Thursday, July 26, 2007

I'm white water rafting, on the New River, with Sarah, Anna, Luke and the Senior High, until Saturday.
*This is a journal entry that I typed up the other day. I was going to trim it up and add to it, but I have run out of time before I leave. So read if you want. It is just some rough thoughts about life and God and being still. I would say that I will add to it later or expand upon certain parts, but I doubt I will find the time. So her is a raw journal entry.*

Some observations from sitting and being still. Tuesday, I went to the eye doctor. First of all I have to say that I love my eye doctor! She is the sweetest woman in the world. She remembers all of my family and pulls out all sorts of questions about them and what they are doing. It is amazing. She only works part time now because she has two children. Plus she is absolutely adorable! Anyhow, that aside. I was about to talk about something else.

So they take you back to the exam room and the nurse/aid person tests your eyes and puts in the numbing drops and then the ones that make your pupils really big. Then they leave you so that your eyes will open up. So here you are sitting in a dark room and they have taken your contacts and glasses; so you are completely blind and can't really read anything because your eyes feel all weird and numb. What else is there to do but start thinking. And since I am not in school, I don't have schoolwork to think about. And since I was doing electrical drawings at work and I don't know very much about electrical, I couldn't think about that too long.

Sometimes you have to be forced to stop living your busy little life for a while and sit and think about God and His great goodness in your life and how everything you see is so skewed by way you want and your desires. When you start to think about it, you are so small and God is so big. When you are quiet you give God a chance to speak instead of you speaking all the time. I mean even when we pray, WE pray. When we read the Bible, WE read the Bible and think about it. Sometimes we need to just be quiet and still before the Lord.

He has to take us out of the busiest of life and put us in a place where we can only focus on Him. It is an amazing place to be. It is awesome to experience the way that he strips away everything that clutters up our lives and brings our focus back to what it needs to be on. I'm not saying that it doesn't hurt to have all that we love and have held on to taken away from us (normally torn away because we won't let go). But taking the time to look back on it all, God does what is best. He gives us second and third and fourth chances. It is like we were too busy for him before because we were trying to do everything on our own. And he keeps reminding us what we are supposed to be doing, but we say, "later, we are busy now." So he keeps reminding us and when we don't listen he starts taking away our distractions until we have to focus on him.

He also puts us in places that we have to depend on him. I have never had to say that before. I have always been able to handle my life. I have always been in control and have been able to make everything look great and be great. Not to say that I didn't rely on God for things, but it wasn't anything that I couldn't do myself. So my ego kept getting bigger and bigger. I kept thinking more and more about myself and how great my life was the way I was running it and less and less about what God really wanted. I asked him, but then I did what I thought was right and asked for his blessing on my plans. Funny how he takes away everything that you depend on and leaves you in a place where you have to be on your face before him. You don't look so big anymore when your plans and life are lying shattered in pieces on the ground.

I wonder what it is about life that we don't grow as much when times are good. You think we could learn. But no, we learn through the trials, we learn through failures, and we learn by never being good enough. I just have to remind myself of that all the time. I will never be good enough! It is when we see that we have no strength of our own that we have to go to God to survive. It is then that we see how wicked and small we are. It is then that God has a chance to work with us. To refine us to be what he wants us to be.

It is a wonder that he loves us enough to keep coming after us. You think he'd give us after a while. How many times can a person stray away? But after these trials are finished and life is good again, won't we all go back to our ways of trusting in our own strength? It may not be as fast as last time or maybe not as much. But we will. Even while we keep our focus on God. There is just something glorious about having everything taken away from you. It is a wonderful thing to have a God that cares that much about his people.

I can see God's hand in my life. I can see that he is guiding me to be what he wants me to be. I can see that he is making me more like him. He is strengthening my trust in him. He is teaching me that I am nothing on my own; that I am not as good as I thought. That I am nothing. That he is everything. And that that will never change. So I praise him for the trials. I praise him for the hard times. I praise him for giving me chance after chance to be more like him.

