Monday, April 30, 2007

God is our Hope.

Isn't this a neat psalm?

I struggled this morning to find time to read through my devotional readings, so I looked at them before bed. Read this Psalm and thought....what a neat psalm. :) God vindicates us. God delivers us from the bad people around us. God brings us to himself. God is our hope.

Psalm 43

Send Out Your Light and Your Truth
1Vindicate me, O God, and defend my cause
against an ungodly people,
from the deceitful and unjust man
deliver me!
2For you are the God in whom I take refuge;
why have you rejected me?
Why do I go about mourning
because of the oppression of the enemy?

3Send out your light and your truth;
let them lead me;
let them bring me to your holy hill
and to your dwelling!
4Then I will go to the altar of God,
to God my exceeding joy,
and I will praise you with the lyre,
O God, my God.

5Why are you cast down, O my soul,
and why are you in turmoil within me?
Hope in God; for I shall again praise him,
my salvation and my God.

Saturday, April 28, 2007

Short book Meme

Short Book Meme

Hmm. I've been tagged. Always happy to join in when it's about books! Thanks Jen!

Name three characters (from books)...
1). You wish were real so you could meet them.


Oh my, this isn't so easy.
Piglet from Winnie the Pooh. Such a scared little fellow but always there for his mates.

FitzChizalry
Farseer, from the Robin Hobb farseer trilogy. Infected with both farseer magic and beast magic...his life takes all kinds of twists and spins and he ends up having more heart than you would imagine.

Menolly
from Anne MacCaffrey's books. What can I say? Strong women character with the ability to fly a dragon.

Oh..and can I mention a fourth? (now that I'm on a role) Kay Scarpetta from Patricia Cornwell medical examiner thrillers. Strong woman, solves mysteries, fun.


2). You would like to be.

Hmmm....harder one this..
Who would I like to be?
Jaxom - yes, he's a guy, but he's this unsuspecting little guy, caught between two worlds who goes out of the way to break the rules in order to save another being. Oh, he's a character in Anne MacCaffrey's books.

Heidi - the whole world knows Heidi. Didn't she do a good job of caring for her friends and relations? :)

Timothy - (this one is for Justin). My boy loves this character by Rosemary Wells and he's a good one. Cares for his friends, can be mischievous, and is just a nice little coon. I could be him no probs! :)


3). Who scare you.

The unsleighe elves. no question on that. Loving to torture people just because it's fun. Fortunately written in a way I don't feel the pain that they inflict and their parts in books are usually small.

The bad guys in Steven Lawhead's first trilogy that I read. I have never re-read those books because I so disliked the bad guys. Don't know why I haven't tossed them out!

Kellerman wrote a book called Bad Love. The "bad guy" in that book was very bad. Pretended to be one thing, ended up being this nasty nasty fellow. Would NOT want to ever meet him. This book I even tossed after reading it (spent money on it to that's the shame). Just didn't want to risk reading of him again.

Friday, April 27, 2007

For a short time lower than the angels

in Hebrews 2 we find these words
1Therefore we must pay much closer attention to what we have heard, lest we drift away from it. 2For since the message declared by angels proved to be reliable and every transgression or disobedience received a just retribution, 3how shall we escape if we neglect such a great salvation? It was declared at first by the Lord, and it was attested to us by those who heard, 4while God also bore witness by signs and wonders and various miracles and by gifts of the Holy Spirit distributed according to his will.

Since this chapter started with a "therefore" that means I have to go back to chapter one to find out why this "therefore" exists.

In chapter one I learned that
1Long ago, at many times and in many ways, God spoke to our fathers by the prophets, 2but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed the heir of all things, through whom also he created the world. 3He is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature, and he upholds the universe by the word of his power. After making purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high, 4having become as much superior to angels as the name he has inherited is more excellent than theirs.

The rest of the chapter went on to explain the various ways that Jesus was better than the angels. Jesus was begotten by God, Jesus was God's son, Jesus was worshiped by the angels, the angels have a particular function, Jesus will reign forever, Jesus has been anointed by God, and Jesus will always be around, from beginning to no end.

So just who are the angels?

14Are they not all ministering spirits sent out to serve for the sake of those who are to inherit salvation?

So when the writer to Hebrews tells us
1Therefore we must pay much closer attention to what we have heard, lest we drift away from it. 2For since the message declared by angels proved to be reliable and every transgression or disobedience received a just retribution, 3how shall we escape if we neglect such a great salvation? It was declared at first by the Lord, and it was attested to us by those who heard, 4while God also bore witness by signs and wonders and various miracles and by gifts of the Holy Spirit distributed according to his will.
We must needs pay attention to it. If we believe the angels, we should much more believe Christ. Jesus is far greater than the angels. If the angels could distribute retribution for failing to listen to them, how much more retribution could Jesus deliver?
I needed to think about that for a moment or two.

God has done all kinds of things to show us salvation.
he has given us different signs and wonders. He declared it! He distributed gifts through the Holy Spirit. Let me not, let us not, neglect such a great salvation!

Imagine this... Jesus, who I know from the first chapter was higher and greater and better than the angels, for a short time, was made less than the angels.

Now in putting everything in subjection to him, he left nothing outside his control. At present, we do not yet see everything in subjection to him. 9But we see him who for a little while was made lower than the angels, namely Jesus, crowned with glory and honor because of the suffering of death, so that by the grace of God he might taste death for everyone.

Why? So that "by the grace of God he might taste death for everyone."

Jesus, higher than the angels, worthy of glory, reigns forever, made lower than the angels so that he might taste death for me! That he might taste death for you!

We don't have to die. He died for us.

Through death Christ destroyed the one who has power of death (ie Satan).
Through death Christ removed me from slavery.
Through death Christ helped me, not the angels, so that is why he became human.
Becoming human made Christ the merciful and faithful high priest that he is. Able to help me in/through all things.
14Since therefore the children share in flesh and blood, he himself likewise partook of the same things, that through death he might destroy the one who has the power of death, that is, the devil, 15and deliver all those who through fear of death were subject to lifelong slavery. 16For surely it is not angels that he helps, but he helps the offspring of Abraham. 17Therefore he had to be made like his brothers in every respect, so that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in the service of God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people. 18For because he himself has suffered when tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted.
Just think, Christ did this for me.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Fret not yourself; it tends only to evil.

Today's reading in Psalm 37.

This Psalm of David opens up reminding people to not worry themselves about the evil people around them. They shouldn't fret, they shouldn't be envious of them. We should instead remember that they are like grass...soon to fade.

David then goes on to remind us about what we should do.
  • We should trust in the Lord and do good. Don't just trust God and sit around the house. Do something, do something good!
  • We are to dwell in the land. God gave it to us. Live in it. Make it your home.
  • We are to befriend faithfulness. Not sure what that means... does that mean we make faithfulness a priority, or that we make friends of faith-filled people?
  • We are to delight in the Lord! Delighting in the Lord, and he will give us the desires of our heart. Did you ever notice, that when one is truly delighting in the Lord, how his desires become your desires? Neat how that works.
  • We are to commit our ways to the Lord. Trust him. He will act.
  • He is the Lord, he will show what we are - bringing forth our righteous and justice.
Instead of the fret that this psalm opened with, instead we to be still before the Lord.
Ah...just being still. Waiting, resting...being quiet within.
Certainly is a lot nicer than the tension one gets from worry and fret or anger.

I have to admit, I love this line: Fret not yourself; it tends only to evil.

