Monday, 22 December 2008

Making Room For God's Plans

I've been wanting to get this post up for over a week now. Finally, a few events are over, including our banquet and church's Christmas program, and many other things, so it feels really good to be able to slow down for a few days before going caroling and Christmas with all the things that come along with it.

Something God has been showing me is making room for His plans, for they are far greater than mine. Jeremiah 29:11 says "For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end." Another translation says "For I know the plans I have for you declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you. Plans to give you hope and a future."

Awhile ago, I was asked to do something that I have to honestly say I wasn't particularly thrilled about. However, allowed God to be in charge that evening, and did He ever do something incredible. I could very easily have gone my own way, but I would have missed out on a tremendous blessing.

God really does want to give us His very best if we are willing to surrender our lives to Him and make room for His plans.

Friday, 12 December 2008

Soon....

I've really been wanting to get another post in here, but I haven't had much time. Hopefully soon though.

Wednesday, 3 December 2008

Your Plans, Eh?

Ah, don't we all like that. The idea of planning our lives. It makes us feel like we're in control and headed for success, just like we have it all together and know exactly what we're doing. But the truth is, we're not in control and we don't know exactly what we're doing.

I used to try and plan out my life, but then I started noticing something. I can't even make a day go the way I want it to, let alone a week. Tell me again why I'm trying to plan my life? God shows me everyday that He has different plans for me than I have for myself.

Does that mean we can't have a vision? No. A vision is good, but not if you're trying to plan your life day by day, year by year. God may have something very different in mind, but I can assure you, that in the end, it will be something better.

But sometimes, we face this matter, that we don't like what God has for us. We don't want to accept His will.

Matthew 26:39,42
And he went a little further, and fell on his face, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt.
He went away again the second time, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if this cup may not pass away from me, except I drink it, thy will be done.

Sometimes, we have a trial put in front of us that we want so desperately that God would take it away from us. Jesus, too, cried out for the cup to be taken away. But God will not always do that. I really took notice this morning as I read this verse, how Jesus said, "if this cup may not pass away from me, except I drink it, thy will be done." (emphasis mine) Sometimes, there's no way around the valley, but to go through it; no way around the mountain, but to go over it; no way around the raging sea, but through it. Likewise, sometimes, there's no way around the cup, but to drink it.

But in this, God never sends us through something; He always goes with us. He comes out to us on the raging sea, and calls us out onto the water. God bless you!

Wednesday, 26 November 2008

Missing Something?

I know that I often have a hard time posting once a week, so twice a day is especially rare. But I'm back because I did something funny today and it sparked many thoughts.

I was getting ready to have lunch. We had some leftover soup, so I put that on the stove and went about making a sandwich. So I did what I usually do: open up the fridge and pull out my desired items to complete my ham sandwich. Before long, I had a couple of slices of bread in the toaster and spread before me I had my package of smoked black forest ham, cheese, lettuce, tomato, onion, avocado, Miracle Whip, and honey mustard. Well, after putting it all together and cutting it diagonally, I took my first scrumptious bite. Not too bad, if I do say so myself. Another bite, and another, and yet another. Somewhere, as the delicious flavours combined in my mouth, it seemed something was missing, but I couldn't place my finger on it. All I knew was this was still really good. About halfway through, my eyes settled on the opened package of ham in front of me...Of all things I could have forgotten! I picked up the top triangle of bread and nestled a couple of slices on top of my honey mustard and mayo smeared lettuce. There. Now, it really was a ham sandwich.

How could I have forgotten the most important part? It's not a ham sandwich without ham! I know you're all thinking I have to be pretty dumb, but this brunette here is allowed one blond moment a day. Well, people do this all the time. There are people who call themselves Christians and Christ isn't evident in them at all. They claim to believe in something, teach something, do something, all in the name of Christianity, but somehow, it's still done without Christ. There are many people who like to teach good moral principles, but don't want to associate them with Christ. They could give you many legitimate reasons why you should or should not do something, why not to lie, steal, or "cheat" on your wife, but the simple fact that something is a command of God just doesn't seem to fit in. That could be really offensive, you know?!!

This year has gone by really fast again and Christmas is only a months away. Ooops! Did I just say CHRISTmas?!! Aahh, what a better time to focus on anything but the truth! Okay, so I'm being a little sarcastic. The fact is, most people celebrate Christmas, especially stores! Time to roll in the big bucks! Many people could tell you by now they have all their shopping done, and everything is already neatly wrapped and lookin' right perty under the tree. Children are one hyper mess about everything they want. But go into a store. Look at the banners, flyers, advertisements: Happy Holidays, Season's Greetings...You don't see Merry Christmas very often anymore. That has Christ in it and they don't want to offend anybody! A big X is often used to replace the word, but that's only a short form, you know! It's ridiculous! Listen to music. You won't hear many traditional carols about the birth of Jesus in public anymore but anything else that sounds happy and upbeat that goes right with the hectic atmosphere and stressed out shoppers will be just wonderful.

At Christmas, we Christians celebrate Christ; the Son of God come to the world in the flesh. But what does the rest of the world celebrate? What is their reason for the gifts, banguets, dinners, get togethers and all the other fun stuff. What many celebrate is a lie, passed down from one generation to the next. Children are taught to celebrate the image of a big jolly man in a red suit with a snowy white beard that goes all over the world in one night with his reindeer and his sleigh bringing presents to all the "nice" and "good" people. A "holy day" has been covered up with lies and distractions to keep people from the truth.

I hope you get where I'm coming from in all this, even though I did have a bit of a rough time making my point. Just like you can't have a ham sandwich without ham, you can't have Christians or Christmas without Christ. This was for me a good reminder for me today and I hope it will be for all of you as well.

Answering Questions

When asking for suggestions on what to post about, I got several suggestions and I will now expand on a few.

I finally have some more information on my job. As I said in my last post, I got a part-time position at a cafe in my hometown. I will simply be a counter attendant, and will be going back and forth from cash, coffee and other hot drinks, making smoothies, making sandwiches and so forth. I'm looking forward to it and know it will be a good challenge finding a proper balance between work, school, home, and a social life. This week, I'm still making preparations, making uniforms, doing some studying, cooking while I still have time, and so on.

I also got a suggestion on writing. Now, my book hasn't made any progress since the summer. It hasn't particularly been a priority as I've been getting busier with other things and I prefer reading books over trying to write one. There are a few things that I have learned about writing, though. When you write, you find out a lot about yourself. I have more than once surprised myself when I write because I guess I myself don't often expect what actually comes out. More often than not, though, I see where my line of thinking is wrong. I discover what I really believe, but I can't say I'm always pleased by what I find.

So there's another random post about not a whole lot of anything, but since I asked for suggestions, I might as well post about them.

Wednesday, 19 November 2008

Finally!

Okay, time to sit down and write a solid post. When asking for suggestions, somebody left a comment in regards to my new job, so I shall answer that. I got a job at the Kuma Cafe, a new coffee shop opening in our hometown. And, no, Kuma isn't an English word but it would basically be like a pantry. It was a real answer to prayer and God has just shown Himself so strong in this matter, I can hardly believe it myself! A verse that God gave me in confirmation to this was "Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you." (Matthew 7:7) We went shopping today to buy fabric for skirts for work and found really nice stuff for $3.00 a meter! Now, I don't know much about sewing, but that's incredibly cheap. God is good.

I've also been thinking about this poem lately:

I Asked God

I asked God for strength, that I might achieve.
I was made weak, that I might learn to obey.
I asked for health, that I might do greater things.
I was given infirmity, that I might do better things.
I asked for riches, that I might be happy.
I was given poverty, that I might be wise.
I asked for power, that I might have the praise of men.
I was given weakness, that I might feel the need of God.
I asked for all things, that I might enjoy life.
I was given life, that I might enjoy all things.
I got nothing that I asked for — but everything I had hoped for.
Almost despite myself, my unspoken prayers were answered.
I am, among all people, most richly blessed.

Anonymous

Sometimes we look at circumstances in our lives and think them most undesirable. God answers prayers, but sometimes in a different way than we expect and we find ourselves saying something like "God, this isn't exactly what I had in mind." But I think that even if God never gave us precisely anything we asked for--if he gave us weakness instead of strength, poverty instead of riches, infirmity instead of health, and so on--I think one day, we would look back and say that we did get everything we had ever wanted and more, even if it did come in different packaging.

