Wednesday, 25 November 2009

A Peek into my Life

A lot in my life has changed this year while my blog has been neglected. I'm currently working part-time as a sales associate at Words of Life Christian Bookstore. I finished school a couple of weeks ago, which was a huge sense of accomplishment. I had been working through correspondence for over two years now, and although it wasn't nearly always easy, it has definitely been a rewarding experience. People always ask me what I'm going to do know, and I really don't know. I'm definitely enjoying some free time at home, and I'm going to be working more closer to Christmastime. In the new year, I'll definitely be looking for the next step, but I'm pretty clueless right now as to what that will be, and I'm actually content about that. I'm actually okay with not knowing yet, but I trust that whatever God has for me next, it will be good.

My life at work is always exciting and I absolutely love my job. Going to work in the morning is often a mystery, because I usually don't know what I'll be doing that day. Typical days include taking care of sales, answering customer inquiries, maybe some cleaning, and other things involved in running a store. Sometimes we'll get orders in from suppliers and I'll enter and label products and call customers. Orders are generally big so this often takes up the better part of my day. I've also learned to eat on a schedule when I work, having breakfast at home at 8:30, and then I generally always have a snack between 11 and 11:3o. This is because it generally always gets very busier over lunch time, and I'm generally not able to eat until 1:00 or later, and then I generally still have a few interruptions.

My days at home vary a lot. Right now, I'm working on compiling a bunch of loose recipes and ones I've collected online, which may still take me a couple of weeks to finish. Otherwise, I help out around the house, cooking and baking, and hopefully do some more blogging. These days are hard to describe accurately because they're so varied and different things always come up, and days usually don't go as planned.

If finances will allow, I'm planning on attending the Set-Apart Girl Conference 2010 in Greeley, CO in the spring. If any of my readers are going as well, please do let me know so we'll be sure to meet each other.

So there you have a general peek into my life, for those of you who care to know. Blessings to all of you.

Monday, 23 November 2009

So Much to Learn at a Concert

So, I went to see The Glorious Unseen in concert last night. If I had the choice to go again, I probably wouldn't. I like their albums, but the concert was just not my thing. Altogether, it was really, really loud. I think I felt just about every organ in my body vibrating. And although many of the songs had beautiful lyrics, the singer's voice was at times drowned out, and all I was hearing at times was just a bunch of noise. Some people may wonder why I don't like the really hard Christian music, and it's really just that; a whole ton of noise.

Now, I'm by no means "dissing" this group; I like their recorded albums and will continue to listen to them. They have some beautiful, very prayerful songs. But the thing was, I found myself thinking, how is God possibly going to speak and make His presence known through all this noise? However, I prayed that God would allow me to not be judgmental and show me something through it; to truly look past what I saw and heard around me. He didn't speak to me through the music, but through other things and in thinking over things later on in the evening.

Actually, the first thing was really the noise. I didn't think the Spirit could speak through the noise, and although I'm sure He can, I believe there is some truth to that. I was reminded of an account in the Old Testament where God displayed some mighty things to Elijah:

"And he said, Go forth, and stand upon the mount before the LORD, And, behold, the LORD passed by, and a great and strong wind rent the mountains, and brake in pieces the rocks before the LORD; but the LORD was not in the wind: and after the wind an earthquake; but the LORD was not in the earthquake:
And after the earthquake a fire; but the LORD was not in the fire: and after the fire a still small voice."
--1 Kings 19:11, 12

When I read this passage, I hear a lot of noise, but God didn't speak in the midst of any of that. He waited until it was calm and quiet. And seeing as He spoke in a still small voice, Elijah wouldn't have heard it anyway. Now, music aside, what kind of "noise" do we have in our lives that may prevent God from speaking? Maybe it is literal noise, maybe you always have music playing, whatever it is you're doing. But what about the other things that fill up and clutter your life, things you constantly have going on, things you're always busy with? These things may not necessarily be bad; they may actually be very good. But could it be that you're surrounding yourself with so much "noise" that God is unable to speak, or that you are unable to hear Him when He does?

The other thing that stuck out to me was the Gospel message shared at the concert. At first, I kind of groaned within myself for several reasons: the man used a different Bible translation I wasn't familiar with and wasn't sure I liked, I wasn't crazy about the way he started off, and it was based on the parable of the prodigal son, which I was all too familiar with and hear the passage spoken on all too often, or so I thought. But I learned something very unexpected: it's great to hear the same thing again from a total new perspective. He brought out new points and insights that were totally new to me, things that I had never thought of or heard anybody speak on before. It gave me a new appreciation for the passage and for the insight of other teachers.