Do you see what worry does? It leads to evil. It's takes your eyes, mind, spirit off God and puts them on something else. God wants us being still before him. Fretting/worrying is not doing that. It's focusing on something other than God and that scripture tells us is leading to evil.

Good reminder for me. Some days I'm prone to worrying about how I will do everything or get it all done and so on and so forth ... AHHHHH not good for me, for my relationship with God, and does nothing for the peace and quiet within this house.

Much of this Psalm has seemed a contrast between the permanence of those who love the Lord and live the way he wants them to and those who don't. The wicked shall not last. These verses seem to sum that up well.

27Turn away from evil and do good;
so shall you dwell forever.
28For the LORD loves justice;
he will not forsake his saints.
They are preserved forever,
but the children of the wicked shall be cut off.
29The righteous shall inherit the land
and dwell upon it forever.

34Wait for the LORD and keep his way,
and he will exalt you to inherit the land;
you will look on when the wicked are cut off.

37Mark the blameless and behold the upright,
for there is a future for the man of peace.
38But transgressors shall be altogether destroyed;
the future of the wicked shall be cut off.

Let me, let us, live the way God wants us to. In stillness before him. Doing good. Living in righteousness and justice. Delighting in God, knowing he will bring us our heart's desire.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Works for me Wednesday - seed keeper


I was out with my hubbie the other day at a gardening shop.
I was browsing through their catalogue and noticed they sell a product called a seed keeper.

I thought..wow...interesting idea! But whoa...too much money for me.
But as I was looking at it I thought...hmmm.... A good old photoalbum should work just as well.

Get one of those albums that have the picture pockets, put the seed packs in them. Saves keeping seeds in an old clementine container. Keeps everything nice neat and tidy. AND I'll be able to store by group too. Like all the lettuce goes on one page, peas on another and so forth. And should be able to do this for less than $10. Pretty neat huh?

I like it!
I will do this!
Should work for me!

Philemon

My brain is as scatterbrained as ever this morning. Trying to focus on actually doing my devotions was an exercise in patience this morning. More on God's part than on mine...but hey, through the Spirit's guidance...here I am!

Philemon. A small book, written by Paul with Timothy at his side.
Paul at this point in his life was a prisoner. And he states very simply that he was a prisoner FOR CHRIST JESUS. That's why he was in jail.

Do you ever stop to ponder that...even for a moment. What would you do if you had to go to jail for Christ? For simply believing in him?

i have to admit. I don't often ponder this. Sometimes I think it would be good for the church for us to ponder this a bit, or even to have to face it. To face having to make our faith real. For being bold enough to say "i am a Christian" regardless of what we might have to face.

It's very real for some of our Christian brethern. Do we ever really think about it?
Be honest. Would it change what you do, what you think? Would it change the importance that God has in your life?

I honestly think that it would me.
To know that what I say, do or think makes a difference. Really makes a difference and isn't just seen as another "oddity" of Annette's. I try to show others that my faith is real and important. I don't know that I always succeed. I want others to see that I would die for Christ if he asked me to....even while I know that I still find somethings in my life hard to give up for Christ. I do! It's a paradox.

ANyways, this post is about this whole book, not just a couple of lines.

Book is written to Philemon, Apphia, Archippus and their house church.

Paul is filled with thankfulness for them. Why?
4I thank my God always when I remember you in my prayers, 5because I hear of your love and of the faith that you have toward the Lord Jesus and all the saints, 6and I pray that the sharing of your faith may become effective for the full knowledge of every good thing that is in us for the sake of Christ. 7For I have derived much joy and comfort from your love, my brother, because the hearts of the saints have been refreshed through you.
Mmmmm .... to get a letter like this. If I knew someone was in prison for Christ, and they wrote me a letter saying how much they appreciated how I lived out my faith for Christ, I would be so honoured and appreciative. I would want to really listen to what they had to say. To know that how I lived my life filled another with joy and comfort, particularly if they were in jail for the sake of Christ? Wow....
Gives me the thought that this is one way we can support the persecuted church. Don't take our faith for granted. Try to live our lives in such a way that their sacrifice is not in vain. Let us live lives that bring joy and comfort to our imprisoned brethern. Wouldn't that be great?

Paul continues this letter with a request: could they take Onesimus back? Could they make him part of their fellowship? Don't hold his past against him. Please treat him like you would me. Any wrongs he has done to you, please, credit them to my account. He is one of your own, please, take him back as a beloved fellow believer.

Paul writes how confident he is in their obedience. He writes about how he wants some benefit from them, benefit from them in the Lord. He wants them to refresh his heart in Christ. Do this he urges. It will help me, and will restore one of your own to you.

With these verses he closes this small book.

21Confident of your obedience, I write to you, knowing that you will do even more than I say. 22At the same time, prepare a guest room for me, for I am hoping that through your prayers I will be graciously given to you.

Paul looks forward to being released sometime from prison and being able to meet with them. He fully believes they will do more than he has asked of them.

Wow...getting a letter like this would certainly inspire me to do that! To take in a lost fellow believer, one who has harmed me might be hard, but seeing the confidence expressed in me by a mature believer would certainly help me work hard at it! Wouldn't it you?

Perpetuating Falsehood

I really really wish when people sent on emails that they would check first to see if the things in them were accurate or not. I know that most of the time it is just ignorance, that people don't know that emails can and should be verified and there are places to do so.

This one by "julie andrews" was sent to me this morning.
To commemorate her 69th birthday on October 1,2006 actress/vocalist, Julie Andrews made a special appearance at Manhattan's Radio City Music Hall for the benefit of the AARP. One of the musical numbers she performed was "My Favorite Things" from the legendary movie "Sound Of Music".
Here are the lyrics she used:

"Maalox and nose drops and needles for knitting, Walkers and handrails and new dental fittings, Bundles of magazines tied up in string, These are a few of my favorite things.

Cadillacs and cataracts, and hearing aids and glasses, Polident and Fixodent and false teeth in glasses, Pacemakers, golf carts and porches with swings, These are a few of my favorite things.

When the pipes leak,
When the bones creak,
When the knees go bad,
I simply remember my favorite things, and then I don't feel so bad.

Hot tea and crumpets and corn pads for bunions, No spicy hot food or food cooked with onions, Bathrobes and heating pads and hot meals they bring, These are a few of my favorite things.

Back pains, confused brains, and no need for sinnin', Thin bones and fractures and hair that is thinnin', and we won't mention our short shrunken frames, When we remember our favorite things.

When the joints ache,
When the hips break,
When the eyes grow dim,
Then I remember the great life I've had, And then I don't feel so bad."
I checked it out here.
What they in essence said was that due to a badly botched surgery, Julie Andrews could not have sung this ditty.
What people were supposed to do with this tune was pretend they were Ms. Andrews singing this song to the tune of "My Favourite Things". People changed it somehow into Ms.Andrews actually singing it.
What they in essence said was, that sending this email was perpetuating falsehood.

Places to check out emails are sites such as Urban Legends and Truth or Fiction.

Why is this so important to me?

What does it say about us as Christian believers if we willing send forward items that are falsehoods.

Excuses of>>>
  • but what harm does it do anyways?
  • it might help someone
  • I don't have time to check it out
  • what does it really matter
Consider...it does matter.
Consider...how does it help someone to tell a lie about a need, the next time a real need comes along... who's going to believe it's real?
Consider...you had enough time to read it, you have a enough time to send it, doesn't take long to check emails out
Consider...It does matter. Do you want the name of Christ to be associated with falsehood?