CJ, at his blog was sharing six things that he learned this year, so I thought I would include that as well.

1. Even after a year and a half of babysitting, I learned that I know nothing about child training.
2. I learned to bake bread this year.
3. I learned to drive this year and made my G2 license.
4. Mom really does know more than I do. Persistence always wins, they say, but you will regret it later.
5. If it's God's will, He will bless it.
6. The Lord's chastening is all the proof I need that He loves me.

Thank you to everyone who has been patient with me in the blogging world. God bless you all richly and abundantly.

Tuesday, 18 November 2008

Hmmm....

This blog of mine really is suffering some neglect, especially this month. I've been busy with many things, including obtaining a job, but I also have no idea what to post about, even when I do have time. But hopefully I'll have a topic soon. Any suggestions?

Monday, 10 November 2008

Letting Go

Last night, I came home tired, but not too tired. I was more than ready to shower, settle down in my pajamas under my blankets with a hot cup of rooibos tea and focus on God. These last few days have been hard and wonderful at the same time. I'm learning to let go and be broken. Some of you may know what that feels like.

I was reading yesterday in Ezekiel and a little part of a verse stuck out to me. It wasn't particularly in the context it was in, but it still spoke to me nonetheless: Behold, when it was whole, it was meet for no work. So from this, I know that until I am cut down and broken, I am of no use. I think also of the seed. Unless it falls into the ground and dies, it abideth alone. But once it dies, then it begins to grow.

Matthew 13: 45, 46
Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto a merchant man, seeking goodly pearls:
Who, when he had found one pearl of great price, went and sold all that he had, and bought it.

Jesus is that pearl of great price. He costs us everything, but He is more than worth the price. I want my life to reflect these verses. I want to like Mary, choose that good part, which will not be taken away from me. (See Luke 10: 41,42) People can take so much away from us: our house, car, possessions, jobs, family, friends, food, clothing, but they cannot take Jesus away from us. While we only have things here for a time, we always have Jesus.

Like Jim Elliot, I want to give up what I cannot keep to gain that which I cannot lose. Why would I hold on to something now, when I can see that one day, it will be taken away from me, with much pain. Why not just let go now, and gain so much more.

I find myself repeating the words of the song Cry for Humility by Christ our Life:

I will worship in Spirit and in Truth
Teach me discipline, to meditate on You
You gave up Your life, I must give my all to You
Remove the veil so I can see

God bless you all and have a wonderful week.

Saturday, 8 November 2008

Absence Explained

My absence from the blogging world can be simply explained as I've been really busy. And even if I wasn't so busy, I have no idea what to post about. But I'm sure one day I'll be able to get in another solid post, I just have no idea when or what it will be about for that matter. Until then...

Wednesday, 29 October 2008

A White Blanket

I woke up some time in the early dark hours this morning to hear that scraping along the road that we haven't heard for many months. A snowplow? No, impossible. It was snowing last night when we came home, but it was surely just wet snow. I fall back asleep. When I wake up again, I turn over to look at my alarm clock, wondering why it hadn't gone off yet, only to find it dark. I check my lamp. No electricity. I drag myself out of the comfort of my bed and it was cold. Time to turn on the heat. Oh, yeah, I can't. It was still dark outside but not too dark to see the snow out of the hallway window and I could vaguely make out a fallen tree branch. I found a flashlight downstairs and pointed it at the dining room clock. 7:15. Time to climb back under the warm blankets. I couldn't read my Bible in the dark anyway. Half an hour later, the power went back on.

After having my devotions, I look out the window to some strange scenery. One large maple is almost completely bare, but the smaller one next to it is still almost all green, it's branches hanging heavy on the ground under the weight of the snow. I turn away to get up and going for the day and Christmas tunes start popping into my head. I turn back to the green maple. This is not right! It's only the last week of October.

But isn't it great that we serve a God who is in charge and when I remember that I can say "Amen! It's beautiful!" For he saith to the snow, Be thou on the earth; likewise to the small rain, and to the great rain of his strength. (Job 37:6)

When I came downstairs and looked out of the kitchen, I saw another almost frightening sight to what the snow had done to another half red, half green maple. This definitely was worthy of a few pictures.

God bless and have a great week.

Tuesday, 21 October 2008

Fulfillment in Christ

I generally don't have a whole lot of time to read books, especially novels. Never mind, that good Christian novels are hard to find. When I do read novels, I like ones that give me something to chew on, something of practical value I can relate to my own life. I found this almost immediately reading Sir Kendrick and the Castle of Bel Lione by Chuck Black:

"Duncan, I know your heart belongs to the King and the Prince. You are also a knight who yearns for adventure. But you'll soon learn there is no need. Adventure will surely find you as you follow the course set for you by the Prince....Don't be tempted to ride for glory as other knights do. Such a quest is an empty one...."

Duncan did have potential, though....He was a sturdy, broad-shouldered fellow, and he would grow stronger and mightier in the years ahead if he kept his focus on the Prince and not upon himself. And if he could learn to control himself better--for Duncan's chief weakness was his lack of self-discipline.

I can definitely identify with this in my own life. I need to shift my focus back to Jesus because it has turned to myself. What do I want (or not want)? What seems reasonable or makes sense to me? And, I tend to seek the praise and approval of others than just to simply please God. And, yes, adventure will come! I often say that the Christian life is the greatest adventure you could live because you never know what's waiting around the next corner. Another challenge is obedience. We must remember Who we are living for and His calling for our lives instead of wanting to go our own way. It is in His will that we will find fulfillment.

We have potential, but we must exercise discipline, for that is what it means to be a disciple.

Thursday, 16 October 2008

Feet Upon a Rock

Okay, this is humbling to say after my cheery post on Tuesday, but I had a really hard day yesterday. And it didn't help that there are so many things I can't understand, including myself. The Lord's chastisement really hurts, but it's all the proof I need that He loves me. In the evening, during my prayer time, I felt a calm come over me, much different than some of the frustrations of my day. I almost couldn't understand it. Then I remembered a few lines from a hymn:

In seasons of distress and grief,
My soul has often found relief,
And oft escape the tempter's snare,
By thy return, sweet hour of prayer.
--Sweet Hour of Prayer, William W. Walford, 1842

How often do we really flee to that safe retreat before our Father's throne? I, sooner seem to struggle along out of my own strength, wondering why I can't get anything right. That's because, in my own strength, I can't get anything right. In me dwells no good thing, but in Christ, I can be made perfect. I must empty myself and call on the Lord to be filled.

I am also thankful for God's mercy and forgiveness. As Jeremiah 31:34 says "...I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more." "He brought me up also out of an horrible pit, out of the miry clay, and set my feet upon a rock, and established my goings." (Psalm 40:2)

"By trying to grab fulfillment everywhere, we find it nowhere."
--Elisabeth Elliot, Passion and Purity

Tuesday, 14 October 2008

New Seasons

I absolutely love watching the colours change as autumn comes around. I feel fresh and new today, but I can't say it's always been like that the last few weeks. I've been trying to deal with a lot of things as God is purifying me...it's been really hard. But I also feel a spiritual rain coming. I was blessed to take a walk this morning, with my skirt blowing in the wind and the leaves dancing around me. Then after I came back, spending some time with my nephew, playing in the leaves, as the rain came. I managed to convince him to come inside before we got too wet and get some of the morning's pictures and videos on the computer.

I was reading in James this morning and came across these words:

James 1:2-4
My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations;
Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience.
But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.

Joy? Perfect and entire, wanting nothing? That's not exactly now I would describe how I've been feeling the last couple of weeks. But it can be! Why should I count it all joy? Because I am growing stronger! No, it isn't easy, but it's definitely worth it in the end. The victory is mine. I just have to take hold of it.

You may know what it's like to seriously exercise after you haven't done it for awhile! You may feel pretty sore for a few days. Normally, I would complain and moan over the pain, but not this week. I actually find that it feels good to be sore. I know I'm getting stronger and it feels good. I thank God that He has given me the ability to exercise and use my body.

I was almost in wonder this morning. While some trees are already bare, some are still green. ...and that's wonderful! It's easy to be discontent and want someone else's life but maybe it's a lot like the trees. When they change at different times, we can enjoy the colours longer. It's more exciting when things are different.

Here are a few pictures I got this morning:
God bless you as you continue to serve Him!

Wednesday, 8 October 2008

Sigh...

