Thursday, November 4, 2010
Saturday, October 30, 2010
Here’s an excerpt from the very first chapter that really hit home for me. I hope you enjoy it.
“Why are we so quick to forget God? Who do we think we are?
I find myself relearning this lesson often. Even though I glimpse God’s holiness, I am still dumb enough to forget that life is all about God and not about me at all.
It goes sort of like this….
Suppose you are an extra in an upcoming movie. You will probably scrutinize that one scene where hundreds of people are milling around, just waiting for that two-fifths of a second when you can see the back of your head. Maybe your mom and your closest friend get excited about that two-fifths of a second with you… maybe. But no one else will realize it is you. Even if you tell them, they won’t care.
Let’s take it a step further. What if you rent out a theater on opening night and invite all your friends and family to come see the new movie about you? People will say, “You’re an idiot! How could you think this movie is about you?”
Many Christians are even more delusional than the person I’ve been describing. So many of us think and live like the movie of life is all about us.
Now consider the movie of life…
God creates the world. (Were you alive then? Was God talking to you when He proclaimed “It is good” about all He had just made?)
Then people rebel against God (who if you haven’t realized it yet, is the main character in this movie), and God floods the earth to rid it of the mess people made of it.
Several generations later, God singles out a ninety-nine-year-old man called Abram and makes him the father of a nation (did you have anything to do with this?).
Later, along came Joseph and Moses and many other ordinary and inadequate people that the movie is also not about. God is the one who picks them and directs them and works miracles through them.
In the next scene, God sends judges and prophets to his nation because the people can’t seem to give Him the one thing He asks of them (obedience).
And then, the climax: The Son of God is born among the people whom God still somehow loves. While in this world, the Son teaches His followers what true love looks like. Then the Son of God dies and is resurrected and goes back up to be with God.
And even though the movie isn’t quite finished yet, we know what the last scene holds. It’s the scene I already described in chapter 1: the throne room of God. Here every being worships God who sits on the throne, for He alone is worthy to be praised.
From start to finish, this movie is obviously about God. He is the main character. How is it possible that we live as though it is about us? Our scenes in the movie, our brief lives, fall somewhere between the time Jesus ascends into heaven (Acts ) and when we will all worship God on His throne in heaven (Revelation).
We have only our two-fifths-of-a-second-long scene to live. I don’t know about you, but I want my two-fifths of a second to be about my making much of God. First Corinthians 10:31 says, “So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.” That is what each of our two-fifths of a second is about.
So what does that mean for you?
Frankly, you need to get over yourself. If might sound harsh, but that seriously what it means.
Maybe life’s pretty good for you right now. God has given you this good stuff so that you can show the world a person who enjoys blessings, but who is still totally obsessed with God.
Or maybe life is tough right now, and everything feels like a struggle. God has allowed hard things in your life so you can show the world that your God is great and that knowing Him brings peace and joy, even when life is hard. Like the psalmist who wrote, “I saw the prosperity of the wicked…. Surely in vain have I kept my heart pure…. When I tried to understand all this, it was oppressive to me till I entered the sanctuary of God” (Ps. 73:3 ,13, 16-17). It is easy to become disillusioned with the circumstances of our lives compared to others’. But in the presence of God, He gives us a deeper peace and joy that transcends it all.
To be brutally honest, it doesn’t really matter what place you find yourself in right now. Your part is to bring Him glory—whether eating a sandwich on a lunch break, drinking coffee at 12:04 a.m. so you can stay awake to study, or watching your four-month-old take a nap.
The point of your life is to point to Him. Whatever you are doing, God wants to be glorified, because this whole thing is His. It is His movie, His world, His gift” (Crazy Love 42, 43, 45).
Wednesday, September 22, 2010
Ever thought about what the phrase, "Walk by faith and not by sight," means? I particularly like the part about "not by sight." I like to think about that literally for my spiritual life. Sometimes I'm so ready to plan my own life and the steps I will take that I forget to trust God. I am not perfect. So, my choices, if I'm making them apart from God, won't be perfect. Therefore, my steps won't be perfect and I'll fall. But Christ is perfect. If I let Him guide my steps in the path of righteousness, my ways will be perfect.