Tick Warning

I have to admit, I've received this one several times. The first time I got it, I laughed out loud. It does get a bit old after a while, but I thought it might provoke a smile or two this morning. :)

___________________________________________________

TICK WARNING!


I hate it when people forward bogus warnings, and I have even done it myself a couple times, but this one is important.

So please send this warning to everyone on your e-mail list.

If someone comes to your front door saying they are checking for ticks due to the warming weather and asks you to take your clothes off and dance around with your arms up...


DO NOT DO IT!! IT IS A SCAM!!
They only want to see you naked...
I wish I'd gotten this yesterday. I feel so stupid.

My Latest Diagnosis

I was just diagnosed with A. A. A. D. D. - Age-Activated Attention Deficit Disorder. This is how it manifests:

I decide to water my garden. As I turn on the hose in the driveway, I look over at my car and decide my car needs washing.

As I start toward the garage, I notice that there is mail on the porch table that I brought up from the mailbox earlier.

I decide to go through the mail before I wash the car.

I lay my car keys down on the table, put the junk mail in the garbage can under the table, and notice that the can is full.

So, I decide to put the bills back on the table and take out the garbage first.

But then I think, since I'm going to be near the mailbox, when I take out the garbage anyway, I may as well pay the bills first.

I take my checkbook off the table, and see that there is only 1 check left.

My extra checks are in my desk in the study, so I go inside the house to my desk where I find the can of Coke that I had been drinking.

I'm going to look for my checks, but first I need to push the Coke aside so that I don't accidentally knock it over. I see that the Coke is getting warm, and I decide I should put it in the refrigerator to keep it cold.

As I head toward the kitchen with the Coke, a vase of flowers on the counter catches my eye; they need to be watered.

I set the Coke down on the counter, and I discover my reading glasses that I've been searching for all morning.

I decide I better put them back on my desk, but first I'm going to water the flowers.

I set the glasses back down on the counter, fill a container with water and suddenly I spot the TV remote. Someone left it on the kitchen table.

I realize that tonight when we go to watch TV, I will be looking for the remote, but I won't remember that it's on the kitchen table, so I decide to put it back in the den where it belongs, but first I'll water the flowers.

I pour some water in the flowers, but quite a bit of it spills on the floor. So, I set the remote back down on the table, get some towels and wipe up the spill.

Then, I head down the hall trying to remember what I was planning to do.

At the end of the day; the car isn't washed, the bills aren't paid, there is a warm can of Coke sitting on the counter, the flowers don't have enough water, there is still only 1 check in my check book, I can't find the remote, I can't find my glasses, and I don't remember what I did with the car keys.

Then, when I try to figure out why nothing got done today. I'm really baffled because I know I was busy all day long, and I'm really tired.

I realize this is a serious problem, and I'll try to get some help for it, but first I'll check my e-mail.

Don't laugh! if this isn't you yet, your day is coming!

GROWING OLDER IS MANDATORY. GROWING UP IS OPTIONAL. LAUGHING AT YOURSELF IS THERAPEUTIC.

P.S. I just remembered. I LEFT THE WATER RUNNING IN THE DRIVEWAY!

Special Mom

SPECIAL MOM

Before I was a Mom I never tripped over toys or forgot words to a lullaby.

I didn't worry whether or not my plants were poisonous.

I never thought about immunizations.


Before I was a Mom - I had never been puked on.

Pooped on.

Chewed on.

Peed on.

I had complete control of my mind and my thoughts.

I slept all night.


Before I was a Mom

I never held down a screaming child so doctors could do tests.

Or give shots.

I never looked into teary eyes and cried.

I never got gloriously happy over a simple grin.

I never sat up late hours at night watching a baby sleep.


Before I was a Mom

I never held a sleeping baby just because I didn't want to put them down.

I never felt my heart break into a million pieces when I couldn't stop the hurt.

I never knew that something so small could affect my life so much.

I never knew that I could love someone so much.

I never knew I would love being a Mom.


Before I was a Mom –

I didn't know the feeling of having my heart outside my body.

I didn't know how special it could feel to feed a hungry baby.

I didn't know that bond between a mother and her child.

I didn't know that something so small could make me feel so important and happy.

Before I was a Mom -

I had never gotten up in the middle of the night every 10 minutes to make sure all was okay.

I had never known the warmth, the joy, the love, the heartache, the wonderment or the satisfaction of being a Mom.

I didn't know I was capable of feeling so much, before I was a Mom.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Some posts for your consideration

Stopped over at Dan's blog this morning and found this post waiting for me. Respect, confidence and trust ladies, it goes a long way. :)
For a half-decent man, do what Peter says. Express respect, trust, confidence. As far as you honestly can, cheer, don't boo. Build (Proverbs 14:1), make him feel like a king (Proverbs 12:4). The Proverbs 31 lady's husband didn't end up in the gates with the Big Dogs, by his wife telling him what a loser he was. It was because he could trust her goodwill towards him completely (31:11-12).
I thought Scott had some good things to say in his post on is Worship Tiresome?
The problem lies not in worship, but in our hearts. We lack that burning desire David had to be in the house of the Lord. We have domesticated our spirits, taming them to the point of slumber.
Connie's post on adoption, theology 101, over at practicing theology was good as well.
Isn't it interesting--and very telling--that God does not make it a practice in Scripture of frequently calling us "adopted children", "adopted son/daughter", but He primarily calls us "HIS children", "HIS son/daughter". The fact that we have been adopted is no secret, but our being adopted is not a matter that he focuses on--because He has MADE us His very own, we are no longer strangers!
As a person who has struggled with understanding this whole concept, I found this post by JD enlightening. The word or A word.
Just because God could do so, and you don't find scripture that says He won't do so, doesn't mean He will do so.
.

Bible Quiz

People seemed to really like the last one of these I posted so...here goes another. :)

QUIZ

There are names of 16 books of the Bible mentioned in the paragraph below. See how many you can find. Someone found 15 books in 20 minutes. But it took them weeks to find the sixteenth one. Let's see how much time it takes you.

I once made a remark about the hidden books of the Bible. Lulu kept people looking so hard for facts . . . and for others it was a revelation. Some were in a jam, especially since the names of the books were not capitalised. But the truth finally struck home to numbers of our members. To others it was a real job. We want it to be a most fascinating few moments for you. Yes, there will be some really easy ones to spot. Others may require judges to help them. I will quickly admit it usually takes a minister to find one of them and there will be loud lamentations when it is found. A little lady says she brews a cup of tea so she can concentrate better. See how well you can compete. Relax now, for there really are sixteen names of books of the Bible in this paragraph.

Numbers upon Numbers

A bit back ago I did a devotion the passage about how all scripture is useful for teaching, edifying, correcting and so forth.

That verse popped into my head as I read the first chapter of Numbers. Numbers is a book aptly named. It is filled with numbers... and sometimes it can be a little mind boggling (at least to me).

But as I was reading it, these were the numbers presented to me. A census was taken on the Lord's behalf :
1The LORD spoke to Moses in the wilderness of Sinai, in the tent of meeting, on the first day of the second month, in the second year after they had come out of the land of Egypt, saying, 2"Take a census of all the congregation of the people of Israel, by clans, by fathers' houses, according to the number of names, every male, head by head. 3From twenty years old and upward, all in Israel who are able to go to war, you and Aaron shall list them, company by company.
The people of Reuben, Israel's firstborn......those listed of the tribe of Reuben were 46,500.

The people of Simeon, .....those listed of the tribe of Simeon were 59,300.

The people of Gad,.... those listed of the tribe of Gad were 45,650.