Okay, I've given up with trying to post regularly. I'm really excited though that I made my G2 today. And I was tagged, by Meshaay, so I might as well post that. The rules are as follows:

1. Link to the person(s) who tagged you.
2. Post the rules on your blog.
3. Write six random things about yourself
4. Tag sixish people at the end of your post.
5. Let each person know he or she has been tagged
6. Let the tagger know when your entry is up

So you want to know random things about me:

1. I don't like soft drinks.
2. I like my feet.
3. I'm very indecisive.
4. I actually really enjoyed writing my last English essay.
5. I have a bad tendency to worry a lot.
6. I don't make any sense.

So now, I'd like to tag:
Melodie
Christina
Maria Pauline
Tori
Jennifer
Nancy

Sunday, 28 September 2008

A Different Kind of Woman

We are creatures of a great master Designer, and His ordering of our lives is sure and certain, yet many people live without any visible order or peace or serenity. The way we live ought to manifest the truth of what we believe. A messy life speaks of a messy--an incoherent--faith...
The way you keep your house, the way you organize your time, the care you take in your personal appearance, things you spend your money on all speak loudly about what you believe. "The beauty of Thy peace" shines forth in an ordered life. A disordered life speaks loudly of disorder in the soul.
-Elisabeth Elliot, Let Me Be a Woman

Let's face it. People watch us. They watch us, they look at our lives, and they make note of the various things we do or don't do. When I read these notes on orderliness and self-discipline, I really have to think, What does my life look like? Often, it probably looks like a complete mess. But as Christians, we are called to adorn the Gospel, and make it look attractive. If we go aimlessly through life with no real purpose, we do the exact opposite. But if you look simply how people go about their day, how they handle various situations, it speaks volumes about their character. If I'm having a crazy hectic day, it's usually because there's unrest inside of me, because what's inside comes out.

Later on in Let Me Be a Woman, Elisabeth Elliot says something else that I feel goes hand in hand with this matter:

We are called to be woman. The fact that I am a woman does not make me a different kind of Christian, but the fact that I'm a Christian does make me a different kind of woman. For I have accepted God's idea of me, and my whole life is an offering back to Him of all that He wants me to be.

I think I won't go any further into this, but I would encourage you young ladies, if you can get a hold of this book, don't miss the opportunity to read it.

Monday, 22 September 2008

Not Feeling

Very often (nearly always, I'm afraid) when I come to church my feelings are uppermost in my mind. This is natural. We are human, we are "selves," and it takes no effort at all to feel. But worship is not feeling. Worship is not an experience. Worship is an act, and it takes discipline. We are to worship in spirit and in truth." Never mind about the feelings. We are to worship in spite of them.
Elisabeth Elliot, Let Me Be a Woman

I can definitely identify with this. Worship really takes discipline because it is so easy to go on feelings. Some mornings I wake up and I don't feel like getting up for my devotions and sleep on. Then right before it's time to go down for breakfast, I rush through a couple of chapters of my Bible and hurry on with my day. Then things start going wrong and I usually know exactly why. I didn't spend the time with God I should have that morning or I did something right off that I don't want to admit was wrong and it goes down from there.

If you're at the top of a hill, a muddy one, perhaps, if you slip, if you catch yourself right away and regain your step, you'll likely be okay. Yes, the way may still be difficult, but you're still on you're two feet. But if you don't catch yourself right away, you might not be able to until you're at the very bottom and a serious mess at that.

I find I do that all the time. I slip and fail to catch myself right away, and my day goes downhill from there. Once I've made a few mistakes I don't want to admit, my conscience is guilty, worship is hard. It's hard to turn to Him, to worship, pray, and meditate on His Word. You see, the decisions we make first thing in the morning affect our whole day. We reap the fruit throughout the day of the first choices we make when we start our day.

Life for me is changing. I'm excited, but I know it won't always be easy. I marvel at God's faithfulness. He has been good to me.

Wednesday, 17 September 2008

But It's So Tiny!

Yesterday when I was babysitting my nephew, he did something that showed me how we, as Christians, often treat sin. I was busy doing something when I noticed he was squatted down on the floor, as he usually does when he's looking at something he's fascinated by. So I went over to see what he was looking at and was almost a little alarmed when I saw he was trying to pick up an earwig. The little critter was violently wiggling around in his fingers, trying desperately to sting the curious little boy. Of course, I told him immediately to leave the bug alone, that it was going to hurt him, but he didn't seem to react much. I got him out of the way and swept up the bug, much to his disappointment.

Coming back, I had to wonder why my nephew would attempt to play with an ucky bug. I told him to leave it alone because it was going to hurt him but that didn't cause him to draw back. In his two year old mind, he's probably thinking, "That thing is so small, what's it gonna do to me?" He doesn't know nor does he understand how that's even possible, so he just ignores my caution.

As I was thinking about this throughout my day, I discovered that this is often how I treat sin. I see it, and thinking it's small and harmless, my curiosity gets the better of me and I try to play with it. God warns me and tells me to leave it alone, but I can't see any reason why. Like my nephew, I ignore the caution from Someone who knows how it will work to my hurt, then, I get hurt, of course.

The thing is, we don't always need to understand, we just need to trust God that He knows and always wants what's best for us. He sees the bid picture while we're only aware of what's directly in front of us. We only need to believe Him and be obedient when He says, "No!"

Monday, 15 September 2008

Where's Our Place?

I'm currently reading Let Me Be a Woman by Elisabeth Elliot and I'm looking forward to share some excerpts that really stick out to me. This is one of the first parts that really caught my attention:

Women during the past decade have contrived to place themselves very much in the center of attention. They are talked about, puzzled about, argued about, and legislated about, and it is women who have done most of the talking, arguing, and perhaps the legislating, while it is men, I suppose, who have done more of the puzzling. A torrent of books about women has been pouring from the presses urging women to cast off traditional roles, to refuse the socialization that has for many centuries, they say, controlled and confined them, and to move into what some of them called "human" (as distinct from biological or reproductive) pursuits, which, whether they are interesting and uninteresting are said to be male territory.

My question is why is it that women cannot seem to accept, no, rather appreciate and love, who God has created them to be? We live in an age of feminism, where unless you, women, go to college or university and pursue a respectable career, are considered unsuccessful. It seems that being a housewife and raising children is of little value anymore. Many women get negative reactions when they speak of staying at home and homeschooling their children. They get remarks like "You're never going to make ends meet on a single income," or "How will your children ever learn to socialize?"

In this, I'm not discouraging obtaining a post-secondary education and pursuing a career, if that's what God calls you to do. But I feel we have lost sight of who God has created women to be. He has created us for a very special purpose that many seem to look down on. Women don't like the idea of being a weaker vessel, created under men, but God made us because it was not good for man to be alone. He saw that man needed someone and that someone was a woman. He indeed has a special place and purpose for us.

We don't need to step and try to prove ourselves. God has created me a woman, so that's exactly what I want to be. I don't want to try and make myself somebody I'm not, wearing a mask, living a life that's not my own. Let us not strive after this world's idea of success but rather who God has created us to be.

Please feel free to share any thoughts on this or throw in your two cents. God bless you!

Thursday, 11 September 2008

The Day Our Lives Changed...

September 11, 2001 Bombing of the World Trade Center

The day began as many days,
With skies so clear and blue…
People carried out their tasks
Without a thought of you.

But suddenly, the earth stood still,
As terror filled the skies…
Life, as we had come to know
was changed before our eyes.

Oh God, you heard the many cries
That rang across our land…
Even those who seldom pray
Came forth with praying hands.

Others who have followed you
Were lost for ample words…
And no one was prepared for it;
This horror we observed.

And as the days and weeks go by
We search to find our way…
To help our children understand
What happened on that day.

Their future lies uncertain now,
As reality sets in…
Their innocence and carefree ways
Now drifting far from them.

The young adults, who, yesterday,
Had lofty plans ahead…
now suddenly may find themselves
involved in war instead.

Lord, help us rise above our grief
And lead us close to You…
As parents, we all need to know
What You would have us do.

Help prepare our "children" now,
As soldiers, brave and tall...
Rise them up, beneath Your wings,
That none may slip and fall.

Written by Jill Lemming

I found this poem awhile ago and I found it fitting to post today, now seven years after the incident. To me, it's a very sobering reminder how uncertain this life is. But even though the world around us is crumbling, Jesus is a sure rock and we can cling to His promises. This is also a reminder that Jesus is coming back soon.

