Saturday, December 19, 2009

Steams In The Desert for December 18th

Personal Note To Begin: It has been a hard week. Scratch that. It's been a hard few months. There is lots that I could be complaining about and I am sad to say that I have whined, complained and questioned God. But throughout it all, God has been gracious. Throughout it all, no matter what my circumstances, God must be praised! Yesterday as I was incredibly discouraged and preparing for yet another exhausting, tiring medical test I grabbed my beloved copy of Streams in the Desert to find the following words. Hope that they bring refreshment to your soul as they did to mine.

"In all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us." Romans 8:37

The gospel and the gift of God are structured so wonderfully that the very enemies and forces that are marshaled to fight against us actually help pave our way to the very gates of heaven and into the presence of God. Those forces can be used in the same way an eagle uses the fierce winds of a storm to soar to the sky. At first he sits perfectly still, high on a cliff, watching the sky as it fills with darkness and as the lightning strikes all around him. Yet he never moves until he feels the burst of the storm, and then with a screech he dives toward the winds, using them to carry him even higher.

This is also what God desires of each of His children. He wants us to be "more than conquerors," turning storm clouds into chariots of victory. It is obvious when an army becomes "more than conquerors," for it drives its enemies from the battlefield and confiscates their food and supplies. This is exactly what this Scripture passage means. There are spoils to be taken!

Dear believer, after experiencing the terrible valley of suffering, did you depart with the spoils? When you were struck with an injury and you thought you had lost everything, did you trust in God to the point that you came out richer than you were before? Being "more than [a] conqueror" means taking the spoils from the enemy and appropriating them for yourself. What your enemy had planed to use for your defeat, you can confiscate for your own use.

When Dr. Moon, of Brighton, England, was suddenly struck with blindness, he said, "Lord, I accept this 'talent' of blindness from You. Help me to use it for Your glory so that when You return, You may receive it 'back with interest' [Matt. 25:27]." Then God enabled him to invent the Moon Alphabet for the blind, through which thousands of blind people were enabled to read the Word of God and thereby come to the glorious saving knowledge of Christ. selected

God did not remove Paul's "thorn in the flesh" (2 Cor. 12:7 KJV). The Lord did something much better - He conquered it and made it Paul's servant. The ministry of thorns has often been a greater ministry to humankind than the ministry of thrones. selected

Thursday, December 17, 2009

All Is Well

Are you ever haunted by lyrics? These are my haunting lyrics for today.

All is well all is well
Angels and men rejoice
For tonight darkness fell
Into the dawn of love's light
Sing A-le
Sing Alleluia
All is well, all is well
Let there be peace on earth
Christ is come go and tell
That He is in the manger
Sing A-le
Sing Alleluia

All is well, all is well
Lift up your voices and sing
Born is now Emmanuel
Born is our Lord and Savior
Sing Alleluia
Sing Alleluia
All is well

All is well. I have been pondering those words. The emphasis could truly be on any word and bring incredible significance. ALL is well. all IS well. all is WELL.

It's true. All is well. Because of a baby born long ago, all is well. "All" is not perfect. Life still hurts. But all is well. Despite circumstances, God has been good and gracious and I know that He will be in the future as well. It is through Jesus alone that we may sing, "It is well with my soul!"

All is well.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Streams In The Desert for December 16th

"There was also a prophetess, Anna...she never left the temple, but worshiped night and day, fasting and praying." (Luke 2:36-37)

"There is no doubt that it is by praying that we learn to pray, and that the more we pray, the better our prayers will be. People who pray in spurts are never likely to attain to the kind of prayer described in the Scriptures as "powerful and effective" (James 5:16).

Great power in prayer is within our reach, but we must work to obtain it. We should never even imagine that Abraham could have interceded so successfully for Sodom if he had not communed with God throughout the previous years of his life. Jacob's entire night of wrestling at Peniel was certainly not the first encounter he had with his God. And we can even look at our Lord's most beautiful and wonderful prayer in John 17, before His suffering and death, as the fruit of His many nights of devotion, and of His rising often before daybreak to pray.