Have any of you done a ropes course or trust exercise (sometimes known as "team-building activity")? Well, sometimes, people have to pick you up and put you through spaces in tires or guide you along a wooded trail without touching you. I don't know about you, but it's hard to trust someone to take your life and well-being into their hands.
When I think about my spiritual life, I see how sometimes I can say that I'm trusting God, but I'm still watching what else I could be doing, and even though I am letting God direct my steps, I trip over other things like pride, hurt, hatred, frustration, etc. I wouldn't call it "blind faith," but I think that making sure I'm not comparing what I'm doing to what I could be doing is like closing my eyes. I want to live for God and I want to walk in the steps of righteousness, but I've noticed that if I'm allowing myself to be distracted by all the sin and temptations around me, I trip up.
So now I pray that God would take His hand
And cover my eyes and make me rest in Him.
I pray that He will direct my steps
So I will not stumble
And make the temptations dim;
So all I can see is His glory
Etched in His crucified palm.
And I'll be forced to reflect on His glory
And dwell on the things of above.
"A man's heart plans his way, But the Lord directs his steps." (Proverbs 16:9)
Sunday, September 19, 2010
you to think at first of doing as you do now?
Hope. Do you mean, how came I at first to look after the good of my soul?
Chr. Yes, that is my meaning.
Hope. I continued a great while in the delight of those things which were
seen and sold at our Fair; things which I believe now would have (had I
continued in them still) drowned me in perdition and destruction.
Chr. What things were they?
Hope. All the Treasures and Riches of the World. Also I delighted much in
Rioting, Revelling, Drinking, Swearing, Lying, Uncleanness, Sabbath -
breaking, and what not, that tended to destroy the Soul. But I found at last,
by hearing and considering of things that are Divine, which indeed I heard of
you, as also of beloved Faithful, that was put to death for his faith and good
living in Vanity Fair, That the end of these things is death. And that for
these things' sake the wrath of God cometh upon the children of disobedience.
Chr. And did you presently fall under the power of this conviction?
Hope. No, I was not willing presently to know the evil of sin, nor the
damnation that follows upon the commission of it; but endeavoured, when my
mind at first began to be shaken with the Word, to shut mine eyes against the
Chr. But what was the cause of your carrying of it thus to the first
workings of God's blessed Spirit upon you?
Hope. The causes were, 1. I was ignorant that this was the work of God
upon me. I never thought that by awakenings for sin God at first begins the
conversion of a sinner. 2. Sin was yet very sweet to my flesh, and I was loth
to leave it. 3. I could not tell how to part with mine old Companions, their
presence and actions were so desirable unto me. 4. The hours in which
convictions were upon me, were such troublesome and such heart-affrighting
hours, that I could not bear, no not so much as the remembrance of them upon
Chr. Then as it seems, sometimes you got rid of your trouble.
Hope. Yes verily, but it would come into my mind again, and then I should
be as bad, nay worse, than I was before.
Chr. Why, what was it that brought your sins to mind again?
Hope. Many things; as
1. If I did but meet a good man in the Streets; or,
2. If I have heard any read in the Bible; or,
3. If mine Head did begin to ake; or,
4. If I were told that some of my Neighbors were sick; or,
5. If I heard the Bell toll for some that were dead; or,
6. If I thought of Dying myself; or,
7. If I heard that sudden Death happened to others;
8. But especially, when I thought of myself, that I must quickly come to
Chr. And could you at any time with ease get off the guilt of sin, when
by any of these ways it came upon you?
Hope. No, not latterly, for then they got faster hold of my conscience;
and then, if I did but think of going back to sin, (though my mind was turned
against it) it would be double torment to me.
Chr. And how did you do then?
Hope. I thought I must endeavour to mend my life; for else, thought I, I
am sure to be damned.