Last, was not really something I learned, but rather something I was amazed and challenged by. During the concert, The Glorious Unseen sang the song How He Loves Us, which was not written by this group. It was not my favourite song, but has an amazing story behind it, which you can hear from the writer personally here if you want, but I'll share the gist of it as well, as well as my thoughts. The morning before the person wrote this song a few years ago, his best friend who was a youth leader was in a prayer meeting. And he prayed that if God would shake the youth of the nation, he would give up his life. He said he would die today if it meant that God would shake the youth of the nation. He died that night in a car accident. The writer of this song trusted that if God heard the first part of the prayer, he would follow through with the second. And although this man, who became a youth leader himself, saw many wonderful things, he didn't see a movement happen. This song that he wrote the morning after his friend's death, actually did end up changing the lives of many teens.

I believe this song is only a small part of that man's prayer. I mean, here was a man who not only prayed for change, but laid His life before God, ready to die, if it only meant that God would bring change. It's amazing for me to think of the possibility of our generation turning their lives over to the Lord and living lives surrendered to Him is because of a man's prayer and sacrifice. I also believe that the Rebelution is one such movement that is an answer to this man's prayer and death. I believe that God is working and He will fulfill that man's request. His death shall not be in vain. How will you respond? Will you surrender up your life to God, living it fully for Him, laying aside all the cares and things this world has to offer, and follow Jesus no matter what the cost?

To close, I apologize for my lack of blogging this year. It has been a busy one, but it's also been a good one, in which I have seen many amazing things. I'm done school now, and with having some more free time on my hands, I hope to post more consistently, if anybody's still paying attention. Blessings!

Wednesday, 4 November 2009

"Just Do Something" in a Nutshell

I recently finished reading "Just Do Something: A Liberating Approach to Finding God's Will" by Kevin DeYoung. The alternate title sums the book up quite well: "How to Make a Decision Without Dreams, Visions, Fleeces, Impressions, Open Doors, Random Bible Verses, Casting Lots, Liver Shivers, Writing in the Sky, Etc." How's that for a change? Few books have caused me to think as much as this one has, especially on such a wide range of topics. I could talk about the inability to make decisions, because it often seems that when we have two options put before us (generally with the idea of here's what you give, here's what you get), a signal goes off inside of us that consists of red lights flashing, sirens blaring, and a frantic cry for help, like the whole universe depends on this one decision of ours. I could talk about Kevin's points on job hunting and marriage, which I really happened to like, particularly because I discovered that there's actually a man out there who understands my hesitancy to pursue a career. I could talk about how so many of us pray for God to reveal His will for our lives (which he isn't exactly going to do) and all end up doing nothing: "At the rate some of us are going, we will be exploring our future career at thirty , entering adulthood at forty, trying to find ourselves at fifty, questioning everything again at sixty, pondering a career move at seventy, wondering what we were made for at eighty, and still waiting to discover God's will at ninety. And then we'll die, never having done much of anything." But that's way too much ground to cover in depth, and I really believe that all these things are just a small part of a much greater, yet simple principle.

This one principle is found in the last paragraph of the book: "So the end of the matter is this: Live for God. Obey the Scriptures. Think of others before yourself. Be holy. Love Jesus. And as you do these things, do whatever else you like, with whomever you like, wherever you like, and you'll be walking in the will of God." So if you want that in even simpler words, the principle is this: Love God with all your heart, obey His Word, then do what you want.

The more I've thought about that idea, the more I've come to like it and the more I've come to see how practical it really is. I actually really believe that if we lived by this, life would be a whole lot easier and things would go well with us. If we love God, we will do those things and make decisions which we know will honour and please Him, just like a woman who loves her husband will seek to live in such a way that honours her husband. If we obey God's Word, we really don't have much room to err in life. Not only are our actions and words accounted for, but also our thoughts, motivations, and intentions. Even some of those things which we don't do as we see in James 4:17: "Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin." So if we are truly living in obedience to the the Word of God, and loving God with all our heart, there's really not that much room for us to fall.

No, the Bible doesn't tell us exactly tell us who to marry, what career to pursue, which car to buy, where to live, and if we pray, God isn't going to always tell us exactly what to do either. But the Holy Spirit speaks to us through the Word and instead of asking God exactly what to do, we ought to be praying for wisdom. Proverbs does speak a lot about it for a reason. Job 28 is actually one of my favourite chapters for wisdom: "And unto man he said, Behold, the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom; and to depart from evil is understanding." (Job 28: 28) And the will of God is really not as complicated as Christians try to make it, but rather quite simple. As you read through the New Testament, simple things come up like the giving of thanks and sanctification as being the will of God for us. And if we started living out the simple things we understand, pursuing sanctification and holiness, and stop fussing over things we don't, or things that Christians can't agree on, we would come a long way.

And has it ever occurred to you, that there might not just be one right choice?