If a person believes he can become powerful in prayer without making a commitment to it, he is living under a great delusion. The prayer of Elijah, which stopped the rain for heaven and later opened heaven's floodgates, was only one example of a long series of his mighty pleadings with God. Oh, if only we Christians would remember that perseverance in prayer is necessary for it to be effective and victorious!

The great intercessors, who are seldom mentioned in connection with the heros and martyrs of the faith, were nevertheless the greatest benefactors of the church. Yet their becoming the channels of the blessings of mercy to others was only made possible by their abiding at the mercy seat of God.

Remember, we must pray to pray, and continue in prayer so our prayers may continue."

-Charles H. Spurgeon

Sunday, December 13, 2009

prayer is not a formula

Sitting in front of a smoldering fire in my family room I am reminded that prayer is not a formula.

This semester I have been pouring over I Samuel chapter 1 where it records the story of Hannah, absolutely frantic for a son. Hannah is one of two wives to Elkanah (v. 2). Although she is barren (by the Lord's doing), her husband dearly loved her (v. 5). The Bible makes in clear that it was God who closed Hannah's womb (v. 5, 6), although her rival (Elkanah's other wife, Peninnah) had children. Year by year, as the family would go up the house of the Lord, at Shiloh (v. 3), Hannah would weep and refuse to eat (v. 7) because Peninnah made her life miserable.

One year, Hannah went alone to the temple in "bitterness of soul" (v. 10). Eli, the priest, was there watching this take place (v. 9). She "prayed to the LORD and wept in anguish" (v. 10). Her vow is found in verse 11, "O LORD of hosts, if You will indeed look on the affliction of Your maidservant and remember me, and not forget Your maidservant, but will give Your maidservant a male child, then I will give him to the LORD all the days of his life, and no razor shall come upon his head." Hannah continued praying before the Lord silently; she "spoke in her heart" (v. 13). Watching all of this transpire, Eli thought that she was drunk (v. 15). Sad, isn't it, that the priest was more accustom to seeing people drunk outside the temple than recognizing true desperation for God? Eli chides her for being drunk, but Hannah replies that she hasn't been drinking! Rather, she was "a woman of sorrowful spirit" having "poured out [her] heart before the Lord" (v. 14-15). This is similar language to Psalm 62:8, "Trust in Him at all times, you people; Pour out your heart before Him; God is a refuge for us. Selah." Hannah says that before this time she had spoken "out of the abundance of her complaint and grief" (v. 16).

The language here is simple, but the grief that Hannah felt must have been truly heart-wrenching. She uses the word "affliction" showing how this issue was affecting her life; it was the "thorn in her flesh". In Old Testament culture, having children was an important part of a woman's life. On top of that, Hannah clearly had the desire to raise godly children and give them back to the Lord. Her motives were pure. Her desire for children was God-given. Yet, God hadn't answered her pleas. Have you ever pleaded desperately with the Lord for something? A legitimate need? A God-given desire?

Eli responds, "Go in peace, and the God of Israel grant your petition which you have asked of Him" (v. 17). Personal interjection here: a dear friend has been studying this passage with me and she keeps saying, "Don't you wish you had an Eli who could tell you that the Lord would grant your petition?"

Hannah, who has been weeping over this issue for years, gets up, goes on her way and eats (v. 19). Her countenance changes as well (v. 19). The next morning, the family rose early and worshiped before the Lord (v. 20). This, I believe, shows that Hannah pleaded and petitioned the Lord, but then she left it there at the alter of the Lord. After years of grieving over this issue, she is able to get up, go on her way, eat, no longer be sad and worship. She trusts that the Lord has heard her petition and that He can be trusted with it. In essence, her actions show the attitude of her heart, that she has given the issue to God and is leaving it there for Him to deal with.

Hannah bears a son.