Please take some time today to pray that God would comfort the families and friends who lost loved ones that day. Pray also for the rescue workers who sacrificed so much that day and the weeks to follow, that God would be with them and draw nearer to them in their grief.

Monday, 8 September 2008

It's Time to Pray

I must start by saying that I had a really good weekend and that God really blessed me. I had lots of time alone to spend time in His Word, in prayer, and I had time to start on the stack of books I all want to read.

Saturday morning, in my dosing state, I had a really strange dream. I won't share many of the details just because it involves other people, but I would like to share what God showed me, or rather, is showing me through it. In my dream, I received some news about a few individuals that really shocked me. I didn't think about it as I woke up but I remembered it when I sat down for breakfast all alone. First of all, I found it really strange to have a dream like this now. There was a time where I spent a lot of time in prayer for these individuals but I haven't seen either of them in a long time. Then I thought, well, maybe I should pray for them. But I hadn't seen these people in so long, I hardly felt like I had any responsibility to pray for them. How could I effectively pray for someone I haven't seen in so long? But I did have a rough idea where they are in their lives right now, and that alone told me that they could probably use a lot of prayer. And then it was like God was saying, "Margaret, it's time to pray again."

I was later reminded of the story Francois Carr shared at our church twice now, how one night the Spirit laid it on his heart to pray for a lady. He didn't know why he was supposed to pray for her but he was obedient to the Spirit's prompting. I may never know why God wants me to pray and that's okay, I just have to be obedient. I mean, have you ever had a perfect week? What if these people are going through some fires right now?

Our prayers do go farther than the ceiling. We were reminded about this just this weekend. Last Saturday at our prayer meeting, we prayed for Cuba as hurricane Gustav was sweeping through there at that very time. It had just come through Haiti where a large number of people lost their lives, but when it came through Cuba, not a single person lost their life as a result. Prayer really does something.

It's time to pray!

Monday, 1 September 2008

My Week...

I do sincerely apologize for my lack of posting lately. I had most of my week off last week, in which I spent most of reading. Yesterday, my friend Justine and I were baptized at our church. We were blessed to have several friends visiting! It was an amazing day!

Last week, God showed me His love in a very humbling way. I won't go into detail with my story, but God showed me how much He wants us to come to Him when we're hurting...that when He asks "What's wrong?" that we just come into His arms and pour out our heart to Him and allow Him to take our hurt and pain. We don't need to carry these burdens around all the time. God does not want us to carry these burdens around but cast it all on Him and find release from our bondage.

Right now, I'm being really blessed reading through Ecclesiastes and I hope to study it in more depth and share what I learn with you all. Until then, God be with you!

Thursday, 28 August 2008

New Feature

If y'all hadn't noticed yet, I added a list of books to my sidebar. I hope to add more as I have to time to read. If you have questions about any of them, just drop me a comment and I'll gladly get back to you.

Tuesday, 26 August 2008

Where Shall Wisdom Be Found?

I was amazed this morning when I was reading in Job and would like to share it all with my fellow readers, seeing as I haven't posted in over a week. Before reading my post, I would encourage you to read Job 28 yourself, since I don't want to type out the whole chapter. In Job 28, Job starts out by saying where many things come from, like silver, iron, brass, etc. Then in verse 12, he asks a question:

Job 28:12,13
But where shall wisdom be found? and where is the place of understanding?
Man knoweth not the price thereof; neither is it found in the land of the living.

He goes on to say that the price of wisdom is far above many valuable items, such as silver, gold, pearls, and precious stones. In verse 22, he says "Destruction and death say, We have heard the fame thereof with our ears." In all honesty, I would have to say that's also true about my own life: I have heard the fame of wisdom, but that's about it. I often find myself asking, "Well, what is wisdom, really?"

Job 28:23,27,28
God understandeth the way thereof, and he knoweth the place thereof.
Then did he see it, and declare it; he prepared it, yea, and searched it out.
And unto man he said, Behold, the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom; and to depart from evil is understanding.

Wisdom is something that God saw and declared, something He prepared and searched out, and it's something I want to pursue! Glory to our King!

Monday, 18 August 2008

I Would Love Thee

I would love Thee, God and Father! My Redeemer, and my King!
I would love Thee; for without Thee Life is but a bitter thing.

I would love Thee; ev'ry blessing Flows to me from out Thy throne;
I would love Thee; -he who loves Thee Never feels himself alone.

I would love Thee; look upon me, Ever guide me with Thine eye:
I would love Thee; if not nourished By Thy love, my soul would die.

I would love Thee; I have vowed it; On Thy love my heart us set;
While I love Thee, I will never My Redeemer's blood forget.
-Jeanne Marie Guyon, 1648-1717

These words have become very precious to me the last few days. I've been overflowing with joy and surrounded by a peace which passes all understanding.

I started reading this morning in Job. Even after loosing all that he owned, Job "fell down upon the ground, and worshipped, And said, Naked came I out of my mother's womb, and naked shall I return thither: the LORD gave, and the LORD hath taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD." (Job 1:20, 21) After being afflicted with boils, he says "shall we receive good at the hand of God, and shall we not receive evil? In all this did not Job sin with his lips." (Job 2:10)

Is this our reaction when troubles and trials come our way? Probably, not very often. Something I've been thinking about is that God never sends me through trials all alone but he holds my hand through all of it.

Blessings to everyone! Have a wonderful week.

Tuesday, 12 August 2008

Kindred Spirit Award


Thank you to Jennifer for thinking of me upon receiving the Kindred Spirit Award. I, in turn would like to pass it on to several girls that have been a blessing to me, knowing them personally and through their blogs:

Maria Pauline
Melodie Joy Wiebe
Nancy Wall
Christina

Here are the guidelines. Thank you girls so much for the blessing and encouragement you have been to me.

Friday, 8 August 2008

Not Qualified?

Acts 4:13
"Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were unlearned and ignorant men, they marvelled; and they took knowledge of them, that they had been with Jesus."

Do you ever feel inadequate or far from qualified for the task set before you? We all fall into this one at some point. Some one asks us to do something, and we like to step back, putting up our hands defensively and going on, reading out of our book of excuses why we can't do it. I do it myself all the time. We feel inadequate. We don't qualify. We don't have the talents, skill, or abilities. We know someone else who would be much better suited for the position. WHY ME?!!!

So when I read this verse this week, I took fresh courage. When Jesus chose His disciples, He chose ordinary people. Ordinary people, living ordinary lives, to serve an extraordinary God, and thus do extraordinary things. Fishermen. Not incredibly remarkable individuals, not particularly educated and intelligent...just ordinary people. I take fresh courage in that. Possibly God wants to show Himself strong in my weaknesses. Not possibly; I know He does.

God uses ordinary people, the unqualified, the inadequate. He doesn't call the qualified, He qualifies the called. He takes our fears and failures and uses them for His honour and glory. But we can't do it ourselves; it has to be God's working in and through us. Peter spoke, empowered by the Holy Spirit, and thousands were added to the church. He couldn't have done it himself.

Acts 5:38,39
And now I say unto you, Refrain from these men, and let them alone: for if this counsel or this work be of men, it will come to nought:
But if it be of God, ye cannot overthrow it; lest haply ye be found even to fight against God.

Even this Pharisee, Gamaliel, recognized that men's work comes to nought, but God's work will always prosper. It cannot be overthrown. Does that mean we won't ever face opposition when God calls us to do something? No. Jesus tells us that we will face opposition, but it will prosper.

Sorry, I hardly know how to put my thoughts into words. I hope that made some sense. Blessings!

Monday, 4 August 2008

The Work of the Lord

And, yes, the Lord is doing a mighty work. My sincerest apologies for waiting so long to post again. The Lord is doing much pruning, chastising, and refining once again. I'm most definitely an ongoing project that's never finished. I was thinking about this last week when my mom and I were doing some sewing. We had made a skirt last year that hadn't turned out and so now we were going to do some alterations to get it to fit. So after tearing out this seam and doing this or that, we could just not get it to fit right and look nice and there were many other problems along with it. Quite discouraged, my mom suggested that if it was alright with me, we would just leave it for now.

The next morning, I woke up with this thought: Isn't it wonderful that our Heavenly Father doesn't do that? He never gives up on us. He doesn't put us aside when we don't immediately respond to his molding. Rather He tears open this seam and redoes that one until it's just right; He doesn't stop until the work is finished and perfect and that makes me rejoice. Yes, it hurts and it's not always fun, but He holds our hand every step of the way and great is our reward.

