Friday, November 26, 2010

Day 5: My Heart's Cry


Set my soul afire, Lord, for Thy Holy Word.
Burn it deep within me, let Thy voice be heard;
Millions grope in darkness in this day and hour,
I will be a witness, fill me with Thy power.

Set my soul afire, Lord, for the lost in sin,
Give to me a passion as I seek to win;
Help me not to falter, never let me fail,
Fill me with Thy Spirit, let Thy will prevail.

Set my soul afire, Lord, in my daily life,
Far too long I've wandered in this day of strife;
Nothing else will matter but to live for Thee
I will be a witness, for Christ lives in me.
~Gene Bartlett

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Day 4: Happy Thanksgiving!


For the beauty of the earth
For the glory of the skies,
For the love which from our birth
Over and around us lies.

For the beauty of each hour,
Of the day and of the night,
Hill and vale, and tree and flower,
Sun and moon, and stars of light.

For the joy of ear and eye,
For the heart and mind’s delight,
For the mystic harmony
Linking sense to sound and sight.

For the joy of human love,
Brother, sister, parent, child,
Friends on earth and friends above,
For all gentle thoughts and mild.

For Thy Church, that evermore
Lifteth holy hands above,
Offering up on every shore
Her pure sacrifice of love.

For the martyrs’ crown of light,
For Thy prophets’ eagle eye,
For Thy bold confessors’ might,
For the lips of infancy.

For Thy virgins’ robes of snow,
For Thy maiden mother mild,
For Thyself, with hearts aglow,
Jesu, Victim undefiled.

For each perfect gift of Thine,
To our race so freely given,
Graces human and divine,
Flowers of earth and buds of Heaven.

Lord of all, to Thee we raise,
This our hymn of grateful praise.



I just found my favorite Thanksgiving Hymn.

Beauty, glory, love, and joy - all those things for which I am most thankful to the great Lord of all, my Perfect Savior.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Day 3:

Words - so innocent and powerless as they are, as standing in a dictionary, how potent for good and evil they become in the hands of one who knows how to combine them.
~N. Hawthorne



I have written before about why I love stories... and this quote from Hawthorne says exactly what it is about words that fascinates me.

Truth and lies become stories and change lives...

The Word became flesh and changed eternity.

No wonder words are so important to me - it was the Word of God becoming a Man that came and died for me, that loved me enough to save me from myself, and Who even now intercedes for me before the throne.

Praising Him for His goodness and love,

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Day 2: What do you call Him?

Ye call me Light, and see me not.
Ye call me Way, and walk me not.
Ye call me Wise, and follow me not.
Ye call me Fair, and love me not.
Ye call me Rich, and ask me not.
Ye call me Eternal, and see me not.
Ye call me Gracious, and trust me not.
Ye call me God, and fear me not.
If I condemn you, blame me not.

~from "The Counterfeit Christian," Adrian Rogers

Monday, November 22, 2010

Introducing...

Random Quote Week!

Where I... yep, post quotes all week. :)

(That's why yesterday's post had a movie and a quote in it, right?) :D



Day One: From Books


Only a man who has felt ultimate despair is capable of feeling ultimate bliss. It is necessary to have wished for death, in order to know how good it is to live.
~The Count of Monte Christo


Are you drawing your life from any other source than God Himself? If you are depending upon anything but Him, you will never know when He is gone.
~Oswald Chambers


There is so much hideousness in this war I've got to go and help wipe it out of the world. I'm going to fight for the beauty of life.
~Rilla of Ingleside


We are not given protection. We are given vulnerability.
We are promised, not the absence of pain, but the blessed warning of pain.
We are promised, not that we won't be wounded, not that we won't bleed, but that we will be transfused.
We are promised, not that we won't die, but that we will live.
~Madeleine L'Engle



Have you lost your reputation?
Are you trusting in the Lord?
Have you found a full salvation
From what people think or say?
Do you mean to live for Jesus,
Let the world say what it may?
~Thou Givest... They Gather

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Reality


It was the week before my flight test...
I had studied harder for that than for any other test in my life.

Now I was flying, doing a practice flight with another instructor to prepare for the actual test.
I'd done landings, stalls, radio towers, steep turns... It had taken hours.

Suddenly the instructor turned to me (hot-dog dare-devil that he was, the kind of guy who when you ask "What happens if the door broke and opened while you were flying?" looks and you and opens the door when you're 2,000 feet off the ground).
"Sometimes you get to this point and you forget why you're doing all this. You want to do something fun?"

I did.

And before I knew it, I was upside down and the world was overhead. We spun around and around until I was dizzy, and then he pulled us out of the spin. Then we were flying through the frozen river valley, only inches above the ice... Ice and snow were everywhere... it was like a different world.

It was the most amazing flight of my life.