Jump forward a book to II Samuel 12:16-23. David has committed adultery with Bathsheba and out of the adulterous relationship, a son is born. Just as the Lord (in I Samuel) closes Hannah's womb, here in II Samuel the Lord strikes David's child with illness (v. 15). David pleads with the Lord (v. 16). He fasts (v. 16). He is contrite on the floor (v. 16). He refused to be comforted (v. 17).

David's son died.

Once David receives the news, one would expect him to sink into a deep depression. Rather, he gets up off the ground, he washes and changes clothes, ate, and went into the house of the LORD and worshiped (v. 20).

Clearly two separate situations. Each has its own oscillating variables, which cannot be ignored. However the formula is similar. Sincere prayer. Heartfelt weeping. Refusal of food. Sacrificial worship. Purposeful surrender. Absolute desperation for God to work.

The same "formula" is found in both passages. God responds differently in each situation. In one He gives a child, in the other He takes a child. YET... Hannah and David respond similarly. Their actions show that God can be trusted as they completely and totally give the matter to Him and leave it there! Once their request has been laid out before the Lord, they arise from their weeping and continue with life.

Oh Lord, may I be as faithful to fully lay my requests before You and leave them there, knowing that You can be trusted with all aspects of my life including my deepest desires and needs. May I then continue life, living in full assurance that Your way is truly best.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

thoughts on philippians 4:6-7

"Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God which surpasses all understanding will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus."

Reading this passage today had me mulling the different parts of these verses - my part and God's part. My part is to "be anxious for nothing." This is an imperative, a command. In other words, "stop being anxious!" This is a conscious choice. Anxiety is when you are constantly overanalyzing, constantly thinking through scenarios in your head. This is a command to stop doing that! However, Paul knows that our minds will just continue to analyze unless we fill them with something else, so the second part of what we are to do is to "let [our] requests be made known to God". This turns our focus off of ourselves and onto God. It focuses our perspective, changing it to HIS glory, even while we still let Him know what we desire. It also commands that we thank God in the midst of it. Thank Him for what He has done, thank Him for what He is doing, thank Him for what He is going to do in the situation. This reminds me of Deuteronomy where it says throughout the book, "you shall rejoice." Once again, an imperative! This is choosing to be thankful despite circumstances, despite feelings, despite, emotions.

The second half is God's part. He will give us peace that "surpasses all understanding" and that peace will "guard your hearts and minds". This word "guard" is the same idea as fortify or protect. Which one of us doesn't need our hearts and minds fortified? They need to be guarded against doubts, fears, and often dreams and wishes. Each of these things can be good when held in the proper position, but they can also be terribly dangerous.

Oh Lord, if I am faithful to do my part, please be faithful to do Yours!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Selection from "Streams In The Desert" by L.B. Cowman

Entry for November 20th

"Talk to God about whatever may be pressuring you and then commit the entire matter into His hands. Do this so that you will be free from the confusion, conflicts and cares that fill the world today. In fact, anytime you are preparing to do something, undergoing some trial or simply pursuing your normal business, tell the Father about it. Acquaint Him with it; yes, even burden Him with it, and you will have put the cares and concerns of the matter behind you. From that point forward, exercise quiet, sweet diligence in your work, recognizing your dependence on Him to carry the matter for you. Commit your cares and yourself with them, as one burden to your God." R. Leighton

Monday, November 9, 2009

Quote

"There is no power like that of prevailing prayer - of Abraham pleading for Sodom, Jacob wrestling in the stillness of the night, Moses standing in the breach, Hannah intoxicated with sorrow, David heartbroken with remorse and grief, Jesus in sweat of blood. Such prayer prevails. It turns ordinary mortals into men of power. It brings power. It brings fire. It brings rain. It brings life. It brings God."

-Samuel Chadwick

Saturday, November 7, 2009

accepting grace

The past couple of weeks have been exhausting. The majority of the stress has been related to health issues, but it just has seemed like I am failing in every aspect of life lately. I hate not having the energy to do my normal things...I hate not being around for the girls in my hall and for my friends...I hate having to miss classes and ask for extensions on homework...I hate feeling too drained to make it through the day...I hate being emotionally exhausted.