Chr. And did you endeavour to mend?
Hope. Yes, and fled from not only my sins, but sinful Company too; and
betook me to religious duties, as Prayer, Reading, Weeping for Sin, speaking
Truth to my Neighbors, &c. These things did I, with many others, too much here
Chr. And did you think yourself well then?
Hope. Yes, for a while; but at the last my trouble came tumbling upon me
again, and that over the neck of all my reformations.
Chr. How came that about, since you were now reformed?
Hope. There were several things brought it upon me, especially such
sayings as these: All our righteousnesses are as filthy rags. By the works of
the Law no man shall be justified. When you have done all things, says, We are
unprofitable: with many more such like. From whence I began to reason with
myself thus: If all my righteousnesses are filthy rags, if by the deeds of the
Law, no man can be justified; and if, when we have done all, we are yet
unprofitable, then 'tis but a folly to think of Heaven by the Law. I further
thought thus: If a man runs i001. into the Shop-keeper's debt, and after
that shall pay for all that he shall fetch; yet his old debt stands still in
the Book uncrossed, for the which the Shop-keeper may sue him, and cast him
into Prison till he shall pay the debt.
Chr. Well, and how did you apply this to yourself?
Hope. Why, I thought thus with myself: I have by my sins run a great way
into God's Book, and that my now reforming will not pay off that score;
therefore I should think still under all my present amendments, But how shall
I be freed from that damnation that I have brought myself in danger of by my
Chr. A very good application: but pray go on.
Hope. Another thing that hath troubled me, even since my late amendments,
is, that if I look narrowly into the best of what I do now, I still see sin,
new sin, mixing itself with the best of that I do; so that now I am forced to
conclude, that notwithstanding my former fond conceits of myself and duties, I
have committed sin enough in one duty to send me to Hell, though my former
life had been faultless.
Chr. And what did you do then?
Hope. Do! I could not tell what to do, till I brake my mind to Faithful,
for he and I were well acquainted. And he told me, that unless I could obtain
the righteousness of a man that never had sinned, neither mine own, nor all
the righteousness of the world could save me.
Chr. And did you think he spake true?
Hope. Had he told me so when I was pleased and satisfied with mine own
amendments, I had called him Fool for his pains: but now, since I see mine own
infirmity, and the sin that cleaves to my best performance, I have been forced
to be of his opinion.
Chr. But did you think, when at first he suggested it to you, that there
was such a man to be found, of whom it might justly be said. That he never
Hope. I must confess the words at first sounded strangely; but after a
little more talk and company with him, I had full conviction about it.
Chr. And did you ask him what man this was, and how you must be justified
Hope. Yes, and he told me it was the Lord Jesus, that dwelleth on the
right hand of the Most High. And thus, said he, you must be justified by him,
even by trusting to what he hath done by himself in the days of his flesh, and
suffered when he did hang on the Tree. I asked him further, How that man's
righteousness could be of that efficacy to justify another before God? And he
told me he was the mighty God, and did what he did, and died the death also,
not for himself, but for me; to whom his doings; and the worthiness of them
should be imputed, if I believed on him.
Chr. And what did you do then?
Hope. I made my objections against my believing, for that I thought he
was not willing to save me.
Chr. And what said Faithful to you then?
Hope. He bid me go to him and see: then I said it was presumption: but he
said, No, for I was invited to come. Then he gave me a Book of Jesus his
inditing, to encourage me the more freely to come; and he said concerning that
Book, that every jot and tittle thereof stood firmer than Heaven and Earth.
Then I asked him, What I must do when I came? and he told me, I must entreat
upon my knees with all my heart and soul, the Father to reveal him to me. Then
I asked him further, How I must make my supplication to him? And he said, Go,
and thou shalt find him upon a mercy-seat, where he sits all the year long,
to give pardon and forgiveness to them that come. I told him that I knew not
what to say when I came. And he bid me say to this effect: God be merciful to
me a sinner, and make me to know and believe in Jesus Christ; for I see that
if his righteousness had not been, or I have not faith in that righteousness.