If he had to take away everything that I loved too much, then so be it. It is for my good and his glory. If I am not willing to give up things for him, then that thing is an idol. Praise God for taking away the idols in my life. May I continue to learn to trust in and rely on him for everything that I have and will ever have. I am not good enough to do anything myself.

So while I was sitting in that dark quiet room, it was almost like God said, do you see now why this has happened? Do you see why I took so many things out of your life? You will never be perfect. You can't be perfect on your own. You can't run your life on your own. You can't even run a bit of it. You need me for everything that you have. It was a great reminder of how not wonderful I am and how great God is. It was an amazing trip to the eye doctor. She apologized for making me wait so long. I laughed and thanked her for the time to think.

This all said, my eyes haven't changed a bit in three years... Guess what that means? I am a perfect candidate for lasik surgery, not that I wasn't before, but now I am even more perfect! ha. Yes, I am thinking about treating myself to either a Christmas present or a graduation present next year. :) If I did my eyes at Christmas, then I could still buy that bmw for my graduation present. haha. Anyhow, we shall see about the eyes. I really want to have them fixed. How cool would it be to not be blind in the morning. I would save so much money on contacts and glasses, not to mention the time that it takes to clean them and put them in and out. Man, it would be awesome!

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

I heard this song on the radio today and I thought I would post it until I get around to finishing writing the post I have been meaning to write for a while. There just isn't enough time to do everything I want. I hadn't heard this song before, but I think it is incredible and it rather goes along with my coming post nicely. I hope this can be my prayer for my entire life.

I can count a million times
People asking me how I
Can praise You with all that I've gone through
The question just amazes me
Can circumstances possibly
Change who I forever am in You

Maybe since my life was changed
Long before these rainy days
It's never really ever crossed my mind
To turn my back on you, oh Lord
My only shelter from the storm
But instead I draw closer through these times

So I pray

Bring me joy, bring me peace
Bring the chance to be free
Bring me anything that brings You glory
And I know there'll be days
When this life brings me pain
But if that's what it takes to praise You

Jesus, bring the rain

I am Yours regardless of
The dark clouds that may loom above
Because You are much greater than my pain
You who made a way for me
By suffering Your destiny
So tell me what's a little rain

So I pray

Bring me joy, bring me peace
Bring the chance to be free
Bring me anything that brings You glory
And I know there'll be days
When this life brings me pain
But if that's what it takes to praise You
Jesus, bring the rain

Holy, holy, holy
Holy, holy, holy
Is the Lord God Almighty

Is the Lord God Almighty

-Mercy Me

Monday, July 23, 2007

Waiting Room
Shane and Shane

I will run when I cannot walk
I will sing when there is no song
I will pray when there is no prayer
I will listen when I cannot hear

sitting in the waiting room of silence
waiting for that still soft voice I know
offering my words up to the rooftop to Your heart
trusting that this closet's where You are

Lord I know if I change my mind
You will change my heart in time
Sovereign Lord this time's from You
so I sit in the waiting room of silence
cause its all about You

I will fight when I cannot feel
I will trust when You don't seem real
I will tell when I cannot speak
I will step when I cannot see
Deuteronomy 4:32-40

32 Ask now about the former days, long before your time, from the day God created man on the earth; ask from one end of the heavens to the other. Has anything so great as this ever happened, or has anything like it ever been heard of? 33 Has any other people heard the voice of God speaking out of fire, as you have, and lived? 34 Has any god ever tried to take for himself one nation out of another nation, by testings, by miraculous signs and wonders, by war, by a mighty hand and an outstretched arm, or by great and awesome deeds, like all the things the LORD your God did for you in Egypt before your very eyes?

35 You were shown these things so that you might know that the LORD is God; besides him there is no other. 36 From heaven he made you hear his voice to discipline you. On earth he showed you his great fire, and you heard his words from out of the fire. 37 Because he loved your forefathers and chose their descendants after them, he brought you out of Egypt by his Presence and his great strength, 38 to drive out before you nations greater and stronger than you and to bring you into their land to give it to you for your inheritance, as it is today.

