I said so.)
And since I didn't, I got ticketed, and will say that I deserved it for the sake of this illustration. (:P)


No excuse is going to work when we stand before God. We fell short of the mark - and we all got ticketed. There is no possible way we can argue our way out of it; we messed up and we deserve our punishment.

But Someone already paid it for us! All we have to do is hand Him our ticket, and watch Him write His name across it. And that is all we can do, because on our own we could never pay it.

So why do so many pull their ticket away from Him and angrily dispute whether or not they should have gotten one at all?
The answer to that is obvious.

You got a ticket.

You deserved it.

Now give it to the only Person who can pay it and He will!


Isn't God good?





Praising Him,

Monday, October 11, 2010

A Day Late and A Dollar Short... And a Serious Post

Well, hopefully not a dollar short. But blogging only once a week has its drawbacks. :/

Like seeing a whole bunch of people post on a certain topic and wanting to say something, but being unable to until the weekend... when everyone has probably already moved on.

But after reading Eldarwen's post and Lizzy's post and Bleah's post... I wanted to say something about all this, because some of the comments I read after their posts bothered me.



First, the Bible is very clear - homosexuality is a sin, and if you call yourself a Christian, a follower of Christ and a believer in Him and of His words, you must agree with that, even if you really don't want to.

If you don't believe the Bible is God's Holy Word... then there really is no reason to call it a sin. Because there is no such thing as sin without that book as God's definition of it. Sure, there are things society agrees are wrong, but when societies define right and wrong, those definitions change as societies do.
Right now, our society is trying to change the definition of marriage - because if two people love each other, why shouldn't they get married?

Well, marriage is two people coming before God and becoming one. Forget about church weddings and tax-benefits. Until 1545-1563 and the Council of Trent, a third person was not required to "marry" people. Scotland actually abolished "marriage by habit and repute" (common law marriage) only four years ago!
For this reason a man shall leave his father and his mother, and be joined to his wife; and they shall become one flesh.
So I'm confused. Why would you want to come before God and ask Him to join you together... when He has already said homosexuality is wrong? That doesn't even make sense.



Second, science and doctors have NOT proven that homosexuality is genetic. I saw this mentioned several times, but it is not true. Homosexuality was removed from the DSM (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders) in 1973.
(Same year as Roe v. Wade, by the way. That was a bad year...)
My mother was studying to become a nurse shortly after that, and a doctor/now her professor who had been there basically told her class that the Medical Psychiatric Association meeting where that was decided was a joke. Those who disagreed were simply shouted down, the louder side won, and it was taken from the books.

This is typical of how it has been studied ever since. I took Psychology last year, and learned about a young woman who was promised grants and help when she wanted to study homosexuality, but when it was discovered that she wanted to study links between childhood abuse and adult homosexuality, all help was taken away from her.
If they don't want to see a connection - they refuse to see one or allow anyone to try to find one. Where do you think all the money is going for such studies? To those who want to prove it is "normal" of course! Anyone looking for any other explanation is refused the help they need, including access to records, etc.

Besides, just because a study "proves" something (and as my Biology professor has repeated over and over again this semester, "Science cannot, cannot, prove something. A hypothesis may be supported or rejected, but never proved," does not mean the study was fair, unbiased, or in any way, shape, or form reliable.
I also took a course on Statistics, and you would not believe the way they can be manipulated to appear to be saying something they are not!



Third, if a "homosexuality gene" is discovered tomorrow, it will not matter to me. Because homosexuality, a sin as defined by God, does not become less of a sin just because some people have a genetic predisposition to it. Everyone has a predisposition to some kind of sin but this gives them no license to sin with impunity.
I could claim that God "made me" fearful and a liar, but do you know what?
The fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.
Even if it is genetic, it is the same as anything else God has forbidden. Which brings me to the last thing I wanted to say...



As Christians, we are not the ones deciding which sins are "really bad" and which are just, well, sins. I've seen a tendency for people to be disgusted with certain sins or to think others are not as bad. That is not for us to judge, and if I ever think my fear of something is not just as deserving of hell in God's eyes as the abortion of the girl next to me... I need to go read that verse again.