Yet I am slowly growing because of this. I am learning to accept the grace that Jesus offers, which is so humbling, yet so very refreshing. In addition I am learning to accept the grace that others offer and not feel guilty about it the entire time. It is so humbling to have others constantly serving and encouraging you. I cannot begin to express how much people have sacrificed and served over these past couple of weeks.

Accept grace.

Enjoy grace.

Relish grace.

Embrace grace.

Stop and thank Jesus for the grace that He offers and as you do, breathe grace to those around out and humbly accept the grace that they offer as well.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Journal Entry: Monday, October 5th, 2009

Thinking today about the Israelites and the hindsight bias that we have in regards to them. We read the Old Testament and see that God always came through for them. And yet, they had no idea what would happen. Like when they were leaving Egypt, they were trapped with the Egyptians on one side and the Red Sea on the other. There was seemingly no way out. And even if there had been a way out, the Israelites probably didn't imagine that it would come as it did. They start to panic and we (reading it thousands of years later) think, "Just wait for it...okay, in one, two, three..." and voila! The Red Sea parts and they are saved.

We get so stressed out over the events in our lives because we don't have the advantage of the hindsight bias. If someone looked at my life in about 200 years and read through my journal they would probably say the same thing: "Just wait for it!" God has a purpose in all that He does and He even uses my stupid mistakes somehow. Hindsight bias makes it so easy to see the hand of God and see that He has a purpose in each of the events in my life (or at least can change my mistakes into good) - Lord, help me to be faithful and steadfast despite not being able to see the hindsight bias.

Hebrews 11 is such a great chapter because of the hindsight bias. Yet as those individuals were going through each of those situations, I am sure that they were confused and asked the same questions that we ask today. "God, do You have a plan in this??" "Are You really there??" "Are You even listening??"

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Questions

How do you become one of those people who simply exude Christ constantly?

Why does God begin to work in a situation and then (seemingly) stop working altogether?

How do you know God's will for your life?

When will I be able to invest in people as others have invested in my life?

Can you tell the difference between God-given passions that you should pursue, and desires that He asks you to give back to Him in surrender?

How do you remain faithful to people amidst continued hurt and how do you balance that with not being taken advantage of (i.e. various kinds of abuse)?

When I purely long to be with Jesus in Heaven, what purpose do I have for being here on earth?

How do you balance pouring out your life for others and being "spent" on their behalf with having healthy boundaries in your life and spending time alone to be refreshed?

These are some of the questions rolling around in my mind tonight as I prepare for sleep. It's fall break and I am allowing myself one delicious evening of "Sabbath" before I re-enter the world of homework, to-do lists and e-mails.


Sunday, September 27, 2009

Beautifully Scarred

Sobs racked the body of the young woman. Her cries were the audible expression of the gaping wounds covering the majority of her body. Her torn clothing was not only ragged and dirty, but stained with blood as well. The tears falling freeing from her eyes seemed never ending. Unaware of anything going on around her, the small meadow where she lay because a temporary haven in her suffering. She didn’t notice the huge Lion enter until He approached and started gently washed her feet with His large, rough tongue. Instead of recoiling in fear, the girl was surprised and started. She noticed that as soon as the Lion’s tongue touched her wound, the bleeding stopped immediately. The tongue was as rough as sandpaper, but tender as well. “Oh great Lion,” she cried, “Heal the rest of me as well!”

The Lion’s healing tongue moved slowly, working its way from the girl’s feet, to her arms and finally to her face. The girl jumped up and ran to the small brook to gaze at her reflection. She shrunk back in surprise and dismay, not expecting to her a scarred, disfigured face looking back at her. “But…” she faltered, “I thought you were healing me. Couldn’t You have taken these scars away as well? I am so very ashamed of them….” Tears were her only consilation as the Lion disappeared into the forest.

The girl went back to her village and continued to live a normal life, but was always covered in robes and headdresses so that her scars were hidden.