39 Acknowledge and take to heart this day that the LORD is God in heaven above and on the earth below. There is no other. 40 Keep his decrees and commands, which I am giving you today, so that it may go well with you and your children after you and that you may live long in the land the LORD your God gives you for all time.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

I discovered today that Sherlock Holmes is mentioned in the Chronicles of Narnia. It made me love the books even more. How wonderful! My favorite detective mentioned in my favorite children's series. I love Sherlock Holmes (I own the entire collection of his stories, thanks to Hayley, and various books of his by themselves). Anyhow, I started the Magician's Nephew today and in the first sentance in the second paragraph it says, "In those days Sherlock Holmes was still living in Baker Street..." I was so excited that I had to post about it on my blog. Sherlock Holmes meets Narnia! How perfect.

Oh and the second thing I wanted to mention about Narnia or C.S. Lewis is the great use of the word Beastly. I think that is a perfectly wonderful word. You can say, "I feel perfectly beastly today." or "That was a perfectly beastly thing to do." Isn't it great?!?

Let me give you a good example of that word in real life... It was perfectly beastly luck that I sat on Anna's computer and cracked the screen. Now I will have to pay for it. I should have just stuck to reading books in my room and not sitting on laptops without thinking.

Reading is a true blessing!

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Happy Birthday, Mrs. Shelton!

Thank you for always being so sweet.

I'm praying for you!
Becoming Undragoned

I like the Chronicles of Narnia. I was found the story of Eustace Scrubb, becoming a dragon and then having his scales removed, interesting. I read an article about his story today. I have included a quote from it. The whole article is worth reading; I like the way it describes what the story is saying. So, here is just a bit to get you started thinking about his story. I think I may have to go reread these wonderful books again! There is so much goodness in them.

Part of conversion is recognizing our own powerlessness to change ourselves. We must surrender. The change begins in a moment but we choose it again and again for the rest of our lives. Our ongoing surrender to grace is a slow walk — more turtle than hare. We are nudged along this difficult and discouraging path by hope, just like Eustace, who was always just "beginning to change."

"It would be nice and fairly nearly true to say that "from that time forth Eustace was a different boy." To be strictly accurate, he began to be a different boy. He had relapses. There were still many days when he could be very tiresome. But most of those I shall not notice. The cure had begun."

- C.S. Lewis

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

I found the sheet music to my favorite igrace hymn. I just need to find a keyboard or piano and I can sing it to my hearts content. Or maybe I will pick up guitar just so I can sing along with my favorite hymns.

O Love that Wilt Not Let Me Go
Sheet Music

O Love that wilt not let me go,
I rest my weary soul in thee;
I give thee back the life I owe,
That in thine ocean depths its flow
May richer, fuller be.

O light that followest all my way,
I yield my flickering torch to thee;
My heart restores its borrowed ray,
That in thy sunshine’s blaze its day
May brighter, fairer be.

O Joy that seekest me through pain,
I cannot close my heart to thee;
I trace the rainbow through the rain,
And feel the promise is not vain,
That morn shall tearless be.

O Cross that liftest up my head,
I dare not ask to fly from thee;
I lay in dust life’s glory dead,
And from the ground there blossoms red
Life that shall endless be.
**Meadows got me hooked on Derek Webb. She gave me a couple songs for my birthday and I ended up going out and buying all of his cds. The only problem with him is that all his music starts to sound the same after a while. So you can only listen to him for so long. But I don't listen to him for the music, I listen for the words. His words are incredible and very thought provoking. I like that. Another problem is that you can't really use him as background noise at work (well, I don't know if that is a problem). But you have to listen hard to hear and understand the words of his songs. So enjoy a little Derek Webb. Be convicted! Be changed.

I Repent
Derek Webb

I repent of my pursuit of America's dream
I repent of living like I deserve anything
my house, my fence, my kids, and my wife
In our suburb where we're safe and white
I am wrong and of these things I repent

I repent of parading my liberty
I repent of paying for what I get for free
the way I believe that I am living right
by trading sins for others that are easier to hide
I am wrong and of these things I repent

I repent judging by a law that even I can't keep
wearing righteousness like a disguise to see through
the planks in my own eyes

I repent of trading truth for false unity
I repent of confusing peace and idolatry
of caring more of what they think than what I know of what they need
and domesticating You until You look just like me
I am wrong and of these things I repent

Monday, July 16, 2007

Happy Birthday, Luke!