I am utterly cast away: Lord, I have heard that thou art a merciful God, and
hast ordained that thy Son Jesus Christ should be the Saviour of the world;
and moreover, that thou art willing to bestow him upon such a poor sinner as I
am, (and I am a sinner indeed) Lord, take therefore this opportunity, and
magnify thy grace in the Salvation of my soul, through thy Son Jesus Christ.
Chr. And did you do as you were bidden?
Hope. Yes, over and over and over.
Chr. And did the Father reveal his Son to you?
Hope. Not at the first, nor second, nor third, nor fourth, nor fifth, no
nor at the sixth time neither.
Chr. What did you do then?
Hope. What! why I could not tell what to do.
Chr. Had you not thought of leaving off praying?
Hope. Yes, an hundred times twice told.
Chr. And what was the reason you did not?
Hope. I believed that that was true which had been told me, to wit, that
without the righteousness of this Christ all the world could not save me; and
therefore thought I with myself, If I leave off, I die, and can but die at the
Throne of Grace. And withal, this came into my mind, If it tarry, wait for it,
because it will surely come, it will not tarry. So I continued praying until
the Father shewed me his Son.
Chr. And how was he revealed unto you?
Hope. I did not see him with my bodily eyes, but with the eyes of mine
understanding; and thus it was: One day I was very sad, I think sadder than at
any one time in my life, and this sadness was through a fresh sight of the
greatness and vileness of my sins: and as I was then looking for nothing but
Hell, and the everlasting damnation of my Soul, suddenly, as I thought, I saw
the Lord Jesus look down from Heaven upon me, and saying, Believe on the Lord
Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved.
But I replied, Lord, I am a great, a very great sinner. And he answered
My grace is sufficient for thee. Then I said, But Lord, what is believing? And
then I saw from that saying, He that cometh to me shall never hunger, and he
that believeth on me shall never thirst, that believing and coming was all
one; and that he that came, that, is, ran out in his heart and affections
after salvation by Christ, he indeed believed in Christ. Then the water stood
in mine eyes, and I asked further, But Lord, may such a great sinner as I am
be indeed accepted of thee, and be saved by thee? And I heard him say, And him
that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out. Then I said, But how, Lord, must
I consider of thee in my coming to thee, that my faith may be placed aright
upon thee? Then he said, Christ Jesus came into the World to save sinners. He
is the end of the Law for righteousness to every one that believes. He died
for our sins, and rose again for our justification. He loved us and washed us
from our sins in his own blood. He is Mediator between God and us. He ever
liveth to make intercession for us. From all which I gathered, that I must
look for Righteousness in his Person, and for Satisfaction for my sins by his
Blood; that what he did in obedience to his Father's Law, and in submitting to
the penalty thereof, was not for himself, but for him that will accept it for
his Salvation, and be thankful. And now was my heart full of joy, mine eyes
full of tears, and mine affections running over with love to the Name, People,
and Ways of Jesus Christ.
Chr. this was revelation of Christ to your soul indeed; but tell me
particularly what effect this had upon your spirit.
Hope. It made me see that all the World, notwithstanding all the
righteousness thereof, is in a state of condemnation. It made me see that God
the Father, though he be just, can justly justify the coming sinner. It made
me greatly ashamed of the vileness of my former life, and confounded me with
the sense of mine own ignorance; for there never came thought into my heart
before now, that shewed me so the beauty of Jesus Christ. It made me love a
holy life, and long to do something for the Honour and Glory of the Name of
the Lord Jesus yea, I thought that had I now a thousand gallons of blood in my
body, I could spill it all for the sake of the Lord Jesus.
Thursday, September 16, 2010
"Lord, that you would bless me indeed,
And enlarge my territory;
That your hand would be with me.
And you would keep my heart from evil, Amen."