Many years passed and no one in the village ever knew about the scars that decorated the women’s body. Then one day as the now elderly woman worked in the fields, her headdress came off and briefly exposed her scarred face. She struggled to quickly re-cover her shamed secret before it was noticed, but it was too late. One of the other women, a woman much younger than herself, spotted it. All daylong and all the next day she persisted in finding out why the wounds were so rejected and shameful to the elderly woman. Finally the elderly woman removed the head veil and clothing that for so long had been her security. She crudely told the story of the Lion and then waited for the cruel comments and questions to come from the younger woman. As she finished, she looked at the younger woman expecting to find rejection in her eyes or to hear a comment about her scars. Instead, the younger woman’s eyes were overflowing with tears. Her voice cracked as she sobbed, “Oh, what a good Lion is He!” Still sobbing, she removed her own tunic revealing a bandage, stained with blood, wrapped around her waist. She removed this as well revealing an obviously old, very large wound that had been festering for quite a while. Looking once again into the scarred woman’s eyes, she begged, “Oh please, can you take me to Him?”

From then on, the scarred women bore her scars with dignity and as a result, people saw not a wounded body, but a healed soul. Her life became a testimony to that great Lion, the gentle Healer.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Per The Request of Natalie ; )

Journal Entry
Wednesday, September 16th, 2009
8:20 am

Jesus, brokenness has been on my heart and my mind so much in the past week. From the Nancy Leigh DeMoss book, the clay pot story, "The Hammer Holds" song, reading Jeremiah, going to the AA meeting. Let this Truth penetrate my mind and change me!

At the AA meeting I saw people who were broken. No excuses, no wiggling around the Truth, simply "Hi, my name is _________ and I am an alcoholic." This was no passive label (i.e. I struggle with alcoholism). They accepted full responsibility and named their sin. Oh Jesus, how many times do I blame others for my sin, trying to justify my actions? Brokenness is agreeing with God about the true condition on my heart. What if I started going up to people and introducing myself based on my sin? "Hi, my name is Callie and I am a liar, a gossip, selfish, proud, a whore with my heart"

Of course, there is a balance here because Christ died for my sins! Because of Him I can be defined by new terms (child of God, co-heir with Christ, bride of Christ). Yet in my life I know that I don't have a healthy view of my sin.

As the Puritans prayed O Lord, "Grand me never lose sight of the exceeding sinfulness of sin!"

One day when I stand before the Righteous Judge, I don't want be fumbling around for excuses or shifting blame.

Lord, brokenness is not a one-time lesson. It is a day-by-day choice. Jesus give me the grace to choose brokenness each day. May my life be a paradoxical beautifully broken life that forever emits a beautiful perfume that will tickle Your nose in delight and be indicative of true worship and humble adoration.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

[No Title]

"I am of the opinion that busyness is a deeper threat to the soul than pornography ever was." -Gordon MacDonald

Thursday, August 13, 2009

lean souls

"...then they believed His words;
They sang His praise.
They soon forgot His works;
They did not wait for His counsel,
But lusted exceedingly in the wilderness,
And tested God in the desert.
And He gave them their request,
But sent leanness into their soul."
Psalm 106:12-15

This verse really stuck out to me today as I was reading Psalm 106, which is a confession of the Israelites' unfaithfulness (in spite of God's perfect faithfulness). Sometimes God gives us what we so desperately desire, even when it's not His best for us. The result? A lean soul. That phrase "but sent leanness into their soul" is so painfully descriptive. I pictured a dog. He's mangy, his ribs are showing. He isn't dead, but there is obviously something wrong.

If we truly follow Christ and accept HIS best for our lives, I suppose we will have a hearty soul. If we insist that we know best, God might just grant our prayers, resulting in a lean soul. I don't know about you, but I choose Christ and pursuing a hearty and healthy soul!

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Oh Lord, this is my prayer! Give me Your grace to live this out.