The people of Judah,.....those listed of the tribe of Judah were 74,600.

The people of Issachar, ......those listed of the tribe of Issachar were 54,400.

The people of Zebulun, .....those listed of the tribe of Zebulun were 57,400.

The people of Joseph, namely, of the people of Ephraim, ......those listed of the tribe of Ephraim were 40,500.

The people of Manasseh, .....those listed of the tribe of Manasseh were 32,200.

The people of Benjamin, .....those listed of the tribe of Benjamin were 35,400.

The people of Dan, ......39those listed of the tribe of Dan were 62,700.

The people of Asher, ......those listed of the tribe of Asher were 41,500.

The people of Naphtali, .....those listed of the tribe of Naphtali were 53,400.

44These are those who were listed, whom Moses and Aaron listed with the help of the chiefs of Israel, twelve men, each representing his fathers' house. 45So all those listed of the people of Israel, by their fathers' houses, from twenty years old and upward, every man able to go to war in Israel-- 46all those listed were 603,550.

The largest clan was Judah, the smallest wasn't Benjamin, it was Manasseh. That surprised me as I was under the impression the Benjamin had always been the smallest of the tribes. Perhaps that because when I think of the Tribe of Benjamin this line "and the least of these my brothers" comes into my mind.

In all, Israel held 603, 550 fighting men. Imagine how big Israel numbered.... this number does not include the old men, the children, the women married or single. It is just the fighting men. In our household, my husband is 1/3 of our family, in the family I grew up in my dad would have been 1/8 of the family. So Israel could have been immense! So based on that Israel could have numbered from 1810650 - 4828400 people!

God told Abraham that he would be the father of a great nation. From one son came all these people. Wow... rather amazing if you think about it for a moment or two.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Running around the web

Here's a post I'd like to put in our church newsletter sometime (just need permission first!) :) Which hopefully Daniel will grant to me. Called everyone wants to fix the church. Okay, got the permission, so it's going in the newsletter. :)

Doug from Godward Thoughts did this post that I liked. Christian vs Christ-follower.

From the Renewal bible study comes this post on Evidence of Faith, Cause for Hope.

I have to admit, I liked this post on Godly Anger Management for children from Anne. I have my ways to chilling out, Jim has his, Justin will need to learn ways that work for him, and these post gives me clues for how I can help him learn how to control or manage his anger.

Doxoblogy talks about Does the bible teach the trinity. Worth a good read.

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Daffodil....


Yes, it's official.

Spring has DEFINITELY hit my front yard.

I have ONE daffodil flowering and several more on their way.

Spring has come!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

what a lovely thing to come home to after having fun at mom and dad's for his birthday party.

Oh oh...almost forgot to tell you....

we added to our family....

Candy (cane) and Sugar. This picture is NOT quite as cute as our Sugar.... you need to add a bit of white... a stripe down her face, and white on her tail. She is a brazen little girl. Justin LOVES her (as long as she climbs cars and not him) Candy is quite similar but beige in colour, also fatter (hopefully pregnant) and more timid.

I find it funny..... Jim keeps thinking that Candy is black and Sugar is beige... He's wrong. :) But that's okay. What I find is funny is that we've had this conversation like.... 10 times since they come home with us (just since last Monday).

yes... these two are pets. As for any offspring... well... I won't tell you anything more than that! :) Just know that NO male mice will live in our house. Male mice STINK! (see...I'm not prejudiced...I"d just like my parents to want to come and visit us sometime) :)

Friday, April 20, 2007

For a smile

For a smile head over to Jen's post for today.

My Dad

So my Dad has turned 72 years old. I just realized that happened two days ago! ARGH! me silly woman, completely forgot to call him. ARGH!!!! Will have to do that later today I think.

Anyways, mom told me a couple days back that he has a double hernia. He will be having surgery on May 31st. he's not allowed to lift anything heavy before then. Oh.. the surgeon is heavily booked which is why it takes so long, but dad is on the emergency call list if someone has to cancel out on the surgeon.

If you all could keep him in your prayers that would be so cool.

Thanks.

ACTUALLY.... as I'm sitting here thinking I'm a stupid woman, forgetting to call my dad for his birthday... I thought...wouldn't it be fun if people who read my blog would email him and wish him happy birthday? Wouldn't that be fun? So if you want to he can be reached at
tinholt at porchlight dot ca

And if you do.. THANKS! :)

ALL Scripture

This verse from 2 Timothy 3 is one of my favourites
"16All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, 17that the man of God may be competent, equipped for every good work."
Paul in this chapter has been talking about how in the last days, things will be hard. Some people will oppose Christians, people will want to live for themselves regardless of how it affects others, that some of these people will have the appearance of being "good folk" but they really won't be.

In contrast, Paul mentions the people under Timothy's care. They are not like this. In fact they are so different, they are people who listen and learn. They follow a greater aim in life. And he commends them for it, while reminding them to continue "in what you have learned and firmly believed". And then he ends this chapter with these two verses.

Do you notice....it ALL scripture is useful. Not just some. Not just select verses, but all. Even those endless passages in numbers which are just chronicles of life. Even Revelations which I find confounding.

All Scripture is
  • useful
  • God-breathed
  • profitable for teaching
  • profitable for reproof
  • profitable for correction
  • profitable for training in righteousness
Why?
For the sole reason that the person of God might be
  • competent
  • equipped for every good work
All Scripture.....

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Not being able to enjoy

Once again, I find myself reading in Ecclesiastes. Chapter 6 this time.

I read these words:
1There is an evil that I have seen under the sun, and it lies heavy on mankind: 2a man to whom God gives wealth, possessions, and honor, so that he lacks nothing of all that he desires, yet God does not give him power to enjoy them, but a stranger enjoys them. This is vanity; it is a grievous evil. 3If a man fathers a hundred children and lives many years, so that the days of his years are many, but his soul is not satisfied with life's good things, and he also has no burial, I say that a stillborn child is better off than he. 4For it comes in vanity and goes in darkness, and in darkness its name is covered. 5Moreover, it has not seen the sun or known anything, yet it finds rest rather than he. 6Even though he should live a thousand years twice over, yet enjoy no good--do not all go to the one place?

Some of my readers know that we lost two of our babies to miscarriage. It is something that I still regret... to not have the chance to know little Dani and Angelina. But I read these words...and it was like God speaking to me. For despite people saying...ah get over it all already, I don't think that I ever really will. But... this is what I learned today. This is God speaking his word to me....

How much better for these wee ones to have been lost than to have "everything" and not be able to enjoy it. Or to have "everything" and yet not have any good in life. They are, I know, in a way better place. :) I don't have to worry about them like I do my boy-child. Granted...some worries are good. But then there are others that you know what, I just don't have to worry about them with these two wee ones.

I don't have to be concerned that some crazy person will gun them down. I don't have to be worried that they will be hurt by some bad person. I don't have to worry that they won't grow to be good people of character who love God with everything they are. They are safe AND in better circumstances.

Anyways, nothing really profound today. Just another time for my heart to be further eased.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Psalm 29

The word pictures in this psalm are just too awe-inspiring.
Read them and see GOD!
Praise HIS name.

Psalm 29

Ascribe to the LORD Glory
A Psalm of David.
1Ascribe to the LORD, O heavenly beings,
ascribe to the LORD glory and strength.
2Ascribe to the LORD the glory due his name;
worship the LORD in the splendor of holiness.

3The voice of the LORD is over the waters;
the God of glory thunders,
the LORD, over many waters.
4The voice of the LORD is powerful;
the voice of the LORD is full of majesty.