Sunday, September 5, 2010
Some Perspective on the Deepwater Horizon Disaster
The disaster at the Deepwater Horizon oil rig was horrendous. Let’s make no mistake about that. Because not enough attention was paid to safety and environmental concerns before the explosion, an estimated total of 4.9 million barrels of oil (210 million gallons)1 were dumped into the ocean. The oil killed wildlife and will probably negatively affect parts of the environment for years to come. With that said, however, I want to look at the disaster from a scientific perspective. If nothing else, such a perspective will give you a deeper appreciation for the wonderful creation God has given us.
The first thing you need to realize is how much oil seeps into the Gulf of Mexico naturally. Probably the best estimate done to date was published by the National Academies Press. It indicates that about 140,000 tons of oil (about a million barrels) leak into the Gulf of Mexico each year due to natural oil seeps.2 So the Deepwater Horizon disaster dumped as much oil as 5 years’ worth of natural seepage.
Now, of course, there are some big differences between the way the Deepwater Horizon disaster spilled oil into the gulf and the way the natural seeps do it. First, the natural seeps release oil into the gulf much more slowly. Second, they release oil into the gulf over a wider area so it is not as concentrated. Third, since no one is trying to stop them, there isn’t all the pollution associated with engineers doing everything they can to stop a leak. As a result, the natural oil seeps do not produce the environmental devastation that the Deepwater Horizon disaster did.
However, because oil seeps naturally into the ocean, you would expect that the ocean has a way to deal with it, and indeed it does. What we have seen already as a result of the Deepwater Horizon disaster tells us just how well the oceans have been designed to deal with oil pollution.
A recent study published online by the journal Science3 examined the dispersed plume of oil that came from the Deepwater Horizon disaster, and the authors note that the ocean’s “natural cleanup crew” is already working to reduce the effects of the disaster.
What is the ocean’s “natural cleanup crew?” Well, when it comes to oil, it is a host of bacteria that love to feed on oil. Remember, oil seeps into the ocean naturally, and that oil needs to be cleaned up. The Designer of this planet understood this, of course, so among the plethora of bacteria He created are those that can digest oil so that it doesn’t build up in the oceans.
When the scientists involved in this study looked at the oil plume, they found all sorts of these bacteria busy digesting away the oil. As the authors state in the abstract:
Here, we report that the dispersed hydrocarbon plume stimulated deep-sea indigenous γ-proteobacteria that are closely related to known petroleum-degraders.
So when they looked at the bacteria in the oil plume, they found ones that are very similar to other bacteria that are known to degrade petroleum. In the end, they say that the oil plume stimulated these bacteria. Of course, this makes sense. Give the bacteria more of what they want to eat, and their population will increase.
The details of the report are even more fascinating. They analyzed the genes of the bacteria found in different parts of the oil plume, and they found that those genes varied depending on the specific hydrocarbons that were in that area of the plume. Remember, oil is a mixture of chemicals that contain hydrogen and carbon (hydrocarbons), and the molecules range from very small to very large. Thus, you might worry that these bacteria are good at degrading specific hydrocarbons but will leave others untouched. That’s not what the researchers found. Instead, they found that different bacteria tend to be better at degrading different hydrocarbons, and each type is found where the hydrocarbons they are good at degrading can be found.
So the researchers conclude:
These results indicated that a variety of hydrocarbon-degrading populations exist in the deep-sea plume and that the microbial communities appear to be undergoing rapid dynamic adaptation in response to oil contamination.
So the “cleanup crew” that was designed to take care of the oceans seems to be doing its job and doing it very well. Indeed, it seems that the “cleanup crew” was even designed to adapt to the specific mixture of hydrocarbons they encounter, so that no matter what type of oil is spilled, it can be taken care of! The paper ends on a very hopeful note:
These results also imply that there exists a potential for intrinsic bioremediation of oil contaminants in the deep-sea, and that oil-degrading communities could play a significant role in controlling the ultimate fates of hydrocarbons in the Gulf.