More Shane and Shane goodness...

when i think about the Lord
how He saved, how He raised me
how He filled me with the Holy Ghost
how He healed me to the uttermost
when i think about the Lord
how He picked me up
turned me around
how He set my feet
on solid ground

it makes me want to shout
hallelujah! thank you, Jesus!
Lord, you're worthy
of all the glory, and all the honor
and all the praise!
Hallelujah! thank you, Jesus!
Lord, you're worthy
of all the glory, and all the honor
and all the praise!

(ephesians 2:4-7, 2 corinthians 5:17)
Galations 3:10-14
10For all who rely on works of the law are under a curse; for it is written, "Cursed be everyone who does not abide by all things written in the Book of the Law, and do them." 11Now it is evident that no one is justified before God by the law, for "The righteous shall live by faith." 12But the law is not of faith, rather "The one who does them shall live by them."

13Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us--for it is written, "Cursed is everyone who is hanged on a tree"-- 14so that in Christ Jesus the blessing of Abraham might come to the Gentiles, so that we might receive the promised Spirit through faith.

Galations 4:1-7
1I mean that the heir, as long as he is a child, is no different from a slave, though he is the owner of everything, 2but he is under guardians and managers until the date set by his father. 3In the same way we also, when we were children, were enslaved to the elementary principles of the world.

4But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law, 5to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons. 6And because you are sons, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, "Abba! Father!"

7 So you are no longer a slave, but a son, and if a son, then an heir through God.

Just a few verses to start your day. Shane and Shane got me thinking about this. We were under a curse and some days it is just depressing if that is all we think about. But what glorious hope when we grab hold of the promises that we are saved from that curse. We are adopted as children of God. We are no longer slaves, we are heirs with Christ. Let us rejoice in this truth and praise God for it. We are given what we deserve. We are given so much more!

So why don't we live like children?
Why do we so often still live as slaves?

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Bella/John-it is you (I have loved)

This has to be the best You Tube video of all time. It is so lovely! I know I have posted it before, but I thought I would remind you all how beautiful it is. Watch and enjoy John and Bella.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Living with the Stantons
Sofia, Bulgaria

Next Summer?

The first of many options, I'll find out more on Friday.
Please, pray for wisdom as I sort through my options for next summer.
I want to do what God wants and not what I think would be the most fun.
I'd be cool if those were the same.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

This comes from an article at Focus on the Family's Boundless blog. I would like to take the time to explain, that I really don't blog for another else's sake. I blog for my own. I am a very selfish blogger. I see an article I like and I have thoughts about it that I don't want to forget, so I blog. I am near a computer more often then I am near my journal, so I blog. My siblings have said, "it is so boring when you post a hymn or a song or an article". But I am not blogging for them. I am blogging for me. So if I want to remember that hymn when I get home, I blog it. Most of the things I post here are just so that I can remember them later on. Sometimes I write entries for other people, but the majority of my blogging is for me. So with that explained, on to the article.

Thanks for reading.

"Some of the most painful moments of my life have come when the devastating sin of someone I admired—a pastor, a professor, a friend—has been revealed. You reel for a moment, trying to reconcile all the spiritual insight you have gained from this person with their present state of failure. It hurts. Of course there is a sense of betrayal, but probably it hurts the most because it makes you more keenly aware of your own sin and propensity to fail. You think, If that person failed, what is the hope for me?

The hope is Jesus Christ and the victory He promises. Living under Christ's control and not becoming entangled in sin is possible. Still, in this world, we all experience moments of failure—some more devastating than others. I found Morgenthaler's observations comforting. Speaking of the same class, she writes:

We had been affirming to each other how important truth telling is, more important than saving a “career” or saving a congregation’s squeaky-clean image. But, then I said truth must always come in the context of grace extended in tangible ways (read, an intentional healing process that usually requires much time and sacrifice). I explained that truth and mercy were the two inseparable antidotes to darkness. Then, the light of hope dawned on her face.