5The voice of the LORD breaks the cedars;
the LORD breaks the cedars of Lebanon.
6He makes Lebanon to skip like a calf,
and Sirion like a young wild ox.

7The voice of the LORD flashes forth flames of fire.
8The voice of the LORD shakes the wilderness;
the LORD shakes the wilderness of Kadesh.

9The voice of the LORD makes the deer give birth
and strips the forests bare,
and in his temple all cry, "Glory!"

10The LORD sits enthroned over the flood;
the LORD sits enthroned as king forever.
11May the LORD give strength to his people!
May the LORD bless his people with peace!

Ecclesiastes

I did an intensive self-study on this book of Solomom's before. I found it an interesting book to read but rather depressing. All that man does is folly. All that people should remember is God matters. But... all we do is folly and doesn't really matter in the long run.

When I reading in Ecclesiastes 5 this morning I read these verses.
1Guard your steps when you go to the house of God. To draw near to listen is better than to offer the sacrifice of fools, for they do not know that they are doing evil. 2Be not rash with your mouth, nor let your heart be hasty to utter a word before God, for God is in heaven and you are on earth. Therefore let your words be few.
and these ones
9Everyone also to whom God has given wealth and possessions and power to enjoy them, and to accept his lot and rejoice in his toil--this is the gift of God. 20For he will not much remember the days of his life because God keeps him occupied with joy in his heart.
This Chapter begins with an admonition that we remember that it is God that we draw near to. Therefore we must be careful what we promise. We must be careful what we do. That we must listen way more than we talk. After all GOD is in heaven, WE are on earth. We need to be respectful of that.

And then it closes with showing the results of God in the lives of his people. We have so much joy in him, that we can scarce remember our time on earth.

Reading this reminds of me of how I've gone through some tough times in my life, and often when I think back, what I remember most is how God took care of me through them. Knowing, feeling and seeing God's love tends to override the rest, and colours it a whole lot better.

Isn't it neat?

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Scrapbooking Contest

Check this out: Scrapbooking with Epson.

The Epson StoryTeller National Scrapbooking Day Essay Contest is all about telling a story – your scrapbook story. Our 2007 theme is "I Scrapbook Because…” Tell us in a written essay of 400 words or less why you scrapbook. You may include one layout or photo to help tell your story.

We will be choosing three winners who will be awarded 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place prizes. The top 3 winners will receive:

1st Place (Value: $694)

• Epson StoryTeller Photo Book Creator - 8" x 10" (10 pages)
• Epson Stylus Photo R1800 printer
• Epson Perfection V100 Photo scanner
• PremierArt Matte Scrapbook Photo Paper for Epson - 12”x12” (10 sheets)

2nd Place (Value: $75)

• Epson StoryTeller Photo Book Creator - 8"x10" (10 pages)
• $50 worth scrapbook product

3rd Place (Value: $50)

• Epson StoryTeller Photo Book Creator - 8"x10" (10 pages)
• $25 worth scrapbook product

The contest will run from April 1, 2007 thru April 30, 2007 so get your story in today! Click here to submit your story.

Contest winners will be announced on May 5, 2007 - National Scrapbooking Day - in Scrapbooking.com Magazine!


Do I see Myself as Holy?

I read out of Leviticus 21 this morning and had to wonder upon reading it.

Do I see myself as holy before the Lord?

In the New Testament we know that Jesus is Prophet, Priest, and King. We are his followers. He is of God. We are to be what God has called us to be - his children, holy, perfect and so on.

So in some ways we are to be priests (we can talk with God and intervene on his behalf), we are to prophets (in that we extol/expound the word of God) and princes/princesses (children of God, of 'a king')

So here's Aaron. A levite. A priest.
Moses tells Aaron's sons (the priests) on behalf of God
6They shall be holy to their God and not profane the name of their God. For they offer the LORD's food offerings, the bread of their God; therefore they shall be holy.
There was a whole list of things they could or could not do. Even things that their children were responsible for, lest they profane their parents and therefore profane God.

So like the priests of the Old Testament who were to see themselves as Holy, and therefore lives like holy people, we are priests. God calls us to holiness.

I have to ask therefore, Do I (do you) see myself (yourself) as holy?

If so, what does that mean?
In the spiritual sense, in the physical (day-t0-day) sense...... what does it mean?

I find that's not an easy question for me to answer.

When I look at the old testament examples I can say ... yeah..
I don't worship other gods or do things to appease them.
I don't sleep around.
I don't go around touching dead bodies.
and so forth

But how do I show my holiness?
I am a person who struggles with talking appropriately.
I am a person who gets easily distracted from the important things in life.
I am a person who watches TV shows that depict people living apart from God... how much does the influence me? Does it affect my holiness?

So how can I see myself as holy to God?

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Classis of Ontario, Women's Conference, 2007

Parts of this post are also cross-posted on my family blog.

So it's Sunday afternoon, I"m sitting here waiting for Justin to wake up and thought hmmm... should probably update my various blogs, so here I am.

First I have to admit.... I was NOT looking forward to going to this event. I dislike going to events where I wonder if I'll learn anything (I dislike unneeded fluff), where there seems a strong social component (I dislike mingling in large crowds), where I wonder if I'll have enough time to get all my wigglies out before having to sit down again and where I just think...I could be home doing something fun!

Saturday Justin and I left Jim at home and drove three ladies from Church to the RCW ladies conference. It was held at Drayton RCA this year. Mary Clark was the speaker. She heads up women's ministries within the RCA.

Her Topic was "God's hospitality". I found her hard to listen to, not because of her, but due to the fact that she had to keep pausing for the translator. I probably lost the first 10 minutes while I adapted to the listen, wait, listen, wait routine. Most of the women I talked with struggled with the same issue. Though I appreciated the need for a translator, I really wish that there hadn't needed to be one. Her topic was a one that women in our classis needed to hear and probably didn't really hear because of the whole listen and wait routine.

Mary's whole point was the use the gift of hospitality that God has given to each of us, and use it to advance the kingdom of God. Hospitality is the giving of ourselves to others. Once I understood that this was her definition of hospitality it all made sense...but it took me a while to get there.

You see MY definition of hospitality is someone who makes you feel comfortable from the moment you get in their door and who LOVES having people over for dinner or tea or whatever. I DO NOT see myself as having the gift of hospitality at all. NOT saying I don't like having people over but I find it a whole heap of work and I worry about this that and the other thing and AHH. Just fills me with horrors most of the time. What if I can't get the house clean enough or what if I serve the wrong food or what if the cat or the dog or the _____ does something it aught not to. and ... it just goes on and on.

AND THE BIGGEST THING???? What if my guest does something that freaks me out and makes my house feel unsafe to me.???? What if???? STUPID I know. After all...GOD LOVES ME! He won't let anything happen to me that I can't handle without his help. I can trust his promises. I can. See...it's taken me years to realize that! (sometimes slow on the uptake)

Anyways, back to Mary's talk. Hospitality...giving of ourselves to others. Use hospitality as a form of evangelism. This doesn't mean as a church that we need to start new programs. What it means is us, as individual people, stopping to take 30 minutes there, 1.5 hours there just to sit and see the people around us. See what their needs are and just go out and meet those needs. Simple, straight-forward meeting the needs of people. Showing them Jesus through our actions. She kept telling us.. STOP. Think outside box. Think outside the walls of your church. Do it differently.

For instance... we could see a struggling young mom and offer to help her do her shopping. We could do someone's laundry for them. We could offer a cup of tea. Different needs, different ways of helping. We just need to stop and look for those ways of helping/showing/teaching. We are women.... we can see and meet needs around us.