But do know what annoyed me?
The entire time I felt like I was watching a movie.
Like I was at the Omni-Theatre, watching Magic of Flight or something.
I had to keep telling myself that no, this was really happening.
I was actually hurtling through the air just above the ice, spinning through the air, actually living what I was seeing and feeling.


Just thinking about this lately... and about one of my favorite quotes -

Have you ever felt that there was something going on in life that not everyone was aware of?...As though there’s a story going on that everyone is a part of, but not everybody knows about—a sort of drama, a battle between what’s peripheral and what’s really important. As though the people you meet aren’t just their plain, prosaic selves, but are actually princes and princesses, gods and goddesses, fairies, gypsies, shepherds, all sorts of fantastic creatures who’ve chosen to hide their real shape...Or have forgotten who they really are.
Have you ever thought that?
~The Shadow of the Bear


And I wonder... how many times do we forget about what is real? How often are we aware of the battle going on all around us, of the true story that is being written, of the reality underlying the happenings of our life?
Are we so caught up in the "movies" being played in our life, in the drama, in the fun, in the excitement of what we like and spend time doing, that when reality happens, when God brings us directly into the thick of the fight and gives us a glimpse of the glory beyond, we don't even recognize it?

Instead of seeing the day-to-day things as an inkling of far greater and more wonderful things, we compare those greater things to what is only a faded picture of them. Instead of experiencing the actual moment God places us in, we miss out because we have experienced too many moments faking what it is He wants for us.

We can't live our lives through others' battles and triumphs. We can't get what He wants for us to have by listening to others tell about their quiet times or their witnessing experiences. We have to go live the life He has for us, knowing and experiencing Him, knowing that the "unseen" is true reality.
I want to live in that reality.


Seeking Him, that I may see Him for Who He truly is,

Monday, November 8, 2010

Immortality...

Cell structure, function, division, and replication... Metosis, Meiosis, DNA, genes, and variety...

Do you realize that most of this stuff was not even discovered when my grandma went to college? Weirdness... Anyway.

The last biology lecture I had was on cancer...
lovely, eh? No.

Diabolical was what the professor called it.

Did you know that when a cancerous cell starts dividing, it creates a channel of red blood cells directly to it, bringing as many nutrients as it needs to grow as big as possible? It also loses the blocking mechanism that prevents cells clumping together, the proteins that control when divisions happen, and the proteins that stop tumor growth.


The thing that got me though, was that telomerase is reactivated - something kind of complicated that basically means that the cell never stops dividing. It does not die off after a certain number of divisions as it should.

The cells will (theoretically) live forever.




Which brings me to something else I've been thinking of lately.

Some time last summer or so, I picked up Tuck Everlasting and flipped through it. It's a small book, and it didn't take me long to read. But I put it down somewhat confused.
Why was death glorified as a part of life and immortality turned into a unbearable burden, (and here I'm talking from the movie, of which I've seen parts), even when shared with someone who would love you forever?


Winnie Foster chooses death rather than everlasting life with Jesse Tuck, because, after all, it is not death that should be feared, "but rather the unlived life. You don't have to live forever. You just have to live. And she did."


Fast-forward a scant 30 years...


I notice waterfalls are still big, but other things have changed.



Now we have Bella Swan, not only begging for immortality, but cheerfully willing to risk damnation if it will allow her to live forever with Edward Cullen.


Winnie Foster now seems to be regarded as an absolute idiot for not taking love and immortality when she the chance, and Bella's choice seems to be the one millions of young women would make in a heartbeat, based on Twilight sales.


This change simply mirrors to me what has happened to our culture over the past 30 years. First it was evolution and atheism - you don't have to live forever. Just live. God was taken from the classrooms, from courtrooms, from our culture. We didn't need to live forever - as long as we were living now.

But we are immortal beings. Living now was not enough for us. Enter wizards, witches, warlocks, werewolves, vampires, and - the ability to live forever with benefits far outweighing any negative side effects. It offers the best of both worlds - live now and live forever. God is still not needed; there are other ways to fulfill your desire for immortality. (Without it becoming something unnaturally horrible.)

Did you know that paganism was the 10th largest religion in the United States 10 years ago? And some studies indicate that every 30 months the number of Wiccans doubles? Have you read this article about Twilight? It gave me a whole 'nuther reason why not to read the books or watch the movies. (Not that I really needed another one... :)

I do not believe atheism can hold people's hearts. There is nothing there - and we know there must be something. Atheism merely created a vacuum that must be filled - and there is plenty waiting to fill it.

Are you ready to stand against that plenty? Are you watching the signs of the times? Can you tell those who are searching how they can live forever - without giving in to the dark promise of immortality without God? Are you able to explain to them that there truly is nothing but horror behind that promise?




Seeking Him, that I may be able to withstand in the evil day,





Wednesday, November 3, 2010

O my Lord, I am not eloquent, neither heretofore, nor since thou hast spoken unto thy servant: but I am slow of speech, and of a slow tongue.
And the Lord said unto him, Who hath made man's mouth? or who maketh the dumb, or deaf, or the seeing, or the blind? Have not I the Lord? Now therefore go, and I will be with thy mouth, and teach thee what thou shalt say.

