Sunday, March 27, 2011

Trust -> Perfection -> Love

Two months since last time - they went by like two days - but I finally managed to get in a 2 1/2 hour drive so I could go see my horse again. 

After that long, I didn't want to just jump on and ride, so instead I brushed, led, lunged, and then just played around with her. 
Playing around ended up meaning I tied a rope to the saddle horn with a orange cone tied to the other end of it and got her running circles in the arena. 

Now, some horses would absolutely freak out when they realized an orange piece of plastic was "chasing" them around, or when the rope started slapping against their side, or when they felt the jerk against the saddle. 

It being Rio, I didn't expect much of a reaction, and it being Rio, I didn't get much of a reaction. 
(That horse... I once wrote a paper on "My Dream Horse" - and you would not believe how closely she matches. :D )

She trusts me... and so I'm beginning to trust her. 

Which suddenly reminded me, standing there in the arena, of Job chapter 1. 
And the LORD said unto Satan, Hast thou considered my servant Job, that there is none like him in the earth, a perfect and an upright man, one that feareth God, and escheweth evil?

Then Satan answered the LORD, and said, Doth Job fear God for nought?
Hast not thou made an hedge about him, and about his house, and about all that he hath on every side? thou hast blessed the work of his hands, and his substance is increased in the land.
But put forth thine hand now, and touch all that he hath, and he will curse thee to thy face.
And the LORD said unto Satan, Behold, all that he hath is in thy power; only upon himself put not forth thine hand. So Satan went forth from the presence of the LORD.
Job trusted God... and so God trusted him, to the point of taking away every single thing he possessed to show Satan that,
 In all this Job sinned not, nor charged God foolishly.
That might seem kind of scary... but really, isn't it actually exciting? See, there are certain passages of the Bible that always give me a kind of thrill.

That one above:
And the LORD said unto Satan, Hast thou considered my servant Job, that there is none like him in the earth, a perfect and an upright man, one that feareth God, and escheweth evil?

Noah found grace in the eyes of the LORD... Noah was a just man and perfect in his generations, and Noah walked with God.
and this one:
And he said unto me, O Daniel, a man greatly beloved, understand the words that I speak unto thee, and stand upright: for unto thee am I now sent.
and then this one, because of all the people in the Old Testament, these were the three singled out by God in Ezekiel 14:
Though these three men, Noah, Daniel, and Job, were in it, they should deliver but their own souls by their righteousness, saith the Lord GOD.
The Bible says 
Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.
All my life I've heard, "That command is just something to aim for, not something actually attainable. No one is perfect - you can't be." That's true, as far as:

There is none righteous, no, not one: There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God. They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one.
 goes, and certainly
all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.

But... that command is repeated several times in Scripture. More than that, Job was called perfect. Noah was called perfect. Daniel was called a man greatly beloved and grouped with both of the other two. 

Could I at least be as perfect as they were?

Elijah was a man subject to like passions as we are, and he prayed earnestly that it might not rain: and it rained not on the earth by the space of three years and six months.
What is there holding me back from being like them? 

From spending my life like this -
Enoch walked with God: and he was not; for God took him.

From being such an intercessor that I could be placed in Jeremiah 15 alongside these two -
Then said the LORD unto me, Though Moses and Samuel stood before me, yet my mind could not be toward this people: cast them out of my sight, and let them go forth.
(As heartbreaking as Jeremiah 15 and Ezekiel 14 are, I absolutely love how they pick out those who were seriously following God, and being who He wanted them to be.)

From being someone that He can trust with His plans, like He trusted Abraham -
For I know him, that he will command his children and his household after him, and they shall keep the way of the LORD, to do justice and judgment. 
Or from being, like David, a person after God's own heart, or like John, a disciple that Jesus loves?

It's not what might happen to you if you truly become like them that is scary. 
Like the Jungle Doctor books I used to read all the time say: Who fears Jackal when Elephant is his friend? 
Being thrown into a lions' den, loosing your family, health, and living, watching every person you know except for those most nearly related to you die... all of that is nothing compared to what is gained by walking with God that closely. Like Paul said,
Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord

No, what is scary is this:
You are as close to God as you choose to be.
Yikes. That means... 

It's just myself keeping me where I am. I can choose to be the one He designed me to be... I can choose to know Him the way He wants me to... I can choose to walk with Him.