Overall, it was a good message.

In the afternoon we watched a skit "what kind of tater are you". one of the ladies from Drayton put on a skit about different types of taters "agi-tator" "peace-tator" "spec-tator" and so forth. It was not bad at all. it was actually fun to watch these ladies be different taters. :)

There were quilts hung all over the church. Made more than one woman wonder out loud what was with all the quilts. Turns out Drayton church, for the Mennonite Central Committee, makes quilts. These quilts are distributed world wide to people in need of well.. quilts to keep warm. They gave them out in Equador, Africa, and other places. Wherever there has been a disaster (God or Human made) and there are people in need. That was way cool to see. This year Drayton made 63 quilts over the winter. Good to see that in action.

I enjoyed the fact that there was a babysit. Justin had a blast. He even napped! :) He ate a bit, didn't drink as much as I'd like, but he had fun. He had a good sleep last night. He was a happy boy, well, at least until he learned that no, he couldn't bring that lovely airplane home with him. :) it was so good to be able to check on him frequently and just see the fun he was having.

I enjoyed the book table. Even picked up a couple of things. One a book that I think will be helpful with homeschooling in the future, some scrapbooking stuff and something else that I can't recall right now. Spent less than $25. (I had a personal limit of 40 so I did well). Justin made the whole purchasing of things a challenge with .....oh...I can throw my beloved tiger in this water feature... and scream when mommy rescues him... and scream when he's all wet and mommy whisks him away to dry him off. And oh...they have candies!!!!!!! Toddlers...such fun!
So what didn't I like?
1. The agenda pushing... we have a women's conference coming up in Chicago... boy was attendance at this event being pushed. yes, I would like to go. Will I go? No... not at 149$ hotel bill per night and paying daily parking PLUS $350 (about that) for the conference itself. Cannot afford it. WILL NOT ask my church to foot the bill for it. A conference like this should be able to be held elsewhere for a lot less. Also many of the topics seem like "fluff" to me. Denomination wide conferences I do believe should offer more than "fluff".
2. the "tolerance" stuff. We have to tolerate. I agree that we have to tolerate people over things like building structure, clothing, taste in music and such like. Over such things, the overwhelming concern should be .... how do we reach people for Christ and teach them well. I do not agree that we should tolerate bad doctrine. I don't think that evangelism outside the church is more important then having people that will hold to the truth of the gospel. There must be room for both. I think that once bad doctrine is allowed a strong foothold, what is to stop it from becoming more prevalent?
3. I disliked comments I heard directly in conversation and overheard about "those people" and how hard it was to listen to the translator that "those people" needed. I would have thought better of these predominately older immigrant people over new immigrant people. The "those people" was directed at the spanish speaking contingent that came up from Toronto for the day. It really bothered and made me wonder if our churches overall can really open their doors to all the different Canadians that surround them in their communities..... very sad that.

I ended up being glad that I went. I got to know the church ladies a wee bit more. :) Dina lived in Drayton for a while, didn't know that before. Reinie enjoyed her grandchild over Easter weekend, and remembers past events in Drayton, and I like Betty...I do. Strong opinions but a good heart on her. :) I learned stuff, got almost all my wigglies out (Sieka gave me a candy...helped). :) I wasn't stuck in a crowd having to talk in a noisy room. It was fun.

Friday, April 13, 2007

A Woman of the Lord

Two readings today seemed to speak on a similiar topic.

Proverbs 31
10 An excellent wife who can find?
She is far more precious than jewels.
11The heart of her husband trusts in her,
and he will have no lack of gain.
12She does him good, and not harm,
all the days of her life.
13She seeks wool and flax,
and works with willing hands.
14She is like the ships of the merchant;
she brings her food from afar.
15She rises while it is yet night
and provides food for her household
and portions for her maidens.
16She considers a field and buys it;
with the fruit of her hands she plants a vineyard.
17She dresses herself with strength
and makes her arms strong.
18She perceives that her merchandise is profitable.
Her lamp does not go out at night.
19She puts her hands to the distaff,
and her hands hold the spindle.
20She opens her hand to the poor
and reaches out her hands to the needy.
21She is not afraid of snow for her household,
for all her household are clothed in scarlet.
22She makes bed coverings for herself;
her clothing is fine linen and purple.
23Her husband is known in the gates
when he sits among the elders of the land.
24She makes linen garments and sells them;
she delivers sashes to the merchant.
25Strength and dignity are her clothing,
and she laughs at the time to come.
26She opens her mouth with wisdom,
and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue.
27She looks well to the ways of her household
and does not eat the bread of idleness.
28Her children rise up and call her blessed;
her husband also, and he praises her:
29"Many women have done excellently,
but you surpass them all."
30Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain,
but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised.
31Give her of the fruit of her hands,
and let her works praise her in the gates.
and 1 Timothy 2
8I desire then that in every place the men should pray, lifting holy hands without anger or quarreling; 9likewise also that women should adorn themselves in respectable apparel, with modesty and self-control, not with braided hair and gold or pearls or costly attire, 10but with what is proper for women who profess godliness--with good works. 11Let a woman learn quietly with all submissiveness. 12I do not permit a woman to teach or to exercise authority over a man; rather, she is to remain quiet. 13For Adam was formed first, then Eve; 14and Adam was not deceived, but the woman was deceived and became a transgressor. 15Yet she will be saved through childbearing--if they continue in faith and love and holiness, with self-control.
Proverbs 31 seems to be a favourite of many women (and some men), pointing to just who and what we should be as women. Quite frankly, I look at this passage and I think...um... right...FAILURE! It holds to such an ideal it seems unrealistic to try to meet it. And at times it seems...hmmm.....why should I even try? If I'm doomed to failure then there's not much point in reaching for it is there? Of course, that is taking a rather fatalistic approach though isn't it? :) And God calls me to more than I know I can reach anyways. He calls me to live a life of holiness and perfection. He has actually already declared me to be holy and perfect. (but then again, he sees me through his son) So if I continue to strive for holiness and perfection, though I don't see myself as anywhere close to the goal, should I not also strive to be the best wife that I can be, even if I see myself as doomed to failure?

When after reading the Proverbs passage, I read the Timothy passage, I see the theme continuing in a way. Women are to dress properly - to have modesty and self-control, to do good works, to be quietly submissive as she learns, to not teach men, to be saved through child-bearing IF she continues in faith, love and holiness while maintaining self-control.

How are these passages related?
Both show proper relationship between men and women.
They show how women can help men be what they are meant to be.

A while back The Rebelution did a series of posts on Modesty. They even put together a Modesty Survey. One of the things I found interesting in reading the results was how a woman dresses helps or hinders a man. Which of course makes me think, if women come to services with an eye to dressing to pleasing God and worshiping God (rather than throwing on whatever she feels like) it will help men in their worship and service and pleasing of God.

Likewise, if women help men to assume the roles in church and life witness that they are supposed to, then the church will be the better for it. Yes, we can talk...but the more we talk the less men do. Haven't you ever noticed that? Words can often come so easy to us, that it is easy for women to overwhelm conversation with our talking. So if we say to ourselves, for the sake of the men in the church, I will keep my mouth shut, then we are doing a God-pleasing thing. We are giving men the space and time they need to teach, edify, correct and therefore to DO what God wants them to do.

The Proverbs 31 lady does the same thing. She keeps her household running, she focuses on the physical things of life, raises her children, keeps food on the table, and lets her man be respected in the gates of the city. That's what a good woman does. She didn't run around trying to build respect for herself and her family. She ran around doing what needed to be done so her family and her husband could be respected.