So there's just one of my recent thoughts. God bless.

Monday, 28 July 2008

Ye Shall Not Need to Fight

The Lord has been good to me once again. Last week our church hosted the School of Revival and Prayer and God did a mighty work, in my life and the lives of many others. It was absolutely incredible beyond words. He did a mighty work in my life, sweeping out sin in my life as I surrendered many things into His hands. There was something in my life that I didn't know how it was going to work out but I knew that God could do it and wanted to do it. Saturday morning, He confirmed many things through His Word in just a few verses:

2 Chronicles 20:15,17
...Thus saith the LORD unto you, Be not afraid nor dismayed by reason of this great multitude; for the battle is not yours, but God's.
Ye shall not need to fight in this battle: set yourselves, stand ye still, and see the salvation of the LORD with you, O Judah and Jerusalem: fear not, nor be dismayed; to morrow go out against them: for the LORD will be with you.

I had read these verses before and heard them countless times, but they didn't speak to me like the way they did now. Then I saw God do some amazing things. He showed me something I had known for a long time but I just hadn't seen at this time. Had I seen it a few weeks ago, I would not have gone through the deep struggle I did last week, but then God wouldn't have been able to teach me anything and my love for Christ would not have increased the way it has. I praise Him for his love and mercy.

I know I've shared this quote in another post but I would like to say it again:

"Great faith is the product of great fights. Great testimonies are the outcome of great tests. Great triumphs can only come out of great trials."
-Smith Wigglesworth

Finally, sorry for my lack of posting this month. I'll try to get another one in later on this week. We'll see how the Lord leads. God bless.

Monday, 21 July 2008

A Matter of Perspective

I was really blessed today to take some time to free my mind, reflect, and just be quiet before God and allow Him to speak to my heart. Psalm 34:8 says "O taste and see that the LORD is good: blessed is the man that trusteth in him." Somebody can tell me about the goodness of the Lord. I can open my Bible and read about the goodness of the Lord just as well. But until I taste and see for myself that the Lord is good and experience God myself, I don't really know that...it doesn't mean nearly as much to me.

I've been blessed in my babysitting job. For a long time, I was learning to be content with it, but now I'm actually enjoying it. Today a thought came to me. This eight year old boy really likes to brag about me. He's convinced I'm an awesome chef (I'm glad somebody thinks so), I'm a "pro" at Dutch Blitz, and likewise a "pro" at badminton. Now, I am pretty good at cooking, at least I think so, but I know many people who are much better at it than I am but he doesn't know that. Again, I'm pretty decent at Dutch Blitz, but I know many who are much better at it than me and he's only learning now. He's also fresh at the sport of badminton but so am I. Yes, I played badminton in high school, but the coach's elementary school boys beat me no problem. And had any seniors been in watching me practice, they would have been scratching their heads wondering how I managed to make the team. But see, this eight year old doesn't see that. He's only half as old as I am and lacks experience...he just hasn't seen as much as I have. It's like when I tell a six year old girl that I'm 16, she thinks I'm old. It's a matter of perspective.

So, when I was reflecting on this I remembered a portion of scripture I recently read in Luke 7 where a woman comes to Jesus, washing his feet with her tears, wiping them with her hair and then anointing them. In verse 47, Jesus says "Wherefore I say unto thee, Her sins, which are many, are forgiven; for she loved much: but to whom little is forgiven, the same loveth little." Thinking of this, a man who is a convicted murderer, who has done all kinds of horrible things and will be spending the rest of his life behind bars, when He discovers God's love and learns what Jesus has done for Him, and that all his sins are forgiven, he will have much greater love for God than someone who was only forgiven a lie he told. To the one that told a lie, salvation, forgiveness, and the remission of sins doesn't mean nearly as much so his love will not be as great. Suppose there was a group of people chosen, for whatever reason, that automatically had eternal life without Jesus, which we know can never happen. But if this were by chance the case, Jesus' death and resurrection and what He accomplished on the cross may not mean anything because they have not experienced what the next person has. He has not experienced the joy and relief when Jesus says "Thy sins are forgiven thee." Does that make any sense? I hardly know how to put it all in words.

Well, that's a bit of what was on my mind tonight. God bless.

Wednesday, 16 July 2008

Patience

Gulp. Whether we're stuck in traffic, late for something or it involves siblings, patience is something we could probably all use another dose of. I was reading in Luke when I came across this verse where Jesus is explaining the parable of the sower:

Luke 8:15
But that on the good ground are they, which in an honest and good heart, having heard the word, keep it, and bring forth fruit with patience.

Bring forth fruit with patience. Upon reading this I thought "Is patience perhaps not only a good thing to possess but also a necessary thing in living the Christian life?" But first, lets define the term patience. Oxford Canadian Dictionary defines patience as the capacity to accept or endure delay, provocation, or hardship calmly without anger. I also looked it up in a concordance and in the Greek, patience means cheerful endurance. In some cases, it also means longsuffering. So now, not only is patience just enduring without anger, but enduring cheerfully.

Romans 5:3-5
And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience;
And patience, experience; and experience, hope:
And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.

So, if patience works experience, experience hope, and that hope maketh not ashamed, then I think it's safe to say that patience can be very beneficial.

1 Timothy 6:11
But thou, O man of God, flee these things; and follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, meekness.

As children of God, we are called to pursue patience, along with righteousness, godliness, faith, love, and meekness.

Hebrews 6:12
That ye be not slothful, but followers of them who through faith and patience inherit the promises.

Promises come along with patience as well.

James 1:3,4
Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience.
But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.

Wow! That's beyond incredible.

2 Peter 1:5-9
And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue, and to virtue knowledge;
And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness;
And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity.
For if these things be in you and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.
But he that lacketh these things is blind, and cannot see afar off, and hath forgotten that he was purged from his old sins.

Who wants patience by now? Notice that patience along with all these other qualities not only need to be in us, but they need to abound so that we may be fruitful and grow in the knowledge of our Lord.

I think by now, it's safe to say that patience is not only a good option, but a needful thing; not an easy thing, but a necessary one. There are also many wonderful things that come along with it. So I suppose that's enough of my rambling but when you take many different portions of scripture on one topic, you can get much more out of it and makes these qualities much more desirable.

Thanks for reading and I hope you got something out of it. God bless!

Monday, 14 July 2008

Rejoice!

Yes, it's been a week again since I last posted. Where to start? Last week, God was really pruning, chastising, and refining. I'm learning to rejoice in the Lord, even when my circumstances aren't all that great and just learning what it really means to know God. Not just knowing about God or who He is but really know God. I had the chance to listen to Love With Shoes On and God's really been asking me "Have you counted the cost?" We had Otto Koning at our church this weekend and I was reminded once again that yes, there is a cost to consider. Along the same lines, He's also asking me "Are you willing? If I ask you to do this, will you be obedient?" It's been a time of learning, reflecting, growing, and loving God more. He's just always becoming more real in so many ways; it's amazing!

Something came up today that I really need to seek God's will and direction in. So if God lays it on your heart to pray for me, it would be sincerely appreciated.

Blessings!

Tuesday, 8 July 2008

O Worship the Lord

1 Chronicles 16:31-34
Let the heavens be glad, and let the earth rejoice: and let men say among the nations, The LORD reigneth.
Let the sea roar, and the fulness thereof: let the fields rejoice, and all that is therein.
Then shall the trees of the wood sing out at the presence of the LORD, because he cometh the judge the earth.
O give thanks unto the LORD; for he is good; for his mercy endureth for ever.

I absolutely love this passage of scripture...it's so poetic. Here we have nature, creation, God's creation personified, worshiping THEIR Creator. He's not just our Creator, but their Creator as well and they praise His Name as well. It's something my imagination cannot picture.

Just a few verses earlier in verse 29, David says "worship the LORD in the beauty of holiness." And I have to ask what does it mean to worship the LORD in the beauty of holiness? First of all, I see worship in holiness, that is, we are to be holy. Beauty: holiness is beautiful. So when we worship the LORD in the beauty of holiness, we do just that. Or what do you think?

Psalm 27: 8
When thou saidst, Seek ye my face; my heart said unto thee, Thy face, LORD, will I seek.

Glory to our King!