Which leads to this:
The heart [is] deceitful above all [things], and desperately wicked: who can know it?
Because... I can't. I think I want that more than anything... but just looking at all this I want to go, That's way too much work. It's so much easier being mediocre. 
But would I rather be one of the unnamed crowd who followed Jesus around as He worked miracles throughout Israel, believing that He was truly the Messiah - or the disciple whom Jesus loved, up with Him on the Mount of Transfiguration, beholding His glory and seeing Him as the Messiah? Is that quote true? Were Peter, James, and John closer to Him that even the rest of the 12 because they wanted to be closer to Him, or simply because He choose to reveal Himself to them? I think perhaps both... To quote a certain Lion:
You would not have called to me unless I had been calling to you.
He gives me the choice... how do I want to respond? Easy to answer, hard to follow through. 

Impossible to follow through?

I don't know - I think for me it is. But I know that with God, all things are possible. And I know that these men did what they did because they loved Him. And I know that He has done all that He has done in my life because He loves me. And I know that He who began a good work in me will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ. He can bring me to that place... 

I only need to love Him.

To love Him enough to spend time in His word.

To love Him enough to listen when He speaks to me.

To love Him enough that I care about His people so much that I bring their needs and requests to Him eagerly.

To love Him enough that I will do anything to tell those who do not know Him about how amazing He is and all that He has done for us. 

I only need to love Him enough to let Him work in me. 

Therefore leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on unto perfection; not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faith toward God...

Saturday, March 26, 2011

A Very Serious Question for You

Have you noticed anything different around you lately?

collapsed housing market
cultural trends - attack on marriage, rise in paganism, absolute intolerance for Christian beliefs, etc., etc.
and a recession that somehow turned into a recovery only because the media said it had? 

I have... and it's not just that I'm a crazy little college-aged girl with a big imagination. That's true enough, as far as it goes, ;) but when I say that I think something is changing, that something big is coming fast, I'm saying what every thinking Christian adult person I know is saying. 

Which kind of scares me, because it's somewhat unreal when almost every conversation I overhear between family members, old friends, etc., turns to the collapse of everything we've ever known. As one close friend basically said, "I don't know if the end of the world will be soon or not - but the end of our world, certainly of America as we know it, is right around the corner."

I don't think we realize how serious things are right now. But... when you actually look around you, how can you not see that America is being brought to her knees, loosing everything that made her a world super-power, and preparing to absolutely collapse? Perhaps we find it easy to ignore because we are busy, things are okay right now, and we don't want to see something so depressing. 

Whether we want to see it or not, I think it would be helpful to remember that the USSR went from world super-power to loaves of bread costing wheelbarrow-fulls of money in a very short period of time... and if people are killing each other in America over video-game sales, can you picture what it's going to be like when people are hungry? 
If America's economy implodes, it's going to be bad. Civilization is an absolute myth as far as I'm concerned, and with Christianity being shoved ever further back in this country, there is absolutely no hold on what people will do. 
Have you thought about Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, a city where 53 people were murdered between February 17-18 this year? An average of 8 people are killed there every day, and it is a city right on the US border. What is it exactly that is preventing that from happening here? And how quickly could that prevention disappear? 

I could go on and on here... but I've learned that those who do not wish to see what is happening will not see it, and hopefully if you simply have not thought about it, my tangled mess of a post here will at least make you stop and decide to look at things yourself - I unfortunately don't have time to condense current world happenings into a nice neat package, if that is even possible. So hopefully you've been listening to the radio, keeping up on the news, or at least noticing your house's value halving and seeing that the job of everyone you know is suddenly hanging by a thread.
Did you know that our monthly federal government deficit last month was $223 billion? Our annual federal government deficit just 5 years ago was $158 billion.

If you have noticed and are sick of people drawing attention to the problem without saying anything about what we can do about it... 

Here's my 3-point plan for the end of our culture:

1.) Learn all you can. 
I firmly believe that the truth sets you free, and if you are not watching, awaiting Christ's return, and being aware of what's going on around you... slavery awaits. You won't know the truth. Remember that Jesus said that, if it were possible, even the very elect will be deceived in the last days... make sure you're one of the elect and make sure you're not sleeping through the storm. 

As a start: Watch the following video and sign up for Worldview Weekend's newsletters.

This might help you understand what exactly is happening to our economy...

Now, on a spiritual level, Glenn Beck is kinda, um, working on bringing in the One-World Religion. Therefore, even though he sometimes sounds like he's on the same spiritual page, he's actually reading out of a different book. (The Book of Mormon, to be exact...) However, politically he manages to catch a lot of things, which I really appreciate, and I hope he realizes that he's reading the wrong book soon.  