If I see things from that perspective.....then perhaps I'm not as a complete a failure as I often think I am. Do I have room for improvement? For sure. But when I focus on doing what I need to do.... things in this household sure go a lot better! Makes it easier for my man to be the man that God has called him to be. And the side-benefit of it, is I LIKE IT!
I like my man being respected.
I like my man being able to get his work done.
I like my man being pleased with what he gets done.

It's just rather cool how it all works together. :)

The verse about child-bearing I do find interesting. :) Since having Justin my eyes have been further opened to the love that God has for us. How very patient he is with his wandering children, who do love him, but continually get side-tracked by the things they see and hear and feel around them. God loves us anyways. He continues calls us back on track to loving him and wanting him and pleasing him. Now mind you, if I don't see my parenting through the eyes of God and salvation then it does me no good. But parenting has changed my relationship to God for the better, which is something I totally did not expect. :) Should have read my bible better I guess! :)

I have to try not to be sidetracked here...but I do wonder about this line sometimes.
13For Adam was formed first, then Eve; 14and Adam was not deceived, but the woman was deceived and became a transgressor.
Adam was there when Eve was tempted, so why does it always seem that Eve takes the greater blame. Is not the man to take an active role in how his wife is learning and perceiving things? Did not Adam have a role in the deception that Eve faced? Why is Eve seen as the transgressor and not Adam? Doesn't make a whole lot of sense to me, to me, both should be see equally as transgressor's and not just the fingering seeming to point at one.

But then again, Eve did do all the talking...... :)

Thursday, April 12, 2007

What Does this Mean?

I was reading in Proverbs 30 this morning and came across these verses:
1The words of Agur son of Jakeh. The oracle.

The man declares, I am weary, O God;
I am weary, O God, and worn out.
2Surely I am too stupid to be a man.
I have not the understanding of a man.
3I have not learned wisdom,
nor have I knowledge of the Holy One.
4Who has ascended to heaven and come down?
Who has gathered the wind in his fists?
Who has wrapped up the waters in a garment?
Who has established all the ends of the earth?
What is his name, and what is his son's name?
Surely you know!
I have to admit, I was shocked to read "what is his name and his son's name?" Could this, in the Old Testament refer to Christ? So I did some looking in commentaries, and it appears that there is some discrepancies in what people think it means.

Some think that Son is a bad translation and should be rendered Sons (as in referring to the saints of God). Others think that is does refer to Christ and that this man "Agur" has some pre-knowledge of Christ but wonder then, why is not the rest of the trinity referred to?

Since there is so much discrepancy in what people think this passage means, my tendency is to go along with Clarke who says :
Many are of [the] opinion that Agur refers here to the first and second persons of the everblessed TRINITY. It may be so; but who would venture to rest the proof of that most glorious doctrine upon such a text, to say nothing of the obscure author? The doctrine is true, sublimely true; but many doctrines have suffered in controvery, by improper texts being urged in their favour. Every lover of God and truth should be very choice in his selections, when he comes forward in behalf of the more mysterious doctrines of the Bible. Quote nothing that is not clear: advance nothing that does not tell. (for the rest of the comments, see here.)
I also think his words are wise considering the next verse:
5Every word of God proves true;
he is a shield to those who take refuge in him.
6Do not add to his words,
lest he rebuke you and you be found a liar.
So if a person doesn't know something is true about what is written in the word of God, that person should not to say that it means something that it might not. If you aren't sure, just say so. :) Don't make yourself into a liar, particularly about God's word.

On another note, I have to admit, I sometimes feel like the author of this proverb does...
The man declares, I am weary, O God;
I am weary, O God, and worn out.
2Surely I am too stupid to be a man.
I have not the understanding of a man.
3I have not learned wisdom,
nor have I knowledge of the Holy One.
Do you ever feel like that? I'm imagining this man sitting there thinking, man...I'm a class act idiot. I know nothing! And shaking his head at his own complete stupidity. What can I say... I've been there. When I just kinda wonder...which window did my brain fly out of! And then to see the wonder of God and what he has done.... just amazing. :) Because that is what happened with Agur. He saw his own stupidity, and then he saw the works of God. He knows that God's word is true, and that God knows what he is doing.

Man is so insignificant beside God.

God knows it all.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

My thoughts were captured....

Today I was reading from 2 Thessalonians 3 minding my own business... (in other words not expecting to learn anything because I feel busy and rushed inside) Oh my, I read that over again and I think...I shouldn't say that! Makes it sound like I"m reading the bible just to go through the motions. Okay, I admit, Sometimes I do that. Sometimes I feel so rushed and busy that I read the bible just to get into the habit again when things have been busy and distracting and stuff. Sometimes I just have to go through the motions to remind myself of the importance of spending time with the one that I love the most. What I find is so cool is when I do that, not really thinking, sometimes God just blesses my socks off and helps me to see deeper DESPITE myself. Isn't that way cool how his Holy Spirit works within us? :)

Anyways, what captured my thoughts this morning?

One Paul asked for prayer. He needed that prayer. It was so important to Paul that God's word be spread around and that it be honoured.
1Finally, brothers, pray for us, that the word of the Lord may speed ahead and be honored, as happened among you, 2and that we may be delivered from wicked and evil men.
Paul knew that alot of the people that he met had no faith, and that those folks would cause him difficulty. But he also knew that God was faithful. He is the one who protects us from evil.
For not all have faith. 3But the Lord is faithful. He will establish you and guard you against the evil one.
And therefore he had confidence. He had confidence that those he led to Christ would be okay, and he had confidence that God would work as he aught in them.
4And we have confidence in the Lord about you, that you are doing and will do the things that we command. 5May the Lord direct your hearts to the love of God and to the steadfastness of Christ.
Made me think a couple of things
1. Do we have confidence that God will work as he aught in the lives that we come into contact with? Seriously do we? One of the things I really struggled with when I came to live in Exeter was leaving behind of my friends that I regularly did one to one bible study with (love doing that by the way and really miss that type of study). Anyways, I really struggled with how is she going to do know, will she continue learning of the Lord and ..... I have to admit, I didn't trust that God would continue to push her to learn more. And to my amazement and surprise, he brought another lady into her life who also was willing to do bible study with her. THAT was just so awesome, and a really good lesson to me. Those that do seek God will find him. God honours our hearts and gives us what we need to learn of him. My friend was given the structure that she needed to continue to learn of God and I saw God's faithfulness in action.

2. Do we really trust the promises of God?
If So... what stops us from proclaiming God's good news to all those around us?

If we trust the promises of God then we shouldn't fear that
a. we don't know enough
b. we might suffer fear, embarrassment, ____________ (you fill in the blank)

If we know that God will protect us from the evil one, what do we have to worry about when we share God's good news with others?

3. The importance of asking for prayer. Do you that? Do I do that? yes, I'll admit, I often fail to ask for prayer that God's word will be spread through me and that it is spread in an honourable, God-pleasing, God working way.

It all seems to go together it seems. This trusting God to protect me from sin, this desire to spread his word, this need to have prayer while doing so. And having that confidence that God will continue to work in the lives of those we meet and witness to.

Kinda neat I think. What think you?

One Day

This song, one day, is one of my most favourite hymns. I have it half memorized already. :) Made tears of worship come to my eyes the first time I heard it.

One day when Heaven was filled with His praises,
One day when sin was as black as could be,
Jesus came forth to be born of a virgin,
Dwelt among men, my Example is He!