We are called to love our fellow Christians and everyone else that Christ died for. I will not be placing an anti-homosexuality button on my blog... because I will not be placing an anti-liar button there either. I do not want to be known as someone who is anti-things, but as someone who is for Christ. Someone who loves and serves Him and those He made.
I am anti-sin, for as Bleah said, that is what keeps people from their Savior and eternal life with Him.
That is the reason I am posting this.
But I do not feel called to single out a specific sin in that manner, even if it is one currently being redefined. Besides, I would not want someone to see the button and not understand why because they had not seen this post. :)

But whatever you feel called to do, whatever you believe... please look to Christ. He is willing to save to the uttermost any and all that call upon Him, and to change them into His image. We need to show people the love He has for them in our words and actions - the love that took Him to the cross in order that He might save them.

May we all show that love today!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Flip-flops











Don't those look good? :) I'm hungry for sugar cookies now... But that was not what I had to say...


Thursday was such a beautiful day... Reveling in the beauty of orange, red, and golden tree-covered hills against the blue September sky that is my favorite of all shades of blue, I walked home from school, wondering why I was wearing knee-high boots and brown wintery-warm clothes in such gorgeous weather. Months and months of that kind of thing lie before me... why would I start earlier than absolutely necessary? (I love boots, but still, in eight months I might be royally sick of them. Maybe.)
So, Friday morning, I hurriedly dressed, slipped into a pair of flip-flops and headed off. It was a little cold, but it was morning - by afternoon I'd be plenty warm, right?

Wrong.

When I got out of class, it was sprinkling outside. By the time I'd gotten fairly started on my 1/2 mile walk, it was raining. And of course this was the one day no one could pick me up... so I was stuck with a wet walk.

And it was wet.
(and cold too) :P

The water running across the sidewalk ran right through my shoes - although I'm not sure I still count flip-flops as belonging in that category.
Particularly wet foam flip-flops with plastic tops that cut between your toes as you slide your way home.
Actually, by the time I reached our front yard, my knees hurt from the step-slip action I had going.

No wonder I never wear flip-flops.
:)


Later thinking about what poor footwear those things actually make (Running across the road, anyone? Protecting your feet from anything? Being good for your feet in any way, shape or form?) I suddenly thought of this verse:

And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace;
Ephesians 6:15

Flip-flops weren't the best choice for walking a mile, half of it in the rain.

But how many times do I go out to battle in this world shod with something similar?

The rest of the amor sounds so much more important! We make sure we have the helmet of salvation... and the sword of the Spirit makes Bible memorization more exciting. Faith and righteousness - well, obviously we need to make sure we have them. They prove we're wearing our helmet, after all! And truth, well, it's pretty clear that God values that. He is Truth, so we better make sure we have it. But our feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace? Sure, sounds like a good idea.

Um, question:

How long can you stand without anything on your feet?

Have you ever tried standing/working on a concrete slab for a couple hours?
Have you ever had your feet aching so badly it felt like the bones in your feet were coming right through the skin?
Have you ever tried to withstand (fight) without shoes on?

How long do you think you'd last in a battle with your feet unprotected?
Knowing how much I hate stubbing my toes, I'd have to guess I wouldn't stand very long. Somebody would tromp on my pinkie, and I'd go down howling, nevermore to rise.

There is a saying among horsemen - no hoof, no horse.
Could we say... no foot, no fight?

If we are not properly shod, can we be out properly fighting for our King? Perhaps we can still defend ourselves, huddled behind our shield and waving our sword 'round our heads... but will we be out assaulting the gates of hell? Will we be following our Lord as He leads the charge? Or will we be, more or less, useless in the battle? We're foot soldiers, after all, and without shoes, what can we do?

How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him that bringeth good tidings, that publisheth peace; that bringeth good tidings of good, that publisheth salvation; that saith unto Zion, Thy God reigneth!

There are mountains to be climbed... battles to be fought... a message that needs to be published and brought.

But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and [be] ready always to [give] an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear.

I know I'm not ready to give an answer. I go blithely on my way, thinking I'm quite prepared... only to find out I've left my shoes at home.
How can I make sure I'm prepared with the gospel of peace?
How can I know I'm ready?
I'm not quite sure... except to fall in line and run after my Leader. I know He is more than able and willing to give me whatever I lack, and like the shoes of the Israelites, those He gives me will not wear out.
I'm slow to change... slow to prepare... far too slow to be a good soldier for my King. Yet He continues with my training, gently reminding me, even when I deserve an old fashioned army flogging.
He is so good to me! I want to wear the shoes He provides His soldiers... I want to be ready to answer anyone He brings my way.



Seeking Him, for He may be found,



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