I've read this verse many times before... just got kind of annoyed at Moses's continued stupidity... and moved on.

This week I suddenly paused.

I am not eloquent, wasn't before I got saved, am not now, despite my longing to become so.
I am slow of speech, and of a slow tongue; I never think of what to say until I've missed my chance.

Suddenly God's answer to Moses became His answer to me.


For years I have wanted to be better at talking to people.
To have the "gift of people-speech" if you will.
To be naturally out-going, extroverted, and talkative.

But I'm not.

I wasn't made that way.

And it's okay.


Do you know what I learned this week?

There is a less than 1 in 64 trillion chance that you would end up with the exact set of genes that you have.

Can you comprehend that?
How many variations of you there could have been? How one allele changed would have resulted in a different person?

Yet God planned which genes from your parents would become you.

And if He made me how I am, when He had about 64 trillion other choices right there at conception, He must want me the way He made me.

I don't have to be a fascinating conversationalist or a brilliant speaker. God could have easily made me (or Moses) really good at talking to people.

But He didn't, because He wants to teach us what to say.

He doesn't want us off doing our own thing and thinking we're marvelous. He wants us to know when He is speaking through us so that we can glorify Him. He will be with us and be our mouth. And isn't that better than having my own talented one?!
(And obviously, for those who are really good speakers, God made you that way for a reason too! You have other things that God teaches you to do. :)

Y'know, at first Moses depended on his brother to speak for him.
But as you read through Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy, pretty soon you see that he's talking himself - and doing pretty good at it, too.

As I continue to follow God, He will teach me what to say about Him to those around me.
And is not His plan always so much better than the easier path of natural ability that I would have chosen?


Isn't God good?
:)

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Speaking of Cars... (Check out the end of the post) :D

zwani.com myspace graphic commentsOk, this post came from this post and following comment. :)

Also, if you've ever heard the illustration about giving God the keys to your life and then not grabbing the steering wheel away from Him? That too.



I always like that illustration... but I could never quite picture how it would be done.

See, for me, turning over the car keys and moving from driver's seat to passenger seat means checking out. As far back as I can remember (well, since getting out of car seats), I've brought books along to read in the car. And I will read the whole way. Or talk.
Either way, I don't pay attention to where we're going or how we're getting there. (Which is why I have issues finding my way places I've been a hundred times before - I have no idea how we got there, since I wasn't paying attention.) :P

So just giving God the keys didn't always quite make sense to me.
Because we still have to do things, right?
I'm not just "along for the ride" of life because, in a sense, if I do nothing in my life, nothing will happen.

Yes, sometimes we must "Stand still, and see the salvation of the Lord," but sometimes God says to us, "Wherefore criest thou unto me? Go forward."


And that's where I started looking at the comparisons between cars and life.

At birth we're all given our own life - our own car.
zwani.com myspace graphic comments

We can drive them wherever we choose, but only one road leads to our desired destination. No matter how hard we try to find our way by other routes, how long we look, how firmly we believe we're going the right direction, there is only one way that will work.

Jesus said, "I am the Way."

But He did not just tell us that. He left a road map with us so that we could find and follow the way - Basic Instructions Before Leaving Earth. It tells us everything we need to know about getting to Heaven.

Besides that, once we start using our map and begin driving the right way, we get GPS as well - the One who teaches us all things and brings all things to our remembrance. (I'm hoping there are some GPS's that feature a male voice... not a big fan of picturing the Holy Spirit as a woman, Asian or otherwise.)
zwani.com myspace graphic comments

One thing about cars, these have no backseats. No matter what family we've come from, what kind of car we got, all are equally capable of making it to Heaven. If our parents' cars are going the right way, we can't hide in the back of the van - we have to drive our own car. But if our parents' cars smashed up at some point, that need not prevent us from driving on the right road. God keeps our cars running and is fully able to bring any car home to heaven. On our own we would break down immediately, but if we are driving for Him, He will get us to His house.
Or you could say that we crash our cars as soon as we get them, and salvation is like God giving us a brand new car so that we can safely make it home...
(I can stretch this pretty far if you let me...) :D

We need the help of others (it is not good that the man should be alone) - we wouldn't get very far without gasoline and oil changes and new windshield-wiper fluid...

The dirt of the road often splashes up against us, but we only need that new car once - the dirt will wash off the new car as long as the wreck of the old one has been hauled away.

And I should stop here before this post gets ridiculously long, as all my posts seem to become... If you want to add any more you think of, feel free! :)


Seeking Him as I drive His car His way by His directions...
Oh, and if you want to think about God being in perfect control and being able to work all things out for good... watch this video if you haven't already seen it. :D Pretty cool... info on how long it took them to be able to do that is here.

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