Take all I am, Lord, and all that I cling to
You are my Savior I owe everything to
Take all the treasures that lie in my storehouse
They cannot follow when I enter Your house

So I surrender all to You
I surrender all

Take all my cravings for vain recognition
Fleshly indulgence and worldly ambition
I want so much Lord to make You the focus
To serve You in secret and never be noticed

Take all my hunger for all that’s forbidden
Every desire and sin I keep hidden
Search me and know me I want to bring to You
A life that is holy and sanctified through You

Friday, July 24, 2009

The Seemingly Paradoxical Christian Life

I gain life through death.

I am healed through being broken.

I expose my faults to gain victory.

So much of the Christian life seems to be a paradox. One of these has become more evident to me in the past few weeks as I have been pondering contentment. "All of us desperately need contentment, a state of inner peace separate from our circumstances. Ultimately, contentment is more a shift in attitude than a change in circumstances" (Calm My Anxious Heart, Linda Dillow, p. 31). We are to be CONTENT in Christ. Our situations should not dominate our attitudes, our beliefs and our moods. Paul writes that "godliness with contentment is great gain" (I Tim 6:6) and states that he has "learned to be content whatever the circumstances" (Phil 4:12). The Old Testament shows many examples where the Israelites were discontent (i.e. complaining and grumbling) and the heart-wrenching and painful consequences of doubting God's goodness. Contentment is not easy to learn and yet it is essential to godliness.

There are, however, certain times in life when we are to be DISSATISFIED. Reading Ecclesiates reminds us that we are not made for this life. Yes, God is in control and He does work good out of all things, but this was not the way that He intended life to be. Death and illness always seem to cause people to question God's goodness, but we should remember that God planned a life for humans that didn't include those things. It was because of our choices that we have evil in our world. Being content doesn't mean never admitting that things are wrong. Life is gravely wrong.

We are to be content in all circumstances resting in Jesus and relying upon His promises, yet when I hear of some dearly beloved saint dying I am reminded that we were not made for this life and that everything that seems so incredibly and unexplainably wrong is simply giving me a deep longing and thirsting for Heaven, where all will be right.



Lord, high and holy, meek and lowly,
Thou hast brought me to the valley of vision,
where I live in the depths but see Thee in the heights;
hemmed in by mountains of sin I behold Thy glory.
Let me learn by paradox that the way down is the way up,
that to be low is to be high,
that the broken heart is the healed heart,
that the contrite spirit is the rejoicing spirit,
that the repenting soul is the victorious soul,
that to have nothing is to possess all,
that to bear the cross is to wear the crown,
that to give is to receive,
that the valley is the place of vision.
Lord, in the daytime stars can be seen from deepest wells,
and the deeper the wells the brighter Thy stars shine;
let me find Thy light in my darkness,
Thy life in my death,
Thy joy in my sorrow,
Thy grace in my sin,
Thy riches in my poverty,
Thy glory in my valley.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Consuming Kids: The Commercialization of Childhood



Above is the trailer for a recent documentary entitled "Consuming Kids". This past semester my Social Psychology professor showed this in class and then I found it online (via a blog) today. Take a look at it! Here is a link to author Ann Kroeker's blog where she discusses the video and includes links to the documentary on youtube.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Recipe for Gak

Recipe For Gak:

SOLUTION A

         1 1/2 c Warm water

         2 c Elmers white glue

Food coloring

         Mix together until completely dissolved

SOLUTION B

         3 T Borax

         1 1/3 c Warm water

         Mix together until completely dissolved (I usually prepare this in a small container with a lid, such as a water bottle, so that I can shake it before adding it to Solution A)

 INSTRUCTIONS

Pour solution A into Solution B.  Stir around with your hands to mix completely.  Lift Gak out and knead into shape.  Split into portions and proceed with fun!!









Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Cherished Moments of Solitude














































































I am not a loner.

I am not an introvert.

I am not a hermit.

And yet...I DESPERATELY NEED TIME ALONE!!!

I realized that this week more than ever as our house is overflowing with company.  This has made me cherish the tiny opportunities I have each day to be silent and be still.  At three separate intervals I found a few spare minutes of time to be alone and I treasured them for all they were worth!

This morning I was awake before the majority of the household and I was able to get ready in silence and have a few minutes to collect my thoughts.