So at least based on this study, there is a good chance that a large amount of the ecological damage caused by the Deepwater Horizon disaster will be mitigated by the incredible design of the ocean and its inhabitants. Does that let BP off the hook? Of course not! Does that mean we shouldn’t work to keep this kind of disaster from ever happening again? Of course not!
What data like these tell us is that the oceans were made for us, and even when we mess up royally, there are safeguards in place that will mitigate the effects of our mistakes. Let’s be thankful that God has designed our world so well, and let’s do everything in our power to make sure we don’t have to “test” His awesome design again!
1. Campbell Robertson and Clifford Krauss, “Gulf Spill Is the Largest of Its Kind, Scientists Say,” New York Times, August 2, 2010. available online
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2. Committee on Oil in the Sea, Oil in the Sea III: Inputs, Fates, and Effects , National Academies Press, 2003, p. 70 available online
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3. Terry C. Hazen, et. al., “Deep-Sea Oil Plume Enriches Indigenous Oil-Degrading Bacteria,” Science DOI: 10.1126, 2010, available online with subscription
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Saturday, August 28, 2010
My mom's comment (^^) made me think a little bit. Now picture yourself driving down a road in your car. In a field, there is a barn painted with lots of bright colors and funny pictures of people with big heads and little bodies. It seems like a tourist attraction, so your whole family gets out of the car and walks over to inspect every side of it. Your mom pulls out the camera and you all pose for funny pictures in front of the barn. Your sister decides that it's a great place for a photoshoot, so you have pictures of you peeking around the corner, pretending to hug the picture of the bear on the side, and leaning against it looking off into the distance. Then you all get back in the car and start back on your roadtrip. There are a bunch of barns that you pass: brown ones, red ones, white ones, and some that don't seem painted. They seem a bit abandoned, but they've all served their purpose at one place in time. But you don't really notice them. They are everywhere, so it's a habit to just let them blend with the trees passing by.
Think of a woman's body as a barn. The barn that is obnoxiously painted and loud with drawings is like a woman who puts on too much makeup (more than what's attractive) and draws too much attention to herself. She has no mission except to look very good and get attention. The barns that you passed on your way home: they are like women who put on attractive amounts of makeup... or none at all, but don't try to get attention from passerbys. They do their duties and work well and efficiently.
Which barn are you?
Tuesday, August 24, 2010
Are you hoping for something? Are you trusting God, or praying that you would, for something in your life? I am. I hope for things. My strongest desire, the thing with which I have the hardest time trusting God, is to get married. Why is it so hard? Because I see some of my friends getting close to guys and striking up relationships with them at 16... and I know that I wouldn't have to wait too long if I wanted to follow in their footsteps.
I was doing my devos last night and I read my "daily Proverb". Proverbs 23:17-18 brought tears to my eyes...
17Let not your heart envy sinners,
but continue in the fear of the LORD all
18Surely there is a future,
and your hope will not be cut off.
I realized that I'd been jealous of my friends and the general world... the world that I was striving so hard not to be part of. This verse didn't just tell me where I was wrong, but also what to do to fix it. I have to continue to trust God all day: from the moment I wake up to the moment I fall asleep. I love verse 18 too. Just because it feels bleak now... or a long way off... there IS a future, and my hope will not be cut off. It doesn't mean that I'll definitely-no-doubt-about-it walk down the aisle on my daddy's arm someday... it doesn't mean I'll be chasing my little ones around the playground ten years from now... It just means that my hope and my desire will not be just dashed to pieces. God will bless me because I am His daughter. So why should I be worried? I just have to give up the deepest desires of my heart to Him... learn to want only Him, and I will be satisfied.
Tuesday, August 17, 2010
or be weary of his reproof,
12for the LORD reproves him whom he loves,
as a father the son in whom he delights."