Thursday, 3 July 2008

God is Working

It's been almost a week since I last posted...it feels like yesterday. This week has gone by much faster than I initially anticipated. I know my posts haven't had very much in them lately but that doesn't mean my life is boring right now. Completely the opposite, actually. God has been doing a marvelous work in my life. It's not easy, but He's with us even through the fiery trials. I'm learning so much and He speaks to me in such everyday ordinary things if I'm willing to listen and learn. I'm learning not to get distracted in my life but rather to focus on the task at hand; serving my Lord and Saviour where He has placed me right now. Otherwise the results may not be so good at all. I hardly know what to say...words don't do justice what I've been learning and God's marvelous works in my life, even if I tried to explain.

The last few weeks I've often gone back to the Psalms for words of strength and encouragement.

Psalm 63:7, 8
Because thou hast been my help, therefore in the shadow of thy wings will I rejoice.
My soul followeth hard after thee: thy right hand upholdeth me.

One day I randomly turned to Psalm 60 and something caught my attention:
Psalm 60: 9-12
Who will bring me into the strong city? who will lead me into Edom?
Wilt not thou, O God, which hadst cast us off? and thou, O God, which didst not go out with our armies?
Give us help from trouble: for vain is the help of man.
Through God we shall do valiantly: for he it is that shall tread down our enemies.

Isn't that amazing! It reminds me of Job.

Before the throne of God above
I have a strong, a perfect plea
A great high Priest whose Name is Love
Who ever lives and pleads for me
My name is graven on His hands
My name is written on His heart
I know that while in heaven He stands
No tongue can bid me thence depart.
-Selah, Before the Throne of God Above

God bless you and keep you. Give Him praise.

Friday, 27 June 2008

Take It Away?

Maybe you've been going through a string of trials like me and you've pleaded with God to take it away. Then you have to wonder and ask why He doesn't do it. Well, I knew better than to ask God to take it away because I knew He wouldn't do it but I had to wonder why. Then it dawned on me that if He always took everything away, we'd never learn anything, or grow for that matter. When we don't understand a math problem, we don't learn how to do it when it's taken away from us, but rather by working through it and practicing. We need to also recognize that we don't just have a Lord, Saviour, Redeemer, Friend, but that Jesus is also our Teacher and Guide. He doesn't just put something in front of us and then leave us on our own but helps us through it.

At first thought, we like to say "It's too hard!" Humanly speaking, possibly, but we can do all things through Christ who strengthens us. On our own, it may be too hard, but with strength from above, we are not just survivors but more than conquerors.

God bless.

Monday, 23 June 2008

Broken Pieces

Well, these last few weeks I've been torn apart and heartbroken and now I'm just a bunch of broken pieces. It really hurts but then I realized, Hey, I'm at a place now that God can work with me and that's exciting. And an amazing work that He's doing! He's teaching me so much that I can hardly take it all in at once. I find that I can't just lean on Jesus but I need to completely throw myself on Him. He is good, merciful, and faithful even when I'm not.

Our youth held a free car wash for the community on Saturday and we found out that's a great way to shock people...an absolutely free car wash. We had rain on and off but I still managed to get a sunburn but it was good.

I know I'm not worthy of God's love but I praise and thank Him for it every day.

And I'll stand in awe of You,
Yes I'll stand in awe of You,
And I'll let my words be few-
Jesus I am so in love with You.
-Matt Redman

May this be our song each day. And if it isn't real in our life, then lets make it real. Glory be unto Jesus.

Wednesday, 18 June 2008

Time

Somebody shared this recently:
If there's a time for everything, then now is not the time for everything.

Monday, 16 June 2008

Humility and Obedience

So, you've all probably been wondering where I've been, but in all fairness I did warn you. I can't begin to explain what God has been doing in my life but He's definitely teaching me the power in a spirit of meekness and humility. I've made an utter fool out of myself on several occasions but that's alright. I'm also learning to walk in obedience to the Spirit's leading. I had the opportunity to witness to a few people yesterday when our youth was at the park which was interesting. It's really hard for me to just go up to a random person and share the Gospel with them but God gives the strength.

I have a Driver Ed exam today so any prayers would be more than greatly appreciated. And because I have to study, that's about all I'm going to say right now. God bless!

Wednesday, 11 June 2008

I Need Your Help

I'll be honest...I'm going through a really hard time right now and I can't do it alone. I need the prayers of other believers. Just when I thought I couldn't get any busier God throws a book in there. Yes, that's what I've been hinting at the last few posts. It seems that God wants me to write a novel; he wants to accomplish the impossible in me. I cannot do it, but He can do it through me. Along with that, I'm going through a lot of inner struggles that I really don't know how to deal with. I'm slowly seeing that it all ultimately boils down to my own pride and selfishness. Pray that it may be crushed and replaced with a spirit of humility, meekness, and love. Pray that I may lean on Jesus and know I can't do it on my own. Pray that if God wants me to write this book, that He would provide the time and would show me what to write and reveal Himself to me. I'm really learning to do hard things; getting out of my comfort zone, pursuing excellence rather than excuses, doing things that don't immediately pay off...

"Great faith is the product of great fights. Great testimonies are the outcome of great tests. Great triumphs can only come out of great trials."
-Smith Wigglesworth

I trust that God wants to show Himself strong through my weaknesses and that this will be a time of growing. So, I have to go because I do have a lot of work to do.

God be with you.

Monday, 9 June 2008

Have You Given Up Your Supper?

Say what? No I'm not talking about steaks or barbecued chicken. Let me explain. I was thinking about something a few days ago and I wanted a Bible story to use for something. Somehow, I kept thinking about the feeding of the five thousand but I didn't know how I could get a lesson out of it. Then I remembered the boy who gave the five barley loaves and two small fish. Logically speaking, it's impossible that this is sufficient amount for the multitude. Even the disciples who walked with Jesus said this. Nevertheless, this boy gave it, Jesus blessed it and everyone was filled. Jesus took that small amount and used it in a big way. So my question is have you given up your supper? This could be anything: your time, resources, talents, whatever it may be. It may be small and you may think it will hardly make any difference to this world but if you give it to Jesus, He can bless it and use it in a big way. I also noticed that this boy was kind of forgotten later on and he's actually only mentioned in the Gospel of John chapter 6. This tells us that we may not get a whole lot of recognition for what we do but that's okay because then God gets the glory and it will be of Him that we will receive our reward and a much bigger reward than man can give.

Yesterday, we had an amazing day. Our Sunday school lesson was great, along with the message and we had two girls get baptized. I could go into detail of what I all learned but that would just take way too long today. In the afternoon, our youth went to Spencer Gorge and so I'll post a few pictures. After we were done walking the trails, a big thunderstorm came in and we were battling heavy rains and strong winds on ride home, but it was beautiful.








Another small waterfall we found.
We took this trail by the train tracks at the bottom of the Dundas Peak. We found this "shortcut" going to the top. It was an extremely steep trail going up that was pretty much just loose rock and rubble. Now, I'm not a very "sportsy" or athletic person but I agreed because I thought it was just a little ways. We ended up climbing right to the top up the front of the cliff. Never doing that again! I wasn't about to slide all the way down halfway up so just don't look down and keep going.

And the view from up top. Yes
those are the same train tracks from about twenty minutes ago.







And the storm we had afterwards.

Oh, the joys of exploring the Niagara Escarpment! Sorry, I'm not very good at organizing pictures so this is a bit of a jumbled post. Blessings!

Thursday, 5 June 2008

What Do You Think?

I had shared something a few months back about my next hard thing. I started it but when I got busier, I dropped it. This week someone came to me who felt that I was stopping myself from doing hard things and therefore wasn't being true to myself and to God's will. He also felt that it was really needed and many could benefit from it. I thought about it and realized that I was limiting what God was able to do through me. The only problem is, to me it's seemingly impossible right now. Maybe in a few years when I'm done school and have more time, yes, but not now. Then again, I knew God had a surprise waiting for me. I think it was just last week I was telling somebody that nothing was too hard and wadda ya know, here am I saying it's impossible. I really need to start to "practice what I preach." Now, I've been praying about it and it's looking like He wants me to do this. I hardly know what to do...

Question: Is there a difference between working around obstacles and forcing open a closed door? I have many opportunities come up but the way isn't clear and I wonder if it's really worth the trouble to make it work out. So I give up pretty quick and conclude that it must not be God's will. So can you work out things that are in the way without forcing open a door?