This afternoon I took two siblings and four cousins to the park.  At one point I delegated the overseeing to the next oldest, leaving her in charge of the children on the playground.  I spent a few minutes with my camera in hand and just enjoyed the creation around me.  It's amazing how differently you see things when you take the time to look for the beauty.

And this evening I took five minutes longer in the shower than I needed just to have a couple more minutes of silence!


Wednesday, June 10, 2009

O Great God

O great God of highest heaven
Occupy my lowly heart
Own it all and reign supreme
Conquer every rebel power
Let no vice or sin remain
That resists Your holy war
You have loved and purchased me
Make me Yours forevermore

I was blinded by my sin
Had no ears to hear Your voice
Did not know Your love within
Had no taste for heaven’s joys
Then Your Spirit gave me life
Opened up Your Word to me
Through the gospel of Your Son
Gave me endless hope and peace

Help me now to live a life
That’s dependent on Your grace
Keep my heart and guard my soul
From the evils that I face
You are worthy to be praised
With my every thought and deed
O great God of highest heaven
Glorify Your Name through me

 

>> Words and Music by Bob Kauflin
(Based on The Valley of Vision prayer “Regeneration”)

Monday, May 25, 2009

1, 2, 3, 4 Boring Yet Current Facts About My Life

1.  Tomorrow I am going to the doctor's.  blah.  I hate going to the doctor's.  I'm also have a CBC done so hopefully everything will come back normal.

2.  I'm reading Anna Karenina (by Leo Tolstoy) right now.  I've been wanting to read it for a while now, but I haven't gotten around to it until now.  So far it has been interesting, but I am only about 50 pages in.

3.  We are straddling homes right now.  We sleep at our current (rental) house and spend most days at the new house, trying to get all of the work done before we move in  It's strange...I've never moved like this before.  Half of my belongings in one house and half in the other for over a week at a time.  Happy News!!  Today I unpacked ALL of my books.  They have been packed up since we first found out that we were moving from Michigan (several years ago).  It was such a lovely, enchanting feeling to get them out of the boxes and place them on the shelves.  I have such a romantic view of books and hadn't realized how much I missed my overflowing bookshelf filled with texts.  They are all in perfect alphabetical order and just waiting to be grabbed off the shelf and read with relished delight.

4.  I am so, so ready to begin my penultimate year at Cedarville.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Thankful




I cried.

And was reminded of the incredible sacrifices made by our military families.

Let's remember to be thankful for their sacrificial work.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Ella


This girl is just precious!
I love being an aunt!

pleasure writing

I am taking a short break to update my blog for some well-needed pleasure writing.  For the past three hours I have been furiously working on a research paper.  My brain is tired of thinking analytically, my eyes weary from squinting at the computer screen.  My fingers longed to fly quickly over the keys, pouring out my thoughts.

15 days.  Can I make it?  I have SO much to do before the end of the semester.  Just thinking about it overwhelms me!  Thankfully, I have made lists, lots and lots of lists.  There is a list for each week that details what exactly I need to work on each day.  That way no projects or exams have the chance to sneak up on me (hopefully!!).  My planner contains the list of what is due each day.  And I have a list of absolutely everything to do by the end of the semester.  And once something is finished I use a big, think Sharpie to cross it out!  Each time I mark something off it's exciting!  : )

15 days.

350 hours.

21,000 minutes.

:sigh:

I can make it.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

one month.

If you've been on Facebook lately you might have noticed my status.  It said that I would be off Facebook for approximately a month.  That was Monday.

Recently I was challenged (through a book that I am reading) to really consider the influence of the media.  Not just the messages that media gives, but also the amount of time I spend watching movies, etc.  This author shared that their family decided to give up most movies for a while and take that time and spend it with the Lord.  We watch movies to "veg" and escape and relax.  But spending time with the Lord should really be the most refreshing thing of all.  I really, really, REALLY did not want to give up Facebook, movies and TV shows for a month - and that was exactly why I knew that I needed to do it!  : )

Please, please don't misunderstand me.  I am NOT saying that it is wrong to watch movies or have Facebook.  Not at all!  I simply was convicted that I was spending too much time on Facebook and that I was going to movies to relax and being refreshed.  Also, this is the last month of school so any extra time that I am not spending with the Lord should really be put towards studying!!!