Friday, August 6, 2010
Monday, August 2, 2010
Then, the day finally comes when my fears are relieved and the confrontation or the confession of my friend is expressed. If it is a confrontation, it makes me thankful. I have a friend who was not afraid to tell me what they thought and saw, even if it meant their relationship with me. If it is a confession of something they did to me or behind my back, I have a whole new set of things to think about. First, forgiveness. Usually, it is not hard for me to be forgiving. I just want things to go back to normal again and life to go on and nothing to be in between us. But then I struggle with pride. I get puffed up in my mind saying, "Yes, they sinned against me and they really don't deserve the forgiveness I've given them." Guess what? Yup, prayer time again. "God, you know I am thankful for these friends and their willingness to bring to my attention something they did against me. I thank you that I'm ready to forgive them. Now, Lord, when I'm tempted to be prideful about my giving them forgiveness, help me to remember the undeserving forgiveness with which you've forgiven my sins. Help me to be humble."
Then, while I'm working on all these things, I think that the friendship should go back to normal. Ah, we're back to the beginning. Patience again is what I need.
"I waited patiently for the LORD; and he inclined unto me, and heard my cry." (Psalm 40:1)
I've been getting ready for my much anticipated AP English class this year by reading as many books as I can possibly manage. Many of you know my endearing love for Jane Austen and her works. As I write I slowly draw close to the end of Mansfield Park which has delighted me more than I could possibly imagine reading a book after the movie. For those of you who have read Jane Austen books, you know how long and wordy and sometimes tedious they can be, so I find that in order to finish these books before the start of the class, I have to use every spare moment to read a paragraph or a chapter. Every day I've been thinking about what Miss Fanny Price would have to do next and what turmoil or delight would be stirring in her mind. I think about how graceful and patient she was when treated condescendingly. I couldn't help but laugh to myself when Edmund and her discussed with appalled attitudes the character of Mr. and Miss Crawford and how their scruples would have no affect on our acceptance of them today.
Friday, July 30, 2010
Think about your favorite food. Mmm, it's so hard to choose! There's the yummy, creamy macaroni and cheese or the rich beef roast that only your mother can master. But maybe you have a sweet tooth. Maybe you find a nice bowl of pudding sufficient to make any night the best. Or perhaps you like that special apple pie that your friend's mother makes for you. But then again, your sister's pumpkin cheesecake really does the trick. Why is she torturing us with all this food!? you might be thinking. Sorry, not trying to torture ya'll, but you might want to grab a snack or something because this whole post is going to be about food.
Thursday, July 29, 2010
"36Now there was in Joppa a disciple named Tabitha, which, translated, means Dorcas. She was full of good works and acts of charity. 37In those days she became ill and died, and when they had washed her, they laid her in an upper room. 38Since Lydda was near Joppa, the disciples, hearing that Peter was there, sent two men to him, urging him, "Please come to us without delay." 39So Peter rose and went with them. And when he arrived, they took him to the upper room. All the widows stood beside him weeping and showing tunics and other garments that Dorcas made while she was with them. 40But Peter put them all outside, and knelt down and prayed; and turning to the body he said, "Tabitha, arise." And she opened her eyes, and when she saw Peter she sat up. 41And he gave her his hand and raised her up. Then calling the saints and widows, he presented her alive. 42And it became known throughout all Joppa, and many believed in the Lord. 43And he stayed in Joppa for many days with one Simon, a tanner."
"She seeks wool and flax, and works with willing hands... She puts her hands to the distaff, and her hands hold the spindle." (Proverbs 31: 13, 19)
Tuesday, July 27, 2010
I don’t know about you, but I’m not a sports fanatic. I don’t do sports or watch sports; I know hardly anything about them. The most sports I watch is an occasional football game and the Superbowl. One day I was thinking, though, about the work that goes into being a good athlete. It takes practice and precision, endurance and patience to get the game right and to keep going through the physical or mental pain and discomfort. Christians are sort of like athletes: not like the ones who are merely on a junior team, but like the Olympic athletes. They train for the biggest and hardest games of the year against other skilled athletes of the world. First let’s take into account the work it takes to qualify for those games. An Olympic athlete has to put in at least 6 hours of practice a day to be even barely acceptable for the competition. This means studying, preparing, seeking others’ advice, and doing the actual game many times.