I want to be obedient to God's will but I'm really not sure how everything's gonna work out right now. Anyway I have lots of things to do but I'm hoping to be back early next week. Blessings!

Sunday, 1 June 2008

Turning...

Well, I was going to share something really exciting but God seems to be saying "No." Rather I need to reassess my priorities. I've known for awhile that it needs to be done but I waited until I heard it from someone else and then it hit hard. (Thanks Kade.) You see, I waste a lot of my time and it's mostly wasted on the computer. As a result, I'm not accomplishing anything nor am I productive in the work God has set before me. I've been very encouraged by blogging and reading all your blogs. I've been blessed and I've learned a lot but I'm not putting any of it to practice in my life. I'm a hypocrite, making myself look like somebody that I'm not, and my walk is far from my talk. So, I must apologize and ask for everyone's forgiveness.

Chances are, I'm not going to posting as frequently as I would like to for awhile. I hope to get a post in once a week as the Lord permits, but we'll see what happens. If the Spirit lays it on your heart, please do pray for me as I continue to pray for all of you.
And part of a song.
"Heal me
Heal these eyes
Heal this heart
Heal my mind
Breathe your breath of life
Heal me
Wake my soul
From this sleep
Give me back the joy
Of when I first believed
Heal me."
-Aaron Jeoffrey, Heal Me

Until next time, God bless you richly. Your all in prayers.
"Your actions are shouting so loud I can hardly hear what you're saying."

Friday, 30 May 2008

Capturing Summer Greens


What better thing to do on a lazy summer evening than go on a personal photo shoot and see how many different crazy things you can come up with with just yourself and a camera. Most fun I've had all day and you're all thinking I need to get a life. We have some gorgeous maples on our yard that just get bigger every year.

So, now all of you who would like to put a face to the name...there it is.


Wow, uploading pictures takes long. And it doesn't help that accidentally keep deleting them but there's a few. Sorry, I ended up deleting more.
Well, maybe I can post some photos again sometime. I just used my brother's camera...something I would like to invest in sometime. I could really enjoy photography.

God bless you all.

A Little Bit of Everything

So, I'm supposed to be leaving for China on Sunday. *gasps, What?!!!* That's a great reaction. But no, I had a dream this week that I was flying out to China this Sunday and I was going to be doing some work there for a month. Of course, everyone thought I was crazy. I had a dream last night that I broke my bottom retainer and I nearly did this morning. I accidentally tried putting it in upside down and bit down on it really hard. (Don't try that...I doesn't work.) But anyway, I feel like I'm at a point in my life where God has something big right in front of me, I just don't see it yet. I see myself out in the mission field someday, but not right now. I'm content doing what I do right now, and yet eager to move on. I was reading in Matthew this morning and I noticed that Joseph always stayed where He was until God showed him otherwise. He stayed with Mary and Jesus in Bethlehem until he was told to flee to Egypt, then Israel, and later they settled in Galilee. So I shall stay right where I am until God shows me otherwise.

Last night at gym night, some of us girls played soccer and was that ever an interesting affair. I hadn't played since the Wissmanns were at our church last year and it felt like we were just running around in circles until a couple of guys came in to help us. And just to clarify their error we are Lighthouse Gospel Church.

I read 1 Kings 10 awhile back and have gone back to it a few times, so I thought maybe it was time to post about it. But first, in chapter 3, God speaks to Solomon in a dream allowing him to ask for whatever he wants and he chooses wisdom. Then God says, read I Kings 3:11-14. Notice that God does not say I will give thee but rather "I have given thee." At this point I'm going to ignore that Solomon had 700 wives and princesses and 300 concubines because that just scares me, not to mention that they turned away his heart. Now, in chapter 10, the queen of Sheba comes to visit Solomon. She's heard all kinds of things about his wisdom and riches and can't believe it's true so she has to go see for herself. Then she says in verses 6 and 7:

"And she said to the king, It was a true report that I heard in mine own land of thy acts and of thy wisdom.
Howbeit I believed not the words, until I came, and mine eyes had seen it: and, behold, the half was not told me: thy wisdom and prosperity exceedeth the fame which I heard."

Can people say this about us and our character? Do we hold such a testimony that people don't believe others when they talk about us? Do they have to come to us and see for themselves and only find that we are much greater than of what they heard? I think you'll all agree that you are by no means that kind of person but you can strive to be. It may not be fame of riches and wisdom, but simply godly character and a heart that loves Jesus. I liked how in Do Hard Things, Alex and Brett talked about being known more for what you do do than for what you don't do. What kind of impression do others have of you?

Enough rambling for today...Seek Jesus and Him alone.

Wednesday, 28 May 2008

Do You Measure Up?

So, I just read Proverbs 31 again...the chapter I think all young women got to to see if they "measure up" and lets just say I have a long way to go. Guys, this post probably won't help you much but if I could say one thing, it would be raise your expectations. I can 99.9% guarantee you that the woman of your dreams won't be perfect and I know 100% that the man of mine won't be, but don't settle for just anything. But anyway, reading this chapter I came up with a few points.

A virtuous woman is:
  • Precious; "her price is far above rubies"
  • Honoured and can be trusted; "The heart of her husband doth safely trust in her" and "strength and honour are her clothing"
  • Works hard; "She riseth also while it is yet night, and giveth meat to her household, and a portion to her maidens...her candle goeth not out by night...She looketh well to the ways of her household, and eateth not the bread of idleness." and many verses in between.
  • Strong; "She girdeth her loins with strength, and strengtheneth her arms."
  • Loving and wise; "She stretcheth out her hand to the poor; yea, she reacheth forth her hands to the needy...She openeth her mouth with wisdom; and in her tongue is the law of kindness."
  • Loves God more than anything; "Favour is deceitful and beauty is vain: but a woman that feareth the LORD, she shall be praised."
In that, I could have given you the whole chapter but you can read it yourself. I could have gone into modesty as well but I didn't; read 1 and 2 Timothy or anything that talks about women or youth in general; study godly women of the Bible and in history. You might say, "Well, I'm only 16, I've a few years to go." But I would encourage you now to become that woman worth waiting for and remember that we are now the bride of Christ. We belong to Him now and that should make us strive for this all the more; to develop a meek and quiet spirit and to serve God with our whole hearts. I myself am only in the tiny baby steps toward what this chapter describes, but it is a work that is never done.

God bless each one of you as you continue to grow and seek His face.

Tuesday, 27 May 2008

After Nearly Three Years...

...Since I got my expander, my braces came off today and now I'm trying to learn how to talk with a retainer. I got my bands off last month so taking my brackets off today took like a minute... and then it felt like I had no teeth. Then they spent about half an hour polishing and cleaning in which in part of that time water was spraying all over my face. Then switching rooms and getting photos and impressions done again...But it's pretty exciting. Now comes taking care of my retainer to avoid more bills.

If there's anybody reading my blog now who's dragging through the pain and self-denial of orthodontics (all the good food I mean), it's worth the wait. Just don't break anything (although I did that too many times to count) and you're good to go. It almost feels weird not always having to be careful what you eat.

God be with you all.

Monday, 26 May 2008

The Lord is Good!

Well the Lord has been pruning, chastising, and pretty well cleaning up a lot of junk in my life. It's not easy but I praise God for the work He's doing in my life. I really don't know exactly how to describe it but I know that if I will seek God, I will find Him. He's opening and closing doors. . . Why I'm not really sure. Maybe He just wants to know whether I'm willing to be obedient. Just a few verses that I'm trying to apply to my life:

Proverbs 27:12
A prudent man forseeth the evil, and hideth himself, but the simple pass in, and are punished.

Proverbs 28:26
He that trusteth in his own heart is a fool: but whoso walketh wisely, he shall be delivered.

That's all I have for today but I hope to get another post in tomorrow.

"If You say go, we will go.
If You say wait, we will wait.
If You say step out on the water and they say it can't be done,
We'll fix our eyes on You and we will come."
From the song If You Say Go

Monday, 19 May 2008

After A Wonderful Weekend

Ok, so I got the day off because they tell me it's a "holiday" so here I am updating my blog. Yesterday another church invited our youth for a barbecue. It wasn't exactly barbecue weather so we were inside most of the day but it was good.