Refrain

Living, He loved me; dying, He saved me;
Buried, He carried my sins far away;
Rising, He justified freely forever;
One day He’s coming—O glorious day!

One day they led Him up Calvary’s mountain,
One day they nailed Him to die on the tree;
Suffering anguish, despised and rejected:
Bearing our sins, my Redeemer is He!

Refrain

One day they left Him alone in the garden,
One day He rested, from suffering free;
Angels came down o’er His tomb to keep vigil;
Hope of the hopeless, my Savior is He!

Refrain

One day the grave could conceal Him no longer,
One day the stone rolled away from the door;
Then He arose, over death He had conquered;
Now is ascended, my Lord evermore!

Refrain

One day the trumpet will sound for His coming,
One day the skies with His glories will shine;
Wonderful day, my belov├Ęd ones bringing;
Glorious Savior, this Jesus is mine!

Refrain

This song was written by John Wilbur Chapman.

John Wilbur Chapman 1859-1918 Presbyterian evangelist. John W. Chapman was born in Indiana and educated at Oberlin College and Lane Seminary. He re- ceived the LL.D. from Heidelberg University. He held pastor- ates in Ohio, Indiana, New York, and Pennsylvania. He con- ducted evangelistic campaigns in Canada, Hawaii, the Fiji Is- lands, Australia, New Zealand, England, Scotland, Japan, Tas- mania, and the Philippine Islands. Chapman became the director of the Winona Lake Bible Conference and helped set up conferences at Stonybrooke, Long Island, and Montreat, North Carolina. He was made executive secretary of the Presbyterian General Assembly in 1903. He won thousands of souls to Jesus Christ and influenced hun- dreds of young men to enter the ministry. He was "cultured, earnest, enthusiastic, and sane." In his preaching and manner of life, he was never coarse or thoughtless. His preaching was calm, but forceful; emotional, but not dramatic.

quick updates

1. my brother in law is doing well again! yeah. He's back at work again which is such a good thing. It's been two weeks since I heard from my sister about this, really should have updated you all sooner, but between sickness, busyness and Easter what can I say? It got overlooked.

2. overall the news meds my dad is on are helping him cope better. He has less muscle spasms and is generally more alert. Changes in weather affect his abilities to think and to get around so I'm praying that stable summer weather will get here soon! :) Mom said that last week was hard for him, but overall he's doing better. He's puzzling again so that is a good thing. :)

3. I've been struggling abit lately with finding time to do my devotions. yes, it's a normal spring thing in some ways.. .I just want to be out and about doing stuff. And part of me just needs to get that out of my system.... But this year I have added into the mix some spring colds, other health stuff which distracts my mind, and a boy who doesn't nap as regularly (which means if I miss devos first thing in the morning, I can't always do them in the afternoon). If you all could pray that I get things back on track I would really appreciate the support. Thanks.

Sunday, April 08, 2007

Low in the grave He lay

Low in the grave He lay, Jesus my Savior,
Waiting the coming day, Jesus my Lord!

Refrain

Up from the grave He arose,
With a mighty triumph o’er His foes,
He arose a Victor from the dark domain,
And He lives forever, with His saints to reign.
He arose! He arose!
Hallelujah! Christ arose!

Vainly they watch His bed, Jesus my Savior;
Vainly they seal the dead, Jesus my Lord!

Refrain

Death cannot keep its Prey, Jesus my Savior;
He tore the bars away, Jesus my Lord!

Refrain

Saturday, April 07, 2007

So just how does one resist this?

Justin's been learning new words lately.
Keeps them coming with leaps and bounds. Rather neat I find.

Today he surprised me with Here it is (when I asked him to get his boots). Eat! at breakfast (when he wouldn't eat.... I think I was supposed to or something).

And then here we are at Wal-mart....needed to get something there can't remember what right now... anyways, walking through the toy section just to see if there are any good deals (sometimes we find amazing deals there). not today though.
But what do my wondering ears hear??? My boyo ever so happily saying toys! toys! (very excited commentary from this 21 month old lad). followed by a mournful toys...toys... as we move further away from said toys (6 six trucks in a box). We go back to look (happy lad) with mournful toys toys.. when we leave them again. Daddy distracted him with a push toy which was kinda interesting but not a keeper (but got us away from the trucks).

Then came tain tain! Tain tain!

Thomas the train caught his eye...he wanted, oh but he wanted.....

How does one shut out mournful tain tain noises from a boy child? Not crying, just a very very cute and mournful..tain, tain....

How does one shut those mournful sounds out?

One realizes that Thomas the train sells for outrageous amounts of money is how! :)
Doesn't make it any easier though..... such a mournful little voice.....

We settled for a couple of dinky cars on sale for 82 cents a piece (one of which looked kinda like a train car when in the box)...way better than one TAIN TAIN for 7.49 a piece! Even if one has to deal with a mad boy throwing a truck because it's not a tain tain (when he got it out of the box)!

He is VERY happy with the truck now though. :)

2000 hits

So I was surprised, pleased, honoured...

However you want to put it...

But 2000 people have come by my blog. Yes, I know....it's not 2000 people persay, but it's 2000 hits on my blog, some from regular folks, some from newbies....

From people who stay for as little as 1 sec, to people who stay for an hour.

I think it's cool.

I pray that what I write does impact the world for Christ.

Self-control

This week in Coffeebreak we discussed self-control and how it is one of the fruits of the Spirit. We learned that true self-control begins with understanding that we really need Spirit-control (as in the Holy Spirit) and the willingness to learn/heed/obey his prompting.

Still having that in mind, when I read this passage from I Thessalonians 4, it caught my eye.
1Finally, then, brothers, we ask and urge you in the Lord Jesus, that as you received from us how you ought to live and to please God, just as you are doing, that you do so more and more. 2For you know what instructions we gave you through the Lord Jesus. 3For this is the will of God, your sanctification: that you abstain from sexual immorality; 4that each one of you know how to control his own body in holiness and honor, 5not in the passion of lust like the Gentiles who do not know God; 6that no one transgress and wrong his brother in this matter, because the Lord is an avenger in all these things, as we told you beforehand and solemnly warned you. 7For God has not called us for impurity, but in holiness. 8Therefore whoever disregards this, disregards not man but God, who gives his Holy Spirit to you.
The Holy Spirit was given to us as a counselor, teacher, guide. He guides our hearts to God, he helps us understand God's word, and prompts us to obey him (and helps us know when we are not obeying the things of God).

In this passage we learn more about what the will of God is for our lives.

That we abstain from sexual immorality. Or in other words... that we live our sexual lives in a pure manner, free from immorality.

That we learn to control our bodies. And we do so in holiness and honour. Not being people given over to the passions of our flesh, but striving for holiness and honour in all ways.

Those of us who know God, need to know God with all of ourselves. Not just with our spirits, but also with our bodies and the things that we do.

God calls us to holiness.

So what does that mean for me?
1. Just because I'm tired doesn't give me a reason to snap at others.
2. Just because I want it, doesn't mean I have to buy that chocolate bar. :)
3. Just because I know my hubbie likes it, doesn't mean I have to get him a Coffeecrisp or bring snack crackers into the house, it doesn't help him to honour his body either!

I am learning more and more that self-control really does start with a different mind set.
1. How does "this" (whatever this is for me or you) fit in with living a holy and honourable life before God?
2. How can I help others in my life live holy and honourable lives with all that they are? Do the things that I do contribute to their not really heeding the Spirit at work within them?

Hmm.....things to ponder.