Hope. In the midst of disillusionment, there is always hope. It comes in the form of the truth God tells us about our sinful tendencies and the grace He offers through the all-sufficient sacrifice of His Son. Let us take the antidote ourselves and offer it to those around us."

Monday, July 09, 2007

Today's Morning reading from C. H. Spurgeon

"Forget not all His benefits."—Psalm 103:2.

It is a delightful and profitable occupation to mark the hand of God in the lives of ancient saints, and to observe His goodness in delivering them, His mercy in pardoning them, and His faithfulness in keeping His covenant with them. But would it not be even more interesting and profitable for us to remark the hand of God in our own lives? Ought we not to look upon our own history as being at least as full of God, as full of His goodness and of His truth, as much a proof of His faithfulness and veracity, as the lives of any of the saints who have gone before? We do our Lord an injustice when we suppose that He wrought all His mighty acts, and showed Himself strong for those in the early time, but doth not perform wonders or lay bare His arm for the saints who are now upon the earth. Let us review our own lives. Surely in these we may discover some happy incidents, refreshing to ourselves and glorifying to our God. Have you had no deliverances? Have you passed through no rivers, supported by the divine presence? Have you walked through no fires unharmed? Have you had no manifestations? Have you had no choice favours? The God who gave Solomon the desire of his heart, hath He never listened to you and answered your requests? That God of lavish bounty of whom David sang, "Who satisfieth thy mouth with good things," hath He never satiated you with fatness? Have you never been made to lie down in green pastures? Have you never been led by the still waters? Surely the goodness of God has been the same to us as to the saints of old. Let us, then, weave His mercies into a song. Let us take the pure gold of thankfulness, and the jewels of praise and make them into another crown for the head of Jesus. Let our souls give forth music as sweet and as exhilarating as came from David's harp, while we praise the Lord whose mercy endureth for ever.

Friday, July 06, 2007

Anna, Barnes and Nobles, Starbucks, Carmel Fraps, Cheese Cake, Johnny Cash, Walk the Line, Watermelon = Thursday night fun.

Anna, Cambridge, Annie and Emma, Jed, Mrs. Huntington's shop, cute downtown cafe - Cambride Grille, drinking the entire bottle of ketchup (hentz of course), lavender soap, puzzles, ice cream, old typewriters, alley ways, libraries, banks, new purse making material, smoothies, photos, abandonded buildings, old apartments and dance floors, pizza, walking around small towns, Princess Bride on the big screen, glow braclets, Mary Jane crocs = All day Friday fun!!

See more on Anna and Annie's flickrs.

My two favorite photographers!

Anna, thanks for cheering me up and taking me on your adventures! I love you dearly. You make me smile. I really appreciate you inviting me along today. I love a good adventure!

Thursday, July 05, 2007

I rode in the Z3 today.

I want one.

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

...the Christian must never for one moment imagine himself to be indispensable to God, or allow himself to behave as if he were. The God who sent him, and is pleased to work with him, can do without him.
- J.I. Packer

I was reading around online and I found a passage by J.I. Packer. I really liked this quote, so I am putting it up on my blog. I really like the last line. It is scary to think about. I like it. It hits hard. You are just reading along the quote and BANG. It is like all of the sudden you become really really really small. And you see how you are worth nothing and don't deserve anything. But isn't that where we are always supposed to be. We are small. We are weak. We are nothing, but God loves us anyhow. That is the amazing thing. The part that should stand out in this quote is that God is pleased to send us and to work through us. Just thought I would let you all into my head for a while. Think about it. It is truly awesome!
the new 7 wonders of the world.

Monday, July 02, 2007

Since she beat me to the video, I thought I would dedicate something else to Rachel. Here's to you, Rachel. May this song be always stuck in your head. heh.

Flames to dust
Lovers to friends
Why do all good things come to an end