A verse that I've been thinking about is Proverbs 17:3 which says "The fining pot is for silver and the furnace for gold; but it is the Lord who trieth the hearts." This is an encouragement to me to know that the hotter the fires I go through the more precious the outcome. To be honest, the last few weeks have been a little hard for me but our adult Sunday school and message yesterday really helped. A couple of days there I felt this emptiness and void in my life like my life just felt really vain. I tried filling it with different things but it just seemed to get worse. Then in Sunday school yesterday I realized what I needed was to really know God. Not to just read my Bible and pray but to really know and experience God. All week I was praying about different things but God just seemed silent. I kept saying "Lord, I want to know You!" When He finally did speak it's like He was saying, "Do you really? Because if you want to truly no Me then I want all of you. Not just a part of you or bits and pieces of you but I want all of you and notjing but you. I don't want you dragging extra stuff behind you; I want just you. Nothing more and nothing less.

In the message a point was made that we have to walk by faith. We can't just use a formula or apply a three step process to anything but we have to walk by faith. Also, that when something comes up in our lives we have to let God in on it but before we do that we need to firmly decide that whether we love it or hate it, we will do what He says.

I also went back to some notes and things I had written down from a book I read about two months ago and was reminded that what I truly longed for was a deep, intimate relationship with God. In the book the author shared some insight on a portion of scripture which really summarizes my desire. Matthew 13:45, 46 says "Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant man, seeking goodly pearls: Who, when he had found one pearl of great price, went and sold all he had, and bought it." There are five points we can get out of this: There is a pearl of great price (Jesus), We are to seek it, We are commanded to purchase it, It costs us everything, and It is worth the price.

So that's about enough for today. Keep your eyes fixed on Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith. God bless!

Wednesday, 14 May 2008

Quick Post

Since you're probably all wondering where I've been I decided to pop in for a quick post. Short at that for many reasons. I started Driver's Ed this week which is not bad but it feels really wierd after not being in a classroom with a bunch of high school kids in over a year. Alex and Brett over at the Rebelution nearly made me cry after reading their last blog post about five minutes ago on cereal. Had I been there in person I could have screamed at them for at least five minutes but you'll all have to go check that out for yourselves. I read this week in Proverbs that before honour is humility and I've been meditating on that. And there's all the chemistry that I'm not doing which is why I have to make this quick and I'll be going right about...now!

Friday, 9 May 2008

Hospital Ministry

Last night a group of our youth went singing at the Tillsonburg hospital. There's were eleven girls and only four guys but it worked really well. We hadn't gone since Christmas so it was really good to go visit the old folks there again. Jesus tells us that it is more blessed to give than to receive and it has been proven true once again. We are just as blessed as they are when we sing there and it's in being a blessing that we ourselves are blessed. Many of the patients were there half a year ago already so they're always happy to see us come back. There are also a few Christians in there and it's amazing to see the joy and peace on their faces as we sing for them. Others get upset though and even those that want us to sing for them, are staring at their TVs the whole time so it brings joy and grief at the same time. It makes you wonder how they can possibly grasp and bit of hope.

Many may think it odd for a group of teenagers to go singing at a hospital on a Thursday night but if only they could know the blessing and reward. It's reaching out to our community in a small way. Which brings me to a the question: What is the calling of the rebelutionary? Each one will have a different answer for this. In a way, I feel we have just done a small part in visiting the sick.

That's all for today so I'll be back next week. Look to Jesus and God bless.

Wednesday, 7 May 2008

Fellow Blog Readers

Hello again to my fellow blog readers whoever you all are. My week has been busy. My mom and I made a skirt for me this week and after working on it for three days, we've just a little bit to finish. We had to readjust the pattern a couple of times to get the right fit (good thing we had lots of fabric) and hemmed it twice. I learned many things about sewing and one major unrelated thing. Even when I really don't think so, Mom really is a whole lot smarter than I think. We made the skirt really long and my mom kept saying that we would have to take a few inches off the bottom. But of course I didn't believe her and insisted that by the time we did this and that and hemmed it, it would be perfect. But sure enough, by the time we thought we were finished, it still dragged on the floor (even with shoes on). May I add that my mom hadn't liked hemming it all and now she had to cut a couple of inches off the bottom and do it again. For modesty purposes, we sewed a slip right into, so now we pretty well just have to shorten that by a few inches.

Lord willing, I'm starting Drivers Ed next week with a couple of friends. I don't have all the money together yet but I trust that God will provide. Hey, there's something you folks can all pray about. There'll be three or four of us Christians there so we could really have an impact, being salt and light.

Thank you guys all so much and God bless! And remember, chances are Mom really does know more than you do!

Friday, 2 May 2008

What Do We Seek After?

This is a crucial question for everyone. But not only what do we seek after but what takes up our time? Do we get distracted by the things of this world and put our relationship with God on hold? I tend to do this quite a bit and I also tend to daydream when I should be working on something. In a way I have actually set up idols in my life the last couple of days, things that aren't helping me grow and bring only hardship instead of joy. In the end we're left feeling that our life is vain and empty and it is. But we need to seek Christ; to find our joy, peace, contentment and security in Him. Nothing else can truly fulfill the voids in our life no matter how promising they look.

I was reading this morning in Proverbs 1 and I completely saw myself. God was calling out to me and I refused to listen. He called again and I said no again. When I finally realized that I was tearing my own self apart, I called out but it felt like God just wasn't willing to listen. Before I enjoyed sweet fellowship and communion, an understanding relationship that was alive but now I felt like I was talking to a brick wall. This probably hurts more than anything; God refusing to listen because of your sin. Until we repent and turn back to following Him, there's a blockage in our life and the water can't flow freely.

So let us lay aside the false and vain things of this world and look to Christ. He will chastise us until He has us back and it saves us a lot of pain as well. Look to Jesus for He alone is worthy.

Monday, 28 April 2008

The Lord is Good!

The Lord is good. I could recite Psalm 145 to describe this but I won't. Can I magnify Him for what He has done in my life? Absolutely. Can I begin to describe His goodness? That's somewhat more difficult. I was asked yesterday why I loved Jesus. I considered answering that it was because He first loved me. But that just doesn't say enough. When I consider what He has done for me, how He suffered and died to pardon me from my sin, what do I owe Him? My life, my love, my full devotion and adoration. But I know that. What do I really owe Him? To extend the same measure of love to others that He has extended to me. This is what I owe Him along with my life and this is the best testimony that I have Christ living in me: the love I extend to others. It will not always be easy. It wasn't easy for Christ to die for us. Nevertheless, this is what we owe Him.

So that's my random meditation for today and God bless you as you continue to have sweet fellowship with Him.

Friday, 25 April 2008

Learning From a Rough Week

I'd been sick for a week now and I'm still recovering although feeling much better. It seems I had gotten a nasty case of food poisoning (not fun) and after nobody else got it and it lasted for so long, I knew it wasn't just a stomach flu. It's so easy to take our good health for granted. This was probably the hardest week I've had in long time. For the last few weeks I had been learning to take everything to God in prayer so that's exactly what I did. Last Thursday night I still felt fine but I had a bit of a cold so I prayed for God to take it away and I woke up in the morning with this. Personally I would rather have taken the cold. And every time I prayed for healing it just got worse and just when I thought I was starting to feel better it got worse again. My faith was really under fire.

Sometimes you get bored from doing chores and the same things all the time, but don't complain. It's really hard when you're too sick to do the things you normally do. After hardly being able to eat for a week, loosing nearly ten pounds (and I'm fairly small as it is), and being extremely weak, I was pretty well left in bed a few days. Then you see that Mom could use a lot of help but you can't help her and when you offer she sends you to bed. So don't ever complain about all the work you have to do; thank God for the health that you can do those things.

Anyway, I have a lot to do but I'll try and post again early next week. Blessings!

Monday, 21 April 2008

Are We Available?

I feel this to be a critical question for all Christians. We all want God to use us to do great things but are we truly available. You may find yourself hesitating to surrender your will to God and become fully available because He might ask you to do something you don't want to do. We need to realize that God often has much different plans for us than we have for ourselves: bigger and better. No, it doesn't always seem that way but we don't always see what He sees. It isn't always easy and that's the whole point. God doesn't ask us to do easy things but the hard things that are much more rewarding. We may have a great long term vision for the future, but we're so focused on that, we forget to take the necessary steps right in front of us to get there. It may seem small and pointless but have you ever considered that it might just be your training ground?

God doesn't ask us to have it all figured out. What He does require is that we trust Him and be obedient to His will, available for His work. We have an extraordinary God who uses ordinary people to do extraordinary things.

God bless!