2.) Do what it takes to be ready.
I believe in helping people... but if we aren't ready ourselves, we won't be helping anyone. Some things to think about:
I just learned about that site myself from another blogger, so I don't know a lot about it, but it looks helpful. The only one I've looked at at all is this one, and all I did there was realize that there was probably no way I'd be synthesizing insulin for my brother in the event of a meltdown, and that he just needed to buy more. If he'd quit buying himself pistols and stock up on insulin I'd feel better about him...  :)
But seriously. What harm can having stored food on hand do? What would be wrong with getting out of debt? (Ahem. Pretty Biblical concepts, actually...) Sure, it's going to take work - and sometimes it looks almost impossible - but the girls who bought extra oil for their lamps were called wise. They were around when the bridegroom came. Hard or not, I think we need to actually stop and think about what we need to be ready for, and what we have to do to get ready.

The only thing that will prevent utter chaos from occurring in this country is telling people this:
“And we have seen and do testify that the Father sent the Son to be the Saviour of the world. Whosoever shall confess that Jesus is the Son of God, God dwelleth in him, and he in God.”
If we are not seeing Him in our lives, and testifying of all He has done for us... I hate to say it, but don't we deserve to reap insanity and chaos?    
This cannot be emphasized enough. Nothing else matters. People are going to hell - and we can do something about it. Are we?

For myself, I fail epically at all parts of my plan. Especially lately... I've been ignoring what's going on around me because I've been "busy." That's about the lamest excuse ever, particularly for the last point. Thankfully there are people in my family who have been keeping track of what's happening around us, and who are doing what they can to keep us from going completely underwater in the coming tsunami. (We have bags of rice in our kitchen. And dried pineapple in the hallway. (Which tastes nasty, by the way, but I'm sure it's got lots of calories which could be helpful at some point. Certainly not right now.) :P And soup in our cupboard. Not a lot, unfortunately, but it's a start.)

The third one though... that one no one can do for me. If nothing else, this post was good for me to write because it reminded me again of why I started blogging and what I am called to do - something I SO easily forget. 

Be a light, people. And if you can get ready to survive the crashing of our economy at the same time, all the better. 

Do you agree? Disagree? Why? 

I feel like a school study book... :P Um... maybe I'll just go with


Thursday, March 17, 2011

Dramatis Personae

Following the lead of those before me, and while still dancing for joy over finishing the first draft of my musically-inspired story... (68,000 words in 4 months, during school. I'm thrilled.) :D
I thought doing an introduction to the characters might keep me from going into sudden withdrawal...


A princess, born into captivity... whose earliest memory is the death by torture of the one person who ever loved her. 
Fighting against her fate brought her nothing but pain, and she is by now numb to all emotion, unfeelingly obedient in deception and trickery. 

A mere tool in the hand of her mistress, she has become known as The Enchantress, and that reputation serves her well each time she is sent to uncover secrets for the Queen of Ellasar. 

Avaenestelwen. The word explains me, defines me, and names me. It is the very reason for my existence, for it was when my mother lost her own that I came into the world. The word is my identity.  All else around me is unstable as water, but that one thing alone never changes. I am indeed without hope. 

Falkon Estel

Spy, warrior, and artistic teller of tales, he has been fighting a loosing war alongside his father since age sixteen. Now in command of his own specially picked troops, he has made it his mission to discover once and for all the identity of their faceless, nameless enemy...  
even if it means going himself into the very castle of the one whose senseless cruelty has already cost the lives of thousands of his people, including his own mother and sister.  

He knew its position on paper by heart, but the light of dawn was already breaking before he discovered it. At last he found it, pushing away the bushes that concealed the crumbling entrance to the ancient tunnel. For an instant he paused, his eyes searching the blackness before him. “Behold, Thou are there,” he whispered softly. Taking a deep breath, he plunged into the darkness of the tunnel.

Nîn Vasilissa

Calling herself the supreme ruler of Ellasar Taurhassdorien, Ilmatara, Eyvindr, and all surrounding lands, she has been gaining control of each country inch by dearly bought inch. 
Eyvindr's defiant resistance has earned her deepest hatred, and her darkest plans to punish them have already been set into motion. A forced marriage between Avaenestelwen and the crown prince, Kestral Tariro, will give her not only control of the country, but also the vengeance she so desires: the means to torment Eyvindr's favorite hero, the one man in whom the people of Eyvindr have placed their hope.

She laughed musically. “Names, boy. That’s all I want. You think you are in any way important to me? You think I need you for any reason? I would slit your throat in an instant were it not that this is by far more entertaining. But surely you know I will tire of it soon... and then I will toss your worthless carcass from the highest tower of this castle, into the front lines of the rabble that fights outside my door. Throw down your body, after you have been through every part of my dungeons.”

They are the main three characters, though of course there are others... including some of my favorites:

*Just to be clear, showing these pictures does not at all mean that I support whatever books/movies/tv-shows they happen to be from.*
 And just to be super clear: stealing any ideas from this means I get to send my villainess after you - and this time especially, that would really just not be a good idea. ;)


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