I am not going to say that it has been particularly easy or that it has been particularly good.  Already there have been several (okay, many) times when I have wanted to look someone or something up, only to realize that I couldn't do it without Facebook.  And yeah, the newest Amazing Race is online and I haven't watched it.  THAT takes self-control!  ; )  (PLEASE don't tell me what is happening on the show!!!!)

On a more positive note, I found a bunch of Pastor Rob's sermons that had been archived on the podcast and downloaded (or is it uploaded??  I always get those two confused!) ones that sounded particularly good.  I look forward to listening to those soon.

It's late.  I'm tired.

Before I go to bed, let me just check my Facebo........

Oh.  

Never mind.  ; )

Thursday, April 9, 2009

[No Title]

"When you think of the long and gloomy history of man, you will find more hideous crimes have been committed in the name of obedience than have ever been committed in the name of rebellion."  -C.P. Snow


This quote came to mind as I was researching the Cambodian genocide during the Khmer Rouge.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Sabina Wurmbrand

...was the young wife of a pastor and mother of a little boy during the Communist takeover in Romania in 1949.  At a pastor's convention, Sabina sat next to her husband as one Christian leader after the next walked onto the stage and blasphemed the name of Jesus Christ, caving to the demands of the Communist officials sitting in the front row.  Her heart began to burn within her.  She was so passionately in love with Jesus Christ and could not stand to hear such things spoken about Him by His own people.  She turned to her husband.  "Will you not wipe the spit from the face of Christ?" she asked him.  Richard pointed to the Communist officers. "If I stand up and speak against their agenda, they will kill me," he told her.  Sabina did not hesitate.  "I would rather be married to a dead man," she replied, "than to a coward."  It was the infusion of strength Richard needed.  He rose to his feet, sparked by the passion of his wife, and thunderously spoke truth in the midst of lies.

Sabina loved her husband and little boy.  But she loved Jesus even more. She was willing to lay down every bit of personal joy, happiness, and security to see his Name glorified.  The next 12 years of Sabina's life were excruciatingly difficult because of the stand she had taken that day.  Richard was imprisoned and tortured, and she had no way of knowing whether he was dead or alive.  She was thrown into prison herself for four years, her little boy forced to fend for himself on the streets.  When she was released, she was unable to buy or sell because of her status as the wife of a pastor and relied only on the kindness of others to survive.  BUt to Sabina, it was more than worth it.  No matter what hardships she faced, she never ceased to shine with joy, contentment, and Christlike beauty.  She spoke of Jesus to anyone who would listen, even at risk of her own safety.  Thousands discovered the transforming power of Christ through Sabina's incredible example of courage and devotion.  To Sabina, every night of hunger, pain and separation from her family was more than worth it.  Jesus was everything to her.  And her life was a glorious display of passionate devotion to Him at any cost.

-excerpt from Set-Apart Femininity by Leslie Ludy

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Heaven

There's a place far from here
Near to love, far from fear
Close to life, close to death
Close to my final breath

Where my hope has been stored
Where I'll touch the nail pierced hands of my Lord
Where my joy will never end
Where I'll finally see what I could not comprehend
Heaven, heaven, heaven, I can't wait.

What a sight to behold
Where God's light shines on gold
It might take my breath away
But I'll still live, so that's okay.

Where death is no more
Where I'll see the face of the One whom I adore
Where there'll be no more pain
Where everyone is pure without a stain
Heaven, heaven, heaven, I can't wait.

Where I'll sing a new song
For my Jesus, for my God

Where my hope has been stored
Where I'll touch the nail-pierced hands of my Lord
Where my joy will never end
Where I'll finally see what I could not comprehend
Heaven, heaven, heaven, I can't wait!!

-charity st. clair
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