When I think about it, Christians tend to think that an hour a day is a long time to be spent as a devotion to God in prayer and searching His Word. We think that an hour a day must be enough time with God to prepare us for the spiritual competition in which we engage every day. If every Christian put in 6 hours of prayer and searching the word every day, then we would be even more prepared to face the battle against sin and temptation. An athlete would never be able to enter the Olympics if he or she only entered 15 minutes of practice a day. Thank God that His mercy fights for us when we are not prepared to! There is no way that we can carefully take care of the responsibilities that God has given us and pray and read the Bible for 6 hours of our day. Only by the grace of God can we conquer the day.
Sunday, July 25, 2010
Doing teen service at CGN this year, I got to meet a lot of new people. I also got to strengthen already standing relationships. Our leaders decided, on the second day of our being there, to use our free time in doing ropes course. Imagine this: first off, we hardly know each other. Second off, we are going to now be lifting each other and carrying each other. Third, we are going to be catching each other when they either purposely fall, or lose their balance. That's crazy. No one knows anyone's strong points or strength.
Friday, July 23, 2010
The Brother's ConfidantA good sister's love always holds a cherished place in the grateful memory of the brother! Many men have found a sister's love their ready and cheering resource. His confidence is set in her counsel and he is satisfied with the assurance that it will be uprightly and considerately given. How intimate is the friendship of such sisters! What a reliance for warning, excitement, and sympathy has each secured in each! How many are the brothers to whom, when thrown into circumstances of temptation, the thought of a sister's love has been a constant, holy presence, rebuking every wayward thought!The relation of brothers and sisters forms another important element in the happy influences of home. A boisterous or a selfish boy may try to domineer of the weaker or more dependent girl, but generally the latter exerts a softening, sweetening charm. The brother animates and heartens; the sister mollifies, tames, refines. The vine-tree and its sustaining elm are the emblems of such a relation-- and by such agencies our "sons may become like plants grown up in their youth, and our daughters like cornerstones polished after the similitude of a temple."Sisters scarcely know the influence they have over their brothers. A young man once testified that the greatest proof to the truth of Christian religion was his sister's life.
Thursday, July 22, 2010
Wednesday, July 21, 2010
Monday, May 24, 2010
It took a lot of love to leave a glory beyond all else to come down here to Earth- to dwell with sin and man and accept a human body and the life of a person. It took strength to walk on a vulgar land and understand temptation and pain. If you were God and had all splendor and glory and power in your right hand, would you have stepped down to save the sin of mankind?
Friday, May 21, 2010
Wednesday, May 12, 2010
Try to imagine what it'll be like when Jesus comes. Will you be excited? What will be your reaction? Will you feel like dancing? You know your own personality. What will you feel like doing? Will you fall down in amazement, with your head to the ground in reverent worship? Will tears fill up your eyes and you run to meet Him? Will your heart beat faster than it has ever beat? Or will it stop in complete and utter disbelief? He is coming. There's no doubt about it.
Tuesday, May 4, 2010
Have you ever felt worn out and wearied from your walk with God? The temptations come without yield and no matter how hard you try, you seem to just fall flat on your face all the time. I have periods in my life like that. Every once in a while, when God is teaching me something major, I feel like all I can do is fail and conquering sin, even with God, seems impossible.
Wednesday, April 28, 2010
I posted some pictures below (and if you haven't already, you should check them out). I want to post a few things that God really showed me while I was in Honduras.
Monday, April 26, 2010
Saturday, March 27, 2010
God does these little things for me. I went to a friend's house last night to babysit their daughter while they went to a concert. When I babysit, I usually bring a few books from my house that might interest them (because I know that when I was little, I loved new things!). Anyway, one of the books I brought was a Bible story about Hannah, the mother of Samuel. Most people know who Samuel is in the Bible: the priest who anointed the first king of Israel, Saul. But a lot of people don't know about his mother, Hannah, who plays a great example in the Bible.